Types of special ability

About the different types of ability and how we use them in the game.

Data sheet modifier

These abilities do not provide special rules effects. Rather, they modify the characteristic values on unit data sheets.

Example 1. Data sheet modifiers

The Heavy Weapons ability changes the unit’s Range and Firepower characteristic values.

Example 2. Application of data sheet modifiers

The Imperial Guard Rough Riders unit is based on the Imperial Guard unit, with the addition of the Cavalry and Assault abilities.

These abilities create several differences between the unit data sheets, as you can see below.

Table 1. A base unit with the addition of special abilities
Unit Type Speed Range Firepower Assault Armour Notes

Base unit: Imperial Guard


10/20 cm

30 cm




+ Cavalry


20/30 cm


+ Assault

15 cm


⇒ Imperial Guard Rough Riders


20/30 cm

15 cm




Cavalry, Assault

Unit ability

These abilities provide special effects that you may use with the units that they apply to.

Example 3. Unit abilities

With Save, you may be able to 'save' the unit from a hit so that you don’t have to remove it as a casualty.

With Jump Packs, you get the benefit of enhanced movement effects.

Detachment ability

These abilities change the behaviour of an entire detachment.

Example 4. Detachment abilities

Hit and Run allows you to make a Retreat move with the detachment, even after you win a close combat or firefight with it.

Army ability

These abilities affect the way that you play with an entire army.

Example 5. Army abilities

When you field an Ork army, the Ork Initiative rule lets you place Initiative counters back into the mug at the start of the Assault phase.