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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In a game tonight, my Chaos Warriors were grinding their way through a unit of Dwarfs including Thane BSB and Runesmith. Obviously neither character was really geared for combat since, each turn, my opponent was refusing my obligatory challenge, allowing me to send his Thane to the rear ranks (from where he was annoyingly helping to keep the Dwarfs in combat...)

I had just ground him down to one rank, which would normally prevent him from refusing a challenge, because he wouldn't be able to move either character out of base to base contact. However, at that point he flanked me with his Quarrellers, who also had a champion and Runesmith.

So, I issue a challenge. Now what? He has four models who could accept: Thane [BSB], Runesmith 1, Runesmith 2, and champion. Some of these models could also refuse, by being able to retreat to a rear rank of the Quarrellers, but neither the Thane nor Runesmith 1 could get out of contact. The trouble is that my challenge isn't directed at anyone in particular, so we weren't sure what to do and couldn't find any rules to cover it.

What I think would make sense is that, after I challenge, either Runesmith 2 or the Quarreller champion have the option of accepting (because they can still run and hide) but, if neither of them accept, either the Thane or Runesmith 1 has to accept. In other words, I think that he cannot refuse the challenge unless all of his characters are able to refuse. However, there is the alternative possibility that he can refuse because there is at least one model that can be banished to the back.

What happened is that we rolled a dice to see whether or not he could refuse, decided not, and then he took it with his champion.
 

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In a game tonight, my Chaos Warriors were grinding their way through a unit of Dwarfs including Thane BSB and Runesmith. Obviously neither character was really geared for combat since, each turn, my opponent was refusing my obligatory challenge, allowing me to send his Thane to the rear ranks (from where he was annoyingly helping to keep the Dwarfs in combat...)
I'm fairly sure a unit cannot use your leadership in the same turn you refuse a challenge. So I think they'd be stuck on the BSBs leadership.

I had just ground him down to one rank, which would normally prevent him from refusing a challenge, because he wouldn't be able to move either character out of base to base contact. However, at that point he flanked me with his Quarrellers, who also had a champion and Runesmith.

So, I issue a challenge. Now what? He has four models who could accept: Thane [BSB], Runesmith 1, Runesmith 2, and champion. Some of these models could also refuse, by being able to retreat to a rear rank of the Quarrellers, but neither the Thane nor Runesmith 1 could get out of contact. The trouble is that my challenge isn't directed at anyone in particular, so we weren't sure what to do and couldn't find any rules to cover it.

What I think would make sense is that, after I challenge, either Runesmith 2 or the Quarreller champion have the option of accepting (because they can still run and hide) but, if neither of them accept, either the Thane or Runesmith 1 has to accept. In other words, I think that he cannot refuse the challenge unless all of his characters are able to refuse. However, there is the alternative possibility that he can refuse because there is at least one model that can be banished to the back.

What happened is that we rolled a dice to see whether or not he could refuse, decided not, and then he took it with his champion.
I believe, you're right that he can't refuse because you choose who you challenge.

The way challenges work, technically, is; You challenge a specific character. The opponent can accept with that character, or annother character or unit champion can accept on his behalf. If he refuses, you send the original target of the challenge to the back of the unit in shame, his Leadership cannot be used until the end of the phase.

Now, over time, the challenge mechanics have been rewritten, especially over successive editions, and I think the initial point where you challenge a specific character was replaced with you simply declaring "a challenge".

I can't be sure my interpretation is correct here, but I have the older edition rulebooks so I'll search though and see if I can confirm what I'm saying here. If so I'll respond with book and page numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm fairly sure a unit cannot use your leadership in the same turn you refuse a challenge. So I think they'd be stuck on the BSBs leadership.
You're right about that, but as far as we could see he still got the +1 combat resolution and re-roll break tests, despite cowering at the back.

As for the challenge, as far as we could see there's nothing (any more) about challenging a particular model, unless you're Wulfrik or something. The procedure is that I issue a challenge, he can choose one model to accept or, if he refuses, I choose one to 'sit out' the combat. Presumably I can only choose someone to sit out who is capable of doing so - which perhaps lends weight to the thought that, if someone can't refuse, they have to accept.
 

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You get no bonus from a BSB in the back rank. So no re-rolls, no extra combat res, its all gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
You get no bonus from a BSB in the back rank. So no re-rolls, no extra combat res, its all gone.
Do you have a reference for that? It made sense to me but, after pausing to scan the rulebook, we couldn't find anything to that effect in the obvious sections (e.g. the bit about combat resolution doesn't say the BSB has to be in combat, the bit that specifies you can't use the challenge-refuser's leadership doesn't mention losing other bonuses, etc). Is it in the FAQs perhaps?

Indeed, the Errata include this:

"Page 107 – The Battle Standard Bearer.
Add “If a Battle Standard Bearer is in a unit that Refuses a Challenge and is subsequently moved to the rear of its unit, it loses the Hold Your Ground rule until the end of the turn. Note, however, that if the Battle Standard Bearer has a magic standard its effects continue to apply as normal (it cannot be ‘switched on or off’)”."

I don't think that would have mattered, since they were steadfast Dwarfs - I remember he needed a re-roll once, but his Thane was probably in the front rank by the point. I'm not finding anything about the +1CR at the moment. The FAQs say:

"Q – If a Battle Standard Bearer has to be placed in the second rank of a unit due to there being no space for them in the unit’s first rank, do the effects of the battle standard still apply? (p107)
A – Yes."

Obviously, refusing a challenge is different from simply not having room in the front (and not wanting to make way), but if there's anything saying he doesn't get +1 after refusing a challenge then I still can't find it, despite having searched the FAQ/Errata. Again, wouldn't have mattered last night, since he was testing on unmodified Leadership anyway, though any clarification of this would also be welcome.

However, even if we were getting this wrong, I'd particularly welcome answers to the original question as to when he can and when he can't refuse challenges.
 
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