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Simply, how wide do you run your units? I would assume 6 with some exceptions.
Spearmen: 6 wide, sometimes 7 in large games
Swordmasters: 6 wide
Phoenix Guard: 5 wide
White Lions: 5 or 6 wide, depends on role, 5 if they flank, 6 if they are centre to use their stubborn.
Archers: 10 wide
Dragon Princes: 5 or six, depends on scale of battle
I don't use Silver Helms or Seaguard so I'll let someone else answer for these.
5000p. High Elves
LSG- 7 wide, 3 ranks (28s3 on the stand-and-shoot charge reaction)
Spears- 5 wide, maybe 6
Archers- 6 wide (units of 11 to carry mages)
Swordmasters- 6 wide, 7 maximum
White Lions- same
Phoenix Gaurd- 5 wide, 6 maxium (i run these in much larger units than the other choices, as they generate less CR)
Ellyrian Reavers- 5-6 wide
Dragon Princes- 6 wide, firm
Silver Helms- 6 wide in small games, but at 1500 i run them 5 wide, in units of 10
RBTs- 4 wide (just a joke. I spread 'em out...)
Really, you always want to consider the unit's strengths, and the cost of the unit. Unless the unit is RELYING on the charge, it's better to have ranks than width. For example, Spearmen would benefit more from ranks, because they don't do as much damage. However, cavalry benefit from width more, because they are too expensive to get many ranks, and they need to do as much damage on the charge as possible, or they'll be stuck.
My swordmaster and lions are the widest infantry units, because I usually only field about 12 of them. Swordmasters are a strange, in that they can certainly benefit from being wide, thanks to their high number of lethal attacks. I wouldn't mind running them 7 wide, but the unit still needs atleast 1 rank for ablative wounds, and 14 SMs is just a little pricey for me.
Last edited by trodi; February 17th, 2009 at 07:19. Reason: I'm stupid and can't count
Anyway, back on topic....
The best width for cavalry units tends to be 6 wide, as then you can maximise the number of corner-to-corner attacks. A unit of 4 cavalry = same width as 5 wide "standard" infantry on the 20mm bases.
A unit of 6 cavalry gets everyone in on attacks against a 5-wide infantry unit.
Comparitively, the infantry of the HE is a little prblematic. I prefer smallish units of say 20 spears, so arrange them 5 wide. The rationale is that then I am getting the max rank bonus (+3) and getting the maximum attacks across a small frontage, allowing me to concetrate my forces, and potentially isolate the odd enemy character who is at one enf or other of a unit...
Against some enemies, like other elves, the ASF attacks are golden, so 6 wide/18 stength is better - although I lose the extra rank, I do gain 3 additional ASF attacks,, which could pay dividends...
Last edited by kithre; February 17th, 2009 at 08:36.
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I see the argument for running more men across the fronts of spear regiments, but I disagree. The main reason that I run 6 wide in my units is to save points on the unit as a whole. The only other way that I would run 6 is if I had enough points to send them in as a unit of 24, for the maximum rank bonus AND the added width.
The single extra ASF attack that you gain isn't much of a help (remember, you only get spear attacks for men who are fighting face to face, not corner to corner). One more S3 attack isn't going to generate the same solid CR that a rank would get you.
Along with that, a unit which "overhangs" the enemy makes it harder for friendly flankers to reach the battle. Where the flankers could have advanced and clipped the corner of their own men before swinging into battle, now they need to move AROUND their friends entirely, and then cut in and attack. I prefer to grab my flank charges. Maybe I'm a little jaded, but I've never plan on my Spearmen holding off any enemy unit on their own for more than a turn or two.
As for the LSG question: exactly as Kithre says: they add an extra attack on the first round. I occassionally reform them into lines for maximum archer fire, but I like to keep my elves deployed close together for mutual support, and flank protection. Stringing out the LSG and then reforming leaves a gaping hole in my line that I either need to patch with a second-line unit, or need to accept as a weak point.
I usually steer clear of LSG for this reason. They're great on paper, but a unit of 21 of them can very costly for just a handful of extra attacks on the defense. They can also be utterly nerfed. Their shooting isn't enough to force an enemy to charge them, so I've had some foes simply accept the shooting and try to force me to charge. Expensive S3 "bowmen" will lose almost any shooting fight that they find themselves in, so I almost HAVE to fold and charge.
I have been told over and over again it is 6 wide. That is what my daughter uses and it seems to work out. This is only infantry.
When she was running dragon princes it was only 5 wide. Just to pricey to go any wider. But she spent her points another way.
LSG are a compromise. If you use them use them on a hill so everyone can shoot. I do not like them because you know what they say about compromise, no one is happy.