40K Rules Blooper Reel
Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
GW has a history of failing to make rules that 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.
- Derp From Above: Ramming rules for vehicles were the 2nd ed predecessor to Tank Shock. Units in the vehicle's direct path had to take Initiative tests to avoid being damaged, before being displaced the shortest possible distance. When a vehicle Rammed another vehicle, it came to a halt. The real comedy was dealing with the Lifta Droppa or D-Cannons, which could lift or teleport enemy units respectively. 2nd ed had no resolution for what happened after one vehicle rammed another vehicle below it. While some players would displace the smaller vehicle as though it were a non-vehicle, others might keep the two vehicles joined together like an improvised Voltron.
- Polymorphine: This little wargear card was not restricted to Callidus Assassins at first, any Imperial character with a free wargear slot could take it. It allowed said character to start the game disguised as a member of a troop squad. Queue endless instances of severe rape when what looked like a mere guardsman with a flashlight actually turned out to be a Terminator-armour clad Space Marine hero (for instance). Fun times.
- Mask of Jain Zar: Similar to the Polymorphine problem, the second edition Eldar codex printed wargear cards for Eldar Phoenix Lords that simply read "Eldar Only," meaning any Eldar character could borrow Jain Zar's outfit and gain a Howling Banshee's ability to paralyze an opponent on the charge. Commonly used by Swooping Hawk Exarchs to insta-kill any target on the board.
- Virus Outbreak: A stratagem card from the Dark Millenium box that was... interesting, to say the least. Basically you threw down a 2" pie anywhere on the table, with anything beneath it not explicitly stated to be immune dying on a 3+. That was already pretty good, but worse when a model was killed, every other model not immune that was within d6 inches would have to test, dying on a 4+ and recursively requiring every other model within d6 inches to test not to die on a 4+. Guess it sucks to play Imperial Guard, Orks or Tyranids, huh? (Hint: it sucked so hard the writers went so far as to recommend players tear up their Virus Outbreak cards since they hadn't intended on it being so grossly overpowered.)
- 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, and metal Daemon Prince 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.
- 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 flyer that specialized in deploying most of an army anywhere across the board, due to a special rule that allowed it to disembark multiple squads at any point in its move (drop some off, move to the next point, repeat). The problem was that it could hold units so huge and had only one access point (its rear ramp) that 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 landed on their feet and didn't face-plant and 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, and started the trend of the Orca being a useless piece of shit that was a flying deathtrap to anyone inside of it. Funnily enough this issue with the Orca remained unfixed all the way through 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th edition.
- 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.
- Selective Warp Field: This one was a formatting goof, but when Codex Tyranids came out, the rules for Warp Fields stated that "A Zoanthrope with a Warp Field has a 3+ Invulnerable Save." The Doom of Malan'tai had a Warp Field but was not explicitly stated to be a Zoanthrope (this is one area where Keywords would have helped). Thus, until GW actually FAQ'd it, people could argue that the Doom didn't actually get an Invulnerable Save (and INAT ruled as such until the GW FAQ overturned it).
- 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).
- By Any Means, Indeed: Inquisitor Lord Karamazov came back with a vengeance in Codex: Grey Knights. Although his statline was reduced from Strength/Toughness 6 to Strength/Toughness 5, he became an Independent Character and thus could be hidden in a unit. However, his main abilities were that he granted a bubble of morale/pinning rerolls, while having an Orbital Strike Relay and the ability By Any Means Necessary: Karamazov could center an Orbital Strike over any friendly model, even one engaged in melee, and it would not Scatter. Although fluffed as an "in extremis" ability to prevent the Grey Knights from being overrun by offensive hordes, a more amusing trick came into play when comboed with Grey Knight Interceptors: Interceptors had the ability to Shunt, letting them move 30" in exchange for not being able to assault. A Lance had a blast radius of 1.5 inches, and squad coherency was two inches. However, in 5th, it explicitly operated at full strength even with partials. Thus, a common trick was to Shunt Interceptors so one sacrificial Grey Knight could tag two enemy tanks; for fun, model said Interceptor with a suicide vest going "Emprah Akbar!"
- 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 fortunately made them Relentless).
- Dude, Where's My Bomb?: The 6th ed Sunshark Bomber had a Pulse Bomb Generator: Whenever the Sunshark successfully makes a Bombing Run, you could roll a D6, and on a 2+, you got a bomb back. Unfortunately, the Sunshark as written didn't actually start with a Pulse Bomb.This issue remained unfixed in the 7th edition reprint until being FAQed.
- Interceptor Drones Don't: Adding further insult to injury, the Sunshark Bomber came with two Interceptor Drones, that had Skyfire and the Interceptor rule. However, the way Intercept was worded, it only worked if the weapon itself had Intercept; there was no wording for the model itself having Intercept. The Early Warning Override was specifically worded that "all weapons on a model with an Early Warning Override have the Intercept special rule" to avoid this, so any Crisis Suit could be upgraded to intercept, but an Interceptor Drone RAW could not Intercept. This was un-FAQed throughout both 6th and 7th.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shred this Worthless Supplement: The Farsight Enclaves Supplement has the Warlord Trait Through Surety, Destruction. Once per game, the Warlord's unit gains Shred for a single Shooting Phase. Sounds good right? Who doesn't like rerolling to wound? Unfortunately, as worded, Shred only works in close combat unless applied specifically to the weapon, meaning this Warlord Trait as written does nothing whatsoever.
- Dastardly DJ Roombas: The Drone-Net VX1-0 Formation required you to take at least four units of Drones, and granted them several bonuses: First of all, they got Collective Targeting Data which granted all Drones (including Drones that were not part of the Formation) +1 Ballistic Skill "In the Shooting Phase" as long as at least two Drones "from this Formation" were on the Battlefield. It was never FAQed whether "from this Formation" allowed for the bonus to stack if you took multiple copies of the Formation, nor whether you applied it before or after a Drone Controller. Additionally, the Formation had the bonus Enhanced Tactical Responses: All Drones in the Formation had Jink, Split Fire, Precision Shots, and Interceptor. Similar to the Sunshark's Drones, Interceptor as worded would be useless for the Gun Drones RAW, while GW had to FAQ that Gun Drones could not both Jink and Go to Ground like sneaky DJ Roombas.
- 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.
- No Death Guard Zombies: 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.
- 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...
- 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 there were 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 was included in their wargear by mistake.
- 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 it had ts anchors 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.
Strap yourself in, son, this is gonna be a long one.
- And They Shall Know Fear: As written, 40k uses a system where you roll dice (d3s, d6s, 2d6s, etc.) and add modifiers to the roll to get the result. If you have any ability to re-roll, those are applied before any modifiers. Space Marines have And They Shall Know No Fear which lets them re-roll failed Morale Tests. However, a Morale Test is resolved by rolling a D6 and adding the number of casualties the unit has suffered to obtain the result, before comparing against the unit's base leadership. Differring arguments exist as to whether adding a number to get a result is considered a modifier, vs a modifier being for a basic roll otherwise, but the end result would be that through a literal interpretation, Marines by default could never reroll morale, since they would compare the d6 against their highest Ld (8 for the Sergeant), then modify the roll with the casualties. Ironically, this means abilities that lower the Marine unit's Ld would make it more likely for the Marines to actually use ATSKNF. You can argue if this is intentional or not too, stating "ATSKNF only kicks in when facing true fear."
- I'm Celestine! No, I'm Celestine!: When a new edition is released there's bound to be one or two things that GW forgets to mention or include, in this case GW forgot to make Saint Celestine unique when they released her rules, which opened the way for Imperium players to field 5 (or more) of her. This might not be all that bad on its own, if it wasn't for the fact that each Celestine boosted the Shield of Faith rule that the Sisters of Battle possessed. Normally it gave them a 6+ invulnerable save and for every Celestine on the tabletop this increased by +1, meaning that it was very easy to give your entire army a 2+ Invulnerable save and steamroll the opposing army, while remaining entirely tournament legal (although don't expect any TO to allow you to use this technically-legal list).
- Holy Artillery: Compounding the Celestine shenanigans, thanks to how it was written the Sisters of Battle could use Acts of Faith on any unit in their army of the same order, even if they didn't have Acts of Faith. This was done by using an Imagifier or Celestine to grant the act on either a 4+ or automatically, which led to players using them to fire Exorcists twice per turn and just erase most armoured units/vehicles/monsters from the tabletop.
- Were we hunting somebody?: Another thing GW forgot at the start of 8th was double-checking army restrictions, specifically who could be allowed to fight beside who. This led to shenanigans like Fallen and Dark Angels fighting alongside each other without issue because they both had the Imperium keyword.
- Technically Correct: The Best Kind of Correct: The big FAQ introduced new suggested rules for Tournament play to prevent spam by introducing a hard limit to the same Datasheet to 3 per army in a 2k point game. On Paper this means you will see at most 3 Flyrants, 3 Units of Dark Reapers, 3 Fire Raptors etc. Sounds good on paper and limits MSU and Spam, right? Well they forgot about the Daemon Prince and the Leman Russ. First off the Daemon Prince! You can still bring a Battalion of Chaos Marines, Battalion of Daemons, and then a Supreme Command Detachment of Thousand Sons or Death guard because it is a separate Datasheet for each army (FAQ has since rendered this variant of the cheese irrelevant). Second the Leman Russ is limited to 3 Squads of Leman Russ tanks, so you can bring 3 Squads of 3 in a Spearhead and 3 Tank Commanders in a Supreme Command if you want, then have the 12 Leman Russ Tanks all break unit during the game, giving you 12. 13 if you also take pask. And then you could keep going with all the forge world variants... This works with anything that can Combat Squad or has similar abilities as well.
- Even better with Forge World and the Russes. The Death Korps Mars Alpha Russ is a separate datasheet, as is the Conqueror, Stygies Vanquisher and the Annihilator. So you can have 48 units of Russes when there is meant to be a cap of three. This would cost far more than 2000 points, though.
- With the new Knights codex, there are new type of mini-knight called Armigers, which are split into 2 datasheets and can be taken in 3 man squads like the Russes. So have fun with 18 Lords of War when the limit should be 3.
- What Role Am I Anyway?: The rules to the aforementioned hard limit says "this rule does not apply to units with the Troops or Dedicated Transport Battlefield Role." However, this does not account for the fact that the same Datasheet can be taken for multiple Battlefield Roles. For example, Khorne Berzerkers are Troops in a World Eaters Detachment and Elites otherwise. Depending on your interpretation, this can either mean "ignore Troops and Dedicated Transports when determining your total," that units cannot be exempt unless they can only ever be taken as Troops or Dedicated Transports, or they can so long as the potential to take them as Troops exists.
- The reasonable interpretation would be that, using Berzerkers as an example, you can have unlimited Troops Berzerker datasheets and a cap on Elites Berzerker datasheets. Why GW couldn't make this clearer is anyone's guess.
- Does anyone actually playtest this anymore? FAQ again! So the character targetting 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 lead 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.
- GRAMMAR IS FOR THE WEAK!: The Chaos Daemon Codex has the rule Daemonic Ritual: Instead of moving in their Movement Phase, any CHAOS CHARACTER may, at the end of their Movement Phase, attempt to summon a DAEMON unit with this ability by performing a Daemonic Ritual. The key is the "with this ability," since this can form an ambiguous lexical construct. "I found you with my flashlight" can either mean subject A found Predicate B in the possession of A's Flashlight, or that A used A's Flashlight to find B. Only by noticing that non-character Daemon Units have Daemonic Ritual will a player infer that having Daemonic Ritual does not let you perform a Daemonic Ritual, but lets any Chaos Character that doesn't necessarily have Daemonic Ritual perform a Daemonic Ritual, and the clause "By performing a Daemonic Ritual" is just flavor-text with no actual relevance to Daemonic Ritual. Feel free to attempt to summon a Heldrake on account of ambiguous ruling though.
- Lesser Keyword of Solomon: The Daemon Codex came with many Stratagems, which people immediately started thinking of ways to apply to Magnus and Mortarion. To curb this, GW released a FAQ stating that Daemon Stratagems and Relics only work on Faction Keyword Daemons. The problem? The Warhammer Designer Commentary FAQ (the same one preventing Sept<Craftworld<Wu'Tang Clan>>) states that once the battle is begun, there is no functional difference between a Keyword and a Faction Keyword, so the errata as written doesn't work.
- 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.
- All is Atomized Dust: The rules for Psykers in 8th are copied from Age of Sigmar: Roll 2d6 against the Psychic Power's difficulty, suffering Perils if you roll double 1s or double 6s. Perils means you suffer D3 Mortal Wounds, and inflict another D3 Mortal Wounds to all units within 6" should the Psyker be slain as a result. Unfortunately, the Aspiring Sorcerer in a unit of Rubric Marines...has 1 wound, while having a weaker version of Smite. Because Mortal Wounds spillover, this means you lose 2d3 models to Perils, the Sorcerer among them. Don't even think about trying to cast powers against Hive Fleet Kronos, lest your expensive Rubric Marines go up in a blaze of Chaos is Fickle!. Although the entire 1K Sons unit is a PSYKER, the rules for Perils state that the psyker (not keyworded) suffers the Mortal wounds, and the Rubric Marine datasheet mentions that the Aspiring Sorcerer is the model doing the casting.
- 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.
- The Big FAQ errata'd Focus Fire so that you get +1 to wound with attacks that are made by T'au Sept units from your army that target the enemy unit. Although some will argue that "that target unit" refers to the attacks, even if that were the case, RAW units Choose Targets, and then after allocating weapons, you Resolve Attacks, and therefore this errata effectively changes nothing.
- Sidenote: 8th renames Tau to T'au, while adding bonuses for Sept T'au. Thus, there was a joke due to the Faction and Sept having the same name. "All T'au are T'au but not all T'au are necessarily from T'au."
- Really Hot-Blooded: Normally, the shooting sequence is: Select a unit to shoot, Declare targets, allocate weapons, then resolve attacks. Certain Stratagems or abilities may allow a unit to "fire its weapons twice" or "shoot an additional time at the end of the Shooting Phase." However, the Vior'la Stratagem Hot-Blooded is worded that at the start of the Shooting Phase, you may pick an INFANTRY unit from your army, and it may be "chosen to shoot twice this phase." The key is that normally, the rules state that you may not select a unit to shoot if it Fell Back, Advanced, or is engaged, yet this Stratagem as written overrides those restrictions. Unlike other RAW screwups, it is unknown if this was intentional or just GW flubbing standardizing their rules.
- 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 means 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.
- 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.
- Thermonuclear Spore Mines: The wording of the Floating Death ability states that a Spore Mine explodes if it is within 3" of any enemy units at the end of any Charge phase; whenever it explodes, it inflicts Mortal Wounds on the "nearest" enemy unit except on a 1. The issue is that multiple Spore Mines in range of the same unit explode simultaneously, and thus their wounds must be sequentially resolved. Suppose I have three Spore Mines, each in range of a squad of 2 Space Marines. All three explode. The first one wipes out the Space Marine Squad, while the second and third one each inflict Mortal Wounds on the "next" nearest unit, even if on the opposite side of the game board and out of Line of Sight.
- Sonic the Genestealer: Tyranids have a Stratagem called Metabolic Overdrive that lets a unit move a second time in the Movement Phase in exchange for not being able to Charge that turn. Hive Fleet Kraken Tyranids roll 3d6 and pick the highest roll for determining their Advance move, while their Opportunistic Advance Stratagem lets them double their Advance distance for that movement phase. The initial issue was that RaW, Advance added to your Move Characteristic for that phase, instead of increasing your characteristic for that specific move. Thus, a unit of Kraken Genestealers could move not 8 + 12 + 8 + 12 inches in the Move Phase, but 8 + 12 + 8 + 12 + 12. Combine with a Swarmlord's Hive Commander abilty for an effective top speed of 66", and a unit of Kraken Genestealers could outrun a supersonic aircraft on foot. Gotta go fast!
- GW FAQed this not by stating that Advancing only applies to a specific move, but by stating that you can only advance once in a phase and it applies to all moves made that phase. This did make the initial Sonic the Genestealer option slower, with a top speed of only 54". However, GW also clarified that Opportunistic Advance could be used with Hive Commander, Overrun, Mind Eater, or any other ability that lets a unit "move as though it were the Movement Phase." Aside from giving a unit of Kraken Genestealers a theoretical top speed of 101" (8+12 from Move & Opportunistic Advance, 8+12 from Hive Commander and Opportunistic Advance, 12 from Charge, 3 from Piling In, 3 from Consolidate, 3 from Piling in and again with the Adrenaline Surge stratagem, 8 + 12 from Overrun (replacing Consolidate from the Adrenaline Surge) and Opportunistic Advance, and another 8 + 12 from Mind Eater and Advance), it sets a messy precedent for Dark Eldar due to GW not strictly defining what "as if in another phase" actually means.
- What Phase is It Anyway?: The Dark Eldar Wych Cult of Red Grief has the Stratagem No Method of Death Beneath our Grasp which can be used immediately upon destroying an enemy unit in the Shooting or Fight Phase. If you destroy an enemy unit in the Shooting Phase, you get a second round of shooting. If you destroy an enemy unit in the Fight Phase, you get to (after Consolidation) Fight a second time in the Fight Phase. By itself, this is remarkably innocent. However, GW forgot that Ynnari are capable of "out-of-phase" actions, and confirmed that Dark Eldar Ynnari still have access to Dark Eldar Stratagems. You can have a unit of Ynnari Red Grief Reavers destroy an enemy unit in the Fight Phase, use Soulburst to "shoot as if it were the Shooting Phase" to destroy another unit, pop the Stratagem, and then cause the game to break under at least three separate interpretations over what phase you are actually in. The fact there is no "Else" clause in the ability means that you can argue that if the Stratagem works as if in both phases, you can Consolidate, shoot and fight with this Stratagem.
- The Big FAQ clarified that Soulburst takes place after you Consolidate despite triggering immediately, giving potential weight to the theory that you get both effects.
- 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 Darknes. 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.
- Stratagems used before a battle are exempt from the once per phase rule. So feel free to use Scryerskull "at any time" during your deployment phase until you run out of CP or enemies to shoot. If you don't feel like winning the game during deployment, you can still use Scryerskull once in every phase for both players, means that RAW , you can use it once in every Movement, Psychic, Shooting, Charge, Fight & Morale phases, and then again in the next players turn. Combine with Kastellans for almost enough dakka or a neutron laser Dunecrawler to wipe out every vehicle in the opposing army.
- This Blooper has been fixed in the Admech FAQ.
- 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 happens 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.
- High Speed Dirt: Deliberately crashing your own Flyers sounds dumb, right? Well if you read the rules for a lot of Kill Point missions (thankfully GW's No Quarter Given Objective is clear. Objectives written by Third Party groups are sometimes not so clear), or Tactical Objectives for Maelstrom Missions, deliberately crashing your own near-death flyer (by intentionally moving them for less than their minimum movement distance) means that your opponent doesn't get the kill credit as nobody actually destroyed it. This also leads too...
- Ynnari did 9/11: While there are many strange Soulburst interactions, it's entirely possible to deliberately crash your own Flyers by intentionally not moving them their minimum movement distance, something clearly unintended. This can result in some ridiculous Rube Goldberg-esque chain reactions where a Soulbursting Warlock can Quicken a Flyer on 1-2 Wounds left and have them crash within 7" of a bunch of Dark Reapers that nuke something across the map for free, which in turn triggers a bunch of Howling Banshees to slice up a unit, which lets the Shining Spears charge in and murder the unit that caused the Warlock to Soulburst to begin with.
- Strength From Horrible Rape: 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...
- "Drive me closer, I wish to hit them with my Agonizer!": Ramming is always better for Dark Eldar Vehicles. Because of a hilariously badly worded FAQ: everything has a Close Combat Weapon, even units that can't physically carry one (like Vehicles). Before this Dark Eldar vehicles were forced to Ram thier giant pirate ships into people at the same Strength of a Space Marine punching someone, because Bladevanes were the only weapon choice for Vehicles. Post FAQ they can declare they are using their Close Combat Weapon and attack at full strength.
- "We found a bigger boat, Archon!": Dark Eldar and terrible FAQs again! The FAQ for Index: Xenos 1 ruled that Scourges and Hellions can't fit into Raiders or Venoms after an oversight in the Index allowed them to ride them. Well they never bothered to apply this FAQ to the Tantalus, so yes, Scourges and Hellions can still fit in there with their massive wings and giant blades hoverboards while still having space for loot, slaves, medical supplies, spare ammo, spare slaves, and someone to fetch the drinks. What else could a self respecting Space Pirate Vampire Elf want? (Hilariously still not fixed as of the 16/04/2018 Forgeworld FAQ update)
- Cruddex in a Box?: Dark Eldar again, and White Dwarf April 2018 confirmed who is responsible for this shitshow of a decision. The Crucible of Malediction is available as both an overcosted stratagem, and Wargear option for the Haemonculus meaning there so no reason to ever use the Stratagem and the Dark Eldar have lost out on a another Stratagem because of this...
- Ironically enough, GW did FAQ this for the T'au Stimulant Injectors, stating " No. You cannot purchase Stimulant Injectors anymore and the rules for Stimulant Injectors as presented in Codex: T’au Empire (i.e. the Stratagem) take precedence." Sadly due to the bespoke nature of 8th edition, this applies only to Stimulant Injectors and nothing else.
- 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.
- Space Elf Pirate Ninja?: Eldar yet again. This time the Corsairs. Because the Corsair Prince has vanished from the Index, it's impossible to field a legal army if you go pure Corsairs. It's also impossible to bring Corsairs along with you as an Eldar army without taking an Auxiliary Detachment and losing CP, or going Ynnari and having your opponent flip the table.
- Plague Zombie Cloning: If a Poxwalker kills a Necron and turns it into an additional Poxwalker model, you can still re-animate that Necron. The same goes for any model that can "die" and then return to the table in some fashion. Don't think about that one too hard, I don't think the person who wrote it did either. Amusingly, this means that one Pink Horror can turn into seven Poxwalker Zombies; a notable LVO list by a tournament-goer named Joshua Death ran a bunch of Horrors as a screen to "walk up" a bunch of Poxwalkers up the board like a Zombie Railgun, through the Cloud of Flies and Poxwalker Hive Stratagems.
- Note that the Plague Zombie Cloning was supposedly fixed by the Curse of the Walking Pox ability being FAQ'd so that you have to pay Reinforcement Points to increase the unit beyond its starting size. However, the Poxwolker Hive Stratagem technically replaced Curse of the Walking Pox for the turn, while not being errata'd with the same Reinforcement Point clause.
- 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. 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?