Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fast Cavalry Dead? No Way!!

Last week I was having a discussion with a local Wood Elf player who was bemoaning the fact that Fast Cavalry were little more than warmachine hunters under 8th Edition.

When I questioned him more I found out that he'd only played a couple of games of the new rules and I told him I felt that he was being far too premature in reaching that conclusion.

So how do I view fast cavalry under 8th? Well there are at least three key roles that they can perform.

1. Warmachine Hunters - the obvious one. Especially with the vanguard move - however I would always carefully consider whether I was going to take advantage of this new rule. Remember the up to 12" move must be made before you roll for first turn so there is potential that you may put the unit into an exposed position should your opponent end up going first and you can't charge if you do. However if your opponent has left their warmachines unsupported then opportunity may present. Certainly you can force him to direct his defensive fire at the unit or risk a second turn charge. This in itself may achieve your objective.

2. Secondary Chargers - the new rules say that you resolve charge reactions and responses as each charge is declared. The BRB FAQ has confirmed that once a unit is fleeing its only charge response to a subsequent charge is to flee again. Therefore by getting your charges in the right order you can force multiple flee moves on a unit in the same phase. Always leave your Fast Cavalry to late in the charge declaration phase where you can take advantage of their long "potential" reach.

3. Late Game "Cleaners" - because you don't receive any VPs for units unless they are wiped out or fled off the table it is important that you have units that can clean up remnants. To me this is a Turn 5-6 function and fast cavalry fulfill this role very efficiently. Generally they have a ranged attack so you have the opportunity to shoot and take those last couple of wounds that turn 0 VPs into something meaningful. Additionally, they have a long charge reach so that if an enemy unit is fleeing you can give them a helping hand off the table by declaring a charge and making them flee again.

So there's three functions for Fast Cavalry. I'm sure that there are more. However suffice to say I would always be looking to include a unit in any army I had that had access to them. I would then tailor their role as circumstances dictated based on the strategies above.

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