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In my last few battles I have been fielding three warrior units, two big marauder blocks, a warhound screen and three characters who all have thier own roles - a disk rider to beat up weak flank units and war machines (plus help out in combat sometimes), a level 4 sorcerer (though the lore is variable, as I have not found one I am settled on yet) and a BSB with a little magic of his own.
Its been a nice solid list so far for 2400 point games, but I have been wondering lately about maybe compacting the warriors into two larger units of 20 and use the spare points to buy a warshrine or some knights or a hellcannon.
What do you lot think - is it better to spread the points out a bit and have lots of units to split the enemies focus (and that are capable of holding a combat) or fewer, more numerous ones, to survive longer combats against strong enemies?
it isn't such a simple question, the way you state it. To be honest, you need both. big units get out-positioned at the start of the game and out flanked in the long run, while MSU lists lose alot of points from having multiple units getting wiped out and not having anything that can really hold it's own. You have to find the balance between a Big unit and how many smaller units can be tossed together in a cohesive force.
My typical list looks something like this:
1 unit of warriors 15-20 strong
1 unit of maraders 35 strong with hw/sh tzeech (5 wide)
1-2 fast hitters (knights, droger, shaggoth, giant, Chariots)
2-3 units of flack (hounds, marader horsemen, 10man unit of maraders)
With 2-4 dummy drops (I use the hellcannon as a dummy drop as it doesn't really matter where it goes for what i use it for)i can usually position my units to contend with units that they will have the advantage against. without them and my opponent positions themself for favorable combats on their end.
The maraders are my tarpit, either taking on other large units that I can never hope to break steadfast, or elite infatry that My warriors just won't be able to shake off.
The warriors are the Tank unit. I almost never leave them without the banner of rage and tzeech, and have even started giving a character in there the collar of khorne. 15 is risky small as 1 bad magic or shooting phase and it is almost useless. with the protection it's 1 bad phase +1 bad round of saves, a little better. However 18-20 is a much safer number but may cost me a unit of flak.
I have really started to enjoy the knights for cleaning up the smaller units, or units smashed up by the hellcannon or other spells. they can't take much head-on anymore, but they will do wonders for clean-up duty. also since they almost never get rank bonuses anyway, I sometimes re-form them after combat to less-than 5 wide. sure they don't get as many attacks in but this allows them to snake thru narrower gaps and get into flank charges to support warriors or maraders a little easier, and can later expand again to give the extra punch in combat. Knights are still a valuable troop, but require so much more finess than they used too.
Shaggoths have really been doing alot of good for me lately. with a GW there are few elite troops they can't pound away over time. the T5 is a little nerve racking as they can be hurt somewhat easily, but they have enough power to nasty cahracters (Such as mage lords) in 1-2 rounds of combat. I feel that he is one of the only choices we have availible to do so, as our regular characters will get wrapped in challenges they shouldn't be in, and the rank and file just don't have the oomph to finish the job when it needs to be done. the thunderstomp then takes care of the rank and file troops for easy combat res.
The hellcannon puts a timer on the opponent, as each time it shoots they can potentially lose their best thing on the table.
Flak units, aside from deployment stratagy, also serve in delaying combat and opening up favorable combats with re-direction of troops or denial of unfavorable combat with re-direction. Never earn their points in hard-combat, they are entirely a soft-tactic and require a bit more skill. still learning the best way, but a few years of playing woodelves in 7th has given me a good start.
To draw it all together, it's not about the troops you choose but the roles you choose for them to fulfill. Some troops can only do 1 or two things, others can do many, but need to be focused into one role. Quantity is needed to create favorable conditions/remove unfavorable conditions, but without quality of troops it won't make too much difference.
For what you have, I think you cover most areas well enough. The old ways, 3 solid combat units was generally good enough, so dropping 1 unit of warriors may add a dimention to your list. I would add the hellcannon, the Knights won't do anything the disc rider can't do and warshrines are little better than flak units (IMO). I would definatly experiment with what you have just to see how it affects your game and if you can adapt to it, but as the saying goes: if it ain't broke don't fix it, stick with what is working for you in games that matter.
This thread was a great read. A very nice walkthrough there, Talismanictattoo.
Sorry for the potential threadsteal here, but Im having a similar problem (At least I think).
I generally play against two armysetups, a Vampire Counts army with a handful of biiig Ghoul/Graveguard blocks and some knights/ghosts to top that off, and a DarkElf army with alot of shooting, the hydra and some nasty magic, and I find those armies very very hard to win against.
The Darkelves usually get my flanks quite fast with DarkRiders, Shades or Coldones, and then it really doesnt matter how strong my tarpit/anvil/hammer units are, they get surrounded and sooner or later they run (Thats usually when my opponents succesfully gets mindrazor through). Now, would I be able to avoid that problem by spending additional points protecting my flanks, or what do you guys do in that situation?
The Vampires usually dont have anything that threatens my flanks, but his Ghoul/Graveguard blocks are just soo big, that its almost impossible to eat my way through it before my own men starts dying, but does this mean, that Im spending too few points on my hammer/anvil units, or what?
I usually play with a setup that goes something like:
1 big units of Khorne Marauders
2 units of 15-20 Warriors of Nurgle/Tzeentch
a unit of Knights
a unit of Marauder Horsemen
and a meleebased charactersetup.
I guess my problem is that I cant seem to find my balance between quantity and quality
I agree with most of the points talisman has presented. Knights are more difficult for me to use in 8th edition. Since I play against horde armies, eventually 40 night goblins will get lucky enough to take out half my knights and cause them to break and turn tail. I have been replacing them with Dragon ogres, they hit later, have less armor, but at 4 wounds each, they make up for those short comings. My magic number for my Tzeentch warriors is 6x4 and even if you lose 9 of them during shooting, you still can reform to 5x3 and have a solid anvil unit to use against core and elite units. Hellcannons are a must nowadays and a warshrine can be used to cover a flank until the cavalry shows up.
If there is one word to summarize your army it should be Balance. Too few units and you will find yourself surrounded and overwhelmed. Too many, and you will be fielding weak units that are defeated far too easily. Everyone has their favorite units, but I would suggest:
10 war hounds
10 marauder horsemen
8-12 Heavy Cav (Knights or Dragon Ogres)
Chosen (if you have points left over)
This is a well rounded army, not perfect, not unbeatable, but it will certainly give your opponent cause for alarm.
Its a well rounded list
5000 pts of WoC, 5000 pts of Orcs and now 3000 pts of Ogres...What was I thinking ????
As for your spesific situations mentioned:
Your list does lack something that can manuver into the way of these flankers AND kill them. MOnsters work well for this, chariots might as well. anything that can pivot and charge a good distance will keep these guys back. Back, not kill them. The goal with protecting the flank is to keep them from barring down on you, not to wipe them out (that can come later). A shaggoth with GW will smash any of these units the moment it touches them. A HC will grind them out. Impact hits from chariots will cause some pain. each of these will be vulnerable to shooting to a certain degree, so chose your charging distance wisely.
Also, watch your deployment and movement. If there are obsticals you can use then try and exploit it. You can also deny a flank by deploying heavily on one side.
For your Vampire delima, I will point out that these units generally have poor stats and there is alot of magic out there that can wipe them out easily with test-based damage. Purple sun will ruin a horde of bad I troops, Pit of shades will make things dissipear. Shadows also has stat reducing spells so you can force the I test on -d3 I, or if you combine with another mage (say slaneesh), -D3 T and froce T test on the entire unit. Magic can be fickle but I find it is one of the better counters to the massive units delima.
Hope some of this helps and most of it makes sense.
I could be wrong here but if you were both playing chaos and both had characters in the same CC wouldn't there have had to be a challenge as you both have to offer and neither could decline?played against a friend of mine (chaos vs chaos) and took my unit of 16 halberd tzeech warriors w/ bsb against his giant unit of maraders with this guy in it, and he killed everything. At first I would win combat and the stuborn would hold out, but the wounds over time compromised my battle performance so much quicker that it wasn't long until I wasn't able to hit back as hard.
Nevermore Chapter: 6200 pts; 97/49/11; Longest Streak: 9 Wins/4 Losses; Nearing Completion
There was a challenge but it wasn't noteworthy. 5 str 5 attacks on a T4 hero without a ward save isn't a challenge, it's a massacre. Once he died it was time to smash the warriors to pieces.
These guys are chaos, though. There is no concept of turning down a challenge - even if you are a wizard tooled up purely for casting you are still expected to do your part.
In a way, it kind of seems fairer that warriors of chaos can have the hardest characters in the game when they have such a handicap inflicted on them.
Mind you, I lost track of the number of times I have won a challenge and forgotten to roll on the eye of the gods table....
Eye of The Gods is our reward for never refusing a challenge. Sure I have had a sorcerer eaten by a beefed up Ogre Tyrant, but he went down fighting. I know this idea is completely off topic but it kind of relates... 3 Chaos Characters can easily cost as much as 6 Orc and goblin characters or even 8 goblin only characters. We fight for the evil gods that give us our powers (through Marks) anyone that isn't brave enough to take on an enemy character, can go fight for the Empire..
5000 pts of WoC, 5000 pts of Orcs and now 3000 pts of Ogres...What was I thinking ????