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  1. #1
    Senior Member Errant Squire's Avatar
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    Detachment tactics

    Last weekend in my 1000 point army I fielded a unit of 25 spearmen, with a detatchment of 5 handgunners and 8 halberdiers. I found that it was difficult to move the parent unit and have them close enough to the handgunners to use them. Most people on the forum field handgunners as a detatchment, but after my experience last weekend I think that I'd rather have something that can move and shoot. I am reading the rules right when it says that in order to use your detatchment it has to remain within 3" of the parent unit? So if I would have not moved my handgunners they couldn't stand and shoot an enemy when they charge the parent unit because they wouldn't be within 3". Am I playing this setup wrong? Should the parent unit not have moved at all?


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    Senior Member Amadis's Avatar
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    The detachment doesn't have to be 3"inches within of thier parent unit on their parent unit is fleeing or declared flee reaction. You can use "support fire" if you don't move and your within 3"inches, another words one model has to be near a parent unit up to 3 inches a way. Parent unit can move, but if your more than 3"inches a way you can't use the special detachment rules.

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    Senior Member Errant Squire's Avatar
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    Right, my problem was keeping my handgunners within 3" of the parent unit.

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    Senior Member Amadis's Avatar
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    Yeah, thats why detachments need alot of room to take uses of its advantages.

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    Senior Member Errant Squire's Avatar
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    Tried fielding crossbowmen as a detatchment, and handgunners as their own unit. It worked great. I'm starting to really like the crossbowment for their versitility. The handgunners performed admirably as well but the better half range of the crossbowmen really helped out in the game I was playing.

  7. #6
    Son of LO Pierced53's Avatar
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    Were you playing a pitched battle? Or a particular scenario?
    Perhaps it was the type of battle that favoured your Crossbowmen.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Jon23516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Errant Squire
    I am reading the rules right when it says that in order to use your detatchment it has to remain within 3" of the parent unit? So if I would have not moved my handgunners they couldn't stand and shoot an enemy when they charge the parent unit because they wouldn't be within 3". Am I playing this setup wrong? Should the parent unit not have moved at all?
    I have had mixed to poor success using Shooting units as Detachments.

    You are correct that the Detachment has to be within 3" of the Parent unit to make use of the special rules.

    While the Stand-and-Shoot reaction can be cool, it has rarely made a significant difference in my experience.

    As you have just stated, I too set up my Handgunners as an independent unit and have begun using Crossbowmen as detachments (if at all). I always use a 10-man Free Company for a detachment and sometimes add 10 Crossbowmen if I have the points.

    This is further fluffy since they are the same militia-style models as the Free Company.

    In terms of positioning, let me think outloud...

    Let us assume that you and the enemy are deployed 24" away from each other on a standard gaming board (4' x 6' with 12" deployment zones). If on the first turn both armies advanced (marched) 8" then either of you can make an 8" charge on turn 2.

    Let us also ignore all the possible enemy units with movement/march rates higher than 4" and 8" respectively. I see this first turn as a turn to waste your detachment's shooting abilities and get into a position to better serve as both a detachment AND as shooters.

    This is helped by deploying the Handgunners separately with good shooting lanes so they can hopefully fire every turn.

    Naturally terrain and enemy threats need to be taken into account with these decisions. I think that there is a lot of room to deploy detachments and still have them within 3" of the parent. In the Empire army book, page 9, Figure 1, it shows the detachment almost behind the back edge of the parent unit. This is good planning because it means that a) the detachment is within 3" of the parent, b) still within 8" for a counter-charge and c) quite out of range of a charging enemy practically forcing the opponent to charge the Parent unit.

    I have also seen detachments placed ahead of the parent unit, just the opposite of the Figure 1 illustration I mentioned above. The idea here is to have the detachment ahead of yet still "next to" the parent and turned to face across the line of sight of the parent unit.

    Now, an opponent is almost forced to charge the detachment. If your opponent takes the bait and charges the detachment you have it flee. Now the enemy unit should be stranded at an angle within charge range of your parent and exposing his flank to you.

    I think it all comes down to the role of your Detachment: passive or aggressive. Passive detachments will hold back and follow the Parent into combat, possibly waiting for a Stand-and-shoot reaction opportunity. Whereas an Aggressive detachment charges out across the field and trys to get itself attacked by the enemy.

    Naturally this all changes when your opponent has faster units than you... but the principles still apply. Spend the first turn adjusting your battle line in ways that maximize your benefits when combat begins. Then have your supporting shooting units punish the enemy all the way across the field.

    Good luck,
    Jon

    PS: As Pierced53 said, the relative benefits of each unit is directly related to the mission objectives, terrain and the opposing army.
    [COLOR=DarkRedI got my tournament t-shirts at mathhammer.net[/COLOR]

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    Senior Member Errant Squire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierced53
    Were you playing a pitched battle? Or a particular scenario?
    Perhaps it was the type of battle that favoured your Crossbowmen.
    No, just a straight up pitched battle. I played one against Ogre's, and one against the new Wood Elves. I'm really just happy that they caused between 1-3 wounds a turn and were able to fire every turn. In the wood elf game they got destroyed, but that's not a big deal because I only fielded 5 models so that made my opponent waste a turn of shooting on them.

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    Son of LO Pierced53's Avatar
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    Well if you're happy with their performance then that is all that matters. But, do not be shocked when they are wiped out in mass number - the dice gods may turn against you!

    I am yet to try out my unit yet of Handgunners, I'm thinking about taking them as a unit, not as a detachment, but when I used them around a year ago they took out 6 Saurus Warriors and 19 Skinks, losing just 3 in return.

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