With a massive and admirably comprehensive FAQ released last week, Vre’kais is once more donning the powerful robes and wig of Judge Ruleshammer and working through past articles, making sure they’re all up to date with the latest rulings, and then turning to some previously ambiguous questions that the new rules shed more light on. Today, it’s the turn of the Imperium for some renewed legisltative scrutiny.
Welcome to another Ruleshammer, this time June updates for Ruleshammer Codex: Space Marines, Dark Angels and Mechanicus. I will get to the other Marine chapters, honest. Find out how to send in your questions at the bottom or join our patreon to come ask me them on discord!
Combat Squads and Reserves
So this clears up so much about these abilities and represents a significant change for Combat Squads on the what was the consensus before. Whilst Deploy Armies did have a lot going for it as when “deployment” was, it never did quite line up with how other abilities were worded that took place in the “declare reserves” step. So what’s changed? Well we now know that deployment is in fact from the that declare reserves step. Here’s the new Rare Rule.
AT THE START OF, DURING AND AFTER DEPLOYMENT
These terms are commonly used in many rules. We wanted to clarify when each of these happens in the mission sequences that appear in mission packs such as Open Hostility, Eternal War etc.
- At the Start of Deployment: A rule that happens ‘at the start of deployment’, is resolved at the start of the ‘Declare Transports and Reserves’ step of the sequence. Combat Squads (see Codex: Space Marines) is an example of just such a rule.
- During Deployment: A rule that happens ‘during deployment’ can happen any time between the start of the ‘Declare Transports and Reserves’ step and the end of the ‘Deploy Armies’ step. The rule itself will provide further details as to exactly when it is used, but typically if the rule lets you set a unit up in a location that is not on the battlefield, it happens during the ‘Declare Transports and Reserves’ step, otherwise it happens during the ‘Deploy Armies’ step. Teleport Strike and Concealed Positions (see Codex: Space Marines) are examples of just such rules that are resolved at different times; a rule such as Teleport Strike allows a unit to set up in a location that is not on the battlefield, and so is resolved in the ‘Declare Transports and Reserves’ step; a rule like Concealed Positions triggers ‘when you set this unit up’, which happens in the ‘Deploy Armies’ step.
- After Deployment: These rules, which also include wordings such as ‘after both sides have deployed’, ‘after both sides have finished deploying’ etc. happen in the ‘Resolve Pre-Battle Abilities’ step. The Lord of Deceit Warlord Trait (see Codex: Space Marines) is an example of just such a rule. After all of these rules have been resolved, the players move onto the ‘Begin the Battle’ step, and the first battle round begins (triggering any rules that are used ‘when the first battle round begins’).
So now we know that Combat Squads happens BEFORE declaring reserves, which changes quite a bit. You can’t put a single unit into reserves using a stratagem such as White Scars Outflank, and then split it into two units afterward. On the other hand, you can decide to split up a unit that has a deepstrike ability and then only use that ability for one of the two new units, giving you a bit more flexibility.
Grim Resolve and Steady Advance – does this work?
I wrote a lot about this interaction before to come to the conclusion that I wasn’t sure. I think the new FAQ though does resolve this and the answer is that it works. Here’s a reminder of what Grim Resolve does
Each time a model with this tactic makes an attack, unless that model’s unit has moved this turn (excluding Pile-in and consolidation moves), add 1 to that attack’s hit roll.
And then the Steady Advance stratagem from Codex Space Marines:
Use this Stratagem in your Movement phase, when an ADEPTUS ASTARTES INFANTRY unit from your army makes a Normal Move. Until the end of the turn, that unit is considered to have Remained Stationary.
So how does the new Remain Stationary FAQ address this?
Rules That Count As Remaining Stationary
Some rules allow a unit to count as having Remained Stationary, or count as if it had not moved, even if that unit has moved during its Movement phase. The following rules apply to these type of rules:
5. Such rules mean that any other rules (abilities, Stratagems etc.) that are used or triggered when a unit Remains Stationary (e.g. Grinding Advance) can be used/are triggered.
The rare rule establishes pretty clearler that “having Remained Stationary” is equivalent to “count as if had not moved”, meaning that I feel these terms are finally interchangeable without too much debate. This really helps with some older rules. As Grim Resolve is a rule triggered if the unit hadn’t moved this turn, counting as Remaining Stationary is now pretty clearly the same thing, so it triggers. This does mean that the unit would have +1 to hit with attacks in a turn it charged, as it counts as remaining stationary for the entire turn. You still ccan’t use Steady Advance to gain either Advance and Charge or Fall Back and Charge, however, as the stratagem can only be used on a unit that has made a Normal Move.
Advancing but staying still for Jink and measuring moves for Death on the Wind
Jink Still Easy
Jink can still be gained without actually changing position, for the 5++ version as when doing a Normal move 0″ is less than your move characteristic, the model still counts as having moved though. Similarly advancing for the 4++ invulnerable doesn’t require the models actually move anywhere but once it’s declared they count as having Advanced even if they remain in the same physical place on the board.
Death on the Wind got sensible
As a reminder here’s the text of the secondary objective:
Score 2 victory points each time an enemy unit is destroyed by an attack made by a RAVENWING model from your army that moved 12″ or more during the Movement phase of that turn, or made a charge move that turn.
Previously there was no rule on the 12″ requirement that clarified if the 12″ needed to be total distance moved or displacement. So many argued that a model could move 6″ forward and 6″ back and be a valid unit to score VP for this objective. Not any more.
Moved x” or more: Some rules require a unit to move x” or more, or are triggered when a unit moves x” or more, where x is a specific value listed in the rule itself. In both such cases, it is the displacement between the start and end of the move that is being referred to, and not the total distance moved. For example, in the former case, such a rule requires all parts of every model in the unit to end their move at least x” away from where they started. In the latter case, such a rule is triggered when all parts of every model in the unit have ended a move at least x” away from where they started.
It’s now specifically the displacement. Though this does make the objective significantly harder to score. It’s very possible when moving around terrain with units like bikes to move more than 12″ but end less than 12″ displacement from where they started.
Are Ruststalkers immune to Difficult Ground?
Ruststalkers have the Optimised Gait ability:
This unit can ignore any or all modifiers to its Move characteristic, with the exception of that incurred due to the Deprecation effect of the Bulwark Imperative (pg 85). This unit can ignore any or all modifiers to its Advance rolls and charge rolls.
Previously this ability would not have ignored Difficult ground because the original wording of that rule didn’t modify the move characteristic, advance rolls or charge rolls. The new rule does modify them though.
If a unit makes a Normal Move, Advances or Falls Back, and any of its models wish to move over any part of this terrain feature, subtract 2″ from the Move characteristic of every model in that unit (to a minimum of 0), even if every part of this terrain feature is 1″ or less in height. If a unit declares a charge, and any of its models wish to move over any part of this terrain feature as part of its subsequent charge move, subtract 2 from that unit’s charge roll, even if every part of this terrain feature is 1″ or less in height. These modifiers do not apply if every model in the moving unit can Fly. These modifiers do not apply if every model in the moving unit is Titanic and this terrain feature is less than 3″ in height. The height of a terrain feature is measured from the highest point on that terrain feature.’
So Optimised Gait can now ignore the effects of Difficult Ground, something that also gives a nice helping hand to Death Guard over in Chaos land.
That’s it for this set of updates. 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.