TURKEY SHOOT: House Rules Shooting Mods for 40K

House Rules - ShootingHappy Thanksgiving!

While we continue to digest our bellies full of goodies, I’d like to share some 40K shooting mods I came up with that make some logical sense to me…
Back in the chaotic fugue that was “Rumor Kraze 2012, the Anticipation of 6th Edition,” (okay, i made that up, but you know what i mean) there was a false leak or prototype or someone’s personal pet project that predicted a new shooting system for 40K based on something called “evasion” — basically a “to hit” chart that looked like the close combat chart with each unit having an “evasion” score that showed how hard it was to shoot at.  This was not a terrible idea, though I’m glad to wasn’t carried through in its entirety because one thing i like about 40k over fantasy Warhammer is the streamlined simplicity of the game.  Personally, I think Fantasy is way too complex to be much fun, but I know some people like all that detail.

Anyway, even with the nice and easy two-lined Ballistic Skill chart we have, I still think there should be a few modifiers.  The best example I can think of is when I’m shooting at a 20-ft tall immobilized Drop Pod and having as hard a time hitting it as a single hero ducking and rolling across the battlefield.

Special Cover Saves do make up for shooting variety to a degree.  Stealth, Shrouded, Snap Shot rules, and Jink saves all give extra protection to fast or difficult to see targets, but what if their armor save is better?  Then the cover save never applies and they were still just as easy to hit.  I believe these Cover Saves should still be there, certainly, but I also think the base “to hit” roll should be modified under special circumstances.

So in the spirit of being realistic and still maintaining simplicity, I recommend the following shooting modification chart:




   – Monstrous Creature unit type

Big and bulky by nature

   – Vehicles, including Walkers

Big and bulky by design

   – “Crowd” : 10+ Infantry/Beast models per unit


Firing into a unit of numerous targets, more likely to hit them

   – “Crowd” : 5+ Bike/Jetbike/Cavalry models per unit

Gathering of bigger targets

   – “Crowd” : 5+ *Bulky* models per unit (includes Jump Infantry)

Gathering of bigger targets

   – “Crowd” : Vehicle Squadrons  

A collection of big bulky targets, additional +1.





   – Any building, ruin, bunker, structure, or board feature

Broad side of a barn

   – *Immobilized* vehicle

Has the *Immobilized* trait.  Note this is not just a vehicle that didn’t move last turn.





   – Any model/unit that moved a total of 12″ or more in its last Movement and Shooting Phases

Fast moving targets. Note an infantry unit that rolls a 6 to Run qualifies. Also note that this does not include charging distances.

   – Any model that has *Fleet* (including beasts and cavalry)

Agile and dodgy by nature

   – Vehicle classified as *Fast*

Maneuverability effectively cancels out the +1 for being a Vehicle, thus +0 modification on Fast Vehicles

* These are stackable up to a +2 or -2, and positives and negatives can cancel out (so a Fast Vehicle is +0)

** A Snap Shot can never be improved beyond +1, so modified Snap Shots are 5 or 6 to hit, or still a 6 vs Fast targets.
Of course, a roll of 1 is always a failure and 6 always a hit.


Let me know what you think.  Especially if you decide to try them out!

J. D. Brink (guest blogger)

Brink’s Chaos Theory

Fugitives of Purgatory

  • Simon T. Eve

    Hey, one quick change i would suggest is under large target, the “crowd” with 10+ models in it, it should be at least or more than 10 visible models in the target unit. i would also drop the infantry out of the quick targets for units moving 12″ or more and add another category that includes any unit that ran in its last shooting phase. Also a question, would a fast vehicle that moved 18 inches get a cumulative modifier of -1? (-1 for 12″, -1 for fast vehicle, +1 vehicle) otherwise, i think with a little play testing, this modifier would add more depth to the game.

    • 1. I can see 10+ VISIBLE models to the shooter making some sense, though then you might get bogged down with, “well these models can see this many but these can see that many”. I’d be afraid that every unit’s shooting phase would get too complicated.
      2. I could go either way on the running. Yes, it’d be simpler to just say if they ran it’s +1–probably the better way to go. However, some units end up running 1″, which doesn’t seem very dodgy.
      3. Yes, a vehicle moving 12″ or more would get another -1 to be hit, so even a landraider that’s running full-bore gets a little harder to hit as it’s moving in high gear.
      * I agree, it’d take some rounds of play testing to figure out the benefits and make adjustments. I play like once a month at the most, unfortunately, so if you get the chance to try it let me know! And thanks for the feedback!

%d bloggers like this: