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Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Cunning Scheme: Deployment

Reader Rob Ehlers commented on my earlier army list post:
ah I really like this kind of post. Geting an army list is one thing, but this really gives me details how why each unit was taken and how it will be used. At bit more detail on how a few of the units are planning to be used and work with the entire army would be even better for me.

With that feedback, I thought I'd talk a little about how I'd deploy my army with that list in mind, and talk in general a little about how it would work together. To better illustrate a typical deployment, here's a picture:

Do note that this is just an example and not set in stone, as I tend to adapt my deployment depending on the matchup. But I think it's good to have a general idea going into a game of how you'd like to set up your forces.

In general, I tend to always deploy my two big orc blocks fairly central, 12" apart and then I put my Warboss and the BSB on the closest corners of each unit. This creates a 12" LD9 with re-roll in between them, which is the perfect place for the trolls (I've yet to have them fail a stupidity check deployed like this). Of course, these things change. For example, if a Hydra or an Abomination deploys in the middle, I'd quickly change things up and put the Black Orcs with the flaming banner in the middle, since they're better equipped to deal with it. Meanwhile, the Trolls can matchup against an elite unit on a flank, since their regen usually do well against a high amount of attacks.

But if the trolls go in the middle, the Black Orcs go on the opposite side of the Warboss, since they're the one unit in the army (in the entire army book, really) that won't be needing the Inspiring Presence of the general, prefering instead a re-roll on their own LD8, instead of a LD9 boost. Instead, the Inspiring Presence is better used for my goblin units, who will stick close to the Warboss' boyz. My Great Shaman usually deploys with the Warboss, since that's where the best beating will be given.

Finally, I tend to put a chariot close to each orc boyz unit, and place my artillery where they can do the most damage. In this example, I've taken into account the concept of a "control zone", where I deploy my artillery early to force my opponent to deploy his targets where I want him to. For example, if going up against a Hydra, I'd deploy both my chukkas on one flank early, in the hopes that he won't risk losing his big monster to 35 point war machines, so instead he'd deploy the hydra on the opposite flank where I then place my Black Orcs with the flaming banner. As such, I'm tricking him into avoiding a moderate threat (even if chukkas hit and wound, he's still got regen) to matchup against my true monster hunters.

But in general, I'm an orc player, not a dwarf player, so I don't care that much for my war machines, which is why I tend to leave them unprotected. If my enemy wants to assign his units into taking them out, he may as well since in most cases that means devoting more points into it than what they're worth. And I'll probably only need them for the first two turns anyway, after that I'm fighting the rest of the way.

That's about it for deployment, I think. Keep in mind, as I've said, that these things tend to change, and a good general will adapt his deployment depending on the matchup. For a good example of when I completely changed my deployment when I came upon an enemy that had units I really could not defeat in a straight-up fight, read the report I wrote from the Battle of Härnösand, when I faced a daemon player in the finals game.

Next up, I'll talk a little bit about how the army will behave once the battle is on.

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