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View Full Version : Dangerous Strategy: Maths on the tabletop

feintstar
12-07-2005, 08:37
I'm relatively new to WHFB, but while I was wracking my brains over how to beat a Brettonian player whose reputation precedes him, I thought of an interesting way of stacking the odds.

A tabletop is 48" wide, with 24" between the deployment zones. Assuming my opponent rightly sees me as a noob, (and assuming I have deployed further back into my Dep. Zone with infantry) he moves 16" at a march into the space between the 2 forces. this places him 8" away from my deployment zone.

Now my screen of archers, spears and skirmishers is placed 4" from the edge of my zone, and the battle units 3.2" behind that. (measure it on deployment) He charges the front, then I can flee with the skirmishers, leaving him stranded, ready for my charge. The reason he might take the bait is that, like most players, he's "overmoved" his units by a fraction, and thinks he can redirect into the rear units. However, once you point out the maths, then there is no way he cannot be in no-mans land, ready to receive my charge (elves with a 10" charge, btw.)

If he moves less than his maximum distance, it will only be by say, 3" at most. In which case, he'll be open for more shooting/magic, and you can reposition your own troops to maintain the formation and the trap. (after all, it's easy to watch him measure the distance he has moved, then redo the maths, and reposition accordingly)

Pegasus Knights are an obvious spanner in the works, and therefore priority targets, but with 2 turns of shooting and magic, limited numbers could be dealt with.

I know this is obviously the sort of thing that cavalry armies are all aware of and therefore guard desperately against, but nonetheless it seems like a doable enterprise. I also know that there will probably be too many enemy cavalry units to be able to countercharge all of them; what I'm suggesting is overcoming the strength of Cav; manuverability, with their vulnerability; total lack of versatility.

I realise this is a dangerous strategy to use, even more dangerous to rely on, but it is dangerous for my opponent as well.

Do I have a chance of pulling it off?

peteratwar
12-07-2005, 09:16
Be careful how you charge, HE should really only indulge in flank/rear attacks. Going head on vs Brettonians with their high armour save is risky. I've had my Empire cavalry take a charge from Silver Helms & usually there is little trouble & the SHs get squished.

You need to whittle his cavalry units down.

feintstar
12-07-2005, 13:18
I'm talking about charging with infantry units, thus gaining +3 CR via ranks and outnumber. Make those units Swordmasters and White Lions, and Brettonians would have reason to fear...

Snoozer
12-07-2005, 13:44
I haven't actually played against bretonnia, but don't they get rank bonus when they are in lance formation...

so a unit of say 9 models (I have no idea what's the usual size) would have +2 CR from ranks and depending on your unit sizes but could also have outnumbering.

:D

gukal
12-07-2005, 14:11
I'm talking about charging with infantry units, thus gaining +3 CR via ranks and outnumber. Make those units Swordmasters and White Lions, and Brettonians would have reason to fear...

More likely he'll direct his "Banner of the Lady" Lance at your trap. At 2000pts and higher I rarely see a Bretonnian Army without this banner.

Any unit in base-to-base with the standard bearer lose their rank bonus completely - even when fighting front to front. Assume a lance of 9 Bretonnians (lets say 1 damsel and 8 KotR because Grail Knights are even tougher) taking the charge from the Elven infantry (assuming 20 swordmasters - because Spearelves won't cut it).

So even when you charge them:

Bretonnia: Ranks (+2); Std (+1); Wounds (+1 or so) = 4CR
Swordmasters: Ranks (+0); Std (+1); Wounds (+1 or so); Outnumber (+1) = 3CR

of course if they charge you ... then its much worse.

If this happens, you must direct as many attacks as you can at the BSB and hope to kill him before this very effective banner takes effect.

Xenageo
12-07-2005, 14:40
I think a main point you're forgetting while talking of this trap is that the hardest bret knight lance will often be charging 16" +d6 (thanks to a virtue).

doktorziplok
12-07-2005, 18:56
...he moves 16" at a march into the space between the 2 forces. this places him 8" away from my deployment zone.

Now my screen of archers, spears and skirmishers is placed 4" from the edge of my zone, and the battle units 3.2" behind that.

i know little about brets, but are you sure their move is 8"? they don't suffer -1" for having barded steeds like other heavy cav?

we'll assume 8" (for now, i'd really like to know though). pre-game the brets will pray, meaning on turn 1 you get to shoot, assuming they set up at deployment edge. if they march (16") that sets them 8" from your deployment zone (12" from your front-row troops, 16.7625" from your infantry block ---assuming a 2-rank formation on 20mm bases for the front-row troops). turn 2, you shoot some more. on thier turn 2 they charge and you flee with your front-row troops. provided that you roll high enough to run out of charge range (and that your back row doesn't panic when the front row does), the brets fail their charge and lurch forward 8 inches. this leaves your back-row infantry 8.7625" from them. turn 3 and you're within charge range, yes, but at what cost?

if you set up 4" back from your deployment zone, a runaway roll of 8+ probably means your unit is gone off the board. a roll of 2 or 3 and the bret charge is successful (12" away + 3" = 15" which is less than the 16" charge). thus leaving you with a sweet spot roll of 4, 5, 6 , and 7, a 40% chance of not screwing up too badly. now, you have to think about what units will be within 4" of those fleeing units at the start of turn 4, because they will force a panic test.

MisterHeavy
12-07-2005, 19:36
slightly nit-picky, but there is actually a 50% chance of rolling a 4,5,6, or 7 on 2d6 because of the higher-liklihood of rolling a 7. I still agree that it's pretty risky. You have a 50% chance to loose the fleeing unit, and still might panic your other troops.

There are just so many more complex things that go on during a game that might throw a kink in this plan. Everything from fast cav to Peg. Knights will cause trouble. Anyway, if you do give it a try, let us know how it worked out.

EDIT: Oh, and no, bret horses are not slowed by barding.

doktorziplok
13-07-2005, 00:01
slightly nit-picky, but there is actually a 50% chance of rolling a 4,5,6, or 7 on 2d6 because of the higher-liklihood of rolling a 7.
good catch. i just redid my math and you're right. still, 50% does not a good strategy make.

feintstar
13-07-2005, 05:18
hmmm... The Infantry army is Doomed! Doomed I say! Aaaarghhh!!! We're all going to die!

wait... its passed now.

As for that banner, i suppose it would have to be met with overhwelming magical supremacy and a Ring of Corin. One thing I should consider, however, Is that I don't have to make our Bretonian Friends Break and run: All I need to do is win combat and Lap around. Lapping around a Lance would effectively double the killing capacity of a Swordmaster unit, and in my opponents' turn at that. And let's face it, once in that situation, assuming no countercharges, the Brets are eventually going to be whittled to death. I hope.

The problem, therefore, is getting the charge, or more specifically, denying the charge to a cavalry army that gets +D6 to their first charge in a game.

(oh no, its coming back)

Any way I could modify the maths? The other problem is of course that every Infantry unit will have a vastly superior Knight unit against it; i.e. each 6 strong Lance only costs the points of 1/2 or 2/3 a decent Infantry unit, or else have to face countercharge flankers, being outmanuvered by sheer number of units.

This and the whole blessing/ward save thing makes me feel rather ill, truth be told. Plus the indignity of human wizards hiding in row 2 granting MR1 and coming with a 5+ ward as standard for 70 points? Too hideous to contemplate for long, I assure you. And the extra hero slot with free BSB upgrade? Who is allowed to take virtues where their elven equivalents may NOT take honours?

The Infantry army is Doomed! Doomed I say! Aaaarghhh!!! We're all going to die!

Neknoh
13-07-2005, 14:59
Don't forget that even Swordsmasters will struggle in severly damaging such a unit.

The Swordsmasters will be hitting on 3's and wounding on 2's

However, then the Bretonnians do have their 2+ (transforemed to 4+) Armoursave AND a 5+ Wardsave to boot, not to mention a pretty decent Unit Strength, 2 Ranks (or 3 if really bad) and a Banner, which can be really nasty.

To stand a chance against the Brets, the key lies not in having them fail charges, it lies in getting at those BIG flanks, and remember, a Lance can't wheel if you place a Great Eagle on each side of the middle/last rank, forcing it to go straight forward, a very nice trick when avoiding Grail Knights, imagine them only being allowed to run straight forward (I don't think they are even allowed to do a wheel in order to charge something on the outter edges of thei LoS if they are flanked that way)

Another nice trick is to shoot them with Single Shots from your nice, new and PLASTIC Bolt Thrower, however, they do have that irritating Wardsave (once landed a Hellcannon shot atop a unit of Grail Knights... they managed EVERY one of those saves... ROOAAAR!!!)

I won't do the math, but, remember this.

g0ddy
14-07-2005, 19:07
i know little about brets, but are you sure their move is 8"? they don't suffer -1" for having barded steeds like other heavy cav?

Horses/Warhorses are M8, barding taking that to 7" (brets ignore that so they move 8"

Eleven steeds are M9, may or may not ignore the barding modifier (ithilmar barding for HE)

a number of special mounts and what not are M10" but theres no reaosn to get into that :p

- g0ddy

Bortus
15-07-2005, 05:11
I beleive that Bretonnian steeds have Elven steed blood in them making them quicker. I love the math, I love the technical aspects and I love the strategy behind the game but let's not forget about ole mamma dice cuz even the best of plans are at her mercy. Take care all!