The Truth About Cover Saves in 40K

There’s a decent chance you are capable of shooting more enemy models dead per turn. There’s a chance you’ve been giving enemies cowering in cover too high a save. There’s a chance you can get your basic squads to operate more like Snipers. And there’s a chance you can find ways to shoot enemy models without causing your assault on their squad to fail.

After seeing a debate about Cover Saves in the 3++ chatbox yesterday last for more than two hours, I thought it worth taking a stab at the rules. Most of the site’s visitors are the more competitive, tournament-orientated 40Kers, so if we’re one year in to the 6th Edition Rules and there is still that level of confusion, it must be worth an article.

Half of this article is very much a back to basics article, but it should include at least something to help gamers of all levels kill targets more efficiently.

The Basics

At it’s most basic level, cover saves are done on a model by model basis, rather than unit by unit.
DETERMINING COVER SAVES

If, when you come to allocate a Wound, the target model’s body (as defined on page 8) is at least 25% obscured from the point of view of at least one firer, Wounds allocated to that model receive a cover save.

What saves do you get?aegiscalm

  • Razor wire 6+
  • Intervening Models 5+
  • Gaps between Intervening Models 5+
  • Forests and area terrain 5+(Vehicles that explode are replaced with Area Terrain (5+ cover) page 74 or a crater 5+ cover)
  • Ruins, ruined fortifications and trenches 4+
  • Fortifications 3+
  • Aegis Wall 4+

What bonuses does Going to Ground give?

  • Go to ground behind Aegis 2+
  • Go to ground adds 1 to cover save (6+ in the open) Page 18
  • Go to ground in area terrain adds 2 to the model’s cover save Page 18

Nothing note-worthy yet, right? Well actually no, we’ve already passed one of the most important pieces of information about cover, one that was misunderstood by several people in the chatbox conversation and one that I very frequently hear a tournaments.

The Myth of 2+ Area Ruins.

Area Terrain is always difficult and always gives 5+ cover regardless of whether models are 25% obscured or not (page 91), with the exception of Vehicles, which are not obscured by Area Terrain and must be 25% obscured from the point of view of the firer. (page 75)

The key is that Ruins are not Area Terrain, and Area Terrain is not ruins. They have seperate entries on the Cover chart, but it is extremely common for players to class terrain as ‘Area ruins’ or say ‘This ruin is area’ while setting up, and then get 2+ when going to ground in it.
If it’s a ruin and the model goes to ground, it gets a 3+ save (one better than an a ruin’s 4+). If it’s area terrain and the model goes to ground, it gets a 3+ save (two better than area terrain’s 5+).
Either way, the best save without stealth, shrouded or other special rules will be a 3+ save. If you’re one of the many players who have been giving opponents 2+ saves, feel free to kill them faster.

What if it’s both Area and a Ruin?

Area terrain should have a base that shows its boundary (page 91), and it is true it is reasonably common to see area terrain on a base with a clear boundary that contains ruins and rubble, and could be considered a ruin. GW acknowledge this in the rules (Page 98) :
“Ruins with Bases
A ruin might be mounted on a base, decorated with rubble, and other debris. In this case, treat the base as area terrain.”

That means a model on that base is in area terrain, and gets a 5+ save. It could GTG and get a bonus of 2 for a 3+ save. If the base contains enough walls and rubble to obscure 25% of the model as in the illustration below, then the player could instead GTG and get a bonus of 1 to the Ruin’s cover save. In either case the result is the same and the model gets a 3+ cover save.

gotoground

Killer Tip 1: In neither case can the model gain a 2+ save. The model gets a 4+ save from Ruins with a GTG bonus of 1, or an area terrain 5+ save with a GTG bonus of 2.

It is still important to define whether this sort of terrain piece is Area or Ruins however, since models from the smallest ratlings to the largest Monstrous Creatures gain cover from having a tippee-toe in Area Terrain, but need to be 25% obscured to gain cover from ruins.

Focus Fire

While the above covered one of the most misunderstood basic rules about cover, the following will cover one of the most overlooked advanced rules.

Focus Fire (page 18)
“Sometimes, a target unit will only be partially in cover, with some of its models in cover and some not. In this case, you have a choice: your unit can either shoot at the squad as a whole, or you can declare that they will Focus Fire on the enemies who are less hidden. If you choose to Focus Fire, you must state your intention before making any rolls To Hit.
If you choose to Focus Fire, choose a cover save value. This can be between 2+ and 6+. Your opponent can only allocate Wounds to models with a cover save equal to or worse (i.e a higher value) than the value stated. “

I consider this rule so powerful that it is a potential game winner for a shooting-orientated army, and yet it doesn’t seem to get used all that much. I’ll give you a couple examples of it from the final rounds at the last tournament I went to.

In the first example, a Tyrannid player fired 16 shots into a unit on my objective. The closest two models were behind an Aegis wall, and the rest in the open from the firer’s perspective. In a friendly game I’d have suggested focusing fire on models in the open, but this being a tournament I let them try their luck. After ground to ground for a 2+ save, only a single model died, rather than the 8 who would have been almost certainly dead to fire that was focussed on models with no cover save.

In the following game, I was up against Tau with the immortal Iridium Commander leading Crisis Suits. My opponent had the Iridum Commander and two other suits touching area terrain, but the other two behind them were in the open. Seizing the opportunity, I moved a PBS into range and focus-fired plasmaguns at the rear Crisis Suits, bypassing the Commander and his fancy saves and rules, and caused two casualties. Casting Weaken Resolve on them meant the Commander and the remaining suits fled off the table.

Both of those examples were game-changers, but this sort of situation comes up in most games if you look for it (although unfortunately this particular Tau opponent has kept his suits all in equal cover in every game since then).

Here’s a third example using a photo from a game at my house last week. The Librarian (who I will admit looks suspiciously like Darth Vader) is attached to a squad of Marines. Unlike the example with Tau above, most of the time the Independent Character is the best target in the squad, so rather than using the Focus Fire rule to avoid putting wounds onto the IC they can be used to put them onto him. The fact he is at the back of the squad is irrelevant – using Focus Fire can turn any unit into snipers.

FOCUS

By declaring Focus Fire against models with 6+ or worse cover, the Dakkajet’s shots will all go into the librarian, as the 5 black and red marines are all in or touching area terrain. Rather than being wasted on cheap MEQ ablative wounds, the shots can go straight in to the Sith Lord himself.

From even this simple example there are three more things to keep in mind

  1. Should all models with this level (or worse) cover save be killed, any remaining wounds are lost. “Your opponent can only allocate Wounds to models with a cover save equal to or worse (i.e a higher value) than the value stated”. That is a downside, particularly when firing as many high strength shots as that Dakkajet will.
  2. Characters can still use “Look out Sir!” to bounce wounds on to other models in their squad, regardless of their cover save. That makes Focus Fire more useful when trying to avoid characters like Iridium Commanders, Draigo and similar than when trying to kill them, except:
  3. In this case, the closest marine to the character has a lascannon, and the second closest is the sergeant. If the player is unlucky with LoS rolls, the Librarian may die. If the player is lucky with the LoS rolls, the Lascannon and Sergeant will probably die instead of cheap chumps. If the player is really unlucky, they will bounce enough wounds to kill the lascannon and then keep enough on the Librarian to kill him too.  That happens more often than you’d think.

Killer Tip 2: Start using Focus Fire. Use it every time it won’t result in over-kill, even when you don’t need to; just get into the habit.

Killer Tip 3: You can create cover saves for your enemy’s models. Just as experienced players block their own unit’s line of sight using vehicles in order to prevent shots going into undesirable targets, you can also use your own intervening models from other squads to give cover saves to some models in enemy units – for example, using Grey Hunters to give a Tau Iridium Commander a 5+ save from your Long Fangs means with focus fire all the missiles will go in to the Crisis Suits behind him.

And here’s one to bring a tear to the eye of general’s commanding less shooty-armies.

Killer Tip 4: Use Focus Fire to shoot your pistols at models with worse cover saves at the back of enemy units before you charge. You can kill enemies without shooting yourself out of range and causing your assaults to fail!

Now, get out there and kill something.

-Matt

 

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248 Responses to “The Truth About Cover Saves in 40K”

  1. Grandmaster says:

    Another awesome article, really useful.

    But I”ve been giving and taking 2+ cover in ruins. Are you absolutely positively 110% certain its 3+ always when they dont have aegis or special rule?

    • Jasonc says:

      100% certain. Read the article again, double check the rules if you need to. Area terrain is the base of the ruin, not the ruin itself. The ruin gives 4+ cover (or +1 got GTG) and the area terrain gives 5+ cover (or 3+ gtg) and you pick the best cover save available to you.

      Of note Matt is that going to ground doesn’t negate the models you are allowed to allocate to/remove (I’ve repeatedly had people try this when I focus fire and have to explain). Once you determine which models can be allocated to, going to ground doesn’t change this, it just gives you a better cover save for those being hit.

    • Thomas says:

      I don't agree with his interpretation of this rule, as well as many others. I think this will still be a contentious issue until GW answers it officially.

      • MikeGee says:

        I agree with you that it will be contentious, but with the article that it is 3+ at best.

        You are missing the part from the GTG rules where it says area terrain gives you 5+ save "regardless of whether the model is obscured or not".

        You can't say I am in area terrain for a save regardless of being obscured, and that I am obscured so I get a better save, then get the area terrain +2 for going to ground.

        The way it's written, if you're claiming an area terrain cover save it doesnt matter if you're obscured by a hedge, a ruin, rubble, a fortress, enemy models, smoke or a trench – you get 5+ regardless of whether you are obscured or not.

        3+ either way.
        Contentious much? 🙂

    • RayJ says:

      if a model is in the base of a ruin but not obscured by the ruin itself, then your statements above are correct. You are leaving out the important part of this interaction though, and basically adding more words or meaning to the going to ground rules than are actually there.

      If a model is in the base of a ruin with a base AND is also obscured by the wall, it will get a 2+ cover save when it goes to ground. You are forced to take the best save (4+ cover vs 5+), and the bonus to going to ground is for being in area terrain and doesn't care what other things are giving you cover.

      The same applies for a model in a forest/area terrain that is being shot from across the table with ruins between it and the firer. As long as the ruin blocks 25% of the model, it takes the 4+ cover save from the ruin and then gains +2 to that save when going to ground for being in area terrain.

      That is 100% how it works, and is entirely opposite to what you are claiming in the first section of this article.

      • blacksly says:

        Agreed. It is possible to get a 2+ by combining the 4+ from Ruins and the +2 from being in area terrain. And it can happen whether the Ruins giving the cover are the same as the area terrain, or not.

      • sebdd says:

        You dont get go mixmatch coversaves.

        You can Not claim. Area Terrain and then use part of that and Part of the other Cover to make a super coversave. If that was the case, there would be rules for mixing coversave like, interviening models + aiges = xyz Cover. There are Non. Infact it says you only ever get the best save… 1 save.

  2. Jasonc says:

    Two other things for consideration – barrage (even out of LOS) focus fire is hilarious. Just knock out all the nids that are out of cover with your manticore while ignoring those that get a save. Nb you have to place the blast on models who wouldn’t benefit from the save in the first place.

    And something I’ve been meaning to check, can you focus fire with weapons that ignore cover saves? Say a flamer, or better yet, a wave serpent shield.

    Hmm and furthermore.. People get confused on this alot lol – you can focus fire even if the opponent wouldn’t be using the cover save (say its armour is better). It’s irrelevant, it’s just allocated to models that *could* use that cover save or worse should they use cover.

    • Grandmaster says:

      Can you focus fire a barrage weapon? It has its own unique set of targeting rules.
      Flamers might be possible, since the template is relevant to how many are hit rather than who dies, and the focus fire rule talks only about what cover save a model gets, not what cover they would get ‘against this weapon’.

      • WestRider says:

        Barrages are covered under the Blast Rules, which Barrages follow, except for a few details. The center of the Blast must be placed over a Model that you could Allocate a Wound to under that level of Focus Fire.

        The Rules for Template Weapons, on the other hand, specifically say that they ignore Focus Fire, and wounds caused by them will form a separate group within the Wound Pool, that is allocated as normal.

        Other Weapons with Ignores Cover don't seem to have any restriction like that (the target Model still has the Cover Save, they're just not allowed to use it against that Wound), tho, so I guess you could have Wave Serpent or Markerlight funtime shenanigans with this.

        And yes, it does still work on Models that are using their Armour Save instead of the Cover Save. If you're firing Bolters at a Terminator Squad, you can still Focus Fire to pick out the Cyclone dude who's standing just out of the woods, even tho any of the other Models would be rolling their 2+ Armour Save instead of the 5+ Cover Save.

  3. crazy says:

    Well hat was one oft the best tactical articles i’ve read in a while. Especiall the killer tip 4! Thanks a lot!

  4. badbeef says:

    for this point : Characters can still use “Look out Sir! — I would argue that yes you can use it but if the enemy used Focus Fire then he can only allocate Look out Sir to models that are in that "Focus Fired cover save. So for example if you declare Focus Fire (5+) then the Character can do LOS and allocate the wound to those models that are in 5+ or worse cover but not to the ones that are in 4+ or better.

    • Alastores says:

      Given that look out sir has nothing to do with your guys aim, and everything to do with their guys jumping in the way, why would telling your guys only to aim for the ones outside the cover make a difference?

      • badbeef says:

        having the Character allocate to a model that has a better cover save than he does ( give it to the model that is behind the Aegis) kinda refutes that logic of the guy jumping in the way (in my mind at least) to take the shot, he should at least have the same cover save as the Character being shot at and not better. ah well

    • WestRider says:

      Look Out Sir! ignores LoS and Range. I can't find it mentioned explicitly, but that seems like a pretty strong precedent for the RAI being that it would also ignore Focus Fire.

      • abusepuppy says:

        Yeah, it doesn't say so explicitly, but since you are not allocating the wound (you're re-allocating using a different set of rules) I can't see why it wouldn't work.

  5. Grandmaster says:

    Also is that a dead ATAT being attacked by a dakkajet? Talk about forgin’ a narrative.

  6. Glocknall says:

    Great article. I often have to correct opponents who think their getting 4+ cover from "ruins area terrain" Focus Fire is indeed a great tool.

    • yazchar says:

      Yep, after a year of 6th I confess that only about two weeks ago while giving the basic rulebook a pretty good reread did I notice this but like Glocknall said and like this article eludes to, it's never come up in any of my games and each and every time my opponents and I both blissfully accepted the 4+ without giving it much thought.

  7. Jarrett says:

    Can you explain where on page 18 in the rulebook it says by Going to Ground you receive +2 to the units cover save. After a 3rd time reading it word for word I don't think a clause stating anything of the sort exists.

  8. Darge says:

    Really great articles I’ll be trying this out in my next game for sure.

  9. abusepuppy says:

    The thing is, the Area Terrain bonus to your cover save when going to ground does NOT only apply to the cover save given by the area terrain; it simply gives you +2 instead of +1 if you happen to be in a piece of area terrain.

    Thus, if you have cover from something else- a wall of a ruin, a special rule or piece of wargear, etc- you will still add your +2 bonus to that cover save if you go to ground in area terrain. This is where the potential for a 2+ cover save comes from. There is, of course, some degree of argument as to exactly where the "area terrain" portion of a ruin extends- good arguments can be made both for the base only and for all sections of the ruin, assuming it has a base- but that's a separate matter.

    • Jarrett says:

      So it's not explained on page 18 then… I've been had!

      Fantastic article no less! I'm excited to roll dice in the future with this new understanding of Going to Ground!

    • Gorbag says:

      Reviewing the rules it seems that Matt's opinion is correct: If you want the area terrain cover save of 5+, then you can claim the +2 bonus when going to ground; if you want the ruin cover save of 4+, then you can claim the +1 bonus when going to ground. Given how that works out to the same Cv3+, it's a great way of circumventing any arguments about where the area terrain is (it's the first floor, according to the rules for Ruins) and where the ruins are.

      • abusepuppy says:

        >if you want the ruin cover save of 4+, then you can claim the +1 bonus when going to ground

        Why can't you get the +2 bonus? Again, the wording is "Models that go to ground in area terrain receive +2 to their cover save rather than +1." It doesn't say "models that GtG in area terrain have a 3+ save." It doesn't say that they add +2 to their cover save from area terrain. It just says that they add +2 to their cover save rather than the regular bonus.

        If you are standing behind a wall (4+ cover), are in a piece of area terrain (whether ruin, forest, or anything else, for 5+) and go to ground, you qualify for the bonus and thus get +2 to your cover saves. This means you can claim a 3+ from being in area terrain or a 2+ if you are obscured from the firer by the wall. There is no text anywhere that indicates the bonus from GtG is specific to the area terrain save.

        • Gorbag says:

          And, likewise, there is no text allowing the Area Terrain Going to Ground bonus to models claiming cover from sources that are no Area Terrain.

          • Gorbag says:

            There is text preventing a model in area terrain from claiming any other cover save besides the 5+ granted by being in area terrain: "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

          • abusepuppy says:

            There's no text allowing you to benefit from the Stealth rule while in area terrain, either. It's assumed that such bonuses stack unless specifically prohibited.

        • Teth'Ka says:

          Because the rules for Area Terrain clearly state that when you are in Area Terrain you receive a 5+ save *regardless* of whether you are 25% obscured. If you count as "in Area Terrain" you cannot claim the cover save from the wall. It clearly states that, when in Area Terrain, you get a cover save of 5+.

          • abusepuppy says:

            > If you count as "in Area Terrain" you cannot claim the cover save from the wall.

            Whoa, whoa, whoa- are you saying that if you stand in area terrain, you lose all other cover saves you have? Because that's crazy talk.

            • Gorbag says:

              No, he's pointing out that the advanced Area Terrain cover rules override the basic cover rules for gaining cover by being 25% or more obscured.

        • Bowlzee says:

          I saw this rule as:

          Area Terrain: Cv5+, +2 GTG = Cv3+
          Ruins: Cv4+, +1 GTG = Cv3+

          You choose your best cover save. Like choosing between, cover, armour and invuln saves.

        • Tyrant says:

          First, I loved the article. Great stuff.

          Second, a lot of you are dead wrong about how area terrain works. You're making things too complicated. Let me break it down in two points:

          1. Area terrain is shorthand. If we have a cool piece of terrain but it has cluttered areas and clear ones, rubble, walls, etc. we can decide to call the piece area terrain so we don't have to quibble over those details. Once you label a piece as area terrain most of the details of that piece cease to do anything. You get a 5+ cover save whether you're standing in the open or obscured. If there's a half-wall you have a model against that obscures the view from the attacker, you still get that 5+ and that's it. There are only two things that matter about area terrain: 1) Is the model in area terrain? and 2) Is line of sight blocked?

          Arguing that you get the 4+ for standing behind a wall in area terrain is the same as arguing that walking through a clear and flat section of area terrain wouldn't count as difficult terrain. Once you label a piece as area terrain the whole piece gives a uniform bonuses and penalties. If you want obscurement to matter, don't label a piece as area terrain. A model could be 99% obscured in area terrain and they still only get a 5+ cover save.

          The second half of this sentence: "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured." wouldn't even be necessary if it played the way abusepuppy has interpreted it.

          2. A model can have multiple cover saves, but you can't generate multiple cover saves from one piece of area terrain. If a model was obscured behind a wall in area terrain they get a 5+, as above. If, however, they are obscured by another terrain feature between themselves and the attacker then they count as obscured.

          Remember, when you label something as area terrain you are abstracting the details of the piece in exchange for ease of play. If you want the details to count then don't label it as area terrain.

          • bugsculptor says:

            Well, you're right except that the rule book explicitly states the case of treating ruins with area terrain bases.

            If you, at the start of the game, discuss how you're going to treat a ruinish bit of terrain and agree that anything sticking up off the ground counts as a ruin and anything flat on the ground as area, that's perfectly consistent with the BRB.

          • chadsteam says:

            LOL, this really had me laughing…sorry.

            "You're making things too complicate"

            And then proceeds to post a longer reply than any others.

      • SomeCallMeTim says:

        Abusepuppy is correct by RAW, as long as you occupy the base and are 25% covered by the ruin.
        You have a 4+ save and go to ground.
        However, you are also in area terrain, and when you are in area terrain, you gain +2 to your cover save rather then the usual +1. There is nothing in the rules that limits this bonus to only work on the save given by the area terrain.

        • Hammerdal says:

          Yep, think so. It seems more reasonable to go by Matt's method, but Puppy has it by RAW

          • Neil Gilstrap says:

            It's not RAW at all to get the +2 to your cover save from a Ruin Wall because it cherry picks the "+2 part" out of the entire Area Terrain section, which also very clearly includes a statement (as Matt pointed out clearly) that a model in Area Terrain may never receive a Cover Save better than a 5+ regardless of if he is obscured.

            These two sentences go together and cannot be separated. You cannot take half the Area Terrain rule and selectively ignore the other half of the rule.

            • Gorbag says:

              Yup. So it turns out, oddly, that you can't have both a model in area terrain and a model obscured by a ruin. If a model is on the ground floor of a ruin it gets Cv5+ and +2 GtG, and if it's on the second floor or above it gets Cv4+ and +1 GtG.

            • davesinn says:

              What is the quote on: "a model in Area Terrain may never receive a Cover Save better than a 5+ regardless of if he is obscured. "

              That seems pretty relevant to the discussion

              • Gorbag says:

                Yeah, that's the one that prevents a model from both being in area terrain and being obscured by a ruin. If the model is in area terrain, it gets a Cv5+ and the +2Cv bonus.

                Essentially it means that the picture Matt provided is kind of misleading: The Marine in the area terrain gets Cv5+ even if the ruin obscures it.

                • abusepuppy says:

                  …By that interpretation of things (you can't get better than a 5+ while standing in area terrain), Going to Ground, Stealth, Shrouded, etc, would all do nothing because you can never have a better save than 5+.

                  • Gorbag says:

                    No, by that interpretation you don't get to choose the obscurement that grants the best basic cover save, you have to go with the Area Terrain Cv5+ and modify it appropriately with going to ground, stealth, and whatever other bonuses apply.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      But they receive a 5+ cover save, which you seem to have interpreted as not being able to ever get any better than that selfsame 5+.

                    • Gorbag says:

                      Yes, that's the thing about Area Terrain: Models inside get a Cv5+ regardless of what they might get under the basic cover rules depending on obscurement.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      So again, by that reasoning your cover save, even with Stealth, Shrouded, etc, can't get any better than 5+ because the Area Terrain rules will override it.

                    • Gorbag says:

                      No, clearly not, because that reasoning presumes that you understand the difference between a basic cover save and a modified cover save. It's important since, as the article reminds us, Focus Fire is determined using the basic cover save before modifiers such as going to ground.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      So you do understand that there can be modifiers to different saves, then? Now what prevents the +2 from applying to the Ruin save?

        • Teth'Ka says:

          No, he's not correct by RAW, the rules for Area Terrain clearly state that when you are in Area Terrain your cover save is 5+ "regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured".

          The only way you can claim the 4+ cover save from the ruins is if you are NOT in area terrain.

          • Jasonc says:

            You're incorrect I believe, and are simply reading too much into the statement.

            It says to qualify for the area terrain cover save, you do not need to be 25% obscured as per normal – this doesn't rule out you getting cover saves from sources that are due to being 25%. It simply means to get the area terrain cover save being 25% covered is irrelevant.

            To apply for this loan, you do not need to have the pre-requisite $2000 in your account.

            This does not mean you can not apply for any loan if you have $2000 in your account, it simply means for this particular loan, that requirement is not needed.

            • Teth'Ka says:

              "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

              Are you in area terrain? If yes, you receive a 5+ cover save. In area terrain and obscured 25% by a ruin? If yes, you receive a 5+ cover save.

              Accounts with >$2000 in them receive Loan B, regardless of whether or not they qualify for Loan A.

              • abusepuppy says:

                You are allowed to have more than one cover save. If you are a jetbike that moved on your turn standing in area terrain behind a hill with a unit in front of you, you have a 5+ jink save, a 5+ area terrain save, a 4+ cover save, and a 5+ cover save. It's just that usually these redundant saves don't matter, so we ignore them.

          • blacksly says:

            Time out. A Jetbike that Turbo Boosted with Skilled Rider into Area Cover, has a 4+ save from Turbo Boosting. By this interpretation, the Jetbike would drop to a base 5+ cover save instead of its 4+ Jink save.

            So, I disagre… the rule is saying that you get a 5+ cover save FROM THE AREA TERRAIN. I don't think that it can be read as negating any better cover save (before modifiers) that you might get from other sources, such as Jink, a Warbike's Exhaust Cloud, or having Ruins in the way. So you would get the 5+ from the Area Terrain, and the 4+ (or better) from your other source of cover saves… and then take the best one, and modify it by any modifiers such as Stealth.

      • CommissarKane says:

        It sounds like Abuse puppy and Matt disagree about the 2+ saves!
        I dont like it when mommy and daddy fight :(…

    • Teth'Ka says:

      As I wrote in my reply to you below, the rules for Area Terrain clearly state that when you are inside area terrain, other sources of cover that obscure you by 25% are ignored. In Area Terrain? Your cover save is 5+, modified to 3+ when you go to ground.

      • abusepuppy says:

        > the rules for Area Terrain clearly state that when you are inside area terrain, other sources of cover that obscure you by 25% are ignored.

        It doesn't say that at all.

      • WestRider says:

        Nope. Just jumping in here on one of these, but the relevant section is Models with More than One Save, on Pg. 19. Makes it quite clear that you can have multiple Cover Saves from different sources.

        In light of that section, the bit everyone keeps spouting here does nothing to deny other Cover Saves a Model may be entitled to.

  10. Gorbag says:

    Another great article.

    There is a weird typo when quoting the Focus Fire rules. The cover save value is between 2+ and 6+. Got me going for a second there to try and figure out why you couldn't focus on the 6+ cover saves.

    Good point about how Area Terrain and Ruins don't stack! I think I need to apologize to some opponents now!

    • Matt-Shadowlord says:

      That was a wierd side effect of copying and pasting from a PDF, where it occassionally changes a 6 to a 5 (and a W to a // lol). Fixed now, thanks.

  11. veneratedaniel says:

    hey, just checked my rules book, and the line

    "Go to ground adds 1 to cover save (6+ in the open) Page 18"

    its acutely on page 91 😛 good article none the less and enjoyed it

  12. Thomas says:

    Great article! One thing to point out is that Wreckage/Rubble (under Battlefield Debris) is area terrain that gives a 4+ cover save so I'm pretty sure that going to ground in that would still give you a 2+. You'd have to make sure to specify what counts as wreckage or rubble during deployment though.

    • Thomas says:

      Addendum: Assuming that your model is at least 25% obscured by the wreckage or rubble, that is.

    • abusepuppy says:

      That's not entirely correct- again, the 4+ cover save from the rubble itself is separate from the 5+ cover save from the area terrain. While standing in the piece, you might qualify for one, both, or neither.

      The "get it by standing there" save from area terrain is always, by definition, a 5+. Obscurement from the terrain itself may or may not give a different save.

      • Thomas says:

        "Models that Go to Ground in area terrain receive +2 to their cover save, rather than +1." Rulebook p91. This seems to imply that, if a model has a 4+ cover save (for whatever reason) and is also standing in area terrain, it receives a 2+ cover save by going to ground. It does *not* say that it adds +2 to their "area terrain cover save" — just their cover save.

        • Thomas says:

          Addendum: Again, assuming that the model is obscured at least 25% by the rubble.

          • Gorbag says:

            Whether the model is obscured is irrelevant. As the Area Terrain rules state on p.91: "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

            So the only saving throw to which the +2 go to ground bonus could be applied is the Cv5+ provided by area terrain. And by the Basic Versus Advanced rules on p.7 this overrides the usual More than One Saving Throw rule on p.19.

            • Thomas says:

              What? If I'm in area terrain I automatically get a 5+. If I'm "in cover" because of a rock or ruin obscuring me by 25% or more then I get a 4+. The rules for saves say that the I "always [use] the best available save."

      • Chris says:

        You can't claim the 4+ cover save from the rubble while you are counting as being in area terrain.

        Area Terrain rules says that when you are in Area Terrain your cover save is 5+ regardless of 25% obscurement. So, if you are able to claim the 4+ cover save from the ruins, you are NOT in area terrain and only get +1 to go to ground.

      • Grandmaster says:

        You know that bit where the article says people are still arguing about how the cover saves rule works? I’m starting to think thats true 🙂

  13. nutzin says:

    +1 to every comment abusepuppy has posted.
    -1 to Matt-Shadowlord for saying 2+ isn't possible.

    • Hammerdal says:

      Yea, well, +1 to Matt for each of the other good and valid points he made. I hope I can remember to focus fire more often; I'm annoyed by the number of times I've rolled to hit and then realized that i should've focus fired but it's too late.

    • Chris says:

      abusepuppy's comments aren't correct and ignore a key part of the rule that Matt brought up.

      You can't claim a 4+ cover save from a wall while being in area terrain, because the area terrain rules say that when you are in area terrain, your cover save is 5+, regardless of being obscured. There is no choice here.

      • WestRider says:

        OK, I said I was only going to say this once, but that's not what that section says. It says that, regardless of whether or not you are obscured, you have a 5+ Cover Save. But Pg. 16 makes it very clear that it's possible to have more than one Cover Save at the same time.

        The Area Terrain says nothing about any other Cover Saves a Model might have, just that it does have that one.

      • abusepuppy says:

        >because the area terrain rules say that when you are in area terrain, your cover save is 5+, regardless of being obscured

        That actually is the reverse of what they say.

  14. SaintBeerrun says:

    I may have to turn some of the junk in my 'future projects' bin into more interesting terrain options after reading this.. May come up a lot more in my lodge's Derp40k Combat Patrol & Small Points nights if I can make sure it's relevant.

    Great article. ob

  15. Neil Gilstrap says:

    Just to reiterate, Matt is correct about the cover save issue.

    As he pointed out, very clearly, the Area Terrain rules state that a model in area terrain may not receive a cover save greater than a 5+ regardless of if he is obscured.

    You cannot cherry pick the +2 to your cover save out of the Area Terrain rules without also respecting the Restriction of being in area terrain.

    The logic error is very clear.

    Statement: "I am in Area Terrain thus if I GtG I receive a +2 to my cover saves."
    Added Restriction: By virtue of being in Area Terrain to get the +2, you are also therefore not allowed to have a Cover Save greater than a 5+ regardless of being obscured.

    Statement: "I am behind a ruin Wall and thus receive a Standard 4+ cover save"
    Statement: "I am going to ground to get a +2 because I am also in Area Terrain to get a 2+ save."

    Logic Error: If you are in Area Terrain and are receiving a Cover Save greater than 5+ by being OBSCURED by a Wall, you are in violation of the Area Terrain rules.

    Conclusion: You can never have greater than a 3+ cover save by going to ground in a Ruin, regardless. Matt is 100% correct.

    • Gorbag says:

      I think the tricky part is that you're either in Area Terrain, or you're 25% obscured by a ruin, and there's never a situation where you can choose the Cv4+ and then go to ground for the +2Cv bonus.

    • Venemox says:

      Sorry, your logic falls apart when a 90% obscured model on a Ruin with a base is required to use a static 5+ cover save rather than the obfuscation reliant 4+ cover save. Not everything can (or wants to) go to ground, and we have conflicting rules telling us which cover save to sue on pages 95 and 98, therefore I re-reference page 19 'If a model can benefit from different types of cover, for example, being behind a bloodthorn hedge (6+cover save) and a barricade (4+), the model uses the best cover save available (in this case 4 +).

      • Gorbag says:

        There's no conflict in the rules. The rules for Ruins on p.98, ruins with bases, treat the base as area terrain. So a single story ruin will provide a Cv5+ to the unit inside of it, and Cv4+ to the unit behind it and at least 25% obscured. The rules for Area Terrain on p.95 say that models in area terrain receive a Cv5+ regardless of whether they are 25%. So the Models with More Than One Save on p.19 doesn't apply to multiple cover saves, because models in Area Terrain only get the Cv5+.

        • Gorbag says:

          And by rules for Area Terrain on p.95 I mean the rules for Area Terrain on p.91!

        • WestRider says:

          "So the Models with More Than One Save on p.19 doesn't apply to multiple cover saves, because models in Area Terrain only get the Cv5+. "

          False. You're reading too much into that. All it says is that the Model in question does have that 5+. It says nothing whatsoever about what other Cover Saves the Model might have.

      • Gorbag says:

        I'll add that Area Terrain is apparently an "advanced" rule and according to the rules about interactions between basic and advanced rules on p.7, and they always override any contradicting basic rules such as the Models with More Than One Save rule on p.19 saying that a model can benefit from different types of cover.

    • Thomas says:

      Where in the rulebook does it say that, if you're in area terrain, you're not allow to have a cover save greater than a 5+? All I see is "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured" (p91). That doesn't mean that you're not allowed to receive a better cover save though.

      • Nody says:

        Actually it does; because all other terrains require the 25%+ obscured rule to kick in which the area terrain specifically states will not come into effect if the model stands in area terrain; hence even if he’s 95% obscured and would get 4+ ruin save because it’s counted as area terrain you can’t use the obscured by 25%+ to get it.

        • abusepuppy says:

          No it doesn't; it tells you what cover save you receive from the area terrain; that does not, in any way, indicate what other cover save you may or may not have from other sources.

          A piece of terrain can be both area terrain and something else, thus potentially giving multiple different cover saves depending on where you stand in it.

      • Teth'Ka says:

        "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

        It's pretty clear. If you're in area terrain, your cover save is 5+, modifiable by going to ground.

        • Shadar_Logoth says:

          No, that's not what it is saying. It's merely removing the 25% requirement that pertains to most cover saves. It is not capping your cover save to a 5+.

  16. The_Hugernaught says:

    Great article, thanks! Killer tip 4 sounds really useful as well, but does this only apply if models at the front of the enemy unit have a better cover save than those at the back? I'm just trying to work out how you would set up your charge to make the most of this.

  17. Jasonc says:

    To Gorbag et all,

    You're incorrect I believe, and are simply reading too much into the statement.

    It says to qualify for the area terrain cover save, you do not need to be 25% obscured as per normal – this doesn't rule out you getting cover saves from sources that are due to being 25%. It simply means to get the area terrain cover save being 25% covered is irrelevant.

    To apply for this loan, you do not need to have the pre-requisite $2000 in your account.

    This does not mean you can not apply for any loan if you have $2000 in your account, it simply means for this particular loan, that requirement is not needed.

    • Gorbag says:

      Except it does rule out the model getting cover saves from other sources by setting its only available cover save at 5+. The Basic Versus Advanced rule on p.7 likewise state that such a rule overrides the basic rules granting cover saves from more than one source.

    • Teth'Ka says:

      As above…

      "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

      How are we reading too much into this? The question is simple: are you in area terrain? If yes, you receive a 5+ cover save. In area terrain and obscured 25% by a ruin? If yes, you receive a 5+ cover save.

      You don't get to choose the 4+ save of the ruin because the rule quite simply states that if you're in area terrain your cover save is 5+, regardless of whether you qualify for 25% obscurement.

      Accounts with >$2000 in them receive Loan B, regardless of whether or not they qualify for Loan A.

      • Jasonc says:

        That isn’t what it says though.

        You are entitled to a cover save of 5+ if you are in area terrain, regardless if 25%

        The sentence doesn’t preclude you from other sources of cover. It simply says this 5+ cover doesn’t require 25%.

        • Jasonc says:

          It simply highlights that area terrain saves are generated in a different way to other saves, which generally require 25%

      • abusepuppy says:

        >How are we reading too much into this?

        Just because it receives one save does not in any way prevent it from also getting another from something else.

        Your area terrain save is 5+, regardless of 25% concealment. That says nothing about what your cover save from a ruin wall is, or from any special rule is, etc.

        • Joseph says:

          "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

          If you read this sentence out of context, then it appears to state that models in area terrain will only ever have a 5+ cover save. However, abusepuppy is right that it has to be taken in the context of talking about your area terrain save. The 25% obscuration applies only to the area terrain cover save.

          If you were in area terrain (say a wood), but also obscured more than 25% by a fortress, you would get a 4+ save, not a 5+.

          Then as you are in area terrain (the only requirement needed) you get +2 to your cover save if you gtg.

    • Ecoterrorist says:

      You made a statement of "you do not need to be" now look a the the rule quote once more… it clearly states "regardless" the definition of regardless is "Without paying attention to the present situation; despite the prevailing circumstances"

      "Without paying attention to the current situation…" How can that be confusing?
      Read it this way… with the definition of regardless added instead of using the word you can can figure this out.

      "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, [Without paying attention to the current situation] of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

      Very simple.

  18. Grimjuc says:

    National tequila day everyone! Grab a drink and enjoy your 3+ cover saves while going to ground in style.

  19. Prometheus says:

    I knew all these rules, but it's pretty damn good breakdown of the focu-fire implications.

  20. Joseph says:

    I think the interaction between focus fire and look out, sir! is not correct here.

    You do not have to pick the closest models to the character after passing a look out, sir! roll – you can choose any model within the same unit in 6". Therefore, unless there are no further models available within the 6" range, the lascannon and sergeant in the example above do not have to be removd before any other models

    • Grandmaster says:

      I think you missed the way it was changed in an FAQ. It’s not a free for all anymore.

  21. Phrixus says:

    Awesome article Matt. As a newer player to 6th Ed, this really makes clear and concise points and something I have learnt a lot from.

    Thank you!

  22. WestRider says:

    I've also seen players over-apply it and deny themselves Wounds, because they called Focus Fire on Units where all the Models out of Cover were closer to the shooters than the ones in Cover.

    Or think that Focus Fire somehow removes Cover Saves. Never was able to untangle that logic.

  23. Craig says:

    Good article but one thing confuses me here. You state that focus fire allows you to choose a cover save from 2+ to 5+ and force wounds to be allocated to models with this cover save or worse, then later you mention choosing a 6+ cover save to focus on thereby ignoring the portion of a unit in area terrain. Was the 5+ a typo of 6+ or have my wires got crossed somewhere?

    • CMHephaestus says:

      Actually, you are allowed to nominate any level of cover save 2+ right on up to 6+, also, since the article didn't really mention it: you can, in fact, nominate models with no cover save at all to be the target of the focus fire.

  24. Rakaydos says:

    If your shooter has any kind of elevation, can you focus fire on units behind an aegis, to deny the 4++ to the back ranks?

    If you do, and the squad goes to ground anyway, do they get 1 or 2?

    • badbeef says:

      2 for the models that are actually obscured by the Aegis. 1 for the models that are not.. since it is on a per model basis

  25. Werner says:

    Thanks for a truly masterclass article. I will try to use it as soon as possible

  26. Werner says:

    And about the bonus, is simple to solve, your model can have multiple types of saves but is allowed to use only one, area terrain gives you 5+ and going to ground gives you usually +1 to your covers unless you use the one for area terrain when it gives you +2 instead, so as stated before you can have a 3+, a 5++, an area terrain cover of +5, a ruin obscured of 4+, wWernerhen trying to save you can choose 1 and only 1, lets say that you are atacked by an ap3 weapon so you decide to use the ruin cover and decide to upgrade it with gtg then you convert that cover of 4+ into a 3+ but if you decided to use the area terrain cover the gtg gives one extra so you turn a cover of 5+ into a 3+, that is how the rule work and that is why you get 3+. Is the decision of using one over the others that defines the issue

  27. Ecoterrorist says:

    People are having issue with understanding the word regardless.

    Look a the the rule quote once more…"Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured." It clearly states "regardless" the definition of regardless is "Without paying attention to the present situation; despite the prevailing circumstances"

    "Without paying attention to the current situation…"
    Read it this way… with the definition of regardless added instead of using the word so everyone can can figure this out.

    "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, [Without paying attention to the current situation] of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

    Current situation is obscured… rule states regardless of your current situation… you receive a 5+ save in area terrain

    • Rakaydos says:

      Yes, they receve a 5++ cover from being in area. they ALSO receve a 4++ cover from being behind a ruin, a 2+ armor from being a terminator, and a 5++ invuln for the same.

      If someone shoots you with a lascannon, which of these saves you have been granted are you going to roll?

    • Rakaydos says:

      P19, Models with more than one save, last pargraph.

      "If a model can benifit from different typeds of cover, for instance (…), the model uses the best cover save available."

  28. Shadar_Logoth says:

    Great article, and the final tip is brilliant. I can't believe that hadn't occurred to me yet.

    I'll also throw my hat in AP's ring here. People are reading way too much into the 25% clause. Although it does seem odd to borrow the area terrain's go to ground bonus with the ruins base cover save, I see nothing in the wording of the rules that disqualifies such an action.

  29. Matt-Shadowlord says:

    I consciously did not include the other half of the Cover argument in the article above, so here it is.

    Some players content that non-fearless Chaos Deamon Flying Monstrous Creatures can go to ground in area terrain either behind ruins or using Stealth or Invisibility to gain a 2+ save. When combined with Tzeentch, this cover save becomes rerollable, and since most Tz FMC are built as casters they don't lose much by doing it — including the fact that they remain airborne.

    Someone was saying it would take about 2,000 bolter shots to put a single wound on one if they are still flying, so let's check
    6 to hit.
    6 to wound (assuming T6)
    Pass cover on 2+
    Reroll fails, passing on a 2+
    = 1,296 bolter shots

    So no it's not quite 2,000 😀

    (But before you ask why anyone would fire bolters at FMC, note that it would require 432 missile launcher shots to put a wound on one! The problem isn't the weapon strength, it is what a 2+ rerollable save does to any chance to wound anything)

    Assuming no Iron Arm, It will not die etc that would be 5,184 bolter shots to kill a 4 wound daemon prince. In reality the numbers should be lower as they should fail a grounding check long before 5,184 shots are fired, but since no army contains that many shots and Fateweaver is likely to prevent the first grounding per turn the numbers are still impressive.

    The question then is can they actually go to ground without going to ground?
    RAW a non-fearless MC can go to ground like any other model, and there isn't currently a distinction for Flying ones who want to have their cake and eat it too.

    However, if players want to do something really game-breaking and counter-intuitive with RAW, they'd better be sure it's air-tight. RAW requires turning to page 18 and reading the actual GTG rule which says RAW "Models that are not currently in a position that would give them a cover save can still Go to Ground by diving to the floor…". I'd argue that RAW if FMC dive to the floor, they are on the ground from that point.

    The GTG rule includes two bullet points, which are:
    [] Models in a unit that has gone to ground immediately receive +l to their cover saving throws.
    [] Models that are not currently in a position that would give them a cover save can still Go to Ground by diving to the floor (or some other evasion technique) and receive a 6+ cover save.

    But that’s just my opinion. You may now recommence the argument 😀

    • abusepuppy says:

      There isn't really any argument about it; it's stupid as hell, but it works.

      • Grandmaster says:

        That’s just stupid. Someone tried the gone to ground and still flying thing here and the TO just laughed in their face.

        • CommissarKane says:

          The whole thing is super lame but I could live with them Diving to the ground to get the gtg saves.
          Just as long as they take a s9 grounded hit 😉

        • abusepuppy says:

          Just because you don't like the rules doesn't make them wrong. You can enforce whatever rules you want locally- hell if you want you can declare that all Space Marines pass any save automatically and Tuesday is Backwards Movement Only Day.

          But that doesn't mean your decisions have any basis in the rules.

      • _Garnet_ says:

        Sad, but true. The FMC can simply switch from swooping to gliding at the start of its next turn to get around the 'no moving' issue, though that does mean it's going to be even more vulnerable the next time the enemy's shooting phase comes up.

        • abusepuppy says:

          Better yet, they can continue Swooping, since (unlike Zooming) Swooping has no penalty for failing to meet the minimum movement requirement.

          • Garnet says:

            Nonsense. A swooping FMC is required to travel a minimum if 12″ in the movement phase. If you can’t move, you can’t travel 12″, and therefore you can’t be a swooping FMC. It’s not about the lack of penalties, it’s about the existence of a prerequisite.

            By your logic, no swooping FMC ever actually has to move, despite the rules specifically requiring them to, because there’s no penalty to not moving.

            • abusepuppy says:

              No, because you are required to move 12" if you are capable of doing so- however, if you are incapable of doing so, nothing actually happens to you. There's a difference between unable to complete a requirement and unwilling to complete a requirement.

              • _Garnet_ says:

                "If a Flying Monstrous Creature is swooping, it moves exactly like a Jump Monstrous Creature, with the following exceptions and clarifications:
                – It must move at least 12" and can move up to 24". […]" – p. 49

                There's no 'if you are capable of doing so' in there, it's an explicit command; an FMC -must- move at least 12". Not may, or can, or will, or should. The lack of a penalty is unimportant, because unlike a non-hover flyer an FMC has a perfectly valid alternative if it is incapable of moving its minimum distance, namely, becoming a Gliding FMC. It doesn't have to crash if it can't move its minimum, it simply has to become a Gliding FMC, and no longer have a minimum to move in the first place.

                The fact that you admit that the 12" movement is a requirement alone demonstrates that you're wrong; if you're required to move to maintain Swooping status, and you can't move, you can't maintain Swooping status.

                • abusepuppy says:

                  >There's no 'if you are capable of doing so' in there, it's an explicit command; an FMC -must- move at least 12". Not may, or can, or will, or should

                  Entirely correct, as far as it goes. If there is any way for you to move at least 12", you must do so. However, if you can't- for example, if you are unable to move, or if there is nowhere to land that is 12" or more away and within your flight arc what does the rulebook specify as the penalty? Nothing.

                  If Flyers weren't different, perhaps there might be more to your argument, but since one unit specifically says that something happens when you fail its condition and another does not, we have to assume that nothing happens. Unless you want to turn that around and say that, even though it's not in the rulebook, Flyers have to make grounding tests when hit just like FMCs do?

                  • _Garnet_ says:

                    Except non-hover flyers have no other option than to make their minimum movement, which is why they have a penalty. They have to move their minimum distance, no ifs, ands or buts, so there's a result included for what happens if they don't. FMCs, on the other hand, can always simply switch from swooping to gliding at the start of their movement phase if, for whatever reason, they won't be able to move a minimum of 12" in their turn.

                    If you're going to create a situation that results in you breaking the rules, you're breaking the rules. Not moving 12" with a swooping FMC is against the rules, ergo, choosing to be a swooping FMC if you can't move 12" is against the rules.

                    This is your ridiculous 'you can Flat Out after people disembark' theory all over again…

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >If you're going to create a situation that results in you breaking the rules, you're breaking the rules.

                      No, not _trying_ to move 12" is breaking the rules, just like a unit that "must declare a charge if possible" isn't breaking the rules just because it fails to do so.

                      >This is your ridiculous 'you can Flat Out after people disembark' theory all over again…

                      Uh… the only time I said that was once when I gave a hazy "Yes maybe unless it says you can't?" and when someone else pointed out that it did, I retracted. My argument was that you could fire passengers and then Flat Out, which you could until they changed it with a FAQ. GW changes a lot of rules with their FAQs and errata.

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      I'm sorry, do you have a different rule book from the rest of us? Because mine doesn't say a swooping FMC has to 'try' to move, or any of the other wiggle words you keep inserting into the rules. It's very clear that a swooping FMC MUST move 12". It's not an option, it's a requirement, and if you can't meet it, you're not a swooping FMC.

                      You're right, though, I did mix up disembark and shooting. But GW didn't 'change' the rules on that one; they clarified what pretty much everyone already agreed the rules already were. They changed the rules on the Night Scythe, and the Shadow Weaver, and the Dark Angels' various command squads.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >It's not an option, it's a requirement, and if you can't meet it, you're not a swooping FMC.

                      That's not what the rules say. You have to be Swooping before you are forced to move 12" and it doesn't say that not doing so stops you from Swooping.

                      >But GW didn't 'change' the rules on that one

                      *shrug* Believe whatever you want, it's pretty irrelevant now.

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      And where, exactly, do the rules specifically lay out this order of operations? Where is the line that says first you choose to Swoop, and only after that point do you have to worry about moving 12"?

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      You choose to Swoop (or Glide) at the beginning of your movement phase, before you move. The rulebook explicitly states that.

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      Absolutely, it does. But that's not what I was asking.

                      The rules don't say "After you've chosen to Swoop, you must move 12"." They say "you choose whether to Swoop or Glide at the start of your movement phase" and "a swooping FMC must move at least 12". So where does it say you only consider whether you can move 12" after you've declared that you're Swooping? Where is the line that says you choose to Swoop and -then- you have to move 12"?

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Because you have to choose your movement mode before you are allowed to move. By the time you begin moving the model, you're already locked into your decision. (And yes, you can premeasure, takeback, etc, but that's not what we're talking about here.)

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      But you don't have to choose your movement mode before you can consider -whether- you're allowed to move.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Whether or not you are allowed to move does not actually affect the choice you make, for either FMCs or flyers. A flyer can choose to Zoom even if there is no legal way for it to move the 18"-36", and a FMC can do likewise. (We know this because effects like The Relic, One Eye Open, and Hallucinate don't stop a flyer from Zooming- in fact, Relic specifically reminds us of what happens when we do so.)

                    • Alastores says:

                      You choose to swoop or glide.

                      If you choose to swoop, you must then move 12.

                      If you cannot move 12, you cannot choose to swoop, because you cannot fufill the requirement.

                      This is not complicated, Abuse.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Saying it is a requirement doesn't make it one.

                    • Alastores says:

                      No, the "Must" does that.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      "Must" is a phrase used for both requirements and compulsory actions.

                    • Alastores says:

                      Except it cannot be a compulsory action. It would only be a complusory action if you did not have the choice to NOT do it. And you do. You can glide.

                      Therefore, by the usage of must, it must be a requirement.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >It would only be a complusory action if you did not have the choice to NOT do it

                      Again, not true. FMCs have two movement options, Swooping and Gliding. If you choose to Glide, there are no compulsory actions. If you choose to Swoop, you are compelled to move 12". No contradiction at all there.

                    • Alastores says:

                      ARe you required to swoop?

                      If not, moving 12 inches is not a compulsory action.

                      Since you are NOT required to swoop – because you can glide – swooping is not a compulsory action.

                      Incidentally, I'd advise you to actually understand words before accusing me of lying again.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Moving 12" is a compulsory action _if you are Swooping_.

          • Matt-Shadowlord says:

            @AP – Failing to meet the minimum movement requirement while swooping doesn't have an explicit penalty in the way that Zooming does, but the real "penalty" would simply be that if the FMC doesn't move at least 12" in its turn it is no longer swooping.

            If a FMC goes to ground, it won't be able to move at least 12" next turn, so will count as 'Gliding' (ie, on the ground exactly like a jump MC). That means that if an FMC goes to ground in this turn, after its next turn it will be hit by weapons as would any other ground unit, and will be chargeable.

            Agreed?

            • abusepuppy says:

              >but the real "penalty" would simply be that if the FMC doesn't move at least 12" in its turn it is no longer swooping

              Except that the rules don't say that's what happens. You can choose to either Swoop or Glide on your turn- if failing to move 12" forced you into Glide mode, it would have to say so.

              • Matt-Shadowlord says:

                Yes you can declare whether the FMC is swooping or gliding at the start of its turn. The rule goes on to say:

                "If a Flying Monstrous Creature is Swooping, it moves exactly like a Jump Monstrous Creafure, with the following exceptions and clarifications:
                [] It must move at least 12" and can move up to 24". "

                A FMC that has gone to ground cannot move. If it cannot move at least 12", it cannot be swooping.
                Is this a hyphothetical debate about GW needing to tighten up their rules (in which case obviously I agree), or can you imagine anyone actually claiming their FMCs have gone to ground and are then "Swooping on the Spot"? 🙂

                • abusepuppy says:

                  >If it cannot move at least 12", it cannot be swooping.

                  Again, not true. If it is swooping, it must try to move 12", but moving 12" is not a precondition for Swooping because you decide whether or not you are swooping before you make your movement. Moreover, unlike Flyers, who specify a penalty for failing to meet the requirements, there is no penalty for "failing" to move the minimum distance.

                  The same issue came up with FMCs and Deep Striking- can a Deep Striking FMC enter in Swoop mode? It can, because even though it has failed to make the 12" minimum move, nothing happens as a result.

                  It's a stricture with no penalty- you break the law, the officer informs you what you did was wrong and illegal, and then lets you go.

                  • _Garnet_ says:

                    There is a penalty, in fact; your opponent packs up his army and walks away from the table, and you get a reputation as a cheat and a bad sport.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      But since he can do that for literally any infraction, doing so over something that is a matter of opinion is rather silly of him. Are we really going to resort to name-calling here, or would you like to keep acting like adults?

                      Again, I'm not saying I _like_ the way the FMC rules play or what they do, but they are what they are. I don't like putting objectives within 6" of board edges either, but c'est la vie.

                • Alastores says:

                  I have a lot of difficulty with the idea of something flying around in the air while lying on the ground.

                  • _Garnet_ says:

                    Then just assume it's hugging the terrain but not actually lying flat on the ground, and still kicking along at a pretty good clip. It's perfectly cinematic.

                    • Alastores says:

                      It isn't, really. Going to ground is dropping down and covering yourself utterly, which is why it prevents action the next turn.

                      Swooping is moving at a fast pace up above the battlefield where nothing gets in the way,

                      If we assume monsters can hedge hop, what is the argument to declare that a Valkyrie cannot do so? We know it can VSTOL, so why can it not do somethign a modern Harrier can do without systems?

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      The argument is that the rules don't allow it; vehicles don't have the option of Going to Ground, ever. It's a pretty easy one to make, really.

                      Also, how have we gone 50+ comments on this thought experiment without any of us thinking to mention that Swooping FMCs have their own cover save generating rule, Dive? It will get used way more regularly than managing to get an FMC over some area terrain just as it's taking the most fire, and it makes the same kind of sense as a flyer's Evade or infantry's Go To Ground.

                    • Alastores says:

                      That's not an argument, given that the point here is the contention that the rules don't allow swooping going to ground either.

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      Untrue. There is absolutely nothing in the rules that prohibits a non-Fearless swooping FMC from going to ground during the opponent's turn, and having both the cover save and the 'hit on 6s' simultaneously.

                    • Alastores says:

                      But the rules DO prevent it from then swooping again the next turn, which is the point being made.

                      I accept I may have phrased that badly in the above post.

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      I'm not… entirely sure what point you're making, any more? You acknowledge that Going To Ground prevents FMC's from moving next turn, but you were complaining earlier about them 'hedge hopping', and how Valkyries should be able to do the same, even though there are no rules for vehicles Going To Ground…

                    • Alastores says:

                      You were trying to present a flavour justification for a creature simulatanously going to ground AND swooping. This flavour justification also applies to aircraft.

                      Ergo, why should aircraft be disallowed from it? "Because the rules don't let them do it" doesn't really matter in this case, because Abuse's contention that a MC can go to ground and then swoop next turn is similarly prohibited.

                      To be clear – I have no problem with "A flier high up in the sky comes under attack and dives down to the ground to hide".

                      My conceptual problem is "And then is up in the sky again instantly a moment later". It's the same problem as with the bouncing FMCs at release.

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      No, 'because the rules don't let them do it' does matter, despite abusepuppy's rather imaginative reading. Aircraft are disallowed from it because the rules don't allow it; ergo, clearly, there must be a reason why aircraft are incapable of the kind of movement that jump infantry FMC can pull off. Just because they look like they 'should' be able to do it, the fact is apparently they can't.

                    • Alastores says:

                      Still doesn't matter. I do not disagree with you that the rules do not allow it.

                      My argument is that if the flavour allows a flying creature to be simultaenously flying and hiding, why not a flying vehicle? We know it is possible (I nearly got hit by a hedge hopping Harrier when I was a child).

                      Since I think we both agree that the thing giving me conceptual difficulties (A flier that has gone to ground THEN swooping) isn't possible, I'm not sure it actually matters, though.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >Going to ground is dropping down and covering yourself utterly,

                      That isn't what the rules OR flavor text say.

                    • Alastores says:

                      Yes. Yes is is.

                      "Ground" being the operative term. Actually, the phrase in its entirety means "Hiding". as in "The enemy has gone to ground".

                      PErhaps this is a slang usage common only to Britain?

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      "Go to ground" is a phrase meaning "to hide, seek concealment, and/or flee pursuit." Its use in 40K is entirely in line with the normal one- while it _could_ represent someone literally diving to the floor, that is hardly the only option; it simply represents a model dedicating all of their efforts to keeping themselves alive rather than other tasks.

                      In that sense, there's no particular reason a flying model wouldn't be able to go to ground, the slightly odd visualization from the phrase aside.

                    • Alastores says:

                      Them going to ground isn't a problem.

                      Them going to ground while remaining flying freely IS. IE – your contention

              • Ecoterrorist says:

                AP read this carefully. The rule is very specific (which is a rarity for GW) but they used the wording for a reason. The editor should be lauded for their job on this wording because there is no leeway.

                People are having issue with understanding the word regardless.

                Look a the the rule quote once more…"Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured." It clearly states "regardless" the definition of regardless is "Without paying attention to the present situation; despite the prevailing circumstances"

                "Without paying attention to the current situation…"
                Read it this way… with the definition of regardless added instead of using the word so everyone can can figure this out.

                "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save, [Without paying attention to the current situation] of whether or not they are 25% obscured."

                Current situation is obscured… rule states regardless of your current situation… you receive a 5+ save in area terrain

                What is so difficult to understand about that? They clearly give you an exact circumstance in the quote "whether [they are] or not they are 25% obscured." that quite clearly states that if you're in area terrain you get a 5+ cover save. With that wording it could be argued that they cannot get the 4+ for ruins, which matters if you don't GTG. Page 98 states " a ruin might be mounted on a base… treat the base as area terrain." That means if you're on the base you're in area terrain, and have to abide by area terrain rules. If your not on the base, and you're behind the ruins and obscured… then you can use that ruling, but you don't get both.

                Personally I don't care if you disagree with the second part of y argument, but the first is RAW. Completely and entirely RULES AS WRITTEN. All you need is reading comprehension.

                • abusepuppy says:

                  > It clearly states "regardless" the definition of regardless is "Without paying attention to the present situation; despite the prevailing circumstances"

                  "Regardless" in this case is used to mean "whether or not." It is not a prohibitive clause, it's one that grants something. It allows you to get the cover save even if you don't meet the normal requirements (25% obscurement); it says nothing about disallowing you from getting other cover saves.

                  If you are about to leave for the store and your friend says "I'm gonna give you $10 regardless of whether you go to the store," no sane person would take that as a command not to go to the store. He's just saying that something you will get (the $10, a cover save) is not dependent on the usual factors in this situation.

                • Teth'ka says:

                  "Models in area terrain receive a 5+ cover save"

                  It says "receive a 5+ cover save". Models can have more than one cover save. It doesn't say that models in area terrain lose any other cover saves they may have, nor does it say that models in area terrain ONLY receive THIS 5+ cover save. It only says that models in area terrain receive a 5+ save regardless of being 25% obscured.

                  If the model is being obscured 25% by the ruin, it receives a 4+ save from the ruin. Then the rule above says the model receives a 5+ save from being in area terrain. It gets this 5+ save regardless of the fact that it's 25% obscured, but nothing in the rule suggests that the model's other cover save is discarded or inaccessible.

                  Thus, the model can choose to take the better of its two cover saves, and combine it with the area terrain GtG bonus of 2+.

              • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

                If you fail to move 12", you fail to be classed as Swooping, therefore your Gliding, it doesnt have to state the penalty for not moving 12", it already states the minimum requirements to count as Swooping, and if you dont make the minimum requirements, your not swooping.

                This is exactly the reason why these problems occur, people read stuff that doesnt exist, into the rules, no where does it state that you can keep Swooping if you dont move, you have to move 12" to Swoop, if you dont, your not swooping, thats all you need to know with regard to swoop

                • abusepuppy says:

                  >If you fail to move 12", you fail to be classed as Swooping

                  That isn't what the rules say.

                  • Matt-Shadowlord says:

                    What the rules do say is:
                    If a Flying Monstrous Creature is swooping…it must move at least 12"

                    That seems to satisfy most players, but since we're not making much progress I think I'll exit this circular debate at this point.

                    • artemi7 says:

                      It looks to me that you have fulfill the requirements of a thing before you can claim it. No one allows you to claim cover saves before your actually in it; same way here. You can't claim your Stooping until you move the minimum 12 inches, otherwise it wouldn't say 'must'.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      But you have to declare whether or not you are Swooping BEFORE you move, so it can't possibly be a requirement. That would be like a unit having a rule on one of its guns that said "this gun can't shoot unless it has hit the enemy at least two times this turn."

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      No, because the weapon can't hit before it shoots. This would be like saying that, oh, I don't know, passengers in a transport can't shoot and then have their transport move Flat Out afterwards…

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >No, because the weapon can't hit before it shoots.

                      Bingo. And you can't be bound by the restriction on an action that you haven't taken yet. The 12" minimum only applies after you have chosen to Swoop or Glide and says nothing about forcing you into the other mode.

                    • _Garnet_ says:

                      I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were incapable of reasoning forwards in time and exist in a constant zen-like state of now. As for the rest of us, we can look at the requirements of Swooping (must move 12"), look at the restrictions of Go To Ground (can't move) and reason out that if you can't move, you can't move 12", and therefore can't swoop.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      You're still taking the 12" move as a prerequisite, which it is not listed as.

                    • Alastores says:

                      It isn't a prerequiste, but it is a requirement.

                      You declare yourself swooping.
                      This declaration comes with a requirement – namely, the movement distance.

                      If you cannot move, you cannot fufill the requirements of the declaration.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Is it a requirement? Or it is a compulsory action? That's a rather important distinction.

                      EDIT: Oh man this is a little gem for a stupid RAW intepretation:

                      "If the [gone to ground unit] is forced to move… it returns to normal immediately."

                      So, uh, if you decide to Swoop, there is a pretty good argument that it instantly breaks your GtG status. Fucking GW.

                    • Alastores says:

                      It's a requirement.

                      And 'choosing to swoop' is not a forced movement unless for some reason you cannot choose to glide.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Well, it's good that you think it's a requirement, but I guess I disagree.

                      You presumably also believe that it is impossible to Swoop when Deep Striking, then, since there's no way to move 12" in that case?

                    • Alastores says:

                      Yes, I do,

                      And sure, you can disagree. You can continue with your attempt to manufacture a loophole. Since I'll never have to play you, it doesn't matter.

                      But that's what you are doing. It is UTTERLY obvious – RAW, RAI, and logically – what the rules state.

                      But you are trying to use sophistry to get around it. That's your problem, and for your opponents to decide if it's worth playing against.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Hey, if we're gonna be all making up positions for the other guy to hold, then I think that you're trying to invent reasons to punish a codex you hate because daemon touched you in the no-no place when you were a child.

                    • Alastores says:

                      I play Daemons.

                      And I'm not 'making up a positon'. You are trying to push a silly attempt to create a loophole where none exists.

                      Are FMCs too weak compared to standard fliers? Yes, probably they are. But "Oh, this is swooping but doesn't have to move 12 because it's tried to but can't, even though the rules declare there are only two states it can be in – moving 12 and swooping, or moving less than 12 and gliding".

                      Seriously, I've heard better arguments from entitled teenagers.

                      Do you REALLY need to try and exploit things that much, Abuse? Seriously?

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Yes, because I am desperately trying to abuse a loophole for an army I don't play. There's no conceivable way that any human being could hold an opinion that is different from yours and be genuine about it.

                    • Alastores says:

                      Given that there is no logical, RAW, or RAI implication for your opinion, yes. I must conclude that you are attempting to exploit it.

                      That or you are trolling again.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      I can say there's no logical basis behind your position, too. It's just that adults trying to use discourse to solve a dilemma generally start the conversation by admitting that there exists some possibility that the other person's case might be right.

                      If you can't even admit that the other person might be making a correct and honest argument, you have no business debating issues.

                    • Fraust says:

                      So if someone was arguing with you over your sex, having seen your genitalia, you wouldn't eventually get to the point that you felt they were just trolling and call them out on it? There would be that chance, in your mind, that they might be correct?

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      Because clearly discussing imaginary spaceman rules is exactly as clear-cut as pointing at objects in the physical world.

          • artemi7 says:

            But the requirement for Swooping IS moving 12″. Just because the requirement comes after the first heading doesn’t mean it stops applying. In order to Swoop, you MUST move 12″.

            It’s fairly clear. Did you move 12″? No? Then you aren’t Swooping.

            Maybe you aren’t actually Gliding. I’ll admit I don’t actually know what the game does at that point, I assume you dice off for it.

            But you definitely aren’t Swooping.

    • Arclight says:

      "Models that are not currently in a position that would give them a cover save can still Go to Ground by diving to the floor…". I'd argue that RAW if FMC dive to the floor, they are on the ground from that point."

      You can't really argue that the way it says "Models…can still Go to Ground by diving to the floor" means they must literally be diving to the ground when the following clause is "(or some other evasion technique)".

      It does sound ridiculous, but I suppose if the name of the rule was something other than Gone to Ground (like 'Avoidance' or something) then it might not seem quite as counter intuitive.

      • abusepuppy says:

        Flavor text is not rules text.

        • Arclight says:

          That's kind of the point I was making. All of the quoted bits were from Matt's post, and he referred to FMCs being "on the ground from that point", because they "dived to the floor" as RAW.

          Maybe I took a roundabout way of saying it, but I was just pointing out that that wasn't the case.

          I'm not sure why you needed to point this out really when my reply was specifically aimed at a part of his comment which quoted flavour text.

    • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

      Im not all that familiar with Flying Monstrous Creatures, but arent FMC's zooming? and doesnt zooming require moving at least 18", and doesnt GTG require you to stay down until the end of your next turn?

      So if an FMC goes to ground, doesnt it crash on its turn for failing to Zoom? GTG means you cant move, shooot or assault, but you can defend yourself, if you cant move, you cant choose to change from Zooming to Hovering or anything else, your flat on the ground.

      • abusepuppy says:

        Zoom, while superficially similar to Swoop, is very different rules-wise. There is no penalty for failing to move the minimum 12" during a Swoop.

      • _Garnet_ says:

        Ignore abusepuppy. The reason FMC's going to ground isn't a problem is that they don't have to move in the opponent's phase, and at the beginning of their own movement phase they simply become gliding MCs, which don't have a movement requirement. Of course, they also don't require 6's to hit with shooting, and can be locked up in close combat, so it's an actual tradeoff.

        • artemi7 says:

          …ok, maybe I DON'T know anything about this game after all.

          Zooming Flyers move in their opponents turn, too?! How the hell is THAT resolved?

          • _Garnet_ says:

            What? No. No, they don't move in the opponent's turn at all. Where did you get that from?

          • artemi7 says:

            “The reason FMC’s going to ground isn’t a problem is that they don’t have to move in the opponent’s phase,”

            >>move in the opponent’s phase

            I’m just glad I didn’t misread the rules THAT much. Confused me for a second there. lol

    • Khandara says:

      Wait, so some people are saying a flying thing can go to ground and get a bonus cover save and still be flying?
      And people are ok with that?

      • abusepuppy says:

        I don't think anyone _likes_ it, but those are how the rules work.

        This is why timely and accurate FAQs are a boon to a game.

    • Craig says:

      I would personally contend that since the FMC is technically above the cover, and that RAW doesn't prevent FMCs going to ground (which I agree is stupid), they would only receive the 6+ for going to ground in the open. In either case though 2+ cover is a no.

      • Matt-Shadowlord says:

        "I would personally contend that since the FMC is technically above the cover" – Unfortunately there is nothing in the rules to support that. If LOS to a model is obscured, it is obscured; there is no preordained height above the table at which flyers travel.

        • abusepuppy says:

          Moreover, unlike vehicles (which are not allowed to take advantage of the area terrain rules), FMCs and MCs can get the 5+ just for standing inside.

          Most MCs can't go to ground- the only ones that can are the Riptide and Chaos Daemons, but GW did specifically remove the "MCs can't go to ground or be pinned" thing in 6E, so we have to assume that is intentional.

  30. Aircool says:

    I'm confused… how did people arrive at the conclusion of a 2+ save in area terrain?

    Area terrain = 5+
    Area Terrain + Going to Ground = Area Terrain Cover Save +2 = 3+
    Ruins = 4+
    Ruins + Going to Ground = Ruins Save +1 = 3+

    Where were people getting 2+ from?

    • abusepuppy says:

      You're making the same mistake Gorgag and a bunch of other folks are; when you go to ground in area terrain, you get +2 to your cover saves- ALL cover saves, not just the one granted by area terrain.

      • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

        No you dont, you can have multiple cover saves, but you only get to choose 1 per shooting attack, if your choosing 4+ from Ruins, the GTG gives +1, if your choosing 5+ from Area Terrain, the GTG gives +2

        You can be in multiple Covers, but you only get to choose 1, and then when you GTG you apply the relevant modifier to THAT cover save

        Being in Area Terain behind a Ruins wall, is not +2 GTG cover save for Ruins, you take the ruins save, or you take the area terrain save.

        All cover saves from Terrain (Area, Ruins, Fortifications etc) are static saves, not bonus'
        Saves from GTG, Stealth Shrouded are all bonus' to cover saves

        The bonus saves have very clear distinctions, Stealth, Shrouded and GTG all give criteria in which thier bonus' apply, which is anywhere, even in the open.

        The only 2 GTG which have different definitions to the rest of the cover saves are Behind the Aegis Line, and in Area Terrain, in which case, thier bonus, and more importantly, where you can apply thier bonus are stated

        You cannot apply a specific cover bonus to a cover bonus it does not specify

        • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

          So in conclusion, you may only apply +2 GTG bonus, when utelising the cover save from either an Aegis Line or in Area Terrain, and you may apply all other cover saves at that time, except saves of the same type, so you can add shrouded, and add strealth, but you cannot add GTG again

          You cannot apply +2 GTG to ruins in area terrain, because the bonus already states it only applies to Area Terrain cover saves.

        • abusepuppy says:

          >if your choosing 4+ from Ruins, the GTG gives +1, if your choosing 5+ from Area Terrain, the GTG gives +2

          Again, the bonus from Going to Ground while in area terrain DOES NOT ONLY APPLY TO THE SAVE GRANTED BY AREA TERRAIN. If you Go to Ground while in area terrain, you get +2 to your cover saves. Period. Just as if you Go to Ground anywhere else, you get +1 to your cover saves. Period. The bonus is applied to all of your cover saves from any source.

          • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

            YES IT DOES BECUASE THE BONUS IS ONLY GRANTED WHEN YOU GTG IN AREA TERRAIN, IT IS DEIRECTLY LINKED TO AREA TERRAIN IT BY ITS OWN RULES TEXT

            See, we can both use capitals, arent we big boys

            If your choosing to go to ground in ruins, then the bonus is stated as +1 to the 4+, if you choose to GTG in area terrain its bonus is +2 to the 5+

            Mutally Exclusive

            • abusepuppy says:

              Would you care to point out where in the rule it says that the GtG bonus only applies to the save granted by area terrain? If it ONLY applied to the area terrain save, there would be no reason not to make it "models that go to ground in area terrain instead have a 3+ cover save."

              • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

                I dont need to prove anything, you need to stop inventing Terrain that doesnt exist.

                There are set terrain bonus, and EVERY piece of terrain MUST fall into one of them categories, and those categories dont stack with each other.

                The bonuses to cover saves do stack, and they state where they stack, there is no piece of terrain that is 'Area Ruins', therefore, your either claiming Area Terrain, or your claiming Ruins, and GTG bonus is clearly stated for either

                To claim +2 onus for going to ground in Arear Terrain with Ruins, then there would have to be an Area Terrain with Ruins peice of Set Terrain

                Sure you can have multiple terrain in the same area, but you can only every claim 1 of them, not mix them

                • abusepuppy says:

                  > then there would have to be an Area Terrain with Ruins peice of Set Terrain

                  It's helpful that the rulebook explicitly tells us that Ruins with a base are considered area terrain, then, doesn't it?

                  >but you can only every claim 1 of them, not mix them

                  That's interesting, because my rulebook also says that a model can have more than one cover save. Moreover, it's also indisputably true that a single terrain piece can give more than one different cover save- fortifications are a 3+, but the battlements on a fortification are 4+.

                  So why can't an area terrain ruin give 4+ behind the walls and 5+ otherwise?

                  • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

                    You can have 500000 different cover saves, but you can only claim ONE, and when you claim that ONE piece of cover, you get its qulify extra cover rules (going to ground in this instance)

                    >It's helpful that the rulebook explicitly tells us that Ruins with a base are considered area terrain, then, doesn't it? <

                    Yes, its Area Terrain, not Ruins, or if you put enough crap on the base, its Ruins, not Area Terrain

                    It is not however Area Terrain and RUins Simultaneously for calculating GTG save, you claim ONE or the other, and get is qualifying GTG bonus, you dont apply the Bonus for Area Terrain GTG to a Cover save from Ruins, because you are not claiming the Ruins Cover save, and if you are claiming the Ruins cover save, then you take the GTG for being in Ruins

                    It doesnt get any simpler than that, there is no Area Terrain with Ruins Cover save, you pick one when taking the save.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >when you claim that ONE piece of cover, you get its qulify extra cover rules (going to ground in this instance)

                      The bonus for going to ground while in area terrain is not limited to the area terrain cover save. It doesn't say that anywhere. The fact that it is in the same paragraph as area terrain just means that you can only claim it from standing in area terrain.

                      >Yes, its Area Terrain, not Ruins, or if you put enough crap on the base, its Ruins, not Area Terrain

                      So what you're saying is that a ruin that is explicitly called area terrain by the rulebook isn't. I guess that seems reasonable.

                    • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

                      >The bonus for going to ground while in area terrain is not limited to the area terrain cover save<

                      Really, and where does it say that? Shrouded, Stealth and normal +1 GTG all state they can be used in the open, and they can stack when used behind/in cover

                      Just because a rule does not explicitly state 'it cannot be done' does not mean you can imply it can be done in other circumstances.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >Just because a rule does not explicitly state 'it cannot be done' does not mean you can imply it can be done in other circumstances.

                      Things that describe themselves as a generalized bonus to saves without specifying any particular limitations are assumed to apply to all relevant rolls unless noted otherwise. The area terrain bonus does not note any limitations on what it applies to.

                    • Nac_Mac_Feegle says:

                      >So what you're saying is that a ruin that is explicitly called area terrain by the rulebook isn't. I guess that seems reasonable.<

                      Actually I was more referring to the Battlefield Debris section, but lets just say I am wrong and putting as much crap on the base as you like DOESNT turn it into Ruins INSTEAD of Area Terrain AND That Ruins on a base, count the base level as Area Terrain

                      Exactly at what point, do you qualify for claiming a Ruins Save with the GTG rule for Area Terrain?

                      With your sarcasm, you just established that the base of a Ruins is Area Terrain, not Ruins, so it can only ever confer 5+ cover save, and +2 GTG, it can NEVER be a ruins save, because the base level is not Ruins, as per page 8, but Area Terrain

                      You have just stated in a round about way that those +2 cover saves can actually NEVER be in the same place, so whilst I can put an Aegis Defensive Line in Area Terrain, I can NEVER have a Ruins in Area Terrain, as the ground floor (1st floor for colonies) will be area Terrain and the 1st floor (2nd floor for the colonies) upwards is Ruins.

                    • blacksly says:

                      Someone could shoot THROUGH a Ruin terrain into a unit that is in Area terrain. So the defending unit would both be in Area terrain and have access to a 4+ save from the Ruin.

                      And there is no rule that says that the +2 for GtG in Area terrain applies only to the Area terrain's save.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >Exactly at what point, do you qualify for claiming a Ruins Save with the GTG rule for Area Terrain?

                      At the point where I am 25% obscured by a ruin and standing inside area terrain while going to ground? Seems pretty simple to me.

                      >because the base level is not Ruins, as per page 8, but Area Terrain

                      But the walls of the ruin are still there and give 4+ cover.

                      >You have just stated in a round about way that those +2 cover saves can actually NEVER be in the same place

                      Even if that were true, you don't have to get your cover save from the same place. There can be a ruin 30" away from me and so long as it gives my model 25% obscurement I get the 4+ cover save.

          • Werner says:

            The confussion is that usually cover saves are mixable but you cant do it with area terrain ones, so if you choose it then you receive tht +2 bonus fron gtg, if you dont then you receive +1, the separation is the key. Is is that the gtg +2 is only added to atcsso you end with a model with
            X + normal save, Y++ invulnerable save N+ cover save that can be modified +1 by gtg or 5+ area terrain save that can be modified +2 by gtg, and as you can pick one of them you have to choose.

            See noconfusion and no 2+ cover save ever without additional rules like shrouded

          • artemi7 says:

            I’m still not sure I follow why the rule for Area Terrain G2G is being applied to another terrain type. I understand the wall is ALSO in the Area Terrain.

            But the rule for the +2 isn’t PART of the Ruins rules. It’s part of the Area Terrain rules. I don’t get why the rule is being allowed to transfer here.

            • abusepuppy says:

              The area terrain rules say that you get +2 for going to ground while in them, no other limitations. If you are standing in area terrain and you go to ground, you get +2 to your cover saves.

            • blacksly says:

              "But the rule for the +2 isn't PART of the Ruins rules. It's part of the Area Terrain rules. I don't get why the rule is being allowed to transfer here. "

              it's a modifier to your Cover save. It doesn't say that it is limited, and can only modify the cover save that you are getting from the Area terrain. Therefore, it could apply to other cover saves such as Jink, Turboboost, or a cover save from other sources such as Ruins.

              • MikeGee says:

                Sure, but area terrain is 5+ regardless of being obscured. Being obscured is irrelevant if you're in area terrain, so you can't get better than 5+ with a 2+ GTG bonus.

                I can see why people read it the other way, like in area terrain "you get a 5+ even if you are not obscured", but that's not the way it is written. It is written as in "you get a 5+ whether you are obscured or not". See the difference?
                Well, I don't know if GW do, but I don't expect they wanted everyone to have 2+ cover all over the place because it's not very cinematic if things don't die.

                Dear GW,
                please Faq so we can stop arguing. Much love and kisses,
                Gamers Everywhere.

    • Werner says:

      They ussually think they can mix them like using the cover save and only using the benefit of gtg area terrain cover thes the 2+

  31. Sentinel says:

    Really good food for thought Matt, thank you! Killer Tips 3 & 4 are epic.

  32. Nurgler says:

    There are a couple of situations in which a model can be granted a 2+ cover save:

    The cover save provided by ruins is if they are obscuring. You don't have to be in them to receive the save. If there are obscuring ruins between your model and the firer, your model is conferred a 4+ cover save (page 18).

    The rules for area terrain state that you are granted a 5+ cover by being in them and if a unit elects to go to ground, it gets +2 to its cover save.

    Now, if a ruins terrain has a base, and your model is standing in the area terrain portion AND the firing unit's line of sight is obscured by the ruin, it is granted both a 4+ and a 5+ cover save. Obviously, we know that they do not stack (page 19).
    If the unit elects to go to ground, as it is in area terrain, it is granted a +2 bonus to its cover save (page 91). Models who qualify for that previous statement (standing in the area terrain AND obscured by the ruin) now have a 2+ and a 3+ cover save. The bonus is not specific on what version of cover save gets the bonus and it implies nothing. Remember, for rules purposes, the ruin and its base are separate (page 98)

    Therefore, given the rules in the main rulebook, we know that: a model can have multiple sources of cover and going to ground in area terrain gives a flat +2 bonus to cover saves. Therefore, models that go to ground in the base of a ruin terrain piece that are obscured by the walls of the ruin, receive a 2+ cover save.

    Here's some caveats. If a ruin terrain piece has no base, they just get a 3+ for going to ground because the bottom floor is treated as open ground. If they're on the second floor or higher, they get a 3+ when going to ground because they're just being blocked by the ruin. If the ruin does not block line of sight, they would get a 3+, because all they have is area terrain. Also, you could focus fire out models who don't get that 2+ cover, such as dudes on the upper floors or not obscured by walls.

    TL;DR: You don't need to be 'in' ruins to get a cover save from them, and you can have multiple cover saves. You pick the best one. The bonus to cover save is generic, not specific to which one.

    EDIT 1: Also, a barrage weapon that does not scatter so that the ruin walls are between the center of the template and the model would only allow for a 3+ cover, because line of sight is drawn from the center.

  33. Pat H says:

    what about hillcrest/ridgeline?

    • Matt-Shadowlord says:

      Hill crests are normally open (no cover save), but models behind a hill crest or ridgeline have a 4+ cover save (note not 5+). Rules on page 105

  34. Aurenian says:

    Thankyou for a really good article!

    And thanks to the comments section for showing me how it would not be worth it to bring this up in a tournament game. I agree with Matt's interpretation, but I think I'll just run with whatever my opponent does so as to save myself a couple of hours. I'm never in contention for a placing so it won't matter that much.

    Here is another cover quandary for you. If I have clear Line of Sight to a model in an upper storey of a ruin, do they have cover?

    • Phrixus says:

      I would have generally assumed yes. They are still inside a ruin and as such would be classed as 'in cover'.

      But that is from a novice's point of view!

      • Matt-Shadowlord says:

        If the model is not in area terrain, they need to be 25% obscured in order to get a cover save. If the firing unit has clear line of sight to the target, they don't get a cover save even if they are in the top floor of a ruin.

        Keep in mind though that if the firers are below, you might find the floor itself obscures the feet and legs of the model enough to provide 25% coverage.

        • Phrixus says:

          Matt is right, thanks Matt!

          Re-reading the article it does pretty clearly outline the ruin issue – "The key is that Ruins are not Area Terrain, and Area Terrain is not ruins. They have seperate entries on the Cover chart, but it is extremely common for players to class terrain as ‘Area ruins' or say ‘This ruin is area' while setting up, and then get 2+ when going to ground in it."

        • Aurenian says:

          That's what I thought.

          For that reason I've built some ruins that have parapets on all sides.

  35. Forcecommander says:

    And people wonder why I don’t want a 40k event during my charity Blood Bowl tournament.

  36. Spinachnricotta says:

    An excellent article – thanks. I have been playing steadily since 6th Edition came out and utterly failed to spot any of these points!

  37. […] Kirby note: What is discussed below by Matt was quite hotly debated when this was posted on 3++ as well. For the discussion this caused (which I’m sure will be the same here), check the old comments here.  […]