New Boxes. New Rules. New Codexes!

The Warhammer-community team brings us an exciting update on 9th ed 40k!

That’s right – the title says it all! There’s loads of cool new stuff on the way for Warhammer 40,000, and we can’t keep it to ourselves anymore. Here’s the low-down on what you can look forward to over the coming months.

Now that we’ve all had a bit of time to get our heads around the new core rules, the next big shake-ups will come with this edition’s codexes. There are some big – and we mean full-on seismic – changes on their way. The upcoming range of codexes will offer so much more than an update of the datasheets and Battle-forged rules – there’ll be loads of brand-new content to look forward to, such as expansive Crusade rules that are unique to that faction. The Warhammer 40,000 rules team have also taken the opportunity to review every single unit and weapon profile for each army, and where they felt it was needed, dialled them up to 11. We’re not even joking!

The first two codexes, as we know already, are for the Necrons and Space Marines. As you can imagine, they’ll give us a real taste of what’s to come for all future codexes in terms of new content, as well as the sort of datasheet and wargear updates you can expect. You might even have started to see some of the new rules pop up in our new-look repacked boxes for units from these armies…

The Space Marine update is an especially significant one, as many of the classic, reliable weapons of the Imperium (including many fan favorites) are set to get an update to make them as cool and as grievously powerful as we all imagine them to be! Let’s take a look at those new weapons, STAT!

Super-size Your Heavy Bolter – Now With Added Explosive Death!

These upscaled bolt weapons are set to become Damage 2, as befits the unmitigated brutality of being hit by a hail of armour-piercing, mass-reactive shells the size of tin cans!

“What was that? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of how awesome my gun is!”
– Brother Ionis, Iron Hands Devastator Marine

Get Your Flame On!

Flamers and heavy flamers are moving to Range 12″, all the better to dissuade enemy assaults and hose your enemies down with liquid fire. We hope you brought marshmallows*!

“I’ve not had this much fun since Space Hulk!”
– Brother Aphrael, Blood Angels Terminator

Have Melta, Will Travel

Melta weapons are about to get even more destructive at close range (apparently, such a thing IS possible!), with a flat +2 Damage bonus replacing its current ability, resulting in a whopping Damage potential of 8! What’s more, the rules team have put the ‘multi’ into multi-melta, as it’s doubling up to Heavy 2! Heretics beware…**

“Drive me closer! I want to shoot at them from within short range with these multi-meltas.”
– Tank Ace Nills “Point Blank” Argento

Time to Slice and Dice!

Power swords are due to get a +1 Strength modifier, all the better for chopping up tougher foes with their energy-wreathed blades. That’s not all, either – the massive Astartes-grade chainswords wielded by Space Marines both new and old will be hitting at AP -1. Apparently, being struck by a 4-foot chainblade with adamantium-tipped teeth 6″ wide is not only exceptionally bad for your health, but it can do your armour a disservice too. Who’d have thought?

“What? We’re surrounded?! Russ’ bones, this is fun. Now we get to charge in EVERY direction!”
– attributed to Blood Claw Olaf the Incorrigible

Use With Caution

Supercharged plasma weaponry will soon only ever overheat on an unmodified roll of a 1, so attempting to shoot fleet-winged Aircraft no longer carries a death sentence.

“Only a one-in-six chance of suffering a terminal case of death? I like those odds!”
– Brother Vorn, Dark Angels Hellblaster

Believe it or not, these are just a handful of examples – prepare to have your mind blown!

Bigger Guns and Stabbier Blades for Everyone!

Now, we know that LOTS of armies use these weapons, whether supplied by the Tech-Adepts of Mars or perhaps even “acquired” through less Imperium-friendly means to turn on their former masters. In any case, when Codex: Space Marines arrives in October, every other unit that utilises the same wargear – regardless of Faction – will get their weapon profiles upgraded accordingly.

With heavy flamers, heavy bolters and multi-meltas all set to get even deadlier, clearly some Retributors have been praying hard to the God-Emperor – and He has delivered!

Alien Weaponry

‘But what about my lovely xenos army?’ we hear you cry. Don’t worry – your weaponry will get the same treatment! While most of their wargear may not be as ubiquitous as the Imperium’s mass-produced arsenal, their weapons will also be looked at too, when each of their codexes comes around.

Take the Deathmarks with their synaptic disintegrator, for example. The upcoming statline represents the deadly, physics-bending sniper rifle you would expect it to be.

Deathmarks have surprisingly good aim for warriors with no depth perception…

Meanwhile, the rod of covenant wielded by the Triarch Praetorians will soon double in Damage output.

Triarch Praetorians, clearly motivated by the Silent King’s return, are about to get EXTRA DEADLY! – with a boost to both their Damage and Attacks.

Power Up!

What’s more, both of these units get a suitably chunky statline boost to match their powerful new weaponry too!

Oh, speaking of stat boosts, Space Marines will get some of those in their codex too. In fact…


“An extra Wound! I’m finally as “ultra” as I always knew I should be.”
– Brother Crassius, Ultramarines Tactical Marine

That’s right – it won’t just be Primaris Marines on 2 Wounds anymore! All of a sudden, a lot of units that may have felt a bit left behind become very durable and appealing. From Battle Company units such as Assault, Devastator and Tactical Marines, to the elite Terminators of the 1st Company (who will be increased to 3 Wounds accordingly), the first born will be back to prove to their Primaris battle-brothers their great worth.

And as for future codexes for other genetically engineered transhumans warriors (both of the shiny grey and spikey variety), the same will apply to them. Just think how durable that will make units like Rubric Marines or Plague Marines.

“I’m going to be disgustingly resilient.”
– Plague Marine Bilius Rott, Death Guard

Of course, all these updates will also come with a suitable points adjustment. The aforementioned Tactical Marine will clock in at 18pts for his extra Wound (20% more than he is today). And it means Space Marine forces will be compact, elite, durable and utterly deadly – just as they should be.

The Future is Bright***

These new rules and points will come into effect officially, as new codexes are released. The first two codexes will be with us in October (along with loads of new miniatures) and we’ll be taking a closer look at them and what to expect from next month. As always, we’ll keep you up to date on the changes here on A great way to ensure you’re always using the latest up-to-date rules is to check the stats in the Warhammer 40,000 app – if you haven’t already, download it today!

Even though these upgraded rules won’t come into play just yet, if you’ve been thinking about adding that unit of (Chaos) Terminators, heavy-weapon toting (Chaos) Space Marines, or immortal Triarch Praetorians you’ve always wanted to your force, now’s the time!

* Heretics will also suffice.
** Unless you’re a Helbrute or a Genestealer Cults Leman Russ armed with a multi-melta – in which case, rejoice!
*** But still grim and dark, obviously.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



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24 Responses to “New Boxes. New Rules. New Codexes!”

  1. abusepuppy August 13, 2020 10:03 am #

    I look forward to there being absolutely no updates to the statlines of any xenos units or weapons, such that a single space marine with no weapons can outshoot and outfight multiple Tyranid monstrous creatures simultaneously.

    • Vipoid August 13, 2020 2:12 pm #

      Well, at least Dark Eldar are completely fine because the Venom is the best transport to ever exist and poison 4+ is still an unrivalled weapon of pure destruction.

      If anything, it seems the only change they really need is a sweeping nerf to their clearly still-OP units.

      • gvcolor August 13, 2020 5:58 pm #

        I had already pushed 40K and my DE aside with the release of the last SM codex and new units, this latest news is kind of a nail in the coffin and really kills any motivation until they get a new book. Apoc is still a winner though.

    • ghostvalley August 13, 2020 2:19 pm #

      Space Marine fans: ” the fluff says 1 squad of Marines can take on a whole army of another faction”

      Rules Team: “hold our beers”

    • Lynchbread August 13, 2020 2:38 pm #

      I want you to be wrong, but in my heart I know you are right 🙁

  2. Shas’O August 13, 2020 10:09 am #

    One thing I’m not clear on: They said that weapon profiles would be updated across codexes in October, so all heavy bolters for example are the same. What about regular stat lines? Will see SM and GK have to wait until their own codexes come out to be equivalent to vanilla Marines?

    • Rob Butcher August 14, 2020 1:13 am #

      the complete article referred to all factions getting a default weapons update when the first Codexes are released in October.

  3. Dakkath August 13, 2020 10:44 am #

    Boy, I can’t wait for all my tau battlesuit weapons to remain D1 and become even more useless.

    • Matt August 13, 2020 12:48 pm #

      …and for two bolter hits to now be enough to kill your 100+ point battlesuit.

      • abusepuppy August 14, 2020 6:25 am #

        No, it’s fine, Marines are two wounds and 22pts while Crisis are three wounds and 50pts. It makes sense because of the science and you see welp gotta go!

  4. White_Noise August 13, 2020 10:52 am #

    It seems like the entire meta will be Space Marines, Necrons, and (maybe) Chaos marines until each faction gets a new codex. Very concerning that any army that lacks a 9th ed codex will be severely under powered, and likely unable to compete. The 8th indexes were not great but at least it did not leave your army with water pistols to stand up to bolter fire.

    • AlamoMelt August 13, 2020 11:15 am #

      Happens every edition, and is the lest fun part of an edition change.

    • AngryPanda August 13, 2020 11:24 am #

      Will there even be Necrons? I’ve seen their toys and compared to the Marines they seem like supersoackers.

      • Pyrothem August 13, 2020 1:09 pm #

        You mean to tell me that a D6 shot D6 damage anti armor weapons platform that has BS of 4 is not greatest thing and Marines have nothing close to that for the steal of a price at 130 point!?

        You are crazy sir. Space Marines have plenty of weaknesses you can exploit and a ton of units and tactics they can not use but your army has that makes it unique….. I just have to find one example….

        Got it SWARMS! Space Marines have no access to swarms, so yeah they are full of ways you can exploit that.

    • Rob Butcher August 14, 2020 1:15 am #

      the 2018 GWGT Final was won by Orks without a Codex

      • BluejayJunior August 14, 2020 6:15 am #

        Isn’t that the one where the Ork player deliberately slow played his opponent so they only finished 2-3 rounds? And when given the option for more time the Ork player declined.

  5. Matt August 13, 2020 12:29 pm #

    I like the idea of marines universally being 2W, so that they feel more like the fluff on the tabletop.

    These weapon changes seem pretty massive, and knowing how long GW takes between codexes, doesn’t this guarantee that many codexes will be severely (and literally) outgunned for months to years?

    Hearing this, why would I buy any non-Imperium models in the next two years, if I think my faction isn’t going to get a codex any time soon, and is going to really struggle to compete until then?

  6. Jace August 13, 2020 8:51 pm #

    I’m legitimately shocked at a tactical squad and terminators being featured !


  7. Michael Corr August 14, 2020 12:55 am #

    I’m looking forward to the new rules, gives me a reason to use my big collection of old Marine. Bikes going up to 3 wounds (perhaps?) could actually make them viable in my White Scars and Ravenwing forces.

  8. Rob Butcher August 14, 2020 1:18 am #

    some tough calls for SM

    18 points for SM (with flexibility over choose of weaponry)
    20 points for Primaris (+1 A,no flexibility)

    a lot depends on the stratagems when they are released – these have tended to focus on either SM or Primaris

  9. Matthew Croco August 14, 2020 6:41 am #

    My instinct is that this is a buff for classic marine veterans (terminators, vanguard, sternguard, etc) but the basic space marine tactical squad is going to stay on the shelf in favor of better, more useful obsec troops like infiltrators. Buying extra guns for tac marines undermines their key advantage of being slightly cheaper, after all.

    I’m going to interpret this change as a minor buff for marines, but the real winners are going to be Astra Militarum, Sisters of Battle and CSM, who either make more extensive use of multi-meltas, flamers, and heavy bolters (the former) or desperately need a boost to their basic meq bodies (the later).

    This new Necron codex better be the bee’s knees, because they’re carrying the whole xenos faction!

  10. Pyrothem August 14, 2020 8:29 am #

    If by bees knees you mean slightly adjusted and in some cases broken by nerfs.

    Wreaths dropping to WS 4 and losing 2 S to drop to S4. But they gave them a whole 1 be more attack! Soooo good guys.

    The whole “wait till your codex comes out to see” is tiring. The crazy good stat lines of the Space Marines units and weapons new and old are amazing without a codex propping them up. They will only get better from there. The Necrons will need an amazing Codex fill of core changes and if it is all stuck behind command point pay walls this game will mostly be 30k 2.0 and people were getting bored of that last year.

    The alarm bells of an over powered oppressive army rang out with just the rules teaser of iron hands and other SM armies but we were told to wait till it came out and play it out and see for ourselves that you can play against it.

    The community was right about that and pretty much all the great players that play to win top spot (not just best in faction) went all on the SM train as the math does not lie. The same is so far showing now, just listen to those people talk about the other faction in this release the Necrons, the major consensus for them is MEH. Doubling a factions range in units and all you get is MEH. How is that possible? Well with the other faction being Space Marines every unit the Necron have they have a equal or better unit at less points. So MEH.

    I hope and wish I am wrong and will be back admitting I am wrong but as the saying goes “fool me once….”

    • Ohlmann August 14, 2020 12:55 pm #

      I am with you with the pessimism. The point update show that GW only actually work on space marine and half ass the non imperium faction. And that preview show that either they are extraordinarily tone deaf, or they *want* to show how utterly dominating they want the space marine to be.

      • Pyrothem August 14, 2020 6:37 pm #

        My pessimism is not out of hate but worry for the hobby.
        Codex creep is happening and there will be a case of haves and have nots with codexs as they all don’t come out at the same time that is a fact. The only hope other armies have is when they get their turn it will be good.

        The unknown now is will it be a way to rise all armies to a level they think is fair or will the duel release of Space Marines and Necrons prove the masses right? That GW puts all their rules efforts into the Marines and the Necron book is just meh and is not enough to complete against top Marine lists.

        Only October will let us know but I can tell you with the wave that GW is riding to drop the ball on the other faction you are pushing out in this new edition would be extremely bad.

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