Ruleshammer Q&A: December 10th 2020

Welcome back to Ruleshammer! This week covering some fiddly bits of the game where the intended and hopefully correct interpretation is just a bit tricky to nail down.

Question 1 – Number of Attacks for new Necron weapons that do “additional” attacks.

Thanks so much for your expertise and awesome explanations! It’s really help me get started in Warhammer (started Oct 2020). Question about how the # of attacks (fight phase) is calculated when there are special weapon abilities. Skorpekh destroyers have 3 attacks. When wielding the Hyperphase Thresher weapon, it says that “Each time the bearer fights, it makes 1 additional attack with this weapon”. Does this mean that the number of Attacks = 6 or 4? As these models have 2 Threshers apiece, I can see the argument for 6 attacks (3 attacks with 2 blades = 6 attacks) as well as 4. Thanks. – Mike

First of you are most welcome! I’m here to help! Necrons actually have a two units like this that I’m aware of, other than just the Skorpekhs, so let’s cover them both.

Skorpekh  Destroyers

The first thing to notice is that the models do not have 2 Hyperphase Threshers, they have a single weapon called Hyperphase Threshers plural. That single weapon profile represents all the weapons they are equipped with. With that established it’s the exact wording of the ability for the Hyperphase Threshers is what matters here.

Each time the bearer fights, it makes one additional attack with this weapon.

Fighting in the 9th ruleset is not making an attack with the weapon, it’s being activated to fight in the fight phase. This only happens once per unit, unless the unit is affected by an ability that allows it to fight again. So for the models equipped with Threshers it’s their base 3 attacks + 1 Additional attack, for 4 attacks total for that fight activation. If the models did have mutliple Threshers it would be one additional per weapon though, for a total of 5. 

Ophyidian Destroyers

These are a little bit more confusing. Again the weapons are plurals so regardless of how many threshers or closes these models have stuck to them the profiles represent all of them. The standard load out with Hyperphase Threshers and Ophydian Claws will have 3 base attacks, you can choose which weapon these are resolved using though between the two and then you get the additional attacks for the two weapons on top of that. So the model could chose for example to allocate them like this;

  • 3+1 Hyperhphase Thresher Attacks and 2 Ophydian Claw Attacks OR
  • 1 Hyperphase Thresher Attack and 3+2 Ophydian Claw Attacks OR
  • X+1 Hyperphase Thresheser Attacks and Y+2 Ophydian Claw Attacks where the values used satisfy X+Y=3

The special model in the unit that replaces it’s threshers with a reap blade can also choose how it allocates, so it could decide to put all of it’s attacks into the claws if it really wanted to, not that I can think of a reaon why you would ever want to.


Skorpekh Destroyers
Skorpekh Destroyers. Credit: Chris Cowie

Question 2 – Using a Stratagem on a unit not on the board

Dear Ruleshammer, Can stratagems be used to target units that are currently off the table (e.g. via Teleport Strike)? I ask because the Deathwatch stratagem Brotherhood of Veterans states “Use this Strategem in your Command phase. Select one Deathwatch unit from your army, then select one Chapter Tactic or Successor Tactic. Until the end of the turn, models in that unit have that Chapter Tactic or Successor Tactic instead of the Xenos Hunters Chapter Tactic.” The clause “from your army” doesn’t seem to specify “on the table,” and “army” is defined in the core rulebook as every model in your army roster. Should the rules stating that stratagems can’t affect units in transports be used as a precedent here? Thanks in advance! – Blue

I think you really have already pretty well defended argument that this stratagem should work on units that aren’t “on the battlefield”. There’s also nothing in the general stratagems rules themselves that precludes this use either. I would still like some clarification on the off board models, planes bombing after leaving was the other main one that needs addressing. I think here though the target for that stratagem is very clear and would include models still waiting to arrive as reinforcements.


Question 3 – Applying multiple modifiers to hit and wound (and a bit about not jumping straight to Attacker’s Priority)

You have a stratagems to add pluses to hits and wounds and your opponent has stratagems to nullify pluses to hits and wounds. Which one takes prescedence? Also consider one a vis one vs two stacked pluses modifier stratagems against the single nullify pluses stratagem.- Noel Rivera

Okay there’s a few different things to be clear on here. If the statagems being use are just more modifiers. The end result is just normal arithmatic with the result being rounded to +1 or -1 as appropriate. The FAQ for the Tau Ghostkeel is a good example of this.

Q: When an enemy model makes a ranged attack against a XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit unit, its Ghostkeel Electrowarfare Suite applies a -1 modifier to the hit roll. If that unit is within 3″ of a friendly MV5 Stealth Drones unit, the drones’ Stealth Field ability applies a further -1 modifier to the hit roll. Given that hit rolls cannot be modified by more than -1 or +1, and combined these abilities result in a -2 modifier, how does this work?
A: While hit rolls and wounds rolls cannot be modified by more than -1 or +1, this limit takes effect after all applicable modifiers have been applied, some of which may cancel each other out.

So if a unit with a +1 to hit modifier shoots at a Ghostkeel, then it’s -2 modifier would still have a net result of -1. If a model with no modifers to their hit rolls shot at the Ghostkeel it would still only have a -1 to hit applied because of the limit.

However if the stratagem instead prevents a unit from being modified, this could for instance prevent an enemy having a +1 or prevent one of your own units being affected by a -1. Then there’s no actual conflict between these rules. If the enemy used a stratagem to give their unit a +1 and then you used a stratagem to prevent that unit being affected by modifiers. The result would be the unit can’t use the modifier. There is a rare rule for when rules do actually conflict though. The main example of these rules are one that always hit or always wound on a certain dice roll, facing an ability that says they can only be hit or wounded on certain rolls themselves. If the rules genuinely conflict in this way, then in most cases the Attackers Priortiy Rare Rule explains how to resolve them.

Attackers Prority: While resolving attacks, you’ll occasionally find that two rules cannot both apply — for example, when an attacking model with an ability that enables it to always score a successful hit on a 2+ targets a model that has an ability that states it can only be hit on a 6+. When this happens, the attacking model’s rules take precedence.

It’s easy to think this rule applies more often than it actually does though, as discussed it would not apply to conflicting positive and negative modifiers because that interaction can be worked out applying the normal rules. The Rare Rule is for situations where, once you’ve applied all the rules, the end result is that you’re still being told to do two contradictory things, so you need to remove one of them for the game to be able to proceed. There’s also abilities that overule this such as Transhuman Physiology

Use this Stratagem in any phase, when a PRIMARIS unit from your army is selected as the target of an attack. Until the end of the phase, each time an attack is made against that unit, an unmodified wound roll of 1-3 for that attack fails, irrespective of any abilities that the weapon or the model making the attack may have. If that unit contains 5 or fewer models, this Stratagem costs 1CP; otherwise, it costs 2CP.

This extra line resolves the conflict that the abilities would otherwise have, so we end up back in a situation where there is no ambiguity over which ability wins. I went off on a bit of a tangent there but I hope that’s helped still!

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