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Tutorial Ixt's Unit Formations

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Ixt, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Hey there, party people.

    I've been testing out a couple of baseline formations for Age of Sigmar to see just how much they could affect combats. The pile-in rule's "move each model in the unit up to 3" towards the closest enemy model" wording gave me the feeling that they would cause a significant impact, so I set out to design a few.

    So far, I've got...
    ... a list of pointers regarding charging & combat (just a few lines below),
    ... The Togezo Formation (beneath the pointers), for directing an 'inferior' unit against a 'superior' one,
    ... The Hook Formation, which can prevent retreat,
    ... and Mixed Unit Formations, which allows units to nest into one another (such as Skrox) and serve a wide variety of purposes.


    I hope that you find those useful! Unless otherwise noted, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when employing these formations:

    1) Don't show your hand.
    I'm trying to come up with a 'delivery' formation that models can shift into (and out of) easily without sacrificing a lot of their movement value. An Oldblood general, in particular, is pretty good here due to his Command Ability that allows a reform in the hero phase. I think that round-edged-but-rectangular formations or even crescent-shaped formations way be the way to go, here.

    Either way, do not make it clear to your opponent how you intend to charge until you've charged. Otherwise, they may arrange their models in such a way that could counter you.​

    2) Against powerful melee armies, cut the board into an L-shape.
    If you can't, then try to stretch out your deployment a bit and field plenty of mobility. Don't deploy right at the edge of your 12" mark, etc. the same way we used to fight WoC, I guess - be careful! This will give you a lot of room to work with, especially if you exploit the middle of the board by using feints. It'll also allow you to...​

    3) Set up a perimeter.
    This is vital, and Lizardmen have several ways of doing it. Skinks, of course, are some of the best models for a 'watchman' role... but Chameleon Skinks, Oxyotl, and other units that can "walk off" are great for false perimeters. When your units are reinforced by Razordons or Skink Priests, your opponent will really have to weigh his or her options while pursuing an evenly-matched combat.​

    4) Move your vulnerable units like your opponent is guaranteed to get two turns in a row.
    If you decide to go first, it may be wise to practice a bit of reservation. Taking Tetto'eko can help (Cosmic Herald can let you re-roll your turn's initiative die, and/or potentially theirs as well depending on how you read the rule), but this is something to keep in mind.
    5) Chaff the hell out of units with a 2" range (or longer) before getting into combat.
    The Togezo formation is fantastic for limiting enemy attacks but, still... you're just doing yourself a favor, here.​

    6) Get the charge.
    This doesn't mean that you have to go first as well. I've found that it's often better to go second when utilizing quite a few of these formations. You might ask, "How am I supposed to go second? What if my opponent forces me to go first?" Well, charge with Skinks.

    Skinks are interesting, because they can basically reverse the turn order for your opponent and make them act twice in a row by stepping out of combat with an otherwise unengaged unit. That can create a massive advantage for you (plus, your Skinks will appreciate it).

    I'm trying to come up with formations that handle charges better than others, but it's pretty difficult given the random nature of charges (no telling how far they'll be moving). To protect against a charge, I think that Skink fodder (or layering units) is a viable strategy for sure. I've had some success utilizing a wing formation, and also a kite formation, where the broad side faces the charging unit.
    7) Try to have multiple combats going on at once...
    ... as long as they're advantageous, of course. It'll allow you to pick and choose your fights in the combat phase, and it cuts down on your opponent's mobility. It's also a good idea to drop Mystic Shield & Celestial Rites on the units with which you intend to go second, or units that are in a bad match-up.

    Pile-in really clutters the board. If you have just one fight going on, your opponent has more units open, and those are going to be more charge attempts coming your way. Again, with skinks, we can just step out of fights as well - awesome advantage to utilize, right there.
    8) Don't forget that you can intentionally force your unit to fall out of 1" coherency.
    This is a smart thing to do at certain times. Remove models in any manner necessary that allows your other units to charge! Don't always peel off the back, or the sides, or whatever. You don't have to do that, and you can put your opponent in very odd positions by not doing that. For example, if you take your slain models from the center of the unit, you can charge without having to worry about this fresh charging model getting surrounded via pile-in. You'll see more when you read on with my Stegabuggy.

    9) pylon.png "You must construct additional pile-ins!!" pylon.png
    The rules say that models must be moved to the closest enemy model... but they don't say in which order! By taking your furthest models and establishing their base-to-base contact before the models that could easily get base-to-base, you will wind up with more models in combat. This is key for everyone. Going first, going second, whatever. It's essential. This is especially true when you are sending one of your inferior units against a superior one -- you will need every attack and every kill that you can get, because racking up a high Battleshock score is a very helpful means for killing infantry, especially tough and/or elite infantry.
    10) Think about the models that you've got to remove, and remove them in the most advantageous way possible.
    The grand scheme is similar to/the same as #8's, but the perspective is a bit different: gone are the days of always peeling off of the back rank. If it's your opponent's turn during combat, maybe peel models off of the front of the unit after charging with a wedge? You could wind up at over 3" away: this is a pretty disruptive thing to have happen, and models such as cavalry would only need to remove a few to fall out of that range. Lance charge > they pile in, kill a couple models > out of 3" range > Lance charge something that's like 15"+ away, or even the same unit. That kind of thing.

    If you're fielding a hollow formation with support inside, then remove the models in the center and intentionally fall out of coherency: this will let your support charge in, which could be the difference between keeping a unit and losing a unit, etc. etc.​

    So far, the testing is going pretty well. I've only scratched the surface, so this stuff is pretty basic. Once I'm sated with how to effectively charge, I'm going to work on formations that defend against a charge, and finally formations & tactics for rescuing a unit that's getting its butt whooped (without having to retreat). Constructive feedback is appreciated, as well as any ideas that you guys may have.

    togezo1.png togezo1.png 'Togezo' Formation togezo.png togezo.png
    For those of you who don't already know the character by name, Togezo (also known as 'Spiny') is a pretty nonchalant little guy in Super Mario Bros. Dropped by Lakitu from above (or idly wandering the ground), Togezo is easily identifiable due to its red shell and three spikes.

    The unit formation that I've come up with is more or less the same thing: it is a three-pronged wedge, with the largest wedge in the center of the formation. It has been effective against everything with a discernable corner. In the example that I'm going to use, that center wedge has a hollow core. I pit 30 vanilla Saurus Warriors with Spears against 40 vanilla Temple Guard -- outclassed on paper, and outnumbered by 10 wounds. It's best applied when you have the second turn in the sequence.

    "What did we do to deserve this?!!"


    I think that this action is best taken toward the center of the board, because it creates a pretty large, pretty disruptive roadblock that neither side will be able to ignore... though you will have the upper hand.

    Let's see how it goes:

    30 Saurus with Spears (blue bases) charge the very corner of 40 Temple Guard (green bases). I've used the block formation for TG (8x5) because it was easiest to clone & place in Vassal but, again, this will work against anything with some kind of corner, whether it's oblong or whatever. Do everything in your power to get the TG to pile in first! I'll say it again: Skinks are amazing for this role.

    Charge with some skinks (which, let's face it, you'll probably have a lot of anyway), charge with the Saurus, and then use the Skinks as your first combat action. Activate their ability, have them step out of combat, and now the TG must pile in.

    If they hadn't piled in first, they'd have still had a pretty hard time. If I had fielded 40 Saurus, they would have absolutely wiped the floor with the TG, but it's cooler to make more out of less.

    I understand that they may not always be alone like this (neither unit would) - if that's the case, knock off whoever is with them (a Seraphon hero or whatever) to the best of your ability. If it's a Scarnosaur, you've got much bigger fish to fry and you'll need different units and tactics (Terradons lol).

    So, here we go. The Temple Guard were in a block-like formation, moving downfield. The Saurus get into formation, and charge the very corner of that block. The player controlling the Saurus gets the TG to pile in first. Here is what it will normally look like after their pile-in:

    1.png

    • The frontmost Saurus hit the TG on the corner at about 45 degrees. Notice that the center wedge begins to gap at its base, leaving only two ranks to make up the triangle - this is optimal, I've found.
    • Parked behind the Saurus unit is a 10-wound Stegadon at roughly 5" away. It's there in the slideshow as a placeholder, since it couldn't actually be there in the game. I thought that it may have been useful, but the Saurus really didn't even need it to get their job done. In any case, it was there for a pretty ruthless kind of tactic. A like-sized character/hero hanging out on the edge can be very effective as well.
    • Notice how the bases of the outside wedges are placed in the 4th rank: this ensured that the closest Temple Guard would be just over one inch away after its pile-in. Depending on the number of models that you're using to make the wedge (in this example, the outside wedge is comprised of 6 models), you'll want it to start a bit deeper on the center form, like the 5th or 6th rank. If you have even more models, begin bumping the two wedges further away from the center wedge with these extra models - if your wedges are too deep, less models will get into combat.
    • The TG have no choice but to try to wrap around that lone model that the Saurus moved into base combat with. As such, only 4 Temple Guard will be fighting in this combat. Going first, 4 Temple Guard knock over 4 Saurus (now 40 v 26). Too bad for them: they've just stepped on the Togezo. ;)
    • Remove the back models in the center wedge first, spiraling outward. These are the models that will have the hardest time getting into combat. They will also free up room for your support to get a safe charge in later, if you have any support. In this case, we remove the 4 Saurus in front of the Stegabuggy.
    The Saurus pile in:
    3a.png
    • The blue circles specify a 2" range around the Temple Guard. Saurus that fall underneath will be receiving their spear attacks. Roughly half of them will also be getting bite attacks.
    • Notice that the Temple Guard are horribly, horribly organized for moving more models into combat, now. By peeling slain models equally off of each side in a diagonal pattern, it becomes even harder for these extra models to make it in. I think that at any given point, the highest number of Temple Guard that had made it into combat was only 15 (and this was shortly before being reduced to a pretty sorry state).
    • Anyway, only two of them (you could argue 3, I guess) are out of range. This takes a very wise pile-in to pull off. The 24 Saurus killed 13 Temple Guard. In the first round of combat, 4 Temple Guard went first to kill 4 Saurus, and 24 Saurus went second to kill 13 Temple Guard. Combat is now 27 Temple Guard vs. 26 Saurus.
    • Battleshock results: Temple Guard lose 10 more, and Saurus lose none.
    4a.png
    • At the end of the turn, we see a meager 17 Temple Guard versus 26 Saurus Warriors.:greedy::greedy::greedy:
    • At this point, there would probably be some kind of roll for turn order. If the side controlling the blue Saurus wins, then they should absolutely retreat & march away. I can't emphasize that enough! Their job is done, and they have done more than enough damage against this unit. If the combat ends here, the Saurus will have won by 19 wounds.
    • If they have any kind of support behind them (such as Skinks or Razordons), your Saurus will be safe and you can tarpit another unit with them. If you have Tetto'eko and gained any insight, but your opponent beat your initiative die, re-roll one or both die: as far as I can tell (and someone correct me if I'm wrong), there is nothing saying that you cannot do that!
    • Otherwise, the unit will stay and probably die... which is probably fine, considering the amount of damage that they'd caused (despite being vastly inferior on paper and also outnumbered). It's like their role in 8th all over again: stick around and die slowly, maybe win a combat here or there. :p
    5a.png
    • 15 Temple Guard make it in to fight 26 Saurus Warriors. They kill 13 Saurus Warriors, half of the remaining unit. This would eventually undo the Saurus.
    • Now, again... if you have support behind them, pull these deaths & the battleshock deaths off of the center of the unit. Alternatively, you could pull all of them off of a far side, such as the top or bottom of the enemy unit -- this will allow your support to get a lot of attacks in, and only afford the enemy (now broken) a few back. For the most part, however, your support should be safe because everything will be base-to-base and unable to move at this point. Here's what I mean:
    7a.png
    • With the gap in the center like that, my Stegadon can charge in. 4 Temple Guard at most can engage it... but they wouldn't have the chance, since the Stegadon is killer on the charge. As an aside, I crunched the numbers and rolled the dice - the Stegadon, going first, killed all of the remaining TG by itself.
    • However, I didn't allow it to play out that way. The Stegadon remained unengaged, didn't shoot, just watched. The Saurus and TG battled on. This was the result of their fight:
    8a.png

    So, there you have it. Because of the ideal formation with which they'd charged the Temple Guard, 30 Saurus Warriors were able to effectively cut 40 Temple Guard down to a measly 7 models remaining. Not bad at all, in my opinion. Just about anything can take care of that, really. If they had charged the TG head-on, they'd have been pretty harshly denied. Doing this same thing with Kroxigor for support could have produced some pretty interesting results! :p

    I'll get to work on a more in-depth look at the other formation that I'd posted, 'The Hook,' soon. That's a much more indirect strategy than this one. I'm currently trying to develop some others into higher efficiency, such as 'The Arrow,' which is a modified wing formation. Hope you guys enjoyed the read! Again, constructive feedback & additional ideas are always welcome.

    togezo1.png togezo.png togezo1.png togezo.png togezo1.png togezo.png
    *** Back to Index
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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  2. Hooligan
    Skink

    Hooligan New Member

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    Very nice write up!

    Quick question though. In your example the saurus made the charge, would they not pile in first before the temple guard? Would that alter the casualty ratio then?
     
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  3. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Only if they are the lone unit in combat. Otherwise, nope! After all of your charges are resolved, the combat phase starts. In the combat phase, you select units that are within 3" of the enemy willy-nilly. No required order unless it's in the unit's warscroll.

    I probably should have thrown it up on the top bit there, but it's a good idea to have multiple fights going on at once. To charge and only have a single fight going on can be pretty risky business since your opponent's turn [likely] follows immediately after yours. Most will take advantage of the open board and crush your unit with multiple charges (unless you've got a hell of a lot of support near the Saurus).

    An easy way to have the TG pile in first is for you to charge with something else, and then immediately take action with that unit. Skinks are *incredible* for this (which you'll probably have a bunch of on the board anyway):

    In your turn, commit two charges (or more): Skinks against anything at all, and Saurus at TG. Skinks act first, and they step out of combat. TG now must pile in against Saurus.

    Is this our new double-flee? Tough to say! In any case, Skinks are wonderful. When you utilize them in this way (stepping out of combat with an unengaged unit), they actually cause your opponent to act twice. Incredible, incredible ability. They are broken. Thank you so much for pointing that out, because I completely forgot that part of the tactic! I fixed the post above. Thanks again, man. =]

    I haven't fully tested it, but I think that it would result in slightly fewer TG deaths overall (if the fight goes on to the end) and significantly more Saurus deaths in the first round. If the Saurus pile in first, they'll have more TG hitting them for sure... but because there are 30 Saurus, they will also all be receiving +1 spear attack each, so that could wind up being pretty significant. Yeah, probably best to have the TG pile-in first if possible.

    Love the icon btw :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
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  4. KingCheops
    Temple Guard

    KingCheops Active Member

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    I think this is one of the hidden gems of AoS. Positioning for the pile in is very important and you have to actually work to set up attacks.
     
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  5. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Much more where that came from... :) I'm actually working on making our Saurus Cavalry useful right now!

    They're... not super good by themselves, I guess. It seems like they're... supposed to get charged? But they have bad saves... o.0 I dunno... they kinda suck compared to all other cavalry lol. Same predicament as 8th haha. But, they can march! 14" march is sweet, but really not that great. Only a 1" range too. :/ Kinda pulling my hair out over these guys. >_< They are one of our units which *require* support, seems like.

    Should have another formation up by this evening, hopefully.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  6. Deusvult
    Chameleon Skink

    Deusvult Active Member

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    Oh Saurus Cav,
    Please figure out how to use them best. I have 32 that I would like to use more often than I currently do.
     
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  7. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Man they are so slow... and they don't make up for it with much. :/ Marching is nice, but no charging to follow... meh. Maybe fielded as a support option, they're good? Maybe if they catch the flank of a monster? *shrug* Hard to say, man. I don't feel too good about them right now, but I didn't in 8th either: they were pretty much glorified wound markers for characters, heh. I suppose that with a Scarnosaur around/fielded as part of a Saurus Host they could hit fairly hard... but they are just so, so damn slow. At least they have Stardrake Shields -- quite a lot of heavy cav suffers against -1 Rend, but it just bounces off of Saurus & Skinks.
     
  8. Deusvult
    Chameleon Skink

    Deusvult Active Member

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    In 8th I had a messure of success with them, but it was using magic to buff and characters also. They are a cool model and they just get no love. I was excited for AoS as I thought it may let me use them better, like the snake basti'. Oh well I will still use them.

    What irks me the most is a temple guard have a better save!
     
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  9. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    *** Back to Index
    [​IMG] [​IMG] The 'Brotherly Combination Man on Fire Blazing Chariot Kick!!' Formation[​IMG][​IMG]

    1) Saurus Cavalry make NO SENSE.
    Probably best not to try this kind of maneuver with them. I think that if they're fielded as part of a Saurus Host, they can be pretty fierce. However, the Oldblood will have to be the General and dedicate his +3"-Move-For-All-But-One-Model Command Ability to this unit to give them a semblance of speed. 7" move is just too damn slow for Cavalry, even heavy cavalry... and they're only kind of heavy cavalry, no less. They have a 4+ pseudo-save (in that -1 Rend doesn't affect them), but.. eh. We'll see. Very slow otherwise. Still not sure why they're 3" slower than an Oldblood on a Cold One. *shrug*
    2) This should work with any multi-model unit that has a 10"+ move and at least 8 or 9 models, so long as it's within 12" of the unit being targeted.
    I used vanilla Ripperdactyls without a blot toad as my 'fast cavalry' in this scenario, but any semi-hardy speedy unit will work if it rolls at least a 5 on the charge. For all testing purposes, I've been using vanilla Temple Guard because they are a very, very solid unit even when vanilla. Anyway, for us, we're pretty much limited to Ripperdactyls and Terradons, but other armies have more choices with different strengths and weaknesses. At first I was worried that the tactic was inapplicable. Having played around with it a couple of times, however, I had more than a few opportunities to use it.
    3) A word of advice from Blue Oyster Cult:
    Come on, baby,
    (Don't fear the Ripper!) ♪ ♫
    Baby, take my hand,
    (Don't fear the Ripper!)
    Fourteen inches they fly, ♪ ♩
    ♬ ♩ (Don't fear the Ripper!) ♪ ♫
    ♩ ♬ They're gonna kill your maaaans, ♪ ♩
    ♬ ♩ La, la la, la la... ♪ ♩
    Or... maybe they're wrong. Your enemy should definitely fear the Ripper! Man: what a unit! They pretty much *demand* for your opponent to use Mystic Shield, re-roll save spells, and/or Inspiring Presence on whatever they're charging. They are soooo killy!​
    So, here we are again. Once more, I used 40 vanilla Temple Guard (the green bases) for testing purposes, though their opponent this time was 10 Ripperdactyls (the Deffkoptas), with no blot toad around. So, starting off outnumbered, but not necessarily out-classed. Let's see how well they do? Just fyi: the outside of the ring made up of blue bases is the 3" bubble's edge.

    Why aren't they already downfield? Why are the Temple Guard so close to the Rippers? Why are the Temple Guard alone? *shrug* Maybe the Temple Guard, unlike in my examples, are already tied up in a combat! Who knows? I don't have all of the answers. :p
    1.png
    • The distance between the Rippers and their target is a 10" radius. This assault assumes that, for whatever reason, the Blot Toad is not there. This is to simulate the effect that normal fast cavalry would have on the unit. Rippers are anything but normal. xD
    • The goal of this formation is to pin the unit in place, preventing retreat. This is more aggressive than the Togezo -- you'll want to act first.
    • Welp, let's get a move on!
    2.png
    • At the end of their movement phase, the Ripperdactyls declare a Swooping Dive and move in on their prey. They didn't need to fly over the unit or anything, so this also works with ground-based fast cavalry.
    • If you have Chameleon Skinks, screen the top of this unit with them to protect the Rippers (unless you are okay with losing the Rippers... in which case, I'd say hold off on using the Skinks until later, when the unit becomes trapped).
    • This part is a little complicated, and you may need to adjust the order depending on the shape of the unit that you're charging. You'll want to give yourself a ton of room up top for declaring the charge. The different base colors denote the roles of each model:
      • The bright green bases will be the first to die, and the black ones will pile in upon their removal. In this image, the black bases were supposed to be a little bit closer to the red bases, but I guess I messed up.
      • The pink base will die after the green bases, leaving the black bases to be removed next. Doing this forces the Temple Guard to wrap around the bottom of the formation, forcing their models further downfield toward your line.
      • The lower red base should be the first to establish base-to-base contact at 1/2", as the three orange bases and top red base will need every inch of the charge roll to move into an ideal position.
    3.png
    • The charge is on, the Ripperdactyls are swooping. If they had the Blot Toad, they wouldn't even need to use tactics (provided that the unit is unbuffed). But, hey, I'm playing them like they're any run-of-the-mill fast/shock cavalry. I rolled an 8 for distance here.
    • The red base on the right establishes base contact first. The red base on the left moves over far enough to allow the orange base on the right (which should be lower for 1" coherency - sorry!) to pile in. Again, the black bases are too low - they're supposed to be higher in the formation to keep them from trying to wrap around the unit, but I misplaced them.
    4.png
    • This is the end result after pile-in.
    • The target unit is basically trapped in a sickle. Even worse: the only way out of that sickle faces your board edge. If your opponent is smart, they'll focus more on finding a way out of combat instead of trying to win combat/kill the Rippers with combat. They may try to throw a unit at the Rippers, too. But the Ripperdactyls, even if beaten, will cause more wounds than the fight's worth.
    6.png
    • At the end of combat's first round, the Ripperdactyls see off 13 Temple Guard, without a Blot Toad. They'd have wiped the entire unit with one, so I think Terradons can work here (although the lack of Star-bucklers would hurt). The Temple Guard cause 8 unsaved wounds, killing 2 Ripperdactyls and put two wounds on another. It's 27 wounds versus 23 now.
    • Note the location of the TG models that I removed: this weird zig-zag pattern represents the models (with 1" melee range) that are going to have the hardest time getting into combat, so they must go.
    • As you can see, removing the bottom pink Ripperdactyl base will cause the TG to begin wrapping - this exposes them, but it also creates a gap in their 3" bubble -- perfect place to put a monster, unit of Chameleon Skinks, or whatever. Once they pile in, their option to retreat is all but gone.
    8.png
    • This is a display of a 2" bubble around the Ripperdactyls and the Warbuggy that I'm using as a Stegadon (they're roughly the same dimensions: the old Ork Warbuggies and the new Stegadons). 3" is actually much larger.
    • The idea would be to have this support nearby (Chameleon Skinks are, hands down, the best for this kind of thing), and simply move or run it into place in your turn.
    • In this turn, the TG finished the bottom Ripper and killed another two, although I forgot to remove them. The Rippers killed another 10 TG altogether. The Stegadon, on the charge, would finish wiping out this unit. Or it could hang back and shoot Sunfire Throwers, since it's already preventing retreat.
    • The TG probably can't make it out even if they march. I say 'probably,' but they actually can't. I tried. o_o Remember: even in retreat, units must maintain a 1" coherency.
    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
    *** Back to Index
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
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  10. pendrake
    Skar-Veteran

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I have been wondering if triangles might be a useful formation. A triangle is a three-pointed wedge / three choices of charge direction.
     
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  11. pendrake
    Skar-Veteran

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Field each one as an individual Oldblood on ColdOne (there being no limit on the numbers of characters in the rules) for the 10" movement instead of the 7" movement.

    I.E:
    That is a strange discrepancy. I wonder if we should check quarterly to see if they update the war scrolls? living documents and all that....
     
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  12. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Ehh... opponent may get a bit sour, there. *shrug* As long as the other player is cool with it, it's certainly an option.
    As of right now, wedges seem to be one of the better 'general' formations for a defensive unit, and crescents appear to be one of the better general formations for offensive ones. The Togezo is an optimized wedge-on-the-charge. Currently, I'm trying to assemble a feasible template for mixed units (two unit types with different base sizes, specifically) so that I can happily field Skrox again.

    It's difficult. In order for both to charge on the same turn, they must both end within 1/2" of the enemy... but each individual unit must retain a 1" coherency. What's messing me up is whether that 1" coherency can be ignored in the charge phase - I imagine it can't, so I'm trying to design the units with that in mind. The rules say "any kind of move" (if I remember right), so meh. Throw into the mix that it's best for the Krox not to get hit/killed due to their large volume of high-damage attacks, and things get wild. In any case, Skrox relies on being charged right now. Trying to figure out how to get both of them to charge, with only 1 Krox base-to-base. I've figured out one way, but it's beardy.

    I will say this: if you're planning to use Skinks for a melee punch, don't field Skinks. Field Skink Handlers. With a 2" melee range, they're fantastic as long as they get the first strike... but they can't take a hit. Have a Skink Chief general buff the Handlers with his Command Ability, and you're looking at a good number of wounds/mortal wounds depending on the unit size. Run them with Razordons or Kroxigor, and people may think twice about charging.

    Maybe use combined units of Skinks in the front rank, Skink Handlers in the second rank (2" melee range), and Salamanders/Razordons in the third? Could be something worth exploring.

    Lunchtime update: Just had an 'Aha!' moment, and may have figured out Skrox. Thank Sotek for coffee... :) Keep the front rank of Skinks staggered, with only the center Skink base-to-base, and leave Krox at 3" away. TG pile in, and Krox are now combat-ready (and completely safe against 1" range enemies). I'll have a formation up tonight or tomorrow with specifics.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
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  13. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    The 8th edition FAQs were few and far between and the AoS battlescrolls were literally called a"final send-off. I don't expect the war scrolls will get many official updates :(
     
  14. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Skin handlers don't do mortal wounds - they do one in six auto hits on the eyes which can be saved (same as poison used to be). That's still not bad.
     
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  15. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Ohh my bad. Thanks for the clarification. That makes the numbers-crunching more important between these two, so I'll get to work right away.

    And by, "right away," I mean, "after watching a Studio Ghibli movie." :x

    Update: Yep! Skink Handlers are really, really good. Judging by the wording of the Skink Chief's ability, it looks like he can buff Skink Handlers to auto-wound on a 5+.... I think, anyway. It's that "rolls of 6 or more" phrase on the Handler warscroll that makes me wonder. I guess it comes down to whether "add 1 to hit rolls" means "+1 to hit." It sounds like it directly modifies the roll, but I'll have to look through some warscrolls and try to find different types of wording. *shrug* Jungle Swarms still beat them in raw power... mortal wounds, man. Whew.

    In any case, very nice unit. They're a total glass cannon, but I just rolled up 20 attacks from 20 handlers and produced 8 wounds. With an 8" move, fielding more than 20 and getting all of your attacks in (2" melee range, after all) is far from implausible, too. Not bad, I suppose. The buff to Kroxigor, Razordons & Salamanders is fantastic, too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  16. pendrake
    Skar-Veteran

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    :cyclops:
    Say what?

    The new handlers interact with Kroxigor ... is this how a new type Skrox unit is formed? :bookworm: ...goes to look...
     
  17. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Only in that they have the "Skink" keyword, but I've been having a lot of success fielding Handlers with Kroxigor for extra melee offense. That 2" range/auto-wound is sweet. If the Skink Chief's ability allows Handlers to hit on 4's & auto-wound on 5's & 6's (I think it does), then they're even better. Regular Skinks are just fine, too - certainly more durable, and they have more utility.

    As far as forming Skrox/mixed units, it looks like there are two or three ways... I'm working on a write-up/slideshow at the moment. I love me some Skrox. =]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  18. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    *** Back to Index
    'Mixed Unit' Formation(s)
    1) This requires small, Skink-sized bases to work. The base sizes in VASSAL aren't perfect, but they are close.
    Small WHFB bases are only about 3/4" (or maybe 23/32"-25/32") wide. In other words, you'll be able to get your 1" coherency between Krox even if there's a Skink in-between. This seems to be the case for the new ones, anyway. I'm not sure sure about the old ones. o.0 What's odd is that some models actually can't maintain a 1" coherency even when they're base-to-base... and some flyers are too high up to attack with a 1" range. >_< Maybe it's still best to call it a day and measure from the bases. :p I've got the felling that GW didn't think that one through too well.
    2) You'll need ~20 Skinks (at least 16, looks like) optimally.
    1" coherency, etc.
    3) I'm still trying to figure out which Skinks are better in general.
    This really depends on their loadout, whether they're Handlers or normal Skinks, the turn order you'd like for combat, whether you intend to retreat with your skinks at some point,and/or whether you're fielding this unit offensively, or defensively. As of right now, I've found 3 pretty reliable Skrox formations, and the usefulness of its Skinks varies between every one. There are a lot of variables at work. For my personal take, see the following:
    4) This may also work with our flying cavalry and Saurus Cavalry...
    ... for what it's worth, anyway. The flyers' wings, after all, would be within 1" because they're so broad. The Saurus, below, can be positioned to maintain coherency, march to keep up, and... well...

    ...and it just looks really, really cool. Terradons/Ripperdactyls + Saurus Cavalry = "Terrasaurus"!? "Rippersaurus"?!


    It seems like they would do well to protect each other this way: since both are a bit vulnerable to overreaches (and the Saurus Cavalry are incredibly slow/predictable by themselves), a combined unit could shore up their mutual weaknesses but also make a large-footprint, explosive unit that's pretty hard for the enemy to approach. Cav hitting the front with a Stardrake Icon, and flyers coming from the back with massive wounds from either Voracious Appetite or Drop Rocks? Throw an Oldblood on a Cold One in for good measure? Eesh. I'm gonna playtest it at least, because it sounds awesome!

    In any case, a combined unit is certainly an option for Skink Handlers + Razordons/Salamanders, and a pretty good one, at that.

    5) Skrox is alive and well.
    Dunno about you, but I will sleep better tonight. :) It's also quite hard to get Battleshock kills on this unit unless your opponent targets all of one, or all of the other.
    6) Feeling min-maxy?
    Cut the number of Skinks down to a point where they have no chance to survive and act only as body shields for the first round, then maximize Krox. Blecchh!! Just typing it makes me feel dirty...
    Standard Deployment

    I'm fielding 20 Skinks and 3 yoked up Krox. Skinks and Kroxigor both benefit from an 8" movement, which is very nice for us. I think that a lot of units could pull this off pretty well, so long as their movement value is no different than 1". That's a gut feeling so far, because I've only tried Skrox... but I can see how a 2"+ difference could be problematic.​

    Here are two pretty basic formations for moving this unit across the board, and other units (non-mixed or whatever) as well. They don't specialize at anything in particular - the Wedge could probably lay down a charge a little better. For the most part, these are compact formations that make shifting models prior to a combined charge very easy. Again, VASSAL's base sizes aren't perfect for WHFB, but these are the closest I can get:​

    1.png
    2.png
    • Units that are not charging should end their movement phase in either formation. These aren't the only two formations, either. They're just the two that I liked most.
    • You could go first in combat with either of these and still cause a ton of damage. Whether to go first with the Skinks or the Krox is up to you.
    • The green base has a Moon Hammer. But the moon base does not have a green hammer. If you find that confusing or feel that the moon base should, in fact, have a green hammer, please forward any questions or criticism to gamefaqs@gwplc.com, attention: burn pile. Look to the east for smoke messages, which will relay their answer.
    • In case you get charged...
      • The block formation has wings that protect the Krox on the side. The wings can be 'sucked in.' Fast enemies can still swoop around back, but this formation simultaneously keeps the Krox over 1" away from the front line, but within 2" of the front line. In other words, they can strike models with 1" range without getting hit back. Even vanilla, this is a massive buff in itself which greatly prolongs the lifespan of the Krox. Even against 2" models, only the front rank will be hitting Krox.:bored::wtf::facepalm::banghead:
      • Given that, maybe we ought to call a mixed unit such as Skrox the Pikebuster? *shrug* Damn good for knocking over spears, that's for sure.
      • The wedge formation doesn't look like much, but it's also very effective for Krox. Only 3 can fit inside from what we see here but, again, these models/their bases are larger than they're supposed to be -- you could probably get 5 Krox in there on the table, all attacking enemies back, and they're still pretty well-protected in the first round against 1"-range melee.
      • These both receive a charge pretty well... as well as any unit can receive a charge, I guess. All of the Skinks will probably die without any buffs, but eh! Being charged sucks no matter what!
    • Charging with two units where both depend on one another is inherently risky. So, be sure that your charges are necessary, that they're modified with a +1, and/or that they're rerollable. ;)
    Charging Method #1: 'Vice-Like Jaw'
    1.png
    • The two formations mentioned above can advance & shift into this position with no problem and minimal loss of movement. Skinks & Krox are just that damn fast.
    • This formation will enable Kroxigor to use their Vice-Like Jaw attack, although it means that they will be getting hit back in return. I can't really recommend using this formation, but I suppose that other armies & units (slower, more durable ones) will have uses for it.
    • To pull it off, you'll need a 4" charge roll for Skinks, and 3" for Krox (they should be aligned with the front rank - sorry!).:angelic:
    2.png

    • The Kroxigor charge first, with the Moon Hammer establishing 1/2" contact to maximize its number of swings. When taking blows back, there are times when it is better to kill the Moon Hammer Krox first, and times when it is wise not to. That is up to you. The flanking Krox should hang back ~1".
    3.png

    • The front-most Skinks should establish base-to-base contact directly ahead & at-center of the flanking Krox. This will allow the purple Skinks to get base-to-base/close enough to maintain coherency.
    • Depending on the charge roll, you can 'fan out' the Skinks behind the Krox except for the middle 4 behind the green base. For purposes of this demonstration, I moved them the shortest possible distance (while still successfully charging).
    4.png

    • The charge is a complete success. Happy Mardi Gras!:brb: Sorry, it kinda resembles a Mardi Gras mask. :p
    • The Krox will receive their Vice-Like Jaw attack, but the entire front rank of the enemy could hit them back. If the enemy has more than one attack, it could target both units. Which approach is better for them, I'm not certain. I would expect that players pit models with more than one attack entirely against the Skinks to wipe them out.
    Charging Method #2: '"Safe" Charge'
    1.png
    • Where the Skinks are 2x2 on the outside, ignore the Skinks on the bottom outside corners. That's my bad - they aren't supposed to be there.:shamefullyembarrased: They could also be brought closer to center, since the outlying Krox aren't moving up so much as they're moving over.
    • This formation, again, is easily established with an 8" move. It will create two ranks of Skinks on the charge, limiting enemy models with 1" range to only hitting the skinks, while still allowing the Krox to swing.
    • The Kroxigor charge first. The center one, again, establishes base-to-base contact. The other two should leave room for two ranks of Skinks.
    • The Skinks charge, now. The two clusters move in first, stepping in front of the Krox. The rest will either fan out into wings, or they'll have to move straight forward. It depends on your roll.
    • It's up to you as far as which unit should strike first. Since the Krox are protected, I'd probably get my Skink attacks in since a lot of them will die.
    2.png
    • Again, models were moved the minimum distance, and the charge roll distance is unchanged.
    • The Kroxigor in the center can only be targeted by 3 enemy models. Because of its slightly-caddywhompus position with the center TG, it will hit a ton of models with EPIC ATTACKS-ALL-MODELS-WITHIN-2" MOON HAMMER DESTRUCTION. :hurting::greedy::greedy::hurting::greedy:
    • With these bases, I counted 10 models underneath its swing. With actual bases being slightly smaller, I'd expect more. The Moon Hammer will devastate small-base models. As such, it may be advisable to go first with the Kroxigor if your opponent knows what the Moon Hammer is capable of.
    • Though this formation won't get two of its Vice-like Jaw attacks, I don't see it as much of a big deal. After a round or two, enough Skinks will die to where their jaws are in range.
    *** Back to Index

    Update: Not sure how I'd managed to miss it before, but Skrox is actually covered under 'Substitute Warscrolls,' in the 'Skink Cohort' entry! Still, I think that fielding them this way is also viable... plus this type of formation extends to all types of units, now. Exciting!
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
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  19. Ixt
    Terradon

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    My man, I may have done just that. I'm gonna try to field them like Skrox. It'll be Saurus Cavalry and Terradons, then Saurus Cavalry and Rippers. Even if it sucks, it'll look awesome! That's what matters!

    Update: Dark Elf Cold Ones get a 10" move and a better save... wtf.. :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
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  20. Lug
    Jungle Swarm

    Lug New Member

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    Hello there friends, new to this forum, long time lurker.

    Sorry for the late reply, and I'm sure that you have already discovered this yourself Ixt, but the Skink Chief's ability does make rolls of 5+ eligible for the instant wound. Evidence of this in action can be seen on the new Stormcast Eternals warscroll here where it mentions rolling a 7.

    Keep up the good work, Ixt your work is very thought provocative, I too am looking deeper into the formations and strategies that are possible with this new flexible rule set.
     
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