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View Full Version : A new brand of Halberd



Zot Zot
03-08-2008, 15:17
I previously posted this under a reply for a question about Empire Halberdiers.

One thing that could help would be reworking the weapon itself. Give it three possible uses.
1) Standard: +1 Str, requires two hands or
2) Acts as a Spear: Fight in two ranks or
3) Acts as Great Weapon: +2 Str, go last.

Obviously, this would make the weapon more expensive (especially for a character model), but much more adaptable (and explain why the Elector Counts keep them around in droves.) Maybe even drop #1 and make a Halberd a combination (acts as either a spear OR a great weapon) weapon, which in my humble opinion, the actual Halberd historically did.

This would definitely match the 7th ed Halberdier models since my set looks like the second rank is attacking along with the first.

RossS
03-08-2008, 18:26
As a lot of people have said, the problem doesn't seem to be that the halberd itself is useless, but that the average Empire state trooper is pretty useless. With his mediocre to low initiative, mediocre strength and weapon skill, and his pitiful armor save, a halberdier just doesn't compete with a swordsman or spearman. If you were to apply the rules you have written to them then you would certainly have a much more effective unit, but applying these rules to a unit of Black Guard or Chaos Warriors doesn't really work. Suddenly, most of the units armed with halberds become murderously effective.

I think the answer to this problem is to give Empire Halberdiers heavy armor. The 5th edition book featured illustrations of halberdiers that were sporting heavy armor, and a lot of the old metal halberdiers were kitted out in helmets and plate. Along with this you could make the halberd be +1 strength and AP. I think these little tweaks would make the average Empire halberdier into a much more attractive option.

Hvidponi
03-08-2008, 23:15
The parry bonus for HW+S and the fact that every wound counts in CR as well as only the front rank fights, while the next 4 stand and cheers, makes armour save much more important than S4...
The problem is not with the halberd (or at least, not only with the halberd) but with the CR system and the cheering ranks of do nothing soldiers...
IMO ;)

Royal Tiger
04-08-2008, 13:42
for the halbered in genral I think +1str is fine, I mean on chosen chaos warriors (if they can still have it, I'm not sure) its nasty

but for empire halberdiers (the supposed mainstay of empire troops) +1str armour piercing, and the option for heavy armour (take out the option for shields), would be awesome, even if that needed a points increase (say +1pt for the ap, and heavy armour being +1pt per model, like shields are)

lanrak
05-08-2008, 22:11
Hi all.
I also belive the only under powered Halberd unit in Wh, is the Empire Halberdiers.

So I thought about giving the Empire Halberdiers a special skill.

Wall of steel.
When recieving a charge Empire Halberdiers may use thier halberds defencivley against charging enemy.
When used in this way the attacking unit looses any strenght bonuses from charging.

RossS
05-08-2008, 23:34
Wouldn't "Wall of Steel" make halberdiers into a defensive unit? At present they, along with swordsmen, are supposed to be the state troops that the Elector Counts use to take the fight to the enemy. Spearmen are supposed to be the ones taking a charge. I suspect that instituting "Wall of Steel" would make spearmen pretty useless. It would certainly make halberdiers more effective, though.

Zot Zot
06-08-2008, 00:39
Options for Heavy Armour and Armour Piercing for Empire Halberdiers would make them much more feasible and allow them to take the fight to their foes. I agree.

I thought about the concept of making them "stubborn" but then they are becoming mini-Greatswords instead of a core unit in the Imperial Army.

It would be nice to see a unit of Halberdiers given the option of carrying a magical standard as well (maybe 0-1 per army)

As for a potential Special Ability for the charging Halberdier, perhaps Furious Charge (+1 Attack when charging) or an ability similar to Hatred (reroll misses on the charge.)

That being said, all these additions and the lowly Halberdier is elevated, but is also getting more expensive.

Replace the option for shields with Heavy Armour instead and give one of the other boosts we have discussed and we would see more Halberdiers making the impact they do in the Fantasy stories.

Drake
08-08-2008, 02:02
Just give them The +1 Str in the front rank and the second rank fights at normal Str. Then you have to decide if you want the 5+ armour save and fight in ranks of the Spearmen or the Str 4 and (3 in the second rank) of the Halberds or the 4+ Armour and Ws4 of the Swordsmen. Now everything has a place and all of the units are worth taking for different proposes .

someone2040
08-08-2008, 03:54
But does Heavy Armour really fix the Halberd issue?
The issue isn't only with Empire Halbderdiers, but other units such as Temple Guard, Storm Vermin, etc that use them.
Just say for examples sake, that armour is increased across the whole board. Maybe it does fix the Empire Halberdiers, but would it mean that the Halberd is a better choice for the other units that use them?
Would they opt for the extra strength, over the still there, extra staying power? Temple Guard could be 2+ with a shield, or 4+ with strength 5. Given that generally regimental units win by staying power, they would probably still go for the extra armour rather than use the Halberd. So the weapon still remains useless (And paid for in points).

Armour doesn't help the halberd on all corners. I think there needs to be some differentiation between 'Fixing the Halberd' and 'Fixing Empire Halberdiers' - as a lot of people seem to think Halberdiers are the only unit in the game that uses a Halberd.

scarletsquig
08-08-2008, 04:26
There is nothing wrong with halberds until the model has an option to take a shield.

It is at that point that the halberd becomes useless, as it is almost always better to take the "+2 armour save" for the hand weapon and shield than the "+1 strength from the halberd.

So, really... the problem arises from the "+1 save for hand weapon and shield" rule. Without it, halberds would see a lot more action.

The problem is not limited to empire, it affects any unit with halberd+shield.

Another issue is that great weapons are significantly superior to halberds, despite the always strikes last rule, which only comes into effect in the second round of combat (think about it).

I'd give them either armour piercing, or armour piercing vs. cavalry to give them a more specialised role. Historically they were anti-plate armour and anti cavalry, so it works from that perspective too.

Hopefully 8th edition will see some sort of resolution to this, it's the single most talked-about mechanical flaw in the current rules.

Hellebore
08-08-2008, 04:59
I think that halberds should just be superior spears. Thus they follow the rules for spears except that the first rank strikes with +1S.

Similar to the Saurus extra attack concept, you don't get it from the second row (because you're stabbing them and not chopping them).

Thus the halberd effectively becomes an 'upgrade' weapon to the spear.

Hellebore

RossS
08-08-2008, 06:21
I would be opposed to getting rid of the hand weapon and shield combination. The extra save actually gives the player a reason to field a unit armed in such a way. Back in 5th edition, before the rule was instituted, I never really saw a unit armed with hand weapons and shields.

But the halberd does need serious work. I'm not that knowledgeable about either Temple Guard or Stormvermin, but there are units that are effective when armed with halberds. Generally these units are durable (Chaos warriors) or have such a high initiative that it isn't too much of an issue (Black Guard). The fundamental problem is that, when using a halberd, you sacrifice so much protection for so little benefit. A measly +1 strength can't compete with the functional +2 save from the sword and shield, and it often doesn't compete with the increased number of attacks you get from spears. The answer is to increase the protection of troops armed with the halberd, or to increase their ability to actually kill things before they themselves are killed.

So, since some units are effective when armed with a halberd, while others are not, I would think that the supposed problem from the halberd resides not so much in the weapon itself but in the statistics and equipment of the troops wielding it. So, for temple guard, I would find a way to increase their pitiful initiative, and increase their scaly skin save. Also, as the godlike games designer, I would make the newly-designed halberd armor piercing. By doing all of this I think the unit would be made a pretty attractive proposition, and would become a dedicated assault unit. I favor unit by unit solutions to the problem with the halberd, as I think a blanket reworking of the weapon (which isn't too horrible in my opinion) could lead to new balance issues.

ScytheSwathe
10-08-2008, 15:34
I think it is an underpowered weapon. Granted in the hands of a chaos warrior with great stats all round it can be mean, but your average trooper will have S3 to begin with, S4 doesnt then give it a new role, and it comes at the expense of +2 armour in the form of hand weapon and shield.

Compare this to any of the other weapons, great weapons will grant S5, typically S6 as many troops with the option are already S4, gives them a role as anti armour. Spears or extra hand weapons typically double your attacks, making them core-troop munchers.

Quite frankly halberds just have nothing to offer at the moment, adding the choice of 2nd rank attacks, or granting it as well, would make them elite spears. Which i think is where they should be.

And as to hand weapon/shields. Its not overpowered itself, but in the hands of cheap units like goblins it becomes a no brainer, and stagnates the game by simply attempting to remove the effects of combat from the combat resolution. Id happily see it in the form of a new weapon type, which the likes of state troops get, while militia and goblins are stuck with bog standard 'hand weapon'

Irisado
10-08-2008, 17:28
I've spoken to someone who knows quite a bit about history, and he has told me that Halberds were very powerful weapons, capable of taking down cavalry and infantry alike. They could be used like a spear with the point, or swung in an arc in a similar way to an axe, although it was much harder to generate as much swing with them due to the weight and length of the weapon. They were excellent at pulling riders from their horses, and punching through heavily armoured troops.

For the reasons above, I would advocate that halberds should benefit from the Armour Piercing rule. Also, Halberdiers were pretty tough when it came to receiving charges, so allowing them to fight in two ranks during the first round of combat is also something else to consider. Obviously, employing both of these rules would force the points of a Halberdier to go up slightly, but as an Empire player I wouldn't have a problem with that. Halberds were more effective weapons than Spears, and I feel that this should be reflected in the rules.

RossS
10-08-2008, 22:48
I wouldn't want to see spears becoming absolutely useless, but making halberdiers more expensive than spearmen would better reflect their status within Imperial armies. It is my understanding that spearmen and archers are more common in the comparatively poor north and east of the Empire. An army from Stirland or Ostland would, I should think, feature these easier to manufacture weapons prominently. Maybe, if the games designers were to modify halberdiers and make them more effective (while also making them more expensive), they would also be able to better reflect the socioeconomic diversity of the empire. It would be pretty interesting to see a smaller, well-equipped army from say Wissenland, versus a veritable horde of impoverished and spear-armed Ostermarkers.

Royal Tiger
10-08-2008, 23:12
I wouldn't want to see spears becoming absolutely useless,
a little late for that don't you think ;)

lanrak
11-08-2008, 18:43
Hi all.
Curently the halberd looks like a +1 str modifier weapon option.
Perhaps having 'Halberd drills' available to the less powerful units that can take halberds, might be an option?

Mainly with an anti cavalry focus?

Unseat rider.(Offencive.)
The unit ignores all enemy saves that the enemy get due to being mounted.(Knight on barded warhorse,sve 4+ instead of 2+).
( Instead of Armour peircing vs all targets.)

Break Charge.(Defencive.)
The halberdiers are expert at breaking up charging units, so they loose their impetus.The enemy loose any strenght bonus from charging.
(Instead of giving Halberdiers heavy armour/shield options .)

Either or both drills could be made available , and bought for the weaker/underused halbidier units at appropriate points cost.

Just a thought.
TTFN
Lanrak.

Irisado
11-08-2008, 21:13
Hi all.
Curently the halberd looks like a +1 str modifier weapon option.
Perhaps having 'Halberd drills' available to the less powerful units that can take halberds, might be an option?

Mainly with an anti cavalry focus?

Unseat rider.(Offencive.)
The unit ignores all enemy saves that the enemy get due to being mounted.(Knight on barded warhorse,sve 4+ instead of 2+).
( Instead of Armour peircing vs all targets.)

Break Charge.(Defencive.)
The halberdiers are expert at breaking up charging units, so they loose their impetus.The enemy loose any strenght bonus from charging.
(Instead of giving Halberdiers heavy armour/shield options .)

Either or both drills could be made available , and bought for the weaker/underused halbidier units at appropriate points cost.

Just a thought.
TTFN
Lanrak.

My initial reaction to that is favourable. I certainly think that it would be a way to make, for example, Empire Halberdiers better, rather than just making sweeping changes to Halberds across the board. Such upgrades would also fit with the idea of Halberdiers being more skilled troops than Spearmen and Swordsmen, since the Halberd is a more difficult weapon to use.

If I think of any negative implications of this, I'll let you know, but I can't envisage any at this moment.

lanrak
16-08-2008, 12:07
Hi Folks.
Do you think it may be worth sending my idea for 'Halberd Drills' to GW towers?

Or is that jumping the gun?

Should I post it in the WH forums and get some feed back first?

Many thanks for any advise,
TTFN
Lanrak.

yabbadabba
16-08-2008, 19:57
Hi Folks.
Do you think it may be worth sending my idea for 'Halberd Drills' to GW towers?

Or is that jumping the gun?

Should I post it in the WH forums and get some feed back first?

Many thanks for any advise,
TTFN
Lanrak.

Do you want my honest answer? Keep it hear. Your ideas are great and are taking the Warhammer game forward and expanding the available tactics. I love that sort of stuff.

But ultimately they are adding rules and not simplifying. And for me, that is what GW have done to their games recently. It's all about formula and the character is leaving the rules more and more. I dont appreciate that as much.

Keep it here. Keep it yours. And, most importantly, they will probably get used.

Irisado
16-08-2008, 20:53
I tend to agree that keeping it here is probably better for the same reasons that Yabbadabba has given, although you could always try writing to Jervis Johnson if you want to, he does ask people to after all ;).

If you want more feedback, why not post a link to this thread in your signature asking people to comment?

Hellebore
17-08-2008, 01:11
Hi all.
Curently the halberd looks like a +1 str modifier weapon option.
Perhaps having 'Halberd drills' available to the less powerful units that can take halberds, might be an option?

Mainly with an anti cavalry focus?

Unseat rider.(Offencive.)
The unit ignores all enemy saves that the enemy get due to being mounted.(Knight on barded warhorse,sve 4+ instead of 2+).
( Instead of Armour peircing vs all targets.)

Break Charge.(Defencive.)
The halberdiers are expert at breaking up charging units, so they loose their impetus.The enemy loose any strenght bonus from charging.
(Instead of giving Halberdiers heavy armour/shield options .)

Either or both drills could be made available , and bought for the weaker/underused halbidier units at appropriate points cost.

Just a thought.
TTFN
Lanrak.

Perhaps rather than have these sorts of things as standard abilities with a specific weapon, they instead become 'Disciplines' or 'Training' techniques?

You could offer them as Standard upgrades (so you could keep track of which units have what upgrades) for units, with some tactics being restricted based on weapon types.

So you could give every unit a musician, champion and standard option, with the standard being upgradeable (so to a max of 25pts).

The standard represents the training the unit has received (ie it's not a magic standard, it's just an abstract way to keep track of which units have which abilities).

You could have lists of training types based around different concepts like:

Movement
Defense
Attack

etc

For example:

Defense:

Shield Wall: The unit may reroll failed armour saves to the front.
Form Square: The unit no longer has any flanks or rear (ala dwarf grudgestone)

Movement:

Form File: The unit splits into lines to let cavalry through attempting to avoid incoming attacks. The cavalry suffer -1 to hit. Whatever the result of the combat the cavalry end up moving their full distance (and are placed on the other side of the unit they charged, not counting as in combat).


Something like that.

Hellebore

lanrak
17-08-2008, 11:24
Hi Hellebore.
Thats a brilliant idea!

Cheers,
Lanrak