Knife Fighter and Spears

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Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby JLeong » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:14 pm

Hey all, I have a question about the Knife Fighter special rule that Mirkwood Rangers have.
The rule states that they gain an extra attack for every enemy (after the first) with whom they are engaged in combat. Does this apply to fights in which an enemy is supported by a spear?
I suspect that it does, because of the new language (contributing 1 attack to the combat, instead of giving the supported model an additional attack). Though our FAQ allows spear supporting models to be targeted by good archers, they do seem to be a "part of the combat."

The way I'm reading the rule, a Mirkwood Ranger in combat with an orc supported by a spearman has 2 attacks.


Thoughts?
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby BrentS » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:39 pm

I think I would say no... Without that special rule, there is no way for elf to wound the spear supporting Orc so I don't think I'd count that as another model in contact.

Probably should read "any models in base contact".

Just my gut reaction.
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby JLeong » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:13 am

"A spear armed model can join the fight by moving into base contact with a friend who is in base contact with an enemy model. This is an exception to the ordinary Fight rules, in that the spear armed model does not need to be in base contact with the enemy model to participate in the fight."

The bolded language of "joining" the fight and "participating in the fight" really makes me think that the spear-armed model is "engaged" with the Mirkwood Ranger. The spearman really sounds like he should be treated as part of the fight.
The spear-armed model does direct attacks towards the Ranger, and it seems to me that the author's intent is to make the Ranger match the number of attacks directed against him/her. Instead of simply giving the Ranger two attacks (which we might expect b/c of Rangers' wargear of two daggers), for balance purposes it seems to me that they only wanted that number to increase when faced against more than one attacking model. I can't see why a spearman wouldn't be counted in the number of aggressors in this situation, especially given that under the new rules he actually makes his own, separate attack.

If we submit any FAQ proposals, I think this one ought to be on the list!
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby BrentS » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:47 am

What are you a lawyer or something????

You raise good points, I'm not sure now.
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby Smaug » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:42 pm

I just did some research into it and my personal conclusion would be that a model participating in a combat through the means of a spear would not count as being 'engaged' in that combat.

I concluded this using the following logic and reasoning
1) -this is my primary logic
2) -this is my supporting logic

1) page 23 of the hobbit strategy battle game rule book. Section titled CHARGES AND CONTROL ZONES.
The first sentence of the third paragraph states "The second rule is that a model that is engaged in combat has his Control Zone cancelled out."
-this does not pertain to our exact situation but it does push the idea that when a model is 'actually engaged' in combat it's control zone is negated. A model participating in a combat through the means of a spear
still has a control zone and therefore I don't believe that it is engaged in the combat.

2) page 69 of the hobbit strategy battle game rule book. Section titled SPEARS.
-this section all refers to the fact that a model participating in a combat through the means of a spear is in fact a participant in the combat. However the first sentence of the third paragraph states that "The model using the spear is considered to be supporting his ally". It seems the spear is just participating in the combat by a means of helping his ally who is indeed 'engaged' in combat.

From statement (1) and statement (2) I feel that it is safe to conclude that the model participating in a combat through the means of a spear is a only a participant in the combat at hand, but is not actually 'engaged' in this combat as he still has a control zone.
From this I feel that I can safely conclude that the idea of being 'engaged in combat' would mean that the opposing models are in actual base to base contact.
A model participating in a combat through the means of a spear is not in base contact and is therefor not 'engaged' in combat.
Therefore models with the knife fighter special rule would not gain additional attacks due to enemy spear supports.

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That is my deductive reasoning and logic. Let me know if you agree or disagree. Also let me know if the logic appears to be flawed.
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby JLeong » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:54 am


So I sat with the rules for a while, and this is what I have come to.
There are three major points.
Smaug, I appreciate that you posted! I follow you, but I don't think that interpretation is right.


1. The Mechanics of the Fight Phase and Why Spearmen Are “Engaged.”
At the beginning of the Fight Phase, the player with priority breaks the fights up into as many 1-on-1 engagements as possible. Spearmen who are in base contact with models which are themselves in base contact with an enemy, are apportioned to combats at this stage. “Fights” are said to “begin” when the spearmen’s attacks are committed to one particular fight, and the Duel Rolls are thrown.
The fight “begins” when the player with priority decides to which which fight the spearman is contributing his attack.
Therefore: From the beginning of the “Fight,” the model making an attack with a spear is “engaged” with the enemy he is striking against.
The spearman retains his control zone during the move phase, but during the fight phase, when he is apportioned to a fight by the player with priority, his attack joins that fight, and he becomes “engaged.”
The language of the Mirkwood Ranger “Knife Fighters” special rule counts the number of engaged models “at the beginning of the fight” and lasts until that fight is “resolved.”


2. Why Spears Are Also an Exception to the Literal Base-Contact Fight
The issue about relying on the normal language of control zones and models in base contact is that spears, much like might points, are the exception from the normal course of a game turn. They are the exception to the normal rules of engagement. Spears allow a model who ordinarily wouldn't be able to fight to participate in a combat, just like might points allow a section of troops to ignore priority in the move phase. The first rule of a spear is that it is an exception to the normal rules. We cannot rely on the normal language of control-zones here. Spears work around that framework, not within it.

The old rules used to just give the model in base contact an extra attack. Under The Hobbit rules, the model is adding his own attack to the fight instead.

Page 69 of the tiny Hobbit Rulebook
“A spear enables its bearer to fight in a special way. A spear armed model can join a fight by moving into base contact with a friend who is in base contact with an enemy model. This is an exception to the ordinary fight rules, in that the spear-armed model does not need to be in base-contact with the enemy model to participate in the fight.”

Here, we see that the model is fighting as a part of the combat.

A spear armed model fighting this way uses his own fight value and his own strength characteristic.
Heroes can use might to modify their rolls made when using spears this way.

3. Why The Spirit of the “Knife Fighters” Rule Requires that Spears be “Engaged.”

Given that spear-armed models are participating in the fight, it would be quite unfair to say that they are not “engaged” with the Mirkwood Ranger. They are fighting. They are contributing their attack to the combat. That is about as “engaged” as two warriors can get.
The spear offers the protection of not being hit, but the point of the rule is to balance the number of attacks in the fight— 2 for the Mirkwood Ranger when facing 2 enemies. Not counting spears as “engaged” would defeat this central purpose of the rule.
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby Smaug » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:36 pm

Thanks for that insight, this is a good topic. I now possibly believe that the knife fighter special rule does indeed grant an additional attack for an opposing spear suppor; however, I am still not 100%.
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I am convinced enough that If I were in a casual play with someone that I would be okay with the rule allowing an additional attack via spear support. But I am not 100% convinced In regards to a turnement or campaign, where all the games must follow a uniform set of rules, that the knife fighters rule will actually grant this additional attack for an opposing spear support.

Does anyone else want to weigh in here?
Everyone's comments and opinions would be greatly appricated! :D
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby acepilot12 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:54 pm

I haven't read the new sourcebook yet, but I will be updating our Unofficial FAQ for Adepticon soon for this question. I will consider your opinions in my decision. If there are any other FAQ type questions, let me know.

P.S.
Josh-I will make sure to put in the FAQ that you can only spear support equal or smaller bases, so you can stop power-gaming. :D
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Re: Knife Fighter and Spears

Postby JLeong » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:39 am

I can't sleep, so I figured I'd browse The Last Alliance for some paint tips, and I found this fellow's post on our topic that I found helpful.

People who tend to argue that point are usually doing so because they have old rules in their heads. It is true in previous versions of the rules, starting in the Return of the King rulebook and continued in the ORB, there was a clause in the rules for spears that declared that a model fighting through or supporting with a spear "is not part of the combat for all intents and purposes".

This was why in those versions of the rules they could be targeted by shooting and all that business. In the new Hobbit version of the rules this clause has been removed. The rules in the Hobbit simply state that "A spear enables its bearer to fight in a special way. A spear-armed model can join a Fight by moving into base contact with a friend who is in base contact with an enemy model." and then lists a number of exceptions to how they behave in the fight, such as not being struck or only contributing one attack etc. But they are still part of the fight, because that old rule which specifically said they weren't doesn't exist in this version of the rules. In the Hobbit rules as written models supporting with spears can't be targeted by good shooting, for example. It's only because this particular aspect of spears was FAQ'd that they now can again. But that doesn't mean that "is not part of the combat for all intents and purposes" is back.


Nothing terribly new, but I figure it would help hearing from someone not me. Y'know, because of my hidden agendas and all :lol:
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