In a surprise double reveal, Games Workshop has not only announced that the Eldar – now called Aeldari – will be the next Warhammer 40k army to receive a 9th edition codex rulebook, but that the next codex release thereafter will be Tyranids (not, as many suspected, the Chaos Space Marines). There are more Aeldari rules reveals promised for this week, now the book’s out of the bag.
Announced in a Warhammer Community article on Monday, the upcoming new Codex: Aeldari is reportedly 200 pages long (only eight pages short of the hefty Space Marines codex) and includes rules for fielding Ynnari armies, Eldar Corsairs units, and the Harlequins (a distinct subfaction that previously had their own standalone codex).
Naturally, GW says the codex also packs “new army-wide special rules, Stratagems, and a whole host of new Crusade content”, as well as the usual updated datasheets for all the Eldar’s many tabletop units – including the brand new Shining Spears, Warlock, Dark Reapers, Guardians, and Autarch models that’ve been shown off over the last few weeks.
If GW’s previous marketing timelines are any guide, it means we can expect the new Eldar codex to go up for pre-order in mid-February, and release a week later. The release schedule for the Tyranids codex is more difficult to divine, but, given the earliness of this announcement, we’d suspect it to be in mid-March.
Along with the announcement, GW also unveiled the codex’s cover artwork, featuring an Aeldari Autarch, in the red livery of the Saim-Hann Craftworld, equipped with Swooping Hawk wings, a Singing Spear, and Aeldari Missile Launcher.
In the foreground of the cover art, we can see a Warlock, Guardians, and Striking Scorpions. It’s an arrangement that will likely be interpreted by some fans as proof that the Scorpions – long counted among the Eldar model kits most in need of modernising – are one of the mysterious, as yet unannounced new Eldar miniatures hinted at by GW presenters during their LVO preview stream.
Striking Scorpions (like the Autarch, Warlock, Dark Reapers, and Shining Spears, all of which will receive plastic models as part of this wider Eldar release) are currently only available from GW as resin cast models.
After a spate of new model reveals, the arrival of a new, 9th edition Eldar codex was no surprise to most Warhammer 40k fans – we predicted it in our codex release date guide some while ago.
But the confirmation that Tyranids would follow has been a significant curve ball that few in the game’s community suspected. We still have no details of when the ‘Nids’ new book can be expected to drop – or what new models and rules may be on the way – but Warhammer 40k’s fusion-powered rumour mill will doubtless now kick into overdrive on such topics.
Lots of fans (including us) had guessed Chaos Space Marines might be next in the queue, given their appearance opposite the Aeldari in the Eldritch Omens battlebox, going up for pre-order this Saturday. Now, it seems, the Heretic Astartes will have at least a couple more months to wait.
For a refresher on who the various forces of the 41st millennium are, check out our guides to Warhammer 40k Imperium factions, Chaos factions, and Xenos factions.