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40K: Codex Sub-Factions For Everyone

4 Minute Read
Jul 06

Codex Sub-Factions are going to add a lot of cool character back into the game and we can’t wait!

Warhammer 40,000 8th edition’s roll-out has been phenomenal. All the armies in 40k have rules, all the models produced by Games Workshop for 40k have rules, and each army feels like they can actually win games now. Right now is a fantastic time for first time players and long time vets get games in – everyone is learning and it’s just a really fun environment of discovery, testing, and playing.

I can’t think of a single edition of 40k or Warhammer Fantasy/AoS that had a roll-out this successful (maybe when the AoS General’s Handbook hit). It’s been less than a month and GW is already dropping FAQs to fix little things that might of slipped through the cracks. As I’ve mentioned before that’s a process that used to take many months, if not years, in previous editions. It’s the rapid, pro-active approach to 8th that really has fans of the game standing-up and taking notice. That’s why, I think, we should all be excited about the upcoming Codexes!

One of the things that really stuck out for me was the Sub-Faction tid-bit we got from the GW announcement:

“For you gamers out there, one very exciting addition are new rules representing specific sub-groups in many of the major factions; these range from old classics like the Space Marine Chapters or Chaos Space Marine Legions to returning rules for individual craftworlds, as well as previously unexplored groupings like Necron dynasties and Adeptus Mechanicus forge worlds. These will be included in each codex.”

The return of “old classics” like the different codex-following Space Marine chapters, the infamous Chaos Space Marine Legions, or the different Eldar Craftworlds? That sounds all the stuff the fans were wanting but didn’t get in the indexes! Plus we’re going to get Sub-factions for Necrons, Ad Mech, and probably all the other army factions, too? Yes please!

Games Workshop has already shown us they can do this for any army they create. Don’t believe me? Check out the Kharadron Overlords book from AoS:


The Kharadron Overlords were a completely new faction and they got 6 different sub-factions. These each got a unique bit of flavor text, a theme and some special rules/bonuses for building and playing that faction. Most of the bonuses are good, but not game-breakingly over-powered. On top of that, the Overlords also had a system were you could basically create your own sub-faction as well. It’s a really good blue-print of what GW could do with the upcoming 40k codexes. As long as GW can keep the Sub-factions relatively close in terms of these mini-bonuses, they should have a lot of success moving forward with them.

Another thing they could do is give players a benefit for not playing as a sub-faction – or have some type of default option. Think of Space Marine Chapter Tactics. The default ones were solid, but if you wanted to play White Scars, the default Chapter Tactics were overwritten for the unique White Scars abilities.

It wouldn’t be too difficult for GW to come-up with these special sub-factions for each race or army. The Imperial Forces are all pretty obvious, but even the Xenos races also have different sub-factions. Here’s a short list of them as examples:

Ork Sub-Factions (Ork Clans)

Necron Sub-Factions (Dynasties)

Tyranid Sub-Factions (Hive Fleets)

T’au Sub Factions (Tau Septs)

“You skipped The Farsight Enclave!” Or did I?

We could go on, but I think you get the idea. Each one of these sub-factions can be traced back to the lore of their respective army and most of them have even had paint schemes designed in the past. It would take some work to flesh out their theme and come up with their “thing” but they could each end up as a valid sub-faction.


I’m really hoping Games Workshop continues this trend of rapid, pre-emptive fixes and interaction with the community. I’m hoping they hear all the feedback people are giving them about the indexes, what works and what doesn’t, and that they roll that into these new Codexes. But for now, I’m just going to go play some more games because 8th has been a blast so far!


What sub-faction would you want added to your army and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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