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Before I moved to Texas, one of the gamers I played with used a big skirmishing unit of bowmen, 30 big. It was annoying as hell because it was bound to kill something with that much shooting. And it was hard to panic because of its size. You had to spend effort getting rid of it, distracting your energy from his knight units. And it's line of sight was an issue because you couldn't sneak around it.
Has anyone else mucked around with that? I'm trying to do some outside the box thinking with Brets.
I know their BS is just 3, but I'm thinking about an army with a big unit of skirmishing bowmen supported by two units of standard bowmen. All with musicians and braziers. Gotta love flaming attacks and too cheap to pass up. Even at low BS and averag Str, 60 shots a turn will kill something. They could deal with enemy fast cav, flyers, opposing shooters.
If they were spaced enough apart, they wouldn't panic each other. And they're relatively cheap, could claim/contest a table quarter (if still alive).
Then add a trebuchet to knock around ranked units. Could make for a decent shooting phase. Not a wood elf or dark elf shooting phase, but still a decent one that could further the game.
What do you experienced players think?
Sounds interesting and worth a try, a shame I only have 16 bowmen now as the the other box got drafted into my VC army as zombies. The unit could be be vulnerable to terror but with smart placement of lances that knights could be a deterrent to any terror causers to come near. The main reason I like this though is it is a way to deal with or make a LM player think about how they use EotG's which are a big problem to Brets. With 30 shots you're bound to force some saves on the skink priest. Also against DE they would be a good way of weakening a Hydra's breath, and against the Pendant BSB which tends to walk around alone a lot this amount of shots could scare it into a unit. Is it worth dropping a lance of knights though? Possibly.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!
I once ran a list with 90 bowmen! About 40 or 50 were skirmishing. It did very little before it got caught up with and steamrolled.
I think it's true though that peasant bowmen certainly do perform better in numbers. I usually run 30, in three groups of ten (one skirmishing). They do well, but nothing heroic (ie targeting a unit to take out rank bonus, or concentrating on large targets/flammable models for easy wounds.
The extra bonus for the skirmishing bowmen is of course using them as a screen and also for redirection, so a really useful unit overall.
I also always fit a trebuchet in my list. It's cheap, and went it hits is absolutely brutal. It doesn't always hit true but it's so awesome went it slams into the middle of a big unit of Chaos Warriors!
This Roman knows...
I do like our bowmen, they are so cheap points wise for what you get.
As for the big unit of skirmishers, it has been done a lot and can be successful. I think it is a fairly essential unit in a peasant heavy list, with at least 30 in the unit. Its not one I field very often, though it can be very good, purely because of the awkwardness on the table and my laziness.
These units are really good for putting in a damsel on foot level two. with the law of beasts you get an ability to see all over the battlefield, and access to some fairly potent and easy to cast spells. Bears anger also gives you that bit of extra punch when it seems like these guys are gonna end up in combat, and the MR1 is useful as well.
but yeah bowmen go in all my lists, either skirmishers or as units of 10. Braziers are great, though I also like the basic vanilla unit of these. Its so few points I consider it a waste of my opponents resourses trying to take them out.
All are peasants are vastly underrated. Just bought myself some flagellants to convert as battle pilgrims and making a GR. Our basic men at arms units are really handy, and so often get ignored and people don't worry about them. My units of men at arms either force a unit to kill them, or happily survive to the end to contest table quarters, doubling their points!
My advise is take two unit of 15 first. Why a unit that size will have many archers whom will not be in range. Already you will be shooting at long range so additional -1 you want every arrow be able to attack a target. It would also be able to support two units of knight were one large one is a single support. You can have two attack points. But the large size and easier to panic nature comes in but I don't think this is an issue. Brets have too many other priority where archers will not be on list of units to take down. Archer are not serious threat by themselves and smaller groups will also provide this illusion
The biggest issue is due to the nature of Brets offensive aggressive attackers shooting is limited to only a couple of rounds in a game. More often than you really want your bownmen will be idle. I also worry about how effective the archers are.
I occasionally run 48 skirmishing bowmen with braziers. (easy to roll 2 sets of 24 dice)
Something to consider when doing this is attaching a damsel with a prayer icon to give the archers the blessing and a little bit of MR.