Warhammer 40k 10th edition guide

Warhammer 40k 10th edition is coming in Summer 2023, so here's our complete breakdown of the new Warhammer 40k rules, lore, and starter set.

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

Warhammer 40k 10th Edition is coming this Summer! Revealed at Adepticon on March 23, 10th edition promises a big overhaul to the game’s core rules. The title fighters for the new editions are the Space Marines – of course – and the Tyranid Hive Fleets, whose tendrils has spread around the galaxy as they never have before.

If you’re gearing up to grow your play group with 10th, hit up our guide on how to get your friends into Warhammer 40k. Otherwise, while we wait for more news from Games Workshop, here’s everything we can predict about Warhammer 40k 10th edition.

Warhammer 40k Leviathan starter set

Warhammer 40k 10th edition Leviathan will be the bumper launch box set for 10th edition. With 25 Space Marines and 47 Tyranids, plus a massive hardback rulebook, and mission cards, and a price “less than the Horus Heresy starter set”, this will be an incredible way to get started with the game.  Check out our rundown of the Leviathan starter set contents to discover the oodles of awesome new models inside.

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

The Warhammer 40k 10th edition release date will be sometime during Summer 2023, according to the 10th edition reveal announcement at Adepticon. This makes perfect sense – GW releases new editions of its big tabletop wargames during the Summer.

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Warhammer 40k 10th edition Space Marines

The cinematic trailer reveals Warhammer 40k 10th edition Space Marines will be at the forefront of the conflicts for the latest edition. Games Workshop previewed new Space Marine terminator models, and the trailer itself contains some exciting new marine units that don’t have revealed models – yet.

We can see a Redemptor Chassis dreadnought armed with Lascannons and Missile launcher; a Primaris Apothecary in Gravis pattern armour; a Terminator librarian; marines in MkX Tacticus armour with Pyreblaster flamers (previously the preserve of the Black Templars); and marines in Phobos armour with combiweapons.

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

GW has already revealed some of the Warhammer 40k 10th edition rules changes we can expect.

Warhammer 40k 10th edition battle-shock

GW stated when it announced Warhammer 40k 10th edition at Adepticon that the new edition won’t have a morale phase. A Warhammer Community article on April 3 clarifies that ‘Battle-shock tests’ can be forced on a unit by “many factors”, including “being under half-strength during the Command Phase”.

This means that once a unit is sufficiently battered it’s at risk of losing its nerve for the rest of the battle. Units test for Battle-shock by rolling 2d6 and trying to equal or beat their Leadership value. If they fail they will “struggle to capture objectives, use Stratagems, or Fall Back from combat”.

Warhammer 40k 10th edition indexes

10th edition rules are different enough that GW is doing away with all the current Warhammer 40k Codexes – but don’t despair.  They’ll be replaced, for free, with Warhammer 40k 10th edition indexes, which have all the datasheets and army rules for every faction.

That’s right – according to Games Workshop, at launch you will be able to play Warhammer 40k 10th edition with all your existing models from any army. The rules will be made available, for free, digitally.

This is just the second time GW has released full rules for every faction all at the same time. For 8th edition, GW redesigned 40k from the ground up, creating a new framework and releasing new Indexes for all the models. Before that, you have to look to the 3rd edition of 40k in 1998, which put all the army rules in the core rulebook. Those rules (and army lists) were iterated on until the end of 7th edition in 2017 – in fact, you can still find a version of that rules engine powering The Horus Heresy wargame.

Warhammer 40k 10th edition codexes

Will there be Warhammer 40k 10th edition codexes, if all the army rules are going to be available for free in indexes? Games Workshop says yes, but hasn’t yet specified exactly what will be in them. We hope that GW continues to update the indexes with new models as they’re released so that you can play a basic version of Warhammer 40k, and uses Codexes to provide a greater breadth of options (as well as all the lore and advice on painting miniatures we expect).

Warhammer 40k 10th edition army rules

Warhammer 40k 10th edition army rules will fit onto a single one-page spread. This is a massive shift, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the game is losing a lot of complexity. According to Games Workshop’s preview, a lot of the rules that might have been a Stratagem, Psychic Power, or bonus for building a battle-forged army before will now be built into Datasheets for models.

Warhammer 40k 10th edition sub-factions

Warhammer 40k 10th edition sub-factions will be streamlined so that your choice of sub-faction doesn’t add new army rules and stratagems – instead, it swaps out one set for another.

This is how the subfaction rules work in Codex World Eaters, the final Codex book in 9th edition and actually. Check out our World Eaters codex review for details – we were complimentary about that system there.

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

Warhammer 40k 10th edition starter set

If the Warhammer 40k 10th edition starter set is anything like other flagship launches from GW, it 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 Tyranids.

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.

How does Arks of Omen lead into 10th edition 40k?

The culmination of Arks of Omen will launch 10th edition 40k. Across four books we’ve seen Abaddon launch deadly assaults across the Imperium aboard Space Hulks, Daemon Primarch Angron returning to reality in a storm of gore, the new Daemon Prince Vashtorr the Arkifane invading the Dark Angels’ fortress monastery, and the T’au separatist Farsight reaching new levels of influence. The fifth and final book, Arks of Omen: The Lion brings an end to the narrative in a momentous event – the re-awakening of the Dark Angels Primarch Lion El’Jonson.

Using narrative books to bring an end to the narrative (and sometimes rules) of a game edition is a familiar pattern from Games Workshop. 7th edition 40k ended with the Gathering Storm supplements, which gave rules and narrative for the fall of Cadia, the 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.