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Would a HQ mounted on a Thunderwolf be susceptible to the INSTANT DEATH rule if hit by a STR 8/9 weapon/shot?
I am leaning towards a definitive no due to TWC models being basic marines w/ T4 mounted on Thunderwolves which gives them the +1s to their characteristics. As I see it, HQs mounted on the same wolf should act the same way.
But from my experience with WH40K, logic doesn't always dictate the rules.
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Per GW's SpaceWolf FAQ, HQ's on a Thunderwolf become straight T5 and not T4(5). Here's the entry from the FAQ:
Q. Is the +1 Toughness from a Thunderwolf
Mount considered bonus Toughness, i.e. the
model becomes Toughness 4(5), or is it a
modification to the base characteristic, i.e. the
model becomes Toughness 5?
A. Unusually for such bonuses, it is a
modification to the base characteristic. Effectively
the two creatures have a combined profile with
Toughness 5. This is because the Toughness value
represents both the Toughness of the Space
Marine and the Toughness of the Thunderwolf
(which is if anything more impressive than even a
member of the Astartes). It is not just an
enhanced Toughness for the Space Marine, as
with a Space Marine bike. After all, a Space
Marine bike cannot react on its own, and is
useless without a rider, whereas a giant
monstrous wolf is still a tough customer!
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Yeah, Strength 8 and 9 weapons would not be proficient enough to cause Instant Death to a model mounted on a Thunderwolf, because the Toughness 5 characteristic is not likened to that of a Jetbike or Assault Bike. The Thunderwolf and the model in question are treated as a whole, and therefore only weapons that are Strength 10 would be able to cause Instant Death.
Only if the characteristic for the stat in question was in the format of 4(5), then the model would be susceptible to Instant Death from Strength 8, 9, and 10 weapons because the number outside of the bracket is used for these purposes. But because the stat line only says T 5, it is not vulnerable to ID from any weapon below S 10.
Hope this has been clarified by now.
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