Friday, 19 November 2010

WH40K FAQ Update: Sniper Rifles Nerfed?

New FAQ? Ratling snipers are not amused

Hi everybody, I've been busy moving house so apologies for being all quiet on the 512th front.

Anyway, the Internet seems to have cracked in half with the release of GW's new FAQ, and everyone seems aghast at the possibility of embarked passengers dying instantly should their transport be blown up while they're still in it... When it's destroyed at the same turn it moves flat out. Now everyone's been arguing over the definition of turn (to me, it means 'owning player's turn'), and thus the only instances I can think of of a flat-out transport going kaboomey is if it's ramming, or a trap of some sort (scout mines, etc) explodes underneath it as it moves, but people seem to have forgotten a new FAQ update that has slipped under the radar.

Yesiree, it's about Pinning tests, which I now quote as such:

" Q: How many Pinning tests can a squad firing multiple Pinning weapons cause on the enemy it is shooting? (p31)

A: Each unit can only cause a maximum of one Pinning test on each enemy unit wounded, per turn, regardless of the number of wounds caused, unless specifically stated otherwise.

- source: Pg 2/6 FAQ 40K v. 1.1

Compare said passage from the main rulebook, also quoted:

" If a unit other than a vehicle suffers any unsaved wounds from a pinning weapon, it must immediately take a Pinning test. This is a normal Leadership test..

As long as the tests are passed, a unit may be called upon to take multiple Pinning tests in a single turn, but if a unit has already gone to ground, no further Pinning tests are taken.

- source: Pg 31 WH40K main rulebook

Prior to the release of the latest FAQ, I had always assumed that the fact that EACH pinning weapon can cause a pinning test (if it caused an unsaved wound), and the fact that the rulebook includes a line informing of the possibility of Multiple Pinning tests can be applied to a unit/target, ergo a single unit, with Multiple Pinning Weapons, should be able to cause Multiple Pinning Tests.


A unit of 10 Ratling snipers fire their weapons at an MEQ unit (10no.), 7 hits, 4 successful wounds, and say the 4no. MEQ's fail all their armour saves. Therefore 4 Pinning tests have to be taken! (this is how I've always played it, and I've heard the for & against arguments countless times over, but me & the Wednesday gaming night buddies all agreed the emphasis was on No. of Pinning Weapons, causing No. of Unsaved Wounds, Equals No. of Pinning Tests)

Now with the new FAQ ruling, this theoretical 1no. unit of Ratling snipers can only cause 1no. Pinning test (1no. test maximum per unit causing any number of unsaved wounds), even if they did indeed cause 4 unsaved wounds from 4 different Pinning weapons. To force more than 1 Pinning test on a unit/target, you will need more than 1 squad of Ratlings/Scouts/etc now.

For an IG player such as myself this is not good news. Ratling squads take up 1no. Elite slots, and I'm unlikely to take more than 1 of these in the 1500-2000 point games I tend to play (mostly for shits & giggles, sometimes to create synergy with the Psyker Battle Squad, also an Elite). But with this change in the rules, putting to rest the confusion created by the rulebook wording, it would seem my Ratling days are over!

Are weapons with the 'Sniper' profile now effectively nerfed?

Are Pinning weapons taken in multiples (e.g. Squads of Mortar launchers, or any vehicle squadrons with Barrage-capable weapons e.g Manticore squads) now nerfed?

What do you think? Thanks for reading!


  1. I always read it as one test per firing unit. I've heard people argue it the other way, but it never followed for me.

    Most of the rulings from the recent FAQ weren't surprises to me, other than the Stealth transfer.

  2. I always did it as one unsaved wound. It is the only reason to take pulse carbines on your fire warriors!

  3. I have played for years as it being one pinning test overall.

    I figured if it was something as drastic as a pinning test per wound then GW would've said something rather than let us amused anything. GW has a funny way of doing that and you have to try to read between the lines in what they're saying and not assume the best for you.

  4. Well as far as I was concerned, GW could have clarified the 'one test per weapon causing wound' with an errata, replacing the word weapon with the word unit.

    Which they effectively have with the FAQ!

    However, sniper weapons are most defo nerfed. Previously under 'one test per weapon causing wound', you would almost be guaranteed to cause a pinning test. Now, not so.

    I'll be consigning my Rats to 'fun' fluffy games from now on 'til 6th edition.