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I can't find this anywhere in the rulebook (probably just not looking hard enough), but does a model mounted on a warhorse have a unit strength of 1 for just the knight or 2 for both the knight and the horse, for example, does a single bretonnian knight of the realm have a unit strength of 1 or 2?
Note: basically what I'm asking is do you mounts count for unit strength
"We are the Ultramarines," called Uriel. "And no foe can stand against us while we keep faith with the emperor." - Brother-Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines Fourth Company.
Cavalry models are treated as a single creature with unit strength 2 (page 71).
Just to clear things up a little, you only get to direct hits if the character is riding a monster mount. If it's just a regular mount, like a horse, wolf or boar, all hits are made at the character, as usual when hitting knights or the like.
Basically, a monstrous mount is a mount with 2 or more wounds, regular mounts have only 1 wound, and can not be hit in close combat. See Monstrous Mounts on pages 59-61, Unit Types; Cavalry on page 7 and Cavalry Casualties on page 31 in the rulebook. (Whew, with references and all).
Edit: Spelling and punctuation.
surely there must a passage that hits can be randomised between the mount and the rider and/or the player can choose to allocate the hit against the mount just to save the character,
i don't have the rulebook with me at the mo. (at uni.) to verify if this is the case.
Normal cavalry are unit strength 2. Hits against them, whether in CC, shooting, or magic, are always resolved against the rider's characteristics. There is no randomization, and no possibility to kill the mount independant or instead of killing the rider. The only things that affect normal mounts are specific magic items and spells, which usually have the effect of limiting the mount's speed or preventing attacks from mounts.
Mounts with 2 or more wounds are a different story. I believe you randomize shooting hits between multi-wound mounts and their riders. Close combat attacks must be allocated (by the attacking player) to either the rider or the mount.
You cannot choose to allocate wounds to a mount to save a character. If it is a single-wound mount, it cannot be attacked, it just adds speed, an attack, and armor to the rider's characteristics. If it is a multi-wound mount, the attacker chooses where to allocate the attacks (this is important because the character and the mount often have different WS, T, W, and armor saves, and you have to keep them straight from the beginning). Unless you are riding a monstrous mount or a chariot, there is no way for a character to lose their mount.
Hope that helps!
"Peace, through superior firepower."
Well, as a Vampire, I always just raise the mount back. It's great, like having an extra wound on all your characters.
(And in case the smiley didn't give me away, I'm just kidding. That would be cheating kids, and we don't want that, do we now?)
But seriously, Kai-Itza, after hitting and wounding your character, something often significantly harder than wounding a horse, they would just direct it to their mount? Just the fact that the victim gets to decide who takes the hurting! You've definately been cheated.