How do you use your IFP?
I've never quite been able to master these guys. How do you use your's? Do you always keep them in shield wall or spread them out? My thought is that shieldwall may not be worth it for them. They're only armor 18 with it and are forced to bunch up which makes them more vulnerable. Also, with shield wall they're stuck walking every turn (except for the mini feat turn from the UA). I'm thinking that maybe it is better to keep them spread out and run with them until they are able to hopefully get the charge. Thus far I've stuck with the shield wall approach but I'm thinking they might be better not using it.
You can spread them out and still have them in shieldwall in mk2 now. The new shieldwall rules just say a trooper needs to be in base to base with another trooper to get the bonus.
This is true. That would help them from being clumped up. I'm still slowing them down by giving them the shield wall order though.
It sounds like you are using them like MoW. They rely on both their DEF and ARM for survivability, not just their ARM like MoWs. Very often I put Iron Flesh on them to make them DEF 16 while they are in shield wall (ARM 18). That way your opponent needs two good dice roles instead of just one.
IFP's strengths lies in their adaptability. The decision to Shield Wall or not is entirely dependent on your opponent's strategy. I like running my IFs the first turn to get them in a good position. If I was playing against Cygnar I wouldn't do this because of their threat range.
Bottom line is my IFs are always doing something different each game. That's what makes them so good.
If you're fine with using Defensive formation on turn 1 you can run them, and then pop the mini feat, and advance everyone but the officer forward.
So, officer can be as far as 12" from your deployment, and the rest of the unit can be as far as an additional 6" past that, spread out in shieldwall...not to shabby, I'd say.
I use mine as my "poor bloody infantry" unit. Basically, they are there to soak the hits while the rest of the army gets into position for the kill.
As a bonus, they are brutal on the charge If they survive that long...
That may be a bit hyperbole, but IFP are great with IF and shield wall - not a lot will kill them (except for things like Bile Thralls, Blightbringer, etc etc which kill every infantry unit anyway) but i think you need *something* to tempt the enemy with for that all important counterstrike.
I use mine as the buffed up wall from hell, advancing in Shield wall while supported with Greylords, Mortars etc, while the true elements advance up the sides or behind - warcaster, warjacks, drakhun etc.
I tend to use my IFP as a defensive infantry wall for my opponents to try and chew through before hitting some of my more important/squishy units in the back. Having heavy hitting units like warjacks or the Great Bears on the flanks of the IFP also help give the opponent other things to worry about. Defensive buffs are important for them, but not always necessary with warcasters like eIrusk (who can make them all tough).
Mobility for the Iron Fangs is only really necessary if you need to cover distance or if you're charging. I find my Iron Fangs usually outpace my slower 4 speed guys anyways, so they usually stay in a shield wall and keep my army well defended.
Using them like this, the opponent can try to spend resources hitting my center wall, and this will cause me to hit his flanks. If he fails to take down the center wall or goes for my flanks instead, the IFP are usually pretty good at cleaning opponents up in the mid/late game.
And if he ignores the wall of IFP...well, in my most recent game an Iron Fang Pikeman managed to kill the Totem Hunter due to a free strike.
The only thing you really need to worry about with using them is if your opponent has too easy a time taking them all down with range. Or if your opponent has high MAT thresher attacks.
EDIT: Bah, Binz posted before me. He uses the same general strategy, so at least that tells me I'm doing something right (possibly).
I like this idea. I used to save it for later but maybe using it early is the better way to go.
Originally Posted by Esper
I never use my defensive line early unless I need to get somewhere fast. As others have said they shine with buffs and help. Iron flesh is a big bonus and using greyloads is nice. Its hard to drop a 18(ranged)/16def 18arm unit reliably.
I use them as a moving wall. screening important targets. Use widowmakers, mortars etc to force enemy movement. Charge and reform.
If you have a unit that is staying away from you and they are not that impressive run and reform into them. remember that defensive formation has changed and now you can move up another 6 inches after you run. May leave your officer out to dry but can be worth it.
For me, they are my frontline warriors. In Mk 1 (and 2, admittedly) I'd generally run Irusk, IFP+UA (min Unit, tho -> lack of models), Great Bears, Widowmakers, a 'Jack and 1 or 2 Solos.
As was said, Iron Flesh on these guys makes them outright great. It seriously adds to their survivability, cuz ARM 18 doesn't exactly cut it often enough. It gets cut.
I either put them were they enemy could charge them (or where I expected him to charge), feat, let them eat it (Tough rolls get easier once the supposedly better models (officer) are dead), and then retaliate by buffing them with Battle Lust, and shoving the Jack/Bears in there as well.
I tend to run them on turn one, possibly already with IF on. It takes a little math to calculate whether it is worth it, but in case I go first, it generally is. Next turn, advance, do the wall.
One game, I did the 300 Move, Furious Charge into my striking range, not his, stab the front line to death, fall back into shieldwall with defensive Position, but close enough to his troops so he can't get the charge bonus. That was nice.
(As was the widowmakers performance, shooting the Stormsmith, -miller, and -shulz as well as a Journey John and an escaping Swordknight)
Lately, no I do not use them much any more.
Without iron flesh they cost too much and when I do have IF to cast it goes on the great bears 9 outta 10 times. On the caster the one.
They are still good and I understand why people like them but I always find myself spending the points another way.
Though I was looking at the merc Steelheads for a cheaper reach option with zerkova, who cannot help in faction models so well. And as an excuse to buy some mercs.
If you have a spell to cast on them as part of you planning they can really shine. If you have no buffs for them I see no reason to save the points and hire some mercs.
That's movie magic and it's awesome whenever you can pull that off. It's partly why I bought the IFP.
Originally Posted by Marth
Another was a silly combo with Drago in Mark I, where I'd use the Defensive Formation to create a straight line towards the enemy warcaster and have Drago Run Riot over my own IFP to get a massive bonus that when he did reach the enemy, they'd be uber dead. Doesn't work in Mark II anymore, but I'm not saddened by the loss, as I never successfully pulled it off...
I have been looking at them and wonder how well they would serve a striking force for my Shocktroopers to deliver with eIrusk. Caste Battle Lust on them, charge from behind the Arm 21 Shocktrooper shieldwall and use the mini feat to get back into shieldwall after the charge, possibly back behind my shocktroopers if the enemy doesnt have reach. If not thats still a ARM 18 line protecting my next wave of attack.
The combination of speed, pow, crit knockdown and model count could have a fair bit of promise for the points. But this is purely theorymachine, I have yet to test it.
A tactic I use is to run AKs in front as an alpha strike, then follow up w/ the Iron Fangs. This helps soften harder targets for the IFP while keeping them alive to get there.
There's no general tactic to using melee beatsticks. It comes down to who you're playing against and who your caster is.
For instance if I'm playing against high armour/ slow moving armies like Darius/pbutch I'll just put fury/battlelust on the IFP and ram them down their throats going for the most expensive jacks.
Against superior alphastrike units like Cryx satyxis raiders I play defensively. Iron flesh and shield wall and stay just outside of their 12" threat range while trying to land a direct hit on the seawitch with ranged attacks.