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Units that you want to do something, not just distraction units etc.

What would be your recommendations guys?

I have room for 2 at c. 40 each, but can make room for bigger units if they would be more effective.

As always, many thanks and +rep if I haven't too recently.
 

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I run a 6 wide 5 deep unit of spear skeletons, and a unit of 5 wide 5 deep sword shield skeletons, both with command. Generally I stick the army general in the spear unit, and use lore of beasts to constantly buff the unit. This is the optimal configuration I have found for my VC skeletons. Still you will really want to deny the opponent stubborn so having a unit that is 6-7 deep is not a bad suggestion (Just remember to maneuver them carefully.
 

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For any large block of infantry, you probably want either 30+ or minimum size. The only ones you'd want minimum size are the units taken for reasons other than close combat, such as shooting units, point fillers, mandatory units, or ones taken for other reasons (like clan rats taken so you can get the attached special weapons team).

So 30 is definitely the minimum for any normal block of infantry, and that's probably a good size for skeletons. With ghouls you could go larger, as large as you like in fact, because they're a bit more cost effective. In fact, the only reason I'd take skeletons is for standards, and possibly holding characters. Otherwise, ghouls are a better unit.
 

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Reub,

Unit size comes down to two things both of which is impossible to really comment on without knowing more information.

You have two options basically.

1). Go horde strength for these basically cheap troops which are only going to be effective in a horde scenario or as flanker types.

2). Go MSU elite style. (Medium Size Unit) with higher priced and more elite troops usually with special abilities.

A Horde for skeletons and zombies (which is their only really effective way to run) needs to be based off what your facing and what their use is. Any horde should be 7 wide min to ensure you get full front coverage and as for deep your looking at a min of 4 ranks. Therefore your really looking at 30 as a min ammount. (sticking a necromancer or vampire in your front rank or a BSB will also boost this to 30ish)

However you then have to think...

Undead spells adding to ranks
Is this going to get to the enemy or wait for the enemy unharmed? (probably not!)

Therefore your really looking at having to have another 10 to 20 skeletons or zombs to take advantage of any unit gaining spells or to ensure that when they do enter combat they are able to remain in horde style fashion vs an opponent. Remember for 5th removing 5 to 8 models per close combat is pretty standard. The last thing you need is to remove 10 or more troops and then be overwhelmed as your rank bonus begins to dwindle before you enter combat.

That said... also consider your local game... if your not facing large horde like opponents or playing smaller games... 30 might be fine for your local area games.
 

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Reub,
Any horde should be 10 wide min to ensure you get full front coverage and as for deep your looking at a min of 4 ranks. Therefore your really looking at 40 as a min ammount
hordes are 10 wide and therefore gain that 3rd rank's attacks - 4th with spears. With spears, full command & the banner that allows you to count an additional rank you're looking at investing 405 points

While I haven't had much success running 20-blocks of skeletons I really can't see the call for hordes of skeletons. They're sub-par fighters unless successfully buffed with magic, or the crown of command. My thoughts are that without a successful buff (or failed fear check) skeletons are such sub-par fighters that you should really still be trying to maximize your static combat res while at the same time minimizing the number of attacks your opponents can throw at you. By increasing your frontage up to horde-size you're increasing the number of attacks that can be thrown at you by wide units as well. By running that same 40-block of skeletons in a 5-wide x 8-deep block you're almost always going to be denying your opponent's steadfast while forcing any of his horde units to miss out on several files worth of attacks (20mm bases will miss 3-files worth of attacks).

Obviously this unit would provide a pretty tasty flank - but I think that's where vampires shine. We're able to create our own flank protection in the form of zombies. While we can't use these guys to direct charges away from us as effectively anymore we can still delay them a turn or two.

Ghouls on the otherhand have the offensive and defensive potential to consider running wider. With an additional point in almost every stat AND poison ghouls are considerably tougher customers. Obviously still the more competitive choice. But since you can't give them spears they only really need to be 3-ranks deep (setting you back 248points).

Either way you go I'd recommend running the minimum number of ranks to be effective - if you run a skeleton horde with spears run 4-deep, HW/S hordes only need to be 3-deep; a ghoul horde runs 3-deep. Vampires should be able to keep their units at full fighting strength if not increase the sizes.
 

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i would run units of between 30 and 40 strong. Unlike others on here i don't see the point behind a horde yes you get an extra rank of models but 3 of those models cannot fight and you will have lots of points tied up in the unit, where as running 6/7 wide you still get 2 ranks of models all of whom can attack but you have to spend less points on getting those extra ranks to break steadfast.
 

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Unless your taking hordes of 50+ don't bother with spears. The rear rank will inevitably get shot at and simply reduce the cost effectivness of spears. remember their still WS 2 skeles

I would argue that ghouls shouldn't really go in hordes, their not durable enough to be mainline units, a clanrat is more surviable, plus you only get 1 supporting attack regardless so ghouls lose out on this. I think your generally better of using small units of ghouls to flank charge a unit that got skeled or zombied front. that way you can rob rank bonus and don't need the large footprint that hordes require. I run hordes in my skaven army and they can end up getting bottlenecked by smaller units.
 
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