So, where are we going with trends and development for Fantasy and 40k?
Starting with Fantasy, I have just stepped back into the game about 2 weeks ago, so I have a refreshed perspective as I avoided 7th and was an avoid fan from 6th edition on back for many moons. I have noted some unique trends and changes that GW is doing to steer Fantasy forward into a new direction.
The basic rules is where I will start. For the most part they are just about right, much like how it was back in 5th and 6th. In 8th they did manage to speed the game up slightly and added some new dimensions to the game with hordes, ranks able to fight, stomp/thunderstomp, etc….
Magic has become more powerful in many ways, but a tad more balanced. One thing that pushed me out of 7th was the stupidity of the mounds of power/dispel dice you could horde in a list and use. Many of the new spells are game changers and perhaps need to be balanced a bit more with some updates.
Psychology is still the big disappointment. It isn’t what it was, when you fought Vampire Counts you was AFRAID to lose a fight, because you would run. While VCs had crappy troops, a clever player could crush other units with the right combo of characters, flanking and magic. Starting in 6th LD values started to rise, more units was getting strubbron or flearless. Thus taking away from the power of psychology, which to me is a big thing in both modern and ancient warfare. Now, the basis for fear is yea, it will be harder to hit, but how often does your opponents fail those LD tests? To me this is the area that needs the most love in Fantasy by game designers.
Missions/Games have become interesting with the advent of 8th. Unique deployment zones, mission objectives and of course scenery that has random elements making a game more flavorful and interesting. A good push from the daily grind of the same basic mission format of line up and beat one another to a pulp.
Monsters is building up to be a key focus. Every army is getting some mega looking monster with each book and with the Vampire Counts getting the Terrorgheist in the White Dwarf as an official unit, I think we are going to see more and more going into other army books. The kits are fantastic but are starting to become a bit more common as in the past they was rare and unusual things to see on a battlefield.
Storm of Magic, this is what I call the Apocalypse of Fantasy. Excuses to mix armies into one another, toss out some big monsters and play games using crazy elements of magic. The concept is solid like Apocalypse but I think this expansion will short of GW’s goals for profit. Playing more elaborate and complex games of Fantasy will be the shortfall of the game and will not be a main standard. What is nice is all the scenery and cool miniatures introduced to work into the standard games thus making their miniature investments worthwhile.