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Goatboy’s Warhammer 40K: The Best and Worst of 9th Edition

7 Minute Read
Dec 5 2022
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Goatboy here and as 40K 9th Edition is heading towards its eventual end – what were it’s best and worst parts?

Each version of the game we have played has brought about new rules, new interactions, and hopefully challenging game play.  Not every edition has been amazing and no matter how many rose colored glasses we wear GW has seen some hits and misses throughout the years.  Today I want to talk a bit about the things I liked from 9th and the things I did not like.

The Best of 9th Edition

Let’s begin with the highpoints from this last edition.  The first thing I have liked is the fact the events have finally all supported the “one” set of missions to rule them all.  The game designers have given us a set of missions that everyone plays thus allowing your average player to go from one event to the other and still understand how they can score the game.  While the missions are a bit boring in places they all work which is a good thing especially when trying to hang your hat on a competitive experience.  I won’t go into how many times I have gone to events in previous editions where specific army types only work for the missions the organizer tried to get to work with whatever catchy names they wanted.  Having everyone play the same game is just a better experience for all levels of players.

Clarified Terrain Rules

The terrain keywording is a good start on simplifying another hard aspect of the game.  I wanted to see more of this show up in the next edition as just having everything easily defined is a great start to having exciting gameplay.  It is the same sort of rules philosophy of how terrain set up should be a lot more “locked” in as it helps let people understand what they need to do better.  The game within a game of terrain placement can be daunting to new players so I am hoping we see a better push with upcoming matched play options we are sure to see with the new edition.

Army Construction

The way to build armies is mostly ok with a few “issues” due to the soupy nature of Chaos and that whole pesky Agents of Chaos messiness.  I expect the next edition to sync that up a lot more and try to shore up some of these issues.  Either way a more cohesive way to build armies ( such as simplified detachments) or some other method.  Still mostly the rules to build your army works beyond some people using and abusing RAW vs RAI.

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Quarterly Balance Updates

The quarterly balance updates have been a great edition to this game as it shows GW does care and hopefully it catches some things.  I know a lot of players wish some things were hit heavier but it does become a delicate thing to try and get everything synced up.  The slow release of rules and books allows for a lot of things to be balanced towards the “x” meta of 4-5 powerful books instead of the overall game.  Having a chance to Dataslate fix things is a good thing.  The same goes with the “free” points updates and FAQs we have been getting which all points to an excellent job by GW to keep their game from being a purely degenerate set of armies smashing all the others around.

Zero-cost Unit Options

I have also liked the push to letting units be equipped with everything they have access too on their sprues – but not costing you extra points.  Having Age of Sigmar style flat costed units is a good way to help players build up their armies as they can just purchase a box, build it with all the goodies, and get to use those goodies.  I hope to see more of this as having a unit with a ton of “options” makes for an annoying time to build armies as points get weird as you start to build it out.

The Worst of 9th Edition

There are other things I like but this is a very broad list of basic things I enjoy with the game.  There are a ton of individual army rules that are awesome and it would be cool to list them all I do have some gears to grind over with some of the issues we have and still have with the game.

Obsolete Rules In New Codexes

The biggest issue we have is a set of rules that we know are broken but keeps getting printed in books after those rules are “nerfed” with dataslate updates.  I am really talking about the whole hit rolls of 6 auto wounding and counting as a 6 for the wound roll.  This keeps coming up and each time it shows up it ends up being broken for a bit, getting nerfed instantly, or just being a giant pain in the butt when printed.  I keep wondering why they allow the rule to live on as it has never really felt fair – bar those armies where the wound roll of 6 counts for nothing.  I am hoping in 10th this rule is moved away from as it isn’t fun, invalidates armies abilities (toughness etc), and with rerolls it just becomes a game of Yatzi.

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USRs Need to Return

I am also really annoyed with a lack of Universal Keywords.  We all know how Teleportation works and we don’t need a bunch of different names to do the same thing.  Having it just say Teleport would be an easy way to eliminate some of the Dataslate extra nonsense we see.  It is the same with some of the Weapon options we have out there.  Let’s move back to a very simple set of “traits” that every army gets to use and keyword the crap out of it.  This should free up some Codex space and allow for more hobby and lore pages, or other fun options instead of a bunch of extra text that people always incorrectly read.

Layers of Rules Ignoring Other Rules

I also hate how the game has become a constant state of ignore x rules but this new rule isn’t the same rule so it ignores your ignore options.  Things like limitations of damage you can take, ignoring all your armies rules like toughness or rerolls, limiting how well you hit even if you used to hit well, and just piles of extra things to make a unit tough.  Toughness used to be easy you either had a boat load of wounds or were tough as nails.  Now you need to always have a save of some sorta, another level of saving, you can’t hit me cuz I dance real good, and a pile of rerolls to ensure you are tough as heck.  You can’t just hope being a gross dude in olive colored armor will let you survive the rain of terror on the battlefield.

Army Secondaries Have Failed

I am still not a fan of the “army” secondaries.  The Balance is off with them and while it does help some older armies compete.  I wish we either got rid of them entirely and just went with basic Mission options or have a better design philosophy with them.  If you are only taking your armies secondaries and not any of the main book ones you need to start asking are your armies choices too good.  I hope we have a really refreshed set of “scoring” options in the next edition – just to allow for more variety.

Mortal Wound Inflation

Finally on the mortal wound front there really should be a concentrated effort to justify units with points based on how many Mortal wounds they can do.  How many mortal wounds is ok for a unit to cause?  Why not make sure all “defaulted” abilities like cause a mortal wound for roll x are set up the same way?  They should all have total limits and not limits based on what they hit.  Sure some things can hit a bunch of things but if you limit the mortal wound output to 6 it becomes less devastating.  Its frustrating to see things keep popping up in books when we know they are already broken.

These are some broad aspect I see in the game that could use some help.  I am sure there are a ton of others – like there being too many dang stratagems and not having enough Goat-based units in the game.

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What kind of things are you hoping get resolved in 40K’s next edition? 

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