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sroblin
03-03-2011, 12:53
I've been wondering if the choice of Empire State Infantry could be reduced quantitatively to a clear worst or best choice, so I ran the following stats on the offensive and defensive performance of Empire state infantry versus a variety of opponents.

These stats assumed there were 5-wide ranks and enough troops on both sides of the combat to make a full number of attacks in return. The spearmen stats also assume that the spears get to fight in 3 ranks and have shields (which is not, of course, always the case, but you can safely assume their offensive output is weaker when they charge and their defense is just as poor as the halberds if you prefer.)

Casualties Incurred by:
Halberdiers Spearmen Swordsmen
casualties vs WS3/S3 2.08 1.66 1.39
vs WS3/S4 3.33 2.08 1.73
vs WS4/S3 2.78 2.22 1.39
vs WS4/S4 4.44 3.7 2.31
vs WS4/S5 5.48 5.48 3.47
vs WS5/S4 4.44 3.7 3.09
vs WS5/S5 5.48 5.48 4.63
(Just multiply the damage by 1.5 for units with 2 attacks or spears, or 2 for units with 3 attacks, or 2.5 for units with 4 attacks, etc.) Units with WS or S of more than 5 can count as having a 5 in those stats, as they get no additional benefit when fighting human weaklings.

Now for the next part:
('Shield' indicates sword and shield users that have the 6+ ward save)

Damage Inflicted by Halberdiers Spearmen Swordsmen
vs WS2/T3 4.44 5.00 3.33
vs WS2/T3/6+shield 3.67 3.43 2.3
vs WS2/T3/5+ 3.67 3.3 2.2
vs WS2/T3/5+shield 3.04 2.74 1.83

vs WS3/T3/5+ 2.77 2.5 2.22
vs WS3/T3/5+shield 2.31 2.08 1.85
vs WS3/T3/4+ 2.22 1.88 1.67
vs WS3/T3/4+shield 1.85 1.56 1.39
vs WS3/T4/6+ 2.5 2.06 1.85
vs WS3/T4/5+shield 1.73 1.37 1.23

vs WS4/T3/5+ (elves) 2.77 2.5 1.67
vs WS4/T3/4+ 2.22 1.88 1.25
vs WS4/T3/2+ (cav) 1.11 .63 .43

vs WS4/T4/6+ 2.5 2.06 1.37
vs WS4/T4/5+shield 1.73 1.37 .91
vs WS4/T4/4+ 1.67 1.25 .83
vs WS4/T4/4+shield 1.38 1.02 .68
vs WS4/T4/3+shield 1.04 .68 .46
vs WS4/T4/2+ .83 .42 .28

To calculate average ACTIVE combat resolution when one unit is pitted by another 5-wide multiple rank unit, compare the number of average casualties inflicted by the state troops and subtract by the number of casualties incurred. Being state troops, the number will usually be in the negative! (Don't forget mounts for horses; just divide the WS and S by 2 to reflect that only the front rank attacks.)

For example, average net active CR for Halberdiers, Spearmen, and Swordsmen
vs Clanrats w/shields .22 .42 .46
vs Clanrats w/spears -.35 0 .14

vs Orcs w/2hw no charge -1.66 -1.27 -.93
vs Orcs w/shields nochrg -.35 -.3 -.16

WS4/S3Knights&Horse,Lance -5.41 -5.68 -3.74

vs Chaos Warrior w/sh -5.62 -4.87 -4.18
w/2hw -7.21 -6.15 -5.35
w/halb -6.55 -6.97 -6.11

vs HE Swordmaster -5.45 -5.72 -5.28

So remarkably, on every occasion Swordsmen have the best net CR. This was obviously the case in 7th edition, but I thought the additional ranks and attritional combat of 8th edition might change this dynamic. Similarily, despite always having the superior damage output, the Halberdier's vulnerability always left them with the worst CR.

However, there is a major caveat. Sometimes, against small elite enemy units, it will be worth scoring extra kills even though you lose more of your own in the CR game. For a hypothetical example, killing 1 swordmaster and losing 4 swordsmen is a worse tradoff then killing 3 swordmasters and losing 7 halberdiers. Even though you have worse CR with the halberdiers, you have a better chance of actually wiping out the swordmasters before they wipe out the halberdiers- over time!
So, casualties over time is not the same game as active CR every round.

There are other limitations to this exercise, such situations where the enemy unit is low enough in number that striking first makes a difference (this is imaginably would give swordsmen a boost against I3 units, as well as halberdiers versus Initative 2 enemies, as the enemies they kill will help them take less casualties in return.) Also, obviously some units will use wider formations than 5 wide. This can be recalculated by dividing the number of expected kills by 10 (or 15 in the case of spears), and multiplying them by the expected number of attacks put out by the unit.

So in summary, which Empire infantry to take?

Swordsmen, i think, still take first place, though they do have the significant limitation of being weaker against small glass cannon units, and also more expensive. Their survivability is not necessarily as great when considered on a per-point basis, but the fact that they consistently receive the best net CR of all Empire infantry is significant.

Halberdiers in my opinion take second place. Despite their vulnerability, they are considerably better at gnawing down glass cannon type units (elf elites, small cavalry units, monsters), even though they are likely to lose several rounds of combat before wiping out the enemy entirely. As a result, they probably have to be taken in larger units.

Spearmen are probably the worst, even though they take second place in terms of CR. Why? First of all, because the defensive benefits of spearmen are nullified by S5 or higher units, and a considerable number of the dangerous enemy units that a block has to resist are at S5. So they are actually worse than halberds against these units. Furthermore, their own offensive output is reduced when they are charging, and their offensive output is already less than halberds. Finally, they cost just as much swordsmen when equipped with a shield, and really aren't worth buying without a shield because then they will simply perform worse than halberds. So though they are a sort of compromise unit in terms of CR, there are too many situations where they perform worse- I can only really see them shining if they are buffed by magic enough that those extra rear rank attacks give them an offensive advantage over equally buffed halberds (say, with Okkam's Mindrazor for example.)

I invite every to ask any questions about the methodology, make corrections, critiques, or offer differing points of view let me know. I'm just hoping this will provide some useful food for thought, and serve as starting point for further inquiry!

Noght
03-03-2011, 13:55
Love the analysis. Seems reasonable to me.

Here's the thing for Warhammer Fantasy for me: it's all about kills. That's the bottom line. The Steadfast rules allow Empire to field large blocks in "Bus" formation 5x6 (for 30 lets say) so the Halberdiers get 10 attacks for a bunch of combats, while rolling steadfast leadership.

Compare your numbers vs Swordmasters, they lose CR by 5+ guys every time. I'd rather kill 2.7 w/Halberds rather than 1.7 w/Swords at the cost of 5 State Troops.

I'd rather have Swordmen vs Chaos Warriors and your charts support that.

Noght
p.s. Your chart proves also that Empire State Troops can't "beat" anything (except Clanrats w/shields but they probably win due to better leadership) with CR, so no more bitching about facing Empire Warmachines/Engineers mini Gun-Lines :D.

sroblin
03-03-2011, 14:54
p.s. Your chart proves also that Empire State Troops can't "beat" anything (except Clanrats w/shields but they probably win due to better leadership) with CR, so no more bitching about facing Empire Warmachines/Engineers mini Gun-Lines :D.

Thanks, but don't forget that the chart only includes Active CR from kills, not CR from rear-ranks, standards, and so forth. In the charging knights example, the Empires actual loss margin would probably be narrowed down by 2 (for having 3 or more ranks, versus 2 ranks for the charging cavalry unit.)

But yes, Empire units don't really win when grinding their units head-to-head against the enemy, they still need to out-maneuver, out-magic, or out-shoot their opponents. The blocks help setup the enemy for flanking, or finish off the small or weakenened units, IMO.

Deathbysoup
03-03-2011, 15:02
why is this chart making me think empire werent the best army for me to start collecting fantasy with lol!

I like a challenge, I can generally out-think my opponents in 40k but this seems like a totally different kettle of fish.

fubukii
03-03-2011, 15:58
Empire are a pretty top tier army man, augments (life, light, beasts) and hexes (shadow,death) make your core units Insanely powerful, and you have some of the best warmachines, magic, and magic defense in the game.'

Not to mention halbs can get hatred very easily with a WP upping thier killing power greatly, especially if they are horded.

Lord Solar Plexus
03-03-2011, 18:02
sroblin, you definitively have too much time on your hands. Still, respect. The numbers seem to be correct, although against something like Slaves I believe the net CR favours Halberdiers (2,36 / 1,94 for Swordsmen if I'm not mistaken).

Kills are indeed more important than preventing casualties. With nothing but kills you will at win combats and games and campaigns. With nothing but preventing casualties, you won't. Now State troops usually suck and lose but by generating more kills they can attrite the enemy to the point of combat ineffectiveness or gang up on small remnants.

fubukii, I still don't know how anyone's ever getting hatred. Are my opponents the only ones who acually bother to *kill* a frail WP? Or is it me?

I'm sorry but it's a far cry from easy.

sroblin
03-03-2011, 18:43
Good point about the slaves, although funnily enough, the Spearmen have the best performance in that scenario, inflicting more kills AND surviving more hits than the halberdiers. So I guess a crucial addendum is that Spearmen do work well against unarmored T3 units.

Hatred basically increases the damage output of a unit by 50% against opponents of equal or higher weapon skill, so multiply the expected kills by 1.5 against most things. So instead of kiling 1.67 dwarves or unshield chaos warriors using halberdiers, they kill 2.5for example. Not bad, but not something to overstate either.

Kills are important, but against some units the possibility of running out of bodies is very real. Realistically, neither unit can be counted upon to succeed without back up from flanking units or magic. The Halberdiers are better at grinding down the enemy just a little bit more, the Swordsmen are better at actually surviving long enough for the cavalry to arrive and avoiding having to take quite as many break tests.

Skyros
03-03-2011, 20:35
Your analysis is interesting except for the minor fact CR doesn't matter nearly as much as it did in 7th.

I don't care what the CR is for my empire infantry, I just want them to hold steadfast for as long as possible as cheaply as possible.

Halberdiers, which are 20% cheaper than spears and swords, are thus better. For example, vs WS5 S5, they actually survive *longer* than swordsmen. For every swordsman that dies, 1.18 halberds die, but for every swordsman, you can buy 1.2 halberds. Plus, as noted, they might actually kill a couple swordmasters or chaos warriors or whatever.

If there is one thing this analysis has shown it is that spears with shields are not worth buying ever costing the same as swordsmen and being outperformed in all instances by either swordsmen or halberdiers. I take both swords and halbs in my army, but never spears.

In general, state troops get destroyed by anything worth worrying about. If I could strip off the light armor of my halberdiers and have them be 4 points I'd do it in a heartbeat. If I could increase their LD to 10 and drop the halberd and drop them to 2 points like skaven slaves while allowing my war machines to shoot into them...wow.

The fact that state troops lose to just about everything really underlines why any competitive empire army has to rely heavily on war machines. Empire infantry are overcosted and underpowered compared to the core infantry of other races. Fortunately, they have been given some extremely good war machines which excel at taking big blocks of enemy core infantry down to size.

fubukii
03-03-2011, 20:48
sroblin, you definitively have too much time on your hands. Still, respect. The numbers seem to be correct, although against something like Slaves I believe the net CR favours Halberdiers (2,36 / 1,94 for Swordsmen if I'm not mistaken).

Kills are indeed more important than preventing casualties. With nothing but kills you will at win combats and games and campaigns. With nothing but preventing casualties, you won't. Now State troops usually suck and lose but by generating more kills they can attrite the enemy to the point of combat ineffectiveness or gang up on small remnants.

fubukii, I still don't know how anyone's ever getting hatred. Are my opponents the only ones who acually bother to *kill* a frail WP? Or is it me?

I'm sorry but it's a far cry from easy.


simple, you can do several things.

Buff the unit spells like phas protection speed of light, flesh to stone all increase the durability of the entire unit. In addition one of these spells makes you init 10, so you can strike first! with hatred :P

#2 give your arch lector or warrior priest armor. there are several ways to give your character good armor saves, making them durable to most attacks from regular troops.

#3 you can place them on the far side of the unit either keeping them out of combat, or minimizing the amount of models that can actually attack them

Skyros
03-03-2011, 20:57
If you make your WP hard to kill are wasting points. Buy another whole regiment of halberdiers instead.

I'm constantly amazed at people who take 120+ point WP's to give them an extra 5 halberd attacks on the first round when they could just buy another whole unit of halberds and get 10 extra halberd attacks every round and possibly a flank bonus!

AL can be made hard to kill in a cost effective manner by using AOMI and provide enough other bonuses that I consider them worth it. But buying WP to buff up the combat prowess of state infantry blocks is a losing game. They are only worth it in more expensive units.

sroblin
03-03-2011, 21:11
Your analysis is interesting except for the minor fact CR doesn't matter nearly as much as it did in 7th.

Fortunately the tool is useful for calculating expected casualties per round!



Halberdiers, which are 20% cheaper than spears and swords, are thus better. For example, vs WS5 S5, they actually survive *longer* than swordsmen. For every swordsman that dies, 1.18 halberds die, but for every swordsman, you can buy 1.2 halberds.

But against the considerable variety of troops with WS4 and or S4 or lower, Swordsmen often do have superior survivability, even in spite of their additional cost. Against Stormvermin for example, 1.9 halberdiers die for every Swordmen!


The fact that state troops lose to just about everything really underlines why any competitive empire army has to rely heavily on war machines. Empire infantry are overcosted and underpowered compared to the core infantry of other races. Fortunately, they have been given some extremely good war machines which excel at taking big blocks of enemy core infantry down to size.

I think Empire infantry would be on par for the cost if it weren't that Clanrats undercut them by 1 point supposedly justified because of their LD5, even though the unit a clanrat unit is absolutely guaranteed to start with at least a higher LD8, possibly boosted to LD10 with a general!

Also, the detachment rule was conceived in 6th ed as a tactical edge to help the human units prevail against the tougher races in Warhammer, but has since become much weaker- first when 7th edition introduced units that were more capable of generating active CR, and especially in 8th when flanking counter-charges stopped negating ranks when confronted by Steadfast units.

Still, the Empire does have some choppier infantry options in Greatswords and even Flagellants (both admittedly a little pricey), and their knights are quite functional at a reasonable cost.

Noght
04-03-2011, 01:55
Skyros has it right on Warrior Priests, silly expensive for State Troops. Arch Lector is fine for Halberdiers/Greatswords. Warrior Priest with Knights works cuz you can buy the Barded Warhorse armor option.

Swordsmen seem nice, and I like them for my Wizard Lord Bunker but they kill absolutely nothing, even with the WS4.

I'm building a unit of 30 Spearmen for fluff only, don't really care how effective they are, I just want them on the battlefield.

I've decided also that any magic lores that don't help you kill more just don't work for the Empire. Light seems to be the best choice with four augments, one hex, and 2 magic missles. Two of the augments is defensive (Pha and Rally) the other two make them really killy. One the other hand Life isn't the lore for Empire, not worth regrowing 5 point troops and while regen/tough buffs are nice, they don't kill anything, just extend the losing combat a turn or two. But you can't count on the spells so you have to kill with War Machine, missles and Flagellants/Greatswords/Knights.

Love my Empire but State Troops so not killy. I lost 22 Halberdiers (horde formation) to a Horde of 30 White Lions killing 9 in return. So while your analysis is spot on, running State troops in horde formation just opens the humans to more attacks.

Noght

karse88
04-03-2011, 02:38
has anybody made a stats list for the clanrats vs storm vermin? tried to find it under this tread but it's not my computer and i only got 10 min at a time... could be nice with some statistics for skaven :)

Lord Solar Plexus
04-03-2011, 05:12
Your analysis is interesting except for the minor fact CR doesn't matter nearly as much as it did in 7th.

Ah, but it's more important than in 2nd and more important than in Warmachine and Monopoly.

Sorry for the sarcasm Skyros but I don't think an outdated old edition has anything to do with today. Just assume we all started the game last christmas.

If you want to win at all, CR does matter. Without a positive CR on average or enough kills relative to the model count of both sides you will lose. Warmachines are nice and killy but they usually can't shoot all game long.

sroblin
04-03-2011, 11:44
One interesting thought; battle bus formation may not actually be the best for Halberds.
Versus a unit of Chaos Warriors with Halberds deployed 6x2, Halberdiers fighting 5x8 last on average the same number of rounds as Halberdiers deployed 7x5(and 1/2). This is because the unit that deploys wide kills the Chaos Warriors faster, thereby lowering the number of halberdiers they lose each turn.

Both units end up losing around turn 4, leaving 6-7 Chaos Warriors left after defeating the 8x5 unit and 3 Chaos Warriors left after beating the broad deployed unit.

Of course, faced by a wide-deployed unit of Halberdiers the Chaos Warriors could also deploy wider to maximize their attacks, but that is a whole other set of calculations.

Kevlar
04-03-2011, 13:33
Really halberds are going to shine in horde formation. I am not doing the math but I think 50 halberds in horde would do much better than the other state troops, especially against expensive enemy units.

SilasOfTheLambs
04-03-2011, 14:19
+1 for hordes with priests. Camp your priest on the corner of the unit and most units won't even get to swing at him even if they wanted to. Also, you can issue challenges with him to diminish the number of inbound attacks.

Additionally, your priest can carry a Crown of Command or similar item to increase your staying power. Then, too, he gives you extra leadership and, very importantly in this metagame, extra dispel dice.

Then, too, he can often cast a ward save for himself. Don't leave home without 'em, I say. Only for hordes, though... state troop torpedoes with their far smaller number of attacks don't benefit in the same way.