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."
I think he's right.
The purpose of the rule is that while your attention is on stabbing somebody else, the other unit sneaks round the back and stabs you.
However, I've yet to really come up with an argument for, other than the way he has described was the way I've played.
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The big thing in that sentence is "Models that were engaged with just one of the enemy units at the beginning of combat (before any model attacked) must attack that unit"
In your case, you are in engaged with two enemy units so the rule doesn't apply and you pick who you want to attack.
I think the rule kicks in when you have 2 units vs two units. Take the example of A and B being units from one army and C and D being units from another army.
If they hit combat where it looks like ACBD so A is not in contact with D it would only be allowed to allocated attacks to unit C.
Just to add, this rule also kicks in for the within two inches rules. So if a model in the unit is not in b2b contact but within two inches of a model that is in b2b he would have to attack that unit. If he is within two inches of two different models each in b2b with a different opposing unit he would then get to direct his attacks where he wants.
Whoa... deva vu...
You had it right. It boils down to the point that "begining of combat" is after assaults have been made but before blows are struck. Models in Base to Base must attack enemy models they are in base to base with, but models who are either not or in base to base with more then a single enemy unit model may choose to allocate their attacks where ever they like.
Their reasoning is sketchy at best since, 'before any model attacks/before blows are struck' goes all the way *up to* the point where you start allocating attacks. Kind of like if I told you that you can use your cell phone before you start your car, that doesn't mean before you get in your car, it means before you start your car. So from your front door to when the key is in the ignition is "before you start your car".
If anyone told me I wasn't allowed to defend against an attacking unit because I was already being attacked by another unit... I'd probably hand them the game and leave.
They are right- if your involved in a combat from a prievious turn and are charged by an additional enemy unit you cannot attack them until the end of the turn. It even makes sense in fluff- if you're fighting an opponent someone else coming along and stabs you in the back your hardly able to hit them back.
"Models that were engaged with just one of the enemy units at the beginning of the combat (before any model attacked) must attack that unit.
5th Ed FAQ
Page 41 – Multiple Combats, Attacking.
A third bullet point should be added, as follows:
• Models that at the beginning of the combat
(before any model attacked) were engaged with
more than one enemy unit, but were in base
contact with just one of the enemy units, must
attack that unit.
The FAQ comment isn't really relevant but I though I would throw it in as it could be overlooked. To my mind P41 means that if you're in combat with a unit before any unit assaults must be attacked, otherwise it makes no sense- there is no way of changing the models that you're engaged with once the assault and pile in moves are finished... that means that this phrase would be meaningless.
Thats how we read the rules near me, but then we aren't perfect... we're still adjusting from 4th to 5th and we keep coming across things that we are playing wrong, though this hasnt happened for a while.
ohh its two for and two against
Beginning of the combat (not combat phase) means after the units have engaged (moved together). At this point you go model by model.
A) is the model in b2b contact with a more than one unit
yes: allocate attack to any unit he is in b2b with
no: allocate attack to the one unit he is in b2b with
B) is the model within two inches of a model in b2b contact with more than one
more than one unit: allocate attack to either of the units
one unit: allocate attack to the one unit that is in b2b with the model that is
within two inches of it.
no units: model does not attack
Agreed with Rev.
The wording for the BRB quotes are for this reason. Let's say I have models from unit X and from unit O and P (O and P are from the same army). (I) is an Independent Character, they have higher initiative (same army as X, the picture makes it more clear.
P charges into combat, (I) strikes first and slaughters the lot. Before blows were struck, the member of X on the lower right hand corner of the unit (the green one in the diagram) was in base contact with only one of the enemy units, even though he was engaged with both. However, after (I) strikes:
Even though X is still within 2" of a model in B2B with O, he cannot attack because before blows were struck, he was in base contact with a different enemy unit.
This also applies to IC's (I think), in regards to them acting as separate units in combat. Basically, if you have a Captain or whatnot inside a unit, and they charge an enemy, the enemy can use all of their troops within 2" of a model in B2B to strike him, EXCEPT FOR the models that are on the front line of the unit and already in B2B with other models in the captain's squad.
I think. I don't remember if the BRB makes a special exception for that, but if it doesn't that's how it works.
The point is however, that the rule exists for the reasons outlined above, and not to support the idea of stabbing someone in the back. Remember, infantry models have no facing - so they effectively don't have a back!
Thanks for the opinions, guys.
I was thinking about it some more, and I came to this conclusion:
We can interpret "at the beginning of combat (before any model attacks)" in a few different ways. We'll just have to see what consequences each way entails.
1) At the beginning of combat = the very beginning of combat (just after the initial charge of the first unit to attack, perhaps multiple turns ago). This means that new units that charge cannot be attacked on the turn that they charge, or, for that matter, at all (at least until the combat is no longer a multi-unit combat and the p41 rule ceases to apply). However, this seems wrong - my Wraithlord assaults a unit of Marines and then I assault the Marines with Guardians which they aren't allowed to attack until the Wraithlord is dead? In fact, if the Wraithlord did die but before that, I assaulted with a 2nd unit of Guardians, the Marines would have to stand there, unable to attack, since the only unit that "started the combat" with them was dead! Thus, the interpretation cannot be 1.
2) At the beginning of combat = anytime from the beginning of the turn to just before attackers move. This is the only way that you can get the result of can't attack units that charged me this turn but can attack them later. However, it would also mean that the newly charging unit couldn't dish attacks, either! They wouldn't be engaged with the defending unit yet! Thus, the interpretation cannot be 2.
3) At the beginning of combat = after the "Defenders React" but before any attacks are dished. At this time, the newly charging unit is engaged with the defender, and so can dish attacks, however, the defender is also engaged with the attacker, and so can dish in response. This interpretation is possible.
I don't see any other possible interpretations for "at the beginning of combat." Thus, the only acceptable interpretation is after "Defenders React" but before attacking, and this would mean that all units in the combat (barring an aforementioned ABCD situation or other lack of base to base contact) can attack all units in the combat, including defenders attacking the attackers that just charged.
Thanks again for the help!
htmlord's logic on his no. 2 is wrong... a charging unit isnt engaged at the start of combat (whenever you think that is) and so has no targetting restrictions (ie they pick freely...) instead of simply having no targets.
I'm a believer that the BRB doesn't include totally useless rules
*wondering where my cynism has temporarily escaped to*
If 1 if true then you cant attack a unit that has charged you if you were locked in combat through the player turn switch.
If 2 is true then a unit engaged from a previous turn can attack enemies that have assaulted that turn... however, if that is so then the whole point is redundant: if anyone can explain how you can be engaged by 1 unit before you use your attacks and 2 afterwards then I will instantly be convinced that this is the correct interpretation...
- the only thing I can think of that could make sense of this quote and 2 is that all the quote is saying that if your engaged you have to use your attacks... if so why does it have that line about "at the beginning of combat" and why is it in the section on multiple combats?
I was very much on the fence before I wrote this post but have solidified my position somewhat, if you can poke (sensible) holes in my logic then you'll very rapidly change my position..
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