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Tricky wording on an artifact


Black Blade
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Lore-wise my fictional band of warriors hails from the realm of shadow and lucky for me there are a number of interesting choices in the artifact list from Ulgu. One in particular has me a little confused: Talisman of the Watcher.

Two main considerations

1. The flavor text reads "Shadowy figures intercept blows aimed at the wearer." Now I know flavor text is in no way rule text but I do think it is written usually to be descriptive of whatever is being written about thematic reasoning beyond the mechanic. So it's not law but it might give us a clue.

2. The rule text reads "If the bearer of this artifact is not within 3" of an enemy unit at the start of the combat phase, select a friendly unit within 9" and re-roll save rolls of 1 for that unit.

At first reading I took this to mean that I can project a mystic shield on a single friendly unit, the bearer being a valid target as well based on the flavor text as well as the rule text . Curiously though when carefully looking at the wording it seems like I can project a mystic shield only on another unit as long as I am not in combat myself and only during the combat phase. This seems inconsistent with the flavor text and some elements are vague. For example I am not restricted explicitly from using the ability in any phase, just that it can be invalidated in the combat phase depending on the bearers position. I feel like some words/ clarification is missing here. How should I interpret the rules for this item?

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1 hour ago, Black Blade said:

Lore-wise my fictional band of warriors hails from the realm of shadow and lucky for me there are a number of interesting choices in the artifact list from Ulgu. One in particular has me a little confused: Talisman of the Watcher.

Two main considerations

1. The flavor text reads "Shadowy figures intercept blows aimed at the wearer." Now I know flavor text is in no way rule text but I do think it is written usually to be descriptive of whatever is being written about thematic reasoning beyond the mechanic. So it's not law but it might give us a clue.

2. The rule text reads "If the bearer of this artifact is not within 3" of an enemy unit at the start of the combat phase, select a friendly unit within 9" and re-roll save rolls of 1 for that unit.

At first reading I took this to mean that I can project a mystic shield on a single friendly unit, the bearer being a valid target as well based on the flavor text as well as the rule text . Curiously though when carefully looking at the wording it seems like I can project a mystic shield only on another unit as long as I am not in combat myself and only during the combat phase. This seems inconsistent with the flavor text and some elements are vague. For example I am not restricted explicitly from using the ability in any phase, just that it can be invalidated in the combat phase depending on the bearers position. I feel like some words/ clarification is missing here. How should I interpret the rules for this item?

TL : DR - the bearer can pick themselves or another unit, the bearer (most likely) can't fight in the combat phase, and the save is only available in the combat phase.

Models count as being within range of themselves, so the bearer of the artefact can use the ability on themselves - this is in the FAQ/designer's commentary.

The bearer cannot be within 3" of any enemy models at the start of the combat phase. This means they will miss out on fighting unless pile-in moves by enemy models allow it to. This is in the main rules.

Abilities can only be used in the specified phase - that's in the main rules.

This specifies the combat phase, so it's triggered and resolved in the combat phase, and isn't a persistent or permanent effect as it doesn't state so.

 

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1 hour ago, BaldoBeardo said:

TL : DR - the bearer can pick themselves or another unit, the bearer (most likely) can't fight in the combat phase, and the save is only available in the combat phase.

Models count as being within range of themselves, so the bearer of the artefact can use the ability on themselves - this is in the FAQ/designer's commentary.

The bearer cannot be within 3" of any enemy models at the start of the combat phase. This means they will miss out on fighting unless pile-in moves by enemy models allow it to. This is in the main rules.

Abilities can only be used in the specified phase - that's in the main rules.

This specifies the combat phase, so it's triggered and resolved in the combat phase, and isn't a persistent or permanent effect as it doesn't state so.

 

Exactly how I see it.  Useless on a combat character.  This is something you want on a wizard or priest standing behind a combat unit throwing out buffs.  Basically an undispellable mystic shield that you can throw out in the combat phase instead of the hero phase making it a little more tactical.  You're going to be pretty certain the unit you use it on will be in combat vs having to hope so in the hero phase, then failing a charge.

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