Rule of the day 04/20/2011
Today's rule of the day comes from @amysrevenge via Twitter!
If skirmishers declare a charge (or a charge reaction that does not involve fleeing) they immediately tighten their loose formation into a 'normal' formation before the charge distance is rolled. This happens 'for free' at the moment the unit declares the charge or is called upon to make a charge reaction. The unit immediately forms up in base contact around the center-most model in the front rank - if the front rank has an even number of models, and therefore two center-most models, the Skirmishers' controlling player can choose which of the two models the unit will form up around.
Big change from 6th / 7th edition. Skirmishers 'rank up' the second they Declare a charge or React (except flee) from a charge.
The only real tactical use I can see is that having an even number of models in the front rank gives you roughly the ability to shift favorably 1/2" to the left or right. Might be enough to cause / avoid a favorable overrun.
Note - Skirmishers NEVER get a rank bonus or can be steadfast. (pg 77)
Skirmishers ARE stubborn if the MAJORITY of its models are in a forest. (pg 119)
Note from @amysrevenge - Because they rank up before distances are rolled, the act of a skirmishing unit ranking up could potentially result in you failing a charge. Be mindful of how skirmishers will 'condense' before declaring that charge.