Today is just going to be a brief post (as opposed to the 1,000 word+ lunacy of yesterday) about a topic that’s given rise to a fair bit of confusion since the dawn of 6th ed, so many moons ago.
That being Emplaced Guns. There is, understandably a lot of befuddlement about these strange and arcane devices. Basically, an emplaced gun is a weapon embedded (or even, emplaced) in a fortification. Anyone occupying the building can elect to fire the emplaced gun or the can have the gun autofire using its BS of 2. If you elect to fire it, you have to fire it at the same target that the rest of the unit are firing at, but if it autofires, then it can shoot at anything, although with worse BS (for the most part). That’s all well and good when you’re dealing with the emplaced heavy bolters on a Bastion, for example, but what happens to the Quad Gun you buy for it? Or for an Aegis Defence line for example? It states that the unit occupying the building can elect to fire it, but how do you occupy and Aegis defence Line?
The simple answer is: you can’t. The more in-depth and illuminating answer is, that the Quad Gun is not an Emplaced Gun. It’s a Gun Emplacement. This isn’t just semantics; they are two entirely different things. You can find the rules for Gun Emplacements in the Battlefield Terrain section of the rulebook. These weapons are entirely neutral and they do not autofire. Any model in base contact with the emplacement can elect to fire it instead of their standard weapon (this includes Independent Characters). However, the gun itself it treated as being a different unit for the enemy, in that the emplacement can be singled out for shooting and close combat when desired. Another area of confusion is that Quad Gun you bought and put on top of the Bastion. Your guys can fire that like the rest of the emplaced guns, right? Well, no. People need to be on the roof of the Bastion to get that gun to work. Surprising, but true. If you in the building, then you’re not in base contact with the gun emplacement and it is just a silent piece of the architecture.
Further confusion arises when people read the Artillery rules, and seem to paste sections from those rules into the Emplacement rules when, in fact, they don’t apply. Independent Characters, for example, cannot fire artillery, but they can fire a gun emplacement. To my reading, gun emplacements can be used to fire overwatch, whereas artillery and emplaced guns can’t. It’s all a bit of a headscratcher at points.
In fact, Artillery rules themselves are host to a barrel of misinterpretations. When shooting, if even one Artillery piece is still functional, then you roll to wound the unit using the gun’s toughness of 7, but wounds are allocated to the closest model. I’ve seen several occasions when people using the artillery will use the toughness, then the armour save of the gun and then remove a crew member when the save is failed, and that is just wrong. Only take the armour save of the gun when it is the closest model. If you have a Grot crew or two in front of it first, then they get killed, no save.
Anyway, before bogging this post down with unnecessary text, the takeaway from this one is: Artillery, Gun Emplacements and Emplaced Guns are three entirely different things. Don’t get them confused.