Warhammer 40k Blood Angels: Rules Discussions, Assault Packs and Difficult Terrain

Ok, this topic has come up a few times at the club, but not yet in a game for me. I thought I would bring it up here and see what you all have to say.

The question is:

Do models equipped with a jump pack need to make a dangerous terrain test when choosing to move out of difficult terrain as normal infantry?

My answer:
NO. The use of a jump pack is optional. Models equipped with a jump pack may choose to move as normal infantry instead, thus not having to make a Dangerous Terrain check.

First of all, I have called the Games Workshop hot line twice, and asked the same question, and after the guys gave me their answers, then spent a moment (at my request) looking up page numbers to support their answer, referred to page 52 of the rule book. "Jump infantry can use their jump packs (or equivalent) and move up to 12" in the Movement phase. This is optional and they can choose to move as normal infantry if they wish." It then goes on to say "When using jump packs, they can move over all other models and all terrain freely. However, if a moving jump infantry model begins or ends its move in difficult terrain, it must take a dangerous terrain test." Their answer both times was that a Jump Infantry model may choose to move as a Normal Infantry model. Thus, rolling 2d6 to move through difficult terrain and taking the higher of the two, and NOT rolling for Dangerous Terrain.

Games Workshop Answer:

Now, there is always some one who will say that you can call the GW hot line 10 times and get 10 different answers. Usually those are the guys who are proven wrong every time the number is called, and usually it is the same guy being proven wrong...:)

But guys involved in the discussion have repeatedly quoted the second part of that quote I just made. "However, if a moving jump infantry model begins or ends its move in difficult terrain, it must take a dangerous terrain test." They claim that this rule forces Jump Infantry to make a test to leave Difficult Terrain even though they are moving as normal infantry because they are still classified as Jump Infantry. Moving as normal infantry does not change their classification, they say.

So, lets put this into game terms. Lord Dante who normally can only move 6" uses his jump pack to move 12" and lands on the edge of a broken rubble terrain piece. He has to make a Dangerous Terrain test for ending his turn on Difficult Terrain after using his Jump Pack to move 12", and rolls a 4. He is fine. An enemy model is located about 5" away from the edge of that terrain piece in open space. Dante fires his pistol and misses. In the assault phase, he rolls 3d6 for difficult terrain to charge, but the highest is a 3 and he cannot move at all because he cannot reach his target. Pretty straight up.

Next turn, Dante decides to attempt to move as normal infantry (6" max) instead of flying out of the terrain through the use of his Jump Pack. He rolls 3d6 again, (Independent Characters roll 3d6 for Difficult Terrain) and scores a 6, so he can then move 6 inches out of the terrain. Since he decided to NOT engage his jump pack, and instead walked out of the rubble, he does not need to make a Dangerous Terrain test, just as normal infantry need not make a Dangerous Terrain test when leaving Difficult Terrain.

Thoughts? Support? Rebuttal?


Matt said...

As an avid user of JP's I have to agree with you Jawa. I understand the GW answer and I understand the 10 out of 10 calls as I am currently dealing with that too. BUt it seems incredibly stupid that he should have to make a dangerous test. WHat part of the jump pack says he can't walk normally? I'd say play it the way you play it especially if your locla club has no issues. If the fight ensues vs a opponent you can always d6 it. the problem I see would be in a tourny now. But that could be fixed quickly too. With a majority of redshirts there maybe a true final answer can be arrived at. Anyway i'm sure I could have just said yes i agree with you, but I feel your pain with gw right now. Oh but I can buy some orks....why do they insist on selling me things grrrr.

Docrailgun said...

My answer: no. A "Jump Infantry" model not using its jump pack doesn't have to make the test. The penalty for being able to move 12" while ignoring terrain it moves over is the dangerous terrain test. If it only moves 6" it should not be taking this penalty. I don't think I can back up this assertion with a page reference except for this:

The "Assault" heading in the "Jump Infantry" section says:
"Jump infantry assault 6" like normal infantry. This move is slowed by difficult terrain in the same way as other infantry because the unit always covers the last few yards of an assault on foot"
but does not mention the need for the assaulting-on-foot jump packers needing to take a Dangerous Terrain test.
It seems to me that if Jump Infantry types were always intended to take Dangerous Terrain tests ("... moving jump models begins or ends its move in difficult terrain..." and the Assault move IS movement (the Assault sub-heading calls it a move), even though its in the Assault phase) then there would be a mention of that in the Assault sub-heading as well as the Movement sub-heading.

jawaballs said...

Good post Doc and thanks Matt! I think Doc nailed it though. I have not encountered any in game who has actually tried to use this but I know that its possible I might run into it at a tournament. The issue is very small since I only have one jump pack left in my entire army. :)

The Young King said...

I also agree with you, and here's the "boring" reason why:

The sentence, "However, if a moving jump infantry model begins or ends its move in difficult terrain, it must take a dangerous terrain test." is directed at the sentence just prior to it, referencing movement "when using jump packs". If they intended this to refer to every movement of the model then they would not have written it with "however" followed by a comma. When you start a sentence like this, it means "nevertheless" in relation to the sentence before it. Instead of using a period before "however", in order to be fully understood by everyone, they should have used a comma or even a semicolon linking the 2 sentences together as a single thought.

I told you, boring!

Black Matt said...

There are very specific categories for models types in the rule book. An infantry model is an infantry and a jump infantry is a jump infantry. Just because it "moves like" something else doesnt mean that it is something else no matter what phase of the turn it is.

jawaballs said...

Black Matt, lets say that Dante moves 12" with his jump pack and jumps into a large piece of terrain that has a squad of Plague Marines in it, is forced to and makes his Dangerous Terrain test.

He then wants to assault that squad of chaos filth. Are you saying that he needs to make a Dangerous terrain test when he starts and then another when he finishes his assault move because he is technicly considered Jump Infantry even though the use of that jump pack is optional??

Docrailgun said...

Black Matt,
What about Assault Marines that choose to leave off their jump packs entirely? What about Vanguard Veterans (from the new Codex) or Death Company units that have to pay for their jump packs?
Do all these units still have to make the Dangerous terrain tests even though they will always be moving like normal infantry?

jawaballs said...

Woah lol Doc, good one. And very true. My assault marines in my current list are still considered Jump Infantry, even though they traded in their jump packs for a Rhino. I guess they still need to make Dangerous Terrain tests whenever they enter or leave Difficult Terrain?

Black Matt said...

My young Padawan Jawaballs,
A jump infantry model must take a dangerous terrain test when either he begins or ends his MOVEMENT phase in difficult terrain. I dont think assaults are done during the movement phase?

I dont have the rule book, but I am confident that when you review what a jump infantry model is, it is the jump pack. If you have the jump pack, take the terrain tests.

jawaballs said...

So how can a model who has a jump pack run in the assault phase and not make a test, yet run in the movement phase, and have to take a test?

jawaballs said...

And no, taking off a piece of gear, doesnt change their type. I think you have said yourself that their type cannot change. "A jump infantry model moving as normal infantry is still jump infantry." Regardless, the classification of Jump or Normal infantry only refers to wether or not they are actually USING their jump pack. Jump Infantry have the option, and when they choose to use their packs, they count as Jump Infantry, otherwise, Normal Infantry.

I think this has to come back to the original point. A Jump Infantry model choosing to move as Normal Infantry is considered Normal Infantry for the purposes of movement. That means in difficult terrain they simply roll 2d6 and take the highest. It is the use of a jump pack to move more then 6" that is considered dangerous, thus provoking the Dangerous Terrain test, and categorizing that model as Jump Infantry.

jawaballs said...

If you read the papagraph on page 5 about Jump Infantry, it says "Jump Infantry can move like Normal Infantry or activate their Jump device to make a high-speed move..." I think that alone answers the question, it is not having the Jump Pack that forces the test, it is using it. When they choose to not use their jump packs, you apply the Normal Infantry rules for movement.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Jawaballs, the guys you play with sound like jerks. Anyone who is trying to tell you that Jump Pack Infantry have to take the test even when moving as normal infantry, is having you on.

Honestly, this is a ridiculous argument. It's rules-lawyering to it's cold dark spiteful core and it's just plain unpleasant.

My advice, don't play with those guys. They obviously don't care about your enjoyment of the game.

Black Matt said...

I care utterly and completely about jawaballs' destruction. If he has a good time when dying on the end of my sword, then I am all about it! ;0 oh no he didnt!

A model without a jump pack at the beginning of the game is an infantry model. Your assault troops are not jump infantry models who leave their jump packs in the rhino. If they have the jump packs at the beginning of the game then they are jump infantry models!

You have dared to oppose the will of Warmaster. You have been chosen for purifing pain! Congrats!

jawaballs said...

The Blood Angels are ready any time for your traitor marines. But I think this has been answered enough. It doesnt matter what the model is classified as. It is not having the jump pack that forces the Dangerous Terrain test, it is using it. Jawaballs has spoken.

Hopefully I will see your scum on the tables next weekend.

Jacob Bodmer said...

Interesting discussion.

If taking the Jetpacks off of assault marines doesn't change their type (It should, btw, obviously a GW error) Then shouldn't they still be able to move like jump infantry? (And, likewise, shouldn't they be prohibited from entering transports?)
(If it doesn't change their type: Hot damn! free rhino!)

I'd also agree that a JP model moving as infantry does not have to take a test.

I think the *intent*, word-layering aside, of the rules is for models -moving- like Jump Infantry to take the tests, not just models with the "Jump Infantry Subtype" (This is Warhammer, not Magic the Gathering)

If only models who are "Jump Infantry" have to take dangerous terrain tests, here's a few things that would *never* have to test, because they simply "Move like" jump infantry, but aren't actually:

Chaos lords, Sorcs, and princes with wings (because it confers "move like" and doesn't change their "Type")

How does it make sense that a winged demon prince can move 12" all day, and not have to test, but a Winged Tyrant would?

That aside, I still have to disagree with jawaballs slightly:

"A Jump Infantry model choosing to move as Normal Infantry is considered Normal Infantry for the purposes of movement."

Not entirely true. A Jump Infantry model cannot enter a transport. ever. even if it only moves 6". It's always different and distinct from Infantry in that regard.

But other than the transports bit, totally right:
page 5 of the rule book: "Jump infantry can
move like normal infantry or activate their jump device"

mutually exclusive options. They either move like normal infantry (Which I would assume allows them to avoid dangerous terrain tests) OR they can move as jump infantry, and risk said tests.

Additionally, on page 52:
"This [moving as a jump infantry] is
optional and they can choose to move as normal
infantry if they wish."

I'd say the intent is clear. It's the type of movement they chose to make, not their (rather arbitrary) unit subtype that determines whether or not they take dangerous tests.

jawaballs said...

Great response! and Yes, it has always been a given that guys with jump packs cannot fit into Rhinos. :)

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