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Can the front rank use its swords to get the shield save and the 2nd rank use its spears still? It seems to make sense that they would but we are not sure how this works and dont want to cheat each other when we play
 

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I think the entire unit has to choose one weapon type and use it throughout the combat.

So all use Spears, or all use Hand Weapon and Shield.
 

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Spears are 1 handed and no the front rank can't use swords and the second use spears the entire unit must use the same weapon e.g. spear.
 

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cccp_one said:
so you can use a shield and spear at the same time?
i know how noobish that sounds lol but i play dwarfs and dont come across things like this very often.
yes you can use spear and shield at the same time.
 

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You have to choose at the beginning of the combat which combo you are going to use. Either spear and shield or -hand weapon- and shield.

You might not want to say "sword" because they are equipped with spears and all models come with a "hand weapon". Also because you get a armor save bonus with the "hand weapon) and shield combo.

I use clanrats with spears and often opt for the hand weapon shield combo if I want better survivability and spears when I want more attacks (esp against ws2 critters like gobbos).

But like the posters said you have to use the same combo for the entire units.

Some armies have exceptions like Hochland Longrifles and Ogre Maneaters.
 

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Lord Sinkoran said:
Spears are 1 handed and no the front rank can't use swords and the second use spears the entire unit must use the same weapon e.g. spear.
Ditto.
You CAN have two units, one with swords in front, another unit with spears in back...but they are still two units (and that front unit is going to get hammered and flee right through the second one...causing a panic test).

Spears have been used with shields since the Greek Hoplites did it hundreds of years BC.
 

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I agree that the whole unit must choose at the start of the combat and then is bound by that choice until the combat is resolved one way or the other.

Spears can certainly by used with shields but will not grant the +1 save bonus that using a sword and shield combo would do. The upside of course is the ability to fight with more than one rank.
 

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No worries man.
Using Armybuilder to build my lists (math=evil) it gives the bonus to the spearmen...but it's a dumb program and possible to tweak. I did look up the descriptions however, and a shield can be used unless the weapon used is annotated as "two handed" which the spear isn't.
I figure it's the same as the greek hoplites going spear and shield, no problem. Besides, the High Elf models are modeled with spear and shield, so I figured it was right (assumption on my part of course).

I could of course be wrong and been cheating my ass off all these years :twisted: ... you you could have been shorting yourself on a save all this time. :shock:

Either way it's all good, High Elf players are extra cool in my book anyhow. :wink:

Cheers!
 

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Actually I think I was right!

Hand weapons (page 56) are described as covering "any weapon held in one hand and not otherwise covered by the rules".

Spears are otherwise covered by the rules. They have their own entry on the same page and are therefore a different weapon type with their own separate rules.

So you get a +1 save bonus for using a shield and sword/axe/club etc but not with any weapon given it's own specific listing on that page (such as a spear or morning star).

Agree/disagree?
 

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Disagree. A spear can be used one-hand and is not shown as being two-handed.

Honestly, a spear isn't a "hand weapon" but that doesn't mean it's a two-handed weapon; two handed weapons are marked specifically as such. Spears have their own listing because they can be used in ranks, not because they aren't single handed weapons.

To be perfectly honest though, I can see why it's confusing.

Here's the thing though:
By that rationale a spear or lance wielding cavalryman cannot use a shield either, because spears and lances is a separately described weapon. Thing is, most cavalry does use a shield and spear/ lance...with shield.

"The term "hand weapon" is used to describe any weapon held in one hand and not otherwise covered by the rules. As such it includes, swords, axes, clubs, maces etc."

I believe a morning star (smaller footmans version of a flail) spears and the like fall in the "etc" category as they are clearly single handed weapons.

I dunno man, with all the units designed to use spear and shield, High Elves, Empire, Bretonnians, Lizardmen etc, it seems odd that they don't get the benefit of the shield.

It's ambiguous in the rules.

Maybe we can find a GW ruling on it somewhere. I'm sure we're not the first to bang our heads on the desk over it.
;)
 

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Spears get different rules: they get to fight in more than one rank.
Other weapons also get different rules and they are likewise "otherwise covered" by the rules. That's what makes them NOT hand-weapons. A hand-weapon is a catch-all for all the weapons which don't have their own special rules.

All those spear units DO get the benefit of the shield. It increases their armour save by +1. What it doesn't do is increase it by another +1 as they are not hand-weapons. If you got to fight in more than one rank AND got an extra armour save bonus, spears would cost a hell of a lot more points.

To take it further, if a spear or morning star counted as a hand-weapon and a model had the option to take both, they could then claim to have two hand weapons. They could then gain an extra attack and fight in more than two ranks with +1 S in the first round of combat! I don't think this is right at all.

Do you play that models with a hand weapon and spear gain +1A for using 2 hand-weapons?
 

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mattjgilbert said:
Spears get different rules: they get to fight in more than one rank.
Other weapons also get different rules and they are likewise "otherwise covered" by the rules. That's what makes them NOT hand-weapons. A hand-weapon is a catch-all for all the weapons which don't have their own special rules.

All those spear units DO get the benefit of the shield. It increases their armour save by +1. What it doesn't do is increase it by another +1 as they are not hand-weapons. If you got to fight in more than one rank AND got an extra armour save bonus, spears would cost a hell of a lot more points.
Whoa nelly...
Are you saying a guy with no armor and shield, using a spear saves on a 6+.
The same guy using a mace (1h weapon) saves on a 5+ ?

My understanding is that a shield grants a +1 bonus to armor...period (unless it's magical or something).

My further understanding is that there is no "additional bonus" for folks using single handed weapons...just the same +1 everyone gets for using a shield.

Am I on another sheet of music?

To take it further, if a spear or morning star counted as a hand-weapon and a model had the option to take both, they could then claim to have two hand weapons. They could then gain an extra attack and fight in more than two ranks with +1 S in the first round of combat! I don't think this is right at all.

Do you play that models with a hand weapon and spear gain +1A for using 2 hand-weapons?
I imagine it's possible, but I never thought of it, and have never seen a model with it...but I can see your rationale (or your rationale of my rationale ;) )
 
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