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Sir_Turalyon
06-09-2011, 23:58
Hello,

I dug up my Warmaster book again and am trying to learn and understand the rules before I try convincing my WFB buddies into giving it a try. While the rules themselves are simple, I have trouble figuring out the basic flow of the game - namely, how do charges occur?

For unit to charge using the initiative it must have enemy conveniently parked within 20 cm, which must have happened in enemy movement phase, right? And for unit to charge target further than 20 cm away it must be given two or more successful orders, probably moving it away from commanding hero, so the later rolls are very likely to fail, right?

By my understading charges work like that:

1) Player A gets his unit within 20cm of target by issuing orders.

2) Once there, player A can try to charge, but needs a really good orders roll to pull it off.

3) If player A fails his difficult roll, player B is free to charge using initiative.

So getting to charge seems to be very luck based, with player closing the distance being at disadvantage. What am I missing? Why are people getting their units into enemy charge range at all? How come there are any charges in this game?

Vos
07-09-2011, 09:37
If you play High Elves (a race with good command). Your first order from more than 20 cm away makes it on 9 or less on 2d6. Your second order will be making it on 7 or less (-1 for second order and another -1 for enemy being within 20).

The essence of the game is that your troops are statistically likely to only make 1 move at a time per turn but sometimes stall (no moves at all) and sometimes are brilliant (2 or even 3 moves). You as general can see everything and know exactly what you want your troops to do. They do not oblige - think of them as sub commanders using their own initiatives - sometimes with brilliant flair, sometimes leading to disaster.

The skill of the game is the way you support your troops and have multiple battle lines and reserves. Remember that initiative moves are 20cm but cavalry can move 30 with a successful order so you can get him but he cant get you back in his turn if your order fails (unless of course he makes an order roll).

Also remember most missile troops have a range of 30 or more. There are lots of subteltys to the game that you don't really see until you actually start playing.

If you want to play a game where there is no command and control and your troops always do exactly want you want to do then don't play warmaster. In my view it is this uncertainty about command that makes the game work.

Vos

Geep
07-09-2011, 09:50
Charges allow you to decide who fights where, and also gives you the +1A bonus (which can be big). You then also have the shooting phase to try and remove supporting units, further tipping a combat in your favour. Combat will usually decimate at least one unit, and can do much more. Shooting alone, even concentrated, is rarely that powerful. Generally, it's worth trying to get a charge off- even though the manouvering can be difficult.

Thoughts for manouvering and model placement:

Cavalry can move 30cm per order- so I can set my cavalry down 25cm from you and know that you may have difficulty charging them in your turn. Your infantry are forced to react- whether it's by chancing a charge or trying to fall back. If you fall back I can use two orders next turn to charge you- with the second order probably only having a -1 penalty.

Shooting comes after movement. If I've moved my combat unit to be ~17cm away, tried to order a charge and failed- I'll be in initiative charge range to you. Unless I've been sensible and brought along shooting support (there are many reasons to do this)- that way I can shoot at you, possibly making you lose a stand, but also pushing you out of that 20cm range. I've gained ground, and you can't run forever...

Characters can (and usually should) be placed in front of units, so that the first order doesn't move the troops they're commanding too far away. This helps improve the odds of ordering a two-move charge. As long as the character is not more than 30cm away from your own guys, he should be safe from the enemy.

07-09-2011, 11:42
Yeah, as Geep and Vos have already said cavalry/chariots move 30cm.... and flyers can charge 100cm.

You'll most likely be doing double moves to pull a charge off. We often have cavalry starting off around 50-60cm away (the hero is 20cm infront of the unit) First order brings them within 22-29cm away, second order means a charge.
To achieve that 60cm charge you need to roll an 8 followed by a 7
Even better if i was using my dark elf general to issue those orders, i'd need to roll a 10, then a 9.

Combine that with multiple attempts (i usually have 4 small brigades of orc cavalry/chariots all attempting that charge) and you can probably see that i'm going to get a few units charging you easily.

There's also certain situations you don't want to charge an enemy unit, even if you are within 20cm. For example.... if i have 2 units of archers supported by 2 units of infantry sitting on a hill, you'll struggle against them.
You're going to be shot at when you charge, you won't get any charge bonus, i'll get the support bonus of the infantry, and you'll need 5's to hit me.

Sir_Turalyon
10-09-2011, 16:11
If you want to play a game where there is no command and control and your troops always do exactly want you want to do then don't play warmaster. In my view it is this uncertainty about command that makes the game work.

I got that part by reading the rules, just didn't know why would anyone even try to charge, when most likely outcome is failing and recieving enemy charge on initiative. How come game does not end with stalemate with whomever moves first losing.

The skill of the game is the way you support your troops and have multiple battle lines and reserves. Remember that initiative moves are 20cm but cavalry can move 30 with a successful order so you can get him but he cant get you back in his turn if your order fails (unless of course he makes an order roll).

So the trick is not in charging and not geting charged, Warhammer style, but eighter charging or havbing trap that can contain enemy charge, chess style?

Vos
11-09-2011, 21:35
Chess is an excellent analogy. You have units to sacrifice for positions of power, you feint and you have interlocking support. e.g.
He has those Chaos Knights there. I'll try and get the jump on him with my silver helms but I know that isn't likely to come off so what I'll do is put some cheap screening troops to shield me from his charge next turn, they might even tempt him forward so I can definitely charge him next turn. The uncertainty factor (command rolls) makes it more exciting than chess though (don't get me wrong I like chess too). Warmaster is a game of real subtelty, particularly in games that have plenty of terrain and are of as decent size (2K+).

Vos