The New Edition: 9th Terrain Rules


A new edition is around the corner and during the calm before the storm, tidbits are shared by Warhammer Community to whip up the frenzy. One where you want to know more. The 9th terrain rules have been previewed. Of course, some armies have access to ignores cover. Imperial fist Siege Masters ignore cover with ranged weapons and that distinction will matter. The Hunter’s Eye for White Scars to ignore cover works in the Shooting phase. 

9th Terrain Rules – Cover

9th Terrain Rules

Light Cover works the same as cover does now. The big change is Heavy Cover working on melee can matter quite a bit as one tactic for melee-oriented armies is to tri-point a model and then kill it the following fight phase. However, that may be harder to do if he has a +1 to his save. So players will have to balance the Cobra Kai rules of fighting “Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy!” and the balanced approach of Miyagi Do.  That would be hitting hard the turn they charge and possibly be left exposed to enemy fire the next turn. Or they don’t kill enough in the first and second fight leaving them there to finish them off the 3rd fight and again being stuck out in the open for counter fire.

The silly part is how currently a unit that charges into heavy cover can benefit from the rule. While the unit that sat in their prepared positions can not. They make it clear again in this edition that cover doesn’t affect invulnerable saves. However, they have not addressed how it works on the Forgeworld special Voidshield saves like the Astreaus. New books are inbound for Forgeworld units so most likely that will be addressed then.

9th Terrain Rules – Obscuring

Rule of 5” came about when the Sector Mecanicus because they are 5” high. Later the Sector Imperialis ruins would follow that new standard. And with that new height, we have new rules to accompany that. Obscuring this is very similar to a common rule associated with ITC events, “First Floor Blocks Line of Sight”.

Unfortunately, the Chunky Butt Great Unclean One won’t be able to hide like the other Greater Daemons. It’s the price to be paid to gun down Gorkanauts. Our Ork Intermediate Tactics article showed they can be quite deadly.  Grab a skewer or a clear acrylic rod if you are feeling fancy and beware of the edges of the terrain. If your models can be seen 1mm past the edge of Obscuring Terrain they can be shot at. Aircraft are flying high enough to always be shot at but not so high that they can rain fire down on the enemy. The other 18+ wound models don’t get to shoot back either.

9th Terrain rules

Scalable was hinted at with the regards to the cargo container. Scalable sounds like models can climb on top of them.  What we don’t know is which types of models can get up there. 

Exposed Position details are lacking here. The Example of a cargo container providing cover for being behind it as an obstacle hints that if you were on top, you would be in an exposed position and possibly lose that bonus. That’s speculation for now. The other terrain traits hinted at are Breachible and Defensible. Maybe to help stop units from being further away than 1” from a wall that a monster can’t walk through thus keeping the unit safe. There are no safe spaces in the Grimdark. 

4 Categories of Terrain

Obstacles like the Containers are much smaller than buildings like the Macro-Cannon Aquila Strongpoint and will benefit infantry beasts and swarms. Usually, units that are short in stature. Ogryn says “What?”. 

Hills supposedly don’t do anything but a line of sight is needed for most weapons and the Warhammer Community may have over-generalized that statement.  

9th Terrain Rules

Area Terrain which would be ruins, craters, and forests. The kind of terrain that takes up an area and provides rules for it for you and your opponent to agree on. 

Buildings like the Fortress of Redemption. Their current datasheets are a little lacking as some folks still ask, “Can I set up a Skyshield Landing Pad on its side?”

What was the greatest reason folks didn’t take fortifications in the 8th edition? Most likely it was losing a detachment in order to take them. Sure their rules were a bit haphazard but sacrificing that detachment would hurt even “Pure” armies. Such as Guard with a Specialist Detachment, their main battalion detachment, and then their scion detachment. The 9th edition seems to be heading in the right direction.

You could also ignore the rules with armies like the Emperors Wrath Artillery Company. They were featured in our Astra Militarum Advancing Play article. Their strengths include ignoring the line of sight, ignoring cover and mobility.

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