The Old World April 9 FAQ


Falcon: They did it! They really did it! The SDS (specialist design studio) team has done it again, coming out hot with an extensive FAQ for the Old World mere months into its launch. And folks, it’s a really good one. Many of the big questions that have been coming up in the early days of the game have been answered here either directly or indirectly and a modicum of power has been stripped away from a couple of the scarier things we’d been dealing with. While there are still some looming questions, something to be expected from such a thick set of rules, the fact that we already have a thorough document on hand AND that they went so far as to make corrections to the legacy factions is a big win for the game and those of us that enjoy it.

Without further ado, let’s dive into some of the big changes this FAQ makes to the game and how it will impact us going forward.

Dwarves of all varieties should be pleased that Drilled has finally been clarified to work how it was written to work. Credit Bair

General FAQ

Perigrin: Fuck you I was right. There are a lot of very significant core rules clarifications in this FAQ, most of which are really good for Chaos Dwarfs in particular but several of which are good for the game in general. Units with Drilled are now explicitly, in the text, honest to god allowed to use it to change their formation before a charge. I never have to have another argument where someone claims a charge move isn’t a move again. In addition, we have confirmation that challenges last until the end of a combat, so a Chaos Lord on Dragon can only kill your unit champion if you bait him into a challenge, not just paste him and then let the dragon chew the unit up (Falcon: Or in the opposite case, a dragon cannot murder a champion and then be brought low by a million dudes with great weapons). Another rule with big implications for a small handful of units and characters is the confirmation that characters that can be taken in more than one army draw their magic items from their home/parent army. The example given is of a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth taking items from the Beastmen army list even in the Warriors of Chaos army. I would argue one of the most significant implications of this is the Chaos Dwarf Black Orc Warboss, who can now take Trollhide Trousers and become properly menacing as a big flying combat threat on a Wyvern, something the faction lacks by default. 

Falcon: I’m going to try and hit the rest of the big stuff over the next few paragraphs. The rules team has done a good job here of splitting out which special rules are specifically impacted by having characters join units. Chariot Runners, Evasive, Fire and Flee, and Reserve Move are confirmed to function so long as the majority of the models in a unit have the rule, while Swiftstride requires everyone to have it in the unit. Wood Elf spellweavers and Tomb King Liche Priests will enjoy having the option of sliding into Glade Rider units and other of their mobile kin every now and then for the significant boost in speed.

Close Order has been updated as well to state that a unit must have a unit strength of at least 5 to gain the combat result bonus. This keeps monsters in the fray while confirming that your wee units and singleton characters just don’t have the stuff anymore once they’ve been brought low

The Bedazzling Helm takes a big hit here, and by extension a number of the more conservative early monster builds as it is now limited to infantry and cavalry units only. This mainly impacts things like the Chaos Lord on dragon as they will now be capped at a 3+ armour save. A good change overall for the health of the game.

In terms of Frequently Asked Questions, a lot of the biggest internet concerns got covered. Many of these queries had been answered within the community by piecing together bits of rules from different pages but it is great to have the clarifications. Outside of the above-mentioned Drilled rulings, we now know that Miscasts cannot be rerolled, a nerf for High Elf casters and a number of arcane items. The rules team has also clarified that you can screen your Impetuous and Frenzied units with your own skirmishers so long as you don’t plan on also charging or moving with said blockers. A ‘chance’ to move out of the way does not mean that these units might gain sentience and toddle off for no reason.

Impact Hits and Stomps were confirmed to work in challenges. Previously, the wording of both indicated that they could not be directed against an individual model if they were in a unit of size 5 or greater, so there is no more dodging or shutting down these extra attacks simply by slapping your opponent’s champion with a gauntleted hand.

Random Movers like Squig Hoppers can no longer sneak their way into flank charges. But they also no longer have to move their full move distance.

Random Move units take a small hit here as the rules team has confirmed that ‘counts as charging’ means that the unit in question has to abide by charge rules and thus they cannot sneakily wheel beside or behind a unit for free flank or rear charges. A welcome ruling given the feels bads those actions cause.

We also have learned that Universal Special Rules like Regeneration, Fly, and Frenzy are not cumulative. Regeneration saves do not stack and may only be changed if specified, Frenzy is simply an ‘on or off’ mechanism and Fly is a replacement characteristic that can be modified by abilities that also modify movement (a great buff to the already powerful Mortis Engines that do not cap their movement speed enhancements, and an even stronger case for Miasmic Mirage being the best spell in the game).

In another strike to Ridden Monsters in particular, a character riding a monster of chariot does not gain any magical benefits from armour they are using if they have to use the monster/chariot’s in-built armour save. Armour of the Ages comes to mind as a particular piece being affected here, though the list is significantly longer. Given the prevalence of ridden monsters in top lists around the world, while this is a slight nic to a handful of builds it is still a significant one.

We’ve also seen a few additions to the Howdah and Chariot rules for mounted weaponry, confirming that any weapons mounted on a Skycutter or Stegadon for example use the Ballistic Skill of the crew and unlike previous editions mounted characters cannot add their Ballistic Skill to the equation.

The change to magic armour on Ridden Monsters makes Armour of the Ages a no-go on your Bone Dragon. Credit Skari

Bair: Falcon has done a good job here covering the bases, I just wanted to expand on the last bit regarding ridden monsters. Expect a Ruleshammer in due course for lengthy explanation but in short: a ridden monster has to “choose” to use “the best armour value” when making saves. While slightly confusing, it’s not really a choice for the player at all. You must use the best armour value available to the model at any given time. The Bone Dragon example has a 4+ armour value while Armour of the Ages is Light Armour so only confers a 6+ armour value. That means you have to use the 4+ Bone Dragon save and don’t gain the benefits of Armour of the Ages at all in this case. However this will work on a Tomb King mounted on a Chariot or Warsphinx so long as you also give that King a shield and he isn’t using any two-handed weapons; this brings the Tomb King’s save to the same 5+ as the chariot or sphinx, allowing you to use it and the full effects of Armour of the Ages! Finally a reason to put a Tomb King on a warsphinx (other than it’s just very cool!). 

The last thing to bring up is shooting-into-combat with artillery. While artillery doesn’t “target” an enemy unit so you could technically fire it into combat (even through your own troops if you wanted!) this is now explicitly not allowed. Good. This was dumb. While it specifically calls out cannons, really this should also be applied to things like flame cannons and other such weapons using a grain of common sense; if what is clearly the main target of the attack is not in combat but the cannon over shoots into something 20” away that is in combat that is, very obviously, not the same thing. Falcon: This was a ruling that existed in previous editions of the game so it is welcoming to have it written out for the player base as it was one of the ‘um acktually’ moments that was beginning to drive me nuts.

The Lance formation learned that everyone is considered in base contact with them today.

Ravening Hordes and Forces of Fantasy

Perigrin: On the Ravening Hordes end, the Beastmen lose a combo as Gorebulls/Doombulls no longer can take the Berserker Blade to frenzy a whole unit for free. It now only allows them to apply their blood rage to their units. This is still good upside, but there is no way to freely and easily frenzy a huge unit of Gors/Ungors anymore. Another massive loss is that Hagtree Fetish no longer procs on Ruby Ring of Ruin. RRR with Hagtree, The Summoning, and Viletide was a properly horrifying amount of magic missile damage with the rerolls to wound, so losing one of them hurts. Hagtree Fetish is still one of their best items when used with The Summoning and Viletide, but I would save your points and not bother with putting RRR on the same character. Still a good item, but not completely busted for Brayherds anymore. 

Liam_Jordan: As with a lot of the Errata/FAQ it’s just really nice to have clarifications on what people felt was needed. The Ruby Ring and Fetish combo mentioned from Perigrin is a prime example of that and the clarification also has wider impacts for Bound Spells with them no longer having to worry about people claiming they might be affected by other “wizard” effect items such as the Infernal Puppet. I really like that Chaos Steeds are no longer removing Counter Charge from units of Knights they join and the fact that it’s been clarified that gifts/mutations don’t affect mounts in the same way that Bretonnian Mounts don’t get Virtues is great. I also really like that they’ve caught the minor error from the Orc & Goblin Tribes Arcane Journal and quickly added in the correct points here for the Badland Ogre Bulls Crusher (Champion) upgrade. 

Perigrin:I have less to say about Forces of Fantasy, the only army I play from there is Empire and honestly nothing significantly changed for them. Some wordings were cleaned up and they specified that yes, obviously you can’t quad-wield wizard staves. RIP the one guy who was converting that up. 

Falcon: The confirmation that Laurels does not apply to mounts is a decent change for those Empire players that were scoring big combat res points with demi-gryphs. 

Perigrin: I hadn’t even thought of that honestly; they already kill things so ludicrously hard.

Bair: Dwarfs received no FAQs (outside of the generic cannon one) meaning they are the perfect faction, which we all knew. The one big clarification I am very happy we got is that Tomb Guard Chariots have a 4+ save whether the crew are using swords or halberds; it doesn’t matter if they’re using their shields in combat or not, they have a 4+ save. Necrosphinxes also confirmed to only make a single attack with its Decapitating Strike attack. Obviously.

Falcon: Poor Mikey… 

Liam Jordan: This is what you want right? Nice, clear and concise answers to questions. We’ve got a few minor amendments to things like the Wizards Staff which means it’s more in keeping with similar items. Plus we’ve got clarification that upgrades for the riders of mounts (Virtues/Honours) don’t also grant them to their mount. Sorry Pegasus, I slew that Dragon, not you. We’ve got a bunch of questions regarding the Lance Formation and it’s really nice to see that they’ve just come out and answered the big questions around them. The question about the Lance and the Fighting rank does however mean that they now have to be careful about charging anything which is arranged in a decent line, as the full enemy fighting rank counts as in base to base. This is outstanding for models with more than a single attack. I also like the clarification on some of the trickier Wood Elf rules, which all seems reasonably sensible in how they’re going to work moving forward.

Falcon: The fighting rank ruling was not on my bingo card and neither was the extremely strict ruling on the Bow of Athel Loren. While I expected them to confirm you could trigger ridiculous combos with Hail of Doom arrows or Swiftshiver ones this does make the item seriously unenticing.

The Slann moving to Monstrous creature has a lot of negative connotations for the Lizardmen army. Credit: Matthew Herrington

Legacy Army Changes

Bair: The biggest change that I can see here is that Slann are now Monstrous Creatures instead of Monstrous Infantry. Which is absolutely massive. The downside of course is that they can now just be shot at making your Temple Guard even more important for soaking up those hits (read: you now absolutely need to invest in some temple guard to be worth taking a Slann). Also having a proper arc is annoying keeping it from just flying around in any direction casting magic missiles in a 360 arc of vision at all times. 

Falcon: While Temple Guard are nice, they’re aren’t necessarily mandatory yet, though you’re now really aiming at taking Higher State of Consciousness for the Ethereal special rule if you don’t. I really hate the loss of late game mobility here more than anything. In general your goal with the Slann was to push out your 18 inch leadership bubble and use Arcane Vassal to get off your big spell once per turn. It’s now going to be much more difficult to navigate the mid-late game knowing you can’t quickly scoot 16 inches in any direction and dive behind a unit of skinks, or make a surprise 180 charge and Spectral Doppleganger a unit that wasn’t ready for a murder frog in their midst.

Another big change is that Vampire Counts can now only summon units of zombies up to their maximum unit size of 40 due to the update to the Newly Dead special rule. Previously you could create some pretty rotten scenarios if you were able to go first and stack 2 – 3 Necromancers worth of extra bodies into the shambling horde before they moved. You’ll probably see more 20-25 starting unit sizes and heavier Grave Guard or basic Skeleton play now because of this.

Elsewhere we see that Verminous Valour can no longer allow your Skaven heroes to dive out of challenges, Daemons’ Aether Blade only impacts hand weapons and the Word of Pain for Dark Elves is now just a -1 WS/BS debuff instead of setting those characteristics to 1.

Winners and Losers

Perigrin: Chorf stocks are up; invest in Chaos Dwarfs now. Black Orc Warbosses getting Orc magic items is big for a boss on Wyvern, coming in at only 337 points for a 2+/5++/5+++ flying monster. Slap a Biting Blade or something on him and I can really see them showing up in Chorf lists, possibly as a buddy/partner in crime to a Sorcerer-Prophet on Lamassu. The confirmation that Drilled lets you redress on a give ground or before a charge is huge for Chorfs, as they have very wide and easy access to Drilled units with Great Weapons who would love to go insanely wide to maximize damage on the charge after marching into position. I think moving 10+ wide units around is incredibly annoying, but moving around 5 or 7 wide and then maximizing the hell out when you charge/lose combat is going to be very strong on great weapon Blorcs, Infernal Guard, and Ironsworn. Drilled allowing you to move back into a movement formation after you get done murderizing is awesome too, and I think we are going to see unit formations change quite a bit throughout a game if you have good access to Drilled.

Falcon: Vampire Counts come out gangbusters here with the changes to fly, though the cap on Arise for Zombies is a welcome fix. Lizardmen players should be in shambles though, particularly if they enjoyed the full use of the Slann’s powers. Moving to being a Monstrous Creature along with some of the other changes to monstrous mounts and characters really shoe horns their list building options even further. Most importantly, I’m extremely excited by the fact we’re getting these updates in such a timely manner, it really shows that the team is listening to feedback and that there is a marked interest in making this game the best it can be.

Liam_Jordan: While not a change for some people, the clarification on Drilled is outstanding. I’m a massive fan of the rule and it allows forces where a lot of units can take it (looking at you Dwarfs) to really play into it. Just on that though please be aware that your command options (if any) have to remain in the centre of the unit, so you can’t add 5 models all to one side of your unit. I think we might see a few cases where people don’t take command options as a result allowing them to shift the angle of the unit in new exciting ways without having to worry about the discussion of can you redress and charge anymore. I’m also going to put my head on the chopping block and just say “everyone”. The changes to be Bedazzling Helm is outstanding here and really takes away one of the worst aspects of the game which was the stacking of negatives to hit on big already dangerous T5/6 monsters with fighting characters on top. This, along with the change to having to pick one armour (rider/mount) when defending for these creatures lowers the power level of some offenders and means you can actually tie them up a little easier or even have a small chance of taking them down. I think the game is massively better for it and hopefully if the community feels things are potentially just a little overtuned Games Workshop have shown they’ll be prepared to make minor changes to try and level the playing field via these updates. 

Bair: The biggest winner here for me is just the state of the game. This is the second FAQ we’ve gotten with shocking turnaround and more questions answered than I would have expected. Hopefully this will mean more updates in future as well! Have some things left unanswered? Sure. Is the game now clearer and some of the biggest arguments people have had online the last 3 months been cleared up? Absolutely. For me the biggest and best change is just toning down ridden monsters. These are incredibly good units and being toned down is good for the game. 

What Questions Still Need Answering?

Perigrin: There are a few lingering Chorf questions, mostly about why their combat lords can’t take flying mounts or full plate, but that is probably beyond the scope of this sort of FAQ. They did a pretty good job of plugging up a lot of the more tedious and annoying arguments that people were making about the rules, but there is always room for more clarifications and examples. 

Liam_Jordan: The only major outstanding issue which I’ve seen raised over the last few weeks has been the Plague of Rust Armour Value conundrum which is pretty clear in the way it’s written but goes against what most people expect. I’d hope that this would be covered at some point in the future if enough people email GW regarding it, but I think for now it’s the only question I’d like a TO to answer for me prior to attending an event. Not that it would stop me going, just need to know if I needed to plan for it or not.

Falcon: I think Plague of Rust and who is allowed to purchase what Magic Armour are probably the top two questions right now. There is a lot of back and forth around what is meant by ‘magical equivalent’ on page 340 of the book and different events are taking different interpretations right now. Does it mean that a character may only take magic heavy armour for example if that is what is available to them in a mundane variety or it specifically says they can (this would mean Blackened Plate cannot be equipped so would need an errata)? Or that they can only take a magic shield/barding if they have the option to take a shield/barding, but that any kind of chest piece is on the table? Or is it like previous editions and so long as you can take any kind of armament then everything is on the table? 

Lastly, I would love an Errata on Arise with explicit instructions on what to do if there is no room to place newly resurrected models (And Ambush for that matter though that scenario is less likely). Hopefully, with enough emails to the FAQ team we’ll see answers to these questions in a few months, but for now, I’m quite content with where things are going.

It’s a good time to be alive in the Old World.


Perigrin: I am ecstatic about this. I was expecting a Heresy situation where they just never FAQ’d or Errata’d anything and left us to stew and figure things out, but this is a pretty prompt fix for a lot of debates the community was having. Their language in the announcement also implies pretty heavily that they are considering balance updates. I am thrilled about this, regular balance updates and changes are good for the long term health of the game as it keeps players from settling into a calcified meta and forces people to play with a wider section of their army. The future is looking very bright for the Old World at the moment and I am incredibly excited about it. 

Liam_Jordan: I’m going to echo Perigrin here from the off, it’s really nice to be 3 months into the game and have a lot of the instant questions from the community answered already. The Specialist Design Studio have clearly been listening and have shown they’re prepared to act when needed for the improvement of the game. It clears up a bunch of things which people couldn’t come to an agreement on and makes some very minor changes where needed to improve the game for everyone. This is a really solid update to the FAQ and hopefully we’re in a situation where we’ll get FAQ/Erratas if needed moving forward. 

Falcon: I’ve said it a few times here, and I’ll reiterate it, this is wonderful. Not only because we’re seeing this level of support from the team but also because of the level of comprehensiveness and care they took with it. Would I love for them to not try to murder my darling legacy Lizardmen? Of course. But I’ll take that one for the team if it means getting more stuff like this.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at