Ruleshammer Terrain Guide – Woods

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. 

This Article number two in my series on 10th edition terrain and this week I’m covering Woods!

Ruleshammer Terrain Guides
Ruins – Woods

Woods have been a staple terrain piece of 40k for as long as I’ve been playing, but their rules have left a lot to be desired in the last few editions. They did very little in 8th, and Dense Cover rules in 9th were a hot mess. 10th edition I think has one of the best implementations of woods we’ve seen in a while and I’m excited to go through some examples of how they work.

Woods and Visibility

Woods make use of the visibility terminology introduced on page 8 of 10th edition Core Rules, changing if models are considered Fully Visible or not and having a cover benefit based on that state.

Models and units that are wholly within this terrain feature are never considered to be fully visible to an observing model. Similarly, if a model that is not wholly within this terrain feature must look through or over this terrain feature in order to draw line of sight to another model, then that other model is never considered to be fully visible to that observing model, and so it will have the Benefit of Cover from this terrain feature. Aircraft and Towering 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 that are wholly within this terrain feature can see out of it normally.

Let’s look at some examples to really understand that this all does. For this example I’ve created a rather strange Woods terrain feature that only has a single tree.

Models Not Wholly Within Shooting Through

Models Wholly Within Shooting Within and Out

Can large models see over the top, though?

Aircraft and Towering models determine line of sight “normally”, this means that due to their height there will be times when they can see over a wood to a fully visible target. Due to changes introduced in the September 2023 Balance Dataslate this is not true for Towering models and Ruins, they can’t see through ruins they are not within regardless of height. Aircraft however kept their exception to the Ruins rule and can see over them.

Woods and Cover

Cover in Woods is by comparison relatively simple once Visibility is understood.

Each time a ranged attack is allocated to a model, if that model is either wholly within this terrain feature, or it is not fully visible to every model in the attacking unit because of this terrain feature, that model has the Benefit of Cover against that attack.

It’s not too different to Ruins, but rather than blocking Line of Sight through the terrain, it provides cover to anything shooting through it. Here’s a visualisation of what that cover area might look like from projected from a shooting model:

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.