40k for Noobys continued! On with the assault.

Due to great response, I have decided to make the 40k for noobies a regular thing. This is NOT just for noobies. Maybe you just returned to the game and missed the last two years of innovation... maybe you are a vet just looking for an alternative view point. Whatever the cause, there is no shame in reading this! :)

So let me recap. I talked about things to think about before you assault. Don't shoot if your enemy taking a model off will leave you out of assault range. Be careful what you assault... (Make sure you can kill it and not be slaughtered) Watch for initiative, weapon skill and strength. It is OK to ask your opponent the stats of each of his models. If he has a problem with that, he is a douche. Pick your assaults wisely!

In my last post, I brought a Space Marine Assault squad into assault with 3... yes THREE Eldar Guardian squads. That is 10 marines vs 30 Eldar. I even sent the marine with the power fist after a nearby Viper just to prove a point. Remember, so long as YOUR squad remains in coherency, you can assault any thing you want, after your first model has made into base to base with his. So, send in your first model, get it base to base. Then you can move all of the rest of your models to assault whatever is in range. In my example, I managed to get the Sgt. with power fist into base to base with a Viper, 5 marines into combat with 1 Eldar squad, and 2 marines into combat with each of the other two squads.

What happens next? Well your opponent gets to bring his guys into the fray. All of the Eldar that are base to base with Marines are now in combat, including any behind those models that are B2B but still within 2". Now he gets to move any UNengaged models up to get into assault. It will look like these Eldar are now swarming all over the marines, and it will look scary! Dont fret Marines. Here comes the fun.

Who goes first?

In old versions of 40k Assault was wonky. You would go in, and your good models would go first, wipe out a bunch of guys, and your opponent would take off guys that were base to base with the rest of your models, leaving them stranded and unable to attack. Now, once assault has begun, no matter what, all models will get their attacks, regardless of who went first. Providing, of course, that the models are still alive when their initiative comes up.

In this case, Guardians are initiative 4, and so are marines. So every one will get to attack. Lets break it down:

5 Marines are fighting 10 Eldar
2 Marines are fighting 10 Eldar
2 Marines are fighting 10 Eldar
1 Marine is Charging a viper that did not move.

The lone marine is not engaged with any eldar, and has a power fist. The fist reduces his initiative to 1 or Last. We will save him for later.

Lets do the big fight.

5 assault maries attack 10 Eldar. An assault marine has 1 base attack. He has two close combat weapons, a pistol and a sword, so he gets a bonus attack for that. He also charged, so he gets a 3rd attack. There are 5 marines attacking for a total of 15 attacks. We will do averages here. When determining if you hit, you compare weapon skill. A Guardian has a WS 3 and a SM has WS of 4. A glance at the To Hit (Assault) chart will show you that SM need a 3 to hit the guardians. They are better with swords. We will say 60% of them hit for an estimate of 9 hits. (Screw math)

Now time to wound. Once you hit something, you have to wound it. You may have just glanced the shot... etc. So of your 9 hits, you need to roll a die to see how many wound. The Str of a SM is 4. The Toughness of an Eldar Guardian is 3. Comparing the two scores, you will wound on a roll of 3. There is a chart on the last page of the rule book. So again, roughly 60 percent of the hits will wound. Of the 9 hits, we will say 6 wounded.

Now for armor saves. Guardians have a 5+ save, so we can say that for every 6 wounded, 4 will die based on the dice. Close enough. So 4 dead guardians. The number of dead is important because this forces a leadership test. If a squad suffers 25% losses of it's current value, it has to make a leadership test. This squad suffered 40% loss and will have to test at the end of combat. But all 10 of those guardians get to attack since they have the same initiative as the SM.

A WS of 3 attacking WS of 4 will need a 4 to hit after a quick glance at the book. Guardians only get 1 attack. They suck in assault. So 10 attacks, needing a 4 will leave 5 hits. Now time to wound.

Eldar Guardians are Str 3. Marines are Toughness 4. S3 will need a 5 to wound T4 models after glancing at the last page of the rule book. Not good odds. It is like 33 percent... we will say 2 wound. Now the marines have to make 2 saves. They get a 3+ save, and we will say they both pass.

We have to keep track of scores here. This is all one huge combat, with several small mini battles going on. At the end, it is all resolved as one fight. After game one, Marines are up 4 to 0.

Now Eldar squad 2 is fighting 2 marines. The marines have 6 attacks, and need 4s to hit. We will say that true to the odds, 3 hit. Then again, true to the odds, 2 wound. Due to Eldars crap save, 2 more die. The Eldar hit back, with their 4+ to hit, and land 5 hits. With their crap Strength, they will have a tough time, we will give them the benefit of the doubt this time, and give them 3 wounds. Now, two marines have to make 3 saves. We will say one goes down.

Score after game 2, Marines 6, Eldar 1.

We will give the third game the same score, but give the Eldar one more kill due to lucky rolls. So, final tally of kills for the 10 Marines vs 30 Eldar is 8 kills for the Marines, and 2 for the Eldar.

But what about our Squad Leader? He charged an immobile viper. If a vehicle has NOT moved in the previous turn, all assaults against it are auto hits. A power fist doubles the models Str in assault. A marine has a 4 Str, which becomes 8 with the fist. Fists are so clunky and big, that a model using one does NOT get a bonus attack for having two close combat weapons. But he does get his charge bonus. A veteran has 2 base attacks, and one bonus for the charge for a total of 3. All 3 hit automaticly. Now to hurt the viper.

A Viper has armor value 10, and is open topped. This is going to go VERY badly for the viper. To damage vehicles, you compare Strength vs Armor Value. The Str of the Marine is 8 vs the armor of the vehicle which is 10. The marine has to score equal to or above the armor value to hurt the vehicle. You roll a d6 and add the total to the score of 8. We will say the results for the 3 attacks are a 1, a 4 and a 6. In this case, a result of 1 is not necessarily an auto failure to wound, (such is the case in most other results) But 8 + 1 is only 9 and does not equal the value of the armor, so the 1 is a failure to wound. But the 4 and 6 both PENETRATE the vehicle. 8+4 is 12, which beats armor 10. The marine gets to roll two dice on the damage table. He is punching holes right through the hull of the ship and grabbing the pilot! He rolls a 2 and a 4. Looking at the Vehicle Damage Table will show you that the results will be a Crew Stunned and Immobilized result. BUT, the vehicle is open topped. So the marine gets to add 1 to his scores. That makes them a Weapon Destroyed and Vehicle Destroyed result. The viper is now dead, and remains on the table as terrain.

Now time to make morale tests. The total score was 8 for the marines and 2 for the Eldar. The difference of the two scores is 6. Sadly for the Eldar, they have to minus 6 from their leadership rolls. Since the Eldar lost combat, that is, the Marines scored more kills, ALL THREE of the eldar squads need to make a leadership test. (Leadership/Morale... same difference for this discussion) Guardians have a leadership of 8. They have to roll snake eyes to pass their test, and all three fail. Things are going VERY ugly for the guardians, and here is where Marines shine.

Time for Sweeping Advance.

Since the Eldar lost combat, and failed their leadership tests. They need to fall back. The eldar roll 2d6 and fall back that many inches. However, the marines may choose to Sweeping Advance... or Massacre them. If the marines choose to keep them in assault, they need to make a compared initiative roll vs the Eldar. Each squad rolls a D6 and adds their initiative. The marines roll a D6 and get a 5 so the eldar have to BEAT a 9. Their initiave is 4 so they have to roll 6s. A tie in this case will still mean that the Marines may Sweeping Advance. All three of the eldar squads roll under 6. Which means the marines have successfully Sweeping Advanced all three of the squads. Sadly for the Eldar, this means that all 3 squads are instantly destroyed. Thats right, 10 marines just cut down 30 Eldar and a Viper, and only lost 2 marines.

Now, this was based on average rolls. So it is a pretty good indicator of what will happen most of the time. Odds are that most opponents will not give you a juicy target like 3 guardian squads bunched up next to a viper that has not moved... but you never know.


When assaulting, look for juicy targets. If you have a badass assault squad, look for multiple squads that you can assault... And if you have the resources, send your power fist after a tank or something.

Phew my fingers hurt! :)


Brent said...


25% wounds in close combat is immaterial - the loser based on total wounds / side tests leadership, modified by the difference in wounds.

jawaballs said...

Yup, your right, I was ahead of myself, or behind... but I went on to explain all of what you typed.

Flekkzo said...

That is oh so sneaky. It seems that morale checks are more important than I previously thought (caveat: haven't played a game yet, learning the rules and painting at the moment). Reading this blog and that sneaky Eldar's blog I am getting to understand quite a lot of the game before actually playing. I just hope that I can turn it in to massive wins instead of what happened when I started warmachine (epic losses).

When your fingers stop bleeding, give us more:)

jawaballs said...

Believe me, I got thumped for a year before I started to win games.

Ash said...

So, you are saying that all three squads break at the same time? I thought that you would only be able to Sweeping Advance the last squad to break because you cant SA while in base contact with a foe.

But, if all three break at the same time this is sweet. My Khorne Berserkers are even better then I thought.

And how does this work if they have an HQ or Independent Character in the fight?


Ash said...

and if one of them is fearless?


jawaballs said...

Good questions ash. Yes, while you are rollilng for them in turn, they are all breaking at once. You are right in that a squad cannot Sweeping Advance if it is still engaged in combat with another squad. If one of those squads had passed their leadership, the others would be able to get away since all of the marines would have had to consolidate in with the one that passed.

In close combat, IC work well...independantly! They are considered a seperate unit for all Close Combat purposes, including morale tests. Though if he was attached to a squad before the close combat, they can still use his leadership. If he is still in combat when all of the other squads break, the marines will have to consolidate in with him and the squads will escape.

Fearless units do not break. Instead, if all three of those squads were fearless, they would have each had to make 6 more saves. When a fearless squad loses combat, they need to make more saves equal to the number they lost combat by.

eriochrome said...

I believe that independent characters get merged back in with the unit before determining combat results part of assault. IE they fight independently but as long as they were part of the squad when the charge was declared they are still part of that squad when it comes to morale tests, falling back, and no retreat wounds.

I also seem to remember that glances and penes counted in determining combat results(or else you would "lose combat" with dreads any turn you take a casualty and do not kill the dread), so your marine swere actually up 10 to 2 for -8 leadership rolls.

eriochrome said...

Checked my book, glances and pens only matter vs walkers so in thise multiple assault example they have no bearing on the combat results since a vyper is not a walker. I guess it is less demoralizing to see a nearby tank blow up since it could not fight back compared to a walker which can.

jawaballs said...

Oh yah forgot you mentioned that too. Yah, tanks dont count for combat resolution since they are not actually in the fight and cannot be locked in combat.

As for IC, I do believe that the rules are pretty clear. I will check them though in a few. I believe that in all matters of close combat they are considered a seperate squad, and make checks accordingly, and that covers morale. Good one to look up because I have always done it that my IC and squads roll seperate results and fall back accordingly. Lets look it up!

jawaballs said...

On page 49 it says that Onc all attacks have been resolved, these characters are once again treated as normal members of the unit they have joined (from determining assault results onwards). That means that no, they do not make seperate morale tests. Once the attacks are done, if the ICs squad has lost combat he and the squad make a single morale test using his leadership. This is something I shall remember from now on when resolving combats involving Dante, Corbulo and other squads...

FYI it also goes on to say that IC MUST move before any other models when a unit is reacting to being assaulted.

eriochrome said...

The required response move for IC's make big nasties dreadnoughts and fexes good IC hunters since it means the IC will likely be in base to base with something able to instant death them. Way around it is tight up your formations when the nasties get close with the character in the back such that he has to go around the whole unit to get into base to base or is surrounded.

jawaballs said...

Good point Eriochrome! That is a good one for when opponents try to hide their IC from my Dreadnoughts. I have had dudes wrap the squads around my dread, then say "Oops, guess the IC cannot get into combat..." that he cannot attack the IC since they are not B2B. Bring on those crunchy Librarians!

eriochrome said...

When you are attacking the character it is important to decide how to divide the attacks. A wound on the character will be hard to get due to the high WS and usually available Inv save but with instant death you get to count all the remaining wounds for combat resolution. So your Ironclad might need to use all 4 attacks on the charge to kill Vulkan(might need more since he has a 3+ Inv) he gets 3 points for combat resolution when he is slain which is better than what you would get on average directing those attacks into normal marines.

jawaballs said...

True, but I dont think you could split a dreads attacks even if you wanted to. If a dread is in combat with an IC and a squad... he has to choose one or the other. Just like the IC would have to choose one or the other... Vulkan cannot put 2 shots against a dread, and 2 against the assault marines.

I usually send my dread after the IC if I can. Furioso Death Company Dreads excell at popping Characters.

jawaballs said...

Coincidently enough, my next post deals with handling Independent Characters in assault! That comes up tomorrow.

Ash said...

I disagree, I don't have a book in front of me but I thought that in Multi-Unit combat you are able to split your attacks however you want among units involved as long as you can reach them.

eriochrome said...

As long as the model is in base to base with both units(or IC plus normal member of the squad) it can divide its attacks however it wants. Just make sure they are declare before any dice hit the table and clear stated which set of rolls goes where.

Also remember that response moves follow the same rules as assault moves so you have to try to get into base to base with models from the attacking unit which are not already in base to base. Ran into this in a recent event where my Shrike just missed getting into base to base but since the opponent had a Termi not in base to base directly infront of him he had to move into attack Shrike as he was the only opponent nearby not already in base to base.

jawaballs said...

Hmm something we need to look up! I would like to agree that a Furioso with 6 attacks can split them among an IC and a squad instead of putting them all on the IC and popping him om the first hit then wasting 5 shots...

Erio, could the Terminator not get in B2B with any other model within 6"? Your Shrike was the only model he could get B2B with?

eriochrome said...

He was the only model nearby not already in base to base. I had Shrike attached to a bike unit so when I charged Shrike was between two bikes who made it into B2B on a termi each with 1 termi in the middle directly infront of Shrike. My opponent initial moved into B2B with a bike already in B2B and forced me to show him the rule about response moves trying to get into base to base with new models from the attacking units first. In the long run he won the combat and force Shrike as the last member of the squad to flee. He followed once to prevent regrouping (Shrikes second fall back move left him half an inch from the table edge) but I got some scouts between Shrike and the termis so on the next turn he regrouped. Shrike then turned around and assaulted again.

While te closest model was a Termi the opponent had to response move his master of the forge into the combat. Shrike then targeted him since he did not have a storm shield like the other remaining termi and easily won the combat then got the last termi with a no retreat wound.

jawaballs said...

Nice! However, that is definitely NOT a nooby combat! A good example of where knowing the rules is a huge help though. I have pulled out many a rule zinger, politely and with good sportsmanship of course, to help me win games in tournaments.

eriochrome said...

On the single model attacking multiple unit front look at pg 41 MULTIPLE COMBATS: both the figure and the second bullet point under ATTACKING say a model my split his attacks if he is engaged with 2 units. FAQ makes the not that if you are in B2B with only one you must attack that one but if you are in B2B with both as model 1 is in the figure you can split your attacks.

jawaballs said...

That answers it! I love productive posting. Way too many guys pop into places like this, spout their 'knowledge', call you a noob when you disagree, then take off. :)

Dalton King said...

Hey Jawa quick question. What if you have a Venerable Dreadnought in the assault that gets to reroll any armor penetrating hits. Does this count for the assault? So an assault marine with a powerfist hits a dreadnought 2 times. Strength 8, he rolls a 4 and a 5 for a glancing and penetrating. Can I ask the player to reroll the armor penetration roll because my dread is Venerable?

jawaballs said...

Dalton, you, any means any. Venerable is sweet... If they destroy you, you have another 30ish % chance to save...

Dalton King said...

Are you referring to the rerolling as that 30 extra percent!?!?

Dalton King said...

Oh yeah, do walkers get to use their Front Armor for assault? Because I know vehicles use their rear once they are assaulted.

jawaballs said...

Yes, Walkers get front armor in assault. And what I meant by 30% is that a Dread with Extra armor has a 30ish % chance at a no result. If you are destroyed, you get to do that again. Pretty good odds!

Angelic_Despot said...

Something I've noticed in the rules, that seems quite restrictive - and makes it pretty unlikely you'll be able to attack 3 squads and a vehicle is the order in which you move assaulting models.

p34 small rule book: each model must end its assault move in coherency with a squad member and must attack a model that is not already in base to base contact if possible.

This means that in practice, it can be very hard to spread your squad wide enough to attack 2 squads at a time, let alone 3!

I know your example was just for demonstrating the rules, rather than a likely situation, but my point is that people seem to plan to assault multiple enemies, and in my (limited) experience of trying to do this, it's very hard.

Ash said...

While you are right that to plan for an attack on multiple units is unlikely. It can be game changing to recognize the times when it is possible and take advantage of it.

Also, I think that Jawa is demonstrating the range and scope of the rules to help new players see the versatility that the rules allow in all aspects of the game. To help players think outside of the obvious reading of the rules and start to try and us them to develop strategies for their armies.

At least that is what it is doing for me. It is helping me start to think about my units and how the rules apply to each and how I can use them to advantage.


Dalton King said...

Well also to remember, and to apply Jawa's example, attacking multiple unis can be game changing. My friend plays tyranids, and some of the synapses rules makes them fearless in assault conditions. Using one squad of assault marines, I attacked some Hormagnauts (sp) and had one marine assault his Carnifex. Obviously the 1 marine didn't hit the Carnifex, but because my marines caused a good amount of wounds to the smaller units and the Carnifex was in the assault, he had to take 4 or 5 wounds because of being fearless

jawaballs said...

I routinely land multiple assaults. It really is not too hard, if you want to get two squads, move closest to closest, then make sure you just ladder 2" over towards the next squad until you can get a guy in B2b plus coherency. The key is to land that closest guy in the most opportune place. So long as I get one guy in the spot I want, the rest I can arrange to go where I will need them. I have not gotten 3 squads and a vehicle, but I have gotten 2 and a vehicle!

Also, most guys, including me, are not quite so literal in the reading of the rules. So long as all of the guys are in coherency when they make their assault move, getting obsessed with measuring inches while you move each one is a little much. I've never seen a player freak out if the first two guys I move are not in coherency since it is obvious that by the time I am done moving, they will be.

Kaboom? said...

For popping Chars: Lightning claws, Fists, Hammers, etc. Anything at high S or re-roll to hit/wound.
For popping tanks: If you have melta bombs, and a power fist, use the melta bombs if its a big tank a power fist if its a small one.
Walkers: Fist/Hammer/Really lucky 'nade.
Infantry: Save the hammers for the IC's, let the lightning claws rip on these poor bastards.

Kaboom? said...

To show an example: An experimental squad in a Deathwing list I will be making: Belial with his sword and bolter, 2 guys with fist and bolter, sarge with sword and bolter, Termy w/ chainfist and ASS cannon, lightning claw termy w/ Dwing company banner. VS a 30 mob of slugga boys with a AOBR warboss. BTW bolters means storm bolters. Banner gives +1 to attack and re-roll leadership checks (psychic not included)

Deathwing shooting: Ass cannon: BS 4, about 3 hit. 2's to wound, all wound and kill 3 orks. 6 vs 28.
3 bolters: 6 shots. BS 4: 4 hit. T4: 2 kill. 6 vs 26. Belial: 2 hits, 1 kill. 6 vs 25.

Dwing charge. Belial strikes first. 6 attacks w/ banner on the charge. 3's to hit. 4 hit. 4's to wound, 2 wound. Re-roll: 3 kill. Target warboss. Bye-bye. Lightning claw termy: 5 strikes. 4's to hit. 3. 4's to wound. Around 3 wounds with re-rolls. 3 die. 6 vs 21. Sarge. 4 Strikes. 2 hit, 1 kill. 6 vs 20. Now, 2 attacks base, +1 for dual. 60 strikes. 4's to hit, 30. 5's to wound, 10. 5 on Belial, 1 on each termy. Belial loses 1 wound. Sarge dies. Now, 16 strikes back. 4's to hit, 8. 2's to kill, 7. 5 vs 13. -12 modifier to orks. Spectacular fail. Successful disengage. Orks routed next turn. Of course, this is about averages.

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