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Friday, July 6, 2012

Back-to-Basics: Removing Models (from shooting) Part 2

Jersey General

This is a follow-on post from what we looked at before in relation to removing models and model placement. This post will still focus on shooting but look at two of the more complex processes - multiple wound models and Look Out Sir! (LoS) saves. Multiple wound models are pretty easy to understand for the most part so we'll start with them.

Multiple Wound Models:

We'll look at the same rules quote we started off with last time:

pg15 - "...allocate an unsaved Wound to the enemy model closest to the firing unit. [] Continue allocating unsaved wounds to the closest model until there are no wounds left, or the whole unit has been removed..."

For multiple wound models, this is the exact same, just each model now has to take two unsaved wounds before removal and moving onto the next model in the unit. Let's compare two examples - a unit of Thunderwolves and a unit of Shoota Boyz. Both take five unsaved wounds. For the Thunderwolves this would remove the closest two models and leave the third closest model on a single wound. For the Shoota Boyz, it would remove the closest five models. See pictorally below.

Doesn't matter what wargear is on those multiple wound models, there's no more spreading of wounds. If one of them has a different armor save (most likely a character), the exact same process happens as with single-wound models. Roll the armor saves for the models which are closest until you remove those models and get to a new armor save group.

This also means you can 'protect' wounded multi-wound models through model placement. Move the wounded model in the next movement phase so it's further away from shooting and it will be less likely to be called upon to make saves. If you keep getting lucky and only suffer one wound a turn on a mutli-wound squad, you could have your squad suffer 50% wounds but still be at full fighting capacity.

This TWC squad for example has two wounded TWC at the back of the squad but from the angle the Orks are shooting at, they will be the last to die. If they were being shot from the other direction though, they'd be the first to die. The important thing to remember with multiple-wound models is they are the EXACT SAME as single wound models, it just takes more unsaved wounds at any specific allocation step to move onto the next model.

Also be sure to remember instant death - each unsaved wound here would remove a single multiple wound model in one go if the requirements are met.

Look Out Sir!

Which brings us to the Look Out Sir! rolls. Only models with the Character description can make these rolls. There seems to be a lot of confusion going around with this rule currently. It's pretty simple when you break it down so let's look at the wording on pg 16.

"When a wound (or unsaved wound) is ALLOCATED to one of your characters, and there is another model from the same unit within 6", he's allowed a Look Out, Sir attempt."

Emphasis mine. Allocated. Let's go back to the TWO pg15 quotes to determine when allocation happens.Yes two because it happens at different stages depending how your unit is ordered.

pg15 - "...allocate an unsaved Wound to the enemy model closest to the firing unit. [] Continue allocating unsaved wounds to the closest model until there are no wounds left, or the whole unit has been removed..."

So this happens after all saves have been made. For example, a squad of 10 Space Marines takes 10 wounds. They all have the same armor save so the rolls are made all at once, no wounds have yet been allocated. They fail five saves so now unsaved wounds are being allocated. The Seargant is the fourth closest model in the squad to the firing unit so the first three Marines die. The Seargant now has a choice to LoS! the wounds allocated to him. He choose to LoS! the first which passes and ANY Marine with 6" of the Seargant which is part of that squad may now take the unsaved wound instead. He choose to LoS! the second but fails and the Seargant dies.

In the same example if he failed his first LoS! save, the Seargant would die and the fifth closest model to the firing unit would also die.

Example 1
Example 2

It gets more complex with mixed save units though so let's refresh our memory on that rulebook quote.

pg 15 - "First, allocate a Wound from the Wound pool to the enemy model closest to the firing unit. The model gets to make a saving through []. If it fails, reduce that model's wounds by 1. If the model is reduced to 0 Wounds, remove it as a casuality."

Again, the important part here is allocation. Since the armor saves are different in such units each model (or group of models) is allocated wounds pre-save. If a character gets allocated any wounds at this point, he makes LoS! saves BEFORE he rolls his save. In essence, characters only get their actual saves if they fail LoS rolls or you choose not to take a LoS roll. For example, a Wolf Guard attached to a Grey Hunter squad has a 2+ save from Terminator armor and is classified as a character and thus qualifies for a 4+ LoS roll. The squad takes six wounds where the Wolf Guard is the second closest model and has a different save. The dice are rolled one by one until the first Grey Hunter dies (let's say this takes two dice so there are four wounds left to be allocated). The Wolf Guard has a choice to LoS each wound now allocated to him or he can take each save. He elects to take a save and rolls them one by one until there are two wounds left. He then elects to take a LoS roll which fails, so he must take another save which he passes. He elects to again take a LoS roll which passes and thus any Grey Hunter within 6" and part of that squad may now take their normal save. The wound pool is now exhausted.

What's important here is you CANNOT use the better save of the Wolf Guard to tank saves until one fails and then LoS that one failed save to keep the Wolf Guard alive. LoS rolls are made at the time of ALLOCATION which becomes confusing due to allocation happening at different stages depending upon the unit make-up.

To clarify:
  • if a unit is made up of all the same armor save, roll all your armor saves at once and being allocated unsaved wounds to the closest models. If such an unsaved wound reaches a character, they must take their LoS then or forego such an option. If it passes, continue making such rolls on the character until it fails enough to die or there are no more unsaved wounds.
  • if a units is made up of different armor saves, allocate wounds as you would normally and then take saves. If such allocation reaches a character, they must take their LoS then (BEFORE they roll their own save) or forego such an option. If the character passes, continue making such rolls or their own armor save rolls, until the character is dead or there are no more wounds to be allocated.

Combined Look out Sir & Multiple wound models

Now to make it really confusing, let's look at multiple wound models where Look Out Sir rolls can be made. This follows the same basic principles we should now all be familiar with, just a few more rolls have to be made. We'll use examples to explain how these rules work in conjunction since there are no extra rules you need to know. We'll take a unit of Nob Bikers who all get a 4+ LoS roll for being characters but all have the same armor save value.

The unit takes twelve wounds and since they are all the same save, make them as a squad. They fail six saves and thus have six unsaved wounds. As each wound is allocated to a model, they may choose to make a LoS roll. This means the lead model can make all LoS rolls if it gets a bit lucky and put those six wounds ANYWHERE within 6" of itself in the squad. Let's do this pictorally as we explain.

We need to allocate six unsaved wounds. The first Nob Biker is allocated the first wound and he elects to make an LoS roll. He fails and thus takes a wound.

The second, third and fourth LoS rolls he passes with some good luck and picks three different models on which to put the failed saves (remember, they've already been failed, it's simply a matter of allocating the wounds now). He fails his 5th LoS roll however and thus dies.

There's one more save to be made though and since the closest Nob Biker is unwounded, he simply takes the save leaving us with:

Only one Nob Biker dead but four wounded. The way this was described would take some time rolling dice  but you can save time since they are all the same save if you apply cognitive thought. You can simply roll all the LoS saves at once - all which fail remove wounds/models from the front as you would normally and simply allocate the passed ones onto models within 6" from those closest at the front. Now things can change depending how your LoS rolls go. In the above example since we had one wound leftover after our initial model took his LoS rolls, we simply didn't make an LoS roll and took the wound on the chin since it was unwounded. Look at the situation and decide how many LoS rolls you want to roll in such a situation so you get the best mix of time and freedom of allocation whilst staying within the rules.

The next example will use a mixed save unit. We'll be using Paladins and Draigo who have the same armor save but different invulnerable saves whilst still having multiple wounds. We are going to assume all shots being fire at them are S7 AP2 and thus will only impact the invulnerable save.

The Honor Guard shoot with their plasma weapons and inflict eight S7 AP2 wounds. Because there are differnet (invulnerable) save values, wounds need to be allocated, saved, allocated, saved, etc. Look Out Sir rolls are done at the allocatin stage but before saves are rolled.

The first model in line is a Paladin and since he only has a 5++ and Draigo has a 3++ with four wounds, the Paladin elects to make some LoS rolls. He has two wounds so we'll roll these in batches of twos. He passes his first batch and elects to put each wound on Draigo who fails one.

There are six wounds left to allocate. The Paladin takes two more LoS rolls but fails both. He then takes his invulernable saves and passes one, leaving him on one wound but still being the closest model.

Since he only has one wound left (four left to allocate), we'll only roll 1 by 1 now. He fails the first LoS roll and his invulernable save and thus dies. This leaves Draigo as the front man with a 2+ LoS roll due to being an independent character and three wounds left to save against.

He elects to LoS one wound to any Paladin within 6" and part of the squad which passes. The Paladin fails his save and thus takes a wound. Draigo take the other wounds on the chin and thus rolls his 3++ and fails both and thus takes two more wounds which CANNOT be LoS'd as they have already been allocated.

The end result is Draigo took most of the wounds (and got unlucky) thus making the squad a bit more durable than before. If Draigo had been at the front he could have more reliably spread the wounds around (2+ LoS instead of 4+ LoS) and whenever they failed or he elected to take saves, was more likely to not fail thanks to his 3++.


What this means is yes characters (independent and non) can tank shots at the front and spread wounds amongst the squad (particularly multi-wound units). This gets around the closest to closest allocation rule but leaves the character more vulnerable. HOWEVER, characters must elect to do this at the appropriate moment which is ALLOCATION. This is defined as two different points depending upon the make-up of the unit's armor save values. Characters are therefore much better at doing this when their save is different (hopefully better) from the squad's as it gives more freedom of allocation to the controlling player.

Beyond this, removing models and model placement is the exact same as discussed in Part 1. There are just a few more steps when multi-wound models and characters are brought into it.

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