Warhammer 40K Metawatch and Balance Dataslates Updates

The Warhammer 40K Metawatch and Balance Dataslates Updates contain the latest strategic shifts in tactics, trends, and points updates to Warhammer 40K tabletop game. To help you keep track of them, we’ve gather all of them in one place!
Warhammer 40K Metawatch Updates

Complete list of all Warhammer 40K Metawatch Updates and announcements, in chronological order:

Release DateBest FactionWin RateBalance Dataslate Update?
29th March 2024N/AN/ANo
22nd February 2024N/AN/ANo
30th January 2024Aeldari56%Yes
23rd November 2023Aeldari 57%No
19th October 2023Aeldari57%No
7th September 2023N/AN/AYes
8th August 2023Aeldari 67%No
Table of all the official Metawatch Updates in chronological order

Downloadable Resources:


Download Updated W40K Balance Dataslates


Download the Latest Munitorium Field Manuals

29th March 2024: Metawatch Updates at Adepticon 2024

In the wake of another exhilarating AdeptiCon, the Warhammer community is still buzzing from the high-octane tournaments and innovative gameplay showcased at one of the year’s most anticipated events.

This year, Stu and Matt from the Warhammer Studio took a moment to reflect on the tournament’s outcomes and the vibrant community that surrounds this iconic series.

AdeptiCon has long been a cornerstone in the Warhammer event calendar, drawing players and enthusiasts from around the globe.

Following the conclusion of this year’s tournaments, the duo joined forces with renowned commentator Paul for the latest episode of Metawatch, diving deep into the event’s happenings and the evolving metagame.

22nd February 2024: Warhammer 40,000 Metawatch Quick Update

In a recent milestone, the latest edition of Warhammer 40,000 received its inaugural major update of the year merely two weeks ago, and already the meta has undergone significant shifts.

To gain insights into the game’s maturation, Warhammer TV presenter Lewis engaged in a candid conversation with Josh from the Warhammer Studio.

While the Balance Dataslate is too fresh to yield completely solid data, early indicators suggest that the once unyielding dominion of Aeldari and Chaos Space Marines atop the competitive tables is showing signs of loosening. As Josh astutely points out, recent events have witnessed victories by Astra Militarum and World Eaters.

Drukhari, in particular, have emerged triumphant in several events following the Balance Dataslate’s release. This success is particularly heartening, considering that prior to the update, Drukhari languished with one of the lowest win rates.

The diversity of winning factions is striking. Over the course of just two weekends of event data, we’ve seen victories by a wide array of forces, including Astra Militarum, World Eaters, Space Marines, Adeptus Custodes, Adeptus Sororitas, Necrons, Aeldari, Chaos Space Marines, Death Guard, and Thousand Sons.

As for win-rates, both Aeldari and Chaos Space Marines appear to be trending downward into the preferred range of 45-55%.

No official Win Rate List has been published at this time!

30th January 2024 Metawatch Update – First Major Balance and Points Update of the Year

Following a year filled with intense tournaments, the introduction of two new Codexes, and a flurry of gaming action from local shops to kitchen tables, the latest Balance Dataslate (available below) is now available, fine-tuning the game based on comprehensive feedback and gameplay analysis.

W40k 30th January 2024 Metawatch Update

Let’s dive into the highlights of these changes, which are bound to impact strategies and army compositions across gaming tables everywhere.

Core Rule Adjustments

  • Devastating Wounds: Attacks with these weapons bypass all saving throws on scoring a Critical Wound.
  • Stratagem CP Modifications: Clarifications on how Stratagem Command Point (CP) costs can be altered, emphasizing restrictions based on unit abilities and Stratagem types.
  • Fire Overwatch Stratagem: Limited to once per turn, requires a hit roll of 6, excluding Titanic units.
  • Insane Bravery Stratagem: Can now be used only once per battle to automatically pass a Battle-shock test.

Faction-Specific Changes


The Aeldari forces, maintaining a win rate slightly above the targeted 55%, face some tactical recalibrations. Adjustments include a reduction in Fate Dice, tweaks to the Phantasm stratagem, and specific points increases.

These changes aim for incremental balance, avoiding drastic shifts in their game dominance while dialing down on some of their more potent abilities.

  • Strands of Fate Army Rule: Modified to start the battle with a roll of six D6 for the Strands of Fate, enhancing strategic options.
  • Fate’s Messenger Enhancement: Allows an Aeldari model to treat a Hit roll, Wound roll, or saving throw as an unmodified roll of 6 once per turn, increasing reliability.
  • Phantasm Stratagem: Revised to target an Aeldari Infantry unit, allowing it to make a Normal move up to D6″. However, the unit cannot embark within a Transport at the end of this move, tweaking mobility and positioning strategies.

Adeptus Custodes

Agents of the Imperium (Exaction Squad)

  • Unit Composition and Wargear Options:
    • Comprises 1 Proctor-Exactant, 9 Exaction Vigilants, and optionally 0-1 Cyber-mastiff.
    • Allows up to 2 Vigilants to swap shotguns for unique wargear, without duplicates.

Astra Militarum (Voice of Command)

  • Order Issuance Expansion: Officers can issue Orders after disembarking from a Transport or being set up on the battlefield, in addition to their Command phase.

Blood Angels (The Red Thirst)

  • Charge Phase Enhancements: Units charging in their turn gain +2 Strength and +1 Attack for melee weapons.

Chaos Daemons (Daemonic Pact)

  • Non-Battleline Unit Restrictions: Limits on non-Battleline units to not exceed the number of Battleline units for each daemon faction.

Chaos Space Marines (Marks of Chaos and Stratagems)

  • Transport Embarkation Rule: Units must share a faction keyword to embark together.
  • Stratagem Adjustments: Changes to the effects and targets of Dark Obscuration and Profane Zeal Stratagems.

Death Guard (Spread the Sickness)

  • Selectable Sicknesses: Introduces Skullsquirm Blight, Rattlejoint Ague, and Scabrous Soulrot as selectable debuffs for enemy units.

Deathwatch (Bolt Weapon Stratagems)

  • Dragonfire, Hellfire, and Kraken Rounds: Adjustments to bolt weapons’ capabilities, focusing on Assault, Ignores Cover, Anti-Infantry, and Armour Penetration enhancements.


On the flip side, the Drukhari, who’ve been lagging in performance, are set to receive a significant uplift. This includes point adjustments, enhancements to the Power from Pain mechanics, and the introduction of the Skysplinter Assault Detachment, alongside the option for Archons to recruit Incubi bodyguards, signaling a push towards revitalizing their presence on the battlefield.

  • Enhanced Combat Efficiency: Allows re-rolling Hit rolls and improves melee Armour Penetration by 1 during the Shooting or Fight phase.
  • Points and Power from Pain mechanic updates, introduction of the Skysplinter Assault Detachment, and Archons can now recruit Incubi bodyguards, aiming to improve their competitiveness.

Genestealer Cults (Cult Ambush)

  • Reinforcement Rules: Chance to add a new identical unit to the army when a unit is destroyed, with specific setup conditions for Cult Ambush.

Grey Knights (Nemesis Weapons)

  • Weapon Profile Updates: Modifications to Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Daemon Greathammer, and Nemesis Greatsword, incorporating Ignores Cover and Psychic abilities.

Imperial Knights

  • Chivalric Codes and Bondsman Abilities: Introduces re-roll capabilities and command phase benefits for Armiger models from Questoris knights.

Leagues of Votann (Ruthless Efficiency)

  • Judgement Tokens and CP Rewards: Early destruction of selected opponent units with Judgement tokens grants Command Points, with conditions varying by battle size.

Space Marines

  • Specific Unit Composition: Desolation Squad defined as 1 Desolation Sergeant and 4 Desolation Marines.

Space Wolves (Deeds Worthy of Saga)

  • Sagas and Their Benefits: Sagas offer unique ongoing benefits once completed, affecting melee capabilities, Objective Control, and survivability of Adeptus Astartes models.

Reduced points for BATTLELINE units

A focal point of this update is the internal balance within factions, leading to reduced points for BATTLELINE units ranging from Chaos Daemons to Space Marine Intercessors. Conversely, several Indirect Fire units see a points hike, aiming to diversify the competitive landscape and allow for more varied army builds without penalizing players for thematic list choices.

Marking Changes with a New Symbol ⨁

This update also introduces a new symbol, ⨁, to highlight recent changes, alongside color-coded points updates for at-a-glance understanding of adjustments, enhancing clarity for players navigating the updates.

With anticipation building for the Deathwing Assault army box‘s release, players eager for Dark Angels updates might have to wait a bit longer as the Codex Supplement: Dark Angels gears up for its launch, promising further adjustments in an upcoming Munitorum Field Manual update.

Additionally, the Rules Commentary is set for an update to clarify rules around TRANSPORTS from Reserves, specific unit abilities, and more, ensuring players have all the information needed for smooth gameplay.

We encourage Warhammer 40,000’s players to visit the Warhammer Community Downloads page to access these updates and provide feedback directly to the balance team, ensuring the game continues to evolve in response to its dedicated player base.

Downloadable Resources:

23rd November 2023: Warhammer 40,000 Metawatch – The World Champions of Warhammer and Factions Win Rate Update

In a momentous gathering, some of the most skilled Warhammer players from around the globe converged upon Atlanta, Georgia last weekend for what would become the largest Warhammer tournaments in history.

Representing more than 40 nations, these players clashed in the World Championships of Warhammer, drawing the attention of the Warhammer Design Studio like a vigilant two-headed cyber-eagle.

The finals of the Warhammer 40,000 championship featured two prominent contenders, each vying for supremacy. Ultimately, it was Mani Cheema who emerged victorious, wielding a Chaos Space Marines list that triumphed over John Lennon’s Ultramarines in a nail-biting showdown.

John Lennon strategically employed Tactical Missions from the Chapter Approved deck, leveraging durable Deep Striking Inceptors and infiltrating Scouts to secure crucial points through shifting Secondary Missions. Meanwhile, Mani opted for reliable Fixed Secondary Missions, consistently scoring points with Deploy Teleport Homers and Cleanse, thanks to the maneuverability of his Rhino-driven army.

Beyond the World Championships, this conversation delves into the broader competitive scene. Over the past 60 days, the team meticulously analyzed data from approximately 200,000 games involving 36,000 players.

The auguries of balance favor the Aeldari, with the Craftworlders leading the charge at an impressive 57% win rate. These formidable warriors maintain their power even after targeted adjustments from the previous Balance Dataslate, yet without veering into oppressive territory. Meanwhile, their malevolent Drukhari counterparts sit at a respectable 44% win rate.

19th October 2023: Metawatch and Factions Win Rate Update

In the ever-evolving universe of Warhammer 40,000, the competitive scene has seen significant shifts, especially with the introduction of the Balance Dataslate.

The recent Metawatch analysis, post-Tampa Open, offers insights into the current competitive environment, highlighting faction win rates and community sentiments.

Sisters of Battle Triumph in the Tampa Open

The Tampa Open, a major Warhammer 40,000 tournament, showcased the game’s increasing faction diversity, signaling the positive impact of the recent Balance Dataslate.

With a record of 60,000 games since its release, the Dataslate has ushered in a more balanced competitive environment. Most factions are now achieving win rates between 45-55%, a testament to the game’s evolving balance.

Jeffrey Kolodner’s victory with his Adepta Sororitas force at the Tampa Open is a reflection of this balance. He bested several formidable opponents, including Quinton Johnson’s Aeldari, the highest current win-rate army. Furthermore, Kolodner’s triumph over Jack Harpster, one of the world’s top players, underscores the dynamic nature of the competitive scene.

W40k 19th October 2023 Metawatch Update

Diving deeper into some of the factions performance:

  • Orks: The Orks have been performing consistently in recent tournaments. Their aggressive playstyle, combined with some of the new Ork units and strategies available to them, has made them a formidable force on the tabletop.
  • Chaos Space Marines: Currently a dominant force with 12 significant event wins since the balance data slate release. Their win rate hovers around 55%, making them a top contender in tournaments. From our perspective, Chaos Marines have truly come into their own since the balance updates.
  • Black Templars: With a win rate of around 55%, they have benefited from significant points cuts, making them a formidable force. In our view, Black Templars are poised to be one of the strongest ways to play Space Marines after the updates.
  • Eldari (Aeldari): Despite recent nerfs, they remain a top-tier faction with a win rate dropping from 67% to 57%. They are the most played faction at Grand tournaments. In our opinion, Eldari continue to retain their spot as the top Army in 40K.

Community forums and websites have been buzzing with discussions around the game’s balance. More and more players seem to appreciate the efforts made by the Warhammer 40,000 team to ensure a level playing field, making each game unpredictable and exciting.

The Warhammer 40,000 team remains committed to enhancing the competitive experience and actively monitors competitive play.

They encourage feedback from the community, ensuring that the game continues to evolve in response to player needs and preferences.

For those interested in a deeper dive into faction-specific win rates and strategies, the Warhammer 40,000 team has made data available and welcomes queries or suggestions at 40KFAQ@gwplc.com.

7th September 2023: Changes Abound in the First Balance Dataslate of the Edition

The most recent iteration of Warhammer 40,000 made a seismic impact when it arrived in June, ushering in a new era of streamlined gameplay and simplified rules.

This edition introduced a comprehensive set of Indexes, encompassing every single unit within the game – including rare and exclusive Forge World entries – totaling over 2,000 datasheets. Additionally, it provided full army rules for each faction, leaving no stone unturned.

Undertaking this colossal project for a game fundamentally redesigned from the ground up naturally brought forth balance challenges. Rather than hastily implementing knee-jerk adjustments, the Warhammer Studio opted for patience, awaiting a substantial volume of games played across all levels.

Now, the observation period has concluded, and the monumental Balance Dataslate takes center stage. Accompanying this release is an extensive interview with Warhammer 40,000 Studio Manager Stu, who sheds light on the reasoning behind several key changes.

Here are some of the notable highlights from the Dataslate (with more available for exploration within the document itself):

  1. Devastating Wounds: No longer inflicting mortal wounds, this ability now bypasses armor saves and invulnerable saves. While weapons with this capability can still deal substantial damage, it occurs in a single impactful burst. This alteration renders Devastating Wounds more situational and significantly impacts the power dynamics, especially for the Aeldari. For instance, you can no longer obliterate an entire infantry squad with an anti-tank weapon by rolling a 6 to wound.
  2. Stratagem Restrictions: Stricter rules now govern the reuse and discounting of Stratagems. When activating the Overwatch Stratagem, line of sight is mandatory – effectively eliminating Indirect Fire Overwatch. Furthermore, TITANIC units are entirely barred from utilizing this stratagem. And speaking of colossal threats, you can now seek refuge from the gaze of towering models behind Ruins, provided the unit remains stationary.

8th August 2023: Warhammer 40,000 Metawatch and Factions Win Rate Update

Nick from the Warhammer TV crew joined forces with Stu from the Warhammer Studio, applying their expert analysis to decipher the statistical intrigue.

Notably, factions like the Imperial Knights and Genestealer Cults, which leaped into the new edition with fervor, continue to surpass expectations. This remains true even after the recalibration of abilities such as the Aeldari Strands of Fate and the influence on Towering units.

These prevailing factions cast a significant shadow over the competitive landscape, as opposition forces must strategize and craft their armies to contend with specific units and paradigms.

This interplay necessitates that the Warhammer Studio meticulously forecast the ripple effects that even slight alterations might produce across the spectrum of factions.

With nearly two months of competitive engagement behind us, what revelations have emerged?

The victory percentages are still in a dynamic state, as players wrestle with the new ruleset’s growing pains, endeavoring to determine the winning maneuvers. Although unexpected outcomes have sprung up at several tournaments, contradicting broader patterns, the sheer volume of matches played allows us to discern emerging trends.

With precision and dedication, the Warhammer Studio is already engineering the forthcoming points revisions and balance datasheets, scheduled for release this coming September. The goal is not only to rein in the leading factions but also to bolster those that are lagging behind.

Fans should eagerly anticipate the forthcoming adjustments, the unveiling of Tyranid and Space Marines codexes this fall, and the fierce rivalry at the NOVA Open later in August. Further details will be revealed on Warhammer-Community.com, so maintain a watchful eye.

The battlefield is alive with action, strategies are evolving, and the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 is flourishing with surprises. Stay connected with us as we continue to bring you the latest insights and developments.

7th September 2023: Warhammer 40,000 Metawatch – First Balance Dataslate of the Edition

The latest edition of Warhammer 40,000 brought forth a seismic shift in the gaming landscape in June, introducing a fresh era of streamlined rules and gameplay. With an exhaustive collection of Indexes covering over 2,000 datasheets, including rare and Forge World exclusives, alongside comprehensive army rules for all factions, it was a monumental overhaul of the beloved Warhammer 40k universe. However, with such a massive redesign came inevitable challenges in terms of game balance.

The Warhammer Studio recognized the importance of a balanced gaming experience and chose a deliberate approach over hasty adjustments. They opted to observe and gather data from a substantial number of games played at various levels before making significant changes. Now, the eagerly awaited Balance Dataslate has arrived, accompanied by an insightful interview with Warhammer 40,000 Studio Manager Stu, who sheds light on the reasoning behind these transformative changes.

Here are some key highlights from the Balance Dataslate:

  1. Devastating Wounds Reworked: Devastating Wounds no longer inflict mortal wounds; instead, they bypass armor and invulnerable saves. This change makes Devastating Wounds more situational, impacting the power of certain factions, such as the Aeldari. It means you can’t obliterate an infantry unit with an anti-tank weapon in a single shot just because you rolled a 6 to wound.
  2. Stratagem Restrictions: Harsher restrictions now apply to reusing and discounting Stratagems. Line of sight is required when activating the Overwatch Stratagem, ending the era of Indirect Fire Overwatch. Additionally, TITANIC units are now excluded from using this Stratagem. Furthermore, large models can no longer see over Ruins if a unit hides behind them, provided that the hiding unit remains stationary.
  3. Faction-Specific Changes: Many factions experience alterations to their Army Rules and Detachment abilities. Genestealer Cults are no longer infinite, with units now needing to make dice rolls to return, including BATTLELINE squads. Imperial Knights have been outperforming Chaos Knights, leading to Bondsman abilities benefiting only ARMIGER squires in Imperial Knights armies.
  4. Buffs and Caps: On the positive side, Death Guard gain a new aura ability that players can tailor to suit their opponents. Leagues of Votann receive a boost to Judgement tokens, and the Adeptus Mechanicus fortify the armor of their Skitarii foot soldiers. However, powerful units, including certain Adeptus Custodes and Space Marine Desolation Squads, now have their numbers capped.
  5. Points Adjustments: Numerous points changes have been introduced to fine-tune each faction’s power. This also impacts Codex Tyranids, which is available for pre-order and has seen some points updates. For the most up-to-date points values, players can refer to the Munitorum Field Manual and the Warhammer 40,000 App, which even includes a QR code for easy access to the latest points values online.

In summary, the launch of the Balance Dataslate marks a major step in the ongoing development of Warhammer 40,000.

It shows that the folks at Warhammer Studio are dedicated to providing a fair and exciting gaming experience for players of all skill levels and factions.

As you dive into the fresh rules and enhancements, the battlefield of the grimdark future holds the promise of being more exhilarating and equitable than ever.

Players and fans of every faction and at every level can download the Balance Dataslate and the Munitorum Field Manual below. Additionally, an update to the Rules Commentary provides answers to any obscure questions, with new editions highlighted in red for easy reference.

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