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Controlling your own frenzied units. last updated: 2/2/13 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I thought that I would put together something decent for my 1000th post, as I have not put forth any decent article that I can think of I figure why not now?

I have had a bit of a problem lately and after a bit of a search I could only find a little information on the topic, most of that been little help at all. This problem? Controlling my units with the Frenzy special rule. With an abundance of articles on how to control your opponents frenzied units, where are the threads about how to control and effectively use your own?

On the surface the rule looks great! Plus one attack? Yes please! Immune to Psychology? No Fear Tests, Terror Tests and exception to little extra rules that some magic items and spells have? Sounds awesome! But then there are the drawbacks that come with something so handy. Having to declare a charge if you fail a Leadership Test and ALWAYS having to overrun. It seems like the drawbacks aren’t too bad. You will be charging with them anyway right? And if you get to overrun it is just extra movement right? Well, to an extent, yes.
But a smart opponent will try to use these against you though, once you start playing in tournaments it will be common sight to have your frenzied units pulled out of line and pointed away from where you want them. The lack of having an option to reform after combat is a big part of this as you will be left with a flank exposed, your battle line disrupted and units out on their own more often than most players would like.

This is where my attempt at a decent article for my 1000th post begun. Too many times have I had my Witch Elves pulled out into the open by a cheap bait unit of flyers, exposing their flank and causing them to get in the way of my other units. At the very least they can cause them to sit still for a turn to wait for me to take care of the bait unit with ranged attacks, giving my opponent an extra turn to get into position or dish out another round of shooting. In a game with only 6 turns this is valuable lost time and so here are my ideas on how to lessen your opponents control over your seemingly innocent Witch Elves and that unit of Corsairs that may or may not have a Sea Serpent Standard hoisted amongst their ranks.


Last edited by Holtkmoq on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:38 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Remain in range of your BSB and/or General

Starting out with the simple stuff here. To be forced to declare a charge you must first fail a Leadership Test right? And what helps with these? Your BSB and General of course. Getting a second chance at passing the test or maybe using a higher Leadership are great ways to prevent a failure from happening. While this won’t protect you from redirectors and the likes, it is a great start to controlling your units with the Frenzy rule.

Pros:
1. The re-rolls and higher Leadership will also help the unit once it gets into combat.
2. If your BSB is the Cauldron of Blood you will have Stubborn Witch Elves with the re-roll (not that this should matter because you should be winning the combats you choose but we all know how the dice like to turn on us from time to time...)

Cons:
1. Low range. 12 inches may seem like a lot, especially in all directions. But when there is an entire table worth of space it is quite easy to move out of range.
2. Your general may also be needed elsewhere and so will take the leadership bubble with them.
3. If you choose a Cauldron of Blood to be your BSB it is not the fastest of units. Only been able to march means that it could fall behind quickly.

Extra notes:
To further help in this situation you can make use of a number of different banners. Gleaming Pennant, Standard of Discipline and Banner of Cold Blood all help with passing Leadership Tests. You could also mount your BSB or General on a mount with the Large Target special rule; this will extend their area of effect by 6 inches up to 18 inches.


Last edited by Holtkmoq on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:40 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Turn the unit around

There isn’t much to this one, just turn the frenzied unit around as the title suggests and walk backwards towards the enemy.

Pros:
1. Works well with single models. In the Dark Elf army this could include units such as the Manticore or a character wielding the Berserker Sword as these are the units with a bit more freedom in their movement, been able to pivot on the spot instead of reforming like larger units.

Cons:
1. While facing this way your units will not be moving very fast at all, this alone is a reason not to use this technique for anything other than single models.
2. Enemy flyers can easily fly over the top of you and try to lead you back towards your table edge.
3. If you are facing away from the enemy it is not going to be the easiest declaring charges, if you manage to get into position for one that is.
4. You have left your unit wide open to rear charges. All this work to avoid a flank charge to end up in a worse situation isn’t the best of ideas.

Extra notes:
This is my least favourite of the ideas that I have come up with but as it could work I will include it anyway. Feel free to prove me wrong on this but I feel that this is a method left solely to controlling lone characters or single models unit you want them to see combat.


Last edited by Holtkmoq on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:40 am
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Use a unit to block any potential unwanted charges

Keeping a cheap unit in front of your frenzied unit will make the majority of charges impossible and in doing so means that you will not need to make a Leadership Test to try restrain the unit. This can be as simple as a minimal sized unit of Harpies screened across the front.

Pros:
1. The low cost. For a fraction of the points spent on the larger unit, these points spent will help ensure the safe march into combat, away from further baiting and the majority of ranged attacks.
2. The main unit will retain full movement while in this formation. The screening unit can fly or march into position and then the main unit can simply follow in behind.
3. As well as providing protecting from units out to do a bit of baiting, the screening unit also provides a hard cover bonus from any BS shooting that may come the way of the main unit. An extra -2 modifier on top of any others could mean the difference between the enemy hitting on 5s and hitting on 7s.
4. Once your screening unit has completed its job of screening it can go on to do more. War machine hunting, march blocking or redirecting are just a few possibilities if they survive their initial job.

Cons:
1. The screening unit can easily find itself in the way of any charges the main unit may like to make. This also has an easily solution however. Just declare a charge with both the screening unit and the main unit, then complete the screening units charge first. Just be careful of any free reforms you may be handing out with your screening unit, they will often be weak and so will not survive the 1st round of combat.


Extra notes:
While Harpies are great at this, been low cost and high movement, don’t be limited to them. There are plenty of other units that will do the job too. Single characters, characters on mounts (Dark Steed and Pegasus mounts are the cheapest, Cold Ones should probably be avoided at the risk of Stupidity slowing you down), Dark Riders, Shades and even small units of Warriors or Repeater Crossbowmen. The latter option getting up there in cost but will also provide a bit of firepower to try clear out chaff and other small threats or maybe even knock out the last wound or two for a panic test.

From LordDrittz: A small unit that can be set up in a wide formation can also be used to cover 2 frenzied units. Line up a unit of Harpies along the front of your deployment line and park the 2 (or more if you have them/have room) behind the Harpies. They are safe to move up without fear of them running off and when it comes time to charge just charge the Harpies out of the way first. With the Fly rule they could potentially be targeting units in the back ranks of your opponents army, although a suicide charge is just as good if your goal is only to clear the way.


Last edited by Holtkmoq on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 5 times in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:41 am
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Think outside your movement tray

It is very easy to get stuck into your head that the formation you start in will be the best one for them and so when it comes to situations where this may not be true it seems to slip the mind that changing formation is an option. Changing formation can be used to your advantage when frenzied units are at risk of been baited. The aim of a lot of players is to try expose your flanks and so why not make that less of a target? I find that the easiest way to do this is to make them larger and give them more attacking power.

For example:
If your Witch Elves were set in a 10x4 formation there will only be 4 attacking to the side, usually meaning 12 attacks. If they were to be run in a 5x8 formation however this would usually mean 24 attacks. Fewer attacks at the front will not matter so much if they are only attacking chaff units and so you are not giving up much for what you set to gain. My pictures below may make this a bit clearer, even if they are just done with paint :P

Oh no, a bait unit is making its approach. This is where I like to change formation and then (given a Swift Reform Test is passed) they can move up a bit too.

Image

Chances are the bait unit will now move up and try dragging your unit out to expose a flank and give it an undesirable direction for an overrun.

Image

If you have no way to deal with this unit then why not charge it? Now that you have so many attacks at the side that larger unit approaching for the flank charge is not so much of a big deal.

Image

If you do kill off the bait unit you still have a large frontage facing the bigger danger. If you do not manage to kill them all and they hold this is not entirely a bad thing either. It lets you reform for a second time to face the bigger threat, putting the chaff into your flank but meaning you will have a ton of attacks to the front with supporting attacks thrown in too.

Image

Pros:
1. Provides a large volume of attacks to the side if a unit manages to get in.
2. Gives ranks for Steadfast just in case things do go a bit pear-shaped. Even though this will be negated if charged in the flank they may still be there once attacks have been made.

Cons:
1. Less attacks to the front. But like I said before, this is not always a bad thing in the right situations.


Extra notes:
Keep an eye on where you position your champion when reforming like this. If you put them in the corner that will have contact with the front and attacked flank then it is just one more attack you can throw to the side. I have marked the position of the champion with a black cross in my examples.
While having the enemy flank you is not the most desirable result some time there is no other option and so you may as well try and make the most of the situation, this is where this idea comes in handy. Also remember that thinking outside your movement trays is not limited to this one application. Before I move each turn I like to take a quick look through my whole army and think to myself, could any of these units be in a better formation for the situation they are in or will be in soon? This only takes a few seconds and can have some good results.


Last edited by Holtkmoq on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:58 am, edited 4 times in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:42 am
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Make the most of Overruns

When been baited one of the main goals of your opponent is to pull you into an undesirable position, setting you up for flank charges and the like. To minimise this risk there are steps you can take involving your compulsory overrun. Placing a friendly model in front of the overrunning unit will cause it to stop 1 inch away. Your opponent will be expecting you to overrun around 7 inches and when you only move 1 this can leave his attacking unit out of range and vulnerable. I have put together a few pictures to try and make this a bit clearer.

Your frenzied unit has been forced to charge into the flank of a bait unit. At the same time there is a counter charge set up to hit you once you overrun.

Image

One of two options that I am showing here is to place a unit within 1 inch of yours, shown by the small red box. This will mean your unit will not move at all, staying out of any flank charges and free to reform and get back into a decent position next turn.

Image

The second option is to leave a unit a bit further out. Your frenzied unit will stop a bit further forward, ideally in such a position that a charge can only be made onto your smaller unit. The idea here is to swing your opponent round so that he will be facing your front and not gain any of the advantages that he has spent time on setting up.

Image

Image

Of course you should always keep in mind other factors that could come into play. I have circled a couple of areas on the pictures to show points of interest. The blue circle represents any addition units that your opponent may be sending in to try get the flank charge too. While the red circle shows an area where you could set up a unit to flank your opponent with, effectively baiting him while he was trying to bait you.

Image

Pros:
1. This is a great way of keeping your units under your control. While you are still been lead around to start with, this is where it ends. No overrun can cause your opponent to have to rethink their initial plans. The more thinking you make them do the more likely they are to make a mistake that you can take advantage of.
2. This is a fairly decent way to set up your own flank charges. While your opponent is busy trying to set you up he may not realise that he is walking right into a trap set for him.

Cons:
1. This method can possibly leave your flank exposed to other threats. Just remember that reforming to face the biggest threat can make a big difference to combat results later in the game.
2. Not a big deal but in one of these situations you are giving up a unit. That unit could be assigned as a bait unit any way and may not matter but if you had other plans for it then this could be a small problem for you.

Credit to Ddevil here, he pointed out that the previous point I made was not a valid one and helped with redoing it. Thanks.


Last edited by Holtkmoq on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:43 am
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Saved for future posts.


Last edited by Holtkmoq on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:02 am, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:46 am
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Saved for future posts.

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Want some tips on controlling those frenzied units? http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=71791&highlight=


Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:48 am
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Saved for future posts.

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Want some tips on controlling those frenzied units? http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=71791&highlight=


Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:48 am
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Saved for future posts.

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Want some tips on controlling those frenzied units? http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=71791&highlight=


Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:49 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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And there we have it, my attempt at a reasonably coherent 1000th post. Feel free to list any of your ways that you use to keep your frenzied units in check and hopefully the list will keep growing for the rest of the forum to learn from.


Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:49 am
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Excellent post! Really comprehensive. I do like the idea of my dark elves advancing backwards into combat ('We're so scornful of our enemy that we don't even need to face them to win!') but ruefully agree with you that it may not be the best approach! But overall, really interesting read, thanks :)

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:05 pm
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Somewhere in the start, a recall of all frenzied troops would be nice.
WE are obviously what you have in mind, but SSS corsairs share most of the characteristics. You mentioned the Manti as well, for which the unique movement makes some exceptions (such as "Use a unit to block any potential unwanted charges", which the Manti can jump above).

Thanks for the D.R.A.I.C.H. article anyhow.

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:12 pm
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In your "Make the most of Overruns" section, shouldn't your unit stop 1" away from the dark riders and not pop through to the other side? There is an allowance in the rules for enemies to pop through as you have shown (and they take difficult terrain tests), but units can only move through other friendly units if they are fleeing.

The picture that you have used is actually an excellent example of how to stop your units from overrunning where you don't want them to and is a tactic that should be employed a lot when using frenzied units. You can still roll to catch units, but you only end up moving 1" (assuming you placed your unit 1" away from your own). Harpies and peg riders are excellent for this as they have a small footprint and can hop over your units to block the overrun.


Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:06 pm
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Quote:
Somewhere in the start, a recall of all frenzied troops would be nice.

Thanks for this, sounds like a nice addition to the article.

Quote:
In your "Make the most of Overruns" section, shouldn't your unit stop 1" away from the dark riders and not pop through to the other side? There is an allowance in the rules for enemies to pop through as you have shown (and they take difficult terrain tests), but units can only move through other friendly units if they are fleeing.

Aw man! I just looked it up and you are quite right. I will edit this to suit. Thanks for pointing this out.


Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:24 pm
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devils reject wrote:
your seemingly innocent Witch Elves


Innocent Witch Elves :shock:

Really nice series of articles on a golden topic that I havent seen covered before in the D.R.A.I.C.H.

Congratulations on a great 1000th post :D

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:12 pm
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Excellent read.

Another thing you might mention is that a small cheap unit eg: Harpies could actually block 2 of our Frenzied units from having to charge.

So if you have frenzied Corsairs sitting next to Witches and the Harpy unit in front overlapping both units.

Otherwise the same as you have mentioned in Use a unit to block any potential unwanted charges

If the enemy move up close enough in their turn then simply charge the Harpies at something close (to get them out of the way), then charge the 2 Frenzied units.

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:44 pm
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Cheers for the comments guys. I have edited a few things thanks to Ddevil and included your idea about controlling 2 units at once LordDrittz. More to come when I find a bit of time.

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Want some tips on controlling those frenzied units? http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=71791&highlight=


Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:07 pm
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Last but not least:

Shoot the redirectors :D


Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:09 pm
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