Author Topic: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units  (Read 24281 times)

Chad_YMG

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2009, 02:30:49 AM »
High Elf cavalry charging into holding spearmen?

1. It usually shouldn't happen, unless your whole line is Spearmen and even then the High Elves can probably do better to have the Cavalry hold back ready to charge any spearmen that move while keeping the flank quiet.

2. If it does happen, two damage???  Almost impossible.  The Knights are a (6)6/8 on the charge to the Umenzi's 2/1 on defense, meaning they rate four hits plus a fifth for impact and the damage roll is looking for double-overkill (meaning unless you roll three 6s on damage you aren't missing).  That's pretty close to five damage rated and to get only two means that out of six dice looking for 4s he only scored one hit.

3. The Umenzi unit's skill bonus vs. cavalry is cancelled out by the knight's defensive bonus on the charge, so your attack would have been six dice looking for 2s to hit and 5s for damage.  You rate just under two damage.

I will sometimes charge heavy knights into holding light spearmen (like the Umenzi) if I really need to punch through, because even though the spearmen are relatively favored in the fight the knights may actually be favored to win.  In this case the charge turn should put the Umenzi into the yellow while leaving the knights in the green, after which the Umenzi rate a bit less than a point a turn while the Knights rate a bit more than two -- a closer fight than the point gap but still one that the knights can win.  It sounds like you got almost the reverse of the damage that should normally happen AND then you had a pinch waiting, which is bad for any unit.
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Quelmotz

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2009, 03:03:52 AM »
I wasn't quite sure the HE knights did only two damage though, it might have been 3 or 4, but I applied faith armor.
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lazyj

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2009, 01:47:11 PM »
Updated the original review to include thoughts on skirmishers and how some units are re-evaluated because of them.

elgin_j

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2009, 08:19:41 AM »
This was posted up on BGG a while back but I thought I'd spread the love...


Following my recent experiences against the Dwarves of Runesguard http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/451254 I've been working on a few strategies to breakdown enemy armies with defensively strong units. These army builds were tested using solo rules (+25% enemy size; melee units on close; ranged units on range) against Dwarves - with and without M&M.

It had become apparent to me recently that the lack of heavy hitters in the Hawkshold lineup means that Longbows are vital. I had tried to play without them recently but they simply aren't competitive against defensively strong factions such as Runesguard without them.

So, here is what I've developed...

2 x Longbowmen (LB)
1 x Knights (KN)
1 x Spearmen (SP)
2 x Swordsmen (SW)
1 x Militia (MI)
2 x Peasants (PE)

1,998 pts.

They line up as follows:

SP - SW - SW

KN - LB - LB - MI

- - - - - - - - - - - - PE - - - PE

This is obviously reversable and the spearmen are movable dependent upon enemy lineup.

Now, this works on the premise of an Oblique Line with all the power focused on one of the flanks. As the enemy advance the Longbow target a single unit on the opposite flank (one that they can destroy, thereby creating a gap). Once the enemy hit the forward line the Knights can be brought out to counter flanking units or pinch on the flank - timing is key for this. The militia and peasants support the forward line by preventing flanking with judicious forward movement. The lone peasant is used to upset the enemy line by delaying one flank - this is more potent that it first appears as the enemy will be forced to advance on it in line or draw units across and create a second rank; either way you benefit from delaying a large part of the army.

Standing orders are applied as:

Knights on Close; Longbowmen on Hold with a targeted enemy unit; All others on Hold although the lone peasants can be given a terrain objective if you decide to run them around.

The advantage of this set up is that the Longbows are immune to any enemy range fire and in turn will decimate 1/2 enemy units before the lines clash (they can obviously continue to contribute once they do as well). This will breakdown the enemy flank and give the Knights the opportunity to swing out and work their magic. Ideally they will charge onto a flank to pinch. To prevent them being pinched in turn it may be necessary to switch bowfire onto lurking flanking units if possible. The premier line infantry will hold the enemy long enough for the knights to knock out 1/2 units. Once they've done this the swordsmen/spearmen will be ready to hit the rest of the enemy who have been tied up by the militia and peasants.

One of the key advantages to this tactic is that there is minimal need to change standing orders and so you will be able to draw a large number of command cards and give bravery to units that require them. This will help protect the forward line from bowfire and allow the weaker infantry to tie up the enemy a little longer.

Weaknesses are obviously a small and weak forward line that is totally reliant on the longbowmen and knights to act the hammer while they act the anvil. There is also the potential for the enemy to overpower the opposing flank and break you - if that happens you're dead in the water. The other is an especially fast enemy that can close the distance on the weak flank quickly and roll over them. Both peasants are almost certainly doomed, and possibly the militia as well, but the rest have a good chance of never even dropping to yellow.

I think this is probably an easily countered tactic IF your opponent knows what you're doing and how you plan to do it. Pulled out for the first time, though, and I think they won't know what hit them when the dust settles.
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Hannibal

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2009, 02:14:14 PM »
Quote
It had become apparent to me recently that the lack of heavy hitters in the Hawkshold lineup means that Longbows are vital. I had tried to play without them recently but they simply aren't competitive against defensively strong factions such as Runesguard without them.

I entirely disagree.  Greatswordsmen and heavy infantry do quite well.  I usually shield them with some peasants or militia, who with bravery, survive long enough for the greatswords to catch up.  I also consider knights to be more akin to 'fast infantry' rather than cavalry.  They just move too slow to roll out on a flank.  I instead put them into a one-on-one in the line where they can blow through an enemy unit and then start to pinch.

This is not to say longbowmen aren't good, but I wouldn't take two of them.  I think they work best as a way to pile on an enemy line unit so your line unit can destroy them and start the pinch process.

lazyj

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2009, 09:52:10 AM »
I also wouldn't say that the Hawks lack heavy hitters. Greatswords, Knights, and Light Cavalry will all do serious damage on their charge turn. Greatswords can hang with just about any other heavy for longer than you'd think. Don't negate that 16 courage on a 6/6 offensive stat line. The great thing about the Hawks in general is that you can mix n' match. Heavy guys, ranged guys, or swarm guys, you can play all of those builds competitively.

I do however agree that Longbows in pairs is a fearsome thing to behold. Their range and skill make them absolutely deadly to 90% of the other units in the game - and as elgin pointed out you can get a lot of command card action to help them in a build like this.

I think elgin came up with a great stand a shoot list. The problem is that stand and shoot can be a limiting strategy - especially within Kingdoms. If you got a battle that had a lot of terrain or required an objective, this obviously wouldn't fly. And 2 Longbows plus a unit of Knights is a LOT of points. You have a very serious risk of being overwhelmed with only three other line units and some weenie guys trying to hold the flank. I think either Lizardmen or Umenzi would laugh at this list and send their colossal plus horde guys in to munch you up. That being said, I've had success with this kind of build.

gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2011, 09:09:45 AM »
I'm seem to see a few posts that say that the Hawk Knights are overpriced.  (Not only in this topic)  Why don't we just improve them a bit and make them a 3/3 defense with no charging bonuses.  That way after the charge turn they might stay around a bit longer.   Or we could just make them a bit cheaper in cost.  I'd like that.  Seems to me with all of these new factions coming out, that the Hawks have lost some of their allure.  This could all change if the hawks could field two knights units in every army.  Or how about changing the Bravery rules and say that you only lose Bravery if you fail your check, not if you WOULD of failed it without the Bravery.  Just a few thoughts so people would start playing the Hawks army again.  It seems that Kevin and I are the only ones that seem to do it regularly.  Maybe just a few others.
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gull2112

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2011, 02:01:55 PM »
I like gornhorror's suggestion of making the +3 stay until a unit actually fails a courage check. It requires no actual change on the card and is very simple to remember. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is how it is frequently used anyway.
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RushAss

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2011, 10:27:34 AM »
I'm seem to see a few posts that say that the Hawk Knights are overpriced. 
Yeah, I get the feeling that about 400 points would be just about right.


Or how about changing the Bravery rules and say that you only lose Bravery if you fail your check, not if you WOULD of failed it without the Bravery.  Just a few thoughts so people would start playing the Hawks army again.  It seems that Kevin and I are the only ones that seem to do it regularly.  Maybe just a few others.
Not a bad idea on the Bravery either.  I think the thing that would really get people interested in playing them more is a reprint with different art work.  The Hawks are already a rather plain faction and the current art work is miles behind that of the newer factions.  At least making the Hawks more visually appealing would certainly garner more interest in them and it would provide an opportunity to fix the erratad cards in the command deck as well as make a few tweaks here or there (like the Knights) provided that they are actually needed.  The upside is that we'd need only a fraction of the play testing required for a new faction to do this.  The downside is that YMG would probably have to go through all of the other gyrations that it goes through to release a fully new faction and odds are good that an updated Hawk set won't sell nearly as well as a completely new faction.
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Niko White

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2011, 02:41:52 PM »

There are two big problems with older-faction updates.

1. If we update art, we need to pay for the updated art and graphic design time.  It isn't a killer (see the new Orc starter, which has alt-art trolls and different command card art for all the command cards) but it isn't free either.  Doing all the pieces is a lot more than that, and ditto graphic design etc.

2. The big one: we don't want to be stuck with dead inventory.  Battleground print runs are quite large (prior noted Orc starter being the only one that isn't still on the first printing) and Pre-DE sets are two components (starter and reinforcement) that probably won't sell out at the same time.  This means that a) it'll be a while before a Hawk update is worth doing and b) we'll have to decide if it is a deal-breaker to update piecemeal, ie, have a starter with new shiny art and a reinforcement with old art or vice versa.

In general I'm reluctant to do tons of tweaks to older factions.  We kind of opened the floodgates with the Skeleton thing, but they were just awful, and the faction badly needed them.  Hawk Knights aren't as optimal for their role as some other heavy cav, but they're still a solid unit that does what they need to in a fair number of circumstances.  They're certainly nowhere near what the skeleton infantry were like; I basically pretended those guys didn't exist when I was making my armies.

gull2112

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2011, 05:52:11 PM »
I'm on Niko's side with this. People can always houserule Hawk Nights if it is ruining the faction for them. Don't tell Lazyj, but if he really feels hawk knights are over priced I'd be OK with that, especially if I get the Undead with the ability to spend a command action and give a unit fearful (still stumping for my preferred skellie fix).
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gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2011, 09:52:35 PM »
So, if I make the Hawk Knights a different cost, what does everybody think they should be?  I'm thinking like about 390 points.  In addition, I would like to make the great swordsmen a 3.5 mover.  The only other thing I would do is make bravery stay unless you fail a rout check.  I think these changes will make the Hawks a little more appealing by making them a tad bit more effective.  They will maintain their somewhat boring status when you compare them to other factions, but I think this might spark a little more interest in them.
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gull2112

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2011, 10:24:55 PM »
Well, if you're going to tweak, strive for balance; all the points that you take from the Knights should be added to the Great Swordsmen (Who should then be renamed the Fucking Awesome Swordsmen.  ;D

Actually, having the extra armor wouldn't really slow you down, but it would make it much more difficult to negotiate any terrain that wasn't "clear." Might I suggest they move 3.5," but suffer an additional -1MC in any terrain that reduces their MC. So for instance, they would move at L ordinarily, but in the woods or trying to go up a hill, they would be at 1/2S.
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gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2011, 12:14:32 AM »
Well, I suppose the great swordsmen could be a tad more in cost if they moved 3.5. Maybe they should be the same cost as the heavy infantry.  282. 
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gull2112

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2011, 12:17:12 AM »
I dunno, I'm thinking 284, but we'd have to playtest that a bit - could break the faction. ;D
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