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Author Topic: 4E Steam Tank rules on cannon misfires  (Read 189 times)

4E Steam Tank rules on cannon misfires
« on: March 18, 2022, 03:54:32 PM »
Hi all

So I have a 4E Steam Tank rules question on Boiler Tests. Now a normal boiler test during the movement phase is straight-forward. E.g. for a STank with 3 Steam Points and 1 wound deducted, it will be as follows:

- Roll 1D6, on a 5-6 (due to 1 wound in this case), proceed to next step
- Roll 1D6, add the Steam Points (3 in this case), consult the Imperial Steam Tank Boiler Table

Pretty simple, but the Misfire rules are slightly different.

Quick refresher on 4E Misfire rules for cannons; a Misfire on the first artillery dice roll will be bad, a Misfire on the second just means the cannonball doesn't bounce.

If a Misfire is rolled on the first dice:
"If the original artillery dice roll is MISFIRE, rather than a number then something has gone wrong. The cannon does not fire and you must test the boiler in the same way as at the start of the turn. Roll a D6 and add the number of Steam Points used that turn, and consult the Imperial Steam Tank Boiler Table."

So a cannon Misfire appears to skip the first D6 roll.

Later on, the text discusses a wounded Steam Tank:
"Once it has been damaged, the Steam Tank becomes increasingly less reliable. To simulate this add +1 to the D6 roll when testing for boiler problems for every wound the Steam Tank has sustained. So, normally the boiler will malfunction on the D6 roll of a 6, but if the Steam Tank has sustained 1 wound it will malfunction on a 5 or 6, if it has 2 wounds it will go wrong on a 4, 5 or 6 and so on. This is quite useful as it means there is a real point to damaging the Steam Tank even if you cannot destroy it in one go. This modifier also applies to cannon misfires too."

This last sentence I can't figure out, because the previous text suggests there's only one roll needed when a cannon Misfire occurs?

- Does it mean that on a cannon misfire you actually need to do two rolls, the first one incorporating wounds and the latter Steam Points?
- Does it mean the Boiler Table roll required for Misfires needs the addition of both Steam Points and Wounds taken?
- Is it just a brainfart and any wounds taken do not affect the boiler test resulting from a Misfire?

We've always played it as case #3, but has anyone had a different reading of this?

I am also slightly interested in what might be within WD151 if anyone has a copy, given that was the first printing of Steam Tank rules and it was actually before 4th Edition came out (WD154).

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: 4E Steam Tank rules on cannon misfires
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2022, 04:49:56 PM »
It could have been clearer, but the clue is in "you must test the boiler in the same way as at the start of the turn." Testing the boiler is done with the first D6; the second one is to find out what has happened, which is different for the cannon from  the "normal" boiler mishap: you do not use the steam points declared, but the steam points actually used.
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
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Re: 4E Steam Tank rules on cannon misfires
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2022, 06:58:39 AM »
I've re-read the rules around Misfires and I think you're right. It isn't helpful that they state to replicate the Movement phase test then give a slightly different example.

Steam Points declared vs Steam Points used seems fairly obtuse. I think the only time this would come into play would be if someone declared X number of Steam Points for movement/cannon, but didn't use all bar one (you can only fire the cannon once) of the points during the Movement phase. Maybe they forgot or maybe they didn't need all the points. The other situation would be if they hit result 7 or 9 on the Boiler table during Movement and then went into Shooting phase with multiple unused Steam Points and decided to fire.

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: 4E Steam Tank rules on cannon misfires
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2022, 10:29:39 AM »
Quite so. It may make only a small difference, but it will make a difference.
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)