If you're familiar with the iconic miniatures war game, Warhammer 40k, then you know there is a lot to things to keep track of. Across multiple editions, armies, and codices, rules changes are inevitable. But Games Workshop is trying something new when it comes to addressing the current meta of their series with the introduction of Warhammer 40k Balance Dataslate.
As explained in their official Warhammer-Community post, the Warhammer 40k Balance Dataslate is a balance update for competitive matched play. These rules updates will be posted once every quarter and will be done to keep things on an even playing field. These changes will go into effect immediately for all official Games Workshop events, are available to download for free and will be added to the Warhammer 40k app via an update. Games Workshop does reiterate that these changes are for competitive play at official events only, they are completely optional at home and casual play.
As for what the Warhammer 40k Balance Dataslate changes, there are few areas of note. First, it appears Flyer units will be extremely limited going forward. This is to combat how aircraft-heavy armies have been on the rise in competitive play. This is Warhammer 40k, not Aeronautica Imperialis after all. Now, based on the size of the army in matched play, Aircraft units will be limited between one and three.
Similarly, Ork Buggie units are getting some limitations. With the release of the new Ork codex and units like the Speedwaaaghs!, certain strategies have become quite popular like overwhelming the enemy with tons of Rukkatruk Squigbuggies in their lists. Now with this rebalance, you may only have one of each buggie unit in your army. Granted, that is only three models' worth of mobile dakka but it does fit the background of these new Orks better.
The rest of the Warhammer 40k Balance Dataslate mostly amounts to point values and minor changes to other armies. The biggest point value changes are for the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Drukhari. This is big since these changes were originally going to release as part of Chapter Approved 2022, but are now releasing early in this dataslate. As for other armies, Chaos Space Marines can now generate additional attacks against any opponents (not just those associated with the Imperium). A bunch of Necron units are getting the Core keyword added, which will allow for multiple ongoing synergies and aura effects. The Astra Militarum's mainline battle tanks are getting an improved Save characteristic and their officers are getting their ability to bark orders buffed. Finally, the Chaos Knights will start being treated as multiple models when it comes to contesting objectives. On top of that, their Armiger units will be getting Objective Secured.
Overall, the start of the Warhammer 40k Balance Dataslate is a great idea to keep things balanced in such a sprawling war game without rewriting everything. As for how this will change the competitive meta, we'll have to see how the community reacts.