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The Art of Wound Allocation

The Art Of Wound Allocation As A Black Templar


Fifth Edition brought about a new little rule in accordance to wound allocation. Basically it states that you must allocate wounds to individual groups of models that are armed in exactly the same way (this means the same weapons, wargear, and armour value among models). These units are called "complex units" and the precise rules for them can be found in the Main Rulebook (page 25). This little rule can come in handy when faced against units of enemies that use overkill to take out our Templars, namely Harlequins, Genestealers and other very cc units, like Dark Eldar wyches or incubi. Even among our power armoured brethren, there are units, like space marine command squads or Chaos SM's with champions with loads of attacks that are from power weapons or ignore armour, to watch for.

The trick to this art is making sure you have different kinds of units in one squad. For example, in a 10 man squad I could have a very complex unit:

  • 1 with Powerfist
  • 1 with melta, flamer or plasma
  • 4 with cc weapons
  • 2 with bolters
  • 1 neophyte with a shotgun
  • 1 neophyte with a cc weapon and pistol

This gives us an optimized 6 groups! That means that we can allocate the armour ignoring wounds to models like the neophytes individually and make the most out of your units.


Say the above unit took 18 regular wounds and 3 Power Weapon hits... You would allocate one power weapon hit to the shotgun neophyte, then one regular wound each to the rest of the squad, then another power weapon to the neophyte then another regular each, then the last power weapon hit to the poor neophte. This means that the neophyte will really be dead (taking all 3 power weapon hits) and then each other model takes 2 saves... And the beauty of this is that at least they take their armour saves, instead of losing three models.

Compare this example to a unit that is not complex, say:

  • 1 with powerfist
  • 1 with special weapon
  • 8 bolters

You could still allocate the three power weapon wounds to the special weapon to mitigate damage but the PF would have to take 2 as normal and then the other 16 wounds would be taken as a group for the bolters! This means that of those 16 if you fail six, six die.

Now in the complex unit, the 2 bolters would take 4 saves in total and the cc marines 8 but say both bolters fail all 4 dice then only those 2 will die as they took the saves as a group.

Example 2

Scenario: Harlequins in Close Combat against the following unit:

  • 1 with Powerfist
  • 1 with melta, flamer or plasma
  • 4 with cc weapons
  • 2 with bolters
  • 1 neophyte with a shotgun
  • 1 neophyte with a cc weapon and pistol

In 4th Edition, a unit of rending harlequins or genestealers would be equal to one squad dead. Now, this rule is more for this type of situation, read carefully.

8 Harlequins get 3 attacks each on a unit of 5 marines and 2 neos. One neo with shotgun, one marine with PF and one marine with melta, of the other 3 marines one is armed with a bolter (the Templars have a complex unit of 6 units in 7 models).

Harlequins go first and roll 18 hits out of 24. Then get 12 wounds, where 6 are rending.

So as the Templar player, I remember the above mentioned advice and put it into practice.

I give one rend to each neophyte and the bolter marine (3 out of 6 rends).

Then there are 4 other hits to allocate, I choose the normal hits and give them to the cc marines the metagun and the PF.

I have 3 more rends so I give another one to each neo and the bolter. 2 rends each

There are 2 more hits so, because I am in cc I give one more to the meltagun and one more to the cc group.

So in total, 3 models die to rending (both neos and the bolter), the PF takes one save, the cc marines take 3 as a group (there are 2 cc marines), and then the meltagun takes 2 armour saves.

Instead of losing 6 models to rending, I lost less, and now I have more models to fight back and hopefully take on the harlies! In a perfect scenario, I would kill 4 (after passing all my saves) and then win the combat, as you can only count wounds actually inflicted on the model, so no overkill... so he killed 3 models (3 wounds in total) and I kill 4, he looses the combat by 1 (sneaky little sub trick related to this tactica but that is a topic for another thread all together ;) ).


This tactic can also be employed in units like our assault marines because we can have specific models with storm shields and other weapons so it can work as well. Although in the Black Templar codex, the masters of complexity are both Sword Brethren in power armour (being able to split into 7 groups) and command squads, but I'll let you figure those situations out :lol:

Well, I hope this little bit of information has helped you, the Templar Marshal, keep your army alive longer and help make the Templars become a resilient close combat space marine force!

And for all you non- Black Templar players...

An Example for Codex Marines:

In contrast look at a unit that is in about the same situation, a non-complex unit. A combat squad of 5 space marines with bolters. They take 3 Power weapon hits and 8 regular wounds. So because they are all equal in gaming terms, they would have to take 8 armour saves and then lose 3 members because of the power weapon. So if you fail 3 saves, that would be 6 dead. The entire combat squad would have died. In the same case, say you have a marine in the combat squad with a flamer, the flamer can take all 3 power weapon hits (effectively killing himself 3 times over) and then the remaining four marines would take only 8 armour saves and with their mighty power armour they still could (in a worst case scenario) fail 3 saves. But there would still be one marine left alive!


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