40K: Would You Really Miss Codexes?


With how 40K and Age of Sigmar are going I have to ask: do we even need codexes any more – and would players care?

There have been rumors swirling for well over a year that GW wanted out of the codex game.  While new armies are fun and exciting, doing that 5th retread of the Space Marine book just to add in a couple of new kits must get tiring.


Did we all really buy the codex for you and a couple extra pages?

Age of Sigmar has it’s app, the Grand alliance books gathering together all the warscrolls and the campaign books.  They have just recently since Beastclaw Raiders and Stormcast Eternals nailed down AoS’s version of a “codex”.

A Possible Future

Now I want you to think about a new edition of 40k some months in the future.  Let’s say GW took even a few of the no-brainer AoS concepts and brought them into the Grimdark.

  • An App for example with all the units rules in there.
  • Some dirt cheap “faction books” that just reprinted all the updated edition unit rules from the app for those of us who like physical products.
  • Continual narrative based books to carry forward the story of 40K with a handful of new units/formations in each.

Under such a world, outside of army codexes for new armies entering the game, or big major updates with tons of new rules and models – codexes could pretty much be retired.  Once an army reached a certain level of maturity such as Space Marines, there would really be no need to reprint it’s codex.

I for one would much rather see GW refocus their energy on narrative campaign books with new units and rules (often for multiple armies at a time), or expansion books that build upon existing codexes (like Traitor Legions) than retreads of old codexes we’ve all bought multiple times.


More of this please

I wouldn’t miss codex retreads at all.

~What about you?




  • Moke

    I would love to see the death of codices. I just bought the Cult Mechanicus codex and *hate* how I have to be constantly flicking between the unit entries and the weapon appendix because piracy concerns mean they can’t have everything for one unit on one blasted page.

    Age of Sigmar Warscrolls are far more elegant and streamlined. They’re better for playing the game and mean we don’t get into a codex arms race whereby only 70% of active codices get updated in any one edition. They also lower the barrier of entry to the game.

    This is definitely the way GW are going as well, which makes me happy. They’ve stopped releasing codices since the Tau one, everything since then has been amalgamations or campaign books.

    • mysterex

      There’s a couple of separate issues that aren’t necessarily connected:

      – poor layout of the rules in printed codexes, this flows through to the epubs.
      – GW’s approach to many of the rules in releases, I.e. just selling new models rather than improving the wider game. Case in point; orcs having 6 formations that use their flyer model but virtually nothing that makes boyz viable.

      I’ve tried both the physical and tablet codexes and rule sets. Personally I find the printed version friendlier to find things in and easier to read but a pain to carry around, especially when you need multiple books to play a game. This is compounded by the level of rules bloat.

      Having all the up to date rules for a faction in a single well laid out document/app would be a huge step forward. But significantly reducing the number of rules and formations is also needed

    • Prisoner 42

      I like how AOS does things but I’ll always rather a hard copy just put all the damn rules on the sheet how hard is that. The grand alliance books are to big so keeping the separate armies on the different rule books would still make more sense to me.

      • Basti Schreyer

        While it works great in some games, the way AoS does unit entrys is unfortunately not really compatible with 40k
        It works in AoS because most units in a book are rather similar, only distinguishing themselves by one or two special rules and their specific one or two (mostly) weapon options.
        40k works fundamentally different in most cases. You have one highly customiseable unit that has vast amounts of possibilities on what you can equip them with. For some units that means that it is literally impossible to put all the weapon and equipment options on one page. Think about it this way: units like Terminators, Chaos Chosen and IG Infantry Platoons have an incredible amount of different options to their name. It would take a huge piece of paper to put all profiles for special, heavy and specific close combat weapons and all special wargear on one page when in some cases for the unit entry as it is now one A4 page is not enough.

        Then think about your Independent Characters. Many have more than five options for CCW, pistol and wargear each. Then add the literal extra page with your Relics.
        AoS’ ICs have what ten equipment options tops?

        Aside from being practically impossible in some cases putting all the stuff on one page also makes for really poor editing. In AoS where most weapons are pseudospecific it’s less noticeable but imagine half of your units having basically the same list of weapon options attached to them.

        I get it, I don’t like memorizing dozens of weapons either. Gluing everything to every unit entry is however not the way to go for 40k. It really helps making a few extra sheets with the rules and profiles you commonly need if you want to avoid flipping too many pages.

    • Muninwing

      i’ve found warscrolls to actually be more bloated in some ways, and less consistent throughout. i’d rather one concise USR section in a main rulebook, since i can use alphabetical order to find things.

      past that… i get the reason for splitting up the codex entry and the list entry in the actual codices, but it’s definitely to the detriment of the game. one place with rules summed up would do wonders to streamline everything — even if it was in an “army USR” section or the like.

      though to be honest, i’ve found that my own army rules are often things i can either have access to or add to my armylist via programs… Armybuilder was always good about that. i know that Battlescribe isn’t, but that’s the fault of the program and not the game

  • Amdor

    I prefer paper physical codex to apps. Already use screens too much i don’t need it in my wargames xp

    • Tim Lester

      you can print them out.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. I think printing is the way to go. Or paid to print services.

      • Muninwing

        printing the rules and keeping a notebook with your armylist makes life pretty simple.

        i feel like most people’s complaints about bloat are easily overcome with a photocopier and about five minutes…

        • ZeeLobby

          I think a lot of it depends on which faction. I’ve made cheat sheets in the past. For some armies it takes 5 mins, for others it can take an hour. Depending on how complicated it is.

          It’s when you put together the hour long heat sheet that you realize how bloated some stuff is.

        • ZeeLobby

          I think a lot of it depends on which faction. I’ve made cheat sheets in the past. For some armies it takes 5 mins, for others it can take an hour. Depending on how complicated it is.

          • Muninwing

            it also depends on how you think of “your army” — if you consistently play a general take-all-comers list, then it’s easy to write down or copy what is needed once.

            if you continually change, modify… or if you use various newfangled detachments… or if you feel like there is a requirement to use a wide variety of detachments… that’s when this becomes burdensome.

            so much of people’s reactions here, to this idea of complication, are based upon their experience based on how competitive they and their local meta are?

  • Inian

    I like codices for fluff, art and such; but when it comes to rules I have always been against them.

    A format that allows quicker, smaller and cheaper (preferably free and online) updates to rules is a lot better than a big bang every few years (if you are lucky).

    Is everyone taking unit X? Increase its point cost by 1.
    Is no one taking upgrade Y? Decrease its point cost by 1.
    Is Army/Codex/Faction/Whatever A hardly ever used? Add a new unit/weapon/option/tool to it and possibly tweak the points costs a bit.

    Check on the tournament scenes every 6 months and do tweaks like this and eventually you will have a balanced game.

    • ZeeLobby

      Basically the PP approach. Sounds good to me!

      • Inian

        Didn’t know they did that, sounds nice!

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. They just switched to a purely living ruleset, so we’ll see how it goes. At least GW has started considering point adjustments in AoS as a way to reduce play of units considered to be too powerful for their cost.

    • Deacon Ix

      Unfortunately I can only give you one upboat

      • Inian

        Thanks! I’ll take as many upboats as I can get! 😉

  • Darth Bumbles

    Too much money in the Codex game, I can’t see them removing them from circulation.

    • OrbitalHammer

      i could see more money being made by ditching codexs and moving to event books. at best most players have 2 or 3 forces, and one of those is 80% of the collection. why bother with another codex.

      but event books tell a story and open to wider audience

      • Hussein Alobaidi

        I agree, I am personally more interested in a campaign/narrative book that includes story elements/narratives, formations, new units and paint schemes. These aspects enrich the hobby, instead of having half a codex which just keep re-explaining the role of each unit and fluff.

    • James Nicolson

      People would rather spend it on models I feel. Shelling out $300 AUS+ just so you have the numbers for your plastic seems dated. That could mean $300 on a starter box and charcter. I see it pulling more people into the hobby. Casual or not.

      • Angel Grinder

        My thinking too – free rules sells more models but someone needs to be paid to write them – I make the equivalent of a datasheet for each unit to quick ref during game play and only ever read fluff once at best. I really like where GW are going at the minute and a quick play, narrative play, bound/unbound rules etc with stats in the model boxes or free off the website would be double thumbs up.

    • Drpx

      Depends on how many people are torrenting them. Or how many people decide to go for something else because of 40k’s well known steep buy-in cost. I’ve met loads of both groups.

  • James Nicolson

    Kill the codex, it’s been fun though.

    Just think. Digital rules, no ‘omitting’ certain rules during play. You both have access to each other’s unit entries and special rules in plain sight. FAQ updates instantly and you don’t have people clinging to I think their years old battered codex and ignore FAQ.
    Sounds perfect 💯

    • Karru

      Well, not in plain sight. If I want to look at a unit in my army, I have to search for it in the app. Now if I want to look at another unit, I have to do the same. If I want to compare the two, I have to switch between the two in a cumbersome way. To me that sounds very inconvenient.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        How about this model:

        Regular campaign books through the year, advancing or deepening the setting, new units and rules.

        Each Xmas, bring all those new rules into 4 or 5 big army books, preferably softback and affotdable.

        Also an app, constantly updated. Contains unit rules and weapon profiles and special rules all on a page. Make this free.

        Lastly, and here is the crux, an integrated army builder that links to unit profiles and stores your army list in the ‘cloud’. Makes it possible to share your list with your opponent, tournament organisers etc. Also, if you want, tracks wins/losses, rankings etc.

        Epic marketing tool for GW, useful for players.

        • Karru

          That would be the perfect world, yes. An integrated army builder that is available on both PC and Mobile devices would be ideal. Up to date rules and formation information from purchasable digital and physical products all in one place.

          Problem is that I have no idea if GW has the resources or the talent to do that.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Well other TTWG manage similar things.

            Imagine if all your army lists were stored online, they would be accessible from any device.

            Plus GW would know what models you wanted and would know your email!

          • Karru

            It would be great, don’t get me wrong but the problem here is GW as it is in their hands. Do they want to do that is the question. It would be amazing to have a single, neat location for all my army lists so that I can access them anywhere I want or modify it whenever I wish. I can already do the first one with Drop Box, but the latter is more difficult with a tablet.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            well we can but hope. I can imagine a really cool app, army list down one side of the screen, click on a unit and its stats and weapon rules etc come up in the other half, with a box below with any formation rules… Save your army list as a draft or move it to your ‘in play’ folder for finished lists that you are going to use… Print it out if you want to in one of a variety of cool presentation styles… Drag a list onto a friends icon to make it visible to them…

            GW could offer you multi buy deals on the units you don’t have yet, integrated ordering of minis from within the army list programme, plus news updates and latest products etc in another tab.

            It is, ultimately, just a basic database programme. They have shown they can make Army Builder apps before. But a single, integrated one could really improve the game and GWs fortunes too.

  • Razerfree

    Age of Sigmar did it right with the App. Codices should be sources of Fluff/Strategies/Painting, and not basic army rules you need to play.

    • Adrien Fowl

      I couldn’t agree more with you.

  • Heinz Fiction

    If I’d miss codexes really depends on what comes instead. I’d like to have all my rules in one place and not scattered over countless publications.So if there is a free downloadable army list online i’m fine with it, if I have to buy a new campaign book evey month just for one unit, I’m not.

  • grumzimus

    Death to Codexes! I now have to lug 4 books minimum whenever I game now 🙁 That and Traitors fail was just such a waste of money. Online PDFs plez

    • Karru

      So instead of having to carry 4 books with you, you now have to buy 4 digital books and switch between them in an app? How is that better?

      • grumzimus

        AoS scrolls are all free. Hopefully smaller too so less flicking. Plus if it was all online and available, they would be able to update them far more regularly without worrying about invalidating a book that came out a month ago (e.g. Alpha Legion Chapter tactic in the FAQ).

        Don’t get me wrong, I do like having a book in my hand, but in reality the warscrolls would be a far better way to go.

        • Karru

          I do agree that the dataslates being free would be a massive bonus. Having the ability to study the unit before you buy it is great. My only issue would be when they start releasing multiple supplements and rulebooks while not making them to physical books. It’s lot harder then to read them.

          Overall it would be a massive benefit if they still released codices but would make all dataslates free.

      • Tim Lester

        you can download the warscrolls on the gw and fw websites for free and print them out. then you only need as many pages as you have different units. if you only use 4 unit types you only need 4 pages etc. you dont need to keep them in digital format in an app. you can even do what i do and put them in a binder. i carry my scenery rules and unit rules as well as the 4 page rulebook. way less to carry with you

        • Karru

          It’s just my “old man Karru” acting up. Everything new is scary and there is gold on dem hills.

      • mysterex

        My tablet weighs less.

        • My tablet weighs less, too. But it’s not as big as a codex nor is it as easy to flip through. Not all digital indexes are created equally, either. I’m not against digital editions (I have them for all my armies) but sometimes a book is better for reference.

          Plus it’s a conceit to think everyone has a tablet, not too mention the disparity between iDevice and Android versions. I love my S7 Edge but gave up and got an iPad for digital editions (and Battlescribe). Screen real estate and UI/UX issues must also be considered. I’ll look at the Warscrolls but I’m far from convinced that GW can make a solid app for gameplay with an intuitive UI for all platforms.

          I’m a network engineer and I love technology, but I originally got into 40K for its analog-ness. I wanted a hobby that didn’t require a computer of some sort to play.

  • Karru

    I’d miss codices a lot. For me they have always been superior to digital books, purely because looking up stuff is so much easier in them. Scrolling through 20+ pages to look at a specific rule or equipment is a pain in the a**.

    It’s just a personal opinion. If they digitalise everything and make books rarely, as long as the business model is better than the one in AoS right now, then I won’t mind. If I can buy the book and get the digital version or at least the dataslates for it at the same price, I wouldn’t mind.

    While the factions books are nice, the codices for each army is still better for me. I like to look at the artwork, model pictures and the read the fluff. It’s also better overall if they didn’t just lump everything together like AoS does. It’s not likely that GW would release single books for all armies, instead they’ll just release large factions books at first and then make some for Space Marines and Chaos only books.

  • Tim Lester

    I love the pdf warscrolls for AoS. I just print them out and put them in a binder. I dont need tons of pages of units I dont use. Really hoping that they release 8th like that. Paying for rules on top of paying for models is a huge barrier for entry.

  • Tim Lester

    reading the comments about warscrolls being digital only and how they dont want to use an app is hilarious. its a PDF. theres a thing called a printer. idk why people think its only in an app or ebook.

    • Matt

      Why would I want a printed stack of pages of inferior quality that likely costs more than a professionally printed and bound copy?

      • Tim Lester

        500 page stack of printer paper is less than$15 bucks. you can also buy heavier glossy paper for a good bit more per page but in the end you still save money and it is more convenient than the codex books and you can organize the order however you want. in fact you can buy a printer, and the paper and the binder for them for less than the books required to play an army.

        Printer $48.50: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIACB355D4307

        3 ring Binder $2.79:

        100 clear plastic binder sheets $13.79

        100 sheets Glossy Photo paper $28.62:
        500 sheets Regular paper $12.65:

        thats enough to make a 200 page binder (2 pages per sheet. you can even put color coded tabs in them to make it easier to find specific units for you armies and you can put all your armies in 1 book.

        $122.32 for a 200 page glossy (remember that this includes up to 3 armies rules plus game rules) or $77.73 for 200 page matte and you still have 300 sheets of paper left.

        40k rulebook: $85
        codexes: $41-$58 EACH

        cheapest codex plus rulebook is $126
        2 cheapest codex plus rulebook is $167
        3 cheapest codex plus rulebook is $208

        • Horus84cmd

          BOOOOOOOY….Thats a lot of effort you’ve gone to there to argue a point…a little sad..

          FYI you forgot ink, binding costs, electricity, and finding the time…

          • Tim Lester

            i included the binder and the printer comes with ink. just tired of all the bitching about digital.

          • Horus84cmd

            you’re having a laugh if you’re printing full colour and 200+ pages off the one set of cartridges you can get with a printer: and I don’t think anyone was really bitching that much.

          • Tim Lester

            i already did it with my lizardmen, bretonnia, tomb kings sigmarines and VC. plus i printed out scenery rules, the regular rules total came out to 198 pages

          • Tim Lester

            i didnt do the gloss though because its in glossy sheets, too much gloss for me lol

          • Horus84cmd

            I call #fakenews on that. But you feel free to carry on going to the effort to print everything.

          • Tim Lester

            i linked prices and sources to everything and you call fake news? god your dumb

          • Horus84cmd

            Oh sigh. No, not the links the claim you printed that much. Sheesh – calm down people disagree with you.

          • Tim Lester

            i linked that as well from epsons site. the cartridges in my printer are rated for 450 pages in color

          • zemlod

            At this point, printer ink is literally more expensive than human blood: http://thumbnails-visually.netdna-ssl.com/ink-costs-more-than-human-blood_50290ced00807_w1500.jpg

        • Lion El’ Jonson

          That will not gain the admiration of your fellow battle brothers like a Codex can.

        • Matt

          You mean you can buy ALL those things?! Well that changes everything! I had no idea!

          Average cost per page for inkjet is around $0.20. Your 400 page rulebook will set you back $80. I’ll gladly pay the extra for a professionally (all the way to the edges) printed and bound one. There are arguments for e-versions, ability to print isn’t one

          • Tim Lester

            i already have all those things. i didnt buy it for this. i am a graphic designer so i have printing supplies and equipment. the point is anyone can do it however they want ans should stop crying fould everytime there are more options $0.20 page is what you pay at kinkos where they are trying to make a profit off you. the ink cartridges for that printer print 450 pages


            “Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (Yield, ISO pages – Black: 500 Color: 450)”

          • Matt

            It’s $0.89 per side for color at kinkos, but your missing the point. Maybe you have professional printshop in your garage, most don’t. I swear your just trolling.

          • Tim Lester

            $48 printer plus $12 paper doing 450 sheets in color (one sided b/c its a cheap printer) comes out to $0.13 per page ($0.12 if you do 500 pages b&w)

          • Matt

            You can also make your own clothes and raise and slaughter your own livestock. I hear they have people in 2017 that you can pay to do that for you. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Many of us want printed codexes. You want to play printshop in your basement. It’s a win-win, we can both get what we want and no one gets hurt. Stop trying to sell us on e-books we don’t want.

  • Hendrik Booraem VI

    I am 100% against going to an all-digital solution. If it isn’t paper, it sucks. e-pub readers are crap, and e-pubs are trash, in my experience. I bought the Kill-Team rules on e-pub and can’t even read them because none of the e-pub readers make the document legible no matter what screen size I use. I would gladly have paid $20 for the Kill Team rulebook, plus shipping, straight from GW, but since you have to actually pay $60, and get an extra Space Marine squad (which I don’t need right now) and an extra Fire Warrior squad (which my son doesn’t need right now) it’s not worth it to me.

    I like the codexes. I like the paper. I don’t even mind terribly spending money on them, as long as they aren’t updated every freakin’ year. Less money to spend on models? Yeah. So?

    • mysterex

      Try Kobo it works better than anything else I’ve tried and happens to be the one GW recommends on it’s website.

      The free version doesn’t let you set bookmarks though.

      • Horus84cmd

        Now, as you say Kobo is good, but certainly not the best and not the reason GW recommend it. GW recommend it, because it is FREE. Thus encouraging users to buy e-pub who may not normally do so because they lack/can’t afford the facility use it.

    • Tim Lester

      all of the warscrolls are printable why does no one realize that. dont comment on things you dont understand

    • jchamberland27

      I had the exact same problem with the Kill Team ePub. What fixed it for me was if you have a Google account you can upload the file into Google Books, and then it works perfectly for me on any sized screen. I’ve tried it with codices too (Necron and Dark Eldar), DE worked out of the box, Necrons initially didn’t look great but there are some magnification settings you can tweak on a book by book basis in the app, after about 5 minutes of fiddling I was able to get it pretty close to looking right.

    • C G Bloom

      If you use Google Chrome the “Readium” Extension works awesome for ePubs.

  • Tshiva keln

    I love a new codex but agree with the comments about the armies that don’t get theirs release and the ease they could amend free digital ones. However I have some physical and some digital codexes and hate playing with the digital ones as they are too time consuming to flip between the entries you want. Given the choice I will buy physical every time now.

  • Adrien Fowl

    I just hope that they adapt some of the changes they introduced in AoS to W40k. I am not talking about rules, although I would really appreciate it, but about how the game is presented and how it handles and displays information.

    Warscrolls (or whatever other catchy name they might fancy) must/should be included. It makes everything easier for all the players out there.

    And back on topic, I wouldn’t miss physical codexes. I still like having them on paper, but the real issue is balance and I think it could be solved if they released something like the General’s Handbook, updating points, costs and tweaking some rules with each new iteration.

  • Horus84cmd

    Goooooood no. Why not just have both physical and digital formats? Let the end user decide how they wish to interact with the rules of the game!

    Personally I like physical copies. There is something very satisfying about holding a book and turning the pages etc.. I find digital copies very onerous to navigate and read – half the time having zoom into read the text.

    Anyhow play a game enough and you don’t need to use the codex/army-book/rulebook regularly. You see us humans have this wonderful thing call a memory! It is a fantastic think that lets us, overtime, learn things and recall them without the need for a something.

    • gordonshumway

      Too much logic for BoLS. You’re not hyperbolic or emotional enough. Get outta here.

      • Horus84cmd

        Haha #truth

    • ZeeLobby

      Lol. I’ve never found this to be true in 40K. Maybe AoS is better. Regardless of how much I’ve memorized an army, there’s always some weird interaction several times a game where a rereading of the exact rules is necessary.

      That said, I think the real answer is printable rules. Or simply stating that the rules found in the physical format may be outdated in X months. I actually prefer physical as well, but I put balanced and fun gameplay above everything else. And if that means buying an adjusted codex every 6 months for $50 for each of my 3 factions, I’m probably out.

      • Horus84cmd

        Oh for sure, there will always be times when gamers need to double check stuff. For my gaming group that varies between players and what armies are being used. 40K, at the moment, is on the long end of the stick here, with its rules being unproportionally widespread; and it, unfortunately suffers for that.

        I think the use of the General Hand Book in AoS is a smart move to hold the points for the game. In this way point tweaks can be, regularly made across the game, without the need to re-do a whole core army-book. I’m hoping 40K gets a similar solution.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. I think Generals Handbook is a good approach. In the end they’ll still need to tweak actual rules. That could be done with FAQing the codexes, but now your showing up with handbook, codex, codex Errata/FAQs and rulebook Errata/FAQs.

          Honestly I think digital is the way to go, but then you really need to build a game that supports the digital format. Right now they just take digital copies of their books and throw them out there, which is just bad. If they could reduce a units rules down to the size of a card, that would be best case scenario.

          I’m sad that they’ll most likely do away with USRs as well. As it makes knowing what a unit does easy to understand for someone regardless of what faction they play. I’m assuming they’ll move to the AoS approach where every unit has some slightly different special rule, which means a lot of tapping to look up definitions on mobile.

          Really there’s a lot they could borrow from WMH here that would make digital a lot less cumbersome. USRs w/ symbols, simplified phone screen size formats, etc. And then they could do the same fluff-heavy books for each faction, with just the knowledge that any printed rules will most likely be overwritten at some point.

          • Horus84cmd

            I agree on the whole here. Although I would argue digital only is not the future. Swaths of industry experts in publishing thought that ebooks would, in less than a decade, wipe out the physical book, and that has just not happen. Indeed the numbers of physical books sold has continued steadily rising whilst the sale of ebooks is increasing, but has flatten out. In addition, I can’t recall where (I think it was the BBC) reported that sales of e-readers had plateaued as now the majority of consumers that want one have one.

          • ZeeLobby

            But those writers aren’t going in and changing the story of those books every X months. It’s a totally different situation. I could see them maybe doing a paid to print service (like PP is considering for their cards), but otherwise I don’t see how you can have a game with live/evolving rules without having an easy/cheap way to distribute them.

          • Horus84cmd

            True enough.

            I reckon we’ll, from GW at least, see an extension of the AoS structure:

            – Free Core rules available in physical formats (in boxed game/books) or digital versions (in books or pdf). I would hazard that are short enough to be included every physical publication.

            – Army-books with fluff, unit and army rules and army themed scenarios. Available as physical or digital version but with unit entries available as separate pdf’s (maybe even physical version too ala the recent ScE ones – which I’d hazard are testing the water for that format)

            – Separate centralised books (physical and digital) that have the rules for army construction and points. Maybe not a just a single General Hand-book, but with points being delineated down to, using AoS as the example, the alliance level (i.e. four books).

            – On going series of Narrative driven books that progress the story. Filled with story specific scenarios etc..

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, and that’ll be fine for now. I would like to see them invest a little more in their app. Especially if for like AoS it helped keep track of monster’s wounds, and changed their profiles based on the dmg taken. There’s a lot of cool stuff they could utilize digital for. But they’re big and hefty, so always a little slow to the game.

  • Rafał Pytlak

    I always said that having a different codex for each popular chapter of space marines is ludicrus. Make one 300+ pages book about Space marines and give 10 pages about Blood Angels specifics, 10 for UltraSmurfs, 10 for Space Wolves and so on….that’s enough to show differences between them.

    Do the same for all Eldars and Chaos Legions. $$$ be damned!

  • Lion El’ Jonson

    Nothing gets the grills looking more at your direction, then when you casually walk by them with a Codex Adeptus Astartes, on your way to meet your demented Chaos tainted opponent, in the sacred battlefield that is your local GW.

    So no I like my tomes danke ye very much.

  • Loirdi

    I want to play War Convocation. Only books i need next to BRB are Skitarii codex, Cult Mech codex, Imperial Knights codex and bonus books, gathering storm for replacing Dominus with Belisarius and maybe stronghold assault for some bunker cover.

    4-6 books plus one issue of WD for the dataslate.

    Seems ridiciulous to me, could have got one extra Knight with that money gone to books. Aaaaand. To hunt down and trying to memorize all the countless pages of FAQs and erratas to get somewhat up to date with them rules.

    So yes, i’m all for app dataslates and maybe one printed faction book.

  • AnomanderRake

    Depends on what they get replaced with. I already miss being able to carry one book around and having all the data I need to play my army, if they bring something consolidated back I suspect I’ll be fine.

  • Tim Lester

    going to digital pdf rules for 40k is a no brainer. you can save a fortune and only carry the rules you need. if you want it printed the pricing can be as follows to print the rules directly from gw’s site. i already do this for AoS:

    500 page stack of printer paper is less than$15 bucks. you can also buy heavier glossy paper for a good bit more per page but in the end you still save money and it is more convenient than the codex books and you can organize the order however you want. in fact you can buy a printer, and the paper and the binder for them for less than the books required to play an army.

    Printer $48.50: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIACB355D4307

    3 ring Binder $2.79:


    100 clear plastic binder sheets $13.79


    100 sheets Glossy Photo paper $28.62:



    500 sheets Regular paper $12.65:


    thats enough to make a 200 page binder (2 pages per sheet. you can even put color coded tabs in them to make it easier to find specific units for you armies and you can put all your armies in 1 book.

    $122.32 for a 200 page glossy (remember that this includes up to 3 armies rules plus game rules) or $77.73 for 200 page matte and you still have 300 sheets of paper left.

    40k rulebook: $85

    codexes: $41-$58 EACH

    cheapest codex plus rulebook is $126

    2 cheapest codex plus rulebook is $167

    3 cheapest codex plus rulebook is $208

    • Missing ink which you’d burn through very quickly. Nevermind misprints, having to organize the pages afterwards, having to mark pages for bookmarking and so on. This is the effort of hours, which you can easily skip just *buying a Codex* and getting professional binding and higher quality paper and prints.

  • Yes.

  • Erik Giersdorf

    Wat. In the last month we’ve seen two Age of Sigmar Battledexes get released. And yes, campaign books are the way to go. Who doesn’t like having 2~3+ books of scattered army rules and formations?

  • Duke_Leto

    Personally as someone who has not played the game since 2nd edition but is still around because I love the IP I would welcome the codexes becoming pure fluff books (with much more detail) and the rules being removed and presented in a different way (with each model and collected together in generals handbooks type publications). In addition I would welcome further narrative campaign books. But that’s just me 😀

    • Bryan Ruhe

      Not just you, I’ve been saying the same thing since AoS.
      I’d love coffee-table-style books for each army – like the Imperial Knights companion. Something you could leave out near your on-display models for people to look at. I care about what’s left out of a book… I don’t want someone’s reading experienced interrupted by rules and numbers if the reader doesn’t even play the game and just wants to read background and look at pictures. Then GW should just make the rules available for free.

  • euansmith

    I was quite surprised when looking at the preview of those AoS Stormcast cards that are coming out soon.
    What struck me as odd was that the cards are printed in portrait format, with a load of empty space.
    It struck me that printing them landscape would allow either smaller cards, or bigger writing.

    • Bryan Ruhe

      Yeah, the cards looked pretty weird. Game references with tiny type aren’t much better than flipping through a book.

  • orionburn

    There’s definitely something to flipping through the pages of a book. I’ll always be one to prefer paper over digital. If they could kick out an updated book every 1-2 years but get the price point down to the $20-25 range I’d happily buy and updated book every year. Like what they are doing with the General’s Handbook. I’m not opposed to printing everything out and putting it into a binder, but the feel for a books is always nice.

    While not a true comparison I recently picked up one of the Imperial Armour books from Forge World. The thing is absolutely gorgeous and you can’t capture that feel “flipping” through the pages on a tablet.

    In the end I want to be able to purchase an army book if I choose to, but I welcome the format of it not being required to play the game.

  • doughouseman

    For me, Codex are dead already. Up until the current edition, I bought every codex. when they raised the price and went to hard cover, I stopped.
    I bought the single codex for my army and ignored all the others. I borrowed at gaming events the new ones to read during the event and let others borrow mine. So I went from carrying 2 milk crates of books to events to carrying a small notebook with my army list and rules in it.
    At $25 a book, codex were fun to have and read, at $50 a book – not so much.
    Warscrolls make so much more sense, to me. The General changed completely my feelings about AoS.
    Will I ever go back to buying every book? No, GW broke that habit for good. Same for buying every model for my army to be on the bleeding edge of the meta. I buy what I want to play and nothing more.

  • John Wellington Wells

    I’d like to see Warscrolls for each unit, and a General’s Handbook with the points for everything updated annually. It would allow them to address units that are too weak (e.g. Wyches) or too powerful (e.g. Wraith Knights) more often than twice a decade.

    • ZeeLobby

      Agreed. My only hope above that would be to make those adjustments freely available online. I can understand paying for fluff, etc. But if it’s just points adjustments and some rule tweaks, I really feel like they should be free. I don’t pay when Bethesda patches issues with their games. Of course an app with maybe a one-time pay wall and updates for am edition (or preferably forever) would work as well.

  • No-one Special

    Judging by peoples reasoning for getting rid of codecies I can’t help but draw comparisons to how most businesses and governments go about getting rid of smething they don’t want to do any more – which in a nutshell is intentionally create a bunch of problems through mismanagement and then use that as justification for cancelling it (see NHS).
    The symptomatic problems of cost and practicality are being caused by decisions being made at a strategic level by the company – books coming out thick and fast to cover new units, fixing errors, pushing sales etc. are all things that can be fixed if GW chooses to.

    Having a more organised release schedule to work with book releases instead of a scatter gun approach that invalidates books sometimes mere weeks after they’re released would be one step. Putting more effort in checking and proof reading books before they’re published would be another fairly simple step. As many have mentioned, changing their layouts to have all the rules for each unit in one place is a particulalry signifcant point of interest as it would cut down both the number of books needed and the size of them in one go. If they’re thinking of making them all free/online like AoS anyway then the argument for piracy is entirely removed meaning they can produce the books properly for those that want them, webstore only even if they’re still worried about demand.

    In their favour, GW and Forgeworld have done good things with releasing stripped own versions of the rule book and HH lists which prove it can be done if the will is there.

  • Max Blanton

    its it’s. its it’s. its it’s. Mr Vela, its it’s.

  • MechBattler

    Give me free rules and optional fluff books any day of the week. The models are ruinously expensive enough as it is. They’re not making the game more attractive to newcomers by requiring $125+ worth of books just to learn how to play.

  • nefu

    My concern is what happens to minor codecies.
    Codex creep and slow updates aren’t problems caused by codexes, but they are easily tracked that way.
    Are we going to have “new model” creep? Are minor factions that wait upwards of 15 years for new models going to suffer more? Or moreover, are we going to see factions get squatted or sigmared or whatever now? I mean, without a codex, it’ll be much easier to just fold up minor factions into obscurity and disuse. Especially with plot changes, it’ll be tough to justify, say, a religious fanatic faction when Marny decides to tell everyone to stop worshipping the emperor as a god.

    Yes, I’m worrying about sisters of battle. I semi expect to be the brettonians of Age of Calgar.

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    They are too much money for me

  • Richard Klepper

    The Triumvirate of Ynnead box had data sheets in the box……

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      Data sheets. Right, so that’s what 40ks version of warscrolls are to be called I assume?

      • Richard Klepper

        well, I don’t remember if they were “titled” that, but all the info you needed to play them was in the box.

        GW used to do that back in the day, you bought a unit and it came with a little card that had all the stats etc to play that unit, and at that point in time, they did call them “Data sheets”

  • Bayne MacGregor

    I still use rpg books from the 80’s. Books have lasting value. I love returning to old codexes to look at parts of lore or pieces of art that were only put in one edition and i still from time to time play older editions. The ephemeral transient nature of digital media has far far less value. Codexes could be vastly better organised regarding rules, many have said the splitting of units and weapons to very different parts of the book was a crude anti-piracy measure. But having to buy a ‘faction’ book that might be 70%+ forces i’m less interested in? Nah i’m not keen on that idea at all.

  • Bryan Ruhe

    As fluff books, I like them.
    As prerequisites for playing the game, I would not miss them.
    They are just another expense in this already costly hobby.
    AoS-style, please! Free warscrolls/datasheets for the miniatures online, a “40K General’s Handbook,” and not-necessary Battletomes for those who prefer paper.
    And narrative books with formations are fun, fluffy, and fine, as long as they aren’t required to play an army…

  • Admiral Raptor

    Codices are woefully obsolete. Get an app, a generals handbook and some cheap grand alliance books.

  • Herkamer63

    Honestly, I don’t think they need to go away, just condensed. I wouldn’t put it all the armies into one gigantic rule book, neither should there be books like Armies of the Imperium, Xenos, and Chaos. Imperial Agents just might be a look at what to expect for 8th and I think it’s this: whatever codex the army you’re playing is would be rolled up into that book.
    For example, and people have begged for this and I’m ok with it at this point because the IA codex, look at all the SM codices. They are all under the banner of Codex: Adeptus Astartes, at least that’s what GW is trying to point out. Put SM, SW, DA, BA, DW, LoD, and GK all in one book with the most common units of AA in the front (tac squads, assault squads, dev squads, etc), and the more army specific units, like SW and GK, further to the back (grey hunters, paladins, death company). There can be restrictions applied, like no crusader squads for DA and no thunder wolves for BA, but some stuff, like centurions and thunderfire cannons, I think would be ok for all armies, for the most part (but I also understand maintaining individuality too, so I wouldn’t be heartbroken if they were not available to everyone).
    So is it necessary to get rid of all the codices? Not really. AoS is setup the way that it is because WFB had all sorts of trouble. 40k, despite what some people may say, doesn’t have most of those same issues, so it doesn’t need a massive makeover. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but rolling up all the armies into a BRB is not going to fix the problems that all the armies have. I personally would like to see codices stay, and get those fixed first, then we can see them in a BRB.
    Besides, codices have been around for a long time, and it would be strange to see them go. Also, until we get undeniable proof, we shouldn’t take these rumors seriously. They’ve been wrong before, and there’s no telling what’s actually going to happen to codices. I wouldn’t mind, if they stayed, going back to paperback.

  • Talos2

    I wouldn’t miss the ork one

  • Doesn’t matter. Moving to an app would be fine. However. Not really. It’d be ok at best. I get it that the app’s thing let’s you make lists, which in AoS is a bit less complicated than 40K. But if they do head in this direction then I look forward to buying the card sets for my army/faction of choice. Less page flipping.
    My bee with the codex is just that they have little resale value and small windows of resale while costing too much. No one seems to want them.
    I’d like the codex to be slim and low priced. Especially if there’s no second hand market for them.
    All that said I much prefer a book to go with my army. Cards being a strong second and apps being least desirable.

  • EnTyme

    Considering Disciples of Tzeentch is STILL sold out, and the new Stormcast Eternals tome is up for preorder and will likely be sold out within a few hours of going on sale, both for a system that offers the rules for the units for free online, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people (myself included) still prefer paper to 1s and 0s. Even if 40k goes to free online rules ala AoS (as I expect it will), I don’t see codices going anywhere as long as there is a market for them.

  • Benedict Quintiliani

    I am for codexes being scrapped however it does give a sense of ownership of a game when you have a book to pour over to pick your army, I would like the points being transferred to the generals handbook style for 40k

  • BloodAngel

    I prefer physical rules to apps, but I think each box coming with a sheet with the rules for the model options would be nice. I only really liked the codex for the fluff amd painting guides and all that.

    • BloodAngel

      In also really like cards for units such as Warmahordes. Old GW stuff used to do this.

  • Zedatkins Zed

    Yes. But the one thing that I don’t like about the AOS model for points is that 1 year later we have a a new General’s handbook. Honestly I’d prefer if GW gave us a free points based system for AOS and 40K with free on “in box” warscrolls. I’d be happy to buy OOP book that move the narrative with battleplans, battalions/formations, and rules for time of war but I see zero reason to pay for (what are the really simple points based rules of AOS) on an annual basis.

  • Commissar Molotov

    They used to have an archaic method of publishing codex updates called “White Dwarf.” Coincidentally, this was the last time this “White Dwarf” was ever deemed to be useful or necessary.

  • Raven Jax

    Focus on narrative campaign books with new rules and new units? So instead of spending $50 every two years you want to spend $50 three times a year?

    Rules should be completely separated from campaigns and story. You should be able to get all rules for your units, THEN decide which campaigns and stories you want to play.

  • Nyyppä

    I would not if:

    1) …there was a digital unit bank like in AoS.
    2) …there was a digital points list for the units and their upgrades that was constantly tweaked to achieve best possible balance and a paper version published annually.

    Otherwise if I’m supposed to buy 10+ campaign books just to play my army I would just not get back to the game.

  • Greg MacLean

    I’d really like to see a living document inlaid into an app roughly like battlescribe. Even if they made us buy the rules, this app would be enough to build lists with valid points values. The purpose being that GW game designers would have top-down control over points values, and it would be consolidated to one place/not mess up the codices we are paying real money for.

    Wraithknights and ravenwing black knights overperforming for their points? Just make the adjustment, and then the changes go live all at once every month or two. Players check in, tailor their lists, and keep playing. No fuss, just a gradual calculated move toward game balance.

  • As some one just trying to get into AoS and having been out of 40K for a long time, I have to say that I am still somewhat confused by the number of books and things available even online for AoS.

    I have the 4 page rules, do I need the expanded Sigmar book or is that just fluff? I know I need the General’s Handbook as that is where the points lie but then does that supersede the individual Battle Tomes? Are there new rules/units/spells in each Battle Tome? If so that is the same deal as the current Codex situation. What is in the faction books that is different? Are there actual rules and new units in the campaign books?

    The online App warscrolls may consolidate a unit to a single PDF and have some of their rules right there but it seems there are still a lot of things missing when I use them combined with an online army builder.. It seems I still need to purchase them all in order to actually understand my army. Am I wrong?

    Were are the rules for keywords for example? Or “synergies” and “buffs” that you guys keep talking about? They are not talked about at all in the main rules set.

    What do I need to buy/access in order to make one army for example Sylvaneth? How about Dark Aelves or whatever they are calling them now (Shadow Aelves soon?) as they don’t seem to have a Battle Tome out yet.

  • Xodis

    Not at all. Leave them behind, make the rules free online, and release campaigns and General Handbooks like with AoS.

  • Sz

    Lots of differing opinions– I just want my unit rules consolidated in one easy to reference spot W/o having to flip around multiple books or pdfs in an app reader. Every solution we have atm is so clunky. Games already take too long. If GW chose free distribution like AoS, then maybe third-party tools like ABuilder could more useful the a stat line and ‘see page in book X’. Speaking for myself, the current books and price-point thereof only act as a discouragement in regards to buying that new model release. In short, GW isn’t making more money from me under the current conditions and might be making less. For example they try to tempt me with new thousand sons models, yet encumbering me to buy a $75 book first, AND require me to haul around my existing library?! Hey, this hobby can get expensive– this isn’t necessarily a price grumble, but a choice between a book (that might only cover 20%-50% of my army’s rules) and say a land raider is hardly a choice. They want to expand the world and get me to buy new stuff, and I’m all for it, but empower me to field that new army with the new units and still only need 2 books max (still preferably 1) plus brb. I’m cool with that.

    I’m meandering. As much as i prefer the physical books, I guess a app that allows me to integrate new rules into the old rules for easy reference of everything is more preferable to the current state of things. I would even pay for the new rules, i just want them to integrate with the old. since I am wishing, make it as phone friendly as possible. My IPad’s battery isnt nearly as hearty as my iPhone’s.

  • BigGrim

    I don’t want new rules for armies spread across a billion books. Consolidate it in a Codex for me please.

  • benn grimm

    I miss them already…

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    I don’t much care as to what form they choose to package their army info, as long as they make all the factions able to compete.

  • Sebastien Bazinet

    Codices are beautiful and I like them very much and would gladly pay for an art/fluff/painting book instead of a rulebook with not enough fluff and art inside (to my taste). Also I hate how wargear is not always illustrated so you end up wondering what is what

  • WaarrggBobo

    I stopped playing 40K because of codex bloat. In all honestly, I don’t want bloated history, bloated backstory, and the impossible to find rules. When I’m interested in something I want to look it up and I do– online. This model is dead, it can’t attract new players like it needs to and survives only because of a greying hardcore. Infinity has a much better model for a modern game. Give me rules for free– tempt me with stories and lore– for the stuff I’m interested in.

  • Muninwing

    “There have been rumors swirling for well over a year that GW wanted out of the codex game”

    longer than that. the CEO said that the codex release form was going to be phased out in 6th after everyone got updated rules…

    they may have put it off while fixing 6th –> 7th, but that seems like it was the plan for years now.

    if they’d only done a competent job reinforcing balance beforehand…

  • Carey_Mahoney

    I’d miss them.

  • Christopher Witecki

    Codexes are my favorite new release. I have always loved just reading them. But datasheets should still be free for download along with rules and any other requirements beyond models.

  • Chet Atkinson

    I’d like a series of fluff/art books but the rules and datasheets like AoS. I’m wondering how the economics would work out for them tbh if they ditch the codexes

  • Me

    The enhanced eBooks they sell would make this more palatable if they would make them available on other platforms. Writing their own reader and making it available cross platform would be a real value add (make it part of the rules app maybe?).

    Outside of that, having the option for an army builder to load two armies at once for enhanced viewing side-by-side would solve the problem of it being cumbersome to view stats/rules for your opponent’s army.

    By enhanced, I mean that you could click on a unit/piece of equipment/formation/army to see its stats and rules.

    • Me

      I also would like the option to by physical books for collecting. Some of the art is just gorgeous, and you don’t quite get the same feel from the eBooks.

      I personally the best thing would be for the rules/stats to be available free/very cheap as some kind of download, but any fluff and art to be in the books/eBooks that they continue to sell.

  • Neil Burns

    How about we fix the internal balance problems before adding new things and mechanics

  • I can only see this as a good thing, the generals handbook v2 has apparently had every points cost adjusted by gw and some community players, not only should gw do this for 40k I’d say they must do it for their future, I’ve seen so many veterans drop 40k in the last 3 years in favor of other games.

  • Simon Chatterley


    Next question.

  • Basti Schreyer

    Is it just me or has the author basically unwittingly defeated his own argument for campaign books?
    His first argument is that current Codicies are extemely stale for veterans. I agree with that. But the second part of his idea on how to replace them is actually worse.

    Having all rules be free would be great but GW is hardly the company to do that and I can see why.

    Having campaign books replace Codices is a really bad idea if you don’t also pulish the rules seperately for free. Think about it. You would achieve nothing by making new rules available only in new books. Instead of one codex you’d now need multiple campaign books. Each usually only including a fraction of the amount of the rules a codex has. What the author also mentions without thinking about it is that usually a bunch of armies get only a few new rules with each. So basically everybody is forced to buy the book to keep their army updated. Notice how that is also the case now.

    Having an app for all your rules needs is a great way to solve the problems of physical copies but if you charge a couple of bucks every time you want the latest formation rules you now have basically introduced microtransactions for the tabletop world.

    If all the rules updates were free you would solve the whole conundrum. Having one databse to acces all the current rules with regular updates sounds great. Unfortunately nothing is for free in this world and I can see how GW wants to earn some money back for maintaining a big rules department. Otherwise they would have no direct income for a huge expenditure. And that is something a numbercrunching banker with no knowledge of the way the company truly maintains a customerbase looks at.