Its rules thursday and I am returning to an actual rules issue for the first time in a while to talk about the case of the modified unmodified Leadership.
Yes, I said what I meant. Modified and Unmodified. Games Workshops for one reason or another have decided to be as clear as ditch water on the issue of what unmodified means. This has been further muddied by the recent FAQ change to alter a previous FAQ on this issue.
What do the Rules say?
So let me start by reading from the rule book FAQ and showing where the confusion come from.
In version 1.5 of the FAQ the following questions are found.
Q: If a unit taking a Leadership test has a modifier to its Leadership, will this modifier still apply if the unit uses the generals Leadership, because of the Inspiring Presence special rule for example? (p10)
Q: When taking a Leadership test, sometimes you have to take it on your unmodified leadership. What is your unmodified leadership? (p10)
A: Your unmodified Leadership is the highest Leadership characteristic in the unit. Do not include any modifiers from any source, for example, Strength in Numbers, Inspiring Presence or the Doom and Darkness spell.
In the latest FAQ which is Version 1.6a the question regarding unmodified leadership has changed to;
Q: When taking a Leadership test, sometimes you have to take it on your unmodified Leadership. What is your unmodified Leadership? (p10)
A: Your unmodified Leadership is the highest Leadership characteristic in the unit. So the Leadership from any characters in the unit itself (but not from outside the unit, from Inspiring Presence for example) with a higher Leadership can be used unless specifically stated otherwise.
So the situation arises where it is now unclear as to how unmodified leadership should be played.
First we should address what happens when you alter someones characteristics, luckily this is also addressed in an FAQ
Q: Does a magic item or spell that gives a bonus to a characteristic, do so bonus for all rules purposes (e.g. the effect of spells, characteristic tests, etc)? (p4)
A: Yes, except for magic weapons or where the description of the item or spell specifically says otherwise.
This seems to me to say that a bonus to someones Strength, would in fact increase their Strength Characteristic or a penalty to their Leadership would decrease their Leadership Characteristic.
Next we can look at the wording of the FAQ and this is where we run into problems. While the FAQ says to use the highest leadership characteristic of the unit, it does not say that this characteristic is not one that has previously been modified. So a units unmodified leadership could indeed be the highest leadership in the unit after modifications.
My thoughts on the matter are that the intention is for there to be no modifiers other than a character adding leadership, there is however a failing when it comes to the wording and since the Ogre Kingdoms Slaughtermaster FAQ it is unsafe ground to be treading if you are guessing at intentions of the designers and FAQ team.
So going forwards the Lore of Death has received quite an upgrade. Doom and Darkness combined with Spirit Leech is a real threat!
If you have anything to say about this episode feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forwards to hearing what you have to say!