8th Edition 40k – Stronghold Assault

Today doesn’t give us anything too rulesy (I swear we make up so many words and bastardise the English language with every post) but nonetheless the types of gameplay are something I want to talk about. First, quick summary of Stronghold Assault.

It’s one of the many game types that the new edition of 40k will involve. While we will mainly be focusing on matched play as is 3++’s want, these are still an important part of the game and something we as the authors will likely engage in at some point.

Stronghold Assault brings back the attacker and defender type roles from 3rd edition missions (ah Cleanse and Meatgrinder, how we miss ye). Specific stratagems are also provided for each side that are unique to this mission. The two revealed both involve bunkers / fortresses, the attacker being more able to damage a bunker / fortresses and the defender more able to survive a destroyed bunker / fortresses (by 33% no less, so quite powerful).

Buildings (fortifications?) still exist and are referenced to remain in the main game such as the Fortress of Redemption and they use the same new wound profile (sans a movement stat). They generally have a Toughness value of 10, 12+ wounds and a 3+ save. Just like everything else we are seeing, sturdy but not something that half of your army throws fits over like those lovely AV14 buildings of yesteryear.

Anyway. These types of games mode are really important for a game IMO. Why? Because you can satisfy your entire customer base with one core ruleset. You have your 40k rules and then matched play which sticks to them strictly or Stronghold Assault / narrative play / Kill Team / whatever which bends (and potentially breaks) those rules to allow for a fun campaign or a fluffy match or something that’s just a lot more, well casual. And that’s allowing all types of crowds to get their enjoyment out. If you’re going to a tournament, you know what the ruleset is. If you’re playing Kill Team or Stronghold Assault at home, you know what the ruleset is. This gives the competitive crowd (hopefully) a tight ruleset with few loopholes or breaks. This gives the fluffy crowd the Deathwing Assault launched against a heretic hive city. We’ve said it for quite nearly a decade here at 3++, a good core rules does not invalidate fluffy play but a bad ruleset does invalidate competitive play.

So again, I’m glad to see these different styles of play. I’m still really looking forward to what 8th edition missions are but Transports are up tomorrow which is also eagerly awaited by myself.

As usual, text is below.

Battles in the far future are seldom fought across an even battlefield.

The new Warhammer 40,000 includes rules for a variety of different game modes, which can be layered over the top of the core game rules. These make for great narrative battles, either stand-alone or as part of a campaign.

Today, we take a look at one of these: Stronghold Assault.

All across the 41st Millennium, there are fortresses, keeps, and strong points that hold vital strategic value. They inevitably become the scenes of battles, as attacking forces seek to wrestle control of these fortifications from entrenched defenders.

Warhammer 40,000 history is full of epic sieges, heroic last stands against impossible odds, and the fall of great citadels: the defence of Helsreach, the Battle of the Fang, and of course, the siege of the Emperor’s Palace come to mind. These battles can often make for some of the most enjoyable and memorable cinematic games.

In the new Warhammer 40,000, there are advanced rules to help represent these types of games. These games are quite different from a standard game in a few regards: for a start, players take on opposing roles. In a matched play game, both players will be trying to achieve the same thing, but in Stronghold Assault, the defender is trying to hold his own territory against a numerically superior attacking force, so there are different objectives for each side. This is represented both in the way the battlefield is set up and with mission-special rules. There are new Stratagems for example, and they are different for attackers and defenders:

These Stratagems will be very handy, but you will have to spend those precious Command Points to use them, which means you’ll have fewer for re-rolls, counter offensives and insane bravery.

Stronghold Assault will also include rules for things like Demolitions, Strongpoint Defences and capturing (or destroying) buildings.

Speaking of buildings, these are a big part of Stronghold Assault too, and some, like the Fortress of Redemption, can also show up in other games of Warhammer 40,000 as part of a player’s army. These fortified structures use the same profile system as everyone else in Warhammer 40,000, though as you’d expect, they (usually) don’t move. Generally, dedicated battlefield structures will be Toughness 10, have over a dozen wounds and a 3+ save, so they take some considerable effort to completely destroy, as you might imagine!

Games like these offer a really cool alternative to a standard game of Warhammer 40,000, especially if the narrative side of the setting appeals to you.

We’ll be back tomorrow to tell you a bit about how transports work in the new Warhammer 40,000.

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9 responses to 8th Edition 40k – Stronghold Assault

Oh god… I hope infantry riding in transports aren’t slain on 3s or less or else they’re going to be useless again…

I strongly feel like that's a bunker / fortress thing. Looking back at every other edition, being in a destroyed building was generally bad news.

I really hope this trend is maintained. We find out tomorrow hopefully.

If they share the same rules transports will explode like milk trucks in a Michael Bay movie 😈😈😈

I think it will be like the Arkanaut Frigate in AoS where you roll for each model and you have to make a 2+. But what I am wondering is if 40k will get the Overburdened rule as well.

Is there one BAD RULE hidden in this new update?

At the end of the Escape Hatch stratagem it says:
'Garrisoning models are only slain on a roll of a 1, instead of a roll of 1 ,2 or 3'.

That appears to indicate there is an aspect of the rules that completely ignores the new profile approach; 'slain on a rolle of a 1' pays no regard to the model's toughness, armour save or wounds.

If that approach applies to many other areas outside of fortifications or narrative scenarios it could be a real shame.

It’s odd… they make this big show of making the statline harder… and then disregard that a ton of times…