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Hey there, as you can see this is blog is all about gaming. And that's what I've been doing for pretty much all of my life. Currently I'm completely enveloped in Warhammer 40,000 and I'm breaking into the new Warhammer Fantasy system with the release of the new 8th edition.

Follow me as I build new armies, find newer and better ways to destroy my enemy, learn more about the rules, and just complain about the things that don't go my way :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Poll: Runes of Witnessing vs Shadow in the Warp

So here's something I haven't done before. Usually I just say what I think and ask for what you guys think. But today I thought I'd go about it a little differently and provide the different options and see which guys you think is the answer.

Thursday I had a debate with my friend before I even cast any powers of how Runes of Witnessing worked vs Shadow in the Warp. Now as not to sway the poll I'll not mention how I think it should work but let you guys know later.

So here is what the powers do.

Runes of Witnessing: A Farseer uses runes of witnessing to guide his second sight along the twisting strands of fate. A Farseer with runes of witnessing roll 3D6 and discards the highest roll when taking a Psychic test. You must use the lowest two rolls.

Shadow in the Warp: Tyranids flood the battlefield with psychic signature of the Hive Fleet, overwhelming the minds of enemy psykers and interfering with the mystical abilities. many are driven insane or suffer massive neural damage as they try, in vane, to draw upon their otherworldly powers.

Any enemy psyker that takes a Psychic test within 12" of a Tyranid with Shadow in the Warp special rule must take the test on 3D6 and will suffer a Perils of the Warp attack on the roll of any double 1 or double 6.

Now that we have the two different powers down as to what they do let's discuss the different option of what should be done in this situation.

Option A: The two powers cancel each other out. The reasoning behind this comes from the Eldar FAQ from May of 2008. It simply states;

Q. How do Runes of Witness work when facing a Hive Tyrant with Shadow in the Warp?

A. The Runes neutralize the effect of the Shadow in the Warp for that Farseer, so the Farseer will take Psychic tests using 2D6, as normal.

This FAQ entry is also back when the last Tyranid Codex had these rules on page 31 of the Old Dex;

The Shadow in the Warp: All Psychic test made by the enemy during the game are made on 3D6, discounting the lowest roll. Any Perils of the Warp results are nullified, and the power will pass or fail as normal.

If you look above at Runes of Witness it makes a lot of since that the FAQ would have the powers cancel each other out based on the Older Rules for Shadow in the Warp, but is it still a viable option?

Option B: Roll 3D6, check for Perils, then use the lowest 2 dice. We get this from the Eldar FAQ also, which says;

Q. How do the Runes of Witnessing in one Eldar army work against the Runes of Warding in another army?

A. Proceed as follows: when the Farseer attempts to use a psychic power, roll 3D6. Consider the two lowest results for the purposes of passing the test (ignoring the highest result). Then, if the total of the 3D6 was 12 or more, the Farseer suffers a Perils of the Warp attack (do not do this if the Farseer has already suffered such an attack because of the lowest two results being a double 1 or double 6).

Now you might ask why this FAQ has any precedent when it's runes of warding and not shadows in the warp. Here are the rules for Runes of Warding.

Runes of Warding: A Farseer can use runes of warding to throw up psychic interference to hinder his foe. All enemy Psychic tests must be taken on 3D6, suffering a Perils of the Warp attack on any roll of 12 or above.

If you compare Runes of Warding with the current rules for Shadow in the Warp they are almost exactly the same except for what rolls result in a Perils of the Warp effect. So does this set the precedent and over ride the 2 year old Eldar FAQ on Runes of Witness and Shadow in the Warp canceling each other out?

Option C: Roll 4D6 and Drop the Highest Die, checking to see if you suffers a Perils of the Warp if a Double 1 or 6 is rolled on 4D6. I've not come across any precedent for this but it's been said that Runes of Witnessing and Shadow in the Warp each make you add one more die to your Psychic test then you would actually normally use.

Now I can see this as Rules as Intended possibly, as each ability has you roll an extra Die, but they also explicitly say how many dice to roll, 3D6. If the two powers said roll an extra D6 then you normally would when making a Psychic test, then I would see this as being much more of a viable option.

Option D: Roll 4D6 and Use the Lowest two Rolls, checking to see if you suffers a Perils of the Warp if a Double 1 or 6 is rolled on 4D6. This option is much like option C but it takes into account that the Runes of Witnessing Power says specifically, "You must use the lowest two rolls."

Both option C and D make it much easier to suffer a Perils of the Warp test, but option D makes it much easier to pass the Psychic test then both Option B and C.

So here you can see what the 4 Options are the I've run across. I know which option I believe is the one that should be the one used but what do you guys think based on the facts above. I know there will be bias between different people but try to put that behind you if you're and Eldar or Nid player or if you Just Hate Eldar or Nids, and let's see what you guys think.



  1. I'd say Option B. That's the closest of how both rules are worded. Roll 3D6 see if you suffer a perils and then check to see if it goes off using the two lowest. I really don't see it as any different then say rolling double ones... it just increases your chances of suffering a perils but you still get benefit for paying the points for the runes.

  2. RAW seems very clearly option A. Though it was written when the power had different abilities, the FAQ still rules that they cancel each other out. Since that's an official rule, I'd say the ruling most likely stands until something else comes along to trump it.

  3. Well, we've talked about this on my blog... I still favor option B as the most universally fair. But I still suspect Option A will be the result FAQ'd just due to laziness.

    I wouldn't even consider Options C&D since as both rules say "roll 3d6", not "add a d6".

  4. @ Warhammer3999 - The FAQ aren't an official rule. Quoted from there own FAQ Pages.

    The FAQs on the other hand are very much 'soft' material. They deal with more of a grey area, where often there is no right and wrong answer - in a way, they are our own 'Studio House Rules'. They are, of course, useful when you play a pick-up game against someone you don't know, or at tournaments (i.e. when you don't have a set of common 'house rules' with the other player). However, if you disagree with some answers and prefer to change them in your games and make your own house rules with your friends, that's fine. In fact we encourage you to shape the game around your needs and your taste. We firmly believe that wargaming is about two (or more!) people creating a gaming experience they are both going to enjoy. In other words, you might prefer to skip the FAQs altogether and instead always apply the good old 'roll a dice' rule whenever you meet a problematic situation.

    @ Dverning - I can see Option B being the most resonable, but it seems most people just fall back on the Old FAQ.

  5. I would say B, but if someone really wanted to stress the FAQ I would just go with it on the Tyrant. Busting 10 on the leadership role vs Perils on double 1's and 6's is kind of not a big deal either way.

    The rarity of my Farseer being within 12" of the Tyrant is so uncommon and the effect so minimal that if they want to really stress out about it, I would just go with it. The one time this did come up in a game both of us forgot about the rule and discussion before hand anyway.

  6. I'd say roll 3 d6, as both rules say to do, suffer a PoW on any double 1 or 6, as the nid rule says to do, then resolve the power on the lowest 2 dice like the Eldar power says to do.