Formations - which do you use?

In a recent post, we discussed that the undead formation isn’t all that useful. At recent tournaments I’ve seen several formations used and I agree that in some armies the formations make a lot of sense.

Which formations do you think are useful? And which are mainly for niche-lists?

I have fielded the undead formation and found it wanting. No one in his right mind wants to fight zombies, so upgrading them with iron resolve and phalanx does not change this meaningfully. The upgrade also makes zombies too expensive, I think. Not the formation per sé, but the required upgrade from hordes to legions on top of the formation.

At a recent tournament, I faced the ratkin formation. This formation worked well in the shocktroops-and-guns army I faced. Death engine spewers are already quite good and shredders got a buff recently, so upgrading them with a defensive buff and the ability to redeploy is golden!

The goblin formation I was also nastily surprised by. Fleabag regiments aren’t that dangerous on their own, but give them TC(2), exploding sixes, vicious and mawpups, suddenly they do a lot of damage for a movement 10, nimble unit. Moreover, they can still have artifacts, so the blood of the old god/horn of the ram changed them into nasty killers! All-in a good unit in an army that can use them well, but not an auto-take!

I’ve also tried the human formation, but found it wanting. Bowmen are okay chaff as they are, but they don’t need a price hike. Moreover, the hero isn’t that much of an asset either.

Other formations I haven’t seen (or remembered) so maybe others can comment on these.


A good question @Vince . Having faced the goblin Fleabag one last weekend, i concur that it is nasty. The Free Dwarf one is not worthy , They take away their scout rule, amend the price of Shieldbreakers and then will sell Scout back to you. Then, they want you to spend more points on three units of them plus a lord AND make you take that scout rule that they had initially removed, then dangled in your face as an upgrade, in order to get nimble, and Brutal. Brutal i could understand, but Dwarfs aren’t nimble, espescially in a regiment. The Dwarf one isn’t too bad, i guess, but still expensive.
I do like the Northern Alliance one, although i have always been a fan of Orlaf the Barbarian, and usually field him anyway. The formation does boost him with leadership, so that’s a plus, but the two handed weapons on the Human clansmen is a bit of a pain, as they don’t come like that in either of the army sets, and when i bought them, those weapons weren’t even available, so all of mine have either javalins or hand weapon and shield.

The Kings of Men Outlaws looks useful and cheap .


So, for the armies i have (or formations I’ve run across a bit), I’d say the following.

Halflings - not built enough poachers yet but looks ok. Basically makes them gladestalkers and stealthy/spellward and cover should keep them alive. Rampage on Ally is handy with duelist.

RFO - the nerve boost is nice, but the aura is really situational given the limited number of units it helps with.

Basilea - run it once; definitely have lots of possibilities but against a bunch of de6 elementals was never going to shine.

NA - huscarls are still better than clansmen and hero slots should be filled by frostfang riding guys!

FoN - not my style (verdant heavy), can sort of see it but multiple GAEs probably better.

FoA - hero looks awesome alongside infantry that will actually kill stuff (succubi/Oathbreakers/guard). The tax is you take LAs over ghouls, which is a big hit imo.

Goblins - played against it and it hits a lot harder than you think. Punchy fast cav for lowish points, and seems pretty common in list building.

Orcs - built it, not tried it. Gives the chariots a little more punch and something for the drum to do at times.

Undead - yeah, hordes/regiments are just better value. In a cavalry heavy meta could see it working by dumping a legion on each flank and forgetting about them.

OotGL - got the models to run it, but haven’t yet. Looks a good all-round formation buffing units you might take anyway.

Brothermark - take if you want a stupidly violent (but expensive) dragon! Abyssal Hunt are way better than regular knights in regiments so it’s another ‘tax’ formation

SK - going scout/tree heavy then run it, otherwise don’t both. Formation is notable for telling you 3 times that units in it get Scout :wink:

KoM - well, its cheap and hero is ok in his own right. Would have liked piercing 1 on the stand and shoot.

Rhordia - i ran all the units in the formation in a recent list and saved the 50pts by not bothering to take it! For that you can tool up a DoW horde into something nasty, so sod keeping halfling braves alive (i probably lost a tournament game as they didn’t die quickly enough as it was!)

Ratkin Slaves - well worth it if going junk/blow up mode.

Varangur - decent. The cavalry is handy and the brutal aura on a mounted character buffing mounted sons, frostfang heroes etc is nice.


My two cents;

EoD: Not worth it. I never see anyone play it and I knew I wouldn’t like it before I tried it. D3 rampage on two chariot regiments just doesn’t make a difference hitting on 4’s. On the legion the D6 is nice but that’s all I can say. Having a Revenant champion with the D3 makes him a little bit of a liability as you want him casting surge and being in the right spot to inspire, not getting into combat.

Salamanders: Play them aggressively with great weapons backed by scorchwing and lekelidon shooting and the threat of some heavy hitting infantry. They can draw some fire from your Rakawas/tyrants due to scouting. Even without great weapons they are solid. They are a nice harassment battlegroup with solid defense and stealthy.


I will use the Sylvan Kin formation for a maximum all scout party list. That’ll be funny when its done. But its probably not nearly as strong as the Goblin and Ratkin ones, those are kind of at the top of the pyramid. The Elf one looks nice enough too, Nimble is always a nice little thing to have on flyers…

Skeleton Formation When?!

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Yeah the Shambling Blight formation looked nice at first but looking at it closer it was just too expensive for the Iron resolve and Phalanx, the Rallying from the Goreblight seemed ok though.

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Undead: as others have said, no. It’s not super useful, and it’s tough to think of situations where a legion of zombies is necessary but a horde won’t do.

Northern Alliance: Human clansmen are worse than both ice naiads and dwarf clansmen, so I’d rather not mess with the formation.

Brothermark: arguably the best dragon in the game, but at the expense of downgrading two knight regiments. I’m testing it and trying it out.


I used the Free Dwarf formation in a tournament. I thought it wasn’t bad, the Brutal is nice, but the nimble also lets your shieldbreakers be more maneuverable. I didn’t use it for charges but did use it to position better a fair bit - e.g. doubling then turning can be very important. Plus the free Scout on the spear levy now, in combo with other units makes them semi-usable.

Tournament report with Free Dwarfs using formation here: