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View Full Version : Who (and How Many) Strikes Back in Mixed Attack Units?



Toonces
09-12-2008, 03:25
Two units in the game (that I know of) have mixed Attack values in a unit without factoring in champions/characters - Saurus Warriors with Spears and Eternal Guard - both have 2 Attacks per model when in base to base and (assuming a melee is going on in the front of the unit) 1 Attack per model in the second row (in both cases, when the unit did not move - as per spears).

When these units get charged, there's often a few Saurii or Elves kicking the bucket. I'm curious how the number of attacks back is determined. I've always played it as least favorable to me (I assume my saurus/elves in the front die and take their two attacks with them) but I can also see the argument that the guy who were in the second row were engaged at the top of the combat round and, since they've stepped forward, are now in base-to-base for their bonus attack (so you eliminate a row of 1 Attackers before eating into the front row of 2 Attackers).

I'm curious how you folks play it. If the rumors are true and Predatory Fighters is going away, I guess the answer isn't as pressing - but it still makes me wonder how EG fight back when charged or doing subsequent rounds vs. someone of a higher iniative.

Thanks!

Necromancy Black
09-12-2008, 03:40
Front rank dies off first. I ahven't got the BRB at hand, but I'm pretty sure that's how the rules work. Although you remove models from the back, it's actually the ones in the front that have died. I'll double check that latter.

Stuffburger
09-12-2008, 04:53
Front rank dies off first. I ahven't got the BRB at hand, but I'm pretty sure that's how the rules work. Although you remove models from the back, it's actually the ones in the front that have died. I'll double check that latter.

That's correct. You could picture it as removing the front rankers as they are killed, then having the models fight according to that position, then replenishing the front ranks for the next round of CC.

stripsteak
09-12-2008, 14:55
as said front rank dies, and due to spear rules you can only fight in multiple ranks provided someone in the front rank can attack the enemy so losing your front rank means you lose some extra attacks from the second rank.

Condottiere
09-12-2008, 15:04
As long as there's base contact, if the second row can legally strike the target in front of them, they may do so.

Goruax
09-12-2008, 23:12
as said front rank dies, and due to spear rules you can only fight in multiple ranks provided someone in the front rank can attack the enemy so losing your front rank means you lose some extra attacks from the second rank.

Can you quote where that is stated?

Spear rules simply state that two ranks can fight.
This suggests that any model that could fight out of the 2 ranks can fight, provided they are still alive when it comes to their initiative step.

Necromancy Black
09-12-2008, 23:35
I think the following is what he's refering too:

(Page 53, fight in ranks, second paragraph, first sentence)

"If a unit is entitled to fight in this way then any model in the second or subsiquent rank can fight if it is behind an enemy model that is engaged in close combat to it's front."

I think he's enterpriting that if the front models die they are no longer engaded and thus the models behind can not fight back. I don't at all beleive this is the case. As long as there are still enough models to fill the front rank all those models are engaged, even if they have been "killed" in that turn of combat.

The way I see it, models from the second rank run forward to take position, attacking with their spears at the same time (they're nice and long, and a run up will definitly help). So as long as the second rank was not also whiped out, some of the models rushing forward would be able to attack back. Apply for multiple ranks for things that fight in more then 2 ranks.

Jericho
10-12-2008, 00:39
I think the key word is "unit" and not "model" ... the unit is engaged even if some of the front rank die, so the second (spears) / third (elves) / fourth (pikes) ranks can fight as normal.

Obviously if you lose 2 full ranks worth of spear-armed models, then you get no attacks (except possibly a champion).

Toonces
10-12-2008, 01:21
I think the following is what he's refering too:

(Page 53, fight in ranks, second paragraph, first sentence)

"If a unit is entitled to fight in this way then any model in the second or subsiquent rank can fight if it is behind an enemy model that is engaged in close combat to it's front."

I think he's enterpriting that if the front models die they are no longer engaded and thus the models behind can not fight back. I don't at all beleive this is the case. As long as there are still enough models to fill the front rank all those models are engaged, even if they have been "killed" in that turn of combat.

The way I see it, models from the second rank run forward to take position, attacking with their spears at the same time (they're nice and long, and a run up will definitly help). So as long as the second rank was not also whiped out, some of the models rushing forward would be able to attack back. Apply for multiple ranks for things that fight in more then 2 ranks.

Right - so I guess my question is, does that guy in the second rank rushing forward Attack 2 or 1 if he's in a Spear Saurii or Eternal Guard Block?

I'm imagine a 10 man formation, 5x2. Three causalties are inflicted so now there's 5 in the first row, 2 in the back row - if base to base combatants are allowed 2 attack and second row combatants are allowed 1 attack due to Predatory Fighter/Eternal Guard Fighting Style clauses, is it 12 attacks back or is it 9 attacks back? Previous posts suggest that it's 9.

Necromancy Black
10-12-2008, 03:04
Only 1. They were in the back rank at the start of combat, that's were they should count as being until the next combat phase.

If you start having issue with this then I suggest you start taking models away from the front first, then refilling at the end of combat. You'll soon find how annoying this is and why most people simple remove them from the back and count the casulties has happening from the front rank first.

Nurgling Chieftain
10-12-2008, 06:12
If models got to step up before attacking, initiative would be a whole lot less useful versus ranked units. :p

Toonces
10-12-2008, 17:42
Only 1. They were in the back rank at the start of combat, that's were they should count as being until the next combat phase.

If you start having issue with this then I suggest you start taking models away from the front first, then refilling at the end of combat. You'll soon find how annoying this is and why most people simple remove them from the back and count the casulties has happening from the front rank first.

Yes, I realize they're in the back rank at the start of combat - I'm asking about units that fight in additional ranks but that have differing Attack values based on being base-to-base vs. spear reach.

Necromancy Black
10-12-2008, 22:11
Look, at the start of the combat turn those that were in base to base get 2 attacks, those with spear reach get one attack. With five wide and at least 2 deep saurus you will get 16 attacks. 2 each from the front, 1 each from the back and 1 extra for a unit champion.

Models in base to base die first, so for the first 4 wounds (not counting the unit champion) you loose 2 attacks, for the next 5 you loose one attack.

In your example 3 died (I'm assuming the unit champion lived), so out of 16 possible attacks you lose 3 x 2 which is 6. So you have 10 attacks left.

In the next round of combat, add it up again. 3 guys died so it's 5 in the front, 2 in the back, giving 13 attacks. If you lose another 2 guys before fighting you'll get 4 attacks less. If you loose 5, it's 9 less (first 4 are in the front, 5th one is from the back rank, so 2x4 + 1x1 = 9)

If you are having difficulty working it out, just do the maths like that at the start of each round of combat until you get use to it. Remember, at no point will a model that started in the 2nd rank get 2 attacks, only 1. This is why I say work it out at the start of every round of combat.

stripsteak
10-12-2008, 22:19
I think the key word is "unit" and not "model" ... the unit is engaged even if some of the front rank die, so the second (spears) / third (elves) / fourth (pikes) ranks can fight as normal.

Obviously if you lose 2 full ranks worth of spear-armed models, then you get no attacks (except possibly a champion).

The keyword is model and not unit. "if the unit is entitled to fight this way" is referring to fighting in ranks, we've already established the unit can fight in ranks so unit is not the important part. "any model in a second or subsequent rank can fight if is behind a model that is engaged in close combat to it's front." if the model in the second rank has no model in front of it (ie it was killed already this round) it has no model in front of it enganged in combat and can not attack.

you are trained a way that lets you attack past someone in front of you fighting in a certain way. that person has just fallen over, possibly back on you. you are now off balance and can't properly attack back.

so in your example you lose 3 from the front, so only 2 models in the second rank can fight since they are only models in the second rank "behind a model that is engaged in close combat to it's front." so you would get 6 attack backs 4 from the front row and 2 from the second.

Necromancy Black
10-12-2008, 22:27
Sorry, but I take all engagements to mean at the start of combat. If at the start of combat, the models in my front rank are engaged, then they are considered engaged for the entire combat.

Are you saying if my front rank is whiped out, then the two fighting units are no longer engaged in close combat? I think this is just another reason why GW say to remove casulaties from the back of a unit and not the front.

Look, there's no clear cut answer in the book to this, so play it how you want. Just make sure you clear this ruling whenever you play someone who puts unit's equiped with spears on the table.

stripsteak
10-12-2008, 22:35
Sorry, but I take all engagements to mean at the start of combat. If at the start of combat, the models in my front rank are engaged, then they are considered engaged for the entire combat.

that is your own ruling and not in the book. the book mentions nothing in the spears rulling about counting models at the start of combat.


Are you saying if my front rank is whiped out, then the two fighting units are no longer engaged in close combat? I think this is just another reason why GW say to remove casulaties from the back of a unit and not the front.
no i am not saying that. the 'unit' is still engaged in combat. however the second rank does not attack because none of them have 'models' engaged in combat to their front


Look, there's no clear cut answer in the book to this, so play it how you want. Just make sure you clear this ruling whenever you play someone who puts unit's equiped with spears on the table.

that is also your opinion i thnk the book is pretty clear on how spear units worked as i have outlined above using quotes directly from the rulebook

Nurgling Chieftain
10-12-2008, 23:38
Unfortunately, the rules under discussion are very sparse in the main rulebook. I can easily argue any number of positions by RaW.
however the second rank does not attack because none of them have 'models' engaged in combat to their frontI'm going to have to call that particular interpretation - while as RaW valid as several others - an absurdity of the first order. As "absurdity" alone is not much of an argument, I will also point out that by the rules, only rear models actually die, while front models merely do not attack.

stripsteak
11-12-2008, 14:24
Unfortunately, the rules under discussion are very sparse in the main rulebook. I can easily argue any number of positions by RaW.I'm going to have to call that particular interpretation - while as RaW valid as several others - an absurdity of the first order. As "absurdity" alone is not much of an argument, I will also point out that by the rules, only rear models actually die, while front models merely do not attack.

No the rear models don't die. "casualties fall amongst the rank that is fighting". but the rear models are removed to represent the other models stepping forward to take the fighting ranks place.

thank you for making me reread a section that goes on to back up the spear rules "models that are removed before they have had a chance to attack may not do so, and models that are stepping forward from the rear ranks to replace them can't attack that turn," I'm sorry you think it is 'an absurdity of the first order' but I've now pointed out 2 section in the BRB that support my statements.

N810
11-12-2008, 16:04
If you look in the battle for skull pass book it has a lovely illuistration of a hand taking away models from the back row...

Briohmar
12-12-2008, 13:26
By the interpretation that the second rankers who move forward would get two attacks each, does it not then follow that those from the third rank also move up into the second rank and are also entitled to their second rank spear attacks? After all, they are now in the second rank.

Sorry, sometimes with an interpretation you have to look at second and third tier effects. If the rule intended the second rank moved forward, then regardless of how many spearmen were killed, they would still get a full compliment of attacks back, which is clearly not in the rules. Therefor we can conclude that the fighters in the second rank only get their second rank attack, and the fighters in the front rank that are still alive get both of their attacks.

stripsteak
12-12-2008, 14:26
By the interpretation that the second rankers who move forward would get two attacks each, does it not then follow that those from the third rank also move up into the second rank and are also entitled to their second rank spear attacks? After all, they are now in the second rank.

Sorry, sometimes with an interpretation you have to look at second and third tier effects. If the rule intended the second rank moved forward, then regardless of how many spearmen were killed, they would still get a full compliment of attacks back, which is clearly not in the rules. Therefor we can conclude that the fighters in the second rank only get their second rank attack, and the fighters in the front rank that are still alive get both of their attacks.

except that the rules specifically state those models don't attack "models that are stepping forward from the rear ranks to replace them can't attack that turn"

Briohmar
12-12-2008, 16:21
Which is my point exactly, they can't attack. Therefore, the models in the second rank stepping forward can't get their extra attacks, only the attacks they were originally entitled to.

stripsteak
12-12-2008, 17:12
*ow my brain*
they can't attack...therefore they only get their original attacks?

they get no attacks as per "can't attack that turn"

Briohmar
12-12-2008, 17:51
OK, I guess I wasn't clear. The third rank can't attack. We have established that by rules. Therefore, if the third rank gets no attacks, then the second rank only gets one attack, by that same rule. They don't get to move forward and take their bites as well as their spears.

stripsteak
12-12-2008, 18:14
By the interpretation that the second rankers who move forward would get two attacks each, does it not then follow that those from the third rank also move up into the second rank and are also entitled to their second rank spear attacks? After all, they are now in the second rank.

Sorry, sometimes with an interpretation you have to look at second and third tier effects. If the rule intended the second rank moved forward, then regardless of how many spearmen were killed, they would still get a full compliment of attacks back, which is clearly not in the rules. Therefor we can conclude that the fighters in the second rank only get their second rank attack, and the fighters in the front rank that are still alive get both of their attacks.

i'm sorry i'm going to have to go back to your first post cause we got to conclusions somewhere that i am not aware of.

going from your first sentence
By the interpretation that the second rankers who move forward would get two attacks each

where are you getting this interpretation from? the rules clearly state "casualties fall amongst the rank that is fighting" casualties fall amongst the fighting rank. so the first rank doesn't get their attacks. "models that are stepping forward from the rear ranks to replace them can't attack that turn," the rear ranks are anything beyond the front rank as that is who is stepping forward. if the front model of a file is killed before he attacks he doesn't attack and anyone in his file doesn't attack as they are moving forward to take his place.

Briohmar
13-12-2008, 02:40
I was hypothesizing based upon the OP's hope that his Saurus from the second rank would get their two attacks instead of one. That was the interpretation I was discussing, or rather debunking. The entire intent was to present the original question in a logical form from the hoped for conclusion, and prove it to be incorrect, which I feel I have done. I took that hypothesis (that the saurus from the second rank would get their bite attacks), extended it to its logical conclusion (which would be that when the second rank stepped forward and took said bite attacks, then the third rank would effectively fill in the second rank and be able to attack as well), determined it to be false, and discarded it as an incorrect theory.

Condottiere
13-12-2008, 05:50
Before combat begins, calculate which models can attack and how many attacks they are legally permitted to make. If more R&F models are wiped out than the number that could have been in the position to attack, than that regiment cannot strike back.

This excludes characters and champions, who if they hadn't been targeted and remain alive, can and will strike back.