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KingTut
15-01-2009, 20:38
Alright so the hypothetical situation is this. My unit of Knightly Order Knights with a warrior priest mounted on a barded warhorse has just charged a unit (say bretonnian cavalry in the lance formation). The Warrior Priest has the bound spell casting Doomfire ring which at power level three casts the burning head spell. Now can I attempt to cast this and choose the brets as a target? The spell states that it is used exactly like a bouncing cannonball. The magic tactica seems to confirm that I can use it while in combat.

"Best used on anything not immune to psychology, this spell works even against units in close combat, or screened by another unit, so long as you can position your wizard correctly. "

Now supposing I can do this. It would be during the magic phase and what would happen if the spell went off and killed a knight? The burning head reads that "any unit suffering one or more unsaved wounds from the burning head must take a Panic test". Now would this be nullifed by the fact that the units are in combat? As per the rule book page 48 " Units engaged in close combat and fleeing units never take Psychology tests" I would think it does.

Can someone set me straight.

TL;DR = I want to cast burning head via a bound item in combat is that possible? If so what happens?

Malorian
15-01-2009, 20:41
" Units engaged in close combat and fleeing units never take Psychology tests"

You have the answer right there :)

KingTut
15-01-2009, 20:43
But I can cast it?

Neckutter
15-01-2009, 21:03
yes, but they dont take the panic test.

it doesnt target things in HtH. it just makes a line. also of note, since it doesnt target a unit, units that would take hits, cant use their magic resistance to stop it, as per the new FAQ

KingTut
15-01-2009, 21:05
Thanks for your replies.

Necromancy Black
15-01-2009, 21:26
Remember you can target any non-magic missile spell while in close combat, you just can't normal cast a spell into a close combat. Since burning head can be cast into CC, you can cast it away, but they won't take panic test's while tehy are in CC.

EvC
15-01-2009, 23:22
Burning Head has no allowance to be cast into combat. If you wish to argue that you're not "targeting" a unit in combar, and you're just shooting at the air in front of it, you are more than welcome to, but you may get some funny looks ;)

Necromancy Black
16-01-2009, 00:12
Unfortintily burning head isn't cast into combat either, it's simple a straight line drawn, hitting any model it touchs. It says nothing about stopping or not affecting close combat, so there is reason to let it be casted. No rule saying it can not be cast so we're looking at an affect issue that has no rules covering it.

Harwammer
16-01-2009, 00:41
I agree with the argument that it can be cast. It doesn't target units, it is just cast and then the user nominates a direction. if it happens to go through a unit in combat then whoopsy daisy, sue me :P

Ophidicus
16-01-2009, 01:32
"Wizards cannot cast spells at units engaged in close combat, unless [...] the spell's description specifies otherwise." WFB p.107.

The unit in front is clearly being "cast at" and the spell's description most definitely does not specify otherwise. It doesn't matter about 'targets', what matters is affectees, if they are affected, they have been cast 'at'.

So no.

Areku
16-01-2009, 01:49
"A spectral flaming skull shoots 18" from the caster in a straight path (any direction chosen by the controlling player). Each model that lies in the direct path of the Burning Head suffers a strength 4 hit(resolved much in the same way as a bouncing cannonball). Any unit suffering one or more unsaved wounds from the Burning Head must take a Panic Test."

Those are the exact words of the Burning Head spell. If it's in that 18" line, well, it gets hit. So yes, you should be able to cast it. If your cannonball bounces horribly into your greatswords, do you just say you can't fire the shot? Your wizard clearly fires the Burning Skull a second before combat ensues, getting the jump on them. It then passes through the intended target and continues on its merry way.

In my opinion, there's no reason why you can't cast it. It's basically a directional AoE spell. If you're in the Area of Effect, well, you get affected. If you don't believe that just try to tell a fire not to burn you when you stick your hand in the flames.

*note: Flames tend not to listen to human demands. Don't try the suggestion above.*

Harwammer
16-01-2009, 01:51
You don't cast it 'at' anything. You cast it, and once cast you chose the 'at'.

Areku
16-01-2009, 01:57
More to the point, you cast it and it slams into whatever it can before it loses its magical power and fades away.

Ophidicus
16-01-2009, 02:13
What it's cast 'at' is defined by the player holding the tape measure, if it's covering a unit it is cast at them. They are in the direction, they are affected, they are cast at. It's not a matter of ordering your ats and your choosing, the two are inseperable, if it hits them, it's cast at them.

"If your cannonball bounces horribly into your greatswords, do you just say you can't fire the shot?"

Of course not, same as I wouldn't roll an artillery dice to see how far BH bounces. It is not a cannon, it is a magic spell.

Necromancy Black
16-01-2009, 02:17
A cannon can shoot at a close combat unit, but the rules for shooting say this can't be done. Where is the exception in the cannon rulesfor this?

Oh wait, there isn't any!

The cannon ball simply moves in a straight line, hitting every model. Well guess what, so does burning head! It isn't cast into close combat, it's cast in a direction, just like how a cannon isn't shot at any unit or model, but in a direction.

If you want to say this spell can't affect CC, then argue the same for a cannon.

*/me now waits for the moment when someone brings up a rule he's missed :p*

Areku
16-01-2009, 02:32
I never once said you rolled an artillery die for Burning Head. I simply compared Burning Head and a cannonball. Cannonballs hit whatever is in their path, as does Burning Head. There's no definite target of the spell, in essence the caster simply points it in a direction and lets it have its fun. The only thing you need to measure is to see how far 18" actually is. The wizard doesn't have to target a spell and cast it. It's casts with the following mind-set:

Wizard says to his fellow riders, "Wouldn't it be cool if I sent a burning skull flying at that unit?"
Riders respond with, "Yea, but let's charge them so we can see the looks on their faces when it slams into their champion, that'll hurt their pride!"
Unit proceeds to charge and the Wizard sends the Burning Head forward, crashing into whatever sorry rider he happens to be in front of. The skull then continues rushing forward off into the distance and crashes into another object (be it enemy, a tree, a rock, some lonely goblin looking for his Big Boss's boots).
Wizard gasps, "Whoops...my bad guys..."

The Burning Head simply leaves his hand and goes a set distance burning, and possibly maiming, anything it can reach. Then, in my imagination at least, it explodes like a firework and dazzles the warriors around it for a second or two before they all resume fighting.

Condottiere
16-01-2009, 03:28
With the new MR ruling, the fact that Burning Head doesn't target a unit has validity.

Necromancy Black
16-01-2009, 03:48
With the new MR ruling, the fact that Burning Head doesn't target a unit has validity.

Off topic, but I love how the way MR is now written to work is the same way me and a couple of others were argueing it has to work to stay within RAW :D

This spell could use some more wording though, like that it goes through ranks and units like a cannon ball, or taht it stops short of any friendly unit or close combat.

Areku
16-01-2009, 03:59
The way the spell is wording (and in turn works) is if a model is within it's distance it takes the hit. So yea, say you have 3 ranks of spearmen and the Burning Head is fired into the front, passing through 3 spearmen they all suffer a S4 hit. It states "each model that lies in the direct path takes a S4 hit" which also means it isn't picky on allegiances. Friend or Foe it just burns them.

Basically you make a line going 18 inches. If you're under that line (in the path) well, sucks for you unless you can save it some how.

EvC
16-01-2009, 11:54
For you guys comparing this to area of effect spells like Cleansing Flare- note that Cleansing Flare specifically says it can harm models in combat, which is why it can harm models in combat. Burning Head has no allowance. The comparison to a bouncing cannonball is also vey flawed, as when you pick what you're aiming a cannon at, you cannot pick a model in close combat.


You don't cast it 'at' anything. You cast it, and once cast you chose the 'at'.

Words fail me...

Areku
16-01-2009, 18:26
It is nice that Cleansing Flare states that it hits units in combat. From the way the spell (Burning Skull) is worded, it seems like it would work more like a warp lightning cannon's shot (minus the going through terrain part) however, it is not worded like that. I guess it's more up to interpretation, does "all models in the path" actually mean ALL models, friend or foe? That's how I'd play it, but if worse comes to worse I guess dice off until we get an actual ruling.

I mean, I'd look at it more this way. Imagine the Burning Skull is a huge train. It travels a set distance on its track and any poor souls who happen to be standing on those tracks and rudely awoken to the fact they simply shouldn't have been there.

Granted, a train is more likely to kill you, but I think I'd be severely injured if I got hit by a flying skull made of fire. Unless it was Thursday of course. That's when I wear heavy armor and shield for my walk past those pesky elves in the woods on my way to get soda.

Condottiere
16-01-2009, 20:05
If friendly models are in the way, then they get hit; the question is over legal targets, eg, I read somewhere else a proposal to shoot it through Dragon Princes, being invulnerable to fire attacks.

Fellblade
16-01-2009, 20:45
I'd say no to using the ring. The Magic section is pretty specific that a spell must say it can be used against a target in combat or else it can not. If the warrior priest was on the outside edge of the unit I wouldn't have a problem with his firing the ring off to a flank at another unit nearby... assuming it doesn't need line of sight.

I don't have my rulebook in front of me, but is there still a section dealing with templates and such that accidentally scatter into combat? It used to be hits on fighting ranks were randomized, I don't recall if this section of the rules is still in 7th ed or not. Assuming it is, and assuming you can use your ring while in combat, you'll be subject to that rule as well.

Neckutter
16-01-2009, 21:29
the problem is that when you read the spell's effect, it isnt cast "at a unit" it is cast and makes a line of flaming hits. NO WHERE in the spell is it said "target unit" or "cast on a unit" or "units with 18 inches" or anything of the sort. it is cast in a direction only.

and as i said previously, RAW+FAQ no one gets any MR from this spell.

TheDarkDaff
16-01-2009, 22:23
@ Neckcutter - they aren't talking about MR. The BRB specifically says you can't cast spells at units in combat unless otherwise specified.

Where does Burning Head specify it can be cast at units in combat? Remember (as so many others where so keen to point out to me in the MR thread) "at" is not the same as "target" which is different from "affect". All 3 are (apparently) separately defined terms.

Fellblade
16-01-2009, 23:15
the problem is that when you read the spell's effect, it isnt cast "at a unit" it is cast and makes a line of flaming hits.
That part doesn't matter. The only part that matters is if it the spell says it can be used on units in close combat. If it doesn't say it can, it doesn't matter where you draw the line, when you measure, or if its "targeted" "affected" or whatever... you can't use it.
This is the same for cannonballs and stonethrowers. You can aim them near combat, perhaps hoping they'll scatter into it, but if a melee is about 24" away you can't point a stonethrower at the combat and guess 24", regardless if there's a unit standing 18" or 30" on the same vector. Guess 18" or 30" and hope for your desired result.

Neckutter
16-01-2009, 23:37
both fellblade and the dark daff: read the spell and how it works. does it say you cast the spell at a unit?

i thought so.

Nurgling Chieftain
17-01-2009, 00:17
You say that like you think it matters. :eyebrows: "At a unit" is a simple enough concept to not require being spelled out explicitly any time it is invoked. Would you claim that a spell "targeting" a unit is not "at" a unit on the same grounds?

Neckutter
17-01-2009, 00:21
i think it does matter. casting a spell "at" something means targetting or casting at a unit.
otherwise what does "at" mean?
the spell just says to point in a direction, and it doesnt say to target anything at all. the caster of the spell could cast it backwards if they wanted to.

EDIT: yay 400 posts. 300 of which are rules arguments like this. :)

Necromancy Black
17-01-2009, 00:49
i think it does matter. casting a spell "at" something means targetting or casting at a unit.
otherwise what does "at" mean?
the spell just says to point in a direction, and it doesnt say to target anything at all. the caster of the spell could cast it backwards if they wanted to.

EDIT: yay 400 posts. 300 of which are rules arguments like this. :)

Yay for arguing!


Also, at no point does burning head say it's casted at anything. You simply pick a direction and anything it touches is hit. The spell even says this is resvoled much like a bouncing cannon ball. So why shouldn't it go through units in close combat?
Buring Iron can be cast into close combat without specificly saying it can, just that it has no targeting restrictions. Why wouldn't the wording "resolved like a bouncing cannonball" give reason for a similiar path, only this time it's not casting "into" combat (it's not casted at anything) but reaching combat.

Areku
17-01-2009, 01:23
See, here's the problem with the "in combat" argument. The spell clearly states that all models in the path are hit. Simply put, if you're in the path, you get hit. There's no way to fight it. Like I said before, imagine a train.

If a train is rushing towards you and you're smack dab in the middle of the tracks, does it really matter if you're slap fighting your friend who is slightly off the tracks? The train will hit you either way.

TheDarkDaff
17-01-2009, 01:29
And the problem with your analogy is if you are fighting your friend the train tracks can't be there.

Areku
17-01-2009, 01:34
Of course the tracks can be there. What would prevent them from being there? In reality, any part of the battlefield could be the tracks, and in turn the battlefield is one gigantic track. Clearly, the person in question decided to stand in the wrong spot. If *all* models in the way are affected it doesn't matter whether they're fighting, sleeping, picking their nose, or crying to their mothers. They're affected regardless.

Fellblade
17-01-2009, 01:38
Also, at no point does burning head say it's casted at anything. You simply pick a direction and anything it touches is hit. The spell even says this is resvoled much like a bouncing cannon ball. So why shouldn't it go through units in close combat?
You shouldn't for the same reason you are not allowed to point your cannon or stone thrower at a close combat and fire it. Yes, it can sometimes happen that a cannonball or thrown stone does land in combat, but such things can only happen by accident. Pointing a burning skull directly at a unit is not an accident because you have absolute control over its direction and range.
The magic section is very specific about casting spells into combat. The spell must specifically say it can. For example, if Cleansing Flare DIDN'T say it could affect units in close combat you couldn't cast it if there was a melee within 12" of your wizard.

You're right, burning head doesn't say it's cast at anything and you are welcome to cast it anywhere you want so long as that 18" line doesn't cross a close combat because there are other rules to prevent it. If the spell said "This spell may be cast into close combat," we wouldn't even be having the discussion. Hell, GW had to errata Invocation of Nehek to allow VC to cast that into combat because they forget to print it!

Necromancy Black
17-01-2009, 01:50
Ok, where on earth does it say that a cannon can not aim at close combat? All I see is a rule saying you must be able to see the model you want to line up with and then point the cannon at them. The overall shooting rules for warmchaines only says that normally you use your BS skill of the crew to shoot, but that obviosuly doesn't apply here.

Secondarly where is the rule saying I'm restricted in which direction I can fire off Burning Head? Cause to me it looks like there isn't any in any rule anywhere. Like you said, it's not catsed at anything, I just pick a direction and away it goes. I'm not casting at any unit, model, terrain feature or anything else. If it goes through combat, it goes through combat just like a cannon ball, that's the rules.

And on the matter of it not saying it can be casted into close combat, it still ahs the cannon ball like rules, which do allow for going through combat. As I said before, Buring Iron has no rule to be cast into close combat, but as the FAQ showed, the existing wording actually had the rules to allow it. I don't see how this is different (so much for GW making the expections specific)

Fellblade
17-01-2009, 02:23
pg26: Units are not normally allowed to shoot against enemy units that are engaged in close combat. (Skaven being the big exception here)

The paragraph right below that talks about accidental (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/accidental) hits on units in combat.


pg107: Wizards cannot cast spells at units engaged in close combat, unless the spell only affects the caster himself or the spell's description specifies otherwise. (ie. no shooting a burning head into combat)

You have absolute control over the Burning Head spell, so there is no way hitting a combat could ever be accidental.

EvC
17-01-2009, 02:29
Stop with the Burning Iron red herring Necromancy Black, it does you no favours. There's a reason Rule of Burning Iron is allowed to be cast into combat and you KNOW it. The wording for that spell specifically states that it can hit anything whatsoever with no targeting restrictions, and so when the FAQ stated it can be cast into combat, they were saying that if a spell lists "no targeting restrictions", then that includes casting into combat.

Burning Head does not say anything even remotely like it has no targeting restrictions, and it is foolish (to say the least!) to suggest that this is in any way analogous to Burning Head.

Your general argument does have some merit, but I'd suggest you leave out the rubbish if you intend to convince anyone beyond the most suggestible readers in this thread ;)

Necromancy Black
17-01-2009, 03:33
I honestly think there is merit the the cannonball past of the spell description and a relation to the ruling for Buring Iron. Buring iron was an issue because you were definitly targeting something in close combat, and I maintain that buring head has no target. The part of the rules for the bouncing cannon ball are what gives the arguement that it can be shot into close combat more merit. If that wasn't there I wouldn't have as much to argue for my interpretation of the rules.

The main issue I'm actually having with this spell is way it appears that people argue that it can't be cast at close combat, but if it accedently hits it that's fine?!

It's just not clear cut enough, and it's exploitible.
Hmm, I really need to reduce that enemy in combat by 1 to get rid of rank/outnumbering before combat. Well, they look kinda 18" away, so if I move my wizard I could angle burning head into this unengaged unit and might pull off an accedental hit on them.
Extremely bad sportmenship, but I can see it happening. Not really game breaking, but it could make the difference in close games (roll a 6, 2 wounds of a treeman).

personally, I'll be 100% with either of the following:
1) Burning head can affect units in close combat if accedently hit, and can therefor be cast into close combat
2) burning head can not affect units in close combat, effectly stopping the spell when it reaches them, and can not be cast into close combat

The first one is closer to RAW as we can all agree there's nothing to support burning head stopping for anything, but it still has allt he issues of affecting close combat and if it really targets anything or nothing at all.

As Fellblade said, there is no way a burning head hit could be accedental, so why allow it to affect close combat in circumstance but not another? This is why I was argueing spells Clensing Flare could not trigger MR. Sometimes you know for sure the unit's in range, others you don't. Do you allow MR all the time, some of the time or none of the time (remember you can't measure until the spells already off). For me the rules support none of the time, and here I believe they support casting towards close combat. The spell has no target, isn't cast at anything. Just pick a directiona dn away it goes. Why let it affect close combat and then directly forbit against it in other circumstances?

Shamfrit
17-01-2009, 04:07
I'm in the school of 'template' spell, and that it can be cast into combat as long as it doesn't hit your own men, since you pick the direction after casting (as far as I'm aware) you can then line up the shot as it were to avoid your own people.

If you do it the other way around (which is silly) then you could accidentaly clip your own guy at the tail end of the spell distance, but this isn't how the spell works.

It is clear in it's description stating it's a 'pick a direction, burn' type of spell, a bit like Black Horror is a 'pick a point,' you could clip your own units if you so desired, you're never at any point casting Burning Head into combat, nor are you specifying a target as being in combat.

Or does everybody want the obvious written under every spell?

Necromancy Black
17-01-2009, 04:11
Wait, since when can a spell be cast into close combat because it's a template? Other wise i agree with you the spell is neither at nor into close combat, although I would say you might have to declare the direction of the spell before casting (it doesn't really say when you declare the direction)

Shamfrit
17-01-2009, 04:27
Breath Weapon spells I was thinking of in particular.

But by 'template' not template I meant it hits everything under it in a certain pre-specified area.

The intention behind the 'no shooting into combat' and 'no magic into combat' I thought was to avoid hitting your own troops.

But this spell should never jeapordise your own people...so?

Condottiere
17-01-2009, 06:13
I think the rule of not shooting into combat might have been justified by not trying to hit your own troops, but the real reason would be to avoid abusively lobbying missiles to cut down a stalled enemy formation.

The loophole was if it happened by accident.

If it does happen by accident, precisiely where in the BRB is it written that hits must be randomized?

Fellblade
17-01-2009, 06:21
The intention behind the 'no shooting into combat' and 'no magic into combat' I thought was to avoid hitting your own troops.

But this spell should never jeapordise your own people...so?
That might be the fluff explanation, but the reason is more simple than that: Because the rules say so.
(Fluff says "swirling melee" too, not orderly rank&file fighting.)

I'm of the school that template spells can not be used on units in combat because per the rules their description must SAY they can. If it does, the point is already moot.

At the moment, the only spell I can think of that could accidentally hit your own troops is Comet. If you drop the marker within 1" of a close combat I'd probably question the legality of it. If you place the marker somewhere and the comet falls 3 turns later when there was a close combat on the spot... well, that's what I'd classify as "accidental".
Off the top of my head I can't think of any relevant "breath weapon" spells. (Pestilent Breath doesn't count)

If you want to pin an enemy unit in place and blast it with spells, play Skaven.


If it does happen by accident, precisiely where in the BRB is it written that hits must be randomized?
I looked when I got home. I think the randomizing part was removed in 7th edition which is good news for my warpfire throwers.

Necromancy Black
17-01-2009, 06:37
At the moment, the only spell I can think of that could accidentally hit your own troops is Comet. If you drop the marker within 1" of a close combat I'd probably question the legality of it. If you place the marker somewhere and the comet falls 3 turns later when there was a close combat on the spot... well, that's what I'd classify as "accidental".
Off the top of my head I can't think of any relevant "breath weapon" spells. (Pestilent Breath doesn't count)


How can you argue the legallity of placing a marker when the spell says I can place it anywhere? Besides, The comit doesn't affect close combat, it has no rules or wording to argue that it can (and before you say it, I've already said I see the burning head text providing reason to affect close combat)

Fellblade
17-01-2009, 06:54
I said I'd question the Comet issue, I didn't say for fact it was illegal.
I would question it because if you place the marker within 1" of a close combat you are attempting to bypass the targeting rules for magic. Within 1" makes it a sure thing if it lands... but that's the catch, "if" it lands.
The intent is clearly to hit the combat which violates the rules, but intent is hard to rule on especially with an unpredictable spell like Comet.

Thus, its questionable. The Burning Head, on the other hand, is cut&dry.

Necromancy Black
17-01-2009, 07:32
Sorry, I took "question the legality" as meaning you take the move as illegal :p

But you missed my point. I can cast the comet at any fixed point on the table. That point could be on top of several units in close combat, that's fine...if they move the comet won't. Also, the comet can not affect units in close combat, so even if it did go off, the untis in close combat would not be affected.
The only question this move brings up is why your oppanant is wasting his spell? I can see them waiting for the combat to finish and hit the remaining unit, but that's about it.

Draconian77
17-01-2009, 08:03
As soon as you say "Burning Head can be cast in combat" don't you open an entirely new problem of allowing Black Horror to be cast in combat aswell?

I going to say that it can't be cast in combat for the reasons that have been argued by others.

To be honest a few S4 hits without an applicable panic test probably won't be game changing, but I don't think we should set a precedent for casting spells into combat.

Flailing-Axes
17-01-2009, 09:02
I think burning head hits units in close combat. page 26 does indeed say that 'units are not normally allowed to shoot against units engaged in close combat'.

But the next thing it says is : '-the risk of hitting their own comrades is far too high'

...

...

Burning head hits friendly units anyway, so that rule is worth null in this arguement. If you're in the way, you get hit. That's what logic tells you. I don't think a huge flaming skull is just going to skillfully curve around you because you're already fighting something.

EDIT: The burning head is resolved much in the same way as a bouncing cannonball. Cannonball- Short of impassible terrain, nothing can stop a cannonball.

Condottiere
17-01-2009, 09:55
Part of the problem is that you aren't allowed to deliberately shoot a cannonball into combat, unless it happens to "overshoot".

Flailing-Axes
18-01-2009, 10:26
You don't deliberately shoot a Burning Head into combat either, because you don't say a target.

Zeuy
16-04-2009, 03:18
Hopefully this thread is recent enough for this to not be threadomancy. :P The way I look at it, it says a "bouncing cannon ball" and the spell doesn't target anything. Bouncing cannon balls can go into combat, so Burning Head can hit units in combat.

Nurgling Chieftain
16-04-2009, 05:09
Pretty shaky analogy. A cannon can bounce accidentally into combat, but can't be aimed directly at a model in combat. The restriction on spells is "at", and burning head is definitely cast at things, given that it has the one fundamental requirement of "at": a direction.