View Full Version : Secondary, supporting units.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
03-12-2007, 20:44
Spinning off from another thread of mine, about List Writing, I'd quite like to discuss which units people tend to see as 'secondary' choices in their army.

What do I mean by this?

Well, first of all, I'm guessing it's really a matter of opinion as to which units qualify, but to give you an idea of how I'm defining the term, a Secondary Unit is one which allows your army to be flexible. Primary units, therefore, are those you expect to win you the game.

You see, it's like a Gunline for the Empire. The only reason they do reasonably well, is the combat units. The predominant strategy of the army is to bombard you into submission, yet, without combat troops to block flankers or take on anyone whose survived relatively unscathed, the army wouldn't do very well at all, as your Handgunners and Cannon Crew are, frankly, doomed to having their heads kicked in as soon as combat commences. Thus, the seemingly requisite units of Knights allow the army to play to it's strengths, whilst reducing it's incumbant weakness.

Another example, would be my decision to include Snotling Pump Wagons in my Savage Orc list. I intend to use these as, ahem 'flankers and blankers' Being otherwise entirely Frenzied, it's these plucky little mentalists which should keep my force on track, and heading where I want to. Hopefully, the method is pretty plain. Stick them in front of my units to charge block when being baited, thus the 'blanking' part, and to severely discourage any irritating units of Skirmishers or Fast Cavalry from march blocking or baiting, the 'flanking' part. They may not be able to take much punishment, but hopefully, I shouldn't need them to survive too long, as I'm banking on a third turn charge...

So what do you consider to be your Secondary units? As I mentioned earlier, I'm expecting quite a lot of different responses, as different armies need different support, even when chosen from the same book. Remember, they don't necessarily have to fit my examples, it's more a question of how you use them to ensure your Primary units lead you to victory!

03-12-2007, 21:00
Interesting post Mad Doc!

For Me, I tend to play chaos MSU style. So pretty much all my units are secondary units. I do however use a superherd tactic so I guess that is my primary unit.

Units like, furries, screemers, mounted demonettes, chariots, dragon ogres, minotaurs, chaos knights, even warhounds have their roles.

I guess I keep them all small and cheap to be able to out deploy my opponent. Then I try to get the right kind of mismatches on the board.

For example, if I need to take on a big block of troops, I try to get a chariot and some knights into them. If I need to take out something like a bret lance I use my warhounds and big blocks of marauders. If I need to take out a gunline, I try to use warhounds and furries/screemers to get in quickly.

For me it is about using the right secondary units in tandem with each other that wins for me.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
03-12-2007, 21:05
Interesting, an army arguably consisting entirely of secondary units. Never really though of that as an option....

03-12-2007, 21:37
It works quite well. You just have to be able to get the right match-ups. So keeping things cheap (including characters), and being fast helps alot. In my 2K chaos army I have 11 units deployed(8 of which move 7 or more and 3 of which are skirmishers). So I get to see how my opponent sets up his army before I have my most versatile unit out there. Also, deploying in a strange fashion (to play mind games) helps alot, especially with fast units. Units like flyers and fast cav can cover alot of ground quickly so I don't worry if they are out of position at the start, but by turn 3 they better be in a position to work.

Also, against some armies, certain smaller units will be toast. While against other armies, those same units will really earn their keep. I don't want to give away points, but I may not need certain units in some games at all (so I keep them in reserve and away from exploitation).

This allows me to play any multitudes of styles. From a refused flank to a magic gunline, to smashmouth, if the match-ups are there then I can usually expolit it.

Just Tony
03-12-2007, 22:55
Hmmmmmm, each of my armies has those.

Beasts would be my lone herd. Solely in existence to allow me a unit of Bestigors to escort my Hero lever whatever he is. And since the rest of the army is all Minotaurs (pretty much), they're the "band aid" unit, sorta flexible in use.

Bretonnians would be my lone Pegasus Hero, possibly two Pegasus Heroes. Solely in the "band aid" role, they can pretty much change on the fly (....WOW) and adapt to whatever the battle dictates. Up to and including soaking up fire and becoming a foot knight.

Dwarfs would be my Rangers and/or Miners. Partly because it takes the entire deployment for me to figure out where the Rangers will go, and then where the Miners will come in at.

Empire would be the unit of huntsmen. Scouts are pretty much ideal if you're going to have a flexible unit.

High Elves would be my two eagles. Since getting them, I've only neglected them in ONE game. Uses are endless, even as a strategic sacrifice unit. Of course, Shadow Warriors do this too, but more expensively.

Hordes of Chaos would probably be the chariot. I really just take it to have another Tzeentch marked unit, and it's uses vary drastically every battle. And since I now have some Screamers to paint up once I get off this deployment, I may have yet another.

Lizardmen would be the Chameleon skinks. Once more, my enthusiasm for scouting units. And the ability to disrupt the battle line from the first die is always good.

Ogre Kingdoms would be either the Yhetees or the Gougers. Depends on how the battle sways, and how the line holds up. I suppose I SHOULD use the Gnoblars for that, but I'm too busy keeping them in the main line for rank bonuses.

Orcs and Goblins. Goblin Wolfriders. Nuff said.

Vampire Counts would be my Fell Bats and Bat Swarms. They never have a clear role in my battle plan, they're just there because I like bats. And they have the least impact on my overal deployment or execution of said plan. I just find places to stick them.

So like I was saying, it's different for each army I suppose. Some I wouldn't DARE use the scouts in that way, and in the others I wouldn't throw away a chariot so frivolously. I'm sure each battle will borderline dictate as well. Only time will tell...

04-12-2007, 02:01
As an Empire player one of our best secondary units woulds have to be pistoliers. They are fast and cheap, great for march blocking and baiting, can march then shoot multi-shot armour piercing pistols, and can flank charge if necessary. While none of these abilities will win a combat on their own, they excel when combined with other units.

In my opinion they are nearly the perfect secondary unit.

04-12-2007, 09:48
Each of my armies has those as well.
Ogres are the Bulls and gnoblars (who are there to be killed)
Lizardmen are my skinks (who really get killed very effectively. I can't say I have another unit which has won me more games just by getting in the way)
Tomb kings are my scorpions (really one of the most flexable units in the gmae)
and for Skaven my slaves and shadow runners, (who tend to really annoy my opponent, especially when I have 3 units in the flank which cost a total of 150 points, but any of which can probably wipe out his archers).

04-12-2007, 15:09
Interesting, an army arguably consisting entirely of secondary units. Never really though of that as an option....

I'll pretty much second that. My MSU Chaos force consists of two units, and a lot of expendables. There is a manditory need to have two units of 30 point hounds, see any other post I've ever written on why they're necessary, then throw in some furies, Mounted nettes, Marauder horse, and chariots. I even have a prioritization list of who should die first in each game, usually hounds, furies, spawns, horsemen, mounted nettes, chariots, and finally knights.

04-12-2007, 17:03
I'll echo the sentiments of MarcoPollo and Briohmar in that my chaos army operates almost as if all the units were 'secondary'. With the possible exception of my knights with war banner, I don't think I'd expect any unit to win a 'one-on-one'. It is the combination of quick units with high kill-power striking flanks and soft spots that lead to enemy 'capital' units being taken out whilst I don't provide an obvious VP target of my own.

Like Briohmar, I consider every unit expendable in the right circumstances.

As for my Empire, the whole army effectively revolves around the infantry core where all my characters tend to live. Missile troops and war machines draw the enemy forwards and neutralise threats the infantry would struggle with (chariots, big monsters etc) while cavalry and detachments await exposed flanks. A cheap unit or two of 6 knights with a musician make excellent secondary units.