Saturday, June 14, 2014

7th Heaven...

So I couldn't resist dropping by the GW main store in Tokyo the other day on the way back from work to pick up Warhammer 40K 7th edition...

Image from 

...and what an edition it is - very different from previous rulebooks!

At first glance, there is a lot to like:
+ The "3 volumes in a slipcase format" works really well, whether you are gamer, collector, or both. 

  • Gamer? "The rules" are a little easier to carry around or use because they don't have everything else packed in too.
  • Collector? The separate "A Galaxy of War" volume, makes for an enjoyable browsing experience with lots of images (although you may not find enough hobby content to satisfy)
  • Fluff fiend/ historian? "Dark Millenium" has the history that you love about the 40K universe.

+ Quality publishing. 
Overall, when you read or pickup these items, they have a "solid" feeling about them that inspires the reader with confidence. This is underlined by the nice "lie flat" way the books are bound, and the design of the pages making the content easy to read.

As you get deeper in though, you may find the following disappointing:

- "A Galaxy of War" probably isn't going to keep you entertained for more than one look-through - unless all you are seeking is pretty photos. 
As others have pointed out, it really is a giant catalogue, rather than a real source of hobby inspiration. One of the things that older gamers will remember is that GW (many years ago) used to have a real commitment to hobby focused articles in their publications and even on their website. 
You won't find any of that here. 

- "Dark Millennium" should actually be called "The Millennium of Man", so strong is the focus on the Empire. 
Of course, from a GW perspective, the imperium of man is the main money-spinner, so it makes sense to focus on Space Marines. However, that makes this a less than stellar experience for anyone (like me) who has a love for Xenos armies (like Tau, Eldar, and so on.)
No doubt it could be argued (effectively) that the appropriate Codex is the place to find detail on each race, but I felt that this is a lost opportunity. Long time fans of the universe may not mind (you know it all already), but for new players, this paucity of information is a bit of a loss.

- A lot of repeat artwork.
It is natural to reuse a lot of art - and some of it is fantastic - but I couldn't shake the feeling that I had seen a lot of this before, and there didn't seem to be anything that really blew me away.

I haven't had time for anything other than a cursory read through, so I don't know what implications these new rules will have for my Tau and Black Templars armies, but I am looking forward to reading more!


BTW, If you want a really nice review of the 7th edition books, you will definitely want to visit the very excellent Pins of War site, starting with this article.

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