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D.R.A.I.C.H. The new Age of Mammoths. 
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Corsair
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1. Incentives for Mammoths.
There are good reasons why you can expect to see FLU (few large units) rather than MSU.
I consider a Mammoth unit to be in the range of 30 to 60 models.

1.1. Too large to notice small bites.
The sheer mass a Mammoth unit is huge.
Most BS shooting will take a lot of time to downsize it significantly. It could require a whole gunline to get rid of a single Mammoth unit.
Most spells will deal so ridiculously low amount of damage that the Mammoth will barely notice.
The mightiest unit charging a Mammoth unit is not likely to destroy more than half of it.

1.2. Beware of the wounded beast.
A large Mammoth unit is now much more fearsome than it used to be, back in 7th edition. Large units are not anymore staring helplessly at the smaller unit attacking them.
As rear ranks fill in the lost models, a Mammoth unit has always more models in reserve, able to step in and get a chance to retaliate. Worse, if it is charged frontally, the second rank models get a single attack as well.
As a consequence, elite small units who relied previously on charging and killing all models in contact from a larger unit, affording not to take any armour, are going now to suffer heavily, and the many losses they can inflict on the large unit are compensated by the less numerous, but more expensive losses they experience themselves.

1.3. Survival of the largest.
Large Mammoth units are easily stubborn: the unit with the most ranks in a melee is steadfast, i.e. stubborn. If in range, the unit uses the General’s Ld and the BSB reroll.
Important: the steadfast rule applies for a unit with more ranks at the end of combat, even if it is disrupted by a flank-charge (the rank bonus is gone, but the steadfast rule remains).

As a consequence, even if you charge a very large Mammoth unit with many elite troops, monsters, chariots, if you make a zillion casualties plus lots of static combat resolution, as long as the Mammoth retains more ranks than any of your troops, it will just need to pass a Ld test (rerollable within BSB reach) in order to survive, when your charging momentum is exhausted (no more impact hits, breath weapons, magic banner…) and where some rescue units may countercharge your own units.

Therefore, many armies will get a 5xR unit where “R” (ranks) tries to be much higher than the opponent’s.
If your “R” is smaller, you need to grind down the opposite “R” – and keep yours as high as possible before your combat resolution starts to mean anything.

Steadfast is going to play a large role and I expect many armies to run at least a very large unit and a nearby general & BSB, in order to guarantee more ranks than the opponent.

1.4. Last survivor retains whole value.
Mammoth units are great for points denial strategy.
There is no more VP for half-destroyed unit. Worse, even if a fleeing unit is way below 25% survivors, it always can rally on a double 1 – and deny all VP for that unit.
Even more frustrating: if the Mammoth is fleeing in the end of turn 6, but still on the table, then you gained no VP.

You may have killed the champion: 0 VP.
You may have made it flee once: 25 VPs for capturing the pennant bearer in the process.
All the efforts made are wasted if the survivors rally (quite easy to do with a musician, as long as the unit is above 25%) or if it just refuses to flee, or if it did not reach the table's edge while fleeing.
If it is depleted enough, then the last few men will “play the clock” and try to reach alive the end of the game, which is likely to come soon at this stage, and they will deny any VP for all your tremendous efforts to deplete that unit.

Units with sufficient numbers are quite impossible to destroy to the last man and make outstanding pts denial.
If all 3 mandatory units of your foe are Mammoth units, then good luck to kill them all. Not only they are offering no easy VP at all, but also they somehow support each other.


Last edited by Calisson on Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:40 pm
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2. Mammoth hunt.
Mammoths look impressive when you first meet one, however they are some hunting techniques which can be used.

2.1. The steadfast race – biggest shall prevail, but don't bet against the underdog Mammoth!
Mammoth units rely on being steadfast to survive. The only way to cancel the steadfast from one unit is to bring as many ranks (more is not necessary) in the same melee.
Expect to see “my Mammoth is larger than yours” races.
However, the cheapest troops are obviously likely to win that race. Not often will DE be able to win such direct race. You have to expect to see lesser, cheaper races try to play that game.

If you brought a long massive unit of spearmen and find yourself vacing a longer opposing unit, the solution, as mentioned below by Rabidnid, is to charge with your "underdog Mammoth" and simultaneously with a unit of WE, SSS corsairs or KB-boosted BG. A couple of chariots and hydras could do the same job, especially if side-charging. With 3 attacks each, the elite infantrymen should be able to downsize the opposing Mammoth to a smaller or similar size than yours (Steadfast requires more ranks, so to even up is enough). With the massive amount of damage done, only a snake's eye will save (briefly) your opponent.

2.2. Accelerate the downsize evolution.
If your troops are more expensive than your opponent’s, then one way to get rid of this annoying steadfast property is to kill most of the unit before getting in melee.

Template weapons are going to have a large role for that. Unfortunately, DE have no access to them besides breath weapons, usable only once a game each.

Massive amounts of BS shooting are going to take their toll, bite after bite. Our RXBmen are good for that.

Another possibility is magic, especially Dark Magic.
We have an outstanding spell: #5 Soulstealer. It targets each model of the unit. The more models, the more efficient.
#6 Black horror, with a large template you place where you want, is also a spell of choice.

2.3. A whale in the shark’s basin.
One single hydra will eat big chucks of the large Mammoth, but in the following rounds of melee, the Mammoth will turn around and face the attacker. The attacker is going to loose soon and die, while the Mammoth survives.
For this reason, carnivorous better hunt in packs, so that the Mammoth cannot face them all and can never win a single melee. A combined charge with chariots, stomping/breathing dragons and hydras, and many attacks from COK, WE and corsairs is going to severely deplete the Mammoth, and eat it alive in a few rounds.

Beware that opposing magic is going to play a large role in hardening the Mammoth.
Beware of countercharges as well, your carnivorous pack would hate to be rear-charged as it requires to win all melee rounds in a row.

2.4. Even a Mammoth can panic.
Your opponent putting too many eggs in a single basket risks a failed Ld test.
Even a Ld 10 test fails 1/12 times.
Even a rerolled Ld test fails sometimes (OK, that is less than 1% of the time).

2.5. Big body, small brain.
Aim at the head. The Mammoth may have a high Ld due to either a nearby general or an inside lord, however, it relies heavily on the BSB to reroll lost Ld tests. To kill the BSB is the most important task. To assassinate the general is the next most urgent task.
After that, failing a stubborn Ld7 non-rerollable test will be much more likely.

2.6. A Mammoth needs to be killed only twice.
You really want to prevent the beast from fleeing. Corsairs are good to slow them down, and swiftstride units (DR, harpies, COC, COK, Peggy, Dragon) to run faster.

However, the beast will sometimes escape.
Once the Mammoth flees, it is worth 0 VP: it may rally, or it needs just not to reach the table's edge before the end of the battle.

Keep charging it while it flees, it will only be able to flee more.
Get some scavengers ready to attack relentlessly, a single harpy catching 50 fleeing infantrymen is enough to destroy them. Anything charging far will do the job.

2.7. Just put the Mammoth in a cage.
As long as the Mammoth unit does no harm to you, you may select not to kill it (yet) and rather concentrate on other parts of the opposing army.
The trouble is that you don’t want to be in the Mammoth’s way, and the beast would love to get at you!
Well, the bait & flee tactics still exist, but in a less efficient way than before
Fortunately, there are some ways to harness long units.
Mammoths, like every R&F unit, are able to do only 3 kind of moves:
- moving forwards only, to charge, double march, wheel several times;
- rearranging, and subsequently moving forwards & wheeling (after a Ld test) but not marching nor charging
- moving laterally or backwards, but not changing orientation.

Just put two light units, one at 1” from each of its flanks.
Your two units being on the flanks, they cannot be charged.
The beast now cannot rearrange as it wishes.
It cannot move laterally.
It may move backwards at half speed, no big deal.
If the Mammoth moves forwards, it has to remain at all times at 1” from your units (p.13), therefore the Mammoth will have to move forwards until its rear has passed your units before it can start to wheel!
As a bonus, sometimes it will fail the march-block Ld test.

Your light agile units are good for that. The only trouble is that they are the units the most vulnerable to light BS shooting.
More discussion on this in the comments below, with Irtehdar experiencing the concept.

H.........S
H.........S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S .........where
H EEEEE S .........H=Harpies (preferred cage)
H EEEEE S .........S=Shades (possible cage but more exposed)
H EEEEE S .........E=Enemy

A small Mammoth of 5x5 infantry units is 5x20mm long = 100 mm = 4".
But your light units will cover more: they can extend towards the front, at more than 1", and play with the beast's nerves:
The Mammoth sees them. It can therefore decide to charge. If it charges, it must first exctract the whole of its body off the cage before wheeling 90°. Then it will see that your skirmishing unit has shrinked to make a receiving rank (see p.77). The charge autofails, so the Mammoth will just move its highest D6 forwards, whatever he rolls. :lol:


2.8. Play tug-of-war with a Mammoth
A single unit may keep the Mammoth busy for a while, giving you some time to take care of the rest of the army.

In case there is only one tough but rather small unit playing with the Mammoth, it will cause many wounds on the charge, when hatred is in effect, and get +1 charging CR. No big deal, the Mammoth is steadfast.

Next round, the Mammoth has a chance to rearragne its formation and face its agressor.
Not only your hatred is exhausted and you no longer have +1 charging SCR, but now the Mammoth may concentrate many more attacks on your single unit. Some of these attacks will ultimately pass. If you fluff your attackss, then the +3 SCR is going to be hard to overcome and YOU will have to pass a Ld test.

Either you can sacrifice the unit which you designated as volunteer, or you have to get a rescue real quick.

There are two kind of units which can do this job well:
- stubborn units with high Ld (or a BSB reroll): you can afford loose several rounds of combat.
- very tough units, hard to wound, and getting themselves a decent amount of attacks.

- A BG unit will hold its ground for a while, if charged by a Mammoth: it is stubborn and its hatred lasts. But that is quite expensive as a sacificial unit, you better rescue it before loosing the last one.
- Execs and WE are stubborn in range of a COB. If that COB is the BSB, then they can safely hold their ground. Beware that WE will loose their Frenzy sooner or later. But a unit of 6, useful for other purposes, may last two rounds of combat.
- A hydra or a dragon whould be able to keep winning the melee for a while, despite loosing hatred, thanks to their tough resistance and to their multiple attacks (plus thunderstomp).

2.9. A Mammoth trap covered with tree branches.
RBRB p.119. If more than half of a large unit is inside a forest, it looses its steadfast rule.
If you can arrange to canalise the front part of the Mammoth unit towards a wood, as soon as the majority of its fore part is inside, you jump with all your carnivorous pack, removing the Mammoth’s rear ranks, so that the majority of what remains of the Mammoth is now inside the forest. Only a snake’s eyes (1-1 on Ld test) will save it.


3. Summary of Mammoth hunting tools.
You are going to face many Mammoth. Be prepared.
You need a series of tools, that we have seen just above. Not all of them are required simultaneously, but several of them at least must be taken.
- a bigger Mammoth (spears, most likely, but RXBmen, AHW corsairs or WE could be considered – see next chapter)
- if you have yourself a Mammoth unit, then you need warmachine hunters (DR, harpies, AHW Shades and/or a Peggy).
- scores of RXBmen, in a single large unit or in several small units
- Dark Magic with good chances to get spells #5 and/or #6 (i.e. two level 3 or a level 4 and a level 2).
- Good magic defence (the same sorceresses can do that).
- MSE: Dragons, hydras, chariots, medium/small units of COK, WE, AHW corsairs, in order to eat the beast.
- More of the above to avoid countercharges and get rid of opposing light troops & shooting troops.
- Suicide squads of 6 WE, 10 AHW corsairs or 5 DR, COB-boosted with KB, or hiding an assassin, to kill the opposing BSB. It is nice to kill the general, too, so take several of them.
- Scavengers like DR, Harpies, Peggy or Dragon, to catch the fleeing beast.
- More Harpies, or possibly Shades or DR, to canalise the Mammoth unit forwards.
- BG, Execs/WE&COB, hydra or dragon to stop the Mammoth progression if required.
- A forest (this one needs not to be planned in your army list, but given the opportunity to place it in a likely Mammoth’s path during terrain deployment, don’t miss it).

There are tools that you don’t need specifically against a Mammoth. Take them only for other purpose.
You own general - a lord without a dragon – your BSB - a hero without a Peggy – ASL GW Shades & Execs – RBTs.


Last edited by Calisson on Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:13 pm, edited 14 times in total.



Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:42 pm
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4. DE Mammoths.
Cold Naggarythe can breed specific woolly Mammoths, too! Let’s review them.

4.1. Spearmen.
Cheap, fight in 3 ranks! If they collide against another Mammoth from a lesser race, they are likely to win progressively.
Our preferred Mammoth.

4.2. RXBmen.
Able to dish out massive distant damage. Before being charged, they reform in the desired shape.
With shields, they are the only ones to get the new parry bonus!
A serious unit to consider.

4.3. AHW Corsairs.
Two attacks each, even on the sides, and it increases to 3 with the SSS.
On your turn, bless them with a KB if facing a human-sized unit and see the result.
Resilient to BS shooting.
If ever they win the melee, their slavery rule is interesting.
A good unit to consider.

4.4. RHB corsairs.
I see them less useful in a large unit than AHW corsairs. However, with the SSS banner, not only they still have a decent amount of attacks, but also they can taunt themselves a nearby enemy. I would not recommend this unit.

4.5. Shielded DR.
They are very expensive as a mass unit. However, they are very fast, quite resilient an dish out two attacks per model. They could be tried, sometimes, as a secondary, mass unit, for a change.

4.6. COK.
They are extremely expensive as a massive unit, but they are ITP, very resistant and their attacks are S4, two attacks per model. Furthermore, if ever they win a melee, their swiftsride pursuit is welcome. Not to be discarded without further examination.

4.7. WE.
Probably the best special mass unit. Not too expensive yet. Resilient after being downsized, if they had a little drink of witchbrew. 3 attacks each. Even if they face a unit with more ranks, they can become stubborn with a nearby COB. Definitively to be tried.

4.8. Execs.
ASL is deadly for them. However, if they are numerous enough to strike back and if a COB grants them +1 attack, nobody will win against them. It is just that they need to be in large numbers.



That's all, fellow hunters!
Your comments welcome, as always.

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Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm
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One tactic I don't see in there is simply tying the mammoth up with something tough while you maneuver, apart from the Black-Guard tactic. I think that, with only a little luck, a chariot or Hydra should be able to hold a large unit several times it's cost for awhile. Snipe off characters, and they might even break it single-handedly.

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Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:19 pm
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The Mammoth is likely to get +3 SCR due to ranks +1 for pennant.
A chariot will surely overcome that on the charge, but later on, it will fail.
This is why I considered only a stubborn unit (which could also be a stubborn Khainite in range of the COB).
A hydra or a dragon whould be able to keep winning the melee for a while, despite loosing hatred, thanks to their tough resistance and to their multiple attacks (plus thunderstomp).
Beware that the Mammoth is likely to turn towards its attacker and get many frontal attacks, some of which will hurt your attacker. Better take someone who can be sacrificed, or be ready to rescue him quickly.

But you're right, I'll develop that tactics.

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Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:33 pm
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The simplest solution is use two units from the front, one deep to nulify stalwart and the other to inflict damage.

g= goblins
s= spears
w= witches

_gggggggggg
_gggggggggg
_gggggggggg
_gggggggggg
_gggggggggg
ssssswwwwwww
ssssswwwwwww
sssss
sssss
sssss
sssss

The spears are 6 deep so they nulify the goblins stalwart, and the witches are there for cheap damage. 38 attacks hitting on 3x and wounding on 4s, with poison and rerolls, should be wounding 16 times for the witches and the spears another 3 to 4 depending on who charged. The goblins will strike back with about 30-40 attacks for 5 to 10 wounds depending on if they fail their fear checks .

SCR is even and the DE inflict an extra 10 wounds or so reducing the goblin block to double 1s to avoid fleeing even if they have a Ld 10 general. As always, in practice it may not be so neat, but the potential is there to break most horde blocks in the first round of combat.

30 spears with banner and muso, plus 14 witches with muso is 364 points. Replace the witches with another spear block or RXB block 10 wide, or a pair of chariots or even hydras. The combinations are practically endless. The 6 deeps spear block will however remove stalwart from most horde blocks and only suffer 16 or so attacks in return because the other block is taking up most of the frontage, making the spear block quite survivable.

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Last edited by Rabidnid on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:03 pm
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Good point, Rabidnid.
Edited 2.1

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Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:31 pm
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Rabidnid, I really like that tactic. It will help in those situations I won't be able to get a flank charge.

Also Calisson, maybe I read it wrong but I didn't see anything about baiting into a flank charge. A unit in the flank with 2 ranks will get rid of their ranks. I plan to smack my opponent in the face with 25 spears and then flank with BG or Executioners 5x3.

Doing this swings their +3 SCR into your favor plus +1 for flank and +1 for charging. The unit on the flank should cause massive amounts of damage and they will break on double ones.

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Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:33 pm
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The trouble with Mammoth is that they laugh at flank charges. They laugh at anything, as long as they don't loose their Steadfast rerollable Ld test.

A flank charge will remove their +3 SCR bonus and they will loose the melee by 3 more. They don't care. There are a zillion more of them in the rear ranks, and they are still steadfast/stubborn.
What will happen is they will pass the rerolled-unmodified general's Ld test once, in order not to panic, then a second unmodified general's Ld test, in order to rearrange themselves and face the attacking unit.

Even if you have a spare larger unit handy, waiting for the Mammoth to rearrange in order to get at its flanks again, it doesn't matter. The Mammoth will have its own melee round to fight against your first unit (on the front, this time, and without your hatred), with great chances to win - and therefore to be able to rearrange again.

Only if the Mammoth is engaged on several sides simultaneously is it prevented to rearrange (but it will still not care about loosing by 1 or 10).

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Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:42 pm
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Im beginning to enjoy he new rules more and more as I get into them! Obviously with us not having the cheapest rank fillers out there it seems that we may be fighting a somewhat uphill battle on that account but again DE's have never been about sustainted combat and sustained combat is really what these Mammoth units does well.
A tactic Ive already had great success with looks alittle like this:

H=Harpies
S=Shades
E=Enemy

H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S

If this is done realyl tight fit with the 1 inch rule you can dictate that this unit can stand still or move only in a straight line. Due to the unit being unable to wheel at the start of its charge(that would bring its rear too close to my units) its charge arch is reduced to a point where it can only move straight ahead so the unit will never see combat if I just keep my battleline flexible. Basically the only action this enemy unit will be able to do is march off my table edge if it persists in moving forward.

Obviously for this tactic I need to ensure that the units caging in the enemy unit is well protected but anyone familiar with DE MSU is well versed in tactics dealing with the threats to these guys. Move in fast and take out the enemy shooting/magics/etc
Bring alot of spare Harpies/Shades in small units and dont reveal your going t ocage in the enemy mammoth before youve dealt with the threats.

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Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:55 pm
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Calisson wrote:
The Mammoth is likely to get +3 SCR due to ranks +1 for pennant.
A chariot will surely overcome that on the charge, but later on, it will fail.
This is why I considered only a stubborn unit (which could also be a stubborn Khainite in range of the COB).
A hydra or a dragon whould be able to keep winning the melee for a while, despite loosing hatred, thanks to their tough resistance and to their multiple attacks (plus thunderstomp).
Beware that the Mammoth is likely to turn towards its attacker and get many frontal attacks, some of which will hurt your attacker. Better take someone who can be sacrificed, or be ready to rescue him quickly.

But you're right, I'll develop that tactics.

Hmm, that is true, so I'd rule out the Chariot, but as you said, Hydra and Dragon are still viable for this. In fact, the Hydra may even win the combat given enough time, due to the (now-unkillable, or so I hear) beastmasters, thunderstomp, 7 attacks. Against regular troops, WS3, S3, etc., it should kill about 7-8ish at the least, with the enemy only dealing about 1 wound before saves, frontally with horde attacks. One thing I'd look out for is a character kitted out to keep the unit from dying like this. Lore of Death would be able to take care of that though, I think.

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Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:16 pm
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Irtehdar wrote:
Im beginning to enjoy he new rules more and more as I get into them! Obviously with us not having the cheapest rank fillers out there it seems that we may be fighting a somewhat uphill battle on that account but again DE's have never been about sustainted combat and sustained combat is really what these Mammoth units does well.
A tactic Ive already had great success with looks alittle like this:

H=Harpies
S=Shades
E=Enemy

H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S

If this is done realyl tight fit with the 1 inch rule you can dictate that this unit can stand still or move only in a straight line. Due to the unit being unable to wheel at the start of its charge(that would bring its rear too close to my units) its charge arch is reduced to a point where it can only move straight ahead so the unit will never see combat if I just keep my battleline flexible. Basically the only action this enemy unit will be able to do is march off my table edge if it persists in moving forward.

Obviously for this tactic I need to ensure that the units caging in the enemy unit is well protected but anyone familiar with DE MSU is well versed in tactics dealing with the threats to these guys. Move in fast and take out the enemy shooting/magics/etc
Bring alot of spare Harpies/Shades in small units and dont reveal your going t ocage in the enemy mammoth before youve dealt with the threats.


The main problem I see with this is that your opponent only has to use 6 inches to get outside of your box. The remaining 2-4 inches can allow them to slowly turn towards your army. On top of this, if they charge and roll a 7 that is average of 11 inches giving them 6 inches of wheeled movement outside of the blockade.

Also what if they have a horde where they are 10x4 or 10x5 or deeper? It would work to some extent but they would be more flexible.

In most situations this would help, but if I were your opponent and you did this, I would reform my 4x10, 5x10 5x5 (in your example) unit to FACE the side aggressors. The reason being is that they could fit no matter the started facing. Then your guys would scramble to realign and your opponent may be able to get a flank charge off with his horde.

I like the tactic and I am going to use it, I just see some problems that we could be facing with it.

EDIT: I thought you could wheel at any time of your charge, not just the beginning. If thats true then most of what I said doesn't matter except for the reforming.

@ Callison: I thought that if you flank charge your opponent with a ranked unit (2 ranks or more) your opponents ranks are then displaced or whatever. I can't remember the name ATM but that should include whether or not they count as having more ranks than you. I don't have my rulebook on me but I thought that was a main tactic in dealing with these hordes, you get rid of stubborn by hitting flanks and they fall apart.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:39 am
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Swab wrote:
The main problem I see with this is that your opponent only has to use 6 inches to get outside of your box. The remaining 2-4 inches can allow them to slowly turn towards your army. On top of this, if they charge and roll a 7 that is average of 11 inches giving them 6 inches of wheeled movement outside of the blockade.

Also what if they have a horde where they are 10x4 or 10x5 or deeper? It would work to some extent but they would be more flexible.

In most situations this would help, but if I were your opponent and you did this, I would reform my 4x10, 5x10 5x5 (in your example) unit to FACE the side aggressors. The reason being is that they could fit no matter the started facing. Then your guys would scramble to realign and your opponent may be able to get a flank charge off with his horde.

I like the tactic and I am going to use it, I just see some problems that we could be facing with it.

EDIT: I thought you could wheel at any time of your charge, not just the beginning. If thats true then most of what I said doesn't matter except for the reforming.


Well the tactic is not flawless and one would have to really capitalize on movement and keep addapting to what the opponent tries to do in order to get out of this cage. However IMO DE's does that very well and this cage is certainly not a standalone tactic. It works best if the whole army is built more or less after this princible.
I did display the cage groups as being rather tightly packed but in reality a 55 pts unit of harpies on either side spreads out across the whole flank of the unit. This tactic doesnt work terrible well if its a 5x5 unit im trying to cage in(the tactic grows with the numbers in the enemy unit) however a unit of that size doesnt really needs to be in a cage as it can be picked off by other elements of my army.
I cant lock down the unit completely but I can certainly limit its freedom to a point where I can avoid it with most things. And then again this cage does not work alone and IMO DE's becomes more interesting when you take a whole bunch of different tactics and put them together.
I played a fight against a demon army that were focussed around 3 big blocks(1 bloodletter and 2 plaguebearer) and I successfully prevented those 3 units from ever seing combat(roughly 1k pts effectively locked down by less than 500 pts and my Shades still got to shoot at other stuff while they were doing this)

This may be a temporary phenomenon as while we are trying to addapt to the new rules so too are everyone else and there might turn out to be a tactic that easily counters this one but for now its working fine. Heck the most obvious crack in this tactic is if the player trying to build the cage fails to effectively destroy other stuff the cage teams can easily be shredded. Heck it only takes 1 round of shooting from pretty much any shooty micro unit to wreck the cage and the mammoth unit is loose.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:09 am
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Swab wrote:
@ Callison: I thought that if you flank charge your opponent with a ranked unit (2 ranks or more) your opponents ranks are then displaced or whatever. I can't remember the name ATM but that should include whether or not they count as having more ranks than you. I don't have my rulebook on me but I thought that was a main tactic in dealing with these hordes, you get rid of stubborn by hitting flanks and they fall apart.

You can't get rid of stalwart by disrupting ranks, you only get rid of their rank bonus. That's the big thing making everyone worry.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:41 am
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I would raise TWO other points: 1) READ THE SCENARIO RULES. 2) Drive it off a cliff (or into a box canyon, etc.)

1) Not all the set ups favor great big huge units. One of the scenarios (fight at dawn) could put that big unit on either flank in cramped quarters. That would only work to DE advantage.

Another problem for Mammoths is the scenario based on banners. Great Big Units (Mammoths) will only have a few banners per army. You may only need to kill one or two and win. DE have lots of banners because we like lots of smaller units.

If you look at the battle styles you will see similar thoughts coming to mind.

2) Mammoths off a Cliff (or into a boxed canyon). Mammoths are not manuverable to the extent other units are. Terrain will sometimes force them to manuver. Some of those manuvers will not let the unit move very far as no figure can move twice its movement rate. Use this to look for areas where you use the 1" gap rule to your advantage.

During Terrain set up, place buildings or other "hard" surfaces close to each other so that you have the advantage in manuvering. If you can lure one of these beasts down a crossroads, their buddies will not be able to manuver in to assist.

I can imagine set ups where the big unit may want to charge, but doing so will leave it completely stranded to smaller, more flexible units.

Just some thoughts.
~B~


Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:49 am
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@ Irtehdar
Hey hey hey! :D
Welome back Irtehdar in D.net, too long we had no news!
I suspect you were disgusted by having too easy victories under 7th ed and you're turning back because you see some real challenge to fight Mammoths the MSU way! ;)

I'l insert your illustration in my article above, you've got my point to perfection. I retain the wording "cage" rather than "harness" in the title as well.


@ Swab
A small Mammoth of 5x5 infantry units is 5x20mm long = 100 mm = 4".
But your light units will cover more: they can extend towards the front, safely at less than 1" (no LOS from Mammoth).
You could even challenge the beast and extend your cage at more than 1" forwards, visible by the Mammoth.
The Mammoth sees them. It can therefore decide to charge. If it charges, it must first exctract the whole of its body off the cage before wheeling 90°. Then it will see that your skirmishing unit has shrinked to make a receiving rank (see p.77). The charge is automatically failed because the Mammoth cannot wheel more that 90°, so the Mammoth will just move its highest D6 forwards, whatever he rolls.

I've edited the main post above.

A Mammoth size 5xR may always select to rearrange, turning 90° to a new Rx5 formation, looking now more like a horde (possibly becomijng a horde if R=10), facing one of your unit - and not being able to move further.
In this case, you just move both your agile units to the new flanks. Instead of moving in the previous forced direction, the Mammoth is now able to move to the new direction at 90° of the previous. No big deal.

In order to get out of the cage, a Mammoth must get slimmer.
It may rearrange in a 2 or 3 wide formation and face a different direction, with an angle different from 90° of the previous direction.
If it does, it is doomed: it has no more rank, it is no more steadfast.
Just charge with both your units. +2 CR for charging, +2 CR for charging twice on flanks (it stacks), you strike first with your higher I, they retaliate with only one model in contact on the sides.
You're likely to win hugely, they will have to test a modfied Ld.
If they loose, their BSB and pennant bearer are autokilled, and furthermore you need only a single harpy to catch them and destroy them. :shock:

The extended cage works also against hordes, in the same way.
However, hordes have more freedom to rearrange in a smaller width and move towards towards pretty much any direction. In the process, they are no more a horde, they rather become more and more a Mammoth. See instructions above to deal with a Mammoth.

Everybody knows that elephants fear mice. We'll see that Mammoths fear harpies! :lol:
If you do this with Shades, there is more to fear from a Mammoth rearranging 90° and allowing little space for Shades to escape.
Also, you have to choose:
either to turn their ass towards the beast, in order to show their disdain (and be able to shoot at whoever comes)
or to face the Mammoth, to make sure it does not try to escape the cage by slimming itself.

After this explanation, you'll have to concede that we corsairs are good at caging large beasts! 8)

@ Blaznak
Killing a banner inside a huge unit, where it will be the last but one to die to magic/shooting/melee, is not an easy task. You'd need to assassinate the BSB and, for the banners, to make the Mammoths fleeing once (autokilling the pennant).

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:45 am
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Irtehdar wrote:
Im beginning to enjoy he new rules more and more as I get into them! Obviously with us not having the cheapest rank fillers out there it seems that we may be fighting a somewhat uphill battle on that account but again DE's have never been about sustainted combat and sustained combat is really what these Mammoth units does well.
A tactic Ive already had great success with looks alittle like this:

H=Harpies
S=Shades
E=Enemy

H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S
H EEEEE S

If this is done realyl tight fit with the 1 inch rule you can dictate that this unit can stand still or move only in a straight line. Due to the unit being unable to wheel at the start of its charge(that would bring its rear too close to my units) its charge arch is reduced to a point where it can only move straight ahead so the unit will never see combat if I just keep my battleline flexible. Basically the only action this enemy unit will be able to do is march off my table edge if it persists in moving forward.

Obviously for this tactic I need to ensure that the units caging in the enemy unit is well protected but anyone familiar with DE MSU is well versed in tactics dealing with the threats to these guys. Move in fast and take out the enemy shooting/magics/etc
Bring alot of spare Harpies/Shades in small units and dont reveal your going t ocage in the enemy mammoth before youve dealt with the threats.


hahaha I really like that, I guess this is what sets apart the average gamers and the clever ones. Just one question with that though, I recall that skirmish units now have a loose formation setup that's pretty much your normal rank and file formation except not compacted unless you're in combat? Or are both your units facing in towards that mammoth? Then reform to move with it and then reform to face in again?

H -> EEEEE <- S -> direction of facing.
H -> EEEEE <- S
H -> EEEEE <- S
H -> EEEEE <- S
H -> EEEEE <- S

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:56 am
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Meteor wrote:
Just one question with that though, I recall that skirmish units now have a loose formation setup that's pretty much your normal rank and file formation except not compacted unless you're in combat? Or are both your units facing in towards that mammoth? Then reform to move with it and then reform to face in again?

H -> EEEEE <- S -> direction of facing.
H -> EEEEE <- S
H -> EEEEE <- S
H -> EEEEE <- S
H -> EEEEE <- S
Skirmishing units (p.77) are indeed "spaced", with "around 1/2"" between themselves (which does not show on the graphics).
They can rearrange freely as they move.
In order to make a cage, they can select, at the end of their move, to rearrange one last time, and face the Mammoth (as you show), which is good to threaten the Mammoth with a charge in case it wanted to slim and get out.
Alternatively, you could face outwards, which is handy for Shades who can shoot at another unit.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:50 pm
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ah ok, thanks for clarifying that! Definitely going to practice doing that in future games haha. :D

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

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

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

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Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

Magic Item
Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:18 pm
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I fought a battle against VC yesterday.

He had 2 hordes of 40 Zombies. One breath from the Hydra from the flank killed 29 Zombies. Then a breath from the Dragon killed 21 in the other unit, from the rear.

If the hydra hasn't been hurt it can pretty much take away more than 50% of a horde, even T3 ones with armor.

Breath weapons from the flank really makes short work out of Hordes.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:26 pm
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I am a bit lost on 4.3 Corsair/AHW.

My understanding from what the shop guy told me was that it didn't matter- ONLY the front rank had 2 attacks and ONLY the front rank got the SSS boost, so that basically, in a formation of 5*3 it's 10 attacks front row (more with SSS), 5 attacks for 2nd row. 3rd technically adds 2 or if you round UP 3.

I just keep looping around looking it up

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:49 pm
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Only the models actually in base contact with the enemy (most often the front rank, but also sides and rear if you get side/rear charged) attack with full attacks. Supporting attacks are always 1 attack per model.

So in your example (5x3 Corsairs with SSS fighting an enemy to the front) you get:
3 attacks each in the first rank, 1 attack each in the second rank, and nobody fighting in the third rank for 20 attacks total.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:13 pm
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@Calisson:

This cage tactic is most intriguing. There is one thing I need clarification with though.

Quote:
In order to get out of the cage, a Mammoth must get slimmer.
It may rearrange in a 2 or 3 wide formation and face a different direction, with an angle different from 90° of the previous direction.
If it does, it is doomed: it has no more rank, it is no more steadfast.
Just charge with both your units. +2 CR for charging, +2 CR for charging twice on flanks (it stacks), you strike first with your higher I, they retaliate with only one model in contact on the sides.


Pardon my ignorance, but how do they escape by getting slimmer? If I understand the first part, they rearrange into a 2 or 3 wide formation, like so:



_ EEE
H EEE S
H EEE S
H EEE S
H EEE S
H EEE S
_ EEE
_ EEE

But then how would they attempt to escape from there?


Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:22 pm
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Actually they could try to escape not from the cage, but from the imposed direction.
If they get slimmer, they can arrange the new formation a little diagonally within the cage (the center of the unit remaining where it is) in order, in the following turns, to get at a different direction.

The correct way for the Mammoth to escape the direction they are trapped in is in two steps (plus one step from the opponent):

Step 1 - Mammoth's turn
rearrange the 5xR Mammoth by turning 90° into a Rx5, with the exact same footprint, just facing 90° right or left.

Step 2 -in the opponent's turn
The "cage" does not want to remain in the way. It moves, so it covers the new flanks of the Mammoth rahter than stay in front. In the process, the cage has to enlarge itself.

Step 3, in the Mammoth's next turn.
rearrange the Rx5 Mammoth into a 5xR, keeping the same centre, but turning it, as much as the wider cage now allows, towards the desired direction.

So the Mammoth has spent 2 turns without moving at all, just in order to change direction. In the following turns, is will be able to move in that direction.
Just to say that it is not true that the cage dictates the direction of the Mammoth, however, it takes forever to get in the desired direction.


@ L1qw1d & Dalamar
Correct, the supporting attacks don't get anything more than 1 attack.
As a result, the SSS AHW corsairs in a 5x5 formation get up to 21 attacks on the front (the champion adds one), or up to 16 attacks on any flank or rear (the champion adds one after making its way).
Of course, when charged simultaneously on several sides, all these numbers cannot exceed a possible total of 52 attacks (the champion may jump to any side/rear, but cannot do them all simultaneously; the corsairs in the corners can only strike once; the 2 corsairs flanking the 2nd row will not do support attacks if they are engaged themwelves).
Overall, the SSS AHW Corsair unit is a dangerous one to charge, especially if a COB granted it KB.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:02 pm
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I dont think the cage tactic is viable, they can prevent the whole thing by just keeping a unit of their own on either side of the giant unit.

I think number of attacks will be important, and it will make Witch Elves and Blackguard shine, and makes the Cauldron of Blood a no brainer.


Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:08 pm
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