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Friday, April 27, 2012

Warhammer Fantasy Deployment Tactics Part 1


Hey all, Nikephoros here.  I thought I would do a post about some basic Fantasy deployment tactics and strategies.  I originally posted these articles on my blog about two years ago, so I updated them a bit and thought they would be useful here.

Fantasy deployment is great, because of alternating unit deployment.  Each unit you deploy sends a message to your opponent about what your strategy will be.  The key, you'll see, is often times sending messages to your opponent that aren't correct, to trick them into making poor deployment choices.  It is a chance to game your opponent, and you ought to take advantage of it.

In Fantasy, deployment strategy is largely based around the type of army you are running, with some consideration to your opponent's army type.  For Part 1, I will discuss the most common type of deployment, the Strong Center.

The graphics are crude, but no one pays me to be an artist!
Armies that use the strong center will largely be composed of infantry, though Brettonians use it too, and are primarily trying to win the game through close combat.  If your army fits that description, this is the deployment you will commonly use.

The idea is you put your beater units right in the middle of the board, whether they be Sword Masters, Black Guard, Chaos Chosen, Black Orcs, Lead Bellies, and so on.  They will advance directly ahead, confident in their ability to meet any opposition head on.  The key to this is getting the opponent to fight you head on.  To do this you will need to channel his army inward, to the center.  You do this by deploying your shooty units directly adjacent to your beater units.  They will be too close to the beat units for anything to try to charge them without getting charged by your beater units.  So they will have free reign to shoot at their targets unmolested.  Putting them in this position also allows them to shoot to their flanks to protect your power units from skirmishers and cavalry hitting them on the flanks.

Your Scouts/Vanguard are also important.  As you can see, I assumed that your Vanguard fast cavalry would Vanguard move directly up the flanks.  These maneuvers will either split their army, weakening their middle- which is a good thing- or it will funnel them directly into the teeth of your army, which is a good thing too.

Not pictured above is a magic bunker.  Not all armies have one so I omitted it.  Generally it would be deployed directly behind your beater units, meaning someone would have to run them over to get to it.  If someone crushes your beater units, you probably lost already, anyway.

The key to this strategy, as you might guess, is having credible shooting threats and credible flankers.  If your Vanguard/Scout units are weak and not at all scary, your opponent can ignore them, or worse, easily kill them.  If your shooting is inconsequential, they can put more pressure on your flanks.  Not every army has the tools to have good shooting, in that case, put more emphasis on the flankers, or vice versa.

Now the other side of the coin, how do you defeat this deployment if you see your opponent utilizing it?  A strong flank is a good option, as it will allow you to crush his flankers and shooting easily on that side, and take on his beater units piece meal.  If this isn't possible due to your army composition, you should attempt to outflank him.  Crush his flankers and shooty units and try to get his beater units to either change directions or get slammed in the side.

Lastly, its important to consider if his beater units are a threat.  If you can tarpit them with Skaven slaves, or even defeat them with superior units of your own, by all means do that.  When your opponent doesn't realize that he isn't The Beatdown in this match up, punish him for it.

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