Source: Warhammer Fantasy: 7th Edition

Templates (Shooting)
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Some creatures, spells and war machines use templates (circular, teardrop-shaped, etc,) to determine what they hit. Normally, after the final position of the template has been determined following the rules of the war machine, creature or spell using it, all models whose bases are completely covered by the template are automatically affected (full hits), whilst models whose base is only partially covered by the template are affected on the roll of a 4+ (partial hits). Examples of this procedure are illustrated in Diagrams 93.1 and 95.1.

93.1 - Number of Models Hit: SPLAT! The model at the exact centre point of the template is hit at double Strength. Four models are hit at normal Strength. Sixteen more can be hit on a 4+.
95.1 - Breath Weapons: The teardrop-shaped template is placed with the thin end at the Dragon's mouth and the wide end over the target unit. In this example, four models are completely under the template and are hit automatically. Eleven models are partially covered and are bit on a 4+.

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