View Full Version : Rank Size

21-05-2009, 14:47
So i bought the make-your-own movement trays kit. Before I make any permanent mistakes i would like input on pros/cons of having ranks larger than 5 models per rank.
For example i run my Dark Elf warriors in ranks of 5 but only because i get more ranks for combat res and that's just how they fit on the older trays i have. I run my cold ones knights 5 across (6 including my dreadlord) because they come in boxes of 5 and i want all of those lances hitting on the charge.

How large are your ranks of infantry, cavalry, etc. and what are the advantages?

21-05-2009, 14:50
Mine are generally 5 across (infantry) and 6 across (cavalry). Certain hitty infantry units would break that- swordmasters, chaos warriors etc.

21-05-2009, 14:52
its pretty simple, stuff that is very killy or tough as nails, typically run 6 wide to get more attacks in(saurus warrios for example). stuff that is more fragile(elf spearmen) usually run in ranks of 5.

21-05-2009, 14:53
bacicly, anythihing that relies on SCR (Dwarfs Empire, DE Warriors, most VC Infantry e.c.t) should be 5 wide, Shooting units should be as wide as possible (1/2ed if on a hill!) and heavy combat units (heavy cav, chaos warriors, elite HE e.c.t as wide as able to get attacks, e.g. either 7 wide or 6 wide depending on opponants base size)

21-05-2009, 14:55
If it's a super hitty unit (relies almost exclusively on kills to win combat), then consider running 6 wide . . . otherwise, almost always run 5 wide to maintain static CR . . . there are exceptions to the rule, but this is a good rule of thumb.

21-05-2009, 15:05
Thanks for the great input.
So, for something odd like corsairs i guess i would want to consider going 6 wide as i have them tooled with xtra hand weapon and frenzy banner. That would give me 3 more attacks. Whatever i can do to get the enemy to break against corsairs cuz thats when they shine.
However that would leave me with an incomplete rank (i have 20 corsairs) reducing my resolution by 1.

Hmmm. I will have to think this through.

21-05-2009, 15:34
What you should be considering is the cost of a point of rank bonus and whether or not you can get the same performance cheaper or more reliably in some other manner. For example if you run the unit 5 wide and 4 deep, each rank costs you 50 pts, and after a single casualty you have lost a point of CR (that's not especially cheap and certainly not reliable).

Take a unit of 10 Corsairs, deployed 5 wide and 2 deep. Add a third rank for 50 pts and you gain +1 CR which is very unreliable. Increase the width of the unit by 2 instead (giving a unit 7 wide and 2 deep), and for 40 pts you gain +6 attacks, which not only should provide +1 CR by killing people, but it also makes the rank bonus you have more reliable since you can lose two guys and still have it.

I would suggest that. 14 guys - 7 wide and 2 deep.

21-05-2009, 15:35
Any attacking infantry on 20mm bases should be used 7 wide to maximise the number of attacks. Although Corsairs are a bit of a special case as they aren't particularly good at attacking anything better than basic core that costs about half their price. Witch Elves on the other hand should be 7 wide (or 8 if the enemy has 25mm bases) as they can actually dent most units due to poison combined with sheer number of attacks to get past their rather subpar S3 (for an ACR unit).

@Archeantus - The incomplete rear rank does not reduce the amount of rank bonus the unit has until the rank is less than 5 models

21-05-2009, 16:20
This is exactly the stuff i need to hear. I hadn't considered all of this. Thanks.

21-05-2009, 18:20
Also, to add, any unit with multiple attacks, or multiple rank-attacks greatly benefits from wider formations. When I run Pikemen, I like to deploy 7 wide for 28 base attacks, assuming against a standard 5-wide unit. My HE-playing friend likes to run his spearmen 6-7 wide for the same reason, albiet at 1 fewer rank attacking.

Personally, I tend to run most infantry in 5-wide, 6-wide for aggressive units. Its also common practice, I understand, for Empire to run 3-wide detachments, though not something I tend to do.

22-05-2009, 01:17
The other thing that hasn't been talked about much is how frontage effects manoeuvrebility. Smaller frontages make wheeling easier and take up less movement. This may not have a huge effect if you deploy carefully but I do find 5 wide units much easy to move around.

22-05-2009, 02:57
I like making all-purpose movement trays 5x6. I find its a good shape to hold the 5 wide many deep, static CR unit; a good shape to hold a 6 wide 1 or 2 rank unit; and still works for a 7 wide unit as you only have to have 1 end guy sitting beside your movement tray.

22-05-2009, 19:23
Don't build your movement trays and then forget that you can alter the frontage of your unit in a game. I see a lot of people doing that and they are dumbfounded when my units start to do formation changes while moving about.

Say they kill 1 guy in a 5x4 unit. Now I have 19 models and only 2 extra ranks. If I go 6 wide I have 2 ranks but an extra guy to attack back and 1 spare in the very rear most rank. If they kill 2 more now I have 17 models and going back to 5 wide makes sense to get back my lost rank bonus.

If I know I am going to have to take a charge and my unit could stand and shoot I'll try to adjust the front so that I have a nice balance between static CR from Ranks and models able to shoot.

You can expand or contract the front rank by up to 5 models by giving up 1/2 your move, which really means 3/4 if you could march. Consider the value of switching vrs. loosing movement, but please consider it. ;)

Crazy Harborc
23-05-2009, 00:32
Changing a unit's frontage during a battle can be a good tactic. It will confuse some opponents. It might make them think their plans are going to need to be changed.

When it only required four across to make a rank.....I usually had five across.
When it comes to bases with a 25mm frontage I don't usually go more than 6 wide....Five wide most of the time. As mentioned already, ease of wheeling is affected.;)