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This may seem like an odd question, but I've been finding myself wondering recently whether Marauders might in fact be better than Warriors in almost every situation, point-for-point.
A 50-Marauder horde with great weapons, full command and Mark of Khorne winds up at exactly 300 points. 18 Warriors with shield, halberd and Mark of Khorne runs to 336 points. They can take significantly less of a beating and put out significantly fewer attacks than the Marauder horde.
When would you use Warriors instead of Marauders?
Let us use a bit of MathHammer. We have width of 10 models, Warriors will go first, 36 attacks, 24 hits, 20 dead marauders. Marauders go, 41 attacks, 20.5 hits, 13.6 wounds, 11.3 dead warriors. Oops, 30 marauders are going to run now and 4.7 surviving Warriors will proudly live another turn.
As for me marauders are better at stopping well-equipped armies or killing weaker or equal foes. For example if your opponent's average S is 5 or more - you're saving a lot of points on armour considering price of marauder, plus they are really cheap and MoK makes them reliable, being cheaper than imperium or beastmen troops they are still more effective.
Although the price of your unit is correct, it's not a likely set-up. It's very common for people to skip on command for Warriors and running Mark of Khorne plus halberds on a unit that isn't run with a frontage of 6 is rare. That's why I set up my units the way I did.
This brings me on to another question: at what point does it make sense to stop focusing on doing damage and to start focusing on damage limitation? I mean, when would it ever make sense to take a Warrior unit with a frontage of 5 Mark of Tzeentch and shields over a unit with a frontage of 6, Mark of Khorne and halberds?
I just can't quite wrap my head around the situational use of the different weapons and it's really frustrating me!
They are cheaper to buy and take less time to paint / point.
They are both close combat beasts, but have a different take on it. This also means that they synergize differently with your magic phase, a Warrior heavy army will benefit more from Lore of Heavens while a Marauder heavy army will benefit more from Lore of Shadow - how the core of my warriors army is composed influences the most what magic lores I will use. In general, that is.
Taking a mix of them is usually a good approach, as it gives you more options to which kind of units is to tackle which problem. You can do probability calculations on the fly to figure out what to send against what. If you face something with a few really high strength attacks (Necrosphinx?), send the marauders against it. Better they kill 5 marauders than 5 warriors, while still getting a ton of attacks back. If you go up against a shredder unit like Dark Elf Corsairs, send the Warriors against them and watch their attacks bounce off before you put them down and kill them. It's pretty much situational.
Addendum: I always run my Warrior units 6 wide, no matter their weapons. Even with shields, Chaos Warriors are primarily damage dealers instead of relying on static combat res. The 3 extra attacks are more likely to make a difference to an additional guy in the back or two trying to fill up a rank. The breaking point there is instead a consideration of 1) Will my frontage match the enemy units or will models spill out on the side (the Horde problem) and 2) Will running the unit too wide make it too difficult to manouver. In my experience, 6 wide is pretty much optimal in both these respects.
Last edited by Viktor; November 24th, 2011 at 20:17.
Warhammer Fantasy: Warriors of Chaos, High Elves
Warhammer 40k: Eldar, Space Marines, Orks
15 Warriors with shields/halberds [always take shields and six wide in a standard list anyway]
Total Cost: 303
50 Marauders with Great Weapons
Total Cost: 300
Warriors hit first with 24 attacks, 16 hit, 13 wounds
Marauders hit next with 33 attacks, 16 hit, 10 wounds, 1 armor save, 9 wounds
warriors have no ranks but +4 wounds
marauders have 3 ranks
Thus the marauders lose by 1 point, but have steadfast [if they pass it the warriors are dead the following round].
Against high strength opponents with high I. Marauders would be the go-to unit, but warriors are unmatched by any infantry for their massive damage output.
“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.” – Bob Paisley
Trying to maximize efficiency between Warriors and Marauders is something that is almost a total waste of time. When you're comparing the two point-for-point, they're almost identical. 50 Marauders vs. 15-18 Warriors will hold up equally well against most foes.
That's where Marauders get their bonuses from having lots of ranks, which helps them stay Steadfast, but more importantly, helps them break Steadfast. The problem of course, is that most enemies who are Steadfast against Warriors (read, 3+ ranks) are the types of enemies you don't want to send the Marauders in against. Like 50 Goblins with Spears. That many attacks will leave your Marauders severely depleted, in a hurry.
Warriors do better against those Goblins, simply because they have the armor, WS, and Initiative to make sure that the Gobs hit the floor with as few returned casualties as possible. The Warriors will win combat, but they're going to have a hard time breaking the Goblins. Let's Hammer it out:
50 Gobs, Horded, Spears, vs. 50 GW MoK Marauders
Gobs go first
40A = 20 hits
20 Hits = 10 wounds
40A = 20 hits
20 hits = 16 wounds
The Marauders are lucky to have 1 extra rank (they killed the whole back rank and reduced the 4th rank to 4 models), and thus win the combat by 7 and break Steadfast, but they sustained 20% casualties. A few more rounds of combat like that, or some shooting/magic on the way in, and those Marauders are going to be hurting, and a handful of Marauders isn't nearly as terrifying as a Horde.
Same Gob unit vs. 18 Warriors, MoK, Halbs
Warriors go first
24 attacks = 16 hits
16 hits = 13 wounds
37 attacks = 18.5 hits
18.5 hits = 6 wounds
6 wounds = 3 failed armor saves
The Warriors win combat by 8 points (the Goblins still have a 4th rank, whereas the Warriors have 2 ranks +3 stragglers) but they don't break Steadfast. They only suffered 18% casualties however. This entire scenario was run assuming that Goblins are WS3 opponents (or substitute Empire Spearmen), at WS2, the Warriors take no casualties at all.
Warriors also hold up much better against most magic. Dwellers and any other Stat-check for the unit favors Warriors by far, and anything that grants an armor save and/or has a Strength value will obviously be more kind to the Warriors. Marauders are good when it comes to stuff that ignores armor (be it shooting, magic, or combat), although this isn't because they're better, it's just because there's more of them to soak up the damage.
This is also where the idea of damage-output vs. resilience comes into play. The Warriors are more resilient than the Maruaders, given that Goblin fight. You can imagine that the Warriors would last 6 rounds in that fight or similar combats before the last 3 of them were killed (even longer, since the number of Goblins will be dropping significantly over that time). Marauders can only make it 5 rounds in those conditions before they're wiped out. Worse yet, the Marauders combat output is spread over the entire unit - assuming 3 ranks attacking at once, with 2A in the front. Warriors focus their combat abilities on the front 2 ranks, and 75% of that damage is from the front rank alone. That's why most people will write off 15 Marauders charging at them, but they'll still worry a LOT about 6 Warriors.
Think about the roles you want your army to play. Warriors are great in combat, but have issues with Steadfast. Marauders are equally awesome in combat, provided they're not taking much damage... say, where do we see situations like that on the battlefield? Flank attacks. Marauders are excellent for running in and smashing the flanks of whatever your Warriors/Chosen/Knights/Trolls/Spawn/Uber-Lord is currently beating to a pulp. They provide enough ranks to reliably cancel enemy ranks, and enough bodies to cancel Steadfast as well, plus being able to spam enough damage to make most things just "disappear", and the flank of an enemy unit is generally a pretty safe place to attack.
But if you have Warriors who are wreaking carnage on the front of the fight, do you really need Marauders chewing through the flank like a buzz-saw? And how easy is it to get 50, 25mm bases into the flank of a combat? The answers are "not much" and "not very". So what if instead of 50, slobbering, crazy naked Marauders, we ran 30 (5x6 or 6x5) HW&S MoT Marauders as flankers? This unit is a good bit cheaper, has a 5+ parry save (because you'll rarely get the 6+ for your shield) and is still great at it's job. Furthermore, in a bind, they can still fulfill the "tarpit" roll. A 5+ Ward is equal to another 33% of your unit, so 30 Marauders actually looks a bit more like 40 when they're packing a Wardsave - not much of a trade is it?
There is one, final consideration. The more dice you're rolling, the better chance you have of rolling average. You also can't change your opponent's luck. With Marauders, you're banking on doing a lot of attacks, having them all hit, wound, and kill something - so you're praying you don't fluff your rolls. Then you're hoping that your opponent doesn't roll incredibly and take out TONS of Marauders (a real possibility with Ws4, T3, and no armor). If you lose 1 round of combat, you are left with 1A Marauders and a pretty low Leadership to test on. Warriors don't want to whiff their attacks either (face it, WoC is built on lucky attack rolls) but they have a lot more built in resilience - typically, to even hit a Warrior, the opponent has to roll higher-than-average.
In my lists, I run a full-plate battle line: 3 units of Warriors, two units of 15 Tzeentchians, and one unit of 18 MoKkers. I have Marauders in the list, 30 of them coming in with Wulfrik. When I do have them in the battle line, I put them at 6x5 and drop Festus into the unit in place of Wulfrik, for the 5+ regen. This makes them a bit more similar to Tzeentchian Marauders, and they work very well for me as flankers and the likes.
If I was using Marauders as a flanking unit I could understand using minimum frontage and maximum ranks. Using a frontage of 5 with 6 ranks behind it will almost guarantee you negate steadfast - particularly in combination with a frontal charge from 18 Frenzied Warriors. But then, we're talking about over 500 points of infantry being committed to that combat.
Do you find that Marauders make a better flanking unit than, say, Knights?
Wow that's strange... Am I the only one who runs Warriors 8-to-10 wide? Instead of doing 2-3 units 6 wide I am running 2 waves of 16, each wave 8 wide. As you can see even 2 lines can deal massive damage to any horde. I tried to use 6-wide, shield+MoT, but it failed miserably - lack of immunity to panic, and while they are quite armoured - they can't hit hard enough to win a combat.
@ El Don
Yes, I'd say that the Marauders make better flankers than my Knights. I have been skimming Knights out of my lists lately, or changing their role entirely. The days of small, 5-6 man units of Chaos Knights have long passed. Now it's either go big, or go home. I run 8 Knights and then escort them with 2 JuggExes, one with the Helm of Eyes and Sword of Battle, the other with the Sword of Swift Slaying, so that they add 11 S5 ASF attacks to the mix. If I were really maximizing this formation, I'd drop the Juggernauts and pick up 2 more Knights, and put my Exalteds on normal Chaos Steeds (but Juggers look so cool). That Knight unit isn't meant for flanking into combat- it's a shock regiment that I can smash into the flank of the entire enemy army and start crushing my way across the field.
Just like your point with committing Warriors and Marauders, sending in 250pts of Knights isn't going to help much. They don't have 2 ranks to negate enemy rank bonuses, they certainly don't have enough ranks to negate Steadfast, and you're wasting points on Movement that you're not using (because you're staying close to your Warriors). Yes, a unit of Knights held in the second line of battle, ready to charge out and take on minor threats or add some weight to combat might be good, but Marauders do that job just as effectively from the front lines, and bring more wounds and extra capabilities to boot.
Welcome to the forum! Glad to see a new face in the WoC section, and apparently, new ideas too I would hazard say that right now, you are the only one runs Warriors more than 6 wide without also Hording them (yes, there are those among us who run 30 Warrior regiments, which is alright, since it's only 6 more models than some of you run already). I assume that you run a Musician in those blocks and reform to that width just before combat? Where I play, we use the D6+4 pieces of terrain, so it's not uncommon for there to be too much terrain on the field to maneuver lines of Warriors that are that long. Furthermore, against most enemies who field units of 20-30 models, Warriors actually can break steadfast if deployed in 3 ranks.
You and I probably play very similiarly in combat - I assume that you reform to bring in more ranks if you are fighting a foe who is only 5-6 20mm models wide? I start with ranks, and will reform to maximize the number of models in combat if I know that I need fast kills. This usually happens against my pal's Lizardmen army, where the two of us will compete to maximize the number of models striking, and usually end up in single-file lines by the end of the fight.
I'm planning on fielding a whole army of Warriors where all the units are 8 wide. Mainly because it's Fluffy as it's Khorne but a lot of the guys around me are fielding units of 10+ Ogres, wide units of Black Orcs and Saurus. So I figured going wider wouldn't be a bad thing. Plus........... it's look SO cool.
Sarathai said everything I was gonna say