Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Movement 101 (9E)
Transporting an object or creature between two points is an exceptionally difficult logistical challenge. This page summarizes millennia of astute reasoning and careful study. Continue reading to find out how you, too, may translocate plastic objects.
- 1 How Movement Works
- 1.1 Pick a Unit to Move
- 1.2 Direction
- 1.3 Distance
- 1.4 Special: Falling Back
- 1.5 Special: Reinforcement (AKA Deep Striking)
- 1.6 Special: TRANSPORT
How Movement Works
Movement is one of the few cases where 7E's Universal Special Rules format is still used, in that a certain Keyword (FLY) modifies movement for everything in the game that has it. FLY exceptions will always be mentioned below. In all cases, of course, specific rules may affect a model, changing the general rules outlined here. Similarly, the Keyword TRANSPORT has special rules outlined below.
Pick a Unit to Move
Each unit in your army has one and only one opportunity to move in the Movement Phase. Go through your units in the army, one at a time, picking the next unit to move. You may skip selecting a unit - selecting units to move is an optional rule, and some units gain bonuses if they don't move.
Picking Models to Move
This works just like picking units. Each model in your unit has one and only one opportunity to move in the Movement Phase. Go through your models in the unit, one at a time, picking the next model to move. You may skip selecting a model - selecting models to move is an optional rule.
- Note: This means selecting a unit to move does not mean every model in the unit counts as moving - a model only counts as moving if it moved or some other rule says it counts as moving.
Each model in each unit in your army can move in any direction, including up (or down, although you can't phase through the table without a special rule - see below). Barring a special rule, all terrain is therefore climbable.
A model can move up to its movement, in inches. No part of its base (or hull) can move father than this, and it cannot be moved through models or terrain without special rules allowing it to do so. If it has a minimum movement, it must move at least its minimum and no more than its maximum. If a model cannot move its minimum or is forced outside of the table edge by its minimum move, it is destroyed. At no point during movement may a model move from not being within 1" of an enemy model to within 1" of an enemy model.
- There is no rule saying so, but the RAI appears to be that a model must begin and end its move on table, not on another model.
- There is also no rule saying a model must spend its move touching the table, so the RAI here is less clear, as the distinction essentially amounts to asking whether or not a model can "jump" - for example, can a Space Marine with Movement 6 standing on a castle parapet with another parapet 4 inches away, but no bridge in between, jump across? RAW says yes, and there is no FAQ entry on it. (On page 69 within the Know No Fear starter set booklet, an example is listed where a Plague Marine uses part of it's move characteristic to move a vertical distance. So the parapet scenario outlined above would not be possible RAW, as you must take into account vertical distance.)
- There is also no rule stating a model, in general, must stay within the bounds of the table. The RAI here, based on the minimum movement rules, appears to be that a model may not leave bounds without being destroyed.
A model with the FLY keyword can move through models and terrain in the Movement phase and ignores the vertical component of any move, in the Charge phase this is restricted to models and does not apply to terrain and does not let you ignore vertical distance moved.
Additional Distance: Advancing
A unit may decide to Advance, which means the entire unit is advancing. Roll 1d6 and add the result to the maximum move of the unit. No model in the unit may shoot or charge this turn if you do so, even if it does not move, unless its ranged weapon is an Assault weapon (and even then it takes a -1 to hit).
Common Movement Distances
To give you a sense of scale, most models in the game are around Move 6, with Move 0 for immobile things (such as buildings). Move 3-5 is usually for "slow" models, such as Artillery or Terminators. 7-9 is largely for "fast" things still using legs, such as Genestealers, while 10-12 is for the very fastest footsloggers (jump packs and cavalry) and is standard for many tracked vehicles (although Movement 11 is extremely rare - above Movement 10, Move values are nearly always even numbers). 14 is common for bikes and 16 for fast bikes (such as Eldar jetbikes), with both speeds also used for faster vehicles, particularly "slow" models with FLY that would formerly have been Skimmers, such as Eldar hovertanks; 18 is uncommon but is used for the fastest of the "slow" Fliers, such as a Land Speeder Storm. Once you hit Move 20 you're firmly into Flier range, and models up here usually have minimum and maximum Move values, often paired with an inability to turn during movement, charge, or engage in melee with models that lack FLY, as well as immunity to being charged or engaged in melee by those same models; those with some ability to Hover can usually opt to set their Move to 20 instead, which also removes their special interactions with charges and close combat.
Special: Falling Back
As noted above, while a model may not be brought to within 1" of an enemy model from not within, it can start its move in this state. If it does so, its movement is referred to as Falling Back. A model Falling Back can remain stationary or move such that it ends its move more than 1" from all enemy models - it may not move more than 1" from some without moving more than 1" from others. If any model in a unit Falls Back, the entire unit counts as Falling Back, and no model in it can Advance (see above), Charge, or Shoot.
Special: Reinforcement (AKA Deep Striking)
A unit may have the ability to be set up on the battlefield during the game. Regardless of the rule the unit in question is using, unless otherwise noted, it cannot move (and hence cannot advance) for the rest of the turn. They also count as having moved for all rules purposes, such as shooting Heavy weapons. Any unit in the army that ends the battle without ever having Reinforced in counts as destroyed for all rules purposes.
- Note: This means Psychic powers allowing movement used on a unit which Reinforced in this turn do not actually allow the movement unless they explicitly state they do so.
- Following the first Big FAQ, Deep Striking has gotten a significant modification. While it was originally possible to deep strike units into the opponent's deployment zone on the first turn (allowing the deep strikers to wipe out enemy units before they even got a chance to move), the new Deep Strike rules explicitly state that any unit that arrives via Deep Striking on the first turn can only be set up in the user's deployment zone. This limits its original game-breaking offensive power to the second turn or later, but still allows for defensive deep strikes for discouraging enemy offensive pushes.
- The above does not affect abilities that act like Infiltrate did in 7e, such as the Raven Guard's Strike from the Shadows Stratagem or the Genestealer Cults' Cult Ambush ability.
- The second Big FAQ modified this again. Now you can't deep strike on the first turn at all. It is expected that this will produce similar results to the original FAQ modifications, albeit tweaked so neither attackers nor defenders can take advantage of turn one deep strikes. The sole exception is the Space Marines' Drop Pod, which is unaffected by this change.
- Accordingly, abilities that act like Infiltrate now grant a turn 0 move for a single unit. The Genestealer Cult codex got around this by significantly modifying the Cult Ambush rule into a unique deployment variant in addition to the option to set up units in deep strike reserve. This option allows a unit with the Cult Ambush rule to be set up on the board, but conceals the unit's identity until either the start of the user's movement phase or the end of the enemy's movement phase, depending on who got to go first.
A model with the TRANSPORT keyword has some Transport Capacity and rules for which models are allowed to consume this capacity, and how much of that capacity they consume when they do so - for example, a TRANSPORT might say it can carry up to 10 models, with INFANTRY consuming 1 capacity and BIKEs consuming 3 capacity. A model's transport capacity may never be exceeded - you can't consume more of it than it has. This capacity is consumed by being embarked on the TRANSPORT, which means the embarked model is not placed on the battlefield.
When a TRANSPORT is set up, units that set up with it can "set up" embarked upon it - just declare that they are doing so.
If all models in a unit end a move within 3" of a friendly transport, they can embark on it - remove the entire unit from the battlefield. They are not on the battlefield for any rules purposes, and hence cannot do anything, unless a special rule says otherwise.
A unit embarked on a TRANSPORT can disembark during the Movement phase, provided it does so before the TRANSPORT moved and it began the Movement phase on the TRANSPORT. To do so, set up the unit so that all of its models are within 3" of the TRANSPORT and not within 1" of any enemy models; any model you cannot set up in this way is destroyed. All models in the unit now can now act normally for the rest of the turn, including taking their own move, which can be an advance, of course. But note that they count as having Moved for all rules purposes, like firing heavy weapons, even if they did not move after disembarking.
Forced Disembark (TRANSPORT Destruction)
When a TRANSPORT is destroyed, all models embarked on it must immediately disembark, before the TRANSPORT is removed (so they cannot disembark onto the space the TRANSPORT will leave behind).
If the TRANSPORT has the Explodes ability (or equivalent) roll to see if it explodes and resolve any resulting damage to nearby units. Note that if the transport does explode, units being transported are not affected as they are not yet on the battlefield.
For any model that has to disembark from the destroyed vehicle, its controlling player must roll a die; on a 1, a disembarked model is destroyed. The controlling player can pick freely which model is destroyed.
- Note that any models that cannot disembark are slain. So surrounding an enemy transport with models and then destroying it, will destroy both the transport and the embarked unit(s).
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