Heresy will stay 7th? Uh, OK I guess

40k 8th Edition is getting closer and closer, and at long last I’ve seen something I’m not too happy about. Forgeworld has apparently confirmed that the Horus Heresy will be getting it’s own rulebook, based on 7th edition.

Now because I am a human being with empathy and the apparently increasingly rare ability to put myself in another’s shoes (take that, internet warriors!), I can imagine that the majority of people who this affects have good reason to be happy. If my local gang are anything to go by, Heresy players have money, and they buy all the books they can, and it would be pretty terrible for them to have to relegate all their old beautiful hardcovers to the status of irrelevant coffee table books. They also have this idea that the Heresy is well-balanced and that 7th works great in the Heresy context. I don’t feel qualified to comment on that, I haven’t played enough Heresy games. The ones I have played did seem pretty well-balanced though I suppose. But that doesn’t change the fact that 7th is a bloated monster of a game, with a new skin stretched over early 1980s bones.

See, I was excited for 8th edition, because having played a great variety of games over the years I feel that complexity in a wargame is almost always a bad thing. What I want, and what I’ve wanted from 40k for years, is a game that captures what I imagine to be the feeling of being a general on a battlefield. And this can only be achieved if you aren’t constantly being taken out of the action by over-written rules. Which I think happens all the time in 40k because it was an ancient behemoth that had slowly changed scale over thirty years and needed to be reset.

And yay, now they’ve reset it! With extensive playstesting and community consultation no less! And… everyone I game with prefers and is heavily invested in the Heresy, and that’s not being reset. So sucks to be me I guess. This is like when Wizards of the Coast pulled the rug out from under the D20SRD and Paizo released Pathfinder to keep the grognards happy. And yeah 4th edition D&D kinda sucked in my opinion, but 5th is better than Pathfinder for precisely the reasons I think 8th 40k will be better than Forgeworld’s (slightly modified 40k 7th) Heresy ruleset.

Eh, I’ll get over it.

Oh and hey, I’m also getting a bit impatient to hear something about the Skitarii/Adeptus Mechanicus in all this hype. I rather unluckily put an onager dunecrawler up on eBay just before the new edition was announced, and no-one is buying it even though it’s much cheaper than retail because presumably they’re waiting for the new edition. Normally I’m a patient guy, but I need money to pay the tee shirt printer so she can start printing some sweet shirts for my art store! So if you want a new-on-sprue spider tank for 65 Aussie dollars plus postage, here it is. Please buy it 😀

5 thoughts on “Heresy will stay 7th? Uh, OK I guess

  1. I’d be happy to let them turn my heresy tomes into coffee table books in order to play with 8th. The 7th edition rules may be more balanced in 30k, but they are still tired and bloated. Being able to quickly throw together a game and not spend hours looking up rules makes all the difference.

    • beat ronin says:

      Hi John, thanks for dropping by and letting me know I’m not only person in the world who wanted the Heresy to go 8th! All the Heresy people I’ve seen online seem to approve of keeping it 7th. I can only assume that they’ve never played anything non-GW, and think 7th is good because it has a bazillion rules and takes five hours to play…

  2. The Warlock says:

    I’m keen for 8th. It looks balanced and seems to have taken the better leaves out of AoS’s book.

    The HH people probably enjoy 7th ed 40k in the scope of the Heresy as FW did take a few pains to make it more balanced. Each of the books are on the pricey side, so I’d reckon that’s a factor too. Oh and book 7 came out around a month ago too. Ha.

    Other games I’ve played take a few hours- Malifaux, for example, can take around 3 hours to complete a 50ss game. Granted, most of it is chatting with your opponent and umming and ahhing about tactical decisions.

    It’s worth mentioning that I’ve a third of a shelf filled* with old 40k and WHFB books as they’re a wealth of lore and paint schemes, which I think is reason enough to keep them. Oh and the 6th ed WHFB and 3rd ed 40k books have a small section on terrain making. Good times. Coffee table books are nice- I’ve a few art ones and a huge copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    *The other 2 thirds are textbooks. Coffee table that!**
    **I have referred back to them on many an occasion, so the worth extends beyond a single semester.

    • beat ronin says:

      Hi Pete. Yeah, that’s definitely a point – we’ve all got books from years ago that we keep around because they’re so nice. People shouldn’t expect their gaming aids to be “alive” forever. I’ve got some White Wolf vampire books from the 90s just rotting away on my shelf. They’re such a time capsule I just can’t get rid of them. Not to mention 1st edition AD&D books I collected over the years from second hand bookshops.

      My guess is FW decided to do what the majority of Heresy players would have wanted, if they were asked – keep things the same, but improved. I just happen to think the majority of players are wrong and moving into 8th would have been better. Ah well.

      Malifaux takes three hours? I thought it was a skirmish game? I guess two hours is a nice game length, plus an hour of chatting. I don’t mind that for an evening’s activity.

      It’s when you get into the territory of three or more hours just to play a game, plus an hour of chat and an hour of leafing through books, as John said, that you’re in trouble.

      • The Warlock says:

        Hey Jimmy,

        I should clarify- 3-ish hours is from set up to finish- so there’s a good half hour flipping for schemes and the strategy, then crew selection (but mostly we know who we’re playing, it’s just fine-tuning). Actual gameplay, if you condensed the chatting and goofing off, you’d end up with 1.5 hours tops* if you’re both playing summons/horde-ish leaders.

        It’s more a social thing than leafing through books- cards are out and all that. It’s why the dataslate/warscroll thing from GW is the best move in my opinion. Get the rules out and visible (and accessible) and suddenly TFG’s necrons aren’t T5 W2 2+ dudes with a 3+ reanimation protocol.

        *tournaments enforce 1.5hrs, but most are over before then.

        Re; books- I don’t see a difference between gaming books and regular books in the sense of ‘why do I hang onto them’. Some of my books sit on shelves for years until I feel like re-reading them.

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