The Games Workshop 40k World Championships FAQ Hot Take

With the first ever World Championships of Warhammer fast approaching, Games Workshop has been working behind the scenes to prep for the event, briefing players, arranging brackets for the format (we’ll have more on that later this week), and, apparently – writing FAQs. Yesterday Games Workshop quietly released an event FAQ to attendees for the Warhammer 40,000 GT detailing a number of important and controversial rules in the game which had up to this point gone unaddressed.

While the document itself is fairly short – you can check it out here – there’s a ton going on here, some of it good, some of it… pretty baffling, actually. We’ve got a full rundown of what changed and our thoughts on it, so strap in.

Abilities that cause units to take Battle-shock tests below Starting Strength don’t force multiple tests.

This is primarily a nerf to Tyranids and Chaos Knights, where previously the idea was that units would have to take multiple tests if they were below half strength (one for being below starting, one for below half), making it much more likely a unit might fail a test. While this certainly seems in line with other abilities that say you only test once in the Battle-shock step of your Command phase, those abilities (like Haarkan’s Herald of the Apocalypse ability) explicitly say “This ability cannot cause a unit to take two Battle-shock tests in the same phase”. It’s also a pretty heavy nerf to armies that didn’t need one.

Big Guns Never Tire and Pistols don’t make units eligible to shoot in other phases (i.e. when attempting to Overwatch). 

This was more a clarification than a change – the Out of Phase rules pretty much already covered this, but it was also confusing and caused a lot of problems. Basically, the only time you can fire overwatch at a unit that charged another unit and ended up within Engagement Range is if that unit is a VEHICLE or MONSTER and you’re shooting with a unit that is outside Engagement Range of any enemy units. It’s very narrow, but it does do one important thing, which is largely ensure that you can make protected charges, even against units with flamer pistols, if you can do so from outside their line of sight. That’s ultimately a good thing for the game, even if it makes pistols much worse. This also means that a charged VEHICLE or MONSTER can’t use overwatch to shoot something outside combat if it’s engaged, meaning you should tag those land raider redeemers early and often.

Credit: BuffaloChicken

Units which count as having made a move do not trigger abilities that trigger at the start or end of a move.

This is a weirder one but it has quite a few corner-case effects, such as not triggering abilities/Stratagems like Mists of Deimos, which could otherwise be used to move away from units which disembarked from a Transport making a normal move (but did not otherwise move themselves), or arrived via Deep Strike. In that sense, it’s a nerf to those abilities, as now you have several ways of slipping in under their radar and setting up charges which you couldn’t before.

This is also a direct buff to Chaos Daemons and Genestealer Cults as they both have abilities that allow you to set up from reserves closer than 9”. Chaos Daemons using their Warp Rifts ability from the Daemonic Incursion detachment, allowing for 6” charges. Similarly, Genestealer Cults’ Tunnel Crawlers stratagem allows 3” deepstrikes that then can be used to set up bombing runs with Acolyte Hybrids. Also big for Land Raiders, which can let units out within 9” of their target after making a Normal Move and set up short charges into units which might otherwise be allowed to move away.

Note that Fire Overwatch is not affected by this as it also includes when units are set up, so once they’ve been set up on the battlefield, they’re fair game.

Units cannot disembark from a TRANSPORT arriving from Reserves.

This is a big blow to Land Raiders, which could previously arrive from Strategic Reserves and let a unit out for a 6” charge against something placed too close to the edge. That’s because the disembarking rules simply state that a unit can disembark “in the Movement phase” with no restriction on it being outside the Reinforcements step. This removes that potential loophole, though it leaves us wondering why they didn’t just make Reinforcements a separate phase to clean all this up when they had the chance.

Drop pods are the clear exception here as they already have explicit wording in their rules that units disembark when they arrive.

One-Shot Weapons can’t be fired again from a TRANSPORT’s Firing Deck (and also you use your shot)

This was a cute loophole where some people were trying to get additional shots from One-Shot weapons via the vehicle’s Firing Deck, since the vehicle counts as being equipped with that weapon. You can’t do this.

Additionally, if you fire a One-Shot weapon from a Vehicle’s Firing deck, the model is now considered to have shot that weapon for the rest of the battle.

Primaris Eradicators - Heavy Melta Rifles. Credit: Rockfish
Primaris Eradicators – Heavy Melta Rifles. Credit: Rockfish

Bonus Damage from [MELTA] Weapons is a modifier.

Bonus damage from Melta weapons is considered an addition modifier and follows the normal process for applying modifiers. This means that if an ability modifies an attack’’s damage to 0 the additional damage is applied after. This is also true for dividing an attack’s damage by half.

For a concrete example; Magnus is in -1 damage mode and fails a save from a War Dog Thermal Lance. The Thousand Sons player uses their stratagem to reduce the damage to 0. The D6 damage is replaced by 0, then melta 4 is added, then the damage is reduced by 1 due to Magnus’ ability meaning Magnus takes 3 damage.

Command Re-Roll Does In Fact Target a Unit

There are some abilities which allow a unit targeted by a Stratagem to use that Strat for 0 CP. Unfortunately, the wording of Command Re-roll was that it didn’t technically target a unit. Following the changes in the Q3 balance dataslate, this made some abilities pretty worthless since it substantially reduced the number of Stratagems they could affect, and for some units Command Re-roll was the only real option they had left. This clears up oneof the game’s dumber RAW issues and makes Canis Rex more playable.

As much as we liked the change to CP cost changing abilities, it’s clear that the Stratagems themselves were written without any consideration for rules that might key off typing, and we suspect this will continue to cause problems for at least a few codexes.

Units which leave the table after the first battle round has started and arrive back on the battlefield in the Reinforcements step of your next Movement phase can be set up on the table during the first battle round.

These units arrive as though it were the second battle round but don’t get to use any special abilities that happen when they arrive from Strategic Reserves if the rule put them into Strategic Reserves. This is more a clarification, as abilities for enhancements like the Umbralefic Crystal and Veil of Darkness have always been intended to put you back on the table immediately. It also makes it much more possible for units like the Calidus Assassin to score max points for Deploy Teleport Homers on turn 1, though.

This also applies to units that don’t make use of Strategic Reserves or Deep Strike.

Abilities like Strands of Fate and Acts of Faith which occur “before making a dice roll” can be used as part of a re-roll.

This is one of those things that is technically correct, since a re-roll is a roll, but it sucks. It means you can as an Eldar player roll for something to see if you got a success, and then use a Fate dice to modify the result before making your second roll with the Detachment ability, making an ability that was already absurdly powerful even moreso. Same goes for Sisters. This stinks, and they should errata the abilities to remove it as an option. Make players commit.

Infiltrators which redeploy can’t use Infiltrators when redeploying.

This one’s a bit weird, and nerfs Infiltrators. It’s also not nearly as relevant in a world where you redeploy before the first turn roll-off. There are still two ways to get post roll-off redeploys, both in the new Codexes, so this does nerf those a bit.

Captain-General Trajann Valoris Solar Watch scheme painted by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Weapon profiles aren’t part of a unit’s characteristics.

Units like Trajann, Grand Masters, and Mortarion which ignore modifiers to their characteristics do not ignore modifiers to the characteristics of their weapons. So abilities that reduce incoming damage or lessen the AP of those attacks still work. This means that you can reduce Mortarion’s WS/BS via Contagion (since WS/BS are weapon characteristics, not unit characteristics), reduce damage on Trajann’s attacks, or use abilities like Armour of Contempt to reduce the AP of incoming attacks from a Grey Knights Grand Master.

This is a particularly prickly one; I think GW just got the rules wrong entirely here, as wording in the rules indicates that the attack characteristic is part of the unit’s characteristics. It also makes these abilities much worse and a lot less special and they’re already pretty rare. This stinks, and GW should fix it.

Abilities which give you CP in your Command phase count toward your 1 CP per Battle Round limit.

This one feels pretty obvious.

If a unit with a CHARACTER, MONSTER, or VEHICLE models fails several Hazardous tests at the same time, models with a Hazardous weapon take the effects.

For each failed Hazardous test you take with a unit, the controlling player picks one model in the unit equipped with a Hazardous weapon. That model suffers the consequences of the failed tests (destroyed or taking 3 MWs, depending on if it’s a character/vehicle/monster or not), until it is destroyed, then you pick another model equipped with a Hazardous model and do the same, until there are none left.

The primary target of this ruling is Crisis Suits, who would previously argue that, as Hazardous wounds were not attacks, you could distribute mortal wounds all over the place when firing Cyclic Ion Blasters with the unit – prioritizing the Commander with 7 wounds and the ability to eat 6 – then end up with a bunch of partially wounded suits still shooting at full damage. That sucked, and so we’re glad it’s gone.

Final Thoughts

Some kind of additional FAQ needed to happen for 40k – too many abilities and rules had gone unaddressed that had major implications up until now. There are still some things that need addressing here which haven’t been touched – do replacement units get back one-shot weapons? – but the list of things to address is a good one. And we’re glad to see them finally addressing it for what is one of the most important events of the year. Many of these rulings make sense and help clear up things that we’ve had questions about or were leading to abuse.

That said, some of these rulings are also bad. The modifier rules in particular seem crazy, and we’re not fans of being able to modify a re-roll for any faction. And while this isn’t an official game-wide FAQ – it’s just for the World Championships – we expect this to be more or less how GW rules on things in their next official FAQ, though obviously we’re hoping for a few changes between now and then.

So overall, B+. Glad to see more FAQ stuff that needed addressing, would like to have seen a bit more, and some different rulings on a few things.

Have any questions or feedback? Think they got it wrong? Love these changes? Drop us a note in the comments below.