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Shinguuji
11-05-2008, 15:07
I was trying to build a army for HE, then I realised, I don't get fantasy. In 40k, its pretty easy to understand. There are MEQs and GEQs, MEQs require things to beat their armour, while GEQ require heaps of attacks/shots. There is also CC or shooty. There is also static shooty vs mobile shooty. That's it. Choose what you like and go!

With fantasy, I think these are the categories, but I'm not sure how to mesh them.

Light infantry - I really don't get these guys, beyond meatshields and CR-ing the enemy to death.

Heavy infantry - I *think* they're supposed to let the enemy come close to them, and they'll be defending the shooty things, then they bash the enemy to death.

Shooty stuff - Archers, warmachines and the like. Some are more annoying than others. They shoot at stuff so that the heavy infantry gets a go. They can also shoot stuff to death, which people call 'gunline'

Light calvary - March block and irritate?

Heavy Calvary - Charge and kill using wounds to overcome CR and everything actually.

Mages - To be irritating and do be a scroll caddy

Characters - Sorta super calvary or super heavy infantry.

I got no idea how these guys work. Beyond heavy calvary, and shooty spam, I don't know how to make a 'normal' army for fantasy. The heavy infantry is too slow, light infantry too weak, light calvary too useless. So, how do they work? how do i understand fantasy tactics?

Lijacote
11-05-2008, 15:09
The heavy infantry is too slow, light infantry too weak, light calvary too useless

Every unit has its place on the battlefield. A horde of light infantry could deploy in a checkerboard formation, eliminating lots of threats and overwhelming with CR and ample opportunities to outmanouver the enemy, or something.

Best way to learn is by doing.

Emeraldw
11-05-2008, 15:16
I was trying to build a army for HE, then I realised, I don't get fantasy. In 40k, its pretty easy to understand. There are MEQs and GEQs, MEQs require things to beat their armour, while GEQ require heaps of attacks/shots. There is also CC or shooty. There is also static shooty vs mobile shooty. That's it. Choose what you like and go!

With fantasy, I think these are the categories, but I'm not sure how to mesh them.

Light infantry - I really don't get these guys, beyond meatshields and CR-ing the enemy to death.

Heavy infantry - I *think* they're supposed to let the enemy come close to them, and they'll be defending the shooty things, then they bash the enemy to death.

Shooty stuff - Archers, warmachines and the like. Some are more annoying than others. They shoot at stuff so that the heavy infantry gets a go. They can also shoot stuff to death, which people call 'gunline'

Light calvary - March block and irritate?

Heavy Calvary - Charge and kill using wounds to overcome CR and everything actually.

Mages - To be irritating and do be a scroll caddy

Characters - Sorta super calvary or super heavy infantry.

I got no idea how these guys work. Beyond heavy calvary, and shooty spam, I don't know how to make a 'normal' army for fantasy. The heavy infantry is too slow, light infantry too weak, light calvary too useless. So, how do they work? how do i understand fantasy tactics?

These are gross oversimplification and I think you know that. Mages are NOT scroll caddies, they are a support unit that can do many, many things. Some people just use them as a scroll caddy sure but they can do a lot. Especially in High Elves. Characters are designed to enhance units. For example Spearmen are not that good but once you throw in a character they become quite a bit better.

Infantry is just that, infantry. Thinking in the light and heavy catagories isn't that simple. High Elves don't have what I would call "Heavy infantry" since their best armor save is 5+ on foot. They hit hard and fast, thats how elves do it.

Light Cavalry's advantage is movement. My Wood Elves abuse the Fast Cav rules all the time and I do far more with them than "irritate" the enemy.

Basically just play the game some. Proxy some units and give it a go. But I recommend not thinking categorically so much, it isn't that simple with 16+ armies and an entirely different rule set and play style from 40k.

Oenghus
11-05-2008, 15:36
I think that the problem is that you're thinking in terms of shooting. Fantasy (dwarfs and empire aside for the moment) is much more about CC than it is about shooting. Instead of thinking "the heavy infantry's there to protect the shooting" say that "the shooting's there to soften up the bad guys so your infantry can roll them."

Generally, however, you're on the right track. The way most armies work is that you have 'hammer' units and 'anvil' units. (Of course some armies -- like wood elves -- are all hammer, and some -- dwarfs, for example -- are anvils with guns. Generally, though, hammer & anvil is a consistent motif.)

Anvil units (tough infantry or cheap horde infantry, generally) are likely to stick around in combat for a turn or two, and are used to pin down enemy units so that your hammer units (heavy cavalry, heavy infantry, fighty heroes, monsters, etc) can scream in -- generally from a flank -- and kill some stuff. That's sort of the most basic tenet of the exercise. Hold the enemy down with one hand, and punch them with the other. If you're just holding them down, you're never going to hurt them, and if you're just trying to punch them you're never going to hit them. See?

Of course, it's rarely that simple.

Generally, your opponent won't put his units exactly where you want them. Either he'll have too many units in the area for you to outnumber them (which is where shooting and magic comes in -- to force panic tests or interfere with movement) or he'll be holding back (which is where you use your fast cavalry to draw out charges and leave his units stranded and isolated). Or he'll be doing something else entirely, and you'll need to come up with some way to deal with it.

And that's the fun part.

isidril93
11-05-2008, 15:38
its true...high elves do not have heavy infantry...those will be like plague bearers

high elves are more the type to have

elite infantry-spearmen
even more elite elite infantry-swordmasters, phoenix guard, white lions
scouts-shadow warriors(good shooters and fighters)
shooters-archers,repeater bolt throwers
heavy cavalary-silver helms, dragon princes
light cavalary-ellyrion reavers
mages-high elves mages are NOT meant to be used as scroll caddies, they are killers
on foot/mounted characters-these are supporters
monsters-with 3 dragons high elves are the kings of the flying lizards

as you may have noticed high elves do not have light and heavy infantry
this is because they are too expensive to be considered 'light' and also very good at combat (spearmen have 16 attacks)

Shinguuji
11-05-2008, 16:29
Yeah, the thing I don't understand is how to get people to hit your anvil when they're so slow, how do you lure them there? Do you just march there, or shoot at the enemy?

I pointed out heavy infantry 'cuz i want to understand the whole fantasy world. All I have now is a dragon and a unit of chaos knights(but i'm defecting to HE...probably)

Oenghus
11-05-2008, 16:41
Swing your hammers out wide, or hide them behind your anvils. March your anvils up the middle. Eventually, he'll either have to charge your anvils or be charged by them. Then you hit him in the flanks with your hammers. Alternately, put something nasty but flimsy (a hammer) near your anvil. He'll have to charge, or get charged by, said hammer. When he does you flee with it, leaving his unit parked right in front of your anvil.

Of course, some of your hammers will be intercepted and some of your anvils avoided. That's why you've got the spares. Try to disperse his forces (cavalry drawing out charges and leaving his units stranded and pointing in the wrong direction) and concentrate yours. He will, of course, be trying to do the same thing to you. Whoever manages the pre-contact maneuvers better has a very good chance of winning.

Emeraldw
11-05-2008, 16:46
Yeah, the thing I don't understand is how to get people to hit your anvil when they're so slow, how do you lure them there? Do you just march there, or shoot at the enemy?

I pointed out heavy infantry 'cuz i want to understand the whole fantasy world. All I have now is a dragon and a unit of chaos knights(but i'm defecting to HE...probably)

As he said, thats the general idea, but it rarely works out like that. Generally my Bret Knights are hammer units, but I don't need an Anvil to wipe out a unit most of the time. My "anvils" are more like tar pits to tie up the good stuff while I rip apart the rest of your army.

Daemons core units hit like other armies special units and are hammers and anvils in one (thanks to rules for instability and their nice stats). However even the mightiest hero/daemon can be ripped to shreds by a well placed cannon ball.

To be honest I don't understand what some mean by "bait" the enemy. I charge when it is in my best interest to do, generally this means when I have the best chance at winning. The only time something like this makes sense is when you are running frenzy units all over the board chasing light cavalry.

The idea behind the tactics is really very variable. As I said at the start, these are all very general ideas which I think you get just fine. Really you just need to play the game and move away from categorizations like MEQ and GEQ because even armies that are similar in some way, are very different in others. There are more phases armies can be strong in and more stats that can be adjusted. It just isn't that simple I'm afraid and if you have more specific questions like what units are good, what types of setups and what you need to know about an army, those are things we can help with much easier.

EndlessBug
11-05-2008, 16:57
Yeah, the thing I don't understand is how to get people to hit your anvil when they're so slow, how do you lure them there? Do you just march there, or shoot at the enemy?

I pointed out heavy infantry 'cuz i want to understand the whole fantasy world. All I have now is a dragon and a unit of chaos knights(but i'm defecting to HE...probably)

Well yes generally the anvil is the slower unit of the lot which has it's bad sides and good sides. Because it is slower it is far easier to avoid, however if you play it right the enemy will be forced to take on this big hammer unit head on because either:
a) they simply can't catch tyhe other units.
b) If they attack a support unit (which can generally flee) then the main anvil unit will be what hits their flank which is never a good thing for anyone.

by positioning your units so that if the enemy does not charge your anvil and goes for a support unit instead then he will be in a far worse/out of the way area is how you get them to charge who you want to.

the way you go about this is by taking out the oppositions support/fast units and then ganking the anvil as usually the anvil itself has a better save and more models to kill than the support units. this is where shooting and magic come in, they allow you to obtain the movement superiority which in turn makes the opponent react to you.

Havock
11-05-2008, 19:56
Welcome to fantasy, the game that requires a few %'s more functioning brain mass than 40k ;)

Avaron
12-05-2008, 01:58
mostly combat will happen just like in 40K but its more common for it to start a round or two later. round 3-4 normaly rather than 2 with dedicated assault armys in 40K.

and you can never really be all that sure of how long the fight will last units fleeing and being cut down are common in fantasy.

Shinguuji
12-05-2008, 04:18
So does it work this way? In fantasy, there are hammers and anvils. Your anvils are all infantry, and their hardness depends on what you take. Heavy infantry use their armour, and light infantry use their numbers. Your anvil 'catches' the enemy due to their positioning and size, while your hammer hammers them when the anvil catches them. Some anvils are shooty and some hammers are shooty, but all shooty armies are cheese?

Another question is, how do I use MSU? Aren't they too weak to be anvils and too slow to be hammers? Or do I just use MSUs as hammers, except very slow ones?

Would it work say, if I use chaos warriors(in blocks of 10) along with knights as an all hammer army? except that its very slow?

How can a non-shooty army beat a shooty army?

Lord Aries
12-05-2008, 05:02
If you break armies down into their basic forms, there are 3 major and a few minor styles of armies. Not to say that the minors aren't as good, but they are not as easy to play and thus not played as often. I play in large Indy-GT's across the country and I see variations on these.

Major
1. Castle- A balance between H2H and Shooting, the idea is to take enough shooting to force your opponent to come to your side of the table in order to win, but then have enough TOUGH troops to hold them up and ensure victory. Dwarves do this best of all... (one variation is the gunline, which is all shooting and no combat, but its not as consistent)

2. Channel- A hammer and anvil style list, you usually have a front made up of stubborn or unbreakable troops (or any tough troop that won't run easy) that engages the enemies main force, in order to tie them up. In order to win, you flank and then destroy the units that are tied up with your mud pit in the middle. Undead do this well.

3. Over-run- You move as fast as possible, right into the enemy and attempt to break them on the charge. You have to generate a lot of combat resolution to ensure the enemy breaks. A lot of times this is accomplished with good CR and causing fear/outnumber to auto-break people. Brettonians are set up for this...

Minor-

1. MSU- Multiple Small Units- the main strategy is to not have too many eggs in one basket. Your small units of infantry and sometimes cav are designed to flee from charges and counter charge. By outnumbering your enemy in the number of units you are fielding, you can do this. By not having large units, you can sacrifice and screen to accomplish your goals. Lizardmen often do this well, as well as High Elves.

2. Horde- Some consider this a form of channel, or a form of points denial. You can do a horde different ways, but mostly, its about having more units, with static 5 than your enemy can handle. Ussually, you have just 2-3 things in the whole army that can actually kill stuff, but you can afford to sacrifice units and tie them up with non essential units. Skaven and Undead do this pretty good.

3. Points Denial (No touch)- Ussually a mobile army with shooting, backed up by mobile hard hitting units. The idea is to move and shoot without getting shot back at, or getting into combat. On turn 5 or 6, you will charge in with your h2h units that have positioned themselves carefully, in order to finish off wounded units. You win by killing choice units and getting table quarters. Wood Elves and Dark Elves can do this well...
Another variant is the undead summoning horde, that prevents you from getting points by re-summoning everything... its harder to win with than a channel version.

4. Hybrid Versions of anything above. Ussually not as good as doing just one strategy, you will see some variants that act like 2 or more, or are able to shift strategy on the fly.

6. Flying circus- I won't get into this one, because it basically is no touch/over-run... but it looses you any chance of making friends.


UNLIKE 40k, where making your army list is the only real strategy required, after you decide on what strategy to use, and how to build your list (after examining your meta-game and matchups) you have to actually deliver, and execute your strategy while the other guy is either trying to execute his own, or prevent yours.

1. Pick a strategy that fits your army.
2. Learn to do it....
3. Learn how to prevent people from stopping it
4. Win...

Dead Man Walking
12-05-2008, 05:13
Fantasy takes far more time to learn than 40k, but I believe that once you come to grips with how fantasy works its far more rewarding. Anyone can put an unbeatable 40k army on the table and win, not so with fantasy. In fantasy you could loose a game just in how you set your army on the table before the game even begins.

Don't worry about slow infantry units, they will get there eventually. Dont forget that half of your opponents will be 'aggressive' armies and will come to you. (Ogres, brittonians, lizardmen, chaos.) The thing about slow infantry units is that they are threats because they start out combat with large bonuses, like ranks (3) banner, musician, and some times outnumber thier opponents. They usually start combat with a +5 bonus to winning combat. They also shield characters pretty well from incoming fire.

My suggestion to you is to sit down and watch 2 pro's go at it if you can. Watch what tactics they employ against one another. In 40k the only thing you do during your opponents turn is roll armor saves, in fantasy you have far more options to change the outcome of each round. Fleeing, stand and shoot, dispelling opponents spells, some magic items, challenging in combat, refusing/accepting challenges, over running/chasing or holding firm.

Fantasy is far more complex than 40k and will take quite a few games of loosing to become skilled at winning. Stick with it though as the hard makes it good! :skull:

Bastilean
12-05-2008, 06:27
I recommend trying out a lot of new things. Definitely keep the hammer anvil aproach in mind:

Stubborn and heavy armor units make great anvils
unbreakable units make the best anvils

Units with a lot of attacks make good hammers

Soo for my orc army I have the option of using my black orcs as an anvil by using the shields or use them as a hammer by using the choppas (I haven't seen a good excuse to use the great weapons yet (must not be that great) ). They aren't that good at being an anvil though because they are not stubborn and they are not unbreakable. I would say Black Orcs are much better hammers because they have 2 strength 5 attacks a piece on the charge.

Sword masters also have 2 strength 5 attacks a piece on the charge. They are also good hammers. This unit is really scary now, because it can hammer you even if you declared the charge. (high elves always strike first rule rubs the wrong way IMO).

Lionguard have stubborn so they are excellent anvil units.

Dwarves are all great anvils but the Long Beards have stubborn and the Slayers have unbreakable so they are the best. I would say slayers are better because they have unbreakable (which is true) but you may find you don't need ultimate staying power so may go with the Long Beards for more armor and maybe even win a combat.

I am really glad I was introduced to the Anvil and Hammer concept recently. I had no idea how much strategy is actually imployed in this game. Generally I saw employing fakes and sacrificial units and cheap tricks but now I can see that these (expendable) cohorts serve a valuable purpose. Skaven slaves anyone? Gobos? I may even try to employ the Night Goblin Standard, although I wish I didn't have to spend my battle standard (as a goblin no less) to do it.

Shinguuji
12-05-2008, 07:13
So lets say I want to continue using chaos, what units do I use? I have a dragon which I definately want to be in, so that's a hammer. Problem is, the whole army is very vunerable to shooting, so I think all hammers for chaos is the only way out. Do I use MSU groups of chaos warriors, or do I go cheap and have 3 min. sized units of marauders and all calvary? How do I get over the shooting?

How do you get your slow hammers to work if you don't have shooting?

WusteGeist
12-05-2008, 07:18
Lots of long lengthy replies about how to do this that and what purpose what serves. Kinda makes you think that fantasy is a lil complex huh? Its not really.
The roles of units in fantasy.
Cav start with the smallest number of units Cav.
Heavy Cav, the heavies break the line. Rember infantry hold the line heavy cav breaks it.

Light Cav, redirects harasses and annoys the enemy's back lines and his supplies. In this case its lone mages, gun lines and warmachines. Redirecting is as simple as it sounds. Put your light AKA fast cav in front of a enemy unit you dont want coming to play, then when the enemy declares a charge you run away leading them elsewhere, or if worse comes to worse you stand take it and at worse die and lead them in another direction or at best survive and hold them up for a few turns.

Ok now onto infantry.

You have skirmishers, light and heavy infantry.

Skirmishers are to run about and harry the enemy as they advance, shot them with the odd shot, sneak around and threaten flanks.

Light Infantry will support the heavies. Light should never engage heavy head on, only in a flank or rear charge. Heavies will take the enemy head on.

Heavy Infantry, some are better suited for charging, others for taking a charge. Depending on the type of heavy you have will determine if you charge or take your time to set the board up and take the charge.

Now I could get into much more, monsters, flyer's ethereal units and on and on. But that would be over load. This is just basics of who does what.

W0lf
12-05-2008, 07:29
Your problem is chaos warriors.

If they cheaper theyd be anvils if they had 2 attacks theyd be hammers. hence why everyone hates them.

Ward.
12-05-2008, 08:02
How do I get over the shooting?

How do you get your slow hammers to work if you don't have shooting?


Are you aware chaos is getting a new book, with the get you by list coming out pretty soon? Although I suspect few people will make you use the whitedwarf list.

Most of your hammers wont be slow, but to keep them safe use warhound screens. By that I mean small/ cheap units that march in front of them to absorb casualties. As a skaven player I often use wide units of slaves for that exact purpose.

MrBigMr
12-05-2008, 09:52
It's pretty hard to go from 40K to fantasy. Or is it just me? At least my friend who just started 40K after a good while of playing WHFB didn't have much problems and kept pwning me from the start.

I tried few armies, but in the end chose SoC daemons because of their simplicity. There's not that much special things to take into consideration. You get the ward saves for pretty much everything (so no calculations on armour saves and all), they're not big on running away, all attacks are magical (so ethereals and all get their asses kicked), etc. But even then there's plenty of things to ponder on when playing, especially with my quite fragile all Slaanesh list that lacks both durability (T3) and punch (S3, thank you GW...). But as a Guard player, 5+ save (read: "no save") and S3 T3 isn't a big factor for me. And when everything apart from my 'nettes zoom at M10-20 around the board, I can pick my battles.


Best way is to look at various armies and see what works best for you. If one wants shooty, all the board Empire handgunners is for you. Nothing like few salvos of S4 AP (-2 to armour saves) shots with cannons at the back. Once wanted to make a Napoleon/Civil War era army of them.

A good thing to remember is that in WHFB many units have a fixed LOS and variable movement speeds, so it's not like cavalry will jog 6" in movement and D6" in shooting. They can zip a full 20" in one go. So getting into CC is way easier in WHFB. Units also get all the saves and not like in 40K where you have to pick the one you use. So a 4+ armour coupled with a 5+ cover and 6+ ward makes units far more durable to fire. And with most warmachines you really have to guess the range.

ex_idol
16-05-2008, 00:32
fantasy is harder to get than 40k, my mate just getting back into it after years of 40k

he struggles but after every game i say where he went wrong, after a few games of 4k or 5k size (i recommend smaller til he gets basics, but he wont hear of it lol) he now scaring me sometimes

try playing someone at local club or gw who will do the same, gw even have the training on sundays which are great to get involved with as you will learn with other ppl

have to say with the rewrite high elves are immense, so worth considering, but all the armies are, the only exception, i think, are ogres, hence why i'm starting them, to prove myself wrong :)

it may be harder than 40k to learn, but is SO much more rewarding

welcome to the square base posse and may your dice roll high

Helbracht
16-05-2008, 03:23
I would switch to HE as you planned. Chaos just got their army list raped pretty hard. HE are also more tactically diverse.

_Lucian_
16-05-2008, 17:24
Im not really sure if you could solve the problem of 'how does fantasy' work in one thread :S Personally i would recommend some one on one tutoring from a vet or simply grab a chair at your local gaming club/ GW store and watch every battle on your gaming night. also start small...

Dont worry about dragons heavy infantry and other such complexities. Each give experienced gamers more than enough food for thought. I would recommend looking for a friend with an army like empire (closest you can get to a 'standard' troop/selection). Then work out the basics. Because the system is so relative what may appear to be light infantry become super heavy against different opponents (perfect example is free company against zombies).

The key thing is baby steps, playing 40k requires a totally different mind frame. Dont worry about wizards and large monsters just yet. instead focus on the different base types of units and then work your way up. Alot of units work on a scale system (eg not all montrous units like ogres,minataurs are blessed equally and so cant fill them same roles.) and due to the importance of the charge scales can be tiped dramatically. Apart from that i would only suggest focusing on one thing at a time. Dont worry about all of the units types, instead focus on the ones you like the idea of. Its a steep learning curve but one i would love to relearn if i had the chance, its one of the most exciting stages about the hobby imo

ghengismark
29-05-2008, 20:03
Another thing to bear in mind is how tactically balanced or biased each army is. In 40k, you are shooty or melee, with some interesting variations on those themes from army to army.

In Fantasy, there are more tactics and rules that can give an advantage, such as flanking, limited movement and facing, psychology, magic, etc. And thus there are so many more roles that units can fill, such as fast cav, heavy infantry, horde infantry, war machines, skirmishers, etc. Some of the earlier posts go into this, so I will skip over that.

But the next conclusion is that, because there are more tactical roles for units, then fantasy armies can be more diverse in their play style. Instead of just shooty or melee and hard/horde, there is a huge variety of advantages and disavantages.

Let me give you my impression. When I say "balanced" below, I mean that the army has access to all the basic unit types - light infantry, heavy infantry, shooting, war machines, fast cav, heavy cav, monsters, fast infantry (skirmishers).

High Elves - Balanced elite army, good at everything, but fragile and expensive, point-wise.

Empire - Balanced army, but leans towards infantry and war machines.

Dwarves - Only elite infantry, shooting and warmachines. No cav or anything fast.

Dark Elves - Similar to high elves, but darker.

Wood Elves - Fast moving, lots of skirmishers and fast cav. Great shooting. Weak on ranked infantry and heavy cav.

Ogre Kingdoms - Very limited. Units of monsters in different variations. limited selection of war machine, shooting, light infantry. No fast cav or skirmishers.

Lizardmen - Balanced. Lots of options, and can do everything decently well.

Vampire Counts - Mostly Balanced. Lacks shooting. Lacks mobility but makes up for that with magic.

Tomb Kings - Balanced. Magic required to make the army work well.

Orcs and Goblins - Balanced.

Skaven - Lacks cav. Good shooting, magic, infantry, war machines, monsters.

Chaos - Elite balanced, lacks shooting, lot of variety.

Bretonnia - Heavy Cav focused, but balances out by having options for shooting, war machines, infantry, fast cav.

Anyways, that is a quick overview. This is obviously all colored by my personal opinions.

I generally prefer armies that give me a lot of options. I would hate to try to general an Ogre Kingdom army, for example. Do you want monster units? Or Slightly Stronger monster units? How about Slightly Stronger monster units that can ignore terrain? How about monster units that can fire like a helblaster once per game? Oh, and because they are so expensive, you will likely only have 3-4 of these unwieldily monster units to work with in a 2000 point game. I might start an OK army just for the challenge of it, since I know a well-played wood elf army would dance around it and eat it for breakfast.