Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

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Jedra
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Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#1 Post by Jedra »

I've always had a soft spot for seaguard over spears and archers, but mixed role troops have in many warhammer editions have had issues - do I march them to battle (preventing shooting) or hold them back to shoot (perhaps now arriving too late).

This edition the combination of naval discipline and the changes to movement for won rounds of combat have, in my opinion, seriously boosted seaguard - particularly when combined with defensive terrain (especially low linear obstacles). I found the below out as it happened in a game and thought I'd share as I'll now be more deliberately trying to set it up.

The relevant facts:
1) naval discipline allows stand & shoot at any distance
2) it also allows you to reform to whatever frontage is best for the combat
3) stand & shoot kills add to combat result
4) you get a free reform if you succeed in not pursuing

Combine this with how you can now leave a combat after a round is finished and you essentially get free shots.

Here's the situation: seaguard have won a round of combat. The enemy will now give ground (moves 2 inches), fallback in good order (moves d6 inches) or flee. Maybe you pursue a fleeing unit, but in the other two cases you should restrain and reform.

If you succeed you can add to your front rank to maximise shots. Assuming it's your turn next, you'll get a free round of shooting - at close range without movement and with volley fire. If not, no big deal. They will likely then charge, at which point you stand & shoot and then shrink the front rank to maximise rank bonus/hits as required. This essentially doubles your attacks for the coming round of combat (depending on frontage it won't be exactly double but it will be close)

If they gave ground then they're only getting a +2 I, which you also get from spears + Elven Reflexes so you'll go first against anything i3 or below (most basic troops). If they fell back they might get +3 which for most enemies will mean simultaneously attacking.

In terms of terrain... the same tactic from the top of a hill gets a nice boost. This gets you extra shots and combat res. But the real winner is the low linear obstacle. That makes the charge disordered so there's no I bonus from charging: now you're I6 on the charge is going to hit before most characters. Better, if a big unit charges and you lose and get pushed back, it will have to straddle the obstacle, becoming disrupted and losing rank bonus.

You can boost this tactic by adding a noble with great weapon, reaver bow and sea guard honor to get some badly needed high strength attacks, and the razor standard can boost the attacks slightly too but that does get expensive.

Obviously it's still a core unit and it's not going to take a charge well from some of the best units in the game particularly high armor ones. But against most large core infantry blocks the above will mean the seaguard can reliably carry the field, and the high move makes it great for being the one that gets to the required spot first. I have not yet come across any other unit where the above mechanics work so well together
Jedra
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#2 Post by Jedra »

I forgot to add: it also changes the dynamic if you lose. If you give ground and it's their turn next, it makes it a complex decision whether to follow up (and avoid the shots) or restrain and charge next turn (getting whatever charge benefits they get). If they *do* get a benefit from holding and charging, at least they'll get shot in the face for their troubles.

Fall Back in Good Order will likely be no better than normal - unless their pursuit falls short, which is unlikely but does happen. In the cases it falls short, all of the above applies as you get a free reform with the "rally" as part of the FBIGO move.
BrushmasterOfHoeth
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#3 Post by BrushmasterOfHoeth »

What unit size and formations do you use?
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Sea Helm Jeff
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#4 Post by Sea Helm Jeff »

A nice combo I've used is casting Earthen Ramparts onto my Sea Guard blob. On demand Low Linear Obstacle!
Jedra
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#5 Post by Jedra »

20-25 depending on what else I take.

I usually start 8 wide but it's a bit dependent on factors. I'm finding wider than that is too restricted in movement. If they're in position I'll go wider, and for combat it's 5-7 depending on enemy and losses so far.

If you could take Drilled for them it would be great. Sadly not.

I need to relook at elementalism... I really did not fully appreciate it when I first settled on Lore. Earthen rampart seems actually really useful for High elves in general.
BrushmasterOfHoeth
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#6 Post by BrushmasterOfHoeth »

I think that the plague of rust will be a great combo with sea guard!
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Turion Rilyaloce
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#7 Post by Turion Rilyaloce »

This is a very interesting topic for me, since I was always going to be using ranks regardless of wether they are good troops choices for us or not.

I was leaning spears to keep up with Dragons, and thought the Seaguard might not be able to get off enough shots to justify the points increase.

But this is making me rethink it with the somewhat hidden opportunities you’re describing
Take a voyage to Tor Caled and behold Prince Tûrion Rilyalocë and the mighty Laurëdraugnir as well as their Caledorian host.http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=46899
Jedra
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#8 Post by Jedra »

Another thing just occurred to me: you can use naval discipline to convert from marching to combat order when you get charged. That makes it even easier to get them into a good position without worrying about taking a charge
Jedra
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#9 Post by Jedra »

another recent discovery: Curse of Arrow Attraction is "until your next start of turn", meaning that if applied it will also apply to all the stand & shoot shots you are doing here.
NightHawk45
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#10 Post by NightHawk45 »

Jedra wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:00 am The enemy will now give ground (moves 2 inches), fallback in good order (moves d6 inches) or flee. Maybe you pursue a fleeing unit, but in the other two cases you should restrain and reform.
I didn't realize before now that you could test to restrain if they gave ground
Jedra
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#11 Post by Jedra »

NightHawk45 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:46 pm I didn't realize before now that you could test to restrain if they gave ground
I just double double double checked and yeah definitely can. Honestly, the whole change to what happens when you lose a combat is probably what I have gotten wrong the most in the games I've played - there's a lot of nuance to it, and actually it can be quite a difficult calculation sometimes to work out when to follow up or restrain.
baronen
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#12 Post by baronen »

Great post! Love the Seaguard very much.

I think right now - facing the right enemy - we have in the Seaguards an almost perfect anwil unit, capable of chipping away at the enemy while they close, and with the dynamics you all so beautifully here has described, they are actually able to hold up or with some help (Razor Standard for example) beat similar infantry units with relative ease.

Being able to shoot it out with for example Dwarf Rangers or other shooting Skirmishers is a huge deal in TOW I think, as they can easily cause a lot of damage to our T3 elves. We need decent bow fire - and the Seaguards provide. 😀👍
BrushmasterOfHoeth
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#13 Post by BrushmasterOfHoeth »

I like the idea of naval discipline, but I find it odd to justify.
Assume that I have 20 sea guard in a unit.
They are arranged in 2 ranks of 10.
They stand and shoot, firing 10 arrows.
Now, should they reform or not?
They can go 7 wide and get an extra rank bonus, or stay 10 wide and get 3 extra attacks.
The reform is only worth it if 3 extra attacks would not result in an extra wound?
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Turion Rilyaloce
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#14 Post by Turion Rilyaloce »

BrushmasterOfHoeth wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:14 pm I like the idea of naval discipline, but I find it odd to justify.
Assume that I have 20 sea guard in a unit.
They are arranged in 2 ranks of 10.
They stand and shoot, firing 10 arrows.
Now, should they reform or not?
They can go 7 wide and get an extra rank bonus, or stay 10 wide and get 3 extra attacks.
The reform is only worth it if 3 extra attacks would not result in an extra wound?
This might definitely be the case. The opponents class would dictate your response. If they outclass you and you’re unlikely to generate more than a wound, go deep, if you outclass them and might slaughter multiple go wide.
Take a voyage to Tor Caled and behold Prince Tûrion Rilyalocë and the mighty Laurëdraugnir as well as their Caledorian host.http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=46899
Jedra
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#15 Post by Jedra »

Yeah this is the great feature of naval discipline: you don't need to decide frontage until you know exactly what the combat will be.

I took a charge from an imperial General on Griffon in a game the other day: took 1 wound in the stand & shoot, shrunk to 5 wide. My champion challenged and was predictably slaughtered with I don't remember exactly what overkill, but with the bsb, s&s wound, standard and rank bonus combat was a draw, and the musician turned it to a win, so it was pushed out of combat.

The same match saw a block of veteran state troops charge my other seaguard block. They had a Griffon Standard (doubles rank bonus) and BSB so huge combat res, so I went to 7 wide - only one rank bonus but I had 10 shots + 14 spears to their 7 - more than 3 times the hits of the same quality (there were some characters involved so this isn't exactly true but I don't remember the exact details and this is close enough for the main point). After they were pushed back I reformed to 12 wide giving me some extra shots in the next shooting round and s&s.

I think the last is where seaguard excel- large blocks of average toughness infantry. But given the core points limit you are very often going to find that in enemy lists, so a core anvil unit that is fine going toe to toe with other core anvil units is very helpful.

This was my first game taking 2x19 seaguard as my core and no other infantry blocks and it was pretty nice.
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Re: Seaguard, Combat Result and Defended positions

#16 Post by BrushmasterOfHoeth »

I may have to do some mathhammer to determine the optimal formation in any given situation 😄
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