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Rules, rules, rules

The chittering of the genestealers echoed in the streets of the city. They'd invaded suddenly, overwhelming through sheer force of numbers. The cultists had risen up, too, only to be killed by the defenders and consumed by their foul masters. The last few marines hunkered down in a ruined building at the end of the main parade, waiting for the order to break and fire. On the rooftop, a lone assassin waited, her sights set on the one remaining eye of the hulking beast at the back of the advancing tide. The beasts hadn't played by the rules, and they would pay for that...

A battle rages in the city streets

OK, so you'll notice in the picture above that there are quite a lot of unpainted models, and quite a lot of proxying going on - my friend and I are working on tourney lists at the moment so that's why!

Rules are important things. Without them, our tabletop wargames would be little more than playing with toy soldiers (OK, so my wife seems to think that's what they are anyway - but there are rules!)

I've been building hab blocks and related terrain like walls and walkways for a while now, and have amassed quite a collection. I've played a number of games with this scenery, one of which became a battle report on here (and there'll be more to come). In many ways, the terrain lends itself really well to 40K - it's great for blocking line of sight, the rooftops and ruins are ideal for cover, and it looks amazing (even though it's all just painted flat grey at the moment). But there are some particular wrinkles which I need to work out, specifically around how they work when units are inside.

Fortunately for me, there are rules for that...

The battle continues, with lots of proxying.

Andy over at Mad Gaming Terrain has been working on the rules for hab blocks and walls for a while, adapting the Games Workshop stuff to make it work with this terrain. The hab blocks are essentially based on the Imperial Bastion - they can hold any number of INFANTRY CHARACTERs and one INFANTRY unit (up to a maximum of 12 models). Up to 10 models within the building can fire out, measuring line of sight and distance from any point on the building (and they can fire at enemies that are within an inch of the building too).

In order to get an enemy out of a hab block, you'll need to target and destroy the building. It has 11 wounds, and a toughness of 7, and in melee you auto-hit it. If the building is destroyed, you roll a D6 - on a 6 all units within 3" suffer D3 mortal wounds due to a catastrophic collapse. If the building fails in this way, it becomes (for rules purposes) a crater. If the building is simply destroyed, it becomes a ruin.

Cover applies to units on the roof, and they can be assaulted too (assuming that you can get your force within an inch as usual). If you want to get units into a building, you have to be within 3" of a door, and when you disembark you have to position models in the same range.

There are a few caveats to all this - notably to do with hab blocks which are joined together. When you have multiple blocks in one configuration, it is all treated as one building, and it has 16 wounds rather than 11. So in the picture below, the big building at the front has 16, while the single building (which is a double block) has 11.

The building at the front has 16 wounds, the one at the back has 11.

When playing, I treated the trapdoors as normal doors (so that you can enter or exit a building from the roof). This seemed to work well. And although I love the way you can move units around inside buildings, and the way in which the interiors are accessible due to the way the kits are put together, in terms of 40K it makes sense for the rules to be simple (as they fit with Games Workshops' established patterns). The only thing I might want to house rule would be when you have multiple hab blocks in one configuration - at present, you can still only embark 12 models into these buildings even though they may be enormous!

The rules for walls are simpler - they block line of sight, cannot have models balanced on top, and act as obstacles to all units (so can be ignored for normal movement, and halve advance and charge distances for units crossing them). This makes sense in terms of rules, although it does mean that you occasionally hit a situation where a tank can cross through walls without encumbrance, which looks a bit daft.

How will the tank escape? By ignoring the walls, that's how.

All told, having the official rules does help - and these rules generally work quite well. There aren't, as far as I know, any rules for walkways yet - but I've just been playing these as barricades (if you are close to one side, and being shot at from the other, you are in cover, and infantry can fight from one side to the other as long as they are within 2" of each other). I also work on the basis that units on top of the walkways (rather than on either side of them) get cover bonuses.

Next week I shall put a whole bunch of pictures up, showing different ways of configuring the terrain that I currently have. I'm hoping to soon have the other upgrade kits, too, so can show you the industrial and urban buildings.

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