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Author Topic: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?  (Read 259 times)

Offline Clymer

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Here's the problems for the Empire that I've been thinking about over and over, and I think I may have found a solution that's very obvious in hindsight, but I'd like to hear your opinions and lean on your tactical acumen to assess whether this is a good idea or another dead end.

Here's the three-body problem of the Empire:
1. Empire infantry just can't work alone. Some solutions to this problem are:
- Use cavalry, steam tanks, and griffons to flank enemies while our staties lock them in place
- Add characters; Demigryph mounted characters to add resilience and damage, add a buffing wizard to increase the damage of attacks, add an assailment spell, lower the Ld of opponents, improve their movement, or increase their resilience with ward saves, warrior priests/lectors to add damage or ward saves.
- Use shooting and warmachines to thin out the enemy, allowing our infantry to just be a mop up force.
2. Empire characters are pretty one dimensional, and expensive: They can be tough, or they can be stabby, but they can't be both. With the exception of demigryph mounted characters, their basic statlines and equipment are so weak that we need to use pretty much their full magic allotment to make them either tough, or stabby, but can't usually do both. That means that, ironically, our characters actually end up pretty expensive. Yes, their base cost is lower than almost anyone's but once they are tooled up into effectiveness, they have gotten quite expensive.
3. The movement differential in this game is huge. What I mean by that is that the difference between the way cavalry, skirmishers, monsters, and infantry move mean that coordinating movements between units, which is more important for Empire than pretty much anyone else, is a challenge that must be managed. Cavalry can get too far out ahead, even when coordinating with infantry because the charge and overrun distances are so long. If the infantry moves up with them, then we leave our backfield warmachines and missile troops completely vulnerable to outflankers and ambushers.

So, crazy solution, but can we address these issues by just running more lone characters? When you look at the pictures of armies in the book, the characters are always running solo. I thought this was just an aesthetic choice, but the more I look at it, the more it becomes obvious that the game designers wanted this type of play to be a real option.

There's three main upsides to running lone characters for the empire as I can see them:
1. The ultimate defense for free: they can't be targeted if they are not in a unit and you're managing their location well. And that' absolutely free of cost, no ward save required.
2.  360 degree threat arc: A wizard is free to fireball fast cav and ambushers sneaking around to our war machines if they are standing on their own. A fighty character is free to charge alongside an infantry or cav unit if it makes sense, or to charge laterally to deal with an asymmetric threat.
3. Low level casters could remain outside of enemy dispel range, making cheaper characters more effective.

Most of the available supporting benefits we want our characters to provide our units will still work when the character is outside the unit:
- The general's Ld 9 still has the same aura/range
- The BSB's re-rolls still have the same aura/range
- Most wizard enchantment spells we would want to use still work at range
- The wizard's/priest spells have a range
- Fighty characters can still charge alongside a unit if we want them to fight. In fact there may be some advantages to this: Easier to hit a flank and reduction of incoming attacks if they end up on an corner of a unit, and more flexibility for where they charge. For example, if my General is between two units that are fighting, he could join whichever combat made more sense, instead of being locked into the comabt with the unit they have joined no matter what.

There are of course down sides to this approach.

The most obvious one is that there will likely come a point in the game where a lone character is vulnerable and on its own because the nearby cover units have run off in pursuit of an enemy or new battlefield position, or have been destroyed or fled.

And then there are a few advantages that some characters only confer if they are with the unit:
- Hold the line immunity to panic
- A wizard or priest's magic resistance
- A chapter master/ grand master's immune to psychology
- Wizard spells that only affect the unit they are in

Still, despite the downsides, I think there is enough merit to this approach that it is at least worth testing out. Could we have a "cloud" of lone characters amongst our infantry lines providing support and chasing away chaff and outflankers?

Please let me know if you have any experience with this approach or if you have any ideas for how you would use it. It'll be a few weeks before I can run any experiments, but I'll start playing with and sharing some list ideas.
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 Sir Falo

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2024, 04:23:50 PM »
Do you have an example of a list? I dont know if I "get it".

Offline Clymer

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2024, 05:04:00 PM »
I'm not sure I totally get it either  :evil:

It's less of a list idea and more of a deployment idea. But list-wise, you'd be running a lot of cheap characters, maximizing character abilities that confer to your units with a little bit of range, and not wasting any points on making them survivable. Their survivability comes from hiding behind a lot of foot troops and their utility comes from buffing those troops into something useful.

I just dashed out the list below without a ton of thought, but the basic idea is this:

- The level 4 wizard and arch lector provide offensive enhancements to the infantry
- The Captain and BSB provide leadership and banner rerolls for psychology
- The engineer and warmachines put pressure on the opponent and thin out the nastier stuff
- The level 2 provides fire support, defaulting to The Summoning, unless he gets lucky and rolls one of the spells that would really help the infantry.  He's ready to spin around and light up any warmachine hunters that happen by
- All of the fighty characters are ready to deal with blocking and distracting chaff, or to turn on weak warmachine hunters.

Is this any good? I don't know, just trying it out. Even if the general strategy turns out to be good, this list would need some more thought. I just dashed it out to provide a starting example.

===
Lone Characters List [1998 pts]
Warhammer: The Old World, Empire of Man
===

++ Characters [751 pts] ++

General of the Empire [98 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Full plate armour
- Shield
- General
- On foot

Lector of Sigmar [115 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Heavy armour
- Shield
- On foot

Wizard Lord [245 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Level 4 Wizard
- On foot
- Book of Ashur
- Dark Magic

Captain of the Empire [138 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Full plate armour
- Shield
- Battle Standard Bearer [Imperial Banner]
- On foot

Master Mage [110 pts]
- Hand weapon
- On foot
- Ruby Ring of Ruin
- Wizard's Staff
- Daemonology

Empire Engineer [45 pts]
- Hand weapon

++ Core Units [561 pts] ++

25 State Troops [165 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Halberds
- Light armour
- Sergeant (champion)
- Standard bearer
- Musician

25 State Troops [165 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Light armour
- Shields
- Sergeant (champion)
- Standard bearer
- Musician

5 State Missile Troops [35 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Crossbows
- Detachment

5 State Missile Troops [35 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Crossbows
- Detachment

5 Empire Archers [40 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Warbows
- Scouts

5 Empire Knights [121 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Lances
- Shields
- Heavy armour
- Drilled (0-1 unit per 1,000 points)
- Preceptor (champion)

++ Special Units [421 pts] ++

5 Inner Circle Knights [171 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Lances
- Shields
- Full plate armour
- Inner Circle Preceptor (champion)
- Standard bearer
- Musician

Great Cannon [125 pts]
- Great cannon
- Hand weapons

Great Cannon [125 pts]
- Great cannon
- Hand weapons

++ Rare Units [265 pts] ++

Steam Tank [265 pts]
- Steam Cannon
- Steam gun

---
Created with "Old World Builder"

[https://old-world-builder.com]

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 Sir Falo

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2024, 05:23:28 PM »
I see.

If you are going for more of a spam concept I think mor like this:
Priests are better then an Arch Lector. You get two for one. And two priests have a higher chance to get of prayers then a Arch lector.

Cool to have the Imperial banner. I do think you take a General or a Imperial banner. They do the same thing and they are overkill together. Gets you more points.

Take some witch hunters. They can shoot and can be quite cheap. 

Online Footpatrol2

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2024, 05:31:15 PM »
So I have been doing the lone character thing. It is also dependent on the army you face. If your facing fast hitty monsters might want to go lone characters such as bsb and general behind your line not in units. This is in order to not provide juicy points sinks the hitty monster can easily grab. Once combat begins you cannot remove the character from the unit.

Remember if you go lone characters you have evade for protection from overrun.

Also mounted lone characters can provide backline support vs chaff eating warmachines due to their 360 vision charge arc. If the mounted character not on large target is behind a block the opponent still can't see them due to you blocking los.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 06:02:16 PM by Footpatrol2 »

Offline Minsc

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2024, 06:31:09 PM »
If spamming lone Characters, beware opponents with Vortexes, specifically Pillar of Fire from Lore of Battle.

Empire-characters generally don't fare well when hit with D3+3 S3 AP2 attacks.

Online commandant

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2024, 07:45:30 PM »
I am doing something similar with my idea of bring 5 wizards to a 2000 point army.   If you hold them just between the parent and the detachment then they can't be charged because the charger would contact the parent or detachment first.
 

Online drweir4

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2024, 06:33:08 AM »
Mechanically I think you make a good point on lone characters. They can be incredibly useful and I think often you want to write a list with the option of them being separate or in units

I think the issue for empire is still that the lone character idea works way better in a cav list as you can you cheapish denigryh characters either in or next to cheapish knights and they have countercharge which is such a good ability especially in a very mobile meta

In the end itís all about cost efficiency and I just donít think you get the stats for the cost with empire but especially infantry

Offline Voltan Ignatio

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2024, 07:29:38 PM »
Ive been thinking about this too. Great to see ideas on how to make things work.
For those that have tried it, is there a way to just focus on smaller components at a time.

My favourite is engineer w. Blunderbuss, ruby ring + helblaster - quite a lot of dakka for a small portion of your army pts

Has anyone tried 20 crossbowmen + witchunter?
General and BSB on foot, no magic items proving the 9+ rerollable leadership
What would they support? Infantry?
What about a 'choppy' block of 24 halberdiers, and a 'sticky' block of 30 spearmen

Online Footpatrol2

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Re: The Lone Character Cloud: A solution hiding in plain sight?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2024, 11:07:17 PM »
Ive been thinking about this too. Great to see ideas on how to make things work.
For those that have tried it, is there a way to just focus on smaller components at a time.

My favourite is engineer w. Blunderbuss, ruby ring + helblaster - quite a lot of dakka for a small portion of your army pts

Has anyone tried 20 crossbowmen + witchunter?
General and BSB on foot, no magic items proving the 9+ rerollable leadership
What would they support? Infantry?
What about a 'choppy' block of 24 halberdiers, and a 'sticky' block of 30 spearmen

So I been doing all of that.

Engineer with pigeon bombs is actually decent BECAUSE you don't need LOS with pigeons and no BS modifiers, so he can go where needed in the backline  likely behind a block and still contribute while supporting warmachines as well. Engineer+helblasters deletes things at close range.

I take crossbowmen 20 strong vs elves. I took it once with a witchunter for range magical attacks. It was ok ish. 20 crossbowmen don't crumble to chaff which is nice and in a pinch can act as a combat block late game.

I usually go min characters so basically naked bsb except with full plate and same with general. Usually on foot with halberds.

Ya I also take a mix of halberds 8x3 and spearmen 6x5 as well.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2024, 11:57:57 PM by Footpatrol2 »