Ruleshamer 2020-01-13: Answer Updates!

This week I’ve gone through the Ruleshammer Compendium and picked out some questions that needed updates post the January FAQs. You can expect to see these updates and others on through the Ruleshammer articles over the next few days!

Tau – Mont’ka and Falling Back

Frustratingly this isn’t 100% resolved yet.

Mont’ka: In a turn in which a <Sept> Commander unit from your army declared Mont’ka, at the start of your Movement phase you can select any friendly <Sept> units within 6″ of that unit. Until the end of that turn, the selected units can shoot as if they did not move this turn.

On the face of it my original issues are gone. The rule clearly no longer requires a unit to advance to make use of the benefit provided. However FAQs unrelated to this rule still exist that contradict using this rule not only to Fall Back and shoot, but also to even use it Advance and shoot.

SYMBIOTIC DEVASTATION Use this Stratagem at the start of your Shooting phase. Select one EXOCRINE unit from your army; until the end of that phase, that unit is treated as not having moved in your Movement phase. [Blood of Baal Pg72]

This stratagem has similar if not entirely identical wording however the FAQ for it in Blood of Baal remains valid despite it used 8th edition wording.

Q: If an Exocrine model is affected by the Symbiotic Devastation Stratagem in the same turn that it Advanced, can it then shoot that turn? A: No, because it has still Advanced that turn. [Blood of Baal FAQ pg1] 

The issue is if this FAQ is considered valid then Montka only allows for units to ignore the heavy penalty, which is next to useless for Tau because the only heavy weapon carried by a model affected by that penalty is the Markerlight. Every other heavy weapon in the army is carried by a model that isn’t affected by that rule (Broadsides whilst not Vehicles also aren’t Infantry). Personally I think that the move types are an exclusive list;

…either make a Normal Move, it can Advance, or it can Remain Stationary (see right). If a unit is within Engagement Range (pg 4) of any enemy models when it is selected to move, it cannot make a Normal Move or Advance; it can either Remain Stationary or it can Fall Back (see right)

and if you “did not move” then you didn’t make a Normal, Advance or Fall Back move. So Rules As Written it would allow for both Advance without penalty and Fall Back and shoot. Once per game. I won’t actually suggest players use it for this though until the Tyranid FAQs are addressed by GW. I really can’t the idea that this abilitiy is intended to only allow pathfinders to move and fire markerlights without penalty once per game seriously, which a small minority are trying claim is obviously all GW meant to allow.


Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

FAQs on Remain Stationary/Did Not Move indicate it would otherwise allow for this

The similar ability for Space Marines Salamanders was FAQed a few months ago. The Relentless Determination stratagem now has this wording;

Use this Stratagem at the end of your Movement phase. Select one SALAMANDERS unit from your army that did not Advance or Fall Back that phase. Until the start of your next Movement phase, that unit is treated as having remained stationary during its Movement phase for all rules purposes (such as firing Heavy weapons)…

Adding the “or Fall Back” to this Stratagem resolved an issue where counting as if it remained stationary arguably allowed the unit to shoot after falling back. This is now resolved because units that Fall Back are no longer a valid target of the stratagem.

And also the lastest rare rule, potentially included to premptively address an issue with the new Death Guard always count as Remain Stationary ability.

Transports and Rules that Count as Remaining Stationary Some rules allow a model to count as having Remained Stationary, even if that model has moved during its Movement phase. Even if a Transport model is subject to such a rule, embarked models still cannot disembark from that Transport model during the Movement phase if that Transport model has already moved, unless that Transport model (or the models embarked within it) have a rule that explicitly allows them to disembark after the Transport model has moved.

Adding in this new rule clarifies to some extent that “counting as Remaining Stationary” would otherwise meet the disembark rules requirements:

has not yet made a Normal Move, an Advance or has Fallen Back that phase.

further confirming that not moving or remaining stationary are to be understood as have not made a “normal, advance or fall back move”.

Inc conclusion, let Tau have a once per game Advance or Fall Back and shoot ability maybe? Definitely a pregame discussion thing still, and likely will continue to be until some of the older contradictory FAQs are cleared up.

Original Answer from 2020-09-31 


Combat Squading a unit affected by the White Scars Encirclement Stratagem

The Encirclement Stratagem however is different; the stratagem was recently FAQed to change the wording of when to use it but not change what it does.

Use this Stratagem during the Declare Reserves and Transports step of your mission. Select one WHITE SCARS unit (excluding ARTILLERY and BUILDINGS) from your army. You can set up that unit in outflank instead of setting it up on the battlefield. If you do, at the end of one of your Movement phases you can set up that unit wholly within 6″ of any battlefield edge and more than 9″ away from any enemy models.

The answer to this question changed significantly. The new Rare Rule has straightened this out entirely. 

Some rules enable one unit to split up into two or more smaller units. Each time this happens, any rules that the original unit was being affected by when it split, and which would continue to affect it for a specific duration (from abilities, Stratagems, psychic powers, etc.) continue to affect all of the individual units it split into until such a point as they would normally have no longer applied. For example, if the original unit was within range of an aura ability when it split, any given individual smaller unit would only be affected by that aura ability if it was itself still within range of that ability after the split, whereas if the original unit was being affected by a psychic power that lasted until the end of that turn at the point when it split, all of the smaller individual units would still be affected by it until the end of that turn. [Core Book FAQ pg.4]

Based on this rare rule the effect of the stratagem to the original unit would now continue to affect the two new units. They wouldn’t be stuck in a limbo state unable to deploy because the unit the stratagem was used on originally ceased to exist. This makes a lot of sense, and provides a way for some Space Marines to get multiple units into reinforcements very cheaply . 

Original Answer from 2020-10-22


Wave Serpent. Credit: Rockfish
Wave Serpent. Credit: Rockfish

Eldar – Fire And Fade into a Vehicle

Do rules like Eldar stratagem Fire and Fade, or psychic power Quicken, allow a unit to embark in a transport? – Brandon

The answer to this hasn’t changed, it was yes before and it’s yes now. It’s nice to have it clarified by a specific rule though in the new FAQ.

OUT OF PHASE RULES AND EMBARKING ON TRANSPORTS We wish to add an example to explain how the Out of Phase rules apply to units. When a unit uses a rule to make a move as if it were the Movement phase, all the normal rules that would apply in the Movement phase apply when making that move. For example, models in that unit cannot finish that move within Engagement Range of any enemy models, and if every model in that unit finishes that move wholly within 3″ of a friendly Transport model, they can embark within that Transport model following the normal Movement phase rules regarding embarkation.

However I would point out that for a lot of the unspecified movement type rules that still exist from 8th edition, they can now only make a Normal move regardless of if the rule doesn’t restrict them or not.

*Page 366 – Rules Term Glossary Add the following: Move normally: Rules that refer to move/moves/moving normally are the same thing as making a Normal Move, e.g. a rule that states ‘instead of moving this unit normally’ means ‘instead of making a Normal Move with this unit’. If a rule simply tells you to make a move as if it were the Movement phase, but does not specify what kind of move is being made, it is a Normal Move.

I’m already seeing this new glossary definition be used in places it’s not relevant though. This really is only about abilities that allow a unit to move, and from now on that move unless stated otherwise is normal. Rules that don’t specify moves for things like “if it did not move” aren’t suddently “only if it did not make a normal move”.

Regarding Twilight Pathways

Yes there is an FAQ that says these models can advance. Yes it contradicts with the new rare rule. There are two ways to interpret this in my opinion.

  1. The FAQ is specifically stating a move type allowed by the ability, so it’s not an ability with unspecified move types and can continue to either make a normal move , or advance move.
  2. It’s an old FAQ answer using 8th edition wording, not an errata. It doesn’t change the ability and is just a contradiction of the new rules that should be ignored.

It really could go either way but I really do hope that GW does some house keeping of the 8th FAQ answers soon.


Modifiers and abilities for units in Open Topped Transports

“In the Core Rules PDF, p12, it says models embarked within a transport “cannot normally…be affected in any way while…embarked. Unless specifically stated, abilities have no effect on units while they are embarked.” Note the important exceptions, “normally” and “unless specifically stated.” Likewise, p7 lists auras as an ability. Now, the Jackal Alphus’ Priority Target Sighted ability lets you pick an enemy unit and “add 1 to hit rolls for friendly <CULT> units that target that enemy unit while within 6” of this model.” The Goliath Truck has the CULT keyword, so can be given the modifier. It’s Open-Topped ability states that “any restrictions or modifiers that apply to this model also apply to its passengers.” So, would the Truck pass this +1 to-hit modifier on to its passengers? After all, the Alphus’s aura is not giving them the modifier, the Truck is. 


1) In the new FAQ, GW added this same restrictions-or-modifiers clause to Ork Trukks and Battlewagons;

2) Shots fired by embarked passengers are measured from any part of the vehicle’s hull, and 

3) the Open-Topped rule “specifically states” modifiers are passed on and Open-Topped vehicles are not “normal.” I sent an email to GW but you know how that goes. Personally, I feel like it could go either way. Thanks and sorry for the wordiness but it’s a complicated interaction.” – Kevin

This is a real test of the new Open Topped opus they have added to the FAQ. The good news is that this works pretty much as expects. Point 9 of the new Open Topped rules say this

9) If a Transport model is under the effects of a modifier to its ranged attacks (such as a modifier to its hit rolls, wound rolls, etc.) the same modifier applies each time an embarked model makes a ranged attack.

And that clearly outlines that the modifier is carried through to embarked models as expected. Some will argue that point 9 and point 5 contradict each other on the surface though.

5) Unless specifically stated otherwise, the embarked unit is not affected by the abilities (including aura abilities) of any other unit, even if that unit is also embarked within the same Transport model.

Except that “unless specifically stated otherwise” is exactly what point 9 is doing for modifiers, and only modifiers. Point 8 also arguably “specifically states” that any restrictions an ability might place on a vehicle also apply to the units inside. Maybe abilities that force units to only target a specific unit for instance would count here.


Harlequins – Shooting from Open Topped Transports, where to measure from

Can harlequin players still shoot pistols from any point on the physical model (hull if hull still existed on models with a base) of an open-topped transport? In case this needs some clarification, there has been some discussion on a TTS Discord about whether “model” now consistently refers to a model’s base due to the new verbiage in the measuring distances section. – Erick 

Whilst we’re on the topic of the new Open Topped Rules, where to measure from has been clarified for all of them now regardless of the specific models rules. 

2) Measure distances and draw line of sight from any point on the Transport model when models in that unit make the ranged attacks.

This does still mean that a select few open topped transports can be slightly further away from the enemy for their own shots than for those of the models embarked within them, a bit odd but at least there’s one consistent answer now.

Ignore AP Abilities and AP modifiers

So after a lot of back and forth on these abilities we now have a consistent rare rule that covers all defensive abilities such as Ignore AP ones. 

Defensive Rules that Apply to Attacks with Specific Characteristics Some rules only apply against attacks that have a specific characteristic. For example, ‘Each time an attack with an Armour Penetration characteristic of -1 is allocated to a model in this unit, that attack has an Armour Penetration characteristic of 0 instead.’ Each time you determine if such a rule is triggered, and so applies, always use the modified characteristics of that attack at the Allocate Attack step of the attack sequence. In the example above, that means that if an attack which originally has an Armour Penetration characteristic of 0, but then is modified by another rule before the Allocate Attack step to be -1, then at the Allocate Attack step it would then trigger the ability and be changed back to 0 instead.

It’s important to note when they’ve said the characteristic for triggered it determined though as I’ve already seen this confused. Allocating Attacks is not “targeting models with weapons”, as in “I’ll put 5 of my Bolters into that unit and 5 into your unit over there”. Allocate Attacks is the third step of the “Making Attacks” rules.

3. ALLOCATE ATTACK If an attack successfully wounds the target unit, the player commanding the target unit allocates that attack to one model in the target unit (this can be to any model in the unit and does not have to be allocated to a model that is within range of, or visible to, the attacking model). If a model in the target unit has already lost any wounds or has already had attacks allocated to it this phase, the attack must be allocated to that model.

So after an attack has made a successful hit roll and wound roll, any abilities that might alter the AP based on those rolls would still take effect and the abilities to ignore the AP trigger based on that value. So if being fired upon by Tau using the Through Unity Devastation Warlord Trait, the 6s to wound that become AP-1 would be ignored by a “treat AP-1 as AP0 ” ability still.

Rainbow Warriors Stormhawk Interceptor by Craig "MasterSlowPoke" Sniffen

Charging Aircraft

I don’t see what is allowed to charge a unit with Aircraft. I only see where units can’t end their movement within engagement range if a unit wIth the Aircraft keyword. Thanks!  – Chris

Charging Aircraft seems to be (and mostly is) against the rules when you first read them. This section of the AIRCRAFT rules is why.

Whenever a model makes any kind of move, it can be moved across Aircraft models (and their bases) as if they were not there, and they can be moved within an enemy Aircraft model’s Engagement Range, but it cannot end the move on top of another model (or its base), and it cannot end the move within Engagement Range of any enemy Aircraft models.- [GT2020 Pg66, Core PDF Pg13]

As models can’t end within Engagement Range of them when making ANY kind of move, with no exception for models that can Fly. GW addressed this with a recent FAQ which I talked about earlier in the week.

It is not normally possible to end any kind of move within Engagement Range of an enemy Aircraft model. However, many Aircraft models have an ability (e.g. Airborne) that specifically says that they can only be charged by enemy units that can Fly. Such rules take precedence over those in the Core book, and units that can Fly can indeed declare a charge against an Aircraft model, and they can end a charge move within Engagement Range of it. [Core Book FAQ pg.3] 

On the one hand, yay they confirmed that Aircraft can be charged by flying units. Any sensible pregame discussion was coming to this conclusion in my opinion and it absolutely still should regardless of what I’m about to say next. They went and tied this rule to the presence of rules such as Airborne. This on the surface might seem fine, it’s when you get to things that have a hover mode rules that it gets silly again.

Hover Jet: Before this model moves in your Movement phase, you can declare it will hover. Its Move characteristic becomes 20″ until the end of the phase, and it loses the Airborne, Hard to Hit and Supersonic abilities until the beginning of your next Movement phase. 

By losing Airborne it loses the “such rules” that allow it to be charged. All that being said, forget I pointed this out. It’s really pedantic and if anyone tried to play with this interpretation seriously I would laugh. 


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