BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K: The Future of Supplemental Codexes

4 Minute Read
Jan 11 2018
Warhammer 40K Hot story icon

Are the days of the Supplemental Codex done? Let’s chat.

There was a time in GW’s not-so-distant history that they were testing out a new model of codex. These were the Supplemental Codexes that were designed to be used in addition to their parent codex. Khorne Daemonkin, Black Legion, Sentinels of Terra, and Crimson Slaughter are a few examples of what I’m we’re talking about.

These existed in the weird spaces of 6th and 7th. They were add-ons that helped to bring some armies “up to par” but a lot of players did not enjoy having to look out side of their base codex for rules and useful rules. On top of that, they added more list building complexity to a game that was starting to get a tad bloated.

When Games Workshop dropped 8th Edition, they also dropped Indexes for every army and unit that was currently in the game. They managed to crank out 10 codexes in half-a-year, and look to be on pace to crank out even more this year. It’s been a great time to be a 40k player! The era of the Supplemental Codex appears to be over…for now.

What’s going to happen in the future when GW completes all the current codexes? Are we going to see this cycle repeat, again, for the 9th time? Are we going to start over with a new edition and new codexes all over again? Honestly, it doesn’t sound like that’s the plan. With the Chapter Approved coming every year and the “plan” that GW released about 2 BIG FAQs every year, it seems like they want to change it up.

So, again, what’s going to happen when GW competes this run of Codexes?

Let’s assume that all the codexes are out, the rules are done and the yearly cycle of Chapter Approved + 2 FAQs holds true. If GW wants to keep printing codexes for players to buy, they have a few options:


New Armies – Naturally, that makes sense. But for now, let’s table that thought.

Re-Release Codexes with Updates – this isn’t unprecedented. Space Marines are a classic example of an Army that has gotten a new codex within the same edition. This isn’t a terribly wild idea and it would give them a chance to included any of the FAQs/Errata that needed to be added. Maybe even introduce new units…

Create Supplemental Codexes – They could return to the Supplemental Codex model. This could be a way for them to add-on new material to existing codexes without the hassle of having to invalidate the old ones. The issue of bloat and allies is a little less convoluted in 8th thanks to the Keyword system also – for example if the Death Guard were to get a new unit in a Supplemental codex, they could just slap on “Death Guard” as the key word and *boom* unit added.

Launch 9th Edition – Hey, hitting the reset button worked before. Just sayin…

Do We Need Supplemental Codexes?


I think it’s going to come down to who you ask and what army they play. If you have a codex and you feel like your army is under performing, then I’m sure a codex that comes in and helps will be welcome. If you’re already playing an army that has access to “the soup” I’m betting you’re feeling pretty good as is.

I don’t think we need them until after all the current armies get a new book. Except Sisters of Battle – if they get a new book, then clearly we’re going to get 9th edition within a week or two, sorry Sisters. But seriously, I think we need to see all the armies get a codex first before GW starts issuing supplemental codexes. Will that happen or will get get a “Codex: Adeptus Astartes – Primaris” book first? Guess we’ll find out in a year…

What do you think? Will we see Supplemental Codexes return or do you think GW has moved past them? Do you even want a Supplemental Codex? Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Adam Harrison
  • BoLS: STREAMING NOW - "Chaos Daemons - Quad-god vs Eldar Game"

    Warhammer 40K