Friday, May 30, 2014

The 7th Edition 40K Rulebook Review - Special Rules (Part 3)

Tonight I'll be looking at the Special Rules section of the rulebook on its own. It's quite a meaty chunk of the book (p.156 to 174) so I figured it deserved a whole post to itself. On the face of it a lot of the rules are the same or at least very similar. When you take a closer look though there are a lot of subtle changes with significant impact. To try and avoid this post turning into a giant wall of text I'm going to write it in pretty short bullet points with the occasional comment thrown in. It's worth bearing in mind that some of this stuff is from the FAQs of the 6th edition rulebook that has now found it's way into the printed rules.

Before I go any further, in the course of looking at the Special Rules I realised that the concept of Focus Fire has no vanished. This is another one of those things people often forgot about but worth knowing in case someone tries it against you in your 7th edition games. Anyway, onto the special rules:

Acute Senses - same.
Adamantium Will - same.
ATSKNF - same apart from you no longer get the 3" on top of normal movement. Finally!
Assault Vehicle - same but clarifies that you still can't assault from reserve.
Armourbane - same.
Barrage - clarifies that you can fire directly if you have line of sight and ignore minimum range when you do. No longer Pinning which is worth remembering.
Blast - same but clarifies that models out of the weapons maximum range can be hit clarifies out of range. The Apocalyptic Mega Blast is 5"/7"/10" instead of 5"/10"/15".
Blind - same but clarifies models without an initiative value can't be blinded.
Brotherhood of Pskyers - updated for the new psychic phase, now only needs one model (i.e. ICs joining the unit don't stop it) and the player chooses the model which manifests the power. Perils wounds are randomly allocated now too meaning Justicars etc aren't automatically killed.
Bulky - same.
Concussive - same.
Counter Attack - no longer requires a leadership test which is great for my wolves (not that I failed many).
Crusader - same.
Daemon - same.
Deep Strike - deep striking into ruins puts you on the ground floor and clarifies that you can't deploy onto buildings (plus if you scatter onto them it's a Mishap). Mishap table the same.
Destroyer Weapons - now included in the rulebook but permit Cover/Invulnerable saves except for 6s but you don't get FNP still. Considered S10 for Instant Death. Clarifies about how extra wounds are allocated in that they aren't. Basically to me that means only the models hit (or under the template) are affected i.e. if you generate 3 wounds against a single wound model you only use 1 of them to kill that model and the other 2 are lost. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here. The table is different too: 
  • 1 doing nothing to vehicles or non-vehicles (still penetrated vehicles before). 
  • 2-5 is not automatically an Explodes! against vehicles but instead causes D3 hull points to be lost (plus a roll on the damage table) whether Super Heavy or not. Against non-vehicles it's just D3 wounds (previously D3+1). 
  • 6 causes D6+6 hull points (enough to kill pretty much anything, including Super Heavies) and D6+6 wounds against non-vehicles with no saves against either. 
I'll look again at D-weapons when I talk about Lords of War in a separate post but generally they look a lot more reasonable. The FAQ for Apocalypse even states that this is how D-weapons are to be used in Apoc games too.
Eternal Warrior - same.
Fear - same.
Fearless - same but clarifies you can't use Our Weapons are Useless.
Feel No Pain - same but clarified can be used on Perils but not Destroyer.
Fleet - same.
Fleshbane - same.
Force - updated to reflect Psychic changes.
Furious Charge - same (still no Initiative bonus).
Gets Hot - clarifies that you can't use Look Out Sir! (obviously).
Graviton - added to the main book but same as in SM codex - looks like it causes multiple hull points with the immobilised thing.
Hammer of Wrath - clarifies that special rules don't affect it and against vehicles it's resolved against the AV facing model i.e. if you charge the front of a predator it'll be AV13 whereas your CC attacks will still be against the rear.
Hatred - same.
Haywire - same.
Hit & Run - same.
Ignores Cover - after months of waiting we now know that it definitely affects vehicles
Independent Characters - same.
Infiltrate - same, still not clear about when an IC joins a unit to give them Infiltrate which will keep the debate going (correct me if I'm wrong).

Instant Death - same.
Interceptor - doesn't help Skyfire units hit ground targets but otherwise the same.
It Will Not Die - same.
Jink - no longer automatically gives a 5+ save, instead you can choose to Jink for a 4+ save but can only fire Snap Shots if you do. Crucially you have to decide before your opponent has even rolled to hit. There's no longer a +1 bonus for going Flat Out or Turbo Boosting either. In some ways this helps skimmers and bikes if you end up going second but screws them too since most of the time they'll be firing Snap Shots. 
Lance - same.
Master Crafted - same.
Melta - same but clarified that Blast melta weapons only get extra dice if the blast stays in half range.
Mighty Bulwark - new to the rulebook but same as Stronghold Assault.
Missile lock - now works for single use weapons as well as reducing the scatter of blasts. Frustratingly though the Nephilim Jetfighter hasn't been given this back (FAQ) even though it would now be useful to it! Interesting if you think that maybe that's what they intended for Missile Lock all along.
Monster Hunter - same.
Move Through Cover - same but now also works when charging. No more MCs failing to charge because they've stubbed their toe on a rock!
Night Vision - same, although worth bearing in mind that you can get this from the Night Attacker warlord trait now (more on that in the traits post).
Outflank - same, again ICs not really clarified. I know what I think but it'd be nice to have it in black and white.
Pinning - same.
Poisoned - mostly the same but now only gets a re-roll to wound if the strength is higher than toughness.
Power of the Machine Spirit - same.
Preferred Enemy - same.
Precision Shots/Strikes - same but now specifically states only on a 6 so those pesky AM units aren't getting it on every single shot like people were expecting. Remember Characters seem to have lost this rule.
Psychic Pilot - updated to reflect Psychic changes.
Psyker - updated to reflect Psychic changes.
Rage - same.
Rampage - same.
Relentless - same.
Rending - clarified as not AP2 versus vehicles which was in the FAQ anyway. Still think this is stupid but at least it's in the book so I won't have to point it out to opponents.
Repel The Enemy - added from Stronghold Assault.
Scout - same but clarified that Scout redeployment can be used to leave Deployment Zone (duh!).
Sentry Defence - added from Stronghold Assault.
Shred - same.
Shrouded - same. 
Skilled Rider - same. 
Skyfire - same. 
Slow and Purposeful - same.
Smash - similar but now just a single double strength attack instead of halved.
Sniper - shots are no longer Rending but instead are AP2 on a 6 and just S4 against vehicles. Still wound on a 4+ though. Pinning has gone from these weapons too.
Soul blaze - same but random allocation of the wounds now
Specialist Weapon - same.
Split Fire - no longer requires a Leadership test and clarifies that you can't kill a vehicle then shoot the occupants.
Stealth - same.
Strafing Run - another thing that's no longer Pinning.
Strikedown - no effect on Initiative anymore and MCs are no longer immune.
Supersonic - same but doesn't technically stop Hover anymore. Mind you, I can't think of a flyer that has both rules anyway.
Swarms - if there's two models an equal distance away you must take wounds off an already wounded model (mostly useful in assaults). Significantly though template weapons and blasts still cause double wounds but this can't be combined with Instant Death from doubling out Toughness. I can't see anything anywhere that stops these scoring now so perhaps Ripper Swarms are useful now?
Tank Hunters - same.
Template Weapons - mostly the same but crucially you can now hit the occupants of buildings via fire points and models inside Open Topped transports. Both suffer D6 randomly allocated hits. That's pretty devastating to Orks and Dark Eldar especially for things with Torrent too as they'll be difficult to avoid.
Torrent - same.
Twin Linked - same. 
Two Handed - same.
Unwieldy - clarified that a model piles in at I1 not it's base Initiative.
Vector Dancer - same.
Vector Strike - now only inflicts a single hit against ground targets. Against flyers/FMCs it's D3 hits (previously D3+1). In either case hits are now AP3 (previously AP3) and still Ignores Cover. That's still pretty good (if not slightly better) against flyers and FMCs but clearly worse against ground targets. 
Vortex - added from Apocalypse but clarifies that always scatters in subsequent turns (using the arrow on the Hit result where necessary).
Zealot - spelled out but basically the same i.e. Fearless and Hatred.

Some interesting changes here then. On the one hand there's a lot of rules that are simply the same or have had minor clarifications. Otherwise there's some pretty significant changes to these rules. One of the most surprising things is the loss of Pinning from several weapon types e.g. Sniper, Barrage and Strafing Run. Combine that with the removal of Leadership tests for Split Fire and Counter Attack and you're saving yourself a few dice rolls and streamlining games a little.

It feels like a lot of these changes have simplified things by removing stuff that players forgot anyway. I certainly feel like it'll be easier to remember all this stuff. I'm not sure how I feel about some of the changes though. I'm pleased ASTKNF lost the extra 3" as that was just stupid but I'm not overly happy about templates hitting occupants of open topped vehicles, even if it does make sense from a realism standpoint.

My initial feeling is that Land Raiders and indeed a lot of high AV vehicles will be more useful now. For starters they're harder to single shot since even a melta needs a 5+. A lot of armies rely on spamming S6/7 too which is obviously useless. Add to that the single Smash attack and they're looking a lot more durable. Of course, Wraithknights/Dreadknights are S10 anyway and lances are still a problem but just a thought.

Stay tuned for further analysis of the new rulebook with Psychic Powers, Warlord Traits, Maelstrom of War Missions and plenty more still to talk about. I hope people are finding these posts useful. I am at least!


  1. Hi mate,

    Nice summary, several things in there I missed such as the sniper and barrage changes.

    As for infiltrate and outflank with special characters, I don't know what the debate is but suspect it's to do with the 'one model in the unit' part conferring upon the whole unit right? My 2p is that the independent character rules override this when they talk about special rules not being conferred from a unit to an IC unless explicitly stated. I see the problem, as in the infiltrate rule suggests it would apply but isn't explicit or specific wrt SCs. Tricky one.

  2. Come to mention it, it would make a ridiculous amount of sense for the Nephilim to retain missile lock now for the rerolls to hit (small mercy but still) like you say. Maybe the FAQ will be amended?

    Also, the implications of barrage and sniper losing pinning are pretty huge. Sniper scouts will be less useful by far and the Astra Militarum will have several weapons in its arsenal dealt a blow - mortars, stormshards and the earthshaker spring to mind. An error perhaps?

  3. I don't think the template hitting embarked troops in open-top will be "devestating". Orks are T4, and both Ork and DE transports are fast vehicles. Unless there is a Drop Pod or Helldrake running around, you should be able to stay away from templates for the most part. My question is "Do DE embarked units benefit from Flickerfield against the template attack?"

  4. rampage is just a single d3 now... missed the pinning loss to barrage strafing run

  5. Not sure why there's that much debate - the IC seems quite specific for Infiltrate (as in, cannot receive it from a unit with Infiltration since it can't join those units in the first place).

    Outside of that, the wording for Stubborn (their example of a USR that will be conferred) is exactly the same for Infiltration/Scout/Outflank isn't it?

    i.e. - an IC could gain Scout and Outflank by joining a unit with the Scout USR, OR they could give it to the unit because 'at least one model in the unit' has the special rule. Heck, the IC could confer Infiltrate to the unit (but not the other way around, because that's what the IC special rule specifically denies).

    Just how I see it, I suppose.


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