Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition – Impressions of the Book

The world awaits with a collective held breath. Tomorrow sees the general release of the eagerly awaited 8th Edition of Warhammer Fantasy, the book that can also be used to fatally resolve all rules conflicts. There are many fans who already have their grubby little mitts on a copy, legal or otherwise.

I took a trip out to our friendly local games store yesterday to grab my per-ordered copy as Thursday is delivery day. Due to being a normal(-ish) person though work has crippled the time I was able to spend perusing the Sherrif’s latest work. Going out last night to see Predators also didn’t help. Not trying to boast but I am quite happy that I have my hands on the book already, while my focus is still in preparing for War of the Ring I am looking forward to diving in and seeing what this new version is all about. Just like when Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 the new 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy rules build off what has already been in use for a while elsewhere. Mainly this means that certain rules that we see in War of the Ring are amalgamated. This isn’t surprising when you look at the Rules section which is handily attributed to Mat Ward one of Games Workshop’s most polarizing games developers. While his work on War of the Ring is considered very good just as many people would like to string him up by his manhood for the travesties his works in other games systems have been. To misuse a popular internet phrase, I believe the sentiment behind Mat Ward and his work is “LOTR or GTFO”.

While I am not currently going to comment on the rules themselves, I have afterall yet to give them a full read through, I will talk about the book itself. It is easy to navigate, the book is split into two sections, one concerned with all the rules for the game and then another for all the “bumf”. All the information for the background of the armies as well as painting, army building and conversion advice etc… Now, I happen to be of the same opinion as someone else that I was reading earlier this week. I’d be happier if they split the book into two. I understand that they want to give some background of the races for their world and keeping in a few pages would be fine but really there are that many rules in this book that you could massively reduce the size of the volume by splitting things up. People might be happier if they got just the rules for £20 or £25 and then they could choose whether they wanted all of the extra stuff and pay for it appropriately.

The new book really is well made, being in full colour and everything I have to say it is a quality piece of work. Yet there is a load of stuff that doesn’t really NEED to be in there and if someone was looking at getting into the game then they would be better off waiting until the new box set in September, however there is some discussion on just how expensive it is going to be. Producing a pure rulebook, even a soft back version, at a reduced price would be enticing to the market and bring GW into line with their competitors. Anyone that didn’t want to fork out for the (guesstimated) £60-70 would then have an option to grab the rules and whatever models they wanted to start the game with.

I’ll put up my thoughts on the rules changes once I’ve been through them but I still hold out that £45 is too much, despite the fact that it is a really well put together product. Once I have read the rules changes I’ll be more of an opinion on whether it was worth the £40 I got it for, but I must say that my first impressions are favourable.