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Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

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Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:14 am

Given the list for Feudal Scots for the York tourney and a question I have been asked again, is forming shieldwall as a reaction compulsory?

I know GC has previously stated it is voluntary, but that seems at odds with the wording in AI

"Some Heavy Infantry can create a Shieldwall as a reaction to a charge or to shooting or as a voluntary action. In the latter, voluntary action case, forming Shieldwall is the only action which is allowed during activation (with the exception of recovery from Disorder). Forming Shieldwall as a reaction to charging or shooting is automatic..."

So AI seems to state that the reaction formations are not voluntary, and also that forming shieldwall as a reaction is automatic.

The mandatory forming of shieldwall would also seem to tie in with Lorenzo's notes that shieldwall was great defensively but a bit of a drag offensively when you want to move.

Further, on the unit pricing formula having shieldwall gives -5 to overall points cost for the unit so it is actually costed as a negative rather than as a benefit.


AI goes on to say " i.e. like evasion, and works in a similar way."

So do we now have to test for forming shieldwall?

Will be interested to hear what the thoughts are.




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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by accard on Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:19 am

I thought it was voluntary.

But if you were eligible, and wanted to do it, it was automatic. ie you didnt have to roll for it.(or anything else)

"Like evasion" - I think the wording here predates the changes to evasion where a discipline test was required for all evasions - so I don't think that should be read into it - I think it is just saying that as evasion used to be you could do it if of a eligible type.

But I didn't know about the -5 costing. If it is voluntary wouldn't have though it should make a unit cheaper.

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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:10 am

accard wrote:I thought it was voluntary.

But if you were eligible, and wanted to do it, it was automatic. ie you didnt have to roll for it.(or anything else)

"Like evasion"  - I  think the wording here predates the changes to evasion where a discipline test was required for all evasions - so I don't think that should be read into it - I think it is just saying that as evasion used to be you could do it if of a eligible type.

But I didn't know about the -5 costing. If it is voluntary wouldn't have though it should make a unit cheaper.

Agree with you on everything, what ultimately changed my mind (ie that it is compulsory) is the -5 point costing.

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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:42 pm

accard gave the same response as I did.

GG, I have the point system in front of me and I don't see any reference to shieldwall. My understanding, based on being part of the discussion on shieldwall when it was proposed, was that it was a free cost (some people even complained about this at the time.) Perhaps you have a more recent version of the point costs. Can you point me to where it is so I can take a look? Thanks!
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by starkadder on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:14 pm

"Voluntary" means I can do it if I like.

The verb structure is "can form" not "must form".

The -5 argument I haven't heard before but is intriguing.

"Automatic" means no test required

Certainly, we were playing it as an involuntary action (compulsory) in the first comps. I don't really know when that changed but it has led to some curious field manoeuvres. 

I still prefer that it be compulsory but the whole thing needs to be clarified. And in short declarative sentences. 

A proper description of the dismounting of mounted infantry (e.g. Vikings and Anglo-Danes) also needs to be made. Do they test as per the stated rules or is it also "automatic" (no test)?
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Tarty on Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:39 am

Your not confusing it with the -2 for Schiltron here GG ?
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:53 am

Probably am mate, probably am.

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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by dadiepiombo on Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:09 pm

No cost for SW.
Voluntary means that you can choose to do so when you are active. Otherwise it can be as a reaction during enemy activation.
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by starkadder on Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:58 pm

To be clear, Lorenzo:

Shieldwall is not an involuntary action (e.g. if a unit is shot at, it doesn't have to go into shieldwall but can stay in an open formation if it wishes) .

I apologise if this sounds obvious but it caused some problems at Cancon.
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:00 pm

Why are you referring to the concept of "involuntary action" starkadder? I can't find the term used in the AI rule on shieldwall. Did I miss it?

Some Heavy Infantry can create a Shieldwall as a reaction to a charge or to shooting or as a voluntary action. In the latter, voluntary action case, forming Shieldwall is the only action which is allowed during activation (with the exception of recovery from Disorder).

Forming Shieldwall as a reaction to charging or shooting is automatic, i.e. like evasion, and works in a similar way.


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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by starkadder on Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:27 pm

Because the term "automatic" has been used to justify a local interpretation of the active player (who is opposing a shieldwall army) triggering the reaction so as to slow down its advance. 

Automatic can be inferred as involuntary. The Venus fly-trap, supermarket doors and a Browning pistol all spring to mind. 

I do not agree with this interpretation, Gaius, but it needs to be clubbed down as it has created some discord.
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:52 pm

The player in question skarkadder is wrong in his interpretation. Automatic refers to action of forming shieldwall once it is chosen. There is no need to pass a DT to form shieldwall. That is what Lorenzo meant above. Shieldwall can be formed in the player's own movement phase (voluntarily) or it can result as a reaction to enemy fire or charge (with certain restrictions.) Like evade the player is not required to avail himself of this ability.

There is nothing that an enemy player facing units that can form shieldwall can do to force this reaction. It is totally at the discretion of the controlling player.

I am a 100% certain about this. I hope for your sakes that Lorenzo responds to confirm this.



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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Tarty on Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:13 pm

'Forming Shieldwall as a reaction to charging or shooting
is automatic'

replaced with

'Forming Shieldwall as a reaction to charging or shooting
is also voluntary' ..... would fix this ?

Perhaps take out the reference to evasion ?  probably confuses things Smile
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:50 am

How about,

"Forming Shieldwall as a reaction to charging or shooting is voluntary and is automatic (ie. does not require a discipline test.)"

I think part of the problem is that voluntary probably registers different for Lorenzo who's first language is Italian and us English players.
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by starkadder on Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:27 am

Forming Shieldwall is a voluntary action. It does not require a discipline test. It can be formed in reaction to being charged or from shooting."
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Re: Shieldwall - Compulsory or Not?

Post by Tarty on Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:59 am

Yes they're good also. Either would do the job Wink
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