View Full Version : anti MSU

dwarf lord
14-02-2006, 17:58
Well with MSU all the craze in warhammer I thought Id post my top 3 armies for countering it. Im not listing full armies just general guidlines and would like 2 hear back from MSU generals as 2 how they counter these armies. #1 any undead army...MSU counts on breaking from multi charges in one round so what do u do against unbreakable units? I have heard many MSU players say just kill the general then but Id love 2 see what elf (most common MSU) is gonna kill a vamp or tomb king.

#2 dwarf....how do you flank charge a army with no flanks? Use the table edge and a very compact deployment with slayers and a warrior unit w/ oathstone on your "open" flank. The small units in MSU dont yield many vp but it is extremely easy 2 get them under 1/2 strength with missle fire.No "medium" cavalry unit in the game will take a dwarf unit straight up without being almost as big which doesnt happen in MSU.

#3 Beasts of Chaos minotaur army...ok you have 10 units and I have 8...you will get your multi charges in. The problem is that 2 knight units without rank will get eatin alive by a 4 strong unit of minotaurs. The whole concept of MSU is denying rank bonuses but "monster" armies dont count on rank bonus anyway.

I would love 2 hear back from one of the millions of MSU generals out there and hope this helps some of you who are struggling against them.

14-02-2006, 18:50
First of all, do NOT use netspeak, there are a lot of players here who are not native english speaking and may have dificulties when using numbers and single letters instead of normal words, in your case, 2 instead of "to" or "too"

Second, you are only talking about a bog standard cavalry force, not about a Multiple Small Unit army in general, a lot of MSU armies are not designed to break through on the first round more than others, they are however, designed to use Combo-charges in order to get as high advantage as possible and either wear the enemy down with sheer number of attacks (unbreakable and stubborn units) whilst making sure that they do not loose combat due to lack of ranks, or to get as high a CR as possible to make sure there is no enemy left (anything that can break, go poof or wither to dust in CC will get this treatment), all the time whilst keeping the losses of VP's low and feeding the real killer units cheap stuff.

Now, onwards to your points:

1# That might well be true, but, have you had a look through their respective army books? Vampire Counts (Vampire Lords are very rarely used in the standard 2k enviroment) often don't have all that great a wardsave, sure, they can kill a lot, but, they can also get killed by a lot of elven heros, the only ones that are really hard to kill are Von Carsteins with the Carstein ring (which makes them drastically less dangerous and game altering), Blood Dragons with full combat gear gifts (ok, not much to say, you don't kill him, then he kills you) and Strigoi with Regeneration.

However, a single Killingblow from a Swordmaster or Druchii Highborn with Draich of Dark Power will take out anything but the Carstein with ease, and a Wood Elf Highborn with the Annoyance of Nettlings, Amber Pendant and a Greatweapon can easely wear a Vampire down... he might not even need the Pendant.

Other armies found of MSU tactics are Chaos cavalry force and Ogre Kingdoms, both of which have characters that actually can kill a vampire in Close Combat without a great lot of fuss, and there are even more characters that can kill a Tomb King.

#2... do you mean that as a tactic for Dwarfs to use aggainst MSU armies? That is indeed a goot one, and it is true that no medium cavalry will ever take a unit of Dwarfs... except for a unit of 16 TK "Heavy" cav or a unit of 8 Saurus Cavalry. And you have your guns, though the tactic you mentioned is often standard, it is good none the less.

#3, only partly true, for any heavy cavalry unit charging a unit of Minotaurs is going to seruisly hurt the precius chaos unit unless it has the Mark of Nurgle, but the enemy knights will either reduce the save to 6+ or none at all.

And no, I am not a complete MSU general, I prefer big blocks protect by MSU, but not an entire army of them, mainly due to drawbacks of them often being more expensive money wise as well.
However, I have played aggainst a fair few MSU armies, so I base my points on what I have seen in real life and also read in Kurisawas and BaronDeSade's battle reps. over at the UK GW forum.

MSU = Multiple Small Units

14-02-2006, 19:08
I'm in agreement with Neknoh on this one, MSU isnt just a single tactic, it's an element which most competetive armies need to incorporate (or at least elements of it)

Of course there are ways around it, but there are also ways of countering those ways, that's the whole point of warhammer and strategy in general.

Just taking an army full of small units is probably not going to win you the game, it's about using the smaller units to protect flanks, draw enemy charges and provide useful combat bonuses. You usually need decent sized units to deliver the hammer blow (in the case of dark elves for example) when combined with small flankers they help tip the balance.

I've been playing "MSU" for many years although I only learned of the name recently.

my 2 cents

dwarf lord
14-02-2006, 20:29
I am not knocking MSU armies at all, many armies almost have to do this to have a chance. I understand its suicide for elves to try and out infantry a dwarf army. I am merely trying to help some of the less experienced players who are having problems with the MSU armies. Your points are valid about the vampires...except that most vamps you face are one of the 3 that you listed. A vampire army would need to use magic to create new units to foil your cordinated charges obviously. A mobile tomb kings army would stand a pretty good chance of outmanovering you also with incantations.

#2..looks like we are pretty much in agreement here..and yes its fairly standard tactics

#3 as for the knights charging monotaurs, its not about thier armour save its about 3 wounds per model. The only knights who stand a decent chance are chosen Chaos knights( what dont they stand a chance against!) or black knights(again we are talking about 2 of the best units in the game).4 minotaurs of khorne w/ champion have 3 wounds per model and a total of17 str 6 attacks.

Again Im not putting down these tactics at all its just that we see so many "this is my MSU army" posts and nothing to counter them on here and I was just trying to help out. Thank you for your input and you make some valid claims.

dwarf lord
14-02-2006, 20:46
Sorry guys but one more thing. If you are both taking some large blocks as you stated then backing it up with the MSU units its really not a true MSU army as such. You are simply using tactics in that case as everyone obviosly knows that flanking wins games. This is no different than TK taking large skeelie block to bog the enemy down while flanking with the hammer units of ushabti. This tactic has been around as long as the game..true MSU armies contain almost no large blocks(thus the name). Just my two cents worth about confusing flanking units with actual MSU armies.

14-02-2006, 21:39
I fully know what you mean with Minotaurs, however, believing Black Knights to be more effective than even Empire Knights or Bretonn Knights is at a big fault when it commes to dealing with monsters, what makes the Black Knights better than vanilla (read Empire/DoW/High Elf) Knights aggainst infantry is their Killingblow and Fearcausing, which are both wasted aggainst Minotaurs, of course, Mino's of Khorne does pose a nasty punch, but, with either the ammount of attacks mustered by Bretonnian Knights or the strength 6 and 1+ Armoursave of Inner Circle Empire Knights, those Minotaurs WILL have problems, there are few things in the Warhammer World that can stand aggainst a Knight charge and live to tell the tale, I have seen Dragon Ogre units smashed appart by Silverhelms and have been on the recieving end of a Bretonn lance far to many times (though... having the Banner of the Gods nearby certainly makes those Marauders a lot more usefull :evilgrin: )

But beware with the Khornate Doombull army, for a typical MSU will often find ways of exposing the flanks of Minotaur units, and when there's only need to kill off a single model with a Knight Charge, and the model in question doesn't have any kind of protection other than T4 (which is wounded on either 3+ or 2+ on a Knight charge) to nullify attacks back and allowing for some nasty further digging into the unit, Minotaurs start running sooner than you might think.

And about MSU, I did say I didn't use MSU for entire armies, however, I have played aggainst several opponents, and thus learned that, unlike either Chariot, Knight or... most armies for that matter, they are not always geared towards blowing through units within seconds, however, they are used to strategically target your support units first, and then, once you don't have any flank protectors, even those Saurii are going to find it dangerous.

The worst thing I've seen (luckily for me, I was only watching the game), was a MSU Tomb King force playing aggainst a VC one, the Tomb Kings used small units of 10 Skeletons with handweapons and shields to lock up the vampire count player's huge zombie blocks, then, came the onslaught, the Tomb King player made sure to keep replenishing the blocks holding up the Black Knights and Grave Guard, whilst he used the remainder of his relentless magic phase to flank and rear charge the meatshield zombies with both Ushabti and Chariots.

The Blood Dragon count had spent two turns killing the Tomb King (which went poof and nearly took the vampire with him), whilst the two of the Necromancers worked their guts out trying to keep their zombie bodyguards at full strength (a vain attempt).

The Tomb King player then brough down the killingblow, he charged a Bone Giant, 4 Ushabti, 1 Tomb Scorpion and 3 Chariots into the main regiment of Black Knights after he had chewed through the two zombie blocks, two groups of Wolves and a group of Ghouls.

The Grave Guard had been left fighting a reraisable skellie block of 12, so they didn't do all too much.

To make a long story short, his general died horribly together with his Black Knights simply through crumbling, (though I do pitty the Charioteer champion who had to accept the challenge from a GW wielding Blood Dragon).

So, my advice to players facing MSU, beware of your supporting units and their whereabouts, they may well be gone quicker than you might notice when fighting aggainst MSU, and then, your main blocks are exposed in very unfavourable positions.

dwarf lord
14-02-2006, 21:53
Great points....glad to have them. I agree a magic heavy(they all are/have to be) mobile tomb king army is absolutely terrifying. Chariots, cav(if u play tk cav) ushabti and bone giants is one of the toughest armies you will face.

15-02-2006, 17:15
I see what you're saying about the idea, but really if you take the phrase literally, multiple small units/multiple small elites doesnt really say you cant have big units as well, the multiple small units give your army the flexibility, and having an army based around that is sensible, for example in my dark elf army I often use two blocks of 24 warriors with spears, then pretty much minimum sized units of everything else, you've still got 'multiple small units' and I personally consider my army to be an "MSU" force.

Anyway, not getting bogged down in semantics, there are lots of things you can do against an exclusively MSU army, massed fire being one of them, my buddy plays a TK shooting army, and his poisoned arrow firing bowmen (of which he often has 60+) and panic causing skull chuckers can play merry hell with an MSU army.

Fear causing troops can also pose a problem, in that charging a fear causing unit with several units at once, means that more fear tests must be taken, if a unit fails it's flank charge from a fear test, then the suckers who DID charge will probably get flattened.

The thing about MSU and why it is such a widely used and successful tactic is due to 2 things, The rules of the game reward MSU armies, and also the inherent flexibility involved, lose a unit of 10 archers? no problem! lose a unit of 8 Ironguts/10 Chaos Knights/20 Black Orcs? it's almost game over (unless of course you took your opponent to pieces in the process of losing those units!) You have the flexibility in your deployment, and the maneuverability to best adapt to threats.

15-02-2006, 17:22
So what we've got is...
"...if you're playing an army of multiple small units, you need to plan for it and shoot, magic and combat it off the board." :D

Dwarf Lord, my WE have massacred Dwarfs, Tomb Kings and VC's, for (as yet) no comeback.
I have yet to try them against BoC, but that's because I don't know any BoC players...

dwarf lord
15-02-2006, 20:20
Congrats superbeast.....and my dwarfs massacred woodelfs the last game against them. I wont knowingly play a woodelf army with my dwarves agian as it just wasnt alot of fun. I actually rather like the wood elf army and am considering them as my next army so Im not knocking them. My opponent took a MSU army and whipped me pretty good the 1st time we played then last time I took a gunline dwarf army with the thunbderers 16 strong w/ full command and packed them together so he didnt get any flank charges..except where i wanted him 2 and it was a pretty easy win. You know I assume that a missle commited dwarf army easily outshoots a wood elf army correct? Anyway it depends on who is playing what army...its not like wood elfs are "better" than dwarfs.

15-02-2006, 23:07
@ Dwarflord - Swings and roundabouts, really.
I guess my point was, all tactics need to be organic; I certainly wasn't trying to make some point about my abilities; more that you can't generalise the "army X will usually beat army Y" thought process.

Take ranged combat - Wood Elves are without peer when it comes to accuracy, maneouvrability and range of their fire power as an average.
But, and this is a BIG but, they don't have warmachines. At distances over 15", they are S3. Dwarfs for example, at range with good visibility, will pound Wood Elves into the ground with a gunline list.

I myself don't like the MSU tactic set. May sound odd for a WE player, but there y'go. I don't take Dryads in units smaller than 15, unless points are tight. My Wardancers are a static 10-man unit. I take Glade Guard in units of 11 or 12. My Wild Riders are always at least 10-strong.

The only way to fully deal with MSU armies is gentleman's agreement.
If your games against an opponent are boring, it's the mix.
Why not say "If you don't MSU, I won't gun-line", for example?
I've tred WE MSU and against an experienced general, it's naff. And over very, very quickly. Tinkering armies to extremes takes the fun out of the game for me.

dwarf lord
16-02-2006, 18:01
High 5s beast. Thats(gentlemans agreement) is what Im saying. I have no problems playing against a MSU army..just that it makes for a boring game with my dwarf army. I cant catch you so I shoot you...its no fun at all. I have always been a big block infantry type player and am considering WE 2 broaden my horizons. Ive been reading all the available WE tacticas on here but any advice would be welcome.

16-02-2006, 22:50
Hifive! :D
I seem to be somewhat of an anomaly as far as WE generals go - at least judging by the tacticas on here - so I guess I've got a very personal style of play.
I'm big on autobreaking - simply because WE units are too fragile to risk attrition - so my fear causing units get first refusal on spare points in my lists.
I use shooting simply as a method of reducing unit strength in opposing units rather than any attempt to clear them out.

Oh, and eternal guard combined with a hail-of-doom noble make for a fantastic combat block... :angel:

17-02-2006, 07:17
I'm currently playing Dwarves myself but have a WE army too (well actually I can field almost any army but then I'm old). Anyhow I'm having trouble with a MSU WE player. I don't want to go the boring gun and warmachine route but its the only way I know to give him a sound thrashing. Any ideas of how to win against MSU (WE in particular) with Dwarves but without going gun line on them, its a challenge I know.

Maybe if I just gun line him, I guess MSU for woodies is what the gun line is for dwarves so I shouldn't feel bad about the resulting boring game.

17-02-2006, 07:57
Deny flanks (Table edge/terrain/slayers)
Solid combat units with a BSB and support-tooled Nobles, and a unit or two of Quarrellers - that way the WE can't outdistance you with shooting.
NO gaps in your line.
Take a grudge thrower, a gyrocopter or an organ gun - these auto-hit or use templates, so can be used for flushing the WE out of cover. (MSU = "fits neatly under template").

Wood Elves need to pry open a battle line and get at it's soft parts.
If you prevent them doing that, they'll just break against you.
Or just sit there trying to slowly pick off your units.
Which is why you've got the quarrellers and gyrocopter... :D

17-02-2006, 10:09
This is what I started out doing, I guess I just got bored of waiting, I didn't use my gyro so perhaps that would have given me enough to do while I waited.I think just got to impatient with him and presented too many gaps in my line last time.

How do gyros cope agains woodies. I assumed that gettiong close enough to use the template meant getting close enough to be slaughtered by their returning bowfire.

On the auto hit front I've had good success with canons and the rune of burning. Magical grape shot makes a mess of flanking dryads...

17-02-2006, 10:20
Good good. :D
With the Gyro you've got a 20" move - you should be able to stay out of sight then jump in range without too much hassle. If you position correctly, you should vaporise most of the unit.
The return fire (if they don't panic) should be negligible if your opponent is taking minimum units. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but you can at least stack the odds in your favour.
I don't recall, but is it possible to take more than 1 Gyro? The more I think about it, the better they become against WE.
They work better with terrain to hide behind, they don't roll to hit, and they're fast. Damn those stunties...
2 of them working in tandem would make a horrendous mess of just about every unit in the WE army with consummate ease.
If you focus on his glade guard/rider units - his ranged troops- he has no option but to come and get you. And you still have your guns. :)

17-02-2006, 10:38
I agree darn it. I totally dimissed gyros. I figured if I got in range to fire he'd just turn around with his no minus for move and fire and waste the machine but as you correctly point out most of a 10 elve glade rider squad fits under a flamer template. Of course he normally runs his glade guard in two units of ten next to each other, but I guess the gyro isn't that expensive.

He normally has a HoD equiped general within an inch or two of these units, a well placed template should scare him, two well placed overlapping templates should do more than scare him.

This is a double darn, my dwarf army is old skool, 3rd eddition imperial dwarves and I only have the one 3rd eddition gyro, guess its ebay for me.

17-02-2006, 10:50
Two quick tips - go for flanks against the glade guard.
1) they're helpfully lined up for you to steam them, and
2) even though WE can move-and-fire, or turn-and-fire, they can't reform-and-fire. So they may not be able to bring all their remaining guns to bear anyway.

As for the noble with the HoD, better to take it on a gyro than take it on a warmachine or infantry unit. Strictly VP speaking.

I'm now terrified of playing Dwarfs. Yay me.