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BREAKING NEWS: 8th Edition 40K, Formations are GONE!


One of the more controversial features in 40K is gone, and with it all the balance headaches they had with them.

At least for now.

In it's place we have the Forma-... I mean Detachment system, which are essentially variations on the good old Combined Arms Detachment.

Here they are:

Images from Warhammer Community

A rough guide of this would be (in order from the top), 500 points, 1500, and then 2500, with increasing Command Points for each one. These Command Points would be used for special abilities, such as striking first in assault (ignoring the usual order) and other such tactical shenanigans.

There are reportedly 12 other formations, presumably with other features beyond increasing Command points.

So what's good about this?

For a start, Flyers have been moved off to their own category. As a former White Scar and Evil Sunz player, this is a good move, freeing up those Fast Attack slots for other things.

What else is conspicuously missing from these charts?

Lords of War do not feature on here. Could this be a balancing mechanism to prevent [Faction] Knight spam? Very likely. It may be that if you want to include something like them, you'll need to forgo Command points, or pay a higher tax in troops or HQ. This would be using one of the other 9 formations available on launch.

Other things to see here; dedicated transports are now tied to the formation you use.

This could well mean we see Tactical marines being able to set up inside a Land Raider, but we'd need to see the data slates for that, checking for them as potential upgrade options or not. What is more likely is that some formations will have more restricted access to transports, such as 1 for every 2 units, or equal to your Troops choices.

What would be very cool would be for different deployment options to be given by the formation. Forgo transports, pay a 'tax' unit somewhere on the formation, and everyone can Infiltrate. Such a move would be an awesome leg up to new players, who haven't got the cash to spend on Rhinos.

It also gives you the great flexibility in army design touted by marketing. Want a Ravenguard army? Take the Infiltrate formation. Want a drop pod list? Take the Deep Strike formation. Want a Skitarii maniple? Take the Scout formation. Space Wolves? Outflank formation.

This would be balanced out by the use of Command Points.

What this offers is incredible diversity of play style for your army. Instead of having to start an entirely new faction to mess around with infiltrating, buy one or two units and fill out the Formation.

In fact, this would be such a great move in terms of saving players money... I sincerely doubt Games Workshop would go ahead with it. Can you imagine an Imperial Fist drop pod army that didn't need to buy drop pods? That'd be a savings of over £100, which wouldn't go into GW's pocket.

That's conjecture, so we'll head back to what we know: HQs are going to be more featured in armies. Whereas before people had 1 or 2 tax HQs to fill out a CAD (I can't count the number of times a Dark Eldar Archon has sent out his mistress Lahmian to lead his army whilst he chilled back in Comorragh), we are now facing 2 or 3 compulsory HQs.

Space Wolves approve.

Since we might be seeing Age of Sigmar style command abilities, based on bubbles around the HQ, that might not necessarily be a bad thing. But we'll need to wait and see. Frankly I'll be glad to see it... as I currently have 4 Sorcerers flying about, I'd like them all to be useful in the next edition!

Speaking of Thousand Sons, what a great buff for them in the 450points School's League format! In current edition 40K, you need to have a unit of Tzaangors to get anywhere near a useful working army in a CAD. Now, with the small Patrol Formation, you can field one unit of Rubrics,  Sorcerer and Scarab Terminators under 500 points (assuming similar points costs). No more need for crazy mutations for those who just want to field the fallen Sons of Magnus!

Do I think old formations and decurions will be gone for good? Definitely not. There will undoubtedly be AoS style battalions, to give you both Faction specific and fluffy bonuses. But they will cost points, and won't restrict you in unit choice, beyond what you need to fill out the battalion.

Again, Space Wolves approve, since they'll have more places to put those damned Thunderwolf Cavalry from the Start Collecting! kit... But perhaps not as much as the Dark Angels, who'll be able to get their Black Knights in more places than the Ravenwing formation.

These are all good changes so far, and the only disappointments I'll have is that they don't fulfil my wildest dreams. That's a very good starting point for this new edition, indeed!

Until next time!

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