Ruleshammer 40k: May 13th 2022

Welcome to Ruleshammer! This week we’re covering some more questions submitted by you, the readers, and our patrons on the Goonhammer Discord. Remember the banner below will take you to the Ruleshammer 9th Edition Compedium, for all the questions I’ve answered for the last few months!

I might have a bit of a reputation now for taking on the more ambiguous bits of Warhammer 40k rules but today I’m aiming for something different – I’m going to answer lots of little questions for which there are actual answers (at least I’m pretty sure these have concrete answers).

Weapons that you can’t ignore wounds against – which rules are these exempted from?

As Games Workshop pulls on this lever more frequently I’ve been asked a lot about what types of rules these weapons are exempt from. The obvious type is those covered by the literal “Ignoring Wounds” section.

Some models have rules that give them a chance to ignore wounds. If a model has more than one such rule, you can only use one of those rules each time the model loses a wound (including wounds lost due to mortal wounds).

However the Rare Rules elaborates on how rules that prevent models from losing more than a certain number of wounds in a phase, also count as rules models can’t use against these weapons or abilities.

Some models have a rule that says that they cannot lose more than a specified number of wounds in the same phase/turn/battle round, and that any wounds that would be lost after that point are not lost. When such a model is attacked by a weapon or model with a rule that says that enemy models cannot use rules to ignore the wounds it loses, that rule takes precedence over the previous rule, and if that attack inflicts any damage on that model, it loses a number of wounds equal to the Damage characteristic of that attack, even if it has already lost the specified number of wounds already this phase/turn/battle round.

So if you’re smashing the Reaper of Obliterax at a unit which cannot normally take more than 3 wounds in a phase, enjoy watching them take full damage.

Does the benefit of Dense Cover stack with the new rules for shooting at targets out of line of sight (the Indirect Fire Rule)?

Yes. Dense Cover is a modifier to the hit dice roll.

…then subtract 1 from the hit roll when resolving an attack with a ranged weapon unless…

However the new Indirect Fire Rule is a modifier to Ballistic Skill.

…then each time an attack is made with that weapon against that target this phase, worsen the Ballistic Skill characteristic of that attack by 1 and add 1 to any armour saving throws made against that attack.

As such this avoids the usual cap on hit roll modifiers because one of them isn’t a modifier. If your unit has BS3+ and is affected by both rules then you will need to roll 5+ for a successful hit.

Incidentally there is no cap on Save Roll modifiers, just Hit and Wound rolls. So the +1 to saves from this rule can stack with Light Cover, should the target happen to have that benefit as well (usually from a different terrain piece to Dense Cover).

How many objectives can a model or unit control in a single turn?

While there are some models that can just about span the gap between objectives by themselves in some missions, there are rules about controlling objectives that limits them from counting on both:

Unless otherwise noted, a player controls an objective marker while they have more models within range of it than their opponent does. A model can only be counted towards controlling one objective marker per turn – if one of your models could be counted towards controlling more than one objective marker, you must select which one they are counted towards that turn. AIRCRAFT units and units with the Fortifications Battlefield Role can never control objective markers – exclude these units when determining which player controls an objective marker.

One key thing to note though is that this limit per turn. So a sufficiently large model can count as controlling one objective in your turn, and count as controlling a different objective in your opponent’s turn within the battle round. I’m not sure how often that’s actually useful, though.

Units however don’t really factor into objective control as a single entity. It’s always models. If your unit spans the gap between two objectives, then it can be counted as controlling both, though individual models in that unit can only count toward controlling one per turn – though this will usually just be the objective that model is within range of anyways.

What happens if you have multiple Fight Phase interrupt abilities? Can you chain them?

The short answer to this is no, the Fight Order is pretty rigid on these now. The trigger for both of these stratagems is the same

Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase, after an enemy unit has fought. Select one ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit from your army that is in range of an objective marker and is eligible to fight: that unit fights next.

Use this Stratagem after an enemy unit has fought in this turn. Select one of your own eligible units and fight with it next.

Once you have used and resolved one of them it is no longer “after an enemy unit has fought” so you can’t the other.

Is there a way to re-roll Smite or any other Mortal Wound output?

Not with the command re-roll stratagem, as that lists very specific things.

Use this Stratagem after you have made a hit roll, a wound roll, a damage roll, a saving throw, an Advance roll, a charge roll, a Psychic test, a Deny the Witch test or you have rolled the dice to determine the number of attacks made by a weapon. Re-roll that roll, test or saving throw.

The number of mortals is not any of those, some might wonder about the Damage Roll but that is a specific thing.

Damage roll: When determining a random Damage characteristic, the dice roll is called a damage roll.

That doesn’t preclude the existent of an ability that would let a unit re-roll mortals though. For instance Thousand Sons have this.

Witch-warrior: Each time this model manifests Smite or a Witchfire psychic power that inflicts mortal wounds on a dice roll (e.g. D3, or rolling one D6 for each model in the unit). you can re-roll one of the dice to determine the number of mortal wounds inflicted.

It can 100% re-roll the number of wounds Smite would do. It’s a bit wordy about it but it can also allow you to re-roll dice for abilities that would have you roll several and get a mortal for each one above a threshold. There are also other abilities that may let you re-roll mortal wounds, such as with the special re-roll afforded by Glimpse of Eternity. 

Black Templars Heavy Support. Credit: SRM

When shooting, do you have to measure to the visible part of a model?

This comes up when you’ve got line of sight on some part of the model, but the part that you can see is out of your range, while the front of the model is still within range, but hidden behind some terrain feature. While you do have to measure range to the visible models in a unit, the measurement to said models is always the minimum distance.

Distances are measured in inches (“) between the closest points of the bases of the models you’re measuring to and from. If a model does not have a base, such as is the case with many vehicles, measure to the closest point of any part of that model; this is called measuring to the model’s hull. You can measure distances whenever you wish.

This can have some slightly odd impact though when you swap between units of multiple models and units with singular larger models, especially because of how you check for if a unit is within range of a particular models weapons.

Only enemy units can be chosen as the target for an attack. In order to target an enemy unit, at least one model in that unit must be within range (i.e. within the distance of the Range characteristic) of the weapon being used and be visible to the shooting model.

As the model you check range to has to be visible as well. Lets look at some examples of how this plays out.

If there was a bit of the rules you’re recommend people read more than any other bit which would it be?

The Glossary for 9th edition contains a surprising amount of rules clarifications and definitions. It’s not exhaustive. Lots of it would benefit from being in the main body of the rules, but it is definitely worth checking first for so many questions.

Other than that though I really recommend that players familiarise themselves with the Rare Rules, especially this one.

Some rules enable units to teleport or else be repositioned and set back up on the battlefield. Other rules enable units to removed from the battlefield and be replaced by a new, full-strength unit, which is then set up on the battlefield. If a rule causes a unit to be removed from the battlefield and subsequently set back up, the following rules apply to it:

1) Rules that are triggered by or apply to units that are ‘set up on the battlefield as Reinforcements’ are also triggered by and apply to that unit when it is set up on the battlefield.
2) Models in units that arrived as Reinforcements count as having moved a distance in inches equal to their Move characteristic this Movement phase. If the unit has a minimum Move characteristic, it counts as having moved its maximum Move characteristic.
3) The unit cannot make a Normal Move, Advance, Fall Back or Remain Stationary that turn for any reason.
4) If that unit was within Engagement Range of an enemy unit when it was removed from the battlefield, it does not count as having Fallen Back when it is set back up on the battlefield.
5) If that unit Advanced this battle round, it still counts as having Advanced after it has been set back up on the battlefield.
6) Any destroyed models in that unit when it is removed are still destroyed when their unit is set back up on the battlefield. If they were destroyed this turn, they still count towards any Morale tests taken this turn.
7) Any models in that unit that have lost any wounds do not regain those wounds when they are removed, and will still have lost them when their unit is set back up on the battlefield.
8) Any rules that unit was being affected by when it was removed, and which would continue to affect it for a specific duration (from abilities, Stratagems, psychic powers, etc.) continue to affect that unit until such a point as they would normally have no longer applied. For example, a unit that was within range of an aura ability when it was removed would no longer be affected by that ability if it was set up outside of that aura’s range, whereas a unit that was being affected by a psychic power that lasted until the end of that turn would still be affected by it until the end of that turn.
9) If that unit was performing an action, that action immediately fails.
10) Such rules can, if they occur in the Movement phase, be used on units that arrived as Reinforcements this phase and/or on units that have already been selected to move this phase.

Note that points 5-8 do not apply to any unit that has been set up because it is replacing a destroyed unit (including units set up via a rule that instructs you to remove a unit then set it back up at its full starting strength). These rules represent new units joining the fight, rather than the existing units being repositioned on the battlefield.

This rare rule is part of a select group of FAQ entries from 8th that got carried over and “promoted” as “Rare Rules”. It covers a whole list of common questions about how exactly repositioned and replacement units work and what rules effect them. It’s had some editions made in 9th, one of the most important ones being point 9 that prevented units from starting actions in one part of the board and then teleporting to complete that action somewhere else.

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