Thursday, May 20, 2010

8th Edition: Already Having an Impact

Wanted to do a brief follow-up from Monday’s post about 8th edition and how it will impact the size of games. Since that post, I have been checking out tournaments that are set within a few months of the new edition. Upon review, I believe some of my concerns about how the community embraces the new rules may be coming to fruition.

As an example, the Blood in the Sand* WHFB tournament in September is considering whether or not to raise the army sizes to 2500 points. Not a huge increase, but it does have an instant impact, so I thought it would be a good example for this discussion.

The first impact any point increase is going to have is to require players to field more core models. In this example, players will be required to field an additional 62.5 points. Depending on the army, this could mean adding one or two models (OK), or it could mean adding 10+ models (skaven, goblins). Depending on your preferred army, this may not comes as a shock, or burden, but it is something to consider.

The next impact is that players are allowed an addition 62.5 points in heroes and rare choices. Like with the core requirements, the leap in points is not a lot, but it still allows for players to slip in one more magic item or low cost rare. While I doubt this change will have a huge impact, it is something to consider before making the change.

The reason I would ask fellow TOs to refrain from raising the army sizes of their events is quite simple, we don’t know everything yet. There is not a lot of risk in playing at 2250 points or less using the new composition rules because they limit the units most people would identify as the source of the current editions problems. Any major increase in points in will reopen the door to those units and combinations; it may also create the potential for new combinations not possible under the old system.

The other reason we should refrain from making any sweeping changes to the format of our events is the potential impact on our target audience. The Nova Open is in the difficult position of being held approximately five weeks after the release of 8th edition. During one of the recent posts about the event, the author implied that registration for WHFB was lagging. As I commented on the blog, I am sure there is a correlation between the date of the event and the launch of the new edition.

In the case of the Nova Open, they are taking some excellent steps to alleviate concerns caused by the new edition. If I understand correctly, folks registered before its release can get a refund if they will be unable to attend due to the new rules impacting their army. It also sounds like appearance scores/requirements/restrictions will be loosened up to accommodate folks needing to make last minute changes. In general, I think folks are going to have reservations about attending any ‘big’ events until the new rules are shaken out, but it is good to see one event taking steps to make the transition less painful.

Let me conclude by saying that I am still 100% backing the launch of a new edition. The potential is simply too high for me to be anything but optimistic about it. I am glad that events are moving quickly to embrace the new edition, but I would advise them to be cautious of making any radical changes to the general format of events as they run under 7th edition. Until the community has had enough time to fully digest the new edition, I think it is best to embrace the new rules as they are and work later on making them uniquely ours.

*I am considering whether or not I can attend this event, so I am not implying this event is a bad one for raising the army sizes, just an example of the reaction I anticipated happening based on the new requirements.


  1. It's funny, because it seems like people are already trying to figure out how to make the new edition more like 7th instead of embracing its newness.

    However, I can understand how tournaments that are already scheduled for the late summer/early fall might want to modify the new edition: they may be looking at the fact that lots of people won't have painted armies that fit the new system.