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Monday, 20 May 2013


Following the first rule below – 1” apart the random mover when it comes to pivot second rule, can’t do so as it would come within 1” of the enemy units either side of it.  This means they can only move straight ahead in the direction shown in the red arrow. 

The random mover is unable to contact the “railroaders” as they don’t lie within its front arc so moving on in the random movers wording we get this if through moving straight ahead they would contact an enemy unit then it is -  “resolved using the normal rules for charges.”   
Ok – still with me?  We move on the charges rules “the target must lie at least partially within the charging unit’s front arc.” So in this case – the random mover can’t pivot and can’t contact them thus giving you the tactic below. 

P13 - 1” Apart
“Whilst moving, a unit is not allowed to approach closer than 1” to another unit friend or foe, or impassable terrain.”

PG74 – Random Movement
“When the model moves, first pivot it about its centre to face the direction in which you wish to travel.”
“Then, roll the dice shown in the models profile.  Finally move the model directly forwards a number of dice equal to the total rolled by the dice.  No other pivots can be made.”

“There’s a chance that the model’s peculiar movement will cause it to come into contact with an enemy, so measure the distance in a straight line before the model is moved.  If the move is found to take the unit into contact with an enemy then it count’s as charging, and this is resolved using the normal rules for charges.”

Page 16 – Declare charge
“one or more of the models in your unit must be able to trace a line of sight to the enemy unit, and the target must lie at least partially within the charging unit’s front arc.” 


  1. Yep this is a totally legal move and should be encouraged against people who take Aboms.


  2. So... Question Can it actually Pivot? and then just not move because of the fact it is now within an inch?
    The reason why I actually ask. Is it's not in the movement section of the rules. Rather the remaining moves section.

    This aside
    Personally I think if railroading is cheap

    1. interesting question but I think the rules support no - as charging is the mechanic that allows you to go within 1" of units. I think it's fairly clear. As to if the tactic is cheap or not different people will have different views on this.

    2. So if this is the case. Why stay out of its front arc? they clearly can't pivot at all?
      Or can they actually pivot ? :)
      I am just curious

      Oh i know people have differing opinions. that's why I said Personally

    3. If there is a legitimate target in the front arc the random mover can break the 1 inch rule for the purpose of the "charge" move. However given little pivoting this actually is = basically moving straight ahead.

      rather "good" tactic. I try not to use it unless I'm desperate...but if I ever get into that situation there are more important things to worry about than pulling a (cheap) trick.

  3. So djd,

    is it really legal to put a unit 1 inch next to a Abom and hinder it from pivoting since the base is not squared?

    I had this discussion with a skaven player and his WLC, it was on a chariot base and I put something next to it in order to prevent it from pivoting such that it could not shoot at some targets... my opponent - surprise surprise - was not willing to except it. Very cheesy from my side but I would only do it against this player :D

    1. Hey Gewaltaron,

      Even if it is on a square base you still could railroad it in this way. As long as you stay outside the front arc. I think the rules on this one are pretty clear the question is just whether it is a legitimate thing to do (a bunch of things are 'legal' but not pleasant). Personally I have no problem wit it and am very happy to do it to an opponent.



    2. yes I forgot about good old Pythagoras ;)

  4. Legal? Sure. Dick move? More sure. In a friendly game, I'd be pissed at you for doing it, in a tournament, I'd expect it (and be pissed at you).

    1. yes, it was a dick move in a dick game. revenge for rapping my hobby for the 5th time by the same guy in a friendly game :) but for the reasons you gave at the end I conceded to end the game without yet another discussion :)

  5. What everyone seems to forget in this discussion of whether its a "dick" move or not, is that if you have a sensible army you will never ever be in position for this to affect you making the discussion completely moot...

    The majority of units capable of pulling this off are eagles sabretusks etc. if you cant deal with Low wound no armour models then your list is poorly designed in the first place and all of your main combat units will be chasing them around the table doing nothing, not just the Stank or Abom.

    1. +1 If you come up against something that can do it just play well and make sure your baby sitting your unit with something to clear chaff. Is it really that bad that the Abom and Stank have some disadvantages?


  6. In the interests of dragging out this discussion:

    It seems from the rules quoted that it is an open question what stage of the charge process the random mover is at when its movement becomes a charge. That is, is it the 'declare charges' part, or the 'move charges' part. If it is the 'declare charges' part of the process, then the arc rules (p16 as quoted by James) apply, but if it is the 'move charges', then they do not (at least, not obviously?). Why should we think the random mover is at the 'declare charges' stage of the sub-phase? After all, there can be no charge reaction (and the random movement rules specifically state the random mover cannot declare charges), which puts us after part ii of the charge summary. So, flank contact with adjacent unit should count as a charge, and not be subject to the front arc requirement, as that is a requirement of 'declare charges' not of 'move chargers'.

    In short:

    1. The unit cannot declare a charge outside of its front arc.
    2. But, this doesn't apply to the HPA/Stank, as random movement states 'cannot declare charges'.
    3. There is no rule stating that you cannot charge outside of your front arc, only that you cannot declare a charge outside your front arc.
    4. Hence, boxing units can be hit by the random mover.

    (Note: (3) is the weak point here, but I couldn't see anything that requires front outside of declare charges. p.20 aligning to the enemy would allow you to move from a flank contact all around the model to get front contact. But the other boxing unit prevents this, so we move to p.22 unusual situations, which requires the boxing unit to close the door, as the moving unit cannot.)

    (Note 2: This isn't an argument against boxing per se, it is an argument that boxing units can be hit by the thing they are boxing in. Given the comparative cost of the units involved, this still is a clear victory for the boxer over the boxee... unless you are having your HPA boxed out by a demon prince, or something.)

  7. Sorry Nick clutching at straws. In the interests because you play skaven?1 ha ha Sorry mate but no dice… there are so many rules you are trying to ignore. First point the Abomb can’t pivot – at all that’s due to the 1” rule so it can’t contact either railroader – thus it must move straight ahead. Also the thing that allows it to “charge as such” is the 3D6 roll moved “straight ahead” that allows it to count as charging. So a pivot is not moving straight ahead 3D6 and thus contacting an enemy. Also arcs define the movement of chargers – it has to lie in your forward arc and also a rule that people often forget with random movers is you must close the door. You can’t’ close the door in this thus making it an illegal charge – even if you could contact/charge in the first place which you can’t. Railroading is 100% legit in the rules just maybe not to some people’s taste.

    1. Why do you need two? Surely single "blocker" forces railroad as you are unable to pivot either way without entering 1".

    2. Indeed Pete, 1 works just as well I just used 2 for illustration purposes. When I did it to the tank at TBM I used a single sabre tusk for just that purpose.

  8. p. 74 'When the model moves, first pivot'

    = Pivot is part of the movement.

    Now, 'if the move is found to take the model into contact with the enemy, it counts as charging' (74)

    = Charge.

    I've covered the door closing in note 1. Its an unusual situation, and the thing you hit closes. Got a page number for the arcs claim? I could only see it with regard to declarations of charging.

    (Note again: I've sucked it up and let people do this in tournaments, and I stand by it being a dick move to pull in a friendly. I'm just not sure it is right by rules as written, and I want you to show me why what i'm saying is wrong)

  9. I'm not saying you have to like it, or it's big and clever but it the rules back it. Your missing the point that the pivot isn't part of the move and you can't pivot due to the 1" is says first pivot and then move certain distance straight ahead - , 'if the move is found to take the model into contact with the enemy, it counts as charging' (74)you missed out that part. The pivot doesn't count as charging.

    1. James, I don't think it is as clear as you make it out to be. Note the bit I quoted above, which suggests that the pivot is part of the move. More, specifically states that the pivot is part of the move. "When the model moves, first pivot". The 'straight ahead' doesn't come into play, because the distance needed is 1 inch, following which you are in contact.

      This is (well, apart from me being a pedant in order to stir up some shit), simply a matter of interpretation, on your part, of what looks to me very obvious, namely that the pivot is *part* of the move.

      The model has a "peculiar movement". The features of that movement (that is, the various things, all of which are part of the movement) are: pivot, roll, straight ahead. If the "peculiar movement" causes it to come into contact with an enemy, it counts as charging.

      This is all right there in the words on the page, p. 74.

    2. Now, if it said something like 'before the model moves, pivot it about its centre to face in the direction you wish to move', I would be completely in agreement with you. But, it doesn't.

    3. mate we could go round in circles. I still don't see any argument/precedent that overcomes front arc - you pivot to allow you to bring something into your front arc to move straight ahead and count as charging in this case the model can't do that. What you are suggesting clearly doesn't follow the "using the normal rules for charges"

    4. I am actually swayed by Nick's argument...p74. second to last paragraph "If the random move brings the unit to within 1" of a friendly unit or impassable terrain, it stops immediately and cannot move further during that movement phase". Nowhere does it say the "random mover stops if coming within 1 inch of an enemy unit" thinking laterally and I quote "When that model moves, first pivot it about its centre to face the direction in which you wish it to travel" this would allow the random mover to pivot within 1 inch of an enemy unit....

  10. But this is what I said in the first post I made about this... the requirement of front arc is a requirement for declaring a charge, which the random movers very specifically do not do. Unless there is also a front arc requirement for the remainder of the 'normal rules for charges', then the front arc is irrelevant here.

    1. I agree there is a front arc requirement for declaring a charge.
    2. Random movers cannot declare charges, so are not subject to the 'declare charges' component.
    3. There is no further mention of a front arc requirement. That is, it only arises in the context of declaration of charges, which random movers do not do.
    4. The 'normal rules for charges' are therefore silent on the issue at question.

    I've been quoting chapter and verse! Give me the counter-references.

    1. I can see why your good at your job Nick! I think your missing the whole context of it. A pivot doesn't count as a move. I'll reference warmachines such as cannons that can pivot in the movement phase so can't move and shoot so a pivot can't be counted as a move.

      Also in the random move section - "Finally MOVE the model directly forward" thus the pivot not being classed as a move.

      Nothing in warhammer can slide sideways contact flank to flank and count as charging. I'm not say It's a move that should be encouraged just I believe the rules support it.

    2. Fun counter-example to your claims about pivoting. The latest main rulebook FAQ contains the following:

      Q: Does pivoting on the spot count as movement for the purposes of
      units, other than war machines, with the Move or Fire rule?(p73)
      A: Yes.

      That is to say, pivoting... is movement. The HPA is not a warmachine, so pivoting is movement for it, as it is not excluded by the wording of this FAQ.

      Of course, you might say that pivoting is only movement for things that a) are not war machines, and b) have the move or fire rule. However, as you were trying to make a general claim that pivoting is not movement, this isn't going to get you far. It clearly, sometimes, is. Why not here?

      In the random movement section, the 'peculiar' movement of random movers obviously has multiple components. I set them out above, but lets rehash them. 'when the model moves, first pivot'. So, pivot is part of the movement. 'then roll' so, rolling is part of the movement. 'finally move the model directly forward' so moving forward is part of the movement. Each of these things is part of the composite that is random movement.

      As for your last claim, that is begging the question. You are assuming what you are being asked to prove. At most, you have shown that nothing other than things with random movement can charge through flank contact, but I have given a number of reasons to think that random movers are different.

      Pretty sure your initial post was encouraging the hell out of railroading, by the way.

      (Note: Stepping away from my meta-role as person arguing for the sake of it, I should mention that the FAQ entry I cite here actually does mess your argument up a bit.)

    3. ok I'm officially bored - ha ha, ok if pivot counts as a move.. sweet so you can't move within 1" of the railroader so you can't move... Pivot counting as charging is pretty tenuous - else why would you need to pivot if you could charge with your flank? I still 100% believe it is legit and there is more weight on that side than on random movers being allowed to class pivot as counts as charging. I never was great at explaining rules as I find it boring. I wasn't encouraging it but I'll make sure I'll railroad the shit out of your hellpit the next time we play :)

    4. James I cite my previous comment in response to your assertion that it cannot pivot in to within one inch:
      p74. second to last paragraph "If the random move brings the unit to within 1" of a friendly unit or impassable terrain, it stops immediately and cannot move further during that movement phase". Nowhere does it say the "random mover stops if coming within 1 inch of an enemy unit" thinking laterally and I quote "When that model moves, first pivot it about its centre to face the direction in which you wish it to travel" this would allow the random mover to pivot within 1 inch of an enemy unit

  11. Sounds good. I'll make sure to pivot charge you with my flank and reference this discussion when you complain.

    1. ha ha, sweet we can settle it over a beer and a view

  12. Weighing in here:

    page 74: There's a chance the model's peculiar movement will cause it to come into contact with an enemy, so measure the distance in a straight line before the model is moved.

    This would indicate to me that the contact is meant to occur as a result of forward movement in a straight line.

    page 74: If the move is found (due to sequencing can we assume this is the forward move?) to take the unit into contact with the enemy (the use of take indicates that the straight forward move achieves this, not a pivot), then it counts as charging, and this is resolved using the normal rules for charges (where the charger gets an infinite wheel to bring front into contact once touching and where we know that the front of a charging unit has to get into contact) and using the the distance rolled as it's charge range.

    As I see it the charge is a clear result of the random forward movement and the sequence set out in the paragraph quoted above seems to me at least to support that. It could be though that if the blocker was positioned too far forward the random mover could pivot its front edge into it and then move and charge, but that if the blocker was placed correctly there is no way front contact could be made and it would charge off.

    To sum it up: I think the sequencing in p 74 makes it clear that the random move part of the movement is not at all the pivot but is the random distance moved in the straight line. Until you roll that die I believe the 1" rule keeps applying. If it wasn't for the sequence being described on page 74 I would agree with Nick though. It's poorly written, do I think that the game writers at all intended for a random mover to charge with it's pivot move, Hell no! Do I think they intended for anyone to try to railroad random movers? Again Hell no. I think we're definitely in the zone where any interpretation is contentious enough that it's a call that should be left to tournament organisers. But yes, I continue to believe it's legal due to how I read the sequencing. I am 100% happy to play either way as long as it's made clear before the game/event starts.

  13. Jeff: We can measure a straight line, 1 inch, from random mover to blocker. The issue really comes down to whether the movement is the series of actions, or just the straight line. Both the wording of 74 and the FAQ question I posted suggest that the move includes the pivot. (In this instance, there appear to be suggestions which run counter to each other... not surprising, but inconvenient). That is, I don't buy the sequencing claim, it seems to be comfortably in the interpretation zone, rather than the rules as written zone.

    On front contact: The infinite wheel makes this harder to sustain, particularly as it can be imposed on the blocker when the moving unit cannot close the door... just keep turning that until it is in the right place.

    I would argue that rules as written do not provide us with a clear answer, that is, that it can be argued either way, with some justification.

    The correct response is either to house-rule it for tournaments ("you can railroad random movers, even though by the letter of the rules they can totally pivot-charge"), or to dice it when it arises ("there is a good argument for each interpretation, and no clear rule, so 4+")

    I would suggest a third way: Accept that railroading stops the random mover from moving, other than charging the railroading unit. This way seems to strike the best balance between conflicting goals. The chaff unit is performing the normal chaff role (dying valiantly for the greater good), the random mover is squandering potential on chaff (not killing your valuable units, nor earning its points), and if you don't want that to happen, you should do what Meals suggested above, and kill the damn chaff.

    1. See I read it as:

      1. Pivot
      2. Measure the distance in a straight line before the model is moved (indicating movement has not occurred at this point.
      3. If the move is found to take the unit into contact, then it counts as charging....

      For me it seems clear that I pivot before measuring the distance and that the ruling of the words indicates this happens before "the move". As you said though this is my interpretation of an unclear rule.

      Either of your 3 ways is acceptable to me as I believe it to be an unclear rule, as long as it's established before the game. There's no reason it should come to a 4+ as the situation arises as it should be discussed prior to the game.

      As for what Meals said, I fully concur, regardless of interpretation of the railroading, good players with good armies should be able to easily counter it.

    2. Ok, so I take the description of movement to be in the second (non-italics) paragraph of random movement. There, (2) doesn't read as you describe it, rather, it just tells you to roll the dice. The reference to measuring is dealing, not with movement, but with resolving a tricky case, namely charging... That is, 3rd paragraph is a (failed) attempt to clarify the movement rules stated in 2nd paragraph.

  14. Nick I still don't see how you get past "bringing its front facing into contact" even if the pivot counts as charging which I 100% believe it does not and you haven't given anything to make me think it is you still can't contact the model railroading with your front arc if the railroader placed correctly. You would not be pivoting you would be changing the position of your random mover totally which you can't make this happen as a pivot about it's center would not get you into front arc
    Also if you have the second railroader the other side another point would make the "charge fail" under no circumstances can a unit use it;s charge to bring it into contact with an enemy it has not declared a charge against.

    Best option if you don't want to be railroaded kill the chaff as you said.

    1. James, unusual situations, p. 22. If the charging unit cannot do it, the chargee does. The wheel is unlimited (p. 20), so keep turning that thing until it works out (note, this is a ludicrous outcome, but, crucially, no more ludicrous than the idea that, noticing a model to its left/right, the monster/stank/whatever chooses both to ignore its desired target, and the new target, in order to trundle idly into the distance).

      With regard to the second railroader, the problem here is that the rule you are citing is false. A random mover never declares a charge, yet can come into contact with enemies and count as charging. Uncontroversial movement of a random mover therefore technically breaches the claim that "under no circumstances can a unit use its charge to bring it into contact with an enemy it has not declared a charge against." That is to say, GW screwed up their ruleset re charging by not accounting for their rules for random movers correctly... But that is what we have been dealing with the whole time.

  15. Yeah I find it just opens a can of worms, I find it a cheap trick which just ruins my immersion in the game. I think it's clearly not intended to work this way but it's open to argument. I really don't like playing people who pull this kind of thing (or the conga lines or whatever other crap someone can think up to exploit a poorly written rule) but there's nothing I can do about that. All I can say is to make a tournament clarification ahead of time and play by that, whichever way you decide to rule it just make it clear ahead of time and then at least everyone knows what the story is.

    For those who say it is as intended, can you honestly say that all of the random movers (which is often due to not being in control of themselfs for whatever reason) cannot move as they are suddenly concerned about moving to close to something?

    Also if this is your interpretation of random movement then if I for example keep my Doomwheel 1" away from my own unit if it gets shot and then goes "out of control" I can't pivot within 1" of my own unit so when rolling the scatter dice to determine direction I can just ignore any direction but directly ahead or directly behind me right? It says I must make a random move as normal but in the direction indicated on the scatter dice but as I can't pivot into 1" of my own unit (or an enemy one) what do you do? Just ignore that it has gone out of control? Same for the Warp fire thrower weapon team, it has a misfire result that forces you to roll a scatter dice then make a random move in that direction and blow up in a small template but the screaming burning rats (who would have no problem running right into thier comrades if they were just over 1" away) cant pivot that way so they have to run directly ahead or back?

    Most of these examples are Skaven as that's the only army I have but isn't the Chaos spawn also random movement? A writhing, mindless ball of mutated flesh but oh wait it can't turn as it might bump into something?

    Don't get me wrong the player who abuses this the other way is not any better but that's the door you're opening and where it leads is everyone being pissed off! Just look at the amount of back & forth on this already.

  16. Random movement is listed under special rules pg 74, the problem seems to be it clashes with rules in the main rulebook for movement. ie pg 13"while moving a unit is not allowed to approach closer than 1 " to another unit, friend foe, or impassible terrain."

    However it is not a problem as
    note pg 13 "the same rules govern almost all movement...also a few units move in a special way...These are exceptions to the usual rules."
    "the rule" 1" apart" is purely for clarity, to tell where one unit stops and another begins...close to one another...or in close combat...this rule does not apply to charge moves...the whole point of charging is to bring a unit into base contact...occasionally a unit will have approached to within 1" of a unit it did not charge as the result of moving into contact with a unit it did charge. This is perfectly acceptable."- This last makes it clear that if the movement pivot and move will result in a charge then the unit can come within 1" of the railroading unit, you need not even be charging it, so long as it will bring it into base contact as a result of the pivot and move and thus counts as a charge, and if it brings it into contact it does count as a charge, the 1" rule exists only for clarity to show who is is combat and who isn't, not to force movement direction.

    regardless also note pg 66 "when a creature has an ability that breaks or bends one of the main game rules...""most special rules are given to a model by the relevant entry in its warhammer army book." "Remember where there is a conflict between the rules presented here and in a warhammer armies book the later takes precedence,"
    Also does pivoting move the model or does pivoting leave it standing still, clearly it moves the model. The special rule is called random movement, this comprises a pivot movement and a move forward movement

  17. Also note pg 25 "units that...move in the compulsory moves...follow the normal movement rules, unless clearly stated...for example they will often have to a given direction." ie pivots in the direction takes precedence.

    If it will come up in a game, discuss before hand and agree how you will play it.

    remember the 1" rule exists for clarity of who is in combat with each other not for another purpose such as to force direction of movement. Note the feel free to nudge them apart for clarity pg 12 if the pivoting into contact bothers you.

    I clarify the rules and explain the outcomes with pictures here, a note some of the interesting consequences.

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