The last few weeks have seen some interesting new stuff from GW. They released a long-overdue FAQ for the older Marine books and announced that the Grey Knights will indeed be the next Codex to come out, on the way for an April release. Between this, a few rumors and what's been going on at GW for the last year, I have an interesting picture of 2011/2012.
Let's start with the FAQ's. I think it's great that these armies finally get the new wargear rules and with them a shot at being competative again. This is good. Yes, this should have happened 2 years ago, but better late then never, so I won't complain about that. When I saw this, I did read something else into it though and that is don't expect a DA or BT codex anytime soon.
Next we have the Grey Marines book, following the Power armor/non-power armor pattern again. This I have mixed feelings about for the sole reason that I liked running a squad with my Ultramarines and I won't be able to anymore. Of course I may end up with a GK army some day so I can field my models but that's way down the road.
The other thing I've considered is last years lack of Fantasy releases. They did one army book and the 8th ed rulebook. Now when 40k got its 5th ed book in 2008, GW supported that with 3 Codex releases that year. I can't help but think Fantasy got the shaft, and I hope to see them make it up this year.
So having said all that, here's my predictions....April 2011 will be Grey Knights...yeah we know that. Rumors say this will be followed by Orcs & Goblins. I think we'll see Necrons in the fall...probably around October and likely have another fantasy book (hopefully Tomb Kings, Bretoninas or Ogres) around the same time. There's rumors of some flyer expansion and I don't know if this will be the epuc fail Planetstrike was or the moderate fail Spearhead was but we'll see. I think that's all we see this year. This will be a bit slower release year for financial reasons as we've all seen GW numbers falling and they'll probably pull back production to compensate but also to gear up for 2010 and...
Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition! Yes, I'm calling it now that we will see a new rulebook in 2012. I will also say that I am 100% against it. I think 5th has lots of life left and could easily go another 4-5 years but the evidence is piling. Yes, we were told a while back that there were plans to update every codex before 6th, but that was Alessio Cavatore's plan and he's long gone. Rumor also had it Jervis was against this plan and with Alessio out of GW, Jervis will likely get his way. The semi-update FAQ's support this theory...why give them this equipment so far after the Space Marine codex unless you aren't giving them a book for a while? This is espically true if until more recently you were functioning under the idea that their book is 18 months off or so. Also a 2012 release gives 5th ed a 4 year lifespan. 4th edition had a 4 year lifespan so that's consistant. I see another 40K release next winter followed by another fantasy army in the spring and 6th edition next summer, then of course Codex Space Marines in fall 2012 and GW will coast through to the end of the world.