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Discussion Starter #1
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:

The situation:
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."
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.

P41 BRB
"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.
 

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ohh its two for and two against

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.
where does it state this in the rule book. That is what is being argued so it can't be used as justification

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.
fluff means nothing when it comes to rules sadly

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
enemy unit
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
 

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P41 BRB
"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.
I'm reading those two and interpreting them differently. What I'm reading is that I must attack models in Base to Base contact. I'm not seeing anything in those rules that would deny someone the ability to attack a new attacking unit that is also in base to base. I tried bolding what lead me to said conclusion.
 

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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.

-------OX-------------
------OXXX-----------
-------OX(I)X----------
---------PPPP-------------
-----------------

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:

-------OX-------------
------OXXX-----------
-------OX(I)X----------
-------------------------
-----------------

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!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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!
 

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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*

"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."
Either this "beginning of the combat" is the start of the assault (1) phase or its when attacks are thrown (2).

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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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
. 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.
Where does the rulebook say that? I was under the impression that charging units in close combat follow all the same rules as any other unit. According to what you said, I could charge into a combat that is like this:

C = Charging Unit
E = Enemy unit 1
F = Enemy unit 2
A = Allied unit

C EAF

and when I get in, have it be

CEAF

and declare that my charging unit, which can target freely, targets unit F. I assume you don't mean this, and that they have to follow normal targeting rules... but this brings us back to the multiple combat rules on p41. If they follow normal targeting and require contact, why do they get to ignore the p41 rules? They would either have to follow all rules, none of the rules, or specifically list exceptions to the rules. So if you can show me where it says that charging units get to ignore all rules or at least the p41 rules, I'll agree with you that my logic for case 2 above is wrong. Otherwise, I believe that my point stands, which would also mean that your case 1 would mean that charging units would never get to attack the turn they charge.
 

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Yes, I typed that wrong- more clearly: P41 does in no way restrict chargers, they follow the normal rules for assault from the assault section.... but thats neither here nor there and has no bearing on this debate (no-one is claiming that the attacker is affected in eny way, its the defenders and how they are affected that we're discussing).

So back on topic (and I am cringing here knowing this'll get wrenched away from the point I'm trying to discuss)

"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."
Does attacking in this case mean attacks launching or attacks striking (change tense to try to get clear english.. damn this language).

If the "begining of combat" is the start of the assault phase it makes sense- you can be engaged with 1 unit and then assaulted and engaged by a second.. there is a reason why the rule has been stated.

If you are engaged with a single enemy unit as attacks are struck then why do you need a rule telling you that you can only attack them?
The onyl way to be engaged with a multi-combat and not be engaged by another unit is in a 2vs2 (or larger) fight where 2 waring unints are not touching each other... but then basic assault rules tell us they cant attack each otehr since they aren't in base to base anyway (so why would the multiple combat section need to restate it?).


Basically put- either new attackers into an old combat cannot be attacked for the first turn, or the P41 rule at hand is totally unnecessary (as it doesnt add anything to the basic assault rules)...
 

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The onyl way to be engaged with a multi-combat and not be engaged by another unit is in a 2vs2
That is true if you are talking about units, however the rule states models.

You can have a unit be engaged by two enemy units but at the same time have a model be only engaged by one unit.

For example

A is one unit from team 1
B is one unit from team 2
C is one unit from team 2

if you have the diagram below

AAAC
BBBC

The red A would not be allowed to allocate attacks against unit C. That is the point of the rule. This example is basic and ignores the part about models within two inches, but its just the same idea for that as well.
 

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Tim/Steve, did you completely miss my post back there?

I put up a more in depth version of what asianavatar just iterated - basically, the rule states that if you are in B2B with one unit, you cannot allocate your attacks against another. That's it.
 

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Either this "beginning of the combat" is the start of the assault (1) phase or its when attacks are thrown (2).

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?
As Crimson_Chin alluded to, it refers to Independent Characters who are the same unit when you assault, but a different unit when A are allocated. :)

As html's point 2 stated - if you then charged in, this rule would prevent you fighting either, as you weren't present at the beginning of the initial assault. I'm honestly shocked how many of you have this (IMO) wrong...
 

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This one seems pretty straightforward boys.

I'll begin with a quote from the beginning of the "Multiple Assaults" rule section, which although gives no hard RAW evidence toward much in this rules discussion, it gives nice perspective for RAI.

If a unit that is already locked in combat from a previous turn is assaulted by a new enemy unit, i can react as normal, It's models must be moved into base contact with models from any of the unit that they are fighting, not just the enemies that just assaulted them.
Now, as for the real interpretation of the rule...

Models that were engaged with just one of the enemy units at the beginning of the combat (before an model attacked) must attack that unit.
Quite simply, they are referring to attacks. If they meant it as the OP's new friend's seem to think, they would very clearly use the term "assault" in place of "attacked". I don't know of any place in the BRB where they ambiguously used either term, attacked means rolling dice for your hits, much like shooting. Assaulted means the movements. This rule, IMO, is meant toward either IC as others have said, or it is put towards giant clusterfucks where you can have 5+ units involved and one unit is still only engaged with one unit, and must attack that unit alone.

Once again though, horrible wording to GW, thanks for the editing guys.
 

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I guess I may help with the french BRB. In this one, the wording is more clear and appears that a combat is the time where models fight. It's not the assault phase.

So, the beginning of the combat is the moment just after the assault moves and countercharge moves and just before dices are thrown.

Besides, the second bullet just after the sentence you all quoted states that a model engaged with 2 units can choose to attack both of them and split its attacks between them.
 

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This thread is making my ears bleed :laugh:

I've looked for a reason to include that sentence and I just can't find one.

The assault phase summary on p33 clearly states which part of the assault phase is considered the combat, ie from rolling a to-hit dice.

There have been a couple of just downright mistakes posted above though which should be de-bunked.

1. It is nothing whatsoever to do with independant characters. They fight as a separate unit following all the rules for multi unit combats

BRB p49 - as described under Multiple Combats on p41
2. And the B2B red herring. To be engaged a model must be

BRB p35

Models in base contact with any enemy models

Models within 2" of at least one model in thier that is in base contact with any enemy models.
There is no further distinction in the rules between engaged and B2B.

The sentence under discussion seems to be entirely tautological. We already know that models can only attack units with which they are engaged. The only really tenuous reason for including this is to remind us that in a large confusing combat units cannot allocate thier attacks wherever they like but must stick to the rules on engaged models.

IMO :)
 

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Multi Unit Combat.

I have taken a great deal of time to read the rules very carefully and i have prepared this to help quell this dispute.

I had also heard from a GW employee that if a unit joins an assault the defender cannot direct attacks at them. This, as i have found is only partially untrue.

Take this example: (For the sake of everyone's sanity bear with it as i have used the entire assault phase in my demonstration. Please, read it all)


khorne berzerkers are in combat with the thousand sons at the start of the assault phase (this is NOT combat). The unit of terminators wishes to assault them.


As per the rules, the closest model in the Squad moves up to 6" to make base contact with the enemy models.


The closest terminator has now made his assault move. The rest of the terminators may now make thier assault moves in any order.


This terminator cannot reach the berzerkers on the far side, and thus must attempt to make contact with the enemy elsewhere.


The terminator is well within assault distance of this berzerker


The terminator now moves into base contact with the enemy.


The last terminator, which obviously able to reach combat, cannot get into base contact, and thus most move within 2" of another model in his unit that is in base contact with the enemy.


all terminators have been moved, and no enemy models are free to react, thus all models are now "engaged". This is the beginning of combat. (After all assault moves, but before blows are struck)

Now onto the root of the problem...



This is where all the confusion lies. The key lies in the term in the rulebook. "Models" p. 41 BRB

"Models that were engaged with just one of the enemy units at the beginning of combat (before any model attacked) must attack that unit."

If we take a look at the numbered khorne berzerkers in the picture we can see this.

Berzerker 1 - base contact with tsons (He must attack them)
Berserker 2 - Base contact with tsons (he must attack them)
Berserker 3 - Base contact with tsons (he must attack them)
Berserker 4 - Base contact with both units. (he may choose which unit to attack)
Berserker 5 - Base Contact with both units. (he may choose which unit to attack)

You look at each model in the defending unit and for each one do the following...

Check for base contact. If the model is in base contact with an enemy model it must direct it's attacks at the model in base contact.

If that model is not in base contact with an enemy it must check to see if there is a a friendly model from the same unit within 2" that is in base contact with an enemy model. If there is, it may direct it's attacks and any models in base contact with that friendly model.

If not, it cannot attack at all.

In multiple unit combat, you tally your attacks model vs. model. Then roll your dice as a unit.

I hope this helps.
 

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PMT, and excellent post overall, but one glaring problem - the closest Terminator must not only move first, and engage in B2B, but he must move the shortest possible distance. :)
 
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