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View Full Version : Bret lance formation overused?



Thénon
10-10-2011, 13:00
i`m a new bret player and i`ve been reading and theorising over the book for a couple of weeks as to how i would play them, what units would sut me etc.

I have noticed, against every other bret player i`ve played against, that almost if not all their knight units are in lance formation at the start of the game and IMHO i see this a bit of a mistake.

yes the lance formaion is awesome but i don`t see it as a damaging dealing aspect of the unit but more a survivability/horde breaking tool.

I`m trying to find some alternate tacs that you guys have came up with and how you would use a bret army if you had the chance, as well as your thoughts on how to utilize the lance formation.

thanks :D

therat
10-10-2011, 13:17
In 8th the lance does do less damage than a standard formation because of two-rank combat, but it's still going to give you more static combat. In a 12 knight lance you get 11 attacks instead of 13 (not including horses and if you deploy 6 wide standard form), but you're pulling two more ranks behind you. If you include horses it's a 4 attack difference with two fairly likely to wound attacks and two that aren't likely (unless you're one of those Bret players with killer horses that always seem to outperform the useless chunks of metal on top of them :P).

So, do you want an almost guaranteed +2 to combat, or a possible +4? Not to mention being 3 wide means fewer attacks coming back at you.

Thénon
10-10-2011, 13:25
ultimatly my main tactic is to have a dual charge. my 5x2 unit being grail knights and my errant knights(12) being in lance.

if i`m up against a horde, hopefully with a couple of trebuchet shots to soften them up, i can do enough damage to break them. especially if i have a lvl1 spamming wildform behind them.

tmarichards
10-10-2011, 13:38
You do realise that all the models down the side of the lance get to fight right? And that each rank of 3 knights counts as a rank for breaking Steadfast?

Havock
10-10-2011, 13:42
Grail knights get more attacks out of the lance formation because they have two each and as such, lose one in the second rank when not lance-ing.

5x2: 15 attacks, 5 horses
3x3+1: 16 attacks, 8 horses? Unless the one in the middle of the second rank also contributes an extra attack, then it wins out easily.

Fort single-attack knights the 5x2 is possibly better, questing knights would make better use of it, for example.

Wargamejunkie
10-10-2011, 13:50
You also should factor in that any damsels will have to move to the front when in non-lance formation.

I like the lance as it allows double charges fairly easily and gives us the ability to actually break steadfast pretty quick.

Thénon
10-10-2011, 14:08
5x2: 15 attacks, 5 horses
3x3+1: 16 attacks, 8 horses? Unless the one in the middle of the second rank also contributes an extra attack, then it wins out easily.


The horses get to attack in lance? i thought only the 3 at the front could?

librerian_samae
10-10-2011, 14:29
I have always run mine in a mix, with errant's and knights of the realm in lance and questing in normal.
Haven't ever used grail knights though I assume lance would be better for them too.

russellmoo
10-10-2011, 15:19
Yes, you get the horses in the lance, the models are treated at being in base contact-

Plus, the real advantage of the lance is dual, triple, or against hordes quadruple charges- in effect you get to choose how much force you use against an enemy unit, which is also why no other army can concentrate their forces as well as Bretonnia-

Against armies like WoC, or Lizardmen I've often found this to be the best tactic- focus on one or two large enemy units, and ignore/run away from the rest of their army

There are times when you don't want to be in lance (when you are facing down a few cannons, or you are going to get charged) but otherwise there are few downsides to lance formation-

Novrain
10-10-2011, 17:04
I put mine in Lances for two reasons:

1 - the most important) It looks cool

2) double charging is essential for Brets to break bigger units and Lance formation allows this.

Stonewyrm
10-10-2011, 17:55
There is a good reason why Bret players always start and "charge" in the lance formation. Most of the other posters gave good reasons so i'll just mention some other options/arguments.

1) Manouverability, don't underestimate the difference between 3 wide and 5 wide. 3 wide wheel faster and fit in tighter spaces than 5 wides. They also are better up a flank with avoiding terrain and setting up the vital flank charges.

2) Facing a Horde I wouldn't want to just get 2 lances in on the charge, I want all of them (4+). Some are there to do damage, some to flank, disrupt and at least 1 big core knight bus is there for the 5 ranks to try to break steadfast. The problem with 8th Brets is the same as in 7th but worse. If you get stuck in your screwed. Your strength drops to S3/S4. You have to do your best to always try to break your opponent as fast as possible. Use your speed to concentrate as much power at a single point as you can.

3) If you put your Damsels in units of Knights then they are best protected in Lance formation. Having them in the front row is a very bad idea.

Exceptions:

1) Feel free to switch to 5 wide after the first round of combat. This can be an advantage in certain situations. I find that the extra CR from ranks is mostly better than a bunch of useless S3 attacks so be careful.

2) (Ab)Using Errants as redirectors. I use min units of 5 because they are only a bit more expensive than 5 Mounted Yeoman. Their heavy armour makes then very hard to get rid of (for a redirector) and they still can hit hard so the opponent can't just ignore them. They might be harder to place as things like Harpies and Eagles but their speed compensates a bit. Depending on the angles and distances they either go 5 wide or 3 wide, mostly 5 wide to block the charging lanes better.

Malorian
11-10-2011, 17:45
When* they remove unit size restrictions in the new book you'll finally see something different: Hordes of knights errant!!! :D


* They better or else I'm going to punch a space marine in the face...

theunwantedbeing
11-10-2011, 17:50
Hardly overused.
It's a valid thing bretonnians get, so they use it.

Complaining about it would be akin to complaining that dwarves keep putting runes on their war machines.

The bonus of easy to get ranks to actually give them a chance to break enemy steadfast horde formations is just a perk.

Stonewyrm
11-10-2011, 18:14
When* they remove unit size restrictions in the new book you'll finally see something different: Hordes of knights errant!!! :D


* They better or else I'm going to punch a space marine in the face...

What are you planning Malorian? 10x3, 10x4 or are you hoping for a special rule (DoubleLance) allowing for a Horde with 6 wide? Can you imagine a 6x6 Doublebus! Would only cost 761 fully loaded. ;)

Surgency
11-10-2011, 18:43
nah, it'll cost less, since they'll drop the ppm by a significant amount ;)


As for the OP, its not overused, its an almost essential tool to successful Bret charges. The loss of a couple attacks is hardly a negative when compared to the possibility of breaking steadfast. If you win combat (which you should), and they stay in place (which they shouldn't), then you can reform to get more attacks in subsequent rounds of combat

Malorian
11-10-2011, 18:44
Given their defensive nature I would stick with 10X3.


Keep in mind I routinely run hordes that are 500+ points, and my troll horde is 630 points, so making a horde of KE wouldn't be that far off the mark :)

I would be tempted to do it with questing knights (as they would be best suited to the role) if their cost goes down.

The Low King
11-10-2011, 23:38
Complaining about it would be akin to complaining that dwarves keep putting runes on their war machines.


because that never happens......:p


As someone who plays against bretts i find that the thing i hate about the lance formation (maybe a bit strong....) is the fact that is seriously reduces my attacks back.

Zywus
12-10-2011, 11:17
It seems some people are misunderstanding the point of the OP (perhaps by only reading the title?)

It's not a complaint about the lance being overpovered or anything, but rather thinking about whether it might be more effective to deploy the knights in regular formation than we might think.

I guess the short answer is no. I have a hard time seeing scenarios where the lance formation is not the better choice. Especially now that is is possible to change formation while engaged in combat.

Perhaps if you were to face a ridiculous amount of cannons or bolt throwers it could be worth it to reduce ranks and therefore the amount of hits taken.

goodz
13-10-2011, 16:15
Lance and 16 inch movement ftw. You can generally double charge a unit of your choice on turn 2.

If you see enemy Calvary in 6x2 a double charge should always break it. Your 2+ armour and rank bonus and charging bonus should be enough cr plus that's a lot of s5 attacks.

I do admit bretonians have issues with steadfast units and once they get stuck they don't kill much. Avoid hitting units you can't break.

A trebuchet and some magic is nice also peasant bow men are ftw!