The two Combat Patrol formations in the Leviathan Box for Warhammer 40K 10th edition
Image: Games Workshop

Combat Patrol boxes have been an exciting and fairly accessible way to get into the Warhammer 40,000 miniatures hobby. Designed to provide you with a good number of minis that you can build, paint, and slap on the table, the boxes have been an entry point for many Warhammer fans, including yours truly.

One thing that has festered on people’s minds though was that although you could play Combat Patrol boxes against one another, balance was never really uppermost on Games Workshop’s minds. Well, this ends with the 10th edition, which has been made more accessible and will feature a dedicated chapter for the Combat Patrol boxes.

Combat Patrols are now available to players who want to try the game without necessarily chasing a 1,000-point army before they experience Warhammer 40,000 the way it was meant to, with future codices featuring dedicated pages for the Combat Patrol format, along with dedicated missions.

This new way of playing Warhammer starts with the arrival of the 10th edition when the Leviathan launch box itself will have enough miniatures to put together two full Combat Patrols – the Vardenghast Swarm for Tyranids and Strike Force Octavius for Space Marines and get down to business.

Leviathan Launch Box Introduces Combat Patrol Rules

You need not worry about procuring the box, or the new Core Book that will be available along with it, as Games Workshop will make the rules available to download for free from the Warhammer Community itself. What’s important, however, is the fact that the new rules will be dedicated to Combat Patrol armies, dramatically reducing the entry criteria, and not yet limiting the game to say, Kill Team, if you absolutely do not want to play a smaller format.

The Combat Patrol format will be played on a 44” by 30” board and it is the result of the hard work the Warhammer Studio has put into making this really work for you. There has been tremendous effort put around balancing and thus making the game more approachable and dependent on skill, strategy, and knowledge rather than a random roll of the dice.

Combat Patrols have been revised based on feedback received from players and testers who have called for the Combat Patrol boxes to indeed become part of a meaningful and fulfilling gameplay mode, something that would only benefit the community and spurt its growth. 

Games Workshop's Warhammer Combat Patrol unit data sheet.
Image: Games Workshop

There has been significant work done to overhaul units and create their own dedicated Combat Patrol data sheets that are specifically tailored for this particular mode. This exemplifies the depth of consideration the Warhammer Studios has shown once again in making the game fun. 

Combat Patrols are accessible, yes, but some details have had to be ironed out, with the game designers realizing that in order to give fans the most fulfilling experience from the first box they buy, they would need to work extra to make it happen. This means that Games Workshop is also making an investment in the future.

Combat Patrol will hog resources, as it would require more updates and balances down the road. The good news is that there has been overwhelming support for the initial play tests already. 

Combat Patrol Mode Gets Its Dedicated Missions

Proportionate to its size, the Combat Patrol box is also going to get its own set of missions and mission rules, deployment, and primary objectives. The art of balance is one that requires sacrifice and rethinking of what you have learned in larger-scale conflict on the Warhammer 40,000 battle tables. 

This is great news, though, as the primary objectives will also be supplemented by secondary objectives as well, making for a far more dynamic and fulfilling experience. Some of the secondary objectives have been categorized as default, such as Wrath of the Emperor, which will give you 2 VP if your Captain model has destroyed one or more enemy models during the phase. 

The secondary objectives are actually lots of fun as well, adding the type of dynamic that a Combat Patrol needs to feel balanced and poised. So, what is the Combat Patrol mode all about then? The Warhammer Studio that this mode will become one of strategic positioning and knowing how to bid your time, hold objectives and ensure that you emerge victorious.

Everything you need to get started with the new Combat Patrol mode will be available right at the start – apart from the miniatures. This means that you do not need to catch up and buy codices, look for Core Books, or anything of the sort. You can just have everything downloaded directly from the Warhammer Community. More information about the 10th edition of the world’s greatest tabletop miniatures game will be forthcoming.

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.