When designing Warhammer 40k 10th edition, Warhammer 40k Studio Manager Stuart Black says that he and his team stripped out “relic” rules that “were familiar or had been there a long time” but weren’t “integral to the play experience”. In our interview with Black, he explains why some 40k rules have been consigned to history.
Games Workshop’s previews have revealed plenty of Warhammer 40k 10th edition datasheets from various Warhammer 40k factions, and the format has been greatly overhauled from 9th edition. Black says that the traditional “datasheet format, including stat-line, had several ‘relic’ features that were the way they were because they always had been, right back to Rogue Trader”, the very first edition of the game.
He singles out Leadership as an example. In previous editions, a unit’s Leadership stat is “a number players aimed to roll under, while big numbers were good for every other dice roll”. The new Leadership values are values you’re trying to roll equal to or over, just like every other stat.
Some features weren’t just vestigial, they were no longer fit for purpose. He says that “The Force Organisation chart had its roots in 3rd Edition, and was a great way to organise a force when the biggest miniature in the game was a Dreadnought”. With stomping great Imperial Knights every bit as common as Space Marine Dreadnoughts nowadays, he says that “In the last few versions of 40k we made army building increasingly flexible to better reflect players’ model collections”.
He says that the incredibly open army-building approach in 10th edition is the next step, but adds “in practice it is more similar to the Arks of Omen Detachment than it first appears”.
You can read the complete Wargamer interview with Stuart Black right now, in which he discusses the design of Warhammer 40k 10th edition from start to finish.