With the new unit coherency rules coming, it’s time to rethink how to use your screening units.
In case you missed it, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar has a change coming to it’s coherency rules. This is a change that is going to impact things like “bubble wrapping” (or using a cheaper unit to protect/screen your important units). You won’t want to stretch your units out in a single long rank anymore or when you take a causality, you’re going to have a cascade of models removed. Here’s the rule for clarity:
With this change in mind, you’ve got a couple of different options to avoid that cascade collapse from happening.
- Deploy in 2 ranks
- Deploy more, smaller units
- Use different “formations” to stay in coherency
This seems pretty simple but it can start to get a little funky when you have to think about base sizes as well. For example, if your 10-man unit is on 25mm bases (or smaller) and you’re deploying them all in base-to-base contact, even if you’re in a straight line each model should be within 1″ of at least two models. But if you’re trying to do the same thing on a 32mm bases (or larger), they won’t be in coherency.
A quick fix is to deploy in 2 ranks or more staggered like the picture above. In either case, your going to take up less distance length-wise than if you deployed in a straight line. That’s just math.
Another option is to just run more units with a smaller footprint. That might work for 5-man units, but what about those units that are minimum 10-man or more? Well, to be fair, you were probably wanting to “rank up” anyhow – especially if you were minimum 20-man units. But if you were stringing them out then you’re going to have to rethink those screens now.
To MSU Or Not To MSU
If you are still looking to “bubble wrap” your units with screens, you might want to consider running multiple small units now. Two 5-man squads are going to take up more of table in a line vs a single 10-man squad. Plus, you won’t be dipping into those reinforcement restrictions. At the same time, it’s going to rely heavily on your army as 5-man squads can also end up being pricy. The Evocators above (as an example) are 225 per 5-man. That’s an expensive screen!
MSUs also make wonderful targets for characters to pick-off. I mentioned this yesterday, but to reiterate, I’d be a lot more comfortable charging a hero unsupported into a 10-man unit vs a 20-man unit with the new rules. Now, it’s going to be a hero-by-hero/unit-by-unit thing and not a hard and fast rule…but heroes are looking stronger in this edition for sure. And for your bigger, more monstrous heroes, those 5-man units or 10-man screens are going to get gobbled up like candy.
Did someone say candy?! Aelf souls taste like Skittles!
At the end of the day, everyone is going to have to re-evaluate your “screen” units and probably what you’re trying to screen in the first place. I know a lot of players are considering a screen unit in front of some type of ranged threat. That way when you get charged, your ranged unit and Unleash Hell and soften them up for the screen unit.
The new edition is going to provide some new tactical challenges and opportunities. It’s going to be up to savvy commanders to figure out how to best tackle them and what will work on the battlefield. Are you up to the challenge?
How are you planning to deal with the new Coherency rules?