Living FAQ: God of Battles

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Last update 17th March 2013

This page deals with all the rules questions that you might have about God of Battles. Please read the questions and answers below to see if your query has already been answered. If not, feel free to ask in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions on the game rules, or if you see a post on a forum somewhere that does, then please direct them here so that I can deal with them all in a single document. That way questions get answered consistently and everyone gets the benefit 🙂



Unfortunately there are a few small mistakes in the printed version of the rules. These were caused by a mixture of cut and paste errors (on the cards) and only partly adding the final round of corrections. For example, the Skeleton Warriors were originally 8 points, but did not have Fighty. During playtesting it became obvious that they weren’t sufficiently better than the Horde, so I made them more dangerous by adding that ability (which also changed their cost). For some reason the new ability was added to the laid out version without the cost change.

I have now checked all the army lists and miracle cards in my original files against the printed book and the corrections below are how it should be played. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Unfortunately I was not allowed to check proofs of the laid out rules before they went to press.

Page 197 & 198: Replace “Brute Ravagers” with “Brute Ravagers (1).

Page 197 & 203: Brute Watchers (Bodyguard) should cost 12 points and have a Move of 10.

Page 211 & 212: Skeleton Warriors should cost 10 points.

Page 206: Replace the title “Shoddy Goods” with “Burak’s Rage”. The card and description are both correct.

Page 226 & 228: An Eagle Tribe should have the Scouting Ahead ability.

Page 226 & 230: A Pygmy Tribe should cost 4 points and have 10 models in a unit.  

Page 238: The Swift Strike card is wrong; the text is correct. Swift Strike is a cost 4 Blessing that can be called on a friendly unit. The effect is to re-roll failed melee attack rolls.

Page 238: The Hawkeye card is wrong; the text is correct. Hawkeye is a cost 4 Blessing that can be called on a friendly unit. The effect is to re-roll failed shooting attack rolls.

Page 257: The Cth’ak’s Will card is wrong; the text is correct. Cth’ak’s Will is a cost 4 Blessing that can be called on a friendly unit. The effect is to re-roll failed defence rolls.



The following are dealt with in 3 steps rather than the more common 2. As well as a Question (Q) and an Answer (A) I’ve included a Discussion (D) section  so that I can talk around the topic as needed. This might explain why a rule is as it is, the history of its development or the tactical implications among other things. The intention is to give you a better insight and understanding into the decisions behind the rules as well as the rules themselves.

Q: With a standard bearer I can choose to use their ability to add 1 defence dice. This dice succeeds on a 2+, but on a 1 the bearer is killed. In the situation where I have chosen to use this ability and roll a 1, but my other defence dice manage to stop all my opponent’s hits, do I still have to lose my standard bearer?

A: Yes.

D: Using your Standard Bearer to get an extra save is always a risk, and deciding whether to jump in or not can be an entertainingly agonising decision. A roll of a 1 is always fatal to a Standard Bearer who has taken the risk. The only way to avoid their death is to have the Protect the Standard skill, and even then it’s not that you are avoiding it, simply that someone else is willing to pick the banner up again.

The relevant rule is on page 15 in the second paragraph of the Standard Bearer section. When talking about what happens if you roll a 1 for this test it says that even if “you have rolled enough defences to stop the attack, then the Standard Bearer will still die.” 

For example, if my unit of Goblins take 4 hits from an attack they must roll their defence. As the unit has not been previously damaged they have 12 dice, needing 6s. I have taken a Standard Bearer for just such an occasion and decide to risk them. This adds another dice so that I am now rolling 13, but this last one is a different colour as I only need a 2+ for it to succeed instead of the normal 6 for the rest of the unit. The following results are possible:

  • Standard rolls a 2+, rest of the unit rolls 4 or more saves = the unit takes no losses.
  • Standard rolls a 2+, rest of the unit rolls 3 or less saves = the unit loses one model for each hit they did not save. The goblin player can choose which models to remove, which means that they can take a normal trooper and leave the Standard Bearer with the unit.
  • Standard rolls a 1, rest of the unit rolls 3 or less saves = the unit loses one model for each hit they did not save. The first model to die must be the Standard Bearer because they rolled a 1. After that the goblin player will remove other models to make up the required number of losses.
  • Standard rolls a 1, rest of the unit rolls 4 or more saves = the Standard Bearer has rolled a 1 and so he must die. The rest of the unit takes no losses. Note that this loss will still trigger a TOC/recoil as appropriate for that type of attack.

To keep things tidy, comments and questions will be deleted from this page once they have been addressed in the FAQ.

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82 Responses to Living FAQ: God of Battles

  1. Poosh says:

    Where can I buy this beasty ??

  2. Andrew says:

    I might of missed the relevant text so apologies for that but I’ve a question about ‘body guard’ units. Do they have to have a character to guard and could a character be put in an appropriate regular unit instead of a body guard unit that is also in the army? Thanks!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      No problem Andrew.

      Bodyguard units don’t have to have a character to guard and can just be used as an extra unit to fight with if you like.

      Characters can be put in a normal unit (as long as the movement is correct) even if you also have a bodyguard unit in the army.

      • GoB_lin says:

        So, unless I’m missing some other important piece of text, or am taking this out of context, I can field a Bodyguard unit without fielding a Character at the same time?

        e.g. Can my Command & Support (24) can look like this?:
        Blood Feud, Husks

  3. guerreminky says:

    So, friendly units can move through loose and formed friendly units. What happens if they cannot fully pass through? i.e. what happens if the tail end of the unit would be resting on the unit moved through?

    By the way, awesome game!!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      In rare situations like this, you only need to really worry about the positions of the leaders. The remaining models can be moved about as needed to fit everything in. They can reform neatly when be or other of the units moves out of the way.

  4. guerreminky says:

    Is there incidental contact when moving to contact an enemy?

    For example, if Friendly formed unit “A” leader has Enemy formed unit “C” Leader in the front 45, but moving the Friendly unit “A” would bring the unit (but not the leader) into contact with the wing of a loose enemy unit “B” (whose leader is not in the front 45), is the movement cancelled? Is this true if the final position of Friendly unit “A” in contact with Enemy unit “C” would have space to be placed there?

    Did I mention the game is awesome?

    • Quirkworthy says:


      Remember that for all movement purposes the unit is the leader and all measurements of arc and distance come are based on him.

      In your example, contacting the wing of an enemy unit is not important as long as the leader of unit A does not have to pass over leader B and can see the leader C before he starts moving. Also, note the third bullet point on page 27 which says that you need to have sufficient room to place the unit in contact with your target. In practice, this only really means terrain and enemy leaders or formed units. I always just move members of loose units out of the way when needed with the sole exception of their leaders.

  5. Michael Sellwood says:

    If a unit has a blessing and a curse that both affect the same roll (i.e. a blessing which enables rerolling failed defence rolls and a curse which forces a reroll of a successful defence roll) what happens in a situation where both blessing and curse are expended ?

    Obviously in the example if you roll no successes then the blessing activates, and failures are rerolled, which could lead to the curse activating and forcing more rerolls. If there are both sucesses and failures though, both blessing and curse is activated. Does this just mean that you reroll the whole roll or that the miracles cancel each out and the initial roll stands?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yes, if you roll both successes and failures in your last example then the whole roll would be redone. Breaking this down makes it clearer.

      As a blessing/curse triggers automatically as soon as it can take effect, a roll of both successes and failures will trigger both at the same time. This means that the blessing will re-roll fails and the curse re-roll the successes, so the whole lot rolls again. Once they have been re-rolled then both blessing and curse have been used and are no longer in effect so the second roll stands.

      Your other examples are correct as well.

  6. Ben says:

    Is the discard pile of the Sacrifice Deck “in play” for either player to look through and see which cards have already been played?

    A formed unit is not held in an opposing formed unit’s Threat Zone if the leader cannot see the unit. If the leader of a loose unit cannot see an opposing formed unit, such as when a piece of blocking terrain is in between them, is it held in the Threat Zone?

  7. mattadlard says:

    Q. Are monsters a command choice, the reason one ask’s is that they are in the command list, but are considered monsters.???

  8. Ben says:

    I’m asking this without the rulebook to hand so I may get the some of the terminology incorrect. On the wet weather table there is a Difficult condition which subtracts 1 dice from shooting rolls. If the weather gets worse it moves to Soggy which also does that along with some other penalties. Some races aren’t affected by Soggy which means if the weather changes they lose the Difficult penalty even though the weather is worse. Assuming I haven’t got the rule wrong, should the -1 dice still apply to shooting when it is soggy for races that aren’t affected by it?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m also without a book to reference, so I’ll get back to you tomorrow when I can check.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Sorry Ben, got sidetracked with another question.

      The differences between soggy and difficult are to do with whether they are easily ignored or not. Armies that ignore soggy conditions basically don’t care if they’re wet. However, difficult conditions are those such as high winds or hail that will batter your arrows about or obscure your targets whether your troops mind the weather or not. At least, that’s the intention. There are some slight fudges in the definitions, but I’ve gone for story here rather than meteorological exactitude 😉

      So to answer your original question, if the weather changes from just difficult to just soggy the races that can ignore soggy no longer suffer the penalty. Imagine that the high winds have stopped and the rain is now steady, putting off those that care about being wet, but no longer bothering those who are only troubled by the physical obstacles to shooting.

      • Iain says:

        Jake, do you mean “So to answer your original question, if the weather changes from just difficult to just soggy the races that can ignore soggy no longer suffer the [b]drawback[/b]. Imagine that the high winds have stopped and the rain is now steady, putting off those that care about being wet, but no longer bothering those who are only troubled by the physical obstacles to shooting.”

      • Iain says:

        That would the answer make sense unlike my attempts at bold!

  9. IainB says:

    Can I just check, can you have more than one hero in an unit/monster/chariot and if so what happens in the unlikely chance they come up across another enemy character in an unit?

  10. Rolex says:

    Nice to know I can still read. 🙂
    Let’s go like this: your italian players will find out the nastyest, exployting and unsporting combos (that’s what we’re good at (shame)) so you can FAQ them away. 😉 It’s our contribution, like bringing pasta to a dinner. 😀

  11. Sam says:

    Since ‘Heavy Chariots’ have the same ‘arcs and moves’ as a ‘formed unit’ do they also have a ‘threat area’?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      No. Only actual formed units (groups of individual warriors in a block) have a Threat Area. Things that move like a formed unit do not.

      It’s the distinction between being a formed unit and being like a formed unit. My apologies for not making it clearer.

      • Sam says:

        Thanks for the reply. I had a creeping feeling this was the case, but a corpse in a heavy chariot sometimes likes to engage in wishful thinking.

  12. Brad Guerre says:

    Can you target for shooting an enemy unit that is contact with a friendly unit? (The reason I ask is that you cannot in Tribes, but I can’t find the reference in GoB. I know they aren’t the same system, but they share similarities.) If you can target an enemy unit in contact with a friendly unit, does the enemy unit recoil from missile wounds as normal?

  13. Iain says:

    Does a loose unit ignore the stop as soon as its Unit leader touches the terrain piece part of the slows terrain type?

    Reason for question.
    P52 God of Battles rulebook “Loose units, and those that move like them, treat terrain that Slows others as being normal.” Loose units don’t however ignore Stalls terrain whose only effect is to stop a moving unit. Essentially slows terrain is a terrain that stalls and then slows the unit so it might follow if they are prone to being stalled but not to being slowed that a loose unit would get stalled and then ignore the slows aspect of the terrain. However as written it may be they ignore the stalling aspect of the slows terrain.
    In this case stalling terrain would have a more negative effect on a loose army than slows terrain which may be intended.

    I felt obliged to try to justify my question in case the answer was a simple yes. And no, I am not worried about the behemoth crashing through slowing terrain into my troops, no, sir, not at all…..

    • Iain says:

      A tough question?

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Sorry, I forgot I hadn’t answered this.

        Treating Slowing terrain as normal terrain means exactly that. You ignore all of its effects including the stalling. As you say, this still leaves Loose units stalling at rivers and suchlike, which is as intended. It makes the board “read” quite differently to different armies which I rather like.

  14. Tordenskjold says:

    If a “Loose” unit recoils after combat with a “Formed” unit, will the “Loose” unit be unable to move as it is within the “Formed” unit’s threat zone? It makes sense to me, but I can’t find any clear explanation in the rulebook.

    • Ben says:

      It can move but only directly towards or away from the Formed Unit’s leader model. The important thing is where the Loose Unit is when it activates, not how it got there.

  15. Christiaan says:

    I just got the book and am a little puzzled by some wording in text and diagram which seem to contradict eachother.

    Concerning recoils from melee: do you move away and end up facing towards or away from the enemy unit causing the recoil?
    The text on page 28 seems to say that you face towards the enemy unit (“Recoils from melee are straight backwards” & “A Recoiling unit will always end its move facing the enemy that caused it.”).
    However, the diagram on page 27 pictures the unit facing away after recoil and the text in the diagram box also seems to indicate this: “This recoil should be straight away from enemy units, …”

    • Ben says:

      Assuming I’m looking at the same diagram as you’re talking about (the one on the left-hand side of the box at the bottom of the page detailing a unit recoiling from melee), the unit which is recoiling is in loose formation so it doesn’t have a facing. Only formed units need to be positioned facing the unit it is recoiling from (as per the diagram on the right of the box showing a recoil from shooting).

      • Christiaan says:

        Okay, so units recoiling from combat are facing their enemies after the recoil?

        • Ben says:

          Assuming the recoiling unit is formed then yes.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Units that recoil always end up facing the thing that caused the recoil.

          However, Loose units don’t have a facing, so this is merely cosmetic. You do it because it looks right rather than because it makes any difference in the game.

  16. Christiaan says:

    Has the “Tenacious” Special Rule for Mercenary War Orcs been omitted intentionally?

    War Orcs in the Orc Warlords army and Orc Tribe in the Thousand Tribes army both have exactly the same stats and cost but do have the “Tenacious” special rule.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yes. As the description mentions, they’ve gone a bit soft with all that comfy living.

      In terms of cost, tenacious is actually a double-edged sword and can be as unhelpful as it is beneficial. That’s why the cost doesn’t change.

  17. jasonreddice says:

    Two Questions – Recoiling and starting Sacrifice Cards
    1) Page 35 –
    If I understand correctly – Loose units will recoil from the front of a Formed unit, and from a loose unit if it causes less wounds.

    Loose units won’t recoil against monsters, chariots, war machines. Monsters and chariots don’t recoil from melee, and war machines can’t recoil at all.
    Is this true? The reason I ask is Page 35, 2nd Column, 1st Paragraph under “Multiple Combats”. It mentions that “Loose units will always Recoil at the end of melee unless they are Tenacious.”

    2) Do Priests start the game with 6 sacrifice cards or 3 sacrifice cards? The ability Priest is listed on page 179 (Merc list) as 3 cards, but listed as 6 cards on page 278 (abilities section).

  18. jasonreddice says:

    The same was posed on the FaceBook site and I think it answers my questions for recoiling. Pg18 states that chariots and monsters will “fight as” loose or formed. The full rules for Chariots and Monsters on pg35 seems to omit this, but it’s clear on page18.

  19. Ferb says:

    Just got the rules and I love them, but a bit disappointed with the way some of the army lists are set up.
    Undeath army at 24pts if you want a formed unit you can’t make the full 24pts which seems like you’re giving your opponent an advantage right off the bat. It also seems at odds with the rationale of being a general and picking what you want without bothering with the details.
    General: “I want a formed core and some loose troops to handle the flanks”
    Recruiter: “Ok, but if you want formed troops we’re not going to give you all the troops we could, cos we’re mean like that!” 🙂

    What was the thinking behind this?

    • Ben says:

      At 24pts I run Undead as –

      1x Skeleton Horde
      1x Skeleton Archers
      1x Skeleton Warriors
      1x Ghouls

      I find it highly effective.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Another alternative would be:

        3x Skelly horde
        3x Ghoul

        for exactly 24.

        Could swap two horde for a warrior for the same points, or any of them for an archer on a 1-1 basis. All still exactly 24 points.

        Of course, none of these options are made up exclusively of formed units. And that’s a good thing.

        An army made up solely of formed units is not generally a good idea unless you have a really good handle on the formed unit rules (which most people find one of the most tricky things in GoB to fathom). They need some flexibility on the flanks, and this means a loose unit or two (or anchoring a flank on secure terrain or a board edge).

        As to why the lists are as they are, this is simply because the units are costed based on their usefulness in battle, not on their ability to tesselate in a list. The Godless have an even worse time at 24 because their actual Godless units (rather than the wretches) are so good at everything they have to be very costly.

        Also, GoB is really best at 36 or 48 points, not 24. I say this even though I play most of my games at 24. The sweet spot for entertaining list selection is therefore aimed at this size. It has to be somewhere 🙂

        Talking about list selection, as I mention in GoB I think that the discipline of sticking to the set points value or less is an important one and what lends much of the entertaining challenge to the process.

        A final thought is that you shouldn’t fret too much about dropping a point here or there. You are likely to do better and have a more enjoyable game with an army that is 22 points, but which you feel comfy with, rather than a 24 point army you wouldn’t normally have chosen, but took merely because you felt the need to spend those last 2 points.

  20. Ferb says:

    Thanks for the reply I guess I need to work on my maths 🙂

  21. Can you combine two units into one, say a 32 figure 8 wide pike block with one unit leader etc? I only ask as there seem to be large units in some of the photos in the rulebook.

  22. Tierling says:

    Can a Greenskin Hero have the two charakter anhancement listet in the army list?
    Greenskin Hero + Grabnad’s Stunty Pulper (Attack) + Sneaky Elf Tenderiser (Attack) for a total of +4 Attack dieces?

  23. Jon Finn says:

    Does a Formed unit’s Threat Zone extend through a friendly Loose unit in front of it?

    (Imagine the leader of the Loose unit is outside the potential Threat Zone, but that members of the Loose unit are in there. An enemy unit in the Threat Zone cannot pass through the Loose unit to contact the Formed unit (or can it?) but cannot move into contact with the Loose unit, because they’re obliged to move directly towards or away from the Formed unit. Unless they’re not. Is this apparent Catch 22 resolved by another rule I’ve missed?)

    • Ben says:

      A loose unit’s footprint extends only to the leader model. In the example you cite, as the leader is outside of the threat zone, the unit is outside of the threat zone. You would simply move the other models to another position (within 4″ of the leader) to clear a path.

  24. Hello everyone! After a game session several questions appeared:
    1)loose unit recoiled from formed into a friendly formed unit – what should it do? Omit formed unit and stay exactly behind it? Slide any side of formed unit? In case it would recoil through friendly formed unit – does formed unit looses its activation?
    2)Can you use stategem to mark priest as an activated, so he wouldn’t call miracles?
    Sorry if it was already answered (I’ve looked through and didnt find it)…

  25. Smott says:

    For determining initiative in a turn, what counts as a unit, eg. Do priests and characters count as units?

  26. Archie Hart says:

    I had the situation where a unit of skeletons, who were down to two models. Melee attacked my Orc Stone Thrower from the side.

    My opponent felt that because the attack was from a side arc I was not allowed to retaliate during the combat.

    I felt I should have been able to role the 6 dice mentioned on pg 43 of the rulebook.

    Whats the correct answer please?

  27. Ben says:

    A large warmachine has flanks like a formed unit, and is thus subject to all the same rules relating to a formed unit being flanked. This would include half as many dice to defend as from the front, and no ability to attack.

    • Archie Hart says:

      Yes but it has flanks LIKE a formed unit rather than AS a formed unit hence why I feel it should be able to retaliate.

      Logically the crew should be able to defend the warmachine and retaliate in melee to the flanks.

      Otherwise, as happened in my situation, a perfectly healthy warmachine simply cannot fight back in melee, to its flanks, which, to me makes no sense.

      • Ben says:

        There is no difference in meaning there. Having flanks like a formed unit or as a formed unit is the same thing. A large warmachine has flanks, that means it is subject to the rules for being attacked in the flank.

  28. edenchanges says:

    So my son has uncovered the sneaky trick of putting his Priest with an Dwarf Underminer unit. They stay underground and the Priest safely casts miracles. Miracles don’t need line of sight – that is clearly stated in the rules. Has he spotted a rather neat Dwarf only option or am I missing a rule that stops this scurrilous behaviour? (And yes I know I can hit him back with miracles but I don’t often take a priest because I play Sea Elf and their characters are so expensive!)

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Still can’t find my copy of the rules. Off the top of my head, I think the underground caster is legal, if a bit gamey. As it says though, god doesn’t need a LOS 🙂

      Of course, this is reciprocal, though there is the expense and also the type of miracles you have available which may make this cold comfort. I think it’s powerful, but not a guaranteed game winner. Apart from anything else, that’s a lot of points not to put on the table.

      In terms of rules though, all above board 🙂

  29. edenchanges says:

    Also, in our last game, he took two characters in one unit (character and priest). I quote him “There is nothing in the rules that says you can’t.” I know it isn’t explicitly excluded but was it meant to be?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I thought it did say. Certainly I’ve always played that it’s a max of 1 character per unit.

      • Ben says:

        I don’t see anything that would say there can’t be more than one. It does say that each character must be allocated to a unit, but not that each unit may only be allocated one character.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          If that’s the case then it’s something I would errata because that was definitely how it was always played in testing and what I intended.

  30. edenchanges says:

    Thanks for the clarification – definitely nothing in the rules as written that prevents the double character tag-team. Nice to know it shouldn’t be allowed. (For the record my Sea Elves did fend off the unit with only a single casualty!)

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