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Janky charges - legit tactic or sharp play?

Would you consider the tactic below unsportsmanlike/rules abuse, or a legit tactic?


  • Total voters
    22
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#1
So I got into a very fierce argument on my club's whatsapp about a certain tactic that I employ with my vargheists. Specifically turning them around by "jank-charging" warmachines.

To explain let me first explain the rule at play here. Page 109 states that warmachines do not have bases, and thus you do not "close the door" to them. You merely have to charge to make contact with their base.

Functionally speaking this means that the angle of your overrun is controlled by the angle you hit the warmachine at, rather than the angle that the unit was positioned at (as it is for most other units). Since you have a significant amount of leeway in how you complete a charge you also have a significant amount of flexibility with your overrun angle. Assuming that you were smart in positioning your vargheists the turn before, this effectively means that you can flank-charge a warmachine despite being in its "front arc," and your overrun can carry you perpendicular to your starting angle if you wish, allowing you to overrun into other warmachines or wizard bunkers.


Playing my vargs this way literally doubles the speed at which they can eat warmachines. Instead hitting a warmachine and overrunning off the board, they hit at such an angle to carry themselves into the next warmachine. And since clipping a unit with an overrun lets you complete a new charge as normal (i.e. there is no requirement to actually overrun straight ahead like in previous editions), you can eat someone's backlines with startling efficiency.


"Startling efficiency" being the operative word there. This seems to be a lesser-understood rule, and a great number of players seem unprepared when I try to do it. So my question to you lot is...do you do this? If you didn't know about it before, would you now that you do? Is it sharp play, or just playing within the rules?
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#2
For my part I think it's no big deal, and much of the anger comes from surprise / lack of understanding. There seems to be some unwritten "rules of gentlemanly conduct" which some people adhere to, and subsequently get angry when others break. These unwritten rules align with how those people think the rules "should be played," rather than how they're actually written...regardless of whether how they're written is ambiguous or 100% clear.

But that's just me personally. I can certainly see how the extreme case (where you use the whole 90* wheel to overrun literally perpendicular to your original facing) is a bit much, but then at what point is it unacceptable? I 100% believe this is the correct interpretation of the rules, so unless you disagree with me there it's really just a matter of subjective opinion. At some specific angle a line is crossed between "legit tactic" and "sharp play," and there's no clear boundary where that would be.

So I say it's totally fine, and voted thusly.
 

The Sun King

Imperator
True Blood
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
3,838
#3
Nice that you bring it up Pirate. This is a thing in my gaming group... but we are competetive players and see "plays" like this as the reason why we try to get better all the time. In other words, we put pride in using the rules to our advantage. I also play chess and it has become a joke my club that some newbie once said "I don't Castle, because it is a cowardly move" :) Saying that Jank-charging warmachines is ungentlemanly, to me, is somewhat the same.

However, since Warhammer isn't a competetive sport, but a hobby, I think that one should try to play with the rules of the house that you play in. I don't know if this is of any help.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
36
#6
I think it's a legit move, and you should have no problem using it. I think that it is a competitive move, and if your gaming club doesn't have an air of competition, I would leave it at home or else you may be staying at home and not invited back to play. It may be a good tactic to teach newbies to get them ready for tournaments, etc. but if the group is getting up in arms about it they may not wish you to play it anymore.

I used to deploy night gobbo fanatic darts and shoot fanatics out on first turn, but people stopped playing me because, although legal, it was an awfully cheesy tactic. I see the benefit of doing what you're doing, and I'd usually be one to tell the other players something like "just trying to keep you on your toes and help you improve", but if they start to get whiny you may wish to reserve this tactic for the tournament scene (when everything goes and they're unprepared because they didn't want to play it in regular games, don't give all of your tactics away in regular play :konrad:)
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#7
I need a diagram to understand this =P
Don't have time to draw a diagram at the moment, but let me try to explain it an easier way.

When charging you are allowed to make one wheel of up to 90*, provided that you otherwise move straight forward. Normally you do this until you hit the enemy, then "close the door." But against warmachines you don't close the door, so you just stay at the angle you make contact at.

So now imagine your unit of vargheists pointing forward. Draw a line straight out ahead of them. Now at any point along that line you can stop to make a wheel and continue straight ahead in that new direction. So imagine a line branching off from that straight-ahead line at any angle you want, and beginning at any point that you want. Where the line crosses the charged warmachine is the angle you hit it at as well as the angle of overrun.

This is the flexibility you have in charging. And since you have full control over the angle you hit a warmachine at, since you don't close the door, this means that you have full control over the angle you overrun at once the warmachine dies (which the two vargheists that fit into combat will do with ease).

It means setting up your vargheists well the turn before, and probably deploying them way out wide, but it's possible (and indeed I've done it) to charge a warmachine in such a way that I overrun into the rear of their wizard bunker. And I'm sure you can imagine what a unit of 4 vargheists will do to a wizard bunker.
 

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
2,047
#9
Its legit. I like these types of tactics in the rules actually. It's where mastery of the game is developed. Besides, varghiests running off the board and losing a turn fighting is just as fiddly the other way.
 

Burnanation

Crypt Horror
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
573
#10
I can see why someone would call shenanigans on this, but rules are rules. You've explained it well enough. If they can't handle the truth, then don't use that tactic for friendly play. As said above take it to a turny. Maybe have diagrams and explanation printed out (I'm not joking).

Thanks for sharing. Will be using this.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
117
#11
Its a totaly legit tactic. In a competitive game/environment? I'd do it with absolutely no qualms. In a friendly......I'd probably stay away from it.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
36
#14
Sorry for the late reply, been away for a bit, oops!

The tactic is, take 20 night gobbos with three fanatics. In deployment line the gobbos one model wide parallel to your long table edge facing one of your short table edges, like so:



<GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

T's being the table edge, G's being gobbos and the carrot indicating their facing. Now, using the front model, wheel an inch. (you use the front model because according to an FAQ, you measure wheeling using the outside model of the front rank.) This wheel will take your back goblins well within 8" of their front lines, shooting fanatics turn 1. Now, there is a lot of argument about how legal this is (and frankly I haven't kept up on it to remember most of it), but I've jumped off this bandwagon like I said because I like to have friends to play against, haha.

You can do this with multiple units too, just deploy them behind the first unit facing the same way but a little farther toward one of the small table edges to get a sort of wave effect.


So completely cheesy, would not recommend it if you wanted to continue to play against people and not fight over rules for 30 minutes, but a little funny when it happens. :tongue:
 
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
583
#16
Sorry for the late reply, been away for a bit, oops!

The tactic is, take 20 night gobbos with three fanatics. In deployment line the gobbos one model wide parallel to your long table edge facing one of your short table edges, like so:



<GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

T's being the table edge, G's being gobbos and the carrot indicating their facing. Now, using the front model, wheel an inch. (you use the front model because according to an FAQ, you measure wheeling using the outside model of the front rank.) This wheel will take your back goblins well within 8" of their front lines, shooting fanatics turn 1. Now, there is a lot of argument about how legal this is (and frankly I haven't kept up on it to remember most of it), but I've jumped off this bandwagon like I said because I like to have friends to play against, haha.

You can do this with multiple units too, just deploy them behind the first unit facing the same way but a little farther toward one of the small table edges to get a sort of wave effect.


So completely cheesy, would not recommend it if you wanted to continue to play against people and not fight over rules for 30 minutes, but a little funny when it happens. :tongue:
I am not sure i understand this tactic. Wheeling the front guy 1 inch should make him 1 inch closer to the enemy and everyone else less than 1 inch. The outside most guy during a wheel move will always move furthest, hence why you measure from his position.

How does wheeling him move your back guys so far? And even if it does, no model in a unit can ever exceed there movement score during a wheel, so even if somehow other models are moving farther then the front model (which mathematically cant happen), it shouldn't take them any closer then a regular march move.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
36
#17
How does wheeling him move your back guys so far? And even if it does, no model in a unit can ever exceed there movement score during a wheel, so even if somehow other models are moving farther then the front model (which mathematically cant happen), it shouldn't take them any closer then a regular march move.
This is the discussion. When you wheel the front guy an inch, it swings the models in the back about 90 degrees. The wording in the rulebook that makes this legal is on page 14 under wheeling, which states "When a unit performs a wheel, every model counts as having moved as far as the outside model." Which hs been FAQ'd with "the outside model in the front rank" So, even though the models in the back of the unit have moved about a foot or so, according to the rule book, they only moved as far as the model in the front rank: one inch.

I am not sure i understand this tactic. Wheeling the front guy 1 inch should make him 1 inch closer to the enemy and everyone else less than 1 inch. The outside most guy during a wheel move will always move furthest, hence why you measure from his position.
The outside guy in the rear rank will always move the farthest, but you measure from the front rank due to the FAQ. If you measured from the outside guy in the rear rank, your units would barely be able to wheel at all. Try wheeling measuring from the outside guy in the front rank and then the outside guy in the rear rank sometime, it's interesting to see the difference.
 

Kromathus

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
227
#18
I dont see an issue with it. Its well within the rules just like moon walking and champion wizard assasination. I dont use either of those tactics but thats purely because I have the reputation of a guy people like to play against and I dont want to tarnish that name in my club. Come tournamnet time though and its beast mode activate.
 
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
583
#19
This is the discussion. When you wheel the front guy an inch, it swings the models in the back about 90 degrees. The wording in the rulebook that makes this legal is on page 14 under wheeling, which states "When a unit performs a wheel, every model counts as having moved as far as the outside model." Which hs been FAQ'd with "the outside model in the front rank" So, even though the models in the back of the unit have moved about a foot or so, according to the rule book, they only moved as far as the model in the front rank: one inch.



The outside guy in the rear rank will always move the farthest, but you measure from the front rank due to the FAQ. If you measured from the outside guy in the rear rank, your units would barely be able to wheel at all. Try wheeling measuring from the outside guy in the front rank and then the outside guy in the rear rank sometime, it's interesting to see the difference.
I am trying to wheel in as many ways as possible but nothing moves more then the inch of the front guy. Even swung in a 360 degree circle the back guy never even moves. The back most model serves as the pivot point and therefore can make a move of zero inches during a wheel maneuver.
 

John Rainbow

Crypt Horror
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
598
#20
Its legit. I like these types of tactics in the rules actually. It's where mastery of the game is developed. Besides, varghiests running off the board and losing a turn fighting is just as fiddly the other way.
This quote really sums up my thoughts on this one.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
708
#21
So, just to get this crystalclear.... if my vargs are in the frontarc of a warmachine, i can still make them charge in the flank of it?

Isnt that a conflict.... I know there is no closing the gap with WM but does that mean it has no charging-side depending on where the charger come from?


Ive tried getting this thru in a few games but always got it denied by my opponents who say that its an illegal chargemove....
 

John Rainbow

Crypt Horror
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
598
#22
So, just to get this crystalclear.... if my vargs are in the frontarc of a warmachine, i can still make them charge in the flank of it?

Isnt that a conflict.... I know there is no closing the gap with WM but does that mean it has no charging-side depending on where the charger come from?


Ive tried getting this thru in a few games but always got it denied by my opponents who say that its an illegal chargemove....
You are correct as warmachines have no arcs or facings. It is a gap in the rules that is fully exploitable.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
52
#23
I don't even think this is an exploit. Warmachines aren't a conventional unit, they don't have ranks and files. Why should you square up to them the same way you would to fight a melee formation? You'd just take it in the most efficient way and move on.

A combat unit sizing up the battlefield wouldn't charge in and try to square up for a broad charge like they would against an opposing formation, they'd kill the crew and move on sharpish, probably with a really good idea of where they need to be once they're done slaughtering/ scaring off the warmachine chaps.

Why would they ever overrun in a completely irrelevant direction? It's a warmachine. Not a square of infantry. You fight through it, not with it.

It just seems to me that you're doing it the most sensible way and the rules support that.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
927
#24
So, just to get this crystalclear.... if my vargs are in the frontarc of a warmachine, i can still make them charge in the flank of it?

Isnt that a conflict.... I know there is no closing the gap with WM but does that mean it has no charging-side depending on where the charger come from?


Ive tried getting this thru in a few games but always got it denied by my opponents who say that its an illegal chargemove....
So the confusion here comes from people thinking that it is a requirement of the rules to charge a particular facing of a unit. That's...not really true. The restriction is that you have to close the door to that facing, maximizing models in contact with both sides.

So it's not that warmachines "don't have facings," but that not having to close the door means you're not restricted in how you charge it save by the usual charge restrictions (straight ahead, save with one wheel up to 90*). Functionally this means you don't have to respect the "charge facing."

It's one of those disagreements that arises more because of how people THINK the rules work, rather than how they ACTUALLY work. Like how everyone thinks that you slide a charging unit to the maximized position, rather than that you must make a legal charge such that you maximize. 99%% of the time there is no practical distinction, but in that other 1% of cases people tend to get really angry that the system doesn't act how they expect it to.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
32
#25
It took me by surprise the first time this was played against me, but you learn from it and adapt from there :)
 
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