Monday, 16 August 2010

Wound allocation:bols up?

I've just been reading an article on bols about wound allocation. This seems to be in the same vein as the authors previous article about true line of sight. I'm not quite sure what to make of these articles. It seems like they are purposefully trying to stir up responses from the community.
Having looked at the example he gives he is an extremely lucky player. Every plasma gun shot hits and wounds? Awesome. 6 wounds from lssguns? Amazing. I wouldn't expect that many from a full squad of 10 on first rank, second rank order, Rapid fire range. The space marines with the lasgun wounds are likely to to lose 2 of their number. Moving on.
Considering 5th edition has been out a while now. I'm at a loss as to how this is plaguing the game.
However, lets have a look at the authors complaints about the system, as well as some of the commenters complaints.
- Squad can potentially survive by taking more incoming fire. 
- 'wasted' wounds. Wounds that get allocated to models that have already recieved a killing wound. 
- multi wound units with unique wargear.
I think this covers the vast majority of peoples issues. So what would be the best way round this? There is no real one solution that can cover every issue by itself. So in order to satisfy the complaints I prepose the following: 
Wounds are allocated in order of increasing AP, starting at ignores armour then 1, finishing at -. 
That deals with the first issue. I doubt very much that the bols author will be complaing about his missed lasgun wounds.
If a model has more then 1 wound it must be allocated the number of wounds equal to its wounds characteristic before wounds can be allocated to the next model. For example, a 5 man space marine squad (1 wound each) with attached chaplain (2 wounds). Takes 3 AP 2 wounds and 6 AP 5 wounds. The space marine player may elect to allocate the 3 AP 2 wounds to the normal marines, 2 AP 5 wounds to the two remaining, as yet unwounded marines. Then 2 AP 5 wounds must be allocated to the chaplain before cycling the 2 remaining wounds back round. 
This helps rectify the second point about wasted wounds. As each model has to take their fill of wounds rather then 1 each. However in order to keep things fair:
When a unit with multi wound models takes wounds from a weapon that causes instant death, each model can only be allocated 1 instant death wound before wounds are allocated to the next model. Instant death wounds are to be applied to unwounded models if possible. For example, a unit of 6 ork nobz, T4 2 wounds, has one model previously wounded. The Orks take 3 wounds from missile launchers, 2 AP 2 wounds and 7 AP 5 wounds. The AP 2 has to be applied to the wounded Ork. The missile launchers have to be applied to un wounded Orks where possible. 4 of the AP 5 shots will be needed to fill out the wounds on the Orks that still need to be allocated wounds (to meet their wounds characteristic) before the final 3 AP 5 wounds can be allocated in the second cycle of wound allocations. Note, in the event of a unit containing a model of 2+ wounds when the majority of the squad has one wound, or an independent/upgrade character is in the unit. There is no requirement for the model or character, with two wounds to be allocated the instant death shot. This is to prevent unscrupulous players that may take advantage of wound allocation rules from 'sniping' characters in squads with missile launchers.
This should hopefully solve the major issues that have cropped up on wound allocation. As you can see it is an extremely simple system that should take virtually no time during gaming. 

Either that, or don't bother firing the lasguns as well.


  1. Nice ideas on how to "fix" the issues.

    What I think people forget is that what life was like before wound allocation. You used allocated after armour saves, and therefore special models never died until the squad was wiped out; if you killed 7 out of 10 marines it was always the serg with the powerfist, heavy weapon & special weapon that was always left.

    Wound allocation at the moment has it's problems but it's better than what we had before.


  2. I fully agree with you Rathstar. I always used to feel sorry for the devastator marine that got promoted to sergeant. Always the first casualty of the squad, not a promotion with any career prospects. :-P
    While I can understand some peoples complaints about the wound allocation system. I have played since 2nd edition and think the game has come a long way since then. Wound allocation is an improvement on the previous incarnation. But as with every system people will try to eek an edge out from it.

  3. I have to disagree with you on applying extra wounds to characters I'm afraid. A squad of 5 plus 2 wound character takes 8 wounds. One to each trooper, two on character, an extra on the troopers. Why is it, that among that slight smattering of fire, that only just caused more wounds than there are soldiers, it was most definitely the character that caught most bullets? With a three wound character it's even worse. Each trooper get's hit once, but the character, presumably a veteran of many campaigns - what, takes three shots to the face? That doesn't make sense. Far better to wound via bodies - if this leaves characters as harder to kill than regular troopers, well duh, they're characters with multiple wounds, that's kinda the point! :oP

    The solution for surviving more incoming fire works fine, it is a fair way of doing it, but probably unenforcable. The way I see it it's one of the few drawbacks about wound-allocation, but if it makes up for the bullet-proof nature for sergeants and special/heavy weapons in fourth edition it's a fair trade off.

    And finally, the wound allocation with instant death rules, I give you page 26 of the rule book.

    "If amongst the unsaved wounds there are some that inflict instant death, the player must first, if possible, remove one unwounded model for each unsaved wound that causes instant death, and then proceed as normal (this is done for each group of identically multiple wound models). This rule is designed to stop players avoiding single wounds by putting them on a model that has suffered instant death anyway."

    That still means you can put all the instant death saves (say 3) on the two normal Nobs in the unit if you have enough other wounds to wrap around the power klaw wielding ones, but those Nobs would be most emphatically dead, with no sneaky "both instant killing wounds hit this one, honest" shenanigans! :oP

  4. You will notice that one of the complaints people have were of wasted wounds. Say for example you had a squad of Orks lead by a nob 10 models total. I would need to score 20 wounds on the unit to have a chance of killing the nob. because you would be allowed to wrap wounds around the squad twice before having to deal a second wound to the nob. Say the wounds ignored your armour, I would do no more damage to the unit if I scored 19 wounds then I would if I only scored 10 wounds. resulting in 9 wasted wounds. which was one of the issues people were complaining about on bols.
    However I should update to say that instant death wounds are applied ahead of the AP order.
    the way the rules are written for instant death at the moment would allow the following: ork unit of nobz one has a combat weapon the others are all equipped with power klaws and a variety of nasty making them all unique. this unit takes 3 missile launcher hits and 8lasgun wounds. so the ork with the combat weapon takes three missiles to the face all the others get slightly singed twice.

  5. True, 3 missiles to the face is somewhat unlikely. But those are quite narrow circumstances - only with multi wound models equipped differently being shot by a mix of instant kill weapons and less effective weapons together... It isn't gonna happen that often, and if you're gaming against someone who is playing for just such a circumstance from the moment they design their list, I'd suggest changing opponents before changing the rules! :oP

    As for wiping out all bar the Nob, yes that it a whole bunch of wasted wounds. Hopefully it won't matter. For one he'll probably run away, for another he is DEFINITELY taking a wound next time you fire. And to be fair, how could you guarantee the Nob would be one of the ones to take two wounds. Surely as the most veteran of the Orks, he's the one most likely to duck for suitable cover and take less fire than the mindless idiots he leads?

  6. Not really that narrow, you wouldn't have to design the list specifically for that. Just a general list with Nobz in.
    The Nob probably will take a wound next time. But then thats more wasted wounds. Would you dedicate an entire units firing to take that last wound off a nob? Seems like your having to waste even more wounds to accomplish that.
    The chances are that he won't run away, even if his leadership is only 7, the odds are he will stick around.

    My suggestion of this system Is to get around peoples complaints. To show the type of depth you would have to go to to address most of the complaints of the current system.

  7. Well if you want to see how deep you go you can do a models eye view... each model at the front of the target unit takes a hit, rolls to wound and save, remove casualties... THEN put hits on the troops that can be seen and repeat. Therefore the person at the back of the crowd has cover from his squad mates, while someone leading from the front (even a multi-wound character) will be more likely to be shot down. The current system works - it doesn't work perfectly, but it works better than 4th. It's quick and easy. Best to leave it be!