Codexes: Your Questions Answered
What you need to know
Didn’t you hear? New codexes are coming soon!
If you’ve been familiar with Warhammer 40,000 for a while, the concept will be familiar to you, but for those of you just joining us, a codex is a book dedicated to a specific faction within Warhammer 40,000 – the definitive guide to that army.
What’s in a codex?
Each codex is a dedicated book about a single faction from the Warhammer 40,000 setting and game. They contain a wealth of inspirational background, artwork, heraldry and miniatures photography for that army, and because that faction is the sole focus of the book, they also contain far more detailed army-specific rules than we could hope to cover in the index books.
What’s the difference between a codex and an index book?
The indexes let you play with your Warhammer 40,000 army until the codex for your faction is released. The idea being that the rules for units in codexes eventually supersede the rules for them presented in the index books.
Is my index invalid now?
Not at all. Even with the pace we’re planning on releases these new codexes, it’s going to take well over a year to get to all of them. No single codex will cover all the contents of an index book, so you’ll get plenty of use out of all your indexes, don’t worry.
I just bought Index: Imperium 1 – what should I do with it?
You’ll want to keep hold of your index. Codex: Space Marines doesn’t include rules for playing with Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Deathwatch or Grey Knights armies, so you’ll still need Index: Imperium 1 to play with those. You’ll also need it for using some of the more unusual models such as the 30th Anniversary Space Marine, the Legion of the Damned and the Terminus Ultra Land Raider.
What are the first of these new codexes?
We’re kicking off with Space Marines. Then soon after, we’ll have Chaos Space Marines, Grey Knights and Death Guard…
If I have a Blood Angels, Dark Angels or Space Wolves army, will I need to buy Codex: Space Marines to use my army?
You don’t have to. Other Space Marines factions not covered in the new codex will continue to use all the datasheets, rules and points values in the index until their own codex is released. Rules for new models not covered in the index (like the upcoming Redemptor Dreadnought) will be available in the box with the model and matched play points for these units will be made available online.
How long do I have to wait? I want them now!
Not long! Codex: Space Marines lands in July, and then before Christmas, we’re aiming to have around 10 codexes available for you to choose from.
Which factions are getting a codex??
Every major faction will be getting a codex.
As well as classic and well-known armies, you can expect to see factions that have never had their own codex before – starting with the Death Guard, available later in the year.
Wait, did you say Death Guard?
We did. The Plague Legions of Nurgle are getting their own book to represent the fact that their way of war is substantially different from that of most Traitor Legions, as is the range of miniatures you can choose to use in your Death Guard army.
Is every army getting new models too?
Some of them. Certain armies will get new miniatures alongside their new codex, and others won’t. Don’t worry though, our miniatures designers are working hard and we’ll get to all of you eventually – we’re well aware you all want new models for your chosen army.
What’s in the codex that’s not in the index?
Codexes, of course, allow us to focus on a faction in more detail than we could ever hope to in an index book. Alongside new expanded and updated background, you’ll find a wealth of rules content: army specific Stratagems, Relics, Warlord Traits, Tactical Objectives, psychic powers and more besides. We’ve listened carefully to what you liked in your codexes in the last edition of Warhammer 40,000, and what you wanted to see this time around, and we’re pretty confident we got it all in.
Are the rules changing?
Yes, many units’ rules in their codexes will alter from those in the indexes. Sometimes this is to better represent the miniatures and the background, sometimes to balance the game, and sometimes to better fit with the army’s new special rules in the codex itself. In all cases, these will then supersede the rules for that datasheet in the index book.
Are the points changing?
Yes, some units’ points for matched play games will change. This sometimes represents feedback from you guys playing games out there in the world, more playtesting, or sometimes because the unit now has new abilities or synergizes differently with new units and abilities in the codex.
What format will the new codexes be in?
These codexes will be available in a hardback format to match your new Warhammer 40,000 book.
Will they cover units from Forge World?
They won’t, but there will be other books on the way from Forge World that will cover those units, in a similar style to their previous Imperial Armour books.
Can I combine units from the index and a codex into one army?
The datasheets in the new codexes overwrite the same datasheets in the index books. You can certainly use units with updated datasheets alongside units from the index that have yet to be updated. Once a unit has been covered in the codex though, we assume you’re using the latest version.
Can I choose to use the rules and/or points for units from my index instead of the new ones in the codex once released?
In your own games, if you and your opponent agree, you can, of course, play with whatever rules you like.
In all future publications and official events though, it will be assumed that you’re using the most recent rules and Datasheets. It will also be assumed that you’re using the most up to date points for matched play, in this case, those included in the codex.
Where can I send feedback/questions about index books or codexes?
Feedback from you guys out in the gaming world helped shape the new edition into the best Warhammer 40,000 ever, and we’re committed to continue improving the game, even now.
If you have any thoughts, questions or feedback on any of our books, let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page.
Will there be limited editions for the new codexes?
There will be a range of format options for all codexes, both for gamers, who just want a copy of every book and for diehard fans of that army who want a collector’s edition of their chosen faction’s codex.
When can I use the new codexes in stores, events or tournaments?
As always for this type of thing, check with your store or event organiser.
Read more about these new codexes here.