7th Edition Warhammer 40k Rules
Just about two years ago, Games Workshop turned the gaming world on its head with the 6th edition release of Warhammer 40k; the world's most popular miniature wargame. What followed was a rapid release of new army codexes, digital content, supplements, and beautiful new models for every army.
Of course, with such a flurry of releases also comes conflict, unbalanced units (or armies!) and players that reel to try to keep up. So what's a game company to do? In this case, release an updated edition of the game, to consolidate rules and streamline conflicts where they've cropped up.
To be fair, I believe 6th Edition 40k is the finest edition we've seen since I first played the game twenty years ago. That said, I recognize the imbalance in some armies and rules (battle brothers!) has made it a hard game to play competitively. I hope that the 7th edition will keep the best of 6th and improve it by putting limits on what's gotten out of hand.
I have the new rulebook in hand, so I will be updating this article and adding more articles as I pour over the book and determine how to best organize all the changes. Stay tuned!
Battle-Forged & Unbound
The Force Organization Chart (FOC) that we've used to create our armies is still in 7th Edition, however, it's just one option! If you use the FOC your army will be labeled as "Battle-forged" and you will receive some in-game bonuses for restricting yourself.
First, if you take a Combined Arms Detachment (which is the FOC as we know it), you will be able to re-roll your Warlord Trait. This is nice, however, the big bonus comes in the form of a rule called, Objective Secured. With this rule, all Troop units in this detachment can control objectives even if an enemy unit is within range of the objective, unless the enemy unit also has this rule.
What this means is that if you play a Combined Armed Detachment, and your opponent is playing an Unbound Army (see below), your opponent will not be able to contest objectives; he will have to wipe you off of them. This is a big bonus to standard Force Org armies!
It's important to know that a Combined Arms Detachment is a typical Force Org chart . . . but giving it a specific name (Combined Arms) implies that there will be other Force Org Charts. There are only two detachment force orgs listed in the main rulebook: Combines Arms and Allied (which is the typical allied force org we know). The book states that there WILL be other Battle-forged Detachment charts in upcoming codexes and other publications.
Also listed in the Combined Arms Detachment chart is a new box called Lord of War. Yes, we've seen this in Escalation, and it is now 100% official in Warhammer 40k.
Before we hyperventilate (and we haven't even discussed Unbound Armies yet!), I want to point to a very specific line in the new rule book: "Before any game, players must agree how they are going to select their armies, and if any restrictions apply to the number and type of models they can use." The bold letters are their own! The game is really emphasizing that players need to agree to what kinds of games they want to play together. If you are a tournament player, then the tournament organizer is going to take on this role and clearly state what restrictions will apply.
The other choice is called "Unbound". Basically, you bring any models you want, limited only by the unit restrictions in your codex and the allies matrix. To me, Unbound-ed armies feel like mini-Apocalypse armies... bring what you want! The book is clear that some players may choose a Battle-forged army and another can bring an Unbound army. Both players must agree to any restrictions, though!
Another big change coming to 7th Edition 40k is the introduction of Tactical Objectives. On top of the 6 Eternal War missions we've grown accustomed to, there will be 6 new Maelstrom of War missions that make use of Tactical Objectives.
A new set of 36 Tactical Objective cards will be used in Maelstrom of War missions. You will draw a hand of cards from the deck and use these to craft your strategy. You'll be able to discard one tactical objective per turn. So what do they do? Each cards offers special conditions that, if met, will give victory points at the end of your turn.
It's important to note that players do not NEED the cards. There is a d66 chart in the rulebook that can also be used to generate objectives. The cards will be quicker, though!
For instance, there are cards for killing enemy characters, vehicles, controlling objectives, or casting psychic powers. Complete the objective, play the card, and claim your victory points!
In most of the Maelstrom of War missions, your hand of Tactical Objectives is not a secret. Both players generate objectives and share that information. However, in one of the missions, Cloak and Shadows, the tactical objectives ARE secret. I think this will be the more fun out of all the scenarios.
Each Maelstrom of War mission used 6 objectives markers labeled 1-6. Half of the Tactical Objective cards have a player capturing one of these objectives, with the other half of the cars having special missions like killing vehicles, etc. Every Maelstrom of War mission gives player a different number of tactical objectives. Some missions, each player starts with only 1 tactical objective and gain a new one every turn, while another mission is the opposite; players start Turn 1 with 7 tactical objectives and must discard one every turn!
Here are some tidbits of rule changes scattered throughout 7th Edition 40k!
- Flying Monstrous Creatures only take a single Grounding test at the end of the Shooting Phase if they are wounded.
- Extra wounds caused in a challenge roll over to the enemy unit!
- Vehicles only Explode on a roll of a 7+ on the new damage chart.
- Difficult Terrain is only -2 to your Charge distance.
- You may take Cover Saves and Invulnerable Saves versus Destroyer weapons, unless the roll on the effect chart was a 6.
- Shooting from a unit is now done by weapon type, one at a time. The example is wounds and saves are made from a flamer first, and then shots, wounds, and saves from bolters.
Last in the latest set of big news: the Psychic Phase! It could be argued that the current set of psychic powers are part of the problem of 6th edition. If you start combining the right battle-brother units and then buff them with psychic powers, you can create some nearly unstoppable units.
The problem is that your opponent can't stop this. If you are casting blessings on yourself, all you have to do is pass a Leadership test (usually LD 10) and you get your wish.
Not any more! Anyone familiar with Warhammer Fantasy will know about the battle-within-the battle that is the Magic Phase. It looks like this is coming to 40k in a modified version.
On your Psychic Phase, you will have a pool of Warp Charge dice that you will use to manifest your powers. The pool will be 1d6 + every level of Psyker you possess. If you have a level 4 and a level 2 psyker, you'd get 1d6 + 6 dice. You can use as many of these dice as you want to manifest your powers, but the more dice you use, the higher chance of suffering a Perils of the Warp, which now has its own deadly chart.
Each psychic power in the game has a warp charge cost. A player must roll a number of successful warp dice to manifest a power. Each die roll of a 4+ is a success. So a Warp Charge 2 power requires at least 2 dice rolls of a 4+ taken from your Warp Charge Pool. Remember, you may use as many dice as you like, but if you roll a double-6, you suffer a Perils of the Warp.
So here's the kicker. Your opponent is going to get Dispel Dice! That same d6 roll to determine your Warp Charge Pool also gives your opponent dice to dispel your powers! They get to add bonus dice for their own mastery levels. They can dispel your successes on rolls of 6+, with bonuses if you are targeting one of their psykers, have adamantium will, and a few others.
This is going to dramatically alter the game. If powers like Prescience can be dispelled, that can really put a hurt on players who are used to peeling that spell off every round! This back-and-forth and uncertainty puts a lot of strategy in the Psychic Phase because both players have limited resources. Do you start with your most important power, hoping your opponent will hold back his dispel dice in fear of more powerful spells? Or do you bait your opponent with smaller spells, hoping that he will waste his dispel dice and be unable to stop the one you want?
Also mentioned in White Dwarf is the addition of a new Psychic Discipline: Daemonolgy. There are two branches of this discipline, and every army (except Tyranids) will have access to at least one of the branches. It looks like a defensive branch and an offensive branch that involves summoning daemon models to the battlefield!
Click here for more detailed rules and the complete listing of the Malefic Daemonology power! 7th Edition Warhammer 40k Psychic Phase
7th Edition Warhammer 40k
What new set of rules seems most intriguing?
I have the new rulebook so I will be adding more to this article and making sub-articles that have more detail as time allows. Expect several articles to appear during the release week at the end of May 2014. I will link those articles here and above!
So check back often, and know that when the full rules are released, I will break them down and see what makes 7th Edition tick. In the meantime, take the poll to the right and leave a comment down below. These are exciting times! Thanks for reading. Murphy out.