View Full Version : Empire Greatswords...big unit or not?

24-02-2011, 06:24
Ok I'm new to 8th edition and haven't played my Empire army since the beginnings of 7th so I've got a whole lot to learn. First question, is it worth taking a big unit of these guys or are they better for support? I had thought about taking 39 with the Banner of Eternal Flame and perhaps the Arch Lector of Sigmar for hatred. Any thoughts?

24-02-2011, 06:33
Depends, but if you take them, definitely give them a priest or arch lector for hatred.

24-02-2011, 07:20
Horde Greatswords with a reroll are the best unit Empire get for holding the line against nasties. They're pretty solid, and stubborn is very good, but don't be fooled into thinking they'll hold up against Chaos warriors for too long without some magical buffing. They're still only T3 afterall!

24-02-2011, 08:53
Big. Small works for sure, but bigger is always better. A horde of 40+ with a Priest for hatred and you've got a very very choppy unit.

24-02-2011, 09:07
I have found that taking 25+ seems to be the way to go. Under 30ish they really dont pull their weigth as a real punchy unit.

Go big, or go home :P

24-02-2011, 13:22
Usually it depends on the size of the game, but I have run mine 2x different ways between 2,500 points to 3,000 point games. I used to run a Greatsword horde of 40x in a 10x4 formation, and in the unit I had a warrior priest to give them the all needed hatred and my general to help support them in CC (as well as for fluff reasons). Lately however, I decided to cut down the unit and I had reall good success running 30x of them in a 6x5 formation, and in some games I added on 5x more Greatsworss to run them in a 7x5 formation.

24-02-2011, 13:40
Ah, the age old "Great-horde" question.

I've never played against small units of greatswords, only "great-hordes" and they seem pretty good.

A unit of 40 or 50, 10 wide, dishes out tons of attacks, and it's really very difficult for opponents to get any points out of them (now that you only get victory points for completely wiping a unit out), because they have to be in combat for long enough to actually cause 40 wounds against reasonable weapon skill and armour. That's not terribly easy.

As for the small units, I can't really see them being terribly effective. Fewer attacks, less kills needed to get rid of them. Could possibly work as a small anvil unit so that you can charge in the flank with a hammer unit....but then you'd probably want your hammer unit to be greatswords anyway.

In summary, "the man from del monte, he say 'GREAT-HORDE!'"

24-02-2011, 13:53
In a price tag battle only a horde of Plaguebearers could hope to stop 'em!

24-02-2011, 13:57
Yeah, Hordes with Lector/Priest is definitely the way to use them. Depending on whether you want them to be the anvil or the hammer, I'd suggest the Standard of Discipline -making you stubborn with Ld9 as the anvil, or the Razor Standard (Armour Piercing, so -3 save mod) for the hammer.

24-02-2011, 19:07
I run 27 greatswords 7 wide with an arch lector or priest taking up the 28th slot. I find a horde with a stat line that lousy is just dwellers/purple sun bait. I want that sort of spell directed at my huge halberd hordes (I run 2).

Greatswords run as I have suggested get 14 attacks (plus 2 more from the priest) against any target that's 5 models wide.

The unit costs about 450 with their character, and has never let me down yet. Plus it can't be dreaded 13th-ed into clanrats in one casting no matter how high the skaven player rolls. This is not a minor point.

24-02-2011, 19:09
Go big, or go home :P

Damn straight. 40 with arch lector or warrior priest would be nasty.

50 is even better :evilgrin:

24-02-2011, 20:02
I see no reason why greatswords should not be fielded in units of 40-50

hatred with a wp/al And a bucket ton of str 5 attacks? Decent armor save and always stubborn?

Jack of Blades
24-02-2011, 20:02
Just remember to buff those poor T3 last-striking men with some defensive magic :)

24-02-2011, 20:19
Ok so it seems that I'm on the right track then. Thank you all for your posts, it really helps me a lot. Now the question is detachment or not? I was thinking about 6x3 Halberdiers for a unit of 39 GS with a WP in a 2500 pt. game. At least 2500 pts. is where I want to start and then build on this for larger games. Oh and as far as spell enhancement goes I suppose the WP using Unbending Righteousness would be good huh?

24-02-2011, 20:37
Just remember to buff those poor T3 last-striking men with some defensive magic :)

Glittering robe for a 2+ armour save seems like a safe bet to me. :)

24-02-2011, 21:59
Horde o' greatswords, meet clan pestilence and their wonderful spell, plague.

25-02-2011, 01:03
Ha, ha Kevlar! How about clan pestilence meet Mr. Mortar!!! :)

25-02-2011, 08:58
Warrior priest / lector is almost compulsory; the reroll to hit is too good to ignore. Big units in horde formation work, though I also had quite some success with a unit of 21 in 7x3 formation. Not such a huge points investment, still dishes out quite some S5 attacks, still stubborn till the last man.

Interesting thought: if playing against enemy hordes, you could always opt to deploy (or combat reform) even wider than 10 models, to get an even greater number of attacks. They are stubborn anyway, so no real loss either way (though you need enough models to make this worthwhile).

25-02-2011, 09:44
I run 27 greatswords 7 wide with an arch lector or priest taking up the 28th slot. I find a horde with a stat line that lousy is just dwellers/purple sun bait. I want that sort of spell directed at my huge halberd hordes (I run 2).

I play them the exact same way ! :yes:

25-02-2011, 23:19
I run 40 in horde with Priest...mass damage spells are the unit's bane, do all you can to dispell them. I like them, they are effective.

26-02-2011, 00:09
Yeah, I can see them being a really good candidate for a horde. Their base is small so the unit doesn't get too unwieldy, they're allready stubborn so they don't need the steadfast ranks, and they pack a lot of punch. All for a pretty reasonable price tag. I say go for it!

26-02-2011, 00:34
30 is the max for me, as that's the number of models I have...

I also am allergic to very large units, as I prefer to spread out the points to have more units than a super large one.....

26-02-2011, 01:25
So detachment or no detachment?

vinny t
26-02-2011, 01:38
I would say go with handunner detachments, 1 of 20 or 2 of 10. It provides some normal shooting and 20 S4 shots will scare off a good amount of potential chargers

26-02-2011, 23:43
So detachment or no detachment?

I give it a small detachment of either 5 archers or 5-6 free company, just as a screen.

27-02-2011, 21:40
Solid advice from the freddieyu, archers make a great screening unit add a little fire power and can keep up with the greatswords when they march and still shoot.

Greatswords can be stuck in some nasty combats, for closecombat detachments I would prefere Swordsmen in support Greatswords hit hard enough they don't need help from halberds. Swordsmen can last a bit longer and may be crucial in denying the rank bonus.

In smaller games 1.5k to 2.5k 28 work great in a 7d3 or a 5x5 small flexible but big enough to shrug off damage and still be an effective combat unit.

I like big units too I run two forty man blocks in big games. :D

01-03-2011, 05:07
Great advice everyone!!! Thanks for everything!!!

01-03-2011, 05:09
Oh RanaldLoec great advice about using swordsmen for detachment. They do have better staying power and that can be crucial!

01-03-2011, 18:15
The only problem I see with this unit is... the cost, are you willing to fork out the for 50 goldswords?!

01-03-2011, 20:35
i run a unit of 30 with 2 detachments, a priest, and a metal mage with the scaly skin spell close to the unit ^^. When all works, they are amazing. I promise!

02-03-2011, 05:34
Nub10 good point but I already own 17 so maybe if I buy them a few at a time it won't hurt as bad! :)

02-03-2011, 05:57
The only problem I see with this unit is... the cost, are you willing to fork out the for 50 goldswords?!

Mine tend to come from the battalion box. Gives them a more reasonable price tag.

02-03-2011, 06:50
Yeah imagine been Greatswords snob like me, one of my Greatsword units is made up of the old Reiksguard Foot Knights models average eBay price 7. My other unit is made up of the old metal greatswords that have that lovely full plate armour.

02-03-2011, 07:50
You can cobble together some decent looking Greatswords from a Knight box and a Militia box - especially if you use bitz sites for sourcing the swords themselves and extra bits. Makes the Battalion go a little further.

02-03-2011, 09:08
and you can even use empty bases and say "hey, unvisible greatswords"

02-03-2011, 11:22
I have never fielded a unit of Greatswords since I can never find the points to squeeze them in, but still a horde unit is a massive point sink. Also isn't a horde unit of Greatswords not in keeping with the fluff since they're supposed to bet he super elite of the Empire?