PDA

View Full Version : Empire: Bigger Units or More Of Them?



Danny76
07-06-2011, 12:26
Hey guys,

In your opinion which is better, having nice big units or having several smaller ones?

I have an unopened box of state troops, and was wondering whether I should upgrade my other units or make a new one.

I have 20 swords and 20 spears, (WP and BSB in the swords usually), should i up them both to 30, one to 40 or create a third unit?

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Danny

BigbyWolf
07-06-2011, 16:01
Horde and steadfast are your friends in 8th edition. Bigger units of basic troops are the way to go. Elite units can get away with being smaller.

russellmoo
07-06-2011, 17:46
Not sure what good 20 spearmen are?- get them to size 40- in horde they all get to attack-

Agoz
07-06-2011, 18:00
Yeah definitely get your units up to size, I've got a unit of 50 halberds myself, works great. Save the smaller units for detachments if anything.

malladin.ben
07-06-2011, 19:18
I think this comes down to how many points you're playing. Having played very little other than 2k, I'm not convinced by the value of hordes for state troops. A narrow frontage with 6 or 7 ranks don't die so quickly when fighting other better horde units and can remain steadfast. Hordes work much better for your elites: greatswords or flagellants that don't need to worry about steadfast, and make much better use out of the extra rank of attacks. Halberdiers are about the only state troop unit I'd bother with a horde for, and I'd expect to need at least 50 of them to make the unit work. Given your starting point, I'd go for 30 of each unit and use them to hold up enemy units whilst you bring your greatswords or flagellants into play.

ftayl5
08-06-2011, 06:27
Bigger is better.
I find 50 is nicest.
But at your actual question: Make the Swordsmen 40 and leave the spears, they're the worst unit in the army: don't waste your money, or points, on them - unless there's a fluff reason.

SteelTitan
08-06-2011, 07:12
Or mix in your spearmen with your halbediers ;) no one likes shelving models! It's what I will probably do.

eldargal
08-06-2011, 08:15
Bigger! This is why I love 8th so much more than 7th, Empire armies become truly spectacular.

Deathbysoup
08-06-2011, 08:27
I run 2 hordes, 1 with 40 swordsmen 1 of 40 halberdiers. Put a warrior priest in both and they will hurt even the toughest enemy!
Hordes are a must for empire as they are pretty weak individuals so they need the numbers.

freddieyu
08-06-2011, 10:39
A balance of both size and quantity is good.....more units give you more reserves in order to react better...

What I like to do is to have at least 2 units with 30-35 models. I will have 2-3 others with a smaller size (like the unbreakable flagellants and stubborn greatswords) to complement them. As I play with a stank, I can use it to hold up a tough enemy combat unit which is then tarpitted until it breaks or till the end of the game. My relatively smaller units can usually handle the rest of the enemy army, especially once those are whittled down by my war machines.

Scythe
08-06-2011, 10:57
Contrary to popular belief, I don't think Empire needs hordes of 50 to maximize efficiency. What one needs to take into account is that your artillery has usually reduced enemy numbers to small amounts, which a unit of 30 can tackle as well. Units of 50 have their place, but deep units of 30-40 are nice enough as well. That said, I wouldn't go below 30 models, unless they are greatswords, shooters, or a specific unit meant for capture the tower (in which case I'd recommend 20 militia).

But to answer your specific question: I would bump both units to 30, which is a decent, usable amount. You can always decide to enlarge the units later on (or get a halberd horde).

Danny76
08-06-2011, 18:11
I'll build 10 of each then to bulk up, then perhaps aim for another 10 on each also.

What do people think of spearmen also. Should it be halberdiers only or are spears still
any good?

Scythe
09-06-2011, 05:41
I generally prefer halberds or swords over spears. Halberds for offensive power, swords for the nice 5+/6++ save in close combat. The extra attack of the spears is generally worth less than the extra strength of halberds, and swords have the advantages of better WS and save, so are better defensive wise. That said, you are not shooting yourself terribly in the foot by using spears, especially when you run a supportive mage (mindrazor, for example, makes spears deathly). The differences are quite small.

Torpedo Vegas
09-06-2011, 05:55
A balance of both. Big units (30+) with detachments. A horde of 40 halberdiers will still lose combat to a combat unit of equivalent point cost. That is, until you 20 man detachment slams into the enemy flank.

Danny76
09-06-2011, 09:00
Perhaps I could keep the spears at 20 as a unit for my level 4 wizard to sit in.
He is currently in 10 handgunners.

Lord Solar Plexus
09-06-2011, 12:33
I don't see any role for a combat unit of only 20 men. It's too small to defend your wizard in combat and too expensive as ablative wounds against missile fire. It's still big and tasty enough for any templates flying around though.

As to the original question, I think 40 is a good number. I know some people are even going as high as 70 but that's just falling for a marketing ploy. You will want to strike a balance between the flexibility of multiple units and the relative resilience of bigger ones. Of course you can always adapt this approach: field a horde of 50 supported by two smaller ones of ~30 (or whatever support you're going to field).

Chaos Undecided
09-06-2011, 12:47
I suppose having a unit of 20 included might be useful if you want to have a bunker unit behind the main battleline or a unit that can start inside the watchtower should you roll that mission.

Lord Solar Plexus
09-06-2011, 13:09
You raise some good points, although I cannot see what a bunker unit behind the main lines would accomplish. A lone wizard behind largeish units is next to impossible to see, so can rarely be shot at. Mortars would find it much easier to hit him when in a unit of 20 whereas on his own he is quite difficult to hit. If you're worried about his safety, he can just as well join a larger unit and leave it when things get dicey.

For the tower I'd rather consider Flagellants. If you don't have them, it makes little sense to put anyone else inside. They're just too easily killed.

freddieyu
09-06-2011, 13:29
I keep a unit of 20 spearmen as a reserve unit, beside my artillery battery. They are more than enough to run interference versus enemy war machine hunters, which may be fast cav or flying skirmishers. In addition, if anything gets through my main blocks, the spearmen have an even chance of handling the (usually) much depleted enemy unit. Otherwise, they can also react and attempt to hit an enemy flank in case my main blocks are engaged in combat.

My other units with 20+ models are flagellants and greatswords. As these do not really need ranks and the steadfast rule, I can afford to make them "thinner" and slightly wider for more offensive capacity.

Scythe
09-06-2011, 13:48
For the tower I'd rather consider Flagellants. If you don't have them, it makes little sense to put anyone else inside. They're just too easily killed.

Flagellants are killed just as easy (or easier) than any other infantry. They hit quite a bit harder though, which can be nice. 20 militia are decent though, at half the pts of the flagellants (though they only deliver a couple of S3 attacks back).

Lord Solar Plexus
09-06-2011, 14:55
I keep a unit of 20 spearmen as a reserve unit, beside my artillery battery. They are more than enough to run interference versus enemy war machine hunters


Against anything coming from the front, the main battle line can run interference. Anything that flies over these units can fly over the Spears. And sitting beside a battery is IME next to useless when someone comes up on the other side. He's not in your charge arc and the WM is inbetween you anyways. I'd rather have a Captasus or an L1 Fire Wizard.



In addition, if anything gets through my main blocks, the spearmen have an even chance of handling the (usually) much depleted enemy unit.


I don't know. Of course if an evenly matched enemy broke through, that's true enough. If that was the tip of an advance from elites, you can't make this assumption. I realize it works for you, and as such it is impossible for me to say it doesn't work but with all the combos and possibilities out there, I'm quite sceptical. A HPA or Blood Knights or Swordsmasters or Trolls or ROgres breaking through won't be easily handled.


Flagellants are killed just as easy (or easier) than any other infantry.


Yes but you cannot put cavalry in there. ;) Almost every infantry unit will be defeated by dedicated combat troops but Flaggies at least take some with them. Can Spears even use their special rule in a tower?

Danny76
09-06-2011, 15:45
I like the idea of spears with the WMs, but can see them not getting their use and easily being maneuvered round.
And if they are just there as a deterrent it is a lot of points, particularly in 1.5k though even in 2.4, to be spent that I could use elsewhere.

Malorian
09-06-2011, 16:00
Can Spears even use their special rule in a tower?

Nope.

No ranks and only 10 models fighting mean that spearmen in a tower is kinda pointless (get it?).

Okuto
09-06-2011, 16:08
I think 30 is good enough(40 for halberds) as you usually will reduce a few ranks off your enemy.....I like having my guys in blocks of 30 if I take detachments but now I use my free companies as fillers to bulk out the regulars if need be

Though I like having reserves to chuck into the fray.....

Scythe
10-06-2011, 06:05
Yes but you cannot put cavalry in there. ;) Almost every infantry unit will be defeated by dedicated combat troops but Flaggies at least take some with them. Can Spears even use their special rule in a tower?

Assuming enough survive to strike back. It won't make much of a difference either way the moment those Khorne warriors knock at the door ;)

DivineVisitor
10-06-2011, 08:05
Assuming enough survive to strike back. It won't make much of a difference either way the moment those Khorne warriors knock at the door ;)

Best be sure of getting that Speed of Light spell off before they get there then :D

RanaldLoec
10-06-2011, 09:00
Nah let them khorne warriors in then shoot all your cannons at the tower. Say 3 that's 3d6 st10 no armour save hits. Then send in the flaggelants.

Lord Solar Plexus
10-06-2011, 09:39
Yep, SoL, Birona's, increased T...there's a lot of things one can do to make them hold out a bit longer or to seriously cripple an attacker.

Although I tend to agree with Ranald to some degree: Sometimes it's just not worth it to put anyone in the tower in the first place.

freddieyu
12-06-2011, 04:30
Yep, SoL, Birona's, increased T...there's a lot of things one can do to make them hold out a bit longer or to seriously cripple an attacker.

Although I tend to agree with Ranald to some degree: Sometimes it's just not worth it to put anyone in the tower in the first place.

Actually this is correct..your unit just have to be in it at the end of the game, not necessarily at the start...you can use the tower as "bait" and create a killzone at anything that approaches it.

SilasOfTheLambs
12-06-2011, 16:52
Flagellants are killed just as easy (or easier) than any other infantry. They hit quite a bit harder though, which can be nice. 20 militia are decent though, at half the pts of the flagellants (though they only deliver a couple of S3 attacks back).

Yup the only thing softer than a flagellant is a skink skirmisher or a zombie. However, as a unit of 30 their survivability is pretty good due to not losing combat much and not having break tests to fail.

Scythe
12-06-2011, 21:33
Actually this is correct..your unit just have to be in it at the end of the game, not necessarily at the start...you can use the tower as "bait" and create a killzone at anything that approaches it.

The tower itself is a strange thing though... Cannons do a decent job taking out troops inside of it, but your other war machines tend to be rather ineffective. And once inside, troops tend to be very hard to shift. It can be a strange battle, I won and lost capture the tower games with single models remaining holding the tower.