Warhammer 40,000 puts you in command of a force of mighty warriors and war machines. The core rules on these pages contain the foundation for playing games of Warhammer 40,000 with your Citadel Miniatures collection and to wage glorious battle across the war-torn galaxy.
Models & Datasheets
The rules and characteristics for all models, and some terrain features, are presented on datasheets
, which you will need in order to use the models in battle.
Models move and fight in units, made up of one or more models. A unit must be set up and finish any sort of move as a group, with every model within 2" horizontally, and 6" vertically, of at least one other model from their unit: this is called unit coherency. If anything causes a unit to become split up during a battle, it must re-establish its unit coherency the next time it moves.
Tools of War
In order to fight a battle, you will require a tape measure and some dice.
Distances in Warhammer 40,000 are measured in inches (") between the closest points of the bases of the models you’re measuring to and from. If a model does not have a base, such is the case with many vehicles, measure to and from the closest point of that model’s hull instead. You can measure distances whenever you wish.
Warhammer 40,000 uses six-sided dice, sometimes abbreviated to D6. Some rules refer to 2D6, 3D6 and so on – in such cases, roll that many D6s and add the results together. If a rule requires you to roll a D3, roll a dice and halve the total. When halving any dice roll, round fractions up before applying modifiers (if any) to the result. All modifiers are cumulative. If a rule requires a dice roll of, for example, 3 or more, this is often abbreviated to 3+.
The Battle Round
Warhammer 40,000 is played in a series of battle rounds. During each battle round, both players have a turn. The same player always takes the first turn in each battle round – the mission you are playing will tell you which player this is. Each turn consists of a series of phases, which must be resolved in order. The phases are as follows:
Once a player’s turn has ended, their opponent then starts their turn. Once both players have completed a turn, the battle round has been completed and the next one begins, and so on, until the battle is concluded.
Some rules allow you to re-roll a dice roll, which means you get to roll some or all of the dice again. If a rule allows you to re-roll a result that was made by adding several dice together (e.g. 2D6, 3D6, etc.) then, unless otherwise stated, you must roll all of those dice again. You can never re-roll a dice more than once, and re-rolls happen before modifiers (if any) are applied.
Some rules instruct players to roll off. To do so, both players roll a D6, and whoever scores highest wins the roll-off. In the case of a tie, both players re-roll their D6; this is the only time players can reroll a re-roll – if the second and subsequent rolls are also tied, keep on rolling until a winner is decided.
While playing Warhammer 40,000, you’ll occasionally find that two or more rules are to be resolved at the same time – normally ‘at the start of the Movement phase
’ or ‘before the battle begins’. When this happens during the game, the player whose turn it is chooses the order. If these things occur before or after the game, or at the start or end of a battle round, the players roll off
and the winner decides in what order the rules are resolved.
Fast Dice Rolling
The rules for resolving attacks have been written assuming you will make them one at a time. However, it is possible to speed up your battles by rolling the dice for similar attacks together. In order to make several attacks at once, all of the attacks must have the same Ballistic Skill (if it’s a shooting attack) or the same Weapon Skill (if it’s a close combat attack). They must also have the same Strength, Armour Penetration and Damage characteristics, and they must be directed at the same unit. If this is the case, make all of the hit rolls
at the same time, then all of the wound rolls
. Your opponent can then allocate the wounds one at a time, making the saving throws
and suffering damage each time as appropriate. Remember, if the target unit contains a model that has already lost any wounds, they must allocate further wounds to this model until either it is slain, or all the wounds have been saved or resolved.
Aura AbilitiesSome units – usually Characters – have abilities that affect certain models within a given range. Unless the ability in question says otherwise, a model with a rule like this is always within range of the effect.
For example, a Lord of Contagion has the Nurgle’s Gift ability, which affects all Death Guard models within 7" of him. As the Lord of Contagion is also a Death Guard model, he benefits from this ability as well.
Some models are noted as being a Character on their datasheet
. These heroes, officers, prophets and warlords are powerful individuals that can have a great impact on the course of a battle. The swirling maelstrom of the battlefield can make it difficult to pick out such individuals as targets, however.
An enemy CHARACTER with a Wounds characteristic of less than 10 can only be chosen as a target in the Shooting phase
if it is both visible to the firing model and it is the closest enemy unit to the firing model. Ignore other enemy CHARACTERS with a Wounds characteristics of less than 10 when determining if the target is the closest enemy unit to the firing model.
This means that if any other enemy units (other than other CHARACTERS with a Wounds characteristics of less than 10) are closer, whether they are visible or not, then the enemy CHARACTER cannot be targeted.
Some models are noted as being a Transport on their datasheet
– these vehicles ferry warriors to the front line, providing them with speed and protection. The following rules describe how units can embark and disembark from transports, and how they are used to move their passengers across the battlefield. Note that a unit cannot both embark and disembark in the same turn.Transport Capacity:
All transports have a transport capacity listed on their datasheet. This determines how many friendly models, and of what type, they can carry. A model’s transport capacity can never be exceeded.
When you set up a transport, units can start the battle embarked within it instead of being set up separately – declare what units are embarked inside the transport when you set it up.Embark:
If all models in a unit end their move within 3" of a friendly transport in the Movement phase, they can embark within it. Remove the unit from the battlefield and place it to one side – it is now embarked inside the transport.
Embarked units cannot normally do anything or be affected in any way whilst they are embarked. Unless specifically stated, abilities that affect other units within a certain range have no effect whilst the unit that has the ability is embarked.
If a transport is destroyed, any units embarked within it immediately disembark (see below) before the transport model is removed, but you must then roll one dice for each model you just set up on the battlefield. For each roll of 1, a model that disembarked (your choice) is slain. Units cannot declare a charge
during the same turn that they disembarked from a destroyed transport.Disembark:
Any unit that begins its Movement phase
embarked within a transport can disembark before the transport moves. When a unit disembarks, set it up on the battlefield so that all of its models are within 3" of the transport and not within 1" of any enemy models – any disembarking model that cannot be set up in this way is slain.
Units that disembark can then act normally (move, shoot, charge, fight, etc.) during the remainder of their turn. Note though, that even if you don’t move disembarking units further in your Movement phase, they still count as having moved for any rules purposes, such as shooting Heavy
The Most Important RuleIn a game as detailed and wide-ranging as Warhammer 40,000, there may be times when you are not sure exactly how to resolve a situation that has come up during play. When this happens, have a quick chat with your opponent and apply the solution that makes the most sense to both of you (or seems the most fun!). If no single solution presents itself, you and your opponent should roll off, and whoever rolls highest gets to choose what happens. Then you can get on with the fighting!
1. MOVEMENT PHASE
The ground shakes to the tread of marching feet and the growl of engines as armies advance across the battlefield and vie for advantageous positions.
Start your Movement phase by picking one of your units and moving each model in that unit until you’ve moved all the models you want to. You can then pick another unit to move, until you have moved as many of your units as you wish. No model can be moved more than once in each Movement phase.
A model can be moved in any direction, to a distance, in inches, equal to or less than the Move characteristic on its datasheet
. No part of the model’s base (or hull) can move further than this. It cannot be moved through other models or through terrain features such as walls, but can be moved vertically in order to climb or traverse any scenery. No part of a model or its base can be set up or moved over the edge of the battlefield.
|Wobbly Model Syndrome|
Sometimes you may find that a particular piece of terrain makes it hard to put a model exactly where you want. If you delicately balance it in place, it is very likely to fall as soon as somebody nudges the table, leaving your painted model damaged or even broken. In cases like this, we find it is perfectly acceptable to leave the model in a safer position, as long as both players have agreed and know its ‘actual’ location. If, later on, your enemy is considering shooting the model, you will have to hold it back in the proper place so they can check if it is visible.
If the datasheet
for a model says it can FLY, then during the Movement phase
it can move across models as if they were not there, and when moving across terrain features, vertical distance is not counted against the total it can move (i.e. moving vertically is free for this model in the Movement phase). If the datasheet for a model says it can FLY, then during the Charge phase
it can move across models (other than BUILDINGS
) as if they were not there.
Some models that can Fly have a Move characteristic consisting of two values. The first is the model’s minimum speed – in the Movement phase, all parts of the model’s base must end the move at least that far from where they started. The second is its maximum speed – no part of the model’s base can be moved further than this. If a model cannot make its minimum move, or is forced to move off the battlefield because of its minimum speed, it is destroyed and removed from the battlefield – the model has either stalled and crashed or been forced to abandon the battle.
If a unit can FLY
and it has a minimum Move
characteristic (or if it has a damage table on its datasheet
that includes any minimum Move characteristics), that unit gains the AIRCRAFT
Whenever a model makes any kind of move, it can be moved within 1" of enemy AIRCRAFT, and it can be moved across such models (and their bases) as if they were not there, but it cannot end the move on top of another model (or its base), and it cannot end the move within 1" of any enemy units.
If, when a unit is selected to move in the Movement phase
, the only enemy units that are within 1" of it are AIRCRAFT, then it can still make a move (i.e. it does not have to Fall Back
in order to move).
All models in the same army are friendly models. Models controlled by an opposing player are enemy models. When you move a model in the Movement phase, it may not be moved within 1" of any enemy models.
Units starting the Movement phase within 1" of an enemy unit can either remain stationary or Fall Back. If you choose to Fall Back, the unit must end its move more than 1" away from all enemy units. If a unit Falls Back, it cannot Advance
(see below), or charge
later that turn. A unit that Falls Back also cannot shoot later that turn unless it can Fly
When you pick a unit to move in the Movement phase, you can declare that it will Advance. Roll a dice and add the result to the Move characteristics of all models in the unit for that Movement phase. A unit that Advances can’t shoot
later that turn.
ReinforcementsMany units have the ability to be set up on the battlefield mid-turn, sometimes by using teleporters, grav chutes or other, more esoteric means. Typically, this happens at the end of the Movement phase, but it can also happen during other phases. Units that are set up in this manner cannot move or Advance further during the turn they arrive – their entire Movement phase is used in deploying to the battlefield – but they can otherwise act normally (shoot, charge, etc.) for the rest of their turn. Units that arrive as reinforcements count as having moved in their Movement phase for all rules purposes, such as shooting Heavy weapons. Any unit that has not arrived on the battlefield by the end of the battle counts as having been destroyed.
2. PSYCHIC PHASE
Warrior mystics and sorcerers wield the strange power of the warp to aid their allies and destroy their foes. Harnessing this force is not without risk, however, and with the smallest mistake, the effort can spell doom for all nearby.
1. Choose psyker and power
2. Make Psychic test
3. Enemy takes Deny the Witch test
4. Resolve psychic power
1. Choose Psyker and Power
Some models are noted as being a Psyker on their datasheet
. Psykers can manifest their otherworldly abilities and attempt to deny enemy sorceries. The powers a psyker knows, and the number of powers they can attempt to manifest or deny each Psychic phase, are detailed on their datasheet.
Unless stated otherwise, all psykers know the Smite psychic power, listed below. Some know other powers instead of, or in addition to, Smite – the model’s datasheets and other supplementary rules you are using will make it clear which powers each psyker knows. If a psyker generates their powers before the battle, do so immediately before either player starts to deploy their army.
SmiteSmite has a warp charge value of 5. If manifested, the closest visible enemy unit within 18" of the psyker suffers D3 mortal wounds. If the result of the Psychic test was more than 10, the target suffers D6 mortal wounds instead.
2. Make Psychic Test
A psyker can attempt to manifest a psychic power they know by taking a Psychic test. To do so, roll 2D6. If the total is equal to or greater than that power’s warp charge value, the power is successfully manifested. A psyker cannot attempt to manifest the same psychic power more than once in a turn.
Perils of the WarpIf you roll a double 1 or a double 6 when taking a Psychic test, the psyker immediately suffers Perils of the Warp. The psyker suffers D3 mortal wounds as the forces of the Daemon-haunted warp claw at their mind. If the psyker is slain by Perils of the Warp, the power they were attempting to manifest automatically fails and each unit within 6" immediately suffers D3 mortal wounds, as the psyker is dragged into the warp or else detonates in a burst of empyric feedback.
3. Deny the Witch Tests
A psyker can attempt to resist a psychic power that has been manifested by an enemy model within 24" by taking a Deny the Witch test – this takes place immediately, even though it is not your turn. To do so, roll 2D6. If the total is greater than the result of the Psychic test
that manifested the power, it has been resisted and its effects are negated. Only one attempt to deny each successfully manifested psychic power can be made each turn, regardless of the number of psykers you have within 24" of the enemy model manifesting the psychic power.
4. Resolve Psychic Power
So long as the Psychic test
was successful, the psyker did not die as a result of the Perils of the Warp
, and the attempt was not thwarted by a Deny the Witch test
, then you may resolve the effect of the psychic power, which will be described in the power itself.
3. SHOOTING PHASE
Guns thunder and shrapnel falls from the sky. Muzzle flare shines through the gloom in bursts, beams of las-fire illuminate the fog of war, and spent ammunition cartridges and power cells are left discarded across the battlefield.
1. Choose Unit to Shoot With
In your Shooting phase you can shoot with models armed with ranged weapons. First, you must pick one of your units to shoot with. You may not pick a unit that Advanced
or Fell Back
this turn, or a unit that is within 1" of an enemy unit. Unless otherwise stated, each model in the unit attacks with all of the ranged weapons it is armed with. After all of the unit’s models have fired, you can choose another unit to shoot with, until all eligible units that you want to shoot with have done so.
2. Choose Targets
Having chosen a shooting unit, you must pick the target unit, or units, for the attacks. In order to target an enemy unit, a model from that unit must be within the Range of the weapon being used (as listed on its profile) and be visible to the shooting model. If unsure, stoop down and get a look from behind the shooting model to see if any part of the target is visible. For the purposes of determining visibility, a model can see through other models in its own unit.
Models cannot target enemy units that are within 1" of friendly models – the risk of hitting your own troops is too great.
3. Choose Ranged Weapon
The weapons a model has are listed on its datasheet
. If a model has several weapons, it can shoot all of them at the same target, or it can shoot each at a different enemy unit. Similarly, if a unit contains more than one model, they can shoot at the same, or different targets as you choose. In either case, declare how you will split the shooting unit’s shots before any dice are rolled, and resolve all the shots against one target before moving on to the next.
Number of Attacks
Each time a model shoots a ranged weapon, it will make a number of attacks. You roll one dice for each attack being made. The number of attacks a model can make with a weapon, and therefore the number of dice you can roll, is found on the weapon’s profile, along with the weapon’s type. A weapon’s type
can impact the number of attacks it can make.
There are five types of ranged weapon: Assault
, Rapid Fire
. A model shooting one of these weapons can make a number of attacks equal to the number written on its profile after its type. For example, a model firing an ‘Assault 1’ weapon can make 1 attack with that weapon; a model firing a ‘Heavy 3’ weapon can make 3 attacks, etc. If a weapon has more than one attack, it must make all of its attacks against the same target unit.
Each type of ranged weapon also has an additional rule that, depending upon the situation, might affect the accuracy of the weapon or when it can be fired. These are as follows:
Assault weapons fire so rapidly or indiscriminately that they can be shot from the hip as warriors dash forwards into combat.
A model with an Assault weapon can fire it even if it Advanced
earlier that turn. If it does so, you must subtract 1 from any hit rolls
made when firing that weapon this turn.
Heavy weapons are the biggest and deadliest guns on the battlefield, but require reloading, careful set-up or bracing to fire at full effect.
If a model with a Heavy weapon moved in its preceding Movement phase
, you must subtract 1 from any hit rolls
made when firing that weapon this turn.
Rapid Fire weapons are versatile weapons capable of aimed single shots at long range or controlled bursts of fire at close quarters.
A model firing a Rapid Fire weapon doubles the number of attacks it makes if its target is within half the weapon’s maximum range.
Grenades are handheld explosive devices that a warrior throws at the enemy while their squad mates provide covering fire.
Each time a unit shoots, a single model in the unit that is equipped with Grenades may throw one instead of firing any other weapon.
Pistols are carried one-handed and can even be used in a melee to shoot at point-blank range. Many warriors carry one as a sidearm, alongside their primary weapon.
A model can fire a Pistol even if there are enemy units within 1" of its own unit, but it must target the closest enemy unit. In such circumstances, the model can shoot its Pistol even if other friendly units are within 1" of the same enemy unit.
Each time a model equipped with both a Pistol and another type of ranged weapon (e.g. a Pistol and a Rapid Fire
weapon) shoots, it can either shoot with its Pistol(s) or with all of its other weapons. Choose which it will fire (Pistols or non-Pistols) before making hit rolls
Macro weapons are truly gigantic in proportion, often the size of armoured vehicles in their own right in many cases. Such mighty weapons are unwieldy and only able to be mounted on the largest of war engines such as Titans, but their power is enough to annihilate the most well-protected target and is particularly effective against fortifications and the largest war machines, against which their power can be fully spent.
A model armed with a Macro weapon may not fire if it has moved previously in the turn, unless the firing unit also has the TITANIC keyword. No Macro weapon may be used to make Overwatch
attacks. When used against units with the TITANIC or BUILDING keyword, the damage inflicted by a Macro weapon is doubled (this doubling takes place after any randomised damage has been rolled for).
Bolter DisciplineAll ADEPTUS ASTARTES, HERETIC ASTARTES and FALLEN models gain this ability.
Instead of following the normal rules for Rapid Fire weapons, models in this unit firing Rapid Fire bolt weapons make double the number of attacks if any of the following apply:
For the purposes of this ability, a Rapid Fire bolt weapon is any weapon with the Rapid Fire type whose profile includes the word ‘bolt’ (e.g. boltgun, bolt rifle, storm bolter, combi-bolter, hurricane bolter, inferno boltgun, etc.). This also applies when firing the boltgun profile of combi-weapons (including the bolt weapon profile of Relics such as Blood Song and the Lion’s Wrath) and when firing relics that replace a Rapid Fire bolt weapon, so long as the relic is also a Rapid Fire weapon (e.g. Primarch’s Wrath and Fury of Deimos). The Gauntlets of Ultramar and the Talon of Horus are also Rapid Fire bolt weapons, as is the guardian spear used by Deathwatch Watch Masters.
- The firing model’s target is within half the weapon’s maximum range.
- The firing model is INFANTRY and every model in its unit remained stationary in your previous Movement phase.
- The firing model is a TERMINATOR, BIKER, CENTURION, DREADNOUGHT or HELBRUTE.
4. Resolve Attacks
Attacks can be made one at a time, or, in some cases, you can roll for multiple attacks together. The following sequence is used to make attacks one at a time:
1) Hit Roll
Each time a model makes an attack, roll a dice. If the roll is equal to or greater than the attacking model’s Ballistic Skill characteristic, then it scores a hit with the weapon it is using. If not, the attack fails and the attack sequence ends. A roll of 1 always fails, irrespective of any modifiers that may apply.
2) Wound Roll
|ATTACK’S STRENGTH VS TARGET’S TOUGHNESS||D6 ROLL REQUIRED|
|Is the Strength|
TWICE (or more)
than the Toughness?
|Is the Strength|
than the Toughness?
|Is the Strength|
to the Toughness?
|Is the Strength|
than the Toughness?
|Is the Strength|
HALF (or less)
than the Toughness?
If an attack scores a hit, you will then need to roll another dice to see if the attack successfully wounds the target. The roll required is determined by comparing the attacking weapon’s Strength characteristic with the target’s Toughness characteristic, as shown on the table to the right:
If the roll is less than the required number, the attack fails and the attack sequence ends. A roll of 1 always fails, irrespective of any modifiers that may apply.
3) Allocate Wound
If an attack successfully wounds the target, the player commanding the target unit allocates the wound to any model in the unit (the chosen model does not have to be within range or visible to the attacking unit). If a model in the target unit has already lost any wounds, the damage must be allocated to that model.
4) Saving Throw
The player commanding the target unit then makes a saving throw by rolling a dice and modifying the roll by the Armour Penetration characteristic of the weapon that caused the damage. For example, if the weapon has an Armour Penetration of -1, then 1 is subtracted from the saving throw roll. If the result is equal to, or greater than, the Save characteristic of the model the wound was allocated to, then the damage is prevented and the attack sequence ends. If the result is less than the model’s Save characteristic, then the saving throw fails and the model suffers damage. A roll of 1 always fails, irrespective of any modifiers that may apply.
5) Inflict Damage
The damage inflicted is equal to the Damage characteristic of the weapon used in the attack. A model loses one wound for each point of damage it suffers. If a model’s wounds are reduced to 0, it is either slain or destroyed and removed from play. If a model loses several wounds from a single attack and is destroyed, any excess damage inflicted by that attack is lost and has no effect.
Invulnerable SavesSome models possess supernatural reflexes or are protected by force fields that grant them an invulnerable save. Each time a wound is allocated to a model with an invulnerable save, you can choose to use either its normal Save characteristic or its invulnerable save, but not both. If a model has more than one invulnerable save, it can only use one of them – choose which it will use. If you use a model’s invulnerable save, it is never modified by a weapon’s Armour Penetration value.
Terrain and CoverThe battlefields of the far future are littered with terrain features such as ruins, craters and twisted copses. Models can take shelter within such terrain features to gain protection against incoming weapons’ fire.
If a unit is entirely on or within any terrain feature, add 1 to its models’ saving throws against shooting attacks to represent the cover received from the terrain (invulnerable saves are unaffected). Units gain no benefit from cover in the Fight phase.
Mortal WoundsSome attacks inflict mortal wounds – these are so powerful that no armour or force field can withstand their fury. Each mortal wound inflicts one point of damage on the target unit. Do not make a wound roll or saving throw (including invulnerable saves) against a mortal wound – just allocate it as you would any other wound and inflict damage to a model in the target unit as described above. Unlike normal attacks, excess damage from attacks that inflict mortal wounds is not lost. Instead keep allocating damage to another model in the target unit until either all the damage has been allocated or the target unit is destroyed.
Ignoring WoundsSome units have abilities that allow them to ignore the damage suffered each time it loses a wound (e.g. Disgustingly Resilient, The Flesh is Weak and Tenacious Survivor). If a model has more than one such ability, you can only use one of those abilities each time the model loses a wound.
4. CHARGE PHASE
Warriors hurl themselves into battle to slay with blade, hammer and claw.
1. Choose Unit to Charge With
Any of your units within 12" of the enemy in your Charge phase can make a charge move
. You may not choose a unit that Advanced
or Fell Back
this turn, nor one that started the Charge phase within 1" of an enemy.
2. Choose Targets
Once you have chosen an eligible unit, select one or more enemy units within 12" of them as the target(s) of the charge. Each target unit can then attempt to fire Overwatch
Each time a charge is declared against a unit, the target unit can immediately fire Overwatch at the would-be attacker. A target unit can potentially fire Overwatch several times a turn, though it cannot fire if there are any enemy models within 1" of it. Overwatch is resolved like a normal shooting attack (albeit one resolved in the enemy’s Charge phase) and uses all the normal rules except that a 6 is always required for a successful hit roll
, irrespective of the firing model’s Ballistic Skill or any modifiers.
4. Make Charge Move
After any Overwatch
has been resolved, roll 2D6. Each model in the charging unit can move up to this number of inches – this is their charge distance this turn. The first model you move must finish within 1" of an enemy model from one of the target units. No models in the charging unit can move within 1" of an enemy unit that was not a target of its charge. If this is impossible, the charge fails and no models in the charging unit move this phase. Once you’ve moved all the models in the charging unit, choose another eligible unit and repeat the above procedure until all eligible units that you want to make charge moves have done so. No unit can be selected to charge more than once in each Charge phase.
Heroic InterventionAfter the enemy has completed all of their charge moves, any of your Characters that are within 3" of an enemy unit may perform a Heroic Intervention. Any that do so can move up to 3", so long as they end the move closer to the nearest enemy model.
5. FIGHT PHASE
Carnage engulfs the battlefield as the warring armies tear each other apart.
1. Choose Unit to Fight With
Any unit that charged or has models within 1" of an enemy unit can be chosen to fight in the Fight phase. This includes all units, not just those controlled by the player whose turn it is. All units that charged this turn fight first. The player whose turn it is picks the order in which these units fight. After all charging units have fought, the players alternate choosing eligible units to fight with (starting with the player whose turn it is) until all eligible units on both sides have fought once each. No unit can be selected to fight more than once in each Fight phase. If one player runs out of eligible units, the other player completes all of their remaining fights, one unit after another. A fight is resolved in the following steps:
2. Pile In
You may move each model in the unit up to 3" – this move can be in any direction so long as the model ends the move closer to the nearest enemy model.
3. Choose Targets
First, you must pick the target unit, or units, for the attacks. To target an enemy unit, the attacking model must either be within 1" of that unit, or within 1" of another model from its own unit that is itself within 1" of that enemy unit. This represents the unit fighting in two ranks. Models that charged this turn can only target enemy units that they charged in the previous phase.
If a model can make more than one close combat attack (see right), it can split them between eligible target units as you wish. Similarly if a unit contains more than one model, each can target a different enemy unit. In either case, declare how you will split the unit’s close combat attacks before any dice are rolled, and resolve all attacks against one target before moving on to the next.
Number of Attacks
The number of close combat attacks a model makes against its target is determined by its Attacks characteristic. You roll one dice for each close combat attack being made. For example, if a model has an Attacks characteristic of 2, it can make 2 close combat attacks and you can therefore roll 2 dice.
4. Choose Melee Weapon
Each time a model makes a close combat attack, it uses a melee weapon – the weapons a model is equipped with are described on its datasheet
. In addition to their other weapons, all models are assumed to be equipped with a close combat weapon, which has the following profile:
|Close combat weapon||Melee||Melee||User||0||1|
If a model has more than one melee weapon, choose which it will use before rolling the dice. If a model has more than one melee weapon and can make several close combat attacks, it can split its attacks between these weapons however you wish – declare how you will divide the attacks before any dice are rolled.
5. Resolve Close Combat Attacks
Close combat attacks can be made one at a time, or in some cases you can roll the dice for a number of attacks together. The attack sequence for making close combat attacks is identical to that used for shooting attacks except you use the model’s Weapon Skill characteristic instead of its Ballistic Skill to make hit rolls
You may move each model in the unit up to 3" – this move can be in any direction so long as the model ends the move closer to the nearest enemy model.
6. MORALE PHASE
Even the bravest heart may quail when the horrors of battle take their toll.
In the Morale phase, starting with the player whose turn it is, players must take Morale tests for units from their army that have had models slain during the turn.
To take a Morale test, roll a dice and add the number of models from the unit that have been slain this turn. If the result of the Morale test exceeds the highest Leadership characteristic in the unit, the test is failed. For each point that the test is failed by, one model in that unit must flee and is removed from play. You choose which models flee from the units you command.
Fighting a Battle
Before you can wage war in a game of Warhammer 40,000, you must select a mission. The core rules include a single mission – Only War
– which is ideal to get the action started quickly. Others
can be found in other books, or you could play a mission of your own creation. If you and your opponent can’t agree on which mission to play, both players should roll a dice, re-rolling ties, and whoever rolls the highest decides on the mission.
In the far future, battles are fought across an infinite variety of strange and alien planets where no land is left untouched by the blight of war. Crystal moons, derelict space hulks, carnivorous death worlds and nightmarish Daemon worlds are just a few of the fantastical landscapes that can be recreated whenever you play a game of Warhammer 40,000.
A battlefield can be any surface upon which the models can stand – a dining table, for example, or the floor. We typically assume a battlefield is 6' by 4' (although some missions will state other dimensions), but it should always be large enough to accommodate all your models – if it is not, simply increase the size of the battlefield.
Unless the mission you are playing instructs you otherwise, you should then feel free to create an exciting battlefield using any terrain features
from your collection that you wish. In general, we recommend having one or two features in each 2' by 2' area. Don’t worry if your battlefield doesn’t match these requirements, but keep in mind that playing on very small or very large battlefields, or ones that are either a barren wasteland or filled to overflowing with terrain features, may give an advantage to one side or the other.
Battlezones & Expansions
If you are battling in a specific battlezone
, or if you are using a particular expansion, there might be additional rules pertaining to setting up the battlefield, and special rules that alter how some terrain interacts with your warriors. Bear these in mind when creating your battlefield.
Once you have mustered your army, nominate one of your models to be your Warlord (this cannot be a model with the Fortifications Battlefield Role
If your Warlord is a CHARACTER
, it can use a Warlord Trait – a preferred tactic or personal ability that marks them out amongst their peers. Immediately before either player starts to deploy their army, you can roll on the Warlord Trait table here to determine what Warlord Trait your Warlord has. Alternatively, choose the trait that most suits your Warlord’s temperament or style of war.
|1||Legendary Fighter: If this Warlord charges in the Charge phase, add 1 to their Attacks characteristic until the end of the ensuing Fight phase.|
|2||Inspiring Leader: Friendly units within 6" of this Warlord can add 1 to their Leadership characteristic.|
|3||Tenacious Survivor: Roll a dice each time this Warlord loses a wound. On a 6, the Warlord shrugs off the damage and does not lose the wound.|
The time has come to prove your worth as the greatest warlord in the galaxy! All that stands between you and ultimate glory is an enemy army bent upon your destruction.
In order to play this mission, you must first muster an army from the miniatures in your collection. You can include any models in your army.
Sometimes you may find that you do not have enough models to field a minimum-sized unit (this can be found on each unit’s datasheet
); if this is the case, you can still include one unit of that type in your army with as many models as you have available.THE BATTLEFIELD
Create the battlefield and set up terrain. The players must then place objective markers to represent sites of tactical or strategic import that one or both armies are attempting to secure. Objective markers can be represented by any suitable marker or piece of terrain. Each player must place two objective markers anywhere on the battlefield, so long as they are each at least 10" away from any other objective marker. We suggest taking turns to place these, starting with whichever player wins a roll-off. A player controls an objective marker if there are more models from their army within 3" of it than there are enemy models (measure to the centre of the marker).PRIMARY OBJECTIVES
Before setting up their armies, both players roll off
. The player who rolls higher then rolls on the primary objectives table (see right) to determine which are used during the mission.DEPLOYMENT
Once the victory conditions have been determined, the player who did not roll on the primary objectives table then divides the battlefield into two equal-sized halves. Their opponent then decides which half is their own deployment zone, and which half is the other player’s deployment zone.
The players then alternate deploying their units, one at a time, starting with the player who did not pick their deployment zone. Models must be set up in their own deployment zone, more than 12" from the enemy deployment zone. Continue setting up units until both players have set up all the units in their army, or you have run out of room to set up more units.POWER LEVEL
Before battle begins, determine each army’s Power Level by adding together the Power Ratings of all the units set up in that army; whichever player has the lowest is the Underdog. If both have the same Power Level, the player who assigned the deployment zones is the Underdog.
If the difference between the Power Levels of the two armies is 10 to 19, the Underdog receives one Command re-roll
; if the difference is 20 to 29, the Underdog receives two Command re-rolls, and so on. Each Command re-roll can be used once, at any point during the battle, to re-roll a single dice.FIRST TURN
The Underdog chooses who has the first turn.BATTLE LENGTH
The battle lasts for five battle rounds, or until one army has slain all of its foes.VICTORY CONDITIONS
If one army has slain all of its foes, it immediately wins a major victory. Otherwise, at the end of the battle, the player who has the most victory points wins a major victory. If both players have the same number of victory points at the end of the battle, the Underdog wins a minor victory.
|1||Slay and Secure: At the end of the battle, each objective marker is worth 2 victory points to the player who controls it. Players also earn D3 victory points if the opposing army’s Warlord was slain during the battle.|
|2||Ancient Relic: At the start of the first battle round, but before the first turn begins, randomly select one objective marker; remove the other objective markers from the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the remaining objective marker is worth 6 victory points to the player who controls it.|
|3||Domination: At the end of each turn, each objective marker is worth 1 victory point to the player who controls it. Keep a running score from turn to turn.|
The warriors, monsters and war machines that fight for control of the galaxy are incredibly diverse, each with their own style of waging war. Each unit has a datasheet that lists the characteristics, wargear and abilities of the models in that unit – here we explain what some of it means, while the core rules explain how it’s all used in the game.
1. Unit Name
Models move and fight in units, which can have one or more models. Here you’ll find the name of the unit.
2. Battlefield Role
This is typically used when making a Battle-forged army
as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook (see Battlefield Roles
3. Power Rating
The higher this is, the more powerful the unit! You can determine the Power Level of your entire army by adding up the Power Ratings of all the units in your army.
These contain the following characteristics that tell you how mighty the models in the unit are:Move (M):
This is the speed at which a model moves across the battlefield.Weapon Skill (WS):
This tells you a model’s skill at hand-to-hand fighting. If a model has a Weapon Skill of ‘-’ it is unable to fight in melee and cannot make close combat attacks at all.Ballistic Skill (BS):
This shows how accurate a model is when shooting with ranged weapons. If a model has a Ballistic Skill of ‘-’ it has no proficiency with ranged weapons and cannot make shooting attacks at all.Strength (S):
This indicates how strong a model is and how likely it is to inflict damage in hand-tohand combat.Toughness (T):
This reflects the model’s resilience against physical harm.Wounds (W):
Wounds show how much damage a model can sustain before it succumbs to its injuries.Attacks (A):
This tells you how many times a model can strike blows in hand-to-hand combat.Leadership (Ld):
This reveals how courageous, determined or selfcontrolled a model is.Save (Sv):
This indicates the protection a model’s armour gives.
5. Unit Composition
This tells you what models are in the unit.
This covers the basic weapons and equipment the models are armed with.
Many units have exciting special abilities that are not covered by the core rules; these will be described here.
The weapons that a unit comes equipped with are described using a set of characteristics as follows:Range:
How far the weapon can shoot. Weapons with a range of ‘Melee’ can only be used in hand-to-hand combat. All other weapons are referred to as ranged weapons.Type:
These are all explained under the Shooting
phases of the core rules.Strength (S):
How likely the weapon is to inflict damage. If a weapon’s Strength lists ‘User’, it is equal to the wielder’s current Strength. If a weapon lists a modifier such as ‘+1’ or ‘x2’, you should modify the user’s current Strength characteristic as shown to determine the weapon’s Strength. For example, if a weapon’s Strength was ‘x2’, and the user had a Strength characteristic of 6, that weapon has Strength 12.Armour Penetration (AP):
How good it is at getting through armour.Damage (D):
The amount of damage inflicted by a successful hit. Other weapons, for example those a unit may take as an optional choice, are typically described elsewhere, such as in a codex.
All datasheets have a list of keywords, sometimes separated into Faction
keywords and other keywords. The former can be used as a guide to help decide which models to include in your army, but otherwise both sets of keywords are functionally the same. Sometimes a rule will say that it applies to models that have a specific keyword. For example, a rule might say that it applies to ‘all Adeptus Astartes models’. This means it would only apply to models that have the Adeptus Astartes keyword on their datasheet.
Modifying CharacteristicsSome large models’ characteristics can change as the model suffers damage – look at such a model’s remaining wounds and consult the appropriate row of the chart on their datasheet to determine its current characteristics.
You may also encounter abilities and rules that modify a characteristic. All modifiers are cumulative, though you should apply any multiplication or division to the characteristic (rounding fractions up) before applying any addition or subtraction.
You may encounter a characteristic that is a random value instead of a number. For example, a Move characteristic might be 2D6", or an Attacks value might be D6. When a unit with a random Move characteristic is selected to move, determine the entire unit’s move distance by rolling the indicated number of dice. For all other characteristics, roll to determine the value on an individual – per‑model – basis each time the unit makes attacks, inflicts damage, and so on. Note that, regardless of the source, characteristics of ‘-’ can never be modified, and the Strength, Toughness and Leadership characteristics of a model can never be modified below 1.