It’s been a few weeks since Ossiarch Bonereapers and Soulblight Gravelords hit and so here comes the ensuing FAQs. There have been a few…issues with both books. Overlooked exploits that needed some tooling. So these are a welcome sight. Let’s take a look at what changed.
A fair amount of changes here, actually. First the Pack Alpha Heroic Action was changed to Summonable Deadwalkers. This exists entirely to stop the (technically, arguably legal) ability to summon D3 additional corpse carts.
Nefereta took a real nerf, on two abilities. First was her Mortarch of Blood ability, which let her teleport herself and 3 other units to another place within their territory. The problem was that it did not clarify about the usual restrictions to deployment (most missions require you to stay outside of 9″ of your opponent’s deployment) so no more Blood Knights touching the front lines. Her Dark Mist spell now also ignores all modifiers to save on a unit making it a lot more situational than before.
Additionally, there were changes to two units. First, Blood Knights Riders of Ruin ability didn’t clarify what “moving over a unit” meant, and many took it to mean pile-ins. According to the change, while they can pile-in over a unit, it won’t deal Mortal Wounds, as now only Normal Moves, Runs and Charges do that. So no double dipping! In addition, one of the big problems with the Gravewalker Zombies got patched out. The Newly Dead no longer allows you to daisy chain new zombies in to tag a unit into combat. If you want to spawn new ones within 3″ of a unit, you need to already be in combat with them.
Other than the pretty typical rules clarifications that only Ossiarch Bonereapers can issue Ossiarch Commands, and that the Harvester/Crawler is supposed to be single, only two changes here are notable and boy they are big ones. First, would you believe that Petrifix Elite was changed yet again? Thankfully, it’s not a bad change! Instead of -1 Damage it is -1 to Wound against Hekatos units and Gothizzar Harvesters. This is still really good, and depending on the match up, better than -1 Damage.
-1 Damage is great but situational, against Damage 1 attacks it does nothing. Against Damage 2 attacks it literally halves the damage, after that the return becomes less important. -1 to wound is always useful, especially since +1 to wound buffs to counteract can be hard to come by. As for why the change, it’s a bit confusing since Seraphon still kept their’s, they were pretty quick to fire off this change. This likely was planned pre-launch and held off until the FAQ was organized.
Speaking of Harvester, they absolutely went to town on this thing. The recursion mechanic has changed in a major way. Instead of being proc’d when a model dies, it only works at the end of the Combat Phase. You now pick a unit that lost models, and roll for each lost model (still a 4+) and heal a number of wounds depending on the wound characteristic of the model (again, unchanged. 1 wound for 1-4 wounds, 3 wounds for 5+) or restore a number of models with wound characteristics equal to lost amount. This is absolutely brutal to its utility.
Since each model revive now relies entirely on deaths within their own unit, it is now basically worthless for anything that isn’t a Mortek Guard, and it really was struggling to find a place beyond that to start out with. You can’t even use the death of a big creature somewhere else to fuel your Mortek Guard engine. I assume the change was that it was a feels bad moment when the Mortek Guard just kept coming back, but in their current form Mortek Guard simply arent durable to withstand that kind of attack without a lot of help. Ultimately it’ll likely result in people just not taking Mortek Guard anymore.
Overall, important changes. The Gravewalker Zombies and the Harvester in particular needed some work, even if I may have some reservations about how they tackled the harvester (my personal bias for OBR not withstanding). There’s a lot of murmurs about the game becoming too lethal with the new books, so it’s understandable they needed to clamp down on this sooner or later. It’s not too long before the next GHB and another point balance, either.