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Army Composition Topics: Redundancy 
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Surelian wrote:
When designing an army you want to dominate one of the three critical phases.


I disagree. When designing an army you should have something going on in all three phases. What happens when you design your army to be master of shooting and then have to play a Wood elf player! No way are you going to outshoot that guy. Or master of Melee and then the chaos khorne army from hell rolls onto the board.

I find that at tournaments and similar events people get nervous and have problems when someone brings an army that does what they do. Tzeench vs High elf magic, Chaos vs Brettonia etc...

The strength of the dark elves is having a back up and an all round army. That is what I belive redundancy is. Redundant systems on a Warship mean that if the ship takes a missle in the fire fighting system aft, you can quickly put the forward pump on line and maintian water pressure. So in that case if your melee troops suddenly are faced with Khorne chosen knights you can just keep out of their way and shoot the crap out of them with Reapers. Or zapem with magic, or just move out of their way. That is what I belive redundancy is. If you are master of one phase you stand to set yourself up for a hard fall when someone takes advantage of your weaknesses in other areas or outdoes you in your speciality.

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Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:15 pm
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The Underway wrote:
Surelian wrote:
When designing an army you want to dominate one of the three critical phases.


I disagree. When designing an army you should have something going on in all three phases. What happens when you design your army to be master of shooting and then have to play a Wood elf player! No way are you going to outshoot that guy. Or master of Melee and then the chaos khorne army from hell rolls onto the board.

I find that at tournaments and similar events people get nervous and have problems when someone brings an army that does what they do. Tzeench vs High elf magic, Chaos vs Brettonia etc...

The strength of the dark elves is having a back up and an all round army. That is what I belive redundancy is. Redundant systems on a Warship mean that if the ship takes a missle in the fire fighting system aft, you can quickly put the forward pump on line and maintian water pressure. So in that case if your melee troops suddenly are faced with Khorne chosen knights you can just keep out of their way and shoot the crap out of them with Reapers. Or zapem with magic, or just move out of their way. That is what I belive redundancy is. If you are master of one phase you stand to set yourself up for a hard fall when someone takes advantage of your weaknesses in other areas or outdoes you in your speciality.


Very well said. If you play to dominate one phase, you are not redundant, but rather dependent on that phase to win. I suppose another way to discuss redundant army list construction would be to call it "flexible." You want to be able to take advantage of where the opponent is weak rather than forcing a strength and opening a weakness in your own right.

Jeff


Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:26 pm
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Dominating is not simply shutting down the other phases or weakening them, but should be a strong part of your army.if you go magic heavy you should dominate the magic phase, if you go shooting heavy you should dominate the shooting phase. One of the phases need to be stronger. Maybe dominating is too strong of a word to use. I agree with having something for everyone but you need one phase to be a tad stronger. Dark elves excel in having something for every situation.

Of course you will run into the one dimensional and tzeentch and khorne armies that dominate only single phases, however by playing upto their strengths you might balance out and then it comes down to tactics, maneauverability and skill.


Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:45 pm
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Surelian wrote:
Maybe dominating is too strong of a word to use. I agree with having something for everyone but you need one phase to be a tad stronger. Dark elves excel in having something for every situation.


My only caution, however, is that if you have a phase that you have already decided (pre-game) is "stronger," you tend to use it as a crutch. I know that when I was going magic-heavy, I was in somewhat of a quandry if either: a) I didn't get the right spells or b) my opponent had a lot of dispel capability.

Given the fact that I know what types of armies you usually take (very balanced), I think we are essentially saying the same thing with different words.

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Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:50 pm
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my tzeentch army isn't one-dimensional. It is very strong in Movement (marauder horsemen, screamers, furies), close combat (chariot, warriors, knights), and magic (2 level 2's in 1500 points, lots of mark of tz... 10 power dice i believe)

I'm lacking something in the shooting phase, but i think if somebody manages to shut down my magic, i've still got the CC abilities of any other chaos army. :D

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Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:53 pm
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- Human wrote:
my tzeentch army ... is very strong in Movement (marauder horsemen, screamers, furies)


An important distinction, however, is the difference between "movement" or "speed" and "manueverability." While your army does sound very fast, and has both flyers and fast cav (very manueverable elements), how is it as a whole? Can you utilize it as a single weapon to move your opponent into a position of disadvantage, or do you find yourself having a "fast" component that moves out to strike quickly, allowing the "slow" part to come mop up?

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Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:20 pm
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An excellent distinction Jeff.

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Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:46 pm
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jeffleong13 wrote:

An important distinction, however, is the difference between "movement" or "speed" and "manueverability." While your army does sound very fast, and has both flyers and fast cav (very manueverable elements), how is it as a whole? Can you utilize it as a single weapon to move your opponent into a position of disadvantage
Jeff


This discussion now comes full circle quite nicely as this point once again highlights the need for redundancy in your list. :D


Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:53 pm
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Very true ... :D

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Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:13 pm
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actually, a very good point. does anyone knows ways to keep a chaos army together that has both warriors and knights, flyers and horsemen?

i'm not afraid to admit my army's flaws :)

I must say, my druchii work alot better together like that.

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Thu Jul 31, 2003 12:10 am
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- Human wrote:
actually, a very good point. does anyone knows ways to keep a chaos army together that has both warriors and knights, flyers and horsemen?


I use a chaos army very much like this now, except without the warriors. Instead I've got nurglings and two chariots which I think are much better. In terms of redundency, the warriors just wouldn't fit my army since they would not really be making anything more redundent and would have nothing redundent towards them. They would just inch up the table as an easy points grab with little purpose. The nurglings are similar in that they have nothing really to compliment them for redundency, but their special rules make up for it I think. Kind of like how one is willing to take BG as a speed bump when there is little else doing the same thing. For the flyers I've got both furies and screamers and also two units of horsemen with flails, all of which can go after war machines since this army is rather vulnerable to missile fire.

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Thu Jul 31, 2003 12:37 am
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lol man.... i kinda knew that ws true but i was hoping there was some use.... seeing as how i have 15 of them painted... :( :( :( :cry:

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Thu Jul 31, 2003 4:01 am
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The link between the Infantry and the cavalry is the Chariot, I use 2 of them in my Slaanesh list if I have an inbalance of units. Works pretty well, hits hard and is a safe (ish) place for a Wizard.

And remember too that the flyers can always come back, and into the rear of the enemy units, once they have done their war machine eating!


Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:53 am
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Interesting point there about using a chariot to link the infantry and the Cav. I use a Hydra in my Druchii force for the same thing (though it doesn't charge as far as a chariot). I just find that he is more err... reliable than a Ld 8 stupidity test. However maybee I should buy a second chariot. Two together would cost about the same as a hydra (actually a little cheaper).

As for what Jeff said earlier about "flexability". I think that is a much better way to describe what I was getting at with something going on in all the phases and not putting your eggs in one basket.

So now we are looking at an army that is both FLEXABLE and REDUNDANT.

REDUNDANT: The ability to deal with losses and keep your army as a functioning whole.

FLEXABILITY: The ability to deal with battlefield surprises and take advantage of your opponents weaknesses.

So this comes back to my theory (stolen from Sun Tzu) about considering the one ususally overlooked factor in the game environment. TIME

Sun Tzu said there are a few "truths" about battlefields. Space, time, mass. Those are the ones I remember off the top of my head. He talks about using, or trading one to develop the other and take advantage of opponents weaknesses or to counteract their strengths.

For example is your opponent is strong in mass (combat ability of Chaos infantry) you can trade space (movement and manouverability) to gain time (a couple of turns) to bring your own mass (Hydra and COC) into his weak spots (flank).
Trading space for time as you already have a good amount of mass.

The example is obviously oversimplified but I belive it gets the point across. Time is the essential element that needs to be considered to win games and design a good army. This is because if you use time effectively you can more readily dominate the game.

In WFB there are two kinds of time. One is the turns. This is the most obvious example and most people think using turn based tactics, "I can't charge him in the first turn but if I march I can get to grips in the second, etc..."

However the second, mostly forgotten time factor is the phases. Rally, Magic, Missile, Combat etc... In designing an army to take advantage of this aspect of time you need to have something going on in each phase. Just having a one dimensional army will get your butt kick if your foe is intelligent. That is because he takes advantage of your weakness in TIME MANAGEMENT during the battle. By having strengths in all the pahses you may be able to trade off these aspects to gain something else.

Example: Chaos Combat army from hell is strong in mass, and the combat phase of time. Trade off these to move and shoot. This gains you space and more time (by using DR to slow marches etc...). Hwever if you come up against the shooty Wood elf army you need to take advantage of your higher mass and trade time (get to combat fast) to keep that mass advantage.

So bring this back to redundancy and flexability and add this little caveat at the end of those definitions. "over time". This helps me to think in the right directions when designing a list or playing a game.

This is all highly theoretical and sometimes translating this into a tabletop wargame is difficult. But I think that thinking this way can really help players old and (especially) new. And certainly threads like this have made me reconsider many of my previously held thoughts on matters.

I LOVE THIS STUFF ;) !lol!

Later

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Yes, time is an important factor to consider, esp since in most games its only 6 turns. Space too, is important and will decide more outcomes than may be apparent. For example, I know one guy who uses a 1.5K ghoul army. Now, on a 6x4 table, its not very effective since me cannot use his "mass" to as great an effect, but on the slightly less than 4x4 table he's used to, the thing is rather deadly. The same goes for my CG army on a 5x6 table where I have a whole extra foot of shooting time available.

Truly, the whole point of stopping marches is to buy time. In theory, a chaos infantry army can move only 4" per turn when not marching, and over 6 turns at that rate cannot even cross to your deployment zone. The same goes for drawing off troops. By doing so you not only buy time, but also eliminate the concentrated mass of the enemy in many cases. However, you must trade a bit of space to do it.

This stuff is what makes dark riders, shades, and harpies os incredibly valuable. They can do most if not all of these things to a certain degree, and they are relatively cheap. Not only that, but they are what I consider the pinnacle of what we are searching for: redundancy and flexibility. Or, summed into another concept, overall versatility. Not only is it important to double or triple up on tasks, but also to be able to change what each task is even in mid battle if the objectives are met or start to change.

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I love this kinda stuff too, it really gets the old brain cells working on a different aspect of the hobby ( and believe me, my brain cells are old :? )

Time is another interesting point. I wonder how many of you play the game 1 or 2 turns ahead of actual time at any one moment. Similar to chess, and try to link your strategies together based on the phase times rather than the turn times. With the right combination of units and items in your army list it is possible to have a second movement, magic and combat phase, but in his game time.

I'll try to explain. We all have our plan, our battle plan for how we fight the game but do any of you ever think about your plan but in his turn? The perfect example is the DR bait unit. In your turn you position your units so as to draw him either closer to you with a charge or actually into a combat you want him to fight because it is furthering your goal. Best part being it occurs in his turn. Get the idea? Try and put this into your thinking as the game progresses and you will see how you can better formulate your plans for future games.


Thu Jul 31, 2003 11:41 pm
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Dark Alliance wrote:
Time is another interesting point. I wonder how many of you play the game 1 or 2 turns ahead of actual time at any one moment. Similar to chess, and try to link your strategies together based on the phase times rather than the turn times. With the right combination of units and items in your army list it is possible to have a second movement, magic and combat phase, but in his game time.

I'll try to explain. We all have our plan, our battle plan for how we fight the game but do any of you ever think about your plan but in his turn? The perfect example is the DR bait unit. In your turn you position your units so as to draw him either closer to you with a charge or actually into a combat you want him to fight because it is furthering your goal. Best part being it occurs in his turn. Get the idea? Try and put this into your thinking as the game progresses and you will see how you can better formulate your plans for future games.


Very true - just as in chess, you need to be able to look 1-2 turns ahead in order to really understand the game. This also helps you to retain the Initiative in a game - basically, it keeps your opponent reacting to you rather than the other way around.

Actually, I think that the whole MSU tactic really requires people to use this. The whole idea is to set up multiple charges on enemy units ... the only way to ensure that this happens is to try to guess where the opponent will be on your next turn. Often, you can force them into position, but it's still the basic approach.

J


Fri Aug 01, 2003 1:06 pm
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This discussion just gets better and better. This is actually one of the best threads I have ever seen concering Warhammer. Simply awesome.

I'd like to throw in my hat and remind everyone that the indirect approach is almost always the best path to victory. By this I mean that off-balancing your opponent's battle plan through the use of unexpected maneuver and tactics forces him to react to you. In addition, the indirect approach allows for an economy of force in a given situation because your enemy is not prepared to meet your attack, and can be put in disastrous situations without him being aware until it is too late. This type of plan is especially easy to do with the Druchii because of our speed/maneuverability, and it is also why I think MSU is such a fundamentally sound approach to Druchii army design.

By constantly blocking marches, baiting, forcing disadvantagous overruns, etc., your opponent's plan (and battle line) crumbles before him and he is forced to have units fight piecemeal and often isolated from support. This is where Druchii speed produces an economy of force to be achieved against these disrupted enemy lines.

The direct approach is easily defeated, as your opponent expects it and can bring an optimum level of force to bear on you.

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Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:51 pm
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jeffleong13 wrote:
Actually, I think that the whole MSU tactic really requires people to use this. The whole idea is to set up multiple charges on enemy units ... the only way to ensure that this happens is to try to guess where the opponent will be on your next turn. Often, you can force them into position, but it's still the basic approach.

J


This is very true. I would not suggest MSU to anyone who cannot think ahead like this, because it is absolutely critical for the tactic to work.

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Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:53 pm
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GrogsnotPowwabomba wrote:
In addition, the indirect approach allows for an economy of force ...


Hmm ... Mass, manuever, and now economy of force ... you in the military by any chance?

Jeff


Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:20 pm
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For sure the indirect approach, or feint, is the optimum way to set ( read spring ) a trap however, if you can combine an obvious attempt at a trap with a surprise the result is so much sweeter.

The more games I play with my Druchii the more I believe that this is an area in which we probably do excell against the other armies. MSU and the fast cavalry / flyer armies are the best ways to pull this off - especially if you enhance your composition by correctly addressing the issues raised in this thread

1. Redundancy
2. Flexibilty - of movement
- of tactic
- of unit combination
3. The time factor - phasing rather than turn based


I like to set obvious traps as a distraction to turn my opponents away from the real threat which is to follow in a later phase. That phase may well be in my magic phase or my combat phase, or even as a result of a fight he wins in his combat phase! The obvious threat needs to be addressed as I present a 'charge or be charged' situation to him and invariably his attention is diverted from what I really want to do.

In order to be able to pull this off though your army must be fluid and have the right enhancements, specifically to fight in this manner. One of the ways in which we are able to do this successfully IMO is the relative ease with which we are able to field or achieve flight.


Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:27 pm
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jeffleong13 wrote:
GrogsnotPowwabomba wrote:
In addition, the indirect approach allows for an economy of force ...


Hmm ... Mass, manuever, and now economy of force ... you in the military by any chance?

Jeff


No, but I am an avid reader of tactical and strategic writings.

If I didn't have to worry about earning a living, I would have gotten a Masters in Military History and been a teacher. But teachers don't make enough for my tastes sadly... :(

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Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:30 pm
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Dark Alliance wrote:
For sure the indirect approach, or feint, is the optimum way to set ( read spring ) a trap however, if you can combine an obvious attempt at a trap with a surprise the result is so much sweeter.

The more games I play with my Druchii the more I believe that this is an area in which we probably do excell against the other armies. MSU and the fast cavalry / flyer armies are the best ways to pull this off - especially if you enhance your composition by correctly addressing the issues raised in this thread

1. Redundancy
2. Flexibilty - of movement
- of tactic
- of unit combination
3. The time factor - phasing rather than turn based


I like to set obvious traps as a distraction to turn my opponents away from the real threat which is to follow in a later phase. That phase may well be in my magic phase or my combat phase, or even as a result of a fight he wins in his combat phase! The obvious threat needs to be addressed as I present a 'charge or be charged' situation to him and invariably his attention is diverted from what I really want to do.

In order to be able to pull this off though your army must be fluid and have the right enhancements, specifically to fight in this manner. One of the ways in which we are able to do this successfully IMO is the relative ease with which we are able to field or achieve flight.


A superb summation. The best trap is always the one that your opponent never sees ... or can't avoid :twisted:

Matthew York has perfected this strategy with his Skaven. He sets up the perfect traps by giving you no other choices ...

My greatest success with Dark Elves has been in a similar vein - create situations in which the opponent thinks they see something. You can often get them to react to this in such a way as to fall into a much more serious trap.

I must once again say that this really is becoming a superb thread -
Jeff


Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:27 pm
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GrogsnotPowwabomba wrote:
No, but I am an avid reader of tactical and strategic writings.

If I didn't have to worry about earning a living, I would have gotten a Masters in Military History and been a teacher. But teachers don't make enough for my tastes sadly... :(


Just curious ... just not terms with which the average gamer is familiar. Perhaps one day you can teach ... in the meantime, we have but to read and play Warhammer!

J


Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:29 pm
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@Grog(...) - Love the new moniker

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Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:31 pm
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