Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Army Deployment or "What? Do you have a plan?"

Hi guys.

With 8th edition rolling for some time now, I've come to some conclusions. The one that I'll
adress in this post is - Deployment are a very critical moment during a game of 8th edition Warhammer. You already knew that? Well, let me continue my rant.

8th edition is more manouvreable than ever, for infantry.
Well true, without being forced to take wheeling into account for charges and swift reforms
really lets infantry to do some crazy stuff sometimes. What I state though is that initial combat often occurs in one of the players round 2, with the possible long charges it doesn't take much moving to open up to a possible charge.

As many may have pointed out - the game has tilted more towards risk management than ever. Well to some this might seem like - big risks give big rewards. This might be true, and will cost you games, when that irresitible purple sun kills your general and other good stuff, and might just aswell blow your own wizard up when you try the same, only to roll a misfire on the range for the sun. Fun?/Boring? - live with it, when you really look at it, it doesn't happen that often. Anyways, back on topic.

What I'm playing for is often to see those - low risks give moderate rewards. Well, what the heck is he talking about?

I often set my army up so that in turn two you might try some "Hail Mary"-charges, long distance charges, that your opponent choose to hold against because of the low possibility and if you fail charge you will end up 4" forward, which you would have liked to move anyways. Given, it is low odds to roll 10 on two D6 to charge 15" ( in my case), but what have you got to lose? I find I often use this. To guard against the enemy doing the same, you will have to have a good supporting stance between your units even on turn 1. Don't spoil your game plan, play by the odds, but have these possibilities in your head.

If I try doing a long charge into the enemy with my furnace on turn 2 in 6 games in a row and succeds once, can the enemy call that a lucky charge? ( psst. the odds for rolling 10 or more on two D6 is 1/6 ) So if the enemy does a long charge, or any charge for that matter, and catches you off guard, because he was lucky, who's fault is it? Catch my drift?

Anyway. What I'm trying to build up to in this post is to have a solid battleline. How do you do that? Think through your deployment before you go to the gaming board. In the first turns you will not be able to change much. The real maneuvring comes into play later turns, I find.

What? But a good general reacts and counters the enemys deployment!
That is absolutely correct good sir. But a good general does that without compromising on his own battleplans. I've often seen some generals deploying monsters way out hidden for cannons, too far out to have an good impact on the game. I've seen people deploying their flaming banner units weird to be in a good spot for that hydra, and a hydra deploying weird to avoid those units.

Bear with me here. Nothing is black and white. Don't be afraid to counter the enemy. All I'm asking to sit down, yes do it now, and think about how you deploy your army. You might even think about possible changes in it towards different opponents. This, in addition to speeding up deployment, gives you the comfort of being able to think about the bigger picture while deploying. Although far from everyone sist down and thinks through deployment beforehand, generals who have played a certain army for many battles do this automatically, often by learning the hard way.

I'll show you an example, from my own current 2.5k army. Check my earlier post for complete list.

This a typical deployment for me. I vary this deployment according to the terrain and enemy of course. The rulers show my inspiring presence range of 18" via the Screaming Bell.

Some basic thoughts I have regarding this:
  • A slave unit near my Bell for protecting and delaying attempts on my center.
  • The abomination also goes central, hunting for blocks with characters and disrupting the enemies plans. In addition he delays enemy units reach my precious seer-general.
  • Furnace unit anchor on flank whilst the other flank should be against a table edge. With unbreakable, gas tests, wrecker attacks, and flaming it should give enemies flanking forces or monsters a hard time getting to me. If it meets something too hard, it at least holds unbreakable for many a turn.
  • Naked engineer on each flank being able to direct or delaying some units.
  • Protected cannons behind hard to move units, whilst having good firing visibility to the slaves shoulde they be engaged with hard targets.
  • The bsb gives ld rerolls to stormvermin, slaves and abomination.
  • Central doomrocket engineer to be able to hit the biggest blocks in the center.
Possible changes:
  • Against many flanking units the furnace would move in one step to the center, avoiding being baited out to the flank by having to pursue/overrun.
  • Doomwheel may freely be placed where enemy monsters/chariots are placed, or where many small units are, being able to catch them with its random move.
  • The globadiers may be placed to block off enemy scouting positions.
So you see, when I come to a game I can deploy rather quickly, and have rather good stability even if the enemy were to seriously outnumber my deployments.

So this post got rather long, sorry for that. Next time you have your army ahead of you, try to deploy it in your ideal formation just on a table. Perhaps you have to many units that need inspiring presence and cannot fit? Perhaps your flaming banner unit ( Oh come on, you have one ) is to important to your battleline to be put on a flank where a monster might be?

I promise you, it pays off to put some thought into this.

Thank me later



  1. THX for your thoughts! Looking forward for more rat tactics :)

  2. 's true. The only WFB armies I've ever done well with are those constructed with a particular deployment in mind. Such a build/deployment might move from side to side in the zone, in order to line up favourable combats, and it might have some chaffy units that can be flung down any old where as a stalling tactic, but it will always have its plan and attempt to execute that plan.

  3. Excellent article....thanks for that.