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I know in warhammer fantasy you can reduce the effectivness of armour with a higher strength attack, but is there anything like that in 40k? can a strong attack on a weaker model make the armour save go from say 4+ to 5+?
Nope, strength doesn't do a thing. What matters is the AP values. If the AP of a weapon is equal to or lower than the armor value, then the armor is ignored.
There is essentially no real way to lower a target's Armor Save. What you have to understand when it comes to 40K is that the Strength characteristic does not do anything in regards to the victim's armor. It is used as a comparison to the victim's Toughness statistic to see if a wound is inflicted.
So, to begin, you charge as normal, but this is done after moving, and shooting or running. The standard assault range of the majority of all units in 40K is 6". There are exceptions, such as Beasts and Cavalry which may assault 12", but that is beside the point. When you charge, you make make attacks to the models that are in base contact with you, but any failed saves may be taken by other models. Now, the first thing you do is compare the model's Weapon Skill, and you make a D6 roll for each attack that the model attacking has, using the table in the rulebook to determine what dice roll you must equal or exceed. Any succesful hits are then rolled against the wound chart, which is a table also in the 40K rulebook. The Strength vs Toughness roll is to determine the number of wounds that are inflicted. In no way is the save of a character taken into account just yet. For any successful wounds, the enemy must take saves equal to the number of wounds inflicted, after you allocate them, but that is more complex. The save stays the same, unlike 40K. Although, there may be weapons that ignore armor automatically, in which case you either take Invulnerable Saves, or you take a wound.
In terms of ranged weaponry, the same principle applies here, although the strength of the character is not taken account, ( again, there are some exceptions ), but rather the Strength of the weapon itself. The save is not modify as a result of shots from ranged weaponry either. Now, ranged weaponry also has another statistic called Armor Penetration, which is a vaule from 1 to 6. As Hockeyman has said, if the AP of the ranged weapon is equal to or lower than the Armor Save of the victim, then no Armor Save may be taken, although Invulnerable Saves or Cover Saves may be taken as normal.
Also worthy to consider, if you want to play 40K, only one save may be taken by a model in any phase. So, say for example a model with an Armor Save of 3+, and Invulnerable Save of 5+, and is in certain cover which gives him a 6+ cover save, is hit by a weapon with a Strength of 4 and an AP of 6. Your opponent rolls to wound, against the model's Toughness characteristic, and then take a relevant save. You want to try and roll for the best save that you are allowed. In this case, you would take your Armor Save, as the AP is not adequate for the weapon to punch right through. However, if this same model was hit by a ranged weapon with an AP of 2, it would wound as normal, and the model would not be able to take its Armor Save, as the shot breaks through. Therefore, you would take the next best Save, which in this case would be your Invulnerable Save of 5+. If that is failed, then no other save may be taken, just like Armor Saves and Cover Saves as well. The model takes a wound, unless re-rolls are allowed.
This is a basic introduction to the fun stuff of 40K, and I hope it has answered your question.
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