The D.R.A.I.C.H. Boot Camp – flag-doping

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The D.R.A.I.C.H. Boot Camp – flag-doping

Post by Calisson »

The D.R.A.I.C.H. Boot Camp – evaluating DE units.

Boot Camp 0 – Admission
Boot Camp 1 – First Week – resistance to mass shooting
Boot Camp 2 – Second Week – Resistance to a charge
Boot Camp 3 – Third Week – charging destructive power
Boot Camp 4 – Forth Week – killing when exhausted: further rounds of melee
Boot Camp 5 – Fifth Week – doping with a cauldron of blood
Boot Camp 6 – Sixth Week – flag-doping
Boot Camp 7 – Seventh Week – The Monoliths Shooting Range
Boot Camp 8 – Eighth Week – graduation ceremony – unit’s champions.
Boot Camp 9 – Last Week – specialization – departure for War.

Boot Camp extension
Boot Camp 1bis – First Week-end – template vulnerability (considered)

Other DE training rooms (might be considered some day – not necessarily by the same author):
Temple of Khaine’s fencing room
Clar Karond Noblemen’s Arena
Iron Mountains’ Ranch
Ghrond Experimental Lab

For a quick conclusion, jump to the last chapter.
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Post by Calisson »

1. Sixth Week – doping with flags.

This time, we will see how effective and cost-effective it is to use some combat magic banners in complement of the units.
What is to be evaluated is if, when providing a combat enhancement, the result is sufficiently improved to justify the cost of the enhancement.

“We have good combat enhancements.
Our banners are inspiring combat feats.
The question is: are you worth of them?”
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Post by Calisson »

2. The Hydra banner.

We will examine in this paragraph the Hydra banner (+1 att, costing 202 pts with the master),
We will compare it to the COB, which brings +1 attack as well, then to other banners.

The Hydra banner is expensive, since the BSB is necessary.
For 202 pts, you provide +1 attack for each model of one unit.
You could take the COB for 200 pts and expect more or less the same result.
Let's review the differences.

There are some advantages for the COB:
- COB can bless any unit in range; the BSB Hydra “blesses” necessarily the unit it is in.
- COB takes just a character slot; you can have several of them. BSB needs a character slot as well, and the unique BSB slot in addition.
- COB can shift from +1 attack to KB or 5+ ward save; BSB has always the same effect.
- COB does not give 100pts when captured; Hydra banner risks that loss.
- COB is not destroyed on a failed challenge nor on a missed “look out, Sir”; the BSB risks that.

There are some advantages for the Hydra banner, thanks Hekarti!
- Surprise! The opponent doesn’t know if the banner is magic until it is too late; the COB is known and the opponent can plan for it.
- BSB provides morale re-rolls to everyone; COB provides stubbornness to Khainites only.
- The BSB participates in the combat, COB is a different unit.
- Hydra banner works with mounts; COB does not.

When you balance, obviously the COB is superior to the BSB Hydra, by far.
However, the last mentioned advantage for the BSB can justify taking it instead of 1 more COB, in one situation:
When dealing with cavalry, the attack increase brought by the BSB is the double of the attack increase brought by the COB.

Imagine the Hydra banner with DR or COK:

When a unit of 5 DR would make 3 or 4 kills, the same unit with the BSB would make 8 kills!
Interesting but not to the point of bringing a unit from 90 pts to 290 pts: it is efficient but not cost-efficient.
However, if you considered a big unit of shielded DR with 1 or 2 additional ranks, then the hydra banner would be very effective to add to the active combat resolution, especially on the charge, in complement to the static CR. The combined result should be enough to win against pretty much any unit. This is what you want, don't you? And charging at 18” with a non-stupid unit should not be that hard.

When a unit of 5 COK would make 6 kills, the same unit with the BSB would make 14 kills!
Of course, the unit would increase its price by 202 pts, i.e. more or less doubling the price.
Since winning the fight would be close to guaranteed, this combo is well worth considering.
If you want to increase your chances to charge with such a precious unit, there is the “anti-stupid” cold-blood banner or the inclusion of Malus.
There is also the nice trick brought by Dark Alliance: give them the ASF banner, and let them run stupid... if they are charged on the front or on the rear, they will wipe away the charging unit, even if they were stupid!

The hydra banner would be effective with other units, namely the units which kill a lot with a single attack per model: Execs and GW shades.
However, for these units, the COB would be just as effective, and it is much more versatile for the same price.
I wouldn't recommend the BSB Hydra to go with these units unless he started in a unit of COK or DR and his initial unit was reduced to a few surviving models.

As a conclusion, my recommendation for the hydra banner is to take it, on a mounted BSB, preferably with a COK medium-size unit, or with a big shielded DR unit.
It seems not worth with other kind of units nor with smaller size of COK or DR.
We will compare it to other banners below.

“The hydra is one of our most sacred symbol: it represents the Goddess Hekarti herself.
She has many arms. Some of them are provided to the combatants.”
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Post by Calisson »

3. The Standard of Slaughter.

The standard of slaughter is very specific: it works only on the charge.
Costing more than 25 pts and less than 50 pts, only BG and COK can take it unless you take the BSB.
BG are far from being likely to charge: as any infantry, they can be easily charged by any cavalry/flyer, and they can be avoided.
With BG, that banner is too hazardous to be effective and I will not consider it anymore.

With COK, the proper use of the Standard of Slaughter is more likely: they can charge at 14”.
They are still likely to be charged by heavy cavalry, and they may become stupid instead of charging.
Supposing that they did charge, then the SoS will grant them in average +2 SCR for just 35 pts. It is very cost-effective!
Compared to the BSB with the Hydra banner, the cost-effectiveness is a little bit better for the SoS, and the SoS doesn't need the BSB, however the SoS is negated if the unit is charged.
The choice between SoS and HB depends heavily on the availability of the BSB: if you need the BSB somewhere else, take the SoS. If you don't use the BSB anywhere else, take it here with the hydra banner.

There are two other units which are likely to charge and, for that reason, may consider to use the SoS, but only with a BSB: COC and DR.

A COC is normally very efficient in the charge with good ACR. However, it usually lacks the SCR to overcome big units.
Now, consider the same COC with a BSB holding the SoS, for an total cost of 244 pts (the COC is less expensive as a mount than as a special slot).
In addition to the excellent ACR brought by the chariot, and increased by the master, you get in average +3 SCR (1 for the BSB and 2 for the SoS, in average).
Consider to have 7 CR against all but the toughest targets! Enough to overcome most ASFed HE!
Against a dragon, the combat is undecided: it depends heavily on who is mounting the dragon. If it is a magic-user, then the chariot is more likely to win than to loose. If it is a warrior able to get through tough armours, then the chariot is more likely to loose than to win.

A BSB SoS inside a DR unit is worth considering. For 166 pts, it brings +3 SCR (in average) and it may kill more and receive less wounds than the DR he replaces.
Also, the DR is the most likely unit to get a charge, especially if the BSB improves their leadership against fear-causing units, as they charge at 18” and are not stupid.
At 55 pts per SCR, the ratio is not as good as the war banner (25 pts for 1 SCR), but it is much better than additional ranks.
Its cost-efficiency is in the same range as the AP banner, but it is a SCR, not depending on the enemy, instead of an improvement of the ACR as the AP banner is.
It should be preferred over the AP banner, if given the choice (both need the BSB anyhow).

“To slaughter is our most sacred mission, for which we train only to the highest standard.
Only cavalry can raise their standards to the required heights. Infantry is just too short.”
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Post by Calisson »

4. The “AP” Banner of Murder.

We will examine in this paragraph the AP banner (25 pts, the standard bearer is for free and brings +1 SCR which is not taken into account in this paragraph).
We will see if it pays back the cost, or if having instead just more units would be more cost-effective.

The AP banner helps to get through armour.
It is not always interesting. It is useless if:
– the opponent has no armour left, because of the strength bonus or KB,
– the opponent's armour was below 2+ and becomes 2+, hence no change,
– the attack, despite the improvement, still has trouble to kill more than one opponent.

The AP banner will be at it greatest effectiveness when the attacks achieve already some significant results, but are hampered by too good an armour save.
This is the case for troops having many S3 attacks against E3 opponents, or troops having higher S attacks against higher E opponents: in this situation, the armour is the biggest cause of failure and AP will help a lot to overcome that.

After a confrontation against the usual sample foes encountered in the Boot Camp treads, the results are as follows:
The AP banner will produce the greatest results when used in the following units:
WE (more than 1 additional kill against armoured foes, bringing between 2 and 3 kills in total) - for which the AP extends the use to harder foes.
COK and BG (nearly 1 additional kill) - for which the effectiveness against the hardest foes is heavily increased.
Execs, DR and Corsairs (one more kill every two rounds of combat against armoured foes) – For Execs, the banner brings results, however its effects remain modest compared to the natural efficiency of Execs – for DR and Corsairs, the AP banner extends their use to harder foes.
Lance warriors (one more kill every three rounds of combat) – it might deter an opponent's charge.
On all other units, the AP banner does not bring any significant result, except in very situational fights.

As a summary, the AP banner can provide some efficiency (not miracles!) to units which have trouble against armoured foes:
WE (excellent), DR and Corsairs (including RHB corsairs when shooting!).
The AP banner can also improve the efficiency of some units which are already efficient against strong armours:
COK (excellent), BG (excellent as well) and Execs (not that much useful).
Except for WE, the war banner (see below) is often more cost-effective and works all the time, even against armour less foes. The advantage to take the AP banner is just to free the war banner for someone else.

“Beware of your nails. They are sharpened as razors as well.”
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Post by Calisson »

5. The “Frenzy” Sea Serpent Standard.

This banner is for Corsairs only. At 25 pts, is is worth taking?
Of course yes!
This is easy to understand:
A front rank of 5 corsairs has 10 attacks and is worth 50 pts.
The banner adds 5 attacks and is worth 25 pts. The efficiency is exactly the same.
If ever you have more corsairs in the front rank (i.e. 7 corsairs), then the banner is more cost-efficient than the corsairs themselves!
And I do not include the bonus of being immune to psychology as long as the frenziness remains!

A funny thing usually forgotten, the SSS “upgrades” the efficiency of RHB corsairs to the point of becoming as efficient as AHW corsairs.
With these corsairs, you still get 5 added attacks for a mere 25 pts. Against low armoured troops, doubling the attacks brings a nice 3 to 4 kills per 5 models.
In conjunction with the “stand & shoot” for which the RHB corsairs are feared by low armoured troops, it makes a very efficient, specialized troop against low armoured troops (Ogres, Marauders, Elves and Empire infantry...).

The frenziness forces them to charge, but on the other hand it provides them with a free “charge range measure”.
Being forced to pursue is nothing new for troops blessed with hatred.
Overall the only risk with frenzied troops is to be lured in charges you don't want. Escorting troops are here to help avoiding that.

Remember though, corsairs are efficient only against very low armoured troops.
The SSS does not change that, this banner increases their effectiveness against low armoured troops but they keep having trouble against hard armoured troops.
Loosing combat means at least loosing your frenziness advantage (and keeping its drawback), and possibly (likely?) being ran over and loose 100pts of banner.
It means that, when facing heavy cavalry or tough armoured troops, the SSS will not be useful, you frenziness will sometimes put you in trouble, you will be likely to loose the combat.
RHB corsairs are not much more likely to loose combat than AHB corsairs, none are feared by armoured troops – however, RHB corsairs are likely to be in a single line of 10 while AHB corsairs are more likely to be in a big 5-wide block and will hence benefit from their rank bonus. For this reason, it is more risky to provide the SSS to RHB corsairs than to AHB corsairs.

Overall, the SSS is a must-have inside a unit of AHW corsairs or even in a unit of RHB corsairs, but only if you face low armoured troops.

When facing an army where most troops are heavily armoured, you should avoid corsairs altogether, be it with or without the SSS.
When facing an army with a mix of heavy and little armoured troops, you will have to manoeuvre your corsairs wisely.

“Be aware, young mates, that your Sea Dragon Cloaks are not really dead. Sometimes, when the air is filled with the salt and moisture of the sea, they start to move by themselves, and participate to the combat with remnants of their ferocity. You don't trust me, young mate? You don't believe neither in the stories of the Kraken and the Green Ray, do you? Well, look at the Sea Serpent Standard right above us, the wind gusts are beginning to animate it and see how it soaks the surroundings with salty water? Do you feel the animation in your cloak now?”
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Post by Calisson »

6. Unit's standard, War banner and Banner of Nagarythe.

These three banners just add to the static combat resolution (SCR) but provide no help to the active combat resolution (ACR).

Unit's standard.
Nothing exists that brings more combat resolution (active or passive) per pts than the unit's standard.
Whenever it is available (not every unit can take it), it will pay back much more than it cost!
It has a big drawback, however: it can be captured by the enemy, if the unit looses combat, flees, and the winner selects to pursue (BRB p.80). The winner needs not even to catch up the fleeing unit. Alas! A captured banner brings 100 pts more victory points.
For that reason, the banner must be provided only to a unit which has reasonable chances to win.

The war banner costs 25 pts and needs a standard bearer or the battle standard bearer.

With the regular standard bearer, adding the war banner to the unit costs 25 pts more and brings 1 more CR.
An aggressive unit brings usually more ACR per pts against the appropriate foe, but the war banner will bring that CR against all foes.
It means that the war banner is not cost-effective when the unit does not need it, and the war banner becomes cost-effective when the unit is in trouble.
Overall it is always nice to have!

With the BSB however, the war banner becomes expensive: the BSB with the war banner costs 156 pts fully equipped.
For that cost, you get one more SCR than previously, thanks to the BSB.
For 156 pts, you get +2 SCR, i.e. 78 pts per CR. If you're looking for the highest CR whatever the cost, it may be considered.
But be aware that it is efficient, but not cost efficient at all.
Now, in addition to the SCR, you need to consider that the BSB himself will replace one model from the front rank and bring his 3 attacks (and his mount's). In addition, if he is stationed on a corner next to the champion, the opponent just in front of him will not be able to wound a normal model and will have to get through his very strong armour instead. Depending on the foe and the displaced troop, you may hope to get +1 or even +2 ACR.
With both SCR and ACR considerations, the BSB with a war banner can be worth taking with “weak” troops such as mere warriors, for which he will add 2 SCR and provide 1 or 2 more ACR that these troops would not dream to get.

If ever you have not taken neither the BSB nor the war banner and you have a big unit of warriors, then the BSB with a war banner can make it a difficult unit to beat.

The Banner of Nagarythe brings +1 SCR for all units in range for 125 pts plus the BSB.
Its effectiveness depends on the number of the units in range.
With 5 units in range, it becomes cost-effective, not mentioning its psychological effect.
But 5 units seem not realistic, does it?
Actually, one trick is to send characters independently charging the same foe.
You can imagine several assassins lone-charging the same unit. Each of them would get +1 SCR, plus the ACR they are likely to bring!
Another trick is to make a DH BSB with a COB. Then the Khainite units in range become stubborn and can re-roll their morale test, in addition to have +1 to their CR.
Both tricks work together, if ever an assassin lost his combat due to the enemy's SCR, a re-rollable Ld 10 (stubborn if the BSB is on a COB) is unlikely to fail.
Overall not an easy trick. Anyway, the use of such banner is limited to the biggest battles, when you're lacking other banners to provide to your units.
An interesting option to consider when playing MSU.
Finally, don't forget that the unit becomes a perfect tar pit, being unbreakeable. Imagine a big, very, very big line of mere warriors... However, it lasts only as long as the BSB survives.

“Respect these banners. They bear the glory of your predecessors.”
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Post by Calisson »

7. Other banners.

Here is a list of the other banners, just to mention them.
I do not discuss at length their utility in this thread, because their utility is beyond mathhammering measurement.

The dread banner causes fear.
It should be useful when fighting against fear-causing armies.

The Cold Blooded banner is specifically designed for COK to cease failing their stupidity test when it is necessary. It works on any unit, but the use seems less obvious elsewhere, except possibly when fighting fear-causing armies.

The Hag Graef “ASF” banner is well known to be useful for BG, to the point that it is the expected combo by now.
It can be also used, in conjunction with the BSB Hydra banner, on a unit of COK that you can let run stupid (see the Hydra banner paragraph).
Other units would need the BSB to use it.
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Post by Calisson »

8. Cavalry's pennants.

Before concluding for all units, I'd like to examine which banners and BSB are nice to have for the cavalry units.
The reason is because some banners are specific to, or well going along with cavalry units.

The cold blooded banner is a good candidate for COK if you hate them to run stupid.

A COC can become a BSB SoS COC, a very efficient stand-alone unit. However, this would deny the use of the Hydra banner and the SoS for other cavalry units.
This allows you to have one more true hammer stand-alone unit other than your special slot.
Very good to have inside an army with little cavalry.

An alternative is to grant the BSB Hydra banner to the COK. However, this would deny the use of any banner on DR and CoC.
This is nice when the COK is your only one cavalry hammer unit.

An alternative is to provide the BSB Hydra banner to a big shielded DR unit and the SoS to the COK. This seems to be the best aggressive combination for an all-cavalry army, and you can use the war banner in another unit. You risk the COK to run stupid, unfortunately.

If DR (preferably shielded) are the only cavalry unit, then the BSB with a war banner is the most effective enhancement, as long as the war banner is not required in another unit; the BSB with SoS is the next best, and allows the war banner to be provided to another unit.

Nice to know, DA mentioned lately that he preferred to provide his COK the ASF, the cold-blooded and the SoS (in that order).
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Post by Calisson »

9. Conclusion about fighting aids.

We will summarize in this paragraph which combat aids are worth taking.
Important: the combat aids are meant only for units which would naturally win many melees. It will help them to win more melees. It cannot help units bound to loose a majority of melees.

WARNING: if you like to play MSU, none of what is below must be taken.
Be aware that it would be useful, though.

First of all, in any unit meant for winning a melee, you must take the full command.
The standard bearer is always the most efficient model in any unit! For a modest cost, it brings automatically a combat resolution of +1. His only drawback is to risk loosing 100 pts of battle result if his unit is ran over and the banner is captured. This is why you must take him only if the chances to win are reasonably good.
The champion brings a small benefit for active combat resolution, usually enough to justify his cost but barely noticeable, and he brings also the ability to take challenges and this is always worth the cost.
The musician is always worth his cost if this means winning or drawing a melee which would be even or lost without him.

Second best aid: Normally the kills obtained by the front rank are the second best cost-efficient single factor, for a self-respecting melee unit!
Increasing the front rank to a width of 7 infantry is usually a good idea for aggressive troops. See the “Boot Camp 3 – Destructive Power” thread for comprehensive analysis of which units are the most efficient.
However, it depends heavily on the opponent.

Third best aid: The war banner is always more cost-efficient than one additional rank. It is efficient for all units alike!
Too bad there is only one... This is where other banner may help: they free up the war banner for someone else, and some of them (few) may be even better.
This banner is a must-have in any army meant to go in melee!
The best unit to provide it is the unit which will be the most likely in melee... unless it uses a more specialized banner, as mentioned just below as a fifth aid.

Fourth best aid: additional ranks, mostly for infantry.
For elite infantry against the appropriate opponent, the front rank is more efficient than the next ranks. But you don't select always the opponent of your choice.
For mere warriors, and for corsairs or WE against tough opponents, the rear ranks will bring more combat resolution than the front one.
For cavalry (shielded DR and even more COK), the cost of an additional rank is usually too expansive to be justified.
However, for shielded DR, as well as for BG and Execs, the extra rank bonus may be expensive for the benefit, but it is still useful enough to be justified: a guaranteed additional combat resolution may tilt the balance to a winning melee. Not forgetting that it means more wounds that the unit can soak.

Fifth aid, replacing the third aid when applicable: when the war banner has been attributed to another unit, you should consider:
the SSS on corsairs, preferably AHW but also RHB; the SSS is often better than the war banner itself!
the Standard of Slaughter, either with the BSB in a DR unit or on a COC, or without the BSB in a COK unit; see the previous paragraph.
the Hydra banner, on a mounted BSB, with a COK medium-size unit, or with a big shielded DR unit; see the previous paragraph.
the AP banner, on WE (excellent, often better than the war banner), to provide them with some remote efficiency against armoured foes;
the AP banner, on COK (good, but there are other banners for them), BG (good as well, for a change from the ASF banner) and Execs (not that much useful), in order to improve their efficiency against strong armours;
the AP banner (if not used by the units above and if other banners are not used), on DR and Corsairs, to provide them with some remote efficiency against armoured foes.
These banners will free the war banner to be given to another unit. The war banner must be given to another unit because it is usually more efficient than the banner replacing it.

Sixth aid: in addition to all these banners, the COB can provide a big boost (and several COB can benefit several distinct units).
As seen in the previous thread, this boost is cost-effective with Execs above all.
It is useful for other units than Execs as well, namely GW-shades, COK, BG, lance warriors, WE, and DR.
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Post by Calisson »

10. End of the sixth week.

“Hey guys! Next week is graduation!
Hey guys?
Hey Ho?
Anyone’s alive still?”

To be followed in another thread. Initially I thought it would be the last but I had to squeeze in two more threads.
(see hyperlinks in the beginning of the thread).

What is left to do is to summarize the quality of the diverse troops available, and to determine for which use they are eligible, in which settings.
Before that, there will be an evaluation of shooting troops, and a quick thread about the champions.

If you find that some of the conclusions drawn here are inconsistent with your own feeling, it could be worth investigating. I could further analyse the reasons for the divergence – or identify the flaw in my reasoning, and correct it for the sake of all D.netters.

I am eager to learn about actual successful / unsuccessful live experience in application of this lengthy theory-hammering.
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Post by Calisson »

11. Stats Records.

All the data about your unit’s experiments of various dopes and fighting under influence has been classified and transferred to Naggarond.
If you want to know the content of your personal file, address your request, specifying the identity of your protector, to:

His High Excellence Lord Archivist in Chief,
Royal Bureau for the Repression of Homeland Plots and Disorders,
Black Guard Main Casern
1, Square of the Gibbets and Gallows

The Boot Camp archivist.
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}
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