The 10th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 has been unveiled, bringing updated rules, new models and lore to Games Workshop’s long-running sci-fi miniatures game. What’s more, we’ll be able to play it soon - it’s out this summer, and the core rules for armies will be free.
Warhammer 40,000: 10th Edition is the biggest revision for 40k since Ninth Edition released three years ago. In a preview trailer, Games Workshop said that a key part of the new game will be offering a more ‘streamlined’ experience to new players, without reducing the flavour or “tactical depth and richness” of past editions.
“Our mantra with this new edition has been streamlining,” said Warhammer 40,000 studio head Stu Black. “[And to] examine every rule in the game: does this need to be here? Or is there another way that we can achieve the same result?”
This streamlining will include a ‘complete overhaul’ to 40k’s gameplay, with incoming changes due to rules for morale, terrain, turn structure, missions and more. Black said every model now has a “clear battlefield role and a thing for it to do”, supported by the updated rules. This will also include the way that named characters interact with other units in players’ armies.
In a blog post detailing some of the changes based on community feedback, Games Workshop acknowledged that parts of current 40k can be “overcomplicated”, with a steep learning curve for newcomers to the game.
“We’ve listened and the new edition has been simplified - but it’s not simple,” it said. “This is still the rich, deep wargame that you know and love - we’ve just doubled down on the best bits.”
One of the biggest changes in 40k’s 10th Edition will be datasheets, which detail how each unit works in the game. According to Games Workshop, rules for each unit will now fit on a single card, while rules for an entire army will be able to fit on a single page - avoiding the need for players to constantly look up rules specifics during games. The 40k maker added that every unit has had its stats and rules updated for 10th Edition, rebalancing the power and survivability of units across the entire game and making things feel “fresh”.
This will also feed into a more approachable, simplified way of building an army. Players will be able to choose a faction, a warlord to serve as their leader and the units they want - with a maximum of three of any one type, or six for more basic troops - before constructing their army to a set points limit.
The number of stratagems - unique abilities for each faction activated by spending command points - for players to choose from has also been reduced to “a handful of the best ones”, accompanied by universal stratagems that can be used by any army to react during their opponent’s turn.
The datasheets used to play Warhammer 40,000’s 10th Edition will be released as free downloads this summer, making the game’s core rules available for free online.
Games Workshop confirmed that the move would see the Ninth Edition’s codexes - aside from the Arks of Omen books and Boarding Patrols - retired, but encouraged players to hold onto the physical books for lore and inspiration. The company added that revised codexes for factions would be released in the future to replace the free rules, but would avoid reintroducing complexity to 10th Edition.
Brand new to 40k’s 10th Edition will be a new game mode, Combat Patrol. Joining the existing narrative-driven Crusade and matched play modes, Combat Patrol was outlined as a beginner-friendly variant that uses simplified rules and smaller handfuls of models - similar to a skirmish game.
The mode will be supported by the release of dedicated Combat Patrol boxes that include preset armies already balanced for a pick-up-and-play experience.
Those boxes will accompany a new “massive” launch set for 10th Edition, based around the battle between Space Marines and Tyranids seen in the game’s cinematic launch trailer. Lore-wise, the game opens at the start of the fourth Tyrannic War, with the biggest Tyranid swarm in the universe appearing in the Segmentum Pacificus.
Space Marines will receive new Terminators - rescaled and resculpted to look more imposing - while the alien Tyranids will see their biggest overhaul yet in 40k history. As well as existing units receiving new models, the faction will see the introduction of new monsters.
Warhammer 40,000’s 10th Edition will land this summer, including its new starter set, free datasheets and a replacement to the game’s current Army Builder app that’s promised to finally deliver on the digital toolkit’s promise.