One area where I have recently been trying to improve my game is in the placement of characters. I find it is an area where I can be unduly lax - and the penalties can be considerable.
Early in my KoW experience I found that my characters were running the risk of being "tagged" by mounted characters. I'd leave them out, forgetting that first these guys had Height 2 - and could see across Infantry units - and secondly they had two pivots in their charge path.
After a couple of unfortunate episodes I started to ensure that my characters were tucked away and required an elaborate pirouette to be reached.
In the photo above you can see my Shaman and my Tribal Totem Bearer are tucked in safely behind the Spiritwalkers. Here they can Inspire, Bane Chant and Heal with a high degree of security.
However recently I have noticed that this level of protection is not without its downsides.
By placing my characters so close to the unit, I limit options for the Spiritwalkers. In the pictured example, when my Spiritwalkers destroyed the Trolls (Yay! Go Home Team) their subsequent actions were restricted. The proximity of the TTB and the Shaman limited any reform I could do as they interfered with any pivot. The Spiritwalkers had their options limited to a D6 advance or staying where they were as the characters prevented the unit backing up.
The constriction doesn't end there. In subsequent turns I am required to move my characters first if I wish to give the Spiritwalkers their full range of options. This means I need to ensure where I move the characters to - prior to moving the unit - is where I want and need them to be. All of this can get lost in the intensity of timed games.
Therefore I am trying to move onto the next stage of my "Character Placement" evolution. This is where they are still safe, can still provide their influencing skills through spells and Inspiring but do not restrict unit movement options.
More and more I'm training myself at the start of each turn - and then again at the end - to look at my placement and decide where exactly the character will be. Does it need to be within an inch or can I still get benefits by increasing the gap? What if as a result of combat a unit advances out of Inspiring range, do I have an overlap from another character etc.
Getting a strong handle on this aspect really improves your play - and outcomes.