Ruleshammer – Engagement Range

Engagement Range

Engagement Range is a Core Rule affecting primarily the Movement Phase and Charge Phase.

Engagement Range represents the zone of threat that models present to their enemies. While a model is within 1″ horizontally and 5″ vertically of an enemy model, those models are within Engagement Range of each other. While two enemy models are within Engagement Range of each other, those models’ units are also within Engagement Range of each other. Models cannot be set up within Engagement Range of enemy models.

Engagement Range codifies the concept of “within reach of the enemy” into a single term for reuse across the rules, it has a vertical component (5″) allowing for fights across different elevations in ruins, over crates or around barrels. This prevents models from being unreachable when on a 1.1” tall plinth.

Engagement Range is used as a catch all term for this cylinder and it affects how units move and how they fight so it’s important to understand to play out those phases correctly. One key part of the Engagement Range rule other than being how things like Knights and Trygons fight in ruins, is that is also demonstrates how fights with models with the Hover Tank Rules should work  – getting within 1″ of a hovering vehicle’s “footprint” ensures you’re in engagement range thanks to the generous vertical allowance. 

Engagement Range’s Effects

  • Models can’t usually move within Engagement Range in the Movement phase. There are exceptions for units that have the FLY keyword, and extra exceptions for models that also have the AIRCRAFT keyword.
  • Any ability that provides you with the ability to move through or over models also lets you move within their engagement range while doing so, but you must end the move outside it.
  • The Psychic phase is mostly not affected by Engagement Range, except for when Psykers Fall Back as this prevents them from using Psychic Powers.
  • Units within Engagement Range in the Shooting Phase can not shoot, unless they are:
    • a VEHICLE or MONSTER and can therefore use the Big Guns Never Tire rule.
    • armed with Pistol type weapons.
  • The main areas that Engagement Range comes into play are the Charge and Fight Phases.

Known Issues


GamesWorkshop FAQ

Rare Rule – Moving Through Models

Some models have a rule that enables them to ‘move through/ over models’, or ‘move through/over models as if they were not there’. Sometimes such a rule will only apply to specific types of movement (e.g. Normal Moves, Advance moves, charge moves etc.) while other times it will apply to all types of movement. In any case, when moving a model with such a rule, it can be moved within Engagement Range of enemy models, but it can never finish a move on top of another model, or its base, and it cannot finish a Normal Move, Advance or Fall Back move within Engagement Range of any enemy models, and it can only end a charge move in Engagement Range of units it declared a charge against that phase).

Essentially this clarifies that even for times when moving with Engagement Range isn’t specifically permitted, if you have the ability to move through models then you now also automatically have the ability to move within Engagement Range. You still can’t end a move within Engagement Range though if the type of move you made doesn’t allow you to.

Ruleshammer Q&A

Psykers in Engagement Range

Q: I have 2 questions for thousand sons more specifically for psykers. In 9th edition, I can’t figure out of you can:
1) You are in close combat with your psyker, can you resolve psychic abilities?
2) You are not in close combat with your psyker, but can that psyker use psychic abilities on enemy units stuck in close combat with your units? – Odin S

Psykers can act normally whilst within Engagement Range and can select units within Engagement Range of friendly models as targets for their abilities, unless an ability itself says otherwise.

Start your Psychic phase by selecting one eligible Psyker unit from your army that is on the battlefield. Psyker units that Fell Back this turn (other than Titanic units) are not eligible. If you have no eligible Psyker units from your army on the battlefield, and no other rules that need to be resolved in the Psychic phase, the Psychic phase ends

The conditions for being eligible are that the Psyker isn’t currently performing a Psychic Action, and that the Psyker did not Fall Back. Outside of those limits though a Psyker within Engagement Range is free to act as normal, there are definitely some abilities that are best not use in these situations though, such as Vortex of Doom below.

Vortex of Doom has a warp charge value of 8. If manifested, a vortex opens above the nearest visible enemy model within 12″ of the psyker. That model’s unit, and every other unit within 3″ of that model suffers D3 mortal wounds. The number of mortal wounds inflicted is increased to D6 if the power is manifested with a Psychic test of 12+.


As you can see, this would be a bad idea. I think everyone involved would agree that this Psyker would have better served the imperium powering the astronomicon for a few milliseconds.