View Full Version : Sea Gaurd or Spearmen?

The Anarchist
10-08-2011, 21:54
How do sea gaurd compare to standard spearmen. the reason i ask is HE can use spears in 3 ranks, fire in two if well positioned, so 2 large units of Seagaurd, 3 deep 7 across would be powerfull in shooting and in taking a charge.

Alternativly Spearmen are slightly cheaper and so can have more points to get a few light archer regiemnts that might be able to fire for longer if they are unengaged in combat?

10-08-2011, 23:17
Elven spearmen fight in four ranks, from what i remember. And five in horde formation.
Choice is hard, especially with those juicy seaguard models from island of blood.
Spearmen are cheaper, and archers have longbows.
seaguard unit combine both, at a cost. But they are the only elven archers who can take some fighting (Asv.+spear). If u use 20 of them, i recommend 5*4 setup it will give you 16 shots and no need to reform before combat (with 7*3 setup you have 18 shots, and you loose rank bonus) and yu save points on 1 elf.
why not try seaguard & spearmen & archers in your army?

10-08-2011, 23:26
...again, this.
you cannot compare spearmen to sea guard.

spearmen are cheap. sea guard are not.

sea guard can shoot. spearmen cannot.
instead, why not compare sea guard to archers, who are realy close points-wise?... 30 sea guard with full command cost as much as 35 archers without command. hence, you could say sea guard are an archers upgrade, not a spearmen upgrade, no matter how they look.

if you compare 300 points of spearmen with 300 points of sea guard as a melee defensive unit... sad to say, the spearmen will be better. more bodies on the table.

11-08-2011, 00:47
spearmen. no contest. first of all if your taking a unit of core with bows why not shoot a further 6 inches, this lets you outrange handguns organ guns repeatercrossbows, etc. secondly if your seaguard are in shooting formation and your opponet gets a lucky charge off you basically don't get to use those spears you paid for. I'd pretty much always take 10 archers and fill the rest of your core with spears.

11-08-2011, 03:16
Bows benifit from wide frontage. Spears (especally HE spears) benifit from deep ranks. Sea guard embody two contradictory elements and will perform neither of them as effectilvy as a dedicated unit. In addition they have less armor (without an upgrade) than spears and less range than archers, while being more expensive than either.

11-08-2011, 05:14
I would go with the units of spearmen and archers because they are cheaper so you can field more and if your spearmen get in trouble you can use the archers to lighten up the enemy units. If you take the seaguard and they flee you can't shoot and can get overrun so use spearmen.

Von Wibble
11-08-2011, 09:41
For me, the decision is usually also based on how large my army is. In bigger games where I have more units, it is easier to deploy the seaguard than it is to deploy the spears and archers.

Generally, I prefer the spears and archers. For the price of 30 seaguard (with armour upgrade) I can get 30 spearmen and 10 archers (and have a little bit of change left over). Chances are I will get only a few less shots in due to my longer range and the aforementioned formation issues.

I would add though that the Seaguard do have a couple of advantages. If you have the points and models to deploy 50 in horde formation you are getting 35 bow shots without compromising your battle line (in terms of having room to deploy things). Augment spells such as Shield of Saphery have a larger effect, and the stand and shoot reaction can take a rank off foes as well (or even take out a T4 chariot such as elves or beasts).

If you are planning on having a large horde of spearmen as part of the army, I'd say its often worth the points to get seaguard instead, especially if the spearmen don't quite meet the 25% core requirements. Otherwise I'd get spears and bows.

11-08-2011, 19:59
Since it's not uncommon to see a Horde of HE spearmen I'll vote for them, however I prefer Seaguard (mostly model and fluff wise).

12-08-2011, 04:57
i disagree on the "spears & bows" front. i believe in spamming one, and only one, choice in the core section. not sea guard necessarily, just... avoid variety in core choices. this is because HE core choices kinda...well, suck, and you will have the absolute minimum of them. it is EASIER to give these choices an actual role if you only spam one core unit choice.

for example, 2-3 units of 16 archers can do something. their shots are str 3, but they are many.
2 blocks of spearmen can do something. they can all fight, and its hard to take them all out.
1 horde of sea guard can do something, combining the previous two.

but 1 block of spearmen and 15-20 archers?... that sucks. one block of spearmen is easily destroyed, and 15-20 str 3 shots are... unimpressive.

of course, you could always get 2 blocks of spearmen AND few archers. however, i think this is out of the question. when i surpass the minimum core points by a mere 7-8 points, i feel like i am hindering my army, cause thats how much the HE core choices suck compared to the specials.

12-08-2011, 05:50
I think spearmen are better at 2500 I use 35 spears but i still take 20 seaguard in 5x4 as a bunker for my mages. Mainly because they can take eternal flame affecting shooting and combat and there are alot of HPA's and Hydras in my gaming group, but also because its a good unit to hold in reserve when your like breaks somewhere.

12-08-2011, 07:44
the problem with the Seaguard is that they cant do both (shooting and fighting) at once. they are either more expensive archers or more expensive spearelves.

you lose volley if you move, you lose combat prowess if you reform them for shooting. you also pay for armor that you now need because you cant outrange other shooting units (e.g. crossbows) any more.

in short: I like spears + archers combo. you have more flexibility with 2 seperate units for each role, you can outrange alot of other shooting units and your spears can be moved into combat without losing any shooting.

12-08-2011, 07:52
50 Spearmen, full command and Lion Standard comes to 500pts on the nose. Perfect for those 2000 point battles.

12-08-2011, 15:49
Personally I like to take Spearmen as the base for all my armies, and 2 units of 32 fill the bill nicely. To add to that I recently used 16 Archers and the archers rarely achieved much, as they were too few. As games get larger and I paint sea gunard (I have three units of 20) I will add these. That way my deployment zone isn't congested by taking extra spears (isn't 64 enough already?) and the sea guard add extra ranged shots for a fraction extra over archers. Plus once combat is joined and the number of targets to shoot is reduced by being in combat, the smaller sea guard units can maneuvere and flank charge.

32 spears come in at a little more than 20 sea guard (about 20 points roughly) so the size difference in these is massive, but if taken instead of further archers they do well.

I advocate the use of a good few spearmen before choosing archers or sea guard however, just for the numbers - we need them. Once you have your basic one large or two medium sized units of spears, I'd suggest sea guard then have a useful role as a small unit, but only in larger games when the core requirement increases over 500pts.

Concentration of force balanced with numbers means that I like a mix of core choices, but only after the numbers have been made up. Numbers wise 2/3 spearmen to 1/3 sea guard is about right, and that comes in at half points spent on each choice.

12-08-2011, 16:02
Sadly, the only real advantage the Sea Guard have over Spearmen at the moment is that they do have MUCH better-looking models, thanks to the IoB set.

As others have said, they're worse at shooting than Archers, and worse at fighting than Spearmen, and more expensive than both. They're basically doomed to be the choice no one takes, because balancing them against two other rather iconic core units is a difficult job, and trying to get them to the point where they're an attractive option without making the Spearmen or Archers into the new "don't take these guys, they're not worth it" unit is going to be tough.

Von Wibble
12-08-2011, 16:43
I agree with the point about balancing them. The best way to do it would be to move silver helms into core and seaguard into special, and then make seaguard clearly a better unit than spearmen or archers.

eg Ws5, Bs5, come with light armour and shields. 13 points each.

This would also help with the issue that dragon princes tend to be used far more than silver helms, as the 2 are directly competing with each other at the moment.

12-08-2011, 16:46
The only way that seaguard can be effective is if you play a defensive static army, or if you donīt mind reforming mid-battle.

No matter how you look at it, the seaguard is going to be worse at shooting than archers (ex. long range, reforming into ranks when enemy gets closer, worse point-cost ratio for number of shots etc.), and also a lot more expensive than spearmen.

The seaguard is basically a jack of all trades, it is a good unit if you want a balanced army that has to deal with many different things. In one game you can use them as archers, while in other game play them as if they were spearmen. I actually think that in 8th, with the parabolic shooting rule for bows, the seaguard is a viable choice if you can afford the points, and donīt mind sacrificing some shooting in exchange for that flexibility.

12-08-2011, 16:56
For a main core infantry block, I would always choose spearmen.

I find seaguard work well on flanks, in smallish units of 15-20. Their shooting means they can easily pick off fast cavalry and other irritants, and their decent combat resolution means they can hold up any mediocre ranked units which would otherwise threaten the flanks of your battle line. If it turns out they have very little to do they can either wade into the centre or march around your enemy's flanks. Quite useful really.

For what it's worth though, I think 8th edition has increased the effectiveness of other infantry units in the list relative to seaguard, which is why you will probably see them less often.