Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday FAQ #9

So Alex and I may or may not have neglected the Friday FAQ for the past two weeks...D'oh! We both have been very busy with family stuff and getting ready to go back to college among other things so we just really didn't find the time to do all that much (Plus, I worked more hours than usual those two weeks so I was pretty burnt out!) Anyways, because of our neglect, we are going to include two questions for the price of one!

Can Powerfists turn off allowing me to use my initiative in close-combat and sacrifice the increased strength and benefits of a power weapon?
Quick answer: No. On page 42 of the rule book under the "A normal and a special weapon" header it reads:
These models gain one additional attack. All of their attacks, including the bonus attack, benefit from the special weapon's bonuses.
Now you may be wondering why this is such a big deal. Well let me give you a scenario: a lone powerfist-wielding sergeant assaults 20 grots with two runtherds. If the sergeant's powerfist attacks are used, the grots will strike first dealing out 20 attacks, 10 hits, 1.667 wounds plus the runtherd's 4 attacks, 2 hits, 1 wound. Therefore, because the sarge used the powerfist attacks, the grots have an 89% chance of killing him.

This time, the sarge will use his normal attacks and have the benefit of initiative. He has 2 base attacks, plus 1 for charging. 3 attacks with 2 hits and 1.667 grots are killed. If he only kills one, the grots chance of killing the sarge goes down to 86% and if the sarge kills two it goes down to 83%. Yeah, it's not much, but by choosing whether or not to use the powerfist or normal CCW, the Space Marine player is able to cut the statistical chance that his sergeant will be killed!

Terran Forge Final Opinion: You cannot turn a powerfist, or any special weapon, off. If a model is wielding a special weapon and a normal weapon, all attacks use the special weapon's bonuses.



Yes, this question is from the same thread but is very interesting and ties into the above (kinda).
Does Marneus Calgar get the bonus attack for having two powerfists even though he also has a powersword?
First thought: WTF? Yes, you rules-lawyer! But think about it for a second, like I did. The Space Marine codex lists his two powerfists as one weapon entry, the Gauntlets of Ultramar (which are a pair of matching powerfists). His wargear entry also lists a powersword. So perhaps Games Workshop specifically wrote these wargear items out like this to tie into page 42 of the rulebook under the "Two different special weapons" header which states:
When it is their turn to attack, these models must choose which weapon to use that turn, but they never get the bonus attacks for using two weapons.
The shear act of choosing a weapon to fight with seems to deny the extra attack for two close-combat weapons. Plus, perhaps GW specifically added Calgar's extra profile attack (he has 4 opposed to every other character in the book who only has 3) to make up for this? I mean he gets to choose either powerfists or powersword. High strength, low initiative or high initiative, medium strength. Both ignoring armor saves. BAD-ASS! Honestly, I think this makes him more of a threat in close-combat despite not having the extra attack.

Still, though, why give him two powerfists if he isn't going to get the bonus? The logic above seems right, but it feels weird saying a model that clearly has two-powerfists does not gain the extra attack. Even using a RAW v. RAI argument is hard because RAW can be taken both ways (though I'd certainly lean more towards no extra CCW) and RAI can be taken both ways since it's hard to determine what is intended. Is Marneus supposed to be able to choose what weapon he uses AND get an extra attack with his powerfists? This is something you certainly have to discuss with an opponent every time you encounter Calgar, but we are still going to give you a ruling.

Terran Forge Final Opinion: Marneus Calgar does not receive the extra attack for having two powerfists. The ability to choose between powersword and powerfists is very powerful, especially since both weapons allow re-roll to wound. One extra attack isn't going to make a huge difference anyways, and it's always better to err on the side of caution. (Marneus calgar does need the attack anyways, his army synergy and relative power is already immense - Alex).

I emailed GW about the Calgar question in hope for a second opinion, but they have not responded yet. As soon as they do (or, well, if they ever do) I will amend the post with their opinion as well. As always, these FAQs are fan-produced and totally unofficial. If you have a question you'd like answered or have seen a very sketchy question floating around the internet, please feel free to email it to us at!


Kizyc said...

Of course, you could just do the easy thing and compare Calgar to the other Chapter Master entries in the book.

Chapter Master (Generic) 3 Att
Vulkan 3 Att
Calgar 4 Att - The extra attack for the other gauntlet (Two of the same Special) is already in the stat line. He would actually lose one attack when switching to Power Sword (p. 42 Special and Different Special)

You also get this information when comparing the captain entries for the Generic vs. Shrike (Lightning Claws), Khan (Moonfang and Pistol) etc. etc.

You never see the 2(3) or 3(4) stats anymore, the stat lines are complete as published. The only one that will change is the generic as he will gain an attack depending on how he's equipped.

eriochrome said...

Why does Calgar have 2 fists because it is an old model from 1 codex and 1 rulebook ago? The rules were different back and the model is nice and pretty so why change it. WYSIWYG applies to models directly from GW.

Most people do not even notice the powersword hanging on the belt.

oni said...

I believe RAI is as follows...

Marneus DOES get the bonus attack when using the Gauntlets of Ultramar. It is a 'pair' (that means two) of powerfists, but count as a single wargear option for the purposes of choosing between them and the power sword. (example: you can choose to use the gauntlets as a pair, OR the power sword only)

Since he is also equipped with the powersword and you have the option to choose between the gauntlets and the powersowrd, you give up the additional attack for two CCW, but can then use his I5 with the powersword rather than striking at I1 using the gauntlets with that additional attack.

Kevin said...

Right, oni, that's what I thought at first too. The thing is by using the logic that the gauntlets are a pair and therefore one choice, you subject it to the "Two different Special weapons" rule because he has ONE pair of powerfists and ONE powersword and therefore must choose which to lose and forfeit the extra attack. Otherwise it's the same as giving a Chaplain a powerfist and saying that he still gets the extra attack for 2CCWs because he has a powerfist and powersword, it just doesn't work.

The only way I can see allowing Calgar to have the extra CCW attack is by saying the pair of gauntlets are not one choice, rather two, and therefore he has three different combinations to choose from. Two powerfists or a powerfist and powersword. Therefore he can use the 2 powerfists and get the extra CCW attack or he can choose the Powerfist with powersword and attack with the fist or sword. Though that is VERY messy and the way it is written in the codex seems to suggest that Calgar's fists are ONE weapon choice and therefore he would not get any extra attacks for 2CCWs

A very weird situation, I wish GW emailed me back just so I could see what someone else things, even if it is, technically, unofficial.

Either way though, Calgar is a force to be reckoned with!

oni said...

@Kevin - Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been or I'm misreading your reply.

The Gauntlets of Ultramar despite being a single wargear slot, count as two powerfists. This would mean Calgar gets the additional attack for having two close combat weapons (two powerfists). He strikes at I1 with five attacks.

If he chooses to use the powersword, then he loses the +1 attack for two close combat weapons, but strikes at I5.

(example: you can choose to use the gauntlets as a pair and get the +1 attack for two CCW, striking at I1 -OR- use the power sword only, negating the +1 attack for two CCW, but striking at I5)

Blaine said...

You're being very clear Oni, but even having the Option to use the Power Sword negates the extra attack. Same thing with Eldrad with his Witchblade, Staff, and pistol, and Yarrik with his Power Klaw, Power Sword, Pistol, and Storm Bolter.

All three have just too many damn weapons to ever get an extra attack because they are carrying 2+ special weapons of different types.

oni said...

@Blaine - I have to disagree because these rules are applied to the weapons being used / chosen to be used in close combat. They are not intended to take into account all of the 'possessed' wargear of the unit. The heading for these rules is "FIGHTING with two single handed weapons" NOT 'POSSESSING' two single handed weapons.

Deathboon said...

OkI have to disagree about calgar, he is armed with the Gaultlets (plural) of Altramar which are a pair (also plural) of matching power fists, and a power sword.

this is 3 weapons two of which are the same. so your not choosing between 2 different weapons, but rather between the option of using 2 weapons that are the same, or 2 that are different. if you choose 2 that are the same you're going to get the extra fist attack (mean!) if you choose to use the 2 that are different so that you may strike at initiative then you loose the benefits of the fist and the additional attack (less mean but at least you'll strike first most of the time).

Kevin said...

Well look at it this way:

1)Does the model have more than one special weapon? Yes.
2)Does the model have to choose which special weapon to use in close combat (chooses between two powerfists, a powerfist with powersword or powersword with powerfist)? Yes.

The model does not get an extra close combat attack.

If he only had two powerfists, he would not have to choose which weapon to use. The act of choosing a weapon to use in close-combat negates any bonus dice you have.

Dictator said...

I am not sure what the big deal with this is. If you have more than one special weapon, you do not gain the extra attack for CCW. There is no way around this unless stated otherwise in the rules.