Amendments vs. FAQ

Posted: April 23, 2013 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Hobby, News, Rules

UPDATE:  Upon further review, there appears to be two distinct ways wounds can be allocated.  The simple case, when all models in the unit have the same save, as I’ve detailed in my post below, and the case where there are Mixed Saves.

This recent FAQ update accurately addresses the situation in Mixed Saves (Main Rulebook, Page 15) where wounds are allocated before saves are made.   In this situation a failed save will generate a second wound on the swarm base, which in the case of a wound which would cause Instant Death this wound would not kill a second swarm.

What the FAQ does not address – is the notion that in these two cases, while the number of Instant Death wounds are the same, the way they are allocated by rule is not.  This situation should hopefully be addressed in a future amendment to the swarm rules, in a manner similar to the one I described in the original post – which would elegantly resolve these issues with wound allocation and remove the need for this specific FAQ item.

 

—Original Post

With the release of April’s 40k FAQ, Errata, and Amendments GW once again mixes things up.

Each update is split into three sections: Errata, Amendments,
and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. The Errata corrects any
mistakes in the codex, while the Amendments bring the
rulebook up to date with the latest version of the rules. The
Frequently Asked Questions (or ‘FAQ’) section answers
commonly asked questions about the rules.

This is what the GW Official Updates say, but in this most recent batch of updates, they have made a misstep.  In the 40k Rulebook FAQ Section we have this question:

Q: If a base of models with the Swarms special rule suffers a Wound from a Blast, Large Blast or Template weapon that would cause it to suffer Instant Death, does the fact that Wound is doubled to two Wounds mean that two bases should be removed instead of one? (p43)

A: No

So, this answer to me, is completely opposite to how the existing rules say it is supposed to be resolved.

Eg:   3 Scarab bases are hit with a plasma cannon blast.  S7 vs T3. All 3 hits successfully wound.  The Scarabs are in the open and get no save.

The Swarms special rule (Page 43) says each unsaved wound from a Blast, Large Blast, or Template counts as 2 wounds.  So, that is 6 wounds to allocate.
The Allocate Unsaved wounds & remove casualties section (Page 15) and The Instant Death section (Page 16) would indicate that each of these wounds will instantly kill a swarm base.

So, this FAQ seems completely wrong going by the rules as written.    So, it sould not be part of the FAQ.

This change should in fact be an amendment to the Swarms Special Rule.

Now, if we view this as an amendment, this makes a bit more sense.  I’d have updated the Swarms rules as follows:

Swarms  If a Swarm suffers an unsaved Wound from a Blast, Large Blast, or Template weapon, each unsaved Wound is multiplied to two unsaved wounds.  In the case that these wounds cause Instant Death, these wounds are not multiplied, but still cause Instant Death as normal.  However, Swarms are adept at crossing terrain that would slow others – they are not slowed by Difficult Terrain, but must test for dangerous terrain as normal.

Once again, GW is confusing FAQ with Amendment, as this is clearly a change to the rules as written.

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Comments
  1. matt says:

    Your skipping steps like a lot of people, there is only 3 wounds in the wound pool once a wound is allocated to a model dose the double effect from the swarm rule come in to play but because the now allocated wound is double the toughness the extra wound is lost

  2. Thanks for your comment, matt. Note that your interpretation is applicable only in the case of the Mixed Saves (Page 15) where you would allocate a wound then attempt a saving throw. In a situation where all of the models have the same save, the saves are taken first triggering the doubling of wounds prior to any wounds being allocated. Hence the need to address this situation.

    This new FAQ does represent a change to the rules for Swarms, and should have been addressed by an amendment to the Swarms Special Rule as I’ve outlined in the original post.

  3. Further to this, the FAQ does not address the real problem, which is in the core rules for allocating wounds.

    -=Case A=-
    If all of the models in the target unit have the same save, saves are taken first, then wounds are allocated. This would support the example I outlined in my original post.

    -=Case B=-
    However, in the situation where the target unit has mixed saves, things get a bit weird. Wounds are allocated one at a time, then saves are made.
    So, the initial Wound Pool for the situation in my example would be 3 wounds. As the first wound is allocated to a swarm, the wound pool is reduced by one, leaving two wounds in the pool.
    If the swarm fails its save, the situation arises where the swarm rule says the swarm takes two wounds which cause instant death, killing one Swarm base

    The FAQ clarifies that in Case B, a swarm that has two instant death wounds allocated it to it, via the Swarms special rule, only one base is killed off, not two.

    So, the real problem is still there with the core rules for wound allocation and how Swarms are affected. You should expect that the number of dead swarms in both Case A and Case B should be the same if all of the saves are failed. In fact, the FAQ does not fix this issue. If the Swarms all have the same save, then by the rules the unsaved wounds are still doubled before they are allocated.

  4. Matt says:

    Here is how Wound Allocation work’s in 6th edition with Necron Scarabs as a Example.

    Plasma Cannon hits 3 Scarabs and then wounds 3 times.

    Then you Make a ” The Wound Pool” page 14.

    Then you move onto the “Allocate Wounds & Remove Casualties” Part on page 15.

    Then you move onto the “Take Saving Throw” Part on page 15, But because the AP of the Plasma cannon is 2 and Scarabs have a Armour save of 5+ we ignore this part all together.

    Then you move onto the “Allocate unsaved Wounds & Remove Casualties” part on page 15, at this stage you have a pool of 3 Unsaved strength 7 ap 2 wounds that then you allocate one at a time to the closest model. So 1st wound allocated to 1st Scarab and here is when the
    Swarm special rule on page 43 come’s into play and at the same time the Instant Death Rule on page 16, So now Mr 1st Scarab has two instant death wounds on him and because wounds once allocated to a model can not jump to other models and are simply lost.

    This is what the FAQ is clarifying so people can understand in simple terms.

    So in practice all Wounds are never Doubled till they are Allocated to a single model after Save throws(if they have them), I hope this makes sense to you all.

    • Matt, your description is quite correct for the ‘Mixed Saves’ method. It however does not address the method where all of the models have the same saving throw, where saves are made before unsaved wounds are allocated.

      • Matt says:

        “Next, ALLOCATE an Unsaved Wound to the Enemy model closest to the firing unit” this is when and where the Double Wound from Swarm’s Come’s into affected not before not after!

        Because the AP ignores the Armour save’s you still have a Pool of Unsaved Wounds before allocation this is not when the Swarm Rule apply’s thats what the FAQ is trying to Clarify.

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