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An important lesson from last night's game

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:23 am
by BaronDeSade
Hello All,

Tim and I threw down last night. He brought out his Rohirrim, to see how they would do. In the first game, he defeated my Orcs, even bringing down my Great Beast. Sadly, my Orcs proved to be pretty worthless in close combat. Tip for next game: keep the Orcs out of the fight!

Then my Easterlings hit the table, and this was going to be a point of honor, as Tim told me that he had designed his Rohirrim to beat my Easterlings. Sadly for the Men of Rohan, it was not to be; his left flank was utterly crushed, his center collapsed and his right flank was barely holding on when the game ended.

Playing this game, though, I noticed a defect in both of our armies which I hadn't seen before, which was homogenity. Tim likes to build units that do one thing very well. That's very good if the situation is amenable to doing that thing, and very bad if the situation is not. On his right flank, he had a warband of Rohirrim with throwing spears led by Grimbold, and they faced off against a warband of Easterling Warriors led by a standard Easterling Captain.

Tim wanted to hit my Easterlings with his throwing spears at least once, before we got into combat, but in order to do that, he needed to lose priority, so that he could move his troops forward after mine moved and then throw his spears. In the following turn, if he got priority, or was able to pull of a heroic move, then he might get a second or even a third round of thrown spears before I could attack him in close combat. There's nothing to dislike about this strategy, he hurts me and I can't hurt him back, and he gets into close combat with an edge in numbers, EXCEPT that he was consistently winning priority, and so his chance to throw his spears never came. Eventually, he gave up in disgust and charged into close combat. And so, by making his unit so homogenous, it became wedded to a single tactic that was dependent on the situation, and ended up wasting points that could have been used for other troops (and greatly annoying Tim in the process!)

On my side, though, I was faced with the same problem. Without any missile weapons in my warband, all I could do was stand there (which was OK, as we were playing "Domination" and I was preventing him from reaching an objective.) Eventually, Tim would have lost priority and he would have gotten to use his tactic, because there was no way that I was going to advance into all of those throwing spears. If I had a few archers in my unit, I could have fired some arrows at him while he was waiting to lose priority, and maybe I could have tipped the balance in my favor, instead.

I feel like I have the same problem with my cavalry warband. Since models typically have to be deployed within 6" of their leader, my cavalry comes down in a large, unweildy clump. I have a drummer in that warband, so my cavalry can move extremely fast, but then, many of the scenarios begin with the two armies within infantry-charge range of each other, so that drum is not always going to be useful.

On my right flank, my heterogenous warband of Khandish Axemen and Horsemen did very well, so I am thinking that it would be better to have warbands that contain a mixture of cavalry, archery, and fighting skill rather than warbands that focus on only one of those attributes. At least, it would prevent statemates like I had in this last game.

Thoughts?

BdS

Re: An important lesson from last night's game

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:27 pm
by sandman36
I always try to balance my warbands out, as well as my army. When you could, depending on the scenario and table, have warbands on all four table edges it is real possibility that your little band could need to hold on all on its own for awhile. In terms of the tactics you describe, that's pretty much the whole idea of combined arms. You force your enemy to do what he doesn't want to because you have a way to hurt him no matter what he does. I always bring shooting in my armies for exactly this reason.

Re: An important lesson from last night's game

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:58 pm
by Smeagol
The forces were fairly evenly matched, but I made a deployment error and then split my cavalry. Losing the archery duel was problematic as well.