Characters can’t join units in 8th – but that doesn’t mean they can’t hitch a ride!
So the new Characters preview has come out and tons of questions popped up. It’s a pretty big change now that characters can’t join units. But I got to thinking how that change will impact characters riding in transports with a unit. Then I remembered that GW has already solved this problem in AoS: Keywords.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are the ones at the bottom of every warscroll in Age of Sigmar. These are the words that help to define the unit. It’s kind of like a unit type but with more refinement in terms of what faction, army, race, unit, etc. is important for that specific unit.
We already know from the previews that 8th Edition 40k is moving to this Keyword system. They teased that again today with the characters preview:
via Warhammer Community
“Dark Eldar Character Drazhar lets you add 1 to the hit rolls of all friendly Incubi units that are within 6″ in the Fight phase, while the Kroot Shaper allows nearby Kroot to re-roll wound rolls of 1 and share his superior Leadership.”
In the Drazhar example, Incubi would be the Keyword. In the Kroot Shaper, Kroot is the Keyword. Simple right? It also cuts down on a lot of the cross-pollination and allies shenanigans which plagued 7th.
“Okay, but what does this have to do with transports?” I’m getting to that…
About Those Transports
A few weeks back when the Kharadron Overlords set-sail for AoS, we noticed a curious thing was included with their rules. Some of you might remember that “teaser” about their embarking/disembarking rules.
Well in that teaser they had some pretty simple rules for transports, and if my hunch is correct, then GW is going to borrow those for 40k 8th Edition. And if that’s the case, then they have already “solved” the whole “characters-in-transports” question:
“When you set up an Arkanaut Frigate (the transport), units of SKYFARERS can start the battle embarked within it…”
Did you catch it? Let me bold the important part:
“…units of SKYFARERS…”
Yeah – that means more than one. These transports have a cap on the number of MODELS and not the number of UNITS that can ride in them at once. As long as they have the correct Keyword and the transport has capacity they can ride along with as many units that can fit! Characters are their own unit, they can just hitch a ride to the front lines with a transport. Problem solved.
That’s a pretty big shift! Now, we don’t have confirmation that these will be the final transport rule, but as I said in the previous article these are simple, clean, and elegant rules. Why try to come up with a different solution to the problem when you’ve already worked it out? This combined with all the other changes in 8th would solve a lot of the issues before they are even a thing!
Now Games Workshop could refine this to include as many or as few keywords as they need for the Transports. You could have Blood Angel Transports with terminology like:
“When you set up a Blood Angels Rhino, SPACE MARINE units can start the battle embarked within it…”
That way, any allied Space Marine units could hitch a ride. Conversely, if you wanted to clamp it down:
“When you set up a Blood Angels Rhino, BLOOD ANGELS SPACE MARINE units can start the battle embarked within it…”
Now only units with BOTH the Blood Angels AND Space Marine keywords can start embarked. Seems pretty simple to me.
So what do you think? Would do these new Keywords + Transport rules work for you or are you looking for something else?