Friday, 27 May 2011

Empire Tactica Part 10: Outriders

You sit down to relax and enjoy the Empire army book and it's difficult not to notice these guys. With 3 Handgun shots per turn EACH its difficult for your eyes not to light up. And the models a beautiful!

You also have the option of giving the champion the sniper rifle upgrade allowing him to pinpoint enemy characters (very useful versus Tomb Kings particularly).

Like the Greatswords, tactics articles in White Dwarf will tell you that these guys are great. But like the Greatswords, I haven't had much luck with them.

  • Multiple Shots gives them a penalty to hit that makes them quite unaccurate
  • There's only five of them (in my unit) so they die fast
  • They tend to only get a couple of turns shooting before they get charged
  • Despite looking like a fast attack unit, they can't move and shoot so there's often a dilemma about wasting a turn's shooting to redelpoy
My call on these guys is to deploy them amongst the shooty contingent of my army and get shooting.  

Sticking them on the flank allows them to tackle small flanking units single-handedly (in theory).

Basically I have no idea. I know what NOT to do better than anyone. That's kind of my speciality.

Watch this space. If I suddenly get some inspiration then I'll post more.


  1. Some suggestions:

    - deploy in units of more than 5. 6 tends to be minimum for me, this allows you to handily place them in two ranks of 3 for maximum shots while not blocking too much LOS for your other units. Larger units can also work but there is a balance to be struck here: 2 units of 6 gives you more flexibility when choosing targets than one big unit of 12 - on the other hand 12 outriders constitutes a formidable target to charge if they are allowed to stand and shoot (36 shots!) which should deter many units.

    - maneuvering covers your other points. First, vanguard should always be used carefully to ensure that you get to shoot if you get the first turn, while not getting too close to the enemy so that they can charge you in turn 1. Secondly, use the enemy's (understandable) wish to charge them to your benefit by either positioning the outriders some place where the enemy will be led far from the main battle - and then either move 16" to safety when things get too hot, or if possible shoot them down to a man before they get to you. Alternatively, set them up in front of your line and flee when charged, thereby exposing the enemy to a charge in your turn from one of your heavy units (knights or a big block). Make sure that your flee will not take you off the table by leaving enough space between the back of your units and the table edge for the outriders to fit in - this will also protect them behind your units, and if done correctly could boost your flee move up to 12"+ by carefully planned "bounces" through your own units.

    - finally, being shot at or fireballed is definitely bad news for outriders. First, find the right unit size to ensure that you deny VPs from your opponent. If you play with reducing to 25% gives 50% VP, then 6 or 7 is a good size, as your opponent will get no VPs if just two models are left. Secondly, position them in cover. Vanguard is again useful here. A sufficient contingent of Outriders can, like a helblaster, deter the opponent from advancing on a particular route, by leaving your outriders in cover but with a clear line of fire should the opponent cross a certain point.

    1. Wow! This comment was awesomely useful!

      Feel free to add these juicy tidbits of obviously great wisdom to all my tactics articles. You clearly know your stuff more than I do!