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Aspect Warrior Formations

 Post subject: Aspect Warrior Formations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:06 pm 
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Hello. I have what is probably a dumb question.

In the biel-tan list you can take a formation of 8 aspect warriors. The rules imply you can mix and match to have different types of units so you could have 4 stands of Dark Reapers, 2 stands of Swooping Hawks, and 2 stands of Shining Spears.

My question is if the whole formation needs to stay in cohesion why would you want to have a mixed formation? What is the benefit if your DRs have to get close enough for close combat so your Howling Banshees actually do something?


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 Post subject: Re: Aspect Warrior Formations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:40 pm 
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Combined arms Aspect Warrior formations give a fair amount of variety. Would I make a DR/HB formation? Probably not, but a DA/FD/DR formation would make a good FF assault formation, with the ability to lay BMs as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Aspect Warrior Formations
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:31 pm 
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Standard CC types (scorpions, banshees) work fine mixed.
Likewise standard FF types (avengers, dragons, reapers). Reapers are not as good as avengers in firefight statistically, but can place BMs at 45cm. Scorpions are better at the front vs banshees due to their armour, but lack first strike.

CC and FF combos (eg scorpions and avengers) can also work because they are more flexible in terms of the formations they can target efficiently, at the cost of reduced range: Some targets are good at FF so you want to be able to CC them, but each CC unit can potentially contact 2 enemy units so you don’t necessarily need 8 of them all trying to fit into base contact. The rest can FF, and the formation can still target CC specialists by just not getting into base contact: 8 FF 4+ and 2 inspiring characters will beat most CC specialists. In addition, scorpions have 4+ armour, so it can be worth adding some to a FF formation to make it more durable to return fire in the assault.

The aspects with special abilities (spiders) and/or longer move distances synergise less well between types, but even then there are some exceptions, for example:
- Adding a couple of swooping hawks to a mounted CC/FF formation seems like a waste of Teleport, but saves points spent on wave serpents without sacrificing speed. In most cases 8 assault specialists, 4 wave serpents and 2 inspiring characters is overkill anyway and this can be a way to ensure your alpha-strike assault formation isn’t the BTS.
- Hawks and spears work together for the same reason as scorpions/avengers.

About the only aspect I would never mix in is warp spiders, I always field these as a dedicated formation because of how the infiltrator/movement rules work.

It is true though that in tournaments the same combos tend to be used, simply because they are “optimal” and many of the aspect combinations are more situational - there will always be one combo that is just statistically better than another, or synergise better than another, or applicable in a certain strategy. For example:
- An exarch’s extra attack is worth more on one aspect vs another. So you might have 6 of one type, 2 of another for the exarchs to join.
- banshees and scorpions are both CC, but actually can interfere due to how hit allocation works. The first strike hits from the banshees can be allocated by your opponent onto the units in base contact with the scorpions; if they die, the scorpions will then attack with their weaker FF.
- CC is generally less useful than FF so banshees end up being fairly rare.

(By the way, where to place exarchs is a topic in its own right, there are definitely combinations which are better than others eg rarely does it make sense to use a dire avenger exarch over a fire dragon or dark reaper).

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