Hey PI-Fans! 

We know that look. You’re one of those folks who love ogling at the store display miniatures but seem intimidated by how Warhammer 40k plays.

Never fear! We’re here to break down the core game play into bite size articles so that anyone can get started and playing the game! 

In the next few days, we’ll be going through the basics of Warhammer 40k:


Things You’ll Need

  1. Warhammer 40k models
  2. Measurers – tape measure or range rulers
  3. Some 6 sided dice
  4. A place to play at
  5. A friend to play with

Today, we’re going to learn how to Move and Shoot with some models in a simple scenario

We have 5 Necron Warriors and 3 Assault Intercessor Space Marines 

Let’s place them like so on the table with the Space Marines facing the Necrons

Today we’re playing the Necrons side and our opponent will be the Space Marines

warhammer 40k recruit first contact set up

warhammer 40k first contact mission set up

Step 1: Movement

To see how far a model can move, let’s check the unit’s data sheet. We’re using Necron Warriors so let’s refer to their card.

necron warrior data sheet movement highlight

Normal Move

To see how far a model can move, let’s check the ‘M’ characteristic. ‘M’ stands for Move, it is 5″ in this case

Let’s move a Necron Warrior by checking our range ruler and moving it up to 5″ from the tip of the base. And that’s it!

necron warrior move 1     necron warrior move 2

To move a model further than its normal distance, we can Advance


Roll one 6 sided die, add its result to its maximum move distance (in this case, 5″) and make the move accordingly.

In this case, we rolled a 4, so 4 + 5 = 9″. So we can move the Necron Warrior to 9″

necron warrior advance

Keep in mind: units that advanced can’t shoot that turn as they’re rushing across the battlefield.


Step 2: Shooting

Now that we’ve learnt how to move, let’s try to shoot!

Measuring Range

To check if the Necron Warrior is in shooting range, it needs to be able to see the target from its eye level.

Measure the range from the start of its base to the enemy’s start of its base. If the range is equal or less than its weapon range, you can shoot.

space marine in range  space marine out of range

For illustration purposes: Picture 1 is in range, Picture 2 is out of range

Making Attack Rolls

necron warrior weapon stats

On our Necron Warrior’s Data Sheet, there’s a bunch of weapons its equipped with. It has 2 range weapons: A Gauss Flayer and a Guass Reaper

They both have a profile of ‘Rapid Fire 1’ which means it can fire 1 shot. Don’t worry about what Rapid Fire means for now.

So we checked the enemy Space Marine is in range. Now we can attack!

Roll to Hit: 

We have 2 Necron Warriors shooting at 1 Space Marine. So we are to roll 2 dice.

necron warriors shoot at space marine

Now we check the ‘BS’ stat on their Data Sheet. ‘BS’ stands for Ballistic Skill which means how accurate they are at shooting. 

necron warriors ballistic skill stat

Necron Warriors are good at shooting so 3+ means a roll of 3 or more will hit the target. Any number that’s below the BS characteristic is a fail.

We rolled two 4s so they hit their target!

necron warriors shoot at space marine

Roll to Wound:

Now we have to check if the shots wound the enemy. So we roll our 2 dice again and compare the result using Weapon Strength to Enemy Toughness.

Let’s look at the Gauss Flayer’s weapon profile. ‘S’ means Strength which shows how powerful the weapon is. Its 4.

gauss flayer stat


Then we ask our opponent what is the Toughness of their model. The Space Marine Assault Intercessor’s Toughness (‘T’) is 4

assault intercessor data sheet toughness

We rolled and got 1 and 4.

necron warriors wound rolls

We then check the Wound Roll table. This table is to see if the wound result is a success or fail. 

wound roll table

If our Weapon Strength is twice more than Toughness, its 2+ to wound, if its Greater than, its 3+, equal its 4+, lower its 5+ and half or less is 6+. 

So basically the more powerful the weapon, the stronger it is to overcome Toughness! 

Our Gauss Flayer strength is 4, the Space Marine Assault Intercessor is Toughness 4. The wound result is equal to its toughness. 

So we rolled and got 1 and 4, thus 1 wound was inflicted and 1 wound didn’t cause any injury. 

Enemy does Saving Throws:

Your opponent now checks to see if their models can shrug off the damage.

Let’s check the Data Sheet of the Space Marine Assault Intercessor. The ‘Sv’ stands for Save, in this case its 3+, which means a roll of 3 or more, it can shrug off the wound. If the result is less than 3, the model gains a wound. Space Marines have tough armour!

assault intercessor save stat

In this case, the opponent rolled 1, so the wound goes through!

space marine 1 wound taken

Check Damage and Allocate Wounds:

Let’s refer back to the Data Sheet of the Space Marine Assault Intercessor. The ‘W’ stands for Wounds, which are its ‘hit points’ in a way. It has 2.

space marine assault intercessor wounds stat

So the model took 1 wound, it has 1 wound left. So your opponent places a marker to indicate its remaining wounds. 

space marine 1 wound taken

If the same Space Marine takes 1 more wound, it is destroyed and taken off the table. 


And there you have it!

That’s how you Move and Shoot in Warhammer 40k! Tomorrow, we’ll learn how to Charge and Fight with our units in melee combat! 

Want to start your own Warhammer 40k journey? Pick up the new Recruit Box which has all the models shown in this article and more! We’re also doing a bundle set of 1 Recruit Box and 1 Hobby Starter Set for only $100! Head down to the store to check ’em out!

warhammer 40k recruit box warhammer 40k hobby starter set


We’re also running a Warhammer 40k Promotion: Book and attend a ‘Learn to Play’ demo and you get 1 chance to win a limited edition Warhammer 40k Indomitus Box Set! This box set is currently not available to order anymore so its a Super Hot Item! If you bring a friend along to learn the game, you get +1 chance! Your friend ALSO gets 1 chance! Click the image for info! 

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