Stealth and Sprays questions

Question: What takes precedence in terms of stealth or a spray that ignores stealth?

Additional Info: If you had a player with Protectorate of Menoth Daughters of the flame unit that have stealth. You have a second player with Trollbloods and they have a Winters Chill warbeast with a SP8 attack.

Scenario : If the Winters Chill warbeast is 7in away from the Menoth’s Daughters of the flame and the trolls player try’s to spray the unit of daughters. Would the attack miss based on Stealth rules, because it’s a ranged attack outside of 5 in from the Daughters?

1 Like

Here’s the critical portion of Spray attacks that is applicable in this situation:


Sprays ignore Stealth. Flat-out, full stop, ignore it. :slight_smile: For the purposes of resolving that attack, Stealth does not exist. So, on the timing chart:


Normally Stealth would resolve here in step 4. But Stealth is ignored by a spray, so (assuming Stealth is the only relevant rule in this example) you proceed to step 5 and resolve the attack like normal.

In your example, that Winter Troll is likely to spray a unit of Daughters to death, because Stealth won’t protect them from sprays. :slight_smile:

1 Like

The reason why spray “wins” over stealth is in the rules for Rule Priority:

“If one rule specifically states its interaction with another rule, follow it.”

As the rule for Sprays specifically states its interaction with Stealth, you follow the rules written in Sprays.



From reading over the rules and looking into this more I believe that there are inconsistencies in the way we interpret the rules.

Stealth I believe is actually activated under the second step in the “Attack Main Sequence” posted below.

Because Stealth states:

Stealth - Ranged and arcane attacks targeting this model from a point of origin (LINK) greater than 5" away automatically miss. This model is not an intervening model (see “Line of Sight & Targeting” LINK) when determining line of sight from a model more than 5" away.

Which in my scenario would mean that the attack would miss. The ranged (spray) would miss, because he is out side of 5 in. Stealth was triggered before the attack could take place.

Note: If Winters Chill was within 5 in. of the targeted Daughter of the flame, I would agree with you that the remaining models outside of the 5in. would have their stealth ignored because they are not the target of the attack.

I sort of understand where you’re coming from, but that interpretation doesn’t hold up due to the following.

Stealth is an effect that causes an attack to hit or miss automatically; therefore, Step 4 is the appropriate place for it to resolve. You can’t resolve “automatically miss” in Step 2, because a step explicitly exists for “automatically miss.”

Additionally, resolving Stealth in Step 2 means you somehow have to check the range to the target before Step 3, which is the explicit point in time in which you are instructed to check the range. You have to know the result before taking the measurement, which doesn’t make sense. :slight_smile:

Compare and contrast against the spell Windstorm:

Wind Storm specifically triggers on “targeted”, and the triggered effect is “the attack suffers -3 RNG.” This can’t resolve anywhere else in the timing chart, because resolving it after Step 3 would make no sense (the -3 RNG would be irrelevant), and resolving it before step 2 would make no sense (how do you trigger an effect before the attack has been declared?).

Lastly, we have the specific line that I called out in Spray Attacks:

How does one reconcile that specific line with your interpretation?

Hopefully this explanation helps. :slight_smile:

1 Like


Stealth can totally be triggered by step 2. There are multiple factors working in the stealth rule.

  1. Ranged and arcane attacks targeting this model.
  2. And the point of origin is greater than 5in. This model is not an intervening model when determining line of sight from a model more than 5" away.

Step 2 would trigger when the opponent declares the Ranged (spray) attack on the model.

Now the second part of this gets tricky because if the attacking model (Winter Chill, Point of Origin) is at a greater distance than 5in then the attack would automatically miss, but if the model is at or within 5in of the targeted model (Daughter of the flame) then it would move to Step 3 of the “Attack main sequence”.

I disagree with your statement below you’re pointing to “automatically miss”.

“Automatically miss” in the stealth statement is only triggered if the attacking model (Winter Chill) is positioned greater than the 5in range. If he is in the 5in range then you would move to step 3 of the “Attack main sequence”.

If stealth was triggered in step 4 how would you move back up to Step 3 to complete the attack steps? You wouldn’t be able to resolve the attack before checking if they were in range.

[ Stealth is an effect that causes an attack to hit or miss automatically; therefore, Step 4 is the appropriate place for it to resolve. You can’t resolve “automatically miss” in Step 2, because a step explicitly exists for “automatically miss.” ]

Based on the line of sight rules below:

“ Many game situations such as charging or making attacks require a model to target another model. A model must have line of sight (LOS) to another model to target it. Simply put, having line of sight means a model can see another model. When a model “selects” or “chooses” another model, it need not have line of sight. A model’s controller can check its line of sight at any time. “

Because you can check line of sight anytime the attacker more than likely checked their line of sight when they declare their attack so they would know if they are out of range of the Stealth 5in.

I agree with your windstorm example, that makes complete sense and I wouldn’t argue with that.

For your last statement about Spray attacks ignore concealment, cover, Stealth, and intervening models.

According to Line of Sight rules. “A model must have line of sight (LOS) to another model to target it. If the attacking model (Winter Chill) is at a greater range than the 5in then it can’t target the model. That happens before they can attack. Also if your in line of sight then the targeted model and any other model that would have stealth would have ignored stealth which would allow them to be attacked.

Spray attacks state that they ignore intervening models, so those models don’t block LOS, whether they have Stealth or not and regardless of their distance to the attacking model.

Stealth does not prevent targeting from further than 5" away. Stealth does not prevent you from drawing LOS to the model from further than 5" away. I’m not sure what you’re trying to argue here.

Furthermore, as I wrote in my earlier post, the Rule Priority tells you exactly how to resolve situations like this. You follow the rule that specifically states its interaction with the other rule - in this case, Sprays saying that they ignore Stealth.

1 Like

Thanks to Kapoteeni for answering some of that. :slight_smile:

It sounds like there’s some confusion about how Stealth interacts with LOS. I am guessing you are new-ish to Warmachine? If so, don’t worry; this one actually comes up a lot. :slight_smile:

I think people reason “Oh, Stealth is like camouflage, so it makes you hard to see. Being hard to see is an LOS thing, so it must have something to do with LOS.” Which makes sense in the real world, but the game operates by different rules, heh.

I also get the sense that you’re kind of treating all the rules as a big “resolves at the same time” blob. Something like “Stealth says ‘target’ so it resolves in ‘target.’”?

Warmachine works differently than that. The “timing chart” (Appendix 1: Timing) lays out a very specific, logical sequence of steps to go through, and you don’t get to “skip ahead” and resolve something early unless that chart says so. :slight_smile: You’ve got to take these steps one at a time, in an ordered, logical manner. We have to put the brakes on the intuitive understanding, slow down, and go step-by-step.

As Kapoteeni mentioned, Stealth’s only interaction with LOS is to make models with Stealth cease to be intervening models for models more than 5" away. (One of my favorite game-winning stories relates to this, in fact. Some other time. :slight_smile: )

Anyway, I’ll run through the specific steps and how this resolves in Appendix 1: Timing. Please bear with me; I am not talking down to anyone, but I have to get to some really elemental interactions to explain this.

The specific setup that you’re discussing, as I understand it, is:

Zacchaeus, Winter’s Chill is making a spray attack against a row of Daughters of the Flame, who have Stealth. Zacchaeus is greater than 5" away from all of the Daughters, but still in the spray’s range.

So, let’s walk through the timing chart:

Zacchaeus declares “I’m making a spray attack” and then specifies which Daughter he is targeting. Presumably, the Daughter that causes the line to touch the most models gets picked. :slight_smile:

Stealth’s “automatically miss” does not resolve now, because Stealth does not have any interaction with targeting in the way you’re thinking.

Nothing about this step says “resolve automatic misses.” Later steps in Appendix 1: Timing address missing due to various reasons, whether automatic or due to a missed attack roll.

Where Stealth might interact during this step is if there were, say, a medium-based model with Stealth in front of the Daughter. Normally, medium-based models would be intervening models, and intervening models would normally block LOS to small-based models, preventing Zacchaeus from targeting the Daughter.

But, Zacchaeus can target the Daughter with the spray in this sub-example for two reasons:

  1. Models with Stealth are not intervening models if the point of origin is greater than 5" away. So, if a model is not an intervening model, it cannot block LOS.

  2. This is a spray attack, and sprays ignore intervening models anyway.

(As a consequence – and something I don’t think a lot of players have understood yet this edition – sprays are downright “You can’t hide behind other models” attacks. They ignore intervening models, period, full stop.)

But, I digress. We’ll get back to the attack sequence. :slight_smile:

Nothing happens in this step. There are no effects present, such as Windstorm, that resolve when models are targeted.

Stealth cannot resolve here, because we have not measured the range to the target. The rules don’t yet “know” that the attack is being made from greater than 5" away.

Additionally, Step 2 does not say to resolve anything at all about missing. We can’t skip ahead to missing because the rules don’t say to skip ahead. :slight_smile:

Here, we check the range to the target. (Actually, a lot of considerations happen here.)

Measure the distance from Zacchaeus to the targeted Daughter.

If the Daughter were beyond the RNG of the attack, we’d follow the second sentence of Step 3 and skip ahead to Step 6. However, the Daughter is in RNG, so we stay here in step 3.

In this example, the only applicable part of Step 3 is “Check the range to the target.”

We check the RNG to the target and discover the targeted Daughter is 6" away.

Stealth states an interaction with RNG, so now, Stealth finally interacts!

Stealth tells us that an attack made from greater than 5" away automatically misses.

Note that Step 3 itself has nothing at all to do with attacks hitting or missing. All other things being equal, and if this were not a discussion involving a Spray Attack, we’d now have an “automatic miss” effect in the queue. Regardless, though, Step 3 still isn’t the place to resolve any misses, automatic or otherwise, because the applicable part of Step 3 doesn’t say to do those things here.

And, most importantly of all, we have a major consideration at hand:

Spray Attacks ignore Stealth.

That’s really the end of the matter, honestly. :slight_smile: The Spray Attack rule states a very specific interaction with the Stealth rule, and tells us which one takes precedence.

For the purposes of this whole Appendix 1: Timing, Stealth does not exist. But I’ll continue on and explain how this would work for any non-Spray attack.

If this were not a spray attack, this is where we’d resolve the “automatic miss” that bubbled up in Step 3. We can’t resolve automatic hits or misses anywhere else in Appendix 1: Timing, in fact, because, by definition, this is the step were those effects resolve.

If this were not a spray attack, the “automatic miss” would resolve here, the attack would miss, and we would not proceed any further through the timing chart, because the attack has missed.

But, as I explained under Step 3, Spray Attacks just ignore Stealth entirely. Thus, we ignore the “automatic miss” due to Stealth, and we start making attack rolls.

The timing chart does not let it work any other way. :slight_smile:

I realize this has been a very lengthy post. Please read through it carefully, and multiple times if necessary. The contents are correct, and we can call for an Infernal (an official rules judge in Warmachine) if you need to take someone else’s word on it. :slight_smile:

If you still have questions after reading through this, I’ll be happy to answer them. :slight_smile: