With the New Year comes the new Errata. Awkwardly, the file name for it is “WM MKII Rules Errata Jan 2011_0.pdf”. Either a Privateer Press Staff got hit with a (very much delayed) Y2k bug or they are in denial that this is the year the world will end (21st Dec 2012).
After going through it, the errata did a great job in covering a lot of fixes and perhaps, some rule balances too. While I understand the intention and purpose of the Errata, it unfortunately does not cover the common mistakes people make when playing a game of Warmachine.
Here’s a list of common mistakes I found from personal experience and through the interwebs.
1) Knocked down models are indicated by physically laying down the model on its side.
- It is common sense to lay a model on its side to indicate it being knocked down. However, this is a very dangerous habit. A knocked down model does not change its facing while being knocked down to the time it stands up. Laying a model on its side to indicate knocked down likely will alter the model’s original facing when standing up.
2) CRA/CMA attack/dmg bonus does not include the original model while calculating the CRA/CMA bonus.
- Another mistake where common sense plays a dirty part. If my model is shooting and 3 others are helping out, surely it’s a +3 to my attack and damage rolls? Privateer Press (PP) says the original model is accounted for in bonus, so it’s +4. This is one common mistake where when clarified, the attacking player would usually go “oh?! Sure why not!! :)”.
3) Deep Water is deemed an impassable terrain and cannot be voluntarily entered.
- Perhaps this is from a Mk.I mentality or from the fan-made quick sheet rules. I realise a lot of people, even on the internets, have this understanding that Deep Water is an impassable terrain. Nowhere does it state in the rulebook that it is impassable. You can walk your model into Deep Water. That model just suffer some really nasty penalties while being in Deep Water.
- A smaller base slamming a larger base suffers -2 to its attack roll. The larger base is slammed d6"/2 and is knocked down. Yes, a Basilisk Krea can slam a Khadoran Devastator and knock it down.
5) A thrown model stops if it contacts a linear obstacle and suffers an additional d6 die on damage rolls.
- A thrown model only stops if it contacts an obstruction or a model with an equal or larger-sized base. It is important to note here that a thrown model still moves across Obstacles and Linear Obstacles! I have seen countless times where a thrown model is deemed to hit a linear obstacle and the attacker gets an additional d6 on its damage rolls.
6) A throw deviates d6”.
- A throw deviates d3", not d6". This is another crucial mistake as the d3” deviation distance gives a higher chance for the thrown model to deviate to its intended target. Keep in mind that as per Errata, the deviation distance is still dictated by half the distance between the thrown model and the intended point of impact.
7) Double Handed throws does not need to be away from the attacker.
- Both single and double handed throws must always be away from the attacker. An infernal fixed this previously via the PP forums but it has now been stated as such in the latest errata. I find a lot of players find it complicated on how to determine what is “away” from the attacker. My rule of thumb is to draw a center-line from the attacker’s base to the vicitm’s base. Then, divide zones into two by drawing a perpendicular line at the attacker’s base edge, intersecting the center-line you just drew. The zone in which the attacker is in is considered towards the attacker while the zone in which the victim is in is considered away from the attacker.
8) Fleeing model(s) running towards an enemy model.
- Even I make this mistake sometimes. A fleeing model can only run away from an enemy model. Keep in mind that if you cannot run anywhere else that is not towards an enemy model, you can always run for 0”. You do not have to turn your model facing away from the enemy when fleeing.
9) Fleeing model(s) make Rallying checks at the end of the opponent's turn.
- You do not make rally checks at the end of your opponent’s turn or at the start of your fleeing model’s activation. The rally check is made at the end of the model’s activation, after that model “runs” as per required.
10) Massive Casualties checks are made at the end of the turn.
- Perhaps this is from the Warhammer 40k mentality. As soon as the unit suffers 50% casualties (i.e. the 5th dead model out of an initial starting size of 10 men), the unit is immediately required to make a Mass Casualty check. If the unit fails, the unit is fleeing. Although still engaging, the unit cannot make any attacks anymore (i.e. no more free strikes). Enemy attacks can be directed elsewhere should the need arise.
11) Hills block line of sight.
- Unlike Forest, hills do not block line of sight unless agreed prior to the game that it does. I occasionally like to agree with my opponent before the game starts that hills blocks LOS to small-based models.
12) A model advancing over an obstacle requires 2" to 'climb' on it. Having Pathfinder mitigates this penalty.
- Most get the first part right. However when it comes to having Pathfinder, the common mistake occurs. Although having Pathfinder allows the model to charge across the obstacle, it does not mitigate this 2” requirement penalty. Note the difference between Obstacles and Linear Obstacles (a sub-set of Obstacles). A model crossing over a Linear Obstacle does not need to spend 2” of its movement to climb over it.
13) Standing on Obstacles grants +2 DEF for Elevation.
- Unlike hills, being on top of Obstacles does not grant you the +2 DEF bonus unless agreed prior to the game that they do.
Common mistakes are bound to happen in any game, Warmachine included. While it is very tempting to interrupt a game and correct the mistake as a spectator, do take note of the atmosphere. If everyone is in a joking manner, then go ahead. If the player(s) insist on being interrupted (i.e. tutorial game, coaching game, etc) then by all means do it. If it seems like a casual game that could be ruined by an interruption, do wait for the game to be played out. Everybody wants to play the game correctly, but in my opinion playing the game un-interrupted takes priority.
Any common mistakes in Warmachine/Hordes you notice amongst your peers?
Happy New Year! After a month’s break, IK Daily is back with more article goodies. Work commitment (and vacations) has really taken up my time over the past month. I’m travelling next week again and after that, it’s the Chinese New Year holidays. There’s a high chance that IK Daily will be on a short break again K. Nevertheless, I will try my best to keep up with the reader’s demanding demands on article output.