Welcome to another week of looking at what we’ve found out about Tenth Edition so far. If you’re interested in reading over the last two weeks, you can them here and here.
This week has been pretty much exclusively faction previews, with a small aside on Forge World.
Besides that, it’s been faction previews and a look at a new Tyranid unit.
Forge World Update
Swiftblade: We get a small update from Forge World this week about Legends (and units moving into it) in Tenth edition, and many Forge World models going to last chance to buy. This isn’t all that surprising, Age of Sigmar just had a big update for its rules that removed Forge World units from legal use, so I think Games Workshop is generally trying to clean up the Forge World range.
The unsurprising stuff is the resin Relic Contemptor Dreadnoughts and Forge World Greater Daemon characters going to Last Chance to buy, since they have a plastic analogue now. There are some big surprises on this list though, like Gabriel Angelos, the Tyranid Dimachaeron, and the Drukhari Reaper. These units will still be supported with Legends rules, but these Forge World kits are pretty recent sculpts and I’m surprised that they’re losing rules support.
If you have a reasonably sized collection of Forge World units that you use in your 40K force, or have been eyeing some Forge World kits as a collector, I’d suggest checking out the full list in the Warhammer Community article to see what’s moving to last chance to buy.
Swiftblade: Kicking us off this week is probably the faction focus I’ve been the most interested in learning more about in the new edition: Ad Mech.
I think that out of all the ninth edition codexes, Adeptus Mechanicus needed the biggest overhaul going into tenth edition since right now the book is a disaster of complex rules interactions, keywords, and overlapping buffs. I really liked playing Ad Mech at the tail end of eighth, but right now playing the army fries my brain before I can even get through my second command phase.
So I was curious how we would forge the design space of Ad Mech in the new edition. How much of this complexity will it retain, and what will be the new pieces of faction identity that emerge? If this week’s faction focus is anything to go off of, I’m cautiously optimistic.
Firstly, we get the tenth edition army rule: a rewritten version of Doctrina Imperatives. In the current version of the rule you can select one of four imperatives that only affects Skitarii models and gives them a stat buff while also giving them a stat debuff for the battle round. These cannot be repeated, and one battle round you select no imperatives. With the tenth edition rules, we only have two imperatives to choose from at the start of a battle round, and it affects every unit in the army. These imperatives have no debuff, and can be repeated, they are:
- Protector Imperative: Every weapon in the army gets Heavy, and you worsen the AP of ranged attacks targeting friendly units in your deployment zone by 1.
- Conqueror Imperative: Every weapon gains Assault, and you improve the AP of ranged attacks targeting enemies in their deployment zone by 1.
I love this simplification of doctrinas. It’s a much easier rule to explain and for your opponent to keep track of, while offering plenty of flexibility in how you use it. Conqueror lets Ad Mech be shockingly speedy with a nasty punch if they hit the enemy before they can expand out, and Protector lets you have accurate firing lanes while being very tough to shift in your deployment. It still requires good planning like the book does in its current form, but it’s Algebra level planning and not Calc 2.
Speaking of rewarding good planning, while it isn’t an army rule it looks like there’s going to be a focus with the faction around getting buffs while near battleline units, or handing out buffs to battleline units. We get a brief mention of how Tech-Priests can buff the BS of nearby battleline units, and we also get an example of how Rust Stalkers get a buff to their advances and charges while near a friendly battleline unit.
I like this as a more understandable way to keep the “well oiled machine” complexity of Ad Mech going in the new edition. Plus, if Kataphron keep Battleline status, it will be a nice little buff to their utility in 10th.
We see the detachment rule, Rad-Bombardment, which is very straightforward. Bad guys giving you problems? Hit ‘em with the cancer artillery.
There are some armies that will either no-sell this (Necrons) or actively look forward to this (Sororitas), but against most armies this will likely mean they will be starting on the back foot. Either a unit is battle-shocked and can’t get any stratagems to buff its utility or do important things like Overwatch, or it could become injured before the game even starts. Fallout also makes holding a friendly objective with a chaff unit more difficult, as the safety usually guaranteed by being behind a wall in your deployment zone isn’t guaranteed anymore.
Moving on, we see Skitarii Vanguards shown off, who have changed a lot. Firstly, Skitarii went down to a 4+ BS across the board, which makes sense when you are trying to make the game generally less lethal as well as giving the army easy access to a +1 to hit with Heavy from Conqueror Imperative. They also dropped down to a 5+ save from their 4+. While this sounds like all doom for the cyborg soldiers, their weapons still pack the nastiness to make up for it.
The Arc Rifle in particular looks great here, Devastating Wounds and Anti-Vehicle 4+ makes it a good choice into several different enemy types. The change to rad saturation rule also gives Vanguard some great play as objective stealers, especially since you don’t need to be in engagement range of an enemy to affect them with that aura.
Cawl gets shown off as well, and the largest tech priest around is back with some great buffs to share.
It’s hard to say how good Shroudpsalm is until we know what stealth does, but a reroll aura is almost always welcome, and being able to shore up the leadership of a unit with rerolls is going to be very important against key battleshock tests.
For weapon previews, we get a look at one of the Onager’s new weapons, the Eradication Beamer, which looks great into transports of elite enemy infantry. Sustained hits D3 is a gamble, but when you happen to roll hot it’s gonna be devastating.
Finally, we get a nice treat and get not just one, but TWO stratagem previews. It must be robo-christmas!
The reason we get two here is to show off how these two stratagems boost your Skitarii units depending on if you are in conqueror or protector imperative. It’s a neat nod to the Veteran Cohort rules, where several stratagems required you to be in the right doctrina.
Honestly, both of these are slam dunks. Aggressor Imperative will let you get some huge threat out of Skitarii stuff, especially when your Ruststalkers are already getting a potential +4” to their threat range from advancing and charging buffs. And handing out a key unit a 4+ invul can make removing it from the battlefield a real pain for your opponent. Both of these require some planning to get the most out of them, but I don’t mind that. I think this planning won’t fry my brain.
I can’t say for sure how Ad Mech will play until we see the whole picture here, but from what I see I’m hopeful that my beloved mechanical weirdos will be much less mentally taxing and more enjoyable to play in Tenth edition.
Aeldari are back and they get a bunch of really cool changes in the new edition. Firstly is their army rule, Strands of Fate. You roll 12 dice and then you can either keep all 12 or drop one dice and re-roll the rest until you’re either happy with the results or have one dice left. You keep these dice and they’re your Fate Pool for the entire game, you can swap out one of the following rolls for one of your Fate Dice:
- Advance rolls
- Battle-shock tests
- Charge rolls
- Damage rolls
- Hit rolls
- Saving throws
- Wound rolls
Note: You have to swap the dice before you make the roll. No rolling the dice, not liking it and then swapping it.
“But wait, I read the Adepta Sororitas rules! I can’t generate more Fate dice and my Fate dice that are 1s are useless!” I hear you say, to which I tell you GW has you covered, and then I post what they did about it.
For each objective that Guardian Defenders are defending, you get a Fate dice, awesome. The Shuriken catapult has seemingly lost its special rule about a ton of AP, but I can live with this, especially with the Bright lance getting a nice glow up.
The Farseer gets a passive psychic power that lets them turn a Fate dice into an automatic 6, huh, problem solved. They also get to buff a friendly unit with -1 to wound, which can either make something be no worse than 3+ to wound, or you can stick it on some sort of scary big thing to make it even harder to kill. Coolest of all, Eldritch Storm is back, and it’s just a power designed to absolutely bully infantry. Their wound count has been lowered, but thankfully they can hide in squads, so this is just a general nice set of changes.
I’m kind of curious about Guide and Doom though, since I do like my hit and wound re-rolls…
Oh. Okay. Expert Crafters is back. There’s a tiny bit of anti-synergy with this (you can’t use a Fate Dice after you roll a dice, so you can’t roll something with 2 shots, both miss, re-roll one and use a Fate Dice on the other), but it’s still really good. MSU is gonna be good as are a low volume of really powerful shots, things like Aspect Warriors and vehicles are going to be pretty popular with this.
Speaking of low volume powerful vehicle shots.
Linked Fire and Unparalleled Foresight both mean that three Fire Prisms, with a minimum of effort, are likely to put out their full complement of 36 wounds into something. They haven’t specified the rules for shooting yet, but you might be able to slow roll your shots until you get a double miss, then you can pop a Fate Dice. If this is allowed to happen, I’m sorry in advance.
Finally, Fire and Fade is back. It’s 2CP and it’s specifically a Normal move. So there’s no worrying about dice, and you can retreat your spotter Fire Prism (for example), or hide a Reaper block, or get onto an objective with some extra movement. It’s another cool thing.
As someone who likes Eldar stuff and having cool looking rules, I’m pretty much happy with everything I’ve seen so far, and the fact that Guardians sitting on a backline objective might be actively useful is a very, very pleasant surprise.
Death Guard get previewed this week, and right from the word go their army rule is a big departure from their 9th edition signature style. Nurgle’s Gift gives every model in a Death Guard army that reduces the toughness of enemy models in that aura by 1. Round 1, it’s a 3” aura, but increases by 3” every round until it caps out at 9” starting round three.
This is a little underwhelming at first glance (Chucat: Fun Fact: At round 3, the stinky circle is actually NINE TIMES bigger than it is in round 1, due to how circles work. If you’ve ever compared 40K objective mats to AoS ones, you’ll know what I mean), but as we see more weapon and toughness profiles previewed I think this will be relevant in many different matchups in order to hit big toughness breakpoints on their weapons. Bolters wounding marines on 3’s and melta wounding light tanks on 4’s is already a decent jump in damage output for Death Guard.
Additionally, the detachment rule Spread the Sickness gives sticky objectives to Death Guard units and gives contagion bonuses to objectives controlled by Death Guard. This lets a Death Guard player cover a pretty impressive amount of the board with -1 toughness bubbles, especially the objectives in no man’s land where Death Guard like to hang out.
Looking at datasheets, we first get a peak at Blightlord Terminators. They pick up an extra toughness from their current version, and have a special rule that lets them reroll wound rolls of 1 against closest target at ranged. Noticeably absent is a rule that reduces damage or provides a feel no pain, which felt like a shock when I first read the datasheet. Death Guard’s schtick is their toughness, and while T6 is tough, losing damage reduction on Blightlords stings. They do pick up a whole lot of weapons with Lethal Hits though, and that’s a pretty big deal with all these high toughness value vehicles being introduced into 10th.
Next is a look at the Plaguecaster, who can throw out a debuff to reduce enemy movement, advances, and charges by 2” and reduce the wound roll of a unit by 1 with a psychic power. Both of these are abilities much more familiar for current Death Guard stuff, that being excellent access to support characters in the roster.
The weapon preview this time around is on the Plagueburst Mortar, which keeps indirect fire and blast but also picks up lethal hits, a running theme in Death Guard. It also forces battleshock tests on infantry, which means you could cause a huge headache for an enemy backfield unit on an objective if it happens to fail a battleshock test and become OC 0. Rules that encourage you to do a little bit more than just send your cheapest bodies to hang out behind a wall all day and hold an objective are a-okay by me.
Lastly, we get a preview of the Sangous Flux Stratagem, which lets Death Guard units that have not fought yet this phase to pick up Sustained Hits 1 on their attacks, bumping to Sustained Hits 2 on an infected objective under your control. A great, straightforward stratagem to boost melee effectiveness.
I’ll be honest, not seeing rules about Feel no Pain or damage reduction here was a shock when I first glanced at it. But it’s not to say this preview is bad, having great factionwide access to reducing toughness and lethal hits is a great offensive shot in the arm for Death Guard. Plus, there’s almost certainly additional stratagems, enhancements, or characters that can slot those toughness boosts right in.
They’re big and filled tip to toe with honour, and with all these boosts to vehicle toughness we finally get to glimpse at how knights stack up. Let me tell you, the worth of knights was weighed and not found wanting from what we got to see here.
The army special rule is an update to the current Code Chivalric rules, simplifying it a bit so my eyes don’t glaze over when Imperial Knights players tell me how they will save the fair maiden during their turn.
Thank God, I never have to try and care about my opponents honour points ever again.
That being said, both Lay Low the Tyrant and Reclaim the Realm are very powerful. Easy access to re-rolls in a low model count army is a huge deal, and speed boosts are literally never bad. Reading Lay Low the Tyrant, I’d bet money it gets an FAQ at some point, since the wording is a little confusing here. Do I get to re-roll all of my hits and wounds of 1 while this code is active, or only a single hit of 1 and wound of 1? The latter is much more tame and makes more sense to me personally, but the wording here throws me for enough of a loop that it could honestly be either ruling.
The detachment rule for Knights is focused on survivability and getting honoured to boost that survivability. Knights in the Indomitable Heroes detachment get a 6+ Feel No Pain, which bumps to a 5+ if the detachment is honoured. A 6+ armywide Feel No Pain is already great stuff for giant robots, but if you can fulfil that honoured requirement and hit 5+ Feel No Pain your opponent might break down and cry because they can’t kill your knights anymore, which is pretty cool.
Chucat: We get a look at a couple of units too. Firstly are the Armigers.
Higher toughness, non-degrading movement, higher strength for sweeping attacks, and a few other buffs as well, it’s pretty good. It’s nothing compared to what Canis Rex gets though.
He’s completely terrifying, and in melee he’s liable to just kill pretty much anything in the game in melee, doing on average 27 wounds to something with a 4+ Invulnerable save. It gets even better if you’re running Lay Low the Tyrant so you can re-roll that single 1 you’re likely to get in your hits and wounds. Then once you reduce the enemy Warlord to a fine paste you get to take advantage of your Detachment bonus.
Said Detachment bonus is for the Noble Heroes detachment and is called Indomitable Heroes, and it gives you a 6+ Feel No Pain, which goes up to 5+ once you’re Honoured. I’ve already said how good a Feel No Pain is anyway, and going from a 6+ to a 5+ is even better. Canis Rex goes from 26.4 wounds to a staggering 33 wounds, and your Warglaives go from 14.4 to 18.
You also get some CP as well, which you can spend on your Stratagems.
They’re both pretty hefty, and they go really well with just how strong Knights are. If only there was a really powerful weapon that ‘only’ hit on 3s, and an anti-vehicle/monster weapon that’d take advantage of +1 to wound…
T’au have received an absolutely enormous shakeup. Firstly, For the Greater Good is back, but before you all start screaming, it’s completely different. It’s a bit of a mouthful so I’ll just let GW describe it.
This looks really confusing but it boils down to “When you pick a unit to shoot at something, pick another friendly unit. If they shoot at the same target the other friendly unit gets +1 BS, otherwise it gets -1 BS”. Markerlights have also turned into a keyword for certain units that lets the unit they’re supporting ignore cover, which mostly boils down to an extra point of AP.
The idea of a T’au buddy system is really funny and cute to me and they’ve just kind of rolled Markerlights into it as well and slightly buffed it as well. The other interesting thing to remember is that the Guided and Observer unit don’t need to see each other, only the thing they both want to shoot.
Speaking of “Things from the last couple of editions that people didn’t like”, Drones are back, but once again, before you start screaming, they’re now just wargear, they’re all wargear, they are not units that exist (but you can use the Drones as tokens).
Out of all these, Guardian Drones look the most interesting to me, just giving something a flat -1 to Wound rolls in the shooting phase sounds pretty crazy. Though the missile pod does look pretty potent as well, especially on a Guided unit, none of them look exactly bad though, especially if they’re costed well.
Pathfinders naturally have the Markerlight keyword, and they can buddy up with two different units. They also get some pretty neat Drone upgrades as well, we don’t know Infiltrators does yet, but it’s not likely to be a bad thing.
And now the things that T’au players actually care about, the huge guns.
If you don’t move and you have a unit to buddy up with, you’re hitting on 2+, likely wounding most things on 2 or 3+, and doing a lot of damage. Invulnerable Saves are likely to be annoying, but then you do have Devastating Wounds.
Finally, to sweeten these weapons, there’s also the Detachment, which is called Kauyon. From the third turn onwards, all T’au ranged weapons have Sustained Hits 1, and if they’re Guided, it goes up to Sustained Hits 2, which means you’re likely to be doing even more damage.
The stratagem shown for Kauyon is also pretty funny, it allows an infantry unit that’s about to be charged to just pile into a nearby transport and get out of harm’s way.
Overall the changes are rather neat and get rid of most of the ‘annoying things’ while still letting T’au be a really, really shooting heavy army.
We get a look at the Neurotyrant, sadly while we don’t get to see its killing power, but we do get to see how they help and hinder their allies and enemies respectively.
Synaptic Relay lets you tag a unit as being in Synapse Range, before they sprint off and have some fun. The other thing the Neurotyrant does is force every enemy unit to take their Battle-shock test with a -1 modifier when you use Shadow in the Warp.
Next Week: More Coverage
That’s everything for what we’ve seen of 10th Edition so far. We’ll be back this time next week to go over the reveals and what we’ve learned. In the meantime, drop your questions or comments in the comments section below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.