AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

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AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 19 Aug 2015, 09:24

So my buddy had an interesting/cheap tactical idea I have yet to try out.

I lost a game to Vampire Counts due to a positioning error the other day. I had a defensive line of Eternal Guard with Glade Guard hiding behind them. On my turn I measured how far away my opponent was and thought I could move my Glade Guard up past my defensive line because my opponent (even with movement) would still be over 12" away. I moved a unit of Dryads up to intercept (as a precautionary buffer) and that's where I made the mistake. My Dryads were between his Crypt Horrors and my Glade Guard. He charged my Dryads, rolled an 11, and used his charge distance to get one model into combat with the Dryads, but moved the rest of his Crypt Horrors right past the Dryads and within 3" of the Glade Guard. By charging this way, and then by 'piling in', he was able to attack a unit that he would have failed to charge.

Well that got me thinking. If there isn't any movement restrictions on charging (other then having one model end within 1/2" of the target unit) then imagine this:

An enemy unit is within 12" of your Glade Guard. Now it's your turn. As a means of avoiding combat you move away, but you know the enemy is still too close and will charge you next turn. You shoot your arrows but the enemy survives, so the Glade Guard weigh the scales and attempt to charge the enemy unit, and succeed. Now rather then moving all the Glade Guard into combat, one lone Glade-Guard moves forward (surely to their doom) but the rest of the unit uses the charge distance to back away from the approaching enemy.
It seems very cheap, but it might be a legit tactic. What do you think? Has anyone seen anything like this in their games?
Last edited by Nicholas Nitro on 19 Aug 2015, 10:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 19 Aug 2015, 09:30

Obviously the damage the enemy unit does to the lone Glade-Guard will bleed over to it's unit. The idea would have to be to allocate one of the wounds to that model and remove the sacrificial Glade-Guard from play. Then the Glade-Guard will be far away from the enemy, wont be in combat, and wont miss out on a turn of shooting due to fleeing from combat.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Hyarion » 19 Aug 2015, 15:48

I'm not sure how you mean to move one glade guard forward and the rest back and keep unit cohesion. Could you elaborate?

I take
AoS Rules wrote:A unit must
be set up and finish any sort of move as
a single group of models, with all models
within 1" of at least one other model from
their unit. If anything causes a unit to
become split up during a battle, it must
reform the next time that it moves.
to mean that a model cannot intentionally end it's movement more than 1" away from any other model in it's unit.


Having re-read the rules, there is no longer any mention that "declaring a charge" also includes nominating a target before hand. Meaning that if my Wardancers choose to charge, they do not have to specify which target they are charging. I'll also freely admit that there is nothing I can find that says you can only strike blows against the target you charged. However, it feels very disingenuous to me and somewhat lacking in sportsmanship (although that last part might just be the old WHFB instincts rebelling against the AoS rules). Personally, knowing how the gamers in my area are, I would try to avoid it if I wanted to keep any friends.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 19 Aug 2015, 21:28

I hear ya Hyarion, and honestly don't enjoy playing games with my Vampire Counts 'buddy.' Like I said, this is a dirty and cheap tactic.

The issue here is that I don't think that a 'charge' is the same as a 'move.' I've scoured the 4 pages to see if his tactic was legal, and I think it was.

So if you can break the 1" unit cohesion during a charge, I think this is a valid tactic.

However, the wording under "War scrolls and Units" leads me to believe that although you may split up a unit while charging, on your next movement phase(next turn) you'd have to flee in order to 'reform'. A unit that retreats cannot charge or shoot that turn.

Does this sound right? Tell me I'm missing something, because other wise a unit of Dwarf Thunderers could use this tactic to kite a much faster enemy. Dwarfs only have 4 movement... but could use this to potentially move 4 +2d6 inches per turn. That's like flying speed.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Billthesurly » 19 Aug 2015, 22:30

General speaking, if it sounds too good (or bad) to be true - it generally is. If you were sitting across the table from me and did that I would be like - dude... seriously?

Assume unit cohesion cannot be violated unless the rules specifically say they can be and you will probably be alright.
So it's no longer the BRB, now it's the DERB. (Digital Edition Rule Book) I am all in for 9th Age.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 20 Aug 2015, 00:01

I don't like it either, but I know people have been pulling slain models from the center of defensive lines as a way to split enemy units in half. That's all about breaking the enemy unit's cohesion. So I guess my main three questions are...

1. Can you break unit cohesion with a 'charge' move?

2. Can you break unit cohesion with a 'pile-in' move?

3. Does a split unit have to flee from all combat(s) in order to reform on its next turn?


Only 4 pages of rules and the game is still full of complexity.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Billthesurly » 20 Aug 2015, 02:29

If you read the unit cohesion rule as gospel to be adhered to in all situations where discretion is called for in moving units or removing casualties then the question resolves itself. It only becomes a problem when people want to do something because "the rules don't say you can't". Well... to be somewhat (ok, a lot) flippant, the rules don't say you can't take a hammer and smash your opponents figures into itty-bitty pieces either.

Sometimes with a very simple and short set of rules you have to read them as simply as possible. (It sounds like YOU are trying hard to do that.) But when there exists a "unit cohesion rule" and nothing else anywhere - then the very simple unit cohesion rule has to be read to extend to other situations where discretion in movement or casualty removal is called for.
When the unit cohesion rule exists one cannot violate it simply because it only shows up in the "movement" section of the incredibly brief and simple rules. We're not talking about a quarter inch thick, 1975 set of Avalon Hill rules where every conceivable situation is covered.

Ultimately it is up to the two players playing the game to decide how they are going to interpret the rules. (Which is about exactly where WFB is now as well.) I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for GW to FAQ it either. Which is another reason why tournaments are going to be very difficult to arrange with AoS rules.
So it's no longer the BRB, now it's the DERB. (Digital Edition Rule Book) I am all in for 9th Age.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 20 Aug 2015, 06:53

Well Bill I'd really like to agree with you.

Under Warscrolls and Units it does say, "A unit must be set up and finish any sort of move as a single group of models, with all models with in 1" of at least one other model from their unit."

That sentence was why I shared your way of thinking. The next sentence seems to contradict that theory by saying, "if anything causes a unit to become split up during a battle, it must reform the next time it moves." This implies that 'something' can split up the 1" cohesion, but doesn't give an example.

It's totally up to us (the players) to interpret and define the rules. Yes sir.

To me "any kind of move" should include movements, charges, and pile-ins. That left me wondering what else could split up a unit? Now I'm thinking about terrain rules that might kill an odd model and force a unit to regroup.

What about wound allocation?

I want to figure this out.

Perhaps I was cheated?
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Merlin Elf friend » 20 Aug 2015, 11:20

Hi "NN", I have played about 12 games of AoS now, albeit with the same Gaming Group at my local GW Store in the UK, the only time we have allowed "a break in unit cohesion" is on the pile in, to get the maximum number of models into combat range (of their melee weapon), we then allow a minimal unit reform (after combat has been resolved for that turn) to achieve the best unit cohesion post combat.

The idea of moving one model in combat and the others in another direction (given models are in the same unit) would be a BIG no, no, amongst my local gaming group.

We also have a house rule that limits models with more than 2 wounds each to a maximum of 20-25 wounds per WarScroll, to limit Ogre Spam (exact number of wounds in the 20-25 bracket to be determined by your opponent), also relevant to "our" TreeKin, finally we have put an arbitrary limit of 40 wounds per WS for single wound models, mainly to stop "Skaven Spam".
Hope this is of some use - regards Merlin E.f.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Billthesurly » 20 Aug 2015, 14:00

Nicholas Nitro wrote:That sentence was why I shared your way of thinking. The next sentence seems to contradict that theory by saying, "if anything causes a unit to become split up during a battle, it must reform the next time it moves." This implies that 'something' can split up the 1" cohesion, but doesn't give an example.


Perhaps a unit, having been charged on both it's left and right flank, might pull it's casualties from the middle in order to remain in contact with the units that charged it? This would cause the unit to violate unit cohesion until it could have a chance to move again. Yes, I know that exactly where you pull casualties from is nebulous but even if it is entirely discretionary it could happen. Perhaps the player WANTS to remain in contact with both enemies for some reason?

I don't think you were cheated per se. I think the rules are new enough and people are still unfamiliar enough with common usage for there to still be uncertainty as to how they should be applied. In fact I don't believe that the rules have been out long enough for any real "common usage" to have been established. But as Merlin's post shows - "common usage" is beginning to take hold in certain places and I feel confident that cheesy or unreasonable interpretations of the rules will be sorted out in the not too distant future.
So it's no longer the BRB, now it's the DERB. (Digital Edition Rule Book) I am all in for 9th Age.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 20 Aug 2015, 19:55

Merlin- Are you saying that after combat you give a reform move to all units involved? Or just to models in combat that have broken cohesion?
As a conservative, I hold an extreme dislike for arbitrary limitations, but thanks for helping me with my 'Quest to Define AoS's Rules.'

Bill- I would be really happy if the only exception to the 1" cohesion rule was wound allocation. That way if you were in combat you wouldn't have to worry about reforming until combat was completed.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 20 Aug 2015, 19:57

I mean it's 'pile-in', not 'pile-out'.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Merlin Elf friend » 21 Aug 2015, 12:10

Hi "NN", the extra "reform" is only allowed to a unit that has broken cohesion during pile in/losses in combat, we limit it to one unit per turn (the worst affected).

The "arbitrary limit" was only introduced to put a bit of a brake on our two main OP Armies (Ogres and Skaven) in our local Gaming Group.

Good Luck on your "Quest to Define AoS's Rules. We have just applied a couple of House Rules to limit the worst unbalances in our local group.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Mirage8112 » 23 Aug 2015, 20:58

NN,

I'm still not entirely clear on how your vampire count buddy managed to pull of a charge distance of 12", even if it was by "bouncing" off your dryad unit. The rules do allow you to simply "charge" and then roll to see how far you can go before declaring a target. Are you saying he charged, the charge was long enough to bring him into contact with the dryads, and long enough to bring him within 3" of the glade guard, and then he "piled in" 3" toward the nearest enemy model which was in this case the glade guard? In that case, yes, his tactic was viable (if not dirty.) Unit cohesion seems to only come into play while moving, in combat "piling-in toward the closest enemy model" take precedence. Who cares about staying within an 1" of the guy next to you when you have a chance to stab a zombie in the ace before he can attack you.

But as to your tactic, even if it was legal, why would you want to? By putting your single glade guard into combat, you expose the entire unit to damage, since damage carries over between models in a unit. At the same time, since glade guard have a weapon range of 1", your also drastically reducing any chance for the unit to defend itself. In a sense, your just giving wounds to your opponent. If my opponent did that, I'd be like "ok, sure."

In your first scenario, if the glade guard survived (did they?) the best solution would be to retreat out of combat. Since his crypt horrors would be stuck in combat with the dryads, he wouldn't be able to follow. Granted you'd lose a few of them, but it's better than being stuck in a combat you can't win.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 25 Aug 2015, 08:48

Mirage8112 wrote:NN,

I'm still not entirely clear on how your vampire count buddy managed to pull of a charge distance of 12", even if it was by "bouncing" off your dryad unit.

He rolled an 11, needed 8 I think. He charged most of his Crypt Horrors into combat with my dryads, but moved a few within 5" of my archers. When he did his 3" pile in he was 2" away. He couldn't even attack them (1" range) but I couldn't flee from combat and shoot my huge volley of Bodkins when I needed to, so I conceded.

But as to your tactic, even if it was legal, why would you want to?

The reason being that by allocating a wound to the model that was in combat, you'd be free from combat without having to flee. This way you can continue to shoot uninterrupted, in addition to the extra back movement you'd be giving yourself. Dirty tactic.

In your first scenario, if the glade guard survived (did they?) the best solution would be to retreat out of combat. Since his crypt horrors would be stuck in combat with the dryads, he wouldn't be able to follow. Granted you'd lose a few of them, but it's better than being stuck in a combat you can't win.

In this case he killed my Dryads outright. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of getting the glade girls too.


The game was a disappointment, but I wasn't able to play more then a few games with him in 8th edition because of his power-gaming. He threw fits and always brought the most ridiculous vampire builds. AoS is far more reasonable with rules, and I think I might be able to tolerate playing games with him again. I just never thought of something like splitting your unit into 3 parts during your charge in-order to tangle up a multi-small-unit army.

I do feel like part of it was just me getting greedy with my movement, but he got into combat with two other units that were 16" away!!
(11" charge + his 3" pile-in + my 3" 'pile-in)
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Mirage8112 » 26 Aug 2015, 17:30

Nicholas Nitro wrote:
Mirage8112 wrote:NN,

I'm still not entirely clear on how your vampire count buddy managed to pull of a charge distance of [16]", even if it was by "bouncing" off your dryad unit.


He rolled an 11, needed 8 I think. He charged most of his Crypt Horrors into combat with my dryads, but moved a few within 5" of my archers. When he did his 3" pile in he was 2" away. He couldn't even attack them (1" range) but I couldn't flee from combat and shoot my huge volley of Bodkins when I needed to, so I conceded.


That makes slightly more sense. But since he has to pile in toward the closest enemy model, by my math, he should have been closer to your dryads than your glade guard (16" to glade guard, 8" to dryads, rolled an 11 puts him 5" from your archers and 3" from your dryads). Was the 5" toward your archers really closer than toward your dryads?

Nicholas Nitro wrote:
Mirage8112 wrote:But as to your tactic, even if it was legal, why would you want to?


The reason being that by allocating a wound to the model that was in combat, you'd be free from combat without having to flee. This way you can continue to shoot uninterrupted, in addition to the extra back movement you'd be giving yourself. Dirty tactic.


This is true, but again, it wouldn't really benefit you all that much. You'd still be exposing your unit to attacks, (since wounds carry over from models to the unit in total). Also I don't see how it would prevent you from shooting, since shooting units an still fire while "locked" in combat.

Nicholas Nitro wrote:
Mirage8112 wrote:In your first scenario, if the glade guard survived (did they?) the best solution would be to retreat out of combat. Since his crypt horrors would be stuck in combat with the dryads, he wouldn't be able to follow. Granted you'd lose a few of them, but it's better than being stuck in a combat you can't win.


In this case he killed my Dryads outright. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of getting the glade girls too.


Nicholas Nitro wrote: The game was a disappointment, but I wasn't able to play more then a few games with him in 8th edition because of his power-gaming. He threw fits and always brought the most ridiculous vampire builds. AoS is far more reasonable with rules, and I think I might be able to tolerate playing games with him again. I just never thought of something like splitting your unit into 3 parts during your charge in-order to tangle up a multi-small-unit army.


I still think charging this way is questionable. I've reread the rules and the 1" unit cohesion doesn't specifically say during charging. But the rules also don't say you can't kick him in the shins under the table. As such, I'd say units need to stay within 1" of other models from the unit when moving or charging. There doesn't seem to be any problems with splitting the unit during combat (since models must pile in toward the closest enemy model) but during charging I can't imagine you'd be able to split the unit like that. If two enemy units are close enough that after charging one model is closer to one unit than the other, then I'd say yes, you can multi-charge. But from what your telling me, it doesn't sound like his tactic was legal, nor does splitting up the GG by charging one model forward and the rest back.

Also consider the following:

In order for the GG to charge, you need to be within 12" of the enemy. But you'd likely not want to charge from 12" as your likely to fail, that means you'd need to start 7" or so away. So lets say you roll an 8, move 1GG forward (to his doom!) and them move the rest back 8". That puts the bulk of your unit easily 15" away. But during the activation phase, that unit must pile in 3" toward the enemy (according to rules you can not refuse to pile in). That loses you 3" of movement putting you 12" away. After he wipes out your one glade guard, (and likely 3-4 others) he's now free to charge your glade guard next turn. With a movement of 6" base he's now 6"-7" from your weakened unit. (A fairly easy charge to make.)

This is a pretty reasonable example of how that tactic would play out. If you start closer, your unlikely to get far enough away to have any change of avoiding the charge next turn (while still losing models to ghoul attacks and being unable to attack back). Start further away you become more likely to fail the charge and still get charged next turn. As referenced above, you'd probably do better just to get the entire GG unit in combat (in hopes of causing at least some damage) If it looks like you're unable to avoid a charge.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 27 Aug 2015, 22:41

My current interpretation is that a player cannot choose to break unit cohesion with movement, a charge, or a pile-in move.

Under 'Warscrolls and Units' it reads, "...finish any sort of move as a single group of models, with all models within 1" of at least one other model from their unit."
I'm taking 'any sort of move' to mean moves, charges, and pile in.

Under 'Combat Phase: Step 1' it says that, "When you pile in, you may move each model in the unit up to 3" towards the closet enemy model."
I take this to mean you make engage multiple enemy units, but it doesn't grant you permission to break unit cohesion. You may also choose to remain stationary. Pile in is not compulsive.

The only way to you can intentionally break cohesion, I think, is when you're in combat and taking damage, you can allocate wounds however you want. The trade off is that when the scattered unit is no longer in combat they must use their movement to regroup.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Billthesurly » 28 Aug 2015, 02:21

Nicholas Nitro wrote:Well Bill I'd really like to agree with you.


Welcome to the league of wonderfulness and chumship. :thumbsup: ;)
So it's no longer the BRB, now it's the DERB. (Digital Edition Rule Book) I am all in for 9th Age.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Ramesesis » 28 Aug 2015, 12:22

Sounds like AoS just bring new materials for ruletwisters. I have not yet played, not having had time or rather the mental strength to pick and play with my minis again, but it does sounds like people keep on bending.
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Re: AoS Strategy: Charge and Flee (sacrifice tactic)

Postby Nicholas Nitro » 10 Sep 2015, 13:30

Meh, the game is still pretty new, and the habits of overly competitive power-gamers die-hard. I see this as less of rule bending and more of developing an understanding of the rules. This is about proper interpretation. I've amended my understanding on the game 3 times since posting this thread, but AoS is totally worth it I think.
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