Follow Up and Slam Timing

Long question short, does the Follow Up movement occur before the damage from the attack is applied? Or, can you Follow Up on a model that would be otherwise destroyed by the attack?

Follow Up - “When this model slams an enemy model, after the slam is resolved this model can advance…”

Crit Smite - “On a critical hit, a model hit can be slammed d6in directly away from this model…”

Attack Sequence Step 7 - “Resolve all other effects triggered by hitting or missing.”

Step 8 - “Make all damage rolls from the attack.”

I can interpret this as a model is hit, slammed x", Follow Up triggers as the slam resolves but not the attack, then damage is applied?

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I’ll take the case!

First things first, though. To the quotemobile!

(sorry for the temporarily bizarre mostly-empty post content, which got created after six bizarre accidental keyboard shortcuts…)

Critical Slam and Follow Up are triggered abilities, so we need to look at Triggers. Emphasis mine:

Skipping ahead ever so slightly, both the rules in question have specific conditions and timings attached. Here are the full quotes for the rules in question:

Straightforward stuff: on a critical hit, Critical Smite triggers. And, Follow Up triggers when a model is slammed, and resolves immediately after the slam is resolved.

Now, we need to consult the timing chart. I’ve snipped out some irrelevant bits.

Obviously, Critical Smite does not trigger during steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Step 7 - “Resolve all other effects triggered by hitting or missing.” - is the most logical place for Critical Smite to resolve.

So, per Triggers, we pause at Step 7 and slam the model. Let’s look at Slammed:

So, we’re at Step 7. Before moving to Step 8 (“Make all damage rolls”), we do what Slammed tells us to do, namely:

  1. Move the model the distance indicated.
  2. Knock down the slammed model (if applicable, obviously).
  3. Then move onto damage, which means exiting the (informally named) “slam sequence” and going back to Step 8.

However, Follow Up triggers “After the slam is resolved”. This sentence in slam rules – " The slammed model then suffers a damage roll determined by the spell or attack that caused the slam." – logically cannot include resolving the damage roll as part of the slam itself, because that would involve resolving a slam damage roll while Step 7 is paused, which would lead to some very bizarre situations. (Namely: what is the damage roll, after it’s divorced from the rest of the attack?) This sentence has to mean “Okay, now that you’ve moved the model, proceed to Step 8 in the timing chart.”

So, as far as I can see, the slam must be resolved after moving the model and knocking it down. Meaning, Follow Up triggers after you move the model and knock it down, meaning the attacking model advances before you move onto Step 8 and start applying damage.

Any damage roll modifiers – such as the slammed model contacting a model with an equal-sized or larger base, or an obstacle/obstruction during the slam movement – are factored in during “a. Resolve effects that change the number of dice rolled, such as boosting the roll.” in the Damage Roll step, and things go back to normal right here.

Hopefully this helps! :slight_smile:

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Michael makes a convincing argument. Rules as written, I cannot find fault in his reasoning.

However, I question the wording of Follow Up. Just about every other rule refers to “when the attack is resolved”, making me wonder whether that’s how Follow Up should read, too. That would of course make a big difference in the timing of the rule.

I’d love Follow Up to work as Michael says. The wording was the same in Mk3, but then we had an Infernal ruling saying that if the target model was destroyed by the slam, there was nothing to follow up towards. (Unfortunately the ruling is gone with the old forums, but the ruling, and the now-dead link to it, are referenced in Warmachine University.) This suggests that the slam isn’t resolved until the whole attack is resolved, but I would appreciate it if the wording was more unambiguous on the matter.

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I think this is a case that works like parentheses in a math problem. You have to resolve the entire Slam attack sequence before Follow Up triggers, so to me that says Slam attack → (Slam movement → damage on Slam target and collateral damage on impacted models) → resolve Follow Up. If the Slam target is dead, then there is no way to move directly towards it, so no movement would occur.


The old ruling will still apply here

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Can you provide the explanation and rationale?

With the old rules forum now nonexistent, we have no way to reference the actual, specific question and any supporting rules text that led to it. I’ll certainly check my last MK III PDF to see if the wording changed, but my first hunch is “wording changed between editions.”

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Can we get the old ruling repeated and clarified?

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The rationale is the “slam” and “Slammed” descriptions include the target taking a damage roll caused by the action. Therefore the damage roll is part and parcel with resolving the “slam”.

For the it was that you can not follow up to a model that has been destroyed as there is no longer a model on the board to follow up to.


Thank you for that. There were three ways to interpret “The slammed model then suffers a damage roll determined by the spell or attack that caused the slam.”, and this was the “Attack goes through Step 8+ before the slam is considered resolved” version. :slight_smile:

(I didn’t have an ironclad rules rationale to support that interpretation, which is why I left that possibility out of my answer.)