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View Full Version : Defensive Isenguard competative?



undead
12-04-2009, 08:25
After spending a lot of time reading over the wotr book i started thinking about a defensive Isenguard force and if it would work. The main idea is to have a decent block of Phalanx in the middle with warbands either side and scouts with bows then a couple of trolls and finally a ballista or two.

Would that be decent for a 1000p game? Could the same idea work for more points? Are crossbows worth taking and if so what size formations? Will the ballista's die too quickly in 1000p game to make them work?

Thanks in advance

Spider-pope
12-04-2009, 11:32
A defensive Isengard army should still be reasonably effective. The ideal situation would have a hill in your deployment zone to plonk the artillery on, with the Phalanx's defending the base of it. If you keep the scouts and trolls to defend the flanks of the Phalanx group, then its going to take lot of effort for your opponent to break them thanks to the special rules for Pike's, all the while getting shot to pieces by your artillery and crossbows.

The only difficulty you will have in making them effective will be on boards without raised terrain, since friendly formations block line of sight.

takaetun
12-04-2009, 11:50
Pikes aren't a defensive weapon - they can be, but there's no bonus to using them as such. The lack of a charge bonus is canceled out by the +1 Fight you get just from carrying the things - stick in a hero and they're a very, very nasty unit. Similarly, warbands are hard units just because they're Uruk Hai. The benefit of having an army like that is that you can play either aggressively or defensively very well.

General Veers
12-04-2009, 13:26
Could the same idea work for more points? I'm building a similar army to 2,000-3,000 points.


Are crossbows worth taking and if so what size formations?I will be fielding at least one formation of 2-3 companies. The S3 at over half range is simply too useful to ignore.


Will the ballista's die too quickly in 1000p game to make them work? All depends on how you place them and use them.

Instead of two trolls I'm using a troll and a formation of 3 companies of Warg Riders at 1000-1500 points. I like having the option of some fast moving units to use under the right conditions.

I really think Isenguard is great for offence/defense as suggested previously. Don't limit yourself. If you play a defensive game and it doesn't work, figure out why and adjust accordingly.

tabletopnews
12-04-2009, 19:47
Pikes aren't a defensive weapon...

They are against cavalry.

And I would be more than happy to play against any Isnegard force that wanted to beef up their Phalanxes like that and use them offensively.

The main use for the pike is to defend against cav. They have no other purpose.

Even with the +1 Fight it doesn't really make up for their lack of shields and I'd much rather be attacking with a formation that has D7 in CC than D5.

Also, depending on how many companies you can get into CC the additional dice in the charge is a boon.

I intend to use my Phalanxes to guard my flanks to keep fast cav from attacking my core Warbands and ranged units.

I think that is a far more effective use for them.

Rirekon
12-04-2009, 20:53
They are against cavalry.

And I would be more than happy to play against any Isnegard force that wanted to beef up their Phalanxes like that and use them offensively.

The main use for the pike is to defend against cav. They have no other purpose.

Even with the +1 Fight it doesn't really make up for their lack of shields and I'd much rather be attacking with a formation that has D7 in CC than D5.

Also, depending on how many companies you can get into CC the additional dice in the charge is a boon.

I intend to use my Phalanxes to guard my flanks to keep fast cav from attacking my core Warbands and ranged units.

I think that is a far more effective use for them.

Pikes do not differ in effect versus infantry and cavalry, they do exactly the same thing regardless.

The main reason for taking pikes in my opinion is to use the same as bait units. You stick a phalanx slightly advanced from your main unit in the hope your opponent will charge first - allowing you to counter charge into their flanks - if they don't then you charge with the phalanx and take them 1 on 1.

Jorgen_CAB
12-04-2009, 21:19
I would concur that a Uruk-Hai Phalanx are best used as a defensive flank protection force. But I do not rule out that you can use them on the offensive as well.

I would probably field them in 3-4 companies, larger and they become too unwieldy to maneuver and I would use them to protect the flank and to flank any enemy foolish enough to be flanked by them.

Uruk-Hai Warbands with shield works best as large units in your Center (4-6 strong). You could also keep a smaller formation of Warbands as a tactical reserve behind your lines (2-3 strong with no command).

In a large game I would put them like this...
P = Phalanx
C = Crossbow
W = Warband
T = Troll

PPPP:PPPP_CCCC:CCCC:CCCC_TTTTT_WWWW:WWWW:WWWW_WWWW :WWWW:WWWW_TTTTT_CCCC:CCCC:CCCC_PPPP:PPPP
PPPP:PPPP_________________TTTTT_WWWW:WWWW:WWWW_WWW W:WWWW:WWWW_TTTTT_________________PPPP:PPPP
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______
__________________________WWWW____________________ ________________________WWWW______________________ __
__________________________WWWW____________________ ________________________WWWW______________________ __
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______

The one thing about the crossbow that I'm not sure about is whether or not you can double move and use Might to shoot with them. Which rule takes president here (The Crossbow special rule or the Heroic Shoot)?

tabletopnews
13-04-2009, 01:12
Pikes do not differ in effect versus infantry and cavalry, they do exactly the same thing regardless.

Not really. They reduce the cav's charge by six dice per company. They only remove a single dice from an infantry company and so they dramatically reduce the effect of cavalry.

The game effect is the same (charing formation gets no charge dice) but the impact of that on cav is dramatically different. Since the infantry formation loses next to no dice I would suggest that the impact of pikes on them is minimal while the effect on cav is much more dramatic.

Hence my comment that they are used to protect against cav.

takaetun
13-04-2009, 02:05
To use them as a defensive weapon against infantry is to allow your opponent to control the battlefield. If you don't move, and don't advance, they can almost unmolested. You have fight six Uruk-hai, for heaven's sake, hit something with them! :P

tabletopnews
13-04-2009, 03:58
To use them as a defensive weapon against infantry is to allow your opponent to control the battlefield.

It also hands you opponent the best change they have of taking your pikes out. Your opponent is going to need to hit them with infantry or artillery and sitting down to let him charge you with infantry is playing his game for him.

Rirekon
13-04-2009, 11:57
Defensive doesn't mean static ;)

Giving your opponent priority (when possible) creates fun (for you) situations where you can move a Phalanx forward with other formations ready to counter-charge in response to your opponent's movement. Your opponent is then given the choice of charging (with no bonuses) and being counter-charged or being charged by your Phalanx in a 1-v-1 fight. As the latter is probably preferable they'll do nothing and may even back away in their next move if you don't charge, allowing you to move around at will.

It's like in chess where two Pawns placed diagonally can cause your opponent to move a more valuable piece away, the terms of engagement you've presented aren't acceptable so they are forced to back down.

undead
13-04-2009, 12:14
In my experience in 40k you can never sit back and expect your models to fight for you. Yes defensive does mean I probably wont beg to go first (has anyone literally begged for something in a game? Maybe good way to bluff ;)) but I wont sit back in a deck chair and watch a game. Detractions are always a fun thing to do when your opponent doesn't see them coming.

In my view a defensive army is not one that just stands there but one that doesn't rely on acting and can react well. Now if you can force your opponent to react in a way that detriments them you have one thing you can exploit.

Now i'm thinking of modeling an Uruk-Hai in a deck chair :p