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Heavy Cover


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17 replies to this topic

#1
Brother Talarian

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Hello All,

 

There's been a heated debate within my gaming group. 

How does Heavy cover work/what is the benefit?

 

If you're within HC you get +1 to your save, unless someone charges you.

What some are arguing, and thinking is a bit odd, is that the unit that charges a unit in HC, which would themselves then be in HC, would get a +1 to their save, while the unit originally in HC will receive no bonus. 

 

It seems an advantage to the attacker, rather than the defender.

 

Can anyone provide clarity on how this mechanic would interact?

 

I was thinking trenches, originally, and how the models within the trench would receive HC, and the models attacking, outside of the trench, wouldn't receive HC, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

 

In the rulebook they also give the example of pipes. So technically both units would be in HC if they're in  base contact.

 

Thoughts?


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#2
Panzer

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RAW it indeed seems like the model getting charged doesn't receive the benefit of heavy cover that turn.


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#3
Brother Talarian

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Isn’t it a bit odd that the unit that is charging gets the benefit, though?

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#4
Panzer

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Yeah and the broken wording in the summary box makes me doubt that's the way it's intended.

 

 

  • +1 to saving throws against melee weapons unless model [sic] has made a charge move this turn.

 

Also because the way it currently works RAW means that it would be dumb to put your unit into Heavy Cover at all unless you are gambling on surviving the charge and then staying in fight.


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#5
Cheex

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Yeah and the broken wording in the summary box makes me doubt that's the way it's intended.

 

 

  • +1 to saving throws against melee weapons unless model [sic] has made a charge move this turn.

 

Also because the way it currently works RAW means that it would be dumb to put your unit into Heavy Cover at all unless you are gambling on surviving the charge and then staying in fight.

 

On the other hand, the Heavy Cover they're behind surely offers other protection; this just offers a single downside to occupying it.

 

It kind of makes sense, if you consider that the main reason why melee fighting exists is to flush enemies out of a defensive position, so offering the attacker a bonus in melee reinforces that. However, the bullet point summary makes me second guess whether this is intentional...



#6
Rogue

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What Cheex said. The cover rules rarely exist in isolation - almost everything has multiple traits, sometimes as many as six on one terrain piece. This is the case for barricades and fuel pipes, the only type of cover given the heavy cover trait in the rules examples. 

 

So sheltering behind a barricade offers the advantages of light cover (+1 save), defensible (overwatch and combat perks) and difficult ground (slowing the enemy advance) but also gives the enemy a potential shorter charge due to defence line, as well as the non-advantage of heavy cover. It's a trade off - the defending troops are more survivable against incoming firepower, and more likely to blunt a charge with their own guns. But if then enemy gets near enough to engage, the advantage swings the other way. 

 

Brother Talarian mentioned trenches earlier, and this would fit the historical experience - the trench is a huge advantage as the enemy advances at you, and you've got a good chance of gunning them down whilst being difficult to hurt in return. But if the oncoming tide of infantry make it as far as your position, you're likely to be overwhelmed and thrown back in short order as the confines of the trench become an absolute shooting gallery for rifles and grenades, followed by the advantage of attacking from above with bayonets (or the appropriate 40k equivalent).


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#7
MasterDeath

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Negating heavy cover by charging makes heavy cover useless. I say the bullet point is right, giving the defender the edge in the initial melee round.



#8
Rogue

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Not useless if I'm the attacker - I don't mind getting a +1 save if any survivors are around to hit back. Especially as they're potentially on +1 to hit from the same terrain piece.

Terrain doesn't have to be inherently advantageous to the defender, especially when it confers other benefits already.

Or the bullet point is correct and whatever :)

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#9
Panzer

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That's honestly a stretch. Just look at the terrain example with Heavy Cover and how it's described.

 

Barricades and Fuel Pipes: "Makeshift but effective defence lines make an excellent position from which to repel the enemy."

 

Very obviously meant to help a unit against a charging enemy, not to help charging the unit hiding there. That also fits all the other traits on that terrain piece like Defensible and Difficult Ground.


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#10
Rogue

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I'm inclined to agree, although the 'defence line' trait is also helpful to the attacker, as it allows me to engage from further away - if the defending unit isn't tight against the barricade, and if the barricade is wide (like the pipes), then all I have to do is get into base contact with the barricade, not the defender. It could knock an inch or so off the charge, which can make all the difference.

The idea that terrain has to favour the defender isn't always true, which gives leeway for heavy cover to also give an edge to the attacker.

With the rule and the bullet point in potential disagreement, I can see why people favour the bullet point. But a bullet point summary is easier to screw up on or misunderstand than a full sentence explanation (which I guess is why GW fall back on 'go with the rule, not the bullet').

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#11
chapter master 454

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Feels odd to read, had to grab my rule book and even decided to check the chapter approved tournament pack thing just to see if there was any difference to help but nope, both are the same.

 

So I think a good half measure is to basically just say no-one gets it if any sort of charge happened for now, as to avoid arguments.

 

So then I suppose if you wanted to dissect it the question is the intent as the written is a mess. What is the purpose of the new "heavy cover"? To give the defender a benefit or the attacker, and for that we would have to consider where heavy may be used. I would argue that Heavy Cover would be used with things like dense pieces of terrain, think jungles or some sort of tangle of pipes and wires, things that would make it hard to swing your melee weapon. After all, I would not argue that charging into something considered "heavy cover" would be beneficial for charging, as defenders would know the enemy is coming but the attackers don't know where the defenders are, so I feel there is some confusion about which way round it should be.

 

However RAI is always a straw for grasping. I personally don't see why the charging unit would get the benefit and not the defenders, seems counter to the point of cover effectively meaning the best way to counter-act a melee army if a wealth of heavy cover is to...stand in the open?

 

I would personally say however again, unless your opponent thinks its stupid for charging units to get the benefit and not the defenders (and they are the one with the melee army) then I would best rule it as neither gets it. RAW that would not counter what is stated in the rules, neither in the main paragraph nor in the bullet point.


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#12
Marshal Valkenhayn

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I'll be running it as +1 to saves in melee unless the unit charged that turn. That is how Sigmar cover works, and it makes the most sense flavor wise.


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#13
TheWolfLord

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Feels odd to read, had to grab my rule book and even decided to check the chapter approved tournament pack thing just to see if there was any difference to help but nope, both are the same.

 

So I think a good half measure is to basically just say no-one gets it if any sort of charge happened for now, as to avoid arguments.

 

So then I suppose if you wanted to dissect it the question is the intent as the written is a mess. What is the purpose of the new "heavy cover"? To give the defender a benefit or the attacker, and for that we would have to consider where heavy may be used. I would argue that Heavy Cover would be used with things like dense pieces of terrain, think jungles or some sort of tangle of pipes and wires, things that would make it hard to swing your melee weapon. After all, I would not argue that charging into something considered "heavy cover" would be beneficial for charging, as defenders would know the enemy is coming but the attackers don't know where the defenders are, so I feel there is some confusion about which way round it should be.

 

However RAI is always a straw for grasping. I personally don't see why the charging unit would get the benefit and not the defenders, seems counter to the point of cover effectively meaning the best way to counter-act a melee army if a wealth of heavy cover is to...stand in the open?

 

I would personally say however again, unless your opponent thinks its stupid for charging units to get the benefit and not the defenders (and they are the one with the melee army) then I would best rule it as neither gets it. RAW that would not counter what is stated in the rules, neither in the main paragraph nor in the bullet point.

You could also consider that a unit bunkered down in heavy cover is at a major disadvantage if a melee unit suddenly charges them as they will often be lying down and prone or wedged behind terrain making their ability to dodge around said terrain difficult until they’ve had time to jump up. Defenders don’t often know they’ve been discovered and if they are under fire they wouldn’t want to get up from behind a barricade and risk exposing themselves to shooting, if they are lying down or kneeling behind a wall and they are suddenly charged then they are in serious trouble and actually far easier to hit. The attacker will have momentum, surprise, mobility and often a height advantage as well compared to the defender.

 

As soon as I read the rules for heavy terrain that’s what I imagined, the defender has lots of advantages against the attacker but if charged they are at an disadvantage initially, the attacker can dodge any attacks or put posts/pillars between themselves and the defender far more easily than the entrenched defender can which is represented by the improved save.
It probably would have been more accurate and realistic to give the attacker improved strength or an improved ‘to hit’ but that starts to overlap faction rules whereas no faction gets a bonus to saves in melee.

 

Unfortunately you can create scenarios that satisfy both interpretations but at the end of the day it comes down to whether the rule text or the summary bullet points should be used in the event of conflicts like this.



#14
Sloeberjong

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Is it me or is it clear as day? The model in cover receives +1 save in melee unless it charged (out of cover). It can obviously charge, but still be in the same terrain piece but then it won't get the bonus to the save.

#15
Panzer

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Is it me or is it clear as day? The model in cover receives +1 save in melee unless it charged (out of cover). It can obviously charge, but still be in the same terrain piece but then it won't get the bonus to the save.

 

Just you because if we go by RAW of the actual text it's the exact opposite of what you described. :sweat:


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#16
MasterDeath

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Is it me or is it clear as day? The model in cover receives +1 save in melee unless it charged (out of cover). It can obviously charge, but still be in the same terrain piece but then it won't get the bonus to the save.

 

Just you because if we go by RAW of the actual text it's the exact opposite of what you described. sweat.gif

 

 

Depends on reading the text or the bullet point.



#17
Dr_Ruminahui

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Well, given that the rules state to use the text when it and the bullet point contradict, I don't think you can say the RAW is the bullet point.


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#18
Panzer

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New FAQs are out. It's the charging unit that doesn't get the cover.

 

 

 

Page 263 – Heavy Cover
Change this paragraph to read:
‘When an attack made with a melee weapon wounds a model
that is receiving the benefits of cover from this terrain feature,
add 1 to the saving throw made against that attack unless the
model that the attack is allocated to made a charge move this
turn (invulnerable saving throws are not affected).

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