Crowded Front Lines in Units

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Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  servantes on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:56 am

Ok I am getting ready for the big game a the end of the month but I have a situation that I am sure has a simple answer that I missed in the rules

I have a unit of Clanrats 5 wide x 7 deep as my command bunker ... I have a Champion/banner/musician in the group and I am adding my BSB and General ... the problem is the General is on a warlitter that is two units wide - so my front rank is now 6 wide with all the units that have to be in the front? so do I move a special troop backwards 1 rank? or do I have to have the unit 6 wide now (I would prefer to keep them 5 wide for points)

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  nathanr on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:02 pm

Your BSB would be put in the second rank. I'm pretty sure it's in the rulebook that the command group must stay in the front rank and then characters. If there isn't room in the front rank for all the characters then they go into the second rank. I'm not sure what that would do to the effects of the BSB though.

The only exception that I know of is Bretonnian knights in the lance formation since the army book says that the command group is moved back (and still works as normal) to make room for characters.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:07 pm

Command models have to be in the front. Characters have to be in the front only if there is room.

So keep the unit 5 wide, with the command and general in the front, put the BSB in the second rank.

This will keep him safe from enemies, and even if the general or champion dies, there is no rule which would force you to move the BSB to the front rank, so you can leave him there, safe forever.

There are no detrimental effects to being in the second rank.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  servantes on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:11 pm

thanks guys - this will help out a lot as I don't like my BSB in the front ... well who am I kidding - I don't like anyone in the front as Skaven crawl over themselves to get away from fighting ... well the smart ones do anyway Smile

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  nathanr on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:52 pm

If the general or champion was killed the bsb would have to move forward since "[c]haracters have to be in the front rank only if there is room." Since there is now room the character would have to move forward wouldn't he?

I may be wrong on this though, the quote is from your post Eric and I'm not sure if that is the wording in the rulebook or not.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:12 pm

That rule only applies while the character is joining the unit.

Once he is a member there is no rule which would apply.

There are massive discussions on warseer and warhammer.org.uk of people wishing that wasn't the case.

Edit: oh, and my post wasn't a quote. Just a description.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  squalie on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:47 pm

This will keep him safe from enemies, and even if the general or champion dies, there is no rule which would force you to move the BSB to the front rank, so you can leave him there, safe forever.

Oh God, not this again. I think I'm just going to play Warhammer with myself from now on...it's easier that way. Neutral

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  Kuyp on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:53 pm

a character that joins a unit (of the same base size mind) is ALWAYS placed in the front. all rank and file models except for the command group will be pushed back. now for guys joining a unit that are of a different base size, they only displace guys if they take up the same amount of room as the rank and file models if they dont "fit" they are simply placed on the outside of the unit. its all on page 97-98 in the big red book

on a side note, don't skaven have the "lead form the rear" special rule or something of that manner.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:00 pm

Sorry Dom. That's not supported by the rules. I will post quotes with links to the 100+ page discussions on Warseer and Warhammer.org.uk when I get home.

Edit: in fact there isn't even a rule which would allow you to move the character, other than Make Way or a reform manoeuvre.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  nathanr on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:53 pm

It seems as though this issue should have a FAQ. Right now its a bit of a letter of the law vs spirit of the law sort of thing. I can't really argue that you are wrong Eric but I'll bet that if/when a FAQ does come out it will say that characters must be moved to the front rank once room opens up.

For now I'll abide by the rules as written and it is kind of a skaveny thing to do so I won't give Servantes a hard time but if I saw a player doing it with a more courageous army I'd have a few choice words for him!

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:24 pm

(he only applicable rule is on page 97, and which reads as follows:
POSITION IN THE UNIT
When characters join a unit, they are placed in the front rank (regardless of distance). Rank-and-file models, except for the command group that must remain in the front rank, are moved to the back ranks to make room for the characters. If there is no more room in the front rank, some characters will have to go in the second rank.

That's the only place in the rules that a character's position is mentioned, except for the Make Way! rules, and it only applies when the character joins the unit.

Therefore if you have a character in the second rank, and want him to move to a different rank, you must make use of the Make Way! rule, which is entirely optional, use the reform manoeuvre, which is entirely optional, or be otherwise engaged and accept a challenge, which is also entirely optional..

There is no permission granted by any other rule to change the position of a model within the unit for any purpose. For those saying you should, or even must move the character forward, I would say you are actually precluded from doing so.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  servantes on Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:42 pm

wow - I didn't realise this would be such a complicated matter ... but yes it would be a Skaveny thing to do as Rats can refuse a challenge anyway and run to the back of the unit - and still be able to convey their bonuses to the group but not fight of course ... Verminous Valour

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:54 am

Here is the discussion from Warseer.

I was going to link to it earlier and forgot.

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=279058

Here is a great (relative of course) summary of the entire debate by Atrahasis shortly before the thread expired:
On-topic : I can't see this discussion progressing any further. There hasn't been any new material since page 1, and the thread is quickly deteriorating into a debate over who insulted who first. The "tactic" is entirely legal, and while there are "reasons" to play it another way (mainly based on old-edition hangovers and gut feelings) none of them are valid points in a rules discussion. Anyone can play any rule any way they like if their opponent agrees, but if they don't, then the rules hold sway, and calling someone names because they don't have your gut is despicable.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  squalie on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:21 pm

I didn't read the whole thread, but where does it actually say you can do this? Where is it a rule?

From what I can tell, it seems that the advocates imply that if A is true and B is true, therefore C must be true. But there really isn't even a C. This is just one of things that makes me sigh.

(Much like the Hellcannon/crew/leadership argument)

Kategora, asked numerous times if the advocates (Grotsnot, etc) really, truly, honestly, sincerely believed that this was the intent of GW, (And please don't give me the line about "how can we tell the intent of GW?"), and I don't think one person actually answered him. Which seems to me like they really DON'T believe it in their heart of hearts, but just would really like to state a strong enough case to get enough people to agree with this "tactic".

It's funny that GW encourages 2 grown men to change the rules of the game if necessary to make their experience better, provided they both agree...which is awesome. I happen to think it's sad that there are certain types that just can't resist looking for loopholes in the rules and then calling it tactics.

That of course is just my opinion, but I'm old and tired so these could just be the ravings of a crazy grognard. Razz

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  nathanr on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:35 pm

Fair enough, I'm still not going to do it until GW FAQ's it one way or the other.

The link that you posted gave an example that really makes me dislike it even more: deploying a unit in ranks of 3 so that the characters have to go in the second rank and then turn 1 reforming to 5 wide leaving the character in the second rank.

The other thing that I don't like about this is that it completely destroys the fluff behind the special rule for damsels in Bretonnian knight units. It used to be a chivalrous thing that only the brets could do and nobody cared about, now anyone can do it. I know it may seem petty, but as a bretonnian player I don't like seeing rules that were unique to my army now available to everyone. Its kind of like the new rules for scout deployment and wood elf waywatchers.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:46 pm

@ squalie,
I don't understand what you mean when you ask "where does it actually say you can do this? Where is it a rule?"

The people who are saying the character stays in the second rank aren't DOING anything. That's the precise issue - they are NOT DOING something that you may want them to do.

If they moved the character to the front, they would be DOING something. The rules do not provide that they must DO what you want them to, or even that they are allowed to DO what you would like.

The rules clearly state the conditions under which the character goes into the second rank. And then there are no further rules for how he comes out. Therefore the only way you may move him is through a Make Way! move or a reform manoeuvre. Picking him up and putting him in the front rank is an action, and that action is not allowed by the rules.

Look at it this way, the rules don't specifically forbid me from picking up my opponents models, dropping them on the floor and stepping upon them. Everyone put their hand up if they think they can do this.

Likewise, the rules don't specifically forbid me from leaving the character in the second rank.

The permissive ruleset tells you everything that you CAN do and everything that you MUST do. Everything else is, by exclusion, forbidden. Moving the character forward without a Reform or Make Way is neither in the permitted category or in the mandatory category, and so it must be in the forbidden category.

Honestly, I don't see this being an issue most of the time, but I do like the opportunity for some armies to be able to take battle standards with magic standards and keep them safe for a while. Some armies can't buy full plate armour and horses for their BSBs, so taking a magic banner would otherwise be suicide.

Might be a good way to protect Necromancers I suppose. Most other Wizards still need line of sight most of the time, and most other characters want to fight.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  nathanr on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:54 pm

I think a suitable fix for GW that could appease both sides would be to say that if a unit reforms (or quick-reforms) then the characters have to move to the front rank if they are able. It would still let people hide their characters if they want but makes it harder to keep them hidden. It especially removes the deploy 3 wide and then reform "tactic" that really sits wrong with me.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:56 pm

Yeah, that seems to make sense.

They have been pretty good about updating the FAQs and errata for 8th edition, so if they think it's an issue they'll fix it soon enough.

I've been really impressed with the speed of their responses.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  nathanr on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:57 pm

I agree, it seems as though every time a thread like this pops up the next revision of the FAQ addresses it.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  Kuyp on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:58 pm

you know I'm really surprised it doesn't say anywhere in the book that you have to move your characters after the fact, not even in reforming. seems strange to me, but not in the least a game changer IMO.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:03 pm

Kuyp wrote:you know I'm really surprised it doesn't say anywhere in the book that you have to move your characters after the fact, not even in reforming. seems strange to me, but not in the least a game changer IMO.

Judging by the threads that have popped up on this subject, I don't think you were alone in being surprised!

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

Post  servantes on Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:59 pm

as this one is closing - I would like to simply state that it makes the most sense to have characters fill in open spots on the front as they open up ... because if you loose your champion or character in a duel you have to fill their spot with another model - you don't simply leave it open ... thus it makes sense that the character in the second rank would step up into that vacancy - If it makes plain sense, seek no sense, or you might have nonsense.

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Re: Crowded Front Lines in Units

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