Greetings! Below is the new official text of the rules concerning Blast.
This rule revision goes into effect immediately. Tournament organizers are encouraged to distribute this rule to their players; however, if the tournament takes place before the end of October, 2015, it is up to the tournament organizer whether to enforce this new rule or the original rule as appeared in the rulebook. In either case, please make sure that all players are made aware which version of the Blast rule will be in effect, in advance, before they are required to decide upon the composition of their armies.
Following the official rule text is a Summary of Changes, which is intended to act as a quick reference to familiarize players with the differences between the new rule and the original version. After that we have included a link to some illustrated examples of the new rule in effect.
New Rule Text:
Blast> Weapon systems with the Blast ability cause huge explosions that have the chance to damage not only the target mecha, but also other mecha and structures nearby. When a mecha makes a Blast attack, the roll to Strike is made against a DF of 5 to see if it hits its intended point of impact.
For any Blast attack, the target must be a structure or enemy mecha (NOT a spot on the ground) unless the weapon system also has the Indirect Fire ability. Ordinary Blast attacks can target any structure or enemy mecha within range and Line of Sight (LOS) to the attacking mecha, while any Indirect Fire Blast attacks can target any point on the battlefield within range (including a spot on the ground), as long as it is within LOS to any friendly mecha or the attacking mecha itself. Note: A Blast attack cannot be directed at any target if there are friendly mecha within what would be the Blast area, unless those mecha have the Life is Cheap ability.
If the attack successfully Strikes its intended point of impact (DF 5) during the Roll to Strike step, then place the Blast template (the 5 inch diameter template provided) centered over the target mecha, structure, or location. If the target is a mecha or structure and the roll to Strike also equaled or exceeded that mecha or structure’s actual DF attribute, then that target takes the full MD of the weapon system. Every mecha, building or other structure other than the primary target which is also caught under the template takes half damage (rounded down), even if its base is only clipped by the edge of the Blast template or is barely touched by it.
ALL mecha caught within the area of the Blast attack have an opportunity to Dodge. Each mecha under the Blast template attempting to Dodge must pay a Command Point to do so, and must equal or exceed the attacker’s roll to Strike with their Dodge roll. Each mecha hit by the Blast attack may also Roll with Impact to reduce the MD the attack will inflict before applying the final MD to that specific mecha. Buildings and other structures within the Blast area take the full MD of the attack (or half, if not the primary target), with no way of reducing the MD.
Any mecha or structure which has a DF attribute higher than the roll to Strike takes NO DAMAGE.
Successfully Dodging a Blast attack, by either the original target or any other, does NOT cause the template to scatter; it simply means that the mecha which succeeded in the Dodge attempt saw the Blast attack coming and managed to protect itself against the attack. The Blast itself still hits the intended point of impact. Only failing the initial roll to Strike against a DF of 5 will cause the Blast template to scatter.
If an attack has both the Blast and Missile special abilities, ANY number of mecha under the Blast template may attempt to shoot down the Blast Missile attack at the normal Command Point cost per mecha. However, even if a mecha that attempts to shoot down an incoming Blast uses a weapon system with the Anti-Missile ability, it is only successful if it rolls a 6 on the Anti-Missile roll. If a mecha’s attempt to shoot down the Blast Missile is successful, all of the Blast Missiles that would have hit that mecha are destroyed and NO mecha are damaged by those missiles. In the case of a Blast Missile Volley divided between multiple targets, any missiles that would not have hit that specific mecha still remain, unless they are shot down by other mecha.
If the attacking mecha fails to Strike its intended point of impact (DF 5) during the Roll to Strike step, the attack scatters. To resolve this, place the Blast template centered over the original target with the direction marked 1 pointing in a straight line away from the firing mecha. Roll a D6 to determine which direction the template will scatter, as per the numbers indicated on the top of the template. Then roll another 2D6 and move the center (the hole in the middle) of the Blast template a number of inches in the indicated direction equal to the result rolled. The resulting location is the new point of impact. Note: A Blast cannot scatter a longer distance than the attacking mecha's range to the target.
Once the new point of impact is determined, the attacker must make a new roll to Strike, but this time, do not include the attacking mecha’s GN attribute; just add +1 to the roll of a D6. If the new Strike roll equals or exceeds the DF of any mecha or structure under the template’s new location, then those mecha and structures receive half damage (rounded down), as described above. Any mecha in that new location can attempt to Dodge, but must equal or exceed the new Strike roll for the Blast attack. Those mecha which fail to Dodge (or choose not to) can also Roll with Impact to reduce the damage by half (rounded down). Any mecha with a DF higher than the new Strike roll takes no damage. Regardless of the result of the new Strike roll, the attack does not scatter again; if it does not equal or exceed the DF of any mecha or structure in the new location, the attack is a dud. Note: Both friendly and enemy mecha can be hit and damaged by the scattered Blast attack. If the scatter is a missile, any mecha that would be hit can attempt to shoot down the missile(s) as described above.
If a Blast attack also has the Volley ability, use the procedures outlined above to determine if each missile hits (DF 5), with a separate roll to Strike for each missile as normal. Each missile that hits inflicts its full MD to its primary target, and half that amount (rounded down) to all other mecha and structures under its Blast template. Any mecha hit by up to 3 missiles in the volley may attempt to avoid them all with one roll to Dodge, at the cost of one Command Point, but its roll to Dodge must equal or exceed the highest roll to Strike of the missiles directed at it to avoid damage from all missiles in that volley. If 4 missiles from the same volley hit any given mecha, they are considered Inescapable for that mecha, and thus can’t be Dodged by it. Any mecha hit by the attack may also Roll with Impact as normal (only one Roll with Impact per mecha is needed for any given volley). Any missiles that fail their rolls to Strike scatter as described above, but they scatter separately unless the whole volley misses. If the missile volley fails to hit at all, the Blast template scatters (as above), but then it only inflicts the full MD of one missile. If a missile volley with the Blast ability is divided between multiple targets, each individual missile attack must be resolved with a separate Blast template. If any of them miss their initial rolls to Strike (DF 5), they scatter separately as well. As with any other Blast attack, any mecha or structure which has a DF attribute higher than the roll to Strike takes NO DAMAGE.
Summary of changes:
1. Units not the primary target but under the Blast template take half damage (rounded down as normal).
2. The Blast attack hits at its intended location with a Strike roll of 5 of higher (no matter what the DF of the primary target is), and only scatters when the roll to Strike is 4 or lower.
3. Any mecha or structure under the Blast template with a DF higher than the roll to Strike takes no damage, even if it’s the primary target. (So even if the attack hits where it’s aiming, it’s still possible that nothing will be damaged if all mecha/structures hit have a DF higher than 5.)
4. Scattered Blast attacks make a new Strike roll but DO NOT use the attacker’s GN, instead just roll 1D6 +1.
5. Blast attacks will only scatter once. Wherever the scatter goes, compare the new roll to Strike (D6 +1) to the DF of all mecha/structures under the template. Whatever the Strike roll equals or exceeds takes half damage (no primary target), everything with a higher DF is unharmed.
6. For any mecha that’s in the Blast radius of 4 missiles from the same volley, they are considered Inescapable.
7. A player only needs to roll a single Dodge roll, or Roll with Impact a single time, when hit by a blast from multiple missiles (from the same Volley) hitting the same target. Even if 3 missiles hit the mecha, the player pays one command point to Dodge or for Roll with Impact.
8. Only weapons with both Blast and Indirect Fire may target a spot on the ground. All Blast Weapons without Indirect Fire must choose a mecha or structure as the primary target of the attack.
9. Clarified that Blast attacks can’t be directed at areas containing friendly mecha unless they have Life is Cheap. Friendly mecha can still be hit by scatters, of course.
In addition to the Summary of Changes, Mike Arnold has created a PDF with two illustrated examples of the new Blast rule in effect. It can be downloaded here:
In the case of any apparent conflict between the official rule text in this post, and either the Summary of Changes or the illustrated examples, the official rule text takes precedence, followed by the Summary of Changes.