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The_Rules_Lawyer
12-05-2011, 12:29 PM
Facts
Model A is engaged with model B.

Model C declares a legal assault against model B. At the end of its charge movement C is not in melee with B. C is within range for a normal range attack (i.e. Non-spray) and makes its range attack against B.

Rules
Assault (Order) - Affected models must charge or run. As part of a charge, after moving but before making its charge attack, an effected model can make one ranged attack targeting the model charged unless they were in melee with each other at the start of the affected model's activation. Models that received this order cannot make combined range attacks this activation. When resolving an Assault ranged attack, the attacking model does not suffer the target in mele penalty. If the target is not in melee range after moving, the affected model must still make the ranged attack before its activation ends. See eg, Trencher Infantry Card (Errata May 2011) (emphasis added).

Question
Does model C suffer the "target in melee penalty" when it attacks model B?

Discussion
I agree that on a plain reading of the rule model C does not suffer the penalty. However, I believe that this result is contrary to the purpose of the rule. Allowing the assaulting model not to suffer the penalty actually makes assaulting a viable tactic. If the penalty is applied it seems likely that most assaulting infantry will actually end up hitting each other rather than hitting their targets. Nobody would assault if doing so would likely kill their own models. On face this argument only applies to situations where the assaulting model actually ends up in melee with its target. It is incongruous to allow an assaulting model not to suffer the penalty when it does not end its charge in melee with its target. From a purely logical perspective there is no reason why a model that assaults but fails to end up in melee should be treated differently from a non-assaulting model when shooting at an engaged target.

I apologize if this issue has been raised before. I was unable to find an answer by searching.

jandrese
12-05-2011, 12:39 PM
Assault shots never suffer the in-melee penalty, because that's what the rule says.

niceas
12-05-2011, 12:42 PM
While I agree with your comments that the intention was likely that the ignoring target in melee penalty was put in place so that it would ignore its own presence in melee, the rules as they are written mean that you would ignore the penalty caused by other models in melee with the target as well. Unless they errata Assault, in the example you give above, you would ignore the target in melee penalty.

NagashTheBlack
12-05-2011, 01:29 PM
Facts
Discussion
I agree that on a plain reading of the rule model C does not suffer the penalty. However, I believe that this result is contrary to the purpose of the rule. Allowing the assaulting model not to suffer the penalty actually makes assaulting a viable tactic. If the penalty is applied it seems likely that most assaulting infantry will actually end up hitting each other rather than hitting their targets. Nobody would assault if doing so would likely kill their own models. On face this argument only applies to situations where the assaulting model actually ends up in melee with its target. It is incongruous to allow an assaulting model not to suffer the penalty when it does not end its charge in melee with its target. From a purely logical perspective there is no reason why a model that assaults but fails to end up in melee should be treated differently from a non-assaulting model when shooting at an engaged target.


Picture it like this, the members of the models own squad are trained to make the assault move and naturally know who to avoid each other. Other members of the same army just shout "Oh hell, THOSE guys!" and duck from past experience. But as Niceas pointed out, they could in theory accidentally shoot themselves if not for ignoring the target in melee. Adding in a line saying that if they fail the charge then they do suffer the penalty would just add more to the rule text and be aggravating.

Valander
12-05-2011, 01:54 PM
Assault shots never suffer the in-melee penalty, because that's what the rule says.
This is correct.