There’s a common misconception that Individual facing doesn’t matter because they have free pivots up the wazoo and they align to the charger. The rules were specifically written with the free pivots and aligning rules because there are issues with simpler 360 degree LOS and “just make contact, don’t worry about aligning”.
Align to the charger, not align to face
Individuals still have a facing. They still have a front facing, two flank facings and a rear. Some special rules only affect charges hitting the front facing, such as Phalanx and Ensnare. When an Individual aligns to a charger, they don’t turn to face. Therefore, if a unit charges the flank of an individual, front-face specific special rules won’t apply because the individual doesn’t turn to face.
Free Pivot before the charge
A key part of the Individual charging rules that people sometimes miss is that they have to carry out their free pivot before declaring the charge.
This means that after making the free pivot, they must be able to see the charge target and meet all the other criteria for declaring a charge. Once this has been done, they then carry out a nimble charge move – i.e. moving straight forward and using a maximum of two 90 degree pivots.
What they can’t do is declare the charge order, pivot to face any direction and then do a charge move including two 90 degree pivots.
Therefore, knowing an Individual’s facing, even though they get a free pivot before a charge order, is necessary.
One of the recent discussions, sparked by two situations encountered at the UK masters, was how much contact against an Individual was required. The rules as written are pretty clear cut – if you can contact the facing or a corner of the facing (even if you are touching a flank while doing so, as long as you’re touching a corner of the relevant facing) then you can charge.
Many people were unhappy with this and wanted a bit more safety for Individuals. Without going through the arguments again, the RC struggled to rule on what was and wasn’t an acceptable amount of contact. I believe they have settled on a final rule with specific yes/no criteria that’s to be updated in a new release of the FAQ.
All of this to say… what is acceptable contact when charging an Individual on a round base?
For all the discussions recently about how much contact is needed for charging an individual, imagine how bad it would be if there was no way to determine a front/flank/rear. Contact with any part of the base, including having a flyer flip 180 degrees over the top to attack the “rear” of the individual, would be sufficient.
So I ask – with all the issues that round based individuals introduce, what is it that it would actually fix?