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How do you make heavy melee work?

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SDA - Rules NitPicker

Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 1322
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:18 pm GMT    Post subject: How do you make heavy melee work? Reply with quote

They are really slow. Mages are really slow. So in a cookie cutter format, 18 pts. of mages and 18 pts of heavy melee, you are lacking a horde roll and a good chance you are lacking racial abilities.

Unless mages have speed on them of course. Firewalkers and Goblins are pretty good at bringing the above build due to fast mages. Goblins are seriously good all around anyway.

But back to the point. This is the main reason I find light melee to be better. The smite and higher end attrition is so slick with heavies but having light melee around due to speed generally is better for more than just a melee roll. I mean counter is tactically better anyway, imo. Yet again thats off point anyway.

So how do you field your heavies?
"There is more philosophy in a bottle of wine than all the books in all the world" - Some random wine cap -
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 1200
Location: Hillsborough, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:33 pm GMT    Post subject: Heavy Melee Reply with quote

I suspect that players will define a "heavy melee" army differently, but I believe you mean the use of the "melee" or "heavy melee" class of dice from one or more races.

I don't really run a "heavy melee" army, but I certainly have designed armies where melee is the primary strength of the army, but I tend to use a mix of different melee class units. One 36-health army that was particularly successful had only 11 dice, but four of them had the Smite SAI and it was the "trump card" in several battles versus armies that relied on generating lots of normal damage and Open Grave. Bash, Counter, and a host of other SAIs also have their roles to play in a melee-heavy army - but are also useful in armies that have a different purpose.

I prefer armies that have some flexibility and a variety of abilities, but the trick is to "marry" these different abilities to generate a complementary or synergistic effect for the army. Otherwise you could have an army that's diverse, but too polarized (meaning that in order to use one set of strengths, you unintentionally render another set of abilities useless or next to useless).

As with any strategy, timing and good luck can make a "good" strategy look like a great one. Even Napoleon was quoted prefering lucky generals versus good generals.
Daniel Burkley
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Joined: 09 May 2013
Posts: 369
Location: Aurora, Illinois

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:06 pm GMT    Post subject: As a newb... Reply with quote

Can you define what you mean by slow in terms of Heavy Melee and Mages?
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Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 1992
Location: Groningen

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:44 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from Lava Elves and Swamp Stalkers, about any race has access to some form of maneuver-manipulation (TRtM, Wind Walk, Water Walking and Restless Dead), so I suppose these are a good place to start.

Another way to go about it is to simply be better at magic (and be able to cope with missile). This probably works best with red magic, Frostwings or Eldarim Champions. This forces your opponent into a scenario where he has to capture an 8th, which will eventually lead past some melee faces.

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