Will you be my Bodyguard?

May 11, 2020

Back in what seems like years ago, I heard a rumor at Las Vegas Open 2020, that was quickly debunked by various “people in the know” who were attending the event. The rumor also got some play on the various rumor channels, but also soon disappeared. It stands out today because, so far the rumors relating the time have started to come true, this makes me wonder if it can possibly still happen. Regardless if it ends up being true, I think it id a fun exercise to discuss the possible implications of this particular 9th edition rule rumor.

The rumor is at its most basic on the surface just a new class of base, which would give new rules integration and great hobby options: single bases supporting multiple units/models at once. This idea has been given new life because the release of two distinct new models. The first is the beautiful Age of Sigmar, Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis.

and the equally fantastic The Triumph of Saint Katherine kit.

As you can see these elaborate kits have tons of different models around a central character, and in the case of Katakros his rules really reflect this. You don’t need to know much about Age of Sigmar to understand how easy it would be to port over his type of rules to Warhammer 40k: as you wound Katakros he loses his abilities because “his companions” die. St Kathrine is very similar losing “relics” when she takes wounds. 

In the case of Warhammer 40k you can make this as complex or keep it very simple, like the ablative wounds system most bodyguard units use at the moment in Warhammer 40k. I suspect if Games Workshop moves futher in this direction for 9th edition, I suspect some more complex set of rules. By maybe incentivising you to keep bodyguard units close to characters and by reworking how interaction with characters work in the first place. I can easily imagine Games Workshop in 9th edition making the rules for every character no matter the amount of wounds “targetable” unless they have buddies to block for them.

You can easily see the update rules for various units; Marneus Calgar & Victrix Guard, Dark Apostle & Dark Disciples, Mortarion & Deathshroud Terminators, Commander Shadowsun & MV37 Advanced Guardian Drone/MV62 Command-link Drone, and Hive Tyrant & Tyrant Guard. In the case of the new Calgar, the Dark Apostle, and Shadowsun you can only buy them with their support units already…hint…hint.

As a business for older models, Games Workshop could re-package models into dual kits, and provide a nice decorative base to justified any price hikes they want. In the case of the hobby, it would be a very cool for modelers and painters, as they would be able to create new and super dynamic bases to go along with the new rules. Games Workshop plays with base sizes all the time, so this wouldn’t be out of character for them. It also creates and easy way to mix up the Warhammer 40k rules for 9th edition, that isn’t a big overhaul, and is more like how Age of Sigmar added endless spells to spice things up. 

I think another good sign that this rumor might have some legs to it is if the Silent King model has bodyguards, which would fit with his lore perfectly. Thankfully we are only a few weeks away from finding out!

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