Tournament organisers (TOs) who caused a stir in the Warhammer 40k community for banning the Leagues of Votann before their 40k codex was even released will be running their tournaments with a slate of Warhammer 40k 10th edition house rules. Tobias Wesselmann (aka Damokles) announced in the Competitive 40k Discord on Wednesday that he and a small group of TOs had created a set of house-rules that will apply to next week’s Münsterland GT and the later Bembel Clash.
The house rules affect both the core rules of 10th edition and datasheets from specific Warhammer 40k factions. “We see ourselves as service providers and hosts”, Wesselmann states, adding that the house rules are being implemented “for all players to have a good gaming experience”.
Competitive players who remember seventh edition and the time before Games Workshop actively addressed errata will find that the list of house rules the TOs are using is comparatively short, running to just seven items. It’s a capsule summary of contentious topics within the 40k competitive community.
One house rule alters the Towering keyword. As written in the 10th edition core rules, Towering units like Imperial Knights can be seen over ruins irrespective of physical line of sight (as was the case in ninth edition), and can also themselves see over ruins.
That seems symmetrical, but it grants Towering units clear lines of sight that no other ranged list can enjoy; against melee centred enemy armies there’s basically no downside.
Other house rules in the list reduce the prevalence of mortal wounds; one removes the Devastating Wounds weapon ability from the Wraightknight’s Heavy Wraithcannon, while another places a cap on the number of mortal wounds a unit can score in a single phase against targets other than monsters or vehicles.
In September 2022, TOs from Bembel Clash and Münsterland GT were amongst those who pre-emptively banned the then-unreleased Leagues of Votann army, due to concerns it was grossly overpowered. Games Workshop issued a video apology and a pre-launch balance update for the Votann on September 29.
Games Workshop has attempted to cater to competitive players more since it launched eighth edition 40k in 2017, but it’s not the only community that the firm services. The new Combat Patrol datasheets are aimed at new players or players who want quick games, while Crusade rules provide a narrative experience.
Then there are fans of painting miniatures who might not play at all. It remains to be seen how big or small a role tournament organisers will take in balancing Warhammer 40k 10th edition for their competitions.