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The SkaerKrow
25-07-2009, 08:03
Over on Druchii.net we've been embroiled in a long discussion about how charges with Monsters and Handlers units are resolved.

One camp maintains that since the Handlers are completely ignored during the charge, the Dark Elf Beastmasters are able to be placed in a position that allows them to enter base contact with an enemy unit on 25mm/50mm bases without exposing themselves to their opponent's attacks (as opponents in base contact with the Hydra and the Handlers must attack the Hydra). The other says that they must be placed in a fashion that causes maximization (even though they're ignored during the charge move), which will expose them to attacks from opposing units.

After flipping through all of the relevant sections in the rulebook, I've come up with the following resolution to this question.

For starters, we check the rules for a charge...

Page 21, Little Rulebook (LRB), under Manoeuvring During a Charge
"When a unit charges an enemy, the player must endeavour to bring the maximum number of models from both sides into combat."

The bolded portion of the text is important, because it trumps the wording of resolving a charge from Skirmishers.

Page 65, LRB, under Charging
"All models within charge reach are moved individually towards their foe and arranged into a fighting line.

When the maximum number of models has been brought into base-to-base contact with the side charged (including models fighting corner to corner), remaining skirmishers will begin to form up in ranks behind the first line of models in base contact with the enemy."

The first part is important, as it explains how you should rank up a Skirmish unit after the charge. The second part actually causes some ambiguity, because it does not indicate that the Skirmishing unit must be positioned to maximize the number of models from the opposing unit that are brought into the combat, only from its own side. This would allow the Handlers to shelter next to the Hydra, however it is trumped by the rule of charging, which compels you to maximize combatants from both sides.

Page 67, LRB, under Monsters and Handlers

"When charging or being charged though, the handlers are completely ignored (as if they were not there) and the monster is the only model that matters. The monster's arc of sight and flank/rear are used to determine arc of sight for charges and the relative position of a charging enemy as well as any charge distance...

Once the monster is in contact with the enemy, form the handlers up with the monster in the same way as you would for a unit of skirmishers. They will fight as normal in the ensuing fight."

The monster is the only unit that matters during a charge, as the handlers are ignored. However, when it comes time to move the handlers into combat, we must use the rules for skirmishers. As the handlers are never considered to be out of charge range (the Hydra's distance to the target is all that matters), they must be positioned as skirmishers, either in a battle line, maximizing the combatants on both sides or in base contact with the rear of another model in the unit if there is no frontage available to them (because the model is on a smaller base than the Hydra). Even though the handlers themselves have not "charged" in a conventional sense, their unit has charged and so they are still bound to the rules that dictate the maximization of both units. There is no option available to them that would allow them to not maximize the number of enemy models in the combat, despite the fact that they're ignored during the initial charge. The only potential pitfall of this is the phrase "form the handlers up with the monster," which could mean that both handlers must be placed in base contact with the monster (and not each other), though honestly I don't believe that the terminology is strong enough in this instance to indicate such an exclusion.

So, by my estimation it seems that the (seemingly more popular) interpretation of the Monsters and Handlers rules is wrong, and that the Handlers will always be able to be hit if they end up in combat with a unit that has at least a 70mm frontage (assuming any models in the fighting rank survive combat and are able to strike at the stray Beastmaster). Does anyone see any logic faults with this?

Kal Taron
25-07-2009, 08:46
As the handlers are never considered to be out of charge range (the Hydra's distance to the target is all that matters),
I don't subscribe to this because IMO the handler CAN be out of range (just like part of a skirmisher unit) and in this case you could legally place them behind the hydra. Otherwise I'd say you are correct.

Condottiere
25-07-2009, 15:30
The version that seems most correct is to maximize contact on one side, in order to allow the attacker at least one shot at the handlers.

Necromancy Black
25-07-2009, 23:44
Ignore the handlers for the charge, treat it as charging a lone monster as normal. Afterwards brings the handlers back and if they can be brought into base contact they must be. If not, rank them up behind the hydra.

EvC
27-07-2009, 11:58
I think you've got it right- it's not a simple case by any means, but yeah, maximise for both sides wherever possible, seems to be a fundamental rule as far as the rules are concerned.

willowdark
27-07-2009, 14:00
The fact that the handlers can't be attacked is part of the Hydra rules, not the BRB M&Hs rules, so doesn't matter.

Insisting that the Beastmasters have to rank up in a way that makes them a legal target is an invention to make it _seem_ more fair, but is not supported in the rules. The BMs would still be in base contact according to the rules, but protected by the Hydra according to their specific special rules.

narrativium
27-07-2009, 14:47
I ran into this situation on Saturday: my opponent charged his Hydra into my Flesh Hounds, front to front. We maximised as follows (h for handler, H for Hydra, F and f for Flesh Hounds, to identify where two are adjacent):

FfFfF
FfFfF
hhHH
HH
HH
He attacked first. His handlers killed one Flesh Hound. The one removed is taken from the end of the unit... which means the only one which could have attacked the Handlers back, as four can only target the Hydra?
Or did I have the option to keep a Hound in contact with Handlers only?

HereticLosMorte
27-07-2009, 15:05
I ran into this situation on Saturday: my opponent charged his Hydra into my Flesh Hounds, front to front. We maximised as follows (h for handler, H for Hydra, F and f for Flesh Hounds, to identify where two are adjacent):

FfFfF
FfFfF
hhHH
HH
HH
He attacked first. His handlers killed one Flesh Hound. The one removed is taken from the end of the unit... which means the only one which could have attacked the Handlers back, as four can only target the Hydra?
Or did I have the option to keep a Hound in contact with Handlers only?

incorrect. the hound would have to attack the hydra, as in the DE army book, hydra rules, it states that all attacks must be made against the hydra only, the handlers are ignored (using hydra to hide from attacks back <shield>)

only way you can kill handlers would be templates, possible magic or shooting that is capable of directly targeting a single model, or fanatics, etc

willowdark
27-07-2009, 15:07
Sorry buddy, but the handlers are only ignored if you have the option to attack the Hydra. If the only legal target of a models attacks is a handler, then it's fair game.

HereticLosMorte
27-07-2009, 15:17
Sorry buddy, but the handlers are only ignored if you have the option to attack the Hydra. If the only legal target of a models attacks is a handler, then it's fair game.

if the model is adjacent to the hydra, it can still attack. seeing as you remove casualties from back to front, and outside to inside, his hounds would have lost their outermost model still leaving the 4 others to be in range of said hydra.

F F F F F
h hHH
....HH
....HH originally

X F F F F
h h HH
.....HH
.....HH after.

therefore, the 4 hounds would be adjacent to the hydra, and therefore would need to direct their attacks only on it.

willowdark
27-07-2009, 15:26
That's not what you said. You said that the BMs can never be attacked in close combat, which was incorrect. In this case, I've already advocated that the Fleshhounds wouldn't have been able to attack the handler for all the reasons that you just gave. But your earlier post was still incorrect.

HereticLosMorte
27-07-2009, 15:33
That's not what you said. You said that the BMs can never be attacked in close combat, which was incorrect. In this case, I've already advocated that the Fleshhounds wouldn't have been able to attack the handler for all the reasons that you just gave. But your earlier post was still incorrect.

in the case where the lineup extends past hitting the hydra, yes, i'm guessing you can.

generally speaking, most times you won't come across a large front unit, and so you won't be able to attack the handlers

EvC
27-07-2009, 15:36
As has been shown in the very example you've been discussing, all it takes is for a unit as wide as 5 cavalry models for one of the cavalry to be in base contact with only a Hydra. Just imagine that in the example given the Handlers didn't kill a Flesh Hound, then you've got a situation where you can attack a Handler in close combat. Also a unit on small bases that is 6-wide can do it.

willowdark
27-07-2009, 15:43
I think the question at hand however is whether the Handlers are required to align in such a way as to make them legal targets for the fleshhounds/knights/etc. The answer should be no since the BRB gives no restrictions to alignment other than maximizing b-t-b, which the BMs can do without making themselves targets.

EvC
27-07-2009, 15:46
How can it be maximising base contact if you're not maximising base contact however? The rules for aligning skirmishers say to place them in contact with the enemy, and refer you to the section on charging skirmishers for details on how to do so, which tell you that contact has to be maximised for both sides. If you are charged by 5 Flesh Hounds and can align your Hydra and Handlers so that 4 or 5 Flesh Hounds are in contact, only one of those numbers is maximised.

xragg
27-07-2009, 17:32
The monster is the only unit that matters during a charge, as the handlers are ignored. However, when it comes time to move the handlers into combat, we must use the rules for skirmishers. As the handlers are never considered to be out of charge range (the Hydra's distance to the target is all that matters), they must be positioned as skirmishers, either in a battle line, maximizing the combatants on both sides or in base contact with the rear of another model in the unit if there is no frontage available to them (because the model is on a smaller base than the Hydra).

I dont see where you get the rule I made red. As you stated, the monster is all that matters for determining a successful charge, but nothing guarantees their handlers this same right. Following the rules for skirmishers, after the charge is determined successful (by the closest model), the other models are all mearsured independently to determine if they are in charge reach or not. Models not with reach are placed into ranks behind the ones that could reach. It is very possible for a DE player to have his hydra 11" away from his target with the handlers in the rear, meaning only the hydra will make the charge and fight.

rtunian
27-07-2009, 17:36
exactly

that the hydra is the "only model that matters" concerning whether the charge is in range or not doesn't mean that the handlers are assumed to be in range if the hydra is.

it means that even if a handler is in range, if the hydra is not in range the charge can't be completed.

the handlers still follow the charge rules for skirmishers

EvC
27-07-2009, 19:14
I think the Chaos Warrior FAQ also clarifies that point, that it's possible for the Hellcannon to charge a target and the crew to be out of range and so to rank up behind it. Same principle for the Hydra- it's just far less likely to happen :)

Kalandros
27-07-2009, 20:27
Case 1:

War Hydra vs Dark Riders
The Dark Riders charge the Hydra and place 4 in contact with the War Hydra
The Hydra's owner MUST place the 2 Handlers in such a way that the 5th Dark Rider is in base contact with the combat - this is by the rules, skirmishers must maximize base contact with the enemy.

Case 2:

War Hydra vs Warriors
The War Hydra charges and is placed in contact with 4 Warriors (frontage of 50mm can contact at most 4 20mm models, leaving the 5th model untouched)
The Handlers form up as they are within 12" of the enemy (their charge reach) making contact with the 5th model

Case 3:

War Hydra vs Goblin Chariot
The War Hydra charges and is placed in contact with the Chariot.
The Handlers are outside their charge reach and are thus placed behind the War Hydra


HOW IS ANY OF THIS HARD, PEOPLE?!

Ugh. Pretty clear by the rules.

willowdark
27-07-2009, 22:37
The rules only say to maximize Base to Base contact. If the BMs line up on either side of the Hydra the only Cav bases that will be in BtB with them will also be in BtB with the Hydra, so can only attack it.

There is nothing in the rules that says you have to align so that at least one cav base can attack the BM. Lining up in such a way that the BMs will not be a legal target is perfectly within the restrictions of the rules, since the BRB doesn't mention or factor the Hydra's special rules.

The army book takes precedent.

Kalandros
27-07-2009, 22:44
You're bad at reading comprehension, you HAVE to put the handlers in base contact wth the enemy in such a way as the majority of enemy models are in base contact with the close combat.

You cannot avoid this.

5 25mm bases will have 4 in contact with the War Hydra, 1 who can strike at the handlers
you CANNOT avoid this, if you try to - you are cheating.

To maximise base-to-base contact means to bring the largest amount of models into the combat.
Stop cheating ffs.

rtunian
28-07-2009, 01:25
last time i checked, someone misunderstanding a rule or a posited scenario was not an excuse for you to be a jerk.

after all, this is a rules forum, a purpose of which is to help people who are confused about rules.

stripsteak
28-07-2009, 02:24
actually you can line up so 2 cav can attack the handlers just line them up on the center of their units with handlers on both sides of the hydra. see attached

5 cav in combat, hydra and both handler in contact.

Kalandros
28-07-2009, 02:53
No, as to connect the charge you IGNORE the handlers and as you have to maximize base contact, the Hydra will connect to 4 Cavalry first, then the handlers form up.

stripsteak
28-07-2009, 03:14
No the cav would touch the hydra using the hydra to base facing range psych etc. once the touch is made(pg 67 'once the monster is in contact..') to the hydra the unit is then ranked up as per the skirmishing rules on page 67. so it is possible ot line up as above.

rtunian
28-07-2009, 03:31
please refer to the rules for charging against skirmishers:


the enemy is brought into base contact with the closest visible skirmisher, as per a normal charge, except that the enemy is not aligned against the skirmishing model. the skirmishers ... lining up alongside the enemy's front.

combine this bold portion with the portion of the monster & handler's rules which states that the monster is the only model considered when handling the charge. this means that even if a handler is closer to the enemy than the monster, the monster is still the one that they line up with as per a normal charge (including the caveat about maximizing contact), and then after the units are touching, you form the handlers up to the front of the attacking unit, as per the normal rules for skirmishers.

if there are 5 cav charging a hydra & 2 beastmasters, 4 cav have to touch the hydra before the beastmasters are considered, because that is how a normal charge would happen against the hydra, ignoring the beastmasters. once the contact is made, the beastmasters are brought up, but they have to be brought up to maximize contact (because that is the normal way to form up skirmishers), which means two on whichever side bears the 5th cav. it must be this way, because any other way would leave the 5th out of b2b, which is not maximizing contact.

kalandros is absolutely right, on the rules for this

willowdark
28-07-2009, 13:07
Hmmm. Lining both BMs up on one side will bring one more cav base into contact, so is the required way of doing it. I overlooked that fact, thinking that the same number would be in contact either way.

Kalandros' post was ugly, but I concede to his interpretation, which is the reason I spend time on an internet forum, to learn the rules better.

EvC
28-07-2009, 15:19
I thought I'd already explained it to you with absolute clarity several posts ago. Just goes to show, the softly-softly approach does NOT work, you have to keep shouting at people and insulting their intellgence until they finally get it.

HereticLosMorte
28-07-2009, 15:47
yep, and with that being said, if the handlers manage to kill off a model, it must be taken from one they are in contact with, so the only choice would be the outermost model. this means that for the remaining combat, they would not be attackable again, until the hydra is removed.

EvC
28-07-2009, 16:01
Also another good reason for having the Handlers both placed on one side of the Hydra- what would happen if the Hydra died, you'd have a big gap and the two Hndlers would be separated and lose their formation!

HereticLosMorte
28-07-2009, 17:53
Also another good reason for having the Handlers both placed on one side of the Hydra- what would happen if the Hydra died, you'd have a big gap and the two Hndlers would be separated and lose their formation!


i hadn't even considered that!
good eye!

xragg
28-07-2009, 22:42
It would be no different then when you have a character in between 2 rank/file models when only 3 models are left in the unit. When the character dies, one of the rank/file models move into his place (at least this is the way we play, I assume it is RAW, but never had to need to look such a thing up)