Changes to Break Away rule and Sneaks

Hi everyone!

The new version of the Vanguard rules has the update:

“Break Away action updated to free Melee attack with no retaliations. Models Breaking away can no longer engage another enemy model when doing so”

So it is clear that when breaking away the opponent gets a free melee attack and so one no longer just makes an armour save. This change has led to a few probelms linked to special abilities though. For example, the Goblin sneak has the ability:

“This model can always Break Away without having to make any Armour Rolls.”

Can the sneak still simply break away? Probably but it isn’t as clear as it was.

Trolls have the “vicious swipe” ability that says:
“When attempting to Break Away from a Troll, enemy models have a -1 modifier when they make their Armour Save roll.”

but they also have crushing strength (2), so does this become an armour save for melee attacks that hit with a modifier of 3? Or does only one or other of the modifiers count? Again, not entirely clear though it seems like a modifier of 3 is probably right. The change also makes breaking away a fairly pointless endeavor unles you have very good armour and/or lots of wounds. It feels like a poor change to me. Anyone else got any thoughts?

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You’re right. I think you should send an e-mail to Mantic. Maybe they’ll update the warband pdf.

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Yes, I think that’s a good idea. What do you think about the change in any case? I didn’t play before the new rules came out so it’s hard to judge, but as a goblin player predominantly, the change to a free melee attack makes breaking away pretty pointless with my low wound and low armour warband.

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I have contacted Mantic, I’ll let people know the response as and when I get it.

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Sorry for yet another reply in a row - I was advised to raise it on the facebook fanatics group for Vanguard. Unfortunately I don’t use Facebook for a whole slew of reasons. Would anyone here be able to take it forward for me please? Customer support said they would email it to the rules committee but wouldn’t be able to update me on a response…

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Good catches. I shared with the RC.


Great, thanks. Let me know if and when there is a response please :slight_smile:


Vanguard RC member here. I can confirm the general principle that things that applied to the break away armour roll now apply to the break away melee attack. So the goblin sneak can break away without triggering melee attacks. And the troll vicious swipe is an additional -1 on top of the crushing strength 2, for -3 total to the armour roll when hit by the trolls melee attacks during a break away.

Note that the intent of the rule change was to more appropriately scale the danger of breaking away from various enemies. Breaking away from a weak grunt is now easier than before (they have to roll to hit and then roll armour, so less likely than before to get wounded), but bigger scary things are now more dangerous to break away from.

We did playtest it, and we accept that not everyone is going to like everything we do. But what we’ll always do is listen to feedback. We might not think on the balance of things that your suggestions are good for the game overall. But we also might if the suggestions are something we’re hearing a lot from multiple places. So please keep raising things as you see them :slight_smile:


Thanks for this, I guess what you say here makes sense, looks like my goblins will have to just be a bit braver :joy:

Yet another wee thing to check now though that has happened once in a game I played: what happens if a goblin elects to flee but they are within running distance of the board edge? Do they run off the battle field or is the flee action more controlled, with them stopping at the edge or perhaps arcing to avoid the edge?

So Flee says “as far as possible”. The movement section says “Unless specified otherwise, models cannot
leave the playing surface (treat the edges of
the table as Impassable terrain).”

So you go straight back until you hit the board edge, then you stop there.


Champion, that’s great! Thanks for all the help with my many questions! My son and I are really enjoying the game and the many different variations in special rules etc are what helps make it so interesting to play.

My daughter is now starting a forces of nature warband too, so there may be a slew of questions about them soon…