Warhammer 40K miniatures.
Image credit: Games Workshop

Ever since the announcement of Warhammer 40,000’s 10th Edition, people have been asking one question – what does “simplified, not simple” actually mean? In a recent interview with Warhammer TV presenter Nick Bayton, the game’s Studio Manager Stu Black doubled down on the “simplified, not simple” phrase and what it means exactly, in practice.

Many people were voicing the fact that the game had become too complex, so much so that even Games Workshop admitted to it. Currently, Warhammer 40,000 has several issues that make the games too lengthy to set up and play – too many stratagems, too many unique situations, too many special rules and phases, and perhaps most importantly – no easy access to any given unit’s abilities. Any Warhammer 40,000 player can testify to sometimes having to waste too much time going through various editions just to verify whether or not a certain unit can do a certain thing at a certain time.

No More Codec Delving, No More Rule Excavating

For starters, Black stated that all the datasheets have been rewritten and simplified, so the army and unit rules are not “all over the place”. Now, simplified means that they will be comfortably written on either a page (for armies) or even a single card (for a unit), making them a “one-stop-shop” for stat line checks, ability rolls, hit rolls, etc. This means that players will no longer have to go through various editions and books just to check abilities and special rulings.

The other major change will be to stratagems. Black stated that the plan for them is to be reactionary things players can do during their opponent’s phase or something like a “cinematic one-off”. To elaborate further, this is done so information can be readily available to players, making the game much easier to navigate.

The turn structure will also be streamlined – a major change, for example, will be the removal of the “psychic phase”. This is done for several reasons, but the main one that Black doubled down on is that there are factions that do not interact with it in any sort of meaningful way (that’s because psychic powers are not evenly distributed in the Warhammer 40,000 universe). This, in turn, led to player downtime, which is highly undesirable. With the removal of the psychic phase, Black hopes to decrease this downtime.

Keeping It Short and Sweet

In summary, “simplified, not simple” means having to make fewer big decisions before the game, and less flicking through various other editions and stratagems. This will make Warhammer 40,000 easier to navigate, which will lead to more fun on the tabletop. To make it even more short and sweet – more playing, less reading.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.