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Fast Cavalry (Better than the White Dwarfs'!)

Darmort

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
274
#1
Given the appalling level of the "tactica" within the White Dwarf that I recieved yesterday, I have decided that something more complete and proper needs to be done. As a Dark Elf player, I know full well the advantages and disadvantages of Fast Cavalry, and I will go into as much detail about Fast Cavalry that I can.

First off, what are Fast Cavalry?

Fast Cavalry are merely a distraction unit. A harrasser unit. Whatever you wish to call them. They run around, they bug the enemies trousers off, and hunt warmachine crews (A good idea to ignore Dwarf crews in combat, however!), lone Mages, possibly Skirmishers, et cetera. They can also negate larger units' ranks by charging them in the side. Just a few of their many uses.

Most Fast Cavalry units have access to bows of some discription, the most notable of all being Wood Elf Glade Riders, suffering no Movement Penalties and still being able to march and shoot, usually hitting stuff on 3+. Other notorious Fast Cavalry units are Dark Elf Dark Riders and Empire Outriders. Being able to move and shoot multiple shots is a major bonus for most Cavalry units, or shooting more shots with a higher strength and AP is an even better, especially when deployed so they have a view of a goodly lot of the battlefield and can lay down their shots into whatever unit comes their way.

There are, however, a few Fast Cavalry units that cannot shoot. Dogs of War Light Cavalry without Bows, Wood Elf Wild Riders have no bows either, but then, they aren't exactly harrasser Fast Cavalry... Dire Wolves, Mounted Daemonettes and Spider Riders also come into mind, but again, they're more support Fast Cavalry than the ranged fangled kind of Cavalry. These units often excell more at taking out Warmachine crews (not recommended against Dwarfs!), skirmishers, lone Mages and sometimes even shooting units, depending on whether or not they have a hill or ranks. It's generally not a good idea for a general to have his Fast Cavalry generally charge into a unit of ranked up shooty/fight death (like... Dwarfs.).

There are a few Fast Cavalry units that work both as an okay Support Cavalry unit and as a Close Range Blasting Cavalry unit, namely Empire Pistoliers and Chaos Marauder Horsemen and Centigors. They can be given throwing weapons or have some kind of ranged weapon standard, and while having short range, this makes them ideal for running up the side of an enemy unit, turning to face them so they're slanted back to your own lines, and blow the hell out of the enemy rather quickly, and have a heavier combat unit just outside their charge range (guess work and generalisation should work well enough here) their charge range that is fully capable of withstanding said assault, by either winning it or not getting pummelled too much. Obviously, against Frenzied units that works a treat. Once the enemy declares a charge on you, pray that they aren't in range, and if they aren't, charge them in the flank or rear with the Light Cavalry, and charge them in the front with your own unit. Chaos works ideally for this, especially with units of Chaos Warriors that are, on their own, incredibly hard. With some Marauder Horsemen in the rear, using Flails (come on, who uses Spears with Chaos?), you should hopefully cause enough damage. If the enemy doesn't flee, then either you're very unlucky, or they're very lucky, but you should have a +5 or more bonus anyway, depending on how large your Warrior unit is.


Drawing away enemy units from their battlelines, especially frenzied ones, is a good way of messing up an opponents battleplan, or their battleline, so you can pick your targets one by one. By having Fast Cavalry ride up and flee when charged, you can bring out individual units and then charge them with a good, hard unit, such as Chaos Knights, Grail Knights, Empire Knights, Cold One Knights, et cetera, and cause the enemy to run, hopefully.

You can also use homicidal tactics to try killing Mages hiding in units, charging them into a unit and directing as many attacks (usually 4, including horses, at most 6, possibly 7 depending on the unit) as possible against the Mages. 4s followed by 2/3/4s (depending on riders and mounts) allow a comfortable one, maybe two, wounds against that Mage. Other units can do this just as well, such as Elf Eagles or Warhawk Riders, or Lizardmen Terradons, but often cost more for the same ability (except for Eagles). They can even charge lone mages and quite comfortably win combat, and if they flee, easily run them down, and that's if they have killed them in the first round of combat.

Fast Cavalry are also handy units to have because of their high (ish) unit strength. Being US2 helps them remove ranks or when positioned behind enemy units while in combat, they can destroy that unit when they run away. Not to mention that it helps outnumbering Skirmishers and Missile Units and Warmachine Crews that one often comes across!

Now, in the White Dwarf, Allesio stated that his vote for best Fast Cavalry were Bretonnian Peasant Yeomen. They're cheap, they have bows, spears and don't give away Victory Points for their banner, and have better Leadership around Knights. Okay, now to take that apart; Why would you give a Fast Cavalry unit a Banner in the first place, especially if it's a sacrificial unit? Just because they have the option to doesn't mean every unit has to have a banner! The odd Fast Cavalry unit here and there, fine, I can understand. You have three Dark Rider Units, give one of them a Standard to hunt down Skirmishers and Missile Units and lone Mages more effectively, but in general, don't bother. If you loose combat and run, then you're giving 100 victory points away. Not everyone plays Bretonnians, and not everyone who does play Bretonnians uses Peasant Yeomen. It's a moot point, but I really don't see this unit to be any more points effective than Dire Wolves, Dark Riders, Outriders or Glade Riders, to be honest. Then again, I'm biased; I think Fast Cavalry should be more elite that a mere Peasant. Elves... Pistoliers... Marauders... et cetera. Dire Wolves are an exception, because, well, they're Dire Wolves! What's not to like? :tongue:

Fast Cavalry are very nice units to have, and just about every single army has access to a unit that does their job. Certain armies get access to multiple units (Wood Elves, being the foremost example) that are all similar but all have different uses.

There's probably several things here that I have covered, and if so, then please forgive me, but in short, that's Fast Cavalry for you.

They have a number of disadvantages, of course, but any skilled player will target Fast Cavalry units first, not to mention other threats. In all, Fast Cavalry are a unit that can alter the course of the game. Not bad for a unit that is, usually, under 150 Points, hey? :tongue:

If you wish to add anything, be my guest, and feel free to comment anything that I've put down.

Thanks for your time reading this badly written piece... sorry about that.
Darmort
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#2
Really good write-up, some stuff in there that will be new to a lot of people. The stuff about charging Wizards is really good, I was playing a Wood Elf player once when I realised he could easily have charged my Necromancer and killed him with his Glade Riders- my opponent did not realise this, however. He still wiped me out becuase Wood Elves are awesome however ;)

Darmort said:
Now, in the White Dwarf, Allesio stated that his vote for best Fast Cavalry were Bretonnian Peasant Yeomen. They're cheap, they have bows, spears and don't give away Victory Points for their banner, and have better Leadership around Knights. Okay, now to take that apart; Why would you give a Fast Cavalry unit a Banner in the first place, especially if it's a sacrificial unit? Just because they have the option to doesn't mean every unit has to have a banner!
Uhh, that is precisely his point! Putting a banner on fast cavalry is usually a BAD idea, as the unit is easily defeated ni combat and will give up extra VPs. So Mounted Squires don't have to worry about that and can wave their banner around with impunity- which is what makes them great.
 

Arion

Vampire Lord
True Blood
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
3,414
#3
thats a nice tactica il second EvC on his points.although i already knew most of this quite a few tacticas on glade and wild riders at asrai.org (as my own genius:lol: )
 

Darmort

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
274
#4
EvC said:
Uhh, that is precisely his point! Putting a banner on fast cavalry is usually a BAD idea, as the unit is easily defeated ni combat and will give up extra VPs. So Mounted Squires don't have to worry about that and can wave their banner around with impunity- which is what makes them great.
But you spend extra points on giving them a banner in the first place. For those points you could have two or three more peasants.


Arion - In general, this was a general Fast Cavalry tactica. If you want to put down your tactics and tricks with your own experiences and gaming knowledge, be my guest. This was made to be expanded on, and if you can, you can most certainly expand it. :)

Darmort
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#5
I did pick up WD today, and thought the Fast Cavalry article wasn't too bad- until I read the little section on Gyrocoptors. I think (hope!) a sub-editor might've been a bit too quick at cutting bits out of that part, because it should say to charge into combats involving other Dwarf units that might win... otherwise it's telling the reader to charge enemies you can beat (Great advice)...
 

Sirihar

Crypt Horror
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
544
#6
A good read. I personally haven't really read it, because I have spent to much time shredding it to bits. That's after being burned, blended and attacked by my little brother who went at at with his bare hands. After all that, I was going to send it back to GW in an envelope, but thought that was just to far and unfair. (Although the way it is, can it really be unfair?)

I of course wouldn't spend £4 and then do all that, would I? I say spend when I meant to say wasted.

If a measly tactica is all they could do for Warhammer, then Warhammer needs and Apocalypse of its own.

40k worth of just Zombies. Imagine going Brains.....Brian.....Brains....while commanding just that many Zombies alone. That is of course including the 40k worth of Skeletons, and then all the other stuff.

If VC just let all the other armies fight it out, they could come back and raise all the dead and then attack the Chaos Wastes. And rule all of the Old World SUPREME! (With string & wallpaper)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
121
#7
EvC said:
I did pick up WD today, and thought the Fast Cavalry article wasn't too bad- until I read the little section on Gyrocoptors. I think (hope!) a sub-editor might've been a bit too quick at cutting bits out of that part, because it should say to charge into combats involving other Dwarf units that might win... otherwise it's telling the reader to charge enemies you can beat (Great advice)...
you don't charge the gyro in to a combat that you think you will win, you only do that if you KNOW that the enemy will break.

Cheers

Lord ALdrek
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#8
Yeah, and putting "charge guys you'll definitely break" into a tactics article is nutso... hopefully most players understand the concept of playing Warhammer by now ;)
 

logan054

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
2,523
#9
Maybe Darmort you should go work for white dwarf and show them how to write articles, i dont think i have actually bought a white dwarf since my subscription ran out when i was 18 (apart for the one that had death master snitchs rules in but he is my fav character of all time!)

I have to say i agree with most of what you, personally however with chaos i find throwing weapons a waste unless im facing orcs and goblins and expect to face some damn fanatics. For me i find paying 3pts a model extra for shooting that will have little effect on the game is just silly (its more worth it if you have other shooting to back them up mind you).

I would say my main use of light cav is really to speed past the enemy ready for flank or rear charges, in 500pts games light cav have to be one the best units to have. The frenzy bit you mention however relies on one of many factors

a) no screen
b) no cheap flying units able to charge in as well
c) units that in compulsory movement phase cant get behind your unit (of course being a khorne player i have defend frenzy on principle :tongue: )

Now heres a interesting thought, a frenzied light cav, say flesh hounds, clearly these dont fit any of the roles above for one reason or another (they can flank break but its a tad harder than with normal cav), what is your view on the kinda role these units perform.
 

Darmort

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
274
#10
Didn't know that Flesh Hounds were classed as Fast Cavalry. Regardless, a frenzied unit as such needs a screen (Warhounds) for the first turn, moving forwards and hopefully towards a gap in the enemy line, and then you move it quickly behind the enemy lines to threaten Warmachines. And pray that they don't wipe out your Warhounds...

Other than that, Flesh Hounds hide in Woods and come out a turn before combat, which means they can get a flank charge in and unless there's a lot of scouts/mages/skirmishers around, they wouldn't have suffered their Frenzy.

Fortunately, Flesh Hounds are incredibly good in combat, offer an extra Dispel Die, and have Magic Resistance. They can handle smaller units easily, as well as other Fast Cavalry, Scouts, Skirmishers, Missile Units, Warmachine Crews, et cetera, and if you get the opportunity to with Screens et cetera, they can flank. Not bad to be honest.


There. :tongue:

As to the rest of it, I also don't give my Marauder Horsemen throwing weapons, I just give them Flails and watch them kill stuff. Then again, as a Vampire Count Player, you don't have anything but Combat and Magic in your army... but why only Flank with them? Why not get their Warmachines/Shooty units as well?
 

Voltaire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
2,763
#11
Darmort, have you ever considered writing for the Watchman?

Excellent tactica, though I believe the way to make it better would definitely be by making some diagrams with examples of how to implement your tactics.
 

Darmort

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
274
#12
Honestly, no I haven't. And thank you for the compliments and advice... now I've got to find a program that makes said diagrams. :tongue:
 

logan054

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
2,523
#13
Darmort said:
Didn't know that Flesh Hounds were classed as Fast Cavalry. Regardless, a frenzied unit as such needs a screen (Warhounds) for the first turn, moving forwards and hopefully towards a gap in the enemy line, and then you move it quickly behind the enemy lines to threaten Warmachines. And pray that they don't wipe out your Warhounds...
The problem with flesh hounds no matter if they are screened or not is the frenzy, furies are far suited better to take out warmachines, at the end of the day who dosnt put a cannon on a hill behind his lines, thisins effect means you have to break through the lines, lack static combat res, t3, 5+ ward and only strength 4 they arnt that great at getting through a line, it isnt a simple as going round the side if they are screen either, remember chaos hounds arnt light cav so they will slow the flesh hounds down.

Other than that, Flesh Hounds hide in Woods and come out a turn before combat, which means they can get a flank charge in and unless there's a lot of scouts/mages/skirmishers around, they wouldn't have suffered their Frenzy.
this again horribly slows the move down and gives the other guy a turn to shoot them apart atleast or charge in

Fortunately, Flesh Hounds are incredibly good in combat, offer an extra Dispel Die, and have Magic Resistance. They can handle smaller units easily, as well as other Fast Cavalry, Scouts, Skirmishers, Missile Units, Warmachine Crews, et cetera, and if you get the opportunity to with Screens et cetera, they can flank. Not bad to be honest.
They dont have the mark of khorne, they do however have magic resistance 2! they are good against archers if they can make it but as i said before they arnt all that hard to kill, they pretty worthless against dwarfs however :(


There. :tongue:

As to the rest of it, I also don't give my Marauder Horsemen throwing weapons, I just give them Flails and watch them kill stuff. Then again, as a Vampire Count Player, you don't have anything but Combat and Magic in your army... but why only Flank with them? Why not get their Warmachines/Shooty units as well?
As a chaos player i have furies to hunt down mages and warmachines, faster, cause fear (and thus can auto break cannon crews on the charge, done that to dwarfs a few times :D ). I would say i only use them as a flanking unit, i have used them to absorb bow fire rather than having my furies bite, cover flanks (hounds do this as well).

As i said light cav is one of the best units in the game but its role is heavily dependent on the army following it.
 

Darmort

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
274
#14
1 - I don't deploy my Dogs of War Cannon on a Hill, nor does everyone I play with. Most often because there isn't always a Hill available, or I have a more important unit that can deploy there, but that's besides the point. Besides that, on a 6'/4' table there is always space to go around the flanks of entire armies, unless you're playing a Horde Army or an MSU Army, and in the case of the latter, you can always charge any single unit, kill several things and break it easily.
And I would dispute the fact that Chaos Warhounds aren't Light Cavalry. Indeed, they're some of the lightest Cavalry to be found! However, they aren't Fast Cavalry. ;) Just because they aren't Fast Cavalry doesn mean they can't be used as a screen to get the Flesh Hounds half way up the field.

2 - Depends on how far away the enemy units are, how they're deployed and moved, which direction you're facing, et cetera. At the very least, there is shooting, but in woods that's -1 to hit, so most shooting units are facing a 5+ to hit, Elves a 4+, and that's at short range (most likely will be with the example I used).

3 - I don't use Daemons.

4 - I don't use Furies, either. Mainly because when I used them, people targetted them first because they were flyers, using Magic or en massed Shooting as soon as they could and making them die, since then I've never used them. Warhounds are a much better unit in my opinion. Worth little, but fantastic at tying up Warmachine Crews for a turn or two. Not to mention Mage and Skirmisher hunting...
 

Skaramak von Carstein

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
1,636
#15
Thanks for a very nice and comprehensive tactica (at least as good as WD, who score only on the pics - at least it is an improvement on the magic in last month's issue!).

I also agree that some diagrams would really bring out your points.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
18
#16
One thing I think that hasn't been mentioned is the Feigned Flight Tactic. All fast Cavalry(well, those that are not immune to Psychology at least) can flee from a charging enemy. The next turn (assuming they rally) they can move and shoot as normal. This is an incredibly useful ability, which can lead the enemy into traps and lead off that Uber-combat unit into the woods. I do it all the time.
Also, never forget that a US5 unit parked behind an enemy unit in combat is instantly destroyed when they pass through them on their flee roll. That's where the Fast Cavalry should almost always be - behind the enemy.
Another idea that I've tried, which for obvious reasons won't work on the VC, is the Outrider/Pistolier combination. the Outriders have to be stationary to shoot, so i move then behind the enemy lines as soon as possible.
On the next turn, my pistols make a sandwich with an enemy unit as the meat. Both units shoot at the meat. Since we're looking at at least 23 S4 shots at -2 save, that unit's going to be taking a panic test, and since the bulk of the shooting is from the Outriders, they have a good chance of fleeing - through the Pistoliers!
 

FatOlaf

Varghulf
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
770
#17
Of course with VC I think we have some of the worst Fast Cavalry in the game, sure they can march but only when near the general, plus they cant flee, have no AS and usually hit nothing in CC...................

Of course they are US2 and cause Fear so they do have their uses, my fave especially against Heavy cavalry is using 2 or 3 small units to bait the big dangerous unit and get them in the right position to hit them with the killer unit.
Plus having them as your first 4 units to deploy, gives you a great chance to see where your enemy has placed his first 4/5 units (hopefully good ones) before you have deployed anything major, all for 200 points...
 

Darmort

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
274
#18
Patch:

Being US2 helps them remove ranks or when positioned behind enemy units while in combat, they can destroy that unit when they run away
;)

Also, the Feigned Flight only sometimes works. I have opted not to feign a flight just to get my enemy INTO a position. Works wonders sometimes. Thanks for adding that little bit.[/quote]
 

TheAdmiral

Black Knight
Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
302
#19
As a Dark Elf player, I ALWAYS use tons of Fast Cav (3-4 units of Dark Riders). I find them very useful for flank charges and shooting some ranks of large, unarmoured units (Gobbos, Skaven, Gnoblars, Marauders, etc.). having 10 shots for a basic unit is nice.

One thing you mustn't forget is that Fast Cav a 360 degrees fire arc. They are excellent for taking out that Casket!
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
18
#20
Darmort said:
Being US2 helps them remove ranks or when positioned behind enemy units while in combat, they can destroy that unit when they run away
Oops! My apologies! :rolleyes::(
 
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