Games Workshop have finally released the long-awaited April Update, and we’re going to talk you through the 5 biggest changes that first jumped out at us:
1. Air Traffic Control
Using aircraft for screening is a frustrating tactic that recently came into the limelight with some major success on the tournament scene. Aeldari Jets and Bombers would zoom around in a holding pattern, preventing enemy infantry from getting close to or charging the long-range firepower hiding behind them. This makes little sense thematically, and was very frustrating to play against. No more!
While this doesn’t completely kill the strategy as you still can’t stand on an aircraft’s base, it does make it a lot harder to pull off. Hopefully this will lead to less frustrating and more thematic games!
2. I Believe I Can Fly
Moving right on, Fly has generally been improved with some of the restrictions from the last two FAQs being rolled back. Units with FLY can fly over other units while charging again, and for bonus clarity the interaction with vertical distances while moving has been made explicit:
“Buildings” here refers to building models with datasheets, like Bunkers and Webway Gates. So, flying over friendly and enemy forces is cool again, but no flying through walls (except for Infantry, who can wriggle or blast their way through RUINS walls regardless of FLY!)
Similar changes were also made to equivalent abilities such as the Harlequin’s Flip Belt.
3. Ding-dong! The witch is dead!
One of the biggest Boogymen of the Competitive Scene, the Knight Castellan, was really pushed over the edge with a 3++ Invulnerable Save vs Shooting. By combining the Ion Bulwark warlord trait and the Rotate Ion Shields stratagem, the Castellan (or another Knight) could absorb a truly obscene amount of firepower. But no longer:
Simple enough but a really big deal for anyone frustrated with throwing 2000pts of firepower into an Imperial Knight and seeing it laugh it all off. And if that wasn’t enough…
Two of the Castellan’s key weapons – previously free – have been given a points cost, increasing the effective cost of the model by 100 points!
(The Renegade Castellan’s weapons was likewise increased by 40 and 70 for the same total model points cost, as the Renegade was 10 points cheaper.)
4. Redeployment Cleaned Up
Units redeploying after the game has started has been a muddy area for a long time. For Thousand Sons players, “Can you Warptime after Dark Matter Crystal” was one of the longest-running unresolved questions in 8th edition, with rulings going different ways from casual clubs to different major tournaments. Other unclear points included whether the Ork Da Jump removed the Warpath buff and a host of other fringe cases. Finally: clarity!
(There are 8 separate points to cover a lot of fringe cases, but we’ve just snipped the first 3, biggest ones here!)
5. Genestealer Cults Revised
A few of the excesses of this fresh codex have been curbed. Notably, Psychic Onslaught can no longer dish out unlimited mortal wounds, stopping any time the opponent rolls a 6. They Came From Below no longer works on Turn 1, bringing it in line with other Deep Strike rules. And some strangeness with Orders has been eliminated, stopping GSC doing things that the Astra Militarum couldn’t, such as issuing orders to 20-man units of guardsmen and Ogryns.
There are lots of other changes, including official guidance on the Rule of 3 and similar Datasheets (no more spamming 9 Demon Princes from different Codices), and Craftworlds psychic debuffs now only benefiting Craftworld Units (no more Doom boosting Haywire Bikes and Grotesques!)
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