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Ideal Warrior Unit Size 
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Executioner

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:22 pm
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Trying to start some discussion here that should be beneficial to all. I run units of 25 spearmen. Its worked out as a decent size and its as clunky as a horde formation. IMO horde is just a fad. Only one more rank of attacks and unless you're against another horde the whole rank won't fight. In addition its unwieldy and expensive. Enough of the rant anyway.

Opinions on the ideal warrior unit size?

Tom

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Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:04 pm
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25-30 sounds about right..... With 30 you can make a "sort-of" horde formation, and 30 spearmen isn't prohibitively expensive. However, if you invest so many points into a few big units of spearmen, you will probably have to cut back on units of RxB's and/or BT's, right? So it all depends on the other units you're basing your plan around - would you agree?

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Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:12 pm
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Black Guard
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It really depends what you use them for. They don't pack the most punch but they are our cheapest troop so are a good candidate for having a lot of ranks to deny steadfast. If you are looking to fill that role the spears are good and a unit of 25-30 will do a decent job of it.

I agree that fielding hordes is a fad at the moment and that tactically they are not most viable. This is especially true of dark elves who are by no means a horde army (thus it doesn't make sense to play as one to me at least).

Personally my ideal unit size is 0 as I don't use them at all. The points are better invested elsewhere. For just 4 pts more you get a RXB which is a great weapon and can use sword and board in combat which is better defensively than spears. The RXB yields so much more flexibility to what your unit can do - I can't resist taking as many as I can.


Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:50 pm
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Dark Illusionist
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Quote:
I agree that fielding hordes is a fad at the moment and that tactically they are not most viable. This is especially true of dark elves who are by no means a horde army (thus it doesn't make sense to play as one to me at least).


You're looking at it the wrong way. A horde army doesn't have 40man blocks. A horde army fields 60-strong blocks. 40 warriors is by no means a proper horde, but it can be extremely efficient against other hordes. It is rather narrow-minded to just dismiss them.

30 is the number you want to reach combat with, thus you need more to start with.

Adding to that is the fact that you won't be able to shoot down all hordes coming at you, and having a unit that can take them out as easily as 40 spearmen can is very valuable. 40 Spearmen with AP attack pack a hell of a punch. They munch through that halberdier horde in no time flat, and almost any other unit is either equivalent or worse (save chaos barbarians, but even they aren't too much of a problem). This gives you a valuable asset when fighting hordes. And against cavalry, AP spearmen in horde formation are about as dangerous as it gets.

Don't forget that just because you are 40 strong doesn't mean you have to deploy as a horde - you can also have 8 ranks and couple this with a flank charge from an elite unit, which will almost certainly break whatever you charge in the first turn. Just take a musician and you've got all the flexibility you want without too great an investmen (10 extra spearmen will cost you 70 points, hardly a lot, in other words).

The thing is - take 30, and you don't have this flexibility, but for a slightly higher investment, you do... 40 spearmen are very, very viable if you ask me.

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Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:21 pm
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Dragon Lord
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My idea is (haven't played that much 8th edition... moving between countries can mess up your game arrangements) 30 Warriors for a standard group, 40 Warriors for a Sacrificial Dagger Sorceress.

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Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:07 am
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Executioner
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I keep to my blockS of forty. Their sole job is to deny steadfast to my enemy so that I can break them easier when combined charge with other units.

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Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

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*Magical properties possibly imbued


Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:22 am
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Meteor wrote:
I keep to my blockS of forty. Their sole job is to deny steadfast to my enemy so that I can break them easier when combined charge with other units.
In that case, how are yours deployed? 5x8? 8x5? Or something different? Because you DO know denying steadfast is about having more ranks than your opponents biggest unit, not more men?!

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Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:49 pm
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Noble Korhedron wrote:
Meteor wrote:
I keep to my blockS of forty. Their sole job is to deny steadfast to my enemy so that I can break them easier when combined charge with other units.
In that case, how are yours deployed? 5x8? 8x5? Or something different? Because you DO know denying steadfast is about having more ranks than your opponents biggest unit, not more men?!


It doesn't matter how you deploy. I keep trying to point that out to people who say that it's too inflexible to have a horde and too hard to maneouver and all that. Take a musician, have your general nearby (odds are he will be somewhere around your biggest combat block) and your BSB, and they can switch formation at will depending on what the situation requires - 8 ranks mean your elites can break just about any horde if you combo charge, and horde means the spearmen can take out just about any cavalry unit (provided they have the AP banner or KB buffs - or both) and almost any horde unit.

Take 40 and you have the option of both - take 30, and you are restricted to outranking other 30 strong units.

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Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:21 pm
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Noble Korhedron wrote:
Meteor wrote:
I keep to my blockS of forty. Their sole job is to deny steadfast to my enemy so that I can break them easier when combined charge with other units.
In that case, how are yours deployed? 5x8? 8x5? Or something different? Because you DO know denying steadfast is about having more ranks than your opponents biggest unit, not more men?!


5x8, i do know how steadfast works since I use my spears solely for that purpose, it's why there isn't the word 'horde' in my sentence too, since horde means ten wide infantry. Having said that, I can still choose to go into horde mode where the opportunity presents itself. Mr. Anderson pretty much covered the flexibility and advantages for a block of forty.

The inflexibility isn't in the blocks of spears themselves, but the supporting elements that are trying to advance alongside these big blocks. A piece of impassable terrain will ruin your day and it's slow negotiating support units around your deep blocks.

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Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

Skills
Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

Magic Item
Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:48 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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I think 30 is kind of ideal.

They have maximum SCR and 6 ranks which means you can stop most things for some rounds. They can also survive some wounds due to shooting/magic before melee starts without loosing SCR.

Combined with a flank charge (Hydra, 5 naked CoKs [blessed], CoC, etc) they should have more CR and ranks and you can make an opponents unit flee.

Against a horde u can reform wider yourself and win because your troops are stronger (except chaos barbarians).

Running 40 is probably more save because you can survive more casualties before loosing some of this abilities. But 70P more is a unit of 6 harpies or nearly a unit of 5 shades which both could hunt warmachines or fleeing units (or shoot) in the meanwhile. That sounds more attractive to me than having 10 more spearmen.


Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:11 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:58 pm
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Depends on the function of the unit. For my army a unit of 30 spears, FC, deployed 5x6. I also occasionally run 35, 5x7. Spears are not there to kill guys, that is just a bonus. They are there to tie something up.


Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:35 pm
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I´m currently going with 50 (FC, small magic banner like flaming/AP) and 2 blocks of them..

I want 40 in Combat, to get the full force out of them. So lets take 10 to cover some losses (including dagger). If you field spears, you do so because you get a steadfest unit with tons of attacks.. Ever seen a full spearblock with KB cauldron backup in CC? They eat everything.

You should field BIIIIG units of spears combined with a cauldron. Granted, I´m assuming we speak about 2000+ Points (leaning towards 3k).

Big blocks of spears are nearly as good in CC as BG, rather more defensive than offensive (steadfest), but they can take by far more wounds and are great for point denial.

I´m one of the players who think that spearman/xbows, a cauldron and hydras are the hardest way to go in 8th.


Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:42 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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I'm finding that Spear blocks of 60 and then Exec Hordes(50ish is what I got to see) actually do QUITE a bit of damage- Especially around the CoB! and staying Stubborn.

Personally I use about 180-210 points worth, but like my Warrs to shoot units

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Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:12 pm
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Executioner
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and i thought forty was bordering too many... o.o

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Now that we understand each other, lets get down to business.

Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

Skills
Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

Magic Item
Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:09 am
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24-30 is how I've been rolling. I don't want to drop a mob of 50 models, too much work. :P Tactically, it is probably really effective but it's just not my playstyle.

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Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:48 pm
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I run 2 30 block in 6x5 formation and have done so since mid of the 7th ed. and they work well. A good block under 250pts and that is nice!

And if you dual charge a unit with them and a CoC most opponent break fairly easily.


Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:24 am
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Executioner
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I ran thirty in 5x6 again tonight because it was a 2000pt game, so had to thin them out to fit a similar component of my list in.

I was facing frenzied chaos warriors (again), I easily won combat and broke a block of 6x3 Chaos Warriors that I word of pained, with a block of thirty spears and a unit of twelve WEs.

However, further down the line I had thirty warriors up against another block of 6x3 frenzied CWs. By the time he was through with me, I had sixteen models left, I was fortunate enough to wound him four times and he failed three saves, making him lose his second rank, allowing me to JUST maintain steadfast against him. So once again I've found that with thirty warriors, it's just a rank or two shy from maintaining steadfast when suffering heavy casualties.

So I definitely will be keeping my spears in blocks of forty, of course my purpose for them is only to soak up a really nasty unit, deny steadfast then slam them with glass cannon units. So I do suggest units of forty if used in that way.

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What's mine is mine, What's yours is mine.
Now that we understand each other, lets get down to business.

Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

Skills
Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

Magic Item
Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:22 pm
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Slave on the Altar
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I can understand those that concider more than 30 to be too much but take into account:
1) Any Template will do more than "a couple" of wounds. A direct hit will touch 21 and kill about half. So if you want to have 30 in CC you need at least 40 to start with. If you want to use your warriors as an anvil/steadfast denyer then you need more ranks than the unit you are facing.
2) DE don't have WM with Templates only with magic. As magic isn't always reliable you will either have to concentrate fire on the blocks or ignore them and take a bigger unit to start with. If you concentrate fire on the blocks you might miss juicyer targets, if you take more warriors you might have less shooters.

20-25 "can" be decimated by one good template hit. Even 30 can be made useless with one shot. I recomend between 40-60 so at least 30-50 get into combat. A lot less risk of being broken, more chance of denying steadfast and a bigger "zone of control". Plus your opponent will have a much harder time of getting a single VP out of it. Naturally the unit size scales slightly depending on point size of your army.


Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:32 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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my answer is "big enough to hold them until a hammer gets there"lol

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Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:19 pm
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