One of the major announcements for 40k’s Tenth Edition was the changes to the datasheets and the production of data cards with all the unit information included. One of my favourite parts of Age of Sigmar, and other similar games, is having as much information on the table top in front of you as possible, so you don’t have to constantly look at apps and books. So this is a very welcome addition!
Let’s take a closer look at what is included on the cards:
The unit stats appear to stay mostly the same in regards to Movement, Toughness, Save, and Wounds. Leadership is still present, but there is talk of a new way of applying Battleshock, which will be revealed in the coming weeks. What we know so far is that it will be included in the command phase and will affect how the unit acts rather than killing models.
There is also a brand new stat included, which is listed as “OC”. According to the FAQ article, on the Warhammer Community site, this stands for Objective Control and is ‘a measure of how good a unit is at holding a contested objective’. Now, will this be a measure per model? As a unit of 20 termagants could have an OC score of up to 40 if they sit around an objective (to be fair, not much else will get on the objective if that is the case!). We shall see!
Interestingly, the Strength, Ballistic and Weapons Skills and the Attacks characteristics have been moved to the specific weapons instead of being in the unit stats. I imagine this is to remove the weapon modifiers and instead have the given characteristic in the weapon information. For example – a marine with a thunder hammer currently has a WS of 3+, and the hammer’s weapon abilities state “Subtract 1 from the attack’s hit roll”. I can see this instead of just saying WS 4+ on the weapons stat line. This can also apply with weapons like the Astartes Chainsword (+1 attack) and the Power Sword (+1 strength). I personally welcome having these modifiers included in the stat line as it will be easier to apply stat changes to help balance weapon profiles.
I have also noticed that there doesn’t appear to be a space for specific weapon abilities outside of the keywords listed alongside the weapon name. This must mean they are going to make full use of their new “Universal Special Rules” application to simplify this. I am intrigued to see more on these moving forward!
The abilities section is also useful as having all the unit abilities listed for reference will make it much easier to remember everything that is going on.
Apparently, a lot of the abilties and stratagems are going to become reactive. The example given on the Termagant card, “Skulking Horror”, appears to be a good example of this as it allows you to move the termagants, once per turn, up to D6 inches away from an approaching enemy.
I like this approach as it will make you feel a lot less helpless when you see that a mistake you made, or perhaps an advance roll that didn’t quite get you enough movement, is about to cause you a lot of pain. This particular rule also requires some thought on your opponents side. Let’s say those Termagants are not quite on an objective, your opponent moving a unit within 9” of them could give you the extra few inches to take control and gain some valuable victory points in your next command phase (assuming scoring works the same way).
The last section is the Key Words, split into unit and faction specific. This appears to work in the same way as the current edition.
I, personally, am quietly hopeful that these changes will make the game much more playable with less time flicking through books and less of a heavy reliance on remembering all these stats. My only concern is the frequency at which GW amend rules with FAQs, will it make those shiny datasheet cards you purchased obsolete quickly (I am thinking of the existing datacard packs and how often the wording is changed). There are ways around this such as FAQ sticker packs that could allow you to stick the new wording or stat line over the existing printed card but I see this as being more of a third party item than something GW will produce. But we shall see!
Let me know your thoughts, are you excited for this, cautiously optimistic or do you have a slight feeling of dread for these changes?