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Repeater Crossbowman - How do you use them? 
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Slave (off the Altar)

Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:24 pm
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Does anybody use Crossbowman to any great effect? I've used them in a few games in different ways and I just can't seem to make them work for me. They usually are only able to get 1 or 2 turns of shots in and then they just don't seem very valuable as support troops. If you have any advice on using Crossbowman I would appreciate it. Right now I have 20 crossbowman models that are just going to collect dust because I seem to have more luck without them!


Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:05 pm
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Cold One Knight
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Well there are a lot of factors that can influence how a unit operates in your army, but there seems to be a major consensus that repeater crossbowmen are one of our best units. If you have 20 of them then a good way to use them is to make that one unit with shields and command. That provides 40 shots a turn and they can re form to act as a decent close combat unit which gives added flexibility. Generally Druchii armies run shadow magic which gives you access to the withering, and when you can allow those 40 shots to be wounding on a 2+ then the damage is going to stick.

I personally like to use a mix of shades and repeater crossbowmen to have around 100 shots per turn so from my experience these units work best in massive numbers, which results in your shooting becoming a dominant part of your damage out put, while not requiring enough of a points sink to really weaken the other aspects of your army.
Cheers,
-Ave


Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:29 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

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Aveleys wrote:
Well there are a lot of factors that can influence how a unit operates in your army, but there seems to be a major consensus that repeater crossbowmen are one of our best units. If you have 20 of them then a good way to use them is to make that one unit with shields and command. That provides 40 shots a turn and they can re form to act as a decent close combat unit which gives added flexibility. Generally Druchii armies run shadow magic which gives you access to the withering, and when you can allow those 40 shots to be wounding on a 2+ then the damage is going to stick.

I personally like to use a mix of shades and repeater crossbowmen to have around 100 shots per turn so from my experience these units work best in massive numbers, which results in your shooting becoming a dominant part of your damage out put, while not requiring enough of a points sink to really weaken the other aspects of your army.
Cheers,
-Ave


Wow, good point about the withering. I'm usually shooting to hit at 5+ and rolling to wound at a 4+ or 5+ and can't seem to do enough damage. With the withering that would change big time.


Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:50 pm
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I generally run one lager unit of 20 or so with shields muso and banner, or full command, and 1 or 2 smaller units with 10 to 14 models with just shields and muso.

I've not used shadow and don't plan to, so I live with our current effectiveness. Fire includes an augment spell which is beneficial, along with the added benefit of being a flaming attack which causes cavalry to panic check. It depends very much on your opponents. Fire and death are good against armies that take a lot of leadership tests, shadow against armies that don't.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:26 am
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I run a my Repeater Crossbowmen in a unit of 23 with musician and shields and a lvl 2 wizard with the guiding eye. in a 2x12 formation. I don't hang back with them, I always try to move in to position with them, granted at the start i am hitting on 6's, but once I get into position I am set. They never fail me, if i run the wizard with dark magic, half her spells need to be within 24" range anyway. so i have no choice but to move.

But it's doesnt matter how we use them, what matters is how you are using them.


Mike the Marauder wrote:
I've used them in a few games in different ways and I just can't seem to make them work for me.


Please give us examples of how you have been using them.
spells can make all the difference, withering drops their toughness, and if you can combine it with the flaming sword of rhuin, it adds +1 to you roll to wound.

If you dropped an enemy's toughness down to 1 you would need 2's to wound, and with the flaming sword of rhuin they wound on one's.
Now before the "The roll of a one always fail debate"

From the Warhammer Rulebook FAQ (v1.5).
Quote Q: Does a To Wound roll of a 1 always fail to Wound? (p42, 51)
A: No. Though it is very rare for a model to be able to Wound
on a 1+.


So it can be done. I get 46 shots every turn with this unit, and I don't know about odds and all that, but if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick.

You must continue to use them, the have the same base stats as a corsair, if you give them a shield the have the same Armour save in combat as a corsair and they have a parry save as well. Keep in mind this is after a 46 shot stand and shoot reaction IF the enemy make the charge, and IF they don't fail the panic test, and IF there is anyone left to fight. and even then you will get to swing first most of the time, with hatred.

it will take you a couple of go's maybe, but once you figure them out you will be glad to have them in your army.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:55 am
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Noble
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I run 2 units of 20 for most of my games that are 1500+ points. I vouch that some of their strength comes from coupling their shooting with shadow magic, and it can be devastating. But I also believe that some of their ability comes from the fact that each unit is a decent shot and still can hold their own in close combat. Sometimes getting into combat with a ranged unit is seen as an instantly won combat, but not in this case.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:26 am
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Charge 30 Executioners with them... and WIN!

Heh.

And yes, that really happened... ok, some Shadow magic was involved there, too. :)

Bye
Thanee


Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:27 am
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Dirty Mac wrote:
Now before the "The roll of a one always fail debate"

From the Warhammer Rulebook FAQ (v1.5).
Quote Q: Does a To Wound roll of a 1 always fail to Wound? (p42, 51)
A: No. Though it is very rare for a model to be able to Wound
on a 1+.


So it can be done.


Yep, it can be done. But only when you get a +1 to Wound rolls modifier (as with the Fire spell in your example :)).

i.e. S6 vs. T3 is not enough to "Wound on 1+".

Just as an addition to it.

Bye
Thanee


Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:30 am
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Quote:
From the Warhammer Rulebook FAQ (v1.5).
Quote Q: Does a To Wound roll of a 1 always fail to Wound? (p42, 51)
A: No. Though it is very rare for a model to be able to Wound
on a 1+.


Another GW tidbit of joy. From the company that brought us ASF and Storm of Magic. Hmmph.

Quote:
Does anybody use Crossbowman to any great effect?


I have always struggled to make them work in the ways described by others here. On turn 1 they are out of range, so you need to move forwards. That means you are hitting on 6s and that much closer to the enemy (and crossbowmen make for a juicy target, particularly for those heavy cavalry units looking for a viable target). They also take up a lot of frontage if you put them in the middle (denying this area of deployment to your more melee oriented troops), but can struggle to be relevant if put towards either flank. If you put them on a hill behind your other forces, they struggle to be in range of the things they want to shoot, and if you just put them behind your melee troops on the low ground, they can't see anything well enough to shoot.

I have heard lots about combining them with magic on here (particularly shadow, but also fire and metal), but the challenge there is that if you are up against good magic defence and/or a saavy player, he will prevent you from using these spells at just the wrong moment (most players will dispel the withering when they are crossing the board, for example, but let steed off shadows, the enfeebling foe and even okkam's mindrazor through, because those spells won't affect them at that stage). You can end up investing a lot of points into a combo that has a reasonable chance of not panning out.

But does that make RxBs useless for me? By no means. I love taking a unit of 10-14 and a musician or so to:

a) deal with irksome scouts (the new quick reform rule is a blessing)
b) supply me with some firepower against enemy flying monsters etc
c) provide a unit shelter for my support mage (do not put your main mage here, she is too expensive to risk in such a small unit)
d) protect one flank against enemy fast cavalry

I'm sure that large numbers of RxBs work for some people, and I'm not trying to suggest that my failure to use them successfully is in any way a suggestion that they can't be used effectively. They can. The point of my post is more to a) say its not just you, so don't worry :) and b) suggest an alternative way that RxBs can be effective (thus hoping adding further value to the replies provided so far).

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:15 am
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Noble

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I also don't find them to be that useful- if I want shooting, shades are infinitely better. To be honest I usually just take them to round out the rest of my core after my bunker and Corsairs are in- 2 units of 10 with just musicians are pretty standard for me, a nice choice that isn't so many points I'm relying on it but supports the rest of the list nicely

They can certainly be good, but I've found that they're at their most effective when people stumble into short range of them so that the worst of the shooting modifiers don't apply- which doesn't happen all that often.

I tend to usually use them to clear away redirectors and finish off weakened units, but in an edition where combat is where most games are won or lost (especially in tournaments where you're looking for the big wins), and with Shadow Dark Elves being arguably one of the best combat armies in the game, I prefer to play to those strengths.

Xbows do make nice units for holding flanks though (as well as providing a couple of extra chaff deployments), as the amount of fire they put out might no worry big units (Withering aside) but it's often more than enough to stop fast cavalry or flyers trying to sneak around.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:46 am
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i use either a group of 30 (start deployed in 2x15 and then reform to either 3x10 or a deep formation to receive a charge). that unit is HARD to beat, because it lacks most of the weaknesses that a normal missile unit has. it has a decent AS, decent ranks and decent attacks and a buttload of shots to boot. it can really decimate units before they reach CC.

alternately i use multiple units of 10. they are great support and very cheap. you can even flank charge with them to help tip a combat in your favour. Shields are VERY nice for them, because it gives them a lot of redundancy. a command group can be nice too, and is a must in the big unit mentioned above.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:21 am
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Red... wrote:
Quote:

I have always struggled to make them work in the ways described by others here. On turn 1 they are out of range, so you need to move forwards. That means you are hitting on 6s and that much closer to the enemy (and crossbowmen make for a juicy target, particularly for those heavy cavalry units looking for a viable target). They also take up a lot of frontage if you put them in the middle (denying this area of deployment to your more melee oriented troops), but can struggle to be relevant if put towards either flank. If you put them on a hill behind your other forces, they struggle to be in range of the things they want to shoot, and if you just put them behind your melee troops on the low ground, they can't see anything well enough to shoot.

I have heard lots about combining them with magic on here (particularly shadow, but also fire and metal), but the challenge there is that if you are up against good magic defence and/or a saavy player, he will prevent you from using these spells at just the wrong moment (most players will dispel the withering when they are crossing the board, for example, but let steed off shadows, the enfeebling foe and even okkam's mindrazor through, because those spells won't affect them at that stage). You can end up investing a lot of points into a combo that has a reasonable chance of not panning out.



Ok, i'll try to document how I use them. First things first, I look at my opponent's list and figure out what needs to be shot even before I put them on the table. If no such target exists (highly unlikey) then they are automatically palce to guard a flank.

Priorities are:
Flyers
Scouts
Skirmishers than can disrupt my lines
Monsters
Low toughness troops
Low AS troops
Low ld troops
Block that I need to soften up

Ok now that I have selected my target, I try to anticipate where he's goig to put them and to help me out I deploy them after my Harpies and Spearmen. My opponent will likely do the same and deploy fast units as well but I normally have 9 drops with my army or more thus so I have lots of throw away deployments. After he has placed his unit, I will put mine directly opposite them. I also forgot to mention that I use 2 units of 20 almost all the time therefore whichever way he goes, I have LOS of the entire board.

If I go first-----

If the unit I am targeting is a melee infantry troop obviously he will deploy as close as he can therefore I know he would be exactly 24" away from me, I will move 1-2" so all my ranks can fire.

If the unit's movement is more than 6" (Cavalary, Monsters etc), I still move up 1-2" inches forward but move my other melee units closer to the RXBmen readying for a charge should he get too close.

If I go second-----

If the target I am targeting is a melee infantry, any movement forward would mean I will be in range during my turn with all my ranks so no worries.


If the unit's movement is more than 6" (Cavalary, Monsters etc), obviously I wuld have deployed further back from 3-6" back. I cant think of any unit with such movement who would opt not to move because of RXBmen so I am sure he will get closer. IF by some freak accident of nature he doesn't, That's fine by me as it would mean he is not making good use of the points he spent for a model with superior movement.

In either circumstance I normally use Miasma and Withering in all my games if I happen to get it followed by Enfeebling Foe then Pit of Shades. I rarely go for Mindrazor because of how I constructed my list but also I don't want to rely on a crutch spell that needs me to be in close combat in the first place that I cannot win without the aid of spells. If I can't take out the unit with superior movement, mismatching and mutlicharges then I just don't engage them till I know I'll win even before the first to hit roll lands.

Now in the first scenario I've mentioned that I move to intercept the unit going towards my RXBmen. If it is just a minor threat or not at all then I choose another target for my COK for example. If the unit in question however is let's say Warriors of Chaos or Deamons, I will delay my COK movement till I get a sure charge on them and hit them in a way that my RXBmen can reform during the remaining moves phase into a 4x5 block to add ranks, banner and charge combat resolution bonus on my next turn.

The way I use RXBmen is, they are not there just because I can shoot things but their hidden role is how I shape the battlefield. If I field 2 units almost dead center, my opponent who deploys most of his units also in the middle will mean I am forcing the battle in front of me where I can use Elven superior movement to get the charges I want. I protect my flanks from skirmishers and fast cavalry having a shooting unit on either side.

If he uses a denied flank deployment, sure one of my RXBmen will have to march during the first turn to wheel towards the flank he is in but in doing so I have isolated his entire army into a corner and therefore giving me the room to surround him or redirect his units away since castling means the closer I get to him, the easier and farter I can redirect his units with Harpies, Shades and Dark Riders.

I am not going to touch on the magic part anymore as we all know that RXmen wounding on 2's is cheese :twisted: and reducing the target's unit's movment so I can get 2 more turns of shooting at it.I've just shared some of the tricks I use with RXbmen and how I generally use them on a normal game with no shenanigans. Hope it could help people.


Oh btw I forgot, I use them like Spearmen too the moment I hit turn 4 and I need to hold a flank or keep a unit from getting involved with the main combat. :roll:

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Last edited by Ichiyo1821 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:25 pm
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Ichiyo, Could you please explain a denied flank in more detail thanks.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:09 pm
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The most basic kind of denied flank:

Your opponent counter deploys your own units by focusing on one flank forcing you to expend your movement phase on adjusting to him to either flank.

Another is deploying a weak collapsible center while he deploys his elite and hammer units to either flank hoping to sweep you from that side.

For example:

middle of the board, Harpies Dark Riders
left or right side COK, Hydra, Chariots, WE

He collapses his mid while his "strong flank" moves in for the kill. By doing so he isolates your farthest unit/ most vulnerable one while the other half of your army scurries to aid support. By then he would have dealt with half of your army with minimal damage received. That's pretty much it. There are variants but the principle remain the same.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:04 pm
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19 with comand, and a sorceress armed with lore of fire, life taker, and a power stone. Two ranks of 10, allowing for maxamum hits with repeater fire.

Will eventuaky have dreadlord with foldingfortress/floating fortress depending on the game so they always have a safe place to pelt the enemy

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:23 pm
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Cold One Knight

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Not really much to add here (wiser and more experienced hands have added their wisdom!)

I run two units of 22 in 3k points.

I find 22 to be the perfect number and two units of them can cause serious damage to most light units. Combine with a Withering and watch you enemy cry. (Nothing makes your opponent swear as much as shooting to death 21 Savage Orc Boar Boyz in a single turn of shooting!)

As Ichiyo pointed our, their real flexibility comes when you reform them into blocks of infantry! They are not elite killer troops that will dominate the battlefield but they are without doubt one of our most "handy" units.

Unless i suppose you come across lots of plate clad warriors of chaos, but seeing as no one near me plays as those i'm not really sure how useful they are against them. (I suppose killing one chaos knight is worth it? maybe?"

Anyway, enough waffle.

D


Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:45 pm
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Highborn

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As Dante already said wiser and more experienced hands have already given their wisdom, but will give my 2 cents anyway.

I can really see the reason of running 2 blocks of 20+ RXB's.
Personally I use one block of 20 with shields.
I use that one unit to keep one flank busy for a few turns.
most people prefer not to charge a unit of RXB's, unless with heavy cavalry, but i never place them on that flank.


Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:21 pm
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I try not to keep them on flank either.
If my units were deployed 1 2 3 4 5 , my RxB would usually be unit 2, 3, or 5 depending on what unit is sitting opposite of it. Also because my Guiding eye sorc is sitting in the unit I try to keep it nearer the center of the board so she has range for spells.

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Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:43 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

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I've used them in 1 unit of 10, 2 units of 10, and 1 unit of 18. I m going to have to try them in a bigger unit and equip them with shields and command. It sounds like a lot of people have had success that way. It seems like a lot of points to sink into a unit that isn't all that affective in close combat, but I guess if you combine it with all the shooting they'll be doing it could make a pretty good unit!


Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:59 pm
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Well the thing is they aren't suppose to kill anything. Their role in combat is to hold the enemy and/or provide SCR and counter steadfast.

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Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:14 pm
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If you have the cauldron in your army, they can be surprisingly effective in combat dealing with smaller units of say scouts or heavy cavalry (all those attacks add up when they all have KB)

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Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:23 am
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A lot of it depends on whether you are someone who:

a) likes all purpose troops
b) likes specialist troops

For me, I prefer having troops with singular functions (e.g. melee fighter, missile shooter or magic caster). That makes big units of RxBs not my cup of tea at all. But some folk like all rounders, and so RxB blocks works great for them.

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Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:35 am
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Something I learned from 40k, "duality". When I look back at it, Dark Elves also have that I some units or maybe it's just he way I build lists. :D

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"To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."

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Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:50 pm
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Cold One Knight

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Just as a footnote really, popping a unit in a tower or other similar building can be really useful. In my last game 22 RXB's with a Level 4 mage sat in a tower and dictated the flow of battle - their location being too central to be ignored, they weathered storm after storm and survived with minimal casualties while having the ability every turn to rain another hail of death into the enemy (not being locked in combat due to the tower!).

I think that opportunities like this may be rare but too good to pass up!

Regards

D


Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:55 am
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Your opponent allowing you a 5 level building was very kind :o

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Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:41 pm
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