BREAKING NEWS: 40K 8th Edition Stratagems Explained!
A new mechanic for 8th Edition 40K is Stratagems, which uses the Command Points mentioned back in the formations reveal.
Every army that is battleforged starts of with 3 Command Points, but if you field any of the larger formations, you'll get more points. If you look at the above with the 3 Troops choices, you get more Command Points. Certain characters can give you more as well.
You can trade this for the above three options; A single re-roll, breaking the usual assault order, and auto-passing a Morale test.
There will be factions specific formations that will give you other options. You can imagine what they will be... perhaps a free extra psychic power given off for Thousand Sons, the classic WAAAGGHH!! for Orks, and maybe an army-wide version of the Counter Offensive for Space Wolves.
So, why is this here?
In a word... balance.
The above abilities are universally useful, which means the fluff specific Stratagems can afford to be powerful. They don't have to match the effect of the Tactical Doctrine with the dubious benefit of Objective Secured Troops.
It also diminishes the effect of a Bad Dice Day. You know that frustration when you literally cannot buy a hit or a saving throw? This ensures that you don't feel entirely powerless in the face of unbelievable bad luck.
In a more cynical view, it also lessens any potential weakness in a faction. They give the example of a big Ork blob needing to survive a morale check after getting hit hard in the shooting phase. That's not uncommon for Orks or Astra Militarum, and there's no real satisfying answer to the problem in 7th Edition. On the other end of the spectrum, a single failed armour save can be crippling for a low model count army like Grey Knights or Thousand Sons.
Whilst a single re-roll, auto-passed morale check or hitting first in combat doesn't seem like much, it can give players confidence in trying daring tactics. Even Tau can feel a little secure in getting a few hits in before the Khorne Berserker onslaught.
A good addition to the game, and I look forward to the rest of the coming reveals.
Until next time!
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