Earlier this evening Games Workshop stealth-dropped another set of FAQs on us, putting up the FAQs for the four Imperial Armour Indexes, which cover Forge World models for every faction. These are important documents that cover a ton of units, so we’ve put in the time to pore over the new docs and summarize what’s going on with them, what’s changed, and how it affects your games of 40k in 9th edition.
If you missed our review of the non-Forge World books, i.e. all the Codexes and Campaign books, you can find that here.
Alright let’s dig in.
As with the other FAQs, there were a few common themes in these books that can be covered in one sectionl
- Abilities that allow vehicles to move and fire heavy weapons without a penalty were deleted. These obviously no longer matter with 9th edition’s Big Guns Never Tire rule, so abilities like Power of the Machine Spirit and Terminal Targeting were removed.
- Wording referring to being within 1″ of an enemy unit was changed to Engagement Range. This happened across every book and in some cases was the only notable change to a rule or text.
- Many Titanic walkers gained the ability to walk over other units and can Fall Back and charge in the same turn. Similar to what we saw in the FAQs for Chaos Knights and Imperial Knights, many Titanic or Super-heavy walking vehicles gained rules that allow them to walk over non-VEHICLE, non-MONSTER units when making a Normal Move, Advancing, or Falling Back, and can move within Engagement Range as long as they finish outside of Engagement Range. They also gained the ability to fall back and charge same turn. Reminder that in the 9th edition core rules, all TITANIC units can Fall Back and shoot.
- Blast Weapons were added for Forge World Weapons. Each FAQ has an appendix that lists which of the faction’s weapons are Blast.
- Aircraft Designations. Likewise, the appendices have a list of Aircraft units for each faction.
Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes
There were only a few changes to the Adeptus Astartes Index units, with the most notable being to super-heavy tanks.
- The Steel Behemoth rule on the Spartan, Cerberus, Typhon, Fellblade, Falchion and Mastodon was changed. These models can shoot out of combat as though enemies weren’t in Engagement Range.
- The Inquisition Land Raider Prometheus now refers to the Psychic Awakening: Pariah ability for Quarry.
- The Sororitas Repressor has updated wording referring to Engagement Range.
- Notable Blast Weapons include (but are not limited to): the Dreadnought Inferno Cannon, the Grav-Flux Bombard (Leviathan Dreadnought), Helios Launcher, Hyperios Launcher, Quad Launcher – Thunderfire shells, Scorpius missile launcher, and the Vengeance launcher.
The Scorpius gaining blast is a significant improvement, and being able to fire twice gives it a stupid amount of firepower that really discourages larger squads of power-armored infantry. The Grav-flux bombard getting upgraded to blast doesn’t do a ton for it but it likelise is really nasty against large units of power-armor models.
Index: Forces of the Astra Militarum
Most of this section deals with Astra Militarum tanks, though there are some notes on titans as well.
- Grinding Advance gets an update on tanks in the index, changing the wording to refer to tanks that Remain Stationary or move under half speed in the Movement phase, and specifies which weapons are turret weapons with respect to firing twice.
- The Steel Behemoth rule on the many tanks was changed. These models can shoot out of combat as though enemies weren’t in Engagement Range.
- Elysian sniper rifles have been changed to allow the firing unit to ignore the Look Out, Sir rule.
- Knights and Titans have been updated with movement rules similar to those of Imperial Knights and Chaos Knights. They can charge after falling back, and can walk over non-VEHICLE, non-MONSTER units when making a Normal Move, Advancing, or Falling Back, and can move within Engagement Range as long as they finish outside of Engagement Range.
- Blast weapons listed – too many to list here, so check the list for specifics.
Index: Forces of Chaos
The Chaos changes are primarily to big units and deal with the new rules around making Fall Back moves and moving over other models.
- The Kytan Ravager got a major buff thanks to the change in wording on its Titanic Daemon Engine ability. It can (still) declare a charge even if it Makes a Fall Back move and now it has gained the same ability as Knights when moving in that it can make a Normal Move, Advance, or Fall Back over enemy units that aren’t VEHICLES or MONSTERS, including moving within Engagement Range as long as it ends outside of that range. The Kytan previously lacked the ability to walk over enemy units in any phase so this is a welcome addition. Note that it also loses its rule to fire while within 1″ of INFANTRY but has gained the Big Guns Never Tire rule to fire at units it is in combat with regardless of their keywords, which makes for an acceptable trade-off.
- The Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne gained the ability to Charge in a turn after Falling Back and retains its ability to shoot out of combat, but loses the INFANTRY requirement – now a Greater Brass Scorpion that has enemy units within Engagement Range can opt to shoot enemy units that are not within Engagement Range as if it wasn’t in Engagement Range of enemy units, so it doesn’t incur penalties either. Another good buff.
- The Steel Behemoth rule on the Hellforged Spartan, Cerberus, Typhon, Fellblade, Falchion and Mastodon was changed. These models can shoot out of combat as though enemies weren’t in Engagement Range.
- The Renegade Knights got the same ability as the other Chaos Knights for moving over enemy units.
- The Chaos Titans also get the same ability to walk over enemy units.
- Notable blast weapons (not an exhaustive list): Balefire missiles (Fire Raptor), The Grav-Flux Bombard (Hellforged Leviathan), Greater Havoc Launcher (Hellforged Deredeo), Scorpius Multi-launcher.
Same deal as above – the Scorpius is a big winner here owing to its ability to fire twice and the new blast rule. It took a minor increase in the new points, and is still worth consideration. The Grav-flux bombard getting upgraded to blast doesn’t do a ton for it but it likelise is really nasty against large units of power-armor models.
Index: Forces of Xenos
This section covers a bunch of factions.
Eldar mostly get a 9th edition rules updates to ensure the old rules work within the new system, specifically:
- Updates the Nightwing, Phoenix, Vampire Hunter, and Vampire Raider to give AIRCRAFT.
- Clarifies the Skathach Wraithknight’s Webway Shunt ability to the new Engagement Range ruleset
- Updates the TITANIC units to be able to move, Fall Back (and still charge), move over other models excluding Monsters and Vehicles
- Gives BLAST to the Twin Vampire Pulsar (Vampire Hunter), Twin Scorpion Pulsar (Scorpion), Pulsar and Cloudburst Missile Launcher (Revenant), Dire Pulsar and Voidstorm Missile Launcher (Phantom), Lynx Pulsar (Lynx), D-Impaler (Cobra), D-Flail (Warp Hunter)
Necrons don’t see major updates. Gauss Pylons now refer to Engagement Range and their weapons are Blast in both modes, which is a neat improvement.
Tyranids get some minor changes. The Barbed Heirodule, Scythed Heirodule, and Heirophant can fall back and charge and move over non-VEHICLE, non-MONSTER units like knights can. The Harridan gets a similar ability.
Orks have a lot of units to cover, but again this is mostly bringing wording in line with 9th edition. Several Open-Topped vehicles now specify that the models embarked on them cannot shoot if they Fall Back, such as Big Trakk.
T’au arguably have the most going on here, in part because of the amount of work that has to go into updating For the Greater Good.
- Speaking of which, For the Greater Good has been updated here as well, basically giving T’au the ability to fire Overwatch free and the ability to do so against units the declare a charge against a friendly unit within 6″. It’s real good as a faction ability.
- Saviour Protocols remain unchanged. Get mad, stay mad.
- The Ta’unar can now walk over non-VEHICLE, non-MONSTER units similar to knights and other titans. The FLY specification has been removed but the list is more restrictive.
- Shas’o R’alai gains the Photon Casters ability, which reduces the charge roll on incoming charges by 2″.
- Notable Blast Weapons – the Ion Cannon, Tri-Axis Ion Cannon – Coherent Beam firing mode, the Ionic discharge cannon, and Long-barreled ion cannon.
That pretty much wraps things up here. There’s a lot content-wise, but not a lot of meaningful changes, so if you were hoping for balance adjustments, we’re probably going to have to wait for the new indexes that were promised. We’re also still waiting on FAQ updates to the recent Psychic Awakening books – Saga of the Beast, Engine War, War of the Spider, and Pariah, so stay tuned for those as well, when we’ll be writing them up. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you’re a patron, head over to our Discord and talk to us there.