Ruleshammer Q&A: April 14th 2023

Welcome to Ruleshammer! This week we’re covering some more questions submitted by you, the readers, and our patrons on the Goonhammer Discord. Remember the banner below will take you to the Ruleshammer 9th Edition Compedium, for all the questions I’ve answered this edition!

As 9th draws to a close Ruleshammer will try to focus on other games for the coming months, but we need your questions! If you have any Age of Sigmar Questions or Kill Team questions please do send them in via the usual form! 

Astra Militarum – Kasrkin Mortal Wound Cap and Split Fire

So Guard got a change in the latest and final Balance Dataslate for 9th edition, one which caps the number of mortal wounds the Overcharges Las-Cells stratagem can do:

Use this Stratagem in your Shooting phase, when a KASRKIN or MILITARUM TEMPESTUS unit from your army is selected to shoot. Until the end of the phase, each time a model in that unit makes an attack with a hot-shot weapon, an unmodified wound roll of 6 inflicts 1 mortal wound on the target in addition to any normal damage. A unit can only suffer a maximum of 6 mortal wounds per phase as a result of this Stratagem. A unit can only inflict a maximum of 6 mortal wounds per phase as a result of this Stratagem.

A bit of a strange change for a balance dataslate as it implies the massive number of mortals that units like Kasrkin could achieve with the stratagem was intentional and not something to address with an errata. Regardless it now causes a new question, can you choose which 6s are the mortals if you do split fire?

No, you can’t. The wording is quite clear that the mortal on a 6 is not optional, it’s not “roll of a 6 the attack can inflict 1 mortal” it just does inflict one on said roll, and because you have to resolve all of the attacks allocated at one enemy unit before moving on the 6s to wound will cause mortals in the order they happen until you reach the cap.

If you have selected more than one target for your unit to shoot at, you must resolve all the attacks against one target before moving on to the next target.

Redeploy Abilities and Game Set Up Sequencing?

Anyone that says they fully understands the pregame ability sequencing, is either lying… or a TO that understands how they’re going to rule on these abilities. In this instance though I’ve been asked if Master Tactician happens after other redeploy abilities such as Tau’s Exemplar of Kauyon. Best I can tell the answer is Yes.

At the start of the first battle round, you can select up to three friendly ASTRA MILITARUM units (excluding TITANIC units). Remove those units from the battlefield, then set them up anywhere on the battlefield that is wholly within your deployment zone. If the mission you are playing uses the Strategic Reserves rules, you can place any of those units into Strategic Reserves instead.

After both players have deployed their armies and determined who has the first turn, select up to one friendly <SEPT> unit, or up to three friendly <SEPT> units if you selected the Kauyon Tactical Philosophy this battle, and redeploy them. If the mission uses the Strategic Reserves rules, any of those units can be placed into Strategic Reserves without having to spend any additional CPs, regardless of how many units are already in Strategic Reserves. If both players have abilities that redeploy units, roll off: the winner chooses who redeploys their units first.

Despite doing pretty similar things, the first battle round start is definitely after deploying and determining who has first turn. Rules as written this would put Master Tactician as occurring after Exemplar of Kauyon. There is an extra level of oddness to this when it comes to if it’s Guard vs Guard though. Step 13 in Arks of Omen (and earlier GT books) lays out that abilities in this step are resolve alternating between each player:

The players alternate resolving any pre-battle abilities units from their army may have, and resolving any Stratagems that are used before the battle (excluding Requisition Stratagems, those that upgrade their units, and those that enable them to set up a unit in a location other than the battlefield), starting with the player who will take the first turn.

So if two Tau players both had Examplar, the player going first would redeploy first and then their opponent. However for abilities in step 14. Begin the Battle no such order is given.

The first battle round begins. The players continue to resolve battle rounds until the battle ends.

Which means you presumably default to the core sequencing rules as these abilities all occur at the same time.

While playing Warhammer 40,000, you’ll occasionally find that two or more rules are to be resolved at the same time – e.g. ‘at the start of the battle round’ or ‘at the end of the Fight phase’. When this happens during the battle, the player whose turn it is chooses the order. If these things occur before or after the battle, or at the start or end of a battle round, the players roll off and the winner decides in what order the rules are resolved.

As it’s at the start of the battle round it’s rules as written resolve by a roll off and then the winning player decides the order of the rules, bear in mind that it doesn’t not say decides who goes first alternating, it says “decides in what order the rules are resolved”. They could decide to have all enemy abilities happen first and react to them, or decide have all theirs happen first to cut off different areas of the board with their moves. I don’t know how commonly this is actually played as written though, I’d definitely suggest talking it over with your TO or opponent pre-pregame.

Tau Pathfinders
Tau Pathfinders. Credit: Jack Hunter

Tau – Can Markerlights be resolved before and/or after the Tau Strike and Fade Stratagem?

The Markerlights action completes at the start of the Shooting phase, and the Strike and Fade Stratagem has to be used at the start of your Shooting phase. What does this mean for the order of resolving them, though?

Fire Markerlights (Action): One or more MARKERLIGHT units from your army can start to perform this action at the start of your Movement phase. AIRCRAFT MARKERLIGHT units can perform this action. The action is completed at the start of your next Shooting phase. If this action is successfully completed, for each model in that unit that is equipped with one or more markerlights, for each markerlight that model is equipped with, select one enemy unit within 36″ of that model that would be an eligible target for that model if its unit had been selected to shoot, and roll one D6: on a 3+, that enemy unit gains one Markerlight token.

Use this Stratagem at the start of your Shooting phase. Select one T’AU EMPIRE JET PACK unit from your army. You can shoot with that unit and then it can make a Normal Move of up to 6″. That unit cannot shoot again this phase.
If that unit contains 5 or fewer models (excluding DRONE models), this Stratagem costs 1CP; otherwise, it costs 2CP.

I think there are a few layers here. First of all I think you absolutely can decide to Fire and Fade first before resolving Markerlights for any units, or decided to resolve Markerlights for all units before Fire And Fade. That’s pretty unambiguous.

What’s less clear is if you can resolve Markerlights for a single unit, the Fire and Fade, and then resolve markerlights for another unit. I personally think you can because while the action is only written once in the book it’s not actually completed once. Every unit with a Markerlight can do the action and then it actually completes as many times as you have units that did the action (presuming they didn’t fail the action). So you can resolve a unit’s Markerlight action, then Strike and Fade a unit of Crisis, then resolve another unit’s markerlight action. This could even be that unit of Crisis if it contains any Marker Drones, as moving them doesn’t cause the action to fail regardless of it’s slightly nebulous completion state.

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