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Can MSU still be done 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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As i am looking back into te game i am interested whether there still is a place for MSU, my biggest let down was the complete change between 7th and 8th and i loved the MSU style of ply but all the lists are pretty much the same.

any ideas??

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


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Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:58 pm
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Executioner
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Hi there,


The vast majority of the lists I've read here on D.net rely on few, big units of infantry or CoK backed up by Hydras plus a few characters. Looks like most players have abandoned the MSU style, can't know why.

Here in Spain, the most successful DE lists are MSU, diffuse, whatever it's called, you get the idea. Lots of units, points denial, all that stuff. And they work from what I can tell. I personally didn't like them, I prefered infantry backed up by Shadow and CoB, but I've been playing those lists lately and I must say they're viable and fun to play.

I must say DE MSU is still posible and competitive, go for it if you liked it back in 7ed, but be prepared to play different units and characters (no more 10 man BG with Hag Graef for example xD).



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Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:38 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Well, I am also out of practice but I see no reason why not. The first thing i noticed with all of the horde lists is that a 20/25 strong unit of spears and a 7 wide unit of BG, witches or whatever will probably break most units frontally because the spears will negate their steadfast and the other unit knock off enough ranks to to make them vulnerable. Its harder to nullify ranks now, but with enough 10 to 14 units of infantry about it is still practical.

Magic is a lot more powerful, but most people are fixated on shadow to the exception of all else. I tend to run a lvl 3 or lvl 4 as general and a bucket load of smaller units. I was toying with a larger unit of witches (25+) but I will probably go back to 2 or 3 units of 14 in my bigger games.

CoKs are vastly better than they were. 20 spears are still as big as i would go.

Just run your old army. you won't need to change much to be competitive.

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Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:43 pm
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Highborn
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MSU is still in practice. People just fail to realize that 20 man units are the new MSU. Since almost all armies have gone horde or use 30-40 man units, DE who still use 5 Harpies, Shades, DR, small units or RXB etc etc are still MSU. Even a 20 BG unit is rather small compared to 30++Black Orcs or 12-14 Empire Knights. The "DE MSU" style is still there just in a slightly different form but stays true to context.

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Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:39 am
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MSU does indeed still work, but as mentioned you need something to with ranks to knock off enemy steadfast. it is not enough to win combat, you need to negate steadfast by having more ranks then him.

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Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:00 am
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I agree partly why i play WEs primarily is because they seem like on of the few factions that can play MSU. MSU was a awesome play style and played right was fun to counter but it looks like 8th sucked all the imagination of that playstyle to hordes of hatred combat troops shadow magic and point and click, which i avoid to play.

I will start some ideas, but what i am thinking is getting enough shooting and magic to reduce the ranks before engaging and a lot of small units like chartios and WEs to do that job as well before the real hitters hit in. I might not work for a while but it makes you think rather than pushing frenzied corsairs shooting the chaff and mindwazzor.

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


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Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:28 am
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I agree with Ichyio1821 on this one. In 8th edition standard sizes of units went up. For example popular unit ot 21 Corsairs (7/7/7) is a relatively small compared to huge hordish blocks. And it's still useful. Just scale of the game has changed a bit.


Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:57 am
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Lord Tsunami wrote:
MSU does indeed still work, but as mentioned you need something to with ranks to knock off enemy steadfast. it is not enough to win combat, you need to negate steadfast by having more ranks then him.
I think Rabidnid's point is that if two ranked units of 10+ aything are charging a unit, one will take away it's ranks, the other will ensure it gets beaten in combat. I'm not sure why Maraudermitch2 thinks points-denial with works with MSU, as a couple of hits from most basic or even slightly boosted magic missiles would be enough to knock off units of 10 T 3, W 1 troops, I.M.O.

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Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:11 pm
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MSU can certainly still work in 8th ed. However with the significant changes from 7th to 8th, it also means you cannot go back to the old 7th ed tactics and expect them to still work in 8th.

The biggest problems you will face using MSU vs significantly larger blocks is steadfast and step up rules. You will suffer casualties, and you won't break enemy units as easily. You will need more bodies, some way to ensure enemies still break despite steadfast or else kill enough to deny them steadast.

Remember DE aren't designed for war of attrition. It's bam, hit them, break them, move onto the next. If you get stuck trying to trade casualty for casualty until one side breaks, then you're in lots of trouble.

One of my favourite ways to play MSU is through magical debuffs.

Using magic such as Dark and Shadow to hex enemies to mitigate your losses, such as Word of Pain. If they can't hit you, then they can't wound you can they now? Then it's a matter of either reducing their Ld by D3 to improve their chances of breaking despite steadfast, or you combine charge and use your unit(s) or character's killing power to quickly reduce their ranks until they lose steadfast.

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Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:07 am
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sorry bit of a stupid question.

just coming back into warhammer after a 10 year break.

what does MSU stand for?


Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:31 pm
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Multiple Small Units.

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Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:56 pm
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Many Small Units
See old Tactics Hall of Fame (<= hyperlink)

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Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:58 pm
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Cold One Knight

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If i turned up with a MSU list at the gaming group i play, i would get absolutely slaughtered!

Most of my opponents bring BIG units of infantry (we do generally play 3k battles!). Having lots of small units just means that i can break very little of his and he can very easily break anything of mine.

Sure, i could try and avoid him but personnaly i hate playing points denial. If i wanted to play a skirmish game, i would play a 500 point game on a big board! When i play bigger games, i want to see combat and battle, not running around constantly trying to avoid being hit....it's just not war!

As Meteor said, the vast majority of enemies are going to have more ranks than you, making them steadfast, so even a magically augmented unit attacking a unit that had been hexed to hell is not going to be able to break it, leaving you ripe for slaughter.

Then again, your gaming group might be very different from mine and it might work!

D


Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:04 pm
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Please read our posts again. We are not talking about the old avoidance army, we are talking about multiple small units that multi-charge into one big unit of the opponent. 20 is the new MSU for infantry models and depending on what they are, they can do pretty well. Warrior of Chaos for example are normally used 12-16 and are still viable to their playstyle.

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Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:22 pm
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Dante Valentine wrote:
i want to see combat and battle, not running around constantly trying to avoid being hit....it's just not war!


Genghis Khan disagrees :roll:


Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:27 pm
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I want to see combat but not ramming 2 hordes and rolling lots of dice, wit 5/6 dicing hexes and augments.

I think MSU has a place as my list i still have some big combat units and some punch but with enough small units you can frustrate your opponent and maybe kill a mage or character.

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


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Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:32 pm
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MSU still works. The main thing that has changed is the definition of small under 8E rules.

In 7E a unit of 10-15 could quite viably hold up a much larger unit for a long time by striking first and clearing the battleline. In 8E that's not going to happen, so you need more bodies to swing those subsequent rounds. 20-25 is about as small as is viable anymore - as far as infantry goes, anyway.

Small units of COK still tear things up, they just need support or they will get ground away by large infantry blocks. Same thing with the Hydra. The two together make a good combo, hard hitting, similar speeds, complementing frontages (the hydra only needs to get a corner in to do it's thing, allowing all the COK to get in as well). The little detail that 5 COK and a hydra only cost a bit over 300 points is also very nice. :twisted:

Disposable units of 5-10 Witches or Corsairs can still be used to shave ranks off big blocks - they go in, drop 5-10 enemy models, then get slaughtered. Now that block of 40 is down to 30, and 25 corsairs should be able to break them quite nicely next round.


But the biggest benefit of MSU is, as has always been, in deployment. You're still dropping chaff units while he has to place his main combatants - allowing you to place your main combatants to advantage.


Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:04 pm
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Hi there,



First of all I'd like to share a reflection I think that helps when creating successful MSU lists. Multiple Small Units not only refers to the physical size of the units, but also to the points cost. If you build a list with lots of super costy small units, you're defeating the purpose of MSU of making each unit not vital to the general strategy and not costy so that loosing them wont give your opponent big benefits. This is relevant to what I'm writing ahead.


Now, regarding what has been said so far:


I agree that 8ed has made the concept of "small" change. But that's not the only thing that has changed. I see people trying to play 8ed MSU just by brining "a little bigger" infantries and failing hard.

I think that when people think of MSU they still think of 7ed MSU and they just adjust to bring 14-21 infantries and very few support units(some Shades and 5 CoK units) backed up by Shadow Magic and CoB. I think that's advocated to failure. Going infantry heavy with Dark Elves is not a good idea and depending on small sized infantries is even worse.

MSU is about points denial and focusing killing power in certain parts of the table. Elven infantries are by no means suited for a points denial strategy: they are easily killed from the distance and they need a big points investment to make them work in the form of Shadow Magic and CoB. Furthermore, if they loose that support they become rather inefficient. Also they're not specially fast and they have a rather poor maneouvrability. Not suited at all fr playing MSU imho.

I've been playing a lot of MSU lately and so far I've had a lot of success with lists based on 25-30 strong Warrior units, Riders, Harpies, Shades, Chariots, characters and 1 Hydra at 2500 points. I've also tried lists based on infantry backed up by Shadow Lore and CoB and they can do well against certain lists, but they tend to fail hard against some many others...



So, my point is, from my personal experience: don't go for many small infantries if you want to create a competitive balanced MSU list. Try with tooled up characters, Chariots and Shades.




Salu2


Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:13 am
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Cold One Knight

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@Ichiyo1821 - I agree with what your saying, its just that most things tend to get taken to the extreme with what is generally regarded as a small unit now (say 21 men), being reduced even further for points denial.

@ Marauder Mitch - I completely agree: there is no point just lining up units after unit of ranked infantry and going forward that would be dull...

I think there is still a place for a fair amount of small units, i just don't think an army can be made of them anymore.

Small units supporting your main force (chariots, although not that fast are still useful enough when they have gone up your flanks and started to pick off the enemies smaller units).

I think what i'm trying to say is synergy between the two, neither extremes can really work on their own, in my opinion.

D


Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:52 am
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I'll add on the MSU points denial thing. I don't know if you guys have noticed but I have always used my 11man COK bus in almost all my fights and despite what others may say, that is a perfect example of a unit that plays MSU while taking advantage of the current edition.

What you have is a medium sized hard hitting unit that is quite difficult to remove off the table without unless your opponent really plans ahead and dedicates enough of his army to deal with them.

Now that we have established that COK are a threat, let's apply the concept MSU. I have not mentioned this in my posts because I assumed that people already know this but I will mention it here for those who do have yet to grasp the concept. What one must keep in mind in making a MSU heavy army is to DISTRIBUTE THREATS EVENLY across his army. The idea behind it is, you have multiple units of almost if not equal power making it hard for your opponent to prioritize his targets and create confusion on how he will handle your threat. That also in turn makes you less vulnerable to opponents looking to capitalize on you losing a valuable unit.

Say you example you have 2 Hydras, a Supreme Sorceress, a block of Corsairs and a Spearmen block, your opponent sees that your Hydra are your only hard hitters and the rest of your army is footslogging. If he was a gunline army, he'd take out your Hydra's first and allocate minimal shooting to your blocks as they need atleast 2-3 turns before you close the distance. He might try taking potshots hoping you fail your look-out sir and kill your Wizard or send his suicide units to take her out. If he was a combat oriented army, he'd want to send something to hold off the Hydras while he rapes your infantry. Now suppose you have to go against something like this, a 20 man crossbow unit, a mid-level wizard, a Hydra, a medium sized COK and maybe a few chariots. Now it's harder as the elements of the army compliment each other more. The DE player can be a bit more defensive by throwing spells and shooting you while COK, Hydra and Chariots deny a flank. On the flip side he can go offensive as he has 3 "fast" units while the Crossbowmen and wizard shoot down potential flankers or what nots.

Who do you take out?

If you try to take out his shooters and magic, it will work but now you have his hard hitters in front of you. If you try to take out the Hydra, there is is still that COK and Chariot charge. If you try to take his COK out, you'll probably reduce them to half but the rest of his army is intact and you still have to deal with magic and possible game changing buffs, debuffs or vortex spells. See where I am getting at? MSU does not only refer to having multiple small units to prance and dance around but also the the degrees of threat your entire army can muster. DE is one of the few armies that can do MSU well because we can generate equal amounts of threat on our unit selections. Against a variety opponents, having a balanced list is safer but requires more planning ahead as you may not be as optimized like say a magic heavy list or a pure combat monster list. MSU works whether in this edition or the next but only certain armies can do it and those that can should realize that you should always consider how each and every single unit you place in your list compliments its other elements, just beware of spreading yourself to thin as the old saying goes, "If he prepares to defend everywhere, everywhere he will be weak".

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Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:22 am
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