Since 1990 I have played Warhammer 40,000. I picked up the hardcover Rogue Trader book way back when I was stationed out in South Dakota. Didn't really get into it fully until the famous Red and Yellow books came out.

Those two books helped 40K really turn into a miniatures wargame. And so the whole Warhammer "rules-not-in-one-place" syndrome was born. Not that this was a Games Workshop only problem, far from it. AD&D, Car Wars, Starfleet Battles (worst offender), and Battletech all suffered from this. Game companys are after all, a business. If they don't expand they can't make the sweet cash and will die. Fans of a system want more, and the companies are usually happy to provide. 
Then the Battle Manual basicly redid the shooting and close combat phases completely. It was kinda a beta test for 40K Second edition. It worked splendidly. A far more streamlined system. Let's not talk about the short lived Vehicle Manual...
Second Edition arrived and it was Good. All the rules in one glorious box!
The Codexes came out and a slow rate, but had all the info for your army. Sure the rules were still a tad clunky, and the Psychic phase card game was...a thing, but it worked. The special rules were few and mostly army specific.

Third edition changed a few base ideas (like AP) but was the same basic 40K. As more Editions came out, the special rules kept growing and growing. By 7th it was a teetering mass about to collapse under its own weight. 

8th edition base rules were much cleaner (and better in my opinion), but still the amount of army special rules was a bit much. And only got worse. Unless you were playing the same army a lot, the game crawled along  as both side had to keep looking at their Codex, Strategy Cards, and whatever other supplement that supported their force. It was a bit much for not that great a return on play.

And then 9th...Main rules much cleaner, for the most part.
The Codexes. Special rule modified more special rules. I do like some nice "chrome" for the individual armies, but Emperor's teeth, so many! Is not for me. It seems tailored for the competitive play crowd, and that's fine, but like I said not for me, or my small gaming group. Too many fine detail combos and other shenanigans. Plus more Campaign books with more special rules. Yikes.

So I've played a lot less 40K in the past year or so. But I still love the minis, the universe, and rolling dice to decide the fates of toy soldiers. What to do?

Find out next week.

The Emperor Protects
But His Scribes Can Get Out of Hand