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Warhammer 40K: 5 Rules the New Edition Needs

5 Minute Read
Jul 21 2020

Today let’s talk about some rules that should really be added to future 9th Edition Codexes.

This weekend will see the wide release for Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition and players will be able to get their hands on their own copy of the book. I of course have had my greedy hands on one for a while, and have poured over all the changes avidly.  While 9th isn’t the major sea change to the game that 8th was, it is still a significant change. Changes to the core rules tend to have a far reaching effect on the game, with ripples spreading out through Codexes and army special rules. Today I want to look at five rules I think we should see in upcoming Codexes. These rules take advantage of new game mechanics to add more flavor and verity to the game. Let’s dig in.

5. Faction Specific Secondary Objectives

In 8th Edition each Codex included a set of Tactical Objectives to be used in Maelstrom of War missions.  This was a super cool idea as it helped add some unique flavor into the missions. It not only recognized that different 40K factions might have different goals in a battle, but also meant each missions would be a little different depending on who was playing it. The problems was… nobody played Maelstrom of War. In fact in the past 3 years I don’t think I ever once saw the format being played, I’m sure it was somewhere, but not widely. In 9th the format is just gone from main rule book, seemingly admitting that it was not used. Instead we’ve got a large set of Secondary Objectives that you used in matched play and tournament missions. I think a great addition to the game would be for each army to have a couple unique Secondary Objectives, these would be good for the same reason the MoW objectives were, except this time around, people would use them.

4. More Actions

One new rule concept introduced in 9th is actions. These are things your model does during a turn that don’t really fit into the normal actives, moving, shooting, casting, charging or fighting. In order to preform them you have to give up on doing other things for a certain amount of time. Right now they are pretty much just tied to scoring objectives but there is a lot of ways you could expand this, both with generic or faction specific actions. Think about a Chaos Sorcerer spending a turn taking an action to preform a ritual and getting major buff the next turn. Or making daemon summoning into an action. What about a Guard Squad spending a turn digging in to get a better save or an artillery officer plotting bombardments for a turn and then gaining a re-roll aura or something. There is a lot to be done here.

3. Playing With CP Generation

Right now as part of the core rules every player gets 1 CP during each of their command phases. This is a fine rule, but a little boring and predictable. You could easily jazz this up a bit by having some armies generate CP a little differently. Maybe a CSM force, with an emphasis on lighting assaults could generate 2 CP for each of the first 2 turns but none after that. This changes their style a bit, with more CP up front but less over the whole game. Or a T’au army based on more planning and long term thinking could get 2 CP on turns 3-5, but none on the first two turns. They have to wait to get theirs but get more over the whole game. Maybe a Harlequin army has to gamble, rolling 2 d6 each turn and getting a CP on a 4+, higher risk, but higher reward. I think there are some cool possibilities here.

2. More Stuff For the Command Phase

The Command Phase is another new addition for 9th, and right now it’s a little sparse. Currently the only real thing that happens during the whole phase is that you generate your free CP. In some missions there may be a thing that happens in the phase as well, normally it’s when you score. The BRB does say that some rules and stratagems are used in the Command Phase, but right now now I don’t think any of these exist. So, lets get them. There are a number of things that could be done here and I’d just like to see the phase fleshed out a bit.


1. More Terrain Interactions

In 8th Edition terrain really just did one thing, it gave models cover, which was a simple +1 to their save vs shooting (yes it blocked movement and LoS as well). In 9th terrain does a lot more and there are now a few types of cover or cover like effects. Now cover can give you +1 to a save vs shooting, or +1 to a save in CC or a -1 to be hit or several other effects. However as of now all of the rules that effect cover only deal with Light Cover, the +1 to your save vs shooting. I’d really like to see some these rules expanded on and have things effect different types of cover. For instance Imperial Fists and Iron Warriors are both siege masters, which currently means they both ignore enemy light cover. That’s a little boring. What if Iron Warriors kept their current rules, to represent their are masters of bombardments, but Imperial Fists changed to ignore Heavy Cover (+1 to saves in CC) to represent them being good at breaching defensive positions (or maybe enemy units can’t set to defend against them?). A simple change like that would allow them to keep their flavor but be a little different, and take advantage of the new rules.

Let us know what future rules you’d like to see, down in the comments! 

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