40K 9th Edition impressions


Gang Champion
Jul 16, 2014
Wyke Road, Weymouth, Dorset
I'll be the first to say that I was initially thinking that I hadn't even got a handle on 8th Edition, but with the information available so far, 9th Edition looks more like a refinement that will balance the game whilst providing new options.
Upon reading the new 40K Core Rules pdf, my interpretation is that this release is more tweaks and clarifications than an outright rewrite.

Some of the changes that have been made make sense, such as allowing vehicles and monstrous creatures to still fire weapons at enemy models within engagement range and removing the lock of aircraft bases that caused unusual effects.
The gaining of 1CP for Battle Forged armies in the Command Phase will allow all forces to gain the ability to use stratagems throughout the game and if the rules brought in during 8th Edition still stand, will limit the 'farming' of CP that caused a major imbalance for some forces.

One thing that may effect some armies is the restriction to +1/-1 modifier to the hit and wound rolls.
Using the Aeldari as an example, as it's the army I'm most familiar with, with the Aliatoc Craftworld as the base to build on it was possible to gain up to a -4 to hit for enemy models targeting an Autarch or Ranger squad in 8th. This often made hitting them impossible for some units.

The breakdown for the Rangers is as follows:
Aliatoc Fieldcraft -1 to hit for units over 12” away
Cameleoline Cloaks -1 to hit for ranged weapons
Conceal - Rune Discipline -1 to hit for ranged weapons
Lightning Fast Reflexes - Stratagem -1 to hit

This would now be only -1 in total meaning some players will have to rethink how they build their force as many combos will no longer work and some psychic powers, stratagems, and war-gear may no longer have the prevalence they have in the past.

Of interest is the new morale test. It uses a similar mechanic to 8th edition, but you only lose one model if it is failed and then do an attrition test. Rolling a number of D6 equal to the remaining models, any results of 1 after modification result in further losses to the unit.
This could possibly better reflect the resilience of units on the table.

With hindsight, I would opine that the Psychic Awakening books were written with 9th Edition in mind as much of what I have read in my Phoenix Rising book appears to fit the changes that have arrived in the new edition and give some additional flexibility and tricks.
I'm looking forward to when I'm able to aquire the new rule book to see if my thoughts are confirmed.
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Most of the changes seem like a step in the right direction. I particularly like the terrain updates along with the changes to vehicles.

I dislike that they made stratagems even more prevalent in game. I already found them to be an invasive part of 8th Ed which determined the outcome of the game far more often than actual play tactics. Many games of 8th were starting to feel like the outcome was settled by the end of turn 1. Adding more just makes them a larger part of the game.
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Must admit that most of the time I was using command re-rolls and only a couple of statagems. This is possibly because most of the Craftworld ones just don't fit how I play. I often wait till later in a game before using them if possible, trying to rely on the Craftworlds strength of the Psychic phase.
Haven't read up on the new stratagems as yet, but do agree that we shouldn't require more.

In some games of 8th, I've been losing early on in the game and then made a comeback. This may be a reflection of my use of CP late game, though I even tended to do this in earlier editions.
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