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StrawberryMcFairyShoes
28-05-2010, 20:37
Hi all,

I was wondering if taking spears is worth the points. Especially now with the 8th edition rumours and how the +1 Armour save "parry" bonus is being replaced with a +6 Ward save spears look like a good option to take over hand weapons. Whats you're opinion? (I'm assembling +60 Skeletons and need to know if I should consider equiping them with spears.)

Thanks in advance.

Gimp
28-05-2010, 20:57
To be honest now with 8th edition I think spears will be worth it.

Von Wibble
28-05-2010, 20:59
I think hand weapon and shield has definately been weakened as the 6+ parry is worse vs S3 adn 4 attacks and only better aganist S6 or more.

But with 2 ranks striking, spears now gain only +50% attacks not +100%. And that's assuming the spear unit has 1 attack on their profile - saurus for example gain only 33% more attacks.

There are a lot of things to consider bearing this in mind.

The obvious one is - what damage will the extra attacks do? This depends on your formation and units combat ability compared to the enemy (for skeletons its weak so this doesn't help).

If the extra damage is greater than the damage you save, then spears are a decent bet - assuming you can afford the points increase.

My instincts would suggest that for 2 25 man units, each 5 wide, (10 spare for raising), spears would net less than 1 extra kill per round, even if the enemy fails their fear check.

Meanwhile, the 6+ ward would clearly save 1 extra life per 6 wounds caused by the enemy. This is a likely occurence if you face armies like elves even in 7th edition, and stepping up rules suggest to me this becomes even more of a likelihood.

Therefore in combat the spear kills a life, the shield saves 1. However, you pay less points for shield.

Conclusion - go for shields.

StrawberryMcFairyShoes
28-05-2010, 21:19
Thank you Von Wibble that was amazingly well phrased and very usefull.

arff98
28-05-2010, 22:00
Not worth it. Spear will only give you 1 extra attack/model from second rank . If you have a 5 model wide formation those 5 attacks costed you al least (5+5+5) 15 points. Five WS: 2 S:3 attacks are not worth it. I prefer buying two more skeleton or a Stand. bearer + musician.

Spiney Norman
28-05-2010, 23:10
Not worth it. Spear will only give you 1 extra attack/model from second rank . If you have a 5 model wide formation those 5 attacks costed you al least (5+5+5) 15 points. Five WS: 2 S:3 attacks are not worth it. I prefer buying two more skeleton or a Stand. bearer + musician.

This is the clincher for me, if, as in 7th Ed, spears allowed models to attack with their full quota of attacks then on certain units spears would be well worth the investment. 7th Ed saurus for example are well worth arming with spears, but that advantage just evaporates in 8th, I think spears will be a very rare sight unless their cost goes down in the next wave of army books (say to 1/2 pt per model).

Ultimate Life Form
28-05-2010, 23:12
I'll still run my Clanrats without Spears as the focus is clearly on surviving, not killing.

Agnar the Howler
30-05-2010, 21:09
Unless your unit can actually kill stuff with spears in 8th edition, I think sticking with their usually set-up is best, for example ULF's clanrats, chances are that they still won't be able to do as good with spears as they do without, since they need to take less casualties, something that spears stops them doing.

Now that 15 spear saurus in 8th will be paying 33% more for the power level of 10 7th edition spear saurus, it's clear that the cost outweighs the benefit, and that their natural resilience would probably win them more fights.

Now, if Unit A only needed, say, 1 more kill per combat round with spears to do better than without spears, i'd say go for it, as chances are that you'd get that extra kill, but unless you can afford the upgrade and you can afford the lesser survivability or are sure that you can kill enough enemies to make sure the loss of armour doesn't hinder you, I wouldn't do it.

I think spears are a type of weapon you can't easily decide the worth of, since many armies use them, but for different reasons.

Gekiganger
30-05-2010, 21:36
I'll still run my Clanrats without Spears as the focus is clearly on surviving, not killing.

Same boat as ULF, my clanrats have never been about anything other than stopping the enemy in their tracks and stacking CR while other units attempt to flank / do nasty stuff.

I have 2 battalions that have remained unopened due to lack of time to dedicate to the hobby lately, I've got christ knows how many clanrats with hand weapons built already from years of collecting, I'm very tempted to kit some with spears just to experiment. I'm not going to hold my breath when it comes to them being useful, but it's tempting to experiment nevertheless.

Pete_x
30-05-2010, 21:59
Spears in 8th will have a weakness which his the exact opposite of their strength in 7th. They'll lose attack faster. You'll need 3 ranks to get any kind of bonus from spears. That means you'll be losing attacks 1 whole rank worth of wound faster then the enemy...

Spears might still be good but I think it has to be taken into consideration. In fact I'd be supprised to see many HE spearman, since they'll start losing that 4th rank way too fast.

DigitalDogParty
30-05-2010, 22:18
Same boat as ULF, my clanrats have never been about anything other than stopping the enemy in their tracks and stacking CR while other units attempt to flank / do nasty stuff.

I have 2 battalions that have remained unopened due to lack of time to dedicate to the hobby lately, I've got christ knows how many clanrats with hand weapons built already from years of collecting, I'm very tempted to kit some with spears just to experiment. I'm not going to hold my breath when it comes to them being useful, but it's tempting to experiment nevertheless.


Thing about the stacking situation is that we get no more combat resolution for outnumbering our opponents in combat. That right there puts a dent in my plans.

Ghazbad_Facestompa
01-06-2010, 02:50
Me, I think they won't be bad. For many units, they may be as good as or better than HW/S. For things such as orc boyz, which have special hand weapons with a bonus that would probably do more damage than another rank's attacks, I'll stay with hand weapons.

ghostline
01-06-2010, 06:54
saurus with spears are still good. most other armies have a hard time dishing out that many s4 attacks in close combat.

Barry "the blade"
01-06-2010, 12:51
With everybody striking in order of initiative it might be worth it for skaven, and elves. For the slower armies I think hand weapon, and shield would still be the better choice between the two though.

CrystalSphere
01-06-2010, 14:34
I only see spears working on big units (horde) where the massive number of attacks can make a difference. To make the most of spears in the first place, you need a wide frontage. A unit of 40 empire spearmen (in theory a horde) 10 wide 4 deep, can take some casualties and then fight back with 30 attacks. That is a lot, and if you have a warrior priest inside to gain hate, can be deadly. What i mean is that the units using spears usually have lackluster S and won´t kill much, unless the number of attacks is big enough. I can see dark elf spearmen working really well due to hate, and with the ap banner they could do some serious damage. Still i am not convinced that such kind of unit (S3 T3 rank and file guy) is any better at killing with spears than he is at avoiding casualties and having max ranks.

But no, at the end of the day i think they will not be worth it for S3 units, no matter how many attacks they have. They need some rule similar to pikes (+1strength when charged, attack first) to be really worth it. As it is, S3 attacks are a complete waste of time for killing things. It is better you leave the killing for the high S guys and the ranks to the cheap guys (without spears).

Icarus
02-06-2010, 10:54
I think CrystalSphere is right, it will be worth it if you can buy cheap spears and want to go for maximum attacks (best combined with Horde). For more expensive elite units its seriously nerfed due to only getting one attack each from the behind ranks.

Personally I'm thinking 40-strong Clanrat units, 10-wide with spears for a boatload of (admittedly mediocre) attacks. Add death frenzy for flavour.

Nkari
03-06-2010, 13:00
When you play with skeletons you have to consider the corpse cart AND dance macabre to see if spears are effective, and how much investment you will do in raising skeletons above their starting number etc, if you buy 25 skeletons, and raise another 25, you are effectivly paying 1/2 pt for the spears etc..

I have not yet come to a conclution on what to do with spears in 8th..

Faeslayer
03-06-2010, 15:45
Unless I'm mistaken about the 8th rumors, it looks like a 5-wide block of 20 spear-elves will get 20 attacks...
5 from front rank
5 from second rank
5 from third rank (spears)
5 from fourth rank (elfs!)

I'm not a master tactician, but... isn't this really good?

Vsurma
03-06-2010, 16:21
Well deciding if spear elves use spears..... not much of a decision, they come with them! You wouldn't take SPEAR elves if you didn't like spears... mostly....

The question relates more to goblins, saurus, clanrats etc that have to actually pay for their spears.

But as has been mentioned, S3 does not kill enough to negate the extra CR you lose from casualties, HW/S is getting better for weaker units since they always get their 6+ parry type save.

They also get attacks from the 2nd rank.

Basically your giving up your 6+ parry save and paying a fair few points to give them spears. You will get 1 extra rank of attacks (2 for elves)

Generally this is 6 attacks, at S3 your unlikely to cause more wounds than you lose with the loss of parry.

With S4 its better but since saurus also have ws3 meaning they can't really hit much, 3 S4 hits don't really do much better.

Also the cost for say saurus is huge!

17 saurus cost 185tps. 18 S4 attacks

18 saurus with spears costs an additional 29pts more = 24 S4 attacks. Now you pay 29pts extra for those 6 extra attacks which sounds pretty good, but seeing as your such a low init, you will take casualties from anything really (though T4 and a good save does help). Basically taking a unit of 18 doesn't really make sense, so your likely to up it to at least to units of 23. This would give you an extra rank and you can take a few casualties before you lose attacks.

You also have a low ws meaning those 6 hits don't hit too much.

So basically you end up choosing between a 180pt HW/shield unit or a 280pt spear unit.
Another way to look at it is 3 HW shield units or 2 with spears. Seeing as all the spears get over the HW shield units are 3 S4 hits a turn on average and 1 more static cr.

It doesn't seem to make sense.

Perhaps an easier way to look at it is to try and come up with 1 unit that does better with the spears than HW/S.

I think you will have a hard time finding one.

Kloud13
03-06-2010, 16:43
Even in 7th alot of HE generals will not take spears, and will just take their two units of core archers. We don't do it to min/max, it's just that the archers will put out more strength 3 attacks over the course of the game than a unit of spears. and strength 3 attacks are OK vs T3 armies, but they start becoming useless against T4. And God help you if they have armour.

Faeslayer
03-06-2010, 16:44
Well deciding if spear elves use spears..... not much of a decision, they come with them! You wouldn't take SPEAR elves if you didn't like spears... mostly....

Well, true, but I'd still be choosing between those and, say, corsairs or crossbows. But I see what you mean. :)