# Threat while Flanked

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I'm having trouble parsing the language on determining your threat while attacking an enemy that is flanking you.

RRG 82.1 When performing a melee attack, a unit’s threat is equal to the number of trays that comprise the contacted edge.

(second bullet point) If the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank, calculate the number of trays as if the partial rank was not present.

So if I have a 2x2 unit that has lost one tray from its back rank and now looks like an L, and I attack an enemy engaged with my long flank, what is my threat? My contact edge has 2 trays, but that contact edge consists of a partial rank. Do I calculate the number of trays with or without the partial rank? The contact edge itself is not shortened, but if it doesn't apply in this case then I don't see what the second bullet point accomplishes, since 82.1 would be sufficient on its own.

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Here is how I see it. You have a 3x3 unit is flanked on its side by another unit. Your opponent takes out the back tray on the contact side. When you attack back your threat is 2, because your contact edge is only two trays, your back rank doesn't count towards threat along that side because its not a full rank.

Although the RAW seem to indicate that you always get your full threat when attacking an enemy behind you.

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You're right, when the contact edge is the one that's been reduced it's pretty clear. What if you have a unit on each side? Are they both reduced? Ultimately my question is what it means for the contact edge to be "shortened by a partial rank". I'm thinking that there being a tray missing means that the bank rank qualifies as shortened so they'd both be reduced.

Interesting point about back charges! So if you have an enemy in contact with your partial bank rank, does that mean your threat is 0 attacking that enemy???

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I think it just means number of trays on contacted edge.  So if there are 2 trays even if one is from a partial rank then threat is 2.  Not sure why the second bullet point is there except to clarify.

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1 hour ago, Bhelliom said:

You're right, when the contact edge is the one that's been reduced it's pretty clear. What if you have a unit on each side? Are they both reduced? Ultimately my question is what it means for the contact edge to be "shortened by a partial rank". I'm thinking that there being a tray missing means that the bank rank qualifies as shortened so they'd both be reduced.

Interesting point about back charges! So if you have an enemy in contact with your partial bank rank, does that mean your threat is 0 attacking that enemy???

My interpretation is that the back is full threat, as I stated, because you ignore the partial rank then calculate threat based on the next full rank.

As for the side, if it is a full side you take the full threat even if one of the trays is from a partial rank.

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If you had a 3x3 unit that was charged from behind, and the attacker eliminates the first tray, when you attack back your threat will be 2. As it says, your threat is equal to the number of trays on the contacted edge. It says that it ignores a place where a tray is missing, not that you ignore the entire row of trays. It is an awkward wording, but it is saying that you don't count the place where the tray would be as if it still has 3 trays just because the next row has 3 trays.

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1 hour ago, Orcdruid said:

My interpretation is that the back is full threat, as I stated, because you ignore the partial rank then calculate threat based on the next full rank.

As for the side, if it is a full side you take the full threat even if one of the trays is from a partial rank.

I wouldn't read "ignore" as "check the next rank" but it's certainly ambiguous. Something for a FAQ I think.

54 minutes ago, drkpnthr said:

If you had a 3x3 unit that was charged from behind, and the attacker eliminates the first tray, when you attack back your threat will be 2. As it says, your threat is equal to the number of trays on the contacted edge. It says that it ignores a place where a tray is missing, not that you ignore the entire row of trays. It is an awkward wording, but it is saying that you don't count the place where the tray would be as if it still has 3 trays just because the next row has 3 trays.

Although that's a very reasonable interpretation (and probably how I'll play it for now), it's not actually what the rule says. "If the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank, calculate the number of trays as if the partial rank was not present." - which does in fact call to ignore the whole rank.

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edit: nevermind, misinterpreted a post and then confused myself.  Nothing to see here.

Edited by FatherTurin

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1 minute ago, FatherTurin said:

I don't see it that way.  If you have a 3x3 unit that loses the back right tray for whatever reason, and then is flanked on the left, the contacted edge is still 3 trays.  The "contacted edge" has not been shortened.

If, however, a unit is flanked and then the attacker attacks first and deals enough damage to take out a tray and takes out the bank rank tray that they are contacting, THEN the "contacted edge" is shortened and the return attack would be threat 2.

I was going to write something similar, but then I realized that "rank" is a key word here.

Let's call them "rows" and "columns" for a second. A "rank" corresponds to a "row" while a column goes the other direction. From the side, you are exactly right, but the distinction comes when flanking from the back of the target unit. From the side, you only ignore the row if the row is partial on the contacted edge. I think there is consensus on this. But when flanking from behind, the enemy is missing trays from columns and not rows. Intuitively, you would think that they would have threat equal to the number of trays on the contacted edge. However, the rules don't use the words "column" and "row," they use the word "rank." "Rank" refers specifically to the back row of a unit, so because it says to ignore the "rank" if it is partial, then you would ignore the entire rank when determining threat for units attacking from their rear edge.

I think it'll be changed in the FAQ because it isn't intuitive at all.

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First, I think part of the problem here is that 'Flank' is a game specific term in this context. It is NOT synonymous with the side of the unit, and I think a few people are confusing this. Flank is a term for when your FRONT edge is in contact with one of the sides of your enemy other than their front edge, and gives special bonuses to the flanker and penalties to the flankee.

On to our sleuthing:

66.3  - A rank is partial if it contains at least one tray, but fewer trays than the front rank of the unit. - This is the definition of a partial rank. So if a unit originally had 2x2 trays, and has lost one tray, the rear row of trays counts as a 'partial rank'.

82.1.i - If the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank, calculate the number of trays as if the partial rank was not present.

I've come around to the thinking that in the case of attacking a unit in the back side of your unit, it would be threat 3 (full threat) reading it with the definition of partial rank spelled out in the rules.

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Shouldn't strictly applying RAW here mean that a partial rank on the back makes your threat out the back zero? If you're calculating the number of trays, ignoring the entire partial rank, then then the unit has no trays on the contacted edge, not a full set of them.

Edited by GoblinGuide

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4 minutes ago, GoblinGuide said:

Shouldn't strictly applying RAW here mean that a partial rank on the back makes your threat out the back zero? If you're calculating the number of trays, ignoring the entire partial rank, then then the unit has no trays on the contacted edge, not a full set of them.

That's a good point, but it makes the wording here really awkward: "If the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank, calculate the number of trays as if the partial rank was not present." If it was intended to be zero, why not just say, "Your threat is zero?" There wouldn't really be a whole lot to calculate. I think that when they wrote this section, they forgot about attacking out the back edge, but that doesn't help us interpret the rules as written. For a strict interpretation, I think you're right.

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I'll chime in on addition to liking the last few.

When considering a flanked unit with a corner cut out: the rear threat is equal to the front threat, but the flanked state prevents gaining rerolls for bonus ranks.

Neither side threat gains the benefit of bonus rank rerolls, but the two sides may have different threats since you only ignore a partial rank if it causes the contacted edge to be shortened.

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53 minutes ago, Budgernaut said:

That's a good point, but it makes the wording here really awkward: "If the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank, calculate the number of trays as if the partial rank was not present." If it was intended to be zero, why not just say, "Your threat is zero?" There wouldn't really be a whole lot to calculate. I think that when they wrote this section, they forgot about attacking out the back edge, but that doesn't help us interpret the rules as written. For a strict interpretation, I think you're right.

I think that that specific line is there in the case that you flank a unit like so:

XXX

XXX

X  CC

The 3x3 unit has lost two trays and the 2x1 unit flanks from the back where the other corner would have been. The contacted edge is really only two trays long, since edges on shapes are usually referring to the outside boundaries of that shape. That line in the RR clarifies that you would have a threat of  3 since the contacted edge is being truncated by what is left of the third rank.

(This could easily be overthinking it though, but regardless I'm firmly in the camp that the intent is that a shortened rank means a lowered threat from the back or sides.)

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5 hours ago, GoblinGuide said:

This could easily be overthinking it though, but regardless I'm firmly in the camp that the intent is that a shortened rank means a lowered threat from the back or sides.)

But what you just described is that the shortened rank doesn't lower threat from the back! (Which I agree with, as above. The penalty for being back-flanked is loss of re-rolls and the extra die against you, not a weirdly fluctuating combat strength that goes down, then goes back UP if you take enough to remove that partial rank)

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Well, had the 2x1 unit been engaged with the partial back rank the threat would be 1 from the 3x3 unit. As it is its engaged with the second rank, which is a full rank, not a partial one.

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1 hour ago, GoblinGuide said:

Well, had the 2x1 unit been engaged with the partial back rank the threat would be 1 from the 3x3 unit. As it is its engaged with the second rank, which is a full rank, not a partial one.

XXX

XXX

X

CC

In this example, the edge that the 2x1 is contacting is shortened by a partial rank, so that rank is ignored. I honestly don't see how you get a 1 threat from this. It's either 3 or 0, depending on your interpretation of "ignored."

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My point is that it isn't shortened by a partial rank, because I don't think that's what "shortened by a partial rank" means. It's weird to me that threat should be measured by how many trays are physically along the contacted edge except for the one edge most likely to vary in size.

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Again, keep in mind that your unit is only flanked IF the enemy has its front edge in contact with your unit on a side other than your front. In the original case, side-to-back, means that you are NOT flanked, and DO get rerolls on the attacks out the back. If you had been charged directly, the front-to-back would cause you to be flanked, and denied rerolls.

May I just comment I really like the way flanking works in this game, the idea of denying rerolls (a common thing for any big formation) really emphasizes how flanking works in warfare, by denying the advantage of having more ranks (rerolls for each row in this game).

Edited by drkpnthr

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3 hours ago, GoblinGuide said:

My point is that it isn't shortened by a partial rank, because I don't think that's what "shortened by a partial rank" means. It's weird to me that threat should be measured by how many trays are physically along the contacted edge except for the one edge most likely to vary in size.

But the contacted edge is supposed to be shorthand for the dimensions of the unit. What's the rationale for a unit fielding a /stronger/ attack after you kill a guy? Threat shouldn't ever increase with casualties unless it's some kind of berserker unit, maybe. It definitely shouldn't be a roller coaster that goes up, and down, and back up again.

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123

456

789

Let's assume a side flank into tray 4 easy this unit would have 3 threat vs ha flanked.

Now assume tray 9 is removed.  Since the back rank is partial the threat vs flanked unit is now 2 even though the contacted edge has 3 trays.  That is the intent of the wording. So when dealing with a flank to the rear simply rotate the partial ranks would be.  So in this unit is charged in the rear flank and missing tray 9 the threat back would be 2.  The partial rank missing is already calculated.

To try to further clarify let's assume this unit is charged in the front but has an upgrade to count as a flanker when the unit counter attacks.  If the unit was missing tray 9 the threat would be 2 even though the contact edge is 3 trays.  Hope this all makes sense.  It's not how the rules are written but I feel that's the best interpretation

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12 minutes ago, Klaxas said:

123

456

789

Let's assume a side flank into tray 4 easy this unit would have 3 threat vs ha flanked.

Now assume tray 9 is removed.  Since the back rank is partial the threat vs flanked unit is now 2 even though the contacted edge has 3 trays.  That is the intent of the wording.

I disagree. 82.1, second bullet, states, " If the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank, calculate the number of trays as if the partial rank was not present."

What 82.1 does NOT say is, "If the unit has a partial rank, ignore that rank."

Using your example, let's say there are two units flanking. One is contacted with 4 & 7, the other with 6 & 9. However, tray 9 is missing. The flanked unit would have three threat to the left and 2 threat to the right, because we're only ignoring partial ranks if the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank. The 1-4-7 edge is not shortened, but the 3-6-9 edge is, because 9 is missing.

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2 minutes ago, Budgernaut said:

I disagree. 82.1, second bullet, states, " If the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank, calculate the number of trays as if the partial rank was not present."

What 82.1 does NOT say is, "If the unit has a partial rank, ignore that rank."

Using your example, let's say there are two units flanking. One is contacted with 4 & 7, the other with 6 & 9. However, tray 9 is missing. The flanked unit would have three threat to the left and 2 threat to the right, because we're only ignoring partial ranks if the contacted edge is shortened by a partial rank. The 1-4-7 edge is not shortened, but the 3-6-9 edge is, because 9 is missing.

That's how I thought at first but if that were the case then they could just say "threat is number of trays on contacted edge" and be done with it.  In fact that's what I thought the rule was until this discussion popped up.

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1 minute ago, Klaxas said:

That's how I thought at first but if that were the case then they could just say "threat is number of trays on contacted edge" and be done with it.  In fact that's what I thought the rule was until this discussion popped up.

But that's exactly what 82.1 says: "When performing a melee attack, a unit’s threat is equal to the number of trays that comprise the contacted edge."

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I have a feeling we're overthinking this one.

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