View Full Version : Empire unit sizes

26-07-2010, 12:50
Hi all. I have bought some new empire stuff for my first ever WHF army, unfortunatly im a bit confused as to what unit sizes are appropriate.

I was going to go for a balanced 2000 pt army with a core of 30 swordsmen, 30 halbdiers (both with detachments of free company) and 20 greatswords. I did intend to use the 30 man units as 5 wide regiments Is this viable? or should i be making more use of this horde rule which GW seems to be plugging as the best thing since sliced bread. In which case should i have one massive unit?

Can anyone suggest any changes to my initial idea?

Also, is it true that most people will want to have battles of a larger size (ie 2500 -3000). Seems like GW is just trying to get people to buy more models.

26-07-2010, 13:05
I'd put serious thought to a unit of 50 halberdiers with a warrior priest.

30 Swordsmen is still fine, but keep them 5-wide.

26-07-2010, 13:11
Play game sizes that you can afford if your just starting out 2k is a fine size game get to know the rules play with what you have then decide on what you want to do about upgrading your units.

As for unit size I always used to run my units at least 25 strong. Even with full command spearmen are only 170 points, 200 points with shields but I never bother with shields.

Empire are very flexable ask a for tactics questions in the empire 8th ed tactical cook out you will get a lot of sound advice there.

26-07-2010, 13:23
Halberdiers benefit quite a lot from being in a Horde, but Swordsmen not so much. Having said that, ideally a Horde of Halberdiers should be closer to 40-50 models strong, so with 30 it may be a bit of a tossup, but you could certainly try out the Horde. Against offensively weak, low-T, poor-armor-save enemies (such as Gobbos or Clanrats) they'll probably win combat vs. equal points in that setup, but might suffer badly against anything elite, because in that case they might lose rank bonuses and large numbers of attacks pretty quickly.

Swordsmen, on the other hand, should IMO never be in a Horde. They're equipped mostly for defense and such models get a lot more out of having more ranks than opposing units, both because they can keep them better and because the utility cost of giving them up to be a Horde is high as you don't gain a great deal of damage output for your loss of static combat res and, probably, Steadfast. In this case 30 models is a fine number and I really wouldn't go higher than that--I think it's better to start building another parent unit or take detachments at that point than to add models to the existing unit.

So to sum up, Halberdiers are one of the better-suited units for Horde formations out there, but are so flimsy on the defense that you'd probably want more than 30 of them. (They also make good detachments, however.) Swordsmen do pretty well at 30 models and are perfectly suited for a 5-wide unit.

Oh, and for the Greatswords, 20 is a decent number, but there's really no advantage in being a Horde at that point except possibly getting more models into base-to-base contact. In that you'd be served equally well by a 7-wide formation in virtually every situation, though, and can get another rank. If you can either get a character with them or find an extra model somewhere, 21 in 7x3 has worked well for me.

EDIT: I forgot to address your final question, sorry! As to that, I think that if you're starting a brand new army, 1,000 points is a fine goal to begin with. You may be a lot faster than I am, but I find the prospect of painting a full 2,000 points, especially with an army like Empire (which, while not exactly a "horde" army, is also certainly not super-low on model count), pretty terrifying. Better to divide it into manageable chunks, I say, and enjoy a few smaller games along the way. 1,000 may be a fairly small game by general standards but it still works, is not at all broken for most armies, and teaches you all the rules you need to get used to.

From there you can either work up to 1,500 or go straight for 2,000, and from there to wherever you want, or to a new army. As for any changes wrought by 8th Ed. I actually think that the cries for larger games have been driven by a sizeable and vocal minority of the playerbase who have large, fully-painted collections and want to field most or all of them rather than by GW themselves (though they certainly seem to be encouraging Hordes, it really is just an option, and often not the best one, see above :)). There is nothing wrong with playing large games, of course, and people should play the game however they enjoy it most, but don't let anyone tell you that it's only *real* Warhammer if you play X amount of points. In my own opinion, 8th Ed. rules are actually no reason at all to make games bigger, and 2,000 probably ought to still be considered an average game.

26-07-2010, 13:45
So.. the Horde rule isnt a must then for empire, will many empire players not make use of the horde rule at all?

Yeah i was going to use the greatswords 5X4 but 7x3 sounds cool too.

in summary do you think my initial core idea is okay then?

Commissar Vaughn
26-07-2010, 13:49
So far every attempt Ive seen to use a horde formation of 30 models has resulted in utter failure. Its too small, too unweildy, doesnt have enough ranks etc etc...

If you want a horde field 50 or 60 minimum. However even with Empire infantry thats a huge chunk of points so its best left to goblins and skaven slaves. 30 deplyed 5 across is your best bet. Youll be stubborn for a week and a day!

Commodus Leitdorf
26-07-2010, 14:06
30 is the minimum....which is great since I always ran my units in 30 anyway.

Though the reason Empire units should stay at 30 is because in order to get a detachment that is useful for rank breaking, you need to have a unit twice as large as the detachment. A 10 man detachment need only take a wound and it can't break ranks anymore. A 15 man detachment can atleast take some pain before it loses this ability. For that you need atleast a 30 man parent unit.