Goatboy’s 40K: GW’s Rules Beta Just Exploded the Meta

Goatboy here again for a quick sound off on a pretty big bombshell to hit the competitive 40k scene.

GW just released some beta rules to the game and a better time frame for how will actually see updates and changes.  This is huge as we now know how they plan on working on these things as the game continues to change, evolve, and morph into a fully competitive machine.  I am pretty happy we now have some pretty distinct time frames from things as well as better answers on when we will see them.  A big 80’s high five to GW for doing this.

Regular FAQs

Let’s look at the first thing – we have a locked in time frame for FAQs, rule changes, and what Chapter Approved is turning out to be.  Thankfully we know in a week or so will have some updated Errata for any issues a codex might bring up.  Again I have always said we play with the rules written and not the intent desired for the rules.  This can cause a ton of issues as people use RAI/RAW and any tricks of the English language to pull some kind of advantage.  I don’t think this is wrong – just a symptom of a game where any little advantage is quickly used to try and become the greatest dice general in the grim darkness of 40k.

Rules Updates

After that will see two times in a year with a big sort of Shake up. This is almost like a reshuffle of the game with a look at things that might be too good and need a bit of testing to figure out.  We got two bits already with the Smite change and the Character update.  Both of these things are surprisingly exactly what I thought was going to happen to them.  The character change is almost word for word with what Larry had an editorial about on the BoLS site.  The Smite change was the one I talked about before and felt like the most likely change.  I think some people might have preferred a locked in amount of Smites – but this just gives a chance for some Relics and wargear to be a lot more powerful with +’s to cast and what not.  It also means I suspect a lot more Command points spent on rerolls to come in the future.  The Character thing now makes a lot more sense with the initial Chapter Approved nerf of Rhino sniping.  This does put a damper to a lot of peoples initial lists with tons of Imperial Soup characters but that is probably for the best.  It isn’t an exciting game and not something they want to promote on the table top.

Chapter Approved

After that we get a distinct answer on what  Chapter Approved will be for each year.  A combination of any of the previous years updates – maybe Data slates like the Bonesinger – tested rule changes, and hopefully some new tidbits to satisfy the 40k populace.  Mix that in with a yearly points refresh and you start to see how the game could revolve around seasons and other things to allow for a truly evolving game.  Of course 40k gets a bit harder to just shift and change as painting and building models can take some time – but that is just the thing we have to deal with a truly competitive miniature game.

The Future

Now what changes would I like to see?  Maybe some new fixes to army detachments?  Its hard to say as we still need half of the armies with some true rules.  I really like to see the Indexes go away – with all their unit choices as there are still some weird things left in there.  Do you know that a Space Marine Command squad can have a crap ton of bullets firing off with Storm Bolters, Twin Bolters, and Bolt Pistols?  That 12 inch range becomes pretty mean with a plethora of damage.  What things are you wanting to be changed and updated?  We didn’t see an FAQ on the Fire Raptor from FW – so hopefully most events get very strict about models, conversions, and plethora of magic sky bullet jet army lists.

~Until next time – Death to the Somewhat False Emperor!

  • charlesthoss

    You can’t fire pistols and other guns the same round. Another BoLS article with a basic rules mistake.

    • Navaren

      Okay, I’m gonna need some follow up here. For the sake of argument. I have a 5 man combat squad of standard marines. 4 bolters and a BP and chainsword sarge. We are at 12 inches so that’s an output of 9 shots. Or are you telling me my sarge can’t shoot with his men?

      • orionburn III

        He’s referring to the rule that says you can’t fire both a pistol and another type of weapon in the same turn (unless there is an army/unit specific rule that overrides that). The core rules say a model can fire all of it’s ranged weapons in a single turn and can target a different unit with each weapon. However, in the section discussing pistol rules it says “each time a model equipped with both a pistol and another type of ranged weapon (i.e. assault or heavy) shoots, it can either shoot with it’s pistol(s) or with all of it’s other weapons. Choose which it will fire before making hit rolls.

        In your example you are doing correctly. What Navaren is saying is that if your sarge had both a pistol and bolter he can’t shoot both. It has to be one or the other.

        Unless something has recently changed that I’m missing.

        • Navaren

          Right. So why is Goatboy wrong a 5 man dakka squad of company vets to my understanding, could have 2 storm bolters 2 twin bolters and a pistol. At 12 inches that is 17 shots from 5 dudes. That is a premium number of shots from a small amount of dudes. Heck switch the twin bolters to combiflamers and at 8 inches you are looking at 13+2d6 shots out of 5 dudes. With 2 of those shots at a -1 penalty

          • charlesthoss

            Because the way Goatboy posts it, one would assume that he has one model fire all of them the same turn. It is true that some models on Bikes, like Scout Bikers for example, can fire the bike’s guns and their own shotgun the same turn, but not pistols.

          • Navaren

            Sorry boss, I think your reading more into what Goatboy had to say than I am. I read it as a “squad” each firing a “weapon” and him listing what weapons were being fired within the 12 inches. He never says a THING about a single model.

        • J Mad

          Its not “in the same turn” it doesnt say that, it says you cant fire pistols and other weapons with that model at the same time.

          Other wise Ynnari and AoF wont work the way it does and some other rules like from DG.

          • orionburn III

            Fixed it to say “shooting phase” rather than turn, but that’s also why I said unless an army has a specific rule that overrides the basic rule.

          • J Mad

            I just dont want others to think its all or nothing for the entire turn. Even tho only a few armies can shoot in different parts of the game, there are still armies that can.

          • orionburn III

            It’s a legit clarification that was needed. There are a lot of rules that boil down to a single word making a difference, so no worries 😉

  • Marc Berry

    Hopefully we’ll get some proper line of sight rules.

    • Fraser1191

      What is the issue with line of sight?

      • Marc Berry

        The fact that the main rulebook is pretty vague on it so will just be using LOS from 7th until they faq it. Fingers crossed.

      • Valourousheart

        The issue I’m most concerned about with LOS is if your feet aren’t in cover you can’t claim cover, no matter how ridiculous the shot that has to thread through windows.

        So imagine a unit of 20 Cultists trying to hid behind a building. And imagine a devastator squad on the upper floor in another building. And between the 2 units is a 3rd building. So through random chance you are able to draw LOS through the windows of the building the Devastators are in, through the windows of the next building and through the windows of the building the Cultists are hiding behind. And there plain as day you can clearly see the leg of 1 Cultist.

        Well since the Cultists aren’t in the building, they don’t get cover. So you let fly with 4 Heavy Bolters and kill over half of the squad. And the rest of the squad gets pulled when they fail their morale.

        • Fraser1191

          That’s not how we play. That sounds dumb.
          If you are in the building you can see out the building. But other buildings block LoS regardless of windows or doors

          • Brettila

            Thing is, they are not technically wrong. GW went too far trying to be simple. We need solid, no-nonsense terrain rules.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    Too late for me. I guess those still playing 8th will find this useful. Its nice to see the regular fixes, but 8th doesn’t feel like 40k to me.

    • Keaton

      Thanks for your contribution!

    • Valourousheart

      What is it about 8th that doesn’t feel like 40k to you?

      • LankTank

        Dont encourage him…

  • euansmith

    I think that it could have been fun to add a risk/reward mechanism to repeatedly using Smite; something like, every time you cast Smite in a turn, add 1 to the Psychic Maelstrom. If one of your psyker’s suffers Perils, add the current Psychic Maelstrom to the number of mortal wounds inflicted by the Perils on friendly units. At the end of your turn, your Psychic Maelstrom dissipates.

    • Inian

      That’s a very nice idea. The beta suggestion doesn’t really offer much in the way of choice, you just keep casting until you can’t cast any more. Your solution increases the risk but lets the player make the choice, which is always more interesting when looking at gameplay.

    • Luca Lacchini

      Love it.

    • defensive

      While it sounds fun, I doubt it woul work in practice.
      In playing 8th so far, I could count on one hand the number of times someone has actually periled and suffer the wounds for it.
      It’s pretty uncommon as it is, and then you have CP rerolls which are almost always used for that, a few units can reroll tests, and on top of this, there is no guarantee you are gonna roll a perils after multiple smite uses. You could get it on the first one, and then go on to cast smite another 10 times without penalty.
      I would prefer the GW rules, because it isn’t as random, and will reliably deter smite spam.

      • OctopusVolcano

        This is actually my biggest beef with the psychic phase and smite as a whole. It’s pretty much just free free buffs and free mortal wounds with very little chance of failure or risk.

        • Zhan

          Unlike shooting for example ….
          Which is full of risks and dangers!
          All those overcharging plasma weapons and all. Very scary stuff

          • defensive

            If smite was a heavy D3, str 6, AP -2 shot or something, it would be perfectly fine.
            At least you can have hit modifiers, toughness, and saves against it.

            The whole idea of mortal wounds in the game that simply ignore all defences is just idiotic. And the fact that they made mortal wounds so easy to spam as well is infuriating.

          • I don’t think I’d like that at all. smite would then be blocked by armour for some units but not all units. as it is now it hurts everything not just some things. Dropping the Mortal wound mechanic as it is would mean changing a lot more than just smite.

          • defensive

            Yeah, exactly like shooting is.
            Why bother giving any of your guys armour, if the enemy can just take units that ignore it?
            And yeah, change the game mechanics if they are bad. The game has been changed majorly 7 times now. I don’t see how a removal of mortal wounds is anything crazy.

          • Well, I’m not a fan of that really. It would give me (and other Ork players) less reason to field shock attack guns and Zapp guns. And we have very little reason to field them now.
            I really think the Mortal wound problem is that they are far too reliable and abundant, not that they just drop wounds on models with out a save.

          • defensive

            Dropping wounds onto models with no save or defence is a problem. It’s just bad game design, and it’s not much fun either.

            Changing smite, and all mortal wounds for that matter, would bring it back in line with every other attack type in the game, and make it less reliable to just spam out wounds.

          • I’m still not convinced it’s as large a problem as you say it is. If you don’t like smite or Mortal wounds then just don’t use them.

          • defensive

            Except that lists which spam malefic lords, or primaris psykers consistently take out top places in tournaments.

            And you can’t just ignore rules whenever you like. A person comes to the table, with their list built for the proper rules. Unless I know that person well beforehand, you can’t just bust out that kind of thing. Especially not in tournament settings, or more serious games.

          • Spamming Psykers like that is a problem, which I did point out was probably the problem in my reply above . haha.
            I can ignore rules in a way. If, for example we replaced mortal wounds with your mechanic I would simply ignore it by not using anything that used that mechanic. I would find better things to spend my own points on. While I can’t stop the other play from wasting their points, I wouldn’t bother with it at all.
            If Mortal wounds and smite are such a problem in “serious games” then you should find a way to let it be known and discussed with the organizers of those events and see if you can get it put to a vote and added to their packet.
            I would also like to know what is this serious game you are referring to.
            I do hope your not playing a life and death stakes game of 40K, those always end badly for some one. lol.

          • defensive

            If you wanted to pick units that didn’t use that mechanic as a personal choice, then great. If other units are just as viable, then it can only be a good thing for the game.
            If people wanted to keep using them, because they were still viable and balanced choices, awesome too.
            Having more viable options, and larger variety of lists is never a bad thing.

            As it stands though, the ability to outright just slap wounds onto something with very little risk of failure, stands head and shoulders above having to shoot and deal with toughness, hit modifiers, saves, and whatever else.

            Or, instead of going around to every tournament or local game for the next however many years this edition lasts for, and ask them to introduce homebrew rules to fix the game, GW could just fix the game now, and be done with it.

          • SYSTem050

            Out of interest do you find this a problem in the games you play? I am aware of the complaint but never real seems a problem when I actually play.

          • defensive

            I played in a local tournament over the weekend, and the first game I played against was Magnus, a Changeling, 6 Daemon Princes, and then a cultist blob to screen them.

            As well, I also play reguarly against a grey knight player, and almost all games I play locally have at least 2 psykers in the list or more.

          • Brettila

            See it all the time, especially with both versions of Tzeentch armies.

          • Zhan

            They wanted something versus all those modifiers. So that defense stacking (2+,3++,4+++ etc.) could never be a thing anymore. (including the minus to hit now).

            Smite was a tool to cheap on malefic lords but they have been nerfed.

            Some armies have no choice but spam smite and are okay versus space marines but not so well versus others

          • defensive

            Then why allow people to combo up modifiers, if you don’t want them too?
            Just remove that capability, instead of introducing a mechanic that breaks the core rules of the game and creates a huge and obvious advantage and disadvantage for certain types of armies, making elite builds borderline unplayable.

            Even outside of malefic lords, just 2-3 characters casting it can instantly wipe out a character or a decent chunk of a TEQ squad, and there is almost no defence against it, short of spamming weak bodies like cultists.

            Changing it to a shooting type attack, you still have the capability to damage these units, but at least it’s not just an “I win” spell that instantly does wounds.

          • Lord Blacksteel

            So 2-3 characters focusing Smite on one target character can instantly wipe it out? That sounds about right – just like if they focused on it in the fight phase. There are multiple defenses against it too, starting with a) don’t be the “closest enemy” – you remember that you can’t target Smite at-will, right? and b) fielding your own character with a denial capability!

          • James Regan

            the counterpoint is that mortal wounds are specifically designed to counter death stars- you can equip better defences on your units up to a point, but putting all your eggs in one basket is no longer as good a choice.
            One of the important points that mortal wounds create is you can’t just stack re-roll on top of weird rules wording, on top of invulnerable save, on top of a poorly written special rule and come out with the old glittering scales/duelists blades combo (for those who didn’t play of lot of 8th ed. fantasy, you could actually equip a set of gearm though i can’t remember the third item, that made it physically impossible for a character to be hit, at all, in melee. bonus points if you modelled the chracter with MC hammer pants. Double bonus if it was an ogre on a flying carpet).
            However, there’s an easy way to defend against mortal wounds- run towards them with boyz/gaunts, watch as they kill 3, tops, and then get promptly eaten by the remaining 27. Obviously, this is excluding things like malefic lords simply being way undercosted, but it’s the intent of the idea. The rest is just GW needing to do more work balancing things correctly, something that they’ve always needed to do

          • defensive

            If they attacked in the fight phase, you have options to defend. You could have paid extra points for better armour, you could spend CP to interupt and possibly take one or more out, or you could have an ability or warlord trait to interupt. You could have charged in first, or fallen back and been able to charge back if the combat was already going. You could have a character with high toughness, high saves, a power on it to increase it’s saves, or a feel no pain ability.

            All of this goes out the window with mortal wounds, and if your only defence is either; roll higher (Basically random chance, but slightly in the caster’s favour, so not at all reliable, plus if they just have more psykers, they can just cast more than you can dispell.) or to not be closer (Which is impossible in combat, and especially hard if your army doesn’t have cheap bodies to spam, and relies on the caster not being very mobile).
            So if the only lists that are viable are massed blobs of the cheapest bodies you can get, coupled with as much smite as you can get, how is that especially balanced or fun?

          • Lord Blacksteel

            You could have purchased wargear that affects powers, you could take relics that do the same thing, you could use a stratagem that does the same thing, you could take a warlord trait that does the same thing etc – no, it does not “all go out the window” with mortal wounds.

            It’s impossible not to be the closest target in combat? How did you get there? Did your lone character somehow get himself surrounded by multiple smite casters? Sounds like you’re either playing pretty poorly and not looking at the situation or something is wrong with your turn sequence because the only way that’s going to happen is if you charged them on your turn, didn’t kill them, and then got nuked on your opponents

            “Roll higher” is not automatically in the casters favor as there is gear that affects those rolls as well. Take some if this is such a problem.

            Beyond all of that there are various ways to acquire FNP for your important units or characters as well which is useful against all wounds, not just mortal wounds.

            The only lists huh? You should watch some batreps and check some more tournament results (if you care about those) because that’s not really what’s happening out there. Conscripts have been nerfed. Malefic lords have been nerfed. The change to smite in this very article nerfs massed smite armies so presumably you’re in favor of it as well.

            Mortal wounds are the “irresistible force” of this edition and help keep super units in line. They’re part of the game now and you’re better off looking for ways to mitigate them in your force than complaining that they exist.

          • defensive

            And how many armies have access to relic and traits and upgrades that affect powers? Less than half?
            Compared to every army in the game that has toughness values, and armour saves.

            And how are you attacking something in combat, without being the closest model?
            Combat in this game isn’t resolved on the first round every time. Pretty often it goes on for much longer.

            And there is gear that boosts their chances too? Much more gear out there that affects casting than there is that affects dispelling I would bet.

            FNP abilities are good, but they are the rarest type of save, always low, and there is no reason for them to be the only type of save you get.

            I do check out tournament results. Chaos lists are some of the most competitive out there, simply because they can spam cultists, malefic lords, daemon princes, and magnus. I can’t remember the last time I saw a placing list that didn’t have either magnus or a malefic lord in it.
            IG is also the really the only other competitive army, because they can spam out smite resistant bodies, and have cheap primaris psykers and astropaths too.

            And what super units need to be kept in line?
            Smite spamming psykers are the super units of this edition.
            Gone are the days of tough units actually being tough to kill, as long as you can just drop free wounds into them that ignore the core mechanics of the game.
            Balance these supposed “super units” through their points cost and rules limitations, instead of introducing new mechanics that break the game for everyone else.
            It’s just poor game design.

          • Brettila

            Have to agree. Mortal wounds need to be few and far between.

        • kingcobra668

          Yeah, players are free!

    • Weidekuh

      Good idea. Maybe…
      “Each subsequent casting of any power lowers the result by -1.”
      Example: The second time you cast the same power you roll 7-1=6. The fifth time it would be X-4.

      And then add to perils:
      “If your roll a double 6 or if the result is equal or lower than 2 your psyker suffers a peril of the warp.”
      Meaning, the third time you cast the same power, you would peril after a roll of 4. -> 4-2 = 2.

      • eMtoN

        yeah, instead of a straight fail, I think the higher probability of perils would be awesome

    • ZeeLobby

      I’ve always thought this would be both the most elegant and fluffy solution.

      • euansmith

        Did you ever play the Maelstrom RPG? It was set in a fictional version of the 16th Century where magic exists but is punishable by death. In the game you could use magic for pretty much anything, but, each time you used it in an area, you increased the chances of losing control and unleashing some type of paranormal disaster.

        • ZeeLobby

          No, but that sounds AMAZING! Like seriously, with how psykers are treated in the fluff and literature, it should be a much more dangerous thing than it is on the table top. It totally does not fit the books as is. I mean i’d be fine with a high chance of possession/death on every cast. Make the powers stronger if necessary, but make it true risk/reward.

          • euansmith

            Another mechanism I liked was in one of the Lord of the Rings’ CCGs; where carrying magical items added corruption to the character.

    • Muninwing

      i like this as a start…

      for every psychic power attempt, roll a die. on a 1, the phase ends. on a 6, add two to the pool. on a 2-5, add 1 to the pool.

      on a perils, roll as many dice as there are in the pool. within that distance from the failed psyker, every psyker makes a ld test or suffers perils too.
      if the number of charges is 10+, it is automatic.
      if 3 or more 6s were rolled, any slain models become chaos spawn.

      but now it gets too bogged down… right as it’s getting cool.

      • euansmith

        This new rule could be called, “$hit just got surreal.”

  • Fergie0044

    I was wondering why no one was talking about these beta rules over the weekend. Again, very promising to see GW paying more attention to these kind of things.

    Also, I noted on the Warhammer community article that they talked about actual rules changes being in the FAQs and new rules being in chapter approved. I very relived to hear this as I feared it would end up being nothing but points adjusting. Some units (cough ruststalkers cough) would be better served with having their power increased with new rules rather than have their points dropped.

    • EnTyme

      General’s Handbook 2017 did update a couple warscroll for AoS, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see GW do the same for 40k in Chapter Approved in the future.

  • Heinz Fiction

    btw, are updated point costs and rules changes available for downloand already? I’m not interested in chapter approved and can’t really require my opponents to buy it either…

    • Fergie0044

      I’m also waiting to see if they do them as a pdf before buying the book. End of Jan seems like a reasonable timeframe IMO.

    • Koonitz

      Don’t expect them to appear in PDF form or online in any form from GW. They’re in a book which includes a number of additional rules and stuff for you to use. It’s worth the money, even if you only play Matched Play.

      I mean, unless you like playing the same 12 missions over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

      Buy the book, spice up your life.

      • Heinz Fiction

        There are more than enough missions for me in the rulebook and if I ever get bored by them (very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very unlikely) I can easily make up my own.

  • Robert Thornton-Kaye

    A lot of armies are going to be unfairly punished with the anti-smite rule, from 1k sons to eldar to grey knights. Why not just raise the cast value to 6 or 7 and see how that goes?

    Alternatively, if there is too much psychic shenanigans in a game, bring in a risk of a random daemon squad appearing or of a psyker being possessed, or just have a tear in reality that deals devastating damage.

    • orionburn III

      But some armies have an equivilant to smite, such as Pyschic Scream with Nids. Smite spam sucks when you have to face it so something had to be done. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see armies like Thousand Sons get some bonuses that work around this rule, whether it’s a stratagem or standing army wide rule. It’s easy to give them something along the lines of “don’t take a -1 until smite has been attempted twice” or outright ignore it all together.

      Smite has became a huge pain in the rear. I for one am happy to see hit get a tap on the head with the nerf hammer.

      • Simon Chatterley

        Yeah I agree. Where the pain of smite is felt is when you can’t stop it. I’ve been either side of that and neither was fun. Sure you can argue the non-smiting armies have other things but those things tend to be able to stopped by armour or invul. Smite just bypassed that and I played a Tau guy and smite him off the table with 5 casters. Literally zero fun.

        Likewise I took a CSM list with 1 sorcerer and faced a psychic heavy Eldar list and got the favour returned.

        Smite should be an additional thing rather than your only thing…

      • Robert Thornton-Kaye

        With psychic scream, can the army do it more than once per turn?

        How many smiting units have you fought in 1 game? I haven’t been swamped by smiters myself and think that the limited range and low no of wounds inflicted encourage players to not just spam super units. They remind me of the vortex grenade in 2nd ed, a simple way to deter players from taking just super-elite units.

        • Having played several games against smite spam, where said opponent was able to chuck 6d3 or more smite mortal wounds a turn just with that, all with the effort of breathing in and out and ensuring his heart still pumped, I’m all for a smite nerf.

          While I’d rather smite just be once a turn period like every other power, and like AOS (which has a version of smite), this one will have to do.

          • Robert Thornton-Kaye

            Although he is having to pay for these attacks, and they have to aim at the nearest target, so why not just have a cheap shield in front to take the damage?

            It sounds like a casting value of 7, perhaps accompanied by the removal of the ability to take D6 mortal wounds off if you roll high enough, would fix this issue in a much simpler manner without keeping track of the no of smites cast.

          • Yes he’s having to pay for those attacks. And he’s not losing the ability to have them. He’s losing the ability to cast them on the cheap with no effort.

            So there is a cost/benefit that now gets added into the once-simpleton list building formula. One now has to evaluate if that 4th smite is worth taking. OR… maybe use a different power.

            Keeping track of how many smites have been cast is, to me,… not that big a deal. I rate it as simple as the previous incarnation of the power’s difficulty level in casting at least.

            Throughout the past 20+ years that has been the response anytime something that was brainlessly easy gets a downgrade. That you pay for it so you should keep getting to use its OP power.

            The real deal to me is that as a game, spamming smite kills all fun because it takes this idea of a strategy game and basically tosses that out the window and in its place you get some obvious choices that if you don’t do, you won’t have a fun game.

            Thats bad game design to me.

            With armies like Grey Knights where people are saying “but they already suck and I need to spam smite” the problem isn’t with the smite nerf. The problem is with poor game design concerning grey knights and how they need their list evaluated.

          • Zhan

            So can you blame GK/TS players for being annoyed at the nerf before GW takes a serious look at your army?

            Malefic lords and primaris psykers are ruining the game
            GW + community: Lets kill of smiting in general !!
            GK/TS: WTF? What about us? we are already struggling
            GW: Well … maybe we’ll take a look at you somewhere in 6-12 months….. maybe…

          • Every player that has ever had to take a nerf has been annoyed.

            Also for what its worth, the Thousand Sons are one of my primary armies. But I recognize me lol-rolling around erasing my opponent’s army with all of the tactical genius of a limp piece of wood is not fun for him and the game as a whole is harmed by garbage like that.

          • Zhan

            Meh, the lol-rolling around smite spam only works against space marines.

            Practical every other army has cheap screens which are the best counter available to smite.

            i dont see myself winning vs AM no matter how much smite spammers i take.

          • That is unfortunately because AM are busted out of the gate period. They need to take a look at AM as well.

          • It seems to kind of defeat the point of armies where every unit is a Psyker if you can only cast 7 total powers in a game

          • *shrug* if i have to choose between a game that is fun and a game where my opponent gets to blow me away with easy to cast powers, i’ll choose the fun route until GW stops their amateur-hour bull**** game design.

            If they want an army that is all psykers rolling around with nasty evil powers that can lay waste to armies, not only do you need to pay proper points for it, but those powers need to not be so easy to cast so there is an actual risk or choice for the player to make.

          • Oh I agree, I think the entire psychic phase needs to be rethought, turning psykers into glorified plasma guns is really dumb

          • Brettila

            Well said.

        • orionburn III

          Scream can only be cast once per turn like the others (in matched play), but it’s basically another smite power and you wouldn’t suffer penalities for casting that one. On the best dice rolls you could potentially land 9 mortal wounds on a unit/model. That’s not going to

          A buddy of mine runs a really rough Tzeentch list with Magnus. It’s always a brutal pyschic phase as is, but when you have little bastard horrors being able to cast smite as well it starts to stack up quickly. That’s the biggest smite abuse that I’ve seen. Lists like his won’t suffer that greatly as he has a lot of buffs that either give a +1/+2 to casting. It will at least force him to be more strategic on the timing of casting smite.

          I don’t disagree that there are potentially other ways to tweak smite (maybe it loses the ability to get the D6 super smite after the first time it’s cast).

    • euansmith

      This anti-smitism must end! 😉

      • orionburn III

        You anti-smiteite bastard. Probaly hate your dentist too!

    • Bootneck

      They did just raise the cost of smite . . .by making the casting roll suffer penalties is the same it just gets progressively harder.

      Currently GK cast ghetto smite on a 4+ on 2d6, so even with the changes they can cast quite a few smites potentially a turn.

      I’m sure that Tson’s will have some mechanic in their proper codex seeing as they are the masters of the warp.

      Can’t comment on the pointy eared space elfs though!

    • Robert Thornton-Kaye

      Perhaps the answer lies in imposing a -1 casting value penalty for each psychic power after the first cast upon the same target? So a -2 modifier if the target has already been affected twice that psychic phase.

  • orionburn III

    Very happy to see this. The next beta test needs to be something to help mitigate turn 1 alpha strikes. Two things I’d like to see tried out would be:

    (a) Go back to reserves/deep strike units not coming in until turn 2. It’s fine with me to leave it as an automatic arrival, so no roll-off like 7th ed., but slows down the pace of alpha strikes. In theory anyway.

    (b) Don’t let units in transports count as a single drop, and/or change the amount of points/units allowed to go into reserve. I know this is minimal, but it should help punish lists that do a lot of deep strike shenanigans. Making it a bit more difficult to get that +1 to see who goes first will help the other player. The other thing is to do a combination of both or change it from half your points being able to go into reserves down to 25-40% range.

    • Bootneck

      I play quite a lot of tournaments and these new beta FAQ’s don’t really mean anything to me.

      In matched play you can only cast the same power once per turn which is a good thing and I don’t have an issue with it – just means you have to be more tactically aware – makes you a better player.

      a) Again i don’t have a problem with the whole Alpha strike thing – you just need to deploy in a way so they can’t come DS, pretty simple really, just get some scout type units and dot them around.

      b)In matched play I have always counted each unit as its own for the purpose of first turn – so a unit in a transport counts as two.

      • orionburn III

        If you do a lot of tournaments do you see them typically counting units in transports as one drop, or two?

        And I get that you can still alpha strike even with out DS units. The point is there needs to be something to help counter the huge advantage of going first. If you didn’t have to worry as much about DS units coming in on turn one you could afford to position some screening units differently.

        Whole point is that something needs to be done to take the ouch out of turn one. Maybe you don’t feel that way but the vast majority of people (local gaming group and online groups) agree that something needs to change.

        • Bootneck

          Guilty that in my last tourny I had a lot of first turn heavy hitters – everyone i played against and myself included counts each unit as 1.

          So a transport with a unit inside would be 2 for the purposes of deployment.

          I’m not really sure that anything has changed in regards to 5th, 6th 7th or 8th in terms of first turn advantage.

          But it wholly depends on your army, a shooty list going first is going to inflict heavy damage, which is no difference from a fast army going first and assaulting turn one.

          There is one big difference though – with the correct deployment and sacrificial units you can prevent and limit a fast army to achieving very little.

          But you can’t stop a shooty list removing high priority targets if they go first – especially now scenery is mostly useless.

          • Bootneck

            The only thing GW could do would be to bring the can’t charge in the first player turn.

            But that would compromise a melee army, so there is no easy answer to this. 8th is here and this is what it is.

          • Karru

            It actually has when it comes to first turn advantage.

            In 5th edition, you had the Night Fighting rules and the highly less effective shooting. You also had to be afraid of outflanking units coming from the sides so hunkering down with a shooty army in a cornenr wasn’t exactly a plan either.

            I play mostly 5th edition these days and even without the minor fixes you need for certain rules, such as wound allocation, I can immediately see that 5th edition is much more tactical and more focused on movement and positioning. Rushing across the board is all fine and dandy but if Night Fighting is in effect, your units will be within that juicy visibility range from most enemy heavy weapons, so those frontline units will get obliterated fast.

            Also, another thing about 5th edition and going 2nd was that quite a few players actually wanted to go 2nd so they could go for the last turn objective grab and denial victory, something that never happens in 40k these days really.

          • Bootneck

            All those all still apply now.

            The amount of games i have lost because of FB.

            You can tailor your list to some extent to your preference, it also depends if you have a mobile army.

            So many static gun lines and slow foot slogger lists makes any kind of redeplyment impossible.

        • Bootneck

          The other method which you can use but it wholly depends on your faction is make sure you build your list based on number of selections.

          Which would mean you would likely go first for having less.

          Haven’t played Knights in 8th yet but they must be laughing at us all.

          • Koonitz

            You’re welcome to use house rules as you see fit, however I felt it necessary to point out that the rulebook is VERY clear about how to treat models that deploy inside a transport.

            They are deployed at the same time the transport is deployed. As such, they deploy as one placement. There is no addendum or added clause that they count as two (or more) deployments, nor does it say that the opponent should then place multiple units in concert to account for your double+ deployment.

            Per the rulebook, you are doing it wrong. FYI.

          • Bootneck

            What page?

        • EnTyme

          Just a thought, but in regards to mitigating first-turn advantage/alpha strikes, what if the first turn occurred “simultaneously” for both players? I.E. player1 moves, player 2 moves, player 1 psyker, player 2 psyker, player 1 shoots, player 2 shoots, player 1 charges, player 2 charges, player 1 assault, player 2 assault, morale. In each case, casualties aren’t removed until the end of the phase. After turn one, the game proceeds as normal.

    • the current alpha strike environment is desiigned as intended. It makes a fast brutal game thats over in a couple turns. This is what tournament players want. More games finished in a day.

      • Bootneck

        It doesn’t work like that. All the tournaments I have ever been to are based on a set number of games.

        So theirs no actual advantage other than having a mental rest if you finish early.

        But you are right in what you say about GW designing the game to be more brutal.

        • When I say more games finished in a day I mean games not running out of time. I know there are a set number of games, but a giant argument has always been that people sandbag or that there’s just not enough time to finish a full game in 2.5 hours.

          Based on interviews and dev comments on blogs and forums from the tourney guys that run 40k now, this was done to directly address that (make the game more brutal to end the game faster and get the game time under 2.5 hours without taking away points to make the game smaller)

          • Zhan

            Yeah people always come up with this argument however GW has never confirmed/said or otherwise implied it.

            An equally valid argument could be that they do not want slap-fests where 2/3 rounds very little happens.

            Or fast action allow for bigger games = more models = better model sales

            But i guess its easier to focus on one argument and blame “tournament players”

          • Well that comes from dev blogs and some tournament people involved with the beta process that came out and said thats why alpha strike was pushed to be what it is today.

          • Bootneck

            As far as time limits go the last tournament I went to a few weeks ago at WHW, they openly said they don’t want players to concede games because your personal score is based on what you kill/score etc.

            Just because a game is lost it doesn’t stop you achieving SW, FB etc which then contribute to your overall standing.

            As far as actual game times go, its not something which can be controlled as rudimentary by how brutal the game is. Many combats etc take so long or shooting phases that just seem endless which is purely down to

            a) Faction
            b) Play style
            c) Army composition
            d) Objectives/mission
            e) You the individual
            f) The opponent

            Throw all those in the mix and you get short games and long games regardless of how GW make the system.

            The other thing which is missing from my list above is

            g) Its a valid tactic

            As much as people don’t like or want to hear that but players do things on purpose to slow games down,

            If you in a winning position but know in two turns time you’ll be tabled, your going to try and win it the following turn – if the game ends.

          • Oh absolutely. I spent a decade doing the grand tournament circuit. Sandbagging has always been a thing to contend with. The problem is that sandbagging is limited only to a tournament hall where timed games occur.

            In the casual / campaign game front, with no time limits, there is no sandbagging. Unfortunately the casual / campaign game front gets to eat the turd sandwich that resulted from sandbagging in the tournament circuit with rules that are designed to be overly brutal and finish the game quickly.

          • Bootneck

            I have had opponents really slowly measure 2″ coherency etc or advances for massive blobs of infantry etc.

            Tbh most of these things are so trival now, as long as the first model moved is accurate then everything behind has to remain in coherency anyway.

            Its just a given. But this is the kind of thing players resort to slow games down – or they are just so pedantic.

            Either way they get no sportsmanship award from me.

          • I have a few stories. The one that sticks out the most was chicago grand tournament 2003. I was vampire counts, playing another vampire counts. (WHFB)

            He was up by 300 points or so (barely a minor victory) and I had positioned a turn 3 charge that would have put me up in points.

            The man took… and this is no joke…. over 30 minutes to decide where to try to throw a fireball (D6 S4 hits).

            Time ran out and I complained to the judge that I should get my turn and that it wouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes. Judge agreed. I did my charges and got my points.

            Dude across from me was livid.

            That kind of play gets a 0 in sportsmanship from me as well.

          • eMtoN

            I think the tournament rule should be that if a turn is started, it has to be finished. The only issue is making sure you allow enough time between games to make that happen.

            I ran into a similar slow player at a tourney. During their last turn they went to the bathroom, got a drink and still took 20 minutes to move 3 imperial knights (which was all the models they had left). Then took another 20 minutes to attack with them.

            This left me with 15 minutes to complete my turn. My opponent said I didn’t have time to finish so we should call it. I laughed and proceeded to move/shoot with warriors, raiders and jetbikes. I think it was about 30 models. I finished in 10 minutes – which is about how long it each of my turns take.

            My opponent, seeing that they were beat on objectives, then wanted to start the next game turn with literally only 5 minutes of time left on the tourney clock. I called the TO over, he stopped the game.

            Justice was served cold.

          • Karru

            Like Auticus said, this is exactly how they want it to be, so you kinda have to blind if you can’t see it. Rule after rule after rule, whether it is in a form of a Stratagem or a ability, codices and units are being released with abilities that allow people to maximise the damage potential of their units without risking them to enemy fire.

            Some give the unit the ability to advance and then charge, others give them re-rolls or better damage when they fire their weapons. These are not oversights any more, they are clear indications that this is exactly what GW wants out of their game. If they didn’t want their games to be fast and brutal, these rules wouldn’t exist in the first place.

          • Zhan

            I think you should reread my argument. i don’t deny that everything is a lot more “brutal”. Everyone sees that.

            I was talking about the reason why it’s so much more killy. Auticus says its because of tournament players need quicker games.
            I say there are also some other arguments valid why GW wants quicker combat action.

  • I’m neither for or against these rules changes. I don’t really care much for the changes to targeting characters. I think there could have been a slightly better answer the this issue. I don’t mind the smite change as much as I probably should. I play Orks so +3 or even +4 to casting powers isn’t unheard of. so it’s a nerf to other armies more than my own.
    I’m less thrilled that 40K could be steered even more by “competitive” players and I guess people who can’t be bothered to make talk to their opponent before the game. GW has given the rules and even says rules can be changed by a TO’s. and given the apparent love the major rules packets seem to get, nothing official is really needed. Hopefully these only apply to matched play and wont bleed over any further. some one mentioned allowing other powers to be cast more than once. I’d be happy to take that with the same penalties that were put on smite but I wouldn’t call that friendly or really very fair to the other player.

    • Bootneck

      If your playing in a casual in environment there is nothing stopping you from ignoring these rules or just using your own house rules.

      In reality changes like this mostly only affect WAAC and tournament players.

      • I thought that was implied in what I said. lol. I’m just not looking forward to more rules adjustments ending up in next years chapter approved because of tournaments and WAAC players. I am sure it will become the trend.

        • Bootneck

          My bad >< . Its a fine line for GW though – in the past people have complain by not enough erratas and broken rules and now because of public opinion we will go the other way.

          I don't mind changes as long as they are for the right reasons.

  • Bootneck

    Simple solution to the psychic powers if people are bothered is take other disciplines, but this would involve taking other detachments/sub factions.

    • I’d like to see a few more universal powers added as well.

    • Karru

      Honestly I would prefer if GW just made the Psychic Phase more like it was in 5th edition. Powers were minor buffs to your army, but not absolutely necessary. There was only two powers that broke the game when spammed, Jaws of the World Wolf and Lash of Submission, but even then Jaws was only useful against certain models and Lash was effective against units when combined with Blasts that could still scatter off.

      The real reason honestly why I think that Smite spam is as real as it is right now is that it is really the only power of strategic value in the game. Some of the powers that offer similar ability usually is just plain worse than Smite, but you can only cast it once. Then you have 1-2 powers that give buff to a unit, but since it is again one cast only, you use it to combo with a single unit, but don’t keep it as the linchpin of your grand strategy since Smite is still there to be used and is highly effective.

      Making it so that all factions have their powers and that there is no universal powers, but you can keep casting your powers as many times as you want would be nice. Of course, this needs all armies and factions that have Psykers to have their own Disciplines to use.

      • Bootneck

        Mortal wounds an good mechanic but it is too powerful if spammed ie smite.

        They could just change smite to a regular attack and be done with it.

        The powers now are better than in 7th when they were so op.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    I don’t think this exploded the meta. If you relied on smite spam, adjustments are needed, but the meta was far more than just smite spam.

    • Mr.Gold

      you do realise that you are talking to Goatboy here…?

      • Andrew O’Brien

        Meh, I’m more of a Pimpcron fan myself.

  • shady

    These two rules are perfect and i will be using them in my gaming group. In my opinion, mortal wounds in general aren’t a problem. it’s just smite. I think these changes will solve that problem, for the most part. Is it the best solution? Probably not. I 100% disagree with the motion to remove mortal wounds. We need some kind of “boogeyman” damage, just in moderation. Yet another reason why GW needs to needs to have beta rules like this.

  • Nico Young

    All they have to do is change smite too the baby version except for some of the named psykers. You could also change the range to 12″ instead of 18″. Remember smite is also the closest unit you can’t target with it. This rule change just ends up nerfing thousand sons. The sorcerers in the thousand sons units only get baby smite they literally can’t cast anything else. You also have to save your reroll for perils. If you’re aspiring sorcerer perils he auto kills the entire unit. So there are some major draw backs to casting smite. The one unit that was abusing it will no longer see play. Again just change smite to 1 mortal would or at best d3 I guarantee that solves the problem.

  • John Henry III

    This should have been in chapter approved

    • Bootneck

      It will be – in June/July as part of there twice a year Chapter Approved release.

      Based on how its received at the Las Vegas Open in March.

  • Torvol

    Has anyone seen that there is actually a “soft cap” of 8 smite castings. After that you have -8 on your psychic test roll. So more is not possible.

    Furthermore, the timing of your deny the witch and the choice of which caster goes first becomes important. Since one actually substracts from the psychic test roll, it becomes easier to deny the witch.

    • eMtoN

      Good catch on DtW rolls. I and the thought of that.