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BEEGfrog
09-01-2011, 02:35
I have been searching back through the discussions and haven't found an answer that actually defines which skirmishes can shoot while in "loose" formation.

The FAQ addresses what happens when they have closed up for HtH, but, while they are in "loose" formation, the loss of LoS from rear ranks due to not being able to see past closed up front ranks does not apply. I.e. there is a great big 1/2" gap between the rank in front, so normally you can trace a TLoS from rear models to the target unit entirely past the models further forward.

I can see the assumption of LoS blocking in ranked units as they are all supposedly the same so claiming an actual TLoS from a rear rank should be prevented, but how can you assume that empty gaps block LOS?

As the standard for LoS in 8th is TLoS surely that is what should be used while the skirmishers are in "loose" formation. I.e. it should be possible to arrange the unit so that all models have TLoS during the movement phase and therefore all models should be able to fire.

TMATK
09-01-2011, 03:31
I gave it a look, and I think they have to obey the rules in the shooting section; ie 2 ranks.

The FAQ made this change:
Page 77 Skirmishers, Light Troops
Change [...]zero ranks[...] to [...]zero ranks in
combat[...].

That tells me they have ranks just like other rank and file. There would need to be an exception to the 2 rank rule somewhere in the skirmisher section in order to break it.

Take it with a grain of salt. I never play with or against shooting skirmishers.

T10
09-01-2011, 09:58
They shoot in two rank just like everybody else.

-T10

BEEGfrog
09-01-2011, 14:53
I gave it a look, and I think they have to obey the rules in the shooting section; ie 2 ranks.

The FAQ made this change:
Page 77 Skirmishers, Light Troops
Change [...]zero ranks[...] to [...]zero ranks in
combat[...].

That tells me they have ranks just like other rank and file. There would need to be an exception to the 2 rank rule somewhere in the skirmisher section in order to break it.

Take it with a grain of salt. I never play with or against shooting skirmishers.

I saw this and it applies to when skirmishers are closed up into ranks for close combat.

Skirmishers special rule says they line up with 1/2" gaps thus allowing rear ranks to see through gaps as they are 1/2" back from the guy in front and have at least a 1/2" gap either side, any assumption about what ranked up troops in "close" as opposed to "loose" formation can see does not apply when you can trace a clear line of sight from a model that does not pass over the base or through any part of the figure on the way to the target.

On page 39 of the BRB it says that 2nd rank figures "can" use the LOS of fronk rank figures, however if a 2nd, 3rd or 4th rank figure can trace its own LoS I can see no rule preventing them from using that rather than the extra ability of using the front ranker's LoS instead of their own.

Pg 39 para 3 says use own LoS, para 4 adds the extra ability to fire from 2nd rank using front rank LoS, para 5 then adds the limitation that ranks further back cannot shoot, but this is in relation to the rule allowing 2nd rank to use 1st rank LoS not when they have LoS of their own.

It is clear that the limitation of assuming ranks behind the 2nd only applies to the ability to shoot using a font ranker's LoS rather than the model's own because it come under the "Fire in two ranks" sub-section rather than the main "Check that the shooter can see the target" main section.

This may make it even slower moving skirmishers so that they all get their own LoS to their intended target but unless there is something elsewhere in the rules it seems that all skirmishers can shoot if they each have range and LoS to target.

TMATK
09-01-2011, 15:17
Skirmishers special rule says they line up with 1/2" gaps thus allowing rear ranks to see through gaps as they are 1/2" back from the guy in front and have at least a 1/2" gap either side, any assumption about what ranked up troops in "close" as opposed to "loose" formation can see does not apply when you can trace a clear line of sight from a model that does not pass over the base or through any part of the figure on the way to the target.

..

Models in the back ranks are assumed to have their LOS blocked, whether or not they actually do. Skirmishers don't have an exception to that rule.

BEEGfrog
09-01-2011, 16:12
Models in the back ranks are assumed to have their LOS blocked, whether or not they actually do. Skirmishers don't have an exception to that rule.

As pointed out in last post that rule is in a named section referring to models being able to shoot from a rear rank using the front rank's LoS. As it is in a different named sub-section it does not apply to the primary rule that you can shoot if you have LoS. In that sub-section is assumes a second rank can see past a crouching first rank but that ranks further back cannot see past the two crouching dodging or whatever models in front of them. I.e. it provides and exception to TLoS and then limits that to the second rank.

If the model is using the ability to shoot granted by the main rule, and not the extra ability granted by the sub-section, its ability to shoot is not affected by the limitation on the extra ability also in the sub-section.

Read page 39 para 3 says line of sight allows shooting.

Further, skirmishers cannot shoot from a second rank because that ability is only granted when the front rank figure is "directly" in front of the second rank figure. 2nd rank skirmishers in "loose" formation do not have a model directly in front of them they have a 1/2" gap in front of them. The entire section, both the ability to shoot from 2 ranks and the limitation to only shoot from the second rank using the front rank's LoS do not apply to skirmishers!

I only just realised this when checking the wording one more time. There may be something elsewhere in the rule book, but, for the moment, RAW seem to say to me that each skirmisher shoots using its own TLoS.

Avian
09-01-2011, 16:19
You are overthinking the matter. Especially you are imagining that there is a difference between having a friend 1/10" away and 1/4" away and 1/2" away when it comes to determinging what is "directly" ahead. In fact, when I'm driving on the motorway and there is a car directly ahead of me, that doesn't mean we are less than 1/2" away (which would be rather scary).

What you need to know is neatly summed up thusly:


In simple terms, this allows units to fire in two ranks.

(simple terms might be what you need ;))

BEEGfrog
09-01-2011, 17:08
I started the thread not knowing the answer. Going back time and again to check the rules and FAQs trying to understand what the rules actually say have convinced me of my current opinion.

I.e. that the "Fire in two ranks" both the rule and the limitation just do not limit skirmishers with TLoS to two ranks shooting, as they only apply when you want to use the LoS of the front ranker.

If the rule does apply to skirmishers it is an extra ability that may allow the skirmisher to qualify in two different ways either by its own TLoS or via the TLoS of a model in the front rank.

The "fire in two ranks" rule says that front rankers are qualified by the main rule above but they also want units to be able to fire in two ranks, this does not say that skirmishers that meet the rule above are disqualified. The "fire in two ranks" rule is an addition to allow a second rank to fire but limits it to the 2nd rank. I.e. you can shoot if you have TLoS or if you are in the 2nd rank of a unit where the model in front of you has TLoS.

My argument is that the limitation to two ranks applies only to the "fire in two ranks" rule and not to the TLoS rule in a different section. I.e. limitations in a sub-section apply to the rules in that sub-section and not necesarily to other rules.

What reasons are there to apply this sub-section limitation where the main rule would otherwise permit shooting? Everywhere else TLoS guarantees LoS, why should this sub-section about granting additional LoS above TLoS be the only part of the rule to limit TLoS. (Ok, there is the extra appendages limitation, but that is about maintaining the freedom to model spectacular models not core elements of the rules).

TMATK
09-01-2011, 17:28
I started the thread not knowing the answer. Going back time and again to check the rules and FAQs trying to understand what the rules actually say have convinced me of my current opinion.

I.e. that the "Fire in two ranks" both the rule and the limitation just do not limit skirmishers with TLoS to two ranks shooting, as they only apply when you want to use the LoS of the front ranker.

If the rule does apply to skirmishers it is an extra ability that may allow the skirmisher to qualify in two different ways either by its own TLoS or via the TLoS of a model in the front rank.

The "fire in two ranks" rule says that front rankers are qualified by the main rule above but they also want units to be able to fire in two ranks, this does not say that skirmishers that meet the rule above are disqualified. The "fire in two ranks" rule is an addition to allow a second rank to fire but limits it to the 2nd rank. I.e. you can shoot if you have TLoS or if you are in the 2nd rank of a unit where the model in front of you has TLoS.

My argument is that the limitation to two ranks applies only to the "fire in two ranks" rule and not to the TLoS rule in a different section. I.e. limitations in a sub-section apply to the rules in that sub-section and not necesarily to other rules.

What reasons are there to apply this sub-section limitation where the main rule would otherwise permit shooting? Everywhere else TLoS guarantees LoS, why should this sub-section about granting additional LoS above TLoS be the only part of the rule to limit TLoS. (Ok, there is the extra appendages limitation, but that is about maintaining the freedom to model spectacular models not core elements of the rules).

No offense, but you've lost me.



(simple terms might be what you need ;))
^ That

AMWOOD co
09-01-2011, 17:46
What reasons are there to apply this sub-section limitation where the main rule would otherwise permit shooting? Everywhere else TLoS guarantees LoS, why should this sub-section about granting additional LoS above TLoS be the only part of the rule to limit TLoS. (Ok, there is the extra appendages limitation, but that is about maintaining the freedom to model spectacular models not core elements of the rules).

The reason for limiting line of sight in regards to the 'Fire in two ranks' rule is that the 'Fire in two ranks' rule says to limit it. The rule specifies that the 3rd and beyond ranks are assumed to not have line of sight. Whether the model actually can draw line of sight or not becomes irrelevant.

I can understand the desire to want skirmishing units to fire in more than two ranks (after all a whole unit could fire in 7th, no matter the shape), but that is not the case. Nothing in the skirmishing rules states that is superceeds 'Fire in two ranks'.

I can tell this is not what you want to hear, but that's just the way it is. Sorry.

shelfunit.
09-01-2011, 18:24
Ok.
The rules say all troops armed with missile weapons can fire in 2 ranks, unless their army book or special rules over rule this - check

Skirmishers are (as per the FAQ) only considered to have no ranks in combat, so outside of combat they do have ranks - check

Skirmishers have no special rules that apply to either the above points - check

Conclusion - skirmishers can only fire in 2 ranks (unless their weapons have the volley fire special rule).

BEEGfrog
09-01-2011, 18:33
The reason for limiting line of sight in regards to the 'Fire in two ranks' rule is that the 'Fire in two ranks' rule says to limit it. The rule specifies that the 3rd and beyond ranks are assumed to not have line of sight. Whether the model actually can draw line of sight or not becomes irrelevant.

I can understand the desire to want skirmishing units to fire in more than two ranks (after all a whole unit could fire in 7th, no matter the shape), but that is not the case. Nothing in the skirmishing rules states that is superceeds 'Fire in two ranks'.

I can tell this is not what you want to hear, but that's just the way it is. Sorry.


I am not saying that anything in the skirmishers rule supersedes anything, I am saying that there are two rules for determining LoS for shooting: TLoS as standard across the ruleset and "Fire in two ranks" which allows 2nd rank to fire. The limitation to 2 ranks is in the section about "Fire in two ranks" and thus only applies to LoS allowed by the "Fire in two ranks" section.

What I am saying is that being able to draw a LoS through a model in front of you (the ability given by the "Fire in two ranks" rule) is irrelevant (and thus any limitations on it are irrelevant ) if you have LoS by yourself.

The believe the limitation on 2 ranks does not apply to anything outside the "fire in two ranks" section. I am willing to accept a convincing argument, my opinion has changed since the start of the debate.

I started this thread accepting the conventional wisdom that only two ranks could fire without the application of special rules like volley fire. But now I think the critical thing is whether the last two paragraphs of column 1 on page 39 of the BRB are meant to be one sub-section named "Fire in Two Ranks" or that the two paragraphs are separate and independent.

If they were independent I would have expected the last paragraph to have a separate title to distinguish them. If they are independent then the 2 rank limitation is general, if they are not independent then the limitation only applies to the "Fire in two ranks" sub-section.

shelfunit.
09-01-2011, 19:29
I am not saying that anything in the skirmishers rule supersedes anything, I am saying that there are two rules for determining LoS for shooting: TLoS as standard across the ruleset and "Fire in two ranks" which allows 2nd rank to fire. The limitation to 2 ranks is in the section about "Fire in two ranks" and thus only applies to LoS allowed by the "Fire in two ranks" section.

What I am saying is that being able to draw a LoS through a model in front of you (the ability given by the "Fire in two ranks" rule) is irrelevant (and thus any limitations on it are irrelevant ) if you have LoS by yourself.

The believe the limitation on 2 ranks does not apply to anything outside the "fire in two ranks" section. I am willing to accept a convincing argument, my opinion has changed since the start of the debate.

I started this thread accepting the conventional wisdom that only two ranks could fire without the application of special rules like volley fire. But now I think the critical thing is whether the last two paragraphs of column 1 on page 39 of the BRB are meant to be one sub-section named "Fire in Two Ranks" or that the two paragraphs are separate and independent.

If they were independent I would have expected the last paragraph to have a separate title to distinguish them. If they are independent then the 2 rank limitation is general, if they are not independent then the limitation only applies to the "Fire in two ranks" sub-section.

The fire in two ranks rule states:

"models further back than the second rank are assumed to have their LoS blocked by models further forward..."

There is no question that skirmishers with more than two ranks could have actual LoS to targets potentially because of their formation, but there is no current rule that over rules the one I have quoted above.

TMATK
09-01-2011, 19:35
...

The believe the limitation on 2 ranks does not apply to anything outside the "fire in two ranks" section. I am willing to accept a convincing argument, my opinion has changed since the start of the debate.

...

Nothing in the skirmishers rules puts them outside the "fire in the two ranks" section.

hamsterwheel
09-01-2011, 20:34
Page 77 of the rulebook under Light Troops along with the rulebook errata. "Skirmishers always count as having zero ranks in combat..."

This tells us that Skirmishers have ranks whenever they are not in close combat. There is nothing in the Skirmishers description nor in the shooting section that excludes Skirmishers from the Fire in Two ranks rule.

BEEGfrog
09-01-2011, 23:17
Page 77 of the rulebook under Light Troops along with the rulebook errata. "Skirmishers always count as having zero ranks in combat..."

This tells us that Skirmishers have ranks whenever they are not in close combat. There is nothing in the Skirmishers description nor in the shooting section that excludes Skirmishers from the Fire in Two ranks rule.

Read pg39, all of it, not just the line with the restriction.

3rd para gives a general rule about being able to shoot; 4th and 5th paras are a section about gaining LoS via a front rank figure that would normally block LoS. 4th and 5th paras are a unit the restriction in the 5th only applies to the ability in the 4th. The restriction has to be read in the right context it only applies to the "fire in two ranks" rule.

Why do I think the restriction only applies to this one rule, look at the structure of the page, the two "fire in two ranks" paras are split out from the rest of the page by the headings. The two paras are a single rule, the "fire in two ranks" rule. The limitation to two ranks only applies to this section. If a model is using its own LoS this rule doesn't apply and therefore the limitation built into the rule does not apply.

What does exclude skirmishers from the "Fire in two ranks" rule is that they can trace their own LOS and do not have to use the LOS of a model blocking their LOS because the model in front does not necessarily block their LoS.

hamsterwheel
10-01-2011, 00:12
Read pg39, all of it, not just the line with the restriction.

3rd para gives a general rule about being able to shoot; 4th and 5th paras are a section about gaining LoS via a front rank figure that would normally block LoS. 4th and 5th paras are a unit the restriction in the 5th only applies to the ability in the 4th. The restriction has to be read in the right context it only applies to the "fire in two ranks" rule.

Why do I think the restriction only applies to this one rule, look at the structure of the page, the two "fire in two ranks" paras are split out from the rest of the page by the headings. The two paras are a single rule, the "fire in two ranks" rule. The limitation to two ranks only applies to this section. If a model is using its own LoS this rule doesn't apply and therefore the limitation built into the rule does not apply.

What does exclude skirmishers from the "Fire in two ranks" rule is that they can trace their own LOS and do not have to use the LOS of a model blocking their LOS because the model in front does not necessarily block their LoS.

Ok, well here's a scenario for you then.

Block of high elf archers 5x5 move and then shoot into a block of chaos warriors that is slightly in their forward arc but on the right side. Would all of the archers on the right side get to shoot into the block of warriors? I mean, by your description, all of the archers on the right side would have clear LOS to the warriors, thus the rule for "Fire in two ranks" shouldn't apply to them since they can draw clear line of sight directly to the target without having to go through the first rank.

Your suggestion would open up a several issues in the shooting rules, which is why they simplified them to read that the first 2 ranks get to shoot. I mean, by your suggestion, any model that can draw clear line of sight to the unit should get to shoot.

smithers
10-01-2011, 00:51
Agreed.

We should only try to come up with reasonable and creative rule interpretations when the written rules are unclear or contradictory.

The "fire in two ranks" rule applies to all units that don't have a special exception. If skirmishers were supposed to fire in more ranks there would be a rule to override the "fire in two ranks" limitation.

As others have pointed out, the ruling has nothing to do with TLOS of the models. They are "assumed" to not have LOS, meaning we should specifically ignore whether they have TLOS.

If it helps, imagine your skirmishers darting around erratically as they would be (rather than in the spread out but rigid formation they get fielded in) Shooting through 2+ ranks of chaotic skirmishers without committing friendly fire might be even more difficult than firing between files of a non-skirmishing ranked unit.

What would be cool IMO would be for skirmishers to have some special rule like "hunker down" as a reform. This would give then soft cover benefit and the ability to fire with an additional 2 ranks. The tradeoff would be the loss of ability to flee as a charge reaction.

AMWOOD co
10-01-2011, 00:52
What does exclude skirmishers from the "Fire in two ranks" rule is that they can trace their own LOS and do not have to use the LOS of a model blocking their LOS because the model in front does not necessarily block their LoS.

How does the fact that they can draw line of sight exclude them from a rule that says you are to assume they cannot?

Playing on hamsterwheel's idea of flawed examples, I could have a unit of 30 goblin archers in 6 ranks of 5. A dragon could stop right in front of them.

Every goblin should be able to draw Line of Sight to the massive model, especially if the unit moves up. However, the limitation from 'Fire in two ranks' would mean that even though 30 goblins can 'see' him, I'm only allowed to shoot with the front 10 (an extra 10 if I volley fire).

The standard rule for shooting doesn't superceed the rules detailed in the 'Fire in two ranks' rule: they are not listed in order of most to least importance. Rather the two work in concert. Models in the front rank fire if they have line of sight and the target is in the front arc. Models in the second rank use the line of sight of the models ahead of them, and otherwise use the standard rule. Models in further back ranks cannot shoot as we are to assume they cannot achieve line of sight regardless of whether they actually can or not.

shelfunit.
10-01-2011, 08:01
Right, let's put this to bed.

The very first line in the "Fire in two ranks" section closes this argument.

"The rules given above allow front rank models to shoot, but we also want to allow models in the second rank to shoot"

The "rules given above..." are the TLoS rules for choosing targets, which is what the OP's arguments are based on. So reading through the rules completely, in order, we can see that TLoS only applies to models in the front rank, and that the "fire in two ranks" rule allows models in the second, and only the second rank to use the front rank's TLoS.

Lord_Corvinus
18-01-2011, 01:26
The rules i read , (and whatched on you tube ) state that ranks one and 2 can fire
3rd rank 50% can fire 4th 50 % so in a 25 model unit in tight formation (non skirmish ) 5 x 5 ranks
19 models can fire
by the rule book

however , if ever you looked at films and hisroically the front row only needed to see their targes since at long range they all matched the firing arc

so everyone in the unit would fire at long range to create a rain storm of arrows on their enemy.
at closer range i can see that its more likely to be a dissadvantage say when models are closet than 12 "

if it were me i would interpret the rules as follows ,
long range = last third or weapon range - 1 to hit modifier everyone can shoot
or 3rd rank and beyond have a -2 to hit modifier

when shooting at close range aka first third , 2 ranks only and mid range the 50 % rule for ranks 3 4 and 5

although in those rules it may require treating the unit at long range as 2 separate rolls

smithers
18-01-2011, 02:26
The rules i read , (and whatched on you tube ) state that ranks one and 2 can fire
3rd rank 50% can fire 4th 50 % so in a 25 model unit in tight formation (non skirmish ) 5 x 5 ranks
19 models can fire
by the rule book

however , if ever you looked at films and hisroically the front row only needed to see their targes since at long range they all matched the firing arc

so everyone in the unit would fire at long range to create a rain storm of arrows on their enemy.
at closer range i can see that its more likely to be a dissadvantage say when models are closet than 12 "

if it were me i would interpret the rules as follows ,
long range = last third or weapon range - 1 to hit modifier everyone can shoot
or 3rd rank and beyond have a -2 to hit modifier

when shooting at close range aka first third , 2 ranks only and mid range the 50 % rule for ranks 3 4 and 5

although in those rules it may require treating the unit at long range as 2 separate rolls

Errr what?! Youtube?

That isn't interpreting rules, that's making up rules. Bad, needlessly complicated rules!

Your historical reference also seems to refer to "volley fire" which is kind of the opposite behavior you would expect from skirmishers.

This is the rules forum; that means mostly should be talking about what's in the rulebooks and the FAQs. Cause historically, as everyone knows for example, dragons were really only about 12' tall. :D

FatTrucker
11-05-2013, 18:24
Rules are clear. Skirmishers have ranks unless they are in CC.
In all cases units can fire in two ranks when shooting unless superceded by a specific special rule.
Skirmishers have ranks when not in CC.
Skirmishers can fire in 2 ranks as per the shooting rules in the BRB.
There is no rule, exception or amendment that says standard shooting rules don't apply to skirmishers.

Just the way it is, regardless of what they did at Agincourt, what anyone's mum said or what the bloke at the back standing on a rock can actually see.

Also since they have no rank bonus in CC anyway, why not for example instead run 2 units of 10 in 2 ranks rather than 1 unit of 20 in 4 ranks? Or run a unit of 14 in 2 ranks of 7? Then they can all shoot.

yeknoMehT
11-05-2013, 20:19
You know this thread is over two years old?

FatTrucker
12-05-2013, 06:43
Yeah hadn't clocked that sorry, used a google search to check on something related and didn't think to look at the OP date.