Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday FAQ #11

This week we have a question about tanks I found on DakkaDakka asked by user Kitzz:
Can I choose to not fire multiple weapons even if I have access to them? For example, I'd rather just shoot the Demolisher Cannon on my Leman Russ against a squad of MEQ rather than the Cannon and three Heavy Bolters, as the squad being hit could potentially allocate the Bolter hits and Cannon shots to lose less models from the Cannon wounds.
The conflict arises from a quote on page 16 of the rulebook in the right-hand column towards the bottom under the "Which Models Can Fire?" header it reads:
A player may choose not to fire with certain models if he prefers... This must be declared before checking range.
However, since one tank is a model this quote is inapplicable. We must look to the Vehicle Shooting Rules later in the book. On Page 58 the first sentence on the page state:
When a vehicle fires... all its weapons must fire at a single target unit.
Pretty damn clear if you ask me. You can only fire at one unit and you must fire all weapons if possible. This would also include, for example, a Rhino with a storm bolter and Hunter-Killer missile. You want to fire your storm-bolter? Well the Hunter-Killer has to be fired too. Very weird, and perhaps not something that was intended, but RAW is way too clear here to get around.

Terran Forge Final Opinion: You must fire all weapons, Line of Sight permitting, at a single unit. You may not choose what weapons aren't firing.

These FAQs are, as always, totally unofficial. We hope they will help shed light onto situations that may arise when you are out gaming and serve as a second opinion when you and an opponent encounter such a predicament. If you have any weird rules you would like a second opinion on, please email us at Even if it's not a tricky situation and you just want a little help, we will respond to your email (unless you're spam. I hate spam)!


Cyborg Trucker said...

Sorry but I feel the rule is being misinterpreted or in other words I read it differently.

"When a vehicle fires... all its weapons must fire at a single target unit"

That reads to me just like the rule that a unit must fire all its weapons at one target, and cannot split fire. Now if it said

"A vehicle must, when shooting, fire all it's weapons."

When they put "at a single target" at the end it simply sounds to me like they are covering their butt on the No Splitting of Fire Rule.

But this is just how I see it. I could be misreading it. But this might also come from my hatred of the Chess rule that if something is moved into range to be taken in must be.

OK it's late and I'm rambling so I'll see what others write.

danyboy said...


Thanks for this FAQ, I enjoy reading this!

Now comment:
I disagree with your opinion. First of all this make no sense ;)
And I understand this just like Cyborg Trucker ^

Second, on page 58 in Defensive weapons (which are normal weapons just with no so good Strenght):

A vehicle that moved at combat speed CAN fire all of its
defensive weapons in addition to the single weapon it
is usually allowed to fire.

If vehicle must fire all of it's weapon should it be writen then:

(...)MUST fire all of its
defensive (...)


Itkovian said...

This is one of those rules that need to be taken as intended, not written, and the intent is pretty clear when you take danyboy's quote into account.

Things like this are a good reason for GW to do a "beta" release of the barebone rules before the book goes to print ala PP.

Kevin said...

@Cyborg Trucker- I know what you mean, and I really do think that it is intended to be just the "no splitting fire" thing but it does also say must fire all of it weapons. There are two parts to the sentence and while it would be nice to just take the "single unit" into account, the earlier "all weapons" has to be conisdered as well.

@danyboy- Glad you enjoy them! Now as to that quote, it can fire all weapons as opposed to what? Not firing any. There is no indication anywhere in the rulebook that vehicles may choose to fire some of their weapons. The 40k rules are considered to be a permissive rules-set in that if they don't specifically allow you to do something, you can't. All it says is "can fire all of its weapons" which gives us two options: firing all of the weapons or firing none. I wish it was more specific and allows me to fire what i want (making HKMs on my Rhinos more worthwhile) but reading it for RAW it doesn't let me do that at all.

@Itkovian- I agree with you to an extent. I don't believe GW intended for the rule to be interpreted this way, but that is my (and many others, obviously) speculation. It is fairly clear RAW and because of this you really can't take the RAI interpretation. When questions like this arise I always feel RAW should win out over RAI because it is far more concrete. Using a RAI interpretation without any real specific wording in the rulebook ends up just being speculation about what the designers had in mind.

As for your "beta" idea, I agree with you. It would be really nice if they opened a beta as a limited thing to the public like what Microsoft does with every OS release. Let the people figure out the problems and then go in and fix it. Failing that, an active effort to FAQ and Errata rulebooks and codices would make me happy as well.

Sam Thrower said...

This makes the hunter killer a really, really stupid upgrade then.

Jason said...

"Terran Forge Final Opinion: You must fire all weapons, Line of Sight permitting, at a single unit. You may not choose what weapons aren't firing."

The Line of Sight is not true as written. You must fire all weapons, as you say. Exceptions are listed in two areas: when the vehicle moves and ordinance weapons. Under the Line of Sight section, it provides no exception, so technically, as written, since the weapon can't fire (as written), the vehicle can't fire all it's weapons, so it can't fire any weapons.

This is, of course, as written.

Kevin said...

Actually, if you page 58, there is a section titles "Vehicle Weapons and Line of Sight". It tells you to check each weapons line of sight (for cover purposes and to make sure there is no intervening terrain) and for that purpose each weapon is treated as if it was a separate model in a normal unit.

Jason said...

For the purposes of checking Line of Sight. Normally, you check for Line of Sight from the model to the other model. With vehicles, this wouldn't work, considering the weapons are in different locations. That's the only thing that part talks about it. So, again, RaW, each weapon must be able to draw line of sight to the target unit. If it can't, it cannot fire. Since all weapons must fire, and their is not LoS exception, technically the vehicle can't fire.

Technically, as written.