As 8th Edition continues to grind on we are starting to find the first major rules questions. This week we look at a couple of the big issues, and you get to make the call.
8th Edition is fully in swing and GW’s ironclad rules writing skills have left us with no major rules question to debate for the last 3 weeks! Finally at long last our crack team of 10 year old loophole and difficult question finders have find a few small issues to argue over. Much like the internet our crack team has totally blown these minor problems, these totally trivial gaps, totally out of proportion. Now, lacking the sense to figure out the answers themselves they have turned to me to ask the community at large what it thinks on a few hard to solve problems.
Our crack team.
1. The Lance Formation and steadfast.
See, like I said, minor rules problem, this one only effects an entire army, but its not an army that is played very much, so no big deal, right? Anyway the core of this debate is whether or not a Bretonnian unit in the lance formation counts its ranks for steadfast, and gaining steadfast. Steadfast is one of the new rules in 8th edition that says, whichever unit is a fight has the largest number of ranks, can always take break test on its highest leadership, without the negative modifiers for losing combat. It goes on to say, that when you determine combat resolution bonuses, you must have five or more models in a rank for it to count. Now the problem is that lance formation is ever three models wide. The Bretonnian FAQ came out and said that Bretonnians units in the lance only have to be 3 models wide to gain the combat resolution bonus.
The inventor of the Lance formation
So the question is, does the Lance count ranks of 3 for the purposes of steadfast. Nowhere in the FAQ is this question addressed. Some people argue that because the rulebook equates the 5 man ranks with the way you tally ranks for combat, that the FAQ means that they do get 3 man ranks for steadfast. Others point out that you do tally steadfast ranks and combat ranks different, combat only counts up to three, and not the first one, steadfast counts all ranks. Furthermore they point to the “Monstrous Ranks”, which for large units states they should just replace all mentions of ranks of 5, with ranks of 3. These people argue that if the Lance was supposed to count steadfast ranks of three, they would have used similar wording. So that is the first question to consider.
2. Bound Spells.
Alright, this question affects pretty much every army in the game, and deals with the all important magic phase. So first off, here are the facts. Under the rules for magic it clearly states that each wizard can only attempt to cast each spell once in any given phase. Later under the rules for bound spells it states that bound spells are cast like normal spell, using power dice, etc. It also states that having a bound spell, does not make you a wizard. These rules bring up a couple of interesting questions. Firstly, since the restriction is that a wizard can only cast each spell he knows each turn and having a bound spell does not make you a wizard, can a non-wizard with a bound spell cast that spell more then once a turn? Secondly can a wizard with a bound spell that is the same as a normal spell he knows (for instance fireball) only cast that spell once per turn?
Even noted bookworms are stumped by these questions.
Finally what about the Vampire Counts item, the Book of Arkhan. The Book casts the necromancy spell, “Vanhel’s Danse Macabre”. Under the rules for necromancy spells, it states that a wizard can cast a Necromancy spell more then once a phase. So if a wizard has the Book of Arkhan, can he use it to cast dance more then once a phase? The main rule book is quite clear that even though you do not add casting levels to the casting attempt, the model is still casting the spell, even if it comes from a bound item. So how should we answer these bound item questions?
Our research assistants are hard at work trying to find answers.
3. Moving Characters in Units. So this one is a real kicker. The main rule book has no rules for moving a character around inside a unit once it has joined that unit. Here’s what we have, when a character joins a unit he is placed in the front rank, if possible. When the unit gets into combat he can use the “make way” rule to move himself over to fight. Other then those two rules there is no way to move a character in a unit. Now at first this does not seem too bad, the character can still move over to fight, so whats the big deal? Well the problem comes when you realize that in 8th you are encouraged to field units with a frontage or ten or more models. So the difference from being at one end of the unit or the other can be on the order of 10 or more inches.
This can be very very important for things like BSB’s, Generals and wizards, all of which need to effect things at range and that 10 inches can be a big difference. This problem is even more pronounced by the fact that characters with different base sizes have to go on the end of a unit, and can’t be placed in the middle. This means that if a unit is 10 inches wide and the general joins it he will only really be with in range to pass his leadership onto units on one side. With no ability to move to the other side of unit if he needs to. Overall this seems like a major problem and a huge omission. So how would you guys play this so it makes sense?
We guys those are just the few rules questions we’ve been able to find. As you can clearly see the guys at GW have gone and given us a very solid set of rules, in which we have been able to find almost no major problems, just the small issues above. Still no one should let any such issues mar their enjoyment of the game. So remember keep playing, keep arguing, and most importantly…..
Alright guy’s now is your chance to make a mark on the hobby. Go down into the comments section we have kindly provided and tell us how you think these rules questions should be resolved! It’s up to you to work out! And if you happen to have come across any other stumpers, feel free to post them!