View Full Version : Spears

08-04-2008, 11:07
A question came up last night regarding spears - the two players argued RAW, RAI etc, but the rule book was, as ever unclear exactly what happens, and I've been tasked with finding the general consensus on the matter.

Basically, a unit of gobbos with spears were charged, and lost three models. Dave argued that the models with spears behind the casualties could not fight through, as spears have to be behind an engaged model - who were now dead.

Big Dave argued that they could still fight, otherwise spears end up being virtually useless execpt against weak units, or for high elves.

Looking at casualty removal, it said you remove from the back, as models step forward to replace any dead, therefore there is a model engaged for the spears behind to fight through, although any casualties that are replaced cannot fight themselves (I hope thats clear..)

Looking RAW, it does indeed appear that (say) against a unit of spearmen, all you have to do is kill 5 to stop any attacks back from the spears - kind of ruining the whole point of them.

I was only the observer here, and couldn't say which way I think is right, so can this be cleared up for the two Daves?

08-04-2008, 11:22
Right... to me this sounds just like silly stuff that someone is trying to pull of because he doesn't want his warriors to be killed by a bunch-load of spears. Now, I don't have any rulebooks here, so I can't see what they say, but to be honest, I would never doubt that spears can stab whether or not the model in front of them is dead.

Also, if a model killed would mean that they are not engaged anymore, than if the entire front rank is killed, then the units would not be in contact anymore thus not engaged in combat. That would be weirder than weird.

If you lawyer the rules enough, you can find a loophole against anything.

08-04-2008, 12:19
Page references not to hand, but...

Spears fight in two ranks as standard.
When combat starts, all models in the first and second ranks are therefore combatants.

They are behind a model who is engaged in combat, so they are a potential combatant and may fight. Period.
(BRB, weapon rules)

The arguments over 'what actual model died' are examples of semantic lawyering in the extreme.

Your opponent causes wounds, and models are removed from the back of the unit.
When it is your turn to fight, You will get attacks equivalent to two ranks of spears, MINUS the models caused.
(BRB, removing casualties)

Big Dave knows the rules, little Dave is a wiener.

08-04-2008, 12:38
Remember that combat is something fluid and no statical, thatīs why WH present specific rules about that... Spears fight in two ranks

If you are charged in the front of the unit and you lose al the five models in the front; you still attack back with you rear rank; because thatīs the rule for spears (not considered handweapons for other reasons)

08-04-2008, 12:57
What the hell :/ Really, something like that, I'd pack up, this is beyond ridiculous.

warlord hack'a
08-04-2008, 13:09
that's the main difference between models with 1 attack carrying spears or carrying an extra hand weapon.

08-04-2008, 13:51
Greetings all at Warseer!

I didn't want my first post to be.. 'awkward' but, unfortunately this would seem to be the case. I am the 'little Dave' mentioned in this thread. I would just like to say that i really don't appreciate being called a 'little weiner' and a rules lawyer. Admittedly, you had no idea who I was, but i do find it quite insulting so please, unless I offend you directly (and I certainly won't be trying to offend anyone!) please do not make such comments.

That's the yucky stuff out of the way. I was not trying to gain an advantage from the situation. I was merely reading the rules and using them as I read it. I agree that in principle the spears should attack back, that is, afterall, the purpose of having them, right? However, the point I was trying to make is that, as read, the rules state a second rank spearman can attack if there is an engaged model in the rank in front. I believe they must be spear armed also, don't have my rulebook with me. If I charge and strike first, the front rank loses some models. When the enemy attacks back, those models at the front that are dead are no longer in contact with the enemy, so you would not be able to use the spears behind.

I tried to find where in the rule book it contradicted this, but I could find nothing to do so. Believe me, I'm not trying to wangle out of a situation or creat a loop-hole to gain an advantage, I don't generally play like that, Forbiddenknowledge can back me up on this one. I just want to play the game right.

As it happens, we're talking about goblin spearmen against a unit of Tomb Guard and I won the combat by 6. He would have gained an extra 3 attacks, the combat result would have been the same and the gobbo's would still have run based on their Leadership roll, so I really wouldn't have gained anything at all.

Hope i'm not coming across as too confrontational, i just don't like people assuming that another person is a certain way, based on third party information. If anyone can provide something I can read to explain why spears do not work in the way I have mentioned, please do so. I don't mind being proved wrong, like i said, i just want to play the game right.

08-04-2008, 14:04
I can back Nshkoben up - this wasn't about trying to gain an advantage in the battle, this was reading through the rules and thinking WTF?

I wouldn't call it lawyering - its about if the model is killed, does this mean there is noone for the spear to fight through, and RAW wise, it would appear the case - as the model in front of them is now dead, then they are no longer behind a model that is engaged.

Its just another rule oddity, really.

08-04-2008, 14:25
You don't remove casualties from the front of the unit. So those models are still engaged, the ones killed cannot strike back, but the front rank models are still engaged.

08-04-2008, 14:36
Greetings all at Warseer!

Greetings and welcome

the rules state a second rank spearman can attack if there is an engaged model in the rank in front.

From the second paragraph.
You have interpreted it this way:
"fight {only if} if it is behind a model that is engaged etc to its front etc" - { ...} = words used in interpretation

instead of "fight {even if} if it is behind a model that is engaged etc to its front etc"

If you read the first paragraph of the Fight in ranks rules, the words "as well as" support the {even if} interpretation.

Taking the Fight in ranks rules as a whole, I'm sure you agree that the common interpretation of allowing the second rank to fight regardless of 1st rank casualties is acceptable.

Furthermore as stated above , models *step up* to fill in casualties in base contact. Therefore there will be a model infront of the second rank.

08-04-2008, 14:37
I believe the reason people may have disliked the attitude is simply due to the nature of the question. Spears have always been intended for one purpose, to provide extra attacks if you lose your front rank, making them a more defensive option over 2 HW. The game has played like that for numerous editions and i dont think ive ever heard anyone try to play it to the contrary. As such if there was a misinterpretation of the rule, its simply because you are either looking to, or have not read to the contrary. An interesting quirk but not one anyone would (read: should) ever try to argue/debate to the contrary.

08-04-2008, 15:27
Is simple, When the combat starts, and before any attacks has been made, you should determine witch models fight.

Then just rest to thos models the casualties. dont remove your captain unless your enemy decides to designate some dices specially for him.

Nurgling Chieftain
08-04-2008, 18:44
By the rules, casualties are removed from the back. For each casualty removed one model cannot strike back. Having the status of "cannot strike back" does not prevent the model behind it from striking, since the model in front is still in base contact.

Don't overcomplicate the rules. Models stepping up and so forth are fluff considerations, rather than how the game is played.

08-04-2008, 22:46
However, the point I was trying to make is that, as read, the rules state a second rank spearman can attack if there is an engaged model in the rank in front. I believe they must be spear armed also, don't have my rulebook with me.

Nope, you can also have a hero with a great weapon (example) in the front rank and still get the spear behind him. Or the 2 spears, in the case of high elves.