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Situation: A squad of (jet)bikes has several Markerlights on them. The tau player is about to shoot at them with some Plasma or other weapon w/ low enough AP to punch their armor.

Does the Tau player have to declare Markerlight usage before Bike player Jinks? Or do the Bikes have to declare Jink before finding out whether the Tau player is going to use the Markerlights to ignore cover?

I am ONLY concerned with 7th Edition rules. 6th Edition was clear cut as Jink was automatic.

ETA: Jink (7th Edition):

When a unit with any models with the jink special rule is selected as a target for a shooting attack, you may declare that it will jink. the decision must be made before any of the to hit rolls have been made. If the unit jinks all models in the unit with this special rule gain a 4+ cover save until the start of their next movement phase, but they can only fire snap shots until the end of their next turn.

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3 Answers 3

The shooting sequence:

  1. Nominate Unit to shoot
  2. Choose a target
  3. Select a weapon
  4. Roll to hit
  5. Roll to wound
  6. Allocate wounds and remove casualties
  7. Select another weapon

If you read the full text of Jink it says that the target MAY Jink before Markerlight usage is declared, but they don't have to declare until right before dice are rolled. This suggests that Jink must be declared after step 2 (can't Jink before you are targeted) but before step 4.

Shooting at a target involves cycling through steps 3-7 until all weapons have been fired. That is to say, if you have 2 weapons, once you have fired one, you are already shooting at the target. Markerlights happen immediately before you shoot; so once you have fired one weapon, it is too late to use Markerlights in that shooting attack. Therefore Markerlights must be used before step 3.

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I dont think you count as having fired once you pick a gun. I feel you have not "shot" until you have rolled to hit. Yes steps 3-7 get repeated, and they should not be allowed to fire half their guns before choosing to use markerlights, but choosing a gun isn't firing a gun. –  Michael Campbell Oct 9 at 5:02
    
I'd say that choosing a gun is definitely part of shooting at a target. You can't shoot at something without picking which gun you are going to shoot (when you have multiple options) therefore picking is part of shooting. So you must spend markerlights before you pick (since you have to spend them before you shoot). –  aslum Oct 16 at 18:33

The abilities of Jink and Markerlights apply at different phase of the combat and neither need to be declared until they are about to be utilized.

6th edition

Jink: A model with this special rule that has moved in its Movement phase gains a 5+ cover save until the start of its next Movement phase.

7th edition

When a unit with any models with the jink special rule is selected as a target for a shooting attack, you may declare that it will jink. the decision must be made before any of the to hit rolls have been made. If the unit jinks all models in the unit with this special rule gain a 4+ cover save until the start of their next movement phase, but they can only fire snap shots until the end of their next turn.

In short, for models with Jink, this special rule automatically applies provided the model has moved in its movement phase and does not need to be declared until the Tau attack which applies the Markerlight.

Instead, each time a unit suffers a hit with this special rule, place a markerlight counter next to it (no saves can be taken against these hits). ... Immediately before a unit from Codex: Tau Empire shoots at a target that has one or more markerlight counters, it can declare it is using one or more of the markerlight abilities listed below.

So in your situation in which the Markerlights are already on the jetbikes, Jink has already been rolled for (or should have been). The order goes like this:

  1. Tau with special rule 'target acquired' attacks jetbikes
  2. Jetbikes-controller declares Jink rule prior to to-hit rolls and takes cover saves in response to successful hits
  3. A successful hit applies markerlights to the unit
  4. The Tau player can declare Scour/Seeker to add Ignore Cover
  5. The Jetbikes have no cover during this shooting phase.

OR

If Pinpoint is declared, then no Ignore Cover special rule is added. When the Tau player attacks, each Jetbike unit may claim Jink (again provided they moved in the movement phase) and take their 5+ or 4+ cover save.

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It sounds to me like you are still using 6th edition Jink rules. Jink is no longer automatic. –  aslum Jun 30 at 14:21
    
It's true the rules I've cited are from a 6th edition rulebook, which I should have indicated, though I see nothing in your edit citing 7th edition that suggests the rule flow I've provided is not applicable and largely unchanged for the purposes of 7th edition. –  hexparrot Jun 30 at 15:09
    
I do not mean to suggest that Jink automatically occurs, but rather Jink is available automatically when the unit with the special rule moves. As stated for models with Jink, this special rule automatically applies provided the model has moved in its movement phase and does not need to be declared *until the Tau attack* which applies the Markerlight. Emphasis on until the Tau attack, which is corroborated by the 7th edition clarified wording. –  hexparrot Jun 30 at 15:18

Well, first off, lets establish the sequence of shooting in 7th edition.

According to the rulebook the Shooting Sequence is:

  1. Nominate Unit to shoot
  2. Choose a target
  3. Select a weapon
  4. Roll to hit
  5. Roll to wound
  6. Allocate wounds and remove casualties
  7. select another weapon

As you say, Jink states that it is used "when a unit with any models with the Jink special rule is selected as a target for a shooting attack".

Markerlights state that "Immediately before a unit from Codex: Tau Empire shoots at a target that has one or more markerlight counters, it can declare it is using one or more of the markerlight abilities listed below." (Codex Tau 6th Ed, pg 68)

To me, this suggests that the Markerlight abilities are declared between section 3 and 4, after the target and weapon are selected, but just prior to rolling to hit.

As such, the unit of jetbikes must choose whether they will Jink when they are selected as a Target in section 2 of the Shooting Sequence, and the Tau player does not need to declare what (if any) Markerlight abilities they are using until just prior to section 4 of the Shooting Sequence.

Yes, the Eldar player should declare the Jink when they are targetted, which is before the Tau must declare whether they will use their Markerlight counters or not.

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As @aslum states in his answer This suggests that Jink must be declared after step 2 but before step 4. (which I agree with), what precludes the possibility of declaring jink "before any of the to hit rolls have been made" but after the Tau declares markerlight abilities? Both would occur before step 4. –  hexparrot Oct 8 at 15:33
    
For example, imagine the scenario where the Tau player is able to summarize his intention of 1-3 all in one fell swoop (as is common in normal gameplay): "This unit is attacking this unit with their Plasma weaps...using these awesome markerlights!" While the rules are unambiguous that they resolve in a specific order, what matters most is that the instruction can be PARSED in the specific order without having to be split up into 3 separate tasks. Therefore, such an instruction can be given and the target can still reply 'I'm jinking' without any breach of protocol or tactical dis/advantage. –  hexparrot Oct 8 at 15:37
    
Put another way, you're putting the target unit at a disadvantage that they may not jink unless it occurs before the markerlight declaration, which pretty much means playing at the table must progress like this (even if not verbatim), in order to be fair: "I'm nominating this unit <wait for reply>" "I'm shooting this unit <wait for reply>" "I'm using this weapon <wait for reply>" This is patently ridiculous. So long as the attacking unit gives sufficient time for his opponent to reply before rolling, jink may be called any time before 4 occurs, but after 2 (which could be 1-3 together) –  hexparrot Oct 8 at 15:42
    
I don't think it's near that bad. Tau player says "This unit will shoot at that unit using X markerlights to Y." If cover is being ignored Jink is irrelevant. If it's not then the defender's last chance to Jink is after the first weapon to fire is chosen but before the to hit roll dice are rolled. –  aslum Oct 8 at 17:10
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The point I'm trying to make is that the attacking player should never need to prompt what the response will be. "I am targetting Jetbikes, do you jink?" is telling them options they may not even be considering! The appropriate way to naturally address it is that you simply don't roll without their affirmation they have no further actions. So "this unit will shoot at that unit using X markerlights to Y. Do you have any response?" is a way to compress steps 1-3 together simultaneously while giving complete and valid opportunity for the target to consider his options and declare jink. –  hexparrot Oct 9 at 14:57

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