Welcome, dear reader, to a deep dive into the point changes in the upcoming 2021 Munitorum Field Manual. The MFM represents one part of a massive set of changes across 40k designed to fix issues and rebalance the game to bring us into what we’re lovingly describing as the 9.1 edition of Warhammer 40k.
In this article we’ll be recapping each of the major point changes for each faction and talking about the implications of those changes. While our focus is to be as comprehensive as possible when it comes to the big changes, it’s likely we’ll miss something along the way in the smaller stuff, so if you don’t see something here, it may be just because we didn’t have time to get to it or missed it on our pass of the changes.
The Sisters of Battle have an upcoming Codex to release and as such the points in the June 2021 MFM reflect the values in their new Codex. We’ll be talking more about them in our upcoming review of the new Codex since they don’t make any sense without the context of the new book. Stay tuned for that tomorrow.
The Adeptus Custodes have fared reasonably well in 9th edition and got a bit of a mixed bag from this FAQ.
- Custodian Wardens went down 5 points per model, to 50.
- Venerable Land Raiders came down to 280 points
- The Caladius Grav tank dropped 20 points, to 205
- Telemon Heavy Dreadnoughts went up 20 points, to 280
The big wins are Wardens and the Caladius coming down in cost, with the latter now much more likely to see use. Telemons had just started seeing use in lists as a counter to Drukhari and this points hike will likely strangle that trend in the crib, though we’re sure to see one last gasp of it at the upcoming ACO Major.
With a fresh new codex released last weekend, it should be no surprise that we do not have any new points values for Adeptus Mechanicus units.
The Astra Militarum got a few changes, though mostly suffered a predictable nerf to Death Riders from Imperial Armour Compendium.
- Ogryns came down 5 points per model, to 25
- Banebale and other super-heavy tanks went down 40 points.
- Death Riders went up 5 points, to 20
- Death Rider Command Squadrons went up 25 points, to 85
Even at 25 points per model Ogryns are likely overcosted – they just don’t have enough durability for the price – and so this change isn’t likely to do much for Guard. The Death Rider increases are pretty rough but tamer than what we might have expected and so there may still be a place for them. The Baneblade and its variants get a huge boost here with a 40 point drop and changes to the CP cost for Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachments that will at the very least ensure some players try them out.
The changes to Chaos Daemon points costs were minimal, though important, with the faction’s most important unit going up 20 points. We also finally got a points cost for the new Be’lakor model.
- The Lord of Change went up to 290 points (+20)
- Be’lakor costs 360 points
No one should really be shocked by this development – the Lord of Change was an absolute terror late last year, powering many Daemons lists to top finishes. Its utility has diminished a bit since, but it still sees fairly regular play in lists that bring a detachment of Daemons.
Chaos Space Marines
The changes to Chaos Space Marines were minor – most of the juicy stuff happened back in January with the drops to Raptors and Terminators – but there were a few important ones to note.
- Cultists dropped 1 point to 5ppm
- Venomcrawlers dropped 20 points to 110ppm
- Chosen dropped 1 point to 14ppm
- Chaos Land Raiders dropped 20 points to 265
The big changes here are the adjustments to Cultists and Venomcrawlers. Chosen are still not worth spending much time on as Elites choices even at 14ppm and neither are Land Raiders. But Cultists dropping to 5ppm basically gives every Chaos Marine army free points to work with now that it can take 50-point action/Troop slot filler units and at 110 points it’s very much worth considering the Venomcrawler and what it can do. A trio of Venomcrawlers backed by a Lord Discordant is nothing to sneeze at, and combining them with something like Epidemius can be pretty nasty.
In need of some help, Craftworlds Eldar received a number of key unit points drops.
- The Avatar of Khaine dropped 35 points to 200
- Fire Dragons dropped to 20ppm (-3)
- Wraithblades dropped to 37ppm (-3)
- Wraithguard dropped to 35ppm (-3)
- Dark Reapers dropped to 32ppm (-3)
- The Fire Prism dropped to 155 (-15)
- The Night Spinner dropped to 135 (-10)
This is hot stuff, and great news for Craftworlds players. First up, two of the better current shooting units (Dark Reapers and Night Spinners) picked up small but welcome cuts. 2x Spinners + 3×3 Dark Reapers in an Expert Crafters detachment is a recipe that’s shown up in a tournament-winning soup list recently, and is just generally an excellent way to anchor your gunline, so getting a ~50pt discount on it is extremely neat. Fire Prisms got a decent drop too, but started from a much weaker position than the Spinner so probably don’t get there. That said, they are back in the range where having a go at a go-wide hull list doesn’t look totally ridiculous.
Over in the Elites slot you get 3pt cuts on a trio of nearly-there units, meaning that all of them need a quick re-evaluation. Fire Dragons die to a stiff breeze, but 100pts for five melta shots you can chuck in strat reserves as a headache/deterrent isn’t nothing. The fact that they don’t really address any of Eldar’s structural problems probably keeps them on the bench, but it’s nice that they’re cheaper. More likely to actually do something valid are the changes to Wraith units. Both flavours have struggled with doing enough damage for their price, so drops are exactly what was needed on them, and I think there’s some experimentation to do at both ends of the spectrum. MSUs of Wraithguard with exactly Expert Crafters/Hunters of Ancient Relics as traits are pretty efficient all-rounders, while going all in on a massive block of 3++ Wraithblades via Protect gets a bit cheaper. Pure Craftworlds desperately need the all-rounder mid-board slot, and Aeldari Soup has nasty damage dealers that can work with a chunky anvil, so this stuff is great.
Finally, the Avatar – and whisper it kids, but this change is serious business. Outside of occasional appearances in mind-bending Sean Nayden specials, the Avatar has never financially recovered from the absurdly bad points baseline he was assigned in 8th. This change is of a magnitude that he should finally get there. He’s now the cheapest he’s been in the 8th/9th engine, fully 50pts discounted from the OG printed price, is vastly more suited to 9th gameplay in general, and does very well out of the top custom Craftworld traits. I (Wings) am seriously grappling with the possibility that I’m going to have to either repaint the one of these I artistically mutilated when I was twelve or track down the missing part from the unbuilt one that was inexplicably scattered throughout my bitz box.
All in all, great stuff – Eldar still have plenty of trash units, and a 9th Codex can’t come fast enough, but a mixture of a gunline discount and some improved options for contesting the mid board is extremely valuable.
In news that should make Death Guard players pretty happy, there were no changes to the faction’s points costs.
Although theoretically safe from points changes due to the late release of their codex relative to the publication date of these updates, Drukhari got their own adjustments in the FAQs released this week, which included a 10-point increase on Raiders.
Genestealer Cults only saw a minor adjustment, with the cost of Purestrain Genestealers coming down 2 points to match their cost in the Tyranids update and Atalan Jackals dropping 2ppm.
- Purestrain Genestealers went down to 15ppm (-2)
- Atalan Jackals went down to 12ppm (-2)
It’s certainly a welcome change for a faction that’ll take any help it can get but it’s nowhere near enough to elevate them out of the dumpster they’re currently in. Aberrants are still paying for their transgressions two years ago, it seems.
Like Thousand Sons, the points for Grey Knights in the MFM represent those in the upcoming Codex, and so in the meantime we got a separate PDF update for them reducing the cost of Land Raiders and nothing else.
Harlequins have fallen a bit from their throne as the top faction in 40k but still make regular appearances in Eldar soup lists. Their points values didn’t really change.
- The Solitaire went down 2 points (to 100)
Necrons had a number of important changes, almost all of them positive for the army.
- Catacomb Command barges went up to 155 points (+10)
- The Chronomancer’s Entropic Lance now costs 10 points (+10)
- Tesla Carbines are now free on Immortals (-2)
- The Doomsday Ark went down to 170 (-20)
- Lokhust Destroyers are now 50ppm (-5)
- Lokhust Destroyer weapon options (i.e. taking a Heavy in a regular squad) are now 10 points (-5)
- Lokhust Heavy Destroyers are now 60ppm (-10)
A pretty broad set of changes here, and mostly for the better. There are a couple of nerfs up front but they’re reasonably survivable. The Chronomancer getting a random dark lance shot for free was, let’s be honest, a bit daft, and if you’re taking one for pure buff purposes you can just swap the weapons and carry on without issue. The CCB hike hurts a bit more, but if we’re honest probably just solidifies the current pattern of people taking either cheapo characters or the Silent King and nothing in-between.
That’s the griping out of the way, now onto the good stuff. Tesla Immortals changing isn’t setting the world on fire but is appreciated – putting a premium on these felt like a knee-jerk from 8th that wasn’t actually needed in 9th because of Tesla changing to “unmodified” and the switch back clearly reflects that. Based on recent Waagh-adjacent rumblings on WarCom, it might be just in time for horde clearing to take on a new importance as well!
The big immediate stuff here is in shooting – and that’s extremely good news. Necrons have been badly missing broadly effective shooting units, so decent drops on several flavours, all of which were borderline previously rules. Lokhust Heavies have snuck into the odd successful list, and a 10pt cut per model puts them in a good spot. Single models are nifty as cheap position control that can occasionally punk something, while larger squads (especially as Szerakhan) are a real threat. Their regular Lokhust cousins also look a bunch more plausible with a discount, and a squad of 4 regulars and a heavy might sneak in to lists at 260pts where it was benched at 290. Finally, 170pts for a Doomsday is cheap – there’s still competition from Tessaract Arks, but a vastly bigger point gulf means these will get a look in. It’s also great for weirdo out there all-hull C’tan spam lists, who are probably looking at 60 extra points to play with.
These are exactly the sort of changes Necrons were looking for to give them a few more angles for list building, and these should definitely get some list tinkering going. The Lokhust Heavy change feels most likely to land, given they were seeing fringe play at the old price, but Lokhusts have turned up occasionally too and the Doomsday buff is big – so there’s plenty to work with.
There was only one minor change to Orks, which makes sense considering they’ve been pretty good but not dominant since 9th edition dropped and are about to get a new Codex that will give them a bunch of new units and revamped rules and points.
- Deffkopta rokkits went up to 25 pts (+15)
Space Marines got the biggest set of changes of any faction with this update, which is probably fitting given they’d been out the longest when it was being written.
- The Chief Apothecary upgrade now costs 35 points (+20)
- Jump packs on Vanguard Veterans now cost 3ppm (+1)
- Storm shields on Vanguard Veterans now cost 5ppm (+1)
- Attack Bikes now cost 50ppm (+5)
- Attack Bike weapons in Bike squads now cost +5ppm
- Inceptors cost 40ppm (-5), but Plasma exterminators cost 10ppm (+5)
- Storm Speeders went down 15ppm each
- Eliminators went down to 25ppm (-5)
- Las fusils went down to 5ppm (-5)
- Gladiators went down 20ppm each
- Land Raiders went down 20ppm each
- Repulsors went down 20ppm each
Along with Necrons, Space Marines got a pretty big shakeup. The most important of these is perhaps the Chief Apothecary upgrade going up 20 points, making it considerably more expensive to take one along for his ability to revive Attack Bikes and ATVs. Likewise, Attack bikes have also gone up in cost; they were pretty efficient, revivable units before but the most notable thing about their old cost was that a squad of three came in under the cost of many of the army’s characters, allowing you to take them without worrying about having them count toward your scoring on While We Stand, We Fight. At +5 points each and 150 for a unit of 3, that is no longer likely to be the case. Vanguard Veterans also took a hit, with jump packs and storm shields each going up 1 point, making claw+shield jump vanguard vets 2ppm more expensive.
On the winning side of the equation are Eliminators, who now look very tasty at 25 points each, and for 35 with las fusils it’s worth giving those a shot in a meta that’s rapidly becoming more saturated with vehicles as a way to counter Drukhari.
Gunum: Popping in to address some of the concerns of my Dark Angel brethren here. Our poor, poor attack bikes. An increase of 15 points a squad for our 3×3 Multi-melta attack bikes stings a bit when you include that cost increase with Talonmasters and the Chief Apothecary. That’s an increase of almost 100 points in some meta lists and I think leaves us in a weird place. I really am excited to see how we adjust our lists to these changes as a community. I’m not saying I’m about to write a Hear Me Out on Repulsors, but those point drops make things a little more enticing to consider. Perhaps it’s time to lean hard into Terminators?
The Blood Angels got some adjustments to their elite flying units.
- Commander Dante went down to 165 points (-10)
- Sanguinary Ancients went down to 110 points (-15)
- Sanguinary Guard went up to 32ppm (+2)
Sanguinary Guard are a key focus for Blood Angels lists and so the +2ppm increase hurts them, likely to the tune of 20-30 points in most lists. This can be somewhat offset though by the drop for the Ancient and Dante, where some of those points can be recouped – though neither was a must-take for these lists.
The Dark Angels got a points adjustment to the Talonmaster, a breakout star in the new codex and a feature in many successful lists.
- Ravenwing Talonmasters went up to 175 (+15)
This change, combined with the change to Attack Bikes and the way Movement is measured on the Death on the Wind Secondary objective, deal a massive blow to the Ravenwing armies that had been powering Dark Angels lists to success. While they still have several decent options, it’s potentially a deathblow to the Ravenwing strategy and we may see more Deathwing builds coming down the line.
Gunum: Man. Our golden-bois took a hit here. Let’s be honest, it’s an increase we could have all seen coming from a mile away. Some internet people thought they were overcosted, but us true sons of the first know that they have been the workhorses of many of our lists. +15 isn’t too bad if you only ran one Talonmaster, but I know I run 2~3 in my Outer Circle lists and trying to find 45 points out of a list I’ve already trimmed very low, is going to be hard. Overall, I can see these changes really messing with our Meta as Dark Angels players. By nerfing our Ravenwing side so strongly, I can see a swing towards more Deathwing type units. If the question is: Can DA ever financially recover from this? I’m a firm “yes”, but it’s going to take a little creative list building. Maybe four-man Bladeguard Veteran squads instead of fives? Who knows! It’s a brave new “I’ll never see Death on the Wind again” world.
P.S- For those of you in the Outer Circle cult with me. Dark Talons and Nephilim Jet Fighters were untouched so we still have a bunch of options available to us. Not only that, but there may be a cause to take storm speeders with their cost increase as well. My list’s are a tiny bit hurt here by the Talonmaster increase but overall I think we still have an ocean of options available to us.
Deathwatch didn’t see too many changes of their own; they caught a points increase on their attack bikes to go with the broader ones for all space marines.
- Attack bike weapons on Veteran Bike Squads went up 5 points
Deathwatch are in a pretty sorry place right now but points aren’t so much the problem for them as the value they get from their units and the support they have access to.
Space Wolves had a few surprising changes, with notable drops on their flyers and a decent points decrease on Wulfen.
- Wulfen went down to 22ppm (-3)
- Stormfang Gunships went down to 280 points (-20)
- Stormwolfs went down to 280 points (-20)
The Space Wolves ended up making out very well here, as much for what changed as for what didn’t. On the “What changed’ side, Wulfen got a much-deserved drop to 22 points per model. They’d found themselves gaining relevance in a post-Drukhari meta where their ability to fight on death made them a dangerous target against Drukhari melee threats that could shred through them. They’ll likely be worth testing and building into Space Wolf armies moving forward. Likewise, the Space Wolf flyers came down 20 points each and while the Stormfang saw limited use early in 9th, it’s likely still a bit too expensive for what it brings to the table, though it may be useful for its ability to carry Wulfen.
On the “What didn’t change” side, the point costs for Wolf Guard jump packs and storm shields remained the same, making them now the de facto vanguard veterans of choice for space marines. Space Wolf armies packing jump vets are still very much on the menu.
No major changes for Tau – Shield generators went down 5 points on Crisis Suits and Stealth Suits, while Hazard suits went down 5ppm, and Riptides went down 1 point to be an even 260. That’s numberwang.
The Thousand Sons, like the Grey Knights, have a delayed Codex releasing soon and as such have their future points published in the MFM. Fortunately(?) GW released a stopgap document for them which gives us temporary points. These aren’t particularly worth spending a ton of time on – Land Raiders went down to 265 and that’s about it.
Tyranids got some major buffs in the new points update, albeit at the cost of a major points hike on their most dangerous model, the Dimachaeron.
- The Swarmlord went down to 240 points (-30)
- Tervigons went down to 180 points (-20)
- Genestealers went down to 13ppm (-2)
- The Trygon Prime went down to 175 (-15)
- Venom Cannons on the Sporocyst went down to 40 points (-5)
- The Dimachaeron went up to 255 (+25)
What does it all mean?
These point changes include a few things that were necessary, a couple things that arguably were no longer needed, and missed a few things I think we’d have rather seen addressed. Less changed in this update than we saw in the January 2021 points update, and with so many new books coming out this summer it seems mostly OK that they decided to play it safe here, especially given the emergency errata and points changes for Drukhari Raiders.
While the points changes from the 2021 Munitorum Field Manual and the 2021 Grand Tournament Missions Pack don’t seem like much on their own, together and combined with the massive slate of FAQ changes present a major overhaul that 9th edition needed, with tighter rules and a more balanced structure.Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.