Tales from the Jungle: “Knowing the Many Rules of the Game.”

Used without permission.

This week’s “Tales from the Jungle” is a repeat from another blog that the Look Out Sir! Guys tried to get going. Sadly, it never got off the ground even though we had some good material on there. So, for some of you, this article may be a repeat, but for most people this article will seem brand new. Anyways, I went back and touched it up a bit and got it good to go. Enjoy!

Recently I played a game against a friend of mine and we were encountered by what I can only imagine is an all-too-familiar situation in the game of Warhammer… or table top games in gneneral for that matter. The table was set… 3,000 points each… terrain set up… dice ready… we rolled to see who would go first… everything was primed and ready to go. As we played the game we were moving smoothly along until about the middle of Turn 3… His horde of Beastmen were meeting the mighty Lizardmen in an epic battle and things were starting to set in. It was anybody’s game at this point… nobody held the upper hand… it was sure to go down to the end and the battle would only be decided by one dice roll… surely… It was at this point that we were in my Magic Phase. I had a skink priest on the Engine of the Gods and he had a total of 3 spells from the Lore of Heavens. We were right in the thick of it as his General was engaged with my BSB and Oldblood and the battle was getting bloody. I cast the spell “Harmonic Convergence” which is an augment spell that can really help out your army at this point in the game. I will now type exactly what the spell says:

“…until the start of the caster’s next Magic phase, the target re-rolls all To Hit, To Wound, and Armour Save rolls of 1…”

It went back to his turn and it was then that I sat down and randomly started reading through the spells… for no particular reason. I realized that I had been cheating him on this spell because I had just then realized that I was interpreting it to read “re-roll the To Hit, the To Wound… and Armour Save rolls of 1”… to me, that meant that I could re-roll any failed rolls on the To Hit and To Wound dice rolls, and only the 1’s for Armour Saves… and that was exactly how I had been playing it. It turned out to make a huge difference in the game because it was at that moment that I had just ran off his General and crashed into the flank of one of his bigger units. I stopped him with what he was doing and made him aware of the situation. We looked over the battlefield and tried to “go back” and fix what had already been done but too much stuff had already been moved, taken off, killed, etc… so I decided to forfeit the game and call it. We had a somewhat lengthy discussion about it while we were packing up and he had hit on several points like knowing what the spells do, knowing the verbiage, knowing how to play your army, etc. I agreed with him on a lot of points and can honestly say that I didn’t do it on purpose. It was the way that I interpreted the rules and as soon as I realized I was doing wrong I fixed it. Now, going forward, I know how that spell works and will play it accordingly when I roll the spell. There was a huge discussion and I felt really bad because it had made a good game go horribly wrong and it was one that couldn’t be taken back because so much had already been done. After going through this debacle it got me to thinking about this game called Warhammer… and table top games altogether…

With this newest 8th edition rulebook you have over 500 pages of stuff to take in before you’re ready to play the game. Luckily for me, I’ve been playing since the 5th edition so there’s only the new stuff that I have to familiarize myself with, since I already know the basics of the game. But with this new book came new spells, new magic items, new combat rules… and it really forced people to do their homework. I’ll admit that I haven’t fully read through the rulebook and there are some rules that I’m not 100% “in the know” about. That said, what happened the other night during our game can easily be avoided. We need to take the time to go through the rules and learn what needs to be learned. Go through your army book and make sure you understand how the army works. If somebody calls you on a rule, be ready to show them where they are wrong (or right!) I’m not saying that people need to be rules lawyers but it is a very important aspect of this hobby to know how to play the game and know the rules that govern it. Like I said, I felt really bad because I had messed up a really good game up to that point but afterwards, I didn’t feel so bad because I knew in my heart that it was an honest mistake… but ultimately one that could have been avoided. So since that day I have taken the time to go back through the book in the evenings and re-read stuff that I’ve already read, just to make sure that I know what’s going on. I’ve even seen a couple of things where I nod my head and go, “Huh… I didn’t know that.” It will help me the next time I play a game and in the future when a situation like this comes up again.

The point of this all is to make gamers everywhere be aware of this game, the rules, and that you know how to play. I have played hundreds of games over the years and have come across games where people know every rule inside and out and then others where it’s really just a learning experience. Be sure to know which game you’re getting involved in before playing. Also, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a casual gamer or a competitive gamer… knowing the rules will make the game go smoothly and quicker, and will make for a more enjoyable experience. I’m sure all of us, at some point or another, have gone back through the rulebook and said “I knew he couldn’t do that” or “I knew I was right”… Use the learning games to get those things out of the way so that, if you compete in serious games and tournaments, you will not end up looking like somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing. A challenge to all my fellow gamers out there… Read the rules. Read them again. And then when you’ve read them twice… read them one more time. Just to make sure. It will make you a better gamer and, in turn, a better opponent when you are called upon to bring your army to battle.


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