40K: 10 Codexes in 6 Months – GW Did It

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True to their word, GW managed to knock out 10 Codexes in 6 Months. 8th Edition Keeps on Rolling.

They’ve done it. They’ve done it. They said that they would do it, and indeed they did. Like a plastic-miniatures-obssessed Henry Higgins, GW has done what they said they’d do, and by jove, they did it. Now it remains to be seen if the Eliza Doolittle of 8th Edition will come back, bringing GW their slippers, or if she’ll stay over at GW’s Mother’s house, now that she’s a sophisticated lady.

In the meantime, let’s take a look back at the face to which we’ve all become accustomed to.

But you didn’t come to Bell of Lost Souls for timely, topical, and above all else relevant references to My Fair Lady, you came to read about those ten codexes that came out in the last six months. Doubtless you’ve seen their impact on your games, so let’s take a look back at the Codexes that have come.

Codex Space Marines

The first of the bunch. With its introduction of Warlord Traits, Chapter Tactics, artwork, lore, psychic powers–this codex laid the foundation for everything that would come next. Not quite polished, but definitely showing potential, it paved the way for everything that would come afterwards.

Still widely regarded as one of the stronger codexes. It did a lot. It introduced the Primaris Marines, who have in the ensuing release seen many new kits come out–I don’t think there’s been a new Astartes kit that wasn’t Primaris this year. We didn’t realize at the time how important Stratagems would be to the overall shape of the game, but they were there.

Codex: Chaos Space Marines

With this Codex, the real game begins. Chaos Astartes Lists are easily some of the strongest lists in tournaments. And there are a number of reasons for this, some of which are problematic, others of which are awesome. But it’s here that the first few pieces of 8th Edition start falling into place. Stratagems, combos, psychic powers to really boost your units where they need to go. This one really helps players leverage their armies in creative ways.

Like Eliza, they learned, had some polish and some diction lessons–it’s a difference you can see in the units and the codex.

Codex: Grey Knights

Codex Grey Knights also set a tone–coming out around the same time, it showed off what we like to call the bookkeeping codex. It brings the army list in line with the modern game, though not much else is added beyond that. The Grey Knights, as a faction, need a little love at the moment, but even having a Codex helps them stand out over the other armies which rely on Indexes.

With a little bit of luck, they’ll bounce back. They always do. And again, they’re not a bad army, just a little more limited one–that’s the nature of the beast though.

Codex: Death Guard

This one is at the height of learning. The Death Guard are the new kid on the block, but they come out strong. They show what the introduction of a new faction can feel like. We get cool new models, they really start to feel distinct in terms of how they play. And of course, there’s a miniature garbed in a beautiful garment flanked by attendants who makes a big splash in this index.

Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus

Everyone’s favorite machines came charging in. They are one of the rarer codexes, and the changes wrought by their codex are fairly subtle, but noteworthy nonetheless.

Codex: Astra Militarum

This one is very much a letting the hair down and partying kind of Codex. After all, with changes to the Leman Russ, Orders, and other Units, the Militarum got all kinds of cool new things to play around with, without needing to get new toys. They’re great–and as we’ve seen in various tournaments, can pack a mean punch if you come prepared. They really leverage the Imperium Keyword to great effect.

Codex: Craftworlds

Codex Craftworlds is another bookkeeping type of Codex, though it has seen some of the lessons about stratagem interactions incorporated into its bones. The Eldar are very finesse-dependent, and with a bit of thought/planning, they can be a serious threat.

Codex: Tyranids

What a splash this codex made. It severely overhauled the Tyranids without needing to add anything new. It shows the moving parts of 8th Edition and how things like points changes, a few little special rules tweaks, and careful synergies can really change the way an army feels. There is such a world of difference between Index ‘Nids and Codex ‘Nids, they’re almost unrecognizable.

Codex: Blood Angels

The first of the variant Marine chapters, this one isn’t nearly as broad reaching as the Codex Death Guard book, but it feels like this group of Space Draculas got a nice boost to their units–they proved to be pretty effective on the tabletop here on our Twitch Stream. The jury’s still out–but personally speaking, I really like ’em.

Codex: Dark Angels

And then there’s the Dark Angels. The newest of the bunch on the scene–at first glance they look alright–but I have a suspicion that underneath it all we all know how they’ll turn out.

At any rate, that’s a look back on the year of Codexes. From the poor flower girl of the Indexes, to the Duchess of the best Codexes, 8th Edition is…well…I’ve just grown accustomed to her face. For more topical references, tune in next week as we look at the codexes that might be coming out next year and Count Duckula Screen Shots.

In the meantime, which of the codexes released thus far is your favorite?

  • I_am_Alpharius

    It is almost like releases are planned out over a year in advance and set in stone at 6 months from release, due to the needed WD design and production lead time….who’d of thought it….

  • Bernd Lurk

    so, 10 more and we are ready for 9th edition, where every book released so far is obsolete again.

    • ZeeLobby

      It does kind of seem silly at this point, especially with them announcing the bi-annual FAQ etc. If there was ever a time for them to go full-digital/subscription/etc. it’d be now. I can’t imagine the books will be all that usable a year from now.

      • Bootneck

        I wouldn’t bother with any of the digital codex’s again. In my naiveness years ago when they first came out I started to collect them in the assumption that any “updates” would automatically appear in my digital books.

        But no they don’t work like that, the only reason to have them is to save shelf space inside an iPad etc.

        • Anthony Keen

          Though these new ones *are* being updated. All the digital codexes and indexes have been updated with CA changes.

    • Marco Marantz

      well thats another test -they stated the rules were going to be a living ruleset that will evolve. If thats the case there is no need for a 9th ed, they should just tweak the rules over time and for free. Lets see if they are true to their word.

      • ZeeLobby

        Eh. I highly doubt this. In reality, new editions boost sales massively. I do think 9th will be more of an iterative boost, and they’ll do the new funky thing of not putting a version number on it like the “new iPad” etc. But I imagine it’ll come, but probably not for a while. Just depends how well things continue selling without it, and how comfortable their shareholders are with those sales compared to new edition years.

  • Kabal1te

    Now that we have ten codices in 6 months it will take 6 years for the next ten in typical GW fashion

  • andrew easter

    I reckon the remaining – mainly xenos codex – will involve new models and be staggered.

    Orks updated to dakka dakka
    Necron love to confront the spread of the warp
    Sisters made out of playdoh – still cheaper than metal
    Tau with a new super unit to combat the Primaris
    With plastic eldar at some point

    I also expect book releases to bring in more primarchs – with new campaigns

    • I_am_Alpharius

      No staggering of Codexs. It has been mention several times on the WH-Twitch stream by Pete Foley (Head of Books and Boxed Games) that the current pace of Codex release will be continuing thought out 2018.

      • andrew easter

        They also mentioned that some of the remaining codex are awaiting new models in a miniwargaming interview last week. They will stagger the big releases between smaller ones.

  • Marco Marantz

    They were able to do it because they apparently have all the codecies written. This is part of the problem because if they are just churning out what they wrote before seeing how the game actually works and not adjusting the yet to be released ‘dexes then you will continue to see problems…which is why you have been getting erratas so soon after dex release.

  • usGrant7977

    I dont speak British, whats with all the pics from a musical?

    • Gunther Clone C

      My Fair Lady is a wonderful piece! 🙂 That being said, maybe it’s an analogy of GW’s journey of growing from a money grabbing company with terrible PR into a more refined money grabbing company that actually communicates with its player-base.