Ruleshammer Q&A: December 24th 2021

Welcome to Ruleshammer, a collection of resources to help explain the detail and complexity of some of the more confusing rules in Warhammer 40k. This week we’re covering some more questions submitted by you, the readers, and our patrons on the Goonhammer Discord.


Core: A Transport Explodes and destroys another Transport, Which Also Explodes… help

We actually had this happen during a game at GHO UK 2021… I think I got it right at the time but the game was on stream and the pressure was on so if what I write here isn’t what I said then, I am sorry. Though you did roll two 6s to explode with transports that could die to D3 mortals, so some of the blame should fall on your dice.

Here’s the scenario: Transport Alpha has just died and rolled a 6 to explode. This explosion will (in the future from this moment) deal enough mortal wounds to another nearby Transport Vehicle, Transport Beta, which will then also explode. What happens? Which embarked units are hit by which explosions, if any? Questions, Questions, Questions.

If a TRANSPORT model is destroyed, and that model has the Explodes ability (or equivalent), roll to see if it explodes and resolve any resulting damage to nearby units before setting up any units embarked within it (if any) on the battlefield. If there are any units embarked within the destroyed TRANSPORT model, these must now immediately disembark before the model itself is removed from the battlefield; these units are not affected by the destroyed model’s Explodes ability (or equivalent) – instead you must roll one D6 for each model you just set up on the battlefield. For each roll of 1, a model that disembarked (your choice) is destroyed. Units cannot declare a charge or perform a Heroic Intervention in the same turn that they disembarked from a destroyed TRANSPORT model. – Core PDF Pg12

So here’s the order of things as far as I can tell.

  1. Transport Alpha is reduced to 0 wounds and rolls a 6 to explode.
  2. We resolve the damage to any nearby models BEFORE disembarking from Transport Aplha
  3. Transport Beta is reduce to 0 wounds and rolls a 6 to explodes. Here it gets tricky… resolving the resulting damage of this death would include following the Destroyed Transport rule again… recursively. Transport Alpha still hasn’t disembarked any models.
  4. We resolve the damage to any nearby models BEFORE disembarking from Transport Beta. In my read this doesn’t include the Transport Alpha units that are still embarked.
  5. Transport Beta models disembark. Models that don’t fit are destroyed and the rest follow the check from Destroyed Transports, i.e. roll a d6 for each model set up and see how many are removed as casualties. Transport Beta is removed from the board.
  6. Transport Alpha models disembark. Models that don’t fit are destroyed and the rest follow the check from Destroyed Transports. Transport Beta is removed from the board.

This is based almost exclusively on the definition in the Core Glossary for “When”.

When: If a rule states that it takes place when a certain trigger occurs, unless otherwise specified, that rule takes effect before any others.

while the Destroyed Transport rule isn’t “when a transport is destroyed,” it’s still a certain trigger and there not order “otherwise specified” to follow in this case.

Thousand Sons Heldrake
Thousand Sons Heldrake. That Gobbo

Core: Hover mode and Airborne – here be dragons Heldrakes

A few people have asked about this since that FAQ and it’s been a pretty long time without a “fix”. Largely because it’s perhaps the least-argued about Rules as Intended ever so because players aren’t playing it “wrong” it hasn’t been changed.

Essentially yes Rules As Written this is “broken” and is also an example of a trend in GW rules FAQs to try to patch some things with Rare Rules that might have needed changes to the actual text of the rule.

It is not normally possible to end any kind of move within Engagement Range of an enemy AIRCRAFT model. However, many AIRCRAFT models have an ability (e.g. Airborne) that specifically says that they can only be charged by enemy units that can FLY. Such rules take precedence over those in the Core book, and units that can FLY can indeed declare a charge against an AIRCRAFT model, and they can end a charge move within Engagement Range of it.

The core rules of 40k prevent ALL units from ending moves without Engagement Range of Aircraft.

Whenever a model makes any kind of move, it can be moved across AIRCRAFT models (and their bases) as if they were not there, and they can be moved within an enemy AIRCRAFT model’s Engagement Range, but it cannot end the move on top of another model (or its base), and it cannot end the move within Engagement Range of any enemy AIRCRAFT models. – Core PDF Pg13

and really I’d argue the fix to the issue was to change the last sentence to

and it cannot end the move within Engagement Range of any enemy AIRCRAFT models unless the model has the FLY keyword and it is making a Charge move, Pile In Move, Consolidation Move, or Heroic Intervention.”

Instead they tied the fix to the Airborne rule and neglected to realise that some models lose this rule during the game but retain the AIRCRAFT keyword. Not that Hover Mode can really just start throwing the keyword away; this would cause the models to suddenly become Obscurable and make rules that affect AIRCRAFT have no effect on them.

Saying all of that, I want to reiterate that 99.9% of players (myself included) quite undestandably ignore this issue when playing and treat Aircraft as chargeable by FLY keyword models at all times, hovering or not.

Drukhari Alliance of Agony | Credit: Garrett “John Condit” Severson

Drukhari: Crucible of Malediction use frequency

Q:The “Crucible of Malediction” Drukhari strat, states that it “can only be used once”. Does this mean that once used, I not longer have access to it for the rest of my warhammer career? – Cory


Okay not really. I’m fairly certain this was a joke but while nothing makes it abundantly clear the rules explain how to play a singular game of Warhammer 40k (barring some cross game stuff for Crusade). The rules are no more aware of games that came before than they are of games that will come in the future. So it’s once, per game. Otherwise we get into situations where once you lose a game of warhammer, that’s it – you’ve lost at Warhammer and no amount of trying to play again would change that. Sorry, Greg.

Trukk. Credit: Rockfish
Trukk. Credit: Rockfish

Orks: Can Disembarking Trukk Boys Advance?

Q: Hotly debated, but can Trukk Boyz move and advance after disembarking from a Trukk that has moved? Rules state that units that disembark can act normally, but also that Embarked units count as having made the same move as the transport. – Myles

The answer to this one is a bit more subtle than I’d like. The Trukk Boyz rule that lets them disembark in the first place after the transport has moved has no restrictions on it, unlike the Impulsor rule.

Trukk Boyz: A TRUKK BOYZ unit can disembark from a TRUKK even if that TRUKK has made a Normal Move this phase. While any TRUKK BOYZ units are embarked upon a TRUKK, each time that TRUKK model makes a ranged attack, add 1 to that attack’s hit roll.

the subtle part is that embarked units only count as having done the move the transport did, while embarked.

For all rules purposes, units that are embarked within a Transport model that has made a Normal Move, Advanced, Fallen Back or Remained Stationary also count as having made the same kind of move that turn. – Core PDF Pg 12

It’s not “units that were embarked” it’s “units that are embarked” so if they’ve disembarked then they no longer count as having made the same move as the transport, which means that they can move, Advance, and even charge as normal.

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