View Full Version : How to make a not to overly obvious flank attack

14-07-2011, 10:55
Hello gents,

Building my empire army up slowly as I go and im starting to think of the tactics that i want to try. The first thing that comes to mind is how I can make a flank attack without it beeing to overly obvious.

Ive had some 3-4 games so far and aside from me not knowing the movement rules all that well my moves were far to obvious. Was approaching a unit to the front and had a unit on the side with the direction facing his flank (should either of us choose to attack :rolleyes:) my opponent was through the ruse as i had the unit set up from the start and simply send a unit to tie op both units. My opponent in this example was lizardmen so both my units; now unsupported were quikly taken care off since i had no counter to this. He had the same amount of unit as I had because a unit of knights was eating up valuable points :mad: (and were useless because I failed at moving them around...and they got om nom nomed by a stegadon :cheese:)

It doesent help that ive only played small games (1000 points) with a bad list but how can I pull off proper flanking tactics?

14-07-2011, 11:09
Most of the time it's ok to have a flank attack be obvious. The goal isn't to be sneaky but to create an untennable situation. Turning to face a flanker should just expose his flank or rear to a unit previously advancing on his front.

It's much harder to sneak up on a unit without your opponent noticing than it is to give him a situations with few good options.

14-07-2011, 11:28
Uhm...so basicly I cant? :confused:

I thought there was some trick to it :D

14-07-2011, 11:46
Your opponent sees the same table you see. You can try keeping him occupied but in the end you can't actually hide things from him. Sometimes people get distracted or they are baited into charging units that will ultimately leave them in a worse situation. In the end, you can't hide things from him though so it's all about how you play the situation and how he responds.

Manouvring is very useful in warhammer but the goal is the manouvre into positions that are more advantageous to you than to him. Cover your own flanks, make sure he can't get around them. At the same time, try to move in ways that leave him only bad options. Ie. I move forward I get flanked by Unit A, if I turn to face A, unit B will flank me instead.

14-07-2011, 15:52
What might be useful is that you CAN charge through units, provided that
a) the unit that wants to charge can SEE the enemy and
b) the unit in the way can move away before the charge is resolved.

This means that you might set up a flank charge without your opponent realising the threat.

Also you can always flee as a charge reaction, which often causes flanks to be exposed during your turn.

14-07-2011, 16:06
What might be useful is that you CAN charge through units, provided that
a) the unit that wants to charge can SEE the enemy and
b) the unit in the way can move away before the charge is resolved.

This means that you might set up a flank charge without your opponent realising the threat.

Also you can always flee as a charge reaction, which often causes flanks to be exposed during your turn.

Good one, I've been surprise charged because a canny opponent declared a suicidal charge with his hounds, that freed up the chaos knights behind them to make a vital charge at the same time.

14-07-2011, 17:54
I agree there is no real sneaky way to get a flank charge- your opponent will most likely see it coming (O&G and other armies with magical movement spells can use magic to make a surprise flank maneuver) there are some things you can do to help pull off a flank attack-

Playing empire you will need either 2-3 more units than your opponent, or outmaneuver your opponent with cavalry, flying monsters- @1000pts knights might be too much of a point sink-

The problem with infantry units trying to flank each other- especially in this case where both units have the same movement value is unlikely to say the least-

However, this is why you take knights- start out moving towards him- then move your knights within their charge distance- he will either move towards you, attempt to charge you or angle his unit to receive the charge the way he would like-

Hopefully, he does one of the first two- in that case during your next turn- rather than charge you move your knights so that they are perpendicular to his lines he now has the unfortunate choice of turning towards your knights or possibly being flanked- if he turns you then take the opportunity to swing around behind the entire army for multiple rear charge targets- it's all about being patient and using that better movement-

Watch some of Oncebitten360's youtube battle reports- while it's Bretonnians- it is also sort of a how to use cavalry to flank tutorial-

Don Zeko
15-07-2011, 06:29
You can't conceal a flank attack from the enemy, but in some cases you can still attack him in ways that he doesn't expect. My army, Dark Elves, have a lot more options in this regard, but with 8th edition magic buffs and debuffs we aren't the only ones that can turn a unit that your opponent is ignoring into a linebreaker. For example, I run two units of shades in my Dark elf army, each with additional hand weapons. In normal circumstances, they are there to shoot and to fight war machines or other light troops, but can't threaten a line unit. But if I use my cauldron to power them up or cast Okkam's Mindrazor on them, suddenly they are capable of routing most combat blocks in a single round. Yet lots of opponents won't think about my ability to do this, so while they see my shades, they won't see the flank attack coming. This sort of maneuver is going to be the closest you can get to what you're talking about.

Lord Solar Plexus
15-07-2011, 07:59
The first thing that comes to mind is how I can make a flank attack without it beeing to overly obvious.

Two things come to mind that may or may not be less obvious: A fast flanking force that seems to be too far away, and movement enhancing spells.

The former would be a unit of knights. Of course everybody knows that knights are faster, and everybody knows that the charge range can vary wildly but hey, nothing you can do about it. You could give them the Banner that adds +d3 to you charge (isn't there one that lets you re-roll the charge dice?). A larger unit of light CAV with a somewhat decent character could perhaps work, as most opponents will not expect it to charge in. Perhaps 10 Pistoliers with a Captain with a pistol/bow and a good CC weapon? Talk about how you didn't like to see his good BS get wasted...

The only movement spell I can think of right now is Birona's Timewarp. You will have access to it with a Waltar and it will be without risk to throw 6 dice at it hoping for IF.

It isn't the easiest thing to do though when your opponent sees all your units all the time.

15-07-2011, 08:58
Once or twice I've used fast cavalry who I originally positioned as charge deflectors to do surprise flank attacks on the next unit in his line. Worked a lot better in 7th of course, with automatic deranking.

15-07-2011, 11:10
Oh, I completly forgot about charge reactions :eek:

And I rather like the idea of suprising your opponent with an seemingly insignificant unit :)

Guess im trying to hard :D Il try to fit less obvious wayt to flank in my army in the future, thanks guys :cool:

18-07-2011, 20:20
Got a flank charge off in a introduction game to SoM this weekend :) unit of 5 knights with added captain (only generic gear) charged a tooled up skaven lord on ogre (and who had joined a unit of rat ogre) in the flank

he moved his lord to attack, whiffed his attacks on the captain but killed 2 knights. the return hits saw the lord himself bite the dust and I won solidly on combat resolution. He ran and I overran the unit (woohoo :cool: )

the lord had a 100 points magic weapon that gave him S10 attacks and a friend (who plays skaven) told me the lord alone was around 250-300 points....

Booya flank charge! :cool::cheese:

18-07-2011, 21:07

Terrain carves the battlefield into lanes. supremacy in the movement phase starts in deployment. See the lanes - see how terrain on his side of the board may force him to advance further away from the edge than you, maybe he has to go around a building or avoid dangerous terrain. That gives you the advantage of hugging the flank and advancing in a much wider line than he can, creating those scenarios that snottlebocket talked about where turning to deny one flank exposes the other.

18-07-2011, 23:29
Its actually surprisingly easy to do it.

Yes, your opponent sees your army, but at the same time, he might not know everything. Random charges took away the easy way of doing it (being 'out' of range, then using a magic banner/whatever to add movement).

But its very easy to forget that spider riders have their "we don't care about dry terrain" rule, and thus can climb across the terrain that would otherwise have held your flank. Similar rules abound - units that are capable of doing the unexpected.
Human stupidity is great - even if an opponent knows how charge reactions work, he might not necessarily be thinking about the possibilities.

Also, no-win situations. The other guys have already mentioned this, but in some cases you can set up scenarios where, pretty much no matter what your opponent does, you're putting them in a bad position. Its often difficult to do, especially with random charges, as opponents may fluke their way out of it or cunningly play the angles etc. But its fun when it happens!
Magic is also a great toy. Vampires / TK can magic their units into charging - allowing you to set up flank charges where at the start of the turn, you could only see the front. The dwarfs have their anvil to do the same. Orcs can use their teleport spell Hand of Gork to set up, for the next turn, no-win situations.

19-07-2011, 00:16
Fast, lone characters like some vampire builds or like anything mounted on a pegasus are great for the flank. Most people try to hold the flank with a medium strength tarpit like Flagellants. A fast, lone character can combine charges with your main flank assault and pop the tarpit faster than your opponent might have expected, exposing the flank of his main battleline.

Units of troops can be easy to anticipate in an enemy's list and to guess where they're going to be deployed, but guided missile-type characters are a little more random and, since they get dropped last, can cause your opponent to panic and call audibles in his own plans. Depending on how fast they are you can disguise your intentions by deploying him closer to the middle.