Battlefield Terrain
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A Warhammer battle can take place anywhere, on the edge of a town, amid cursed ruins, in the uttermost depths of a Dwarf hold, on the treacherous and frozen slopes of a mountain pass or even amid the upper minarets of an Elven city. The fighting a Warhammer Battle chapter explains how to set up your battlefield. Here you will find the rules for the many types of terrain and building you can fight over.

Types of Terrain

In the Warhammer world, even something as familiar as a stone wall can offer all manner of possibilities. Granted, the wall might just be a boundary line of some kind – but there's probably more to it than that. It might be the remains of a mighty Bretonnian castle, warded against the Undead. Or it could be that the wall was made from stolen grave markers, and unquiet spirits linger nearby. Perhaps the wall is the remains of some calcified Daemon just waiting for a magical charge to bring it back to life. There are dozens upon dozens of possibilities, and that's just a wall. You'd be hard-pressed to find something more ordinary in the normal run of things – but this is the Warhammer world, and almost nothing here is normal.

Over the next few pages you'll find some examples of terrain rules, covering the mundane through to the arcane. Many of the terrain pieces in the Warhammer range have specific rules that apply to them, and you'll find that whatever you have in your terrain collection there will be suitable rules here, or at least inspiration for devising your own.

Open Ground

Open terrain is the most prevalent type of battlefield terrain and thus the 'default' setting – any terrain not specifically classed as something else is to be treated as open ground. All the rules as presented thus far assume that your game is being played on open terrain – grassy fields, sandy flats, sun-parched earth, and so on. It therefore doesn't affect the game, and we don't need to provide any further detail.

Impassable Terrain

Impassable terrain covers those areas of the board that our warriors physically cannot enter as a matter of course, or to which they cannot seek entry without an immediate and probably messy death.

Impassable terrain therefore covers such things as lava fields, deep lakes or chasms. Units cannot voluntarily deploy in, enter, move or cross through impassable terrain – they must go around. Remember that units can flee through impassable terrain, although they will have to take Dangerous Terrain tests if they do so. Impassable terrain has a Line of Sight value of 5.

Dangerous Terrain

Some areas of terrain are incredibly treacherous and present a very real risk to life and limb.

When a model marches, charges, flees, overruns or pursues into or through an area of dangerous terrain, it is called upon to take a Dangerous Terrain test – roll a D6. On a 2-6, the model successfully negotiates the dangers of the terrain and reaches its destination safe and sound. If a 1 is rolled, however, the model has suffered a terrible mishap and suffers a wound with no armour saves allowed.

A mounted warrior has many advantages over their footslogging comrades, but does risk being thrown from the saddle when riding at speed. A galloping horse can trip on a tree root, hurling the rider into a boulder, or can duck low under a branch, but alas not quite low enough for the rider... As such, cavalry, monstrous cavalry, chariots and shrines treat all terrain other than open ground as being dangerous terrain, as described above. A chariot or shrine that fails a Dangerous Terrain test suffers D6 Wounds instead of 1.


Hills are natural outcrops of rock and earth. Few pieces of terrain are as strategically important as a hill. From its slopes your troops can rain missile fire down upon the foe, or form a battleline upon its crest.

All hills use the rules given below.

Hills and Line of Sight

A hill has a Line of Sight value of 2 for each 'level' it has. Models standing on top of a hill level add this to their Line of Sight value.

Hills and Movement

Unless otherwise stated, hills are treated as open ground. Amongst other things, this means that hills do not cause Dangerous Terrain tests in cavalry and other mounted models.

Hills and Shooting

Models on a hill are more likely to be able to trace a line of sight past other models on a lower level, making hills practical vantage points for your missile troops.

Hills and Close Combat

Remember that if your unit charged and the majority of the models in the unit began the turn uphill from the enemy unit(s) that were charged, you receive +1 combat result.

Examples of Hills

Hills have almost infinite variety. They can be different shapes, varied heights and composed of diverse materials.

Anvil of Vaul

The legends of Ulthuan tell that when the Daemons first broke into the world, the smith-god Vaul descended from the heavens. It is said that they travelled to every corner of the globe, raising stone anvils from the living rock upon which they crafted blades of great potency, which the Elves used to defend their realms. Though the weapons and their wielders have long since gone, many of the anvils remain. Mere proximity to an Anvil of Vaul bestows a warrior's weapons with incredible enchantment.

Any unit within 6" of an Anvil of Vaul gains the Flaming Attacks and Magical Attacks special rule.

Scree Slope

The slopes of this hill are covered with loose shards and splinters of rock, making the going incredibly treacherous. Many approaches to Dwarf holds are flanked by such slopes, providing an extra layer to their defence.

Models charging, marching, fleeing, pursuing or overrunning up, down or through a scree slope must take a Dangerous Terrain test.

Temple of Skulls

There are many unholy sites dedicated to the worship of the Chaos Gods and this is but one of them. Ruin and war may have laid it waste, have scattered its trophies and tumbled its grim statues, but the gazes of the Dark Gods still rest upon its battered stones, hungrily seeking a new champion to bend to their perverse amusements...

At the beginning of each player turn, any character or champion on the Temple of Skulls can choose to embrace the favour of the Chaos Gods. If they do, roll a D6. On a roll of 2-6, one randomly chosen characteristic increases by D3 points. On a 1, the Chaos Gods take their soul – remove the model as a casualty with no saves of any kind allowed.


Forests are excellent places for troops to lurk in ambush – the choking foliage offers a great deal of protection against missile fire.

All forests and woods use the rules given below.

Forests and Line of Sight

A forest has a Line of Sight of 5. Models in or behind forests cannot see or be seen through it if there is more than 5" of forest between them and the enemy. If it is less than 5", they can see and be seen through it for all purposes, as long as you can draw a Line of Sight to them as normal. The ‘base’ of the forest is otherwise not considered to block line of sight.

Forests and Movement

Models with the Fly special rule that begin or end a flying move in a forest must take a Dangerous Terrain test.

Forests and Shooting

A unit in a forest counts as being in soft cover provided that the majority of its models are within the forest. Similarly, if a model in a shooting unit has to trace its line of fire through a forest (because it's shooting at a target beyond the forest), then the target benefits from soft cover. This applies even if during the game you rearranged a forest's trees around a unit, or even removed them – just imagine the trees are still in their original position. This penalty does not apply if the shooting model is drawing a line of sight out of a forest it is in.

Forests and Close Combat

It is difficult to form tight ranks when fighting in a forest. A unit with the majority of its models fighting in a forest can therefore never gain rank bonus.

Examples of Forests

Here are a few examples of forests you can use in your Warhammer games – this is by no means a definitive list, but should prove a fertile starting point for your own imagination. Who knows what hellspawn lurks in there?

Ancient Forest

This forest is old and gnarled, with thick roots covering the ground and slowing down movement.

Any unit at least partially within the Ancient Forest suffer a -1 penalty to their Movement value.

Abyssal Wood

A cloud of malice lies over this wood provoking irrational fears and dark imaginings in the minds of those that enter.

A unit with the majority of its models within an Abyssal Wood suffer -1 to their Leadership. This has no effect on models with Immunity (Psychology).

Blood Forest

Though these trees slumber fitfully through the cycles of the world nearby use of magic infuses them with bloodlust...

Whenever a spell is successfully cast by (or at) a model in a blood forest, all units wholly or partially within it suffer D6 Strength 4 hits as the trees go into a feeding frenzy. When any hits have been resolved, the Blood Forest moves 2D6" in a random direction, moving around any intervening terrain features by the shortest route. This does not move the models that were in the Blood Forest, it simply 'walks' off, and leaves them behind.

Fungus Forest

These trees are infested by a chromatic array of mushrooms. It's best not to breathe in too deeply...

Any unit at least partially within the Fungus Forest is subject to the rules for Stupidity. Any Forest Goblin unit at least partially within the Fungus Forest is also Stubborn.

Venom Thicket

Poisonous creatures abound within. Provided you do not succumb to it first, their venom can be used against the foe.

Any model in a Venom Thicket has the Poisoned Attacks special rule (applies to close combat attacks only). However, any model moving through a Venom Thicket must take a Dangerous Terrain test, to represent their attempt to fend off the venomous critters within.


To walk beneath the twisted boughs of a Wildwood is folly indeed, for the trees are wrathful.

Roll for any unit at least partially within the Wildwood at the end of the Movement phase. On a 4+, the unit suffers D6 Strength 4 hits.


The reassuring and impeding flow of a river can help an army protect its flank or otherwise slow the enemy advance. Launching an assault across a river is no easy task, and often the fords, bridges and other crossing points become crucial objectives for the opposing armies.

All rivers use the rules given below.

Rivers and Line of Sight

For Line of Sight purposes, treat rivers as open terrain.

Rivers and Movement

The crushing weight of the water makes it impossible to march through a river. Movement is otherwise unaffected.

Rivers and Close Combat

River make for very treacherous footing and, as such, are about the last place a ranked-up unit wants to conduct its battles. A unit at least partially in a river can never gain rank bonus.

Bridges and Other Crossings

Most rivers have at least one place at which they can be crossed, such as a bridge or a ford. Such crossing points should normally be treated as open terrain, but only if the unit attempting to use the crossing point is in a narrow enough formation to fit across, otherwise treat the entire unit as being in the river! Whether or not a unit is narrow enough will normally be fairly clear.

Examples of Rivers

Here are a few examples of rivers you can use in your Warhammer games – this is by no means a definitive list, but should prove a fertile starting point for your own imagination. It might look like water, but is it really?

Boiling Flood

This river's waters are boiling with incredible fury – it's best to cross quickly, lest you never leave the river at all.

Any model at least partially in the boiling flood at the end of any turn suffers a Strength 4 hit with no armour saves allowed. Models that are immune to Flaming Attacks do not suffer from this effect.

Necrotic Ooze

Only the stench of this thick and lifeless sludge can compete with its toxic virulence. Those crossing this river had best hold their breath.

Necrotic ooze counts as dangerous terrain for all models. Additionally, a unit that moves through necrotic ooze gains the Poisoned Attacks special rule until the end of the following player turn, so vile are the waters that cling to their blades.

Raging Torrent

The icy rivers of the high mountains run clear, pure and very swift indeed.

A raging torrent is dangerous terrain that causes models to fail their Dangerous Terrain test on a 1-2 instead of just 1's.

River of Blood

When the rivers of the world turn to blood it is a sign that Khorne has regained ascendancy at the head of the unholy pantheon of the Realm of Chaos. The time of the Blood God has come!

A unit that moves or charges through a River of Blood is counted as causing Fear until the end of the following player turn, so ghastly is their blood-slicked appearance.

River of Light

This is no mere river, but a swirling and seething mass of Light Magic.

When a unit enters a River of Light, it is immediately the target of a randomly chosen Light Magic spell (see the Lores of Magic). The spell is automatically cast and cannot be dispelled. If the spell has a choice of different casting values, it is assumed to be cast at the lower value.


A battle in a marsh can easily end in disaster – the footing is unstable, the mud clings to weapons and as many warriors drown as are hacked apart by the foe. Marshes are therefore best employed as traps to suck your enemy into, rather than bastions from which to fight.

All marshland uses the rules given below.

Marshland and Line of Sight

For Line of Sight purposes, treat marshland as open terrain.

Marshland and Movement

If a unit is at least partially within marshland, it suffers a -1 penalty to its Movement value. Marshland is dangerous terrain for all units, other than those with the Skirmish special rule. Cavalry, monstrous cavalry and chariots that enter marshland fail their Dangerous Terrain tests on a 1 or 2, rather than a 1.

Examples of Marshland

Here are a few examples of marshlands you can use in your Warhammer games – this is by no means a definitive list, but should prove a fertile starting point for your own imagination. Although all marshland is dangerous, its nature (and degree of the peril) can vary greatly.

Earthblood Mere

Raw magical power of the lifewind Ghyran bubbles through the waters of this marsh.

Any unit with the majority of its models within the mere has Regeneration (6+).

Khemrian Quicksand

The burning desert hides a multitude of traps. Many an unwary warrior has been sucked to their death by the shifting sands of Khemri – the larger the victim, the more certain the fate.

A monster, monstrous infantry or monstrous cavalry model that fails its dangerous terrain test for Khemrian Quicksand is removed as a casualty with no saves of any kind allowed.

Mist-Wreathed Swamp

The vapours of this swamp hang in the chill air, hiding those within from the gaze of their enemy. Yet who knows what horrors lurk within the mist, just waiting to pounce?

If the majority of a unit's models are wholly within a mist-wreathed swamp, the unit counts as being in hard cover.

However, at the end of each Movement phase, the unit must pass an Initiative test, or have D6 Infantry models dragged to their doom by the monstrous Fimir lurking in the mist (the victims are selected in the same manner as the allocation of shooting hits). Fimir models are not affected by this.


This category covers all long and narrow terrain types, such as fences, walls and hedges.

Obstacles and Movement

If a cavalry, monstrous cavalry, chariot or shrine model marches, charges, flees, pursues or overruns over an obstacle, or charges an enemy on the other side of an obstacle, it must take a Dangerous Terrain test.

Obstacles do not otherwise impede movement. If a unit ends its move with some of its ranks or files on different sides of the obstacle, simply place the models appropriately on both sides of the obstacle – the unit suffers no ill-effects.

Obstacles as Cover

An obstacle offers a greater measure of protection against missile fire to models hiding behind it. An obstacle has a Line of Sight value of 0. If a firer is shooting at a model that is behind an obstacle and in base contact with it, the target model counts as in cover (of the appropriate type). We assume that the warrior takes shelter behind the obstacle. When firing against a unit, the majority of its models must be behind the obstacle in order to benefit from this additional protection.

Firing models that are themselves in base contact with an obstacle may ignore it for the purposes of line of sight, just as if the obstacle was not there – they will lean over it as they fire.

Obstacles and Close Combat

If one of your units is charging an enemy who is touching the other side of an obstacle, the obstacle counts as 'defended'. Measure the charge distance to the obstacle, rather than the enemy unit. Similarly, if the charge is successful, move your unit into contact with the obstacle rather than the unit itself.

Essentially, we assume the enemy push forward to fight over the obstacle – your models count as being in base contact with the enemy behind the obstacle, as if it wasn't there, and must charge in such a way as to maximise the number of models from both sides that can fight, using the normal rules for charging.

To represent the formidable defensive position offered by the obstacle, any models from a charging unit that are in base contact with an obstacle will suffer penalties depending on the type of obstacle. This modifier only applies when the unit charges, not in subsequent rounds of the combat.

If the charged unit is not in contact with the obstacle, treat it just as you would for the purposes of movement. If there isn't room for a rank of charging models to fit between the obstacle and the charged unit, it is perfectly acceptable to remove the obstacle whilst the combat goes on (put it back again as soon as possible).

It's hard to maintain the impetus of a charge in a confined area, so models attacking a unit behind an obstacle lose all charging bonuses. This means, for instance, that they do not receive the normal +1 combat result, gain no bonuses for lances and similar weapons, and do not make Impact Hits.

Examples of Obstacles

Here are a few examples of obstacles you can use in your Warhammer games – this is by no means a definitive list, but should prove a fertile starting point for your own imagination.

Blazing Barricade

The original blazing barricades were magical obstacles called into existence by High Elf mages as they fought for survival during the initial daemonic invasions. Though that was now thousands of years ago, the magic that created the blazing barricades still dwells within the ground.

Blazing barricades grant soft cover to units behind them. If a unit completes a charge against a defended blazing barricade, it immediately suffers one Strength 4 hit on each of its models in contact with the obstacle.

Blessed Bulwark

It is common practice in the Empire for a Warrior Priest to bless any wall which might have to serve in the battle against the foul creatures of Chaos. Such enchantment lingers on long after it takes root, and even endures through the destruction of the wall itself. Many farming fields and fortress walls in the Empire are bounded by walls constructed of stolen fragments from the blessed bulwarks, and retain a portion of that power.

Blessed bulwarks are obstacles that grant hard cover to units behind them, and a -1 To Hit modifier to charging models in base contact with them. In addition to this, models from the Forces of Destruction (Allied Armies) that are in base contact with the obstacle must halve their Initiative.

Fences and Hedges

Fences are gnarled and twisted constructions of wood and lath. Though fences are chiefly designed to keep herd animals in a particular location, determined warriors can also use a fence as a rough bulwark in order to keep enemies out!

Fences are obstacles that grant soft cover to units behind them, and a -1 To Hit modifier to charging models in base contact with them.

Ghost Fence

A Ghost Fence is a barrier with little physical substance – merely a series of poles or posts upon which are hung accursed fetishes and totems to which daemonic or Undead spirits have been bound with forbidden spells. Only a brave or foolish warrior crosses a ghost fence without good cause – or without powerful protective wards.

Ghost Fences are obstacles that grant soft cover to units behind them. A unit that is defending a Ghost Fence causes Fear in the first round of any close combat.


Walls are a common sight, serving as boundaries between fields, estates and even burial sites. Though such a wall is seldom more than chest-height, it makes for an incredibly effective impromptu defensive position, and can save the warriors sheltering in its lee from otherwise fatal encounters with arrows, crossbow bolts and buckshot.

Walls are obstacles that grant hard cover to units behind them, and a -1 To Hit modifier to charging models in base contact with them.

Mystical Monuments

Thousands of years of struggle and conquest have left the Warhammer world strewn with mystical relics, monuments and ruins. A battle will often be fought for the control or the defence of such a place, and for the awesome power it commands.

This is essentially a catch-all category for things that don't fit comfortably in other sections. Mystical Monuments are best treated as impassable terrain for the purposes of movement and Line of Sight. Particularly large or complex Mystical Monuments might be made up of several terrain elements, such as hills or obstacles.

Examples of Mystical Monuments

As with the arcane architecture that follows later, the sky really is the limit for Mystical Monuments. Who knows what mighty magical constructs await discovery by your armies?

Altar of Khaine

Though their worship is now relegated chiefly to the chill land of Naggaroth, many altars consecrated to the Elven god of murder remain throughout the world. Warriors who fight in Khaine's shadow do so with bloodlust awakened in their souls.

All units within 6" of an Altar of Khaine are subject to the rules for Frenzy – as soon as a unit moves out of range, the Frenzy is lost. If a unit is already subject to Frenzy, they gain +2 Attacks instead, but must re-roll the Leadership to restrain themselves from charging.

Arcane Ruins

The stones of fallen temples still resonate magical energy centuries after their final celebrants crumbled to dust.

Any Wizard within 6" of an arcane ruin may re-roll failed attempts to channel power and dispel dice.

Bane Stone

Not even the most learned of scholars knows origins of the Bane Stones. Some folk maintain the Beastmen raised them in tribute to their blasphemous gods, others that they are jagged of magic made manifest through careless sorcery. Whatever the truth, to battle in a Bane Sum's shadow is to invite swift death, for the stones hungry and fresh souls are their food.

Hits made against units within 6" of a Bane Stone have a +1 bonus to wound.

Charnel Pit

In a world of unremitting war, a decent burial something granted to only the luckiest, for the remainder, eternal repose begins in a mass grave, with enough stones atop to deter wild beasts, and enough icons to draw down the blessings of various gods of the dead. Alas, most such charnel pits Necromancers and other dark sorcerers like, well, vultures to carrion. By the time these foul folk have finished with the pit's contents, it is sure to be more than a blood-slicked pit, strewn with body puts and a lingering unholy taint that instills fear in but the bravest warriors.

All units within 6" of the charnel pit suffer a -1 penalty to their Leadership. Undead units within 6" of the charnel pit have the Regeneration (6+) special rule to represent their easy access to replacement parts.

Elven Waystone

There are countless Elven Waystones scattered throughout the world, ancient monuments to the once globe-spanning glory of the children of Ulthuan. Yet these towering edifices are more than mere markers of a sundered past. It is through the Waystones that the Elves siphon excess magical energy from the world A learned enough wizard can tap into the Way stone's magical current and thus purloin its energies for their own use.

Any Wizard within 6" of an Elven Waystone adds +1 to their channelling attempts.

Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork)

Prior to a great battle, Orcs raise crude idols of their brutish gods so that their deities might find amusement in the forthcoming destruction. Many of these idols are crafted from mud and dung, and so are quickly worn away by the elements. Some, though, are roughly hewn from boulders or the defaced statues of other races. These can stand against the weather for centuries, allowing Mork (or possibly Gork) an uninterrupted grandstand view of the passing centuries' carnage.

Any warriors fighting under the grim gaze of Mork (or possibly Gork) are infused with the greenskin gods' lust for battle. Units that start the turn within 6" of the Idol can re-roll a failed charge distance roll.

Magic Circle

Ancient mannish ruins, raised to empower primitive rites, magic circles can dissipate harmful sorcery and offer protection to those nearby.

Units within 6" of the Magic Circle have the Magic Resistance (2) special rule.

Sinister Statue

Witless watchmen, set to stand sentinel over secret shrines by an ancient and unknown force, these sinister statues take exception to interlopers in a most forceful fashion.

At the start of each player turn, roll a dice for every unit within 6" of the Sinister Statue. On a 4 or more, nothing happens - the statue either doesn't notice the unit, or recognises it as an ally of its forgotten master. On a 1-3, beams of light blaze out of its stone eyes – the unit suffers D6 Strength 4 hits.

Sorcerous Portal

A sorcerous portal is prone to appear where certain contours of hill and valley funnel the Winds of Magic in unexpected ways. Many are caged and harnessed by ambitious sorcerers, but wood and stone cannot easily contain raw magic.

At the start of the Magic phase, after power and dispel dice have been generated, but before spells are cast, the sorcerous portal belches forth energy in the form of a spell. Roll 2D6 on the table below each time to see what spell is cast.

2-4Soulblight (Lore of Death)
5-6Wyssan's Wildform (Lore of Beasts)
7Plague of Rust (Lore of Metal)
8-9The Speed of Light (Lore of Light)
10-12Fireball (Lore of Fire)

The spell does not need line of sight, always targets the closest unit (regardless of range, if the unit is in combat and so on), is automatically cast and cannot be dispelled. If the spell has a choice of casting values, it is assumed to be cast at the lower value.

Wyrding Well

It is said that Wyrding Wells are set upon sites where the blood of the world bubbles to the surface. This amber liquid has magical, if unpredictable, properties and is a prized ingredient in many potions and elixirs.

Providing it is not in combat, a unit within 3" can drink from the well at the end of its Movement phase. Roll a D6 on the following table to discover the outcome of the unit's incautious imbibing:

1Magical Poisoning - Models in the unit cannot make any voluntary action (including shooting, casting spells, channelling, using magic items and so on) until the start of the following turn, whilst copious vomiting ensues.
2-4Ailments Banished - The unit immediately recovers 2D6 wounds' worth of models, as described for the Lore of Life Regrowth spell (see the Lores of Magic section).
5-6The Gift of Oblivion - The coursing earthblood erases all fear and sensation from the minds of the drinkers. The unit is subject to the rules for Stupidity and is Unbreakable for the remainder of the game.


Buildings are, without doubt, amongst the most important pieces of terrain on a battlefield. They offer substantial protection to those inside, are a good vantage point for models that can make ranged attacks. Warriors firmly ensconced in a building can only be driven out by a determined assault.

As with other terrain elements, players should identify at the start of the game all pieces of terrain for which they are going to make use of the buildings rules given here. This is important, as during the game these rules may give a clear advantage to some units.

As with any terrain pieces, a small amount of common sense will go a long way when dealing with buildings. Players may agree to treat some buildings as impassable (very small ones, or those with a strange shape, for example). Similarly, players may want to divide very large buildings into several parts, each of which counts as a separate building for the purposes of the following rules. We'll discuss that in a little more detail later - for the moment, let's take a look at the overall rules for buildings.

Buildings and Line Of Sight

For Line of Sight purposes, a building has a Line of Sight value of 5 for each floor it has. Models add +5 to their Line of Sight value for every floor they are on above the first one.

Buildings and Movement

For the most part, buildings act as impassable terrain (the rules for which were given earlier in this chapter). That said, we do allow units to enter buildings and 'garrison' them. This might seem a bit strange, but it's nice and clear in terms of rules. Basically, we don't want units moving through a building as if it were not there, and nor do we want them 'sitting' on top of it. If it's a building and you're a unit, you're either garrisoning, or not in contact with it.

Garrisoning a Building

A unit can enter and garrison an unoccupied building if it can move into base contact with the building during the Movement phase. Some units simply cannot enter buildings – the members of the regiment are just too big – unless differently specified, only infantry, war beasts and swarms can garrison a building. War machines can be deployed in buildings, but only if there is space to deploy the model on the top floor. Units cannot garrison a building in the same turn in which they have marched or made a reform.

When a unit garrisons a building, you'll normally find that there's not enough room for the models in or on the structure (or that placing them in the building just looks silly). It's perfectly acceptable to place a representative model from the unit in, on or next to the building to remind you that the unit is inside (standard bearers are the best for this!), and place the rest of the unit aside from the battlefield. The main thing you're trying to achieve is to leave a recognisable reminder as to the building's occupants for both you and your opponent as the game goes on.

Only Room for One

Each building can hold a single unit of any size and any characters that have joined it – once garrisoned, no other units can enter the structure unless the previous tenants have left (or been driven out). Note that characters can join a garrison unit by moving into base contact with the building.

Abandoning a Building

A garrison unit can exit a building in their Remaining Moves sub-phase, though not in the same turn that it garrisoned the structure. Place the unit in any desired legal formation, with at least one model of the rear rank 1" away from the building and no model within 1" of the building. Note that no model may be placed more than double their movement value away from the building. The unit may not move any further in a turn that it exits a building – it's too busy reordering its battle formation. This is the only way a garrison can voluntarily leave a building – it cannot charge out of a building, for example.

A unit that is Frenzied, or is otherwise forced to charge, still cannot do so if it is in a building – it must instead exit the building as close as possible to the enemy instead of charging.

Buildings and Magic

Buildings do not offer any additional protection against magic missiles, spells that affect the entire unit, that target individual models, etc. Spells that use templates and damage inflicted by Miscasts will follow the rules given later for templates, hitting D6 models. Wizards inside a building may cast spells as normal following the rules for line of sight and range given below.

Buildings and Shooting

Most buildings can easily be pressed into service as impromptu firebases. Most have plenty of windows, doors or otherwise gaping holes in the structure through which a warrior can poke a crossbow or other such ranged weapons. Even if there aren't any pre-existing firepoints in a building, the garrison can normally knock their own loopholes in the wall as needed.

A garrison unit can shoot in the Shooting phase, tracing line of sight from any point on the building. The forward arc of the garrison unit is assumed to be 360 degrees (i.e. all around) so we don't need to worry about that either. The range for a garrison's shooting attacks is always measured from the closest point of the building. Note that War Machines must still pivot on the spot as normal.

Five Per Floor

When a garrison unit shoots, there are only so many vantage points to shoot from. We normally assume only five models can shoot per floor of the building, although you may want to agree a different number with your opponent before the game begins.

Shooting at a Garrison Unit

Enemy models can shoot at the building's garrison, provided that they can trace line of sight to the building and that it lies within their forward arc. Naturally, we assume that the building itself provides a certain amount of protection, so we treat the garrison as being in hard cover – shots are otherwise resolved normally. Note that the garrison unit is considered to be too spread out to be affected normally by attacks that can affect multiple ranks, such as bolt throwers – shooting attacks of this nature will only hit one model.

Template Weapons (Buildings)

Weapons that use a template, such as a stone thrower or cannon, inflict D6 hits on any unit in a building that is touched by the template. If a building is hit by a stone thrower, these hits are resolved at the higher Strength only if the centre of the template lies over the building, otherwise the lower Strength is used instead. However, no single model can suffer more than one hit from any template weapon.

For example, a building is hit by a cannonball. The unit inside suffers D6 Strength 10 hits. As the cannon has the Multiple Wounds (D6) special rule, all unsaved wounds will multiply to D6.

Assaulting a Building

The only way to take an occupied building is by the bloody tactic of storming in with one of your units. This is called an assault. Each occupied building may be assaulted by a single unit during each Movement phase. The assaulting unit must declare a charge against the unit in the building (in which case, you need to have Line of Sight to the building itself, not the models within). There can be no multiple assault charges against a building, as the assaulting unit is imagined to surround it. If multiple units are forced to declare a charge against an enemy-occupied building, only one can complete the charge – the controlling player decides which one will do so after rolling the charge distances. The other units automatically fail their charges.

An assault charge is resolved just as if the building were the target unit. If the unit's charge distance is equal to or greater than the distance to the building, it is successful, otherwise the charge is failed as normal. A unit that is assaulting the building is not allowed to charge another target at the same time – it must wheel to bring as many models as possible into contact with the building and close the door in such a manner that it does not contact any enemy units when the charge is completed.

If a unit that is assaulting a building is itself charged, the assault on the building is abandoned (move the unit that was assaulting the building backward 1") The two units outside the building are now engaged in combat instead and will fight a round of combat this turn.

Troop types that cannot garrison buildings may still assault them (except chariots – such actions would result in a very broken chariot for no tangible gain). Should the assault successfully drive the defender out of the building, the models cannot garrison the structure in their place. In the case of cavalry and monstrous cavalry, only the riders may attack in close combat.

Charge Reactions (Buildings)

A garrison unit can only choose to Hold or Stand and Shoot, it cannot choose to Flee! – it would take far longer for the garrison to exit the building than for the enemy to flow around the sides and run the garrison down. Even a failed Terror test will not exhort a garrison to Flee! – it is better to face a mind-numbing peril with four solid walls around you! Accordingly, a garrison that fails its Terror test does not flee as normal, but is forced to Hold.

Fighting the Assault

An assault isn't resolved in the same manner as a regular combat, as the two units involved are not in base contact with one another. Rather, we assume that a swirling melee takes place around the building's door, windows and other entryways, with the best fighters from either side pushing their way forwards into the fray.

It's hard to maintain the impetus of a charge in a confined area, so models assaulting or defending a building lose all charging bonuses. This means, for instance, that they do not receive the normal +1 combat result or Initiative, gain no charge bonuses from weapons (like spears, lances and pikes), and do not make Impact Hits.

Who Can Strike? (Buildings)

At the start of the Close Combat phase, before any blows are struck, both players must choose Unit Strength 10 worth of models (with a minimum of 1 model regardless of Unit Strength) from their unit to form the courageous assault party that will fight in the assault (if the unit numbers less than Unit Strength 10, there is no choice!). Most of the time this will mean ten identical warriors, or at least nine warriors and the unit champion, will form the assault party on each side in the assault, but where there are characters in one or both the units, this selection becomes very important. When it makes a difference, players should roll off to determine which side picks their assault party first.

A character that was not one of the ten models chosen to take part in a building assault cannot be one of the models that step up to replace casualties suffered in the assault, they are far too busy convincing their soldiers to take their place in the assault to get involved themself.

Allocating Attacks (Buildings)

Blows are struck in Initiative order as normal and, unless the player specifies otherwise, are directed against any rank-and-file models involved in the assault. If characters or other models that can normally be singled out if they are in base contact are involved in the assault, then up to half the enemy models can choose to attack them (as often such heroes will be performing derring-do in the thick of fighting, at doorways or atop stairwells).

Note that casualties are taken from the 'back' of the unit as normal. If one side suffers casualties before it fights, extra models are assumed to step up and join the assault party in place of fallen comrades, assuming there are enough survivors to do so. So ten models will always get to fight, assuming there are enough left to do so!

Challenges (Buildings)

A single challenge may be issued and accepted as normal, but only models chosen as part of the two sides' assault parties can issue, accept and refuse challenges – you can't use the challenge to increase the number of models fighting.

Special Attacks (Buildings)

For special attacks (such as stomps) and items that affect models in base contact, a model fighting in a building is assumed to be in base contact with one enemy model nominated by the enemy player unless fighting in a challenge, of course, in which case they are in contact with the model they are fighting!

Combat Resolution (Buildings)

The victor of an assault is calculated as for a normal close combat, however combat result points can only be scored by inflicting wounds (including overkill wounds scored in a challenge, if there are any). Standards, ranks, flank and rear bonuses, and so on do not apply (the last two primarily because a unit in a building cannot really be said to have a flank or rear). A musician will still win a drawn combat, however (they spurs their fellows on to greater efforts). Otherwise, the close combat result is based purely on casualties.

Defender Loses

If the attacker wins, the defender must take a Break test. Note that units garrisoning buildings are always considered steadfast.

If the defender fails the Break test, then the garrison unit is placed outside, directly opposite the assaulting unit, as described for a unit abandoning a building. If this cannot be done, place it as near as possible to this position. It then makes its fleeing move as normal.

The attacker cannot pursue, but can enter the building if its controlling player wishes (and is of a troop type that is permitted to enter the building). If the unit does not enter the building it is moved directly backwards 1".

Other Outcomes

If the garrison does not flee the building, either because they've held the attacker to a draw or beaten them, or have lost the combat but passed their Break test, then the attacker must withdraw from the assault, and is nudged directly backward 1". The close combat ends, and the attacker must launch a new assault next turn (which they may regardless of whose turn it is) if they wish another attempt at driving the garrison out. Note that a unit that attacks or defends a building in two or more consecutive turns does not count as fighting a new first round of combat.

The assaulting unit does not have to take a Break test if the combat was lost. The warriors in the attacking unit know full well that the garrison cannot run them down if the combat goes poorly and automatically retreat in good order with no chance of a rout.

Sally Forth!

In case the attacking unit chooses to not attack the building after a failed assault, the defending unit may instead choose to sally forth (Frenzied units must pass a Leadership to restrain). This is treated just like assaulting a building, excepting that the now-defending unit is not automatically considered Steadfast and will flee as normal if they fail their Break test.

Buildings and Panic

Units garrisoning buildings take Panic tests normally – measure distances to the edge of the building. If the test is failed, they flee as described for units that break from combat.

In the same way, a unit that breaks from combat in a building, is destroyed while garrisoning a building, and so on, can trigger Panic tests in friendly units as normal.

Multipart Buildings

The rules given here assume that your building is of a fairly small size (less than 6" x 6") and composed of a fairly homogenous structure (i.e. is made out of the same kinds of materials). None of this is to say that you can't use bigger or more complicated buildings in your games, but you'll probably want to break them down into several sections, each to be treated as its own building, which can be occupied and assaulted separately.

Arcane Architecture

Buildings of great power or importance are plentiful in the Warhammer world. Sometimes, this prominence comes from the magical nature of the place, at others, it comes from the resonance and sanctity awoken in the hearts of its defenders. Regardless, a battle fought over such a building will be a slaughter indeed.

A piece of arcane architecture can either be treated as a building or as impassable terrain (the doors are sealed by the defenders). Models that are inside Arcane Architecture are automatically in range of its effect.

Examples of Arcane Architecture

Only your imagination can limit the types of arcane architecture you will battle over. Perhaps it's worth considering the kinds of buildings over which your army would be eager to fight?

Acropolis of Heroes

This ancient place was built long ago –perhaps it was even raised by the Old Ones themselves. Amongst its walls, half-buried by moss and rubble, lie the statues of fallen kings and heroes whose bold essence lingers on.

Units within 6" of the Acropolis of Heroes are Stubborn. A unit garrisoning the Acropolis of Heroes gets +1 to hit in close combat.

Dwarf Brewhouse

Dwarf ale is by far the most famous and sought after beverage in the whole of the Warhammer world. Indeed, entire armies have been known to make a detour to a brewery in order to purchase (or, more normally, acquire by force of arms) a supply of heady Dwarf ale. It is little surprise, therefore, that most Dwarfs go to great lengths to fortify their brewhouses, and are careful to place several barrels of cheap, but highly intoxicating ale, beyond the walls as soon as a marching army enters view.

All units within 6" of a Dwarf Brewhouse have the Immunity (Psychology) and Stubborn special rules (the rich blend of hops, malts and secret ingredients renders them almost totally insensate to mortal fears). Dwarf units within 6" of the brewhouse are so fanatically defensive of it that they are Unbreakable, but must first pass a Leadership test, with a -3 modifier, if they want to move out of range of the building's effects.

Grail Chapel

Grail Chapels can be found throughout the world. They are built upon sites where Bretonnian Knights have encountered the Lady of the Lake. Though Grail Chapels are often seemingly abandoned and ruined, the power of the Lady permeates every stone focusing energies of renewal and rebirth.

All units belonging to an army from the Forces of Order within 6" of a Grail Chapel have the Regeneration (6+) special rule. Bretonnian units within 6" of a Grail Chapel also have the Stubborn special rule.

Haunted Mansion

Many an abandoned tower or mansion was once the abode of a Necromancer, whose dark sorceries could only be practised in secret. The Necromancer may long gone, but the poltergeists and revenants remain as any who enter will doubtless discover.

A haunted mansion is normally a building of some kind, but there's no reason why it can't be a ruin, or a cave. At the end of the Shooting phase, all units within 6" of the Haunted Mansion suffers D6 Strength 1 hits to represent the spectral strikes of the mansion's guardians. Due to the ghostly nature of these attacks, armour saves cannot be taken against them. This has no effect on models with the Undead special rule. A unit inside the haunted mansion causes Fear.

Nehekharan Sphynx

Long ago, the rulers of Nehekhara bound the trickster spirits of the deserts into great temples. Legend tells that those who entreat a Sphynx receive great power – if they can quench the spirit's thirst for trickery and deception.

At the start of each player turn, the player whose turn it is can choose one of their characters within 6" of the Nehekharan Sphynx to challenge the spirit to a riddling contest. The challenger must take an Initiative test. If the test is failed, the Sphynx devours part of the challenger's soul and the model suffers a wound, with no armour saves allowed. If the test is passed, the challenger receives one of the following special rules, determined randomly, for the rest of the game: Devastating Charge, Heroic Killing Blow or Loremaster (Death) - this last one has no benefit to non-Wizards (i.e. only Wizards can actually use the spells!) but that doesn't stop the Sphynx bestowing it inappropriately.

Sigmarite Shrine

Sigmar Heldenhammer fought many battles to defend the nascent Empire from the forces of destruction. Though Sigmar has long since passed, the folk of the Empire still believe that they watches over their land. This might be thought mere superstition, save for the fact that evil creatures seem rather more vulnerable when they draw near to a Sigmarite Shrine...

Any models belonging to an army from the Forces of Destruction (see the Allied Armies chapter) must re-roll successful ward saves if they are within 6" of the Sigmarite Shrine.

Tower of Blood

The walls of this tower constantly ooze pulsing gore. The unnatural stench has a profound effect upon even the most feeble of fighters, engorging bloodlust and so transforming them into voracious slaughterers.

Units within 6" of the Tower of Blood have the Hatred special rule. Units from the Forces of Destruction within 6" of the Tower of Blood also have the Frenzy special rule – as soon as a unit moves out of range, the Hatred/Frenzy is lost.

Wizard's Tower

Wizards are solitary folk, little able to abide the simplistic minds of the mundane multitudes. Little wonder therefore that the mightiest wizards construct great towers to serve as lodging, library and stronghold.

A Wizard who is within 3" of the tower at the start of the Magic phase is assumed to ransack the tower's library in search of additional spells – they gain the Loremaster special rule for that phase. If more than one Wizard is within 3", randomly choose which one has control of the tower at the start of each Magic phase (no room can hold two wizardly egos in search of knowledge).

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