Warhammer 40K, Space Marines vs Necrons
Image credit: Warhammer Community

The 10th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 continues to shake the game’s foundations to their very core, further enforcing a much-needed concept we already covered – “simplified, not simple.” And continuing with that trend, Games Workshop has provided further clarity on how that concept will affect Leaders and Squads.

Aura Stacking and Overbuffiing Are a Thing of the Past

In their latest article, Games Workshop acknowledged that stacking Aura bonuses were causing problems keeping the game balanced. The 10th Edition will remove most of the Aura effects, replacing them with an elegant and simple system that will make Leaders and Heroes more impactful on the field, both as squad leaders and the individual badasses they are. On that note, Leader units in the 10th Edition can usually be targeted only when every other squad member is dead. This new change renders the old “Look Out, Sir!” rule obsolete, and as such, will no longer exist in the new Edition.

Games Workshop uses the new Primaris Lieutenant as an example. He has the Leader ability, which allows him to attach himself to a squad for the entire length of the battle. While leading his squad, his Tactical Precision ability grants them the Lethal Hits core ability. Any Critical Hits (unmodified 6 on a Hit rolls) automatically wound their target.

Like most models in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40,000, the new Primaris Lieutenant will have a datacard listing all his abilities (armies will receive larger datasheets). If we look closely, we will notice that the Primaris Lieutenant can only attach to a limited number of squads, such as Assault Intercessors, Bladeguard Veterans, Hellblasters, and Intercessors, while leaving the Gravis-armored Aggressors and Heavy Intercessors to different types of specialists. So, we already have an idea that this unit takes a very specific role.

The second major rule we notice is that the Primaris Lieutenant can attach to any of the above-mentioned squads even if they have a Captain or a Chapter Master already attached to them, but if that Bodyguard unit is destroyed, the Leader units become separate entities with their original Starting Strengths. Normally, only one leader can attach himself to a squad, but the Primaris Lieutenant is a special exception, taking the role of a low-ranked support Leader, much like the Aeldari Warlocks or the Genestealer Cults’ Biophagus surgeons.

Introducing the New Lone Operative Mechanic

Going back to the topic of badassery, not all units are Leaders. Some prefer the path of the lone wolf. The appropriately named Lone Operative mechanic introduced in the 10th Edition makes the unit untargetable by ranged attacks unless the attacker is within 12″ – a powerful defensive trait tailor-made for the silent and (extremely) deadly Vindicare Assassins, the legendary T’au Commander Shadowsun, but can also be gained by some units if they meet certain conditions. For instance, the returning Primarch of the Dark Angels Lion El’Johnson can gain this ability if he comes close to any Adeptus Astartes infantry unit. Iron Father Feirros, on the other hand, gains the Lone Operative ability while tampering with an allied vehicle – very lore-accurate.

You can see how the “simplified, but not simple” ideology helps with fleshing out units and their roles a lot better. On a final note, Games Workshop also hinted that the next topic of discussion will be how the 10th Edition affects and changes how vehicles work in the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop world. We’ll be sure to cover the changes, so stay tuned for more news!

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.