By: Nyxu of Lormahordes
Let’s talk about Throws.
Why? Because the last few times I’ve played, someone’s tried to throw and the clocks just stop. This isn’t ok. If you have an ability that causes a model to become thrown, or intend to use the power attack: throw rule, you need to know wtf you’re doing. Of note, this isn’t just “Turn to page 394” and bam, you understand throws. Using the Prime digest Rules 2017 v2 pdf available on privateerpress.com, I’ll include page references wherever reasonable. Why? To showcase how many separate blighted pages you need to reference in a given throw.
STEP ONE: THROWING SOMEONE
If you want to throw a model, you first need to be able to. That’s easy to figure out: Do you have a rule that says “This model throws target model”? Examples include White Squall (Spell), Pitch/Critical Pitch (weapon rule), or being a Warjack or Warbeast with a non-crippled open fist (p44). If you don’t have something that says you can throw, and you’re not a warbeast, warjack, or monstrosity, you’re not throwing.
THE POWER ATTACK
This is the most common throw in the game. In fact, it’s the one you’ll probably experience the most often. After choosing to use one’s combat action to make a power attack (p36), and spending appropriate resources, you may choose to make a throw power attack against an equal-or-smaller based non-friendly model within melee range of a non-crippled open fist. Assuming you’ve selected a legal target, you then make a melee attack roll against your target (p46) ignoring special rules on your weapon unless they specifically apply to throws (p44). If you hit, you then make another roll to see if you can actually make the throw in the first place, or if the would-be projectile muscles out of your grip. Both models make a 1d6+STR check, with an attacker gaining an additional die on this roll if they have two non-crippled open fists. The defender must exceed the attacker’s result to escape. If the results match, or the attacker’s is greater, then the targeted model is thrown, and once you resolve the throw (see below), it’ll take a Power Attack Damage Roll (p45-46).
Once a model is thrown, it is involuntarily moved towards its point of impact (p35). Power attack throws determine point of impact based on the attacking player’s choice to either throw directly away, or throw at something in LOS. Your throw distance is ½ your current STR in inches (p46).
This is the easiest throw: a model thrown away just goes directly away from the attacking model, and the point of impact is the attacking model’s throw distance directly away.
Throwing at something
If you choose to throw at a target, you first ignore the thrown model when determining LOS to said target, and determine whether or not the target is in range (using your throw distance). If it’s too far, then the point of impact is wherever the thrown model would land along the line between the thrown model and the target, if it traveled the maximum throw distance. You do not roll deviation in this case.
If, however, the target is in range, you make a melee attack against that target (p46). On a hit, move the thrown model directly towards the target until it contacts that target. On a miss, the thrown model has a point of impact via deviation rules (p52), measuring from the center of the missed target, using d6 for distance and d3 for distance. Like a ranged attack, a throw deviation cannot exceed half the distance between the thrown model and the missed target (p46).
Resolving the throw
Here’s where things get tricky. We now have to flip back to page 35 to figure out what we’re doing with this thrown model.
A thrown model moves in a straight line directly towards its point of impact. If a thrown model encounters rough terrain, it moves through without penalty. If it would contact a smaller-based model, it ‘passes over’ that model, as it were, without contacting it. If, however, a thrown model would contact a model of equal or larger size, an obstacle, or an obstruction, the movement stops as soon as the contact happens, and the damage roll suffered by the thrown model gains an additional die. “After moving, the thrown model becomes knocked down … and contacts all models with which it is base-to-base and all models whose bases it overlaps”(p35). It is entirely possible that a thrown model will overlap other models when it stops moving. At which point, you use the Rule of Least Disturbance, which is explained on page 35 to basically mean “Move the fewest number of models the smallest total distance to fit the base” with some caveats about the model that wound up causing this situation only being repositioned in this fashion if it’s overlapping an unmovable model(p35).
Back to the throw: Every model with a base size equal to or smaller than the thrown model is knocked down, and suffers collateral damage. Any contacted model with a larger base size is not knocked down, and does not suffer collateral damage. All damage rolls from a throw are simultaneous (p35).
Once you’ve completed your power attack: throw, you can make additional melee attacks as per normal- even if you missed or failed.
Spells like White squall will tell you how to determine the point of impact for your throw, at which point you can go look at “Resolving the throw” to figure out what’s going on.
Let’s talk about “The Flying Dutchman” – a technique coined, I believe, by Avanice on the old Cryx forums. It works as follows:
- Captain Aiakos charges a model under his feat, Boarding action (which gives him +3spd and Assault) and ends within 1”, completing the charge
- Aiakos casts White Squall on his charge target, throwing the model d6 away and dealing a pow 12 boostable damage roll (which can get an additional die if the target contacts an obstacle, obstruction, or equal-or-larger base.)
- Aiakos makes his Assault shot with his harpoon, targeting the now knocked down enemy model. (warning: Harpoon is RNG6, so if it’s possible for your target to have been thrown the full 6”, you want to cast squall from b2b)
- Having damaged your target with the harpoon, resolve drag and make the free melee attack against the now knocked-down target.
- Make your charge attack, which is still boosted damage, then go on and buy attacks.
This combination of actions requires 3 focus minimum, though typically will be used as an assassination run that burns Aiakos’ entire stack (3 to cast White Squall, 1 to boost the attack roll, 1 to boost damage on the harpoon to ensure damage, 1 to buy an additional attack after step 5. The result is: one Pow12 with a possible additional die, one boosted 12 vs def5, two auto-hitting pow 13s, and one auto-hitting boosted 13. A total of five attacks at about the same power, with vastly increased accuracy (boosted MA6 to hit, then def5/autohit for the rest) vs just buying attacks.