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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To Horde or Not to Horde

One of the most interesting questions for me so far in Eighth Edition has been whether or not to use the horde formation.  Bringing units ten wide and a million models deep sure sounds epic, but it's taken a while for me to come to grips with doing so in practice.

At first, hording units seemed to have little upside.  Sure, an extra rank gets to attack, but in general, the cost of having enough troops for that to happen is way to high and is not cost effective.  We can't all play Skaven or Goblins!

It's quickly become apparent to me, however, that the horde has better qualities that aren't apparent at first glance.  Eighth Edition seems to really be about the concept of points denial.  Preventing others from killing your units and then eeking out victories by holding onto your points while damaging the other army is what it's all about.  This is due to the new concepts of units not giving up any points until all of their models are dead, combined with the new steadfast rule, which keeps big units from running away easily. 

These concepts make hordes of troops (if not always in horde formation) golden.  Sixty Dark Elf Spearmen (especially with a Cauldron Ward Save) is murder for other armies to chew through in cc.  I wish I owned more.  They die slowly, and refuse to give up a single point until every one of them is dead.  Heck, they can be fleeing at the end of a game and not give up any points. 

Personally, I've been enjoying taking a large unit of Dark Elf Crossbowmen tend wide, and then switching them to five wide if close combat threatens, in order to be steadfast.   It's been pretty successful, and has earned me a few wins, along with the extra large block of spears, by husbanding my points carefully.  I haven't quite mastered it, but am getting there slowly.

Now, if only there was an effective job for my poor Dark Riders!

1 comment:

  1. Ben,

    In the 7 games i've played, I've had a lot of success with a single unit of 10 dark riders with crossbows. The unit getting to fire in two ranks, combined with it's speed, and ability to march and fire makes it a tremendous mobile firing platform that really doesn't have a footprint any bigger than it did last edition. I know it's a bit pricey, but i suggest giving it a try.