Jun 4, 2009

Water in Warhammer

This is about how water terrain features affects us Eldar (and other races with skimmers). The rulebook can be a bit vague on this subject, so here is my take on it.

I’ve already shown on my blog how you can create water effects. I like to use a product called Pledge with Future to make my water effects. I also use the same product to tint my canopies for my vehicles.

So with the ability to create the terrain begs the question of how it interacts with the game – especially for those of us with Jetbikes and Skimmers.

Lets have a look at what the rulebook has to say on this:

As you probably already know, the rulebook divides terrain features into 3 types; Difficult Terrain (terrain that slows movement), Dangerous Terrain (terrain that causes casualties), and Impassable Terrain (terrain that is normally not passable).

The rulebook also states on page 57: “When discussing terrain at the beginning of the game, it is perfectly fine for players to agree that some terrain has different effects on vehicles than it does on other units... ... you could agree that vehicles (or just certain vehicle types) treat barbed wire as clear terrain, and so on.”

Knowing that the rulebook makes provisions for terrain this way means we can look into how water affects Skimmers and Jetbikes. After all these units are hovering over land with ease, why should hovering over water be any different? These units are essentially super advanced hover craft.

Take a look at your Apocalypse rulebook if you have one, and turn to the back of the book for the battle between the Orks and Eldar. You will see both sides about to clash on the islands on the board, but you also see many Eldar Jetbikes and Skimmers approaching the island by means of water. If water was going to affect all of those Skimmers and Jetbikes in some way, do you think that they would have placed them there? After all who would want to start rolling for all those tests?

Skimmers and Jetbikes both perform a limited version of flight. In reality these vehicles are hovering meters above the surface they are over. We should not limit this skimming to solid ground. Look at a model like the new Imperial Guard Valkyrie, it seems to me that it would be foolish for it to be affected by a few drops of water.

What about other units that are unfortunate enough to not be able to float above said water? This is how I deal with water features for those units. Remember though that if you are dealing with some other liquid, like acid, Nurgle slime, liquid magma or some other suitably dangerous terrain, you might want to classify it as Dangerous or Impassable Terrain.

Slow Water – Any kind of standing water that’s shallow enough to walk through. This might be a small pond or a slow meandering river. Perhaps it is water inside of a sewer system. I classify this type of water as Difficult Terrain.

Fast Water – Any kind of fast moving water that is shallow enough to walk through. This might be a fast moving river, rapids that can sweep a person away, a steep incline or a debris covered sewer pipe. I classify this type of water as Dangerous Terrain.

Falling Water – Waterfalls, water exiting from pipes, nearly vertical drops. I classify this type of water as Impassable Terrain.

Deep Water – This type of water would be water that is too deep to walk through, such as the ocean or a lake, or even a deep river. While it might be possible to travel that way for some units, it seems impractical to represent it in that way during a game. I classify this type of water as Impassable Terrain.

What about cover saves? Water does offer some limited protection in two means. The first is that water refracts light, meaning that it makes it difficult to shoot through accurately, although, not impossible. Water also slows down weapons fire (at least physical ammunition). Conversely though, because it has higher density than air, it can compress explosive shockwaves and make an explosion more dangerous (not to mention any debris that might already be in the water). I see it impractical to offer a cover save to those in the water, simply for the fact that it would be difficult to take advantage of the cover for those moving through it. At best I would say that it would offer a 6+ cover save, keeping in line with wire mesh.

If you have any thoughts or want to add somethign to this discussion, make sure you leave a comment!


oni June 4, 2009 at 2:57 PM  

Good read. I agree 100% too.

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