I’m finally starting to catch up with all of the excitement surrounding the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, and have been looking at what we’ve had scattered across the internet so far from the WarCom team. There have been the usual sorts of non-articles, where they try to drive up the excitement while not telling us a lot, but now that I’m shrugging off the inertia and beginning to see some more positives about things, I thought I’d share the fruits of my labours up to this point.
To start with, we’re seeing a total refresh of the game system, it seems. They keep banging on about Simplified, not Simple as a mantra, although we haven’t seen a great deal yet about that, unless you count the loss of the psychic phase as part of this! I was a bit annoyed about that at first, but it does make slightly more sense for psykers to do their thing at other points during a game, rather than everything standing still for them. Especially if you don’t have any psykers as the opponent.
They have put out a fairly decent article about army composition, though, and that’s what I thought I’d concentrate on today.
First of all, then, you choose how big a battle you’ll be playing – Incursion (1000 points), Strike Force (2000 points) or Onslaught (3000 points). Interesting to see them say that Power Levels are gone, and it’s now points all the way. Power Levels came in for 8th edition, and were pushed quite hard at first, but clearly they haven’t caught on as well. Although in recent months as we’ve had points values updated via the Munitorum Field Manual, the granular level of points that we were used to has largely disappeared, anyway, and nowadays a unit costs a set level of points, no matter how they are equipped.
So you select your faction, naturally, then comes some interesting stuff around selecting Detachment rules. These sound very much like the special detachments we got during the Vigilus campaign in 8th edition. It seems like every army has access to the core stratagems, relics and warlord traits, which is fine; these detachments then give you unique stratagems, and enhancements, which seems to be the way they’re lumping warlord traits and similar in nowadays. It seems the detachment has a set of unit restrictions though, so while they start the article by saying the old force org chart has gone because it was too restrictive, it’s been replaced by a mechanism to restrict your army list choice! Great!
The nuts and bolts now. Armies must contain at least one character model, and you can only include one of each named hero. You can include up to three units of each datasheet, although battleline or dedicated transports can be included up to six times. So that’s fairly similar to the rule of three that we’ve had since 8th as well. Each character can only have one enhancement, you can only have three enhancements in your army, and each one must be different. All fairly standard stuff.
It sounds fairly straightforward, doesn’t it? I quite like the fact that you can potentially include more character models – normally, in the usual battalion you had to have three troops and two HQ, and you could only ever have a third before needing to go into an auxiliary detachment of some sort, which in 9th edition began to eat into your command points to bring. It should also stop the labyrinthine sorts of rules around stuff like crypteks, where you can bring one for free without it impacting on the slots you fill, and so on.
Command points are still a thing, I believe, so it’ll be interesting to see how they change with the smaller number of stratagems.
I’ve talked recently about wanting to start a Space Marines army, and I think that it should be somewhat easier now that I can include all of the character models that I want! It’s a fool’s errand to start thinking about army composition just yet, I think, but the rough list that I’ve drawn up under 9th edition rules should still be pretty workable, as I’m purposefully trying to not go too crazy with the units I want to bring!
All in all, though, it definitely sounds like how I’ve always liked to build my armies is now how armies are built. I like the idea of bringing troops alongside a wider selection of units, and I always try to have some sort of variety across the rosters I come up with. So while this article isn’t really breaking things too much, it’s nice to know that there is going to be a good level of flexibility in the game, moving forward!