View Full Version : Intermixing Units and Cover Saves in 5e

30-06-2008, 21:37
- "If a model fires through the gaps between some elements of area terrain (such as between two trees in a wood) or through the gaps between models in an intervening unit, the target is in cover, even if it is completely visble to the firer." (Firing through units or area terrain, p.22)

- "If half or more of the models in the target unit are in cover, then the entire unit is deemed to be in cover and all of its models may take cover saves." (Units partially in cover, p.22)

In the following example, Ork Mobs #1 and #2 receive a 4+ cover save from the Space Marine squad, even though the Orks mobs are in the open. IN THE OPEN! Now imagine multiple 30 Ork mobs moving in the same formation -scary!


If my reading of the cover save rules is correct, then just about any unit in the open can now give itself a 4+ cover save so long as there is another unit to intermix itself with.

Of course this makes both units more vulnerable to blast templates but not all opponents field such weapons, and if they do, generally not that many. Moreover, if the target units have low armor saves, then the few extra casualties that they may take from blast templates will be more than made up for by the cover saves made against non-blast weapons (e.g. bolters, heavy bolters, auto-cannons, etc.) -the kind of weapons that make up the vast majority of the shooting in 40K.

Large, inexpensive, fearless units like Ork Boyz and Gaunts are going to benefit from this rule the most.

So much for the new Shooting rules being more "cinematic." Unless of course by "cinematic," Jervis had in mind the 80's TV series 'The A-Team'. A ridiculous show in which hundreds of rounds were expended in every episode and nobody was ever hit. :(

01-07-2008, 14:03
This has already come up a couple of times, e.g.

warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=146768 (http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=146768)
warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148327 (http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148327)

The upshot of it is that it is perfectly legal, but as you say it is very vulnerable to blast and template weapons and any CC unit can charge both easily. You will usually give a 4+ cover save to anything you're shooting at, so it's not great for ranged units. It can be difficult to move these units since you have to move units one at a time (without moving through other models, and maintaining unit coherency) and of course "run" will force you to move at the slowest speed, so it's not great for assault troops.

Template weapons will probably become more common in 5th because of the increase in the amount of cover saves anyway and the no-partial and blast scattering rules, so this should be more of a drawback for this formation than it would have been in 4th.

The ideal use of this would be for Troops units that:

1. Are sitting on an objective, not in cover
2. Have the Stealth USR (or better) to improve the cover save
3. Have weapons that ignore cover saves

I don't know of any units that fulfil all three criteria, but Eldar Pathfinders come close and if your location is surrounded by 4+ cover anyway, you're no worse off giving away a 4+ save from intervening units.