So last night I finally got to sit down with the eight edition book! It is a massive tome. Its really great that Games Workshop have finally followed Privateer Press and produced full colour rulebooks. My girlfriend did look at the cover and wonder why there was a rocket on it… They really could have done something better with the cover. Having heard that I can’t see it in the same light again. The layout is fantastic. Its clear and concise. I could quickly find what I needed. I love the ribbon for marking the page. It saves me sticking pens in there in the middle of a game. It is a nice touch. Though why was the magic stuck at the very end? It seems almost tacked on. I can imagine its there as it is easier to find but I don’t really think they design the lay out with that in mind. The battle described at the back, whose names escapes me now is really what I want to see! Forgeworld have produced the wonderful Imperial Armour books. This battle really reminds me of them. I would love to see more like this. The description of the regiments and the brief history are exactly what got me enthusiastic about warhammer when I began. I remember having a little history made up and written down somewhere for each regiment in my army. If they produced books like that a little more often I would snap them up. The miniatures pages and army descriptions are good if a little over indulgent. They could have saved a few pages here! Most of them are direct reprints form the army book.
Still I am missing campaign rules. For a games design company they seem very reticent to bring out proper campaign rules. The last decent set seem to have been the old Mighty Empires game. They can’t be that hard to design and they would be boosting their sales of the new plastic Mighty Empires set. While it isn’t that hard for a group of gameers to get together and do this we are hardly professionals and all groups would benefit from a strong set of rules. They have even skipped the Siege rules completely in this book. With a defined set of terrain available to buy you would think that they could manage this. They have pretty decent rules to build from in the last three editions. Though I suspect we can expect to see these as a supplement in the same style as City Fight and Planetfall for 40k.
The game rules are great. I haven’t played an eight game so I can’t really judge. I am impressed at a few small changes to the rules that have benefited infantry so much. I love skirmishers now. They really act as I think they should. Okay there should almost be another form of skirmishers, lets call the super skirmishers that act like the old ones. Though the rules were pretty poor before. I can see the Wood Elves becoming an all skirmishing army once more with this edition! I can also see a few stalwarts from other books being assigned to this role. The White Lions for instance from the High Elf book, Slayers from the Dwarf book and possibly Savage Orcs? As they are different from what came before I think that a lot more armies could field these without it feeling wrong. The Horde rules is cool. I do hope to see a few regiments of this size on the board at tournaments. I won’t yet be pushing the Chaos Warriors in that direction. You realistically need fifty models in the regiment to make it viable and sixty to make it safe. Marauders while cheap are a little too expensive for that. Coming in at about three hundred points for fifty is a bit much. It would also mean a lot of painting for me… thats one of the pains of the new edition. You do seem to need to bulk the army up. The blocks could get unwieldy and as the edition moves along I imagine they will become a rarer sight. Seeing a real horde of zombies on the board would be cool though and hiopefully I get to face off against it soon.
So do Games Workshop honestly believe a twelve year old would buy this book? I am assuming that they haven’t changed their target group and that entry level into the hobby is still early teenagers. The book is too big for many reasons. If I had been handed that book when I started I would never have read it. I can’t imagine a kid being enthusiastic about getting that, especially at the price it is set. Maybe offering a rules only version and a collectors version would have been better. I would have been okay with a slightly more expensive collectors version to offset the number of sales. Secondly I would hate to have to lug this around with me. As I travel a lot for games, even internationally, I really need something smaller. Its a quarter of my weight allowance for carry on luggage! It is equal to an entire tray of miniatures in my pack. I assume that they will of course bring out a smaller version of the rulebook in the boxed set. Having to buy that just for the rulebook will most likely mean I will have to collect the armies in the boxed set. The new Griffon that comes out in that box is fantastic. They really have created a unique monster there.Its distictive from the other Griffons and suits the high elf style. Hopefully I can get my hands on two as I think it could make a nice Slaanesh Manticore.