Stratagems will help give your battle-forged armies a leg-up on the tabletop. Here’s a look at how.
All right. A quick recap. Formations are dead, sort of, and in their place detachments are here. You can make armies Battle Forged now, and fill out a basic force org chart that generates a number of command points. Well, today Games Workshop has a look at how you’ll actually get to use those command points with their preview of Stratagems in 8th Edition.
Creed’s Stratagem: pick one enemy unit. It was actually an allied Baneblade in disguise this whole time.
In a nutshell, Stratagems are special rules you can activate by spending a number of Command Points (you can apparently re-use them, but can only use a given stratagem once per turn). These grant you some tactical advantage, like rerolling a damage die, or an armo(u)r save. GW has three stratagems on display, though they make mention of more for matched/open play, and we know that Commanders will also be able to call on faction- or mission-specific stratagems.
via Warhammer Community
Any army that is Battle-forged can use Stratagems, and as we’ve established already, it’s very easy to make a Battle-forged army. If your army is Battle-forged by the current rules of Warhammer 40,000, it still can be in the new edition.
Battle-forged armies earn Command Points based on how efficient they are likely to be at the logistics of war. Armies with a balanced mix of unit types and plenty of troops will tend to have more to play with, and every army that is Battle-forged gets 3 Command Points to start with. Some units are such capable and experienced commanders that they give you additional Command Points just by including them.
These are three of the universal stratagems, any army can employ these. 8th Edition will also include faction specific stratagems and ones that fit each mission.
What’s worth noting about these universal stratagems is how broad some of them can be. For instance, that 1CP Command Re-Roll seems pretty potent–you can reroll any die–damage, save, movement on a charge, to-hit, going first in that game of monopoly your astra militarum grunts have started playing instead of bothering to make any to-hit rolls.
Tactical Re-roll can be used to ensure a critical high-damage attack wounds a key enemy unit. But at the same time, your opponent could just as easily use theirs to re-roll that critical armour save. Or maybe you want to keep ahold of them to make sure you make that vital charge next turn?
Are you expecting to lose half of your biggest Ork squad to a punishing Morale test after taking heavy casualties in the Shooting phase? Not anymore! Auto-pass for 2 CPs.
The Counter-offensive is pretty huge too, with the ability to interrupt your opponent’s battlefield-wide charge to strike ahead of some of their units. It works best, of course, if your units are tough in a fight and at least one of the enemy units is going first, but used correctly, this can swing a game.
Who wants to place bets on “More Dakka” being an Ork-specific Stratagem?
And that’s just the three ones every army can use. Stratagems will be an extra tool in any commander’s toolbox, and with Battle Forged armies requiring all units from the same faction it really gives you that incentive to create a Battle Forged list. One last point from GW–these Stratagems aren’t one-shot rules, you can keep coming back to that well:
n matched play, these Stratagems have the additional restriction that the same Stratagem cannot be used by the same player more than once during any single phase. So, if you use that Command Re-roll to pass an armour save in the Fight phase, you can’t then use that same Stratagem to re-roll a hit later in the phase.
Which seems like a pretty good rule. You can’t just dump command points into your lazcannon blast to try for maximum wounds–sometimes, you just roll two 1’s in a row and that’s the way the Imperium crumbles. Speaking of which, be sure and check back tomorrow for an update on the Indomitus Crusade.
What do you think about these Stratagems? Is the extra layer worth it, or do you think it’ll be too distracting from the lists/game in general?