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.
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