I like the Fast Wb against Marian Roman. The more frequent recoils seem to cause more isolated Bd pursuit and counterattack by the Wb. Also the extra BW move is critical for striking swiftly and rapidly shifting attacks. And moving 3BW through Bad Going is pretty awesome.
That is anecdotal on only about 20 or so games. I suspect others to have a different take.
Declaring a War on Terror in response to 9/11 is like declaring a War on Torpedo Bombing in response to Pearl Harbour...
This is a very difficult question to answer, as there is no ‘right-or-wrong’...it all depends on the situation.
Yes, on an equal score, solid 4Wb won’t recoil, but will recoil fast and mounted enemies. This effectively gives them a combat overlap bonus (well, their enemies a combat penalty).
Fast 3Wb on the other hand can move faster in all terrain, so will usually get to pick the order of combat. Another important advantage is that by moving 3 base widths they can often ‘hard flank’ a recoiled enemy, even one such as mounted that has recoiled a full 1 BW (solid 4Wb usually cannot do this...they're too slow).
So 3Wb have the advantage of speed...but they have got to be able to make use of that speed. Having 3Wb in a face-to-face toe-to-toe fight robs them of their speed, and takes away their advantage.
It’s a bit like having a fast sports car, but finding yourself crawling along in a traffic jam next to a large van. What good is your extra speed in that situation? But on the open road, you can open her up and zoom off.
Personally it's fast warband all the way! Mostly for the reasons that Stevie highlights. They get to pick the combat location, and that should never be where the opponent has deployed (unless he's deployed very badly!)
I like to form my Wb into columns and run around the opponents line forcing them to wheel, therefore you can cut out of the combat at least some troops that they have deployed on the opposite flank! The only downside is you have to be careful when against a lot of mounted. But against Roman armies this isn't normally a problem!