Grinding and Hordes and the Greenhide Way

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  • Hi there !

    A very interessant thread that this one. I really see your point Sir Robert and all that I want to say is that sometimes, I make the same dream than yours. Taking to a tournament an army full of core and only core troops. But to be honest, I never had the courage to really do this. And by now, as we even don't have much choice in core, it seems to me very difficult to achieve this goal.

    Nevertheless, as time pass, I disagree more and more with what I've said before (about the merging of orcs and eadbashers). Giving ed'orcs a bonus in strenght, the born to fight rule, the 0 spell "awaken the beast" could end with cc3/4, s6, T4 (and with even 2/3 attacks per fig) killing machines as our core troops ! With that kind of troops in core, what can we claim of as elite ???

    No, really, on a one for one basis our core troops shouldn't beat elite ennemy's troops. But the synergy between our core troops could and should. Remember too that standard on light cav (not in core anymore, I know... :-/) yelds a +1 on combat res. to a maximum of five ! So I think that encirclement by tiny, sneaky goblins units could be back again...
  • Sir Robert wrote:

    Shlagrabak wrote:

    So I have a few questions to better understand your feedback:
    - What kind of unit are you typically facing? Core, infantry, elite, monsters, ...?
    - Are you making use of support units? Having a chariot impact hits in there could give you even a gentle +2 combat score push that makes a total difference for a non-steadfast unit. Likewise, flank/rear/banner bonus can be bonkers.
    After typing everything below, I realize that I've gotten a bit long-winded. I beg your pardon. If you're not interested in my army composition, then skip the next few paragraphs.

    I'll try to give you some concrete examples of what I'm experiencing. In terms of support units, I tend towards additional infantry. I play O&G horde-style, so I try to maximize the number of main line units that I bring. Ideally I would like to have a 1.5:1 or 2:1 ratio of large ranked units to the enemy. I actually really like chariots as support, but lately I've had a hard time fitting them into the list and preserving the number of units I need in the battle line. So my army looks something like this, depending on the day:

    30 Eadbashers with spear, sheild, Full Command. Warboss goes in here. This is the solid center of my line and almost never changes.

    2 units of 30 or 36 Common Orcs with Full Command and shields. Put the BSB in one of these. Sometimes I trade one of these out for a smaller unit with extra hand weapons, but that rarely yields good results, as they orcs get cut down too fast without shields. In the past I tried running them as cheap as possible - no shield, just a hand weapon. That worked alright in certain editions of warhammer, but now the orcs just die too quickly without shields.

    1 Unit of 20 or 24 Iron Orcs. They are threatening, but tend to get shot up or avoided by the enemy, so don't see a lot of combat. I tend to use them as a reserve unit.

    1 or 2 units of common goblins, 20 or 25. I run these very cheaply and actually use them mostly as chaff or for opportunistic flank charges or to draw fire.

    1 or 2 units of Goblins Raiders on wolves. Once upon a time, I used to run large units of these as fast flankers, but in 9th age it's been hard to find the points. Lately I've been running 2 units of 5 with bows, just as chaff/screen units.

    1 Git Launcher and 1 Splatterer, because I want to have something to do in the shooting phase.

    I would like to add in a couple of chariots, but usually by this point I'm just about out of points. I've run gnasher-dashers in my last couple of lists as support, but maybe replacing them with a chariot or two would be the way to go. In my last game I also tried a large unit of trolls as a support unit, which was interesting, but again it might be better to replace them with chariots.

    So with all these main line units at my disposal, my tactics tend to revolve around trying to surround and flank the enemy. Given the number of bodies I can put on the field, this usually isn't too much of a problem. At the very least, I can usually double-team enemy units in the front if I can't get the flank. The results are a mixed bag:

    Against elite infantry (Elves, WDG, Dwarves): Because I can win the numbers game, flanking these kinds of enemy units usually comes off. Either 'Eadbashers in the front and Common Orcs in the flank, or Common Orcs in the front and Goblins in the flank, or maybe Common Orcs in the front with a support unit like Trolls or Gnasher-Dashers.

    RESULT: Against lots of elite infantry, I just lose too many orcs. It's not unusual for me to charge in and suffer 10+ wounds before my troops get to strike. That effectively overcomes my superior ranks and flanks and it's not unusual for me to lose combat by a point or two. If I have a character present or a decently hitty support unit, I still may win the combat by a point or two, especially if I managed to get off a rear charge. However, all of this rarely results in a unit breaking. Enemy elites often have high LD which means that they can lose by one or two if the BSB is around, and with my own LD 9 boss and BSB (plus my stroops are often steadfast against elites) I'm not likely to move either. So, combat will continue for another round or so and without the benefits of "Born to Fight" or the charge bonus, my troops get cut down and eventually my ranks disappear. The orcs just can't keep up with the elites' ability to dish out pain. High Armor elites are often able to withstand large numbers of Orc attacks as well.

    Against Non-Elite Infantry (Sonnstahl, Beast-herds, Undead): I play Empire of Sonnstahl as well, so I actually have experience with this from the other side of the coin. Non-elites are cheaper, obviously, so they tend to have numbers closer to my own and combined front & flank charges become more difficult. I often have to settle for a double-team charge to the front.

    RESULT: Low initiative is what hurts the orcs here. Toughness 4 certainly helps, but if the enemy is numerous enough they are going to get their licks in. In these match-ups it is much more common for the Orcs to win combats by 2 or even 3 points, but again LD 9 is common enough and so are BSBs. It's also not uncommon for the enemy to do just enough wounds to make them steadfast, especially if they have superior magic or shooting. A lot of these match-ups also come down to what "buffs" are in play on either side. The orcs more or less need to rely on magic (Shamanism FTW) but a solid magical defense can counter that. A lot of the other non-elite troops have units or characters that provide buffs to the common battle-line troops which can't be countered with magic defense. These combats may last longer than those involving elites, because overall casualties will be lower on both sides, but again it comes down to who can grind down the enemy the best.

    Against Monsters: These beasts tend to be maneuverable, and so harder to flank. It's more usual for me to pin a monster down with one of my ranked units and then flank it after a couple of rounds of combats. They also tend to operate more on the flanks, away from the more powerful units in the center of my line.

    RESULT: I don't have a great track record against large beasties. They tend to be largely immune to my common orcs' attacks and capable of dishing out enough wounds to overcome whatever I can bring in static CR, but if I can bring in a strong support unit then they can be overcome. These kinds of encounters feel like a crap shoot.

    That's my own experience. Your mileage may vary.
    Well I have little diferent setup but I face similar problems. Mind you this is my 1.1. setup, havent got that much time to play 1.2. This is my most often used setup but I like to experiment so many of my lists are vastly diferent. this one seem to be most effective non gunline one tho.

    I usually take 3 combat blocs and no less than 2 maxed ones.

    Main blocks are
    - Common orc Edbashers ( usually maxed unit, never lower than 37-38)
    - Feral orcs (mostly becouse I lack suficcient number of common models) usually 40 - 50
    - Either unit of 25+ IO (with mikinoks totem they do funny things but are not super effective as enemies character usually sit inside his most elite unit, which those guys cannot face) or around 40 unit of gnashers.

    As for chaff:
    - I am a great fan of grotlings, I always take 2 sometimes 3 min units, they are moving in front of my units redirecting and blocking chosen enemy units.
    - At least one, unit of goblin raiders as chaff or disruption units, I sometimes replace them with goblin cowboy style characters.

    Support:
    - To support that I take arount 30-50 gobbos either in one or two groups
    - One or two splaterers.
    - At least 2 chariots. I like orc ones but they were nerfed again so I will be back to gobbo ones i think. I might replace them with cheaper scrap wagons when I finally finish their models :).
    - Unit of boar riders for some scoring (optional)
    - Singe Gargantula (optionally if points allow) as a mean to anchor my line form one side.

    Characters, I usualy use minimal number of characters.
    - General, Usually IO (recently trying chariot mounted version).
    - BSB - usually common orc on foot, with mostly defensive build (now as Heavy armor is incuded in cost I must rething magic item placemnt becouse there is little incentive to take armor of destiny).
    - Small mage to carry dispell scroll (unnececery in 1.2) or if I have not taken gargantula bigger mage with BGG or Wilderness (Now shamanism).

    My tactic is simple, Choose one or two enemies units target them, each with at least one (with support) main combt block (preferably two), chaff the rest. As long as enemy lets me chaff him I can fight, but if someones kill my chaff early geme I loose 90% of the time.

    Against Non elites - My orcs and gnashers do their work, If I hit core troops with 2 of them they are history (not suprising) with one block and support it is more iffy as they can easily retain steadfast. But usually I can win combats after 2 or 3 turns if uninterrupted.

    Against Elites - Here come the pain. Elites are hard, I usually shoot them as much as possible while dealing with core first and chaffing them. Sometimes even 2 combat blocks at once are not eanough to cope with them. If they can be chaffed utill I deal with enemy core and other things (at best turn 4) I try to hit them from diferent directions. If I am able to hit elites with 2 of my blocks with support I can get rid of them ok.

    Against monsters - This is tough, if I am able to shoot them or attac with IO it is ok, otherwhise they are a big problem as they dish ton of damage and my orcs cannot really hurt them. Especially Rock Auchars who are very OP for their price IMO.

    I essense to have any chance of winning I have to hit every enemy unit with 2 or more of mine. If he tie up my chaff and my units are 1 on 1 agains his I have no chance to survive.

    Best Regards
    Sklodo
    Best regards
    Sklodo

    Retireing for unspecyfied period of time. Sometime I hate the world.
  • LeVil1 wrote:

    Hi there !

    A very interessant thread that this one. I really see your point Sir Robert and all that I want to say is that sometimes, I make the same dream than yours. Taking to a tournament an army full of core and only core troops. But to be honest, I never had the courage to really do this. And by now, as we even don't have much choice in core, it seems to me very difficult to achieve this goal.

    Nevertheless, as time pass, I disagree more and more with what I've said before (about the merging of orcs and eadbashers). Giving ed'orcs a bonus in strenght, the born to fight rule, the 0 spell "awaken the beast" could end with cc3/4, s6, T4 (and with even 2/3 attacks per fig) killing machines as our core troops ! With that kind of troops in core, what can we claim of as elite ???

    No, really, on a one for one basis our core troops shouldn't beat elite ennemy's troops. But the synergy between our core troops could and should. Remember too that standard on light cav (not in core anymore, I know... :-/) yelds a +1 on combat res. to a maximum of five ! So I think that encirclement by tiny, sneaky goblins units could be back again...
    Dude. Assuming edbashers and orcs merge comes through. Even if you are able to get S to 6 (mind you have to cast this spell sucessfully which is not that easy) this is for 1 turn only, on I2 and on troops with 6+ save not to mention WS3. On second turn you drop 2 points in S or one if you again are able to cast that spell (not that likely). They are in no shape or form able to beat enemies elites, they might win turn one if enemy have bad rolls on thair attacs but by a small margin, enemy will stick in cc and in turn 2 massacre them . Even more several armies have acces to S5 or 6 (without magic) core choises (I memory serves at leat 1/3 of all the armies, I am uncertain how many with magic/special rules support can do the same), I assume you are also think of them as Elites?

    Saying that I am all about making goblins as sneaky as possible, but Orcs have proesidence as Gobbos work good at the moment (at least common ones) but orcs and Ednashers (after nerf) does not.

    Best regards
    Sklodo
    Best regards
    Sklodo

    Retireing for unspecyfied period of time. Sometime I hate the world.
  • Hi Sklodo !

    Sklodo wrote:

    Even more several armies have acces to S5 or 6 (without magic) core choises (I memory serves at leat 1/3 of all the armies, I am uncertain how many with magic/special rules support can do the same), I assume you are also think of them as Elites?
    Could you make a simple review of those armies with S5/6 troops as core choice please ? It's just for me to know what we are talking about.
  • LeVil1 wrote:

    Hi Sklodo !

    Sklodo wrote:

    Even more several armies have acces to S5 or 6 (without magic) core choises (I memory serves at leat 1/3 of all the armies, I am uncertain how many with magic/special rules support can do the same), I assume you are also think of them as Elites?
    Could you make a simple review of those armies with S5/6 troops as core choice please ? It's just for me to know what we are talking about.
    Sure, I did it already in Edbashers and Orc merge thread, it is only due to units stats and equipment, no magic or other buffs incuded (havn't got time to check it all), here is it:


    Sklodo wrote:

    [...]
    I cheked:
    Daemon legions - Slaughterers with Hell Axes are S5 permanently (it cannot be even hexed lower as far as i understand).
    Dwarfen Holds - Clan Warriors with GW (strikes last but they have S5 permanently), Greybeards with GW have S6!!! so much for S5 being too much,Clan Marksmen with GW (Again S5) - so basically all Dwarven units from core have it.
    Infernal Dwarves - Infernal Warriorsagain S5 with GW.
    Ogre Khans - Brusiers have GW and S6 base permanently (MI i know but thats Ogres for you).
    Warriors of the Dark Gods - Wasteland Warriors Halberds S5 on I or GW S6 last, Barbairns with GW (S5).

    Soooo third of other armies have acces to S5 or even 6 and all of it permanent unlike O&G for first round of combat only. I think that settles question of nobody getting S5 in Core.

    S4 accesible permanently is even more numerous, I havent cheked but it seems it is in almost every book.

    Best regards
    Sklodo
    This is of course mostly due to GW but lets be honest I2 is almost as bad.

    Best regards
    Sklodo
    Best regards
    Sklodo

    Retireing for unspecyfied period of time. Sometime I hate the world.
  • Shlagrabak wrote:

    Oh I very much agree that core shouldn't just be a burden. But then core is not supposed to be self-sufficient either, and the O&G core effectively brings the basis for the army: big blocks of cheap infantry. Some more oriented to tarpit, some more to bash (eadbashers), some to help with shooting. Most of it can't be done as well by the rest of the book, so it does bring something unique. That's good, but it's only the foundations of your house, right?...
    ...Let me try to pinpoint a bit better what might be the problem, which is extra emphasized in your lists because of your model collection: regular orcs are performing subpar, especially common ones (personal opinion)...

    ...The other orcs don't have that much problems with grinding (apart from their max unit size?), having 2-3 attacks at S4, possibly with better WS and defense, and goblins remain cheap enough to be interesting without more powa (I think). What do you think?

    I think we're mostly in agreement about this, just maybe differing by a matter of degrees rather than kind. Certainly the core troops can't do it on their own, but I do think they should shoulder more of the burden.

    I wouldn't want common orcs or goblins to become elite troops with higher strength, better WS or more base attacks. That would kind of go against their ethos. The easiest solution is just to make them cheaper, but that doesn't really help their effectiveness and that only benefits someone like me who has a huge mass of infantry models just waiting to hit the table. My favorite idea in this thread so far is tying their # of support attacks to their rank bonus. As someone who runs a lot of core infantry across many armies, I feel qualified to say: on average, a big increase in number of attacks from low WS, average STR core infantry will only lead to a marginal increase in wound output. However, I think a marginal increase is really all that's needed. We could try balancing it out by removing the current "Born to fight" rules.

    I'm open to other suggestions. Maybe we make Orcs +1STR until they lose the combat? Although in practice that would probably function identically to the current rule most of the time if we're honest.
  • Sir Robert wrote:

    I'm open to other suggestions. Maybe we make Orcs +1STR until they lose the combat? Although in practice that would probably function identically to the current rule most of the time if we're honest.
    It actuly worked like this at one poit but was switched back to old rule I do not know why exactly.
    Best regards
    Sklodo

    Retireing for unspecyfied period of time. Sometime I hate the world.
  • I like this multi block armies. Thats what I play most.

    I also know the problems we are facing. Mostly mobile monsters, mobile shooting and deathstar units.

    I recognized an internal problem of this playstyle. Im blocking myself very often.

    What about this rule:
    Unruly units (not chariots or monsters) can move through own units. Even pushing them away if they block the moving unit's placement afterwards (and only if not themselves in combat). Don't know exactly how to make a stable and not-abusable rule for it, but I like the idea.

    Edit: Maybe allow your opponent to reposition the pushed-away unit?

    The post was edited 2 times, last by arwaker ().

  • arwaker wrote:

    I like this multi block armies. Thats what I play most.

    I also know the problems we are facing. Mostly mobile monsters, mobile shooting and deathstar units.

    I recognized an internal problem of this playstyle. Im blocking myself very often.

    What about this rule:
    Unruly units (not chariots or monsters) can move through own units. Even pushing them away if they block the moving unit's placement afterwards (and only if not themselves in combat). Don't know exactly how to make a stable and not-abusable rule for it, but I like the idea.

    Edit: Maybe allow your opponent to reposition the pushed-away unit?
    Oh I like it. Great idea. It would basically work like better flying (becouse you can move through unit and repostion it). I would not give enemy ability to reposition your unit becouse it would be exploitable by oponent and more of a downside really (he can use youre own units to chaff you). But I get your concern, you want to for example aviod something like moving infantry units 20 inches due to frogleaping of some kind. Maybe eneough would be to say that pushed unit has to go to unocupied spot as close as possible to its oryginal position? It would need very pricise wording but I think it is doable. It would not help in CC tho when enemy just do not have enough facing to be hit by all youre units.

    Best regards
    Sklodo
    Best regards
    Sklodo

    Retireing for unspecyfied period of time. Sometime I hate the world.
  • arwaker wrote:

    What about this rule:
    Unruly units (not chariots or monsters) can move through own units. Even pushing them away if they block the moving unit's placement afterwards (and only if not themselves in combat). Don't know exactly how to make a stable and not-abusable rule for it, but I like the idea.

    Edit: Maybe allow your opponent to reposition the pushed-away unit?

    I worry that breaking the basic rules of maneuver is going too far. Part of me thinks it would be nice for us to have some kind of "swarm charge" rule where a bunch of our units could gang up unexpectedly on the enemy, but if you allow units to charge through each other that just takes a lot of the tactics out of the game.
  • Sir Robert wrote:

    arwaker wrote:

    What about this rule:
    Unruly units (not chariots or monsters) can move through own units. Even pushing them away if they block the moving unit's placement afterwards (and only if not themselves in combat). Don't know exactly how to make a stable and not-abusable rule for it, but I like the idea.

    Edit: Maybe allow your opponent to reposition the pushed-away unit?
    I worry that breaking the basic rules of maneuver is going too far. Part of me thinks it would be nice for us to have some kind of "swarm charge" rule where a bunch of our units could gang up unexpectedly on the enemy, but if you allow units to charge through each other that just takes a lot of the tactics out of the game.
    Hmmm What abolutnie somethimg like that:
    Swarm: During declaring charges player can nominate aby number of units (possible limitation here like units having unruly rule) calculate wich unit would need highest roll to complete charge. Roll once for all the units. If charge that required highest roll was completed all charges are considered complete if it fails all charges are considered failed. After successfully charge nominated units can be moved in any order desired by player.
    Best regards
    Sklodo

    Retireing for unspecyfied period of time. Sometime I hate the world.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Sklodo ().

  • Sir Robert wrote:

    I know that the "Everybody Fights" idea seems super powerful on first glance, but you could balance it out:

    Reduce Max unit size of 'eadbashers and Iron Orcs to 30? (or even 25 for Iron Orcs?)

    Reduce weapon type availability?

    ALSO: remember that the Orcs are going to go last most of the time, so the enemy is almost never going to take the full brunt of the unit's ire.

    Mostly I like it as a rule because it is both Simple and Effective, and Characterful. You would absolutely have to get rid of "Born to Fight", though. You couldn't do both at once.

    Also also: yeah, goblin ambush just seems like a thing that Goblins need to have, but it doesn't help much with the grind.

    Here's a thought: Goblins get extra rank bonus? That way they don't break quite as easily. Everyone else is capped at 3, but maybe cap goblins at 6?

    Jut FYI it's possible that Horde rule may become 8 wide for infantry in the future. As for O&G i doubt they become more Elite and low on numbers (Iron Orcs for example), pretty much the opposite with big blocks of O&G infantry being really good thanks to additionnal rules.
    Personnally i see O&G as a more CC version of VS.
    " Des chercheurs qui cherchent, on en trouve. Des chercheurs qui trouvent, on en cherche " Charles de Gaulle
    " Si l'on bâtissait la maison du bonheur, la plus grande pièce en serait la salle d'attente " Jules Renard
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    " Only in the darkness can you see the stars " Martin Luther King Jr
  • Drakkar du Chaos wrote:

    Sir Robert wrote:

    I know that the "Everybody Fights" idea seems super powerful on first glance, but you could balance it out:

    Reduce Max unit size of 'eadbashers and Iron Orcs to 30? (or even 25 for Iron Orcs?)

    Reduce weapon type availability?

    ALSO: remember that the Orcs are going to go last most of the time, so the enemy is almost never going to take the full brunt of the unit's ire.

    Mostly I like it as a rule because it is both Simple and Effective, and Characterful. You would absolutely have to get rid of "Born to Fight", though. You couldn't do both at once.

    Also also: yeah, goblin ambush just seems like a thing that Goblins need to have, but it doesn't help much with the grind.

    Here's a thought: Goblins get extra rank bonus? That way they don't break quite as easily. Everyone else is capped at 3, but maybe cap goblins at 6?
    Jut FYI it's possible that Horde rule may become 8 wide for infantry in the future. As for O&G i doubt they become more Elite and low on numbers (Iron Orcs for example), pretty much the opposite with big blocks of O&G infantry being really good thanks to additionnal rules.
    Personnally i see O&G as a more CC version of VS.
    If you mean big blobs of models in cc than yes I agree. 8 white horde would change all orcs significantly getting read of lingering 25 mm problems.
    Best regards
    Sklodo

    Retireing for unspecyfied period of time. Sometime I hate the world.