Saturday, August 8, 2009

Warhammer Tactica: An introduction

A vital portion of any Warhammer game is force composition. Battles can be won or lost before the first figure ever hits the table if one General is vastly superior to the other in army composition. All the ability in the world to maneuver your troops into superior position can be pointless if those troops cannot then fulfill their assigned function.

With that in mind it is imperative to comprehend the best use for your potential troops in any given game. To a certain extent, that relies on which opponent you are going to play.

For example, if you know going in you will be facing a Night Goblin army full of 40 strong blocks of Spear-wielding Gobbos with Fanatics a-plenty, you would set up your force to draw out the Fanatics early and be able to deal with a horde army. This could include troops with high rates of fire or large numbers of attacks, template-firing weapons, or even massive blocks of your own troops.

Conversely, if you will be facing a Chaos "3+ Save" Army where every model has a 2+ save in close combat and 3+ against shooting then you would set up models with higher Strength attributes capable of penetrating that armor.

But what if you do not know what army you will be facing? We are blessed with a large gaming group that has the models to play Warriors of Chaos, Lizardmen, Vampire Counts, Ogre Kingdoms, Brettonia, High Elves, Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Skaven, Orcs & Goblins, Empire, Tomb Kings, Skaven, and Dwarfs. We also like to make it more or less random who you will face on any given day.

That requires a very balanced approach to army construction. If you set up specifically to face a Wood Elf shooting army and run into a Dark Elf monster army, you are doomed before the battle begins.

This will be particularly true in our forthcoming campaign. Once a War Banner is constructed, its composition will be more or less complete and as such, a well-constructed War Banner will be able to deal with any situation it comes across. Since we are playing on a "blind" map, we will never know what army we will encounter until the battle is joined.

As a result, flexibility in army construction is at a premium.

Over the next few weeks I will be constructing a series of articles investigating how to maximize the troops available to the Warriors of Chaos.