This is for me the most important part of this set. As I’ve come to expect the cover art is deceptively good. At first glance it looks simple but as you look at it further suddenly more detail pops out. I probably studied this cover for about ten minutes. The title is embossed both on the cover and the spine and gives a clue to the attention to detail in this book.
Opening up the book had me giggling like a six year old. I may have stroked it and muttered something about The Precious but that’s another system. I mentioned the clarity of the printing in the first part of my review but in the rules section it makes a huge difference. I can safely say that this is by far the clearest and easy to 40k rulebook to date. The contrast ratio is much better. Even in low light the words pop out at you. This is important when you’re playing a long game and you’re stressed and tired. Less mistakes and arguments from misreading the rules is always a good thing.
The rules themselves are well laid out and the index has worked for me every time so far. This is not the case with every game. This is a no frills book. There are a few pictures but generally this book is entirely focussed on how to play the game. I like it.
The rules themselves are iterative from 6th edition. Apart from the Psychic phase. That is new. I haven’t played Warhammer in a decade or so but I vaguely remember a time when the magic phase was all about countering your opponent and rarely did anything useful happen. That’s not the case. A Deny The Witch roll is not easy unless your psyker has been targeted by the power. Daemon summoning looks fun but I’m yet to try that. My mate intends to risk trying to get his Imperial Guard psykers to summon some Bloodletters in our next battle. I can’t wait to see if he fries himself and if I can get a lucky counter. Blessing type powers are much more difficult to counter and so multiple low level psykers across the board can be really useful. Probably the big winners in the new rules are Chaos Daemons. With Daemons being less likely to implode when summoning it makes the whole army list suddenly pop with potential. A Daemon Prince in a Chaos Marine army who is a psyker also suddenly seems like a decent points choice. I also put together a thousand point Grey Knight army where every unit contained psykers. That is a lot of potential fun in the psychic phase.
A few things have been tidied up. Cover and wound allocation seem cleaner and quicker. The cover rules also seems a lot easier to implement. One thing I can’t seem to see in the rules any more are the Bastion and Aegis Defence line. I haven’t bought some of the newer codexes so there could be something in one of those but no mention of points values in the rules (or I could be missing it). There are some ideas for special rules for specific types of area terrain. I like this. It adds character. Like the missions. Every battle will be different. It is a shame that the Tactical Objectives cards ran out so soon. I used a pre-cursor to those in a doubles tournament a couple of years ago and they really added something. Well done to the design crew for taking that on board.
There are plenty of other rule changes that I’m not going to detail here but I would say that as an overall system 7th edition is better than 6th. I guarantee that after reading these rules you’ll be looking at the psychic options for your army and how they can influence your tactical options. Despite the cost I’m glad I bought this set.