Wound Allocation, Part 2: Using it to your Advantage  

Posted by Michael Hogan in


Hey there, Xethik with part two of three of the wound allocation series. In this part I'm going to hopefully show you how to use wound allocation to your own advantage, given different scenarios and keeping different things in mind. To start, we'll take the same scenario I used last time.



You have a squad of five marines, with a Sergeant and a Missile Launcher. That gives you three distinct groups: Sergeant, Missile Launcher, and Tactical Marines with Boltguns - also known as the normal guys. You have taken eleven wounds. Three are AP 2 while the other eight are AP 5, so you can make armor saves against those.

AP 2 are red, AP 5 are white.

Last time, I allocated the wounds like this:
As I hinted at, this wasn't really the best way to allocate the wounds, but it is something that it done somewhat often. We want to lose the least number of guys possible, right? You could argue you want the most number of useful guys, but it really depends on the scenario. If you really want the Sergeant and Missile Launcher, but the other guys are just extra wounds, then you could kill off three Tactical Marines, taking four AP 5 wounds with them, and then try to make your saves on your Sergeant and Missile Launcher. But let's say you are trying to hold an objective. First thing you want is to keep the squad as large as possible and you don't want to fall back. If you lose all the members, you lose the objective, simple. Next you may want to keep the Sergeant alive. His extra leadership will hopefully help you pass Morale tests. So, you decide the Missile Launcher isn't really all too important. Perhaps you have plenty more anti-tank or maybe the guy isn't even in a good position to hit things. You can kill him.

Now, let's think how we can allocate. We have 11 wounds, so everyone needs two, with one guy getting three. Those three wounds can be put onto the Missile Launcher, and those can be your three AP 2 wounds. Two on the Sergeant and six on the normal guys. You have something like this.
You may think "why not put all the AP 2 wounds on one of the normal guys?" Well, you have to remember you make the saves in groups. If you put the three red dice on a normal guy, you are effectively putting one on each guy. You take out all the normal guys doing that.

So, what's a good strategy when dealing with a situation like this with single wound models? You want to find the smallest model groups and put the most threatening wounds on them. Perhaps you have Plague Marines and takes two hits from a S10 AP 4 weapon followed by a lot of S4 AP - weaponry. You'll want to put as many of the wounds that deny Feel No Pain on one model, perhaps a guy with special weaponry.

Now we'll move onto a different type of unit. The "multi-wound" units. These could be Nobz, Grey Knight Paladins, Thunderwolf Cavarly, or Tyranid Warriors (doesn't work so well here as you can't mix-up wargear and biomorphs easily). Anything with more than one wound which can be found in units. There are some rule contradictions which allow you (and probably intentionally) to add a lot of survivability to your unit. Multi-wound units must "remove whole models as casualties where possible. Wounds may not be 'spread around' to avoid removing models." This is done after identifying wound groups, and this is where wound allocation comes in handy.

Diagrams aren't really necessary for this one, to be honest, but there are a couple different things to keep in mind when wound allocating into multi-wound units. First thing is first, and that is getting a completely unique unit. This means no model is in a wound group with another model, which you want to achieve without sacrificing points or weapon possibilities. This means even the small things like assault grenades and master-crafted weapons should be used here and there in order to achieve a nice group without losing a lot of your weapon of choice. I won't go into any specifics, but you can feel free to ask for any unit and I'll do my best to create an example.

Alright, so let's say you have a group of 5 Paladins each with different wargear so they are in their own groups. Let's run down the things you want to keep in mind.

You still have to put at least one wound on every model before moving onto the next.  This means you cannot stack two wounds on the same model if they are the only wounds you received. You have to spread the wounds out in that aspect.

Just because a model is missing a wound, doesn't mean you have to allocate a wound to it next time you suffer wounds. This means every model can have one wound missing at the same time even if you never passed a save. This is often ideal, especially if you are only ever taking a few, armour save ignoring wounds. By doing this, you effectively keep your firepower the same while your squad takes damage.

Next, if possible, you want to stack instant-death wounds on one model. If you take 11 wounds, 3 of which cause instant-death, you would probably want to put those three wounds on your least cared about model, and let him take the hits for the rest of your squad. You can also put instant-death wounds onto models that already have wounds on them, assuming you are in individual groups. This way, you avoid taking as many wounds as possible.

The problem with these very unique units is that keeping track of wounds can be a large pain. It's really nice if you have something magnetized onto the model or that is removable to keep track of wounds. I've seen people use skulls on the front of a base and upon suffering a wound, a skull is removed. That way, your opponent can look and see the number of wounds on the model without having a bunch of confusing dice floating around. You could also use rings, as Fritz has posted about (I believe) or even those transparent green skulls Games Workshop sells on the Counter Set.

I hope you enjoyed the article. I apologize for there being a lack of images, but I feel that they would possibly confuse things in the second half of the article. It is my goal to help inform and explain, so I'm glad if at least a handful of people gained something from this article.

Next article will be shorter and will be about how you can do your best to attempt to avoid dealing with obnoxious use of the wound allocation game while still having fun yourself.

Until then,
Xethik

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at Wednesday, June 29, 2011 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

6 comments

Nice read, man, I'll definitely be reading part one (and three!) asap. Just wanted to add a note to this question here, maybe it'll help your readers:

You may think "why not put all the AP 2 wounds on one of the normal guys?"

p26 of the BRB says, "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 rule is designed to stop players avoiding single wounds by putting them on a model that has suffered instant death anyway."

Basically, you can't put all the AP2 wounds on one model, in addition to all the logical reasons you've pointed out.

June 29, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Sorry, can't edit :(

p26 could just apply to multi-wound models, though. Honestly, I'm not sure, but it might worth a discussion ;)

June 29, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Hey Sgt. Brisbane, what does AP2 have to do with instant death? Only attacks that cause instant death or double out it strength would apply to what was stated there?

I'm fairly new to the game so I just wanted to make sure. I think it was done to prevent you removing a model with only 1 would left instead of a fresh one against something that doubles them out...say a lascannon.

If you could clarify it would be great as this article is amazing for newbies like me!

"The Initiate" - calmbeforewar.blogspot.com

June 30, 2011 at 1:07 AM

Sgt. Brisbane is right in that the big rulebook says instant death needs to be spread out around whole models. However, that only applies to multi-wound models and weapons that cause Instant Death.

So, for example, let's take a unit of Paladins, each with their own wargear, and let's say two of them are down a wound. They come across another Terminator squad with a Cyclone Missile launcher and storm bolters. Both missiles hit and wound from the Cyclone, and four Storm Bolter shots wound. You can't put the instant-death-causing Cyclone wounds on one of the guys with one wound left; you can't even put them on either guy with one wound. You'll have to put one Cyclone hit on two unwounded Paladins. Only then can you circle around and stack the extra Storm Bolter wound on one of the Cyclone'd guys.

It's all very confusing, and even the BRB says multi-wound models with wound allocation shennanigans gets really tricky, so you should just not worry about it if at all possible.

June 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Sgt. Brisbane is right in that the big rulebook says instant death needs to be spread out around whole models. However, that only applies to multi-wound models and weapons that cause Instant Death.

So, for example, let's take a unit of Paladins, each with their own wargear, and let's say two of them are down a wound. They come across another Terminator squad with a Cyclone Missile launcher and storm bolters. Both missiles hit and wound from the Cyclone, and four Storm Bolter shots wound. You can't put the instant-death-causing Cyclone wounds on one of the guys with one wound left; you can't even put them on either guy with one wound. You'll have to put one Cyclone hit on two unwounded Paladins. Only then can you circle around and stack the extra Storm Bolter wound on one of the Cyclone'd guys.

It's all very confusing, and even the BRB says multi-wound models with wound allocation shennanigans gets really tricky, so you should just not worry about it if at all possible.

June 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know I've read the comments. When I get home tonight I'll throw some responses in the comments or make a new post with my replies. Keep in mind it is very possible for me to be wrong, so please do argue with me if you don't agree!

June 30, 2011 at 2:44 PM

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