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I see a lot of armies using Black Knights with Dire Wolves as flankers. This is a standard tacitc that works, but I also see a lot of ineffecient follow through.
Black Knights- Hard as nails, decently quick and can do some real damage. The problem at hand is the points spent of full commands. The majority of people believe its a waste, I don't. Since VC is well known for raising new units of Zombies and Skeletons, we are left with units without commands, thats where the Black Knights step in. A decent player can raise new units and have Black Knights ready for a charge at hand. The command on the Black Knights can swing the combat to deadly effect. With the command, the BKs can issue a challenge for overkill points or force a chapion out, the standard adds much needed static points and the musician can swing the combat or keep it at a draw. Losing a single combat for VC can be a bit overwhelming in certain circumstances and newer players might not be able to recover quick enough.
Black Knights' commands are also useful when charging in conjunction with Ghouls, Spirit Hosts or even Dire Wolves. Ghouls can usually keep up all the while moving through cover. Spirit Hosts can tie up the hardest of units but are extremely subeptable to losing combats, thusly losing wounds. Dire Wolves are as fast as they come. They should always be able to get a flank charge on something but at the same time, they can be too far out for a block of troops and you may only have Black Knights at hand.
Dire Wolves- IMO I only flank charge units in combat with Zombies and Skeletons I purchase in the FoC. Since these units can start the battle with commands, the Dire Wolves will be used soley to negate rank bonuses and maybe cause a casualty or two.
Ghouls- These guys are in the same boat as Dire Wolves. Since they can't have commands either, they are best used to flank with a unit that has a command. (When you are using them to flank of course. I know they have other roles but I'm just counting on this one.)
Spirit Hosts- Same as above.
This is why I feel commands on Black Knights are essential. Its all about winning combats and if you can use your effective flankers even better, you will win more combats.
Definitely agree with you. I have seen what a a full line of black knights with command can do when used properly. A guy was against a skaven force and basically he used dense macabre and charged his unit of stromvermin guarding his left flank. They broke on LD1 and then the knights overan into his remaining units. The standard proved crucial during every combat!!
A Banner bearer also allows for some nifty magic standards. My Hell Knight has killing blowed a Dark elf Highborn in a challenge (Which isn't that spectacular until you find out he was riding a Black Dragon). A very cheap muscian can also save the life of a somewhat more expensive Black Knight.
Heheh, nice. I just pictured the look on the other player's face as your xxpt Hell Knight KB'd his xxxpt Dragon-riding Highborn.
So is it worth it to run a slightly chunky unit (9 or so, maybe more) with Banner of the Barrows and a Wight Lord? Or is this too big for flanking?
There are some good ideas here, the 9 strong black knight unit could be used as a front line combat unit in the right circumstances, you only need to kill 5 enemy models in most units to prevent attacks back and the wight cavalry is capable of that. As a flanking force I think it might be a little too large as any opponent worth his salt will not allow himslf to be flanked by such a large (and expensive) unit.
Black knights are also quite slow for cavalry. they are mv8 or 7 with barding, this makes them the same speed as cold ones and boar boys, but without the ability to march when outside the generals aura, this makes it quite hard to manuveur them onto your opponents flanks. The dire wolves are probably the option i would use, they are cheap compared with the knights and are much more manuverable.
If you are dominant in the magic phase then zombies are the best flanking unit in the game. You can raise them with 2 or even 3 invocations, then charge them in using the book or vanhals. they might not win the combat but with a well placed charge you will not lose the combat by enough that your opponent will be free to move anytime soon.
Just some more ideas.
i agree with the previous comments, but let me add something
-dire wolves: i tried to use them in great number (30 split into 4-6 units) for direct assaults on crewmen or flanks of units, and unexpectedly succeeded; i mean, i could break some crews and get entire "weak" units stuck for an entire turn!
-spirit hosts: i mainly use them as blockers, or to kill the heaviest units without suffering casualties, for example imperial greatswords or flagellants.
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