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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-16, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Default Formations/Detachments

Alright, in terms of the special rules attached to each, is a formation the same as a detachment? Readinc C:SM makes them look like overlapping things but the Dark Eldar codex has no detachments listed and the only formation is an entire army, and in the AdMech books (I think, might be wrong) it said something about normally you can't have a unit in both but they had an exception.

So, to make this more concrete, let's assume I'm fielding a Gladius Strike Force as my primary detachment. Would my battle demi-company get the special rules for both the Gladius and the demi-company, or just one? If I field a CAD, can I still use C:SM formations for special rules for those units included (like using a reclusiam command squad in a CAD)? I assume they overlap, and there are just some badly laid out options, but I'd like to make sure.

Also, has anyone else noticed that in the C:SM they list a formation under the Gladius info called a Strike Force Command, that they then have no rules for later on?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-16, 06:11 AM
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Hey Tyriks

It's taken me a while to get my head around this, but in my understanding there are effectively 3 different force organisations these days. I use the terms detachments, formations and super detachments.

Detachments (Most commonly the Combined Arms and Allied detachments) typically list a role such as fast attack rather than a list of unit options, the important distinction being that detachments have Command Benefits, unlike formations.

Formations are, to quote from the BRB, "A special type of detachment". These can be taken in both bound and unbound armies, and will always benefit from their formation special rules. Being unbound makes you lose Command Benefits - see detachments.

Super Detachments - more commonly called Decurions as I believe the Necrons were the first to get anything of its kind, throw a whole lot of Formations together to grant them all some over-arching Command Benefits. In my experience these can be quite hard to use in smaller games, as it becomes very difficult to make tweaks without going unbound. A good example is trying to add some anti-air firepower to a Battle-Demi Company. Can I trot out one of my stalkers? Nope, you have to take the minimum requirement of an Anti-Air Suppression Force (Which is two hunters and a stalker if I'm not mistaken, possibly vice versa). If I did just add a single stalker, I would be unbound, and whilst the Battle-Demi company would retain its formation rules, it would lose the super-detachments command benefits.

In my humble, smurf hating opinion, the Strike Force Command is there for no other reason in that there isn't a Lord of War slot in any of the other formations, and it allows you to take Papa Smurf in your super detachment.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-16, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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That helps, thanks. So, if formations essentially are detachments, does that mean that if I bring a formation (say, a group of Hunters and stalkers) to a game with nothing else, it's still a bound army?

Also, let's say I want a reclusium command squad in my CAD. Would I have to bring the RCS as well as an Hq and two troops, or could the chaplain count as the CAD hq choice?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-16, 12:44 PM
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A formation by itself is always bound, yes, but even if it was unbound it would retain its special rules as it's special rules are classified as formation special rules rather than command benefits (believe it also stipulates that they retain their rules in the formations blurb).

I've always operated under the presumption that a unit cannot fulfill two unit roles. I don't think I have a rules reference for this, but the alternative is incredibly messy.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-16, 02:39 PM
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Rush was so on point with this that I actually thought he had quoted something that I had posted before.

Quote:
I tend to call them Super-Detachment. You could also call them Voltron-Formations, since they're built out of other formations.



To address the differences:

A Detachment is a Force Organization Chart, where you are allowed to select a certain amount of units from different categories, for a Benefit. These will be listed in the codices, usually in the 'Forces of the XXX' page of the book.

Examples: Combine Arms Detachment. Ravenwing Strike Force. Nemesis Strike Force.

A Formation Detachment is a stricter sub-section of a Detachment. Instead of freely selecting models from the different categories, most or all of the units have already been selected for you, or you get limited choices (choose from three of the following). These are found in codices and publications with a special symbol: three skulls in a circle of curved lines.

Examples: Demi-Company Formation, Crimson Death Formation, The Eight.

A Super-Detachment (my term) is a Formation, as listed above, but instead of specific units, it is made of a limited selection of dedicated Formations. These Formation Detachments 'nest', which means that the individual Formation Detachments receive their benefits, PLUS a special benefit for the Super-Detachment and all of its components.

Examples: Decurion, Craftworld Warhost, Hunter Contingent
As to the last question, a Reclusiam Command Squad is a free-standing formation, and can't exist as part of another Deatchment also. The exception to this is the Super-Detachments, and it specifies in those detachments that normally a formation can't benefit from two sets of rules, but in these cases, they can. (the first one that comes to mind because I read recently was in Skitarii... They have a formation made out of 3 Battle Maniples, and they get the benefit of all three Battle Maniples PLUS the larger formation. This is the one Tyriks mentioned in his original post).

More on the original post: The Gladius Super-Detachment is very special. it is created by using a Demi Company, which keeps all of the rules for being a Demi Company, PLUS it gains the rules for being used as a Gladius (which requires you to have one of the Aux formation choices). If you were only going to run the Demi Company, with nothing else, you would get it's benefit, without the Gladius benefits.

If you wanted to use a CAD side by side a Gladius, you can do so, but they don't share rules, because they don't interact. And a Reclusiam Command Squad doesn't count as an HQ, because it doesn't have the HQ symbol on its datasheet, it has the Formation symbol (3 skulls in a circle) on its datasheet.

Make sense?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-16, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush Darling View Post
I've always operated under the presumption that a unit cannot fulfill two unit roles.
pg. 118, in bold four paragraphs down:

Quote:
However, all of the units in your army must belong to a Detachment and no unit can belong to more than one detachment.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Unique characters are only allowed to swap in for generic unit types in Formations when specifically stated.

Unfortunately Canada got rid of the penny and now my two cents rounds down to zero, so...take it for what you will.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-16, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. In my mind, Detachments and Formations were distinct concepts, with the former existing for force organization and the latter for bonus rules. Knowing they are the same makes sense. I thought everything had to be either a CAD or a Gladius (for SM). I guess the fact that they list the Gladius under force organization and the rest after all the unit rules threw me off.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-16, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntaw View Post
pg. 118, in bold four paragraphs down:
Ah, thank you darling. Have a cookie!

Tyriks, I'm assuming you made this thread just so you can get how it all works clear in your mind. Please don't feel you have to bring formations and super detachments to every single game to have a chance at winning.

Apologies if that comes across as patronising, I've been back in the gaming side of the hobby for about a year and a half now, though I never really stopped collecting, the end result being I have a very sizeable force I didn't know how to use.

My enthusiasm definitely got the better of me at first, but I found it's been better to learn how each of the units performs in a CAD detachment and in smaller games before trying to field them with extra rules in ridiculously sized battles. I'm still a huge advocate of the CAD detachment for the sheer flexibility of it.

Naturally it's awesome to occasionally just throw everything down and have at it, just be aware of how much constantly having to look up rules can slow a game down, so make sure to make time for it. I think my first 3000 point game took 8 hours. Good times xD

Last edited by Rush Darling; 01-13-16 at 11:58 AM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-16, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I don't think I even have the models to run most of the formations right now, so I don't think that's a danger just yet. Thanks for the tip, though!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-16, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush Darling View Post
Ah, thank you darling. Have a cookie!
No worries. I have to reference that line so frequently I almost didn't open the book to comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush Darling View Post
I found it's been better to learn how each of the units performs in a CAD detachment and in smaller games before trying to field them with extra rules in ridiculously sized battles.
This is very true, though I typically like the Detachments that come in the Codices as they give us a bit more army flavour than ObSec (the CAD command benefit)...though I guess with marines that's all you really need. For example, I only ever use the Baal Strike Force Detachment for my Blood Angels because punching first on the charge pretty much always means more than holding Objectives in my games.

Unfortunately Canada got rid of the penny and now my two cents rounds down to zero, so...take it for what you will.

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