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Col_Festus
18-11-2009, 13:33
Hey guys, So I've recently started to ebb slowly back into fantasy. With all the 8th edition rumors out there I'm getting kind of excited for fantasy to get a face lift. As such I've begun to revisit my VC armies and get them all painted up. I've heard a lot of people say that RnF troops are becoming more useless everyday with the emergence units that can simply obliterate RnF troops to the front. I personally don't see what the issue is, they are static combat res blocks that are meant to disrupt your opponents plans to cripple your army. Maybe I think this way because I play VC. Anywho, I want to discuss the current state of RnF troops here, as well as what changes you think may make them more effective in the over all scheme of things.

ZeroTwentythree
18-11-2009, 14:02
I'm a longtime "horde" army player, with a style that previously depended on static CR and advantages of position & manuver to win combats. There are three issues, as far as I see it, that have decreased the effectiveness of low & mid quality R&F units...

One is the ability of many units to put out enough damage to overcome advantages of static CR. Assuming you get +3 for ranks, +1 for a standard and +1 for outnumbering, that's a base +5. So even if your opponent has no ranks or standards, they only have to cause 5 wounds either before you get to attack, or just resist whatever attacks you throw back at them. 5 wounds against something like Empire state troops is no problem for many of the combat beasts, whether we're talking about fighty characters stacked with items & abilities to generate wounds, elite combat units, or big monsters.

Second is the defensive aspect -- the ability of some elite units, characters & monsters to shrug off damage. A prime example is the plaguebearer block with a herald. T4, 5+ ward and 4+ regeneration. Defensively speaking, this unit can also (and frequently does) have to ability to ignore penalties for attacks on the flank.

Third is the fact that there are many unbreakable, ITP and stubborn units that can ignore panic tests and break tests, so that getting beat by a bunch of combat res. will not have any effect on them.


Quite a few things in the game combine two or all three of those factors above.

Combine that with the increased destructive ability of some of the army specific spells and war machines, which can drop full units of soft R&F troops at a time, and they end up being a potential liability against many of the more competitive armies.

machina
18-11-2009, 15:03
The problem is that they are slow. Warhammer is a game of strategy and tactics, and so it's largely about movement. If state troops had movement 8 they would be a serious threat, with the ability to pick the units they fight and often enough get flank charges. Once they broke a unit, they could run it down easily, and the quickly set up another charge. It's not so much that there are things that easily to kill five state troops, it's that it's hard for the troopers to avoid them.

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
18-11-2009, 15:27
An inportant point to remember, as was brought up in another "getting into Fantasy" thread, was that what is discussed/debated/whined about doesn't necessarily represent the gaming situation in your area.

Perhaps because my friends and I care more about having fun or making fluffy armies, but rank and file troop blocks are still the way to go. That being said, however, I'd love it if 8th edition brought additional rank bonus into effect; say something like an up to +5 bonus or even more! Rank and file would rule the day!

danny-d-b
18-11-2009, 15:34
rank and file can work, but they need caracter support- and by that i mean caracter that do a can do a decent amount of dammage

I mean take the empire, even with a BSB with the griffon banner, a unit of bloodknights with hartred and regen will rip through them quicker than anything, even if you counter charge said unit with other units (detachments) your not going to get through them quick enough before its back to the vamp player and he is charging something else in to the side of your unit and before you know it your in combat of attrition with something that keeps coming back and causes fear, one combat round and your outnumberd by a fear causing enermy, 1 dodgey combat round for the VC and they lose 4 zombes, which isn't going to hurt anything

my WOC marruadres on the other hand with exacrtly the same set up as empire swordsmen only with an exalted rather than a BSB will rip through the blood knights, if the exalted is set up right. so it shows how much a single caracter can change SCR

Col_Festus
18-11-2009, 16:49
Interesting stuff, good points all around. I would have to agree with most of them. I think maybe a change to weapon rules would help? Possibly that a shield always gives the shield and hand weapon bonus to the front in HTH combat even if your using a halbard or a spear, or maybe spears give ASF as well as being able to fight in two ranks on the defensive, just a few ideas. I know that in WOTR if a unit has spears it totally negates the charging bonus for cav.. maybe something similar could help?

willowdark
18-11-2009, 17:03
There's nothing about infantry speed that one turn of holding won't counter. I regularly hold in place the first turn, with everything except my fast flank attack, and force my opponent to either commit his forces to their lanes or to match my hold with their own, at which point I rush forward at full speed to put pressure on them.

Against things like Ogres and Knights, speed isn't really an issue. One; because they cross the board so fast, and two; because once they commit to a lane they can't really maneuver out of it. I allign to them and set up redirects and they come to me.

Only Dragons and Greator Daemons really rape infantry in the movement phase the way most people insist, but that'll happen with large fliers anyway. Beyond that, you've got Static 5, or 6 with the Warbanner, and all you have to do is protect your flanks, which terrain will do plenty well.

Of course, skirmishing armies like Wood Elves and Lizards can exploit static infantry incredibly well. But in the end, you'll always need support. Infantry alone won't win a battle. You need shooting and/or cav (whether fast or heavy) and/or monsters to counter the enemy's. But get that Static 5 in where it counts and it always works.

ZeroTwentythree
18-11-2009, 17:14
An inportant point to remember, as was brought up in another "getting into Fantasy" thread, was that what is discussed/debated/whined about doesn't necessarily represent the gaming situation in your area.

Perhaps because my friends and I care more about having fun or making fluffy armies, but rank and file troop blocks are still the way to go.

I somewhat agree with this, but even among rank & file troops, there's a widening gap between the "average" type troops (state troops, clanrats, etc.) and the "elites."

Also, as someone else who likes the games of big blocks of troops, as you seem to, I still find it hard to deny that the game designers are increasingly moving away from this. At least in terms of blocks of troops without support, as danny-d-b said above.

The new Skaven book is a good example. They could have done things to increase the potential for blocks of troops. But really, all they are there for is to provide ranks and give you a place to put the real wound generators like weapon teams, characters, furnaces, etc.

Blocks of troops are simply not effective on their own. Even with support, they risk allowing combat res. to be generated against you by providing "soft" targets.

Col_Festus
18-11-2009, 17:24
The higher rank bonus is an interesting idea. They did leave the idea
open in the skaven book saying add their rank bonus to their leadership up to 10 instead of just saying up to +3

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
18-11-2009, 17:31
The higher rank bonus is an interesting idea. They did leave the idea
open in the skaven book saying add their rank bonus to their leadership up to 10 instead of just saying up to +3

Yes, that's what I thought was interesting. And, like I said, maybe 8th edition (wow, didn't 7th JUST come out? I feel old.) will change rank bonus to favor massed infantry ranks.

Enigmatik1
18-11-2009, 17:57
Blocks of troops are simply not effective on their own. Even with support, they risk allowing combat res. to be generated against you by providing "soft" targets.

I'm with Zero on this one, but in my limited experience there is very little risk involved. These units are just free sources of CR for my opponents. So I stopped fielding them as such and now use them for missile fire or screens for the "real" units. ;)

Red Metal
18-11-2009, 18:39
I'd have to agree in the sense that with my Dwarf blocks of infantry, I always have to include a Hero or else they would struggle to get kills on their own. Dwarf Warriors are decent defensively, but really don't perform above-average offensively; plus they're obviously not fast enough to dominate the movement phase.

danny-d-b
18-11-2009, 19:29
and the problem is GW seem to be killing ranked infantry more and more everyday

if you look at the new skavenbook

a) giant rats can pump out a rediculaus ammount of S3 poisend hits, against cavalry thats not a problem- but the ammount they pump out gets through infantry so easy

b) all of the template auto hitting
wow so now even more of my guys are hit, and I have no armour save anyway. and you need 2/3s to kill me and I can have no defence against it

how much counts as a hit anyway? a foot, the base? 1/2 the model?

c) the 13th spell- 4d6 dead infantry- wow thats like on avrage 14 dead men- e.g. I lose nearly 3 ranks everything that goes off, 3 ranks thats crazy all my static combat res gone in 1 spell but if thats IF or I miss cast then an entire unit goes, spells like this and gateway break the game, no 1 spell should be able to do that much dammage

Bingo the Fun Monkey
18-11-2009, 20:36
I think they should remove the cap on possible CR from ranks. It's easy enough to negate with flanking and really puts the numbers to use. One of the main gripes with FB (and one of many reasons I play Warmahordes a lot more) is that in my horde armies, 80% of the models I assembled and painted don't do squat except die. I'd like to know that I painted an extra 18 goblins for my unit for more than making it hard to make 'em panic with missile fire.

Sure people can abuse this but think about it: these units have stupidly large flanks. This wouldn't lead to the creation of Deathstar super hordes (and even if it did, would that be bad compared to other deathstars?) because they're so easily toppled. They're combat resolution behemoths not because of some magical doohickey but because of the numbers they have (powah to the people!) and the strategic placement of them (like they have their flanks guarded). I suppose someone could make a night gobbo army that, when all units are placed 1.5" apart will span the width of an entire table, but there's ways to crack this army.

Additionally, I think that units should get +1 CR for having a wider frontage. This puts a little power back into 25 mm bases since an equal frontage of 20mm bases puts up 25% more attacks.

Finally, polearms should just be called that: polearms. Fight two ranks, first rank S4.

Naturally, this would require not just a revised edition of the game, but a complete re-writing (like what happened between 5th and 6th ed).

By the by, does anyone else miss the Ravening Hordes days?

R Man
18-11-2009, 20:36
To be honest, its not that bad. Even the much feared Black Guard and Swordmasters are not a problem thanks to a 5+save so you can shoor them (Ironically enough, spears might also be useful here). Chaos Warriors are still good, but are unpopular without support. Saurus are perhaps better unit grinders, but the low Initiative they have makes them vulnerable. Its also worth noting that all VC infantry aren't problematic in an of themselves. Even with fear.

Having said that there are a number of problems that do exist, but its with synergy with magic items and magic. Like if you could get the Drop on BG, but they often have ASF banner rendering it pointless. Another problem are some monsters, like Hydra's and Thirsters which for the Thirster might be right, but the Hydra is rank breaking without the price tag. Also Blood Knights are certainly one of the units that can break ranked infantry. Chaos Knights too but at least they stay dead. There has definatley been a trend of more attacks to cavalry which has been very bad for ranked infantry.

Col_Festus
18-11-2009, 20:57
I know I never leave home without my Double US banner on my 6 man black knight unit. Nothing like charging out of the woods into the front of a Fully ranked unit and breaking them with out number and fear...

R Man
19-11-2009, 06:35
I know I never leave home without my Double US banner on my 6 man black knight unit. Nothing like charging out of the woods into the front of a Fully ranked unit and breaking them with out number and fear...

I don't know of very many fully ranked up unit that could reliably be defeated by this. Even the outnumber with the banner is not a given as many units can very well be larger than 24.

Einholt
19-11-2009, 19:57
Most units are ran at 25 US and honestly if you flank with the Black knights there's a good chance everything that can break will, barring an oathstone on dwarves.

Col_Festus
19-11-2009, 20:22
sure there are larger units, But Ive never seen them in my area. Max I see is 25 for some fodder for that +3 rank bonus. The US on my knights is 12 x 2 =24. Also on the charge you should easily cause more than 1 wound and take none in return if your fighting blocks of standard infantry. 6 str 6 attacks that hit on 3s (I usually use the helm). Instant break, I use it all the time, works like a charm.

Storak
19-11-2009, 20:36
the problem are units, that will beat them every turn. in the past, you had to withstand the lance charge of cavalry, or the one turn, in which that double handed weapon unit would strike first, because it was charging. and occasionally some of those 1 attacks per model would miss.

after that, they were in trouble. but those days are gone.

2 attacks, base S5 and striking first has become the norm. those units cost about the same as a block of 25 rank and file, and will win every round of combat. and they will do so, after you did a little bit of damage to them by shooting.

Primarch Arkthenion
19-11-2009, 20:46
I have found that, in general, although certain rank and file troops have combat potential (ghouls, Warriors of Chaos, Saurus Warriors) lately base troops are more usefull to take as long range support for your army. It seems to me that in almost any army it is better to take a small amount of troops equiped with ranged weapons and then with the rest of your points purchase a few hitty units from the special sections. The normal RnF troops cant stand up to combat with any of the more combat based special or normal troops and they can barely beat the ranged/scouting groups. Hell, in combat Shades can beat normal empire state troops and they are meant to WM hunt. However, ranged weapons equipped troops seem to be almost as effective as special ones. In my Dark elf army I only have one squad of combat people and they are only there to give my Assassin something to meat sheild for him until he gets to the enemy, The majority of the fighting is done by my Cold One Chariots and Knights. The static combat res given by all the things mentioned above means very little when you are able to kill off 5 of there men therefore depriving them of a rank and any attacks if you attack first. I have beaten entire squads of men with one Herald of Khorne. All I do is run up kill 5 and then laugh as they dont get any attacks back.

Stick to the repeater crossbowmen Imo.

Lord Solar Plexus
19-11-2009, 21:07
That's a horrible, horrible picture you paint there. The worst part is that you are quite right with that analysis.

What a waste of paper, money, and perfectly good plastic. :(