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Darkmaw
06-05-2009, 04:50
Hi, i was just wondering about the effectiveness of the Empire Detachment rules in the current playing environment.

My own opinion of the detachment rules is that the main "advantage" of detachment rules is getting a "free" flank charge upon receiving a frontal charge. (There are other uses for detachment rules as well but i feel they are less unique compared to this particular application).

Ok the main advantage is you get the full ranks + flank (1) and most probably outnumber (1). However in return, you are subjected to a charge and also enemies attacking the flanking troops.

The problem is currently there are too many high "wounding" CR units like Khornate knights, Blood Knights, Witch elves which can easily force a draw even with the 6 CR.

Secondly there are also prevalent stubborn/unbreakable units which can stay around to grind with the empire troops. Eg Stegadons, VC infantry

There are also special stuff Eg Nurgle demons which ignore flank and rear.

I am just wondering if anyone has any success in making use of the detachment rules.

sid13
06-05-2009, 06:42
Lately I haven't been having much luck with them, namely because of the lack of units it's effective against. It's really only helpful against other static CR units that can't kill a lot. Most of the new tourney armies have a distinct lack of those, however.

PeG
06-05-2009, 08:00
Empire suffer from the same problems as other horde armies at the moment ie that static CR is becoming less important unless you also can either kill a lot of things yourself or more importantly prevent the enemy from killing a lot of things. For empire this means using swordsmen with shields as core and combat detachments (extra WS and AS compared to other choices minimizes enemy kills). This has to be combined with other troop choises as shooty deteachments or maybe even better skirmishers that can flee and redirect enemies that you dont want involved in combat.
If you can avoid getting charged by multiple units by redirecting I find swordsmen to be rather effective in close combat. Of course this requires some luck with the dice when your opponent rolsl his break/instability test since it is unlikely that the detachements will be able to fight a prolonged combat without getting flanked themselves and killed.

W0lf
06-05-2009, 12:14
Good oppoents were never affected by detachments anyway. You just shoot/magic the small detachments or charge them instead of the parent.

kramplarv
06-05-2009, 12:22
the best detachments I've ever seen are the 5-man large archer detachment since a small skirmishing unit are one of the best ways to divert peoples charges, or restrict their movements.

I've yet to see a detachment closing in for HtH.

Dareus
06-05-2009, 12:34
I really only field detachments for the looks. My regular opponents are more or less unaffected by this special rule. It's really much easier to counter a countercharge with cheap and maneuvrable stuff than to set up one.
Against Dark Elves for example 5 Harpies will get a really easy charge on a detachment and most likely will win while the main regiment will be hit by a unit of warriors (which are also superior to the state troops). Same goes for Chaos hounds and marauders. Better stats, greater maneuvrability and other special rules (hatred anyone? ;)) are simply more cost-effective.
but enough whining for now ... :rolleyes:

Keller
06-05-2009, 16:09
Good oppoents were never affected by detachments anyway. You just shoot/magic the small detachments or charge them instead of the parent. A good Empire player will make detachments useful to any player. Charging a detachment will usually result in your unit being set up for charges when the detachment flees (not causing panic) or at the very least redirecting your unit to be worthless.


Hi, i was just wondering about the effectiveness of the Empire Detachment rules in the current playing environment.

My own opinion of the detachment rules is that the main "advantage" of detachment rules is getting a "free" flank charge upon receiving a frontal charge. (There are other uses for detachment rules as well but i feel they are less unique compared to this particular application).

Ok the main advantage is you get the full ranks + flank (1) and most probably outnumber (1). However in return, you are subjected to a charge and also enemies attacking the flanking troops.

The problem is currently there are too many high "wounding" CR units like Khornate knights, Blood Knights, Witch elves which can easily force a draw even with the 6 CR.

Secondly there are also prevalent stubborn/unbreakable units which can stay around to grind with the empire troops. Eg Stegadons, VC infantry

There are also special stuff Eg Nurgle demons which ignore flank and rear.

I am just wondering if anyone has any success in making use of the detachment rules.
Detachment roles have changed a bit, as the game has evolved, but I don't think they are worthless or will be removed anytime soon. Detachments still provide several key bonus to the Empire:
- Do not cause panic - This is key! Especially with Ld 7 base on infantry.
- Can allow small units - you can get disposable units for as little as 25 points.
- Counter/Support charge - biggest thing is it negates ranks, denying the enemy ~+3 CR.

There are countless uses for detachments.
- Buy them for screens, so enemies cannot target your main infantry and weaken them.
- Run them in 5-6 wide to maximize attack (Free Coms or Halberdiers) while flanking
- Run them in narrow frontage (swordsmen) to minimize attacks back and deny enemy CR against them, while still negating ranks and providing a flank
-Buy ranged units for support fire (probably the weakest option)
- sacrifice them to redirect enemies away from where you don't want them.
- bait and flee with to control enemy movement and set up charges w/ other units.

With the onset of units relying less on CR and more on wounds, Empire players have had to adapt a bit. Its not always as simple as just recieving charges and sending in the detachments. Sometimes adding more bodies just gives the enemy more wounds for CR. fleeing and movement control has become more important. In the end, though, Empire is about winning through combined-arms. Use ranged attacks to make enemy units more managable in combat, while your infantry helps finish them off.

blurred
06-05-2009, 16:10
Yup. Modern army books just have too many hard-hitting units for detachments to be very effective. I still use detachments and consider them viable, but they are not nearly as good as they used to be. Of course small units of archers and other harassment detachments are still good, but fighty ones have really gone downhill.


Good oppoents were never affected by detachments anyway. You just shoot/magic the small detachments or charge them instead of the parent.

Very true. In my last tournament no one even tried to shoot my detachments with missiles or spells and I thought it was really weird: big blocks of swordsmen can easily suffer 2d6 S4 hits whereas most detachments become useless after such a beating.

W0lf
06-05-2009, 16:25
Another point is that the biggest benefit of detachments (imo) has always been them not causing panic. This can still be used for missile detachments+skirmish screens to good effect.

ragados
07-05-2009, 02:51
Good oppoents were never affected by detachments anyway. You just shoot/magic the small detachments or charge them instead of the parent.

Very true. I think the detachment rule was weak when it came out... and it isn't getting any better.

Avian
07-05-2009, 09:27
Good oppoents were never affected by detachments anyway. You just shoot/magic the small detachments or charge them instead of the parent.
Or, rather, a good opponent isn't going to lose the game because his opponent has detachments.

So if you read an Empire tactica describing a situation where a detachment charges the flank of an enemy unit, wins the combat by miles and sends the enemy fleeing as in any way likely to happen, it is probably not a good tactica.

However, they must (usually) be dealt with in some way which does require a bit of thought and that can be an advantage. They can still annoy an opponent, but sadly fewer than they used to.

Herod
07-05-2009, 13:37
I have been marching my detachments (5 naked spearmen) out and using them the same way I would use hounds.
They are a lot slower, but they don't cause panic and they have to be dealt with if you want to charge the main block.

H

Kalec
08-05-2009, 00:59
Detachments have always been better for fielding small units of missile troops that don't cause panic and can stand and shoot without penalty when your combat blocks get charged. The rules for supporting charges always have been of secondary importance.

Keller
08-05-2009, 16:02
Detachments have always been better for fielding small units of missile troops that don't cause panic and can stand and shoot without penalty when your combat blocks get charged. The rules for supporting charges always have been of secondary importance.

I would argue exactly the opposite. I seldom use any missle detachments for stand and shoot. ~5 shots is not going to do much, certainly not enough to justify their 40+ points.

I do like getting small archer detachments to run screens w/o worry of panic, and I've taken small detachments of gunners/crossbows to fill gaps in my line where 10 would be too big, but I never have them keep pace with my infantry; they are supposed to be shooting.

sroblin
08-05-2009, 23:44
I don't think the detachment rule ever worked as the trump card that would help Empire infantry dominate (though its religious use was seen as key to certain 6th-ed era Empire tacticas), but I think even in 7th edition it is a useful rule worth taking advantage of. A unit of 10 freecompany with 2 hand weapons charging on the flank is still pretty annoying to at least half of the stuff out there, and against the other half baiting and redirecting is still a pretty useful role for such small units.

Still, there were plenty of limitations on their use, not to mention that taking full advantage of the detachment rule gets expensive eventually!

7th edition has made the limitations worse, because the flank charge is not nearly as useful against non-ranked units who have little to lose. It's still great against infantry blocks, but these days its super-cavalry and small elite infantry units that hack through static CR like butter that are the 'dominant weapon systems' on the battle fields, and these are simply not very intimidated by flank charges of average human models.

But that doesn't mean there aren't still some armies that rely on the blocks (even more elite centered armies tend to have at least one), and the detachments can be useful in other roles anyway. So I think the rule fails to power up Empire infantry as much as had originally been intended, but it is still useful, cool, and tactical if you can get it to work.

As a side note, my friend who introduced me to Warhammer used to love loading up on large numbers of detachments. It could be frustrating to play against, but eventually he had to cut back on it because he was running out of maneuver space and his army was lacking in teeth. But still the endless losing circle of redirection and undesirable charges they could force could be frustrating to deal with.

rtunian
08-05-2009, 23:53
detachments give empire alot of flavor and playstyle personality. it's kind of a defining characteristic, isn't it? from that perspective, they will never be phased out, but then again, if the army is completely re-designed altogether (as opposed to modified/updated) who knows

Papa JJ
09-05-2009, 00:42
I never seem to have the necessary points left over to make much use of the detachments rule. Other than 5 man archer screens I tend not to include many of these sub-units, although 5-10 man free company detachments are nice to have around for the extra flexibility.

pkain762
09-05-2009, 20:54
i agree with some people in this thread..... detachments are better used as bait units.... they don't cause panic, so throw them to the wolves..... and set yourself up for a nice charge....

kain

Crazy Harborc
10-05-2009, 01:34
The last few times I fielded a Empire army, I had one detachment with crossbows, the other was swordsmen. I like being able to shoot in support of a parent unit that is being charged.;)