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When facing Elite units in games of 1500 - 2250 what is the most typical formation in rank width.
In the HE forum, we typically tell people to run their elite ASF infantry in single lines of 6-7 models, to maximize attacks. I tend to run my elites at 6 wide, to include my Grave Guard and the units in my Warriors army. I think that a lot of people are realizing that 6 wide is about right for most regiments. That's a massive number of attacks, which can really turn the tables in some combats. Seven is fine, but building a regiment with ranks like that can get very expensive. Nonetheless I run my Lothern Seaguard in 3 ranks of 7, for 7S&S and 21 spear attacks. Bigger bases like Chaos Warriors can't actually bring a full rank of 7 into combat against the smaller 25mm bases, so I cut it off at a logical 6 wide.
As Capt said - 7 wide brings max attacks to bear against your typically 5-wide RnF ground pounders, and hence the elites unit should be killing maybe an additional model or 2 depending on number of attacks. 7 is almost standard for things like Swordmasters and Chaos Warriors with multiple attacks (although the issue noted by Capt Sarathai regarding base sizes does limit Chaos Warriors a bit against many armies - though not against Orcs, other Chaos and Chaos Demons, Saurus wariors etc), where having an additional model in the front rank can essentially give you an additional +1 CR against most opponents.
6 wide si good for those units which you need to rank up but which have a decent neough combat potential, and also those with spears as this allows 1 additional attack back in case the entire front rank and much of the second gets wiped out. For High Elves, 6 wide makes extra sense as it grants you 2 additional attacks agianst most foes from the front. And if you go with the theory of minimum effective unit size, which for High Elf spears is 20 anyway, for cost of 24 models, you have a unit where 3/4 of the models can attack iwhen facing mdoels to the front.
Units which are expensive but do not have decent combat prowess or volume of attacks like Phoenix Guard, I would stick to 5s. They are VERY resilient, don't hit back that hard so need Static CR, but are expensive. SO in order to create a rank as cheaply as possible and get the +1 SCR I will only opt for a 5-wide frontage...against really tough enemies like cavalry, where I want the resilience of my PG to come to the fore as an Anvil, I am gaining roughly the same combat SCR for the cost of 5 PG in a rear rank that I do with them sitting in the front rank but of course, I won't get my attacks if 10 PG are all in the front rank...
Last edited by kithre; October 14th, 2009 at 11:14.
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I agree with both captain and kithre, although I prefer to keep my points denial units at 5 wide, just to make it easier to move them away from the enemy.
I deploy Ghouls 7 wide, maximize attacks
Skeletons 5 wide, max out rank numbers. Vampires usually stands here, giving the unit improved CR boost
Zombies 5 or 6 wide, pretty clear why
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I think it is funny that all the people who posted reasons for their voting chose something other than 5 wide yet 5 wide is strongly the favourite from the community.
I tend to think this question is too situational to answer with a set number and yet only 2 people have chosen that answer so far. And I was one.
How much reforming and reranking do you tend to do in a game to deal with people who run 7 wide. Since they are already, shouldn't you maximize your frontage to combat them, otherwise they are the only person gaining an advantage from large frontage.
Luckily we have IoN to ensure our 3+ rank bonus wheras no other army does, so they must give up rank bonus in order to maximize frontal attacks.
You build your units for maximum efficiency before the battle. If you took 20, you want them 5x4. If you took 18, you want them 6x3. Now of course there are some cases where reforming turns out to be a very good thing, and worth it, but aside from cavalry I have never reformed a unit from what it started at, I built the list with a plan on how they will rank up best and what they will do and to change that mid battle is very rarely going to work out better.
In response to the original question, 5-6 is the most common. You will sometimes see chosen chaos 6-7 wide, and certainly HE swordmasters and white lions, but mostly units stick to 5 wide and occasionally 6 wide if they are an offensive unit.
Typically I would agree but I think Vampire Counts are oftentimes an exception to this rule. We can IoN ourselves up to +3 Rank regardless of our frontage, thus I feel we have an advantage in adapting to others tactics.You build your units for maximum efficiency before the battle.
I also know alot of VC's who start with a low # in their units and rely on the first few turns to maximize their unit so that they can spend more on their army during creation. This is not necesarily a strategy I encourage, but I know quite a few who do it. (i.e. start with 15 skeles/ghouls, knowing you really want 20 before HtH starts but saving 40 pts for the unit)
Last edited by D'yanoi; October 26th, 2009 at 20:03.
Yes but doing stuff like that is very risky because if things dont quite go your way then your already at a disadvantage, thats why I start all my VC blocks at 20, then just not care about them until its neccessary.