5 miniatures games to look forward to in 2023, from Warhammer 40,000 to Star Wars: Shatterpoint
We run through the upcoming models, tomes and more headed to a tabletop battlefield near you.
With 2022 well and truly behind us, it’s the perfect time to start looking forward to all the miniatures wargaming goodness 2023 will bring.
Many companies like to play their cards very close to their chest, with previews and announcements only happening a few months or even weeks before the books and minis are set to hit the shelves, but even the tight-lipped likes of Games Workshop now provides roadmaps for Warhammer 40,000 and its other games, so we have an idea of what’s coming up.
Now, I can’t cover absolutely every release by every company that’s due this year, but hopefully, your gaming tastebuds will be tickled by something that’s on offer. If you feel like something has been missed out, or if there are any games that you’re desperate to see covered here, let us know in the comments below!
Let’s take a look at what will be keeping our tables full and wallets empty this year, shall we?
2023 is going to be a big year for Warhammer 40,000, with the first book in the Arks of Omen series dropping on January 14th. Arks of Omen: Abaddon will advance the 40k storyline and contain rules for Boarding Actions, giving you a whole new way to play the game.
These are smaller games that are designed to be played with the Space Hulk terrain included with the latest Kill Team releases (the terrain will also be getting released on its own), although the battles will still be a little larger than the skirmishes seen in that game. GW has also released the Boarding Action rules as a free PDF on the Warhammer Community site.
Two new Codexes (Codices?) are due for release soon. First up is the standalone release of Codex: Astra Militarum - that’s the official, more trademarkable name for the Imperial Guard - which we saw in the Cadia Stands army set released at the end of last year. Codex: World Eaters is a whole new army that plucks the eponymous angry boys from the ranks of the less dedicated Chaos Space Marines and makes them their own faction, alongside the Death Guard and Thousand Sons. Hopefully this means the increasingly inaccurately-named Emperor’s Children won’t be too far from getting the same treatment. All my tentacles are crossed!
While the Arks of Omen series, which will total four books, is exciting enough, even more tantalising is what its release heralds. GW likes to drop these narrative book series before the release of a new edition and going by its strict three-year edition cycle, Warhammer 40,000’s 10th edition is due this year. It’s no secret that I think 40k is a bit of a mess at the moment, so I’m hoping we’re going to see some sweeping changes, along with the obligatory host of new Space Marine models.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
While 40k is having a big year, Age of Sigmar isn’t being neglected, with lots of Battletomes arriving over the next few months. Battletome: Slaves to Darkness is due on January 21st, with tomes for Beasts of Chaos and Gloomspite Gitz also coming to warm the winter months.
There are a whopping five Battletomes scheduled for spring, but at the moment we only know which Grand Alliance each one will belong to, with Order getting one and Death and Chaos picking up two each.
Para Bellum’s superb miniatures game Conquest has some fantastic releases coming in the first few months of 2023, with the Old Dominion faction getting the lion’s share of new minis. Probably fair, since they were only released last year and still have some catching up to do. The Mounted Strategos, due this month, is definitely a highlight and an absolute monster on the battlefield.
The big release in Conquest’s January-April 2023 catalogue is the brand new City States faction, a high-fantasy take on the Ancient Greeks which is launching with spear-wielding infantry and some of the most characterful minotaur models I’ve ever seen.
Alongside the Nords, the City States will star in a brand new two-player starter set for the rank-and-flank Last Argument of Kings flavour of Conquest, which some retailers have on their release schedules for the end of February.
Accompanying the new starter will be a second edition of the Conquest: TLAOK rules, which is set to include an overhaul of the magic system. It’s a brilliant time to jump into this fast-paced fantasy rank-and-flanker.
Star Wars: Legion
Also getting new rules is Star Wars: Legion from Atomic Mass Games. A points update was released in December, along with a series of previews of the upcoming rules changes.
Perhaps more interesting than the changes to the rules is the new format they’ll be arriving in. Currently, the Legion rules are split between Learn to Play booklets that come in the starter sets and an exhaustive reference document that is available online, along with the expected errata and update documents. While it’s great that the starter sets aren’t too overwhelming (the one in my Clone Wars starter is a mere 32 pages) and all the rules you need are freely available, the unusual split makes jumping from your first few games to full-fat Legion a bit tricky.
AMG is looking to change that; the updated rules will be in the form of a single, more traditional rulebook, which should be appearing online towards the end of January. There’s no word on whether or not the book will be getting a physical release, but I hope so because I love large hardbacks that will be hopelessly outdated in a few years. I mean it, this really isn’t sarcasm. I love me some hefty tomes.
In terms of actual releases you can pay money for, we have the wonderfully villainous Moff Gideon stepping straight out of The Mandalorian. He will be releasing in January accompanied by a squad of his robotic Dark Troopers. AMG recently previewed this guy and he looks like he is going to be a great addition to an Imperial army. Not that they needed any help, as they have been dominating the competitive scene recently.
Further down the line, we’re going to see Clone Wars favourites Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress being released, as well as Commander Cody and some of the other clones from the 212th Battalion. (That’s Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lot, for anyone not deep into Clone War lore.) Love ‘em or hate ‘em, ewoks will also be showing up as part of an Endor Battleforce for the Rebels, while Moff Gideon will slot nicely into the Imperial Remnant Battleforce. I am deeply in love with Star Wars: Legion, so expect to see more in-depth coverage of the game soon.
Star Wars: Shatterpoint
Speaking of the Clone Wars, Atomic Mass Games will also be releasing Star Wars: Shatterpoint in the summer. This will be a lower model count game than Legion, much closer to AMG’s Marvel: Crisis Protocol, and focused on the Clone Wars era.
The developers have talked about wanting to evoke the feel of Saturday morning cartoons, so expect a fast, action-packed game with lots of excuses to make pew-pew noises and lightsaber hums. More information about the game should be dropping any day now, so watch this space! Y’know, because it’s Star Wars. And it happens in space.