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Uthoroc

Ankaur Maro - Adding trays

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The consensus seems to be currently that Ankaur Maro cannot add to threat by adding trays, but I am still having problems wrapping my head around why this is. Please help me clear my confusion:

1. His ability simply him to add trays to any Waiqar infantry unit.

2. According to the "Adding Trays" rule, the tray must be connected so it is in the back rank. That makes it clear that if the unit has more than 1 rank, it must go in the back.  No problem here.

3. If the unit has only 1 rank, that rank is both the front rank and the back rank, and that back rank is full because its got the same number of trays as the front rank (see rules 66.1 to 66.4).

Now the "Adding Trays" rule says "If the bank rank of the unit is a full rank, [...], the added tray can be added to the unit's back edge,..." (emphasis mine). Critically, it doesn't say "must" or "can only", which I would interpret that I am allowed to add it to the first rank as it will be (also) in the back rank of the unit. 

What rule am I missing or misinterpreting that prohibits me for doing this? Thanks for your help!

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This is a rules exception game.

Rules exception games always tell you what you can do.

Try not to over think it.

It's simply telling you that you can add a tray to the back rank.

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This is what the rules say exactly:
 

Quote

When adding a tray to a unit, the tray must be connected so it is in the unit’s back rank.
• If the back rank of the unit is a full rank, and if the unit has fewer than four ranks, the added tray can be connected to the unit’s back edge, creating a new back rank for that unit.
• If the unit has four full ranks of trays, a new tray cannot be added to that unit.

"It must be connected so it is in the unit's back rank." Taken literally this means, if my one single rank is the back rank (as well as the front rank), I can connect the new tray to the side of the unit and it will be in the back rank (because there is still only one). 

Now according to the first bullet point, I can also place it so it creates a new back rank, but nothing says I must do that.

I thought I had read an interpretation or rules reference that made it clear this was not possible, but now I can't find it anymore.

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20 minutes ago, Uthoroc said:

This is what the rules say exactly:


When adding a tray to a unit, the tray must be connected so it is in the unit’s back rank.
• If the back rank of the unit is a full rank, and if the unit has fewer than four ranks, the added tray can be connected to the unit’s back edge, creating a new back rank for that unit.
• If the unit has four full ranks of trays, a new tray cannot be added to that unit.

"It must be connected so it is in the unit's back rank." Taken literally this means, if my one single rank is the back rank (as well as the front rank), I can connect the new tray to the side of the unit and it will be in the back rank (because there is still only one). 

Now according to the first bullet point, I can also place it so it creates a new back rank, but nothing says I must do that.

I thought I had read an interpretation or rules reference that made it clear this was not possible, but now I can't find it anymore.

I bolded the whole reason your logic isn't working.

the tray MUST be connected to it's back rank. That means it can only be added behind the current trays not to the side, which would add threat. It says you CAN add the tray, because you can also choose not to, or there could be something in the way that doesn't allow you to do this...

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55 minutes ago, Uthoroc said:

"It must be connected so it is in the unit's back rank." Taken literally this means, if my one single rank is the back rank (as well as the front rank), I can connect the new tray to the side of the unit and it will be in the back rank (because there is still only one). 

 

Also taken literally means, it can only be connected to the the unit's back rank. If you have one tray, that unit's back rank is it's back side, so a 1x1 becomes a 1x2 not a 2x1.

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4 hours ago, Curlycross said:

If you have one tray, that unit's back rank is it's back side.

No, the rules clearly state, if you have only 1 rank, that one rank is its back rank, not the "back side".

Rule 66.1: "When a unit is made up of a single rank, that rank is both the front and back rank."

5 hours ago, Curlycross said:

the tray MUST be connected to it's back rank. That means it can only be added behind the current trays not to the side, which would add threat.

No, the rule says, as you bolded yourself, "the tray must be connected so it is in the unit’s back rank." So I must connect it in a way so it ends up in the back rank. And since a 1-rank unit's front rank is also its back rank (see above), the tray will just be in the back rank I connect it on the side.

Please point me to the place where it says I cannot place it on the side of the unit (meant quite sincerely)! Or a statement that it can't add threat!

I agree that in a 1-rank unit, the back rank is always full (because it is always the same width as the front rank), but nothing in the first bullet point of the rule tells me I must start a new rank behind the first one in this case.  It only says I can. 

Sorry to be a stickler here, but I'm just trying to pin this general understanding down in the written rules. I just don't see it currently - perhaps I am missing nuances of the English language. 

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I'm away from my pc at the moment so cannot easily copy and paste, but let's try this:

"Most be added to the back rank" can alternatively be read as "cannot be added to any rank that is not the back rank."  Is it too much of a stretch to invoke Golden Rule point 3 here?  Since a single rank unit's rank is both front and back, it's backness would allow the tray to be added, but since Cannot overrides Can, it's frontness prevents the tray from being added.  

It may be a stretch, but it keeps consistency with the implied intent of not adding trays to the front rank.

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15 minutes ago, Govrek said:

It may be a stretch, but it keeps consistency with the implied intent of not adding trays to the front rank.

Is it even implied? Nothing in the rules supports that reading. I'm with Uthoroc, I don't see why one must create a second rank when the unit only has 1 rank. 

I do imply from Hawthorne's rules that there should never be more than 4 trays in a rank, though. Maybe Ankaur Maro's rules failing to specify a maximum number of trays in a rank implies that you can't increase that number. But as you said, it's a stretch at best.

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The added try can be added to the back edge, as opposed to not being added at all.  Even at one rank, Maro doesn't add threat.  Thematically, he isn't increasing the size of the formation, he is just keeping it full of bodies.

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21 minutes ago, rowdyoctopus said:

The added try can be added to the back edge, as opposed to not being added at all.  Even at one rank, Maro doesn't add threat.  Thematically, he isn't increasing the size of the formation, he is just keeping it full of bodies.

This.

People need to stop trying to evade the extremely clear intent of this rule with fancy footwork.

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Posted (edited)

23 minutes ago, rowdyoctopus said:

Even at one rank, Maro doesn't add threat.

I've seen this stated matter-of-factly several times, but I have seen no rules saying so, nor an official statement clarifying it. How do you come to the conclusion?  There is even a precedent in the game: Lord Hawthorne can increase the threat of a unit by rearranging it. 

Sorry, but your thematic reasoning doesn't hold up, because he can add trays to a full unit as long as he doesn't go beyond 4 ranks.

EDIT: My "fancy footwork" is just a reading of the rules as they are written. If it is the clear intention (which I am not 100% sure about), they need to clarify it. 

Edited by Uthoroc
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17 minutes ago, rowdyoctopus said:

The added try can be added to the back edge, as opposed to not being added at all.  Even at one rank, Maro doesn't add threat.  Thematically, he isn't increasing the size of the formation, he is just keeping it full of bodies.

Okay. Let's try a hypothetical scenario. I bring a 3x2 formation of Reanimates. After some losses, now they are 2x1. If I use Ankaur Maro's ability, can I make it a 3x1? Or do I have to make a new rank?

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25 minutes ago, rowdyoctopus said:

The added try can be added to the back edge, as opposed to not being added at all.  Even at one rank, Maro doesn't add threat.  Thematically, he isn't increasing the size of the formation, he is just keeping it full of bodies.

You can also argue the first bullet point in the rule is to prevent the following situation: The unit has two or three ranks, and the back rank is full. Because I have to place the new tray in the back rank, I can't since I would have to extend the back rank beyond the front rank, which is an impossible unit formation. 

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1 minute ago, Contrapulator said:

Okay. Let's try a hypothetical scenario. I bring a 3x2 formation of Reanimates. After some losses, now they are 2x1. If I use Ankaur Maro's ability, can I make it a 3x1? Or do I have to make a new rank?

You have to make a new rank.  Theme is just a loose flavor of what a rule is supposed to be simulating.  The actual rules always come first.  You can either complete partial ranks, or once every rank in a unit is the same size as the front rank, give that unit a new rank.

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The tray must be in the back, and if it's full, I can make a new rank, up to 4 ranks total. That is the actual rule. Let's take the hypothetical a step further. What if my Reanimates are reduced to a single tray. Do I make it a 2x1? Or must I create a new rank?

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Let's speculate.... the following is not a logical interpretation of the rule, but just my ideas about the intention.

Personally I find it weird that as a 3x2 (or even 4x2) unit gets shrunk to 1 tray, you can only replenish it into a weird 1x4 formation. I find it more likely the designer's wanted to limit the unit to the original width (threat) it had. So they come up with a rule that tray can only be added to the back rank. Makes sense, you an add trays in the back, filling up partial ranks and adding more (up to 4) if the back rank is full. You also can't make the unit much more dangerous than originally, only much more survivable.

The only problem is the rule as written breaks down when the unit has only 1 rank remaining. It either is unclear and allows my interpretation, increasing the threat (even without a limit to the original width), or it results in only that weird snake formation being allowed. 

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10 minutes ago, Tvayumat said:

Any interpretation that has a bizarre, outlandish outcome (like an ever expanding front rank) is probably wrong.

Agreed. I'm not saying that the general interpretation is wrong, but I do think the rules as written allow this (possibly wrong) interpretation. 

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25 minutes ago, Uthoroc said:

Agreed. I'm not saying that the general interpretation is wrong, but I do think the rules as written allow this (possibly wrong) interpretation. 

RAW, you're not wrong.

I just feel like the RAI in this instance is self evident.

You're not wrong in that we could use an official answer on this.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Tvayumat said:

Any interpretation that has a bizarre, outlandish outcome (like an ever expanding front rank) is probably wrong.

A 1x4 unit is just as (if not more) bizarre, so this argument is moot. The rule as written is not bizarre as long as you observe the additional rule, "there can never be more than 4 trays in a rank," as in Hawthorne's ability. I could also see them going with, "do not exceed the number of trays in the front rank of the unit's starting formation."

Edited by Contrapulator
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I've submitted a rules question concerning this. No great hope it will be answered any time soon, but perhaps it'll prompt them to include a clarification at some point.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Contrapulator said:

A 1x4 unit is just as (if not more) bizarre, so this argument is moot. The rule as written is not bizarre as long as you observe the additional rule, "there can never be more than 4 trays in a rank," as in Hawthorne's ability. I could also see them going with, "do not exceed the number of trays in the front rank of the unit's starting formation."

Except the 1x4 unit is explicitly permitted by the rules, so no, it's not bizarre in the slightest.

The intent of Maro's rule is quite clear. He allows you to add extra ranks or fill in lost ranks. Adding to the front rank is an erroneous interpretation based on what the rule doesn't technically say you *can't* do, and if accepted, means you can continue expanding that rank ad infinitum. Let's not pretend these things are equal.

Edited by Tvayumat

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