View Full Version : Phoenix Guard, White Lions or Sword Masters

27-02-2008, 04:50
3 special units, 3 questions. Everyone please answer if you have the experience to do so!

1) Which one is better fit to hold Banner of Sorcery?

2) Which one is better fit for a MSU role?

3) If you had to pick one, which one would you choose overall?

(this should be in Tactics.. can a mod move please?)

27-02-2008, 05:45
Okay, having just used all three units in a game, I'm pretty sure i got this covered.

1. I tend to use of 10 Phoenix Guard to hold on the Bnr of Socery, as they have fear and ward, they tend to be a serious roadblock. (although note, do not leave them on their own for an extended period of time, they do need support)

2. Swordmasters, definetly. These guys are essentialy double their size in attacks. a unit of 10 took on over 30 Greatswords and a warrior priest and were holding out until they got flanked by a Runefang.

3.If i was going for just one, i would probably take the Swordmasters, The amount of hurt that they can deal out is astronomical. a unit of 20 took out a whole skaven army, the swordmasters were flanked, on both sides, by 2units of rat ogres, and a giant block of stormvermin, and won combat. They are the only ones who can take on a protracted combat and potentially win. All the others need support if they do not break the enemy in the first two turns of combat.

Special note about White Lions, (these guys are my new fav unit) just hide them in the woods and move towards the toughest armoured foe. S6 can hurt alot. Those damn t4 are wounded on 2+.

That Guy
27-02-2008, 06:35
1) Fluff-wise: Swordmasters, duh. Game-wise: Phoenix Guard followed by White Lions. Phoenix Guard won't die. White Lions won't run. Both are good choices.

2) Swordmasters. A naked unit of seven can charge a unit with the magic +5 and still make them break. (6 wounds-ish against T 3, 4+ AS, which will take away a rank) Give them full command and suddenly you're winning combat by 3 (assuming their unit started at 25 models). Yikes. But keep in mind, these guys are really, really fragile. A stiff breeze blows them over. You need to take out your opponent's missile units immediately. MSU with White Lions has more resilience and is almost as effective (can you say move through woods?!!?). Phoenix Guard are the wrong choice. For pure effectiveness, I would mix SMs and WLs.

3) This is all personal preference. I like glass hammers, so I'd use Swordmasters. But you can't go wrong.

27-02-2008, 15:16
Thanks for the advice so far.

Any more to give all?

27-02-2008, 16:55
White Lions, 3+(I believe) armour save against shooting, hitting first with strength 6 is killer and they are stubborn.

Stick them in woods to make them harder to shoot at and stops enemy skirmishers from sneaking up on you all at no movemment cost to the mighty Lions.

They are the only unit in my mates HE army I hate to play against.

Mind you the other two options are awesome too.

27-02-2008, 17:14
St6 stubborn 3+ save vs shooting infantry, that can move 10" a turn.
Plus they go through woods like they arent there.....

Swordsmasters just get shot to bits (as my DE army will attest to that).
Phoenix guard are easy enough to break and dont hit that hard(but they dont die a whole lot at least!).
White lions offer great combat ability, great staying power and a decent ability to not get shot to bits.

Assuming I had a HE army I'de take white lions more than the other 2.(no korhil of course....)

Windings of a snake
27-02-2008, 20:10
White lions are the best bang for your buck. They combine WS S and ASF perfectly with good armour against shooting plus stubborn and better movement through woods.

PG are the worst choice of them, swordmasters are somwhat better but get shot at an instant.

27-02-2008, 20:16
White ions are the best.

I however prefer swordmasters.

They are just silly powerful and i respect them alot.

though be ware! stiff breezes will cause them trouble!

Windings of a snake
27-02-2008, 20:21
Wolf is right in concerns of damage output the swordmasters are better but they can not handle a second D6 hits spell or a unit of decent crossbows.

28-02-2008, 15:54
1 on 1 the swordmasters will be better than the white lions in small units, but I think a unit of 5 white lions is a nasty thorn in your side that you will have to watch out for, but that's easy to overlook. They can deal some damage, and are stubborn. If there's a unit you don't want to face just yet, stick a couple of white lions on them. They're the new swarms :)

28-02-2008, 17:32
If you have the points for it, I'd use a combination of any of them in small units (12-14). They all serve significantly different purposes and that makes it hard to choose just one.

As stated previously, the SMs just dish out so much damage on average that it is hard for any unit to take them straight up without starting with the effective 6CR (outnumber, standard, musician to break tie, 3 ranks). Anything less and the 6 SMs, 13 attacks hitting on 3s and wounding on 2 or 3, -2 save, can generate far too much to overcome. Even with a unit of 14, 7 across, 2 can be killed by shooting and you still make it to combat with 15 attacks, standard, (i don't use musician because i don't think there will be a tie), and one rank.

PG are a great tarpit unit. They are hard to kill in HTH because they don't care about hard hitting low volume attacks. Whether there was a S4 or S10 attack, they still save one a 4. High volume attacks are still a problem because the more saves they have to make the more they will miss. Don't have them fighting units with multiple attacks, frenzied units, units with 2 hand weapons, etc. They will have a hard time. Also, they have a good advantage over units that are subject to fear if they fail the fear test because they have a lot more misses.

WL are the great unit for flanking, fighting heavily armored units and shrugging off shooting. They are a pretty good unit all the way around but cannot sustain protracted fighting with either high volume or high strength attacks.

In combination, all these units are very effective. That way, you have several units that can attack units to do flank and frontal attacks.

28-02-2008, 20:13
Phoenix guard, the models are the nicest.

Dragon Prince of Caledor
28-02-2008, 21:34
15 phoenix guard are the most unkillable of all the units. I would give them the banner. Give the lion standard to white lions to make them essentially unmoveable.

29-02-2008, 15:10
i've been playing with both SM and WL in my 2000 point games 2 units of 12 SM and 2 units of 7 white lions. send the white lions at there shooting or cav and then march the SM up using cover of other troops when you see where there magic is. once 12 SM get in close combat its over on most units, my two units of DP help prevent flanks!

29-02-2008, 15:23
Phoneix guard are the worst tarpit ever!

They dotn die but they rarely kill anything and thus static combat res will still murder them!!!

29-02-2008, 15:39
Phoneix guard are the worst tarpit ever!

They dotn die but they rarely kill anything and thus static combat res will still murder them!!!

So what should hold onto my Banner of Sorcery?

White Lions or Phoenix Guard. I need that Banner to survive, Teclis and my 4x RBT should be enough to bring down what I need to bring down.

Gazak Blacktoof
29-02-2008, 15:57
My brother only uses swordmasters but they are a pain in the ass to deal with.

The multiple high strength attacks are a real pain for characters and even challenging the swordmaster champion isn't the best idea with most heroes, you're likely to take 1 wound in the challenge and then die to the champion's vengeful friends in the next round of combat.

I'm not sure there is any real choice to be made between the three units. All of them are very good and will be incredibly difficult for most units to shift. Clearly white lions and phoenix guard have the edge in psychology and resilience but can't dish out the punishment like swordmasters can.

If I were forced to pick one unit above all others it would have to be white lions. Their resilience to psychology (which can be improved with a banner), resilience to ranged attacks (which can be improved with a spell) and no less importantly their mobility should compensate for any drop in attacking power compared to swordmasters.

The weakness of the swordmasters to ranged attacks can be compensated for with the banner of ellyrion and the shield of saphery can also help but they still lack the psychological resilience of the white lions.

The advantages of phoenix guard really come into play Vs undead or against enemy knights, both will find it hard to dislodge the unit provided you can maintain a reasonable leadership for the unit with a BSB and general. I think overall though that to allow the phoenix guard to do what they do best you need to put them in risky situations which a skillful general should do his best to avoid in the first place. If however due to poor luck or judgement a unit does get caught out of place, you could do a lot worse than have it be a unit of phoenix guard that gets stuck between a rock and a hard place.

With the ability to cause fear there's a chance that the enemy wont be able to pull off any devastating combined charges against them anyway.

EDIT: I'd take white lions to hold the banner of sorcery. They'll be difficult to shift and if you want to keep points to a minimum you could just use a small unit in a wood and only bring them out when the time is right.

29-02-2008, 17:02
ID say white lions are the best overal, you get a good save vs shooting, are stubborn so if they get hit by chariots they wont break, and are pretty good in CC. WHile swordmasters are indeed better in close combat vs most foes, they get chewed up pretty easily by any shooting or magic/chariots, and can not move through woods.

Id go with white lions with a gem of courage to hold the banner of sorc anyday over the other 2 units.

29-02-2008, 17:17
Has anyone tried a big block of PG, maybe 40, with a BSB and Caladran (who I think makes the unit stubborn aswell as graning them MR(3))? They could be used the same way as the famous WE Eternal Guard block, which was 70EG, 30EG, 10GG and some WildRiders. The way I see it is that they will be hard to avoid, hard to kill, yet provide enough kills with Caladran, BSB and about 6PG at the front to win on CR, at which point they autobreak the enemy with fear. It's a big points sink, but that's now all bad since to win your opponent needs VPs, and this unit isn't going to give away many VPs since it would require 20 models, which all have a 5+ armour save and 4+ ward save, to die.

Core could be 2x10 Archers, only 220 VP's if killed and not enough by itself to get a win.

A few Shadow Warriors to march block nasty units. 5 of them is less than a hundred points so no big loss if they all die.

29-02-2008, 17:54
kohril is the character that makes the unit stubborn cad just grants them Magic res 3

Von Wibble
01-03-2008, 22:29
I wouldn't give the banner of sorcery to any of them. It puts a big bullseye on the unit and even phoenix guard need support if hugely targetted (and 15 with banner cost over 300pts so aren't exactly expendable). I would put it on Dragon Princes instead.

Katastrophe's advice is good. I would add that I like to give my white lions the lion banner - since fear is a common way to negate stubborn as well as being in character.

W0lf - the Phoenix guard do lose in CR if facing high armour troops. But vs low armour with T3 they take lots less casualties and aren't that much weaker than white lions. Also a 5+ save and 4+ ward is equal to a 3+ save vs S3 attacks, and better than 3+ against S4 or higher (better than 2+ vs S6 or more). Also remember they only need to last one round. Reasonably you would expect their kills equal to or better than their (infantry) foe, so if in range of a prince their Break check from cr is probably at Ld 8. Throw in a bsb and then next round that chariot and dragon prince unit will destroy the enemy.

Mahatma - 220 pts + 192 pts = 412 vps. + 300 possession could be a 712-0 win against that army. That is I believe enough for a victory. I could feed you 30 flagellentsand shoot the rest with empire for example.

02-03-2008, 01:10
Could someone explain why exactly I should put the Banner of Sorcery (a very expensive and vital asset to an army) on a 5-6 model unit? What if they break? What if they run? What if they fail to rally? :(

02-03-2008, 19:25
well put 15 phoenix guard with the banner, and korhil leading them, so you have a stubborn ld 9 unit that causes fear with 4+ ward save. that is a tough unit to crack (not immune to all thing of course), and since that unit will be a great target to your enemy (many points invested), you can use that to your advantage to ambush him if he goes for them, altough if you go up against a gunline even phoenix guard will eventualy fall to a coordinated missile strike. But that is the reason you have teclis and 4 RBTs of course. :)

Overall has many have pointed out White Lions are the best Elite unit of the high Elves, that ultimately can play more roles on the battle field then the other two.

02-03-2008, 19:27
PG with 19 guys and a BSB with 3+ armor save 5 ward and Sword of might. Let them think you cant win combat through three ranks a banner and kills.

Oh and after you slap them up have then enjoy being outnumbered by a fear causing unit.

PG are WS5 S4. With FC thats 5 S4 attacks, then your BSB's 3 S5 Attacks.

Your comparing PG to some of the nastiest "killing" units, and not looking at anything else.

PG are nasty at not dying. They dont care if they are shot or slapped. Hit by a cannon? Who cares.

I run a block of 19 with the BsB i listed. It is sick. As long as your not fighting a giant stubborn unit, you will break them.

No PG will never be able to deal out pain like a WL or a SM. I am not saying that. And like mentioned before, if they are flooded with attacks and make to many saves, you take your chance losing there.

Your a HE army, You are fast, fight what you want, dont let them fight what they want.

03-03-2008, 15:06
All three units rock. Simple as that.

Swordmasters: They are unreliable and die to anything that can hold a bow. But when they get in combat, boy, oh boy!

Anti tactic: Shoot 'em or flank 'em.

White Lions: Give them the Lion Banner (ironic, is'nt it?) and a BSB nearby and this unit won't run. Their preffered opponents are Cavalry. They can outmanouver them with move through woods, the opponents ranged weapons have more difficulty to get through and they'll won't run away. To add insult to injury, they Strike first with S6 weapons! Hehe...

Anti tactic: A Stone thrower will spoil their day. Also giving them more bodies than they can handle is a sound tactic. They really don't like Goblin hordes with spears...

Phoenix Gaurd: They are a rock man! Everything that counts on carving up their opponents to win should fear Phoenix Gaurd. They can hold that big nasty unit so the rest of your army can get around the flanks...

Anti Tactic: Mass combat resolution. Or use something expandable to keep them busy (Preferable something with ranks, Immune to Fear or Unbreakable).