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semersonp
17-06-2008, 16:05
the practice of mounting characters has become all but a given in warhammer…
it is a cost effective way to give your hero some extra armor save and a huge boost to his movement…

it also wreaks havoc with troop lines…

placing a mounted character in a unit of cavalry of course poses no issues… he plops right in and fits like a glove…

even insertion into a block of “big” troops (25mm x 25mm bases) such as orcs works out seamlessly*…
in he goes, out come two rank and file boys and you’re on your way…

but not all units are so lucky in their sizing when it comes to mounted heroes…

take a peek at the attached pretty drawings that correspond to the #s…
they are a bit jumbled after some rearranging for file size/type but are still somewhat distinguishable...

[ONE]

as you know the warhammer universe typically consists of two varieties of footslogging troopers…
human sized combatants and larger warriors…
20x20mm v. 25x25mm…
humans, skaven, skeletons v. orcs, daemons, chaos warriors…

[TWO]

for the sake of simplicity let us presume you’re the kind of general who enjoys big, square blocks of troops…
we see that blocks of 20x20mm soldiers will take up precisely 25mm less across their front
and be 25mm more shallow in their rear when compared to the same size unit of 25x25mm soldiers…
or the bigger based troops will be 25mm wider, 25mm longer if that is the way you like to look at it…

with all things being equal (no flankers, etc) each of these blocks will have a +3 to their combat resolution due to ranks…

each block, when faced up evenly with its mirror image, will be able to get five front line models into CC…
should its opponent field a 7 wide front then all 7 models can get into the fray by virtue of corner contact…

all very straightforward…

[THREE]

the aforementioned “ease” of plopping a 25x50mm character into a unit of 25x25mm troops…
the only problem concerns the star next to seamlessly… but we’ll come to that at the end…

[FOUR]

a unit of 5 cavalry bases in a unit… 1x5 formation… rank bonus of zero… we can all agree on that…
even though their US is 2 and they are as deep as two regular 25x25mm troops
and they are each only one model and therefore can only contribute to a single rank… makes sense…

[FIVE]

ah, if only it were that simple… but gobbos ride the same size critters as chaos lords when it comes to cavalry…
a necessary but complicating bit of game fact…

[SIX]

some red lines to help us see what constitutes ‘rank’ and ‘file’… basically a split version of the diagram on page 6 of the ‘tiny’ BRB…
and in text the same page puts forth “the unit always has the same number of models in each rank and, where not possible,
it is always the rear rank that is left short (in which case it’s referred to as an incomplete rank)”…
again, makes sense…

[SEVEN]

let us ignore the seemingly perfect fit that 25x25mm bases offer to a mounted character for a moment
and focus on that same character in a unit of tiny based troops…
picture seven shows what happens if we put him in the front and center of the unit… chaos…

[EIGHT]

this is the most common lineup i’ve seen when players place a mounted character up front in a 20x20mm block of troops…
the red represents the significant gaps in the unit caused by the reshuffling necessary to fit the larger mounted character into the smaller based unit…
let’s note a few things…
1) the character displaces not just 2 regular soldiers, but three…
2) in order for the unit to even arguably maintain rank bonus, let alone coherency, the character (US2, single model) must be considered
a model not only in the 1st two ranks but the third as well (an option we easily dismissed earlier with our cavalry example in figure FOUR)…
3) there are significant gaps among the unit (highlighted by the red blocks), not allowing them to line up anywhere near rank and file order
and calling into question the options for how one designs movement trays or places said ‘units’ on the board…

[NINE]

5mm distention… the unit itself now contains significant gaps in its interior, is missing one more model than should be displaced,
is overall 5mm wider than it was before the character was introduced and has a single cavalry model being utilized to fill not just 1 or 2 ranks…
but 3…

the red again notes the extra troop displaced, the gaps in the center of the unit and the 5mm widening of the units frontage…

[TEN]

more of our red lines… note the clean rank and files on the left…
and their lack on the right if we keep the unit anywhere near together without huge gaps in its center with a character in its belly…

[ELEVEN]

a simple solution…
the mounted character is with the unit and not a single rank and file trooper is shoved aside to make the unit some odd conglomeration of gap and shuffling…
insofar as i can tell the biggest concern with this legal and elegant resolution is that it does not allow a hitty character to be front and center
and may on occasion keep him out of the fray for a turn…
i would put forth that that is the drawback to putting a mounted character into a unit of foot troops but…
it goes beyond that…

*: page 38 of the ‘tiny’ BRB gives a description of combat result bonuses…
the first section of these deals with ‘extra rank’…
it states “if your unit’s formation is at least five models wide, you may claim a bonus of +1 for each rank beyond the first”…
as we saw in our cavalry example even though mounted models are as deep as two ranks of 25x25mm troops
they can only count for one rank per mounted warrior as they are a single model as described on page 7 of the ‘tiny’ BRB…
“a cavalry model is treated in all respects as a single model”…

so there ya have it… the biggest elephant in the room of 7th edition… and its stamping all over most tables i play on…

and yes, i play lizardmen and skaven and am well aware of their slann/bell special rules…
do also note that in both cases they are equivalent base sizes to the units they are in (50x50mm and 40x60mm)
and make a specific note to allow them to retain ranks… making it clear this is out of the ordinary…

changing unit cohesion is a huge issue… warhammer is a game of mms…
a spell with a range of 24” should not be able to reach your lines on the 1st turn without movement simply because its ‘close enough’…
you wouldn’t let someone do this to you…

so…

what is your experience with this character plopping/distention? do you/your opponents do it? how do you/your opponent explain it?

how do you feel about the solution of putting a mounted character in a block of foot troops (20x20 or 25x25) alongside the unit?


thanks

xragg
17-06-2008, 16:55
none of your links work (unless it was that .doc file at the end, which i cant open on this pc)

http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=126702&highlight=rank+bonus
http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143527&highlight=mounted

semersonp
17-06-2008, 17:14
the only attachment is a word doc... 'mountedmadnessdoc'...

contains all the related illustrations...

Grontik
17-06-2008, 18:37
I make my own movement trays so no worries.

semersonp
18-06-2008, 12:26
cool!

i make my own movement trays as well... nothing too grand but they do make me happy... :)

a buddy of mine did one up to look like a hill his dwarf force was leaping over... used magnets and such... very neat to see on the battlefield...

but this doesn't address the issue at hand...

making a movement tray to account for the gross displacement of awkwardly placed models is one thing... apologia for it is another...

how do folks justify counting a single cavalry model as not just 1 or 2... but 3 ranks worth of model...? (conversely do they think a 1x5 cavalry formation have a +1 rank bonus? if so, why?)...

lets accept for the moment that in a 25x25mm unit the cavalry model CAN do this bit of magic... ok...

but the shuffling required in a 20x20mm unit is madness... the warhammer version of soylent green... everyone eats it but no one knows what its made of... and its terrifying...

a bit of the absurd to highlight the main concern here:

if we allow for this waffling why not be ok with seperating models within units by several inches? in for a penny, in for a pound reasoning to be sure... but the philosophy is the same... herbert george wells penned 'little wars' in 1913... we've had nearly one century to improve upon ill milled tin soldiers, rough rules and uneven carpet... we've come a long way...

let us not quit now... nor ignore clear unit entropy... witness my 24" spell range example... i am a generous gamer who doesn't mind when my opponent eeks out an accidental mm here and there but... there comes a point... if units are allowed to be fielded in whatever mad assembly their general wishes then the mechanics of the game that allow for quick and relaxed gameplay break down and trend the toppling tower of joy they once supported toward minutiae and exponentially varying interpretation...

this is a game i enjoy immensely... i've derived great delight from it over the past 20 some odd years... help me keep it even and fair... lets examine this one issue intelligently and with great love... then tackle the next... it will never be perfect, but never will we accept problems without consideration or discourse... as mentioned above this was a game developed by men who were fond of good brandy and better company... they were few and grand men...

but we are many... and even more diverse... surely we can build a broader and more enduring base than even wells and his cohorts...

so...

what do you think? read my initial post with a keen eye... note the rules... their specificity concerning the situation... and let me know what you think...

not just on the 1x5 cavalry unit possessing a rank bonus... but the issue of flippancy concerning unit coherency... all the issues raised, in fact... as mentioned, this is a true elephant in the room... but lets forgo comfort and address the problem... i'm looking forward to your input...


thanks

Gazak Blacktoof
18-06-2008, 13:32
Looking at the diagrams you've posted only numbers 1,2,3,4 and 6 are correct.

A 25mm based model wont count for the second rank in either a 20mm or 25mm based unit and a 50mm or cavalry based model wont count for a third rank in a 20mm or 25mm based unit. The only way I've seen it played is that a model placed in a 20mm or 25mm unit will displace from that unit the same number of models as it would from a 25mm unit and counts for the purposes of ranks and columns as being equal to the number of models it displaces.

Diagram nine is almost correct- You need to put one model back into row three (numbering front to back) of the unit and shuffle rows three, four and five back by 5mm. There will now be a 5mm gap between the third and fourth models (numbering left to right) of each of the back three rows.

That's my take on it anyway and they're based on the 2004 annual rulings which seem to be based on conventions and common sense.

semersonp
18-06-2008, 14:21
interesting...

i see what you're saying about 'scooching' the entire row back... never seen it done that way but i gotcha... a bit more tidy of a solution...

but it still leaves the question of the gap in the unit... and the single cav model granting rank bonus for both the 'head' and 'tail' of the ridden entitiy...

as you say Gazak Blacktoof:

"A 25mm based model wont count for the second rank in either a 20mm or 25mm based unit..."

yet i see people who have inserted their characters in this fashion claim a rank bonus for the unit as though it were in no way altered by the character's presence...

how can the single model character mounted on a cavalry base count for the 2nd rank in even a 25x25mm troop block? (figure FOUR... +0 rank bonus)... in essence - how can he be in two places at once?

and as for the diagrams...

#5 is just an example of how it would look if smaller creatures rode smaller mounts...

#7 shows how i've seen it done on more than a few occasions (thus the "yikes")

#8 is the most common method i've come across of inserting the hero into the unit

#9 is a compliation of the previous diagrams/discussions

#10 shows the line breaking that occurs in troops scooting

#11 was just a random thought to skirt the issue of 'gaps'... get the ball rolling...

also, where would one find these 2004 rulings? i'd like to get a look at them...

awesome response, keep 'em coming :)


thanks!

Lord Aries
18-06-2008, 14:31
I play in a lot of the larger tournaments and most all of them rule that a mounted character displaces and counts for rank purposes... ALA the slann rules.

I know it looks ugly, and isn't covered in the rules explicitly, but hopefully it will be soon.

Gazak Blacktoof
18-06-2008, 14:54
how can the single model character mounted on a cavalry base count for the 2nd rank in even a 25x25mm troop block? (figure FOUR... +0 rank bonus)... in essence - how can he be in two places at once?


Just because. You wont get a better explanation than that I'm affraid unless you go back to the 2004 annual. I'll leave it at that.

semersonp
18-06-2008, 15:01
just 'cuz...

i was afraid of that :)

oh well, at least i can suggest the somewhat tidier solution for cav insertion...


thanks again

-----

live each season as it passes... and resign yourself to the influences of each...
-HDT