8th Edition 40k – Vehicles

Okay vehicles today. We also get a sneak peak at the A-Barge. Let’s run through the rule reveals first.

Which are rather thin. The ongoing reference to vehicles in combat is explored more fully. Essentially, vehicles can charge now and have a combat statline. Previous vehicles which were Walkers or certain upgrades (Ork Deffrolla) will be more effective in combat. We can see this with the previous Dreadnought which was the usual high strength, multiple attacks and a good to hit WS. The A-Barge on the other hand has a low to hit WS (6+), middling strength but a fair number of attacks. This replaces Tank Shock.

I really don’t like this but is unsurprising. Tank Shock was an often overlooked portion of the game, was a great way to break bubble wrap (er this is the right article, but that one is useful, too!) by pushing units out of position which ultimately gave you control over how the table could look. It was a complicated rules mess though if there was no space to move models and savvy players could use to strong effect to teleport models all over the place. In that sense with the streamlining of the game occurring, it makes sense. From a tactical perspective though I am sad. Regardless, vehicles having an action in combat now is a good thing rather than just sitting there and letting melta-bombs be attached to them.

This could also be really useful in having a vehicle gain extra movement or eat some Overwatch firepower that’s unlikely to hurt it (reminding ourselves that everything can damage vehicles now) so there are definitely some tactical gains here. I just am going to miss tank shock :(.

Other than that… we have no new information. Lame sauce.

So the A-Barge actually seems pretty weak on its statline alone – we don’t know if Living Metal or Quantum Shielding will still exist or what impact open-topped will have on durability (I assume none and it’s accounted for in the statline) but T6, W8 and Sv4+ just seems… light on the face of it. Mind you, the Dreadnought was only T7/W8/Sv3+ so it’s not a massive change other than to S7 weapons and of course the save. Perhaps I am just remembering Necron shields staying up and dealing with AV13 all the time… Anyone want to run the math for us :)?

Anyway, it feels like the spitballing of vehicles being able to move and fire everything with the -1 penalty is correct. We don’t know this for 100% but that will bring the firepower of lots of vehicles up a lot. Ugh I just remembered Necron barges were twin-linked as well. Let’s see that doubling of firepower please.

Here’s the text in full.

Today we take a look at how vehicles work in the new Warhammer 40,000.

The best way to show you some of the changes is with an example. Because we haven’t really seen anything from the Necron dynasties yet, we’re going to look at the Annihilation Barge, staple fire-support gun platform of the undying legions:

So this thing looks VERY different in the new Warhammer 40,000.

For a start, it’s using the same stats as everyone else, so armour values on the various facings are out, and instead, we have Toughness, Wounds and an Armour Save, making it more comparable in durability to other large monsters and massive beasts of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

Also, it’s got Attacks and Strength! So it can fight (albeit inexpertly) in combat. This represents it literally ramming or smashing into enemy units.

Some dedicated combat vehicles (commonly what used to be Walkers), will have melee weapons too, like the classic Dreadnought power fist, but most vehicles will need to make do with crushing enemies under tracks or crumpling them beneath anti-gravitic engines. Generally, these attacks will have a poor to hit roll (5+ or 6+) but high strength – because if a Land Raider runs you over, you’ll feel it. There are exceptions of course – Ork vehicles can be kitted out with some pretty deadly close combat options, which now function just like any other specialist close combat weapon: get hit by a Deathroller, for example, and prepare to be a pancake.

Vehicles will be affected by all the other new rules we’ve talked about too, so they will be able to move as any other model would, including advancing. They shoot just like everyone else does, including (with a few exceptions) -1 to hit with heavy weapons if they move. They can even charge! which effectively replaces the Tank Shock rules, except ANY vehicle can do it and they then fight just like any other unit in the Fight phase.

Generally, you’ll find that vehicles still fill the same roles in your army as they always have, but without so many exceptions to the core rules of the game. You’ll find them to be very durable, probably more so than they are today, and best used in coordination with infantry and where their own specialisations can be used to full effect.

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34 responses to 8th Edition 40k – Vehicles

Not crazy about this, personnaly. If I get this right, a tank can now lock another tank in CC? That's… just weird. Imagine two armour vehicles bumping into each other repeatedly like bumper cars – just… no.

A bit light on details, otherwise. They didn't even bother mentioning that vehicles will be able to split fire too…

Well, everyone else can split fire, and vehicles fire like everyone else, so…..although yeah, I guess there's the problem that a vehicle is sort of in the odd position of being a single model that's being treated almost like a squad.

Let's hope so, otherwise it's going to look silly on the tabletop.

Incidentaly, non-walker vehicles have just become MUCH tougher to kill in CC now. No weak armour to hit anymore…

Yeah, I agree. NOTHING can lock you in combat, outside of I guess things like Wyches who have a special ability. Rhino rams a A Barge? Just back up.

Incidentally, I think this is what's gonna separate Fliers into their own FoC slot. I'll bet that they won't be able to get into combat, or at least they can't with non-fliers. They'll have rules for fly by attacks still, but Nobs aren't gonna jump up and stab a Storm Raven to death.

'Nobs aren't gonna jump up and stab a Storm Raven to death.'

Now you've made me disappointed about a missed opportunity 😀

True but tedious I think with vehicle v vehicle combat and even infantry v vehicle combat. Most vehicles after all have multiple people inside so while the driver is shoving the thing into reverse, the gunners can still fire (at wildly lower levels of accuracy once assumes). I imagine this is not the case and they can choose to forfeit their shooting etc. like infantry but I'm still holding out ;).

…Now I kind of want some sort of land speeder that has like 10 Pistols on it… Like the short range version of the Hurricane Bolter…

I remember destroyer blades for chaos vehicles from the old codexs it would be neat if they made a comeback.

Good riddance to tank shock: It was underused by the uninformed and overused and abused by some people.

That said it's going to be weird charging my devilfish "into combat" to save some firewarriors.

“Abused?” Tank Shock was something that anyone with a tank could do, and wasn’t a faction-specific tool. If anything, having the ability to “push” units next to each other like that was an underhanded trick that actually required a few brain cells to make work

Ever since 4th restricted Tank Shocks to 12″ moves, the worst abuses of the rule were removed.

Yeah abused. Back when vehicles could score (I didn't play 7th), tank shocking onto an objective was silly. Waves of rhinos used to rearrange enemy forces. Continuously tank shocking marine units so they keep on falling back and hit the edge of the board.

It wasn't an opportunistic "Imma gonna run some people off" to systematic abuses of the system. It wasn't realistic.

Have you ever had a tank try to run you over? Cause I garantee you you'd run like hell and would keep running if one tried…

More reasons to change these rules dramatically should be apparent when reading what their greatest fan, Mr Tank-Shock-Evangelist Kirby, said about them:

'It was a complicated rules mess though if there was no space to move models and savvy players could use to strong effect to teleport models all over the place'


It's a game with abstract rules that attempt to portray real-life situations. It's never going to be perfect. That doesn't mean the idea of Tank Shock writ large isn't realistic…

What it means is that how it was used was unrealistic. None of the people inclined to use it a "realistic" sense ever remembered the rules for it.

There was a brief period in 7E where you could use Crunch to wipe out whole units pretty easily, regardless of their stats; 5E also had pretty rampant "I tank shock onto an objective" nonsense going on, as Prometheus notes.

I really don't like the look of that Annihilation Barge statline- if that thing got weaker AGAIN I'm gonna be pretty happy, 'cause I love Tesla. Hopefully Quantum Shielding is a thing (and maybe Rez Protocols as well, since Nurgle are confirmed to have a "ignore wounds on a 5+" ability) so that it won't be as paper-thin as it statline seems to suggest.

I forget, was the annihilation barge armour 11, open topped and quantum shielding before? I'm going to guess that there is still some necron wibbliness that makes this more durable that it appears on the face of it but I can't say that this is a statline that inspires much hope for lighter vehicles that aren't dirt cheap.

I'm also glad to see tank shock gone, it was a bit of a rules mess and you can still make some attempt to move units around just by assaulting them. Do we have any idea how grenades are going to work in combat? Seems like anything with krak grenades might make relatively short work of a lot of vehicles.

One thing we do know is that grenades won't be hitting on rear armour, since the change to vehicles using wounds and saves rather than facings. That is likely to be a big boost to the survivability of a lot of vehicles in combat.

Mhmm, I was a bit worried that something like a land raider was going to be a lot easier to kill in combat but since it's probably going to have a 2+ save it'll mostly shrug off krak grenades no worries. As you say, most vehicles will actually be more durable. Curious to see how dreadnoughts and monstrous creatures interact with grenades.

Notably, they didn't show off a degrading stat line for this thing. So either only the heavy and super heavy stuff will lose effectiveness as they lose wounds, or they're just playing things close to the chest for now. They also confirmed that facings aren't a thing anymore, so if that comes up, it'll be something like Knight Shields and their ability to stop fire from one direction.

Necron vehicles were durable, but it was NEVER because of their stats. I wouldn't be surprised if they got something like +2 Toughness vs the first unit attacking them each round or something to replace the old Quantum Shielding. You know Wave Serpents are gonna have their shields still, so I'd be honestly suprised if they replaced all of those with straight Toughness or Wounds.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Imperial Knights’ ion shield was changed to be omnidirectional, in keeping with the general levels of “KISS” we’ve seen so far.

Personally, I think it should be switched to something along the lines of “in your Hero Phase, nominate one enemy unit, you have an X+ Invulnerable Save against attacks from that unit until the start of your next Hero Phase.” Preserves some of the feel of the ion shield’s limited coverage and the Knight-Pilot needing to actively defend with it, but will be less finicky in place as you wouldn’t have to bust out the protractor, laser pointer, and t-square everytime someone shoots at you from an oblique angle.

I believe pods have been confirmed to have the same outside 9" deployment rule as the trygon – so no.

Man, if Rhinos remain relatively cheap and have a somewhat similar statline to the Barge (which seems plausible), they are going to be even more useful/annoying than before! Big scary shooty unit? Run the Rhinos at them to stop them from shooting for a turn (unless you're Tau… grrr!). Scary assault unit? Place a Rhino in their charge lane and force them to waste a turn or two of CC attack on it (killing vehicles in CC will be MUCH more difficult now… a 10-man Assault squad could punch a Rhino to death in a single CC phase, whereas if it has Barge-like stats, it will take them 4-5 phases to do…)