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So why would you not just build the largest unit you could? In WFB, big units were a tricky thing to manage. They were hard to maneuver, getting your whole frontage to attack was difficult, and protecting their flank was paramount.

 

But in AoS, I see no reason not to just go with as big of a unit as you can. Charging has no restriction other than making sure one of your models in the unit makes it within .5" of an enemy model. In your pile in move, every model within range of an enemy model can make its attack. It is not restricted by a target unit. So a large unit that is in contact with three units will get to attack all three. And due to unit activation, it is a huge advantage to only need to activate one unit as opposed to multiple units. So in our previous example, even if it is the other player's turn, they get one unit to attack and damage your horde, but then your horde attacks and damages all three units, now the other player's two units that haven't gone are going post-damage.

 

The only advantage that the MSU have over the horde is when it comes to Battleshock. Since one unit is taking all of the damage, the amount they fail their battleshock test will be greater. Of course this is slightly mitigated by the fact that large units get an increased bravery stat. Also, many command abilities allow a single unit to ignore battleshock tests, which means it is easy to protect your horde from taking any at all.

 

The only thing that will prevent this type of list building will be scenarios.

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So why would you not just build the largest unit you could? In WFB, big units were a tricky thing to manage. They were hard to maneuver, getting your whole frontage to attack was difficult, and protecting their flank was paramount.

 

But in AoS, I see no reason not to just go with as big of a unit as you can. Charging has no restriction other than making sure one of your models in the unit makes it within .5" of an enemy model. In your pile in move, every model within range of an enemy model can make its attack. It is not restricted by a target unit. So a large unit that is in contact with three units will get to attack all three. And due to unit activation, it is a huge advantage to only need to activate one unit as opposed to multiple units. So in our previous example, even if it is the other player's turn, they get one unit to attack and damage your horde, but then your horde attacks and damages all three units, now the other player's two units that haven't gone are going post-damage.

 

The only advantage that the MSU have over the horde is when it comes to Battleshock. Since one unit is taking all of the damage, the amount they fail their battleshock test will be greater. Of course this is slightly mitigated by the fact that large units get an increased bravery stat. Also, many command abilities allow a single unit to ignore battleshock tests, which means it is easy to protect your horde from taking any at all.

 

The only thing that will prevent this type of list building will be scenarios.

 

Baaaaaaaaatleshock.

 

Congrats on your 100 model unit of chaos warriors.

 

I just did 30 wounds to it. Take your battleshock check.

 

Laugh all the way to the bank. At 100 models, you are talking 20 bravery tops (I don't know their actual bravery stat, and after taking 30 wounds, you are now down to 17). Roll your d6, even at a roll of 1, you are now talking a roll of 31 vs 17. That's another 14 models down. You're now down to 56 models in the unit. One turn killed off almost half of them. And, with that big a unit, people can move the unit by coordinating where combat is initiated. You can end up being strung out, and in combat where it isn't to your advantage. Once you enter combat, you lose all maneuverability. Your opponent retains much if not all of theirs.

 

And with a unit of 100, is sudden death at play? That can be a pretty big game changer. And if it isn't in play, then you started with 100 models too. So, could you do more than that? Or, could you remove their general? Now they can't inspiring presence either.

 

The more I look at the rules, the more balanced they seem in all honesty. Sure, I think the game would strongly benefit from a better comp system (or just *A* comp system), but it seems like it will play out better than people think. Wish I had time to get in a couple dozen games under different scenarios in all honesty. At this point my biggest questions are around summoning. But even that I'm leveling out on, as it seems the scoring can mitigate it pretty heavily.

 

I think two even partially reasonable people sitting down to play could get a game out of it.

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Again, every hero has the base command ability which protects a single unit from taking battleshock tests. Plus, you take a horde for a tough unit with a good save.

 

Please tell me what unit you are taking that is doing 30 wounds to a chaos warrior unit in one turn? If it is multiple units, then only one of those gets to attack before my CW get to go (barring it isn't my turn and my CW go first). That means those other units of yours are all going to be feeling the pain that the CW bring before they get to attack.

 

Also, battleshock is not based on wounds, it is based on models removed. So your 30 wounds translates to 15 models removed. So my battleshock is d6+Casualties - bravery. As I have 85 models left, I have +8 to my bravery...plus I'm sure I still have my banner. So my bravery is 15. So at most I'm losing d6 models.

 

So a multi-wound unit with a good save is going to crush it in horde formation.

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Again, every hero has the base command ability which protects a single unit from taking battleshock tests. Plus, you take a horde for a tough unit with a good save.

 

Please tell me what unit you are taking that is doing 30 wounds to a chaos warrior unit in one turn? If it is multiple units, then only one of those gets to attack before my CW get to go (barring it isn't my turn and my CW go first). That means those other units of yours are all going to be feeling the pain that the CW bring before they get to attack.

 

Battleshock tests are taken at the end of the turn, and ALL wounds are counted. So, assuming you are even remotely comparable in model count, then you had a magic phase, shooting phase, and combat phase to do those 30 wounds.

 

And again... in a remotely even scenario, if you have 100 models in a unit, then your opponent (assuming they went with a more MSU approach) has models that can go and remove the general from play, while feeding that big 100 model unit a unit or two to chew on to buy time. Tossing a single tougher model against them is also a reasonable choice, as you can remove a number of the attacks to be made because they are out of range.

 

Here is something for you: Imagine two traditional "chaff" units. You place them such as that one is 4" from the opposing warrior unit. You then charge with the other one in such a way that the pile-in from the warrior unit will bring them within 3" of the second chaff unit. You attack with the first chaff unit, the warriors then go. The warriors pile in, bringing them within 3" of the second chaff unit, but out of range to attack the second chaff unit. The warriors wipe out the first chaff unit, and then the second chaff unit piles in and makes attacks. It cannot be attacked by the warriors until the next combat phase. However, it must kill them or retreat. With two chaff units, you have made the warriors effectively worthless for a turn. That may be enough time to take care of the general, or set yourself up for charges the following turn.

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Here's a wacky idea. Actually play a game or two and find out first hand if deathstar'ing is a boon or a bust.

Please stay on topic.

 

@hobbitron - Check the rules. Battleshock is based on models removed, not wounds. Therefore multi-wound models have a pretty good advantage in the battleshock phase over single wound models. Every 10 models in a unit gives it +1 bravery as well. Also, I can put my general in the middle of my horde. You'll only be able to reach him via shooting.

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Hobbitron: Battleshock test are based off of casualties not wounds.  Bro G is right.  

 

AgentP: All BroG is doing is trying to figure out how things work, lets not bash that and stay on topic as the mods have asked.

 

As far as big units go; AFTER playing games i see them as very good.  Mainly because the best way to mitigate damage in AoS is by dealing it.  A big unit will get to go first on your turn will all of their models within thier attack range.  The units it hits are going to be crippled if not dead due to battleshock.  also command abilities and special ablities that affect single units become more effective if you have one big unit as compared to two small ones as most of them (I think) make you choose a unit.  

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Please stay on topic.

 

@hobbitron - Check the rules. Battleshock is based on models removed, not wounds. Therefore multi-wound models have a pretty good advantage in the battleshock phase over single wound models. Every 10 models in a unit gives it +1 bravery as well. Also, I can put my general in the middle of my horde. You'll only be able to reach him via shooting.

 

I understand the rules. I didn't realize Chaos Warriors were multi-wound models, my apologies.

 

However, with that understanding, it also more or less doubles the amount of "models" that you should be bringing to bear against the unit. I was imagining models as wounds, and was picturing 100 wounds in the unit. So if I answered your 100 warriors with 5 units of 20 skeleton archers, 1 screaming skull, and 1 unit of 20 tomb guard, and 2 units of 5 horse archers, and a necrotect. I've got a lot of models that can work on removing that unit. And honestly? It seems like it might not be a bad comparison. Can I do 60 wounds? Well, those archers are putting out 200 shots. Two shots at 4 damage apiece from the screaming skull that will also reduce bravery by 2. Use the archers to delay until the tomb guard can go in, likely supported in some fashion by my general and/or liche priest. I could also direct any of that shooting to the general.

 

Here is the better question, what do you gain from having 100 warriors in a single unit?

 

Will it be easy? No. But any match where two people take approximately equal forces shouldn't be easy. It's not an auto-win for either side.

 

If you took 100 warriors of chaos and I took 10 skeleton warriors? Sure, there wouldn't be much of a game (despite that we followed construction rules as found in the RB, we each took a warscroll). If I took an approximate counter? Well, now options are there.

 

Again.... AoS fails in a superior fashion for comp rules.

 

I think big units are good, but keep in mind that you're putting all of your eggs in one basket. Even though an ability will affect more models, what does it matter if they are only able to attack one unit of useless chumps? Or, if only 8 models can attack. 92 models are sitting there useless. If you always got to attack with 100 models at all times, yes it would be broken as hell. That however, is an unrealistic expectation.

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Hobbitron, I didn't bring up 100 models. I just said large units vs smaller units. In the rules, I can take as many vargulfs as I want in a single unit. They have 8 wounds a pop and heal. Can you imagine a unit of 10 of them? That is 10 models, one warscroll. Yet it contains 80 wounds, and a possibility of 70 attacks. That unit will wreck.

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Baaaaaaaaatleshock.

 

Congrats on your 100 model unit of chaos warriors.

 

I just did 30 wounds to it. Take your battleshock check.

 

Laugh all the way to the bank. At 100 models, you are talking 20 bravery tops (I don't know their actual bravery stat, and after taking 30 wounds, you are now down to 17). Roll your d6, even at a roll of 1, you are now talking a roll of 31 vs 17. That's another 14 models down. You're now down to 56 models in the unit. One turn killed off almost half of them. And, with that big a unit, people can move the unit by coordinating where combat is initiated. You can end up being strung out, and in combat where it isn't to your advantage. Once you enter combat, you lose all maneuverability. Your opponent retains much if not all of theirs.

 

And with a unit of 100, is sudden death at play? That can be a pretty big game changer. And if it isn't in play, then you started with 100 models too. So, could you do more than that? Or, could you remove their general? Now they can't inspiring presence either.

 

The more I look at the rules, the more balanced they seem in all honesty. Sure, I think the game would strongly benefit from a better comp system (or just *A* comp system), but it seems like it will play out better than people think. Wish I had time to get in a couple dozen games under different scenarios in all honesty. At this point my biggest questions are around summoning. But even that I'm leveling out on, as it seems the scoring can mitigate it pretty heavily.

 

I think two even partially reasonable people sitting down to play could get a game out of it.

I may be wrong but I think you're playing battleshock wrong and confusing it with nerve for kings of war.  Things die quick in this game but 30 wounds to a unit in one phase is pretty hard to pull off.

 

Quote:

To make a battleshock test, roll a dice and add the number of models from the unit that have been slain this turn.  For each point by which the total exceeds the highest bravery characteristic in the unit, one model in that unit must flee and is removed from play.

 

That said, there is the whole sudden death thing, but if as BroG is saying you go with large units of elite troops with high wounds/saves you won't typically be outnumbered and you can then load up on models.  That said, you won't get many guys in combat for the most part, so there is that too.

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Hobbitron, I didn't bring up 100 models. I just said large units vs smaller units. In the rules, I can take as many vargulfs as I want in a single unit. They have 8 wounds a pop and heal. Can you imagine a unit of 10 of them? That is 10 models, one warscroll. Yet it contains 80 wounds, and a possibility of 70 attacks. That unit will wreck.

 

I threw a number out for a large unit. If we want to move to another one.... sure. It will wreck. No doubt about it. However, again this comes down to the comp. If you have 10 vargulfs, I should have a roughly approximate number of models/warscrolls to respond with. I'm a fan of taking the minimum unit size stated in the description, and considering any taken beyond that to be "multiple" warscrolls. So, if you're taking 10 of them, that should be similar to taking 10 warscrolls. You are right in that you are only taking 1. But, we are all also aware that SOME sort of comp is needed here. In the absence of any hard lined rules, let's use common sense.

 

Funny... Varghulfs don't have a min unit size. I think we could agree that it would be 1?

 

If you have 10 Vargulfs, what have I taken to account for a similar value? The heal is only during the combat phase, so if I can avoid that... yay. Also, looks like they heal individually. So you would actually need to roll attacks for a wounded Varghulf independently... There is also no benefit to multiples in a unit really. Without comp especially, running 10 individuals will always net you better results than 1 unit of 10 to my knowledge. With Chaos Warriors, there is a very tangible benefit of an armor save bonus for having over 20 models. Nothing like that exists for Varghulfs. It really would be just a bigger wound pool. But, with the way healing and wound distribution works, pretty sure it would never work out in your benefit.

 

Anyways. It seems like the concerns in this thread would be resolved by just having two balanced forces. 10 Varghulfs is good, but 10 Varghulfs vs 5 screaming skulls, a necrotect, and a bone giant is a much more entertaining match up.

 

GW failed in not providing any tangible comp rules. I think assuming that the game is terrible as a result is misleading. If we approach it in the sense that two people who want to play a game will want to have fun, and will select comparable armies... the game improves.

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Pluses of big units:

 

-Many abilities buff one unit (I tried this with a chaos warshrine and chaos warriors)

-Only one activation makes ganging on them less effective since they effectively have the second highest initiative in multicharge scenarios. (except for pile in shenanigans)

-Easy to charge an steamroll small units

 

Minuses:

 

-Scenarios with multiple control points - big units are certainly stronger when the scenario is just smash until dead

-some models or spells do bonus damage or auto hit depending on the unit, the larger the unit the better. (though since this is based on models and not wounds, multiwound units the equivalent of 25 single wound models are not affected by this, which I think makes them relatively stronger)

- can be manipulated

 

take 10 vargulfs, then take 10 units of 1, if the lone ones charge, you charge with one, it attacks, 10 pile in and kill it, other lone 9 pile in on them. The larger unit will have taken way more damage.

 

 

I think that big units seem more powerful initially, and certainly have advantages (buffing), but as players get more used to the shenanigans in this version of the game, some of those will be offset.

 

Also, without points, it's not very useful to compare the relative effectiveness of one unit against another, so we can't expand far from the vargulf versus vargulf scenario. 

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Hobbitron, I'm not trying to break anything, I am just trying to understand how this all works. Vargulfs are not singular models. The war scroll for that says any number of them become a unit. So if I take 10 vargulfs based on a single war scroll, that means they are a unit of 10 models and have to stay within 1" of each other. In terms of army building in the rules, they amount to 10 models. This is a pretty far fetched example, but I threw it out there to make a point.

 

Single wound units vs multi-wound units is a big deal. Lets say empire greatswords mix it up with chaos warriors. Just for fun, each one does 6 wounds to the other. The empire GS unit is rolling d6+6 vs bravery, and a good chance to lose more models. The CW are rolling d6+3 vs bravery, and a good chance to not lose any. That becomes a big deal very quickly.

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take 10 vargulfs, then take 10 units of 1, if the lone ones charge, you charge with one, it attacks, 10 pile in and kill it, other lone 9 pile in on them. The larger unit will have taken way more damage.

 

You lost me here. If all 10 of the lone vargulfs charge in, then only one of them makes attacks vs the horde. Now the horde activates. The horde can split attacks across units, thus it can direct its attacks vs 5 of the other 10. They will most likely kill those 5 charging vargulf before they ever attack. End result is the MSU side gets crushed. You have to kill 5 vargulfs in the horde unit before battleshock even has a chance to remove a model.

 

Attacks are not unit vs unit. Attacks are model vs unit. That is what makes the horde nasty. They get to do their damage first. Also, you don't charge a unit, do combat, and then charge another unit. All charges are moved, then combats take place.

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You lost me here. If all 10 of the lone vargulfs charge in, then only one of them makes attacks vs the horde. Now the horde activates. The horde can split attacks across units, thus it can direct its attacks vs 5 of the other 10. They will most likely kill those 5 charging vargulf before they ever attack. End result is the MSU side gets crushed. You have to kill 5 vargulfs in the horde unit before battleshock even has a chance to remove a model.

 

Attacks are not unit vs unit. Attacks are model vs unit. That is what makes the horde nasty. They get to do their damage first.

THey dont all charge.

 

One charges

 

The others mosey to 3.01 inches away, behind their doomed charger friend.

 

Charger activates, damages, horde activates, kills charger, the activation rules then allow the other 9 to go in turn because they're now within three inches due to the horde's pile in movement.

 

Of course the horde can choose not to pile in. But then only the one in range gets to attack.

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THey dont all charge.

 

One charges

 

The other mosey to 3.01 inches away, behind their doomed charger friend.

 

Charger activates, damages, horde activates, kills charger, the activation rules then allow the other 9 to go in turn because they're now within three inches due to the horde's pile in movement.

 

Of course the horde can choose not to pile in. But then only the one in range gets to attack.

 

I was literally typing the exact same thing when your post showed up.

Uncanny!

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Hobbitron, I'm not trying to break anything, I am just trying to understand how this all works. Vargulfs are not singular models. The war scroll for that says any number of them become a unit. So if I take 10 vargulfs based on a single war scroll, that means they are a unit of 10 models and have to stay within 1" of each other. In terms of army building in the rules, they amount to 10 models. This is a pretty far fetched example, but I threw it out there to make a point.

 

Single wound units vs multi-wound units is a big deal. Lets say empire greatswords mix it up with chaos warriors. Just for fun, each one does 6 wounds to the other. The empire GS unit is rolling d6+6 vs bravery, and a good chance to lose more models. The CW are rolling d6+3 vs bravery, and a good chance to not lose any. That becomes a big deal very quickly.

 

The interesting part of battleshock and multi wound models is that you're less likely to take damage, but more likely to take extreme damage.

 

I had a friend run a unit of 2 chaos chariots. They're bravery 6. One died. He took battleshock. If it had been wounds done that turn, and done wounds, he would have at most taken 3 of 8 wounds, meh. As it was, a model had died, 1-5, nothing, if he rolled a 6 the other chariot disappears. Not sure if it's balanced right, but it's definitely and interesting trade off. 

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Hobbitron, I'm not trying to break anything, I am just trying to understand how this all works. Vargulfs are not singular models. The war scroll for that says any number of them become a unit. So if I take 10 vargulfs based on a single war scroll, that means they are a unit of 10 models and have to stay within 1" of each other. In terms of army building in the rules, they amount to 10 models. This is a pretty far fetched example, but I threw it out there to make a point.

 

Single wound units vs multi-wound units is a big deal. Lets say empire greatswords mix it up with chaos warriors. Just for fun, each one does 6 wounds to the other. The empire GS unit is rolling d6+6 vs bravery, and a good chance to lose more models. The CW are rolling d6+3 vs bravery, and a good chance to not lose any. That becomes a big deal very quickly.

 

You are correct in the Varghulf thing. But then let's really assess what you gain from that.

 

You now have 10 models that must remain within 1" of each other, and if I get one model into combat, it has to follow combat rules. If you had 10 in one unit, and I had 10 units of 1... let's see how it plays out.

 

One of us charges (with no bonuses on the charge, this isn't a big deal).

 

If your unit of 10 goes first:

 

50 attacks are made, spread between the 10 individual varghulfs based on what is in range of each model. You likely won't have enough in base contact to kill even a single one of those models (you would need to score 4 wounds on a single model, and then for me to fail all 4 saves). You heal nothing because you don't have wounds.

 

I attack back with all 10 models for 50 attacks. Each model attacks separately. But, my wounds all go to the same pool. So when I do 8 wounds, a model of yours dies. That will cause the one that laid the final blow to heal. I can even manipulate my activations of combat to target which models need heals. So after the combat, I have 10 models some of which are wounded, and you have less than 10.

 

The following turn, I will get to choose one to attack with, and then you will attack with all of yours. But, this gives me an opportunity to reposition myself and potentially get a single model out of combat by killing a single model in range, and making my model now out of range of any of your models.

 

I attack, likely don't kill one, you attack back. Now you may kill a model or two (because again you're splitting all of your attacks against my models, rather than going into a single wound pool), but I don't even think it's likely yet to kill more than one without some luck. Depending on how pile-ins happen, you may not have more than 3 models to throw against a single model in any given area.

 

Man, wish I could map this out for reference....

 

Anyways, after the first round, we've done fairly similar numbers of wounds, but you lost models, and I didn't.

 

If mine activated first... the results would be much the same, only I would activate one before you did (or play like Romes mentioned)

 

I think there is a heck of a lot more to this game in the combat phase, and how pile ins work than most people suspect.

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So you line up your 10 over 3" away, and then charge in with 1. The horde can pile into the 1 without getting within 3" of the rest. Sure, they won't get all 10 in, but they don't need to. They can easily get three in without being in range of your other 9, and that is enough to kill the lone vargulf. Now on their turn, they spread out across your line and charge in. They activate first and wipe out half of your guys. End result, they win the war of attrition.

 

@ hobbit: I don't spread out 1v1...I gang up. I can easily get 2v1 against your models. That is enough to have a very good chance of killing your guy. Vargulfs do great dealing damage, and can't save very well.

 

I'll admit that I first read battleshock wrong too. I thought it was on wounds. That means single model units/characters never take battleshock tests.

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Hobbit, 

 

You don't choose what model from the horde is removed. 

 

Both,

 

I think that the scenario is more complicated than is efficient to theory hammer out for certain. We're ignore terrain, where the horde is hit, so on and so forth. Also, how the math would change if the unit in question was different. For example, models with a lower or higher output versus durability relationship.

 

The take away should be that there are advantages to both horde and MSU, and tactics which can be used to try to increase the effectiveness of either. Which is good.

 

This is the answer to the original question.

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Keep in mind that you dont have "base to base" anymore.

 

A successful charge means you were 1/2" away from the nearest model.

 

Also keep in mind you have a 3" consolidation move but your attacks have a range of anywhere from 1/2" inch to 4" dependent upon the model.  So you can pile in but if you are out of range that sucks for you when your opponent then consolidates and begins to remove models with his entire unit of infantry with a 2" reach or ... you charged and he has 2 units within 3" now that also activate after you have gone.

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Movement is very important and complex in AoS, in a good way.  So, the way combat works is the unit declares a charge, then you move the model closest to the enemy until it gets within 1/2", at that point the charge is successful.  You then get a bit more free-form time to move individual guys to get within the 1" (or whatever your weapon profile says).  I've found that to be surprisingly hard.   1" is shockingly short, and it is easy to be outside that range.  But after that initial free-form charge move, things never get free form again.  And this is where it gets tricky.  The 3" pile in is not a free for all.  A model can only pile in by moving straight towards the closest enemy model, and cannot move through other models.  So pile in is not a method for jockeying models around to maximize who is in combat.  Very frequently the only available pile in move (due to the closest enemy) for a model still keeps him out of the 1" range to attack.  This is also why lapping around a unit isn't easy, as it takes good positioning on the initial charge to make the sides or back of an enemy the closest model for your pile in.

 

And then, as you say, which models you remove becomes essential.  Do you want to create gaps in the center so that better models (champions or heroes) can pile in?  Do you want to create edge gaps as a buffer so other units are not drawn in?  Etc.

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