40K 7th Edition and Some Things That Have Disappeared

One of the big things we started seeing with 40K 6th edition was codex supplements. You know, those small bolt-on books (though they cost the same damn price as a full codex), that added some flavor and options to an army. We’re talking Black Legion, Clan Raukaan, Iyanden and the like. They started trailing off at the end of 6th and we have not seen one released with 7th edition at all.

Black Legion

Honestly, I’m completely fine with this. First of all, as noted above, they weren’t cheap and mostly you were buying fluff. The rules were mostly covered on 2-3 pages (if that). I’m all for fluff. It’s one of the things I enjoy the most about 40K and what sets is apart from so many other gaming systems. However, I do not want to spend $50 on it when I can buy fluff in a $7.99 Black Library paperback book. Second, while the flavorful (usually), injections into the primary codex were interesting, it wasn’t worth having a separate book for. You got some new artefacts, a special rule or two and often some slight modifications to some units. Sound like something else? What the $50 codex supplement used to do is now covered in formations with 7th edition. Almost the same thing at no extra cost to you.

I’ve also noticed a distinct lack of dataslates. Going by the Black Library site, where you can buy dataslates, the last release was December 2014. We got some dataslates under 7th edition but very few compared to those released under 6th. Remember the advent calendar in 2013? Holy hell did they push out dataslates that month. Dataslates, though far more affordable than supplements, also fall into the category of having been replaced by formations in 7th edition. We got a few dataslates introducing new models, like Be’Lakor and Cypher, but most were formations.


Let’s not forget Escalation. It was the only way before 7th edition to get a Lord of War into your army. Now, Lords of War are part of your codex. Speaking of, Eternal Wargamer has a great article on how 40K is Epic.

Did anyone actually buy this thing?
Did anyone actually buy this thing?

So, here we are at 7th edition and when you think about it, things have become far more streamlined than the clusterfuck that 6th was. No more buying supplements to flesh out your codex. No need to buy dataslates to get cool formations for your army. You don’t have to buy a separate book just to get the one Lord of War you care about. Everything you really need is part of your codex now. It’s become less a cash grab by GW (on the required materials needed to play anyway), and collectors nightmare it had become. Sure, we have more codices now – more new armies, but that’s where it stops. No trying to keep up on all the released addons for all those armies and for that I’m thankful.

What do you think? Is 7th edition a step forward or backwards?


  • I assume it’s a change in thinking…for awhile i thought they were sticking to the codex + supplement release. (With the good stuff in the supplement). Now they are giving away rules for free. Impossible to know what will happen next!

    • I completely agree. I had something in this article about that but I couldn’t write it the way I wanted. But yeah, it really seems there’s a shit in approach and the shift has been away from blatant cash grabs to giving players more for their money. I think dataslates is a neat idea, and done well it’s still a good idea, but it was obvious they were drawing in cash for an end of quarter report. Same with all the other stuff; neat but not needed. If they give players more bang for their buck then they will make more money long term and I think someone up there is realizing that.

      • I also feel that a lot of their changes take an enormous time to implement. They seem to react to community feedback (especially when purchases are concerned), but do so at what appears to be a 6 month delay.

        I remember when they 7th edition codexes came out, everyone was complaining about “blandness” and being boring, but internally balanced.

        Six months later? Necron codex hits. BAM everything is usable and powerful. Since then it’s been slaughter fest after slaughter fest, with probably the weakest of the bunch being daemonkind, but that is still a much stronger codex then most of the early 7th ones (AM, orks, SW, DE, GK, BA

        That timing? About 6 months after the ork codex.

        • They do listen for sure and you’re right on the timing. It’s a big ship, GW, and it doesn’t turn on a dime but it will turn in time. People are just so quick to jump on the hate bandwagon that they overlook the positive things that are done. I think the game needs some work, I’m not blind to the problems, but I’d rather focus on the positive because it’s a far more rewarding experience than spouting hateful remarks for the sake of gaining views and comments.

    • Well they really, really did need a change in thinking.

      • Definitely. I think they finally realized that the blast them with everything at once approach was a terrible idea.

  • I think GW has hit the right track with formations in codexes. I think they’ll expand in campaign books, like the formations they put into the Shield of Baal books and box set. You can add formations for multiple armies in those with ease. Even White Dwarf has rules now, though folks gripe about the availability of the paper copies. They’re available eternally in digital format now though, iirc.

    • That’s how they should do it, release a book for everyone – or more than one army, with formations, detachments, etc. I also agree it’s how they will proceed going forward as they’ve set the trend already.

      I really need to start looking into picking up White Dwarf since it’s becoming a useful platform again.

  • The thing is Escalation is still needed in some ways as it is the only place that contains the extra secondary objectives/victory points IRT LoW. Most people don’t realize you actually score more points when you kill them.

    • The extras in there are only applicable if you’re taking a LoW from it. If you’re taking a LoW from a 7th codex then what’s in Escalation doesn’t apply.

  • ming2005

    Although…Khorne Daemonkin…may be an experiment they will replicate (rumors seem to point in that direction). Personally, I’d rather see a blast from the past – formations, characters, and upgrades via WD, with an annual compendium (especially needed since some of the WDs like infamous #47 are OOP and only available electronically).

    Frankly – I can predict this here being a dark inquisitor, that in the same manner of WH being changed overnight in the death of the warhammer world on which the game was played – now transferred to some other plane of existence for the AOS, could be the expected future of WH40K. Remember those rumors last year that the Emperor was going to be ended, leaving the galaxy to get by w/o the astronomicon? Remember 6th was originally being marketed as the end of times somewhat alluding to where we were headed? Depending on how AOS goes, GW will either be pulling the trigger on the future of 40K or decidedly not doing it and keeping the status quo. Only the cards of the Emperor’s Tarot will divine the correct answer….

    • I can’t see GW giving 40K the AoS treatment in terms of game play. I’m all for pushing that storyline ahead but for the game of 40K, I think it will remain largely the same even if they propel the story. My rational is that GW now has an easy to learn, cheap to get into game with AoS and 40K will remain the “advanced” game they sell. WHFB got what it did because it was a dying game that was just pissing away profit margins. If 40K is making them money, and we know it is, they won’t shake things up the same way. That’s not to say they won’t do something but I think the scale and approach to the game will be untouched.

      • Fantasy wasn’t really ended over night, the end of the Old World was announced a long way before it happened. GW actually may it possible to play through the apocalypse with the End Time.

        I wouldn’t mind if 40k picks up a thing or two from Age of Sigmar. Free rules and warscrolls are great. There are plenty of mechanics in 40k that could be simplified as well. The increase of player interaction in the opponent’s turn wouldn’t hurt 40k.

        But I can’t really see much of this happening. Why give rules away, when they can sell them? The rules will be continued to be simplified through each edition, but radical change will only risk too much.

        And I really can’t see GW forwarding the 40k in a manner that would invalidate the basic foundation of 40k – that humanity is governed by Emperor who sits immobile on the golden throne. Unlike the Old World, the galaxy is big enough to house any awesome campaign or faction that you want to add (if the galaxy isn’t big enough, just have you bad guys come from another), You can’t outgrow this setting.

        • I think, under the circumstances, that GW handles the ending of WHFB and beginning of AoS pretty well. As you said, it was known ahead of time and you could play through it. I can’t see a much better way to end a game than that.

          No doubt 40K will pick up some things from AoS. AoS is a whole new approach for GW on nearly every front. GW is going to learn a ton with this new business model, some good and some bad, but I think they’ll succeed with it. Any success with AoS is only going to help 40K as it helps the company grow and learn.

          You’re absolutely right on the setting. With a galaxy at your disposal, how can you every outgrow that? As for the Emperor though, wouldn’t it be a great irony though to have him die and manifest in the warp as a god to be worshiped by humanity? Something like that would keep him firmly in place, we are well aware of the warp’s reach, but allow things to move ahead.

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