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zid
18-01-2007, 21:45
With the new army book, I've returned to the Empire since last playing them in 4th ed. I'm wondering if detachments are worth it (generally speaking). How do people use them (and with what sizes)? And specifically: is there any reason to use crossbowmen as a parent unit?

AjaxUSA
18-01-2007, 23:17
sure why not. all you need are 10 xbow men. THis way you can use a champion and maybe a musician if need be. Cant do anything to the detachment.

Crazy Harborc
18-01-2007, 23:54
Been playing Empire many a year now, through the last 3 Editions. The best was 6th because of the Empire Detachment Special rules. Just read that detachment special rules section and think about it. Then read it again.;)

GW's site(s) have a tutorial about how the detachment works. Look in Warhammer (NOT in the on-line store section). The article is worth a read.;)

Shank
19-01-2007, 00:16
Detachments are definitely worth it! They are what make Empire infantry different than all other infantry. No other army in the game can counter charge, provide a supporting charge, or fire. Plus they always engage units in the flank, negating rank bonus's and all that fun stuff.
CrossBows as a Parent Unit? Sure, why not. Have say 10 Crossbows with a Det of 5 Free company to deter any fast cav or skirmishers from charging your main unit. If they charge your detachment, all the better. They don't cause panic in other units so your crossbows won't have to take a panic test if your det is defeating. Leaving more time for your crossbows to keep firing. There are many, many possiblitys!!

DeathlessDraich
19-01-2007, 07:52
I tend to prefer 2 detachments with every parent unit. 1 detachment shoots while the other, Freecompany is used for combat.

Mephistofeles
19-01-2007, 09:53
I use one unit of free company for every combat unit in my army, except for ther greatswords which gets swordsmen.

I use 10 free company fighters in every detachment, which is enough to make sure they are always kept over unit strenght 5, which they have to in order to work properly, since they don't negate ranks or grant flank-bonuses if they are smaller than that.

So, my tip is to use free company as detachments, but never any shooting units. The Empire has the problem of not being able to move and fire with anything but archers (who IMHO suck big time) and so you will be either wasting your ability to move, or your ability to shoot by taking a combat unit with a shooting detachment.

For your shooting parent units you can always take more shooties as detachment though, which will work well in conjunction with eachother. I am planning to let my 20 handgunners be split into one parent unit of 10 and two detachments of 5, just to make for more targets and to be able to stand and shoot with twice as many when charged.

Shank
19-01-2007, 12:48
I disagree. Although shooting detachments like handguns and Crossbows may not be able to move and shoot, they can still stand and shoot a unit charging the Parent unit. Plus they do not suffer the -1 for shooting at chargers because they themselves are not being charged. So you are hitting on 4's. So you could take 2 detachments. One to stand and shoot, one to counter charge.

Avian
19-01-2007, 13:22
I tend to prefer 2 detachments with every parent unit. 1 detachment shoots while the other, Freecompany is used for combat.
My experience fighting against the Empire with a variety of different armies is that if you take two detachments per unit, then the units end up taking up too much space and it's very easy for a clever opponent to isolate parts of the battle line and beat them up piecemeal.

Detachments are a good part of the army and certainly something an opponent needs to know how to deal with, but I wouldn't call them spectacular unless you are fighting against newbies.

MattKienbaum
19-01-2007, 16:18
I like to use detachments as menchond before one handgunner det and one flanking det for each parrent. Don't be to conserned if this plays porly for you at first. it takes a little geting used to.
As for flanking, this is no more a problem with detachments as it is without. reserve a unit of 5 knights on the flank to deal with the problem.

beastgod
19-01-2007, 16:38
Im using often the tactic that have 2 fighter detachments but they both on one flank, one in front of the other.

This because take fire one the one in front and have one detachment left, or if they dont shoot the first one even better then you have the other one to protect your flank... many possibilitys.

Having 2 parent units beside eachother then 2 detacments each is difficult to break.

Crazy Harborc
20-01-2007, 02:49
What I like and often use....a parent unit of 20/25 spears (w/shields). One detach. of handgunners or crossbows. One detach. of swordsmen. I deploy the handgunners in front of the parent unit and in front of the swords/detach. The shooting detach. is also human shields.;)

When the shooting detachment is charged, they usually lost the HtH. The enemy is then facing a parent unit of spears with a detach. of swords. It's been working at the GW store against new and old time opponents. It works against long time opponents away from GW as well.

Give it try.;)

Avian
20-01-2007, 11:31
But if nobody ever charges your missile detachment, you have one parent unit and one close combat detachment that is essentially not able to do anything, because the other unit is in their way. Meanwhile, your opponent can beat up the rest of your army.

Does not seem like a terribly clever ploy to me...

Von Wibble
20-01-2007, 11:41
This is exactly why I don't believe any empire army of 3000pts or below should have more than 2 combat parent units with detachments (plus maybe a missile unit) Too easy to isolate and too difficult to deploy. Knights, flagellants, pistoliers, war machines and characters then make the rest of your points. Note greatswords are an exception to this as they can fight independantly thanks to stubborn.

If used in limited numbers and given the space to deploy by ensuring your army doesn't have too many units then detachments become a lot more useful.

Archers btw don't "suck big time". They are the easiest of all units to deploy because they all get to shoot. They can move and fire so if teh parent unit needs to move a fair distance or all enemies are out of LOS (more likely than you'd think) they are still OK there. Finally they move well through difficult terrain and thanks to move and fire make great bait units for the enemy.

I tend to use them quite aggressively compared to other units - and fielding them as a detachment allows me to take just 5 in a unit. A unit of 5 costs only 15 more than 5 free company and can shoot (2 kills and points are made back), and has more manouvrability.

There are only 3 units that I take in every empire army I use. Archers, pistoliers, and a cannon. They have not let me down yet.

vorac
20-01-2007, 16:05
i'm glad your artillery is dependable because mine sure ain't, i'm really good on guesses but the artillery dice hates me :(

Mike3791
20-01-2007, 16:56
how is supporting charge different from moving and declaring charges normally? ex. 2 parent units charging the same target

Mephistofeles
20-01-2007, 17:38
how is supporting charge different from moving and declaring charges normally? ex. 2 parent units charging the same target

The supporting charger may charge the enemies flank even if not normaly allowed to do so, as long as they have enough movement and line of sight to do so.

Mephistofeles
20-01-2007, 17:41
This is exactly why I don't believe any empire army of 3000pts or below should have more than 2 combat parent units with detachments (plus maybe a missile unit) Too easy to isolate and too difficult to deploy. Knights, flagellants, pistoliers, war machines and characters then make the rest of your points. Note greatswords are an exception to this as they can fight independantly thanks to stubborn.

no more than 2 infantry blocks? In 3000 points?

Seriously, that's about the amount of cheese I'd like to get when ordering a sandwich, not when playing warhammer.


I can't really find words to describe what I feel about your post...

Von Wibble
20-01-2007, 18:19
@Mephistopheles - Not 2 infantry blocks. 2 infantry blocks plus detachments, flagellants, greatswords, missile units etc. Thats generally 5 units (swordsmen, halberdiers, greatswords, flagellants, handgunners) plus detachments, 2 units of knights, some pistoliers, and 2-3 war machines.

If a unit doesn't fill a role it should be left out. Without support I fail to see how an isolated unit of 25 halberdiers can beat any enemy unit. With several units I fail to see how you can get all of your missile troops and war machines (and I don't take that many - usually 1 unit of missile troops, a few archers and 2-3 war machines) to fire. Empire is about mutual support - you can't achieve this easily using a horde. If you want a horde take orcs and goblins or skaven.

To be fair the majority of my experiance is in 2500pt battles. The only difference between this and 3000pt games tends to be the addition of a wizard lord, captain and a small unit so we go 2500 to keep characters in check. On the few early occasions in which I used a lot of infantry I had trouble getting my army to deploy effectively. As a result I had a large number of draws in a row because whilst my army had a solid centre the bulk of the cheap infantry would ruin off the table or be killed easily in the combat phase.

Since then I have used empire as a much more focused army deploying over a shorter frontage. I posted a typical army of mine not so long ago and didn't see any complaints at that point. It was 2500pts and had swordsmen, greatswords, 2 units of flagellants and handgunners as the core infantry blocks. Whilst I would be prepared to switch 1 unit of flaggelants for a unit of spears with detachments I would feel that anything more is asking for trouble.

Mephistofeles
20-01-2007, 19:51
Well I don't agree with you there.

I have an Empire horde, and I have never had any problems with supporting my units or different battle groups. I have 5 units of spearmen with detachments, one unit of greatswords with detachment, two cannons and two units of handgunners, and they've always been enough to support each other and fulfill their different battlefield roles.

Von Wibble
21-01-2007, 11:51
Fair enough. Different ways of playing the same army - the game would be boring if they didn't exist!

Mephistofeles
21-01-2007, 15:16
I couldn't agree more :)

Crazy Harborc
22-01-2007, 01:03
I know a couple of guys who don't use detachments when pushing Empire armies....IMHO, that's just fine, whatever works....works:D

Crazy Harborc
22-01-2007, 01:32
But if nobody ever charges your missile detachment, you have one parent unit and one close combat detachment that is essentially not able to do anything, because the other unit is in their way. Meanwhile, your opponent can beat up the rest of your army.

Does not seem like a terribly clever ploy to me...

Um...that's just one of many ploys. Just one of usually two or more parent units with detachments in my Empire army. Oh, to be able to dismount outriders....oh to be able to use them as a detachment. Well, at least their repeater handgun:evilgrin:

Lyinar
22-01-2007, 02:48
To me, Detachments are a very characterful addition to the army, as such, I'm using them. Plus, thanks to the fact that they can support charge and counter-charge, as well as being able to pursue if the parent unit holds, and are unaffected by magical items in the parent unit, it makes the Griffon Standard in the hands of the Battle Standard Bearer rather nasty. Great for holding the center of the battle line in a pitched infantry battle.

Mike3791
25-01-2007, 19:30
how does everyone deploy their detachments?

Keller
25-01-2007, 20:27
I know a couple of guys who don't use detachments when pushing Empire armies....IMHO, that's just fine, whatever works....works:D
I am such a person, at times. My State armies get detachments, my Militia armies don't. I have had great success with both.


how does everyone deploy their detachments?
Beside and behind the parent unit. Keep the detachments back in order to keep the opponent fighting the parent unit. The idea is to make them not be able to reach the detachment on the charge, forcing them to charge the parent or be charged themself in the next turn. Of course, it get a bit more difficult with cavalry and faster units.

Crazy Harborc
26-01-2007, 00:12
how does everyone deploy their detachments?

Unless I've missed allowable exceptions within 3 inches of the parent unit is "the" choice. I'll put the shooters in front some of the times. I think I'll try both on the same side tomorrow (I want to watch the reaction):D