The new rules on this page apply to more than one race, so it is worth reading them as they will affect most of the games that you will play. Some of the rules on this page are not necessarily 'new', instead they have been included for the sake of completeness, or to clarify where a deviation from a bad 'official' rule has taken place.

Blips For Other Forces

Genestealer, Tyranid and Ork forces can all be introduced as blips.  The rules for these forces are discussed on each of those race's rules page.

Necron forces do not suit being introduced as blips.  Due to their unique regeneration ability, the Necrons already have enough complexity during play.

For different games that are far more challenging, the following forces can also be introduced as blips when fighting against each other; Marines, Chaos Marines and Harlequin.  Dark Eldar can be used as blips, provided the number of models is not excessive.

Note that these forces can not be used as blips when fighting Genestealers, Tyranids or Orks.


Blips are best used for two player games, with a typical mission being a 'fight to the death', 'object retrieval' or 'capture the flag' scenario.  On a good sized mission map, both players will have the same amount of points to purchase their forces.  Randomly determine which end of the map each player will begin.

Unless both players fully trust each other, they should seek help from a neutral moderator who can check that the points have been spent correctly.  Using lettered blips (scrabble tiles or even pieces of paper), each player secretly writes down which of his models corresponds to blip letter A, through to the final blip letter required for his last model.  This increases the suspicion and tension as both players will not know what the other player has purchased on his force list!  Note that each player will need to use a different type of blip from his opponent to distinguish the different forces.

Models may start the game as blips, where each blip represents only one model.  Blips are free to move for 1 AP in any direction and the blips have as many APs as the majority of the models in the force.  Marine blips will have 4 APs, etc.  The fact the the models start out as blips means that they are moving a little quicker, not having been seen by the enemy, therefore it is justifiable that the blips can move more freely without specific facing requirements.

Blips can voluntarily and involuntarily convert under the same circumstances as Genestealer blips.  Blips can never be placed on overwatch, nor can they have CPs spent on them.  Models can only use APs or CPs when converted from a blip, if the blip has yet to move during the turn.

Once converted, the model is revealed and will remain revealed for the duration of the mission.  However, the model is only revealed carrying its main wargear and weapons.  Smaller,  stowed weapons (Grenades, Power Field Generators) and reloads will not be noticable.  For example, a Marine with a Heavy Flamer will be obvious but it will not be known if he carries a reload for the Heavy Flamer.

Rank can be determined, so Sergeants and Captains, etc will be identifiable.

The only initial information that a player will know, is how many blips his opponent has.  Until revealed, he will know nothing else about those blips.  Even when revealed, the precise amount of wargear may still be a mystery.

I strongly recommend playing this type of game between Marines and Chaos Marines.  The intrigue of not knowing what you are battling is compelling and makes for perfect match-play.  Just when you think that the enemy Assault Cannon ran out of ammo, he spends 4 CPs to pull out a spare clip and strafe your advancing offensive line...

This type of game is a truer representation of what would happen when two finite forces meet each other for battle.  Until sighted or until they reveal themselves, the exact nature of the models can not be determined in blip form.

Try it!!!

Clearing Jams

When a weapon jams from overwatch fire, it must first be cleared before it can fire again. However, the player with the jammed weapon is not able to clear the jam using CPs immediately after the weapons jams. This is an exception to the 'official' rule that CPs can also be used after an overwatch shot to take another action.

It makes far more sense that the jam has slowed the weapon sufficiently enough after the overwatch shot so that even CPs will not rectify the problem. The model must wait until after it sees an enemy perform another action until it is allowed to use any remaining CPs again, whereby it can then clear the jam.

This does not prevent the model from performing other actions using CPs immediately after the jam. For example, it may still move, throw a grenade, etc. This departure from the 'official' rules has been a considered decision based on common sense that penalises a model when its weapon jams.

Defensive Stance

Surviving in a space hulk skirmish usually requires an ability to avoid being shot, but it also requires extreme skill in close assault. Harlequins and Wyches perfect their technique at close quarters fighting and are masters at what they do. When a Harlequin or Wych is holding a close assault weapon, it may stand firm and prepare for any close assault attacks that are about to be made against it by entering a defensive stance. A model can not enter defensive stance if it is not holding a close assault weapon. It is important to note that pistols of any type are not considered to be close assault weapons for the purpose of setting a defensive stance.

Setting Defensive stance costs 2 APs with a similar procedure to setting overwatch. The model pays the APs and a token is placed next to the model to show that it is on defensive stance. Note that a model can not be on both overwatch and defensive stance at the same time. The model remains on defensive stance until the start of its next turn when the counter is removed. Any model on defensive stance receives a +1 bonus to all of its close assault rolls.

A player may opt to drop out of defensive stance using CPs (if the model has any to use) if he wishes to do so. Note that being assaulted while on defensive stance will not break the defensive stance, unlike overwatch. The model can face as many close assaults as needed during all the enemy turns and he will still receive the +1 bonus for each close assault, regardless if it is against the same opponent or not.

Psychic Powers

Some models are able to use psychic powers, which are distinct from the psychic attack cards. These psychic powers are innate abilities that a Psyker can use in addition to the psychic attack cards. In all cases, the basic rules for the psychic attack cards still apply and the psychic powers can not break the established rules for the psychic attack cards.

Ranged Weapons Table

Hit Rolls of 1 - Miraculous Survival

Although some weapons are extremely destructive and are capable of ripping apart well armoured tanks, death is not always a certain event. It has been documented by many Librarians that a few Gretchin are able to defy the odds and survive purification by a Heavy Flamer. Strange events and random fate can protect even the weakest models from powerful hits.

On the Ranged Weapons Table there are many weapons that require a 1 to hit. Naturally, any roll of a dice will always score at least a 1, so the following rule has been introduced to represent a model having a sliver of hope. Maybe a pipe fell loose from a ceiling and blocked the shot, or a steam cloud burst at the time the weapon was fired. For whatever reason, it is pure luck that determines if a model survives a powerful shot.

To simulate this blind fate of survival, the player who is shooting must roll one extra dice than the weapon normally uses and score at least a 2 on one of them. In other words, if the shooting player rolls all 1s then his shot has missed. Example One: If a Heavy Flamer is fired in a room with a Gretchin, then two dice are rolled for the Gretchin, instead of one dice. Provided a double 1 is not rolled, then the Gretchin is killed. If a double 1 is rolled (Probability of 1/36), the lucky Gretchin lives!

This rule also works when sustained fire would reduce the hit roll to 1. Example Two: A stationary Assault Cannon is fired at a Wych and three 1s are rolled, the Wych lives. The Marine fires a second sustained fire shot at the Wych needing a 1 to hit. The Marine must now roll four dice and score at least one 2. If by sheer luck four 1s are rolled (Probability of 1/1296) then the Wych survives! Although rare, it may happen and this accurately simulates survival from even almost certain death.

Assault Cannons will only malfunction if all four dice are the same number. Repeated sustained fire shots with any weapon against a model that miraculously survives will still only roll one extra dice than normal.

Automatic Kills

A few effects are listed with an 'A' for automatic kill. These attacks (usually psychic) are just so powerful that they will automatically kill models. There are no miracles that protect against the summoned forces of the Warp when they are focused by a Psyker.

Section Effect Weapons

Given the destructive and powerful nature of the weapons in the 40K Universe, it makes sense that some weapon effects are able to cancel out other weapon effects. It is extremely annoying when a model with a Flamer can hide out for six turns in a row by flaming the entrance to his room. However, it is totally unrealistic when the opposing force outside the room has Plasma Grenades or a Heavy Plasma Gun available and ready to use.

Considering that Plasma Grenades and the Heavy Plasma Gun (on maximal) burn with a split-second flash of intense heat, they are also able to snuff out the section effect of the (Heavy) Flamer. The super-heated plasma is able to instantly burn out the section effect of flames allowing the opposing force to rush their way into the room. When a Plasma Grenade is thrown (or a Heavy Plasma Gun is fired on maximal) into a section with a flame marker(s), then the flame marker(s) are instantly removed as a result of the sudden plasma glow. In a similar way, Plasma Grenades and the Heavy Plasma Gun are also able to remove Frag Grenade and Blind Grenade markers as they are burn out by the plasma.

This rule makes it a little more difficult for models with (Heavy) Flamers to isolate themselves if their opponents are armed with Plasma Grenades or the Heavy Plasma Gun. It may encourage the models with (Heavy) Flamers to use them for burning the enemy rather than burning the same section for blocking purposes.


There are times when a model in close assault becomes surrounded by the enemy. Surrounded models are at a disadvantage as they try to fend off attacks from many directions. Any enemy model that attacks a surrounded model gains +1 in close assault for every other enemy model that has attacked the surrounded model and is still alive and surrounding that model. Example: A Terminator Captain is attacked from behind by a Genestealer, but the Captain survives and faces the Genestealer. However, he is then immediately attacked from behind by another Genestealer which gains a +1 bonus. The Captain lives again and once more turns to face the second Genestealer. Unfortunately for the Captain, a third Genestealer is activated and steps up to his left flank attacking him with a +2 bonus. The Captain is in the middle of a deadly nest and will be lucky to survive. If the first Genestealer moved away from the Captain, then the second Genestealer would not have gained the +1 bonus.

In short, there is a natural superiority to be gained by attacking in numbers and being surrounded only advantages the enemy models as they close in for the kill. It has even been documented in Imperial Archives that Dreadnoughts have been brought down by large numbers of Gretchin swamping them from every direction. Although most of the Gretchin died in the process, their ability to surround the Dreadnoughts made their weight of numbers powerful against the mechanical beasts.


Most battle hardened races in the galaxy experience fear of some sort to a varying degree. Experience and training are usually enough to snap out of the momentary loss of concentration that fear causes. However, some creatures and special powers are able to go beyond normal fear and unleash true feelings of morbid terror deep within their enemies psyche.

When an enemy model first gains LOS to a creature that strikes terror it can do nothing but gape in awe. It can not use any APs or CPs and loses any remaining APs for the turn. The enemy may only defend itself in close assault or play force and aura cards in defence. The model will lose overwatch and is not allowed to shoot at the terror causing creature that moved into its LOS. The terror lasts until the start of the model’s next turn when it manages to snap out of the spell.

Once a model has recovered from being struck with terror, it is then immune to all other forms of terror for the rest of the mission, even if other models capable of striking terror move into LOS.

The only way that a model can avoid the effects of terror is if it manages to perform a successful move and fire action that kills the terror causing creature as the firing model steps and fires so that it has LOS to the terror causing creature. The firing model is able to kill the terror causing creature before the terror effect can take place. These acts of extreme bravery and fearlessness are always noted on the battlefield and often lead to rapid promotion.

Many models have immunity to terror simply because they have seen and experienced far too much to be affected, or they have a mindless determination that is void of emotion. All Genestealers, Hybrids, Tyranids, Sergeants, Captains, Librarians, Grey Knights, Ork Nobz, Great Harlequins, Solitaires, Death Jesters, Shadowseers, Chaos Dreadnoughts, Sybarites, Succubi, Necrons and Obliterators are immune to terror.


Timers are used in the basic game to add pressure to the Marines. This works well, as there is very little reason to stop the Marine turn as Genestealers don't have CPs or any other way of shooting back. This concept changes slightly with the introduction of armed Hybrids and Chaos Marines. There are times when the Marine turn must be paused due to reactions by their enemies.

With all of the expanded rules that are offered on this website it is not possible or practical to use a timer. Therefore, the concept of timing turns has not been supported. However, this is not to say that any player has the right to take a long time completing their turn. Each player should be placed under maximum time pressure to complete his turn. This pressure should be applied by the opponent(s), onlookers or even a neutral moderator. Players with larger forces should be given enough time to move each member of that force. As the size of their force decreases, they will have less time to move all of their models. Players with only one or two models should be given a minimal amount of time to complete their turn, given that they have so few APs and/or CPs to spend. Indeed, it is justifiably better that a player with two models may only have about 20 or 30 seconds to complete his turn rather than an arbitrary two minutes. Note that this time pressure should also apply to Genestealers and Tyranids to keep the game moving at a face pace. This contradicts the initial basic game of allowing Genestealers an indefinite time to move. We have found that slow Genestealer/Tyranid turns slow the game and reduce the heat that is placed on each player to move as urgently as possible. The Genestealers and Tyranids are rewarded for their fast reflexes by having more APs each turn, this is enough to compensate for the introduction of time pressure for the HUMAN player of these forces.

Players should not be allowed to physically count squares for range or movement or take any more than a few seconds of thought between moving models. In addition, the familiar 'chess rule' should apply - when you touch a model, it must be moved next. Once made, actions can not be 'taken back', you suffer the consequences of your poor decisions. Players can (and should) be subject to badgering when they start stalling more than a reasonable few seconds. This adds to the pressure of making quick decisions in a hostile combat environment. In games where a neutral moderator is present, he can give verbal warnings that a move must be made within a few seconds. Failure to do so can result in the immediate end of a turn (if severe) or the loss of a model's remaining APs in the case where a player can not decide how to further use an active model's APs.

These time pressure rules can be relaxed for new players to give them some chance to learn the game. In addition, they can also be relaxed for people who are not used to playing with each other. It isn't worth getting into arguments against strangers over a few seconds of thinking time. After all, the purpose is for players to have fun by battling each other, not by arguing or by watching a clock.

My gaming group always badger and heckle each other to not stall during games. We only go easy when we are testing new rules so we have some more time to think about the consequences of our actions. If you prefer using the timer, then continue to do so. However, we have found that for the most part we always complete our moves well within three or four minutes using more complex forces and rules than the basic game offers. Experienced players should relish playing under pressure and also applying the same pressure to their opponents!

Turning and Firing

The official Space Hulk Rule Book did not include the option for armed models to turn and fire as a single action similar to the step and fire actions. However, after the release of White Dwarf 144, it proved wise to allow the two actions to be combined as one.

Models that are armed with weapons which allow them to step and fire, are also allowed to turn and fire. This can take place as a 90 degree turn or a 180 degree turn. The associated AP costs are included in the APs Table.



Although Autocannons have been introduced to Space Hulk through Genestealer and the Campaigns Book, there have been problems with them being used by Hybrids and Chaos Terminators. Essentially, Chaos Terminators were not allowed to make a move and fire action when using an Autocannon and they suffered from the range penalty of 13+ squares.

Taking all of this into account, it has been decided to split the Autocannon listing on the Ranged Weapons Table to account for the model that is holding it and also, to abolish the split ranged distance of 12 and 13+ squares.

Therefore, Hybrids using an Autocannon are not allowed to move and fire, and ALL of their shots are considered to be at the old 13+ range to hit. It makes sense that Hybrids are penalised with a large, heavy weapon like the Autocannon and that they suffer with less accuracy.

However, Chaos Terminators benefit as their armour is designed to incorporate heavy weapons and to facilitate movement with them when shooting. A Chaos Terminator firing an Autocannon can make move and fire actions and in addition, all of his shots are considered to be at the old less than 12 squares range to hit.

In effect the same Autocannon has different statistics on the Ranged Weapons Table, depending if the firing model is a Hybrid or Chaos Terminator, as they are both able to handle the Autocannon very differently from each other. One facet of the Autocannon has not changed, it is still too slow to enter overwatch.  Note that the Reaper Autocannon is a different type of weapon that is introduced in the Chaos Rules.

Hellfire Shells

These special ammunition rounds are made from a hollow crystal filled with a mixture of caustic acid and deadly poisons. When the shell explodes, slivers of crystal cut through flesh and armour, while the contents burn and poison its victims. Hellfire Shells can only be fired from a Heavy Bolter or a Shotgun, so any race that has access to these weapons is capable of shooting them. They are not a commonly distributed type of ammunition and are often looted from dead models on the battlefield. Gretchin are particularly adept at finding them, which provides the relatively weak creatures a chance to cause serious, unexpected damage. Each Hellfire Shell must be individually loaded into the weapon's breach before firing. The Hellfire Shell has the same range as the weapon that propels it, but it otherwise has its own individual characteristics on the Ranged Weapons Table. Regardless of the weapon used to fire the shell, each shot costs 2 APs. Move and fire actions are not possible due to the extra recoil and the weapon may not be placed on overwatch with Hellfire Shells. Once the weapon has fired a Hellfire Shell it may immediately return to firing normal rounds, unless the firing model chooses to load and shoot another Hellfire Shell.

Melta Gun

The Melta Gun is a short range, specialist weapon that drips destruction.  It fires a burst of super-heated, thermal energy at a specified target.  Usually, the target melts into a pool of sludge upon impact, such is the deadly power of this weapon.  However, it takes a few seconds to recharge the Melta Gun back to the high temperatures at which it operates.  The Melta Gun can only be fired once per turn, so after it has been fired, place a recharging token next to it.  From the player's next turn, it can then be used as normal for another single shot.

If the Melta Gun kills its target, then the victim must roll a dice.  On a result of 1, the Melta Gun has melted the victim into such a concentrated slag-heap that the corpse actually melts through the floor of the hulk.  Place a pitfall marker in the square of the victim.  This pitfall marker remains for the duration of the game.  In all respects, treat the pitfall created as per the rules for using Melta Bombs along with the normal pitfall rules from Deathwing.

Needler - Bolter

This weapon combines the standard Bolter together with a Needle Gun. The Bolter is effectively the same as the ordinary Bolter and needs no further explanation.

The Needler carries small explosive tipped hypodermic darts that are filled with a cocktail of virulent toxins and poisons. Upon impacting the shell of the target, the explosive tip detonates and thrusts the toxic syringe inside to pump the deadly juices inside the target's body. The toxins react inside the victim's body within seconds and cause the victim to explode. Surrounding models may be killed by the victim's shrapnel. The Ranged Weapons Table shows the required rolls to directly hit and the rolls for each adjacent model who may die in the blast. If the Needler misses its target, there is no need to roll for any blast damage. The Needler has an ammunition chamber of ten darts and it may not be reloaded on the battlefield.

It is not possible to fire both barrels of the Needler-Bolter at the same time. The player firing a Needler-Bolter must declare which barrel he is using to fire at his target.

Being an experimental weapon, the Needler-Bolter is not commonly found during Space Hulk boarding actions. It is a weapon useful for hunting a foe and subduing them for retrieval purposes. Depending on the mission objectives, some Needlers are filled with a substance that paralyses the victim for capture rather than death. The toxins are extremely powerful, but they are not always reliable against Tyranids who can show remarkable resistance to the poisons.

Power Field Generators

Power Field Generators were introduced in Deathwing and it is worth reproducing the rules for them here, along with some modifications that are necessary due to the new creatures and wargear that can be used against them.

A Power Field Generator is a small device that generates an invisible force field in a sphere centered around itself. They can be used for sealing hull breaches in emergency situations on board space ships. However, Marines will sometimes use them to block off a ship's corridors to delay any pursuing enemies.

Priming and throwing a Power Field Generator costs 2 APs. A model can throw a generator up to six squares away in his LOS and FA. To be effective, the generator must go off between two opposing walls (corridor, room entrance, etc) otherwise it will not be contained and it will burn out. When throwing a generator, the player indicates where it's supposed to land and rolls a dice. On a roll of 6, the generator rolls one square further than intended (unless blocked by a wall or door). On a roll of 1, the generator falls short by one square, or will go off early in the model's square if it was only meant to be thrown one square away.

The field fills the entire square in which it lands, automatically killing any model in that space. Psykers can use an aura card to be repulsed into any adjacent square, otherwise they too are automatically killed. Rubble is not affected by the field. The field blocks movement and all weapons fire, but may or may not block certain psychic powers and special creature abilities. It does not block LOS.

It costs a model 4 APs to destroy an active Power Field Generator with any of the following weapons: Bone Sword, Chain Fist, Chain Sword, Chain Axe, Disruption Field, any Force Weapon, Lightning Claws, any Power Weapon, Thunder Hammer and Warscythe.

It costs the following creatures 4 APs to destroy an active Power Field Generator due to their extreme size, force, and strength: Carnifex, Dreadnought, Lictor and Patriarch.

If any other creatures wish to destroy an active Power Field Generator, then they must spend a total of 18 APs attacking it in close assault. They must spend at least 1 AP per turn, otherwise the Power Field Generator is able to recharge back to full strength. Keep a record of how many APs have been spent attacking the generator.

Sometimes Power Field Generators can be found onboard space hulks. In this case, they can be used by any race that is capable of using grenades. Necrons, Tyranids and Genestealers will not use them, however, Hybrids will use them.

Proximity Plasma Grenades

Proximity Plasma Grenades were introduced to in White Dwarf 149 - Strike Deep Campaign. It is worth reproducing their rules here for completeness.

It costs 1 AP for a Marine to place a Proximity Plasma Grenade in his square and it is automatically armed as soon as the Marine steps two squares away from it. If other models (friendly or foe) are also adjacent to the grenade when it is placed then it will not arm itself until all models are at least two squares from it. A model (friendly or foe) that is capable of using grenades may diffuse the placed grenade for 1 AP and render it useless if he moves onto the square that contains the grenade.

Otherwise once the grenade is armed it will detonate as soon as any model or blip enters an adjacent square to the grenade. It explodes with a quick, fiery flash of super-heated plasma and affects the section it is in along with any other adjacent squares to it. In all other respects the Proximity Plasma Grenade is the same as a normal Plasma Grenade, but it can never be thrown.

Sometimes Proximity Plasma Grenades can be found onboard space hulks. In this case, they can be used by any race that is capable of using grenades. Necrons, Tyranids and Genestealers will not use them, however, Hybrids will use them.

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Last revised: September 07, 2009.