GW FAQ Roundup – Intervening Model Cover Saves

guard shooting

Hello! Loopy here to talk about one of the more confusing morsels from the new FAQ from GW: cover saves from intervening models.

First of all, as always, a big thanks goes out to Games Workshop for the incredible direction they have taken the company and involving the community in the FAQs. Everyone should visit the Warhammer Facebook Page and thank them for all their hard work.

Let’s look at the first one.

Q: In the rules for cover saves it says that intervening models
grant cover even if the model is fully visible unless you shoot
over the intervening models. Does this include models that are
taller than the intervening models i.e. are taller models able to
shoot over shorter models?
A: Yes, as long as the line of sight for the weapon being
used is not obscured by the intervening models and
does not pass through a gap between the models in the
intervening unit.

Interpreting “a gap” can be tricky. What is meant here is the space between two models. The certainly do not mean an infinite amount of space height-wise, but at the height of the models which are providing cover. So, if you are drawing line of sight from an infantry-sized model TO another infantry-sized model and you pass THROUGH an infantry-sized unit (or larger), then your target would enjoy a cover save whether the models are clearly visible in between the models of the cover-providing unit or not.

Q: Can Infantry count as intervening for a Monstrous Creature
or a Gargantuan Creature?
A: Yes, but only if 25% or more of the model is obscured
by the intervening Infantry unit from the perspective of
the firer.

Monstrous Creatures, Gargantuan Creatures, and Vehicles STILL need to 25% obscured to enjoy the cover save. One example of this could be if a Space Marine Devastator Squad has a unit of Bloodletters standing DIRECTLY in front of it and it wants to shoot a Renegade Knight that is on the other side of the battlefield. It is conceivable that those Bloodletters will provide cover.

Remember: if ONE model in your unit grants your target a cover save, then ALL models do. You will have to refrain from shooting with that model if you want to avoid providing a cover save.

Q: Models obscured by intervening models get a 5+ cover save
just like the cover rules of terrain. Does this mean that I only get
the cover save if the models are obscured by more than 25%?
A: No – the target only needs to be partially obscured.
If, on the other hand, the target is completely visible
to the firer, but the firer shoots through a gap between
models in the intervening unit, then the target still
receives a 5+ cover save.

The FAQ is reiterating that Monstrous Creatures, Gargantuan Creatures, and Vehicles are an exception to the rule due to the order of operations for rules. At the Unit Type level, there is a specific rule (big models need to be 25% obscured) which supersedes the slightly more generic rule of intervening models not requiring 25%.

This also reiterates that, if you can clearly see the model you are shooting at, it does not get a cover save UNLESS it is being viewed IN BETWEEN the silhouette of  two or more intervening models.


Let’s see a few examples because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

intervening models vs tank
In this example, the Space Marines are not respecting the Sisters’ of Battle
personal space. They are obscuring the tank by 25% for the Multimelta sister
who really wants to burninate that Chaos Land Raider.

intervening models using coherency

In this situation, the Space Marines have remembered that they are allowed up to 2″ of unit coherency and have provided the Multimelta Sister a clear shot of the Land Raider. Since the Land Raider requires 25% obscuring to enjoy a cover save, the Sister is good to go as long as the other two models in her unit do not fire their weapons.

intervening models infantry

Infantry are a different story entirely. The space between the two Space Marines provides this Cryptek a save regardless. Everyone in the Battle Sisters squad may as well fire.

tall models and intervening models

This Inquisitor’s Tornado Bolter (R)TM draws a line-of sight over the heads of the marines in front of him where NO part of the Cryptek’s body is either obscured OR in between two intervening models. NO cover save!

I hope this little article helps you! Please feel free to share your insights in the comments below.

Remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.


About adam Fasoldt

Loopy (Adam) has only been playing 40k since 2010, but is an active member of the community. He is a host of the Masters of the Forge podcast and also a moderator of the Independent Characters forums. He also belongs to gaming clubs at Grimfoe Games in East Greenbush, NY and Dirty Goblin Games in Queensbury, NY.

6 Responses to “GW FAQ Roundup – Intervening Model Cover Saves”

  1. abusepuppy November 25, 2016 1:07 am #

    This is actually a really good guide to how cover with intervening models work. Kudos on the images especially, which really drive the point home.

  2. Michael Corr November 25, 2016 2:25 am #

    Thanks for the guide, very useful to have the diagrams showing the different situations.

  3. wintertalon November 25, 2016 6:21 am #

    I don’t believe you can pick not to fire your weapons in the shooting phase for a unit. I never seen a rule where you can pick not to fire a gun when the unit fires a weapon.

    Can anyone explain this to me? like where it is at rule wise?

    • abusepuppy November 25, 2016 7:48 am #

      You can always choose not to shoot some or all of the weapons in a unit, although if you shoot a weapon you must use its full number of shots. (p.31, top left corner first paragraph)

      You may be thinking of the assault rules, which mandate that all models involved must make all of their attacks whether the controller wishes to or not.

  4. Dakkath November 25, 2016 11:29 am #

    Bookmarking this for future reference.

  5. adam Fasoldt November 27, 2016 10:53 am #

    Thanks, y’all! Cheers! 🙂

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