Monday, May 24, 2010

Four Pillars of Great Success (7th edition)

In 7th edition, there's many ways to win. Everyone has their own formula to what makes an effective army. Fantasy is one of those beasts where you can still take the weaker units of your army, so long as you can use them effectively, you might pull the win. Fantasy functions best when you can blend the abilities of your individual units together. It's called "synergy": the product is greater than the sum of the two parts. There's a few things that I try to remember when I play any fantasy army.

There are four principles that were taught to me that really improved my game: Deployment, Combat Resolution, Don't Fight a Fair Fight, and Psychology.

Deployment is the fastest way to lose in WFB. In the current Fantasy edition, Player A places a unit, then Player B places a unit. This goes back and forth until everything is down. Then the Heroes and Lords are placed and the game begins. This style of deployment let's you react to what your opponent does. It also let's you pick off smaller units with stronger ones, put your cavalry in a good charging lane, figure out how to get into a flank charge, etc. If you don't deploy well, or worse, rush the whole deployment phase, the game can be over before it begins.

Combat is decided by who can generate more resolution than the other side. You do this by killing other guys, standard bearers, battle standard bearers, complete ranks past the first (up to 3), outnumbering your opponent, flank and rear charges. It's very rare that all these elements will be in the same combat at once, but I've seen some crazy things happen in combat. If you have a unit that can't generate combat res through killing other guys, you have to give it ranks or a banner. If that unit can't really get ranks because its expensive, it better be able to kill some stuff. Combat orientated units need to be able to generate combat res somehow, or you're just wasting points.

Don't Fight a Fair Fight. THIS DOES NOT MEAN CHEATING. It means picking fights you can win. I'm not going to send my lone unit of gnoblars against a block of Chaos Chosen, even though I still managed to pass my Break Checks on double 1's two times in a row. My nickname was 'Gnoblar Leadership' for a while at the local shop. Now, a fair fight is usually one-on-one, head-on with equal numbers. That's not what you want. You want to hit units from the front and the side in the same round. You want to bring that fast, strong unit to smash up that 10 man archer unit. This uses the other two principles together. Deploying correctly, or at least well enough, and figuring out how to get a unit to win in combat let's you take out units and make it look easy.

Psychology is extremely strong in the current edition. Demons of Chaos and Vampire Count players will tell you. Fear and Terror change the game dramatically. Forcing your opponents to take multiple Leadership Checks in a turn is another way to utilize psychology. Low leadership units suffer the most against psychology, but an unsupported strong unit can suffer even more. Units that are Immune to Psychology are the first response when it comes to armies built around Fear/Terror units. ITP units are great but come with their own problems. In 8th edition, the rumor mill has been churning with changes to Fear and Terror, specifically making them not the devastating forces they are today. I've had many a combat lost by 1, and be forced to roll double 1's instead of normal Leadership minus 1.

These are just some general guidelines I follow when putting together an army for 7th edition WFB. Do you do something different? What mantras do you follow for Fantasy?

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