The January 2023 Warhammer 40k FAQ Update

Today certainly has been a busy day. In addition to dropping preorders for Arks of Omen, the latest points in the Munitorium Field Manual, and the Balance Dataslate, Games Workshop has also released FAQs for a significant number of factions. We summarize the changes below.

Balancing Warhammer 40k requires careful coordination of multiple components, and one of those components are errata and clarifications which can either adjust problematic or confusing outcomes or accommodate a significant change in how the game is played. With the release of Arks of Omen several factions required adjustments so that their abilities would actually be usable under the new Detachment rules.

You can click on the header for each entry to get a link to the specific PDF released by Games Workshop. We highly recommend considering these changes in the context of other major shifts from the Munitorium Field Manual and the Balance Dataslate as well as the new Chapter Approved: Arks of Omen book. In the near future Goonhammer will be providing a series of faction focus articles written by several accomplished competitive players so that you can have a solid understanding of what this means for your army.

Core Rulebook

  • Ignoring Wounds vs. Rules that Prevent Models from Ignoring Wounds was added to the Rare Rules. It specifies that attacks with abilities that state that enemy models cannot use rules to ignore wounds take precedence over rules that ignore wounds, including caps on the number of wounds lost per phase/turn/round or damage reduction. The big change here is the addition of damage reduction abilities, which makes things like Disgustingly Resilient a bit less useful.
  • Rules that Dictate Wound Allocation Order was added to the Rare Rules to cover abilities that dictate which models wounds must be allocated to first; mortal wounds are specifically allocated in the same order that attacks are allocated, even when they aren’t attacks.

Codex: Tyranids

  • Added a clarification noting that mortal wounds inflicted by the Reaper of Obliterax cannot be ignored. 

Codex: Thousand Sons

  • Cabbalistic Rituals adds a paragraph which states that when a ritual specifies a ‘unit from your army’ that ritual can only be used if the target unit has the THOUSAND SONS keyword. This means your Tzeentch Daemons allied detachment’s psykers can’t use Cabbalistic Rituals or benefit from them. It won’t prevent you from using Psychic Maelstrom to re-cast Infernal Gateway after it had been attempted by a Tzeentch Daemons caster, but it will mean that your second cast attempt has to come from a Thousand Sons psyker.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Codex: Leagues of Votann

  • Enemy units embarked within a Transport that destroy a Votann unit do not gain a Judgement token.
  • Abilities which enable a unit to move after making a ranged attack (such as Strike and Fade or Battle Focus) are allowed to complete their move before the Reactive Reprisal Stratagem is declared.

Codex: Imperial Knights

  • Knight Lances were changed to incorporate the Arks of Omen Detachments. Specifically one model (ARMIGER, QUESTORIS, or DOMINUS) will gain the CHARACTER keyword, and the circumstances which grant bonus Command Points based on the number of models and presence of the Warlord exclude the Arks of Omen Detachment.
  • The Deeds of Legend Stratagem was changed so that if you selected the Martial Legacy ability, instead of re-rolling rolls for that model you can only use that ability to change the result of a roll to a 6 if that roll was made for this model.
  • A FAQ was added to clarify that when using the Calculated Targeting Stratagem, on an unmodified wound roll of 6 enemy units can use abilities that reduce the Damage characteristic of the attack.

Codex: Grey Knights

  • Changed the Daemon-slayer Warlord Trait to state that when the Warlord makes a melee attack against a DAEMON unit, Daemonic saving throws cannot be made against that attack. Previously daemons just got to laugh at Grey Knights players attempting to get through their new super-invulnerable saves.

Codex: Genestealer Cults

  • Brood Brothers has been updated with Codex: Astra Militarum including what units are not permitted (no Field Ordnance Batteries).
  • A new FAQ was added noting that the Reductus Saboteur’s Plant Explosives ability can be used when the unit is set up underground using the Conceal ability similar to other units which have Command phase abilities that are used the first time they are set up.

Codex: Chaos Space Marines

  • Incessant Disdain was changed so that when a CHARACTER uses it they can actually move the 6” movement required to achieve a Heroic Intervention at a target that’s 6” away. It also added that any model in the affected unit can move up to an additional 3” when making a pile-in or consolidation move.

Codex: Chaos Knights

  • Traitorous Lances was updated to reflect Arks of Omen. Similar to Codex: Imperial Knights above, one unit can gain the CHARACTER keyword and circumstances which generate Command Points no longer work if the Detachment is an Arks of Omen Detachment.

Codex: Aeldari

  • A FAQ was added which clarifies that when the Yncarne is set up using its Inevitable Death ability is can be set up within Engagement Range of the last model in the destroyed unit, and that any abilities which trigger on death (Explodes, disembarking from Transports, etc) are resolved prior to setting up the Yncarne.
  • Units with the Swift Strikes Far-flung Craftwords Attribute can make a Battle Focus move in the turn in which it Advanced. This is a bit of a surprise, as it was somewhat of a controversial ruling/topic before. This makes Swift Strikes much more useful, since it means you can Advance and still Battle Focus, giving your units a ton more mobility.
  • Units with the Twiling Falls Saedath Characterisation move up to 8” when using the Cegorach’s Jest Stratagem to consolidate.
  • Baharroth can use his Cloudstrider ability even if he is already touching an enemy model when he consolidates. 

Codex: Dark Angels

  • If an Arks of Omen Detachment contains only units with the DEATHWING or INNER CIRCLE keywords then the Detachment gains the 1st Company ability.
  • If an Arks of Omen Detachment contains only units with the RAVENWING keyword then the Detachment gains the 2nd Company ability.
  • The Arks of Omen Detachment is excluded from gaining 3 Command Points if the Warlord is part of the Detachment and it has the 1st Company or 2nd Company ability.

What’s Not Here

  • FREEBLADE units with the AGENT OF THE IMPERIUM keyword still break army-wide abilities in ways that DREADBLADE units with AGENT OF CHAOS does not. This is because Codex: Imperial Knights does not include any language about what the keyword does while Codex: Chaos Knights does.
  • Some kind of adjustment or carve-out for Abaddon. Currently the Arks of Omen detachment rules don’t work for AGENTS HQ units that have a subfaction keyword, so Abaddon can only be taken in Black Legion lists, as there’s no longer any Supreme Warlord Detachment to put him in.
  • Assassins don’t have the ability to be inserted in an Arks of Omen Detachment the same way that they can be added to a Patrol, Battalion, or Brigade Detachment. They can still be added as an Auxiliary Support Allied Detachment.
  • The Deathwatch Mission Tactics doctrinal ability is now considerably worse than the updated Combat Doctrines since it limits how many times you can use a given Doctrine. This can be bypassed by bringing an Allied Detachment so long as that detachment isn’t a Auxiliary Support Detachment with a unit affected by the Agent of the Imperium (Assassins) or the Authority of the Inquisition (Inquisitors) abilities.
  • Deathwatch don’t consider Leagues of Votann to be Xenos for the purpose of Xenos Hunters, which means their Chapter Tactic is useless since you also can’t re-roll wounds against Votann.
  • Several factions are missing, so we expect more updates to come to address the likes of Drukhari, Death Guard, and Chaos Daemons.

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