Its Monday morning, so lets just get to it.
Fat, massive, toadacious blocks of salt with these, guys. I mean huge. Moon sized. Like, if the moon was the size of the sun, then they would be moon sized blocks of salt that you should take, but they're more like sun-sized blocks of salt. I didn't believe them when I heard them second hand, but here they are.
As we get towards 6th edition, some things are rumored to be changing. White Dwarf is rumored to be going back to what they had before, with more battle reports and painting how-tos and less advertisements. Sisters of Battle is the poster child for the 'White Dwarf Codex' which may be getting more full-on Codices in the future depending on popularity. One such example would be for the Chaos Legions Codex, which would have a core, and then White Dwarf additions for other Legions as the months progress.
Oh by the way, Chaos Legions by March 1012 and 6th edition by October 2012, which will feature Eldar as the poster child. Heavy Xenos influence for 6th edition, including the long-awaited Tau update.
Here's a doozy. Fluff changes. (prepare for heavy summary) We're moving on from the 41st millenium into the 42nd. Yup. Here's the rumor: mankind's days are really waning. They're heading down the crapper fast and xenos, especially Necrons, are coming into quite the threat. Well, mankind just doesn't have the power, and now Necrons are threatening Chaos, and the Chaos forces are like 'well wtf guyz'. So, Chaos has to fight across the galaxy against the enemies that mankind were fighting against, perhaps even allying with loyalist forces against a common foe. This will be expanded on in the coming Codices, including Necron and Chaos Legions, which should set up for the big fluff change in 6th edition. Some of the rest sounded more like wish, opinion, and extrapolation; Void Dragon coming up, Primarchs coming back, Emperor's descendants being found by an unnamed portion of the Imperium in order to fight the Void Dragon, etc etc...
Now here are some other things that are founded in reality: Matt Ward? Gone. Don't expect him to be writing any more Codices. His baby was 5th edition, and now that 5th edition is up, Ward is done. Board Members for GW? 3 of the old geezers gone. Company-wide changes. Everything since Tyranids? Made for 6th edition.
Speaking of 6th edition again, the main rulebook that comes out is supposed to be 'the book to rule all books'. It'll have ways to include Superheavies and rules for Fliers in regular games, and should errata a lot of rules in Apocalypse, past FAQ's, and past Codices to make it all fit together. It'll have updated stuff for Planetstrike, Cities of Death, etc, perhaps even to make room for more expansions in the future.
Ugh. The person I heard this from is a good friend and reliable source, and the person *he* got this information from is an unnamed employee of a certain facet of our favorite gaming company that deals with items made out of a material that is notorious for melting if exposed to direct sunlight and heat. By the way, all those rule sets that Forgeworld has been making? They may suddenly find themselves approved for regular games.
I honestly feel tainted by a lot of this information. I'll be the first to say that so much of it is so unreal and so uncharacteristic for Games Workshop that it doesn't feel like it could happen at all. Moving the fluff forward? Having superheavies in a regular edition? Making Codex *supplements* exclusively through White Dwarf (and subsequently free a month later on their website like most White Dwarf stuff)? Knocking Space Marines down a notch?
But think about it. 5th edition has been the edition for the Imperium. Imperial Guard, Grey Knights, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and of course Space Marines have all gotten Codices, and Black Templar and Dark Angels have been FAQ'd to match up. The only xenos forces we've seen have been Orks (which were technically still 4th edition), Tyranids, and Dark Eldar. And now Sisters of Battle are going to be covered. That leaves Tau, Orks (since they weren't really in 5th), Eldar, Chaos Marines, Necrons, and Chaos Daemons left to be covered. NONE of those are imperial forces, so it almost seems like they've been stacking the deck so that they can put a heavier focus on the xenos, which is a prime opportunity to advance the fluff. By advancing the fluff through xenos codices, they can then re-glorify the imperial forces by updating them further into 6th edition after they've figured all that stuff out.
Also, Chaos Marines have been a group of much attention. The Horus Heresy novels, Black Crusade RPG, and features as main villains in many a video game. They have a lot of new fluff that hasn't been explored before, and a lot of new material has been created that has kept them in the limelight, even if they haven't been on the gaming tables. They are Imperial Enemy No. 1. They are a very popular force. To have them suddenly take the spotlight in new fluff in a new edition only makes sense. A force as potent as the Chaos Legions, Legions of marines that number in the thousands, whose leader commands the last Black Fortress (one of the few great weapons against the C'Tan), is a force that can wreak proper havoc again, either in the form of a new Black Crusade, or in the form of a totally different type of war. Thus far, Chaos has seemed content to chill out in their warp homes within the Maelstrom and Eye of Terror, with the 13th Black Crusade being the last great push, and that was solely against the Imperium and anything else that happened to be in the way. There are many an enemy that Chaos can fight besides the waning Imperium, such as the Necron that they abhor for their desire to snuff out the sensation that Chaos enjoys.
There are a lot of other things that simply don't fit. We've already heard rumors about fliers, but the superheavies thing is a stretch. 'One book to rule them all' is a bit of a stretch, as that would cannibalize all of the books that have already been printed. Also, Forgeworld being brought into the fold doesn't make sense either. Though they've been pumping out a lot of new stuff, their business model is built as a boutique, and if they suddenly shift gears to mass-produce their stuff to satisfy the new net lists that come out, then that will completely undo their business model. On the other hand, Games Workshop has kicked metal straight out, so to get all their factories devoted to resin might end up increasing Forgeworld's production as well simply by volume of production.
Anyway, like I said. Salt, salt, salt. Not only am I hearing all of this second-hand, but it's difficult to weed out what's speculation on the speaker's part, and what he intended as rumor. I suppose we'll just see if he's right. The first hint would be Chaos Marines in March 2012 huh?