Ruleshammer Q&A: September 17th 2020

Another week another Ruleshammer Q&A, this week covering Horrors, heroic intervetions and charging into ruins. I’m always looking for more questions, there’s links at the end of this article and how to get them to me.

Question 1 – Splitting Horrors are they Reinforcements?

If a pink horror dies, I can split it into 2 blue horrors. I can only do this if I have reinforcement points available to spend on the blue horrors. Chapter Approved GT Mission Pack 2020 says (p6, section 10) that reinforcement units can’t arrive on the battlefield in the first battle round, and if they haven’t arrived by the end of the 3rd round then they are considered destroyed. Does this apply to Horrors splitting? Can I only split in turns 2 & 3? Or does it not apply because the new horrors are not a reinforcement unit themselves but rather additional models into a pre-existing unit? – Steve Lee

Okay so “Reinforcement Unit” has an actual definition in 9th edition.

Reinforcement Unit: Any unit that starts the battle in a location other than on the battlefield, and is not embarked within a Transport unit that does start on the Battlefield, is considered ato be a Reinforcement Unit. Any Reinforcement Units that have not been set up on the battlefield by the end of the battle count as destroyed. – GT2020 Pg94

Okay so do Blue Horrors meet this definition? No. They’re not a new unit ,and they weren’t set up off the board as they don’t actually exist at that time. Are Reinforcement Points confusingly named? Yes. This also means that Horrors can split in any turn because they are not set up as Reinforcements and as the models don’t exist until created by the split ability, unused ones do not count as destroyed at the end of Turn 5.

That’s not to say that this definition doesn’t have issues, just not for Horrors. Look forward to that in a few weeks’ time, as if I covered Transports three weeks in a row I’d have to rename this entire thing to Transport-hammer.

Question 2 – Regarding Charging into and out of Ruins

Two models:
A: On the ground, say 5.5″ from a building that is 5″ tall.
B: On the building and has the keyword FLY (just to stretch the example a bit more).

From my point of view. If A charges B, the charge distance will be 5″ (i enough to reach the foot of the building due to the 5″ vertical engagement range)
However, if B charges A, the charge distance is instead 10″ (this since the unit also have to consider the vertical movement in the charge move).
Do I have got the rules correctly (9th edition)? – Frank

Okay first lets diagram out this scenario to make it clear.

Yes your assessment of this is correct. Charging down from a Ruin is a longer charge than charging into one. In fact in my diagram above the Crisis suit has to charge even further than your example because it lacks the INFANTRY keyword so it can’t ignore and pass through that section of wall in front of it and would have to use some movement to go over it. Even if it were INFANTRY, however, it would still need a 10″ charge as you correctly identified!

Question 3 – Heroic Intervention in the Fight Phase

When does a heroic intervention-er activate in fight phase? Does he count as a charger since HI is now part 2 of charge phase allowing him to activate after first charging unit or does he activate with the non charging units? – Nathan

Heroic Intervention does not count as charging, so they’re not usually part of that group of fights. The “Has charged” definition in the glossary makes it clear who counts as charging – only units that successfully made a charge move.

Sometimes, however, your heroic intervener will have an ability that lets them fight first, which complicates things. I’ve tried to summarise the fight phase ordering a few times and currently this is the best approach I have come up with.

Where do Heroic Intervention-ers fit on there? It depends. The majority will be in Group 2, just generally eligible units that fight after the enemy’s units that charged have fought. However if the model or unit that Heroically Intervened has a Fight First ability then they would be in Group 1, and fight alternately with the enemy’s units that charged.

Question 3.5 – Charging and Fight First vs Fight Last

This question has been asked a lot, by a lot of people. The chart above is 99% accurate, it has an issue though. Games Workshop have left the Armour of Russ FAQ for Space Wolves from 8th edition in as a still valid FAQ which seems to directly contradict the new Rare Rule for these abilities. Here’s the rare rule;

Some rules allow a unit in your army to always fight first in the Fight Phase, even if they didn’t make a charge move this turn. If the enemy has units that charged, or that have similar rules, then alternate selecting units to fight with from amongst these units, starting with the player whose turn is taking place.

Similarly, some rules say that a certain unit cannot be selected to fight in the Fight phase until after all other eligible unit have done so. If both players have units that cannot fight until after all other units have done so, then players alternate selecting which of those units to fight with, starting with the player whose turn is taking place. 

If a unit is under the effect of both a rule that always lets it fight first in the Fight phase, and a rule that says it cannot be selected to fight until after all others have done so, it instead fights as if neither rule is affecting it. – GT2020 pg90

So by that rule, a fight last vs a charging unit is fight as they did neither. Some players currently disagree that Charging is a “fight first” rule, but I think that the section on page 74 of GT2020 (pg21 core rules PDF) that says “CHARGING UNITS FIGHT FIRST” qualifies and I think the rare rule agrees (Editor’s note: This seems to be further backed up by the wording on “Strength from Death”, a recently-ish printed “fights first” rule). The other angle of debate is the word “eligible”, some take the Fight Last rules as making the unit in-eligible. Eligibility to fight is quite clearly defined though on that same page.

An eligible unit is one that is within Engagement Range of an enemy unit and/or made a charge move in the same turn.

Fight Last units still meet this definition, they are still an eligible unit. This is why you can always use the Counter Offensive stratagem even on Fight Last unit. Okay then but what does the Armour of Russ FAQ say?

Q: Can the Armour of Russ relic force a charging unit to attack after all other units have done so?

A: Yes, unless that chosen unit has an ability that allows it to fight first in the Fight phase, in which case it instead fights as if it didn’t have that ability [Space Wolves FAQ]

I think the reason this FAQ exists is because in 8th, fights after the charging units started with the player whose turn it is. However in 9th they start with the player whose turn it is not. This to some extent removed the need for this because now Armour of Russ can bring a unit within 1″ down from fighting first for charging to being like any other unit, and Space Wolves player can now choose to fight with that Heroic Character immediately after the enemy has resolved their charging units. As such my recommendation would be not to use this FAQ to set a precedent beyond the Armour of Russ itself until further clarification is given. However I know not everyone would be okay with that. So depending on setting, roll for it, get a TO ruling and/or discuss it pregame. This is the only example of a Fight Last with an FAQ like this, so while it does make Armour of Russ different (and better) than the rest and should not in my opinion be applied to similar abilities, otherwise the Rare Rule is pretty redundant.

Editor’s Note: Again this one is extremely contentious at the moment, and it is possible that the Rare Rule is only meant to capture fight first abilities above and beyond charging, but the wording doesn’t currently seem to make that conclusive.

That’s it for this week. If you have any questions or feedback, or a rules question you want answered, then drop us a note in the comments below, ask a question in our Ruleshammer form, or head over to r/ruleshammer to discuss.