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Offline Holy Hand Grenade

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Tactica: The Griffon Formation
« on: June 11, 2012, 12:50:05 PM »
Introduction

Like most Empire players with the new book, I have been testing different formations of our troops and detachments to get the most out of the new rules.  The two best improvements in my opinion are detachments that benefit from Stubborn parents and Archers with archer detachments.  I have combined the two into different formations that maximize their usefulness and allow me to manage the battle.


Reference my Battle Reports thread for examples of the formations in action:

--Start of the Battle Report on the regular Griffon Formation (2500 points)

--Start of the Battle Report using the Griffon in smaller battles (1750 points)

--Start of the Battle Report on an attempt at Griffon Wings (2500 points)

--Start of the Battle Report using the Inverted Griffon  (2500 points)



The Formations

The primary formation I have dubbed “The Griffon Formation.” 

--It has a base parent horde of Greatswords or Halberds with the Crown of Command.

--The horde has two detachments.  I use Halberd detachments but Swordsmen could also be used for more staying power.  I personally run them 3-wide or 4-wide to provide a reduced frontage against the nasty stuff I am trying to hold off on the flanks.  If I am lucky enough to get a flank with a Countercharge, most enemy units are not that deep to allow 5-wide frontage full attacks round after round anyway. 

--In the front is an Archer unit with musician and 2 detachments of 5 archers.  The Archers provide a screen for the horde as well as additional diverters.

--In the back is an Archer unit with musician (sometimes with a Standard too if I need more for Blood and Glory Scenarios) that serves as a bunker for my Lvl 4 Wizard.

The base Griffon Formation looks like this:





The Griffon Formation could also work for busses and would look about the same:





One of the big complaints of detachments is that smart opponents will charge your detachments at the same time they charge the parent to avoid the Countercharge.  The Griffon Formation potentially allows you to re-direct the re-directors away from your detachments.  In the below scenario, the opponent charges in blindly without stopping your countercharges.





Of course, depending on the situation, a smart opponent might take one extra turn to clear away your archers in order to charge cleanly across the front.  Depending on the distance, this may allow your parent unit to charge him instead.  Your detachments could charge as well or, as depicted below, move up to cover the precious flanks of the parent.





Also, another benefit of the formation is to have 2 units on each side of the horde/bus to keep your opponent from swarming you and getting your flank.  The below graph shows how your archers and detachment will keep your flank clean for 2 turns, maybe 3-  allowing your buffed up horde to kill what it is engaging.





If you don’t like having an Archer unit directly in front of your horde, either to be sacrificed or to flee away from any charges (causing Panic tests for your horde and Wizard bunker)… another option is the Inverted Griffon Formation.  In this one, you expand the frontage of the Archer unit in the rear to 6 wide so you can put 2 Archer detachments in front of your horde detachments that are set back.  Each detachment is still within 3” of its parent to start.  Once your movement begins, you can move up both side detachments as needed to protect the flanks of the horde.





If you really want to go all out, you can use The Double-Headed Griffon Formation.  This allows you 3 to 4 re-directors per side.  I have never used this one personally because I want to get into combat eventually-  but it might serve some armies well, especially ones with lots of ranged firepower.





Another idea I came up with is using Archer formations to protect artillery, which I have dubbed the Griffon Wing.  In deployment you would put an Archer unit with 2 Archer detachments around an artillery piece.  In this case, a Helblaster.





When an opponent sends something nasty its way, you can “open up” the Wing by placing one detachment in a blocking position (ensuring not to cover 50% of the target) and the other in a reserve position outside the firing arch.  If necessary, the parent unit can move up for one final diverter.  If you haven’t killed the nasty creature/unit after 3 rounds of shooting at it-  at least you got max use out of your artillery piece.  This only works for ground-pounders; flying units can only be slowed one round by Archers right next to the artillery piece so the charger can’t fit into the space to charge it.   





Last, but not least, is babysitting a Steam Tank.  As debated at length in another thread, opponents are parking chaff on the side of Steam Tank preventing it from being able to pivot and only move straight forward due to its Random Movement rules.  An Archer unit, preferably with a Life Mage to keep the Tank rolling, could babysit the Tank and provide two archer detachments on either side. 




 
This formation would prevent anything from getting within 1” of the side or rear of the Tank.  With the flankers one inch back from the front of the tank, it still provides you with a decent arch of movement.  You can even increase the distance between the Steam Tank and archers if your opponent’s chaff are on larger bases. 

I personally would only use this formation against an opponent who consistently uses the pivot trick against you-  otherwise all you are doing is narrowing the direction your Tank can go.  (Please don’t comment in this thread on the legality of the pivot trick-  use the other thread for that.  I offer this formation only as a way to mitigate the tactic.)


I have used The Griffon Formations successfully in several recent battles.  I hope that it generates some thought and discussion on how we can best use our detachments.  I look forward to your comments and suggestions!   :::cheers:::
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 01:25:04 PM by Holy Hand Grenade »
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Offline sammay23

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 02:37:26 PM »
Bravo, sir! This is exactly the kind of work I love to see on the forum.

 :::cheers:::
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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 03:31:43 PM »
I need to study this in more detail, but at first glance it seems very promising.
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Offline Belk

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 03:53:59 PM »
Awesomeness. This is why i lurk at this forum. Good job! I will definatly include more archers in my next list.  :happy:

Offline Folken

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 04:04:41 PM »
Still digesting the content but I definitely approve of the presentation.  :eusa_clap:

Offline zakalwe

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 04:11:55 PM »
+1

Empire and Griffon always go hand in hand. Or hand in claw.  :eusa_clap:

Great Stuff!

Offline GenOmar

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 05:44:31 PM »
Very interesting... thank you for your time and thoughts on improving our tatics. :eusa_clap:
first question, what happened to the archer unit in slide three?
also with such a tight formation and small detachment (5 archies), aren't you a good MM from causing panic to 3 or more units?
or prime target for bouncing spell like Plague or lightning bolt, that casket of souls bound thingy. :-o
it looks very cool and i'll certainly look at giving it a try next game.
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Offline patsy02

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 05:55:13 PM »
Looks awesome, but that is a lot of points spent on archers with a purely distractive role.
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Offline Johan Willhelm

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 07:02:36 PM »
I once inverted my Griffon, it didn't end well . . .


My comp upbringing not withstanding I like the look of this. After returning to Warhammer after a long sojourn my tactics can best be described as "The problem with Custer is he was a cautious little sod . . ."
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Offline Darthkenjamin

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 09:06:11 PM »
Looks interesting but I've never used that many archers before. It seems like a good idea so I'll try it and maybe modify it to see what works for me. Unfortunately I'm about to move so I'm not sure when I'll get the testing in...

Offline Holy Hand Grenade

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 09:13:40 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback.

first question, what happened to the archer unit in slide three?

I didn't add the Archer unit in slide 3 because he either sacrificed himself earlier as a speedbump, or fled from a charge and is now behind the horde and wiz bunker by that point in the graph.

also with such a tight formation and small detachment (5 archies), aren't you a good MM from causing panic to 3 or more units?
or prime target for bouncing spell like Plague or lightning bolt, that casket of souls bound thingy. :-o

Yes, lots of detachments means potentially increased panic tests.  I currently run my General and BSB in the Greatsword horde with the Standard of Discipline in my Griffon so I have a nice leadership 10 bubble, re-rollable.

I think as long as your BSB is in the Griffon Formation you should be fine.

And yes, bouncing spells could hurt.  The thing I have found when people target the archers-  is they will die fairly easily, but 1 or 2 always seem to survive.  For re-direction purposes, all you need is 1!

Looks awesome, but that is a lot of points spent on archers with a purely distractive role.

I don't use all these formations in every army.  I currently run 2-4 Archer parent units with detachments in my 2500 point lists.  They protect whatever I deem is most valuable.

They are "throw away" points....but it seems like every time I look across the board at my opponents army there are so many nasty things coming my way that if I don't find a way to slow down some of those nasties, my poor humans are toast.  They give you hammers a little bit of breathing room so they can hammer without getting swarmed themselves!
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Offline TheBelgianGuy

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 09:41:03 PM »
This is awesome, man. I would just use this formation in a game because it sounds uber fluffy and cool.

Offline Ratarsed

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 09:43:29 PM »
I applaud the efforts you have gone to. I'm much more a make things up as I go along sort of general. I'm thinking the interactions between detachments and archer regiments could have wider applications beyond your formations, only practice will tell. Just always remember that a battleplan rarely survives contact with the enemy. Be prepared to adjust and adapt. I look forward to your battle reports. :icon_mrgreen:

Offline burdigala

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 09:49:52 PM »
from france

thank

a question how does it work with war priest especially with the prayer?
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Offline Grutch

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 11:36:55 PM »
I really need to create an honorary award, or badge system for the website.  When I do,  you sir will get the first one.  Bravo!   :eusa_clap:

Offline Clymer

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 04:07:46 AM »
This looks so good that I hate to be the bringer of bad news... But I don't think you can deploy that way. The archer detachments are going to be more than 3" away from their parent unit unless the halberd detachments are only 1 rank deep.

You can't really make the archer detachments parented by the halberds, because then that would defeat the purpose of being able to counter charge with them and also because you can't have more than 5 halberds in a detachment from a 10 archer parent.

Still, there may be some other similar deployment possibilities.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 06:01:56 AM by Clymer »
Note: The above post was intended for entertainment purposes only and may contain views not necessarily held by its author. Any similarity to actual facts is purely coincidental.

Offline MrAbyssal

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 06:23:23 AM »
This looks so good that I hate to be the bringer of bad news... But I don't think you can deploy that way. The archer detachments are going to be more than 3" away from their parent unit unless the halberd detachments are only 1 rank deep.

You can't really make the archer detachments parented by the halberds, because then that would defeat the purpose of being able to counter charge with them and also because you can't have more than 5 halberds in a detachment from a 10 archer parent.

Still, there may be some other similar deployment possibilities.

I thought the Archer detachments were detached to the Archers, in which case the base formation is fine. They only have to deploy together and after that can move wherever they want. Sure, they won't get any benefit but then if they're speed bumps you kind of want them at least 6" away from anyone else when they get slaughtered.

The Inverted Griffon is a little more awkward but still doable.
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Offline Lord Solar Plexus

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 06:37:12 AM »
Excellent work indeed. Still digesting the implications but it looks promising.
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Offline Holy Hand Grenade

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 09:09:11 AM »
This looks so good that I hate to be the bringer of bad news... But I don't think you can deploy that way. The archer detachments are going to be more than 3" away from their parent unit unless the halberd detachments are only 1 rank deep.

You can't really make the archer detachments parented by the halberds, because then that would defeat the purpose of being able to counter charge with them and also because you can't have more than 5 halberds in a detachment from a 10 archer parent.

Still, there may be some other similar deployment possibilities.

Put some models on the table and measure the distances for the Inverted Griffon.  It is all legal.  A 6-wide frontage of skirmishers fits nicely behind a horde and has 3 inches to its 2 archer detachments.  They are easily 1" away from the horde and the horde detachments.  I created some skirmisher movement trays so my Archers are exactly the correct distance side-to-side and front-to-rear.  It makes moving them a heck of a lot easier too.

It looks a little awkward on deployment...but on your first move if the horde only moves forward a little bit the two detachments on each side can move up and cover the flanks.

The first time you use the Inverted Griffon in a battle will surprise your opponent if you drop the Archers down first.  He is thinking you are going to drop the horde in another open spot...and then you surprise him by creating the Inverted Griffon.  Of course, this only works the first time.   8-)
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Offline Noght

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 12:22:34 PM »
Nicely done HHG!  I built a list similar using a Horde of Flagellants (they don't need Detachments) with Archer Screens and Redirecting Detachment.  Park the WAltar behind (who cares if you fluff the Martyr roll you get Hatred the first turn and maybe a prayer off).  Cover the flanks with HBVG or Knights and done.

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Offline Volks

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 04:59:09 PM »
Brilliant!

I wish I was clever enough to think of stuff like this. I am assuming that the wiz at the back is not actually that necessary, it is just that he has to go somewhere.

I will spend some time thinking about this.
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Offline Ambrose

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2012, 04:17:52 PM »
This is really awesome.  I just stayed up until 2am working with this idea and the miniatures I have to make it work.  Thank you for the hard work.

It won't work the same, but I replaced the front archers with crossbow men due to lack of miniatures.  My group doesn't mind proxy troops but I will give it a try just the same.  They won't get the -1 to hit sitting in the front, but they will have good range and stronger weapon.  If it sucks, I'll just say they are archers until I can afford more archers!  (just have 10).
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Offline Calisson

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2012, 08:57:40 PM »
I replaced the front archers with crossbow men due to lack of miniatures.  My group doesn't mind proxy troops but I will give it a try just the same.  They won't get the -1 to hit sitting in the front, but they will have good range and stronger weapon.  If it sucks, I'll just say they are archers until I can afford more archers!  (just have 10).
The front Archers are not essential.
You could use the inverted Griffon formation, and use the Xbows as the Wizard bunker.
During deployment, you stretch the formation as wide as necessary for the detachments to be at 3".
As soon as the horde moves on, you rearrange the Xbow unit 2 deep facing the main threat.

Offline Holy Hand Grenade

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2012, 09:06:52 PM »
This is really awesome.  I just stayed up until 2am working with this idea and the miniatures I have to make it work.  Thank you for the hard work.

It won't work the same, but I replaced the front archers with crossbow men due to lack of miniatures.  My group doesn't mind proxy troops but I will give it a try just the same.  They won't get the -1 to hit sitting in the front, but they will have good range and stronger weapon.  If it sucks, I'll just say they are archers until I can afford more archers!  (just have 10).

Awesome man.  Let me know how it goes-  really looking for some feedback with others trying it out.

I have a battle with Dark Elves this weekend.  If I can figure out how to use the Battle Chronicler, I will take the time to post a Battle Report.
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Offline malladin_ben

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Re: The Griffon Formation
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2012, 09:14:38 PM »
I've been using these types of tactics since the new book. One thing that works well is the use of a big swordsmen bus with BSB and WP (and even a wizard in the second rank if you like) as the parent unit so that it can stay steadfast and not have to worry about the CoC, with a big halbardier detachment (15+, 21 is ideal for 7x3). The archers skirmish ahead of the line so that they can keep detachment safe so that they either charge the parent and get the counter charge or charge the archers so you can get to charge back, possibly even getting a rear & flank combo charge. The habardiers do some decent damage, the swordsmen soak it up and provide ranks. It gives you a big bonus on static CR as the charge bonuses cancel out so you're up by a flank and however many ranks you've got left (as you will undoubtedly be cancelling their rank bonus), and quite possibly an extra banner too. Could be +5 up just on the static CR, so you can afford to lose a few more wounds then your enemy and still win the combat. There's not many units will remain steadfast against a bus of 40. It can also take on superior troops as it will likely keep its steadfast and give you a bit extra punch you need to win the attritional war that follows.

Cheerio,

Ben