The Murder of Crows
A Horde is a vast number of one type of enemy or creature attacking in large numbers. The abstract number of enemies making up such a Horde are reflected in the Horde’s Magnitude. This represents the Horde’s determination and numbers as an abstract value: one point of Magnitude does not equal one individual enemy or creature. A Horde is treated as a single vast creature. The Horde has the same profile as the base creature which makes up its numbers. The only exception to this is that a Horde replaces the individual creature’s Wounds value with its Magnitude and location based armor with a single armor value.
Attacking a Horde
A character can damage a Horde by shooting it with ranged weapons or attacking it in melee. These attacks are treated as if they are against a single creature even though they may represent mowing down ranks of enemies or scything through many foes. Characters must still roll to hit a Horde, but the appropriate size bonus should apply to these tests based on the Horde’s Magnitude. Weapons that can fire on full, or semi-auto will cause additional hits. These hits must be allocated against the Horde and not any individual Lieutenants or Masters that may also be present.
Damaging A Horde
Each hit that causes any amount of damage reduces a Horde’s Magnitude by one. Therefore, an attack that, after accounting for armour and Toughness Bonus, causes 15 points of damage reduces the Horde’s Magnitude by 1.
Weapons that inflict Explosive Damage (X) gain a bonus against Hordes, and count as having inflicted one additional Hit.
Locations are not used when fighting a Horde. A Horde has a single armor value applied to all damage rather than different armor values for different locations.
Melee: When fighting against a Horde in Melee, a Space Marine inflicts one hit for every two Degrees of Success on his Weapon Skill Test. Melee weapons with the Power Field Quality inflict one additional hit.
Blast Weapons: A Blast weapon that hits a Horde hits a number of times equal to its Blast value. So a grenade with Blast (4) will automatically hit four times if successfully lobbed into the Horde.
Flame Weapons: A flame weapon used on a Horde will hit it a number of times equal to one quarter of the weapon’s range (rounding up), plus 1d5. So a flame weapon with a range of 10 will hit a Horde 1d5+3 times.
Psychic Powers: Psychic Powers used against a Horde will hit it a number of times equal to the Psy Rating used in the power, no matter what the power may be. If the psychic power affects an area, it adds an additional 1d10 hits. At the GM’s discretion, if a particular psychic power does not inflict damage (such as Compel), it still inflicts “hits,” meaning that portions of the Horde have been convinced not to attack, and so forth. Furthermore, the GM should take care to adjudicate the effects of certain psychic powers (such as Vortex of Doom) in specific situations against Hordes (such as a Horde tightly packed into a small space).
Breaking a Horde
When a Horde’s Magnitude is reduced by 25% in a turn, it must make a Willpower Test when it is its turn to act again. If it passes, it may continue to act. If it fails, it breaks and flees at its highest move value.
If the Horde’s Magnitude is less than 50% of its starting value, it suffers a –10 to the Willpower Test. If the Horde’s Magnitude is less than 25% of its starting value, it will automatically break.
Hordes composed of enemies with the Fearless talent do not have to test to see if they break as their Magnitude is eroded: they have to be wiped out to the last.
Hordes may be Pinned as normal (with the entire Horde making a single Willpower Test). However, Hordes gain a bonus to their Willpower Tests to resist pinning equal to its Magnitude.
A Horde can make both melee attacks against enemies in close proximity and ranged attacks at enemies that are at a distance in a single turn as an attack action.
Melee: A Horde will attack all adjacent enemies, or enemies that are in close proximity (the GM is the final arbiter of whether a target is in close proximity or not) if not using a map; if there are five Battle-Brothers in close proximity of a Horde all will be attacked. A Horde that has multiple attacks from being armed with two weapons or the Swift Attack or Lightning Attack Talents may use its full number of attacks against every eligible target. Although a Horde represents a large number of attackers, a Horde does not gain the benefits of Ganging Up (see page 248). Instead, the Horde’s sheer weight of numbers is represented by the fact that its target may not Dodge or Parry. Melee Attacks made by Hordes cannot be Parried or Dodged unless otherwise noted.
Ranged: A Horde may make ranged attacks equal to the first digit of its Magnitude. Thus, a Magnitude 25 Horde can make two ranged attacks. Any additional hits from sustained fire can be applied to any eligible target. Therefore, if the heretics hit Brother Silas well enough that they cause an extra hit with their stub autos, the additional hit will be applied to Brother Silas. Modifiers or range and sustained fire apply as normal, but a Horde can never aim.
Ammo expenditure and Jamming are never applied to Hordes—they always have enough bullets to keep firing.
Damage Caused By Hordes
Any attack from a Horde that hits has the damage it causes increased by a number of d10s equal to the Horde’s Magnitude divided by ten, with a maximum bonus of 5), and therefore causes 3d10+5 damage if they hit in combat. Likewise, the same mob armed with autopistols will cause 3d10+2 damage with its ranged attacks. This represents an enemy being mobbed with enemies that strike it countless times or bullets striking like rain on a single target.