The Manly Art of Fisticuffs in the 41st Millennium: an Addendum

After some discussion, I wanted to include this add-on to our discussion form Wednesday.

As often happens, listening to some of the ideas put forth by members of the community after my article last Wednesday, some new and interesting ideas came up. I wanted to share them.

A gentleman on BoLS (I’m sorry, I can’t recall your name) pointed out a VERY big point with challenges that I (and most folks) had missed: you can only accept a challenge if you are engaged in that combat!

That’s huge!

What this means is that if you keep your Power Fist Sarge (as an example) more than 2″ away from a combat at higher initiative steps not only can he not be hit, but he can’t be picked out in a challenge. This is awesome as it means you can then pile-in at his initiative step and get his attacks off. Brilliant!

Now, this isn’t as easy to do as it sounds, particularly in smaller squads. But, in large squads, like with Ork Boyz, this is definitely a viable and reliable tactic. This is a really important skill to master and yet again drives home the point that you need to be an expert at model placement.

Another point worth bringing up is precision strikes. We covered that in the previous article, but a point I didn’t touch on enough was how useful it can be to precision strike key models out with your higher initiative attacking characters. Dropping that Wolg Guard in Termie armor with a Harelquin Shadowseer or a Captain with Lightening Claws is a great way to remove the tank from a squad. Now, with an invul save, LoS! and only getting precision strikes on 6’s it isn’t reliable, but it is something you can do to even the odds. And, as with challenges, only models that are engaged can be hit with precision strike, meaning that you can again shield key models by keeping them further back in a squad.

I am curious to see how far down this rabbit hole goes, the further into 6th we delve the more and more intricate the rules are and the more I see that this is either the work of some smart dudes, or a huge coincidence. I still really dislike some of the rules (random charge length, I HATE you!!!), but I am gaining more respect for how much this rule set benefits the skilled player.

What are some of the other things you guys have noticed about assault?

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13 Responses to “The Manly Art of Fisticuffs in the 41st Millennium: an Addendum”

  1. J Mac August 3, 2012 2:21 am
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    Called it. Necrons codex all over again…

    • mercutioh August 3, 2012 10:53 am
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      everyone was in a rush to state their opinions in our thirst for content, there was analysis given with the grain of salt that we were just learning the rules. I do believe that Reece has said on multiple occasions that there was more that he liked about 6th than what he didn’t, but that the things he didn’t like he was more vocal about. Being a skilled player, Reece has gone out of his way to show us some of the power lists that are emerging in the new Meta. I do believe he’s right in assessing their broken-ness. However, it is in our hands to decide what we want to do with things. I’ve spoken to Reece on several occasions and stated my admiration for the new edition and we’ve disagreed on several points, but it’s always been a reasonable discourse. Give people the room to change their minds. No one said “I am going to hate this book forever!!!!!”

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 3, 2012 1:39 pm
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        Thanks for the support! JMac is a friend though, he isn’t poking fun, he actually predicted that we would come around to 6th in time as we did to the Necron Codex. I still have my hang-ups about it, but I do enjoy the game quite a bit. As you said, even when people see things differently, it’s no big deal so long as you can discuss your differences in a civil manor.

  2. Kasil August 3, 2012 9:38 am
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    Does a model have to be base to base to be engaged or can it be within 2″ of a model in base to base?

    • mercutioh August 3, 2012 10:54 am
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      within 2″ I believe

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 3, 2012 11:19 am
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      2″ of another model.

  3. edwin August 3, 2012 10:08 am
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    This is why I play a shooting army mostly XD

  4. fred August 3, 2012 1:58 pm
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    The challenge thingie seems a bit vague. In accepting a challenge it does say that characters that cannot fight or strike blows (including those not engaged with an enemy model) cannot accept challenges.

    But in fighting a challenge it gives the following moves to get them in base contact, swap challenger for friendly model in base contact or swap the challengee for a model in base contact with the challenger. So far it works i suppose. But then says that if that doesnt bring them in base contact, just swap them as close as possible and assume them to be in base contact.

    Now, if i understand all this correctly it would mean that if you have two ork mobs of say 50 orks with one character, character A cant challenge B if B is more then 2″ away from a mob in base contact with A. But if they line up equally with A on one end and B on the other end, say two lines of 50 models long, then A can challenge B even though they’re 48 times the width of the base apart from eachother? That’s quite alot further apart then base+more then 2″. This confuses me.

    attempt at visualising:
    B
    b b …
    b b b …
    a A a …
    a a a …
    more then base + 2″ away, no challenge.

    B b b b b b b b b … b b b b b b b b b b b b b b b
    a a a a a a a a a … a a a a a a a a a a a a a a A
    both can fight and strike blows and are engaged with an enemy model, so challenge, even though they’re half a table apart from eachother?

    • fred August 3, 2012 2:07 pm
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      small mistake, should be:’ character A cant challenge B if B is more then 2″ away from a model in base contact with a model from mob A’

      I just used orks as an example because i’m assuming they can field large groups, it’s intended as an extreme case to better illustrate what i mean. I dont know the actual numbers that orks are allowed to have by heart.

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 3, 2012 3:26 pm
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        No worries man, I understood what you meant.

        But yes, so long as Ork’s A and B are engaged in the same combat, they can fight each other in a challenge.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 3, 2012 2:09 pm
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      Page 64 makes it pretty clear to me, it says models who are not engaged with an enemy model can not accept a challenge. I think that statement overrides everything else.

      Step 1: Issue Challenge.
      Step 2: Decide to refuse, or who accepts out of eligible candidates.
      Step 3: Move models into contact with one another……

      As I see it, you can’t have a challenge at all unless one party issues, and the other accepts with an eligible model.

      As for your other example, as crazy and stupid as that is, yes, that is true. It also means the two models can precision strike one another from half the table away……cinematic!?

      Ork mobs can only be 30 strong, FYI. Not a big deal, but wanted to point that out.

      • fred August 3, 2012 4:36 pm
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        IG’s conscripts can be 50 strong. And any IC (from the codex or battlebrothers) can join them. So a squad of 50 with one char is possible. Still, nobody is going to field them as one big line.

        Good point with the precision strikes, any engaged model in the unit, so same distance. So say you’re up against slaanesh, they have high initiative and rending. It would be good to keep your char unengaged for the first initiative steps, no challenge and no precision strikes. That seems like it could be very important for anyone that doesnt have the highest initiative in the current match up.

        Completely sidetracked, but thinking about keeping characters alive got me thinking if there is a way to benefit from maybe not keeping them alive. Example, for Tau, could it in some way be beneficial to let one ethereal die to give preferred enemy to the rest of your army? It’s base cost is 50 points. If you play for 650 points it’s not worth it, but if you’re playing for 2k+ then 50 points to get preferred enemy on all your units seems like an ok deal. Obviously the suicide ethereal isnt the warlord. Would have to be careful to make an army that easily passes a morale test though and with a good volume of fire, it’s only 1s that get rerolled but it’s on both to hit and to wound. On a related note, what happens when a unit has both preferred enemy and poisonous 2+?

        • Reecius
          Reecius August 3, 2012 4:51 pm
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          Funny you mention that as people are actually doing exactly that. If you jump off a building, you get +1 to your dangerous terrain check for each level that you fall, hahaha, so they fall far enough, almost assured to have them splat and give your army a benefit!

          But yeah, precision strikes across a combat is pretty lame.