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Plague Monk Unit Sizing; Unit sizes in different game sizes
Topic Started: 27th June 2012 - 08:04 PM (2,047 Views)
First off, I am a new member of The Underempire forum. I have done a search for this topic but not really found much.

The point of this post is to establish a decent platform for my hammer unit(s) as i figure that hellpits are too expensive in points and storm vermin in my opinion aren't as good as plague monks (however, I am probably going to do a lot of play testing with both units eventually) in games below 1500.

500-750 points:
I personally find small skirmish games a lot more fun, challenging and kind on timescale than larger games. In games of this size I think a unit of 20 (5 wide x 4 deep) with command and no plague banner will suffice. This doesn't soak up too many of the points and fits into the 50% of special allowance of the smaller games.

1000 points:
This space between low to mid game size baffles me when it comes to unit size. I figure 25-35 with full command and the plague banner might work well here. I am also unsure whether to take 7 wide x 5 deep giving me the extra attacks on 5 wide units or whether to take 5 wide x 5-7 deep to keep Ld high. Opinions greatly appreciated.

1250 points:
At this point I am unsure whether I should be taking 7 wide x 5-7 deep with command and plague banner without the plague furnace or a unit of 35-45 with the same upgrades AND the plague furnace. The furnace gives me a hoard and unbreakable which is pretty nifty but can suck up quite a lot of points. Not to mention using most of the 312.5 points worth of hero choices.

1500 points:
I am pretty sure I should be using 45 plague monks with command, plague banner and plague furnace. The only decision to make is whether to make the plague priest riding it a level 1 or 2 wizard. Level 2 soaks up 285/375 points worth of hero choices but still lets me take that vital battle standard bearer.

Any other suggestions such as how many units of plague monks to use in different game sizes, or unit sizes for different sized games are welcome.
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Shouldn't this be in the tactics forum?
Anywho, at below 1000pts I wouldn't take monks at all, they cost too much and aren't incredibly impressive in the unit sizes you can afford at this level. At 1000 they make more sense and above that even more.
45 is good unless there is a furnace in there too, in which case it might be too big. That'll be a unit of 60 bses-size, which is probably unecessary and the points could be spent better.

Just my thoughts though, I personally don't use them at all.
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Apologies if it is in the incorrect place. I assumed that because chosing unit sizes and point limits is done while list writing yout army list, I thought it should be in the army lists section.

What would you use in games smaller than 1000? You need a central block to base your movement around in small games like that.

I would also argue that 7 points each isn't too bad at small points limits.

When it comes to being a unit too big, you have to take into account that the plague furnace will kill off a few and it's going to be a huge target for magic and shooting. You have to pack those extra few models to make sure you're maximising your attacks especially after your plague banner has been used in a previous turn.

Also, horned rat forbid, that your furnace is killed by cannon fire early on, you still need a sizable unit to constitute a reasonable hammer.
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I rarely take monks in 1k games but that's because I take a seer and HPA so there's really no room for them. I don't think there is anything wrong with taking them in these size games though. If I don't take a seer I would run a plague priest general backed up by monks.
At small points values I would still take the plague banner, its just so good that I can hardly bring myself to field monks without it. If you want to save points it is probably worth dropping the champion (if there is no priest). They are making so many attacks that 1 extra doesn't make that much difference.

I tend to run them between 25-35 depending how many points I have to spend on them. I find this more relevant than the game size, you don't really need to run 45 with the furnace. as the furnace counts as 15 for formation purposes. So with 40 you can have 5 full ranks of 11 (or 35 if you run 10 wide) This is generally enough. They are more of a smash unit than an attrition unit.

One major point on unit sizes though is "it depends" Ideally you want to have more ranks than your opponent at the end of the combat round. So it makes a huge difference who you are fighting and what unit sizes they tend to run.
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In small games i would only take my basic 16-strong 8x2 monks, to act as a cheap unit which can still toss out a nice amount of attacks, and would use something else as the "center". Just like basic clannies or something that can have some ranks for steadfast cheaper than monks.

And to the bigger games I would not take 45 until like 2k points as I don't find it worth it, because monks need only 2-3 ranks to act because they rarely need the numbers to win fights, or if they do, they are facing wrong enemy. Also comps very often limit the unit size to 30 or 35 hereby, dunno if it is different back where you live and play.

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Shouldn't this be in the tactics forum?

Since it's a topic solely about plague monks it's more appropriate under the Pestilens forum.

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A blood curling cough a day, keeps the assassins away

If i field plague monks under 1K points i never go with less then 24 (6 wide and 4 deep), lead by a plague priest who plays the general most of the time.

Between 1K and 2K points i'd size them between 25-35 (with or without a furnace), once ran 30 plague monks with a furnace in 1.6K points and this was a great succes. In those amount of points most other deathstars or hammers fielded are not as supreme as in 2K+ points. Get some shooting or magic to weaken your opponent and watch as your plague monks do what they love.

When you reach 2K+ points i'd either go with 35+ and a furnace or 50 and no furnace(but still a priest). As many pestilent and non-pestilent(heretics) players might have noticed, is that the furnace tends to draw fire. Most opponents won't want that furnace to get into combat, so they'll either try to derail it because of it's frenzy or shoot/cast at the furnace itself. Some even do both, which is really annoying.

Now plague monks are one of the few Skaven units that benifit from the horde special rule. Especially when you bring a plague banner ! Those additional attacks can really make a difference. Unlike storm vermin they lack both weaponskill and initiative, but they make up for it in number of attacks and the possibility to bring a plague banner.
My personal advise is to field at least 30 when you play games above 1K points and horde them. You can always reform later if you would need more ranks or so, like against monsters where your horde would only have 5 max in combat. The point is that you need at least 30 to benifit from the horde special rule so that you should bring at least 30.

Also i agree with cap, while this might fit in the tactics forum this is a post about plague monks. The heart and soul of the pestilent brotherhood, so it fits in here as well. :D

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