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1) When hit by a blast template, do you determine cover save from the center of the blast template or from the unit that figured the blast weapon?
2) If an Independent character is involved in a melee combat, does he have to be adjacent to an enemy to attack or can he be within 2 inches of a member of his unit thats in base to base contact with an enemy? Basically, we are trying to figure out when he is considered part of his unit and when he is considered a seperate unit.
Blast weapons (eg. Battle Cannons, Frag Missiles, and Grenade Launchers) determine cover exactly like normal guns. Barrage weapons (eg. Mortars, Earthshakers, and Whirlwinds) detemine cover saves from the center of the template, if they're not firing directly.
"The sergeant major asked me what my job is. I told him it's to do what I am told. He gave me a medal. I like the Imperial Guard."
"Innocentia Probat Nihil"
Lost Nemesis and Stradius have given the correct answers. I want to back them up and provide the pages in the rulebook where you can look it up.
1) Blast weapons work like normal weapons: cover is determined from the firing model's point of view. (Page 41 in the big rulebook.) Only barrage weapons are an exception to this, they determine cover from the center of the blast template, while models in area terrain always get a cover save, even if the blast marker lands in a way that the model is not physically obscured from the center of the template. (Page 32 in the big rulebook.)
2) The independent character is still part of his unit when the assault move is made. Once attacks are being rolled he counts as a unit of his own. Then, after all attacks have been rolled for but before you tally up the combat result (which side caused more wounds) the independent character returns to being part of the unit he joined. [So if his side loses combat his unit can use his leadership for morale. If his unit runs he runs with them. If his side wins the enemy does not have to break off from him and from his unit seperately, but only once from the combined unit. And he can not use his initiative for sweeping advance, but must use majority initiative of the unit he joined. And if your unit or character can't make sweeping advances (because either are in terminator armor, for example) then neither can the other part of your combined unit because they are still joined.]
So basically independent characters remain part of the unit they joined for all purposes except allocating and rolling attacks and allocating wounds. This is always done seperately for an independent character and the unit he joined in close combat, and therefore the independent character must be in base-to-base contact with enemy models in order to be able to strike - it does not suffice to be within 2" of a squad member of the unit he joined because for purposes of allocating attacks he is not considered part of the unit in close combat but rather a unit of his own. (Page 49 in the big rulebook.)