The Little Changes Add up…


The 7th edition of Warhammer 40,000 has arrived, and to be honest, the internet seems to be on the optimistic side of things. As with all changes, wargaming-related or not, there’ll always be those that overreact, so hopefully, this post will stop at least one person from a premature rage-quit.

For those that haven’t been bombarded by my presence on Chattbox as of late… Hello, I’m Jon Bunn (JRBunn)! You may remember a few podcasts from SirBiscuit that popped up on the site a while ago… Well, that other voice is yours truly. I tend to stay positive in my posts/reviews, partially because you might label me as a GW fanboi, but more importantly, because it’s just not possible for most people to digest the contents of a new book that quickly. Little changes go unnoticed, and I see no reason why 7th edition deserves any less game time to evolve than the previous six; and those little changes are exactly what I will be writing about!

As you’ve probably all heard at this point, there’s a shiny new Psychic phase, *most* everything in the game is a scoring unit, and those damn Drop Pods can even count as Troops and be super-objective claiming vehicles. On top of that, the Assault Phase and charging rules are nearly unchanged, Flying Monstrous Creatures are harder to Ground, 2++ re-rollable Deathstars are still possible, and Flyers are still just as hard to hit. How is it possible to account for all of the new stuff while all of the old issues still seem to exist?

Don’t try to solve the big issues right now, but pay attention to the little ones.

Notice that there’s a difference with how shooting works – with one weapon shooting at a time – and don’t get stuck on the fact that Flamers don’t get the range from the Lascannon in the squad. Get worked up over the fact that mobile, hard-hitting guns in units can position themselves to not allow cover saves against key models. Stop trying to count the number of dice a Tzeentch Daemon army can possibly generate, and start looking at the fact that they can never have generic Psychic Focus (the free Primaris power) for any lore since they always have the Primaris power from their God – not to mention the fact that the Conjuration powers are all 6-12” range, and that the unit has to Deep Strike onto the table. Your opponent could summon a unit of Pink Horrors, have them scatter on top of the model that cast it, roll a 1, and wind up with nothing to show for his troubles aside from a probable Perils.

As far as real gameplay goes – not this Codex-specific stuff, or crazy army designs with 12 Heldrakes – pay attention to the fact that the person that whoever deploys their army first now has the option to go second. This seems like the smallest of changes, but for those that really play to win objective missions, going second is a huge bonus that can no longer be won by a single dice roll. The increase in overall number of scoring units changes 40k from a game about simply destroying all of your opponent’s Troops, but instead a push to clear sections of the table while advancing into areas with units that are tough to remove. The game mechanics push you to want fast Troops now, which are something that can be a struggle for Guard, Tau, and Daemons (Deep Strike aside) to include in their lists. On the other hand, simply killing the fast Troops, like Eldar Jetbikes, won’t make it any more difficult for your opponent to claim his own objectives – it simply places you even with your opponent. Oh, and consider this – with Movement performed before Psychic powers, deathstar units that rely on Psychic powers for defense will need to move into position before their owner knows that they’ll be Invisible or Fortuned. Sure, a large number of power dice may ‘ensure’ that they’ll get the power off, but having 100% knowledge that your unit is nearly invulnerable before you move is no longer a reality.

The Assault Phase – cause of much grief by those looking for an easy-to-spot change – has been modified in multiple ways. For starters, big combat characters will no longer be limited to killing a single Sergeant when they charge – the wounds carry over to remaining models. Exploding vehicles no longer leave behind any wreckage, so your assault troops are free to charge the occupants without worry of a reduced charge range.  For those that didn’t realize it before, charging a unit that has Gone to Ground does not make you strike at Initiative 1 – at least now, it’s clearly printed, and in multiple locations! Finally, you can now assault on a turn that you’ve disembarked from a building, with Jump Infantry allowed to enter… creating a huge bubble of defensive assault ranges not possible previously.

There are a plethora of other changes – Monstrous Creatures can no longer Go to Ground, wounds on occupants in a Vehicle that Explodes are now randomly distributed, Template weapons can now affect the passengers of an Open-Topped vehicle, and Vector Strike is only 1 AP 2 hit, d3 if the target is a Swooping Flying Monstrous Creature or a Zooming Flyer. Night Fighting only grants Stealth and can be agreed-upon by both players not to be used at all.

Before I spiral down into a tunnel of changes, which I fear I may have already done, we’ll close this article with a suggestion – play a game with the 7th Edition rules. The changes are subtle, but over time, I think you’ll find that armies have adapted to new ideas. When 6th Edition began, Flyers were thought to be the ultimate weapon; by the end of 6th, it was rare to see a Necron Flyer army hit the tables. Don’t forget about the things that we’re happy to have lost – Riptides joined by Shadowsun, a Tau Commander attached to Centurions, and super-charged D weapons. And hopefully… HOPEFULLY, we’ll find that those 2++ re-rollable Deathstars are just too unreliable for practical use.

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61 responses to The Little Changes Add up…

I think a big change that few have even noted are the changes to terrain/buildings/scenery. I feel as it has gone unnoticied largely because the rules are mostly nonexistent, now.

While there is no longer generic area terrain, lots of common piecies still grant a version of it. The issue here is that GW took a fairly simple and streamlined rule and made it even clunkier, since now every permutation of terrain can have different rules.

Multiple floor rules are completely gone. As in, there are no rules to cover how template/blast weapons are resolved on multi-levels. Are hits still supposed to be single floor? Only top floor? Or do they hit every possible level? It almost feels like they cut all the terrain rules in preperation for a terrain rule supplement…

The multi-floor rule changes is, to me, one of the biggest hidden changes in the new version.

Without it, you could have a couple of ruins in your zone, and hide a lot of Psykers in there who are otherwise easy to kill with Wyverns, Mortars, and TFCs. And those Psykers would be immune to barrage damage.

But with it, you can bring on your 30 Warp Charge Tzeentch list. I'll be on this side with 9 Wyverns. You may not be able to win the game on Turn 1, but you can sure lose it, if I go first, because after 36 twin-linked blasts against your T3/5++ models, you won't have those 30 charges any more.

It's a hidden balance against Summons Lists, basically.

Eh, if someone is using a 30+ Warp Charge list to show how the game is broken, it seems quite reasonable to put up as a counter, another unbalanced list.

Except that 9 Wyverns is 650 pts of spam and the rest of the army can be whatever you feel is fluffy, while the Summons list is pretty much all Psykers for summoning.

Sorry but about those 2++ rerollable deathstars disapearing I don't think so. Let's take Screamerstar as an example.

lets say a list at 1850 points (I faced this list once), I will only mention the Psykers present in the list:

Fateweaver (Level 4), 2 or 3 units of 10 Horrors (Level 1 each), 4 Heralds of Tzeentch (level 3 each)

If no psyker is killed that equals to 18 Warp Charges per psychic phase, enough to guarantee that the 4++ power is succesfully casted, given the current lack of decent psychic defenses. That list perhaps will see less use of Flickering Fire but still has the 2++ rerollable guaranteed

Well, let's take Screamerstar…

1: It appears that currently, a UNIT cannot manifest the same power more than once. So using Screamerstar as a shooting unit with multiple Flicker Fires is gone.
2: They are less likely to have Prescience, and/or need more dice to cast it. So they do less damage in Assault if you get them there. Which makes it easier to tarpit them.
3: The unit cannot prevent Troops from scoring except by wiping them out.

The best way to handle Screamerstar, since it didn't have Hit and Run was always to tarpit it. Now, since its shooting is less dangerous, and it also does less damage in CC, that's even easier. Not to mention Invisibility… it doesn't help Screamerstar that much since with 2++ rerollable its durability was always to the point where it was effectively immune to damage as long as its powers are up, but it really helps their opponent if you can put a tarpit unit into CC with the Screamers and cast Invisibility on the tarpit.

It's an unkillable unit with the right rolls. HOWEVER, it's not a high damage unit, and it's a unit that cannot prevent your Troops from scoring objectives. Given the 800 or so points invested into a unit that can only score objectives, do a bit of damage (very little, for 800 pts), and deny objectives only to non-Troop units, is a list with it that scary to face? Annoying, I'll grant you, to face a unit that you just can't kill. But not very worrying.

^This goes largely for all the other stars as well. Jetseer not being able to fragment last turn to contest every objective against basic troops anymore is likely their biggest death knell.

The one that will likely stay around (and be potentially even scarier) is the beaststar. It relied the least on powers to be dangerous/durable, but has multiple outs to make them impossible to kill. Invisibility in particular on this unit will give people nightmares (oh, you can’t shoot me or hurt me in cc, but I can reliably annihilate a unit a turn with the speed to be wherever I need to be?).

True. But Dark Eldar / Eldar Beastar is still very alive and well. A beast pack with a bunch of shadow seers and some farseer all gunning for invisibility and fortune is a real and scary build.

Plus you have all sorts of DE / E combos now like fire dragons in venoms, 2+ save waveerpents, 2+ save bikes etc.

It's worth mentioning that most vehicles (RAV10, non-open-topped) won't explode if you krak grenade them to death. That's great for troops assaulting vehicles.

Other little changes include the removal of Rending from Snipers (still get AP2 on rolls of 6).

If the community wants to have consistency in start-up games, it is going to take a lot of work; posted house rules, or some sort of large group following something, anything.
(like following what a big tournament is doing like adepticon, nova, and etc.)
The alternative hour long discussion before EACH different opponent in a start-up game as to what players are going to field or not field will be exhausting, as it was in 6e.
get together.

"get together"

this is your weird little catchphrase now. get together for what exactly?
how is the community going to agree on one set of house rules when they can barely agree on basic stuff like RAW vs RAI?
if they agree on house rules that you dont like, will you throw the same hissy fit you are at the moment?
you're talking like this is some kind of revolution against a tyrannical government. its just a game of toy soldiers, stop peddling this "we must rise up" junk

Or, y'know, we could just agree to play the goddamn game using the rules the publisher for the game published in the first place. That doesn't take much work — zero in fact! — and it already has a large group following — everyone who owns the rulebook! — and will be incredibly consistent for game to game!

And helldrake ranged weapon is now an hull mounted weapon, no more a turret mounted weapon…

Power Field Generator now available for use in any Imperial Transports. I was hoping the DA FAQ would throw us a bone, but I wasn't expecting this. Storm Ravens and Vendettas with a 4++, I'm not sure how I feel about that. Deathwing Land Raiders with the Venerable Rule and a 4++? That's crazy. Don't forget that they have Objective Secured with Belial or Azzie.

I've been away from the hobby a while, so this may seem stupid, but I am not seeing anything in the Errata about the power field generator working this way. What am I missing?

The previous FAQ added a line to the PFG entry stating that the 4++ only applied to models in the vehicle when the PFG was embarked. They have removed that line from the new FAQ, so it now would go from the hull of the transportl, unless there is something in the main rulebook that says otherwise. I know that if I talk about enough on here someone will correct me if I'm wrong. That way I don't have to search through it myself.

Oh. I thought he meant about being in the rides. Ye, the drop of that old errata implies they make bubbles again.

I would have rather just had them give the Nephilim decent missiles and drop the points by 30 or so, that or give the regular Ravenwing Bikes Skilled Rider.

It actually isn’t in the faqs. It is a result of the new battle bro rules allowing buddies to ride in eachothers’ transports.

They finally answered the Void Shield question in the Stronghold Assault roll once for each template or blast weapon period.

Ha! They finally rule it the way I've been saying all along, to act as a counter against D weapon alpha strikes, at the same time they nerf D weapons! It's a funny old thing, life.

To be fair, they had to actually change what the rule said to make it work the way they do now and intended. Which shows that even GW realized that the old rule, as written, made blasts cause a lot of hits on shields.

Speaking of little changes, the new 7th Ed FAQs went live today over on the Black Library website, which seems to be their new home.

All kinds of things in there, including Heldrakes no longer having a 360° firing arc, and the Aegis now interacting with Deny tests. Somewhat confused why Shadows in the Warp didn't get an update, though.

Well, if nothing else, their new codex should be coming out right quick, and will hopefully remedy that situation.

Well, GW has a bit of a history of using FAQs to make sure Nids can't have nice things. Shadows in the Warp does technically still have an effect on enemy psykers, but only when they roll up perils. Definitely a nerf, though.

Nerf? It's basically irrelevant. After the Psyker rolls Perils, they have a 50% chance of needing to take a leadership test.

Shadow in the Warp basically reads: If the unit is within 12" of the Psyker and they roll Perils, they're more likely to take a wound on a roll of 5 or 6.

I don't even want all of the nice things… I just want to be the alien threat that actually has a chance of devouring the galaxy.

In the Grey Knight FAQ (1st page, referring to p21 of the codex). Reroll 1s when making DTW tests. Reinforced aegis let's you reroll any failed DTW dice.

Sadly, only works when the GK unit is the target of a psychic attack, but still nice to have.

I'm happy that Draigo gets the full suite of disciplines to roll from. Aside from the occasional template I rarely used his powers.

Something that's easy to miss is that Psykers (as in the Henchmen) also get access to all the same disciplines, which gives them a lot more utility than before. Obviously losing the large blast power is a pain for those that used it, it'll be nice being able to add what is essentially a 10-points Mastery lvl 1 psyker to any Henchmen unit you want.

henchmen are the best unit in the game now, they even get a 40 point psyker transport..

Necrons will sit out the Psychic phase, with an average 3 "dispel dice". That's a 0.44% chance (level 3) racing all the way up to a whopping 16.66% chance (level 1) of negating a single spell, once per turn.

necrons aren't the only ones – Tau & Dark Eldar are in the same boat. Deal with it, this really isn't a change. & guess what? You now have an infinitely greater chance to dispel any blessings your opponents may cast so there's an improvement – most of the game changers are still blessings after all.

deny their powers by shooting their stupid psyker faces off. necrons/tau/dark eldar dont need to spend any points on psykers, so thats more points to spend on guns. only witchfires can be cast while embarked, so the psykers must be outside to get any other powers off. any kind of army that has focused on getting a huge pile of warp charge points or whatever theyre called is going to be sorely lacking in other important things. see the tzeentch summoning circus: plz no dont summon more T3 5++ bodies for me to shoot to death.

"deny their powers by shooting their stupid psyker faces off." is my quote of the day.

There are also going to be significantly fewer powers actually cast by the opponent than before, so all those races have less to worry about.

The Canoptek Spyder has offered psychic defence for 'Crons since the end of 5th. They've just been FAQ'd so that the Gloom Prisim gives you a +2 on your Deny rolls for friendly units covered by it.

Chaos Psychic Focus:-

I'm not entirely sure this replaces Psychic Focus. IT kind of reads like an addition, not a replacement. (Unless I'm being blind and missing an "Instead" somewhere).

It replaces it a back-handed way. Psychic focus notes you lose the free primaris if you ever gain a power from a different discipline.

FYI chaos marine psykers with marks do not get the psychic focus, because they have to generate a power on their table, but daemons can get both foci for two free powers.

Good article, but I do have to nitpick on one thing: the supposed weaknesses of Daemon Conjuring by Daemons.

The conjured daemons aren't going to be scattering much at all — because not only are you just going to take Icons on your initial horror units, the horrors/whatever you summon gain free no-or-d6 scatter icons in being summoned. Furthermore, there will also be castings of Cursed Earth going around, meaning more no-scatter bubbles.

A Tzeentch Clown Car list should have no mishap troubles getting their summoned models onto the table.

the problem that all the maths involved in a tzeentch summoning list appears to think that the enemy is just sitting there watching them summon things rather than, you know, shooting and/or assaulting them.

Unless you put your single model heralds out of LOS and put your psychic battery horrors in cover and go to ground with a re-roll on 1's. So you're not going to stop the first round, and a very slim possibility of stopping the second round either unless you're mass tactical marines in scoring drop pods.

A few barrage weapons or drop pod flamers would sort that out. Everything has a counter.

Thanks for writing this article.

I'm also surprised at the amount of optimism coming from this release.

You can get both. The mark power is “automatically” known. Therefore it is never generated during the game, or even prior to the game. It exists on the unit in the book, essentially. Therefore it does not run afoul of the rule where later generated powers kill psychic focus. Daemons and CSM can get both. And really, it’s not much of a buff anyway, since it’s doubtful they wanted anything else from the tzeentch powers to start.

False. Recheck psychic focus. Note that it explicitly says if the model ever gains a power from an outside discipline, they lose the free primaris. Chaos focus is an outside power.

I think that the chaos payers do get focus United it says different in an faq. My reasoning is it says if a payer generates all of their powers from the same discipline they get focus, it says chaos payers automatically know the primaris power of their god, and thus did not generate it.

Posted from phone at work without book. Sorry for gibberish, phone does not like the word psyker.

Reread psychic focus. Technically, a chaos marked psyker might only generate all their powers from a discipline and so qualify for lsychic focus. But note the other half of the rule. If the psyker ever gains a power from a different psychic discipline, they lose the free primaris. So they get it. And then they lose it.

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