40K Rules Blooper Reel

From 1d4chan
This article is about something that is considered by the overpowering majority of /tg/ to be fail.
Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
TL;DR: Oops.

GW has a history of rules that fail to work, whether intentional or otherwise. This page is meant to compile all the classic examples of...unintended hilarity of GW ruleswriting throughout 40k. The worst offenses, of course, became tactics like Screamerstar or Fish of Fury. Recommended listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sruEnQ9HkU

2nd Edition[edit]

3rd Edition[edit]

  • Scourges Don't Lift: Back then Scourges were Jump Pack Infantry with no ability to move and shoot their Heavy Weapons (unless they took Splinter Cannons, which were decent but not stellar). To add insult to injury GW gave them a warrior statline (they were literally BS3 Imperial Guardsmen stat-wise), and ridiculously expensive weapons that don't come standard. They were also among the more fiddly of the metal models to assemble as well with casts that rarely came out right (Right up there with the metal Wraithlord, metal Daemon Prince, and Finecast in terms of outright defective models that you had to fix yourself with Green Stuff). Accordingly, they were seen as a joke unit in an already difficult to pilot army.
  • Sat on da Banna Wava again...: In 3rd edition the Orks could, under the Bosspole wargear rules, give a Grot the Bosspole. Unfortunately you could not buy the Grot needed to carry it, presumably because he'd been sat on again. Thankfully this was FAQ'd rather quickly.

4th Edition[edit]

  • Chonky Broodlords: The ability to Run/Advance did not exist as a default ability in 4th Edition. Rather, a unit composed entirely of models with Fleet could move an extra D6" in the shooting phase, and still charge. This ability was critical for units like Genestealers which did not want to be caught in the open. The problem? A Broodlord was required to stay in a unit of Genestealers, but did not have Fleet, thus slowing down its unit to die to Bolter fire.
  • Snikrot Shuffle: Boss Snikrot was made a unit upgrade for Kommandos, giving his unit the ability to appear from any table edge through "Behind Enemy Lines." However, due to the way Behind Enemy Lines was worded, Snikrot was granting the unit the ability, rather than the unit itself being upgraded to have the ability. Thus, although arguably unintentional, it became legal to use Snikrot to "smuggle" decidedly unsneaky Ork Characters alongside him; one must imagine they were carrying the Boss's Bike Fred Flintstone-style.
  • Squad Broken!: Units stopped scoring if they were below half strength. While this made little difference on 10 or 20-man infantry units, it made quite a bit of difference if you were taking vehicle squads. Players would deliberately take odd-numbered squad sizes to increase the threshold for half.
  • Tau Piñata: The Tau Orca was billed as being a super-heavy transport flyer, one capable of carrying and deploying several squads in one turn thanks to a unique special rule that allowed it to disembark multiple squads at any point during its move (drop some off, move to the next point, repeat). The problem was that it had only one access point (its rear ramp) so if the units it carried were at their maximum size, they were too large to be deployed normally since all the models could not all be placed within 2" of the access point. This in turn meant the only way for the Tau player to get their troops on the board was to hope the enemy player blew up the Orca in midair, and hope the troops inside survived the landing and didn't burst on the ground like the blueberries they were. Given the armour value of the vehicle (Rhino armour) and how easy it was to destroy, this ended up happening more often than not. This also started the trend of the Orca being a useless piece of shit that was a flying deathtrap to anyone inside of it, and this issue remained unfixed all the way through 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th edition.

5th Edition[edit]

  • Musical Wounds: 5th edition wound allocation stated that you had to distribute wounds as evenly as possible between all models in a unit before it rolled for saves. In theory this meant that if you did a lot of wounds at once, you could force your opponent to risk losing Sergeants or hidden Special Weapons. In practice, Musical Wounds combined with multi-wound units led to a phenomenon where players would give each model a unique loadout, so that you effectively had to deal the model's unit worth of unsaved wounds before said unit removed any casualties. The two most notable example units that abused this mechanic were Nob Bikers and Grey Knight Paladins, though Thunderwolves and even Dark Eldar Grotesques could join in the fun.

  • You won't need Eyes When You're Raging: 5th Edition introduced True Line of Sight, with the stipulation that infantry models had to measure Line of Sight "from the eyes." Tyrant Guard had a special rule that they would suffer from Rage if the Hive Tyrant they were protecting died. Unfortunately, Rage as written stated you had to move towards the closest "visible" enemy unit, which RAW was impossible for Tyrant Guard since they don't actually have eyes.

  • Crouching Wraithlord, Leaping Ork Boy: Since True Line of Sight also did not come with any real restrictions against "modelling for advantage," players initially sought to exploit this by heavily modding or basing figures. Comedically, Canis Wolfborn gained an extra attack for each model in base-to-base with him, and the rules stated "if you're thinking of modelling Canis on a really large base to take advantage of this, don't." This wasn't a formal restriction against basing however. In the meantime, legs were snipped to give upright poses and models raised high overhead to give the best lines of fire. The Eldar Wraithlord became one of the most notable offenders, being popularly modded into a crouching or "prone" position to lower its height and make it easier to acquire 50% cover (It did deliver some pretty boss looking conversions, though, so it wasn't all bad).

6th Edition[edit]

  • Grumblegrumble Stupid Chariot: The 6th edition Burning Chariot of Tzeentch was introduced as a Skimmer Chariot, fast and fragile and meant to act akin to a Daemon Land Speeder of a sort. Unfortunately, the actual ranged weapons were on the Exalted Flamer atop the whole Chariot, which was not Relentless. Thus, the Chariot had to move or shoot, which was a death sentence for such a fragile ride (7th made them Relentless but the daemons still had to put up with entire edition of this bullshit).
  • Thermonuclear Pyrovores: The Pyrovore in 5th-7th was memetically known as a super-useless unit, but the 6th edition Tyranid Codex was known for a hilariously misworded Volatile rule: Whenever a Pyrovore died to Instant Death, "Every unit suffers a S3 hit for each model (excluding other Pyrovores) within d6 inches of the Pyrovore." Read that rule, and comprehend what "every unit" means.
  • Lookout, Wez Ork Snipers!: 6th edition introduced "Character" as a subtype for models; Characters could accept and issue Challenges to other Characters, and benefit from "Look Out Sir," which let other models take wounds on their behalf; furthermore, Characters in 6th ed had the Precision Shot rule, meaning that on 6s to hit, the attacker could allocate hits instead of the defender. When the 6th ed FAQs first rolled out, Ork Nobs were indexed to be Characters. However, the index didn't distinguish between Nobs leading Boys or units of Nobs; not only could Nobz play Musical Wound Games where they could pawn off wounds to each other on a 4+, but that a unit of Nob Bikerz (each Biker fires 3 shots, hitting on 5s and rerolling misses, and choosing the model affected on a 6) was generally better at sniping out troublesome targets than many dedicated snipers. GW did eventually FAQ their FAQ to state that only one Nob in each unit of Nobz/Meganobz got the Character distinction, while 7th ed made Precision Shot a USR that Characters did not innately receive.
  • Legion of the Dammit: Codex Legion of the Damned was touted as a standalone supplement that was meant to let players field them as a standalone force. The rules required the Legion of the Damned to start with their entire army in Reserves. Unfortunately in 6th, you automatically lost if you didn't actually have any units on the table. GW would later apologize in an FAQ for the standalone touting and confirmed the rules were intended for Legion of the Damned to support another army rather than act on their own.
  • Asses of Fire: Heldrakes' Baleflamer during its inception counted as being turret-mounted, allowing the Hellturkey to Vector Strike and then hose the same unit with hellfire from its, errm... eye of terror. It was quickly errata'd, but, while not exactly game-breaking, it still lead to horrifying implications, given the damn things were everywhere back then.

7th Edition[edit]

  • Nobz In A 'Naut: This may have arguably just been insidious GW marketing instead of them failing to understand their own game, but Gorkanauts/Morkanauts were touted as "nearly indestructible" and reliably able to transport Nobz or other elite units into the fray, despite the fact that they were not Superheavy Vehicles. While you could one-shot them with a lucky Melta or Lascannon shot, a more common outcome was for one to be Immobilized by a Grav Cannon rolling a 6. As for serving as an assault transport, GW forgot to give the 'Nauts the Assault Ramp rule, and thus you couldn't actually assault from one. To add insult to injury, these vehicles cost more than a Land Raider while moving slower.
  • Knight Rider Chronus: In 7th edition, Ultramarines could purchase Chronus as an upgrade to Tanks. Unlike Longstrike or Pask, Chronus was an Infantry Character, that would turn the tank he was riding into a Character, only to emerge from said Tank like a passenger should it be destroyed. However, RAW, Chronus was a Character and so was the Tank that Chronus was riding in, but neither were the same Character. Thus, you could either make Chronus your Warlord and wait before his tank was destroyed before you could use his Warlord Trait (assuming it required being on-table), or make his Tank your Warlord. Thus, it's more funny to imagine Chronus's tank as KITT from Knight Rider. (As an amusing bonus, he also had a Servo-Arm but not Blessing of the Omnissiah, so he could punch stuff but couldn't fix it).
  • Khornedogs of Slaanesh: Daemons in Khorne Daemonkin had Fearless instead of Daemonic Instability. Thus, Battle Brothers from Chaos Space Marines could join Daemon units from Khorne Daemonkin. Although an Independent Character with a Mark could not join a unit with a different Mark, having the Mark of a Chaos God and being a Daemon of a Chaos God were two different things. Thus, Daemonkin meant you could have a Sorcerer of Slaanesh use Flesh Hounds of Khorne as bodyguards.
  • Ordo Xenos or Ordo Xerox?: Codex Deathwatch had generally sloppy rules, copypaste formations ("Reroll to-wound vs X"), and odd examples of GW being arbitrarily restrictive in unit loadouts (notably, Deathwatch couldn't take Rifleman Dreads or Strontos Razorbacks). However the most amusing example of this was how the Bane Bolts relic had a profile for being used by a Stalker Boltgun, despite Deathwatch HQs not having the option for a Stalker Boltgun.
  • Siphon Magic, Period: Siphon Magic may easily be the worst-written power of 7th edition. "Siphon Magic is a Blessing that targets the Psyker. For the rest of the phase, each time a friendly model successfully manifests a psychic power within 18" of them, place a dice next to this model. Any dice accrued in this manner can be used by the Psyker as bonus Warp Charge points." This power itself was problematic for several reasons: Does "a friendly model" include the Psyker that cast Siphon Magic? Did casting Siphon Magic actually grant the Psyker an immediate bonus die? It was noted that Deny the Witch did not turn a Success into a Failure, but simply cancelled the power's effect, and so Siphon Magic still granted a bonus die. However, the real RAW kerfluffle was the fact that since Siphon Magic did not grant bonus Warp Charge, but "dice that could be spent as additional Warp Charge," you could argue that it was possible to store dice from Siphon Magic across turns. You could even state that this was "intentional," since the Tyranid Neurothrope had a similar ability that let it gain additional Warp Charge that could only be used by its unit. Hilariously though, Siphon Magic was otherwise useless for ML 1 Psykers since if it was the only power that could be cast that turn, then it would mean storing up dice that could not be used. Oops.
  • Zombie-Free Death Guard: Typhus let you nominate any Chaos Cultists as Plague Zombies at army creation, giving them Fearless, Feel No Pain, and Slow and Purposeful. They however could not purchase any other options besides increasing their unit size. When Traitor Legions came out, it added rules for different Legion Tactics; notably, Death Guard detachments required all units with the option to purchase the Mark of Nurgle. Due to ambiguous order of operations, it was entirely possible that the Cultists having to purchase the Mark of Nurgle precluded Typhus being able to nominate said Cultists as Zombies. However, Typhus let you nominate any Cultists in your army, and not necessarily the Detachment he was in, so if you took an allied Alpha Legion detachment, you could have Infiltrating ninja-zombies. Let that image sink in.
  • Hydra-faced Cultists: Traitor Legions again. The "Lost and Damned" Formation had a special rule that if any unit of Cultists was destroyed, then the Chaos player would get a 'replacement' of that unit which would emerge next turn from Ongoing Reserves. The Alpha Legion's super-detachment had the same rule under a different name. Considering that the Lost and the Damned was the only Cultist formation available to Alpha Legion, this immediately led to debates over how the two bonuses interacted with each other, with some players saying you only got 'one' roll, some players saying you got to reroll, and some players saying you could roll twice and get two units of Cultists. GW eventually FAQ'd this, so Alpha Legion only got 'one' roll, but it was on a 3+.
  • Soul Pain: The Ynnari Psychic Power Unbind Souls targeted an enemy unit, and made a number of Strength 4 attacks equal to the number of models in the target unit. It was supposed to be used to cut large hordes down to size. However, the rulewriter forgot that only models in range and line of sight could be removed as casualties, and Unbind Souls only had 12 inches of range. The result would be a few unlucky Orks or Tyranids being struck down with extreme overkill, to the confusion of the rest of the unit.
  • Revenge is Sweet: In what may be the best bit of poetic irony of 7th Edition, the Avatar of Khaine was completely immune to Guilliman, since all of Guilliman's close combat attacks had Soul Blaze. Feels good to be immune after being used as a punching bag in all of Matt Ward's old fluff...
  • Stormsurge Fell and Can't Get Up!: When the Stormsurge battlesuit came out, it had a nice little rule that allowed it to fire twice at the expense of not being able to move. The problem? If it was tank shocked by anything (and this was confirmed in the FAQ) it would instantly die if its anchors were deployed, presumably because it would be tipped over and without arms (and thanks to being a super-heavy) it would be impossible to stand back up again. So, surprisingly enough, this is less a case of shitty rules and more one of the rules implementing the consequences of a shitty design ignored elsewhere.
  • Da Boss's Tools: Da Fixer Upperz is a Gift of Gork and Mork available to Big Meks and supposedly Meks, unfortunately as written Meks can't take Gifts of Gork and Mork.

8th Edition[edit]

Strap yourself in, son, this is gonna be a long one. This edition saw a major rules overhaul, stopgap rules brought in before full codices were released, and of course, the most recent fuckups tend to be easier to remember than the ones that happened twenty years ago.

  • Does anyone actually playtest this anymore? FAQ again! So the character targeting rules changed to prevent cheese. before you could only target a character with less than 10 wounds if they were the closest visible unit. This leads to cheese like surrounding squads with their own tanks and transports, leaving a small hole so a unit could only see a character, or attempting to snipe characters with Mortars and Basilisks. Instead of fixing this by saying something like "You can see through friendly units for the purposes of targeting (and only targeting) but cannot shoot through them", GW tried to patch this out. Now you can't target the character if there is a unit between the shooter and character even if that closer unit isn't in LoS. This has lead to characters like Archons and Smashfucker becoming the best objective holders and deep strike denial units in the entire game. Now imagine what a Reaper Launcher Autarch with Mark of the Incomparable Hunter can do with this...
Note that as of the 2nd big FAQ this remains not only unchained, but now made into an official rule. If a character is in clear view and the only enemy units that are closer to your unit than them are completely out of Line of Sight, then you still cannot shoot that character. The FAQ also specified that you ignore other characters for the purposes of 'closest enemy unit', but only if they have less than 10 wounds.
Prior to being patched, this led to a notable "Superfriends" of assorted Imperial Characters (including Gulliman and Draigo and more), several Eversor Assassins, and at least four Culexus Assassins. The Culexus Assassins could only be hit on 6s, were immune to Smite, and had a 4+ Invulnerable, and were also the only unit the opponent could legally target.
  • Plasma is Hotter At Night: When you Overcharge Plasma weaponry, it explodes on a 1. Not a "natural" one but a "modified one." This means any penalties to-hit also increase the odds of Plasma exploding. The Machine Spirits are afraid of the dark. Note that supercharged Plasma Guns "slay the bearer on a hit roll of 1". Everything in the book draws gear from one list. Yes, including vehicles. Yes, that 371pts Land Raider with 16 wounds just spontaneously evaporated itself with its own pintle-mounted combi-plasma. Don't press that, brother!
    • To add insult to injury, there is even a situation where you can make an Overcharged Plasma Cannon explode on any result to hit, thanks to GW giving -1 to hit effects to the Craftworld Eldar like it's going out of style. All you need to do is overcharge and shoot a Plasma Cannon at night (-1 to hit) after moving (-1 to hit) at some knife eared assholes painted blue (Alaitoc Attribute, -1 to hit at +12") with fancy armour (Warp Spider's Flickerjump ability, -1 to hit) who are pulling some Matrix shit (Lightning-Fast Reactions Stratagem, -1 to hit). So that's a total of -5 to hit, meaning any result you roll to hit will be modified down to a 1. I guess the Machine Spirits are also scared of Eldar too?
    • On a more positive note, you can (almost always) fire the gun on regular mode at no risk. As hilariously bad as this rule is, you at least don't need to commit suicide or do nothing.
    • Some models have special rules on their guns to "fix" this, mostly characters with big expensive minis and guns that only cause a mortal wound on a 1.
  • Anti-Air Flamethrowers: Flamethrowers in 8th edition no longer use an AoE "teardrop" template, but instead inflict a random number of automatic hits on a unit. For example, a Hellhound's Inferno Cannon inflicts D6 automatic hits. Due to these changes, regular flamers are less important as a crowd control weapon, and more as an anti-hitmod (and anti-aircraft) weapon; this is especially true of weapons that have a multi-damage value like the aforementioned Inferno Cannon. Where it gets silly though is how Flamers interact with "ambush/deepstrike" abilities. See, regular flamers have an effective range of 8 inches, but most "strike from Reserve" powers require you to set up more than 9 inches away. This means that flamers are useless when you appear from Reserves, but it also means they're useless for defending against units Charging from Reserves, since the flamers are out of range and thus unable to actually lay down a Wall of Death like in 6th-7th Edition, or interrupt movement like in 2nd Edition.
    • 9th 'fixed' this for flamers by upping their range to 12", essentially granting them the ability to hit targets provided they started their charge within range of the flamer model in question. Of course, 9th also made Overwatch a Stratagem to the debatable benefit of everyone.

  • Just Another Bugged Hunt: Genestealer Cults have a special rule called Brood Brothers: For each Genestealer Cult detachment in your army, you may take one Guard detachment, ignoring said Guard Detachment's Faction Keywords when determining if your army is Battle-Forged. The Guard Detachment cannot benefit from any Regiment-specific Stratagems, Doctrines, or Relics. However, a separate Forgeworld FAQ ruling states that Elysian and Krieg bonuses are not considered Regiment bonuses but their own "bespoke" rules. Combine with the fact that Brood Brothers has no restriction on being triggered by an Auxiliary Detachment, and you can have a Battalion of Tyranids fighting alongside a Battalion of Elysians, with a single Cult Acolyte in an Auxiliary Detachment making the list Battle-Forged.
  • Unfocused Fire: Due to wonky RAW, the Tau Stratagem Focused Fire (hopefully to be FAQd) works best by splitting fire across the entire enemy army. Say the opponent has a unit. You shoot that unit, it fails its save, and you then activate Focus Fire. For the rest of that phase, any T'au Sept unit of yours that targets that unit gets +1 to wound. However, selecting targets and resolving shooting are separate steps; this means that RAW, a Hammerhead could allocate Smart Missiles against the unit that Focus Fire was activated against, allocate its Railgun against another unit, and get +1 to wound both units.
  • They can have TWO weapons?: After waiting months for a FAQ, the tau finally got an answer as to what counts as a "shot" in the cadre fireblade's volley fire ability. GW answered "It means the player can make one more hit roll for each model that is firing at a target within half range", which conflicts with the wording of the ability which says the model gets an extra shot for EACH WEAPON, meaning drones, which carried 2 pulse carbines, would not get an extra shot per pulse carbine. Many months later GW issued a FAQ of the FAQ, saying the model would get one extra shot for each weapon.
  • Supreme Lack of Fire Discipline: The T'au Sept Sa'cea has the Tenet Calm Discipline, which at first looks similar to the Salamander Chapter Tactic Master Artisans, in that it lets each Sa'cea unit reroll a single to-hit roll. However, while the Salamanders Chapter Tactic is worded that you "you can reroll a single failed hit roll and a single failed wound roll made for a SALAMANDERS unit with this Tactic each time it shoots or fights," the Sa'caea Tenet is written that "In the Shooting phase you can re-roll a single failed hit roll when a unit with this tenet shoots." As written, the Tenet gives you one reroll to-hit for the entire shooting phase, and not one per unit.
  • Ork Snipers are totally a thing: Again with GW forgetting that -1 to hit is actually powerful and handing it out everywhere, this initially meant that Orks are literally incapable of hitting anything with a -2 to hit, since there is no "6 always hits" rule (until the Orks' codex) the way there is a "1 always fails" rule.
    • GW thankfully realized this in time for the Ork Codex, not only giving them a special rule to always hit with shooting on unmodified 6s, but to gain extra attacks through it.
    • This can be exploited by a Tyranid list with Biovores. The Spore Mine Launcher, on a miss, allows you to put a Spore Mine on the table for free, even in Matched Play. Tired of to-hit penalty cheese making all your guns hit on a 6+ or 7+? Have your Biovores shoot at them and they can literally cover the table in Spore Mines, because they'll always miss.
  • The Howling Banshees got into the cookie-dough again: Howling Banshees get +3" to the distance they roll for charges, and are also supposed to be able to charge units 15" away. However due to how the rule is written, all it does is let them charge after advancing if a unit is 15" away, not that they get to ignore the 12" limit from the main Rulebook. I guess Jain Zar has some coupons for Ben and Jerry's or something?
  • "We forgot the difference between Unit and Model" for 500, Alex: The rules for Advancing say that the unit may not be selected to shoot if it does so. The rules for Assault weapons say a model with an Assault weapon may shoot it if it advanced, but at -1 to hit. The problem is that you can never select the unit the model with an Assault weapon is in as a unit you want to shoot with, due to the rules for advancing. The same applies for Pistols with a unit within 1" of an enemy.
  • Stop Betraying Yourself! Stop Betraying Yourself!: Khârn the Betrayer has the rule Kill! Maim! Burn! which lets him (any friendly World Eaters within 1", so really just himself) reroll all hits in the Fight Subphase, and he hits on a 2+. Sounds good so far, right? However, his rule The Betrayer means he cannot reroll 1s (so he cannot reroll any hits), each 1 hitting a friendly unit instead. You would think this would mean that you should run him solo, for "If there are no friendly models within 1 inch of Khârn, the hits are discarded." Unfortunately, a model is always treated as being in range of itself for auras or other special rules, meaning a bunch of 1s (or modified rolls) will result in Khârn hitting himself instead of the enemy.
  • Dakkaskull of Dakka: The Admech Stratagem Scryerskull can for the measly cost of 1 Command Point be used "at any time" to do one of several things: Reveal D3 Hidden Setup Markers, reveal a Mysterious Objective, or shoot with an ADEPTUS MECHANICUS unit while ignoring penalties from Dawn Raid, Low Visibility or Cover of Darkness. The "At any time", a lack of a requirement that the mission being played is using special rules or a 'shooting phase only' limitation results in game-breaking issues.
  • Trash Can Lid of Faith: Seraphim have a 6++ save, and a rule forcing them (if it were optional this wouldn't be a problem) to re-roll failed results when using this save. Celestine gives a +1 modifier to those invulnerable saves. However, because of the totally fun and not at all stupid system where re-rolls must happen before modifiers, if a Seraphim rolls a 5 for their save, they are forced to re-roll it even though it would pass after modifiers.
  • White Autarchs can't Jump: While it was fixed in the Codex for Warp Spiders (due to horrible wording in the Index, RAW said that Warp Spiders couldn't teleport out of combat in the Index), an Autarch using a Warp Spider Jump Pack can't use said Jump Pack to teleport out of Combat due to no current rules existing for the Autarch's version of it.
  • Remote Serjery: Because the Painboy's healing ability works on models and not units, it's entirely possible for a Painboy to save an Ork in combat on the other end of the table if you conga-line a maxed out squad of Boys. While less of a blooper and more a silly rules interaction, there is something hilariously Orky about the Painboy being able to save something locked in combat several feet away just because it's in the same mob.
  • Yvraine who thirsts: Ynnari again, and while this one makes sense RAW it's horribly unfluffy. Yvraine and The Visarch are healed on a 4+ by friendly Eldar exploding near them. Yvraine also benefits if it just happens to be a Psyker exploding, as it gives her more powers. Warlocks are very spammable. Put it together and it's not unheard of for Ynnari players to use a Command Point Re-roll to deliberately Perils of the Warp so that Yvraine gets a benefit from a Warlock being sucked into the Warp, likely taking even more Eldar with them if you get really unlucky. Yes, Eldar being introduced to Slaanesh's personal Bad Dragon collection actually heals and benefits the Ynnari, but they still swear it's entirely unrelated. Uh-huh...
  • Abaddonify: More Eldar rules breaking something! Jain Zar can disarm models she is fighting in close combat, rendering them unable to use one of their weapons. Well things get strange if you disarm something carrying the basic Close Combat Weapon. RAW says that the unit can't use that weapon, but the Rulebook states that you are to always assume that they have that weapon. There hasn't been a clear FAQ on this either which makes things more complicated.
  • Scunthorpe Weapon Profiles: The Scunthorpe Problem is a classic problem with word-search algorithms that censored for filtered out "dirty" words. The problem lay in the fact that certain innocent words would yield "false positives"; the problem was named after users from the town of Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire were unable to create AOL accounts, since "Scunthorpe" has the word "cunt" in it. How does this relate to 8th edition? In order to deal with the prior problem of weapon classification, many abilities and stratagems in 8th edition will state that a "X" weapon is defined as any weapon whose weapon profile has "Y" in its name (ex. blahblahblah). Aside from being a futureproofing timebomb waiting to happen, the rules for 8th edition have a messy definition for what exactly is a weapon profile: Is a weapon with multiple attack modes itself a weapon profile, or are the individual attack modes themselves profiles? This may seem like pedantic semantics, but either interpretation will result in bloopers.
    • Prometheium is Heresy: Chapter Approved 2017 introduced Cities of Death Stratagems, including Siphon Promethium. Siphon Promethium lets an infantry unit double the range of its flamer weapons, including Skorchas, Burnas, and any weapon profile with 'flame' in its name. This particular wording hurts Orks in particular, since depending on the interpretation, this prevents Kombi-Skorchas from benefitting and no Ork Infantry unit has the option to take a regular Skorcha. The real comedy however comes from the fact that Horrors of Tzeentch use 'Coruscating Flames', which can now shoot out to 36" on account of a false positive.
    • Holy Duality?: The Sisters of Battle beta codex had a stratagem Holy Trinity, which granted bonuses when a unit used a flamer, bolter, and meltagun on the same target. The definition for each component was for any weapon profile with 'bolt', 'melta', or 'flame' in its name, while explicitly treating Inferno Pistols as Melta weapons. If the interpretation that the weapon profile itself encompasses all the attack modes available, the end result would be Sisters using Combi-Flamers and Combi-Meltas to trigger the Stratagem at a distance, for superior dakka.
    • Weapons of the Derp Age: The Weapons of the Dark Age stratagem gives Dark Angel plasma weapons +1 damage, defining a plasma weapon as any weapon whose weapon profile includes plasma in its name. This means that it also accidentally applies to other weapons, like the bolter part of a combi-plasma, since it forgets to exclude them the same way the Beta Bolter rules exclude the non-bolter weapon profile of any combi-weapon.
    • "How do you fix this: Although it would take time to implement, the "ideal" fix would add rules for giving keywords to weapon profiles (similar to 7th edition). A weapon profile would inherit the keywords of the model wielding it. So rather than "INFANTRY firing flamer weapons. A flamer as defined as a ...", you have "firing INFANTRY FLAMER weapons". This would also allow for handling false positives, including ensuring that a Baleflamer is not a Flamer...ahem.
  • I Like my Genestealers Scrambled: Genestealer Cultists have the Cult Ambush ability, where they set up ambush markers, and reveal themselves on the first turn, appearing within 1" of the marker as if arriving from Reinforcements. Enemy units cannot move within 9" of said markers. The problem is certain units can project a 12" aura preventing enemy units from arriving from Reinforcements. Thus, some Primaris Infiltrators could walk 9.1" away from Ambush Markers, and unless the GSC player used Stratagems to relocate/hide undercover...the units tied to those Ambush markers would automatically be destroyed. FAQed so GSC units using Cult Ambush Blips don't count as coming in from reserves.
  • 46 shots, 1 kill: The current character targeting rules exist to stop people from cheese such as parking two Rhinos so your Devastator Squad with 4 Lascannons can only draw Line of Sight to your enemy's Warlord. As the Rules are written right now, you can't do this as they need to be both the closest unit, and closest visible unit. This is very important when it comes to "Mortar" and "Sniper" units, as they don't overwrite these requirements: a Mortar can't just declare it's shooting at the character behind a wall because they can't see it, even if it's the closest unit, and they can't shell the Character at the back even if they can somehow draw LoS if there is just one intervening model. Why mention this? The new Space Marine unit: Primaris Eliminators simply don't function if you go by RAW. The new weapon profile is functionally a Sniper and Mortar unit combined, but the Rules don't actually allow this: They need both LoS on a Character and the Character to be the closest unit to take the shot. If you fail to meet any of these qualifiers then you can't target the character. They can, however, target regular units as normal but at that point why not just take an allied Heavy Weapons Team?
    • This has been clarified in the Shadowspear errata. An eliminator with a bolt sniper rifle that is firing mortis rounds CAN target a Character that is not the closest enemy unit and not visible to the firing model.
  • Superman Drop: Transport rules seem pretty straightforward, right? Except they weren't written with flying transports in mind, so nothing is preventing your marines from just jumping out of a strafing gunship. In fact, they can jump back in if they wanted to. Suck on this, Invasion Beams!
  • Box-o'-Fuckoff: Transport rules again. Those were simplified like everything else in 8th, meaning each bloody unit now has a unique instance of it. Oh boy, how can THAT backfire on us? Well, remember there were units that took extra transport space like Jump Packers and Ogryns and stuff? Now each and every one of them must be written individually into every instance of the Transport rule for it to function. The writers thought themselves cheeky and limited the passengers by faction keyword, thus isolating each Codex and limiting the issue. Except there are unaligned Fortifications in the game that (still) have no such limit, so enjoy cramming Heavy Weapons Teams, Termies, Obliterators and all the other fuckhuge dudes into tiny bunkers. From which they can then shoot out. No, tying passenger size to their Wounds characteristic was too clear-cut of a solution, why do you ask?
  • Too Quick for my Gunz!: The flying, Titan-killing wedge of death that is the Tau Tigershark AX-1-0 had a hilariously obvious oversight when the rules were ported to the new edition. The flyers party piece - its two Heavy Railguns - had their stats brought into line with the new edition, including being classed as Macro weapons. At first glance it was appropriate - Macro weapons do additional damage to superheavy targets and structures. However: you must remain stationary to fire them. These were mounted on a Flyer. With a minimum movement and no hover capability... Thankfully the problem was obvious enough to be quickly FAQ'd.
  • The Best of the Best: When Vigilus Defiant was released, it came with the Stratagem "Veteran Intercessors", which increased their attack characteristic by 1. Seems simple, so what went wrong? Well this was one of those Stratagems used before a battle begins, so there was no limit on how many times you could use it... or how many times you could use it on a single unit. GW eventually came out with a FAQ stating you could only use it once on each unit, so the days of seeing models go from 3 attacks each to 20+ are over.
  • Zhufor the Scary: Zhufor the Impaler from the Chaos Space Marine range had an odd rule, in that when you took your Morale test near him you added 1 to the roll, making it easier to fail. The problem came about when he fought Daemons who had the Daemonic Icon rule, which caused them to regain models if they rolled a 1 for their Morale test. While they were in range of Zhufor this was impossible, so somehow this dude was so scary, literal Daemons would refuse to reinforce their brethren if it meant they had to fight him.
  • Objective Unmanned: Buildings (and Fortifications) can control objectives in 8th. No further comment, just let that sink in.
  • Mechanicus Understudy: The Mechanicus have a Stratagem called "Mechanicus Locum" that allows a character other than the Warlord to generate a Warlord trait. The problem is that, according to the FAQ, they're only considered the Warlord so they can use the trait they have, and it does not change which traits they can normally access. Since the traits they can normally access are none unless they're the Warlord, this Stratagem does nothing at all.
  • Editorial oversight? Sounds like heresy: The Sisters of Battle 2019 codex states a Canoness can only take a rod of office if she takes a power sword and standard boltgun. The monopose Canoness miniature released the very same day in the box set is armed with a rod of office, a power sword... and a plasma pistol. Nobody checked if they were selling players illegal loadouts. This had to be fixed in an FAQ, the plasma pistol loadout is the legal one.

9th Edition[edit]

  • "Look out!" "No, you look out!" The rules for Look out Sir! Were changed with the advent of 9th edition, here's the important bit: Models cannot target a unit that contains any Character models with a Wounds characteristic of 9 or less with a ranged weapon while that unit is within 3" of any other friendly Vehicle or Monster unit. you can probably see the issue, if two monster/vehicle characters with 9 wounds or less are near each other and they're not the closest unit, you cannot shoot either of them, regardless of how far the rest of their army is in relation to them. Fortunately this was FAQ'd out.
  • "My armour is contempt, my shield is cheese." Another rule change that had some unintended consequences from the beginning of 9th edition. Stormshields were changed from giving the model a flat 3++ Invuln save to giving them a 4++ Invuln and adding +1 to their armour save value. This was most likely done to make the new Blade Guard unit more appealing compared to Terminators as they only had a 3+ save rather than a 2+ save, but this accidentally meant that models with a natural 2+ save with Storm Shields (Terminators and Custodian Guard) got an un-modifiable 2+ armour save (a 2++ Invuln). This was because how modifiers and armour piercing works in 8th and 9th as an armour piercing weapon would lower the armour save ROLL by its AP value; the roll, not the armour save itself. Since you can't lower a roll below 1, and the model had a 1+ Armour save, it would always pass its save unless it rolled a natural one 1 since those always fail. This wasn't just pulled out of some WAACfags ass either, Rend in AoS works the same way as AP in 8th and 9th and it was specified in an FAQ for AoS that if a unit got a 1+ armour save it ignored rend values and only rolls of natural 1 failed. To top it all off it was an armour save, so the tricks used to deal with Invuln saves like Death Hex and Null Zone didn't affect it so there was no way to get through apart from weight of fire and Mortal wounds. GW did pick up on this quite quickly however and FAQ'd Stormshields to add 1 to armour save rolls, not the armour save, ending the run of 2++ Terminators.
  • "Oh this? I found it.": According to his new Legends profile, Malakim Phoros, the Lamenters Chapter Master, was given Lias Issodon's specialised stealth armour for some reason. GW got round to updating his legends profile and it was taken away from him again. One can just imagine a very angry Lias sneaking into Malakim's room and stealing his armour back.
  • Minions of spelling errors: In the Legends pdf, you can find the full rules for the Renegades and Heretics, aka the "human" army of Chaos. Like every army, they were given their own version of Objective Secured, but unfortunately the rule doesn't work because everyone in the army must have the keyword CHAOS AND RENEGADES. Literally nobody in the entire game has that keyword, and this particular army has the RENEGADES AND HERETICS keyword instead.
  • Master of whatmancy?: As of the 2020 Dark Angels index, Ezekiel has the Master of Interromancy ability giving +1 to cast Interromancy powers. The problem is that the same index stated that everything in Codex: Dark Angels is unusable, including the Interromancy discipline.
  • Demoted back to Reclusiarch: When Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury, released during 8th Grimaldus was upgraded and made the Black Templars Master of Sanctity which gave him the <Master of Sanctity> keyword and access to special stratagems. With the 9th edition Black Templars index GW forgot they had promoted him and didn't give him the <Master of Sanctity> keyword again.

Horus Heresy[edit]

Models by Forge World, rules by Forge World.

  • Ceremonial Daggers: In Forgeworld's Horus Heresy series, the vast majority of Horus Heresy Custodes came equipped with Misericordias, daggers that had use in the 40k incarnation of the Custodes. It didn't take long for people to notice that they had no rules at all in the Horus Heresy book, and given how different the rules were already for the two incarnations people were iffy on whether or not they should use the daggers as they are in the 40k book, or just as another close combat weapon. An entire year would go by before Forgeworld finally released a FAQ, where it was revealed that this whole time the daggers were just meant to be badges of office, had no effect whatsoever in game and were included in their wargear by mistake.
  • Herald of Schizophrenia: The Herald upgrade for the Legion Consul has both Rite of Command and Support Officer. Which means that, if you take him, you get to use a Rite of War. Support Officer means that the model in question CANNOT be a compulsory HQ. What's the issue then? A model with Rite of Command HAS to be the army Warlord. Yeah, even if you bring a Primarch, the Herald has to be the Warlord.
  • Closet Loyalist Possessed: In true Alpha Legion fashion, the XX Legion can choose to take one unique unit from any other Astartes legion. Despite Forge World ensuring you can't do the above by taking Special Characters as opposite faction Alpha Legion, they failed to also limit Gal Vorbak (Word Bearers unique Possessed) to Traitor Alpha Legion only. So yes, your Custodes can fight alongside the Neverborn.
This problem got more complicated in book 6. So long as you use the Rite of War: Orphans of Betrayal, your Word Bearers can turn their backs on the traitors and fight as if they were Loyalists (although it doesn't technically change their allegiance, so you're still technically Traitors). The book does try to take care of the obvious problem by saying you cannot take "traitors only" units, but none of the Word Bearers (including Erebus) are marked as traitor only units since the traitors only part was written to apply to the Legion itself and this RoW specifically bypasses that. As of book 8 this might have been intentional, or at least worked into the regular rules since Forge World have addressed the fact that Daemons can be given the Loyalist allegiance and fight along Custodes, and have allowed it into the game (representing radicals who choose to use the essence of the warp against itself). So long as you don't use unique characters you could have a case for this being almost lore-friendly, it's not like Loyalists in the Imperium didn't start using their own possessed anyway, and you could also use it to represent Chaos infighting.
  • Not-so-ancient Relic: When the rules for an Iron Warriors character named Kyr Vhalen released, they stated he had a relic blade, despite this being the Horus Heresy and these blades wouldn't be considered relics for thousands of years. To make matters worse, 30k does not include rules for Relic Blades, and you cannot assume them to be the same as their 40k variant for the same reason as the Misericordia above. Eventually this turned out to be a misprint and he was given the Paragon Blade he was supposed to have the whole time.
  • F in Engineering: Kyr Vhalen again. He is a Warsmith, and naturally like all Warsmiths he has a servo-arm, so what's the issue? Well when you buy a servo-arm you also get Battlesmith, the rule that allows you to repair shit. Unfortunately Vhalen does not have this rule, despite it being a paired upgrade, and it was never given to him (or even mentioned that he shouldn't have it) in a FAQ. He can still use it to hit people, but he can never use it for its designed purpose. No wonder Perturabo left him to guard some world nobody ever heard of or cared about.
  • Unwieldy and Cumbersome Proofreading: When Eidolon was first given rules, it was stated that he had the ability to lose the Cumbersome rule from his Thunder Hammer in the turn he charged. The problem? Thunder Hammers don't have the Cumbersome rule. It took some time but eventually this was fixed to have him lose the Unwieldy rule instead.
  • In the Company of Monsters: Back when the Mechanicum were first given rules, they had characters without the Independent Character rule, and this created an odd interaction with the squads of monstrous creatures the Mechanicum could field. RAW you attached a character to a squad who they would stay with and could never leave unless they had the Independent Character rule, and Independent Characters could never join squads of Monstrous Creatures. However, for those characters without IC, there was technically nothing stopping you from joining them to those squads, even though they clearly weren't supposed to be with them. This was such a confusing issue that when FW was emailed about it the answer was effectively "Fuck if we know, just do what feels right." It wasn't until the Mechanicum were given their own book that this issue was finally cleared up.
  • Build a Land Raider: Again this happened back when the Mechanicum were first given rules. One of their unit choices was a Land Raider with every aspect of it being completely customizable, allowing you to go full heretek and make some variants that did not exist and/or never had STC's for their manufacture. Apparently even FW thought this was a little too far and removed them completely from the Mechanicum list later on.
  • Guidance is for the weak! All drop pods in the game have a special rule called 'Inertial Guidance System,' except for the Dreadclaw. Even though the rule is described in the fluff panel regarding the Dreadclaw.
  • Virtue of Time to Call a Judge-ment: The Blood Angels unique Moritat character Aster Crohne is clearly intended to allow Destroyers and Angel's Tears to gain buffs against certain units. However, this is the exact wording of the rule: Whenever Crohne or a Destroyers or Angel's Tears unit is used to make a Shooting attack against a unit marked with the Angel's Wrath, his hand flamer attacks are made with the Shred and Rending special rules. See a problem with that? Forge World clearly didn't.
  • Turn up the Heat: When the Blood Angels were first given rules, they were allowed to take hand flamers on characters. Seems fair enough, until you realize these could also be given to Moritats, the guys who keep firing until they miss. Since this was before they could only hit up to 12 times this meant that anyone within range of a Moritat with hand flamers would be hit an infinite amount of times. The only way to prevent yourself from dying was either to be a vehicle, or have a Toughness greater than 6, so even the less tough Primarchs would suddenly evaporate before these roaming bubbles of flaming death. Eventually Forge World changed it so that you cannot use the Moritat's Chain Fire rule on Hand Flamers, since auto-hitting a unit 12 times with a template weapon would also have been pretty bullshit.
  • What You See Is Not What You Get: A minor one this time, but Forge World released a model for a Night Lords Praetor in Tartaros Armour. He's described as carrying a Chainglaive and a Volkite Serpenta. There's a slight problem however: models in Terminator Armour don't have access to Volkite Serpentas.
  • Slow and Not So Purposeful: Inner Circle Knights Cenobium have guns that gain a bonus in Overwatch. Yet they wear Cataphractii Terminator Armour, which means they can't actually ever use that bonus. Their datasheet was later updated to state that the Knights Cenobium are skilled enough to make Overwatch attacks despite wearing Cataphractii Terminator Armour.
  • Derp follows with Them: The Word Bearer's trademark Rite of War "The Dark Brethren" allows them to take an allied detachment of Daemons to represent their Chaos speciality. Thing is, after the Release of Demons of the Ruinstorm in Book 8, Daemons are Sworn Brothers with all traitors now that they're "Agents of the Warmaster", thus making the entire RoW redundant. The only advantage this RoW (meant to be a stopgag measure until Ruinstorm was released) now gives you is exploiting a loophole that allows demons to use your transports and reserve roll modifiers, which in turn contradicts the Ruinstorm Demon rules. This redundancy/contradiction also plagues all three of their diabolist special characters, who have a rule allowing to ally demons if chosen as the Warlord.
  • Frag Assault Tank: In a grand example of Forge World's dedication to proof reading their books, the Malcador Heavy Tank can take Frag Assault Launchers, which allow units disembarking from the vehicle to gain Assault Grenades when they charge. Can you guess the issue? The Malcador Heavy Tank isn't a transport and never has been.
  • Medusan Impracticals: Yet another example of proof reading. Medusan Immortals can take chainswords instead of their bolters, yet these do nothing as they can gain no extra attack benefit from close combat weapons due to being armed with breacher shields as well.
  • Signs and Proofreading: The Horus Heresy is rife with spelling errors and misattributed rules, but no book is as bad as Book 7: Inferno. This was a book so terribly written that to go over all of its various mistakes would double the size of this page, so we'll keep it short. Suffice to say it was so egregious that they needed to release an entirely separate FAQ for the Custodes, renaming their gear and reprinting whole units so that they used weapons that actually existed (instead of gibberish or portmanteaus), before throwing up their hands and redoing them in the next book. This also affected the Thousand Sons in a few ways as well, such as allowing Sekhmet Terminators to swap their Force Weapon for a Power Fist with an attached Power Fist. Yes, this would've let them get the +1 Attack bonus and they would also retain their combi-weapon. Perhaps this is just a third arm granted through the Flesh Change, but that doesn't explain why they share a rule with the Word Bearers: Signs and Portents. The Word Bearers use it to get Preferred Enemy, either for or against one of their units (it's a coin flip) while for the Thousand Sons it causes everyone in the army to take a Pinning test any time anyone suffers Perils of the Warp. In all honesty it's likely Forge World didn't even bother checking to see if their chosen rule name was already being used by another faction.
  • Understaffed Tour Bus: RAW a Dreadwing Interemptors squad of 10 can have a Land Raider Proteus as a Dedicated Transport, however the squad starts at five, and the DT option lacks the "10 or fewer" clause every other unit in the game has for their DT. This also means that if the squad has one more or one less Marine in it, they cannot take a Dedicated Transport outside of a Rite of War. They can however take the Land Raider if it has an Explorator Augury Web if they number 10 models, even though that lowers it to a Transport Capacity of eight, they just can't fit in the vehicle meant to transport them.
  • Who Are We Forgetting?: The Dark Angels are unable to plan a holiday without leaving something important at home: Deathwing Terminator Companions can take a Land Raider Proteus so long as they do not number more than five. While this sounds reasonable for Terminator squads, Forgeworld forgot that Deathwing Companions can ONLY be deployed with their attached character who cannot leave them during the game, meaning that those Bulky Terminators don't leave enough room in the bus for the guy they need to protect! This wasn't an oversight either as Terminator Companions got their own Dedicated Transport option separately from the Artificer Companions.
  • Luther's Master Plan: Every unique Dark Angels Rite of War includes a provision that "No unit from the Detachment may be joined by Independent Characters not part of the Detachment" but ALSO includes the provision of No allied detachments, practically rendering itself redundant. Even though you can't take allies, you can still have Agents of the Emperor like Knights-Errant inside your detachment without restriction, or take a Shattered Legion list and go nuts with non-Dark Angels characters/units joining each other and vice versa. However, RAW, Lords of War are counted as their own detachment separate from the Primary Detachment, so poor old Lion cannot join any unit in his army if they are using a Dark Angels Rite of War.