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Field Problems: The solution to cheese and whine 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I'd like to open up a new style of tactical discussion here on Druchii.net. I've seen far too many tactical questions answered with things like, "Can't be done." "unit X is too cheesy" "knock your opponent's model on the ground, punch him in the face, and tell him he's a beardy bastidge". While I understand the sentiment in some cases, I'd like to introduce what for some of you is a new paradigm for looking at questions of tactics.

The Field Problem.

You see, I've had some time in service, and one of the many things I've taken away is that when it comes to fighting wars, problems are to be solved, not lamented. Do you think the US Army staff was having conversations back in the 70's and 80's, "Oh.. the Eastern Bloc is SOOO cheesy, what with all their horde infantry AND mechanized forces, AND they've got NUKES! Man... cheesy beardy cheesy broken system..." I don't think so... No instead, what they did, at all unit levels, is something they'd been doing for years and years (something which, I suspect, most or all armies do). They presented their unit commanders with field problems. Okay, Cpt Crunch, your tank company WILL be outnumbered, and you will be at a disadvantage in both range and quantity for artillery support, and we're hoping at air parity, but gosh... we just can't be sure. So, here's a map piece we want you to defend under the following conditions. How are you going to do it? Generally, that commander can't even pick his forces (if he's that tank company commander, his assets are dictated by doctrine and by the God of Maintenance...).

I tend to approach our hobby with a similar outlook. Okay, I may recognize the worst cases of poor rules writing by GW, but then I say, "Well, it is what it is, for this game." and I move on to how to deal with it.

To that end, I'd like to start a series of articles. On the surface, they may seem similar to other "Help! my army can't beat X" posts. But the key difference is in how I'd like the responses to go. I'd like the focus to be on what the player should do if caught in the situation he's describing. I'd like to see this focus reflect a way of how to think when you show up at the table (or tournament) with your army as it is, and you're faced with an enemy you will struggle with. At this point, it's too late to change your army, and it's unsportsmanlike to simply not play the other guy. To clarify the way responses should go:

1) I'd like to have responses avoid, if possible, debates as to whether the guy's army comp is on or not. Subtle changes like "Oh, take magic item X instead of magic item Y... take 5 more spears" etc etc, are useful in a 'rate my army post', but aren't germaine to the Field Problem. He's got what he's got, period. Well, almost period... lol. I will agree that in some extreme cases, army design should be reviewed, but 99% of the time, *something* can be done with the forces at hand, something that can gain victory (or at least a draw), and that's what I'd like to focus on.

2) If your response is going to be, "Don't fight him" "his army's too cheesy" "Dark elves are too weak" or any other kind of response that doesn't ADD to the tactical value of the conversation, then don't post, please. I respect the feelings and the opinions, but as I said the baseline point of Field Problem posts should be 'how do I work with what I"ve got'.

Anyway, I'd like to hear back thoughts on this style of posting, if other folks think it's useful to have discussions like this. If so, then I'll lead off this afternoon with the first such article (unless someone likes my idea SO much that they can't wait to post one.. lol.) The format for the opening post is in the air, but generally it should be something like

Friendly forces

Enemy forces

General terain density (specifics not necessarily required)

Mission

Thanks for your time.


Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:38 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I whole-heartedly agree. We've been comparing cheese factors for so long that I don't think that there is a single army out there we don't regard as cheesy...

If there's one thing I've learned playing at my local stores (regardless of what game you're playing)....Your opponents are NEVER going to change to make YOU happier. No matter how much you complain, they're going to bring the same army next time.

It's high time we put away the "Velveeta" argument and started educating some of the newer druchii players on ways to handle these types of armies, instead of just complaining about them. We can't shrug off SAD, Nuln, Tzeentch, and other type armies and pretend they don't exist....we need to present solutions, not complaints.

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:48 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Quote:
we need to present solutions , not complaints.


Perfectly said. that's the entire point. Thank you for summing it up so succinctly (I tend to get long winded...)

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:51 am
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@MT once again you rise to the top with a good idea for the tactics section. I am looking forward to the much needed infusion of non n00b tactics. Cry havoc and release the dogs of war!

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:17 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Underway wrote:
@MT once again you rise to the top with a good idea for the tactics section. I am looking forward to the much needed infusion of non n00b tactics.


Thanks, Underway, that means a lot to me coming from you. I hope it works ;). I think I may go ahead and make the first post early, as I'm not quite as busy today as I'd expected...

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Cry havoc and release the dogs of war!


DoW? no... Druchii... 8) Well, I guess some lists might have DoW... :D


Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:51 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I truly agree. there is no point changing an army list all the time(it is a drain of finiancial resources). what we need is strategy and depth.

for a couple of weeks, i m quite demoralised by my own army. 2/3 of my army are either light or supporting troops and i was thinking what my problem really was. however yesterday I saw how a fren of mine defeat a CHaos player. my fren's orcs were sffering from animosity for nealy every turn and yet he can still defeat his chaos opponent with wolf riders alone! that is pure tactics. After the match i concluded that why i have been losing for the last few weeks is because i have not been thinking enough, it has nothing to do with my army.

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:22 pm
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A good post. Though I do think that some things do mess with the spirit of the game, creative thinking is always needed.

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:40 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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HC_Andersen> I agree that things are done that are not 'fluffy' or in the spirit of the game. And I recognize that folks want to and should complain. My point is that I'd like to have a series of posts that focus on the situation at hand, and how to overcome it... leave the debate on cheese to other posts. that's all. :)

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:49 pm
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Finally someone who understands me! THanx for this post; it'll help a lot posters out there.


Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:09 pm
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I agree with you 100 percent. Wars were never won by complaining how powerfull the enemy is. However I will make one point. It wasnt just US commanders thinking about the problem in the 70's and 80's. There was a full corps of 3 British divisions stationed in Germany and we were thinking about it to!!!!!

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:16 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Bovarr> No offense meant, I was using the US as an example, and I think I'd said that most or all armies use a similar process.

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:26 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Okay, now that we've gotten the first Field Problem underway, I have some ideas about future topics. For those of us who are very interested in posting and replying to subjects like this, I think there should probably be some guidelines as to how to post your own "Field Problem" topics.

1.) Field Problems are specific situations (not "How do I beat TK?") We're not pitting an entire book against another book. These should be defined battles.

2.) An army list for each force should be posted, or at least a list of what kinds of units will be represented. Army point totals are very important here, as some battles will include multiple rare selections and combinations of lord characters.

3.) The scenario, battlefield, and conditions of the game are just as important as the enemy.....they help determine how the game will be played.

4.) Obviously, these should deal with Dark Elf battles, no VC vs. Dwarves battles, please.

5.) The Dark Elf army involved should be a tournament style army, or at the very least a balanced, all-comers type list....no one is going to bother debating the intricacies of running down an all-Skink army with your all-Dark Rider army. These should be common situational problems, not some obscure matchup that most people will never face.

6.) Things like army selection and point costs should be avoided, as it is already assumed that the lists are fixed beforehand. No matter how much a specific magic item or unit may help, it's too late to change the list.

As for replies, and proposed solutions: They should encompass the entire game, from terrain and spell selection to deployment, tactics, important notes, lists of pros/cons, victory conditions, etc. They should be entire battleplans, not just "Charge them with your Knights." Once a cohesive, solid battleplan in in place, then the details can be debated.

MT, are these the kind of things you were thinking of, or am I way off base here?

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:44 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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MTUCache> Nope, you're right on the money. Wish I'd thought to make a checklist like that. You hit all the guidelines I was trying to articulate in a nice, neat list, and I like your added one about limiting the DE armies to avoid the extremes, but I don't want to discourage folks from pushing the envelope, either. My own Beast army is probably in violation of your point 5, in fact, but I (obviously) think it merits discussion still.

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:42 pm
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I am all for this, but would not this do better as a ToK article? Or are you looking for suggestions from as many people as possible?

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:16 pm
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@Jhaelrnya: I believe the point of this is an attempt to get people to approach answers to any requests for help on here in the same way, or to at least engender some less flammatory discussion on topics.

It's also to get people to think about how you'd tackle an opponent without tooling up an army that's specifically designed to beat that opponent. Basically, it's an attempt to try to make everyone a better general and allow them to take what they put on the table and be able to build a strategy (and accompanying tactics) on the spot, versus sitting at home and coming up with the "silver bullet" for your known foe ;)

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:19 pm
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I'll just be a wiseguy for a second.

Quote:
Cry havoc and release the dogs of war!


Is it not: "LET LOOSE the dogs of war!"???

I can't be sure, but that is how I heard it. :)

Anyway, I fully agree with the points made by MT. Bringing a Manticore might help, but what if you are in a battle and did not bring it. Then it would be nice to think of the stuff you did bring. I admit to often posting stuff like: "Take the GoP next time", or "bring along more RBT's." It just isn't always a useful answer is it?

Thanks for pointing that out.

LS

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:46 pm
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Now this here article idea's a very good plan :D. Allows new players like myself to gain much additional insight into the game...Much more than from 'don't play this opponent'-like anwers.

Very good timing, too...My friend, who plays the accursed Asur, told me a friend of his told him the recipe of the 'perfect' HE army for a 1000pt battle. Now if this's all bluff or not, I don't know, but if it isn't, some expert advice would REALLY help. Don't have the stats for his list yet, but I'll torture it out of him like a true Druchii and post the list so that it might be dissected for any bluffness and/or cheesyness contained therein. (dunno anything about the HE army, except for some fancy troop names, so that's why I think it better to post my friend's list here instead of in the 'normal' tactic discussion section, since I wouldn't be able to know how cheesy his list would turn out)

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:51 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Quote:
Oh.. the Eastern Bloc is SOOO cheesy, what with all their horde infantry AND mechanized forces, AND they've got NUKES! Man... cheesy beardy cheesy broken system..."


If I remember correctly the Eastern Block didn't have an immortal 9 foot Toad on their side with the ability to rain Comets from Space down upon there enemies....

I've seen a few of these modern battle comparrisons to WarHammer FANATSY battles and I think its pointless...
You just can't do it. Maybe--if you removed Magic from the equation, you may have a point about controlling the battlefield, or flanking tactics, baiting etc...

As for fishing for better tactical responces I've seen a number of post from very experienced and respected players on this site that do pass along good information including but not limited too: Don't play this guy...or "beardy" and "cheese"--the fact is they are right. And in the interest of having "fun" vs. fighting a war of frustration over flawed army lists--I'd say listen to both sides and draw your own conclusions.

Zent

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Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:13 pm
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Good post MT. If responses could go as you and MTUcache have dictacted, we could get some really good responses. The only problem is these types of responses are much much harder to come up with. But we can all do our best.

As for the analogy with the US military, I see your point, but it doesn't exactly make sense. The US army wasn't preparing to fight a war for fun. But I'm not looking to fight for my values or patriotism when I play warhammer. I'm looking to have a good time. So while saying "don't play that opponent" isn't very helpful, it sometimes is the only reasonable solution.

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Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:11 am
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Malekith's Best Friend

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I like the idea, Also,

I do not like to class an opponent as beardy of cheesy, I simply saviour my victory more after he/ she went down (thou, somehow, i have not met any beardy she's except for my latest ex-Mother in law in waiting).

but i like the approach of not concentrating on the problem with the situation, but on the solutions.

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Fri Feb 27, 2004 10:03 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Guys, I think you're reading a bit too much into the part about the modern military. I'm not trying to draw direct parallels in tactics, and I do realize there is a lot more on the line when it comes to winning and losing a real war vs. warhammer.

But what I'm encouraging is an emulation of the thought process of how to solve a problem with what you've got on hand.

It's in a similar spirit as a businessman reading Sun Tzu. Direct parallels? Hell no... but there is a certain way of thinking that *does* cross over.

@Zent> Re: Beardy. Again, I realize that this sort of input has its place. I'm just asking for some threads without it. If it's got the tag line "Field Problem" then just know that if you go in there, what the point of the post is. Just like you wouldn't go into a Rules query post and start talking tactics (or if you did, Linda'd tell you you were OT).

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Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:01 am
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the Mad
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I agree with this sort of article, perhaps it will even give me the incentive to not post silly spam responses after i have posted my serious post. And maybe i can still get away with a little light humour. Lead on squire and i will join those topics with hope fully a decently voiced opinion

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Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:50 pm
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Great post MT.
I play plenty of games at my local GW store, and face plenty of lists that alot of people would consider broken or cheesy (ie. 34 model Tzeench army's, ect).
To be quite honest tho, it really does not bother me in the least.
If you play to have fun, hang around with some fun people, and enjoy using the models you have spend untold hours painting and looking at, it really does not matter who you face. I do not care if I win or get slaughtered, as long as I enjoy myself doing it.

Take the oppertunity to find weakness in your list and fine tune it. Make sure you are playing the best game you can, without the common mistakes (ie forgetting to shoot, or missing a magic phase) and tactical errors (ie. leaving your mage out in the open). Just enjoy the game you have spent so much time on, rather than worrying about how cheezy that 13 PD VC army is.


Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:53 pm
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I don´t know if you wanted to start talking in this post about tactics. But here goes one...

A tactic that has worked for me agains a high elf all mounted army was to use my COKs as bait. I made that unit 8 strong with no magic banner but full comand. CHariots where place 5 inches to the side of the unit. The coks advance to be within charge range of the HE HC. Of course on their turn, they charged my waint COks, which fled. Since just by fleeing a few inches THey were out of range, they were on no real dange. The next turn I countered charged with the two chariots from the flanks to that unit, I was able to destroy the unit with the 2d6+2 S 5 hits.. So my chariots advanced 3d6 inches which was enough to charge another cavalry unit. My oponent so how slowly his army began to crumble and there was not much he could do about it.

Probably this tactic will only work one per enemy. But I think its quite nice.

Many people would say it was quite

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Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:26 pm
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agred 100% play and have fun after a while when u have got kill enouge you lern from your mistakes.....I'm not hundred if it will be the same in 40k but this forum is for fantacy......

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Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:30 am
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