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July 2, 2013

40K Rules Conundrum: Black Mace Enigma

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You know you can't resist a good old-fashioned rules conundrum.  Its like trying to not look at someone getting a ticket on the roadside.

the Lounge's Mikehardez writes:

I'm going to be using a Black Mace wielding DP in an upcoming game, but I need some clarification on how the "save vs. removal as casualty" effect works vs. multi-wound models.

Generally speaking, when something is limited to a single test regardless of number of wounds caused, it uses the wording "one or more unsaved wounds" to make this clear. For example, a unit only takes one pinning test regardless of how many unsaved wounds it takes vs. pinning weapons. Even the AoE effect of the Black Mace uses this wording.

However, the "single-target" effect, if you will, states:

"If a model suffers an unsaved Wound from the Black Mace it must immediately take a Toughness test."

To me, this implies that you take a toughness test for each wound suffered from direct clubbing. For example, if a Wraithknight takes 3 Black Mace wounds, he would take 3 toughness tests. If he rolls a 6 on any of them, he's removed as a casualty.

However, I could see opponents protesting to this, as the rules don't explicitly state "for each unsaved wound suffered" or something along those lines. Power-wise, it doesn't seem broken given how relatively common instant death is, but it does go through Eternal Warrior, which is fairly unique; I can see both sides of the argument as being valid.

My main argument for multiple tests is that it doesn't state "one or more unsaved wounds" like it does for the AoE portion of the ability. Because that standard phrase is present for another part of the Black Mace's rules, I have a hard time believing this could be an oversight.

Can anyone provide any other solid evidence, for or against?

For the record, the Black Mace's exact text reads:

CURSED: If a model suffers an unsaved Wound from the Black Mace it must immediately take a Toughness test. If the test is failed, remove the model as a casualty with no saves of any kind allowed.

Rules Lawyers, you may open your briefcases - Begin!
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