May 24, 2010

Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run

I was reading Goatboy's article on How Not to Be a Douche over on BoLS and one of his bullet points stood out to me.

8. When you know your opponent has a unit that can't shoot or will never be in range, tell him he can roll the run at the same time before he moves. It is frustrating and a time consumer to wait have to move a unit beyond the 2 times that is normal (movement, assault). This one little thing can help speed along the game and give you both more time after the game to check out other armies or get a better lunch.
This is a very valid point, and one that a lot of people get caught up on, but too many people take this method for speeding up the game as a carte blanche pass on doing it every time. Too often I see guys stating that they're going to roll for runs - even when it matters - and their opponents don't worry about it. I suppose that's up to each person if they want to make a big deal over it or not, but let me share with you what happened in my game against Tyranids at the recent Ard Boyz tournament.

On turn two, I had moved my left flank up on my turn. On his turn, he brought in Reserves right next to my left flank, and decided to bring two units of Hormagaunts up to run interference, prevent counter-charges on my turn, and perhaps inflict some damage at the same time. He rolled the run distance (6") for his first group and brought them into assault range of my TWC unit, he then rolled the run distance (4") for the second group, decided it wasn't enough and instead moved the group away so that my free units couldn't assault them.
We had to have a discussion at this point. It was amicable, and he understood what he had done wrong, and I understood what I had done wrong by allowing it when he was clearly in assault range with a good run roll. We ended up having him resolve the move as if he had moved 6" towards me, then 4" back for a net of 2" towards my units. And we were both happy with this result.
If I had been proactive about it, it never would have come to that.

I highly encourage you both as the player needing to run multiple units and as an opponent to make sure, right at the beginning of the game, to state that run rolls in the movement phase are okay only when abundantly clear that they're not in range of shooting/assaulting/anything. Yes, it can make a small difference in the game allowing an opponent to roll run in the movement phase, but the gain in game speed and fluidity are much better than any real tactical loss.


  1. Agreed 100%. If it's 1st turn and doesn't matter, run away during Movement. Later game though it can be huge when assaults start and objectives come into play. Being able to know your unit has run onto objective A in the movement phase means you can move another unit towards Objective B which you would of normally moved to Objective A just in case.

  2. Yes, discussion is always better than bringing it up halfway through.

    These small assumptions may not be a big deal most of the time, but it comes in real handy to talk it over beforehand just in case.

  3. Absolutely. I'd even go further, not just when assault/etc. is imminent - knowing you can go 12" instead of 7 can make a lot of changes in how you move, whether or not you can make cover, etc. Unless it's a unit far away from the action, I definitely prefer for people to do moves and runs separately. Though if they make their intention known ahead of time I'm cool with it - "I'm going to try to move them as far as possible this way" is OK, rolling and then deciding where to go is not.

  4. John, perhaps I'm confused and maybe you can explain again what the issue is. Lets say you run in the movement phase or if you run in the shooting phase (like you're meant to) I cannot see the difference. I'm just running a turn earlier, but it's still my turn so in the shootnig phase I still could move closer or further away.

    Perhaps I am missing something but I am not sure what difference it actually makes.

  5. You won't know how far you'll run when you move. This can lead to problems getting into assault or making traffic jams with your models.

  6. Basically it gives you a 6"+X" move rather than a 6" move and then an X" move. In John's example this meant that his opponent decided to move his units away rather than closer during the movemement phase with his Run!.

  7. Seems like there would be a lot fewer failure cases, yet it would still be a lot faster if they at least moved one model before rolling the run.

    1) Move the leading Model.
    2) Roll for run.
    3) Run the lead model and move all the other models staying pretty much in formation with that model.