Friday, April 27, 2012

8th Edition Rules Changes Redux - Pre-Measuring

Some of the biggest groans at the introduction of 8th Edition concerned the introduction of pre-measuring. Suddenly it was okay to measure any distance any time.

We should have seen it coming – Games Workshop had introduced its Realm of Battle Gameboard the year before and one of the criticisms was that it was now easier to assess distances because the tiles were 2” square.

The groans at the time were that the introduction of pre-measuring took a lot of the skill out of the game – and this and random charges – were behind much of the exodus of the original rage-quitters. See, I saw this differently. To me it wasn’t necessarily to centre success in the game on being able to assess whether a distance was 11.9” or 12.1”. The introduction of pre-measuring has removed that challenge and, when combined with random charges, made it more about risk assessment. You can take the risk around a given set of dice rolls but a good general now needs to have a plan to manage the risk when things turn to shit – because someone rolled an 11 or 12 (or you rolled a 3 or 4).

The other area was in guess ranges. Now I don’t know about you but most gamers are fairly numerate. I know I can do Pythagoras in my head to ½” on a 6 foot by 4 foot table. I never viewed it as a tactical skill so the loss of guess weapons had little or no effect (for 90% of players).

This change was one of the best that GW made. It has removed one of the most niggley parts of the game. Now all you do is measure distance and determine what you have to roll (before you roll). Simple. Straightforward. No drama.

Rules Change: A+

[Comment: I so hope it is introduced into 40k. Not only does it remove niggle, it also makes it easier to switch between the two systems. It wasn’t a skill in Fantasy and it isn’t in 40k.]


  1. Certainly the best change bar none. 40k would be a much better game for having it introduced there too!

    1. I completely agree, I just hope they don't add an excessive amount of randomness to charge ranges (and similar) at the same time

  2. It's a welcome change but I do think it's made cannons way too far powerful and game changing

  3. Completely agree. Range guessing was fun when you start but as soon as you get a few games in it's a tedious process.

  4. "cannons way too far powerful and game changing"

    For many players it has made no difference. In 7th I used to guess ranges to 1/2"... and generally hit the middle of the unit (or was exaxctly 10" from the back of the model my cannon was shooting).

    All pre-measuring has done is removed that as a 'skill' from the game... a good thing I think, as I don't think that should be one of the skills required to win warhammer (although I am only just starting to get over feeling 'naughty' when pre-measuring).

    As Pete said - required warhammer skills are much more about risk and contingency planning (although the haterz will still say 'it's all just luck... which is why the same people always seem to win events - they are just lucky)

  5. I agree, the first time I played 8th having missed 7th due to a sabatical I thought it wasn't great but the more I play 8th has to be the best edition yet and it makes no difference as most good players could guess ranges well anyhow

  6. Pre-measuring works most of the time for me. It has made artillery stupidly accurate and for a while I found them overpowered. But now that the Empire guns have been muffled, it's a bit more balanced. Grade B+ (would have been A if artillery had been accounted for too).