The important of "March Blocking"
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Thread: The important of "March Blocking"

  1. #1

    Default The important of "March Blocking"

    Howdy everyone,

    I just wanted to ask how important march blocking is in relation to your army, and how it affects your play style. For instance:

    I'm currently working with a Wood Elf army that relies heavily on Glade Guard. Since most of the damage I dish out comes from a hail of arrows it really benefits my army to give them as much time as possible to let loose before handling a charge with complicated maneuvers. So I utilize a minimum size unit of Warhawk Riders to prevent marching. Instead of attacking Warmachines, archer units, or any other thing like that I simply fly them up to the flank of a unit, maybe 2 inches away, and try to keep them away from any nasty artillery/mages. Should the enemy unit attempt to turn and attack, I simply fly away and approach another unit's flank or rear. I strive for the same effect with my Glade Riders, who can fire omnidirectionally unlike most units, and slow their advance as much as possible.

    Of course, the only dilemma I have is with heavy cavalry based armies that can still close the gap somewhat quickly, and heavy artillery armies. High Elf Repeating Bolt-Throwers can be obnoxious to my plans if the terrain doesn't work to my advantage.

    So please, let's hear your March Block strategies or Anti-March Block strategies!
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  2. #2
    Brushlicker Godlikebuthumble's Avatar
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    Well, I play Vampire Counts, so... Fell Bats are nice for march blocking in about the same way as Warhawks (except they don't shoot, of course). Direwolves, being light cavalry, are useful as well, but suffer from the undead's movement restrictions. There it pays to have a Varghulf or fast Vampire join them. This makes them equally suited for march blocking and making the opponent reluctant to turn his back or flank to them.
    Bat swarms are crap, since you can't regenerate them in the quantities they need, and Spirit Hosts are too expensive for that kind of shenanigans. Overall, if I need to divert, say, a cavalry unit, a well-placed unit of summoned zombies usually does the trick (baiting them into another zombie tarpit or leaving them open to a counterattack). Such a maneuver usually costs you 50VP for the summoned zombies, though.

    Last, but not least: Cairn Wraiths. They are quite mobile (M 6), pass through terrain, are skirmishers (still undead, though, so you might want to add an ethereal vampire or such), hit quite hard (which makes the opponent wary of leaving them unsupervised), can take a pain-in-the-ass banshee, and they spread terror! What's not to like? OK, they cost a bunch, but them's the breaks...

    Overall, VC's are less about delaying the impact (no ranged combat whatsoever and too little reliably maneuverable units), but guiding it into a tarpit, bunker unit or into a counterattack.

  3. #3

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    So what you're saying is that you need time to arrange your forces and disrupt theirs depending on how the deployment phase went?

    With the Dire Wolves, do you usually attempt to bypass the march blocked unit in order to turn around and strike from the rear? Or do you simply realign along their flank and force them either to turn or to accept the flanked attack?
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

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    Brushlicker Godlikebuthumble's Avatar
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    Well, that depends. If the wolves are accompanied by a fast Vampire or a Varghulf, I might try attacking their flank or rear if they don't react, but wolves on their own are actually a bit too squishy to actually support a melee. For example, if an enemy unit is fighting Wights to their front, and I throw a unit of wolves into their back, I might get a +2 CR for rear charge along with any (barely) possible casualties they cause, but with WS3, T3 and no save at all, wolves tend to be a gift of CR to the enemy. So, usually I'll use them to stand near an opponent's flank, march block them for a round or so (or maybe divert an attack, better they go after 40pts worth of wolves than my Black Knights), then go look for some soft stuff, like warmachine crews, lone characters, softer skirmishers, stuff like that.

    There are some major differences between Wood Elves and VCs in that regard: With WE, your goal is to evade and delay enemies (while shooting them), until you can get the jump on one of his units with 2-3 units of your own. Considering WE CC capabilities, that's a fair fight for WE. You need to break the enemy in one round, as prolonged fights don't work for you.
    VC's however, can't march unless there's a Vampire near, can't shoot, and cannot choose to flee a charge. So the best you can do is to delay the enemy long enough that you can lure or divert him into a tarpit unit and/or into position for a counterattack. True, most VC core units are even less CC capable than WE, but they won't ever run, and you can try to raise more. Just know your expendables.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlikebuthumble View Post
    Well, that depends. If the wolves are accompanied by a fast Vampire or a Varghulf, I might try attacking their flank or rear if they don't react, but wolves on their own are actually a bit too squishy to actually support a melee. For example, if an enemy unit is fighting Wights to their front, and I throw a unit of wolves into their back, I might get a +2 CR for rear charge along with any (barely) possible casualties they cause, but with WS3, T3 and no save at all, wolves tend to be a gift of CR to the enemy. So, usually I'll use them to stand near an opponent's flank, march block them for a round or so (or maybe divert an attack, better they go after 40pts worth of wolves than my Black Knights), then go look for some soft stuff, like warmachine crews, lone characters, softer skirmishers, stuff like that.

    There are some major differences between Wood Elves and VCs in that regard: With WE, your goal is to evade and delay enemies (while shooting them), until you can get the jump on one of his units with 2-3 units of your own. Considering WE CC capabilities, that's a fair fight for WE. You need to break the enemy in one round, as prolonged fights don't work for you.
    VC's however, can't march unless there's a Vampire near, can't shoot, and cannot choose to flee a charge. So the best you can do is to delay the enemy long enough that you can lure or divert him into a tarpit unit and/or into position for a counterattack. True, most VC core units are even less CC capable than WE, but they won't ever run, and you can try to raise more. Just know your expendables.
    I thought of another factor that might encourage your wolves to make such a charge. They cause Fear. Against certain formations (not all mind you) it might be beneficial to make that charge. Units such as night goblins, skaven clanrats, or other low leadership units would suffer some serious adverse penalties if they failed their leadership test. Sure it would be a horrible idea to charge elves based on that premise, but in any scenario where the unit has a higher than 50% chance of failing their Fear test, it'd be worth it. Might be a bit of a gamble, and it's really only useful on large units of weak willed creatures, but it makes a heck of a difference.

    So against High Elves, Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Dwarves, and high leadership/tough units you'd want to continue on to the squishier targets. But against mobs of weak stuff, I'd say charge the flank. Except for fellow undead armies. That'd be stupid.
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  6. #6
    Brushlicker Godlikebuthumble's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I found Fear in the current edition to be... very hit or miss. Like you said, against Elves of any kind, Dwarves, Undead, Chaos in general, hell, even Skaven (if attacked from the front), Fear will realistically only matter if you manage to actually win the fight (and still outnumber), not for the initial charge. Managing that with a 5-10 unit of Wolves... tall order. A "harassing" unit of 5 wolves mostly won't make anything run straight away anyways (unless we're talking small skirmishing units, warmachine crews or small archer units or such). And frankly, in my experience, goblins hitting on sixes only still can hold their own against wolves.
    All in all, I find wolves to have their uses (especially in a mostly "slow" army like VC), but just don't expect them to actually win a fight against any but the weakest enemy. For march-blocking, though, they (together with Fell Bats, but those take up precious Elite slots) rule.

  7. #7

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    So the only Fear causing unit you're willing to use in that manner might be The Blood Knights? (I think that's what they're called. Mounted Vampire knight thingies!)

    I've always been curious on what kind of tactics a VC army might employ against a solid block of Lizardmen Saurus or Chaos Chosen. Those are obnoxiously tough nuts to crack, and I'm guessing VC has just as much difficulty against them as Wood Elves have, just in slightly different context. The tactics for myself are basically the same, though I try to use a unit of Wild Riders for a devestating charge on the flank while I attempt to lock up the unit with my Eternal Guard. In that scenario I still lose plenty of models though. My archers can only whittle away at that unit so much, even with March Block.
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  8. #8
    Brushlicker Godlikebuthumble's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add: it seems, in 8th edition, march blocking will be... different: basically, units get to take a Ld check, and if they pass that, they can march, even w/in 8" of enemy units. This seems to help high Ld units, while low Ld ones will have to rely on a nearby general, attacked characters and such.

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