The Seraphon battletome has come and had time to sit and stew for a bit. Rather unfortunately, we did not get to see how it plays out at Adepticon, which it narrowly made the release window for in order to be the first major tournament that the book would appear in. COVID-19 forced the event to cancel, and most major events going forward, so it may be some time before we see how it really plays out on the table. That said, people seemed generally receptive to the book and there weren’t too many complaints that I could see.
As is usual though, mistakes happen and a few rules just aren’t terribly clear when first written out so the Errata and FAQ is here. There’s a fair amount here considering we haven’t watched it demolish tables like Disciples of Tzeentch was doing (once again though, not as if it had many tables to demolish on) so let’s take a poke at the more interesting aspects.
For those who’d like to read from home, links:
Most of it is just a rules clarification, such as specifying that the Dracothion’s Tail lets you set units off to the side before battle but a few things do stick out.
- Fangs of Sotek parting shot can now only be used in response to a charge, rather than whenever you want. Tangentially related, in the designer’s commentary it’s clarified it can only be used by Skinks and Chameleon Skinks and not just any unit with the Skinks keyword. OK I said skinks enough.
- Ripperdacytl Chiefs have a command ability to add +1 attack to a Ripperdactyl unit. They failed to specify you can only use it once per turn, but this has been corrected.
- Stegadons and Engine of the Gods got some clarifications on what counts as a rider and what is a mount. Mostly for rules purposes.
- The “Bound” version of Whirlwind Vortex forgot to include the disclaimer that a wizard needs to have 9 or fewer wounds like the normal version.
That’s really about it. The stuff that’ll really get people talking is in the designer’s commentary.
Bastiladons and the-Holy Hell It Has a Save of What?
When the book first came out Bastiladons had a previously unseen trait, a score of 1+ on its armor save when at full health. This caused a surprising amount of confusion, because according to the rules a modified roll of 1 is always a failure, no matter what modifiers you have in play. This didn’t seem to be terribly clear though so GW saw it fit to correct it.
An unmodified save roll of a 1 always fails. When a save roll is modified by the Rend characteristic of an attack, it can never be modified to less than 1. When a model has a Save characteristic of 1+, modified save rolls of 1 are successfully saved. This means, while the Bastiladon has a Save characteristic of 1+, only unmodified save rolls of 1 will inflict damage regardless of the Rend characteristic of the weapon used for the attack.
OK that…might not still be clear. So a natural 1 is always a failure, that remains true. The key part here is the clarification that you can never reduce a modified roll below 1. What this effectively means is rend is meaningless when trying to hit this thing at full health. Your opponent either needs to roll a 1 or you hit it with mortal wounds. This makes it pretty damn tanky so you better have those mortal wounds ready.
Mr. Kroak’s Endless Spell Emporium
The Seraphon FAQ introduced “Bound” Endless spells which are identical copies of the malign sorcery ones, but control cannot be wrested away from you, making them objectively better. A couple questions related to it pop up in the Emporium.
First, they clarify if you want to take a non-bound version of an Endless spell, you can do that. As if anticipating why you’d ask this question (because there’s no other reason you’d do this), the very next question is if you can include 2 spells, a bound and non bound version and the answer is no. So you can’t include two purple suns of Shyish. Sorry!
Finally, some minor things. Clarifying that you can cast endless spells from within a garrison (which was never really confirmed or denied before) and if fighting Ossiarch Bonereapers, another army with its own special endless spells rules, you roll off to see who moves first.
An odd quirk noticed early on about the Seraphon terrain piece was that it is a garrison. Since by the game rules you need to set up unique army terrain before setting up other terrain features (and by extension, before knowing what your deployment zones will be) it’s possible to set it up in enemy’s territory unknowingly, and they can set up shop inside too. The warscroll doesn’t say it’s a garrison just for Seraphon units after all. GW has clarified this is working as intended, which will probably generate the most salt of the whole FAQ. I’d say just be careful with it.
Odds and Ends
The last few things don’t really fall under other categories, they’re just good to know moving forward.
- Coalesced’s Scaly Skin does not reduce damage from mortal wounds. This makes sense since mortal wounds are counted as seperate wounds, even when one takes multiple from one attack.
- A Starborne Oracle or Slann can only summon once per turn.
Final Hot Take
The end result is kinda…eh? There’s not too much here that’s going to shake the foundations of the game, since this wasn’t exactly Disciples of Tzeentch. Without any major events to compare how it compares at the tourney level. Much of what was included here felt like confirmation of what players already knew. Bastiladons come out of this looking good, where as the Realmshaper Engine might be cause for concern but it probably won’t stop people from taking it either, it is free after all. In the mean time, keep painting, stay safe and stay indoors.
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