Warhammer 40K 8th Edition

Warhammer 40K 8th Edition on the Horizon – Thank God

So, Games Workshop has done the unimaginable and is reforging the game for Warhammer 40K 8th edition. If you haven’t seen the article, you can check it out here. I also just learned that they have released a website for 40K.

Note: Since writing this, I have played a game of 8th edition if you’d like to see my review of it.

Also Note: I wrote this article as we got the 8th FAQ. So, at the very bottom (click to jump down) I am collecting the various links to information released by Games Workshop for 8th edition since I wrote this article.

What We Know About Warhammer 40K 8th Edition

The big thing to note here is that your current codex will not be valid in Warhammer 40K 8th edition. Yep, it’s about to be useless and I couldn’t be happier. Why? Simple. By invalidating all current codices they give themselves all the room they need to make 8th edition from the ground up. This is something I have felt the game needed, but I didn’t think – to put it bluntly, that Games Workshop had the balls to do it. How I love to be wrong in this case.

Too Much

I have said here that I felt the game had become too cumbersome. There’s too many sources, too many rules – just too much to deal with in a typical game of 40K. Having to bring along the core rules, codex, supplement, and a campaign book just to play a game is pretty standard. I also feel that detachments and formations have gotten WAY out of hand. I love the concept of them – to let players field fluffy lists that are capable on the field, but instead its dissolved into abuse. The common unit tax on a formation or detachment is negligible when you look at the gains. See, those units seen as tax are included because they fit the objective of the formation, it’s fluffy, but to most it’s a means to an end; that end being to win.

I’m not aiming to shoot down more competitive gamers, they are using the tools given to them, but instead to point out the flaws of the current detachment system we have now. It needs work, and the only way to do that is by taking all the source materials for 7th and throwing them out. I commend Games Workshop for such a bold move.

The Rules

The rules need some work as well as we go into 40K 8th. Again, the only way to really rework the game is to remove anything 7th edition or prior. Core rules and codices are wound together tightly now. It used to be that a codex had all of its rules within in, but at some point (6th maybe?), we started seeing things in our codices like “See the Warhammer 40K Rulebook” in our codices. It all has to burn for something new to arise.

Oh, right. Did you see the rules will be free? FREE! This is also another great move for a few reasons. First, it brings in more players for obvious reasons. Second, it allows them to adjust the rules, and to make it a living ruleset. When the rules cost nothing then there’s no concern for annoying people with a new rulebook every few months. People aren’t losing money on something they just bought that got nixed a few weeks later. Smart move.

New Ways to Play

I’m excited to see the 3 ways to play introduced into 40K 8th as well. It’s gone over very well with Age of Sigmar, so it’s not real surprise we’ll see it in 40K. One of the hard things with 40K and playing pick-up games has been playing like-minded opponents. There’s a great divide in wargaming between the fluffy players and the more competitive players. Having the rules support the various ways of play is just smart.

8th Teaser Video

Oh, here’s the small teaser video Games Workshop did as well for Warhammer 40K 8th edition.

Final Thoughts

In the end though it’s still early, and we have little concrete information*. The only concrete information we have is found in that article. Just because the game is being reforged doesn’t mean it’s going to be good. I’m optimistic though, and I feel with GW submerging themselves in the community again that we’ll get a great set of rules in 40K 8th.

Games Workshop continues to push out information for 8th edition. Here’s what we have so far.

Warhammer 40K 8th Edition Rules

Fluff & Warzones

Faction Focus

Primaris Space Marines

Game Modes & Gaming


What are your thoughts? You looking forward to 8th, or are you dreading it?

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As a collector I felt a bit of a sucker punch at all the old Codexs being chucked. However as a gamer I really hope they use this bring balanced forces to the game. If every book is awsome then we will have a very very vibrant and fun game on our hands.


Bold move GW, and I commend you! Agree that this is the way to completely reset the game mechanics and forge it into something new. I for one cannot wait


I think right now I’m more annoyed as I am more than half way through panting up 1750 list for the Standoff. Only now I don’t even know if it will be valid anymore.

Siph Horridus
Siph Horridus

Cautiously Optimistic is where I am at.

Nils Holmbergh

Not a direction I thought GW would go in. I do think it’s the right move for them and I might even dust off my Daemons and try it out.

Craig Fenris
Craig Fenris

Yes, 7th edition has become too cumbersome, but new rules e.g. how units move won’t change the supplement/codex approach.

And i hate this “3 ways to play” nonsense, you were always able to pit the tiny toy soldiers who have against the ones of your mate for a lough. Campaign/narrative setting, most of us took part in a smaller or lrger campaign with added on restrictions and benefits, there is nothing new here either. Now the “normal” type of game, i’m afraid that they simplify it too much, like Dow3. And that point costs for units are still way off, like in the generals handbook.

I play orks and imps, so I really hope that this editions improves how those armies are played on the table. But on the other hand, if it gets too different, i’m afraid that I won’t like it anymore. Because i like the game as it is now. It’s like the change the rules how soccer works every couple of years, increasing ball size, changing the the grass colour or adding new players, it might not be bad, but it is not the game you liked to watch/play.

This edition won’t change the unbalance, it is still gw, they’ll screw up


My first reaction was anger. Why would they throw every single book printed in the last few years in the trash? Why would they throw books printed LAST MONTH in the trash? I spent hard earned cash on that stuff. I’d accepted updates as a thing I could live with every few years, knowing something was still usable.
My next reaction was relief, knowing that rules would be “free.” Yes, free in quotes. As far as I can tell, individual unit/model rules for AoS are free, but the books that contain the army wide rules are not. I may be wrong.
Then came despair, because I’m in the middle of building a new army that relies on books that will be invalidated by the edition change. The uncertainty of whether I can play this new army in the same manner I envisioned sucks. Of course, maybe they’ll throw the whole force org chart in the trash too, and I can run the army as is without relying on formations.
The next was excitement. New rules and armies is always exciting, and the way the alliance stuff works in Sigmar seems to allow you to dabble in single units from other armies without investing in an entire new codex, HQ models, etc. I could field some Guard alongside my Raven Guard quickly and easily.
My final feeling? Sadly, it’s apathy. I just don’t care what they do to the game any more. The “three ways to play” gimmick is a lame duck in my opinion. Open Play is nice for teaching the game. Narrative is nice if you’re one to make a date to play, and your date knows exactly how you like to play. It’s the game type for besties. The only mode I can see played regularly is Match Play, and the folks who broke the game in Sixth and Seventh will break it again in Eighth.
GW has promised on the new web site that every unit and every model in the game will be worth fielding, but that feels hollow when Imperial Knights and Wraithlords are still fieldable in multiples, Ynnari throw the turn sequence and turn possession (you don’t take actions in my turn) out the window, and Gene Cults break all the rules for movement and deployment.
I’m hoping for a new edition I can give a shit about, instead of a new edition for players to break in a couple months.

Spectre Senence

A lot of you say is in the minds of a lot of the player base but i did see the General Scrolls for AoS are pretty low cost compared to 40k codexes. I was tempted to get into because the army books were pretty affordable. I did read in the FAQ that models won’t be unusable and that is refreshing to hear


I’m very excited about this. They’ve been needing to do a hard reset for quite some time now, and I’m very happy they’re actually buckling down and going for it.

That said, I think this might have killed 40K in our group until the release, because we were getting pretty frustrated with 7th, and we’ve been having a lot of fun with Shadow War, so we’re probably just going to run a few Shadow War campaigns and maybe play some AoS until 8th actually drops.


This might make me actually want to play again. I still have 6 armies I don’t use. Hard reset IS ballsy, but it makes me feel like this attempt isn’t auto-doomed. At the very least, this will make me pay attention again.

Joe Baird

This is supper exciting! I haven’t played at all in 7th and so many books and sub-rules it was overwhelming to think about getting back in. It also made it WAY too cumbersome to teach new players (my family). With the simplified rules like AoS it will be so much easier.
I also agree that the 3 ways to play will be great. Want to play fun, fluffy games? The don’t play with points and the other player already has the same mindset. Want to smash each other on the table? Use points and everyone is on the same page.

Jack Shrapnel

Well even though I bought all in with genestealer cults at xmas this year, and bought an entire 2k worth of them… I do welcome the change. 7th has become a bloated mess and it’s time for a big change. I really like what happened with AOS and I think alot of that model can work well with 40k.

Kenneth Raymond
Kenneth Raymond

Well the base rules will be free so we can have look at them when they are released. The group I play with generally has a mix of 30k and 40k armies playing with and against each other (With some house rules regarding flyers). So we won’t be playing 8th edition as this 30k is not compatible with it (The FAQ mentions this). [Yesterday we had a game between CSM and emperors children using the legion list, they played big guns never tire and despite phospex spam from the legion and psycher spam from the tzeentch CSM the game was very close until a chaos spawn started killing off the quad mortars then the tide turned and the CSM forces pulled out an 11 to 6 VP win. Plus seeing 24 tzeentch cultists take 8 phospex templates and the fire from a ten man veteran tactical squad to kill was quite funny.]
My guess is that Forgeworld will release a 30k/horus heresy rulebook and it will become its own little entity under the FW banner. Or else they will have to update everything to work with the new edition and then being Forgeworld present a £70 book with the updated rules present within.


I think most players welcome the news that 8th is coming. The game mechanics are so convoluted that 1850pt games taking over 3 hours to play has become the norm. If seasoned tournament players still have to look through the rule book at events to see how something works on a regular basis, what hope does the more casual player have of learning the rules? Once Formations, Data-Slates and a myriad of other sources are added into the mix, it’s no wonder that people’s eyes glaze over and they lose interest as the whole process of playing the game becomes overwhelming. No, for me, I think it’s been a long time coming.

I’m quite fortunate in a way, I often hear of things that will happen 12 months in advance. The Codexes and Supplements being wiped out isn’t news to me (anybody who knows me has heard me say not to buy any books for the last 6 months) but it’s still galling that GW have brought out so many nice supplements and campaign books that will now be obsolete; I mean, I’ve waited well over 10 years for the Legion rules to be reintroduced and I’ve had a whole 5 months out of them….pah! Despite knowing it will happen, I’ve still bought the Legion Supplement, the Curse of the Wulfen, Traitors Hate and the Wrath of Magnus in that time. I managed to resist the Gathering Storm series, but I feel for anybody who bought them all and is now feeling that they have been taken advantage of.

I do have concerns about the ‘free’ rule book. While I can see the advantage of regularly updating a digital rule book, I’ve never been a fan reading rules in a digital format. They’re pretty much unusable on a mobile phone and I don’t think they are user friendly on a tablet either (not to mention I don’t want to be taking a £200+ tablet everywhere with me when I go to an event). I’m sure I’ll be able to print out the rules and put them in a binder so that I can read them ‘properly’, but that feels like a step backwards in my opinion. I’d prefer a professionally printed soft cover rule book, but that removes the advantage of the on-line book.
Hopefully, the rules mechanics will be much more condensed (Shadow Wars: Armageddon is around 50 pages compared to the sprawling 200 page 7th edition) and that it is easier to remember the rules without consulting them too often. This, more than anything else, is the deal breaker for me. If I cannot get a physical copy of the rules, I will move on to Shadow Wars and Necromunda (which, I have heard, has been brought forwards and should be out October/November).

The loose faction thing is a bit of a concern as well. I’m not a fan of Allies in competitive play (it’s just too easy to break the game) and I was hoping for tighter controls on them, but the Imperium, Chaos and Xenos factions make it appear that it could get easier to ally rather than harder. Hopefully I’m reading something into it that isn’t there.

Overall, I’m confident that 8th will be an improvement. I just hope that it improves enough to bring back some of my friends that have drifted away from the hobby since 6th/7th edition’s reign.

Barry Gregory
Barry Gregory

The bad – large sums of money wasted.

The good – the ability to spend more money on another system that may well go away in a couple of years.