Dealing of Attacks in Multi-Unit Combats
Howdy, all! I recently moved to a new area (and thus, a new store) and the players at my new location seem to have a rather important rule wrong, but I can't seem to convince them of it.
As a little background, I played in the central Michigan area for 2 years, attending over a dozen tournaments, some as far away as Ann Arbor, and no one else has ever interpreted this rule this way, so I *think* that I am right on this one. However, I could be possibly be wrong... I could have never had this come up against an opponent who knew the proper rule, for instance. So, here we go:
My unit is engaged with an enemy unit in close combat, and my opponent charges into that combat with an additional unit. When I declare that I will dish some attacks to the charging unit, he says that you cannot deal attacks to a unit that unit, since they weren't in the original combat. Upon my protest, he is immediately backed up by half the store. In the interests of play speed, I accept their judgement and finish the game.
Afterward, I ask him to show my in the rules where it says this. He points out p41: "Models that were engaged with just one of the enemy units at the beginning of combat (before any model attacked) must attack that unit." My reply was that it says that the beginning of combat was before models attacked, thus, after his new unit charges and my men react, we check to see who is in combat - and the answer is, all of them. Assuming there is base contact with all units, all units can attack and be attacked. At least, that is my interpretation. However, he replies that "before any model attacked" refers to the beginning of the entire combat (a turn or two ago!) in the case of units that have been in the combat for its duration.
Again, I have been playing for quite some time, and in multiple GW sanctioned events with proper rules judges, and I have never heard of this rule even though I have played an assault-style army for over a year now in a number of tournaments, so I *think* that I am right on this, but if I get a good argument otherwise, I could be persuaded that it is merely a very common mistake that I have never had the luck to run across with a player that knew the proper rules.
Admittedly, this rule does seem a little odd. What could the intent of this rule been? How can a unit enter combat after combat has begun (using the p41 definition of "the beginning of combat")? If the players at my new store aren't right, then what is the purpose of this rule? Or is it merely a complement to the following rule: "Models that were engaged with more than one enemy unit at the beginning of combat (before any model attacked) may split their attacks freely between those units. Declare how they are splitting their attacks immediately before rolling to hit."