Warhammer 40k 7th Edition Changes: Latest and What we Know

This post is a compilation of all the changes I've noted (so far) between 6th and 7th Edition. The hope is to soften the transition for players who haven't gotten up the gumption yet to switch over. I am actively making changes as I find new differences between the two editions.

Ok! I have removed all of my previous posts on Rumors for 7th edition. 

The New Edition
-- The new Edition is being called "7th Edition," but initial impressions are "6.5 with a Psychic Phase."
-- Comes in a 3-book set ("hobby," fluff, rules). The total cost for all three books is ~$85 US. The rulebook can also be bought by itself, although in Digital Edition only for $70 (interactive Ibook), or $60 (eBook). There is also an Art book out separately for $74.
...I know making rulebooks is a lot of hard work, but even $60 is pretty steep coming so hot on the heels of the last edition.
-- There are six new missions, in addition to the old ones, called "Maelstrom of War" missions
-- Maelstorm of War Missions use "Mission Cards" which have varying specific Objectives for each player, and each Player's Mission Card Objectives will likely be different. These cards are drawn by each player at the beginning of the game and played or discarded as Players accomplish or give up on them (these are thus far widely regarded as tremendously unbalanced, be warned)
-- The new book includes Escalation and Stronghold Assault as part of the core rules.

And with that, on to a list of actual rules changes-

Deployment/List Building/Scoring
-- Objectives are now placed BEFORE Table Sides are determined.
-- Lists can now be built in the classic "Battle Forged" (Force Organization chart) or Unbound (no limitations aside from Allies Rubric and Squad requirements - i.e., minimum unit size, etc.). Unbound lists specifically require all players' approval to field.
-- Battle Forged lists re-roll Warlord Trait (if it's a roll) and their Troops cannot be contested on Objectives, except by other Troops units from Battle Forged lists (so sure that Predator is scoring, but if a unit of Jetbikes from a BF list zooms up next to it on the last turn, that Objective goes to the Jetbikes). Latest word on this (in addition to being confirmed) is that Dedicated Transports purchased for Troops also have this rule (Yeah Wave Serpents!) Battle Forged lists may draw from any number of Detachments.
-- The Player who wins the roll to Deploy First now chooses who goes first (i.e., may choose to Deploy First and go Second)
-- No limit to how many units you can keep/start in Reserve (however, you still lose if at the end of any game turn you have no units on the table)
-- ALL units (aside from Zooming Flyers/FMCs) now score.
-- New, and more strict, Allies Rubric (fewer Battle Brothers). However, those Battle Brothers that are there may now be deployed/embark on Allied Transports without limit. Word is that the only Battle Brothers now are Eldar/Dark Eldar (ick), Chaos/Daemons, and Imperium Armies (Astra Militarum, Space Marines, etc.). Most notably, Tau was bumped down to being "Allies of Convenience" with nearly everyone.
-- May now Ally with "Come the Apocalypse" Allies, but units may not be deployed within 12" of each other, in addition to all other penalties. THIS MEANS TYRANIDS CAN NOW TAKE AND BE TAKEN AS ALLIES, but they won't get cozy with anyone they're with. All Allies officially score now (including Come the Apoc.)
-- Independent Characters may no longer join Monstrous Creatures (another knock to Tau out there) or Vehicles

I'm still grumpy about this. Eldar and Dark Eldar would sometimes work together, but it's hard for me to swallow that they would be *Battle Brothers* and trust each other more than Eldar and Tau. This also leaves wide open the exploit that allowed players to take Super Eldar Seer Councils, or SeerStars. My biggest hope for 7th was that that would be nerfed. But, at least Psychic Defense will now play a bigger role...

-- Jink saves are now a 4+, and optional, same for all types (Flyers, FMCs, Bikes, Jetbikes, Skimmers). Any unit wishing to take one chooses to do so BEFORE a shooting player rolls to-hit. However, ALL units taking a Jink save now fire Snap Shots in their following turn. Both a buff and a nerf there, but I like that a lot. Wave Serpents with Holofields choosing to Jink will now get a 3+.
-- Vector Strike is now AP2, and is only a single hit, except against enemy Flyers and Flying Monstrous Creatures.
-- Flying Monstrous Creatures must now land ("glide") and then wait a turn before Assaulting (I like that, that was a nasty thing to be able to do)
-- Night Fighting is now a flat "all units gain Stealth," no more of that constant measuring to see which unit has what, I really appreciate that.

Psychic Phase
-- A whole new phase between Movement and Shooting solely for Psychic Powers. This means Psykers in reserve and/or in a transport may now cast Blessings and Maledictions in the same turn they arrive or disembark. That's really nice!
-- Each player rolls a D6, then adds the combined mastery level of all of their Psykers (includes Brotherhood of Psykers and Psychic Pilot). This is their dice pool.
-- Psykers may cast multiple Witchfires (but not the same one more than once), these shots must be fired in the Psychic Phase and do not affect how many weapons a Psyker may use in the following Shooting Phase, or force them to shoot at the target they Witchfired (THAT is a big change)
-- Focussed Witchfire now get's to target a unit if there are more 4+ die rolled on the test than needed (see below), otherwise it hits the closest enemy model in the target unit

Here's how it works:
-- The player whose turn it is may roll any number of dice per power, minimum of 1 per level of power (i.e., a Mastery Level 2 power requires at least two dice) and to successfully cast a power, there must be a number of 4+ rolls equal to the Mastery Level. Any roll of two or more 6's is a Perils (the results of which are now a table).
The Player whose turn it isn't (Defending player, also gets the number of Charge dice rolled plus their Mastery Level(s)) may then use some of their dice to nullify the power, again using 1 die per successful casting roll. So, if a Psyker rolled four 4+ die to cast their power, you'll need to roll four or more 6+'s - but you can use any number of dice to do it and do not risk a Perils. These die get +1 for a Psyker in the unit, a higher level Psyker, Adamantium Will, and/or a Psychic Hood in range. Also, the defender may now Deny even powers that don't target their own units (i.e, enemy Blessings), but get no bonus for being a Psyker/Adamantium Will, etc.

*Note: these changes mean that a Psyker's Leadership is irrelevant when casting powers, a Ld. 8 Warlock can cast just as reliably as a Ld. 10 Farseer. However, most Perils results require a Leadership check that can (sometimes) stave off the worst of the damage, in that situation higher Leadership will be a benefit.

-- Any unit may only cast (or attempt to cast) the same Psychic Power once.
-- A Psyker can still only cast a single power per Mastery Level
-- THREE new Psychic Powers schools in the main Rulebook that all Psykers have access to (except Tyranids). These are Daemonology (malefic) and Daemonology (sanctic). Grey Knights may only use Sanctic, Daemons may only use Malefic, and *any* double roll at all (not just 6's) is a Perils when any other army tries to use either Daemonology school.
-- "Force" is now a single-power Tree that all Psykers with a Force weapon gain. Must be successfully cast in the Psychic Phase, and makes any Force Weapon the Psyker is carrying gain Instant Death until the following Psychic Phase. Nasty.
-- Psychic Pilot models/units may now generate and manifest Psychic Powers, they just treat every instance of "takes a wound" on the Perils table as "takes a glancing hit" and are treated as Leadership 10 unless otherwise stated.

**New Psychic (who can take what) Tree here.
**Re-tooled Psychic Trees (from the rulebook) here. Previous link was bad, now fixed!

Biggest Changes I saw: 
Divination 5 (Rending instead of "enemy re-rolls successful saves")
Telekinesis 6 (No longer centers on the Psyker on a miscast)
Telepathy 4 & 5 (Puppet Master replaced with "Psyker and models within 6" gain Shrouded," Invisibility forces Snap Shots Only against the target - no templates or blasts)
Telepathy 6 Nerfed hard (1-2, Pinning Test. 3-4, -1 WS/BS/I/A, 5-6, a single *random model* takes a single S3, AP-, hit for each other model in the unit. If there's only one model in the unit, treat as a 1-2 instead)
Telepathy Primaris (Psychic Shriek now has 18" range)

-- If a Psyker takes "all of their powers from the same school/tree, they get the Primaris power for free" that's nice ("Psychic Focus").
-- Rolling more than one double 6 in any Psychic Check (say you roll four 6's) results in a single Perils test per check, not one per double.

-- Wounds now resolved weapon by weapon, so if you shoot with your Bolters first and do enough wounds for that Flamer to be out of range, you can't shoot with the flamer - etc.
-- Barrage weapons are no longer Pinning
-- Sniper weapons are now Strength 4 and do not rend (although they still get Precision Shots on a 6 to hit and AP2 on a 6 to wound, and always wound on 4's. It just means their maximum strength vs. vehicles is a 10, no more 6-6 glancing AV 12)
-- Characters no longer get Precision Shots by default.
-- Snap Shots are UNCHANGED
-- Ignores Cover is UNCHANGED
-- Focus Fire was removed (as was "Area Terrain," but I'm not sure what was removed yet)
-- Sniper and Barrage weapons no longer automatically cause Pinning.
-- Destroyer (or D) Weapons now have a new chart (incomplete):
                                  1 = Nothing
                                  2 - 5 = D3+1 wounds, but Cover/Invulnerable saves allowed
                                  6 = D6+6 wounds, no saves at all allowed (including Invulnerable)
-- Skyfire now no longer fires at non-flying targets at full BS (ouch) but must instead make Snap Shots. However, "Flying" targets includes Flyers, FMCs AND Skimmers.
-- Split-Fire no longer requires a Leadership test.
-- Flying Monstrous Creatures now only take a Grounded check if they are Wounded, not just hit. And it's only a single test at the end of any Shooting phase.
-- Blind is now a single check per unit hit at the end of the Shooting phase (even if hit by multiple enemy units/attacks with Blind)
-- TEMPLATE WEAPONS NOW INFLICT D6 HITS against the occupants of an Open-Topped transport (nasty for Orks/Dark Eldar)
-- Blast Weapons are no longer limited by the level/floor of a building, all models under the Template take a hit.
-- Updated Vehicle Damage chart, a Vehicle is now no longer automatically destroyed except on a d6 "roll" of 7 (i.e., it has to be open-topped or hit with an AP 2 or better weapon). See the updated chart below:

1-3 = Crew Shaken (Snap shots only, may still move)
4 = Crew Stunned (Snap Shots only, may not move or pivot, Zooming Flyers must move 18" & can't turn)
5 = Weapon Destroyed (If all weapons are out of ammo or destroyed, counts as Immobilized)
6 = Immobilized (Cannot move. Turrets may still rotate. Chariots count as Crew Stunned, Flyers roll d6: On a 1-2, the flyer Crashes (Crash & Burn), on a 3+ it counts as Crew Stunned. Any further Immobilized results cost an additional Hull Point (-2 per result))
7+ = Explodes (d6 radius, Strength 4 hit on all units in range, vehicle destroyed)

Crash & Burn: Large Blast, scatters 2d6 from the Flyer's base, all models caught are hit at Strength 6, no AP

-- Overwatch is SAME AS IT WAS
-- Consolidate moves and charge ranges are UNCHANGED
-- You can Assault vehicles (as well as Monstrous Creatures) with a unit that can't hurt them, that was clarified.
-- Counter-Attack no longer requires a Leadership test.
-- Flying Monstrous Creatures must go to Glide one turn before they can Assault (no more Swooping straight into combat)
-- Charging into or through Terrain is different (Charges are done in a straight line, if any models in the unit would go through or into Terrain in that line, the unit takes a -2" to their charge range)
-- Wounds now carry over from Challenges (Dealt three wounds to that one-wound Sergeant? Now the rest of the unit takes two wounds). Also, instead of "Get 'im Boss!" Now when all models are unengaged aside from a Challenge, unengaged models in base to base (or within 2" of a unit in base to base) may allocate wounds into the Challenge
-- Smash is now a Single Attack (may be improved further by wargear, and may get other bonuses. That's a nice buff to things like the Wraighknight that were already Strength 10)

(Be sure to keep up with these here)
-- Greay Knights, Blood Angels and Space Wolves no longer have access to their Codex Psychic Powers.
-- Heldrake's Baleflamers - all range and LOS measurements are from its barrel (cuts down on some abuse there) treated as a Hull Mounted weapon
-- Helbrutes are now 100 points (base)
-- Space Marines can self-ally (provided they're from different Chapters)
-- Space Wolves runic weapons now do a +1 to Deny the Witch, instead of a blanket 4+ to nullify in range.

Now that that's over, for the most part I'm encouraged by these changes - especially the new Allies rubric. Being a lover (and overuser) of Psykers, I'm somewhat concerned about the new Psyker rules - but I will reserve judgement until I see the actual final print.

I hope this is a helpful compilation, and I hope you're all bracing yourselves for exciting changes!


  1. Just to let you know:

    The set of three books comes in a slipcase with a Dark Angel on the cover in the style of the limited edition Space Marine covers, the three books inside feature the Ultramarine from the limited covers, the Helbrute art from the CSM codex, and what I think is a Homonculi on the third cover. So no Blood Angels, unfortunately. Also, the three books include a "Hobby" book, not an art book, with an art book being released separately for $50. There also weren't listings in the new WD to buy the books separately, but Dark Vengeance will be updated with a mini version of the new rules, so you'll probably be able to pick that up on eBay eventually.

    1. Ah, thank you for that! That was one of the rumors I was least certain about, I've changed it in the post. I'll still keep my hopes up for individual rulebooks (maybe Digital editions only?) but otherwise, you're right, E-bay and the re-released Dark Vengeance are always options.

  2. how does the Psychic Phase works for necrons and tau, do we just ignore it?

    1. As far as I've seen, yeah, Tau, Orks, Dark Eldar all ignore the Psychic phase the same way you would if you just didn't take any Psykers. But you always get your D6 charges to defend against enemy powers on their Psychic Phase.


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