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At first I posted this in the IG forum but I think it might make more sense here.
I'm pretty new to warhammer and have been thinking about this for a while but would like to know if everyone has realized this and just accepted it or if I am missing something.
It seems to me that a complex unit has a huge advantage over regular units when taking saving throws.
As per the rules on page 25 of the rulebook it says that wounds in a complex unit have to be allocated. Now take a typical Guardsmen squad with 7 guardsmen and a sergeant, a grenade launcher, and vox caster. If this unit takes 20 wounds the player will have to allocate 2 wounds to each guardsmen. Since they are allocated though, it is possible that the unit will live even with 10 wounds.
Say the unit takes six unsaved wounds but they are on the sergeant, grenade launcher, and vox caster (each one has two wounds allocated to them). Thats only three lost models for six unsaved wounds compared to if the unit was made up entirely of the same model and had to take all 6.
Now maybe they did this to be fair since losing your three special units might be worse than loosing six guardsmen. but if you had a special weapons team and it was the three guardsmen who took the wounds instead of the three special weapons it would work the other way.
I sort of felt like I had a question about this but can't seem to think of anything, I guess Im just sort of confused about the rule.
To me it would make more sense if you had to allocate wounds even on units that werent complex to make it fair but I am very new to this game (have yet to play a match) and this is the 5th edition so I suppose they have worked out most of the problems.
I would like to hear about any examples anyone has had that can help explain why this is a good rule (allocating wounds on complex units only).
You have got it right, you do have an advantage with complicated units because of the way wound allocation works. You can fail 2 saves on one guy so the one guy dies but then no one else does. As if you just rolled all the saves and took off who you liked the unit would have lost 2 members. However the disadvantage is that leaders of units and special weapons are more likely to die.
Essentially it's a balancing act between the designer's intent and keeping the game playable.In the previous edition of the game, there was almost no allocation except in one rare circumstance. The defender always chose which model to remove. This led to the situation where somehow magically the dude with the plasma gun and the dude with the lascannon were always the last two men to die in every squad ever to go to battle. People felt this was a bit unrealisticI would like to hear about any examples anyone has had that can help explain why this is a good rule (allocating wounds on complex units only).
If you think it's bad with guardsmen, wait until you try to kill off a unit of Chaos Terminators where every single model is equipped differently. It creates a very odd situation where firing *less* guns is usually better.
Another down side to this type of wound allocation is be mindful about coherency. It is possibly a dead squad member can break it forcing them to move and therefore not allowing heavy weapons to fire.