The Empire at War ... The Gamers Guild > The Old World Cometh Again !!!

Action economy and detachments

(1/4) > >>

I did promise you something action economy that I have been working on in another tread. 

What is action economy?

Action economy is how often a model or unit of models gets to act in a given play.   I am going to define a "play" as both player's turns.   So after the at the start of turn two of the first player you move on to play two.   Then you can examine how often a model moved or acted in the first play.

What is an actions
For the purpose of this discussion I am defining an action as a model interacting with another model on the board or changing its location on the board.   Therefore the are a number of different actions possible.
1: Movement - charging, marching, normal movement, redressing ranks.
2: Shooting
3: Magic
4: Close combat
5: Rallying and other actions completed in the strategy subphrase.

Action number
This defines how many actions a model can take in a player turn.   While a model may have multiple actions open to them in any phase of the turn it is likely that they can only choose to do one of them.   Sometimes a model has no actions in that phase of the player turn and sometimes a model has a forced action in that phase of the player turn.   Normally a model can only act in the player turn of its controller but there are models which act in the opponents player turn as well.   These actions could be considered bonus actions.   They are marked in brackets.

For example a Captain of the Empire has an action Economy of 3(1).   This is broken down as follows.
The Captain has the Rallying Cry Special rule which allows him to act in the Command Subphrase of his player's Turn.
The Captain can move which allows him to act in the movement phase of his player's turn.
The Captain can fight in close combat which allows him to act the the Close Combat phase of his player's turn.
The Captain can fight in the close combat which also allows him to act in the close combat phase of his opponent's turn.

Should the Captain be equipped with a handgun (or any other missile weapon) it would give him an action economy of 4(1)

General Rule
It can be generally ruled therefore that all models have an action economy of 2(1)
All missile armed models have an action economy of 3(1).

It is worth noting though that these actions are sometimes (indeed often) dependant on each other.   The action economy of a model is not the same in each given player turn.   A model who is out of charge range starts that player turn with an action economy of 1(1) for example.

Some models also have very high action economies.   A wizard has a starting action economy of 6 (1+opponent wizards in range).
In theory a level 4 wizard confronted by 3 level 4 wizards on the other side (but within his dispel range) would have an action economy of 6(13)

Action economy and detachments
Something I realised when I was considering this is that the action economy of the units within your opponent's turn is very limited.
Wizards get to dispell
Anybody in close combat gets to fight.
That is about it.
Detachments change that considerably.

Consider the following

In this position if it is player 1's turn he can safely charge both units into one of his opponent's units.   In this case C and D charge into B.   This enables player 1 to bring massive localised force against the units of player 2 to the extent that even though they are in theory balanced on this battlefield, player 1 has a big advantage.   

That advantage flips if it is player 2's turn.

I could be said that this advantage is caused by the fact that the defending player has an action economy of 1.   THe defending player can fight (or flee) but that is it.

Compare this to a situation where one of the players has detachments.

In this situation Player 2 can charge 2 of his units (A and D2) into Unit C which manoeuvring with the other detachment in order to block Unit B from countercharging in Player 1's never turn.

Player 1 however can't charge both his units into unit A because Unit A have an action economy of X(5).   In this case I put X in because it is not important what Unit A does in its own player's turn.   The fact that the detachments can move and fight in their opponet's turn means that they have to be dealt with in some way.   In this situation player 1 could charge unit D at D1 and unit C at A but this would still allow D2 to countercharge.   He could also charge unit D at D1 and unit C At D2 but this would run the risk, because of the need for the units to wheel to fact the detachments, of the charges being failed.   In this example the detachments are pushed up very high.   However if you consider the following example where the detachments are much further back

You can see how it would be difficult for you to charge both detachments.

Therefore when considering the value of any unit that has access to detachments it is important that you consider the impact of those detachments on the action economy of your opponent and yourself.

But sure the chaff'll just deal with it
This is a fairly standard response to discussions of detachments and such.   However one of the interesting things is that a lot of the power lists I have seen are very light on chaff.   They don't have the fast throwaway units that are needed to increase their own action economy.   For example the wood elf 1250 point power list that contained a dragon and a treeman only had a movement action economy of 4 across the entire army.   That list simply did not have anything that it could throw at the detachments as chaff.
This is a fairly common concern.   If however players start including chaff to counteract your action economy then they have to be taking points from somewhere else in their list to do so.  What are they, therefore, making weaker in order to combat your detachments.

There is a question of what this additional action economy benefit is worth.   Currently it seems that GW is valuing it at roughly 1 point per model.   Whether or not it is worth that is an interesting question.   We need a great deal more data before we can answer that.   However if this action economy advantage prove to be worth 1 point per model then Empire State Troops are not over costed.

The armies that don’t have chaff, instead have magic or missile troops that instead will deal with it.
With the newly FAQ’d requirement of US5 to get Close Order CR, this does change things a bit.

The new FAQ does change it a little but not much. I never was a fan of taking detachments that were tiny. Mostly I always thought detachments should be 8+ models because you needed US5 to disrupt ranks.

Magic is a concern but the Empire has arguably one of the best magic defenses in the game and its not like that magic isn't going to be there anyway. So having your opponent direct his magic against your detachments is a hug opportunity cost for him or if he includes an extra wizard to hand your detachments then that is a win for you because he has to pull those points from somewhere.

Theorycrafting is cool, Empire regiments & detachments are cool, but I'm really thirsty for your battle reports, commandant.  :-)

Let's make a deal: I'll play my next three games with infantry and detachment heavy Empire*, and you do the same. Then we compare - and talk about the meta, what our opponents brought and how they sought to deal with the Empire list.

*One good-sized regiment & detachments per 600pts, with max one Greatsword regiment in 1001pts+ games.


I'll bring this

24 halberider + 2 detachments of 10 halberdiers

and 20 Greatswords + 2 detachments of 10 halberdiers.

To my next three games and try and write more detailed battle reports for discssion.

I generally play 1250 points but I am making my way 1500 points.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version