Last update: 18.3.2013

WORST PLAY version 1.22

The 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle rules make it possible to create situations where a unit performs unbelievable feats on the battlefield, such as inexplicably freezing enemy units in their tracks or moving great distances across the battlefield in the blink of an eye without a large movement attribute or special rules. At the ETC we deem these not as maneuvers that require great intellect or skill to use, but as loopholes in the way rules are written and which should not be allowed. The most common situations are hereby described. Players are not allowed to use these, and if your opponent seems to be trying to take advantage of the rules in these ways, summon the judges. If the situations create themselves accidentally (highly unlikely), try to agree with your opponent how to slightly shift and/or pivot units. If you can’t agree, call a judge.

Note however, that there might happen a situation similar to those described here, in which a player's unit is blocked or severely limited in its movements, but that blockage is due to, at least partially, by the same player's units. This is not considered Worst Play, but rather a placement mistake made by the player by not foreseeing that he was blocking his own units.

1. The skirmisher contraction:

Skirmishers are in a long line right in front of an enemy unit. The enemy can’t move normally, so declares a charge, but fails due to skirmishers contracting so far away that it can no longer catch them with the max. 90 degrees wheel allowed. Suggested solution: have the skirmishers contract differently. For example, around the rightmost model in the line.

2 Two skirmisher units contracting:

Similar to 1, in this situation a unit can’t move normally, but can declare a charge against either skirmish A or B unit, but will fail its charge in both situations because after the contraction the other unit is now in the way. Suggested solution: Have the unit charged contract against a different model, such as the rightmost model in Skirmish A or leftmost in Skirmish B.

3 No charge to the correct arc

In this situation two great eagles or similar units have moved in front of a wide unit. The blocked unit can’t move normally. It can’t declare a charge, because it can’t reach the correct frontage of either of Eagle A or B. Suggested solution: pivot the closer eagle so that the unit can charge it.

4 Completely blocked by an invisible model

In this situation the unit can’t see the unit to its side and can’t move, because the 1” zone from one or more enemies gets in the way. Suggested solution: push the blocking units back slightly to allow the blocked unit to move forward.

5 Completely blocked by visible models

In this situation a unit can’t move normally or charge, because a charge against either of the blocking enemy units is impossible due to the door closing failing. The blockers can’t close the door against the charger, because they’re both blocking each other too. There are many variations to this trick. The important thing to remember is that units should be allowed to stand in the way of enemy charges to a certain degree, as long as the would-be charger is not completely blocked from doing anything but reforming on spot. Suggested solution: It’s hard to come up with a good solution, apart from fudging. A fudge should affect as little as possible the position of units, overrun/pursuit paths, line of sights, and so on. Call a judge if you can’t agree on the fudge. Don’t place your units like this on purpose!

6 The Fanatic Slingshot

Regardless of whether units contain fanatics, they can move great distances over the battlefield in an unrealistic, unintended manner with simple wheels. If a unit is in a formation too thin for rank bonus and more than 3 times as deep as wide, the unit measures move spent on wheels from the model furthest from the wheeling corner. This is usually the far model in the rear rank and keeps the wheels with very deep formations very small. Keep in mind that wheeling is supposed  to be a way for the unit to change direction, not the primary method of closing distances to faraway targets! Of course, models in a unit can still move up to 3xM from their starting positions by doing a Swift Reform and a normal Move.

7 Cannon’s Overguessing

Cannons firing perfectly at unseen targets is deemed an unintended result of sloppy writing in the main rulebook and is therefore limited slightly. A cannon may, at most, guess so as to hit any visible part of any unit’s footprint with an initial artillery die roll of 10. The bounce may then hit hidden models. Models partially on hills are considered wholly visible for this purpose. If there is a close combat or a friendly unit blocking this shot, you’re allowed to overguess the minimum needed to clear the units in the way, possibly making it easier to hit hidden models. This means placing a unit in front of an enemy unit on a hill might make it very easy to hit a dragon hiding behind that enemy and the hill! This is allowed, and players should be aware of it.

8 Herding

Random Movement is another rule that makes no sense when attempting to follow the rules literally. Long models, such as Steam Tanks or Abominations, can find themselves unable to attack models right next to them, or sometimes move at all due to the 1″ rule! Therefore we give them a bit of leeway:

Random movers may not end their initial pivot within 1″ of other units, unless the direction they choose to pivot in would bring them into contact with an enemy unit either with the pivot or a 1″ move forward, in which case they charge it.

9 Dropping out of Close Combat

The rules leave it unclear at what situations should units drop out of close combat after removing casualties and in what situations should the units be moved back to contact. Close combat ending due to units losing base to base contact is deemed unintended and should be avoided. Players should attempt to keep units in combat by following these points:

1. Remove casualties so as to keep as many units as possible fighting as many units as possible. If you have to, ignore the requirement to remove equally from both ends of a single rank unit. But only when you have to!

2. If a unit drops out of base contact, the unit not suffering the casualties is nudged back into contact. Nudged unit may move in several directions. See picture 1.

3. If the unit still drops out of base contact, the unit which is taking casualties can be also nudged to retain base contact

4. If units would still drop out of contact, the owner of the casualty taking unit removes casualties normally, possibly deciding which units drop out of contact. See picture 2.

Remember, a unit will never change frontage or contact new units as a result of a nudge, and that you should always only nudge the minimum distance needed to retain as many units in base contact as possible. Only units that take casualties or lose base contact may be nudged. Units can’t be nudged through other units or impassable terrain or buildings.

Picture 1:

Picture 2:

Red unit taking 3 casualties would remove models 1, 7, and then either 2 or 6 and decide whether blue unit A or B remains in contact. Whichever he chooses, he now takes casualties only from the other end to avoid the chosen unit losing contact.