Having covered monstrous creatures and hordes which are both combat orientated articles it’s time for a bit ranged orientation. A major tactic that is very good with ranged armies is MSU. Multiple Small Units, meaning exactly what it sounds like, you make an army of lots of small units. Between 10 and 16 is the best. And you run them in 2 ranks because that makes the frontage smaller and you can still shoot with all the models. Most of the time no command or only a musician.
There are a few armies which are suited very well for this tactic and those are:
Any kind of Elves
Dwarfs are arguably the since they got a high toughness and armour save too so they could sustain some combat damage too. And this brings us to the major flaw of these armies… They are poor in combat, Empire hand gunners, Wood Elves glade guard, High Elf archers all either lach toughness or armour saves. But every downside comes with something positive. That is the range they have and the hitting power. Being able to shoot 36” means you can hit your opponent in turn 1, and you can deal (serious) damage from turn 1. And 80+ S3 arrows or S4 armour piercing bullets can put out a lot of hurt, giving that it takes at least 2 turns before you’re in combat, 3 if you move back/started on the backline and don’t forget to always take the charge and have another turn of shooting due to stand and shoot.
Some Mathhammer on 14 Empire hand gunners, you can shoot 3 turns, which means 42 shots, of which 18 hit. Against T3 you’ll score 12 wounds, with a -2 on the armour save. 9 wounds against T4. That’s only 1 unit of at least 10, meaning you wound on average (120+90)/2=105 models, with a -2save, perhaps 1/3 survives it, so you killed 70 models, from shooting alone, no magic and war machines included.
And next to all the small units you have all kind of other goodies. War machines, treeman, miners etc. Pairing your hand gunners with 2 hellstorm rocket batteries and 2 mortars means you can throw around some very nice big templates. For dwarfs the same, you can take some nice grudge throwers, cannons and perhaps some miners to show up behind your enemy lines. Wood Elves can take some nice treeman as Shawn demonstrated with his Rainforest Elves army.
There are numerous possibilities to support you army, you can throw in some extra artillery to deal out more ranged damage. Or you can throw in a nice sturdy combat unit to support in case you get locked into combat. But there is still one thing missing in our army, and that’s the general. There is no thing obliged to take with this army, whether you like a standalone combat hero (treeman ancient, Dragon Slayer), a supporting ranged hero (master engineer, noble with hail of doom arrow) or take some magic (which I can strongly advice, even if it’s for pure defensive purposes).
Keep in mind this is a very specific tactic for very specific armies. If you’d like to give it a try watch Shawn’s battle reports with the Wood Elves for some ideas. And one of the most important things in this army is that you should have at least 75% of shooting units, preferable the same models.
BTP correspondent from the Netherlands