9th edition is rapidly approaching and thanks to the gracious folks at Games Workshop, we’ve got the upcoming Indomitus boxed set in our hands for review. This box is absolutely awesome and the back really hammers home just how much stuff is in it.
Time to take a look inside!
Right when you open the box there’s a lovely full art print of the Imperium’s religious fanaticism on full display. The color palette is appropriate given that it’s depicting what appears to be a combination funeral procession/mass service.
Wings: I think it’s a 3-way funeral procession/mass/getting ready to fight, so it’s incredibly on brand for the Imperium.
Underneath that is a pile of sprues that have been absolutely packed with models and details.
Wings: No mucking about here – you take the top layer off and get immediate sight of that sweet, sweet plastic. More on these below!
And underneath that is a second full-art print designed to protect the rest of the contents from the scrapes and scratches of the sprue contents.
Now we’re on to the print materials. There’s Edge of Silence, the new mini-campaign booklet for the Indomitus contents. It has rules and datsheets for the new models, plus backstory on the Pariah Nexus and the war between Necrons and the Imperium that occurred there. It has photos of painted models and backstories on both factions, but this time around there are no custom missions – the rulebook now has missions for smaller games that should work just fine.
Wings: We’ll be taking a look at the datasheets themselves in another piece but right now I can finally share – I’ve been looking at this cover art for some days now and it still reads to me like the captain is saying “I never thought I’d die fighting alongside a Necron”. For anyone worried the contents clarify that the Necrons and Marines are still enemies and not taking a tonal swerve into a buddy cop thing.
There’s also an advert/art sheet with details about the upcoming Indomitus novel by Gav Thorpe and a QR code for more info.
Here we are – the lovely special edition rulebook for 9th edition. It’s purely graphic this time around, with just a little text on the spine. Love the Abaddon vs. Guilliman set-up.
Wings: It’s worth saying that while this version is lovely, there’s a picture of the regular edition inside the main book (rulebookception) and it also looks great, so don’t worry too much if that’s the version you’re planning on picking up.
It’s also huge – the new Rulebook clocks in a bit short of 400 pages and weighs a fair amount – and there’s a ton more rules content in there this time around. Both because of the crapload of new missions, but also because they’ve put more thought and effort into how they write and explain rules this time around. We’ll cover that more in our rules reviews, though.
Wings: Scale Aggressor is doing work here – it was the quickest thing I had to hand to demonstrate just how massive this book is, being considerably heftier than the previous edition. It’s also just way nicer in terms of feel than previous ones, and the layout and presentation inside is just astronomically better than 8th’s. For me, it pings as “high production value RPG corebook” in a way that the last round just didn’t and if that’s the way the materials in this edition are going I am extremely here for it.
On to the sprues! There’s a ton here to sift through and some exciting new things.
TheChirurgeon: Something I’m on the lookout for here and interested in talking about is which models and units have their own sprues. The reason is that this will usually tell us what can be re-released later on its own (though it’s no guarantee it will be) and what can’t. A good example of this is to look at Shadowspear, where the characters had their own little sprues, ready to be re-packaged in clampacks and sold separately, but the units, all bundled together on larger sprues, had to be released together as part of Start Collecting boxes. That’s a huge step up from Dark Imperium (the 8th starter) or Dark Vengeance (6th/7th edition starters), which put Chaos and Imperial forces on the same sprues – those never got a re-release as standalone because they’d have make new moulds for the models to separate them. The good news is that they don’t appear to be doing things that way any more!
The big Necrons sprue. The Skorpekh Destroyer Lord and the Canoptek Reanimator are on here, both with huge 65mm bases to use. The Plasmancer Cryptek and Cryptothralls are also on here. This isn’t ideal fro any of these units, but given that we’ve already seen preview images of a Canoptek Reanimator variant sporting what looks like a doomsday cannon, we can probably expect to see a dual kit variant of that one in the near future. I’m less sure of the Plasmancer + thralls and Skorpekh Lord — here’s hoping this isn’t the only way to buy them, but as laid out these also make for easy “Start Collecting” repackaging.
Wings: It’s slightly hard to judge from the pictures that WarCom put out, but I think the Doomstalker is actually a size up in terms of scale, so there is a chance this is your main access to these. Packed as they are though, putting them in a Start Collecting with maybe one warrior sprue would make a tonne of sense.
TheChirurgeon: Oh, good point. I hope not.
TheChirurgeon: Speaking of exciting new base sizes, the Outriders come with new 90mm oval bases.
Wings: Yeah so this was a surprise when I unpacked these – I’d been assuming the bikes were just on regular ovals but nope they come on these massive things. Scale Aggressor immediately came out of retirement for one last job.
All three outriders are on a single sprue. Again this bodes well for the idea of them being repackaged later on. Note that the back wheel of the bikes is fixed so you can’t model them doing wheelies easily, but the front wheel is not, so you can model them doing stoppies if you want, which is pretty rad.
Character sprues for both factions. The Necron Overlord and the Royal Warden get their own sprues, though oddly connected to the new Captain and Primaris Lieutenant. Still, these are easily separable, and shouldn’t prevent these from being available separately down the line.
The Skorpekh Destroyers sprue. Builds all three of the new tripod lads, who come on 50mm bases. They’re large lads, and another unit that seems ready-made to be repackaged in their own boxed set later.
Wings: These are the first thing I’ve been building from this set (more on that later) and they are outstanding models. You may also have noticed by now that all the bases have holes drilled in them – they’re hexagon-shaped and all the models have corresponding plugs on their contact points, meaning that they really weren’t kidding when they talked about doing these glue-less. While there are some bits where glue helps and I’d recommend it, every model I’ve done thus far can be brought together entirely without glueing, and the joins are very neat despite this.
The Necron Warrior Sprues. The layout here is tight, but these give you the parts to build 20 warriors with both weapon options (plus scarab swarms!) and are fully ready for packaging in a boxed set of their own.
Wings: As the dubiously proud owner of 30 built and painted Warriors already I’m delighted that these come with enough guns to assemble all of them with the new option, and as a spoiler for our look at the datasheets later on, you can mix weapons in squads, so there’s flexibility to include some with the shorter ranged gun in the front rank of a larger unit.
The Assault Intercessors sprue. There are two of these. This one is box-ready – it only has the Assault Intercessors on it, and so like the Necron Warriors above, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this get repackaged later into its own box.
The Eradicators and the Bladeguard are all on the same sprue, along with the Bladeguard Ancient. This sprue has a ton on it, but it also makes repacks of any of these characters outside of a Start Collecting box unlikely.
Wings: What if, and hear me out – “Conquest – Indomitus”? Seriously though, if that happens the one with this sprue is going to be back-ordered like crazy, no rational marine player is going to be satisfied without some Eradicators and Bladeguard in their collection.
The other possibility is that a “true” starter set is coming, and if that were the case then having this sprue and the Necron one that mixes up several units in it would make sense. If so, Marine players are gonna be happy – this is such a good sprue.
What’s Not in here: Dice, measuring sticks/rulers, tokens, cards, or objective markers. Games Workshop were true to their word when they said that this was not a “starter box” for 40k 9th edition.
TheChirurgeon: There’s a lot in here! I’m eager to start painting the Necrons, and there’s a ton to go over with the new rules. I like how things have been laid out, and as someone who has been bitter about the Dark Vengeance sprues and their effect on Chaos Cultist availability for years (also Dark Imperium but Death Guard Lords of Contagion aren’t nearly as big a deal and you only need one), it’s nice to see that GW has finally moved away from those dark times. The new base sizes were surprising, and it’s crazy how much detail they can pack onto these sprues. The Edge of Silence booklet is fine, but definitely leaves a lot of mystery around the new rules for marines and especially Necrons – there are references to Codex: Necrons that imply that we can use the current book, but other places where rules seem to be changing, so it will be interesting to see how those things pan out. The new datasheets also give us a good idea of how things have been cleaned up for 9th, where aura abilities have been clearly marked with the [Aura] text.
The models themselves are lovely, and I like that they’re all push-fit. The Necrons have gone together very cleanly and easily and I was definitely worried going in that their spindly limbs and tri-pod builds would be an issue. I think the Necrons are probably outmatched compared to the marines but that’s literally what happens in every single boxed set GW releases so whatever. On the whole, this boxed set is great and if you can split it with a friend who wants the models, I’d recommend it. If you don’t have any interest in the models though, you should definitely just grab the standalone rulebook.
Wings: I would say that the one drawback of this box is that the Necrons are comically outmatched if you throw the armies at each other, but that’s a relatively minor concern given this is clearly pitched at existing players. That does also hit on the one real miss for me on this as a standalone product – the datasheets for both sides reference rules in their codex (Reanimation Protocols and Angels of Death) without explaining how they work, so you do genuinely need access to a wider ruleset to have a game with them. I would have liked a page in Edge of Silence covering those rules and maybe throwing in a warlord trait, stratagem and relic for each side, just to make sure there’s something you can throw down with out of the box if you’re new.
That’s a minor quibble though – if you play either Necrons or Marines, or want to start them, then this box comes highly recommended from me. You get a hefty wave of reinforcements alongside the core book. Because the box is pretty bare bones beyond that, if you are absolutely certain you don’t want either of them and don’t have any friends who will rush to take the models off your hands then maybe buy the separate book.
That would mean missing out on the glorious new box experience though. I’d like to end by thanking GW again for sending us these – cracking open the plastic on a whole new edition was a rush like nothing else!
That’s not all you’re going to be hearing about 9th Edition from us – perish the thought! Go check out our 9th Edition content schedule to find out what we’re planning – we’ll have more on all of the rules, lore and models coming soon, so something for everyone.
Otherwise, have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.