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40K Rules Conundrum: The Astartes Skyhammer Enigma???

3 Minute Read
Jun 17



There’s trouble in Space Marine paradise if you’re trying to use the new special Skyhammer Annihilation Formation! Come see an age old debate renewed.

It seems like we’ve had these special formation issues in the past. First with the Nemesis Strike force and trying to join characters to that formation in order to get them in on turn one, and most currently with the new ‘OP’ Skyhammer formation.

The debate is centered on the fact that these formations state that you can bring in the formations a certain way (usually on turn one), but what about if you attach special characters to them?

Many players just naturally want to join a bad ass character to the assault squads that can charge on the turn they come into play!

Any why not? The question is – can you do it?

Let’s take a look at the new Skyhammer formation;

Shock Deployment  All units in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force start the game in Deep Strike Reserve. Instead of using the normal deployment and reserve rules for these units, you can, during deployment, choose whether this Formation will arrive during your first or second turn. The entire Skyhammer Annihilation Force automatically arrives on the turn you choose—no Reserve Rolls are required. Ignore this Formation’s Drop Pods for the purposes of the Drop Pod Assault special rule.


So this let’s you bring in the formation on the turn you choose. Similarly the Grey Knights Nemesis Strike Force let’s you start rolling for them to arrive on turn one. Both distinct tactical advantages.

Now can you attach characters to said squads, and still be eligible to arrive in a special manner as these rules seem to indicate the entire formation is allowed to preform this action?

Pg 185 of the BRB, under Combined Reserve Units says the following;

That seems to only specify it’s okay to do when a die roll is to be made to preform a special action (such as the case with the Nemesis Strike Force). However it also seems to state that you can just add an Independent Character to a unit, and it MUST arrive together.

The plot thickens….

Now lets take a look at the Old/Current as of this article’s writing Dark Angel’s Deathwing Assault rule. This seems to be more relevant to this query, as it allows you to just nominate a turn for Belial and his friends to appear from reserves.


There’s the caveat that’s NOT included in the Shock Deployment rule above. It specifically says what units are eligible to preform this action unlike the two formation’s wording above.

So what’s the call folks? Can you add a character such as Shrike, or Dante to a Skyhammer Assault squad to power them up, and still be eligible for the special Shock Deployment action?


Rules lawyers – begin!

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