My opinion has gone from "yike!" to <shrug> Basically, the only difference is that ranged attacks will sometimes cause a unit to lose a die on its attack and, more rarely, pop an almost-dead unit before it can attack.
Seems like a pretty minor effect.
It becomes more important the more a fight becomes a grind-match. Putting guys from the Yellow to Red can mean that the engaged guy's Blue cards become more valuable. Also, if the opponent only has 1-2 boxes left, you might be willing to risk a red card on that ranged attack to deny him the chance to attack back. I agree it is a minor tweak, but it does actually come up.
I'm still hestitant to doing this one at Championship, because there's already a very large number or rules which are being tested, and the (game effect) / (rule verbiage) of this one is pretty small. But I'd be fine with it going through.
Well, you are going to incorporate the tweak about Sub-phases for spells, right? This just incorporates that a little bit. It's actually not hard at all to do on the table top: cast spells, apply any curses/blesses/damage. Make ranged attacks, apply any damage. Make engaged attacks...
So what you are really saying is that missile fire results take effect immediately, whereas engaged damage takes effect at the end of the round after combat.
That's de facto what happens. What technically happens is:
Step 1) Players assign defenders: who they're going to attack with spells, ranged attacks, engaged attacks. (Most people do this when they attack, and really it only matters for when you're making ranged attacks as the active player, because you may kill the guy with your engaged attacks and be unable to switch target with your ranged attack. Mind you, this part is already in the existing rules).
Step 2) Active player casts spells: Play any cards, rolls dice.
Step 2a) Assign Hexes as result of spell
Step 2b) Assign blesses as result of spell
Step 2c) Mark damage as a result of spell & note any needed rout checks at post-combat courage phase.
Step 2d) Remove units destroyed as a result of spell.
(Note: This isn't the actual way it needs to be done. a-d can be done in any order, it's just it all falls under the "consequences" part)
Step 3) Active player makes ranged attack: play cards, roll dice.
Step 3a) Mark damage as a result of attack & note any needed rout checks at post-combat courage phase.
Step 3b) Remove units destroyed as a result of attack.
Step 3c) Perform any other special rule as a result of attack (in the future there may be some "poisoned arrows" ranged attack)
Step 4) Active player makes engaged attack: play cards, roll dice.
Step 4a) Mark damage as a result of attack & note any needed rout checks at post-combat courage phase.
Step 4b) Remove units destroyed as a result of attack.
Step 4c) Perform any other special rule as a result of attack (in the future there may be some "crippling blow" engaged attack)
End of Combat Phase. Move to Post-Combat Courage phase.
Note, if you put a guy into the Yellow/Red during the Spells or Ranged Attack part, the lost dice would also take effect in the "mark damage" part. So when it came time to make his engaged attack, he already counts as being in the Yellow. Basically, every ranged attack has goes first, like Pila currently do.