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Veteran warriors, brilliant officers, possessed prophets and ferocious war-leaders can all inspire their troops to great feats of heroism (or fiendish bravery as the case may be) and are often quicker, stronger and more skilled in combat than those they lead. In Warhammer 40,000, these kinds of powerful individuals are called ‘characters’.

Character Types

Most characters are fielded in units from the start of the game, and represent squad leaders, such as a Space Marine Veteran Sergeant. They have their own profile, but do not have a separate entry. They are effectively just another trooper in their unit, with enhanced characteristics and perhaps a wider selection of weapons and wargear choices. Other characters, such as Mephiston of the Blood Angels, fight as units on their own. They are either mighty enough, or feared enough by their own kind, that they don’t take to the battlefield with other warriors. Regardless of their potency, all follow the rules for characters.

Independent Characters

Some characters have the Independent Character special rule, which allows them to join other units.

Characters as Leaders

Remember that a unit’s Leadership tests are taken using the highest Leadership value in the unit. As characters normally have better Leadership than other warriors, this means that they make very good leaders for units in your army.

Characters and Moving

Characters follow the movement rules for models of their type, whether Infantry, Jump Infantry, Bikes, etc. However, remember that they must maintain unit coherency with any unit they are in.

Characters and Shooting

Characters shoot just like ordinary models of their type, although they sometimes have a better Ballistic Skill or exotic weaponry that sets them apart.

Look Out, Sir and Shooting

When a Wound is allocated to one of your non-vehicle characters, and there is another model from the same unit within 6", he is allowed a Look Out, Sir attempt. This represents the character ducking back further into the unit, holding a comrade in the line of fire, or being pushed aside by a selfless ally. If no model is in range, then you cannot make a Look Out, Sir attempt.

To make a Look Out, Sir attempt, roll a D6.
  • On a roll of 3 or less, the Look Out, Sir attempt fails.
  • On a roll of 4+, the Look Out, Sir attempt is successful. Determine which model in the unit is closest to the character, and allocate the Wound to that model instead. This can even be a model that is out of range or line of sight of the shooting attack.
If the unit only consists of characters, a Look Out, Sir attempt can still be made, with the closest character within 6" taking the place of the erstwhile victim if the roll is passed. Only one Look Out, Sir attempt can be made per Wound allocated – once the Wound has been transferred (or not), no further attempts to reallocate it can be made.

Characters and Assaults

Remember, a character that has joined a unit follows all the normal rules for being part of a unit. If a character is in a unit that charges into close combat, the character charges too, as it is part of the unit. If the character’s unit is locked in close combat, he fights as part of the unit.

If, when it is a character’s turn to make a Pile In move, other friendly models are Piling In at the same time, the character must move to get into base contact with an enemy as soon as it is able. If this is not possible, then they must instead move as close to the enemy as they can – their place is at the forefront!

Look Out, Sir and Assaults

As with shooting attacks, if a non-vehicle character has a Wound allocated to him, and there is another model from the same unit within 6", he’s allowed a Look Out, Sir attempt. This works exactly the same way as for shooting attacks. However, a character who is fighting in a challenge cannot attempt to make a Look Out, Sir attempt – it is a duel of honour and none can interfere.



 Q: Can you attempt ‘Look Out, Sir’ for Perils of the Warp, failed Dangerous Terrain tests, failed Gets Hot rolls, and so on?
In the case of Dangerous Terrain tests, only armour and invulnerable saves may be used. In the case of Gets Hot rolls, ‘Look Out, Sir’ is explicitly disallowed. For Perils of the Warp, and other non-explicit cases, a certain amount of common sense is required. ‘Look Out, Sir’ is intended to represent a character being physically protected by a witting or unwitting ally – you cannot hide from the Warp!
 Q: The ‘Look Out, Sir’ rule states that Wounds must be allocated to the closest model in the unit to the character. What if you have multiple models that are equidistant? Do you have to allocate all ‘Look Out, Sir’ hits to a particular model until it is removed, or can you shift the Wounds to other equidistant models (assuming, of course, that they have multiple Wounds)?
You must apply all Wounds to the same model until it is removed, or until another model is closer to the character for whatever reason.