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This is kind of an extension of the naked character thread. The overall idea from a lot of people in that thread was to minimize character use and trade it in for more units. This seems great in concept but I have been noticing a few things about my army and I want to get feedback and whatnot from the rest of the WoC community.
It is no secret that WoC are usually outnumbered, so this concept of less characters for more units makes sense, but even though we have less wounds, we dont nesesarily have a smaller army. WoC have an extremely large frontage. An enemy spearman unit that is 25-30 large has a lot more wounds than our 12 man warrior units, but have a much smaller frontage. Their front is the equivalent of 4 warriors. Our warriors and chosen are ran in smaller units with large fronts for the most part. Even our knights run a front from 5-7 across. Our Dragon ogrens and normal ogres also have a huge front for even a unit of 3.
My issue lately has been fitting so many big front units across my battle line well. They usually dont fit. Terrain can hurt since I cant just run units across the whole deployment line if there is a forest in the way at one point, and putting units behind each other can be a waste.
I only bring this up because I want to reinstill the value of having a decent amount of points in heroes. It allows us to increase the power of our front lines while not increasing our army frontage by anything. It helps pack punch without gaining the disability of tripping over ourselves.
Other units that I have been eyeing have been giants and Shaggoths. Many people including myself count them out because point for point knights are better. Even if that is so if you are struggling to tactically fit so many units on the table, that second knight unit may be better if it were changed to a giant or shaggoth. They pack similar power on a much smaller base. The ability for them to sqeeze in a battle line better may be worth their loss of hitty or defensive power the knights have.
I just want to really bring up the point that while our army is small, its large at the same time, and that this is something that isnt seen when people create lists on paper. While a player may make a list with lots of units and wounds, they may not acctually be able to benefit from them all.
So what do you guys think? Have any of you seen this as a problem or am I in my own little world? Im hoping this thread will create some good discussion.
Very important topic. I agree with all you said. Sometimes deployment can be hard for WoC. And the movement phases harder!
We have big frontage because we want a lot of attacks since we don't have SCR. But it can restrict manouvreability. I think one of the main uses of characters is exactly that they pack a lot of combat ability in one 25mm base. (Also note that all Elf elites with 2+ attacks can get more attacks than us because they have 20mm bases). Another problem is that though our troops are hard, big frontage means they can sometimes can be charged in the front by 2 enemy units.
The idea of using Shaggoths, Giants (and if I may add chariots and perhaps Spawn) has some merit. They need less room to deploy and importantly don't lose much movement in wheeling so it's easier to get a flank charge.
I accidentally made the mega unbreakable unit.
Warshrining 24 warriors of chaos with shields and hand weapons, 2 characters (a wizard with the mark of nurgle, and a normal khorne hero) and gave the whole squad mark of slaanesh, and the rapturous banner (all doubles and rolls with a 1 are insane courage).
All backed up by a basic marauder squad and a single warshrine for 1000pts.
It was just a fun list, but it pretty much kicked the crap out of ogre's (Getting a single extra spell from the lore of darkness and steed of shadowing unexpectedly out of my squad with the khorne lord does wonders).
And tomb kings... who i was lucky enough to get stubborn and 4+ ward, as well as using curse of the leper constantly on a unit he thought would be safe until it fell to pieces.
I think a good balance with characters is generally required.... that said... Lord choices always need a proper tooling up, especially if you are looking at something like 2250 or 2500 level games. Going a bit crazy with a rule expensive squad makes a nice difference.
If anyone believes on telekinesis, raise my hand!!
Very valid argument, and one which I am sure Black Orc-heavy players would also complain about, as would Lizardman Saurus armies.
I think the concentration of attacks afforded by low level characters is a very good way of getting around this, but the investment in a base character needs further investment in arms and armour to ensure that the character will do the damage required of them. I would, however, argue that characetrs are a better proposition than Chariots, Shaggoths or Giants as the latter units can be easily picked-out by opponents bent on their destruction, and as such you will probably lose an expensive model, which is statistically easier for your opponent to hit or detsroy in one shot, rather than losing a few models each turn in your infantry and cavalry units.
I suppose its a question of the binary combat effective unit (a Shaggoth with 1 wound is as effective until it gets killed as one with full woudns) vs the analog combat effective unit like Chaos Knights where losing a model to shooting degrades performance in combat proportionally.
(a 7-wide, 2 ranked unit of Chaos Warriors, behaves binary until they take 7 casualties, and as an analog unit the rest of the time)
A Chaos Lord or Hero (or even a basic champion) will prevent the degradation of combat effectiveness from impacting the analog unit in a linear fashion, although there are still occassions (e.g. a completely mounted force across teh field) where you will want to deply massive point-sink line breakers like giants and shaggoths to appy maximum force at a very narrow point in the opposing line, or to augment a charge where your 5-wide knights have hit a 5-wide unit of enemy infantry or cavalry, and you want to get a corner-to-corner charge - the binary units have another notable property that they are as effective if only touching one enemy model, even corner to corner...
I totally agree, its a serious problem for us.
As kithre wrote, the problem with giants and shaggoths is that with only T5 they die quite easily from missile fire or against swordmasters or white lions - bu hey! Who doesnt?
Against some armies i will go with a shaggoth because its a can opener and because its different and a break from my 4 knight units ^^
Did the snaking formation vanish with 6th ed. or am I missing something?
I just had this unconventional thought process where I asked myself: what is the best number of units we can align on the front lines? I think answering this question will help us find the good equilibrium between points in troops vs characters and also determine how large we need to be (or with how many units our small army becomes large). I think oversimplified the situation but I did find the following exercise interesting.
We usually play on a 4x6 table with about 20% of the place occupied by terrain. These obstacles are usually on the side so I usually expect the middle to be wide open. This gives around 144 cm (58 inches) to deploy (80% of 6').
Typical WoC unit frontage are from 5 to 7 models (25mm). For simplicity let's average to 6 models. These 6 models cover 15cm (or 6 inches). Since we don't want those unit to be crowded together lets put half that distance on either side (gives 30cm or 12" frontage per unit). Now if we take our initial deployment zone of 144cm, only 4.8 units can fit in. I find this estimation to be correct based on my experiences.
This means that once 4 (maybe 5) units have been placed on the front line you don't have space anymore. Hence, if you don't want to have units in reserve (behind your line) you can spend the rest of your points either in binary units (fitting easily in between units) or in characters (inside units or in between units).
You actually have a frontage of 30 cm, but there is a 7.5 cm overlap in the ones in the middle, and the ones at teh edges can be placed right at the edge of the deployment zones.
So unit 1 = between 0 and 15cm in
Unit 2 = between 22.5 and 37.5 cm in
Unit 3 = between 45 and 60 cm in
Unit 4 = between 67.5 and 82.5 cm in
Unit 5 = between 90 and 105 cm in
Unit 6 = between 112.5 and 127.5 cm in
Unit 7 = between 135 and 150 cm in
So assuming a 150 cm deployment zone (or shaving a few 0.5 cms in) you can get 7 units with 25 mm bases and 6-model frontage in your theroetical deployment zone.
Thats a front line of 42 models, which is still quite small - consider an Empire army with big infantry blocks - for every 6 models you deploy on say 4 of your units, they are deploying 7.5 models frontage....(even Empire cavalry is 25mm bases..)
However they DO deploy in depth because they put crunchy units like cannon in the gaps, and then deploy a second or thrid wave who can help stem breaches in the line. And their units are chep ergo fully ranked for that free SCR.
Alright let us consider that 7 units fill our front line. Now some units require a second rank of troops (horsemen, hounds) or else they won't hold the line. So these could count as 2 for 1 for frontage calculation. For example, if we have 2 units of hounds and 2 of horsemen that counts only as two units. In this case you need 5 other units to fill the front line (4 could do it).
I guess by putting Characters in you can reduce the number of units you end up using - and I have to wonder if a refused flank tactic might be better used by Warriors of Chaos than by any other army?
Our problems, typically, are that we don't seem to have enough models and can be overwhelmed. But if you can set up a refused flank deployment, you can use your smaller number of insanely hard units to chew up the enemy from one side of the table before you get overwhelmed.