Ruleshammer Q&A: November 5th 2021

Welcome to Ruleshammer! This week we’re answering more of your submitted questions from the last few weeks.

Orks: Does Opportunist work whilst embarked in a Transport?

This is a bit of a tricky questions, especially because I think one part of the rule clearly should work and the other part probably shouldn’t. First of all here’s the rule.

Deathskulls: Opportunist

    • Each time you select a target for this Warlord, if you select a CHARACTER unit within 12″, you can ignore the Look Out, Sir rule.

    • Each time an enemy VEHICLE unit is destroyed within 6″ of this WARLORD, you gain 1 Command point.

So the first part, I think should work. You are selecting a target for the warlord; it’s not an aura ability so it’s not turned off by being embarked as made clear by points 5 and 7 of the Shooting Whilst Embarked Rare Rule.

5. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the embarked unit is not affected by the abilities (including aura abilities) of any other unit, even if that unit is also embarked within the same Transport model.

7. Any abilities (including Detachment abilities) that models in an embarked unit have, or that their weapons have, continue to apply when they make ranged attacks.

It’s also not another unit’s ability – the warlord has it. It gets a bit more complicated for the second effect though. The first effect is about a target being within 12″ of the a shooting model. So in much the same way that Rapid Fire or the half range rules for fusion/melta weapons would trigger when shooting from an Open Topped vehicle. The second effect however is specifically not whilst attacking, and about units specifically being within 6″ of this Warlord. To most players that Warlord is not actually on the table right now, as implied (but not really specifically stated) by the embark rule which says to remove the models that are embarked from the battlefield. So there’s an argument to be made that whilst embarked no models are within 6″ of that Warlord. I’m not 100% sure on whether this is the intent though, and as it’s not an aura it’s plausible that it’s meant to work while embarked. This is probably a pregame discussion you should have, or something you should ask your TO before an event.

My personal recommendation would be that the second effect doesn’t work whilst embarked; it blurs the line about if the model is on the battlefield too much in my opinion.

Black Templars: Uphold the Honour of the Emperor Issues

So first thing’s first, there’s a misprint in the Black Templars supplement that really isn’t helping this. In the actual sections on Vows and Passions the rule says this:

Each time an enemy model makes an attack against this unit, this unit does not receive the benefits of cover.

However the reference section of the book then has a slightly different version that says they can’t receive the benefits of light or heavy cover specifically. With two versions of a rule like this I would recommend that the full text version, not the reference be what is used before an FAQ clears up the mistake. Much like the bullet points, the reference sections is meant to be a helpful summary rather than the full rules, so if one needs to be the official ruling then I don’t think it should be the reference version. With that said it has led to a few questions about what not receiving the benefits of cover includes.

Some rules allow a weapon or model to ignore the benefits that a target might otherwise receive from being on or in a terrain feature.

If a rule says that the target unit ‘does not receive the benefit of cover’, without specifying what benefits are ignored, then, when resolving an attack with that rule, models in the target unit ignore all benefits received from all terrain traits, including those that improve its saving throws, impose penalties on hit rolls and so on (e.g. Light Cover, Heavy Cover). Note that rules that say that the target unit ‘does not receive the benefit of cover’ do not enable a model or weapon with that rule to target a unit that would not normally be visible due to terrain features with the Obscuring trait.

This rare rule covers the interactions here, and they can seem a bit unintuitive considering the fact the Dense Cover doesn’t actually affect the models that have it; it affects the models shooting at them. However if no specific type of cover effect is mentioned then the rule allows you to ignore all types of cover, including Dense.


Thousand Sons: Egleighen’s Orrery vs “changed to 1 damage” abilities.

Q: In your opinion, does the Egleighen’s Orrery Sorcerous Arcana Relic allow units benefitting from its aura to ignore the effects of Ophelia’s Mantle or Tannhauser’s Bones or any other rule that instructs a player to change a relevant characteristic as opposed to reduce, increase, worsen, or improve it?

I might not make any friends with my opinion on this but I think there’s a small percentage of players being a bit pedantic about it, and I’m aware that me calling other players pedantic is a bit rich.

Let’s review the rule:

At the start of each of your Command phases, you can select one enemy unit that is visible to the bearer. If you do, then until the end of the turn the bearer has the following ability: ‘Fated Doom (Aura): While a friendly THOUSAND SONS CORE unit is within 6″ of the bearer, each time a model in that unit makes an attack against the enemy unit you just selected, you can ignore any or all Weapon Skill modifiers, Ballistic Skill modifiers, hit roll modifiers, wound roll modifiers and abilities that reduce the Damage characteristic of that attack.’

The argument is that these abilities don’t reduce the damage of attacks, they “change it to 1” rather than “reduce it to 1”.

CANONESS model only. Each time an attack is allocated to the bearer, the Damage characteristic of that attack is changed to 1.
Each time an attack is allocated to the bearer, the Damage characteristic of that attack is changed to 1.

However I think that’s a pretty thin argument; if an attack had damage 5 and is now 1, it demonstrably been reduced. Also rules that change characteristics to specific values rather than adding or subtracting are also modifiers according to the rules:

Many rules modify the characteristics of models and weapons. All modifiers to a characteristic are cumulative; you must apply division modifiers before applying multiplication modifiers, and before applying addition and then subtraction modifiers. Round any fractions up after applying all modifiers. If a rule instructs you to replace one characteristic with a specified value, change the relevant characteristic to the new value before applying any modifiers that apply from other rules (if any) to the new value. Regardless of the source, the Strength, Toughness, Attacks and Leadership characteristics of a model can never be modified below 1.

So in much the same way that these abilities modify the damage, they also reduce it and change it. As such Egleighen’s Orrery should allow such rules to be ignored.

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