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December 24, 2012

WFB Conundrum: Thinking about the Other Trickster's Shard

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The Trickster loves writing ambiguous rules, so lets see if we can't figure out what he's trying to accomplish!

Hey everyone, it's Adam from TheDiceAbide.com! Today I'm going to talk to you about the Other Trickster's Shard. This item for a mere 15 points, can totally undo a daemon army by one interpretation of the wording, and be nearly useless by another. For 15 points, it's easy to argue that the weaker of the two should be taken, but when you get to brass tacks and read the rules, it's not as clear. Instead of my usual long winded explanation of rules and things, this time I want to hear what you think of the item in question!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Other Trickster's Shard, here is how it's worded:
"Models in base contact with the bearer (friends and foes) must re-roll successful ward saves."
That's it! A short and sweet rule, the way I usually like rules, though unfortunately, with no FAQ about it in sight, it makes it really hard to apply in game.

Here are 2 Diagrams for you to consider (sorry it's not as pretty as my usual ones):


Here we see 2 units, one block of Daemons (thus a 5+ ward), and they're fighting a block of Ogres, which has a character equipped with the Other Trickster's Shard.

In the first diagram, every model in the Ogre unit is in base contact with a model affected by the Other Trickster's Shard (greyed out boxes). Can that entire ogre unit focus attacks on models which must re-roll successful wards? Since the Daemons are not characters, they would continue to have to re-roll successful wards as models stepped forward to get killed. Additionally, the ogres in the middle column and far right column are only in base contact with models affected by the OTS, so they couldn't possibly allocate their attacks on models not affected by it.

In the second diagram, we have bigger units of ogres and Daemons, both hordes. Like before the OTS is in base contact with a few daemons. The column with the character is only in base contact with the OTS affected enemies, while the adjacent rows could possibly attack models not affected. How many models in this case get to attack models affected by the OTS, and thus have to re-roll successful wards?

Some people say that the way Step Up is worded is just an explanation for why models are taken from the back, and models in the front are never actually killed. Because of this, the OTS wouldn't work on Rank and File infantry, but instead only work on characters and champions, since they remain in the front. Similarly, some people say that you can indeed allocate attacks on the (in this case 3) models in base contact, but only those 3 would die, similar to allocating attacks on a champion. I personally disagree with that last interpretation because wounds on Rank and File are always allocated through the unit, there are never any wasted.

So what do you think? This is a bit of a sticky wicket I know, but I think it's probably the least clear ruling in the whole game, so it would be nice to get some feedback from the community.
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