40K: There Can Be Only ONE – sometimes…

Warhammer 40,000 is full of amazing unique heroes and some unexpected clones…

For many editions now, we have grown used to our mighty indepedent characters. We forge narratives around them, have seen games pivot around thier actions and love to hear of thier exploits in the fluff.

Luckily these oversized heroes and villains are limited to one at a time on the battlefield.  8th edition continues this tradition with a few eye-raising surprises…

I’m going to limit myself to the Imperium for now to keep things sane, but stay with me…


Standard Astartes Characters (Cassius, Calgar, Tigurius) – There are unique as befits their status.

Chapter Ancient – Apparently there is only one of these old timers per Astartes Chapter. I can buy it.

Maybe I’ll be back in the next Astartes codex.

Chapter Master – Gone.  Hmm, outside of named characters, there is no way to for example take a chapter master for a “generic Astartes Chapter”, unique or otherwise. It’s named characters or nothing to lead your chapter.

Imperial Space Marine – Unique and almost an Easter Egg in the list.  Why not?

All style points – all the time!

Deathwing/Ravenwing Characters – Ancients and Champions are unique, Apothcaries are dime a dozen.

Space Wolf Lone Wolf – Take as many as you want.  Not a change, but odd when you think about it…

Grey Knight Paladin Ancients – Non unique and there should be almost none of these in the entire galaxy. There are only 98 Paladins and how many of them could be ancients?

Celestine – Non unique.  Either a typo, or maybe she’s a generic manifestation of the Emperor’s will/faith – like Legion of the Damned?  I’m going with a soon to be FAQed typo…

All Imperial Assassins – Non-unique.  I can see a limit on one of each type, so you can build a fluff-based kill team, but fielding a pack of 12 Eversors just seems…unseemly.

~What oddities have you found so far in the datasheets?

  • Carey_Mahoney

    What’s the point?

    By the way, in the old 4th ed. Codex Witch Hunters, it was already stated that Celestine is not the only one of her kind. There was a small section on Living Saints, but only background story, no rules (which is why people needed to field a Canonesses with jump pack to represent a “generic” LS, rules-wise). There are also several illustrations throughout the book (including the cover art) that contain depictions of them.

    • Shawn

      This is what I like. BoLS has given us a subject to consider and the audience goes…”Hey BoLS you forgot to mention this…”, or “Why didn’t you mention this…?”

      • Carey_Mahoney

        Happy to please you with this.

      • euansmith

        The clicks must never stop.

  • Parthis

    “Celestine – Non unique. Either a typo,”

    Yup, type, they confirmed it, which you should know…

    Not sure I understand the point of this article. Models with unique, characterful and personal names and designs are unique, which models which aren’t, aren’t?

    • Carey_Mahoney

      Rules for Living Saints in the next SoB Codex – make it happen, GW!

    • orionburn

      “Not sure I understand the point of this article.”

      Which is a question asked all too often around here…

      • ZeeLobby

        Haha. Too true. Don’t really get it either.

        • D_Ork

          I thought this was going to be about named characters that were functionally identical in their rules. Oh well.

    • Zethnar

      Clicks. The point of this article is to generate clicks to bring in that sweet sweet ad revenue.

    • Shawn

      I think the point is, although the author forgot to state it, is that GW forgot to include enough generic characters to field a generic chapter. However, players could always say, I’m playing Iron Snakes and Calgar count’s as the Iron Snakes chapter master. The author however, did forget that the Iron Hands, a founding chapter, was also left out of the index.

      • lorieth

        Exactly, but the title’s very misleading. Isn’t it really “there can be only… none??”

  • Aura1

    Space Wolf Lone Wolves are the survivors of whittled down squads. The SW system doesn’t replenish squads as they get killed off. Given how unpleasant times have been to the Fenrisians, a whole bunch of lone wolves is pretty fluffy…

    • euansmith

      “Let me get this straight; you are all Lone Wolves?”

      “Já, herra minn.”

      “And there are 972 of you… Lone Wolves?”

      “Já, herra minn, thinks hef been tough.”

  • AircoolUK

    Let’s just put this to bed once and for all. The Ancient isn’t a guy, it’s the Colour.

    • euansmith

      “Salute the flag, not the man.”

      • Spacefrisian

        Mine gets a cyborg barbarian that is the king of California on it. You salute the man on the flag?

        • DerSpeigel

          Nice Gloryhammer ref

  • euansmith

    Darn, does this mean I can’t go for my Imperial Space Marine Spam army?

    • orionburn

      If you can afford to do an entire army of Imperial Space Marines then I need to be your friend 😛

      • euansmith

        What, you’re not going to let me proxy them with 60 RTB01 Beaky Marines? 😀

  • AX_472

    Its solitaires being unique that i think is a bit odd. they’re rare yes but only one? no. Only 2-3 ever in one place even in the most dire of situations? fair enough. But even if you had 1000 masques all working together there would only be one solitaire? really? one per would be fine but per army is crazy.

    • kingcobra668

      Are you playing 40,000 point games or something?

      • Nameless

        are… are you *not* playing 1 point for every year in the 41M?

      • AX_472

        lol. don’t have a board big enough sadly. it was meant as an extreme example. Unique is meant to be for things there are only one of in the galaxy and solitaires don’t fall into that category. Like i say 1 per masque would be fair as that way the 2 masques/solitaires don’t share synergy.

    • TAA

      There is only ever one in a dance. War is a dance to the Harlequins. Its fluffy.

      • euansmith

        Maybe the Solitaires have a dance off before the battle and only the winner gets to take part?

        • Morgrim

          Given their connection to Slaanesh, maybe Bad Things happen when you put multiple Solitares in close proximity.

          • euansmith

            “Show me where the Solitaire touched you… Aaaaagh! In the Emperor’s Name, stop it!”

        • TheSlann

          Thanks for this picture in my head :p

        • Shawn
          • euansmith

            “Nobody puts Ni’iless in the corner!”

      • AX_472

        they also only have one troupe master so by that logic he should be unique too. 😛

        • Drew_Da_Destroya

          No, because a Masque can have multiple Troupes within it

        • TAA

          One Troupe master per Troupe, and there can be any taking part in a fight 😛

          No matter how many troupes are performing, there is only ever one Solitaire, as they play the part of Slaanesh

    • Drew_Da_Destroya

      Solitaires aren’t related to Masques… in fact, they don’t even have the keyword. They’re ridiculously rare, and honestly, seeing two in one place would cause most Eldar of any flavor to go running.

    • mgdavey

      Doesn’t the name imply that there should be only one?

  • wibbling

    There’s a space marine captain?

  • mrbleak

    Don´t really know the assassin´s lore but why does 12 of them seem unseemly? Are they that unique in the lore? Given that A city can probably have around 30 million population and a whole bunch or operation facilities. Would dispatching 20 Callidi to surgically take down communications of an entire city really be that far fetched?

    • Aaron L Palosaari

      it is stated in the fluff that army’s are to be spent like currency but a single assassin is a relished resource scarcely deployed and only in the most dire of situations E.G. such as to quell a rebellion in an entire system before it goes out of control from genestealer infestation or something more epic.

    • TAA

      There probably aren’t many more than 20 Callidius active in the galaxy at any one time, possibly only a few hundred Assassin’s available and over a million worlds to deploy them too. They’re supposed to work alone most of the time, but in the direst of circumstances can team up, I don’t think more than 6 actual Assassins have ever been seen to work together, even during the Horus Heresy or the War of the Beast

      • memitchell

        There is every incentive for the High Lords to NOT want a bunch of assassins running around at any time. Imperial assassins are the singular weapons that are specifically designed to eliminate the likes of High Lords.

        • TAA

          And especially since The Beheading, the High Lords will have been working to curb the power of the Officio Assassinorium

  • MechBattler

    WAIT. They axed the Chapter Master?!

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Grenade Harnesses with their un-signed AP value.

  • Nicolas M

    The removal of Chapter Master is just yet another kick in the nuts of custom chapter, yaknow, what 40k was supposed to be about before they decided that in fact it will be only about “cannon chapters”, the one to which they could sold codexes…