NewHammer 40k News: Shooting and Charging!


The following comes from the Warhammer Community page.

It’s a big one today folks, as we take a closer look at the Shooting phase.

This phase will be very familiar to anyone who plays today, but there have been a few tweaks and improvements to the rules.

We’ve already seen the profiles of our miniatures, so we know that we’ll be hitting on a fixed Ballistic Skill (a bit like you do now) and we’ve also seen a little about how weapons work – multiple damage from powerful weapons, and armour save modifiers, for example. Today, we look at some of the other rules of the phase.

When you select a unit to shoot, much like today, they can all fire their weapons at the enemy. You can’t shoot, however, if you Advanced this turn, or if you fell back from combat. (See our movement article for details on these.)


You also can’t shoot if there is an enemy with 1″ of you. The exception to this rule is pistols. Models with these hand-held firearms can shoot at the closest enemy target in the Shooting phase, even if they themselves are locked in combat! This is going to make characters with pistols <cough-Cypher-cough> incredibly deadly up-close.

When picking a target, you won’t be able to shoot enemies that are in combat with other units, much like the current edition. However, you can fall back from combat in your Movement phase, allowing other units to fire at your opponent at the expense of your own actions this turn. Expect to see cunning generals deploying their armies in waves to take full advantage of this.

Heavy weapons are worth talking about too. These no longer snap fire if you move, and instead they have a flat -1 to hit modifier for moving units. This applies to all models with heavy weapons, vehicles included. There are a few other factors that affect hit rolls too – smoke launchers on a vehicle, for example, have the same effect of -1 to hit.


The last big change we’re going over today is cover. Currently, cover saves give a blanket save to all units, and one that only comes into effect if the shot would otherwise ignore their armour. In the new Warhammer 40,000, cover is a bonus to your armour save. Critically, this ability often only applies to certain types of unit. For example, only Infantry gain the bonus of cover from a crater.

This interaction works quite nicely with the modifiers to armour saves of certain guns, and means that when someone is trying to hide behind a wall or barricade, if your weapon has a high enough armour penetration, you can shoot them through a wall!

There are also a few weapons that ignore this bonus cover to armour effect – such as those wielded by Chaos Noise Marines and a Leman Russ’ nova cannon.

There you have it – a few of the changes you can look forward to in the Shooting phase.

We’ll be back tomorrow with news on the Charge phase.

We’ve heard about movement, psychic powers, and shooting. Today we look at the Charge phase.

Charging in Warhammer 40,000 is how you get your units into close combat to use all those awesome looking exotic combat weapons to hack, slash and otherwise obliterate enemy units.


The basic mechanics of this phase are very similar to how they work now. You can select any unit within 12″ as the target of your charge, and your units will move towards them 2D6″.

Enemy units still have a chance to hit the charging unit with overwatch, provided that they are not already in combat. Just as in the current edition, overwatch is a hit on a flat 6 – all pretty familiar so far.

In the current Warhammer 40,000, you need to reach base contact. In the new edition, though, you only need to come within 1″ of an enemy, which in practice means that compared to the current charge range, you get an extra inch.

You also can’t move within 1″ of an enemy you didn’t declare as the target of your charge, so if you want to engage multiple units, you’ll need to brave the overwatch fire of all of them. Overwatch can also be fired multiple times per phase, but as soon as the unit is engaged, they will no longer be able to fire back.


So, the Charge phase keeps most of its current mechanics, with only minor amends.

Tomorrow, we’ll check in on the Fight phase, where we look at the bloody melee in the 41st Millennium.


About Reecius

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61 Responses to “NewHammer 40k News: Shooting and Charging!”

  1. Avatar
    desc440 May 1, 2017 9:30 am #

    Not happy they kept random charge length.

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    David Hayden May 1, 2017 9:33 am #

    This is the first post yet that left me feeling a bit disappointed. More overwatch. 2d6 charge distance remaining. (Does anyone actually like that rule?) With promises that the Fight phase will be great leaving me unimpressed since my Harlequins currently have trouble even reaching that point.

    I know nothing will be clear until everything can be seen at once, but this one tamped down my enthusiasm a little. Though I’m still seriously pumped about the new edition.

  3. Avatar
    DaRoyalKing May 1, 2017 9:38 am #

    I have to agree that his is the first post I feel disappointed in. It seems like a missed opportunity to incorporate the new movement stats into charges. Random charges doesn’t seem very tactical and leads to “feel bad moments”.

    • Avatar
      David Hayden May 1, 2017 9:51 am #

      It certainly feels like they ignored the community on this one.

      I’ve never met anyone who thought the 2d6″ charge into overwatch was a good rule.

      Hoping we’re missing something big that makes it all better. Perhaps the data slates help all the assault units and what we’re seeing is only what generalists and non-assault units will face.

      • Avatar
        Guido Hockmann May 1, 2017 4:23 pm #

        The need for random charge lengths comes from allowing pre-measuring. I started playing with pre-measuring near the end 5th ed as it was just then allowed in whatever edition of WFB had just come out and was heavily rumoured to be a thing for 6th.

        The problem we found was that a combination of known charge range and pre-measuring left your opponent placing their models exactly 12.1 inches away from your assault units and know that they were safe. They could count on it and plan accordingly. It was annoying and did not capture the “feel of battle” and actually hampered assault units more as they were easily avoided.

        The random element works to remove the certainty and feeling of safety in your opponent. Sure, a 10″+ charge is unlikely to succeed….but then again- it just might! So even at 16″+ away from an enemy unit, you can’t fully let your guard down.

        • Avatar
          David Hayden May 1, 2017 4:34 pm #

          I get that. But 2d6 unmodified is very random. And it’s why so many units ended up with Fleet and other special rules to make them viable in assault. And that may be how things will go still.

          I’m fine with some random. Move + d6″ sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Or 2d6 and travel no less than your Move, to mitigate disastrous snake eyes rolls.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy May 1, 2017 8:56 pm

            With Movement values ranging to 10+ pretty easily for bikes and such, that would be insane. That would give lots of units longer charge ranges than shooting weapons have.

            Movement already contributes during the movement phase, getting you closer to the enemy to lower the distances needed for a charge. Having it _also_ affect the charge phase would be doubling up on the bonus, akin to having a high Ballistic Skill improve your to-wound rolls with a weapon.

          • Avatar
            David Hayden May 1, 2017 9:26 pm

            Could be 6 + d6″ for all units.

            Or something entirely different than what we have now.

          • Avatar
            Ytook May 2, 2017 3:03 am

            Or, it could be 2d6 giving you a nice bell curve of probability 😉

    • Avatar
      Threllen May 1, 2017 10:03 am #

      Yeah… the fact that it’s still random but they threw in “look you only have to be within 1″ so that’s technically a buff!” just feels kind of poorly construed… I would have taken a lot of things over random charge range + 1

    • Avatar
      Jural May 1, 2017 11:57 am #

      My guess- assault grenades will deny overwatch if you charge a single unit. There is no place in the game for assault grenades with the initiative rules currently out there…

      That said, it wouldn’t help some of the dedicated assault units who don’t have grenades.

  4. Avatar
    Ytook May 1, 2017 9:49 am #

    Pistols and heavy weapons are going to work exactly how I was hoping they would which is cool, good to see exotic pistols will actually be worth taking and weapons like heavy bolters will have a place.

    I think people are getting a bit too down on charging. Worth remembering that with increased movement it’ll be much easier to get up close, shooting is a bit less potent in general (seemingly) and striking first on charging before normal alternating is a massive bonus. There’s also a lot we don’t know yet, like how transports work, whether 8th will be using AoS wound allocation (I really hope so) which blunts overwatch’s ability to stop charging and the effect (if any above +1 to armour save) cover will have on combat. I can see why people are reticent but we don’t know much yet.

    • Avatar
      David Hayden May 1, 2017 9:53 am #

      I think the reason a lot of people are down on it is that it *seems* like the first misstep. Other than a few outliers, everyone has seemed positive on all the new aspects of 8th. And the existing rule was never popular. I have loved everything about the new edition so far, so this one caught me by surprise.

  5. Avatar
    Davis Centis May 1, 2017 9:56 am #

    Do you still move the full 2d6″ even if the charge wasn’t successful?

    • Avatar
      Threllen May 1, 2017 10:04 am #

      They didn’t mention that and they ended with “So, the Charge phase keeps most of its current mechanics, with only minor amends” so I’m guessing that’s a no. You’d think they would have mentioned that if it were true…

      • Avatar
        Jural May 1, 2017 12:00 pm #

        The counterpoint is that they state-

        ” …select any unit within 12″ as the target of your charge, and your units will move towards them 2D6.”

        I think the only way to read that is that you do indeed move. But it seems like a big enough point that they should have highlighted the difference!

  6. Avatar
    Threllen May 1, 2017 10:01 am #

    I hope they have some hidden gems for us in the assault phase because I’m not liking what I’ve heard so far.

    1) Random charging is still in
    2) overwatch is unlimited (please dear god, I hope Tau lose their supporting fire if this is the case. I played like this for a game or two because my Tau friend thought he could use supporting fire unlimited times in a phase. It was absolutely brutal).
    3) No word on how overwatch is going to interact with flamers now that they’re just an assault weapon. As of right now we haven’t heard anything to suggest it’s something other than D6 attacks that still hit automatically.

    • Avatar
      Blight May 1, 2017 10:09 am #

      Well the Facebook team did hint that consolidation into further combat was a thing again. They responded to talk about conga lining units next to each other to force multiple overwatches. The response was that that was a horribly dangerous idea for the units being charged. Nothing even close to concrete but if true it would help somewhat.

      • Avatar
        Threllen May 1, 2017 10:26 am #

        I’m not sure how that would force multiple overwatches. I know you “aren’t allowed to move within 1″ of a unit you aren’t charging,” but that is how the current edition is and that doesn’t allow multiple overwatches. You just declare you are only charging one unit and then you have to stay away from the others.

    • Avatar
      Ytook May 1, 2017 10:25 am #

      2d6 isn’t quite random in the way people treat it, if you’re within 7 inches you’re likely to get there, if you’re within 5 you’re unlikely to not make it, given you have to get to 1 inch away being 5-6 inches away makes a charge very likely. That’s not including the individual rules units will have like AoS presumably, giving re-rolls and modifiers. I get why people don’t like it in theory but in practice I’ve had it work in my favour more than mess up.

      Also overwatch is only ‘unlimited’ if you keep failing charges on the same unit, given the movement changes getting closer should be easier meaning making charges should be easier.

      Again we have far from the whole picture, I could be completely wrong, but given they’ve done a lot of play testing with people who now about all the overpowered and silly stuff I’m willing to give them some benefit of the doubt until we can all try the game out.

      • Avatar
        Threllen May 1, 2017 10:30 am #

        It’s still pretty damn random. At 7″ we’re not talking 80% chance you make it. We’re talking 58%. That’s 8% away from being as random as you can get.

        And you don’t think a short charge is random until you’re playing an assault army and your guy that is 3 or 4 inches away rolls snake eyes and you watch your expensive, important CC unit get shot to shreds next turn because he apparently tripped over his own feet.

        • Avatar
          Ytook May 1, 2017 10:41 am #

          And you’ll make far more charges at short range than you’ll fail your issue is relying on a single unit to be effective. Of course in the current edition you have to rely on single powerful units that take up a chunk of your army to even have a shot in assault, what they’re going for in the new edition seems to be that you can have multiple cc units and be effective.

          I’m not saying it’s not random at all but it’s something you can stack in your favour quite simply.

          • Avatar
            Fagerlund May 1, 2017 11:38 am

            You’re assuming much in that post. I happen to know that Threllen plays Chaos so I know his pain. I’m sure he, like me, has had those games where everything depends on your entire army getting into combat turn 2 and then half the units fail their 5″ charges despite fleet and that’s curtains for that game…

          • Avatar
            Threllen May 1, 2017 11:55 am

            Yep, although generally it’s not my entire army. I know that if I have a lot of units not everything is going to make it. So if I have 5 units of flesh hounds attempting to charge and only 3 or 4 make it, that’s *usually* liveable. But if I drop my Bloodthirster down, subject him to shooting attacks for a turn, and then try to assault a key unit but he fails the short charge range with a terrible roll… that’s when it’s feelsbadman time.

            It’s all well and good to say “you just need to have enough units charging that someone is going to make it and you’ll be fine,” but that’s not always the case… expensive models/units do exist and sometimes the game dictates that you aren’t allowed to have a million redundancies when it comes to the charge…

          • Avatar
            Fagerlund May 1, 2017 7:47 pm

            And besides, having several assault units just guarantees you’ll have failed charges every game instead of just once in a while. :p

        • Avatar
          Ytook May 1, 2017 10:51 am #

          Also if things are going the way of AoS as much as they seem there will be a lot of ways to help cc units and cc focused armies get into combat.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy May 1, 2017 8:57 pm #

          Before random charge distance was a thing, you would fail 100% of charges from 7″ away.

          Just sayin’.

      • Avatar
        David Hayden May 1, 2017 10:52 am #

        Shooting: Do I hit? Do I wound? Does my opponent save?

        That’s three points of random.

        Assault: Do I make my charge roll? Do I survive overwatch? Do I hit when I make it? Do I wound? Does my opponent save?

        That’s five points of random.

        • Avatar
          Ytook May 1, 2017 11:09 am #

          And units that charge get extra movement, have the chance to completely remove whole units or at least shut them down for a turn, are protected from shooting if they’re in combat and can make their full attacks twice in a single turn while in combat. Also you can stop a unit from overwatching by getting them in combat with a more expendable/durable unit and guarantee a charge by being within 2 inches of the unit.

          We won’t settle this until the new edition is actually out 😛

          But given how much the community has complained about the strength of cc compared to shooting and how much testers like Reece and Frankie know that I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

          • Avatar
            David Hayden May 1, 2017 11:42 am

            I’m definitely not passing a final judgement on assault until we can see everything, especially data slates. Even then, I’m going to love the new edition because of all the other changes. It just seems weird that they stuck with a rule no one cared for.

            The idea of charging in expendable/durable/cheap units does not hold for armies like Harlequins who have none of those things despite being assault based.

        • Avatar
          Threllen May 1, 2017 11:12 am #

          You could even split that out further. Shooting To Hit is just “I either chose to move these guys their full value or I didn’t and now they can all try to Hit.” In close combat not only do you have to make that hit roll, the randomness of the charge range means there’s a second layer for how many models get to even attempt to roll To Hit.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy May 1, 2017 8:58 pm #

          Assaults deal more damage than shooting does. It is only natural that they have higher risks.

      • Avatar
        WestRider May 1, 2017 2:32 pm #

        I have failed way too many <5" Charges (even with Fleet and other forms of assistance) to find this comforting. Even if the odds are relatively low, it's one more potential point of failure, and those really start adding up.

        I'm not calling doom here, hopefully the various other changes will make enough of a difference for it to work out, but we're all familiar enough with how 2d6" Charges work out after using them for two Editions now that people aren't just randomly decrying this.

  7. Avatar
    Blight May 1, 2017 10:05 am #

    Interesting question would be
    1. do vehicles get to overwatch now? (Would think so)
    2. Now that blasts no longer exist can they now be fired on overwatch? How deadly will a riptide’s overwatch be? Or the Yvarna with its super flamer?

    • Avatar
      Dakkath May 1, 2017 10:26 am #

      Well flamers being d6 autohits is probably going to remove the need for the wall of death rule.

  8. Avatar
    Lockinfinity May 1, 2017 10:36 am #

    8th edition warhammer 40k might allow units to take from the rear, so overwatch doesn’t affect them as much like in AoS.

  9. Avatar
    Vilicate May 1, 2017 11:21 am #

    I can’t help by feel like we’re missing something big here – potentially, is causality removal from closest to closest removed? That would change quite a bit, as you’d be able to remove from the back rank and your charges wouldn’t be getting any longer.

    I feel like I’ve got enough faith in the playtesters to know that they would at least recommend to not nerf assault any more (and to try and buff it substantially); but whether or not GW actually implements suggestions….we’ll see.

  10. Michael Corr
    Michael Corr May 1, 2017 12:01 pm #

    I was a little disappointed to see overwatch remain. Especially as it seems units can now “fall back” from combat in the movement phase. This means you cannot have your assault unit safe in combat to avoid enemy shooting, as well as the potential for overwatch casualties.

    As has been said though, I’ll need to wait for the full rules and some test games to see how it plays.

  11. Avatar
    fluger May 1, 2017 12:03 pm #

    I’ll pile on about the charging rules leaving me feeling cold.

    I was really hoping we had another return to 2nd edition and have charges resolved in the movement phase. I like the binary of either shooting OR assaulting not getting to do both.

    I’m not that against random charges because, generally, I find myself charging into cover and in 3rd-5th, that meant you rolled 2d6 and picked the highest. This meant you could fail a 2″ charge and a 5.1″ only had about a 30% chance of success whereas now even with the -2″ you have about a 40% chance. Basically the amount of times a charge was random in 3rd-5th is about the same as it was before, but, in most cases, the new random distance is easier to hit.

  12. Avatar
    Dbiesto May 1, 2017 12:16 pm #

    So I saw a post saying the pre sale goes live on June 3 and retail sales begin June 17? So we will only have a little more than a month to completely remake our armies for the BAO July 29 depending on the new force organization? I’m excited to play the new edition either way!

  13. Anvil
    Anvil May 1, 2017 12:38 pm #

    Things I’m Liking:
    1) Pistols used in melee range, though i expect backup pistols in squads being removed from their dataslates (ie Space Marines have both Bolter and Bolt Pistol). Potential for cool gunkata units or models other than Cypher

    2) Changing Heavy Weapons to -1 BS on the move. Means I’ll be excited to bring my MM devastators back on the field, as well as feeling like my heavy weapon choice for tacticals or sternguard be more impactful.

    3) Cover changed to +1 to save for certain models, Shaving 4 different saves (armour, cover, invulnerable, FnP) down to 3 at least seems less confusing, and still keeps armour saves to matter a bit more.

    Things I’m “Meh” on:
    1) 2d6 Charge. I’m used to it. I don’t hate it, but I’m not excited for it either.
    2) Overwatch. Most of that depends on how wound-allocation will work, for me at least.

  14. Avatar
    Jason Wolfe May 1, 2017 2:12 pm #

    The easy solution was:

    Charge = Movement + 1d6 inches

    This was a big missed opportunity.

    • Avatar
      Ytook May 1, 2017 2:37 pm #

      That would mean that jet bikes and the like would have a charge of something like 19-25 inches charge on top of a 18 inch move.

      • Avatar
        Jason Wolfe May 1, 2017 3:44 pm #

        And? It would make sense. How would a jetbike or a biker unit fail on a 4″ charge? They would always be able to charge at least their movement.

        • Avatar
          Ytook May 1, 2017 4:32 pm #

          They’ll have most likely bonuses to their charge roll like cavalry units in AoS (and if they don’t then yeah that’s silly).

          Doubling movement or doing movement +d6 isn’t going to work when you have such a variable movement speed stat. It would make fast units way too fast.

    • Avatar
      AngryPanda May 1, 2017 3:22 pm #

      I still don’t get why there needs to be an extra charge move at all. I know I’m really old fashioned here but how about doing all the movement in the movement phase?

      • Avatar
        Jason Wolfe May 1, 2017 3:46 pm #

        Shadow War Armageddon has the cleanest charge phase.

        In your movement, you can opt to instead move double your movement as a ‘run’, and if you ‘run’ into base contact with an enemy then you charge. Worded Alternatively, you can ‘charge’ for double your movement into base contact in the movement phase.

        • Avatar
          Fagerlund May 1, 2017 7:56 pm #

          It’s what he meant with oldfashioned, that’s how it used to be in all GW games until some 5-10 years ago. 🙂

  15. Avatar
    Luke May 1, 2017 4:45 pm #

    Reece you’re being too silent on this topic! I know you want to spill your guts!

    Just say “I’m so glad that my assault-based Orks are viable again!” and we’ll know that everything is going to be all right.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 1, 2017 5:24 pm #

      Haha, yeah, we have to stay tight lipped =)

      • Avatar
        Blight May 1, 2017 6:08 pm #

        Uncharacteristically silent if you asked me. Earlier entries you came in and tried to calm people down by saying we needed to see everything before we came to a conclusion.
        Either A. You know that this is actually an issue with 8th and people rightly dislike it.
        B. You are tired of giving the same NDA restricted responses.
        Or C. Orks have become so powerful thanks to the glorious assault phase that you dare not even speak of the game for fear they will become real by doing so.

        • Avatar
          David Hayden May 1, 2017 8:03 pm #

          D: These are the same old charge rules, only a little better and worse at once, and they do stink, but they only stink for generalists and non-assault troops. Assault units all have bespoke rules allowing them avoid the pain of the random 2d6. And because it’s on the data slates, Reece can’t comment.

          It does *seem* like this is the one rule area where GW ignored the community, but I’m trusting that it makes sense in the grand scheme of things. And if it doesn’t, oh well, nothing’s perfect and everything else so far is made of 24 carat awesome.

        • Avatar
          CWDub May 1, 2017 8:08 pm #


          D) Furiously painting 8 crushing claw carnifexes to crush every tournament meta with Ground Nids every where the second 8th drops so he can win the 2017 ITC season.

          • Avatar
            Threllen May 2, 2017 6:12 am

            That’s a good point… someone stop by and see what models Reece is assembling/painting. Then we’ll know what’s OP in the new edition! 😉

          • Avatar
            Luke May 2, 2017 4:25 pm

            Didn’t Reece play Footdar in 5th and 6th edition? Hardly super OP.

            That being said, give me screamer killer carnifexes or give me death!

  16. Avatar
    Beau May 1, 2017 7:36 pm #

    They have to keep it as 2d6 because fleet will still be in the game and that is a big upside to be able to reroll charge distances. Like some have said you cannot have charge be a flat double your move, because some units are going to move 4″ and some are going to move 12″. You can’t have 24 inch charges in this game on top of movement… it would be game breaking.

    I also think overwatch is kind of a iconic part of 40k isn’t it? I mean even whfb had stand and shoot for charges right?

    • Avatar
      Morollan May 2, 2017 6:44 am #

      So cap the modifier to the charge roll at +6, or +12, or whatever. Reintroducing a Mv stat was a great idea. Having all units charge the same random distance with no correlation to their Mv stat is idiotic.

      • Avatar
        Beau May 2, 2017 8:21 am #

        At first I thought the same. However I have been doing some play testing using the plague drones aos stats with 40k toughness vs the posted marine stats. Plague drones consistently get the charge now because of their superior move stat. It does in fact effect charge distance because you move then charge.

        • Avatar
          Luke May 2, 2017 4:28 pm #

          The issue isn’t that they won’t consistently get to charge vs slower units – they have to get there somewhat intact in the first place. The more random the charge length is, the less likely that that becomes.

          But you certainly could have unit types that benefit from special assault rules, likely governed by “keywords”

  17. Avatar
    Nalathani May 2, 2017 5:28 am #

    I’m loving the pistols in combat. I know it won’t be that game-changing but it works well for the rule-of-cool, models with pistols often look awesome.

    Hand flamers and infernus pistols are going to be incredibly effective now. Seraphim, Blood Angels, and GSC Acolytes with hand flamers will have fun toasting the opposition.

    • Avatar
      Luke May 2, 2017 4:29 pm #

      Although placing the templates effectively while being locked…….WAIT A SECOND THIS IS AWESOME!

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