Simultaneous Attacks and Shield Guard

How do simultaneous attacks (like Caine1 feat) interact with the Shield Guard rule? Can a model that was killed by an attack still use Shield Guard on a different model, before it is removed from the table?

I think it works like this:

I do each simultaneous attack, completely resolving each single attack (which could be Shield Guarded by a not yet killed model), then removing the killed model after each individual attack. Simultaneous only means that any after-damage special rules (like gaining souls or placing ghosts) are delayed until after all the simultaneous attacks has been completely resolved. Removing the model is itself not an after-damage special rule.

But several opponents have argued that since the attacks are simultaneous, the models are not actually removed from the table until after all the simultaneus attacks have been resolved, putting models in some about-to-die-but-still-alive state, allowing them to Shield Guard even if they have been killed.

I think perhaps the confusion happens because if you have simultaneous attacks, you must for practical purposes leave dead models in place on the table so that you can determine range and positions for any after-damage special rules. But the models are still actually removed from the table and unable to Shield Guard once they have been killed, right?

Simultaneous wording:

“When resolving simultaneous effects, completely resolve all attack and damage rolls before applying any of the target’s special rules triggered by suffering damage, being destroyed, or being removed from play.”

Look at the Attack Resolution chart. You need to completely resolve all attack and damage rolls, including special rules that trigger during those steps, before you proceed to models being destroyed. So models with Shield Guard are definitely on the table when you’re resolving attack rolls (and determining if models other than the intended target are hit instead). The Shield guard model has not been “killed” before you proceed to damage application, destruction of models, etc.

The rule text you quoted is pretty clear on this.

Hi, thanks! I am reading the flowchart carefully. I think you might be right, but I am not 100% sure. The flowchart does not contain the word “simultaneous” anywhere, so it’s not completely clear to me where exactly we should pause, stop or skip in the sequence when we resolve multiple simultaneous attacks.

Reasoning for Shield Guard not working:

From the wording on Caine’s Feat, each shot is a separate attack (“make a basic Spellstorm Pistol attack”). This is not the same as Thresher or Spray which make one attack potentially targeting multiple models, and therefore group all the attack rolls, then all the damage rolls, then all the damage application.

So, normally we would have to go through the entire Attack Roll - Damage Roll - Damage Application sequence to the end, once per model, before we start the next one. Simultaneous, however, tells us to delay three specific triggers until later.

So we shoot each model, without triggering any special effects now during Damage Application due to the simultaneous rule being in effect. So we could get at least to step b in Damage Application - which makes the model disabled, but arguably we have to proceed through the whole Damage Application sequence, (temporarily) removing the model from the table, and delaying any special effects. I don’t see anything explicitly stating that the Damage Application sequence does not start or gets put on hold somewhere for each attack during a simultaneous attack, but perhaps I have missed something.

Now all the delayed post-damage triggers happen, which could for example leave the models on the table if they tough.

Seems a bit silly maybe? But we did have a go-back-in-time ruling about being unable to run out of melee range at some point too, and also the entire boxed-destroyed-removed sequence contains some go-back-and-recheck rules as well, so I don’t know.

Reasoning for Shield Guard working:

The rule simply means (but does not explicitly say) that the entire Damage Application sequence for every simultaneous attack is delayed until all damage rolls have been done. So no models are disabled, boxed or removed until after all damage rolls, allowing models about to die to Shield Guard before they do.

This makes it very similar to Spray and Thresher, except that instead of making all attack rolls then all damage rolls, you make pairs of attack and damage rolls before moving on to all the Damage Application sequences.

Or, perhaps, both of these are wrong.

I’m leaning towards you being correct here - but I think perhaps a clarification would be good! I discussed it with some clubmates, and everyone seemed a bit unsure about how this all interacts.

Shield Guard triggers on “hit”.

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That means it must resolve at Step 6 of the attack timing chart, because Shield Guard is an effect that causes the attack to automatically hit another model other than the original target. There is no other suitable step for Shield Guard in the chart.
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We determined in this earlier thread that Caine’s Maelstrom attacks are separate attacks:

The only complicating factor at all is this bit about Thresher in Step 5.
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This is a complication because it introduces doubt into an otherwise very straightforward process. Thresher and Maelstrom share the same final sentence: “X attacks are simultaneous.”

So, really, the question for @elswickchuck is:
Is the intent of the sentence “Maelstrom attacks are simultaneous” to indicate that this should be resolved similar to a Thresher attack, i.e. “make all the attack rolls first”?

Or, can we/do we/should we ignore that oddball Thresher reference in Step 5 of the timing chart (because that’s literally the only place in the entire rulebook that says that!) and resolve each of Caine’s attacks individually, i.e. “Iterate through Step 5 through Step 9 for each attack made by Maelstrom, and only after every attack has been made, move on to the ‘after the attack is resolved’ steps”?

Let’s await Chuck’s answer. :slight_smile:

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I would say to resolve it like other like attacks, in this example of questioning like thresher

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OK, thanks! Sorry, but I am not sure if I really understand the answer, I have not followed all the other discussions. Was the answer that this sequence is correct:

  1. Caine does every attack roll (some of which can be Shield Guarded).
  2. Caine does every damage roll to the models hit.
  3. Caine applies any damage, and all disabled / boxed / destroyed special abilities resolve.

It makes sense, but that is quite a lot of state to keep track of, Caine can easily shoot 20+ models during his feat!

True, but that really matters only in cases you have Shield guard or other effects that would “interrupt” the resolution. In all likelihood, you can just pop most of those models without any bookkeeping, and then pay attention to the few cases where it matters.

If I do the damage roll before rolling the next to hit, I have both gained and lost information that I should not have at that point.

This could, for example, affect my decision to boost future hit/damage rolls vs saving 2 focus for a teleport. If the rules say all attack rolls, then all damage rolls, then I must do it that way - a practical exception could be made if all the rolls are independent and there are zero choices to be made, or all the choices could be made in advance, but as long as I can choose to (say) boost or play a command card, that is not true.

The sequence is correct

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Thank you very much for the quick reply and ruling @elswickchuck !