Ruleshammer 40k Q&A: November 12th 2021

Welcome to Ruleshammer, a collection of resources to help explain the detail and complexity of some of the more confusing rules in Warhammer 40k. This week we’re covering some more questions submitted by you, the readers, and our patrons on the Goonhammer Discord.

Tyranids: Mawloc tunnelling and Reinforcement Rules

Q: In a matched play game, can a Mawloc arrive via unexpected incursion round 2, burrow in round 3, and arrive again via unexpected incursion in round 4 or 5? The rules that normally would say no don’t appear to be as clear for the Mawloc ability specifically. – Broc Bowman

First of all it can definitely leave and come back, the rules regarding arriving by the end of turn 3 are met when you first arrive.

In Grand Tournament 2021 missions, Strategic Reserve and Reinforcement units can never arrive on the battlefield in the first battle round. Any Strategic Reserve or Reinforcement unit that has not arrived on the battlefield by the end of the third battle round counts as having been destroyed, as do any units embarked within them (this does not apply to units that are placed into Strategic Reserves after the first battle round has started).

The rule is not about “models not on the battlefield” it’s about “models that have not arrived”. The Mawloc has arrived, it did so in Turn 2. As soon as it did that the one time it has met the conditions of the mission rule and subsequent burrowing and arrivals.

However I’m not sure about being able to use “Unexpected Incursion” stratagem on the same Mawloc twice over a battle. Here’s my reasoning; I don’t think you are actually using Terror From The Deep when you come back the second time, you are simply arriving as it describes. So you get the mortals and the shorter distance limitation but you aren’t actually arriving on the board due to Terror on the Deep as you did the first time, you are arriving on the board via using the Burrow ability; that has just used the Terror From the Deep text rather than write all that out twice.

Burrow: At the beginning of any of your Movement phases, any Mawloc that is not within 1″ of an enemy unit can burrow. Remove it from the battlefield – it can return as described in the Terror from the Deep ability. A Mawloc may not burrow and return to the battlefield in the same turn. If the battle ends while the Mawloc is underground, it is considered to be slain.

“…as described…”  is not saying “you can use Terror From the Deep again”. At least not in my opinion and using Terror From the Deep is a condition of using the stratagem.

Use this Stratagem in your Movement phase, when a MAWLOC model from your army is set up on the battlefield using the Terror from the Deep ability. When determining the number of mortal wounds an enemy unit suffers from that model’s Terror from the Deep ability that phase, add 2 to the roll.

the second time it hasn’t arrived using that ability, it’s arrived as described by that ability whilst using the burrow ability. Maybe this is too pedantic, or I’m being too strict on if popping out the ground unexpectedly, then burrowing, then popping back out of the ground again is unexpected. I think I might expect that.

Note: There’s certainly some wiggle room in the wording here, and these rules were written quite a while apart as well. Treat the above as my opinion but probably one for the pregame discussion rather than making any assumptions.

Necrons: Damage Reduction vs Night Bringer

Q: How does damage reduction interact with the Night Bringer’s ability to prevent enemy models from ignoring wounds?

This was an odd one but I felt it worth noting that these abilities are not the same. The Night Bringers ability is very specific in that units can not “ignore the wounds it loses”.

Drain LifeEach time this model makes a melee attack that is allocated to an enemy model, that enemy model cannot use any rules to ignore the wounds it loses.

Damage reduction abilities trigger before wounds are lost by modifying the damage of the attack. So the model has no lost wound to ignore losing as it never lost it in the first place. So Drain Life has no impact on damage reduction abilities.

The Ankran 107th. Credit: Charlie Brassley

Astra Millitarum: New Orders Rules and their interactions

Q: How does the new Orders ability work? How does it interact with other Order abilities such as Superior Tactical Training? – Zach

The new Guard Orders rule takes a few reads to be sure of how it works but after that is a pretty simple rule, that just needed a bit of choice words to allow for some player choice.

Each time a <Regiment> unit with the Voice of Command ability issues one of the following orders to a <Regiment> Infantry unit, that same order can be issued to one or more other friendly <Regiment> Infantry units (excluding Officer units) that are within 6″ of the unit that order was originally issued to: Take Aim!; First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire!; Bring it Down!; Forwards, for the Emperor!; Get Back in the Fight!; Fix Bayonets!

The key points to take away from this are;

  • This rule actually gives orders, it doesn’t trigger or require a second use of Voice of Command by the ordering unit. It abstracts the source of the order away to be units passing it along.
  • The orders “can be issued to one or more other friendly” – so first of it, this is a choice and that’s important because “A unit may only be affected by one order per turn.” It doesn’t force the order onto all the units within 6″ it just can do that, this removes the need for any precise movement to try and keep wounds off units you don’t want them on.

However how it interacts with abilities such as this is a at least in my opinion a little more speculative than I’d like.

Superior Tactical Training: Roll a dice each time your Warlord issues an order or tank order. On a 4+ that order can affect an additional CADIAN unit of the same type as the original target (INFANTRY or LEMAN RUSS) within 6″ of the Warlord.

I think this would just chain along as if the second unit had been selected. It is a time that Voice of Command has been used and the second unit is a unit an order has been issued to. There is room for push back though

…within 6″ of the unit that order was originally issued to…

are they the unit the order was orginally issued to? I think they’re “one of the units the order was originally issued to” but that’s just my reading and I think it’s important that both players agree on if this is how it will be played pregame.

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