View Full Version : Getting that detached feeling.

25-11-2011, 02:07
Does anyone have any advice for the empires detachment rule? On paper it just seems so awesome but in practicality they just too often munched on and create weak gaps in my army line. Most of my detachments are free company and occasionally a couple of crossbows (Its a thematic thing). Am I using them incorrectly or are they just a outdated in 8th ed? Has anyone had any particular success with them?

25-11-2011, 05:27
I think 8th ed really took away a lot from detachments-

I still think some small detachments might be useful- but most players just take full units instead-

25-11-2011, 10:49
They're still worth using, but the tendency seems to be small units. Remember that detachments don't HAVE to stay withing 3" of the parent... So here's what I do:

- Large combat blocks of infantry take small (5-8 models) skirmish screens of Archers which can either act as a LoS blocker, run off and hide in woods/buildings to act as an annoyance, run forward as a speed bump, or just hang back and shoot at things.

- Large (16+) units of handgunners/Xbows can use small (8-10) units of Halberdiers to guard them (and war machines) from those small, fast 'hunter' units. I quite like a 3x3 or 4x2 unit for this. There are also situations where they can charge flanks, or even (occasionally) charge off on their own. [I once had a unit of 9 Halberdiers charge into the flank of a Chaos Nurgle/Banner of Rage Knight death star. They lost (obviously) ran away (also obviously) and the frenzied nutters pursued them, ended up out of position, lost a couple of guys in a wood, and unable to charge anything in their next turn. Cue cannons.]

I once charged Kairos Fateweaver with 9 Halberdiers, did him a wound, and popped him. Best 45 points I EVER spent (a sneaky Orb of Thunder was involved somewhere along the line in this one).

Just a couple of examples there but having multiple 50-point utility/throwaway units can be amazingly helpful.

25-11-2011, 14:42
I have mixed levels of success with a ten-man Free Company detachment. It throws a lot of extra attacks into the fight, but against anything reasonably killy, it ends up getting slaughtered when the enemy attack back. They do play a nice role in securing the flank of a Greatsword regiment though, allowing the unit to wheel into the target I want without presenting a juicy target to something else.

Thinking on it, I might take a 15-man det against Skaven - since they're unlikely to kill enough to prevent disruption, meaning they lose SiN.

25-11-2011, 14:56
Another point in their favour is that they don't cause Panic.

If you run big infantry hordes all of a sudden you can get a 20-25 man Halberdier unit that doesn't send shock waves through your entire army should it flee. All for the loss of not having a command group.

Plus you never know, but you 'might' even get to use the actual detachment rules on the odd occasion.

Take detachments and think of them as normal units, then any 'detachyness' they get to do is a lovely bonus.

25-11-2011, 15:58
After STanks, detachments are the next best reason to play Empire. They are cheap (usually), throw-away units which add a lot of flexibility and strength. A smallish detachment of 15 Halberdiers will add 10 extra S4 attacks while they last, adds extra ranks in case their parent unit suffers horrendous casualties, and most importantly, flanks, with all the benefits it brings. A unit of 10-15 handgunners/crossbowmen will keep most light cav/dog units off your big infantry blocks. If they're charged, you just flee with them since they don't cause panic. A small unit of 5 is the perfect bait unit (and Swordsmen actually have a chance of surviving). Detachments bring a lot of power and flexibility to an army which otherwise relies on cannons and casters to do its heavy lifting. Infantry Empire armies are masters of tactical Warhammer, but due to their average stats and weak gear most people write them off.

Chaos Undecided
25-11-2011, 17:46
I suppose the thing about militia detachments is you have to be cautious using them in their counter charge/supporting charge aspect as depending on what your fighting you could end up giving away more combat res than you gain from the flank charge.

27-11-2011, 01:10
Ok, so some mixed opinions. But I take it basically they're useful when a)large enough (and thus attached to an even larger unit) and b)when they're not fighting something elite combat troops.

So synergy wise I guess that means a horde parent unit, that way they can be of a size where they might still be combat effective as a stand alone unit. Issues I'm seeing here is the difficulty in the increased foot print. I run infantry heavy already with a my army themed around a crusade lead by my arch lector.

My arch lectors sits behind my troops on his Walter to dish out light magic goodness and the occasional support charge, another warrior priest goes in my greatswords and my battle standard in a unit of swordsmen. I'm thinking of buffing up my greatswords to 40 then 20 freecompany on one side and 10 on the other. My idea with the 10 will be to sit my flagellant horde behind them and the freecompany just ahead of my line. That way, the greatwords get charged, I get two flanks, or if they go for my more aggressively placed throw away freecompany, I flee, and my flaggies have a nice charge opportunity. I found my flaggies to be great if they can get a few punches in, otherwise they die in droves.

So the set up would look like X=GS O=FC Q=Flaggies


Ok, so the line of FC are meant to be on the right in front of the flaggies but im sure you get the idea.

pop daddy
04-12-2011, 18:13
Your setup looks pretty good, but remember a few things:

1. Detachments are supposed to give you flexibility, so deciding on a rock solid setup before a game is not always the best idea. Detachments allow the Empire player to respond to an opposing player's strategy in ways no other army can do.

2. This is something I'm surprised earlier posters did not mention: CHARGE REDIRECTING. One of my favorite uses for detachments is to force them up (maybe up to 12"!!) in front of the rest of my army at odd angles. This creates confusion for the other player and occomplishes two things. First of all, it gives you the opportunity to get off flank charges with your larger units (like that big boy unit of GS :D) if your opponent makes a charge on one of your detachments. Second, it gives your cannons some EXCELLENT shots at your opponent's flanks, allowing them to run a hot ball of heavy lead right down their front line.