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View Full Version : Total or Individual Unit Strength for Breaking Ranks?



kardar233
24-08-2009, 18:29
Say, for example, I charge an unit of Ironbreakers in the flank with a Varghulf and a Vampire. The Varghulf is US4, and the Vampire is US1. Now, does their total US count towards the US5 required to break ranks, or are they counted individually?

Atrahasis
24-08-2009, 18:31
At least one unit must have US5 to negate ranks, units cannot combine US to do so.

nosferatu1001
24-08-2009, 18:56
+1 above. It very clearly states a unit must have US5 or greater, no other options.

Kayosiv
25-08-2009, 00:25
I find that hilarious. So if you are charged in the flank by say, A Black Coach, a Varghulf, 2 vampires and a vampire lord on a Hellsteed, they keep their rank bonus.


Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

I'm not arguing the correctness, that is absolutely is how the game was intended to be played as per the rules. It's just really... dumb, in my opinion.

Nurgling Chieftain
25-08-2009, 00:56
I find that hilarious. So if you are charged in the flank by say, A Black Coach, a Varghulf, 2 vampires and a vampire lord on a Hellsteed, they keep their rank bonus.It's okay, they'll still break from the twenty kills. :p


I'm not arguing the correctness, that is absolutely is how the game was intended to be played as per the rules. It's just really... dumb, in my opinion.I would say, then, that your opinion is failing to take into account the reasons for this ruling. Remember that skirmishers never break ranks, either. It's for the exact same reason. Simply put, the flankers are not acting as a unit.

A rank bonus comes from the solidity of the mass of bodies. You break that rank bonus by smashing the structure - literally knocking the people askew and out of formation. Normally, this is accomplished by a block of attackers, pushing forward in unison. Alternately, a single mass of sufficient size can do the same thing. However, a group of individuals not acting particularly in concert after long hours of drilling together to push as a single mass, i.e. skirmishers or multiple small units, simply do not generate the sheer mass required to disrupt an entire formation. In the case you cited, they might simply slaughter their way to the same effect, but that's adequately modeled by kills.

Consider the distinction between two chariots charging the side of a unit versus a unit of two chariots charging the side of a unit. In the former case, they impact individually, and whatever impact the first one caused is righted by the time the second one arrives. In the latter case, they arrive simultaneously with enough momentum to disrupt the formation entirely and sow ruckus amongst the ranks as they plow in.

Obviously the exact numbers used in WFB are fairly arbitrary and probably represent a sort of "scaling" for tabletop battles, but the general concept is reasonably sound.

T10
25-08-2009, 07:07
I'm not arguing the correctness, that is absolutely is how the game was intended to be played as per the rules. It's just really... dumb, in my opinion.

Well, fortunately that's just your opinion.

Edit: To elaborate, if all you needed to do to negate ranks was to total up the individual unit strengths of the flank chargers, armies would emerge with an extreme focus on multiple minimum size units of fast/mobile units like fliers and fast cavalry. Consequently, the standard infantry block would be rendered obsolete due to the extreme ease of which it's singular strenght could be negated.

As it stands fliers tend to be too light to pose this kind of threat, and minimum-sized fast cavalry units need to take care to avoid being reduced to an ineffective size. And in my opinioin that's a good thing.

-T10

Gorbad Ironclaw
25-08-2009, 09:20
I'm not arguing the correctness, that is absolutely is how the game was intended to be played as per the rules. It's just really... dumb, in my opinion.

I can see why it doesn't seem logical, but if you were to count just the total US units dependent on rank bonus would be even worse than they already are as it would be very easy to hit there flanks with super mobile killy units/characters/monsters/chariots, remove there ranks and get high kill count too.

It's just an all round bad idea from a gameplay perspective to do it by total US.

Kayosiv
25-08-2009, 10:31
Well, fortunately that's just your opinion.

Edit: To elaborate, if all you needed to do to negate ranks was to total up the individual unit strengths of the flank chargers, armies would emerge with an extreme focus on multiple minimum size units of fast/mobile units like fliers and fast cavalry.

-T10

Oh I know, it makes perfect sense from a game balance perspective.

it's just a little weird from a practical one, although Nurgling Chieftain makes some good points. The real reason though is that, excluding obvious exceptions, infantry is slow, weak, amd needs all the help it can get. When this becomes untrue, they are generally too expensive to field in large blocks.

Edit: And I should also say, flying is powerful enough already.

The Red Scourge
25-08-2009, 10:43
Oh I know, it makes perfect sense from a game balance perspective.

it's just a little weird from a practical one, although Nurgling Chieftain makes some good points. The real reason though is that, excluding obvious exceptions, infantry is slow, weak, amd needs all the help it can get. When this becomes untrue, they are generally too expensive to field in large blocks.

It not only makes perfect sense from a game play perspective, but also from a fluff perspective. This is the bonus you get for fighting as one unit and not a bunch of individual glory hunters.

Kayosiv
25-08-2009, 22:13
Explain to me how 5 guys, isn't 5 guys, when both a unit of 5 guys, and 5 guys, are 5 guys.

Think about that one :D

I guess you could argue training as a unit, but most people who are able to BE single models are stronger or better fighters then rank and file anyway.

willowdark
25-08-2009, 22:36
Skirmishers wouldn't break ranks no matter how many men are in the unit, or how many units are in the fight.

Skirmishers and smaller units have a big advantage in the movement phase, so if they were allowed to break ranks they would become the norm and you'd loose the small benefit that infantry does bring to the fight.

Ranked infantry lends it's weight to the fighting rank, pushing into the enemy like 300.

PUSH.... ATTACK... PUSH...

Nurgling Chieftain
25-08-2009, 23:42
I guess you could argue training as a unit...Can and did. Quite frankly, I've yet to hear any argument about why 5 individuals acting loosely should be able to cancel a rank bonus.


...but most people who are able to BE single models are stronger or better fighters then rank and file anyway.Yes, and that's reflected in their kill rate, rather than canceling rank bonuses in addition to hacking people down.

Kayosiv
26-08-2009, 10:33
Yes, and that's reflected in their kill rate, rather than canceling rank bonuses in addition to hacking people down.

Yeah, I know, I said that, game balance, I'm aware.

And guess what, there's no such thing as a flank charge. You see guys running at you, you turn around 90 degrees, crazy concept I know. Now obviously there can be combined charges that would logically result in a flank charge, but that's not how the game is played. It's a game balance issue.

Some stuff doesn't make sense, like how for example, a unit of 10 goblins can flank charge a unit of humans 25 strong, get 0 kills, have 2 die, and yet win combat because the goblins were waving around a flag and blaring a horn. Where as a big monster like say, a Varghulf could plow into the unit from the rear, kill 4 things and take 0 wounds, but then lose combat because he didn't break ranks and so the human's had a standing combat resolution of 4 and they remembered to bring some drums for this fight.

Now, it is absolutely best for the game that it works this way. But the above example is a necessary evil, and also there are other balancing factors at work, such as the Varghulf causing terror and having a chance to break them without fighting, that's all well and good.

The combat resolution system is an excellent one, and it works well for many occasions, but that doesn't mean it is always the most logical outcome. Sometimes, it is there to speed the game up, because nobody wants to have 2 units hack and slash each other for 5 turns until one of them is wiped out to the last man. That rarely happened in real medieval war and the whole psychology system and break tests is what makes Warhammer more interesting (in my opinion) than other strategy games.

However, sometimes the combat resolution serves a different purpose, and that is to balance the game. Sometimes it makes perfect sense. Like for example a Choaslord vs a unit of infantry. No matter how big and mean he is, he is only 1 guy, and 20 soldiers, despite a few being hacked down, are still gonna swarm him and feel pretty confident they can beat him until they really start to dwindle in numbers. Other times, like in the example above, the system gets a little wonky in order to keep heroes, monsters, and flyers from becoming too powerful in a game that "should" be based on infantry for the most part.

Nuada
26-08-2009, 11:07
Yeah it is a weird rule Kayosiv. I can understand the weight of numbers argument.

But....
A goblin chariot can't negate ranks. A goblin chariot with a shaman inside can break ranks.

Braad
26-08-2009, 16:51
Yeah it is a weird rule Kayosiv. I can understand the weight of numbers argument.

But....
A goblin chariot can't negate ranks. A goblin chariot with a shaman inside can break ranks.

I'd rather put a big boss in there...
But warboss on wyvern does the same trick.

On the other hand, you don't really want to break ranks, when your big boss in chariot with pigstikka flanks a unit... but hey, can't have it all.

The Red Scourge
26-08-2009, 17:43
Yeah it is a weird rule Kayosiv. I can understand the weight of numbers argument.

But....
A goblin chariot can't negate ranks. A goblin chariot with a shaman inside can break ranks.

Obvously they're better trained, when they have to carry around such an honored and respected member of the greenskin culture :)