So here we are. The forum is back up and in the meantime this years BIG FAQ got released. Few things have changed for us but not nothing so I want to take a look at some of the changes and maybe discuss them with you.
Beta -> Offical
- Battle Brothers left beta and is now an official rule. Nothing changed for us because we don't have multiple Codexes belong to the T'au Empire. To be fair nothing really changed for any army because GW has a weird concept of what's a soup army and so totally fails to address it properly.
- Psychic Focus left beta and is now an official rule. Obviously of limited interest for us due not having any psyker.
- Targeting Characters left beta and is now an official rule. Characters with <10 wounds can't hide behind other Characters with <10 wounds.
New/Adjusted Beta rules
- No reserves turn 1 anymore. People were complaining about the stupidity of turn 1 reserves only in your own deployment zone so they one upped themselves and banned turn 1 reserves completely. This ... is not what I expected and not a very reasonable change as long as gunline armies are still untouched imo. All it does is screwing armies who rely on reserves even further. I see the need to nerf deep strike bombs like the CSM Terminator/Obliterator bombs and the AM Plasma Scion spam, but that's an army specific problem, not a core rules problem.
- This one affects us only really in case our opponent gets turn one and closes the gap to us quickly without leaving space to drop our reserves. In any case it nerfs Crisis even further and dropping Drones to protect your Y'vahra or Ghostkeel turn 1 is not a thing anymore either. Let's hope this won't make it into the game in this form.
- Related to above all the infiltration Stratagems (Raven Guard, Alpha Legion , Stygies VIII) got changed to being scout Stratagems (free 9" move before the game begins) instead.
- This takes a lot of pressure off us since we don't have to fear infiltrating Berzerker and similar anymore.
- Everyone got a 2CP Stratagem (Prepared Positions) if they go second that provides cover for every unit in your deployment zone for the first turn. This lessens the alpha strike capability of gunline armies a little bit, but going first is still better obviously. Imo that's something that should be a default bonus for going second without having to pay 2CP.
- I've been playing around with Dal'yth a lot recently and the free cover turn 1 is awesome for alpha strike protection. However it also means that Dal'yth is basically nerfed to "save 2CP if you go second" unless you have lots of units outside of your deployment zone (Ghostkeels and Stealth Suits with free cover are ridiculously tanky btw).
- Since we can ignore cover at 3 Markerlights and don't have that much of a problem getting enough CP it's actually a great change for us despite T'au being seen as a gunline army.
- Tactical Restraint. This one is quick and simple. It restricts any CP generator ability to a maximum of 1CP per BATTLEROUND (so you and your opponents turn combined).
- It's obviously a nerf to any of those abilities, however we were generating CP only on a 6+ per Stratagem use anyway so it wasn't very likely for us to generate much more than that in the first place. However it nerfes the Astra Militarum CP generation a LOT so on a meta level it's actually a buff for us. Imperium soup armies will still be going strong tho since AM can just add tons of CP to Imperial Knights for almost no points still.
- Agents of Vect (the Drukhari Stratagem to negate Stratagems) is now restricted to be only useable if there's actually a Kabal of the Black Heart unit on the battlefield.
- This prevents Eldar player to splash in a min size Kabal of the Black Heart detachment to gain access to such a strong Stratagem. If they want to keep using it they now have to make sure their squishy Drukhari units actually survive.
- FLY works only in the movement phase now. Obviously GW lashing out in attempt to nerf the Captain Smash abuse by imperial soup armies.
- So this one is HUGE. It means nobody can charge over units or terrain anymore since that doesn't happen in the movement phase. It make screens a LOT more viable against melee units (yes, even Heldrakes land to charge now ...) but also makes it harder for us to bind enemy shooty units with cheecky Drone and Battlesuit charges.
- This also means units with FLY now have to measure the vertical distance when charging again so no cheeky 0" charges from the top of a building anymore.
- One now has to declare which weapons go on which target when one announces to split shooting between multiple units.
- This mostly just prevents Knight players to get screwed over by cheeky player announcing multiple targets and wait for the Knight player to adjust their shields before deciding where the actually dangerous weapons will go.
- One can't skip phases.
- I won't say every time that an answer was obvious but there are lots of questions like that. Of course we can't skip any phases just because we don't have anything to do there. If an opponent has an ability that triggers in the Psychic phase then it will trigger in our turn as well regardless of whether we have psyker ourselves or not.
- Abilities that change the Move characteristic of a unit changes both the minimum and the maximum Move characteristic.
- So if an ability halves the movement of a flyer it will also reduce the minimum Move from 20" to 10".
- Heroic Intervention triggers even if the opponent doesn't declare any charges.
- Better pull your units out of 3" (or 6" in case of Space Wolves and some few abilities) of enemy characters unless you want to give them an overwatch-free charge. Also make sure to fall back far enough so they don't catch you via HI again.
- Heroic Intervention does NOT trigger during your own turn.
- Just mentioning it to make clear that your opponent can't abuse it to gain overwatch-free charges during their own turn just like that.
- Fortifications can control Objectives as long as it is considered to be a friendly unit.
- Teleport Homers and similar aren't considered friendly models and can't control Objectives.
- Units that contain multiple models that split up after deployment (like Leman Russ Battle tanks and our Drones) count as only one unit for the unit limit on Organized Events.
- The Datacard for the Automated Repair System Stratagem got fixed and now says the same as the Stratagem in the Codex.
- Saviour Protocol swallows the whole damage of multi-damage wounds and transforms it to a single Mortal wound.
- I don't know anybody who doubted that but nice to have clarification I guess.
- Saviour Protocol only works against wounds from ranged or melee weapons.
- So no Saviour Protocol against Mortal wounds from Psychic abilities. I've seen people being upset about this one, however I for one always played it like that already anyway so no change for me.
- Longshot Pulse Rifles aren't considered pulse rifle for the purposes of volley fire.
- It was to be expected but still sad that our Sniper Drones don't get any love. I guess 3 shots at 24" hitting on 5+/4+/3+/2+ (depending on your buffs) was too much.
- Kauyon and Mont'ka only work for the models that were in range at the time you activate it. So any unit that moves into range after activation doesn't benefit from it.
- It unfortunately still doesn't clarify whether the units are forced to be stationary or not when using Kauyon, but still nice to have the ability at least partially clarified.
So that's it. Overall nothing really changed for us except that other armies suffered a bit more from the changes which in return will make us look better.
Something else I noticed, tho I'm not sure if it changed with this or the last FAQ/Errata, I can't find the restriction of only one Commander per Detachment anymore. So while we are still bound by the Organized Event limit for non-Troop units we can take multiple Commander in a single detachment again. On the risk of it not actually being news and just me not having noticed it ... that's possibly the biggest change for me.