The Anatomy of a Drop Pod

Due to the amazing amount of ignorance in the comment section of my last BOLS article, I figured I would take some time today to offer a little clarification on how drop pods work. I made a reference to how drop pods became more dangerous because of the increased amount of disembark space. Previously, a model could disembark 2" away from the hull. Now they can be within a 6" radius.  That pretty much doubles their range and greatly reduces the impact of a poor scatter roll.  Oh and by the way, I wrote that BOLS article Sunday morning, the day after 6th ed was released. It was called "First Impressions."  It is laughable to see some of the commenters complaining that I admitted that I did not have a full grasp of the new rules, mere hours after their release.

Well, my devoted cadre of BOLS comment fans couldn't help but tear me a new one. (I don't post over there very often so I bet some of them were in withdrawal. Especially Warboss Stalin since he is banned from commenting here for being a total dick!) 

Any way, you can read the comments for yourself, but I was getting accused of cheating, feigning ignorance to get an advantage, abusing kids in tournaments, and making douch-bag interpretations.

All based on the fact that I said you measure from the FIN when you disembark from a pod. It seems some of the more anxious commenters jumped the gun before fully digesting what I said. (Pointing at you Flekso!)  But others actually ignored the words I used, and inserted their own. "He meant door." Despite the fact that I clearly used the word FIN.

Well kids, lets take a look at some drop pod pictures and I will explain to you what a fin is on a pod as opposed to a door, and how the rules work for measuring and I will try to break down disembarking from a drop pod based on the new rules.

First, here are some rule book quotes:

Page 79:
"Place the first model in base contact with one of the vehicles Access Points." 

"The model can then make a normal move, but it must end it's move wholly within 6" of the access point it disembarked from."  This "normal move" is part of the disembark.

I may have described it as a 6" disembark, when actually you disembark base to base with the pod then move up to 6", but there is really no difference. 

To be thorough, I tried to see if there were any rules elsewhere that would limit this.

On page 36 it discusses Deep Striking and DS transport vehicles.  It says that deep striking units cannot move any further (In reference to what happens after they deep strike) other than to disembark from a deep striking transport vehicle. 

Since it does not elaborate, we must assume we are to use the normal disembark rules on page 79 that I just listed.

With me? 

So a Dreadnought that comes out of a pod is placed base to base with the access point, then moves up to 6" so that it's base is wholly within that 6", measured from the access point from which it disembarked.

Now we get to the meaty part. 

On a drop pod, what is considered hull? What are the access points? One dude exclaimed that "A drop pod has access points, you disembark from the access points! After calling me a cheater."

First of all. A drop pod is an open topped vehicle. 

Page 82:
Open Topped Transports.

Open-Topped vehicles do not have specific Access Points. Instead, all of the vehicle is considered to be an Access Point, regardless of any base they may have.


You disembark from any part of the drop pod because a drop pod has NO access points, the entire pod is an access point.

Now, I could not find any information about how to handle open doors such as a Land Raider's front ramp, a Rhino's back ranp, and yes, a drop pod's five doors. But I can say that, from my experience, it is universally accepted that you do not measure from the extended door, but instead you measure to the point it occupies when closed. On drop pods, this means that you pretty much ignore the doors once they are open. But to really look at it, based on the rules I found for 6th edition, it could be argued that the open doors actually are part of the hull, and are what you measure from. I could not find word to the contrary. Perhaps you could help with this?  TO BE CLEAR, I am not advocating using the doors as your measuring point for disembark.

We can accept this as truth right?

Well what's all the hubbub bub?

 Lets look at my first picture. This is a top down view of a closed pod. It looks like a rounded pentagon. There are five little protrusions, one from each point of the pentagon, extending out about half an inch. I call these FINS for lack of a better word.  Fins are considered hull.

Here is a side view of the closed pod. As you can see, the fins make up a major portion of the hull of the vehicle.

Here is the pod now open. Ignoring the doors, what do you actually have to shoot at? Just those fins! They are pretty much the ONLY thing a drop pod has for hull.

Here is a pod with it's doors open. Again, we ignore the doors completely. Deploying from the tips of those doors would be pretty outrageous, silly and broken. Good thing that is not what I am telling you to do! It is amazing that since I did not directly point that out in the article, so many people jumped to the conclusion that I was trying to cheat.

So lets break it down.

Drop Pods are Open-Topped. I could not find any thing in the book to clearly define the issue of where to disembark from a drop pod. BUT I could find this...

The picture on the right appears on page 79 and has to deal with emergency disembark. This is only relevant for two reasons. First, it explains that a unit uses the normal rules for disembarking, then goes on to show the maximum 6" radius and all of the models within that radius.  But more importantly, it shows a model placed base to base with the tip of the dozer blade tooth, then moved normally. This is important because it shows clear precedent for what is considered hull and how to use it.

In fact, I don't believe that previously dozer blades were considered hull... interesting. Regardless, they certainly are now.

So how does this affect drop pods?

Here is a dreadnought about to disembark from a pod. Since pods are open-topped, any part of the hull is considered an access point. Roger?  (Again, we ignore the doors.) And we have clearly shown that the fin is indeed hull.

That means based on the rules for disembark, you first place the dread base to base with the fin as pictured above. Sure, you could place the dread between the fins, base to base with the pentagon side, but this is not necessary! Is this using an interpretation of the rules for advantage? If you are a glass half full sort of gamer, but look at the picture in the book... A model is using the very tooth of a dozer blade in the exact same manner. In the second picture you see that the dread has moved out 6" from the fin, just like the guardsman moving out 6" from the dozer tooth. Granted, that is a picture of emergency disembark and this is a picture of drop pod deep strike disembark, but they are essentially the same thing for purposes of this conversation.

If you are going to call me a cheater, then you have to call the guys who wrote the book and drew the diagrams cheaters too.

There are actually times when it may be more advantageous to keep the dread between the fins, like in an attempt to grab a cover save from enemy return fire without popping smoke. But the point here is that based on the rules, we have that option. But we can indeed place that dread base to base with ANY part of the HULL (Fins), because any part of the hull is considered an access point on open-topped vehicles.

The only unclear part here is do you move the dread or do you leave it base to base since the pod deep striked? I think that until we find a clear answer to this question (FAQ), we MUST play it as above.

At the very least, this article should clear up the question of what is considered hull, and where you measure from when disembarking.


FYI I enabled comment moderation. Your comments will not post right away any more. I will need to ok them first. This is the only way I can enforce a block of a certain ass hat who cannot seem to accept the simple rules of posting on my blog. Be respectful. You are welcome to share your opinion and tell us all how you feel, but you have to adhere to the basic rules of civil interaction. Just because you can post online, it does not mean you can say whatever you damn well please. I check my email often throughout the day so you should see your comment posted within hours.  Thanks for your support!


Feldmarshal Goehring said...

You should expect such from BOLS. I read your article over there, and it was not confusing. The folks who comment over there would flame and rage over an article posted straight out of a peer-reviewed journal. There just seems to be something about commenting on that site that reduces the IQ of readers.

Twyg said...

Trolls suck man... They forget the core rule... Have fun.

Frankly I played you and know that if we sat down and said "gee, I dunno how this works" that we'd come to a common ground and have a good time playing. That to me, is objective number one. You or I start cheesing, then we call it and figure out what's really going on. Ignorance happens, mis-reads happen, etc.

So, let them troll, share your opinion and to hell with it. Looking forward to playing you again soon.

DimmyK said...

Quite frankly I don't see how it could be played as anything other than your version - the people who try to tell you otherwise are either ignorant or playing their strange games

Doc Railgun said...

I personally would have no problem with the idea of measuring 6" from the fin, the important part of the rule as far as I'm concerned is that the disembarking model must end up no further than 6" from that fin. Probably what the designers should have said was something like 'imagine the disembarking models began their move inside the drop pod' but didn't think about it. Since they didn't, we have to use the rules as written.
Also, we will have to watch opponents with drop pods (and ourselves) to make sure that (like in your picture above) the measurement is done from the same point - in this case from the rear of the base. There will be people who will place the dreadnought and measure 6" from the front of the model, then move the rear of the model to that point. That's more than 6" from the drop pod. The correct procedure (as I see it) would be to place the model against the fin, then measure 6" from the fin and then place the front edge of the model's base at that point, exactly if the player was moving the model normally (which as I remember, the disembarkation rules actually say disembarking is). Though as I see it, so long as you measure from rear ro rear or front to front, that's fine. Still the 'no more than 6"' is going to be the clause that sticks in people's minds.

Doc Railgun said...

In any case, the issue on BoLS is just the Intarweb tubes issue: idiots can't read (or don't try to). They saw 'fin' as 'open drop pod door' and didn't bother to read any further to find out they were wrong. Any place with unmoderated comments will be full of trolls and people who can't be bothered to take a moment for reading comprehension.

Zab said...

BOLS has a lots of very angry WAAC players commenting. Don't get me wrong I like their blog roll and articles but The attitude of some of the commenters is exactly why I fear going to tourneys and mainly stick to the hobby side of things. Though I am hoping to use 6th to get back into the gaming side of 40K.

Kevin said...

I'm in the same boat as Zab.
Its a shame, as BOLS could be really great but its always the people leaving the comments and generally trolling, that ruin it for everyone.
Besides that I thought it was a great article.
I had no confusion on my end while reading it.

Track star said...

just remember that the -furthest- part of the base has to be within 6" of the hull just as it is in the diagram, so you would place the dread, then move him so that the -furthest- part of its base is no more than 6" from the hull. I know its a little thing, but the use of "6" move" makes it seem like you can place the model (in this case a Dread.) and then move 6" which for a dread ~ 8 inches from the pod from the furthest part of the base.

Jawaballs said...

Yah Trackstar, that's why I called it "Within a 6" radius". Saying it like you did is a lot of typing!

And you are right Kevin, I wrote that article mere hours after the release of the books to the general public, and had it in my hand for less than a day, and the douche bags were on my case because I admitted I was not an expert. I guess they missed the point of an article titled "first impressions".

Kiwamu said...

My Furioso Scriptor with Blood Lance loves to position him right, where it hurts. Shared this with my mates I usually game with. So they can't argue with me.

Thank you for sharing this :)

FluffyPanda said...

Almost every time I keep scrolling past the end of the article on BOLS I lose a little more faith in humanity. I should greasemonkey their entire comments section away like I did with youtube.

Though, to be fair, the article itself sometimes has that effect on BOLS.

Jawaballs said...

The only problem with the Bell of Lost Trolls is that Larry loves them. They feed the site. They post their hate, then sit there and refresh 400 times a day until some one responds, then they spew more filth then rinse and repeat. They boost the hits like mad. That means $ for Larry!

He really needs to go through there with the Ban Hammer and play Whack a Mole, but alas, we will never see it.

Gangrel767 said...

Jawaballs - I have a question for you. According to my reading on pg 79 (Placing Disembarked models - specifically the top of the right column), and on pg 36 (Arrive by Deep Strike - right after third bullet point) - it seems to me that a unit disembarking from a drop pod must end within base contact of the transport, as that 6" move is their normal move.. and a unit disembarking from a deep strike cannot move any further that turn.

If I'm misunderstanding it, please explain how.

Jawaballs said...

Gangrel that was part of the question I raised. Based on the rules as they seem to be written, I think we have to play them as getting the 6" move out of a pod. Any one else?

FluffyPanda said...

The description on page 79 for disembarkation does say that the "normal move" it mentions is part of the disembarkation process. The deep strike rules say that they can make no move except to disembark, so I think that moving within the 6" disembarkation area is allowed.

Could do with a faq for clarity though.

Gangrel767 said...

After reviewing and re reading your post here as well as re reading the rules, i would have to agree with you. It definitely infers that the 6" "normal move" is part of the disembarkation, not a normal move on top of the disembarkation. P.S. good for you, for turning on the comment moderation. Don't let some douche ruin it for the rest of us. Great Post as usual.

jerbear said...

Hey J,

You have it right on as far as I can tell, and the d-bags on BOLS forums can suck it. Philly's got your back!

Logan Rodriguez said...

I would also like to point something out about disembarking from a pod.

Even though the pod comes down counting as cruising speed, you still shoot normal and not snap fire. Reason being is; the drop pod is the only vehicle other than the night scythe that lets you disembark when going faster than combat speed.

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