Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Dirty Reform & The Building - An Inconvenient Truth?

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the 8th edition rules I’d change if I had a stint of Work Experience at Games Workshop.

The rule that gives me the shits the most at the moment is the Dirty Reform. This is particularly annoying when it is used to get around the restriction on being able to march into a building.

Effectively a unit does a Swift Reform followed by a Normal Move. In the first instance it forms a long thin column around its centre and then it moves a normal move. The only restriction on the first part is that no model moves more than twice its normal move during the reform. However this combined with a normal move allows a model to move up to three times its normal move (without marching). Of course this requires a Leadership Test but with a BSB close by you are likely to get the necessary roll.

The move is perfectly legal under the rules but I don’t believe that it was ever the intention of the rules writer (Matt Ward) to put a restriction on marching into buildings and leave and avenue for an even greater entry distance.

This “ability” has an enormous impact on at least one of the scenarios – presumably a sixth of the games – The Watch Tower.

I’m really hoping that GW addresses this in an upcoming FAQ, at least prohibiting a unit that has done a Swift Reform from entering a building in the same turn. Until they do I try to make sure that people are aware of the rule so that there are no surprises with resultant bad feeling. I can’t remember doing it myself but I’ve had no problem with other players doing it given that it is legal.

As an aside this shows the benefits of having people beta-test your rules before they are released. Let’s say GW have 10 people testing the rules and they play 200 games of the final version between them. I’m pretty sure you’ll have 100x that number of games played by the hoi polloi in the first fortnight after release. And these issues will emerge pretty quickly – different set of eyes, unscrupulous bastards etc.

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