Need a rules quote on charging into flanking position

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Hi everyone,

My DM is telling us that you cannot charge into a flanking position.  Meaning that when you charge into a position that would normally grant a flank, the charge attack itself gains no benefits from the flank.  So no combat advantage and any other stuff that might come with that.  His reasoning is that the charge happens too fast.

I think he would change his mind if we can show him an actual rule that states charging into a flank is possible.  However, I don't think such a rule exists since the rules don't go around spelling out all of the things you can do.  If you know where to find it, let me know.

So far he hasn't bought our reasoning that since there is no rule under the charge definition that says "Charges don't benefit from flanking," then there is no reason to believe they can't.

Also, I know as the DM he can simply houserule this and that would be fine.  However, we want him to realize that this is actually a houserule and not the way the game was designed.  This only matters because one of our players took surprising charge and this throws a damper on that selection.  

Thanks in advance!

Humafan 
There is no specific rule that says you can charge into flank, rather there is a rule on how to get flank and exceptions to that rule. Charging is no such exception. Your DM's idea that a charge is "too fast" to grant flank is simply something he's made up himself. The rules give no support for his reasoning.

Ask him if you will get flank from running into position, or using a fast mount to get there. How fast is too fast? Will you get the flank if you charge when slowed?

I guess your DM could reason that it's not the movement per se that is too fast, but that using only one action for both moving and attacking  means you don't have time to take advantage of your position before you have to attack. If so, he should void flank also for all those powers that combine movement with attacks (neither skirmisher nor strikers will like that). It still makes no sense, though. You grant combat advantage to opponents who flanks you, not because they manage to take advantage of the terrain or something such, but because you have to divert your attention in different directions, which hampers your ability to defend yourself. The idea that you can defend yourself BETTER in such a position when your opponents make very fast attacks seems quite odd...

Ask him if he has any other houserules you should be aware of that effect character decisions and tactics. That would be my solution.

"It doesn't make sense to me" isn't a valid argument. The rules say it works this way is a valid argument. If he can't accept his argument is irrational and yours isn't, you might have larger problems.
The method by which you get into flanking position has no bearring on the benefit it grant, be it by walking, running, charging, teleporting or even falling.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

The "charge happens to fast" argument doesn't make any sense either.  The reason you get a bonus for flanking is because of your ally on the opposite side of the opponent who is drawing their attention away from you.  If anything, charging into flank should give you a bigger bonus, not 0 bonus.  (I 'm not saying it really should give a bigger bonus, but that would be a more logical house rule)

More specifically, as has been said above, the 4e rules are exception based.  The Flanking rules define when you get Combat Advantage from flanking. The Charging rules define how charging works. Because the Flanking rules do not say that you do not get the bonus immediately after charging, and because the Charge rules do not say that you do not get the flanking bonus after charging, then you get the bonus.
  The flanking rules are very clear on the restrictions of when you  can't flank:

  1. Can't see the target

  2. No Line of Effect to target

  3. You are subject to an effect that prevents flanking, such as Dominate or Daze.

  The only other reason you won't get an additional +2 to hit would be if the target had an ability negating combat advantge from flanking (ex: the All Seeing Vision of a Beholder) or the combat advantage bonus from flanking (ex: Uncanny Dodge feat).
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I think he would change his mind if we can show him an actual rule that states charging into a flank is possible. 



Well, show him the rules for flanking and how they don't say "but not on a charge", and show him the rules for charging and how they don't say "and you can't flank", and also add 10 to all your attack rolls and declare quaruple damage on critical hits and "crit on 8+" and ignore all incoming damage because he can't show you where the rules say you DON'T do that when your character is being played by Humafan.

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Add me to the chorus of 'make him show you a rule that says it's NOT possible'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Thanks for the input everyone.  I 100% agree that there doesn't need to be a quote to support this.  I also 100% agree that it logically makes sense that it would be easier to hit someone who is occupied by another threat when you are charging.  Also, I should have been clearer.  I know that according to the rules you do get to flank on a charge.

The real issue is that my DM will only budge on this if he sees a direct quote stating flanking on a charge is possible.  It seems there is none so I guess we are out of luck on this issue.  Oh well.  We'll keep trying logically, but that doens't seem to work with him always.  He sees things differently sometimes.  But he is overall a really fun DM.  

Thanks 
my DM will only budge on this if he sees a direct quote stating flanking on a charge is possible.

Email customer service. They will send you a reply that technically counts as an 'official' quote, unless your DM can show you in the rules where their reply is incorrect (i.e. per the organized play CCG download "Clarifications issued through the official Game Support team at Wizards of the Coast" "are considered official rules sources").

Mind you: the posters here are more accurate than customer service answers... but there's a good chance that custserv will suffice for your DM.
Here's the entry for Flanking from the Compendium:

One of the simplest ways for two allied creatures to gain combat advantage is for them to take up flanking positions adjacent to an enemy.

Combat Advantage: A creature has combat advantage against any enemy it flanks.

Opposite Sides: To flank an enemy, a creature and at least one of its allies must be adjacent to the enemy and on opposite sides or corners of the enemy’s space. When in doubt about whether two creatures flank an enemy, trace an imaginary line between the centers of the creatures’ spaces. If the line passes through opposite sides or corners of the enemy’s space, the enemy is flanked.

Large, Huge, and Gargantuan Creatures: A Large or larger creature is flanking as long as at least one square of its space qualifies for flanking.

Restrictions: A creature cannot flank an enemy that it can’t see. A creature also cannot flank while it is subject to any effect that prevents it from taking actions. If no line of effect exists between a creature and its enemy, the creature cannot flank the enemy.
-------------

That's it.  Specifically, there is nothing in the restrictions about charging.  If you meet the Opposite Sides rule, and none of the Restrictions are in effect, then you are flanking, period.

No offense, but your DM needs to be slapped with a wet fish.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It is your DM that needs to provide a rule showing that it is not possible.

Which he will be unable to do.
Very funny Salla.  And I agree with you Wibble.  But that doesn't deal with the down to earth and practical fact that the DM runs the game and at the end of the day what he says goes.  With that in mind, I have to actually convice him and I can't just tell him he's wrong.  The only way I think he can be convinced here is a rules quote that explicitly spells it out.

And on that note, I think E-mailing customer service is a great idea!  Thanks mvincent!  I honestly hadn't thought of that. 
I think you'll find that the DM has precisely as much power over the rules as the group gives him. Which should be zero. I say that as someone who DMs, more often than not. Even the 4e DMG specifically encourages group consensus over other methods for settling rules disputes (which I don't agree with either, but it makes more sense then letting the DM, who may not give a damn about the rules, make every call).

Also if your DM listens to CS, leave the group. At a run.
And on that note, I think E-mailing customer service is a great idea!  Thanks mvincent!  I honestly hadn't thought of that. 






While using CustServ to convince an intransigent DM is a worthy effort, under no circumstances should you believe that CustServ answers have any legitimacy whatsoever.

CS answers are farmed out to another company, and they're wildly inconsistent with their answers.  As in, if you don't like the answer they give you, you can just ask it again and odds are you'll get the opposite response.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
they're wildly inconsistent with their answers.

Right, but any DM that is aware of that would also likely know how to rule on charge+flanking. Indeed: I'd guess that even custserv will consistently provide the correct answer to charge+flanking (it's pretty straighforward).

they're wildly inconsistent with their answers.

Right... but any DM that is aware of that would also likely know how to rule on charge+flanking. Indeed: I'd guess that even custserv consistently knows the answer to charge+flanking.




There's only one way to be sure.

Quick!  Everyone ask!  Make sure to "prime" the question to suggest different answers, some making it clear that it's legal and others making it very clear that it's not, and we can do STATISTICS on the results!
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Make sure to "prime" the question to suggest different answers, some making it clear that it's legal and others making it very clear that it's not

I'd like to see how you might do the latter.

Make sure to "prime" the question to suggest different answers, some making it clear that it's legal and others making it very clear that it's not

I'd like to see how you might do the latter.



 

"One my my players claims that he can get flanking bonuses while charging, despite the movement involved and the fact that he can't take Opportunity Attacks while charging, which means he doesn't qualify to flank under the rules that say you can't flank if you can't take OAs.  Despite my making a decision as DM, he says I'm wrong and I should ask you.  Who is right, me the DM or him the player?"

Phrase the question that way, I bet you'll see a 20+% skew towards "DM is right" even on a no-brainer like this one.

(Of course, I've probably spoiled the science, now, by posting this here - I strongly suspect CS tosses the questions they receive into a WotC forums search before answering a noticeable chunk of the time, ESPECIALLY when they get the same question repeatedly in a short time.)
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
(Of course, I've probably spoiled the science, now, by posting this here - I strongly suspect CS tosses the questions they receive into a WotC forums search before answering a noticeable chunk of the time, ESPECIALLY when they get the same question repeatedly in a short time.)

Ha. Nah. They can only access the Compendium, no other sites.

Makes asking them questions about stuff that is wrong in the Compendium kind of mean.
"One my my players claims that he can get flanking bonuses while charging, despite the movement involved and the fact that he can't take Opportunity Attacks while charging, which means he doesn't qualify to flank under the rules that say you can't flank if you can't take OAs.  Despite my making a decision as DM, he says I'm wrong and I should ask you.  Who is right, me the DM or him the player?"

Phrase the question that way, I bet you'll see a 20+% skew towards "DM is right" even on a no-brainer like this one.

Nice work! Are you going to try it out? Of course they are obliged to say "the DM is right", but I suspect they'll add a "but..." and provide a rules answer. However, that faux OA line is well crafted. That could throw them (heck, it caused me pause).

They can only access the Compendium, no other sites.



Yeah, except they often side with forum consensus over Compendium.  Directly contradicting Compendium, in fact.

Of course, that might just be because they're bad at everything.  That's been known to happen, repeatedly.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
They can only access the Compendium, no other sites.



Yeah, except they often side with forum consensus over Compendium.  Directly contradicting Compendium, in fact.

Of course, that might just be because they're bad at everything.  That's been known to happen, repeatedly.

Occasionally you'll get a person who actually plays 4e and hence has been on the forums, but they can't access them from work. Of all the CS reps I've interacted with playing the CS game, only two have actually said they play 4e and read the forums though. Which on average means, yeah, if they are contradicting the Compendium they are either just bad or they didn't look it up because they thought they knew the answer.
"One my my players claims that he can get flanking bonuses while charging, despite the movement involved and the fact that he can't take Opportunity Attacks while charging, which means he doesn't qualify to flank under the rules that say you can't flank if you can't take OAs."



I'm totally in love with this (awful) logic, particularly since you can make a (terrible) argument that it means no one can ever benefit from flanking on their own turn.
Very funny Salla.  And I agree with you Wibble.  But that doesn't deal with the down to earth and practical fact that the DM runs the game and at the end of the day what he says goes.   



Except when he's wrong.  He's wrong.  He's the one making the extraordinary claim and he needs to prove he's right.  If he continues to insist he's right and that the burden of proof is on you to prove he isn't right, that may be a clue that he's not the world's best DM.  Because if the burden is on you, he can simply overrule you anyway, so it's pointless.

If he's right he should be able to prove it easily by quoting a rule.

Also, decide for yourself whether you think Customer Service is a good resource for rules questions.  A lot of people on these forums think they know more about 4e than the people who wrote it, so you can imagine what they think of CS.

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"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

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The DM is always right, eh?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Also, decide for yourself whether you think Customer Service is a good resource for rules questions.  A lot of people on these forums think they know more about 4e than the people who wrote it, so you can imagine what they think of CS.


No, don't decide for yourself.

This isn't just a difference of opinion, it's something that's easily testable.  Many of us have tested it.  You can ask CS a question, the same question, multiple times and get completely contradictory answers.  You can prime the question to point them in a particular direction, even when there's a direct rules quote that flatly contradicts it.  Alcestis had a test going where he asked the same question repeatedly, while knowing the correct answer, and they answered incorrectly over 300 times while answering correctly around 15.

To have even a shred of equivalency between the two "sides" is to deny reality.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
A lot of people on these forums think they know more about 4e than the people who wrote it,



And a fair number of them are right.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
A lot of people on these forums think they know more about 4e than the people who wrote it

I wouldn't expect a writer (and especially not Custserv) to crowdsource the analysis of text in obsessive detail from a wide range of publications.

We are able to do that here. Sadly, we have a lot of time on our hands.

The writers still have better knowledge of RAI though. For that, I envy them.


the DM runs the game and at the end of the day what he says goes.

We have some quotes for that at least. From the forum FAQ, if desired:
'Where is rule Zero? Rule zero (i.e. "the DM is always right") does not appear to exist in 4e. The D&D 3.5e DMG p.6 had: "you're the final arbiter of the rules within the game... you have ultimate authority over the game mechanics, even superseding something in a rulebook", but there is nothing similar in 4e. Instead, the 4e DMG seems to espouse a different paradigm. Examples: DMG p.12: "Being a referee means that the DM stands as a mediator between the rules and the players.", "Sometimes this role mediating the rules means that a DM has to enforce the rules on the players.", "Being the DM doesn’t mean you have to know all the rules. If a player tries something you don’t know how to adjudicate, ask the opinion of the players as a group.", DMG p.28: "As often as possible, take what the players give you and build on it.", DMG p.30 "You do not have to have a perfect mastery of the rules, and you should be open to at least some discussion of the right way to apply a rule in any situation.", "If you realize you made a mistake, admit it. If you don’t admit it, you’ll start to lose your players’ trust. Then, if you need to, make it up to the players.", DMG p.173: "You are your players' Litch", etc.'

The real issue is that my DM will only budge on this if he sees a direct quote stating flanking on a charge is possible.  It seems there is none so I guess we are out of luck on this issue.  Oh well.  We'll keep trying logically, but that doens't seem to work with him always. 



Your DM's fallacy is Burden of Proof.

You will not find a quote stating that "flanking on a charge is possible" because it doesn't exist, nor does it need to exist.  The rules for flanking and charging are very clear, and there is no conflict between them that requires such a clarification.

If your DM wants to claim otherwise, it is up to him to quote where in the rules it says otherwise.  Shifting the burden of proof to you to force you to find his space teapot is a logical fail.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Also, decide for yourself whether you think Customer Service is a good resource for rules questions.  A lot of people on these forums think they know more about 4e than the people who wrote it, so you can imagine what they think of CS.



Lemme paste a reply I got from CS about a bug I reported with the character builder regarding dual implement spellcaster.  The bug was two fold, but that's neither here nor there.  I work for a software company, so I understand the importance of reporting bugs, so that a dev can fix them.  They can't fix a problem they may not know about.

Here's my bug report:

There is a bug with the character builder where it will not allow you to equip an offhand implement, and all characters with the feat are getting a flat +2 offhand bonus. Additionally, older characters which have their offhand implement already equipped are only getting a +2 bonus (in my case I have a +3 dagger equipped offhand).

Here's the initial reply (took me 3 different CSRs before they reported this to their dev team)

Thanks for contacting Wizards of the Coast! I just wanted to check and make sure that you have tried equipping the implement to the Holy Symbol slot to the "Equip" tab in your inventory. That should still grant the item to act as equipped and give the bonuses for it. Please feel free to reply to this email or give us a call at the appropriate number for your region listed below, if you have any questions.

Thank you, and happy gaming!

Really?  I should equip my dagger to the holy symbol slot?  I thought maybe it was a workaround, so I actually tried it.  Of course it wouldn't allow me to equip it.  I tried a +3 holy symbol.  I even tried a +3 ki focus as "work arounds".

The fact is, that's what I got for a response.  You tell me how competent I should expect them to be.

Also, decide for yourself whether you think Customer Service is a good resource for rules questions.  A lot of people on these forums think they know more about 4e than the people who wrote it, so you can imagine what they think of CS.

I think people have sufficiently covered why you shouldn't listen to CS, but there are some people on these forums (myself included) that get asked questions by the devs about what the rules are. The fact is the devs split up the writing and in many cases really don't know all the rules, especially for some of the more complicated issues that come up. So, yeah, I think I know more about the rules then most devs, because those devs ask me questions about the rules because they know I know the answer and they don't.

A specific writer will have a better knowledge of the RAI for a given game element, assuming they wrote it. That is really the only advantage devs over the collective knowledge of this forum, they know what they wanted the game element to do.
Alcestis, which Developpers have asked you Rule questions out of curiosity ?

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Very funny Salla.  And I agree with you Wibble.  But that doesn't deal with the down to earth and practical fact that the DM runs the game and at the end of the day what he says goes.   



Except when he's wrong.  He's wrong.  He's the one making the extraordinary claim and he needs to prove he's right.  If he continues to insist he's right and that the burden of proof is on you to prove he isn't right, that may be a clue that he's not the world's best DM.  Because if the burden is on you, he can simply overrule you anyway, so it's pointless.

If he's right he should be able to prove it easily by quoting a rule.

Also, decide for yourself whether you think Customer Service is a good resource for rules questions.  A lot of people on these forums think they know more about 4e than the people who wrote it, so you can imagine what they think of CS.



Some of you guys make me laugh when you say this kind of stuff.  I was under no impression that he was the world's greatest DM.  Again, I understand that logically the burden of proof is on him.  I understand the rules.  However, he disagrees and doesn't seem to follow logic on this issue.  Oh well.  

I'm not going to yell at him until he changes his mind.  I'm not going to discount him or leave the game over this one little issue.  I'm not going to state the burden of proof is on you and I'm not budging on this issue.  That's typically not how I nor anyone I know behave.  I came here hoping to find a specific rule quote that actually said something that would make sense to this DM.  It seems it doesn't exist.  Oh well.

..........................................................................................

Anyway, thanks everyone for the help.  I understand that customer service is all over.  However, if they get it right this time, then I can show my DM and he will likely listen to that.  And that is what I'm after.  I'm awaiting their response.  Thanks a bunch!
Don't yell at your DM that's for sure. Wink

But you can tell him the Flanking rules don't do what he think they do this and that every members on the Rules Q&A Boards have said  that you can effectively Charge into Flank.

You can also give his this link to read  if he want to look it up. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

We already gave you the rules quotes. But for redundancy's sake of redundancy ...

Flanking (RC 218)
Combat Advantage: A creature has combat advantage against an enemy it flanks.
Opposite Sides: To flank an enemy, a creature and at least one of its allies must be adjacent to the enemy and on opposite sides or corners of the enemy's space. When in doubt about whether two creatures flank an enemy, trace an imaginary line between the centers of the creatures' spaces. If the line passes through opposite sides or corners of the enemy's space, the enemy is flanked.
Large, Huge, and Gargantuan Creatures: A Larger or larger creature is flanking as long as at least one square of its space qualifies for flanking.
Restrictions: A creature cannot flank an enemy that it can't see. A creature also cannot flank while it is subject to any effect that prevents it from taking actions. If no line of effect exists between a creature an its enemy, the creature cannot flank the enemy.

Charge (RC 240)
Charge a Target


  • Action: Standard action. When a creature takes this action, it chooses a target. Figure out how far away the creature is from the target -even counting through squares of blocking terrain- and then follow these steps.



  1. Move: The creature moves up to its speed toward the target. Each square of movement must bring the creature closer to the target, and the creature must end the move at least 2 squares away from its starting position.

  2. Attack: The creature either makes a melee basic attack against the target or uses bull rush against it. The creature gains a +1 bonus to the attack roll.

  3. No Further Actions: The creature can't take any further actions during this turn, except free actions.


Specifically, by the rules, if you follow step 1. Move and end up in a space where you flank the target (following the rules for Flanking), you have Combat Advantage against that target. Because step 2. Attack occurs after step 1. Move, if you have Combat Advantage against the target ... you have Combat Advantage against the target (QED).

"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
We already gave you the rules quotes. But for redundancy's sake of redundancy ...

Flanking (RC 218)
Combat Advantage: A creature has combat advantage against an enemy it flanks.
Opposite Sides: To flank an enemy, a creature and at least one of its allies must be adjacent to the enemy and on opposite sides or corners of the enemy's space. When in doubt about whether two creatures flank an enemy, trace an imaginary line between the centers of the creatures' spaces. If the line passes through opposite sides or corners of the enemy's space, the enemy is flanked.
Large, Huge, and Gargantuan Creatures: A Larger or larger creature is flanking as long as at least one square of its space qualifies for flanking.
Restrictions: A creature cannot flank an enemy that it can't see. A creature also cannot flank while it is subject to any effect that prevents it from taking actions. If no line of effect exists between a creature an its enemy, the creature cannot flank the enemy.

Charge (RC 240)
Charge a Target


  • Action: Standard action. When a creature takes this action, it chooses a target. Figure out how far away the creature is from the target -even counting through squares of blocking terrain- and then follow these steps.



  1. Move: The creature moves up to its speed toward the target. Each square of movement must bring the creature closer to the target, and the creature must end the move at least 2 squares away from its starting position.

  2. Attack: The creature either makes a melee basic attack against the target or uses bull rush against it. The creature gains a +1 bonus to the attack roll.

  3. No Further Actions: The creature can't take any further actions during this turn, except free actions.


Specifically, by the rules, if you follow step 1. Move and end up in a space where you flank the target (following the rules for Flanking), you have Combat Advantage against that target. Because step 2. Attack occurs after step 1. Move, if you have Combat Advantage against the target ... you have Combat Advantage against the target (QED).




Thanks, but again, this doesn't help. I thought I was clear but maybe not. I am looking for a quote from the rules that spells it out similar to the following statement, "You can charge into a flanking position." I understand the rules.  My DM thinks he knows the intent of the designers that charging could never possibly work with flanking.  We all know he is wrong. What I need is a straightforward statement, not more pointing to the rules I've already been debating with him about.

In other news, still no response from cust serv.  how long do they normally take? 


Thanks, but again, this doesn't help. I thought I was clear but maybe not. I am looking for a quote from the rules that spells it out similar to the following statement, "You can charge into a flanking position." I understand the rules.  My DM thinks he knows the intent of the designers that charging could never possibly work with flanking.  We all know he is wrong. What I need is a straightforward statement, not more pointing to the rules I've already been debating with him about.

In other news, still no response from cust serv.  how long do they normally take? 



That's like looking for a Rules quote that says You may Target a flying creature with Magic Missile.  It doesn't need to be said because as long as the target is within range, you can target it, whether it is on the ground, flying, climbing, sitting, Doing the Macarena...  

The applicable rules were presented.  They state what what must occur for flanking, and what a charge incorporates.  Personally, I think your DM should stop DMing and play for a while until he understands that not every possible, potential, situation that *might* occur is going to have a rules quote stating that it can be done.
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
My DM thinks he knows the intent of the designers


It doesn't matter what the intent of the designers is.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I changed my mind.  Your DM needs to be hit with a frozen fish, it'll hurt more.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Your best chance would be to find a published adventure, that would say in the Tactics that an enemy charge into flanking.

I've looked into my digital copies of Dungeon magazine and couldn't find any reference yet. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter