8th Edition Apocalypse (House) Rules – Revised

It was asked how I run the Apoc Luck events, rather how the new rules work with 40k Apocalypse.  We had the Valedor game and got to try out the new addition.  This being my 21st Apocalypse event I tried to prevent some issues before they happened with my previous house rules.  I took several pages of notes during the game and revised my house rules.  Below the revised rules is some general notes after running the event.

8th ed Apocalypse (House) Rules – Revised

Getting Started:

Choosing your army:  Power Level points will be used.  All models will follow the “What you see is what you get”.  This makes things easier on all players involved.

Warmaster: One person will be chosen by their teammates to represent their side as Warmaster.  This person will make rolls for their side, place objectives and pick stratagems.  Most importantly it is this person’s job will be to keep their side moving along during the player turns.  The Warmaster’s Warlord model becomes an objective worth 3 victory points.  If the Warmaster’s warlord model is slain, that side loses five command points from its pool.

Command Points:  Command points entering the game are based on Detachments only.  The 3 cps base does not apply.  (this is to keep things even in case of one side having more players than the other)  The Command Points are then tallied up for the side in a Command Point Pool.  Discussions during play should occur between the Warmaster and his generals about how best to deploy stratagems and use the Command Points available.  The Warmaster has final say on how to use the pooled command points.

Stratagems:  Codex stratagems are not used at this time until all the codecies are available to make it fair to all players.  The three base rulebook stratagems are available for use.

Psychic Powers: Each general will follow Matched Play rules regarding the choosing and use of psychic powers.

Aura Type Abilities:  Aura abilities only affect units that are in the same generals army.  This includes Synapse.


Reserves:  All armies are permitted to hold forces in reserve.

Reserve Rolls:  No reserve roll is required and units may enter play counting as moved during the movement phase.

Reserve Deployment:

-Battlefields become congested with models very quickly.  The 9” deployment away from enemy models does not apply after the first turn. Instead, units may deploy where the owner wishes staying as far away as possible from enemy units.  (deployment includes any vertical distance covered to reach nearest enemy model)

Game Turn:

All Core turn rules are the same with the exception of the fight phase

Timed Turn Length Option: Player turns will not exceed 45min.  Remember, it is the Warmaster’s responsibility to keep their generals on task and moving through the phases in a timely manner.  This time is adjustable depending on the size of the game.  Most games played, 45min is more than adequate.

Movement Phase: Normal

Psychic Phase: Follow Matched Play rules on a per general basis

Shooting Phase:

Terrain and Cover:

-All infantry models of a unit must be partially in the terrain to receive cover. Touching is not considered “in” or “on” the terrain.

-In addition, the 50% obscured applies to all models out of terrain as well, so long as the target unit is 50% obscured from view by the targeting model. Players please give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the abstractness that is deciding what is 50% obscured from the view of the shooting unit. Infantry can take advantage of this rule so long as each model in the unit is 50% obscured. So just like area terrain, they do not gain the benefit unless everyone in the unit is obscured.

Charge Phase:

-All area terrain, obstacle, barricades, etc. You must subtract 2” from the units charge distance.

-If a unit was deployed from reserve closer than 9” from an enemy model, the unit must pass a leadership test to charge at current distance.  If the roll is failed, they are required to make the 9” minimum charge distance as if deploying normally.

Fight Phase:

-Replace sentence “After all charging units have fought. . . ” with the following:

After all charging units have fought, all the players on a side alternate choosing eligible units to fight with (starting with the players turn it is) until all eligible units on both sides have fought once each.  If sides are uneven in player count involved in the Fight phase, then a side may not choose more than the minimum number of players involved on a given side.  I.e. if there are 4 players on team A and 5 players on team B involved in the Fight phase, then no more than 4 eligible units can be chosen at a time per side.

-At least one general must activate a unit before an interrupting ability or stratagem is allowed.

Things of Note:

Cataclysmic Explosion: roll once for the number of mortal wounds and apply that to all units in the distance rolled for the exploding model.


Claiming an Objective: A side controls an objective marker if they have more models within 6” of the centre of it than their opponent.  Any special rules regarding claiming objectives, such as the Space Marines ability “Defenders of Humanity” apply.  Each objective is worth a single Victory Point.  In addition, each objective is worth 2 command points unless otherwise stated for the mission.  Objectives are scored at the end of every game turn.

Apocalypse Stratagems

(One Time Use)

Blind Barrage: (15cp) “A thick barricade of smoke protects your troops advance”  The opponent must subtract 1 from any hit rolls when shooting at your units if they are more than 12” away.  (single game turn)

Camouflage: (10cp) Nominate a friendly HQ unit.  All friendly models within 24” add 1 for cover to their saving throw.  (Units with Titanic keyword do not benefit from Camouflage)

Flank March: (5cp+ *Special Cost) Use this Strategem when a detachment enters play from reserve.  That detachment may enter from any board edge, except the opponent’s board edge.  The whole detachment must enter from the same board edge.  It does not have to be in coherency with another unit in the detachment.

MineField: (8cp) Mark a minefield 6” by 36”.  It must be located on open ground, in your deployment zone.  The minefield counts as dangerous terrain.  Must be done at the beginning of the game.

Orbital Strike: (1 Victory Point & 20cp) Select a point on the field, visible to one of the warlords.  Roll a d6 for every unit within 6+d6” of that point.  Subtract 1 from the result if the unit being rolled for is a “Character”.  On a 3+ the unit is hit by the strike.  Models are slain as follows: infantry on a 2+, other on a 3+ and vehicles on a 4+.  Units with the Keyword Titanic suffer 20 mortal wounds on a 5+.

Precise Coordinates: (10cp) At the start of your turn, all friendly units that deep strike from a single detachment may deploy anywhere 3” away from the enemy instead of the standard 9” on first turn.  If this is used any turn after the first, the units automatically pass the leadership roll for charging.

Replacements: (1Victory Point & 10cp+*Special Cost) One friendly detachment that has been completely destroyed may be replaced at full strength and put into your reserves.  (Cannot be used on detachments with units containing the key word Titanic)

They Walk Again: (1Victory Point & 10cp+*Special Cost) One friendly unit with the keyword Titanic  that has been completely destroyed may be replaced at full strength and put into your reserves.

Shield Generator:  (10cp) Place a marker anywhere more than 6” away from an enemy model.  Treat all models savings throws as Invulnerable for all friendly units within 6” of the marker.  At the end of the turn, remove the marker.

Supreme HQ: (8cp) Select a friendly character model.  All units within 12” of that character may use its leadership in place of their own.  Lasts one game turn.

Trophy Kill:  (8cp) Nominate an enemy character.  It is now worth a 1 victory point.

Mass Slaughter: (2 Victory Point +20cp) You can immediately use two orbital strikes and your opponent gets one orbital strike.

*special cost is equal to the detachment or Titanic units power level, divided by 10, rounding up.

(A Warhound Scout Titan is 75pts.  75/10 = 7.5 rounded up to 8.  To use the Flank March on the Warhound Scout Titan, the Stratagem would cost 5+*special cost or 5+8=13 command points.)

Warmaster Stratagems (6cp)

(single player turn duration, One use only)

Implacable Advance:  Your Warmaster and all friendly units within 24” can advance and fire without the -1 penalty.

True Grit: Your Warmaster and all friendly units within 24” gain a 6+ feel no pain roll for one turn.

-Never Give Up: Your Warmaster and all units within 24” may reroll failed morale tests.

The Great Push: Your Warmaster and all units within 24” may declare an advance movement and still charge that turn.

Heroic Stratagems (2cp)

Surrounded: A single unit’s weapons are twin linked for a turn.  Can only be used if no other friendly unit is within 12”.  (Cannot be used if the unit entered play that turn)

Last Stand: A single unit can reroll failed to hit rolls in close combat for a turn.  Can only be used if no other friendly unit is within 12”.   (Cannot be used if the unit entered play that turn)

Righteous Fury: A single unit can reroll failed to wound rolls in close combat for a turn.  Can only be used if no other unit is within 12”

Final Coup de Grace: A single character that is killed in close combat can strike again before it dies with full attacks.  All wounds from this attack are mortal wounds.

Last man standing: single surviving member of a unit ignores wounds on a 3+ for a turn.

Heroic Intervention: A unit that is not engaged may move up to 3” to engage a unit that is currently engaged with a friendly unit.

*please note the basic three stratagems still apply: Command Re-roll, Counter-Offensive and Insane Bravery.



General Notes After the Event

-Timed turns.  I went to this because most don’t have the opportunity to play over a weekend or multiday event.  The current system required two breaks and we struggled to get turn 5 & 6 in for a proper ending.  I adjusted it at that time to the first half and second half, two turns each.  Septembers game proved that we still required the clock to keep everyone on task.  We scored points at the end of each turn, but without the timed rounds we struggled to get the bottom of fourth turn in.  The game was pretty well set, but it still should be played out for the sake of fun on the bottom turn players side.  Or else they are shorted a turn and potential fun.

-Survivability in 8th Edition.  Things flat out survive more in this edition.  This is great in small games, but in Apocalypse we need things to die to create room for more units to get on field.  I kept with the Apocalypse strength Destroyer weapons during 7th edition on all superheavies for two reasons, one-to make superheavies seem more powerful, two-to help clear the table for more units to enter.  8th edition doesn’t seem to have those weapons that create gaping holes on the battlefield.  I’m going to have to look at another solution to create those much needed destructive measures.  Plus they are just fun.

-Anything that I could use as a reference in the current set was used.  I.e. referring to play this via matched play or this using narrative rules, etc.

-To speed up the game, anything that was – roll a mixed number of wounds to varying units was simplified to a single roll and applied to all units.  Mainly damage like the explosion table for super heavies as a prime example.

-If it narratively fits it was ruled that way.  A titan walking over a wall as an example.

-Most important rule of all, have fun.  This isn’t a tournament, this is not a competitive event, create an epic story, get involved in a moment worthy of taking a photograph.  You won’t remember most games you played in.  Though I promise you, you will remember the moment Karandras stared down a Heirophant on Valedor or when Marneus charged in to face Abbaddon in an epic showdown.


Final thoughts

8th edition is great.  It scales really well and doesn’t require much tweaking to take it into a large multiplayer game.  Your team has done a great job.  I had a great time playing in all the previous editions.  8th is easily my favorite.

I look forward to what the Chapter Approved book brings us.

Until then, Have a great Narrative Apocalypse game everybody.

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