Games Workshop’s flagship tabletop wargames are just as distinct as they are similar. Both games have developed in parallel over the past few years and still have lessons to learn from one another. With Warhammer 40,000’s 10th edition just around the corner, now’s the time to theorize what the new rules set might look like.
5. Remove the Psychic Phase
This lesson could just as easily be learned from the success of Horus Heresy’s 2nd edition, but Age of Sigmar similarly benefits from the removal of a dedicated magic phase. Whether you prefer being able to move before or after casting spells, cleaning up unnecessary complexity will go a long way toward making Warhammer a more approachable game for everyone.
4. Improve Overwatch
Neither 40k’s Overwatch nor Age of Sigmar’s Unleash Hell are perfect by any means, but the disparity between which models/factions can actually take advantage of their respective anti-charge mechanics shows a clear favor towards the fantasy approach. Unleash Hell allows the defending player to shoot their opponent at a -1 to hit deficit after a successful charge move is made. These two changes in conjunction make for a much more impactful mechanic, but one or the other alone might make Overwatch more than a niche universal strategem.
3. Adjust Secondary Objectives to be More Reactive
No plan survives first contact with the enemy, although the current rules for Warhammer 40k wouldn’t show it. Locking each player into three secondary choices from the onset of a match does little to encourage flexibility and quick thinking from players. Age of Sigmar’s Battle Tactics may not be lauded for their design, but they at least allow players to react to what has already happened on the battlefield and change their plans accordingly.
2. Simplify Morale
Why Morale involves two separate dice rolls is beyond me. Everyone complains that morale doesn’t matter enough, so having something more similar to Sigmar’s battle shock might help kill two birds with one stone; that or it could just give folks more things to complain about.
1. Free Warlord Traits and Relics
Warhammer is always in flux, so this may simply be a symptom of a specific meta-game that we will soon forget. However, 9th edition’s recent change to force players to pay Command Points pre-game to select warlord traits and relics is something I would immediately reverse. Building a list is an engaging part of the process for many different players and forcing them to sacrifice a vital resource to access flavorful aspects of their army is antithetical to allowing players to differentiate themselves and their lists.
What do you want to see most of Warhammer 40,000’s 9th edition? Let me know in the comments below.