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Recycling Air Assaults

 Post subject: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:19 pm 
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Transporting war engines.

Recently we had some more discussion about war engines as transporters, particularly with regards to recycling.
I was introduced to this at my first tournament, and every tournament thereafter Ive seen it applied in teh same way.
But, as its a horrible thing, in my recent game with Jon Cole, we reviewed the rules and can see there being an argument that this is being played wrong.
So i want to check peoples views on this, the rules and how everyone else is playing.
(Actually jon does, but hes such a lazy coward taht he wont post so eventually i have to...)

Ok the scenarion, the space marine player has two thunderhawks, one with terminators in it, one empty.
They want to carry out an air assault, but also to have fully loaded terms next turn.
They carry out the air assault, win, and the terminators use the 5cm victory move to ensure that they are not inter mingled with the landed thunderhawk.
They cant get back into the thunderhawk as this would prevent its disengage (FAQ discussion).
The empty thunderhawk activates and it flys on and lands next to the terminators.
At the end of the turn this thunderhawk picks them up as it flys off.

The issue with this is two fold.
Firstly the difficult thing of planes moving.
Unlike land based transports, its not really moving over the unit.
The second is that war engine rules dont provide for picking up units in that way.
They seem different. That the unit has to use ITS move to get in the war engine:

Note that a war engine may carry
other units from its own formation using the normal rules (see
1.7.5).
For a formation to mount up in this way the units that are
getting on board must be able to move into base contact with
the war engine during their action. The war engine is allowed
to have taken an action before the other formation mounts up,
but may not take an action after they have done so. While
being transported the units may not shoot or carry out any
other actions except to rally in the end phase (see 1.14.1)


So question 1 really is can a disengaging war enging aeroplane 'such up' units within 5cm?

Our thoughts were taht it would make for a better game if they couldn't.
That you coudl still recycle, but it would take more finess and risks.
E.g. empty thunderhawk flys in, lands.
Retain, full thunderhawk flys in lands, assault carried out, terminators are within 5cm of 1st thunderhawk and use thier victory move to get into the thunderhawk.
Note taht they would be in the thunderhawk during the turn and so more at risk.

Being a Dck, i have course have taken the current in use interpretation to absuridities. using two full thunderhawks and flipping cargo for suck ups, so constant recycle.
Its not teh most fun to play... - but does follow the rule on not being able to move if THE SAME unit mounts and dismounts in the turn.


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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:48 pm 
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Dan 1314 wrote:
So question 1 really is can a disengaging war enging aeroplane 'such up' units within 5cm


I'm assuming "suck up", and it can as per 4.2.5 but only when it lands and doesn't disembark something else. Just disengaging doesn't let you hoover up stands within 5cm though.

Quote:
After the aircraft has landed, any units being transported may disembark and are placed within 5cms of the transport aircraft (skimmers and units with jump packs can be placed within 15cms, to represent them dropping from the aircraft as it comes in to land). Alternatively, the aircraft may pick up any friendly units within 5cms, assuming they will fit on board of course.


Dan 1314 wrote:
Retain, full thunderhawk flys in lands, assault carried out, terminators are within 5cm of 1st thunderhawk and use thier victory move to get into the thunderhawk.


I had thought we had a clear-cut FAQ for this, but it turns out it was never worked in there. It was ruled (and I'll dig through some old posts to see if I can find it) that using a consolidation to embark on a landed AC is actually what prevents it from disengaging in the end phase. So the above THawk in your example wouldn't be able to disengage.

The one FAQ we do have merely prevents you from engaging out of, consolidating back onto the same AC, and then having it disengage. But Neal ruled that it's the consolidation that prevents the disengaging, not that fact that it's the same AC you got out of. Hope that's clear.

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:54 pm 
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Found it in the master FAQ:

Quote:
Q: Can a unit that disembarked from a War Engine to take part in an Assault use its consolidation move to get back into the War Engine?
A: Yes it can. However, if it does so then the War Engine loses its own Consolidation move (and War Engine Transport Aircraft may not make a Disengagement move at the end of the turn) as it has to wait around while the troops climb back on board. Note that the War Engine may make a Consolidation move (or a Disengagement move if it is an aircraft) if no troops embark upon it.

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:10 pm 
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Thanks Dave, the rules are a joy to interpret, so glad you detailed this.
Obviously it begs another question, at 4.2.5, your correct it provides for the war engine to pick up (suck up)

Alternatively, the aircraft may pick up any friendly units within
5cms, assuming they will fit on board of course. After
embarking or disembarking any units, the aircraft may carry
out its ground attack.

Though the second part seems to suggest that the 'embarkation' should happen before the ground attack (engage etc), and not at the disengage phase.

-maybe just clutching at straws here.

The irony of course being how much the air assault rule actually works for me - I feel im a convict arguing for the death penalty... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:29 pm 
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Dan 1314 wrote:
Though the second part seems to suggest that the 'embarkation' should happen before the ground attack (engage etc), and not at the disengage phase.


That's correct:

1) land
2) disembark transported units or embark units within 5cm
3) shoot or fight in an assault
4) hang around until the end phase, letting other units move/withdraw onto the AC
5) disengage, assuming nothing used its consolidation move to embark onto the AC

Given that, your best hope for recycling terminators is to have them break and use their withdraw to get in a THawk, rally them, and assault next turn. That's breaking from BMs though, not breaking from a lost assault (as then you're down a THawk).

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:03 pm 
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wow, so in the next tournament - after lock down, we will have to put this in as part of the 5 minute discussion before the game if my opponent is using some form of WE transports such as 2 SM or CM Thunderhawk Gunships/Transporters, 2 Eldar Vampire Raiders, 2 DE Slave Bringers, 2 Ork Landas, etc. Then I will advise them that they can not deploy their assault force from one WE Bomber transport, and pick them up with a second and havbe that second WE disengage/fly off in that turn.

Using the above explanation, to show that the act of picking up troops stops the WE bomber from disengaging at the end of the turn.

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:33 am 
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You're going to want to re-read what I wrote, Deb. Picking up troops when an AC lands does not prevent it from disengaging in the end phase of that turn.

Using a consolidation move to get on an already landed aircraft prevents it from disengaging that turn.

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:34 pm 
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Exactly. So it's possible, but you need two WE aircraft transports per detachment.

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 2:38 am 
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FWIW, this all resulted from “the eternal air assault” way back when E:A had just been produced. Originally the THawk and Terminators landed, assaulted, and then the Termies consolidated back into the THawk to rinse and repeat the following turn - much too powerful. So, this ruling was created immediately, that Consolidation was deemed to take place during the Disengagement phase, effectively preventing the THawk from leaving.

As noted, an empty transport can Ground Assault and embark troops 4.2.5 - so two transports can be used to recycle the assault; the first landing and carrying out the assault, the second landing to recover the troops.

As the landed transport is considered to be a ground unit, subject to the WE rules, it is also possible for formations to use other moves to enter a landed transport and yet still Disengage - only Consolidation prevents Disengaging. So a formation may Withdraw onto an empty transport, and Eldar may Double, firing before their second move and entering the WE.


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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:05 am 
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Dave wrote:
You're going to want to re-read what I wrote, Deb. Picking up troops when an AC lands does not prevent it from disengaging in the end phase of that turn.

Using a consolidation move to get on an already landed aircraft prevents it from disengaging that turn.


Okay, so how do you load the infantry onto a second Thunderhawk Gunship after an engagement and have both of them disengage?

If you drop in a second Thunderhawk gunship after the engagement, then the troops can not get on board it. If you try and get the troops to board the second gunships after the engagement, it has to use its consolidation move to get onto the second gunship.

I can not see how an opponent can use a second gunship to have both drop down, have one engage unload, and later disengage, and a second load up the troops and then disengage. What other moves as mentioned just above would allow the termies to mount a second thunderhawk, without using a consolidation move?

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:35 am 
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Deb wrote:
Okay, so how do you load the infantry onto a second Thunderhawk Gunship after an engagement and have both of them disengage?

If you drop in a second Thunderhawk gunship after the engagement, then the troops can not get on board it. If you try and get the troops to board the second gunships after the engagement, it has to use its consolidation move to get onto the second gunship.

I can not see how an opponent can use a second gunship to have both drop down, have one engage unload, and later disengage, and a second load up the troops and then disengage. What other moves as mentioned just above would allow the termies to mount a second thunderhawk, without using a consolidation move?


From 4.2.5, highlighted the relevant part

Quote:
Landing: Aircraft with a transport capability can land after making their approach move and having being fired upon by any enemy flak. If the aircraft lands in dangerous terrain it must take a dangerous terrain test. After the aircraft has landed, any units being transported may disembark and are placed within 5cms of the transport aircraft (skimmers and units with jump packs can be placed within 15cms, to represent them dropping from the aircraft as it comes in to land).
Alternatively, the aircraft may pick up any friendly units within 5cms, assuming they will fit on board of course. After embarking or disembarking any units, the aircraft may carry out its ground attack. Note that the limitations that apply to units disembarking from a war engine transport vehicle also apply to units disembarking from an aircraft (ie, they can’t take an action on the turn they disembark but can shoot with the aircraft – see 3.1.3)
Once landed, the aircraft is treated in all ways as a ground unit with a speed of 0 (ie, it may not move) It may not carry out an action on the turn it lands. If it is involved in an assault and loses then it is automatically destroyed. Once landed, the aircraft may make a disengagement move and exit the table in the end phase of any turn, including the one it landed in.


So the 2nd air transport is allowed to pick up units that are within 5cm of it after it has landed, the units do not have to physically move onto it.


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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:33 am 
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As above, Note this presents a key moment of risk/opportunity with the air assault as well: the units have to board the transport as it lands, but then have to sit there, embarked, until the end phase. This means they are sitting ducks if you can stall past the point where the air assaulter has to bring in the second aircraft, whereas the air assaulter will likely plan much of their turn around minimising risk to the extraction in their final activations.

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:46 pm 
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And this risk to the embarked formation is why this tactic is performed at the end of a turn . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:44 am 
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cool understood.

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 Post subject: Re: Recycling Air Assaults
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 2:35 am 
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In the past I've pondered whether if was better to choose to apply this revision only to [consolidation moves. It's a fairly obscure restriction that is only mentioned in an FAQ, it isn't actually based on interpretation of an existing rule where consolidation moves are special, and it creates an arbitrary distinction from similar situations with other types of move. Two examples being:
- If you lose an air assault with a LC you can withdraw back inside the same one after the assault and it still disengage. But not if you win.
- Air assault with a vampire. Double out of the webway and into the same vampire and you can disengage. But not if you assault.

It would have been simpler to use the existing WE transport rule mechanic as the basis: clarify that if units use their own move to embark onto the aircraft then it cannot disengage, in the same way 'normal' transport war engines lose the chance to move. Thus only if embarkation happens when landing can it disengage the same turn. The result is simpler too: it's impossible to drop off, pick up and disengage in the same turn.

But then to be fair, the "get to the choppah" scenario where troops rush for the landed medevac wouldn't really work - they'd be sat on the ground the entire next turn. It was done for balance rather than consistency.

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