Warhammer 40K 10th Edition brings in big changes and more accessible rules

Space Marines advance in footage from the Warhammer 40,000 10th Edition trailer
(Image credit: Warhammer)

A completely new version of 40K is on the way, and Warhammer 40,000 10th Edition promises to shake things up with streamlined rules that are more accessible for newcomers.

Set to join board games for adults on shelves later this year ('Summer' has been thrown around as a potential launch window), Warhammer 40,000 10th Edition completely reworks the rules for a more beginner-friendly game that still has the same tactical depth that long-time fans love. To help with this, rules for each army and unit will be available for free upon release. Similarly, restrictions for army creation are being removed - the old organization charts are out, allowing players to construct their ideal battleforce with fewer roadblocks. A new game mode - Combat Patrol - is being introduced as well, and this allows beginners to jump right in with the existing and pre-balanced Combat Patrol boxsets.

Along with these revamped rules, a fresh set of miniatures are making landfall. Although I initially thought that a new version of Space Hulk was being teased over the last few days, it turns out that this was actually 10th Edition Warhammer 40,000 and will include old-school Space Marine Terminators going head-to-head with revamped Tyranids. Other units are promised for the boxset (including larger xenos monsters, if the reveal trailer is anything to go by), but only chunky First Company Terminators and Termagant foot soldiers have been revealed so far.

As announced in the official Warhammer reveal post, this system-wide refresh does mean that old Codexes for existing armies won't be compatible with 40K's 10th Edition. However, existing players won't have to pay for replacements or be left with out of date models; instead, the free rules will cover all current units. Games Workshop says that these are going to be replaced in time with new Codexes designed to work with 10th Edition, but that's a ways down the road.

In terms of story, Warhammer 40K 10th Edition sees the resurgence of a Tyranid Hive Fleet long thought defeated - and it's striking an almost-undefended side of the galaxy whilst everyone's dealing with the current Arks of Omen campaign (which are the only existing books to be compatible with 10th Edition, by the way). That means humanity has to call upon elite strike times because most of its armies are away, hence why the old-school Terminators are coming back to the tabletop.

If previous editions are anything to go by, the number of these new miniatures you'll get will be defined by the version you go for. As an example, 9th Edition offered three tiers of starter set - the small and cheaper Recruit, mid-sized Elite, and Command megapack with added terrain. It's possible the same will be true here.

While this is all a big deal in and of itself, it was just one reveal from a wider lineup of announcements at AdeptiCon, the annual fan event celebrating miniature wargaming in all its forms. Alongside a fresh version of Underworlds and Kill Team, a better look at the new Age of Sigmar Seraphon army was also shown off.

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Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.