Cerberus Launcher Rule Question – You Make the Call

On Tuesday, I’d posted a list for a 500 point tournament based exclusively around Landspeeder Storms, which got me to thinking.  The idea here is that this list allows you to punch ino the enemy with a first turn assault, and forces them to make break tests in their deployment zone–hopefully getting them to run off the board.

But that got me to thinking.  One of the rule that makes this possible is that of the Cerberus Launchers on the storms themselves.  Essentially, they cause the unit that’s being assaulted from the storm to make any leadership checks at -2.  My question is this: if a single unit is assaulted by multiple scout units, disembarking from multiple storms, are the -2 modifiers cumulative?

For your convenience, the exact rules of the cerberus launchers can be found below:

The cerberus laucher is used to stun enemy units prior to an assault by Scouts.

If a Scout unit charges nito comat on the same turn as it disembarks from the Land Speeder, any enemy units that th Scoutsassault have their Leadership reduced b 2 for the duration of that assault phase.

Are those modifiers cumulative?   If so, an assault by two scouts units, both with powerfists, would likely mean a victory by at least 1 wound–making the negative modifier at least -5.  Best case scenario, this means that a unit is going to need to roll a 4 or a 5 in order to stay in combat…

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the matter… Do you think the modifiers should be combined?

Image stolen from the math department at Oakland Community College.

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Beyond The Allies: Changes to Inquisition Codices

As you’re probably aware, GW did an unprecidented thing this week and released PDF copies of “current” codices.  Both the Daemonhunters and the Witchhunters books have been digitized and are now avaialable from GW’s site (click on their names for the appropriate links).

So now, anyone can download the codices for free from GW’s website with a couple of caveats:

  • You need to sign in to the GW account (well, to get informed of their release through GW, or to find and download them on their website, but not to use direct links to download them).
  • You do not receive the exact same codex as you would buy in the store.

The first is a minor inconvenience, but the second has other ramifications (that is, assuming it was intentional and not some fat-fingered slip up).  Not only does it mean that everyone can own a copy of the codex (for free), it also means that the official rules for each of the armies succumbs to the new books.  So, it’s important to note the changes in them.

The big change that’s buzzing around the internet is that both books lost their rules concerning Allies & Inducting other Imperial forces in them.  For those tournament players out there, it means that you will no longer see IGuard or Marine variants with Psychic hoods, or Mystics running around.  For casuals, it’s sort of a kick in the pants, as any sort of allies are removed from viability.  The good news there is that true casual gamers shouldn’t mind allying in units from other codices by means of house-rules.

If you’re interested in the debate on the changes to allies, there are plenty of sites talking about just that.   The Back 40k and Whiskey & 40k have some good posts about them, and internet forums everywhere are crawling with rumors and analysis.  Figuring they’ve got things under control, I figured I’d look at the other changes to the books.

Grey Knights are No Longer Psykers & Daemons Take a Holiday

Page #20 of the previous ‘dex was a general overview of the Daemonhunters Army List, including some basic descriptions of how Force Organization Charts work, and how to read unit entries.  It also contained a section called “Special Daemonhunters Notes.”  This page is now missing from the current codex (though curiously enough, the equivalent page from the Witch Hunters book is still there).

Beneath this section there are a couple of outdated rules regarding Sentries and Experience.  There is also a rule that states that GK’s are psykers.  Specifically that rule read:

“Each squad of Grey Knights is able to manifest a gestalt psychic consciousness far more powerful than the sum of its parts.  The squad leader (Justicar or Brother-Captain) counts as the focus for this psychic energy and is therefore used to determine range and source of psychic powers, and will count as a psyker in all instances (determining shots from an Animus Speculum, being affected by a Crucible of Malediction, and so on).”

Now that that rule doesn’t exist anymore, GK’s have lost their psyker status (despite the fact that Terminators can still take a psychic power).  It does make some effect on the game, but since they never really had psychic abilities, I don’t think it will be huge.  It is something to keep in mind when you use your Culexus Assassins though… (yeah right).

Also in this section is a definition of what it means to be a “Grey Knight” or a “Daemon.”  Now, RAW has already nullified what it means to be a daemon in many instances, since virtually everything in the Chaos Demons codex have different names than what are mentioned here.  There were a few hold-outs though, including Nurglings, Eldar Avatars, and several selections from the CSM book.

Rules as written means that, since this page is removed, these are no longer counted as Daemons for the purposes of this army, and so it (almost?) completely negates the rules that affect them.  As for removing the definition of what it means to be a Grey Knight, that seems a little nitpicky, as all of the defined units already have the word “Grey Knight” in their title, but I could see people dredging this up.

Ultimately, if the goal of releasing these codices was to remove the ally rules, it would seem removal of this page in the DH book was just an oversight.  The page would help explain to new players how to use the book, and how to make an army, and includes some relatively minor rules clarifications.  However, unless GW updates the PDF, Inquisition players will have to live without psychic Grey Knights, or anti-Daemons…

Fluff Removal

Both books are almost completely devoid of fluff (not that 4th Edition codices were noted for having a tremendous amount in the first place), but the total size of the books were brought down from about 70 pages to about 25.  Most of these pages were fluff related, giving us back stories about why they’d fight against specific armies, or just general tales of the 40k universe. 

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this isn’t an attempt to defluff future codices.  On the contrary, 5th edition has seen larger books as a whole, and the re-emergence of fluff (as well as an overall increase in codex prices).  While the removal of these “superfluous” pages could also be a chance for GW to re-write “history,” I suspect it has more to do with decreasing the overall file sizes to reduce the strain on their network from worldwide downloads.

Adversarial Elimination

One of the really under-used sections of these books was the rules for Adversaries.  Both books contained the ability to include renegade psykers, possessed daemons, mutants, and other rabble in armies which played against them.  This was perhaps the only way to reasonably field a proper Lost & the Damned force (short of “counts as”).

The reason they weren’t used was because you essentially had to engineer a force against your opponent.  The rules weren’t valid unless you were explicitly playing against one of these two armies, so you had to know ahead of time that you’d play against them, as well as own a copy of the codex yourself.  Since you can’t tell who you’re going to play with ahead of time in a tournament (or in many gaming clubs), they didn’t get much use.

I do find it a little discouraging though, as I intended to use them in an upcoming Apocalypse game, but can’t do so without an opponent’s permission now.  It’s a laid back game though, so I don’t forsee anyone having a problem with it, but it will lose a certain amount of shock and awe…

Missions Gone

Both books had unique missions that were tailored to their back stories.  Whether you were defending a shrine, stopping rituals, or ferreting out tainted “Daemonvessels,” they really set a story for you to play by.  Granted, most players didn’t play them regularly, and they’d still be perfectly valid to play today, but I figured it was important to note that they’d been removed from the new books.

Summary

So, in addition to the removal of allies/inductees, there is a distinct lack of fluff (including missions, and the adversarial rules).   There’s also a couple of changes to Grey Knights and to Daemons.  Other than that, I could find no rules changes.  I didn’t go through the books with a fine toothed comb, but it would appear they only removed pages, but did not alter any text.

So, is it intentional?  Who knows?  I think that the community would do best to just make some basic assumptions (such as Daemonhunters are still bound by a FoC).  By and large, the internet community will likely skip that entirely, and GW will be forced to slip page #20 back into the book (at least).  But we’ll see if people can act civilized…

As to whether this actually means anything to the rumors of an upcoming Inquisition codex, it’s anyone’s guess.  The only other time I remember them releasing a PDF codex was the Blood Angels in 3rd edition (or was it 4th?), which was their official book for several years.  Based upon that previous experience, and the fact that rumors of Dark Eldar are also circling around (plus the renewed focus on WHFB), I think it’s pretty safe to say that we won’t see an Inquisition ‘dex anytime soon.

What do you think?

Can an IC leave and Join the Same Unit?

In my recent battle with Kris, we had an interesting rules query, that was a little more in-depth than most of the questions I face.  At first glance, it seemed insignificant (and indeed, it had no bearing on the game), but it was a curious little quirk and I’d like to share that with you.

The question came up in turn three during Kris’ movement phase and is disguised in the battle report as: “Kris shuffled his other librarian around for a clear shot, and started plinking away at my other vehicles…”  What actually happened is that Kris had a librarian attached to the left side of his unit, and wanted to move him to the right side–without moving the unit.  (It’s important to note that the “without moving the unit” clause was simply a statement of convenience, as it really made no difference to him whether the unit moved that turn or not).  There’s a picture below to more cleanly explain what I’m talking about.

The pertinent rule question that seems to apply is:

Can a character join and leave the same unit in a single turn?

Since you can only join (or leave) a squad in the movement phase, it shouldn’t come up very often, but it did in this game.  Since the rules say that if one model in a unit moved, the whole unit counts as moving, this could have had an impact if he had wanted to fire heavy or rapid fire weapons. 

So I delved into the rulebook and had an interesting find.  After reading through the section on Independent Characters (IC), I’d say it is possible to leave and join the same unit during the movement phase, based upon two quotes (pg 48 of the rulebook):

An independent character can leave a unit during the Movement phase by moving out of coherency distance with it.

and

In order to join a unit, an independent character simply has to move so that he is within the 2” coherency distance of a friendly unit at the end of their Movement phase.

Since you can apparently leave a unit whenever you want (in the movement phase that is–indicated by moving out of coherency), but can only join a unit at the end of the movement (which is automatic), it is possible to leave and join a unit in the same phase, though this is predicated on a couple of pre-requisites.

  1. The character must already have been attached to the unit before movement begins.  This means that the character must have been in the unit since the last movement phase (since he couldn’t have joined at any other point).
  2. The character would have to move farther than unit coherency away from the unit (in most cases, this is 2″) to leave, and then must come back to rejoin the connection.  This is difficult (though not impossible) to achieve.  I can think of two possible ways to do just that:
    • EXAMPLE #1: The first of which is to have the character move 2.1″ – 3.0″ away from all models of the unit, to break the connection, and then turn around and come back to roughly the same spot.  Granted, it doesn’t seem to make much sense.
    • EXAMPLE #2: The other way to do it is to have the unit in a formation of either an L or a U so that the character can leave one side of the unit, and join the opposite.  This is effectively what Kris was trying to do, but since he wasn’t able to get out of coherency, his entire squad would have had to move to make this happen.   

An interesting take on a third option would be for the opposite of the above options to happen.  What if the squad moves away from the character and then comes back into coherency?  Well, I don’t think this is actually possible based upon the fact that the only method for a character to leave a unit is to move away during the movement phase.  If the unit were to move, the character joined to that unit would have to be moved with it.  So, the only way to move him out is if he does it himself.

This all seems incredibly tedious, but it does have considerations in real games.

It means that a character can not choose to remain in place while the unit he is with moves.  It is possible though, for the character to leave the unit while “staying” in the same position, but the character counts as moving by doing so.  To do this, the character has to follow example #1 above:  He moves away from the unit to break coherency, and then moves back to his original spot.  The unit can then move freely away from him, as he’s not automatically joined to the unit until the end of the movement phase.

When would this happen?  Whenever the IC wants to shoot at a different target than the squad he’s joined to, but does not want to move.  This could happen if the IC was choosing to fire a heavy weapon (orbital bombardment from a Space Marine Chapter Master, Master of the Forge with Conversion Beamer, Eldar Autarch, etc.) or even a rapid fire weapon (such as a combi-plasma) at long range.

It also means that any effect that applies on the turn a character joins a squad (if such a rule exists) can be used in subsequent turns by leaving the squad and rejoining it.  Granted, I’ve never heard of such a rule, but then again I don’t normally read through every codex with a fine-toothed comb.  Can anyone think of something like this?

Again, it had no bearing on our game (since it didn’t matter whether his squad moved or not), but it does seem to have a potential effect on other games.   Have any of you come across something like this before? 

Welcome Back Kotter picture owned by ABC.