Saturday, 30 January 2016

Unit Review #6 - Fleabag Riders

Fleabag Riders


By reader request we have the Fleabag Riders up next and they are pretty awesome models, lets see if they have the rules to match their good looks.


Profile


Speed of 10 is excellent, putting it obviously in the highest of speeds. Speed is this units greatest asset but we will get to that soon. 

Melee 4+ is pretty average, as usual though average is good. It's when you get into the 5+ range to hit it goes bad. 

Defence 4+ is also average. These units can't take hits so well so having 4+ over 3+ will make a difference the more you use these. 

Attacks are a little less than normal cav, but are normal for light cav. These are on par with the Mounted Sergeants or Halfling knights in attacks. 

Nerve is the units big weakness. These will break very easily Im not 100% but for a light cavalry unit it appears to have the lowest nerve in the lot. 

Points are slightly cheaper than other light cavalry here. For example these guys are 10 points cheaper than the Mounted Sergeants found in the KOM list but are 1 point faster in speed however lack the same nerve as the scouts. 

Ultimately you have a fairly bog standard Light Cavalry unit with it's weakness being Nerve and it's strength being speed 10 and costing slightly less points. Not much to talk about in the profile or special rules but in the tactics section there will be heaps to discuss. 

Abilities


Nimble is good, that pivot when moving 20 will do you a lot of good when it comes to using these as chaff. Nimble can also get them that complexe charge that hits a tight flank or charging around chaff (if you set it up right). I think the nimble serves their Ranged brothers better but nimble also serves a purpose in these melee units too. 

Thunderous Charge 1 is this units one claim to fame in offensive ability. Do not be deceived though as this does not mean they should be charging every chance they get (and with a speed of 10 they will have a lot of chances). It's nice to have in there but it's not game changing for these guys. 

Yellow Bellied surprisingly shouldn't effect these guys too often. We will go over it in the tactics section but really yellow bellied means when you issue a charge into the front arc of a unit (excluding a few types) you roll a D6 and hope to not roll a 1 or they dont charge. The best way to use these guys means you shouldn't have to charge with them too often. 

Tactics


The way I strongly recommend you use these is as chaff and harassers. Take a few troops of them and let them do things such as:


  • Block charges from enemy knights so your heavy hitters can finish the job
  • Stop archers from shooting
  • Remove individuals
  • Last minute objective grabs/contesting
  • Screening
  • Supporting flank charges
The reason they are good at this is their cheap points cost and their stupidly fast movement. Very few units (bar flyers) can claim a speed of 10. With 2 pivots on the charge and height 2 if you place them right they can sometimes charge around enemy troop screens and potentially cause some havoc. 

I think sticking to troops is the best way to go about this unit but unfortunately for goblins these are one of your limited Cavalry options. If you want something to hit hard I would go for the chariots. They lose out on one speed however have both ranged and melee attacks with extra thunderous charge. As a result I would put the flea bags into a chaff role. Lets be fair though and mention some of the positives of using the Fleabags as your main cav over the chariots and that is speed, cost and more importantly smaller footprint. Chariots are much larger and may often find themselves in messy situations your fleabags could avoid. 

The other consideration to think about with this unit is should you take them over the Fleabag Rider Sniffs? Well this is a tough decision to make, the Sniffs have the same cost and speed but can also shoot at the cost of the combat capabilities. Moving 10 and being able to shoot is nothing to sniff at (haha) as it means they can always find a target somewhere to pelt and they can still be used in the same roles the standard Fleabags. The Sniffs however will struggle to shut down archer hordes as effectively (they can at best block archers line of site for a turn and then be likely shot away) and nor will they take out individuals as effectively. They both do the chaff role just fine but their secondary abilities differ. Sniffs can shoot while doing the chaff making them good chaff while the Flea Bags can chaff without the bonus of trickling in damage but when they no longer are needed as chaff the Fleabags can start making good use of their average stat line and TC1. 

Interestingly the Fleabag Riders are one of those units you will have to test yourself when it comes to choosing the chaff unit for your force, you may find the shooting is not needed or that since they are chaff the Flea bags won't be around long enough to make good use of their melee abilities or you might scrap it all together (I highly advise you take something from your cavalry section though...). But when you choose the Fleabags know their purpose. You are not going to like these if you want them to charge units frontally because against most targets they will die quickly and against troops their abilities are overkill unless you are using your own troops. 

Goblins have a few heavy hitters (trolls cough) and swarms of troops to do the killing, but a unit like flea bags can keep the enemy hard hitters from doing their job and this is worth the 95 points investment. 

In short... chaff and harass and use them as troops. Take all of the advantages of a small base size and fast movement to have some of the most annoying chaff out there (bar maybe Gargoyles...). 

Before we close up this units weakness is definitely shooting. Just 1 or 2 wounds puts them in danger. Its hard to use them as chaff and keep them safe. Many opponents have a large ranged horde with upgrades and for them to commit that whole horde to a unit of flea bags is fine. When the enemies chaff can shoot (say they chose Mounted Scouts or Silver Breeze) then your Fleabags might be in trouble. This is where taking the Sniffers can be a good choice since they can try have a shootout with the enemy cav. 

Verdict 


Excellent Chaff but contend with the Fleabag Sniffs for this role. It all depends on what kind of opponents you face when you choose one. More info when we get around to doing the Sniffs I think. 

They do however make very Poor Shock Cavalry so avoid taking these as hordes or regiments unless you are confident you can get in the flanks of your enemies. 

Overall a strong unit and it's speed and nimble gives you so many options. I think both Fleabag variants will likely be present in many Goblin lists. 


Next Up...

By request we the:

Therennian Sea Guard - Elves