GW’s BIG List of 8th Edition Rules Revealed So Far

hor of space marine and chaos

There has been a lot of rules put out for 8th edition. Today we’re going to be going through and giving you a run down on what we’ve seen so far.

It has been nearly 30 days since Games Workshop started up their 8th edition 40k rules teaser campaign, and there’s been content every day since. Let’s take a look at the different rules and teasers they’ve put out since the announcement:

8th Edition

Space Marine Unit Profiles

New 40k Profiles Tactical Sqd New 40k Profiles Terminator SqdNew 40k Profiles DreadnoughtNew 40k Profiles Roboute Guilliman
  • Vehicles now use the same profile system as everyone else.
  • Stat lines are not capped at 10, so don’t be surprised if you see larger vehicles like Land Raiders and Imperial Knights with dozens of wounds.
  • We’ve gained a Movement stat in exchange for a Initiative stat.
  • You can also see that WS and BS are now standard rolls (Ballistic Skill sort of always was), though you can expect modifiers to both of these stats from in-game effects.
  • Strength and Toughness are still with us, and still use an opposing value principle (so much higher Strength will still wound on 2+, low Strength will wound on a 6+), and these aren’t capped at 10 any more either.

Weapon Profiles & Trailer

New 40k Weapon Profiles
  • The stats effectively lets a single hit deliver multiple wounds to one model.
  • Rather than a binary yes/no on saves, the new Warhammer 40,000 uses modifiers,
  • The flamer no longer uses a template. However, when in range, it causes D6 hits that do not have to roll to hit, and this applies even against units of a single model,

Movement Rules

  • Every model has its own Movement characteristic.
  • Some units will have a minimum move too.
  • Every flyer will have their own minimum and maximum move value.
  • Running has been rolled into the Movement phase now, too. You can “Advance” when you move by rolling a dice and adding the result to your Movement to go a bit faster at the expense of shooting.
  • If you’re in combat at the start of your turn, you can Fall Back by moving away from the enemy. You’ll lose the ability to advance, shoot or charge that turn, and crucially, enemies will be able to shoot at you!

Heroes for a Dark Imperium Teaser

Psychic Phase

  • Each time you pick a psyker, you can cast as many spells as their datasheet states.
  • There’s a simpler, two-dice mechanic for casting, you just need to beat the warp charge value.
  • Enemy psykers will then have a chance to block these powers if they are within 24″.
  • Mortal Wounds are a new mechanic too – these cannot be saved by any means and punch straight through thick armour and even invulnerable saves!
  • Every faction will have its own psychic lore with a range of thematic powers. In addition, every psyker knows the Smite power:

Charge Phase

  • You can select any unit with 12″ as the target of your charge, and your units will move towards them 2D6″
  • Enemy units still have a chance to hit the charging unit with overwatch.
  • In the current Warhammer 40,000, you need to reach base contact. In the new edition, though, you only need to come within 1″ of an enemy.
  • You also can’t move within 1″ of an enemy you didn’t declare as the target of your charge, so if you want to engage multiple units, you’ll need to brave the overwatch fire of all of them.
  • Overwatch can also be fired multiple times per phase, but as soon as the unit is engaged, they will no longer be able to fire back.
Space Marine Warhammer

 Assault Phase

  • The priority for striking is based on the previous phase, with those units that completed a charge swinging first.
  • Units that activate gain a free 3″ move towards the closest enemy.
  • Following chargers, players take it in turns to activate units across the board to fight.
  • There are a few units that can interrupt this sequence to attack out of turn.
  • Close combat weapons also gain new rules – some will slice through armour easily, while others will hit with enough force to cause deal multiple wounds that can cripple or kill even powerful enemy models.
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Morale Phase

  • The new Morale phase is simple, and only happens once per player turn, at the end of all your other phases.
  • Any units that suffered casualties in a turn must take a Morale test at the end of it.
  • Roll a dice, add the number of models from the unit that have been slain, and if the number is bigger than the unit’s Leadership, that many models are lost.
  • No units falling back, no regroup tests – all that is gone.
  • There are a few things that can help you out in this phase. A Chaos Dark Apostle, for example, allows all nearby units from the same Legion to use his Leadership. Or, you can use some units to make your opponent’s tests more difficult.

Battle-Forged Army

  • If your army is built using Formations right now, you’re going to be fine. In their place are a dozen new game-wide Detachments that are available to all factions.
  • These detachments are made up of a combination of 9 unit types.
  • These Detachments come with a few benefits and restrictions. The most common restriction is that all units in a single Detachment must share a faction keyword (Tyranid, Blood Angels or Imperium for example).
  • The most common bonus is that, depending on how optimized your army is for the logistics of war, you’ll get Command Points to spend.
  • Battle-forged armies can be used with our without points.

Large Model Rules

  • Everything will have Wounds, Toughness, Strength, etc… This includes all vehicles.
  • They’ve also gotten rid of specific rules for Gargantuan Creatures and Super-heavy vehicles. Instead, these units will have a suitably impressive stat-line, but still play by the same rules as everyone else.
  • Warhammer 40,000’s biggest hitters have A LOT of Wounds, high Toughness and a good save.
  • As large, powerful models take damage, their combat effectiveness starts to degrade.
  • Different vehicles will be reduced in effectiveness in different ways too – some will get worse at shooting, some will slow down, and some some will become less effective in melee.

Infantry Units

  • The new Warhammer 40,000 will give infantry a chance to shine. There is stuff you just can’t do with very well with vehicles, bikes and walkers, like hold ruins, use cover effectively, and swarm the battlefield in numbers to claim every objective.
  • One thing that is certainly going to help infantry out is the fact that everything can harm everything in the game.
  • Models in a squad can fire at different targets.
  • In the new edition, there’s a simple but elegant system to find out what you need to wound:New 40k Infantry Table

Character Rules

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  • Characters can’t join units anymore. The age of the <add prefix>-star is over.
  • There is a rule in the Shooting phase that means you can’t target a Character unless they are the closest enemy model.
  • Really big heroes, like Magnus the Red, will still need to brave enemy fire.
  • Heroic Intervention allows Characters near a combat to pile in and attack if the enemy comes close enough, even if they themselves aren’t charged.

Weapon Profiles

  • Twin-linked weapons get double the number of shots.
  • Combi Weapons: You can either shoot both all the time, but at a -1 to hit modifier, or choose to just shoot one with no modifier.
  • Explosives tend to work pretty well now against both numerous infantry and large individual models, but not as well against either as dedicated anti-infantry or anti-tank weapons.
  • Explosives are resolved much faster by just using a random number of shots.

Rubic Marines Datasheet

Rubic Marines Datasheet
  • At the very top left, we have the Troop icon, which represents the unit’s battlefield role. In this instance, they are a Troops unit for a Thousand Sons force, though they can also be used as an Elite unit, in a wider Chaos Space Marines force (maybe belonging to a Sorcerer pledged to the Black Legion or a renegade warlord).
  • Next to that, we have Power Level which is a quick and easy mechanism for balancing in less competitive narrative or open play games.
  • These guys are a little slower than tactical marines, whereas the Sorcerer leading the unit is faster and a more deadly close combat fighter with his extra attack.
  • Wargear options are listed next, along with stats for their weapons. Most units have all their weapons on their datasheet, though some with a lot of options (Space Marine Tactical Squads, for example) will list only the most common.
  • Next we have Abilities. Universal special rules are out, so any time a unit acts differently to what its stats might indicate, the rules for how will be in here.

Reserves Rules

  • Power Levels are a great way to very quickly get a roughly balanced game organised and started.
  • They do not account for the various wargear options and upgrades a unit can have.
  • In matched play, your points will be capped across the whole game.
  • if you’re planning to summon units to the battlefield, you will need to set points aside to do this. You won’t need to specify what the points will be for though.
  • You will no longer be able to indefinitely replicate Daemon units, and instead, summoning will be used more as an alternative mechanism of deployment, much like deep striking or outflanking is today (both of which exist in their own forms in the new Warhammer 40,000 too).
  • The points for units don’t appear on the datasheet but will be elsewhere in the same book..

Stratagem Mechanics

  • Any army that is Battle-forged can use Stratagems, and as we’ve established already, it’s very easy to make a Battle-forged army. If your army is Battle-forged by the current rules of Warhammer 40,000, it still can be in the new edition.
  • Some units are such capable and experienced commanders that they give you additional Command Points just by including them.
  • As the game plays on, you can use these Command Points to activate a variety of Stratagems.
  • You’ll now have the ability to interrupt your opponent’s battlefield-wide charge to strike ahead of some of their units.
  • In matched play, these Stratagems have the additional restriction that the same Stratagem cannot be used by the same player more than once during any single phase.

Primaris Space Marines Rules

New 40k Intercessor Datasheet
  • 2 wounds puts Intercessors somewhere between your typical power armored Space Marine and a Terminator in terms of survivability.
  • That bolt rifle is pretty cool too. This is the iconic bolter armament of the Space Marines with a bit more kick. It has additional range and armour piercing punch over a standard bolt gun, meaning Intercessors will do well in a shoot-out against most current Warhammer 40,000 Troops units, and thanks to the new Strength vs Toughness system, they can even start to menace lighter vehicles, wounding any vehicle smaller than a Gorkanaut on 5’s and reducing its save by 1.
  • They don’t have options for heavy or assault weapons within the squad.
  • You can see on the datasheet too, that you can select a <Chapter> as a faction keyword. That means you can add Primaris Space Marines to your Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Iron Hands, Rainbow Warriors, or any other Codex Chapter you like, even one of your own invention.
  • Of course, all this comes at a price. Intercessors cost a fair few more points than a Tactical Marine; an army composed entirely of Primaris Marines will be a fairly compact, but utterly lethal and elite force.

T’au Empire Rules

Sniper drone rules
  • The Anchors currently allow the Stormsurge to shoot twice, but in the new edition, this has been changed to a more reasonable (but still powerful!) +1 to hit in the Shooting phase.
  • The Stormsurge also has the Walking Battleship special rule which allows him to Fall Back from combat and still shoot, while also ignoring the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons.
  • The XV8 Crisis Battlesuits are next up on the docket. They each can take 3 weapons (which again, you can fire all of them!).
  • They have the Fly keyword, which allows them to Fall Back from combat and still shoot at full effect.
  • When Sniper Drones are paired with the T’au HQ’s such as the Cadre Fireblade they will bring down those pesky support characters with deadly efficiency … The 48″ range on their Sniper weapons, plus their fast movement, means they will be filling those characters with lead (or plasma?) a lot faster than snipers from other factions.

Teleporting & Reserves

  • Not every unit can be placed in reserve, so most of your army will usually deploy on the battlefield at the start of the game.
  • Quite a few units still have the option to join the game mid-battle though, and they use a variety of mystical or technological means to do so. While there are no longer universal special rules like Deep Strike or Outflank, many of these abilities will have common themes.
  • Matched play games use a special mission rule called Tactical Reserves.
  • This rule helps limit some of the more extreme cases of withholding reserves in competitive games.
  • It’s totally possible to have an all Deathwing Terminator army, for example, you can’t use the teleport rules on all of them in matched play.


New 40k Vehicles Barge Profile
  • Armour values on the various facings are out, and instead, we have Toughness, Wounds and an Armour Save, making it more comparable in durability to other large monsters and massive beasts of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
  • Also, it’s got Attacks and Strength! So it can fight (albeit inexpertly) in combat. This represents it literally ramming or smashing into enemy units.
  • Some dedicated combat vehicles (commonly what used to be Walkers), will have melee weapons too, like the classic Dreadnought power fist, but most vehicles will need to make do with crushing enemies under tracks or crumpling them beneath anti-gravitic engines.
  • There are exceptions of course – Ork vehicles can be kitted out with some pretty deadly close combat options, which now function just like any other specialist close combat weapon: get hit by a Deathroller, for example, and prepare to be a pancake.
  • Vehicles will be affected by all the other new rules we’ve talked about too, so they will be able to move as any other model would, including advancing.
  • They shoot just like everyone else does, including (with a few exceptions) -1 to hit with heavy weapons if they move.
  • They can even charge! which effectively replaces the Tank Shock rules, except ANY vehicle can do it and they then fight just like any other unit in the Fight phase.

Dark Eldar’s Rules

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  • Raiders are nowhere near the paper thin deathtraps they could be in the past. Venoms, as well, are absolutely fantastic vehicles, and due to the changes to the core rules of the game, all of their weapons now have at least a chance to hurt even resilient vehicles on a 6 to wound…  You can have a dark lance, which will give you serious punch to open other people’s transports or take down large creatures.
  • Incubi have a klaive that hits at +1 Strength and AP -3… yikes that’s going to hurt! The leader of a unit is a beast as well, gaining +2 damage if he rolls a 6 to wound.
  • Wyches get the 4+ invulnerable save in the Fight phase, just like before, and can now dish out some damage in combat. Their hydra gauntlets and razorflails are fantastic, giving their attacks -1 AP. But their real talent is in the No Escape special rule.
No Escape rule
  • Yup, the No Escape Rule gives an effective chance to counter the Fall Back option for, say, a T’au Crisis Suit.


There has already been a lot put out so far and we’re just getting started. Games Workshop said they will be putting out updates every single day leading up to the release of 8th edition. Without a date announced for the release we’re not sure how long they’re going to have to keep up that promise though.

What do you think about the rules that have been put out so far?  What are you most looking forward to about 8th edition?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for continuing to make us your source for the latest updates.

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I'm a huge fan of anything tabletop. I play strictly Chaos in Warhammer, and Imperial in anything Star Wars. I spent 8 years in the military. Now I'm happy to be a civilian working with a great group of people. "We are all tyrants. Do not fool yourself. We were bred for nothing else." -Mortarion

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