Goonhammer Review: The 10th Edition Index Munitorum Field Manual (Overview)

You’ve seen the Indexes, now see the points. The first Munitorum Field Manual of 10th Edition was published today, giving players at home the final publication they need to start building armies and slamming games.

Normally we look at armies and their points together, but this time around the rules rolled out separately, and you can see what we thought of all of these in the reviews linked from our landing page.

Luckily, Games Workshop also sent us a review copy of the Munitorum Field Manual, so today our writers have re-assembled for one last push, blasting through their factions and giving their takes on what the points mean – which units shine even brighter, how’s the army going to come together, all that good stuff. We’ve been frantically trying to get some games under our belts wherever possible, and we can finally share our full thoughts on how armies are shaping up. 

We’ve split this into four articles, following the traditional Marine/Imperium/Chaos/Xenos divide, and you can find links to each of those below. After that, there’s some quick thoughts from me (Wings) and TheChirurgeon on game-wide takeaways from the Munitorum Field Manual, and at the end, just as a treat, some thoughts on which armies look like they’re going to start out at the top and bottom of the competitive pile.

Before we dive in we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of the Munitorum Field Manual for review purposes.

The Faction-Specific Articles

There’s a lot to cover so we’ve broken up the factions into smaller articles. You can find those links here:

(these should all go up in the five minutes after this one)

Otherwise, read on for our thoughts on the points overall and our initial take on relative faction strength.

Field Manual Facts

Unit Costs

Wings: As with Space Marines in late 9th Edition, units in the 10th Edition MFM just have a flat cost based on number of models – all equipment and optional upgrades (excluding Enhancements) are included. That means that you can take whatever exciting toys are modelled on your units, and plenty of upgrades that were neat but never quite worth it in previous editions now get a chance to shine (assuming they still exist – many have gone entirely). It does also tend to somewhat polarise units towards the “best” weapon available to them. Games Workshop have had a good go at balancing all the options for factions, but on units with a lot of choices that was never going to be perfect, and in some cases it shows.

The simplification also goes further this time around. Units no longer pay per model in the vast majority of cases – instead, you can buy units in fixed sizes, which are usually the number of models that comes in a box, and the number that comes in two boxes, nothing in between. There are a few unusual exceptions to this, but it’s a good rule of thumb. The Manual does say you can choose to take an understrength unit, but you still pay the points for the next “full” size up. In previous editions, competitive play rules have generally excluded understrength units, and it’ll be interesting to see if that happens again, because for the first time there’s actually a genuine reason you might want to outside of weird scoring exploits. Many Transports across the game have had an extra seat added to make sure an attached Leader can ride, but some haven’t, so in those cases you might legitimately want to lose a model to free a slot. Wait and see on this one.

TheChirurgeon: We’ve basically got Power Level now for everything, we’re just calling it points. I’m on board for free wargear, but the inability to adjust units makes army construction stiff and well, not much fun. There are plenty of areas where I’d rather drop 1-2 models than an entire unit, and areas where the min/max size options screw you over – I’d rather take 5 Deathshrouds with a Terminator character in a Land Raider than 3, but that isn’t an option since unit sizes are 3 or 6. 

There’s a really interesting dynamic where factions with cheap (sub 50 points) units are easier to build around and have more viable armies than those more elite armies that may struggle to fill their last 20 points, but allies help close this off bigtime for Imperium – You can get Exaction Squads for 35 points.

Characters are Way Cheaper

Wings: Characters are priced to move in 10th Edition, usually substantially cheaper than in previous incarnations. This makes sense, as they’re generally giving more of their value by enhancing a unit than as independent dealers of death, and armies that go too hard on characters are likely to end up very brittle. This gives you a lot of scope to tinker with lists, though one thing we have found challenging is hitting 2000pts on the nose without 5pt upgrades or model count tweaks available.

Everything’s a Bit Cheaper

Wings: You get more stuff on the table in 10th compared to 9th, with the thinking presumably being that most units are a bit less lethal, and many Infantry units will need a Leader paid for to hit their true potential. The game also plays a bit faster, so you can have more stuff without pushing the length of an average match too high.

In theory this is great fun, who doesn’t want to take more toys? In practice, there are a few trends that look risky, with the aggressive price tags on shooty hulls and Knights being particularly notable now that they’re generally far more resilient to small arms.

TheChirurgeon: Maybe not everything – World Eaters definitely got hit, and Death Guard points for Daemon Engines are mostly up. But yeah on the balance, most things got a small drop.

Enhancements Whip

Wings: Enhancements are absolutely priced to move, and you’re very likely to find yourself taking two or three in most lists. Most factions have one that’s in the 10-15pts range, often a generically useful one, and they cap out at 40pts, with the vast majority falling between 15-30. Enhance early, enhance often.

TheChirurgeon: Some of our authors have been talking about how they start by building a list with three Enhancements and that gives them something to remove when they try to trim points and I think that’s an interesting way to approach that, building in your 50ish-point buffer for cutting down a list when you otherwise have almost now options.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

How’s The Metagame Going to Look?

Wings: Making predictions is fun, and I love to do it. It’s much more fun to make one and be proven wrong than to constantly hedge, and as we’ve approached the end of these reviews, I’ve been trying to construct an opinion on how we think these factions are going to fare out of the gate.

To part the curtain a bit, putting this week together requires a gigantic effort from our team of 40k contributors, with myself, TheChirurgen and Corrode frantically corralling the Goonhammer brain trust, tracking progress towards completion, and formatting articles as they come hot off the presses. Quite similar to our day jobs, except the team is allowed to swear at us and call us idiots. It rules.

Anyway, over the course of this process we’ve had people explore 10th Edition from every angle, and in the final few days I’ve been trying to distill this accumulated knowledge into some predictions.

There’s good and bad news out of this. Bad news first – there are some factions that we think are either too good, or have come out slightly undercooked. The good news is that it isn’t too many of them, and in general the writer(s) responsible for each review have come out of them ready to go bat for their faction and with some serious list concepts cooking, and it’s proven impossible to truly subdivide anything between the extremes into tiers we’ve got confidence in. That’s a good sign, and we hope that reality ends up reflecting that, because if it does (and the extreme factions get some corrections) then early 10th should be good fun.

Right, the predictions. We all know that’s what you’re here for. Prepare your angriest Reddit comments.

TheChirurgeon: You think saying a faction is bad will send people but what we frequently find is that hilariously, nothing makes people more red-assed angry than telling them their faction is good. This is especially great when you see players of every faction insisting that no, their faction is truly fucked and the worst this edition and everything’s worse. It’s great watching people who refuse to see the forest because they insist on screaming at a single tree.

Before we dive into this let me tell you something up front: Not every faction is bad. One of these factions has to be the best, and some of them have to be better than others. Only a small number of these factions get to be the true worst in the game and thus have the rightful claim to being the most disrespected shitheads in the meta. And I will spoil this now: Eldar is not one of these bad factions.

Faction that is Too Good

  • Aeldari: Eyup. We hate it when the alarmist sky-is-falling stuff from partial information turns out to be right, but yes Aeldari are too much. Their Index is incredibly dense and their stuff is all priced aggressively, giving them an astounding array of tools to obliterate people with. 

Factions on the Watch List

  • Deathwatch: At the start of the week, these were in the previous section. Then they got pre-release power level errata. As it is, they’re now merely the best Space Marines rather than being outright broken.
  • Astra Militarum: They get so much indirect on the table that we’re worried they might be able to just body people.
  • Knights (both kinds): Very aggressively costed considering their effective increase in durability.
  • Thousand Sons: Just some absolutely buck wild game-shattering tools available to them, may be held back by a relatively narrow roster.
  • Dark Angels (as Gladius): Best Marine datasheets (Deathwatch easily take the cake on rules), which might be a bit too much with the boosts from the Gladius Task Force. Hell yeah.

TheChirurgeon: World Eaters might have made this list, but their points values are just high enough to keep them from breaking through – their armies look pretty small now, and as a result will likely lack the third wave push that they had in late 9th to keep up the pressure. As-is I think they’re on the upper side of that next tier, and if you get the first turn they can absolutely push upward.

Factions that Need Some Help

Note that while these are all in the “need some help” category, the amount of help each needs is not the same. Some only need a little help (Daemons, T’au), while others need a lot (AdMech, Death Guard).

  • Votann: Paid too heavily for the sins of 9th Edition, can’t do enough reliably enough.
  • Tau: Too fragile and not quite killy enough to make up for it.
  • AdMech: Underpowered in a variety of directions – a lot of units need to be either cheaper or better at their jobs.
  • Daemons: Just need to be a bit cheaper, the rules whip.
  • Death Guard: Down there with Votann and AdMech as one of the weakest factions in the game right now. Death Guard really need 1-2 additional rules to improve their durability but lacking that they just need more points to work with so they can field more support for daemon engines.
  • Space Wolves*: The asterisk is because you can play a perfectly capable Space Wolves army – as the Gladius Task Force. The Gladius Task Force somewhat freezes out all of the non-Deathwatch Marine detachments, but for most there’s at least arguments for using them. Wolves, not so much.

What’s Next: The Roundtable

That wraps up our look at the Munitorum Field Manual and how it changes the game broadly but check back tomorrow when we convene our group of competitive players and preview authors to offer our thoughts on 10th edition and the games we’ve played so far. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at