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The Arks FAQ, Detachment Abilities, and Super Doctrines… please help!
So a few weeks ago there was an FAQ for Arks of Omen that elaborated on including Supreme Commander units, which I wrote about back then. So it was about time to elaborate and update my answer to “Does Guilliman Prevent a Chapter from getting their super doctrine?” from “probably yes” to “probably no.”
My reasoning a few weeks ago was that Super Doctrines are not “detachment abilities.” Using Savage Fury as an example.
If every unit in your army (excluding UNALIGNED units) has the SPACE WOLVES keyword, then every unit that has the Combat Doctrines ability and is in a SPACE WOLVES Detachment gains the Savage Fury ability, below.
This ability is not gained for being in a Space Wolves detachment, it’s gained for every unit in your army having the SPACE WOLVES keyword. Turns out, Games Workshop don’t really care about this distinction.
CODEX SUPPLEMENT COMBAT DOCTRINE BONUSES
In each of the Space Marines Codex Supplements, you will find a detachment ability that confers additional bonuses to units with the Combat Doctrines ability while a particular doctrine is active for your army (e.g. Scions of Guilliman in Codex Supplement: Ultramarines, Savage Fury in Codex Supplement: Space Wolves etc). Whenever a rule allows a unit to gain the bonus of a particular doctrine even though it is not active for the rest of your army (e.g. the Adaptive Strategy Stratagem, page 104), then whilst that rule applies to that unit, that unit will also gain the benefit from any such detachment ability.
Where Savage Fury is referred to as a Detachment Ability by the Marines FAQ, and honestly who can blame them? Savage Fury is literally on a page called Detachment Abilities. A line of reasoning that did seem quite appealing until I noticed that for Space Wolves at least this page only details how their abilities are gained; the actual abilities (Berserk Charge and Headstrong) are found later in the codex, on Page 61, titled Datasheets. The abilities are 100% not Datasheets. To add to this confusion, Swift Hunters is also detailed on that page and is definitely not a detachment ability.
So what does all of this mean for Arks of Omen games and Super Doctrines?
I think it means that this commentary:
Designer’s Note: The noted Supreme Commanders can be included in an army without preventing other units from benefitting from their Detachment Rules. For example, Roboute Guilliman can be included in a Salamanders Detachment, but he will not gain their Chapter Tactic, however the rest of the Detachment will still benefit from their Chapter Tactic as usual.
means that taking Guilliman in a Space Wolf army does not prevent the army from gaining Savage Fury – presuming every other unit in the army has the SPACE WOLVES keyword.
Using Command Phase Abilities with Units not on the Battlefield. Is that allowed?
I think so. That might be a surprise to some and cause outrage from others but I do have my reasons. There are certainly abilities that don’t work when a unit or model isn’t on the table but in those cases they don’t work for specific reasons. For example, this Fire Blade ability can’t work while it’s off board, either while being held in reserve or embarked in a transport:
Target Sighted: In your Command phase, select one friendly <SEPT> FIRE WARRIOR TEAM unit within 9″ of this unit’s CADRE FIREBLADE model; until the start of your next Command phase, each time a CORE model in that unit makes a ranged attack, re-roll a hit roll of 1.
but the reason it can’t is because there are no units within 9″ of it; it’s not on the battlefield and so cannot be within 9″ of anything. Though there are exceptions to this, most notably in Genestealer Cults armies:
If this unit is set up underground, then in the Reinforcements step of one of your Movement phases, you can set up this unit under one of the following conditions:
– You can set up this unit anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 8″ away from any enemy models.
– You can set up this unit anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 6″ away from any enemy models, but that unit is not eligible to declare a charge this turn.
If a unit set up underground has any abilities that are used in your Command phase (e.g. Meticulous Planner), then the first time that unit is set up on the battlefield, it can use any or all of those abilities as if it were your Command phase.
These Genesetealer Cults units can delay their Command Phase abilities until they have some targets within range. What about abilities that don’t have range requirements though? What about units with abilities that affect the unit itself, such as these two for the Tau Riptide or Angron?
Nova Reactor: In your Command phase, this unit’s RIPTIDE model can use its nova reactor. If it does, roll 2D6: if the result is greater than the remaining wounds of this unit’s RIPTIDE model, its nova reactor is burned out and this ability cannot be used again this battle; otherwise, you can select one of the following reactor abilities:
– Nova Shield: Until the start of your next Command phase, each time that model would lose a wound, roll one D6: on a 5+, that wound is not lost.
– Boost: In your next Charge phase, this unit can make a Normal Move of up to 2D6″. If it does, until the end of the phase, you cannot declare a charge with this unit.
– Nova Charge: Until the start of your next Command phase, if that model is equipped with a heavy burst cannon, that weapon has a Type characteristic of Heavy 16; otherwise, both profiles of that model’s ion accelerator have a Type characteristic of Heavy 8.
In your Command phase, select one of the following abilities. This model has that ability until the start of your next Command phase:
– Infectious Rage (Aura): While a friendly WORLD EATERS CORE unit is within 6″ of this model, add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of models in that unit.
– Glorious Bloodletting (Aura): While another friendly WORLD EATERS unit is within 6″ of this model, each time a model
in that unit makes a melee attack, re-roll a hit roll of 1.
– Righteous Slaughter (Aura): While a unit is within 6″ of this model, that unit cannot Fall Back.
Neither of these abilities needs any targets within a certain range so they aren’t blocked by that restriction. Both of them tell you that the unit can do a thing in the Command Phase with no requirement that they units doing so be on the battlefield. Requiring units to be on the battlefield to use abilities would also cause most of the infiltration or Deep Strike abilities to cease functioning, though no one argues about them because if feels more obviously correct.
Can I get Additional Hits or Attacks with one-shot weapons?
Yes. While there are weapons that say they can only be used once the wording is uses quite specific language.
The bearer can only shoot with each hunter-killer missile it is equipped with once per battle.
Terminology is key here and “To Shoot” is slightly different to making attacks. Shooting is picking a weapon, picking targets, and resolving the weapons attacks. Most if not all such weapons do usually only make one attack having types such as “Heavy 1” but when using an exploding hit or extra attack rule the weapon is not “shooting” again. It’s just getting another hit or attack, in the same way as if the weapon was Heavy 2.