battle theory

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battle theory

Post  Kuyp on Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:09 pm

id like to get a discussion started on different strategies and battle "theory's". when you make
an army list what types of things do you count in as factors for the battle to come? what units do
you try and match against, who do you attack first, what factors do you find key to victory.

any thing goes, and like i said only battle plans rather than the actual battle. in theory what do
you think would work or might be cool to try? id really like to hear from some experienced players

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Re: battle theory

Post  Carson on Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:24 am

I havn't taken into consideration what my opponent was bringing in quite some time. When I build an army I look at what I think works well together, what my army theme will be and basicly what I think is cool. I will play the same list over a period of time with very little changes. This allows you learn tactics and strategys to make your list work rather than building lists to counter each opponent.
For example. I approached building my latest darkelven list with the idea that my units would consist of as many corsairs as possible.........because I thought they were cool figs. The rest of the list revolves around making these units work.
When it comes to the actual battle I look at the table before deployment to see where the actual fighting will develop, possible flanking routes etc. I deploy with this in mind. I don't like to deploy matching my opponents deployment as it takes away from any plans I might have......although I have done it before.
During the game I try to use these ideas. Concentrate all fire on a single target, preferably one that you plan on fighting or one that is the biggest threat to you, ignore units that you can't beat and if this isn't possoble feed throw away units to it, concentrate your fighting units on a "weak point" in the enemys attacking force. knocking this unit out will lead you into an advantageous position and throw the enemys plan into trouble. Last....diverters or throwaway units are key. You need units that you can use to divert the enemy and distract him from own strong units.

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Re: battle theory

Post  squalie on Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:41 am

I'm about the worst general in the world. I don't think I have ever made a list suited to face a certain army and my lists are always comprised of my favorite figs -- whether they're any good or not.

I do try to pay attention to deployment as I almost always have more drops than the next guy. My problem is that my strategies are often transparent, or I don't even have a strategy, I just roll forward trying to punch it up. The things that I'm trying to pay more attention to that will help my game A LOT is redirecting with throw away units...angling a unit 45 degrees can change everything. The next one is not trying to win the game by turn 3. My problem is that I rush instead of setting up combo/flank charges..which are the things that win games. I rush straight forward, right now, and by turn 3 that looks great until I have most of my units beat by better units and running from the fight or destroyed at the end.

Another thing that I'm terrible at is deciding when, or if, I should declare a challenge. Any advice on THAT would be appreciated. My characters are usually pretty squishy so I try to avoid it.

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Re: battle theory

Post  Tim Miller on Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:33 pm

I know that there is no shame in refusing challenges. Scott has a wicked Great Unclean One with a sword that does d6 wounds, etc. But he only has 4 attacks. He will likely kill any character in combat, but if it has to fight Ungors or something it will kill 2-3 and lose combat badly. Why would any character want to fight that? Alternatively, if you have a character with a lot of attacks but only a str of 5 and you're fighting lightly armoured infantry then don't offer a challenge. You're happy to beef up your combat result slaughtering rank and file, while your opponent may not want the challenge either. He just sees a large beast guy with horns and assumes that he is tooled up for combat. By the time he realises he should have challenged your "weak" hero it may be too late.

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Re: battle theory

Post  nathanr on Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:12 pm

With my wood elves it is all about the movement phase. I like that I can set up pretty much however I want and then be somewhere completely different after my first movement phase. I often deploy in a way that entices my opponents to commit their forces and then I move away and focus on the weak points in their lines.

I have also found that 3 missile units is the optimum amount for my army. By deploying them in a way that allows each unit to support the other two, it means that any unit that tries to get to my squishy archers has to wade through at least 30 arrows per turn to get there.

Lastly, I've been having some fairly good success without having any defensive (or offensive) magic in my army as well and I look to continue that theme into the upcoming tournament and next league or until it proves to be disasterous.

I haven't played any games recently though, I'll probably have more to say after I have played some more. I find that I tend to think about tactics after the fact when I realize what I should or could have done in a game. As they say, hindsight is 20/20!

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Re: battle theory

Post  squalie on Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:28 pm

Just thought I'd mention that GUO of Scott's was charged by my 4-unit of Khorne Mino's, which makes most things wince, but before I even had a chance to touch my dice the GUO swung first and did 16 wounds to my unit...there was Mino dust everywhere and a great respect grew for Daemons.

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Re: battle theory

Post  Tim Miller on Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:04 pm

Yeah, any multi-wound model probably should avoid a GUO that does d6 wounds...

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Re: battle theory

Post  ScottRadom on Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:12 pm

Well that GUO one is in Texas now. Stomping faggots in the panhandle!

For good warhammer tabletop theory you just need to play a lot of battles and learn what works and then what doesn't. I hadn't touched a textbook on ancient tactics or war theory but when I decided to pick a couple up it was amazing how many of the things like "refused flank" and such were things I had discovered to do playing warhammer and didn't know they were actual historical tactics.

William Hughes (Patchfur on here, when he deigns to glorify us with his presence) lent me a book by a totally bitter Austrian military strategist names Von Clausewitz. It's a long and shitty book that has very little to offer a dude who wants to improve the efficency of his Orc's vs. Bretonians but a few of the gems it has are common sense things that can be taken into account for warhammer. Lesson begins......!

-If you are growing stronger and your enemy is not, don't attack. In the artificial environment of 6 turn warhammer it's pretty easy to apply this. If every turn your magic or shooting is deabilitating the enemy and scoring you vp's, delay and stall the inevitable Hand to Hand phase. Nothing wrong with fleeing if it stalls or prevents a close combat phase that could ruin your army. March block, concentrate fire, all that crap for the win.

-Never offer a battle on even terms. If the fight looks to be about even from your reckoning that means there's as good a chance you'll lose as win. If that is acceptable to you it means your either losing or gonna lose. Sometimes desperation calls for this but usually I would back off from the fight until you can initiate it with better odds. Back up onto a hill, bring in a support unit, shoot the unit, whatever.

This one isn't from the book. Those two points were about all I could peel out of that book. Seriously it was about as dry and un-entertaining as Stash on a school night. Anyway, the point I like to point out is to visualize where the turn will end from a tabletop perspective. Meaning if you win that fight, where can you expect your unit to wind up? Is that a good thing? If your unit flees from a combat will it block the core of your countercharge? Thinking a turn in advance is good, but from my perspective thinking 2 or more turns down the road is foolish. Too many dice rolls to try and predict what will happen 183 D6's from now.

So suck my wisdom, if you fancy.

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Re: battle theory

Post  Lord_Stash on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:03 pm

When I build an army I consider the general things you can come across and how to deal with them:
archers/handgunners (shooting infantry)
war machines
chariots
heavy cav
magic
tooled up charachters
fast cav
march blockers (flyers)
skirmishers

Units that can deal with multiple types of threats are essential. As a chaos player that would entail chaos spawn (good against skirmishers, march blockers), furries (good against mar machines, march blokers, fast cav, chariots).

Unfortunately blocks of rank and file arent good against anything other than other rank and file as sad as that sounds, and are completely useless against skirmishers. On the flip side however, special units need that rank bonus to assist them.

Having hard hitting characters are great for dealing with heavy cav, potentially other characters, and small units. However there is a balnce at keeping their costs down and keeping them effective. Some people (especially with chaos) make the mistake of tooling up their characters so they cannot be beaten, but then the have to account for their points. The classic is the chaos lord on a dragon who theoretically MUST kill 600-800 points to pay for himself, but often will only acount for 500...

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Re: battle theory

Post  squalie on Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:53 am

I've never really bought into that theory that every unit must "earn" it's points back. A 500 point unit/Model can be effective in other ways than killin'.

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Re: battle theory

Post  Lord_Stash on Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:35 am

squalie wrote:I've never really bought into that theory that every unit must "earn" it's points back. A 500 point unit/Model can be effective in other ways than killin'.

True, but a high point character doesn't have much subtle uses Wink

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Re: battle theory

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:37 pm

Except that even if he only kills 200 points of stuff, but manages to stay perfectly healthy (or above half on himself and his mount) and disputes a table quarter, he's a 300 point positive benefit for your army. If your 500 point unit kills 500 points of stuff, but gets killed, then that's a net benefit of 0 points. +/- are the most important stats in modern sports recording for a reason. They show how important and how beneficial your players (or units) really are on the field (or table).

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Re: battle theory

Post  nathanr on Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:33 am

I've also found that there are some non-measurable +'s and -'s in every game. Things like a weak unit sacrificing itself to keep the enemy's uber-unit/character-of-death from chewing through your flank or a successful march block that earns no points but keeps the enemy from gaining a table quarter or a game deciding charge. These don't gain any points and could even be considered a net loss of points if you strictly look at the numbers at the end of the game, but they can totally swing the end result of the game. It is these small things that make Warhammer so fun and challenging for me.

Things like knocking off a powerful wizard or monster in the first couple rounds is also often worth far more points than the model itself was worth.

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Re: battle theory

Post  ben the kid is back on Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:09 pm

with dwarfs it is all about protecting the firebase

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Re: battle theory

Post  Lord_Stash on Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:05 pm

RickyDMMontoya wrote:Except that even if he only kills 200 points of stuff, but manages to stay perfectly healthy (or above half on himself and his mount) and disputes a table quarter, he's a 300 point positive benefit for your army. If your 500 point unit kills 500 points of stuff, but gets killed, then that's a net benefit of 0 points. +/- are the most important stats in modern sports recording for a reason. They show how important and how beneficial your players (or units) really are on the field (or table).

True but table quarters are secondary if you think about it. Your opponent has a 300 point advantage for 6 turns against the rest of your army which is pretty huge.

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