It’s a good chance that many of you have heard the news today. With the removal of the Warhammer 40k rulebook from Games-Workshops site, it’s become apparent that 7th edition is really on its way. So far there’s been a huge swing in opinions, speculations, and rants about this. The rumor that 7th edition was being released sometime this summer has been floating about since about Christmas. I’m sure there was a group that thought it wouldn’t happen. This edition has only been out for little under 2 years (I know because I was in the hospital receiving a kidney transplant when my brother got his copy of 6th edition in the mail). However, there was a portion of the community that thought that if this did happen then it would simply be a 6.5 edition. I was one of those. I still am too a certain extent. This article is simply a long draw out way for me to get my own personal thoughts and opinions together about the “What ifs” that 7th edition might bring.
For the most part, I enjoyed 6th edition. I also really enjoyed 5th edition. I will admit that there are parts of 6th edition that gets under my skin. I will admit right now that I don’t know every comma and period of the rule book. However, I am not one of those that think 6th edition is a complete wreck. I’ve enjoyed the new mechanics that have been introduced: Overwatch, Random Charge Distance, Warlord Traits, Fliers, etc. And yes, I’m even happy with Escalation and Strong Hold Assault. I know this makes me a very odd duck, but these add a flare and grand-ness that reflected the universe. If 40k is anything, it’s Big and over the top, and in my mind a lot of the new mechanics tried to capture that. Having said that, I’m not above acknowledging that 6th edition could use some fixes.
So why do I have misgivings about the approach of a new edition of 40k?
My misgivings started when it became evident that the psykic powers that were listed in the main rule book were also taken down. For me, this bothers me as I enjoy using Librarians in most of my army. They are a great way to buff parts of my army when I need it. I will also admit that I love using Prescience; however, the times I dabbled with my Death Guard Chaos Space Marines I enjoyed using some of the Biomancy powers. In my mind, the removal of the universal psykic power cards can upset the enjoyment I have with Librarians. While I certainly hope they will re-release the cards bringing all the powers up to the level of Divination and Presience, Games Workshop’s track record for doing this is not very good. What I fear is that GW will revamp all the powers but make them weaker than what they are now. My hopes are for the update to reward multiple play style be it assault heavy or shooting heavy. I hope the speculations are true that the new edition is just a repackage of 6th edition with Escalation and Strong Hold Assault wrapped into it. Maybe they will even put it in black and white that Forgeworld is legal or official. I hope for a lot of things; however, the nagging part of experience and history keeps popping up in mind to tell me that this may not be true.
I know a new edition will not help getting rid of many of the things I think players face on a daily basis; Net lists and Deathstar units were around in previous editions. A new edition will likely not fix the imbalance with most the army codices. I’m afraid that a new edition will only make those imbalances even worse. Tau is powerful not because of what the main rulebook says, but what the rules in their codex says. A new edition could curtail the problems that players have experienced with allies, but I believe that the box has been opened and may not be easy to close. Yes, there is a small part of me that feels this is a money grab and causes me to take another step towards the camp that loath Games-Workshop. Is this an edition that could be easily handled with FAQs and Erratas?
I survived the cross over from 5th edition to 6th edition. My collection is large enough that only an absolutely complete over haul of the whole game with Space Marines being changed in ways that I can’t imagine would affect me. I don’t want to seem like I’m whining or ranting. The fact is that I’ve come to enjoy using units that I haven’t used before or in sometime. A new edition could see those units go back into my box until some other edition. There’s also the simple fact that I’m lazy. I have, in my mind, only begun to get a handle on my play style and tactics, and I really don’t feel like doing that again.
I really want to hear what you have to say. Do you have the similar hopes and fears as I do? For me, I think only through dialogue can I get a grasp on what really is bugging me with the coming of a new edition.