Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Rules Debate: Necrons "Entropic Strike"

Morning folks,

I was planning on writing up my initial thoughts on the new Necron codex after my first game last night, then logged on to find BOLS talking about Scarabs and the "Entropic Strike" special rule.

This cropped up in my game last night, and I thought I'd discuss my point of view on it and how we handled it. On the flip side, if other MAWS members could read this and make a decision, we can add it our MAWS FAQ, until an actual FAQ is released.

So here's the quote from BOLS today:
Entropic Strike Timing
Now Entropic Strike is nasty, no one is disputing that.  The real question comes down to exactly HOW NASTY did Matthew Ward intend for it to be.  Here is the key rule quote in question:

"For each hit a vehicle or model suffers with this special rule, roll a D6. For each result of 4+, it immediately loses 1 point of armor value from all facings.  If a vehicle is reduced to Armour 0 on any facing, it is immediately destroyed"
So the million dollar question is: Exactly when does the reduced armour values go into effect - before, or after you roll for penetrations on the initial set of hits inflicted in assault?

Here is an example.  An innocent Land Raider is sleeping peacefully in a meadow when 4 bases of Scarabs slam into it.  They inflict 20 automatic hits (it was sleeping peacefully remember), ten of which activate the Entropic Strike ability on a 4+.  Do you:
a) Resolve the 20 hits at S:3+ D6 vs AV:14 (the Land Raider will live), then it's AV is immediately lowered to 4/4/4
b) Resolve the 20 hits at S:3+D6 vs AV:4 (the Land Raider is toast)

Either of these is possible based on whether Ward intends Entropic Strike to either a) weaken units so they will be crippled and easily picked off by later units, or b) be bloodcurdling to all vehicles in the game. Luckily this is an easy black and white decision, that needs to be FAQed one way or the other.
 Now. Here's the way I see it.

Step 1. You roll to hit the vehicle in question.
Step 2. Out of those "To Hit" rolls, roll that number and find out how many Entropic Strikes were successful (4+)
Step 3. "For each result of a 4+, it IMMEDIATELY loses 1 point of armour value from all facings". Quoted directly from the rule.
Step 4. Roll to penetrate against this lower amount with all the "To Hit" dice that succeeded.

True it's harsh if you're the one who didn't move your Land Raider or deal with the Scarabs when you had chance, but the key word there is "immediately".

The argument for me there is when exactly does the Entropic Strike get rolled for. To me, it's pretty straight forward, as soon as it's hit by an Entropic Strike, you roll to see whether the E.S. activates and then go on the modified armour.

It's not a case of "When does the reduced armour value kick in?", the real question is "When do you roll for Entropic Strike?", which - to me - is straight after a vehicle takes a hit from a Scarab base. If you've activated the Entropic Strike, then the vehicle immediately loses the armour values.

What do MAWS folk think about this?



  1. I'm not MAWS (although I am only up in Preston...) but agree with your interpretation.

    The key word is "immediately".

  2. makes sense to me

  3. Sounds fair to me, makes scarabs a scary unit eh! And more likely to be used as more than a speed bump.

  4. Well its broken I dont like it its codex creep etc etc etc etc dam Gw! Right now I have got that out of my system they all die to shredders!!!!!

  5. How a dark eldar player can have the nerve to criticise necrons for one horrible unit when they have a codex full is unbelievable !!!!!! Flickerfields, rapid fire poisoned weapons, splinter wracks, dark lances, shredders, PAIN tokens (which emperors children better get when/if there's a decent non generic chaos marine dex done), venoms ................ etc. Fire power & model count puts guard to shame. ;p

  6. Just think of my poor tyranids when all these rants start!!!!

  7. I quite like tyranids now. Didn't like the last one as not enough choices for me. Though when I borrowed yours against u it was a less deemed ubber build but they still nom nom nommed ur anti nid marine list ;p

  8. bastard!!!!!

    yes i prefer this new codex too, much more choice as you say, the one thing that that lets it down is the lack of anti armour at range but then i suppose thats the point, they are no meant to have that. What would be good is the 2+ sv wasnt so exspensive or to have something that makes them a bit more survivable against leafblower / pysfleman dread and razor spam bollocks.

  9. Try buying wing for a chaos daemon prince !!!! which is why i don't bother with them & recklessly deepstrike him into the thick of it like the rest of my daemons. Icons I hear u say ??? Bah another waste of points.

  10. wings are 60 points for a hive tyrant bah, icons, we dont even get the option of one!!!!! to be fair our spores are like drop pods though

  11. That can attack back, has wounds rather than armour, a ws so not auto hit & is not opened topped for +1 on damage table. No 'easy' kill point at the end of game that is close. Plus who wants to get near your pod when it always has the doom of arseanthia in it :p lol

  12. you forgot its a monsterous creature too!!!!

    I love the doom of malan'tai, so wrth 90 points!!!!

  13. i love how it went from necrons to tyranids on a necron thing... and you guys are right, the damage is delt to the reduced armor which makes scarabs the ultimate anti tank. also if they wound a model its armor save is "-" so does it lose armor when wound is declared so you get no save or after the wound is lost?

  14. @Anonymous

    I've not got the codex to hand, but they way it's worded (if I remember rightly) is once it takes an unsaved wound.

    So for normal infantry it doesn't matter much, but for characters / multi wound models it makes a difference.

    I'll double check the codex to confirm ASAP :)

  15. @SuicideBadger

    The ES working on an unsaved wound is only when attacking infantry. For vehicles it is a roll of 4+ after hit rolls have been made. Which I'm sure you've read and realized by now.

  16. Yep, I'd forgotten to reply back after I read the codex! Pesky real life getting in the way of my toy soldiers again :P

    So yeah, it only makes any difference to multi-wound stuff, since if they've taken an unsaved wound, 1 wound stuff is dead.