Gone are the days of declaring a charge reaction in WHFB - in Age of Sigmar, if you are charged, you have no option but to stand and take it. No shooting into your enemy like overwatch from 40K, no fleeing the charge in hopes to escape, you're simply stuck taking a beating, right? Not exactly true. Retreat still exists in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, and the player who can make good use of it will find their opponents stuck out of position with nothing to swing at. Let's take a look at how best to run away in a less cowardly fashion. Like the Space Marines always say, it's a 'tactical withdrawal, we don't know fear, we're totally not scared you guys, we just want to hang back here for a bit'. Be sure to check out our other Tactics articles once you're through with this one.

According to the 4 page rules for Age of Sigmar, anybody can 'retreat' from combat so long as they all get more than 3 inches out of combat during their own movement phase. They cannot shoot or charge in that turn, but they CAN run. This allows you to get out of a combat you don't want to be in and move yourself somewhere better for you in your own turn. You may of course be charged again in your opponents' turn, but if they are tied down with other units then certain ones may benefit from bailing from the fight.


If you're in a scenario where there are objectives that you need to hold or you want to get your models to a certain place, obviously retreating is a good thing. A very important thing to remember when considering retreat or disengagement as an option: YOU DO NOT NEED TO RETREAT BACKWARD. You simply must be outside of 3 inches from any enemy models once you complete your movement, so you can move laterally and then past them if your movement value and run is large enough. This can provide you with flanking ability if you then want to charge in later, or can allow you to loop around and past an enemy unit to reach an objective or strike at the wizard or cannon that has been lurking behind their chaff lines all game. you certainly can always run backward and shoot from a safe distance or defend some point on the board, but if you have somewhere to be further on in your opponent's deployment zone, be mindful that you can escape past them to reach your goals.

Certain units like skaven, skinks, and some mounted units have even better modifiers that allows them to do other actions on the turn they retreat, or retreat during the pile-in phase. This can help other units be where they want to be during combats if used correctly. If your Skinks or Skaven choose to retreat instead of piling in, you will not be able to strike back in that combat sub phase, but you will have them further away for subsequent movement phases. They also may create some empty space in their wake that allows for your chaff or tank unit to pile in where they left off, engaging the enemy in situations you prefer. A further benefit of this strategy is that while your shooters/wizards/what have you are away and the enemy is engaged with your chaff, they can still shoot into the combat as they are stuck in the tarpit quicksand of your blocking unit.

Some scenarios/battleplans also allow for one side or the other to barge through a unit (at the risk of mortal wounds) but thins can allow you to bypass a screen or wall of bodies to get where you need to be. You can perform this action by retreating (without as much risk, usually) if you want, even in a 'straight out of the box' game by using smart retreating strategies.

Have you found any success retreating from combat or disengaging?
 
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