View Full Version : How do Empire lists look these days?

Lord Hurin
07-09-2014, 19:20
I looked around for an Empire tactica, but couldn't find one. My question is fairly straighforward: what does an effective Empire list look like? Going with what I can remember I've got I might have, say:

30 Swordsmen
9 Halberdiers detachment
10 Handgunners detachment

30 Spearmen
10 Handgunners detachment
9 Militia detachment

18 Handgunners
9 Halberdiers detachment

12 Handgunners

8 Knights

8 Knights

Great Cannon

Great Cannon

6 Pistoliers

Obviously I'm missing characters and rare, but is this still a fair core for an army?

07-09-2014, 19:42
When looking at state troops it is generally felt that halberd >> swordsmen > spears. Hand gunners are nice enough models, and could be used, but are inferior to archers as they are move or shoot. You really won't find them in competitive lists usually. The Knights are great options.

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Smooth Boy
07-09-2014, 19:53
Griffin Knights are also seen to be very good at the moment, so if you like them you might want to add a block of 4 or so.

E: sorry I meant Demigryphs

07-09-2014, 19:56
Cavalry and armour is popular at the moment, BS-based shooting is not (bar the Hellblaster). Many lists will feature as many Demigryphs and regular/IC Knights as possible backed up by warmachines and STanks with a smattering of infantry for back-up.

08-09-2014, 00:52
Close combat infantry needs to be 50 men strong. Detachments are not used at all, except as 5 man archer detachments for chaff.

Handgunners are okay, most people don't use them at all. Don't take more than 20 (2 units of 10 no command).
Combine your spearmen and halberds to be all halberds (proxy). A big block of them is good.

Most people don't take anything but archer detachments and a single unit of halberdiers.

30 swordsmen are okay, militia are not used at all and are avoided like the plague. Convert them to swordsmen.

With your knights, usually people take a big unit of inner circle knights and the rest of their knights are in 5 man units with no command, as heavy chaff.

Cannons are still good. Helstorm sucks, so does mortar. Helblaster is good but add an engineer to make it twice as good.

You need a hurricanum, it makes infantry actually usable.

You need demigryphs. A unit of 4 is optimal. some people take 3 units of 4 because they are so unfairly good.

Greatswords and flagellants are very overcosted and don't see much action.

The other almost must take is a steam tank or two, most people love these things and often (unfairly) bring two.

All the characters are good. Warrior priests are a must, especially in your knights to get rerolls to hit from hatred when you charge.

Arch lector is your general if you want a general on foot, otherwise you want a grand master with a runefang in your knight unit.

A level 4 is a must. Take life for demis/steamtank list, take life for an infantry list, take heavens or shadow for all rounder spells.

08-09-2014, 02:37
On a converting note, I used militia and Bret Men @ Arms to bulk out my swordsmen and crossbows. You can create a bunch of nice unique looking models and those two packs come with 16 rather than the now usual 10 models meaning for the price of two boxes you can get an additional 12 models.

08-09-2014, 02:39
true. i buy state troops and militia then use halberds on the state trooper bodies and the swords on the militia.

Lord Hurin
08-09-2014, 08:16
Whoa, FIFTY men?? Just for survival, I suppose? Ah well, I'll see what I've still got left and where that will land me and perhaps bump it up as needed.

08-09-2014, 11:48
Lvl 4 on light
fighty character
Light council
cap on peg

40ish halberds


08-09-2014, 11:58
this is the 8th ed tactica thread, but there's a lot of pointless arguing which probably doesn't contain much more wisdom than stated here


08-09-2014, 12:04
i'm on pg18 of it, trying to glean some nuggets of wisdom for my fledgling army, but it's sucking my will to live :)

08-09-2014, 14:35
50 men, horde for halberdiers or greatswords. perhaps 40 ish can work for spearmen or swordsmen, not a horde.

see the thing is that most hammers out there can kill more than 10 state troops in a single round of combat, so you need 50.

so rule of thumb: infantry need to be 40+ (even greatswords or flagellants)

knights should be around 10 or more

demis 3-5 is good, 4 is perfect

08-09-2014, 15:27
The way to avoid your state troopers from dying is not to take them.

08-09-2014, 15:32
Wow okay. Good one.
But if you don't take them then ur not playing empire, ur playing "weeeee knights!"

08-09-2014, 15:48
You scoff but tactics do start in the list building stage. ;)
Using your same logic I could say 3 or 4 breeze block units of 50+ infantry is not playing empire it's playing skaven, unfortunately you just don't see state troopers these days (typically one bunker) but empire have plenty of other good stuff anyway.

08-09-2014, 15:54
Good point. And non empire players already expect empire to basically be bretonnia but with cannons.

Still, not gonna give up my 50 halberdiers or 50 swordsmen. Thems ma homies

08-09-2014, 16:59
That's great, but this thread isn't about your army it's about typical empire builds. Which sadly rarely feature mass infantry.

08-09-2014, 17:10
2nd place overall at Bayou Battles GT (92 man gt) was an empire player with plenty of state troops in his list. Just saying ...

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08-09-2014, 17:13
What was his list?
State troops are hard to use. Also even when they are used they usually are only halberdiers and archer detachments.

I actually think all cav empire is not as good as if it had some infantry, but it's EASIER to play for people who aren't very experienced.

08-09-2014, 17:31
He's from my local area, but I don't know his exact list. Like 50 halberds, a buff wagon, mage bunker, a couple of mages, some knights, 7 or 8 demis ... If I see him tomorrow if I remember I'll ask him about his list.

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08-09-2014, 17:43
Bayou battles has some funky comp, objectives and soft scores, the army looks great but I think it's probably a curve ball designed for a specific tournamnet.

i don't think any of the lists attending this years ETC had more than one state trooper unit.

08-09-2014, 18:04
There is no funky comp, it is soft to comp basically. Yes soft scores count, as they should. I wouldn't go to a gt where paint/soft scores didn't figure.

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08-09-2014, 19:07
I was calling it funky cuz there was very little, yet objectives and stuff thrown in aswel

08-09-2014, 19:18
i thought etc wasnt that bad, does it punish you for not taking state troops at all?

08-09-2014, 20:16
i thought etc wasnt that bad, does it punish you for not taking state troops at all?

Why would it?

Empire (2400pts)
• Models with strength 4 shooting weapons, max 45.
• Units of Knightly Orders, max 3.
• Demigryphs models, max 8.
• Cannon/Steam tank, max 3 in total.
• Cannon/Steam tank/Demigryph unit, max 4 in total.
• Crown of Command/Steam tank, max 1 in total.

08-09-2014, 20:50
The empire site has a ton of advice. It is a very strong army right now in our metagame.

Almost every Empire list has some combination of:
HellBalster volley gun with engineer with Cannon(s) (often one cannon near the engineer for when the HBVG is not in range)
Demigryph knight unit or units
Steam Tank (which double as cannons and are really hard to move or kill)
Some combination of wizards and empire war priests (one build has multiple lore of light wizards with an arch-lector on a war alter)

Core is a combination of empire knights and/or halberds with possible different detachments (often archers as a skirmisher screen to shooting and abiity to march and shoot; even handgunners can get a decent stand and shoot in and cut through armour for units marching forward; even militia with two hand weapons can deal with chaff and do some interesting things to hold stuff up and cut it down before getting into the main unit). I've seen all cav core and all infantry core being successful but more often I see a mix with a halberd horde plus smaller cav units being more common (especially with a war machine focus and arch lector on war altar or one of the the other two special chariots in the army). Generally, the main cav core unit is upgraded to inner circle knights with lances and larger but smaller cav units with either lances or great weapons is used to deal with smaller chaff and fast units threatening war machines (exchanging lances and shields for great weapons makes sense if one is facing a lot of S3 units and S3 or less shooting and magic but not if one expects to see a lot of S4 to S7 and/or AP shooting since the unsaved wound rate is significantly greater for 2+ AS than 1+ AS for such units facing such shooting, magic, or combat).

I strongly disagree with the idea of no detachments. I played a unit of 40 halberds with two small detachments and had a lot of succes with the small detachments used as engineer and wizard bunkers and also used those detachments to hold off and delay, redirect or to block charges. With the ability to keep the units stubborn or steadfast, I never lost the halberd block and the two detachments did enough work to keep it that way or even allow the halderd unit to clean something up late game for VPs.

If you run two steam tanks with 3 dg knights plus some additional war machines with an engineer, i think that would cross the line in terms of Op, broken and making people angry but two steam tanks with no dg knights and 1 HBVG and one cannon with an engineer is not OP. I am also surpised at how an arch lector on a war altar is able to survive when you have counterbattery fire (cannons and steam tank cannons) and target saturation (do they shoot a stank or dg knight unit with no ward save or risk firing at the arch lector and war alter with the ward saves and wounds which often can be recovered in part with a good life wizard nearby?).

08-09-2014, 21:36
you should read up on the griffin formation. you take 50 halberdiers and have 2 detachments each of 25 more halberdiers. you use them in conjuction with eachother to win. its REALLY HARD to do right.

thats the other thing, whether its "balanced" or "broken" or whatever, sometimes players pick the easy units and easy tactics even if the harder to learn ones are actually better

10-09-2014, 07:26
you should read up on the griffin formation. you take 50 halberdiers and have 2 detachments each of 25 more halberdiers. you use them in conjuction with eachother to win. its REALLY HARD to do right.

thats the other thing, whether its "balanced" or "broken" or whatever, sometimes players pick the easy units and easy tactics even if the harder to learn ones are actually better

Griffin formation is annoying because it's difficult for your opponent to keep track of. I recommend not using it with friends for the simple reason that it slows the game down requiring explanations and re-explanations and such.

One thing that's often never comped (unless the comp specifies that you can only have x amounts of one army entry) is Pidgeoneers. Whip out 7 of these chaps perhaps with a Heavens mage for Harmonic Convergence... and yea..

10-09-2014, 15:32
You know the stupidest thing about the empire? Pigeon bombs do more damage than mortars. That's rediculous.

And yeah that'd be crazy haha.

What do u mean, explanations? Like my unit moved here so that you can't do X next turn?

12-09-2014, 14:10
Like my unit moved here so that you can't do X next turn?

Keeping track of which detachment belong to which unit and hence is affected by what special rules from the parent unit.

Trust me..it gets clunky

12-09-2014, 15:19
For a mainly infantry list would people take a steam tank or luminark + hurricanium (250pts either way). The infantry support of the buff wagons is awesome but the steam tank adds a hammer and is so versatile. Thoughts?

12-09-2014, 15:46
Don't take a luminark unless you want no cannons. Take a hurricanum always, give your infantry +1 to hit, always. Then steam tanks are good but never put them in front of your lines. Always the flank! I saw a game once where a steamtank misfired 5 turns in a row keeping a unit of infantry from every advancing forwards.