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Understanding Unit Fillers

modeling unit fillers

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#1 Cradik Brightkiln

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:42 AM

I've been seeing a growing trend in the last few years with the use of unit fillers. I see more and more people using them, and for some reason, the concept confuses me a little. I get the why as an artistic flair, but I am not seeing the general utility or game value. What is the purpose of unit fillers other than artistic?

 

Do people use them to block line of sight? Is there a certain amount of figures they are meant to represent? How does removing them during play affect game? Is a 40x40mm unit filler represent 4 dudes on 20mm bases? Are their any general rules or assumptions that govern their use?

 

I can see the cost savings, using a larger unit size while not owning all the miniatures, but how is it determined as ok as there are no rules in the game to justify it.

 

Please help me to understand Unit Fillers. Why do you personally use them? How do you personally use them?



#2 Helblindi

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:13 AM

I think they are mainly used to break up uniformity, to save on buying minis and as an opportunity to be creative and give the army some more character.

Yes, a 40x40 would represent 4 normal models. I don't think you can actually use them to block LoS, that wouldn't be fair imo.



#3 Gidrick

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:20 AM

Most people I know use them because a block of plasticard or whatever you may use, costs significantly less than the same number of models would. Especially with the new trend of hordes and $5 models. Its far cheaper to get a 20x100mm base or two of unit filler to represent the back ranks of a horde than ten to twenty models would be.



#4 frnknstn

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 08:54 AM

As far as rules go, in tournaments governed by Games Workshop's "Warrior's Code" unit fillers should "represent no more than 20% of the unit and roughly equate to the fighting prowess of the models they replace". The rules also specify that the filler should be of "fighting models" instead of inanimate objects, but in casual play most of the filler is things like war mules, weapons racks, and things like that.

As far as number go, that 20% equates to:

  • If you have 8 models, you can add filler of 2 models bases to have a unit of 10
  • If you have 12 models, you can add filler of 3 models bases to have a unit of 15
  • If you have 16 models, you can add filler of 4 models bases to have a unit of 20
  • If you have 20 models, you can add filler of 5 models bases to have a unit of 25
  • If you have 24 models, you can add filler of 6 models bases to have a unit of 30

So, for example, since I have 8 miners from the Battle for Skull Pass box, I plan on adding two bases of filler to bring the unit up to 10 models, which is the new minimum in the new book.

 

As far as using filler more to try and counteract the high price of models: The problem is that once you factor in sourcing, buying and shipping all the materials to make a cool-looking filler, it still ends up being quite expensive. Less expensive, but still not cheap if you want it to look great.


Edited by frnknstn, 26 February 2014 - 09:00 AM.


#5 Warhammster

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 09:27 AM

I think, that you don't need expensive bits to make unit fillers. The remaining bits are excellent for this purpose.

My favorite method for a 3x2 unit filler is a piece of cork (IKEA stuff, pretty cheap, last for ethernity :) ). It represents a big rock where the mini stand.

I like AoW dwarfs, there are 20 mini on the box. I make a 6-unit filler (3x2), put there 1 mini, so from the 20 mini i have a block of 25 dawi  :).

 

I love unit fillers, because they creates great atmosphere and helps to make big blocks :).

 

Some examples:

20131020_103354_LLS.jpg

 


Edited by Warhammster, 26 February 2014 - 09:33 AM.


#6 Furstenburg

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 10:05 AM

I use the grudge pony from battle for skull pass as a nice unit filler for miners and was looking at one of these as a nice unit filler, but expensive.

 

I also have a lord on bear from reaper minis that counts as both partial unit filler and lord on shieldbearers as its on a 40mm x 40mm base


Edited by Furstenburg, 26 February 2014 - 10:20 AM.


#7 Grupax

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 10:08 AM

It's also a lot faster to rank up your unit :P. Also some unit fillers are not "tied" to a specific unit meaning it's a way of not having to proxy  parts of a unit just becouse you are a few men short (if you want to play with a unit of 25 while you only have 21 models - add a unitfiller of 4 and the problem is solved)

It makes armybuilding a lot more flexibel. (->and of course it's estheticly pleasing)



#8 Notts

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 10:59 AM

The best units fillers add to the visual effect of the unit.

 

The worst unit fillers are there only to make savings.

 

And of course you have the entire range in between.

If someone is half-assing it purely to save a bit of money and it looks rubbish, they annoy me. (Although I don’t really see this as much different to playing with unpainted armies. Both negatively affect the aesthetics of the game.)

 Otherwise, they look great imo.



#9 The Bearded Baron

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:04 AM

Warhammster, your unit fillers are great! I love the ruined the dwarf pillars at the back, do you mind sharing how you did those? =)



#10 the bearded one

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:07 AM

Unitfillers are intended for various purposes.

Saving money on having to buy more models is a common one. It may sound cheap/greedy, but in some cases it's done because the unit is only a few models short, and you'd need a whole new box for those last handful mini's (for example making a unit of 20 dwarf warriors, while the box has 16 models. Buying the actual mini's means you will have 12 left over).

It's also a good way to spice up the look of the unit, even when you already have enough models. Particularly dwarf infantry units (which are low, small, and pretty uniform) can benefit a lot from an eye-catching unitfiller. For example, I use some pillars from the old lotr mines of moria set, with statues on top.

u2sh.jpg

Having unitfillers also makes assembling the unit a little bit faster.


In gamingterms you just pretend they're the number of models that's fit on the space the unitfiller occupies. The unitfillers in the picture above represent 4 models each, for example. You just imagine they are 4 models (including their height for line of sight purposes etc.).

Skmetimes removing the casualties requires a little bit of abstraction. Either you put down a dice or marker to remember howmany of the models the filler represents are killed, or you remove the filler and replace it with a couple single models (using some of the other casualties the unit already suffered) when you feel the need to start removing the filler. My unit of 20 longbeards will first suffer 5 casualties from the backrank before we might reach the unitfiller, so if necessary I could eventually take it out and put back 4 of the single models.

#11 Warhammster

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 12:46 PM

Warhammster, your unit fillers are great! I love the ruined the dwarf pillars at the back, do you mind sharing how you did those? =)

 

Thanks :)

 

They made from a cork from a bottle of wine, a standard from the warriors/thunderers/miners sprue  and a lot of cork pieces (I smashed an other cork off into little pieces).

 

1. With a hobby knife cut out small triangular pieces from the cork pillar randomly, or just scratch the surface with a hobby knife, like when you remove moulding lines.

2. Glue the cork pillar to the base

3. Glue some bigger piece to the top to create the arch look

4. Glue the banner to the cork pillar

5. Glue on a lot of little piece (1-2 mm) to hide the connection points

6. Glue random small triangles to the base, I made them from the sprue with a hobby knife and patience.

7. Enjoy :)


Edited by Warhammster, 26 February 2014 - 12:48 PM.


#12 Craze_b0i

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:30 PM

Personally I'm not a huge fan of unit fillers. When I see trees, rocks or statues walking around the battlefield it just looks odd. That and the fact that said inanimate objects can't actually make attacks in the manner of the warriors they are meant to represent. That is not aimed to have a dig at anyone that uses them since how they model their own unit is entirely down to their individual preference. But for me personally I generally don't like them.

 

I think one grudgepony in a big unit of 40 warriors looks ok, particularly if he's loaded with spare weapons that the other guys can use. Or maybe 3 rear rank guys on a 40X40mm base to help them rank up. But beyond that I draw the line.


Edited by Craze_b0i, 26 February 2014 - 05:40 PM.


#13 Giant collector

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 01:23 AM

Great question I'd been wondering about the unit filler facts/rules for a while now. I'm not a gamer and not much of a painter lately either but I have amassed a pretty good assortment of dwarfs over the last 2 years. Both metal and plastic.Pretty close to having all the slayers/berserkers from Marauder,Citadel/GW and will be having some sort of unit fillers/diorama started soon. I also think Warhammmster has some of the nicest fillers out there. Gc



#14 Skinny

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 01:50 AM

Here is the unit filler for my 40 man GW horde. I'd really like to strip him back to bare metal & re-do him now that I can paint a little better. Either that or pay Darkblade to do it lol. 

 

DSCN0729.jpg



#15 Helblindi

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:35 AM

24px-Runic_letter_wunjo.png24px-Runic_letter_thurisaz.png24px-Runic_letter_fehu.png!!  Where did you find that robot??



#16 Skinny

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:57 AM

24px-Runic_letter_wunjo.png24px-Runic_letter_thurisaz.png24px-Runic_letter_fehu.png!!  Where did you find that robot??

 Found him while searching for some type of steam golem for my filler piece. He was over on DreamPod9 a year & a half ago but I went back the other day to see if they still had them & I can no longer find any. I wanted to get another one for an idea I had. Just imagine a large filler/diorama piece with two gyrobombers airlifting one of these big guys into battle. 

 

 Some of the pieces I added to him like the horns & all the runic attachments. You cant see it from this picture but there's a dawi behind with him a wheelbarrow full of coal to keep him going. 


Edited by Skinny, 27 February 2014 - 06:59 AM.


#17 Cradik Brightkiln

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:19 AM

Thanks everyone for your input. I have a better understanding on unit fillers.



And as a Giant Robot fan, that robot is boss.





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