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What is the point of a detachment? Is it just to get more models on the table when the number of regiments is limited or is there a differnt tactical reason for it.
Example: I have a unit of 19 swordsmen, 16 spearmen and 16 Handgunners. Is it better, in a 500 pts game to give the close combat units a detachment of 8 handgunners each or just have 1 16 handgunner unit?
Well to start off with, there aren't a limited number to core regiments which all detchaments units are.
As for what's good with them, read their special rules again (yes, it's alot to read but it's worth it)
As for what's best to field that Handgunners as, well that depends. If you field them all in one unit you'll have a nice gunline, but if they get charged you'll lose all shots.
But if you use some of the models lets say six of them as detchament for one the swordsmen unit, you won't lose all of your guns if the Handgunners gets charged.
Also, if you read the rules for Detchaments you'll see that they can fire on a unit that charges the parent unit.