Warhammer 40,000 8th edition

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Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition (also known as Warhammer 40,000: Age of the Emperor to the rumourmongers) is the newest edition of everybody's favorite wargame, which picks things up where the Gathering Storm campaigns (AKA 40k End Times) left off, and was released June 17th, 2017. The new edition will advance the storyline from 5 minutes to midnight to 4 minutes to midnight, and considering the campaigns leading up to it have had the Imperium lighting an entire region of space ON FIRE, Magnus trolling the Space Woofs half to death, Cadia falling (And can't get up), a new Eldar god being born, and Rowboat Girlyman getting off his stasis-frozen ass, shit's about to get real. (But hopefully not too real.)

Major Updates[edit]

  • The man in charge is Pete Foley, who is leading the design team for 8th Edition.
  • The two rules writers are Jervis Johnson and Robin Cruddace, two of the writers behind 7th Edition.
  • The core rules are going to be completely redesigned, with active involvement and input from the community (eg, extensive playtesting by the guys over at Frontline Gaming, and others), input that GW actually seems to have *gasp* listened to, and as a result this broken mess of a game might actually become more balanced and fun.
  • All current codices and supplements will be completely incompatible with the new rules, everyone is getting a new codex. In hindsight, this also likely explains why Forge World hasn't restocked or updated any Imperial Armour volumes recently. Hopefully this means that armies that had lived in Imperial Armour will get proper codices this time around.
    • Horus Heresy will continue to use the 7th Edition rules set until Forgeworld updates their books, although considering that The Horus Heresy Book Seven - Inferno came out just last month, that's looking highly unlikely.
    • Horus Heresy still basically lives between 4th and 5th edition anyway, so it's not too great a change.
    • As of Warhammer Fest Horus Heresy is now getting its own core rulebook based on 7th (with a few new special rules) which is compatible with all their existing books instead of switching to 8th.
  • 3 ways to play (Open, Narrative, and Matched) is being imported from Age of Sigmar's General's Handbook, with Narrative play having a different points system from Matched play. This is less of a big deal than it was for AoS since there it basically single-handedly made AoS playable (for many yet not all players), while 40k already had an at least nominally-balanced points system. The separate points system for Narrative play should be interesting, at least.
    • Open Play has three missions: Annihilation, Hold at All Costs and Death or Glory.
    • Narrative has six missions: Meat Grinder, Ambush, Patrol, Blitz, Sabotage and Rescue
    • Matched is keeping the six Eternal War and six Maelstrom of War missions (but with a redesigned objective deck) and now has six deployment maps over the original three.
    • A single "universal" mission, Only War, is also present and designed to be compatible with all three play modes.
  • The core rules will be free. Additionally, all armies & models will receive barebones rules updates in the form of 5 Indices (2 for the Imperium armies, 1 for Chaos, and 2 for the Xenos armies) on Day 1 to keep things functional until the new codices come out, which will probably be mostly fluff and more faction-specific tricks and rules like Sigmar's Battletomes Grand Alliances books. The full hardback book also includes advanced rules (including such esoterics as terrain rules and rules for battles with more than two players), missions and stratagems (see below), and a buttload of fluff.
    • Core Rulebook is $60/£35. Index books are $25/£15 each. Good thing the latter got leaked the day preorders started.
    • Forge World will be making a series of Index books to update their own models as well, with the first two focusing on the Space Marines and Chaos releasing alongside the new edition and the rest being released by the end of June. As an added bonus, they'll be throwing in rules for "a few classic models" and (rather uncharacteristically given the Chapter House episode) rules for several characters who don't have their own models.
  • There will be new factions coming, though it's unclear if those will just be variants of what we already have or something entirely new. As much as GW's been shaking things up lately it could be both.
  • There's going to be a "new generation" of Space Marines dubbed the Primaris Marines, a new addition (as in "not replacement") to the Adeptus Astartes. Based on leaks of the sculpts for these "nuMarines" they will be "true-scale," as in 8 scale feet tall. Good news if you're one of those converters who have been making truscale marines for years. For what it's worth GW has confirmed that some bits like Pauldrons and helmets will be the same scale as the old models.
  • Chapter Approved is being brought back as a yearly publication, the first issue of which is scheduled for Christmas of 2017.
  • A bunch of factions are getting name updates to be more trademark friendly (much like the Astra Militarum): Questor Imperialis, Aeldari, Drukhari, and T'au. It's the aelfs all over again.

Rumors[edit]

  • One of the new factions is suspected to be the Fallen, likely branching into their own codex not unlike how the Deathwatch and Genestealer Cults did after Deathwatch: Overkill. If so, they would simultaneously provide an excellent way to represent other renegade Marine forces that aren't loyal to the Imperium or Chaos. Recently leaked army lists for CSM include Cypher and the Fallen as part of them, however, so this isn't especially likely.
  • Considering the Death Guard teaser and the upcoming Daemon Mortarion miniature, Nurgle Daemonkin could also be on the table.
  • Another rumor has it that the Men of Iron will be among the new factions. How these would differ from the Mechanicus and Necrons in gameplay is anyone's guess.
    • But there is a rumor that Sanguinius will return. Not sure how though.

Fluff Updates[edit]

Daww, the Eye of Terror and the Maelstrom had a baby!
This is basically what's happening to the entire Imperium. (Featuring an appearance by Cthulhu!)

Imperium[edit]

  • The upper half of the Imperium, separated from Terra & Sol, has been labeled "Imperium Nihilus" (also known as the "Dark Imperium"), and as bad as things are on the Terran side of the rift, things are really going to shit on the far side (especially since the rift blocks the Astronomicon). At this rate, the Big G may will have to deal with Imperium Secundus-style not-quite secession, with him now on the other side of the mess...assuming there's even enough of the Imperium left to secede.
  • The Blood Angels and their successors get fucked up pretty badly by the Tyranids, with the gribblies eating several of Baal's moons. However, a combination of the Cicatrix Maledictum messing with the Hive Fleet's bio-ships and Guilliman's fleet taking out the remaining Tyranids on Baal after the Warp settles down leads to the Blood Angels successfully repelling the Tyranid invasion. While the Blood Angels are able to rebuild, they soon find signs that the Bloodthirster Ka'bandha has returned saved their asses by killing every single Tyranid that was nomming on the moons of Baal while the Blood Angels and Ultramarines were fighting the ones at their fortress-monastery; likely because he wants the pleasure of killing Sanguinius' gene-sons himself and doesn't want dem damn dirty space locusts to steal his prey. This means that Ka'bandha is a Tsundere confirmed. Commence extra heretical shipping. First the Necrons, now Daemons. Seriously, is there no level of heresy they will not stoop to?
  • Armageddon was lucky enough to not get cut off from Terra when the Cicatrix Maledictum tore open, but is unlucky enough to be slap dab in the path of the Blood Crusade, a huge army of Khornate daemons that are pouring out of the rift, setting the Armageddon system up for a massive three-way between the Imperium, Orks, and Chaos, and quite possibly the biggest conflict it's ever seen. Ghazghkull and Yarrick are almost guaranteed to be right in the thick of that. Hell, maybe even Angron will be there for his own personal round 2. Oh yeah, and Armageddon being Ullanor has something to do with why the Orks are all there. Make of that what you will.
  • To stem the tide of traitors, Xenos, and Chaos, Roboute Guilliman has declared the Indomitus Crusade against the enemies of the Imperium. Additionally, with the apparent help of Belisarius Cawl he has refined the Emperor's original plans for the creation of the Space Marines in order to create a new generation of supersoldiers known as Primaris Marines (compare to Space Marines Mk II), harder, better, faster, stronger than ever before (which one hopes will work out better than it did the last time someone tried it), along with some swanky new armour and guns. Just how Guilliman plans to get these new Marines out fast enough to be useful when the whole galaxy is going to hell right now is an open question though. Properly making a regular Astartes takes over a decade, and accelerated development is still risky as hell even discounting the last time someone tried it due to sabotage. However, according to GW Archmagos Cawl was secretly creating them by Guilliman's commission before he got poisoned by Fulgrim, that's been 10,000 years folks!
    • Despite Big G offering the new Primaris Marines to everybody (even founding whole new Chapters out of them), not all chapters are happy to see them. Some are calling out Guilliman just for meddling with the Emperor's work, others are worried about the effects the new Astartes formula might have when combined with some of the more esoteric gene-seed strains. The Primaris Marines are bros with the Adeptus Custodes however, and even the Chapters which have never particularly liked Guilliman or the Ultramarines aren't dumb enough to turn down free reinforcements.
    • The Indomitus Crusade lasted about 100 years or so before Guilliman was forced to return to Ultramar to protect it against the Death Guard invasion.
  • The forces which were supposed to be arriving to defend Cadia have been redeployed to other nearby planets to prepare for a possible next wave of Chaos attacks. When that doesn't immediately come, some Guard commanders begin considering the possibility of counter-attacking and reclaiming Cadia (or what's left of it, anyway), though at this point it would be little more than a symbolic gesture since the pylons are completely busted.
    • However, considering Cadia's relative proximity to the Chmund Gauntlet this counter-attack could secure the Imperium vital access to the Imperium Nihilus. Too bad that doesn't solve the problem of the Traitor Knight House that currently occupies the Gauntlet.

Xenos[edit]

  • Xenos are confirmed to be taking a back seat this edition for the most part, with the primary conflict being Imperium Vs. Chaos. In other words, business as usual for the Xenos factions.
  • Imotekh's territory has expanded greatly, as many of the Tomb Worlds awakened by the Great Rift's creation are invaded by the Sautekh Dynasty and forced into his empire. Odds are the Tau are about to learn just how good they had it when they just had to contend with the Imperium, Tyranids, and Orks.
    • With Necrons not liking the warp or Chaos any more than any other rational species, there's a good chance that Imotekh's new agenda involves working on ways to contain the current situation. He could've perhaps worked with Trazyn to make some new pylons and do something about that big-ass galactic rift, but knowing Imotekh's rampant megalomania and how the Solemnance is on Imotekh's bad side after Trazyn tried to rob him of his staff, expect Sautekh to work on their own even if it costs them. No word on the other Necron Dynasties apart from the Oruscar Dynasty still existing, as they're the ones Trazyn visited to learn what was disrupting his work in Solemnance. That said, the cover photo for Necrons that GeeDubs is currently using shows the orange glow of the Mephrit Dynasty.
  • It's unclear just how the current Warp activity will affect the Tyranids and their connection to the Hive Mind, though it stands to reason that the Cicatrix Maledictum will inconvenience them just as much as everybody else. Expect there to be a big increase in the number of Chaos vs Tyranid encounters, and a few hive fleets could even end up being driven nuts or mutated, particularly those that might've got caught in the storm.
  • The Cicatrix Maledictum put out the firestorm engulfing the Damocles Gulf, allowing the Tau (now known as the T'au because nobody is allowed to have a name that isn't stupid if GW can't trademark it) to launch their Fourth Sphere Expansion to reclaim their lost worlds...which promptly vanished without a trace. Kind of a toss-up on whether the Necrons or Chaos got them first, though GW has dropped hints that this is their way of scattering Tau forces across the galaxy so you have a fluff excuse to pit your Tau army against forces from the opposite side of the galaxy such as the Space Wolves.
    • Acting in complete disregard of anything resembling common sense, the Tau immediately set up a Fifth Sphere Expansion, which will likely meet a very similar fate to the previous one.
  • Craftworld Iyanden is invaded by Chaos forces...again. This time, the attack is by Slaaneshi daemons led by a Keeper of Secrets, and only the combined aid of an army from every major Eldar and Dark Eldar faction in the galaxy keeps it from being destroyed. Iyanden just can't catch a break, can they?
  • There is a rumor that a new faction of Slaanesh Eldar is in the works... but what they've been doing for essentially millennia, and how Fulgrim's going to react, probably won't make much sense. Slaanesh Eldar would be Dark Eldar that serve Slaanesh, which is normally instantly fatal for them, except for in the shitty works of Multilazor. On the other hand, a previously unheard of faction of Eldar is mentioned to be known to the Inquisition; the portrait depicting a member of said faction looks incredibly mutated, the symbol next to them depicting their sub-factions is a Mark of Slaanesh, and the portrait itself is labeled only as "REDACTED". Make what you will of that.
  • Four new Tyranid Hive Fleets have emerged: Kronus, Scylla, Charybdis, and Hydra. Strangely, Hive Fleet Hydra has consistently ignored most inhabited worlds in its path, and instead focuses on cannibalizing the splinters of other Hive Fleets. Nobody knows why.

Chaos[edit]

  • A catastrophic warp storm called the Cicatrix Maledictum has effectively split the Imperium in half, stretching from the Eye of Terror all the way down to the Hadex Anomaly by Macragge and the Tau Empire. It's the damned Ruinstorm all over again!
    • However, it appears that the rift is not completely impassable, as there appear to be two small corridors through it. One over by Belis Corona and the Eye of Terror called the Chmund Gauntlet, which is currently occupied by a Household of Chaos Knights. The other is down near Cirillo Prime and the Sautekh Dynasty, which is simply called the Temporary Rift Corridor. The exact nature of these corridors is (so far) unclear, though control of them will likely be a big point of contention in the 8th Edition campaigns (Realmgates anyone?).
  • The 13th Black Crusade is still technically going, but Chaos being Chaos means that a lot of the warbands have split off from Abaddon's main force to pillage nearby undefended worlds. However, this also means his forces have spread rather thin and might not be able to hold onto their new territory.
  • The Chaos Gods have not taken the appearance of the Primaris Space Marines very well, and have begun brewing up Mary Sue Marines of their own powered by Warp energy.
  • Nurgle has decided that the realm of Ultramar would look great as a part of his Garden, and so has released several of his nastiest plagues there along with the Death Guard and his Daemons. So far, three star systems around Ultramar have been corrupted, Espandor barely survived Iax has been overrun by Daemons, and even Macragge is suffering from Chaos-inspired uprisings. Nurgle is sending his three greatest commanders to oversee what has become known to the Imperium as the Plague Wars: Typhus, Ku'Gath Plaguefather, and Mortarion.
    • However, it has slowed down somewhat after Khorne (with some coaxing from Tzeentch) invaded the Scourge Stars. Tzeentch and Slaanesh showed up soon afterwards, and yet another bout of infighting was only averted by Tzeentch suggesting a competition between their Champions to decide who gets to rule the Ghoul Stars.
  • Unwilling to be outdone by Nurgle, Tzeentch sent out a force of Daemons and Chaos Space Marines led by M'kachen and Magnus the Red to invade the Stygius Sector, home of Mordian and the Mordian Iron Guard. A crusade force to defend the sector was launched, but was quickly overwhelmed; only the intervention of Craftworld Ulthwe allows the Imperials to evacuate the sector.
  • Disregarding the protests of the other Chaos Gods, Khorne opened a Warp rift above Terra to let in 88 cohorts of his daemons to attack the Imperial Palace, which were driven off by Guilliman, the Custodes, the Sisters of Silence, and the Primaris Marines. Khorne was upset enough by their failure to annihilate the Bloodthirsters assigned to lead the attack, but the fact they managed to attack Terra at all has put the Imperium on alert (more so than usual).


Crunch Updates[edit]

Core Rules[edit]

  • "Not AoS 40k": From what we've seen so far thanks to GW actually disclosing their design process via Warhammer Community, many of the overhauls to the 8th edition ruleset are (unsurprisingly) modeled on equivalent rules developed for Age of Sigmar. However there is also a lot of inspiration being drawn from older editions of 40k, to the point that some of the "new" mechanics are recognizable from as far back as 2nd edition. Despite what the doomsayers will tell you 8th is not just Sigmar with guns -- they're trying to take what few good things AoS had and overhaul the 40k we all love with that.
  • More Less Differently Random: Deployment-phase rolls that decide what your units can actually do for the rest of the game seem to be gone (and good riddance!), also gone is the random scatter for blasts and deep-strikes or random outflanking, but instead many weapons now deal random number of shots/hits or random damage in order to compensate for the absence of templates (see below) and woundbloat on the vehicles and monsters, and charges are still random range despite literally everyone wanting them to go back to fixed, meaning the result of every action may be even less reliable. This could be good or bad, depending on your tastes.
  • No Templates: Templates are gone, Just like Squats. Weapons like Flamers will simply fire d6 automatic hits just like the spread weapons in Age of Sigmar (they don't ignore cover any more, though). Blast weapons like the Leman Russ work similarly by firing a random number of shots, though they do not hit automatically.
    • This change is skubtastic. Those in favor of the change say it speeds the game up, because scatters took too much time to resolve, and "blasts only hit 1 or 2 models anyway because people always spread out for max coherency." Those against it argue that this change leads to rule abuse or violations of common sense, such as Guard Conscripts forming up in musket lines. More controversially, the changes to Flamers mean certain ones (Example: Inferno Cannons) are arguably better at anti-aircraft than crowd control.
  • Far Fewer More Reworked Special Rules: Uncapping and standardizing stats, and adding the movement stat all by itself, will eliminate a lot of "hacky" old special rules. On the other hand, special rules are now unique to the army or unit. Based on the faction focus material we've seen so far, 40k will be seeing a lot of "unique" special rules that are basically the same rule with different names and slightly different wording, much like in 3rd edition.
    • To give you an idea of how this will work, Nurglings will have a special rule unique to Nurgle called "Disgustingly Resilient" that lets them ignore wounds on a roll of 5 or 6, instead of having the (now nonexistent) Feel No Pain special rule normally found in the core rulebook. Ork, Tyranid, and Blood Angel units that would have had FnP will have the exact same rule text as Disgustingly Resilient, just with a different ASSFAGGOTS-like ability name and occasionally a different roll requirement. Same with other common rules like Hatred, Overheat, and Deep Strike. This means that any attempts to write rules that interact with these common, basic mechanics will be even hackier than 7th edition's special rules because they can't just refer to a common special rule by name anymore.
  • Bookkeeping Reduction: The amount of one-use gear or rules was reduced quite drastically, and with the removal of random warlord traits and psychic powers there is no need to keep track of those (as they're already written in the army roster). On the up side it speeds up the game and removes the need to use lots of tokens or notes, but the trade-off is that there is one more layer of tactical decision making shaved off the game - timing things like combi-weapon use or Waaaaagh! activation used to make or break games, and now it's gone.
  • Datasheet Overhaul: With the intent of eliminating the need to carry around half a library's worth of books, a unit's datasheet will contain almost all the information it needs to function, including rules for weapons and abilities. With a few exceptions. Units with a ton of options, like Tactical Squads, will only have the stats for the most common choices in their datasheet, with the rest of their choices getting rules elsewhere. Explanation of common or army-wide special rules may also be left out. So the special rules and wargear lists aren't completely disappearing from the rulebooks and codices, but active reliance on them will be greatly reduced.
  • Independent Character Overhaul: Characters can no longer join units, or join together with other characters to form a super-unit. In GW's own words, "The age of the prefix-star is over". Instead, ICs will have effects that cover all units with a certain keyword within a certain radius. Also, ICs with less than 10 wounds cannot be targeted in the shooting phase unless they're the closest enemy model (except by units with sniper and similar rules), so there's less worry now about losing your special snowflake to a railgun. Lastly, ICs have a rule called Heroic Intervention that lets them pile in and attack charging enemies even if they themselves aren't charged.
    • On the other hand, it is possible (even with Command rerolls) for a squad to make it into combat, but an Independent Character to fail a charge roll, leading to situations like Khorne Berzerkers making it into melee while Kharn takes a smoke break. You can only shoot a Character if it is the closest model, even if said character is standing in the open and the only closer unit is a Valkyrie that made it into your deployment zone.
  • Summoning Overhaul: No more infinite Daemons in Matched Play. If you want to summon units, you now need points set aside to spend on them in advance, and summoning itself is going to be separated as its own form of deployment, alongside deep striking or outflanking. (Basically Summoning is a special form of reserves where you don't have to choose what's in reserve until you actually summon it, letting you change your list mid-game). Think of it like Schrodinger box, The cat is either dead, alive or secretly a baneblade and you and your opponent don't know until the wave form's collapsed and the box is opened (or unit summoned in this case).
  • Points and Power Levels: Units now have power levels (anyone who makes the obvious joke gets a mini down the windpipe) to approximate their average effectiveness, and are meant as a fast and casual balancing method for Open and Narrative Play. This system is similar to that of 40k competitor Warmachine. Not to worry, though, the points system we all know and love is still around in Matched Play if you want to use it, and is just as detailed as before (though likely with the usual tweaking of points values that comes with every new edition). In a bit of an odd move, though, points are not in the datasheets for units anymore, instead being detailed elsewhere in the rulebooks. Part of the reasoning behind this is so 40k can use the same "Living Rulebook" approach used in Age of Sigmar by way of releasing updates to address balance issues without forcing anyone to buy an entirely new Codex to do so. Might be a little obtuse, but on the other hand this means nobody has to worry about being saddled with an outdated Codex again, so the long reviled "Codex Creep" might finally be over.
    • Power Levels appear to be Points/20, rounded - so e.g. a Captain in Gravis Armor is 148 points or Power 7, while an Inceptor squad is 159 points or Power 8.
  • Casualty Overhaul: When a unit loses models, instead of plucking whatever guys are closest to the attacker, the controlling player gets to decide which ones are removed.
    • This means you will almost assuredly get far more mileage out of your special weapons, and tactics like hidden power fist are viable once again.
    • Additionally, this probably means that musical-wounds shenanigans like the Nob Bikerz of yore are gone.
    • On the downside flanking enemy units to kill weapon specialists without the need to chew through the meatshields in the front is no longer a viable tactic, taking a lot of depth out of close-range firefight tactics.
    • This also presents the possibility to score more hits than there are models in the unit, making flamers and explosives a much greater threat to small units that rely on having multiple wounds to stay around. On the other hand, they are a much lesser threat against large units, as you cannot use clever positioning to guarantee you land more hits - your shot volume is random and not manipulatable through skill.
    • Flamers and most template weapons have lost Ignores Cover, although the ability still exists (and is not referred to as such, under the new policy of avoiding naming rules whenever possible, and if you must name it, giving the same rule a different name every time you use it).
    • Different template weapons do have different ranges now, which is nice.
  • No positioning mechanics: With no vehicle armour facing, the absence of templates, and manual wound allocation, there is little to no benefit from shooting enemy units from their flanks or rear. Army-specific rules seem to lose any semblance of positioning rules as well, seeing as Knights get their ion shield changed from 4++ from one facing to 5++ all around. This would speed up the game a bit, but at the cost of altering an entire tactical layer of it. Expect deep strikes, outflankers and hyper-mobile units to be used very differently than they are now.
  • No more Fire Arcs: All vehicles and fortifications measure LOS from their hull. Another skub, this means a Valkyrie can shoot all of its weapons if it can draw a line to something with the tip of its wing.
  • Twin-Linked Buff: Twin-linked weapons no longer reroll to-hit dice; instead, they now double the number of shots they would normally fire. This makes the vanilla Land Raider go from schizophrenic to dangerous and makes a lot of Ork vehicles downright terrifying though unless they also get an accuracy buff Orkz will notice the difference least since they got the biggest benefit from old twin linked. Land Raider Crusaders are going to become the anal rapists of the battlefield; assuming they stay the same it will be like a metal box with a tactical marine squad glued on to each side! Expect some buzz from Tyranid dakkafexes and spinegaunts, as well.
  • Combi-Weapons Buff: Combi-weapons are no longer one use for the specialist weapon; instead, they can fire as either the normal or specialist weapon, or even fire both at the same time (but with a -1 to hit). They are now effectively a flat upgrade compared to either a basic weapon or their specialist weapon equivalent, since they can switch between either role with impunity. However, expect there to be some manner of trade-off, most likely a points increase if the Sisters of Battle leak is legit (claims to charge 19 points for a combi-melta). Otherwise units like Sternguard are going to end up ridiculously overpowered, and there won't be any reason at all to take regular special weapons over a combi-weapon.
  • Characteristic Overhaul: No more rules for high BS/WS, those stats are expressed as to-hit rolls now so nobody can have a better hit chance than a 2+ without special rules. Also, other stats are no longer capped, so you can have Strength, Toughness or Wound values higher than 10.
    • No more D Weapons: With Strength stats no longer capped at 10, weapons that previously needed the Destroyer special rule to kill everything will now likely just have really high strength and/or cause a lot of wounds. For example, the Knights' Reaper Chainsword now deals 6 damage- more than enough to wreck infantry and leave even heavy vehicles hurting.
  • Save Modifiers: Gone are the AP values of weaponry, and now we're getting back a mechanic not seen since 2nd Edition 40k, or more recently Warhammer Fantasy before it got squatted. The save modifier alters the target number needed for an armor save to work (e.g. with a -2 modifier, a unit which would normally have a 2+ save would now act as if they had a 4+ save instead). This is going to be a nerf to AP5 weapons like Bolters and flamers, which can now be stopped by Ork and Gaunt armour and will hit 5+ armour 66% as hard as before, the same with AP4 against 4+ and AP3 against 3+. In exchange, any armour piercing weapon will be much more effective against heavier armour, with heavy bolters able to better threaten tanks and MEQ/TEQ in the open, and hot-shot lasguns being better against TEQ than MEQ. Terminators will be more fragile in general unless they change how Invuln saves work. In essence, there will be far fewer hard counters and all weapons will be more versatile in general, eliminating some of the need to carefully choose weapons and targets. Dumbing down the game? Sure. Balancing the game? Probably.
  • Movement Phase Overhaul: The movement stat is back, and Running has been rolled into the Movement phase by being able to roll to add a little extra distance at the expense of shooting and charging. Some Flyers will have a minimum movement distance in addition to a maximum movement distance; if they are unable to move the minimum distance or if this distance would force them off the battlefield, they are destroyed.
    • Movement-based rules like Slow and Purposeful and Fleet are probably on their way out, as fast and slow units won't need special rules to represent that anymore.
    • Deep Striking equivalents set up at the end of the Movement Phase; while they cannot move or advance further and count as having moved for that turn, they can still shoot or charge normally.
  • Psychic Phase Overhaul: Rather than each of your psykers contributing to an Army-wide dice pool like in 7th, each psyker will once again have the capability to reliably cast their own powers. Any psyker model will be allowed to cast as many powers as their individual entry states, and instead of harnessing Warp Charges on a 4+ or making a Leadership check, the controlling player rolls 2d6. If the value surpasses the amount required to cast the power, they succeed, and any enemy psyker within 24" will have the option to Deny it. Of course, models can only Deny The Witch once per turn for each Mastery Level they have.
    • Stronger powers will have a higher Warp Charge value, and will therefore be harder to cast.
    • Every faction with psykers will have its own unique psychic powers, and all psykers know Smite by default, which has a Warp Charge value of 5 and now causes D3 mortal wounds to a target the closest target within 18" (a marked difference from the AoS Arcane Bolt), or D6 mortal wounds if you roll 10 or above on the psychic test. That being said, it seems that cheaper psykers like the Rubric Marines' Aspiring Sorcerer will have a weakened version of it that causes fewer wounds.
    • Perils of the Warp now occurs on double 1s and double 6s during psychic tests. It causes D3 mortal wounds to the psyker, and if it dies as a result the power being manifested doesn't go off and all units within 6" of the psyker take d6 mortal wounds.
    • You can pick the Psychic Powers you want now, rather than rolling for them and hoping you get the right number.
    • In matched play, Psychic Focus means you cannot cast the same power more than once per turn unless that power is Smite. Expect Psyker armies to be about spamming the most cost-effective smite.
  • Shooting Phase Overhaul: In addition to being unable to shoot after Advancing or Falling Back, models can't shoot if there's an enemy model 1" or less away from them, which combines with the new assault rules to make close combat more dangerous. Heavy weapons no longer snap-fire if firing on the move, and instead get a flat -1 to hit modifier if fired on the move (which applies to vehicles too). Cover saves now add a bonus to the armor save instead of acting as a blanket save, and in certain cases only applies to specific unit types (e.g. Infantry can benefit from a crater's cover bonus, but a vehicle can't).
    • Split Fire for everybody! All squads can now use different weapons against different targets. No more situations when your bolter marines have to hose down a Land Raider with ineffectual shots just so the one dude with a melta needs to take a shot at it. This goes down to individual models - your crisis suit can shoot missile pods at that pesky vehicle while flaming some nearby infantry.
    • Every model can fire all their guns (with some exceptions).
      • Only one model per squad can use a grenade at a time (and they can't fire anything else).
      • Everyone else has to choose between firing all their pistols and all their non-pistol, non-grenade weapons.
    • Pistols are exempt from the restriction against shooting when an enemy is too close, and in fact a pistol user can fire at the closest enemy target to them even if they're locked in combat. This is a massive game changer to dual-pistol wielders such as Cypher, and also gives units like Assault Marines a little extra boost when they're closing in on an opponent. It might also make Plasma Pistols worth taking after all these years.
    • The alteration in how cover saves works means that some weapons may be able to reduce the save to the point where the cover bonus is canceled out, so don't be tempted to think you have a chance to survive a lascannon shot just because you're hiding behind a piece of rubble. Weapons that currently ignore cover will not be affected by the cover bonus at all. This may have the effect of making the units that need cover saves the most the least able to take advantage. However between these changes and the ones to how AP works, heavy infantry become the ones who rely on and benefit from cover most, with 2+ and 3+ armour being more vulnerable to getting caught in the open by heavy bolters than lighter infantry are, while light infantry will be able to stand up to fire from bolters in the open but plasma guns will be able to blast anything in cover better than flamers can.
    • Assault weapons can be fired after advancing, but take a -1 penalty to hit for doing so. This makes weapons like flamers, meltas, and the like much nastier than they used to be.
    • Plasma weapons have reverted to the 2nd edition style of having two firing modes: one that's weaker but safe to use (although in this case it's still S7 AP-3), and one which hits harder and deals more damage but runs the risk of killing the user (no armour saves allowed for that version of gets hot, and instead of removing a wound it kills the model outright). It turns out that if you give an archmagos ten millennia he actually can figure out how plasma works.
      • Fluff vets can Rage at the fact that apparently Chaos Space Marines use similar rules...despite old fluff or old crunch for them. (Back in 2nd, Gets Hot was a specific rule for CSM, but their plasma weapons had better rate of fire).
      • The Primaris Marines' Incinerator has -4 AP and +6" in range over the regular plasma gun.
      • Do note that when overcharging, a to hit roll of 1 kills the user without any saves possible, even if they're a character! EVEN IF THEY ARE A VEHICLE!!! Watch the fuck out if you're thinking about supercharging any Captain's/Chapter Master's/Razorback's guns as there is going to be a 1/6 chance they die from it.
        • Note that due to the FAQ explaining that roll modifiers apply when determining if you roll a 1 or 6, this means that any ability that grants +1 to hit makes you immune to rolling 1s. On the other hand, the reverse is true, meaning Overcharging is more likely to kill you at nighttime (Well you can't see the power gauge can you?).
        • Leman Russ Tanks have a special rule that means instead of being instantly killed, they lose 6 wounds (half their max) and the plasma weapon is destroyed and unusable for the rest of the battle.
  • Assault Phase Overhaul: Initiative is gone. Whoever charges first attacks first like in Age of Sigmar. This actually gives assault based armies a chance now (Orks, Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Blood Angels, Thunderwolf spam, Khorne armies). After chargers, players alternate "activating" units to fight, a la Heroclix. Challenges are gone.
    • Daemonettes and Eldar CC units, among other high-I units, have a special rule that lets them almost always strike first even if they don't get the charge, unless both units have the same kind of rule in which case it depends on whose turn it is. (Note the similarity to Always Strikes First.)
    • Units now have the ability to fall back and walk out of engaged combat in the Movement Phase (it's basically the old 5th Edition Space Marine Combat Tactics, but for everyone!), BUT, they sacrifice the ability to advance or charge in that turn (and shoot, unless the unit in question has the right keyword). This gives Guard armies a chance now. However, falling back doesn't work if you're surrounded so it's not foolproof.
    • The first profiles indicate that WS4 is a 3+ to hit in CC, which makes melee combat quite a bit more aggressive.
      • In fact, WS1..5 seems to be 6+..2+ now, followed by a lack of scaling - both a Space Marine Captain and Guilliman now hit on a 2+ in melee. Expect anything with WS6+ to be reworked some other way to improve its melee capabilities, such as additional A or S, or improving its melee weapon(s) instead (Space Marine Captains seem to get +1A for their WS6, but we don't know enough right now to say much more).
    • Consolidation during activation allows a 3" move, which may bring you into combat with a new enemy, if you choose.
  • Melee Weapons Rebalancing: The melee and power weapons were redone now that they all use differing AP values and Unwieldy no longer exists. Power Swords now have more penetration than axes (which should have been the case in the first place since they have a longer blade) but provide no strength bonuses. Power Mauls are about the same, more Strength for less AP, and Power Fists now only have -1 to hit and cause multiple Wounds at Sx2, AP-3 (that's right, Power Armour now helps against Power Fists). Melee weapons which once just acted like basic CCWs (e.g. chainswords and choppas) now grant one extra attack.
  • Morale Overhaul: Leadership rules are changing; it's almost the same as Age of Sigmar's Battleshock: Roll 1d6, add up the amount of models lost and compare it to your Leadership value. If the result is greater, you remove the difference in models.
    • Commissars negate this effect to an extent by limiting morale-related losses to 1 model per unit. This is a revamp of their "Summary Execution" rule, and your opponent can never choose which model gets the blam.
  • Reserves Overhaul: While USRs like Deep Strike and Outflank no longer exist, unit- and faction-specific rules will serve a functionally identical role, albeit one tailored to said unit or faction (e.g. when a Trygon deploys by emerging from underground, another unit of Tyranids in the Troops slot can deploy with it to represent them using the Trygon's tunnel.)
    • Additionally, Matched Play adds the "Tactical Reserves" restriction- at least half of all units in a detachment must be set up on the battlefield, and any units that have not been deployed on the battlefield by the end of the third turn count as having been destroyed. In other words, no you can't just teleport your whole army of Deathwing Terminators in at once.
  • Keyword Abilities and Allies: While allies are still available, keyword abilities will only affect specific models. On the one hand, this means that hyper-synergistic superfriends cheese is gone. On the other hand, this means that half your army is effectively on a separate plane from the other half if you're using allies, and never the two shall meet.
  • Play Mode Overhaul: As mentioned above, the General's Handbook's 3 Ways to Play is coming to 40k. Open Play will replace Unbound, and is even more freeform than Age of Sigmar: the rules text amounts to "just grab some official Citadel Miniatures and do whatever the fuck you feel like." For Narrative and Matched Play, armies must be battle-forged, so no more overlap between battle-forged and unbound.
  • Detachment Overhaul: Decurions and Formations are gone. In their place, the classic Force Organization Chart is making a return, except there will be over a dozen different detachments to choose from that everybody can use, including the classic combined arms detachment, and as codices start to come out each army will get their own special versions as well (presumably bringing back Decurions/Formations as soon as an editor is asleep at the switch). These new detachments grant Command Points (see below), with detachments that require more unit choices yielding more Command Points.
    • Flyers are now a distinct unit type for the purposes of Battlefield Roles, so they no longer compete with other unit types in their old slots.
    • Contrary to 7th Edition's efforts to turn all Dedicated Transports into Fast Attack choices and eliminate the slot as a whole, DTs have been maintained as their own category in 8th, and (based on the currently released examples at least) one Dedicated Transport choice can now be included for each other choice. Is this opening the way for shenanigans like guardsmen squads able to take Taurox Primes as DTs? We can certainly hope so. Er no, only Scions and Commissars can hitch a lift on a Prime sadly, but this doesn't prevent you from taking the unit as a dedicated transport; they will simply be unable to ferry units around the board.
    • It's possible to take a unit with less than its minimum number of models, but you still need to pay for it as if it was at its normal minimum size.
      • Aside from the new morale system emphasizing 1-model units like never before, transports can now carry as many squads as you like, providing a potential reason to take a unit with models you paid for but did not field.
  • Wounds Overhaul: Everything is getting more wounds, with some units having twice as much as they used to, but at the same time more powerful weapons like Lascannons can dish out multiple wounds with each hit.
    • The need to keep track of the double-digit wounds that the bigger stuff will have will likely see a spike in the sales of pocket notepads.
    • On the other hand, players can continue to track them with dice, like before when things used to have 6 wounds at max; just use bigger dice, e.g. D20s.
    • With the addition of the new Damage stat, some weapons - as stated previously - will have the potential to strip multiple wounds from single models, while flamers and the like will deal multiple single-wound hits for anti-horde while also gaining some utility for lightly armored units with low unit counts.
      • Overkill damage doesn't spill onto other models, so dealing 6 damage with a lascannon to a Tac Squad won't cause 5 marines to die of shock at what happened to their buddy who took the hit. As a result, expect the meta to favor weapons with a reasonable number of attacks and medium damage, since overkill is now a waste in most situations.
    • Every weapon in the game will have the potential to deal (at least a little bit of) damage to anything they hit, though playing weapons to their strengths will kill stuff far more efficiently.
    • Rolling To Wound is still based on the target's toughness, but is greatly simplified. Instead of an entire 10x10 chart, To Wound is now determined with a simple table based on whether strength is twice (2+), greater (3+), equal (4+), less (5+), or half (6+) than the target's toughness. That's... actually a hell of a lot better. There's some debate on whether this is actually simpler or better, with Bolter and Lasguns now wounding T5 at the same roll, and Pulse weapons and Heavy Bolters treating Orks and Cultists as exactly as tough, though perhaps new rules and unrevealed details will avoid those shenanigans.
      • As you may have already guessed, Instant Death is gone. Not that a character can't die to a multi-damage hit, but no more will your T3 HQ pop to some jerk with a lucky missile shot on turn 1.
      • Mortal Wounds are now a thing, sitting somewhere between rending, instant death, and D damage. Mortal Wounds bypass to wound rolls, automatically doing one wound with no saves of any kind allowed (although secondary saves that replace the old Feel No Pain still apply). Another difference is that overkill wounds resulting from mortal wounds are the only kind that spill onto other models, making units like the Avatar (with a sword that can deal D6 of them per hit) better at not getting tarpitted by grots.
  • Vehicle Overhaul: Hull points and AV are gone, and vehicles now use the same profile system as everyone else, bringing them more in line with the likes of Monstrous Creatures. Yes, bolters and lasguns can hurt Land Raiders and Knights in theory, but when those vehicles have literally dozens of wounds on top of high toughness and saves (by GW's inaccurate estimates, it would take about 539.7 Marine bolters or 648 guard lasguns to bring down something like a Gorkanaut), you might as well leave it alone.
    • Number of bolter rounds to take down a Morkanaut: 486 hitting on 3+, wounding on 6+, being saved on 3+, to take down a model with 18 wounds. Lasguns require the same number of hits, as bolters and lasguns are now both AP-, and the difference in Strength between them only matters against models of Toughness below 8, but the guard tends to hit on 4+, so they need 648 rounds. The new rules broadly favor Attacks over AP over Strength, as shown below, with D being as good as Attacks provided your target has enough wounds to take the damage.
    • Eldar only require 194 Shuriken Catapult shots to down a Gorkanaut, due to Bladestorm. This number can be reduced further with judicious use of Doom.
      • Number of Space Marine-wielded and Guard-wielded Lascannon shots for comparison: 13.89 (13 31/35) and 18.51 (18 18/35), respectively. This is primarily due to Lascannons dealing 3.5 damage per shot, but also significantly due to vehicles having an armor save now and Lascannons having AP-3.
      • Again with a Heavy Bolter: 54 and 72 shooters, after accounting for 3 shots per gun.
        • Now that models with two Heavy Bolters shoot both of them, rather than Twin-Linking, that's obviously 27 and 36 for any of those, such as Inceptors or Centurions.
      • Hellblasters will take 81 shots (so 40.5 shooters at range 15") non-overcharged, or 27 (13.5) while overcharged, killing, on average, 4.5 (9) shooters.
      • Leman Russ Battle Cannons (so hitting on 4+): 15.43, 11.57 with hitting on 3+ (that's number of guns firing, accounting for both random A and random D). That's just an average, of course; it can take you anywhere from 6 to 108 shots (each of those cases are odds 1/18, though).
      • Meltaguns at half range: 12.07, 16.10 (melta now adds an unkept die to the damage roll at half range, regardless of target). Note how they take more shots than the Battle Cannon needs, on average; this is due to the Battle Cannon's much higher (average) A vs the meltagun's higher average D and higher AP.
    • Vehicles can now charge and engage in melee, replacing Tank Shock. While they tend to have high Strength and decent Attacks, many of them have terrible WS (with the exception of close-combat dedicated walkers like Dreadnoughts or vehicles with attachments that make them very nasty when ramming, like the Goliath Rockgrinder). This means it is often laughably easy to use cheap infantry to tarpit vehicles which do not Fly or have a similar rule (typically due to being very large and on legs), or, even funnier, tarpitting a non-Flyer with a Flyer.
      • While most fliers have the Airborne rule, preventing them from charging or being charged by non-Fly models, Valkyries have the Hoverjet rule which lets them ignore it for a turn. One player lost a game due to his opponent charging his Russ with a Valkyrie, and not being able to withdraw because the Russ was already backed up into a corner.
    • Vehicles have lost Relentless, and only some of them have gotten it back via special rules, so a substantial number of them are significantly less accurate than they used to be on the move. This is actually not Vehicle-specific; many other models have lost Relentless as well, including Bikes and models in Terminator armour. Combined with their newfound ability to get stuck in melee, this effectively means a double-nerf to Vehicles, helping significantly to contribute to 8th edition's apparent focus on infantry swarms, since your infantry now has fewer downsides compared to vehicles.
    • Instead of rolling on the Vehicle Damage chart, the more damage they take, the lower your vehicles' (and Monstrous Creatures') stats will become, with different models suffering differing stat penalties - so far every model seen has suffered penalties to movement, but we have seen penalties to WS, S, BS, and A - but always, so far, suffering penalties to three different stats. As a result, the vehicle repair abilities of units like Tech-priests and Tech-marines will likely become much more important now since they'll be able to restore a vehicle to its full effectiveness.
    • Vehicles now have armor saves on top of their high toughness and lack of facings, making some vehicles quite a bit more durable.
    • The Super Heavy classification was changed to "Titanic" with as of yet unknown attributes. Super Heavy Walkers can just step over infantry models thanks to "Titanic Feet".
  • Transport Overhaul: Units now disembark from Transports at the start of the Movement phase before the Transport itself moves, and any such units can move, shoot, and fight without any restrictions. It also appears that open-topped transports will allow the units inside to shoot out of them at any time and allows them to fire pistols if the transport is caught in melee combat. However, if a transport is destroyed any units inside it will die on a roll of 1.
    • Multiple units can all ride in one transport as long as it can hold all their models.
  • Increased Customization: When Games Workshop teased the datasheets they showed that Space Marine, Chaos Space Marine, Tau, and, more interestingly, Tyranid units had <Chapter>, <Legion>, <Sept>, and <Hive Fleet> listed in their keywords, respectively, hinting that factions other than the Space Marines will get to pick an army group from within their faction and gain bonuses pertaining to that group. (Note that as of the Index books this hasn't happened.)
  • Command Points and Stratagems:All battle forged armies get at least 3 command points now, plus extra from certain characters or from taking specific detachment types. Command Points can be used to trigger Stratagems, which have a variety of useful effects such as gaining a single re-roll (1CP), auto passing a morale check (2CP), or getting one of your units to fight immediately after a charging enemy unit has fought (2CP). Additional Stratagems are available in alternate scenarios like Stronghold Assault, as well as in the different play styles, with Narrative allowing for six additional Stratagems based on the mission (3 for attackers and 3 for defenders). Maelstrom of War also has a Stratagem that allows a discard and re-draw of a Tactical Objective after generation (2CP).
    • Each faction will also get their own unique Stratagems.

Known Faction Updates[edit]

This list is based primarily on GW's pre-release blog and should be considered incomplete until further notice.

  • Chaos Space Marines: Basic CSMs stated to have some kind of overall buff making them more viable Troops choices. Khorne Berzerkers have a rule called "Blood for the Blood God", which allows them to fight twice in each Fight phase. Chaos Leviathan Dreadnoughts confirmed as a new unit. Death to the False Emperor rule seems to be universal for CSM - it allows extra attacks for any results of 6+ that hit in the Fight phase against units with keyword: Imperium. Once, the extra attacks cannot produce any more attacks.
    • Failbaddon (and we still feel comfy calling him that because apparently every single member of the 13th crusade minus himself fucked off after Cadia) has his rules leaked: S4 T5 A6 2+ 4++, seven wounds, any weapon that successfully damages him has its damage halved (rounded up, so he can still be chipped away to nothing by small arms). Black Legion units within 6 inches reroll failed to hit, the first time Abby has ever really done anything for his army. His weapons are basically the same, Drachnyen is S+1 AP -3 with the same Daemon Weapon bonuses as before, Talon of Horus is Sx2 AP -3; both do Damage D3, as does his Talon-mounted twin bolter. Also, his Mark of Chaos Ascendant allows all friendly Heretic Astartes to auto pass morale checks within 12 inches.
    • Death Guard: They're getting the Thousand Sons treatment with several new units, weapons, and psychic powers. The new unit we know most about is the Poxwalkers, a gang of zombies that ignores the effects of morale and adds another model to its unit for every infantry model they kill. Typhus' special ability buffs them with +1 Strength and Toughness. Other new units include Foetid Bloat-Drones (Daemon Engines with what might be lascannons), the Malignant Plaguecaster (a Nurglite sorcerer), the Noxious Blightbringer (a plasma-toting banner bearer equivalent), and the Lord of Contagion (a Chaos Lord equivalent in Cataphractii Terminator armor and what appears to be a giant two-handed chainaxe). Plague Knives now reroll to wound rolls of 1 in melee. Plague Marines get a new toy called the Blight Launcher- an Assault 2 weapon with 24" range, Strength 6, D3 damage, and AP -2. One of their new psychic powers is called Miasma of Pestilence, which forces enemies to take a -1 to hit against the unit targeted by the power. All Death Guard units seem to share the Disgustingly Resilient rule used by Daemons of Nurgle.
    • Obliterators are weird now. And also probably not good. Each time they shoot, they get 2 shots at Strength 6+D3, AP -(D3), Damage D3; roll separately for each before rolling to hit. Max range 24 inches. Yeah, for a model with a Movement of only 4 inches, that's not looking good, so you'll likely have to rely on teleporting them in.
  • Imperial Guard: Commissars mitigate losses in Morale tests. Leman Russes have 12 wounds, Toughness 8, and a 3+ armor save. Seven different orders exist, all of which activate automatically without any need to roll. Only one with known rules is FRFSRF, which makes all lasguns and hotshot lasguns Rapid Fire 2- that's 4 shots per lasgun at half range! A whole lot of diddly indeed. Veterans are officially dead - they cost twice as much as a regular infantry squad, have been moved to Elites, lost their doctrines (no more carapace armor or camo cloaks), and have worse leadership. What you end up getting is a paper-thin special weapon squad that happens to shoot straight. This is especially annoying as GW promised that they would be MORE useful in this edition, not less. This is probably GW's hamfisted way of getting you to buy more Zions Scions who can be taken as TROOPS! Meanwhile Rough riders miraculously survived being cut from 8th Edition - they have 2 wounds and can Outflank, and are now as cheap as any bog-standard infantry squad.
    • The Leman Russ Punisher becomes a whole lot more useful despite not actually changing that much due to the way wounds are resolved now.
    • The Wyvern can potentially roll 24 dice (typically 14) when it fires, and while it loses re-rolls to hit, it still re-rolls to wound; it also saw a big cost increase, which is probably fine since it was cheap as all hell before anyway.
    • Uriah Jacobus now has both the Adeptus Ministorum and Astra Militarum faction keywords, acting as an incredibly buffed up Ministorum Priest.
    • Sly Marbo does another freaking disappearing act after being brought back for about two months. Hopefully, he'll show up in a new codex or get released as a data slate, and maybe we won't have to wait years for it this time.
    • The loss of platoons puts an end to being able to cram multiple units into a single slot, forcing you to put a lot more thought into your slot choices now and weigh your options rather than just loading up until you hit your points limit. On the other hand, Guard players are no longer constrained by the "go big or go home" attitude that the minimum sizes for platoons, formations and decurions of 7th seemed to enforce, greatly reducing the cost of a playable Guard army in both points and dollars.
  • Eldar: All Phoenix Lords now have 2+ armor saves. Asurmen now can inflict mortal wounds and grant invulnerable saves to nearby allies. Battle Focus is still a thing. Striking Scorpions' Mandiblasters deal extra mortal wounds at the start of a Fight phase. Howling Banshees move very fast and can hit first in the Fight phase even if they weren't the ones to charge. Avatar of Khaine can ignore some mortal wounds, and both forms of the Wailing Doom roll 2D6 for damage, selecting the higher number for the result.
  • Chaos Daemons:Each Daemon type gets their own unique ability. Khorne Daemons gain an extra attack and Strength point whenever they charge or get charged at. Tzeentch Daemons get +1 to all invulnerable saves. Slaanesh daemons almost always hit first in combat even if they weren't the ones charging, and Nurgle daemons ignore wounds on a 5+. Lords of Change have a 4+ invulnerable save and 16 wounds. Daemonettes gain an extra attack if taken in units of 20 and a to-wound roll of 6 for them makes their attacks have AP-4. Nurglings can deploy closer to enemy units than normal.
  • Tau Empire: Stormsurge anchors now convey a +1 to hit in shooting. Stormsurge can fire at different targets for each of its 10 weapons, ignores the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons, and can fall back from combat without giving up its ability to shoot. Markerlight hits now confer a stacking buff that changes depending on how many Markerlight tokens the targetted unit currently has, 1 Markerlight token allows re-rolling of a to hit roll of 1, 2 tokens allows models with Seeker Missiles to fire them at regular BS, rather than hitting on a 6+ only. Crisis Battlesuits can also fire at different targets with all their weapons and share the ability to fall back without being unable to shoot. Drones now set up with the unit to which they are "attached" at the beginning of the battle, but are treated as separate units from then on, making them full fledged units rather than weird unit/wargear hybrids. No more penalties for Ethereals dying, and Invocations of the Elements seem to be usable once per turn per Ethereal, rather than once per game. Seeker Missiles now inflict Mortal Wounds. Riptides changed to 209 blank and lose squading (painful but necessary) and stormsurges are...150 points (making them now a viable choice).(although those prices are before paying for weapons and other wargear).
  • Dark Eldar: Dark Eldar transports get a 5+ invulnerable save against shooting attacks and can fire heavy weapons after moving with no penalty. Incubus leaders gain +2 damage on a to wound roll of 6, and klaives are S+1 AP-3. Dark Lance is S8 AP-4 D6 damage, Disintegrator Cannon is 3 shots with AP-3 and 2 damage. Wyches have a 4- invulnerable save in assault and force a roll-off against units trying to fall back; if the Wych's controller wins the roll-off, the enemy can't fall back. Drazhar grants unspecified buffs to Incubi.
  • Imperial Knights: Ion Shield is now a 5+ invulnerable save against shooting attacks that isn't restricted to facing. Base stats for a Knight Errant are 8" movement, WS/BS 3+, Strength 8, Toughness 8, 24 (!) wounds, 4 attacks, Leadership 9, and a 3+ armor save. Thermal Cannon is Heavy D3, S9, AP-4, D6 damage, rolling 2 dice and picking the highest value when in half range. Battle Cannon deals d6 shots when used against a unit with at least 5 models. Reaper chainsword and thunderstrike gauntlet do 6 damage, and the latter's throw ability allows it to deal D3 mortal wounds on a target within 9" on a 4+. They can also leave combat with regular infantry without losing the ability to shoot. Stomps apparently modified to act more like regular melee attacks.
  • Tyranids: Swarmlord's base stats are 9" movement, WS 2+, BS 3+, Strength 8, Toughness 6, 12 wounds, 7 attacks, Leadership 10, an armor save of 3+, and a 5+ invulnerable save that upgrades to 4+ in melee. His boneswords are AP -3 and deal d6 damage, and he has an ability that allows a friendly unit to move again in the shooting phase (which is very powerful given that most Tyranid units will have very high movement scores and that the Swarmlord can use it on himself to move 18" in a single movement phase). Catalyst gives the ability to ignore wounds suffered on a 5+. Hormagaunts have a movement of 8". Genestealers have a 5+ invulnerable save, 8" movement, can charge after advancing, have their attacks increased to 4 when in a unit of at least 10, and have a WS of 2+ when a Broodlord is taken with them. Additionally, their Rending Claws are AP-4 on a to wound roll of 6, which means that a full unit of 20 Genestealers is going to be causing 80+ attacks that hit on a 2+ and have a chance to ignore any armor. Synapse now grants total immunity to morale to all Tyranids in range, making it invaluable for swarms. Pyrovores briefly described as "one of the most improved units in the new edition".
  • Orks: Meganobz have 3 wounds. Choppas are S User, AP 0, 1 Damage and add an extra attack (like a Space Marine chainsword). Big Choppas are S+2, AP-1, and 2 Damage. A Warboss within 3" of an Ork unit trying to flee can inflict d3 hits on them to stop them from doing so. Nobs can roll a d6 for any nearby Ork units trying to flee; on a 6 the unit doesn't flee. Mob Rule now allows an Ork unit to set its Ld value equal to either its unit size or the Ld value of a nearby unit, which means the average blob of Boyz will be packing a Ld at least double that of other line infantry (and make the morale issues that plagued Orks in 7e a thing of the past when combined with the Warboss and Nob abilities). Painboy grants nearby infantry and bikes a 6+ against wounds suffered, and Big Mek with Kustom Force Field grants a 5+ invulnerable save. Warboss's WAAAGH! ability lets allied Ork units within 6" to charge after advancing. 'Ere We Go! allows failed charge rolls to be re-rolled. The psychic power Da Jump allows an Ork Infantry unit within 6″ of the Weirdboy using it to be teleported to any point more than 9″ away from enemy units on the battlefield. According to the Index, 'Ard Boyz have been removed. All Orks (aside from Gretchin) have their strength increased by 1 from previous editions, but have lost Furious Charge. Mobs of Boyz get bonus attacks in melee if they charge in with units over 20+.
  • Genestealer Cults: Cult Ambush now allows units deployed with it to move on the same turn they arrive. All Characters have a Look Out, Sir! equivalent called Unquestioning Loyalty that allows them to avoid taking an unsaved wound on a 4+. Mass Hypnosis disables an enemy unit from firing Overwatch, forces them to strike last in combat even if they were the one who charged that turn, and adds a -1 penalty to hit. A Genestealer Cult Battle-forged army can take one Astra Militarum detachment for each Genestealer Cult detachment present, even in Matched Play (in order to represent Brood Brothers; however, the detachments can't mix keywords- they have to be either all Genestealer Cult or all AM). Clearance Incinerator has 12" range and hits d6 times. Demolition Charge Cache is d6 shots, Strength 8, AP -3, d3 damage. Goliath Rockgrinder's Drilldozer Blade is S 8, AP -2, 6+d3 Attacks, and d3 damage. Patriarch allows nearby units to ignore morale.
  • Space Marines: Primaris Marines are a thing, as has been previously mentioned; while an individual one has better stats and gear than a "normal" marine, they cost significantly more points and have highly limited wargear choices, more akin to Aspect Warriors than Marines. Centurions have 2+ armor and 3 wounds. Centurion Missile Launcher is S8, AP -2, d3 damage. Grav-Cannon/Grav-Amp combo is 24" range, Heavy 4, S5, AP -3, 1 damage (d3 damage if the target's armor save is 3+ or better): while it's still a pretty good choice against heavy infantry with multiple wounds, it's far from the unstoppable death machine it used to be. Predators are T7 with 11 wounds. Guilliman's gun is Rapid Fire 3, S6, AP-1, 2 damage; his sword is S +2, AP -4, 3 damage, and on a 6+ it causes d3 additional mortal wounds. The Armor of Fate has a 3+ invulnerable save and lets Guilliman revive himself on a 4+ the first time he's removed as a casualty. All Ultramarines witin 6" of Guilliman re-roll all failed to hit and to wound rolls. Dreadnought CCWs are S12, AP -3, and 3 damage, and the Dread itself is T7 with 8 wounds.
    • Primaris Marines are confirmed to be getting their own transport. Besides the reveal of the Repulsor (AKA the hideous bastard child of a Predator and a Rhino with a Land Speeder's grav-plates for treads), the leaked datasheets for the Land Raider variants has revealed that it cannot transport Primaris Marines. That's right, the Raider can transport Marines, jump pack Marines, Terminators, Centurions, and Primarchs (in 30k at least), but Primaris Marines are just too special for that. Same goes for all other Space Marine transports.
  • Adeptus Ministorum: So it seems that somebody finally realized that the Sisters were a part of a bigger faction, and as such their book seems to get a name change, and one hell of a buff! Seriously while the leaks have yet to include points values, if the Power Levels are anything to go by they'll stay pricier than guard but less than Marines, and all of their abilities have been bumped up.
    • To start with, Acts of Faith are semi-random, in that you have to roll to see if they're performed still, and you only get one per turn. You can increase this by getting an Imagifier or Celestine, and the Acts of Faith basically give you extra phases. You may move as if it were the movement phase, shoot as if it were the shooting phase, fight in close combat as if it were that phase, or restore wounds to a model/bring a dead model back to life as if you were a cheating bastard taking advantage of a distracted opponent. The advantage of being able to move/shoot/attack twice shouldn't be underestimated, as this means you can immediately attack your opponent in melee, then disengage in the movement phase to allow other units to shoot them without the chance of that other unit fighting back.
      • A key wording detail means that units without the Acts of Faith ability can still have Acts of Faith manifested on them by Celestine or a Simulacrum Imperialis carried by an Imagnifer; Only the board-wide Act of Faith you get for free via the Ministorum on a 2+ requires a Unit have the "Act of Faith" ability, while other sources only require a keyword. This permits your vehicles (Exorcists first in line considering the punch they pack) to receive an Act of Faith from Celestine or an Imagnifer if they are within 6 inches.
      • Because of this, and because of how pistols and assault works now, Seraphim stand to be one of the best assault units, as they can fire their Hand Flamers/Inferno Pistols while in close combat TWICE before attacking to finish off whoever's left. Assuming they survived the opponent's turn, anyway.
      • In addition to being able to heal D3 wounds through AoF's, Hospitallers can choose instead to resurrect one dead model on a 4+.
    • Shield of Faith still gives the 6+ Invuln (and Celestine now bumps that to a 5+) and it also allows you to Deny, on a D6 and with different deny rules. Instead of rolling to beat the opponent's roll, you just need to roll to beat the casting value. While this does mean that things like 7+ powers can't be stopped by Shield of Faith, it also means you've got a 1/3rd chance of not getting hurt by common powers like Smite. Actually, no: Since you have to be beat the result of the opponent's 2d6, the only way you deny Smite or anything else of 5 warp charge is if they rolled exactly 5 on 2d6 and you rolled a 6 on 1d6.
      • Maths (since there is a 1/9 chance of them rolling exactly a 5, and a 1/6 chance of you getting the six, this means there is a 1/54 chance of getting a deny, compared with a 1/6 chance they fail, so it may come up once every few games at most.)
    • All HQ's are a lot more durable. Celestine is still a tank (having 7 Wounds now) and the Canoness is bumped up to 5 and given a Rosarius as standard (fitting as no player ever ran her without one), and with the removal of Instant Death this means your squishy HQ's won't be instantly wiped by one plasma gun.
    • Dominions got a new rule, one that allows them to move at the start of the game as if it's the movement phase, and if they're in a transport this means the transport does the move instead. Combined with AoF's this means they can move three times in one turn in case you wanted to make the Eldar look slow (it's unknown yet if you can combo this with other units in the army since more than one unit should be able to ride in the same rhino).
    • All Sisters vehicles got buffed. They keep Shield of Faith (which Celestine can buff, keep in mind), gain a better profile and the weapons changes also made the Immolater's damage output good again while the Exorcist causes D3 Wounds now.
    • Celestians gained a form of Look Out Sir! Every time a friendly Sisters model loses a Wound, on a 2+ they don't suffer the Wound and the Celestians suffer a Mortal Wound.
      • Given how the Sisters can resurrect each other now, a small Celestian squad could definitely be worth it since this applies to both ranged and melee attacks.
    • Repentia's got nerfed, in that they're only AP-2 whereas most Eviscerators are AP-4 (presumably so that you don't spend your AoF on only them so that they fight twice). However, the Repentia's weaker Eviscerators are effectively half the cost of the standard Eviscerator after factoring in the cost of the base model. Otherwise they're still great in melee as they can re-roll failed too hits while their Mistress allows them to re-roll failed Shield of Faith rolls.
    • Penitent Engines retain the spot of weaker CC Dreadnoughts, however they now have a roll that allows them to make their full set of attacks TWICE if you roll a 4+. If you're lucky and give them an AoF you can expand that to them making 16 Attacks at Strength 10 that all cause 3 Wounds each! Actually ignore that last sentence. They don't get Acts of Faith. Actually, ignore that last sentence, they do get to perform Acts of Faith thanks to a wording oversight that makes it so that only the free Act of Faith you get on a 2+ requires the Acts of Faith ability ; Both Celestine and Imagifiers only require a certain keyword. Disregard the previous false statement: the keywords are "Adepta Sororitas" and "<Order>" respectively, neither of which PEs have.
    • Not everything is nice however, most 'normal' Sisters have WS4+ now, though they keep their BS3+, and most units that used to be capped at 10 are now capped at 5. Still, those are minor drawbacks compared to fairly substantial buffs.
  • Necrons: Reanimation Protocols is back to the late 5th ed/6th ed version (the Matt Ward codex version), where models that go down are set aside, and you roll for them to come back to life on a 5+. The change is that now the roll for it is done at the start of your turn (instead of the end of the phase) and models who fail to stand back up can roll again to come back next turn, and the turn after that, and every turn until either the whole squad is wiped or they finally pass.
  • Adeptus Mechanicus:The Skitarii and Cult Mechanics factions are now grouped into one faction, although both remain as subfactions. Doctrina Imperatives are joined into the Canticles, and both have been nerfed. Kastelans are now separate from their data-smith but can also be increased to a 2+ armor save and a 4+ Invulnerable save. Ranger and Vanguard Alphas lost a wound, and every unit has a 6+ invulnerable save like Sisters of Battle.

Armies of the Dark Millennium[edit]

New Codices and Codex Supplements[edit]

  • The following "get you by" rules to bring all currently released armies up to date with 8th Edition; unlike with AoS, you are expected to pay for these. Notably, the Imperium and Xenos books are split into two volumes. GeeDubs imply that the factions within these Books will get proper Codices eventually.
    • Index Imperium 1: Space Marines, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Grey Knights, Deathwatch and Legion of the Damned. (The Space Marine book)
    • Index Imperium 2: Astra Militarum, Adeptus Mechanicus, Imperial Knights, Imperial Agents and Talons of the Emperor. (The non-Space Marine book)
    • Index Chaos: Heretic Astartes (Chaos Space Marines), Chaos Daemons and Questor Traitoris (Chaos Knights).
    • Index Xenos 1: Craftworlds, Drukarii (Dark Eldar), Ynnari, Harlequins and Necrons.
    • Index Xenos 2: Orks, Tau Empire, Tyranids and Genestealer Cults.
  • Forge World's Imperial Armour books will also be getting their own indices, designed to be compatible with the above-mentioned indices.
    • Imperial Armour - Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines, Grey Knights, Inquisition, and Sisters of Battle.
    • Imperial Armour - Index: Forces of the Astra Militarum - Imperial Guard, Death Korps of Krieg, Elysian Drop Troops, Titan Legions and Knights. For some reason Renegades and Heretics is also in this book.
    • Imperial Armour - Index: Forces of Chaos - Chaos Space Marines, Daemons, Chaos Titans, and Renegade Knights.
    • Imperial Armour - Index: Xenos - Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Necrons, Tyranids, Tau; no mention of Ynnari, Genestealers, or other more recent armies.

New Dataslates[edit]

New Campaign Supplements[edit]

  • The first global campaign revolves around the Konor system in Ultramar, with Chaos trying to push further forward into the Ultramarines' turf.
  • The next Warzone campaign book will involve an Imperial counter-crusade to retake Cadia using the forces that were still en route when the planet fell.
  • There will probably be another Warzone campaign centered around the aforementioned Imperium/Orks/Khorne/Tzeentch four-way for Armageddon, which might serve as Angron's reintroduction.
  • There has been an uncharacteristically large amount of chatter about the situation in the Baal system. New fluff says that the Maledictum fucked up the Tyranids on Baal who were then killed by Ka'Bandha himself, so expect a Blood Angels vs. Khorne campaign with possible Necron action on the side.
  • It's likely the Damocles Gulf situation will be revisited as well now that it's no longer on fire, though with the Imperium kind of occupied with its own problems, it could end being mostly Necrons vs Tau since Imotekh's dynasty is now right on the Tau Empire's doorstep. However, the last few expansions in this area left things rather personal between the Tau and the White Scars/Raven Guard, so they'll probably be there too.

Boxed Sets[edit]

  • Dark Imperium, the starter set for 8th, will be Death Guard vs. Primaris Ultramarines. It contains brand-new models for the Primaris Space Marine squads, new Death Guard models, and 5 new Death Guard units; the Foetid Bloat-Drone, Pox Walkers (basically plague zombies), the Lord of Contagion, Noxious Blightbringer, and the Malignant Plaguecaster. Fluff-wise, it is about the Plague Wars being fought in the Ultramar sub-sector.

tl;dr[edit]

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Please use the Discussion page for fighting instead of the article.

In spite of the edition (and inevitable meta) shake-up, the life cycle of Warhammer 40,000 goes on.

  • Powergamers are actively trying to break the system before it even comes out. For their part, the game designers claim they play-tested the shit out of 8th so that it isn't a broken mess (like 7th Edition), and specifically referred to stuff like death stars as loopholes to be plugged, so they may yet evade (or at least slow down, because who are we really kidding?) power gaming.
    • The unification of the stat line and the general trend to simplification is also going to mean that finding numerically optimised weapons and units is going to be much, much simpler.
    • Despite the extensive play-testing, the release of the new edition and indexes has still revealed numerous bugs, oddities, loopholes, and just plain mistakes in the rules and wording that the community (naturally) jumped on almost immediately. However, one could argue that dealing with the buggy early stages of the edition is precisely what the indexes are for and that most of these issues will probably end up patched when the proper codices are released.
  • Neckbeards are raging over the "dumbing down" of the rules. This is ignoring the fact that 7th edition Was a broken bloated mess with so many different special rules, random charts, cheesy formations, and supplements that it's almost impossible to keep track of what's what anymore. On the other hand, the 8th edition rules do remove entire layers of tactical decision making (like the loss of facing mechanics) and strip the unique mechanics and wargear that more esoteric armies relied on and other armies got their character from (the Inquisition in particular got fucked over by this) so they do have a point, but until GW gets off their asses and releases the real codexes we can't be sure if this is temporary or not.
  • Tournament Players are rethinking their lists since their 7th Edition "decurion formation detachments" are now invalid.
  • Garagehammer guys are still in the garage doing their thing.
  • Narrative guys are making their own rules and "forging a narrative", now aided by the "Narrative Play" option.
  • Lore fans are raging about the Primaris Marines, the terminal case of even more silly nounverbers and pants-on-head retarded dog-Latin names replacing established ones for obvious copyright/trademark reasons, and the story advancing in ways they don't like (The latter of which the remaining Fantasy players find to be cute as all hell).
  • Games Workshop is still trying to take your money, increasing prices by a third since the announcement of 8th edition, forcing Marine players to buy big expensive vehicles to transport Primaris models, and charging 25 bucks a book for the equivalent of the war scroll compendiums Fantasy players got for free when AoS dropped.
  • The general player base is stuck in the crossfire from the shit-flinging of the Neckbeards and Tournament players.
  • Overall, GW's claims that this will be the best edition yet are looking rather shaky, but there was clearly more work and effort put into trying to make 40k better than there has been in a very long time. Only time will tell if it's enough.