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Jolly Puggles
17-01-2011, 01:04
This has probably been brought up before, but it's been bugging me no end...

How do Skaven Packmaster Whips work with regards to fighting "over" ranks of Giant Rats or Rat Ogres? Would it be a fair assumption to simply give Whips the "Fights in Extra Ranks" rule?

As it stands, the rule was clearly not written with 8th edition in mind (even though they must have had at least an inclining of what was coming when they were writing the Army book).

Giant Rats, when not fielded as Horde, are not a problem, given that they current ruling states that the Packmaster can make a single attack over 3 ranks of Rats (2 ranks fight normally, +1 rank fights for Wave of Rats, then Packmasters in Rank 4 can also fight).

Giant Rats fielded in Horde formation start displaying a problem, because you can have 4 Ranks of Rats fighting. Any Packmasters in the 5th Rank, according to the stated rules, would be unable to fight. If, however, they were armed with Spears (hypothetically speaking), they would be able to fight because "Fights in Extra Ranks" always stacks. This seems to me to be contradictory given the fact that the Whip appears to be able to give better 'reach' than a Spear under more usual circumstances (e.g. 4 ranks of 5 armed with spear have 3 ranks attacking, 4 ranks of 5 with 4th rank armed with whip gets all 4 attacking).

Rat Ogres are also problematic as the rules state that a Whip can fight over a single rank of Rat Ogres. Given that the first 2 Ranks of Rat Ogres fight as normal instead of only the 1st Ranks (as it was in previous editions), does the Whip allow you to fight from Rank 3, or only Rank 2?

Any clarification would be appreciated, as the GW FAQ staff appear oblivious to this glaringly obvious oversight (seeing as we've already had 2 updates to the 8th ed. Errata since its release).

PeG
17-01-2011, 06:55
Although I agree that they could potentially use a FAQ if you want to improve the models and their potential uses I dont see anything in the rules that is unclear. As you say skaven have already received 2 FAQs so maybe GW doesnt intend to give them an additional improvement. The alternative is that they missed these rules but in that scenario you just have to wait.

Tregar
17-01-2011, 09:14
The rules are pretty clear, I don't see what the problem is? Yes, it's different to being armed with a spear, which is probably because it's not a spear. If you have a big unit of Giant Rats, put the Packmasters in the 4th rank and they will be able to attack; if you have a massive unit of Rat Ogres, then simply build your unit so that you'll be able to place the Packmasters directly behind your front rank of Rat Ogres and Master Moulder, and there's really absolutely no problem whatsoever.

I guess you might find the following formation unclear with Rat Ogres:

P[RR][RR]...
P[RR][RR]...
PP...

In this case the top packmaster (most likely a master moulder) can fight, then the guy behind him can fight, and then as long as the packmasters in the next rank are in contact with the Rat Ogre in front, they can fight too.

Just be glad, consider that in 7th edition if you had a Master Moulder and then a Packmaster directly behind him, he couldn't fight, but now he can. Letting you make nice rectangular formations with 2 Rat Ogres and 2 Packmasters!

Jolly Puggles
17-01-2011, 10:36
If you have a big unit of Giant Rats, put the Packmasters in the 4th rank and they will be able to attack;

Yes, true, but the 4th rank can attack anyway in a Horde unit of Giant Rats (because of Wave of Rats), so the Whip isn't doing anything special.


In this case the top packmaster (most likely a master moulder) can fight, then the guy behind him can fight, and then as long as the packmasters in the next rank are in contact with the Rat Ogre in front, they can fight too.


In this particular example, according to the strictest reading of the rules, the Packmasters in the 3rd rank would not be able to fight as there is 2 ranks of Rat Ogres between the packmaster and the enemy and a Whip only allows you to fight over a single rank of Rat Ogres (and the Whip doesn't allow you to attack over other Packmasters).

The problem comes from the fact that 8th ed. has the 'Supporting Attacks' and 'Fights in Extra Ranks' terminology that is largely incompatible with older editions special rules. The wording of the special rules for Whips should be updated to incorporate current terminology, but it hasn't been and this makes for an inconclusive argument. The Whip is clearly intended to give the Packmaster the ability to make a supporting attack from an unusual position in the unit. However, does the Whip allow a supporting attack in addition to those normally allowed, or are they exclusive? Played as written, the Whip often does not have the clearly intended game effect of allowing the Packmaster an attack even though he's not in base contact with the enemy.

PeG
17-01-2011, 12:50
That clear intention is from 7th ed. With infantry and especially hordes of infantry receiving a massive boost in 8th GW might have changed their intentions. No extra attacks for whips unless it follows the rules as currently written. This is one of the points for which the rules actually are very easy to interpret.

Tregar
17-01-2011, 12:55
No, in my example that's a pair of rat ogres, which are twice the size of packmasters, hence why the R icons are twice the size of the P icons. Thought it was fairly obvious but next time I'll remember to state the obvious ;) The whip doesn't "allow" you to attack over other Packmasters, but the rules for supporting attacks do.

The whip clearly DOES have the intended effect, because it lets the Packmasters attack from a position where they cannot be attacked themselves. Giant Rats just have an extra rule that means that in horde formation the packmaster still needs to be in the 4th rank and so doesn't benefit, and just consider the rules regarding Rat Ogres to be there for completeness, to tell you that they CAN have a supporting attack from behind the Rat Ogre (which they would be able to do anyway, but it doesn't hurt for the rules to say it).

In other words, just follow their rules, don't overthink it and enjoy a game of warhammer. Just because the rule doesn't always give you extra benefits doesn't mean it's wrong, confusing, or needing FAQing. If you really want cause to moan, consider Beastmen, who, despite supposedly being written with 8th edition in mind, can buy a 75 point upgrade to make a character stubborn... now THAT is stupid.

Jolly Puggles
17-01-2011, 13:27
The whip clearly DOES have the intended effect, because it lets the Packmasters attack from a position where they cannot be attacked themselves. Giant Rats just have an extra rule that means that in horde formation the packmaster still needs to be in the 4th rank and so doesn't benefit, and just consider the rules regarding Rat Ogres to be there for completeness, to tell you that they CAN have a supporting attack from behind the Rat Ogre (which they would be able to do anyway, but it doesn't hurt for the rules to say it).

So basically what you're saying is that in 8th ed. the whip is just a glorified Additional Hand Weapon? If that's the case, then why the need for the fancy rules? If that's the case, why don't they amend the rule to say as much? They've clarified less amiguous rules in the Skaven Army Book, so why not that one?

edit: I understood your diagram and corresponding description correctly. The Packmaster in the 3rd rank does not qualify to make a supporting attack (by virtue of being in the 3rd Rank) and cannot use the whip special rule because there is more than one rank of Rat Ogres between him and his target. You made claim that he could make an attack.

Tregar
17-01-2011, 15:27
Umm, well yes, it is an AHW in the front rank, indeed. It literally is just a way of letting them make a supporting style attack either behind a rat ogre or 3 ranks of Giant Rats, exactly what it says.

There is only one rank of Rat Ogres between the Packmaster and the enemy in my diagram. There's only one rank of Rat Ogres full stop, so I must have confused you if you're sure I've put two ranks of them in... there really is just one rank of Rat Ogres- go grab some models and replicate the positions if you like! Sorry for adding confusion! I guess this is why the rule is written this way, if it didn't exist, then people would think that a Packmaster directly behind a Rat Ogre is in the third rank, and so wouldn't be allowed a supporting attack; but by its own rules, it may happily attack through the single rank of Rat Ogres.

You ask why they don't amend the rule, and it's pretty obvious why not. One, the rule is clear (Despite what you say), two, the Skaven FAQ is already the largest in the game, and it's horrible to have to refer to it so much as it is. Since you can work out how Packmaster whips work simply by reading their rules, there really is no need to FAQ them some more.

I'm not quite sure why you think they need to be modified. They provide +1A when in base contact, or a sort-of support attack from behind 3 ranks of rats or 1 rank of rat ogres. This is what the rules say. That is how you play them. It's that simple.

Karolinen
27-01-2011, 17:36
If packmaster upgrades to mastermoulder, he become a champion and are placed in the first line.

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Whip = when in basecontact in closecombat = +1 Attack (additional handweapon)