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D.R.A.I.C.H. Unit width - Scrap your old mov' trays? 
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The new rulebook puts more emphasis on 5-wide ranks. However, one size fits not everyone!
The RBRB introduces the 10 wide horde.
In addition, monstrous infantry/cav/beasts need just 3 for a rank and 6 for a horde.
Finally, the skirmishing units now have to follow a formation.
Is the 5-wide tray still the most prevalent? What other width are we going to see regularly?

1. Ranked Man-sized Infantry.
This is the most common, non-skirmishing infantry.
5-wide units are probably the preferred setting, but in no way is it mandatory. Let’s review some reasons for different settings, starting with the narrower.

1.1. 1x10 Congo line. 20 mm wide.
A congo line could be useful for our AHW corsairs, in order to provide a nice flank cover to our more expensive elite. The opponent would have to choose between hardened, lower cost corsairs, or hidden (+2 cover) higher cost elites. If the corsair flank unit gets charged, all models get their 2 attacks regardless of the direction of the incoming attack, plus the champ gets the opportunity to rush and strike a 3rd attack. All of this with a nice I, and the refill from the rear.
If the escorted unit gets to charge, the corsairs could either select not to charge but just to move along and keep protecting the flanks. Alternatively, the long congo line of corsairs could participate to the fight, 1-wide, leaving most of the fighting frontage to the real fighting elite. That would be enough to make use of the slavery rule.
However, this flanking unit is so long that it hardly can wheel, so I would rather expect the 2-wide short frontage.

1.2. 2x5 Mobile, narrow frontage. 40 mm wide.
Just the same use, but the halved length makes the unit far more manoeuvrable.
Good for AHW corsairs used as a flank protective unit, making eventually good use of their slavery rule.

It could be very handy for RHB corsairs as well. If ever any foe comes to threaten the flanks, they will just rearrange turning 90° and be ready for Stand & Shoot, in 2 shooting ranks, with all models fighting with 1 attack, including the 2nd rank. If nobody threatens the ranks, then it acts like the AHW variety, just providing their slavery rule.

1.3. 3x2 Commando suicide squad. 60 mm wide.
A squad of 6 elite, no champion, arranged 3x2, has the goal of charging a large unit where an important character (the BSB, a magic-user, the general) is feeling safe.
Charge with 2 or 3 such units in order to increase your chances to have at least one suicide squad achieve its goal if the distance is high or if there is a receiving Stand & Shoot.
When in contact, the suicide squad endeavours to get all 3 front models in contact with the target character, so the 3 rear ones get one attack to the same model as well. Assume that all of them get the KB from the COB. High I will deal all their damage. Of course, the retaliating attacks are going to be deadly for the suicide squad.

The same 3 width could be useful as well to fight a warmachine, against which 6 models can fight, if each model has only 1 attack – not a good warmachine hunting unit indeed.

1.4. 5x2 (Narrow 5): Shooting range. 100 mm wide.
Shooting models can now shoot in 2 ranks. The minimum models in a unit being 10, now it becomes fashionable to put them in 2x5.
If ever they are charged by anything which has no rank (chariot, monster, skirmishers, diminished cavalry unit…), chances are good that less of 6 are killed and that they remain steadfast, allowing retaliation with another unit.

1.5. 5x10 (Wide 5): Steadfast unit. 100 mm wide.
This is probably going to be the most popular size in most armies.
Units of 25 to 50 with 5 to 10 ranks of 5. Guaranteed to be steadfast against anything not playing in the same category, even after loosing scores of models to shooting, magic and higher I charges.
With big units of say 40 Spearelves there is the added bonus that if your opponent brings only units with 3 ranks you can easily swap into a horde 10x4 but if your opponent takes many ranks then you can go with 5x8. Great versatility.

1.6. 6x1. Warmachine riddance elite squad. 120 mm wide.
Knowing that only 6 models can ever hit a warmachine crew, you better ensure that all these models can attack with their full attack allowance. The rear ranks can attack only with 1 attack. Therefore, a width of 6 makes sense when charging a warmachine. However, it is not easy to manoeuvre around with such unit.
I don’t expect to see many of them. But this could be another common setting for squads of 6 WE.

1.7. 7x2 Elite. 140 mm wide.
Elite troops facing a more common 5-wide unit will take advantage of enlarging its width in order to get more attacks. Anyway, the opponent is likely to get more ranks, never mind because your elite troop is stubborn so the combat is going to last long and to be bloody. Ensuring the most advantageous bloodbath can be done with a 7-wide stubborn BG, Exec or WE unit (the last 2 within COB’s influence).

1.8. 10x4 Horde. 200 mm wide.
This new possibility allows 3 ranks fighting with a single attack (or 4 for spearmen).
In order to become interesting, you need a very, very large unit, of 30 (40 spearmen) plus what you expect to loose before to shooting & magic.
This could be considered for 50 spearmen. Alternatively, you could do this with 30 shielded RXBmen, 2/3 of which would shoot, all of them would fight.
With big units of say 40 Spearelves there is the added bonus that if your opponent brings only units with 3 ranks you can easily swap into a horde 10x4 but if your opponent takes many ranks then you can go with 5x8. Great versatility.

1.9. 12x4 Widened horde. 220 mm wide.
In the same logic of enlarging the 5 rank to 7 and get more attacks, it could be considered to enlarge the 10 horde to 12 and get even more attacks (including 4 more in rear ranks if your unit is numerous enough).
I don’t see this happening any often, but why not, if you get 60 spearmen and if you expect to face some horde, then it would make sense, as your spearmen are likely to be better warriors than their opponents.

Last edited by Calisson on Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:07 pm
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2. Skirmishing man-sized infantry.
Skirmisher add an interval of ½” between two 20mm models. It needs not to be accurate to the mm.
The resulting width is:
2 models are 52,7 mm wide, like 3 normal models.
3 models are 85,4 mm wide, like 4 normal models.
4 models are 118,1 mm wide, like 6 normal models.
5 models are 150,8 mm wide, like 8 normal models.
6 models are 183,5 mm wide, like 9 normal models.
7 models are 216,2 mm wide, like 11 normal models.
When skirmishers charge, they keep their formation but with no longer gaps.
So you better plan on which formation you intend to provide to your skirmishers beforehand.

2.1. 3x2. Skirmisher small unit. 85 mm wide.
Perfect for 6 Shades with no improvement. All of them shoot and, in melee, all of them will fight normally, while allowing not too many models fighting back.

2.2. 5x2. Skirmisher unimaginative. 150 mm wide.
I see no reason which would justify this width: skirmishers gain absolutely nothing to be 5 wide.
Only people not giving any thought would do that. The only good point is that it uses the same trays as 6 cavalry.

2.3. 6x1. Skirmisher sabotage. 185 mm wide.
This makes sense. 6 skirmishers are all allowed to strike a warmachine crew with all their attacks.
Be it a unit of harpies or AHW Shades, their higher I allow them to destroy the crew before any retaliation.

2.4. 7x2. Skirmisher elite. 215 mm wide.
This one would be to attack in the rear a regular unit. Not particularly easy to do. I don’t expect to see that very often.

3. Cavalry.
Cavalry models are 25mm wide. Note that some greater infantry models (not available to DE) are also similarly wide.

3.1. 2x3. Mounted characters / warmachine hunters. 50 mm wide.
Remember, you cannot rearrange your formation in the same turn that you charge.
Only 2 models will ever hit an infantry character (plus 2 riders behind). Only two models will ever hit a warmachine (rear models cannot fight). Therefore, your DR need not to be wider than 2 for such role.
This is why I strongly recommend a 50mm wide tray for small units of DRs (shielded or not), unless they have an RXB, in that case, 3 wide is better in order to allow 6 of them to shoot.

3.2. 3x2. Shooting cavalry. 75 mm wide.
Good setting for 5 or 6 RXB DRs. All of them can shoot. If ever they wish to charge a lone model, they max their attacks.

3.3. 3x4. Brets. 75 mm wide.
Brets use this kind of tray exclusively, because it is enough for them to get ranks, in the Lance formation.

3.4. 5x2 or 5x4. Ranked cavalry. 125 mm wide.
This is the normal setting for medium or heavy cavalry, as less than 5 in a rank has no rank.
5 of them make together a rank, and so become steadfast when fighting any monster of chariot (as long as 5 remain at the end of the combat).
Riders in the 2nd rank can participate to the attacks.
If you intend to run a huge unit, 5 wide is a good way to go.

3.5. 6x2. Widened ranked cavalry. 150 mm wide.
In the same way as elite going 7-wide to increase their attacks, cavalry has a strong incentive to go 6 wide if intending to fight frontally a usual 5-wide infantry unit. 4 of them are as wide as 5 infantrymen, add 2 on the sides and you get the 6-wide cavalry.
The idea is to win all melee rounds until either the opposite unit fails its steadfast Ld test (it will happen sometimes) or to tie it up, eating many of them and resisting retaliation with our great armour save, until they become more manageable.

4. Monstrous models.
They are normally 40mm wide.

4.1. 3x2. Monstrous ranks. 120 mm wide.
This is probably going to be the preferred width. 6 of them can all fight with up to 3 attacks (including the rear rank).

4.2. 6x3. Wide 6: monstrous horde. 240 mm wide.
In order to get a horde, they need to be only 6 of them. Imagine 18 of them… all fighting with all their attacks…
Fortunately, this unit is so wide that the extreme models have trouble to hit anyone!

5. Swarms.
Swarms are skirmishers. They never have ranks. But they could get rear-models attacks as anyone. Even a horde swarm can be considered with 3 ranks of attacks. However, I don’t see this ever happening in a serious game: swarms are there mostly as tar pits.
The best for a swarm should be to get as wide as possible, in order to resist as much as possible templates.
In two ranks, they could get a single attack from the rear, nothing to get scared about.
Their tray should be just as long as you need to field them.
You could just consider as a tray for 3 swarm model anything close to 145mm wide, either the 140 mm for 7x2 elite or the 150mm for 6 cavalry models.
As DE have no swarm, I’ll spend no more time on this issue.

6. Recap.
Here below is all the movement trays that should be considered. GW provides already the 5 short and 5 long. All others are for you to make yourself!
20 mm wide.1x10 Congo line.
40 mm wide.2x5 Mobile, narrow frontage.
50 mm wide.2x3 cav. Mounted characters / warmachine hunters.
60 mm wide.3x2 Commando suicide squad.
75 mm wide.3x2 cav Shooting cavalry.
75 mm wide.3x4 cav Brets.
85 mm wide.3x2 Skirmisher small unit.
100 mm wide.5x2 Shooting range.
100 mm wide.5x10 Steadfast unit.
120 mm wide.6x1 Warmachine riddance elite squad.
120 mm wide.3x2 monstrous. Monstrous ranks.
125 mm wide.5x2 or 5x4 cav. Ranked cavalry.
140 mm wide.7x2 Elite.
150 mm wide.6x2 cav. Widened ranked cavalry.
150 mm wide. 5x2 Skirmisher unimaginative.
185 mm wide.6x1 Skirmisher sabotage.
200 mm wide.10x4 Horde.
215 mm wide.7x2 Skirmisher elite.
220 mm wide.12x4 Widened horde.
240 mm wide.6x3 monstrous. Monstrous horde.

That's all.
Hope it suggested you new ways to dispose your units!
Open for comments, as usual.

Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}

Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:11 pm
Cold One Knight
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:01 pm
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Location: England / Har Ganeth.
good read, very useful.

Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:19 pm
Malekith's Best Friend
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Posts: 1004
Some very interesting thoughts.
A few things I wanted to comment.
With big units of say 40 Spearelves there is the added bonus that if your opponent brings only units with 3 ranks you can easily swap into a horde 10x4 but if your opponent takes many ranks then you can go with 5x8. Great versatility

Also with AHW Corsairs and Witch Elves is it worth considering taking them 12 wide in 1 rank which would be effective against hordes. If o hordes you can always swap to 6x2.

With regards to Cavalry what you say about 3x2 units makes sense due to the ability of supporting attacks. Do you think no one will bother with 5x1 Cav formations anymore? I think this is a shame as they look good on the board.

Overall looks like I'll need a lot more movement trays which is a pain as I'd just finished the last lot.

"I will embrace death without regret as I embrace life without fear"

Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:58 am
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Thanks, Bounce, I've added your comments about 5 wide & horde units.

12 AHW corsairs (SSS) or WE is a little bit too daring.
It might be effective to charge frontally a 10x3 horde of weak unit. Sure, the rather likely result is that the very depleted horde still has 2 ranks (it would need to loose 16 models not to have 2 ranks anymore), so remains stubborn while killing back half of the DE front line.
I'd guess that you would need something like 20 of these against 40 clanrats in order to have good chances to survive the total destruction of the opponent, but I have'nt done the maths.

Cavalry: 3x2 is useful only for RXB DR, wishing to shoot and, sometimes, concentrate their attacks on a weak target. However, the rear ranks loose the mount's attack in melee, and the unit has no rank whatsoever.

For medium or heavy cavalry, 5- or 6-wide is the way to go. All front models get the mount's attack, and the rear models not only provide the rider's attack but also are here to compensate for the losses so that a rank of 5 remains in case of a dragon charging on the side.

Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}

Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:26 am
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