40K: A Farewell to Templates

The humble template has been with us since Rogue Trader – but it’s time to say goodbye.

Templates have been a staple of GW game design for decades. If there is anything that us 40K players savor – it’s some distant memory of that one perfect time you nailed something like 23 packed models with a single heavy flamer template.  I can see you smiling from here.

Age of Sigmar was a hint of things to come 2 years back and now GW has made it official – templates are gone in 8th.  I thought we should take a moment to remember all the good times.

The Early Days

Templates were funky and low-rent back in the 80s. Rogue Trader and 2nd Edition had some heavy card templates in the rulebook you could photocopy, or cut out of your rulebook if you were a heretic. They came in all kinds of weird shapes and sizes:

Yup, that’s all we had in 1987. Short and sweet.

Towards the end of Rogue Trader GW had added in some more exotic weapons and fancier templates to use with them:

Ahh, the semi-legendary “chubby” hand-flamer template, and yes those are rad grenade and webber tokens from 1992!

The Thudd gun has been fun to assemble and use for several editions!

Third Edition finally settled things down to just the basic three templates that have stuck with us for almost 20 years. Of course exactly why GW decided to introduce the “Guess Weapon” mechanic for blast weapons is anyone’s guess. I did know a couple of players back in the day who were uncanny at dropping “it feels like 93.5 inches” Basilisk barrages EXACTLY on target every shot. It still creeps me out just thinking about it.

Welcome to the Modern Era!


How could we talk about templates without mentioning both versions of APOCALYPSE’s insane templates! the first edition had the giant green templates with the odd to resolve cloverleaf.

Oh the Apocalypse flamer template – such “warm memories 🙂

Apocalypse 2nd Edition replaced them with the even larger blue templates!

Eventually Guess weapons went away, D weapons arrived but still the templates stayed with us. GW made clear ones, orange ones, fancy thick green ones and just last month Shadow War Armageddon got some sexy red ones.

Ohh, my World Eaters are so jealous…

So here we sit at the end of an era.  For 30 years we 40K players have been placing and guessing where our templates go.  It will feel strangely clinical to just roll X number of hits. It certainly will speed up the game, and clearly cut down on the number of arguments. But there is a part of me that will shed a little tear at never again being able to pull off that 23 wound heaver flamer dream shot.

So long templates – and thanks for all the memories!

~What’s your most memorable template shot ever in a game?



  • Mike X (Official)

    Templates were (and still are, in other games) a great mechanic. It was sketchy/WAAC players that ruined them.

    • J Mad

      It also slows the game down, Hoard players or players needed to measure the full 2″ etc.. also do to multi levels it was always an argument as to how many are hit etc…

      It mad small arguments, add extra tools to the table, often were lost/stolen (not on purpose) etc…

      Im glad they are done. Are they fun? Yeah they can be, but many times do to the mechanics it was as equally not fun and just took longer.

      • Heinz Fiction

        On the other hand: without templates you don’t have to spread out and your Orcs can go to battle like soldiers in the napoleonic wars (which looks just silly).

        • Philip Estabrook

          I’m going to start doing that.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Next conversion idea, gotta get cracking.

        • euansmith

          I think that “closely packed” better represents the Orkz in the artwork; also this means that Horde players could start using movement trays to speed things up even more. WFB: 40K Edition!

          • Charon

            But also an explosion should do more damage to the tightly packed horde that to the spread out Scouts.

          • It should, but since when has 40K been a realistic representation of true warfare anyway?

          • Charon

            It does not need to be realistic but it should have clear niches for weapon types. Lascannon has a specific role and is not good outside that role. Templates had a specific role but now they are equally efficient outside of their role while also the risk/reward or the reward for proper positioning/punishment for bad positioning got subsituted by a complete unrelated random roll

          • Atharius

            I can finally use that pizza tray in my oven to move my green tide around!

        • J Mad

          So your saying b.c they dont have to spread them out this looks bad?

          You know what looks really cool? See 30 H/T gants closely together in swarms. It looks better than 2″ apart.

          You know what looks worst, watching a Nids or Ork player space out 90-120 models 2″ a part measuring with a tape measure for each one.

          Blah blah but know one plays Hoard, well b.c the OP f;ing Power creep, now with 8th we can play hoards again (well we hope so) and I would rather NOT worry about 2″ separations than how it looks when models are close together.

          • Heinz Fiction

            As a Nid player I have to very strongly disagree. Tightly packed swarms only look good, if they are sourrounded by other tightly packed swarms, not if most of the board is empty around them…

          • J Mad

            In this game I didnt have to worry about templates, so I placed them to screen but didnt have to measure, it was FUN. I could just place them and not have to worry, it made the game faster as well.

            IDK how much terrain you play with but you dont have to be B2B unles you are trying for hard cover in ruins/ behind walls etc..


          • Heinz Fiction

            Yes i don’t have to put them base to base, but it’s advantageous in most situations. I can can concentrate my firepower better (the lesser my range is, the more important that becomes), use cover more efficiently and have more space to maneuver. In general I can concentrate a larger force in a smaller segment of the board, which is a universal tactical goal.

            Depending on the rules there might be some units which I want to spread out (screening units, buff dispensers oder mission objective grabbers), but those will likely be in the minority.

          • Gunther Clone C

            As a Tyranid player since I first started playing in 5th edition. These are my thoughts EXACTLY. My army will look for chaotic and fluffy with unit blobs charging instead of tactically spaced space bugs with human mentality of “I don’t wanna get flamed.”

      • Chris Boyle

        If the points values for the horde armies were truly designed for mass numbers of miniatures able to absorb heavy casualties, there shouldn’t have been a need to spread the miniatures out. One should have been able to slough off heavy casualties and still been threatening. If you’ve got to play horde armies in a non-horde (terminology fail?) fashion then what’s the point of playing them?

        • J Mad

          No one wants to buy 300 Gants tho, you have to also look at it that way, if gants where 2pts and you took 500pts of them thats 250 models, a 12man unit is 25$, thats $520 just for 1/3 of your list.

          its more than just playing hord, yeah 100 ish models is cool but 300? thats a long game, long turn, lots of money etc..

          We dont need cheaper Troops for Hordes, we need better balancing.

          • Chris Boyle

            No disagreement. That’s been my point throughout this thread, though I wasn’t as clear as I should have been in that comment.

          • Eddie

            No one except my friend, who has more that 500 gants, and always uses around 250-350 in normal games, and all of them in apocalypse games! He thinks its funny. O.o

          • Michael Brown

            LOL it is funny

          • Michael Brown

            Ebay is your friend if you need that many models

    • Karru

      Well, it wasn’t the “sketchy” or WAACs that only “argued” about them. More important the unit and more powerful the weapon fired at them, suddenly the amount of people under the template started to decrease from the Opponent’s PoV and increase from your PoV.

      Also, as J Mad pointed out, the biggest benefit about seeing templates go is Spacing. Most games that use templates have units that are either very small or the templates themselves aren’t nearly as powerful. In 40k, you have to space out every single model in your 30 man Guardsmen blob to make sure you aren’t losing 8+ per blast. That isn’t exactly a 10-second job, making sure that each model is 2″ apart from each other isn’t fast.

    • ZeeLobby

      And ruined them not very often. It’s like the people who dislike charts, or couldn’t subtract BS for to hit rolls. It’s something you see in every article comment section but rarely ever in real life.

    • euansmith

      I think that they re okay in skirmish games where you might get one or two in a game; but when they are dropping like rain, they can become a drag rather than a fun mechanism.

    • Matt Halkos

      Wasn’t it sketchy/waac players that ruined every mechanic. Lol

    • Walter Vining

      really, when I have had the discussion in many pick up games of how many models were hit by a template that neither one of us could tell how many were covered, or scatter direction because someone wanted to roll their scatter die on another part of the table and then point it in the way that they wanted?

    • marxlives

      I agree, in CMoN Dark Age and Warmachine, I use templates. Even have used them at the competitive level, no arguments, no nothing. I think GW missed the forest from the trees on this one. Arguments from templates begins when players have lost their faith in the fairness of the system. Forces within a system can be asymetric and still be well balanced. But if you feel somehow that the system is cheating you from turn 1, the smallest thing will become the biggest deal.

      My region was blessed with having some world class WMHs players and man. You could really see the chess environment in play. These guys would let me take moves back, target different models, whatever and they would still win. That is because they had a plan from turn one and their placement from there was calculated. Despite that, I never felt cheated, I merely felt outclassed.

  • BaronVonYoloing

    Although I’m sorry to see some of these templates go I see why they have been removed from the game. The amount of arguments I have seen regarding exactly either how many people are under a template or the exact direction it scattered in it was understandable.

    The main one I’m going to miss is the Hellstorm template. I might only have 1 in the army (Tyranid player with a Hierodule) but I like that paddle. Especially against *That* guy with *That* army.

    • Hazamelistan

      Same here: The Cerastus Archeon is currently no longer on my list for my Knights.

      • OldHat

        …whyyyy? It isn’t like its incredible gun won’t still be incredible in the new edition, since it will likely be 3 or 4d6 autohits (and it is still the classic in 30k).

  • Hazamelistan

    Might be a very special issue, but I’m really curious how they will create a “no template”-AdMech Ordinatus Ulator without template. The Sonic Destructor is mainly flipping a template across the table and hit everything in its way.

    • Nathaniel Wright

      Measure a distance across, then move the tape measure down the board. Score *D6 wounds against each unit hit.

      The star representing no set number, of course

      • No-one Special

        Which is surely still open to the exact same arguments as a template?

        • Nathaniel Wright

          Eh, not as much. It’ll be a 5 inch beam (or whatever). Never ran into the issue with my Glaive.

          • Hazamelistan

            7″ 😉

            And like you never ran into an issue with meassuring I never had an argument with templates. It’s all down to the guys you play with

      • Hazamelistan

        So you need two tapes to set the lane and happy discussions about “It’s in or not” commence… 😉

        • stinkoman

          3, two on each side of the lane and one to ensure the width at any point.

    • OldHat

      That is for 30k, right? So it is still using 7th Ed rules until FW says otherwise.

      • Hoo1igan

        For the time being. But FW has unambiguously stated that 30k will always reflect and follow the 40k ruleset as it evolves. So its just a matter of time before 30k gets its 8th ed set of rules.

        • OldHat

          OR, we might see a “30k Core Rulebook” that is a rehashed 7th. That would be awesome, since 30k is fine as it stands.

  • No-one Special

    The more I read the more i’m convinced that you could of got away with losing blast templates and replacing them with an ‘x’D6 roll, but flame templates should really have stayed.
    By most accounts, it was the scatter of the blast template that took up most time and was subject to the most arguments.
    As flame templates didn’t scatter (unless there’s an exception i’m not thinking of) they were much quicker to resolve, and as they were placed by the player, could be quickly adjusted to see if a debately model was touched by it or not.
    It would also remove this new rules glitch of them now being far more effective at killing single figure than the hordes they’re supposed to be for.

    • Karru

      I agree with you there. The Flame Template rarely had arguments attached to it. It also made sense when it came to damage.

      • The Rout

        I think its good that they can be used for both now, i mean think about it. Yes you could set several guys on fire by covering the entire squad in lets say a 5 second burst or you could aim that same 5 second burst at one guy and REALLY hurt him. The random amount of hits represents the targets ability to hide or just plain dumb luck.

        I will miss the templates but i won’t miss being punished for every slight error in movement.

        • Karru

          Yeah, but it will boil down to the pricing of the weapon. If Flamers cost too much, I highly doubt that we will see them outside very specialised units due to their limited range and unreliable amount of damage.

          Unless you get a unit that can equip the entire unit with Flamers for cheap or they come equipped with it as well as have them somehow transported close enough to unleash all of it, Flamers will be rare weapons to see.

          Burna Boys are back in town though, which is nice.

          • Reven

            As a sister player I will miss my heavy flamer templates, many Pathfinders, Gaunts and Guardsman have passed under it’s blaze, I now get to see my flamers act just like a short range exorcist tank, which has never liked me.

          • The Rout

            I agree, everything is in the pricing but the jury is out on whether flamers got a buff or a nerf. Some think they are next to useless now, some people think they are very powerful now. the truth of it is likely somewhere in the middle.

            And im really happy for orks in this edition, everyone loves orks (either playing as or against) and the changes to initiative benefit them above every else i think. And orks needed the most fixing IMO, a combat focused army (fluff-wise) that is initiative 2 is no army at all lol.

            The difficulty of getting flamers in to range hasn’t changed because of these changes though, still identical range.

          • Charon

            Depends on the use. From a single model PoV the flamer just became a lot stronger (and with it probably all other blast weapons – just imagine a battlecannon doing multiple hits on a MC – probably with multiple wounds too)
            Same with small elite units.
            Against hordes on the other hand the flamer just lost a lot of his effectiveness due to random hit numbers.

          • The Rout

            It was always random hits though its just the mechanic for determining the number that’s changed. The flamer never did a set number of hits but now its based on a dice instead of the random being based on your opponents placement. It has had an increase in effectiveness against single models but i think that makes sense as i said above. Same applies to blast weapons, should getting wounded with a lascannon really only hurt as much as being wounded by a lasgun? Because thats where we are now in 7th.

          • Charon

            Neither mine nor my opponent placement are random. They are (unless running away) 100% controlled by each player.
            The issue is not the lascannons multiple wounds (btw it has a chance to do as much damage as a lasgun – random)

            The problem is rather that a battlecannon is more reliable against single models than the lascannon as it creates more hits as opposed to a single roll that needs to hit first.

          • The Rout

            The amount of hits still wasnt fixed and was based on factors outside your control, same as a D6 would be.

            The lascannon could do the same as a lasgun youre right, but now it DOES do the same, pretty important difference.

            And not to be dismissive but we dont know the rules for the battlecannon yet so we dont really know how these will behave. I would hope that big blast weapons for example do X plus d6 rather than just a flat d6 (X varying depending on the weapon in question, 1plus d6 for small blast, 2 plus d6 for large etc)

          • Charon

            my movement is 100% in my control. My opponents movement is 100% in his control. The amount of hits is not “outside” your control as you use your control to get into a favorable situation. Who maneges to extend his control over the enemy units, too manages to get mor favorable conditions.
            How is that random?

            So you want a battlecannon to do even more damage to single targets? Oo
            That makes the lascannon even sadder.

            The current problem is that the battlecannon (unter the same rules wich was semi confirmed on the 40k fb page) is a lot better against single targets as it is against large units.
            Templates/blasts were designed to be more effective against big units – now they are not and as it looks like they are now even more effective against single units as the weapons that should be effective against single units.
            Would you rather prefer 1 shot that has to hit/wound/pass armor first but doing D6 dmg or D6 auto hits?

            The proper solution would have been to limit the max amout of hits to the amount of models in the unit.

          • The Rout

            The fact still stands that the amount of hits was never fixed for flamers which is my point. The player with the flamer doesnt control their opponents move. Perhaps i should phrase it as a variable amount of hits rather than a random amount of hits but thats semantics, the effect is the same.

            And the lascannon is now a good weapon for doing its job, shooting big things. Do you think they got the lascannon wrong? If so how would you change it?

            And how do you figure that the flamer has lost effectiveness against big units? yes the hits are capped at 6 but i think that makes a lot of sense. And there was many a time my flamers could only hit one or 2 guys because of friendly modles etc. On the flipside of that ive hit 20 plus orks with my flamers, while hilarious it doesnt make sense that the guy closest to the flamer and the guy furtherest away are hurt equally. This is a good solution to that.

            I havent read the FB page (because i rarely use FB) so i couldnt comment on the battlecannon without seeing its damage, hits and rend. But if i had my way id give it d6 plus 1 hits, 2 rend and 2 damage. That would make it good against vehicles and infantry but not great against either which makes sense to me.

            And what profile would you give the flamer? Templates are gone so it needs a profile, id say this is pretty damn perfect.

          • Charon

            The player with the flamer tries to control the opponents move by creating threat. “Hug your 10 models piled up behind that small piece of cover and get burned” This forces a decision. Do I hug behind the cover or d I stay in the open. If the threat of the 10 hit flamer is bigger than I just controled his movement by preventing him to move in there.
            If the threat from the damage he would receive from out of cover is bigger, he will still move in thus giving me 10 hits.
            That is basic game knowledge.
            The better you control your opponents options (and movement is one of these option) the more you win.

            I did never bring in the lascannon that was just you. All im saying is that blast weapons (like the battlecannon) are now more effective agaisnt single targets as they deal damage way more reliable (the lascannon was never a favorite in the game as its anti tank capabilities are UNRELIABLE -> more shots, more dice -> more reliability)

            Also the main problem is not that the flamer is now less effective against sloppy played horde (I dislike it but well thats a matter of taste) the main problem is that multiple hits also apply to SINGLE models. Yes, you hit 3 orcs. But you also hit that single obliterator 3 times (which would have been 1 hit previously)

            Profile can stay D3 + 3 hits (still not close to max but a raised minimum damage to average out) capped by unit size (so despite rolling 6 hits, single models are still only hit once.)

            So it stays anti horde and does not suddenly become equally effective against everything.

          • Fergie0044

            An easy fix if they use a ‘flamer’ keyword. All weapons with this keyword get to re-roll the amount of hits against units with 10+ models. There you go, keeps flamers effective against hoards.

          • FrozenTech

            We actually don’t know this yet – unless you’ve got a battle cannon profile you’re holding out on us. Battle Cannons *may not be blast effect anymore* Or… they might be. We just don’t know.

          • Karru

            As I pointed out to Charon, the key problem is the amount of flamers you can get. Why bother with a 8″ Bolter that gets D6 hits instead of 2 from 12″ or 1 over 12″ and up to 24″. Why not just take a Melta Gun that can damage something and let the Bolters do the damaging against horde units from a distance.

            A single flamer will be useless. A ton of flamers will be terrifying.

          • The Rout

            I get what you’re saying but flamers may also still have the overwatch rules and potentially do d6 hits then too. I’d say that gives a pretty good reason to take them. And as you said before its all in the points cost, flamers may be very cheap when compared to other weapons squads can take.

          • Karru

            It is heavily dependant on the unit that wields it as well, but more importantly the amount of flamers the unit has access to. As it currently stands, most of the “low strength” AoE weapons, such as the Flamer, is just a standard weapon that just happens to do more hits if it gets to shoot. Like in this case, the Flamer is a Bolter that has a range of 8″ and causes D6 hits. I’d much rather take something like a Melta Gun for 5pts more, assuming the prices remain the same. That flamer won’t be doing much against a rampaging horde. Those extra D6 hits won’t be saving your bacon when the enemy charges you next turn.

            On the other hand, they became very powerful when you can spam them. Burna Boys or even Sternguard are terrifying now. 10D6 automatic hits is very powerful, even if its “only” strength 4. On average 35 hits turn into 17-18 hits. Even Marines start to die at that point. Burna Boys especially are scary if they get to keep their Assault bonuses.

            Basically, what I see for flamers in the future isn’t exactly “favourable”. They won’t see much use if you can take only one or two of them. You take them if you can equip the entire unit with them and then get them close enough pretty fast or reliably.

          • FrozenTech

            Sisters of Silence can mount the whole squad with flamers…. 😀 No idea what costs will be in 8th though.

          • Karru

            Then they might very well be amongst the most useful flamer wielding units in the game. With the abilities to hinder Psykers and the ability to take multiple flamers, they’ll be a solid support unit if the price is right.

    • J Mad

      I could stand by this, I can see many places house ruling Flamers to stay.

  • Nyyppä

    Good memories from needlessly precise system that slowed the game down for no reason at all? That’s like someone saying that they have good memories about eating sand.

    • HEY! leave the sand alone!

    • Charon

      Actually it was a system that rewarded good and proper positioning and punished sloppy play.
      Now it does not matter if you move your pieces correctly in position or try to maneuver your pieces into a good angle – you can pile them up with a bucket and a shovel… no difference.
      Also it is quite counter intuitive that templates/blasts now do as much damage to single models as they do to groups of models.

      • Nyyppä

        Yes. All those exactly 2″ coherencies built for those 30+ model units. What a treat! How can we continue life without those?!?

        How is it counter intuitive to have flamers that have the same damage total for sweeping the masses than they have by bbqing a single foe? I agree that shrapnel are not guided and a d6 hits system is not realistic with them but if it works in the game I’m fine with it.

        • Charon

          Not all template weapons are fire based.

          Also if you are drowned in a flamable liquid and set on fire it does not matter a bit if I pour additional liquid over you. You already burn. It does not matter if only you burn or you and 3 of your buddies.
          If you are burning, you are burning.

          It is less about “realism” it is more about another random roll that replaces a mechanic that was a 100% in both players hands.

          Also if there is nothing to punish clustering up, be prepared to face turtled in army blobs for maximum synergie.

          Single models also just became a lot wosde just because of the same mechanic (think rather battlecannons 1 hit vs D6)

          • Nyyppä

            Ok. Let me put it this way. A single drop pod/etc. with frag cannons/etc. no longer decides alone how the opposing army is deployed. It no longer takes minutes per single template/blast to reach a consensus on how many models actually were under it. It no longet takes minutes to decide the correct position of a scattered blast.

            This is a good thing. It’s more abstract and I get that some people don’t like it but as a person who played melee armies I’m just glad that I don’t have to make a Space Invaders simulator for the other player to play while I have no actual role beyond moving those “invaders” on the map.

            Also that concentrated burst of said burning liquid is what the d6 hits on a single model represents.

          • Charon

            I see that different (and I do not play Space Marines). Not the drop pod with the flamers decided the game but the player who did not prepare a proper protection (bubble wrap) for his valuable units (same if true for people whining about drop pods killing their unprotected vehicles with melta).
            If it actually took you grup multiple minutes to resove templates or even barrgae, it must have been a terrible experience to play with them.

            Im all in for abstract, however im opposed to replacing mechanics you can conrol with just “lol random”

          • Nyyppä

            That sounds a lot like you saying that list building is either a group effort (it’s not) or requires some sort of mind reading abilities (impossible). Points are limited. There is no way to prepare for everything unless you know what’s coming beforehand.

            I personally like the game when I’m allowed to play the way I want to while not forcing my opponent to cater to my wishes. At the moment that is not possible. Proper lists are so damn fragile for most factions that a single “wrong” unit or even psychic power kills the game outright.

            The changes may correct that. Not sure if they do, but it’s possible.

          • Charon

            No need for that. DS reserves have to be declared, they are no surprise. IF your opponent has DS reserves, place your models acordingly. Especially if you got an important unit that is vulnerable to DS, protect it from getting shot by 8″ weapons. This is not hard, this requires no special mind reading. It just requires a bit of thinking and proper placement.

          • Nyyppä

            Yeah, not sure if you are aware of how freaking expensive nid and CSM units are. We are not talking about grots here.

          • Charon

            My model collection says otherwise.

          • Nyyppä

            Then I can not see why you and I do not see this the same way. CSM rhino with passengers is around 200p naked. Gear on top of that and it’s something between 250-300. A single HQ choise is between 200 and 400 points. 1500p games mean you do not have a way to shield anything with bodies.

            With nids you can bubble wrap the flyrant with other flyrants because that’s the only unit in the whole codex. Not much of a plan.

          • Charon

            Simple: different playstyles.
            I would not waste that many points on underwhelming units.
            Also… flyrants are hard to hit with templates. Even if they start on the ground, you can easily place a ring of Gaunts around them to prevent the pod landing close enough for short ranged weapons.
            Bubble wrap can be done by 10 models, even by 5 if you can use terrain too.

          • Nyyppä

            Assuming perfect conditions for the defender, sure, I agree. Assuming what’s normal….no.

          • Nameless

            okay so assuming no terrain (not realistic but) and you want to bubble wrap a hive tyrant/dreadnought (60mm base: radius of 30mm) a half circle is the optimal way. you have 25.4mm plus 25.4+24 (49.4)mm per man sized model.

            A 6″ (152.4mm) bubble wrap means that your ring must be 152.4-25.4+30mm as an enemy can’t be within an inch. Diameter of a Circle is 2*Pi*r but we only need half a circle due to the board edge. This gives us a diameter of 493.23mm and using the numbers from before that will require 9.48 man sized models (10 as we can’t have partial models).

            however that is only for 6″ on a smaller base. same base for 8″ requires 13, for 12″ would be 20. If we use the oval base or most tank chassis requires 2-3 extra models.

            Whilst certainly not infeasible it is also certainly not as cheep (army depending) as your making it sound

          • Charon

            Most deep strikes (Drop pods are an exception here) can not move after DS.

            Doing that with a standard DS that is prone to scatter and mishap is extremely isky and in 9/10 cases not worth the risk (no even talking about the 33% chance of actually landing where you wanted to land)
            In the case of pods it becomes a bit harder, but slightly more than 6″ is enough to invalidate the Melters special rule for example.

            I do not buy the “it is impossible if you do not tailor your list”.
            Also mst of the times there are only a few angles where a DS attack can happen.

          • NNextremNN

            They want big armies and big games to run faster that’s why they removed templates. For smaller games with less units (Shadow War) they left them in.

            Also if that flammable liquid is burned off the fire ceases. Except you actually find something burnable like cloth and many already wear fireproof armour. I wouldn’t be surprised if some even had fireproof cloths.

            So if the fire and heat is gone there won’t be anymore damage than there already was made.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean statistically they should even out, but in a single turn it’ll be very swingy. Im sure the first time my groups sister player gets out with one his flame squads in a great position and only scores 4 hits there will be some lamentation. And as a frequent opponent of said units, spacing took minimal effort every turn, but the times I was forced to group up because of his tactics felt very satisfying for him, as it should.

          • Nyyppä

            Try bringing 210 zombies on the table. That’ll show what it’s like with actual hordes. 😀

  • Karru

    My only gripe with GW getting rid of templates is the cinematic feel they gave. Now Flamers are less effective against large hordes and less cinematic since their numbers don’t matter at all. Same thing with Blast weapons, but those might be a different story as we don’t know if they changed them as well in a similar way or if they actually care about the size of the unit.

    Well, at least Burna Boys will be back in their Trademark Battle Wagons. 10D6 Strength 4 automatic hits is sure to melt most units in one go. Averaging 35 hits is nasty to pretty much all units, even monsters and vehicles won’t be having the greatest time either, especially if they keep the Burna Melee Bonus. Burna volley, take the thing down to around half strength, finish off with an Assault before the thing hits back.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. This is the reason I’ll miss them. While I’ve had maybe 2/3 instances where templates caused a fuss, I’ve probably had 1K+ times where it was a cinematic cleansing of a building, or barrage of an enemy camp. I feel like even their change in what they effect even cheapens it. Hordes used to fear the flamer, as they should. Now they’re best against single large monsters, who for the most part probably won’t care too much about those low S hits unless, as you mentioned, the whole squad can take them. I’ll just miss my 3 actions if slinging dice, popping tape measures and dropping templates. One third of my physical 40K actions will be gone :'(.

  • Libelnon

    Bolt Action abandoned templates to begin with, and then brought them in for V2. I can’t see 40K working as well without. It takes a good deal out of the nature of positioning units within a squad, rather than just bunching up to take advantage of cover.

    • TenDM

      That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. v2 is going to bring in new stuff, so they might as well start off light with the new edition instead of cramming everything in right away.

  • Akorav

    This is simply sad….but i guess GW cares about normies more

  • Lion El’ Jonson

    *Evil laugh* Yesssssssss…..Now I can move my brothers together in lockstep, because it looks badass without fearing a squad wipe!


    • ZeeLobby

      Now shuffle board cues will have a place in 40K!

      • Lion El’ Jonson

        Finally….I can live out my dream of Spacemarines on movement trays!

        • ZeeLobby

          Haha. Yup! Who knew the ranked combat system would come to 40K!

          • Reven

            Ranked combat, oh how I missed thee

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. On a side note, just played my first game of Runewars last weekend and it was pretty fun. Will need to wait for the 4 core factions to release and some larger games to pass judgement, but the mechanics we’re rock solid and the minis we’re pretty decent even if not GW’s detail level.

    • AircoolUK

      I actually play my Necrons like that.

      Sad, but true.

    • TenDM

      We might even get literal Formation bonuses. Imagine Space Marine Scouts getting a +1 To Hit if they’re spread out. Orks getting double Hammer of Wrath if they’re all in base to base when they charge. +1″ when moving in a V Formation.

      • stinkoman

        bretonian lance formations!

  • Wampasaurus

    So how will this affect any unit, or more importantly any formation, that has a special ability to reroll scatter dice? I mean obviously they will be getting new rules, but anyone care to venture what they could have in store? Perhaps, with using the teased Flamer as an example, it would simply be a reroll on the D6?

    • TenDM

      I don’t think they’ll go with a direct translation for those. They could get to roll 2D6 and pick the highest, but they could do a ton of stuff to make the specific flamers more effective. Re-rolls to Wound. A baked in D6+3 Hits. Longer range. Higher Strength. Better Damage stats. If the new edition doesn’t give the template ignores cover they could do that.
      I think this might force them to be more creative rather than just giving everyone a re-roll to scatter.

  • David Queldroma

    It’s one error.The game loses realism and it is based simply on throw dice and more dices
    In a game of scy-fy on 40000 mil.lenium where the bombs explode for everywhere.. GW and retire the templates.. well well well

    • NNextremNN

      Yeah because 40K is so realistic 10.000 years of technological advancement (at best the rest is just stagnation) but we still can’t hit our targets with our rockets/bombs. And Melee suddenly became viable again after it lost nearly any relevance in warfare.

      Also flamer templates were totally unaffected by wind and climate that’s totally realistic.

      Titans that weight several tonnes never sink into any ground they walk on.

      Artillery is best deployed at the frontline behind the infantry.

  • Jooster

    Wait, when did people stop liking guess range weapons?

    • ZeeLobby

      The less you have to think the better these days. I’ve heard most people play these games pretty wasted so…

      • Nyyppä

        It is what it is because the rules are what they are. If for instance flamers would cause hits based on how close the target within range is it would be just as good as the d6 hits system with the additional tactical element.

        This “you are forced to deploy to max coherency” is just tedious.

        • ZeeLobby

          Hey, I’d take that over roll a d6. There’s just no tactical considerations there at all. I mean flamers are used IRL because of their consistent damage in certain situations. Templates did a good job representing that. Now, not so much.

          • Nyyppä

            Range is a tactical consideration….

            I agree with you, but realism in this case is in the way and reduces the fun. I’ve had too many arguments over single models to need that anymore.

          • ZeeLobby

            Right, but you were never putting yourself within range of flamers before anyway. It’s always their unit that moved to you, jumped out and flamed. Not to mention the randomness of damage output means a clouded tactical consideration at best. Their 3 flamers could kill anything from 3 to 18…

            And I, as well as other’s I’ve played with, loved using templates. Will the d6 make games faster, sure, and reduce the amount of communicating with your opponent, definitely, but it was a cool 3rd physical activity in game playing. Now it’s jsut movement, and dice. A sad day :(.

          • Nyyppä

            A matter of taste.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean everything can be boiled down to that at some point. I’m sure there’s people who enjoy smelling farts as much as possible every day. Haha, there’s gotta be some out there. 😀

  • Simon Chatterley

    What a day! No more silly arguments over whether it’s 5 or 6 models. No more watching people get the flamer template magically 2 inches away from the base so they can hit 3 more and you needing to call them on it. No more hours spent meticulously position every single bloody model so a 3″ blast only hits 1 model.

    I know some liked the tactical approach this gave but it didn’t really reflect very well on what would in reality be a very fast moving period of time. What takes us 3 hrs is 5 minutes on a battlefield.

    Moving to a random amount hits from weapons you would realistically expect to hit a random amount will speed the game up and feel much more realistic in my ever so humble opinion.

    • AircoolUK

      The biggest gripe I had with template weapons was positioning them with terrain and other models getting in the way. Sometimes you’d be holding the template a good six to eight inches above the actual table to get it flat, and then you just had to guess which models were likely covered by the edges.

      The blast templates also didn’t really work with elevation. You could pull off some really ‘unrealistic’ shots at extreme elevations. Being able to drop a splat on top of a Bastion for example whilst being only a few inches away from the wall.

      Mind you, the amount of times I’ve done that and had the blast template scatter back onto my Plasma Cannon guy are countless…

  • Chet Atkinson

    The only thing that bugged me about templates was sometimes how difficult it is to tell who is under it if there is a lot of terrain in the way

    • AircoolUK

      Me too. Guess I should have scrolled down before I made my own comment on the subject 🙂

  • Loki Nahat

    guys, guys, girls, but, what about the important questions, what about Phosphex?

  • Chet Atkinson

    Also seems odd that Armageddon Shadow War uses templates – would have been a good idea to trial the non-template here before using it in their flagship game

    • euansmith

      I think that Shadow War is the correct scale of game for templates. You only use a few, add there weren’t many units in the game, so some random scatter fun is appropriate.

      Plus, of course, Shadow War is pretty much a direct port of Necromunda, so, sticking with templates saved the studio some time and effort.

      • TenDM

        The templates themselves are even copies of the 2nd/3rd plastic templates. I’ve still got a set of grey ones from playing in high school.

        • euansmith

          Playing 2nd in “high school”? Don’t speak to me child! 😉 Unless you were held back a few years, like the cast of Grease, and so didn’t graduate until you were 30.

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    Lol will tournaments still give plastic translucid templates to the players arriving outside of the podium, even those aren’t used any longer (hah hah !) ?
    Joke aside, It’s really great that they are gone, my wyvern and the time it took to make it shoot says thanks ! My Astra militarum army will play a lot faster, and when a thunderfire shoots I will no longer brace myself for a “5 minutes shot” (the time it takes someone to shoot a thundefire canon: place, scatter, wound, saveguard, feel my pain, removes casualties… 5 minutes i tell you !!)

    AND MY POPULOUS ARMIES WILL TAKE A LOT LESS TIME TO MOVE AS I WILL BE ABLE TO place models close to one another ! I’m so happy !

    Not only the template thing, overall I think GW really nailed I think with 8th, and I think It will get me back to one game a week ! So far there is not one change I think will impact negatively the game !! I literally like every change they have communicated on, so far at least !

    • Nyyppä

      Damn, a honest former template enthusiast. That’s first for me. Kudos!

    • AircoolUK

      I’m looking forward to my Kabalites actually being able to have a saving throw. It was depressing to watch those relatively expensive units being swept from the table.

      They ended up just being a heavy/special weapon with 4 ablative wounds. It was impossible to move larger squads from cover to cover, and with the ubiquity of cover ignoring weapons (how I hated cheap yet deadly flamers) it was almost pointless.

      Maybe my Hellions will get a run out as well.

    • euansmith

      “… feel my pain…” 😀 😀 😀

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    Armageddon Shadow War is small scale, and thus templates are few, and will not waste much time (few models will be under each template shot anyway, with thus little possibility for an argument to occur).
    GW understood that templates are good for small scale games. I think basically if templates use up 3 to 5 minutes, no more, in a game, then they are a good thing. AS MANY OTHER ASPECTS WHICH ARE NOT NECESSARY TO FEEL IMMERSED IN THE GAME.

    • Chet Atkinson

      Good point

  • Chet Atkinson

    My opponent regularly rolls low dice. He likes flamers because you auto hit anything under them. So if he gets lucky he can auto hit 5 or 6 of my Orks. The new rule means that he could target an entire Mob and only hit 1.

    • Nyyppä

      And? It’s not that the flamer would not hit. It’s that it does not hit anything that feels pain.

      • Chet Atkinson

        When I imagine a flamer I see it spurting out a great plume of flame. If you are standing right in front of a 30-strong Ork mob you are bound to automatically hit more than just 1. By ditching the template you recreate the mindset that the flamer is a precision weapon that fires in a ‘beam’ (on rolls of 1) rather than a big splash that you get from a template

        • Chet Atkinson

          Mind you it could be viewed that if you roll a 1 you are dousing the guy in front of you quite a bit 🙂

        • Nyyppä

          Yes, hitting things like armor, weapons and such. You don’t touch flesh, you don’t cause wounds.

          • Jooster

            …It’s fire. It kind of touches everything.

          • Nyyppä

            Yeah….no. Physics do not work like that.

          • euansmith

            Unless they aim high, or the pilot light goes out. 😉

        • AircoolUK

          Perhaps there was a really, really, really strong gust of wind.

          Of course, the reverse works in your favour too. You may hit six where a template would have got maybe three.

          On top of that, you can now get up to six hits on units with less than six models. That’s got to count for something.

    • 40KstillRulesTheTT

      Nah, you could hit 6 models (sm vs orks for example), and then wound none by rolling only 1,2 or 3 on your D6s… Happened to me a lot. If you are out of luck, there is not much to be done lol. Its just something one needs to accept 🙂
      Templates were always a dicey thing, with scatter occuring 2 out of 3 times, or flamer requiring to come close, and then risk not wounding much and being exposed after to close quater retaliation.

  • Chet Atkinson

    Should lascannons be allowed to punch through squads? Like the Warhammer Fantasy Battle Empire great cannons? Eg) you draw a line for the full range of the weapon and it hits everything along the way until it gets stopped by someone’s armour or a building

    • Nyyppä

      Thematically yes but it would break the game.

      • TenDM

        Everything would break the game in theory. It’s all a matter of building it into the core rules and distributing the weapons properly.

        • Nyyppä

          GW is so talented in that kind of designing. They have never given all the best toys in masses to just certain factions.


      • davepak

        no kidding – rail weapons scream out for the “beam” effect.

        • Nyyppä

          Yes and that in turn screams spam.

  • Badtucker
    • Nyyppä


  • NagaBaboon

    They’re fun and thematic but I’m not sad to see the back of them.

  • OptimusDerf

    I kind of miss ‘guess range.’ But I was one of those guys that would drop a round within a quarter inch of the target all day long. I guess working as a surveyor for a while didn’t hurt.

  • Randy Randalman

    Good riddance to the clunkiest, least efficient and unnecessary part of shooting.

    • TenDM

      I like templates but it’s hard to deny that they’re clunky. Three hit is usually two when you’re defending and twelve when you’re attacking.

  • Thomas

    Am I the only who’s never had an argument over templates or found them that time-consuming? Always seemed pretty simple and quick to use for me.

    Also, that one time that I blew up 9 Berzerkers and a Chaos Lord with one Vindicator blast. That’ll never happen again and it makes me sad.

    (That moment was totally a teaching moment for my opponent too. DON’T BUNCH UP.)

    • MPSwift

      Depends how many hits a demolisher cannon does to a unit and how many wounds it can cause, we haven’t seen it’s profile yet 😉

  • Max Blanton

    But what about artillery? If range of an artillery piece was 36″ and they don’t change the value now that templates are gone we will effectively be shortening their range. The shells SHOULD only hit units in a ~6″ radius, at the point of impact. If they follow the way of the flamer, which wouldn’t make sense, and they simply hit the *D6, it’s not really acting like artillery.

    • davepak

      We dont know how those work yet.

  • Kevin Maloney

    As a Sisters player I cannot hate this enough. Not only were templates fine, in my opinion, but now flamers have become unreliable thanks to a random number of hits.

    Dumb move, GW. Dumb move.

    • TenDM

      You might actually benefit. Regular flamers get D6 but I’m guessing Sister’s flamers will get something like 2D6 or 6D+6. It would have been too much trouble to make special templates for them under the old system, but now it’s just a number on a page.

      • Jon

        I would have liked to see all flamers get a base number of “hits” followed up by an additional d3 or d6.

  • TenDM

    This is the only big change I’m really not into. I didn’t like scattering being too random, but flamers and junk are great.

    • TenDM

      I was actually hoping they add a new ‘wide flamer’ template so you could chose between the standard one we use now or the new one that was shorter but had a wider arc. The same amount of flame distributed differently.

  • Camisa

    How many wounds will a battle cannon make? Or even a apocalips template…. i wounder…..

    • davepak

      To use the technical term “A buttload”. or in the terms of an apoc weapon “a MEGA-BUTTLOAD”.

  • angelblade

    He I was one of those uncanny and guess range guys. The fear my dwarven sniper cannons sent through my opponents caricatures was amazing

  • Bye Felicia. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Templates – one of the best ways to start an argument.

    “No you don’t hit 6 of my guys you only hit 5!”
    “No I totally am over the shoelace of Lt Dan, thats 6!”
    “You’re such a rules lawyering…”

    “No you don’t scatter in that direction, are you raytarded? You’re deviating 15 degrees too far!”

    “You moved the template too far thats why you’re hitting 8 of my guys.”

    “No I didn’t”

    “Yes yes you did. [spends 10 minutes arguing over what if the template moved 5″ at a 37 degree angle as opposed to 5.2” at a 41 degree angle]

    Now its simply… cool I hit and did… 4 hits. No arguments. No taking time to try to count how many models are hit. No taking time to argue that you really did move that 35 degree angle and not 39 as your opponent is saying.

    • Nyyppä


    • TenDM

      I never really had that argument because I’m usually fine with letting them have what I think is an extra hit, but I’ll be happier with a clean system like this. I love placing a flamer so it hits multiple units but unless they can make templates as quick as they are in X-Wing I’ll have to go with a new system.

      • I see that argument pretty much weekly and have for the last 20 years. Its why I would never design a game using templates without a grid system, which I’d not use in wargaming.

    • sleeplessknight

      Honor system. Just let your opponent decide how many models are hit. I’ve never had a problem or argument over templates.

      • That doesn’t work where I am.

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    As OptimusDerf said, the one (and only) thing I will miss about them is the fact that it was risky shooting the pies close to your own units. And the times when the pie would accidentaly come over your own units, well these were fun times and we had good laughs over it. But all in all, I’ll still be so happy to just throw a dice for the number of hits and GET ON WITH THE REST FO THE GAME instead of spending 5 minutes on that arty shot

  • Sure

    I use a lot of templates and I’m really happy with this. It will streamline the game by not having an opponent take up a lot of time making sure their unit is spread out as much as possible. Everyone knows what a flamer template is, so I only get more than a few models unless I just exploded a transport. so, hitting one big model with demolisher cannon will be more effective, so bring it on, please.

  • stinkoman

    Usually one of the first questions that is asked before setup and turn one is, do you have template/blast weapons? which sets the stage for all movement that game. folks i play with dont take much more time to move in a spread out formation as it does in a tightly packed one. in fact if you have infantry like bloodletters, who act like a barrel full of monkeys, you will most certainly move them as far apart as possible because they like to hook together and bring everyone down. you only run into the movement issues when someone wants to measure exactly 2″ in between each guy (never actually seen that).

    • Nyyppä

      Well, nobody cares if it’s less than 2″ but more is not acceptable.

  • Chris Boyle

    I like templates, but then I’m old. Never had a big problem with who was covered. It’s pretty evident. Some people have mentioned horde armies and spacing. I started playing Orks in 2nd ed. and remember my first couple of games when I played them as the fluff described. They got wiped out. I don’t know that horde armies work(ed) very well in 40K. They slow down the game–all that moving. They are difficult to manage when there’s lots of terrain. Their numbers–except for the brief period when Nids first came out–never were enough to overcome mass firepower. (Was even that numbers or just really powerful creatures?) Perhaps thats been a problem with point values and rules–but hordes just didn’t seem to work when played as hordes.

    • stinkoman

      i think hoards worked better in my experience, with 2nd edition Nids. you could bring 50 for the price of one tactical squad. very useful at tying up units (and the game). with multiple combatants getting attack score bonuses, they could even bring down some decent enemies. Nowadays they get cleared off pretty easily.

      • Chris Boyle

        Exactly. A horde army *should* have enough miniatures to absorb lots of hit–as you mention with the 50 for the price of a tac squad Nids–so they *should* be able to shrug off template casualties. But that was rarely was the case. Instead they just got mowed down, and I suspect it’s even worse with all the new Super-Hyper-Mega Death weapons of the last several years. (I haven’t played 7th ed.)

      • Chris Boyle


  • sleeplessknight

    Templates made it easier to visualize the weapon in battle. I like templates.

    I see a lot of people claiming the game will be less tactical without having to perfectly space out your models exactly 2″ apart.

    Lets stop kidding ourselves now. Being able to perfectly space your models 2″ apart doesn’t make you a tactical genius. It makes you an OCD putz for taking the game way too seriously.

    • J Mad

      Its not OCD to want to keep your models on the table longer, nor is it taking to game too seriously.

      • Chris Boyle

        What you said. : )

      • sleeplessknight

        I eyeball my movement and squad coherency because I don’t want to stretch out the game too long. And then I’ll stretch out the game much longer by quoting Monty Python, talking about game fluff, talking about painting techniques, and just talking about anything really. I let my opponent decide how many of their models are hit under templates and I’ll never question them. If my opponent makes a charge and ends up being 0.1″ away from my model, I nudge him into combat anyways because it’s way more interesting to see what the combat results are.

        You’re probably one of those players who has a fit if one of my models is 0.1″ out of squad coherency or if I move 6.2″ during the movement phase. If you played a game with me you’d probably tear your hair out and spend the whole game accusing me of cheating even though you’ll most likely win the game. But winning the game doesn’t really matter to me. What matters is putting cool models on the table to tell a story and seeing what happens. Because the game is just for fun and winning doesn’t really matter.

      • sleeplessknight

        If you really want to keep your models on the table longer the simplest way is to just take longer turns!

  • Vachones

    I won’t have to ask the obligatory question when I’m halfway through my deployment, “Uh, do you have any blast weapons?” “Yes.” “Ok, just a second..” (Shuffles model spacing around for a few more minutes).

    • Chris Boyle

      You shouldn’t have felt it necessary to ask. That you did speaks to a breakdown between points cost for horde armies and power of the weapons faced by them. (I think that makes sense.) It shouldn’t have mattered. It was also unrealistic. I know we’re talking 40K but in what world do you ask your enemy what weapons that are going to use?

      • davepak

        Its a game, and in the game, its more convenient for a player of the game to focus on his overall plan, than have to worry about the spacing of individual models.

        • Chris Boyle

          No disagreement here. That’s what I’m saying. If you have to focus so much on model spacing there’s a problem with the game.

  • piglette

    Are blast markers out too?

  • Ronin

    Wyverns made me hate templates. Not because they were really strong, but because they took forever to use and most people brought multiple wyverns.

  • BrianAWC

    Back in 2nd Edition if you had a whole unit firing cyclone missiles they would combine to make a blast that got bigger the more missiles you had. If I remember it right you could fire off all 12 missiles at once and then it would be out of ammo.

    So…12 missiles times 10 guys. I can’t remember how big the blast was but it killed my opponent’s entire army.

    I was 13 years old and saw no problem with that at all. Maybe we weren’t even playing the game correctly, it didn’t matter.

  • JohnnyTrombone

    GW said no more templates and Blast markers aren’t called templates anymore, so we may (I doubt it, but love them) still see those. Only the flamer and hellstorm are called templates.

  • Andrew

    I don’t know about any of you guys but Templates have never slowed down a single game nor caused an argument, unless you count an argument, as me telling my opponent he’s hit 5 models and him saying no he thinks it’s actually 4, or visa versa, which never took more then 3 seconds. I have played with countless amount of people and it’s always been the player getting hit by the template who overestimated the amount of his models that where underneath the template. I never met someone so pathetic to try and save one extra model to argue over a blast template location and if I did I would just let them have it because obviously their life isn’t going to well if this is what they have chosen to argue about.

  • Russell White

    Heaven forbid you actualy keep a fun mechanic to speed up what must be an otherwise dull game

  • Seb

    Rolling a dice will never quite be as satisfying as laying down some visual hurt (2nd Ed, 1999 style): http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/523642d3e11521d607d0d6ae92401eae7b32fb625a69be10f75f146cc72a5d9c.jpg