Friday, 20 May 2016

Unit Coherency In Age Of Sigmar

In Age of Sigmar movement and synergy are paramount, having your offensive units within range to be augmented by your buffers and defensive units in terrain and ready to benefit from Mystic Shield will be the difference between winning and losing the combat and potentially the game. 

Therefore a good tactician must keep his army in check whilst simultaneously forcing the opponent out of position and thus unable to maximise the benifit of their synergies. "How is this done Mr Tzeentch?" you might ask. I may or may not have all the answers to give you, but I will certainly place some thoughts in your mind, this is the way of the Lord of Change and his servants.

The first thing to consider is what I will call the coherency range. This is essentially how the buffer and buffees(not a real word) must operate on the battlefield.

• Is there one main buffer with a bubble effect?
• Do multiple units buff each other?
• Is there one main buffee unit with multiple buffers?
• In any of the above cases, what is the maximum range of the buff?
• What is the range of movement within this group?

These questions should help you understand both your and your opponent's synergies and how they should be used effectively. This also helps protect your plans so you don't overextend from your coherency range. I'll go over each question in detail:

Is there one main buffer with a bubble effect?
In this case the coherency range is simply the range of the buffer, all units must stay within this range. The tactics will likely be to destroy or protect this one character depending which side you're on. 

Do multiple units buff each other?
In this case the coherency range is the unit with the shortest buff range, however with many similar units this could be extended in to long chains of buffing units. In this case the best tactic is to focus on one unit, preferably one that would break the buffing chain(the middle one). Defensively you would want to stop this happening by having a backup unit which can plug the gap after retreating a weakend unit out of harms way. 

Is there one main buffee unit with multiple buffers?
Otherwise known as the "Deathstar" unit. Multiple Heroes are used to buff one large unit to legendary proportion, all eggs one basket. This can potentially be shielding the buffers within the unit or they can be placed behind if their buffs have enough range. 

The obvious tactic here is to remove the cause of the buff, which can be easier said than done. If they are behind the lines then use special deployment units to charge them unexpectingly. If within the target unit you can use powerful ranged spells or war machines, or charge the main unit with something with high attack range(3" ideally) which can reach the buffer. 

Fyreslayers specifically can be good at this as they all have short range throwing axes to hit the buffers in or behind the unit. 

In any of the above cases, what is the maximum range of the buff?
In Age of Sigmar a large amount of the synergies, particularly the more powerful ones have short ranges. In the Freeguild Regiment Formation for example your units must be within 6" of another unit from the formation and within 10" of the Hero to maximise the benifit of the buffs creating a small footprint. In this case you want to kill the hero with ranged attacks and split the individual units apart by charging both flanks and force the enemy to pile in toward you. 

Defensively you need to recognise if your opponent is trying to split your units up and either retreat in to a better position, or refuse to pile in further than required. Longer ranged weapons such as spears help this. Also keep the hero buffer in real Line of Sight cover, most buffs don't need LoS. 

What is the range of movement within this group?
This makes a huge difference to how the buffs are used. If the unit being buffed has low movement(4-5" infantry) then I can be entirely possible to avoid that unit and concentrate somewhere else. 

If the unit has high movement you can attempt to lure them out of range from their buffs with juicy targets. 

In summary the tactics are fairly simple although in the heat of battle it can be a struggle to keep your troops in line. Figure out your coherency range and keep your units in range of the buffers and keep them safe, all the while find the weak point in your opponent's formation and focus on it, don't waste time hitting the hard buffed units unless you have to. 

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