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QuestionWhere, as a general principle, do we stand as a forum on the spirit of the rules versus their letter?
Usually that's true. But, there are certain circumstances where it's fairly clear what the rule is meant to be, but was written poorly enough to allow enough leeway for intelligent people to infer another meaning.There was a debate of this nature on the GW boards a ways back about whether or not you can remove casualties from rapid fire from within 24" instead of 12". Like the other legal language debates that had occurred before it the answer was added to the FAQ on the GW messageboards. It's quite obvious that rapid fire weapons are "meant" to have a 12" kill zone, but since it doesn't state that the actual range of a rapid fire weapon changes to 12" when fired someone decided there was cause enough for debate.Generally speaking, the people who actually write these codexes and rule books are NOT rules lawyers. They make quite a few errors, and leave alot of leverage for debate. Problems occur when people try to be specific to the very letter of what's written, when it's fairly obvious that it was poorly put together.With the change from 3rd to 4th edition there have been alot of these little legal language issues. They mostly stem from poor, inconcise wording and get blown way out of proportion when the rule itself get's debated.To make sure it stays a game, and not a court hearing, a player should worry more about making sure that both he and his opponent have fun and stay within "the spirit" of the game, than he should worry about sucking every little bit of advantage from every possible loophole in the codex dry in an attempt to make sure his army has the advantage.Just my opinion I guess.
But, there are certain circumstances where it's fairly clear what the rule is meant to be, but was written poorly enough to allow enough leeway for intelligent people to infer another meaning.
You obviously haven't seen some of the debates over legal language on the GW boards.
Fundamentals to a sound debate:Goal: duhGoal Criterion: You need a way of measuring whether the goal is reached. Without that, you guys never know when the goal is reached. This can't be, "when everyone agrees", it has to be when this, this, and this is met. A list of things that one side need to accomplish to know when the goal is reached.The arguments should be:Claim, warrant, Impact.Claim: Stated ClaimWarrant: EvidenceImpact: Tell us how that claim advances or detracts from our goal and why it matters. This is important because in most debate, evidence to the contrary are always found and things to muttle the whole thing (well, GW pg. X says this, but their update says this on page Y, and the wargear book... pg Z). When we tell about the impact, we can talk about how one thing may be MORE IMPORTANT than other things. That way, we can analyze which argument must take precedence because of its value and weight. That advances the debate the most.