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40K Deep Thought – Are 2 Year Editions the New Normal?

2 Minute Read
May 11 2014

The big question going around 7th Edition is WHY NOW?  Here’s why new editions may be coming faster from now on.

I’ve been talking to gamers all over the world these last couple of weeks and the biggest question isn’t about what changes 7th Edition will bring to Warhammer 40,000 but instead – WHY NOW?

It’s an honest question,

We all can see the value in the standard 5-6 year edition updates.  After that amount of time for any system from 40k, to Warmachine, you will get a certain amount of “baggage” and “clutter” built up.  A bunch of new units will be added, new rules mechanics, and such.  Naturally there will be balance issues (no company is perfect), and the game will start to get predictable with known good units, and lists.

A good solid new edition, will invigorate the playerbase, tidy up the rules, integrate the new stuff and close up those exploits that the power players will always find. In effect it levels the playing field and lets everyone re-learn all together.

The biggest difference it that from a player’s perspective, 2 years seems really really short.  It feels somehow wrong to ask your playerbase to cough up another $100 for a 500 page coffee table book, when the old one is still in good shape.

On the other hand…

But Games Workshop has been doing something unique since 6th Edition shipped 2 years ago.

They have been releasing new kits and codices at an unheard of pace.  While only 2 years have passed in actual time, from the point of view of new rules and products released it has been equal to a much longer time in previous editions.


We have seen, over ten 6th Edition 40K codices come out, half a dozen Supplemental codices, and more dataslates and formations, Apocalypse, Stronghold Assault, and Escalation than you can shake a stick at.  In previous editions, that’s easily 4+ years worth of stuff, and GW shows no sign of slowing down.

The no FAQs for 12 months feels like years in “meta evolution time”, and I’ll be the first to say that the game is more in need of a rules refresh after 24 months than at the end of several previous 5-6 year editions.

Still though, asking your customerbase to buy-in again every 2 years seems like a real stretch with REAL dangers.  Edition changovers are fantastic times for revenue generation – IF THEY WORK.

It’s also the easiest time for folks to switch trains to the competition if they feel the grass is greener on the other side.

And to be honest I’m very anxious of what the future would look like if 40K 8th edition shows up in say 2016…

So that’s for you to decide.  How fast is too fast for new Editions? In the end, the consumer will tell – but how about you?


  • 40K: 7th Edition Starter Boxed Set Contents