Saturday, December 11, 2010

So how does Acid Blood work, exactly?

Super short post:

I'm trying to wrap my head around how Acid Blood is supposed to work.  Since I can't get clarification by googling it, and it's not in the FAQ, maybe I'm just imagining things.

But if I had unit X attacking, say, a Pyrovore (comes with Acid Blood), and let's say for argument's sake that unit X was really good at close combat:

30 attacks, hitting on 2's = 24 hits
Wounding on 2's = 20 wounds
20 Wounds, 4+ armour save.... 10 unsaved wounds.

"For every unsaved wound a model with acid blood suffers in close combat, the enemy unit that struck the blow must pass..."   - Tyranid Codex p. 84.

So despite the Pyrovore only having 2 wounds, would you have to take 10 initiative tests for the unsaved wounds as opposed to 2 for the Pyrovore's wound total?

I'm going with yes, and here's why:

1) Rules!  If I cause 200 unsaved wounds on your model that had 2 wounds, and you had Feel No Pain on that model (triggered by unsaved wounds), I guarantee you would want to roll 200 FNP checks to try and save its life, despite the model only having 2 wounds.  Exactly the same situation.

2) Fluff!  If I bleed acid and that hurts you, and you beat my corpse into a bloody lump, you're going to cause more acid spray.


P.S.:  The Zoanthropes who run the legal department here at Men With Toy Soldiers would also argue that the definition of 'unit' in the base rulebook, combined with acid blood as written, verbatim, would mean that every model in the unit that wounded the acid blood critter must take its own initiative test and risk a wound.  Not sure if anyone plays like that, but that's the logical conclusion of both rulesets.  Either way, we might be able to find a use for the Pyrovore (god I'm trying so hard...) as a melee suicide bomb.

Interlude over!


  1. Just because it only has two wounds doesn't mean it isn't positively engorged with blood and will burst like some terrifying pinata all over some Space Wolves. Burn their beards right off.

  2. Funny you should mention that: I'm thinking that one of the best uses for it might be to assault a huge deathstar unit like Thunderwolf Cavalry... they have to consolidate into combat, and they can't elect to not attack you, so I could conceivably see them inflicting 15+ wounds on the Pyrovore (lots of attacks, hit on 3's with re-rolls, wound on 2's, no armour saves).

    The only thing stopping this would be different initiative stages, like if the Lord went first and killed the Pyrovore, which is probable.

    I may do a full blown example of that in a future Pyrovore unit review.

  3. I am pretty sure that once a model has 0 wounds left, it is dead and suffers no more wounds.

    This is why FNP is not broken, it is also why "lost" wounds don't count for combat resolution.

  4. @winter: The problem with that is that everything is considered to be 'simultaneous' at any initiative step in a phase. You're not rolling dice one at a time to determine how many attacks hit, wound, pen armor, pen FNP. It's all rolled as a group.

    So to use a more realistic example, if I wounded a Nob 3 times, and it had FNP, you wouldn't roll one die to check the 1st wound, then a second, then a third if it was still alive. You would roll three dice and see if it made 2+ FNP saves, then remove the model or not, accordingly.

    Plus, due to the wording, there's no ambiguity: it doesn't say "for every unsaved wound (up to the maximum starting wounds of the model)", it says "for every unsaved wound".

    But again, the key is that things are considered to be simultaneous during an initiative step.

  5. It also says, for every unsaved wound the model suffers.

    Page 39 BRB last paragraph above Check Morale details the rules for suffering wounds. You can't suffer more wounds than your maximum number of wounds.

    So after the model with Acid Blood suffers wounds, count up the total wounds suffered and cause that many on the attacking unit. How many does the Pyrovore suffer? 2.

    Nice try though ;)

  6. Excellent point! However that's an apples to oranges comparison.

    That is the method to calculate combat results, not a general rule regarding unsaved wounds.

    By your logic, you also could not inflict more than two wounds on the Pyrovore, ever -- so if it's the only model, you could cause 10 wounds to it, it could fail 10 armor saves, but then would only have to roll two FNP dice to see if it can survive as opposed to 10, since you can only cause two 'unsaved wounds' to the model. Which would give it a better than 50% chance to survive the ten wounds? That doesn't seem right...

    I have to say again, if you cause 3 'unsaved wounds' on a model with FNP, it's making 3 FNP checks to survive, not only 1 FNP check per wound in its profile because of the example above. For every unsaved wound you cause on the model, it has a 4+ chance of ignoring it. There's no upper limit to this written anywhere in the rules.

    Acid Blood has precisely the same triggering circumstance -- an unsaved wound-- so it should follow the same pattern.

    I can't believe they haven't FAQ'd this.

  7. EDIT: Unless you're suggesting that FNP dice should be rolled one at a time until the unit's dead? That violates the principle in the game of things happening 'simultaneously'

  8. All I am saying is that you can't suffer more unsaved wounds than you have in wounds in the wound characteristic. More unsaved wounds may have been inflicted, but you never suffer them.

    I don't think it is apples to oranges at all; it is the definition of wounds suffered (never more than the wounds you actually have available). It seems pretty straight forward; you can never go into negative wounds.

    Yes I am saying that (with regards to FNP). If you read the rules for FNP, that is actually how it works. You stop rolling and remove the model as soon as it loses its last wound (it says that specifically in the rule). Of course for convenience you could roll them all together however the model never suffers more wounds than it has available wounds.

    I'm not really sure that there is a principle that things happen simultaneously. The effects are resolved simultaneously, however the steps in the process are different based on things that have happened previously in the process. i.e. Roll to hit based on number of shooters, roll to wound based on successful hits, armour saves based on successful wounds, FNP on relevant wounds, models removed based on armour saves/FNP, special effects based on wounds suffered. If you miss with all your attacks, the process is changed. If you suffer no armour save wounds, the process is changed. It doesn't all happen at once, however the results are resolved simultaneously (i.e. at a given initiative, everyone that is able to attack, attacks, the attack resolution process is followed, at the end of the initiative round, everyone that dies is removed).

    In my opinion, the Acid Blood triggering circumstance is "suffering an unsaved wound". You can't suffer more unsaved wounds than you have wounds, so Acid Blood will only ever inflict up to your max wounds characteristic.

  9. As Winter said, you can't suffer more unsaved wounds than you have wounds - the enemy will only receive 2 wounds back ;)

  10. Pg. 24 of the BRB:

    "For every model that fails its save, the unit suffers an unsaved wound. Of course, this includes wounds against which no save can be attempted, such as....."

    X = Inflicted Wounds
    Y = Saved Wounds

    X - Y = Unsaved wounds.

    That's the rules as written, there's nothing in the definition of an unsaved wound that states there is a maximum number that can be suffered based on the unit's total wounds. Any interpretation that makes that logical leap is reading between the lines, and open for debate.

    The example above citing the rules for combat resolution is precisely that, the rules for combat resolution.

    Also, I have to point out that it's the only justification for charging 45 points for a pyrovore... :)