A Living FAQ…
This is a list of official answers to questions that should probably be better stated as F-FAQ’s – ‘Fairly Frequently Asked Questions'(!) and is the main location for such answers. This extends the original ‘Beyond Questions and Answers‘ PDF and has the answers from that included as ‘BQA #’ – for additional commentary, refer to the PDF. Like all Living FAQs, this will be updated as and when we notice a question that crops up more and more. Questions for which replies aren’t yet officially sorted can be found on the Provisional FAQ page and other important Nexus pages you may find useful are all on the Rules Central and in the latest online PDF Army Lists.
Some of these FAQ answers have been organised into roughly associated groups: Net/Slingnet – Transports – Large – Mixed Type Units – Ghar, Plasma Amps – The Battle for Xilos (Rebel Ghar) – The Dronescourge Returns (and Virai) – Ghar Distort dice – Command/Follow – NuHu – Drones, Probes and Buddy Drones – Miscellaneous –
Page numbers all refer to the core rulebook unless otherwise specified. Tip: if you can’t find your question in a group, use the ‘Find’ option in your browser (sometimes <Ctrl>+F).
BQA #18. Can a Res roll of a 10 be rerolled?
If the model is entitled to a reroll of a failed Res roll then it can reroll the 10 – yes. For example, a model with the leader ability can reroll a failed Res. You are probably confusing the Res roll with the Acc roll ‘to hit’, where a roll of a 10 cannot be rerolled and may also invoke additional, deleterious results.
Q. Can subverters target units within a transport? And can a unit in a transport use its special abilities like Follow or Command and any buddy drones?
A. Teams within transports are still active combat shards so, for example, can still be targeted by subverters. Being potentially active units, even when transported, they can still use special abilities. However, a transported unit’s buddy drones and equipment cannot be used when being transported as they are effectively stowed away. A question sometimes arising from this is from where abilities like Follow are measured, given these are focused on a model and a related question is whether and when units within a transport can receive Follow orders or similar special abilities.
To answer this, we need to understand an important Antarean concept: the typical Antarean battlefield is soaked with combat nanospore and nanophages as part of a localised meta-conflict that both limits and, where saturated, focuses what has been called CCCCI. An individual combat shard, for example, is typically sustained by a cloud of nanospore – a nanosphere – appropriate to its task. Antarean commanders have substantial amounts of advanced command equipment, sensors and co-ordination capabilities, as well as additional nanospore to assist them. Similarly, medic teams have comprehensive medic databases, extensive medical nanospore and in many armies are able to patch into a nearby shard’s nanosphere to analyse medical data and assess and assign the correct response – whether given locally or through the specialised nanosphere.
As a result, specialists like commanders and medic can still use their skills from within a vehicle. And, even when stowed, the spore required for handling the buddy drone still gives the unit is susceptibility to the subverter matrix (it’s shut down when the drone is destroyed, of course). To be consistent, measure such abilities from the centre of the transport pod or, if there is none, the centre of the transporter. Traits with 5″ ranges have a relative short effectiveness from troops within a transport (Medic, Follow).
Given this, a Follow order could be issued to a unit within a transport providing it can receive the order and act on it (‘can make the action’, p.133), bearing in mind that unless it is about to leave, a unit within a transport can only be given a Rally order.
A commander within a transport issuing a Follow order could also affect others in range. When disembarking, the commander could issue a Run or Advance, but could only give a Rally if remaining inside the transport. At the time of issuing the Run or Advance Follow order (p.133), the range would have to be measured as above, from the centre of the pod.
Drones and equipment can be used only when a unit makes its action to leave the transport. A Freeborn Command squad’s batter drone, for example, could be deployed and active as soon as the squad steps out the transport (important for a possible Ambush). As a result, the same squad’s Commander could not use their Synchroniser Drone to boost the range of their Follow because the Follow dice are issued when the Commander’s dice is given (inside the transport!). Interestingly, however, the Synchroniser Drone could be used at the end of the unit’s action to synchronise with another unit as the synchronisation happens after the commander leaves the transport (Xilos, p. 79).
Q. Can I transport non-large weapon drones in a transport?
A. Not by the rules as written (p.95 ‘Embarkation’). Non-large weapon drones includes all sorts of drones such as the Isorian Andhak weapon drones and the Concord C3D2 Medium combat drones.
BQA #20. Do I have to designate which units are in transport vehicles if those units start the game off-table? And can the units being carried get out of their transports and try to enter the table on foot instead?
At the start of the game you should either openly indicate which units are being carried by which transporters, or – if you prefer – secretly note down which units are being carried by which vehicles so you can reveal each transporter’s contents as necessary. Units carried by transports can only enter the table in their transports; they cannot leave their carriers ‘off-table’ and try to enter on foot. Once you have placed units inside vehicles they are effectively ‘deployed’ and will enter play together with their transporters.
BQA #21. If a transport vehicle moves onto the table can a unit it is carrying exit the vehicle and launch an assault on the enemy in the same turn?
Yes it can, because the unit that is making the assault begins its action already on the table. Units cannot use an order to enter the table and make an assault, but in this case the assaulting unit is already on the table when the order is given.
Q. What happens if my MOD unit fails its first order test to come onto the table?
A.The MOD unit tries again with its second or third dice. If it succeeds, the failing die/dice just duplicate the successful one (Run/Advance) and is put back in the bag at the end of the turn – off table units cannot go Down. If all a unit’s attempts to come onto the table fail, then all the dice are kept off-table as failed Run/Advance orders and put back into the dice bag at the start of the next turn.
Note that when drawing from the bag for initial deployment before turn one, every deployable unit only has one dice with units within transports being covered by the transport’s (see A Closer Look at Transports). In other words, you can’t deploy MOD units multiple times. At the start of turn one, of course, all the relevant dice & MOD dice should be in the bag.
BQA #1. Large models can see over units of non-large (let’s say smaller uh!) models – for example a Ghar Trooper can see over a unit of Ghar Outcasts. Can a large model see over smaller models that are part of its own unit?
Yes they can. The rule does refer to the situation where a unit of large models is drawing LOS over a unit of smaller models (p. 25) because that is the usual situation. However, where a unit comprises both large and smaller models the large models can ‘see over’ their smaller brethren and can be ‘seen over’ them as well.
BQA #2. Similarly to the above, can smaller models see over other smaller models in their own unit to target a large target? I.e. can they shoot ‘through’ their own unit members in such a case?
Yes they can. Models can always draw LOS over non-large models to shoot at a target that has the ‘large’ special rule.
BQA #4. Do large models such as Ghar troopers or Tsan Ra get a reroll of hits when they go down?
They do if they are entitled to them as described on p.29. Infantry and weapon teams (and equivalent command and beast units) get this reroll bonus regardless of whether they are large or not.
BQA #6. Can a large model with the Rapid Sprint rule make a sprint even if it doesn’t have the Fast rule?
Normally, large models are not allowed to sprint unless they are also fast, but if a model has the Rapid Sprint rule then it is allowed to make a sprint or Rapid Sprint even if it is large.
BQA #7. Does a unit making a Rapid Sprint force rerolls to hit in the same way as a Fast unit?
No it doesn’t. Only units that have the Fast rule benefit in this way. A unit shot at whilst Sprinting into Assault is sprinting so still forces rerolls of hits (p.31).
Q. Does Slingnet act with other weapons? In other words if I hit a Res 13 target with slingnet and a lance, does the slingnet cause the extra pin because the lance shot took it down below being Heavily Armoured?
A: No. The extra pin only applies to the slingnet’s shot, not to any other. If the target is heavily armoured to the Slingnet, then the slingnet cannot effect it.
Q. Can I use Slingnet launched from an X-Sling in the Hand to hand phase of an Assault?
A: X-Slings can be used in the hand to hand phase, with D3 blast, which is why drop troops are so deadly. However, as it’s only one pin per casualty in H2H, and p.87 is quite specific about slingnet being ineffective against targets that are ‘not pinned when hit’, using slingnet in H2H is pointless. Otherwise, an X-Sling can can be used to inflict D3 × SV0 hits as normal in hand to hand (p.68).
Q. Can a shield drone block a hit from a blast weapon before the blast takes effect? And can it block the Net ammo shell before it explodes and causes pins, or even block Net hits?
A: No. The Shield drone only attempts to block hits and after they have been allocated. This means the shield drone reacts after calcualting how many blast hits are to be applied and after those hits have been allocated to individual models. Any ammo that doesn’t cause hits (whether it be Net, Grip, etc) can’t be blocked by shield drones. ‘The Shield Drone is supposed to protect the unit against hits that are liable to cause damage/casualties, so once hits have been allocated to the models in a unit, the player can use shield drones to knock out hits before they are resolved with a Res test. Otherwise – the Shield Drone does nothing – it can’t affect a ‘hit’ from a weapon that causes multiple hits until those hits have been generated and allocated.
BQA #10. If an Algoryn AI unit is given slingnet and/or overload ammunition as an upgrade, is the +5pts paid for every model in the unit or just for those models armed with micro-x launchers or x-slings. Also, can I choose to so equip some members of the units but not others, or is it necessary to upgrade all models that can be upgraded?
If you upgrade the unit you must give the special ammo type (or grenades or other options) to all the unit’s models able to make use of it and stated as being able to receive it in the army lists. You pay the points for all the models so equipped. So, if you have a five-man unit with the leader armed with an x-sling and one trooper armed with a micro-x launcher you pay 10pts and both models carry the special ammo..
BQA #11. Slingnet ammo specifically doesn’t affect heavily armoured targets, is the same true of net ammo, and in both cases how do you define ‘heavily armoured’ as neither type of ammo has a strike value (SV).
The exception only applies to slingnet. Slingnet is a low-intensity version of the suspensor net that doesn’t affect larger and more powerful targets. All targets with a Res of 11+ once SV has been taken into account are heavily armoured – so although slingnet has no SV any target with a Res value of 11 or more is ‘heavily armoured’ and therefore immune. Net ammo, on the other hand, affects all targets whether heavily armoured or not, and is therefore equally useful against vehicles, Ghar troopers, Brood Mothers, etc.
Q. What happens to my Net and Slingnet ammo when I shoot overhead? Who has the pins and who has the extra pin?
A. With slingnet shot OH from a micro-X, a blast template is used – an X-sling only shoots direct. This could shift on a miss so it could affect two units. In such a case, both units hit pick up two pins: one for being hit, as normal, plus the extra +1 for slingnet. This is a minor variation on the normal blast rule.
With Net ammo, however, the number of hits are divided equally amongst each unit just like any other blast. So if the Net ammo dice comes up with ‘3’, one unit gets 2 pins from the suspensor Net, plus one for being hit, as normal, making a total of 3 pins; the other unit gets 1 pin from the Net plus 1 for being hit, again as normal, for a total of 2 pins. So, in effect, the ‘+1’ for being hit applies to both units as both were hit.
BQA #26. If a unit with multiple slingnet ammo weapons scores multiple hits with slingnet, can it add more than 2 pins to the target?
No, it’s just an extra +1 pin from the shooting of a single unit regardless of how many hits are inflicted from slingnet.
MIXED TYPE UNITS
This includes a few rules for Heavy Bombardment Crawlers that otherwise might be in with Ghar. The guiding principle in Mixed Type units is that they are governed by the major model in the unit, just like buddy drones attached to MOD2 vehicle units.
Q. What happens to scutters in regards to MOD 2 when they are added to the Heavy Bombardment Crawler unit? And to hatchlings and the Broodmother? Ooh – and Virai warriors and constructors when added to Architectors and Supervisor drones?
A: All the single-dice models are joining a MOD2 unit so become MOD2 – effectively at no cost. Ghar scutters can also be upgraded with a Plasma Amplifier just like the Heavy Bombardment Crawler. The same also happens with the Boromite Matronite and Hatchings: the Matronite is the key model in the unit so adding the Hatchlings to it just makes them part of a MOD unit, the same happening to Virai Warrior Bodyguard or Constructors in an Architector command unit.
Q. What happens to the scutters when the Heavy Bombardment Crawler fails a Break Test forced by its Damage Chart and breaks? Thinking about it, this also happens to the Matronite and its hatchling as well as any Virai architector and it’s infantry bodyguard and multi-model creeper units.
A. A unit led by damage chart models takes Break Tests as directed for its ‘type’ as p44 of the rulebook. The presence of other, ancillary models can be compared to equipment like a buddy drone in other units so the whole unit takes Break Tests as it would were a single weapon drone, vehicle, etc. The break affects the whole unit – it is still one unit even though it contains a mix of types and the secondary type is only acting in an ancillary fashion, hence if the main type is ‘gone’ the unit is gone.
This also affects multi-vehicle units: if one of the peer models forces a Break Test, the whole unit is broken – no doubt the others are dismayed at seeing their companion destroyed!
Q. Does my Heavily Armoured Brood Mother/Bombardment Crawler/Bomber unit lose its Heavily Armoured status if I add models to it with a Res of 10 or less
A. No. Only if the Heavily Armoured model(s) fail their Res saves does the unit take a pin. If the unit loses the Heavily Armoured model(s), the other models take pins as normal for units with non-Heavily Armoured model.
A: Essentially, it is the major model’s Heavily Armoured status that counts. Such units tend to disregard casualties on lesser models. To summarise:
- Attacker chooses whether to direct attacks/shots on the HA model or on the others (p.96)
- When shooting, the unit does not take a pin if one of the lesser models is hit or destroyed, as implied in shooting and Break Tests due to type
- In Hand-to-hand, the unit does not take a pin if one of the lesser models is destroyed
Q: Can my weapon team team make an assault? And what about Weapon Teams attached to Infantry units?
A: Weapon teams cannot initiate Assaults (p.39), but can respond to them. They can shoot in PBS when responding to an assault with whatever hand or standard weapons they carry (but see the the Games Day Rules Modifications for variations on this). When attached to other units, the crew can join in an assault made by the Infantry or respond to an assault on the whole unit. Of course, if the infantry models in the mixed unit are destroyed then the unit reverts to just being a weapon team!
(See also Mixed Type Units, above, for Heavy Bombardment Crawler + Scutters, Matronite + Hatchlings, etc)
Q: Which dice do I remove at the end of turn when my Plasma Amp expires?
A: In effect, once the Amp is activated the unit remains MOD2, potentially keeping both dice from turn to turn provided they both/all remain on the table (e.g. Down+Ambush, both Down, etc). It is only when one is recovered that anything happens to trigger off the end-of-turn Plasma Amplifier burn-out test.
By ‘recovered’ we mean that a dice is picked up to be returned to the bag at the end of a turn, whether tested for (in the case of Down) or not. At that point, the very first dice ‘recovered’ becomes the Amp Dice and has to be tested for. On success, it is put aside and the Plasma Amplifier can be reactivated at the start of the next turn. It doesn’t matter which dice is recovered first – a Down one or not (and you wouldn’t test for non-Down dice, anyway!). As soon as the first dice is returned it becomes the Amp dice. This means the extra dice from the Amplifier could last for several turns on the table if no attempt is made to recover the unit’s order dice, such as when Down and Ambush orders are retained.
Q. What happens if my Amped-up Command Crawler loses two of its three dice due to Damage Table results?
A. It just loses them and, as normal, the last dice is not removed as stated on p.38 – the Command Crawler stops becoming a MOD unit. At the end of the turn the active Plasma Amplifier is checked for burn-out as normal (p.125) and, if it does not burn-out, can be reused the following turn, if required.
Q. When my Ghar bomber/heavy bomber unit elects to shoot twice because it has a scutter with bomb feeder, do all the weapons in the unit fire (on all models) or just the bombers.
A. It’s only the disruptor weapons directly affected by the bomb feeder that are affected and able to shoot twice. As scourers are not affected by the bomb feeders then they cannot shoot twice. The phrasing was intended to cover units with multiple disruptor bombers/heavy disruptor bombers (p.124), but at present there are no multiple-bomber units.
Q. What happens to a Down unit if made to go Down by a combat effect, e.g. a successful Gouger Gun hit?
A. Effectively nothing. If a unit’s dice is/are turned to Down then it cannot be double-down. The phrase used is ‘goes Down’ (p.74). Sometimes players accidentally apply the Break Test ‘Forced Down’ rule when a Down unit forced to go Down by a failed Break Test takes an extra pin (p.45), however this should only be applied as a result of a Break Test and not at other times. (RP apologises profusely if he has accidentally used the phrase ‘forced down’ other than in association with a Break Test [Ed: I cannot find the phrase ‘forced down’ used anywhere other than in the Break Test, but it’s nice that Rick apologised!].)
BQA #28. How does Plasma Dumps affect probes?
A. For the sake of consistency, we apply the basic rule that each unit within 5” of the Ghar unit making the Plasma Dump is hit: the plasma dump is a ‘free shot’ that scores D6 hits on every unit within range, friend or foe! Consider each unit one at a time and apply D6 hits.
For example, if a unit of probes is scattered over the tabletop, with only one probe within the 5” range of the Plasma Dump, then whilst the probe unit is within range, only the individual probe that is within range can be effected (we could say it is the only viable target), so it takes D6 hits.
If the same unit has two or more probes that are clustered around an enemy unit, such as a Ghar Assault trooper unit, shots at the probe unit would normally be distributed amongst all the probes clustered around the same enemy unit: we treat the probes as a single target. Similarly, if any of the probes are within the 5” range of the Plasma Dump, then the unit takes D6 hits, and these are distributed among all the probes that are clustered around the same enemy, within 1″ of the unit or each other, exactly as you would for shooting. Individual probes in this situation might be outside the Dump range, but remember the same might be equally true for a unit of infantry caught by the Plasma Dump, and in both cases the D6 hits are distributed throughout the unit.
If there are probes from two or more units within the 5” range of the Plasma Dump, then just consider each unit one at a time and apply the same principles as described above for a single unit. So, if there are two probes within 5”, and they come from different units, and they are both miles from the other probes in their respective units, then each probe takes D6 hits exactly the same as if there were two infantry, mount or other units of one model each within 5” of the Plasma Dump.
BQA #8. If the Ghar distort dice is drawn and the next order dice is for a Ghar unit (which means the dice must be used to give a Down order) can the order be used to activate a Plasma Dump?
A. Yes it can. The Plasma Dump can only be activated by giving the unit a Down order. The draw of the distort dice forces a Down order, but in all respects it’s treated the same as if you had chosen to give a Down order to the unit.
BQA #9. If the Ghar distort dice is the last dice drawn from the bag does it affect the first order dice drawn in the following turn?
A. Yes it does – the distort dice means that the next order dice drawn must be used to give a Down order. So if the distort dice is drawn last in a turn it will affect the first dice drawn in the following turn. However, should the distort dice be drawn last in one turn and then first in the next (i.e. twice in a row) only the next order dice drawn is affected – not the next two!
BQA #13. What happens if the Ghar distort dice is drawn and the following order dice drawn can only be allocated to a unit that can’t go down – for example if the only unactivated unit on that side were a unit of probes?
A. Units which can’t be given Down orders cannot be effected by the distort dice If it’s impossible to allocate the distort dice because none of the units on that side can receive a Down order, then the distort dice has no effect. Place the distort dice aside and return it to the dice bag at the turn end phase as you normally would.
Important! Probe units can’t go down because they can only be allocated a Run order, but there are other situations where units that have yet to receive orders can’t be given Down orders:
- Units that are off-table and waiting can only be given Run or Advance orders.
- Units currently being transported can only be given a Rally order inside a transport, or Run or Advance if they wish to leave the transport.
- Units temporarily incapacitated or restricted due to some special rule, or a rule associated with a scenario, which prevents them making a Down order.
BQA #15. Does the distort dice go in the bag when playing Ghar even if there are no Ghar on the table? This can be the case at the start of some scenarios, for example.
A. The distort dice should go in the bag for the Ghar army even if no Ghar are on the table, and even if there are no Ghar dice in the dice bag for that turn. Unless the scenario itself specifies otherwise, of course!
BQA #16. If Ghar are playing Ghar do you include one distort dice or two?
A. Generally speaking you include just one distort dice even where Ghar are playing Ghar. Narrative type scenarios (such as in teh supplements) can sometimes override this general rule by allowing more or fewer dice, or randomising the number of dice in play, but for matched style games a single dice is enough. However, if both players agree you can always play with two (or more!) distort dice if you want.
BQA #17. Can I use a ‘Block!’ Army option to return an order dice to the dice bag after the distort dice has been drawn – and if so what happens to the distort dice?
A. Yes you can. As a general rule, whenever a pulled order dice is either returned to the bag, swapped for another dice from the bag, or taken out of game play altogether, either temporarily or permanently, then that dice is not considered to have been drawn for purposes of resolving the effects of ‘trigger dice’. This is true of the Ghar distort dice, but also of any dice that is used as a trigger, such as the Xilos creature dice in the Tunnels scenario of the Battle for Xilos. When this happens, the trigger dice will affect the next order dice drawn. So, in the case of the distort dice, you can ‘Block!’ the order dice pulled from the bag, return it to the bag, and the distort dice will affect the next order dice drawn instead.
Q. Does the Freeborn NuHu Meld have one attack per MOD dice or two?
A. The meld is an odd unit that has two figures but takes damage as if a single, MOD unit until becoming a single NuHu. As each NuHu in the unit is armed with an IMTel Stave, it means that when given a Fire or Advance Order, both NuHu can fire. So you can certainly give the unit an Advance order with its first dice, fire with both NuHu, then give a Fire order with the second dice and have both NuHu fire. The total cost of the Meld is 297 points (134 + 167) plus any additional options such as drones.
A single nano drone can provide the nanosphere to power both members of the Meld – the second in the army list is a ‘backup’, if you will. When boosting their staves via the nano boost, either or both NuHu can boost their staves (the envelope and kinetic barrier affects ‘the unit’; the boost affects a NuHu’s stave (p.113-114) ).
Q. Does the NuHu Meld have to take a Break Test at the 1 pin/model or two pins per model like other infantry? Or does it only test on the D/C (on which there are no Break Tests, just loads of pins and going down)?
A: The meld takes damage in the same way as vehicles, etc, simply because it is a Damage Chart’d unit – so doesn’t have to take a test with one or two pins – see p.128 (which is not specifically restated as all that’s under the normal rules for vehicles and such). Only when it’s damaged back to one NuHu does it end up suffering pins, etc. In other words, it doesn’t suffer the drawbacks of having a Damage Chart and suffering tests from infantry pins.
Q. Which command stat does my unit use for an Auto-break (p.45). Can I use a nearby commanders’ Co value if they have Command?
A. the short answer is that an auto-break uses the highest current, raw (unmodified), maximum Co stat of a model in the unit. If the unit’s Leader is dead, in many cases, the unit’s Co stat is reduced as Leader’s typically have an extra point of Co. The Co stat of a nearby commander in another units cannot be used unless they have a special ability that says otherwise.
Q .When a commander issues a ‘Fire’ Follow order to, say, a battery of Mag Mortars, does the commander need to be able to see something to ‘Fire’ at? FAQ.29 says that a unit could be given a ‘Fire’ order and not shoot, but if doesn’t shoot, can the others follow?
A. In many ways, it is similar to a Heavy Weapon being given an ‘Advance’ order to cross an obstacle – needing a Fire order normally, it certainly cannot shoot, which is a part of Advance! It helps to think of the commander being linked in with the whole combat shard, so is receiving information from elsewhere.
Even though the commander cannot actually shoot, they can issue the Fire order. Of course, that is providing they could, in theory at that point in the game, be given the order and the Follow-ing unit has no pins . This is the case even if the commander cannot shoot themselves due to blocked LoS or having no weapon (as in a Drone Commander).
Q. Can my commander issue a Follow order, even if he has pins?
A. Yes, and just tests as normal. Those receiving the Follow must not. p.133 states “any other friendly units within 5” of the model can make the same action assuming they have no pins and are otherwise able to make the action.” Though sometimes interpreted as meaning the Commander’s unit must not have pins as well, this clause only refers to the units receiving the Follow order. The sequence can be thought of as Commander receives an order dice, tests to see if it can act on the order, then issues Follow for the resulting order if it wishes (either the one it wanted or the Down that was forced), so only then are the Follow-ing dice drawn.
Q. Can you cascade Follow orders so that a command unit following a Follow order can then issue a Follow order? Can a unit called into action by a Synchroniser Drone then make a Follow Order?
A. The idea behind the follow rule was always that it allowed a command unit to activated multiple units using a single dice draw and successful order test where required. There was never any intention that a unit that was automatically activated in this way would itself use a follow rule to activate further units and so on. So, to begin with let’s clarify the follow rule itself:
If an order dice has been drawn from the dice bag and used to make an action with a unit that has the follow rule, then that unit can use its follow rule to automatically activate other units nearby as described in the follow rules. A unit that is automatically activated, either as a result of a follow, a sync drone, or any other reason, cannot use its own follow rule to automatically activate other units. Apart from this restriction, a unit that is automatically activated takes an appropriate order dice from the dice bag and makes the corresponding action in the same way as if the dice had been drawn randomly. In a nutshell: a unit that is automatically activated can’t use its follow rule.
Sync Drones have two purposes: to extend a command unit’s follow range, and to allow two units to act together: for example two C3 Strike units. In the latter case it wouldn’t matter whether the two units had pins, so it also extends the ability of a unit (including a command unit) to get two units to coordinate. To make a successful sync a unit needs to take and pass a Command test – so a test is always required to make a successful sync – and the unit that is sync’ed to will have to make an Order test if it has pins, as per normal. Once again there was no intention that units that are automatically activated by a Sync Drone would be able to activate other units. So, let’s also clarify the rule for synchoniser drones as before:
If a synchroniser drone passes the Command test required to activate a unit, then that unit is automatically activated as described in the rules for synchroniser drones, taking any Order test required if it has pins. A unit activated in this way cannot in turn use a follow rule, a synchoniser drone, or any other rule, to automatically activate any further unit or units. Apart from this restriction, a unit that is automatically activated takes an appropriate order dice from the dice bag and makes the corresponding action in the same way as if the dice had been drawn randomly. In a nutshell: a unit that is automatically activated can’t use its own synchroniser.
Follow orders and synchronser drones both obey the same general rule, and the same ruling would also apply to any other equipment or special character rule that generated automatic activations. The rule is in the errata above: an automatically activated unit cannot then automatically activate other units.
DRONES, PROBES and BUDDY DRONES
Q. Can I abandon a vehicle or drone when it receives an ‘immobilised’ result on the Damage Chart?
A. Not unless other, peer models in the unit move away (for example, a unit of 3 * C3D1 drones – see p.38).
Q: When a drone with a subverter matrix receives a ‘weapon malfunction’ result on the damage chart, does the matrix count as a ‘weapon’, so therefore becomes disabled?
A: Yes. Any pieces of offensive equipment like the subverter matrix or target painting modules are effectively ‘weapons’ for the purposes of the weapon table ‘malfunction’ result.
BQA #12. Can a weapon drone position itself so that it is out of sight of an enemy whilst leaving its own weapon positioned to shoot?
A. It is possible to position a drone behind a corner so that its own centre is obscured (making it impossible to draw LOS to the drone) but its side-mounted weapon is sticking out and therefore is able to draw LOS to the target. However, there is no intention that a weapon drone should be able to ‘hide’ in such a way and still be able to draw a LOS to a target to shoot. Although a weapon drone needs LOS from its weapon to shoot at a target it also needs to be able to draw LOS from its own centre in the same way as infantry. In this respect it is like a weapon team, where it is necessary for both the weapon to be able to draw LOS to the target and for at least one crewman to be able to see.
Q. Do Gun Drones fight in Hand to Hand combat?
A: No. Gun drones can shoot in the PBS phase but cannot attack in the hand-to-hand phase of Assaults.
BQA #22. If a unit includes gun drones, what happens in situations where the gun drones have LOS to the target but the unit’s troopers do not? Also, if the enemy does not have LOS to the unit’s troops, but does have LOS to the gun drones can it shoot at them?
A. The question arises because gun drones are not eligible targets because they are buddy drones, but they do draw LOS to the target to shoot.
In cases where only the gun drones have LOS, and the members of the unit itself do not have LOS, the gun drones can’t shoot as they need individual LOS to shoot in the same way as
do troopers (you have to be able to draw LOS from a gun drone to at least one model in the target for it to shoot). The parent unit itself still needs LOS to the target.
If enemy have LOS to a gun drone but not to the unit, then the enemy can’t target the unit and can’t affect the gun drone, the same for any buddy drone.
Q. Can my medic and Medi-Drone work on skark- or skimmer- mounted units? And what about on Tsan Ra? Or my allied Boromites?
A. Yes, as long as they are appropriate to the army. Concord medi-drones would struggle with Tsan Ra, for example, but Isorian medi-drones are fine. Boromites are also a close enough a human morph to be regarded as human. Medi-drones and medics just cannot work on vehicle units or on units which may have a human rider but are otherwise classed as Humungous Beasts.
BQA #23. Can you reposition buddy drones if the unit does not move?
A: You can reposition buddy drones when the unit moves, irrespective of whether that’s a move resulting from an order, reaction or some other means such as a post combat move. You can also reposition a batter drone and its shield when the unit receives an order even if this does not involve a move (this is an exception for batter drones designed to allow vehicles or weapon teams to adjust their shields whilst keeping up a Fire action). You can also move a buddy drone if its parent unit receives a Run or Advance order but does not physically move.
Q. Can I target probe shards as a unit, rather than singly, if they are clumped together?
A: Multiple probes could be targeted as a single unit if they are within unit cohesion (1″) of each other or are touching a unit (such as with targeters). This was the original intention and is the case, so yes, probes within unit cohesion (1″) of each other or, say, a those clustered around a unit can be targeted as a single unit.
Q. Do I have to make a reaction Test for an Escape or Stand and Shoot reaction even though I’m on Ambush?
A: No. The ‘Giving Up Ambush’ rule on p.49 overrides the ‘cannot spring an ambush against an enemy unit that is making an assault’. We’re sorry for the confusion but the words ‘ambush’ are referring to two different things, really: the Ambush reaction and the Ambush order. This means that a unit on an Ambush order can automatically make a Stand and Shoot just like they can automatically make an Escape; they just cannot make an Ambush (effectively a Fire) reaction.
Q. Do my Distort Spinners have to concentrate all their attacks on one target?
A: The Distort Spinner has only two modes of operation: defense to give +2 Res; or Plasma Shell to give 2 SV per attack. In Plasma Shell mode, the D-Spinner has 2SV and is counted as a Grenade attack, as stated on p.66. Hits are still applied amongst the target models as normal. They are automatically acquire the grenade Compound SV rule. However, when grenades are used against a target, it is only if multiple hits are achieved against the same model that the SV stacks (p.85).
This means that if a unit of Assault troopers gains 7 D-Spinner hits against a 3-strong Ghar Battle suit squad, then the hits are divided 2-2-3 and compounded into two, separate SV4 hits and one SV6 hit, each against different models. The same 7 hits against an M4 drone results in one, SV14 attack (7*2).
A very detailed example and explanation can be found in the Rules Insights Distort Spinners and Grenades article.
Q. In the new, PDF lists, why don’t the X01 and X06 have spotters as mandatory and included in the points cost like the X10 and core rules?
A: It’s a deliberate differentiation because of the roles and weaponry. The Compression and Fractal cannons are meant to be used differently or against different targets (buildings for the fractal cannon, perhaps) and are more in need of spotter being single shot. The other two base variants, the X01 Mag and X06 Plasma, have a base loadout with such a high rate of fire that a mandatory spotter seemed anomalous and an optional spotter more in keeping with the roles. They can still take two spotters if need be when being refitted with cannon. The points costs for these were recalculated, too, in line with the modifications to Mag Light weapons.
Q. Why is a skark rider equipped with a maglash?
A. Because the riders of some beast mounts and humungous beasts can use their hand-to-hand weapons in addition to their mounts (pp.130-132). Those on a brood mother cannot, but locomite riders, skarks and meld skark riders can use whatever hand-to-hand weapons they have in addition to those of their mount: often a fearsome combination.
BQA #19. If order dice are included for off-table units at the start of the turn, do I have to bring those units onto the table that turn or can they be deferred until a following turn?
You only include order dice in the dice bag for off-table units you intend to bring on that turn, and you must either bring them on or make the necessary test to bring them on that turn.
Q: Why can hits be allocated to light support and heavy weapons and why do they only fail on a ‘10’ (p.30 & p.31)?
A: This is deliberate to enable survivability for weapon teams. The weapons are assumed to be hard to hit, especially when a vehicle firing a mag cannon is trying to hit a weapon team. Rather than having a variable Res for each weapon (Mag Cannon vs. X-Launcher vs X-Howitzer, for example), which would be different from that of the crew and sometimes able to be modified by terrain, a fixed saved proved much easier to implement.
Q. Do I count the Order Dice for a compacted unit for deployment, even though the dice isn’t in the bag?
A: Yes. The Compacted unit (normally a weapon drone) is deployed on the table within the compactor drone. As such it can be moved into position and appear/de-compact and threaten enemy, block-line-of-sight, occupying a position and effect play, even on the first turn (quite a long way on in the case of interceptor bikes and the like): it just can’t use its dice whilst compacted or on the turn it is decompacted.
For example: a force with 8 dice (an M4, 4 strike squads, a bike unit with a compacted GP drone) can only deploy 4 dice worth of units on the table for Unexpected Encounter at the start of the game. This means that the M4 (MOD 2) and bike+compacted GP drone (2, 1-dice units) each count as 2 dice even though they are represent by one unit on the table: it’s just that the compacted drone’s dice is kept apart and not included until the turn after it is unloaded.
BQA #29. What if I don’t want to give a unit an order?
A: You don’t get the choice – if it’s dice is in the bag, you have to give the unit an order where possible!
You can always give a unit an order such as Fire and then not shoot, or Run or Advance and not move, but either way the unit is still considered to be making the action that corresponds to the order given to it. The easiest way to ‘pass’ with a unit is to give it a Rally order, like you do with transported units that want to remain inside their transports.
Q. The Isorian Phase Sniper is a ‘Weapon Team’. Can I allocate hits to the Phase Rifle like other support weapons?
A: No. Even though it is a separate model, the Phase Rifle is a Standard Weapon, a symbiosis with its Sniper operator, and the Sniper is not ‘crew’. Only Light Support and Heavy weapons can have hits allocated to them.
BQA #24. When you assault, do you get to fire your guns as the assaulter even though you are running/sprinting and, as the defender, even if you already have an order dice?
A: Yes, both sides shoot closing fire assuming they are armed with weapons that enable them to do so. The unit being assaulted can still shoot if it has an order. The unit making the assault can still shoot if it has run/sprinted. Often this exchange of fire is enough to settle the assault without hand-to-hand fighting taking place at all.
BQA #25. What happens when a unit has multiple movement modes and wants to assault?
A: The unit has to maintain formation. The speed of the fastest model will be constrained by the speed of the slowest and it can’t break its formation even during an assault.
Q. My unit has three vorpal charges. Can I activate them all on the same turn?
A: No, only one per turn.
BQA #27. When are Vorpal Charges activated?
A: When the unit is given the order dice the Vorpal Charge moves and only then does the unit take its action.
Q. Can grenades be used in Point Blank Shooting?
A. Though ‘Grenades’ and not ‘hand’ or ‘standard’, if the grenades have a ranged attack or their entry specifically says so, then yes. Most grenades have a ranged attack.
BQA #3. If a MOD unit is obliged to go Down for some reason do you take a dice from the dice bag or turn its current dice to down? This is covered for Down results on the damage chart (p. 37) but not specifically mentioned in other contexts.
Yes you would take an order dice out of the dice bag assuming the MOD unit has at least one order dice remaining to play. Ordering a unit Down requires a dice from the bag so if the MOD unit is obliged to go Down treat it exactly like any other unit – i.e. you draw an order dice from the dice bag if there is one still to play, and if the unit has used all its order dice you turn the current order to down.
Q. My MOD unit is armed with a Fractal Cannon. ‘Fractal Lock’ says it auto-hits turn but I’ve still got a dice left – does that mean I have to wait?
A. No. ‘Next turn’ only applies to single order dice units. Sorry it’s confusing but for MOD units (and Virai Overclocking) it refers to the next order dice the firing weapon receives – providing it fires, of course, and other conditions still apply.
Q. In units containing models with diferent Ag, whose do you use for Ag tests?
A: The model with the lowest Ag stat, for terrain, sprints or Assaults.
BQA #5. If a heavily armoured target is hit and suffers damage from Spiker Scrub (i.e. on the roll of a 10) does it take a pin?
A: Yes the unit would take a pin in that case, the Spiker Scrub is treated as a shooting attack with a strike value of 0 so a pin is only inflicted where damage is scored
Q. What about weapons with multiple modes such as Plasma Lances and Micro-X’s? Can I shoot the plasma lances on separate modes to the rest of the squad, or different ammo with the Micro-X’s?
A. Plasma Lances can always shoot in lance mode if they wish but all lances in the squad must do so together and at the same target. When in other modes (Scatter, Single-shot) the lances must shoot with the same mode as the Plasma Carbines in the squad and at the same target – it’s only in lance mode can it do anything different (p.70, Plasma Lance, Shooting Modes).
For the micro-X lanchers, it’s similar: they must either all shoot in direct fire mode or overhead (OH) mode (p.71, Micro-X Launcher, Shooting Modes) and must shoot at the same target as the rest of the unit. However, if an AI squad has two micro-X’s, then one can shoot OH Blast and the other OH Slingnet, if the owning player wished: it’s only the mode that matters. This makes them rather useful…
BQA #4. Do I have to nominate a target unit before I measure? P.6 of the rulebook says you have to declare what you are going to do before measuring anything – but the Shooting rules only allow a target to be selected if it’s within range?
A: Shooters should nominate a target before measuring as a general rule to conform to the principle that players should say what they are doing before they measure. However, there are a few cases where a player has to measure to establish whether an order is allowed in the first place. This is most obviously the case with reactions, where units have different order options at different distances. When you have to do this, it is best to explain what you are doing to your opponent, just to be polite. In cases where a player shoots and the declared target is simply out of range then the shots just don’t hit – the player has wasted his unit’s shooting.
If both players agree, it’s perfectly acceptable to allow shooters to measure before fixing a target so long as the player has declared an intention to shoot and placed the order dice by the unit. Some players prefer to play this way so that they don’t waste any shots, although overall this will tend to work to the advantage of armies that have short ranged weaponry. If you do decide to allow pre-measuring for targets, bear in mind this doesn’t give a player carte blanche to measure freely over the entire table! The player still has to shoot at the unit measured to if it is within range. We’d also discourage players from attempting shots that are obviously out of range to sneakily make an important measurement! But we don’t know anyone who would do that… obviously ☺.
The Battle for Xilos related F-FAQ (Rebels, etc)
Q. Do my Rebel Ghar remove the ‘ignored’ pin when they receive an order and do not take an Command test? And is the ‘ignored’ pin ever removed?
A: If the Rebel unit has another Rebel unit within 5″ it does not take a Command test on receipt of an Order. As a result, it cannot remove the pin. The single pin is just ignored for other purposes, too, such as Init, Co, Acc, etc.
However, the pin can be removed when taking tests where pins are removed, such as for Rallying, Recovery, etc. In these cases, the single, ‘ignored’ pin is just like any other pin the unit has and is removed as normal. For example, if a Rebel unit with Rebel friends within 5″ has 4 pins and a Rally result means it can remove 3, then only those three are removed, leaving the 1 pin – which is ignored for future Orders, initiative, shooting, etc; if the Rally result means 5 pins are removed, then all 4 are removed (i.e. including the otherwise ‘ignored’ pin).
The Dronescourge Returns related F-FAQ (Virai, etc)
Q. The Fractal Cannon and Frag Borer have variable SV and are Light Support Weapons but appear to be meant as mining or engineering weapons. When do they affect buildings, if at all?
A: p.62 mentions that buildings can be affected by “equipment described as being effective against buildings” and the Fractal weapons fall into that category. All light support and heavy fractal weapons, including the Frag Borer, affect buildings whenever they successfully hit, irrespective of SV. The Dronescourge Returns (p.72) has rules on Breaching that defines which weapons are referred to, here, including any Hand and Standard weapons.
Q. Can I use the ‘Extra Shot’ Army Option on automatically converted Lucky Hits from Jai Galeyous or Hükk?
A. You can only use Extra Shot on the first of such Lucky Hits scored – whether hits converted into Lucky Hits by special abilities or rolled naturally as a ‘1’. It’s only ‘one more shot’ (p.159), so additional Extra Shot options have no effect as the ‘one more shot’ in that round of shooting has been taken (in other words, no cascading Extra Shots!).
Q. My Virai First Instance has both Wound and a damage chart roll. When does it take a wound (p.105)?
A. Wound says ‘falls casualty’ and that still applies: when direct damage requires the model is removed from the table. In the case of an architector rolling on its Damage Chart, that only applies on a roll of a 10. Similarly, if a Weapon Drone had Wound 1, then the first time it was destroyed on a 6-10 on its damage table, it would use its Wound and take 1 permanent pin rather than be removed from the table. The command squad can still be pinned out, though!
Q. How does the First Instance’s Download capabiity work with its identical Leader 2, Command and Init stats to a Second Instance, but not Hive Command or Wound (p.105)?
A. If the First Instance has an upgrade to it’s Leader stat, then the First Instance can download that, and the transfer of its Leader would not reduce an upgraded Secondary Instance’s Leader stat. The Init and Co transfer are present to enable multiple, specialised types of Secondary Instances. The Hive Command and Wound special abilities need upgraded physical and control functionality so cannot be automatically transferred, though you could have fun doing so in a Personal Shard – we found it effectively generated an invulnerable, constantly-reincarnating First Instance, however, which frustrated opponents rather than add to game play.
Q. At least 1 in 4 of the Virai infantry or weapon unit must be constructor squads or weapon teams (p.89). Which are constructor squads or weapon teams?
A. As in other lists, ‘Unit’ in each entry details the unit type – so in this you’re looking for ‘Constructor Squads’ and ‘Constructor Weapon Teams’. To grab attention, there is a ‘Special’ entry above each of the units that qualify as the 1 in 4.