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Subject: Counterattack ability: Is "Stalwart" required? rss

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Jefferson Krogh
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You're wrong, I'm afraid. Re-read page 21 of the rulebook carefully.
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Bartosz Popow
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It would be good for you to re-read the rulebook. "You" are you - you generally need "stalwart" keyword in order to be able to counterattack. That's why this formation is so important.
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Eðvarð Hilmarsson
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Its easy to make an assumption when something "seems" right and sensible, so dont worry about having gotten it wrong.

In BoW the ability to counter attack is an exception rather then the rule. Most units simply take their hits in a passive way when attacked and only units that are Stalwart from having supporting unit (or an ability triggered via cards) are able to hit back.

As far as the theme goes, then most of the time a unit will end up hitting whoever it has an engagement token with (representing the same battle as they took hits in).

Due to the turn system, its quite possible for a unit to be attacked twice in the same meele without hitting back. Just think of this as a battle where the attacker cracked the defensive line and the defenders never managed to recover organization to mount a successful defense. In most cases you can avoid this scenario and most battles will be a tit for tat affairs.

Stalwart units however are ready and have their flanks supported, making an attack on them far more costly, this is represented by the fact that they may inflict casulties on you twice in one round (once from the counter attack and again if they use their attack for the round). Forcing your units to attack a determined and ready opponent is meant to leave lots of little dead plastic soldiers in the field and is meant to be the exception.
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Bartosz Popow
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I don't know, we must have different rulebooks then. Mine says on page 21:
Quote:
A target unit that is able to counterattack (primarily as a result of the Stalwart keyword, see page 23) can counterattack.


The key word is "is able". Normally units are not able. Later on page 24 under "Stalwart" section it reads:
Quote:
Stalwart units can also counterattack if they choose.

This indirectly means that normally this ability is not accessible.

Edit: where did you take this part from:
Quote:
Page 21, any unit may counterattack that is not eliminated and remains in the same hex.

There's no such sentence in my rulebook.
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Ben Boersma
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In the example on page 21 it also says "Because the War Host of the North is Stalwart, it can counterattack.

You can only counterattack if you are Stalwart. There are three ways to achieve this off the top of my head (currently):

1) To be a unit with the Stalwart keyword already.
2) To be a unit that has a Leader with the Stalwart keyword.
3) To be supported by two adjacent friendly units, which then conveys the Stalwart keyword to the supported units.

It is quite clear that you can only Counterattack if you have the Stalwart keyword.

Reference of page 21 of the rulebook for clarity.


Cheers,
Ben.
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Eðvarð Hilmarsson
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"Counterattacking is the ability of a defending unit to strike back at an attacking unit. A target unit that is able to counterattack (primarily as a result of the Stalwart keyword..." (page 21)

"Stalwart units can also counterattack if they choose (see page 21)" (page 24).

"Because the War Host of the North is stalwart, it can counterattack" (example on page 24).

Ok those are all the rules that exist on this issue, so lets break it down.

The first quote only establishes what a counterattack and that it only applies to units that are able to perform the ability.

Page 24 states that a stalwart unit is able to counterattack if it wants.

The last quote (the example) states that being Stalwart gives the Stark unit the counterattack ability.

No where else in the rules is any unit offered the ability to counterattack. The rules that apply to counterattacks on page 21 only come into effect when a counterattack (as an ability) has been triggered.

The conditions of a counterattack are simply not checked for unless the ability itself has been activated.

Even if the rules do not state this in the negative (ie. units are not allowed too) there is never any implicit permission given to units to use the counterattack ability unless granted it via something (Stalwart or a card).
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Bartosz Popow
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No matter how long the posts you write are, it won't change the fact that you would like to play the game not by the rules, but by your understanding. Accept the fact that the rulebook is not clear enough for you to understand it the same way other people do.

What is more, your posts are so definitive with their opinions. Since almost all of your views on counterattack are not true, let me mention for the sake of future visitors:
In core set the only way to counterattack is to be have Stalwart keyword (from what I remember). In expansions there are also other ways to achieve it.
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Bartosz Popow
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That's what I'm saying: rulebook is not clear enough for you - accept it. Rules are different than you think.
Remember the quote from the rulebook's example:
"Because the War Host of the North is stalwart, it can counterattack".
In your theory this sentence wouldn't make sense. If it were your way it should read "Because the War Host stayed in the same hex, it can counterattack". Yet it doesn't.

I don't want to argue with you. You came hear asking to clarify some rules. We did it. you don't like it. Fine, play the game as you wish, but understand that it is not as per the rules (however vague they may seem to you).
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Earl Zombie
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Page 21 states that "A target unit that is able to counterattack (primarily as a result of Stalwart keywork, see page 23)can counter attack".....blah blah blah.

What is important here is the "that is able" part this implies that not all units are able. What makes them able? Primarily the Stalwart Keyword.

Page 24 (not 23), States "Stalwart units can also counterattack if they choose (see page 21)." This sentence is not needed or relevent if all units can counterattack.

Also, I think that if all units could counterattack, then it would be step 8 in the combat sequence moving Rotate attacker's Banner to 9. (on page 18) as it would happen in every attack where the Defender did not retreat or wasn't eliminated.

My advise to you is that you are hopelessy outnumbered in your opinion, so you should bend to our will for now. Then, ask Fantasy Flight your question in secret 500 times, so that it makes the next FAQ, and if you are right send use all messages asking for a public appolagies as you are a supperior rules reader. If you are wrong you can just maintain you played this way the whole time. This is definatly the way to go.
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J C
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As previous posters said, I think "Because the War Host of the North is stalwart, it can counterattack" is quite definitive but I'm going to add some regulation from Brotherhood without Banners rulebook, about keyword "Scrapper":

"[...] After this unit is attacked it performs its regular counterattack (if available)and can then eliminate one of its own figures to make one additional counterattack (whether the unit had an original counterattack or not)."

It shows us, I think undoubtedly, that units can't always counterattack.
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Seren of Moon
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I think the example in the text is pretty clear. If FFG was trying to illustrate that Stalwart only cancels a single flag, they would have had to include the dice rolls in the example. Examples are meant to add clarity, not further muddy the waters.

In my argument last night (I'm SFRR's friend), I tried to outline that if counterattack were something that every unit did it would be incorporated into the combat sequence.

Also, the second sentence on page 21 would be written entirely different, and not have the "that is able" phrase. It would have to read "Any unit that has suffered a melee attack and remains in the same hex can counterattack" but it doesn't.

We played the first scenario where everyone could counterattack. Pretty silly that cavalry charging over a bunch of archers just got slaughtered in counterattacks.

I look forward to playing the scenario the correct way: only Stalwart units can counterattack.
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Eðvarð Hilmarsson
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I dont think I could have been any more clear earlier in how I laid it out.

Look at Pursue

"An attacking unit has the option to to pursue if the target of its attack is eliminated or is forced to retreat. If one of those two events occur the attacking unit can move up to X hexes). pg 24

You could argue that this means any attacking unit. Since it does not say attacking unit with pursue. That type of debate would be a complete waste of time though.


Counter attacks, like extra moves, are not given to units when they meet random criteria, they have to happen via an activation...anything to do with it only applies to units that can use it.

Seriously contact FFG if you are not convinced though.
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Jack Merridew
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its pretty apparent from reading the rules book and reading this forum that Counterattack is not something every unit can do, im unsure why you are disagreeing with every person on the thread as oppossed to rethinking your understanding of the rules
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Christoph Breitkopf
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SFRR wrote:
I am adamant that any unit may counterattack any melee attack
If the unit is not eliminated and not forced to retreat.

Ignoring the rules discussion, I'm actually interested on the effect of this rule interpretation on gameplay. I gather that you already played a few solo games, presumably with your interpretation of counterattacks. How did it go?
For example, attacking a red rank unit that can counterattack with a green unit is usually a no-go (i.e. suicidal), and I that alone should change tactics quite a lot, I think. Also trying to maneuver your units into stalwart formation would be much less important.
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Cracky McCracken
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Where's Kentoad when you need him?
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Benjamin Symons
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This is a very interesting rules debate and I'd like to weigh in with my two cents.

I've always played the rules for counterattacks and stalwart with the interpretation of the majority of people in this thread. However, I think we need a definite answer by Rob Kouba himself (or has this question been asked already?) or hear from people that got demo's of this game by FFG officials.

Why?

Because of Battlelore. FFG branded BoW as 'a Battlelore Game' and it has many similarities, as we all know. One of the first things that FFG did when they got the rights to Battlelore was to change something in the rules to that game, to make it more like Richard Borg had intended it: the introduced 'Battle Savvy'. This rule stated that every unit could battle back ('counterattack') a unit that it had just been attacked by, if it hadn't retreated or been eliminated. 'Bold' units (the Battlelore equivalent of 'Stalwart'), which had previously been the only way to battle back, now had the only advantage that they could ignore a flag.

So, since they're presenting Bow as 'a Battlelore game', perhaps they're using the same philosophy for counterattacking in both games. Perhaps we didn't notice this because of unclear wording in the rulebook (the same unclear wording that made us, as a community, do a rewrite of the rules for more clarity).

I know I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, but I do think this is a point that we should consider in this discussion and it hasn't been considered yet.
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Jan Dreske
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Actually, theres nothing in the rules stating i can't hit you with a pressing iron.
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Ben Boersma
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By writing primarily by being Stalwart it leaves it open to future rules from expansions. That is the only reason it is phrased that way.

Battle back was introduced to Battlelore as that's how Richard Borg had designed it. I actually prefer the original way a bit more due to the tactical manoeuvring that takes place. Although it now does give a faster game. Rob Kouba modified the game to create BoW and changed many things, including the left, centre, right mechanic. Just because it is in Battlelore, doesn't mean it made it to BoW. Besides the fact it is very clearly defined in the Battlelore rules in regards to Battleback.

I think it is very clear that you must be Stalwart to counterattack in BoW and that this discussion has run its course.
If you don't agree with everyone that has posted with examples then just email FFG's rule department for an answer. Hat should put the issue to rest for you.

All the best, but I'm sorry I think you're wrong with this one.
Cheers,
Ben.
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Ben Boersma
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Email FFG if you are so certain that everyone else that plays is wrong.
Get a definitive answer. Surely you won't discount the creators opinion.
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Ben Boersma
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Quoting other games means nothing as Rob Kouba has altered so much in BoW.

Besides the fact that it is clearly stated in both your examples, unlike in BoW.

You know our opinions. I have emailed FFG for an official ruling, but I think at this point you should just drop it.

Play it however you want, but per the rules of BoW you must be Stalwart to counterattack. Your friend was right, you were wrong sorry. Continued posting will not change that.

Just enjoy the game and don't let getting one little rule wrong get to you.

All the best,
Ben.
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Bartosz Popow
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Scott, please stop writing these dumb posts, because they will only make it harder for future generations to understand such simple thing as counterattack. Just imagine that the rulebook is very poorly written and that's why you couldn't understand it correct way. Accept that you are wrong and stop writing these longish responses with nothing but false understanding of rules - you only waste time, make some people laugh and other ones angry.

You MUST be Stalwart in order to counterattack.
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Ben Boersma
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SFRR wrote:
Boromir_and_Kermit wrote:

Play it however you want, but per the rules of BoW you must be Stalwart to counterattack. Your friend was right, you were wrong sorry. Continued posting will not change that.
Ben.


Except that the rules-as-written in BoW do not support your claim that Stalwart is required for counterattack, that is not stated anywhere, it is absolutely NOT stated anywhere. What is explicitly stated is:
A) the defending must not be eliminated
B) the defending unit must remain in its original Hex

This also follows logically from ALL of the Borg-inspired game designs, the basic combat game mechanics are identical, and ought to remain so as they are quite sound.


On page 21 (referenced with an image in one of my previous posts) has the part of the paragraph above both your a and b points is units that are able (Primarily by being Stalwart).

Your points A and B only apply to units that are able to counterattack.

So only if you are able, are A and B even considered before actually counterattacking.

You are able to do this primarily by being Stalwart.

The word "Primarily" means the main reason or most commonly, showing us that being Stalwart is the main reason and the most common way of being able to counterattack.

Any other way of counterattacking would therefore be less common than being Stalwart.

Your concept of everyone being able to counterattack would involve that way being much more common than being Stalwart (as in your approach everyone could and so being Stalwart would be a lesser reason for counterattacking) and so therefore you are wrong by definition.

As stated earlier, other Borg games have no relevance to this argument as its a different designer.

I think we have very clearly explained and given evidence to the reasoning behind the rule and that your opinion on the interpretation is wrong. Your inability to see reason on this means that I will be bowing out of this conversation as it is becoming beyond a joke.

I will post FFGs response when I get it which I am sure will rule in favor of the majority here, but other than that, good day to you sir.
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J C
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Still waiting for the racionalization of my previous post...just sayin'

KelemvorBGG wrote:
As previous posters said, I think "Because the War Host of the North is stalwart, it can counterattack" is quite definitive but I'm going to add some regulation from Brotherhood without Banners rulebook, about keyword "Scrapper":

"[...] After this unit is attacked it performs its regular counterattack (if available)and can then eliminate one of its own figures to make one additional counterattack (whether the unit had an original counterattack or not)."

It shows us, I think undoubtedly, that units can't always counterattack.


For not just auto-quoting, let's take a look at keyword "Zealot" from Baratheon expansion (example is also included in rulebook):

Quote:
[...]Zealot units have the following rules:
• Zealot units never retreat and instead take hits for each hex
they would normally be forced to retreat.
• Zealot units always make a counterattack (if eligible), even
after an attacking unit eliminates them.

For example, a Stalwart zealot unit with a single figure is
attacked. Two morale results are rolled against the zealot. He
can ignore the first morale due to Stalwart. However, instead of
retreating from the second morale, the zealot holds its ground and
takes a hit as a result. This will eliminate the unit, but before
being eliminated, the zealot gets to resolve the counterattack it
gains from being Stalwart.

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Jeff Kayati
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From the files section, Corrected Rules by

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cleared by designer Rob Kouba


Quote:
Counterattacking
A defending Unit that has been melee attacked sometimes may immediately respond with a
counterattack. A ranged attack, even one from an adjacent hex, may not be counterattacked. Also, a
counterattack may not be counterattacked. The counterattack is conducted like a normal attack
(scoring hits and causing retreats just like attacking), except that no modifiers involving the phrase
"when attacking" may be used. Additionally, counterattacking Units may not use the Keyword Abilities
Advance or Pursue X. The optional rule, Reduced Strength Units applies to counterattacking Units.

Most commonly, the Stalwart Keyword Ability enables a Unit to counterattack. Generally, a Unit
triggers the Stalwart ability by being adjacent to two friendly Units, although certain Commanders have
the Stalwart Keyword Ability and certain other effects will make Units Stalwart. Of these effects, only
one is necessary to trigger the Stalwart ability. Stalwart does not stack. Units are either Stalwart or not
Stalwart, even if there are multiple triggers of the Ability, and thus may not ignore more than one
Morale result or counterattack more than once.


Note the "sometimes may" condition in the first part and one condition that may allow in the second.

This is different than other Commands & Colors games. One of the many things that make BoW a very different game.


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Cracky McCracken
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jkayati wrote:
From the files section, Corrected Rules by

Ian McCarthy
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cleared by designer Rob Kouba


Quote:
Counterattacking
A defending Unit that has been melee attacked sometimes may immediately respond with a
counterattack. A ranged attack, even one from an adjacent hex, may not be counterattacked. Also, a
counterattack may not be counterattacked. The counterattack is conducted like a normal attack
(scoring hits and causing retreats just like attacking), except that no modifiers involving the phrase
"when attacking" may be used. Additionally, counterattacking Units may not use the Keyword Abilities
Advance or Pursue X. The optional rule, Reduced Strength Units applies to counterattacking Units.

Most commonly, the Stalwart Keyword Ability enables a Unit to counterattack. Generally, a Unit
triggers the Stalwart ability by being adjacent to two friendly Units, although certain Commanders have
the Stalwart Keyword Ability and certain other effects will make Units Stalwart. Of these effects, only
one is necessary to trigger the Stalwart ability. Stalwart does not stack. Units are either Stalwart or not
Stalwart, even if there are multiple triggers of the Ability, and thus may not ignore more than one
Morale result or counterattack more than once.


Note the "sometimes may" condition in the first part and one condition that may allow in the second.

This is different than other Commands & Colors games. One of the many things that make BoW a very different game.




This whole thing right here is the answer. thumbsup
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