An interesting discussion came up at my LGS about templates and flyer class skimmers (those that use the flying large base) like Vendettas/Valkyries, Storm Raven and Void Raven Fighter/Bombers. Namely how people claim hits under the template as a wing for example and claims the infantry below it.
Here is an example of what I am saying, the hole of the template (yes not an actual template but the same size for reference. See how it covers the wing and also counts hitting the 4 models under it.
Here is my opinion:
Now, back when 5th was written, something tells me that the high stem flyers was not even a concept or consideration when the rules was written. Still, this creates a huge loophole for players that use any type of template weapon on the vehicle and then still manage to score a hit on a squad under it. This isn’t like a Rhino with a Marine Squad deploying out of one or more of the exit points and when the vehicle gets hit the squad may be hit also depending on how the template hits. Squads can be under the flyer in this case (such as the wings, part of the hull and tail) which is away from the center of the base.
My question is how can something hitting something UP THERE hit something DOWN THERE?
When you look at building rules, squads on different levels are treated as separate possible targets (see page #84-85). Now these new flyers are higher than your standard speeder (that uses the same rules) and allows for you to place models under them (and around the base). In our discussion, this is how you should resolve shooting templates in this instance. You aim for the squad on ground or the vehicle in the air. You should not garner benefits to both.
Many flyers are already large enough making it easier to target and hit as is. Now players are getting smacked with another downside by using the Rules as Written (RAW for short) that allows an even greater bonus of hitting models on a good scatter or a true hit when it comes to a template. The old rules was written with everything on the same level (jump packs, skimmers and infantry, etc) with introducing some standard building behavior to shooting that was spun off of Cityfight. In theory there was no way for something to get under a skimmer anyway, most often if it was, it was decorative and not part of the actual vehicle.
There is some of you out there that says, “oh but the fire, shrapnel and shockwaves is what hits them”. Then the same physics should apply to the building rules, you hit model 2 on the 1st floor, while the models above and below are not? To me they are closer in proximity than something way up in the air. Matter of fact it should shield them from it or give them a cover save (which most people won’t argue). It’s a game, there should be standard rules to keep things consistent.
I hope GW tackles this in the next edition.