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Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 21:08   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

[size=12pt]By Inquisitorial Mandate! Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them[/size]
[size=7pt]Brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Inquisitor, MalVeauX[/size]
[size=7pt]Warning: This thread contains several images. Beware dial-up users![/size]

First of all, Iíd just like to start off with a little disclaimer:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disclaimer Ė Read First!
In general, people read about ďstrategiesĒ on websites in order to help them figure out their game, and generally how to win. Other times, itís also simply out of interest. Anyhow, the point is that sometimes a strategy is based upon how rules work and in this case, itís based on rule changes from 3rd to 4th edition in 40k. The point of this thread is to show that Ordnance and blast templates in general are considerably weaker and how you can beat them or at least fight against them, far more effectively using a very very obvious method that many players are already well aware of, but also many never bothered to think about. So if you only play to have fun, this is not for you. If you are looking to be a little more competitive against those who have templates, or if you use them yourselfóthis may be of use to you.
On three different boards, just this past week, Iíve noticed a few threads where it was mentioned that templates were not weakened in 4th edition and that vehicles that are based on them didnít lose any of their potency. These were met by a few responses that exclaimed that simple counter measures drastically alter the perception of blast templates and ordnance, and that itís very game effective to avoid them, while itís ineffective to use them to any great effect. I felt it was lost in the topic, so I figured I would re-state it and throw it out there for everyone who is interested.

What this is all about, is when youíre playing a game, you can apply a real tactic even if you werenít prepared, after being threatened with ordnance or blast templates.

Navigation:

-Quick Link: If youíre not a reader and you just want to see it (Click Here)

[hr]

~ What happened to Ordnance & Blast Templates? ~

Simply put, ordnance & blast weapons were pretty much nerfed from their old rules, in terms of model coverage and how models were removed. So letís go through the basics to ensure everyone is on the same page here:

Ordnance:

1 Ė You must place the large blast template with a single model under the center hole.
2 Ė From here, it either hits, or scatters. Scattering means you may or may not even hit the models or the unit. Scattering sometimes can lead to having more hits though, based on model placement.

Examples: Battle Cannon, Demolisher Cannon, Whirlwind, Earth Shaker, Particle Whip, Mortars, etc.

Blast weapons (Large & Small):

1 Ė You must place the large blast template with a single model under the center hole.
2 Ė These templates do not scatter. That means, what you see is what you get in terms of placement. This can be a raw deal for you, because model placement will have a massive effect on how useful your template is.

Examples: Submunition Railgun, Frag Missile Launcher, Blast Master, etc.

In Both Cases:

Regardless of which type of blast template attack you used, there is one big key as to why theyíre not so devastating:

Casualties are removed from the entire unit, not just the models that were under the template; subject to line of sight & maximum range of the weapon.

So while you think you may have gotten the heavy weapons, or the squad leader, etc, you didnít unless your opponent gives him to you. Though there are times when itís possible to single out groups of models based on light sight, this is not very common and if you plan on doing that, you didnít need to read any of this regardless.

And as normal:

Any models completely covered by the template count as an automatic hit. However, models whose bases are only partially covered are only hit on a D6 roll of 4+.

[hr]

~ Avoiding the Blast Templates ~

The meat of this thread is this: Avoiding templates. But itís also meant to remind you that if youíre using these kinds of attacks yourself, that perhaps an opponent who is paying attention to this game on a competitive scale, will be able to avoid most of your damage.

Avoiding blast templates is a tactic that you will be able to use right away, real time, in response to your opponent without even preparing for it. All you have to do is remember the rules of how ordnance and blast templates work, and remember the following set of rules and how they work:

Deployment & Coherency

When you are deploying models, you should be paying attention to your opponentís deployment as well. If you are looking down the barrel of a battle cannon with your marine squad, you probably donít want to just pack them into a nice neat little ball, perfectly waiting to be hit by that blast template attack. And later, during the game, should something with a blast template attack arrive, you should be responding to it. In both situations, youíre using Unit Coherency Rules.

Remember the following:

[size=12pt]Units with no more than 2 inches between their models are Coherent.[/size]

Not only can you spread out your models to have more space between them, you are also not in danger of breaking coherency because you may remove casualties from anywhere within the unit subject to range and line of sight. Itís relatively safe. Couple this with the new rules of Cover Saves (if more than 50% of the unit is in cover, they are all considered in cover) and you can really get defensive without buying anything and without altering your plans too muchóand you can do it even on terrain. The only thing that will stop you is impassible terrain, which is frankly, not common all over the board (subject to your gaming environment; you know yours best).

So, hereís the simple, short & sweet:

Do not place models bunched up together. Use your coherency.
You can use your coherency to spread out and also pick up a cover save still.
Doing so will reduce your vulnerability to being harmed by blast template attacks.
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 21:09   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

~ Visual Examples ~

The following are simple visual examples of how coherency and templates work hand in hand, from small to large units of models.

Example I Ė Small Units.

How not to place your unit & why:

=

Notice how many are going to be hit if he lands on target? How many will be hit even if scattered? Potentially lots!

How to place your unit & why:

= =

=

Notice how many are being hit now? Just one is hit automatically. The rest are all partials, which means 50% are only being hit. So out of 3 to 4 hits, depending on your setup and depending on scatter if ordnance, only getting 2 to 3 hits even if lucky is a big change from losing a whole unit. And you can do it from cover.

Example II Ė Medium Units.

How not to place your unit & why:

= =

Notice how many hits they have a potential to get? Even that lowly blast template is going to score a lot of hits!

How to place your unit & why:

= =

Again, see how many hits youíre getting now? Much less. And mostly all partials. Granted, a scatter can change this to be upwards of 4 actual hits. But thatís still much less than a direct hit would give and youíre less likely to even take more than that on a good lucky roll. In general, not many hits will be scored.

Example III Ė Large Units.

How not to place your unit & why:

= =

Notice what you just setup for? Death. Theyíre going to take massive losses if that template his. Even on a scatter, it may still nab quite a few hits from such a large pack of models. You shouldnít be doing this if youíre facing blast templates.

How to place your unit & why:

= =

Notice itís just like everything else from above? You maintain that low risk factor of being hit. Even good scatters will result in low damage, while bad scatters can result in less. Losing a model or two is nothing to cry about and itís a great way to preserve your unit. Remember to use cover!

[size=12pt][i]Remember Ė These are not set in stone manners to field your units. You can come up with many others setups, but the key is to use your 2 inch coherency and to make roughly rigid shapes. String your units through cover! So long as more than half of them are in cover, then they are all counted as in cover.

And these are only examples, to show how a rule is read and applied in game.[/size]

[hr]

Anyhow, I hope that drives the point home for you. For all of you out there who are already well aware of all this and have been doing it since the moment 4th edition was released, thanks for taking the time to bother reading. However, for the rest of you who perhaps donít play very often or simply didnít really mind so muchóI hope this makes it clear to you that Ordnance isnít godly powerful nor blast templates super great either. The humble dakka weapon in the same class is actually quite more effective.

So if youíre looking to be more competitive and youíre worried about templates, just change how you use the movement phase and how you use coherency.

Itís that simple.

Good games to you all; Cheers!

[size=7pt]End Transmission.[/size]
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 21:23   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

i sense karma for you!!

thank you!
to bad i forgot about stuff like this when i played a game once one ordanance marker took out my whole war spider squad!
i thought ordanance ignores cover saves?
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 21:24   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

Thank you for that, Malveaux. There is, however, a drawback to spreading out like that: vulnerability in close combat against attackers with higher Initiative ratings. They may be able to arrange things so that they kill everything, or nearly everything, in the kill zone without suffering any attacks back. An example might be Space Marines with a Whirlwind. Spread out to avoid the Whirly, and the tactical squads might score some cheap kills in close combat. I think the moral of the story is, "combined arms works best".
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 21:50   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by azr9
i thought ordanance ignores cover saves?
Ordnance does not ignore cover saves; nor does barrage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Focus
There is, however, a drawback to spreading out like that: vulnerability in close combat against attackers with higher Initiative ratings. They may be able to arrange things so that they kill everything, or nearly everything, in the kill zone without suffering any attacks back.
You're right! Spreading out does make a brace for easy close combat. However, the point is to avoid template attacks from afar. You should have other units to be intercepting those fast moving assault infantry types.

As you put it, support and combined forces are what it's about. In this case, it's about taking less priority off that blast templat attack so that you can focus on other dangers that aren't so easy to avoid.

[hr]

Again, just a reminder - Those setups were simple examples. There are many other ways you can setup your units. The more coherency you use, the less damage you take from templates, however, you are going to be more vulnerable to combat attacks. The key is to look at your game situation and judge for yourself which is more important, for which units.

Cheers!
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 22:36   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX
In Both Cases:

Regardless of which type of blast template attack you used, there is one big key as to why theyíre not so devastating:

Casualties are removed from the entire unit, not just the models that were under the template; subject to line of sight & maximum range of the weapon.

So while you think you may have gotten the heavy weapons, or the squad leader, etc, you didnít unless your opponent gives him to you. Though there are times when itís possible to single out groups of models based on light sight, this is not very common and if you plan on doing that, you didnít need to read any of this regardless.
I'm pretty sure that this is not the case for Ordinance. Since there is some randomness to where it hits the casualties must be take from under the template and not from the entire unit. This is easily avoided from using your strategies for avoiding blast templates.

I'll find the page number for this later, I don't have access to my Rulebook right now.
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 22:55   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darksteel
I'm pretty sure that this is not the case for Ordinance. Since there is some randomness to where it hits the casualties must be take from under the template and not from the entire unit. This is easily avoided from using your strategies for avoiding blast templates.

I'll find the page number for this later, I don't have access to my Rulebook right now.
Ordnance (weapon type) follows the same rules as blast weapons (special weapon characteristics). The Ordnance entry merely includes extra information, ie for Scatter.

It is most certainly the case as it is also the same for Barrage as well.

But feel free to double check

Cheers!
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 23:52   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

Hey Mal' That was some awesome info there. But I mean it would get a little annoying having to set your guys up like that. But I mean, If its an important game (i.e best freind and you need to win for bragging rights) then it would be a very good strategy. Hey Good work on the win there Mike. I reckon if i had Alpha Legion, I would just max out on cultist and try to have more than he has shots. Some would miss, Some wouldnt wound, and some would get saved. But atleast there isnt even the slightest chance that all of the members of your squad. Also could someone tell me how many shots a tau basic gun has. Like our basic gun is the chaos bolter.

Cheers,

[Cvs]
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Old 29 Apr 2006, 23:56   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

I love using a Devilfish toforce a squad into little tightly packed groups and then submunition them.
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Old 30 Apr 2006, 13:01   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blast Templates, 4th Edition, and Avoiding Them

that was really informative. and the new rules are why I don't use anything that has the small blast template. at least the large one still has a chance to get a few other models, just not as much as you used to be able to get.

However, did you think of doing a picture view of what would happen if you were to use the large and the small blast templates on terminators (the new ones I mean)?

we've found in our games that using the large blast template against a terminator squad usually gives you 2-3 hits and the small template never gives you more than the one that the template must be placed on. food for thought.

otherwise good article, nice job
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