Core Units and Characters

In last weekend’s epic preview, The Codex Show, we showed you a few brand-new datasheets that feature in the upcoming books, one being that of the Heavy Intercessors. Some of you eagle-eyed readers out there noticed the introduction of a new keyword – Core – and we wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a bit more about it and the impact it will have on the future of Warhammer 40,000.


Core Units

The Core keyword is used to identify units that form the fighting… well, core, of an army. These are most commonly represented by units of line infantry, though this doesn’t mean it’s exclusive to Troops, nor just Infantry.

In the case of the first two books, Codex: Space Marines and Codex: Necrons many Elite units such as Terminator Squads and Lychguard, as well as Fast Attack units like Bike Squads and Tomb Blades, have the Core keyword. Even some Vehicles will be Core units too, where appropriate.

But what does it mean to be a Core unit?

Aura Abilities

Moving forwards, many of the most powerful aura abilities will only affect Core units from a Character’s (sub-)faction. This represents a more realistic form of in-situ command, with Characters acting like they’re supposed to from a narrative perspective. After all, a Space Marine Captain should be issuing orders and inspiring units of his battle-brothers on the front line, not babysitting a squadron of Repulsor Executioners at the back of the battlefield!

As an example, let’s take a look at the updated Rites of Battle aura ability shared by all varieties of Space Marines Captain.

A crucial side-effect of this change is that Characters themselves won’t be affected by aura abilities that utilise the Core keyword – they’re supposed to be commanding others, not inspiring themselves to do better! In the example shown above, the Space Marine Captain won’t be able to re-roll his hit rolls of 1 and will instead have to rely on his own merit to strike home. To be fair, he’ll usually hit on a 2+ anyway!

Nor will the aforementioned Captain be affected by a Lieutenant’s Tactical Precision aura ability – a Captain has been there, seen it, and done it all, which is why he’s in charge and has such an amazing profile in the first place! However – and very much as intended – a nearby Core unit of Space Marines will be significantly more effective when in the presence of their Captain and/or a Lieutenant, just as they should be.

As mentioned earlier, these changes to aura abilities and the introduction of Core units will be rolled out with each new codex, starting with those of the Space Marines and Necrons. Head on over to the webstore today and make sure you’re fully stocked up on Core units to get the most out of your Characters’ aura abilities!

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