Sunday, April 25, 2010

Scarab Swarms cover save rule

Scarab swarms are an interesting topic. They have a few special rules that make cover saves complicated. There is a Scarab swarm special rule called small target, this rule states that a scarab swarms cover save is given a +1 modifier because they are hard to hit. The 5th rulebook has special rules for swarms, and  this states that swarms have the stealth rule. Stealth also grants them a +1 modifier on cover saves.

Now the question is do scarab swarms get both those +1 modifiers or not? The Necron faq (around the bottom of the second page) clearly state that scarab swarms are to be considered swarms. Should they get both +1 modifiers it would only affect a few select situations. Because you can't have a 1+  cover save (meaning you would always save) when you turbo boost the save is still a 2+ cover save.

 What would be affected is when the unit of scarabs and any independent character attached to that unit are in cover. If the terrain in question grants a 4+ cover save it would be counted as a 2+ if both rules were used. I wont go into detail about the 5+ or 6+ cover saves because I'm sure you can all determine what they would be.

I don't know how to take this exactly because there is some overlap with other rules for the scarab swarms also, but they do exactly the same thing. The rule vulnerable to blasts  is given in both the necron codex and the 5th edition rulebook though this is the exact same rule, granted the stealth rule and small target do the same thing but at least have different names.

Personally I will be talking with whoever I play against before hand to determine how this rule will be played during the game. I suspect that if and when the Necrons get a new codex that this will be taken care of but until then it's basically between the players how the rules should be interpreted.


  1. I don't think I understand what your question here is. Based the rulebook, you

    #1 always use the best cover save you can. So, if they were behind a wall with a 4+ cover save and they had turbo boosted giving them a 2+, you don't add them together, you just take the best save (the 2+)

    and #2 you can't have a 1+ save of any kind. I roll of 1 always fails.

    So, maybe you could clarify what the issue is here cause I don't see that there is one :P

  2. Sorry I tried to explain it the best I could. I didn't mean turbo boosting into cover.

    scarabs have the stealth rule which makes a cover save better by 1 hence why when you turbo boost with them their cover is a 2+ instead of a 3+.

    scarabs also have the small target rule which dose the same thing as the stealth rule.

    do they stack? this would grant a 2+ cover save from terrain that would normally grant a 4+ save.

  3. Yeah they stack, you will get your 2+ cover save. It doesn't matter where you get your cover save from. Whether its cover or from the swarm rule etc, they are still both COVER saves.

    You can only ever use one save, and you choose the best one.

  4. lol i'm still not sure you get it but I'll try to explain at the next 40k day.... I kinda wish I hadn't posted this until I knew how to explain it adequately.

  5. I think I understand your question Forsaken... and I don't have a necron codex handy to aid you sadly. It seems unlikely that scarabs will be able to both get a 1+ cover save for being small, and a swarm. its like getting double bonuses for being small, which makes no sense. I also thought skimmers got a 4+ cover save when moving flat out, than a 3+ if they use turbo. If this is true and the stacking is true, scarabs would only have to move their normal 12" in order to get a 2" cover save, that seems a bit much. Again, I have not fully researched this yet.


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