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The Highlander
01-02-2007, 12:47
During a recent game agenst a friendís high elves he fielded a unit of 15 silver helms (including a hero and a mage) that managed to do almost nothing. I immobilised it for two turns in a row with a spell, it took two rounds of combat to break though a detachment of handgunners (insane courage) and then ran strait into a unit of greatswords. These make me consider what the point is in having large (i.e. more than 7 or 8 strong) units of heavy cavalry? The main benefit of having large units is to provide rank bonuses and resilience to casualties. But heavy cavalry cost so much that buying extra ranks is uneconomical when the war banner has the same effect for only 25 points. As for resistance to casualties, small units of cavalry are easier to hide and manoeuvre, as well as presenting less of a threat (and therefore target) to your opponent.

The only units I can think of which work well in large numbers are brets (thanks to the lance formation) and goblin wolf riders/tome king heavy cavalry, both of which a cheep enough to be fielded in large units and used as faster version of infantry.

Chris_Tzeentch
01-02-2007, 13:03
There is no point really. You can achieve more with loads of small units of cavalry.

Makaber
01-02-2007, 13:07
Fear-causing heavy cavalry can also be a viable option in large blocks. 10 Black Knights sets you back only 250 points before command, and hits like a ton of bricks with US20 and Fear. Generally speaking though, paying through the nose when all you want is a rank bonus is silly. Not all large units of heavy cavalry are bad, but you need to have a thought behind it.

kris.sherriff
01-02-2007, 13:16
There are lots of good reasons, not least that it looks cool.:cool:
You have a large, resilient unit that should not give your opponent any VP.
Against units with marginal fire power all of it will be targeted at the imposing unit and as you rightly say its effectiveness should not be reduced by a few losses.
Obviously against any real gun line you could face a problem.
They are also quite difficult to use effectively as you need to protect them from tar pit units and the like.
All in I sometimes take a large unit of heavy cav because the look cool, give a psychological advantage, can be hard for your opponent to take below half strength, are a challenge to use effectively and have the potential to be a really fun unit.

T10
01-02-2007, 14:33
(...)

I'd say you had a run of luck there. Normally High Elves aren't easy to get magic through against, and insane courage is hardly common. your conclusion sound a bit like winning the lottery and wondering why other people bother buying tickets.

I agree that 15 Silver Helms sounds like a bad idea, particularly if he arranges them for +2 combat resolution.

-T10

forgottenlor
01-02-2007, 14:38
I am also agianst 15 silver helms. Undead are the only Calvary that need numers, so they don't disintegrate and cause fear. And of course Brettonians can go up to 9, since they get the cheap +2 rank bonus.

oop
01-02-2007, 14:52
I play vampire counts and would rather use the good old war banner. (If you dont want to stick yourself to the barrow banner). pay 5 Black Knights just for +1 CR doesn't appeal to me. Just my opinion

Makaber
01-02-2007, 15:10
I am also agianst 15 silver helms. Undead are the only Calvary that need numers, so they don't disintegrate and cause fear. And of course Brettonians can go up to 9, since they get the cheap +2 rank bonus.

Cold One Knights could probably work decent in a unit of about 10 as well. They're a bit more expensive though.

Hywel
01-02-2007, 15:39
When I play empire, I'll very frequently take a unit of 12 knights. They're not prohibitively expensive, get a frontage of 6, a rank bonus and probably outnumber most units. Add in a standard with warbanner and you're looking at +4 static, which isn't to be sniffed at on a unit with decent killing power as it is.

As Makaber correctly points out, Black Knights also excel in units of 10+.

Mephistofeles
01-02-2007, 18:16
Fear-causing cavalry are usually worth to field in larger units, but they are also usually very expensive.

Hywel: If one of those knights get killed, you have no rank bonus, not to mention that a cannon or bolt can kill two knights instead of one. I would field those in two units of 6, and one of them could have the warbanner.

(How do you get it up to 4 in static, 1 rank, banner, warbanner and...outnumbering?)

Z-chan
02-02-2007, 00:30
Outnumbering perhaps, US24 IIRC.

Hywel
02-02-2007, 00:35
Indeed outnumbering, hence the large unit.

Furthermore the unit needs to lose two models to lose a rank bonus. It's true that a cannon or bolt thrower can kill two at once, but then you have a larger unit so no panic, and cavalry should only really be exposed to artillery for a turn.

You may not like the look of it theoretically, but I've had some success with it on the tabletop. Not saying it's one for every game, just maybe a fresh way to try using your knights...

Mephistofeles
02-02-2007, 09:47
If you only have one unit of cavalry in your army (which I think is the case with one unit of 12 being a big points sink), then they are the only real target for anti-cavalry countermeasures.

These include handguns, crossbows, cannons, bolt throwers and much magic. You will have to expect that these sources will at least kill 2 knights, especially since everything which penetrates ranks will most probably kill two at once (if they hit that is...).

I would never take a unit of more then one rank when it comes to cavalry, they would be much better used as two units, and some of the reasons why are:

A: Two separate targets to deal with.
B: The ability to effectively dish out twice the attacks, albeit on two different targets.
C: The ability to charge different targets.
D: The ability to have two champion (you may not want this, but it's at least an option)
E: The ability to combine charges, one of the units charging a unit and the other flanking or just passing by.
F: The ability to outmaneuver almost any opponent, and making your opponent having to choose which unit to charge.

eleveninches
02-02-2007, 10:29
I liked the idea of large cavalry units until i actually started to use them in games. My HE all-infantry army has not done very well at all, and i keep changing and reformatting the army list, but it still is not anywhere near peak effectiveness. My other MHFB armies work much better.

eleveninches
02-02-2007, 10:39
Now in my VC army, I only ever field single-rank black knights and make them at least 6-strong, so that they can lose one or 2 and still be effective in combat (they do have 2+ armour save, so they are decently protected anyway), as it is rediculous spending 100 points on another rank that wont give any bonus at all if just one model perishes

ffarsight
02-02-2007, 12:33
If you only have one unit of cavalry in your army (which I think is the case with one unit of 12 being a big points sink), then they are the only real target for anti-cavalry countermeasures.

These include handguns, crossbows, cannons, bolt throwers and much magic. You will have to expect that these sources will at least kill 2 knights, especially since everything which penetrates ranks will most probably kill two at once (if they hit that is...).

I would never take a unit of more then one rank when it comes to cavalry, they would be much better used as two units, and some of the reasons why are:

A: Two separate targets to deal with.
B: The ability to effectively dish out twice the attacks, albeit on two different targets.
C: The ability to charge different targets.
D: The ability to have two champion (you may not want this, but it's at least an option)
E: The ability to combine charges, one of the units charging a unit and the other flanking or just passing by.
F: The ability to outmaneuver almost any opponent, and making your opponent having to choose which unit to charge.

Agree with every word. :)