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Lord Solar Plexus
11-02-2010, 14:59
What's your opinion on unit champions? Are they useful? Are they mandatory? When and why?

Witchblade
11-02-2010, 15:11
It's completely dependent on the unit's purpose and the cost of command options...

Vague rules of thumb could be given, e.g. fast cavalry should only have a musician; infantry blocks should have full command, but they are... well, vague and merely rules of thumb.

Do you have specific units in mind?

Edit: consider the function of each command option with regards to the function the unit as a whole should perform.
- Champions usually give an extra attack and guarantee return attacks in the absence of being specifically targeted. They are, more importantly, able to issue and accept challenges. This means the champion can isolate an enemy character from the fight (e.g. to spare other troopers), generate overkill bonus (e.g. in the case of multi-wound weapons) and participate in a challenge instead of another character (e.g. to save your wizard from a challenge/withdrawal). Some champions can carry magic items. The choice of taking a champion or not is often complex.

- Banners generate +1 CR and enable the option of magic banners, which is awesome for their points in most instances. However, banners can be captured, so ask yourself: is it worth the risk?

- Musicians are tie-breakers, which is all right, and provide a rally bonus, which is awesome if you plan to flee often (e.g. to bait opponents). The only reason not to take one is the point cost.

Ozorik
11-02-2010, 17:30
I always include full command for ranked infantry units, just because it makes sense from a fluff perspective.

Gamewise it depends. Champions can be useful in a mage bunker or if the champions stats are good enough but they are often not worth the extra cost. Elite infantry and heavy cavalry are probably the most cost effective champions.

Standards are something that should be included in ranked infantry units as they make their primary role, static CR generation, easier. They can be a liability though given their VP penalty. Cavalry, as a rule dont need them but elite heavy cavalry who can break through infantry blocks, chaos knights etc, can get a lot of use out of them. They are also worth considering from a magic banner perspective.

Musicians are worth it in just about any unit as they are cheap and their bonuses, while fairly minor, are useful.

Malorian
11-02-2010, 17:32
Unless there is a character to protect in the unit I almost never take them.

Sygerrik
11-02-2010, 17:39
For me champions serve one purpose: to protect casters bunkered in the unit from being killed round 1 of melee, allowing me to countercharge in the flank or something. Other than that, not much.

Lord Solar Plexus
11-02-2010, 18:30
It's completely dependent on the unit's purpose and the cost of command options...

Vague rules of thumb could be given, e.g. fast cavalry should only have a musician; infantry blocks should have full command, but they are... well, vague and merely rules of thumb.

Do you have specific units in mind?

Empire State Troops or Greatswords, for example. I could see another S5 attack being useful but in Swordsmen? Hmm...

Malorian
11-02-2010, 18:33
I give my longbeards with great weapons a unit champ because his extra attack is worth it and the fact that I'll be striking last and only have a 5+ save means I need to pack more punch in.

Nuada
11-02-2010, 18:37
I always take a champion with my savage orc units. Those 4 str5 attacks (1st rnd) come in handy

Malorian
11-02-2010, 18:48
4 str 5 attacks? Must be savage orc big'uns!

Alltaken
11-02-2010, 19:21
champs are 1A for less than a magic sword. Some can take magic items, but pretty much elite unit champs. As a lizzie I always take em.

Banners are only useful on anvils, deathstars or damage dealers. Bait or tarpit might just forget em

Musicians depends on stubborn. ITP or lizzies should not take them for they aren't worth their points.

Malorian
11-02-2010, 19:27
Musicians depends on stubborn. ITP or lizzies should not take them for they aren't worth their points.

I don't know about that...

One of the best tactics lizardmen can use is fleeing a charge (to setup another charge) since there is such a good chance they will rally. However you don't want to take too many chances and adding a musician means you are rallying on a cold 10 (if in range of slann).

So all my lkizardmen blocks (11+ models) take them.

Skyros
11-02-2010, 20:49
I rarely bother with champions unless they are going to be providing a high Str attack, or will help protect a character.

I see almost no point in providing just one more S3 attack coming from a big infantry block that wins via CR, for example.

Now, in units where the champions can get cool upgrades, this may not apply.

Lord Solar Plexus
12-02-2010, 07:15
Cool, thanks for all the input. I usually run all my State Troops with a full command but I am pondering leaving the champions at home to free up a few points. This discussion has been quite helpful.

Dark_Knight
12-02-2010, 07:18
Bret unit champs rock... and they're free!

Nuada
12-02-2010, 08:32
4 str 5 attacks? Must be savage orc big'uns!

They aren't big 'uns.

It's because orc champions get +1 attack, +1WS, and +1 str.

My savage orc champion has 2 base attacks, plus frenzy, plus additional choppas. First round of combat both choppas are +1str. :)

Condottiere
12-02-2010, 08:39
Champions provide an additional attack, but if your opponent gets the drop first, they probably are a waste of points.

Musicians are always useful, and cheap.

Standards should only be given to units that have a good chance of winning any combat.

Lord Solar Plexus
12-02-2010, 08:53
Well, a standard sometimes makes it possible to win the combat, so that's going in circles to some extent. It also increases the chance to hold because you draw or lose by less, and so makes for a better anvil I think.

Alltaken
12-02-2010, 14:30
I don't know about that...

One of the best tactics lizardmen can use is fleeing a charge (to setup another charge) since there is such a good chance they will rally. However you don't want to take too many chances and adding a musician means you are rallying on a cold 10 (if in range of slann).

So all my lkizardmen blocks (11+ models) take them.

I get the fleeing part, but I feel no real difference between 9+ cold blooded, and those musician points do come in handy when you want that extra magic item

PeG
12-02-2010, 14:52
I do agree with most things said above and will only add that I am currently building full command for all my new RnF units since I am expecting them to become more important in 8th ed although I dont really know how.

enyoss
12-02-2010, 14:55
As others say, it all depends on the unit. For my High Elves, my upgrade priorities are usually:

Spearmen, Seaguard, Phoenix Guard: standard, champion, then musician, but usually take full command.

White Lions, Swordmasters, Silverhelms, Dragon Princes: champion, standard, then musician, often don't bother with the musician.

Ellyrian Reavers: musician.

So, on units which rely on static combat resolution I favour a standard over a champion, whereas on units which have decent hitting power I'll favour the extra attack a champion offers. But again, it all depends. For example, if I really want a magic banner in my Dragon Princes I might well take a standard and no champion. It's all about picking the right tools for the job really.

Malorian
12-02-2010, 16:03
I get the fleeing part, but I feel no real difference between 9+ cold blooded, and those musician points do come in handy when you want that extra magic item

In my lists I typically take 3 main blocks of saraus, that's 18 points for musicians. Can't think of a magic item I would more then one that made me extremely sure that my units will rally.

RealEvilGenius
12-02-2010, 16:09
I always take champions (except for marauder horsemen) with my WoC because I play a Warshrine. In my VC and Dwarfs it depends on the unit. My ranked infantry always get a banner (except zombie tarpits). My Dwarf units always get musicians. My Empire State Troops always get full command for modeling/fluff purposes.

Ravensgard
12-02-2010, 16:20
I almost take full command for every large block of units, even if its just for the fluff.
light cavalary should only take a champion and muscian, and the champion only if it can make a difference (different gear or so)

Condottiere
12-02-2010, 16:28
Missile units, unless the Champion contributes something beyond an extra melee attack, don't need them.

Alltaken
12-02-2010, 20:59
In my lists I typically take 3 main blocks of saraus, that's 18 points for musicians. Can't think of a magic item I would more then one that made me extremely sure that my units will rally.

shure thing there's no 18 points item that makes up muscians point for point. But I allways happend to find need for 15 more points or that Warbanner, Enchanted shield, etc.

Might be the fact I play 2 big infantry units, 24 sauri and 16 temple guard.

add Slann ad Scar Vet. And I use 4 heroes, that takes up a lot of space. So I really tend to need those points in favour.