The Warhammer 40k 10th edition rules for terrain have flaws with easy fixes, according to YouTuber and tournament organiser Mikey Herbert of Hellstorm Wargaming. On Monday, Herbert uploaded an edited livestream to YouTube, called ‘I broke 10th edition’, in which he points out potential problems in the new version of Warhammer 40k.
While the Warhammer 40k 10th edition release date is still over two weeks away, like many media outlets and influencers Herbert already has a copy of the 40k 10th edition core rules. He identifies two key areas where the rules for ruins have awkward and counterintuitive consequences, particularly for certain Warhammer 40k factions that field large models.
10th edition Ruins and the Benefit of Cover
In 10th edition, models get the Benefit of Cover when they are wholly inside a ruin or they are not fully visible to every model in an attacking unit because of the ruin.
Herbert points out that this means, should a single model from an attacking unit have its line of sight to a target totally blocked by a ruin, even though that model cannot be selected to shoot, the target unit will gain the benefit of cover against all the other models in the attacking unit, even if their lines of sight are totally unimpeded.
Herbert suggests a pretty simple fix for this: models could gain the benefit of cover if they are not fully visible to every model that is attacking them.
10th edition Ruins visibility rules
The 10th edition rules for ruins state that, at the start of the game, players should agree the ruin’s footprint. Warhammer TV has taken to using perspex bases on stream to clarify those areas. A unit cannot draw a line of sight through ruins unless it is wholly within them, or it or its target is Towering or an Aircraft.
This isn’t symmetrical: units can be targeted by shooting attacks if they are partly within ruins, even though they can’t see through the ruin themselves.
This is similar to the terrain rules from ninth edition, but Herbert points out that in ninth, units only needed to be partly within ruins to draw a line of sight through them. Now that a model has to be wholly within a ruin to shoot through it, it’s far harder for models on big bases to draw line of sight through ruins.
It may even be impossible: the Astra Militarum’s Super Heavy tanks have huge footprints on the table.
Herbert’s recommendation for a fix here is to return to the 9th edition wording, allowing units that are partly within ruins to shoot through them (provided their line of sight isn’t physically blocked by terrain).
As well as running his YouTube channel, Herbert organises wargaming tournaments, including qualifiers for the World Championships of Warhammer.
It will be interesting to observe whether GW acknowledges these points in an FAQ, and whether the counterintuitive consequences of these rules are what the design team intended. We’ve rounded up 10 surprises in the Warhammer 40k 10th edition rules you should check out while you read through the free core rulebook.
I played Warmachine in the mid 2010s, and publisher Privateer Press held a firm line that every rule was to be interpreted literally until it was errata’d. You could do some odd things by exploiting corner case rules, but you never got into arguments about ‘rules as written vs rules as intended’. Some of the designers from that game have gone on to produce Star Wars: Shatterpoint, which is a truly fantastic game with a rulebook written partly in awkward legalese. Writing great rules just isn’t easy.