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I have been having some what of a debate on the mechanics of vibro cannons in 5th ed, as such I have decided to post my view on here and hopefully get some feedback and possibly a majority vote against each point.
1. are cover saves allowed vs a vibro cannon hit?
2. does a vibro cannon hit all levels of a building / ruin?
3. does a vibro cannon have any width for the line?
I will explain each point first and then hopefully get some comments in agreement or against with reasons why.
1. firstly I believe that cover saves should not be allowed vs a vibro cannon, from a fluff perspective it is hard to imagine that taking cover from affected scenery would provide any safety and especially with vehicles as the vehicle could not even dive out of the affected area?
From a rules point of view the strongest argument I can put forward is in respect to line of sight and targeting. This begins on page 16 under check line of sight and pick a target, essentially according to this you cannot possibly target a unit you cannot see however the eldar codex entry (page 45) for the vibro cannon states you roll to hit without picking a target and also the official FAQ states that LOS is not required.
Given the above my point is that anything hit by the cannon is therefore not a target and has not been targeted.
The rules under page 21 of the core rules (infantry) state a model is in cover when any part of the target model's body is obscured from the point of view of the firer. as the weapon does not use sight or LOS and does not target the rule does not apply?
The rules under page 62 of the core rules (vehicles) state at least 50% of the facing of the vehicle being targeted needs to be hidden from the point of view of the firer. again as above the no sight / target or LOS negates the application of this rule.
Other theories I have looked at and dismissed have involved the review of similar weapon types:- (i don't like counts as).
1a. the only other weapons to ignore LOS are barrage weapons which take cover from the point of impact (center of blast), as the vibro cannon hits all in its path the center of the blast would be the actual model affected and therefore only infantry in area terrain would be blessed with a cover save?
1b. template, this follows the thought that a fixed length and with "template" is used for the cannon and in the FAQ it is described as indiscriminate in the same manner as a template, as such the rules for a template weapon could apply?
2. the core wording of the cannon states to draw a line and hit everything beneath, this sounds quite straight forward and in case 1 above makes sense, as such units in a building are ignored as they are embarked in the building and the building is glanced, with ruins this would follow that each unit on multiple levels would be affected equally.
If the majority like the template idea above it would then be necessary to follow the template instruction that only 1 level can be affected at a time?
3. This is purely academic, the older rules suggested the width of a tape measure was reasonable and easy to follow given the likelihood that said line would be measured with a tape, however the description currently lacks any clarification and a majority common sense ruling here may save some future debate. The other perspective is that it has no with and would literally need to be directly passing over a base with no describable width?
Essentially the rules are unclear at present as the codex is not for 5th Ed and while awaiting the new codex this is probably the most misunderstood weapon, allot of first instincts are that cover should be allowed as it does not state it ignores it specifically, this is primarily because all 5th ed rules and codex's have made a point to be much clearer and specific, similarly common weapons like templates have been covered and this weapon overlooked due to its unique nature, please read this and hopefully put some for and against arguments in to add detail to my starting point with a view to a fair and consistent opinion for this weapon.
Thanks in advance for the help and I hope others can benefit from this post when its completed.
1. I would incline towards no.
2. No, it doesn't say 'every unit beneath the line suffers D6 hits'. It says 'every unit which the line passes through suffers D6 hits'. Therefore it cannot hit two levels of a building unless the cannon itself is in the building and firing upwards.
3. The line is infinitesemally thin. Think of it like a laser.
Many thanks for the feedback, on point 2 thank you for the clarification I wrote that bit from memory. Your comment makes perfect sence and to elaborate further if there where 2-3 ruins in the line it could be feasable to hit a unit very close on the bottom level, one behind on the mid level and a final at the top level if the line pysically passes through a model in each of the units on each level from the cannon, also ignoring any units an other levels in the same ruin?
Regarding point 1 I am 50/50 myself hence looking here for opinions, I did check several tournament rulings and some have ruled yes while others ruled no and a few that split the ruling seperately for infantry and vehicles. I would welcome any more feedback you have or indeed any other forum members.
Last edited by t_d_nomis; September 25th, 2011 at 17:05.
Regarding to point 1 I would say area terrain grants a cover save (the vibrations could be deflected slightly by rocks and trees or something to that extent) but if the unit is in the open or behind a building/cover then no. There is no definate answers to this question as there has been no FAQ for it and despite the weapons description all other rules lean towards cover saves being granted.
Number 2 is a definate no as Acarna explained in his post.
Number 3, well Acarna definately has a point as to how thin it may be but I'd confirm with your opponent before playing. I'd say that anything the width of the weapons barrel is reasonable so a small stick would probably do the trick.
Hi Farseer Macleod,
Thanks for the reply, would you include vehicles as protected by area terrain? I welcome any feedback and thank you again for you post.
In any case, I don't think the line is thick enough to make any reasonable difference. It's not like it can hit two models next to each other, and even if it could chances are they'd be in the same unit anyway.
As to the vehicle area terrain question, refer to page 62 of the rulebook: 'Vehicles and Cover'. It says 'At least 50% of the vehicle that is being targeted (i.e. its front, side or rear) needs to be hidden by intervening terrain or models from the point of view of the firer for the vehicle to claim to be in cover.' It then says 'Vehicles are not obscured simply for being in area terrain. The 50% rule given above takes precedence.'
the 50% rule taking precedence makes sence but also links to my initial point above, essentially if a vibro cannon is deployed behind a high wall for instance it would have no line of sight at all, this being my most likely deployment of a support weapon that does not require line of sight, in this case all units and vehicles hit are 100% obscured from the firer.
My inital point is that as the "target" is 100% obscured it cannot be selected as a target but the weapon states a target is not required and LOS is ignored(from the FAQ).
I can quite happily see both sides of the fence on this point but neither the for nor the against are absolute and finding a sensible comprimise is why I have started this tread, I included all 3 points for completeness as LOS and cover are not the only unclear rules and with a bit of luck a good understanding can make descisions easier for the groups i play with and for everyone else reading the tread.
Annother point that I am not completely happy with was from a GW store, thier take was that as LOS is not required the firers perspective would be treated similar to a barrage, i.e. cover calculated from the center of the blast, as the weapon can only score a hit from the center of the line LOS for cover is the vehicle itself and therefore cover is ignored.
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Last edited by t_d_nomis; September 25th, 2011 at 18:14.
No the vibro cannon has NO width to its line. It's one of those concepts, like in math how a plane has no width, and a line only length.
Also i believe theres precedent for vehicles and troops gaining cover from a vibro cannon without TLOS. If I'm not mistaken shots from a tyranid hiveguard give cover saves if there is terrain in front of them.
Yes as in the book.
And get dem Dragons out of dem Falcons! Downright embarisin sometimes.