Ruleshammer: CRUSADE Special Edition

Hello, dear reader. Rob “Vre’kais” Chilton is off this week carefully managing his work-life-other-work balance so I, the superior Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones, am subbing in for him. Rob will be back next week with lots of great rules nuances and sure-to-be-soon-frequently asked questions from the upcoming Codex: Drukhari and the Book of Rust, but this week I’m going to cover some common questions and issues in GW’s non-matched play Crusade ruleset. Note that because Crusade is a Narrative play mode, you have a bit more freedom to screw around with the settings and house rule things so in this article I’ll both be covering common rules questions for Crusade and some things that are ambiguous, with some suggestions for how to tackle those in your own Crusade outings.


Tech Priest and the Boys
Tech Priest and the Boys. Credit: Pendulin

Core Rules

Can I use a Stratagem like Honoured Sergeant to give a non-Character a relic?

This is a weird one for Crusade – the rules for Crusade as outlined in the Core Rules (see Requisition Points on pg 315) say that you can’t use Stratagems that upgrade units before the battle, including those that enable additional models to have Relics or Warlord Traits unless you’ve purchased the appropriate Requisition. Unfortunately there is no Requisition in the rules that covers this – the Relic and Warlord Trait Requisitions only allow you to give a CHARACTER a Relic, while Specialist Reinforcements only mentions using a Stratagem that “upgrades a unit to give it either a better characteristic profile and/or abilities.” Unfortunately, neither of these cover stratagems that give relics to non-Characters, so in the rules as written, you can’t use these stratagems in Crusade.

Now this seems pretty silly and against the spirit of Crusade, but it’s something covered specifically in the Deathwatch Codex Supplement with the Bestowed in Honour and Necessity Requisition. My personal recommendation here is that you allow players to use Stratagems like Honoured Sergeant to pay CP to upgrade a Sergeant before the battle (and it will only apply to that one battle).

What about Prototype Weapon Systems from For the Greater Good?

Likewise, Prototype Weapon Systems also go on non-CHARACTER units, though they replace a Signature System on a Character. So these kind of fall in the same boat, with the difference being that you can give one to a unit in place of giving a character a Relic. The Relic Requisition doesn’t really seem to work for this but in a pinch you could argue that you could use Relic to give a character a Signature System and then swap it out for a Prototype Weapon System on a unit. But I’d suggest you also just go ahead and make this something covered by the Specialist Reinforcements Requisition if you’re running a campaign.

What about Adaptive Physiologies from Blood of Baal?

Those are covered by the rules – you can use the Specialist Reinforcements Requisition on a unit being added to your Order of Battle to apply a Stratagem to it that upgrades its abilities, which covers Adaptive Physiologies.

How do Summoned Daemons work in Crusade?

These are covered on Page 327 of the Core Rules, in the Crusade Appendix. If you summon a unit, it’s only added to your army for the duration of the game, and disappears afterward. Summoned units can’t gain experience and they automatically pass any Out of Action tests.

What about Chaos Spawn I add with a psychic power or other ability?

That’s a good question. It’s not clear what happens here – the rules for Summoning do not apply to Chaos Spawn. My suggestion here is that you can choose to add them at the end of the game but to do so you need to have the Crusade Points available to incorporate the additional points/power level of unit of Spawn. Otherwise, they disappear.

What do I do if I want to use Points in Crusade instead of Power Level?

This is a great question, and one I’m not surprised you asked because points are far, far superior to power level. Using points in Crusade is pretty easy! Generally speaking in Warhammer 40k, 1 PL = 20 points. This is pretty obvious when you look at how units with no options or upgrades are costed – 5 PL for a unit of 20 poxwalkers = 100 points, though it gets a bit wonky when you start looking at upgrades, and that’s where the system can be easy to game. Switching to points removes that aspect and you can just use the hand 1/20 conversion rate to adjust the rest of the Crusade rules that focus on Power Level.


Necron Psychomancer
Necron Psychomancer. Credit: Pendulin

Codex: Necrons

Does Trazyn the Infinite’s Ancient Collector ability reduce the cost of all uses of the Relic Requisition to 0 or use the first use?

Trazyn’s Ancient Collector ability has two parts – the first drops the cost of using the Dynastic Heirlooms Stratagem to 0 CP the first time you use it, and the second makes the Relic Requisition free if he’s included in your Crusade force. This doesn’t appear to include the first-time-only rider, allowing you to make endless free use of Trazyn’s ability to add relics, provided you follow the rules for adding relics to models on your Order of Battle and increment their Crusade Points accordingly. This makes the crazy old collector a pretty valuable add to any Necron Crusade Force.

How does Transdimensional Shroud interact with effects that always wound on a certain value?

As with Transhuman Physiology, Transdimensional Shroud’s effects take priority because they specify that a 1-3 always fails “irrespective of any abilities that the weapon or the model making the attack may have.” If it didn’t have this text, then the attacker’s rule would take precedence, as outlined in the Rare Rules section of the rulebook, under the Attacker’s Priority heading.

Do I have to read off all of my Warlord’s Dynastic Epithets out loud before every game?

Yes, you coward.


Beanith's Space Wolf
Beanith’s Space Wolf

Space Marine Codex Supplements

Space Wolves: If I make an Audacious Boast to Never Back Down From A Fight, do I still achieve my boast if my character is never eligible to Heroically Intervene?

Never back down assumes your character is making every Heroic Intervention in every Charge phase in which it is eligible to do so, not every Charge phase. This means that you can still achieve it if your character bravely cowers behind the safety of your own lines or spends the whole game in a transport, or half the game in Strategic Reserves.

Space Wolves: Can I generate more than 1 CP per battle round with the Blackhowl Deed of Making?

No. While you’re generating CP by using a Stratagem, the Stratagem isn’t what’s giving you the CP – it’s the Blackhowl Deed, and so it isn’t exempt from the restrictions on gaining or being refunded more than 1 CP per Battle round.

Dark Angels: Do The Raven’s Eyes let me ignore the penalty from moving or charging through difficult terrain?

No. The Raven’s Eyes let you ignore modifiers to your Move characteristic, Advance roll, or Charge roll, and difficult terrain doesn’t modify those but rather the maximum distance you can move. This sucks, but Death Guard have the same problem – Inexorable Advance doesn’t help them get through difficult terrain, either. No one gets to have nice things.

Deathwatch: How do Derevenant Shells Work?

This is an example of a rule that clearly has an intent, but the wording is a bit funky due to how Reanimation Protocols is worded, since it has you roll Reanimation Protocols for a unit and not a model. Derevenant shells read:

Each time an attack made with a weapon firing this special-issue ammunition destroys a NECRONS model, until the end of the phase, a Reanimation Protocol roll cannot be made for that model.

Meanwhile, the rules for Reanimation Protocols say that:

Each time a unit’s reanimation protocols are enacted, make Reanimation Protocol rolls for that unit by rolling a number of D6 equal to the combined Wounds characteristics of all the reassembling models.

My interpretation of this is that you do not roll any D6 for a model killed by Derevenant Shells. Oddly, this means you could still bring back a model killed by Derevenant Shells if enough other models died from other ammo types to give you sufficient rolls, but Necron units tend to not have unique models all that often.


Poxwalkers by Craig “MasterSlowPoke” Sniffen

Codex: Death Guard

Can I give a Champion a Relic with the Relic Requisition to replace the Champion of Disease Stratagem?

Same problem as Honoured Sergeant, sadly – Neither the Relic nor the Specialist Reinforcments Requisitions covers this. I’d recommend a similar solution as above, letting Death Guard players use the Champion of Disease Stratagem normally and paying CP for it every game.


Well that wraps up all the Crusade questions I’ve been asked to answer. If you have others or more general rules questions, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at