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Midloo
26-01-2012, 10:54
I've been going back through the main rulebook in 8e and a few things have raised an eyebrow. Reforming during a combat for instance. I thought this was pretty straightforward, but now I'm not so sure. I looked through some other threads and didn't see an answer to my specific question. Would love some opinions.

So on page 55, the rulebook says that "a combat reform is essentially a standard reform (pg. 14)..." It goes on to say that the most common usage is to turn to face the enemy or increase your frontage. Okay... I knew all that. But guess what page 14 is mostly about? Turning your unit on it's center and facing any direction you like.

I also looked this up in the FAQ. They changed some of the wording to read, "A combat reform is essentially a standard reform (page 14), save for the fact that the centre point of the reformed unit does not have to stay in the same place." Okay again...

Then of course there is the blurb about how to resolve the problem of both players wanting to do a combat reform.

So let's say we resolve that and my opponent reforms first. Now it's my turn. Can I actually rotate my unit to any facing I like and change the angle of the battle line we are both fighting along? I know there is a lot of abstraction here in the rules. We are supposed to imagine a swirling mass of fighters - so being able to adjust that line would seem to make sense. Also - the victor of the fight can do a free reform after they win, but still... there would be advantages to changing the battle line in mid fight. You could spin your opponent around and open up a flank for example.

Is the battle line static during a combat, or can its angle change with a combat reform?

narrativium
26-01-2012, 11:20
How would you change the line of contact? The units don't reform simultaneously (and if they did you'd need the opponent's agreement on where the line should now be). Once you've reformed you need to have as many or more models in combat, so you can't position your models out of combat in order to move that line.

You can, as fas I know, choose to reform such that an enemy which charged your flank is now in your rear, in anticipation of further enemy charges (you couldn't change a front facing to a flank/rear unless you had only one rank, because the supporting rank is also in combat). and you can extend/retract the size of your front rank as much as you like so long as you don't remove any models from combat. That's the extent of your control.

You can't, which is what I think you're aiming for, reform a unit such that if you break your opponent in the next round of combat, they'd get a differently angled pursuit/flee corridor, thus catching/avoiding other units.

Midloo
26-01-2012, 11:46
Right... my question was if it was possible to imagine both units in combat as sort of one large unit that you could pivot in another direction as part of your combat reform. Essentially, can you spin the line of combat around to another angle. Why does the rulebook say that a combat reform is essentially the same as pg 14 when pg 14 is mostly about spinning your unit around on it's center point?

So I can't spin my unit in combat around on its center point and have my opponent meet the new front facing? Just seems strange to reference page 14 in the rulebook regarding this.

Althwen
26-01-2012, 11:49
I think 'Closing the door' prevents you from changing the battle line.
If you were to reform your unit to have its front turned by let's a 45 degree angle, the unit would then become subject to the rules of combatplacement, which dictate that you should get as many models in a fighting position.
As we can see with charges, it's always the charger who must first attempt to 'close the door' as far as possible. Only when the charger is unable to close it fully does the chargee 'close the door'.

So this would actually work like trying to pick apart to magnets, one of which is stuck fast in the same position (the unit that is not reforming) and the other being free to move (the one that's able to reform). The facings of the units represent the magnetised parts and as soon as the moving force relents, the magnet's facing closest to the static magnet will snap into position and be force to 'close the door'.

Midloo
26-01-2012, 12:35
yeah it only seems sensible to treat the battle line as static when combat reforming. It's described poorly in the book IMO.

So let's say I'm in combat and both of our units are facing the front of the other unit. As long as I don't reduce the number of models in combat (per the rulebook), I should be able to turn my unit 90 degrees and have my front face a new direction. This would be done to prepare for what would have been a flank charge.

Althwen
26-01-2012, 12:49
So let's say I'm in combat and both of our units are facing the front of the other unit. As long as I don't reduce the number of models in combat (per the rulebook), I should be able to turn my unit 90 degrees and have my front face a new direction. This would be done to prepare for what would have been a flank charge.

Mmm, seeing that this doesn't seem to break any of the rules that I can think of atm, I would say this is possible. But not per say advisable, since the other unit previously in your front is now in your side anyway and will get the +1 CR.
It could be used as a deterrence though, small units will likely shy away from most frontal charges.
And it might hold some advantages for units with spears/shields/chariots who are all penalised in some way when not fighting to the front.

Especially with the free reform at the end of a combat in the current edition, I can imagine extremely few situations where turning your front away from combat might be beneficial... but I can't come up with anything that would make it illegal.

EDIT: I just thought of an obvious situation that would warrant a reform like you describe. It's so simple that I'm ashamed I didn't think of it sooner, but hey :)
It would be a superb move if you were stuck in combat with soemthing that doesn't die too quickly (ie. Tomb King Warsphinx) but doesn't disrupt your unit when attacking your flanks. And if you were at the same time threatend to be charged by something that would actually disrupt your unit... it would be advisable to turn to face the charge of the possible diruptor.

/doh
Althwen bonks himself on the noggin'.

Midloo
26-01-2012, 13:56
Yep - exactly my thoughts on when it would be useful :)

I was also thinking that it would come in handy if you had a very killy unit that just happened to get stuck in combat by a lesser unit of your opponents. You've reduced that units numbers (maybe they don't even have a full first rank), but there is a larger unit about to counter-charge you next turn. It would be a good idea to turn your front toward that counter-charging unit. This would be especially nice if, as you said, you are armed with spears.

SaltGut
26-01-2012, 15:13
I do this all the time with my ogres. Most often ill charge a stuborn unit or an undead unit, ill bring them down to 5 to 10 modles and ill reform to get ready for a counter charge. Good strategy, it often catches them off guard. Just remember anyone who is base to base can't be moved out of base to base.

Blkc57
26-01-2012, 16:03
I do this all the time with my ogres. Most often ill charge a stuborn unit or an undead unit, ill bring them down to 5 to 10 modles and ill reform to get ready for a counter charge. Good strategy, it often catches them off guard. Just remember anyone who is base to base can't be moved out of base to base.

Its a clever strat but really only works if you can maintain a perfect square formation or at least have more than 5 ranks if you are normal infantry before you swing to the flank. Its the rule about having to remain in base to base contact that seems to trip people up, whenever they try to do that against me. Do it an not have the proper set up and you simply go 4 or less wide when you reform to the flank therefore negating your ranks anyway, and worse yet eliminating your steadfast. Not a super big issue for Ogres since a rank to them is only 3 models but it can be an issue for other armies.

SteelTitan
27-01-2012, 08:08
Can I ask another question about combat reforms (so I dont have to open another thread). It's more of a check than a question but...

Am I right to conclude that you are not allowed to begin the combat in horde formation (maximizing attacks) but as the combat goes on reform to a deep formation to make sure I'm steadfast? I thought this was a pretty smart thing to do but than remembered the part saying you cannot move models (friendly or enemy) out of base contact that was previously in contact.