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The Miniatures War College
Advenio paratus. Egressus melior paratus.
D&D Miniatures strategy and analysis.

May 24, 2005

Three Pillars of an Effective Warband

This pillar can vacillate between being core and support. However, given the uniqueness of it's role when it comes to rally checks and enabling full speed movement it deserves it's own pillar. Without a command unit you will almost certianly lose. Of course there are exceptions like Ochre Jelly x10 + Grick, but the very nature of that warband is in itself non-traditional.

Some commanders are principally support and command pieces, the Inspiring Marshal and Cleric of Yondalla are perfect examples of those. Others are meant to contribute as core pieces. Red Wizard, Ryld, and the Eye of Gruumsh are examples of those.
This is the most important part of almost any warband. What makes a model a core piece and not a support piece? The core of the warband are the pieces that will be principally responsible for eliminating the bulk of your opponents warband. The methods and means can vary, from melee damage (Frenzied Bezerker, Orc Champion), ranged damage (Centaur Hero, Half-Elf Bow Initiate), special abilities (Beholder, Purple Dragon Knight), or spells (Red Wizard, Deathlock). Generally speaking, however, they need to have the ability to remove enemy figures by themselves.

The core of the warband is also the part of the warband that cannot be foolishly squandared without losing the game. This is not the same as the part of the warband that your opponent may be initially targeting to take you down, but it is a part that you must ensure scores more victory points than it is worth.
The last pillar is support. Not Fodder, not Filler, but support. Every piece that belongs in a warband that isn't in the core or command element provides a support role. Support pieces by themselves, and no matter their number or point cost, are not capable of eliminating the bulk of the opposition warband. However, they do provide important functions that enhance the core element's role of creature killer. Some figures provide direct secondary damage through spells like searing light. Others allow for core figures to deal more damage by enhancing stats with magic weapon or allowing for more attacks via snakes swiftness or transposition. Some increase the survivability by boosting AC, healing wounds, or (again) providing transposition.

Finally, some pieces provide support by being there to increase the activation count or to be closer to the opponent than any other figure, the fodder/filler role. Even when it has nothing more to offer than being there (*cough* Gnome Recruit *cough*) any piece can provide some support functionality.


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