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Offline commandant

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Action economy and detachments
« on: April 11, 2024, 07:12:29 PM »
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.


Offline Warlord

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2024, 02:42:35 AM »
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.
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2024, 07:04:24 AM »
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.

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2024, 12:51:25 PM »
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.

-Zyg
Live in peace and prosper.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2024, 12:57:19 PM »
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.

Offline Warlord

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2024, 03:31:02 PM »
I think 2000 pt games would be helpful.
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2024, 04:04:27 PM »
Possibly but that would be 3 good sized infantry regiments with detachments which would take up 6 feet of board. 1500 points would only be 2 infantry regiments.
Other people should feel free to join

Offline BeardGamer

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2024, 04:07:47 PM »
Given the amount of variables in game, the action economy labelling seems a little reductive, but what you describe does somewhat pan out in reality.

Saying a lord on dragon and a detachment of 10 state troops have the same movement and combat economy doesn't feel that helpful in practical terms.

I'm about 40 games in including some non-GT events, mostly at 2k, and there definitely feels like a positive middle ground with our infantry.

State troops aren't fantastic, but they're far from unplayable. In most of my games I've been playing detachment in roughly this configuration:

24 halberds w/ 10 free company (oh btw I LOVE free company detachments, they've been doing great)

18 greatswords w/ 10 free company

The rest of my lists have been the usual smattering of general griffon, lvl 4, demigryphs, steam tank, helblasters and mixing in some other things to taste.

What detachments do have is great utility. As you describe Commandant, being able to answer opposing chaff threats without committing a big unit, protecting flanks, acting as distraction units and many more uses.

As Zygmund says, a more practical, qualitative approach to testing detachments in games and through battle reports would identify their strengths and weaknesses in a more useful way.

An thoughtful read nonetheless.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2024, 11:36:58 PM »
So I played a game tonight.   The first game.   I took this list.

===
Infantry Army [1497 pts]
Warhammer: The Old World, Empire of Man
===

++ Characters [649 pts] ++

Wizard Lord [210 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Level 4 Wizard
- On foot
- Wizard's Staff
- Lore Familiar
- Elementalism

Wizard Lord [210 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Level 4 Wizard
- Pegasus
- Wizard's Staff
- Dark Magic

General of the Empire [184 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Halberd
- Full plate armour
- General
- On foot
- Bedazzling Helm
- Dragon Bow

Empire Engineer [45 pts]
- Hand weapon

++ Core Units [380 pts] ++

10 State Troops [60 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Halberds
- Light armour
- Detachment

10 State Troops [60 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Halberds
- Light armour
- Detachment

10 State Troops [60 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Halberds
- Light armour
- Detachment

10 State Troops [60 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Halberds
- Light armour
- Detachment

25 State Troops [140 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Light armour
- Sergeant (champion)
- Standard bearer
- Musician

++ Special Units [468 pts] ++

18 Empire Greatswords [218 pts]
- Great weapons
- Full plate armour
- Count's Champion (champion)
- Standard bearer
- Musician

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

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

---
Created with "Old World Builder"

And my opponent took this list.

===
Horde of Archmage Andurdul [1497 pts]
Warhammer: The Old World, Warriors of Chaos
===

++ Characters [656 pts] ++

Sorcerer Lord [330 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Heavy armour
- Mark of Tzeentch
- Level 4 Wizard
- General
- On foot
- Infernal Puppet
- Daemon-Flesh
- Daemonology

Daemon Prince [326 pts]
- Hand weapon
- Heavy armour
- Wings (Fly 9)
- Mark of Tzeentch
- Level 1 Wizard
- Extra Arm
- Daemonology

++ Core Units [504 pts] ++

20 Chaos Warriors [368 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Heavy armour
- Shields
- Mark of Chaos Undivided
- Mark of Tzeentch
- Champion
- Standard bearer [Rampaging Banner]
- Musician

6 Chaos Warhounds [53 pts]
- Claws and Fangs (Hand weapons)
- Armoured Hide (1)
- Poisoned Attacks
- Vanguard

6 Chaos Warhounds [53 pts]
- Claws and Fangs (Hand weapons)
- Armoured Hide (1)
- Poisoned Attacks
- Vanguard

5 Chaos Warhounds [30 pts]
- Claws and Fangs (Hand weapons)

++ Special Units [337 pts] ++

12 Chosen Chaos Warriors [337 pts]
- Hand weapons
- Full plate armour
- Shields
- Mark of Tzeentch
- Drilled
- Champion
- Standard bearer [Razor Standard]
- Musician

---
Created with "Old World Builder"


I placed my general and the wizard on foot in the Greatsword unit and he placed his General in the Chaos Warrior Unit.

I got a hill in my deployment zone and placed 2 cannons on it.

I will hopefully write a more detailed battle report but the TLDR is that

He was more afraid of my cannons than I think he should have been.   He sort of hid the demon prince for 2 turns.   When he got that demon prince into combat it straight up murdered things.   It rolled well on the Gaze of the Gods.   My halberdier regiment was deployed on the flank containing the demon prince and after 4 rounds of combat there was no halberdier regiment anymore.   The Demon Prince held the regiment in place long enough for the chaos Chosen to smash through the regiment's detachment and drive it off the battlefield.

Oaken shield is good but the infernal puppet is annoying.   My center wizard on managed to cast one spell before he was in combat with the chaos warriors.   However he won the wizard duel, for which I was very grateful.   The Greatswords and one of their detachments pushed back the Chaos warriors in the centre.  The 5+ ward saves were very helpful here.   

The chaos hounds got into my backfield and killed both cannons and the engineer.   The halberdier detachment from the greatswords mopped up one unit of chaos hounds and the peggy wizard flew across and magiced away the other.

On the whole it was an Empire win.   He was left with the demon prince and 6 Chaos Chosen.   I was left with the greatswords, (well 12 of them) the general, the 2 wizards and 1 6 strong detachment and 1 full detachment.    I'm not terribly sure if I would have survived the demon prince if the battle had gone on much longer (we finished in turn 6) but in the narrative battle report I am working on this all makes sense.

A good game though.

Offline PowerSeries

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2024, 01:21:39 AM »
Cool report.  Make sure your detachments are half the strength of the parent unit.  You might need to steal some points for two great swords


No baby?  I know it's a 100 points but the rerolls are good are they not?

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2024, 09:08:49 AM »
We didn't notice the mistake with the detachments unit the end of the game.

The reason is that I wanted 25 points for the dragon bow and took 2 greatswords away. Normally I run 8 or 9 model detachments and I'd forgotten that I put in 10 model detachments. I also forgot to fire the dragon bow, even once.

Offline Warlord

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2024, 01:02:08 AM »
I feel like a unit of 20 Chaos Warriors is too big.
And 3 units of hounds is too many without other things to help.

And yes, I noticed your detachments were illegal, but sounds like it wasn't a big deal.
I never take missile weapons on my characters (except Engineers) because I always forget to use them.

How did you deploy your halberdiers? Wide or in 2 ranks?
Would a unit of knights been nice to catch those hounds?
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2024, 08:40:06 AM »
I deployed two detachments 6 wide and 2 five wide.   I think 5*2 might be slightly better.

I think the idea behind the big chaos warrior unit was that he got +1 to cast as long as there was at least 10 chaos warriors in that group and he know I like lots of cannons and am playing my 2 Level 4 build so he wanted to be able to soak wounds.

I think the warhound did what he wanted them to. They got into my backfield and murdered the artillery, while distracting a magic missile so the puppet could get in range.

It was mostly that the halberdiers held against the chosen and deamon prince until the end of the game where as the Greatswords and general killed the large chaos warriors and general unit.

Offline Warlord

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2024, 11:15:08 AM »
Chaos Warriors IMO should be small units of Khorne with 2 hand weapons. Grind up anything. You want ranks, take marauders.
I don’t understand why Chaos Warriors players don't take more marauders generally.
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2024, 11:59:08 AM »
There was also fluff considerations. His army was the elite bodyguard of the chaos sorcerer lord. The deamon prince was summoned and so on.

Offline Warlord

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2024, 12:26:51 PM »
I have used flagellant models as marauders. They are zealots model wise, but marauders rule wise.
There is fluff, and then there are other options.
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2024, 12:35:32 PM »
True true.

Offline Warlord

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2024, 04:23:54 AM »
So thinking about your theory here, I have some issues.

Firstly, utilisation of Fleeing as a charge reaction is strong Action Economy. Some units do it better than others (Such as Fire and Flee), but FBIGO also plays a part in this. An overrun, or a restrain in a poor position is also Action Economy. I believe Drilled also allows a reform instead of an Overrun? Stand and Shoot is also action economy. Detachment stand and shoot counting to the parents CR is also worth discussing.
And to this point, I think it also losing the nuance of the bait and flee strategy that all armies can do, but perhaps we can do better with our immune to panic Generals and Captains and ItP GMs and CMs.

I think if you are going to properly develop this idea, don't do it with a lens for detachments being amazing. Do it with an actual analytical lens for how FBIGO, Drilled, Fire and Flee, and a number of other rules work. Supporting charge is something, but its situational, and the problem is that the units that can do it are poorly equipped and skilled state troops. Chaos Dwarves have a much better opportunity to use it IMO as their Warriors have hjeavy armour, better WS, and can carry GW's and get the I bonus on the opponents turn.

Secondly, suggesting that wizards are AMAZING in an action economy is misleading. Dispelling is great, yes, and can be across multiple phases, but they also carry a miscast risk. And it also implies that wizards can win the game.... which sometimes they can, but not always which is what such a high rating implies. Perhaos leave wizards out until later.
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline commandant

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Re: Action economy and detachments
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2024, 06:49:26 PM »
Please don't think I'm not considering your fine reply, its just that I got a bit busy. Several excellent points were raised. While it is without question true that a lord on a dragon and a imperial engineer have the same (or possibly even the engineer has a better) action economy it is also undeniable that the actions are not equal.
A lord on a dragon is rightfully a much scarier prospect to your opponent.
Likewise warlord's point that a wizard's high action economy in its opponent's turn is slightly misleading is justified.

I have been considering for the last few days if my entire approach has been wrong and that rather than discussing action in your opponent's turn as part of your action economy, though they are that, I should rather consider the idea of ignorability. That is, to what extent can an opponent just ignore a unit in their own turn.

With this is mind you get certain ideas.
1: A wizard within dispel range can never be ignored. A wizard outside dispel range can always be ignored.
2: Charging units with stubborn mean that no unit within charge range and LOS of the location a fall back in good order ia going to leave that stubborn unit can be ignored.
3: Counter charge can't be ignored and any unit with higher base I than your units and counter charge is likely to (at the very least strike at the same time).
4: Fire and Flee, Flee in general and other charge reactions like this mean that any unit that will enter charge range of the charging unit should the charge fail can not be ignored.
5: I would argue that in most cases Stand and Shoot can be ignored in the sense that if your combat unit is so close to the missle unit being charged that the stand and shoot charge reaction can tip the balance in the favour of the missile unit then your charge choice is likely bad.
6: Combat detachments can never be ignored.

There are likely other concerns from this idea but these are the ones floating around in my head.   It does lead to some interesting ideas. For example is it worth having a tooled up defensive peggy captain who you fling into combat with your opponent's magic defense just to give your own wizards a free hand on the battlefield? (Off the top of my head I don't think you can dispel while in combat but I'm not sure).
How many resources do my opponents have to put into not ignoring my combat detachments. At the moment I run them 10 or so strong but I am considering if I should make them bigger. Is it worth taking a 30 block so that you have 15 strong halberdier detachments? Maybe it is something to test. In this sense the halberdier detachments would be able to handle most anti chaff stuff. Though they do now cost 90 points and you have added a further 30 points to your parent block so there is that.

No doubt when I get a little more time I'll add to this but I think the idea of ignorability might better represent what I was going for.