[Archive] Character leaving unit whilst Ash Storm in effect - rule clarification

Wolf :

Hi all,

Just a quick rule clarification, I was in a game against High Elves and my opponent apart from raining down a Frost Phoenix towards my Sorcerer-Prophet on a Bale, pointed out that when a Character leaves a unit whilst Ash Storm is in effect, the Character is the only one who has to take a dangerous terrain test.

I understood the rule for when a Character leaves a unit, the entire unit reforms which would result a dangerous terrain test for the entire unit. The reason he left the unit was to enable his mage to cast magic as once he leaves the unit Ash Storm is no longer in effect on the Character.

My question is technically; when a Character chooses to leave a unit, does the entire unit reform which would result in Dangerous Terrain tests for the unit?



This is new to me. Does reforming count as passing dangerous terrain?

I see nothing in Lore of Hashut or the FAQ about dangerous terrain test for reforming.


Reforming counts as moving, but in the rules when character leaves a unit it doesn’t say anything about that the unit reforms. It can even move normally after the character leaves, if the unit would have reformed it wouldnt be able to march, as reforming prevents this, heck! without musician and swift reform it couldn’t move at all.



For me the unit doesn’t reform when the character leaves it.

The only similar rule I found is in the FAQ :

Q: If a character tries to leave a unit that is affected by the Net

of Amyntok (or another similar spell or ability such as a

Fulminating Flame Cage) including if he tries to charge out of it,

is he required to take a Strength test? Also, if the test is failed,

will any resulting damage hit only the character? (Reference)

A: Yes to both question. Though it is worth noting that a

test is not required if he leaves without moving, through the

Smoke and Mirrors lore attribute for example.

The character will have to test, but not the unit.

Wolf :

Thanks for the swift responses, the reason i thought this was the case is due to the Quake rule for the Dradquake mortar which states:

"…must pass a test exactly as if they were moving through dangerous terrain if they wish to move (including charging, reforming, character leaving the unti, etc) or use move or fire…"

I suppose if Ash Storm stated “Quake” in lieu of “Dangerous Terrain”, it would be more clear and consistant with the book.

As a side note; under the Character Leaving a unit example within the Warhammer Rule book.  The place where the character was located is filled by a unit member.  This would indicate to me the unit reforms due to the character leaving the unit, it may not strictly reduce the unit effective movement but is still a movement of sorts.


If a character leaves a front rank you would just fill the gap because you aren’t allowed gaps at the front. I wouldn’t technically call that a reform.


If a character leaves a front rank you would just fill the gap because you aren't allowed gaps at the front. I wouldn't technically call that a reform.

Lets see. The unit is under the effects of Ashstorm, and there is a character in the front rank.

Then you blast away with Spirit leech managing to kill the character, in this case also a rank and file would fill in the gap for the character, would you force a dangerous terrain test on your opponents unit in this case also?

Wolf :

@:Jorma - I watched a Youtube video by SkavenInAZ, were he Skitter leaped his grey seerer out of a unit of clan rats, who were under the effects “fumigating flame cage”.

The next slide showed a severe number of clan rats been killed from the Str 4 flaming hits.

The reasoning for my comment was due to the quake rule, which contemplates the very event you mentioned.

Grimbold Blackhammer:

I think there’s an important point being overlooked. A model only takes a Dangerous Terrain test when it tries to march, charge, or flee (and two of those are prevented by the spell itself). As a reform is not any of those, no test needs to be taken.

Wolf :

I think there's an important point being overlooked.  A model only takes a Dangerous Terrain test when it tries to march, charge, or flee (and two of those are prevented by the spell itself).  As a reform is not any of those, no test needs to be taken.

Grimbold Blackhammer
@ Grimbold:  the spell states "the target unit may only use it's basic move and may not charge, march or fly.  The unit treats all terrain as dangerous terrain"

In your comment above, is your understanding that the only time a unit will take a dangerous tarrain test, whilst under the effects of ash storm is when the unit is fleeing?

Grimbold Blackhammer:


This message was automatically appended because it was too short.


Is a character leaving a unit still “normal movement”?

Wolf :

I played against a veteran WHFB whom was running a Beastmen list, which by the way wiped the floor with me, anyway to the event;

I casted Ash Storm onto one of his Hordes and he decided to move out his Magic Caster out, he then picked up his dice and rolled dangerous terrain for every model within the Horde and lost eight.

I raised, that I understood this was not the case, as only the Character is classed as moving. He stated �?oit works the same as fumigating flame cage any movement suffers a dangerous terrain test on the unit�?�, however he then moved his unit the standard movement, as you don�?Tt roll twice.

After the game we discussed his judgement call on this and he responded stating:

�?oyou do not suffer from a movement penalty for the Character leaving the unit however, it is still movement to allow this to occur. As such a dangerous terrain test would be taken; this is the same principal as fumigating flame cage�?�.

In summary I�?Tm still none the wiser on how to correctly implement the dangerous terrain rule.


I casted Ash Storm onto one of his Hordes and he decided to move out his Magic Caster out, he then picked up his dice and rolled dangerous terrain for every model within the Horde and lost eight.

When the spells rules state "any terrain as dangerous terrain", we actually count the plain flat parts of the gameboard as terrain? That is awesome! Ash Storm just got even more evil!

Grimbold Blackhammer:

Fulminating Flame Cage has a different requirement in that any movement whatsoever triggers the spell. It is a similar situation though still somewhat different.

At risk of repeating myself, units are only required to take Dangerous Terrain tests when they March, Charge, or Flee. Chariots can wander into a forest for example and be just fine. It isn’t until they March, Charge, or Flee through it that they start exploding.


Flame cage works on the idea that ANY movement triggers it. This is far more abusive than ash storm. As there are many things that will cause a unit to count as moving.

Ash Storm on the other hand is a bit less abusive with its dangerous terrain rule. First off it does say all terrain, and recall that in the book under terrain it does state that open terrain is a type of terrain. NOTE be very tactful when you go over that part as many people believe that open field is not a terrain type. That only things like buildings forest rivers and what not are terrain, this is not correct but its a older hold over from 7th. So be careful about that part when you go over it. Having said that, lets go over how ashstorm does work with terrain rules.

The target unit treats all terrain as dangerous.

The target unit may make no moves other than a normal move.

Dangerous terrain is only taken if you do anything other than make a normal move.

With these things now confirmed, it is impossible for the target unit to take dangerous terrain. In fact as far as I can tell from the spell there is only one way to make a target unit to take a check. That is a failed panic check in which case a fall back move is made. That is a move that is not allowed and not a move that would not cause a dangerous check. So if a unit fails a panic and falls back then they take dangerous terrain checks. Out side of that there is no other way to cause it. This is the best I can figure on how to understand the entire dangerous terrain aspect of the spell ash storm.

Wolf :

I’ve been reading through the rule book and speaking to some fellow gamers, to fully understand the interpriatation of the dang out terrain rule in relation to Ash Storm.

@Grimbold Blackhammer: I played a game where I utilized the interpriatation of the dangerous terrain, rule against a fellow LoA player.

Anyway, as in most games I get Ash Storm through, at this point I raised the rule only for marching, charging and fleeing. My opponent with a big smile said “if you want to play it that way be my guest”.

He later cast Ash Storm, and said the following “I honor you’re way of playing but please bare in mind the rule book is not just marching, charging and fleeing where you takes dangerous terrain test”. I pointed out the rule in the big book and he pointed me to the venom thicket “where you take a dangerous terrain test for moving through the Forrest”.

He later said the dangerous terrain rule in the rule book, is for Forrest’s and as the venom thicket, there are other rules were you take a dangerous terrain test without marching,charging and fleeing etc.



The difference is those things say “take a dangerous terrain test” whereas Ash Storm says “treats all terrain as dangerous”; dangerous terrain says you’re safe if you move normally but if you march, charge, etc through it you take a dangerous terrain test, ergo the two things are different and any precedent set by things with the first ruling is irrelevant for Ash Storm.

Wolf :

@Dinadan: thanks, I can safely say this topic has been fully answered.

Cheers All.