First we saw the boards shrink. Then we saw the weapons get deadlier. Now the units are getting tougher. Warhammer 40k 9th is escalating quickly.
Warhammer 40,000 9th edition is about to get a little more hectic on the tabletop. While we might not have a full picture of what the armies are going to be like in 9th, we are starting to see the direction that Games Workshop is taking the game and it’s going to be plenty brutal. The Core Rules have been out for a bit and folks are playing games – although we don’t have any major tournament (think large events like LVO/NOVA/Adepticon/etc.) data yet, the theoryhammerists have been hard at work. And now with the new Space Marine Weapons and wound changes, it’s a sign that more changes are coming.
We just talked about some of the implications for Chaos Space Marines. And GW already hinted that Necrons are gaining some more lethality, too. It’s sure looking like the arms race has fired up and the Grimdark is about to get a whole lot deadlier.
The Imperium is clearly leading the charge here with their armory getting a rework. The default boards also got smaller while the weapons damage and ranges both increased. This means that firepower is going to dominate the tabletop – if you don’t have the terrain you need to keep things interesting. On the flip side, units appear to be gaining some durability. We know that Marines of all flavors are getting an extra wound but you can bet that it’s not going to stop there. With the points shifts upwardly, GW has plenty of room to make units tougher – they already increased their point values so why not?!
These changes are coming in October with the release the Necrons and Space Marine Codexes. The Imperium and Chaos are getting to ride the Marine Buff wave so we know they are going to be in a better spot. That really makes you wonder what’s in store for the Xenos options. If this escalation continues (and it kind of has to so the game attempts some semblance of balance) what the heck are the Aeldari going to get? Or the Tyranids? Or the Orks?! Are we going to see 12 wound Carnifexes running around? Are T’au finally going to be to take something other than a million shield drones?!?!?!
How is Games Workshop going to escalate the other armies (ie, Xenos) in the game so they can keep up? Everyone who uses Imperial weapons weapons is about to get a major boost and GW hinted that Xenos changes are coming. Perhaps more importantly, how is GW going to make each army different from each other? You can’t just have 2 wound Ork Boys running around. And you can’t make the Aeldari harder to hit than a -1 now. How is GW going to make these armies more durable and more deadly?
Personally, I think this is a fundamental design decision that GW has to address come October. Space Marines weren’t exactly hurting in 8th and they are the first army to get a massive buff in 9th. Games Workshop will have to come up with some compelling rules to make folks want to play non-Imperium armies in 9th or the game is going to get stale really, really quick.
“What are we fighting today? Oh. Power Armor. Great.”
I’m not saying it’s going to be all doom and gloom – but there IS going to be a period of time where Power Armor of all flavors is going to dominate the battlefield in 9th. Unfortunately, that’s coming off their dominance in 8th so it’s going to feel like the past year has been “All Power Armor, All The Time.” Hopefully, after October when these changes hit with the codexes, we’ll get more info on what other codexes are next and what the Xenos armies are going to get to help keep-up. ‘Cause it’s looking kind of bleak if you’re not rocking a 3+ save and Imperial Tech right now.
“Oh sorry Mr. Space Marine, we’re just going to go play at the Xenos table today, thanks.”
What changes are you hoping the Xenos armies get to keep the game interesting in 9th?