So I spoke to a Games Workshop representative (who by necessity will remain nameless) today about when we can expect the next round of FAQ’s. We specifically discussed the Dwarfs who seem to be the only army left who can’t have a shield for their standard bearer, and whose two best rare weapons are completely screwed by the new rules.
For those of you who are unaware, the Flame Cannon and the Gyrocopter have been rendered not so useful and completely useless respectively. What am I talking about? Well, the BRB (Big Red Book) states that rules in the individual army books supercede the rules in the BRB. So…the Dwarf army book says that the Dwarf BSB can’t take a shield, as does the Wood Elf book and most of the 6th edition holdover army books. That sucks, but I admit it isn’t that big of a deal. What really sucks is that the Dwarf book specifically states that partial coverage with the flame template for both the Flame Cannon and the Gyrocopter must roll a 4+ to hit. What’s worse? Models with the Fly special rule do not fly when they flee or pursue. They run along the ground. They do benefit from the swiftstride special rule since their movement is 10”, but they most certainly do not fly. Well, that sucks because the Dwarf book says that the Gyrocopter has a ground movement of zero. I believe the exact wording is, “If the Gyrocopter can not fly for any reason, then it can not move at all.” Well, crap!
So the Gyro can’t flee or pursue. That makes it rather useless. Anyway, when I brought this up to the GW rep, I was given this advice. “If you’re playing against someone and they tell you that you have to roll for your partials, or that your Gyrocopter can’t flee or pursue, then here is what you do. Reach across the table and punch them in the face.” Now, this was funny but I pointed out that this wouldn’t help at all during the upcoming ‘Ard Boyz Tournament. (I know I’m not going, but a tourney is a tourney and I expect that the ruling would be the same at whatever tourney you go to.) His response? “If you’re at “Ard Boyz and someone tells you that you have to roll for partials and your Gyrocopter can’t flee or pursue, here’s what you do. You reach over the table, punch the person in the face, and then break all their models because they don’t deserve to play.”
Now, you’re probably thinking the same thing I’m thinking. Well that’s a great sentiment, but that doesn’t help me. The rules as written are the rules. So here’s what he said. Now, this may not help for tournaments, but as far as garage gaming goes, I think this really shows what GW intends for their games. First he pointed out the “Most Important Rule” which is to have fun and, if you can’t agree just roll off for it. But then he went a bit farther…
He said that GW UK really takes a relaxed view of gaming, which is why the book points out that you may find conflicting stuff in your rules and you should work it out with your friends. Admittedly, they hope to clarify everything, but they realize that there are things that may come up that they missed and they still want you to be able to play. Then the next point he made was that the “army book overrules the BRB” rule was meant to cover the many circumstances where an army has special rules that make them more powerful or more unique or gives them an alternate chart or something.
He said (and this is the whole point of what I’m writing, I guess) that the “overrule” of the army book was NEVER intended to make the units in your army worse. Only better. He stated that he was certain that the rolling on partials thing would eventually be FAQ’d as would the movement thing. It may not be right away, but it would happen. Why? Because they wouldn’t make rules that affect every model positively (relatively) except yours. It totally screws yours. They wouldn’t make a rule that makes it so your Gyrocopter can’t even move most of the time. Why would they? You can argue that some rules CHANGES make the units more or less effective. That’s based on the differences in editions. But taken alone, the 8th edition rules are pretty solid and the rules for flyers or for templates are meant to be, for the most part standard. The specific rules in the army book generally work to that unit’s BENEFIT. GW’s intention was never to have army book rules that made a unit useless. They don’t want any useless units. So, for now, I’ll totally play by the rules as written unless I’m playing against someone who will let me use my Gyrocopter as intended as opposed to as written. Hopefully the FAQ will update soon.