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InstantKarma
31-12-2013, 15:57
Thought I would create a thread to discuss the different formation people use for their cavalry. I'm new-ish to WHFB, and I've browsed the intarwebs to try to get a better grasp of the rules and tacticcs.

So to start off, High Elf players, what formations do you usually run your Cavalry? Does anyone try to mimic the Bretonian lance formation for say, their Silver Helms?

copesh
31-12-2013, 16:07
I run 8 silver helms (Standard and Musician) with a mounted prince in a 3x3 formation. It is very effective since I get all 9 models attacking with Str 5 (strength 6 for the lord) on the charge and I have enough room on the front or flank to also fit my frostheart. Those two units together destroy a lot of enemy units.

Knifeparty
31-12-2013, 17:19
I've seen the high elf lance formation. It works well on the charge and just like the bretonnian lance, starts to fumble when it's lost momentum. I've seen the Silver Helm bus with 17 helms and a star lance nobel 6 wide and 3 deep. That unit hits pretty hard too and fills up core.

There's pretty much 2 ways to run cavalry in fantasy unless you are high elves or Bretonnians with special formation rules.

1. Is the cheap cheerful monster hunter. 6 or 7 knights with musician, standard and the flaming banner. Keep it cheap, keep it simple these guys go around and hunt monsters or act as flank charge support for large blocks of infantry.

2. Is the Knight Death Star. 12 to 14 Heavy Knights with Lord or Hero character support. 6 or 7 wide and 2 ranks deep. These guys hit real hard and put the pressure on the enemy, and are capable of single handedly breaking the enemies line at it's weakest point. Generally these will be your elite knights with WS 4 or 5 with base strength 4 and multiple attacks and special rules to make them more survivable or hit harder. Because they have a higher base strength than normal knights and Character support they can grind in combat for a few rounds better than lighter knights, but the same tactics still apply. Don't put them in a bad position and charge a fully ranked unit, steadfast will make sure they are held up for at least 2 or 3 turns. As with all knights, once they've lost momentum, then they have lost all advantage and don't have the numbers like elite infantry does.

I'll also address Fast Cavalry because you asked for cavalry formations. Never take more than 5 in a unit and only take musicians as options. You can take bows and as is the case with Dark Riders; shields. Don't overload these guys, they shouldn't cost more than about 110 points for a unit of 5. Their purpose is to bait/flee/re-direct and attack war machines and vulnerable skirmisher units. They are really vulnerable to missile fire and the like so If you loose a unit you don't want it to hurt that badly. Keep it cheap.

InstantKarma
31-12-2013, 18:21
Fast Cav options are definately on the table Knifeparty. Thanks for that insight.

Kain187
31-12-2013, 19:13
If your new to the hobby be careful with the 3x3 formation. I have faced plenty of he that do this and i slam a peg hero or a chariot into them and their not steadfast lose combat and get run down for some easy points.

Freman Bloodglaive
31-12-2013, 20:18
As knifeparty says, either small and disruptive, or big and brutal.

For example an Empire army might have two or three units of 6 knights in a 3 x 2 formation used for disrupting enemy attacks, usually with lances for the improved save so they don't die too quickly. On the other hand they might have the Runefang Grand Master sitting in a 6 x 3 formation of Inner Circle knights with lances or great weapons and warrior priest for hitting enemy units hard.

copesh
31-12-2013, 23:16
I agree on the statement about fast cav. Reavers in units of 5 with bows (I don't take any command options) are cheap and very effective. Use them as disposable and run them up the flanks or through holes to disrupt the enemy lines and force your opponent to deal with them.

Also, remember target priority. Fast Cav shooting is good for scouts or skirmishers not because they can hit them easier but because those units tend to be small so any wounds done are more significant/more likely to cause a panic check. Then ram them into the scouts and try to kill some, break them, and run them down.

I Am Forsaken
06-01-2014, 07:48
Musicians are good choices for command upgrades to fast cav as they grant you +1 when you attempt to rally them after fleeing. Wouldn't bother with champs or standards unless you intend to put a character in there and need a challenge monkey or are desperate for flags for Blood and Glory.

Nerd Knight
06-01-2014, 20:30
I have not done this myself as I only play DE and Brets, but my HE friend was asking me for advice and I think a really great way to run Silverhelms would be a "lance" of 2 wide, 3 deep. This way you have an incredibly small frontage but can get a full unit of 5 or 6 all attacking. All you're losing by doing this thinner lance is 1 horse attack.

With my DE I don't use knights anymore but when I did I ran them in a single rank of 6 for monster/chariot/chaff hunting.

BattleofLund
08-01-2014, 18:56
I have not done this myself as I only play DE and Brets, but my HE friend was asking me for advice and I think a really great way to run Silverhelms would be a "lance" of 2 wide, 3 deep. This way you have an incredibly small frontage but can get a full unit of 5 or 6 all attacking.

My friend uses two of these, with banner and musician, one unit on each flank. Surprisingly annoying, and with decent static CR against bigger targets. Solid choice.

I've tried ranked Marauder Horsemen; 20 with spears shields and FC. I don't recommend it.


... but maybe in multiples? Or for the masochists out there? (note, this was before the advent of the Unkillable Daemonic Mount BSB)

Citadel97501
08-01-2014, 21:24
12 to 15+ Elf Cavalry squads, are the standard as they strip ranks, and lose no attacks. Dragon Princes are heavily favored in this due to being able to take the BotWD, 2 Nobles, Full Command and a High mage or Life Mage, shoved to the 2nd rank. This is extremely effective due to the buffing and point denial.

Moss
09-01-2014, 00:35
My friend uses two of these, with banner and musician, one unit on each flank. Surprisingly annoying, and with decent static CR against bigger targets. Solid choice.
These units don't get rank bonuses. Or is the +1 from the banner considered decent static resolution? Or am I missing something???

beerbeard
09-01-2014, 00:44
I run an all mounted HE army, and I find that having multiple units is better than a few large ones. One stone thrower, doom diver, etc. and you can lost 75% of your cavalry in one go. In a 2500 point list, I will have the following:

9 Silver Helms, 3x3, Full Command
9 Silver Helms, 3x3, Full Command
5 Dragon Princes, Full Command
7 Dragon Princes, Full Command (with a Prince, BSB, and Archmage)
5 Reavers, Musician
5 Reavers, Musician

The rest of the list is Eagles, Chariots, and a Frost Phoenix. Presents multiple target problems for the opponent, and if you can get any three of the heavy hitters into combat on a charge, most things melt away.

Yes, nothing is steadfast, but the concept of steadfast cavalry is a ridiculous accommodation of a bad rule. Lances should break steadfast on the charge... (Insert Rant)

I've never lost with this list. And it's a complete blast to play.