View Full Version : Small Units

Lady's Champion
14-08-2005, 19:36
Wholst in the MOST USELESS UNITS IN THE GAME thread in general discussion, a lot of people selcted small units as being pointless (small units as in little regiments not, say, scouts which are already small).

Well, my Orc army always fields two units of 10 Orc Arrer Boyz, no upgrades. They shoot a little, but they are excellent flankers and people underestimate their power- they may be bowmen, but they're still Orcs (they have choppas too).

So, does anyone else have anything to say in defence of small units?

14-08-2005, 21:42
ah, well, samll missle units, that have hitting power, i can see working as basic flanker when moving, but i was talking about small units of FIGHTING troops.

i mean, who would waste their choice of biguns/greatswords/whatever elite units by sticking them in a tiny units, that will no doubt be shot to bitz, broken on a head on charge due to poor combat res, and only really work for flanking?

also, in a large game, why take 16, when you can take 40?!?
its beyond me really...

support units are diferent, but they depend on your tactics.
personaly, id take 6-8 trolls, for a unit that could handle itself if the time arrises, as well as work in coordination, as heavy hitters.
others will be sneekyer (goblin talk coming through! :D) and use them as flankers, making use of their high-ish mobility, and this will work woners with their army.

i guess i may be a little too harsh on small units, but hell, its personal preference and tactics that make the difference!

15-08-2005, 00:17
seems to me small units only work well if
1. there are other units to hold down the enemy's front. best done with units large enough to hold a turn or two after a charge, or units stubborn, or undead sort.
2. there are other units to take a charge and die. best if said units are cheap. and thus by dying or running exposes your enemy chargers to flank attacks.
3. if your small units are fast enough to flank charge before your opponent realizes. i think this is rather harder to do. and they should be hard hitting enough to have a chance at breaking the enemy units. also a hard combo to find fast and hard.

Lord Anathir
15-08-2005, 00:34
for high elves...small units are the most important....

small 5 man cav units....small 5 man scout units, 10 man elite infantry units, 10 man archer units.

Crazy Harborc
15-08-2005, 00:58
My shooter units don't normally have command upgrades either. 10 shooters, sometimes 12 or 13 are what I use. More always seem to get in each other's way.

15-08-2005, 05:08
The MSU tactic (developed over at Druchii) builds around the Small Unit. But also another thing that is very important is that you should preferbly be able to outnumber your opponent in deployment choices.

With baiting and fleeing you'll open the flanks and hit a larger (20+) unit wit two/three small 10/12 strong units. And there by negate ranks, get flank (possible rear) bonus, and most probably outnumbering as well. Add the kills from your unit and you will break the big unit with relative ease.

12 shooters with Banner and Musician could be one of the main units in a Druchii army (4+ save, two ranks and a banner)... But it centers around the 10-12 strong units of Witches/Executioners/Black Guard that adds the extra punch.

Of course playing MSU to the full extent means that you must have (or develop) a gut of steel...

15-08-2005, 05:48
Another spectacular use of small sized units is for missile screen and throw-away units, The best of all these being the Chaos Dwarf Hobgoblin.

15-08-2005, 08:55
Lord Anathir, elves may work in small units, but units of 10, and 5 cav, wont live long enough to make it to combat, or be able to negate ranks unless you protect them well.

i can see DE using the msu, but with units 12-15 strong, for survivability, althouh a shooty/magic heavy list could decemate them, so they have to rely on speed, and luck it seems to me.

eh, i guess to me small units are a little alien, having 9 to 11 point models, in huge units, with the effective fighting value of an unarmoured chaos warrior with a ward save, that gets more attacks and is in huge units...
i mean, i take 30 big'uns in 750pt games!

ack, i gues i just like big units, and i dont properly understand the tactics for small units, but still, i prefer them big and hitty!

Lady's Champion
15-08-2005, 09:25
I have had BigUns in units of 10, and they always perform well- no one shoots them because my fanatics and chariots are a nicer target.

15-08-2005, 11:13
ah, but my point is, why take 10, when you could take 30?
for a not too costly unit... less that 400pts, it makes the perfect main fighting unit for a 2k-3k point game...

15-08-2005, 13:13
I have had BigUns in units of 10, and they always perform well- no one shoots them because my fanatics and chariots are a nicer target.

A small unit of elite troops working in tandem with an intimidatingly large block of regular troops should be just the thing:

Greatswords Swordsmen.
Black Orcks and Orcs
Questing Kinghts and Knigts Errant.

Shooting aside, the larger unit will provide rank bonus and the elite unit will cause casualties.


Captain Brown
15-08-2005, 14:40
Small units are fantastic at drawing out Fanatics from Night Goblin units. As my regular Orc and Goblin opponent has found out to his dismay...

Lady's Champion
15-08-2005, 15:30
Yea, I think the best unit for that task though has to go hands down to spirit hosts

Tormentor of Slaanesh
15-08-2005, 15:43
i agree ladies champion!! not from personal experience of course.
I used small units to get in the way of that crucial flank charge. with my vampires my ghouls have done that on several occasions. big unit of cavalry wanting to chage in to save a really expensive unit about to be exterminated, one 58pt sacrifice later and the game is as good as won.

Lord Anathir
15-08-2005, 17:12
when im sitting back in my own deployment zone, owning the magic phase, out of range of short range nasties like handguns, the only thing that could hurt are warmachines, but those are first targets for RBT, eagles, etc.

15-08-2005, 18:15
Over at the Herdstone, small 5/5 amushing beastherds are very popular. Personally I never saw the point: A 10/10 ambushing herd with full command is much more fun. Why settle for the lesser evil?

Also, there is of course the five-strong Warhound unit. For 30 points, you get a 7" move, US 10, WS 4 unit. Excellent for flanking charges and quarter claiming. Worst part is, some people thing they're a bad unit.

15-08-2005, 18:56
Every unit has an optimum size for various situations and in general. To be honest taking 6-8 trolls is madness. There is no way you're gonna get more than 4 in contact 99% of the time so all the others contribute is maybe +1CR for rank and maybe outnumbering. A unit costing 400pts with a LD4 is just asking to be learned. Free VPs. Thank you!

Also say 30-40 is running around. Okay it takes a while to wittle them down or panic them but at least 10 of those orcs are contributing nothing. Against say 10 Chosen Chaos Knights with a Hero 40 orcs is going to have very little chance of winning and thats hundreds of points down the drain. If your army is just made of big units then he can do this maybe 2 or 3 times in game. However a unit of 10 orcs can lose with dignity, divert the knights and give up 50 points. Big whoop.

Okay you need some big units to do the heavy work but you need small units too to make sure the big lads can get their job done. They will die but that is their job.

15-08-2005, 19:12
cardboard armour, i beg to differ. in a unit of 30-40 orcs, you have enough to lose almost half the unit, and still get a starting combat res of 4-5. the chaos knights may get kills, but they wont rack up enough to beat your combat res.

as for 6-8 trolls, im my eyes, its no different than taking a unit of 6-8 ironguts, if you keep the general nearby anyway. though a bit of a point sink, their ability to hold up against the nastiest charges, and then fight back hard, is worth it in my eyes.

Lady's Champion
15-08-2005, 19:43
I prefer to have say 25 Orcs- then you get more units= more attacks

15-08-2005, 19:53
I prefer to have say 25 Orcs- then you get more units= more attacks

I also prefer orc units in 25, because you not only have to outnumber the enemy in every combat but you also have to outnumber them in the field by having more units than he has.


15-08-2005, 20:44
yes, 25 strong units are good, and thats the minimum unit size ill ever use for orcs.
i teake 2X25 savage's, and one 30 savage biguns

racks up at around 700-800pts. great in big 2k-3k armies.

15-08-2005, 22:09
Taking 8 trolls is not just like taking 8 ironguts. Ironguts are decidely better in combat even if they don't get regen (its an option thought with the Trollguts spell). Ironguts dish out S6 attacks plus impact hits (which are more effective with back-rankers) and can take command. They also have LD 8 normally. To get that with trolls you need to babysit them with a character. Also with the risk of stupidity means 400 pts could be sat idol for at least a turn. If by some strange paradox you could get 8 trolls into base contact then maybe they would be worth it. But as it is 8 trolls just means 4 trolls in the back row contributing very little.

Anway my argument isn't against taking big units of orcs and such. What I was saying is you should take both big and small units. Each with their own role.

Oh and chosen knights (especially khorne) will wipe anysize orc unit most of the time unless they have a character. They will most likely kill the front row plus a few more and all you'll be getting is 3 ranks and outnumber (standards cancel eachother out). Even on a bad day those knights will rack up 4 kills to draw it.

Lady's Champion
16-08-2005, 08:14
Yea, what cardboard armour says a little, if you have more orcs in 1 squad, it is more dead all at once from the run-down, right?

Tormentor of Slaanesh
16-08-2005, 08:37
But bigger units means you keep your rank bonus for longer.

16-08-2005, 08:45
and therefor stop yourself getting run down as much.

Tormentor of Slaanesh
16-08-2005, 08:51
But you are going off subject. We're on about small distracty, flanking, speed-bump units. Aren't we?