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FLE (FEW LARGE Elites) 
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Question risen in: Forgoing "Elite" infantry all together?
SiegeCommander wrote:
Is it even worth paying for these guys instead of spearmen? Since none of our units generate enough attacks to negate stepping up usually why pay around double for the same durability with slightly increased stats? What are your guys thoughts on our elite special choices compared to our core in 8th?



After exloring some uses for very small elite units in Uses for MSE, and medium units in Uses for MME (Many MEDIUM Elites)I'd like in the present thread to explore large units of elites, in the range 20 to 30(or 15+ COK), normally with full command, possibly assisted with magic banners, magic items and possibly characters.
These units are meant to win most of the game, so there should be some explanations about how to preserve them until they've done their vital job.


I'll start by quoting some interesting post that I've found here and there.
Tethlis wrote:
Swab wrote:
Neither unit can charge an opposing unit head on and win, unless it is a 15 model unit, then you stand a chance.


I think this is a pretty general statement, and not one I agree with. There are plenty of circumstances where either unit can charge head-on and win, and this is especially true with Black Guard.

First, let's take every light cavalry, heavy cavalry, skirmishing unit, monster and Elven infantry unit in the game; depending on what magic banner you're giving them, or maybe the presence of a Cauldron Buff or Magical Buff, BG can easily charge any of these and win.

If you're talking about big rank-and-file infantry units, or perhaps non-Elven elite infantry units, I still feel like they can charge head-on in many circumstances and win with minimal casualties.

First, the idea that rank-and-file Core murder BG in droves is false. Against Empire State Troops or Skaven clanrats with spears, BG are going to be suffering 2 to 3 casualties, and killing enough models in return that the State Troops/Clanrats will be practically wiped out after two turns of combat. If you add something with additional killing power to speed the process up, like a Hydra, dragon or even a simple chariot, this process goes faster. Against Skaven, this is especially true since the quality of their Steadfast Leadership declines quickly as you kill off their ranks. If their BSB or general is out of range or dead (neither is very farfetched in the later turns of the game) then Steadfast becomes even less of an issue.

When going frontally against heavy elite infantry, Black Guard will suffer casualties but also do colossal damage in return. Yes, unsupported, it's a poor use of Black Guard; they'll chop up a rank of Chaos Warriors, for example, and lose much of their regiment in return. However, Cauldron-buffed Black Guard with Banner of Murder, supported by a chariot or a few turns of missile fire, can kill off 8-9 Chaos Warriors. Now, the Chaos Warriors will inflict some casualties, but there won't be that many warriors left to retaliate.

So the idea that our elite infantry can't tackle enemy infantry to the front is generally false. Yes, some will die, but it's rarely as many as most players think if you actually look at the numbers. With proper support, it's pretty easy to overcome Steadfast as well as Step Up and let Black Guard waltz across the table with ease.

Over the weekend, my 20 Black Guard with Flaming Attacks started moving across the table against Skaven. They walked through an HPA with 4 wounds left, 25 Skaven Slaves, a Warpfire Thrower and a Warplightning Cannon, and were in a position to flank-charge 30 Stormvermin fighting my dragon except that combat ended quickly and their help wasn't needed. All of this happened despite being clipped by a Strength 10 large template in Turn 2, an irresistible cast Plague and a stand-and-shoot Warpfire thrower. By micro-managing their formation via reforms, I could make sure they were minimally affected by templates, and proper allocation of Cauldron buffs and crossbow fire gave them all the support they needed.

Granted, they only had 2 models left by the time the game was over, but that's not bad considering they still preserved their full Victory Points and were the focus of some tremendous magic and shooting.
Lord Tsunami wrote:
The maths are assuming your unit is 5 models wide and your enemies unit is also 5 models wide. I have disregarded champions since they can be killed. I am assuming that models with spears can fight in 3 ranks (disregarding who is charging).

The numbers shown in the table below answers the question "how many more models does my unit kill compared to my opponent?" A negative number naturally means that your opponent kills more models than you do. The numbers in parenthesis is when hate is factored in. BG have "hate" all the time ofc.

I chose 3 types of opponents; Human Spearman (weedy but with extra attacks), Dwarf Warriors with shields (strong defensively) and Tzeench Warriors with shields (strong both in attack and defence). You cant draw any general conclusions for all unit types, but these three gives you an overview.

I am also assuming your equip your Warriors, Witches, and BG with Armour Piercing Banner. It seems reasonable to do so if you want a big fighting unit.




Fight against human spearmen (WS:3, T:3, AS:5+)
    Warriors 1,67 (3,05)
    Black Guard6,39
    Executioners3,06 (4,91)
    Witches 3,16 (5,46)



Fighting against Dwarf Warriors (WS:4, T:4, AS:4+, Ward:6+)
    Warriors -0,28 (1,67)
    Black Guard2,96
    Executioners2,96 (4,51)
    Witches 2,13 (3,67)



Fighting against Tzeench Warriors (WS:5, T:4, AS:3+, Ward:5+)
    Warriors -4,72 (-4,31)
    Black Guard-1,67
    Executioners-1,75 (-0,53)
    Witches -4,82 (-3,89)



So, what conclusions can we draw? Against the spearmen, all our units can expect to win every round, but BG really stand out. Even a slightly smaller (15?) unit of BG could expect to chop up enemy light infantry in a prolonged fight. Perhaps a bit surprisingly, executioners will be on the same level as witches. witches cause more kills, but they die themselves a lot. You will lose 2,5 models per turn (3,75 witches)

Against Dwarfs your warriors can no longer expect to win a prolonged fight. After the first round the Dwarfs have a slight edge. It will take a long time but you will start losing fighting models before the dwarf, since you fight in 3 ranks. All the elites will keep beating the dwarfs in the long run. In this case executioners looks the best, with their powerful first turn. you can expect to lose 1,67 models per turn (2,5 witches)

Against the super powerful Tzeench Warriors things look pretty bad. You will lose more models than your opponent in every turn, but remember that your guys are cheaper, so you will have more models than he. Warriors and witches will rapidly deteriorate, but warriors at least are cheap enough to be bought in bulk and maintain steadfast till help arrives. Just remember that it will have to be a lot of help, since you will need to kill 4+ chaos warriors per turn to win the fight. A flanking hydra (or why not executioners?) will do the job. An interesting thing is that BG and executioners lose, but they are also cheaper. It is therefore a possibility that a prolonged fight between BG or executioners and chaos warriors will hurt them more than it will you. In any case, i would advise against going toe to toe with these types of monster units. Combine your frontal assault with a hydra in the flank for best success. You will lose 4,17 models per turn (6.67 witches).

To the question "isnt it better to just buy warriors, since they are cheaper?" i would say: not always. Your elites can do stuff that your warriors just cant. Warriors are great for providing ranks and steadfast, but they will usually lose the fight. You wont win any battles simply by not running away, you will have to force your opponent to do so instead. A huge unit of 40 warriors will be steadfast till times end, but a unit of 20 BG can tear through enemy light infantry in a few turns. Warriors cant do that. A horde of executioners can obliterate almost any unit in the game in 2 turns. Warriors cant do that. an army that completely foregoes elites for a bulk of warriors can be successful, but it will most likely be more successful if it had some elites. The elites are obvious hammer units, but BG are stubborn, and executioners too if they are near the cauldron. they also make good anvils. if you buy 2 units of warriors instead of one unit of elites you have a flanking unit, but its not very punchy. you might be able to win even against chaos warriors if you get a flank charge, but probably only by a point or so, and if they stand? they will whittle your units down. A unit of executioners in the flank will cause you to win at least the first round of combat with a good margin, probably causing the enemy to flee. That's what is needed to actually win a battle. A good mix of warriors an elites is probably the best way to let your units do what they do best.

PS. these calculations show witches to be inferior to the other types of infantry. i would probably reserve them for kamikaze charges to kill a mage (unit of 6) or possibly something very tough like a giant where their poison really shines. versus enemy infantry though, id rather go with the other unit types available to us.
Lord Tsunami wrote:
adding in +1A or KB depending on whats best. ill put +1 A on WE cause of the mess with poison+KB...

VS spearmen
Warriors (1A): 3,43 (5,40)
BG (1A): 9,35
Exe (1A): 5,83 (8,61)
WE (1A): 3,19 (5,51)

VS Dwarfs
Warriors (1A): 0,55 (1,67)
BG (1A): 3,27
Exe (1A): 5,27 (7,59)
WE (5+ ward): 0,18 (1,11)

VS Chaos
Warriors (5+ ward): -1,96 (-1,54)
BG (5+ ward): -0,29
Exe (5+ ward but +1A first round for hate): -0,56 (1,25 :!: )
WE (5+ ward): -2,16 (-1)


The only time KB was better than 1A was for Warriors against chaos. otherwise 1A gave better results. Executioners became very nasty with +1A. Even beating chaos warriors first turn.

EDIT: 5+ ward turned out to be better than KB for warriors against chaos. KB will overtake +5 ward if you fight something with high armour but low offence (knights that arent charging)

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Last edited by Calisson on Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:28 pm
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i'll be interested to see how this thread develops as i'm planning on using a large unit of witch elves


Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:19 pm
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I dont really se the point of large units of witches. The supporting attacks rule doesnt grant enough attacks to make them worthwhile. Unfortunately they die like flies to return attacks. I would have thought that 2 or 3 smaller units would be better than one big one.

Executioners might be a better option. High strength support attacks are where its at but going last is a little risky.

Black guard perhaps return to their 6th ed role as a 1 or 2 turn tarpit. 10 stand a reasonable chance of holding a charge from anything setting up a flank charge from something else.

To be honest I think you are better off going with spears and using elites in a flanking/support role.


Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:57 pm
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Tethlis' above quote is very true. Most enemy units will not actually impact that much damage on our units. Most enemy soldiers only have 1 attack each so often at most they can do 10 wounds. However they need to hit/wound and we get an armour save.
For Witches and Executioners though Spear Elves are just as likely to survive and also put out a considerable amount of attacks in return.
Black Guard on the other hand can do a great deal more damage than all our other units so I still see them as being a good choice.

Here's some mathematics.
Assuming all units are huge and thus step up always comes into affect. ignore champs
A WS 4 S4 1A Enemy with T3, 5+ Armour
Gets 10 attacks, 5 hits, 3.33 wounds, 2.22 Dead whether they are Spears/Exec's /BG Whatever(Pretty Pitiful Really) (The Witches clearly lose 3.33)

In return Witches get
20 attacks, 15 hits (5 are Poison), 10 Wounds, 6.67 Dead

Exec's get
10 attacks, 8.9 hits, 7.4 Wounds, 7.4 Dead

Black Guard get
15 attacks, 13.33 hits, 8.89 Wounds, 7.4 dead

Spears get
15 attacks, ,11.25 hits, 5.625 wounds, 3.75 dead

Executioners are even more awesome when you consider against a T4, 4+ save model they still get the same results. :)
In all cases we should win the combat. Which makes sense as most models with 1 S4 attack are fairly cheap

A WS5 S4 2A enemy (Chaos Warriors) T4 3+ Armour
Gets 15 attacks, 7.5 hits, 5 wounds, 4.16 dead vs BG, Exec
Gets 15 attacks, 10 hits, 6.67 wounds, 5.56 dead vs Spears (6.67 vs Witches)

In return
BG
get 15 attacks, 11.25 hits, 5.625 wounds, 2.81 die

Spears
get 15 attacks, 11.25 hits, 3.75 wounds, 1.25 die

Exec
get 10 attacks, 7.5 hits, 6.25 wounds, 5.21 die

In large formation Executioners are truly scary

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:04 pm
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So, according to all previous post, a medium-sized unit of 20-25 executioners is simply better than BG in 8th Ed.
Especially if we have a COB around.
Next questions (in another post?):
- COB should be used for extra A or ward save?
- What format?20- 25 in 5x5 or wider ranks?

Regarding other elite units: After 2 winning games in 8th, I found WE very effective in unit of 12 (2x6). They wiped out bestigorss, ogres then daemonettes!

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:03 pm
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The mathammers of 7th edition stand true:
- Execs buffed with COB for +1 attack is our best killer
- all our elites are best in 7 wide than in 5 wide against all infantry.
Your WE would be even better 7 wide, getting 2 more attacks and loosing nothing (except, very temporarily, a rank bonus).

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:12 pm
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i think you quoted my last post while i was still doing corrections. it should be more accurate now :)

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:32 pm
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That's the trouble with quotes... I should resume hyperlinking instead.
Thanks.

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:35 pm
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After few games with 8th and reading all these great posts, it would be great to sum up elite units tactics outcomes!
WE: 12 or 18 in ranks of 6
Exec: 20 or 25 in ranks of 5 (5 ranks for steadfast rule) or ranks of 6-7 if COB around
BG: as usual! 20 + lord or BSB to make ranks of 7
COK: unit of 5-6 or 12 (I played 14 of them recently against a no warmachine opponent).
YOur thoughts? 8)

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:27 am
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That's what the D.R.A.I.C.H. is for!
EDIT: tactics forum to discuss, D.R.A.I.C.H. to sum up.

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Last edited by Calisson on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:39 am
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In the big mathhammer post (from Bounce [edit]) is the "parry save" from the shield missing, both at the Chaoswarrior and also for our spears. In the result buffing a bit the result our spears get vs. "simple" infantry.
Quote:
- COB should be used for extra A or ward save?

I would assume for the wardsave. Two reasons:
1) protect your investment, apart from CC the WS helps also vs. magic and shooting. As the posts before show in CC they are able to dish out enough damage. And if reducing their own looses by a third the win combat even bigger.
2) The impact of the +1A is only affecting the first rank
Quote:
That's what the D.R.A.I.C.H. is for!

That what is the tactics forum is for (sorry)


Last edited by [llct]kain on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:47 am
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the "parry" save for dwarfs and chaos warriors are included in my post. our spearmen (and others spearmen) dont have a parry save.

maybe you were talking about Bounces post...

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:25 am
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I know this is a rather situational suggestion but bear with me...

There is a spell in the new Lore of Metal...I cannot recall it's name (something to do with glitter and a cloak I think (and yes it was the rulebook I was reading, not a Twilight novel...)).
It basically give a target Scaly Skin (5+) for a certain amount of time (I'm betting on "a turn")...wouldn't our Black Guard and Executioners become even more resilient with a 3+ save through this buff?

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:54 pm
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Druchii Marquis wrote:
It basically give a target Scaly Skin (5+) for a certain amount of time (I'm betting on "a turn")...wouldn't our Black Guard and Executioners become even more resilient with a 3+ save through this buff?


..... and can be extended to all units in 12"!

what about a unit of warriors suddenly with 3+AS XD

Definitely something to think about


Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:05 pm
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Druchii Marquis wrote:
I know this is a rather situational suggestion but bear with me...

There is a spell in the new Lore of Metal...I cannot recall it's name (something to do with glitter and a cloak I think (and yes it was the rulebook I was reading, not a Twilight novel...)).
It basically give a target Scaly Skin (5+) for a certain amount of time (I'm betting on "a turn")...wouldn't our Black Guard and Executioners become even more resilient with a 3+ save through this buff?


Glittering cloak is the spell name, and I think that spell alone is extremely useful to dark elf armies. Being able to buff all units in 12 inches (on the charged up version) with a +2 armour save is something that will really help the dark elf elite out, seeing as their armour save is so low. I think it's a great way to minimize our weaknesses- only if there was a way to buff up toughness in our spell decks.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:50 pm
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Magic is less reliable; you can't guarantee that you will get that spell off, whereas the Cauldron benefits are a certainty. However, why not have both?


Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:04 pm
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Desert Icon wrote:
Magic is less reliable; you can't guarantee that you will get that spell off, whereas the Cauldron benefits are a certainty. However, why not have both?


Think of Black Guard an Executioners as walnuts. With your hands pretty hard to crack, though some people can. With a nutcracker (Tzetchian Warriors of Chaos), walnuts can be crushed pretty effortlessly. Now giving BG of Execs +2 AS (Glittering Cloak) and 5+ Ward save from Cauldron is like plating the walnut in steel =D

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:02 am
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Druchii Marquis wrote:
Desert Icon wrote:
Magic is less reliable; you can't guarantee that you will get that spell off, whereas the Cauldron benefits are a certainty. However, why not have both?


Think of Black Guard an Executioners as walnuts. With your hands pretty hard to crack, though some people can. With a nutcracker (Tzetchian Warriors of Chaos), walnuts can be crushed pretty effortlessly. Now giving BG of Execs +2 AS (Glittering Cloak) and 5+ Ward save from Cauldron is like plating the walnut in steel =D


I don't really see relying on buffs as a viable strategy. The only time you can get it to work properly is with irresistible force (otherwise you're guaranteed to have your opponent try to dispel it) and then your sorceress is going to have to collect her brains from all the nearby trees. When I plan my army, I take a sorceress for sure, but I don't take into account potential buffs. They're great when they work, but a battle plan that requires them to work is doomed from he start in most cases. I'd rather be able to beat my opponent without buffs, and if I get one through just have an easier task doing so.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:11 am
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Mr. Anderson wrote:
Druchii Marquis wrote:
Desert Icon wrote:
Magic is less reliable; you can't guarantee that you will get that spell off, whereas the Cauldron benefits are a certainty. However, why not have both?


Think of Black Guard an Executioners as walnuts. With your hands pretty hard to crack, though some people can. With a nutcracker (Tzetchian Warriors of Chaos), walnuts can be crushed pretty effortlessly. Now giving BG of Execs +2 AS (Glittering Cloak) and 5+ Ward save from Cauldron is like plating the walnut in steel =D


I don't really see relying on buffs as a viable strategy. The only time you can get it to work properly is with irresistible force (otherwise you're guaranteed to have your opponent try to dispel it) and then your sorceress is going to have to collect her brains from all the nearby trees. When I plan my army, I take a sorceress for sure, but I don't take into account potential buffs. They're great when they work, but a battle plan that requires them to work is doomed from he start in most cases. I'd rather be able to beat my opponent without buffs, and if I get one through just have an easier task doing so.


I'm not saying to plan your army around the spell. Just pointing out that it can be very handy when you get it. Also by throwing a lot of dice into the spell, it would either have your opponent throw lots of dispell dice to try and cancel out the spell or have them ignore it for more pressing spells =)

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:15 am
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