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Deployment-Phase Tactics for the Druchii General 
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
Lord of the Dragon Caves
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 8372
Location: The Dragon Caves of the Underway (Indianapolis IN)
Note: This is a work in progress. I started this article ages ago, and I am posting what I have to hopefully motivate myself to flesh it out to the end. Comments and discussion are welcome, both as to what I have done so far, and on those sections that are just outlined.


1. Overview

At some point, nearly every Warhammer player comes to the realization that the most important phase of the game is the movement phase. Every other phase of the game is ultimately dependent upon the movement and placement of your troops. Combat prowess has little importance if your opponent can dictate when and where your units fight. And missile fire and magic can be rendered ineffective if your opponent can quickly close the gap and engage in combat, or if your opponent can deny you good targets through maneuver tactics like screening. Deployment is essentially an extension of the movement phase—and a very important extension at that. The initial placement of troops can dictate their uses in later stages of the game. This is especially true with respect to infantry units, which can easily be reduced to a role of holding table quarters if deployed too far away from the main scrap.

The fact is that games can be won and lost in the deployment phase. Good deployment can help maximize the strengths of your army and can help neutralize the strengths of your enemy. And poor deployment can set you up to lose before the roll of a single die.

The purpose of this article is not to set out a rigid set of rules for the deployment phase—that would be an impossible task because there are simply too many variables to account for. Instead, my goal is to arm the reader with some general principles about deployment as well as to give guidance on deploying against particular types armies. Although this article is written from a distinctly Druchii perspective, much of the advice in this article could apply to nearly any type of army.

Before getting into the main part of the article, I have to note a couple of things that I do not address. (1) I am not going to cover strategy for setting up terrain. One reason is because it is a complex subject that really deserves a separate treatment. Also, in my gaming group, we normally have a neutral third-party set up terrain. Most of my experience is based on dealing with preset terrain (which is also the way most tournaments seem to run things these days), and so I am not the best person to talk about setting up terrain. (2) I’m not going to address special scenarios. This article assumes that the game is being fought as a standard “pitched battle”—a two player game on a 6’ x 4’ table with deployment zones 12” deep and extending along the entire length of the long sides of the tables. Special scenarios vary widely, and lots of them are just derivations of a pitched battle in any event.

2. Principles of Deployment

a. The First Rule – Be Flexible!

One of the most common mistakes that newer players make is that they try to develop detailed deployment plans in advance of the game, without consideration for terrain, the opposing army, or how the opponent deploys. Sometimes you see evidence of this when someone posts an army list for feedback along with a question along the lines of “how should I deploy my army?”

There is only one right answer to this question—it depends. There are a few army types and builds that can lend themselves relatively fixed deployment plans. Dwarf and Empire armies based on artillery and shooting may fall into this category, but they still need to take terrain into account and adapt as necessary to maximize firing lanes (even if it just means sliding the “castle” to one side or the other). In my mind, there aren’t any Dark Elf builds that would lend themselves to such rigid approach to deployment. Even with a missile-heavy approach, the Dark Elves benefit from remaining flexible. In large part, this is because the Dark Elves aren’t as limited as Dwarf and Empire gun-lines that are almost forced to deploy in castle-like firebases because of the inability to move and shoot.

The bottom line is that no pre-made plan can adequately account for the variables of the game. The best deployment plan against a small, elite Chaos Warrior army may not be the best plan against a Skaven horde. Deploying missile troops in forests may be a great idea against most armies, but probably isn’t smart against magic-heavy Wood Elves. When fighting a Bretonnian cavalry army, you might want to load your troops into the area of the board with a lot of terrain, while you might want to fight the battle more in the open against Beastmen. Going into a game with a rigid deployment plan can put you at a serious disadvantage if you are facing someone with a more flexible approach who can read, respond to, and take advantage of both the battlefield and your deployment. More important, your plan may simply be a bad one for the situation, and an inability to adapt could doom you from the start.

This is not to say that you should go into a game with no preset ideas about how to deploy. But your plan should normally be based on general ideas and flexible principles instead of an overall fixed plan. For example, I use a “refused flank” strategy as a default approach to deployment. But the specifics—such as which flank to weight and which troops go exactly where—are decided on the fly. And I am always prepared to abandon that plan based on factors such as terrain and enemy deployment.

In building your list, you may have some ideas about “teams”— characters and/or units that work well together. This is perfectly acceptable. It only makes sense to deploy your Black Guard near your BSB for the re-roll on break tests, Cold One Chariots near your Dreadlord for the Leadership boost, Khainite units near a Cauldron of Blood, or a War Hydra with a ranked unit of Dark Elf Warriors so that they complement one another. But deciding that a particular little group will always go on the left flank of the main body of your army, and that another little group will always be on the right, etc., is taking it too far. A foolish consistency in deployment can blind you to better options that may present themselves in the actual game. Using rigid deployment plans is a crutch that should be discarded by any player who wants to advance in skill.

b. The Primary Goals – Favorable Match-Ups and Concentration of Force

It should be obvious, but your primary goal in deployment should be to set up favorable match-ups between your units and those of your opponent. If you can dictate which of your units will be engaging (or otherwise occupying) the enemy’s units, then you “win” the deployment phase and have a great start towards winning the game.

When looking at match-ups from a unit-by-unit perspective, you generally want to line things up so that your units are across the field from enemy units that they can either defeat or distract. The obvious corollaries to this are that you want to avoid putting your units across from enemy units where you are at a clear disadvantage (chariots across from Strength 7 enemies, for example), and you want to make sure that your important combat units have targets worth fighting (instead of being lined up across from cheap stuff that will only distract them). Issues about unit-by-unit match ups are discussed in more detail in the later part of this article, where I look at the different types of troops available to the Druchii general and how they should be treated in deployment.

But beyond individual, unit-by-unit match ups, your real goal should be to obtain an army-wide advantage through localized superiority. The idea is that you are more likely to achieve overall victory if you can bring overwhelming force to bear on part of your opponent’s army, defeat that part of the enemy army utterly (and quickly), and then bring your forces to bear on the remaining enemy troops.

Think of it this way—in a 2000-point game, if you can bring 1500 points of your army to bear on 1000 points of your opponent’s army, you should theoretically be able to prevail fairly handily. Of course, in the meantime, 500 points of your army are probably dealing with the other 1000 points of the enemy. Hopefully, your 500 points can try to delay and distract rather than immediately engaging, so that in the later stages of the game, you will have the majority of your army left to deal with only half of your opponent’s army. But even if you have to sacrifice the smaller part of your army, you still come out ahead if you’ve lost a quarter of your points but have destroyed half the enemy in the meantime.

One way to obtain localized superiority is to take advantage of terrain choke-points that the enemy army can get funneled through—you can set up your units to smash each portion of the enemy army in turn as it comes through. Another way to do it is to use the harassing elements of your army (harpies, dark riders, shades, etc.) to effectively accomplish the same thing. During the course of the game, you use your harassing elements to slow the advance of some of the enemy troops, hopefully causing another part of the enemy army to get isolated so that you can concentrate overwhelming force and defeat it. Your ability to do this depends a lot on in-game tactics and choices, but you can definitely use the deployment phase to set things up—put your harassing troops across from the troops you want them to harass, and your damage-dealers across from the troops you want to try to isolate and kill. A bit further into the article, I discuss how this idea of obtaining localized superiority plays into some different general schemes, such as the “refused flank.”

c. The Second Goal – Disguising Your Intentions

In the back and forth of deployment, the longer you can keep your opponent guessing, the less opportunity he has to respond and react. To this end, your initial deployments should be those that give the least insight into your actual battle plan. For example, if you have a general intention to utilize a refused-flank deployment scheme, you don’t want to tip off your opponent as to which flank you intend to weight since he can then respond in a way designed to deprive you of your advantage (such as by weighting the same side).

To avoid tipping off your opponent, you should deploy your fast, cheap, harassing units first—Harpies and Dark Riders. Because these units are fast, your opponent can’t tell whether they intend to stay in the zone where they are initially placed. Because they are cheap, they don’t represent a large concentration of VPs your opponent can aim for and plan to collect. And because they are multi-purpose units—they could work alone to distract and delay or could work in conjunction with main-combat troops—they don’t necessarily give any indication of where you will place your later and more important deployments. Small infantry units and even chariots (since they are relatively cheap) can also be deployed early without disclosing much or placing too many limits on your later deployments.

In order to maximize deception, try to spread these troops across your deployment zone. For example, after putting a unit of Dark Riders on one flank, put your second unit on the opposite flank. But you shouldn’t just place these units without any other thought—you still need to consider other factors in your deployment. As one example, if there is hill where your opponent is likely to deploy war machines, you should probably put a unit of harpies across from that hill in order to mount an attack as early as possible. Also, I try not to put my harassing units on the extreme edges of the table since that makes it harder for them to quickly redeploy to other parts of the field. Instead, I like to put them about 12” to 18” away from the sides.

After putting down your cheap harassing units, next in line should be units with an obvious place to deploy—typically missile troops or war machines. For example, if there is a hill in the middle of your deployment zone, you don’t really give anything away by putting an RBT or two on top of it. It’s something your opponent would expect in any event.

By making these types of deployments first and by delaying your more important deployments, you can read and respond to the deployment of the enemy. You not only avoid tipping off your opponent in any meaningful way, but you maintain your own flexibility.

Note: It should be obvious, but the ability to keep your opponent guessing in deployment depends a lot on your army composition. If you have a limited number of cheap units (or none at all) you will be at a disadvantage in the deployment phase since you will have to commit important troops early. In an army of 2000 or 2250 points, I generally have at least 10 deployable units with at least 4 of them being units of Dark Riders or Harpies. Not only does this help in the deployment phase since I can disguise my intentions longer, but I find these troop types to be incredibly useful once the battle starts.

d. The Third Goal – Ascertaining Your Opponent’s Intentions

At the same time as you are trying to hide your own intentions in deployment, you should be paying attention to what your opponent is doing for clues as to his overall plan so that you can respond and react accordingly.

For example, if your opponent starts putting a lot of missile troops on one side of the board, it is an indication that he may intend to weight the opposite flank with melee troops. How you respond to this will depend on a lot of factors, including your army composition and that of your opponent. If the enemy missile troops are move-or-fire and/or relatively short ranged, you might respond by avoidance—stack the other side of the field, thereby denying targets and rendering the missile troops ineffective. On the other hand, if the enemy melee troops are relatively slow (you might know this either the general army type of your from having played him before and having knowledge of his collection), you could respond by deploying your combat units right across from the missile troops, hoping to close the gap and destroy them before the enemy melee troops can arrive and provide support.

If your opponent is actively trying to disguise his intentions in the deployment phase (as most experienced players will), it can be harder to pick up clues. But you can often make predictions based on terrain. For example, unless your opponent is Wood Elves or Beastmen, your opponent will likely favor a side of the board with less terrain rather than a side with more terrain. If your opponent has a hill in his deployment zone, you can normally count on missile troops going there, and you might look for melee troops somewhere else. Any way you look at it, knowledge is power, and figuring something out about your opponent’s battle plan gives you the opportunity to exploit it.

3. General Patterns of Deployment

Although there are an infinite number of ways you can deploy your army, you can break things down in to some broad categories or patterns. In this section of the article, I’ll talk about these general patterns, their strengths and weaknesses, and when you might want to employ each scheme.

a. Evenly-Distributed Deployment

The idea behind an evenly-distributed deployment is to spread your strength so that no part of your battle line is particularly vulnerable. Combat and missile troops may be distributed relatively evenly throughout your battle line. Spellcasters would also be distributed so that you have coverage across the entire battlefield, and combat characters would also be spread around to provide support in different areas. No one part of the battlefield is singled out for special attention in deployment.

The reason I am discussing this deployment pattern first is not because it is a good idea—to the contrary, it is an almost uniformly bad idea. Top-tier players generally never use this type of deployment scheme. Although the theory of an evenly-distributed deployment is to spread your strength, the effect is to spread weakness. Since you have no area of true strength, every single part of your battle line is vulnerable should your opponent choose to attack it in force.

If your opponent is inexperienced and also ends up employing an evenly-distributed scheme, your own poor choice may not get exploited. But at the same time, you would be better off trying to exploit your enemy’s weakness by adopting a more focused deployment of your own, setting up localized advantage(s) that work to your benefit.

The one potential exception to this is noted by The Buoyancy of Water in his post immediately below. If you have a very fast army with an inordinate amount of flyers, fast cavalry and the like, then an evenly-distributed deployment could be very deceptive. Since your army can redeploy quickly and focus on pretty much any area of the battlefield you want, spreading out your troops disguises your intentions and leaves your options open.

b. Refused Flank

The refused flank deployment is characterized by heavily weighting one end of your battle line to obtain a localized advantage on that side of the battlefield. Adopting this general deployment plan can be very powerful against a wide variety of armies and enemy deployments. The deployment plan works particularly well against enemies who use a more evenly distributed deployment, spreading their strength across the width of their deployment zone. By quickly engaging on your weighted flank, you can frequently crush half of the enemy army before the other half has a chance to do anything, especially if the army is relatively slow moving.

Infantry hordes that are almost forced adopt an evenly-distributed deployment, and gunlines with missile power spread across their frontage, are especially vulnerable to the refused flank. Due to range and/or movement limitations, you can easily leave one half of the enemy army struggling with nothing meaningful to do for the first part of the game.

The refused flank can even help you with your magic defense--if your opponent has wizards on both sides of the battlefield, abandoning one flank can leave the one or more wizards without good spell targets, meaning that you can focus on stopping spells from the other caster.

Even if the enemy uses a strong center deployment, the refused flank can still be useful and powerful in that it can cut off (at least temporarily) a unit on one side or the other of that strong center. For example, I often see Daemon players with two flamer units focus their strength in the middle of the battlefield, and they use one unit of flamers on each side of their formation to protect their flanks. By weighting one flank or the other, you can leave one Flamer unit without good targets (at least at the outset of the game), thereby minimizing the effect of these dangerous units.

So when should you adopt a refused flank deployment? In my mind, almost always. Unless the terrain or enemy dictates one of the other deployment strategies discussed later on, it's generally the way the go. Of course, sometimes you will be pushed to adopt a refused flank deployment by terrain factors. If one side of the battlefield is choked with terrain while the other is open, you would probably chose the open side against some enemies (like Wood Elves or Beastmen), or the more covered side against others (like Bretonnians).

Which side to weight can depend on a number of factors. Terrain may dictate it as noted above. The enemy deployment is important as well. If the enemy puts down a "deathstar" unit on one flank, you might weight the other flank to keep the "deathstar" from engaging anything worthwhile. On the other hand, if the enemy puts down a unit or units that are valuable, vulnerable, and/or particularly important to take out, you might weight the flank opposite them. Of course, it may become apparent that your enemy is adopting a refused flank deployment as well. If you end up weighting the flanks across from one another, things turn into a bit of a straight-up fight. That can be ok. But if it looks like you have an advantage in speed and harassing capability, you might want to weight the opposite flank, with the goal of quickly taking out his weak flank while delaying and playing non-engagement games on the other side.

A diagram of a somewhat generic (no terrain or enemy is shown) refused flank deployment is below. It is based on a 2250 point army I ran at the 2009 Quake City Rumble tournament. The numbers in the diagram show the order in which the units would be placed in deployment. As discussed previously, the fast, harassing units are deployed first to disguise the deployment plan, and the heavy hitters are placed later.

Image

There are a few things to notice in the diagram. The crossbowmen are deployed centrally. I think this is important to ensure that they have targets. If they were deployed on the far left flank, they might quickly be left without a target if the enemy rushes to the other side. And the central position should allow the crossbowmen to focus fire on enemy fast elements that would be the quickest to redeploy in an attempt to support the flank under attack. On my weighted flank, I normally avoid putting my heavy foot troops (Executioners in this case) too far to side. After crushing the enemy in front of them, they could be left out of position to do anything else due to their relative lack of speed. The cold ones go out there instead and I hope they don't go stupid ... Finally, I don't rely completely on just the fast cavalry and harpies to try to harass and slow the enemy on my refused flank, but I throw a Master on Dark Pegasus over there, and would also try to find terrain for my shades to deploy so that they can march block over there. In fact, if my army has shades, the availability of terrain to hide in on one side or the other can be a big factor in deciding which side to weight (weight the other side).

c. Strong Center

A strong-center deployment is obviously characterized by a focus of force in the middle of the board. Like the refused flank, the deployment is designed to obtain a localized advantage, bringing overwhelming force to bear on one part of the battlefield.

The advantage of the strong center over the refused flank is flexibility. Deploying in the center allows you to veer to one side or the other as needed and dictated by events of the game. But it can also be much harder to maintain a your localized advantage since enemy units on both sides can try to collapse towards the center to even the odds. It is harder to control the enemy and prevent reinforcements from arriving than if you were employing a refused-flank approach. First, the enemy units don't have as far to go if the are coming from the flanks to the center as if they were trying to go from one flank to the other. Second, you have to try to control and protect two sides of your formation (you can't rely on a table edge to protect you), meaning you really need to make good use of your harassing troops. Because it is hard to prevent the enemy from collapsing around a center push, I normally prefer to deploy with a refused flank. But there are some times when it is better to go for a strong center.

First, a strong center can be dictated by terrain. If you have an attacking army and the only clear path is in the middle, your options are somewhat limited. Note that in that terrain situation, you really need to be careful that you don't walk into a trap in the course of the game -- it can be better to hold back and not run your important troops through the gap if your flank-protecting units can't make it through at the same time (be careful of mandatory overruns from Hatred).

Second, if your army is built around a "deathstar" unit, you normally want to deploy that unit centrally to make it hard to avoid. Deploying a "deathstar" on the flank is asking your opponent to try to wall it off with disposable troops, keeping it from doing anything of value. If you have a big unit of knights, or a Shade deathstar, might as well put it front and center.

Third and finally, if your opponent has a really important unit in the middle of the board and you really need to take it down, strong center can be the way to go if you have an attacking army. In particular, against Vampire Counts armies with a central "character bunker" unit, your best option can be to send everything you have right up the gut as quickly as possible. The game will likely be decided early on turn 2 or 3, depending on whether you can break the undead line with yout initial attack. But if you delay or try to approach from the flank, it will only give the Vampires time to raise new units and increase the size of existing units, making them harder to beat in the end.

Below is a diagram showing a somewhat generic (no enemy is shown and only some terrain) strong center deployment . It reflects the deployment of a 2250 point army built around an uber-unit of Cold One Knights (including both a Dreadlord and a Master BSB). As in the refused-flank diagram, the numbers show the order in which the units would normally be placed in deployment. And again, the fast, harassing units are deployed first to disguise the deployment plan, and the heavy hitters are placed later.

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One thing to note in the diagram is that a strong center deployment does not mean that you should deploy in a completely symetrical formation. In this case, there is a hill on the left side of the deployment zone, so missile troops go there to maximize their field of fire. Even if the hil were not there, I still might put all the missile troops on the left side since the forest on the right could limit their field of fire. Also, the positions of the RBTs and crossbows could be switched. In the diagram, the crossbows are on the outside since they are better able to hold up to charges from light enemy units that could be approaching from that exposed side. But if I'm not worried about that, the crossbowmen would go towards the center due to their shorter range.

The "deathstar" unit itself is accompanied by a fairly compact group of other units (chariots, dark riders, spears) that can be used to chase off light enemy units that aren't worth the attention fo the knights. Note that one chariot is deployed just over 3.5" behind the Dark Riders so it won't hit them if it goes Stupid.

Finally, if you look at the order of deployment accompanying the diagram, up until about the 7th or 8th deployment, the army isn't really committed to a strong-center formation. There is enough space on the left side of the hill that you could pack that area with combat units even after the missile troops are deployed. You might want to do that in some situations. For example, if it becomes apparent that your enemy is employing a refused flank approach and intends to stack that side of the board, you might want to face that strength head-on with your "deathstar" unit -- you know your unit has a good collection of VPs to aim for that can't really get away, and you can then use one board edge to protect the end of your formation. If you decided to do that, you would simply be shifting to a refused flank set-up, and your missile troops would already be in a great position to shoot at and wear down any enemy units rushing over to help. In that case, you might still want to deploy a cheap combat unit (the spears or a single chariot) on the center-right area as a bit of a sacrificial unit to help out your harassers. The threat that such a unit represents to the flanks of enemy units crossing from one side to the other can force the enemy to be more careful (and slower) in reinforcing the flank under attack.

d. The Two-Pronged Attack

As the name suggests, two-pronged deployment is characterized by two separate concentrations of force (and more than two and you are in the realm of a more evenly-distributed deployment). This type of deployment is of relatively limited utility. Any time you separate your army into separate groups, you invite the enemy to try to isolate and defeat them one at a time. As a result, a two-pronged attack is normally not the best way to deploy.

In fact, two-pronged "attack" is a bit of a misnomer in that this deployment style is probably best used when you want to take a more defensive, counter-punching approach the game. Specifically, the deployment can be used to take advantage of choke-points formed by terrain, the idea being that you can hit the enemy units from both sides as they are funneled through a gap between pieces of terrain. With a two-pronged deployment, no matter which way the enemy units turn, they will be presenting a rear or flank to something. Of course, unless the enemy can be compelled to come through the gap, the plan won’t really work. Your army needs sufficient missile fire and/or magic to punish the enemy if he just sits back. By the same token, if the enemy has a shooty army as well, he might be inclined to sit back too. In that case, you need to either settle for an archery duel (which is fine if you have the edge there), or adapt and develop a more aggressive battle plan yourself.

Below is a diagram showing a two-pronged deployment and a terrain situation where it might be appropriate to use. The army itself is a shooty 2250 point build with two large units of repeater crossbows and a couple RBTs. This is backed up by combat units in the form of 2 chariots, a units of knights, a Dreadlord on a Black Dragon, and a Master on a Dark Pegasus. As in the other diagrams, the numbers show the order in which the units would normally be placed in deployment. As always, the fast, harassing units are deployed first to disguise the deployment plan. Since you want to try to induce the enemy to come up the middle, the big units of crossbows are not placed until later, since placing them early might scare off the enemy to one side or the other. The overall idea of this deployment is to focus your power (both ranged and melee power) on the choke point in the terrain.

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As you can see from the diagram, the army can bring a LOT of missile fire to bear on the center part of the battlefield. If the enemy army comes up the middle, you should be able to use your harassing troops to distract and slow the enemy for a couple of turns, wearing down his units with missile fire before swooping in for the kill. With a Dragon in the list, you can put your opponent in a real bind by dropping in behind his advancing troops, putting him in a real no-win situation – turning to face the dragon means not making any headway against the hail of missiles you’ll be raining down.

It is important to note that the two-pronged effect can be held off until very late in deployment. In this example, it’s not until the knights are placed with the 10th deployment and the characters with the next that the formation really takes shape. If it appears that your opponent is not going to fall for the trap, you can easily shift to a refused-flank mode at that point, probably putting the Dragon, Pegasus rider and knights all on the left side with the goal of running up that flank and swinging around behind the forest on that side. Your crossbows would probably have to move up out of your deployment zone to be effective at that point, but could shoot through the choke point at any enemy units trying to cross from right to left to intercept the strike force you are sending up the far left side.

If your opponent’s deployment looks like it’s falling into a two-pronged pattern – and especially if it features a lot of center-deployed missile troops – the best way to attack is with a refused flank approach. By advancing up one side or the other, you not only avoid half of the combat troops in the army, but you can often use terrain and the enemy’s own troops to shield your units from missile fire.

Finally, a word of warning. If you play with the terrain guidelines in the book, you won’t have forests or buildings right in the middle of the table (since no terrain is supposed to be within 12” of the center point, you should have at least a 24” gap). But if you are playing a game with a big piece of difficult or impassable terrain in the middle, do not split the main force of your army to pass on either side of that terrain. A savvy opponent will take advantage of this by dealing with each group separately. Although it seems counterintuitive, the best deployment in such a situation is normally a strong center. You have the flexibility to go to either side of the center terrain piece when the game starts, and that piece of terrain will serve to protect one flank as your formation swings over to go past (if that center terrain is a forest and your opponent is Wood Elves, don’t try this—stick with the refused flank).

4. Deployment of Specific Troop Types

a. Dark Riders and Harpies

As noted in the sections above, I like to deploy my Harpies and Dark Riders early and fairly spread out in order to disguise my overall deployment plan if I have settled on one, or to keep my options open if I have not.

A primary task for both Harpies and Dark Riders is harassment -- march-blocking and/or baiting enemy troops to slow them and get them out of position. Dark Riders normally work best in this role when deployed to the sides of the tables and the flanks of enemy formations. There are multiple reasons for this. One is that if they bait and flee from such a position, then they will normally be less likely to flee through your own troops. Another is that since fast cavalry can be subject to march blocking itself, it frequently operates better where the enemy troops are less dense. Finally, being deployed on the outside puts them in a better position to threaten the flanks of ranked units to potentially remove their rank bonus in combat.

On the other hand, harpies often do well in the center of the table. First, since they fly, they can frequently hop over and drop into a safe march-blocking position right behind advancing enemy units. Also, if they are more centrally deployed, it can be easier to keep them within range to use the general's leadership. So, other considerations aside, Dark Riders would go on the flanks and Harpies near the middle of the table.

One of the other considerations that should come into play though is enemy missile troops. Both Harpies and Dark Riders can excel at quickly taking out enemy missile troops and war machines. On the other hand, both types of units can be very vulnerable to missile fire. You should account for this in two eays during deployment. First, many players reflexively deploy their units the maximum distance onto the table (12"). Think before you do this! Especially if enemy missile troops have a 24" shooting range, you should deploy slightly back from the 12" line so an opponent who gets first turn won't be able to shoot without moving. Second, if one of the goals for your Harpies and Dark Riders in a particular game is to take out enemy missile troops, you should deploy them so that multiple units of DarkRiders/Harpies can simultaneously threaten a single missile unti or war machine. You want to set them up so that they can "flood the zone" giving the enemy more targets than he can possibly destroy in a single turn of shooting, and thereby ensuring that some of your troops get through.

Another reason to not automatically deploy your fast troops 12' in is because you may actually want to deploy other units in front of them. This is particularly the case with Dark Riders since they are valuable troops that are also quite vulnerable to missile fire. If your opponent has missile fire that could hit you on turn 1, it can be a good idea to deploy the Dark Riders behind a unit that will either get out of the way for the riders to move freely or to plan on using their free reform to slip the riders around the side of the unit in front of them. In fact, if your opponent features strength 3, non-armor-piercing missile fire, it can be better to initially screen your Dark Riders with Cold One Knights instead of the other way around.

b. Missile Troops -- Crossbowmen & RBTs

The primary point for consideration in deploying your missile troops is making sure they have targets to shoot at. The secondary consideration is keeping them out of harm's way.

Because crossbowmen have a range of only 24", regardless of your overall deployment plan, they should generally go near the middle of the table. I fyou deploy them on an extreme flank, you risk having your opponent vacate that flank, leaving your crossbows with no target. This doesn't mean deplying dead center is always the best way to go, but your crossbows should normally be somewhere near the middle of the table since there are more likely to be a lot of enemy troops in their fire zone.

Hills are an obvious (and good) place to deploy crossbowmen since it helps both your shooting and your defense. Not only can they see over other troops, but they can shoot while deployed in 2 ranks. The rank bonus plus high ground bonus means that crossbowmen (especially if equipped with shields) can often stand up to enemy light elements that might get into combat with them. Likewise, defended obstacles, forests and buildings can all provide your crossbowmen with defense against ranged attacks, HTH, or both, and should be occupied if favorably located.

I do think that position on the table should take priority over favorable terrain when deploying your missile troops. If the unit has nothing to shoot at, being deployed behind an out-of-the-way wall is a bit pointless.

A quick note about buildings -- due to the way the rules for buildings work, an infantry unit can occupy a building by moving into base contact with it. This can effectyively increase the movement of the unit -- when it moves up to the back wall of a building and occupies it, the unit counts as being in the whole building -- i.e., up at the front wall. So pay attention to the location of buildings on the battlefield. If there is one that a unit of crossbowmen can reach on turn 1, deploy right behind it and take it over right away.

In terms of formation, crossbows should generally begin the gam edeployed in a way that maximizes the number of models that shoot -- i.e., a single line. Note, however, that if your opponent has a large target worth shooting at (such as a giant) you can deploy in ranks and every model will be able to shoot that large target even if your crossbowmen are not on a hill.

Due to their 48" shooting range, unlike crossbowmen, Reaper Bolt Throwers should have plenty of targets even if not centrally deployed. In fact, deploying RBTs to one flank or the other can be advantageous against certain opponents since it increases the likelihood of getting a flank on unit at which you might want to throw an armor-ignoring single shot. That being said, a central deployment allows an RBT to threaten almost the entire battlefield, and so long as your own troops don't get in the way, you'll never lack targets. The bottom line is that the long range of RBTs means that considerations of flank versus center aren't a big factor in RBT deployment -- either can work depending on the rest of your deployment scheme.

If you are employing a refused flank as your overall plan, deploying a single RBT (preferably with a cheap bodyguard such as a chariot) can serve as a good distraction, forcing your opponent to choose between devoting resources to taking it out (which can further slow his ability to reinforce the flank you are attacking) or ignore it (in which case it can shoot up his troops with impunity). If employing a refused flank, unless you have a hill they can deploy on, don't put RBTs on your weighted flank as your own troops will invariably end up blocking their line of fire.

As is the case with crossbows, hills are an obvious place to deploy so that RBTs can see over other troops. But if your opponent has light flyers (harpies, furies, or even a character on a disk or pegasus) you may want to deply your RBTs in a forest for defense (since flyers can't fly into the woods). One other defensive consideration to consider when deploying RBTs is that I try not to deply multiple RBTs right next to one another if my opponent has fast troops that can threaten them -- I don't want my opponent to be able to either charge two RBTs at once or to be able to pursue/overrun from one right into the other.

c. Combat Infantry

If you have combat infantry (foot troops other than crossbows) in your army, any concentration of such troops constitutes a concentration of force and pretty much defines your overall deployment pattern -- infantry lack the speed to redeploy, and so the area where they start is the area they will need to focus on. No special tricks here. That being said, sometimes deploying a low-value infantry unit (no more than 200 points in a 2000 point game) to a part of the table that you don't otherwise intend to focus on can mislead the enemy and help you hide your true intentions longer.

The one thing to keep in mind is that if you are also running heavy cavalry and you are using a refused-flank plan, then on the weighted flank, the infantry should normally be closer to the center of the table than the knights. The simple reason for this is that if you are successful and crush the enemy on that flank the knights are more able to use their movement to get back towards the center of the table and lend their weight to the mop-up efforts.

d. Heavy Cavalry

Some relevant points for deployment of heavy cavalry are noted in sections above. Notably, due to their relative speed over infantry, heavy cavalry can be deployed closer to the edges of the table and (barring the effects of stupidity) can still redeploy and get into action at the center of the table if needed. Also as pointed out above, due to their armor, Knights can deploy in front of other units to serve as a turn 1 screen against low strength enemy missile fire.

Of special note to the Druchii general, since Cold One Knights are subject to stupidity, do not ever deploy them behind and within 3.5" of another one of your units. If the Knights go stupid, they will bumble into the front unit and keep it from moving as well. The chance of this happening may be low, but the downside of a failed test can be huge. So unless your opponent has LOS-based ranged attacks that pose a credible threat your knights on turn 1, it is generally best not to put them behind another unit at all.

e. Chariots

Perhaps more than any other troop type available to the Druchii, how you deploy with chariots can depend very heavily on across-the-field match ups. Chariots are very good against some troop types (ASF infantry) and very poor against others (anything with Strength 7, including war machines). There are two ways to deal with this. One is to delay placing your chariots until you see where the units you want to attack/avoid are placed. The other is to go ahead and deploy the cahriots early, and try to take the target/threat into account in other ways.

I actually prefer the second approach. Since chariots are really pretty cheap (especially for the level of threat they represent) they can be deployed early without disclosing much or sacrificing your flexibility. If your goal is to take advantage of impact hits against High Elf infantry, deploy them near the center of the table so that they can move to either flank as needed. If the issue is enemies with Strength 7 in HTH (like Dragon Ogres with Great Weapons, for example), then deploying a chariot early can get your opponent to commit that nasty unit early, alowing the rest of you army to deploy to avoid it if you want (if the chariot distracts a unit like Dragon Ogres from the rest of your army, that can be a small and worthwhile sacrifice). And if the issue is enemy cannon or stone throwers, you can generally anticipate where such things are going to be placed and plan accordingly by trying to block LOS by deplying with terrain intervening. One thing to note is that if you have multiple chariots, you should not deplky them close together if you are worried about strength 7 war machines, particularly cannon. You do not want to set up a line where one cannon shot can kill multiple chariots.

Setting aside the match-up issue, a major consideration in the deployment of chariots is their inability to march. Although they have a good threat range with a 14" charge, they can easily be left out of the game if they are deployed ot a flank and the opponent abandons it. Because chariots are cheap, this is not a major loss, but it does mean that if you expect them to be part of your main combat force, chariots should be deployed towards the middle of the table (in a refused flank approach, they should be even closer to the middle of the tbale than your combat infantry). That being said, there are reasons to deply chariots on the flanks. One reason being, as noted previously, to mislead your opponent into thinking you intend to weaight that flank when you do not. Another reason is to serve as a bodyguard for a small missile contingent such as an RBT. With their 14" threat range and lots of Strength 5 hits, chariots can fend off the type of light troops that are normally sent to attack a base of missile fire.

Finally, a quick note on stupidity. Unlike knights, you don't can freely deploy chariots directly behind another one of your units. Just make sure that you point the chariot backwards. Since chariots can pivot freely on the spot, facing backwards doesn't slow them down (as it would slow down knights) and it ensures that if a chariots does go stupid, it won't bog down any other troops.

f. Hydras

Hydras are relatively expensive main-combat units, and so they normally help define a concentration of force and the general deployment plan you are using, whether it be a strong center, refused flank, etc. Hydras are relatively fast and can march, and so you can deploy them somewhat to the sides of the table without worrying that they will be left out of the game completely.

In terms of match-up issues, if your opponent is vulnerable to psychology, you may want to deploy across from a large concentration of enemy troops in order to maximize the effect of terror. The main avoidance issue you have to worry about is enemy units with flaming attacks that can overcome Regneration. Flamers, Salamanders and Screaming Skull Catapults can be a particular worry, so you may want to deplay your hydra's deployment when facing an opponent who may field one of these troop types.

Finally, Hydras team well with ranked infantry units. Deploy a Hydra right next to and flush with the front of an infantry unit. This is a very strong defensive formation. If your enemy charges, not only will he have the ranks and numbers of the infantry unit to deal with and the combat ability of the Hydras, but the enemy has to maximize contact without regard to the Hydras's handlers. Having to maximize against the infantry unit means that as long as it is a single enemy unit charging, it is essentially impossible for the Hydra's vulnerable handlers to be drawn into a position where they can be attacked.

g. Characters

Depending on your army set-up, by the time you deploy your characters, where they go may already be determined. If you bult the army with certain combinations in mind, such as a Level 4 Sorceress with the Sacrifical Dagger + a big unit of spears, or a Dreadlord with the Executioner's Axe + a Black Guard unit carrying the Banner of Hag Graef, it is pretty clear where the characters have to go. But otherwise, you probably have some flexibility.

First off all, if you intend to try to do some damage in the magic phase, think about what enemy troops you want to target and deploy your casters accordingly. In a refused-flank deployment, I often locate my casters centrally with my missile troops. But whatever you do, make sure that your casters will ALL be in positions with range and line of sight to the enemy. If it looks like your opponent is prepared to abandon one flank do NOT deploy any spell casters on that side of the table. If one of your spellcasters is left out of range not doing anything, not only is she wasted, but your opponent has an easier time defending against your other casters since he has fewer power dice to worry about. If all you have is a scroll caddy, either put her in concealing terrain or, if you have to worry about spells that don't need LOS, put her in a a unit (like a missile unit) that should not see combat.

Dreadlords and Masters obviously pack combat punch and help to define and support your overall plan of attack. Unless they are on flying mounts, they should normally go with whatever concentration fo force you have already established in your deployment. Also, assuming a Dreadlord is your general, it should be obvious, but try to deploy him within 12" of as many Stupid units as possible.

For chacters on flying mounts, due to their speed and ability to redoply, you have a lot of flexibity in initial deployment. You may need to protect them by deploying under cover of terrain or on the other side of the table from your main force if facing enemy war machines, but due to their speed, they should be able to stay in cover for a turn or two and still join the main scrum at an appropriate time.

h. Shades

Before talking about the best way to deploy shades, I think it's best to hit the rules first, since I often see them misplayed.

First, shades do not need to scout out onto the table, but can deploy in plain sight in your own deployment zone. But this does NOT mean that you can deploy them in the normal part of your deployment phase in order to deplay deploying other stuff. Units with the "Scout" rule are always deployed after normal deployment regardless of where the set up. A side effect of this is that characters cannot start out deployed in units of Shades unless they have also have the Scout rule (only Assassins fit the bill). This means that if you are playing a "Shade Deathstar" army the big unit of shades may be vulnerable to shooting/magic for a turn until your characters with all their trinkets can join it.

A second frequent mistake is that Shades cannot use the Scout rule to deploy in a building outside your deployment zone. They may be able to deploy behind it, but not in it, since the enemy could see them if they were deployed inside.

All that out of the way, it is pretty easy to decide where to deploy shades. If there is available terrain to scout in of behind, you almost always want to do it so they can be closer to the enemy for purposes of shooting and march-blocking. The execpetions to this general rule are: (1) If you see that the enemy has deployed far away from the available scouting location(s) in which case you would be effectively taking your Shades out of the game; or (2) if you are fighting an army with magic that can specifically hurt stuff deplyed in woods (Lore of Life or Athel Loren), then don't scout into the woods!

If scouting is not an option, then look to deploy in a spot where your Shades could move into and occupy a forest or bulding to use as a firebase. Secondary to that, if you can't scout, think of the Shades as glorified crossbowmen and deploy them accordingly, favoring central locations to maximize potential shooting.


5. Taking the Enemy Into Account—Special Considerations in Deployment

a. “Castles” and Gunlines


b. Magic-Heavy Opponents


c. Large Flyers


d. Enemy “Deathstar” Units


e. Ambushers and Other Special Deployments

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Last edited by Dyvim tvar on Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:48 pm, edited 24 times in total.



Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:25 am
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Hi,

So far very good and a lot of points I agree on. I certainly found I improved greatly as a player once I started concentrating more on deployment. I think this article will greatly help newer players. Two small comments I'd like to make:

1) In the Disguising Your Intentions section you mention putting down cheap units before units with obvious placement positions. While good practice to put down cheap things first I have found that putting obvious things down first also works well. For example my TK army contains two units of 20 archers, and I normally start by placing one covering the largest open space, which is generally dead-center of my deployment zone. My opponent knows they will go there so I give away nothing by putting them down first instead of some light horsemen or such.

2) Speaking about the evenly distributed deployment. I have found that if your army is fast enough this deployment method can work well. Having an evenly spread depoyment means your opponent doesn't know where to focus their attack because your fast elements can quickly move to strengthen any part of your line. This means that your first movement phase can become a second deployment phase as your troops redistribute themselves once you've seen the whole enemy army set up. You have to be careful with this though because you don't want to let your opponent take the initiative.

So those are just a couple of my ideas. I hope they provide food for thought...

Cheers,
Dave

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Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:54 am
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Same does for archers on hills, warmachines in the kill zone... if you can get your man running scared before a die is rolled, why not?

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Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:33 pm
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Might be worth mentioning how set-up between two players who know these points becomes a game of cat-and-mouse, often favoring the side with more disposable troops/simply more units. Perhaps some thinking on what can tip the scales in such a moment would be interesting--what critical deployment decisions force someone to show their hand? Is it the big block of troops? The focus war machine (anvil, casket, cauldron of blood)? Something else?

I really enjoyed what you wrote so far. Good to think about things so generally/abstractly to develop tactical thinking.

Cheers.


Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:55 pm
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The Buoyancy of Water wrote:
2) Speaking about the evenly distributed deployment. I have found that if your army is fast enough this deployment method can work well.


Excellent point. Although it really only applies to very fast armies, I made a note of this in the main post.

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Last edited by Dyvim tvar on Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:01 pm
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I have enjoyed reading this thread, it has given me an insight into how to play better and also has opened my eyes as to how a VC player I play often always beats me.

How do you enable your self to adopt these deployment techniques within a small game group?

I have a group of only 4 players, how can I use a certain deployment technique such as Refused Flank with out it becoming obvious then redundant?


Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:21 pm
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Katon Edios wrote:
I have a group of only 4 players, how can I use a certain deployment technique such as Refused Flank with out it becoming obvious then redundant?


Good question. Even if your opponent knows that you are predisposed to use a refused flank deployment, you can maintain an advantage by keeping your opponent guessing as to which flank you are going to weight. As GeatEscape_13 points out, this can turn into a cat-and-mouse game where neither party wants to commit important troops before getting some idea of the opponent's plan. Often the winner of this little game is determined by who has the most deployable units and who can therefore disguise his intentions the longest.

At some point though, you will need to commit to one side or the other. This could be dictated by the placement of a valuable enemy unit, and what you think is your best possible route to victory. If you are confident in the ability of your army to smash the enemy, then the deployment of a valuable enemy unit can give you something to aim for and you would weight that side of the battlefield. If on the other hand, you are not confident in your ability to deal with a nasty enemy unit, you can avoid it and weight the opposite side.

And if your opponent respond to uncertainty by adopting a strong center approach, you should still have some advantage by going with a refused flank on one side or the other. If the enemy army pivots to from a strong center position to face your weighted flank, he risks presenting the flank or rear of units to the harassing troops you should have on the other side. Meanwhile, as your weighted flank pivots to the center, your units should get some protection by the edge of the table, from which no enemy threat can come.

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Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:54 pm
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Dyvim Tvar treats us with a first class article, :o as he has done for the magic. Thank you for that already. Looking forward for the rest of the article.


I may add my 1€ there:
The army list can be made having in mind the will to "win the deployment":
MSU (or MSU+anvil) allows a much longer deployment than the opponent.
A shade-heavy army allows to adjust the deployment of significant units to adapt after the end of the opponent's deployment.
Flocks of harpies and scores of DR help a lot to delay the time when you have to reveal where the bulk of your army will start.

Often it is enough to delay until the opponent has set his single über-unit-of-doom, or is finally forced to pin his many warmachine and hence drawing clear where are the path of death and where are the covered lanes.


Dyvim Tvar wrote:
Before getting into the main part of the article, I have to note a couple of things that I do not address. (1) I am not going to cover strategy for setting up terrain. One reason is because it is a complex subject that really deserves a separate treatment.
As Dyvim Tvar had previously mentioned that restriction, it has already been taken care of there =>D.R.A.I.C.H. Deploying the terrain by the rules.

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Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:10 am
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Some other things that may influence your deployment.
Ensuring the correct match ups.
Having an understanding of which enemy units each of yours should look to fight and which to avoid can be very useful.

You can also use the deployment used by Hannibel at Cannae. Hannible used a weak centre flanked by blocks of spearmen to defeat the romans.

You could simulate this with a centre of corsairs or witchelves in a shallow formation say one rank deep with a block of separmen or elite infantry on the ends of the line. The enemy charge the thinly held centre and pursue into the hole, your units then charge into the flanks and rear of the enemy units. You can use a cauldron to strengthen your centre and witch elves would be stubborn and then swithc the blessing to your flank units to make the charge.

I would have thought that crossbowmen are generally better on the flank where they can shoot down enemy light units.

War machines on hills can be good for fields of fire but it also makes them harder to defend and they can be shot easier by enemy archers and war machines.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:18 am
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Another thing to consider is the speed of your army vs theirs. You may get outdeployed, yet still have the advantage in that it matters little because you have lots of harpies, DRs and a dragon or something that can just be on the other side in a matter of a turn. Thus throwing a feint flank.

Terrain can play a big part in this. I recall one game at CR recently where I deployed fairly middle fully with the intention of redeploying to my right flank using a swamp near the center of the board as a pivot of sorts. I was then able to get around behind my enemy with this tactic.

List comparisons are very important. When playing a dragon, knowing where cannons and such drop is very important. Or if there is a unit or character you have a particularly hard time you obviously want to see them down so you can react,possibly with the plan of total avoidance.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:51 am
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newsun makes some great points.

Using a central piece of terrain as a "pivot point' is something I have done in the past as well. It is an excellent way to isolate one part of the opposing army, since the terrain piece can block the other portion of the enemy army from providing reinforcement.

The point about the dragon is a good one as well, and it was one that I was going to make in a later part of the article about deployment of characters. A model like a dragon is so powerful and expensive that whichever side of hte battlefield it is on almost automatically becomes your weighted flank. But it is also highly mobile, so unless it is put on an extreme flank, it doesn't necessarily dictate your point of attack. It can switch to the other side -- thus, as newsun calls it, the "feint flank." Definitely something to include in your bag of tricks.

Calisson wrote:
I may add my 1€ there:
The army list can be made having in mind the will to "win the deployment":
MSU (or MSU+anvil) allows a much longer deployment than the opponent.
A shade-heavy army allows to adjust the deployment of significant units to adapt after the end of the opponent's deployment.
Flocks of harpies and scores of DR help a lot to delay the time when you have to reveal where the bulk of your army will start.


Very good point. I always build my armies with a pretty high unit-count for just this reason. The downside is that your opponent will generally finish first and therefore get +1 to the roll for first turn, but I find the advantage in the deployment phase to be worth it.

A quick note about timing of updates -- I plan to tackle the next large section of my outline at some point next week.

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Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:50 pm
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About what units to deploy first, I find I usually like to keep my Harpies and Dark Riders till later on as usually they receive very specific roles like taking out War Machines of Diverting a frenzied unit. While they can move quite quickly its still going to take them some time to get to the other side of the board if my opponents war machine ends up going there.

Usually I start off with blocks of Warriors or Corsairs as they are still pretty cheap and dont usually have a specific objective in mind.
Just my thoughts

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Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:57 pm
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Quote:
You can also use the deployment used by Hannibel at Cannae. Hannible used a weak centre flanked by blocks of spearmen to defeat the romans.

You could simulate this with a centre of corsairs or witchelves in a shallow formation say one rank deep with a block of separmen or elite infantry on the ends of the line. The enemy charge the thinly held centre and pursue into the hole, your units then charge into the flanks and rear of the enemy units. You can use a cauldron to strengthen your centre and witch elves would be stubborn and then swithc the blessing to your flank units to make the charge.


This is a lovely classic tactic RXBs actually make a great central unit for this tactic they get great line of sight to punish the enemy as they come in preventing them from hanging back. Then they can march forwards 10 inches to block the enemies movement they also divert really well being ranked units. As with every tactic it has it's weaknesses but it is defeinitely an option I would recommend every Dark Elf player keeps in their locker.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:41 pm
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Bounce wrote:
Usually I start off with blocks of Warriors or Corsairs as they are still pretty cheap and dont usually have a specific objective in mind.
Just my thoughts


This is a very good point. A cheap unit like this really does not commit you to focusing force where it is deployed. The downside is that the unit lacks the speed to re-deploy once the game gets started, but the deceptive value of throwing a cheap unit of spears or corsairs on a flank you otherwise don't intend to contest can be significant. Opponents see a unit of 20 models and tend to lend it some real significance even if it is pretty cheap in terms of points.

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Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:11 am
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I think there are a whole range of historical battle deployments that your could use in WFB games.

For example if the table features a key piece of terrain near the middle you could try the same deployment and strategy that Napoleon used. Rush some crossbows up onto the hill. The enmy then has to assault the crossbows or get shot up and flanked. The Crossbows give ground and will break if assaulted by a serious combat unit. In the mean time your cavalry swing round behind the hill trapping the enemy between your ranked units and your cavalry. If they see the trap coming and hold back and move against the cavalry the ranked infantry can move up and threaten.

I think Harpies are the ideal unit to deploy first. They have the ability to be deployed centrally and then get to either side of the board on turn one, ready to flank and block or simply support the threatened flank. Deploying the harpies early therefore tells the enemy little about your intended deployment, whereas putting you cold one knight unit down one one flank is a key indicator that is where your main assault is going.

Several of the crusade battles, 100 years wars, and other later medieval and renaissance battle provide useful ideas for deployment and general strategies.


Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:48 am
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Another useful tactic is not to do what the enemy expects. If you have a hill on one side and then clear board on the other your opponent will assume your RXB will go on the hill and may as you pointed out earlier deploy their units around this. So then go and place your Crossobws somewhere else, just because there is a hill doesnt mean they have to stand on it.

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Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:34 am
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Bounce wrote:
So then go and place your Crossobws somewhere else, just because there is a hill doesnt mean they have to stand on it.

That is right indeed. In my gaming group for instance, it is nearly compulsory for people to put hills in the deployment zones of both players, because most players around there have some shooting units and want to be able to shoot with them. I, on the contrary, nearly always avoid this hill of which the enemy will think I will put my Bolt Throwers, and deploy them usually on my flanks to shoot away the light units that come their way or get some nice flank shots.
Why should you place your Bolt Throwers on a hill, if the terrain has already dictated your deployment? If you already know you are going to weigh a flank, why would you place your Bolt Throwers on the hill behind your big hammering flank instead of in the center where they can protect your army? Deploy them at the back of your deployment zone to ensure another round of shooting, distract the enemy battleline with your harassing units, and your Bolt Throwers will not have to worry about LOS as your less manouvrable troops are on your weighted flank.

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Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:27 am
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hi Dyvim Tvar

like your magic articles i enjoyed this one as well. Though something i found unusual was your first 2500 army list, the one you took to quake city tournament . It shows no sorceress. your artickle is too detailled to forget something like that. Didnt you had a scroll caddy with that list?

how did that packed out?


Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:42 pm
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Zenith wrote:
Though something i found unusual was your first 2500 army list, the one you took to quake city tournament . It shows no sorceress. your artickle is too detailled to forget something like that. Didnt you had a scroll caddy with that list?

how did that packed out?


Actually, I did not even have a scroll caddy in that list. It depended entirely on the Ring of Hotek for Magic defense. I did get smacked by magic-heavy Daemons, but beat a Tomb Kings army with a Casket army handily even though I had no scrolls.

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Truly These are the End Times ...


Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:09 pm
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Nice write up. Appreciated.


Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:16 pm
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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Have added some sections regarding deployment of specific troop types.

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Truly These are the End Times ...


Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:29 pm
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Chariot deployment.
Generally either interspersed between infantry blocks as hitting support hard hitting support or on the flank.

Chariots are probably more effective as support for the infantry blocks, they need to be protected against beign charged by fast moving cavalry or other flyers that could hold them up.

Cold one chariots are somewhat protected from a charge by light troops because they cause fear.

Chariots also need to be placed where they won't be hampered by terrain, ending up charging a unit and breaking through into a forest or building is a disaster.

Also you need to be careful with chariots in case they flee or break from combat, fleeing back into your own units is ver bad for morale, especially if you run over your own elite infantry.

Probably the best target for a chariot would be an enemy infantry block, even if they have the ASF rule the impact hits can kill the majority of infantry in contact and so mean they have minimal attacks back. Elite infantry also don't often generate a lot of SCR.


Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:54 am
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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Good points regarding chariots. I'll work some of it into the main post.

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Truly These are the End Times ...


Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:23 pm
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Interesting. And very different to my own thoughts on deployment. I generally have a couple of set deployments in mind and follow them without much regard to what the enemy does.

Which brings me to the main point I think you missed in your 1st section - deployment aims. For me the most important aim is to force the opponent to change his deployment plan with your own deployment. In this vein I'll often deploy my main threats very early on in a blatant attempt to influence my opponents deployment and make him use his army in a configuration he is not used to.

I find this works very well. Especially if you have a small army anyway and would gain little advantage by trying to be secretive, It puts your opponent off guard and shows them you are confident of how your army works. I think this is the best method because it almost always mens that for the rest of the game your opponent is reacting to what you are doing not the other way around. You spring the surprises during the game and not during deployment.

I actually wrote a detailed article for the herald (just after the last issue so it never actually got published) about 2 or 3 years ago. I think I lost it when my laptop broke. Maybe someone I sent it to still has it (anyone still in contact with General Kala?).

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Ash010110 wrote:
I completely agree with Ant (Reynolds, I presume?).

(Please note, I am NOT Anthony Reynolds)


Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:48 pm
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Also i find charitos are good on the flanks of a shooting centre deployment as with the shooting and then they can eliminate small units on the charge.

Also they can be deployed early to force your opponents hand regarding S7.

I always deploy the obvious deployments 1st as well as then they count as nothing deploymwents like the RBTs on either flanks.

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DJ Dizzy Posted: Jul 1 2009, 08:13 PM


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My daemon record is 2 wins and 12 losses... Yep, I suck at warhammer


Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:41 pm
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