View Full Version : Cover: how about this

18-12-2006, 13:45
Me and my regular opponent (my brother) Have decided to play a few games with different cover rules. The idea would be to throw the cover save after the to hit roll, to determine which shots hit cover and which don't. Next are to wound rolls, armour/inv saves as usual.

Now I don't know if the rules concerning cover saves have always been like they are now, but I always felt the current rules were a bit strange, having too choose either the cover save or your armour save. The rules now pretty much implies that a marine standing in 4+ cover is not protected by cover at all, unless the weapon is ap 3.

I'll let you know whether or not it turns out to be a good idea

18-12-2006, 13:48
Swap the armour and wound rolls over too if you want more realism. Statistically I don't think that swap makes any difference but adding a cover save in addition to the armour save obviously will.

It should be interesting to hear the results.

18-12-2006, 13:57
While I like the idea this means that space marines are able to take much more fire from small arms. Low save troops like guard or orks would gain very little from this rule...

IMO you should calcute the cover into the to-hit roll. A word called modifiers that they seem to have forgotten in 40k :mad:

unit in cover = -1 to hit, heavy cover = -2 to hit or something similar


The Keeper of Secrets
18-12-2006, 14:06
I think the current rules emply that, "if the shot can get through power armor it can get through the cover". Basically, with an marine, you take the armour save, which says that the marines armour is tougher than the cover, so you need not worry about the cover as if it got through the armour it would've busted the cover. With an IGsman, the cover will be stronger than his armour, so you make the cover save, and if that fails, than it would have penatrated his armour as well, as it is weaker than the cover that the shot just busted.

Confused? Just read it slowly, bit by bit, and it makes sense ;)

18-12-2006, 14:09
that kind of cover save __needs__ to be combined with armour save modifiers, as guardsmen get the cover save they were already getting and no armour saves if beiing shot by ap5 bolters while marines have their armour AND the cover save in return...
space marines with 6+ armour saves against autocannons seem so much more reasonable to me...

18-12-2006, 14:21
I would actually agree with the way you are doig, it makes sense. If a marine us behind cover, he should get a cover save (the cover simply making him harder to hit) and then any rounds/hits making beyond the cover would then get to wound and possibly get saved by armor.

This would hold true of IG, Eldar, and any other potential casualties within the 40K multiverse.

Used to, cover modifiers were used, but now, in the interst of simplification, not realism, it an either/or proposition. This then takes in the assumption that marines, if being fired at by lasguns for example, would not even bother to take cover, since they know their armor is tough enough to take that little damage and keep them safe. Unload at them with a battery of 4 lascannons, however, and they will duck and cover with the rest of them. However, even the most common marine would be aware that enough lasgun shots will eventually be fired at to get through his armor, and the invariable "lucky shot" will penetrate his throat armor, or eye lense, or something. If you read the fluff, almost all marines make use of cover, even when fighting against traitor IG with lasguns.

John Vaughan
18-12-2006, 14:44
I think that the way cover saves are made was formatted that way just for simplicity purposes.

18-12-2006, 15:09
If a marine us behind cover, he should get a cover save (the cover simply making him harder to hit)

Harder to hit? Even the bright yellow Imperial Fists? :)

I would say that Marines (Especially Terminators) find it harder to make use of cover due to their bulk. A small Guardsman can easily duck down or go prone behind a shrub.
If you consider the fact that you're going to be more cautious around bigger guns and really try hard to make use of cover, then they get their cover save. But against small arms, Marines probably wouldn't bother that much.
Err... something along those lines anyway.

18-12-2006, 17:32
I think that the way cover saves are made was formatted that way just for simplicity purposes.
I seem to recall comments from the studio that it was done for thematic purposes. By reducing the value of cover to heavy infantry, it encourages players to use them in a more aggressive manner, and so you get Space Marines advancing down the table with shots pinging off their armour like the fluff describes, not cowering in the bushes to protect themselves from the Guardsmen and their Big Nasty Lasguns.


19-12-2006, 07:00
Well I have to acknowledge the fact that playing in the way I propose offers a bigger advantage for troops with a higher armour save, which is likely to inbalance things. I have some games planned over the weekend ( I hope to have time), and see if this will hold true.

As some pointed out, a modifier on the to hit roll to signify cover might be better, as it seems equally fair to all armies. I will try that out next. If anyone else feels like giving this a try, feel free to post your experiences here.

19-12-2006, 12:15
I think reintroducing to hit modifiers, armour save modifiers will be better for the game.

19-12-2006, 16:52
If cover saves stack with armor saves, then better armor should cost alot more points. And as was with most of the 3rd & 4th edition rule changes, there was a move towards quantity of troops, and away from quality of each troop. For example Terminators become weaker while the less expensive marines became more powerful. Unless GW wants to focus back on small squads of very powerful units, there is no way that cover saves and armor saves should stack.

21-12-2006, 08:11
I actually managed to play a game last night, using cover saves additional to armour saves. We played space marines vs imperial guard, with lots of cover on the board.

Even though I have only one game to back it up, I feel that playing this way is very unbalance when you pit a higher armour save army against a lower save army. Casualties among the space marines were very light, and the guards were ripped to schreds.

I think this way if playing can be fun, but only when you pit two armies if the same save against each other. I have a space marines vs. chaos space marines game planned for this reason:) .

After those, I gonna try it with the modifiers. I'll post how it goes

21-12-2006, 11:39
You could always have cover adding to the save of a model, up to a maximum of 2+ save

Light cover +1 armour
Hard cover +2 armour
Fortified cover +3 armour

or variation 1

Light cover +1 armour
Hard cover +2 armour or 6+INV
Fortified cover +3 to armour or 5+INV

Makes terminators in cover useless though (how it should be)

21-12-2006, 11:41
You'd need to have 2+ as the best save possible, with a roll of 1 still failing.

21-12-2006, 13:04
The Epic system is quite nice. A -1 save for being in (any) cover, combined with a cover save (instead of armour) for being behind hard cover.

21-12-2006, 13:15
cover's always something i never really get on with in 4th ed
whereas it was more realistic having to-hit modifiers for being in heavy cover, for example. That way, not a lot of shots hit

cover saves, imho, especially for armies that have low or no armour saves, may be a bonus, but modifiers made cover fair for anyone. -3 to hit, for example, meant that even an Imperial Guardsman could be safe. Now, however, A space marine could be standing in cover and still take an armour save (because it's better).

bob syko
21-12-2006, 13:33
Let it go fella's(and maybe ladies). Modifiers are never coming back for 40k. I sing a lament for them each night for my sorrow is far reaching and eternal.

If it was unbalanced with two armies with different armour saves what would be the difference with a battle between two marine forces with the cover save than without. They would still have basically the same saves it would just dicourage any tactical play. All that would happen is the two armies would sit in cover and blast at each other. Battles would take far too long and I think it would be very dull.

Good luck with the modifiers though. If you are after all that though why not just try and pick up a copy of second edition(maybe you already have one). If you look hard enough you can probably find the army lists for second edition spread out on the internet. Sweet, sweet internet.

21-12-2006, 15:02
I do still own the rulebook and wargear books for 2nd Ed, and the long lost Codex Imperialis. I also have the 2nd Ed Eldar and Angels Of Death Codices, and also the Sisters Of Battle one

I love those books -- they make me squeal each time I see them

21-12-2006, 20:07
Armour and cover saves should not stack. A cover modifier would be proportionally better for better armoured troops. A 3+ save modified to 2+ chops the save failing chance in half. A 5+ save modified to 4+ takes the failing chance to 3/4.

Shooting modifiers might be useful but you have to be real careful with this. Troops will still be ducking and weaving when they move and this would have a comparable affect to crouching behind the rim of a crater. I would imagnie moving and firing troops would be sprinting then slowing and shooting or if they are advancing smoothly they would probably be spraying so many bullets your way it would be a struggle just to keep your nuts out of your guts.

You are a moving target in the one instance whereas the guy with only his head, gun and arms poking out is a static target you can bead on a bit more easily. Especially for trained shooters, which even BS3 shooters are fluff-wise.

21-12-2006, 22:33
The problem with to-hit modifiers:
A Space Marine in huge hulking terminator armour can hide just as easily as a lightly armoured and rather small guardsman?