A lot has already been said over the last week on 7th edition, but now with the rulebook in hand, I wanted to talk about it. With all the fanfare both positive and negative, I think there is a lot of good in this book.I am going to talk mostly rules here, because while the other parts of the book are nice, they really are not what most people are concerned with.
I think Games Workshop really went out of their way to clearly define many of the rules from 6th edition that were keeping the community awake at night. The rules are written better, and more clearly defined than I have ever seen in a 40k rulebook. This is a big deal, and I think one of the best achievements in the book. Quite simply... rules divide this community, and GW went an extra step to make sure we knew what they wanted out of these rules.
Before I had called 40k and Warhammer in general as clunky and out of date. This still stands, and in fact I think the game has gained in girth, and become "more clunky". The game overall in this edition, did not do anything innovative (the closest it came may be in the new missions), but instead added more bulk to it in the same way the Imperium Bureaucracy rolls forward.
The new rules did pull a lot of the problems of 6th edition together, and fix them. Monstrous creatures assaulting out of swooping has been changed, as I think it should, just the same as grounding tests being made only once at the end of a phase that the Monstrous creature takes a wound (not hit). This is a much better mechanic in both ways. GW took on a lot of these types of issues, and quite literally wrapped them up.
Most of the rules in 6th edition have stayed the same, or similar enough to keep the feel of the game the same. The most obvious differences of course are creating your army with either Battle Forged or Unbound lists, the Psychic Phase, new Vehicle Damage charts, and new missions.
Fortifications and Lords of War were given a nice little fix with D-Weapons, and with the force organization being opened wide, a lot of these divisions in our community are very much going to be a thing of the past.
As so far as individual rules changes, and going through the book page by page, there has been a lot of sites that have done this. The information is already known, if you have been reading here for the past week, but if you need to see it all written down, here is a link to a good break down that goes page by page. http://www.talkwargaming.com/2014/05/new-release-warhammer-40000-7th-edition.html
Battle Forged vs Unbound.
This is one of the biggest changes to new edition. One we have been talking about for weeks now. The idea that you can virtually take whatever you want on the field I think can work in many different ways, and it can and will be abused. Organized play will simply ignore it. Leagues, pick up games, and tournaments I can already see simply ignoring this part of the rules will be the norm in many if not most enviroments. It does work great though with friends, meeting up for some narrative or casual games. It also works well for the new player, that just does not have enough models to play the game, and yet wants to.
7th edition is very much a pulled together 6th edition, with a few new features that will give its own life. 6th edition is gone, and 7th will do much better in the long run.