Miscellaneous Q&A;

Miscellaneous Q&A

by Andy Chambers


Q: Bearing. Is there a bit more elaboration on how to judge bearing? The examples in the rules are directly abeam, moving directly away, and moving directly towards! Real combat situations have in fact provided at least several shades of grey, some of which have proven exceedingly challenging to resolve, and resulted in bad feelings.

A: Each bearing is a 90 degree arc, use the bearing compass to determine which is whic as shown on p20.

Q: Just a quick question. I just want to make sure I am doing this correct. The modifiers for the Ld test, to disengage from combat, are applied to the Ld value of the ship commander and not the die roll.

A: Yeah that’s right, BM and celestial phenomena help while enemy ships and ordnance hinder. A rule we’re using at this end is that any ship which moves off the edge of the table is considered to disengage too.

Q: In the campaign system, Imperial and Chaos players are required to have all 2000 pts of their fleet in their possession before they begin "in case they all end up in a big battle" and yet, there are no provisions for 2000 pt games in the scenarios given, they all top out at 1500 pts. Until we get a ruling, we are suggesting that since both 5 and 6 result in a fleet engagement, that a 6 mean you bring EVERYTHING, all 2000 pts (or more if you have received upgrades and the like). Does this seem rational or have I missed something?

A: You could play this rule but it may lead to a big points differential between players who have been campaigning for a while and those who’ve just started, which isn’t really the intention.

Q: A ship is 5 cm from the table edge, facing the edge. It ship in the fleet had failed a command check earlier so it cannot attempt to Burn Retros. This means the ship will hit the table edge. When it does what happes? Is it just gone?

A: Counts as disengaging, this is also a good way of disengaging during a game – it just feels right if ships can flee off the tabletop.

Q: Are Victory Points (if they are being used) given up? If so, how many (what percentage)?

A: Use standard vps for disengaging vessels.

Q: There are a number of ships given names. Some are just famous ships (the Doombringer for example), some have actual weapon variations (the Plagueclaw, for example), some have fluff limiting the number available historically (Fortress of Agony – Despoiler class). Do any of these names/fluff limits actually limit the number of a certain ship you can take?For example, can I take 3 Murder class ships with the variations described for the Plagueclaw and the Despicable Ecstacy? The fluff indicates that these two ships had the weapons re-fit, seeming to mean that only two Murder class ships can get these options.

A: Well, you can always ignore the fluff if you want, but the way I play it is that variants of a class are limited to the named ones.

Q: Can a fleet (a very big fleet) have 4 Despoilers?

A: Absolutely, the famous ships stuff is not intended as a limit.

Q: Basically, are the names given really just for fluff, or are these intended to be like special characters for 40K and Fantasy (there is only one Karl Franz, gosh darn it!)?

A: I treat the armament variants like special characters I suppose, but in general just get what you want.

Q: What is a "turn?" Is an 8 turn game 4 goes per player or 8?

A: 8.

Q: Under catastrophic damage, if a ship started as a Blazing Hulk, then rolled and got Drifting Hulk, would the Blazing Hulk rule of rolling each turn for more damage cease to apply? (Does the Blazing Hulk "go out" in essence?)

A: Yes it would ‘go out’.

Q: On the Critical Damage chart. A Bridge Smashed result says that "Damage cannot be repaired." While other slots say "This may not be repaired". Does this mean that no critical damage can be repaired by that ship? Or just the bridge being smashed. We figured in the whole picture of things the image of the Bridge not being there to direct fire damage. But as far as game turns did not know if that was too much.

A: No the ‘may not be repaired’ only applies to the bridge critical itself.

Q: In reference to the "travel X cm before your ship can turn" rule, how is this affected by crippling, blast markers and the like. In other words, let’s suppose a Cruiser with a normal range of 20cm is crippled, thus reducing normal movement by 5cm to 15cm. Further, let’s suppose that there are two blast markers touching the ships base at the beginning of its movement phase, thus reducing the maximum move (barring any special orders) to 5cm. Can this ship still make a turn on this movement and, if so, how far must it travel before doing so?

A: A ship must move the minimum distance before turning, if it can’t due to damage or blast markers thats just hard cheese, it can’t turn. If people want to allow ships to pay off their move distance over several turns I would say that’s fine (if a bit fussy) it’ll just need some book keeping (yeuch).

Q: Celestial Phenomena. If I get more than one radiation burst in a turn should I roll the "Ld decrease" for each and than add the results together? (It seems that it is possible to get the ships Ld modified below 0 as a result).

A: No, the extra bursts just increase the chances of an effect, not the intensity of the effect.

Q: Capital Ship Squadrons. Is it allowed to disengage a certain (capital) ship from a squadron and leave the rest of it on the table (e.g. the one going to disengage is badly damaged and the rest still operational). If yes, what leadership should be used for the roll (assuming that the disengaging ship does not have the highest Ld).

A: I’d say No, Squadroning ships together has a lot of big advantages, its only fair that you have to suffer some disadvantages too.

Q: When deploying in cruiser clash the ships must be placed "facing" the opposite longe edge. Does this mean perpendicular? Or can ships be placed so that their forward arc is facing that edge?

A: Front arc towards the long edge.

Q: When you are in the gravity well of a planet and facing directly away from the planet, can you use the free turn and if so can you choose what direction you turn?

A: Yes, towards the ‘bulk’ of the planet, if your centre line matches up exactly with the pole of the planet you could go either way I suppose.

Q: So, the Q&A say: A ship with shields cannot be damaged by moving through blast markers; only ships with a shield crit or Eldar (BLAST!) will be hurt on a 6 on a D6. The rulesbook says (Unfortunately I’ve got only access to the German rules, so I’ll have to retranslate; if something has been changed from the original English rules, please let me know as soon as possible):

Page 25: "A ship with a shieldstrenght of 0 suffers for each blast marker it is moving through (not such ones it is in contact with at the beginning of the turn) a hit on a d6 roll of 6."

This could mean two things:

a) Ships won’t suffer hits for moving through any markes they were in contact with at the start of the turn, even with a shield strength of 0.

b) (and more likely) Ships won’t suffer a hit due to a marker being in contact at the beginning of the turn as being opposed to moving through them.

Ok, I’m an Eldar in BFG, but I’m willing to stick with b)

Now comes quote 2:

Same page: SHIELDS: "When a ship’s bse is in contact with blast markers, its shieldstrength is reduced by -1 for each marker."

So, an imperial cruiser with 2 shields and 2 blast markers in base contact has a shield strength of 2+(2*(-1))=0, or simply, 2 shields – 2 markers = shield strength of 0. Given quote 1 above, this would mean a ship trying to move through two blast markers being in front of it would suffer a hit on 6 for each of them, even if it has 2 shields! It has 2 shields, but then it has two markers in contact, reducing its shield strength to 0; and it will not be able to move through the markers touching its base without touching them!

BUT Andy tells us that only Eldar will suffer from that; which seems wrong, given the above.

Now, there are several possible conclusions:

1. Stick with the Q&A and ignore the rules. Which I am not willing to do, because then, for every 6 shots missing my expensive and fragile ships due to their holofields, at least one of them is going to die horribly, while any other player is laughing at me. Now this does seem to threaten the balance of the game, at least to me.

2. Stick to interpretation a) of quote 1: No ship will ever suffer a hit from a marker in contact at the beginning of the turn. That would seem fair.

3. Stick to interpretation b) of quote 1: Once reduced to or if having shield strength 0, a ship will suffer hits normally when moving through markers in contact at the beginning of its turn. This would be even better, since its keeping to the rules as they were probably intended.

This would imply some twists, though. For example, a cruiser with a marker in contact at its front and one at its back would not be reduced to strength 0 when trying to move forward; on the other hand my Eldar ships would be able to execute a sharp turn and sail away from the markers without ever touching them, if they don’t surround the ship.

Now, what do you think? Please let me know *before* I buy tons of minis and build loads of terrain. If someone could quote the original text of the rules mentioned above, please do so, it might be a big help.

A: The shield strength of a ship being temporarily reduced to 0 is not the same as a ship which has 0 shields. Yes, I’m afraid Eldar do have to test for damage if they move through blast markers, or if they have blast markers in contact with their base at the beginning of their move (it doesn’t matter whether they are in front, at the side or behind – the blasts are in such close proximity that they present a risk regardless of facing). The other thing I should point out though is that the intention is that only one roll for damage is made for moving though blastmarkers, regardles of number and whether they are in several groups or whatever – as in roll for moving though any blastmarkers, not roll for each blastmarker. This applies to ordnance just as much as ships.

Q: O.K. Had this one yesterday lets see what the group thinks.

Imperial Attacking: 1700 + Exterminatus.

Chaos Defending: 1700 + planetary defences.

It says the attacker chooses a fleet up to the points agreed on. In addition may take a specialised Exterminator ship for every 1000 points.

Does this ship come out of the point cost or is it a free ship. It also says Nominate any capital ship to be an Exterminator. So which is it? Reason I ask is I played this Scenairo and took a Retribution class Battleship as my exterminatus at no cost (the logical choice). Needless to say I won, but thoses planetary defences and all airfields (mega-bombers) took there toll.

A: Ah rats, the exterminators are not supposed to be additional, they’re modified from the vessels in your fleet – no free battleship!

Q: Does each ship in a mulit-ship boarding action roll a D6 and add modifiers?

A: No a single roll is made, just like it says in the rules!

Q: Slaughter class say they move +5D6 cm ahead on All Ahead Full, and Dauntless say +D6 cm. I’m assuming both go +5D6 more from their original movement?

A: Yep

Q: When a hulk gets blast markers as a result of Catastrophic Damage and on subsequent turns as a hulk, where are the blast markers positioned? Do the blast markers resulting from being a hulk move with the hulk or stay in place?

A: Touching the rear of its base. They stay in place like all other blast markers.

Q: This is maybe a stupid question, but the rules are a bit confusing. First of all, do ships (own or opposing) block line of fire or movement? If they do not block movement, then why does a hulk block LOF but you could move through it?

A: See p6 of the rules under the header ‘3D or not 3D?’ and p26

Q: Second, do the ship models themselves have anything to do with game mechanics; I mean, are the bases of the models the only things that count for firing, movement etc.?

A: They look good! plus they show facing at a glance, in terms of mechanics the base and stem of the models gives a consistent and easy to interpret centre point and fire arcs, unlike the models.

Q: Do you prefer to round up or down, when crippling ships?

A: Round up for everything in BFG

Q: Do you roll leadership for all your escorts then make squadrons, and if so do you need to keep track of what escort is what leadership?

A: Make one roll for a squadron of escorts.

Q: Now there is one problem I have come to face, namely the question of how shooting at ships within an asteroid field is resolved. There have been several attempts at house rules (e.g. cover saves of 4+, cannot be shot at at all, can be shot at under a certain range etc). I’ll include my original posting below; I would be thankful for any suggestions, as all the stuff you have done for BFG up to day has proved to be well thought through and, most important, well balanced.Right now the asteroids-manoeuvre described below seems to be either to powerful or completely useless, and our gaming group has had some arguments already without arriving at a proper conclusion. Right now I tend to favour the coversave approach, by the way; this was based on the 40k3 rules and seems a decent compromise. But how would you play it?

A: I’m kind of inclined to say you have to go in after ’em when someone’s hiding out amongst asteroids. This ensures that asteroid fields are still a great leveller if you’re heavily outgunned, but aren’t completely impenetrable.

On this principle you could either:

A) Rule that as long as you’re both inside the field ships can fire at each other but allow a ‘cover save’ for asteroids drifting into the line of fire (5+ or 6+). Ordnance is still effected as per the normal rules, or

B) Say that you have to move into base to base contact to fire on ships in an asteroid field, in this case ordnance can be used without the asteroids getting in the way as you’re very close.

Of course you could use both of these rules together if desired.

Q: If an escort group wants to travel through an asteroid field.. does the squadron.

a) make 1 roll or have to make a roll for each ship…

b) make that roll for each marker or once for the hole field…

A: Roll for each ship but only once for moving through the field.

Q: When a ship is a burning hulk.. and you roll the dice to see how far it travels when do you roll to see what happens next to it… the problem was a player had moved his hulk then rolled on the chart again.. and it blew up… then he moved his ship into range of that previous blast were wondering should that role be made after he has finished all his movement or just after the hulk has moved.

A: This seems fine, the roll is made after the hulk is moved.

Q: I noticed that you roll for each escorts leadership.. then pick the highest roll for the squadrons leadership…. or should i say use the highest anyways if that ship is killed do you use the next highest…. this was a question for our campaign game.. player got his lvl 9 killed and wanted to know would it drop to his 7 or still remain 9 for the remander of the battle.

A: Make just one roll for the Ld value of escort squadrons.

Q: If a cruiser declares bording acctions and stop so he is touching 2 escort bases are the actions done seperatly to each escort or does the other player get to calculate (combine) both escorts for his value?

A: Treat this as a mulit-ship boarding p34.

Q: You already answer this for me, but when you roll up leadership for a squadron you roll only a single dice for the squadron right? This seems weird because the rule book does not support this and it really hurts torpedo escorts, because you can’t group them with other squadron now right. I don’t mean to be pushy but this type of thing really belongs in a White Dwarf Q&A. Additionally my group is considering a compromise between rolling for each ship and rolling once for the squadron. We are rolling once for each two ships in the squadron, this allows for a better average, but still can hurt small units, and cause inexperienced crews.

A: If you feel a compromise is in order you should go for it – and yes the rulebook does say roll for every ship (though that was only intended for cruisers and battleships). I’ve always rolled for escort squadrons as a single dice roll and had no problems, but as long as both players use the same method it shouldn’t matter too much.

Q: Boarding – Seems a little unclear on disengaging

The rules state that if the first round of boarding is drawn the ships lock together until one is reduced to 0 Hits.

Question a – otherwise what happens are the ships still locked in combat if you dont draw?

Question b – Can you disengage from boarding at all? if so when.

Question c – Boarding/Boarded ships – can they be fired upon in shooting?

Question d – Boarding/Boarded ships – can they have ordanace used on them? ie. Assault boats, Bombers, Bording Torpedos and Torpedos

A: a- They are not locked, either can move away in their next movement.(p34)

b- In the next movement phase if the combat is not drawn, if it is drawn the ships may not move until it is resolved.



In cases c and d the ships are way too close together to target seperately.

Q: One last thing. If I have a mine field in play, can I hide inside of that mine field and what happens to torps when they come in contact with it?

A: Hmm, it’s probably best to treat the minefield as an asteroid field for the purposes of ordnance and ship movement.

Q: Squadrons combine their turrets? Is this just when shooting incoming ordnance or does it also include when subtracting from a bombers number of hit? Because if it does, then 3 frigates would be immune to bombers(D6-6).

A: No, squadrons do not combine their turrets (unless you want to adopt this as a house rule).

Q: Also, here’s a situation. A ship in a squadron that is braced for impact takes a bunch of hits. It makes its brace rolls and a bunch of hits get through. It gets killed and the rest of the hits carry over. Does the next ship get to make brace rolls on hits that carry over?

A: Roll ’em one at a time. For example I take 5 hits on my braced squadron, 1st hit takes down a shield, I save against the 2nd but fail to save the third, the ship is destroyed, 4th hit takes down a shield on the next ship, 5th one must be saved against by that ship.

Q: Oh, and do torpedo hits carry over, or is it assumed carry overs are handled when the misses hit the next ship in line?

A: Torpedo hits don’t carry over – the extra torp hits just plow into the wrek and all the torps that missed keep going, resolve the salvo against the next

ship it contacts and so on – note that this can result in a lot of torpedo overkill on individual escort ships.

Q: Okay, so you can’t shoot through a planet. Got it. And you don’t have to move when in planetary orbit. And you can cross over a planet. Now according to the rules, there is nothing to stop you from parking half way accross the planet, immune to enemy fire but unable to shoot back(sort of). Except attack craft can be launched from over the planet and can fly out to attack and the enemy can’t shoot back at the carrier(unless they have attack craft too). Our first games played this way led to shps more or less hiding for the game over a planet, unkillable. Then we adjusted the rules a little. We made it so if ships were both over the planet template then they could shoot at each other. Unfortunatly, this led to every ship flying over the planet and stopping there while they blasted away at each other. It was a horrible mess and the game was kind of boring with no movement(not to mention the population of the planet, who had do deal with a veritable shower of raining hulks on their planet). Now we play it so that if the entire planet it between you and your target, you can’t fire at it. But if your on the template your assumed to be coming over the horizon of the planet and fire as normal. This works okay. But we’d like something more official. Personnaly, I think allowing ship to cross a planet was a mistake. I mean, yes, it’s logical, but it really makes a mess. So to simplify my question: How does combat with a ship passing over(or under) a planet work?

A: Hmmmm, I see your problem, while we were playtesting the game all our planet models were 3d (balls, if you get my meaning) the card templates came along later and we had already got into the habit of not parking on planets by that time. With this in mind I think you can go two ways.

1. Say you may not stop on a planet template (unfortunately not very ‘realistic’ really).

2. Say if you are on the template it means you can be targetted by direct fire weapons as you come ‘over the horizon’ if you do so. This is the solution you”ve come up with and sounds fair to me.

Personally I prefer 2. as it’s easier to understand the reasoning, however if you want to stick to what we gamed with for most of the playtesting 1. is a more accurate representation. You could of course simply ban ships crossing the planet (after all asteroids and dust clouds have effectively ‘infinite’ height and depth in the game) but I always liked the fact you could fly over and under planets.

Q: Optinal rule? Escorts seem to die a little to easily do to crits caused by assault boats. Maybe allow them an automatic save of 5+ for each boat that gets through? No save allowed if crit does a bonus damage amount.

A: Hmmm, I know what you mean but I tend to think that escorts are small enough that a few shuttles full of psychopaths running lose in the ship will take them out of action. You could introduce a house rule if you wish however.

Q: If a crit does extra damage, do you get to roll an extra d6 for each additional point of damage to see if more crits are caused?

A: No.

Q: Is a Fire Ship vs. Eldar deceived ENOUGH by a holofield that it would make any difference vs. an explosion of unstable plasma? Being the Fire-er, I say Eldar get NO SAVE. Yes, the guy could be a few thousand km off course, but the flaming wrath of plasma doesn’t need laser sighting to hit its "target". It is an area effect weapon, like WB’s, not a precision weapon like a Lance or Torpedo. Of course, the Fire-ee (Eldar) have a strong argument that the poor schmoo piloting the Fire Ship could be not near Eldar ships AT ALL and detonating into nothingness. I see the argument, but I don’t think there is enough precedence (other Q&A decisions on Eldar) to support this.

A: Hi fellas, see I do still read the list when i get a chance. I’ve followed this debate with interest and I must confess its a tough one. The Nova cannon ruling can of makes me think yes the Eldar should get a save, but the ship exploding thing contradicts that. As with Nova cannon I think the main key is to look not just at background (because you can always make a case for either argument) but also at the mythical ‘game balance’ side of things. As someone pointed out, Fireships move 15cm, Eldar ships can move some 40-60cm and turn freely…..Overall I suspect that any Eldar commander that allows themselves to be caught by fireships is barely worthy of the name. On the other hand Nova cannon can hit you from 150cm away, which means that even if it seems a little illogical Eldar have to get their saves or be vapourised by massed nova cannon fire at long range.

Looking at it that way makes it much easier to come to a ruling.

No holofield saves vs fireship explosions.

Apologies to everyone who disagrees, feel free to play this otherwise in your own games but my take on this is no saves.

On related topics fireships can’t use special orders (other than reload ordnance, which is no use to them) because they are ‘defences’ see page 36. I only noticed this myself after playing it wrong but that’s what it says in book, personally I quite liked the house rule for ‘you can try it but you might blow up prematurely’. I thought the variant nova cannon shells looked cool too, but a bit too scary at the moment, I’d advise putting a one turn delay on the black hole bomb (while it condenses properly or something) to give people a chance to clear out of the way before their fleet goes down the plug hole.

Q: I have noticed what seems to be a mistake/"disagreement" in the Battlefleet Gothic rulebook. On page 43 in the farthest right column, in the Italicized print next to the asterisk, it says that: "If a large planet is generated, it will have rings around it on a D6 roll of 4 or more."

But on page 46, in the middle column under "Ringed Planets" it says that: "If there is a large planet on the table roll a D6. On a 5 or 6 it has rings

around it."

So I was wondering which roll is the correct one. Untill I receive your reply, I’m presuming that it is the 5 or 6 because of the fact that it’s in the "main section" dealing with Ringed Planets on page 46.

A: Yep never trust a summary, P46 is correct

Q: Erm, not to quibble (but I am), but Fire Ships and Defence Monitors are listed as "Escorts/1" on pgs.143-44. System ships are classed as "Defence/1". So, I guess I should pencil over "Escort" and write-in "Defence" for Fire Ships and Monitors as I take it listing them as Escort was an error? If so, do ALL system ships (Fire, SS, Monitors) turn as escorts (ie. turn 45 Degs then move)?

A: Sorry, I didn’t make this clear (bad page reference ) if you look at the start of the unit listing for planetary defences (p140) you’ll see that rule is applied to everything in the section. Like I said, not necessarily what I intended but it does seem appropriate that Monitors, system ships et al can’t use special orders given their rather simplistic construction and inexperienced crews. You can be a planetary defence unit without being a defence type thing…better terminology needed methinks, back to the drawing board.