My list was:
- 4x Beast Packs
- 2x Lycan Horde
- 2x Stampede
- Spiritwalker Horde
- Tribal Totem Bearer
There are a few things implicit in the list:
- It is very fast...6" minimum (characters and Spiritwalkers), the rest 7"+ (over half the units 9"+
- There is a lot of Nimble - Beasts, Lycans and Chimera
- Everything has Pathfinder, Stampedes also have Strider
- Only one Flyer
- No Ranged Attack so any Kills must be in combat
- Only two sources of Inspiring - both move 6"
- Army has hard hitters
- Chaff unlikely to kill units
Taking all that into account I built a deployment plan that maximises these strengths and minimises weaknesses.
Three of the Beast Packs are set up on the deployment line with dual roles - seize space to all me to set up Turn 2-3 charges by heavy hitters and/or to act as screens from shooting. Given their Pathfinder terrain is usually an assistance rather than a hindrance. They are set up with 2" between their rear and other units so they can make use of Nimble and pivoting 90 degrees before moving.
The last Beast Pack is deployed further back and will be used as a harrier. It generally works in conjunction with the Chimera to hold any push on that flank. The two Lycans are on the other flank and have Nimble, Pathfinder and an 18" move. The first also has Healing Brew as well as Regen to absorb shooting.The two Lycans work as a team with the rightmost Stampede and TTB.
In the centre I have my Spiritwalker Horde. These can't be Wavered and work behind the Beast Packs. They are supported by the second Stampede and the Shaman. He has Bane Chant and Heal to recover wounds on those two units or to add CS if necessary. The two units have high Attack values and so BC works well here.
At setup, all but the far most Beasts are in Inspired range which acts as a safety net if I lose first turn.
So what are the benefits of the plan. Well I can quickly set up knowing I have speed and mobility to adjust as game develops. given my Pathfinder special rule, it is not heavily influenced by terrain considerations so again allows quick set up. I also know my measurements and the placement reflects special abilities.
I find I do worse if I am playing in a reactive fashion and especially with Herd I don't necessarily need to react to opponents set up as I have speed/mobility advantage. With a set plan I deploy fast, leaving no time for my opponent to think in my time. This can pressure his clock later on.
Obviously the plan can be flipped if necessary into mirror image with Lycans going on left rather than right. Interesting though players generally tend to stack their right flank over their left - wonder if it is preferred hand or side of the brain thing?
The plan you use will vary depending on which army you use and you may find each army has a couple of set ups that work and you choose depending on the type of game you expect.
They say that no plan survives contact with the enemy. While that may be true the benefits of having some semblance of one is better than setting up on an ad hoc basis IMO