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EvanM
12-10-2014, 15:57
Hear ye, hear ye, come hither with all your detachment strategies....

Please post any strategies you use with your detachments.

One strategy i recently though of is to use 2 detachments to chaff your main horde unit like this:

you have 50 halberdiers, horde formation, with 2 units of 25 swordsmen detachments. They are on your flanks and angled such that they are at about a 45 degree angle to your main horde and they are a few inches forward. This means that there is not enough room for an enemy horde to charge your horde, so they cant charge you with their horde. They would need to charge a detachment or reform and even if they do charge in, they get flank charged by 2 detachments. The other thing i like about this is that even if they do take on the detachment, you get steadfast from your main unit and most enemies cant kill 25 swordsmen in one round so that means you can counter charge with the big blocks next turn. pretty sweet.

It would look like this: where S is swordsmen and H is halberds

SSS ........................SSS
..SSS .....................SSS
...SSS...................SSS
.......HHHHHHHHHHH

Thoughts?

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 16:02
Swordsmen are by far my favorite detachments, and I run units of 20 on my Halberdier and Greatsword blocks. People underestimate detachments until they slam into the flank of whatever unit charged your main unit. That's a mistake people usually only make once, and the threat of it has allowed me to pull of charges that otherwise might have gone to my opponent.

Furthermore, in the case of Greatsword detachments, 7 points for a Swordsman quickly goes from slightly expensive to cheap when they're being granted Stubborn for free.

Lordcypress
12-10-2014, 16:07
I think if I was going to run a detachment it would be Halberdiers. I would run a unit of 15 on the flank for a horde of Halberdiers or Great Swords. That or a unit of 15 Handgunners.

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 16:19
Why 15, particularly for Handgunners?

Lordcypress
12-10-2014, 16:24
Just in case you do decide to have them run in and flank charge you can soak up a few casualties. That way you should still have a rank bonus on them to negate the rank bonus of the enemy when adding up combat resolution.

EvanM
12-10-2014, 16:29
Another strategy i like is to use the shooty detachments and charge in as a support charge. the enemy will NOT expect this and you can easily rob them of rank bonuses and the charge bonus.


yes i think the true strength of detachments is a psychological threat to your opponent, they do not feel comfortable accepting a double flank charge the same turn they charge. even if its not really gonna stop them, i think the double flank support charge thing is scary to opponents.


one issue i have though is that too often the enemy realizes "why dont i just charge the detachment?" maybe the parent unit should be able to support charge for the detachment unit.... but hey thats just wishlisting.

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 16:47
Yeah, you need to keep your detachments backed up off your main line by an inch or two to prevent them getting charged.

Though, in the case of Greatswords, I'll often put detachments up to bait charges. Most units won't be able to cut through all 20 in a single combat, and because the Greatswords grant them stubborn it means I'll be in a position to flank charge with my parent unit in the following turn.

EvanM
12-10-2014, 16:57
Good points.

Also, what do u guys think of spearmen? As empire we have to spam buffs to win anyway, what if you did use a horde of them to get more attacks (that would be buffed)? It's easier to get +1S than it is to get +1A, imo

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 17:06
Warrior Priest and Mindrazor on the spearmen/Withering on your opponent?

Ayin
12-10-2014, 18:17
I am also a big fan of Swordsmen detachments. The argument seems to come down to Swordsmen or (more) Halberdiers for detachments, and I can see the advantage of both. The Halberdiers give you yet more kills, which is great (and the best defence is a good offence, every kill you get is a point less you lose combat by in the same way as a parry), and both can give you the Flank bonus (+1CR), but Swordsmen tend to be able to survive (slightly) longer. This isn't usually a big deal on your main blocks, as one or two parry saves or a slightly worse enemy hit percentage doesn't make up for the raw combat res that Halbs S4 gets you on kills, but if it keeps your flanking unit up to strength to count, it can have a big swing.

In my experience, opponents (who aren't just going to steamroll you) concentrate attacks on the flanking units to remove the potential CR they are generating (or denying), and the surviveability bonus here is key. Flanking Halbs (5 wide) generate 10 attacks, but if killed down to 9 troops lose that swing of potentially +4CR (Flank plus negating enemies ranks). This might not be a problem for larger flanking units, but smaller ones could easily see this happen.

I also think the Halbs gain more from Warrior Priests in the parent block (relying on actually getting kills as they do) than swords, so whether or not they are included could change things.

For me, personally, in an Empire force without Warrior Priests, the Swordsmen detachment is key, and the parry and WS means that I can run a smaller unit (15) and still be effective at supporting the main unit.


My personal favourite use of detachments is to play catch against things I don't want to fight right away, or things I don't want my parent unit fighting. Getting the swordsmen right in front of, say, a Hydra or Hellpit works great. I just need one guy to survive (Steadfast, probably HTL and BSB as well), and then can clear it off with a charge on my turn with something dedicated to killing such a unit (knights with flaming banner, while my detachment doesn't give up so much CR as to lose me the fight). In this way, the Detachment can participate as a unit all on it's own in the game, which I feel is important. Everyone's run the math and realized that, although it sounds great in theory to have two (or three) units (Parent + detachment) to fight an enemy, in reality the opponent often has a unit for each of yours and you can't always get that overwhelming detachment + parent unit combo.

MOMUS
12-10-2014, 19:10
My strategy would be not to take any.
Empire has cherry picked all the best bits of the rules so why bother. Cannons, steam tanks, 1+armour knights and demigryphs backed up with a light council. :yes:
Maybe a detachment of skirmishing archers for a witch hunter to hide in and bounce through for sneaky snipes.

Ayin
12-10-2014, 20:26
Or a detachment of archers to hide your Light Council in!

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 20:45
My strategy would be not to take any.
Empire has cherry picked all the best bits of the rules so why bother. Cannons, steam tanks, 1+armour knights and demigryphs backed up with a light council. :yes:
Maybe a detachment of skirmishing archers for a witch hunter to hide in and bounce through for sneaky snipes.
Remind me not to play against your Empire list... :shifty:

MOMUS
12-10-2014, 21:27
Or a detachment of archers to hide your Light Council in!

maybe, but I would have my lvl 1s up front so I could cast those 4 shems at anything that survived the banishment, if in a archer unit begone no line of sight.


Remind me not to play against your Empire list... :shifty:

Hey at least I didn't mention the altar for a second (bound) banishment :p

EvanM
13-10-2014, 01:10
also, is fighty detachments only useful if you have 2 of them on the same infantry horde? or would 1 horde unit plus 1 fighty detachment work?

Wesser
13-10-2014, 07:35
I don't use Fighting Detachments. Actually getting off that Counter-charge into a flank is terribly difficult. Enemies tend to be able to take advantage of their low numbers and no standard and charges a chariot or similar at them. They also take up room in the already crowded Empire Front line.

Discounting the more goofy stuff such as the Griffon Formation or attempts to copy the reviled "double eagle" I use detachments for 2 things only. Speedbumps and shooters.

- Speedbumps of 5 Halberdiers or archers either serve as redirectors or to otherwise delay an enemy charge

- Actual units of Crossbowmen or Handgunners suffer Move-Or-Fire. A 5-man detachment is better as you still have something to shoot at pesky Fast cavalry, but are spreading your eggs out a bit more. And if reduced to 1 or 2 guys they can swiftly get promoted to speedbump duty.

Greatsword detachment is a story onto itself. Shenanigans can be made with Stubborn Lines and such, but you're spending Special points on stuff that's not hurting the enemy so that too is a concern.


All in all if State troops are paying even half a point for the Detachment rule we're being ripped off. It's almost.. almost a rule akin to "The Hunger" being more fluffy than actually useful

rolly_321
13-10-2014, 09:36
Characters can't go in detachments im fairly sure, so no light council shenanigans.

A trick i Like is two horde main blocks and 2 units of 10 handguns/crossbows which sit in front of the other unit. When they get charged they flee, this doesn't cause any panic issue as they are detachments. The charging unit will then hit the main block unit and you can stand and shoot with the other unit of handguns.

I also put sword detachments out to the flanks, if the opponent goes after them use the handguns to chaff them. Yes you can't shoot but that's not too much of an issue IMO

Wesser
13-10-2014, 11:35
Characters can't go in detachments im fairly sure, so no light council shenanigans.

Them's the old rules. They can now, but since they have to be in a Parent unit in order to pass on LD and special rules, so wizards can do it, but they are the only ones who'll want to.

Detachment also cause panic as normal these days.


The problem with that tactic of your is that it also blocks the main block meaning you've created a pretty inflexible block. Lots of if's and maybe's, but I think you'll tend to either have a combat block that does nothing or shooters that do nothing. Personally I'd just ignore the whole formation and weather what few hits the shooters can manage

rolly_321
14-10-2014, 03:07
Right, long time painter and infrequent gamer so I'm often out of date.

It's designed around a defensive battle line. I set up and generally don't move my main units until it's combat time. The main units are there to hold the army together and catch the brute force, support either then flanks, shoots, or buffs.

The shooting has two purposes, I either attack chaff or try to cause a single wound on main units, that may not sound like much but that casualty can mean they have one less full rank when they reach me, that can make all the difference for steadfast and CR. Generally, the battle goes two ways, I get ground down, or the opponent breaks. People say Empire are a generalist force but I see them as static combat res specialists.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 03:27
The issue is we are experts at combat res, but every other army says why don't we just kill you instead? So sure we generate more static res but other armies just kill three times as many of us.

rolly_321
14-10-2014, 09:54
We're not that bad off, sure by themselves our units are a tad over priced, however by themselves they're not using all the rules you pay for. Greatswords with an arch lector are stubborn with good ld and have hatred, through in a counter charging swordsman bus, seriously, unless you're in combat with a deathstar or a super buffed up unit it's unlikely your opponent will overcome the static res and the GS kills. You don't HAVE to go for the counter charge every time either, sometimes it's better to tie them up with stubbon swords then flank them next turn or just let that unit spend the rest of the game grinding through swords.

It is rare that empire will win on a kill for kill basis, but with static res and a couple kills it's a different story.

Detachments causing panic is an epic downer, why oh why would they do that?? Is it in a FAQ? Could you link me.

Lord Dan
14-10-2014, 13:06
Detachments causing panic is an epic downer, why oh why would they do that?? Is it in a FAQ? Could you link me.

There isn't an FAQ, but rather the old "Detachments do not cause panic in their parent units or other detachments" rule is missing from the current book. As a result, they follow all the panic rules for normal units.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 14:35
There isn't an FAQ, but rather the old "Detachments do not cause panic in their parent units or other detachments" rule is missing from the current book. As a result, they follow all the panic rules for normal units.

the other issue with detachments is the lack of attack ability, why cant they do a support charge too? like the offensive one where they flank charge on the attack? Now THAT would be useful.

also maybe if you could use detachments to intercept the charger, like if they could literally have a reaction where they go in front of the parent unit and keep them from getting to the parent.

but empire isnt unique because of unit buff stacking, we really need a nice good efficient useful detachment rule.

Lord Dan
14-10-2014, 15:38
the other issue with detachments is the lack of attack ability, why cant they do a support charge too? like the offensive one where they flank charge on the attack? Now THAT would be useful.

Well, you can, you just have to charge with both. As to why they don't auto-charge the flank, it's because that would be way too powerful.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 15:41
Nothing they could do to empire infantry would be "way too powerful". Auto charging in the flank was balanced in other editions, why not this one? Anyway yeah maybe that would work.

I feel like if the detachment rules were different then empire would be much more fun to play.

Lord Dan
14-10-2014, 15:53
Nothing they could do to empire infantry would be "way too powerful". Auto charging in the flank was balanced in other editions, why not this one?
They could never auto-charge the flank on the charge.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 16:11
They could never auto-charge the flank on the charge.

you could do it in 7th ed book, i have it in front of me right here. and in the 6th ed book too. you can support charge, auto flank.

Lord Dan
14-10-2014, 16:24
I don't remember it being an auto-flank. Can you read the 7th edition rule to us?

Ayin
14-10-2014, 16:25
Is it actually surprisingly difficult to get that flank charge off in a lot of circumstances, the main one being if your opponents target unit is wider than your main unit. If you happen to be running a 5 wide parent unit and making a 7" charge against a 10 wide enemy unit, it's pretty near impossible to get that flank charge with your detachment. Your detachment needs to be IN the flank of the enemy unit at the end of the ENEMIES movement phase, and in most circumstances, with an opponent who knows how they work, it's just not going to happen.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 16:31
Is it actually surprisingly difficult to get that flank charge off in a lot of circumstances, the main one being if your opponents target unit is wider than your main unit. If you happen to be running a 5 wide parent unit and making a 7" charge against a 10 wide enemy unit, it's pretty near impossible to get that flank charge with your detachment. Your detachment needs to be IN the flank of the enemy unit at the end of the ENEMIES movement phase, and in most circumstances, with an opponent who knows how they work, it's just not going to happen.

thats why it SHOULD be an auto flank charge unless theres terrain or impassible stuff in the way. thatd be fair, and fun.


heres the 7th ed book verbatum: (okay its a very very long paragraph but i will paraphrase)

Supporting Charge:
in its own movement phase a detachment within 3" of the parent unit may make a supporting charge by hitting the flank of a unit engaged in the front or rear by its parent unit. Declare the supporting charge at the same time as the parent units charge and test for range ...yadda yadda... parent unit is brought into contact first, then the detachment is moved to automatically hit the flank... gets the normal flank attack bonys..... follows normal rules for charging..."

so yeah there WAS a rule where you could combo charge a unit automatically. having this again would allow us to be offensive with our detachments, right now they only have defensive rules.

Ayin
14-10-2014, 16:32
"In it's own movement phase a detachment in close support may make a supporting charge by hitting the flank of an enemy unit charged in the front or rear by a parent unit (or indeed hitting the front or rear of an enemy unlucky enough to be charged in the flank by the parent unit)." Page 39, 7th ed Empire book. EvanM is completely right, they got to auto charge the side to support the parents front charge, allowing them to end in the flank even if they were completely in the front arc before moving.

On that note the actual picture of the Supporting Charge on that page shows exactly WHY the supporting charge is so difficult to make work in 8th, because that detachment would be uselessly in the front now, engaged with 1 model.

Unfortunately, the rules in 7th worked because almost all units were the same front size. Sometimes people ran 6 or 7, but they were still very close to the basic 5 wide. The 7th ed rule would be INCREDIBLY clunky in 8th though with a 5 wide parent detachment and against an enemy horde, where th detachment would have to make a out then in/question mark(?) style move to reach the side of such a unit. So, it worked way better in 7th, and it's not a good rule in 8th, but the 7th ed rule wouldn't work well taken directly to 8th, and I don't blame the GW team for not coming up with a better solution so early on in 8th.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 16:34
But We NEEDED IT!!! mehhh

hey did you notice that if you are flank charging with the parent then you COULDNT support charge? thats pretty wonky hahaha. i wonder if that ever came up...

Ayin
14-10-2014, 19:21
You mean in 7th? If you flanked with the parent then the detachment auto-charged the front or rear (whatver side it was on). Which is hilarious, imagine a much larger group of men charging a lightly defended area while sending your smaller group in to "disrupt" the target by running right onto their spears.

And yeah, Empire NEEDED the detachment system to work for us to (wait for it) actually USE the detachment system. GW struggled writing the system in 8th (different sized unit frontage), which is why very, VERY few armies use detachments, or more correctly have their detachments use the actual DETACHMENT rules of supporting and counter charge, as opposed to just taking small detachments of Archers, or small groups to pass Stubborn onto or Steadfast.

This doesn't mean the Empire army doesn't have 'Synergy', it's just that the Synergy comes in the style of magic spells and character support, which many if not most other armies also have. Your Captain passes on Cold Blooded, just like BSB's pass on re-rolls, Black Orcs pass on protection from Animosity, Vamps the marching, ect. These passed on Buffs WERE worth huge points (and are still very GOOD!) when no one had anything, and we had, for example, Hatred in a unit with a WP. The WP's reduced combat potential was the trade off for this, and it was well balanced when only a single rank attacked and kills negated attacks back. So many things have changed since though, more attacks for each unit meant WPs are more vulnerable, EVERY other race having built in buffs (+1 S on charge, re-rolls, ASF, whatever) that can't be removed, ect, and that leaves Empire in a wild lurch.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 19:30
I agree completely. our book was VERY balanced vs 7th ed books, but with almost every single 8th ed book since empire, other armies have hatred, rerolls on everything, and all kinds of amazing bonuses that USED to be very unique to empire, but now every army is empire essentially.

Ugh. I am facing skaven next sunday with empire and idk what to do.

Ayin
14-10-2014, 19:40
It's just a symptom of early 8th edition, which Tomb Kings and Beastmen know very well (though Beastmen I think were technically 7th, they're built in the 8th style). I'd still rather play IN 8th edition just because the power level gap is SO MUCH smaller, but I just wish so many of the units had of been more appropriately pointed, and we would have seen much more varied armies.

Characters pay the points for their buffs, and they are COMPLETELY balanced on their own. Units are paying points for Detachment rules, and that's where it comes apart for them.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 19:44
It's just a symptom of early 8th edition, which Tomb Kings and Beastmen know very well (though Beastmen I think were technically 7th, they're built in the 8th style). I'd still rather play IN 8th edition just because the power level gap is SO MUCH smaller, but I just wish so many of the units had of been more appropriately pointed, and we would have seen much more varied armies.

Characters pay the points for their buffs, and they are COMPLETELY balanced on their own. Units are paying points for Detachment rules, and that's where it comes apart for them.

its really really simple: shields should be free (swordsmen --> 6 pts, and spearmen get them for free) and the detachment rule should be an "upgrade". Every infantry unit should be -1 pt per model unless they ARE a detachment. so a detachment halberdier would be 6 and a regular would be 5.


THAT orrrrrr fix the detachment rules to apply to every unit (every parent unit would be a detachment to nearby parents) so you could send all the support down the line to nearby units, you would have support firing from full sized units, you would have support charges from big units.

either way.

Ayin
14-10-2014, 20:49
The first option is likely better, but often forgotten is the fact that detachments already 'pay' for their abilities in forms other than points.

First of all, for a parent unit to have a Detachment unit, it has to buy the unit. This purchaed unit is heavily limited in size (SEVERELY limiting it's ability to do anything on it's own) , as well as prevented from buying banners (weakening it's ability to win combat on it's own) and musicians (limiting it's ability to move and function on it's own with quick reforms, as well as fight on it's own), and in addition, has to strictly be in a very small area around the main unit to benefit from the rules.

The Detachment unit is paying for it's special rules through it's loss of effectiveness. It is a worse unit BECAUSE it is a detachment, and it shouldn't have to pay significantly more points to be allowed to severaly limited.

As to the rest of costing, spears should just come with shields. I know GW has allowed them to be purchased for a long time, but again that's something rooted in 6th edition and is a complete waste of time in the current game. Shields aren't worth as much now (with more attacks and step ups, more S4, more armour piercing, more base attacks, ect) and spears aren't worth as much (33% or 25% increase in attacks over 50%, and kills not removing attacks/spears not guaranteeing attacks back), and spearmen should just come with shields. Even the poorest of provinces should be able to make shields (vastly easier than plate armour that the troops have, and mostly made of wood). Halberdiers should not get shields. i know some people have them modeled on, but it's just a silly option and, again, has been since the end of 6th.

Options for what GW does with the Militia are of course going to be limited to what's available in the box. They are never going to be allowed to be a Parent unit if they don't have models for command, and unless the box is re-made, it's never going to happen. That said I don't see the need to have them as Parent units from a background perspective (indeed, they in no way should be).



All this said, and IN THEORY in a world where points don't matter, the basic idea of charging detachments is solid. A 50 man horde of Halberdiers will get 30 effective attacks, with 20 models effectively being 'wasted', where a 40 man horde and a 10 man detachment (two ranks of 5) sees 40 effective attacks, a significant increase. In this way, by removing models from the main block as opposed to adding in a second block, the unit maintains it's overall points level and thus in match ups can still be put against one enemy unit, as opposed to the classic 'add on' detachment unit which then needs to contend with two enemy units. Here is where we should find the effectiveness of detachment.

What we lack in that equation though is killing power and surviveability. The power can come from characters/wagons (which passes to the detachment), but the survivability is just not apparent. It doesn't exist in any way in toughness or the resilience of individual troopers, and so has to come from Steadfast, which isn't going to work if we're reducing ranks.

The ability to take a second Detachment unit could o a long way to alleviating this. Where one cut-down unit (split into Parent and Detachment) can't defeat one complete opponent, and one complete (parent) and one incomplete (detachment) unit can't defeat two complete units, one (mostly) complete parent unit and (mostly) complete detachment unit backed by one (much smaller, incomplete) unit could match up to and defeat two (or rather, one at a time) complete enemy units. It' here I think that combat detachments have potential, 45 Halberds backed by 20 halberds backed by 5 archers.

None of this is of course some new enlightenment, but this is the 'detachment strategies' so I thought it might be good to get it out there.

fanucci143
14-10-2014, 21:20
Those are 7th edition rules Rolly, in the 8th edition book you can hide characters in them. I put a lvl 4 wizard in my detachment of 20 Handgunners

rolly_321
15-10-2014, 05:50
Right, well that' awkward.. but I'm glad I know now. As I stated earlier, I paint far more than I play.. I guess I need to reread my book a little.

One of the best things IMO about detachments was them not causing panic in their parent unit. I'm really sad that's changed.

Adding characters to detachments doesn't seem like much of a boon to me, I guess spell casters can hang out there. I'd much rather swap the rules back to how they were.

Wesser
15-10-2014, 07:56
Well, you can, you just have to charge with both. As to why they don't auto-charge the flank, it's because that would be way too powerful.

It was like that in the old book, and it certainly wasn't too powerful. The main problem with combat detachments is that no competent player will ever let them have a flank charge. If in any case you set up so that the detachment will have flank charge then the enemy will just charge the detachment instead.

I haven't actually seen an Empire player execute a supporting charge with a combat detachment, where said detachment actually was able to supporting charge the enemy's flank (well I've got a few random examples where the enemy unit were so tough they didn't care).

I truly wonder. If the whole Supporting Charge/Supporting Shoot went away from the detachment rule would anyone notice? And if offered to go down even half a point per infantry model to lose the rule entirely...who wouldn't take it?

EvanM
15-10-2014, 14:12
I have heard of an idea for this: Conscripts - these state troops do not use detachments at all, they are untrained and focus on fighting as a group and trying to survive instead of tactics. Conscripts are all -1 point per model.

I am certain that 85% of players would take conscripts.

Mudkip
15-10-2014, 14:30
State troops are the opposite of conscripts; they are professional soldiers.

EvanM
15-10-2014, 14:34
State troops are the opposite of conscripts; they are professional soldiers.

trained professionals have to start somewhere, some regions would be super elite, some very green.

the point is that if people had the OPTION to trade the detachment rule for cheaper infantry, every single empire player would do it.

Ayin
15-10-2014, 20:53
I'd much rather swap the rules back to how they were.

Indeed. Also if you didn't know shooting detachments now DO suffer the -1 To Hit on a Stand and Shoot to protect their Parent unit (where in 7th they didn't), between that, causing panic, and rule changes in 8th, it's a brutal difference.

(Example: A unit declares a charge on your detachment of Handgunners which is within range of your parent unit (meaning if it is destroyed or breaks it causes panic), so yo elect to flee with it. If you get away... the charging unit re-directs into your parent unit, now without detachment support.)

For these and other reasons, shooting detachments have become the ABSOLUTE worst option (the other reason being that they all went UP in points to pay for their newfound special abilities of sharing Hatred with the Parent unit and such...), even without including the general hit BS shooting units took in 8th (the removal of the +1 to hit Large Targets REALLY effected me and my Crossbows).

These are the things that need to be known by anyone who comes in and wants to do a 'low fantasy' style force of Handgunners and (for example) Greatswords. Those Handgunners have gotten worse in ways some people don't realize. They've gotten worse as BS troops (change of rules in 8th), worse as Empire troops (more expensive, can count as Special), worse as Detachmens (lost rules, little new benefit). Do they still have guns and shoot? Yes, but they don't function as a Detachment in ANY meaningful way now.


And yeah, I have no doubt that if Empire players could drop the 'Detachment' part of the rules involving Parent and Detachment units for even a minor points save, likely every good list would do it. Which is really sad.

EvanM
15-10-2014, 21:02
well if you could change the detachment rules what would you do?

simply:
detachments dont cause panic in parent unit
no longer get a -1 to hit for stand and shoot when support firing

or maybe also allow:
horde rule to pass to detachments (+1 rank of supporting attacks in the detachment)

or even:
allow parent unit to "support" detachments with support charges and support fire as if they were detachments to them (under current rules)

And also perhaps (a little extensive):
allow greatswords to be detachments
allow all psychology rules to flow both ways, from detachment to parent as well as parent to detachments


Any of these sound like theyd be worth 1 pt per model? (remember 1 pt per model is likely the same price elves pay for ASF)

Ayin
15-10-2014, 21:48
BUT Elves gain that ASF without any further investment. As I've said, Empire troops should not have to pay built in points for the detachment rules. Those rules only exist if you ALREADY invest additional points into them, and you pay for it with a lminited unit that you bought at full cost. you trade it's independence and ability for it's synergy.

I'd give them back the 'ignore -1 to stand and shoot' and drop their points by one across the board (though I honestly might drop the shooting units and greatswords by 2). Done. Every other changed (in my opinion) is trying to add on special abilities to fix the core problem of the Detachment rules, which isn't points or price or anything like that, it's simply (as I believe Wesser said) that the detachment charging rules don't work on the board in any reliable way. If the Parent/Detachment rule is going to be the main flavour of the Empire infantry moving forward, it's going to take some cray re-working from GW so it functions (it's not 6th edition anymore and 6th edition based movement and support rules don't work on the table in 8th), or it's going to be left as something that kind-of works, maybe sometimes, and the main flavour is going to be the passing on of special rules (stubborn, steadfast, Hatred, ect) from Parent to detachment unit with the supporting charge idea just kind of left in their and ignored, or removed entirely.

EvanM
15-10-2014, 21:51
but for people who argue against removing detachment rules or against making the detachment rule free, upgrading the rule to work better would be viable and fair.

but i understand and i honestly agree. id rather have more guys on the board and not have to pay for things we dont use or things that have a cost anyways (like for instance if they make us pay premium costs on infantry just because hurricanums are so good).

Ayin
15-10-2014, 22:02
but for people who argue against removing detachment rules or against making the detachment rule free, upgrading the rule to work better would be viable and fair.

Upgrading the rule to work, like, to work at all and be a reasonable and noticeable part of the army should be the objective. From THERE I argue that it shouldn't cost any additional points, as unlike other racial bonuses that work with the investment of the model and cannot be removed, the Empire have to purchase additional units for it to function (at reduced ability) and follow strict rules for it to have effect.



It should be noted through all of this that the Empire still functions as an Empire army. It uses the Combined Arms approach very effectively. Infantry backed up by Cavalry backed up by shooting with a few 'Empire-y' choices thrown in. It's just that that Infantry is just a horde of Halbs and the Cavalry is usually Demi's and the shooting is only done with warmachines.

Hilariously, if the infantry entry in Core was 'Empire State Troops- Different troopers use different weapons from all over the empire, regardless of how your unit is modeled it costs X points with Y rules' and just had the points and stats of a Halberdier unit, that would cut down a lot of problems (not that I want them to do so, just that having clearly inferiour options loaded into a book does nothing to improve it).

EvanM
15-10-2014, 22:45
You are kind of right, if all state troops simply counted as halberdiers then that'd actually be helpful (mostly because new players would find it easier to know what to do)

But I still want the variety of swordsmen and spearmen and militia.

Ayin
15-10-2014, 22:50
Oh yeah, me too. It's just something that occurred to me while I was typing, a quick way to get rid of one of the main issues with Core. It's also actually pretty much what I do with my army, as I've got a unit of guy with Pikes in Heavy Armour, and my original plan was to have them as Spearmen with Shields (pretty close match, they fight in ranks and both would have the 5+ save), but I just use them as halberds in pretty much every game. I've got a unit of Swordsmen I use as a Detachment unit, and I actually DO use them as Swordsmen and base my tactics off of that. Not because Swordsmen are better, I'd be better off with more Halbs, but because I don't want to have two units with different weapons both counting as Halbs, as it could get confusing to my opponent.

EvanM
15-10-2014, 23:09
There is a major issue with empire: A lot of players want to play Pike and Shotte, but its essentially completely ineffective.

If handgunners and spearmen were effective especially in combination, then the army would be much more flavorful

if there was a way to play empire without priests, wizards, wagons, demis.... just straight up soldiers guns and knights.... that would be glorious.


I just wish there was an easy way to make spears, sword/board, and halberds balanced to each other. in our book swordsmen and halberds are probably finely balanced if they were the same price, but swordsmen are more expensive. spearmen though are not that useful right now. Like what if spearmen could get a max of +4 for rank bonuses? or spear/shield guys could have better defensive abilities (parry saves maybe or -1 to hit from the front in combat).


and militia need to be just the cheap tarpit. like 3-4 pts per model with no armor just a hand weapon. thatd be a useful unit but right now they are just something nearly no one uses. spearmen cost the same points, have armor, and output the same number of attacks. 2 hand weapons is grossly overcosted in our book.

Lord Dan
16-10-2014, 00:04
If handgunners and spearmen were effective especially in combination, then the army would be much more flavorful


I would use a mixed unit of Spearmen and Handgunners in a heartbeat.

It would be terrible, obviously, but still.

EvanM
16-10-2014, 00:10
I would use a mixed unit of Spearmen and Handgunners in a heartbeat.

It would be terrible, obviously, but still.

what if there was a special way to field them so that the unit could be spearmen and have handguns? like fire volleys and then brace for the charge?

I think what we established here is that the actual detachment rules (support charge / support shooting) are very very seldom used, are very seldom effective and are not worth the cost that we are (admitedly assuming) they have given our army for it.

its not like dwarf armies pay a point cost for the dwarf hatred thing, they arent cheaper because they dont get wizards, orcs arent cheaper because they have animosity or more expensive because of "choppas" rule, so we shouldnt pay points for detachments.

Ayin
16-10-2014, 04:57
Well, right now the Empire allows the Large Spearmen supported by smaller Handgunner units and large handgunner units supported by small spearmen, basically allowing that entire historical shift to be done (from small units of arquebusiers supporting large pike groups to small groups of pikes supporting larger units of muskets), it's just that both of those are cost prohibitive. The large units of handgunners protected by detachments of Spearmen who intercept the small units sent their way to attack them (fast cav, ect) works fine, it's just way to expensive/model for the effectiveness of either Handguns on the talbe or the ability of Spears to actually do that job.

Mixed units though are generally garbage. Fully mixed units like Lothern Seaguard are terrible because they pay the points to be able to do both and are thus too expensive to use, as they can't perform either job efficiently, and pay-per-model systems like the Dark Elf Cityguard or Pirazo's Lost Legion are just not effective enough compared to having one unit of each (and I don't see GW going back to that style of unit ever).

EvanM
16-10-2014, 06:05
what would it take for handguns and spears to be effective?

spears especially. They should be a utility weapon, useful in every army, instead they arent useful in ANY army unless they are free (still though, pretty cruddy)

someone once suggested they changed the to wound chart to allow every S3 attack to wound a T3 model on a 2+ (and scaled everything up by 2) so that S3 attacks actually mattered more and high strength only mattered for armor penetration.

Ayin
16-10-2014, 06:20
Well, without changing the core rules of the game...

Spears should be effective because they allow you to bring more of your unit into the fight (on the defensive), which works as long as you HAVE a large amount of unit to bring into the fight. A 50 man unit with spears brings more pain than a 50 man unit without. The problem is, as soon as Spears are in any way expensive, you suddenly don't have more bodies than the opponent.

Having a spear and shield shouldn't cost any more than having a handweapon and shield. One gives you more defence, one more (defensive) offence (that doesn't work all the time). Spears (with Shields) should be a point cheaper than Halberds, which should be the same cost as Swordsmen (who gain that slight advantage from WS4, and though the loss of I4 makes sense, it hurts). Any unit is effective as long as it's pointed appropriately, and that's all the spears need. Their advantage should be that they are better defensively, but they can only be that if they can do the single most important defensive thing in current Warhammer, which is maintain Steadfast. As it is, they are not significantly cheap(er) enough than Halberds to counter the Halberds ability to inflict wounds on the enemy, which goes a long way to their maintaining Steadfast.

Ayin
16-10-2014, 06:25
double post.

EvanM
16-10-2014, 15:52
I really love the look of spearmen on the field.

i think you are right, i think it comes down to making a spear and shield together being 1 pt, so a spearmen should be 5 pts per model. Swordsmen honestly could be 6, thatd be okay, but maybe 5 pts. that wouldnt be overpowered.

Id just really really love to see 100 state troops in every empire army (that isnt themed)

Armond
17-10-2014, 06:44
Surprised that they don't give spearmen +1 strength when receiving a charge. I think that could work well enough. Or cavalry lose their charge bonuses when charging a spear unit.

Ayin
17-10-2014, 09:56
Either of those run into the Pikemen problem though.

Removing the charge bonus from Cavalry sounds all right and good, but in the end one of two things happen. Either Cavalry just don't charge your unit anymore (the minority of the time, mostly S3 Empire Knights and Brets) because NOW they can't win (but most of those wouldn't before hand and include pretty much all spear wielding fast cav), or the cavalry that does charge your unit doesn't care (doesn't use lances, like Demigryphs, Skullcrushers, Bloodcrushers, Plague Drones, Marauder Horsemen with Flails, Chaos Knights, Empire Knights with Greatweapons, Mournfang, Savage Orc Boarboyz, and I know there's more but I just can't remember them) because they don't use lances and there's no true 'charge bonus' anymore.

Giving the unit a strength boost (with the idea that they are setting for the charge) is reasonable, but again, going to S4 when charged by those cavalry is basically a non-issue, since almost all the ones that would charge you have that 1+ save. Giving them a Strength bonus when charged by anything, to me, just makes them obviously worse Halberds.


I personally don't mind the rules for spears. They are spears (and spearmen), not pikes, and as such they don't brace for charges in the same way. Lots of times they would be using their spear one handed (and holding a shield in the other). The only thing I would change would be just removing the restriction of the extra rank only counting for the defensive. It was a neat rule way back when, but doesn't fit with the way the game is now, with everything fighting in Initiative order and such (a much more dynamic and significantly less 'realistic' way of doing things).



One Spearmen related issue I've had with detachments this edition is actually the difficulty of getting a counter charge off with a detachment connected to a deep (as opposed to horde) parent unit (like spears). If charged by a horde, or anything wider than your parent unit, you are even LESS likely to get to the flank, since you start 3" away from the parent unit and your opponent is wider than that unit. This makes supporting charges connected to defensive units even more difficult.

On the other hand, I've had some fun running my units more than 10 wide. 13 is a strange but golden number for Halberdier hordes, especially with characters like a Warrior Priest or BSB attached. 13 wide is just wide enough so that, not only do you get to match 12 up to an opponents horde of 10 (assuming same size base), but one guy on the corner is going to be left out of the fight, and if you initiate the charge you can ensure that guy is your character, keeping him safe. Even if you don't want to try for this, just going 12 wide is a fun change, giving you six more attacks against most hordes. That's something I think is often overlooked in the deployment phase, that your units aren't set in stone in their formation before deployment. If your opponent is putting down 10 wide hordes that you want to engage with your own, spread them out and get those extra 6 attacks. Against other comparable infantry that can easily net you 3 or 4 more kills a turn.

Wesser
17-10-2014, 11:56
Spears are supposed to be pretty inflexible porcupine formations. They are appropriately punished when flanked, but anyone fighting front to front with that should really feel that massed wall of pointiness.

This could reflect in enemies struggling to get to grips with the enemy as the spears keep them at bay.

If spears were up to me it would be:

"Spears (Infantry): Fight in Extra Rank; Spearwall"

- "Spearwall: Enemies engaged to the front of a unit with this special rule are at -1 to hit in close combat. A unit can only benefit from this special rule if it have at least 2 complete ranks"

Ayin
17-10-2014, 13:15
Perhaps the simplest fix for spears would be to adjust them to the current mechanics of the game.

Spears originally allowed a SECOND rank to fight, doubling the number of fighting ranks. By allowing a second rank to always fight, spears have automatically lost effectiveness. Simply allowing them to fight in two additional ranks (which brings them back to what they were) would allow spears to bring a worthwhile weight of attacks to bear, which would make the concept of Spearmen being large, cheap units actually effective.

Banville
17-10-2014, 13:26
Is that not still the case when you receive a charge? My rulebook's at home.

EvanM
17-10-2014, 14:05
Spears are supposed to be pretty inflexible porcupine formations. They are appropriately punished when flanked, but anyone fighting front to front with that should really feel that massed wall of pointiness.

This could reflect in enemies struggling to get to grips with the enemy as the spears keep them at bay.

If spears were up to me it would be:

"Spears (Infantry): Fight in Extra Rank; Spearwall"

- "Spearwall: Enemies engaged to the front of a unit with this special rule are at -1 to hit in close combat. A unit can only benefit from this special rule if it have at least 2 complete ranks"


This is EXACTLY what it should be. Not OP at all. every army has spears. currently no one uses them. easily stopped by flanking the unit, but if not, you cant simply plow through the front of a spearmen unit, no matter what they do. -1 to hit is enough to make nurgle warriors the best warriors there are, so it would obviously be useful on regular spear units.

spears are often +1 pt per model when the model costs 4 or 5 pts, yet they often arent worth the 20% increase in price for getting a tiny more number of attacks, but if they could (with spears and shields at the same time) be effective anvils, then thatd be awesome. very very good.

i think swords/spears/halberds would be fairly balanced if they did this.

Ayin
17-10-2014, 15:16
Is that not still the case when you receive a charge? My rulebook's at home.

No. I was saying that originally spears doubled the attacking models in a unit and that now, in an edition where two ranks auto fight, that maybe spears should double those fighting ranks again, as opposed to just adding one more rank, adding two.

EvanM
17-10-2014, 15:58
Doubling ranks would start getting rediculous. A horde of high elf spearmen would fight in 8 ranks.

I think a defensive buff would be much more useful for armies these days. Being able to weather the first round of combat is very valuable.

Ayin
17-10-2014, 17:12
I'm not explainin myself properly.

My point was that Spears were an effective weapon in 6th because they doubled your fighting ranks, from 1 to 2. Their effectiveness dropped in 8th significantly because now they only make a 50% increase, from 2 to 3. What I'm saying is that, to re-gain their previous effectiveness, they could easily be changed to +2 additional ranks (as opposed to the current +1), doubling the current fighting ranks.

So a normal unit would fight with 2 ranks (previously 1 in, say, 6th), a unit with spears would fight in 2+2= 4 ranks (previously 2 in 6th), bringing spears back to doubling your fighting ranks. This would give a unit with spears real reason to go deep instead of wide, as you would actually be able to bring a real number of attacks in a bus of spears. Using this, High Elves would gight in 5 ranks with spears, as would Hordes of spears, and a high elf horde with spears (bwuh...) would fight in 6 ranks.

This is NOT going to happen, even though it's really just a simple fix setting spears back to where they were. I can't imagine spear rules actually changing at all next edition. They've remained the same despite the ENTIRE dynamic of ranked combat, initiatiative and kills having changed around them, and they game is pretty much out of drastic changes to be made that would make changes to spear rules obvious. As it is, we can just hope next ed the spears are pointed appropriately (and we'll still have to pay +1pt to buy shields, no doubt as once something exists in the rules it's very unlikely to be removed, especially in regards to points and purchase).

Ayin
17-10-2014, 17:20
As for detachment strategies, I really have to agree that the best use of Detachments is not to deliver a theoretically possible but extremely unlikely counter charge, but to guard the flanks of the parent unit.

The two best units to do this job, in my opinion, are Archers and Swordsmen. Archers give you options to re-form and sacrifice, whereas Swordsmen give you that tiny bonus of surviveability. Though they are expensive, backed up by a good leadership buff and the Parent units Steadfast, even a small investment in them has a real chance of holding a unit off your flank for a turn (in my opinion). I'm pretty sure a unit of 10 Swordsmen can reasonably survive a turn against most monsters in the game, unless they drop Breath Weapons (and if so, that's a bonus on it's own). The loss of Parry against Thunderstomp certainly hurts, but the WS 4 at least means some are hitting you on 4's.


What are some monsters that can make it through 10 Swordsmen in one turn, without breath weapons? What about 15?

For me, those 5 Swordsmen are wide enough to be hit by 5 Savage Orc Big'uns (and the 5 behind that, and possibly behind that), for an absolute max of 25 attacks, which get 12 hits, 10 wounds, and one or two parries, leaving in a 10 strong unit one or two guys to make a Ld8 re-rollable Steadfast leadership test with Cold Blooded. Make it a unit of 15, and they can reliably block a charge from and hold a Horde of Savage Orc Big'uns off your Halberds for a turn even if that unit contains a character. That's pretty impressive.

Ayin
17-10-2014, 17:20
Double again, not sure what's going on with my computer.

EvanM
17-10-2014, 17:27
I think thats why people run detachments of 3x3 swordsmen in little cubes, to be easy flank protectors. I think a lot of things wont kill 9 swordsmen definitely in one turn especially since the (maybe single remaining guy) would be steadfast with good LD from the parent.

9 swordsmen is a small price to pay for flank protection.

the other "power" of detachments is to multiply your unit buffs to essentially twice the models. I run 50 halberdiers with 2 detachments of 25 swordsmen because it allows my priest and BSB to bubble their effects to 100 guys without the risk of dwellers killing 50 of them in one cast.

so even if I am always fighting swordsmen det. against random other stuff (zombies, chariots, slaves) while my parent takes on the enemy horde, i think its worth it to note that this is a decent way to apply the rule.




also, with spears, i think if you REALLY wanted to shift the meta towards using the cheap core infantry, youd could do it by making spears useful. simply making models cheaper is nice but in the end it also depends on the player wanting to buy more models.

Ayin
17-10-2014, 21:42
Well, GW is all about selling more models, and before any shift towards cheap infantry can be done, the infantry needs to be cheap.

I remember the 3x3 swordsmen block from 7th, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It's perfectly valid, but it's one of those things I just don't really like seeing on the board, somewhat similar (though not even close to as bad) as all the (in my opinion stupid) variations on the one-model-wide conga-line unit. Whether it's Direwolves with the unit Champ out in front or Small units of Greatswords 5 long, I just hate that stuff, as it's a complete exploiting of the rules and totally breaks the fun for me.


What's it like to actually run full unit-sized Detachment units? That was my previous idea with Swordsmen supporting my Halbs (modeled to look like Duelists supporting my Pike block, a tactic I previously used in my DoW), but I stopped at 15, a unit big enough to hold nearly anything in place at least a turn, but not so big as to cost me a fully functional units worth of points. I just don't feel like I'd ever get a full units worth of points out of Swords, even sharing buffs I can't see them actually killing anything, and in that case I'd rather have a second detachment of 10 to guard my opposite side.

Ayin
17-10-2014, 21:44
-Edit-

Double post.

EvanM
17-10-2014, 21:54
Well my experience is that if you can chaff up your opponent and they have NO supporting units to flank their deathstar, they wont want to get flanked by support charging detachments, and thats the case even though to be honest, they often dont have that much to worry about. 50 halbs with 2x 25 swords is good but vs 40 sav orc big uns, or 40 witch elves, even with flank attacks you are just boned.

I still like to do it. I have some ideas with what to do with it (like have the detachments literally in front of the parent unit to protect them and fight a few rounds in CC while steadfast and buffed). In order to do this one, i would want 20 militia that were 10 wide in front of a horde unit. They get to swing with hatred and maybe some buffs and essentially be chaff but also a buffed time-buying mechanism.

I also like the idea of using detachments to shield a fraction of the front of a horde unit so that an enemy horde doesnt physically have an option to charge your horde.


but in the end, its expensive to do this and it cant compete with simply spamming high strength (sav orc big uns) or multitude of rediculous attacks (witch elves)

EvanM
17-10-2014, 21:55
and as far as units that arent 5 wide.... I love greatswords 3 wide with full command because they can keep a wizard or character alive for a while. (they can be in the second rank)

Wesser
22-10-2014, 11:36
and as far as units that arent 5 wide.... I love greatswords 3 wide with full command because they can keep a wizard or character alive for a while. (they can be in the second rank)

Units like that and indeed anything approaching conga lines just look like crud on the tabletop though. What's the point of Wargames and painting if we're gonna make it look terrible?