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Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 01:41   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

+++

Shas'la Mon'shase squinted into the dark, just making out a string of advancing figures. Within his cadre, Mon'shase's superb night vision was legendary - so well known, in fact, that it had earned him the given name of "Black Sun," just like the xor'vesa's night-fighting filter.

His night vision was about to earn him another commendation.

With a mental nudge, Mon'shase activated the squad-comm. "La'rua, we have incoming! Ten, make that fifteen hostile, one hundred tor'leks out." A breath later, the night dark was torn asunder with a dozen blue-white bursts.

In the gue'la's advancing ranks, he could just make out two, maybe three special weapons. Probably flame throwers, trying to get in under the cover of night. A kai'rotaa ago, they probably could have done it, too - for some reason, it was always those thrice-Aun-damned flamers - and plasma rifles! - that stayed alive till the bloody end.

But, within the past few rotaa, things had changed. As if accentuating the point, the night was temporarily illuminated by a second sun; even from seventy-five tor'leks away, the Fire Warriors could hear the unfortunate gue'la's death scream. They've stopped trying to recover their comrades' special weapons, Mon'shase thought. It's almost like they're playing by a different set of rules...

+++


A lot has been said about the new shooting wound allocation system, and it seems that for every player, there's a different interpretation. I've sat down with the rulebook and thought long and hard about what it all meant. Here is the fruit of my labor - an attempt to explain the new system's intricacies. I posted this on ATT yesterday, and it's received favorable comments; I feel that I stand on very solid ground in the following FAQ.

+++


Shooting Casualties Because we can't "just all be friends."

Before you go any further, I want you to pull out your 5th edition rulebook and read through page 25, "Complex Units." That includes the example at the bottom. Think about what you've read, read it one more time, then come back to this thread.

If you haven't read page 25 (or have read it in the past but don't have a copy of the rulebook but you're pretty sure you kinda understand the rules) then please don't post here. I don't like to be an elitist prick, but in this one case - I'm being one. It'll make the conversation friendlier for everyone if all the posts are educated.


"Cannon in front of them/Volley'd and thunder'd"
Right off the bat, I should point out that...
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 18, Fast Rolling With Different Weapons
When a unit fires, all of its weapons are fire simultaneously.
and
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 19, Roll to Wound
Just like rolling To Hit, roll all the dice together...
This means that the player controlling the target unit goes into the Wound Allocation phase knowing just how many, and what type, of wounds he is dealing with. In the event of mixed Toughness, the majority Toughness is used; if none exists, the higher Toughness value is used.


[hr]


Taking Saving Throws - A Perfectly Homogenous Unit
The 5th Edition rulebook treats a perfectly homogenous unit, like a squad of Necron warriors, in a hassle-free way:
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 20, Taking Saving Throws
You roll all of the saves for the unit in one go, and a model of your choice is removed as a casualty for each failure."
This is really easy, and I don't think there is any ground for arguments here.


[hr]


Heterogeneous is the Spice of Life
But, well, homogenous units are the exception, rather than the rule. We now turn to page 25, "Complex Units", for further insight. To begin...
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 25, Complex Units
The player controlling the target unit must decide which models have been wounded, allocating the wounds to the warriors of their choice... The player must allocate one wound to each model in the target unit before he can allocate a second wound to the same model.
Alright, pretty straight forward - we're allocating wounds to individual models. I should be able to use this to eat up a bunch of plasma hits, am i rite?
Well, not really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 25, Taking Saving Throws
Having allocated the wounds, all of the models in the unit that are identical in gaming terms take their saving throws at the same time, in one batch.
There is not some caveat that says "hey, you can actually roll each and every individual model separately." It doesn't work like that. Models that are perfectly identical in gaming terms roll their saving throws as a set, at the same time, period.


But Elliott, what does "identical in gaming terms" mean? Come on, Space Marines have the same stat line, how does carrying a special weapon make them unique?
5th edition defines this well, right at the beginning of this section:
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 25, Complex Units
By this we mean they have the same profile of characteristics, the same special rules and the same weapons and wargear.
Well fine, whatever. But a normal marine getting hit with an AP2 weapon isn't getting that armor save - can't I just remove him and all the wounds allocated to that one model?
Nope. Look at the example at the bottom of page 25. Specifically, notice the batch of Space Marines with bolters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 25, Allocating Wounds on Complex Units
He goes on to roll the four saves for the Space Marines with bolters in one go, failing two. He should remove three models (two unsaved wounds plus one wound with no armor save from the meltagun), but as there are only two models in the group of identical models, he just removes them both.
[i]All unsaved wounds are applied to [i]all members of the same identical batch at the [i]same time; even if two meltagun hits had gone on one of the Marines with bolters, it would have resulted in two - not one - dead marine, because those wounds are applied toward the "batch".


So great, I can't use this nifty new wound system to eat up any of those "assured death" wounds?
Wrong again. Since completely unique models are rolled individually, you can use them to absorb wounds. That is to say, if a squad of five Space Marines - with a Veteran Sergeant, a flame thrower, and three bolter Marines - was hit by four lasgun shots (no armor penetration value) and two meltagun shots (AP2), you could throw both melta hits on the flame thrower.


[hr]


Multiple-wound Models
This is actually pretty straight forward: all the same rules about homogenous/heterogeneous models apply:
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 26, Units of Multiple-Wound Models
If a unit consists entirely of models that are identical in gaming terms and have multiple wounds, then take all the saves for the unit in one go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 26, Units of Multiple-Wound Models
If the unit includes different models, first allocate the wounds suffered. Then take saves for identical models at the same time as normal.
However, there is one additional caveat:
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 26, Units of Multiple-Wound Models
Once you have determined the number of unsaved wounds suffered by a group of identical multiple-wound models, you must removed whole models as casualties where possible. Wounds may not be 'spread around' to avoid removing models.
The examples given clearly illustrate this point: wounds are allocated such that whole models are removed first, starting with models that have already lost a wound, then working through unwounded models.

For example, let's say we have a unit of three identical Crisis Suits that have yet to be wounded. In one unfortunate shooting phase, this unit fails three armor saves. One suit would take two wounds, and die, and another suit would take one wound, placing it at half-life. If this unit later takes another unsaved wound from shooting, this would be applied to the previously wounded Crisis Suit.

However, if each Crisis Suit were unique (different wargear or rank from the other suits), then before saving throws are taken, one wound would be distributed to each of the Crisis Suits; then, each suit would role independent of the others. We could have three suits that have each taken one wound, but are still fighting! The benefits of diversity should be obvious.


[hr]


Instant Death
'Instant Death' refers to the instantaneous death of a multiple-wound model from an unsaved wound inflicted by an attack with a Strength double or greater the Toughness of the defending model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 26, Instant Death
If a model suffers an unsaved wound from an attack that has a Strength value of double its Toughness value or greater, it is killed outright and removed as a casualty.
For instance, our multiple-wound Crisis Suits will die outright if hit with a weapon of Strength 8 or greater.

When it comes to applying unsaved wounds that causes Instant Death, there is an additional rule:
Quote:
Originally Posted by p. 25, Units of Multiple-Wound Models
If amongst the unsaved wounds there are some that inflict instant death, the player must first, if possible, remove one unwounded model for each unsaved wound that causes instant death, and then proceed as normal (this is done for each group of identical multiple-wound models). This rule is designed to stop players avoiding single wounds by putting them on a model that has suffered instant death anyways.
For example, we have a homogenous, two-man Crisis Suit Team. One of the suits has already taken one wound. Unfortunately for them, they take two more unsaved wounds from shooting: a Strength 8 lascannon shot (which will inflict Instant Death), and a regular bolter shot. Both Crisis Suits die: the unwounded Crisis Suit is removed first, a casualty of the Instant Death weapon; the second suit them succumbs to the bolter shot. This is to prevent us from placing the bolter wound on the unwounded Crisis Suit, and then taking it as the Instant Death casualty.


[hr]


To Clarify
The above two points - Multiple-wound Models and Instant Death - can be a bit tricky. P'Shar's Rifles of ATT wrote up an excellent summation:
Quote:
Originally Posted by P'Shar's Rifles
To clarify, you must remove a wounded model if the shot is not instant death and the model has only one remaining wound, but you must instead remove an unwounded model if it is an instant-death wound. However, this rule still only applies within each group of "identical" models. It is possible, therefore, to have an instant-death wound remove an already wounded suit, if that suit constitutes a "group" by himself to which the instant-death hit was assigned.

Anyways, I hope this helps players out there. Let me know what you think!
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 03:14   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

Great article, easy to read and understand, and I feel like you went over all the rules, clarifying along the way.

I think the idea of wound allocation is good, and I can see why GW did it. They wanted to stop the whole idea of "The guy with the rocket always dies last", by making the player assign wounds to every model in the squad if there is sufficient fire. This makes sense. If a squad can dish 9 wounds on a 5 man squad, it makes sense that the guy with the rocket should roll at least one di, representing the fact that nobody in the squad would be untouched.

In my personal opinion, I think GW big time whiffed with their nerf bat, replacing an old problem with a new one. Now squads with multiple models with different equipment are MUCH harder to kill. Take for example a fatty squad of 9 tyranid warriors. A smart tyranid player could easily make them all slightly different, and then some simple math shows that the squad will live way longer then they normally should, putting all the high AP or STR shots on 1-2 of the warriors.
Instead of the guy with the rocket launcher always being the last one to die, its now the guy with the 1pt targeter, or the guy with the flamer being hit by 3 lascannons. WTF, does the guy jump in front of every single one? Honestly, it makes absolutely 0 sense that because hes the only guy equipped with that weapon, that if everyone else in the squad has some bolter shots that I'm allowed to place a second lascannon shot on him. Poor guy gets nailed by a second shot after he's already no-save-instant-death vaporized by the first.

Overall, I don't think it really changed the game much. Sure, the guy with the dangerous plasma rifle might bite the bullet more often now, but it also makes the squad safer as a whole by making guys have slightly different upgrades.
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 04:33   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by hirojlance
Great article, easy to read and understand
I agree. Have a cookie Elliott ;D
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 14:39   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by hirojlance
Great article, easy to read and understand, and I feel like you went over all the rules, clarifying along the way.

I think the idea of wound allocation is good, and I can see why GW did it. They wanted to stop the whole idea of "The guy with the rocket always dies last", by making the player assign wounds to every model in the squad if there is sufficient fire. This makes sense. If a squad can dish 9 wounds on a 5 man squad, it makes sense that the guy with the rocket should roll at least one di, representing the fact that nobody in the squad would be untouched.

In my personal opinion, I think GW big time whiffed with their nerf bat, replacing an old problem with a new one. Now squads with multiple models with different equipment are MUCH harder to kill. Take for example a fatty squad of 9 tyranid warriors. A smart tyranid player could easily make them all slightly different, and then some simple math shows that the squad will live way longer then they normally should, putting all the high AP or STR shots on 1-2 of the warriors.
Instead of the guy with the rocket launcher always being the last one to die, its now the guy with the 1pt targeter, or the guy with the flamer being hit by 3 lascannons. WTF, does the guy jump in front of every single one? Honestly, it makes absolutely 0 sense that because hes the only guy equipped with that weapon, that if everyone else in the squad has some bolter shots that I'm allowed to place a second lascannon shot on him. Poor guy gets nailed by a second shot after he's already no-save-instant-death vaporized by the first.

Overall, I don't think it really changed the game much. Sure, the guy with the dangerous plasma rifle might bite the bullet more often now, but it also makes the squad safer as a whole by making guys have slightly different upgrades.
I understand the wound allocation for models with different stats, but weapons i over kill. Do they really think that the guy with hte missle launcher is the only one that is able to fire the weapon.

I can tell you in real life if a platoon consits of 10 guys and all have M-16's and one has a SAW and the SAW dies. Someone in the squad will pickup the SAW and use it just as effective.

Its called cross training.
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 15:29   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

I'm not quite sure what GW thought they would accomplish by making the rules the way they are. Wouldn't they play test it? Wouldn't it become apparent that the new rules can also be broken?

Its easy to criticize, and I know its easy to make a mistake, but the wound allocation system didn't fix anything.
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 17:06   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBunny

Its called cross training.
It's also probalby heresy.

The Imperium with all its traditions and whatnot would need to bless their weapons beforehand and allocate them to specific members, In a similar way beurocrats need to fill out twenty forms to have a cup of coffee in Futurama I'd guess. whilst marines are all trained to use the same weapons the codex probalby stops them from picking up their comrades weapons other than to retrieve them.

Tyranids can't really change weapons since they are welded on to them.

Imperial guard either aren't trained or have similar regulations as marines regarding weapon issue.

Chaos could feasibly do it, but then they have used the same weapons for several thousand years I'd imagine they form some sort of bond with it.

necrons, Eldar and tau don't really need explaining.

Dark Eldar, perhaps, But then they probably enjoy inflicting pain with their chosen weapon.

Orks, I have no idea. Perhaps they don't have tiem to pick up each others guns because that stops them killing things.

Did I miss anyone?

[hr]


The new system of course is Swings and Roundabouts, as is often the case with a new ruleset, But I feel overall this new version of wound allocation is fine. Obviously Coloured dice are a must now as well to represent different weapons and such for allocatioin purposes.

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Old 04 Aug 2008, 17:31   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

I didn't expect my FAQ to become a bitchfest, but hey! At least no one disagrees with my interpretation of the rules!

I tried to poke fun at the new rules in my narrative intro, but I don't actually have a problem with them. In real life, the heavy weapons man isn't always the last one to die - it was a little dumb and more than a little unfair that whole squads could be ablative wounds for one man.

Oh, there's probably cross training and all sorts of fun stuff - hell, apparently Tau soldiers are cross-trained on all of the equipment in their cadre - but there's now a limit to how that is represented in the game. Maybe people are cross-trained, but the death of the heavy weapons shows that it ends at some point: the weapon has been damaged, has run out of ammo, has had its bearer and all other competent bearers die.
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 23:49   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

well flamers are pretty easy to explain why someone won't pick it up... the fuel tanks exploded, turning the weapon and wielder into an unsightly mess on the floor/wall. same could also be said for rockets and grenade launchers, and possibly plasma weapons but im not sure how they work. and as for your interpritation it gives me an easy thing to show people so they understand what im trying to say. about the rule
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Old 05 Aug 2008, 16:54   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

Ruling makes sense, I might not like it sometimes but I could imagine this happening...

Marine 1 **Melts due to 'gets hot'**
Marine 2 :-\ "Hey, marine 3, you are trained in the use of the plasma rifle"
Marine 3 "Did you SEE what happened, I'll stick with my bolter thanks"


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Old 05 Aug 2008, 20:40   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Shooting Casualties: An Explanation and Discussion

The new complex unit rules make it easier to eliminate Champions/Exarchs/Commanders/etc.. any of the fluff character upgrades to a unit, simply because you are forcing your opponent to assign wounds and if enough are dealt they have to assign and save for each model with different wargear/stats...

Example would be a unit of 9 Dire Avengers and 1 Dire Avenger Exarch.

You deal the unit 10 wounds, the eldar player has to save the Exarch separately since he is not part of the Dire Avenger "batch" he is his own "batch" within the unit.

Needless to say my eldar friend hates the new complex unit rules.
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