Still Digging a Deep Hole

by | Apr 9, 2018

Last week, old schoolers like me were treated to the return of one of the most iconic units in Warhammer 40k history, the Termite! This spot on recreation continues the fantastic job Forge World does crafting models out of resin. Quickly following release announcement of the Termite was the rules…


At first glance there doesn’t appear to be anything too eye-popping with the rules or point cost. The Termite looks like nothing more than a expensive moving Drop Pod, but on closer inspection it has one large glaring problem.

Breaching Tremor: When this model arrives on the battlefield by performing a subterranean assault, enemy units within 12″ suffer a single mortal wound.

So what right?

Who cares about a 1 random mortal wound? I totally really didn’t think about it until a friend pointed it out to me. What if I take 5-6 of these things? Now imagine all your opponent’s characters being in range of that 12″? Suddenly something that is just a minor irritant, becomes a huge game changing problem. Beyond characters, any single wound elite units and even your average monster or vehicle will be brought down a peg by this Kevin Bacon B-movie assault.

These sort of mortal damage dealing special rules, usually have some sort of dice roll trigger and many of those even make it harder to snipe out characters.

This makes the Termite rules a perfect example Forge World rules writing problems; they never take anything in context with rule precedence, nor do they seem to think about the consequences of throwing random rules in the field.  I am not saying taking 6 Termites is going break the game, but it shows how uninformed Forge World consistently is. In the past, Forge World was never an issue because for Matched Play it was never allowed, but now with it universally allowed the problems always present rears its ugly head.

Even in 6th and 7th when events first started allowing Forge World, it was always in the context of everything else in the edition being so broken, why not allow Forge World!?! Today though Games Workshop is making a point that it cares about rules and community, so why doesn’t the same attitude apply to Forge World?

The Termite is just one example in a long list that often gets lost, as we focus on the big bad Games Workshop unit or army of the month. If we didn’t just have Chapter Approved rein in things it could be a lot worse. Speaking of making things worse, is the Forge World lag on fixing anything, either they are focused on model making or Games Workshop is stretching them too thin getting all the specialist games out, but whatever the reason that needs to improve.

The easiest solution is to give rule making duties to Games Workshop (if they didn’t already do it for Chapter Approved), and let Forge World write fluff and make models, but leave everything else to the rules team and play testers. I hope the play testers only get these Forge World rules moments before they are made official and don’t have time to force changes otherwise they are just as culpable. It just makes sense, the main rules team should be the teacher, while the play testers hand in there work along with Forge World for corrections, instead of turning it in late and half-assed.

Which reminds me when are we getting official 40k rules for Custodes Forge World models?

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