Warhammer 40k 10th edition guide

Warhammer 40k 10th edition hasn't been announced, but the signs of an edition change are clear - here’s what our prognosticators predict

Warhammer 40k 10th edition - artwork by Black Lab Games from Warhammer 40k Battlesector, depicting a Blood Angels Space Marine Librarian fighting a winged hive tyrant

Let’s not beat around the bush  – Warhammer 40k 10th Edition is coming soon. Every current Warhammer 40k faction has a Codex, the Arks of Omen supplement books look suspiciously similar to the Psychic Awakening and Broken Realms series… the signs are there. The end of Warhammer 40k 9th edition is nigh. While we wait for an announcement from Games Workshop, here’s everything we can predict about Warhammer 40k 10th edition.

Will Arks of Omen lead into 10th edition 40k?

It looks like it. 7th edition 40k ended with the Gathering Storm supplements, which gave rules and narrative for the fall of Cadia, opening of the great rift, the birth of the Eldar God Ynnead, and the resurrection of the Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman. 8th edition 40k ended with the Psychic Awakening supplements, which brought updated rules for the Warhammer 40k factions and explored the psychic impact of the great rift across the Imperium of Man.

Likewise,  the Broken Realms books ushered in the leap from second to third edition for Warhammer Age of Sigmar armies. As a series of linked, narrative supplement books, the Arks of Omen very likely fulfil the same role, wrapping up the narrative of 9th edition 40k.

Warhammer 40k 10th edition - artwork by Games Workshop, blue-armoured Ultramarines Space Marines fight diseased Death Guard Plague Marnies

Warhammer 40k 10th edition release date

We don’t yet know the exact Warhammer 40k 10th edition release date, but we can make some reasonable assumptions. 7th and 8th edition 40k had three year lifespans, and 9th edition 40k released in July 2020, so a 10th edition release in 2023 is possible. However, older editions have had longer lifespans, with first and third editions both managing six years, so it’s not certain.

GW releases new editions of its big tabletop wargames during the Summer. The roadmap for Arks of Omen goes as far as volume four in Spring of 2023 – perfect timing for a Summer 2023 edition change, assuming that’s the end of the series. If it’s longer, the smart money is on Summer 2024.

Warhammer 40k 10th edition - photograph of a model diorama by Games Workshop, robotic Necrons face off against red armoured cyborg warriors of the Adeptus Mechanicus

Warhammer 40k 10th edition rules changes

We don’t yet know whether the shift from 9th to 10th edition 40k will bring an evolution to the rules, or a total revolution. From the 3rd edition of 40k in 1998 until the end of 7th edition in 2017, the rules evolved around the same core – in fact, you can still find a version of that rules engine powering The Horus Heresy wargame. For 8th edition, GW redesigned 40k from the ground up, creating a new framework that the designers then iterated on for 9th edition.

Neither approach is strictly better. A fresh start allows designers to reconsider every aspect of the game, without attempting to make the rules backwards compatible with the current suite of Codexes. That has a big and obvious downside – long-time Chaos Space Marine players will remember the bitter taste at the end of 7th edition, when they received a brilliant Codex supplement after years of waiting, only for 8th edition to roll along a few months later and render it useless. World Eaters fans won’t be happy if the same thing happens to them.

The result of the Gamers Survey that GW ran in November 2021 will have contributed to the design of 10th edition. That survey asked a lot of pointed questions about Command Points, so expect an overhaul to that part of the game.

Warhammer 40k 10th edition - box cover mockup for the Indomitus box set by Games Workshop

Warhammer 40k 10th edition starter set

If GW follows the model it has used with the most recent editions of Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Age of Sigmar, 10th edition will first launch with a limited edition bundle containing two armies and a hardback rulebook. One army will be Space Marines, while the other will be one of the Warhammer 40k Xenos races or Warhammer 40k Chaos armies.

Three Warhammer 40k starter sets should follow, the cheapest being a Recruit edition that comes with a few minis and starter rules, the next being an Elite edition that has more substantial forces, and the most expensive being a Command edition that packs in terrain and a rulebook along with the contents of Elite edition.