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Filling the table: gaining some experiences 
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:46 am
Posts: 840
Location: Testing the new jacuzZi with Morathi
The goal of the thread is to get some information and valid tactic when fielding the units.

It's probably true that with the new book putting down the units could ask for a different order.

I'd like to hear from you what are your strategies about this subject. Please specify all of the elements that play a role in the decisions (so specify the terrain, the opponent, the numbers of models in play, your usual list and so on). There is no need to go too far with this last description, just present the key factors. I'll start for first.

In my usual lists I do not play magic, so I rely very much on the ring of hotek, and I love the infantry units, even if I play them not bigger than 14 models.

Main ideas when fielding are:
- keep a strong centre with usually the bg (the champion has the ring) and at least 2 infantry blocks near them, from each side, to counter charge and use the 12" of the ring.
- dark riders always stay on flanks as usually are out from the meelee combat, so they should have some space to move freely and covered (flanks are usually the best for this).
- harpies stay, at least at the beginning, near the general for the Ld and probably this one will fall in the Bg unit, so the harpies keep themselves in the middle.
- Rbt stay on the edge of the table, usually 20" from the middle, one on each side. In this manner, most of the times, they should be able to draw a free line of sight to the middle of the table, where the enemy concentration will be at maximum. If there is a hill usually one stays there. If the enemy hasn't got flying threats, the Rbts will go both on the hill, even staying near each other.
- If I get an Hydra I'd put it next to a difficult terrain (usually a wood), ready to enter it, just because the infantry blocks cannot and so I avoid a blank space that could be easily exploited by the enemy.
- coks: if they're in I really do not care much of having them near my General (this is usually impossible or difficult because the general stays with the troopers in the middle and then their position usually gets the opponent in trouble because he usually thinks that my General will be near). They usually stay on one side of the table, but not to far because I've learned that if they stay too far only one failed stupidity roll can take them out of the game for the whole battle.
- Xbows: I've to admit that I do not play them often. When they're called to battle their position spreads between the hill by my side (if there is a hill), in the wood at 2" from the frontal edge to be protected. Something I think is wrong is to take them right in the middle: line of sight can become a problem when your units move and if the enemy is quick enough you can loose the centre quite easily and fast. Maybe someone can tell something more about this.
- the general: I'm using quite a lot a Dreadlord with hydra blade and potion of strenght, mounted on a steed. This man can easily become a serious threat to any unit, so I usually keep him in the middle of the table. With 18" of charge he's able to reach any corner if needed.

Deployment order:

- first unit is usually a dark riders one. If the enemy has got many warmachines or the terrain by my side is quite negative (I mean, not many reapairs and shelters) I could begin with the infantry blocks. If the enemy has no warmachines and a little shooting phase the first unit is surely made of harpies. These beauties (...) can fly where I need at any time and this allow me to get an advantage, seeing where the opponent deploys his main units.
- last are the Rbts. Not always. If the opponent has already deployed his major threats, then I could field my "big guns" just because I have already planned the shooting tactic and I want to keep last some other stuff (so for example the unit of coks or a nasty dr unit).

Adapting to the opponent:
- vs a shooty army: I field my harpies last, the drs can go first but surely covered the first turn. I could refuse a flank deceiving the opponent with a unit in the opposite corner (this unit probably will never arrive, so it has to be of some weight, but not too much... a block of spears or naked coks could work). Rbts stay near to concentrate the fire on one or two enemy units. I usually do not use my harpies as a screen for my infantries because I want them to be full when attacking enemy warmachine. But this can bring many casualties on my ranks, so it's quite risky.
- fast and hard hitting armies (above all bretonnia): Rbts at the edge keeping a Los to the centre of the table, where the carnage will be at maximum. Depending on my units I can put them to clean a flank to outmanouvering the knights. A refused flank usually works. In the blank corner there could be space for a Rbt and a Drs unit.
In the middle it depends on what you have choosen: bg with asf banner should be pumped up to counter any lance that approaches and should stay in nearer to the enemy than other units, to get the first impact.
I usually deploy all of my units at 24" from the enemy and the first turn I move all staight ahead, forcing the charges at the 1st turn to have an immediate countercharge.
- exausting meelee (vampire and daemons): it should be better clean the flanks before all, then surrounding the enemy to get some flank charges. the refused flank should be avoided, trying to spread and open the enemy centre. Rbts can be positioned when the main units are fielded by the opponent. Harpies can go first, since their role will be the march blocking.
Drs on flank to sweep them or in the middle for baiting (even then I prefer a flank position).

These are only a few major points that I usually assume at the beginning of each game, my foundation and from where I start my reasoning.
There are many holes and many roles that I didn't considered because I've not much experience with them (cauldron for example, or positions for mages because as said I do not use them often).
Hope this is of any interest.

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Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:23 am
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:03 pm
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Location: Queensland, Australia
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I find this part of the game to be most difficult, i mean, the game itself, once moving, it is quite clear to see what combats are needed and what flanks can be structured, but the decisions you make at the start often restrict a lot of opportunity for our infantry. I play a unconventional game with my flatmate, not happy with the idea of choosing where our terrain is, we roll a d6 for the number of items, then each item is randomly determined between impasible, building, water, hill, etc. But what it does is creates a much more difficult terrain issue, with hills or forest filling the middle of the map occassionally. It may not fit in with the normal way of doing things, and our battles change because of it, but it is like the generals are charging forward and meet wherever they spot each other, rather than predetermining what land to use for a fight. As if the general brought in land movers before hand so we had clear ground for a clean fight. How un druchii like.

I tend to place my fast movers early though, and on our small table, we don't have the opportunity for placing units infront of one another, which is fine cause he has Vampire Count, so not much shooting to block. I tend to not use magic, so not sure if a mage is better off in a unit of shooty boys or if they are stable on their own or on a pegasus.

Most of my units determine where his main units are, so yeah, always try and have a couple of softer units to place early to encourage him to make the first move, i prefer reactive placement i guess. With the exception when there is obvious bottlnecks in the battlefield and I want to get certain units to hold or push through them.


Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:43 am
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Highborn
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Deployment: Depends on who I am playing but generally I place the same as Arnheim. Deployment is way more interesting with Skaven then Dark Elves.

However, I notice a lot of guys measure their deployment zone and then line up dice to mark it and start dropping trays (usually right on the line). I never do this. I place my troops in an uneven line and occasionally spot check. It is really easy for me at least to determine range when someone drops their troops on the deployment line and marches max distance. I know he is 20" from the table edge and its not hard to zero in on range from there. My opponents can't do the same to me though.

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Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:31 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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You can also place your dice at 10 or 11" instead of 12" :D .

My first unit is always, no matter what, a unit of Dark Riders on one of the flanks. This way the enemy realizes that he just has to put his army down in the way he wants to (as I tend to field mobile armies, and when the DR are set, he sees that whenever he deploys to kill the Dark Riders, he will get flanked by other stuff). I sometimes (often vs slow moving armies, eg. Dwarfs) use a refused flank by putting 2-3 units of harpies/dark riders on one flank, and putting the rest of my army on the other flank.
Always place CoK in front of Dark Riders, as you never want the knights to go stupid in the Dark Riders.

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3/4 of games are won by deathstars. Copy this into your signature if you still use real tactics to win.


Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:00 am
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Warrior
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Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:49 am
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Location: SFBA - California
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My dark riders don't usually do anything when I put them on the flanks. They have a much greater impact when I put them closer to the middle. Not In the middle of course, but near it. I'm getting to where I put down a jagged line rather than a straight one, but I'm still a little too stuck up on getting into combat as fast as possible at the moment. I suppose thats still possible even without deploying on the line...

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Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:45 pm
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Dragon Lord
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I deploy my units from fastest to slowest, considering the fastest ones can reposition most easily on turn 1 and don't really give your opponent any idea of your possible battle plan.
In case of my most recent successful list it's:
Harpies
Dark Riders
Hydrae
Heroes
Scouts

Hydrae go either close to terrain to hide, or across the board from the biggest threat they can deal with... if they can't deal with it then on the opposite end.

A lot often depends on the enemy too, you need to counter some of his units, and force him to counter some of yours.

Also I try not to field anything on the deployment zone edge, unless there's absolutely no shooting on the other end. It might make a difference between being shot to pieces on turn and leaving your enemy out of range.

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7th edition army book:
Games Played: 213
Games Won: 114 (54%)
Games Drawn: 33 (15%)
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Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:02 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Since there is usually a piece of terrain midway on the right or left, I usually place there first. A cheap block or line of Crossbowmen use the terrain to anchor their flank. Second deployment is the far opposite flank with Harpies or Dark Riders. At this point he still doesn't know what to expect but I've often got an idea of my opponent's deployment strategy. I leave my Cold One Knights for near the end of my deployment because they will be hitting his biggest, baddest unit. War machines and Hydras last. Right or wrong, it works for me.


Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:20 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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Someone does consider the fact of who is going to get the first turn and so changing his formation or deployment? I mean, is there someone that prefer going always last or first (do not say me that you want to go first vs dwarves or that you usually start for first when facing bretonnia uh :badh: ) and thus changes his fielding mode?

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Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:12 pm
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Corsair
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Background
I'm playing only family/friend games at home.

Terrain available.
We have a big number of small terrain (3 high buildings, 5 small buildings, 1-2 woods with variable shape, 1 small hill, 1 or 2 monuments, barricades...).
With this kind of terrain, it is easy to find a shelter for shooty troops (buildings, hill); it is easy to hide one unit from one single threat, but it is very hard to hide any unit from all threats.

Armies.
We play usually: DE, Gobbos, Dwarves, Bretonians, Empire, HE, occasionally Lizzies.
The usual size is 1500 pts each, or 1000 pts each when playing 2 against 2.

Shooty playing style.
We tend to avoid melee. Usually the inferior unit tries to dodge away, and if charge annot be avoided, at least the charge units tries to have the attacking unit pursue far away so that they cannot come back before turn 6.
Nowadays, most of our armies are designed for shooting and/or magic rather than melee, because it is less easy to avoid shooting than melee.
The remaining melee unit, if threatening, gets shot and spelled to ashes.
As a result, the few melee units we still get are often used as static guards for shooting units or for magicians babysitters.
Changing the playing style could occur, but it would require an expansive investment in new models that need to be painted.

The importance of who will start
With our mostly shooty/magic armies not really designed to get in HtH,
- The advantage of playing last is to get the ultimate turn of firing/casting, when we would move in shooting/casting range without fearing retaliation, or simply in order to take position in the opponent's 1/4 table and survive.
- But with a big number of long range weapons such as warmachines, or many long-range spells, the first to play can destroy the biggest threat. So playing first can be rewarding as well.

All considered, if one of the opponents has many more warmachines/long range spells than the opponent, and if terrain is set so that there is no good place to hide, it is very interesting to play first for both players.

Overall, the setting of terrain, the setting of troops and determination of who is starting has a great influence on the outcome of the game.


Setting terrain
We set the terrain either ahead of time, in a balanced way (the two sides are equivalent), or RAW, putting alternatively one piece of terrain.

Adaptation to terrain and to the opponent is paramount. We don't try to develop an army plan beforehand because it will be ruined by 1) the terrain setting 2) the enemy's army list.

However, we try to adapt the terrain to our army:
- a 3-storey building for our 20-shooters+1magician, or at least 2-storey, in the middle of the deployment zone or slightly inside the no mans land
- a stretched band of forest to move our skirmishers inside or to hide our fast cavalry behind, from one deployment zone towards the opposite
- a convenient hill for our warmachines, set close to a table angle if our shooting range is long
- a village of many houses for our fast cavalry or harpies to get closer to the enemy without getting shot, set in the middle of the no mans land
- barricades to put our infantry behind, close to a deployment zone.

At this stage, we don’t know which side we will get, so we try to put on both sides the terrain that we benefit most and that the opponent can less exploit.

When the terrain is set, we materialise the 24" no mans land with two ribbons.
Then we determine who chooses the terrain. Normally, it is quite balanced.


Deployment principles
Deploying the heavy cavalry.
Open fields are rare. The heavy cavalry needs to position itself for a charge. It depends more on the open space available than on the opponent’s deployment, so they can be set up early during the deployment phase. Of course, they can be targeted but there is no choice other than getting across the open field so the sooner the better.
When there are opposing heavy cavalry, the trick is to guess where is the charging range of the opponent and stay slightly further. In order to hamper the estimation from a faster opponent, one can deploy a few “ (not measuring hao many ") behind the borderline of the no mans land, rather than to stick to the borderline.

Deploying the light shooters.
shooty units try to find a spot with an open ark of fire and possibly terrain slowing down the opponent's approach. Most of the time, they get as close as possible from a building, possibly inside. The idea is to move there during turn 1 and then shoot safely around. A magician can go with them.

Deploying the warmachine hunters.
The fast cavalry (or harpies) is vulnerable to shooting and quite expensive. They cannot get inside buildings and they move slowly inside woods, but they can go safely behind these terrain. They position themselves as covered as possible, and as close as possible to the corridor leading to opponent’s warmachines.
They also aim to position quickly at 1/2" from a building, so as to prevent the opponent to enter that same building during turn 2.

Deploying the infantry units.
Usually, they have little chance to get to charge anyone. So they are positioned defensively, protecting the warmachines, sheltering the magicians and not intending to move anywhere. If there is a barricade, they would quickly stick to it, where the fear less to be charged.
The other option is to have a strong line of infantry (dwarf style), which would slowly sweep across the table. In that case, the line just gets where there is some open field.

Deploying the warmachines.
their first task will be to destroy the other warmachines, then to destroy the rest of the army. So we try to be the last to deploy the warmachines. When we do, we try to threaten the opponent's warmachines with crossed fire while avoiding their fire by using terrain cover. Moving a warmachine later means loosing a round of fire so better think about it beforehand.
If one opponent has obvious spots (a hill, or a number of corridors equivalent to his warmachines) or a bigger number of warmachines, he can deploy early but generally speaking it is better to be the last to deploy the warmachines.

Deploying big flying monsters.
We don’t use them often, but, as they make a nice target, we try to find a hidden shelter for them in order to survive cannon sniping.


As a conclusion,
- we don't deploy according to a preset plan
- we deploy by reacting at the opponent's deployment and adapting to the terrain that we selected beforehand for our army;
- terrain selection and who starts has a big influence on who will win
- there is never enough places to hide everyone in case the opponent gets the first turn.

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Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:15 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I usually deploy my units depending on their roles. If a unit's role is specifically to attack a certain enemy then they go last. If the unit is instead just going to attack anything/has really long range or can reposition quickly they go first.

For instance if playing against a force with a cannon I will want my harpies to take it out as quickly as possible so I will wait until the cannon is deployed before placing them.

My warriors on the other hand are just there to get charged and then have something else flank that enemy. Hence the warriors can go first as I want the enemy to line up something against them and can use the knowledge of that enemies position to place my Cold One Knights which will be doing the flanking.

That might not make much sense. Simplified I usually go
1.Warriors
2. Dark Riders
3. Elite Infantry-Witches etc
4. Cold One Knights
5. Reaper Bolt Throwers
6. Harpies
Some things like the Chariots really depend on my opponent. If they have no high strength shooting they will deploy next to the warriors at the start. If the enemy has lots of cannons they will go last to try and hide.

Obviously every situation is different. If the enemy only consists of large blocks of Infantry I will place the harpies first as they won't be doing anything all game.

Against High Elves the Bolt Throwers are the very last thing I place so i can aim them against Swordmasters.

Against Brettonians though I might deploy the RBT earlier on as there will be Knights everywhere regardless.

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Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:05 am
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