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TheSanityAssassin
09-04-2008, 07:57
Just as the title says. Do you find that players are often stuck firmly on having their units at 5 wide even when going to 6 or 7 will benefit them a whole lot more? For example Elf Swordsmasters, or any unit with 2+ base attacks...if you say, go 2 ranks of 7 + 1 rather than 3 ranks of 5 in a unit of 15, you'll make back that extra point of CR from the rank almost every time with the extra 4 attacks you get to make when charging.

It just comes up because a player the other day was astonished when I pulled out my custom movement tray (actually a broken apart CD case) and put my Swordsmasters 7 wide. He apparently had always "just put his men on the movement tray" and never gave a thought to going wider than 5. The more I watch games, the more I wonder if more people might be missing out on some options by keeping their ranks at 5.

Bloodknight
09-04-2008, 08:11
Depends on if your troops are good or bad in combat. I prefer my Pikemen in ranks of 6 (I would go 7, but since they fight in 4 ranks and I do not want to waste a rank that would mean at least 28 men per unit. Since they cost as much as a DE executioner that gets too expensive for a single unit) because that will usually allow me to use another file.
I also like to use Norse with flails in 7x2. Not too expensive, but very hitty, albeit a bit slow on the move due to the large wheeling radius.
My Dwarfs also use broader formations, especially hammerers.
My TK on the other hand minimize frontage with infantry because it does them no good to be wider.

Tiamat
09-04-2008, 08:11
Not really, it depends on the player.

Most noobies will go five wide and attempt to max out their rank bonus, regardless of the killing power of the unit. A week or two ago I fought a High Elf player, very new guy, (not very bright either, but he tries so hard) he had his unit of 20 swordmasters 5 by 4. It affected his whole army thanks to the prohibitive cost, so I'm trying to teach him a little conservatism.

Most veterans I find generally depend on the quality of the unit. Horde armies will try to max out the rank bonuses, plus a rank, sometimes even two with an extra column. But I like many other vets, will go wide when using elite units that have the ability to kill many things in a combat.

Curufew
09-04-2008, 08:41
Well I put my Empire infantry block in 5 X 4 due to Bretonnians being my regular opponents. Stupid lance formations...

Wise Guy Sam
09-04-2008, 09:23
Hmmm well that’s a train of thought I have never considered, yet its so obvious. Mind you I am yet to play a game of fantasy yet but this is something I might be able to take into my 1st game. Thanks champ =P

Gimp
09-04-2008, 09:28
Depends on the army and the units.

For example in my Dark Elf army I field my witch elves 7x2, my executioners 6x3 and my warriors 5x4.

Wadders
09-04-2008, 09:31
Really depends on my units, Empire 5 wide (except the flaggies which are 6 wide)

High Elves are 7 wide in two ranks, people are also shocked when i bring that out!

Gimp
09-04-2008, 09:33
Really depends on my units, Empire 5 wide (except the flaggies which are 6 wide)

High Elves army are 7 wide in two ranks, people are also shocked when i bring that out!

Everything in a High Elf should be 7 wide. My friend does it with his White Lions and Sword Masters (7x2) and even his Spearmen (7x3) and it really hurts my dark elves.

shabbadoo
09-04-2008, 10:37
It also depends on the base size. Elves are prime for more than five models in a rank due to their badassedness and small base size, whereas something like Marauders are not as well suited for it.

Nocturnal
09-04-2008, 10:47
I have 6 wide as a standard now for everything pretty much with the exception for things like monstrous creatures, fast cavery etc

spaint2k
09-04-2008, 10:49
I haven't played WFB since 3rd edition, maybe someone can enlighten me. What's the advantage to a wider rank? Don't you still have to be able to make contact with enemy to get any extra attacks? Are we talking about 7x20mm bases (140mm unit frontage) being able to get all their attacks in on 5x25mm (125mm unit frontage), that type of thing?

Cheers,
Steve

athamas
09-04-2008, 10:53
yep thats the idea, more attacks, for more kills,


i have made my aggresive units [gouls and grave gaurd] 7 wide, while my defencive units, skelies and zombies are 5 wide.. .as im not expecting them to kill anthing!

TheSanityAssassin
09-04-2008, 10:53
Everything in a High Elf should be 7 wide. My friend does it with his White Lions and Sword Masters (7x2) and even his Spearmen (7x3) and it really hurts my dark elves.

Hmm...never thought of doing 7x3 for the spears...you'd gain a LOT of whacks there. Guess it depends on what I'm fighting. Hordes, for sure it would be just mean. Against armoured things....I might be better off with the +1 rank bonus

It also helps a lot against stone throwers...even if they hit dead on there's a lot fewer models to take out.

Bloodknight
09-04-2008, 10:56
Basically. But you contact over the edges, too, so a unit on 7x20mm can get all their attacks in vs an opponent on 5x20mm.

Tiamat
09-04-2008, 10:57
I haven't played WFB since 3rd edition, maybe someone can enlighten me. What's the advantage to a wider rank? Don't you still have to be able to make contact with enemy to get any extra attacks? Are we talking about 7x20mm bases (140mm unit frontage) being able to get all their attacks in on 5x25mm (125mm unit frontage), that type of thing?

Cheers,
Steve

In the current edition, only models that are in base to base contact with an opposing model can attack, or if you have spears, behind a model that is in base to base contact with the enemy. Smaller bases means you can get more guys into base to bast contact, so more attacks.

daemonkin
09-04-2008, 11:01
I run my main marauder block 6x5 with asp/ex champ and sorceror with 2 units of marauders with flails either side (empire detachment idea) 6x2. Gives some opponents pause for thought!

D.

spaint2k
09-04-2008, 11:03
Got it, thanks for all the responses.

Never thought about it enough, but I'm slowly building up two armies, Dwarfs and Chaos Dwarfs and it's definitely got me thinking now.

Any advice for unit width on these guys? I'm thinking Slayers should definitely be 7 wide.

Cheers,
Steve

CaptScott
09-04-2008, 11:04
If you have cheap spearmen 28 strong units (6 wide) can be quite good. 12-13 attacks when charged, while still retaining maximum combat resolution. Can even suffer 5 casualties before its rank bonus is affected.

Still, apart from elite infantry units 5 wide is still the way to go for the majority of infantry units.

adreal
09-04-2008, 11:06
Swordmasters, white lions and phoenix guard will be in ranks of 7, but my spearmen just go in ranks of 5.....although they (spearmen) would get more attacks, I just like the nice little block a 5x4 unit makes

ehlijen
09-04-2008, 11:12
I blame the standard movement trays. Moving a 5 wide unit with them (of small base size) is soooooo much easier than moving it and the 4-6 models sticking out over the side of it.

athamas
09-04-2008, 11:28
thats why you make movement trays that are 7 wide...

a 21 strong unt on 7 wide tray actaully looks rather scary!

Anaris
09-04-2008, 12:00
Yep, my White Lions are 7 wide, as are my Eternal Guard.

scarletsquig
09-04-2008, 12:14
It depends on whether or not your unit plans to win using combat resolution or kills.

Defensive units use combat resolution, offensive ones use kills.

For example, empire swordsmen don't kill very much, but are cheap and have good armour, so attempt to win using ranks/numbers/ detachment flank countercharge. In this case, 5 wide is best to maximise ranks, reduce frontage.

Alternatively, an empire spearmen regiment with a warrior priest (+hatred rerolls to hit) will be better off expanding to 7-wide and going for kills. The extra kills this provides might make up for the lack of another rank.

Leadership is also a factor. If you can get away with not maxing out on ranks due to high leadership/ special rules, then expand to 7.

For example: Empire greatswords are stubborn. If they're within 12" of general and battle standard, re-rollable ld 9 regardless of the combat results will see them through,so they can comfortably expand to 7-wide.


Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it, using troops that are cheap and offensive... you can expand to 7-wide and still retain the rank bonus with a unit of 28+ models.

snyggejygge
09-04-2008, 12:28
My Khorne warriors & my saurus is deployed 6 wide (would be 7 if they hadnīt been on 25mm bases) & around where I live this isnīt uncommon, multiple attacks infantry is usually deployed wider than 5 in my gaming group.

TheLionReturns
09-04-2008, 12:31
As others have said depends on the unit and the role. In general defensive 5, offensive 7. However, it is not a simple number of kills or CR decision for me all of the time. Another important factor is the role I expect the unit to play. If I expect the unit to do a lot of manoeuvering and hit flanks I will often go for a smaller frontage to enhance my ability to position the unit. Hitting flanks is as much about negating rank bonus as it is about kills so the sacrifice of attacks for manoeuvrability is a reasonable one in my eyes.

StormCrow
09-04-2008, 12:33
Well in my gaming group we have vampires, empire, and orcs...all of which rely more on their ranks and numbers rather than killng peeps. There's also an elf player but he's well aware of having wider ranks (6 for spearmen, 7 for white lions/swordmasters). This whole story is a round-about way of saying that from my experience it depends on the army and specific unit abilities whether units will adopt the standard 5 wide formatino or not

The Red Scourge
09-04-2008, 13:43
It's just about doing a little math.

The default will be 5 20mm bases = 100 mm. So it's all about doing the math of how you'll fare against such a formation – how you can maximize the number of attacks you can get in – putting into consideration how the lack of mobility from larger ranks will affect you.

Thats my thought at least. I usually play an all Knights/Marauder Horsemen army, so my units rarely go higher than 5, and often the knights are 4 wide for the added maneurability – even though 6 of them would be able to strike at a 100 mm enemy block.

theunwantedbeing
09-04-2008, 13:54
I take 5 wide simply as I want the maximum rank bonus.
My elves rarely kill anything, against things I am more able to kill I'll happily reform into a much wider unit to take the charge though.
Spearmen and such are useful that way.

For knights and such I just stick to the standard 6 or 7 wide formation simply as it gives the greatest available hitting power.

I dont buy into the whole "wider units sacrifice manoverability" rubbish when talking about ranked units 6-8 wide. It's not a major different in how far they can actually turn and you always make sure your flanks are guarded properly anyway.

Big wide units also attract a lot more missle fire than thin deep units do.
Especially if you have 25mm bases, you can make some seriously worrying looking units.

Braad
09-04-2008, 14:00
Orcs are 5x5, gobbo's 6x5, gobbo's with bows 7x3, and in my last game my arrer boyz were 10x2...

But 5 for orcs or 6 for gobbo's is good, since I already end up nearly completely filling the whole length of my deployment zone in most games.
Also, when they flank my boyz, it doesn't reduce the amount of attacks I have.

fubukii
09-04-2008, 16:08
the only disadvantage to a wider unit of swordmasters or other powerhouse combat fiends, is that the wider your unit gets the more you have to sacrafice to wheel the unit.

ReveredChaplainDrake
09-04-2008, 16:11
I've been playing around with 6x3 Saurus blocks for a while now. The benefit here is that if I want to stay without characters, I've got 13 attacks against your basic 100mm frontage opponent. However, I can still go 5x4 if I want, simply by adding a Scar Veteran (typically some kind of BSB; Saurus' greatest strength is their Ld, especially as they don't seem to actually win combats) on Cold One to add another 25x50mm (the same area as 2x Saurus) and I can form a unit that will be virtually impossible to break from the front.

Cavalry are a different story, though. I don't see why anybody (excluding Brets) would rank Cavalry. MSU is the best way to use those horrendously-expensive models. The only downside is that you need to buy 2 (or more) command groups, which doesn't matter all that much because you rarely ever need the full command if your Cav has a defined role.

My Dark Elves are in a league of their own. 10x1 RxB Warriors. Three units. MSU is the only way to fight.

Oberon
09-04-2008, 16:22
the only disadvantage to a wider unit of swordmasters or other powerhouse combat fiends, is that the wider your unit gets the more you have to sacrafice to wheel the unit.

And if you go wide, your enemy can go wider. For example, cavalry units can't get much larger than 5 if they all would like to attack normal 5x4 unit, but if you take 7x3 or something like that, suddenly more knights get to strike. Same goes of course for infatry...

Nephilim of Sin
09-04-2008, 16:49
Playing O&G, wider is the only way I can go. Orcs are 6 wide, gobbos 8 wide, and SO Boar Boyz 7 wide. It can make the battlefield really hard to navigate around, but I just love the way it looks.

Playing other armies, I mainly go five-wide, even in last edition. Cav. I usually go wider with (6+), and some small units, but if my regiment is usually going to be receiving the charge, I go minimum with more ranks to increase their survivial. That way my wider units can devastate on the flank or rear.

Lordsaradain
09-04-2008, 16:59
When I use "killy" units like chosen warriors of khorne, khorngors and the like, I go for 6x2 or even 7+5(most often 6x2 as I tend to chuck in a character in the 1st rank). When I use cheaper and less "killy" units then I try to maximize the rank bonus instead.

Cav I always go as wide as possible, forgetting rank bonus. Only race where it pays of to have ranked cavalry units is bretonnia, due to their cheesy lance-formation. :P

WarrenLocke
09-04-2008, 17:23
Swordmasters, white lions and phoenix guard will be in ranks of 7, but my spearmen just go in ranks of 5.....although they (spearmen) would get more attacks, I just like the nice little block a 5x4 unit makes

I run my High Elves this way as well, with the exception of Phoenix Guard. Phoenix Guard I typically run as 5x3 or 5x4 because they aren't as spectacular in terms of killiness, but with ranks and a warbanner I find I can frequently win combat and auto-break by outnumbering with a fear causer.

On the other hand I deploy spears in 6x3 to get all the attacks in combat.

chaos0xomega
09-04-2008, 17:27
I run my Ogres 4 wide.... any wider and it would be madness... and expensive as hell....

W0lf
09-04-2008, 17:30
Nope not at all.

Infact i dont use 5 wide at all.

Im a elite army player, dont do hordes. Why would i go 5 wide and pay lots of points for one rank? :P

6 wide if on chaos warrior size bases (25mm?) and 7 wide if on Swordmaster bases (20mm?).

Thats the way i like it.

TheSanityAssassin
09-04-2008, 17:39
I run my High Elves this way as well, with the exception of Phoenix Guard. Phoenix Guard I typically run as 5x3 or 5x4 because they aren't as spectacular in terms of killiness, but with ranks and a warbanner I find I can frequently win combat and auto-break by outnumbering with a fear causer.

On the other hand I deploy spears in 6x3 to get all the attacks in combat.

I tend to run my PG and Spears at 5x3, 5x4 respectively as I usually put those units in tandem. Gives me a good block of combat rez that can wear down the enemy until the PG can auto-break them. The enhanced numbers make up for the less than spectacular killyness in each unit. It also lets my hide my Mage in my PG without him having to fight, and being able to still get the fighty bonus of a noble that's in the Spears.

I also like the PG to look a little....Fatter...
As terrible as it is, I find if they look that way they're a lot more likely to attract Bolt Thrower and Stone Thrower fire, which of anything in the Elf list they can afford to take with the 4+ Ward. Any stones that aren't falling on my spears make me happy.

Edit
09-04-2008, 18:06
I run a Pestilence Skaven army and everything is 6 wide. I figure it is a very offensive army (not a single model has an armor save) and should try and get as many attacks in as I can. The three extra attacks could be the same as 1 CR on normal infantry, or better vs skellies/zombies/skinks/gobbos and whatnot.

Avian
09-04-2008, 18:54
With my greenskins I have so many units that I have to run most of them 5 wide to save space and make sure the gits can stay within 12" of the general. Only units that fight well get fielded 6 wide, these being my Squig herds, Black Orcs and Boar Boyz. Occasionally my Big 'Uns also get fielded 6 wide.

It's also worth noting that my archers consistently get fielded 5 wide.

kenshin138
09-04-2008, 19:29
Thoughts on new plaguebearers? 5 wide or 6 wide?

WS3, S4, T4, I1, A1 poisoned attacks 25mm base with regeneration via herald

I have been considering trying 6 on them even with the low attacks.

TheSanityAssassin
09-04-2008, 19:40
On a 25mm base, with only 1 WS3 attack each, I'd suggest 5 and go deeper depending on the points cost. The extra model isn't going to consistently give you the wound worth of CR that a rank would. That said, it all depends on how many you'll put in your blocks. Say, start at 5x4, and if you lose enough models to lose that last rank before you get to combat, bump up to 6x3

Crazy Harborc
09-04-2008, 19:53
When I am up at the local company store, I always try for 6 or 7 wide formations.....Then I usually have more minies touching/hitting for HtH.;)

My long time, old fart, regular opponents.....have gone to wider, customized movement trays. IMHO, people who have wider/bigger movement trays to use will/do use them.:)

snurl
10-04-2008, 06:18
7 wide is the magic number for Dwarves. Try it.

505
10-04-2008, 06:41
my ultra killy guys I go 7 wide (swordmsaters and lionguard) also my Grail knights I run 5-6 and run them in one line

Mireadur
10-04-2008, 08:05
Those 4 extra attacks on the swordmasters give between 1,5 and 2 extra wounds on average.

For spearmen, even if surprises you, it normally rents more getting the extra file.

adreal
10-04-2008, 10:37
I run my High Elves this way as well, with the exception of Phoenix Guard. Phoenix Guard I typically run as 5x3 or 5x4 because they aren't as spectacular in terms of killiness, but with ranks and a warbanner I find I can frequently win combat and auto-break by outnumbering with a fear causer.

On the other hand I deploy spears in 6x3 to get all the attacks in combat.

well my phoenix guard will usually be running in a list with the white lions (led be korhil) and Caradryan so I feel they will be all right in the killyness reguard, but if they don't work out all that well, 5x3 (maybe 4) will be the norm for them

rodmillard
10-04-2008, 11:11
standard movement trays are the size they are because it's the only size (100 mm) that allows for both 20 mm and 25mm bases. I play my dwarves with a frontage of 6, my high elves with a frontage of 7 - especially Sea guard, as you want to maximise the number that can shoot as well.

Mercules
10-04-2008, 13:43
What can I say? I normally play Ogres so I try to keep it as narrow as possible. My 40x40 base means 4 20x20 models can already attack one of my models and I only get 3/4 attacks most the time. 3 wide works well against the 5 model rank. 120mm 9-12 attacks vrs 100mm 5-10 attacks. If people start going wider on me though, I can get in trouble. Then again, if they go wider they are less likely to have Rank CR which I tend to try and eliminate, that and I like hitting a flank with only 2 models in it. 3-4 attacks vrs 2-4.

Grand Warlord
10-04-2008, 16:15
For my empire, I go 5 wide cause I go infantry heavy and even at 5 wide its hard to fit them all on the board nicely.

Lordmonkey
10-04-2008, 18:10
I run my Ogres 4 wide.... any wider and it would be madness... and expensive as hell....

Some plonker I played yesterday fielded 4 Ironguts and a bruiser in the same unit - 5 wide!? They got smooshed like the big dumb points sink they were. :)

I field my Skellies, zombies and graveguard 5 wide. I was thinking of fielding my Grave Guard 7 x 3 instead of 5 x 4 for extra killing power. I don't usually get the charge, but the latest rules mean the enemy must endeavour to get as many of my models into contact as well as his own - perfect for dishing out lots of attacks!

This in combo with the corpse carts bound spell would probably reap more benefits than the extra static rank.

vinush
10-04-2008, 20:30
We usually play 1000 point games where I play, so going more than 5 wide means losing a rank due to points limitations, so it's not the standard practice.

However, when I bring out my VC army with the new rules, I'll go for 7x3 with my skellies and just raise em up to get that all important fourth rank.

\/ince.

Kalist
10-04-2008, 20:35
What do you guys think about ghouls? They have no standard/musician so don't rely on static CR like other undead. The only CR they get is from wounds/ranks/flank/rear..needless to say, you rely heavily on damage dealt. Should you always run ghouls in files of 7? They are good on offense but they drop like flies usually due to no saving rolls and bad CR..

vinush
10-04-2008, 20:58
Don't underestimate their toughness 4. But I would go with 7 wide, which is a lot of attacks when you think about it, and poisoned to boot...

\/ince.

Malorian
10-04-2008, 21:02
I always run my ghouls in units of 5. Sure they don't have a baner but the rank bonus really helps, and the extra models don't really kill that much.

rodmillard
10-04-2008, 22:08
Thoughts on new plaguebearers? 5 wide or 6 wide?

WS3, S4, T4, I1, A1 poisoned attacks 25mm base with regeneration via herald

I have been considering trying 6 on them even with the low attacks.

My plaguebearers (and pestigor, come to that) deploy 7x3 because its a nurgle army. anything else would be wrong...

Mireadur
10-04-2008, 22:29
After reading Rodmillard's post i realized how amazingly better seaguard has gotten with ASF, hadnt even given a single thought to it until now.

logan054
10-04-2008, 22:39
well when i use units like Khorne warriors i found 6X3 far to many points while 6x2 was very risky against many units as relied far to much on attacks, i found 5x3 actually far better than 6x2 and only a few points more expensive. i also found that when you have several units 6 wide i actually found it hard to fit them in my deployement zone along with units such as minotaurs and also harder to move around terrain (on occasion).

Lordmonkey
10-04-2008, 23:13
However, when I bring out my VC army with the new rules, I'll go for 7x3 with my skellies and just raise em up to get that all important fourth rank.

Is that with spears?

rodmillard
10-04-2008, 23:19
After reading Rodmillard's post i realized how amazingly better seaguard has gotten with ASF, hadnt even given a single thought to it until now.

Oh yeah. Stand and shoot as a charge reaction, then ASF with 3 ranks. There's not a lot that would want to take that on...

destroyerlord
11-04-2008, 13:07
I always ran my chaos warriors 5 wide in 6th ed, when the min for a rank was 4. I haven't played much 7th, so I'm not sure if I would go wider again with them...warriors are pretty slow (especially against elves) and a wider front means slower turns.

vinush
11-04-2008, 16:00
Is that with spears?

One unit with spears, the other with HW and shield.

\/ince.

TheSanityAssassin
11-04-2008, 16:15
Oh yeah. Stand and shoot as a charge reaction, then ASF with 3 ranks. There's not a lot that would want to take that on...

Except for IMHO anything with T4 or HA/Shield. The wall of S3 attacks really doesn't pull much off then. I've tried it numerous times and it always ended in disappointment.

studderigdave
11-04-2008, 19:35
i runmy slayer army 6 wide. those smaller bases let me get more attacks in against normal sized blocks.