View Full Version : Empire Detatchment - Convince me!

20-05-2010, 19:22
'Lo all.

I've read lots of stuff about people using detatchments of 9 models in a 3x3 formation. What's the benefits of this? Why should I use this formation over the 10 models in 5x2 formation?

Now, obviously I am aware that I would save 6ish points per detatchment set up in this manner, but tactically speaking.

Also, what are the draw backs of this formation?


THE \/ince

20-05-2010, 19:49
1. You save 6 points.

2. That is the smallest size where the opponent must do at least 3 kills to cause a panic.

3. Being only 3 wide is much more manouverable.

The draw backs would be that 3 deep means you can lose more from cannons and bolt throwers (but these are typically aiming at the parent block) and they are a weaker fighting unit on their own (but at the same time they were always meant as a support unit).

20-05-2010, 20:24
also with only three guys, you get alot of attacks (esp for free company) with few attacks back..

20-05-2010, 20:44
also with only three guys, you get alot of attacks (esp for free company) with few attacks back..

This is wrong... and not helping this argument...

Something else I missed from the list is not being so wide helps you pack more units together.

I run 6 blocks with 12 detachments and if all were 5 wide I would have an even harder time deploying them.

20-05-2010, 21:28
Okay, so space saving, saves me 6 points (although this can be combined with needing a slightly smaller parent unit and avoid having one odd troop stood around at the back because a character's joined a unit of 20 for a total of 12 points saved).

Does this saving outweigh the loss of attacks?

THE \/ince

20-05-2010, 21:38
Typically yes. Traditionally (though this may change with 8th) the value was in negating ranks + side bonus, any kills you managed were just gravy.

20-05-2010, 21:59
Okay, I usually have 2 swordsmen parent units of 20 strong, and each unit has a skirmished archer screen (5 strong) and 10 Halberdiers as detatchments.

Let's just say I drop a halberdier from each detatchment (saving 12 points) and I could also drop the shields (saving another 18 points) what could I do with those 30 points?

20-05-2010, 22:07
I think you are dropping too mcuh.

Remember that empire blocks win through static res and not through kill. The parent unit needs to give the bulk of that and at 20 you are risking losing a rank to archer fire and also not even out numbering.

Personally I think the parent unit needs to be at least 25 strong, and they NEED shields.

What does your entire list look like?

20-05-2010, 22:16
You can fit them in between your other units without being afraid that your opponent's 5-wide units will be able to charge them. As a Skaven-player, not being able to charge my rat swarms or slaves at your detachments is a pain in the tail

20-05-2010, 22:18
Captain, full plate armour, sword of +1 attack.
Level 2 wizard, staff of +1 power dice use.

20 swordsmen, full command.
-5 archers
-10 halberdiers with shields

20 swordsmen, full command
-5 archers
-10 halberdiers, shields

10 crossbowmen

10 crossbowmen



Total 998 points.

THE \/ince

20-05-2010, 22:25
Ahh 1000 points... there's your problem ;)

You can save points by dropping the magical sword from the captain. You can beat ethereal by combat res and it'll make your save better (remember he is there for leadership, not for his awesome killing ability).

Drop a halbredier from each detachment.

Then add a few swordsmen to each unit.

Join the archers and make them a regular unit.

Make crossbowmen detachments. Now you have a more powerful unit to supprt fire with PLUS they could always charge in to take away ranks if they wanted too.

I would also be tempted to drop shields to make archers huntsmen. (March blocking for the win!) That would be dropping 18 to pay 10, so you could add even more swordmen.

20-05-2010, 22:41
I know I am kinda new to the Empire world, but I thought you could not give upgrades to your detachments (ie no shields or command models).

I also think that the second unit of 10 xbows should just be 2 5x detachments to the first unit of xbows. That way, in the smaller point scale you are playing in, you can spread out your shots between the smaller units and support fire at anything charging the larger unit of xbows.

20-05-2010, 22:43
I thought it was just command... but then again I use swordmen detachments so it isn't an issue ;)

20-05-2010, 22:47
What size for the crossbowmen units? Still 10, or drop to 8 each?

Really, I would need to free up 24 points to up one swordsman unit to 24 (plus a character makes 25).

2 halberdiers and the sword makes 30, so 6 left over. Dropping 2 crossbowmen per unit frees up another 32 points. 24 needed to up the second unit leaves another 8, for a total of 14 spare, 16 if you include the 2 I'm under by.

This can be used to make the archers huntsmen, with points left over.

THE \/ince

Lord Solar Plexus
21-05-2010, 08:42
Does this saving outweigh the loss of attacks?

I'm not entirely sure that they even have attacks. I'll look that up when I come home.

21-05-2010, 16:46
They do, and I've seen a turn of combat where the five lowly Halberdiers managed a whopping 4 kills, and the parent unit of Swordsmen managed 1 (and that was only because the Captain was in the unit).

THE \/ince

24-05-2010, 09:27
In my view you can go two ways with detatchments:
1: Try to kill stuff
2: Avoid being killed

With option no1 i would recommend detatchments of 10 halberdiers or free company. With 5 wide frontage they will maximize attacks and striking first when support charging makes sure that they can get some attacks in.
The drawbacks are that they can be charged by enemy units (easily beaten and the enemy overruns behind your position), and they take up alot of space.

For option no2 i would take swordsmen in 3x3 formation. It makes sure that the enemy cannot charge the detatchment if it is tucked in between units and a bit behind and gives better manouverability. Swordsmen also have better save so are more likely to survive a round and still negate ranks.

I normally do 3x3

All of this will be nonsense in 8th though... Hello 30 man parent unit with 15 man detatchment... I will certainly have fewer and bigger units.

Iron Sites
24-05-2010, 15:23
IMO detachments are only usefull if used in one of the following two ways:

- Use them to support a single unit holding it's own on a flank and\or the flank of your battle line (1x detachment of archers and 1x detachment of swordsmen)

- Use them to screen either the mother unit only or both the parent unit and a friendly\ally unit next to the parent unit (2x archer detachments or 1x)

I will agree that most of the time it's a bad idea to have them 3x3 (or any other formation for that matter) between your main blocks in the battle line. However on the outside flank...their ok.

Lord Solar Plexus
25-05-2010, 08:34
They do, and I've seen a turn of combat where the five lowly Halberdiers managed a whopping 4 kills

Well yes, I've heard such stories before, I just don't think you can count on it. ;)

Truth be told, we will have to wait another month or so and see if GW comes up with Errata for the Empire and what changes with the main rules. Before that, any advice could easily have a very short-lived utility.