December Horus Heresy FAQs – the Goonhammer Hot Take

Slightly out of the (very cold) blue, we have a new round of Errata, Fixes and FAQs for the Horus Heresy. Four available books got at least some changes, and in some cases quite major changes that could shake up the game, especially at the standard 3,000 point mark. The Mechanicus book has no changes from the September FAQ. Let’s dive in.

Age of Darkness Core Book

The core book got five changes and five new FAQ answers. Most of these are pretty simple fixes – surge moves don’t work if there’s no charge target anymore, battlesmith only works on one tank/dread/thing a turn and emergency disembarkation after an explosion now just works simply.

Bigger changes come in the Return Fire rules. After months of ambiguity, this is now very clear and very obviously how it should have been from the beginning. When returning fire, the active unit shoots, wounds, makes kills – but models are not removed until the reacting player returns fire, when that is resolved you do all the morale and pinning tests as usual. Simple – no more being pinned before you actually fire, no weird side cases about rendering a unit unable to shoot, just return fire as it should have been. Players without Nemesis-bolter armed squads rejoice!

The other change that should never have had to be made is shrouding, which now works on vehicles and Primarchs regardless of fearless, both explicitly called out in the rules. Corax now gets his actual rules and can use Shrouding, which is nice, but several months to issue these extremely obvious changes is pretty poor.

Liber Astartes and Liber Hereticus

The FAQ questions clear up some outstanding issues. First off, Dreadnought close combat weapons now categorically do not double stack when taking two, so everyone with a two-fist contemptor just lost an attack. They still remain ridiculous killing machines though, so don’t worry too much. 

Sabre Strike tanks now get the right number of missiles as well, should you want to buy four of them for maximum fast tank side-armour sniping shenanigans.

Blood Angels Primarch Sanguinius
Blood Angels Primarch Sanguinius. Credit: Jack Hunter

Primarch points values are the other big change – your Lord of War points allocation now includes the Primarch, the retinue AND the dedicated transport. This is really going to change how some armies are constructed at 3-4,000 points as you’re essentially unable to fit in a retinue squad with a primarch and stay under the points allowance for it. While some Primarchs can simply take the same squad as an elites choice – Guilliman still gets Suzerains, albeit without the banner, you just point-buy them from your normal allocation, the Lion just lost easy access to Companions. Over on the Traitor side, Perty with Forgebreaker and 3 Iron Circle as a retinue costs 880 points, so you’re playing up at 4k at least. At least with the Iron Circle you can get them separately – the Lion is just screwed.

There is of course, a caveat to that, you can still take that retinue with a Praetor or Delegatus Consul, so what this change really does – if you desperately want that Deathstar at 3,000 points – is just force you to pay an additional Consul tax to do it. 

Individual Legion changes are very much a cleaning up effort – Blood Angels Coriolis shields work when in the majority, which simplifies that interaction a lot, Alpharius’ scales are cleared up with regards to fleshbane and poisoned, and Medusan Immortals get breacher charges. So far so simple!

Thousand Sons Rubricae Fire Team Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Thousand Sons rules are also tidied, and here – depending on how your local group has been playing – this might be a bigger change. Cult of Arcana rules clarified as psykers who do not get to pick an additional discipline via other means, so no doubling up for many of the affected units. This could rein in some of the weirder ways we’ve seen the Cult rules interpreted on the internet.

Liber Imperialis

Lots here that has changed to effectively correct some proof-reading mistakes from the original release and clean up some odd omissions.

The Clade Vanus now has the Panopoly of the Assassin and has lost Independent character, making them playable to the extent that the rules allow. A similar “playable, finally” rule change has given fearless and firing protocols (2) to the Tarantula sentry guns. Other changes around the Liber serve to give us rules for FW resin options,

Solar Auxilia tanks have changed their lascannon options – the hordes of leman russes that have been completely dominating the meta and crushing all opposition (?????) have had their two gravis lascannons replaced with one. It makes sense, model-wise, but I’ll be honest, it just feels pretty sad. 

Callidus Assassin
Callidus Assassin. Credits: That Gobbo

The big one is just a sensible change – Polymorphine no longer allows you to be completely invulnerable and untargetable even if you’ve been in combat. The change is now that a Callidus may not be targeted until they have “made an attack of any kind”. This is not going to prevent the magical, untargetable Callidus sitting on an objective because you can’t come within 1” of them, but at the very least, they’ll not be able to jump into combat and remain immune.

It’s a sensible change but it doesn’t address the problem that the Callidus presents – that for 125 points a loyalist player, if they’re feeling particularly bastardly – can put an unapproachable, untargetable model down on the field and prevent any interaction. Putting a Callidus on an objective as a denial unit and leaving them there is still 100% doable. We need a better interaction for the Callidus and a different method of showing polymorphine on the table – whatever it could be, it isn’t this. 


More or less what we’ve expected really – most of the major rules omissions and strange interactions from the core books are now resolved, which is good. Some of these should probably have been included in the core book had it been proofread a little better. It’s nice to get Return Fire resolved once and for all, at least!