Rounding up the basic rules is the mechanic for Panic, Satanic or otherwise. A very simple system that fits across two pages. I swear it used to be longer than this, but since I’ve never bothered to learn it – my Vampires didn’t care and neither did my Chaos after I Slaanesh-marked everything out of spite and a desire not to run away from the inevitable shooting casualties – its brevity is probably for the best.
A unit only takes one Panic test per phase – pass or fail, it doesn’t matter, one per phase. Fleeing units and units in close combat do not take Panic tests at all.
The timing of Panic tests is dictated by whatever causes them – some are immediate, some wait ’til the end of the phase.
If two or more units from the same army have to test at the same time, the controlling player – NOT the player whose turn it is, in the second breach of the core principle – chooses the order.
Tests are taken:
– immediately if a unit loses 25% or more of the models with which it started the phase. I imagine this is the most common one in the early game: enemy Shooting phases, either Magic phase, or in one’s own Movement phase against enemy ‘stand and shoot’ reactions seem like the most likely causes.
The stand and shoot abstraction of ‘imagine they charge in, get shot, and then run back to where they were, THEN panic’ is flagged again. They really want us to remember that one, probably because (while tidy) it’s a bit bizarre.
– immediately if a friendly unit is destroyed within 6″
Could happen at any time, especially in Combat phases. There’s a potential cludge with units that break from combat and are caught – after all, are they destroyed in contact with the enemy, or at the end of their flee move? – but the next instance fixes that.
– immediately if a friendly unit breaks from close combat within 6″
Measured from the unit’s position BEFORE it flees – page 65. Ah, so that’s how you avoid the whole mess of units fleeing – test before they have the option of being destroyed. The Combat mechanics on page 56 state that, when Caught, ‘the fleeing unit is completely destroyed where they stand‘ (emphasis mine), so there’s no wangling an extra test for units within 6″ of the end of the fleeing unit’s flee move – the unit is ‘destroyed’ in base contact with the enemy that broke them, and anything that was within 6″ of that has already taken a Panic test in this phase when they broke.
– immediately if a unit is moved through by fleeing friends
‘For simplicity, resolve the movement of the fleeing friends before taking the Panic test’ – page 63. The mechanical order’s tighter than it appeared on the first readthrough.
In all cases, units flee directly away from the closest enemy unit, UNLESS the test was caused by heavy casualties, in which case they flee directly away from whatever caused the most casualties.
I wonder how a unit that’s panicked by casualties induced from a friendly Wizard miscasting flees? Presumably away from the closest enemy unit, but it doesn’t say so.
Here endeth the basic Warhammer rules, apparently. I’ll be braving the deadly waters of the Advanced rules later this month, but I want a break from this dry text-wrangling for a while.