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Dealing with fast hard hitters 
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Assassin
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:53 am
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This is quite a complicated issue I have in mind but let us hope I will get it through. :)

Imagine you are facing a fast and aggressive force. Not a deathstar but a collection of units that are strong, durable and fast. A classic WDG army comes in mind: chimeras, chariots, mounted heroes, skullcrushers. Such a force is difficult to contain because:
- it can charge you turn 2 (deploying cleverly can put some of the units out of the battle for some time but not all of them)
- the units are durable so it is hard to shoot them down before they strike
- the units are fast and so they should be able to pick up your weaker units, get a flank on the dangerous ones or both

So, what will you do? :D

I am asking because in a recent (well, not so recent anymore...) tournament, I felt I was lacking some hard hitting fast unit of my own to threaten with countercharges. My fighting infantry was just too slow - the opponents could just land 17,5 inches in front of them and charge something the following turn. Because of that, I found myself backing away a lot which makes contesting scenarios somewhat difficult. :) If I had more pegasus characters or dread knights, the enemy would have been worried about me as much as I was about him, levelling the field. However, I do not see that many units usable in this way.

So, what are your experiences and solutions? For starters, do you actually feel a similar problem? :)

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Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:22 pm
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Slave on the Altar

Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:47 pm
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There are still strong, durable and fast units in the game? :)


Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:34 am
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Assassin
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Well, it's not as bad as it was before but you can field this for example:

WDG, 2500 points

50 barbarians, flails: 350
some horsemen and hounds to fill core
maybe a small unit of fallen

3x wasteland chariot of lust: 3x 115
6 once-chosen of wrath, FCG, swiftness, halberd: 328

5 crusher knights: 395
elder dragon centaur: 230


It's probably not overly strong given that I created it just now but it is surely fast and hard-hitting. :)
- the barbarians can ambush if joined by a designated hero
- chariots have 4+ armour, T5, M8 and reroll charge distance
- once-chosen have M6 and lots of attacks at S5; their durability is not that awesome but T4 4+ is still better than nothing
- crusher kngihts have T4, 2+, 3W each and lots of attacks at S5
- dragon centaur is basically a dragon with no flying and no breath

Sure, there will be probably no magic and the things are not that fast and that durable... but it can still be a headache.

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Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:51 pm
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Warrior

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I recently played a game where I was able to do this to my enemy quite successfully.

I fielded a Pegasus Prince, Raptor Cpt., Raptor Knights, and Raptor Chariot... all performed top notch. The Chariot took out a Gyro Bomber, Organ Gun, and Anvil of Doom in the first three turns. Warlocks and a LVL2 were my only magic, but it was more than enough. With shadows and the conclave, my enemy was always hexed. So they faced higher toughness and beefy hitters. Dark riders, bolt throwers, and a big block of corsairs provided chaff, cover fire, and sustainability.

My opponent had no good choices and couldn't figure out how to crack the assault.


Tue May 03, 2016 3:15 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Harpies! Two units is only 130 points (2x65) and can really devastate your opponents advance by blocking and redirecting the crucial units. You will see that in fast hard hitting lists they lack shooting (as they want to be in combat asap) to take out your harpies. While dark riders are also great chaff I think in this case harpies would be more efficient because of lower cost and further reach. In the case you have a more balanced list the trick is to isolate certain units of even flanks (your 75% focus on his 25% part of army). Because he is so fast there is not much we can bring that can do this, but with their fly (10) harpies provide that unique option.

Remember that in this case he is the aggressor (because his whole list is build around this) and you are the defending player creating possibilities for counter-charges. As soon he loses the initiative, you win.

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Thu May 05, 2016 9:45 pm
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@ tehnico: Good job! But it is another example why I consider such forces hard to crack. :) I think that your opponent could have basically either bunkered in a corner hoping for a drawish result or raced right towards your big points (if you had some), trying to break through before you encircle him. The first option is boring and the second one dangerous.

@ Lord Drakon: Harpies are awesome. :) However, they can't redirect everything. And you only have one try to use them right.

I have played two games this weekend where I was facing a similar problem (though not to the fullest extent). First game, Empire, lots of small units of knights, 2x4 demigryphs, a big block of halberds, some archers and stuff. Thanks to harpies, I was able to tag team one unit of demigryphs; other units falled to a medusa, spearmen or shooters. Still, on the other flank, there were two more units of knights and the other demigryphs and I had basically nothing to deal with them. I would be able to bring down the other demigryphs but only if I managed to get my units there fast enough (which, given that I was relying on tower guard and spearmen mostly, was not trivial) AND if I could redirect them somehow, too.

Second game, orcs and goblins. Two big units (savage orc and iron orcs), LOTS of chariots (I think 8) and the big spider. Here, I was under pressure from turn 1 but I was doing well to defend:
- acolytes countercharging - they are more then enough to kill a chariot
- medusas countercharging - again, a goblin chariot should stand no chance
- bolt throwers and doombolts causing mayhem

In the end, I even managed to get a countercharge on the savage orcs. Again, however: my unit of spearmen got hit directly by a catapult, losing the ranks I needed to break steadfast; as a result, the combat dragged on and I got charged by the other big unit. We did not finish but it was down to the dice. And while I could have avoided this by redirecting the iron orcs properly it still shows how easy it is to get into a problem.

Currently I think that a decent supply of pegasus heroes, acolytes, raptor knights and the like is almost necessary (unless the aim is to play a bowline) but I am still trying to find a way.

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Thu May 12, 2016 7:56 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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In 8E, I would routinely use two units each of Warlocks, Dark Riders, Harpies, Shades, and screening units of either Witches or Corsairs. Ten chaff units goes a long way toward blunting mobile heavy hitters.


Thu May 12, 2016 9:35 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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You are right, not all can be redirected! So, you need something that can absorb the damage of those hard hitting charges that can not bee redirected. Ofcourse spearman anvil comes to mind, but I what about a big unit of Dancers of Yema? I have not tried them in units more than 10+ yet but maybe their 4+ ward save combined with diversity of weapons is what you are looking for to counter those hard hitters! If you give them the movement banner, they have M7, so as fast as our heavy cavarly!

I mentioned these things before, but especially impact hit damage, thunderstomps, breath weapons in combat that kill our other infantry with ease do only 50% damage to the Dancers.

Personally I always found my Dancers to be most successful against those hard hitting lists such as WDG, as they want to see combat asap and when in they will never leave you down for their point cost.

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Fri May 13, 2016 9:38 am
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Warrior

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Marchosias wrote:
@ tehnico: Good job! But it is another example why I consider such forces hard to crack. :) I think that your opponent could have basically either bunkered in a corner hoping for a drawish result or raced right towards your big points (if you had some), trying to break through before you encircle him. The first option is boring and the second one dangerous.


Indeed, such are the risks of war. It's also why I don't take big point deathstars against dwarves or faster armies than me (which there are very few) in T9A.

When I play dwarves I like to build a list that has at least three really juicy targets (in this case 4 The Warlocks, Chariot, Raptor Knights, and Pegasus), but the damage output differences between them is negligible compared to their costs. They are all strong enough or quite effective units. He can make a case for going after any of them. And because of that I usually get a spread of ranged attacking, instead of focused. It's much easier to mitigate loses and remain an effective threat against dwarves when they don't focus and eliminate something with each turn. Combined with my MSU target overload style of list building against dwarves, I rarely worry about dwarven artillery.

I plan to always have at least 2 key units in great health by the time I'm charging dwarves, turn 2 at least, and turn 3 for the reinforcements.

IMO, there's nothing boring about watching stupid dwarves, sit there looking stupid, shooting their stupid weapons all day, stupidly not moving, and pressing them into a fine pink and gold mist.


Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:58 pm
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