Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday FAQ

This is going to be a new weekly series where Alex and I scour the web for questions or queries about misleading or unclear rules in 40k and answer them (with both our opinions and the popular answer). Obviously it is a totally unofficial answer, but gives you a bearing on how other people view the question and acts as a second opinion. Hopefully you guys will enjoy this weekly installment!

Now, onto the question (actually, two in one)! I found this posted by Deathboon on Astronomican (the question is not a direct quote, but abridged for clarity):
A drop pod, when the doors are opened, is quite large. When measuring for either explosion or disembarking, do you measure from the extended doors or the base of the drop pod itself?
To make it a bit more clear, here are some pictures. In red we have the doors, in blue the actual base of the drop pod.

Now the problem is whether or not disembarking and any explosions are measured from the red doors or the blue base. The overwhelming opinion in the thread on Astro was that the disembarking is measured from the doors since the marines inside would run down the ramp to disembark but any explosion is measured from the hull (blue) because that's where the center of explosion would come from.

Terran Forge opinion- On page 56 of the rulebook under the header "Vehicles and Measuring Distances" it states
For distances involving a vehicle, measure to or from their hull (ignore gun barrels, dozer blades, antennas, banners and other decorative elements).
Ok, so all measurements are measured from a hull and since the doors are not part of the hull (think in realistic terms here: are the doors on a humvee considered the hull of the vehicle? No. The term "hull" refers to the main chassis of the vehicle, for the most part) that means the explosions are measured from the hull. However, if we look to the Disembarking rules on page 67, it refers to access points rather than the hull. Well what the hell are access points? On page 66 is states (under the heading "Access Points"):
. . . access points . . . are the doors, ramps and hatches that passengers use to get in and out of the vehicle.
That would imply that the giant-ass doors that fall down from the drop pod are indeed where you measure the disembarking move from. However, there is a kicker. On page 69 of the Space Marine Codex, it says:
Once the Drop Pod has landed, the hatches are blown and all passengers must immediately disembark . . . Ince deployed the Drop Pod is no longer a sealed environment . . .

So the hatches are blown meaning, as we see it at least, the so-called ramps actually don't exist on the field anymore and what are falling off the hull are merely decorative items. Not to mention that the Access Points defined in the rulebook clearly state hatches are access points and, since they are blown, the hull is the only thing left to deploy from. Now that is the RAW interpretation of the rules. But I also think it is the intended version as well. Why would GW allow a Dreadnought to effectively deploy 6" (assuming the doors are 4" long) away from where the pod originally dropped? That's absolutely ridiculous if you ask us!

Terran Forge final opinion: Disembarking and explosions are both measured from the hull of the Drop Pod

Obviously, our opinion isn't the end all be all, but I hope you understand why we think this is the best answer and understand how our sources tie in together. As I said earlier, these weekly posts are meant for you to have a second opinion on rare situations that might come up. If you have a question you'd like answered or a weird question with an answer you came up with, just send us an email at!


Cyborg Trucker said...

Makes perfect sense to me, and since you quoted the book I feel it accurate.

RonSaikowski said...

Nice post, I like both sides of the argument and the references from the book to clarify what you're talking about.

Looking forward to more of these.

jabberjabber said...

Yes - I very much agree with your opinion and conclusion.

the Goat said...

Why do you think the doors don't count once they are opened? First of all you can't use a fluff sentence, "hatches are blown open" in a rules discussion at all. Furthermore the phrase used in the fluff, "blown open", simply means the doors are opened quickly. It doesn't mean the doors are no longer a part of the vehicle.

To me it is clear that you measure the disembarking from the doors because they are part of the access points.

There is no "free movement" gained by doing this. The drop pod can land anywhere on the board. So six "extra" inches measured from "anywhere" is meaningless.

Itkovian said...

But 6 "extra" inches from anywhere can mitigate any problems caused by an unlucky scatter.

To me, it makes more sense to not count the doors "opened" - they are, after all, a modelling option.

When the drop pod lands, the space marines are located in the central section of the pod, and jump out. Now unless they can jump 12 metres without any kind of run up, how is it conceivable that they suddenly find themselves beyond the massive hatches that are laying on the floor?

I can see it happening if, for example, all the space marines had their feet magnetically clamped to the top of the hatches, so that when they slam down, they're on the end and can just jump off. A ridiculous notion in itself.

Assuming the hull is 3in across and, as postulated in the post, the doors are 4in long, you effectively have a 15in deployment diameter from one drop pod. Slightly over the top, in my opinion...

Granted, RAW, you probably have a case, in exactly the same way as the Arvus Lighter BS that was going on with those Reaver lists. But thinking logically about it, it just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm with you on this guys - all measurements from the hull.

AoM said...

well the "are blown" comes from the exploding pins that detonate small explosions to force the hinged doors down immediately upon impact. the doors aren't exploding. all of those little circles on the edges of the drop pod doors and door frames are where these mini charges sit.

Blaine said...

I've always measured from the hull because I glued my doors up. So, if I'm playing my Marines, and use the hull to measure, people like the Goat also playing the same army will use the doors, disenfranchising people like me who use the hull. Since it can be built either way, I figure go with the "worst" way as to not give an advantage to people who built their models one way or another.

oni said...

Measurements are from the hull. The access points are merely the point from the hull disembarkation takes place and is measured from.

Admiral Drax said...

hull proper.

Kevin said...

@AoM - Ahh, that makes more sense then. Weird wording in the codex or me just being an idiot there :p

@the Goat - The problem with that, as stated by Itkovin, is that you can effectively reduce a scatter distance by (using the aforementioned 4" door length) 6". Seeing as how the most common roll on 2D6 is 7" that means you will, on an average scatter, only go 1". Now RAW this argument is still very open ended as there are good points on both sides, however Alex and I tend to look at things from a "how do we think GW intended this to be?" view point. Obviously neither of us work for GW so we are just making educated guesses at to what we think they intended, really. In tournaments, our final argument would never hold up, but most people play friendly games more often than not where the "that doesn't make sense" argument tends to hold its ground a bit better.

Again, though, they're just our opinions on these situations. At the very least I'm hoping someone out there has never come across this problem and now can discuss with their opponent beforehand in case the situation arises!

the Goat said...

It seems like the main argument against measuring from the doors is because it gives an advantage (extra 4" or 6" movement) to the Space Marine player because his deepstriking drop pods are not as random as other armies' regular deepstriking units.

My response is: Yes that is how it is suppose to be. Buying drop pods for your units costs points. They have special rules saying the marines get to disembark after the drop pod lands. The movement from disembarking is not "extra movement" or "free movement" at all. It is an ability that the Space Marine player paid points to get.

Now you might think that the points cost of the drop pod does not accurately reflect its performance in the game. But that is a totally different conversation.

Dictator said...

Well, goat I understand your reasoning by cost in points but this is just our opinion. So no bad blood.

I cannot imagine how the points cost would cover that extra 4 inches while it is also covering the cost of an AV12 vehicle, one that does not scatter (basically) and its cargo cannot be killed by deep strike mishap. It also creates cover for the marines around it by blocking large lanes of LOS. I cannot imagine the points would also have enough flexibility to include a rather generous movement out of them.

For 35 points, you have one sweet ride.

Rabidchild said...

Good write up guys, the Goat makes a good point about fluff vs rules but this example helped clear it up in my mind.

Say I model my rhino or land raider so the side doors can fold down. If a squad of marines disembarks from either of those two vehicles, can I measure from the door that's on the ground?

No, because a door is not the hull.

Blaine said...

Thank you Rabbitchild, that's one of the most concise arguments I've heard on this one.

Deathboon said...

The difference here is that Rhino and landraider doors, and ramps are decorative accessories, The doors of the Drop pod are a bit different as when closed they make up the exterior sides of a space vessal. The oxford english dictionary defines Hull as the top bottom and sides of a vehicle. by that deffinition the doors are indeed hull, and they don't spontaneously not become hull when opened.

Rabidchild said...

Deathboon, you bring up an interesting point. I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that Rhino and Landraider doors are decorative accessories since the rear door of a rhino and the assault ramp of a Land Raider do indeed make up the hull of the respective models when closed.

When you said that the doors of a drop pod "don't spontaneously not become hull when opened" it sounds like an aggressive or dismissive argument, but perhaps I'm reading too much into it. For the sake of argument I am saying that when the doors on a Land Raider, Rhino or Drop Pod are closed, they can be measured to and treated as hull. Indeed if the vehicle is modeled so the doors cannot open, the only option is to treat them as hull. When said doors open, they do not remain hull and so cannot be measured from for disembarking.

Essentially I'm saying that all doors are decorative accessories. I'm going for the lowest common denominator. A player should not gain an advantage for modeling their vehicle with giant doors (even if, like the drop pod it happens to come with giant doors.) Can an ork trukk use its bording plank at full extension to count as the point where the boyz disembark? The trukk doesn't even have doors and when the ramp is up it looks like it's the side hull. I say no. All doors, ramps, bits and bobs are decorative. Measure to the hull of the basic vehicle at it's smallest.