FAQ Breakdown part 1

After thousands of years of waiting our Games Workshop overlords have finally rewarded out patience with the new FAQ’s! https://www.warhammer-community.com/faqs/

Many people went in with some expectations, such as Flyrant nerfs, Reaper nerfs, Poxwalker nerfs etc… and they certainly weren’t wrong. But this FAQ did so much more than that. It fundamentally changed the core rules of 8th edition. The changes were actually so impactful I’m going to break down the FAQ in two parts. First I will go over the major changes in the FAQ, and then explain what I think that means for the game on the macro scale. And then in part two which will release Thursday I will put up a summary of how different armies were specifically affected and what I think the meta will look like.

Major FAQ Changes:

-No more soup detachments- What this means is practically a battalion of Celestine, Guard Commander, 3×10 infantry (a classic staple in a lot of competitive 40k lists) can no longer be taken. Every detachment must be “pure” as in no allies within a detachment.

-More CP for Battalions and Brigades– This change will help reward players for taking the more balanced  detachments50 as opposed to taking multiple vanguards and outriders. I think 5CP for a battalion may have been a bit ambitious and 4 would’ve been better, but it’s ultimately fine.

-0-3 on all non troops or DT- What an amazing balancing rule. I’m so happy with GW. They brought the game back from unbound without completely taking away people’s creative freedom in list building. Gone are the cancerous days of 7-10 Flyrants, enter the new era of diversity!


-50% of your unit count and power level must be deployed– This honesyly doesn’t change much for most armies, as most people deployed over 50% of their forces in points total already. What this does really change is Tyranids though. It was possible and viable to have a completely reserve based Tyranid army, and I’m not even just talking about Flyrant spam. Genestealers in Nodes, Swarmlord in a pod, Mawlocs, Warriors and devourer gaunts tunneling with tons of mucloids deployed was very much a list concept, but for better or worse that is now gone.

-You can’t move after deep striking- This is so unbelievably huge. Gone are the days of deep striking 30 tzangors and casting warp time on them to charge an army turn 1. Deep strike quicken spears are a soon to be distant memory. Competitive 40k as we know it is going to change fundamentally.

-Anything that comes in from reserve turn 1 must go into your own deployment zone- This is one that really changes the fundamental dynamic style of 40k. Things like Guardian blobs and other similar units used to gain momentum really suffer here. Other shooty alpha strike units like obliterators and destroyers also lose a lot of their luster. Many armies that did not rely so heavily on deep strike will only see benefit from this rule though.


There are a lot of other small changes such as points adjustments for Eldar and Nids, and a small change to the way Smite works but nothing overly significant there. The highlighted cliff notes above are really the brunt of the FAQ.

Now that I’ve covered what the major points of the FAQ are let me give some initial ideas on how this will ultimately impact the meta.

Due to the 0-3 limitations on “spammable” units like Flyrants, plagueburst crawlers, hammerheads etc… armies will naturally go extinct. With the removal of such extremes more balanced armies will be able to come back into the meta since they don’t have to worry about dealing with such harsh extremes on opposite ends of the meta spectrum. I mean, how could you expect a battle force, picturesque, Space Marine army to be taken seriously in a world of 7 flyrants on one hand and 300 pox walkers on the other? By design, the pseudo-force org that the Rule of Three creates will be really beneficial to the game.

The loss of being able to use deep strike to establish board control and gain momentum on turn 1 will really shift armies and what they value. Durable units that can take shooting for a bit while they wait for reinforcements will see more play, and faster units that can effectively redeploy will be more valuable to make up for the momentum loss.


Prior to this FAQ most 40k games tend to be played within the first few turns (1-3), which led many games to being total blow outs and left one player feeling a bit left out. Thus far in the two games I’ve played under the new FAQ rules both have gone all the way to 6 without a clear winner being determined until at least 5. The mentality that everything is going to die within the first couple turns and it’s all about doing as much damage to the other guy as quickly as possible in order to succeed will soon subside. You’ll start to see list choices reflecting that, and the game will naturally slow down (from an action perspective not a time perspective).

Lastly, just because I love you all so much I will be holding a live Q&A session on facebook live tomorrow on The Brown Magic Facebook Page where I’ll be answering any questions you may have about the FAQ. The Q&A session will take place on Wednesday 4/18 at 1:30pm EST, so be sure to check in!

Also, stay tuned for Thursday’s article where I break down my opinions on how each army made out and what the meta will look like!

43 Comments on “FAQ Breakdown part 1

  1. Well done my good man!
    I tried out a scaled down Tau list like the one you suggested during your review of the codex and it worked wonderfully.
    Looking forward to more of your expert analysis!

  2. >Due to the 0-3 limitations on “spammable” units like Flyrants, plagueburst crawlers, hammerheads etc…

    Huh. Hammerheads, really? I wouldn’t call it a bad tank, but I’m kinda shocked you think it’s this good (or that any human being owns more than, like, four of them.)

    • There was a team tournament in England recently (etc/atc style) and most teams featured lists with 6 of them

      • Huh, okay. I can’t say I had been as impressed with them, but I may have to try some more.

  3. So many people salty about the ‘rule of 3’. It makes so much sense and is a solid rule, playing people with spam lists is never any fun and watching them even less so.

    I’m really glad that find forward we will see lists with diversity.

    I’m sure the people complaining about this rule are just wondering what they are going to do with their spare flyrants or poxwalkers.

    Already seen a bunch of nurgle armies go up for sale since they got hit twice by the rule of 3 and the change to summoned pox walkers counting to their points.

    I also feel one FAQ that went under people’s radar is in the rule book, they clarified charging units that are above the bottom floor in terrain.

    GW states that if there’s no space for the charging models entire unit on the level of the terrain piece that the charged unit holds, then the charge is failed.

    Think about this, if you’re guard and you set up your guys in buildings above the bottom floor and space them out correctly. … Your units become unchargeable. That’s huge in a game against say a Tyranid army.

  4. I’m sure no one can argue with the price change to Dark Reapers, but does it seem like they went overboard on Warlocks? Going from 35 to 55 is a crazy percentage increase, and I can’t imagine who is going to take warlock conclaves at 45 points a piece – it seems to me they were rare at 30.

    With skyrunner prices seemingly unchanged, I guess it will be rare to see an Eldar psycher without a jetbike…

    • I believe this is not directly linked to the power of the warlock, but a move to make your cheapest possible Craftworlds Battalion for +5 CP less affordable.

      • That does make sense, and there is no doubt that using warlocks and spiritseers for cheap brigades or battalions would have been a tempting option.

        On the other hand, this does make using warlocks in their own right rather less attractive.
        I have been trying to find ways to use conclaves (just looking for a creative play), but I think this price change slams the door on that possibility. Anyone see a viable use for either form of conclaves at the current prices?

  5. Good article.

    Do you think that the CP adjustment actually addresses the mono-faction or elite force issue in terms of the value disparity between factions?

    I feel like the intent was to help but we’re still going to see the dips between factions for CP as a mainstay, and the gap will only widen further.

    • I think it’ll help everyone, but more elite factions gain more because they started off with less.

  6. What do you think about huge boost for shooting armies in case that you can’t deep strike And charge turn one?

    Where is the place for more CC oriented armies?

    You can’t stand And shoot with tau beeing on the oposite side of the board.

    • “Where is the place for more CC oriented armies?”

      In transports lol

  7. Thx a lot good Sir for your opinion on things. I for one, am still very undecided on whether I like the FAQ in general or not. On the one hand there are a lot of really good clarifications in there but on the other hand so many obvious flaws.
    For example Dark Reapers and footslogging eldar casters got a price hike but the ones on jetbikes including the massively underpriced Shining Spear didnt? Doenst seem very consistent to me.

    The biggest pile of bullshit though, the hugest pile of dung, is the ruling on levels in ruins and on terrain and charges. 5 lowly Guardsmen now prevent the allmighty Daemon Prince from charging them on an upper level of a ruin for example just because there is no room to place it. this is so inherently wrong, you can see the pile of shit from orbit.

    *rantmode off*

  8. How does every Imperium list start? With a Guard Battalion of course!

    5CP Battalions aside, these changes are unilaterally good ones. It’ll create winners and losers, and people don’t like change, so they’ll fuss a bit, but at the end of the day it’ll be a better game.

    No first turn DS changes a bunch of the pressures on list construction too. I’m looking forward to seeing how this changes the meta.

      • Yeah, as if Agents of Vect wasn’t gonna crush that army hard enough, needing to pay reinforcement points for models above your starting size absolutely breaks it in half.

  9. Hey Nick – I’m so glad that you’ve decided to create a website/blog like this. It’s enjoyable to have a knowledgeable reasoned take on strategies and rules – keep up the amazing posts!!!

  10. I fail to see where allowing gunline armies to be unmolested for 2 full turns is an improvement to the game (unless you’re an Eldar, Tau or IG of course)

    CC was just so heavily nerfed its not even funny.

    “Resilient units” will make a comeback ? LMAO. A 2000pts Eldar gunline can smoke 2×200 pts T8 units turn 1 without breaking a sweat, and with the nerf to deepstrike, there won’t be any retaliation possible anymore. So they’ll get another free turn of shooting, blowing 800 pts from the board in 2 turns while you were barely able to move across the board. YAY THAT SO BALANCED !

    I dont care about flyrant spam being gone, the only person who will care is the one who played it at Adepticon, since you never saw such lists in casual/regional 40k scenes.

    This guy singlehandedly managed to fuck up half the armies of 40K. You know whats funny? If the Rule of 3 existed before adepticon 2018, this FAQ wouldn’t even have existed.

    • Stay tuned for Thursday’s article. I address this directly. Also i recommend approaching ur with an open mind

    • Flyrant spam was already running rampant at events outside of the US before Adepticon. Nick even called it out as a list to watch out for in his pre-Adepticon write up. There is zero chance GW didn’t already have this change in mind prior to Adepticon.

      I’m also worried that these changes are going to throw the meta towards armies that can wreck you in your deployment zone from their deployment zone, but without having put anything on the table I could easily be wrong.

  11. Since I have all thumbs when it comes to 40k I enjoy reading what knowledgeable 40k players think.

    However, I’m cautiously optimistic about this FAQ. The reserve rules seems good for me as a Necron player. The only sad thing is that it makes the Monolith even more useless, but these things can be expected with blanket rules.

    Not sure how the cc armies will fare though

    40k is so interesting right know.

  12. Really looking forward to some impartial reviews of the FAQ (while you’re at it, maybe poke your buddies over at The Best General to stop with the whining on FB, he’s better than that. Come on)

    • I literally cannot wait for Thursday’s article to release

      • Then literally don’t wait and send a copy over to me 😉

  13. So do you believe the changes to assaulting higher levels of ruins requirement makes sense from a balancing stand point? I Saw a lot of other posters bring that up but you gave no answer, I’m curious to know your thoughts on that matter it seems like the sort of thing that should’ve made it into ‘biggest changes’ in this article. It affects at least half of the armies in 40k greatly.

    • It certainly makes sense from a logistical standpoint, but from a balancing stand point it seems silly. That said, it’s no more silly than LVOs bunker which only infantry can interact with. It’s just another thing that players will have to adapt to. It’s certainly not game breaking

  14. I’m a little less optimistic about the new FAQ. My Black Legion army has done well in 8th, with 3 builds:

    – Noise Marines dropping out of a Kharbydis Assault Claw, with Sorcerer and Terminator support
    – 3x Obliterators + 120 Cultists using Tide of Traitors
    – 25 lascannons split over CSMs, Predators and Helbrutes (with rerolls to hit thx to Abaddon and a nice cultist screen)

    The first and second lists have become a lot more challenging with the beta rules, but the third list has really benefited. They shoot up all of my opponent’s armor in the first turn, and now they are going to have a second turn to do the same.

    This illustrates my main concern about the new FAQ, which is that it heavily favors long range, shooty armies. What I fear game designers failed to consider is the amount of S9+ guns with range that exist at the moment, and (with the 50% PL reserve restriction) how this consigns certain units to just being targets in most games.

    I realize my lascannon spam is not the most lethal one that exists, but I would really be interested in your perspective on this aspect of the game. What it feels like to me is some armies – Grey Knights in particular come to mind – are going to be invalidated, not just lists people have been using. I can’t speak to the game designers intent, but it’s very hard to see how to build a good list around them post-FAQ.

    Which is a shame, because I started a Grey Knights army about a month ago. My friends were tired of my CSM shennanigans and I wanted to tone down what I bring for casual gaming.

  15. I’m curious to see if Dark Angels move to being a tier 1 list now, outside of dark talon and fire raptor spam.

  16. Are Blood Angels going to remain competitive post-FAQ?

  17. Nick, the ynnari faq says that a detachment they are in counts as a craftworld, drukhari, masque detachment and has access to the stratagems, warlord traits and relics. Since a ynanri cahracter will always be your warlord, does that somehow allow for a ynnari character to gain a warlord trait from the codex?

      • So it was a useless mention then. Gotcha

      • If you read the new text again carefully, you’ll notice that they took out the requirement for the Ynarri character to be Warlord.

  18. Pingback: FAQ Breakdown Part 2 – The Brown Magic

  19. “You can’t move after deep striking- This is so unbelievably huge. Gone are the days of deep striking 30 tzangors and casting warp time on them to charge an army turn 1. Deep strike quicken spears are a soon to be distant memory. Competitive 40k as we know it is going to change fundamentally.”

    I can’t find this in the faq – can you help me?

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