Warhammer 40K 10th Edition FAQ: Don't Get Left Behind!

With the announcement of a new edition of Games Workshop's flagship tabletop game, we answer all your questions in our Warhammer 40K 10th Edition FAQ.

Published: March 24, 2023 10:48 AM /


Warhammer 40K 10th Edition

Revealed at Adepticon 2023, Warhammer 40,000 (40K for short), the tabletop wargame by Games Workshop is getting its 10th Editon of the rules this year. In this article, we'll answer all your questions

What is Warhammer 40K?

Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop wargame produced by Games Workshop. It was first published in 1987 and has been through several editions up to its current point. In games, players take turns controlling their forces made up of miniatures representing individual troops, battle tanks, aliens, and massive titans of war.

The popularity of the franchise has seen it grow and it now spans video games, comics, animated shows, and upcoming TV shows. Games Workshop also has a series of novels that feature famous characters from the lore, and the New York Times best-selling series the Horus Heresy, that explores the Warhammer 40K universe, ten thousand years before when the armies of the space marines were divided into a civil war.

An image of a Warhammer 40K Space Marine Miniature ready to fight.
A new Warhammer 40K Space Marine Miniature from the Leviathan launch box.

What is Warhammer 40K 10th Edition?

Warhammer 40K 10th edition is the 10th version of the rules. As wargames expand and develop, new editions are released to update rules and improve gameplay. The current edition, Warhammer 40K 9th edition was released in July 2020 with the Indomitus Box and introduced the Crusade narrative system to 40K.

When was Warhammer 40K 10th Edition be released?

Games Workshop announced a Summer release for Warhammer 40K 10th Edition, and Warhammer 40K 10th Edition released in June 2023. Previous editions were all also released in Summer with 9th edition released in July 2020, 8th edition in June 2017, and 7th edition in May 2014.

A gallery of Warhammer 40K Combat patrol box contents.

What are the changes in Warhammer 40K 10th Edition?

Gameplay in the upcoming Warhammer 40K 10th edition has been completely overhauled, with a focus on simplicity and flattening out the learning curve for new players. Several new changes have been teased and more details will be revealed as we edge towards release, but what we know so far is:

  • Fewer faction-specific stratagems, with added universal stratagems for reactions in your opponent's turn
  • Changes and updates to turn structure, army selection, morale, terrain, missions, and how characters interact with units
  • New datasheets for all units, including rebalancing and a look at the lethality and durability of units
  • Changes to army selection, which is now simply picking a faction, a warlord, and the units you like (with a max of 3 of each)
  • There will also be conversion rules for your crusade forces, to bring your narrative force with you into the new edition
  • A new way to play with Combat Patrol, which will be easy to collect and play. This game style has small preset, balanced forces, with the armies made of Combat Patrol boxes

What new rules are there in Warhammer 40k 10th Edition?

While there have been many smaller rule changes, the largest changes to the game are the following:

  • New Psychic Rules: Psychic abilities are now used in the phases where they make the most sense. For example, psychic movement abilities can now be used in the Movement Phase, and psychic attack abilities can now be used in the Shooting Phase. This change is designed to make psychic powers more integrated into the overall game flow.
  • New Army Building Rules: The new army building rules are designed to give players more flexibility and creativity when building their armies. Players will now be able to choose from a variety of detachments, each with its own unique benefits and restrictions. Players will also be able to use keywords to build their armies in a more thematic way.
  • New Weapon Keywords: The new weapon keywords are designed to add more depth and variety to the game. For example, the "Blast" keyword allows weapons to hit multiple units with a single shot, while the "Overcharge" keyword allows weapons to be overcharged for increased damage at the cost of reduced reliability.
  • Changes to Lethality and Toughness: The changes to Lethality and Toughness are designed to make the game more balanced and realistic. For example, Lethal weapons will now be more effective against high-Toughness units, while Tough units will now be more resistant to low-Damage weapons.
  • New Battleshock Rules: The Battleshock phase no longer sees players losing units at the end of a battle round, but instead Battleshock is now tested during the Command phase, and will affect your units with a series of detriments.
The new warhammer 40K 10th edition datacard for the Tyranids Termagants unit.

What are the new Warhammer 40K 10th edition Datacards?

The new Warhammer 40K 10th edition datacards look similar to what's been used in Age of Sigmar, Warcry and very similar to the current edition of Kill Team, where all of a unit's stats, abilities, and weapon options are listed in a clear, easy to read format. There is a new OC stat, which we think is Objective Control, and will be used to work out who controls an objective when it is contested by multiple units.

A force of Tau Empire battle against a force of Necrons.

I'm a veteran 40K player, will my army still work?

All of your current units will be valid in Warhammer 40K 10th edition. With the new datacards and rules changes, they might not work exactly the same way, but they will be legal. Points values may also change, so your current 2000-point army might not be exactly the same moving across to the new edition.

I'm a new player, what can I buy now?

With the announcement of the Combat Patrol game type, any of the current Combat Patrol boxes will allow you to get playing straight away in the Warhammer 40K 10th edition. Picking up any of the Combat Patrol boxes you like the look of will give you a working force in that game style, and will give you a solid core with which to expand for your future force. It will also allow you to play a few games in the new edition to see if you like that faction's style of play, before buying more.

If you don't already have any rules books or army books (army Codexes), these won't be valid in Warhammer 40K 10th edition, so don't pick up those just yet, unless you're super keen to get playing in 9th edition, in which case they will still work and allow you to play up until 10th edition is released in the Summer.

A selection of Warhammer 40K Combat Patrol boxes.

What will I need to play Warhammer 40K 10th Edition?

On release day, Warhammer 40K 10th edition will have free datacards for every available unit will be available for free, so all you will need is:

  • A copy of the Warhammer 40K 10th edition rulebook
  • Some six-sided dice (D6)
  • Miniatures for your chosen faction (the available Combat Patrols are the perfect way to get started)
  • An opponent with their own faction
  • A battlefield (with Warhammer 40K terrain, or just some random objects to represent the battlefield)

What is in the Warhammer 40K 10th edition starter set/launch box?

The Warhammer 40K 10th edition reveal and the animated trailer suggests that the new launch box will have Space Marines vs Tyranids, possibly in the same style as the Indomitus box for 9th edition which featured Space Marines vs Necrons. There are several new units in the animated trailer, and our guess at new units is:

  • New Space Marine Terminators. These have been confirmed with the 10th edition announcement
  • New Space Marine HQ units, Gravis Apothecary, Terminator Captain, and Terminator Librarian
  • New Space Marine ranged Dreadnought with twin-lascannons and missile launcher rack
  • New Space Marine Primaris flamer unit
  • New Tyranid Termagants. These have been confirmed with the 10th edition announcement
  • New Tyranid Screamer Killer
  • New Tyranid flying unit
The new Tyranid flying unit from the 40K 10th edition reveal trailer.

Will there still be Army Codexs?

On release of Warhammer 40K 10th edition, all 9th Edition 40K codexes will no longer be valid, but Games Workshop have said they will be releasing for free all datasheets that will allow all players to play 10th edition immediately with their forces. Army books will be released over the life of 10th edition, and as your army has it new codex, it will replace the free downloadable rules for that force.

Is there a link to Kill Team?

While Kill Team and Warhammer 40K are both set in the same setting, the difference in datacards means that they won't share a ruleset, but miniatures will work across both games. Your 40K miniatures can be used in Kill Team if there is a datacard for it, and all Kill Team units also have rules for 40K.

Will there be Crusade rules?

Games Workshop has said that there will be conversion rules for bringing your 9th edition Crusaded force across to 10th edition, which suggests a narrative/Crusade game type for Warhammer 40K 10th edition. 

The new Space Marine Terminator units.

What are these new Terminators about?

Over the course of the last few editions of Warhammer 40K, Space Marines have been getting more and more Primaris units, larger and stronger Space Marines with better armor and equipment. There was talk for a time of the Terminators getting a Primaris version, and being upscaled along with the rest of the line. Games Workshop have confirmed with their reveal that while the new Terminator units appear to be larger than the previous Terminators, they can be either First Born or Primaris Space Marines.

Terminators have been a core of Space Marines forces for a long time, featured in the tabletop game (and video game) Space Hulk. The incredibly durable armor is usually worn by veteran marines that give them some devastating weapons and a high saving throw in games.

The Arks of Omen Books.

Will Arks of Omen still work?

Arks of Omen and the boarding patrol rules they contain will still be valid in Warhammer 40K 10th edition. Boarding Patrols will still be a valid game type in 10th edition, so you can still pick up those books and use them in the current and future editions of 40K.

If you'd like to know more about the Arks of Omen, we've covered all the books and you can start with by reading our review of the first book, Arks of Omen Abaddon.

The brand new miniature for the Primarch Lion El'Jonson.

Who's the Lion and what's he doing?

The Lion, or Lion El'Jonson in full, is a Primarch, a son of the Emperor of Mankind and the father of the Dark Angels chapter of Space Marines. You could already buy his miniature, along with all 17 of the other Primachs for the Horus Heresy wargame, which is the period of time that the Primarchs were most active. Until now, in Warhammer 40K, the only Primarchs available were the ones who had turned to Chaos, and who had daemon miniatures, and Roboute Guilliman, the Ultramarine's Primarch who came back at the start of 8th edition.

The Lion was revealed alongside Warhammer 40K 10th edition at Adepticon 2023, and the 5th Arks of Omen book is named after him.

Roboute kneels before the grave of his brother in the opening of the Warhammer 40K 10th edition reveal trailer.

Who are all those people in the announcement trailer?

At the start of the Warhammer 40K 10th edition reveal trailer, Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines chapter of the Space Marines, is kneeling at his brother, Sanguinius' grave on the planet Baal. Sanguinius was killed during the Horus Heresy, and recently, the Space Marines had been fighting the forces of the Tyranids in a campaign near Baal. They thought the campaign won, and they were mopping up the remains, but the largest Hive Fleet ever reported has now landed, and once again the forces of Mankind have to take up battle against them, but the positions are now reversed, and the Imperium is outnumbered.

Most of the units featured in the trailer are thought to be new upcoming units in the Warhammer 40K 10th edition boxed set, and we address those in the What will be in the box set question above.

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at tips@techraptor.net

A Potts TechRaptor
| Senior Tabletop Writer

Adam is a Tabletop Specialist for TechRaptor. He started writing for TechRaptor in 2017 and took over as Tabletop Editor in 2019 and has since stood down… More about Adam