Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Post #101! Overwatch Question and Tactics.

So I finally hit Post #101! 
Well really I should have it this a bit ago but I was trying to think of something special to do for post 100... but I couldn't think of anything. But here we are now and let's keep going!

So last night I was playing a game at my LGS when a question came up that I have seen across the Internets a few times and I was pretty solid on my version of it and so was my opponent until recently. So what is this question?

"When one unit is charged my multiple units in a single "Charge Sub-Phase" can the target unit opt not to fire overwatch at the first charging unit in order to shoot a unit that may charge it later in the Sub-Phase?"

Here is an example from last nights game.

I have 1 Tau Broadside with HRR and SMS.
My opponent has 7 Devilgaunts and 1 Shrike (Tyranids)
My opponent declares a charge with his Gaunts and I choose not to overwatch as I assume he will also charge with the Shrike and it is a better target for overwatch. The Gaunts make it into base contact.
My opponent now charges the Broadside with his Shrike...

Am I then allowed to overwatch or is the Broadside now considered to be engaged in close combat and therefore unable to shoot?

Fire all guns!

My reasoning to allow him to overwatch is that everything is happening in the "Charge Sub-Phase" and we are not fighting/engaged in close combat until the "Fight Sub-Phase". All charges in game terms happen simultaneously therefore it should not matter who charges first.

Other people state that once a model is in base contact that model/unit is now engaged in close combat.

If that was the case grenades would not be as useful as they are now. Tyranids would be able to charge into cover with gaunts first to "lock you in combat" and the gaunt would strike at initiative 1 as normal for not having grenades.

But in that same "Charge Sub-Phase" a Hive Tyrant could charge that same unit and because it is "engaged in combat" the Tyrant would strike at its normal initiative....

I have never heard of anyone claiming that to work...

Everybody CONGA!

There are Pros and Cons to waiting to fire your overwatch at a later charging unit as well, so that plays into the strategy of your charge order. If it was not an option to shoot at a later charging unit why would it even be an option to not fire overwatch? Everyone would fire without thinking and it would involve few tactics to the assault order.

Pros of firing at a later charging unit is mainly that you will most likely be picking a unit you have better odds of damaging or killing.

The Con is that if you don't shoot at the first unit that charges in hopes of another "better" unit charging in, that unit may opt not to charge. This saving his first unit from any overwatch damage and his second unit is not threatened by the overwatch at all.

I would like to hear what you guys have to say about this. Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear them.

Till Next Time!
Dracus OUT!


  1. The way we have always played it is that once the unit is engaged in CC, it can no longer fire overwatch... So, charge the disposable units first to draw the fire...

    1. But when do you check to see if a unit is engaged in cc? In the Fight sub-phase, according to the "who can fight" section.

  2. I've started a thead and a poll on the LATCS forum:

    Also, I think the hive tyrant in the example above will still be attacking at initiative 1. The rule (BRB pg. 28) says that this is only at normal initiative if the target of assault was locked in combat from a _previous_ turn.

    1. Good catch about being lock in combat from a previous turn.

  3. General Dracus, I was hearing the Overlords podcast when they began discussing some of the rules that are misunderstood, or overlooked. Listen to episode 129: Smells Like Tactics, time stamp 1:47:15. Hopefully their discussion will help shed some light on your over watch questions.