Get ready for a new and improved edition of Warhammer 40,000! The upcoming version has simplified the game, making it faster and smoother, without losing its depth. Even the phases of the game have been revamped to make them count for every player.
The turn structure is still the same: one player takes the first turn to manoeuvre and fight with their forces, and then the second player does the same. However, seven phases have now been condensed into five, and with both players contesting each one to the fullest.
The phase structure remains broadly the same. In the Command phase, you perform admin for the turn ahead. In the Movement phase, you manoeuvre, and in the Shooting phase, you take aim. The Charge phase is for charging into melee, and the Fight phase is for bringing on some biff.
But what’s new? The Psychic phase and the Morale Phase are no more… but don’t worry – psychic powers and morale are still present, but they’ve been smartly compressed into other phases.
For instance, if you’re a Psycher the Command phase is for tactical insights and abilities, while the Fight phase is for paralyzing foes with hypnosis. Eldritch lightning is now a ranged attack used in the Shooting phase, alongside any regular guns you may be carrying.
Each Psycher from each faction brings their own flavour of psychic chicanery to battle.
Morale is now simpler, as it all gets sorted out in the Command Phase when you take Battle-shock tests for any units that have taken enough losses.
The result can impact how failing units operate in every other phase of the game, rewarding players who can keep their army in fighting order.
Previously, certain units were allowed to disembark from a transport only on the same turn it had moved, and they could not shoot or charge upon disembarkation unless the vehicle had not advanced or fallen back.
The new edition brings changes to Transports that allows any embarked unit to disembark after the transport has moved, even if it had advanced or fallen back. This change, coupled with the newfound durability of vehicles, makes fielding transports more appealing than ever.
The change benefits mechanized armies that love to leap from their vehicles and blaze away at close range, such as the T’au, Astra Militarum, Aeldari, and power armor-clad warriors of all varieties. The ability to disembark and shoot in the same turn offers a key change in tactics revolving around using transports, allowing units to unleash their firepower without exposing themselves to enemy fire.
Open-topped vehicles that previously allowed the troops inside to fire out now have a universal Firing Deck X rule. This rule allows players to choose one weapon each from a given number of embarked models, such as a plasma gun and meltagun from some Cadian Shock Troops riding in a Chimera with Firing Deck 2. The transport then counts as if it is equipped with those weapons for its own shooting attacks.
In the past, embarked troops couldn’t benefit from buffs. However, because the transport itself is making the attack, their weapons now gain any boosts the vehicle does. For example, an Ork Mek can use his Mekaniak ability to act as a powerful force multiplier for the Battlewagon’s monstrous Firing Deck 22. This allows players to create synergies between their units and transports, increasing the effectiveness of both.
Some vehicles circumvent the rules entirely with their own special abilities. For instance, fast movers like the Impulsor and the Astra Militarum Taurox can disembark troops even after advancing. This gives players even more flexibility in their army compositions and tactics.
The Land Raider reclaims its Assault Ramp, meaning passengers can declare a charge on the same turn they disembark. This allows for the delivery of Terminators hot and fresh into headlong assaults. In addition, Space Marine transports no longer care whether a Primaris unit is riding in the back or not, allowing for greater army composition flexibility.
Many other transports get a new lease on life with characterful rules of their own. The Chimera is often used as a command post by Astra Militarum officers, so now they can bark orders from (relative) safety with the Mobile Command Vehicle rule. The Falcon grav tank, on the other hand, lends supporting fire to its disembarked passengers by picking out priority targets with its own guns. The freshly deployed Aeldari can then reroll wound rolls against that same unit, giving the Craftworlds a fast one-two punch of overwhelming firepower or lethal bladework.
Each transport now has its own unique place within its roster, be it as fire support, fast redeployment, or even a speedy getaway vehicle. These changes offer players new tactical options and allow for greater army composition flexibility. Players can tailor their armies to suit their play style, making for more exciting and varied games.
The changes to transports will undoubtedly have an impact on match play games at events such as Arc40k. Players will need to adapt their army compositions and tactics to take advantage of the new rules. The increased durability of vehicles means that transports will likely play a more prominent role on the battlefield, providing valuable cover and mobility for troops. The ability to disembark and shoot in the same turn will also require players to be more mindful of the flexibility and firepower from embarked units, players will have more options to consider when building their armies and choosing which units to put inside their transports.
Overall, the changes to transports in Warhammer 40k make them a more viable and exciting option for players to consider, and it will be interesting to see how they impact the what people take in the armies they build at events like Arc40k under the rules of 10th Edition Warhammer 40,000.