I've asked this numerous places and no one can seem to agree or provide a completely sound explanation on it...

When a transport containing a unit that includes a KFF explodes, do the models inside benefit from the cover save? What about the models outside?

One explanation I've heard is that no one benefits from the save because as the process goes, the vehicle is wrecked, the models take hits/wounds, then are placed on the board. During the hit/wound process they are essentially "in limbo" (not on the board) so it's impossible to measure distance for the KFF and therefore it does not apply. While this is the only explanation I've heard that cites rules, it sounds like a cop-out technicality and therefore I don't completely agree with it.

The other argument I've seen is that since the explosion isn't a shooting attack, models don't benefit from a cover save. I can agree with this more than the previous explanation, however the Ork FAQ details a situation where models can receive a cover save against a Deff Rolla (sp?) from a Battlewagon, which doesn't even happen in the shooting phase, therefore I think this argument isn't quite valid either.

  • 1
    A FAQ creating an exception to a rule for one specific scenario being used as justification/precedent for thinking there's an exception elsewhere is a bad way to go IMO. GW has written some really baffling FAQ rulings over the years.
    – Affe
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 20:06
  • I suppose it's fair to not treat it like a judicial system where one exception means all are excepted. Unfortunately that just makes the situation even more confusing :p
    – thanby
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


6th Edition

Your units within the transport should get their cover saves. Under Effect of Damage on Passengers (p. 80), it states the damage is treated as shooting hits:

Explodes! The unit suffers a number of Strength 4, AP- hits
equal to the number of models embarked. Resolve these as
for shooting hits, except that the controlling player allocates
any wounds caused.

When accompanied with KFF rules (p.34 w/ FAQ p. 2):

Kustom Force Field: Meks will build or scavenge powerful force 
field projectors with which to protect their warty hides. 
A kustom force field gives all units within 6" of the Mek a cover save of 5+. 
Friendly vehicles within 6" are counted as being obscured and have a 5+ cover save.
Vehicles within 6" are treated as being obscured targets. The force field has
no effect in an assault. 

If we accept all units inside a transport are within 6" of eachother, we can conclude:

  • The passengers take a Str 4, AP- hit (p. 80)
  • All non-passenger units and vehicles within 6" receive a Str 3, AP- hit (p. 74)
  • All friendly and hostile units receive a 5+ cover save (p. 34 + FAQ p. 2)
  • Friendly vehicles are obscured with 5+ cover save (p. 34 + FAQ p. 2)
  • Non-friendly vehicles are obscured with no cover save.

To address the first explanation you provided directly:

Wrecked is different than exploded. Thus, the vehicle being wrecked at all is inco-wrecked.

Wrecked vehicles are left on the table and effectively become
a piece of terrain (p. 74)

Explodes!  The vehicle is then removed and replaced with
scattered wreckage(area terrain) or a crater roughly the
same size as the vehicle (if you have one). (p. 74)

Therefore, you can resolve all damage and placement like this:

  1. Resolve Str 4, AP- hits to passenger unit
  2. Resolve Str 3, AP- hits to nearby models (incl. vehicles); measure 6" from transport
  3. Remove Transport model/add area terrain or crater
  4. "Surviving passengers are placed where the vehicle used to be"
  5. Passenger unit takes a pinning test

The rule about Deff Rollas and cover saves you cite appear to be about units being attacked by the Deff Rollas and appear irrelevant for the sake of this scenario.

7th Edition

7th ed. makes it about as unambiguous as possible:

The bearer, and all models within 6", receive a 5+ invulnerable save against any shooting attacks. If the bearer is embarked in a vehicle, then the vehicle receives a 5+ invulnerable save against any shooting attacks instead.

  • 1
    Thanks for the thorough explanation! And you win the award for most terrible word-play EVAR ;) (Though to be honest I just used the wrong term, I should have said "replaced by wreckage".) That makes enough sense to satisfy my curiosity, but just yesterday I read something that makes me scratch my head even more. The most recent DA FAQ changes the way their location-based force fields work when they enter a vehicle. They no longer project out of the vehicle, or even affect the vehicle itself, only the passengers inside! I think they just need to standardize rules for all force fields, no?
    – thanby
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 13:02
  • 1
    Interesting find! And then to muddle it more, the most recent general FAQ states... <drum roll>: "Q: Do embarked passengers with ‘area of effect’ wargear, such as the Big Mek’s Kustom Force Field, measure the range of such items from the hull of the transport they are embarked upon? (p78) A: Yes." So it appears they did standardize the AOE wargear, and then with DA they excepted....!
    – hexparrot
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 15:03
  • Wow I guess they considered the DA one a little too cheesy (really it was) when people started embarking one on a Landraider to make it and the vehicles around it supremely hard to kill (and more-so the character inside). But now the KFF gets a range boost from being in a transport, while the DA FF gets a range nerf from being in it, whereas he could just stand outside the vehicle and then the vehicle gets the invuln save... My head is spinning!
    – thanby
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 15:25

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