40k has landed


In a change to our usual programming of DZC I thought I’d look at the latest release from GW; the all new and improved edition of 40k.  As is normal there was a mass of rumors on the internet, but in a moment that will surely prove my ‘geek credentials’ beyond doubt I quote Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 190 “Hear all, trust nothing”.

I managed to acquire my copy of this tome yesterday from my local independent store as a nice little pre-order with a happy £5 off to go with it, and I have spent a bit of time reading it both yesterday and this morning.  I wanted to share some of my first thoughts and impressions of this new edition.  So here we go.

Book: The first thing I wanted to go over was the composition of the book itself.  It is a rather weighty volume, similar to current Fantasy rule book, but some 80 odd pages thinner.  The rules make up 130 pages (about a third of the book), there’s 100 pages of background to the 40k galaxy and the races in it (it should be noticed that in some of the background there was a written mention of the Squats – but I wouldn’t get your hopes up) and the remaining 200ish pages are miniature pictures, extra scenarios, reference sheets and general fluff.  The book is in full colour and there are lots of pictures, including some impressive pieces of pull out art and a nicely done space station made out of bastions, landing pads and a few other bits from other building kits.  The rules are laid out in a similar fashion to the Fantasy rule book.  The general framework of the rules hasn’t changed; it’s mostly small tweeks and minor changes rather than any major re-writes.

Movement: Movement hasn’t changed; most units move 6″ and you have to maintain 2″ unit coherency.  The whole of the movement phase covers all of 2 pages.  All rules for difficult, dangerous & lethal terrain are in their own chapter now.

Shooting: As said earlier there have been no major re-writes, but shooting has seen some significant changes.  The first is that the effect of movement on a model’s ability to shoot is worked out on an individual rather than a unit basis.  This means that you can move some models in a unit and leave the guy with the heavy weapon stationary (but still in coherency) to fire.  There is also the option of snap firing.  Any snap firing is done at BS 1, and a model with a heavy weapon (but not one with a blast/template) can move & shoot in the turn and snap fire.  Running is done in the movement phase, but not even fleet models can run & charge in the same turn.  Allocating wounds has also had a significant change.  You allocate wounds to the models closest to the firing unit.  This means the guys at the front are removed as casualties before the ones at the back.  A small but potentially dramatic change.  Characters in the unit get a “Look Out Sir” save similar to Fantasy.  Oh and cover saves from units in the way is now 5+ not 4+.

Assault: The assault phase is similar to last edition.  You declare and then resolve each charge, one at a time.  The charged unit gets to make an Overwatch shooting attack against one unit that charges it using the snap fire rules.  Charging is random (2D6″ – I think everybody knew that was coming).  Characters can now issue challenges in the same way as Fantasy, which I think is a nice new addition.  And that’s about it for the changes in assaults, everything else is pretty much the same.

Other Rules: Morale is pretty much the same, oh but Fear is back! Which coming from the perspective of the Tyranid player…WOOHOO!!!! And it’s the same as Fantasy, though Fearless and ‘And they shall know no fear’ are immune to it.  There’s a 12 page long chapter of common special rules including Deep Strike, Fear, Gets Hot, Barrage and all the other little rules that make the game fun.  It’s quite comprehensive; there are new rules, and slight re-wording of some old ones.  Unit types are similar, although cavalry and beasts are now separate unit types with their own rules.  Watch out for Eldar (inc. Dark Eldar) jetbikes and their fantastic 48″ total move.  Jump Infantry, Cavalry and Monsters cause impact hits (known as the Hammer of Wrath) and Beasts get to move 12″ in the movement phase.  There is also a whole page dedicated to Flying Monsters, and their funky new rules of gliding, swooping and smacking units they fly over.  Again from the perspective of a Tyranid player I think the Harpy might become a regular in my army.

Weapons are similar; though Close Combat weapons now come with an AP value and there is a new weapon type (Salvo weapons).  There is also a funny typo in that Boltguns are Rapis firing rather than Rapid. Lol.  Oh and did I mention that grenades can thrown?

Psykers: Psykers have seen a significant change.  They come with a Mastery Level (i.e. how many psychic powers they can use a turn), and although you ‘cast’ the psychic power in the same way as before, the target is allowed a Deny the Witch roll (on a 6 they resist the psychic power).  You get a bonus to your Deny the Witch if they target unit contains a psyker.  The Psychic Hood is different, but I wont spoil that.  Psychic powers also have types; Blessing, Conjuration, Malediction and Witchfire.

Vehicles: The other big change is the use of vehicles.  As some people may have heard vehicles now have Hull Points.  At first I wasn’t too happy about this, I saw it as vehicles having wounds and I felt that this infringed on the Monstrous Creature rules.  But now that I’ve read how it works, I think it’s a much better system.  Essentially every time you score a glancing hit the vehicle losses a hull point, every time you score penetrating hit the vehicle losses a hull point and you roll on the damage chart which includes your crew stunned, immobilised etc. results.  There are other subtle changes such as the amount of weapons you can fire (you can move your full speed and snap fire all of your weapons for example) and disembarking troops can be placed with 6″ of the transport, but cannot move any further.  Flyers also have their own set of rules now, including a minimum move of 18″ and only being hit on a 6.

That is a brief summary of some of the core rules for the new 40k.  Unfortunately my time has run short and I must go and work at life’s grindstone.  Expect a second part to this post as there are still many other goodies in the new book.

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13 thoughts on “40k has landed”

  1. Just an FYI, from now until July 2nd Steam has the PC Game WH40K: Space Marine on-sale for $7.50: http://store.steampowered.com/app/55150/ (you will need a Steam account to buy it, of course). I played the demo and really enjoyed it so for $7.50 for the entire game, definitely worth gravving. You could argue it’s “just another FPS” it’s an FPS set in the WH40K universe with you playing a kick-arse Space Marine. What’s not to like about that 😀

    1. I too have played and enjoyed Space Marine on the Xbox 360, and if its as good on the PC then it is well worth it

  2. I’ve been chatting with Carabus about it on and off, we figured you’d have the book as soon as it was out too. I’ll probably grab the rules at some point (unless the sheer weight of it overcomes me) but with me wanting to grab my Dropzone Commander pre-order in the next week I’ll be killing my disposal income stone dead.

    1. Ugh. Now I might have to get back into 40k, because I like what I’m reading above. Thanks for the review.

  3. Ugh. Now I might have to pick a copy up to replace my 3rd ed book and return to my chaos space marines……getting harder to resist.
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      1. I’m already “doing the math” to determine when I can pick a copy of 6ED (as you mentioned…gotta work through the cash outlay for GZC first), but it’s looking more and more tempting. GW is a dark seductress. Is 6ED already availabe or does it street sometime in the future? I’ve got boxes of unpainted Chaos still waiting to see the tabletop and I’m just wondering if I have time before the new rules are available to get my army in shape?

        1. 6th ed dropped on Saturday so is available for purchase right now.

          I restrained myself from popping out at lunch and grabbing a copy myself. Got to mind the cash.

          1. Ugh!!!! I don’t even have my Helldorado figs finished yet and am hurrying to clear my cache before my DZC arrives! No rest for the wikked. But at the price, i’ll have to wait for a bit, anyway, while it quietly mocks me from the shelves of my local gaming stores. And until a new Chaos/Chaos Space Marine codex comes out, I guess I’m in no hurry. Or are the changes in the rulebook and/or how does one know where the old codices fall short regarding the new rules? Is that online somehwere? I’ve been out of 40K too long….

  4. OK, just hefted the tome over at my gaming store. WOW. Massive. Beautiful. Expensive. Didn’t purchase it. Simply can’t afford it right now (though I’m digging through old stuff to see if some trade in will take the sting out). But it looks very attractive, to say the least. Saw the Servitor Tape Measure….WTF? No laser sight? Really? Really???? I mean, I’m still going to buy one of those, too, because I’m stupid and have no impulse control, but cripes’ sake, man, how hard would it have been to stuff a laser pointer into this thing’s EYE!?! DZC better be great, because it’s eaten up all my cash and is preventing me frm setting the galaxy on fire in the latest fashion. Once again, thanks for the heads up on this, ZPXXX! You fellows do awesome work here at The Move:)

    1. New FAQs are on the GW site for all armies due to the 6th ed changes so you can find out anything that’s changed from there. My Dark Eldar will certainly be a different army because of the new rules (Wyches have become the best tankhunters we have now).

      As for DzC it is a vastly different game to 40k and Fantasy. If you want a game that is going to test you mentally and make you think about what you are doing then you will seriously love DzC. If you just want to chuck some models on a table and roll buckets of dice, you will be disappointed.

      1. Thanks for the heads up on the FAQs!

        I’m very much looking forward to DZC. Quite honestly, I’ve enjoyed 40K more for the chance to hang out with friends over a game (never do I play “tournaments” or that sort of thing, just want to have fun), which is partly why I “drifted” away from 40K. Too much “put three models on; take one off” sort of games. But the figures are soooooo irresistably attractive, I can’t help it. Plus the background is very fun and the publications just draw me in. I chose Chaos SM because I wanted an excuse to trick out figures with Magic Sculp and convert stuff (don’t think I’ve ever actually won a game, come to think of it). And buckets of dice can be fun, but I really dislike games that can end your effort after the first turn, especially if you go second in the sequence (lookin’ at you, Warmachine….). And now I see so many wonderful units/figs have come on the scene since I last played 40K. Figuring my son will take to it (loves LotR, which I also enjoy, along with WotR), i”ll likely pick it up. I figure there’s room on the shelf for one more edition of 40k (had the original Rogue Trader, after all).

        But it will wait (probably) until my first DZC shipment arrives in August.

        Hey, I have a box of Wyches I “won” at a “Eye of Terror” scenario game at a local hobby store a few years ago….you want ’em?

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