Its been a little over a year since I first heard rumors about the possibility of 6th edition being only a couple of years off. At first, I just said its someone trying to get out their own cheesy version of what they want to see in the next edition, but as every month has passed, I have seen more and more rumors and possible rule changes posted. Now, before you read any further, this is not going to be a cut and copied post about the latest rumors on what the new rule changes will be. This is a discussion about whether or not the hobby and its fans are ready for 6th edition, and if by releasing this new edition, it will help or hurt the hobby. I will discuss some things to expect, and of course I might go off on some tangents about other things, but for the most part I want to focus on the timing of 6th edition and its potential impact on what we know now about the game.
Its been only three years. Three years and some change to be more innaccurate about the timeline, since we saw 5th edition hit the shelves. There were many changes, some subtle and some quite important (true line of sight...), but ultimately it created more than just new rules, it made it necessary for everyone to once again buy new rule books, as well as forcing Games Workshop to update all of its codexes. More than anything else, all players had to adapt to the new impacts that the rules changes caused to their respective armies. Some armies where not effected (such as Orks) while others where pushed even further into obscurity (Dark Eldar, Grey Knights, Necrons). While I will admit that adapting to new rules adds more fun challenges, it also nullified certain strengths for specific armies. Games Workshop should have updated all of its codexes right away, making sure that all armies got to benefit from the new rule changes immediately. Some armies will undoubtedly get left behind, leading to another lapse in consistency amongst the rules between different codexes from different editions. I think that before a new edition is released, all of the codexes should be brought up to speed, to at least ensure a level of consistency amongst the rules for different armies. I wonder if bringing in a new set of rules in a brand new edition is going to help the hobby, in terms of keeping the game fair and balanced so that all armies have the chance to compete on the tabletop.