The Goonhammer Hot Take: Ritual of the Damned and Chapter Approved 2019 FAQs

In Goonhammer Hot Takes, we do quick-pass reviews and reactions to new releases, rules, and events. In today’s Hot Take, we’re covering the the new FAQs for Ritual of the Damned and Chapter Approved 2019.

In what is becoming a bit of a trend, Games Workshop stealth released two more FAQs this week, suggesting that Monday may be the new day of the week to expect FAQ drops. There are two major releases today:

Both of these have major updates for their respective books,

For players who haven’t been over the original books with a fine-toothed comb, or those players who want to know what these changes mean for their games and the meta, don’t worry — Goonhammer’s got your back, and we’ll be covering both documents, the major revelations in each, and what these clarifications, changes, and errata mean.

Let’s start with the FAQ we’ve been waiting for longer on, Chapter Approved 2019.

 

The Chapter Approved 2019 FAQ

Almost all of the content in the Chapter Approved 2019 FAQ/Errata concerns the Munitorum Field Manual (the booklet containing all the points costs), so if you were hoping for clarification on some of the Narrative Play content well, better luck next time. That said, there are two major, important changes to the core book:

Credit: Svbfloorvg

Fixed Datasheets for the Contorted Epitome and the Keeper of Secrets

We noted this in our updated Start Competing: Slaanesh Tactics article, Chapter Approved 2019 completely donked up the Keeper of Secrets’ profile, giving it 12″ movement and degrading strength, along with no Snapping Claws attacks, rendering it completely useless. While it’s frustrating to see that it took two months to fix that, balance was restored to the universe, and the KoS now has 14″ movement and degrading additional attacks with Snapping Claws. Something I completely missed was that somehow the updated Contorted Epitome datasheet left off the PSYKER keyword, which probably created at least one silly interaction at some point. If your local TO was a complete ass and was forcing you to play with bad KoS and Epitome profiles, this is great news.

 

Munitorum Field Manual Updates

There are about three pages of changes to the Munitorum Field Manual points, so let’s dive into those. These fall into two categories: Addendums and Amendments. Spoiler Alert: If you were hoping for balance changes or substantive adjustments to units that might have been wreaking havoc on the meta, there’s nothing for you here. There are a couple of tweaks that matter, but they’re mostly for Space Wolves and Custodes.

Space Marines

  • Added Points Values for the Relic Sicaran Arcus Strike Tank (140), Relic Sicaran Omega (170), Carab Culln the Risen (360), and Gabriel Angelos (185).
  • Added points for the Omega Plasma Array (0) and the Twin rotary missile launcher (0).

Dark Angels

  • Instigator Bolt carbines and Heavy laser destroyers for Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Dark Angels for their Eliminator Sergeants and Repulsor Executioners
  • Master Lazarus for Dark Angels (105 points)

Space Wolves

  • Instigator Bolt carbines and Heavy laser destroyers for Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Dark Angels for their Eliminator Sergeants and Repulsor Executioners
  • Space Wolf Land Speeders dropped to 45 points (-25ppm down from 70) – It was kind of baffling that Space Wolves Land Speeders were 70 points per model, especially given how much worse they were than standard Marines Land Speeders. This sensible drop makes them… well, still worse, but they’ll catch up when Space Wolves (presumably) get Combat Doctrines in the upcoming Psychic Awakening: Saga of the Beast supplement.
  • Skyclaws are now 5-15 models per unit. This fixes an issue where CA19 reduced the squad size from the Codex, which is a good thing because Skyclaws can potentially benefit more from stratagems and buffs when they’re in larger squads. Hopefully this will matter when Saga of the Beast comes out.
  • Swiftclaws are now 3-15 models per unit. Another fix to squad sizes.

Deathwatch

  • Fixed Models Per Unit Typos for Troops. This was another no-brainer; previously the “models per unit” column for Deathwatch Troops had the points values in them. Now those have been fixed.
  • Primaris Apothecary is now 60 points (-8ppm). Brings the Deathwatch Primaris Apothecary in-line with the Space Marine versions. A welcome change, since it made no sense for the DW version to cost more than its now far superior counterparts.
  • Repulsor Executioner Added to Deathwatch Section. The points haven’t changed, but this notable omission from the Deathwatch points section has been added (215), along with the Heavy Laser Destroyer (40) and the Twin Icarus Ironhail Heavy Stubber (10).

Adepta Sororitas

  • “Other Wargear” section added to points values. This was an odd omission, but one most people missed because the Codex wasn’t out yet. This adds points for wargear like the Armorium Cherub, Null Rod, and Storm Shields.

Adeptus Mechanicus

  • Knight Gallant increased to 305 points. This fixes a weird discrepancy where these were 20 points cheaper for Adeptus Mechanicus armies, but no one used them because 1. Gallants are bad, and 2. You’d just take them out of the Imperial Knights book anyways to get stratagems.
  • Heavy Stubber decreased to 2 points (-2). No one noticed when heavy subbers went up by 2ppm for Admech because most Admech units use Cognis Heavy Stubbers (or Twin Cognis Heavy Stubbers), and they’re only on Knights. This is another change that doesn’t matter because players don’t take Imperial Knights from Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus, and as with Daemons in Codex: Chaos Space Marines, is a great example of why Games Workshop have largely stopped mixing book units like this.

Adeptus Custodes

  • Forge World costs reverted to post-NOVA levels. A number of big changes here, mostly reversing the reversals we saw Chapter Approved 2019 make from the fall points update just before NOVA in late August. These only affected Forge World units – Codex units were unchanged. Specifically:
    • Aquilon Terminators +5ppm
    • Caladius Grav tank +20ppm
    • Caestus Fists -10 single/-10 pair
    • Adrasite Spear -1ppm
    • Arachnus storm cannon +5ppm
    • Illastus Accelerator Culverin +10ppm
    • Infernus incinerator -1ppm
    • Lastrum bolt cannon -2ppm
    • Twin Illiastus Accelerator -10ppm
    • Las pulsar -5ppm

Shane’s Note: Ironically enough these aren’t truly changes at all, it is reverting to what the points cost were during the Ares rules release in the summer of last year. There is one piece of FW wargear that doesn’t revert however, Misercordia are still 3pts, to match up with codex values. The Custodes Codex units are unchanged with the FAQ. Long story short, the sky isn’t falling for Custodes, it is the same as it was before CA for FW units. Keep Gold and Carry on.

Astra Militarum

All the adjustments are for Forge World here.

  • Added points values for the Carnodon (60), Volkite Caliver (12), and Volkite Culverin (24) entries. The Carnodon recently got a datasheet for use in 40k, giving the Astra Militarum access to a 60-point tank with some interesting weapon options. The points values for it have been added to the Field Manual.
  • DKoK Punisher Gatling Cannons jump to 30 points (+10). This brings them in-line with Codex Punishers. Which isn’t nearly as big a deal as…
  • Twin Punisher Gatling Cannon jumps to 60 points (+20). The Twin Punisher Gatling cannon option on the Vulture gets 20 points more expensive, effectively killing it as an option because, in the immortal words of Scott Horras “Heresy,” “Who’s tryna pay 205 points for Vultures? RIP Vulture 10 Feb 2020.”
  • Elysian Drop Troops’ Mortars increased to 9 points (+4). This brings them in line with the standard cost for Astra Militarum mortars, and corrects what was likely an oversight.

Drukhari

Several missing wargear options were added here, as well as the new “Demiklaives” weapon option from Phoenix Rising.

  • Added points values for Demiklaives (0), Chain-snares (2), Cluster caltrops (3), Grav-talon (3), Grisly Trophies (2), Spirit probe (5), and Splinter racks (10). 

Necrons

Nothing major here, just fixing an omission and a discrepancy between Codex and Forge World costs.

  • Added points for the Tesla Destructor (0). 
  • Drops the points cost on Forge World Voidblades to 4. This brings them in line with Codex entries.

Genestealer Cults

  • Corrected Neophyte Hybrids Points Cost. Neophyte Hybrids were listed in Chapter Approved 2019 as 55 points per model. That has been corrected, so now they’re 5 points per model.

So there you have it. Space Wolves are the big winners here, getting a few key points cuts and unit adjustments that may be stealth good later on, while Adeptus Custodes are the big losers. To Shane’s point, the sky isn’t exactly falling for them, but few were looking at them like a top-tier tournament contender even with the Caladius back to pre-NOVA levels.

 

Grey Knight Kill Team

A Grey Knight Kill Team. These guys are psychic powerhouses – Credit: Pendulin

Psychic Awakening: Ritual of the Damned FAQ

With that out of the way, let’s jump into the other major FAQ, covering the recently-released Ritual of the Damned campaign supplement. This was (thankfully) a much quicker rollout, addressing some key issues very quickly. Let’s start with the changes.

  • Added points cost for Lazarus (105). Yep.
  • Deathwing Apothecary increases to 70 points (+20). Ouch. This puts a real hurt on a strategy I’m sure someone was considering somewhere. RIP Deathwing Apothecaries, Jan 2020 – Feb 2020.
  • Added points values for missing wargear. A few missing pieces of Eliminator wargear got added. Specifically Bolt carbines (4), Bolt Sniper Rifles (3), Instigator bolt carbines (5), and Las Fusils (15).
  • Masters of the Warp now only affects PSYKERS in your army. This is a big change, because none of the non-Dreadnought/knight Grey Knights vehicles have the PSYKER keyword. As a result, Land Raiders, Rhinos, Razorbacks, and Grey Knights flyers can’t benefit from the Tide of Shadows ability to give a unit the benefit of cover or the -1 to be hit while it’s entirely on/within a terrain feature.
  • Pythic Brazier now only works on CULT OF PROPHECY units. This was something we predicted changing back in our review of the Thousand Sons section and just makes sense. It’s a big nerf but one that was just bound to happen since letting it apply to other factions (not just subfactions) was bound to lead to some broken interactions (such as with Purge C-beam contemptors).

Wings Note: Two big things here. Firstly I think the change to the Pythic Brazier makes it more likely that the Inescapable Decay power for GSC from The Greater Good doesn’t survive the FAQ for that in its current form (although it could just because GSC soup is more encouraged).

Secondly, and much more personally annoyingly since I wrote 15,000 words about them last week, the change to Masters of the Warp is a massive blow to any non-PSYKER vehicle strategies for Grey Knights. We’ll be updating the guide promptly, but I’d say this likely completely kills off Rhinos and Stormravens, and almost certainly takes out Land Raiders as well. The good news, however, is that one of the other edits I need to make to the article is that Lawrence Baker’s featured all-INFANTRY list went 6-0 at a 100-player ITC major, meaning that things still look good for Grey Knights, with the only thing his list loses being the Loremaster trait no longer letting you mix Sanctic and Dominus powers (see below).


Now onto the clarifications/FAQs.

  • Brotherhood of Psykers won’t extend the range on the Warp Reality psychic power’s effect; you pick a terrain feature within 24″, and then an enemy unit within 3″.
  • The extra move on the Guided by Whispers Warlord trait can be used even if your warlord doesn’t have a ranged weapon to fire Overwatch with or doesn’t have Line of Sight to the charging unit (very important for Daemon Princes), as long as nothing would stop you from firing Overwatch in the first place (such as a special rule or psychic power). An important ruling that makes the ability more useful.
  • If your Warlord is from one <CULT> and you use the Magister Stratagem to give a character from a different <CULT> a Warlord Trait, you can pick the relevant <CULT>’s warlord trait. However, the same is *NOT* true for extra Sorcerous Arcana added via the Relics of the Thousand Sons Stratagem – your warlord unlocks access only to his <CULT>’s Arcana, which is the determining factor for which you have access to.
  • The Penant of Remembrance does not replace a Deathwing Ancient’s Deathwing Company banner ability – they get both.
  • Loremaster in Grey Knights does not let you take a Sanctic Power if you’re picking Dominus powers on a character with it. This is an odd way to rule this, as it swings the other way from how similar abilities like The Tome of Malcador have been ruled, and is also a blow, as taking Loremaster on Voldus for this was a pretty good play previously.

Wings Note: The clarification that you have to have specifically <CULT> Warlord to take the <CULT> relic even via the stratagem is a mild blow to the Cult of Magic, as it means you have to use your actual Warlord slot if you want to give the splash damage Daemon Prince from hell +1 to casts with the relic as well. It’s easily still good enough to feature in lists, but reduces the ease of access to the full setup.

Wrapping Up

That covers pretty much everything! A lot of minor updates, with some very important fixes, plus some lowkey important changes for Space Wolves, Custodes, Grey Knights, and Thousand Sons. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how things shake out form here, so stay tuned as always for future analysis and updates about the meta. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to drop a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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