Monday, July 12, 2010
Rules Shenanigans: Baal Predator
Good morning everyone, I came across this earlier and thought this might peak your interest. As you probably know, GW recently published FAQs for the Blood Angels and Tyranid codices. Why the Blood Angels FAQ was produced in a shorter time after the publishing of the codex than the Tyranid FAQ, I don't know. For the most part these FAQs make sense, even when they change initial interpretations based on the big rule book, but the ruling on the Baal Predator makes me wonder if the author thought this all the way through.
Can a Baal Predator use its Smoke Launchers during its scout move?
This may not seem like a problem, but look closely at the wording of Smoke Launchers on page 62 of the big rule book. Smoke Launchers may be triggered by the vehicle "after completing its move." Fine so far, a scout move is a move and therefore Baal Predators should be able to trigger their smoke launchers.
Where the shenanigans begin is when you look at the duration of smoke launchers. The precise phrasing states the vehicle "will count as obscured in the next enemy Shooting phase, receiving a 4+ cover save." Now let's say the Blood Angels player goes first, scouts his Baal and pops smoke. They will then be able to take a turn as normal, including moving and firing any weapons they desire and they will still benefit from the smoke launchers. There are no caveats about a turn taken between the triggering of the smoke launchers and the next enemy shooting phase.
Now let's look at how to exploit this, most likely with the Baal's shiny new weapon the Flamestorm Cannon. It only has a template range from the tip of the Cannon, but being a fast vehicle it's speed makes it a practical weapon. A Baal can move 18" in its scout move and then move 12" in its first movement phase and fire one weapon, all of this under the effects of the smoke launchers. This allows a Blood Angels player to get a Flamestorm Cannon 6" into your deployment zone in a Pitched Battle or Spearhead game before you can take a turn and benefit from smoke launchers in your first turn.
Will this cause problems with 40k as a whole? I don't think it will, as it only affects one army and can only be exploited if they go first. Will this cause any changes to my gaming experience? I don't think it will because no one in my gaming group runs Baal Predators. What does it make me think of GW's FAQ writers? I think they should have thought more of the implications of their rulings.
Will it change your gaming experience, if so how?