After the Orks get a new codex, we have an rough idea of what GW is planning – but what’s coming after? Let’s chat.
Warhammer: 40,000 8th Edition has been a pretty monstrous hit for GW. Regardless of how you feel about the current state of the game, if you trace a line from the time the game launched to now, you’ll see it’s on an upward trajectory. The Indexes were a shot in the arm for the entire community because they allowed everyone to start on at the same time.
Over time the codexes have rolled out and been clear upgrades and additions to their indexed versions. We’ve also been getting a pretty steady stream of amazing kits for many of the armies in the game. Now, there have been some misses here and there, but overall it’s been a pretty impressive run. And we’ve still got a few more codexes, a chapter approved, and even more kits on the way. But what comes after?
Beyond Sisters In 2019
After the Orks, we’ve got the Genestealer Cult Codex which we know is being worked on. We also have seen the Sisters of Battle bits that have teased by GW. We also know that Slaanesh is going to return in some form or fashion as well (but that could be on the AoS side of the house or function as a dual AoS/40k release). If we’re just looking at 40 and the armies from the Indexes then it’s pretty clear who else is missing:
- Talons of the Emperor
- Imperial Agents
- Legion of the Damned
Now, the Talons kind of got replaced by the Adeptus Custodes book. Legion of the Damned has always been another chapter/sub-faction for Marines as well, it would be unlikely that they get a full codex (but that would be pretty stinkin’ sweet). Imperial Agents is also kind of spotty – one could argue that they have been rolled into parts of other Imperial books. So in reality, that leaves the Ynnari.
Codex: Ynnari – Then What?
Let’s fast forward to 6 months from now. It’s April 2019. Orks, Genestealer Cults, Sisters, Slaanesh and Ynnari are out. We’ve even got the Chapter Approved from December out. What’s GW’s road map look like now?
Now, this is all conjecture from here on out but let’s look at their release pattern to see if we can make some educated guesses.
Forgebane, Tooth and Claw, Wake The Dead, Kill Team…the list just keeps growing. Games Workshop has been on a tear releasing these Boxed Sets. They have all been really good deals – that’s been a constant. They are also pushing the narrative of the new “warzone” Vigilus. GW is using these Boxed Sets to get new players in the game and push the narrative forward. And if vets pick-up these deals to round out their collections or expand, even better. I’d put money on seeing more of these boxed sets.
A New Edition?
Are we poised to see 9th Edition in 2019? Well if all the codexes are out, then that seems like a pretty obvious move, right? But do we need a new edition? This one I’m not too keen on. 8th changed around a lot of the core rules and it’s been described as a “living ruleset” by GW. The FAQ schedules and Chapter Approved seem to be evidence that GW is striving toward a new path with their game system releases. Then again, Sisters are the heralds that an edition is about to die…So while I’m not a fan of getting another edition, I could see this one being in the works.
Alternatively, it could be a lot like the AoS 2.0 update where the game basically stays the same but GW just tweaks more of the rules. If 40k follows suit, we might see a new core rulebook released with the changes from Chapter Approved included. Sort of an 8.5 edition. They’ve also done that before…
Another New Army?
40k already has a TON of armies out there so there is a case to be made that we don’t really need another one. But having a new challenger approach can really change things up and breathe some new life into a game system. Think about the impact that Adeptus Mechanicus has had – or perhaps even more apparent are the Imperial Knights.
The last time we really got a new RACE was 3rd when Necrons and Tau (that’s pre apostrophe T’au) we introduced as fully formed and playable races. Genestealer Cults were around before that and came back. And Ynnari are just a mix of all the Aeldari races. Adeptus Mechanicus are technically humans (although they are very heavily modified).
Personally, I’d like to see a new army introduced into the game that’s not based off any of the current races. I’d love to see something really alien and different. But I’d settle for a new faction of an existing race introduced as well. And yes, that includes the return of Squats or even a Beastman 40k chaos army!
More Campaigns, Models, and Side Games – Oh My!
This one is pretty much a gimme – but I’m including this anyways. The Boxed Sets are great chances to introduce new warzones and campaign style events. Think about Cadia and how that shaped the future. There is no reason GW can’t do that again! (Well, I mean, they can’t re-blowup Cadia, but you know what I mean). I’d love to see the story line keep getting pushed further and further. It’s great to see things actually happening in the universe and not just a constant “reset the clock” storyline.
Another thing GW could do (and would warrant new Codexes) would be to add more kits to the ranges of the existing armies. We’ve seen them do this already – they replace old kits with new ones or add more sprues to an existing kit – and create new units for that army. Well, those rules have to be included somewhere, right? Now you need a new codex.
The last thing I think we can safely count on is more side games. I’ve talked about how easily Adeptus Titaniuc could be pushed out of the Horus Heresy Era and it would be very easy to add more armies to that game. There is also Necromunda expansions that can be added (looking at all those Guild models that were teased). Kill Team also seems to be getting a lot of attention as well. There are LOTS of game systems GW could mine that are set in the 40k universe – so you can bet that more of those are planned in 2019.
Games Workshop is still making content for a universe we all know and love to play around in. What would you like to see them do in 2019?