Thursday, March 3, 2011

Multi-assault question. The rules say what?

By TheGraveMind


So I've heard this many times before, and even played it this way for a while. A unit in combat cannot attack a unit that assaults it next turn. If this is true it is a great tactic for my Tyranids again, but alas as I see it, it is crap. If you disagree and think you can explain it to me, please read through and tell me where I'm wrong.

I'm pulling from page 41 of the BRB and of the newest BRB FAQ.

For starters, the first sentence under Defenders React says "If a unit that is already locked in combat from a previous turn is assaulted by a new enemy unit, it can react as normal." so from right now I'm confused as to where people are coming up with this ruling. Maybe they are reading the bullet points.
  • Models that were engaged with just one of the enemy units at the beginning of the (round of) combat (before any model attacked) must attack that unit.
Is this what is confusing people? I can see it I guess. Here is my opinion on it; it states "just one of the enemy units" so how can that be in a multi assault? Even if I'm wrong here, if I'm in combat with two units and get assaulted by a third, I can chose to attack them because it's not "just one". I see this as having the same effect as the third one, forcing my models to attack the models they are next to.
  • Models that were engaged with more than one enemy unit at the beginning of the (round of) combat (before any model attacked) may split their attacks freely between those units. Declare how they are splitting their attacks immediately before rolling to hit.
If your powerfist is in the vice between two enemy units, he can take one powerfist attack against both units if you wish.
  • Models that at the beginning of the (round of) combat (before any model attacked) were engaged with more than one enemy unit, but were in base contact with just one of the enemy units, must attack that unit.
So once charges have been made, and defenders have reacted you start by going down Initiative order. This is when you check your models and see where/who they attack. So if you are in base contact with one squad, those models must attack those models, even if they get wiped out before your models Initiative, because you WERE in base contact, you must attack that squad, if they are there or not.

To me it seems it comes down to when "before any model attacked" and "round of combat" are defined. How do you guys read it? I'm fine playing it either way, but I read it RAW one way. While playing it either way is fine, it is one of those things you need to know before you start the game, and sometimes it is funny asking that before the game. "So are you a Dem or Rep? Do you follow multi-assault prevention?"

Thoughts? experiences?

8 comments:

  1. "So once charges have been made, and defenders have reacted you start by going down Initiative order. This is when you check your models and see where/who they attack. So if you are in base contact with one squad, those models must attack those models, even if they get wiped out before your models Initiative, because you WERE in base contact, you must attack that squad, if they are there or not."

    That is the key.

    There are the 3 steps of the Assault phase: 1. Assault Moves, 2. Defender Reacts, 3. Combat

    It's at the start of the Combat where you determine who can attack, and who they can attack. So if you have squad A1 fighting B, and squad A2 joins the fight, then the models in squad B that are in base contact with A1 must attack A1. The models in B that are in base contact with A2 must attack A2. And the models from B that are not in base contact with either are free to attack either A1 or A2, provided they are within 2" of a model in base contact.

    So I would say that a unit that is already fighting an assault would be able to attack any new additions to that assault.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree that the beginning of combat starts after the assault moves are made, so you can attack another unit that charges you if you are in base with it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok, so I'm not the only person, pfew that's a relief.
    Is this a carry over from last edition? or maybe it was changed with the latest FAQ? I'm trying to figure out how so many people are misinterpreting this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've had this conversation with about a dozen different people on Warseer, because it's an incredibly common misconception, but it's also reallly easy to see why.

    First off, the ACTUAL APPLICATION of the rule is very obscure to most people, as most people don't have a particularly firm grasp of the Assault rules to begin with.

    That said, the real application of the rule is simple: that casualties caused during combat (i.e., at higher Initiative steps) cannot change the legal targets of models attacking at a lower Initiative. You check (and make mental notes) of all legal targets for all legal models at the beginning of combat, and casualties will not change that.

    That whole circumstance is lost on many people, because it's pretty rare for it to actually matter. You've got to be in a multiple combat, with multiple Initiative values on the same side, and an actual situation where it would appear that target selection could be affected.

    The problem is that simple: many people don't have ANY idea what the rule is actually referencing, because that situation is so obscure and rare.

    What do you do when you read a rule that flat out makes ZERO sense in your brain? You start stretching the wording to find what the hell it's talking about, because obviously the rule has to mean SOMETHING. That's where the trouble occurs.

    All it takes is one minor misreading to arrive at the "new models charging can't be attacked" conclusion, and everyone who misunderstands it seems to do so in the exact same manner:

    Take the phrase "at the beginning of combat" and change it to "at the beginning of the Assault phase" and there you go. Now it would seem that models who weren't in base contact at the beginning of the Assault phase aren't allowed to attack. And yes, that IS insane, as it would disallow every possible Assault in the entire game--people just don't seem to follow it through to that logical conclusion.

    That particular misunderstanding is even further helped along by the fact that "combat" is a vague, effectively meaningless term (until it was clarified in the FAQ, proving how common this misinterpretation is) that has no in-game meaning for people. "Assault phase" on the other hand is a very clear, well-defined term that they have no problem getting their heads around.

    You'd think with the FAQ pretty much spelling it all out for people we wouldn't still have this problem, but it still crops up from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are completely correct TheGraveMind. Almost all problems fail at this rule because they misinterpret 'the beginning of the combat'. I've seen people try to say this is the beginning of the assault phase. It's not. The 'beginning of combat' is a point in time immediately after reactions and before attacks are thrown.

    You are also correct in saying that those that were in btb with just one of the multiple units his/her unit are in combat with can only throw their attacks at that unit. Even if they're all dead from higher initiative attacks.

    The most common failure is when people play this rule as though a unit that is assaulted whilst already locked in combat with another squad cannot attack the newly assaulting squad as they interpret beginning of combat as the beginning of the assault phase.

    Nice post

    ReplyDelete
  6. The most common place I see it happen is when your power fist-armed model no longer has any enemy models in base to base contact, and then wants to throw his attacks at the other unit (or independent character) that the squad was in contact with.

    I play it the same way as you. If a model is in b2b, he must attack that unit. If that unit is destroyed before he gets his attacks, that model doesn't get to attack.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 1. An "engaged" model is either in base contact with an enemy model or within 2" of another model from the same unit that is in btb contact with an enemy model.

    2. At the beginning of combat, (after all the moves, but before any model has attacked) you get to choose whom do you attack. If a model is engaged with only one unit (look above for definition of engaged) he can attack only that unit. If he was engaged with more than one unit he can freely split his attacks between those units (declare the splitting before rolling to hit).

    The reason for this rule is that as the models are removed in the progress of the combat, some of the models that were engaged at the beginning of the combat can become visually unengaged - but nonetheless they get to attack anyway. Also it clears the issue of whom a given model can attack.

    All this is very clearly shown on the picture at the bottom of the p. 41. take special look at the model nr 5 which can attack only gretchin as it is not within 2" of models 1, 2 or 8 which are in btb contact with the second enemy unit.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So...
    Assault phase:
    Move into combat (roll 2 d6 If this is successful move into combat)
    resolve overwatch
    resolve initiative phase
    resolve attacks
    (if defender is already in combat he/she decides where to allocate attacks depending on b2b engagement)
    (attacker attacks engaged unit)
    resolve saves
    remove units
    leadership test
    Sweeping advance
    (remove units if winner of combat wins sweeping advance)
    (retreat using 2d6 if the winner of combat looses sweeping advance)
    consolidate 1d6

    ReplyDelete

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