7 (not 9) Things I’d Like from 9th Edition

In case you missed it, Games Workshop announced a few days ago that they are releasing a new version–the 9th Edition–of Warhammer 40,000.  Here’s a promo video from warhammer40000.com:

I’ve been playing since 1987’s 1st Edition–aka “Rogue Trader”–and 8th has been my favorite of all the versions. So, I don’t have many complaints.

But seeing as how a new game is on its way, here are a few things (a mere seven) that I’m hoping will be changed (and it looks from the video that some definitely will be).


1. Vehicles able to move and fire Heavy weapons without penalty. I don’t play Astra Militarum, but I’ve never liked that most vehicles take a -1 “to hit” penalty for moving and firing Heavy weapons. It just doesn’t make sense to me that a vehicle wouldn’t be built so as to fire effectively while in motion.

2. Vehicles able to Fall Back and shoot in the same turn. Likewise, I believe that tanks, transports, and such that peel away from swarming infantry should be able to fire on the enemy as they leave the combat.

3. Terrain affecting Movement. Currently, all infantry, vehicles, and creatures move at the same rate whether they’re crossing an open field, or trudging through knee-deep swamp. I’d prefer if there was some Movement penalty (-2″?) for going through what used to be called “difficult terrain.”

And yeah, I’d like to implement across the board the -2″ penalty on charging through terrain that the current Advanced Rules (see page 248 of the 8e rulebook) use. Even though I play some assault armies, I think the footsloggers have been too fleet under 8th Edition. They could use some slowing down.

4. Terrain affecting cover saves. Presently, there’s no difference between a model hiding behind something relatively flimsy (like a shack) vis-a-vis taking cover behind a reinforced concrete wall. I’d like to see the former stay at a +1 to the model’s Armor Save, with the latter going to +2 (to a maximum of 2+ Save).

5. More hits for “blast” weapons. I’m not sure how the game designers would retrofit weapons rules to make this happen, but armaments that used templates under previous versions could seriously use an upgrade that allows them to hit more targets.

Demolisher cannons used to take out whole squads at a time: now, you’re lucky if you can drop 6 guys. Ditto for flamers. It’s not that I enjoyed being on the receiving end of Strength 8 “Pie-Plates-o’-Death” from battle cannons, but it certainly made the Shooting Phase more interesting.

The video I shared makes it look like something along those lines is coming in 9th Edition: here’s hoping so.

6. Free reinforcements. Some armies can summon or otherwise bring reinforcements as needed onto the battlefield. Chaos Daemons can call more of their chums from the Warp, and Tyranid Tervigons can birth out Termagants.

Under previous rules, these reinforcements didn’t cost any points, but under 8e, they do. I’d like to go back to how it was done before, because currently, the more points you put into reinforcements, the fewer points you have on the tabletop to deal with the enemy until your backup arrives.

7. No more “I-Go-You-Go.” All the other things I’ve mentioned are mere rule tweaks that 9e may or may not implement in one form or another. What I’d really like to see–but hold no hope for–is something like what was done for the latest version of the Apocalypse game.

Ever since it started, 40K has had an “I-Go-You-Go” format where one player moves, shoots, and assaults with all their units while the other player stands around. Apocalypse mandates that players alternate using units, and though I haven’t had a chance to try it out, it sounds much more interesting.

I love the idea of seeing an enemy unit move toward a position, and me immediately being able to send one of my units to counter it (and then the other player could counter my counter-unit).

That’s all I got: as I alluded, I’m like 95% satisfied with how 8e works. How about you? Let me know in the comments.

When he isn’t playing or blogging about 40K, Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults, and adults who are still young.  This Wasted Land, his latest novel, isn’t your typical teenage love story.  It’s more like: Boy meets Girl –> Evil Witch takes Boy –> Girl goes to get Boy back.

He is also the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog.  His first novel was Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons.  With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Visit kentonkilgore.com, and follow Kenton on Facebook for frequent posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction.  You can also catch him on Instagram.

One thought on “7 (not 9) Things I’d Like from 9th Edition”

  1. Units engaged in combat with any type of weapons should be able to shoot or freely leave combat with a vehicle. The tactic of sending in the rhino or wave serpent first to eat Overwatch is ridiculous.

    Speaking of Overwatch….you should be able to Overwatch even if the charging enemy is not in LOS and all attacks should count as half range. It’s stupid that I can hide behind a wall and Surprise! Charged with no chance to shoot. How can they charge me if they can’t see me and I can’t see them to shoot? Plus a smart commander waits until the enemy is close up to Overwatch to maximize shock effectiveness.

    This would make flamers worth taking.

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