A Plea to Change Charge Pivots

As you may be aware, there’s some confusion floating around about how exactly to resolve charge paths. Now, I’ll preface by saying this is some nerd shit, and if you and your opponent are happy to just go with what makes sense in the moment then all power to you. My group and I thrive on clear, precise rules, so we all understand actions and consequences at a glance.

My plea is to eliminate the requirement that a charge take the shortest path, and instead take the one that requires the smallest pivot.

I realize that it can make for some goofy looking charges where your unit runs all the way to the opposite corner of the unit and stumbles across every pond and forest on the way, but it is VERY easy to see what the correct path is. The exact shortest path is sometimes quite difficult to nail down, and a few degrees of uncertainty can easily be the difference between a hindered or clear charge. Take this example:

The highlighted unit wants to charge the Gigas in the flank. They must pivot in order to do so, but how far do they pivot? Well, in this case, the shortest possible path after a pivot is something like this

but even in UB I can’t really tell whether the charge should be hindered or not! Now, obviously I’ve constructed this example to be as ambiguous as possible, but it’s not like this is an insane theoretical. When you pivot about your center, you change the position of the corner you’re measuring from, so when it gets down to the margins, it’s really difficult to get an exact path.

There’s no question that this next one being a hindered charge is a little goofy, and in this case the shortest path would make way more sense within the fiction of the battle, but I am begging you to agree with me that that narrative benefit isn’t worth the headache of figuring out the shortest path on the table.


In your first image, I think you pivoted too far? If you really want to play it “minimum pivot” I believe it would be so it barely hits the correct facing on the target (even just the corner). Have you mixed in some “closest distance” measuring as well, because that would make it very confusing for me again. :smile:

I dont mind if it becomes like that. It would be more clear cut than now.
Although my preferred method would be to pivot to line a units leader point up the closest point on the enemy unit before moving, that would require a complete errata of the charge rules, while the minimum pivot would just need an update in the FAQ.


I have COVID, and nothing better to do than paint and participate in rules discussions :sweat_smile:

This earns you are a proponent of “Rachidou’s law”?


On the first example in the OP, in our group we would simply roll a d6 to decide if the charge was hindered or not.

I agree that the shortest path is sometimes ambiguous and difficult to decide but still would prefer it to the rule of smallest pivot that goes against a natural logic that the unit takes the shortest path to reach the enemy when charging.

I do not want to spend time on devising examples that would show the minimal pivot rule could be as ambiguous as the shortest path rule but I am sure such examples can be found. Just an obvious question that comes to my mind is how would one treat the charges with two pivots. When going around blocking terrain or units it seems to me much easier to determine the shortest path than measure angles of two pivots and sum them up.

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This rule is unfortunately vague, but I’m not sure how to improve it. More rules just seems to make more edge cases.
It is remarkable how we have figured if out in our games for years and suddenly there’s an issue that needs clarification FROM ONLY THE RC.

There was a clarification long ago (somewhere during 2nd edition). It was basically that if a charge might be hindered then the charge is hindered.
Puts it right back to the exact route and distance not really mattering.

From a practical standpoint, I don’t think that determining the shortest distance is good idea.

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The very first image is before moving at all, and the second image is approximately the pivot required to take the shortest path. It is the pivot required by the current rules, and a representation of the kind of thing I want to avoid. Minimum pivot would indeed barely touch the unit’s corner, which is a tiny bit goofy, but so is being hindered from a mm of rough terrain. It’s an abstract sort of game!

Rolling off to determine whether it’s hindered is a fine solution for some groups, but really doesn’t fly locally. We’re almost always looking for a very friendly competitive game, and hindered charges can make a huge difference.

@MechaSturgeon that seems quite sensible, measuring the closest point before any pivots seems like it should leave no ambiguity.

@DarkBlack the local TO has always ruled minimum pivot specifically because it plays the cleanest, I actually thought this was the official ruling until quite recently!


I’ve never thought of bringing “the nearest point” into it. That seems a neat solution - I can’t currently see how that would introduce new ambiguities into it. There are, however, beardier and more lawyery minds than mine out there!

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The “nearest point of the enemy unit” really looks like a nice idea. However, relatively often the nearest point cannot be reached by the charging unit. Would the rule become the nearest point that can be reached? I guess so. Actually, it looks that this could also be applied easily enough to charges with two pivots (for nimble chargers).

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The ‘Straight if you can; Pivot if can’t; Pivot can’t avoid terrain’ is a nice mechanic!

The wording from the FAQ: “Moves forward using the shortest, most direct route” still seems to me that moving ‘forward’ should be done where possible - so given option of pivoting is only done when physically have to get round things you can’t move through.

When in doubt, block iffy charge through terrain with a hero, just as you do to stop an unfavorable shuffle to centre!


I think this is what they are going to do at the US masters, so we will see how that goes.

It’s also supposedly been a thing on UB for a long time.

Quite honestly, from a realistic point of view the rules are not too bad. I am a 15th century reenactor and I absolutely know how it feels to advance within a regiment towards an opponent. Your sergeant never meets the sweet spot that the whole regiment fits in - you always have to shuffle and squeeze a bit once you encounter an obstacle.

If I were to to write a rule to represent a realistic charge situation, I would employ some kind of corridor, reaching from the the front corners of the charger to the corners of the opponent. The hindered factor would be calculated by the deviation I had to make in order to avoid obstacles and such. A massive hindrance would be if I had to deviate more than 50% from the corridor, a minor hindrance if I only had to deviate up to 50% from the corridor and a clear corridor would be the rare case of a unhindered charge.
The fact that the corridor becomes narrower once your regiment is at an angle towards the opponent is even a quite realistic factor. The more you have to pivot or move sideways the more complicated your charge manoeuvre will be, hence it would be more likely to turnout hindered.

I don’t think such a rule would make it easier to play, but it would reflect the realistic feeling of being in a regiment charging an enemy and trying to fit in. But quite honestly this would make up a whole new kind of game… If you use it for your next wargame rule book please include an honorary mentioning of me :wink:


Thanks for the explanation!
My understanding of moving in a formation is far more theoretical and involves far less practical experience.

I am very curious about what you think about withdraw and “corkscrew charges”?

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Hi, thanks for your merit.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by corkscrew charges. Please explain a bit more what you mean…

Withdrawal or repositioning is something that I hardly find in tabletop wargames. Kings of war has a quite interesting and not far from realistic take on this matter. Withdrawing is a very important manoeuvre fighting hand-to-hand combat because you easily get tired and repositioning yourself in order to get the enemy in a less advantagous position is key.
One standard manoeuvre in mediaeval warfare, especially in rank and flank warfare, is substituting a regiment. Once you become tired you drastically lose efficiency so what you have to do is move aside or open a couple of ranks/alleys and let the next regiment take over. In wargaming terms that would be something like making contact to the rear with your own regiment and with a nerve roll or similar command test exchange the two regiments. By that you create a fresh frontline while the the substituted regiment can take a breath.

Again this is is for barrack-room lawyers and historic gamers…

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Thanks for the response.

To clarify;
I mean “withdraw” the KoW rule.
Which is a free one inch move backwards before issuing a different move order.
Moving to leave combat is “disengaging” in KoW terms.

A corkscrew charge in KoW is our slang for when a unit beings engaged and the uses the withdraw rule (or potentially otherwise) to charge a unit other than the unit it began the turn engaged with.

… This again I have never seen on a reenactment battlefield…


… This is the 3rd Ed version of the 2nd Ed ‘fall back’ which is closer to reality. In terms of game play, however, a handy decision (you don’t need to move your unit all the time). Taken from my experience, reality is like this: ‘fight, fight, fight - no one accomplishes the decisive push - fall back but stay in range - wait what comes next’. So actually this rule reflects imho the really quite well.

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There are various historical wargames that have a variety of ‘proximity’ restrictions when charging - so you can’t charge closely passed a unit leaving your flank open for example; or, as with the potential in KoW, to stop fighting someone and bugger off and go and fight someone completely different!

I don’t have a major problems with it in KoW, and think the (optional) Withdraw rule is an ok compromise.

Any game without charge reactions or being done on alternative activation is always going to have issues.

Just hope as part of the (eventual) full errata/faq there are very clear clarification diagrams etc setting out which/how some units can (or cannot) do these moves.