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CrispyMerc

Horde vs Special forces

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My experience with horde armies of cheap models is that to use them competitively you need a pretty good understanding of how the game works and you need self control. Furthermore you will often need more powerful models in addition to your cheap models, for the heavy lifting.

 

I've had some success using skeletons to bulk out necropolis armies for instance, the key observation I needed to make before being successful with them was however that actually attacking the enemy models with skeletons is often actively helping out your opponent and should be avoided. Instead I use skeletons to tie down powerful enemy models, forcing them to waste activations, since a 50+ point model spending an activation killing a 9 point skeleton is effectively a waste. Of course this approach requires that you include more powerful models to beat up other enemy models while most of his army is hacking through skellies. More theoretically you can view it as holding down a lot of enemy points with very few of your points in order to achieve local superiority elsewhere on the battlefield.

 

A relatively cheap unit I like fielding is an Athak and 4 swordmen (104 points total). The skellies are there solely to make it difficult for the enemy to concentrate power on Athak, so I deploy them to shield him, and when I have the opportunity I use Athak to hit the most juicy target around that he has a reasonable chance at alpha striking. After the fight, the skellies run up to shield Athak, basing powerful enemies if possible but never attacking (since it would just kill the skellie). With several of these (or similar) troops you have a good chance of having a significant point advantage once the enemy has killed all your skeletons.

 

I don't know how applicable the approach is with the cheap models of other armies, but I imagine it's equally important to accurately gauge when it pays off to provoke defensive strikes and when it would just help your opponent. For other armies the support bonus probably makes it viable to spend less points on powerful models since your horde has a reasonable chance of actually hurting enemy heavy hitters. It is also worthwhile to look through your chosen list for ways to boost the performance of cheap models through SAs and spells.

 

I hope that made sense.

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In short, concentrate offensive power in your activations, while sacrificing cheap models to prevent the opponent from doing the same during his.

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re: "Can 10 spearmen drop a big boss type model"

 

Merc Spearmen have a MAV of 5 on their first track and will probably be getting support, what with Reach giving you extra options for stacking attackers in on one attacker and the benefit of having 10 of them in the first place. So we'll run the numbers using MAV 6.

 

The best defenses in the game are 13ish, we'll use 13 just because. So if 3 spearmen attack at MAV 6 against DV 13 they need to roll 7-10 to hit, or a 40% chance to hit. You've got 10 spearmen attacking the same target? Probably not. Unless it's a larger model and it has no friendlies guarding its base. Let's say it's just dangling there.. you'll hit about 4 times on average, which is enough to outright kill most medium strength "boss types" and is enough to seriously wound most high strength "boss types." If you can find a way to get a caster who can cast Bless into your army, you'd hit 5 times on average.

 

Of course, there's a very good chance that you don't get all 10 Spearmen in on the same target. Maybe some die on the way in, maybe terrain/model placement limits your ability to gang up. So your numbers will change in real game situations. I've certainly seen two or three basic soldiers kill off really high value targets by themselves. I've seen high value targets wreck a whole troop's worth of elite soldiers. Dice hate goes both ways too :)

 

I guess I'm just saying "yes it's possible for 10 spearmen to drop just about anything." I wouldn't expect them to survive the experience though.

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I don't think I ever are going completely goblinhorde with any army I play, but I may chill with the hardhitters. Hardhitters always have a priority target alarmblink flashing over them, and are likely to be blitzed with magic and indirect fire.

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In my experience, only a very good player can effectively handle large masses of cheapies.

 

Kind of a drag if your opponent has lots of different types of cheap guys, especially if they are unpainted or proxies. Gotta keep asking "what's that?" and "who's that, again?"

 

Fun, though, if they are easy to ID or all the same and painted.

 

I use lotsa rats with my Razig army . . . never seems to be much fun for the opponent, though, even though they are all the same and painted, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

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