But, do YOU Approve the Chapter?

The 1st edition of Chapter Approved since 2005 is out with new rules, erratas and point fix for Warhammer 40,000!  Here is the big picture of what’s changed in our beloved game!

What is Chapter Approved?

CA, for short, is the 40K equivalent of what Games Workshop as done with Age of Sigmar over the last 2 years with the General’s Handbook. Released every year, it includes additional rules and fixes for for the things that seem OP in the game.  For AOS, this was stacking buffs, a Stormcast Eternals and Karadron Overlords nerfs

For 40K, the book includes old classic formats like Apocalypse & Planetstrike, Vehicle Design Rules and army specific stratagems and relics, for those left without a codex.  Of course, it features a lot of changes to match play, which is what we’ll talk about.

Here are the main changes, that we’ll delve deeper in:

  • Change to Character targeting rules
  • Generic Point changes
  • Forge World point changes
  • Smite and Supreme Command

These are the biggest changes and ones not previously announced ( I.E. the new matched play missions in the book all include ” The player finishing to deploy first add 1 to the dice for determining who plays first” instead of auto-first.” )

Characters, Shooting, and You

Basically, to shoot at a character, it must be the closest unit, rather than closest “visible” unit, as was the case before.

First, let me start by saying I thought the rule change was going the other way, to remove the ” everyone in front is in combat, cant I shoot that mofo in the back pleaseohprettyprettyplease“, which seem to enrage the crap out of more casual players.

That begin said, I like this new rule.  It’s simple to grasp and apply and puts the ball in the defender’s court ( something the 8th edition doesn’t do much of.  O-fense! O-fense!  Woot! ).

This means snipers are even more valuable and that characters are easier to protect overall.

Generic Point Change

Lots of point changes, let’s go over the main ones:

Going UP in points:

  • As mentioned last week in the Astra Militarum article, conscripts get another round of nerfbat, going up to 4 points a model.
  • AssBacks ( Razorbacks with Twin-linked Assault Canons ) are going up
  • Guiliman is more reasonably priced at 385
  • Celestine is now more reasonably priced

Going DOWN in points:

  • Most Primaris Marines units, and elite units like Hellblasters and aggressors look a lot more tempting now.
  • Death Guard units, including the Plague Marines and the Deathshrouds

For some reason not affected by point changes:

  • Stompa

The changes to the entire Guiliman Gunline list is somewhat deserved, and not extreme enough to the point of becoming unplayable.  The conscripts nerf sounds a lot like overkill, because with the summary execution rule change, they were not the mainstray unit they were already.

Celestine change is perhaps the only one too light-handed for my taste.  It still feels like an auto-include to any imperial army with a detachment to spare.

I like the Plague Marine and Primaris point drops, it’s not something major, but it’s interesting enough to consider these units.

Forge World and Point Values.

The most drastic change in Chapter Approved is the point changes for the Forge World Index books.  Let’s start by the obvious one:  Malefic Lords are now 80pts a piece.  I will not complain, because it wasn’t the most fun unit to play with or against, however, in the interest of fairness:

It feels like an over correction to go up to 80 points.  Being 10 points higher than a similar Chaos Daemon Herald, with a lot less synergy an options.  At 65 points per Malefic Lord, they become a real choice. Save 5 points from fielding an Herald,  but lose the synergy and bonuses that apply to chaos daemons in the process.

Second thing about the FW Index point changes:

A taste of the Apocalypse-only era models.

A lot of big models, like Aetaos’Rau’Keres the big bird or Reaver Titans saw their point cost double or triple, making them all but unplayable in tournament play.  Again, in the interest of fairness, I agree that Alphabits the Lord of Change was a nightmare to play against.  Not unbeatable, but certainly not fun at all.  However, it is not worth anywhere near the 1500pts cost it is now.

The same can be said of most of the big stuff, that doesn’t seem to be as big an issue as it was in previous editions of 40K, but who’s point are now reserved for the Apocalypse only format.

While I don’t really mind this change and always liked my FW models to be cooler version than their regular counterparts ( Hello Horus Heresy Marines for 40K models! ) it is not the case for everyone.  Opposite my relaxed and welcoming change attitude, we should have Kelsey Haley’s take on this coming up soon enough on Mismatched Play.

Smite and the Supreme Command

One of the few “core change” that everyone was whispering, or wishlisting, as it seems to be, is not in the Chapter Approved.

Smite Spam is perhaps the most dominant play style of 8th edition, and a lot of folks hoped it would be addressed more directly.

More directly, you say?

Instead of changing the smite mechanic ( like a flat 1 damage, or only cast on 1 dice, or whatever) or banning/restricting/altering it’s biggest enabler, the Supreme Command Detachment, GW is effectively punishing the smite spam buy attacking the price point of every character capable of casting smite.  Malefic Lords are up to 80 points, Primaris Psykers are up, even the poor Astropath that can only use 1 dice is up to 30 points.

This seems like a good way to address the problem without altering the game and penalizing other armies in the process.  My only concern is with 2 psychic-heavy armies on the horizon, Chaos Daemons and Thousand Sons, and see how they squeeze in this play style.

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