Ruleshammer: Mailbag 005

Although we love Warhammer 40,000, the game’s complexity can be daunting, particularly for newer players. In Ruleshammer, we look at the nuances of the game’s rules and how they affect gameplay, clearing up potential issues and helping make sense of some of the game’s less common interactions. In today’s Ruleshammer, Rob “Vre’kais” Chilton covers some of your questions!

Your Questions Answered! Ruleshammer: Mailbag 005

Question from David regard: Psychic Phase Activation

Do you have to resolve all psychic powers a model/unit can cast before moving on the next model/unit?

No. The Psychic Phase rules lay our that you select a psyker and an individual power each time.

1. Choose Psyker and Power

Some models are noted as being a Psyker on their datasheet. Psykers can manifest their otherworldly abilities and attempt to deny enemy sorceries. The powers a psyker knows, and the number of powers they can attempt to manifest or deny each Psychic phase, are detailed on their datasheet.

So there’s no rule that prevents you from selecting a different Psyker between activating this one the first time and any subsequent times that turn.

Question from Ben regarding: Slow Rolling Horrors saves

On the subject on fast rolling vs. slow rolling – how should wounds interact with the split ability of pink horrors? Would it be reasonable to slow roll saves until one is failed, set up the blue horrors & choose them to take the next save? In this way you could fail 5 saves, but only remove 1 pink horror from a unit, which would then get a lot more benefit from the magical horde rule. I ask because it feels unfair/awkward to roll a significant number of wounds 1 at a time, and still have a unit of pink horrors at the end of it!

Yes. There doesn’t seem to be any reason I can find that would prevent this from working. The split rule is quite clear that the new models appear when the original is slain.

Split: Each time a Pink Horror is slain, you can add up to two Blue Horrors to its unit before you remove the slain model. Each time a Blue Horror is slain, you can add one pair of Brimstone Horrors to its unit before you remove the slain model. The replacement models cannot be placed within 1″ of an enemy model. Note that Horrors that flee do not generate any extra models for their unit.

So they would be on the board for the next wound to be allocated to.

Question from GenWilhelm regarding: My Will Be Done with Overwatch

I’ve seen lots of different interpretations to this one, so I’m curious to see what you have to say.

My Will Be Done: At the beginning of your turn, choose a friendly <DYNASTY> INFANTRY unit within 6″ of this model. Add 1 to Advance, charge and hit rolls for that unit until the beginning of your next turn. A unit can only be chosen as the target of this ability once in each turn.

Tesla Carbine: Each hit roll of 6+ with this weapon causes 3 hits instead of 1.

While under the effect of My Will Be Done, I fire overwatch with a Tesla carbine and roll an unmodified hit roll of 5. My Will Be Done modifies that to a 6, triggering the ability of the Tesla carbine. How many hits are scored?

So at first this really stumped me, my knee jerk reaction was “but modifiers don’t work in Overwatch” but then I went to double check that and it’s not quite that simple.

3) Overwatch

Each time a charge is declared against a unit, the target unit can immediately fire Overwatch at the would-be attacker. A target unit can potentially fire Overwatch several times a turn, though it cannot fire if there are any enemy models within 1″ of it. Overwatch is resolved like a normal shooting attack (albeit one resolved in the enemy’s Charge phase) and uses all the normal rules except that a 6 is always required for a successful hit roll, irrespective of the firing model’s Ballistic Skill or any modifiers.

So Overwatch doesn’t disable modifiers, it just stops them from affecting what result is required for a hit. However I still think that Tesla carbine doesn’t actually work in this situation because of this key part.

causes 3 hits instead of 1.

So despite the modifier still turning the 5 to a 6, the ability specifically says that the roll causes 3 hits INSTEAD of 1. Except in this situation there’s no 1 hit to be instead of, and it doesn’t say 3 instead of 0. So my take is that the ability needs a hit to be instead of and thus fails. Modifiers do still apply in Overwatch though, so if someone shot at a unit with -3 to hit hit in Overwatch with an overheating Plasma rifle that overheats on 1s, then 4s would still trigger it.

Also regarding: Resurrected Characters and objectives.

My other query is to do with resurrection abilities. As an example (since we’re on the topic of Necrons), this is what Resurrection Protocols says:

Use this Stratagem when a NECRONS CHARACTER from your army (excluding Trazyn the Infinite and C’TAN SHARDS) is slain. At the end of that phase, roll a D6. On a 4+ set the character up again, as close as possible to his previous position, and more than 1″ from any enemy models, with 1 wound remaining. This Stratagem cannot be used to resurrect the same model more than once per battle.

Assuming the 4+ is rolled, does the model count as slain for the purposes of any objectives? (e.g. the Assassinate tactical objective)

Is the unit destroyed due to the last model in the unit being slain? (i.e. does it cost reinforcement points to use in a Matched Play game?)

Okay so there’s not a simple FAQ that covers exactly this but there’s a few relevant ones. My reading is that the unit only counts as destroyed if it is destroyed at the end of the game.

Q: When is a unit considered to be ‘completely destroyed’ or ‘wiped out’?

A: These two terms are used synonymously. A unit is considered to be completely destroyed when the last model in that unit is destroyed (also referred to as slain) or flees.

The 4+ roll here lets you put the last model of the unit (even if it only has one model max it’s still a unit) back on the board, so it’s not destroyed yet.

Q: What about rules that add models to existing units; do I need to pay reinforcement points for those models?

A: No (unless the rule itself says otherwise or adding the models would take the unit above its starting size).

The unit still exists when you use this strat, you remove models from units after/because they are slain. So my reading it is

  • Attack > Slain > Strat > Resurrected. If you suceeed.
  • Attack > Slain > Strat > Destroyed. If you failed.

As the unit is still there and you’re just adding models to it it does not cost any reinforcement points.

Q: If my opponent’s Warlord was slain during the battle, but has an ability, Stratagem etc. that has allowed it to be set back up again during the battle, do I score the victory point for the Slay the Warlord victory condition?

A: You only score this victory condition if the Warlord is destroyed at the end of the battle.

This last FAQ just sets the precedent that for things to count as scored their trigger must still be true at the end of the battle.

Hope these answers have been helpful! Don’t forget If you want your rules debate answered before the end of this edition, you can submit questions both on reddit, or via this form. Or drop us a note in the comments below or email us at If you have any questions about 9th so far then please do send them in or ask on reddit, some will get featured in Q&A but others will really help me plan out articles for 9th edition’s changes!