8th Edition: Rules snafus

Hey all, Danny here as always, and today, with 8th edition only a scant few days away from official release, let’s look at some of the rules questions that have already sprang up.  Gamers gonna game, and if you remember one of my past articles, English is not exactly a precise language, especially when not written in a formal manner.

Can I use Command Points to re-roll seize the initiative or to see if the game ends? 

As it stands now, by RAW (Rules as Written) yes.   Command Points can be used before the game and during the game, and well, these all take place within those confines.

This is powerful when used correctly, so it is not a bad idea to save 1 CP for such things.

I can charge out of Deepstrike/Reserves/Tunneling/etc with 8 inches, right? 

No.  Why? Math.  The rules for coming out of reserves, unless explicitly stated, all say that you need to deploy MORE than 9 inches (X>9.00000.) away from an enemy unit, so that means 9.0000000001 inches.  While yes, you only need to come within 1 inch to engage in melee, you are 9.000000001 inches away, so if you roll an 8 (8.000000000000), you will end up 1.0000000001 inches away from the target, so you are not within an inch.

While our positioning on the table is not this precise, the math is.  As rolls for charges only deal with whole numbers (8.0000000 rather than 8.125 inches), you need a 9 to come within an inch of the target.

Anyone who tries to do argue that 8 inches is enough doesn’t understand math, and anyone who tries to pull it off on the table by claiming “well, measuring it out, I’m in range” misplaced their models and violated the rules.

So no, you need 9 inches to charge from reserve unless you have an ability like Genestealer Cult that specifically allows you to deploy closer.

If I name my Craftworld Ultramarines, does this mean Rowboat works for them as they are “ultramarines”? 

No. If you are trying to game the system and play with the meta-data Keywords that GW has implemented, you can certainly argue that this should work, but there are two big flaws:  One, it assumes that the bracketed information is entirely replaced, so <Craftworld> becomes <Ultramarines> when there is an equally valid argument that instead it becomes this: <Craftworld Ultramarines> which would then negate the ability as <Chapter> would become <Chapter Ultramarines>.  The other flaw is that if you are earnestly trying to pull this off, you’re being a douche, so knock it off.  Every independent TO like Frontline and Nova have clearly stated that this not a valid option.

So how do re-rolls and modifiers work now? 

In this brand new world, re-rolls happen BEFORE modifiers take effect, so you will re-roll natural misses (or hits if asked), and then after the re-roll, you will apply modifiers.  What does this look like:

4 Devastators fire their Lascannons at the Swarmlord, who happens to be in the aura of a Malanthrope, who provides a -1 hit debuff to the Devastators.  They roll: 3, 2, 2, 4.  The Devastators are within range of a character that allows them to re-roll misses.  So we now have a re-roll and a modifier stacking onto the same roll.

Before modifiers are applied, the 2s miss and will be re-rolled.  The 3 is a natural success as is the 4, so they are not rerolled.  The 2s are re-rolled to 3 and 5, so now the final roll after re-rolls is 3, 3, 4, and 5.  Now we apply the -1 to hit from the Malanthrope, so the final tally is: 2, 2, 3, and 4, so 2 hits and 2 misses.  Yes, the 3s are going to miss.

This is a big change, mostly because modifiers to hit were much rarer in 7th edition and there was no clear language and when to apply modifiers, but now we have them.  If it was reversed, negative modifiers could actually be a benefit as modifiers could allow you reroll more dice.

Get used to this, and don’t get salty when your natural 3s (which hit without the modifier) are suddenly misses without the chance to re-roll.   It should also show you how powerful negative modifiers actually are.

Can I use Command Points to re-roll my opponent’s dice? 

No (maybe?).  This is contentious, and there are certainly arguments on both sides.  The argue for is that the language simply states: “You may re-roll a single die”, and well, an opponent’s die is a die.  The counter to this is the use of “You”, namely, that this implies ownership of the die being re-rolled.

This brings up the question of ownership: who “owns” the dice?  The language doesn’t specify “your dice”, it uses the indefinite article, “a”, which by definition means any available matching the criteria, and yes, your opponent’s die is a single die.

My gut feeling is that this will be ruled as No because it is the least powerful interpretation, and well, we live in a new world kiddos, and the world is this: RAI is stronger than RAW in these cases.

Why? Because GW is much more actively engaging with the community, and GW is in constant communication with 3rd parties like Frontline.  They are making it clear what they intend to be the case, and typically, this means the least abusive or powerful mechanic.  As we’ve said many times, the rules designers are GW are not hardcore competitive players: they don’t look for loopholes.  They write in a casual, conversational manner because they assume the game is played in a casual, friendly manner.   Before this brand new world, GW never really spoke to us, so we had no baseline for definitive intent, but we do now.  They have consistently come down on ruling for the least powerful effect, so we can start to take this to the bank.

So yes, 8th edition is here, and while the game is FAR simpler, there are always going to be rules disputes, but the biggest change is that well, we are starting to get a voice again from GW, so this should make it easier for us to resolve things clearly.

Make sure to watch us this Saturday, release day, from about 9am to 6pm as we power through as many games of 8th as we can.  We have prizes, special guests, and maybe a rare Annegron sighting! Also, be sure to hit up that Patreon as this is how we can do all these new cool things and give you cool stuff.