Ruleshammer Terrain Guide – Ruins (mostly)

Welcome to Ruleshammer! This week we’re covering some of the most asked about 10th Edition Cover questions asked by you the readers, and our patrons on the Goonhammer Discord. 

In the first of a short series of articles on Terrain in Warhammer 40k I’ve put together some examples of how cover and Line of Sight works for Ruins terrain pieces. Over the next few weeks I will cover the other terrain types, so be sure to check back here for those articles.

Ruleshammer Terrain Guides
Ruins – Woods

Imagine a game of 40k… just kidding, here’s one I drew earlier at a key moment between a pitched battle between the upstart T’au Empire and the putrid Death Guard Chaos Space Marines.

This battlefield has been set up using one of the official Games Workshop Layouts and should represent the type of terrain players can expect to encounter at similar events, though these examples are applicable to any battlefield featuring Ruins terrain (which will be almost every table). Even if your Ruins are made of stacks VHS cassette boxes or used Loo Rolls, ruins are ubiquitous.

Core Examples

Ruins Blocking Line of Sight

Similar to the OIbscuring rule from older editions but with some new twists, Ruins block Line of Sight under certain circumstances, as demonstrated below.

Units Wholly Within Can See (and Shoot) Out

Shooting out of a ruin also presents some complex interactions on a per model basis. Cover is no longer the all-or-nothing of older editions in 10th! It’s very possible to gain the benefit of cover when in the open in this edition.

Figuring out when models have cover in scenarios like this can sometimes be very simple, or occasionally require checking the visibility of all the target models. See the examples below for how know which type of scenario you are in.

One Firing Model without Line of Sight

This can occur even without windows though, and will come up with Obstacle terrain as well. Even with the target in the open and the attacking unit mostly outside of the ruin like below it still applies.

Inspired by Trashpanda

One Target Model Fully Visible to All Attackers

Shooting Into Ruins

Shooting into ruins is far closer to the rules we’re accustomed to.

Models not Wholly Within

Probably one of the biggest changes to Line of Sight in this edition, and the most divisive.

What if it was treated as a different terrain type then?

There’s a good selection of terrain types in 10th but the suggested layouts favour ruins and almost nothing else! I definitely suggest checking how the others work as they might seem better suited to your particular set up!


Some battles will have even more extravagant fighting machines that have exceptions to some of these rules, broadly these are represented by Towering and Aircraft keywords. If your game is using the most recent Balance Dataslate (and I recommend it does even if not a tournament game!) then that introduces some changes since the core rules.

‘Models cannot see over or through this terrain feature (i.e. a unit outside this terrain feature cannot draw line of sight to a target on the other side of it, even if it would be possible to draw line of sight to that target through open windows, doors, etc.) Aircraft models are exceptions to this – visibility to and from such models is determined normally, even if this terrain feature is wholly in between them and the observing model. Models can see into this terrain feature normally, and models that are wholly within this terrain feature can see out of it normally. Towering models that are within this terrain feature can also see out of it normally.’



As covered above Aircraft just use the normal visibility rules even if there’s a ruin fully or partially between them and their targets. This works both ways!

That’s all for this week. 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.