The Goonhammer Hot Take: March FAQs

There’s a grab-bag of new FAQs out today, covering T’au, the GT Nachmund pack, and Vigilus Alone – we take a look and see what’s changed!

T’au Empire

It’s worth noting right from the top that with one exception these are not balance changes – which is as expected, since the post-book FAQs in 9th all follow the same pattern. There’s a fair few points clarified, though, which is helpful.

  • Vectored Manoeuvring Thrusters gain BATTLESUIT only – not surprising, but now explicit
  • Disengagement Protocols sept trait fixed to correctly work on the roll of a 2-5 instead of the 2-3 it says in the book. Obvious error, obvious fix.
  • Enriched Reactors sept trait now does 1 mortal wound in addition to the normal damage instead of, er, instead of. This was the worst faction trait ever printed previously, and seemed like something that was hangover from a previous draft when plasma wasn’t damage 3; now it at least does something worth having.
  • Aerospace Targeting Relays secondary now makes you measure from the centre of the markers that you place. Previously you just had to be within range of “the marker” with no clarity on the size of said, which opened up creative applications of the term “marker” and how big they could be.
  • Sceptre of Unity relic is now ETHEREAL only. If you don’t know what this is, worry not, I didn’t either – it’s a Crusade relic. Good, I guess.
  • Manta Strike now requires every model in the unit to have the ability to use it – no more deep striking Broadsides being airlifted in by Drones.
  • Commander Farsight’s Tactical Acumen ability gets erratad to say FARSIGHT ENCLAVES CORE and not <SEPT> CORE, and also to measure from “this model” rather than “this unit’s CRISIS BATTLESUIT COMMANDER model.” I think the first part has no actual effect because of how <KEYWORDS> worked anyway, but it closes off the argument that you could somehow add him in to an army and use his ability on a non-FSE unit; more importantly, the other keyword issue is that you couldn’t actually measure from Farsight before since he lacks the CRISIS keyword and so technically you couldn’t measure from anywhere. None of this is stuff that anyone was likely to play wrong in the real world, but fixing it so it works as written is a good thing.
  • Crisis Bodyguards, Early Warning Override and Multi-tracker wargear both updated to work like the other versions in the book. Another unsurprising change – the gear being different for no clear reason was pretty weird! No change to their hardpoints, though, which remain one fewer than regular teams.
  • Crisis Bodyguard, Sworn Protector ability now excludes VEHICLE and MONSTER units, i.e. Longstrike. It also requires the CHARACTER model to be within range, rather than unit; you can’t string back attached Drones and have those defended by Bodyguards any more (though weirdly you can hold the character back and string the Drones onto an objective still). This is the one balance change in here, probably driven as much by someone realising they screwed up by allowing it to happen in the first place as any actual balance considerations. A significant proportion of events were house ruling the Longstrike part to work like this anyway, so it won’t make a ton of difference, but good to have it fixed.
  • Stormsurges can now take multi-trackers; their equipment list previously referred to a “Stormsurge multi-tracker” option which didn’t actually exist. Given the rules for the regular flavour tracker are on their datasheet, it’s only right that they be allowed to take one.

KV128 Stormsurge. Credit: Rockfish
KV128 Stormsurge. Credit: Rockfish

That’s all the errata – an extensive list of sloppy editing, now corrected. FAQ-wise, there’s just three; firstly clarifying that DRONE models can’t have a different <SEPT> keyword to the model they’re attached to (basically only meaningful for Shadowsun), second clarifying that Drones do not grant their whole unit the ability to Fly (so no airlifting Pathfinders either!), and finally that being able to Remain Stationary does not allow you to move and do Actions without failing. Interestingly, that last one has a note that this is meant to be a general rule applicable to all factions, and that this will be included in a Core Rules update in future.

This is 90% of a good FAQ, with some useful clarifications and a lot of necessary textual fixes made. There’s a few bits missing, however (and thanks to Vrekais for providing the list!):

  • Guardian Drones are still a slow rolling nightmare – you can’t really fast roll attacks against a unit with these since they affect the wound roll (also an issue for Aeldari with the serpentscale platform). In general it would be good to have a bit of an update to fast rolling, since a lot of rules don’t really work if you fast roll – AoS has done exactly this, and Adeptus Titanicus handles it pretty well too.
  • Can a unit Fall Back and use Strike and Fade? Nothing actually prevents them doing so, but it feels like they shouldn’t be able to.
  • Can Drones and Vehicles advance with Markerlights? Their rule isn’t covered by the FAQ, and they explicitly are meant to be able to move and still complete the action; given that, can they Advance? There’s no reason why not, but it would have been good to clarify that too.
  • Taking Aun’shi or Aun’va in a sept other than their own loses the army Tactical Philosophies, despite their “join other septs” rule. Another one where the intent is very clear but the rules text fails to support it (and again comes up in Aeldari with the Phoenix Lords).

War Zone Nachmund

Just one errata to the pack itself, with Specialist Mobs added to the list of exceptions to the “one selectable keyword” rule. An eminently sensible change, and how most people were hopefully ruling it anyway. A couple of FAQs clarify similar points around this rule, firstly that named characters with fixed keywords aren’t affected by it even though their keyword would normally be selectable (so you can e.g. run Mephiston with some Dark Angels if you so wished), and secondly that Tempestus Scions are actually a different thing from other Guard units, and <REGIMENT> is seperate to <TEMPESTUS REGIMENT>. Both of these things were pretty clear if you read the rules, and indeed the first one is explicit in the text, but relying on 40k players to do that is never foolproof and so we’ve got FAQs to cover them. Given that we went down this route anyway, it would have been nice to get the further answer on “what about units that aren’t named characters that have no selectable keywords” since there’s a couple of those around (Death Korps of Krieg comes to mind) but at least this gives a steer in the right direction.

Sagittarum Guard by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

The final thing in the document (it is not exactly extensive!) is an update to the Munitorum Field Manual to make misericordias free for Sagittarum. This one’s a bit surprising – some events had claimed it was “intent” based on the Warhammer Community graphic, but it seemed clear to us that Sagittarum were materially different to other Custodes units since the misericordia gives them a real melee profile they don’t ordinarily have. Now they are, for some reason, still optional, but they’re free and you would never not take them. Custodes players will be glad of the help for their struggling new codex.

Vigilus Alone

Another single-pager, which isn’t even really a full page since half of it is blank. What little is here is good, though – GW clearly read our review of the book, and have fixed the Bloody Rose supplement to work like the Our Martyred Lady version, i.e. by not getting all its rules broken if you bring Morvenn Vahl or a Triumph. This is explicitly spelt out in the handy Designer’s Note which accompanies the errata. Not much to say here except that this is a good, sensible fix which makes the Bloody Rose rules more appealing.

Battle Sisters. Credit: Corrode

One further rule is erratad, with Outrage of the Matriarch getting a textual update to say “‘Until the end of the phase, each time that model makes an attack that targets an enemy unit containing any models with a Wounds characteristic that exceeds its own;” previously this just said “that targets an enemy model” but you don’t actually target models in 40k, you target units. It’s not a big change – most people will never have noticed the problem to begin with – but it’s good to fix little things like this when they crop up.


Some good and useful changes overall, particularly to T’au – nothing much in the way of balance except for scoping Longstrike out of Bodyguard, which a lot of people had done anyway, but some very helpful clarifications that should make things flow a little more smoothly. There’s a few bits missing, as Kais pointed out above, but hopefully those are coming down the line in the form of more general updates.