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Warhammer Battle Reports 7th / 8thNauticans / Design Fantasy Gallery

Should a unit be able to voluntarily flee from close combat (Warhammer Rules discussion) ?

Once close combat has begun in Warhammer Fantasy Battle the units are locked in until death or victory.

There are some exceptions such as the Wood Elf Warhawk riders which and swoop into and out of combat but such exceptions are rare.

I was wondering if this really should always be the case.

Take for example fast moving units (or any unit which can run faster than the enemy they are fighting). Would they really wait, even if locked in combat, to be charged in the flanks by a strong enemy unit that would only result in their death or routing ?

If the unit knew they could outrun their pursuers should the general be given the opportunity to order a retreat ?

Obviously, it would be a risky tactic. Turning your back on your enemy isn't a great idea. So, let's say the enemy get a free automatic hit to represent this. Also, maybe the withdraw might not be timed to perfection so the enemy has a chance of catching the withdrawing troops (just like when the break from a lost combat resolution). Catching them might mean instant death or another free hit. There's even a risk that an orderly wothdrawal could turn into a rout (so maybe a leadership test).

I still however think it's a reasonable assumption that there will be times that a general wants to preserve a unit from certain death and order them to run.

Take for example a unit of valuable and disciplines Dragon Princes. Their high movement, leadership (and presumably) intelligence would surely dictate that they would't sacrifice themselves needlessly when they know they could rejoin the fight more usefully on another part of the battlefield.

I think it's worthy of consideration for the next Warhammer rulebook. It need not over complicate things too much and would bring a wealth of new tactical options.

You would no longer have to mentally 'write off' troops that were commited and almost surrounded. A chance of survival would remain and these troops could remain within the general's battle plan.

I've opened up a thread in the forum to discuss this:-

Should a unit be able to voluntarily withdraw from close combat ?
(paste above link into your browser)

I know it should be risky (or disastrous if unsuccessful) but should it be allowed ?

Let me know what you think or leave your comments here and I'll copy them into the forum.

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