Friday, 14 March 2014

Overwatch and Line of sight

I have a real issue with Overwatch.... This is from the Basic Rule Book on p21:

An Overwatch attack is resolved like a normal shooting attack (albeit one resolved in the enemy's Assault phase) and uses all the normal rules for range, line of sight, cover saves and so on.

As if it wasn't hard enough to kill a few charging marines with the standard Pulse Rifle, they actually have to be in Line of Sight when I fire my guns?

So hang on a second.... Those Space Wolves currently huddled behind that building out of sight.... These guys are going to come tearing around that corner and start charging straight at me!  Can't we assume that if I can't see them now, I'm sure as hell going to be able to see them when they are an inch or two away from me, Chainswords at the ready!

And if a damned Template weapon gets D3 automatic hits (p52 of the Basic Rule Book) and the charging models don't have to be under the Template, or even be physically visible.... Then I think it's a bit crappy to make standard weapons have Line of Sight to the charging enemy!

One of the most badly thought out rules in the book.

NOTE:  One thing I'd not considered until today is that you can't charge a unit that you cannot see!  Basic Rule Book page 20 to the rescue!  This stops stupid assault guys hiding behind a hill or a building and then popping out to assault without risking Overwatch.  Awesome!

Ordnance is rubbish on a Riptide

I've been playing some 500 point games at work on a lunchtime and today I managed to squeeze a Riptide into the list (well... it was a few points over but my opponent was kind enough to let it slide!)

The reason I brought out the big guy was primarily to act as a fire-magnet for my opponents Vindicator.  

I hate the Vindicator.  There have been so many occasions where the release of S10 AP2 Large Blasts has resulted in the immediate demise of a huge number of my little blue men.  It's especially a problem because in our lunchtime battles, our board is probably only 3 feet square.  The Vindicator threat range is HUGE in this environment!

So the plan is that he shoots a pie plate at my Riptide and it takes a wound (or maybe not because of the invuln).  I move closer and shoot with my Nova-charged Ion Cannon, penetrate the Vindicator and laugh.  If it's still alive, shoot it some more with my Fusion Gun.

There are several issues with this plan.  First of all, Nova-charge has a 33% chance of failure (and causing a wound), then there is a 16% chance of getting Hot, then there is the Scatter issue with 66% to head off-target (although if it does scatter it might still hit) and finally we need to roll to penetrate (that's a 33% chance with a re-roll) and then see if it explodes (33% again).

Not looking very likely, but pretty funny if it does.  I probably have a much better chance of it assploding if I hit it at half range with the Fusion Gun.  

BS3 means 50% chance to hit, with a re-roll.  There is then a 72% chance of hitting enough with 2D6 to penetrate the front armour.  With AP1 it's probably going to be annihilated 66% of the time because of the +2 to the damage table roll.

There is another issue with this though.  An important one:

If you shoot the Nova-charged Ion Cannon, because it is Ordnance, you cannot shoot the Fusion Gun as well.

The basic rule book (p51) clearly defines: 

"If a non-vehicle model fires an Ordnance weapon, then the massive recoil from the Ordnance weapon means the model cannot fire other weapons that phase."

So even though a Multi-tracker (or the Monstrous Creature rule) would allow multiple weapons to be fired (MCs rule defines 2 weapons can be fired, and a MT defines an additional weapon), it would seem than the Ordnance rule would forbid this.

There is an argument to say that the Multi-tracker rule overrides the Ordnance issue (Basic Rule Book p7):

"On rare occasions, a conflict will arise between a rule in this rulebook, and one printed in a codex.  When this occurs, the rule printed in the codex always takes precedence

But I doubt you can really, truly, get away with that and still keep a clear conscience.  I like to make my opponent suffer... But I don't like to be underhanded about it.

So I'm thinking that in future, I'm much better off keeping the Nova-charge for useful items like an improved Invuln save, or Ripple-firing the Fusion Gun.  And if the Vindicator survives that, I can always Assault it and Smash it's back doors in (if you'll excuse the phrase).

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Forgeworld and Farsight

Are you allowed to take Forgeworld selections in a Farsight Enclaves list?

This is a difficult one... And for the most part it's probably a bit contentious.

Our first problem is the wording from the Farsight Enclaves supplement:

A Farsight Enclaves army is chosen using the army list presented in Codex: Tau Empire.

This very specifically limits our choices to entries from the army list presented in the Codex.

No problem... Escalation has just come out, surely that makes reference to the Farsight Enclave and will let us run with Tiger Sharks?  Errr... No.

A Tiger Shark may only be chosen if your primary detachment is from Codex : Tau Empire.

No problem... Forgeworld released some errata that expanded upon the Escalation list.  Errr... There is no mention of poor old Farsight:

The following vehicles may be chosen as Lords of War if your primary detachment is from Codex: Tau Empire.

No problem... Forgeworld released the R'varna variant, surely that will include the Farsight Enclaves?  Errr... No!

An XV107 R'varna battlesuit is a Heavy Support choice in a Codex: Tau Empire army.

The wording of that doesn't change in the Tau Forgeworld Taros book either!

So if that isn't anything but a good kick in the genitals?  All of those lovely Super Heavies, Lords of War and Forgeworld goodies are all restricted in one way or another, to a vanilla Codex: Tau Empire army or Primary Detachment.

To end on a positive note, according to Faeit 212 and several other sources, Forgeworld are aware of the issue and (un)officially would allow you to take some of their models in a Farsight army (just not any of the good ones!!)

Thank you for your email. We're currently working on a FAQ update concerning which units can and can't be used with Codex supplements. In respect to the Farsight supplement currently -

You can take:
Alternate Hammerhead turrets
Goaded Great Knarlocs
Mounted Great Knarloc Herd
Kroot Knarloc Rider Herd
Heavy gun Drones
Drone Sentry turret
Sensor tower Grid
Orca Drop ship

You can not take:
Any Battlesuit including the R'varna
Tigershark AX-1-0
Remora drone fighter


Negating Nova Reactor Damage

Every Tau Commander loves the Nova Reactor on the Riptide and the R'Varna suits.

And what's not to love about allowing your Elite battlesuit to perform some truly amazing abilities?

The unfortunate downside of the Nova Reactor is of course that it will almost always end up blowing it's own brains out!

To recap the rules for the Nova Reactor:

You must declare if the pilot is going to attempt to use the reactor at the start of each of his Movement phases.

If he chooses to do so, roll a D6. On the roll of a 1 or a 2, something has gone wrong - the Riptide Shas'vre (or R'varna) suffers a single Wound with no saves of any kind allowed and the attempt fails. On any other roll, the attempt is successful, and you can choose one of the abilities listed for the Riptide Shas'vre (or R'varna) to have (until the start of its next Movement phase).

The most obvious manner of negating the possibility of causing a wound to itself is by using the Farsight Enclave Signature System: Earth Caste Pilot Array.

Models with battlesuits only. The model rerolls all rolls of 1 To Hit in the Shooting phase, and may re-roll the dice when using a Nova Reactor. However, their Weapon Skill is 1.

That's pretty simple.  You get to re-roll a failed attempt to utilize the Reactor.  It might still blow up, but at least you're reducing those odds considerably.  The great thing about this particular Signature System is that you can run two of them!  As long as you include Commander Farsight as your Warlord in a Farsight Enclaves army, you can choose an Independent Character called Honour Shas'vre O'vesa.  This 305 point badass pilots a Riptide which includes an Ion Cannon, Twin-linked Fusion Gun, 2 Shielded Missile Drones, an Early Warning Override, a Stimulant Injector and the Earth Caste Pilot Array.  And the best thing?  Look at this excerpt from the Codex Supplement:

They must be equipped exactly as described; the Signature Systems rule above does not apply to them.

The Signature Systems rule doesn't apply to O'vesa, so you can take the Earth Caste Pilot Array on a second Riptide!!  I personally recommend running a Heavy Burst Cannon on this other battlesuit, which will allow you to re-roll those pesky Get's Hot rolls when you Nova-charge your weapon for 12 tasty Rending shots!

But what if you're not running a Farsight list?

Well.... O'vesa has already given us a clue to a potential solution.... The Stimulant Injector.  This piece of kits gives a model the Feel No Pain special rule, which we find the details of here (Basic Rule Book p35):

When a model with this special rule suffers an unsaved Wound, it can make a special Feel No Pain rol1 to avoid being wounded (this is not a saving throw). Roll a D6 each time an unsaved Wound is suffered. On a 4 or less, you must take the Wound as normal. On a 5+, the unsaved Wound is discounted - treat it as having been saved.

Where people might argue is because the rules of the Nova Reactor state that a failed roll inflicts a Wound with no saves of any kind.  However, as you can see here, the Injector allows for a FNP roll because the rule states clearly that this is not a saving throw.

As luck would have it, the rules for the R'varna allow you to equip the Stimulant Injector too (one of only two items that it can take).

So there you go, although expensive at 35 points, the Stimulant Injector is very useful at giving you a way to negate wounds from the Nova Reactor (as well as from more conventional damage).  And if you're running a Farsight list, don't leave home without packing at least one Earth Caste Pilot Array.