Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Closer Look: Part I

Welcome to this edition of A Closer Look. After interests in rules inspections were announced by many of the readers, I have decided to write on the subject. I have found in my readings of the tomb of knowledge that there are indeed several interesting quirks in the way rules are worded, as well as the general understandings of the player base on these. Long ago I wrote an article over the rolling of snake eyes and assaults through cover titles Pesky Snakes. These articles will follow the idea set forth by that and the readers to help bring a better understand of the rules.

In homage to the original post, I will make this article a double feature as well, both of which dictating the rules in depth. So without further a due, lets hit the books. Now If you will please open your Big Rule Books to page 33.

1. The Assault Phase
Now this is an entire section of rules directing players to act in a specific order and make crucial decisions which very well could decide the outcome of entire battles in the course of about 15 seconds. With that in mind we can understand that there are several things that need to be done, and simplifying this in our brains can often lead to misinterpreting of how actions should be done. So lets look how it all plays out in order.

Declare the assault
the player chooses who his unit(s) will strike, and measures after the declaration is made. If he's within (6" or less) from the target, he/she makes it and the assault continues.

Moving Assaulting Units
This is where the tricky parts start setting in. First off, remember all models from one assaulting unit must be moved before moving to another unit, and following all the normal rules for movement save the "1 inch from enemy models" rule. Start with the closest model to model distance, then proceed in any order. Remember that when assaulting, "Assaulting units must attempt to engage as many opposing models as possible with as many of their models as possible - no holding back!" This means when assaulting, you must base as many models as possible with as many of your own. This can lead to some interesting tactics when it comes to double and triple assaults.

Defenders React
The models here must move up to 6" in an attempt to close the gap. It does state that this move is identical to the assaulting move, so you must attempt to base as many possible, with as many of your own.

Now we have seen how the pre-fight goes. Let us skip now to the end. If the fight is still raging on even after the first round of the fight, a Pile In Move is required. This says that all non-based models must move up to 6" in the same way as the before mentioned assault move. The unit that assaulted in piles in first, followed by the defending player.

After a fight is over, and the winner is determined, they generally have to make a consolidate move. This is an option movement that happens immediately after the combat is resolved. It is a D6" movement in any direction (not slowed by terrain). Other rules like the "1 inch from enemies" rules still apply.

These are the movements required for the assault phase. Simple and easy once the reading has taken place, but the actual movement of specific models is always a factor. A character usually finds a little reluctance in the assault when the daunting threat of the power fist looms. However, if the unit wielding the Fist is based by a member of the assaulting unit, the threat to the character is eliminated. Movement may have it's own section of the game, but do not underestimate it's use in all three of the battle's phases.

2. Disembarking
This is an interesting point that I found intriguing as I read through the Big Rule Book. On page 67 of the BRB it talks about disembarking from a transport vehicle. After reading this several times to myself, and speaking with both Heretic and Ishamael on the matter, we found an interesting use of words which leads to an interesting way to play.

First off let us debunk the example picture listed. It depicts a rhino and the 2" markers for each point. However, after taking several measurements with multiple types of measuring devices, the picture is in fact incorrect. So moving on, lets get to the meat and taters.

The rule for disembarking reads as follows:

"When the unit disembarks, each model is deployed within 2" of one of the vehicles access points, and within unit coherency.

Stop! Lets read this more closely. The disembarkation is not movement, nor does it follow or is it bound to the rules of movement. The models are "Deployed" and as such this follows the rules for Placement, not Movement. Now as I mentioned above, the picture in the big rule book isn't exactly correct. After measuring the hull of a rhino, it is possible to place a model smack dab in the center of the front of the vehicle if you measure over the hull itself. Since the unit is not moving that distance, but rather is being deployed within the distance stated (2") it may deploy there as it is following the rules as written. It is uncommon that this will come up, but it is an interesting possibility the rules allow.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of A Closer Look.


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