Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Change is in the Air- New GW 40k FAQ first draft review

As you will all have no doubt heard on various parts of the internet, GW has released a first draft of its FAQ answers that it asked the community to contribute a while back. They have released this first draft to get feedback from the community about the clarity of the answers and to tweak any misunderstanding for the answers. I am going to look over some of the questions and answers that I found interesting and comment on them with regards to my own armies.
Before we get started, I just want to say that I am loving the new direction that GW are going in at the moment. The decision to re-launch their social media profile and actively engage with the players is one that I wholeheartedly applaud and can only benefit the players. I'm hoping that most people can be civil and constructive to them and not scare them off into abandoning it again.
I'm also loving the new games releases that seem to be flying out recently. I've picked up the Assassins game and just got a copy of Imperial Knight Renegade. This boxed sets are fantastic value for army building in 40k. I didn't pick up Betrayal at Calth myself, but I know plenty of people who did and used it to start some 30k armies.
Anyway, onto some of the answers that stood out for me and how I think they will affect my own forces.
Q- How many Hull Points does a vehicle lose when you roll two simultaneous sixes when using Graviton weapons?
A- It loses three hull points.
Anyone who has read my battle reports knows that I run a lot of grav for my White Scars. Most people accepted that rolling a second 6 against a vehicle and immobilising it for a second time resulted in an additional lost hull point (so 3 hull points for two 6's with grav). This new ruling makes no mention of what happens if the vehicle is immune to immobilised results, i.e. Superheavy vehicles. If this ruling stays the way it is above, then Imperial Knights just got more vulnerable to grav weapons! All you would need is 4 successful grav "wounds" to take out most Knights with this ruling. This will greatly benefit my White Scars if it remains the same.

Q- Using grenades in the assault phase. Can every model replace their close combat attacks with a single grenade attack or just one model in the unit? Like in the Shooting Phase e.g. a unit of 5 Tau Pathfinders charge a Knight. Do 5 Pathfinders make close combat haywire grenade attacks?
A- Only one model from a unit can attack with a grenade in the assault phase. Per Warhammer 40,000: The Rules, "only one grenade (of any type) can be thrown by a unit per phase".
This ruling just made Imperial Knights, Superheavies, Monstrous Creatures and vehicles a lot more durable in combat. I understand the 'one grenade in the shooting phase' rule, but only allowing one in the assault phase seems pretty harsh. Many armies relied on grenades to take vehicles out in combat. Only one attack per turn has made Imperial Knights practically invincible in combat, as meltabombs were one of the more reliable ways to take out these mighty vehicles.

It is also likely to increase the durability of many vehicles as a single krak grenade or haywire grenade attack will be unlikely to take out a vehicle. It will also make vehicles with a rear armour of more than 10 incredibly durable, as most basic infantry will be unable to harm them and have to resort to a single grenade attack.

There has been some debate online that meltabombs do not count as grenades, so you can use multiple meltabombs in combat. Without a specific ruling on this, I would be inclined to rule that they count as grenades, so only a single attack is allowed from a unit, even though the reverse would benefit me more.

I was also thinking that if you are charging through cover against a Walker or Monstrous Creature, you will be striking last as you cannot use both your frag grenades and krak grenades in the same turn.

Q- If a Hit and Run roll would take me off the table, do I stop at the table edge?
A- Yes

This rarely came into an issue in most of my games, but I have been using Hit and Run wrong for a while. I did not think you had to move the full distance you rolled for your Hit and Run. Frequently I did, but sometimes it was advantageous to not move the full distance.

Q- If a blast template scatters onto a Skimmer, can that Skimmer jink even though it was not actually targeted by the shot?
A- Yes

This is another great bonus for my White Scars and Ravenwing. I always thought that Jink saves should be allowed for any unit hit by a shooting attack as it becomes the target when the shot scatters, though many tournaments ruled otherwise. I assume this will apply to all unit that can Jink, not just Skimmers.

Q- Can you make "Look Out, Sir" attempts against Destroyer weapon hits?
A- Yes

A nice bonus for your characters in any unit.

Q- Can you attempt "Look out, Sir" for wounds allocated outside of the Shooting and Assault phases?
A- Yes

Does this mean that you can "Look out, Sir" wounds from Perils of the Warp? If so, this makes psykers more durable and can reduces the risk of perils significantly.

Q- How many Relics/Artefacts can a single model be equipped with?
A- A model can only be given a single Relic/Artefact of any kind unless specifically noted otherwise.

By my reading, this means that each character may only take a single Relic. I don't think this will have too much affect on my armies, but some people that liked tooled up characters may be put out by this.

Q- Warhammer 40,000: The Rules states that a model get "the advantage of always using the best available save". Does that mean we have to use the numerically lowest save, or do we have the option of using any save we have?
A- The controlling player can use their discretion as to which of their model's saves is "the best".

I always thought this ruling was pretty obvious and that each player should be responsible for which save they thought was best, but not everyone agreed. It's nice to have the ruling officially.

Q- Do Scout redeployments take place before or after the player going second is given the chance to Seize the Initiative?
A- After

This is a huge bonus for my White Scars and Ravenwing. There have been a few games where my opponent has Seized the Initiative and my Scouting units have been caught out of position and unable to assault the enemy units until turn 2. Equally, there have been times where I have been fortunate enough to seize and not risked Scouting my units on the slim chance I could have seized.

This ruling eliminates that dilemma and makes Scout an even more powerful rule than it is at the moment.

ERRATA- "However, some witchfire powers do not have a weapons profile (such as the Telepathy power, Psychic Shriek); where this is the case, no To Hit roll is required- the attack hits automatically"

This makes Psychic Shriek more powerful. I always thought it was unfair to force a player to roll to hit after already making a successful manifestation, especially on one shot powers. Now all I have to worry about is rolling high enough on the 3D6 to cause any damage.

There are various other rulings that I am sure will affect many other players, some good and some bad. It will be interesting to see how the rule wording changes from the first draft to the final version, though I really hope that they do change the grenade one.

What were some of the rulings that will affect your games? Any you are happy or unhappy about?


  1. A really nice review as always Mike, its nice to have someone else put GWs often confusing wording into more legible English. Which is ironic given it's your second language ;)

    1. Though I would add in terms of look out sir'ing perils of the warp I think it specifies the pysker takes the wound no? That wording might supersede look out sir?

    2. I would assume the psyker would have to take the wound. The wording says the psyker is wounded, but if the psyker is a character, he may still be able to Look Out, Sir it. Not sure, hope they clarify it further.

  2. An interesting article as always Mike.

    I'm less convinced about the relic conclusion people have come to, mainly because there seem to be some extra words in there that are unnecessary if that's what they meant.

    Q- How many Relics/Artefacts can a single model be equipped with?
    A- A model can only be given a single Relic/Artefact of any kind unless specifically noted otherwise.

    could easily be written as

    Q- How many Relics/Artefacts can a single model be equipped with?
    A- A model can only be given a single Relic/Artefact unless specifically noted otherwise.

    and it actually makes more sense in terms of the answer people are reading into it. If you leave it as it is, the fact that 'kind' and 'type' are synonyms means that you could certainly argue (successfully in grammatical terms) that a single model could take for example the burning blade and the armour indomitus without breaking their FAQ ruling.

    As for other stuff that affects me - passengers only being able to snapshoot from a jinking transport, whilst logical and sensible from a 'real world' perspective, has absolutely butchered the playstyle of my Dark Eldar army. It would at this point take a huge amount of change to my collection to make them work in any meaningful way on the table, or i'd have to risk not jinking when my AV10 transports come under fire from anything more dangerous than a lasgun.

    I await in hope more than expectation that a Dark Eldar specific FAQ might give them an exception to this ruling.

    1. I feel for you as I've been on the receiving end of that tactic a few times. But I do think that there needs to be some sort of penalty for the models in side a jinking transport.

  3. The new FaQs are defiantly a good move but there are always going to be the haters. It's unfortunate but that's life, and we all know what nerd rage can be like!

    As for the ones you've highlighted, here's my thoughts;

    Grenades are now pointless on guard units. 10pts per squad/ 5pts on command, for something you might use twice in a game. And at strength 3 there are no other options. And rant melta bombs in the grenade section of the rule book? Haven't checked but I'm sure they are.

    Do you have to use the full distance on any run moves? I thought though it was just a maximum you could move.

    The jink rule from how I read it, is about the jinking not about the fact its a skimmer. So i would say yes, it applies to all jinking units.

    The ruling about look out sir rolls I think needs clarification. Some hits do multiple wounds, so do you do one look out sir roll for all of them or one for each wound? As for perils I would say that as written you can but it doesn't fit the fluff/intent.

    And finally the relics, again its a case of RAI vs RAW, and what they mean by 'of any kind'. Is a relic bolter a different kind of relic from a combat weapon? Or do they mean any kind of relic, i.e. only ever able to take one relic no matter what 'kind'.

    well that's my pennies worth anyway.

    1. I would presume that for the single hit multiple wounds issue, you would look out sir the one wound and if successful, the closest model takes the multiple wounds. This was similar to the ruling they made about taking a single save and then suffering multiple wounds rather than taking a save for each wound.

    2. That's the way I would rule it as its one save, hence one look out sir roll.

  4. I wouldn't think you could LoS Perils of the Warp, because that kind of bypasses chunks of the normal Wounding process, but it is relevant for things like Interceptor fire or the targets of Witchfire powers.

    The single Grenade thing is a huge deal, and I hope it gets reversed, especially since there is other language in the Grenades section that indicates pretty clearly that multiple Models from a Unit can use Grenades in CC, and the restriction on "throwing" one Grenade per Unit per Phase is a reference to using them as Shooting Attacks.

    The Relics ruling is kind of annoying to me, but not critical. I'm not sure if that bit is still in the Crimson Slaughter Supplement, but there was a chunk in the previous edition of it that explicitly talked about giving multiple Relics to a Character, and all the other Supplement Relic Pages used exactly the same wording as their Relic Page, so it looked like you could take multiple Relics from those sources. I mostly dislike it because it makes the little 5-15 point cool gun Relics way less likely to be used, but there were also a couple of other combos that were nice (The Armour of Asvald Stormwrack is hideously overpriced unless you combo it with Relic Weapons, for instance, because it doesn't do the usual Terminator Armour Weapon swaps, but is priced like it does).

    Really, tho, I'm mostly just gonna wait and see what the final version says. I don't have a facebook account, so I can't really jump in the fray myself.

    1. Yeah, I think Perils will not benefit from LoS, it makes psykers far too powerful if they do that.