Monday, 10 September 2012

RAW vs RAI discussion: White Cloak of Ulric

Hey all,

Here's a question I posted on the warhammer forum regarding the White Cloak of Ulric. Since my Empire are 95% ready to rock it at events, I wanted the local scene's opinion before I start planning my evil tactics.

Forum post here (sorry Ben you can't see this :P):

Here is my argument for my position:

Now the rule for the -1 to hit states "Enemies in base contact with the wearer".

Now on a casual glance my mind read it as "enemy models in base contact with the wearer" which it clearly does not say, and is distinctly different.

So I look for precedent from 8th ed. army books, and (more importantly) within the Empire army book.

In the warrior priest prayers section under soulfire the damage part of the spell is described as affecting "all enemy models in base contact"

So I now have an argument that the white cloak affects "enemies" in a way that is different to "enemy models" (in base contact).

This leaves 2 options:

1) GW oversight to be corrected by FAQ in 2018; or
2) white cloak affects enemy units (ie "enemies") in base contact with the wearer.

I then turn to other books for guidance. There is guidance from the Vampire Count book, which was the one released before the Empire book. This is important if I am to dispute option 1) (which is also a poor argument- eg "I think the entire Dark Elf book was a GW oversight to be corrected by FAQ")

The description for the Nightshroud says it affects "enemy models in base contact" with -1 to hit. This looks like a deliberate attempt by GW to distinguish the white cloak from the nightshroud BECAUSE it is also supported by the wording of soulfire which has the same wording as the nightshroud.

So with this I (think) I can comfortably state that the White cloak affects all enemies in base contact, which I now read as "enemy units".


This has massive implications for our character set ups-and also for magic lore choice. Whitecloak on Archlector now means that the entire unit is protected from whatever enemy is in base contact with the Archlector. Any supporting charge will benefit from the unit in b2b with Alector being -1 to hit.

This can be combined with postive buffs to make us very untouchable/very killy (for infantry based armies with hurricanum in tow), or allow knight based armies to take a more offensive lore (like metal for nuking other knight buses and that ever so handy transmutation of lead).

This also feels very much in line with one of the book themes: modification of "to hit" rolls as defence/offence.

Do you guys have a similar view, or have I completely misread the text?


  1. What's the points cost? If it's less than 30 points, I'd suggest it's too good/broken for enemy units to be affected rather than models. That's not a good guide I know (lots of over and under priced items after all), but I'd use that as a guide at least.

    1. 25 skaven slaves, 1 High Elf eagle, the entire magic item allotment of a hero level non-dwarf character

  2. Dude seriously, i would bet my virginity that it is meant to be models not units.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. sorry-awkward typo.

      Im not trying to be a dick and find cookies-I'm only trying to make sense of the wording as presented-when read alongside soulfire and the nightshroud.

      for me it comes down to word logic.

      A specific term cannot be wider than a general term and where there is a clarification there must be a difference in meaning (there’s some common law latin phrase you could use here which everyone forgets after laws101 first mid-term test).

      The specification in question is “enemy models” as opposed to the generalist term “enemies”.

      Now we are bound by the rules of warhammer, so what could a more generalist term refer to?

      The opposing army?
      Enemies within a certain radius?
      Enemy units?

      Now the test to be applied with the white cloak has a further criteria that has to be satisfied “in base contact”. So with this we look to the more generalist terms for “enemy”

      The opposing army? –is too general
      Enemies within a certain radius? Is a different warhammer test that this item does not trigger, therefore cannot apply
      Enemy units? Meets the criteria for being more general than “enemy models”, and when applied to a situation (unit of orcs charging unit of halberds with Alector in centre of unit-assume perfect alignment etc) we can see that the enemy unit is in base contact with the Alector (meets test), as well as enemy models (so encompasses the more specific).

      So we now apply the full test and we can see that we have “enemies” (orc unit) in base contact with the wearer (alector) and therefore they all suffer -1 to hit. If the Alector then casts soulfire we apply the same test, however we specify that we are only talking about the models in base contact.

      Until FAQ/Errata I'm not sure there can be any other logical way to rule it other than "this is what we THINK it SHOULD be"...which opens up a whole can of worms.

    2. Can you type the exact wording of the item. All of it ....
      Not just the specific bit

    3. I dont have the book on me but the quotes above are the exact text. The next part after them is what happens (suffer -1 to all to hit rolls) + the other things (5+ ward, 2+ ward vs flame). The quote for soulfire is the exact wording too, followed by what happens (suffer hit at s4, or 5 if demon, undead etc).

      + not really comfortable tying out full wording re: dont want to get told off by GW legal police.

  4. hows that law degree treating you bro :p

    1. hehe rather nice. My prefered wording for the item would be basically the glittering scales (which I think was GW's intention to copy, or a models in B2B that also affects supporting attacks.

      Until FAQ or Errata I might avoid the item...4++ and dragonhelm still a better option.