It has been a year since Games Workshop blessed us with Warhammer 40K 8th edition. It has had some rough patches but I think we can safely say that this is the best the game has ever been but has it held up as well since it's release? Well as much as I do love this edition, I must say that I enjoyed it more a year ago when we just had the Index books for the army lists. The Codexes have made their armies more powerful but somewhere along the way it has detracted from the casual flavour that the game had at time of release. I don't get quite the same level of entertainment from 8th that I did this time last year.
Game balance has gone from being fairly neutral at release to being a lot more gamey with each new codex. Some codexes, such as Grey Knights, have suffered but most have increased to a level of competitiveness that borders on the old concept of codex creep. While this is to be expected I did prefer the old balance under the Index books. There was discussion at the time that tournament players had helped balance out the Index entries and I had hoped that such would continue but I don't think that has been the case. At least, I have not heard of that since.
The psychic phase is still much better that what it was previously and I have no problem with the so called Smite Spam that has caused Games Workshop to almost nerf the power. I really think it is one of those elements of this edition which seems to have been spoiled by the overly competitive players. Locally I never see Smite being thrown around like many internet posters seem to cry on about. Doesn't mean that it isn't there somewhere but my experiences are very different.
Vehicles were better at surviving at the start of 8th edition. As more codexes have been released I do find that that survivability has begun to dip somewhat, and units like Knights which are obvious fire magnets tend to die far too easily. At the start I was zooming tanks around the battlefield but as the year has passed I find that I either rely on stationary artillery types or else I have fallen back on the idea of leaving tanks in a fortified position much like I did during the previous editions.
I still don't mind vehicles not having facings but I think that weapons should have arcs rather than being able to fire from any point on the model.
Command Points (CP) have been a great addition and recently modified based upon the three main detachments. However, I would like to see a change. Rather than a base number plus whatever the detachment gives you I would rather that each player receives a set number - I would say 15 or 20 - regardless of detachments or game size. The reason being that that would allow the basic stratagems like re-rolls but would also allow players to more fully utilize the army specific stratagems which otherwise don't really see a lot of play.
I'm still very pleased that we no longer have scatter dice or templates. I know that random number of shots has been very popular and that 2D3 would be better than 1D6 but it still works. No more arguments about which way the scatter points or units having to be strung out awkwardly to avoid template hits has been a bit of a godsend in my mind.
I'm still not a fan of the alternating combat system from Age of Sigmar. I'd rather the charging units go first but then the active player picks a combat and everyone fights simultaneously.I find that a fairer way of doing it. It's the only aspect of the IGOUGO system that I don't like.
Likewise I still think that dice rolls should be reversed to be re-rolls and then modifiers. It would more intuitive and make a lot more sense. I have had fellow players try and explain the reasoning but I just don't see the reasons for it.