As fas as I know, there are 2 melee weapons wich are able to do AoE damage, Blade of the East and Fire Hydrant Bat (critical hit).
When I asked this to James, he said the weapons are different when measuring their AoE, but the icons and ruling are totally the same, but the differences are not stated in any place (they are just RPG perspectives about how the weapon would hit), so I think it should be updated in next FAQS or something because people get confused…
So, Fire Hydrant Bat critical attack could hit on the ground/target in any point around the wielder’s base (or up to Orange if you use Behemoth or Blitz perk while wielding it), taking the James’ explanation, creating a little earthquake or something like that, then:
A: Would be the measuring point that target/point on the ground and the wielder would hit himself if the area of effect catchs him up?
B: Is it measured from the center of the model’s base and the impact hits on himself, so there is not a real target? (like hammering beneath him)
C: It need a model to target and you measure the AoE from that model’s base.
But Blade of the East works in a different way regardless of the icons. In this case, the wielder’s attack is measured from his own base (center), and does not attack directly on any target or point on the ground (like a whirlwind attack), so the wielder attacks around him, not hitting himself.
Actually, it is totally legal to have the Blitz perk and Blade of the East on the same model, so how could you resolve this situation?
A: The attack is not a “whirlwind” attack anymore and you can target a point on the ground, possibly hitting yourself? (really odd from a RPG perspective)
B: Like A but you don’t hit yourself due to the initial intention with that weapon (pretty magical)
C: This is not allowed and it was not intended. It should be always measured from the wielder’s base
I suppose it would be treated as a Shooting action too as the FAQS stated.
In any case, this kind of melee weapons can create some odd situations with all the possiblities the game offers, and maybe they need to have their own short explanation on the card or something.