Too many times our beloved game gets bogged down by rules debates at the table. While I am a stickler for the rules, meaning I believe in playing by them, I also tend to let things pass (during friendly games), and then look them up later.

A weekly post regarding the Rules of Our Game is something I am testing out to see whether or not I should start doing this. I run across tons of rules questions each week, and I think almost every person in our hobby should keep an eye out for things like these. It helps us when we finally come across such problems or weak spots in the rules of the game. So if this series does OK, with decent feedback, you can expect to see it turn into a weekly post.

Todays big Question comes down to a conflict between the two armies I own and love to play, Dark Eldar and Grey Knights. Imagine this, your Grey Knights just charged in to kill Urien Rakarth and his minions. Being the bold Grey Knight player you are, you sent in Castellan Crowe into the mess, but he gets struck down while in base to base with Urien. 

Crowe uses Heroic Sacrifice, and successfully passes his psychic test and hits Urien. Urien has not used his d3 negated from his clonefield. Can a clonefield negate a successful Heroic Sacrifice?

Lets look at both rules:
Heroic Sacrfice
If the psychic test is successful, the brotherhood champion immediately makes a single attack against one enemy model that was in base contact when he died. If this attacks hits, both models are removed as casualties with no saves of any kind allowed.

Clone Field
When the bearer is combat, roll a D3 at the beginning of each round of combat to represent how many clone images are in effect. The result is the number of hits upon the bearer that he may completely nullify that round, just before the roll to the wound. The bearer may choose which attacks are nullified. Once the roll to wound is made, though, there's no going back, so choose which attacks to nullify carefully!

At first glance, it seems very simple and straight forward. Clone field negates the attack, so the Heroic Sacrifice is nullified. However this is not the case with this conflict in the rules. The key is in how the Clone Field works.

The result is the number of hits upon the bearer that he may completely nullify that round, just before the roll to the wound.

Heroic Sacrifice just requires a hit to remove its opponent from play. There is no to wound roll, and literally because we never get have a to wound roll, clone field never gets a chance to take its effect. Heroic Sacrifice takes place right after the hit, clone field takes place just before the roll to wound.

So according to RAW, the clone field never gets a chance to prevent this attack. Heroic Sacrifice works and removes Urien from play.

Now do I think a clone field should work against this? yes. Can you imagine Uriens evil cackle as the mighty brotherhood champion lashes out for one last deadly strike and finds nothing but air. But until we see a FAQ that changes this, we are stuck with the blade piercing Urien Rakarth and removing him from play.

Comments and "Your Wrong!" are very appreciated with this series, as navigating the rules of our game can be quite treacherous.


  1. Ah, the 'common sense' vs RAW argument. I've heard such many similar disputes in the past.

    Its an interesting question and very difficult to rule I think, it could be argued that in theory that as Heroic Sacrifice requires a hit and the field nullifies hits the clone field would win but as you say whether it gets a chance to nullify it is the issue.
    It reminds me of the rather complicated 'stack' rules in MTG.

    For now I think you are right, Clone Field should work but until a FAQ announces so the best we can hope it to use 'THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE' and roll off.

  2. I have to agree that clone field should work in this case with rules as written. If I were to try and take this in a different direction, though with rules as intended, I'd say that, in effect clone field acts as a save and with Heroic Sacrifice does not allow for any saves of any kind.

    If I were put in this situation, though, I would roll off as to which rule takes precedent.

  3. While I think the argument for "doesn't work" is stronger, there _is_ an argument for it working that I can see: since Clone Field is used "before the roll to wound" (and specifically after the hit roll), you could take the position that there is a sufficient window in between the "roll to hit" and "remove both models" clauses of Heroic Sacrifice. After all, you ARE using it before a to-wound roll is made, it just so happens that no roll would actually take place even if you chose not to use the Field.

  4. I would say that clone field would work as surely after rolling to hit (heroic sacrifice) but before rolling to wound (clone field) is the same time?

    Unless there is another phase to causing damage in hth I have missed all these years?

  5. I do believe it works the way you said (Heroic Sacrifice trumps Clone Field) mechanically. As far as common sense goes, I could see it going either way. Yeah, he has a bunch of clones, but this IS a psychically guided attack (hence the psychic test beforehand). I could see a strong argument for psychic guidance trumping clone field.

    Also, I like this as a weekly column. I like finding rules issues and figuring out what to do with them (and yes, until I dropped MTG for Warhammer, I did love the stack).

  6. You can also say that since Heroic Sacrifice takes place in its own special out of sequence moment. I should of included this into the article.

    "This power can be used when the brotherhood champion is removed as a casualty during either players Assault Phase"

    So Technically it is an out of sequence attack, with no to wound rolls, negating clone fields opportunity to nullify it. However, clone field does not specify when or what attacks are nullified.

    Clone field is a tough one with Heroic Sacrifice. However, I am still leaning with Heroic Sacrifice trumping the Clone Field.

  7. To piggyback on Heroic Sacrifice, is it a Psychic attack? I know you pass a psychic test to use it, but is it classified as a psychic attack?

    I ask because what if you switch Urien with Lady Malys? Does she get effected?

    I do think Heroic Sacrifice trumps Clone Field. Think, you use Clone Field when the To Hit rolls are rolled. For Crowe to have died, attacks would have already have occurred. Thus, using your Clone Field.

    Sorry, but another question. Say your Archon has a Clone Field and a Djinn Blade. Can you use the Clone Field to negate the Djinn Blade if it rebels?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Oof, rules disputes. A regrettable side effect of this game. Me and my gaming friends tend to avoid rolling off for stuff like this, I think we should start.
    Oh, and I think it would be awesome if this was weekly.

  10. As far as the Djinn Blade is concerned, yes, the clone field can be used to block these. This is extremly effective when you have an archon with a soul trap, as these power weapon attacks can get quite powerful.

    The reason it works, is because the Djinn Blade says that when doubles are rolled, the two attacks automatically hit the bearer. The Clone field does not distinguish these any different from any other kind of attack. Before you roll to wound with these attacks, you will need to declare if you are blocking them.

  11. I believe the rules as intended for the heroic sacrifice ability is for it to remove the entire model from play, without any way to stop it. It's part of what you pay for when you select a brotherhood champion, and let's face it, sometimes psychic tests bite you in the butt.

    I think the clone field is meant to stop any attack short of extraordinary abilities, in which category heroic sacrifice lies.

  12. Straight RAW without having to go anywhere else for the correct interpretation:
    Heroic Sacrifice must only hit and does not roll to wound. Clone Field negates the roll to wound of a hit. Therefore Heroic Sacrifice scores the kill.

    If you want complicated, try the assault after shooting rules where unless you pull in 4th Edition rulings, the case can be made that if you eliminate one unit in the shooting phase, you can then assault another. Actually the way it reads in RAW. Part of the justification for the old way is the rule about assaulting the passengers of a transport after wrecking/exploding it. The problem with the justification is that if it overrules the "didn't shoot it cannot assault it" interpretation, then it also overrules the "if falling back, cannot assault" rule and "if used heavy weapons (and not Relentless), cannot assault" rule.

  13. I completely disagree. Clone field doesn't care if you get to roll to wound or not. Just that you have to decide to negate a hit before a roll to wound is made. It's to keep people from deciding to negate successful wound rolls instead of failed ones.

    Clone Field doesn't even specify hits as close combat hits. So if they assault a vehicle and make it explode and you recieve a hit from the explosion you may negate that hit. Because it's still part of the assault round. The vehicle doesn't blow up after the assault phase.

    And ussualy dark eldar have high enough initiative to remove a model before they get to strike back. Which means heroic sacrifice is going to happen before any of your other models are attacking anyway. So the argument that regular attacks have already been made so clone field wouldn't effect that roll to hit is bogus.

    Heroic Sacrifice has to hit to work. Clonefield negates hits. Case closed.

  14. Looks like you had your 'Sunday Best' on when you wrote this post. I hope you don't mind me giving you a shout out in a my top 3 series called Sunday Best over at my blog. Cheers and thanks for sharing.

  15. Machine God, just to clarify your stance. You think that "just before the to wound roll, and "after the to hit roll" are the same time, regardless if there is no to wound roll?

    Because the arguement presented would say that the Clone field's "before the to Wound roll" is rolled just before you would normally roll it. Since there is no wound roll, the clone field cannot nullify the hit.

    I do agree with you it should work, I just dont think it does RAW.

  16. I'm with Machine God. Line of RAW says "The result is the number of hits upon the bearer that he may completely nullify that round, just before the roll to wound."

    Clone Field is nullifying the hits, not wounds. Since to hit comes before to wound, Clone Field allows the player to assing the hit to Urien or a clone. Clone Field bearer assigns the dying Grey Knight's hit to one of his clones.

  17. Clone field states 'before the roll to wound' so that you understand that it happens after the roll to hit. The entire reason for its existence is so players don't wait for the rolls to wound to reduce the number of successful attacks.

    Rules as Written, an infantry model can move 6" in any direction. Nothing says it can't move 6" straight up. or that you cant deply your models 12" off the ground. As such we really need to see Rules as Intended for decent interpretation.

    Rules As Intended I think that the rules say that to make entirely sure the players understand when to negate hits, so it should work on grey knights Heroic Sacrifice.

  18. the problem with rules as intended, is its a person's perspective on what the rule is meant to do, not what is written.

    Going this route, you get too many different rulings, and since the rules do not mention anything in them saying to follow the rules as intended, they are not a good route to follow.

  19. I disagree with you Natfka.

    You quoted the rule of the clonefield yourself. It says: "The result is the number of HITS upon the bearer that he may completely nullify that round,..."

    So, not Wounds, but Hits. So when Crow HITS Urien with his Heroic Sacrifice, Urien can simply nullify this HIT.

    I'm emphasizing hit on purpose, because you put too much emphasizing on the 'to wound' roll which happens after this (normally).

    Am I missing something here?


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