Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules Differences We Know So Far

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Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules Differences We Know So Far

Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules will have significant differences, and thanks to leaks and official releases, we know quite a lot about the new restrictions coming this month.

The next Edition of Warhammer 40k is almost here! We’ve looked at most of the factions in the Faction Focuses – bar the non-Chapter compliant Space Marines and the Titan Legions. Games Workshop have also shown us more and more of the Core Rules, the universal guideline of which all armies will have to abide when the next Edition drops. Thankfully, some amazing leakers have shown us the whole Core Rulebook of the 10th Edition, which is available after a bit of digging online.

Of course, all the big changes have been revealed by GW themselves, such as the removal of the Psychic and Morale phases, as well as Morale morphing into Battle-shock. But there are some smaller – although still significant rules, and thankfully, tireless users on Reddit gathered all the key differences of the 9th and 10th Edition Core Rules, so if you want to get ready for the next chapter of the most popular tabletop wargame, you’ve come to the right place!

Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules that will change this month

Prepare for a long list of changes coming in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k:

  • Rules regarding the position of units:

    • Unit coherency will change to keep the new Leader keyword in mind, so now only squads of 7+ will have to have 2 models near another to be coherent. This way, 5-man squads led by a Character don’t have to abide to stricter rules, as each model only has to be near to one other model,
    • Friendly models can finally move through one another, so you can’t block your units with your other units that easily,
    • Units can enter the battlefield on the opponents Battlefield Edge from Strategic Reserves, but the other restrictions will still apply, and the Strategic Reserves right into Engagement Range will be removed from the game,

Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules

  • Rules about Vehicles and Monsters:

    • The Firing Deck rule states that models embarked can only shoot with one ranged weapon, and it will count as the Vehicle shooting, which opens up a heap of possibilities,
    • Disembarking will change, as units can always exit transports after the vehicle has made a move, but they can’t move or charge without a special rule,
    • If a Transport is destroyed, units disembarking only take 1 Mortal Wound for each 1 rolled – but they can’t pass the MW onto other units, if you roll a 1, they will take damage,
    • The rule which let Vehicles and Monsters shoot in combat, Big Guns Never Tire will also change: in 10th Edition, it will be possible to shoot at Vehicles and Monsters in combat, but all weapons apart from Pistols will have -1 to Hit – this will also be true for Monsters and Vehicles shooting outside of their combat, and they can shoot at units which they are not in Engagement Range in,
    • Monsters and Vehicles can also shoot their Pistols and their other ranged weapons simultaneously. This correlates to the Firing Deck change, as rules wise, it’s the Vehicle or Monster that shoots with the weapons of the units embarked, and it would be restrictive to make them choose between regular guns and Pistols,
  • Rules about the stats of units:

    • The Leadership stat of models will turn upside down completely, as lower Leadership will equal easier Battle-shock test. The 2D6 roll in Battle-shock tests will also change, as now you need to roll above, but a roll equal to the LD will also suffice, instead of rolling strictly below Leadership like in 9th Edition,
    • Saving Throws can only get +1, and can never be buffed more, just like Hit and Wound Rolls, but they can be worsened by more than -1. Also, Saving Throws can only be improved up to a 3+ by the Benefit of Cover, as we’ve already covered in the 10th Edition Cover and Terrain System article,
    • The Assault keyword received a buff, as it will just mean that the Assault weapons can be shot after Advancing – the -1 to Hit will be removed for the next Edition,
    • The Indirect keyword doesn’t give better Saves for the enemy in the way it did in 9th, but it grants the Benefit of Cover to the target of the attack – but as Saving Throw bonuses can’t stack, Indirect hits will be better against targets already in cover,
    • The Blast keyword is getting simplified, giving an extra attack for every 5 models in the target enemy unit,
    • The Heavy keyword gives +1 to Hit if the unit didn’t move, and for everyone, instead of just penalizing Infantry,

Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules

  • Rules about the Charge and Fight Phase:

    • Charging will be more straightforward, as units that are charging must end their charge in Base to Base contact if possible, meaning that disagreements can be less frequent in this area,
    • Pile-ins also follow this principle, as pile-in moves must end with Base to Base contact if possible,
    • Fight first will get better, as models with Fight First will hit before the Charging units, as the Fights start with the player who’s turn is not the current turn – and you can fight with units other than units that you Charged, as there’s no restriction in the leaked Core Rulebook,
    • Fight last has been removed, only Fight first remain,
    • Fighting with whole squads will be easier as well, as the “second row” now only has to be in Base contact with another model that is Base Contact with the enemy unit,
    • Melee weapons also change, as models can only use one of their Melee weapons in Fights unless stated otherwise, e.g. weapons with the Extra Hits keyword,
    • Models must end their consolidation moves with Base to Base contact with the enemy unit they consolidate towards – this means that units can’t move 3” after fighting towards enemy models, but they can consolidate towards objectives in 10th,
  • Rules about the universal Stratagems:

    • The Command Reroll Stratagem had some rolls added to it, such as the new Hazard roll to determine if the user of a Hazardous weapon suffers a Mortal Wound or not – oh, and overcharging won’t just outright kill the user if you fail the safety roll,
    • The Insane Bravery Stratagem now can be used after you make a Battle-shock roll, so you can try to make it before committing the Command Point to autopass it,
    • Overwatch has changed significantly: now you can overwatch enemy units after they made a Move, an Advance, a Fall Back or a Charge move, but the Stratagem gained a restriction, so it will only be usable once per round, not per phase,

Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules

  • Rules regarding Aircraft and Flyers:

    • The Fly keyword will change, with flying units not ignoring the vertical distances, instead being able to move diagonally to their destination. They can still traverse the battlefield far easier, but can’t pretend that there’s nothing in their way.
    • Aircraft units can’t pivot before moving, you have to decide the direction of your next move this turn with these units,
    • Aircraft now also have to choose if they want to hover or not at the start of the battle instead of switching. If they don’t hover, they lose the Aircraft keyword, and will be just another Vehicle with the Fly keyword – meaning that they can hide behind object and such,
    • Units can’t end their move on top of the Objective Markers anymore, they have to stand around it – but they can move over it.

These are some impactful and hefty changes, and the differences between the Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules will really make Warhammer 40k a completely new game alongside the bigger rules releasing this month. The different rules for shooting in and out of combat, the Transport rules, and I believe that the Aircraft rules will be the most interesting to see in action. The 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k might be closer than we think according to some leaks, follow ESTNN if you don’t want to miss out on the action!

Warhammer 40k 9th and 10th Edition Rules Differences We Know So Far
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.