Rules Question: Multiple Combats

Multiple Combats QuestionI’d like to think I’m good with rules but this one I’ve never been 100% sure about and half those I play sees it one way and the rest the other way. Let’s set this up with the following image regarding multiple combats.

So, the Berzerkers are in a multi-combat with Devs and Tacts while the Plagues are fighting the Tacts only. If the Tactical Marines are wiped out but the Devs aren’t then it’s given that the Berzerkers pile-into the Devs, but what about the Plague Marines? This is where the divide arises amongst those I play. Some feel that it’s one big multiple combat and thus the Plagues would also pile-in towards the Devs even though they were only fighting the Tacts. Others, myself included, feel that the Plagues are free to consolidate once the Tacts are wiped out as they were not in a multiple combat. I can’t be 100% sure because it seems like a hazy rules area.

The one thing I’ve found that seems to support my thought is this on pg. 41 under Assault Results:

After all of the losing units have taken their Morale checks, any winning unit that is now free to make a sweeping advance rolls the dice and compares its total with the total of each of the falling back enemy units it was engaged with.

So, any winning unit that is now free to make sweeping advances. In order to be free to make a sweeping advance you cannot be locked in combat with another unit. Thus in the example above if the Tacts broke from combat but the Devs did not then the Berzerkers can’t try to sweep. However, from how I read this, that would mean the Plagues could try to sweep. Thus, by that thought process, if the Tacts were all killed in the combat the Plagues would be free to consolidate as they are not engaged with any other unit.

That’s what makes sense to me but I’d like to know if I’m right and if others agree then further verification to prove that point would be greatly appreciated. Likewise, if I’m wrong then let me know and provided evidence would be awesome.

  • Anonymous

    Sweeping and piling in are not mutually exclusive. If the Tacs are falling back, only the Plagues can attempt to sweep. If they get away, the PLagues then pile in. If they catch them, the tacs stay right there and take their No Retreat wounds, and then everyone piles in.

    The next paragraph tells you what happens next:
    After assault resolution, all units that were involved inthat multiple combat must make pile-in moves towardsenemies that fought in that combat. If a unit’s pile-incannot reach any such enemies, the unit must move asclose as possible to the enemy to allow them to pile-ininto contact. If it is impossible, both sides consolidate.

    The entire 4-unit scrum is the Multiple Combat. If the tactical Marines are wiped out, there’s no one to sweeping advance against if the Devs hold. So, the Plagues must attempt to pile in to the Devs. Only if they cannot reach using 6″ and then the Devs cannot reach with their 6″ can the Plagues consolidate. Of course, if the Plagues cannot reach a Dev model using the 6″ Pile In, and every Dev is already based by a Zerker, the Plagues can consolidate instead because the Devs were unable to reach the Plagues. But if even ONE Plague marine can reach any Dev model, the whole Plague Marine unit MUST pile in.The entire 4-unit scrum is the Multiple Combat. If the tactical Marines are wiped out, there’s no one to sweeping advance against if the Devs hold. So, the Plagues must attempt to pile in to the Devs. Only if they cannot reach using 6″ and then the Devs cannot reach with their 6″ can the Plagues consolidate.

    Of course, if the Plagues cannot reach a Dev model using the 6″ Pile In, and every Dev is already based by a Zerker, the Plagues can consolidate instead because the Devs were unable to reach the Plagues. But if even ONE Plague marine can reach any Dev model, the whole Plague Marine unit MUST pile in.

    • So really what we’re saying then is it’s not whether a specific unit is engaged with only one unit, IE: Plague Marines or even the Devs, but if a unit they are engaged with is in a multiple combat. Thus, the entire combat becomes a multiple combat.

      • Anonymous

        Pretty much, yes.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with this.  Just because you sweep does not mean you are free of the multiple assault.  You have to try to pile in to the other unit and according to the rules the free unit has to go first to give the best chance for the still engaged.  You might be able to do some funny business in the moving since the rules are vague about close as possible.

      An interesting question is whether if one one unit cannot make it if it gets to consolidate since the rules say both sides.  You might claim that the unit makes the pile in move then stops with no consolidation but that is going on a limb.

  • I think I agree with the others… GW defines close combat as a swirling melee, and any units touching are in close combat with eachother. In theory, it means all the units are mixing together and fighting.

  • Brian Berman

    I think the answer is as simple as… when comparing who won combat are you adding the losses acrost all four units or not? If your adding all the losses together. 1 combat. If its two diffrent results. diffrent combats.

    • Fair enough, which is what I was saying regarding Todd’s comment too just in a different way.

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