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FLUEVOG
09-01-2010, 16:19
The Swan-of-War Shuffle, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Change Formation

Let me predicate that this is simply an attempt to increase the value of core Empire infantry and a tactic that I've found useful in my recent games. It is not an automatic "I Win" button nor a fail-safe counter to all the roxor!!1! uberlists you can devise. Please take it as it is - a fellow gamer's experience


The Swan-of-War Shuffle is a defensive tactic that allows an Empire general to reshape his infantry battle line using the Change Formation maneuver. It involves a parent unit, a missile-detachment and a melee-detachment; all deployed 15 models wide.

For the first few turns, the parent unit holds steady while a missile-detachment rains fire on enemy units, pressuring them into a charge. Once an opposing charge in imminent, all three units Change Formation into traditional 5-wide blocks: the parent unit set to take the charge, the melee-detachment poised to countercharge and missile-detachment whisked out of harm’s way.

The Units

The basic Swan-of-War Shuffle involves a 30-strong parent unit and one to two 15-strong detachments - at least one being a missile detachment. All units are deployed one behind the other with a 1" gap in-between.

First, the missile-detachment is deployed in a single rank, 15 models wide. Behind them is the parent unit, also deployed 15 models wide but two ranks deep. Finally, the melee-detachment is deployed immediately behind the parent unit - also in a single rank, 15 models wide. All three units should line up vertically as it is important when they begin changing formation.

Due to the distances moved, this works for models on 20mm bases and with Move 4. Larger-based models (e.g. 25 mm) could possible use a version of this tactic as well - two units deployed 10 wide or perhaps if they have a higher Move than 4.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War001.jpg
Here, a unit of enemy Greatswords has marched to within 5", having just suffered 3 turns of Crossbow fire. Now is the time to Change Formation. The statue in the Swordsmen is a unit filler from a Harry Potter chess-set. Sorry about the unpainted Free Company, they're skulking in the back to hide their black-primer shame. Also sorry about the yellow lighting and poor pics - Seattle in January is plagued with a constant cover of storm-clouds and oppression.

Changing Formation

The Change Formation maneuver allows a unit of troops to change its formation by adding or removing models from the front rank. By surrendering half of its move, the unit can add/deduct five models to/from its front rank, or it may add/deduct up to ten models by surrendering all of its other movement for that phase.

Unlike the other maneuvers, Change Formation does not require the unit to reform around its central point. This is very important – they can rank up behind any five models in their front rank. By deploying models in a 15-wide line (approx. 12” wide), the player can choose to “shuffle” that unit to anywhere along that 12” line, reforming behind the leftmost five, the center five, the rightmost five or any combination in between. This allows them to scoot missile-detachments out of the way of oncoming chargers and prepare the main block and melee-detachments to receive the charge.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War002.jpghttp://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War003.jpghttp://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War005.jpghttp://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War006.jpg

As you can see, it is very important to begin Shuffling from the back unit and working your way forward. This allows space for the troops to move, units to form and sticklers can't ding you for trying to move through your own units. Also, since the units will end up flush, movement trays shouldn't be used at this time. It takes awhile to move all the models by hand - something to consider when under the time constraints of a tourney.

If, in their turn, your opponent chooses to charge the main block, simply Stand and Hold with the Swordsmen, Countercharge with the Free Company and give Supporting Fire with the Crossbows. Should your opponent choose to charge the Crossbows instead, flee. This will position the enemy unit to be charged in your next turn by the Swordsmen and flanked by the Free Company's supporting charge. The measuring tape shows that they are both well within range.

Forming the 30-Wide Unit

A big point on contention is forming the 30-wide unit: namely, no model moving more than 8". Some extremely bright people have proven it can be done with Euclidean geometrey, but the following pictures show how I do it. I've divided up my unit into groups of five, using different models for each group to show where they end up. I'll keep these pictures large so you can track them.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War007.jpg

The outer two models, the white-primer Standard Bearer and bare plastic Swordsman, have to move the farthest. By my measuring tape, they're both moving 8" to their new positions. Someone has pointed out that a conversion calculator reports this distance as 8.02", I haven't verified it for myself but if your opponent is going to balk at a .02" discrepancy, there are bigger issues at hand.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War008.jpg

This last image shows the final placement of all 30 models: 5 x 6 wide.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb217/Mospaeda/Swan-of-War009.jpg

Where to Deploy?

At least 6.5" is needed to change formation. This means the first missile-detachment should be deployed anywhere from 7" - 11" in from the board edge. If you expect to face foot-slogging infantry units, I would deploy closer to the 7" line. This will put 29" between the unit and enemies, granting at least three turns of shooting before having to reform.

Deploying 15-wide is important to this strategy for many reasons:
- Since no model may move more that twice it's Move value (in this case, 8”), 15-wide allows units to change formation as needed without breaking this rule.
- The units reform into 5-wide blocks, which allows them to move out of each other’s way and react to oncoming chargers as needed.
- Units are able to “sideways step” four times further than using the Turn maneuver.
- The player is able to fire fifteen missile shots from his main battle line from turn one.
- It looks cool (this is paramount).

Which Troops to Use?

In general, Crossbowmen are the best choice for the missile detachment. Their superior range allows everyone to deploy as far as 30" away from the enemy and still pose a threat. Handgunners, with their shorter 24" range, must wait until the enemy advances before they can even shoot. Archers may also be used - their skirmish formation provides better protection from incoming fire - but they also suffer from 24" range bows, not to mention Str 3.

For the parent unit, I recommend Swordsmen or Spearmen. The Attack-in-Ranks rule allows Spearmen to throw back more attacks into the charging unit, but their lack of 4+ Save (Handweapon + Shield) and lower WS means they will lose more models than the Swordsmen. My Mathhammer shows both units to net about the same, but your mileage may vary and it's really up to your personal taste. Greatswords are another viable option but a general must weigh the additional cost and Special slot they occupy.

Free Company make up my countercharge unit – I like the ten attacks they can pump out on the countercharge. But really any other State Troop besides Spearmen are good for this role. Those looking for a chance to be fluffy can squeeze some Halberdiers in here and have them perform quite nicely.

Strengths / Weaknesses

Strengths -
- Versatility in deployment. The Shuffle is more forgiving against poor match-ups. Generals have a 12" zone they can reposition their units within.
- Utilizes core troops.
- Missile units aren't regulated to two-ranks-on-a-hill; they can provide screening and firepower while not causing panic if they flee.
- Novelty. Opposing generals may hesitate before engaging for the first time, allowing more turns to fire at them or position hammer units.

Weaknesses -
- Parent unit still suffers from typical Empire psychology, the detachments mitigate this somewhat by not causing Panic if they flee.
- Template weapons have a greater chance of hitting all three units.
- Requires 12" of free space to be effective: terrain in the deployment zone can cause issues.
- Total unit cost is 400 pts, which can be expensive depending on the size of game.

Character Support

Obviously, the parent unit will have reduced line-of-sight when deployed this way. Heroes that are attached for their Leadership boost (Generals, BSBs, Captains, etc) won't suffer much, but if you're like me and station your Battle Wizards in these blocks, you will want to rethink your Lores.

For those generals willing to assume the risk, a Wizard can be deployed inside the missile-detachment in order to cast spells and then moved back to the safety of the parent unit as the enemy draws near.

While in the parent unit, line-of-sight will be blocked to most other units on the ground unless the Wizard is moved to the end. However, he can still see elevated and Large units, which means not all his spells are hamstrung. Heavens could be a good Lore here as the default spell can buff the missile-detachment, Celestial Wind can enhance its value as a screen, and both the lightning spells can target opposing units on hills. A Brown Wizard with Beast Cowers would also do well as the spell does not require LoS and would hinder cavalry/monsters rushing your line.

Variants

I've thought about adding Flagellants to the mix, but have not yet had the chance to try them out. By squeezing them between the missile-detachment and parent unit (e.g. Crossbows, Flagellants, Swordsmen), one could drop the melee-detachment. The flagellants could change formation as needed to accept the charge and would likely survive until the next turn. However, due to the swordsmen's placement in the front arc, another hammer unit (such as knights) would be needed to flank the enemy.

On a Grander Scale

A Swan-of-War unit costs 400 points and needs a 12" x 7" square to operate. Two such units form a nice 2-foot chunk of infantry that can be mutually supportive. Positioning a Helblaster between the two and a brace of units of vanilla knights (5 knights + musician, one on each flank) can pose a formidable battle line.

For those with truly brass yarbles, 2400 pts gets you six such units, which would stretch the entire width of the table and number 360 State Troops - beautiful enough to make even Chuck Norris cry!

End Note

Thanks for reading this far and I hope you've found a nugget or two among this dross. Again, it's simply a stratagem for general's wishing to field more infantry and not a counter for your buddy's twin Abominations. Also, big thanks to my fellow generals at Ernie's Games, Ordo Fanaticus and Warhammer-Empire for their insight and feedback.

stijnq
09-01-2010, 16:58
I really like this, very interesting to say the least. Would have never thought of doing such a thing to get the most out of your units

yabbadabba
09-01-2010, 17:04
Excellent post, well thought out mate.

snottlebocket
09-01-2010, 17:36
It's a decent strategy although you sacrifice a lot of mobility to deal with threats that don't approach directly from the front.

I find the main problem with empire detachments is really that most people, quite sensibly, refuse to charge empire infantry regiments while their detachments are still intact. It's not that hard to remove detachments from a distance really, anyone intending to charge empire infantry won't have too much trouble removing any threatening detachments before the charging units arrive. (either that or occupying the offending detachment with something else to prevent them from counter charging)

That said, your warswan does do a reasonably decent job of screening the combat detachment for at least the first turn.

KaldCB
09-01-2010, 21:45
This was awsome, i'm gonna try this out!

shinankoku
10-01-2010, 02:36
This is bull*

"Unlike the other maneuvers, Change Formation does not require the unit to reform around its central point."

The rule doesn't say that it doesn't. Additionally, according to the diagram on page 14, you DO have to form around the central point.

"The outer two models, the white-primer Standard Bearer and bare plastic Swordsman, have to move the farthest. By my measuring tape, they're both moving 8" to their new positions. Someone has pointed out that a conversion calculator reports this distance as 8.02", I haven't verified it for myself but if your opponent is going to balk at a .02" discrepancy, there are bigger issues at hand."

Many famous charges in history failed because horsemen were within *feet* of a canon crew as the canon reloaded and fired. .02" more than double your movement is .02" more than double your movement. Your strategy is predictated on cheating.

Sorry.

Let me put this another way - this is no better than the fanatic slingshot.

Minigiant
10-01-2010, 10:55
Its a very clever idea, but am i right in thinking you dont need to have the 2nd and third lines you can just set them up pre set for the 1st line to change formation

This way your not breaking any movement rules

I definatelty think your onto something, i will try putting this into a reman legion/TVI style list

Valaraukar
10-01-2010, 11:10
This is bull*

"Unlike the other maneuvers, Change Formation does not require the unit to reform around its central point."

The rule doesn't say that it doesn't. Additionally, according to the diagram on page 14, you DO have to form around the central point.

"The outer two models, the white-primer Standard Bearer and bare plastic Swordsman, have to move the farthest. By my measuring tape, they're both moving 8" to their new positions. Someone has pointed out that a conversion calculator reports this distance as 8.02", I haven't verified it for myself but if your opponent is going to balk at a .02" discrepancy, there are bigger issues at hand."

Many famous charges in history failed because horsemen were within *feet* of a canon crew as the canon reloaded and fired. .02" more than double your movement is .02" more than double your movement. Your strategy is predictated on cheating.

Sorry.

The diagram is not the rule it is simply an example thereof, moreover to suggest that because an entirely separate rule involving movement states that it occurs around the centre point bears any relevance on this rule which has no such clause is ridiculous.

The 8.02" is a more valid issue but pretty poor sportsmanship which I'm sure you would agree with if you're charge was found to be .02" out etc. That being said it IS more than double their move but this can be simply solved by using a smaller detachment as there is really no need for such a large detachment as it's ranks count for nothing as long as it is US5 to cancel ranks. This also reduces the points cost of the formation as a whole something I had planned to do from the start due to model, points and cost constraints. A unit of 14 crossbows on one side with a 15 wide parent unit behind and a 14 or less strong detachment aligned with the opposite side of the parent unit can do this with no problem.

This makes the formation somewhat less flexible though as then you predetermine which side each detachment will move to, this is no problem for the combat detachment as they can shuffle sideways either way with 90 degree turns but this is a problem for the shooters who are move or fire unless using archers.

I think this is a very nice tactic and one I intend to try out to make my state troops more viable, thanks FLUEVOG.

shinankoku
10-01-2010, 12:27
Oddly enough, I think that assuming that your models should be given more movement than they have is actually poorer sportsmanship than not letting someone get away with it.

And I think the diagrams on page 14 make it pretty clear how changing a formation works. And I think this is the bigger issue. If you let a formation add or subtract ranks NOT on the front, you're opening the door to some really strange and weedy ways to move a block of troops.

So, if you think this is OK, that's great. We're not in the same town, so we certainly don't have to worry about hashing this one out before a game.

Minigiant
10-01-2010, 13:03
Smaller shooting detachment and set the parent unit and combat detachment up as though they were in stage 3 and that solves all the issues

Valaraukar
10-01-2010, 13:15
Oddly enough, I think that assuming that your models should be given more movement than they have is actually poorer sportsmanship than not letting someone get away with it.

And I think the diagrams on page 14 make it pretty clear how changing a formation works. And I think this is the bigger issue. If you let a formation add or subtract ranks NOT on the front, you're opening the door to some really strange and weedy ways to move a block of troops.

So, if you think this is OK, that's great. We're not in the same town, so we certainly don't have to worry about hashing this one out before a game.

Indeed we don't, unfortunately this is another case of poorly written rules. I am normally not one for RAW but RAI, in this case however I find that the lack of any clear wording in the text stipulating that the unit must add or remove ranks evenly to or from either side to lead me to the above conclusion. The diagrams certainly do show people moving to both sides but it seems to me if that was what they intended they would have had accompanying text as in the reform rule next to it. I will have to check with my opponents on this interpretation it seems as whilst it seems clear to me it obviously is not a universally shared opinion.

With regards to the .02" I didn't mean to come across as harsh I am simply not too bothered about being precise to this degree in my games I prefer to keep them more or less correct but in the interests of fun and speed things like clipping and this tend to get ignored, which is obviously fine as long as both parties agree hence why I will be trying it out.

Valaraukar
10-01-2010, 17:32
The 8.02" is only an issue if you are reforming behind one end of your formation with a unit which starts off 2 ranks deep. In your example the parent unit reforms in the centre thus moving well under the permitted 8" and the single ranked units work out to ~7.91" for the end model.

You can work out these distances easily using Pythagoras' theorem (the hypotenuse being the square root of the squares of the other two sides) as the move can be seen as the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle with one side as being 10 20mm bases the other being 1 20mm base giving (200^2+20^2) = 40400 the square root of which is 201mm which using 25.4 mm to the inch is 7.913". In 2 ranks it is the square root of 41600 as the other side is then 40mm which gives 8.0299".

As I said this issue can be entirely avoided however by simply ranking the units 14 wide and then ranking one of the detachments 4 wide when they all reform. Even in 2 ranks when moving only 180mm and 40mm now from the end this comes in at only 7.26" so even those concerned over such minute differences can use this tactic safely if not quite as beautifully as previously.

FLUEVOG
10-01-2010, 17:47
Well done Valaraukar, you're the pride of the Federation. :)

Valaraukar
10-01-2010, 17:59
oooo what a warm fuzzy glow!

I may have somewhat vested interests given that I've just started my empire army and thus far have either been annihilated by Dark Elves without the state troops (other than shooters) doing a thing on several occasions. Or I have annihilated Orcs and Goblins without the majority of them ever reaching my lines of state troops despite going fairly heavy on them as I like the idea of the big ranked up blocks working in harmony.

klstrider28
11-01-2010, 04:01
I think some people are severely overestimating the length of 1/50 of an inch (aka 2% of an inch).

You'd need a magnifying glass to see that. Sure some rule fanatics may say that it technically is against the rules, but if they practiced what they preached they'd have to use an electron microscope to measure every movement of their troops so as not to go over by the tiniest of fractions. I dare any player to actually move their unit the exact 8" to a pin. I can say that he won't be a very popular player.

interesting idea FLUEVOG. I'm glad to see someone discussing an actual tactic and not what units to buy.

-klstrider28

Atrahasis
11-01-2010, 12:14
There's a difference between unavoidable inaccuracy in moving, and knowingly performing a manoeuvre that uses more than the allowed movement.

Lijacote
11-01-2010, 13:05
Atrahasis hit the nail on the head there. You can't willingly cheat just because people make mistakes on that microscopic level.

Yellow Commissar
11-01-2010, 15:48
This is really not the sort of tactic you can just pull on an opponent unawares. It's simply poor sportsmanship to utilize poor wording in the rulebook to trick an opponent without discussing the tactic before the game.

If the change formation rule was intended to work this way, then why do the rules for turning talk about moving sideways half your move value? With this maneuvre you can move sideways much greater distances. Why do the diagrams show units adding and subtracting equally around the center?

Certainly, knowingly moving greater than double your move value is not cool.

Anyone who has ever marched in a military formation can tell you that infantry formations do not move this way. It would actually take much longer to achieve sideways movement this way than it would be to face, move, and face. I realize this is not a realistic game and it is not based in reality, but in reality, pulling this sort of shenanigan against an unsuspecting player in a tournament IS poor sportsmanship.

Play however you choose, especially if agreed upon before hand, but if you are reading this tactica and plan to try it out, please discuss it with your opponent before the game. It is not within the rules otherwise.

AtmaTheWanderer
11-01-2010, 16:02
Agree with others. This tactic exploits a minor hole in the game rules and MUST be discussed with your opponent prior to the game. Failing to do so would be exceedingly poor sportsmanship... I refrain from judgment on the sportsmanship level of simply employing the tactic.

FLUEVOG
11-01-2010, 23:15
On moving .02":

"The nature of the game... means that it is impossible to be absolutely accurate about the movement of troops - the odd fraction of an inch will inenvitably disappear as lines are neatened and models edged together. On the whole, this need not cause concern during play as it is better to keep the game flowing than to worry about unavoidable imprecision. It is recommended that where a move is especially important or an exact measurement is critical, it is good practice to agree what you are doing with your opponent before moving troops." - rulebook page 11 Movement

The point of contention is if .02" movement is critical or not, which I am in the NO camp. Some of you are in the YES camp - which is fine. Were we to play, I'd simply line all my movement trays on the 12" deployment line and wait. When you're Move 4 chargers come straight at me and try to charge, I would point out that there's no possible way you could move 24" and hit my troops on Turn 3. You hit the lip of the movement tray, not my model's base. Petty? Yes. Playing myopicly by the rules? Absolutely. And I'd be sure to ding you for sportsmanship should you protest - knowingly moving your troops farther than 8" is in clear violation of all that is Warhammer and how dare you even suggest the thing.

Sounds like a whole lot of fun, huh?


On Turns and Moving Sideways:

Yes, the text for Turning does mention moving sideways. Does that mean the manuevers are mutually exclusive and there's no other way to accomplish the same thing with two different manuevers? I don't think so - I could take two cavalry models, wheel them so they face 180 degrees (backwards) and then wheel them again on the opposite corner so they're facing forwards again. Effectively, they've sidestepped. In a crazy stupid way, but they've still sidestepped.

Now, the rules for Changing Formation say that you can surrender full movement and add ten models to your front rank. Can't you do the exact same thing with a Reform? If I declare Reform and add ten models to my front without moving the center am I cheat? If I declare a Reform and Turn all my models on the spot to face backwards am I cheating as well? No, I'm just being stupid and giving up more movement than I need to - but I can still do it!

Next, lets take a look at the diagrams again. Some of you argue that, because they show models being added to both sides, that Changing Formation must occur around a central point. The written rules to do not support this and, if you take a look at diagram 14.2, the diagrams do not either. By adding an uneven number of models to the front rank, the center point of the unit moves from the center of the champion model to the right side of the champion model - a full 10mm. Only by adding an even number of models can a center point be maintained.

What was that again about adhering to micro-meters and only cheaters move sideways by Changing Formation? Looks like GW is a cheater too. It also renders the "surrender half move to add five models" moot to. Five being an odd number and all.

GW has stated themselves that the diagrams show ONE possible situation, not the ONLY situation. Case in point: the warmachine shows a unit charging the cannon as if it had a front arc. GW has since pointed out that this is just one possible scenario and that chargers can charge from any angle they wish - in order to set up a favorable over run - and the crew just needs to line up perpendicular. The scenario illustrated is not the end-all-be-all scenario, to state the obvious.

So, to recap, the rules DO NOT STATE that there is a central point. To argue that it is an ommision is purely conjecture and assumption.

Yellow Commissar
12-01-2010, 00:53
"Following this principle, players trying to exploit any maneuvre or other rule (like the building rules) to try and move models in their unit more than double their Movement value are not playing the game in the spirit it is meant to be played and need to be publicly chastised. Bad players! Bad!" Warhammer Rulebook - Errata and FAQs Part 2.

You, sir are not playing the game in the spirit it is meant to be played. I hereby chastise you. Bad player, BAD!

Since you so freely use this very same FAQ to try to make a point about diagrams, I know you have read this already. I chastise you again, sir. You read the clarification and choose to ignore it.

Where is the FAQ saying that Diagrams 14.1 and 14.2 are merely examples of one way to do the maneuvre?

Diagram 84.1 (Crew in Combat) is an accurate example of how a War Machine Crew reacts when successfully charged, it was never intended to be an example of Fast Cavalry charging, or Charging in general. If it were, it would have been found either in the Fast Cavalry section or the Charging section. Diagrams 14.1 and 14.2 are examples of how to Reduce Front and Increase Front; exactly what we are discussing here.

Look, you can choose to play however you want. Everyone acknowledges that. My point is that your interpretation is not shared by everyone equally and that since it is not, the gentlemanly way to play it is to agree with your opponent before the game. This is not something that can be sprung on someone as some sort of trick to gain a tactical advantage.

Vandur Last
12-01-2010, 01:22
How can you arbitrarily declare that there is an error in the rules? You cant just decide that the writers didnt intend for reformations to be used tactically?
Perhaps we should be more polite and drop tactics in favour of driving our feeble troops into frontal unsupported combats they have no hope of winning...

/Sarcasm off
The game is meant to be about movement and tactics overcoming uber statlines after all

FLUEVOG
12-01-2010, 03:00
Alright Yellow, rather than continue trading punches with a tactical Ludite - here's a short reading list:

- Intro to Movement (which I've already quoted, Page 11 of small rule book)
- Aligning the Combatants, pg 21
- The Clipping Appendix, 2008 FAQ
- Awkward Charges, 2008 FAQ (where it explicitly says that chargers can move farther than their charge distance! And that it's well within the rules!!!)
- Generosity, 2008 FAQ
- The entire section on Sliding

So please, after reading all these examples, tell me you still truly believe, as a reasonable and rational person, that GW adheres to a steel-trap interpretation of the distances and that an 8.02" reform of State Troops is against the spirit of the rules, unsportsmanlike and a severe afront to Warhammer.

Valaraukar
12-01-2010, 09:39
Not to mention that through the numerous examples I have shown this tactic can be pulled off without moving over 8" so that point is kind of moot.

The other issue is whether you have to add or reduce ranks around the centre and I still can't see any evidence in the rules that this is the case, a diagram clearly does not show all possibilities and the wording makes no mention of this despite the very next rule 'reform' stating it explicitly in that case.

FLUEVOG
12-01-2010, 12:46
Once again, THANK YOU Valaraukar!

Mezziah
12-01-2010, 16:09
FLUEVOG > I'm greatly impressed with this tactic.
I can only agree with you and Valaraukar that nothing in the rules state that this couldn't be done, and I would gladly let my opponent do in in midst of a battle without needing to explain his tactic to me before we begin. I agree that the .02 inches people are talking about is kinda absurd. But sure if you know you are moving farther away then you are allowed to, maybe just drop the formation to 14 men wide (as Valaraukar said).

My only way of seeing this is from a positive perspective, I've in my 14 years of the hobby seen too few tactics like this. All respect to you FLUEVOG, I've already told one of my friends and opponents about it who plays Empire.

Yellow Commissar
12-01-2010, 19:30
So please, after reading all these examples, tell me you still truly believe, as a reasonable and rational person, that GW adheres to a steel-trap interpretation of the distances and that an 8.02" reform of State Troops is against the spirit of the rules, unsportsmanlike and a severe afront to Warhammer.

I'm not sure what you are talking about. You seem to misunderstand me. Games Workshops FAQ tells you that intentionally moving more than double your Move value is against the spirit of the game and deserves to be chastised. Read the FAQ again. I'm not making things up here. This is not just my opinion.

Again, my point is that this interpretation is not clearly allowed by the rules and needs to be agreed upon. It is not sporting to spring this sort trick on ones opponent. This is my opinion, and is backed up by The Most Important Rule on page 3 or the BRB.

@Mezziah
Stating that since the rules don't tell you cannot do something, therefore you can is an extrememely poor argument. There are infinite things that the rules don't tell me I cannot do.

AtmaTheWanderer
12-01-2010, 21:10
My beef isn't the 8.02" thing, it's the cheesy exploitation of playing with a rule not as intended to move your troops far further then normally permitted by the rules.

You are not allowed to march while performing manuevers such as this, yet you are exploiting a loophole in the rules to maneuver your troops march-like distances. As far as I'm concerned, your tactic isn't .02" over, it's 4" over. Suddenly, the distance doesn't become rediculously small, it becomes glaringly large.

This tactic, IGNORING ANY AND ALL RULES IMPLICATIONS, is cheesy, exploitive, and not in the spirit of the game. Taking a rule and using the fact that the game designers gave people the ability to move double-movement while executing manuevers of this kind, so that people could execute them if they were using larger then 20mm bases, or terrain issues, and taking every exploitative advantage possible to practically teleport is just abusive.



You hit the lip of the movement tray, not my model's base.

For the record - Most competant players clarify this at the start of the game, and follow the convention over the course of the game. If an opponent says I didn't hit his models, I don't argue it. However, I am very careful to watch and point out to my opponent if he tries to measure from the front of his tray for determining a charge if he ever says this. Movement, of course, is irrelevant, as whether you move from the tray or the models, the net result is the same - the models move X inches.

kormas
12-01-2010, 22:23
wow, this is really starting to get heated...personaly i think it is nice to see someone actualy think of using the rules to make a tactic that allows underpowered troops to become effective.

people who are shooting him down over the 0.02 inch......seriously, it is a GAME!, that is such a small number that is has 0 effect on the game, i simply dont get why you are making such a big deal over it :wtf:

ok, now te whole centre of the unit thingy is a little over my head mostly caus i am not 'the' most experienced warhammer player but i agree that if it isnt contridicted in the rules or the diagrams then it should be fine.

yet again....0.02 of an inch:wtf: i think some people need to calm down.....

AtmaTheWanderer@ i think he was just giving an absurd example, i dont think he was trying to imply that people actualy do that... :D

AtmaTheWanderer
12-01-2010, 22:31
people who are shooting him down over the 0.02 inch......seriously, it is a GAME!, that is such a small number that is has 0 effect on the game, i simply dont get why you are making such a big deal over it :wtf:

The point is it doesn't matter if it's .02" or 15 feet... If you knowingly execute a manuever in which you cannot complete it without moving more then your allowed distance, then you. are. cheating.

I know there was some talk about geometry proving it can be done within 8" - That's fine, but that's geometry. People aren't moving models on the table with mathematical precision, and the reality of the situation is that in this strategy models are probably quite often moving more then thier maximum distance allowed.

And again, he is exploiting a cheesy loophole in the rules to move his troops march-like distances in a situation in which he is not allowed to march. That is what annoys me, not .02" The extra distance allotted is to account for not all troops being based the same or there being some issues with terrain or whatnot, Not so you can cheese your troops 8" horizontally across the table.

Valaraukar
12-01-2010, 23:22
I agree try not to get so bothered about it, the most important rule you quoted remember is that this is a game and it's supposed to be fun.

I don't really see your problem though he is not 'moving' them march like distances at all as part of his unit is already there. All he is doing is changing his formation which moves the furthest part of his unit just under 8" in a straight line in the examples I pointed out not using some abstract mathematics :wtf:

Just because this has not occurred to you before does not make it wrong or illegal. In fact as far as I can see the rules allow exactly this type of manoeuvre by not stipulating anything about the centre of the unit. As I have mentioned if you also wish to turn (a more powerful combination of manoeuvres) it has to be done around the centre why else even have the 'up to 10 models' part for your full move, as then this would be identical to a reform?

I still haven't seen any of you who are berating poor Fluevog (for what I see as a genuine attempt and a very good one to come up with an interesting tactical manoeuvre like the use of redirecters, screens, the oblique line, the refused flank) come up with any evidence as to why this is somehow against the rules or abusing a loophole. How is it you know that your interpretation is the correct one? All we can have are opinions on the matter and as far as 'RAW' for all it's worth goes I can't see any grounds for your complaints within the rules.

kormas
12-01-2010, 23:29
AtmaTheWanderer@ i can deffinatly see where you are comming from, while i agree that knowingly breaking the rules is very bad, i still consider the margin of the rule breaking to be fairly acceptable, alos if i am honest the army that this tactic applys to influences my oppinion, i like empire (dont play them tho) and i know that they are fairly underpowered (leaving out the stank and waralter) so i see the tactic allowing their basic infantrymen to actualy be usefull.

i guess that if geometry can be used to prove that it can be done then i am inclined to let it pass, although geometry isnt very applicable inside the game since no-one is deffinate when they move thier models it is all based geometricaly allowed movements. the main thing that i can see here is that since this is a very hard thing to do without stuffing the measuring up that it would either require to be just in a friendly enviroment where it doesnt really matter on the outcome, where as if it was in a compeditive enviroment this might lead to arguements..

overall i think that it is a good tactic, it is impressive that someone has actualy come up with this, and if i am honest i think that if you wanted to use it outside the friendly gaming group in say, a tourniment, just ask the TO, and then it should be all fine.

FLUEVOG
12-01-2010, 23:51
Gentlemen - please read the sections I've provided.

According to GW, it is perfectly acceptable to:
- charge further than double your Movement (ie Awkward Charges)
- sidestep without executing a Turn Manuever (ie Sliding!)
- draw units up to 1" away towards you like some kind of charging magnet (ie Charging Multiple Units)

How can you have a game that allows all the above and still call someone a "cheater" who manuevers an absurdly small amount?

Atma - Models have always been able to move double their move under the Reform rules. If you look at the parent unit again in my example, they are effectively performing a Reform. Heck, I could have a single line of models 14" wide, have them Reform into the center (7" from each side) and still have them rob someone of a charge. Have they teleported? No. Are they abusing a cheesy loophole? No. They're simply playing by the rules.

Yellow Commissar
13-01-2010, 00:23
Gentlemen - please read the sections I've provided.

According to GW, it is perfectly acceptable to:
- charge further than double your Movement (ie Awkward Charges)
- sidestep without executing a Turn Manuever (ie Sliding!)
- draw units up to 1" away towards you like some kind of charging magnet (ie Charging Multiple Units)

How can you have a game that allows all the above and still call someone a "cheater" who manuevers an absurdly small amount?

Ask GW. Did you not read the FAQ I quoted for you?

As for the other sections you are referring to, why don't you read them yourself? The Appendices are clear that they are helpful suggestions that can help players agree to solutions when awkward situations arise. All of the sections you refer to use the language to the effect of players agreeing. This is exactly what I have been saying. Your trick for changing formation to one side needs to be agreed upon by both players! It is not expressly permitted by the rules.

The 8.02 inch thing is directly addressed in the second rulebook FAQ under movement. You are exploiting a Change Formation maneuvre to try and move models more than double thier Movement value. This is GWs explicit language. The appendices for charging do not take precedence over a direct answer to the question from GW.

FLUEVOG
13-01-2010, 02:50
*sigh*

"Following this principle, players trying to
exploit any manoeuvre or other rule (like the
building rules) to try and move models in their
unit more than double their Movement value
are not playing the game in the spirit it is
meant to be played and need to be publicly
chastised. Bad players! Bad!"

OFFICIAL FAQ RULING: Legal, but frowned upon


Now, consider this:

-Movement Phase -

Change Manuever 1: 15-wide unit reduces ranks to 10-wide, moving the leftmost 5 behind the center and rightmost 5. This costs half the unit's movement. Greatest distance travelled = 8.0 inches.

Change Manuever 2: 10-wide unit reduces ranks to 5-wide, moving leftmost 5 behind rightmost 5. This costs the remainder of the unit's movement. Greatest distance travelled = under 5.0 inches.

Units may perform multiple Manuevers a phase.
During neither Manuever did a model travel more than twice it's move distance.
The "double-movement" rule specifically applies to each Manuever, not the entire phase.
Ergo, my models just legally moved 8.02" this phase.

Enjoy

AtmaTheWanderer
13-01-2010, 04:54
I still haven't seen any of you who are berating poor Fluevog (for what I see as a genuine attempt and a very good one to come up with an interesting tactical manoeuvre like the use of redirecters, screens, the oblique line, the refused flank) come up with any evidence as to why this is somehow against the rules or abusing a loophole. How is it you know that your interpretation is the correct one? All we can have are opinions on the matter and as far as 'RAW' for all it's worth goes I can't see any grounds for your complaints within the rules.

There's a lot of really clever crap you can pull over when you don't take sportsmanship into account.

So, if I take my unit of 10 guys with M5 on 25mm bases (using this because it's easier to work with in inches, because 25mm is close enough to 1"), in 2 ranks:

XXXXX
XXXXX

and bring 5 forward all to the right side (After all, despite the picture clearly showing the models being moved to both flanks, nothing in the rules says that I can't just pile 'em all to the right side!)

XXXXXXXXXXX

And then I'll do it again, sacrificing the other 1/2 move to move the other 5 back:

.....XXXXX
.....XXXXX

You have no problems with this, even though I just moved laterally 5 inches, when a player playing in the spirit of the rules would turn, move 2.5", and then turn again?

It's just different execution of the same rough principle, and a perfect illustration of why this sort of thing is NOT how the rules are intended to work. The correct manner in which this sort of adjustment should be made by Turn-Move-Turn, as described under the turn section... A lateral move of 1/2 your movement rate is even described as "The most common use of turning".

Fluevog is doing the same thing, except he's using the oversight to move his troops at march speed into formation. And you seem to be forgetting that I am NOT SAYING that it's not legal by the rules. I am saying it is extremely unsportsmanlike.



Have they teleported? No. Are they abusing a cheesy loophole? No. They're simply playing by the rules.

Yes, and they're also keeping the center of the unit the same, not literally flip-flopping "bait and switch" units at march speed to counter their opponent's charge.

Sygerrik
13-01-2010, 05:50
I think people are seizing too readily on the .02." It's already been demonstrated that using 14 models instead of 15 means that the movement issue doesn't even come up, since the total distance moved is less than 8." Would you still complain if someone tried this tactic with a 14-wide row? I don't see how you have a leg to stand on if you did. Not to mention that if the row was 14 models wide (or, in fact, any other even number) it would be impossible to form into five ranks "directly around the middle" and necessarily the unit would have to shift to one side or the other. I don't see how you could possibly claim that was outside the rules, and if you accepted that, you are basically admitting that it's ok to reform shifting the unit's center of mass to one side or the other if necessary. The way fluevog described his maneuver, it would be impossible to form up behind the central unit without clipping another friendly unit, and therefore the same principle would apply. QED, it is a legal, if unorthodox, maneuver.

Sambojin
13-01-2010, 06:10
I guess its more a case of how far you're moving the centre of a unit. Its probably best to move it as little as possible (ie zero or one model movement). It all just gets a little bit screwy otherwise.

And don't get me wrong. I like the idea of the tactic. In a friendly game, if we both agreed that this was cool, I think it would be hillarious to see what whacky manouevers me and my opponent could come up with. Even to the point of having an entire battle where bonus points were awarded for the absolute freakiest things your infantry did (awarded by spectators). It'd make for a great game, and in the context of an Empire army, quite well withing the fluff (think of it as a field-manouever war-games trials day for the Empire generals).

But in the context of tournaments and "not-so-friendly" pick-up games, I think its a little too open to abuse. It sounds nice when the Empire are doing it with state troops, but what if daemons, O+G or Lizardmen took it into their heads that this was ok? It really, really wouldn't be ok.....

Then again, considering some of the stuff fast-cav, flyers and skirmishers can pull, maybe it's not so bad. Just agree with your game-group/friends that its a core troops only thing.

ChaosVC
13-01-2010, 07:07
Well I was initially quite excited about the tactic, after a bit of explanation by those against it, I can see why it cannot be executed whether it is by the word of rule or in the spirit of the game. First off, each model can only move as far as its given movement value and secondly you can only double move during charging or marching.

But I am sure the OP did not intend to cheat or anything but miscalculated his own interpretation of the rule without considering other clauses of the rule. Never the less it is very interesting and well thought out, too bad in cannot work within the rules of logic or the spirit of the game.

Da Crusha
13-01-2010, 08:48
so putting the whole .02" issue aside, how do people feel about not reducing ranks around the center of the unit?

FLUEVOG
13-01-2010, 12:58
... First off, each model can only move as far as its given movement value and secondly you can only double move during charging or marching.

ChaosVC brings up a good point, which is actually quite a slippery slope.
If each model can only move as far as its given movement value other than marching and charging, than:

-The FAQ clarification is wrong, as it addresses the use of Changing Formation to move more than double your Move value (implying that moving double is legal).
- Reforming, a manuever, specifically states that you can move double your move value.
- A block of 5x5 Empire troops could only ever expand frontage by 6, three to each side.
- A block of 5x5 Dwarves couldn't expand frontage at all.
- Barded Knights shouldn't be able to pursue 3d6 as it would result in them moving more than double their movement value.

Valaraukar
13-01-2010, 13:21
I am not too worried about that in order to change formation you are clearly allowed to move up to double your M value, but no further!

AtmaTheWanderer however raises a good point


So, if I take my unit of 10 guys with M5 on 25mm bases (using this because it's easier to work with in inches, because 25mm is close enough to 1"), in 2 ranks:

XXXXX
XXXXX

and bring 5 forward all to the right side (After all, despite the picture clearly showing the models being moved to both flanks, nothing in the rules says that I can't just pile 'em all to the right side!)

XXXXXXXXXXX

And then I'll do it again, sacrificing the other 1/2 move to move the other 5 back:

.....XXXXX
.....XXXXX

You have no problems with this, even though I just moved laterally 5 inches, when a player playing in the spirit of the rules would turn, move 2.5", and then turn again?

This use of two change formations in one turn is concerning as clearly as mentioned the old turn and shuffle would be pointless if this were allowed but then this can only be done by certain size and shape units. I still can't find anything in the change formation rule that makes this illegal but certainly abuse of it in this way casts it in a rather murky light. Another nice rules muddle from GW.

This 'side stepping' is certainly an issue but then there ought to be some sort of movement which allows formations to work in close quarters such as when a shield wall will advance at the last moment through a line of archers as the enemy close. Also moving backwards is very poorly represented in the rules. Whilst moving in formation is difficult it is certainly more flexible than represented here especially when drilled and practiced soldiers have rehearsed such a manoeuvre countless times.

Spiney Norman
13-01-2010, 14:16
When calculated precisely the furthest moving member of both detachments move 8.029", which is virtually 8.03. Thats not really relevant, the point that you cannot measure that accurately is not important, the point is that this combination of maneuvers is not technically possible given your detachment's movement allowance and relying on the inaccuracy of your measuring to slip through a maneuver that is technically illegal is poor play.

I don't get it, the advantages gained by this are not worth dropping your integrity over, deal with it and move on.

Its almost as effective and much more legal to screen both the melee detachment and the parent unit using skirmishing archers and then peel them back when the enemy gets close than it is to use a static fire unit. Bear in mind that your melee detachment does not NEED to be 5 wide, you could run it 4 or even 3 wide and is has the same effect, only the parent unit needs to generate static combat res.

Valaraukar
13-01-2010, 14:51
Wow well done for half reading the thread before making your judgemental response. As has been shown this manoeuvre actually doesn't move over 8" in the example shown as the only 2 deep unit forms up in the centre and those 1 rank deep move 7.91" to go to either side. And if you want to form the parent unit to the side as has also been noted this is fine if done 14 wide with a detachment forming up only 4 wide.

That's not really the issue under discussion any more, the issue is do they have to form up around the centre of the unit, which I don't see worded anywhere. As AtmaTheWanderer has shown however this can lead to some exploitative situations, which with reference to the example of turning 90 degrees moving then turning back to execute a shuffle sideways would appear to be against the intent of the rules.

Spiney Norman
13-01-2010, 14:57
The point is you can achieve the same effect by keeping the melee detachment and the parent block fully formed and screened by a skirmishing archer detachment, and then compressing it into the gap between the two before the crucial charge. Even if the enemy is within 8" which stops the skirmishers from marching 4" movement is enough to peel back the screen from in front of the parent unit and detachment to hide in the space between them without obstructing the melee detachment's line of charge.

FLUEVOG
13-01-2010, 15:03
Atma - the sidestepping you described has also been discussed on warhammer.org.uk, I just stumbled upon it a couple of days ago. Please point out in the rules where it says you HAVE to use a Turn to move sideways - the paragraph begins "The most common use of the turn manuever...". Hardly an absolute.

Spiney - Aaron Chapman addresses using Archer Screens quite elloquently in his Reman Legion tactica (www.warhammer-empire.com).

I'm finding it quiet amusing that detracters keep latching onto a .029" overage in manuevering, while completely embracing the free wheel after charging... a rule that allows for extremely sloppy charges and means that models can move far, far, far more than double their movement characteristic.

Imagine a unit 50-wide hitting a normal enemy unit at a 45 degree angle with it's leftmost model. Swinging that warlock around to maximize models in combat means that rightmost model is breaking all kinds of speed records.

Valaraukar
13-01-2010, 15:06
If the screen forms up in the centre it will still be infront of the other two units and so can be charged on it's own with no supporting charges allowed as it is a detachment. You could flee but then you can't stand and shoot as in the above example and may continue to flee hence why the above is a better solution if it removes them from harms way and allows them to stand and shoot at a charge against the parent unit.

Valaraukar
13-01-2010, 15:11
Atma - the sidestepping you described has also been discussed on warhammer.org.uk, I just stumbled upon it a couple of days ago. Please point out in the rules where it says you HAVE to use a Turn to move sideways - the paragraph begins "The most common use of the turn manuever...". Hardly an absolute.

I agree the rules as written still appear to be on our side however I prefer intent and it does cast some shadow if it is specifically mentioned that this is how the turn is used, but then as mentioned this would be the only option for certain sized units as others by reforming WOULD break the double M rule which I still adhere too hence my options for avoiding it in this thread. There are specific examples where it is ignored one of which is the free (hence the use of the word free) wheel when charging this is not one of those examples IMO. I think this is somewhat of a grey area after all but not due to the 8" but the fact it seems to make other manoeuvres superfluous.

Spiney Norman
13-01-2010, 15:12
If the screen forms up in the centre it will still be infront of the other two units and so can be charged on it's own with no supporting charges allowed as it is a detachment. You could flee but then you can't stand and shoot as in the above example and may continue to flee hence why the above is a better solution if it removes them from harms way and allows them to stand and shoot at a charge against the parent unit.

If the Parent unit is angled correctly you will be able to pull the screen unit in to the centre and advance the parent block their normal movement allowance to cover the retreating screeners.

Individual models or characters charging from units can sometimes get through to hit the screeners, but if its a block or cavalry unit you're facing then they can't get to the skirmishers without clipping the parent unit before they get there.

Valaraukar
13-01-2010, 15:16
This would however also mean that the combat detachment would be further than 3" from the parent unit would it not?

Yellow Commissar
13-01-2010, 15:58
I'm finding it quiet amusing that detracters keep latching onto a .029" overage in manuevering, while completely embracing the free wheel after charging... a rule that allows for extremely sloppy charges and means that models can move far, far, far more than double their movement characteristic.

By "detracters" you mean the rules. The rules allow for a Wheel in to Align by rule. The official GW clarification for exploiting a Change Formation prohibits models from additional movement.

We are not "latching on" to .029", we are simply reading the applicable rules. ;)

As far as Empire and detachments.....

Empire detachments are not underpowered. Ask TVI.

There are numerous accepted tactics for effectively using Empire detachments. Ask TVI.

Although it is possible for an infantry formation to maneuvre this way, they do not normally do so. Ask anyone who has ever marched in an actual military formation.

Maneuvring this way would actually take longer than executing the accepted Turn maneuvre( left face, forward march, platoon halt, right face).

The bottom line is there are sportsmanship issues involved here. The problem with the tactic of Changing Formation to the flank is not about the rules. The rules are not entirely clear (obviously :eek:). What is clear is that tricking unsuspecting opponents with a dubious interpretation of an unclear rule is tantamount to Winning at all Costs.

yabbadabba
13-01-2010, 16:59
Although it is possible for an infantry formation to maneuvre this way, they do not normally do so. Ask anyone who has ever marched in an actual military formation.

Maneuvring this way would actually take longer than executing the accepted Turn maneuvre( left face, forward march, platoon halt, right face). For the gods sakes don't even think about bringing reality into this - it has no place in ANY discussion over how GW games relate to the universes they have created.


The bottom line is there are sportsmanship issues involved here. The problem with the tactic of Changing Formation to the flank is not about the rules. The rules are not entirely clear (obviously :eek:). What is clear is that tricking unsuspecting opponents with a dubious interpretation of an unclear rule is tantamount to Winning at all Costs. Sportsmanship issues do not stop tournament players who want to win. An easy solution to this is to try it at an official GW tournament. Get it questioned then FAQ'd. At the moment if this manouveur is possible without directly breaking the rules then it is legal, even if it is not moral.

AtmaTheWanderer
13-01-2010, 17:18
Atma - the sidestepping you described has also been discussed on warhammer.org.uk, I just stumbled upon it a couple of days ago. Please point out in the rules where it says you HAVE to use a Turn to move sideways - the paragraph begins "The most common use of the turn manuever...". Hardly an absolute.

Flue, for going on the 6th time now I am *NOT* saying it is against the rules. I am saying it is unsportsmanlike behavior to abuse a rules loophole to move your troops in this manner!

I am saying in a tournament you get a 0 for sportsmanship, and in a casual game I would never play against you again if you employ this abusive manner to move your troops. That is the "flaw" in your strategy - it doesn't cost you points in the game, it costs you points in sportsmanship and it costs you potential opponents at the end of the day.

Let's be realistic here. Less and less people get into this hobby every year, and at the end of the day, crap like this is a huge factor in that decision. People can't just let go of the need to find a little hole in the rules and then take a goddamn jackhammer to it just to win a game of toy soldiers.

Atrahasis
13-01-2010, 17:19
@Yellow Any diagram can only show one execution of the rule - would you argue that only units of spearmen can perform change formations? The diagram only ever shows spearmen doing so. If the diagram showed the off-centre expansion/retraction posited by the tactic, would you argue that centre-oriented expansion was not possible?

Diagrams are examples, not exhaustive rules. The rules tell us what to do, diagrams show us one instance of the rule's application.

Regarding the 0.029" - the difference is one of intent. If I accidentally knock over your model, I would hope that you would forgive me. If I take that forgiveness as license to knock over your models whenever I like, then I'm in the wrong. Knowingly moving more than 8" is very different from accidentally moving more than 8".
If any move is allowed 0.02" of leeway, then why can I not wheel left 0.0001", and "mistakenly" actually wheel 0.0201", then wheel right 0.0001", but "mistakenly" actually wheel 0.0201". Infinite movement here I come!


Atma's example of an abusive use of two change formations to move a unit 5" sideways is illegal - when you reduce to 1 rank by expanding frontage, the front rank is now the rear rank and so is filled centre outwards. The unit needs to be 3 ranks deep to fill off-centre by expanding frontage.

The example of 8" infantry getting a 3rd turn charge is a poor one as well, as I don't know anyone who wouldn't refuse the charge if they had not moved their units.

The "Swan of War Shuffle" is legal provided the unit is in such a formation as no model moves more than 8".

RGB
13-01-2010, 17:51
Empire detachments are not underpowered. Ask TVI.

There are numerous accepted tactics for effectively using Empire detachments. Ask TVI.

What would be the point of asking TVI? When was the last time his list was effective at a tournament or elsewhere?

This isn't the 6th edition anymore, unfortunately.

That said, I don't like this finding, because it's counter-intuitive...much like other stinkers like the 1" rule, for example.

Yellow Commissar
13-01-2010, 18:40
@Yellow Any diagram can only show one execution of the rule - would you argue that only units of spearmen can perform change formations? The diagram only ever shows spearmen doing so. If the diagram showed the off-centre expansion/retraction posited by the tactic, would you argue that centre-oriented expansion was not possible?

Diagrams are examples, not exhaustive rules. The rules tell us what to do, diagrams show us one instance of the rule's application.

I am not arguing that the diagram shows the only possible way to Change Formation. The diagrams do show the units Changing Formation around the center, though. Changing Formation to the flank is not expressly permitted by the rules. I am in no way saying the rules are clear here, but if units were able to move laterally by adding and reducing frontage, why the rule under Turn that allow units to move backwards of sideways at half speed? At best, the rule is not clear.

My point is that since it is not clear, it is not sporting to pull this as a trick against an unsuspecting opponent. In a tournament, if the rules pack addressed it, then fine. In a normal game, if it was discussed before the game, then fine. Like it or not, your opponents opinion matters.

Atrahasis
13-01-2010, 18:57
The rule tells us what we can do - the diagram is an example, and not a restriction.

Add the fact that the "units can move sideways" is only true for units that have no incomplete ranks, and you're using a poor example to countermand a written rule.

FLUEVOG
13-01-2010, 19:06
Flue, for going on the 6th time now I am *NOT* saying it is against the rules. I am saying it is unsportsmanlike behavior to abuse a rules loophole to move your troops in this manner!

Thank you Atma! I'll agree with you that its a grey area. Discussing with your opponent beforehand is good advice. Now please wrap that up and send it to Yellow, who seems to think Prohibit is equal to Legal, but Frowned Upon.

Now as to the level of abusiveness, I disagree. From what I've seen in the forums and experienced in real life, this is extremely tame. Have you ever had a Fanatic launched into your deployment zone? Or cavalry redeploy through rough terrain?

Please, everyone, take a step back and take an objective and macro-level look at this tactic. All it involves is taking some middle-of-the-road troops, deploying them in a cool-looking manner, then making them slightly more effective and slightly more versatile via a "grey area" in the rules. The only advantage you gain is against the one unit bearing down the far flank - you still have to deal with any others.

Now tell me, honestly everyone, is this grinding Warhammer beneath its heel? Or is it just new and therefore makes you a little afraid?


@Yellow - I'm well versed in TVI's tactics as well as the Reman Legion's. Why you brought them up here and defended the value of detachments, I don't know. No one mentioned either. It's like you're responding to whole 'nother thread.

Yellow Commissar
13-01-2010, 22:28
Add the fact that the "units can move sideways" is only true for units that have no incomplete ranks, and you're using a poor example to countermand a written rule.

How is that a fact? The rule does not say that.

shinankoku
13-01-2010, 23:40
This is IMHO: it is patently ludacris to allow unts to form ranks around a model other than the center. Why? There would never be a use for a left or right face. Why would they even include rules for right or left face??

One other reason, and I know I'm gonna get it for this but: some of us have been in the military. Some of us know how impossible it would be to drill for this, much less execute it on the field of battle.

ChaosVC
14-01-2010, 02:44
If everyone have their own interpretation about a grey area in the game...then almost every oponent you face will make up different rules based on their own interpretation. Best avoid such things so as to keep the game simple and less problematic and smooth in the spirit of the game. None the less, its an interesting idea, you just need your oponent consent. For me I wouldn't do it and will advise my oponent not to do it too often, but really no harm trying if only for fun sake.

Adelie
14-01-2010, 03:57
Don't think this maneuver works and here is why. The rules say that you can add/remove models from the front rank and that the back rank is filled center out. This I think we can all agree on. The problem arises in how you are looking at doing this move. When you begin, your unit has a center point

xxxxxCxxxxx. Changing formation is a measured move action, so those models leaving the front rank need to be placed as they leave the front. The only place for them to go is the next rank back which, until filled, is the 'rear' rank. Hence, those models would need to be placed center out from the units center. After you fill a rank, the next rank becomes the 'rear' rank and this is again filled center out. Accordingly, the central position of the unit cannot be shifted more than half a model space (depending on even or odd numbers in the front rank).

If you want to just pull models from the front, and then rearrange them however you feel all at once, this is done with a reform move. But of course, this explicitly restricts you from shuffling the unit.


If you go step by step (and I agree the BRB assumes you will do this, following the rules for rank and file and the filling rules stated without explicitly saying to do it), you will find that it is not possible to shuffle the unit because of model placement rules.

I believe this to be the intention of the rules as it makes the most sense for differentiating 'Change formation' 'Reform' and the rules regarding 'turning' to move the unit sideways.

Sambojin
14-01-2010, 07:00
Its not illegal. Nothing is in Warhammer. Tournaments change the rules (even at a fundamental level) all the time. Its more to do with what sort of game you both like and agree to play.

If there is ever a consensus that this is not only ok, but legal, fair and sportsman-like it just gives me one more reason to like night goblins. No-one does the wheel-the-back-of-the-unit-into-the-enemies-deployment-zone fanatic catapult and expects to be considered a good sport. I kind of think that giving my fanatics a possible 4" extra lateral movement would lable me as a git as well.........

And this is with the second weakest troops in an army of weak troops. The amount of other cheesy exploits you can pull with this tactic is immense. Its a cool tactic, as long as EVERYONE thinks it can be done. At a fundamental, game-changing rules level.

Atrahasis
14-01-2010, 09:00
How is that a fact? The rule does not say that.

When turning, any models in an incomplete rank move to the new rear of the formation.

The "conclusion" that units can move sideways by turning, moving, turning is based on an incomplete application of the turn rules.


^XXXXX^
XXXX

turns right, and becomes

XXXXXXXXX>

not

XXXXX>
XXXX>

Yellow Commissar
14-01-2010, 14:19
The "conclusion" that units can move sideways by turning, moving, turning is based on an incomplete application of the turn rules.

The "conclusion" is exactly what the rule states, "units can move backwards or sideways at half speed."

Your "conclusion" that models from incomplete ranks always move to the back rank is based on an incomplete reading of the rules. Models move to the rear when the unit is turned, yes, but when a unit turns, moves, and turns back, the unit is turned "back to its original position". This is exactly what the rule states.

When moving sideways or backwards, the models are not actually turned at all in game play. the unit is just moved backwards or sideways. It would be a ridiculous waste of time to actually turn each individual model twice. This is what "this effectively means that units can move backwards or sideways at half speed" means. :wtf:

FLUEVOG
14-01-2010, 15:13
As crazy as it sounds, Atrahasis is right.

In his example, the back row of four models form an incomplete rank. When the models turn (eg spin) 90 degrees to the right, those four models are then moved to the end, forming one long rank.

If you look at Diagram 13.2a, the incomplete rank of two models does not slide to the right to form a fifth column, but instead move to the back of the unit and form an incomplete sixth rank. It is only the square formation of the unit that makes it look like it simply sidesteps.

Atrahasis' example, as counter-intuitive and odd as it may seem, is correct.

"Turning back to their original position", as I read it, means that they are turning back to face their original direction. Otherwise, the literal interpretation of "original position" means they wouldn't have moved at all.

Atrahasis
15-01-2010, 15:43
The "rule" claimed also begins "this means", indicating that it is a result of a certain application of the previous rule, and not a rule in its own right. It's an incorrect conclusion except where a unit has no incomplete ranks.

Yellow Commissar
15-01-2010, 17:08
The "rule" claimed also begins "this means", indicating that it is a result of a certain application of the previous rule, and not a rule in its own right. It's an incorrect conclusion except where a unit has no incomplete ranks.

To me "this means", means that is what it means. :wtf:

I guess we just disagree. It's certainly not the first time! :D

graymer
15-01-2010, 17:34
If I was playing against someone in a tournament and they did this, I wouldn't even ask for an explanation. I'd simply pack my models up and walk away from the table.

In a friendly game, or down at a club, I'd definitely be willing to see it in action.

However, all things considered, it is a horrible abuse of the rules. The mere fact that you need to dig this deep into the rules to prove it's legal is a reflection that it's very unsportsmanlike.

yabbadabba
15-01-2010, 18:14
If I was playing against someone in a tournament and they did this, I wouldn't even ask for an explanation. I'd simply pack my models up and walk away from the table. Or you could stop being over dramatic and ask for a ref's decision. Then make your choice. Packing up and walking away is unsportsmanlike. Spotting the issue, resolving it with the opponent/ref and then avoiding it on the battlefield is the right way to do these things.

FLUEVOG
15-01-2010, 18:29
Which one are you talking about, Graymer? The Swan-of-War or Atrahisis' Turn?

graymer
15-01-2010, 18:46
A player attempting to pull something like this is against the very spirit of the foundations this game was laid upon.

@FLUE: Swan-of-War

FLUEVOG
15-01-2010, 19:17
Dude that is hilarious. If you're ever at an OFCC, lets grab a beer. You sound like a funny guy.

graymer
15-01-2010, 20:10
May not have my Dwarfs done in time to compete, but I'm definitely up for the beer part.

burad
30-03-2010, 03:23
As far as the 'spirit' of the game is concerned, there's nothing wrong with the tactic historically. In historical medieval times this would have likely been beyond the capabilities of most armies; however, in the horse and musket era this tactic was in fact used by several armies, and the column could be formed from either end of the line as was described. As many people accurately point out every week on this forum, this is fantasy, and this army is the one with the most elaborate and advanced tactical drill at the unit level. So there's nothing wrong with the tactic mechanically or in 'spirit', if the rules don't disallow it. The Empire Army is clearly not a medieval army like many of the others are, and should be capable of post-medieval tactics that the others are not.

_Ashdil_
30-03-2010, 11:43
This is IMHO: it is patently ludacris to allow unts to form ranks around a model other than the center. Why? There would never be a use for a left or right face. Why would they even include rules for right or left face??

One other reason, and I know I'm gonna get it for this but: some of us have been in the military. Some of us know how impossible it would be to drill for this, much less execute it on the field of battle.

And in real life we can also only move double our moving distance!... I have a move of 6, whats yours!?... Saying that in real life we cant do this becouse, is just stupid! IN real life a cannon ball can strike two people standing next to eachother, not in warhammer though...

I like this tactic, even though I think dropping the units to 14 would be better, more so in a tournament. Aslong as no models moves more then 8 (in the case of basic M of 4) they can put up thier ranks anywhere along that 14 models wide line.

Nomen Mendax
30-03-2010, 16:28
I've one question about this manoeuvre. Why do the models get to move up to 8"?

The section under Change Formation doesn't say anything about models being allowed to move up to twice their movement rate. Am I missing a FAQ or am I missing something when I'm reading the rules (either, or both are possible)?

Gaargod
30-03-2010, 17:51
I don't get what all the fuss is about. End of the day, its still not actually that strong a tactic. The crucial weakness is that it can't turn and change formation at the same time - so a cunning enemy can set up situations where you either get flanked or fight with 1 rank. Either way, that parent unit is dead.

Its also around 400pts. For that i can get 2 units of heavy cav - between them, i'm really going to take the heavy cav.

Of course, if the infantry were stronger or the player was using terrain to anchor flanks, then it might be a pain. But in that case, its either more expensive or it will be obvious which side they will shuffle too - at which stage, you can plan tasty flank charges.

If an opponent can show me, to a reasonable degree, that this move is legal (certainly, flue's initial explanation would have sufficed) then i wouldn't have a problem with it, tournament or not.

Incidentally, i've only ever heard of one person actually packing up and leaving in a tourney before. That person was laughed at by pretty much everyone there - you're paying to enter a competitive tournament, don't cry if you don't get your way. Pull over the ref by all means, but packing up is ludicrous.

Trains_Get_Robbed
31-03-2010, 00:19
People need to be less childish and let it bounce. If someone did this I would applude for their tatical mind and be prepared for it next time. I mean really whose going to charge into a unit of crossbows anyways with a M4 or even M5 troop its asenine. You charge with something like Fast Cav, skrimhers or +1 knights, something thats going to get there.

Atrahasis: That seems cheesy as I'm used to wheeling the 2.5 in etc. . . but if its legal again I would allow it, maybe even imply it myself :D!

Notasquick
11-04-2010, 23:03
Rulebook:

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook, Page 12, Section Movement Rate, Paragraph 3:

"Models do not have to move the full distance allowed, or can stay still if you prefer, but they cannot move further than their normal Move rate unless charging, marching, pursuing, or fleeing."

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook, Page 12, Section Manoeuvres, Paragraph 1:

"There are four specific types of manoeuvre that enable a unit to turn about or rearrange its ranks: wheel, turn, change formation, and reform."

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook, Page 14, Section Change Formation, Paragraph 2:

"When redeploying models in this way it is important to remember that a unit has the same number of models in each ranj, except for the rear rank, which may contain the same or fewer models, and is filled from the centre outwards (see Diagrams 14.1 and D14.2)."

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook, Page 13, Section Reform, Paragraph 2:

"The most common use of the turn manoeuvre is for a unit to turn around 90 degrees or 180 degrees, move half their normal move and then turn back to its original position. This means that units can effectively move backwards or sideways at half speed."

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook, Page 14, Section Reform, Paragraph 2:

"Keeping the centre point of the unit the same, arrange the unit into a new formation of as many ranks as you please. facing whichever direction you wish, so long as none of the models in the unit move more than twice their movement rate."

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook, Page 15, Section Marching, Paragraph 2:

"Marching troops move at twice their normal Movement rate, with weapons sheathed or shouldered"

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rulebook, Page 15, Section Marching, Paragraph 4:

"A unit on the march cannot change formation or turn as this would disrupt its movement."


Rules Summary:

1. A model can move up to Move except during a March with Wheel, a Reform, charging, fleeing, or pursuing. There are no exceptions for turning, change formation, or wheeling when not imarching.

2. A model is procluded from shooting if it marched, or reformed. Models are not prevented from shooting by turning, change formation, or wheeling (but not in a march).

3. Change Formation does not proclude which side of the front rank models are taken from. The distance models can legally move in total during the movement phase is restricted to Move.


Opinion:

The tactic itself relies too much on precisely lining up units, and thus is fraught with the danger of misalignment causing these manouevres to be blocked by friendly units.

I like the innovative usage of Change Formation (better named Change Frontage). It does seems the right way to change the number of models in the frontage of a unit with models being moved from both sides or one side, the latter probably should have been restricted to units with command only.

Unfortunately you can only move a model up to a total of Move in your movement phase while carrying out such manoeuvres. This can lead to some considerable problems in calculating how to move units legally. Units can lose the ability to turn, change formation, or reform, due to the formation they are in. Strange restrictions can seemingly occur on how you turn, wheel, change formation, and reform.

Allowing double movement for change formation seems like a good idea. That is until you realise that, the unit could be in front of an enemy unit, hop sideways at march pace to be outside any charge arc, and then shoot at the same unit without recourse, or shoot at another previously shielded unit with full efficency.


Examples:

Assuming 20mm (4/5") bases with a movement rate of 4 or 25mm (1") bases with a movement rate of 5, a single model can legally move five (5) bases.

Thus in your example of a fifteen (15) models line, you cannot Change Formation (using both sides removal, the outer most model has to move a minimum of eight (8) bases for one model or six (6) bases for ten models; using one side removal, the outer most model has to travel a minimum of eight (8) bases for one model or eleven (11) bases for ten models).

If you use a thirteen (13) model line, you cannot Change Formation except by using both sides evenly and removing at least two and at most four models.

If you use a nine (9) model line, you can Change Formation with either method but restricted to at most four models from any one side.

If you use a twelve (12) model line, you can do both sides evenly at four models each and thus go to three ranks four files wide. This does seems to imply that the changeover from four to five model wide units impinged on the utility of change formation.


Oddities:

Thirty slayers in a line, would not be able to change formation or reform.

Forty goblins in the front rank with a boss in the rear rank, would not be able to turn, change formation, or reform.

Fifty dwarf warriors in a line with a thane on an oath stone at one end, would not be able to turn, change formation, or reform but the thane would be able to challenge anyone attacking the unit at the other end of the line.


Conclusion:

The movement system needs an overhaul to clean up basic manouevres, differentiate unit types, and to fully integrate terrain into the game.