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[Content from Rule Book page 14 to 15.]

Terrain can affect a unit's movement and provides vital cover for units once the shells start flying. Terrain affects units in Epic 40,000 in one of three ways:

  1. The terrain has no effect on the unit when it moves through it, or
  2. The terrain is impassable to the unit so it cannot move through the terrain under any circumstances, or
  3. The terrain is dangerous to the unit, so the unit can attempt to enter the terrain but it might get bogged down and stop moving or even take damage. When a unit tries to enter dangerous terrain it must pass a Dangerous Terrain test to keep moving.

The Terrain effects table gives some examples of common types of terrain and the different columns show how they affect different unit types. For example, rubble and ruins have no effect on infantry but they're dangerous terrain for vehicles and war engines.

Terrain effects table
Terrain Infantry Armour Bonus Infantry Vehicle War Engine
Fortifications +2 No Effect Impassable Impassable
Buildings +1 No Effect Impassable Impassable
Ruins, Rubble +1 No Effect Dangerous Dangerous
Woods +1 No Effect Dangerous Dangerous
Marsh, Swamp 0 Dangerous Dangerous Dangerous
River 0 Dangerous Impassable Dangerous
Roads 0 See Roads
Open Ground 0 No effect No effect No effect

Dangerous terrain test

Roll a D6 when a unit enters dangerous terrain, or when it starts to move if it's already in the terrain. On a roll of a 1 the unit must immediately halt. If the unit is halted, roll the D6 again. If the second roll is also a 1 the unit takes a hit. Hits from dangerous terrain can't cause critical damage on war engines.


All units add 5cm to their Speed if they spend the entire movement or Assault phase on a road. Note that the bonus is to the unit's basic Speed before modification. For example, a marching unit of Ork infantry would move 45cm if it stayed on a road throughout its movement (the Orks' Speed of 10cm + 5cm road bonus x3 for marching = 45cm).

Infantry in cover

Infantry gain special benefits from being in cover because they can take best advantage of the concealment it supplies, ducking into holes, lurking behind walls and so on. Infantry units in cover increase their Armour value by the amount shown on the Infantry Armour Bonus column up to a maximum of 6.

For example, infantry in woods increase their armour by +1. In the case of Orks this would increase their Armour value from 4 to 5.