40K Reaches 20 “Core Factions”


Everyone wants new armies – but does the Gridark even have room for more?

As we were organizing the BoLS archive we noticed something stunning.  Look at this picture:


There are twenty “core codexes” for various factions in the game right now.

In alphabetical order (we like to stay organized) we have:

  • Astra Militarum
  • Blood Angels
  • Chaos Daemons
  • Chaos Space Marines
  • Cult Mechanicus
  • Craftworlds
  • Dark Angels
  • Dark Eldar
  • Deathwatch
  • Genestealer Cults
  • Grey Knights
  • Harlequins
  • Imperial Knights
  • Necrons
  • Orks
  • Skitarii
  • Space Marines
  • Space Wolves
  • Tau Empire
  • Tyranids

Now that is just the hardcovers, so it doesn’t include digital only things like Adepta Sororitas, Inquisition and others.

It also doesn’t include arguably “core” supplemental books with strong rules that are commonly used like Khorne Damonkin, Angels of Death, Black Legion and others. If you count all the others we are around 30 factions!

What we have here is a game that is stuffed to the gills with rules in a way it hasn’t been in its entire history.  Even in the crazy White Dwarf-rules era of 3rd edition there wasn’t this volume of armies.


What’s the Problem?

There are many in fact.

Playtesting Becomes Impossible.

At a certain volume of rules and factions it becomes unrealistic for playtesters to be able to test against every possible combination.  The matrix of possibilities grows exponentially.

Allies Exacerbates the Issue.

With each codex designed as a standalone – playtesters have a fighting chance.  With the a la carte unit choices allies make available – there WILL be broken combos that slip through the cracks – and there are…

Less Room for New Factions.

We all say we want more armies, but really we are already swimming in choices. If you were GW and have to allocate resources – it seems an ever harder sell to add that 21st faction into 40K instead of giving it to another game system.

New Edition Inertia.

The more factions and rules there are, the harder it is to make a big rules change from edition to edition – even if the game desperately needs it.  The logistics of having to FAQ and update every book out there grows with each faction. A “clean break” that would invalidate the existing codexes and require new ones like we saw with 3rd edition becomes commercially suicidal and would alienate the customerbase.


What’s the Solution

It looks like if we want to see every more new factions being added to the game, at some point GW is going to have to do some codex trimming.  We have already seen some of this.  Black Templars lost their codex and got folded into Space Marines.  There are many now separate books that could easily be combined into one, such as Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus.

But one thing is clear, GW has a lot of brush to clear from the current codex collection if they want to give the Grimdark breathing room for expansion for years to come.

~How would you change the current list of codexes to keep the game balanced and poised for future growth?

  • nurglitch

    I love that 40k has so much content!

    • Karru

      Indeed, it has always been one of the good things about it. Of course, I do understand the concerns regarding the large amount of armies being a thing and thus making playtesting nigh impossible. This increases the power gap and makes some faction basically unplayable, which leads to less people buying then and then GW wants to support them less. This once again leads to even larger power gap, since factions that get ignored as the game evolves become even more unplayable.

      It wouldn’t be such a huge problem if GW design team wasn’t completely shut off from the outside world. If GW did more outside playtesting, events and listen to customer opinions regarding armies and what issues they have with them, they could see what certain armies lack severely and how many oversights they have done.

      • wibbling

        How do you know they don’t play test? What you’d end up with is a mis-match of ideas that make no sense and are the wishes of individuals to overpower their specific army.

        • Karru

          Or they actually get something like the General’s Handbook. A nice reminder that it was done with the cooperation of an outside source.

          Regarding the comment about “me not knowing if they don’t playtest”. Have you played this game and actually looked at the rules? The power gap alone should be enough evidence that they don’t playtest the game enough.

          Also, when they listen to the “mis-match of ideas that make no sense”, they will start to see certain patterns and notice that certain things should be taken into consideration. Then they could playtest them and see if the army is completely broken or useless and depending on the results go back to the drawing board or include it.

          An example of this should be give. When ever CSM comes up, there will always be a guaranteed comment regarding the over-pricing and uselessness of the Chaos Space Marine unit. When the design team looks at the arguments being made, there are far better options, cultists are better etc, they realise that something has to be done. Then they can go ahead and try to fix it. They could lower the price or give them rules/mechanics to play around.

          It’s not meant to be an order or wishlist that the design team has to follow, it is supposed to give them ideas or guidance. It points them towards problems and gives them something to consider when fixing the said problem.

          • trygon

            Overpricing of CSM is because of old issues. Back in 2nd Ed, their Codex was extremely potent compared to the loyalist vanilla version. The Wolves have always been extreme and need to be more in line with the rest of the SM’s. (Like wolf cavalry – WTF!?!)

            Anyhow, the 3rd Ed Chaos Codex was also very good and I guess the authors was chastised and CSM have been tempered. Sadly the loyalists have been boosted too much instead. I’m not sure the problem is CSM, but instead being SM.

            But SM will get all the attention as long as it is bringing in the money. The income from Space Marines (including factions) are enormous and my sources say more than 50% of the W40K sales.

            (I do agree with you on the problem of balance.)

          • Karru

            I am aware that the CSM pricing is due to being an old codex, but it was just an example. There are many other problems with the book like the useless Boon table and the stupid loss of Psychic Focus if you take a Mark.

          • Nyyppä

            Just a note, SM cost the same as they did in 6th and the mark also takes one power from the sorc, not just focus.

          • Karru

            I am aware of this, but technically they don’t “lose” a power from it. They just have to get a nigh useless CSM power, but it’s still a power. The big thing is the loss of Psychic Focus IMO.

          • Nyyppä

            They get the nigh useless chaos focus…

          • ZeeLobby

            Thank you! The writing is on the wall that play testing is minimal. I mean it’s fine if they admit the games not meant to be play tested. But I cringe every time someone says it is…

        • Nick Davidson

          Have you ever read ANY of the Matt Ward codexes?

          • DeadlyYellow

            “Sisters, we need to coat our impenetrable armor in your blood so corruption cannot penetrate it!”

        • Painjunky

          If GW actually does playtest they are really f-cken bad at it.
          Seriously, how many micro-seconds did it take you to realise scatter bikes and wraithknights would be a thing???
          For me it was 2.7.

        • Benderisgreat

          One of their staffers said as much in an interview. Something like “we don’t care about rules testing or balance, as long as we thing it’s fun.”

      • trygon

        Have you considered that one of the major problems isn’t in playtesting. Have you considered that this imbalance might be on purpose?

        Most likely the policy of GW is to sell as much as they possibly can. Space Marines make up for around 50% or more of the W40K sales.

        The only way to get new gamers in to the hobby is to have their army the “shiniest”. Since most new gamers tend to look at the “Heroes of Humanity”, the Space Marines, these guys get the most attention.

        So against this focus on sales, there has to be some compromise towards playability. Hence the rules and codices. But to maintain interest for the armies, there has to be flexibility. Thus the armylists that have been made more and more liberal over the last Edition. The introduction of Unbound Armies and Formations have given the sales a boost.

        On the other side of the ‘(gaming) table’ (pun intended) sits the veteran gamers that have moved on past the shiny elite armies and delved into the more esoteric and exotic alien armies as Eldar (of various shade), Tau Empire, Chaos or the lumbersome behemoth of the Imperial Guard and massive hordes of Orks and Tyranids. Some of these armies have the rules to survive on the battlefield, and some don’t.

        The gamers want something that is both challenging (close fought battles are better for both players than one-sided massacres), fun to build, paint and convert… with diversity.

        One way to give us this is the many codices (which counting all the subfaction codices and campaigns), that are unmanagable for most players. Just the cost of each book to keep in touch with what your opponent might put on the table is far beyond many gamers ability. Then remember all the rules (or at least to know what an opposing unit can do) is a task that is daunting if you have a life beside the hobby.

        In a way, this diversity is what drives people away from the hobby as well. I know many people that have quit playing, just because the game went from being fun, to being about who had the most money to give GW. (On the bonus side, the WD experiment ended in failure and it is back monthly again).

        What is needed (in my opinion) to rectify this huge task of ‘bringing balance to the Force(s)’ is perhaps more structure and less freedom.

        Consider that one problem is the lack of certain restriction on what a player can tweek the rules to do. By adding some limitations (or rather remove some options because limitations is a negative word and will make some players angry) some of the issues of the game could be balanced.

        One example would be that each army had some sort of Doctrine that would enable or disable certain units/weapons when facing certain armies. Also limitations of certain specific units would benefit the balance.

        My most desired change is to limit special characters to only be used if both players agree upon them. Also to limit how powerful characters you can have depending on what size the game is. I find it ridiculous when you have ‘Superheroes’ in small games. They either win big (or get killed by a lucky shot round 1 – rarely though).

        … and I just wish for some of the good old scenarios from 3rd Ed, where a game could be very interersting with different Force Organisation for the armies depending on if they where attackers or defenders, and what mission was played. That would be a game changer. (Including a stop of using Deep Strike/Flanking in some missions) just to make players use their brain instead of just lining up Drop Pods or sneak deadly units in behind the lines with special weapons.

        • Karru

          I do agree that the game is way more cumbersome in this edition and the last edition than it has ever been. When you mentioned that it’s about GW wanting more money and this is what causes the power gap, this is partially true. The reason for the power gap comes from the sales numbers, this is true. It’s not because GW wants it, it’s because GW follows the money. It’s a simple process, they look at what sells, in this case it is the top tier armies, SM, Eldar and Tau. They keep updating them and giving them even more support trough new books and models. Meanwhile other armies like Sisters, Orks, Dark Eldar etc. are getting ignored since GW won’t bother with them due to them selling less than the top tier armies. This is mostly due to the fact that the weaker factions don’t get played as much by veterans and new people since they are so bad compared to the top tier, thus they won’t buy them in larger numbers.

          I wouldn’t say that “most” new players go towards the “defenders of humanity”. For example, my local gaming club that existed got a bunch of new players at one point. Most of them started Chaos or made their SM models Chaos. Then they observed the veterans play against each other and listened to them when they talked about armies and lists. When they realised that SM had much more to offer than CSM ever could, they switched to SM but still used CSM models mostly. I have a feeling that as they get older, they will abandon CSM and just switch to SM full time.

          I also agree regarding your comment about restrictions to the armies and how they are being build. I started during 5th and enjoyed the heck out of it. The strategy was present during all phases of the game, from list building to playing it. These days, you don’t need to think about your list or “make the most” out of your units, you just spam CAD’s or Formations. No need to think, just spam to win.

          I’m pretty sure we will see something very similar to AoS and the General’s Handbook in the next edition. The Three Way Play, which hopefully will make it so that the Competitive rules won’t include things like Formations or multiple CAD’s normally as well as Allies.

    • Nyyppä

      If the content was good then there would be a reason to love it.

      • nurglitch

        I do love it.

        • Nyyppä

          Good for you. If I’d go to a store, bought bread and later found it covered in mold I would not love it. 40k at ghe moment is like that bread.

          • nurglitch

            Why are you buying moldy bread?

          • Nyyppä

            On purpose I would not, but if the store advertised it as a good product like GW advances 40k and it was still very bad like 40k is as a game I would not love it.

          • nurglitch

            Okay. I get that you don’t like 40k. I really like it. So more 40k content is good for me. Why don’t you go find a game that appeals to you?

          • Nyyppä

            I like 40k. I don’t like that me winning or losing a game has almost nothing to do with me.

            I play games that are immersive. My personal taste is such that makes almost every other game out there just boring. GW has the proverbial gold mine in their hands as far as fluff and theme goes. Most models they do are amazing and then they have rules that reduce the game mostly to questions like “what are you going to play, I’m using (insert a faction)” and answers like “I’m playing playing (insert a faction that is the counter for the first one)” and then just agree that the one countering the other wins, shake hands and move to the next conversation that has pretty much the same dialogue with some insignificant difference. If you like fast games then this is perfect since it’s about as long as rock/paper/scissors.

            I personally would like to play using the models I have bought, built and painted but GW just does not let me do that.

          • nurglitch

            So play a different game with them? Write your own? Stop indulging in the Gambler’s Fallacy.

          • Nyyppä

            Different 40k? We have more than one of those? There’s one that I know of and I’m pretty sure that if I decided to plagiarize GW they’d do something about it.

            What does gambler’s fallacy have to do with any of this?

          • nurglitch

            The Gambler’s Fallacy is when you bet more on a losing proposition in order to make good. I’m suggesting you move onto other games like Warmachine or Malifaux because you can spend time enjoying them instead of being miserable with Warhammer 40k. We really live in the golden age of tabletop wargaming where there’s usually two or more games available per genre. You should check them out.

          • Nyyppä

            I’ve checked them out. Out of the ones that I’ve found the problems are as follows: Boring setting, aesthetically less than attractive models, glaring problems in gameplay (40k problems are in balance), hard to get models or just plain ridiculously expensive models (even compared to GW) and so on. If all else is fine, like for example in Halo Fleets, I end up being the only one willing to play the game.

            So, essentially it’s 40k and 30k for me…and until 40k is playable again it’s just 30k.

          • nurglitch

            Have you considered a hobby outside of miniature war gaming?

          • Nyyppä

            Have you? If GW stops getting money they will likely wonder why and there is a chance that they will fix the game.
            The problem is not that I or many others don’t like the way GW handles 40k because the way they handle it makes it harder for most hobbyists to enjoy.
            The problem is that many of the people who have grown to dislike the game still buy miniatures instead of boycotting the company like they should. Most CSM players who actually wanted to play CSM have migrated to 30k and I’d sell my nids immediately if FW offered some (pretty unavoidably better) alternative in 30k.
            Somehow the obvious drop in CSM sales was not significant enough and did not in any way alert the GW and thus CSM fans have yet to get their update. Based on that it’s pretty false hope to get a nid codex that has more than one viable unit with one not so bad tax unit.

            30k is fine though. That’s what you get when professionals design things.

          • nurglitch

            I really like 40k and so I keep on supporting it because I want to encourage the company to cater to people with my tastes. It’s such a shame you’re not part of the target demographic, but considering our different tastes I’m glad it’s you that’s getting the short end and not me!

          • Nyyppä

            The black magic in the situation is that if I get what I want you automatically get what you want. If you get what you want I don’t automatically get what I want. Objectively speaking it’s worse that I’m not getting what I want. 😀

            You see when I get what I want you, I, the fluff bunnies, the casuals, the WAACs and the in betweeners all get what they want because the game works for all of them. All it takes is good balance and clear fluffy rules. It’s not a lot to ask. It’s not hard to do either. They almost made it with the eldar, they apparently made it with the GSC and I’m sure they made it with the deathwatch too.

          • nurglitch

            Except I have what I want already.

          • Nyyppä

            Exactly my point. You getting what you want does not mean that I get what I want. Me getting what I want means that you get what you want. = Me getting what I want > you getting what you want.

          • nurglitch

            Except if I have what I want, and you want it changed to suit your own tastes, who’s to say that it won’t suck for me? I like the way 40k is, and I say that as a competitive player.

          • Nyyppä

            The change I want does not make your fun any harder to reach. Balance is good for everyone.

          • nurglitch

            I’m getting a distinct Dunning-Kruger vibe from you.

          • Nyyppä

            Is fairness somehow a bad thing and if it is why would you think so? All I want is the eldar treat ment with better internal balance for every faction. It is the best codex design at the moment.

      • The content IS good

        • Nyyppä

          Fluff is. I’m talking about thd game.

          • Yeah, the game is good because we have more options and more diversity than ever before. It’s occasionally clunky (mostly the psychic phase) but the game is by far the best it’s been since the 3rd ed reset

          • Nyyppä

            Most matchups have a predetermined winner based on nothing more than the chosen codex. How is that good?

          • That’s really not the case if you’re playing well designed missions and particularly if you talk to your opponent about what you’re bringing before the game

          • Nyyppä

            Looking at the rule book there are no missions designed to compensate the handicaps of certain armies. Talking makes no difference either. I play nids and the one opponent I can reasonably play against is CSM. The rest are just automatic losses or wins if the opponent plays sisters. Also that conversation is impossible most of the time. I’m not going to haul my models to the club just to chat with random people. I go there to play games during which that chatting is just fine but before that it is just that much less time to play the game and in all honesty really changes nothing.

    • Couldn’t agree more

  • Joseph Muir

    We are already at 21, I did not see Codex Khorne Daemonkin listed.

    • Alpharius

      That’s not really a “core” book, though, is it? It references units from other books for the most part.

      • Badtucker

        It is… its it’s own faction

      • SonoftheMountain

        It is its own faction as much as Harlequins

      • Mike Salamandrin

        In the article, listed in “digital only and supplement codexs”

        • ImperialOrk823

          22 They forgot Militarum Tempestus as well

          • ZeeLobby

            Yup. I was gonna say this.

        • Yup, they do reference it, but it’s no more a supplemental codex than Space Wolves

    • kobalt60

      skitarii and mech really should be in the same book, back to 20

  • Alpharius

    The alphabetical order makes sense but also somehow irks me. I think I would have organized them per allegiance.

    • tune

      And it irks me, that it’s “Genestealer Cults” instead of “CODEX: Genestealer Cults” 🙁

      • SonoftheMountain

        On the front cover it says “Codex: Genestealer Cults” at least

    • SonoftheMountain

      and Sisters are forgotten yet again 🙁

      • Alpharius

        Plastic Sisters of Battle confirmed by GW.

  • Crevab

    Let’s look at your concern from (an attempt at) GW’s point of view.

    Playtesting Becomes Impossible

    Allies Exacerbates the Issue

    Less Room for New Factions
    Warhammer 40000 is the flagship line. If there’s a place for someone’s pet faction, it’ll be in 40k

    New Edition Inertia

    • Nyyppä

      As accurate as this is it’s pretty bad thing to be that. Ignoring 3/4 of the actually important things is not good or even neutral.

    • ZeeLobby

      Sounds like a model company, not a gaming company.

    • Ross Allan

      Or alternatively….
      Playtesting becomes impossible
      We have a finite amount of time on our hands. No matter how much we do, as soon as the book hits the shelves, more and more games are run, spotting possible issues. This is unavoidable if you actually want anything released ever.
      Allies exacerbates the issue
      No. People exploiting allies in the name of winning as many games as possible is the issue there.
      Less room for new factions
      Are you kidding us here?
      New edition inertia
      WE DID NOT WRITE THIS AS A HARDCORE COMPETITIVE TOURNAMENT GAME. WHY CAN YOU NOT GRASP THAT? Or perhaps you’re the sort to pick up a nice, comfortable family car. Perhaps a Ford Mondeo Estate, and then constantly complain about how it can’t compete in the Formula Grand Prix’s you keep trying to enter it in.

  • Dan Wilson

    I could see all of the Marine extended factions getting folded into a giant Angels of Death style compenidum.

  • WindSplash

    And no Sisters of battle. This is true heresy!

  • trygon

    Not that hard to clean up. Most of the cleaning needs to be done with the Imperial factions.

    Space Marines. Just keep it as Space Marines. Have one Codex.

    Imperial Guard – (like the Storm Troopers need a separate Codex).

    Adeptus Mechanicum. Skitarii, Imperial Knights and Cult Mechanicus into one Codex.

    Eldar. Add both Craftworld Eldar, Harlequins and Dark Eldar into one.

    Chaos. Deamons, Space Marines and Cultists in one solid Codex.

    Hive Fleet. Tyranids and Genestealer Cults in one book.

    The Holy Inquisition. Grey Knights, Death Watch and Adeptus Sororitas, alongside Officio Assasinorum.

    Necrons. Remains a Codex of its own.

    Tau Empire as a separate Codex.

    Orks as a separate Codex.

    That would be 10 Codex, where some of them would be larger volumes, and other would be smaller books.

    • monkeypuzzle

      Fitting dark eldar and eldar into one codex is like putting space marines and chaos together. I agree with most of what you say but you go too far at times.

      • Karru

        Well, for me they could just “remove” all mini factions. Harlequins for example, could just return to the Eldar and Dark Eldar book. Chaos could be made one big thing once again and Ad. Mech and IK could be part of the Astra Militarum. This alone would reduce the number of books nicely.

      • trygon

        I agree that the Eldar solution could be considered radical, but if you do this, then you could add Exodites.

        Still, a combined Eldar Codex don’t need to be all compatible. Craftworld and Dark Eldar wouldn’t be the same army, but could unite under the leadership of Harlequins etc.

        • twincast

          Plus, for better or worse, the Eldar plot seems to be heading toward reunification.

          • Ben Martin

            While I haven’t been following the story as closely as a should, doubt they are coming together again. I imagine it’s the return of both the Eldar gods and Slaanesh to the big picture, bringing the Exodites and Craftworlds together. Meanwhile, Commeragh is flooded with daemons (probably also Slaanesh). If anything I’d day the Dark Eldar are forced into Realspace.

          • twincast

            Well, “reunification” might be too strong a word, but I’d be seriously surprised if the status quo of the Eldar post-Rhana Dandra isn’t supposed to resemble that of the “Aelves”.

          • If you believe Eldar lore, there is no such thing as post-Rhana Dandra. And if there is, it doesn’t contain Eldar.

      • Drpx

        Putting marines and chaos marines together worked for 30k.

    • twincast

      Fully agree. Alas, Geedubs gonna Geedub.

    • Adrien Fowl

      I just couldn’t agree more with you. It would be the best path to follow.

      • Karru

        I would go so far as to say that IG and Ad. Mech/IK should be rolled into one massive book. Ad. Mech/IK is so small that they could easily be rolled into the IG book.

    • knightsanguis

      As long as they kept the organization how it is so people don’t have to completely rebuild their armies, I’d be fine with that. I can also see the benefits to merging codices, for example Blood Angels would finally be able to use Centurions and whatnot whilst keeping their own unique units. And everything would be balanced in the same way as far as Space Marines go.

      Not sure I’d put Dark Eldar and Eldar in the same Codex though. They have different units, wargear, just about everything really, it’d be worse than merging Chaos Marines with Space Marines, because at least they’d use the same wargear and certain special rules (to an extent). Dark Eldar don’t even have that. I’d shift Harlequins into both DE and Craftworld Eldar, and make it so they can take wargear from both factions (because I think the hobby aspect should be encouraged more in the rulebooks like in the old days when GW actually promoted creativity and I think Harlequins are the perfect faction for that)

      • trygon

        I rather think that the inculsion of so many ‘special’ Chapter units with it’s own rules, like Deathwing, Sanguinary Guard, the ludicrous Wolf Cavalry, Wolf Guards etc are a major issue of balance.

        A unified Codex Astartes. Deviant chapters should be included, but many of the newer heretic units should just be removed.
        If a chapter have certain special units, they are based on the vanilla version. Deathwing and Wolf Guard goes back to regular Terminators, but get a cost increase for extra options.
        Special units like Assault Squad Retinues should be an option for all chapters (after all, there are at least one Assault only company in a Chapter so it is an alternative for all), and if you really want to, paint it golden for your Blood Angels, you could.

        Deathwatch and Grey Knights should not be in a Space Marine Codex. They are Inquisitorial troops, not Legio Astates. Along side the Adeptus Sororitas, Officio Assasinorum and Adeptus Arbites, they are a force of their own.

        As a reply to everyone wanting to put Imperial Guard toghether with the Adeptus Mechanicus (Skitarii/Cult Mech) and Imperial Knights, I just have to disagree. The Mechanicum is a force of it’s own that operate quite independently, like the Space Marines and Inquisition. Further, the Imperial Guard is a large amount of units and vehicles that serves well with a codex of it’s own. In a grand Imperial Guard Codex, flexibility like different regiments (like some older codices) would be an opinion, adding units like Cadian White Shields would be easy.

        There is also another not discussed option here. To add lists for rebels. Some of the more basic units and vehicles are part of almost all Planetary Defence Forces. Hence there are a good reason

        Chaos cultists, Genestealer Cultists, TAU-loyalists or just renegade PDF in general would be enabled.

  • Sam Nolton

    i love that 40k has so much content, but we could trim like half the factions by doing Codex Astartes (Space Marine chapters that follow the astartes) and Codex Non-Standard (i’m sure there’s a better term for it, but a big thick book containing Space Wolves, Blood Angels, etc.)

    Plus just put Ad Mech into one Codex >.> there’s really no need for two mini books.

    • rtheom

      Genestealer Cults could easily be folded into Tyranids, Harlequins could easily be folded into both Eldar and Dark Eldar.

      Just start giving units keywords, and now you can do things like “The Goliath truck can transport up do 10 non-Tyranid units.” to avoid weird interactions.

      • Ben Martin

        Genestealer Cults should probably be kept separate, as they are different enough from ‘nids for it to matter, however I agree with the Space Marines. They are all effectively just Space Marines. (Although having one for very different chapters Ie. Space Wolves and Dark Angels, would be fine)

        • trygon

          Take a look back in history. Open a 2nd Edition Chaos Codex and see how several armies can fit into one codex. Also Angels of Death from 2nd Ed is a good example, where Dark and Blood Angels came together into one book. Two different armies, but no problem for any player at all.

          • Karru

            They could try to go with something similar that we saw with the 4th edition SM book. The ability to make your own chapters with positive effects/negative effects. They could also give some ready-to-go Chapters that have more “positive” effects or access to certain units, but they cannot be changed at all. This would be heaven to all SM players. It would also make it so that there is no need for different books for all the chapters, they could just roll it into one giant one that would allow people to make even more unique SM armies.

  • SYSTem050

    It’s great to see the never happy brigade out in force. GW finally gets round to doing some of the more obscure armies I have lived since there earliest mentions in Rogue Trader and everybody starts moaning there are to many armies.

    Sisters and squat players you don’t count I feel your pain.

    The only danger is GW following good old tsr lead and fracturing it’s own market

    • TenDM

      You’re confusing wanting to talk about 40k with being unhappy with 40k. I’ll ramble on for days about the game’s many, many flaws, but I’m still one of the first people in line when it’s time to point out how well GW have been doing lately.
      That’s half the reason why I’m so chatty about these topics. GW aren’t going to read my specific comment but for the first time in a long time it feels like these conversations might actually reach them. The idea of armies like Sisters of Battle getting their problems sorted out isn’t ridiculous like it was three years ago.

      I understand if this all reads like mindless GW bashing to you but it’s an exciting time to be having these conversations. The fact BoLS is talking in depth about a pretty major flaw in the model instead of just posting another ‘GW are jerks, they’re definitely going to release 8th edition in three months just to make us cry’ rumour is a huge deal.

  • Mike Salamandrin

    With AoS having four main alliances divided into subfactions via a keyword system, and faction codexes being fluff and flavored faction rules; it seems that 40K is going down the same road. As stated elsewhere you have the main Imperium (or Lords of Terra guided) Alliance, Space Marines, Chaos, Tyranids, Eldar, and Xenos Empire. I actually like the system, because it makes it easier to add new forces without making ten plus kits nor awkwardly sticking a independent subfaction with a larger one.

    • Ben Martin

      Separate codexes for each, but otherwise I agree. However, shoving Tau, Orks and Necrons together is a bit much

      • Karru

        Indeed, there is a problem regarding the “Alliances” in 40k compared to AoS. You can lump the Imperium together, same with Chaos and with a bit of imagination you can do the same with Eldar, that’s about it. All the other factions do not make any sense to pile together. Necrons want their own empire back from the “lesser races”, aka everyone else, Tyranids want to nomnom everything, Tau wants to spread the Greater Good and Orks want to fight everyone.

        AoS “lore” allows the alliances to exist, since from the days of Fantasy they made some sense. The only thing they forced was the Skaven. Other than that, all of the Alliances do make sense. Chaos includes all the factions that were originally affiliated with Chaos, outside the Skaven technically, but I’ll let it slide. Destruction includes all of the “savage” races, Orks, Goblins, Ogres and Trolls. Order needs no explanation, same with the Undead.

        This is unfortunately not so easy with 40k lore.

      • Mike Salamandrin

        For the most part they are independent, intelligent xenos factions that use use each other and other intelligent aliens as mercenaries/patsies/slaves. Most of them are linked by Allies of Convenience; which is more balanced and fluffy than BB Tau and Orks. Think of it as a possible xenos mercenary megafaction.

  • Andrew Thomas

    I wouldn’t change the quantity of Codices much, beyond consolidating some factions, but I would add more generic weapon and wargear options across factions so that each faction has a baseline level of competence in a given aspect of the game.

  • Nyyppä

    Do the AoS grand alliance thing and be done with it. What we actually need is a living balance tool for the game. It does not have to be simpler but it has to be clearer and balanced.

  • miteyheroes

    Daemonkin is a self-contained book, you don’t need to own CSM or CD, so deserves a place on that list.

  • I’m against trimming them down to single “Space Marine” or “Eldar” codex releases. Yes, having a big compedium would be nice, I agree. But then, those should be rules-only. The amount of fluff that got lost between editions simply due to Black Templars getting returned into the Codex: Space Marines was sad.

    In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I’d like more individual faction books, with their own fluff sections. Exodites, Ally supplements for the Tau Empire, and a big Codex-compliant supplement with extra rules per big Chapter.

    I’m all for books similar to the “Grand Alliance” tomes in Age of Sigmar – lists, rules, all condensed for people who just want to play the game and don’t give a damn about the background. As somebody whose priorities are the complete opposite, I’d very much like things to stay as they are in terms of format.

  • Magnus Bjerkeng

    […] grows exponentially! […]

    The number of combinations grow quadratically, jeesh people love to throw “exponetially” around.

    • It does grow exponentially if you consider the fact that you’re not only allowed to fight 1vs1, but actually each side can field formations/detachments from any other book too.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Well, 6 of those 20 factions are recolored Space Marines…

  • TenDM

    I think the solution is just longer, clearer, more organised breaks between core rulebook edition releases. 40 core factions over a 10 year life span is nothing. Four books a year. Even at 8 years that’s a ton of books.
    The big issue is with GW’s, shall we say, laid back approach to rule writing. A Warhammer 40,000 core rulebook can’t last 10 years because there is constantly something that needs to be wiped off. If they can get that a bit more under control pre-release they should be able to minimise the need for a new edition just by creating a Tournament Mode with banned/restricted lists on their website.
    The only major drawback is that it’ll probably mean non-Space Marine armies get less love as they’ll be waiting longer between main Codex updates.

  • Mr.Fister

    I want a Jokaero Weaponsmith codex!

  • OolonColluphid

    Some downsizing should happen before the lunch of 8th edition, Cult Mechanicus and Skitarii don’t really need two separate codecs.

    • Nyyppä

      GW could just copy the HH army list build from FW. One book for a faction and if needed another to hold the sub factions. Mechs would easily fit in one book, marines would need 2, so would CSM if GW wanted to make the CSM fluffy again….but the rest would just need one book to hold all their stuff. Renegades, GSC and AM would fit in to one the same book too.

      I’m sure my point is clear now so I’ll stop before this goes from an idea to rambling.

      • OolonColluphid

        I also think that GW should just do go with making FW style army list. It would be less cluttered, but GW is hardly known to do anything sensible.
        Me, I wish they would bring back Witch Hunters so we get both Sisters of Battle and Scions as their own factions. With options of adding Grey Knights or Deathwatch units into the Force Chart when needed.

        • Nyyppä

          Technically they have that now. Inquisition, GK, Sisters and Scions all have their codices. It’s not great but the tools are there. It’s not like pseudo CSM or the other jokes that are supposed to be the major threats of the mortal realms.

  • cudgel

    lol half the factions are Human and over half the human factions are Space Marines…..

  • Dumbcow1

    I want our codex back…

    • Nyyppä

      So do CSM and Nid players.

  • ZeeLobby

    I like the tons of content. I just wish they’d offer a limited set or play tested set for match play. Something that gets as many factions in as possible, without making it impossible to find a fair game.

  • Drpx

    Don’t worry, if it gets too big, they’ll just explode the Eye of Terror, squat everything that’s not Chaos or Space Marine and start over.

    All this has happened before and all this will happen again.

  • Hunlow

    1. Make the core rulebook the “game rules” and needed to play the game then charge for it.

    2. Release every faction codex for free but charge for models.

    3. Remove fluff from rule books and let Black Library handle it.

    GDub is triple dipping in my wallet. Im ok with paying for rules and paying for models but GW doesn’t work that way. They make the customer pay multiple times for rules and sell models in the smallest squads possible and it’s super obnoxious as a consumer.

    • Hunlow

      The point of this was faction rules could be change easier if there was no charge for them. The money charged makes an artifical barrier that GW is reluctant to remove.

  • José Monteagudo Ibarreta

    It is cool to have so much choices but I think we have just too many factions. I mean, I play space marines, but we have like 4 codices for power armor guys. I think we should seriously fold some factions into a single codex. Thats not to talk of armies that should have been a single codex all along, like the mechanicus armies.

  • Master Avoghai

    Like said : the skitarii and admech codex could be gathered in one.

    Also, you could gather GK, sista, inq and assassins in one single codex named “allies of the imperium”

    Finally with the rumours of a mini end time for 40k and GW pushing forward the harlequins, I easily imagine them removing most of the aspect range (after all they are still in resin hey) and “replacing” them by the harlequins in the codex…

  • David Metcalfe

    how much play testing should they do? 20 armies, 12 missions, 3 board set ups, say 4 different sizes of game (1000, 1500, 1750, 2k) and going first or second. that is 5760 games as say 3hours a game so 17230hrs or 2160 man days. ad that doesn’t take into account allies, FW, terrain setup, opponent ability, army selection, etc

  • Benderisgreat

    You can compress all the Imperial factions into one if it helps.

  • Thokt

    Could there be a better argument for an app that contains all of this for free?

  • one core book for all Imperial (non marine) Forces, One core book for all Space Marine forces, One Core Book for tyranid/genestealer forces, one core book for all Eldar factions, One core book for all Chaos Factions and one core book for all other xenos factions, yes they would be big hefty priced books, but you won’t need so many!