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  • Deathpack Unit Type & Base Size

    I recently brought this up in another thread, but with the release of the Vanguard Beta rules today, the plot thickened even more. To summarize my original post, the new Undead Deathpack unit has a very similar description to the Dwarf Mastiff Hunting Pack. It seems to be another swarm unit, which are typically Large Infantry (including the Mastiff Hunting Pack). However, for whatever reason, the Deathpack are listed as regular Infantry. I find that odd, but fine, nothing that can't be dealt with just as an oddity in the rules. Until...

    In the new Vanguard Undead beta list, there is a pack of Skeletal Dogs listed. But the base size listed for them is 40mm, not the 20mm of a regular Infantry. Is this a mistake? Was the Deathpack listing in CoK 2018 a mistake? Or are we really supposed to base these on 40mm for one game and 20mm for the other? Frankly, I'd like the CoK entry to get errata to Large Infantry as they should have been, but what are your thoughts?

  • #2
    Unless otherwise stated, it is regular infantry with height one and 20mmx 20mm for each model meaning a 100mm wide and 40 mm deep troop footprint given that it lists 10 models. The same applies to the new Battlecats unit in the Elf list.

    Note that the Mastiff Hunting Pack and Mutated Mastiff Hunting Pack are large infantry regiments but height 1, so they go on 120mm wide and 40 mm deep footprints instead. The Forces of Nature Woodland Critters unit is also a large infantry unit but height 0 (not height 1 or 2) which is more consistent with a swarm and also has both regiment and horde options.

    The new Gur Panthers in Basilian list is a cav troop unit but height 1 (presumabley 125mm wide and 50 mm deep, and hits hard and runs faster as a result).

    All of these new chaff/redirect units are often modestly faster or more nimble relative to normal infantry in each list and have generally lower De than standard infantry but they tend to have different features, stats, special rules, unit types, or options than each other to fit the army (except the two Mastiff Packs differ in De but are otherwise very similar).

    The deathpack has interesting features: fearless (meaning it will not be waivered if used to screen other units or as chaff so as to allow the units behind good chances to still charge), nimble (greater movement flexibility), vicious, shambling, and a lot of attacks for the point cost. If used as a screen, you can make it stealthy for an upgrade cost (protecting height 1 units behind from indirect fire war machines and height 1 shooting units, providing general cover to ranged attacks not from height 4, and making it harder for ranged attacks to clear the chaff unit out of the way early on). But it suffers from lower Me and De to justify the point cost.

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    • #3
      I understand the rules as they are, my point is that they don't make sense thematically (the skeletal dogs are surely not Infantry if the Mastiffs and Woodland Critters aren't), nor is it consistent with other swarms already in the game. I was slightly annoyed by this in CoK 2018, but willing to let it go. I think, though, it is something of a problem for them to have them as Large Infantry sized (40mm) in Vanguard and a totally different (and smaller, no less) base size in proper Kings of War.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aragorn543 View Post
        I understand the rules as they are, my point is that they don't make sense thematically (the skeletal dogs are surely not Infantry if the Mastiffs and Woodland Critters aren't), nor is it consistent with other swarms already in the game. I was slightly annoyed by this in CoK 2018, but willing to let it go. I think, though, it is something of a problem for them to have them as Large Infantry sized (40mm) in Vanguard and a totally different (and smaller, no less) base size in proper Kings of War.
        Chaff units in the game already are of all kinds of sizes. Some are large infantry, some are infantry, some are cavalry. There's no problem with that. Yes, having different sizes in Vanguard and Kings is an issue that I could see, but simply saying "these are not all the same size" doesn't mean that it's wrong or inconsistent apart from that.

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        • #5
          I'd say chaff and swarms are separate things (though swarms tend to be chaff). The descriptions and model size of the Mastiffs and Deathpack are so similar, yet they are different unit types. Anyway, that point isn't worth a big argument, my main point is how it doesn't jive with Vanguard now.

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          • #6
            Ok so after getting CoK 18 I based up some undead animals on 20x40mm bases, so 5 in a row fill a troop base . But if used in vanguard they're going to be all wrong? I don't know any undead animal models that would actually fit on a 20mm square, except this undead chicken I got in a Kickstarter
            The Vampire's War Diaries - Undead blog
            http://thevampireswardiaries.blogspot.com.au/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by UltraSalem View Post
              Ok so after getting CoK 18 I based up some undead animals on 20x40mm bases, so 5 in a row fill a troop base . But if used in vanguard they're going to be all wrong? I don't know any undead animal models that would actually fit on a 20mm square, except this undead chicken I got in a Kickstarter
              Every Mantic Skeleton or Revenant sprue includes a skele-dog/rat that fits on a 20mm2.

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              • #8
                Vanguard doesn't need 20mm, though. It needs 40mm. So, you could push two of your bases together for one.

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                • #9
                  Except that's also the only way to get them, and it's incredibly unlikley that you'll have bought enough of those sprues to fill one entire base (unless you only put 5 of them on one troop or reg). I really wish Mantic would offer for sale those extra animals, as I want to use the frogs and otters from the Naiad sprue as tidal swarm, but I am not going to buy 40 boxes of Naiads just for the two (four?) frogs and two (four?) otters you get per box. Likewise, dwarf players would never be able to buy enough Ironclad regiment boxes to have full mastiff hunting packs using just the Mantic Throwing Mastiff model you get on those sprues.

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                  • #10
                    Hmm. I think I have enough skele-dogs for 2 packs easy. But I'm kind of crazy.

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                    • #11
                      I think the unit in vanguard should be changed. It seems the deathpack is meant to be the mantic undead dogs/rats plus a handler, like the one from the kickstarter. That gives it the H1. I think the mastiff packs use much smaller dogs that would look ridiculous mounted individually. Again these need handlers to make them H1. Battle cats are able to fill a 20mm base nicely, and don't need a handler, hence they are H0. The gur panthers are quite a bit bigger and fit on cavalry bases. They don't need riders so they are H1. This is all guesswork on my part - it would be nice to see it confirmed.

                      For vanguard, I think dogs should be mounted individually on 20mm and not be a swarm at all, like mawbeasts and battle cats.

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                      • #12
                        I stand corrected. I'd always imagined the mantic ones being 20x40mm base sized (I never had any, just based on similar sculpts from other companies). I could probably remount mine as 2 minis on a 40mm square, twice; and 1 mini on a 20x40mm. That'd give me 2 packs for Vanguard, and 1 troop for KoW.
                        The Vampire's War Diaries - Undead blog
                        http://thevampireswardiaries.blogspot.com.au/

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