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How to Use Characters With Under 10 Wounds

Two Strong Uses for Characters with less than 10 wounds

Get The Most Out Of The Character Keyword 

   Hello, and welcome to another tactical tidbit by Skari. In this article, I will explore some tactical uses of characters in Warhammer 40k. I will be focusing on characters that have less than ten wounds, as these strengths become apparent when they meet this criterion. A character under ten wounds may not be the target of ranged attacks unless they are the closest target. Because of this, there are at least two great ways you can use this rule to your benefit in a game. For personalized coaching, list building, and advice, you can always reach out to me through the Art of War ‘War Room’. Let’s dive right in! 

   A unit that has the character keyword, and also has less than ten wounds on their profile, may not be targeted by ranged attacks unless they are the closest target (there are exceptions to this, such as snipers and certain abilities or powers that bypass this). Here are some basic yet formidable things that you can do to abuse this and get an advantage in-game.  

 1) Tactical Use

   Take an objective out in the open. A character that can only be targeted by snipers or special abilities makes for a great objective holder, especially when that objective is in plain view. In various game formats (mainly the ITC) reward players for killing enemy units. A lot of the time, a player will try to kill two birds with one stone by eliminating a unit that is scoring an objective, therefore denying the opponent the ability to score that objective but also gaining that needed kill. 


   Some objectives are hidden and make it very easy to have any unit to. This might not be possible when the objective is exposed. Characters to the rescue! A lowly Astropath, for example, can stand on an objective while a unit of guardsmen (or any other unit) can hide in a position out of line of sight. This prevents the enemy from being able to target the character as long as that unit is still alive. 

In this example, the very weak Astropath would die horribly against the Exorcist, and the Astra Militarum infantry squad would also die if they were in the open against enemy shooting. Clever positioning and leveraging the character keyword allows the guard player to take the objective and escape retaliation! 

Note: you have to keep in mind how far the opponent can move and whether they can get sight or an angle on the hiding unit. This play can also be difficult to achieve against armies with a lot of indirect fire. 

 2) Defensive Use 

   Zone out the table with few models. Board control/zoning is one of the things that I love to do. If my opponent has any deep strikers in your army, they better have a good plan of action to make space for them. If not, I will zone out the whole table and prevent them from bringing your deep strikers into an area of the table that is beneficial to you. To make this happen, I love using characters to zone out large areas of the table with the fewest resources possible. You can have 18″ gaps between each character to zone the table, unless you are playing against Grey Knights, GSC or a Callidus assassin who can come in as close as 3″. Because of this, you can make sure the heavy hitters in your army are in position, hiding them or concentrating them for a push rather than spreading them out all over the table and just getting shot. 


    In this example, I use four characters to zone out a considerable portion of the table! That is over 1/4 of the tablespace taken up by only four of the models in the army. Note: don’t expose your characters needlessly if the enemy has snipers or things like aircraft that can fly next to them and ‘snipe them out.’

   I hope you found this interesting. Using characters in creative ways has always been an exciting part of playing in 8th edition as they have become units that are separate from other squads in your army. If you liked this article and want to learn how to take your character game to the next level I implore you to check out the War Room! Nick Nanavati did an excellent Strategy Session on Characters just last week which you can check out along with tons of other content in our Archives. We’re also running a limited time promotional sale where you can get 20% off of the War Room when you sign up with the promo code AOW40K2020 so don’t miss out on the fun! As always, reach out to me for coaching or list building advice on the Art of War. Thanks a lot for reading, and I shall see you on the next Skari Tactical Tidbit. 

Skari – Out

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