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BREAKING NEWS: 8th Ed 40K Charging and Melee Rhinos Explained!

The new(-ish) Charge phase for 8th Edition 40K has just been revealed over on Warhammer Community.
A quick summary:
  • Select a unit within 12"
  • Units move towards them 2d6"
  • Enemy units within 1" of charging unit can fire Overwatch
  • Overwatch fired as Snap Shots (hits on 6s)
  • Combat engages at 1" of an enemy instead of base-to-base
  • Overwatch can be fired multiple times by a unit, unless it is locked in combat
 Okay, so basically the same with some subtle differences.

The wording suggests that models move towards the enemy regardless of whether or not the models get into 1" or not. That's a little weird, but I remember it being part of earlier editions or Warhammer Fantasy Battle. More specifically I remember getting a 30 strong lance formation of Brettonian knights to charge just 1" shy of slamming into a unit of Chaos Warriors... the next turns counter-charge was not pretty...

It's a bit strange, so I checked the wording of charges in Age of Sigmar:

At least one model from the unit must finish within ½” of an enemy model. If that’s impossible, the charge has failed and no models in the charging unit can move in this phase.

For a start, the 1/2" has been upped to 1". This is probably just a simple rules lawyering change, as few people carry 1/2-inch markers. I'm all for it, as it removes base size controversy. This also signals a bit of a change in how ranges are measured... we glossed over it in the Shooting phase, but does this mean ranges are measured from the model now, rather than the base? We'll have to wait and see.

The interesting little bit is that the charging unit can now be left out in the middle of No-Man's Land, right in point-blank range of retaliation fire or counter-charges. This might be another layer of complexity to the game that they're adding over the AoS rules. You're going to have to be more careful in how you plan your charges. You also don't get to select which unit you charge after rolling distance, another way in which the game gets a little more challenging.

Overwatch is still there, much to the relief of Tau and Dark Angels players. Now they're more deadly, as units can fire Overwatch multiple times... before once you had sent in a sacrificial unit, your heavy hitters just rolled into them, the Overwatch of the defenders spent on trash close combatants.

Now, initial charges are best done by heavy hitters, a move towards more realism and heavily armoured shock troops.

Whilst this might seem like a nerf to close combat armies, remember that vehicles are treated as normal units now. We haven't seen tank stats yet, but judging by the Kharadron Overlords sky ships, it's possible that tanks will be able to melee.

This leads to some absolutely gorgeous synergy with close combat units. Imagine your Khorne Beserkers driving up to the enemy in a Rhino, and jumping off as the driver guns the engine to crash into the enemy. Even if you weren't allowed to charge after disembarking, the enemy is now pinned down in range of the next charge, without being able to return fire.

Close combat Imperial Guard, anyone? Leman Russ Tanks surging ahead of infantry to halt an enemy advance. They will have the wounds to absorb Overwatch, and roll back the next turn for supporting squads to return fire.

The above picture, of a commissar charging his tank into the enemy to hit them with his sword might just be a valid tactic...

If that isn't enough to make you instantly fall in love with 8th Edition, then I don't know what will...

If it's true of course. Otherwise Khorne will be hanging up his axes and considering a career with blood donors.

Until next time

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