Exceptions to alternate activation rules for 40K 9
This article collects house rules designed to preserve game balance and reduce administrative work when the Alternate activation rules for 40K 9 are in effect.
Codices released for 40K 9
The following exceptions apply to the Markerlights subsystem of official rules, specific to the T’au Empire faction.
When an active unit makes a ranged attack against a unit with one or more Markerlight tokens, the controlling player may use such a token. Used tokens are removed. All unused Markerlight tokens are removed at the end of the round.1
This exception applies to Codex Astra Militarum for 9th edition (2022). The following changes apply to Voice of Command, Regimental Tactics and related rules about Orders:
- When a unit is activated, it may immediately take a new Order as if it were the Command phase, or copy the last Order taken by a peer.
- Special treatment for disembarking officers is disabled.4
The following was written for 8th-edition codices that were initially used in 40K 9 but are no longer current as of 2023.
This exception applies to Codex Astra Militarum for 8th edition (2017) with subsequent patches, not the codex released for 9th edition (2022). The exception applies to the Voice of Command and Tank Orders subsystems of the faction. The term “orders” is used here to refer interchangeably to both subsystems, which were more unified in the later codex (see above).
The following changes apply to orders:
- When an active unit reaches its Shooting subphase, it may take orders as if the commander (i.e. any applicable model with Voice of Command for Infantry or Tank Orders for Vehicles) were also an active unit. In other words, orders are pulled to each active unit, not pushed in the commander’s activation.
- Chaining of orders as per the Q2 2022 Balance Dataslate is disabled. Instead, there is no limit to the number of orders that can be given by a commander, as long as official rules allow at least one.
- Past orders are not tracked. Different active units may take different orders from the same commander.
For clarification, the following elements of the official rules are not* changed:
- Limits on the number of orders that can be received by a unit.
- Distance-related requirements for the giving of orders, related secondary objectives etc.
As an example, when an Infantry unit has taken an order and is within range of the Laurels of Command, the player may roll to give the same active unit a second order, all regardless of whether relevant Officers have been activated.
Rationale: The 2022 Balance Dataslate made orders so widely available and so integrated with the official rules’ phases that it would be impractical to require activation of officers together with their troops, or “caching” of orders, for alternate activations. The rule against tracking, which was dropped with the release of the 9th edition codex, reduced the burden of bookkeeping and improved the balance of the game at the time.
Rationale: In the official rules, using a Markerlight token is mandatory. Without an exception to this, only the unit firing the Markerlight can typically benefit from it under the alternate activations rule. ↩
Clarification: For a unit to copy a Regimental or Prefectus Order, the active unit must be Platoon, while for Mechanised Orders the relevant keyword is Squadron. In both cases, the peer must have Regimental Tactics. In all cases, explicit exceptions in the official rules still apply; for example, the Lord Castellan’s Fury ability (Ursula Creed) cannot affect a unit that copies an Order. ↩
Rationale: The conditional range extension is supposed to allow platoons and squadrons to advance together without either simultaneous activation or the giving of orders in the Command phase. ↩
Rationale: Redundant with alternate activations. ↩