The NOVA 40k 2014 Draft FAQ


The NOVA FAQ’s primary purpose is to provide players with answers to difficult or unclear questions oriented around the rules and codices of Warhammer 40,000, and to provide players with rules and guidelines followed at the NOVA Open.

We are aware that many players and tournament organizers throughout the community may use the NOVA FAQ for other purposes, such as a form of argument justification, or for their own events. Regardless, we do not design it with consideration for these other uses. It is purely designed for the benefit of the NOVA Open staff and attendees.

The NOVA FAQ is NOT intended for answering of every possible rules question, especially questions that are answered within the rulebook. It is intended to be kept at a length that enables all players to quickly leaf through it, and enables the NOVA Open to affordably publish the document within all attendees’ Guide Books.

1.0 Submitting Questions and Arguments for the FAQ

In order to submit a question or argument for the NOVA FAQ, please include all rules quotes and page references, and submit a dispassionate argument to, cc’ed to

2.0 NOVA Policies

2.1 Converted and Counts-As Model Policy

Although converted and creatively modeled miniatures may be used, you may suffer penalties as a result of how they are modeled, and may never gain a benefit:

Example (purely hypothetical) – You’ve creatively modeled a greater demon twice the normal height; as a result, it would be more difficult for you to GAIN cover saves, but easier for you to DENY cover saves to your opponent / gain line of sight. In practice and by rule, you might end up being required to measure line of sight from where the actual model would be (or as close as can be approximated), yet would be drawn line of sight TO using your actual model’s full size.

Effectively, no amount of creative modeling may alter the course of play beyond what would be for a “standard” GW miniature for the unit in question, except when such alteration would incur a disadvantage for the creatively modeled unit.

Please understand we wish to encourage exceptional creativity in modeling, and even have separate awards dedicated to it; that said, we cannot permit unfair advantages of any kind for models being larger, smaller, or of a different shape and size than their unit’s official miniatures.

When in doubt, call a tournament organizer or play the model(s) in question as close as possible to the way the actual unit should appear.

In the event of units that do not currently have a Games Workshop-provided model, please consider checking with the tournament organizer with photographs and/or descriptions prior to attending, so that you have a ruling going with you into the event.

If you wish to use alternate models or scratch builds to “count as” something else, you must be extremely clear with your army list, modeling, unit differentiation, and information provision to your opponents. If a game or an opponent’s experience is negatively impacted by an extremely unclear army due to counts-as modeling, the head judge and convention organizer both maintain the right to modify your army list or remove models from play. Please note - this has only been done once over the course of 5 years of NOVA Open events, so do not consider the policy so severe or routinely applied as to discourage you from building an evocative or creative counts-as force. Simply uphold our tradition of excellence in this regard by committing to clarity with regard to the models and gear you are fielding.

2.2 Army List Policy

While the NOVA Open does not require pre-submission of army lists, if any portion of your list is found invalid, the NOVA Open reserves the right to amend your list independent of your input, and/or to force losses upon you if errors are caught once play begins. You will be required to provide one army list prior to on-site registration, and one army list to each opponent.

2.3 Basing Policy

Models must be played on the bases provided with them.

Models provided with Fantasy / square bases may be played on these by RAW, but may also be placed on the closest approximate 40k/round base instead.

Models may be played on scenic bases of identical size to the bases provided with them. If you have a question, ask ahead of time. As with the Converted Model Policy, any base of inappropriate size will incur any disadvantages, while ignoring any advantages, even if such advantages/disadvantages change situationally within a given game.

Skimmers must be mounted (but not necessarily glued) on the bases provided with them, save for situations where the rules allow for / require otherwise.

We recognize some skimmer bases are largely impractical for mounting your units on; if you have a different basing route you’ve gone with, simply give us a heads up ahead of time – we’ll work with you to make sure your models are both comfortably playable and comfortably stable.

2.4 Judge Policy

Note that rules judges hold final say on all tournament issues. To drive home the point, it is entirely possible for them to instruct players to begin a new round within the 15 minute time window, grant a loss to someone they repeatedly catch in the act of cheating, etc. This is to ensure play with integrity, good sportsmanship, and honesty – players will not be permitted to “abuse” the rules in place in order to gain unfair advantages. Please note,, individual judge rulings are NEVER binding precedent.

2.5 Your Army / Game Rules

You MUST possess either a published, iBook/eBook, or printed copy of any and all rules used by your army (up to and including Universal Special Rules, unit stats, army special rules, points costs, wargear details, etc.).

3.0 Rulebook and Codex FAQ

3.1 Rulebook

3.1.1        General

3.1.2        The Movement Phase

3.1.3        The Shooting Phase

3.1.4        The Assault Phase

3.1.5        Psykers/Psychic Powers

3.1.6        Universal Special Rules

3.1.7        Flyers and Flying Monstrous Creatures

3.1.9        Fortifications

3.1.10        Terrain

3.1.11        Independent Characters

3.2 Codices

3.2.1        Multi-Codex

3.2.2        Blood Angels

3.2.3        Chaos Daemons

3.2.4        Dark Angels

3.2.5        Dark Eldar

3.2.6        Eldar        Eldar: Iyanden Supplement

3.2.7        Grey Knights and Inquisition

3.2.8        Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum)

3.2.9        Necrons

3.2.10        Orks

3.2.11        Adepta Sororitas

3.2.12        Space Marines

3.2.12        Space Wolves

3.2.13        Tau        Tau – Farsight Enclaves

3.2.14        Tyranids

Closing Remarks

The Warhammer 40,000 FAQ process begins with NOVA staff canvassing the community for rules questions and discussions. Any questions answered explicitly by the rules in the books/codices (even if not popularly understood) are left out of the FAQ to streamline its length.

After rules are collected, put into the FAQ document, and given their initial answers, the Chief 40k Rules Judge (this year, Mike Somerville, who can be found in the 40k Hall throughout the Convention) makes final rulings on contentious issues, and the Draft FAQ is published. Within the week, the Draft FAQ is given a final revision, with especially contentious or overlooked rules once more revisited.

If you are interested in helping participate in the NOVA Open 40k FAQ process in future years, send an e-mail following the Convention to, and cc 

We hope you’ve enjoyed your 2014 NOVA Open Experience!

NOVA FAQ Google Doc        Page