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40K Op-ed: Oh Look, The Year of the Xenos Is Here At Last

5 Minute Read
Jan 30 2018
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Xenos, xenos everywhere. – and not an Imperial to see!

This past week at the Las Vegas Open GW announced a number of upcoming releases, including the next three codexes. The good news that that three books were all going to be xenos was greeted with a lot of rejoicing. Dark Eldar Drukhari, T’au and Necron players have a lot to look forward too in coming weeks. Here a few of my hopes and thoughts on these lists.

Books Not Models


Like most of the new codex releases it looks like we’ll be getting books but few if any new models. While we are getting a hot new Cryptek model its the only new model announced so far from those 3 codexes.

Likely it will be the only new for all three books. While this is sad, it does follow the pattern we’ve seen, and allows them to put out a lot of new books quickly.


This is one of the armies that really needs some help. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw an army that was only Drukhari being played. In particular they have one of the worst selections of HQ choices in the game. Luckly that kind of problem can be fixed in the move to Codex. With a core army that is still fairly solid, and a newer line of models, it shouldn’t take much to being them back to life. The additional challenge will be giving them a compelling reason to NOT have Ynnari mixed in their army. So far GW has failed with Craftworld (or didn’t want too) and there is no reason not to take some Ynnari.


Fluff wise it will also be interesting to get some updates on the Drukhari. We’ve haven’t really seen how they have reacted to the rise of the Ynnari. It’s a good place to move the story along, and develop some stuff. I’m also hoping we get more hints at Ahriman’s plans to attack Commorragh. Given GW’s history of ignoring the Drukhari for edtions, its nice to see they are getting a new book early on.


Just make a plastic Manta and put it in the book. There, fixed. 🙂

The T’au are another book that really needs some help. Unlike the Drukhari I feel like they have a more underlying issue. GW has often really struggled with the T’au. Pure gunline lists  are hard to make fun, both to play and to play against. In addition they’ve often struggled to make them really stand apart from the Imperial Guard.  While their battlesuits are cool, and mostly good, the rest of the army really struggles.

If GW wants to make the T’au a viable force, they are going to have to really look at some of the core concepts of the army. Both markerlights and seeker missiles need a rework. The Greater Good rule also needs a new look. While it’s good it tends to really bog games down, for little effect.


So far we’ve heard little about the changes. They say they will address Commander spam, which is good, as long as they give the rest of the T’au better options. Currently Commander spam is the best thing the army has got going for it, and it’s still not winning much. We’ve also heard the book emphasize T’au not Kroot. This seems like an odd comment to make, since the books have never emphasized kroot, they’ve sucked the whole time. I can only hope this means that a later book WILL emphasize them. Maybe some kind of T’au allies book or a 40K Mercenaries book.


Of the three xenos factions getting redone Necrons are the strongest to me. They’ve still got some very solid units, and one of the best army rules in the game. Because of this I am surprised that GW said they are going to be major changes coming for them. It seems like there might be some major reworks being done to them. I don’t know if they just mentioned Necrons to mean the entire codex is going to get an overhaul, or just the “Necron” units such as Warriors, Immortals, etc.  I’m intrigued.

One of the reports was that the new list will be a lot more mobile then the current one. Overall though I think Necrons are a pretty mobile list, they’ve got some fast units, a transport and can teleport people all over so we shall have to see.

Final Thoughts

As well as all the above I’m excited to see all the new stratagems, traits and sub factions rules the books are going to get. Given how powerful Pyskic abilities are getting I also hope both T’au and Necrons are given some way to help protect against these powers. Overall all I am very pleased with the fact that these three books are coming out next. It’s finally starting to feel like the year of the Xenos. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Let us know what you want out of the new books, down in the comments! 


Author: Abe Apfel
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