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Here's another of my crazy ideas that I'd like some feedback on. While going through the "Beating Steadfast" thread, I realized that most WoC players have come to grips with the fact that we just have to accept Steadfast as an inevitability. So then I have to ask myself- why do we field such large regiments of Warriors? Most lists that I've seen/used have regiments with 3 ranks built in- 15, 18, 21 etc.
My question to you is: do you think it's possible to play with very small regiments, if they were properly equipped? And how would you equip them?
My thoughts are to run several Warriors/Chosen regiments of 6 models. This is about as wide as we can deploy and still get our men into combat, and the even number means that we can reform into nice 3x2 blocks.
I understand that we will not get rank bonuses or negate ranks!
I'm not talking about fielding 10-12 man units because it's not a very radical difference. The current "sweet spot" for Warriors IMO, is 15. 10-12 is too few to reliably have ranks going into combat, but too many to capitalize on the MSU tactics. So please, keep in mind that I'm discussing regiments smaller than 10 Warriors.
My thought is that we don't need to negate ranks or have bonuses. We usually win combat on kills alone, so all that we really need are 6 Warriors swinging in combat. The reason that I mentioned reforming into 2 ranks is so that we can get even more models into combat for those times that we might need them.
There are some definite pros and cons to this approach:
1. More units to deploy- we can finally react to what our opponent is placing down
2. Area Control- like all MSU tactics of the past, we can sacrifice 6 models to get another 6-12 into the Flank, and not feel much sting. We can swarm large regiments while only sending "just enough" troops to deal with smaller threats or take objectives.
3. Multiple Break Checks- at the moment, if we do lose combat and break, we're breaking with a full 15 man regiment. Now, if we're desperately trying to hold back an enemy and lose, we may be taking 2 separate tests. That's 2 chances to re-roll with the BSB, and a higher likelihood that at least 1 regiment will stick it through for another round. This may give us time to throw a second regiment in, escape and rally with our broken regiment, or show up with a flanking force.
4. Multiple Targets- the most compelling of the pros, I think. Shooting has always been very scary for WoC armies. Usually the enemy has far more guns than we have units, but now they're sending 10, 20, maybe even 30 shots... into 6 men. Gone are the days when two regiments could focus their fire and kill 20 men. Now those 2 regiments are capped at killing just 12. More importantly is magic. Much of 8th edition magic focuses on effecting massive numbers of models, and the casting values reflect that. Is someone really going to risk throwing 4-5 dice at Dwellers just to kill 6 warriors? Most of the smaller spells are just D6 hits with a Strength and allow Saves. They're hardly anything to worry about. We just negated a lot of the enemy casting threat right there, allowing us more points from our casters to focus on combat characters or more blocks of Warriors.
1. We have no SCR - aside from banners (if we bother taking one) we are wholly reliant on kills to win combat. This isn't such a problem for Warriors though, as we are usually losing the Rank game anyway. We only need to win by a point, because the enemy is usually steadfast anyways. We can probably score those victories through kills alone. Besides, more units means more Flank Charges, which means that we can atleast grab a little +1.
2. Marks just got pricey: with 15 men in a unit, MoN is a 2pt upgrade. With 6 men in the unit, it now costs twice as much. However, MoK actually just became more economic. In regiments of 15 men, only the front rank will benefit from MoK. Now, with just 6 men, you can almost guarantee that every Warrior who receives Frenzy, is going to display the full benefit of it.
3. VP denial: we were all very happy when 8th told us that the enemy no longer got "partial VP" for units which were reduced to half strength. Now though, we're handing over our points in nice 6-man bundles. Instead of an 18 man regiment being down to 1 man and giving nothing, we're handing away the PV for 12 Warriors with our new tactic. This means that if it doesn't pay off and win us the game, we're going to lose hard.
4. More panic checks: if you have 6 men in a unit, you only need to lose 2 before you're testing for Panic. This isn't much of a problem for Warriors though, as even without a BSB, we reroll our Panic tests. Furthermore, if we do decide to go with MoK, we won't even care.
My thoughts for equipping these small units would likely be Halberds and Shields, with either MoK or MoT. I would consider 2xHW an option, but we lose out on armor and I would rather just go with Halberds, Shields, and Khorne in that case. 18S5 is better than most enemy units can do with 20 soldiers.
Chosen could also make an interesting MSU unit. Given Halberds, every small regiment would get to roll on the EotG at the start of the turn. Hopefully a lot of +1A or +1S to really take advantage of the MSU mentality, but even Terror could be interesting.
I'm not saying that our entire list should be comprised of small regiments. Large blocks of cheap Marauders would be fine, and might even work to provide mini-anvils (HW&S/MoT) or regiments which can actually deny ranks. Knights, Trolls, DOgres already follow the MSU pattern just through conventional wisdom. This is simply a matter of fielding our Plate-Infantry in MSU style as well, to make the most of their strengths.
Small units definately work. Really small units, of less than 10, can only be done by Chosen or Forsaken. well, and Knights but we know about Knights.
I can't say I've used Chosen that small but I use small units of Forsaken quite alot. As speedy flanking units that add a bit of punch and durability. The concept of doing a 3x2 regiment is novel and I'll definately try it out.
I've used my little forsaken units against Goblin hordes and they've worked wonders. After casualties even 3 Forsaken can do enough kills to hold up a block of 50 goblins, especially if they hit them in the flank (5 gobbos attacking? that ain't gonna kill you). 3 Models will do enough casualties to win combat.
However, my main concern with such small units is, at the end of the day, such a small unit is destined to fail. A few casualties here n there, maybe a few from shooting, maybe one or two from combat and the units finished. They wont kick out enough attacks to win combat and then it's all over. The enemy unit, being so large and steadfast, just has to wait till you get unlucky and take one too many casualties and leg it.
Also, be wary of Characters. Most hordes pack a character or 5. With the 'make way' rule your small unit is going to feel the pain quickly. A gobbo boss (hero) with great weapon costs an impressive 34pts. Imagine how many of them you can pack into a unit? 3 or 4 of them will give 6 Chosen some pain.
6 models (100pts) holding up 50 can open up loads of tactical opertunities though.
Good thread Cap'n.
Not sure if Borak is pointing it out or just remarking on effectiveness, but plain warriors can't be taken in numbers less than ten per unit unfortunately.
I don't see much of a difference between using Chosen for the job, and Warriors. Chosen are a few extra points each for a shot at EotG and +1WS. They don't boast a vastly superior stat-line.
The idea is not to deploy in a 3x2 formation, as that's begging to have templates dropped on your head. The idea is that if I need to face off against someone with 50 models in his unit, and I'm thinking "Wow, I really wish I had a regiment of 12 or so Warriors right now" I could reform prior to the charge, and go in with a pair of 3x2, for the same affect as 12 warriors. If I wanted, I could reform as low as 2x3 and throw in a 3rd regiment, for the effect of having 18 warriors in combat with that particular foe.
Furthermore, Characters don't mess up a regiment of 6 Warriors any more-so than they mess up a regiment 15. If anything, wouldn't they be capped to only killing 6 models, since they have to target a specific unit?
I do see what you mean about the damage from incoming enemy shots. The enemy could always elect to try to spread damage over a wider surface, and instead of killing a single regiment at a time, try to cripple as many as he could. That would be a pain, I'll give you that, but this tactic would actually be to use Warriors as needed. If I need to pile a few regiments into a fight together, then I'll send 2-3 units into one target.
At the moment, I field two regiments of 15 warriors. That's 30 models. I could be fielding five regiments of 6. I also field one regiment of 18 Chosen, when instead I could have three. Instead of having three units on the table, I now deploy eight- almost three times as many.
If you come at me with 5 fast cavalry, I no longer have to pull an entire third of my army out of position to face it. I can just point 6 warriors your way and say "bring it". But if you're threatening me with a horde of 50, I can still swing in with 18 Warriors, just like I would with my normal list. If I need to capture the tower midfield, I don't have to stuff a third of the army into it. I can toss in 6 men and let the rest of my force roam free.
The only downside to building this list is having to pay for so many individual marks. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be best to just leave the extra attack or 1/6 wardsave at home and go with cheaper units in lieu of the VP issue in point 3 of the 'cons'.
edit: Bjorn- thumbs up for strategizing with the book in front of you. Thumbs down for seriously raining on my parade...
Aye I did. That's what I meant by "only Forsaken and Chosen". You have to watch the Capt'n sometimes. Thanks for explaining it a little better than I did though
Aye, Marks wouldn't be worth it on such a small unit. It would work out to 5pts a model (MoK) in a 6 man unit. That just isn't worth while. Still, 6 Chosen can still squish an enemy unit. 9 Ws6 str5 (halbs) attacks is going to hurt someone. That's if you're deployed 3x2.
Characters would mess with a single regiment of 6. Putting forward multiple units of 6 and you'll be fine.
You'll have trouble with spacing though. Keeping all your units 1" apart will cause you some headaches. Also getting your boys into combat all at the same time will be interesting as well.
You'd also have to be careful about being eaten peicemeal. Some small units, like Sword Masters will eat 6 Chosen alive before they get to strike. If they get the charge off on you they can kill one unit then pick on the next without taking any, or little, return damage. This will be the same for any High Init (6+) fast unit. Lone Elf, Skaven Characters might give you some problems.
Yep, I keep my Armybook in a backpack with my templates and whatnots out in my car. You never know when you'll get off work early enough that you can make a quick sprint up to the LGS. Unfortunately, this also means that if you forget to bring it inside, you can't read the fine print while you're brainstorming.
Now I'm thinking though. Unfortunately, we can only field 3 regiments of Chosen, so if I did go MSU, I'd be essentially splitting my existing Chosen regiment evenly into 6-mans, and then having to figure out what to do with my Warriors.
Borak, I know that you run your Warriors in smaller regiments- about 12 though right? And you use them as flankers for your Marauders. I know that you've also used Forsaken in your lists. How do those two units work out for you?
My experience with minimal sized Warriors regiments is that they're expensive enough that you really don't get many of them, and they end up being shot to pieces while crossing the field, then you might as well have only had 6 of them to begin with. If you had regiments of 15, you'd have gotten to the fight effectively, or if you had 6, you would have had more units on the table.
I've never really used Forsaken, as I don't trust my rolling with their random stats. Small, 6-man clusters of them might work as well, to help fill the gaps caused by the fact that I can only take 3 regiments of Chosen.
How would you go about writing an MSU-oriented list? Lots of small (15-20) Marauder regiments supported by Chosen and Forsaken, or would you stick with Warriors in your core?
Well, I don't use units of 12 Warriors as Flankers for my Marauders. I've got 2 Chaos armies, one pure plate, one Marauders with bits.
My Plate is the army with the forsaken flankers. 12 Warriors works fine for me but then I don't play shooty armies. Orcs, other Chaos, Beastmen, Dark Elves and Undead are my main opponents so all I have to really worry about is the odd Bolt thrower or two.
In combat, as you said, you only need units of 6 to win combat (against weak opponents) so the odd casualty or so forth doesn't worry my 12 strong units. Infact if I come up against hordes I'll sometimes just ditch ranks and extend my frontage to 10 or so and fight them with as many models in B2B as I can. 30 WS5 Str5 attacks from 10 frenzied Halberd Warriors makes hordes regret being horde.
Forsaken, these guys are fine. Infact I quite like them but I know others have a dislike for them. They have speed, armour and the stats to take down most other flanking units. Squigs, Dire Wolves, light Cav all fall to Forsaken. Sure the random attacks is a bad factor for them but 6 Forsaken still kick out a minimum of 12 attacks, Max of 24, so it's enough to take down the type of units you'll come up against.
While doing this they can do sneaky flanks on horde troops. They're durable enough to stay alive and kick out enough attacks to win combat against Orcs or such. They're much more durable than Horsemen as T4 makes a huge difference.
At 2k I have 3 Blocks of 12 Warriors, a block of 11 Chosen (with Exalted) and on the flanks I have 2 small untis of Forsaken, Scylla and 2 spawn. That's enough stuff on the flanks to cause people grief and slow down hordes (spawn are great for that, especially Scylla) and 4 units of 12 Warriors is enough to rip the heart out of most armies.
I've played quite a few games with that list and only lost once, against another Chaos player who kept irristable forcing Gateway and rolling 11&12 for str. Seriously, 3 times???
It may have been mentioned previously, but you cannot take Warriors less than 10+. Chosen are 5+. But, wouldn't a unit of 10 Warriors still accomplish close to what you want in MSU - that is freeing up points to have more units. Also, the back rank does not have to be a complete rank - rank them up 6 in the front and 4 in the back....
It's been mentioned, and that's what I'm trying to deal with. It does free up a few points in the army, but the point of going with units as absolutely minuscule as 6 men, was because those units are so tiny that they'll almost certainly be eradicated by shooting, but there will be tons of them. For instance, I run two regiments of 15 at the moment- if I were able to split them down to units of 6 men, I'd more than double the number of units I have on the field. If I split them down to regiments of 10 however, I'm only gaining a single extra regiment. With 6 men, if you kill 2, the unit might panic and carry 4 Warriors away with it. With 10 men, if you kill 3, the unit might panic and carry 7 men away with it. It's all about the math- this is what gives you "sweet spots" with your army, and why I say that Warriors are best in units of 15 or units of 6.
But none of that matters, because you can't field units of 6 Warriors.
I'm thinking, possibly go with 11 Warriors (panic checks at 4 men, and 7 flee) in uneven ranks to maximize frontage or 2x5+1 for Rank denial. Then bulking out the rest of the army with three units of 6 Chosen and a few units of 6 Forsaken. Otherwise I'll keep the army looking the same, with a Hellcannon, MCav block, and Wulfrik Marauders.
Otherwise, I'm thinking of totally ignoring the Warrior blocks and using either equal points of Marauder infantry in small units of 15-20, or another block of Marauder Horsemen with an Exalted. That would give me 2 large regiments who can rush forward early in the game, as well as Wulfrik & Co. and several MSU blocks of Chosen and Forsaken following up.
This looks like something worth testing over the next few weeks- look for a trial list in the near future.
Anyone ever thought of doing an all marauder army? I realise thats a s*&tload of models to get. you could field a bunch of them in units of 10 and even have a horde or two as well. in a 1k point army you'd be looking at around 160 marauders, depending on general choice and wepon/mark loadout. I realize that marauders are pretty terrible, but compared to other armies standard troops they are about the same, or slightly better.