Warhammer 40K has an all new Balance Dataslate that has turned the game on it’s head. Here’s the most importnt change you need to know!

Well it is a crazy week and we have a huge update to 40K.  It is a huge swath of changes and really you can think of this as a rework of 10th edition into a newer and sleeker form – call it “Edition 10.5”.  It is a pretty cool update with a ton of rules and other fun options that really open up the game.  Beyond just the balancing changes to things there are a slew of rules updates to make things work better.  You mix this in with the new missions and basically we got a whole new game to interact with.

Goodbye “Free” Stratagems

The first big change is the update to the whole “0CP” ability some units have when using Stratagems.  Now instead of just being limited to Battle Tactic stratagems the change is if the “Free” strat ability doesn’t specifically state what Stratagem it can use (Like some of the Knights ability to do Tank Shock for free) the cost of doing the Stratagem is -1 CP.  There is no more clause about being able to do 2 of the same stratagem as well so it is just a way to make a Stratagem for free if it is a 1 CP strat.  It is still good, not nearly as abusable, and it lets units rules still work in a fun and unique way.

Regenerating Units Nerfed

The next big update is also to another Stratagem in any of those armies that have the ability to regrow a destroyed unit.  The change is now to limit those stratagems to once per game which limits some of the armies abilities to constantly regrow stuff. This is going to hurt the Endless Swarm armies and the Astra Militarum armies that would regrow Horse units all day long.  It is a good change as it created a degenerate sub-game where players tried to kill regrowable units a bit at at time and spent a whole turn killing 2-3 units at once to limit regrows. Be gone!

Adeptus Mechanicus Weapon Updates

Next up we had some army updates with the biggest one being the Ad Mech army having a slew of weapon profile updates.  This is going to coincide with some point updates to help ensure an AdMech horde of incredible high damage options won’t wreck the Meta.  We’ll see if that does enough, as again they had a crazy amount of updates in this dataslate with unit weapons getting wildly more effective options.  Having the App for this will be helpful for sure to keep up with all the changes.


Custodes Tuned to the New Missions

Adeptus Custodes got some love with the Shield Host getting the ability to choose one of their powers every turn instead of once per game.  You mix that with some other point drops on some smaller Forge World units and you got an army that might do well in the new missions.  It has some options to have some tough action options as well as just some other powerful damage capabilities.  Auric Champion also got an update to let their rule work with attached Characters in units and the units themselves.  This will make those armies able to do more damage easily and shift the army from single heroes to heroes leading all the units.

Astra Militarum Nerfed

Astra Militarum took a few nerfs in this update with No LOS shooting going to always missing on a 1-3 and changes to how their Lethal shooting works.  Now Regiment units gain lethal versus only non Monster/Vehicle units and Squadron units gain Lethal into Monsters & Vehicles.  It is a small shift that will change how they do damage and hopefully tone them down a bit.  You mix this with the Regrow Stratagem getting hit and you have an army that feels more like they want.

Knights Move Differently Now

Both Imperial and Chaos Knights got updates in how they move and can move through non-Titanic units when they move.  They can ignore 4” or less and can move within engagement range of enemy units as long as they don’t end in Engagement range of them.  This lets them get out of situations as needed.  They can also go through Terrain that is over 4” in height but they have to roll a d6 and if they get a 1 they are Battleshocked.  We’ll see if this helps but I always worry I will just Battleshock myself all the time.


Chaos Raptors Are Sad

Chaos Space Marines are taking two sets of nerfs with some point increases as well as having their Warp Talons hit.  They now have to kill something to jump away and can’t use the Renegade Raiders detachment strat to move away and jump away.  I don’t think it was going to be that bad as the army is starved for CP but we’ll see.  If they could have an attached Chaos Lord we would be complaining about it but as is its still hard to do.  Land, charge, and hopefully murder something is a lot harder.

Greater Daemons are GREAT!

The Chaos Daemons got a huge update with a few points drops and a big change to how their Greater Daemons work.  Now all the Greater Daemons count 6” from them as being within the Shadow of Chaos.  This is huge as it means things like the Great Unclean one with an enhancement will always work.  It also means you can deploy off of them to get some sweet charges completed.  I think this is going to be a big shift and with some floating Battleline units we can see some pretty crazy turns of damage potential.  It does make me think I need to find all my Daemonettes.

Dark Angels & Space Wolves Buffed!

Dark Angels got some love as well, with all their newish units getting better close combat attacks to make them even meaner.  The Inner Circle were some awesome miniatures and it is good to see them made better.  On the same sort of thing the Space Wolf Detachment got the ability to call one of their Sagas (Except Majesty) at the beginning of the game and have it turned on.  I could see Wolf Jail loving having Feel No Pain turned on and ready to go as they prepare to lock you down.


Orks Took a Crumpin’

The Orks took some of the biggest hits with point updates and fundamental changes to how their army works.  I get the feeling seeing so many Bully Boyz at the Dallas event made them rethink giving a unit a 4+ Feel No Pain.  They shifted that unit to having a 5+, changed some of the Green Horde powers, and updated a ton of Stratagems.  We’ll see if it kills them fully but it does feel like a huge punch to that army before it really got started.

Thousand Sons Got Dusted

Thousand Sons got toned down a bit but will see if it is enough.  It is one of the harder armies to play and while it can do a ton of damage it is rough to play against if you are dealing with a pro player.  We’ll see how long it keeps going as again if we see too many show up and wreck shop in Tacoma will see it shifted again.

Tyranids Evolve … A Little

Finally we got some updates to Tyranids to help out.  A lot of things got Synaptic, shifts to how they do Leadership, and even some Datasheet changes.  It is a pretty big swath of updates and will just have to wait and see if Nids end up doing well.  I think the shift to their regrow mechanic came about when watching some of the Endless swarm games during the Dallas event especially since the eventual winner was playing the Endless Swarm.

GW is Paying Attention to 40K!

I love that we got a big update as it means GW cares about the balance of the game.  It does make me wary of going hard in a new design when a book comes out – but I think as players we should always be looking at stuff and seeing if they feel too powerful.  If it feels too good and we are playing it right – it might not be long for this world.  Thankfully most of the codexes that are coming out are not throwing out new big units to invest in and instead we can look at older kits and see if they are going to be badasses again.


What is the change that most surprised you?


Thomas Reidy, aka Goatboy, the ever-evil member of BoLS. I do arts, play 40k, and even paint a lot of stuff. I have been playing Warhammer 40K since the 1990s, and have won multiple national events including Adepticon and GW GTs. I’ve been writing for BoLS for 15 years. Look at my Instagram to see what I am working on – or working on for someone. I am always doing something hobby related.


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