How to prepare for 40K 9th edition?


This article is all about “40K 9th edition”. In fact, I’m going to share with you the best tricks and tools to prepare yourself with any new edition. Full disclaimer, Games Workshop announced when they launched 8th edition that they are not planning to release new editions after that. Instead, they would offer more updates for things here and there and turn it into a living game with releases. Psychic Awakening, for example, has been a good example of that since it’s implementation to the 40K universe. I’m going to call it 9th edition for this article but keep in mind that at this very moment a ‘’new edition’’ could be taking any form.


First and foremost, I have a lot of experience in helping people adapt to new editions. I was once the same guy that sits behind the table in that store. Yes, the employee in a blue shirt at the far end of that store… that was me. I’ve seen a lot of editions as a GW employee and I’ve helped a lot of people throughout my years spent there. Trust me when I tell you, whether you agree or disagree, my advice works. All you have to do is keep an open mind, and follow these directions. I promise a road with a lot less frustration is ahead of you with these directions.

Why “40K 9th edition”?

A new edition always equals a lot of sales for GW. It’s possible you don’t like it because you were just getting the hang of the last edition. Maybe you were just starting to perfect your tournament list. But the bottom line is new editions generate a lot of cash, and I mean A LOT of cash, for the company when it’s done well. GW specializes in training new hobbyists and a new edition is a great way to start on equal footing for new players. Every day there is new hobbyist coming in the Warhammer universe and it can look daunting at first. For them, knowing that there is a new edition makes it look like everybody is kind of starting anew. This makes newcomers feel like they get a chance to learn at the same time as anyone else.

#1: Open mind

Keep an open mind. This new thing gives you 2 choices: First, you keep playing the old edition that you and your gaming group know and love; or put aside your attachment to the old edition and pretty much start from the bottom. The core connects of all the GW games are the same since they want a streamlined experience across all their main products (non-specialist games). This means that the core mechanics of to-hit, to-wound, and armor saves are gonna stay. They might see little adaptations here and there but it’s mainly going to remain the same. It’s only the little things that will be different. These little things change for a reason and no matter how much you complain your 2 choices will remain the same. Either keep playing what you already know and love; or adapt, learn, and enjoy the new edition.

Your 2 Choices:

In my opinion, the most important thing is to figure out your mindset. It’s possible that your gaming group will want to keep playing the old version. I’ve seen it happen time after time. People resent change. However, in due time, you will see that your possibilities to play games with new people diminish. This is because people are getting into the new edition and some of your friends will do the same. There are exceptions. For some, the hobby is better in the old editions, but it can difficult to keep it up.

#2: Choose your favorite units on their looks

The look that you love in your models will rarely change. Units get updated styles from time to time, but typically everything still keeps the same taste in terms of their looks. The metal Death Guard, Thousand Sons, Space Marine Sternguard Veterans, etc. were updated into plastic after multiple generations but they still have the same style with a few differences. Note that having those in your collection is never a bad thing.

#3: Don’t base all your decisions on stats

I’ve seen this hurt most hobbyists and more importantly, tournament players. It’s fine to love your strategies and your stats when you are in a current edition, but when a new one is looming on the horizon… it can be a double-edged sword. It’s possible that your favorite unit will be better than it ever was, but it’s also possible that it will not. It’s possible that your favorite stratagem to use with a particular unit will not be in 9th edition. Base your decision on multiple factors. Yes, stats are one of them. But there are multiple reasons to love a unit (lore, look, personal experience, etc). Choose a unit based on those and the less a new edition is going to hurt you.

#4: Focus on the collection

Have a collection of models over a “setlist.” This will make the changes less frustrating for you. When you have restrictions on your collection in terms of points, it puts you in a position where all the changes will decide what you play, and if your army is worth it anymore. With a wide collection of models, you can treat this “40K 9th edition” or any edition as more of a sandbox kind of thing. With an open mind (1st piece of advice remember?) you can treat this new edition as an opportunity to try different combos, strategies and discover the new synergy of your army.

What about my wallet?

With the new codexes and supplements, this will affect your wallet. It’s exciting to grab new units to complement what you have with new releases. Imagine discovering all those new opportunities instead of playing catch up and buying the older kits. Keep an open mind, adjust, and pick up some new cool additions for your army. It makes the experience so much more enjoyable. It’s not about saving money at this point.

#5: Rule of 3

The human brain needs time to adapt to new things. Your mindset will help speed this up or slow the process down. Give yourself 3 games with a small number of units, like a patrol detachment for example, and not all of the new rules at once. Test out a little bit of everything within the span of 3 games. This will help you assimilate more rules and get a better feel for this new edition.

#6: Be careful about wish listing, expectations, and rumors

Remember how I started with ‘’Keep an open mind’’? Here is another example of why that’s important. Our brain is a magnificent thing. We can easily train the brain to approach something new in an exciting or antagonizing way. Wish listing is not a bad thing. Rumors are not bad either (By the beard of the Corpse Emperor is there a lot of rumors about 9th edition).

However, when rumors become expectations they are one of the worse ways to ruin the hobby for yourself. Go ahead and dream about all the things you would like ‘’9th edition’’ to be. But be careful not to make it an expectation because when that proves to not be the case… you are setting yourself for a big disappointment about things that never existed except within your own mind.

Bonus trick on how to prepare for 40K 9th edition: Consider that you are a noob

Consider that you know nothing! It’s okay to feel disappointed, at a loss, sad, or even frustrated. But most of these negative thoughts and emotions come from comparison with the old edition. This new one is full of options you don’t know about so you are passing an emotional judgment on something you don’t know about. The people that adapt better to new editions will be the ones thriving with the ‘’9th edition”. The more you can lean towards that mindset, the better your experience will be. PLUS the better you’ll be able to incorporate your experience from older editions.


I know it is a lot to take in and it might even feel like it is not that big of a deal. Trust me when I tell you, these tricks come from an expert at helping people adapt to new editions.

What did you think of all this? Is anything in here helping you or do you think I am way off? Do you want more advice? How do you feel about the “9th edition”? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section.

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