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Thread: Instant Death

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    Instant Death

    I have a rules question regarding the Instant Death rule and Synapse creatures. Instant Death in the codex is defined as a occuring when a model takes a wound that is double their toughness in strength value. Tyranids are able to ignore this effect and only take a single wound. My question is how does this rule work against special weapons like Force Swords, Plague Swords, Rods of Torments, etc. that don't state they cause instant death but do in fact remove all wounds from a model. I don't think they count as instant death because it is clearly defined in the rule book as what I stated above, with the only exception being from the Eldar Wraithcannon. Speaking of which, does anyone know the exact wording of the Wraithcannon?

    I called Direct Services to get a rules answer for this and I was told that if the weapon isn't double the toughness in strength or says it causes instant death (which the fellow on the phone told me is listed in the Wraithcannon profile, but I don't have that codex) then multiple wounds can still be taken. He specifically used the example of a force weapon being able to kill a Tyranid MC in synapse range. I posted this on the Chaos forums on LO as well, but its a pretty divisive subject. Also, I'm not sure how much you can trust the answers from Direct Services... since they can change based on who answers your call.


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    Well this can be tricky in my opinion the wraith cannon should kill them but the FAQ says otherwise. If you want to interpret it strictly then they are also immune to force weapons etc as they cause instant death, they remove all wound at once.

    Here is the FAQ.GW Online : News : Errata

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    Force weapons, Plague swords, etc WILL insta-kill synapse creatures or anything else in synapse range.

    Synapse allows them to ignore Instant Death which in the main rule book is defined as 'any hit from a weapon twice the model toughness'. Force weapons and plague swords use psychic powers not raw Strength therefore Synapse won't save your big nasty multi-wound creatures.

    Wraithcannon wouldn't work on *most* Nid creatures anyway simply because most of the really big nasties are classed as Monsterous Creatures. The description for Wraithcannon states that such things are too big to be sucked in and therefore can't be instantly killed. They can still lose wounds though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Escaflowne
    Force weapons, Plague swords, etc WILL insta-kill synapse creatures or anything else in synapse range.

    Synapse allows them to ignore Instant Death which in the main rule book is defined as 'any hit from a weapon twice the model toughness'. Force weapons and plague swords use psychic powers not raw Strength therefore Synapse won't save your big nasty multi-wound creatures.
    The FAQ does make this a little hazy when it states that Tyranids in synapse range do not suffer instant death from weapons that do not have a strength value.

    Because by the very definition of instant death... instant death is caused by wounds where the weapon strength is twice (or more) the wounded models toughness. So, the very idea that a weapon without a strength characteristic can cause instant death is very strange.

    With that in mind, where do we draw the line?

    What weapons are similar to the Wraith Cannon (the only example given in the FAQ) and which are not?


    Quote Originally Posted by Escaflowne
    Wraithcannon wouldn't work on *most* Nid creatures anyway simply because most of the really big nasties are classed as Monsterous Creatures. The description for Wraithcannon states that such things are too big to be sucked in and therefore can't be instantly killed. They can still lose wounds though.
    What about Lictors, Warriors, Biovores, Ravenors, Zoanthropes and the Broodlord?

    Those are all multi-wound models.
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    Instant Death is Instant Death. The FAQ allows immunity to ID by Str or special rules.

    The only weapon I'm aware of that uses the term ID in its description is the Wraithcannon, and this is what Tyranids are immune to. I personally don't agree with GW as the point of the whole debate was being immune simply to Str-based ID, but if they decide to make them harder to kill by WCannons, well, their decision.


    However, Force and Plague weapons use their own rules to kill a model instantly and make no reference to Instant Death. As such Tyranids are not immune to them, simple as that. Should they be? Fluff could be argued either way, but the rules are clear. If it slays a model instantly and refers to ID, immunity. If it slays a model instantly and doesn't refer to ID, no immunity.

    Direswords also do not refer to ID... However, another rule granted by Synapse makes Tyranids within range immune to the slaying effects of this weapon. Basically, it is pointless to force the Tyranid to make a check it automatically passes. "Sorry Spirit/Daemon/Whatever, but there's no room for You in *this* head."
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    I think I'll start digging through every Wargear section in every Codex and put a list together of which weapons kill Tyranids in Synapse range instantly (for lack of a better word) and which weapons don't.

    I think such a list would come in fairly handy...

    That FAQ is really poorly worded.
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    Now that I think about it, I might have screwed up a bit and confused the Wraithcannon with the SM Librarian's Vortex ability. The Vortex will suck up and kill Broodlords, Warriors, Zycanthropes, etc, because they are not monsterous and the way the Vortex works is completely different from any other instant kill weapon. And since most Tyranids are fast it isn't likely to work in any case.

    Wraithcannon is similar but different. I've not read the Tyranid FAQ so I'm not possitive about the clarification and I don't have my friend's Eldar codex (new or old) handy so I may have made a mistake. On how the Wraithcannon works.

    My bad.
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    Wraithcannon simply says that on a roll to wound of 6 causes instant death. Regardless of toughness. I'm Taking this to mean that this gives the WC a strength automatticly of whatever is double the toughness. So aginst a Bloodthirster the WC has toughness 12. I guess that would also mean that the Nids are immune.

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    I have also gotten into arguements with friends and other gamers about this issue, and have been told many different answers. I am at a loss also on what clarifies Instant Death. If this is brought up during a game we just roll a die on it and move on. I would like to know for sure though which is one is correct because a couple of those games were a win/loss based on that one roll.

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    I'm going to be as clear as I possibly can.

    Read page 28 of the Tyranid codex, under "The Hive Mind and Synapse Creatures." It specifically says they are immune to Instant Death and even goes to describe it exactly like it is described in the rulebook ... a wound from a weapon double the toughness. This is the exact same definition used on page 27 of the rulebook.

    You have to think of Instant Death as a *rule* rather than interpreting the word in your own way. The only reason they are immune to the wraithcannon effect is that it specifically says they suffer Instant Death (page 46 of the 4th edition Eldar codex for those that have it).

    Other weapons, eg force weapons, inflict extra wounds based on their own special rule NOT due to Instant Death, so creatures within synapse range are not immune to those extra wounds as they are not caused by the Instant Death rule.

    The rules are perfectly clear as long as you read them at face value and don't give them your own subjective opinion of what they *might* mean.

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