Daemonic Invulnerability is many things but it is specifically not a few things as well.
Instead of a normal Save characteristic as described in the Warhammer 40000 core book, each LEGIONES DAEMONIC datasheet has a Daemonic Save characteristic (abbreviated to DSv on that datasheet’s profile line. This characteristic has two values. The first characteristics is used when a melee attack is allocated to that model, while the second characteristic is used when a ranged attack is allocated to that model. In either case, this saving throw can not be modified in anyway.
These saves are not invulnerable saves, they’re just very similar to invulnerable saves. This means that abilities to ignore invulnerable saves have no effect on them. They are also not “save characteristics” they are “daemonic save characteristics.” This means that abilities such as Jinx would not modify them, as that psychic power specifically modifies “save characteristics”.
Jinx (Malediction): Select one enemy unit within 18″ of this PSYKER. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, worsen the Save characteristic of models in that unit by 1 (to a maximum of 6+).
Can my units benefit from Light Cover or be affected by AP?
So first thing’s first, I’m not sure if it’s ever actually relevant (I can’t find an ability that cares but still think there is one somewhere), but even if the benefit of cover is light cover, Daemonic units can still have the benefit of cover. So if a ability existed that for instance increased the damage taken by units if they have the benefit of cover, or benefit of light cover, that ability would still affect Daemon units.
On the other hand, the actual bonus you get from having the benefit of Light Cover doesn’t actually work for Daemonic units:
In either case, this saving throw can not be modified in anyway.
You can’t add or subtract from Daemonic Saves, so Light Cover’s +1 to your saving throw does nothing and neither does any level of AP.
Light Cover: +1 to saving throws against ranged weapons.
The throw is entirely unmodifiable.
So Is Armour of Scorn broken?
In a word: Yes.
Armour of Scorn
– Each time an attack with a Damage Characteristic of 1 is allocated to the bearer, add 1 to any saving throw made against that attack.
This relic instructs players to modify a saving throw that can’t be modified; it doesn’t specifically overrule the Daemonic Invulnerablity rule to make it an exception either. In fact that ability doesn’t even have the “Unless otherwise stated” clause that rules expected to have exceptions usually have.
Pre-FAQ Suggestion: As this rule is only vs 1 Damage weapons, I think there’s little harm in playing it as if there is an exception allowing it to work. It’s plausible that the rule could be replaced with something. This is also the ruling we’ll be making for the upcoming Goonhammer Open Canada event.
Some Honourable mentions
It’s a topsy-turvy world we’re living in now but there is one ability (that I’ve been made aware of so far) that seemingly can bypass a Daemonic Save.
Life Drain: When resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by this model, a saving throw cannot be made unless it is an invulnerable saving throw.
It’s not an invulnerable save, but it is a saving throw. So they can’t block these attacks.
There’s also some rules that might need an FAQ pass to give them back their purpose in the face of this new Chaos Daemons codex, such as this Warlord Trait in the Grey Knight Codex.
Each time this WARLORD makes a melee attack against a DAEMON unit, invulnerable saving throws cannot be made against that attack.
Which doesn’t do anything any more, least not vs Daemons that don’t have invulernable saves any longer. There’s possibly some CSM Daemon units that it still has an effect on though.
What can I do with Daemons in Soup?
One of the key things I wanted to draw attention to for Manifestation is its position as a not “all or nothing” rule. Unlike many faction abilities of its type, Daemon armies always get Manifestation; what changes is their access to specific parts of the ability. There are several layers to the rule and what it allows. Let’s break them down some groups.
- Level 1: All units with the ability basically have the ability to deep strike normally regardless of army composition; this allows them to set up as reinforcements more than 9″ away from enemy units, as is pretty much the standard for similar abilities.
- Level 2: All units with the ability can set up at more than 6″ away from enemy units if the units is wholly within 6″ of a WARP LOCUS model; if it has an Allegiance keyword then the unit being set up must share that Allegiance keyword. This does have some soup wiggle room, especially for a Be’lakor-led force as he has all the Allegiance keywords (Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle, and Slaanesh), so any unit can use him as a Warp Locus.
- Level 3: This is the most restrictive level, units with this ability can set up either wholly in their own deployment zone more than 3″ from enemy units, or not within the enemy deployment zone but more than distances as determined by the enemy unit’s LD characteristic (min 3″ and max 9″). This level requires every unit in the army to be Legiones Daemonica though.
It’s also worth mentioning that the LD used for Manifestation is the current LD, so if a unit is within the range of the 6″ range of the Daemonic Terror aura (or affected by other LD reducing abilities) then the distance is reduced.
Does it allow for Turn 1 Deepstrike?
I’m really only including this question because of how prevalent and debated Daemon Turn 1 summoning has been throughout my time writing Ruleshammer. Manifestation is in no way ambiguous in this respect, it does not allow for Turn 1 reinforcements.
This rule warranted it’s own article as it currently stands. The cliff notes though are that the rule is pretty badly worded, it specifically prevents modifiers to weapons with the ability but almost all rules that actually modify incoming attacks say the attack is modified, not the weapon specifically.
The core rules imply that attacks don’t have characteristics of their own but instead have the characteristics of the weapon they are made with. In my opinion they were clear enough in that wording to resolve most of the confusion however the glossary has other ideas.
Attack’s characteristics: When resolving an attack made with a weapon, that attack is considered to have the same characteristics and abilities as that weapon. If any changes are made to the characteristics or abilities of an attack, those changes do not apply to the weapon it is made with, nor do they apply to any other attacks made with that weapon.
This separates attack and weapon characteristics specifically. Leading to TheChirurgeon’s conclusion, and one I agree with, that RAW the rule doesn’t prevent modification if the rule modifies the attack rather than the weapon. I very much recommend reading the full article for all the details though.