The wait is over! The new 40k Big FAQ is here.
This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community page.
Since the launch of the latest edition of Warhammer 40,000, we’ve been committed to making this the most balanced and enjoyable version of the game ever. Working with our playtesters, tournament organisers, and you guys (hey!), we’ve been able to declare Exterminatus on loopholes and unintended interactions, leading to a more varied, interesting and fun game than ever before.
However, since our last balance update, we’ve had a whole load of new releases and a bunch of events to provide us with data – not to mention your feedback online!
Today, we’re pulling the covers off the highly anticipated Big FAQ 2. We wanted to wait until the dust had settled from the NOVA Open tournament to properly analyse our findings, and our aim has been to refine the balance of the game while making sure that all the army lists and units you love are still functional and powerful.
Anyway, let’s get into what you came here for – the new rules. We’re covering 3 main areas in this Big FAQ update:
- New Matched Play Rules
- New Beta Rules
- General FAQs and Errata
You can download the latest Big FAQ and the various errata right now – but if you just want the key headlines, read on…
In the first Big FAQ, we introduced Battle Brothers to the game – shiny, new and ready to be tested. Having seen this rule weather a number of major tournaments and having gathered loads of feedback from around the community, we’re happy to confirm that:
- It works pretty well
- It’s leading to more interesting lists
- You guys really like it!
As such, Battle Brothers is now a fully fledged official rule for matched play, legal as of RIGHT NOW. We’ll also be printing it in this year’s Chapter Approved (alongside a whole bunch of awesome stuff we can’t tell you about just yet).
While Battle Brothers is the biggest change to the rules in this FAQ, we’ve also taken the chance to make a host of balance tweaks and adjustments to units. With Chapter Approved coming in December, we’re not making any points changes in this Big FAQ – instead, we’re looking at Stratagems and Command Points, as well as providing some errata and answers to your most commonly asked questions.
Stratagems have been a core element of the current edition, offering a rich tactical layer to the game and bringing the unique abilities of each faction to the tabletop as never seen before.
When attending major competitive events, we noticed a few combos based around certain Stratagems dominating, like the so-called “Smash Captain”* or Imperial Knights using the Order of Companions. As such, we’re upping the Command Point cost of several Stratagems in order to limit the number of times they can be used in a single game and to balance their use.
You’ll still be able to use these powerful Stratagems, but you’ll have to commit more of your precious Command Points to doing so, making them a more interesting and meaningful choice in your games.
When looking in on tournaments, we noticed that the way the Fly keyword interacts with charges was resulting in some cases where Assault Marines and other flying units could stand above (or below) their foes and make 0″ charges. Now, even if you can fly, you’ll have to measure vertically like everyone else when you’re getting stuck into close combat.
You’ll be able to find the changes to your codex (if indeed, there are any) in your relevant FAQ and errata – including the first update for Codex: Space Wolves. We’ve made all manner of small changes that’ll improve your games, like confirming just when you can make a Heroic Intervention to officially allowing Renegade Knights to summon Daemons. What could be more fitting for the 41st Millennium than a massive war machine sacrificing its own soul-essence to summon horrors from beyond the veil?
We dispatched our rules team to one of the world’s largest Warhammer tournaments as judges and observers, talked non-stop with our partners in the competitive scene and relentlessly playtested the latest rules. Now, we’ve got a brand-new set of beta rules for you to test and try – plus an adjusted version of an existing one. We’re welcoming you to try all of them out and let us know what you think – this feedback will inform future Big FAQs and printed publications.
Based on your feedback, we’re making Tactical Reserves a lot simpler – basically, now, you can’t have ANYTHING come in from Reserves on the first turn. Because we’ve changed this rule from its earlier beta iteration, we’re keeping it as a beta rule to gather your feedback. As a beta rule, it’s not official yet – but we’d like you to try it out and send in your thoughts.
We’re also changing some Stratagems slightly so they still work with the new rule – options like the Alpha Legion’s Forward Operative and the Raven Guard’s Strike from the Shadows now take the form of a free move at the beginning of the game.
Don’t worry, Genestealer Cults players – we haven’t forgotten about you! While you’re no longer exempt from this rule, rest assured that we’ll be taking it into account during the development of your codex.
That’s not all! If you end up getting the second turn in a game, you’ll get access to a new Stratagem designed to blunt the impact of your opponent’s first-turn attacks – Prepared Positions.
Costing a couple of Command Points, this Stratagem puts every unit in your army in cover on the first turn (provided they’re not Titanic). If you’re willing to give up a couple of Command Points, you’ll be able to avoid getting caught on the back foot, while armies with cover-ignoring mechanics like the Imperial Fists and Iron Warriors now have a neat tactical niche.
The final beta rule we’re adding to the game is designed to put some tighter controls on generating Command Points mid-game – the only thing you should be farming is the skulls of your enemy!
Tactical Restraint limits the number of NEW Command Points you can generate or refund throughout the game through popular Warlord Traits, Relics and Abilities, like Kurov’s Aquila. In matched play games using the Tactical Restraint beta rule, you can only ever generate or refund one new Command Point each battle round – with the exception of Stratagems that specifically gain or refund a set amount of Command Points, like Feeder Tendrils and Agents of Vect.
The benefit of this is threefold – for one, you’ll still be able to benefit from these Relics and Warlord Traits, but they won’t be exploitable through stacking. For another, it’ll cut down on Command Point generation without harming players who’ve carefully constructed their lists, and finally, it allows for new builds using a wider variety of Relics, Warlord Traits and Abilities – leading to a more diverse playing field for everyone.
You can use these rules for yourself by download the FAQS – and we’d love to hear what you think! Let us know what’s working, what you think needs adjusting, and any other feedback you have by emailing us at 40kFAQ@gwplc.com
* For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “Smash Captains” are Blood Angels Captains with jump packs and thunder hammers. It’s as awesome as it sounds – although a mite too strong in its current form when combined with the Upon Wings of Fire Stratagem.
Let’s here your thoughts on the new FAQ in the comments below!
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