Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
Just had a battle today and the question of which models out of a spear unit can strike back came up.
The situation was this. My block of High Elf Spearmen charged my opponent's Templar Grand Master who had the ASF sword. The TGM killed 2 spearmen.
As HE spears fight in two ranks on the charge I went to take 4 attacks back but my opponent argued that as the 2 in the second rank were stepping up they couldn't attack. My counter to that was that models don't actually step up until the end of the phase as part of redressing the ranks but this went on for around 10 minutes (much to the bemusement of the his flatmate and sister).
In the end we just played 2 attacks although once combat was resolved i rolled the additional dice just to see what would have happened.
So, have I been playing spears wrong all this time? Since I play HE I'm normally in the position where my spears are striking first so this hasn't affected my attacks much but when I've played against my friend Nick and have charged his Orc or Saurus spear blocks I've always played it that if I don't wipe out 2 ranks worth of models then any model not dead in the first two ranks gets to hit me back.
To be honest I'm kind of hoping I'm wrong as it makes Saurus spear blocks a lot less scary although at the same time it makes it even less likely that I'd want to field spears (unless they work differently in 8th edition)
Ranks are not redressed until the end of combat, so yes your spearmen do not step up until the end of the combat rank. The second rank spearmen will still be able to attack.
In a large spear block, if you do enough wounds to wipe out the front rank, that rank does not get to attack back. If you do more wounds than this, the excess wounds don't have to be taken from the second rank, so as long as there are still models in the second rank, they can all attack back. It makes spear blocks like saurus's scarry to charge in the front.
You have been playing it right. They don't lose the ability to fight just because the one in front of them was killed. This would make spears fairly useless.
I am right 94% of the time, why worry about the other 3%.