Lantz’s Antzwers: The Floating And Walking Dead

Did I mention I’d be inconsistently posting? I did? Okay, good. So here we are, the second post of my segment and I came up with a clever name for it to boot! What a crazy few weeks it’s been. Booze. Chaos Space Marines codex. Women. My Necron army is finished. Booze. Presidential debates. Booze. The list goes on and on! Hope everyone has had a great time since my last posting, but let’s get to these questions. If you don’t remember how this works, simply email me a rules question at sinaura40k(at)gmail(dot)com related to 40k and I’ll systematically dissect that bastard until we come to a logical answer.

Question 1

My first question of this post, and this series you lucky son-of-a-bitch, comes from Chris. Chris writes:
“When my CCB is in assault does the enemy attack the rider or the vehicle?”

CCB is the abbreviation for Catacomb Command Barge used by the Necrons, for those of you playing at home. This is a question close to my heart as I play Necrons as well and had been wondering about this myself since nothing was answered in the FAQ that came out. So let’s first take a look at the Chariot rules on p82 of the BYB, subsection ‘Fighting From A Chariot’:
“…the rider of the Chariot is treated as being in base contact with all enemy models that are themselves in contact with the Chariot. This means that the Chariot’s rider can both strike, and be struck by, such models.”

And also the ‘Improved Save’ section below that:
“…allowing the rider +1 to his armour saves against Wounds caused in close combat.”

Finally, the ‘Vehicles And Assault’ rules on p76, subsection ‘Fighting The Assault’:
“…all vehicles are treated as being Weapon Skill 1, provided that they moved in the previous turn – otherwise they are treated as being Weapon Skill 0. The exceptions are Walkers […] which have varying Weapon Skills, and Immobilised non-walker vehicles, which are treated as having Weapon Skill 0.”

The important thing to remember here is that 40k is a passive ruleset, meaning most rules questions can be answered by “It doesn’t say you can, so you can’t.” There are exceptions to this, however, and this instance may be one of them. Let’s get to the argument:

Only The Rider Can Be Attacked

  • The word “can” in the first sentence meaning the rider can only be struck and strike in close combat.
  • Getting a +1 on the rider’s armour save when they can’t be targeted in the shooting phase would suggest this is their benefit in close combat.
  • Nowhere does it say the enemy can attack the vehicle in close combat.

Only The Vehicle Can Be Attacked

  • There really is no argument for this, Sorry Chris.

Both The Rider And The Vehicle Can Be Attacked

  • The word “can” in the first sentence meaning the attackers have the option to strike at either the vehicle or the rider.
  • The rules on p76 makes no exceptions for hitting Chariots in close combat, but does for Walkers.

Conclusion
The first sentence of the ‘Fighting From A Chariot’ section states that
the rider is treated as being in base contact with everything that’s
touching the vehicle. This doesn’t state the opposite, though. If the
rule read “All enemy models are treated as being in base contact with
the rider,” then this wouldn’t even be a rules question. Unfortunately, I feel that the vehicle rules for assault on page 76 trump anything else in this argument; Chariots are included as being Weapon Skill 0 or 1 depending on movement/immobilisation, meaning you can hit them. There are arguments the other way, but page 76 tips the scales.

Sadly, this makes things like the CCB completely useless, which is why I don’t run them anymore (I have two of them, damn it…) as giving the enemy the option to pick and choose which item they want to kill is a bad thing. I hope it gets FAQed the other way, but I’m just not seeing it on this one.

Question 2

Our next question comes from staraz77 who asks:
“Whats your take on Typhus and Cultists. Can you take more than 10?”

I wasn’t even aware of this question until I listed to The 11th Company podcast the other day, and it’s an interesting one. Basically, the argument here is read-as-written (RAW) or read-as-intended (RAI). When it comes to tournament play, most organizers have a duty to only use RAW as it’s the simplest and least controversial way to organize things, and I understand and respect their reasoning for doing so. But a RAW-only mindset in my opinion is not only idiotic outside of the tournament scene, but really takes away from the enjoyment that we’re all supposed to have with this game. Sometimes things are just so obvious they can’t be RAW, let’s see if this is one of those instances.

First, the one and only quote we’ll need here is on p61 of the new CSM codex, subsection ‘Plague Zombies’:
“Any Chaos Cultist units […] in the same army as Typhus can be nominated as Plague Zombies. Plague Zombies are Chaos Cultists that have the Fearless, Feel No Pain and Slow and Purposeful special rules, and cannot purchase options. They are armed with a single close combat weapon – any guns are used strictly for the purposes of clubbing their victims to death!”

To the arguments!

You Can Only Bring Ten Zombies

  • RAW: The Plague Zombies rule on p61 states that the unit “cannot purchase options” and “May add up to twenty-five Chaos Cultists…” is under the options list.
  • ‘Options’ means anything under the listing of options on p95.

You Can Bring Ten to Thirty Five Zombies

  • RAI: GW’s intent was to not let them buy Marks or weapon upgrades as they clearly defined that any shooting weapons they have don’t count.
  • ‘Options’ means upgrades and changes to existing models, not adding a bigger head-count.
  • “Any Chaos Cultist units in the army” means you’ve already paid for 10-35 models in the unit, and then the Plague Zombies rule is applied.

Conclusion
This one is pretty tough. Intent is a subjective term and is in no way universal, so it gets sticky. While Warhammer Fantasy has no issues with letting you bring hordes of zombies and what I perceive as GW’s intent is to let everyone take thirty five zombies if they so choose seems correct, the print is just too clear here. Yes, there’s the last argument for bringing upwards of ten zombies in a unit, but that argument (you buy your unit and then the rule is applied) suggests that there’s a timeline of actions in 40k, like The Stack in Magic The Gathering, that just doesn’t exist. Would I ever prevent a friend from taking more than ten zombies if they wanted? No. But if I was a judge at a tourney, or just a third party making a call (which I guess I am in this instance,) I’d say you can only take ten zombies per unit due to it being under the ‘Options’ list on p95.

EDIT: I suppose question #2 got answered by the recent FAQ, but I’ll be damned if I’m erasing all of that.

Well, that’s all the time I have for this article, hopefully next time I’ll have some less depressing answers. If you have a question or just want an argument settled by an incredibly handsome, brilliant and humble third party, shoot me an email at sinaura40k(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll post it here!

Until next time.

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