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Katastrophe
19-05-2013, 15:48
I've been playing around with the lists since I got my book and am having a hard time deciding to get any core but block archers. I'm thinking of running 2-3 8x3 blocks buffed by heroes (likely wont by a champ) and the rest of my infantry being elites. In previous iterations spear and to a lesser extent seaguard were decidedly better for the combat role but current archers are just lightly armored previous edition spear that can shoot, a far better proposition by my eyes.

I'm having a real difficulty justifying buying spear or seaguard units when I can just run archers 7x3 or 8x3 and force armies to come to me while taking 2 to 3 units of heavy effective fire.

With a block of PG (must have) and either a block of SM or WL, I think that's going to be a really hard army.

In any event, I just can't find a place or advantage to bringing a block of spear, particularly since the best save you can get is a 5.

Any thoughts.

theunwantedbeing
19-05-2013, 16:48
I'm not sure how you can force an opponent to come to you by shooting at them.
But if it works in your gaming group, go for it.

Sounds like you have your list planned out already so quit wasting time on here :P

Katastrophe
19-05-2013, 17:26
Cute.

If you shoot at an army enough, trust they will have to come to you to engage, I think that works against everyone. No one likes getting pelted, particularly when there are lots of shots coming.

The ultimate question is still, why would I choose Seaguard or Spear when for the same cost, archers are nearly as effective in HTH and get the advantage of shooting every turn. I am not seeing the tradeoff that would make me want to get the other units.

SteveW
19-05-2013, 17:33
Archers are in no way as good in close combat as sea guard. sea guard for only a skaven slave more than a naked archer will be fighting in an extra rank and have a 5+ armour save. Also Ive found that the extra 6" range hardly ever is usefull when you can just walk 5" forward the first turn with the seaguard and still shoot with three ranks.

Katastrophe
19-05-2013, 17:51
I understand the statement but I don't think the math supports it. With archers you get 2 extra rounds of shooting, hitting more often (don't have to move forward so no minus there and an additional shot at short range).

Honestly I haven't found 5+ to be significantly better than 6+ in most fights, which is likely a function of my dicing ability.

Multiple. Rounds of shooting significantly balances the relative loss in HTH. Also, neither gets a magic banner so, given the option I think I'll take archers over seaguard. I'll play with the numbers and test it, but it looks like a better option. That extra round or two of 21-24 shots is well worth it.

Jaesyk
19-05-2013, 21:27
I am having the same issue myself. I can see an argument for spearmen. But I don't think that Seaguard are a good deal anymore.

boli
19-05-2013, 22:37
Personally S3 shooting never makes up its points cost. I prefer spear horde and archer Bunker in small games and add seaguard for larger in flankers/ranged role

HurrDurr
19-05-2013, 23:53
Cute.

If you shoot at an army enough, trust they will have to come to you to engage, I think that works against everyone. No one likes getting pelted, particularly when there are lots of shots coming.

The ultimate question is still, why would I choose Seaguard or Spear when for the same cost, archers are nearly as effective in HTH and get the advantage of shooting every turn. I am not seeing the tradeoff that would make me want to get the other units.

Name an army you can shoot off the table with 72 archers and what point game.

Katastrophe
20-05-2013, 00:58
Well considering that's only 750 or so points of your army you're lefts lots of hitty options for the remainder. Anyone that's got a unit with block spears you may as well trade those out for archers. I'm not running a archer only army, I'm actually saying that you don't need spear anymore since they essentially serve the save purpose for the points costs.

The question is do you come out any better buying spear blocks or seaguard over archers. You can kill units as they approach, stand and shoot and fight effectively.

Brotheroracle
20-05-2013, 02:38
The real reason you don't take only Archers as core is simple: Core Silver Helms. Also I really like the LSG models so that's why I field them.

Honestly all of the core are solid units reasonably costed for their abilities. For the most part the only way you pick "wrong" for your core units is by not taking the ones that support your special and rare choices.

Shadeseraph
20-05-2013, 05:58
The real reason you don't take only Archers as core is simple: Core Silver Helms. Also I really like the LSG models so that's why I field them.

And core Reavers.

The main reason to pick spears is because they are our cheapest steadfast breakers. For LSG, it depends a lot on the focus of the army. In a defensive, shooty list, they give some resilience over archers against basic troops while still having bows. Depending on the rest of the army you may or may not need that.

But, again, reavers and shelms are quite solid.

Katastrophe
20-05-2013, 13:48
I was really only referring to infantry. Knights and light cav serve a different role altogether. My fault for not being clear.

I like to be effective with each unit through the whole game. Being able to get shots off with archers the. Possibly reforming into an infantry block is far more useful than having an infantry block that has to run up to combat. Just my view. I love disrupting opponents and forcing them to fight in ways I can control.

Ranked archers are essentially what you paid for ranked spear in the previous list so you get a free buff to that unit allowing it to dish out 20-30 shots for a few turns before engaging. If you must put light armor on them you're essentially just looking at a save difference of one and just as many attacks as previous edition spear.

I'll get to test this out this week and see how it works out. Taking magic banners from seaguard I believe did them a huge disservice because now they are far less attractive. Also, not allow heavy armor on spear hurt them as well. That would've been a really nice option to buff them as an anvil unit.

Asuryan's Spear
20-05-2013, 15:06
while i think its pointless trying to convince you Katastrophe i'll bite. its a question of points for me. in general i get +1 rank of attacks and a 5+ save for 2 pts more.... the archers don't have any save at all unless you pay for it. this makes them very vulnerable if you try and use them as an anvil. this comes to the fore against other core... as the 5+ is likely to stay there and actually be quite useful. plus without a cheap anvil you will struggle. the sea guard and spearmen provide you with the opportunity to bus and put out more attacks across its limited frontage making it a more effective anvil

Von Wibble
20-05-2013, 16:44
The real reason you don't take only Archers as core is simple: Core Silver Helms. Also I really like the LSG models so that's why I field them.

Honestly all of the core are solid units reasonably costed for their abilities. For the most part the only way you pick "wrong" for your core units is by not taking the ones that support your special and rare choices.

I agree with this.

I don't agree that archers get 2 more rounds of shooting than LSG - I'd say 1 more round under some circumstances, and a good chance of +1 to hit as LSG move more often. The loss of a 5+ armour save and that extra rank is pretty important though.

750 points worth of archers don't do that much damage either. In the 2 rounds of shooting you'll get before the enemy are engaged, you are looking at about 15 kills total (vs T4 with 5+ save). Not really enough to turn the tide. Especially considering LSG will kill about 10 themselves, and be able to fight afterwards. An extra rank may not seem much, but once you start applying buffs with magic the effect multiplies in power - there aren't as many buffs that do this for shooting.

Not to say archers aren't a decent unit - if you use them to make a high elf "gunline" with elite units purely focused on combat and low amount of support chaff they could work. Personally I prefer the redundancy afforded by LSG though.

Wharfrat1979
21-05-2013, 00:26
I played against a shooty high elf list the other day. Something like thirty archers. Two units of reavers with bows. Three units of shadow warriors. Two repeater bolt throwers. He had the lore master with the folding fortress. The hand maiden with her nasty bow. The only none shooters were two eagles and a smaller unit of PG. first turn he got withering off on my black orcs lowering my toughness by three. Shot the crap out of me. 500 points of black orcs were gone quick. He did not even have to hide in the fortress. I was able to mop up the smaller units of warriors and reavers but I was able to do little to the big block of archers

Elyeva
21-05-2013, 10:38
Archers only is a cool option against armies such as Ogres because of two things:
- Ogres are vurnerable to archery
- Ogres hit that hard that your armour isn't that much protection

Small units (10) work fantastic, including a musician only. A charge means defenitely death, but you may use them to flank your phoenix guards close combat to molestrate their rank bonus and kill them in persue. Small units means that your opponent have to choose on what unit he wants to shoot, which makes you more survivable.

Dont forget that Archers have a 30" range while Seaguard and Sisters have only 24". It is an advantage.

Still Standing
21-05-2013, 11:45
Name an army you can shoot off the table with 72 archers and what point game.

72 Archers will be killing 1-2 Tzeentch Chaos Warriors a turn at long range. Really going to be worrying me.

theunwantedbeing
21-05-2013, 11:49
72 Archers will be killing 1-2 Tzeentch Chaos Warriors a turn at long range. Really going to be worrying me.

Only if they have a 3+ ward.
Otherwise you'll be able to drop upto 4 of them on average a turn!

In anycase, if your spending your point on 2 rounds of shooting, rather than 8 rounds of combat then clearly something is up.

yeknoMehT
21-05-2013, 13:09
Cute.

If you shoot at an army enough, trust they will have to come to you to engage, I think that works against everyone. No one likes getting pelted, particularly when there are lots of shots coming.

The ultimate question is still, why would I choose Seaguard or Spear when for the same cost, archers are nearly as effective in HTH and get the advantage of shooting every turn. I am not seeing the tradeoff that would make me want to get the other units.

As mentioned in post #8, you're not really going to shoot anything off the table unless you have a lot more shooting power than that. All you're doing is reducing the number that make it to you (it's not going to make anyone go any faster than they were doing anyway).

Try that against a shooting-heavy dwarf/chaos dwarf/empire army and they will laugh at you, and on their turn they will open fire and show you how it's done.

Even a bretonnian army with trebuchets and a decent bowmen block will outshoot your 72 archers (for about the same price you can get two trebuchets and 90ish archers, who come with free cover and cheap flaming shots).

Don't get me wrong, HE archers are good - just don't envision them dropping ranks of the enemy army by themselves.

KingFerret
21-05-2013, 14:03
I don't mean to be rude here but clearly some of you are clearly missing the OP's point....The difference between this high elf "gunline" and an empire or dwarf gunline, is that empire and dwarf gunlines rely on their special and rare choices to do all the damage (cannon, helblaster, etc) so when your opponent reaches your line, if you haven't done enough damage you will lose, because your melee troops are mostly gonna be fairly crappy core (empire) or overpriced core (dwarves). The high elf "gunline" using archers, the ranged element is the core, therefore your melee will be phoenix guards, white lions, swordmaster etc. Units that kick ****. Also once your enemy has closed the gap, artillery are useless, whereas little 15 man units of archers can flank and cause disruption. Not saying it's a world beater, but I think it could be extremely effective.

yeknoMehT
21-05-2013, 15:19
I don't mean to be rude here but clearly some of you are clearly missing the OP's point....The difference between this high elf "gunline" and an empire or dwarf gunline, is that empire and dwarf gunlines rely on their special and rare choices to do all the damage (cannon, helblaster, etc) so when your opponent reaches your line, if you haven't done enough damage you will lose, because your melee troops are mostly gonna be fairly crappy core (empire) or overpriced core (dwarves). The high elf "gunline" using archers, the ranged element is the core, therefore your melee will be phoenix guards, white lions, swordmaster etc. Units that kick ****. Also once your enemy has closed the gap, artillery are useless, whereas little 15 man units of archers can flank and cause disruption. Not saying it's a world beater, but I think it could be extremely effective.

The opposite also applies - if you have melee based special/rare choices, and not enough of them make it through to the enemy you will also lose, no matter how many small units of archers you have floating about.
The enemy shooting will not bother trying to do much about the archers - they will be shooting your nasty melee units. Phoenix guard might take it well, and white lions I suppose have a fairly good save against normal shooting, but there's only so far it will get you. As far as artillery being useless is concerned, I don't really agree. OK, if everything is in combat they'll be stuck for targets, but that is not that common.

Just to continue my Bretonnian example, a couple of units of 40 archers and two trebuchets will set you back less than 700 points, and leaves you with enough points in rare at 2400 for a good unit of 10 grail knights, and you can cram the rest of the list with a few characters and other knight units. If you try shoot them up you will fail (unless you get some serious firepower involved). If the archers and trebs don't do enough, the elves will not be quite the crazy destructive force you might like.

Not saying that sort of list would definitely win or anything - but you can't just assume that the enemy cannot afford to take both shooting and melee stuff if you can manage it - the percentages are not always that restrictive.

Von Wibble
21-05-2013, 18:56
Given that for the points empire crossbowmen are just as good in shooting as high elf archers I can't get behind the idea that an empire gunline has to rely on special and rare. 2 x cannon + 2 x helblaster with engineer isn't that expensive really, and you can also take detachments of missile troops to backup your own combat units.

Part of the problem is that if this high elf gunline faces an enemy with better shooting for the same or less points (brets, dwarfs and empire can all achieve this, tomb kings also with 1 build) then it will struggle badly. Its fine otherwise, assuming smart use of eagles and chariots/ cavalry with good backup from elites.

KingFerret
21-05-2013, 21:26
Given that for the points empire crossbowmen are just as good in shooting as high elf archers I can't get behind the idea that an empire gunline has to rely on special and rare. 2 x cannon + 2 x helblaster with engineer isn't that expensive really, and you can also take detachments of missile troops to backup your own combat units.

Part of the problem is that if this high elf gunline faces an enemy with better shooting for the same or less points (brets, dwarfs and empire can all achieve this, tomb kings also with 1 build) then it will struggle badly. Its fine otherwise, assuming smart use of eagles and chariots/ cavalry with good backup from elites.

I'm sorry but I just don't see what you mean. If you went for spears or sea guard as core instead of archers how would this exactly help against a dwarven, empire or tomb king gunline anymore than archers would? High elves will always struggle against shooting armies being expensive and fragile, that won't change no matter what core selection you go for. Please understand I'm not saying you are wrong, i just don't understand what you mean.

Trustey
21-05-2013, 21:48
72 Archers will be killing 1-2 Tzeentch Chaos Warriors a turn at long range. Really going to be worrying me.

Not everyone runs MoT warriors with shields, even in WoC! 18 is a typical unit size for warriors, and with a T4 AS4 they could be decimated in a couple turns. And don't HE have some new magic to pump up archers?

Still Standing
21-05-2013, 21:55
So you want to kill 10% of them over 2 turns?

Barry "the blade"
21-05-2013, 22:24
That 10% plus a round of stand and shoot, and always ASF is likely going to have more impact than a unit of spears would.

It's units like WoC that actually have me buying into the archers are better than spears idea. The 5+ save, and extra rank of S3 attacks spears give dont mean much against tough troops like WoC. The best you're going to get out of spears is a round or two of steadfast.

Sent from my SGH-T959V using Tapatalk 2

Oguleth
21-05-2013, 22:49
Why would you shoot the things with a good save in the chaos list anyway? Picking off support elements like warhounds, and if you can get the right shadowspell, they can be amazing against high toughness things too (like chimeras), and the extra rank of s3 5+ save attacks won't matter much without spells that would make the archers benefit just as much.

Brotheroracle
22-05-2013, 05:14
I'm pretty sure 750 Points of Dark Elf RXBmen beats 750 points of longbow men with or without shields... Assuming High Elves get first turn and Dark Elves deployed second setting up 31" away.

Lord Solar Plexus
22-05-2013, 08:58
Personally S3 shooting never makes up its points cost.

That is not a relevant consideration.


Name an army you can shoot off the table with 72 archers and what point game.

And why precisely should he do that, Hurr?


I was really only referring to infantry. Knights and light cav serve a different role altogether. My fault for not being clear.


Not at all. You phrased your question very precisely: Why take Spears over archers. It's not at all your fault when others are jumping to conclusions. "You cannot shoot an army off the table" is certainly not the correct answer when we remember that Spears can't do that either, and nor is "Cavalry" even remotely related to the topic. :p

I think you should indeed just try it out and then make up your own mind.


72 Archers will be killing 1-2 Tzeentch Chaos Warriors a turn at long range. Really going to be worrying me.

3.3 to be precise. One round of shooting is more than enough so that your unit simply gets crushed by HE elites.


So you want to kill 10% of them over 2 turns?

72 shots kill 6 or 33 % (not MoT, no shields, long range) or 5.3 if (no MoT, shields, short range). That's one round. A unit of 18 will be combat inefficient in two turns, and easy prey for almost everything.

Asuryan's Spear
22-05-2013, 09:20
Okay here's my 2 pence

Spears can be mind razored whereas archers don't benefit as much so those extra attacks matter at str8.

Why are we assuming every core choice is WoC that's really top of the scale. Our core can outfight most other core and provide an anvil in this spears are better

Not trying to say archers are useless just saying that the others have their uses

shelfunit.
22-05-2013, 09:26
72 shots kill 6 or 33 % (not MoT, no shields, long range) or 5.3 if (no MoT, shields, short range). That's one round. A unit of 18 will be combat inefficient in two turns, and easy prey for almost everything.

I think he was replying to the "decimate" comment, which is often used to describe a total annihilation, but the origin was of the Romans killing one in ten of their army as a punishment for faliure on the battlefield.

boli
22-05-2013, 09:35
That is not a relevant consideration.

It is an extremely relevant consideration.

60 archers in two groups of 30 each can put out a fair number of S3 attacks but they will inevitably collapse in close combat due to T3 no AS.
S3 shooting drops off significantly against T4+ or models which have an armour save.

However you spin it archers will never defeat their points value in a game - you are in essence fighting at a points deficit.

I'm not saying archers do not have their place, but taking en-mass will never be an effective build.

Asuryan's Spear
22-05-2013, 09:39
It is an extremely relevant consideration.

60 archers in two groups of 30 each can put out a fair number of S3 attacks but they will inevitably collapse in close combat due to T3 no AS.
S3 shooting drops off significantly against T4+ or models which have an armour save.

However you spin it archers will never defeat their points value in a game - you are in essence fighting at a points deficit.

I'm not saying archers do not have their place, but taking en-mass will never be an effective build.
True enough spears provide a cheaper anvil that can stay steadfast for two turns and take a charge...like the phalanx they are modelled on they don't wreak mass destruction but provide a stable platform for flank attacks and pinning the enemy also maybe not in a comped tourney but a substantial amount of core infantry only have S3...this is where the save is needed...lock shields and brace spears these boys are there for the long hall

Lord Solar Plexus
22-05-2013, 09:54
It is an extremely relevant consideration.

You probably won't be surprised that I disagree. ;)

The truly important aspect is whether they contribute to a plan or to victory. Making back 30 or 60 points by removing chaff can be as valuable as outright killing a unit as expensive as those archers. The amount of points made back says nothing at all about effectiveness.

If Katastrophe manages to make an opponent uncomfortable with being pelted turn after turn and subsequently draws him into an early charge, or opens up room for errors by making his opponent play more hell-for-leather than usual, then he gains a tactical advantage that cannot be explained or understood in terms of points.

boli
22-05-2013, 10:47
I actually like/use archers... see my full original post:

Personally S3 shooting never makes up its points cost. I prefer spear horde and archer Bunker in small games and add seaguard for larger in flankers/ranged role

But any amount greater than it takes to kill a chaff unit in my eyes is "points detrimental"; If he manages to force a charge against him due to sustained missile fire it would be more to do with the fact he has no spears protecting the archers than actually getting annoyed by the damage they are doing. 60 archewrs (full core in 2.5k game) is just wasting points for no real gain. 50 spears and 2x10 archers or even one large unit of 50 seaguard will provide the same chaff removal / annoyance but also hold the ranks to defeat steadfast, a better AS and more attacks.

Elyeva
22-05-2013, 15:42
It always depends on your army composition. Sometimes archers are the key, sometimes other units. When you play the new High Magic archers/LSG are good, with Shadow I suggest LSG/spears. Archers work great combined with PG as support and against monstrous infantery units.

KingFerret
22-05-2013, 19:00
It always depends on your army composition. Sometimes archers are the key, sometimes other units. When you play the new High Magic archers/LSG are good, with Shadow I suggest LSG/spears. Archers work great combined with PG as support and against monstrous infantery units.

Really? I would think shadow is equally good for both. Reducing toughness of the archer's targets is pretty huge and okhams is almost as good for them in close combat (just five more attacks for the spearmen, unlikely to make a difference but could happen.) I definitely think the reduced toughness debuff is better than the increased BS from High magic for archers in almost all situations.

Toe Cutter
22-05-2013, 23:35
Meh, reckon you could argue it both ways (or infact in almost a myriad different ways). Depends what you want to do with your core and how you see it interacting with the rest of your force. Spearmen might provide a valuable anvil or ranks for your less numerous and more hitty elite units. On the other hand that relies upon you being able to set up that combo charge and on whatever you've combo charged not just culling your spearmen for free combat rez. Archers wont do huge amounts of damage but if they do enough to take one rank off a unit (five or six models say) then that might mean that the unit will now longer be steadfast when your hitty unit impacts against it anyway so you can break it and run it down. And they can do this without being involved in the combat at all so no free rez for a chaos warrior unit to garner from a combi charge for example.

Also agree with King Ferret. If anything shadow will benefit the archers more than the spearmen. Oh look miasma means your marching at 2" a turn. More shooting time for me then. No way, you're toughness 2 now? My bows will like a bit of that then. Oh how inconvenient, you've finally managed to get in combat with me. Mindrazor says go away now you bad people. Etc etc.

Von Wibble
23-05-2013, 20:24
I'm sorry but I just don't see what you mean. If you went for spears or sea guard as core instead of archers how would this exactly help against a dwarven, empire or tomb king gunline anymore than archers would? High elves will always struggle against shooting armies being expensive and fragile, that won't change no matter what core selection you go for. Please understand I'm not saying you are wrong, i just don't understand what you mean.

I wouldn't necessarily go LSG or Spears against a shooty army. I'd have silver helms. Given the shooty armies I described mainly use massed S3 firepower, those 2+ saves can stop most of it. PG and white lions also have decent shooting defence so would form the main blocks. I think an army that focuses on a quick rush (possibly even Moranions waystone on spears) is better equipped to take on such a force than one that tries to simply outshoot it - using weaker tools.

As to Shadow helping shooting, if you reduce the enemy toughness when he isn't in combat, you get to inflict about 33% more damage? The only difference this makes is 1) if it allows you to wipe out an enemy unit instead of cripple it 2) if it causes a panic test, which is then somehow failed. Both unlikely.

But if you reduce it when he is in combat, those extra wounds are a negative modifier to his break check (and if you do enough damage there's a decent chance to break steadfast). That can more easily make the difference on whether you break, therefore destroy an enemy unit. The -S spell also has this, the difference being it doesn't help as much for a gunline (being only relevant once your archers are in combat).

Mindrazor benefits spears and LSG far more than archers- its quite good on silver helms too if the enemy didn't break on charge.

Miasma is unlikely to make the enemy march 2", given you'd have to roll 3 on the D3 - and that's against a M4 unit. Making the enemy WS lower to make them 5s to hit your elite units is also pretty good, not to mention reducing their M allows you more chance to fight on your terms in a combat setup.

Edit - just to be clear on this, I do think archers as only core can be a good choice, I just think there are circumstances where it simply won't work.

Katastrophe
23-05-2013, 22:55
Since we're talking infantry, SH and reavers aren't really the discussion. As for blocks of spear being a collective alternative to archers, I really still don't see it. I haven't found them to be a great anvil, no more so than archers. Hell I've had to rely on them winning the combat more so than than just surviving the charge. Yes they'll get one more rank of fighting in HTH but the opportunity cost of that is giving up shots for the couple of prior rounds and the stand and shoot. These aren't meant to destroy the opposing unit with shooting but to soften them significantly prior to HTH.

The math used to prove the weakness of archers as a shooting and HTH block are the other shooters in the game, which are not available to High Elves by the way. And once again we are taking about separate roles. Were I arguing for the archers to only serve as shooters, that might be a correct comparison. I'm not, I'm trying to establish that by giving them martial prowess they are a better seaguard, longer range, cheaper, and essentially as good in a fight (almost exactly as good as the seaguard in last edition).

As compared to pure spear, they have a save disadvantage only, which in my experience has played little part because the things they rely on their save against they likely are killing in droves (cheap, S3, no real armor to speak of troop), stand and shoot, rounds of shooting and ASF go a long way in those battles. Other troops with better weapons and saves tend to outmatch spear and archers equally, and those spear or archers just better hold long enough to get support from real high elf infantry units.

As I said before. Anywhere I've used spear (never really liked seaguard) I've now switched them to blocks of archers. May be a failed experiment but I'll see.

Lord Solar Plexus
24-05-2013, 06:44
Well, I think we can all agree that mindrazored Spearmen are a scary prospect for almost everything out there. However, magic is fickle, and close combat has its own perils. There's always the risk of not getting MR or not getting it through, and while it might seem trivial to mention, it can often mean the difference between crushing the opposing unit and being crushed. With shooting, not getting a T debuff through often doesn't result in such a drastic outcome.

Katastrophe
24-05-2013, 15:09
Mind razor on archers is pretty effective as well. Every buff that helps spear helps archers just as well.

Zoolander
24-05-2013, 16:19
Kats if you've already made up your mind why bother posting? You came here asking for advice and when most answers didn't agree wIth you, you adamantly defend your idea. Either new open to advice and criticism or don't bother.

For the record, Seaguard are much better than archers. But I usually take both.

boli
24-05-2013, 22:48
Well, I think we can all agree that mindrazored Spearmen are a scary prospect for almost everything out there.
They are also 'cheap' for HEs and can bring the ranks for steadfast. I've had a horde of MR spears smash through a horde-vermin before plowinging into and beating the clanrat Bunker. Mainly as the killed enough to break steadfast with 4/5 ranks.

Even without mindraser against basic troops they are scary.

Shakkara
24-05-2013, 23:48
I agree that there is no reason to take spears or seaguard as archers outperform both by such a huge margin.

Spearmen should have heavy armor and sea guard should have halberds, just like in the good old days. Then each unit has a particular strength. Now, spearmen and sea guard are quite 'meh'.

Katastrophe
25-05-2013, 18:35
Kats if you've already made up your mind why bother posting? You came here asking for advice and when most answers didn't agree wIth you, you adamantly defend your idea. Either new open to advice and criticism or don't bother.

For the record, Seaguard are much better than archers. But I usually take both.

Mathematically you're incorrect. Spear, archers and seaguard are effectively equal in HTH so their ability to shoot farther and more rounds makes them a better all around block.

It's not that I've made my mind up, as I said in an earlier post, may be a failed experiment, but I've been playing this game since 90 or 91 and some things just look obvious. Admitted some things play out differently than expected but not generally. Your answers lack any real depth or analysis. Some people have looked at the argument I've put forth and concluded similarly.

Others have just stated, spear are better or seaguard are better or said they can't outshoot other dedicated shooting, all of which miss the point completely. If you take archer blocks in the space and numbers you'd have taken Spear or Seaguard, I see no 'loss' in efficacy for the unit. In fact, I believe the unit becomes more effective because it increase in shooting makes up for the slight loss in HTH (and I do mean slight).

The same number of spear or seaguard against units they are supposed to engage, the work very similarly, within a wound or 2. But they'll get those back by shooting and stand and shoot.

Now if the argument is that spear get a magic banner, ok I'll take that. However, seaguard are the big loser in that they can't have a magic banner, have armor but a worse bow. I think. And I'll test today, that archers are a better core choice. But I can be convinced otherwise. Just not by taking your word that seaguard are better.

Zoolander
25-05-2013, 21:44
Seaguard have better armor and fight in an additional rank. How are they not better than archers? Show me mathematically. You could try to make the argument that archers are a better value because theyre cheaper but the way the units break down is this:

Archers are better at shooting
Seaguard are better at combat, and are more versatile.

SG are better than archers but cost more. If want slightly cheaper but worse in combat take archers. If you want better in combat and are willing to pay the difference get SG.

In any case it still sounds like you've made up your mind before you even posted, so the question why you bothered still remains.

HurrDurr
25-05-2013, 22:16
TLDR at bottom

It does seem like the OP just made this thread to defend his opinion instead of discuss what insight other members have to share, but I also think he is mostly correct but it isn't set in stone.

The idea is that for the most part the focus of cc is on the superhero units high elves have, people refer to core high elves as a "core tax" because they just take what they have to. Since you are looking at str3 attacks all round for the 3 core infantry all with "
I assume" the same stat line, the comparison becomes pretty simple. Cheap str 3 shots with 25% longer range, slightly more expensive shots at 24 inches but better safe and extra rank in close combat, or spears that I honestly think are horrible outside of a vacuum, but they have cheap "better save and extra rank" but for no shooting. There is no trick here, what unit do you need the extra rank to fight against that wouldn't suffer more from 2-4 rounds of shooting(comparing archer to spear). The only true benefit the extra rank and armor give is combat resolution generation, because after the rounds of shooting the archers cause more casualties overall than the spearmen. So unless it is some weird unit that is resistant to range fire and very susceptible to close combat, but also would break your unit and run it down without a 5+ and an extra rank of attacks, you should take archers.

Now comparing archers to lsg, they seem close enough that we are talking about very miniscule differences in numbers once youve hit the 750 points cap. I think overall LSG probably win this but that is only if you are utilizing their armorsave, archers are still a safer choice because they are less specialized in that they don't pay for equipment they might not use.

Now as soon as people throw around mind razor as justification for this instead of that then the discussion becomes very convoluted.

TLDR: Take pure archers unless you have a strict plan that says otherwise, or you know you are up against an army where LSG get good mileage from their save. Do not take spearmen.

Fenrir1
25-05-2013, 23:03
but you may use them to flank your phoenix guards close combat to molestrate their rank
i hope you didn't mean molester otherwise this conversion is getting interesting

The French Guy
25-05-2013, 23:31
My friend uses archers and silver helms as core, he doesn't need anything more than those and I agree with him.
Then he takes strong hand to hand units like lions and swordmasters.

Von Wibble
26-05-2013, 12:02
i hope you didn't mean molester otherwise this conversion is getting interesting

The molestar? A deathstar made of killer mole riders? Sounds like a rumour for the next edition dwarf book to me!

The French Guy - are ellyrian reavers not a good choice then? I see them as being similar in role to eagles, but actually capable of beating enemy chaff too.

The French Guy
26-05-2013, 12:16
Yeah, I totally agree, he usually lacks ways of dealing with chaffs/redirector tools.
He should get eagles or reavers IMO.

Asuryan's Spear
26-05-2013, 12:40
Yes they are similar when in combat when running 10x3 but realistically if your going 10x3 with spears you need your head checked... where SG and spears have the advantage in combat is the ability to put out more attacks over a smaller frontage and so limit the attacks back whilst still having a decent damage output. this makes them ideal for the function they serve: anvils and buses... if your looking to do damage with these guys then your not going to win very often. the shield and armour may not be the greatest in the world but when it comes to a slugfest it definitely tells

Fenrir1
27-05-2013, 16:52
i have actually read through this thread properly now and im gonna say i agree with kata not only on the grounds that they do everything spearnoobs do but no1 has said anything but "they give 5 extra attacks", "they have a better AS". I'm pretty sure he can read his book (i hope) im still waiting for a solid reason why to take anything but archers for the core of your core.

Von Wibble
27-05-2013, 21:25
Fenrir - Silver Helms win out for me personally. Out of the foot choices archers are coming out as best though.

One possible thing for spearmen - Moranion's Wayshard? Haven't tried it myself (my own core of late is admittedly both cavalry types plus archers, though the archers haven't done anything at all), but with spears at the back and chariots/phoenixes/cavalry at the front it could be very useful.

theunwantedbeing
27-05-2013, 22:08
i have actually read through this thread properly now and im gonna say i agree with kata not only on the grounds that they do everything spearnoobs do but no1 has said anything but "they give 5 extra attacks", "they have a better AS". I'm pretty sure he can read his book (i hope) im still waiting for a solid reason why to take anything but archers for the core of your core.

Silver helms are wayyyyyy better.
Nobody chooses the no save Archer over the 2+ save Knight with a Lance.

In anycase,
Spearmen are only for Combat, you fight in 4(5) ranks and get a 5+ armour save for protection. You can even give them a 25pt banner if you really want.
Archers are for shooting, they can work in combat as they fight in 3(4) ranks but with no save they do die very quickly.

They're much closer when facing St5+ foes because the save goes out of the equation.
Similarly, against foes they struggle to harm the difference is much closer as an extra 25-33% more damage is very little if you can only deal 1-2 wounds to begin with.

Sea Guard for 2pts/model do double juty.
They don't shoot quite so far, and they can't have that magical banner but it's a reasonable trade off if you're not using them on anything too difficult to deal with.

Silver Helms are still far superior though.
It's only when you start buffing the more numerous infantry that they become the better choice.

Shadeseraph
28-05-2013, 05:29
My personal opinion:
Neither archers nor spears are any good at cc. Nor LSG, for that matter. The difference between each other is fairly small. Your source of cc damage should come from cavalry, characters or specials.
What are HE core infantry good for? getting ranks to deny steadfast or, in case of archers/LSG, remove enemy chaff/redirectors which prevents your specials and cavalry from doing their job.

When would I take spears over archers? On an aggressive army, where I take the battle to the enemy lines. The steadfast breaker / anchor unit will be marching most of the time, to keep the pace of the rest of the army and to be where it's needed. If they are marching/charging most of the time, they aren't shooting. If they aren't going to shoot anyway I may as well take the cheaper version, even if it's only one point, add some bodies, and benefit from the added survability. Granted, most of the time that survability will amount to nothing, but it may help. I'd still take archers, but in small-ish units (10, 3 wide, or 15, 5 wide, with music most of the time), to take care of chaff.
Where would I be taking archers over spears? on defensive or avoidance armies. In that case, you won't need to move those archers too much other than swift reforms and normal moves, while still doing just a bit worse against pretty much only other core units (which amounts to about one or two points of combat resolution at most).

Lastly, another reason to pick spears is if I need a Banner of Discipline bunker for my archmage.

EDIT: Another point: spears become a lot more interesting when supported. I'm not talking just about magic (though that's important, too). A 5+ armor save gets a lot better when a frost phoenix drops the enemy S by one, and suddenly you still have a 5+ or 6+ AS against most things. The phoenix gives the block some killing power and a good level of resilience, and the spears give the phoenix static resolution and ranks to break steadfast. The archer can also do so, but benefit less from the -1S

Katastrophe
29-05-2013, 00:10
Thank you. Actually some food for thought.

UltraTacSgt
29-05-2013, 02:02
My personal opinion:
Neither archers nor spears are any good at cc. Nor LSG, for that matter. The difference between each other is fairly small. Your source of cc damage should come from cavalry, characters or specials.
What are HE core infantry good for? getting ranks to deny steadfast or, in case of archers/LSG, remove enemy chaff/redirectors which prevents your specials and cavalry from doing their job.

When would I take spears over archers? On an aggressive army, where I take the battle to the enemy lines. The steadfast breaker / anchor unit will be marching most of the time, to keep the pace of the rest of the army and to be where it's needed. If they are marching/charging most of the time, they aren't shooting. If they aren't going to shoot anyway I may as well take the cheaper version, even if it's only one point, add some bodies, and benefit from the added survability. Granted, most of the time that survability will amount to nothing, but it may help. I'd still take archers, but in small-ish units (10, 3 wide, or 15, 5 wide, with music most of the time), to take care of chaff.
Where would I be taking archers over spears? on defensive or avoidance armies. In that case, you won't need to move those archers too much other than swift reforms and normal moves, while still doing just a bit worse against pretty much only other core units (which amounts to about one or two points of combat resolution at most).


Is there a way to exalt a post on this forum?

I have been following this thread and Shadeseraph probably laid it out best (in my humble opinion).

It seems a number of people here are arguing for specific types of armies or uses for these units when overall army synergy is what really matters.

I am not as knowledgeable as most of you so I won't argue absolutes, but I can say that Spears are what my army needs from its core troops. I run a Mage, Swordmasters, Dragon Princes, and Reavers in my list, along with the occasional RBT. I get plenty of mobility from my Cav, plenty of punch-in-the-face from my SM's and DP's (side note: Dragon Princes are so so nasty), and my Mage can buff or damage as well as he needs to. What I need is a big fat block of something to throw in my enemies face so that they can't react to all the real threats I'm throwing at them, if it can do some damage then great, otherwise it just needs to hold thing up to give my other units opportunities to do their job. If I can get lucky and buff them with magic then that is gravy, with or without it they can put 30+ re-rolling attacks at something, and with the way I maneuver, if they get smashed by an enemy, that sets up an almost guaranteed flank charge from my other units. A Gleaming Pennant for 5pts is pretty great too in their intended roll of punching bag.

I can agree that on paper, archers and silver helms look like much better choices. I don't need shooting or more cavalry though, so I take my spears, and cheer those little underdogs on.

TL:DR - List synergy is all that really matters. Use your core for the role your special/rare/heroes don't fill.