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40K: Making Vehicles Cool Again

3 Minute Read
Feb 15 2018
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I’ve been studying vehicle rules in several wargames lately and think GW can make vehicles cool again in no time.

OK, I’ve got a beef with GW – Vehicles are BORING in 8th!

While we’ve seen GW try over and over and over to “get vehicles right” over the last 30 years – with 8th Edition they just tossed them out the window and didn’t even bother.  And guess what – vehicles just feel like giant infantrymen with big expensive minis – because that is exactly what they are.


Now GW has tried some really funky things over the years, from the clear plastic targeting grid and vehicle internal schematics of late Rogue Trader, to the ultra complexity of 7th.

Yup, you just placed your clear plastic targeting grid…

…over your target and rolled the dice.  Ahh 1992!



Yes I understand that 8th is all about having an extremely clean ruleset that is easy for newcomers to pick up – but vehicles that move any how they want and shoot from any point on the model is jarring and takes me out of the game.

Design Goals

With that in mind I set out to give GW a set of test rules to bring some distinct characteristics back to vehicles – while working within the “lean and clean” design philosophy of 8th Edition.

No changes to existing Datasheets – GW wants them to be consistent with other units, so we don’t what to change that.

Facings Matter – One of the defining characteristics of vehicles is a sense of mass and limited maneuverability. Both players should be trying to take advantage of this for their own advantage during games.

Limited Weapons arcs – from both an offensive and defensive point of view, let’s make the models kind of matter without making things too crazy.


A Modest Proposal

Now with all that in mind think about this set of rules:

Vehicle Special Rules

Each time a unit with the VEHICLE keyword moves, it may pivot on the spot up to 90° (this does not contribute to how far the model moves) one time at any point during it’s move. It may pivot twice if it advances.

Weapons on units with the VEHICLE keyword that are not mounted on a turret may not fire at any targets within their rear 90° arc.

Units with the VEHICLE keyword suffer a -1 penalty to Armor Saves from wounds inflicted from their rear 90° arc.


That’s it. three simple rules, taking up a short paragraph.  I would love to hear what you think, and have you take them for a spin.  It’s the kind of thing that I really thinks can bring back tactical depth and challenge for vehicles while staying within the spirit of 8th Edition. Obviously there are always some vehicles that have funky models. These rules are designed to be a general blanket to make vehicles feel like they have a bit of mass and some slight tactical weaknesses that can be exploited.


~What do you guys think?



Author: Larry Vela
  • My 2018 LVO, as a 40k Head Judge

    Warhammer 40K