Warhammer 40,000 – So this past Saturday the new Warhammer 40K rulebook was released. I swung by my local hobby store to pick it up for a decent price ($67). It comes shrink wrapped in a slip-cover so there's not an option to flip through the book at the store unless they choose to write one off for a display copy.
Once I got home with it I pulled of the shrink wrap and enjoyed the fresh new book smell. Sliding the books (yes there are three of them) out of the slip case it is nice to see the art on the covers feels similar to the current codex books and has the same gloss varnish and embossed logo. The three books are the rules, the background story and a hobby guide.
If you've been playing 40K for more than one edition you really only need the rules. There have been some siginificant changes to the way you build your army and an addtional phase added to the game which has been talked about all over the internet. Essentially Psychic Powers now have a "magic phase" which solves some of the weird timing issues that came up in previous editions of the game. There are minor/major changes throughout the book so it will take several read throughs to get them all worked out. Don't assume just because a page looks "almost the same" as before that it is.
The second book has the background and fluff for the various races in the game. This is always a nice read and after a brief flip through it looks like there are some new stories and variations on the existiing stories. This book isn't necessary unless you've never played 40K in your life and have now idea what the background is.
The third book is the hobby guide. This is essentially all the photos from previous publications gathered up in one place with advertisements for other GW products scattered throughout. Honestly this didn't need to be a hard back book and it is the least necessary of all the books included in the set.
I understand that the core book should be the starting point for anyone getting into the game and as such they need to include everything that they did in this set of books. I do like that they separated the books out so it is easier to travel with just the one you need at the moment. I suppose the Hobby Guide would be a good coffee table book to have out for guests to flip through.
Overall the books for this edition seem to be very well put together and the presentation is very nice. I wish they would have the option to just buy the rules separately which they probably will six months from now. But for the cost I paid this is a decent purchase.
From what I've read so far it seems like they could have made these changes in a White Dwarf Article like they did in 3.5 but that created it's own set of headaches so I understand doing a full update of the rules makes the most sense to keep players worldwide up-to-date.