Ruleshammer 40k: Astra Militarum

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To help this article serve a bit of a quicker reference, I’m putting simple short answers at the very start of some of the questions I’ve answered here when appropriate to. The full explanation for that answer will then follow.

Remember that Disembarking Units Can’t Count As Stationary

I know players miss this rule from time to time, especially with army wide stationary abilities like Tau’s Mont’ka.

Units that disembark can then act normally (move, shoot, charge, fight, etc.) in the remainder of the turn, but its models count as having moved that turn, even if they are not moved further (i.e. they never count as having Remained Stationary).

Which is further reinforced by the Rare Rule for Remain Stationary abilities.

8) If a unit has disembarked from a TRANSPORT model, rules which allow that unit to be treated as though it has Remained Stationary have no effect.

When might this come up then? There’s a Prefectus order “Forwards, for the Emperor” that allows a unit to count as stationary. Which might seem like a useful order to give to avoid the heavy weapons penalty when giving an Order as the Officer disembarks alongside a team toting heavy weapons (another new rule for Guard in this codex). Unfortunately it would not work in that particular situation.

Nothing strategy breaking, but worth mentioning again for all those other effects in other armies.

Do Blast Turret Weapons Get to Shoot?

Yes. Turret Weapons is an interesting new rule that keeps the main turret of most tanks in the battle even when surrounded by the enemy. However how Blast weapons interact with this rule seems unclear at first but is actually reasonably well explained, just not a scenario most players will have thought about as it hasn’t come up before. First here’s the Turret Weapon rule.

Some Astara Miltarum ranged weapons are turret weapons and have the Turret Weapon ability in their profile. Each time a model with such a weapon is selected to shoot:
– If that mode is within Engagement Range of any enemy units, it can still target and resolve attacks against enemy unit that are not within Engagement Range of it with weapons with this ability. Note that when making such attacks, you must still subtract 1 for from rolls due to enemy models being within Engagement Range.
– Each time that model makes an attack with that weapon, add 1 to that attack’s hit roll.

Doesn’t mention Blast in there, and doesn’t actually need to. The rule already blocks the turret from shooting at units that are within Engagement Range of it and that is actually the same limit that Blast has.

Blast weapons can never be used to make attacks against a unit that is within Engagement Range of the firing model’s unit, even if the weapon has the Pistol type or if the firing model is a VEHICLE or a MONSTER – firing high-explosives at point-blank range is simply unwise.

Blast isn’t outright banned from firing in these situations, it just can’t target units within Engagement Range of itself. So Blast away at distant targets.

Turret Weapon and Enemy Units within Engagement range of Friendly Units

Turret weapon only gives an exception to the first half of the locking in Combat rule;

Models cannot make attacks with ranged weapons while their unit is within Engagement Range of any enemy models. Models also cannot target enemy units within Engagement Range of any other units from your army – the risk of hitting your own troops is too great.

They still can’t shoot at units that are within Engagement Range of friendlies, unless they’re just using Big Guns Never Tire to shoot and it’s an enemy unit that the firing unit is also within Engagement Range of.

Can Field promotion work in Nephilim Games?

Yes. I included this question just to say, don’t make these types of arguments. Yes Nephilim says that gaining Warlord Traits requires “Requisition stratagems”. Yes Field Promotion isn’t a requisition stratagem. However claiming a Strat was intended to be unusable ever is a really really really stupid argument to have. Let it work. Move on.

None Regimental Units and the removal of <REGIMENT>

There are throughout the codex a few units that lack the Regimental Keyword. These units won’t benefit from your Doctrine and some are more unexpected than others.

  • Primaris Psyker
  • Gaunt’s Ghosts
  • None of the Attaché or Bodyguard models. (Though if they join a Regimental unit they would benefit that way)
  • Ogryns and Bullgryns
  • Regimental Preachers and Regimental Enginseers (ironically)
  • Munitorum Servitors
  • Comissars
  • Ratlings
  • Valkyries
  • Tempestus Command Squads and Scions
  • Taurox Prime

What does this mean though? It could potentially mean some awkward things, like a Mechanised Infantry regiment wouldn’t benefit Gaunt’s Ghosts so if they began embarked they’d have to disembark normally. A commissar would equally be stuck in such a situation.

Luckily, one thing Regimental doesn’t actually control access to is Orders, these use the new Platoon and Squadron keywords.

Can a Commissar give Regimental Orders to Abhumans?

No. Commissar’s know the Prefectus orders, and like other orders these can usually only be issued to units with the Platoon keyword, which the Abhuman units such as Ogyrns and Ratlings both lack. However Commissar have a special exception to that limitation.

In addition to the normal units that can be selected for Prefectus Orders, this model can issue Prefectus Orders to friendly INFANTRY OFFICER and ABHUMAN units, but when doing the Regimental Tactics ability (pg75) does not apply.

While there is a WLT to allow an Officer to know a set of Orders it doesn’t otherwise know, I don’t think knowing the Regimental Orders would be sufficient to be able to issue them to Abhuman units, as the exception for Prefectus Orders is quite specific.

What about Brood Brother Detachments?

Broken RAW. Genestealers get a bit of a short end of the stick until an update to their rule goes out.

When mustering a Battle-forged army, for each GENESTEALER CULTS Detachment you include in your army, you can also include one ASTRA MILITARUM Detachment, even though the units in such Detachments do not have any Faction keywords in common (this does not prevent your army from being Battle-forged). These ASTRA MILITARUM Detachments are also known as BROOD BROTHERS Detachments and have the following rules:
– You can only include units with the <REGIMENT> or UNALIGNED keyword in a BROOD BROTHERS Detachment.

Rules as written the new Guard codex contains no units with the <REGIMENT> keyword.

Pre-FAQ Suggestion: I would suspect an update to likely use REGIMENTAL, it’s a largely similar list of units, and doesn’t generate many other issues as a straight swap.

Overcharged Las-cells and Split Fire

Kasrkin and Militarum Tempestus units have access to the Overcharged Las-cells stratagem for 1CP, and it has a pretty common limitation shared by such stratagems of doing a max of 6 mortal wounds.

Use this stratagem in your Shooting Phase, when a KASRKIN or MILITARUM TEMPESTUS unit from your army is select to shoot. Until the end of the Phase, each time a model in that unit make an attack with a hot-shot weapon (pg 144), an unmodified wound roll of 6 inflicts 1 mortal wound on the target in addition to any normal damage. A unit can only suffer a maximum of 6 mortal wounds per phase as a result of this Stratagem.

There are ways to get Kasrkin especially to levels of accuracy and volume where splitting fire and doing the max to several targets is quite possible, so in the right circumstances you might be able to squeeze 12 or even 18 wounds out of this.

Valkryies Don’t Have Airborne – What does this mean?

A lot. So this change is just truly weird. Removing Airborne from the unit has a bunch of consequences, here’s what the Airborne rule generally says for most units with it.

Airborne: You cannot declare a charge with this unit’s [AIRCRAFT NAME] model, and this unit’s [AIRCRAFT NAME] model can only be chosen as a target of a charge if the unit making the charge can FLY. You can only fight with this unit’s [AIRCRAFT NAME] model if it is within Engagement Range of any enemy units that can FLY, and it can only make melee attacks against units that can FLY, Enemy units can only make melee attacks against this unit’s [AIRCRAFT NAME] model if they can FLY.

So what does removing it do? First of it can still only successfully be charged by FLY models.

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. The only exception are units that can FLY, which can end a charge move within Engagement Range of an enemy AIRCRAFT model.

As they are the only models that can end a move within Engagement range of Aircraft.

Secondly Valkyries can charge. There’s no general rule against Aircraft declaring charges, but it’s a bit odd that Valkyries can rules as written charge anything when aircraft with actual melee weapons like Harpies and Heldrakes have to hover to be able to charge anything other than other Aircraft just to their Airborne Predator rule.

Airborne Predator: Each time you declare a charge with this model, you can only select AIRCRAFT units as the target(s) of that charge… [the rest is mostly the same as normal Airborne]

Lastly Valkyries if they do end up within Engagement Range of enemy units are not limited to attacking FLY models. They can make melee attacks against anything.

Pre-FAQ Suggestion: Honestly not sure if I should recommend playing them as if they have Airborne or not here. It certainly seems at odds that they are less restricted than aforementioned Harpies and Heldrakes though so certainly in casual settings I would probably say to treat this as a mistake.

Can an Ogryn Body Guard Aerial Drop with a Scion Command Squad?

Yes. Ogryn Bodyguards are models that you can now add to particular units similar to Attaches but more bodyguardy.

Similarly, when mustering your army any BODYGUARD models from you army roster must be adding to a friendly INFANTRY OFFICER unit (excluding name characters) from your army. No more than  one BODYGUARD model can be added to each OFFICER unit. If it is not possible to add a BODYGUARD model to a unit in this way, that model cannot be deployed and counts as destroyed.

The fun thing is that Militarum Tempestus Command Squads are in fact INFANTRY OFFICER units. So they can have a Ogryn Bodyguard. Then Aerial Drop doesn’t require every model in the unit have that rule to be able to deployed off the battlefield.

Aerial Drop: During Deployment, you can set up this unit high in the skies instead of setting it up on the battlefield. If you do so, then in the Reinforcements step of one of your movement phases you can set up this unit anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9″ from any enemy models.

Some players might compare this interaction unfavourably to how for a short while adding Tau drones to units caused them to have both the FLY keyword and access to Manta Strike, before the FAQ set them straight. However this not quite as egregious, it’s just one Aerial Dropping Ogryn not Broadsides with surfing in on drone jet boots.

Pre-FAQ Suggestion: It’s probably fine. I’m sure the schola can find enough cloth for an Ogryn sized parachute, heck, he might just shield bash from the Valkyrie into the ground and win.

Astra Militarum – Can Mechanised Guard units Embark and Disembark in the same turn?

Hi Vrekais. The Guards Mechanised Infantry Trait allows for them to disembark from a vehicle after it has moved – are there any restrictions to prevent a unit starting on the table, embark on transport, transport move, and then the unit disembark? Thanks” – Wik

Yes. Unfortunately there’s no hopping in for a ride allowed within the phase. While the Doctrine does allow a unit to disembark from a transport that has moved.

Units with this doctrine can disembark from a TRANSPORT model (excluding AIRCRAFT models) after that model has made a Normal Move, but if they do so, such units cannot be selected to move again this phase (though they still count as having moved) and neither they nor that TRANSPORT model are eligible to declare a charge this turn.

That’s only an exception to part of the normal disembarking rules, not all of them.

If a unit starts its Movement phase embarked within a TRANSPORT model, that unit can disembark in that phase so long as the model itself has not yet made a Normal Move, an Advance or has Fallen Back that phase.

To be able to disembark the unit must start that movement phase Embarked. It’s potentially possible to do it within a turn though. For instance if your army also had the recon operations doctrine.

At the start of the first battle round, before the first turn begins, INFANTRY, CAVALRY and SENTINEL units with this doctrine that start the battle wholly within your deployment zone can make a Normal Move of up to 6″. They cannot end this move within 9″ of the enemy deployment zone or any enemy models.

This doctrine allows units units to make a normal move pregame, and it’s been confirmed by the Core Rules FAQ that these normal moves can be used to Embark a unit.

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.

The same would be true of any abilities that allow a Command Phase normal move, if there are any.

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