Removing Stealth but gaining it back due to Prowl

Did we ever get an answer to the whole “losing stealth but not losing prowl so gaining stealth”?

Example 1:
A Warpwolf Stalker with Prowl has concealment and is shot by a weapon with Flare. Thus the model gets -2DEF and loses Stealth. However, as soon as the model loses stealth, it gains it back by having Prowl and being in Concealment.

Example 2:
A Soul Stalker is targetted by Spyglass and thus loses Stealth for a round. However, when it was shot by an AoE also hitting a cultist, the cultis dies and Agathon now casts Occultation on the soul snake, does it gain Stealth again despite having lost it?

This was a big debate in MK3 and I have no wish to go back and open that can of worms.

However, I do believe we need the ruling back. Maybe all abilities that remove Stealth for a turn should have the wording “and cannot gain it this turn” added to it?


This can of worms is best addressed by an infernal. @elswickchuck can you give an updated ruling on this classic?

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I’ll ask here again in a moment

Using your example 1 I don’t see why that is any different than a model that has passive stealth. It loses stealth from the flare but then instantly gets it back because it has stealth on the card?

IMO I believe the intent is the model cannot benefit from stealth for one turn.

The reason there is confusion is because the base Stealth advantage and Prowl are written differently.

The Stealth advantage just tells you what it does, whereas Prowl says “While this model has concealment, it gains Stealth.”

So: the model loses Stealth, but Prowl tells you that as long as it has concealment, it gains Stealth again. And very few (no?) effects remove concealment. So:

Stealth - Stealth + Stealth = Stealth

Without Prowl, the equation is simply:
Stealth - Stealth = no Stealth

IMO the formula for with Prowl is

(Concealment + Prowl) = Model gains the Stealth attribute
Stealth - Stealth = No Stealth

The - Stealth usually has a duration on it (like one turn for Flare).

So even if we assume for some reason we have a “GOTO LINE 10 //Concealment” on the evaluation on the program to resolve whether a model has stealth after we have already done that once, we still end up back at

Stealth - Stealth = No Stealth

Because the Lose Stealth is still active.

That is my thinking on it anyway.

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The problem with that interpretation is that Prowl does not say “the first time it gains concealment” or anything of that nature. It says “while this model has concealment, it gains Stealth.”

(If you want to use a code example, that is:

while (concealment == true); do
Stealth++ ;

There are many extant effects that run counter to your interpretation of “lose it for one round means keep losing it” as well. There are effects and feats that specify “lose and cannot gain [ X ] for one round.” And, it stands to reason that if such an effect has to spell out “and you can’t gain it again”, then you not only must lose it only once, but if such a clause is not specified, you can gain the effect again.

Consider an effect that said “model loses Pathfinder” on a model that has Relentless Charge.

The model never has the Pathfinder advantage in the first place, and then loses it. The model then gains Pathfinder when it charges. You can’t go back and retroactively say “it lost it” later, not only because the rules make no such provision (because the attack/spell/whatever that caused the model to lose Pathfinder already resolved) but also because the game state would quickly become impossible if you had to go back and retroactively apply rules.

Does that make sense? :slightly_smiling_face:

I get where you’re coming from, but IMO the way you’re discussing it is more confusing.

It is possible your interpretation is correct. But I would say if something says a model Loses X for 1 turn, I would expect them to be unable to regain it for the duration too. That is, in my experience, how most games work for this kind of thing.

The need for clarity in rules writing is strong.

This’ll be my last comment on this topic, as we need to let the Infernal provide the answer that he’s already checking on. :slight_smile:

I make this comment fairly often, but Warmachine rules only do what they say they do. They are written amazingly well in my opinion, both when examined standalone and especially when compared to a lot of other game systems that leave a lot of other ambiguity in the rules.

So, when a rule says “Lose X for one turn”, it means literally that and nothing else. There’s no guessing about how long you lose it for (one turn) due to that effect, there’s no guessing how many times you lose it (once, because the effect only happens once), there’s no bookkeeping required to see how many times you’ve lost it and regained it to see what the current total is (because the rules don’t say to do that). And, obviously, the unstated implication is that you automatically get X back after the turn is over.

Maybe putting this in a real-world context will help?

A judge says “You lose your driver’s license for one week.” (The obvious and unnecessary-to-state implication is “You get it back after one week.”)

Two days later, the judge says “You’ve behaved well. You can have your license back.”

Do you get your license back? Yes, obviously.

However, imagine the judge said “You lose your license for one week, and there’s absolutely no way you can get it back before then, no take-backs, pinky-swear, regardless of what I or anyone else says later.”

Two days pass, and the judge changes his mind and says “Okay, you can have it back.”

Do you get it back? No, because the first rule made it very clear that the only way to get it back was for one week to pass.

But, enough dead-horse-beating. :slight_smile:

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In your real world context, my perspective on this ruling is the Judge says you lose your license for a month.

Then two days later you take a driver’s ed course and say “Ok so I should have my license back now because I passed this other test that grants a driver’s license.”

But yeah, the rules need clarification here.

My reading of it is,
Example 1, stealth was granted due to prowl, then it was lost due to flare. No stealth.
Gaining stealth a second time wouldn’t happen because the model would gain the same benefit from the same rule twice which is stated as something that cannot happen.

Example 2, stealth was gained, then stealth was lost for one round. It cannot be gained again until that round is over. So no stealth.

That’s just my $0.02.

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This’ll really, for real, no-take-backs pinky swear be my last word in this thread until we get an Infernal ruling. :slight_smile:

I’m not trying to give anyone grief here. My goal is to simply convince you that you take the rules at face value and that you don’t have to guess about what they do. :slight_smile: The rules do what they say they do, and that is all.

That is correct, so far.

That’s not a valid reason, because there is no rule that says that. :slight_smile:

Here’s the rule I suspect you are thinking of:

We don’t need to guess what this means, because an example immediately follows:

So, Dark Shroud + Dark Shroud + Dark Shroud does not stack, because multiple different instances of this are not cumulative, unless the rule says so. (Ice Cage, for example, specifically says it is cumulative, so it is cumulative.)

In our example, we’re talking about exactly one instance of a rule in effect: Prowl.

Rule Priority tells us that Prowl (for example, a rule already on the model’s card) is not cumulative with Prowl (for example, granted by a spell). The model doesn’t have double Prowl, it just has Prowl, in the same way that a model affected by Dark Shroud only suffers -2 ARM from Dark Shroud regardless of how many instances of Dark Shroud are nearby.

The problem with that reasoning is that Flare does not say that. Flare does not say “and cannot gain Stealth for one round.” Flare says, very specifically:

The exact sequence here is:

A model has Stealth.
A model is hit by an attack with Flare.
Because of Flare, the model hit loses Stealth.
The effect is resolved. You had Stealth, you lost it for one turn, you get it back in one turn.

If Prowl were not in play, and if Prowl was not phrased the way it is, we are fine. But Prowl says:

The trigger for Prowl is “while this model has concealment”, and the effect is “it gains Stealth.”

It does not put any limitations on how many times Stealth can be gained, or how many times Prowl triggers, or under what conditions Stealth is gained, beyond having concealment. It does not say “The first time it gains concealment”, it does not say “Once per round”, it does not say anything else. It says “While this model has concealment, it gains Stealth.”

So the only way this can work – until an Infernal or developer tells us otherwise – is as follows:

A model with Prowl has concealment.
Because the model with Prowl has concealment, it gains Stealth.
A model with Prowl is hit by an attack with Flare.
Because of Flare, the model with Prowl hit loses Stealth.
Prowl says “While this model has concealment, it gains Stealth.”
The model with Prowl still has concealment.
The model with Prowl gains Stealth, because that’s literally what Prowl says.
Perhaps there’s a conceptual issue regarding Stealth? If so, let me ever so slightly modify the example.

For the sake of argument, imagine Prowl says this instead:

Example Prowl: While this model has Concealment, it gains +2 DEF.

In this example, let the model with Example Prowl have a printed DEF of 14.


  • The model with Example Prowl has concealment.

  • The model with Example Prowl gains +2 DEF because of the above. It is currently DEF 16, because 14+2=16.

  • The model with Example Prowl is hit by Flare. It suffers -2 DEF, as applied during Step 7 of the attack timing chart:
    “7. Resolve all other effects triggered by hitting or missing”

You hit the model with Example Prowl once. Flare applies -2 DEF for one turn here. Once. Because that is what Flare says. It does not say “Keep applying -2 DEF as often as you want”, it says “suffers -2 DEF”, and that is resolved in this step.

  • As of Step 7 in the Attack Timing chart, the model with Example Prowl is currently DEF 14, because 14 + 2 - 2 =14.

  • Nothing else relevant can trigger while resolving the attack, because there are no other relevant effects in our example, and the timing chart tells you the exact sequence of steps to follow. You cannot resolve anything else right now because the rules don’t say you can.

  • You finish going through the attack timing chart, exiting that chart after Step 14.

Now that the attack is resolved and we’ve exited the chart, we go back and revisit what Triggers tells us:

There is a specific timing for Example Prowl, and that is “While this model has concealment.”

So you must, in fact, go back and resolve Example Prowl, because it has a met its trigger condition of “While this model has concealment”, and it has a non-optional effect: “it gains +2 DEF.”

The model with Example Prowl regains +2 DEF, and it has DEF 16. It doesn’t have a choice.

You cannot apply Flare’s -2 DEF again, because that rule triggers on a hit, and that rule already resolved in Step 7 of the Attack Timing chart.

And that’s all I can say about this. :stuck_out_tongue:

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The discussion on how to handle this has already started so lets hold off until it is decided please


So we will be using the ruling from MKIII until we have time to go through the different abilities.

For now stealth will not be reapplied in the above example


To be safe, should we apply this ruling to similar ability interactions?

Example, Bladed Gale vs Arcane Propulsion.

Bladed Gale just says a model “loses Flight for one round” and something like Arcane Propulsion would allow a model to gain flight.

For now we are looking into the issue brought up by this thread for now. Mainly due to the volume of rules we need to address this first prior to moving on the the other issues, similar to this. Also it is due to the fact we have a previous edition ruling that we are applying to this scenario