8th Edition Tips for 7th Edition Veterans

Alrighty – I’ve had a few games under my belt now, which pretty much makes me a certified expert.*

I also poked the #Warmonger community out on the twitterverse for inspiration, and have awoken the mighty Greggles**, who came out swinging to the great benefit of the 40k community (and myself in particular!)

**Maybe I can get #Gregglesthebest trending sometime in 2017…?

More than anything, I think I’ve learned to free my mind from the constraints of all the rules basically from 3rd edition stretching to 7th.  This is a brand new game, with a ruleset that is designed to enable you do things more than it restricts, and as such is more of a framework in order to achieve some really subtle, brutal table top combinations.  Or is it brutal yet subtle?  *shrugs*

So I’ve collated a lot of the tips from our twitter conversation into this handy little guide to help people kick ass and take names as soon as they get their hands on the box at the end of the week.

Ironically, the list I’ve put together might actually exceed the length of the written rules for 8th edition.  Jesus Murphy.

Anyhoo, if I’ve missed something that’s particularly important, hit me up in the comments and I’ll be sure to add it to the list.


  • When dropping units, it’s important to note that things that are set up off the table are still ‘set up’.  So for your first deployment (because they alternate now, y’see) you can set up that terminator squad in high orbit.  And grin when your opponent is forced to put down his basilisk on the table.  You’re already one unit ahead in the deployment phase now, and can counter deploy more effectively.
  • Put your troops in transports to make them a single ‘drop’.  This adds up cumulatively as the person who finishes deployment first has the first turn.  If you have no hope of winning the deployment race, then take your time, and make it count.
  • Most deepstrikers these days can only set up within 9″ of your lines, or the nearest model.  You can really get up to shenanigans with this by placing single models (*COUGH* Sentinels *COUGH*) on the table to deny that space to your enemy to drop.
  • On the other side of the coin, deepstrikers will never scatter anymore, so you can’t bait that marine player into dropping his pods near the table edge to try for that juicy mis-hap.


  • Remember difficult terrain isn’t strictly a thing anymore, unless you’re playing with the advanced rules.
  • You can fall back out of any assault without the threat of being wiped out.  Most units though will not be able to advance, shoot, or charge having done so though.  There are notable exceptions however, such as units with the “Fly” keyword, or impossibly large or fast units like Stormsurges, Wraithknights, Imperial Knights, etc.   This allows your unit to flee to safety, and any supporting units in the area are now free to blast the bajeezes out of the unit left standing there in the breeze.
  • Remember that ‘advancing’ replaces the run move in the shooting phase, and you need to do it here.  You can still use psychic powers if you advance, but you can’t shoot anything except for assault weapons in the shooting phase, and forego charging this turn also (UNLESS YOU HAVE SPECIFIC RULES THAT ALLOWS YOU TO DO SO)
  • Moving also slaps you with a modifier to your ‘to-hit’ roll for firing heavy weapons, and very few units are immune to this.  It seems obvious, but this is definitely something you need to keep in mind in the movement phase, to plan out effective shooting.  But that’s what we’re dealing with here folks.
    • If you move with a Valkyrie for example, you’re hitting on effectively 5+.
    • Move with the Chimera?  That multi-laser is hitting on effectively 5’s buddy!
    • Move with your Veteran Lascannon team?  Hitting on effectively 4+ (actually that’s not so bad).
    • Move with Knight Commander Pask?  Hitting with 2+ on the turret weapon, 3+ everywhere else (that’s bat-shit insane.  Before he’d be snap-shooting the sponsons for Ordinance!!!)
  • Also remember that your Characters with less than 10 wounds can not be targeted by a shooting attack unless he is the closest visible target in the shooting phase.  So as one of my opponents learned the hard way, don’t YOLO with your warlord in order to try and splat that one tank with a combi-melta.  This will probably not end well.  Also be aware of any threat and bury your Commanders accordingly.


  • Transports can only disembark at the start of the movement phase now, before it has moved.  The unit that disembarks only counts as having moved, and suffers no other penalty for disembarking.  It can advance, shoot, charge, just the same as any other unit on the table.  …That’s it.  …There’s nothing more to it than that.  So free your mind!  Look for the implications!
  • If transports are locked in assault, you can disembark the units within.  Have them take a step back.  Drive the transport away (understanding that it has just fallen back and can not advance, shoot or charge in this turn, unless it has specific rules to the contrary) and BLAST the would-be assaulters who tried to smash their ride!  HA-HA!  Take that!
  • Defensively, you can embark into a transport if the unit that wants to hop in finishes its move completely within 3″ of the transport.  If the transport hasn’t moved, it can then move, shoot, charge whatever.  If the transport has moved, it can still shoot and charge, advance, or whatever.

Shooting Phase:

  • What used to be template weapons cause 1D6 autohits, which is CRAZY strong.  But they no longer ignore cover.  ohohohoho
  • Twin-linked weapons no longer get the re-roll.  Often it simply means you get twice the number of shots.  BUT.  When you’re throwing BS 4+ it feels like you’re shooting is much less effective.  In math-hammer we trust!
  • Please please please remember that most units that fell back in the movement phase cannot shoot.  This is super important.  There are exceptions to this rule however!  Take heed!
  • Remember concepts like “Instant Death” are no more.  This has been replaced with the Damage Characteristic for each weapon that you’re shooting.  This makes everything instantly more durable and yet more vulnerable to high damage output weapons.
  • Remember that pistols can be shot by units presently ‘locked’ in close combat.  Remember how Inferno Pistols were extremely situational before?  Yeah.  They’re back.  Also, think of all those fun Mechanicus 5 shot burst pistols.  LOL.
  • Vehicle firing points are gone.  This means the sponson mounted weapons on your Leman Russes have a 360 degree field of fire, and furthermore you can split fire them.
    • The same goes for fliers.  Hell-turkeys can bale-flame out their ass again.

On Re-Rolls & Modifiers:

  • The more I think about this, the more it makes sense.  The modifier is really there as a significant buff or debuff.  The re-roll allows for a bit more consistency, but at least you have a chance most of the time.  This has a few implications however:
    • Orkz firing heavy weapons will never hit a unit covered by a Venomhrope or similar, even if it has a re-roll. (5+ to hit normally, -1 for heavy weapon, -1 for the cloaking spore).  Unless it can find a +1 modifier somewhere to help cancel this out (strafing run…?)
    • On a practical level, there are precious few re-rolls in the game now, and typically these are distributed by an Aura or Psychic power.  If you find yourself being significantly affected by this, snipe out the offending units!
  • Also worth noting that sometimes a weapon has an ability that ‘goes off’ on a roll of 6+.  Necron Tesla and the Kastelan Robot Repulsor Grid immediately come to mind.  On a 6+ the shot is returned to sender.  When Aegis Protocols are active, +1 modifier to any dice roll be it armour or invulnerable save, meaning the shot is RTS’d on a dice roll of 5 or 6.
    • Confusing!  But very, VERY awesome.

Removing Casualties:

  • Remember it’s not the closest model in the unit that dies anymore.  You can have the Sergeant lead the charge now! (but not the Character Commissar, he’d get vaporized.)
  • *sobs* no more artillery sniping.  Well, this is probably for the best.

Assault Phase:

  • When charging, you don’t need to make it into base contact anymore.  You just need to make it within 1″ of the target.  This gives every unit another 1″ to their charge roll.  Not bad eh?
  • You do not need line of sight to charge a unit.  You do not need to have shot a unit to charge at it.  You can multi-charge (although I have some questions about maintaining coherency).  Every unit that isn’t a fortification can charge now.  Including transports.
  • Overwatch obeys the rules of shooting.  They do require LoS, and all weapons need to be in the appropriate range, requirements, etc.
    • Your Basilisk can overwatch with an Earthshaker shell now (LOL).
    • If you charge from outside of 8″, you won’t need to worry about flamers (D-Scythes, etc.) auto-hitting you on the charge.
  • Read the above 3-5 times to yourself quietly and think about the implications:
    • Landraiders can absorb the overwatch for your terminator assault squads.  Chimeras for your guardsmen.  Valkyries for your Scions or whatever you threw into it (Bullgryns?  LOL!)
    • You can pull a transport in front of your unit that’s charging.  Enemy has no LoS (therefore no overwatch).  Make charge w/ infantry around the transport.
  • Perhaps the single most important thing to remember about assault is that you can use it to disrupt your enemy’s next shooting phase.  For example:
    • I had a Space Marine Land Speeder charge my basilisk.  Even if I backed out of the assault in order to allow my nearby units the opportunity to shoot the offending Speeder, I was now short a turn of shooting with my Earthshaker.  The speeder on the other hand, was unencumbered from doing anything in the following turn, it could shoot, charge, whatever, because it had the fly keyword.
  • Charging models always go first.  No matter what they charged through.
  • Grenades are no longer melee weapons.  Even melta-bombs need to be thrown in the shooting phase (4″ range).  Keep this in mind when you charge vehicles or high toughness targets.
  • When consolidating a unit you need to move towards the nearest enemy model.  This need not be a model that you are presently engaged with.  In so doing, you bring yourself within 1″ of the enemy, and force them to fall back, further reducing the shooting coming in your direction the next turn.

Again, this list is certainly not exhaustive.  A lot has changed.  A LOT.  It may be worthwhile to consider it an entirely new game completely separate.  It’s a mere coincidence that it uses the same range of models.

My best advice perhaps is to try to forget everything you knew about 7th.  Read the rules for 8th cover to cover (when it becomes available to you).  Isn’t it liberating?

Hit me up in the comments below if you have questions/comments or want to see something added above.  Happy gaming everyone!

12 Replies to “8th Edition Tips for 7th Edition Veterans”

  1. Awesome, thanks for the shout out. Many of the rules i posted are from my own questions at the testers (you can email Front line gaming for a rules question since they were primary testers!).

    Supposedly, and don’t quote me on this, there may be an early, or even day one FAQ to cover all the questions GW has gotten via email, facebook, and from the testers.

  2. Good coverage, and yes it’s longer than the actual rules for 8th 😉

    I want to add that the 3″ pile-in and 3″ consolidation aren’t mandatory in close combat. You “may” make those moves, and then if you do it’s towards the nearest enemy unit. This can allow for units that don’t want to be in combat, IE: Fire Warriors, to effectively break the combat without having to use a fall back move. Meaning, they choose to not pile-in and consolidate, hopefully creating a larger than 1″ gap between the enemy, and thus not being in combat any longer on their turn.

      1. Even for close combat armies it’s a consideration. For example, in my first game I had destroyed unit in combat, so I had a consolidation move to make. By the rules, I would have had to consolidate towards the nearest enemy unit, which was the opposite direction I wanted to go come my movement phase. So, I opted to not consolidate.

        1. Or – if you have benefits only on the charge, you wreck face, don’t consolidate, and charge again in your next turn. Helpful if you’re lacking the ‘fly’ keyword. (Death Company w/o jetpacks come to mind)

          1. Indeed. It’s for reasons like this, and there are many, that I keep telling people that the game does not lack for strategy and tactics now, despite things like positioning going away (armor facings, casualty removal, etc).

            1. But these tactics are borne out of freedom, not restrictions. Which is why other areas had to get toned down a little. I honestly have zero objections to this, as it makes the game more accessible to all.

              In my game on Monday, the most common question was: “Can I do [Action] now?”

              To which my response was (95% of the time): “YOU SURE CAN!” in lieu of a 5 minute answer with references to the rulebook cross-referencing the codex.

              I can’t express how liberating that felt.

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