Warhammer Warhammer 40k

Upgrading to Warhammer 40k 5th Edition

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’ve been getting back into Warhammer 40k after nearly a decade of not playing. I picked up the 5th edition rulebook and codices for Space Marines and Dark Eldar, and started looking at how my old 3rd edition armies fit into the new version of the rules.

Iron Wardens Space Marine Chapter

The biggest issue that I ran into when updating my Space Marines was the requirement for tactical squads to have 10 marines in order to get special weapons. All of my squads for 3rd edition were 5 marines with a special weapon (2 squads w/ missile launchers, 1 w/ lascannon, and 1 w/ flamer). I was able to combine the lascannon and flamer squads into a single large squad, then form up a squad of 5 marines with only bolters. This organization would be less annoying if I hadn’t painted squad numbers matching the old army list on all of the marines’ shoulders.

Squad Numbers

The other problem was my squad of terminators that featured lightning claws, an assault cannon, a heavy flamer, and 2 normal terminators w/ storm bolters. For 5th edition, there is a limit of 1 special weapon per 5 terminators and the sergeant would no longer be allowed to have lightning claws. For now my terminator models are going to be stuck on the sidelines.

2000 Point Army List


  • Captain w/ storm bolter and power sword – 118 pts
  • Command Squad w/ company standard – 130 pts
  • Chaplain w/ plasma pistol – 115 pts


  • Techmarine w/ power axe – 65 pts
  • Sternguard Veteran Squad w/ plasma pistol, flamer – 145 pts
  • Dreadnought w/ twin-linked lascannon – 135 pts


  • Tactical Squad w/ flamer, lascannon, 5 extra marines – 180 pts
  • Tactical Squad – 90 pts
  • Scout Squad w/ combat blades – 75 pts

Fast Attack

  • Land Speeder – 50 pts
  • Assault Squad w/ plasma pistol and power weapon for sergeant – 130 pts
  • Bike Squad w/ plasma gun, meltagun, power weapon for sergeant, 2 extra bikers – 180 pts

Heavy Support

  • Predator w/ twin-linked lascannon, lascannon sponsons, storm bolter, dozer blade – 180 pts
  • Vindicator w/ dozer blade, extra armor – 135 pts
  • Devastator Squad w/ missile launcher, heavy bolter, plasma cannon, lascannon – 180 pts

Dedicated Transports

  • Rhino w/ hunter-killer missile (for veterans) – 45 pts

Dark Eldar Cabal

My Dark Eldar army did not fare as well as the Space Marines. Like the Space Marine codex, the new Dark Eldar codex is more restrictive on weaponry than the 3rd edition rules. Warrior squads could formerly have 2 heavy weapons in a squad of 10, but now are restricted to 1 heavy weapon per 10 warriors. With the Space Marines only my tactical squads and terminators ended up being affected, but with the Dark Eldar it seems like almost every squad had a weapon or two it was no longer allowed to use.

The rules for the Dark Eldar seem a lot better than the 3rd edition codex. For example, having all of the splinter weapons always wound on a 4+ should be great to make the army a little more threatening. The army list also includes a fair number of new options like taking wyches as troops rather than elites, more varieties of beasts, and veteran squads. I also like that Incubi can be taken as an elites choice rather than only as a retinue, but they sadly no longer have the ability to carry blasters for a little extra firepower.

1250 Point Army List


  • Archon w/ agoniser, shadowfield, ghostplate armor – 120 pts
  • Haemonculus Ancient w/ scissorhand, liquifier gun – 105 pts


  • 4 Incubi – 88 pts
  • 6 Mandrakes – 90 pts


  • 15 Kabalite Warriors w/ splinter cannon, Sybarite w/ splinter pistol and venom blade – 169 pts
  • 4 Wyches w/ haywire grenades, shardnet and impaler, Hekatrix w/ power glaive – 90 pts

Fast Attack

  • 5 Scourges w/ splinter cannon, dark lance, Solarite w/ splinter pistol and venom blade – 172 pts
  • Beastmaster w/ agoniser, 5 Khymerae – 92 pts
  • 3 Reavers, Arena Champion w/ blaster – 113 pts

Dedicated Transports

  • Raider w/ retrofire jets, flickerfield, night shields (for wyches) – 85 pts
  • Raider w/ shock prow, torment grenade launchers, chain snares, envenomed blades, flickerfield, night shields (for incubi & archon) – 100 pts

What Next?

I don’t think I’ll be expanding either of these armies anytime soon. With the Iron Wardens at 2000 points, I don’t feel the need to add any new models. The Dark Eldar models now are much different (and largely better looking) than the ones that make up my army, so I don’t see adding them to my army. Instead, I’ll probably start collecting and painting an entirely new force, but I haven’t decided which one yet.

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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