3rd Ed. Phalanx on Countercharges?

The Phalanx special rule state that a -1 to hit is given to Cav, Large Cav and Flying units in the subsequent melee phase of an “unhindered Charge”. This seems to me like the -1 only applies on an initial unhindered charge, but someone else thought it would apply to Counter Charges as well, therefore always conferring a -1 to hit. He believes this is the case because he thinks Counter Charges are Charges, but the rules seem to state they are something different. (i.e. “a unit… may elect to perform a Counter Charge instead of a regular Charge” seems to differentiate them) Last past I see on this is from 2019 where someone says the -1 applies to both. Any up to date clarification is appreciated.

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I play that it doesn’t apply in a Counter Charge. In large part because by my reading Counter Charges are not Charges, but also because the intent of the rule appears to me to be to apply hindering to unhindered Charges. As Counter Charges are never hindered, it makes sense to me that phalanx would not hinder them either.

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Quite sure they always apply. Something in the rules about “countercharge follow all rules for regular charges unless specified otherwise”. It might be in the FAQ, seems like a common enough question.


What Fred said

If it always applies, wouldn’t it just say that those units have -1 to hit? Why would it need to say that it’s in the subsequent melee after a hindered charge? Seems odd to me.

@redredsteve So that phalanx doesn’t stack with hindered to give a -2 to hit.

The rules mean what they say, there seems to be some assumptions that are adding rules that are not there around this.

“All rules that apply in a Charge also apply in a Counter Charge, unless otherwise specified.”
Phalanx does not specify otherwise.
Simple as that.
Phalanx being vaguely similar to other rules does not mean that parts of those rules apply to phalanx.

In fact; because counter charges are always to the front of an enemy unit and never hindered, counter charges are more likely to have phalanx apply


It may also be worth noting that if a non-cavalry flying unit loses its flying ability for whatever reason (e.g. taking damage in melee) phalanx will no longer work on it …

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I’m not sure on this one. It states:

While Disordered, this unit cannot use the Fly special rule.

Which means the unit still has it, but cannot use it.
The rule goes on the say that nimble is “also lost”, which confuses things. I’d argue that “also” means to treat nimble like flying, rather and both rules now being “lost”.


I’m thrilled to be wrong, this is amazing for my Herd, I use tons of phalanx! But I’m pretty sure I’ve had a TO rule the opposite of y’all here :sweat_smile:


I agree that the wording of the Fly ability makes it a bit confusing. Still, the logic tells me that if a unit cannot fly, Phalanx should not work on it. And as you say the part on Nimble seems to support the view that both abilities are lost.

Phalanx definitely works on the Counter Charge and nicely stacks with Ensnare!

Fly wording is slightly confusing “cannot use” in one place, reference to ‘lost’ in another. Note that Nimble is ‘lost’ if Disordered by Phalanx or Ensnare.

Personally would treat as has it, but can’t use it, so penalty for Individual and monster/titans in subsequent combat rounds.

This is based in part on an older FAQ for 2nd where things with Fly/Nimble dropped US compared to similar units without it - this implied you still have the rule - but obviously an old ruling



I don’t think that would trump the earlier wordlng though.

A unit with Fly always has “Fly” as far as Phalanx is concerned, I believe. Don’t overthink it.


This is all helpful. Thanks for clarifying, gents.

Found “All rules that apply in a Charge also apply in a Counter Charge, unless otherwise specified.” on pg. 27 of the Compendium. Guess I wasn’t taking that into consideration. Though I still think it could be written more clearly, like “[such units] suffer -1 on the front unless already hindered”. :man_shrugging:

As for Fly/Nimble lost vs. cannot use - that’s a tricky one.

would be easier if fly and nimble would be also keywords and/or the special rules adding that keyword to the unit