+++ Warning: This is just my take on 8th based on the GW Live FAQ video. I am drawing conclusions based on what they said as fact, and combining some other sources: I think Shadow Wars may have given us some insight into mechanics, while AoS may give us insight into source material. +++
We have a wishlist topic, but I think since GW did the video yesterday I feel like we could probably mull over how this news will affect us building Deathwatch for 8th edition.
Assuming what they said is true, I don't think the transport issues should be a problem anymore. They claim they 'thoroughly' playtested every codex. Now does that mean the Deathwatch got as much testing as.... Ultramarines? Probably not, but I don't want to assume that. The end result is we have to assume the really low level, 'why didn't they even think of this' stuff has to be taken care of.
1. What we do know is there is Strength and Toughness. We know anything can wound anything else. At first people went nuts about this but I have said this more than once so let me just quote myself to save time:
So in Shadow Wars, you CAN hit on a 9+ but it's very hard.
So let's take that to 40K in 'to wound a Wraithknight'.
A lasgun hits but it may need a 6 to wound, PLUS a 4+ to cause a wound.
The Wraithknight may have 30 wounds.
A Meltagun (to steal from Shadow Wars again) could cause D6 wounds if the save is failed by the Wraithknight.
Just taking this from Shadow Wars and applying the proper logic.
So to me, this keeps the Stalker relevant. If it's still combined with SIA, even better, and potentially it's even stronger if they borrow from Shadow Wars (IE: running makes you +1 to hit with shooting.)
2. No more Templates. I look to 'sustained fire' from Shadow Wars for possible answers to what happens for us. Why do I like this? First thing is I always despised our best gun had to sit at the front of the squad and die the turn after they did their business (since they are at the front).
(Note: I'm assuming closest models still die first in 8th) This means our Frag Cannons may actually live longer! I can't tell you how much I won't miss strategically placing 2 Frag cannons, a normal dude, and a shield dude. If it has far less importance, I'm all for that. So I think 'no templates' is a positive for Deathwatch.
3. He who charges goes first! I love this. It actually helps all armies imo, and makes some insanely scary (Orks for example). But why I like this for Deathwatch is we do have unique (albeit too expensive assault options but more on that later) assault options.
I think it's iconic for your 'hero' to have something like a fist or hammer... or Heavy Hammer (!?) but right now that's just a bad idea, especially with challenges. Does the second round of close combat flip to initiative? Who knows, but we do know if you rush in with your heavy hammer, your 'best' guy gets to swing that hammer.
4. Cost re-balancing. This is huge. Maybe one of my bigger gripes. We pay just way too much for a base dude, and the wargear (especially some of it) is so expensive you would never touch it in a real game. Now if they did a 'fair' assessment and they claim they did because they want to release the most 'balanced version of 40K yet', then that means they MUST have evaluated Deathwatch costing.
We know in the past to give 'marines' a chance at competitive levels one of the mechanisms was 'free stuff'. So we were overcosted, and got nothing at a discount (even trading in an SIA bolter for a.... meltagun meant you basically just became a brutally overcosted space marine.) It goes without saying that at the very least, some things would go down in cost. The big question will become: did they re-balance undercosted stuff as well (looking at Eldar)? I guess we'll see.
4B. This is really a side effect of 4 (cost balancing) and 2 (no templates): I see a positive for items like... the IHB. A terrible weapon, not only over costed but of completely split roles that you are paying for, but rarely using.
5. Rewarding the 'Pure" anti Xenos player: In the video they cited a reward system. "Keywords" and command traits that grew the larger your base Faction becomes. Further to this they explained that there are 14 Force org charts. The more of your faction that fit into the largest chart, the more your primary faction benefited from using the larger Org chart. This is good. I always hated having to rely on outside resources to be competitive.
6. Armour Modifying and Terminators: This is partly based on the video talking about armour modifying, and Shadow Wars (as well as 2nd Edition's) take on terminator armour. This works for us because if we assume we can still cherry pick load outs for our terminators, it might actually be much more useful to take those 1-3 man terminator squads with special weapons and plop them down on the field. This was unique to us, and may get even better if we can't be outright denied our save, and it does in fact become: 3+ save on 2xD6.
7. Vehicle 'Wounds' and Damaged Performance: So everything will depreciate in performance as it takes damage. This is good for us, bad for Xenos. It always bothered me a lot that you can take half the wounds off of a Riptide, or Tervigon, or fill in the Xenos Species, and it always operated at 100% efficiency. Yet one lucky roll on a Landraider, and it's stuck the whole game, basically useless. It just never made sense.
We don't know the extent of how impaired performance becomes for a victim, all we know for sure is that there is a degredation of performance for damaged MC's/GC's and vehicles. This helps us against the Xenos, and it helps us with those expensive units no one takes in competitive games: Landraiders. The Beacon Angelis + Landraider may become a real thing (if the Beacon survives the edition!). I'm looking forward to potentially using one of the most iconic vehicles in the Imperium again.
8. Sustained fire + Damage Values: One thing that always frustrated me is over the years I've watched many Xenos weapons evolve through editions, and codexes. This very, very rarely happened for Marines. I understand financially it made no sense to make the "Heavy Bolter" better at throwing.. Bolts. It was more economic to create... the necessary evil of Grav Cannons (for example). You can't sell heavy bolters when everyone has a closet full.
Well now with Sustained Fire + Damage Values we can assume that yes, perhaps a Lasgun can damage anything, but a Lascannon is probably going to do something like D6 damage against a hard target for every 'wound'. (Taken from Shadow Wars).
So now how does the idea of a Landraider look if it can't be fried in a shot, and has useful lascannons? I'm speculating to a degree here, but it would make sense.
9.The Psychic Phase: Purely conjecture on this one, but dabbling in psychics is really nasty for Deathwatch in competitive play. We have zero advantage here (to my annoyance since I feel strongly we should have a dude who's forte is exploiting the weak Xenos psychic mind!) The problem is that dabbling in psychics is really bad in 7th edition, and quite volatile. You can pay a few points for a dude who may be able to do something incredible, or absolutely nothing of value, and would be shut down completely by any Psychic powerhouse in the game.
This is more rumour based but if Psychic tests follow AoS, it appears taking 'a psyker' might be valid again. I miss being able to do that.
10. Range Modifiers and Deathwatch: This is a mixture of my own conclusions based on the FAQ video and Shadow Wars shooting phase. I really think this makes sense for most of our weapons and I believe they 'previewed' this idea for us with the Frag Cannon and its 'Impact' rule.
Again going back to Shadow Wars some weapons, actually almost all, have a short range stat, and a long range stat.
So obviously this is already in play with the Frag Cannons, but what about the IHB? This is really a good beneficiary of the rule and may make it far more useful, rather than situational. What about Deathwatch Shotguns? Without templates but with range modifiers they could be really good combined with multi round choices.
So those are 10 random thoughts, in no specific order, I have on the 8th Edition preview and Deathwatch. Am I off my rocker? Do you have a few ideas of your own? What did I miss?