40K and 30K Have Used Different Systems for Awhile

Or: Stop Stressing About 8th Edition.

One of the pressing questions coming out of the 8th Edition announcement was “What about Horus Heresy?”

The answer, for the moment, appears to be that they will be sticking with 7th Edition, at least for awhile. I think that’s a good idea.

First, there’s the matter of release times. Beyond the sheer infuriatingness of releasing a major psychic army right before the psychic phase is entirely rewritten, Forge World is not fast. They’re still the niche, “arthouse” branch of Games Workshop, with the staff to go with it. It takes an average of nine months for Forge World to release a Black Book. Even without the burden of reworking every unit in the Imperial Armour series for 8th Edition, going through all of that material will both slow that down and require some very heavy revisions.

That’s literally asking for the Horus Heresy to stall out in the middle of the greatest war the Imperium has ever seen.

But more than that, the Horus Heresy series already isn’t the same game, as much as they’re officially using the 7th Edition rules.

Consider two of the major things I’ve said defined 7th Edition: Formations and Maelstrom missions. They’re major parts of 7th Edition, and the latter of the two was a major driving force behind army composition, balance, etc.

Horus Heresy uses neither of them.

A 7th Edition with relatively light use of the psychic phase (until recently…), no Maelstrom objectives, and locked into fairly strict force organization charts is a very different 7th Edition. It’s not creaking at the seams nearly as much as the main 40K game is. To be frank, while I think Horus Heresy needs some things, a major rules rewrite isn’t among them.

And part of that is, when it comes down to it, it’s already using a different system.

So how should 30K prepare for 8th Edition? Be patient, remain call, and put some heretics to the sword.

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