Confronting a Horde Unit

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Confronting a Horde Unit

Post  Patchfur on Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:00 am

So, with several games behind me with the new rules now, I am getting quite a bit of respect for a horde unit. Single horde units have bounced my entire beastman army a couple of times.

Advantages:
1) Lots of attacks - potentially 30 or even 40 (spears, elves) at a go.
2) Stubborn forever - it will have more ranks than two smaller units since it will kill opponents faster and remove their ranks faster.

Disadvantages:
1) Hard to turn or maneuver.
2) Usually made up of cheap, low strength, low toughness, and low armour save models.

So, given that I am using lots of smaller units and very little shooting, what does a person do?

Bringing my own horde would work well I suppose. I prefer the ambushing part of the army and when I started bringing that Gor herd on in ambush it started working much better. But even flanking or getting behind a horde does not remove the stubborn bit. Face first horde on horde combat would go to the better fighters and Gors are cheap and effective. No armour though.

Flanking them works ok. They will still be stubborn even if they lose ranks and a flank attack will take a long time to grind through the numbers since you can only destroy a few per turn due to the narrow frontage. A rear attack is better with more models fighting. God forbid you ever lose a combat because then the horde can reform and a smaller flanking unit is a tough spot.

Magic that affects every model in the unit and template weapons are good as always. Beasts don't have much of that however. Magic perhaps. Isn't there a spell that makes every model in a unit fight itself?

High armour saves to bounce the low strength attacks of cheap horde units. How about a minotaur unit with heavy armour and shields, led by a minotaur BSB and minotaur general and a minotaur champion with magic armour. You could plow that into the unit and they have no choice but to attack high toughness and high armor save models. That ought to grind them down. That is an expensive unit though.

Fear makes them hit terrible, but they already hit terrible. 30 attacks hitting on five at strength 4 (halbadier men) still whacks 5 gor per turn and a 25 strong unit will get vaporized long before they can overcome that with 2.8 kills per turn scored against the horde.

A lance of bretonnian knights would score 5 kills on the charge, and receive 1.3 kills, so a couple of those would do the job. But the horde would still be stubborn with a re-roll and I won't win that fight on the second and subsequent rounds of combat.

Basically, you fight a horde with another horde, or two units in the flank or rear, or mortars, or some kind of monstrous high toughness or high armour save unit right in the face. I really have to stop charging them with 25 gors and a couple of minotaurs.

What do you think?

Patchfur

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Re: Confronting a Horde Unit

Post  nathanr on Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:41 am

There's a few things about hordes that you can use to your advantage:

First is the fact that they need to be fighting on the front to get all those attacks. Charge them on the flank or rear and suddenly they aren't so scary. If you charge them on both flanks or a flank and rear they can't turn either, just something to keep in mind.

Second, unless your opponent has sunk a TON of points into the unit it will only have 4 or 5 ranks. This means that against a full lance of bretonnian knights (5 ranks of 3) it won't be steadfast, meaning it will break and flee quite easily actually.

Third, the incredibly large frontage means that it is hard for your opponent to manouver to get supporting units into combat, especially if you hit him with a small-frontage unit (like a lance of Bretonnians). The smaller your frontage, the less attacks he gets against you as well which is always a good thing.

You can use all these to your advantage and if all else fails, a horde is a really juicy target for a stone thrower, mortar or any other template weapon or spell!

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Re: Confronting a Horde Unit

Post  Carson on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:51 pm

Multiple charging units are really only the guarenteed way to take down a horde quickly. Other than that its just a grinding match. Clark fielded the aformentioned minotaur deathstar unit at the tournament. It plowed through my horde infantry units with ease.

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Re: Confronting a Horde Unit

Post  decker_cky on Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:53 pm

Honestly, the easiest way for beastmen to deal with a horde is with a horde of gors led by a BSB with the beast banner. 40 rerolling to hit attacks at S4 will chew through most any horde (less attacks against non-hordes, but still very good). Add in a wyssan's wildform where you can and you'll laugh at a full bretonnian lance charging you. Even if you don't take a horde, I'd take a unit of 30 or so with the beast banner on a BSB with gnarled hide, heavy armour and shield so he can stick around (survivable BSB with a great magic banner is one of the big beastmen advantages). If you want the manbane banner, take that on the bestigors instead.

The minobus deals with it too, but it's quite a bit more expensive, and it has a few weaknesses that mean you essentially build the whole army to avoid the minotaur's weaknesses.

The final option, and it's quite a bit less fun is to use 3-4 units of raiders to angle and cause trouble for the big unit without ever giving it many points it can get. But you're beastmen, and the army rewards you for pushing up the army and smashing in your enemies face. There's not a whole lot you can't beat after a wildform or two.

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Re: Confronting a Horde Unit

Post  Patchfur on Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:29 pm

A ten inch wide unit of two hand weapon gors is pretty reasonable. And plopping in the beast banner is also pretty decent as a tough, hard hitting, and high armour save character in there leading it can soak up a bunch of grief. Perhaps a mage right in the unit to get off with bestial surge might make up for the unit being a bit unmaneuverable and compensate for all the maeuvering. The other hordes I saw all largely ended up waiting for the attack.

The 200 mm wide hordes have a bit of an advantage in that they can focus the attacks on smaller units. I did really notice that a narrower frontage restricted the harm that a horde could dish out to me, and was another reason not to hit them with two units in the front. Might as well have collapsed them down onto one unit and get the benefits.

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