Friday, September 23, 2011

Blackmoor: Stelek did not get cheated

Well there was some controversy in my game with Stelek that I cheated in our game. Here is what happened:

My batrep here
Stelek's batrep here

I get my Paladins on turn #5 and I placed them into combat squads as they entered from the table edge. Stelek says that I cheated when I did this. He also says that either cheating cost him the game, or luck. I hope he referred to this game as him losing by luck because they entered into the same table quarter and the fact that they combat squaded has no impact on our game.

So after I saw that I was accused of cheating I wrote a Mea culpa when I read the FAQ under Space Marines. I thought that indeed I did play it wrong. Well, rules are never my strong point, that is why whenever an opponent questions one of my rules I look it up, and when ever my opponent makes a rules assertion, I let it go.

So yesterday he begins again with his cheating allegations.

If you do not want to read through the post, here is the quote:

4) Cheating. Note this isn’t a shot at Blackmoor, he just happens to be the best example of cheating (Dash cheated too, as did every other DE player, but they were stopped in their attempts by me or a judge).

You cannot combat squad Marines when entering from reserve. Period.

Really? Period? Well let's take a look shall we...

Now it is time to break down what the FAQ really says, and what combat squading says.

Grey Knight Special Rules page 21:
Ten-man units with this special rule have the option of breaking down into two five-man units, called combat squads.

The decision to split the unit into combat squads, as well as which models go into each combat squad, must be made when the unit is deployed. Both combat squads can be deployed in separate locations. If you decide to split a unit into combat squads, then each combat squad is treated as a separate unit for all game purposes from that point on.

Now what makes this clear statement a little murky is GWs Space Marine FAQ which states:

Q: Can you take a Drop Pod with a 10-man squad and then put a combat squad in it, deploying the other combat squad on the table, or leave it in reserve but not in the Drop Pod? (p69)

A: No, because squads that are placed in reserve may not break down into combat squads.

Well, I made a mistake when I read that thinking that if you place a squad in reserve that you can never break them into combat squads (It looks like Stelek is making the same mistake).

Now in Stelek’s thread where he says that I cheated him and that the judges let me do it, someone pointed out that what the FAQ is stating is that you cannot split into combat squads prior to deploying. So you can’t have a 5-man unit in a drop pod, and then walk a 5-man squad on the board, but you can have a 10-man squad in a drop pod, and then split when they come on the board.

So it looks like you can always combat squad when you deploy, just not prior to deployment when you are in reserves!

So I did not cheat in our game, and the judges did make the correct ruling!

I won fair and square.

Edit: Looking at the Nova Open FAQ is says:

A unit may only Combat Squad during the initial Deployment. Units placed in Reserve may not combat squad (see GW FAQ). The only exception is a unit disembarking from a Drop Pod may choose to Combat Squad in the turn they arrive. 

This seems like there is a lot of ambiguity to this rule as well. What does it mean by initial deployment? Does that mean that only units that start on the board can combat squad? Or is the initial deployment when you deploy them?  Also he says that you can not combat squad just as GW's FAQ states (that we just went over). This does not clear anything up, and seems to make if worse. 
Oh, and here is a link to The King Elessar's blog where he talks about just this:

Oh, and as a final note, both GWs FAQs and the Nova Open's FAQ were listed under Space Marines. Just like other rules and codex specific abilities, they do not cross over to other codexes unless specified. 



  1. You are correct, Sir.

    Units can combat squad only upon deploying, not prior to deployment.
    The SM FAQ is a little vague, and can be read as implying that nothing coming from reserve can be Combat Squadded.
    The GK codex provides some clarity, and is YOUR codex. Your codex defines how you use the rule.

  2. Howdy Farmpunk. I was surprised that you did not comment on battle report of our game at the bottom of the page.

  3. First, before you go to far with it, here's the clincher.

    NoVA FAQ:

    A unit may only Combat Squad during the initial Deployment. Units placed in Reserve may not combat squad (see GW FAQ). The only exception is a unit disembarking from a Drop Pod may choose to Combat Squad in the turn they arrive

    Second, who cares? As you already said, they came into the same quarter and it made no difference to the game. It's not even worth having the conversation. The bottom line is, as is well known, it's up to both players to ensure the game gets played correctly. That's commonly accepted fact about 40K. You didn't do it on purpose, and frankly, nobody but NoVA that I know of plays this rule this way so it doesn't shock me that you wouldn't know this was a problem.

    Third, make sure you e-mail Mike and give him a hard time about how we apply over the top RaW to what is clearly a heavy-handed ruling only pertaining to Drop Pods and spreading to every other usage of combat squads, but Jaws of the World Wolf doesn't have to roll to hit? (Had to throw that in there Mike!)

    Fourth, because you are a known cheater, your win over me is now void and our record is now 0/0. I demand a recount!

    Fifth, don't bother. :) You were 2nd place at the NoVA open in a 200+ man field. You are practically solely responsible now for all the "Draigowing" blah coming across the web now. The only thing you really did wrong was not give your army a cool moniker like "Leafblower" so you could be infamous.

  4. You are correct and are playing correctly Blackmoor.

    You do not combat squad in reserve.

    You roll to see if the squad (all 10 dudesmen) enter and if succesful you deploy them. Upon deployment you can chose to combat squad the unit. This is combat-squadding upon deployment, NOT in reserve.

    The SM FAQ is stating you cannot combat squad and chose to place one unit in reserve. Equally, they cannot combat squad whilst in reserve (i.e. be rolled-for as 2 separate units).

    Unfortunately the NOVA FAQ is incorrect. They include the word initial deployment, when it should not be there.

    TheKingElessar wrote a blog post on this exact subject not so long ago.

  5. I accept your challenge to a re-match Neil, and maybe we can play an objective based mission, but only under one leave your razorbacks with the adamantium hulls at home.

    To bad you live on the other side of the planet.

  6. The GW answer in their FAQ is TERRIBAD !!! WTF were they thinking|smoking that day when they wrote that garbage ???

    There are way too many house FAQs rolling around now.


  7. sorry, I had a busy week. I read your report. good stuff.
    I've got my report for it in the queue, I've got to finish writing it.

    ah thanks for the mention in your BoLS interview! Our game was one of my favorites of the weekend as well.

  8. +1 to BroLo's answer - I really don't see why this is so unclear to so many.

  9. People complain about the Adepticon FAQ but it has a better answer for this the one above at least for space marines (which is the best you can do in this case since they have not updated grey knights yet):

    SM.51D.01 – Q: Can a unit arriving from Reserves
    be split into combat squads and if so, exactly when does this happen?

    A: A unit with the „Combat Squads‟ rule may be split right before moving them onto the table (or before deploying them via Deep Strike, where applicable). If the unit was declared to be arriving from Reserve in a transport vehicle
    then it may not be split unless the vehicle is able to carry both combat squads (such as with some Super-Heavy transports) or has a special rule that specifies otherwise (such as with a Drop Pod) [clarification].

  10. As kindly referred to and linked (and I admit, this furore was a large part of me writing the article) you had it correct the way you thought, if you played anywhere but the NoVa Open.

    It is within Mike's rights to override a rule, or interpret it incorrectly...but he clearly did so here.

  11. Also, besides the tournament organizer being the last word on the rules and being entitled to change whatever s/he sees fit, wasn't it the case that it was the responsibility of the players to call in a judge if they felt like they were being cheated?

    I mean, regardless of whether Blackmoor cheated, wasn't it Stelek's responsibility to raise his hand and request adjudication? I'm pretty sure that was explicitly stated in the tournament packet. Could be wrong though.

  12. I think its pretty obvious what is going on here. Blackmoor is infact an ancient babylonian word for "satan", and blackmoor is the anti christ. The bible tells us that the anti christ will be a deceiver, and indeed, i think this combat squad "accident" has revealed his true colors. We should all be glad stelek brought this to our attention. Blackmoor brought his 10 paladins in on turn 5, after failing his reserve roll 3 turns in a row. 10+5+3 is 18, the sum of 666. I think this proves that tournament play is not only bad for the hobby, but in fact the truest evil.

  13. You won and beat Stelek, it was up to him to raise the issue with the judges.

  14. I agree with the way you played it. But the rule is NOT clear at all.

  15. The rule for Nova is clear. It states you cannot. I know this is different than the GW faq but the nova faq states you could not.

  16. Remember that the rule was only posted in the Space Marine FAQ (in both the Nova Open's and GW's) and only applies to Space Marines.

    There is no cross codex FAQs (can anybody think of any?).

    That is why at Adepticon I was playing Demonhunters with the crappy storm shields that only gave a 4+ inv save to one model in assault and the Strength 6, Heavy 3 assault cannon. The Black Templars and Death Wing armies where running around with their new shiny 3+ inv save storm shields and I had to go without because the FAQs were not updated for Demonhunters in anticipation of the Grey Knight codex release.

    So my question is do we/can we extrapolate rulings from one codex's FAQs and apply them to them all?

  17. It seems utterly clear to me. You deploy them in reserve. Therefore you cannot combat squad later.

    The Nova FAQ is NOT incorrent and CANNOT BE... it's their ruling. Its' very cut and clear. I think people just want to continue drama.

  18. Some people can not accept that they actually lost a game due to there own mistakes.

  19. Wallshammer - perhaps you didn't read my article?

    Units in Reserve are explicitly NOT deployed.

    Units split into Combat Squads when they ARE Deployed. The exception is ones coming from a Drop Pod, as they are Deployed INSIDE the Pod, and forced to immediately disembark.

    Blackmoor - technically incorrect there - this is a ruling originating in the Dark Angel FAQ, that has been copy/pasted to the SM and BA ones from there, along with the Las/Plas Razor being 2 Weapons, and DPs being Immobilised upon arrival.

    In fact, there are several cross-FAQ rulings, making it clear that that is the RAI of the issue - although RAI is largely worthless in rules debates.

  20. I think the term from Stelek should be 'misplayed' instead of 'cheated'; the latter infers you were doing something intentional in my opinion. (I'm not debating the rule as I really don't know how it should be played).

    If he really had an issue with it, why didn't he simply ask about it? If he observed it and let it you do it, then it would appear he was ok with your move. Calling it cheating after the fact comes off as sour grapes in my opinion, or simply lacking the social skills to have a conversation with a real person.

  21. Stelek is being a little bitch, u smoked him fair n square.