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D.R.A.I.C.H. Characters and FC placement inside a unit. 
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Corsair
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This thread aims at determining how best to place characters and the command group inside a unit.

1. Front rank or second rank?
P.92 & p.97. Inside a unit, all characters and the command group (C/CG) must all be placed in the front rank, unless there is not enough room for them to fit. The remaining ones are placed in the rank behind. RAW p.97 states that if characters compete with FC for the front rank, it is characters who go back.
p.93 mentions that if the champion is slain, the model is replaced with a R&F model from the back rank of the unit. We can safely assume that if a C/CG is remaining in the 2nd rank, he/she is going to fill up the vacuum instead of a rank and file model (R&F). Note that P.102 (boo, hiss) specifies that a slain character is replaced the same way as a champ.


2. What can be done only from the front rank?
- A model needs to be in the front rank (or on a side) to be in contact with the enemy, where he can fight with his full amount of attacks and where he is vulnerable to the enemy.
- The musician has to be in the front rank in order to solve tied up combats. p.95


3. What can be done from the second rank (or behind)?
- A single support attack (regardless any bonus) may be performed from a model in the second rank, even by a character (the only condition is that the front model is friendly). p.48.
- All other musician effects (swift reforms and rally) need just the muso to be inside the unit.
- +1CR from standard or BSB needs just them to be inside the unit. p.94. & p.107
- The unit needs just not to be fleeing for the BSB to provide his rerolls p.107 and for the general to provide his extended Ld p. 106.
- A character provides his Ld to the unit (except assassins, of course).
- If this character is stubborn (Crown, DH within 12" of a COB), his stubborn Ld transfers to the whole unit.
- A character or champion may select to issue or answer a challenge p. 102.
- If a character declines a challenge (but not a champion), he may be pushed to backs ranks and he cannot participate to the combat, and his Ld cannot be used. P.102.
- All magic objects, including banners, can be used from the second rank or behind. This is a change from 7th edition.
- Magic can be cast from any rank. This is a change from 7th edition.
- For magic, LOS is sometimes required (Magic Missiles). No worry, as TLOS is used, the head of the model in front hides not that much and there are probably many targets that the wizard can see with his own eyes, above the front model’s shoulders (unless he is footed behind a mounted model…).
- For shooting, LOS can be achieved by the second rank through the eyes of the first rank (p.39).
- Reversely, nothing prevents anymore a sniper to target a character in the 2nd rank, as long as he can see his head.


4. Where are characters vulnerable?
Musicians and Pennant bearer are not vulnerable at all: if they fall, a comrade will replace them.
For all other characters/champions, the first rank is the most vulnerable place, because it usually faces foes intending to get in melee and well equipped for that.
Inside that rank, the corners may be less vulnerable, because if you face an enemy unit which is 2 models less wide than your unit, then the model in the corner is going to be in contact with a single model.
The sides of the unit are also vulnerable, although a little bit less than the front because it is usually less obvious to get a flank charge.
The front corners belonging both to front and sides are vulnerable from both sides.
Magic-users may miscast; in that case, they make the unit less vulnerable if they are in a corner (best place) or a front or side - it is best to avoid the centre of the 2nd rank.


5. Where are characters useful?
The priorities are the following:
Characters designed to fight and endure retaliation are best in the front.
The musician is necessary in the front, and he is not vulnerable there (R&F will be killed instead).
The pennant bearer may go anywhere, knowing that he is not vulnerable in the front (R&F will be killed instead).
Characters/champions having a single attack are best in the 2nd rank.
Characters not designed to fight and endure retaliation are best in the second rank. The most precious characters have the most urgent need to go there. Within the second rank, they should avoid the flanks.

Overall, what we are looking for is:
Fighting 1st rank: all fighting characters. Muso. Pennant.
If more room in the 1st rank: well armoured characters. Champion.
Precious 2nd rank: Magic-users, possibly the BSB.


6. How many models per rank?
Having 5+ ranks is usually preferred for a non-skirmishing unit, in order:
- to make potentially the unit steadfast (p.54),
- to provides rank bonus,
- to disrupt opposing rank bonus if side charging,
- and, of course, to get more models in contact than narrower frontages.

Go 5 wide or more if you want many models in contact, or if you need the greatest CR, or if you need to become steadfast.

You can go narrower if your unit’s primary purpose is not melee AND if you’re stubborn. This is why BG are so great for serving as bodyguards for precious characters.


Last edited by Calisson on Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:51 am, edited 3 times in total.



Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:55 pm
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Corsair
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7. Congo (or Conga) line.
The musician in front. A precious model behind.
The precious model cannot be hit except with a side charge, or if the front model is killed (which requires the whole unit to be killed if that model was the muso or pennant).
This is the cheapest way to preserve a precious model from charges coming from the front.
A nice side effect, for magic users, is that if they blast themselves by miscast, the number of models in contact is fairly low (2).


8. Double line.
The two fighters in the front can be the muso and the pennant bearer.
Precious characters go in the second rank, preferably behind the pennant bearer, who will die later than the muso.
This could be done for magic-users in the same way as the congo line.
Sure, more models are in contact (5) but the unit is shorter and less cumbersome. Also, the magic-user is better protected from one flank.


9. Triple line.
In addition to the muso and pennant bearer, you need a 3rd, resistant fighter. An unkillable Lord can be used.
The advantage of this setting is that the model in the centre of the 2nd rank is pretty much immune to any attack, just like a Damsel inside a Bretonian’s Lance. Or even better, because only the fighter can be killed, while the two other models will remain until the whole unit is gone.
It is a good idea to place, just behind the Lord, a BSB: the BSB and the general are very close together, the unit is narrow (3 wide) so the 12” common bubble can easily extend to four large units, two on each side. In addition, you can provide the BSB with 3 null shards for MR3 and give the champion the RoH (same 12” coverage).
A unit of 20 BG is largely sufficient to bodyguard both the general and the BSB.


10. Quadruple line.
The only use for that unit is if you need two models to be very safe in the centre of the 2nd rank. For that, you need two unkillable models in the front rank, not easy to get. I don’t think anyone will ever do that.


11. Full ranked unit.
If you have 5 models who can stand a fight, then a magic-user would better be in the second rank, preferably behind the pair musician-pennant bearer who will resist a miscast blast.
In the front, you’ll find the FC and two other fighters, one of them could be an assassin.
Of course, as soon as the champion or the assassin dies, then the magic-user must step forward… and face the same one who just killed the gone model. Gulp!
In Protecting your characters inside infantry blockI suggested to turn your back to your foe, if you want better to protect your characters and keep your rank bonus, rather than get more attacks on the opponent.


12. 7 wide unit.
(I see no benefit for a 6 wide unit).
Besides having more models in the fight, going 7 wide, when you expect to face mostly 5 wide units, allows your most vulnerable models to be set on a corner and face less attacks. Of course, a magic-user will be next to either a muso or a pennant bearer, while a DH would be next to a champ.


13. 10 wide unit.
A horde allows 2 rear ranks to fight. This can be useful for a large unit of execs with an ASF DH, who obviously will be on a corner.


14. 12 wide unit.
If your Exec horde faces another horde.


15. Single rank.
Last but not least, this is a congo line turned 90°.
This unit has no rank bonus, no hordish 2nd & 3rd rank fighting, and is steadfast only against units with no ranks (chariots, monsters…).

It has uses though: you could put a wizard on each end, away from the centre where the enemy will be dragged to hit. Unfortunately, for every model killed in that unit, the unit shrinks and the corners get closer to the centre.
I am not convinced of the usefulness of that setting.

However, without any precious character, this may actually be a good trick: supposing that the full width is in contact with some foes, if you strike first and the opponents have varying I: you strike with all your attacks, then the more your opponent strikes back, the less you leave models in contact.

BG with Kouran could do that (you can also take a magic banner). Or Execs if a COB is behind them. In both cases, the champ goes on a corner.


That's all, mates!
Open for your comments.

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Last edited by Calisson on Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:59 pm
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ok sorry mate but i just have to... are you sure you mean "Congo Line" and not "Conga Line"? :D

Otherwise its an excellent summary, though i really think GW should have made one more rule in this edition. "a unit can not have a second rank unless the first rank has at least 5 models in it". Lets face it, these types of "line" deployments are only used to exploit a flaw in the rules. it is fully legal i know, but to me it doesnt feel very right that it is advantageous to deploy your BG in a single file if you want to use them as a tar-pit only. its against the "spirit of the game" as far as im concerned.

dont get me wrong, i appreciate the effort. im just saying that ->I<- Will never use those deployments. I felt guilty fro writing about those 3x2 suicide formations even :D

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:53 am
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Congo or Conga appears to be the same word coming from the same origin for similar meaning (a single line of people following each other), with a slightly different spelling.
Choose whichever you wish. I edited to indicate the choice.


Anything legal is legal.
If you (or anyone) don't want to use it, that's fine.
However, you need to know that it may be used by your opponent against you, and there is nothing you can object to that, so be prepared.

Also, you preceive a "flaw", when I see a trade-off:
- to get an advantage (sheltering a character)
- for a price (fewer of my models can fight, they can be attacked by 2 more models than what they have; I forfeit all rank bonuses and any chance to be steadfast).

Also, I perceive an opposite "flaw" in the rules:
why is there a rule which forces me to put a naked magic user in the front line of a fighting unit in the first place?
Any reasonable general (and any Donjons & Dragon or WoW roleplayer) knows that this is ridiculous.
I have no ethic problem in finding any legal solution to cease this "flaw".

Also, the 3x2 suicide squad has been demonstrated not to be very effective.
And the 5 BG speed bumper lasts not very long (reviewMonthy Python and the Holy Grail"None shall pass" Black Knight episode - good example of a stubborn Black Guard being a mere speed bumper).
These two formations are legal, they are probably not very cost-effective, so there is nothing to feel guilty about (also, are we considered to be treacherous Druchii or not?) :twisted:

I'm starting a thread about ethics. Further discussions in ethics to be continuerd there => Ethics in army lists and tactics

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:05 am
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Interesting read! I am still trying to wrap my mind around what it means, though. I guess I'm still not clear enough on challenges, etc., but a few more games should shake this out.

Nice job!


Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:51 am
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Wouldn't the 3 Wide Bunker with "unkillable" Lord work with other non-Black Guard units if you give a character the Crown of Command (so you are stubborn anyway)?


Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:53 pm
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True.
I selected BG in order to let the General buy more defensive stuff than the Crown, but you can do it cheaper by taking the Crown and a cheaper bodyguard.

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Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:59 am
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Calisson wrote:
True.
I selected BG in order to let the General buy more defensive stuff than the Crown, but you can do it cheaper by taking the Crown and a cheaper bodyguard.
A Dreadlord with the Crown, Pendant, Dragonhelm, Shield, Seadragon Cloak, and Halberd is 241pts. He has 1+ AS at Range, 3+ in Combat, and hits at I8 S5. I guess that may work.


Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:58 am
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