How’s it going, Android here. So, today I’ve got a bit of news that put a smile on my face, and it should put a smile on your face too (unless of course you play Tyranids, in which case you are never allowed to be happy). In short, 2017 is looking to be an even more exciting year than 2016 was for 40k (fingers crossed).
Big news item 1- Prospero is alight!
So, on the 4th of February, just a day away at the time of writing, Forge World’s incredibly anticipated “Inferno” will be unveiled at the Horus Heresy Weekender. We’ve had a few snapshots of background and artwork, but no crunch yet, which we must wait till then for. I very much think this wait will not prove disappointing, as unlike Retribution (FW’s last installment) unique units, characters, and Primarchs for the legions are included in Inferno. This for me was a BIG relief.
Retribution fell short in the crunch department because it was incomplete. Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and White Scars are still very much unfinished business, so it’s fantastic to know for sure that the same approach won’t be taken to the Sons of Magnus and the Wolf King’s barmy army. Naturally I was never too worried about this because we have Ahriman, Greigor, and Russ models (as well as good ol’ Geri and Freki), but nevertheless the confirmation is still nice to have. My best mate has recently started a 30k Space Wolves army, so it’s nice to know I can face him properly now!
However, we get more than just Legiones rules, we get Custodes as well. Pretty exciting to be honest, although not incredible relevant right now since the Custodes are FW’s newest child. We should hopefully get to scope out some of the new Forge World (and possibly GW) releases before they hit the shelves (and our wallets).
So, a lot to break down, and naturally, I’ll keep you guys informed as soon as I’ve read it, and then evaluate the real impact that this will have on the tabletop and give a little bit of a judgement, but for now watch this space!
Big news item 2- The New World Order
The 8th rumours are stirring, and I’m liking what I’m hearing quite a lot. So, in short 40k is now going to be a two-headed serpent, standard 40k will be streamlined and overhauled in an AoS style. However, the big news is that 30k is now getting its own rules which are said to just be the current 7th rules, but with those Heresy era rules, such as “Deflegrate” added into the core rulebook.
Side note, this book is essentially a 30k rulebook for the current edition, and so will just cut what’s irrelevant and add what is. Whether this means we will see two separate rule books is unconfirmed, but I think this has the potential to fix a lot of things.
In a previous article, I touched on the idea that 40k is bloated and overstuffed, but 30k is flourishing and balanced with a sort of “less is more” approach. That’s why this change seems great to me. GW has taken the rather mature act of sort of admitting their game has more problems than 30k and are now working to fix it. So, we keep the system that works for 30k gamers, typically older and more experienced, whereas the newcomers get an easier to game to pick up, potentially progressing onto Heresy in future.
This is, of course, officially one huge rumour, but it just seems too developed, consistent and plausible – like it makes sense because now FW doesn’t have to have those £60 books made worthless. Also, if true the implications of this rumour are massive and in great number, they are as follows:
1) The 7th ruleset is fine, and it’s the codices excessive spamming of its special rules pages via the way we build armies, and a couple of notable dumb units, and formations that have hurt the game. I mean, 30k is living proof of this. Whilst I think trimming a little fat will make things more fun (with Warlord traits, snap shooting, the whole psychic phase, and current flyer rules being worth potentially scrapping!), the system as it stands is in fine working order
2) We may see a universal codex/ general handbook because it seems to me that at least some of these formations, units, and special rules that have made the game so complicated and bloated may have to be overhauled, thus making many books redundant. So, some kind of an emergency temporary document may be needed. This really depends on how bold GW are willing to be. Quite frankly, I’m all for a load of books being made useless, including ones which I own if it means we get rid of the irritating things like formations. If I see this change then I will literally scream “I LOVE YOU MATT WARD” from a rooftop. Well maybe not that, never that, but still. So yeah, it’ll confirm my suspicions that GW is growing up and loves me back (fingers crossed) if they would be willing to discontinue a load of profit-making books to satisfy customers. Unlikely, but there’s hope right?
3) The third implication is that we can expect loads more Heresy sets from GW. More on this below, but if they’re updating a whole rule set then they are essentially creating a whole new section. Consequently, you’re getting one prediction from me, and that is “Horus Heresy is going to be a major product line from GW”. Furthermore, the release of 8th is when I think we’ll see their next contribution. We could see two starter sets, one for 30k, and one for 40k. The 40k starter set is virtually a given as it’s always been the case, but the 30k one is also something I think we could see and would probably say it’s more likely than not. Of course, it’s entirely possible we just get Calth and Prospero with a soft back version of the “new” 30k rules, but if I were GW I’d definitely be using this as an opportunity to expand the range of 30k – since it’s now kind of separate, and provide customers with another easy to access route into the game.
Big news 3- Is it a bird, is it a plane!
So, you may or may not be aware of the revived rumour of a plastic thunderhawk. Backstory behind this rumour started years ago and it has never happened. However, we have something that suggests we may be in luck. One of the released images of Inferno has an alternative looking thunderhawk in the background. There are several relatively subtle differences between this, and the FW model, and I’m not going to say what they are because all that really matters is the picture is different to the model.
So what, I hear you say, it’s a bloody picture. Well, here is where we have an iota of hope. FW typically uses photographs of models in much of their artwork. Just look at the covers of the HH books and you’ll see what I mean. Assuming this is true, then this is either some pointless Photoshop job or a new model. There’s nothing to suggest that this would be resin instead of plastic, but it’s not that much of an extra leap if you think it is a new model because history tells us that GW has gone on record saying they are interested in producing the thunderhawk and have the ability to. What would be the point of a second kit, which is essentially the same model from FW?
This is as tinfoily haty as it gets. I want to believe, I really do, but it is entirely possible that it is not a photograph, but rather a drawing – potentially a computerised one. I’m hoping for the best while expecting a fat “nah mate”, but still worth a mention in my eyes for sure.
And that really wraps this kind of “where we are at now and in the near future” up. That leads nicely to my question to you, what Heresy stuff from GW do you want to see and what do you expect we will see?