View Full Version : Tell us all about MSU tactics...

Your Mum Rang
06-02-2006, 10:20
Hello all! I've been hearing a lot about MSU tactics lately and I can imagine some of what these kind of tactics entail but I am not clear. If anyone could help and give advice then I would really appreciate it. Here are some topics which I wonder about:

- How many small units to use?
- What kind of units? Infantry? Fast Cav?
- What specific tactics are employed?
- How would you select an army with these tactics in mind?

Thanks in advance!:skull:

Your Mum Rang
06-02-2006, 10:32
Found a good quote to start us off (from our Druchii.net brothers):

Malakithau's original idea was that for Elves in particular, all models behind the fighting line were pretty much redundant and that increasing the number of attacking models at any one time in a combat was more important, and more likely to help us succeed and thus win the combat. In order to maximise these numbers of attacks we should take smaller units thus allowing even greater movement opportunities on the battlefield, which in turn increases the number of opportunities to effect flank charges to support units engaging the enemy to the front.

06-02-2006, 14:47
Yeah well you pretty much just answered your own question.

Although I don't buy this MSU stuff. I like my rank bonuses +3 thank you very much.

06-02-2006, 16:06
In some instances big rank can be effective for the points it costs. For example, a large unit of chaos marauders, or empire spearmen to name a few, can be a dominant peice of any army. As long as you keep the cost of the unit low so that you can afford other things. But if you wanted to have big ranks of say Chosen Chaos warriors, then there is alot of killing power being wasted behind the front battle line.

If you have too many of these "point sinks" you may leave yourself vulnerable to flank attacks. Also, big expensive block of infantry can be outmanouvered/ avoided so that all those points don't do very much.

Instead, MSU (or multiple small unit) tactics present an interesting challenge to an army maker/player and his opponent. The army maker needs to pay attention to redundant and inneffective models/upgrades according to the roles that he sees his units performing. For example, his shock cavalry is not intended to win against large block of infantry. Instead it used to take out skirmishers, monsters etc. So it has heavy weapons, no standard, and a fewer troops (just enough to make it effective for its purpose). Thus by keeping his points down, he can afford to hire other units in like fashion.

This can, indeed produce a fragile army. It can also produce a nasty army. Large block of infantry will not pose a problem to a MSU army because they can avoid confrontation until the army is in a position to win it (flank or rear charges).

Personally, I feild a very fast beast/mortal/demon army. It has steeds of slaanesh/fast cav, some ambushing units, some flyers. I can usually win the movement phase of the game and whittle/gouge away at flanks and expose heavier units to flank charges and I will not be afraid to sacrifice any one unit because none of them are worth too much.

The faster the army the better they can be for MSU tactics.

Col. Dash
06-02-2006, 21:37
MSU much easier to manuever. You can keep your +3 rank bonus, I will simply negate it when I hit you from three sides and hit the unit you were going to use for countercharges on one or two sides as well. Yeah you might win the countercharge battle but you just lost that big expensive unit and the countercharge unit is probably either out of position or tied up in combat still.

LiNK the SkiNK
06-02-2006, 22:17
I wrote something on this not long ago:


25-02-2006, 22:49
I think the cost of the troops make the difference.

Expensive troops lend themselves to MSU far more than cheap stuff like goblins, where a rank of 4 or 5 Gobbos cost very little indeed.

26-02-2006, 14:42
MSU are well pretty effective, Brets can use it to devastating effect. But the only real weakness is shooting as it only takes a couple of shots to cripple the unit though thats why MSU tactics include lots of small units to shoot at.

I still try to use huge ranked units but I can only get away with it with my orcs and empire. Elite armies tend to fare better with MSU esp chaos, the infamous "Khorne steamroller"

26-02-2006, 16:06
The real factor in the effectiveness of MSU is Leadership. As Okuto mentioned, shooting can make your units run after few causualities. If the Leadership is above average (8), chances are good that your unit won't run.

Another important thing about MSU is initiative. If you're defending something and have to take charges (or are able to take charges without getting kiled outright -> Dwarfs), MSU won't help you much, so you have to attack if you use MSU. A thing that is encouraged anyway because of the more maneuvrable small units (and the speed typical MSU armies bring along).

Elves with their limited staying power but agile nature are forced to use MSU outright and are the classic MSU candidates.

01-03-2006, 12:51
arn't the new dwarfs super at msu? 4 units of hammerers with rocurage (diferent rune setups) will tie upp the opponent for a long time while those other 3+rank warriors get to flank charge, or if he chooses to charge the warriors, you still get to charge with the hammerers! add a bsb and you can reroll that Ld 9 break test!

01-03-2006, 16:33
I have a long post about it here somewhere on this forum, will see if i can find it.

02-03-2006, 00:42
these tactics are intended for elite infantry/cavalry armies so to say stuff like "not very effective with empire spearmen" etc. is irrelevant. The idea behind the tactic is to use every point as effectively as possible. For cheap troops, adding +1 to combat res by forming an extra rank is the best use of your points, for elves who pay major points for their high weapon skill, movement, initiative etc. it is not the best use of points for them to just sit in the back ranks. That is the general idea as I see it; the philosophy behind the strategy. I don't think you can really say how big the units should be etc. that is too specific and depends on the circumstances of the battle.

02-03-2006, 09:42
Also as remember that MSU is also about not paying too much for your unit (as mentioned)
GW have valued a +1 Combat Res at (around) 25pts in it's various forms (look at you army books and you'll see) thus a rank of troops that cost more then this by a large margin (Elves as an example) is wasting points. your better of getting yourself a second unit. Why pay over 100 pts for +2 CR when you can put those points into another unit, flank the enemy, get flank attack, additional kills AND negate their ranks? That +4 CR turn around without additional Kills in your favour.

Of cause you play badly, then it's just that much easier for your oppenant to win as they are winning by a bigger margin as you have less ranks....