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Okay, i can't believe i'm having to ask this as i've played GW for years, but in this edition of WFB (after spending a couple away) i really can't seem to decide whether or not i'm reading a rule right.
Say you got one squad of 4x4 troops vs another squad of 4x4 troops. Squad One goes first and kills 4 of Squad Two.
Does Squad Two thus get no attacks back at all?
The rules seem fairly clear in that regard to me, a horrible ule which i'm fairly certain will send me scurrying straight back to W40K and promising 'never to experiment again, for tis silly over there'. Is it really that simple - go first and win? Kill as many as are in a front rank and you're never gonna be hit back (outside of spears of course).
What doesn't help is paying attention to the battle reports in WD which, by their casualties, don't seem to play by the above rule at all. In the newest mag for example an elfy chariot kills 6 orcs but, somehow, they are still about to get 2 wounds back - surely impossible given the frontage of a chariot and going by the rules above?
Models killed do not get attacks back, correct. However, unit champions who are in the front rank are not considered killed unless attacks are directed at them specifically, so they usually get to attack back.
SO in the example you cited, the chariot killed the front rank, but the champion got to attack back, as no attacks were directed at him.
As for the differences between 40k and fantasy, its far more possible in fantasy to kill more and still lose the combat due to combat resolution that takes ranks, banners, outnumbering, flanks, rears, and kills into consideration.
Hope this helped.
Much, thankyou (especially as i nearly asked that very question about champions into the mix but didn't want to muddle the subject). I really didn't want to be right but was fairly certain i was.
That's a lot different from how it used to be then isn't it? I last played WFB in the days of...i think it was 4th Ed, Battle Magic box set and all that. I seem to recall multiple turns of combatants slugging it out with one another. Now it seems to play like a real miracle if it lasts beyond the turn folks charge in on (and he who charges - wins, or so its been playing in my first few games of this Ed anyways!).
Kinda makes me resent buying (monetarily) big squads of blokeys now as their actual fighty duration seems likely to be over rather quickly now, possibly without them doing a thing other than get hit. Must make it horribly tough to play defensively.
The thing is, when you use large units of warriors (especially undead) they are there as 'tarpits' or to provide static Combat Res. You let the big guys do the killing.
Generally. with my Tomb Kings skellies, it doesnt matter if the front rank has been killed or not, they never do any damage!
A big block of troops will have +5 static combat res. That is very hard to push through by causing casualties.
And yes, if you charge, get flanks, etc you will have the advantage. That is where the tactics come into play.
You're understanding of the rules is correct- but don't let it panic you! Combat res is a huge part of WHM and there are many ways to affect it- good commanders rarely rely on casualties alone. The more you play the more you'll come to appreciate, I think.
No more NG spearmen, thanks! Now I need some pump-wagons!
Generally talking about "standard" troops, the rank and file must only provide the static bonuses, so 3 ranks, standard, weight, and has the FUNDAMENTAL duty of drawing a reasonable battle line, preventing flanking etc. (army-wise) and the other important duty of deciding the orientation of the unit (unit-wise), so that you can manage what you want to charge with, to be charged on, and whether or not to be surrounded by enemies.
that's it, a tactical battle!
Then, causing casualties is a problem of heroes: the mighty ones who grind trough common mortals (and immortals and undead alike ) while their comrades just stare at them. Eventually some rank and file could do some damage, but if you notice, bulk units are usually equipped to be resistant, not deadly.
Then we get to elite troops, who generally are heroes of their own kind, and so are capable of winning combats through individual ability, more than by numbers.
To respect this, they come along with powerful weapons, high stats, and high cost! so they tend to form smaller units that count less on ranks and weight...but surely they do need the protection of bulky allies!
So, to sum up, an army is made of three ingredients:
standard troops= static res / meatshield
elite troops= support / eventually lone hunters on flanks etc...
heroes= casualty-dealers in standard units
It's better, it's shiny, it's warped...it's Chaos.
delorted, double post
I had this same reaction when I started to get into Fantasy about four years ago. Why would I take 40 guys in a unit if only five of them get to fight? I was still thinking in the sense of 40K, where close combat is decided only by who causes the most casualties.
In 40K, a spacemarine chaplain could charge 50 Grots, cause a single wound, recieve none in return and win combat. If the grots fail their panic check, they'll flee, and have a good chance of being run down.
In fantasy, a Brettonian Paladin (probably about the fantasy equivalent to a 40K chaplain) could charge a ranked up unit of 50 Gobbos with full command (again, about the equivalent) and unless the Paladin can hit, wound and slay six Gobbos (which I doubt is even possible), he is going to lose. There's really no way for the Paladin to beat the Gobbos as they are unless he gets some help and flanks the Gobbos, or comes in with his own ranked up unit (Men at Arms/Knights), or a unit that dishes out the pain (Knights/DoW Ogres).
It adds tactically to the game. Fantasy is a game decided my movement, unit positioning and unit type more than raw combat ability.