40K: We Need A General’s Handbook


It’s Time. We need a Warhammer 40,000 General’s Handbook.

The Age of Sigmar General’s Handbook was a very literal game-changer for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. It did more than offer 3 different ways to play. Yes, it added much-needed points (not because points are balanced but because they give folks a base-line on what size they are playing), but it did something else that was also needed: Consolidated ALL the units/formations into ONE book.

It also gave formations a points cost and “fixed” summoning as well. If those changes weren’t enough it also outline some structure for tournament, campaign and matched play. It was and still is a very pivotal book in the development of Age of Sigmar.

So what does this have to do with Warhammer 40,000? Well I think it’s time that Games Workshop followed their own example. Warhammer 40,000 has become cluttered with Formations and Datasheets everywhere – that’s the first problem. There are also issues with the allies chart needing an update to accommodate new factions, the issues with the psychic phase, new phases of the game that have been added-on (and mostly ignored), issues with flyers…the list keeps going.

The good news is that Games Workshop already has the Template for how to make a great General’s Handbook – because they already made one.

60040299063_generalshandbookeng01Seriously – It’s Great

With a Warhammer: 40,000 Generals Handbook they could make some sweeping changes to the game. Now, that probably won’t happen because, let’s be honest, the shadow of 8th Edition coming is looming in the distance. So, for now, I’ll table the rules issues and extra phases – But this book is still needed because we NEED a book that lists all the formations.

We need a comprehensive list of each faction’s Datasheets – including Units and Formations – in single place. We shouldn’t have to go to a third-party website (even if it’s thorough) to find this information. If we can’t get a printed book, could we at least get a digital app?


The Age of Sigmar App is free and has all the units and formations listed. You might have to pay extra to see the full rules, but at least you can SEE if the formation your opponent is using is legit and not made-up.

That’s not all the book would have either. Ideally, it would also have solutions to those issues above, but more than that I’d like to see those 3 ways to play supported even more.

Tournament Play

Tournament Play has been supported by the players – the ITC has done a fantastic job of putting together a tournament system. Even if you don’t like ithe ITC ruleset, it is out there for anyone to use and it’s public. There is a reason it’s so widely used. There are also dozens of other Tournament Organizers that have put in lots of time an effort to fill the void that Games Workshop created when they pulled the plug on their Grand Tournament System years ago.


A General’s Handbook could help strengthen the 40k Tournament Scene. If I were Games Workshop, I wouldn’t try to re-invent the wheel here. I would create a simple platform that folks can follow to run their own tournaments. Readers, I don’t know if you’ve ever had to run a tournament before but even having some basic guidelines helps. I’ve run both small tournaments and medium sized ones – and having some type of guide book is SO helpful. The larger tournaments (I’m talking 100+ players) are on a whole other level of complexity – leave that to the ITC crowd. The Generals Handbook might not cover anything that massive, but it would be a start.

Open Play


MISSIONS, MISSIONS, MISSIONS! I want to see more missions that the ones offered in the BRB. Yeah, we have Maelstrom Missions, but I want different deployments, different objectives and I want new ways to play my armies. They could also “fix” Maelstrom Missions – did you get an objective you can’t complete due to factors outside your control (ie did you get a “Kill a Flyer” and your opponent doesn’t have any)? Draw/Roll again. Seriously, a couple of sentences would make Maelstrom Missions better.

Narrative Play

60010699008_ENGKillTeam01Start Here…

There have been books written about Campaign Play and Games Workshop needs to hammer this one home. Why? Because this helps retailers out. And you need your retailers support for the long term health of the game. Think about it, If your FLGS was running a new Narrative Campaign (aka League Play) every 4-6 weeks, would you want to be more or less involved? Escalation leagues that start with Kill Team sized games and then grow to larger and larger games keep players coming back. They also get people interested in starting new armies – or at least branching out to try different allies.

bols-dp-1652Get There.

If you’re a LGS and you’re wondering how to boost sales or grow your community, look into running league nights. And if you’re looking for people to play contact your FLGS and see if they are hosting game/league nights. People can (and should) already do this. Having a General’s Handbook with a structure to follow will only make this process easier. Remove the barriers to entry and you’ll get more folks playing. That’s just science.

ron-burgandyScience? That’s what I heard.


We need a General’s Handbook for Warhammer 40,000. It’s time to have a collated and comprehensive listing of ALL the Datasheets currently in the game, more structure for ALL types of play, and maybe even some changes to the rules, too.


What do you think? Are you happy with the current state of things in 40k or would you want some structure changes? Do you think we need a Generals Handbook or is there something else you want?

  • orionburn

    Let the calm, rational discussion begin…

    • Xodis


    • Karru

      It’s always so nice to see a group of well-behaved gentlemen talk these things out in a civilised manner with good arguments coming from both sides.

    • We’ve needed* a general’s handbook for 40k.

      There you go, fixed.

  • Viktor Julian

    “…could also “fix” Maelstrom Missions – did you get an objective you can’t complete due to factors outside your control (ie did you get a “Kill a Flyer” and your opponent doesn’t have any)? Draw/Roll again. Seriously, a couple of sentences would make Maelstrom Missions better.”.

    Most people already play that you simply draw a new Maelstrom mission, if you can`t complete it.

    “The Age of Sigmar App is free and has all the units and formations listed. You might have to pay extra to see the full rules, but at least you can SEE if the formation your opponent is using is legit and not made-up.”.

    If your opponent can`t show either a digital or physical version of the afformentioned formation, then he/she can`t use it. Your opponent needs to be able to see the rules for everything you are fielding in your army. Simple as that.

    • nurglitch

      The Tactical Warlord trait already exists for people that want to be able to do more than discard a single useless card per player turn. I think Maelstrom works better when you leave in the null-objective cards.

      • Karru

        I have played a single Maelstrom mission and concluded that it is one of the worst things ever. I lost the game 4-22 with my opponent having a single Wave Serpent alive, because I only drew cards that I could not achieve, while he got every singe one he needed. It is not a manner of skill, it’s 99% luck.

        • Eric Etheridge

          One entire game? You must be an expert.

          • Karru

            I have watched countless Battle Reports too, but in no manner do I say I’m an expert. This is just my experience AND opinion based on multiple occasions where I’ve come into contact with it.

          • Drpx

            Yeah, at least play another game where you win 4-22 or draw 12-12 before you point out the randomness that decides everything.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            But, but “Random Bad!” it is the clarion cry of the WAAC Power Gamer.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            He’s an expert in knowing when he doesn’t like a thing, logic and real world experience be damned!

          • Karru

            From what I have gathered, you don’t like skill. You don’t want skill to have any part in this game, at all. This is why you call everyone who doesn’t like RNG a WAAC player. You don’t care that when people say they want to have some control in their game, some form of skill and tactical based goals they have to achieve, they are just Powergaming WAAC players. I guess you would very much like a system for 40k where you do all the preparation stuff you normally do and then just roll 10 dice and whoever managed to get more 6+ wins the game with nothing else done. No need to play the actual game, since that would require thought, skill and effort, not just luck. But hey, I’m just a powergaming WAAC player in your eyes, so no need to continue that ridiculous conversation, since I already know you have no idea what things like “differing opinion” and “experience” means.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            You have no idea what skill is. Skill is not slapping your netlist on the table and mashing the ‘I Win’ button.

            Maelstrom requires MORE skill BECAUSE of the random nature.

            “I guess you would very much like a system for 40k where you do all the preparation stuff you normally do and then just roll 10 dice and whoever managed to get more 6+ wins the game with nothing else done.”

            Nah mate YOU are the one that liked 5th ed.

          • Karru

            Now that I have finally read trough your miserable comments that only want to insult instead of adding to the conversation, I’m just going to ignore you from now on. When I said I like to watch the monkey scream, I at least expected there to be some resemblance of basic human interaction. Instead it seems that you don’t even have that much going for you and instead you just want to fling s*** at people who have differing opinions from you. Take it as a victory if you wish, I couldn’t give a damn.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            I know you are but what am I?

            So much projection.

            You tried to claim not liking formations made you a persecuted minority like black people. You have zero ground to stand on.

            Start behaving like a reasonable person and folks will treat you like one.

        • Walter Vining

          ive played many maelstrom missions, they are harder to play as you need an army that is flexible and mobile. sheer firepower and brute force alone will not win you the game. you need a dececnt balance of both. git gud

          • Karru

            Ah, yes. My brute force army of Multiple Rhinos, Drop Pods and the tactic of covering the entire board in threats, while avoiding hunkering down is not mobile enough to destroy Fliers that don’t exist, Super Heavies that my opponent does not have and fortifications that are not there.

          • Walter Vining

            I never said you played a brute force list, I never implied any kind of list you ever played. sorry you had a bad experience with maelstrom, but its a lot more fun than eternal war.

          • Karru

            Don’t get me wrong, Eternal War missions have the tendency of getting very repetitive and boring compared to the Maelstrom of War missions, but at least in them I can fairly say it was due to a mistake most of the time. With certain rules, like the ability to throw away cards that are not achievable and all that, Maelstrom has the potential to be fun and even balanced.

          • Walter Vining

            That’s what we do here local and it works out great

          • Karru

            Yeah, I’ve seen many games that use that system, but my original comment was aimed towards Nurglitch who stated that you shouldn’t use that rule and instead just play it like it is.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            You could just, you know, talk to your opponent beforehand about this issue.

            Only toolbags would disagree.

          • Drpx

            That’s you and your opponent’s fault for not buying one of everything like GW intended.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Basically you need tactics and strategy, not an OP list with an I WIn button to mash.

            You know the things that folks like Karru here claim they want.

        • nurglitch

          You need to play more Maelstrom games then.

          • Karru

            Nah, it wasn’t for me. I have watched multiple games of it and it can really go anywhere. It’s slightly entertaining to watch, but not really to play. It’s the same I had with Tyranids when I tried them. It’s just that “not for me” kinda deal, you know?

          • nurglitch

            The learning curve can be steep. As you get used to building your army around it, and the strategies for racking up points, your opinion may change. I really like it.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      That’s the way we’ve always played. If you get a card you cannot complete, discard it and draw again.

      If you get a card that says blow up a flier and your opponent did not bring a plane, then you should be able to dump it and draw again.

      • grim_dork

        We play that each player, after seeing the opposing force but before rolling for any set up, can go through their deck and discard up to five cards and then you start the game with your amended deck.
        It works really well.

      • Ciaphas Cain

        Maybe have something like the ‘Burn Cards’ from Vampire: the Eternal Struggle?

        Have certain cards/table results listed as a bonus redraw/reroll if you can’t complete them for reasons like that.

  • Xodis

    Totally agree.
    -Free 40K unit rules and base ruleset, released simultaneously with a General’s Handbook that serves as an “advanced” ruleset for Tournament, General, and Narrative play.
    -Campaign books expanding the narratives, providing campaign specific (and Tournament/General applicable) formations, and even advanced fluff on any new units introduced (while still keeping the actual unit rules free).
    -Introduce new playstyles via Planetstrike, Cities of Death, Stronghold Assault, Apocalypse, etc… complete with their own rules and list any previous formations that are allowed so there is no confusion “If its not listed, its not allowed, PERIOD end of story.”
    -Actually use FAQs to maintain balance and prevent shenanigans.

    …Pretty simple right? lol

    • Severius_Tolluck

      well part of your list is being completed with that combined supplement book!

      • Xodis

        True, but we dont know if its 8e compatible, and if they will cover the items I listed like which formations are applicable to that specific game format….we can hope though lol

        • Karru

          It’s not FAQs that maintain balance and they are only able to keep away some shenanigans. The balance will always rest on the design team. If they continue their current manner of favouring SM, Eldar and Tau while neglecting all the “evil” factions, the balance will remain in its horrendous state that it currently lies in.

          • Xodis

            Well thats kind of true. FAQs maintain balance when rules are designed to be balanced lol. I agree there is a design flaw in 40Ks rules.

          • Karru

            I do agree with everything else mostly. I just think that they should go back to pre-6th edition style of doing things. A base game that includes nothing “complicated”. No allies, Super-heavies/Gargantuans with their massively different rules, Formations, Alternative Detachments etc. Those should be their own thing from an expansion, like the Apocalypse or advanced rule set. The free rules should be even more basic than those we had during pre-6th. Basically AoS levels of basic, with only 4-6 pages of rules.

          • Xodis

            I can see that being part of the free core rules like AoS is, and leaving all of the extra rules you listed being part of the 40K’s version of the Generals Handbook.

          • Their massive obstacle they’d have to hurdle at that point is how do you get people to use anything that’s not “core official”?

            A big big issue for many many years was that people often ignored expansions and forge world because “they weren’t official, and tournaments wouldn’t let you use them”

            They might as well just remove forge world and anything not in the “core rules” altogether, and I think they figured that out and why the current model is what it is.

          • Karru

            But…. Tons of people played Apocalypse when it came out and still do, but with much less interest since it’s no longer “special”. It feels very much the same game that 40k currently is since it’s filled with Super-heavies, Gargantuans and Formations. Only difference between the two right now is the fact that Apocalypse has Strategic Assets.

            When you say “people ignore forge world and expansions”, I take it you mean FW experimental rules and possible Imperial Armour books and the GW extra rules like Death From the Skies and Stronghold Assault for example? If this is not the case, I have a feeling that you might have missed this mini game that FW released, it’s called Horus Heresy. Stronghold Assault is widely used, due to the fortification it contains. Death From the Skies is a perfect example of what the game didn’t need, more complications.

            I’m not 100% sure what you mean by your comment.

          • With all respect, I strongly disagree with you. Tons of people did not play apocalypse. Where I am, nobody played apocalypse.

            The internet forum arguments about this were epic. The internet forum arguments on why apoc models and forgeworld models never being used were numerous.

            People largely ignored anything that they could not take to tournaments.

            Where I am, none of the expansion stuff was ever used and when you tried to create public events using them you got massive gamer-stink eye for “playing wrong”.

            It was a constant thread on many forums complaining that no one wanted to play apoc or campaign expansions like cityfight or forgeworld filled with people backing up why you shouldn’t touch those, because they weren’t “official 40k”.

            I never ever ever want to go back to those days.

          • Karru

            Different crowds I guess. Where are you from?

            Here in Finland they were the shiz. My club played a massive game of Apocalypse around 6-8 times a year. When Planetstrike hit, we played it around 1-2 times a week, when we wanted to mix things up. I also watched regularly as the our only GW in the country did a lot of Apocalypse events during the year. It was also a massive attraction in Cons that there are around here. I ran one two years ago, but after that we never got anyone to do it, since all the bs from 7th edition had finally piled nice and high so there was no point. It wasn’t special or fun any more. It was just regular 40k with the Assets.

          • The states. You being from Europe is probably a big difference. In the US, the default is massively competitive and not deviating from tournament standard.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yup. It sucks, haha. Has killed local gaming outside of events pretty hard (Northeast Coast)

          • Karru

            Ah, I’ve heard it can get extremely rough over there for those that are not extremely competitive. That does explain a lot actually.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, there’s still narrative communities, but those same players really enjoyed pick up games as well, and it’s just super hard to find fun ones.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            The horror the horror.

          • Drpx

            Doesn’t help when new rules to overwrite those expansions months later. I bought Escalation and Knights ver.1 and then watched them be made irrelevant with 7th edition books.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          *e could be next week, could be next decade. Until I see official documentation I am not too worried. However I do feel that releasing any supplement books like death from the skies will be like the last time, where the edition comes within months and invalidates everything pointlessly.

          • Karru

            One of the many reasons why I never buy expansion supplements, especially when there are rumours of a new edition coming.

          • Xodis

            Which is why I really hope they go towards a “base rules are free” structure just like AoS is. That should keep expansion/supplement books from becoming obsolete and just require a FAQ along with the core rules to keep it all in line.

          • Karru

            I’m hoping for the “3 rule release”. One is the free rules, completely basic. Second is the core rules that are pre-6th edition simple and then third that is basically just a cleaned version of the 7th edition rules.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            ‘pre-6th edition simple’

            How quaint.you think that garbage was simple.

            Also all that would do is fracture the player base. More than it aready is.

          • Karru

            You do realise that pre-6th edition is a thousand times more simpler than we have now right? We didn’t have multiple detachments, alternative detachments, formations, allies, Super Heavies/Gargantuan with their own rules, at least 78 Universal Special Rules, Challenging rules, fortifications, random charge distances, Destroyer Weapons, 7 Psychic Disciplines, Psychic Phase, Overwatch, Warlord Traits, Hullpoints and fliers. I’m pretty sure I missed some things that are currently in game and weren’t in pre-6th.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Then go play it with the rest of the folks who think like you.

            Also Overwatch is pre 6th. 2nd ed is pre 6th right?

          • Drpx

            Not likely, they did the free rules because nobody would have touched AoS otherwise.

          • Xodis

            Cool story bro. Pretty sure that’s wrong though considering how well the GH sold, and any rules that were attempted to be sold would have been at least the GH equivalent….although probably less polished.

          • Karru

            GH was the soaring point for AoS. Had they released a 50€ rulebook for AoS when it launched and not offer the rules for free, it would’ve bombed extremely hard, since the outrage would have been extreme. People hate change, we all know this. It would’ve taken a lot longer for AoS to get where it is now if they had not made the rules free, since so many would have just jumped on the bandwagon of hating the game without even playing it and don’t really have the chance to try it out since you need the rulebook first.

          • Xodis

            I wont disagree that GH was a point of great success for AoS, but saying that a real rulebook would have been hated or not accepted like that is incorrect IMO. Most of the complaints during AoS’s release broke down into 2 categories “Where is my old world?!?!” and “4 pages of rules is garbage for reasons….!”.

            The first group can’t be pleased with AoS, its an anathema to the Old World’s existence, those players just have to deal with it like they have been.

            The second group however is where the GH success comes from. People wanted a better more streamlined ruleset, that makes pick up games, tournaments, and that’s what they got. Would people complain about a 50€ book? Yes, and rightfully so. Had GW released AoS with its base ruleset and the $25 GH handbook in the beginning though, it would probably have been MORE accepted, and accepted more quickly. People would still complain about the hyper focus on Khorne/Stormcast, but as we see in 40K with the Imperium that’s just Par for the course.

          • Karru

            I meant that had GW released the rules they did on release, the grand 4 pages, as a rulebook that you had to get trough the Starter Set or as a separate purchase (not free), it would have taken until GH to get going.

          • Xodis

            Oh of course, but I dont think even GW is dumb enough to try and sell a 4 page rulebook lol

          • Ciaphas Cain

            By invalidate you mean folds it into the rules?

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Could be one or the other! GW has done it before!

          • Ciaphas Cain

            The last time it was fold into. So I expect it to be that this time too.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Funny you say that, as a fantasy player I always looked down at 40k and thought how cute, that’s a kids game! XD Oh, karma…

    • Karru

      It turned into very much that. Currently 40k feels like a playground kid game. “My Giga Robot shoots death laser that kills you in one hit!”, “No it doesn’t, I have this Anti-Death Laser Shield that blocks it!”.

      • ZeeLobby

        Aesthetically it’s become transformers vs dinobots. Rules wise it’s just gotten to be a mess with 800 ways to write a list. The core mechanics are still OK, they’re just hurried under mounds of crap.

        • Karru

          Exactly. This is why we need to dial it back a lot. They really have to make all the extra stuff, like Allies, Formations, Alternative Detachment, etc. their own book/expansion for the base game. The standard rulebook, the one you get when you buy the starter box should only include rules for the single CAD system and no Super Heavies/Gargantuans, formations, fortifications, Alternative Detachments and all that.

          • ZeeLobby

            Totally agree. But you just look at the ITC and see them already wanting to add Custodes and SoS in, and I’m just not sure the community can come back to sanity… I think they need to just be purged.

      • Drpx

        Only difference between men and boys is the price of the toys.

    • ZeeLobby

      Lol. Your mistake INDEED!

      • Severius_Tolluck

        Hey didn’t say I didn’t like 40k, just felt it was checkers, and fantasy was chess strategically speaking. Both in the end are rather beer and pretzel, but I just liked to turn my brain off and make pew pew noises with 40k. While game face was on during boughts of fantasy. So when people talk about how they want their forty k to be more sophisticated then AoS I always giggle about what once that was!

    • vlad78

      I agree with both of you. But frankly 40k needs a new ruleset which breaks from the yougoIgo mechanics AND a compendium with all units available, maybe an online one to keep up to date with later books.

  • Karru

    I have said this ever since the idea of General’s Handbook/AoS’ing 40k became a trend. They should do 3 books. First book contains AoS style rules. Super simple, barely any difference between units. In this version, everything is blended together and you can get yourself introduced to the game no matter what army you choose. Second book contains the “normal game”. This is toned down to the levels of pre-6th edition. Biggest thing you could bring was a Land Raider and fortifications weren’t a thing. Only CAD is used in this mode as a standard, if both players agree they can use Formations/Alternative Detachments. Third book is basically just updated and more clean version of the 7th edition rules. It has everything we have right now, formations, allies, super heavies/Gargantuans etc.

    • Satyan Patel

      All 3 books should include plenty of missions and all books should include super heavies and gargantuans. I play with onepage40k rules ( super easy) and a friend and I team up against a super gargantuan. It’s a lot of fun. It introduces new comers to the hobby easily and shows them the wide variety of models to play with and against.

      • Karru

        I really don’t think they should be included within the “standard” game. That’s why I said they should make the third book that has all the “big” and cumbersome stuff. They can also be included in the first book. The second book is meant to be the new “standard”. The more competitive and “balanced” rule set, that offers a good mix of interesting rules while still keeping them simple. There is no need for the Super heavies/Gargantuan in it. They could make them just tougher normal vehicles/monsters in it. I’d rather not see the “only poisons on 6+”, “Ignores the damage table effects” Stomp, Thunderblitz and all those rules that they have.

      • af

        Thanks for mentioning the onepage40k rules. They seem… reasonable 🙂 It looks like a wargame I’d actually play.

        (They are not actually ONE page, though, even without army lists 😛 )

    • Valeli

      I like the idea of a super-basic set that lets everyone play any model from any list without needing to know much of anything, just to get them in the game.

      A “ravening hordes” style of rules, so to speak (not really) where a swooping hawk = an assault marine = a seraphim. It’s easy to learn the basics with, and no one will actually want to stick with it for long once they get to that point.

      I also very much like the idea of a normal rule set that takes things back a few editions, before super heavy’s and flyers became a thing. I miss that game a lot.

      The last one is needed, because junking models is /horrible/. GW shouldn’t ever do that if they can help it. But I’d really prefer it if games like that ended up being a formal “requires opponent’s consent” the way special characters used to be way back when.

      Obviously, /any/ game requires the opponents consent no matter what. But you guys know what I mean.

      I honestly think that playing your big units would feel more special too, if they came out for rare occasions and not just as part of your standard list.

      But yeah, I’m heavily biased towards “the good old days”.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Not going to happen.

    • Frank O’Donnell

      You mean stop playing apoc & go back to playing 40K ? not going to happen GW love formations & big kits.

      • Karru

        This is unfortunately very true.

  • Defenestratus

    There are no issues with 40k that can’t be resolved over a casual conversation with your gaming partner.


    • Karru

      So, how would you go about telling to your opponent that you have just met that you’d very much like to use Assault units/armies that can actually make it to the assault without getting shot off the board on turn 1, since cover doesn’t matter and Assaulting is extremely unreliable in its current state?

      • Valeli

        “Let’s pretend this is a surprise assault, and you don’t shoot me during turn one, ok?”


        Fast conversation.

        • Karru

          And what about when he says, “No, I’d like to play a normal game of 40k.” Just don’t play because someone doesn’t want to give you an unfair advantage over them?

          • I’d argue that the normal game of 40k gives a side an unfair advantage in the first place 🙂

            The unfair advantage would just be shifted to the other side for a game.

          • ZeeLobby

            Definitely true. But then me and that jabroni might as well sit down and write a new game while we’re at it. Lol

          • I’ve been where you are lol and I did just that (too bad no one wants to play games that aren’t backed by companies so we are at the mercy of other people’s poor designs)

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, it sucks. Homegrown rules can be really fun, we’re just too diverse as a community. The random ork warboss that kills himself turn one is cool to some, and just downright frustrating to others. I don’t think it’d be as frustrating to have this discussion now, if I didn’t have to look next to me and see the WMH players, and the Infinity players across the room, just set down what they want and have a fun game…

            Not saying that those systems don’t have imbalances, but most factions at least have answers. As a CSM, DE and BA player i’ve spent the past several years asking opponents not to play certain things. It’s fine once or twice, but then you just feel like a jerk, especially if you happen to win, haha.

          • Preaching to the choir sir. I’m a thousand sons player…

          • ZeeLobby

            :O. My brother! (My friends still laugh at me when I put them in a list, it’s a friendly laugh, and yet pitying at the same time…)

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Then don’t play people like that.

            Life is to short to deal with fun vampires!

        • Kolobius

          As a Tau player I would never have that conversation. Unless I countered with, “My forces are being dropped in on turn 2. Are you cool with that?” So we just start on turn 2 and look I can shoot him.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            You must be a laugh. Do you play tiddlywinks for keeps too?

      • Walter Vining

        IDK about you, but none of my assault armies get shot off the table turn 1. maybe you need some more LoS blocking terrain

        • ZeeLobby

          In the perfect world every table would look like a maze. Sadly that’s not possible most times.

          • Walter Vining

            I don’t think its needs to look like a maze, I think the ideal table has anywhere between 7 t0 14 pieces of terrain depending on size and area taken up by then, with at least half of those terrain pieces providing LoS blocking features to at least a model the height of a riptide.

          • ZeeLobby

            Man, it would have been much easier to have those 7 LoS blocking pieces of terrain if every army didn’t have giant robots…

          • Karru

            Exactly. It must be nice to have the materials/money/skills/storage space to have all that massive terrain. Alas, we regular people have to go with what we had before 6th edition hit. Things that used to give cover, but don’t do that no longer due to the lovely Ignore Cover Saves rule that is so widely spread around that it no longer matters if you are in a crater or not.

          • Walter Vining

            LoS blocking to a riptide blocks the guns on everything but a WK and a supremacy, but it also gives other units a place to hide behind with a longer angle to it. its a win win.

          • ZeeLobby

            I just wish they got rid of LoS. Then people could play with the terrain they already have, instead of making it higher for each release.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Ugg, no none of this abstract crap that made 4th horrid.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Giant Robots don’t get blocked by LOS Blockers and in most cases they are an obstacle for them the buggers have to go around them.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Because WAAC folks with gunlines refuse.

            I was at a tourny once where the 40K players were moaning that they had too much terain, the FANTASY players waled in to their room and were shocked at how bare said tables were.

          • Karru

            Regarding the first part of your comment, you are saying that anyone who doesn’t play assaulting Tau and Imperial Guard is a powergaming WAAC player now?

            I really need to have your definition of non-powergaming WAAC player. From your previous responses, you consider the following people to be WAAC players:

            – Anyone who wants to have control over the army they play,
            – Anyone who wants to have the victory based more on skill and tactics, instead of 100% luck,
            – Anyone who doesn’t want to have multiple CAD’s, broken formations for some armies while others are neglected as well as Allies,
            – Anyone who didn’t build their entire terrain collection to a height of at least a Warlord Titan,
            – Anyone who plays to the strength of their army,
            – Anyone with even a slightly different opinion than you

          • Ciaphas Cain

            “Anyone who doesn’t want to have multiple CAD’s, broken formations ”

            We get it you don’t like formations. Change the record or better yet why don’t you and the rest of the moaners go play 5th edition as you loved it so much?

            “- Anyone who wants to have control over the army they play,”

            ‘Random bad, me can’t win at list building or deployment stage. Me have to think on feet. Me get confused.’

          • Karru

            ‘Random bad, me can’t win at list building or deployment stage. Me have to think on feet. Me get confused.’

            I’m going to fix this one for you.

            ‘Random traits/equipment/things that can effect appearance is bad, I can’t model them on my models before hand due to not getting the guaranteed roll. I cannot do cool mutations on my Chaos Lord since in the rules he is always unmutated and pure, so if you want to keep him WYSIWYG, no modelling of mutations. Also, don’t you dare do stories on your characters since they all automatically have schizophrenia and have no idea what they specialize during this battle.’

            Also, you still haven’t answered my question. What is your definition of a WAAC player or is the answer just “I like to insult others that have different opinions than me since I was never loved and never will be”?

          • Ciaphas Cain

            My definition is the same as most peoples. You might not be one trying to hide behind garbage fluff reasons, you might just be a useful idiot raging at all the things they hate for them so they can point at you and go hey he’s a casual and he hates it to, we totes didn’t convince him that stuff at we don’t like is bad honest.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            “‘Random traits/equipment/things that can effect appearance is bad, I can’t model them on my models before hand due to not getting the guaranteed roll. I cannot do cool mutations on my Chaos Lord since in the rules he is always unmutated and pure, so if you want to keep him WYSIWYG, no modelling of mutations.”

            That I will agree with to an extent, but most mutations are cosmetic. But for a modelling perspective I’d not object to Possesed getting buy-able powers rather than random ones.

            If that was your only objection to random stuff I’d believe that you didn’t have an ulterior motive. However you rage about ALL random stuff and propagate the lie that it is anti skill when random stuff forces you to think on your feet which takes MORE skill. If you aren’t a WAAC Power Gamer you need to stop listening to them.

            ” Also, don’t you dare do stories on your characters since they all automatically have schizophrenia and have no idea what they specialize during this battle.'”

            IT IS YOUR GAME, if you want to play a campaign an keep stuff from game to game DO IT! The GW Game Police won’t kick your door down and beat you up.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            “Anyone who wants to have the victory based more on skill and tactics, instead of 100% luck,”

            Ok lets address this myth shall we.

            Random aspects don’t take away skill or tactics, they actually encourage them. this isn’t craps or roulette, but it isn’t chess either it’s poker, does the random aspect of poker take away from the skills and strategies of the poker players? No it doesn’t

            The skill and tactics come in with how you use the random element to your advantage.

            You and others who rage at anything random in 40K don’t want to use tactics or skill, you want to win in the list building stage and mash away at an ‘I Win’ Button.

        • Ciaphas Cain

          How dare you suggest we play anywhere but Planet Bowlingball!

      • Drpx

        “Let’s play 3rd edition. I brought Blood Angels.”

      • Ciaphas Cain

        “Hey lets not play on planet bowlingball for one, lets have lots of line of sight blocking terrain and the like?

        “cover doesn’t matter ”

        It does when it is line of sight blocking cover. Sounds like you don’t know how to set up a table.

        • Karru

          Sounds like you have more money than you can count and storage space as well as the necessary tools for them. Beyond that, let’s look at some fun facts, I know it’s pointless with you since you ignore than and just jump into your usual “YOUAREJUSTAWAACPOWERGAMER!!!!” rant, but I like to watch the monkey scream.

          Before 6th edition and especially 7th, only things that Ignored Cover Saves were Flamers and Barrage weapons that were available to everyone. There were some special rules and/or units/weapons that could do it as well, but these were extremely rare outside the two different types listed above. They also had this lovely little thing called “not strength 10/D Multiple Large Blast/7″-10″ blast” that made them even less effective.

          This led to many, like myself, to build terrain that wasn’t sized around a Warlord Titan. Largest and tallest terrain pieces on the board were the GW Buildings like the Basilica Administratum, because you didn’t have to block the entire enemy battleline due to them having enough Strength 8-D AP1-3 Ignores Cover Save weapons because they picked Imperial/Eldar/Tau and you made the poor decision of liking Dark Eldar/Orks/Tyranids that rely on said cover.

          Unfortunately I am amongst those that weren’t gifted with the power of seeing into the future and realising that the game would be made Apocalypse where you needed waist height terrain pieces that take more room than your other terrain pieces if you wanted to remain on the board after turn 1.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Nope, not rich, I have been playing long enough that I’ve slowly built up a decent collection of scratchbuilt terrain (I actually enjoy making it).

            You can also play at your Local game store, they should have heaps of terrain.

            Also “Game made Appocolypose”

            You keep not liking the thing. Different scary new thing bad!

    • WellSpokenMan

      Or you could play a game you don’t have to “fix” for every new opponent. I had an old Nissan with a bad starter that I could push start and then pop the clutch. It was great exercise, but eventually I broke down and fixed the starter.

      • euansmith

        Quitter 😉

    • Ciaphas Cain

      But but interacting like a normal human?

  • I don’t need a Generals Handbook for 40K. I don’t care about half the reasons you say we NEED one. I think it’s more a matter of you NEED one.
    I also don’t NEED to be told that if I or my opponent draw the unachievable card to discard and draw a new one.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      “I also don’t NEED to be told that if I or my opponent draw the unachievable card to discard and draw a new one.”

      Smart people recognize this. Most people play this way.

      It should still be included in the rules.

      • Maybe your right.

        • Death Company Andro


  • Cylux

    I think it’s quite interesting how suggesting this say, this time last year, would have caused blind panic and rage, but now it just promotes a lively discussion. I suppose well done to GW on changing people’s impressions on AoS.

    • Karru

      I think that most of it is based around the idea that GW might have learned something from the AoS release. Instead of replacing the game with something that has nothing to do with it, including both lore and rule set, we might actually see something that is worthwhile.

    • WellSpokenMan

      I think it also speaks to how far off the rails 40k has gone.

      • ZeeLobby

        I’d say it’s this. Haha. I’d take almost any change at this point. That said I care a lot less now that there’s alternatives as well. Itd be nice to come back tho…

  • I’m not opposed to the idea. My issues with 40k can be thus summed up from most grievous to least in two points:

    * the balance is god awful. I realize you won’t get perfect balance but I need to see more viable combinations/factions. This has been an issue with 40k since I started in 3rd edition and has never let up.

    Update your points values regularly! If something is really good thats fine as long as *you are paying the appropriate points for it*.

    * the rules bloat is ridiculous. I spend a lot of time every game with my nose in the rulebook trying to find special rule after special rule. Streamline it. I’d be all for warscroll treatment in this regard.

    • Karru

      pre-6th did the rules very well IMO. In 5th edition rulebook, there were a grand total of 22 universal special rules. All the army special rules were printed within their own codices and there was no need to go between 2 books at all times. AoS Warscrolls have the issue where basically every single unit has some sort of special ability or trigger that you have to learn and when you face against a new army, it will take a lot of time to study all of their special rules for each individual unit.

      • My main issue with 5th edition was still its very poor balance and how very stale and static it was. (but a lot of that again came down to army codices and the min/max environment I live in)

        I dont mind the rules on warscrolls because I can lay them out in front of me as opposed to having to flip through a massive book every thirty seconds.

        Thats just my own personal preference though.

        • Karru

          Once again we see the “different crowds, different styles” phenomenon. My local club and some of the tournaments I visited (didn’t play myself), had a insane variety of lists. They ranged from full Ork Green Tides to Nidzilla lists. I saw a lot of different armies and army compositions during those days. Now it’s mostly just SM, Eldar and Tau, with Grav Spam/Wraithknight Spam/Wipe-you-off-the-board-turn-1-or-bust lists with them and every other army barely exists any more. When I see them, they are usually as shooty as possible, which is sad.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            At the beginning of 5th, there was a lot of variety. Towards the end, people realized how to bend the system.

            – Every unit should have as much wargear diversity in it a possible to game the wound allocation system.
            – Vehicles were super durable, spam them.
            – Small troops units were best so you could spread out across the board and claim objectives
            – Death Stars were important, always take one or have a way to counter them.

            This lead to cookie cutter lists, which are really not that different than the cookie cutter lists of today.

          • Karru

            Most of these are easily countered with simple rule changes. Considering that I never said that 5th edition was absolutely perfect, it was just a lot better than the mess we have now.

            Here are things you could do to fix those issues and some arguments:

            – 6th/7th edition already do the first two things well. So those systems can stay
            – Small Troops were very tasty when you rolled Annihilation mission. Also, at least they existed back then with a real purpose. Now they are just a useless mandatory choice you have to take in order to CAD spam. Also, back then you could simply tank shock them off the objective or just plant your own troop there. Now you just place your Objective Secured Drop Pod/Rhino/Chimera/Trukk etc. there and just laugh as the opponent can’t do anything to it.

            – I never really encountered Death Stars during those days. At least nothing on the scale we have now, it’s like comparing Death Star I to the Starkiller Base. The “worst” I ever heard was the dreaded Nob Biker unit that had 3+ Cover Save and a 4+ FNP, but had the price tag of 2/3 off your armies points and could still be blasted off the board. The only issue with it was the Wound Allocation bs you could do, but that is already eased with the current system.

            But once again, back then I saw multiple different lists that included ranged units, melee units, tanks, transports and mix bunch of characters. Sometimes I saw an army that focused solely on melee, other times it was ranged. Now? Ranged, ranged, ranged, ranged, ranged, ranged and ranged list. All armies focus on Alpha Strike or null deployment, so they can have the first shot. There is literally no reason to take melee units outside Death Stars, since they are so unreliable and the rules themselves are heavily against them.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            No 5th was horrid the only people that liked it were Powergamers.

          • Karru

            Well, I guess this was the case where you are from. In Finland this was not the case. Many that I’ve talked to want to go back to pre-6th when things were a lot more simple and there was at least some resemblance of balance.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            Then you guys do that. Stop demanding that the rest of us do so as well.

          • Karru

            It’s always fun to see you bring your intelligence to these comment section with your different, well structured comments that counter arguments with well based facts, like Auticus does. I’m so glad you don’t just automatically call everyone that has a different opinion as you a powergamer and move on.

            Wait a minute…

          • Ciaphas Cain

            5th WAS the powergamers play ground. This is why every bad Comp system and ‘radical way to fix 40K’ is basically attempts to neuter the game back to the snorefest that was 5th.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            But the cookie cutter lists of today have less effectiveness as there are so many options you may face you can’t prepare for them all.

      • euansmith

        I think that many of the AoS rules are probably similar rules with different names. If they just dropped the different names, the special rules could become a lot easier to keep track of.

        I like the way that Heroclix uses a bunch of special rules across its entire range of characters. Each one gets given a characterful name followed by the name of its effect.

        Character A might have “Psychic Mind Maze”, character B might have “Temporal Null Zone”, and charcater C might have “Sticky Web Spinner”; but all could generate a generic “Stun” effect, that would make the target miss a go.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          Those are just Universal Special Rules with a flavor name.

          But I agree, it is a nice system.

          • euansmith

            It is the fact that they are “Universal” that I like. Instead of creating some new special snowflake rule with every new codex 😉

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Lots of people actually complain about universal rules because they are “boring”

          • TenDM

            This helps the boring side of it by making it easier to write more intricate/interesting/fluffy rules. Think of them less like standalone universal special rules and more like LEGO pieces that make custom rules. Similar to how 40k uses weapon profiles. Heavy 1, Blast, Barrage, Pinning creates an interesting weapon that easily interacts with the other rules and everyone can understand regardless of the army.

            Applying this principal to all special rules helps structure the game so that the rules you need to know can be contained almost entirely in the core rulebook while allowing the each Codex/Unit/Character to use those core rules in interesting configurations. It helps future proof the rules, keeps rulings super clear and makes it easier to write well balanced supplements/Codices.

          • euansmith

            Lots of people apparently support Donald Trump… I’m just sayin’… 😉

  • Nyyppä

    Sounds good to me. Even better would be a digital living points system in which GW updates all the costs that need to be tweaked every 6 months or so.

  • ZeeLobby

    I’m not convinced that Generals Handbook really solved any balance issues in AoS. I’m pretty sure it just moved them around. It received massive praise because it was what people had waited for for a year. I’d hope that 40K’s version took it a step further. The one thing I will laud the HH on is that it set price points for all factions at once. And assigned costs to “formations”. 40K would benefit from both of those.

    • Its still pretty poorly balanced yes. It gave people structure, which makes them happy. Exploiting bad balance is something the community is more than happy to do and has for decades lol.

      • ZeeLobby

        Very true. It’d just be nice to see GW get more involved in that aspect. A lot could be done with just occasional effort to make the game more even-footed.

        • Exactly. Semi annual points adjustments via FAQ. Do that and I’d be eternally happy.

          • ZeeLobby

            And it doesn’t even have to be drastic. Unit is OP, 5% cost increase, still OP, another 5%. Even if they only did this twice a year, things would at least slide back into playable range. If they really are getting back into the community and competitive events, they should have their data-points right there.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            They would need to figure out a good delivery system for these points adjustments.

          • Electronic. And then release a compendium every year with the printed material. But that would invalidate the army book release model they use.

  • WellSpokenMan

    This is all well an good, but I’m still not convinced that a majority of people still playing 40k want new players in the game. Based on the this forum, there are quite a lot of people who never, ever want to play a stranger. Heaven forbid that the stranger in question be a 12 year old. I think the grognards like the game inaccessible. If at some point GW does open the game up, it will be because those grognards couldn’t sustain the game. I think we are still a long way from that.

    • ZeeLobby

      It just shocks me when I talk to people I know who buy EVERY SINGLE RELEASE. And these aren’t rich people. Occasionally I’m like, dude, put it down (and I consider myself somewhere in the middle as far as purchasing goes, though I haven’t bought much lately).

      • Ciaphas Cain

        Yeah Never got that. Why buy a Codex if you aren’t running the army?

        My favourites are the “But I need to own all the codexes so I can swot up on the enemy to make sure they aren’t cheating.” Guys.

        Dude just don’t play against jerks that cheat.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      This is one of the reasons why they killed Fantasy.

      My local GW store warms with teens and twenty-somethings that are playing AoS. I do not think they would have been drawn in by the byzantine system like Fantasy.

      • Ciaphas Cain

        No the fans killed WFB by refusing to play a game under 2000 points.

        • That has a lot of truth in it. “Tournament standard” or nothing. Only here it was 2400 points that was religiously adhered to.

          Very hard to get new players involved when they had to drop $500 or more on a new army just to start playing.

          • Ciaphas Cain

            I know a guy who was building a Vampire Counts army as his first army and I asked him if he wanted a game some time. He said he didn’t have enough yet. I asked him how many points he had assuming it was like 300 – 500 and was going to suggest a game of border patrol. He said 1200. The other muppets he knew had all told him 2000 minimum.

            That is how the players and not GW killed WFB.

  • Darth Bumbles

    I think GW’s biggest hurdle is the “pick up and play” factor.
    A mate of mine (avid gamer) wanted to have a go at 40k so I trotted around with my (usually Alpha Legion) Vanilla Marines and my Dark Eldar. Nicely balanced, nothing too rule heavy. Basically Warriors versus SMurfs.
    We had fun. We played by the rules from my big red book.

    The other day she texted me saying how expensive it was going to be for her to start up an army. All she wanted was something she could trot out fro me time to time and have a game with, several hundred dollars for a full army. Nearly two hundred for a HQ and two troop choices.

    • Drpx

      Yeah, Warhammer needs $50 battle boxes like WMH. The other stuff is just as expensive, but at least this gets people playing your game for the cost of a video game.

      • Karru

        GW technically have those, they are called Start Collecting!

        The only problem with those compared to WMH is the fact that the game is scaled so badly in 40k. Those small armies offer very little and they are insanely unbalanced.

        I’ve said it multiple times in the past, it would be wise for GW to do 2 deals, the Start Collecting! and Army Bundles. The first one we already have. They have the some “standard/iconic” units for the army, as well as a formation for you to get going right away. You still need the rulebook of course, but you are most likely going to start out with a friend who already knows these things, so you can borrow one from him/her. Anyway, now you have your little box that you build, paint and then play with to get the feel of the game and the army you chose.

        Then comes the bundle. 200€ max, preferably less, a complete 1500pts army that is a nice, balanced force with tanks, transports, regular units and HQ choice(s). Completely CAD legal and it’s not some gimmick army with a Painboy, 2 minimal units of Boyz and 1 unit of Grots and the rest are just Killa Kans, Gorkanauts/Morkanauts and Deff Dreads. It should also come with a small booklet that gives you advice on how to play the army and what you should consider next. It would be the perfect group gift to a friend or a nice Christmas present.

        This would most likely bring so many folks into the game. Yes, 200€ is a lot, but hobbies range from cheap to super expensive. At least with that price point it wouldn’t be so hard to maybe sell it forwards to someone else for a minor loss if you decide that this isn’t your hobby.

        Basically something very similar that Privateer Press did with their Army-in-a-Box deals.

  • Moose

    They had such a thing once. It was called “Apocalypse”. A supplement that added big games to the 40k world and it was glorious.

    Then they decided to make Apocalypse… mainstream.

    Seperate the two entities and you have a smoother 40k game. And a cool supplement.

  • MightyOrang

    I’d love to see the GW version of a formations compendium up on their page — and dynamically updated.

    I also want potato chips that make me lose weight.

  • Drahazar

    Not every place use’s the overlord ITC rules they are not needed to enjoy the game or play tournaments.

    • Ciaphas Cain

      Yeah some people use even worse more cancerous comp.

      And other more enlightened souls use no comp.

  • AnomanderRake

    Back up. We need a poorly-planned reboot and a band-aid book that ought to have been in from the start once people start quitting and heaping abuse on the game?

  • dave long island

    40K needs bubble kingdoms!… lol

  • shady

    At first sight it looks simple, but given the fact that each unit in the game has its own special abilities(and equipment more often than not), it makes it more engaging. Instead of ruleless MEQ units that the game has become flooded with, you get more variety and combos. In addition, you have a simple set of core rules that cause less flipping through hundreds of pages of rules to see how to proceed with another whacky scenario that you have run into.