40K: New Transport Rules Teased?

If Warhammer 40K is getting the AoS treatment then we may have just gotten a clue at the new Transport rules…

Rumors have been swirling about the upcoming changes of Warhammer 40K from 7th to 8th editions. We also heard some interesting tidbits direct from Games Workshop at Adepticon as well. The biggest concern we’ve noted is the fear that the rules are getting “Sigmarized” or “streamlined” too much. At the same time folks are feeling the weight of the rules and are ready for some of that bloat to get cut.

Well, if Games Workshop is planning borrowing AoS Rules then I think we just got a huge preview of what we can expect (or maybe hope for) in the next edition. All courtesy of our new Kharadron Overlords.

Hiding In Plain Sight

Have you seen the new Arkanaut Frigate? Seriously cool and there are two more airships on the way! As we were going through the new battletome while filming we noticed something very interesting – the Warscrolls for the Frigate had some new rules: Embark, Disembark, Vessel, and Overburdened:

If you want to see the unit rules in their entirety you can do that HERE. For now, let’s take a look at each rule and see how they work and why they work so well.


Embarking is pretty simple.

  • If a unit of Skyfarer models are able to move within 3″ then they can get on the transport.
  • They are removed from the table and are effectively out of play for other abilities or actions on the table.
  • If the Transport is destroyed roll a die for each model embarked. For each 1, a model is removed (owning player’s choice) – that model is counted as slain. They must then disembark, then remove the destroyed Transport.

I like these rules. Embarking is pretty clean and clear. I appreciate that GW also made note that the unit is effectively outside the battle – they have no impact via their abilities and other abilities do not interact with them. If you were around for the era of the “Doom of Malan’tai” and had to deal with the Spirit Leech then you know how that played out. Or if you were around for “Can I cast Fortune from my transport to another unit on the table?” …those issues were (eventually) resolved* but these rules are very simple and clean.

Games Workshop managed to boil down how to get onto transports and the “State” of the unit that boarded them in seven sentences. The amount of arguments those seven sentences just proactively stopped is staggering.


Disembarking is equally as simple and elegant.

  • At the start of the Hero Phase, a unit can disembark within 3″ of the transport and none are within 3″ of an enemy model.
  • Any model that cannot be set up in this way is slain.
  • Disembarked units can act normally for the remainder of the turn – that includes abilities used in the hero phase.
  • A unit cannot disembark and embark in the same turn.

Again, these rules make a ton of sense. Now, this DOES create the issue of your opponents “bubble wrapping” you transports and then blowing you out of the sky – but that’s the risk you take. I’ve done it to others and I’ve had it done to me. If nothing else it makes the game quicker.

I actually like the fact that transports can be deadly in this way. It’s a wargame, things need to get destroyed. It’s boring to blow-up a Rhino and the unit just pops out like nothing happened. Especially after rolling all those dice…


Okay, this one is probably one of the more interesting rules. I LOVE the fact that Games Workshop has included this as a “thing” for the transports. Has anyone else ever wondered, “well why can’t they just have more models just jump on top and be carried?” Well now they can! There is a cost as you do lose 1″ of movement for each model over the “capacity” but it’s a good trade-off. It’s these types of rules that are worth adding – and it’s only another two sentences. Clean, short, flavorful, and easy – that’s how you write a good rule.

I don’t know how you personally feel about the ruleset of AoS. Love it or Hate it, these transport rules take a couple of pages of rules from the BRB and boil them down to a couple paragraphs. Simple rules doesn’t mean they are bad. Complexity doesn’t mean they are good. If you can get the point across in a sentence then why spend a page explaining it? If GW wants to translate these transport rules from AoS over to 40k, I’m good with that – are you?


What do you think of the first “Transport Rules” for AoS – would you be for or against implementing them in 40k?

*If you weren’t around for this era just be glad. It was a dark time of waiting for FAQs and relying on common sense.
  • Iron Star

    As someone that has crammed 22 deep into a 9 person combat vehicle, i like these rules. I think 1 inch per model is a little drastic but i can deal. I also love the visual of a unit diving into a vehicle for safety even though it could be to overloaded to move.

    • stinkoman

      2nd edition ork battlewaggons had no transport limit. it was literally however many orks you could pile into a scratchbuilt BW. you could not pick it up to move it and any that fell out took a str 10 hit.

      • GameOgre

        I really miss those rules, and I don’t even play orks.

      • Tim Brown

        I remember a guy using the barrel of monkeys technique of linking those plastic goffs axe to pistol arm so as to extend the capability of the BW. Simply true to Ork form, I thought.

      • EvilCheesypoof

        That’s hilarious

      • Tshiva keln

        Loved that rule. Also there was a cool model, didn’t have to scratch build.

        • stinkoman

          There was! my buddy put some catch netting around it with tooth picks and string.

      • Coltcabunny
    • Ryan Freivalds

      Mmm… Maybe a penalty to the unit’s disembark instead?

      • Iron Star

        That makes sense. Also making the odds of taking wounds when overloaded higher.

        Ill settle for these rules though.

    • Tshiva keln

      I’ve travelled in the boot/trunk before – you just gotta get creative sometimes!

  • Walter Vining

    no. new transport rules haven’t been leaked. new AoS rules were released. thanks.

    • OldHat

      It doesn’t say leaked. It says teased. The logic is built on many past editions of 40k and Fantasy having rules overlaps.

      • Walter Vining

        cool story bro

        • OldHat

          Fresh take, right here.

  • silashand

    I like them. Solves quite a few arguments and issues without being overly complicated. I hope this is exactly the kind of rule we see in the new 40K.

  • OldHat

    All good, but that Overburned screams Orks, I am getting more hopeful for 8th. Hopefully, they start teasing it officially soon. GW seems like they are actually doing marketing now. Exciting times.

    • Muninwing

      it could be something that only affects certain transports… like a benefit for open-topped. DE could have some fun with Raiders like this too…

  • Derek Lee

    Overburdened would be more interesting if you could have more than one unit in a transport. However,I would still benefit from this by having something to buff my 5x man Custodes squad while using a lascannon land raider.

    • EvilCheesypoof

      These rules allow multiple units to embark, it only has a total model capacity.

      • Derek Lee

        I didn’t think about eliminating the no multiple units in a transport from 40k all together. I would not be opposed to that at all. Maybe the land raider would have a chance to become a real mobile bunker?

    • Pedwidge

      It doesn’t specifically limit the number of units. It just says that all models in a unit can move within 3″ of a transport they can embark. The wording is interesting since it never says the unit embarked, instead it says any unit or any model.

  • AnomanderRake

    I mean, most of the “transport rules” are actually incredibly straightforward; the confusing bits in 40k start when you have to describe the impact of damage results on the unit, or fire points and moving/firing, or what rules/psychic powers work from in a vehicle…

    • rtheom

      Yeah, and that’s what’s nice about this. Just removing the embarked unit from the game outright solves most of those fiddly problems. It also prevents the absurd situations where you have a psyker ridding around in a tank all day and never leaving because he’s using it as a second suit of armor. :p

      • Muninwing

        this is also what i do not like about it…

        firstoff, what about the fire points? that’s been a longstanding use and strategy, and one that seems drastic to be rid of

        second, why wouldn’t a commander or important unit *not* protect themselves? if i was coordinating the movements of other units, i’d want to be more protected. and sticking my head out of a hatch so i could use powers or shoot my fancy relic weapon when the chance permitted isn’t really out of the realm of the possible.

        • EvilCheesypoof

          it says embarked units cannot “normally” do anything, so perhaps even in AoS they’re gonna have vehicles with fire points, and if these are the basis for new 40k rules, fire points could easily be integrated into the rule for certain vehicles.

        • rtheom

          A valid tactic, yes, but not exactly the most fun tactic to play against. It often feels more like whack-a-mole when you’re trying to shoot the one strong unit out of a tank.

          Also, this is a game of heroics and bravery! Plus, the dudes that get to hide in the tanks are literally you, commanding the units from the table. Everyone else is a field soldier and need to inspire bravery with their physical presence.

  • Leviticus Stroud

    So far no one sees the problem with using these rules in 40K?

    Land Raider with 5 Custodes on board= each model has a 1 in 6 chance of dying if it blows up.

    Land Raider with 5 Guardsmen in T-Shirts on board = each model has a 1 in 6 chance of dying if it blows up.

    Open topped skimmer designed to have troops jump off as soon as it gets dicey = each model has a 1 in 6 chance of dying if it blows up.

    My biggest problem right now with exploding transports is that the rule is too generic, and transports are made less useful than they should be as a result. There is no difference between the most protective and well designed vehicles history has ever produced, and a piece of former mining equipment that probably isn’t very well maintained. Adopting the above would just exacerbate the problem, when we need rules that will actually fix it.

    • Strategery.

      > exploding transports
      > orks

      you know nothing of real pain

    • vlad78

      Footsloggers will be made terribly fragile by the armor modifiers rule anyway, protecting them inside a transport with many lifepoints might be a good trade off.

      • Mandragola

        Only if all weapons have save modifiers, and if you ignore positive save modifiers. Right now you have the situation that cover doesn’t do anything against small arms for people like marines. But give them +1 to their saves and suddenly it will. You also have the option of giving marines an extra wound, like liberators have in AoS. It gives the rules writers more tools to play with for writing their rules.

        • vlad78

          Power armour is supposed to be extremely efficient against small calibre weapons, hence cover does not give any benefit to marines against smaller weapons, yet it is important against antitank and heavy weapons in general. The current system respects the fluff. (even if the number of weapons able to go through power armor has risen dramatically)

          Under 2nd ed°, even marines seldom left their cover which participated in making the game static. (with overcosted transports which were in fact deathtraps, and only 4 turns) I think we can even say tactical squads were useless under 2nd ed°. They were less mobile than assault marines, less efficient in Hth and had less dakka than devastator squads.

    • KombatWombat

      A 1 in 6 hands of outright dying is way too harsh in my opinion. Something like a Chapter Master in Artificer Armour shouldn’t die immediately due to something as trifling as his Rhino being cracked.

      On top of that, not being able to disembark within 3″ of an enemy model is too harsh – particularly if Access Points are a thing. It becomes way too easy for something like half a dozen Guardsmen blocking Custodes from exiting a Land Raider.

      Also, having to disembark all models within 3″ of an Access Point (I know these rules say within 3″ of the whole vehicle model, but this is an Open-Topped vehicle) is going to be a nightmare for big units. Imagine trying to get 25 models within 3″ of a Spartan’s hatches…

      I don’t know the AOS rules, but if the Hero Phase comes after the Movement Phase then limiting disembarking troops to a total 3″ disembarkation (as opposed to 6″ total now) nerfs the wrong thing – close combat units.

      • Simon Bates

        The Hero phase is right at the beginning, before any other actions. In effect, it means a unit can disembark 3 inches and then act with no penalties whatsoever. That plus the removal of access points (which just wouldn’t work if you had to be within 3 inches of them, and not within 3 inches of an enemy or die) would be a massive boost for assault armies in 40k.
        I agree that a 1 in 6 chance of death would be too risky for characters and elite troops, but then this need not be the same for transport vehicles which are not airships.
        Which is another point, incidentally. The way AoS works (and the hints that have been dropped about units having bespoke rules in the 8th ed imply something similar) it is not necessary for all transports to have the exact same rules. It’d get messy if they varied too much, but the warscroll format would allow a Land Raider to have different rules from a Rhino, or a Raider, very easily. Bear in mind that in AoS things that used to be very standard staples of WHFB, like shields, standard bearers and musicians, can have very different rules from one unit to another.

        • KombatWombat

          I disagree that this is a boost for assault armies. Consider this: you have a punchy unit in a transport. The transport moves flat out first turn to get close for a second turn assault. Your opponent aggressively moves their closest unit to surround the transport to within 3″ to block disembarking. On their your turn, you back the transport out of there to get room to allow disembarking. But because disembarkation happens before the movement phase and not during, having moved to allow your guys room, it’s now too late to disembark. Your opponent then moves to block your disembarking again. On your next turn, you move away faster so your opponent can’t block you, and once again you can’t disembark this turn. Your savvy opponent now beats a retreat. So you’re stuck with a problem: do you disembark, now too far away to charge and making the transport pointless, or do you move the transport forward again, in which case your opponent will just block you again? There needs to be some way for the transport to move forward, deploy troops and have them charge without being blocked, which I don’t think the above rules facilitate.

          On the other point, this is the thing I dread most that they’ll introduce to 40k from AoS (well, after fixed To-Hit/Wound values): the abolition of generic rules. Many people moan about the large section of special rules and unit types for 40k and praise AoS for being simpler due to the Warscroll idea, but I vehemently disagree.

          If GW had the discipline to stick to only giving units generic types and generic special rules, apart from a very very small number of units per army that get at most one gimmick each, it would be a lot cleaner and simpler than every single unit getting its own unique rule that I have to refer to constantly. My opponent could tell me his snazzy elite unit has Hatred, Rage, Furious Charge and Power Lances – in which case I can immediately go bloody hell, don’t let them charge! Much simpler than say ‘well this unit has Bloodrage, Bloodanger and Bloodrampage which do x, y and z, while this unit has WolfDeathIce, WolfyWolfness and Ice, Ice Baby which do a, b and c, while this unit does f, g and h, and this one t, u and v. Don’t worry! It’s all on the cards! You only have to refer to my 15 Warscrolls and your 12 Warscrolls plus our two Battletomes while deciding whether to charge unit 1 or let unit 2 charge you!’ To hell with that, I’ll stick with interesting combinations of with generic rules everybody knows for everything thanks!

          • Simon Bates

            That’s a plausible scenario. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that in AoS the turn sequence varies. If you go second you can gamble on getting 2 turns in a row and plough forward hoping to hammer your opponent before he hits you back. Alternatively if you commit to surrounding an enemy transport, it can move out of your way and then disembark next turn if you don’t get a move in between.

            As to standard rules, I’m in two minds on this. I get very tired of every unit having FNP, fleet, fear, rage, furious charge etc in some combination. Conversely, very few units in AoS have more than 2-3 special rules, often just the one, although there are quite a lot of buff/nerd bubbles.

          • KombatWombat

            I personally don’t feel that is an effective solution for 40k. I think rolling off for turn sequence gives too much power to a random die roll. We see that problem with rolling off for first turn in 40k at the moment, with the losing player taking a pummelling in the first turn due to simple bad luck. This isn’t great, but after that first turn they can start to even the scales with good planning. On the other hand, can you imagine something like Drop Pod Grav Centurions arriving in the second player’s first turn, cooking something, then they win the roll-off for second turn, and those Grav Cents blasting away with a second round of shooting before the other player even gets to react? I fear that units in 40k are just too lethal for the roll-off for each turn to be effective.

            For standard rules, I think you and I are making slightly different points. I’m talking about how the rules for each unit are presented, but I think you are talking about the sheer number of rules. I get what you mean about every unit having so many stacking rules, but I get the feeling that has more to do with power creep and GW’s inability to resist the ‘oh yeah? Well *my* toy can do this, so it’s better than your toy!’ mentality when designing codices. Look at Wulfen for example – the number of rules they have plumbs the depths of idiocy. *That* needlessly complicates the game. *That* needs to go away.

            On the other hand, while GW gives out special rules like candy, I’m willing to bet that of all the special rules you just listed, you could probably give me the gist of what every single one does without looking them up. And that list will cover all the special rules available to maybe 50 different units. There’s the advantage of Universal Special Rules. On the other hand, I defy you to give me the gist of the special rules of 50 different AoS units off the top of your head.

            Overall I think 40k’s Universal Rules is a superior system being used in an inferior way. But give it time and I really do believe we will see power creep lead to AoS being just as rule-bloated as 40k. However, trim (or, more likely, hack, slash and massacre) 40k back to almost completely generic rules combined in different ways and I think you end up with the best system.

            I also like the idea of a buff nerd bubble 😉

          • Simon Bates

            Didn’t spot the buff nerd bubble, but I’d like to think I’d have left it as it was even if I had!

            Alternating turn sequence probably isn’t a panacea (if anything I’d like to see it go full LOTR and have alternating phases), but in principle this kind of unpredictability should limit the viability of all sorts of tactics that rely on knowing when you’ll next be able to act and when you’re opponent will be able to respond. I agree that the potential for alpha-striking and deep-striking is a problem though.

            I agree that my issue with USRs could also be mitigated by a higher level of discipline in handing them out. It’s interesting, so far, that there is little equivalent in AoS though. Very few units other than monsters and characters have more than a couple of special rules. Where I can see it potentially getting silly is with the various bonuses (many of which are free) coming in the Battletomes. In principle the General’s Handbook puts everyone on an equal footing, but at the very least, those forces with (post-Sylvaneth) battletomes have more spells (doubly important given the rules of one) and a wider range of items and abilities to choose from. Battalions are a bit fairer than 40K formations and detachments though.

            The fundamental difference between the two systems (in theory) is that AoS is more of a sandbox. With each new unit the designers are free to come up with whatever rules they want, though they seem to be relatively restrained in the way they do it. The actual stats only provide quite a limited range of options. 40K, theoretically, has more variety of possibilities within its stats but has a fairly constrained set of special rules (except, of course it doesn’t, as they make new ones up for every new army anyway).

            Finally, I think one of the merits of the AoS system is the keywords. This allows the designers a relatively high level of granularity in terms of which rules apply to which models. It also limits the opportunities for cross-buffing across armies, and thus constrains the benefits of allies significantly. There’s a real cost to taking too many different factions within an alliance, because your various force multipliers will only operate across a portion of your force. Whereas in 40K the opposite is often true – that by introducing (mainly BB) allies you can exponentially increase the power of units in often rather silly ways. Order have an advantage in AoS because of their wider range of units, but it isn’t nearly as large as the advantage the IoM (and to a slightly lesser extent, Eldar) have in 40K with their huge range of mutually buffing units.

            TLDR: I think there’s a lot of positive lessons to be learnt from AoS for 8th ed, even if I’m not really keen on them more or less replicating the same system.

          • euansmith

            I really like the LoTR movement phase.

          • vlad78

            Alternate activation is the answer, it has been from the start but GW thinks players are too dumb to use such a system.

          • KombatWombat

            I’ve seen you posting about alternate activation on just BoLS for ages now. I get it, you’re a fan of alternate activation, but that doesn’t mean it’s the answer, nor does it mean that it’s objectively better, or even that the majority of people agree.

            I’m not a fan of it – I prefer IGOUGO. Alternate activation might make the game somewhat more balanced for the super-focused competitive gamer crowd, and more power to them if it does. But for a filthy casual like me, who just wants to go to a mate’s place and sink a few tins or to the local gaming club and have a yarn while throwing dice, IGOUGO is great. It means that while my opponent is moving his models I can get another round of beer/pretzels, or shoot the breeze with the other club members. I also like the slower pace of IGOUGO – I can sit back and have a think about what I want to do next turn and weigh up risks. I’m all about having a relaxing social experience with friends element of the game, so I’m glad I don’t have to constantly be ‘on’ while playing and can take a break.

            On top of that, I think once you transition to alternate activation you’ve changed the game so fundamentally that you’re not playing Warhammer 40,000 anymore, you’re playing a different game in a similar setting. Similar to how Age of Sigmar is a totally different game to Warhammer Fantasy Battles in a similar setting, but I think the change would be even bigger. I also disagree with what seems to be an assertion that alternate activation is more complicated or requires more brainpower to play – instead I think it’s merely a different approach.

          • vlad78

            ‘nor does it mean that it’s objectively better,’

            Nope, it is. Why? Because half 40k ruleset is about mitigating the side effects of yougoIgo which is inherently counterintuitive and plainly dumb. Who likes alphastrike? Why do 40k plastic or lead soldiers have to fight like armies of the XVIII century?

            Alternate activation increases the number of viable tactics, it makes games against drop pods armies enjoyable, it forces players to actually think how to move their armies, it allows players to try to do something even against the most broken list, it helps suspension of disbelief … and I could go on quite a bit.

            And the best thing, it can work while keeping 95% of 40k current ruleset.

            You can say you don’t like it, but you can’t say it’s not ibjectively better. It is. YougoIgo belongs to the dark age of gaming. It’s totally obsolete by now.

            ‘It means that while my opponent is moving his models I can get another
            round of beer/pretzels, or shoot the breeze with the other club members.’

            I can’t argue with that. ;p
            If having the time to get another round of beer/pretzel is what makes a game great, we can’t discuss further. ;p

            ‘I also like the slower pace of IGOUGO – I can sit back and have a think about what I want to do next turn and weigh up risks.’

            For my part, I prefer to be able to have 2 games during the time length I have instead of a single neverending one. Alternate activation actually accelerates the pace of the game.

            ‘On top of that, I think once you transition to alternate activation
            you’ve changed the game so fundamentally that you’re not playing
            Warhammer 40,000 anymore, you’re playing a different game in a similar
            setting. Similar to how Age of Sigmar is a totally different game to
            Warhammer Fantasy Battles in a similar setting, but I think the change
            would be even bigger.’

            Not AT ALL. You have the same thing, but thousand times better because as I said you can keep most of the current ruleset. Turning WFB into AOS was much more drastic and while it improved some aspects of the game (mostly speed), it made others just worse. Alternate activation will just improve it.

            And give me a break. GW has never been able to release a good 40k ruleset (rules + codicies). Poor ruleset is almost part of 40k DNA, it doesn’t have to stay like this.

            ‘I also disagree with what seems to be an assertion that alternate
            activation is more complicated or requires more brainpower to play –
            instead I think it’s merely a different approach. ‘

            We ‘re on the same boat here, I meant GW think it may be too complicated for their target audience.

            And I’m not talking in a vaccum. I actually tested 40k alternate activation rules, and even if further testing is necessary, they work and really improve the game. And I’m not talking only from a competitiv point of view, even for casual gaming the game is plain better.

      • SacTownBrian

        There are also army rules to allow a reroll on the emergency disembarkation, a rule to cut the overburden penalty in half, etc. These are just the basic warscroll rules. The battletome has a lot of ways to further customize them. Not to mention there are two units and a hero that can grab on to the outside and get transported without taking up the internal capacity or triggering the overburdened rule. And if you want it there is another rule to let you deep strike the transport. This stuff is all great and I hope we get something close in 8th.

    • Tothe

      Add in appropriate armor saves and FNP. Solved.

  • Davis Centis

    I like it! No more making saves, no more walking away from a vapourized transport like it never was even there. Want to get out? Better be far away from the enemy! Simple, to the point… I like it!

    • Muninwing

      i miss the old 3rd/4th rules… though it may have only been Ordnance…

      getting a certain roll on the table meant the whole unit was utterly wiped out.

      • vlad78

        I think it was 4rth and ordonnance indeed.

  • Crablezworth

    not randomly allocating and able to choose who is slain = good

    not taking any stats into account and making it 1 out 6 dead = far too simplistic

    • SacTownBrian

      But that is the beauty of AoS. The basic rules are simple. The other warscrolls, battalions, The Code rules and Skyvessel rules can all modify the basic rules. If you want to reroll those 1s then take the parachutes option for your Skyvessel so you aren’t likely to loose anyone important. There are five more of those types of modifiers that are applied to each skyvessel, your choice or roll on a chart.

      Anyone who thinks AoS isn’t as complex as 40k is correct. But it isn’t a simple “4 pages of rules” game either. The stacking of rules gets quite complex.

      • vlad78

        In all honesty, I prefer a more complexe rulseset with less special rules unique to each codex/battlescroll.

        AOS is still bearable because they couldn’t release all the new armies, once this will be done, the sheer amount of special rules coming from battlescroll and the headaches caused by the potential combinations will be as great as 40k 7th.

  • MechBattler

    Just don’t roll a 1. Simple.

    • SacTownBrian

      Or take the parachutes option on your Skyvessel…

  • Adrien Fowl

    I really like those rules and I think they would make transports much easier to use. I’ve always gone crazy with all the different kinds of transport in the game, so having a specific movement value on the datasheet (warscrolls or whatever other name they may fancy) would make my life much more better.

  • Wojciech Łagosz

    Overloading a Trukk with Boyz would be great! I would also make a rule that when a Trukk suffers a “wound” it loses one passenger instead (those additional Boyz acting as meat shields).

    • bginer

      Boyz as ablative wounds…

      LOVE IT!

      • Tothe

        Should the Boy get his 6+ armor save or FNP as applicable to negate the hit, too?

        • bginer

          See, now you’re just going too far!


          • Tothe

            OK then. Dead boy = red paint job boost.

  • Simon Bates

    It’s worth bearing in mind that because the rules are contained within the warscroll, there’s no reason why one transport vehicle has to have the exact same rules as another. It would be very easy to make a Wartrukk more flexible in capacity/speed, or a Land Raider safer, if all of their transport rules are contained within their own unit entry.

  • stinkoman
  • mgdavey

    In the grim darkness of the future there is only Age of Sigmar.

  • I just detached a retina rolling my eyes so hard