Yesterday, we finally got the long awaited Battlescroll for October. While that had most of the really big stuff, there were an absolute slew of changes in other errata that made some much needed tweaks to the other books.
Setting expectations early, a lot of these are FAQs and not nearly as exciting, but they do answer some tough questions. Some of the errata mentioned are redundant with the battlescroll, so we’ll skip over those.
Bulk of the changes here, and probably the most significant. The most important is going to surround the use of spells. The Arcane Tome artefact has gained some (not undue) criticism for being too good. It’s not going away, but GW has ruled it doesn’t grant an extra unbind on characters who can already unbind but aren’t wizards (i.e. a Runepriest). While maybe not neccesarily a logical ruling, easily the most fair.
The second half about casting is extremely verbose, and you’re better off going to read it yourself. They all help answer the question “When exactly do negate spell effects kick in?” because while seeming intuitive, its not exactly clear when spells count as “taking effect”. The major points it hits are:
- Endless Spells affect targets after they’re done moving (whether that be from moving over a unit or ending within range of it).
- Targeted spells are checked when the target is selected.
- Auras are checked when a unit ends within the range of the aura but it didnt before (i.e. the Purple Sun moved closer to the model).
- If multiple of the above effects could kick in, like the Purple Sun’s targeted insta death and its -1 to save Aura, you check for each of them.
These are largely intuitive and might seem nitpicky, but very good rulings for more advanced edge cases, that happen surprising more than you’d think.
Next, my least favorite ruleset in the game: Garrisons. Garrisons count as removing a unit from the field for all intents and purposes…except where it doesn’t, and this added 3 more exceptions. They can score battle tactics and grand strats, can generate command points and can be targeted by abilities that require them to be seen. These rules need a serious rewrite.
Probably one of the most important rules change is fighting twice. Against the rules, a single exception now exists: you can only fight twice per phase and that’s it. It’s also fair, sometimes you just need to keep it from spiraling out of control. On the plus side, attacks that let you fight immediately override fight last, which is good news for OBR, Fyreslayers and Soulblight players.
Finally some nice odds and ends. Normal moves, retreats and runs are clarified to only being possible when at the right distance (outside, inside and outside 3″ respectively) and invocations are like endless spell, cannot be summoned the same turn it was removed. An interesting point that was asked is that you cannot nominate a unit to shoot if it doesn’t have a shooting attack. The reason for this apparently a clever idea that one could nominate the Krondspine to “shoot”, and give it all out attack so it affects all your actual shooting units. Clever, but no. Finally, attacks out of turn (like fight on death) include a pile-in which was implied but not very clear.
Overall very good changes. Can’t complain.
Wrath of the Everchosen
Short version is that the Tzeentch subfactions have been eliminated, just like Nurgle before it. Slaves to Darkness, Khorne and Slaanesh are still valid, but will likely also disappear as their books come out.
Grand Alliance: Death
Going to break out of order a bit for this one, because the death errata all repeats a few key points that come down to using Nagash in those armies.
In short, Nagash’s ability to restore one additional model for abilities that bring back models isn’t the most clear. So in short this is what happens:
- You can use his ability to restore one additional model for abilities where you roll dice for each mode (like rally) but you cannot reroll those dice.
- Even if the ability fails to bring anything back (i.e. you roll all 5 or less on rally) you still can bring back 1. 0+1 is still 1.
- If an ability lets you heal or bring back models and you choose to heal, the ability doesn’t work.
All sensible rulings of the ability, no complaints here. Now bring Nagash’s price down that is insane.
Beasts of Chaos
Tzaangor datasheets were all ripped out of the new Tzeentch tome and plopped here, which is very handy. Especially with the new Tzaangor Skyfires being extremely good.
Finally, slight rewrite of Devolve, the Great Bray-Shaman spell. It said you must move the targeted unit 2D6″, and the designers just added “if possible”, so it cant break any rules to move.
Combined with the battlescroll changes, GW made the smart move to just make a light touch, lest the faction become bad again. The faction isn’t oppressively strong, it just wins a bit too much so they likely wanted to avoid too strong of a hand on it. Good call.
Blades of Khorne
Only two points of order, both involving the blood tithes. First is that you do have to spend blood tithes to get the bonuses. An odd question but likely tied up in some unclear wording. The level 2 Blood Tithe Reward, Spelleater curse is confirmed to only work once per turn which does stop you from trolling your Lumineth friends.
Cities of Sigmar
Only one change, aimed at Hallowheart. In essence, the wording of the 2.0 tome was not great, since it was written before generic enhancements existed. So based on the wording they could get 3 spells, one unique and 2 from the Lore of Whitefire. This rewrites it so you only get 2 spells if you pick both from the Whitefire lore.
Disciples of Tzeentch
First time for the new tome! Lot of legitimate questions here. For summoning, Lord of Change means the Lord of Change. Not Kairos or an Exalted Lord of Change (even though they have the keyword).
Modifying dice rolls can cause some confusion so some clarification around that. If you use 2 Destiny Dice to roll for the Lord of Change, you cant change one to match the other (as they cant be modified) with Mastery of Magic.
A vexing ruling that has existed for a while is when Tzeentch cast new spells “if its possible for them to do so”. They clarify, rather nicely, that if a spell requires a specific keyword they don’t have or has a specific table they must have that isn’t on their warscroll then it’s a no go. This is an excellent thing to finally clarify as it’s not been 100% on what it means in the past.
Some other side things are that Legions of Chaos does not work with Tzeentch units, and requires a Mark of Chaos and that Burning Sigil only creates one spawn for each unit that it kills models in, instead of one for each model. Just in case that was not clear.
Only one word in one spell, Spectral Host. It now says it can affect 3 different units with fly or run and charge instead of 3 units. Not sure who was asking this one.
Zarbag’s spell only got a minor textual change, as it does not need to say “a normal move and retreat” and just says “retreat”. Yawn, moving on.
Flood Tide lets you shoot or charge if they ran, but not both. Fair question, as most abilities don’t have an or, but this one does.
Are Kharadrons still being a pain in the ass with their rules? Yep. Hot on the heels of the garrison rules we get yet more. Kharadron Overlords don’t get to escape Unleash Hell by charging in a boat and they don’t get to cap objectives inside a boat. Boots on the Ground also changes slightly to clarify “on the field” means “not garrisoned”. Brutal, but definitely intended behavior.
Only other change is that you cant use the Collector Command Trait to dodge your mandatory artefact. This is only temporary anyway, much as it sucks.
A really anemic release for a new tome. Some rules clarifications around stacking movement abilities, Teclis can never gain or lose a number of spellcasts once you choose how many spells he casts through Archmage (nor can he ever reroll dice) and you can move through the terrain piece as long as it’s not garrisoned.
What’s more interesting is what isn’t there. There is no correction that Teclis should know all the spells, so I guess for now that’s how he’s stuck.
Maggotkin of Nurgle
Not much here, your opponents can heal disease points even if a unit is uninjured. All the important stuff was in the Battlescroll.
Mymourn Banshees spell-eaters ability has caused some headaches because it works unlike most unbind abilities. In short it allows you to intercept a spell that is targetting a nearby unit, even if an unbinding has been attempted. The rules clarification say it must target a nearby unit, that means no auras, and if it hits multiple units you only get one shot to eat it. On the plus side, if it eats an endless spell, that happens before the spell’s abilities work.
Krulghast’s wording to cause -1 to damage was not written clearly to state it didn’t apply multiple times. It now says it does, which may mean people running multiples of this model may elect not to do that, but it’s still too good to drop entirely. Similarly, some bad wording from Spirit Hosts implied it was possible that if a spirit host was within 3″ of a hero, you could relay that wound to any spirit host at any distance. So, no, naturally you can’t do this.
Solid fixes here that are clearly tied up in just some bad wording rather than accidental design mistakes.
Again, all the good stuff was in the Battlescroll. Only thing of note was that you can’t use Tireless Trackers on the same unit twice. The wording seems to have been clear on what “half” meant but in case you were in doubt.
Two rulings. The first is pretty fringe. Protection of Nagash grants a teleport if the caster is hit, but if in some odd situation they cannot be brought in it now clarifies the spell is unbound. This likely wouldn’t have affected anything, as any situation where they cant be set up would destroy them.
The other is about the Gothizzar Harvester. The healing ability of the harvester has been difficult to determine when it actually procs, because the order of operations for combat changed so much in 3rd. All damage is allocated before models are removed from play, but the wording said “when slain”. The wording now says “when removed from play” which is much clearer.
Just some odds and ends. Stormfiends are odd units in their equipment loadouts (come in units of 3, each model equipped differently), and the wording made it hard to tell if you could equip certain loadouts that normally would occupy the same “slot”. You can now equip both Shock Gauntlets and Doomflayer Gauntlets on two different rats in a reinforced unit if you really want to.
Always Three Claw Steps ahead was changed to be an unmodified roll, so you cannot add bonuses onto the roll if you replace it, and finally while the Gnawbomb may copy a Gnawhole it doesn’t become impassable like those do.
Minor clarifications, but fine and understandable.
A change to how Spectral Grasp is written, that didn’t make it terribly clear before when its effect actually took place. In short, it halves movement characteristics when attempting a normal move starting within 3″ of terrain. If the unit doesn’t make a normal move, it won’t affect them.
Two actually good questions here. The first is regarding the Lord-Imperatant, asking if he can set up a unit within 7″ using Scions of the Storm if he too just came in by Scions of the Storm. A fair question, since Guided by Lightning procs at the end of the Movement phase, but he also only came in at the end as well. Well the good news is its kosher! So feel free to put him off to the side before bringing stuff in.
The other asks if Holy Commands can be used by unique characters. Unique characters don’t generally get enhancements unless otherwise stated, so its fair to ask this. They’re not actually receiving the command, just using it, so its also ok.
Some final clarifications on more technical pieces of the rules for a very technical army. Keepers of the Arcane which lets you roll 3D6 for casting and drop the lowest can reroll all 3 dice when rerolls are used, which is pretty powerful.
Strike and Fade now states clearly the order of operations that any proc on death abilities (like Blaze of Glory) fire before teleporting, so you don’t get to escape those. Harsh but fair.
You cannot cast endless spells through Spellsinger which is also harsh but fair.
Finally, both dragonfly units clarify that the healing at end of phase is for enemies killed in in that phase rather than like, ever.
Overall I’m more impressed by the changes than I thought. Combined with the Battlescroll, there are several smart and well-considered changes that target the armies that needed the most help. The rest are likely waiting on a new book or had a new book come out that will need some time to see how it impacts. I’m very excited to see where this balance goes because I think it’s largely going to be a positive change for the game overall.