Ruleshammer 40k: Q&A August 12th 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!

Once again I appologise for those eager for the next episode of Ruleshammer Battle, the UK is once again having a heat wave and exiled me from my office lest I melt. The series shall continue! In the meantime, here’s another Ruleshammer Q&A.


Faction Secondaries in Nephilim

Faction secondaries received one of their largest updates since 9th debuted in Nephilim but the changes weren’t just to the secondaries themselves, access to them also changed slightly in some good but also maybe some unintended ways. The section the details this access reads as follows:

If a secondary objective is listed in one of the faction sections on pages 10-53, it is a faction secondary objective and it can only be selectged by a player if every unit from their army (excluding Agent of The Imperium, Agent of Chaos, or Unaligned unit) is from the appropriate faction.

For comparison here is the requirements from Codex Space Marines that is no long in use.

If every model in your army (excluding AGENT OF THE IMPERIUM and UNALIGNED models) has the ADEPTUS ASTARTES keyword, and your WARLORD has the ADEPTUS ASTARTES keyword, you can, if you are playing a matched play battle that instructs you to select secondary objectives (e.g. a mission from the Eternal War mission pack), select one of them to be from the ADEPTUS ASTARTES secondary objectives listed below.

The key change for Nephilim is that to take faction secondaries you no longer have to have your warlord be from that faction, so certain HQ choices that can be taken in Supreme Commander detachments as the Warlord of the army do not prevent that army from using the secondaries of the force they are joining. So Abaddon for instance can join an army of Chaos Knights as their Warlord and that army can still use the Chaos Knight secondaries (how Abaddon gains the Agent of Chaos keyword I have covered below).

However here’s where things get a little messier: Several factions in this brilliant game we call Warhammer 40k have sub factions. The Eldar aren’t all Asuyani; you can build a Ynnari force of the different Eldar factions and then suddenly this army is not all of the “appropriate faction.” Harlequins potentially avoid this issue via their travelling players rule, as they are ignored for such checks:

HARLEQUINS units within such a Detachment are excluded when determining your Army Faction, and when determining if every unit in your army has a certain keyword or ability.

Other armies are not so fortunate though; if Genestealer Cults for instance under strict RAW would lose access if they include a Brood Brother detachment, something their previous Secondary access rule specifically allowed. Custodes also if they include any Anathema Psykana units. Unfortunately none of this was addressed in the latest FAQ for Nephilim; but it seems very unlikely to be intended, especially as there are Custodes Secondaries that specifically mention being completeable by Anathema Psykana units!

Ruleshammer Suggestion: In addition to excluding Agents of Imperium, Agents of Chaos, and Unaligned units; also exclude secondary subfactions that were previously excluded from such checks. Eg. Ynnari for Asuyrani Armies (sort of), Brood Brother for Gene Stealer Cults, Anathema Psykana for Custodes, etc.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Abaddon and Agents of Chaos

Yes, really – Abaddon can “walk the dogs” as is apparently already the term for him leading an army of Chaos Knight War Dogs. Abaddon’s Datasheet has an ability which allows him to gain the Agent of Chaos keyword.

The Warmaster: If your army is Battle-forged, this model must be your WARLORD. If more than one model from your army has a rule to this effect, then one of those models must be your WARLORD. If this model is your WARLORD, it gains the AGENT OF CHAOS keyword.

Abaddon has to be Warlord, but that’s a requirement of putting him in a Supreme Command Detachment anyway.

Blood Ravens Primaris Biker Chaplain. Credit – soggy

Leadership use Auras and Modifiers

If an unit has a modifier to their leadership (such as -2 ld for being in range of Night Lords aura) but also has a friendly unit nearby that lets you use their leadership (such as a chaplain/inquisitor) who isn’t in range of the debuff, do you roll leadership using the chaplains current leadership (unmodified) or just copy their LD value then apply the modifier? – Dave

This is a question that has been debated frequently at Goonhammer HQ… and it’s one that I still don’t think we’ve ever actually agreed on an answer to before getting exhausted of debating it. To my read, the issue really boils down to “is using the Ld of another model replacing the Ld characteristic of the model attempting to use another’s Ld?” If it is replacement, then the Modify Characteristics rules cover that and it’s before modifiers:

Modifying Characteristics

If a rule instructs you to replace one characteristic with a specified value, change the relevant characteristic to the new value before applying any modifiers that apply from other rules (if any) to the new value. Regardless of the source, the Strength, Toughness, Attacks and Leadership characteristics of a model can never be modified below 1.

But I’m not sure “using the Ld of another unit” is instructing you to replace one Characteristic with another. The ability worded isn’t clear on if it is or not.

Spiritual Leaders (Aura): While a friendly DEATHWATCH CORE unit is within 6″ of this model, models in that unit can use this model’s Leadership characteristic instead of their own.

There are also instances where these abilities confer no actual benefit if they were subject to the same modifiers; if the Chaplain is near a unit of Space Marine Terminators for instance, both have a base Ld of 9.

Unfortunately without an FAQ there’s really not a RAW answer to this in my opinion. I have a preference, but I’d be hesitant to say it’s got much support in the rules outside of there being a void. My preference is to play that if the sharing Ld provider (the Chaplain) is not affected by the modifier, then units using their Ld can use it unmodified.

Will the Ruleshammer Battle continue beyond Episode 4?

Yes here’s a link to episode 5! Want to take this chance to thank everyone that’s been helping me with Ruleshammer Battle and the really encouraging feedback it’s gotten, it’s been a series I’ve wanted to write for months if not years and I’m glad to hear it’s helping!

Have any questions or feedback? Got a rules question you want answered? Drop us a note in the comments below, ask a question in our Ruleshammer form, or head over to r/ruleshammer to discuss.