NewHammer 40,000: Battle-forged Armies


The following comes from the Warhammer-community page.

Battle-forged armies will be familiar to Warhammer 40,000 players today – it basically means that all the models in your army are part of a Detachment or Formation.

That is still largely true in the new Warhammer 40,000, but with a few changes.

The biggest of which is… wait for it…<puff of smoke>

Formations are gone.

That’s right, no more Formations. But don’t panic!

If your army is built using Formations right now, you’re going to be fine. In their place are a dozen new game-wide Detachments that are available to all factions. These are flexible enough that all of your current forces can be fit into them to form a Battle-forged army. The advantage of these is that all factions now have an even playing field of list building mechanics, rather than some having loads and some having to stick with the trusty Combined Arms option for every game.

These detachments are made up of a combination of 9 unit types, which will look very familiar to anyone who has played Warhammer 40,000 in the past two decades. Some you’ll recognise from Space Marines company markings and the classic Combined Arms detachment of today, plus Lords of War, Fortifications and the new one – Flyers, now with their own slot.


These Detachments come with a few benefits and restrictions. The most common restriction is that all units in a single Detachment must share a faction keyword (Tyranid, Blood Angels or Imperium for example). The most common bonus is that, depending on how optimised your army is for the logistics of war, you’ll get Command Points to spend. We’ll cover exactly what these can do for you soon, but trust us when we say they are incredibly useful if used wisely, and you generally get more of them if your army is a well rounded and balanced force.

Here are a few examples:

New40kBattleforgedDetachment1-500x194 New40kBattleforgedDetachment2-500x222 New40kBattleforgedDetachment3-500x358

These are just a taste of the options available.

Battle-forged armies can be used with or without points, and we fully expect gamers playing matched or narrative play games to use these in most situations as they tend to create effective armies on the tabletop that also fit the background and lore of the setting. Matched play actually has a few extra rules too, designed for competitive events, which organisers can choose to use when setting the rules for Battle-forged armies – limits on the number of separate Detachments is one example.

We’ll be back again tomorrow with more news from the new Warhammer 40,000.

What do you all think about this bit of news?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

75 Responses to “NewHammer 40,000: Battle-forged Armies”

  1. Avatar
    Cephalobeard May 5, 2017 6:54 am #

    I must… know… more!

  2. Avatar
    Ytook May 5, 2017 6:54 am #

    Interesting, wasn’t expecting formations to go, was hoping they’d stay with points values but I’m not exactly mourning their loss.

    Hopefully this means armies have a lot more inbuilt synergy as opposed to relying on formations for it.

    Also I think the command points sound like a good foundation, they’ve already mentioned spending them on interrupting turn sequence and I’m guessing you’ll be able to ‘buy’ re-rolls with them and stuff like that.

    It’ll be cool to see what specific factions can do uniquely with them, or if certain more specialised detachments will give set bonuses at the expense of command points.

    Exciting times 🙂

  3. Avatar
    muggins May 5, 2017 6:57 am #

    I listened to your guys podcast about newhammer – i like a lot of the things coming out, but if you guys tested it so much etc. how did 2d6 charge range and overwatch get through?

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 5, 2017 7:16 am #

      I can’t say much about what we did, yet. But, I can say that we did not write the rules, we tested the rules and provided feedback. Also, not everyone feels that random charges or overwatch are bad rules =)

      • Avatar
        muggins May 5, 2017 7:18 am #

        Did they listen to any of your feedback?

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 5, 2017 8:58 am #

          Haha, of course they listened to our feedback =) That doesn’t mean they followed it slavishly every time. And again, we did not write the rules or create the new edition. You have to try and step back and look at things objectively. A rule you like, or dislike may not be objectively good or bad. It may be nothing more than a preference, therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that those preferences may not be shared by others and may not have come up in testing or if they did, been deemed necessary to change in the new ruleset. It may seem obvious to you (or others) that rule X should have been removed, added or altered, but that is not universally the case.

          • Avatar
            Michael Ovsenik May 5, 2017 3:57 pm

            I totally understand that, but the feedback regarding random charging and overwatch has been overwhelmingly negative. I just wonder how much actual testing went into it ig that made it through.

          • Reecius
            Reecius May 5, 2017 4:09 pm

            Has the reaction been overwhelmingly negative though? That’s my point, can any of us prove that objectively? I don’t think so. In local communities sure, maybe, but when you take everyone involved in to the picture, really zoom out, I do not think that is the case. And it sounds like you’re assuming the play testers were against it, recommended against it, and it got ignored, but do you know that to be the case? Perhaps none of the play testers were against these things, you know? I would advise against making assumptions as to how the process played out.

          • Avatar
            Michael Ovsenik May 5, 2017 5:11 pm

            On reddit, fb, Twitter, and most forums I’ve seen it overwhelmingly negative. So much so that one of the devs had to tweet that if people don’t like it, they’ll change it, one of the only acknowledgements so far about negative feedback.

            I have no way to know if people testing it didn’t like it, other than those people should be able to give feedback about fun game play and good design. 600% variance between charge rolls and more shooting rolls in a streamlined game are bad design.

          • Reecius
            Reecius May 5, 2017 5:55 pm

            Again, that is all anecdotal evidence, not actual objective proof. Now, I am not saying you are wrong, or trying to be argumentative, just stating we simply do not know that this is the case with the majority of the player base. I personally don’t like random charges, either, but I cannot say with any confidence that the majority of players feel the same. In order to do so, we’d have to poll a statistically significantly portion of the player base with a yes or no question, and then go from there but to my knowledge that has not been done. It looks like one was done on Dakka with a 50/50 split but that was probably a relatively small number of people, not enough to prove anything conclusively. And what you consider to be fun is going to differ from others, you know?

            Anyway, the point I am driving at is to not assume anything. Different folks like different rules or value different design choices. What you or I may like or dislike does not necessarily reflect the will of the overall player base.

          • Avatar
            Michael Ovsenik May 5, 2017 7:16 pm

            I guess, did you tell them you weren’t a fan of random charge distance?

        • Avatar
          ryan May 7, 2017 7:35 am #

          there is a thread on dakka dakka right now with a poll about 2d6 charge vs several other options, the 2d6 charge option is the runaway winner. Apparently somebody just not you, likes 2d6 charges.

      • Avatar
        desc440 May 5, 2017 7:33 am #

        I’ve yet to read any argument that convinced me random charge and overwatch aren’t bad rules…

        • Avatar
          Ytook May 5, 2017 7:48 am #

          I have yet to read a good argument that they are bad rules. I lost once because I was unlucky can happen, it’s the nature of the game, I’ll take that over whole games where everyone skirts outside your guaranteed or narrow charge range and if you mess that up the combat units just wreck everything with no attrition.

          But this is an endless argument for a different place 😉

          • Avatar
            desc440 May 5, 2017 8:20 am

            ” the combat units just wreck everything with no attrition.”

            Combat units wreck everything because they usually have to wade through a turn or two (at least) of getting shot at before they can do any damage. There is already a built-in balancing factor there. Adding the possibility of outright failing a 3 inch (now 4 inch) charge is just adding insult to injury.

          • Avatar
            Ytook May 5, 2017 8:37 am

            Again, personally I’ll take rarely failing short charges, sometimes succeeding long charges and charging being a meaningful decision because of overwatch (and giving some armies an actual chance) over armies endlessly tangoing 12 inches away from each other and getting into charge range being an auto loss for some armies.

            If you don’t like it that’s fine, it’s just personal preference, and we’ll just state our opinions at each other endlessly if we continue.

          • Avatar
            desc440 May 5, 2017 8:53 am

            Ytook, the issue I have with your description is that it is not based in reality. The board is not infinite, and an army that spends its entire time “tangoing 12 inches away” is not shooting, and not winning the mission. Armies that get charged “auto-losing” is also fantasy.

          • Avatar
            Ytook May 5, 2017 9:11 am

            I’m basing this off of playing previous editions and other games with fixed charges and 40K as it stands would need some big changes to make that work, your experience may differ and if you don’t like it or agree that’s fine, but these things were added and kept for a reason and I’m saying why I’m glad they have been without writing an essay.

            I’ll tell you when I start dipping into fantasy 😉

          • Avatar
            Desc440 May 5, 2017 9:19 am

            These things were added on mistaken assumptions that being able to premeasure would make it possible to continually kite assaulting armies. That is only possible if you make assault armies too slow and/or subject to random chance.

          • Avatar
            Ytook May 5, 2017 10:12 am

            We’re disagreeing on the fundamentals, I think kiting units enough to make fixed assault harmful and unfun is possible, you think I’m wrong.

            Neither of us are changing.

            So best leave it there 🙂

          • Avatar
            Desc440 May 5, 2017 10:53 am

            Fair enough.

          • Avatar
            V0iddrgn May 5, 2017 11:35 am

            They are neither good nor bad. They are completely subject to personal preference.

        • Avatar
          Jeff Biery May 5, 2017 9:56 am #

          I like random charges but that’s also probably because I consider the unit’s movement as part of the charge. I don’t see it as a unit failed to move 3″ because they were doing a tango, I see it as a unit failed to cover 9″ because they didn’t find a good break in the incoming fire to stop hugging cover and rush out as far as they wanted to.

    • Avatar
      ryan May 5, 2017 8:58 am #

      theres actually a poll on dakka right now about the 2d6 charge or not, the votes are almost 2:1 in favor of 2d6 charge range over the next highest option which was movement +d6. I like the 2d6 rule.

      • Avatar
        desc440 May 5, 2017 9:15 am #

        Misleading. 51% of people would like less randomness – they just don’t agree on the specifics.

        • Avatar
          Jesse Sinclair May 5, 2017 10:54 am #

          You can’t back up that assertion with the poll.

          You can’t assume everyone who voted for Mov+6″ would prefer Set Ranges to 2D6.

          Personally, I voted for Mov+D6″, but failing getng that I infinitely prefer 2D6″ to a set value.

          • Avatar
            Desc440 May 5, 2017 11:39 am

            That is true, but it is not illogical to assume a good chunk of the respondents might still prefer something more predictable rather than sticking with the current system if they can’t have their specific preferred system.

          • Avatar
            Jesse Sinclair May 5, 2017 12:03 pm

            Yes it is illogical. The data does not support ANY assumptions on secondary preferences. It seems like a fair assumption to you because you would prefer more predictability, but the poll does not have any data at all on secondary choices.

            You could be right, you could be wrong, the poll gives you no ability to tell whatsoever.

            For example my preferences are, in order:

            1.) 2D6″ but you can’t roll under your Mov value.
            2.) Half Mov + 2D6″.
            3.) Mov + D6″.
            4.) 2D6″
            5.) Set value.

            I would prefer a guaranteed minimum charge of some kind, but not at the expense of gambling on unlikely long charges. I hate set charges, I find them unrealistic, and I think they take away the fun of a dice-based game: gambling. Yes, my preference is to be able to hedge my bets, but I’d prefer the gamble to an always guarantee.

          • Avatar
            Desc440 May 6, 2017 1:52 am

            Jesse, that’s why I said ASSUMPTION, not CONCLUSION. No, it’s not illogical. You could also say “people who voted not 2D6 roll would fall back on 2D6 if their preferred less-random method was not selected” and that too would be a logical assumption one could make.

  4. Avatar
    Threllen May 5, 2017 7:05 am #

    I like this a lot. Much, much easier to balance than a bunch of armies having access to 50 different formations, some of which are incredibly owerpowered, while other armies don’t even get any.

    This will ensure that, while you can play with a ton of different types of armies, everyone is getting the same bonus for doing so.

    Excited to see what the rest of them have in store since the three they gave us look like they’re the most generic CAD-like ones.

  5. Avatar
    Threllen May 5, 2017 7:07 am #

    Also, maybe this is just me wishing but is it going to be a bigger reveal tomorrow?

    They were very cryptic in just saying “We’ll be back again tomorrow with more news from the new Warhammer 40,000.”

    Every other day they told us exactly what was coming the next day…

    • Avatar
      Cephalobeard May 5, 2017 7:09 am #

      It immediately made the sparkle in my eye whisper “Pre orders?”

  6. Avatar
    fluger May 5, 2017 7:10 am #

    Two questions and a comment

    1 Do you get the Command Points if you meet the minimum or do you have to hit the maximum?

    2 Is anyone else really itching to know what command points do?

    I find it interesting that all the Detachments listed don’t have access to fortification nor Lords of War.

    • Avatar
      Ytook May 5, 2017 7:20 am #

      It looks like you get the command points with the minimum units, I remember in the q&a something to the effect of “It’s harder to reach the minimum requirements but you get a lot more command points if you do” when taking about larger detachments.

      Also there’s been a few hints on command point use, they mentioned activating units out of step in combat or in your opponents charge phase (if I’m remembering correctly).

      I’m hoping it’ll kind of be like blood-tithe, minor effects for 1 or 2 command points spent and bigger effects for more.

      • Avatar
        fluger May 5, 2017 7:29 am #

        I’m wondering if you can spend them pre-game for in game effects.

        For instance, for 3 Command Points all your units get stealth or some such.

        • Avatar
          Ytook May 5, 2017 8:06 am #

          That’d be interesting, or maybe you can spend them to seize the initiative in some way? We’ll have to wait and see, but I wanna know now! 😛

          • Avatar
            Shas'Itsa Mari'o May 5, 2017 11:13 am

            assuming Seize the Initiative is still a thing of course ; )

          • Avatar
            Ytook May 5, 2017 11:26 am

            Fair point!

          • Avatar
            James Thomas May 5, 2017 12:44 pm

            Somewhere they mentioned you were able to use CP’s to “bid” for first turn. An interesting idea. Sacrificing valuable points to use tactically mid-game, in favor of trying to go first. Definitely a “who blinks first” kind of bidding haha

          • Avatar
            Ytook May 5, 2017 2:57 pm

            That was in the same rumour that said that +1 attack for charging was still in and formations are still in and getting points values 😛

            They could be right on the bidding thing, but that whole rumour was full of holes

    • Avatar
      Anggul May 5, 2017 8:17 am #

      My guess is that there will be a Lord of War detachment that also requires two heavy support or fast attack or something like that.

  7. Requizen
    Requizen May 5, 2017 7:13 am #

    Quite happy with everything in this article. It’s not enough information to do serious planning on, but it’s a start. I like the idea of building for a Brigade Detachment – it looks hard to fill out, but triple the number of Command Points seems really tempting.

  8. Avatar
    Davis A Centis May 5, 2017 7:37 am #

    I’m happy that formations are gone, but I’m worried that GW will bring them back anyways :P. Formations are like GW’s alcohol problem.

    I find it weird that they didn’t preview any detachments that have Lord of War or Fortification slots. Any chance you can ask them if you can slip one of those?

    Lastly, do you feel that this has any issues that shared psychic-disciplines had? With certain factions massively benefiting from some of these because all factions have to be designed around these?

    • Avatar
      CaptainA May 5, 2017 9:44 am #

      They will be back in a way as the new codexes will have faction specific formations to use. They have already stated this, whether it will be as broken as some auto include formations “cough cough riptide wing” remains to be seen.

      • Avatar
        Kevin Lantz May 5, 2017 5:32 pm #

        like demicompany?

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy May 6, 2017 5:48 am #

      It’s pretty reasonable to expect “battalions” in the style of AoS to be in still. Those do have a lot more limiting factors on them, though- you need to meet minimum requirements still, they cost points, etc.

  9. Avatar
    Nalathani May 5, 2017 7:57 am #

    They had mentioned in a previous article that the 14 detachments would be the same for every army, but that the command points would eventually be faction specific in their own books. So, a Tyranid player’s 6 command points may make them play very differently than a Tau player’s 6 command points. Nids may be able to do things like send a dead unit back into ongoing reserve for 2 command points, or allow a charge after a full advance for 1, etc.

  10. Avatar
    Kaughnir May 5, 2017 8:04 am #

    What is the deal with the rule every other unit gets a transport. Are every 2nd transport free if these particular detachments used?

    • Avatar
      WestRider May 5, 2017 8:54 am #

      It just means that Dedicated Transports have their own FOC slot now instead of sharing one with the Unit they were bought for. Also makes it harder to pick up empty Drop Pods to manipulate Drop Pod Assault if that’s still a thing.

    • Avatar
      Threllen May 5, 2017 8:58 am #

      I don’t think that’s what they meant by “other.” By “other” they were saying all non-transport units can take a dedicated transport. They didn’t mean “every second unit gets a free transport.”

      No idea if that means any unit can take any dedicated transport within the army or if they’ll be restricted based on the unit like it is currently. But there’s no way they’ll be free in matched play…

    • Avatar
      David Hayden May 5, 2017 9:48 am #

      The problem is the wording on the chart is confusing. It is extra confusing given we don’t have the text accompanying the charts, so we can’t interpret what it’s saying.

      I’m taking it to mean that you can purchase a dedicated transport for each unit taken in the detachment. But that would mean you could purchase two more dedicated transports when you take two more flyers, which makes no sense.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy May 6, 2017 5:50 am #

        I would expect that particular units still have particular dedicated transport options. Assuming that’s true, even if a flyer technically gives you access to a DT “slot”, if that flyer has no dedicated transports listed in its unit entry, you won’t be able to do anything with that slot.

  11. Avatar
    CWDub May 5, 2017 8:07 am #

    I’m a little miffed at this, to be honest, as I just got done building all the models for a full Brood Cycle + SubUprising Cult Insurrection for my Genecult… I know I’ll probably be able to use all the models but still.

    At the end of the day though, formations (as they are now) really weren’t good for the game with some factions getting tons of bonuses, free points, etc. without a “real” points tax and the others not getting anything nearly as good. I do hope to see faction-specific detachments with thematic bonuses at some point though.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy May 6, 2017 5:51 am #

      All of those models will still be usable come 8th. And chances are good you will still want a variety of units as well as multiples of many things in order to be able to construct different sorts of armies, you _absolute worst case_ you know have a couple of spare units of Neophytes or something for putting together some kind of wacky theme list.

  12. Avatar
    Anggul May 5, 2017 8:16 am #

    That looks really good. It makes it very hard to min-max because you have to take a certain number of HQs and troops, but unlike the Decurion-style formations it doesn’t make it really awkward to use the units you want.

  13. Avatar
    Toranaga May 5, 2017 8:24 am #

    Am I on the only one bothered by their detachment naming nomenclature? A brigade is something along the lines of 2000-4000 soldiers by current military standards! Did the size of a military forces shrink exponentially over 38,000 years?

    Patrol detachment should be named ‘Platoon’
    Battalion detachment should be named ‘Company,’
    The Brigade is more like a Battalion in strength. etc… etc… etc…

    I know it’s picky, but language matters. Excited to see more…

    • Avatar
      desc440 May 5, 2017 8:30 am #

      You are correct but GW gets things wrong all the time in that regard. I wouldn’t think too much of it.

    • Avatar
      David Hayden May 5, 2017 9:54 am #

      32,000 years in the future, people may name things differently. 🙂

      We’re not going to be fielding 3,000 models on the board, so scale the terms scale down. It’s all representational.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy May 6, 2017 5:55 am #

      Yeah, it’s pretty small for a “real” brigade, but there’s plenty of ways to rationalize that. For one, you’re not seeing any of the support personnel in 40K, which are probably gonna make up half or more of your unit. Brigade (and other organizational unit) size also tends to vary widely with the types of troops contained within- a brigade of tanks is smaller, numerically, than a brigade of infantry. And of course, as pointed out below, terms like that are subject to change over time even within the relatively short timescales of the modern world, to say nothing of tens of thousands of years in the future.

  14. Avatar
    Jural May 5, 2017 8:37 am #

    random thoughts-

    * Flyers confirmed- Let’s hope they at least interact with the rest of the game better. Also, how will things like Flying MC (who can be HQ’s, Elites etc) be considered?

    * Dedicated transports are available, but no clue if they will be free or not. I guess all factions at least have them now…

    * Not clear if you will be able to combine multiple detachments, but I would assume you can

    * Why are “Imperium” and “Blood Angels” listed as different faction types?

    * Existing formations confirmed gone. This is great news, kinda expected, but great

    • Avatar
      Ytook May 5, 2017 8:44 am #

      Given the way points work in AoS matched play I highly doubt there’ll be anything for free in 40K matched play.

      Also it’s not that Imperium and Blood Angels are a different faction, it’s just different levels of factions, in AoS everything is part of it’s own faction and a large alliance (Stormcast are Order and Stormcast Eternal keywords) you can build an army that is all the wider keyword (e.g. Imperium) and get a generic weaker faction rule and artefact table but have a wider unit selection, or you can go more specific and get more powerful abilities and upgrades specific to that faction.

      • Avatar
        Jural May 5, 2017 2:27 pm #

        1. I thought in AoS you received all unit upgrades or modifiers you wanted for free?

        2. A reasonable guess on how factions work. I suspect you will be right. I am just looking at the detachments above though, and it’s not clear. I also wonder if “Chaos” and “Xenos” will be factions in the way “Imperium” is a faction (and how dumb would a Xenos faction be???)

        • Avatar
          Ytook May 5, 2017 3:03 pm #

          In AoS all units cost points as do all formations and any units you want to summon (you set aside points from your army total which you use to ‘buy’ units mid game by casting the corresponding spell), you get faction abilities and artifacts for ‘free’ but everyone does by default.

          But if it’s a unit you put or can potentially put on the board or a formation that gives you extra stuff beyond what everyone else gets you have to pay for it.

        • Avatar
          WestRider May 5, 2017 3:15 pm #

          In AoS, yes, you get any upgrades for free, but it’s taken into account to some extent in the base price. Units are essentially priced on the assumption that you’re taking the best options, but if you want to nerf yourself for whatever reason, go ahead.

        • Avatar
          Jural May 5, 2017 7:05 pm #

          I’m was guessing that dedicated transports may be like that (i.e.- no costs, just options on a unit.) But the new detachments blow that idea away…

    • Avatar
      fluger May 5, 2017 9:14 am #

      I suspect that Flying MCs are going to go away as such. It never made much sense to have them fly as fast as jets.

      • Avatar
        Anggul May 5, 2017 10:13 am #

        They didn’t, they could only move 24″ and run 2D6″, while flyers could move 36″ and flat out.

        • Avatar
          fluger May 5, 2017 10:24 am #

          Still too fast. I suspect FMCs will operate more like jump mcs.

          • Avatar
            Threllen May 5, 2017 12:08 pm

            Thankfully, speed won’t be determined on a unit type basis anymore. So the fastest FMCs might move the same speed they used to be able to move while slower ones (looking at you, Nurgle) will not be able to move as fast.

          • Avatar
            punchymango May 5, 2017 5:26 pm

            I hope so, with the caveat that I also hope the rejiggering of statlines makes them survivable enough to see play that way; FMCs took to the skies because they died like bitches to mass grav/scatbike fire if they didn’t.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy May 6, 2017 5:56 am #

        I dunno, is it really that weird to have Rodan be as fast as a fighter jet?

  15. Avatar
    AngryPanda May 5, 2017 8:57 am #

    I think this means I own too many Necron Destroyers.

    Nah there’s no such thing!

    • Requizen
      Requizen May 5, 2017 9:29 am #

      I hope there’s a way to replicate the Destroyer Cult style now that the Formation is gone. I really like that build!

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy May 6, 2017 5:57 am #

        Rumor has it that there are FA- and HS-centric detachments available for armies that want to field a more unbalanced force.

  16. Avatar
    SharpDeadFace May 6, 2017 12:45 am #

    While the first wave of faction books might only have universal detachments I’d be willing to bet a very high wager that as soon as battletomes / codex (whatever they’re going to call them) start releasing we will be straight back to formations and army specific special rules just like we’ve seen with the development of AOS.

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