Sunday, 12 June 2011

WHFB Rules Conundrum: The Impossible Combat Reform

So, skipping the customary greeting and excuse for not having posted for a while, here's the gist of today's Rules Conundrum:

It is impossible to perform any but the most basic Combat Reform.

Still with me? Goody.
The grey square with the orange dot marks the centre point of the green unit.
Imagine, if you will, that the green guys on small bases are any type of Infantry (they'll be Empire Halberdiers to me) and the red ones on bigger bases are elite infantry (say Chaos Warriors). This is what the units look like after the combat has been fought. The Empire player, recognizing that the Chaos unit is not very deep, would like to Combat Reform into a Horde. He's either won the combat, or passed his Leadership test, and prepares to make the Reform.

My question is: how? A Combat Reform is "essentially a standard reform" (LBRB, page 55). It cannot, however, be used to bring models out of combat. Not a problem: we wanna add people into base contact.

However, the rules for reforming state that you do this by "[k]eeping the centre point of the unit the same" and then arranging it into any new formation desired (LBRB, page 14). With these two things in mind, let's look at another picture:

The grey square marks the old centre point; the orange dot marks the new one.
As is evident, changing the depth of the unit, while keeping the front line the same, moves the centre point, breaking the first commandment of the reform ("Thou shalt keep the centre point the same"). This makes the Combat Reform impossible to make.

Now, if the part in contact with the Chaos Warriors was the side of the unit, a Combat Reform could be performed to turn all the Empire models to face the Chaos scum, as long as their actual position didn't change (i.e. you could perform what was once called a "turn"). However, using it to do what the text for a Combat Reform says it can be used to do, breaks the rules. Except that statement is part of the rules too... My head hurts from the sloppy proof reading.

Obviously, the reasonable thing to do, is to assume that the later part of the Combat Reform text takes precedence, but by Sigmar's uncle, couldn't they just have written it clearly?

Of course they couldn't have, that would have taken the challenge out of reading the rules...

On that note, it's curtains for me.

See you next time, when you will learn about such fun things as learning rules...

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