Ruleshammer 40k: Arks of Omen – Missions and Scoring Changes

Welcome to Ruleshammer! This week we’re covering the new Arks of Omen Mission rules. Remember the banner below will take you to the Ruleshammer 9th Edition Compedium, for all the questions I’ve answered for the last few months!

Changes to Game Setup

Last week I covered the really big changes for Mustering Armies in Arks of Omen games with the Arks of Omen Detachment, but there’s a set of smaller changes as well. The first one is a new Requisition Stratagem.

Heroic Support

Use this Stratagem before the battle, when you are mustering your army. If a Detachment Ability (excluding gene-sect) would limit the number of times you can include a unit in that Detachment to 1, you can include a maximum of 2 of that in that detachment instead. You can only use this stratagem once.

A stratagem with very obvious intent if there ever was one: mitigate the impact of removing the option for several same faction detachments but still letting you double up on a few key models like Kahls, Tau Commanders, or Daemon Princes. There are a few key points to mention here though.

  • This allows you to circumvent Detachment abilities only. Models that are limited to 1 in the army via their datasheet cannot get around this restriction, so Murderfang can’t have a body double.
  • Also going to mention that Tau Farsight Enclaves can’t use this. First their rule doesn’t limit their detachment to 1, it limits them to 2, so they don’t meet the criteria for using it. Even if they did it changes the max to 2 as well so it would not be of benefit to them anyway.

Setup Order

This mission pack uses the same order that last few have, meaning that this pack has carried forward the same error again by by doing so. In Arks Games (like Nachmund, and Nephilim) you choose deployment, select secondaries, and declare reserves. However this causes a slight ambiguity for one of the missions in the pack.

Missions 33 – Secure Missing Artefacts
Previous Objectives: After players have chosen their deployment zones, but before they declare reserves and transports, the  players reposition the objectives markers labelled A and B as described.

This leaves whether this should be done before or after secondaries vague. I would probably suggest before, as I tend to read “after” as meaning “just after/following” and the rest of the timing being slightly superfluous. However this mission rule was first written when secondaries were picked BEFORE choose Deployment Zones so it could be argued that it wasn’t meant to change and should be after secondaries.

Changes to Declaring Reserves

Strategic Reserves are free in Arks of Omen games. This is established on page 10, however the reprinted Core Rules in the back of the book are still for General Games so the CP cost table is still included on page 136. I think the intent is to ignore this if playing an Arks mission, because GT Packets are meant to be self contained rulesets that override the core rules where applicable.

The rest of the section should be familiar: Dedicated Transports need to start the game with a unit embarked as before (note this is the battlefield role, not all Vehicles that have the TRANSPORT keyword, so for example Sagitaur and Hekaton can both be empty). The unit count and points total of reserved unit still can’t exceed half of their respective totals.

AIRCRAFT in games using this Dataslate, and potentially future Dataslates must start in Strategic reserverse. They can exceed the usual limit but if they do, no further units may do so.

Aircraft units from your army must start the battle in Strategic Reserves. If the total points value of a player’s Aircraft units is more than half of the total points value of their army, that player’s Aircraft units must still start the battle in Strategic Reserves, and then no other unit from their army can be a Strategic Reserve and/or Reinforcement unit.

Changes to Deployment

No changes. It’s still one unit each alternating and Fortifications must still be deployed by both sides before moving onto any other types of units.


Some objectives have had a few lines removed, such as No Prisoner, then clarified how resurrected models should be accounted for. How they are treated hasn’t actually changed but this mission pack does introduce a few other objectives that award VP for destroyed enemy units. So they have moved this clarification from No Prisoners to apply generally to all such Objectives.

Some Progressive objectives will award victory points ‘each time’ an enemy model/unit is destroyed. A model/unit can, if it is resurrected for any reason (i.e. it was destroyed and subsequently returned to the battlefield), potentially contribute several victory points due to these types of objectives (assuming it is resurrected and subsequently destroyed several times over).

Secondary Changes

While this article won’t elaborate into much tactical detail there are some key changes in this pack worth covering.

  • Space Marine Chapters have had their chapter secondaries all cut down to one each. Be sure to review what secondaries you still have if you uses these.
  • Assassination and Grind Them Down now provide you a CP if a CHARACTER or single unit (you don’t need to actually score the other half of Grind Them Down) respectively is killed by a Troops unit, or unit with the ARMIGER-CLASS or WARDOG-CLASS keywords (to lets Knights in on the action). Something to consider in a game mode with no mandatory Troop selection. Regarding double counting:
    Assassination, as it does not award VP each time a CHARACTER is killed but instead VP for how many CHRACTERS are destroyed at the end of the game, it does not award VP twice if the same CHARACTER is killed multiple times.
    Grind them Down can count the same units being destroyed more than once because it is not a count and comparison of units destroyed at the end of that round, but how many unit destructions occurred. Even if a unit such as Guilliman stands back up, he was still destroyed this round and would count for the tally.

Armour of Fate: This model has a 3+ invulnerable save. The first time this model is destroyed, roll one D6 at the end of the phase. On a 4+, set this model back up on the battlefield as close as possible to where they were destroyed and not within Engagement Range of any enemy models, with D6 wounds remaining.

  • Psychic Interrogation got a bit funky. There’s a visiblity requirement but the requirement is atypical. It’s not CHARACTERS visible to the Psyker, it’s a CHARACTER that can see the Psyker. So if your Psyker is one that can’t see through Obscuring terrain but can be seen through it, such as Magnus the Red with 18 wounds, then even though he might not be able to see the CHARACTER, they can see him and he can use the Psychic Action.
  • Behind Enemy Lines base VP has been increased to 3VP for a single unit. Remains at 4VP for 2+ units, but in addition to that it also now provides CP if one of the units is a Troops unit, or unit with the ARMIGER-CLASS or WARDOG-CLASS keywords.
  • Engage on All Fronts had a small change: units still need to be 6″ away from other Table Quarters when claiming 3 quarters. When you try to claim all 4 quarters, units now only need to be more than 3″ from the other quarters.

Faction Secondary Access this is based just on the faction of your Arks of Omen Detachment, allied detachments do not restrict you in secondary choice but also don’t unlock their Secondaries for selection.

If a secondary objective is listed in one of the faction sections on pages 21-56, it is a faction secondary objective and it can only be selected by a player if their Arks of Omen Detachment (page 7) is a Detachment that matches the faction heading at the top of that list of secondary objectives.

Though this wording does make Ynnari’s use of Asuryrani objective even more tenuous if they have any Drukhari or Harlequins units.

Note: I’ve reviewed this based on helpful feedback, and it might make the Ynnari position less tenuous than it was, as it’s not longer asking for the entire army to be “of the appropriate faction” but instead concerned with what the detachment is.

A CRAFTWORLD Detachment that is from the Ynnari can also include HARLEQUINS units, <KABAL> DRUKHARI units, <WYCH CULT> DRUKHARI units, INCUBI units and SCOURGES units (see Codex: Drukhari), but for each of these units it includes, it must also include one ASURYANI unit with the same Battlefield Role. A YNNARI Detachment that includes any of these units in this way is still considered to be an ASURYANI Detachment, but the following additional rules apply:

and it would be considered a Asuryani detachment as far as I can determine.

Primary Changes

Gone are Domination, or Take And Hold and in there place every mission now has it’s own Primary Objective. However most of these will look very familiar as they are identical to the previous Primary Objectives. There’s some slight change to how they’re presented but it largely results in the same outcome.

Progressive Objective

In the second, third, and fourth battle rounds:
At the end of each players command phase, the player whose turn it is scores 4VP for each of the following conditions they satisfy (for a maximum of 12VP).
– They control one or more objective markers.
– They control two or more objective markers.
– They control more objective markers than their opponent controls.

In the fifth battle round:
– The player that has the first turn scores VP at the end of their Command Phase as described above for each of the above conditions they satisfy.
– The player who has the second turn scores VP at the end of their turn as described above for each of the of the above conditions they satisfy.

In Every Battle Round:
At the end of the battle round, each player scores 1VP for each enemy unit destroyed that battle round (to a maximum of 3VP per player per battle round).

Few things to unpack here, the smallest thing being why do GW always put the Maximum amounts in brackets, it’s not ignorable information. That small complaint aside, it is mostly a cosmetic change helping to clarify when Primary can be score and when it is scored for each player. I think it’s a lot better presented than the previous missions.

The concludes this quick run through the Arks of Omen Detachment, I’ll be keeping this article up to date with more examples and questions as the season continues. If you have a questions or suggestion for me to cover please drop us a note in the comments below, ask a question in our Ruleshammer form, or head over to r/ruleshammer to discuss.