View Full Version : Help a friend's Empire!

Lord Asuryan
09-01-2009, 22:20
my friend, as you may have guessed from the title, plays empire.he's been playing for ocer a year, and IMO, he's a pretty good general. however, every time we play (my Dark Elves, old and new, High elves, Skaven, Vampires) short of me rollong utterly terribly, he gets massacred. obviously, this isn't much fun on either side. I'm of the opiion that his list is flawed, but I'm not an empire player, and can't really put my finger on it. maybe it's just that his army doesn't specialize.

don't expect points costs, I don't know them exactly

it consists of:
Arch Lector: Meteoric Iron, GW

2 level 2 battle wizards. 1 scroll, lot of power stones

captain on pegasus with doomfire ring, lance, full plate, shield

2 units of 20 swordsmen: full command, detachment of 10 halberdier, 5 free company

10 marksmen

10 handgunners: champion with repeater handgun

20 flagellents with a prophet


5 pistolier, outrider with repeater pistol

5 inner circle knight, full command



when playing on smaller boards (local GW are 4x4) he swaps the handguners and arch lector for a wizard lord with Grey Wand (I don't like that item...it just doesn't seem good for cost) because he needs the table space.

our games tend(ed) to go as follows:
old dark elves: he gets flanked, decoyed, and his war machines chased down by turn 3 at the latest. he is outmagicked by my 6 magic levels, unless he takes the lord, and all my combat units are better than his.

new dark elves: he gets charged and overwhelmed...I tend to have more blocks of infantry than he does. He is ALWAYS outmagicked by by high sorceress and level 2

Vampires: he gets mired down in combat, is slowly/quickly worn down, and flees. his characters are assassinated by vampires. he is overpowered magically ALWAYS.

Skaven: one of the closer games, but only because I was playing my first game. he got (preditably) outmagicked, shot up, and beat up by plague monks. Outmagicked by ONE LEVEL 4! (admittedly, it was thanquol, but...) he used his wizard lord and 2 wizards.

High Elves: of no consequence, because I quit playing HE.

please make some suggestions, either tactically, or army-list wise.

*a note:* he is VERY touchy about being percieved as cheesy, and won't use cheesy units/items (Speculum/Stank come to mind) except in large games.

09-01-2009, 22:39
Hmm it seems alright. The Mages could do with a bit more fine tuning, the Rod of Power for instance is just awesome for magic offense and/or defense.

Is the Arch Lector on the popemobile? He looks like he's on foot. I suppose it's too late to have him be mounted.

The thing with Empire infantry is that they require character support. One character for each block, not counting Mages unless they have Van Horstman's Speculum. A Warrior Priest would be a solid choice there, or a BSB.

The Swordsmen blocks need to be slightly larger. I would suggest putting the Handgunners in instead of the Free Company, 5 each. This way if the Handgunners get molested early on they won't cause panic. Also saves some points from the repeater.

I assume you mean Huntsmen, the scouts, instead of Marksmen.

Is anyone supporting the IC Knights? Otherwise turn them into Vanilla Knights with a Musician.

The Flagellants could also be trimmed down. Is he deploying 5x4? Tell him to change it to 6-7 wide, having only 12-14 of the Flagellants with the Prophet. They're tarpits and they're great at it. Use any freed points to up the Swordsmen blocks to 25 or so, or get more Nillas.

Or if he feels the need, another Great Cannon. Swap the Huntsmen for one. They work best in pairs. As do Helblasters and Helstorms, he shouldn't hedge his bet. There are different times to use each, it's best to maximize potential rather than dilute it.

His blocks are still exposed even with having more SMs near there. He has no Psych protection, the best Empire can do is with the Icon of Magnus.

Lord Asuryan
10-01-2009, 02:22
yes...flanking does seem to be the problem. do you think he needs more block infantry? because my dark elves routinely outnumber him, unit to unit. and that's not a good position for empire to be in...

10-01-2009, 07:35
Typically you want 3 blocks of infantry as Empire, though a lot of people have deviated from this. Two 25-30 Swordsmen blocks with 9-10 Swordsmen detachments each, and 5-6 Archers to screen or perhaps the shooters of your choice. Then there'd be a Greatsword unit, 6-wide usually 18 strong, with a BSB with a Magic Banner in there and a Warrior Priest with the Icon of Magnus for Fear protection.

Then one SM unit can have a Mage with VHS and the other can house the general.

Send him on over to Warhammer-Empire.com and let him post there. He needs to identify and nail down what he wants to do with his army then we can help iron things out for efficiency.

On alternative he can do with that list is boost the SM unit to 30 and use the points for 18 Greatswords with support. The problem here is that he'd lack character support for them. The AL can go with them and he should have the Icon of Magnus, and he may be able to help out. Remind him that the AL isn't a combat Lord really so his gear setup isn't going to work out that well.

He doesn't even have a Ward save that isn't achievable through magic.

This way he'll have a strong SM unit, a Flagellant band, and a unit of stubborn Greatswords. Strong enough infantry without sacrificing the shooting.

Really it's all up to him, though it looks like the army's meant to be an all-comers list.

10-01-2009, 09:20
Drop the Arch Lector he is kitted for CC but sucks in combat.

Replace with Grand Master to lead the Inner Circle Knights.

10-01-2009, 16:13
I think that Marwynn makes a strong point - your friend needs to figure out his army's focus, and work on that. As a fellow Empire player, I feel that it's an underpowered armylist, unless you pick elements that work together, 8and* you cover magic defence and psychology defence.

With that in mind, I would:

1. Mount the Arch Lector on the war altar, give him VHS and Sword of Sigismund. Now he can tackle most characters comfortably. If he feels this is cheesy, I suggest he considerers whether he'd rather lose all the time. That may sound very negative, but against competitive lists you really need the altar for it's access to Lore of Light, and it's defensive capabilities. It's a steal for the points, and the Empire needs all the help it can get.

2. Increase the swordsmen to 25 models each at least. Put a BSB (mounted, give him a wardsave) in one of them. Good detachments would be handgunners, archers (skirmishing screen) or more swordsmen (give up the least CR in melee).

3. The huntsmen can work out, but I have found a detachment of archers to work just as well. Run forward in turn one and you're where the huntsmen would have been, unless you're very lucky with terrain placement.

4. As was noted, change the knights to IC with FC and perhaps a warbanner (and add a warrior priest for the hatred), or change them to a unit of 5 normal knights with just a musician. You can't afford to hand out free 100 VP banners.

5. Contrary to popular wisdom, I like flagellants in decent numbers. Nothing wrong with 20 in my opinion. I'd be prepared to field them 7 wide though. That way, you can hold up a flank all the longer.

6. For the love of fluffy bunnies, get rid of the champion in the pistoliers and give them a musician. The latter is what defines their role - bait and flee.

7. The pegasus captain's not a bad choice, but artillery is not the greatest danger to the Empire. Under 2k points, I don't think there's room for him, alas. Here's a fairly standard defensive character setup:

* Arch Lector w/ altar
* BSB (with infantry)
* Warrior Priest (in knights)
* Battle wizard w/ Rod of Power

You can consider dropping the BSB or priest for another wizard, since you won't have any dispel scrolls otherwise.

Going for a more aggressive setup is an option as well:

* Templar Lord (great with Shroud of Magnus)
* Warrior Priest (in knights, possibly with VHS)
* Scroll caddy
* Second warrior priest in a second knight unit, or a BSB in the infantry.

10-01-2009, 20:07
Arch Lector: Meteoric Iron, GW

2 level 2 battle wizards. 1 scroll, lot of power stones

captain on pegasus with doomfire ring, lance, full plate, shield

2 units of 20 swordsmen: full command, detachment of 10 halberdier, 5 free company

10 marksmen

10 handgunners: champion with repeater handgun

20 flagellents with a prophet


5 pistolier, outrider with repeater pistol

5 inner circle knight, full command



*a note:* he is VERY touchy about being percieved as cheesy, and won't use cheesy units/items (Speculum/Stank come to mind) except in large games.

Empire without the good stuff against dark elves or VC? Your friend must be glutton for punishment.

Drop the volleygun and the rocket battery. Pick up another great cannon, give the pistoliers a musician (don't drop the champ), make the flaggies a wee bit bigger and drop the prophet if he needs the points or even take a second unit,and bring the swordsmen up to 25 strong and give each a detachment of 9 swordsmen and 5 handgunners or crossbows. I assume marksmen are archers, which are horrid and should be cut as well. The knights should probably be scaled back to regular knights with just a musician, and another unit of pistoliers or outriders or a cannon to fill the last special slot.

His character setup is very, very important. If he wants magic, he needs the arch lector on the alter or a wizard lord/Balthazar, a couple of battle wizards and one priest. Best possible set-up Empire has for magic offense. If he just wants a bit of defense, a priest or two and a scroll caddy would be enough for most opponents.

10-01-2009, 20:27
tell him empire is better off with war machines up the @$$ and if he doesn't have atleast 3 well...he should! i dont play empire myself but my brother whose been playing over 6 years aswell as me always has 3-5 warmachines no matter what and atleast 1 unit of gunmen, an engineer to put in with one of his hell blasters, rarely uses wizards unless going against elves...usually warrior priests for his chars...and an elector count as lord or whatever they are called now

try this army list or something similar is he has the troops available

lord- elector count


warrior priest

wizard with lore of metal

unit of 29 swordmen, full cmd *put his warrior preist here

unit of 20 spearmen full cmd with 2 detachments 10 halberdiers and 5 gunmen

unit of 10 gunmen

unit of 10 gunmen

unit of 9 knights of the white wolf full cmd *put his lord here

2 cannons

2 hell blasters

not sure on points or anything, but this is an army that my bro would prob use againts either my VC or orcs n gobs, its a pretty well rounded empire army, hopefully its of some help, if not well....i tried

10-01-2009, 20:57
The engineer is by far the worst of the Empire characters. It's fair to say you would be better of not fielding him and leaving the points blank - at least you won't give up his VP that way.

10-01-2009, 21:26
The Speculum isn't cheesy at all. It is sometimes perceived as cheesy by players who field armies with typically powerful characters, as they somehow feel that their characters 'should' be better than an Empire character in a challenge.

I agree that he really should look over his magic items selection. For example, the Grey Wand isn't very cost-effective. I think he should drop some or all of the Power Stones. Get the Rod of Power, and maybe the Wizards Staff for one of them. It's good for level 2's since it's very cheap and gives them the option of throwing 4 PD. If he decides to keep the Arch Lector, it might be wise to give him the Speculum and something else. A Great Weapon is good and cheap. If he is mounted on a War Altar, a Sigil of Sigmar is a cheap way of giving him some protection against magic.

A second Great Cannon would do wonders. I think that he should have either two Rocket Batteries, a single Helblaster or none of them. Removing one or both would free up some points. I think that Flagellants work good 6 wide and three deep. That way, they are not too unfieldy and still durable.

For detachments, he could benefit from having some detachments of Handgunners and/or Archers.