And what a job they have done spilling those details. Little niblets of information here and there. Beautiful pictures, beautiful models and talking up how deadly everything will be. I've heard lots of positive feedback from my gaming group and even the usual salty corners of the internet seemed closer to freshwater than the dead sea.
I doubt they can balance everything perfectly on the first go, and obviously some armies are going to end up more powerful than other armies, but everyone seems pretty excited about the new edition. Additionally, they've been excited and optimistic for some weeks now and I think that that has bought GW a lot of goodwill.
Given the goodwill, new gamers will likely now approach the new changes with a more open mind. I'm sure there will be things that they'll miss, but when they start playing games in 1.5 hours instead of the 3+ they used to take, I'm sure a lot of them will be won over.
Unlike most of my hobby group, I haven't really been looking up all of the rules that have been leaked over the last week. So while they're already making army lists, I'm sitting here in partial ignorance content to wait for everything to officially drop so I can learn it all at once.
Things that most excite me:
- As mentioned above, we should be able to get through a game in less than 2 hours. I found that the length of games was a real deterrent in throwing down.
- The trimming of the rules bloat. I generally have a mind for rules, but I couldn't keep up with the bloat that happened in 7th. While I still don't expect to keep up with all of the dataslates that get released all of the time, at least they'll be in smaller more manageable chunks.
- Armour save modifiers. Not only is it more realistic, it should allow for more subtle differences between guns/units. Plus I started with 2nd and then moved to WHFB, so I've been using armour save modifiers for most of my gaming career.
- These primaris marines might get me to dig out my old marine chapter - the Dawn Heralds...
Two things that most disappoint me:
- The rules for the individual armies are not going up free. The last two times that GW did this was with Fantasy (back at the start of 6th edition I think and then again for AOS). In both of those cases, the rules for every army were released for free (I still remember poring over "ravening hordes" around the turn of the millenium). I think they should be doing something similar rather than trying to amortize out the cost of the gamedevs over the initial release - that cost should get amortized out over the life of the product and they should charge less for these initial books - trying only to cover printing/shipping.
- The owning player can remove models from wherever he/she wants in the unit. I charged into a unit of 60 zombies in a game of AOS the other day and only 12/15 zombies were engaged in the combat because the unit was so huge. I managed to kill ~10 zombies, but instead of reducing the guys engaged in combat, they were removed from the back of the unit. Then I got hurt real bad. Anyway, I'll get used to it (much like I did with all or nothing armour saves), but I think I'll always prefer it the other way.
Anyway, those are just my initial thoughts. I'm really excited for these beautiful new models and what I think will be a nice streamlined (hopefully more balanced) game.