Thursday, 6 June 2013

Infiltration - the argument continues!

I tried to post this as a reply to a comment to my last post but it was too long - so here it is as a separate post. To make sense of it you'll need to read it in conjunction with my last post on Infiltrating ICs conferring infiltrate on non infiltrating units. The comment was

"Sorry, but declaring people just straight wrong on this is not the way to do it, when the rules are actually very vague. People are only reading what they want to see.

Check the rules for dedicated transports, where it refers to a IC joining a unit before deployment. So yes, at the very least you can deploy in your transport via infiltrate with an IC that confers it.
What impact does this cause? 1 It refers to joining before deployment, 2, It breaks the rule you are so zealously quoting that there are only two way to join a squad.

Lets also look at Shrikes amendment that everyone likes to misread. For starters, it is from 5th ed, and was never changed. Secondly, it does not give him the ability to join a squad before deployment, despite what everyone wants you to believe. It says basically "shrike and any model in a unit chosen from codex space marines that he has joined before deplyment benefit from infiltrate"

Not that he can, but if he did, they would gain infiltrate, but how could he due to the rules? So we have yet another incident which eludes to joining before deployment."
My intended reply was
"It’s still pretty clear IMHO!

I think we can both agree that, to have infiltrate confer to the unit, the infiltrating IC must be attached to the non-infiltrating unit before infiltration takes place.

The IC rule on page 39 says

An Independent Character can begin the game already with a unit, either by being deployed in unit coherency with it or, if the unit is in reserve, by informing your opponent of which unit it has joined.        

This is quite clear. The only way an IC can join a unit before infiltration takes place, is by being deployed in coherency with it. However, if you deploy the non infiltrating unit, and then deploy the infiltrating IC in coherency with it, while  infiltrate confers, you can not then infiltrate because you have deployed before the “infiltration phase” of deployment. If you keep both units in reserve, then the “infiltration phase” of deployment has passed, and neither can infiltrate (they can outflank, but not infiltrate).

The key to getting it to work is finding something that says you can attach an IC to a unit before deployment. But before we get to that, such a rule would need to be very clear, as it would need to subvert the very clear rule on page 39. Also, bare in mind the basic versus advanced rules (page 7). To paraphrase, if there is a basic rule that applies generally, and an advanced rule which applies in specific circumstances that contradicts the basic rule, the advanced rule applies only to those circumstances. 

So to “get around” the attaching IC rule on page 39, would need something very clear, with a wider application than that attaching IC rule.  

You point to 2 things, the rules for deploying Dedicated Transports, and Shrike’s FAQ

 On page 121 of the book it says under the heading "Deploying Transport Vehicles"

Units can be deployed in Transport vehicles if you wish – simply declare to you opponent which units are embarked where as part of your deployment. However, if a unit is a Dedicated Transport, only the unit it was selected with (plus any Independent Characters that have joined the unit) can deploy within it.

Is this not just an example of the first way that ICs can attach to a unit i.e. by being deployed in coherency with it, except in this example you deploy in coherency inside the transport? The only thing that might indicate otherwise, is the use of the past tense in the parenthesis I.e. “plus any Independent Characters that have joined the unit”. You might argue that the implication here is that, by using the past tense, the rule implies the IC has joined the unit before deployment.

I can see this argument, but struggle to accept it can be used to override a clear rule to the contrary. At best you might argue (on the basis of the “basic rule advanced rule” argument) that it allows an infiltrating character to attach to a non infiltrating squad before deployment, but only where they do so in a dedicated transport! Infiltrating Terminators in a Land Raider anybody?

Shrike’s FAQ says

                 “See, But Remain Unseen: Shrike (and any models in a unit

chosen from Codex: Space Marines that he has joined before

deployment) benefit from the Infiltrate special rule.

To be fair, I do kinda see what you mean here. It’s badly worded, as it implies, although doesn’t specifically say, that Shrike can join a unit prior to deployment. IMHO, there are 2 ways to interpret this. A strict interpretation is that, because Shrike can’t join a unit prior to deployment, he can not confer infiltrate on that unit and the rule has no meaning. However that can’t be the intention. If you interpret the rule with its purpose in mind, the only logical way to square it with the rule that characters can only join units in reserve by being deployed with them, is to interpret it as an exception to the general rule, and rule that Shrike can be attached to a unit prior to deployment.

The alternative is to use a poorly worded FAQ (which came out in 5th) to change the clear wording of the BRB, and that can’t be right!

So perhaps I can agree with you that the position is slightly less clear than I originally thought, but not much!"



  1. Hi just to give my two Cents to this Argument:

    The IC rule on page 39 says

    "An Independent Character can begin the game already with a unit, either by being deployed in unit coherency with it or, if the unit is in reserve, by informing your opponent of which unit it has joined."

    The rule is pretty clear in my eyes, but you are looking on it from a wrong angle IMO. You read it as if the IC is deployed as a single model but thats not what the rule says or even indicates. It plainly states "can begin the game already with a unit, either by being deployed in unit coherency with it" not "by being deployed in unit coherency with the already deployed unit". The IC is deployed together with the unit it has joined, at the same time. So during deployment it is already a part of the unit. This is emphasized further by "can begin the game already with a unit" the game does not begin with the deployment, but with the first dice to determine what mission is played.

    The second part of the sentence even confirms it "if the unit is in reserve, by informing your opponent of which unit it has joined." Here you see it says "it has joined" otherwise it would need to say "if the unit is in reserve, the IC needs to end its movement phase in coherency with the unit when entering the game from reserves" or something like this.

    Thats how I see it :)

  2. I have to agree with your detractors. As Ketharim says, it's pretty clearly written.

    If we followed your original reading of this, there'd be NO point in the rules stating that Infiltrate on an IC confers to his unit, as you could never deploy them as Infiltrators anyways. Why include a rule that simply isn't usable?

  3. Ah… but I love a good argument!

    @Ketharim – Hmmm … I can see your point, but I would argue that the IC rule is telling you how the IC can begin the game with the unit – i.e. by being deployed in coherency with it. As a result the IC doesn’t join the unit until it is deployed in coherency with it. I agree that the game begins with the first role of the dice, but would argue that the IC can not join a unit until deployment.

    As for the reserve point I would argue that all this means is that the IC joins the unit, when both of them are placed in reserve and you tell your opponent which unit it is joining.

    @TheRhino – Attaching an infiltrating character to a non infiltrating unit in reserve would give the combined unit “outflank”, so there is still a point to the rule.

    Having said all that, I have to admit, it is perhaps not quite as clear cut as I thought!

    It reminds me of my first every lecture at law school. The professor stood up and declared “Ladies and Gentlemen the enemy, the enemy is words!”.