View Full Version : To spear or not to spear

14-02-2008, 20:23
well im going to plan out a VC army, and im trying to decide if spears are good or not...

and that is to say, are they worth taking on skellie units...

as i see it there is little reason not to take them, in almost all cases you will be being charged by something at somepoint, and in most ccases your save will mean jack against such charges, thus a few extra attacks back could make the difference, or at least start to thin the enemy, and if you can get a ASF off on them, there can suddenly be alot of attacks back witha good change of actually doing something to whatever that are facing,

there is also the wonderfull staff of attacking during the magic phase, and having 10+ attacks on a unit is never bad, plus if its needed its not difficut to switch back to hw&s for that added deffence when you are charged by a unit that is will make a difference against...

so what are your feelings, spears or no spears?

14-02-2008, 20:33
no spears.

extra armour save wins imo.

14-02-2008, 20:37
For undead it depends on the size of the unit. Is it big enough that you don't fear it getting wiped out? Then give them spears. If the unit is a bit smaller and you aren't 100% sure they can last the game then just a handweapon to make them more defensive.

Jack of Blades
14-02-2008, 21:26
Generally I think these should be included if you're going Spears, and take 2 units of them:

Helm of Commandment
Book of Arkhan + Necromancer with Van Hel's Danse Macabre + Corpse Cart
Staff of Damnation

And anything I might have missed, don't think so though.

14-02-2008, 21:36
well check on the first two, for sure, im still not convinced over skull staff or the staff of damnation, but it will be one of those two

wolf, im sure extra armour wins most of the time, but when you are left with the option of 6+ save [or none] and the front rank dieing or no save and the second rank being able to kill stuff [only hit with ~5-6 killing wounds] the extra attacks can be usefull...

Jack of Blades
14-02-2008, 21:53
Well the Staff of Damnation is an instant dispel, unless your enemy likes seeing ASF re-roll to hit Spear-wielding WS6 Skeletons attack twice. Attacking twice really is invaluable, because it means each Skeleton has an at least somewhat decent chance of causing a wound. This can also be used to your advantage :)

14-02-2008, 22:02
hmmm well i may not take the skull staff use the lords allowance to take other usefull items...

gar im still torn, as to which to take... and im going to have to start building soon! [expecting box in the next few days as most staff got theirs in this weeks mail order shipment]

Jack of Blades
14-02-2008, 22:11
Imo you shouldn't be too stuck over the items, just go with what you want your lord to do. Skullstaff + Helm of Commandment | Master of the Dark Arts + Dark Acolyte + Lord of the Dead should be what you're looking for based on what I've seen of you. Perhaps put him on a Hellsteed so he can be where he needs to be.

Well, you can take the Staff of Damnation on a hero and put him with the Skeletons. Make him a BSB and put Walking Death + Supernatural Terror on him, at least that's what I'd do (and drop Terror if I was short on points).

gl hf with the Skellies.

14-02-2008, 22:56
yeah thats my current lord config, but i am thinking of altring it slightly to accomidate the possiblity of not taking the staff... i love the idea, but its such alot of points... and you can naver get all the items you want...

the staff looks like its something along with the book of arkan that will have to be in my army.. and then the Black Periapt nad Sceptre de Noirot get to fight it out in the ocupation of a necromancer [who will most likely have a power stone and vans dance and another power, either IoN or raise depending on if he has the scepter or not...]

hmmm looks like i may well go with the spears, they will cost me ~10pts a unit, and i dont have to use them if i dont want to...

15-02-2008, 03:27
Ok, this used to be a hugely debated choice in the old VC book. However, in the new book, as far as i'm concerned, spears are all but required. Some, if not most of you, will probably disagree with me, but here is my logic:

A spear costs the same as it used to, making the skeletons about 12.5% more espensive. However, for equipping your skeletons with spears you only lose out on 1 skeleton in 9 or so. Considering how effective "ballooning" seems to be (2 games of amazing success) there is little reason to buy a unit of more than 15 skeletons...even 10 is viable. This basically makes your units 10-15 points more expensive for the ability to get 5 more attacks (Lots of ASF opportunities now adays).

If you combine skeletons with a Lord wearing the Crown of Command, they will be hit on 5s by most RNF and be hitting on 3s which gives them quite a nice level of combat power compared to their standard expectations...a solid 50% more effectiveness.

If you are going to run a Staff of Damnation, spears are even that much more important. Backed by a magicy lord (Count Mannfred is awsome) you'll be raising a dozen or more skeletons a turn, giving back more points for their value per cast.

In short: if you are going to be casting quite a bit to raise skeletons, take spears. Drop a model or two to get them and it will pay off. If you are not gunna do much casting, take Grave Guard as they are ******* badass. :evilgrin:

15-02-2008, 12:23
I've been running undead for 12ish years now. I favour spears on my skeletons simply because I almost never get the charge. I want some attacks back rather than none, as the front rank normally gets wiped out. A few of the new items (as pointed out by previous posters) will make them even better. I understand the argument for hand weapon and shield only and even run a medium sized unit of these guys, but the lure of actually getting to attack back grabs me!

15-02-2008, 13:11
Hmmm, difficult question, if you're planning on winning combats by killing things then go with spears. If you plan on using the other combat resolution bonuses, then don't bother as numbers will be more important.

With spears, okay you loose a little on your armour, but when you're unbreakable and all your characters can/should be able to cast the necromancy "Get Back Up Again" spell of doom, is that really an issue? You have more guys in a position to strike back, and can simply keep replacing your dead(er) ones while grinding your opponent down to nothing.

If you're going for the other bonuses, then your skellies can pin the enemy while you use Zombies (raised in battle or not) / Dire Wolves (or anything else that's quick to move) to attack the flanks and win combat by virtue of flank attack, out numbering and your opponent not having a rank bonus any more and then having to flee 'cause they're outnumbered by a fear causing enemy!

But that's just my view, modified since I have a horde army (skaven who use bonuses to win fights) and an elite army (lizardmen who win by killing stuff), and I could be wrong.

Jack of Blades
15-02-2008, 16:00
Zombies? nope, useless in combined arms. Their being hit and wounded on 3+ with no save against almost everything in the game (and worse than that against lots of other things too) is just asking for the unit to attack them and rack up kills.

15-02-2008, 16:17
Zombies? nope, useless in combined arms. Their being hit and wounded on 3+ with no save against almost everything in the game (and worse than that against lots of other things too) is just asking for the unit to attack them and rack up kills.

You're forgetting, they only cost 4 points, still don't run away and still cause fear! A very easy way of getting your out numbering done. Plus you can magic up a unit behind an enemy unit that's about to run away and they flee straight into it and are destroyed!

Besides at 3+ followed by 3+, that's still only 2 kills out of 5 attacks. Since most infantry blocks are 4 or 5 guys deep, thats 2 extra kills when the zombies have added 1 for out numbering, 1 for a flank charge and cost your opponent their rank bonus.

'Cause theirs always those uber fighty units of doom that will hew zombies down by the truck load (e'g' chosen chaos bods, lizardmen), but that's you have knights for.

Still, they're a very handy unit when properly employed.

15-02-2008, 16:53
no spears.

extra armour save wins imo.

Agree 100%.

Jack of Blades
15-02-2008, 17:18
I guess you're right Tiamat. It's just much more of a risk now (risks are fun though... an army without risk is too boring to play imo), and yeah, there are other great uses for Zombies like you pointed out :)

15-02-2008, 22:22
so what are your feelings, spears or no spears?

I feel that it is worth taking them. It's not a massive investent, and it provides a welcome combat option.

Wether you want to use them or not is a different issue entirely.