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Author Topic: Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion  (Read 7045 times)

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Offline forbes

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2013, 03:55:13 PM »
One of the things we introduced as a house rule was fields / broken ground. This terrain did not count as open so no charge bonus. But units were still hit on a 4+.

I think that we game with a decent amount of terrain - I will dig out some photos

Offline Stormwind

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 04:24:19 PM »
Man that sounds like a brilliant rule!  I guess that's what you use for fields as well.
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Offline empireaddict

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2013, 12:34:03 PM »
If one looks back at the Yahoo! Warmaster group pages, it is clear that from the very start the strength of cavalry in the game was always controversial.  So, here’s my view; based on several years of playing with both infantry-heavy and cavalry-heavy armies.

Again looking at the previous debates, the default reaction is often “just increase the amount of terrain”.  The problem with that is that WM doesn’t have a standard terrain system and so there is always the risk that the game outcome is strongly influenced by whoever sets the table.  Second, even with sufficient terrain, one can end up with infantry clinging desperately to the woods and hills and this can lead to very dull, static, and sometimes stalemated games.

So one ends up playing against armies with incredible numbers of cavalry, especially heavy cavalry, and minimal infantry and the only real option is “if you can’t beat them, join them”, leading to games where the infantry just stand back and the player with the most knights often gains the upper hand.  Personally, I like to see games where all the force elements get a ‘fair go’ at participation.

One fix would be to increase the points cost of cavalry units, which has been discussed and which I would be in favour of.

The bottom line for me is that even heavy infantry (4+ save) really struggle to stand up to any sort of cavalry/chariot charge in the open.  Putting aside the 2cm versus 4cm frontage of their stands (which I think is fine) the core reasons are:

a) Compared to infantry, the charge is more often successful because with a 30cm move cavalry usually start outside the 20cm penalty for enemy nearby.

b) Support is counted after casualty removal.  Therefore the strength of column blocks is often negated by the loss of a couple of stands in one or more unit.  This is helped by the cavalry player concentrating their attacks on one unit at the expense of its neighbours.

c) All this is heightened by ‘pinning’ whereby later charging cavalry units attacking from the front get to hit flanks they can see once their colleagues have filled up the infantry’s frontage.

I don’t think much can be done about (a), but for (b) I do think we should follow WMA in counting support before casualty removal.  And – correct me if I’m wrong – but I also understand that (c) is also not allowed in WMA.

So, for my money, the ‘fix’ lies in two very simple changes to the mechanics:

1) Count support before removing casualties.
2) Only those units that begin their charge from a flanking or rearward position can hit units in the flank or rear.

And finally, as outlined in another post,
http://www.forum.specialist-arms.com/index.php?topic=5337.0
I think there should be a scouting system to encourage the use of lighter cavalry and more balanced forces.
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Offline Stormwind

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Re: Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2013, 02:58:59 PM »
I have lost 2 out of 3 games against Dwarves even with my Silver Helms and Reavers.  I found that I was harassed by Gyrocopters and shot up by Cannon quite easily.  But as I learn the rules and flank better - I think that the cavalry will be very powerful.

The points that EmpireAddict raise I feel are good ideas.
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Offline jchaos79

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2013, 08:49:37 PM »



 And – correct me if I’m wrong – but I also understand that (c) is also not allowed in WMA.



You are not wrong :)

In WMA charges corner to corner are obligatory in this circumstance

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2013, 08:33:23 AM »
Empireaddict - these exactly the same issues and solutions I was planning to come up with in my gaming group. I'm WM player only for a short time, so I don't have much experince, but these points were clear to me from the start.
 We already tried a battle where we counted the support at the beginning of the fight and seemed to us it's working well - the charge consecvences were not so much devastating..
 
I was also heavily thinking how to make the light cavalry more meaningful choice. I was thinging about allowing the light cavalry to use it's initiative not only to charge or evade, but also to fall back, representing their ability to act on their own to some extend. But haven't tried it yet though.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 02:28:44 PM by Aldhick »
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Offline Bel

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2013, 05:37:18 PM »
Can't find a thread of community approved rules (ie counting support before casualties, limited to 60cm charge range for flyers etc). Nevertheless we use these rules in  our tournaments during last 5 years and it works fine.

Regarding the light cavalry - I would suggest the following (probably a bit of heresy):
Light (fast) cavalry - cavalry with AS6+ or 0, armed (not obligatory) with missile weapon.
Models on a base are positioned facing the widest edge of base. Stands have 360 arc of sight and therefore no front, flank, rear unless engaged into combat (when firstly being charged count as a charged in front).
May enter woods (and probably some other sorts of terrain impassible for common cavalry) being in irregular formation. Instead of fleeing from enemy charge (shoot'n'flee etc) I would say it is better to make some restrictions for pursuers of light cavalry - ie light cavalry may be pursued only by another light cavalry and fliers.

Comments? (Spiritus, Getlord and other theory masters, lets discuss)

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2013, 06:54:36 AM »
Regarding the light cavalry...
Although this makes perfect sense to me, I think it's too radical cut into the rules and too paintful to all who have their armies painted and based to be accepted..

Can anyone give a clue about that rules topic Bel has mentioned? I'm really interested.
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Offline Bel

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2013, 08:43:42 AM »
Although this makes perfect sense to me, I think it's too radical cut into the rules and too painful to all who have their armies painted and based to be accepted..

Can anyone give a clue about that rules topic Bel has mentioned? I'm really interested.

Re-basing is not necessarily for the test  (or you can just count the right flank as a front). Just try.
In theory this would make a game with fast cavalry more dynamic (yes - hounds, dire-wolves etc also count as FC). Someone would say this is a step to WMA (as it seems) but there the main task is to avoid the re-calculating of units cost.

At least I can post here our tournament restrictions:
1. LOS is limited up to 60cm. This means the fliers may move as usual, but may charge only in 60cm.
2. Fall back move makes directly back from the line of engagement when the combat result is a draw, and in any direction when win (ie free tactical move).
3. Standard rules of charge (front/flank/rear) are used as default. Zone rules may  be used by players agreement.
4. Blunder table is used as it is (no alternatives).
5. Some army lists allow to create new units not included in initial army roster by the spells (TC, VC, Araby). If the player has no required models then these spells count as failed unless the player get enough models from his own casualty pool.
6.  Support bonus has to be calculated at the start of the round (and can't be more than +4).
7. Permanent reminder from rulebook - about maximising the battle line when charging if possible (ie where more stands from both sides are involved in combat than the better).



 

Offline Claus

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2013, 09:54:16 AM »
I understand all the discussions about cavalry.

To say it upfront ....I´m playing WM now over 10 years and I think I have quite good experience how to play this game and where the weak points of it are. Alos I have each of the warmaster armies at least at 3.000 point size.

Cavalry is a tough and hard hitting unit .... no matter of the armour save it has !

Is cavalry to powerful ?
This question you can not answer by only looking at the unit stats and I repeat here also what I´m telling allways over the years in our gaming group....you need to see the unit stats in context to the whole army.

To explain what I mean:
Orc Boar riders are hard hitting with 4 bacis attacks but I don´t fear them that much as when you look at the O&G army you see that you have a general and heroes with a maximum command vallue of 8. Which makes it easy to calculate how many succesfull commands will be realistic and at what chance.

If you then see Dark Elf Saurus Cavalry or High Elf Silver Helms that have only 3 basic attacks they do not seem to make them that hard. What makes them a hard unit is the Command value 10 general in the background that can give 3 succesfull commands in a row wihtout a problem (O.K. it´s not allways that easy but I use it just for explaination)

As a third example we use Undead Chariots. The chariots have normal stats (3 attacks, 5+ Save) as any chariot unit and therefore are good as they are. With undead you have the disadvantage that you need to command all charges as you don´t have initiative charges with them but on the other hand you seldom will place your chariot units within initiative range. On the other hand you are also not getting any command penalty for having enemy units within 20cm. ...so what....are they good or are they not so good ? Actually they are excellent !! Why you want to know ?
The ability of the undead army to cast at a 5+ an additional unit into each close combat makes them that devastating as it allows you to encircle the units you charge (if you know what you do)

So to come back to the initial question. Is cavalry tough ? Yes it is !
Is it to good unit ? No it is not ! You need to see it in context of the whole army setup and can not jut look at the unit skills. You have to use army specific tactics.

To tell you what we did in the past....I were playing a lot with Daemon army (and torunament army rules are written by me) and there I were allways using at least 9 units daemon hordes and 3 units of daemon swarms, 3-4 chariots, 3-4 daemon cavalry...etc. to field a 2.000 points army.
I were quite often (allmost every time) winning vers a friend of mine who is playing Bretonnian army (you see an army with lots of cavalry) and he were complainin a lot of overpowered Daemons.
I said to him ....O.K. I won this game. Let´s change armies now....you play my army with exactly the same setup that were beating your Bretonian army and I wil play your Bretonian army that lost the game before.
The result were that I were winning again with the Bretonian army versus the Daemon army.
What I want to say is ....it´s all about tactics and about knowing what you can do with which army. Each army has a tough and a weak point and some specific tactics where you can achieve advantages. Of course you need to have also a lot of terrain and then final you need to have some luck at the right time to get succesfull commands when preparing for the charge.

We also were experimenting in the past with some house rules as follows:

Terrain - Crop fields. Foot troop count as defended. Line of sight 2 cm. Foot troops are allowed to pursue cavalry if winning the fight and as long as cavalry is still in the crop field.

Foot troops - If foot troops win close combat and are also in the flank of the cavalry unit the unit in the flank is allowed to pursue one time the beaten cavalry unit. (you can not imagin how this changes the game and how careful you will be with your cavalry unit not to expose the flank to foot troops ;)  )

Flyers - Can only charge 60 cm but still can fly 100 cm.


Wow...my posting became longer then intended but I hope I made clear what I mean.

Cheers
Claus

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2013, 11:00:04 AM »
Great insight of an experienced player Claus! What I see as a main issue however is not how big badass the cavalry is, but whether it's point cost is adequate to it's power compared to other units, expecially infantry. If you are building an army and take only so many infantry units to fill minimum cap (I don't say it's necessary this way - I'm quite a rookie in WM and I build army in the way I like and I like having lots of infantry), because taking more is not worth of it, there's been something wrong in the rules. This was exactly what was pissing me off on WH - I was never able to build my army in way I like to be able to play a balanced game against someone who builded way to build it strong.
 The idea of the pursuing the cavalry by infantry if charged in flank is great! We are definately try this one.
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Offline Claus

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2013, 05:24:31 PM »
@Aldhick

I once were playing a game of 2.500 pts undead vers Dark Elfes. (I were playing the undead army.)

I can not tell you exactly anymore the army set up but I can tell you that I had only  3 units of Chariots and 4 units of undead riders. The rest were foot troops, war engines and monster (Undead Giant, Sphinx)

It were really a nice game and my friend were really surprised seeing that setup and he actually had a hard time to play vers me ....but he finally won. At the end he were luckier than myself in close combat results as I did not enough damage and I could not succeed in casting the 5+ spell often enough to add an additional unit in close combat .

Also one thing clearly turned up wehn palying undead army this way (to set it up in mass).... you do not have enough characters to command that mass army  as you are only allowed to field 2 wizzards per 1.000 points and that´s not enough when you can put on the table 20 units per 1.000 points ....in total I had a breakpoint over 20 and this army setup did not offer any edge ;)

Also comming back to my previous example...the Daemon army.
When I started to play them I lost a lot of games during the first year (for sure more then 50%) but than suddenly I detected how you need to play them....Daemon Army is an attacking army....you need to take the initiative and need to put your oponent under pressure and when you charge....charge with all the power you have.
Most of games I won wer by reaching breakpoint of my opponents armies.

Regards
Claus

Offline jchaos79

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2013, 06:45:55 PM »
@ Aldhick What army are you building? and which armies do you faced? how many scenery did you placed in the battleground?

Offline David Wasilewski

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Re: [WM High Elf] Cavalry discussion
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2014, 05:10:55 PM »
For what it's worth I'll weigh in with my opinion. I'm part of Forbes' gaming group.

I've been playing warmaster on and off since it came out and own 4 very large armies (over 5K each) with more slowly being built up. My main armies are Chaos and Orcs and Goblins (10K of each). I'm seriously committed to this game. My main opponents are Brettonians, High Elves, Dwarfs, Empire and Dark Elves but we have every single army in the group and I've played against them all. I'm part of a group of around 6 players who are all mature, very experienced wargamers. We've done it all: Warhammer, WRG 6th and 7th Edition Ancients, DBM, Warmaster Ancients, Napoleonics, Fire and Fury, WW2, Epic Armageddon etc etc. We play large games on an 8' by 6' table and used to play Warmaster a lot. Now, we rarely play it anymore because there is a consensus with the group that the laziest way to win is to simply take as many units of knights as possible. Cavalry is most definitely king unless you p[lay siege or fudge it by playing a scenario where the way to win is to occupy X piece of terrain (and people are getting fed up of games like this).

We've swapped around and had a go at playing each other's armies. We often play in coalitions e.g. 2-3 players and 2-3 races per side. Not saying dwarfs can't win, but they do lose most of their games, regardless who is controlling them. The knight heavy armies tend to win most games, no matter who plays them. For me, this kills the "you aren't playing infantry right" argument. We can't all be poor tacticians only when we are controlling dwarfs and then suddenly recover our wits each timem we pick up Bretts? We are generally playing with lots of terrain - between a third and a half of the surface area is covered by fields, built up areas, hedges etc. I think we are playing with more terrain than 90% of the pictures I see posted on this forum?

Cavalry is definitely too cheap for what it does IMHO. I can live with it but for half our group they now say they don't want to play it anymore as they see Kings of War as more balanced. It's a shame for me because Fantasy Warmaster remains my favourite wargame of all time but our group are now generally playing a slightly modified 'Kings of War' game with all our Warmaster collections.

Dave