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Elannion
21-12-2005, 02:54
Hello all just random ponderings again. I really can't decide if the lance formation is worth it anymore. I mean the ranks are a good thing and the extra attacks on charge are good but i dunno. The extra attacks only give you about one extra kill (9 kotr against ws 3 t 3 light armour handweapon and shield compared to 5 kinght in a line) and the ranks can easily be taken away by the extreame vunerability this formation has to warmachines. Aswell as this it seems to me that the lance will be more awkward to manauver (i might be wrong), in drawn out combats this unit has probably the biggest flank in the game so its easily flanked (another way to negate the rank bonus) and only 3 of your knights can attack back. I dunno it strikes me that unless you get the charge and then win the combat, then you in for it. To me it seems i wouldnt wanna risk such a thing happening with a unit that costs probably over 200pts.

made_of_metal
21-12-2005, 05:49
it may give only "1 extra kill" but also +2 combat res for ranks and a good chance for outnumber. That is a difference of 5 (because the enemy loses the outnumber) from the 5 knights. That is a huge difference.
Also the small frontage makes it easy to send in 2 units of knights on one target. So very fatal.
I think it is well worth the disadvatages.

Wickerman71
21-12-2005, 08:12
10. An extra 2 str 5 attacks & 2 str 3 on average will net in most cases net you one more wound & the potential for more.

9. +2 static combat res is good; particularly on a unit that wants to break the enemy on the 1st round of CC.

8. M8 is a great defense against flanking.

7. Well upto 3 seeing combat on the flank is better than one

6. Unit strength 18 compared to 10

5. wider frontage is harder to manauver than narrow.

4. Warmachines Haaa.... Cheap knights with a Ward Save

3. It's allot easier seeing a frontage of 3 all see combat as opposed to 5.

2. Just over 200pts is dirt cheap for 9 Knights:D

& the #1. Using the Lance is about as brainless a decision as praying for the Blessing.

raygungothic
21-12-2005, 09:45
Before, the lance was a horrible, monstrous thing; Bretonnian cheese smelled very strong in those days. Now, I think it's reasonable - because it represents a tactical *choice*. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. I use it sometimes, not others.

Advantages:
- Lots of attacks on a very small frontage - if you can charge a single enemy unit with TWO full depth (12 man) lances, you can be rolling, potentially, twenty or so knights' attacks. Combine that with full rank bonus, the Banner of the Lady that denies the enemy their rank bonus, and all those horses too - and you will do, really, quite a lot of damage. One of the things I like about Warhammer is that force is only useful if it's focused accurately - and the Lance is a pretty good tool for doing so.
- Because of their narrow width, lances are actually very manoeuverable as they're cheap to wheel. Unless the terrain is very constricted, they're quite good at hugging one edge of a hill or wood and keeping their exposure low until the last moment. I often use the lance for this exact purpose.
- Unless I'm very much mistaken, nowhere does it say that you can't lap round after a lance charge (but whether you'd want to is another matter, as a deep enough lance to do this and not lose rank bonus would be a very expensive unit indeed)

Disadvantages:
- If a lance formation hits and breaks the enemy, it's all good, but if it doesn't it's in real trouble. It doesn't inflict enough attacks to have a good chance of breaking the enemy unit on subsequent turns; it has huge, exposed flanks; it probably has so few spare troops that even a single casualty will reduce rank bonus.
- If several terrain pieces are close together creating a narrow curved gap, the lance can be too long to fit through where a slightly wider but rather shorter unit can make it. (Fortunately this is not frequent - except against Wood Elf players)
- Horribly, horribly vulnerable to bolt throwers, cannon and anything with a flame template. The Bretonnian prayer is nowadays something of a mixed blessing - sometimes it's much better to have a good chance at getting the first turn (having relatively few units to deploy) than it is to have a 5+ ward, and even with the prayer the extra hits the enemy will achieve against a lance are more damaging because you've got more chances to fail.

All in all, I think it's something you need to choose carefully - a tool for some occasions, not all. Which is exactly as it should be.

(In general I'm quite impressed by the balance of the new Bretonnian book for the type of games I play - it seems to require quite a bit of care and attention to win against an attentive player in a small game, and I wouldn't want to play them if it didn't!)

Elannion
21-12-2005, 10:09
10. yes but you still have to pay for these extra attacks to form the lance
9. kill one of the knights and this goes down to +1 kill 4 and theres none (not so static)
8. It is yes but having atleast 6 inches to move out of the way compared to 2 is a big difference you always have to pursue 6 inches to get your flank out of the way of enemy units and obviously its 6 inches to move all the time out of the way. One has a better chance of getting out of the way.
7. One has a better chance of getting out of the way again, it also still not a good thing and would also make more attacks by you enemy aswell as you.
6. Again this is something you will have to pay for and killing one will probably get rid of your outnumbering ability.
5.Yes that is why i said it might be wrong however a longer flank makes manauvering around terrain and units alot harder so that probably balances it out.
4. ward save it isn't all the great, its a nice little thing but its not great, thats like saying a unit with light armour/shield only is fully protected and again all you have to do is kill 1, then you have lost one of your rank bonuses and probably outnumbering.
3. dunno quite what you mean there but that sounds like you just dont like 5 frontages and that has nothing to do with if its good or not.
2. Yes it is cheap and its cheap whatever formation you use so that doesn't mean much and its 240pts so 1/8 of your points isn't something to throw away on a chance.
1. thats just your opinion not fact

As for the charging two in at a time, i suppose thats could be pretty good but you would expect it for about 1/4 of your points in on one charge and with proper movement you could get two units of five one in on the flank one at the front and this would cost you little over the points of one unit. Lapping round you can do, but the flank then increases again and the likelyhood is that if your still in combat the enemy can probably easily charge you next turn and these guys go back into the formation, so it doesn't benifit you.

SuperBeast
21-12-2005, 10:11
If you're worried about subsequent combats, you can always do the "Brettonnian Splat".
Ie. when you win the combat, lap round to widen your frontage,
Looks damn funny, but don't forget that once the combat is resolved you go back to the lance formation instantly, and it ups your attacks in subsequent rounds.
Just remember you lose ranks for it...

mageith
21-12-2005, 13:35
If you're worried about subsequent combats, you can always do the "Brettonnian Splat".
Ie. when you win the combat, lap round to widen your frontage,
Looks damn funny, but don't forget that once the combat is resolved you go back to the lance formation instantly,
Why do you say this? Ordinarily "Expand Frontage" (77) is a permanent formation change. Do the Brets have a special rule about returning to their lance formation?

Lapping around to the sides is not a permanent formation change. But I think you are talking about expand frontage, no?

Mage Ith

SuperBeast
21-12-2005, 14:51
Ok, no BRB to hand right now and this has never come up in a game I've played so I cannot give any kind of guarantee, but I was under the impression that expanding frontage after winning a combat was simply moving models from the back ranks, rather than reconfiguring the R&F unit itself?
As such, it would be part of the same system as lapping round, eg.
X=Enemy Troops, B=Brettonnian Knights.
On the charge
XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
BBB
BBB
BBB

Then, after winning the combat, the Brettonians expand frontage...
XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
BBBBB
BBB
B
But, as I said, no BRB to hand, so if this is wrong then I apologise to folks.
I've got a bad feeling about this.
Spank me, MageIth... :(

Festus
21-12-2005, 15:23
They must expand like this:

XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
BBBBB
BBBB

As MageIth said: Expanding Frontage is a *permanent* formation change.

Greetings
Festus

SuperBeast
21-12-2005, 15:36
>spanked by proxy<

Sorry guys.:cries:

Elannion
22-12-2005, 23:11
yups this means lapping arounds not great and if you look in my previous post it mentions another reason

Long_Fang
25-12-2005, 06:50
Concerning Lance formation.

In games of 2000 points if you create knight units of 5, which are not in lance formation, you might find it difficult to place all the knights where you would like.

Lance formation lets you get lots of your knights into combat, is the way I see it. If you are looking to break the enemy core, or either flank, you are gonna need lots of your knights there to do it, and a couple of units 5 wide won't cut it. Like Wickerman71 was saying you need the small forntage of the lance so you can gang bang your opponents.

Don't forget to pray, mathematically, at the least, it gives you +1/6 more knights :) (That's not including the fact you might win may a combat (and save your kngihts from breaking) due to +resolution from numbers, lower kills and increased kills survivnig models do!)


Merry Christmas everyone!

Eldaron
25-12-2005, 11:24
The only real tactical losses you get when using lance formation are:
- It is easier for the opponent to move out of sight due to the narrower frontage
- Your flanks are longer (compared to the standard 5-10 heavy cav, but I`ll get to that)

All other things mentioned here don`t really count.
- You have not as many attacks in subsequent rounds of combat. so? Those additional attacks you`d have usually don`t make much difference when facing a tough unit. And in other cases you should be able to break them in round 1 anyway, where a lance has an advantage over normal formations
- Sure, your +2/+3/.. rank bonus might not hold that long. But your overall rank bonus will hold much longer than with normal heavy cav (where you only have to loose 2-3 models and then often have no rank bonus at all)
- Maneuvering is usually easier (yes, usually, not every time)
- Yeah, you got a bigger flank, but unless you are playing lances with 12 models or more it is not that bad compared to the usualy cav units. If your opponent isn`t totally dumb and he doesn`t have the his bad luck day and he has the option or possibility to do so he will be able to charge the flank of your unit, whether the flank is 2 or 3 models long (yeah, he doesn`t get as much attacks in, but that`s definitely not your biggest problem when receiving a flank charge, is it?)
- As for Warmachines: 5 wide heavy cav (unless being played in one rank but then your comparison is a bit awkward) doesn`t have to loose much (usually 2 models, which can happen really fast. Even if things like bolt throwers cannot penetrate as much ranks as with a lance, it can easily kill those 2 with one shot) and then it has no rank bonus at all and also has a harder time outnumbering. Sure, especially with lances of 12 you are moire vulnerable to those things, but the you still have you ward save and if you are playing lances of 9 it`s not worse than with 5 wide, 2 deep cav units

So, while lances (especially big lances of 12 or more, which I usually don`t use though) do have some disadvantages (mainly your flank (which is not such a great disadvantage with lances of 6 or 9), as the LoS problem isn`t that big if you know how to play), they are in all other aspects just as good or much better than normal formations

Elannion
25-12-2005, 12:33
you need the small forntage of the lance so you can gang bang your opponents.
As i said you really don't using two units in the front you can do but with cavelry you can easily get one round their flank instead and that way you negate their rank bonus and you get plus 1 combat result. Yes you get 4 less people attacking but i think the other ones make up for it. Again also using two big lance units is also using about 1/4-1/3 of your army aswell on one unit, generally if you use that amount of points charging something you would expect it to do well so its can't really be called an advantage can it.

Lance formations on their own can only tackle barely armed in the first round of combat, anything else is probably gunna hold them up abit or atleast only give them a marginal win. Yes the extra attacks won't do an awful lot but it atleast give you a better chance, aswell as evening the ground with your enemy. Lance formations of 9 which i assume is what you use considering you dont usually use 12, only have an extra two people attacking than the normal formation, so other than the outnumbering (which has prolly gone from shooting) and the ranks (one of which has prolly gone from shooting) from your logic they don't have alot more effect.

I dont think manauvering is nessisarily easier considering terrain and other units of do get in the way of wheeling manauvers and such, aswell as the worse line of sight. So you can't really say its easier.

As i said the main problem with the flank is when you persue the bigger it is the more you have to roll to get out of the way of a flank charge, which is worse than normal cavelry units and a problem even if you win a combat with a lance and it still increases the chances even if as you say its only one extra model atleast.

The warmachines are still more dangerous yes the smaller units need less damage but the proportion of things killed between the units, if not more because of the low frontage in the lance, a cannon could potential take out one flank of your lance. More models being killed in the lance, even though there are more models left is still a bad thing each model being worth around 24 points, even if its just one more model being killed the fact that its an extra 24pts is still quite bad. Also killing one lance guy will almost certainly take away most of your outnumbering anyway, so what you said about the small formation doesnt effect much either.

Eldaron
25-12-2005, 15:26
Everything you say may be fine, but then, based on your argumentation, one shouldN´t take heavy cavalry in units bigger than 5 at all.



Lance formations on their own can only tackle barely armed in the first round of combat, anything else is probably gunna hold them up abit or atleast only give them a marginal win. Yes the extra attacks won't do an awful lot but it atleast give you a better chance, aswell as evening the ground with your enemy. Lance formations of 9 which i assume is what you use considering you dont usually use 12, only have an extra two people attacking than the normal formation, so other than the outnumbering (which has prolly gone from shooting) and the ranks (one of which has prolly gone from shooting) from your logic they don't have alot more effect.

Well, than of course you shouldn`t take heavy cav in units of more than 5, because if the lance can`t break them in Round 1, comparable (means depending on which kind of unit) units of heavy cav can`t do it either, but at least the lance has a bigger chance. And since you say, the more attacks on the charge are marginally more effective, then based on that argumentation those fewer attacks in subsequent rounds the lance got doesn`t make any difference at all compared to other formations (since neither then has their bonuses from the attack).
Also, your normal formations have then (following your argumentation) lost, at the time they attack, their outnumbering bonus (1-2 killed is sufficient for losing it) and probably their rank bonus as well, so they are worse than any lance in the same circumstance due to lesser bonuses and fewer attacks on the charge. That means lance formations still are more effective than normal formations when attacking (and in subsequent rounds the fewer attacks don`t really manke much difference)


I dont think manauvering is nessisarily easier considering terrain and other units of do get in the way of wheeling manauvers and such, aswell as the worse line of sight. So you can't really say its easier.

Right is (but that I have said already) that Field of view is also narrowed. This is a slight disadvantage, but well, then you have to playn your movement a bit more carefully and for a decent player it is absolutely controllable.
And while you have a longer flank you also have a narrower front and from my experience the narrower front is really a greater help than the longer flank is a hinderance considering movement, unless the terrain is placed really strange (since I mostly play tourneys that is usually not the case).



As i said the main problem with the flank is when you persue the bigger it is the more you have to roll to get out of the way of a flank charge, which is worse than normal cavelry units and a problem even if you win a combat with a lance and it still increases the chances even if as you say its only one extra model atleast.

Well, sure it increases the chance you don`t run far enough. It is a difference of 2". Against any decent opponent that doesn`t really make such a big difference. Anyone who is moving his units in a way to countercharge your flank after an ovverrun/pursue will have positioned his units in a way those 2" less of a flank won`t bring you out of either fov or charge range. And if it is not planned or at least anticipated you have either roll incredibly bad or already made a mistake earlier. Just because one is playing Bretonnians/lances doesn`t everything in range has to be charged instantly ;)
It can make a difference, but most of the time it won`t.


The warmachines are still more dangerous yes the smaller units need less damage but the proportion of things killed between the units, if not more because of the low frontage in the lance, a cannon could potential take out one flank of your lance. More models being killed in the lance, even though there are more models left is still a bad thing each model being worth around 24 points, even if its just one more model being killed the fact that its an extra 24pts is still quite bad. Also killing one lance guy will almost certainly take away most of your outnumbering anyway, so what you said about the small formation doesnt effect much either.

Err, proportions? Take 9 man lance. Obviously it should be compared to a 10 man unit of other cav (while a 6 man lance with a 5 man unit etc.)
So where is THE big difference?
So one model in the unit may be killed more (now comparing bretonnian laces to other formations of bretonnian knights, since other armies don`t have that ward save the odds actually turn in favor of the lance or at least evens out). Sure, you can easily loose your outnumbering, but another formations can loose it just as easily. And while you then have a good chance with other formations to even loose your complete rank bonus, the lance has a much higher chance of keeping that.
Still, you ARE right (since evry model lost above the first one reduces the attacks on the charge) in that some warmachines are more dangerous to a lance, but it it is not as significantly higher than with a normal formation as you argumentation implies.

So, while a lance has its disadvantages and requires a bit more care in the movement phase, its advantages in my opinion outweigh them. That doesn`t come form theoryhammer, I`ve tested it on enough tourneys and compared and talked it over with enough other Bretonnian players (also you have to keep in mind that in GErmany you find much harder lists and much more powergamers on tournaments than in the U.S. i.e. (not in the U.K. though)), so I can reasonably state that those conclusions can be seen as quite thouroughly tested and objective.

Elannion
25-12-2005, 21:09
My point that lances can only easily win against badly armed infantry was to put agaisnt the fact that you said they would more than likely break them on the first turn. The point i said about the two attacks not being much difference was because you yourself said so i don't nessisarily think that, but in your previous post you had said that the extra two attacks didnt make any difference. I was simply stating that if that was the case then the lance isn't at any advantage through extra attacks.

When i said about the narrowed feild of view i was summarising i relise you had said it and thats why i was adding it. I do not nessisarily feel they are at a disadvatage moving but i dont think saying they are better off is correct, as you put it they are vunerable in terrain but they are also vunerable in tight formations of troops, especially in the likes of what people have suggested 'gang banging units' in this case if your army is close together you cannot wheel too far even though your frontage allows you to do it easier. The fact is that the long flank means you dont have to worry about things just to your side but things to your side and behind you aswell.

I am not stating that you will always get charged in the flank, but it is alot easier to happen and people are always wanting to find ways of destroying your nasty big unit of knights worth all those points. You state that any good general could do it anyway, well this allows bad generals a better shot at flanking or even people who had not planned too, aswell as allowing it in situations where it might not of been as possible, so thats not a fair argument to put. Increasing the flanking zone increases the amount of things that can flank you, its plain and simple so it makes it easier for you opponent to do, yes some people might be able to do it anyway but its still easier for them.

a lance wil possibly loose up to the whole side of it from a cannon or bolt thrower, however unless positions really stupidly a unit of knights lined up will only loose two generally. generally that means for a lance you can loose a whole rank from one round of shooting (and i am not talking about rank bonuses here), that means this lance of 9 would get two less people attacking on charge and so no better than a unit in ranks of 5, and there would be 3 less guys so not only are there less attacks but theres less chance of out numbering. You will note in this that i have not included rank bonus because as you so rightly said they both would loose it, but you can see that not only is the combat capabilities reduced to no better than the ranks of 5 but the outnumbering is worse and the combat capabilitys become worse than the 5 rank in later turns of combat, so it is significantly damaging. Now obviously this perfect shot wont happen all the time but i doubt its all that uncommon and theres no less chance of it happening than the shot on a normal cavelry unit and it is more devastating if it happens to the lance. However when i was talking proportions i was talking about units of 5 compared and i was saying that a cannon would kill one in that unit, but in a lance of 9 it could easily kill 3 and thusly the proportion of those killed in the lance is more compared to that of the 5 and thusly the cannon is not such a weakness of the 5 but its bad for the lance.

The thing i am and have been trying to say the lance has some obvious advantages and disadvantages, but the advantages are easily taken away because of the disadvantages and so there arent so many advantages and just as many disadvantages. You have said to me that i am saying that all heavy cavelry is bad, that is quite relevant in the way i would sum up lances, they are heavy cavelry with their weaknesses magnified.

Eldaron
26-12-2005, 00:20
Well, let`s get things straight.
First, I never said a lance would break any enemy in turn 1.
Also, what you are doing is playing a bit of theory hammer.
Lances do have some disadvantages (otherwise bretonnians would be even more of a no-brainer type than they are right now), but you are overmagnifying them extremely. Compared to other armies your heavy cav is more resilient to shooting than theirs. They pack more punch than comparable units. They are easier to maneuver insofar as due to the narrower frontage you are better able to coop the whole of your army. The downside of this is that they are also harder to maneuver insofar as you have to be more careful considering you fov etc.

I have tested lances thoroughly and I can certainly say that they are well worth it. Most tournament players have lists completely (or almost completely) consisting of lances and among them are some very, very good players (i.e. the winner of the german GT 2005 (every final round game a massacre)). And you can be sure that they wouldn`t use lances that much if the advantages wouldn`t outweigh the disadvantages (after all, they are mainly powergamers and always maximizing their lists and testing them thoroughly)

Long_Fang
26-12-2005, 00:32
Just concerning shooting. You remove models from the middle of the last rank first. So you only loose models that cannot fight anyway, unlike in 5 wide formation where each model you loose is another that cannot fight.

Lance formation was created for the purpose of an all heavy cavalry army, to make it easier to use and more effective. The fact the lance is much more effective on the charge is also deliberate as that is the Bretonnian style of play. If you take a look at most of their Virtues and Magical Items you will notice they parrallel this style.

Empire can also make an all heavy cavalry team but the fact they cannot use lance makes it much less effective. Try making an Empire Cavalry team and make a Bretonnian one, then simulate a few battles and you will notice the real differance the lance makes.

Cheers.

bored1
26-12-2005, 12:30
Has anyone actually looked at the math? Consider Knights Errant w/ full command:

5 knights = 121 pts
6 knights = 141 pts

For that extra 20 pts, you get +1 combat res (full rank), without giving up any attacks. So for about a ~17 increase in cost, I think you're getting good return (going into combat with +2 combat res against the typical enemy amount of +5).

The nice thing about the lance is (vs other formations for cavalry), as you expand, the rear ranks still provide utility on the charge. Consider a player using a different army. He has to pay for the initial 5 models plus command. Now to get the +1, he too must buy 3 models, but none of his will be able to attack. To get +2, he must buy 4 more models, all of which cannot attack. So in a comparison, the lance is much more efficient.

Regarding it's drawbacks, it would be broken without them. The vulnerability to warmachines isn't really meaningful. My opponent has about 2 turns to shoot at me. How much damage will he do with my ward saves and the inconsistency of war machines? Also, if I don't break a unit on the charge, then I want to be flanked, fail my panic, and probably run far enough to get away (it is rare that cavalry is the counter-charge unit that gets me). In short, the advantages are numerous, and the drawbacks either aren't severe or aren't as much drawbacks as it may appear.

mageith
26-12-2005, 14:46
The vulnerability to warmachines isn't really meaningful. My opponent has about 2 turns to shoot at me. How much damage will he do with my ward saves and the inconsistency of war machines?

About the time the VC first came out, we started a new campaign and encouraged players to bring appendix armies. Of the 8 players showing up the first day, 4 brought BloodDragon Bretonnians, just so they could use the lance formation with the very hard hitting, KB Wight Knights.

All lost horribly, mostly due to their reaction to war machines, especially bolt throwers and cannons. W/o the blessing in some form, the lance formation is very vulnerable. No one continued on with the Blood Dragon Bretonnians.

The main downside of the lances is that there aren't very many of them. Though 7+ lances seems like a lot when the game begins, a wise player with a fast enough army can draw them into disarry fairly easily, especially if there are many Knight Errants around with Errantry banners impetuously charging at -2 to Ld.

Eldaron
26-12-2005, 16:22
That`s not a downside of lances themselves but a consequence of an army that consists mainly of heavy cavalry.
And Brets usually still have more units/models than typical tournament lists of many other armies. As for the other army being fast enough: Brets with a march move of 16" ARE one of the fastest armies themselves. And with a bit of consideration in the movement phase and a bit of planning this can be avoided (also I usually don`t use the Errantry banner, especially not in lances of more than 6. Without the banner it is not that hard to move them in a way where that will not be a great issue). Sure, there are some armies against whom it may be tough (Against a good WE play with a hard list i.e. it is really a pain to get more than a draw out of the game), but every army has some opponents against whom they have a harder time, but even then Brets are not as difficult to play as many other armies.

mageith
26-12-2005, 16:34
That`s not a downside of lances themselves but a consequence of an army that consists mainly of heavy cavalry.

??? Around here, most heavy cav units don't run with ranks so the units are only five models large. Bret heavy cav units are at least 9 models large and up to 12. That means that for a comparable price there will be fewer units than what I've seen in heavy cav armies. Its just math.


As for the other army being fast enough: Brets with a march move of 16" ARE one of the fastest armies themselves. And with a bit of consideration in the movement phase and a bit of planning this can be avoided (also I usually don`t use the Errantry banner, especially not in lances of more than 6. Without the banner it is not that hard to move them in a way where that will not be a great issue). Sure, there are some armies against whom it may be tough (Against a good WE play with a hard list i.e. it is really a pain to get more than a draw out of the game), but every army has some opponents against whom they have a harder time, but even then Brets are not as difficult to play as many other armies.
I hope I never suggested the All cav Bret army was weak. I think its a better than average army.

bored1
26-12-2005, 18:04
About the time the VC first came out, we started a new campaign and encouraged players to bring appendix armies. Of the 8 players showing up the first day, 4 brought BloodDragon Bretonnians, just so they could use the lance formation with the very hard hitting, KB Wight Knights.

I'm not sure this is relevant. The lance formation is quite different now than it was when the VC book came out. Wight Knights have pros and cons vs non-undead knights. Personally, I think bret knights have rules that allow them to succeed, but transposing the rules doesn't work so well without all the rest. So the lance isn't so great without the ward save and vice versa. Neither is as good without the 16" charge.


The main downside of the lances is that there aren't very many of them. Though 7+ lances seems like a lot when the game begins, a wise player with a fast enough army can draw them into disarry fairly easily, especially if there are many Knight Errants around with Errantry banners impetuously charging at -2 to Ld.

Note that the 6-8 lances is in a list heavy with pegasi. I've yet to find an opponent that is fast enough to handle that. It can be beaten, but it is the hordes that cause problems, not the speed lists. A notable exception is the wood elves, which can wreak havoc if properly built and played. If one does not go heavy pegasi, you're talking around 10+ small lances. Enough lances that it will cause problems for most lists out there.


??? Around here, most heavy cav units don't run with ranks so the units are only five models large. Bret heavy cav units are at least 9 models large and up to 12. That means that for a comparable price there will be fewer units than what I've seen in heavy cav armies. Its just math.

This is not correct. Bret units are 5 at the minimum. The minimum size to get a rank bonus is 6. In addition, knight errants are the cheapest "heavy" cav available in the game I believe. I've yet to see a completely knight based bret army that has fewer models than heavy-cav armies of any race.

mageith
26-12-2005, 18:46
This is not correct. Bret units are 5 at the minimum. The minimum size to get a rank bonus is 6. In addition, knight errants are the cheapest "heavy" cav available in the game I believe. I've yet to see a completely knight based bret army that has fewer models than heavy-cav armies of any race.
Read again what I wrote. You misread me in two places.

I was talking UNITS, not MODELS.

Also, "Around here" means folks play with lances of at least 9 models or more. The lance is optimized for larger sizes since it gets both rank bonus and hitting ability from the back ranks. If one army is going to put its knights in units of five and another army in units of 9+, clearly the one with the smaller sized units with will have more units. Its just arithmetic.

I suppose a player could call his army 'Heavy Cav" and have lots of expensive support for it, like war machines and end up with fewer UNITS than a Bret Heavy Cav army.

BTW, DoW heavy cav is only 19 points, though it has no barding but is also not impetuous.

Also my point about the BloodDragon Lances is true whether the lance is triangular or not. War machine shots work about the same on both and without the blessing is some form, the ranked expensive lance (or any ranked heavy cav unit) will suffer from them in ordinately. Around my neck of the woods, we seldom see ranked heavy cav except Brets and Orc Boar Boyz.

And again, the Brets are am above average army in terms of power and many armies will have trouble with them, but faster armies may be able to trap them and take more advantage of them than slower infantry type armies. Remember, the ability to flee with Mv above 6 all the way to 20 is the same = 3d6. And, of course, those armies that its difficult to engage at all aren't any fun for Brets either.

Mage Ith

Eldaron
26-12-2005, 19:08
err, most heavy cav armies that use those as hard hitting punch units do not use them in sizes of 5 exclusively.
Units of 5 are not designed to pack a really hard punch at the enemy and be able to break weak rank and file units by themselves but to break them in combinations with at least 1 (if flank or rare charge) or 2/3 other units such as chariots.
You cannot compare that because the playing style is absolutely different. Either your army consists of many small unit of that size (msu HE armies i.e.) or they are flanking units (also able to take on really weak enemies such as most skirmishers or missile troops etc.) etc. (5 model black knights i.e.).
You can also play a Bret MSU style using no lances with more than 6 models, but that is just a different kind of playing.

Elannion
26-12-2005, 19:23
Well, let`s get things straight.
First, I never said a lance would break any enemy in turn 1.
Well i did kind of missread you here, so i appologise. But this is kind of the idea of a lance and if it doesn't you can certainly agree that it loses one of its advantages (that of the mor attacks) and one of its weaknesses shows (that of less attacks). So if your not planning to break the enemy on the turn of charge the lance isn't going to be soo good.


You remove models from the middle of the last rank first. So you only loose models that cannot fight anyway
Yes however one shot from a bolt thrower is liable to get rid of atleast 2 people so you will loose atleast one attack (you start in the middle and go to the edges)


Compared to other armies your heavy cav is more resilient to shooting
We aren't talking about compared to other armys we are talking about bretonian lance, compared to non lance, each has this resiliance.


For that extra 20 pts, you get +1 combat res (full rank), without giving up any attacks
It is only in the first round that they don't loose any attacks, in consequent rounds they have only 3 guys attacking. So yes they do loose attacks and again only one guy has to be killed and theres no extra combat resolution


The vulnerability to warmachines isn't really meaningful. My opponent has about 2 turns to shoot at me..
Skilled generals will know how to keep that at its longest possible, It only take one shot really from a warmachine and you have bassically got rid of alot of the bonuses.


That`s not a downside of lances themselves but a consequence of an army that consists mainly of heavy cavalry.
As i have stated and even if you don't agree with me that a lance isn't that great, you can atleast see that a lance does expand apon the heavy cavelrys weaknesses.


as you expand, the rear ranks still provide utility on the charge

You would have to have atleast 12 to get only 2 more guys attacking on charge or more combat resolution, a unit of 12 is an awful lot of points to spend but i suppose it is tolerable anything more than that would be way too many points to put in one unit. So yes you can expand but you have to put an awful lot more points into it. Most cavelry units wont bother with wanting more than 5-10 models anyway, so the fact that they can't get the extra attacks by adding more doesn't matter because you wouldnt want more than that many models really. Also remember the more ranks the bigger the flank, again more move you have make to get out of danger and more things your flank can bump into while attempting to wheel.

As for the manuaverability, remember that on the front you are only adding in around 1" models so this has less effect than adding 2" to the flank in a way.

If you don't agree that the lance isn't as powerful you can atleast say that they do have more weaknesses than normal units aswell as the good points. I am tending to swing very far into the reliability gaming and thusly i want to minimise the weaknesses of my units and not increase them, also heavy cavelry being expensive i wouldnt want to risk loosing more than i can afford so more weaknesses again is bad. Then my feelings towards the advantages that the more attacks aren't much of a plus being as you have to have atleast 2 more models to get 1 more attack on charge, that you loose this on second round of combat, giving you less attacks and killing these guys is easier than those in a normal formation. Then with the ranks again can be removed through killing which is easier and through flank charges which are also easier among other ways. Thus taking away their advatages. All i am saying is that the extra weaknesses make their advantages easier to remove and so, i feel that it isn't much of an advantages to take it.

As i think Magieth was trying to say, for the price of one normal size lance you could get around 2 5x units, these two units used together could easily have more attacks than a lance and could remove rank bonuses (thusly meaning that the fact they have no ranks isn't a matter), they can outnumber as easily as a lance and are more resiliant to missiles as you could only take one attack from a warmachine and they can only shoot at one unit not both.

bored1
26-12-2005, 19:24
I apologize, I misread the reference to "around here". I thought you were referring only to the first sentence in your post. However, "Bret heavy cav units are at least 9 models large and up to 12" quite clearly refers to UNITS of X size of MODELS. That was what I was referring to.

However, if you want to talk about number of units of the bret army vs others, it is roughly the same in most cases. It works out to be about 9-11 or so units of knights in most heavy-cav tourney armies (or less in some cases).

Regarding numbers you're right; it is just arithmetic. But speaking in terms of what is taken, most pure-cav based lists that I see have around 40-45 models at 2k pts. These will typically involve some toys (tooled characters, eagles for High elves, magic banners, etc), but these are lists that are taken to tournaments. You could fit more knights in, but I rarely see that. A bret army with a couple units of pegasi works out to about the same. A bret army with no pegasi or just one unit would be up closer to 50. Again, this is what I see taken to tourneys, not the most mathematically possible.

Eldaron
26-12-2005, 23:27
Well, but with 2 units of 5 you absolutely have to get one in the flank (as 2 in the front is probably just one more wasted unit) or you`re absolutely done for. And against good players and many armies that`s not nearly as easy as it may sound.
While a lance isn`t able to break every enemy in turn one, 2 lances surely will and often you can charge both in the front and still get all attacks due to the narrower frontage. Charging 2 units of other heavy cav into the front (be it 5 models or more) is usually just a waste.

You are talking about how bad lances are. Have you even every played a game with them? Have you tested them against usualy formations on enough tournaments? (I don`t mean to offend you, it is just that many people seem to be playing theoryhammer a bit too much occasionally ;) )
I can say again that I have and many many winners of really big tournaments (and I mean really nasty, powergaming heavy tournaments) have done so, too. You can be sure that they wouldn´t use them if they were worse than usual formations (as on german tournaments you don`t even have to think about places above 15 if your list isn`t capable of getting a massacre against 80-90% of your opponents (given you are good enough)).

Also, I`m not talking about lances fixed in size, of course one is using a mix (usually 6, 9 and ocassionally 12). Some people actually do use normal formations on one or two units in their army, but that`s not because lances are bad, but because those units have special assignments in the specific lists where they actually benefit from not being in lance formation (things like blocking and some others)

Elannion
27-12-2005, 16:27
Well i was simply stating with that, that 2 units of 5 could get the bonuses of lances (by negating others ranks they dont need rank bonuses) and getting more attacks and probably do better. I do realise that flanking is easier said than done, i was mainly just stating a situation as i said above.

You have brough up that two in one example and yes that is darn powerful but again i do say, that is about 1/4-1/3 of your points, so if it wasn't powerful there would be something wrong.

I have played the lance however not so much in tournements (never really found many in my area). I do understand that alot of this is theory (probably due to the fact that maths and science are my strengths), as i have said for some reason recently i have been veering towards reliability of units and not dice rolls and so if i see a unit like the lance where if it has extra weaknesses for such a price, i am more cautious about it. Maybe i am being abit cautious but i do think that theory does also have its place aswell.

I think the key about the not seeing people with so many normal formations is one, due to philosophy (not being rude) like yours where you say it would be silly to think of not using the lance just as it would be silly not to use the blessing and two like you said it does kind of change the roll of cavelry abit.

bored1
27-12-2005, 21:11
Well i was simply stating with that, that 2 units of 5 could get the bonuses of lances (by negating others ranks they dont need rank bonuses) and getting more attacks and probably do better. I do realise that flanking is easier said than done, i was mainly just stating a situation as i said above.

Why can't you do this with 2 6 man lances? And the 6 man lances are better at this than 2 5 man knight units, for a non-significant point upgrade (they have more wounds to knock down below US5, add a rank bonus to further enhance how much you win by)


You have brough up that two in one example and yes that is darn powerful but again i do say, that is about 1/4-1/3 of your points, so if it wasn't powerful there would be something wrong.

Huh? Let's say I have 2 lances of errant knights that charge a unit of 5 wide Empire swordsmen with 5 ranks and full command. My knights are 141 pts / unit, so 282 pts. I think the empire unit is cheaper, but I'm looking for an actual scenario, not equal points. Both of my units charge the swordsmen in the front. I'll get:

12 attacks from knights, 6 hit, 5 wound, 4.11167 kills
10 attacks from horses, 5 hit, 2.5 wound, 1.25 kills

That comes out to about 5 kills (a bit more, but let's leave it there). That negates the empire unit's base combat res, but also swings it 1 in my favor as I now have outnumber. I end up winning combat by 4 (5 kills + banner, rank, outnumber vs 3 ranks and banner). Even if they have the griffin banner, I still win by one. If they don't break, I can lap my rear models around to the flanks, as the frontage is covered. Even if you drop the units down to only having 5 models, but still in a lance, they'll win by 3, and draw against the griffin banner unit.

Can 2 units of 5 cav in a line (even bret cav) perform similarly? Well:

1. The swordsmen have a frontage of 100 mm. The max you can bring to bear would therefore be 6 cav bases. So it would be (assuming errants again):

8 errant attacks, 4 hit, 3.3333 wounds, 2.7778 kills
6 horse attacks, 3 hit, 1.5 wounds, .75 kills

So about 3.5 kills. Let's round that to 4. So now you win by 2, due to outnumber and standard.

I know which I prefer.


I think the key about the not seeing people with so many normal formations is one, due to philosophy (not being rude) like yours where you say it would be silly to think of not using the lance just as it would be silly not to use the blessing and two like you said it does kind of change the roll of cavelry abit.

There is also another possibility you're glossing over here. People may not be using other formations because they're simply not as effective.

Mad Makz
27-12-2005, 21:34
The lance is simply put better than the regular formation in MOST circumstances. You can easily send two units into the front of a fully ranked infantry unit and have a good chance of breaking it. This is very powerful, as regular heavy cavalry with the same stats can't easily do that.

If you can get a SINGLE cavalry unit in the flank of a fully ranked unit you're going to win the combat (they start with a static 2, banner, outnumber, you start with a static 2, banner, flank, and you will do more wounds) so mentioning that you can do the same but better with a regular unit in the front and a regular unit in the side is comparing apples with watermelons.

It's NEVER EASY to flank an infantry army, because their line will generally extend beyond yours. Brettonian Lance formation can get around the need to do this (by sending two units into one infantry unit), and at the same time break the enemy line.

Eldaron
27-12-2005, 23:16
As I said there ARE some circumstances where normal formations actually do better, but these are mainly very specialized roles of smaller units.

I think you are being overcautious. I usually tend to do the math etc. beforehand in order to get to a hard list. In my experience the lance IS rather reliable, since the movement and fov penalties aren`t really much of a dwnside (concerning the average torunament table etc.) while the pros are definetily outweighing the cons.
Also, as I have stated before, most tournament armies are using the lance very much. And tournament armies are always designed for reliability (otherwise you won`t be able to get into the top15 or top10 since sooner or later you army will crumble against some opponent), i.e. that`s why many players prefer knights errant over kinghts of the realm (without errantry banner of course) as the main core knights.
So you can bet that those tournament lists ARE designed for reliability just as much as for pure punch.

I have played a lot of cavalry heavy armies on tournaments and in friendly games (MSU and non MSU HE, cav heavy VC, Brets without lances (before the Armybook due to them being extremely broken back then) and with lances) and from my experience, while lances are certainly not a guarantee for victory and still you have to know how to play them, they definitely give you an advantage.

Elannion
29-12-2005, 02:32
Why can't you do this with 2 6 man lances? And the 6 man lances are better at this than 2 5 man knight units, for a non-significant point upgrade (they have more wounds to knock down below US5, add a rank bonus to further enhance how much you win by)

Two six man lances has no advatage it is the same attacks as two units of 5 and while it has 1 rank bonus, the two units would have flank attack and negate enemy ranks. This situation only has bonuses for the two units of 5, and yes if you wanna say but mine will outnumber easier then we will say two units of six, there is no advantage here. So to get an advantage here, you would have to have bigger lances any bigger then you do have 1/4-1/3 of your points (please note that i am basing this on knights of the realm the most common units, errant kinghts are the cheaper so yes its not as expensive but they also have disadvatages)


You can easily send two units into the front of a fully ranked infantry unit and have a good chance of breaking it. This is very powerful, as regular heavy cavalry with the same stats can't easily do that.

Again with this stupid example, a normal unit of knights wouldnt as big as a lance generally and this is all pointless, if you spend the amount of points on two units and charge it all on one unit you would hope it would break them otherwise they would be pretty underpowered units.

The flanking scenario was only put out to counter the gang bang arguement which is prolly just as hard to do being as you then have two units in on one unit, so the enemy has lots more units standing in on reserve, where as 5 5 one has the same amount as a normal lance.


As I said there ARE some circumstances where normal formations actually do better, but these are mainly very specialized roles of smaller units.

I don't think they are all that specialised, they are certainly played abit diferent though.


I think you are being overcautious.
This may be the case, but i still don't think that its quite the clear cut decision that everyone think it is. The lance certainly has some big disadvatages, whether you think that they are out weighed by its advantages or not. I have seen lances decemated by bolt throwers or cannons which are half the points, certain if not badly injured they generally loose most of the bonuses they gain (this is by a unit half the cost). Where as in the other units of cavelry even in two ranks, yes do face some problems but rarely, have i seen them face as much difficulty from cannons and such, certainly not losing as many troops. A thing to remember is that also with range guessing warmachines the lance is alot more forgiving if you over guess where as other formations often get shot right over.

As i have said before i think that even if you dont agree with me that they aren't as powerful, you should atleast agree that it isnt a no brainer choice, they can be more powerful, but they are a darn sight more fragile too which makes them less reliable.

Eldaron
29-12-2005, 12:39
Nah, they are not nearly as fragile as you make them out. I have played against many armies with lots of Bolt Throwers and cannons (actually the only war machines against which a lance has a small disadvantage) and rarely I have lost that much more than with normal formations (and I have played normal formations a lot). Most normal formation units loose most of their bonuses as well if they get a good hit. As for range guessing...any player worth his mettle will (unless he rolls a malfunction or has really bad luck) usually hit the unit anyway, though of course against less experienced opponents a shorter unit gives a slightly better chance of not being hit.

As for flanking: you can flank with two 6 man lances just as easily as with two 5 man units.

bored1
29-12-2005, 13:59
Two six man lances has no advatage it is the same attacks as two units of 5 and while it has 1 rank bonus, the two units would have flank attack and negate enemy ranks. This situation only has bonuses for the two units of 5, and yes if you wanna say but mine will outnumber easier then we will say two units of six, there is no advantage here. So to get an advantage here, you would have to have bigger lances any bigger then you do have 1/4-1/3 of your points (please note that i am basing this on knights of the realm the most common units, errant kinghts are the cheaper so yes its not as expensive but they also have disadvatages)

You're completely missing the point. You're saying that 2 units of 5-6 knights not in lance formation in the front and flank of the enemy are in an advantageous situation to 2 units of the same 5-6 knights in the same positions but in lance formation. That's wrong. It's the same in most respects:

-Both cancel ranks
-Both get the same amount of attacks (except in the case of an exceptionally wide or deep unit, where a single rank of 6 would get more; but the opposite is true if it is a thinner unit such as 3 ogres)
-Both carry the same amount of numbers
-Both have banners and musicians

The only possible advantage is the extra +1 of rank bonus that a lance of 6 knights would get vs a unit of 6 knights in a line.

In addition to this, unlike 2 units of 6 knights in a single rank, 2 lances of 6 knights stand a decent chance of breaking a unit purely by charging the front, as seen in the math in my previous post.


This may be the case, but i still don't think that its quite the clear cut decision that everyone think it is. The lance certainly has some big disadvatages, whether you think that they are out weighed by its advantages or not.

No one is disputing that the lance has disadvantages. Just not the ones that you seem to be focusing on. The lances issues are the length of the flanks, sometimes awkward mobility, limited LoS, and the vulnerability to certain weapons particularly when the blessing is gone (bolt throwers, cannons, porka's pig stikka).


I have seen lances decemated by bolt throwers or cannons which are half the points, certain if not badly injured they generally loose most of the bonuses they gain (this is by a unit half the cost). Where as in the other units of cavelry even in two ranks, yes do face some problems but rarely, have i seen them face as much difficulty from cannons and such, certainly not losing as many troops.

You're right, a lance that loses the blessing is vulnerable to war machines. But only slightly more so than any other cav unit in the game. This also necessitates that the lance loses the blessing, which is generally not a good thing anyway. War machines are problematic for cavalry armies of every sort. But I don't think they are such a scare that they wipe out the advantages the lance provides.


A thing to remember is that also with range guessing warmachines the lance is alot more forgiving if you over guess where as other formations often get shot right over.

A lance of 6 knights is 75mm wide and 100 mm deep. A unit of 6 knights in a single rank are 150mm wide and 50 mm deep. They occupy the same area (7500 sq mm). So your comment is nonsensical. It is just as easy to say that if you scatter wide, you're more likely to hit the single rank vs the lance.


As i have said before i think that even if you dont agree with me that they aren't as powerful, you should atleast agree that it isnt a no brainer choice, they can be more powerful, but they are a darn sight more fragile too which makes them less reliable.

You're entitled to your opinion. I happen to think you're way off base, but hey, go ahead and play it your way. If you're ever in the Philadelphia area, drop me a line (here, dakka, or Roguesden boards). I'll be happy to show you why I think you're wrong.

mageith
29-12-2005, 14:10
You're right, a lance that loses the blessing is vulnerable to war machines. But only slightly more so than any other cav unit in the game.

I think you way under estimate the effect of cannons and bolt throwers on unblessed lances.



...But I don't think they are such a scare that they wipe out the advantages the lance provides.

I do. Perhaps some personal experiences of Brets who face war machines unblessed, if there is a such a player who's done it twice. :)

Just using your examples of 6 man lances and 6 man units, the war machines are nearly twice as effective frontally and more likely to cause a panic test where none will be taken with the normal cavalry unit unless hit by two war machines.

If a player uses bigger (fewer lances) the effects of war machines are even more devastating as more models can potentially die and panicking is more significant.

Mage Ith

Eldaron
29-12-2005, 14:50
Now that is just nonsense. War machines per se aren`t twice as effective against a 6 man lance compared to a 6 man normal unit. Bolt Throwers and cannons can wound 1 more model and Bolt Throwers only if the first model hit actually dies. So only cannons and only in this situation can be twice as effective. In addition only bolt throwers and cannons are more effective against lances, all other war machines are not (unless you are using really big lances).
Also, if caught in the flank (oh, and don`t tell me that doesn`t happen, especially when you are trying to flank or rare charge enemies, overrun etc. it happens often enough, even if you know how to play and are cautious) the 6 man unit is actually far more at a disadvantage.
So unless using 12 or more in a lance you don`t have as much of a disadvantage compared to normal formations (of comparable size of course) against war machines. I`m not saying that there is no disadvantage, just that you are well overestimating that effect concerning this particular field (have played enough games against war machine heavy armies :))
Lances do have their disadvantages of course (otherwise they would be just as broken as before), but I see them mainly in:
- reduced fov, which makes it easier for the opponent to outmaneuver the lances and harder for oneself to move them right (especially when planning several moves ahead)
- directly coming from that more need for caution in the movement phase and sometimes a loss of maneuvarability (since sometimes you have to move a lance in a disadvantageous position in order to get your charges going)
- longer flanks making it easier for the enemy to get a flank charge (though this is only really severe if you take lances of 12 or more)

So my conclusions are all based on these and while that makes lances harder to use (which is good since otherwise they would be too powerful) it doesn`t really make them less reliable or worse than normal formations (though as I said there are exceptions where normal formations actually do better)

bored1
29-12-2005, 16:51
You are correct. I did understate the power of cannons and bolt throwers against an unblessed lance of 6 models when compared to a unit of 6 in a single rank. I'm not sure it's twice as effective (especially in the case of bolt throwers), but it probably is relatively close to that. However Eldaron's point regarding enfillading fire is valid, and is certainly something to consider.

However, that doesn't change my opinion that this shouldn't deter you from using the lance. It will be somewhat based on the metagame, as I rarely see lists that bring 4 cannons, or even 2 (in a tourney setting). I do regularly see 2-3 bolt throwers and a stone thrower. Proper use of screening and terrain can mitigate bolt throwers. Cannons are a different issue, but they are a priority to hit with my flying units.

Elannion
30-12-2005, 02:17
Bored1
I wasn't counting your unit charging into the flank of the unit as your example had them both chargin the front. So yours wouldnt negate the ranks of the unit and would only have the plus 1 from the ranks, which its bonus is canceled by my ways flank attacks, then mine cancel their ranks and so mine have a better advatage.

I don't doubt that two lots of 6 lances are are powerful thing, but you have to remember as mageith says it only takes one good shot to have 1/3 of the unit dead and panic test needed.

Also all your talk about 'gang banging' units, lead me to realise that if you have two small unit, charge them in the front you will get the same amount of attacks that a lance has on a charge. Aswell as what they could do in the upper scenario.

As for cannons and bolt throwers not being as effective as i say well, if you go be what you say eldaron that cannons will hit most of the time by good generals, then even you can see that a well placed shot only needs to roll 4 or more on the dice which is 2/3 chance or 1/2 if you have to get a 6 and from that 3 of your knights are hit, as opposed to the 1-2 from other knight regiments. As for your comment on the knight has to be killed by the bolt thrower for it to penetrate, well that not exactly a hard thing to do, yes it wont happen all the time but its not that unlikely atall.

Yes they might not massecre the unit but every model they kill takes away a bonus either a rank or an attack, where as yes you might get rid of one rank (if your cavelry unit even has one in the first place) but thats where it'll end. Even a unit of 7 knights will statistically have trouble breaking a unit on charge of basic troops with hand weapon and sheild, and in subsiquent rounds of combat or if charged it isn't too hard to defeat them.

As for your statement that you never see enough warmachines to worry anyway, well if you were able to take an army entirely of kotr lances, you would only have 8 9man lances of them anyway from two rounds of shooting just two bolt throwers could of had a shot (im not saying it did anything) at 1/2 of them. But the fact of the matter is alot of people have 500pts of characters, then add in some yeomen, men at arms, pegasus knights and whatever else, so the amount of lances will be considerably less than 8. Also you have stated that, it is only bolt throwers and cannons that are more effective on lances. While technically being true, as stated earlier every model that is killed in the lance gets rid of a bonus, where as on normal formations it will only get rid of outnumbering and possibly a rank, if there is one there (and to be honest when i play cavelry i dont take it as a given that they would have these anyway, i take it as good if they end up with it), so attacks in other ways (magic, other shooting), are still powerful on the lance.

Also as for the range guessing being more forgiving, i don't think you should dismiss this on just newbies (although even if it does only help newbies its still a disadvantage), dice are unpredicatable, whether you are a newbie or not you can still roll more or for that matter accidently guess more than you needed to and if this situation happens then you have a better chance of hitting the lance than a normal unit, pure and simple.

Lastly (unless i have forgotten anything), as you have said bored1 i am not focusing on certain things, but that is because they are not being desputed. You agree that they are problems and i have already mentioned them, so there would be no point me arguing them any further.

Ok i forgot things, yes you do sometimes get a shot in the flank of normal cavelry but it is less likely and you would have to be abit of a fool to let it happen. A bolt thrower wouldnt really be any more powerful due to less penetration, only a cannon could be more powerful, but a lance could much easier be caught on the flank due to its bigger flank, also unless you have a lance of 12 this will be atleast as powerful as from the front if not more (thats for you bored with your 6 man lance).

bored1
30-12-2005, 14:26
empirearethebest
Relax there bud. I was using empire swordsmen because of their stat values, not because I think they're fantastic. And just to be clear, people do win games with empire infantry heavy lists. Even semi-major tournaments. It's just difficult to get the massacres you need to win the big GTs.

Elannion
We keep going over the same points here, so this is somewhat fruitless. To recap...your view:

-the lance is more fragile than standard cavalry formations due to creating a rank when facing war machines
-the incremental bonus in rank is negated by said fragility, as well as the other obvious weak points of a lance (larger flanks, smaller LoS field, sometimes awkward mobility)

my view
-the bonuses gained from having the same or greater attacks over a smaller frontage combined with the gain of easier rank bonus outweighs the negatives of the lance
-this is made true largely by the synergistic effect of having the blessing and a 16" march/charge. Therefore the above is not necessarily true for an unblessed unit, nor for a unit that can form lance formation but is not bretonnian

Other readers can take what they will.

bored1
30-12-2005, 17:14
<sigh>

Would it make you feel better if I said warriors of ulric? Or Ship's Company from the Seaguard list? The important part was that they were Ws4, s3, t3, 4+ save basic troopers. Everything else was irrelevant to the test.

mageith
30-12-2005, 17:36
You cant talk about Empire infantry without using the detachment rule! Its part of their points cost.

Really. I never considered it so. IMO, the detachment rule is one of those ARMY freebies.

I did a lot of analysis of points cost over the years the costs seem right w/o considering the detachment rule into the mix.

mageith
30-12-2005, 18:58
True, but Empire infantry is really really bad without detachments. With detachments, its just bad. Any sane player wouldnt take them, but if he did, they would have detachments.

7pts for someone with a 4+ save in combat, WS4, Initiative 4, otherwise a normal human statline. If you compare this to...a goblin with hand wep and shield and shield and light armour (3pts 1 believe).

With two shields it would be 5 points. :) 2, LA + Sh = 4 pts. The Goblin is also down 2 WS, as you point out, +2 Init and a pt of Ld. Usually I work FROM humans to other models not up from Goblins. But to each his own.



The Empire troop has 2 extra WS..call it 2pts...otherwise its the same stats until...initiative is worth about 1pt, as its not a very useful stat. This is 6pts. I suppose the detachment rule makes up for this other point.

You forgot Ld, so I'd say no cost for detachment.



Other infantry have special rules (high elf fight in 3 ranks spears, the skaven have numerous special rules, dwarves can march within 8 inches of enemy and hate orcs etc..). I believe that every unit pays points for this ability, or that every unit gets it for free (which really amounts to the same thing, because if everyone has special rules, they are not really special anymore.

There are ARMY rules that do make a difference. Some are free and some are not. Some offset each other as Dwarf hate Greenskins and Night Goblins hate them. Some offset themselves within the army such as animosity, choppa, fear elves, extra magic dice, ignore greenskin panic all sort of offset each other plus the Greenskins are a bit on the cheap side for the most part.

The detachment rule takes tactics to be used properly and can be defeated by tactics too, so perhaps the designer decided there'd be no cost.



GW intended Empire infantry to be fielded with detachments when they wrote the list, dont you think?
Oh I agree. But that doesn't mean the Empire actually pays for the skill.

The problem with Empire Infantry is related the Elite infantry problem. Its the cost of the back ranks. Its not as bad as with more expensive infantry but it still exists. The detachment rule offsets this a bit for the Empire, but Empire infantry armies aren't overrruning the world by a long shot.

Mage Ith

Elannion
31-12-2005, 02:56
Bored in some senses we are going over and over again but in other we are adding bits.

The fact of the matter is that if a lance of 9 models is engaged in a combat that lasts 2 rounds, even if it is full, the extra attacks are negated by the loss in the second round. After a second round then the lance is at a disadvantage attacks wise, even if all models survive. I have shown you formations that can get just as many attacks on charge as a lance and this coupled with the fragility of the lance negating extra attack, means that the extra attacks are of no advantage.

I have also stated that only in 2 turns 2 bolt throwers will get a crack at 4 units, along with other warmachines other shooting or magic attacks on the lance, all helping to negate bonuses the 2 turns thing still gives enough time for a certain amount of damage. The blessing is good but it can't exactly be relied apon to say that the lance isn't fragile. Aswell as this, the two bonuses you have stated are not unique to the lance, other formations have them aswell, so the lance is still at a disadvantage to normal formations, even with two turns and the blessing.

As stated before also you only need 2 knights taken down to make it struggle even when charging, and 4 killed will bring it down to just as good as one rank of 5 units. Ok 4 probably won't be killed, but it isn't unthinkable that 2 would be killed releatively easily. So even in the limited shooting time that you state saves the lance from being too disadvantagous, you can easily bring the lance down to a managable size.

Along with the other vunerabilitys you have listed which, you have quite plainly said should not be overlooked. I do not believe they have advantages, because the above listed is almost enough to counter the advantages on their own.

As for what you are saying about detatchment, well i believe in essence your on to something. What you are saying is that the scenarios we have pulled up with the lance fighting, are on its own terms (getting the charge, against the opponents its best against, non similar points values). Eldaron so nicely brought up earlier that i was speaking in theory too much and not game terms, well if we look at this objectively the unit of 20 HWS people could easily have a cannon to back it up, 5 pistoliers or many other extra units to back it up and still be less expensive than the single lance. So looking at it and just comparing what happens when a lance charges a unit that its best at fighting, isn't right. Of course you could say the same is true for anything, but with the lances flank making it more vunerable to that fast cavelry charge, holding it up or even allowing it to be charged. In this situation the fast cavelry could remove the lances rank bonus (which most cavelry wouldnt have anyway, so less effect) the charge from the front would take away the extra attack (whereas normal units would have the same attacks). Or the more suseptability to cannon shots makes a difference on the lance more than the normal formation.

I am not sure if that explained it well, but i think thats what they were getting at.

Long_Fang
01-01-2006, 00:06
Lances are a no brainer on my team.


xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx

vs.

xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx


imagine the logistical nightmare?

Imagine moving through narrow terrain like houses in a village, between trees, rock outcrops or canyons. Difficult to get to enemy week spots if your wide.

Concerning cannons and bolt throwers. Imgine getting a flank shot on a non-lance unit? Thats 5-6 hits.

Last time I checked cavalry that doesn't break a unit on the charge is in deep trouble, even if not in the lance.

Wez
01-01-2006, 12:45
I think the lance is a bit of a no-brainer.

Not being great in the second round of combat, is like saying knights aren't that good when charged. Knights shouldn't be stuck in combat for more than one round and shouldn't be charged. You can be in a lance or not, they're still god-awful in the second round of combat compared to when charging.

Then you get the additional ranks, greater manoeuverability and a thinner frontage (you can charge two units into one and fit through tighter gaps). Another nice bonus is 3*3 lance units doing a 90' turn.

-Wez

Elannion
01-01-2006, 17:58
Imagine moving through narrow terrain like houses in a village, between trees, rock outcrops or canyons. Difficult to get to enemy week spots if your wide.

Yes a lance is far less manuaverable in these sitautions, barely being able to turn, unless their whole flank is right out of the way.


Concerning cannons and bolt throwers. Imgine getting a flank shot on a non-lance unit? Thats 5-6 hits.

What you are talking about is a situation that will rarely happen unless your a really bad general. With the lance it is alway move vunarable. Also a bolt thrower will rarely do anymore damage on 3 ranks to 5. So that isn't really much of a problem.


Last time I checked cavalry that doesn't break a unit on the charge is in deep trouble, even if not in the lance.
Not really yes they aren't as powerful as some units in the second round, but units that aren't a lance can still hold their own, a lance is in deeper trouble than a normal formation. Also this brings out the weakness of the lances big flank further meaning more cases of flank charges. Knights shouldn't be charged or stuck in combat but unfortunately it does happen quite alot, you can't just brush it off and say any cavelry is bad if charged or it doesn't break the unit, because it does happen and when it does happen the lance is worse off and for a unit of such substantial points, you can't just brush it off and condemn them if this situation happens. Also the big flank makes it easier for the lance to be charged by those sneaky flank units without being able to do alot about it, and so there is extra chance of this unit being charged. Also the lances ability to break troops will suffer greatly if they happen to take casulties where as there isn't so much effect on normal units.


Then you get the additional ranks
Yes they get extra ranks, this has already been covered and can be dealt with, because of the lances weaknesses.


greater manoeuverability
This is not true, i wouldnt say theres alot less manoeuverability but there is by no means more, the only bonus in this is the marginally smaller frontage helping wheeling, but the much larger flank does prevent wheeling often aswell as their smaller line of sight from the frontage being smaller. They are by no means more manauverable.


thinner frontage (you can charge two units into one and fit through tighter gaps).
Again this has been gone over soo many times, two 9 man lances is a hell of alot of points. For that amount of points on one charge you would expect something fantastical, its can't really be classed as an advantage. Two six man lances are easily brought down to size or made to have to try prevent panic and again even then two lots of 6 lances is still quite alot of points so same situation again.

As i have said before, you can hardly call it a no brainer all the time even eldaron admits this to an extent and says, for certain things the lance isn't as good.

bored1
01-01-2006, 20:26
The fact of the matter is that if a lance of 9 models is engaged in a combat that lasts 2 rounds, even if it is full, the extra attacks are negated by the loss in the second round. After a second round then the lance is at a disadvantage attacks wise, even if all models survive. I have shown you formations that can get just as many attacks on charge as a lance and this coupled with the fragility of the lance negating extra attack, means that the extra attacks are of no advantage.

If you charge a lance of 9 at something and it doesn't break, either you were very unlucky or you made a mistake. That's it. It's too many points/models to commit without relative assurance. If you can't break the unit, then you shouldn't be charging it with just one lance.


I have also stated that only in 2 turns 2 bolt throwers will get a crack at 4 units, along with other warmachines other shooting or magic attacks on the lance, all helping to negate bonuses the 2 turns thing still gives enough time for a certain amount of damage. The blessing is good but it can't exactly be relied apon to say that the lance isn't fragile.

It's amusing that on one hand, you refer to the "unreliability" of the lance because the blessing isn't a guarantee, but use the "reliability" of 2 bolt throwers to establish your point. At long range, many bolt throwers in the game are as reliable hitting you as you are at making the blessing. The blessing is reliable enough for me to take advantage of


Aswell as this, the two bonuses you have stated are not unique to the lance, other formations have them aswell, so the lance is still at a disadvantage to normal formations, even with two turns and the blessing.

What are you talking about? There is no other formation in the game that allows rear models to attack without spears/pikes. There is no formation in the game that allows rank bonus with a frontage of 75mm. Potentially, there is no formation in the game that allows as many attacks over a 75mm frontage for cavalry (no characters involved).


As stated before also you only need 2 knights taken down to make it struggle even when charging, and 4 killed will bring it down to just as good as one rank of 5 units. Ok 4 probably won't be killed, but it isn't unthinkable that 2 would be killed releatively easily. So even in the limited shooting time that you state saves the lance from being too disadvantagous, you can easily bring the lance down to a managable size.

Let's do another math exercise. Let's say you bring 10 KotR, in 2 ranks of 5. You'll start w/ US20, +1 rank, and a banner. And now you get hit by a bolt thrower. You're probably losing 2 models (and rank bonus). Not enough to panic you. Let's say you charge those 25 empire swordsmen again (all empire players: this is a general test. If this hurts your feelings, pretend I said they are amorphous blobs w/ ws4, s3, t3, 4+ sv):

6 knight attacks (champ + 4 models): 3 hits, 2.5 wounds, 2.5 die
5 horse attacks: 2.5 hits, 1.25 wounds, .625 wounds
Total: 3.125 dead swordsmen
Combat will be your base of banner and 3.125 dead swordsmen vs 3 ranks, banner and outnumber probably. You lose.

Let's say you take 9 KotR, in lance formation. They'll start w/ US18, +2 ranks, and a banner. And now they get hit by a bolt thrower. And they lose 3 models. That is enough for a panic test, but let's say they make it (relatively good shot). Here's how the combat would go:

6 knight attacks (champ + 4 models): 3 hits, 2.5 wounds, 2.5 die
5 horse attacks: 2.5 hits, 1.25 wounds, .625 wounds
Total: 3.125 dead swordsmen
Combat will be a base of banner, rank, 3.125 dead swordsmen vs 3 ranks, banner, and outnumber probably. Both have musicians. Draw.

Again, what are you basing your arguments on? You've said you don't have a lot of experience with the lance. I can't find any math to back your statements up.

You threw out some other scenarios there, which I don't find particularly meaningful. If you're going to talk about which unit of knights is better at taking the charge, I think it's a worthless conversation. If you're charged by a unit, flee if you can't take it, or stick around if you can. If you're forced into a situation where neither of those is feasible (sticking around when you definitely can't take it, for example), then your opponent outplayed you. Hat's off to them. Don't confuse poor play (or good play on the part of the opponent) with a weakness in the formation.

EDIT:

Not really yes they aren't as powerful as some units in the second round, but units that aren't a lance can still hold their own, a lance is in deeper trouble than a normal formation. Also this brings out the weakness of the lances big flank further meaning more cases of flank charges.

Fine. Let's humor you. Let's take the 2 units from above, and say they both stuck around for a 2nd round. The unit that was 10, in 2 ranks of 5 (-2 models now):

6 knight attacks, 3 hits, 1.5 wounds, .75 kills
5 horse attacks, 2.5 hits, 1.25 wounds, .625
Total: 1.375 kills + standard
Assuming the swordsmen were deployed 4 wide w/ a champ, that would give them 4 attacks, 2 hit, 1 wounds, and is probably saved. So the knights lose by 3.

The unit of 9 in the lance (down to 6):

4 knight attacks, 2 hits, 1 wound, .5 kills
3 horse attacks, 1.5 hits, .75 wounds, .375 kills
Total: .875 kills + standard + rank (since the swordsmen probably wouldn't kill a model). Knights will lose by 2-3.

So for 24 pts less, you're basically getting equal efficacy?

empirearethebest: Why are you posting about empire on this thread, really? No one is bashing them. As I've explained, it was just a placefiller. All that mattered was the statline. I didn't mean to trash the "best" army. I'm sorry. Please move on.

Long_Fang
02-01-2006, 02:36
bored1, in your simulation, when you lost 3 knights to the bolt thrower did you math-in the lady blessing save? If not you would lose 2, on average.

Long_Fang
02-01-2006, 02:37
Pointless question actually, as it doesnt serve your argument really. Just wanted to throw it in.

bored1
02-01-2006, 02:54
not pointless, it is definitely a valid point. I was simplifying, as the blessing only supports my side of the argument (that brets operate better in a lance generally) because it only increases their survivability. Plus, there are a number of scenarios where it may not be there.

edit: It's also a bit harder to predict how many knights are lost in the case of the bolt thrower. The first knight has a 1/3 chance of preventing all wounds to the unit, the next knight has a 1/3 chance of preventing 2 wounds to the unit, and the last knight has 1/3 chance of preventing a single wound. I'm not good enough w/ statistics to figure out the math on that, so it's easier just to skip the blessing.

Elannion
03-01-2006, 17:32
If you charge a lance of 9 at something and it doesn't break, either you were very unlucky or you made a mistake. That's it. It's too many points/models to commit without relative assurance. If you can't break the unit, then you shouldn't be charging it with just one lance.

Thats neither here nor there infact your really stating a disadvatage, if your talking in game terms then being unlucky or being charged does happen, if you have to commit extra units in on an assult then you talking about something thats weaker cause it needs more help if it doesn't break.



It's amusing that on one hand, you refer to the "unreliability" of the lance because the blessing isn't a guarantee, but use the "reliability" of 2 bolt throwers to establish your point. At long range, many bolt throwers in the game are as reliable hitting you as you are at making the blessing. The blessing is reliable enough for me to take advantage of

I'm not saying its weak, but some of you were suggesting that its enough to negate any shots against it, which isn't true by a long shot. Also alot of bolt throwers against knight units, the chances are theres not gunna be long range for long.



What are you talking about? There is no other formation in the game that allows rear models to attack without spears/pikes. There is no formation in the game that allows rank bonus with a frontage of 75mm. Potentially, there is no formation in the game that allows as many attacks over a 75mm frontage for cavalry (no characters involved).

I wasn't talking about that, i was talking about when you said that the lance has the blessing and only two rounds of shooting against it, when so do the rest of the bretonnian lance formations.


Let's do another math exercise. Let's say you bring 10 KotR, in 2 ranks of 5. You'll start w/ US20, +1 rank, and a banner. And now you get hit by a bolt thrower. You're probably losing 2 models (and rank bonus). Not enough to panic you. Let's say you charge those 25 empire swordsmen again (all empire players: this is a general test. If this hurts your feelings, pretend I said they are amorphous blobs w/ ws4, s3, t3, 4+ sv):

Right for a start with a bolt thrower shot when 3 ranks kills 2, 2 ranks will kill 1.5. We were also talking about 20 and just normal hand weapon and sheild combo not swordsmen. The math i have done is that a lance with 2 killed and a unit of 10 with 1 killed, do about the same if not slightly in favour of the 10 man unit, one unit of 5 and one unit of 4 (the one killed) will probably do better.



You threw out some other scenarios there, which I don't find particularly meaningful. If you're going to talk about which unit of knights is better at taking the charge, I think it's a worthless conversation. If you're charged by a unit, flee if you can't take it, or stick around if you can. If you're forced into a situation where neither of those is feasible (sticking around when you definitely can't take it, for example), then your opponent outplayed you. Hat's off to them. Don't confuse poor play (or good play on the part of the opponent) with a weakness in the formation.

By no means is it worthless, if your lance is forced to flee because it can't cope with combat then it loses its blessing whereas other units wouldn't have to do that. Losing the blessing is by no means something to dismiss and don't say that charges never happen on cavelry because they do.


Fine. Let's humor you. Let's take the 2 units from above, and say they both stuck around for a 2nd round. The unit that was 10, in 2 ranks of 5 (-2 models now):

6 knight attacks, 3 hits, 1.5 wounds, .75 kills
5 horse attacks, 2.5 hits, 1.25 wounds, .625
Total: 1.375 kills + standard
Assuming the swordsmen were deployed 4 wide w/ a champ, that would give them 4 attacks, 2 hit, 1 wounds, and is probably saved. So the knights lose by 3.

The unit of 9 in the lance (down to 6):

4 knight attacks, 2 hits, 1 wound, .5 kills
3 horse attacks, 1.5 hits, .75 wounds, .375 kills
Total: .875 kills + standard + rank (since the swordsmen probably wouldn't kill a model). Knights will lose by 2-3.

So for 24 pts less, you're basically getting equal efficacy?

Well not really considering in my example versus a unit of 20, the unit of ten will outnumber and as stated before the chances are that theres only 1 killed compared to the 2 on the lance (from whatever shooting/magic) so they have an extra rank. Considering the lance added up doesn't even kill one and the other unit kills over one, thats hardly the same efficiency, theres a difference of about 2.

As for you saying where is all this comming from, well some of it is theory from maths that i have done, but i have done my own trials of the lance and such inside and outside games.

Right some maths of my own (this is against bog standard, not swordsmen as they have ws 4 which to some is elite), a 9 man lance will kill 1 between the horses and riders added, if charged or in subsequent rounds of combat, against a unit of 20 it will have 4 cr (2 ranks 1 kill and standard), the 20 unit will have 5 (3 ranks, outnumber, standard) so it will loose by one then vs 25 its the same situation. A unit of 10 in two ranks will however kill 2 (the knights definately killing one and then with the horses added to the rest its another), the lance will win the combat by 1 because through extra kills and outnumber they have more. vs 25 it is the same as the lance, however you wouldnt expect any cavelry to go up against a unit of 25 without wittling it down first. a 7 man lance will loose the combat by 2 each time where as the 9 man 2 rank unit will not really be effected. My stats are different to yours as you were using swordsman with higher weapon skill but they still paint a picture. Looking at the 9 man lance as proving a point that there isn't much difference is meaningless anyway, my argument hasn't been that a full 9 man lance is bad in combat, my argument is that the advantages are relatively easy to remove, but even here a full lance is not much different as you say yourself to other formations and actually slightly worse.

But these stats are pretty meaningless anyway, either way the lance comes out slightly worse so the attack advantage of the unit isn't as powerful as people say. You have said that being able to do equally as well means that for a cheaper points they are better but you forget all the other extra disadvantages of the lance, its not just about the combat.

Anyway i think we should call an end to this despute because we are getting nowhere. plus im not very good at putting my point across as you can prolly see.

bored1
04-01-2006, 23:18
I tire of this. I'm more than happy to agree to disagree. Go play some games at major events without the lance. Write up some battle reports. If you want to change people's minds, win lots of games with high visibility.