Death by Deployment

Last time out, we discussed the idea of designing your army with waves in mind. Today, we're going to look at some sample deployments. Bear in mind that both factions detailed here strongly favour the layered assault tactics previously mentioned. The Menoth list is the more defensive of the two, the Skorne list is more aggressive but they are equally matched on paper.

Above is the Menoth force and we immediately note that the Holy Zealots with the Monolith Bearer are the obvious first wave. However, the player (me) has made a major error in deploying his jacks. The extremely dangerous and expensive Avatar has been deployed in the first wave. The extremely cheap and less effective Crusader has been deployed in the second wave. There is no reason to risk a high-value piece when a cheaper alternative is available.

Note the artillery piece on the hill. The Sunburst can actually be considered part of the first wave. When it runs forward into a firing position, it will extend an 16" kill zone into the enemy half of the board. This restricts movement on his right flank and in theory funnels his forces towards the waiting tarpit.

The support units have been placed behind the lines. There is a case to be made for starting them alongside the frontline. Doing so would keep them close enough to assist when units start charging away on Turn 2.

Note that when deploying initially, the player should have avoiding deploying in such a deep formation. But after his first turn of movement, he should have divided his force into a clear first and second wave.

Here is a stronger deployment by the Skorne player. The Praetorians are the first wave unit and well positioned to move across his army and screen them. Their speed will let them get ahead of the rest of army, even if the others were to run directly forward. The warbeasts and their support elements are centrally placed to allow them the largest amount of flexibility.

He also has an excellent flanking unit in the Totem Hunter assassin. The opposing army doesn't seem to have any small or single model units which could be diverted to deal with it. The Cataphracts find themselves facing an artillery piece and will need to reconsider any advance.

Again, both armies have a similar ethos but the Skorne player's deployment is slightly more refined. Note that when you focus on his combat elements alone, their deployment is considerably shallower than that of the opposing combat element. This translates directly into additional inches gained on the first advance and a stronger board position.

For those curious as to how the battle actually finished, the full photo-report can be found here.

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