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Celestar Ballista - how does it work?


amysrevenge
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Not shooting.  Shooting is easy.  Everything else.

Here's where we start:  "The Ballista and its crew are treated as a single model, using the characteristics given above.  The crew must remain within 1" of the Ballista." On the warscroll.

Subject 1: Claiming objectives.  Clearly, a Celestar Ballista has a model count of 1, even though it is physically 3 models, when it comes to contesting an objective.  I've seen other people on the forum matter-of-factly claim it counts as 3, but it's obviously just 1.

Subject 2: As a target of a charge.  The charging unit is 9.75" away from the Ballista, and 8.75" away from one of the crew.  They roll a 9 for their charge.  Can they successfully charge the crew model?

Subject 3: As a charging unit.  The Ballista is 9.75" away from a target unit.  One crew is 8.75" away from a target unit.  They roll a 9 for their charge.  Can they successfully charge the target unit?

Subject 4: Piling in and attacking.  I don't even know where to start with piling in.  Can the crew and Ballista pile in separately?  Can they break their 1" rule?  If there are enemy units within range of a crew model but not the Ballista, can they still be targeted with melee attacks?  If there are any units within range of the Ballista but not any crew, can they still be targeted with melee attacks?

Subject 5: Movement:  When you move this unit, do you move the Ballista and crew separately one at a time, or simultaneously?  They "count as a single model" and we have no real means to move a single model in multiple parts.  Is there a way to change the relative positions of the crew and ballista at all?  How?

Open question:  are there any other things that don't work easily with this model?

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2 hours ago, amysrevenge said:

Subject 1: Claiming objectives.  Clearly, a Celestar Ballista has a model count of 1, even though it is physically 3 models, when it comes to contesting an objective.  I've seen other people on the forum matter-of-factly claim it counts as 3, but it's obviously just 1.

Subject 2: As a target of a charge.  The charging unit is 9.75" away from the Ballista, and 8.75" away from one of the crew.  They roll a 9 for their charge.  Can they successfully charge the crew model?

Subject 3: As a charging unit.  The Ballista is 9.75" away from a target unit.  One crew is 8.75" away from a target unit.  They roll a 9 for their charge.  Can they successfully charge the target unit?

Subject 4: Piling in and attacking.  I don't even know where to start with piling in.  Can the crew and Ballista pile in separately?  Can they break their 1" rule?  If there are enemy units within range of a crew model but not the Ballista, can they still be targeted with melee attacks?  If there are any units within range of the Ballista but not any crew, can they still be targeted with melee attacks?

Subject 5: Movement:  When you move this unit, do you move the Ballista and crew separately one at a time, or simultaneously?  They "count as a single model" and we have no real means to move a single model in multiple parts.  Is there a way to change the relative positions of the crew and ballista at all?  How?

Open question:  are there any other things that don't work easily with this model?

When I read something that says "treated as a single model" I'm inclined to take it seriously as a rule. Like a find and replace or x=5. But as you say, this straight-up makes certain interactions strange.

1) Agree

2) The crew isn't a model, all of them are one model, so if you get within .5" of any of it, that's a successful charge.

3) Yes, same as #2.

4) As written, they are treated as one model, and so you pile in with all three of them at once, and you would measure melee range from whichever one you want: it's one model even though it's three. If just the ballista is in range, you can still attack with the swords, because it's treated as one model. Yes, this is weird because clearly the men have the swords, but 'treated as a single model' means just that. You don't measure archaon's sword from his hand, you measure from his base - same concept.

5) You should move all three at once, and treat the crew position the same way you would treat rotating a model, because it's a single model.

6) If a 'slay a model outright' ability works, they'd all be removed, etc. It's a fine idea for a rule, but clearly it's weird. However I don't think any of this is exploitative in any way.

Edited by heywoah_twitch
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3 hours ago, heywoah_twitch said:

5) You should move all three at once, and treat the crew position the same way you would treat rotating a model, because it's a single model.

This is one of the ones where I was leading toward that answer - it seems like this is how you're supposed to do it, and yet I can't imagine anyone actually doing this.  Like, the relative position of the three models to each other is locked once you've deployed - they can pivot/orbit around each other, but not spread out or anything.  That has impacts for moving in or around terrain.

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49 minutes ago, heywoah_twitch said:

6) If a gargant stuffs a model in his bag, he would stuff all three in the bag, etc. It's a fine idea for a rule, but clearly it's weird. However I don't think any of this is exploitative in any way.

won't work with wound characteristic of the ballista.. ;)

Stuff ’Em In Me Bag:

"[..] roll a dice. If the result is at least double the enemy model’s Wounds characteristic, it is grabbed and stuffed [..]"

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15 hours ago, heywoah_twitch said:

When I read something that says "treated as a single model" I'm inclined to take it seriously as a rule. Like a find and replace or x=5. But as you say, this straight-up makes certain interactions strange.

1) Agree

2) The crew isn't a model, all of them are one model, so if you get within .5" of any of it, that's a successful charge.

3) Yes, same as #2.

4) As written, they are treated as one model, and so you pile in with all three of them at once, and you would measure melee range from whichever one you want: it's one model even though it's three. If just the ballista is in range, you can still attack with the swords, because it's treated as one model. Yes, this is weird because clearly the men have the swords, but 'treated as a single model' means just that. You don't measure archaon's sword from his hand, you measure from his base - same concept.

5) You should move all three at once, and treat the crew position the same way you would treat rotating a model, because it's a single model.

6) If a 'slay a model outright' ability works, they'd all be removed, etc. It's a fine idea for a rule, but clearly it's weird. However I don't think any of this is exploitative in any way.

 

11 hours ago, amysrevenge said:

This is one of the ones where I was leading toward that answer - it seems like this is how you're supposed to do it, and yet I can't imagine anyone actually doing this.  Like, the relative position of the three models to each other is locked once you've deployed - they can pivot/orbit around each other, but not spread out or anything.  That has impacts for moving in or around terrain.

 

First of all: THANK YOU for making the Celestar Ballista a topic - since the day I read its clunky "3 models are 1 model" -rule I asked myself what the hell is wrong with GW´s rules writing (I admit I DID ask this question before, but had my high hopes for AOS2.0 a bit crushed by the Ballista). Rant mode off. To the topic: I think everything regarding ranges (shooting, charging and the like) are not that problematic. As you proposed, all ranges to or from the Ballista are measured from the closest "model" of the 3. The real issue is in fact the movement, and there are two parts to it:

(1) Figuring out HOW the Ballista moves at all. I think you guys made the right guess in your posts. I think it would be easiest to treat the 3 "models" to be on ONE base, where "their" base is VERY weirdly shaped (with empty, unconnected spaces contained in it). I can not even believe I am calling this the easiest way...

(2) Communicating (1) to your, Celestar ballista playing, opponent. As @amysrevenge stated, most people probably do NOT treat the movement/pile in of their Ballista as proposed in this thread. I am afraid I will be "this guy" the moment I tell my opponent what they did "wrong" with their Ballista the whole time. 

Finally, I deeply hope GW will not use the Ballista´s rule as a template for future artillery pieces. I guess to reach this goal and be heard by GW we will have to make a lot more voice regarding this topic.

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From 40k experience as an Eldar player we have a similar model; Vaul’s support cannon. It has extra models but runs as a treat all models as one. In the FAQ they stated this meant you only counted the artillery cannon as the only model for measuring everything; shooting, charging, getting attacked, etc. the crew members were just considered as set dressing and had no impact other than looking cool or potentially being used as damage markers. You couldn’t attack or remove the crew separate from the cannon and the crew didn’t count for extra range or screening the cannon from attackers.

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13 minutes ago, King Taloren said:

From 40k experience as an Eldar player we have a similar model; Vaul’s support cannon. It has extra models but runs as a treat all models as one. In the FAQ they stated this meant you only counted the artillery cannon as the only model for measuring everything; shooting, charging, getting attacked, etc. the crew members were just considered as set dressing and had no impact other than looking cool or potentially being used as damage markers. You couldn’t attack or remove the crew separate from the cannon and the crew didn’t count for extra range or screening the cannon from attackers.

So in 40k the crew members are just markers? Ergo you can move through them and stand on them with other models? Having the option to simply NOT deploy the crew member "models" would be a relief.

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3 hours ago, King Taloren said:

From 40k experience as an Eldar player we have a similar model; Vaul’s support cannon. It has extra models but runs as a treat all models as one. In the FAQ they stated this meant you only counted the artillery cannon as the only model for measuring everything; shooting, charging, getting attacked, etc. the crew members were just considered as set dressing and had no impact other than looking cool or potentially being used as damage markers. You couldn’t attack or remove the crew separate from the cannon and the crew didn’t count for extra range or screening the cannon from attackers.

This is how I interpret it - the actual model is the ballista, and the crew are essentially irrelevant. It's maybe debatable as an interpretation of the rules as written, but to me GW's intention with this rule seems obvious - to remove all the usual issues caused by the crew being their own models, and ultimately simplify how warmachines work. If we can agree that's the intention, then it becomes clear that the crew being these weird appendages that can increase your range slightly and be charged and stuff just doesn't match up, as it means their role remains complicated and fiddly.  The core idea is to relegate them to background decoration, so that's how they should be treated to my mind. 

I've no idea why GW didn't just model the crew on the same base as the ballista - that'd solve all these problems, and IMO look cooler, as you could have them actually interacting with the ballista rather than just awkwardly waving tools around. 

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5 hours ago, King Taloren said:

From 40k experience as an Eldar player we have a similar model; Vaul’s support cannon. It has extra models but runs as a treat all models as one. In the FAQ they stated this meant you only counted the artillery cannon as the only model for measuring everything; shooting, charging, getting attacked, etc. the crew members were just considered as set dressing and had no impact other than looking cool or potentially being used as damage markers. You couldn’t attack or remove the crew separate from the cannon and the crew didn’t count for extra range or screening the cannon from attackers.

This would definitely be the most elegant way to handle it.  Would need a FAQ here too, but I'd like it.

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