Warhammer 40k 7th Edition Rulebook Free Pdf – Come Grimdark enthusiasts as we cover the history and review of every edition of 40k. Today we look at the 6th and 7th editions.
We are back again with the third article in the series, this time the 6th and 7th editions. Another change in focus as well as major changes in general to the overall design of the game occurred during this time and while some people consider 7th edition more similar to 6.5, for this particular article I will consider those two different editions.
Warhammer 40k 7th Edition Rulebook Free Pdf
While 6th edition didn’t see as big a change as 2nd to 3rd, it did make some big changes to the core rules themselves as GW had changed its philosophy around this time. Instead of their norm from previous editions, 6th edition added rules to the game rather than removing or simplifying them.
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The big changes that happened in 6 were many. One of the most important was the changes to Psykers and Psychic Powers. Instead of only having powers unique to different armies, all Psykers can now use a common set of powers called Psychic Disciplines. There were 5 of them in total, but not all of them were open to all Psykers in the game. Some Psykers could use several, others could choose from any, however they all more or less used the same powers on theirs. Another notable change was the focus on guaranteed randomness, instead of buying your Psychic Powers like you used to, you now searched for them. Instead of charging 6″ or 12″ you rolled 2D6 and so on. Overwatch returned in some ways, mostly in name only, from 2nd edition, allowing ranged units to defend themselves against onslaught of enemy units. We also saw the return of Supplements, game expansions were released, Fortifications could now be purchased as part of your army, CAD, Combined Arms Detachment and Allied Matrix were created, Flyers were now a thing, so overall it became clear that GW wanted to up the game scale both in terms of rules and armies.
6th edition gave us a lot of cool new stuff, armies now had access to a much wider array of options, whether from Allies or Fortifications, or even Super Heavy Vehicles later on when Escalation was released. With the introduction of psychic disciplines, the average amount of powers players could use skyrocketed, meaning more tactics were opened up. 6th edition also saw a solid release of Codexes, many armies finally updated theirs from their 4th edition Codex, such as Daemons, Eldar, Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels, we also saw them introduced minor “Allied” factions. Legion of the Damned, Inquisition and Descendants of Tempestus. Added player supplements like the Iyanden book for the Eldar allowed players to make Wraith themed Armies while the Black Legion and Clan Raukaan books allowed themed armies based on those Legions. Overall, the variety had changed from the relatively “stagnant” 5th edition, as the base game didn’t really offer that much variety in terms of missions and scenarios, while 6th now offered double the options.
While more options were nice, there was an overflow of them. Not only that, there were simply an incredible number of factors to consider. Game balance suffered severely during 6th edition as some Codexes received significantly better rules than others, Supplements were not given to everyone, meaning some armies simply received additional rules on top of the normal ones. The Ally Matrix wasn’t fair either as the Imperium could ally most of their armies and since they are the largest faction they could easily create better armies than the other factions in the game.
Finally, the introduction of Super Heavies into the game, especially Imperial Knights, strained the balance even more. Not everyone had access to them as some armies were simply never given official models or were restricted to Forge World. Meanwhile the Super Heavies that could be picked up were usually powerful enough to take on an army by themselves, easily taking out units that could damage it in the first few turns and then remaining invulnerable to the rest of the opposing army.
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As seen with the years it has been around, the short lifespan compared to previous editions leads people to occasionally refer to 7th edition as 6.5 for this reason. On average, a rulebook was meant to run for 4 years, now it was only for 2 and then 3. Counting the minor changes that 7th made overall, it’s not surprising that this edition was considered simply an updated 6th edition as opposed to a brand new edition.
7th edition upped the ante even more than 6th. While not adding new rules per se, as opposed to making the expansion rules core and changing the way army building worked, the game was now bigger than it had ever been from the core rules alone. Super Heavies were no longer an expansion book that you had to ask if your opponent was ready to play, instead they were now as much a part of the game as Troops and Elite units. Destructive Weapons, or D-Weapons, were brought by Apocalypse, armies could now get multiple CADs now, meaning that for every 1 HQ and 2 Troops a player brought, they could bring 3 of the other choices” Specialist”, Fast Attack, Heavy Support and Elite. The Allied Matrix was streamlined for the Imperium to the point where all Imperial armies could join each other as “Battle Brothers”, meaning they earned no penalties regardless of who they allied with. However, the core rules themselves remained relatively the same. Movement, shooting, and attacking worked as they did with 6th, however the Psychic Phase was now introduced, again continuing with their new design philosophy of adding rules instead of removing them or rearranging them like they did before.
7th edition had become a grand scale, the armies were now huge with giant monsters, vehicles and planes filling the tables. Huge selections of new units were introduced and now with significantly more open armies available, players could go to town with their collections. With the greater freedom of allies, players could now create more thematic armies, such as word bearer armies with demons as a larger force, the Inquisition and the Imperial Guard working together and so on. The game was now as open as Rogue Trader in terms of army composition.
And just as welcoming and easy to get into. 7th edition saw the release of an incredible number of books to the point that everyone gets at least one book, along with new armies being released, but also saw supplements being thrown out at an incredible rate alongside the campaigns. In the span of 3 years, the game was published almost as many books as the 3rd, 4th and 5th editions TOTAL. On the 7th, 50 regulations were published with different sources, while the third, fourth and fifth 51.
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Additionally, the game also saw the now infamous “Decurion”, as most referred to it, based on the name the Necrons called theirs after being the first to receive it; a formation based army as opposed to the CAD standard. Basically, instead of filling slots, players can choose to take specific units dictated by a data sheet. Taking specific units limited your choices, however they gave benefits to the units that were chosen. However, this was horribly unbalanced, for example, where Marines could get theirs with relatively standard options for less than 1000 minimum points and then get free shipping, Orks couldn’t fit theirs for less than 1500 points and mostly got their standard buffs they already had. just an added benefit given while they desperately need to make their way to get the lineup.
As can be seen, the negatives of this period outweigh the positives and perhaps for these reasons we first saw the release of the 8th edition. 7th edition had received a lot of negativity from the player base. There was massive dominance for some armies, leaving other armies to gather dust on the shelf as they simply couldn’t compete against the top armies, the game had become a bloated mass that was hard to learn and to enter. GW realized this, and as such came 8th edition to fix these issues, but that’s another article.
GW, however, made the transition to 8th Edition the biggest step forward for the game’s narrative in decades. The Gathering Storm Trilogy.
As we look back from our 8th Edition perspective, the lasting legacy from the 7th era is the Super Heavies in the game. Baneblades, Lord of Skull, Titans, all were normally limited to Apocalypse, however now they are as much a part of the game as anything else. We briefly saw GW try to bring formations back with the introduction of Specialist Detachments in the Vigilus narrative campaign, however these were not to be again.
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