I was playing a friendly game against a Skaven army last weekend when the Skaven player tossed a spell at one of my units. (Please excuse the use of the words 'friendly' and 'Skaven' in the same sentence!) I rolled to dispel, but failed. At that point, I remembered my runesmith had an unused spellbreaker rune. I told my opponent that I was using the rune. Being a friendly game, he said (paraphrasing): "Alright, you can, but I want you to know I am being nice, because you normally can't use a dispel scroll after rolling to dispel." I didn't remember reading that restriction, but I have played fewer than 10 WHFB games in my life and some of those were in the eighties, so I said 'OK', and we moved on.
Since we are going to play again soon, I decided to look at the rules again, just to be sure I understood how spellbreaker works.
In part, the spellbreaking rune rule reads: "When a spell has been cast, a Runesmith or Runelord can use this rune to dispel it automatically, without the need to roll the dispel dice." There seems to be no prohibition against attempting to dispel it the normal way first. It just allows you to dispel it and you don't have to roll any dice. (New Dwarf Army Book: Page 64)
I then looked up a dispel scroll and it reads: "...a wizard who has a dispel scroll can read it instead of attempting to dispel the scroll using dispel dice." (BRB: page 504)
The wording for the scroll explicitly says it may be used *instead* of attempting a dispel dice roll. The wording lays out a clear either/or option. However, the same restriction does not appear to exist for the spellbreaking rune.
How have people been playing the spellbreaker? (I have read all sorts of posts where people refer to the rune and scroll as if they are interchangeable, so I am guessing it is being treated the same.) It seems GW could have easily cut and pasted the dispel scroll rules if they wanted it to be the same. In fact, they did use mostly the same wording. (In respect of copyright I have not quoted either object's whole rule text, please read yourself to see what I mean.)
Please let me know what you think, a beardling wants to know !