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My standard BFG Imperial list usually contains a Mars Class BattleCruiser and I've also started taking the Dominator Class Cruiser because of its massive broadside. The Nova Cannons on these two ships also come in handy every so often (with my uncanny ability to hit 90% of the time with the scatter) and after having decided that firing at Battleships with thier massive shields is a waste of time, that Escort and Cruiser squadrons might be a better target, both because of thier lower shields and because as a rule squadrons must maintain coherency, thus making a scatter more likely to still cause dammage.
In my last battle I hit a Chaos escort and partialed another and rolled up a 5 for the hit, thus causing 6 hits. My opponent and I could not agree wether those hits were shared out amongst the squadron (3 escorts destroyed) or if the actual ship targeted took the wounds (1 ship loses its shield, is destroyd and 3 hits are wasted, and the other loses its shield.)
The Rule book says under Nova Cannons (page 22 basic rules) that the ship take d6 wounds, but the Rule book also says (page 38 advanced rule) that any hits scored are allocated against the nearest first, until the squadron is destroyed.
I can see how allocating hit from the nearest one first then the next etc would work for lances and batteries, but a Nova cannon targeted on one or two ships only cause hits for those two ships, but the rules state, that ANY hits are allocated.
Am I missing a rule or interprited it wrong?
Hmm. I don't recall if this was addressed in a FAQ or anything.
My group plays Nova cannon as per the Nova rules, not per the Squadron rules. If something is hit by the template, then it takes appropriate damage, flat out. No allocating hits here.
The idea of closer ships taking fire first (the "squadron taking damage" rule) is more appropriate for direct-path weaponry like batteries and lances. The Nova shell blows up at a specific point, it doesn't necessarily inflict damage from the direction of the firing ship. This also has the side-effect of weakening the hurt Nova cannon can cause against Escort squadrons (as long as they aren't grouped tightly), since it only takes one damage to kill one - a direct hit against a squadroned Escort, with its d6 damage, could take out an entire squadron using the regular damage-application rules. This way they each need to be hit by the blast.
mEGALOMANIAC plays this correctly. The rules update document states that the only vessels that take damage in a squadron are those eligable to do so. Therefore, only those within LoS and range of the firer, and when templates are concerend only those hit by the template.
With your nova cannon example, play it just as if you had shot it at a group of closely packed cruisers: I.e. only the models that got hit take the hits, and the hits get distributed according to the part of the nova template the model is under. Therefore, in the vampires example, one escort (under the middle of the template) would take 5 hits, whilst the other on (under the outside of the template) would only take one hit.
On a similar vein:
- escort squadrons that get hit by torpedo salvos - only the escorts actually hit by the torps take hits.
- Aseroids - only the escorts that actually fly through the field (i.e. if you just skimmed through the edge of the field with one) take any hits.
I find nova cannons better for shooting at cruisers, especially carriers. Battleships tend to absorb most of the damage with their shields, and escorts only have one hit point, so lots of damage from a direct hit is wasted (they are often too spread out for you to get multiple direct hits). A cruiser will take all the damage from a direct hit and may brace - so if it is a carrier it would not be able to reload ordnance next turn.
Hope this helps mate.