The recent Space Marine FAQ is really shaking up the game – but Drop Pods may take the cake.
Ok today let’s talk about some Drop Pod quirks the community is going to have to deal with.
First let’s get the set of GW drop pod draft rulings up for us all to see:
And let’s start talking. I’m going to offer a bunch of thoughts and only a handful of suggestions. This one is sticky enough that it will clearly require more guidance from local play groups, tournament TOs and GW themselves.
- It is clear that GW is saying how you model the drop pod with doors up or down matters and will affect line of sight.
- The doors are clearly part of the model and matter – once deployed. This makes them uniquely different from other vehicle doors such as Land Raider or Rhino doors which are really ornamental from a rules point of view.
- Note that IF ANY part of the drop pod scatters off the board it suffers a deep strike mishap.
OK, this is a giant can of worms. There are no rules for how Drop Pods should be modeled and it is clear that the modeling will affect the game. Here are a few questions to get your gears turning:
- Can the doors be opened and closed from turn to turn?
- Do the doors have to be deployed open?
- Can a Drop Pod deploy with doors closed and once it lands, open the doors immediately?
Now let’s talk about Drop Pods in one of two configurations – doors down and doors up:
- The pod takes up a much larger footprint on the tabletop
- It will have difficulty landing in tight spaces
- It will be much more vulnerable to scattering off the table (if ANY PART of it crosses the table edge)
- It will not block line of sight much
- It will have a substantially larger potential disembark radius for passengers.
- You can’t place models on the doors (remember you can’t be atop another model)
- You may run into issues with being unable to fire some weapons across it as it is such an awkwardly shaped model with the doors open.
- The pod takes up a much smaller footprint on the tabletop.
- It will have less difficulty landing in tight spaces.
- It will be much less vulnerable to scattering off the table.
- It will block line of sight
- It will have a substantially smaller potential disembark radius for passengers.
- You can place models in a tight compact area directly around the hull.
What is the “correct way” to model a drop pod? Either interpretations have their own flavors, advantages and disadvantages. I think without GW dictates, each event and TO will have to rule on what a “correct” Drop Pod is.
My own interpretation in such a situation says look to the fluff to the answer.
Drop Pods descend through the atmosphere at the highest speed possible to avoid interception. They fire retrothrusters at the very last moment and impact the ground with such force that only Astartes can survive. The doors blow automatically and the Astartes are trained to disembark as soon as physically possible to join the the battle as well as avoid being caught in a potential fiery deathtrap.
What drop pods don’t do is land in a stately NASA manner and wait for several minutes while the occupants check several dozen gauges, don their space suits and press the “open door” button, then casually stroll onto the battlefield.
Here is a drop pod from EPIC:
Note they come molded with the doors open and are part of the base.
I argue that this is exactly how they should work in 40K.
- There should be no such thing as a “doors closed” drop pod.
- The doors are closable only for purposes of easier real world travel and modeling purposes.
This has the effect of making Drop Pods less of “I’m gong to place 4 in a row right here and make a wall” type of tool and more general tool for getting your marines into relatively open areas of the table. Marines will not be able to be as aggressive with their deployment and run real risks of deep strike mishaps if they get near those table edges. On the other hand, they will really be able to “reach out and touch you” once those pods land. I think that’s a fair risk-reward tradeoff.
~How will you rule it in your area?