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40K: More “Obvious” Rules Questions

5 Minute Read
May 23 2010

Hey folks, Jawaballs here!

Ok, I know some of you hate wasting your time reading seemingly obvious rules questions, but that ever stop me before?  Heck no, lets forge ahead!
 Let me begin by saying that I know how I would personally handle these situations. But I want to throw this out there for the BoLS readers to slap around… and remember, not every reader is a super rules-master black belt (meaning that lots of folks may actually benefit from this). Also, while we may think we are playing the rules right because “that is how it is done at my club”, we may be surprised to find out something new.

It never fails that at a tournament, there is always at least one table that has an assault debate.

Sticky Situation 1
A tactical squad is on a piece of ruin terrain. The base of the terrain is a square piece of panel with some ruins and rubble, creating a piece of area terrain that both players have agreed invokes difficult terrain tests to enter. As per the rules, models who only partially are touching this panel base are granted the benefits of it’s cover saves and have to make terrain tests. The squad is entirely on that piece of terrain, except for one marine who is completely off, and one who is partially off.

Now, an assault squad moves up to line up their assault. The lead model in the assault squad is placed as close to the target as he can. The rest of the models now trail him in a rough conga line sort of formation. This is typical of guys doing their best to get their guys into assault. It really doesn’t matter where the trail guys are, so long as the first guy can reach.

Now it is time to assault. The assaulter measures his distance to the closest model in the target squad, who happens to be the one marine who was not in the terrain piece. He was 4″ away. Fine right? The assaulting squad may now freely move their models 6″ into assault with the target squad right? No so fast.

Here lies the question. Does the assaulting squad have to take a difficult terrain test? I have seen supposed experts argue NO because the first model can reach the target model who is not in terrain. (I’ve seen this a lot by the way and I would not bring it up if it did not warrant discussion.)

As I understand the rules, the assaulting squad needs to make a difficult terrain test. While the closest assaulter can freely make it to the closest target without having to enter terrain, thus satisfying the first part of “Moving assaulting models” on page 34, the rest of the assaulter squad would have to enter terrain to satisfy the second bullet of “moving assaulting models”. That bullet says that “If possible, the model must move into base contact with any enemy model within reach that is not already in base contact with an assaulting model.” What this means is that the next assaulter in line, has to try to get to an unengaged model in the target squad if it can. The next unengaged model is on the edge of terrain, so that model could also be reached without entering the terrain, but all other models are in range and are fully in the terrain.

This means that the assaulting squad MUST roll a difficult terrain test, even though the closest model can reach the closest target model without entering terrain. Obvious right? Well I had a guy try to argue this with me in what turned out to be the decisive game of a major GT.

The assaulting squad would have to roll a difficult terrain test and scores a 3. That is too short for the closest model to get into range, and assault fails.


Further, I have had a recent opponent claim that the difficult terrain test only applies to the lead model. After that, all other models get their full 6″ move. How do you feel about that?

Sticky Situation 2
Here is something that might not be so obvious. This came up at a recent tournament, and last night vs Danny Internets.

His squad assaults my tank, but only immobilizes it. They remain base to base with the tank. On my player turn, I assault his squad that assaulted the tank. Danny claimed that the models that are base to base with the tank need not pile in because they are already engaged (with the tank), and they can still attack the tank. I brought up the ruling that a judge made at the tournament, that the assaulted squad must indeed pile in with the attackers, leaving the base to base status with the tank. He agreed and we finished the assault.

I could not remember the page numbers in the book and when I tried to look it up this morning to clarify for Dan, could not quickly find the answer. The best I could see was that models that assault a tank are not locked in. On page 63 it says that they may be shot etc. This means that since they are not locked in combat with the tank, they must satisfy the rules of being assaulted and pile in on the squad that charged them which is what we did and I creamed the squad.

So did we handle it right?

Sticky Situation 3
How bout this. A squad assaults both a tank and another squad, and the vehicle is immobilized and the target squad survives. Since you cannot be locked in vs a vehicle, does the attacking squad pile in the rest of it’s models against the target squad, leaving the vehicle? Or do they stay base to base with the vehicle getting free shots vs it next turn.

~With lots of tourneys coming up over the next few months, we could probably all use a little rules brushup. I hope these questions make you think a little bit about how to properly execute an assault into terrain! Have you had any experiences of your own where you assaulted or were assaulted through cover which caused a rules dispute? Lets hear about it. If you would like to offer debate, please offer page numbers to support your position!

Look for more rules discussions and battle reports on my Blood Angels Blog.



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