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Dr.Zahnfleisch
08-10-2014, 22:07
Hello folks,

the Empire is looking more and more interesting to me, but I'm gonna need some advice how to field them. The goal is to build a small company of battle hardened men without any of that high fantasy shenanigans.
Greatswords with handgunner detachments are on the very top of my list, with an imperial general as a close second. Huntsmen, Warrior Priests and Knights are all welcome, but stuff like Demigryphs, Wizards and that fancy planetarium on wheels I won't have.

Basically, I want dwarfs with feathered hats and striped pants :)

How can I oppose enemies in the magic phase without fielding wizards? Are witch hunters a viable option for magic defense? Are knights worthwile? How do I dish out the pain? What about Mortars?


Please enlighten me!

EvanM
08-10-2014, 22:27
everything you say you want is pretty bad without also using everything you say you dont want

sad truth about empire: it sucks.

I am done playing them

essentially the only way to not gimp yourself is to take demigryphs, fluffy puffy buff wagons, wizards galore, and spam knights steam tanks and cannons.

all the infantry sucks and is overpriced. all the artillery other than the cannon and helblaster is uselessly bad. every character that isnt mounted on a barded warhorse is gonna be dead in one round of attacks.

the point is, goodluck. I dont think it can work. empire infantry is essentially goblins but twice as many points for VERY FEW things better about them than goblins.


Now people are gonna tell you "empire is a toolbox army" or "empire is a jack of all trades army" or "empire is a combined arms force" and give these as reasons why all of our stuff sucks monkey nuts. NO. NO.

empire is a gimmick army. the only difference between empire and beastmen is that we have some unnfairly good thing to spam at the enemy until they are dead: 1+ armor saves. thats it. nothing more. you cannot believe the fluff of the book or the background because it is not represented in the current rules.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I do not think you will have much fun trying to play the army thematically when the book is so horribly horribly unbalanced internally.

Dr.Zahnfleisch
08-10-2014, 22:40
You're painting a very dark picture there, but I'm still looking forward to doing this. First off, I'm not playing in a competitive environment, meaning no actual tournaments and within a group of people who field the stuff they like, as opposed to cookie cutter builds.
Although I'm aware that the empire is supposed to be a very mediocre army in every respect, I can't believe that is such an environment I will get trashed every single time I field the stuff I mentioned (and leave the rest out).

Judging from your comments, you are pretty frustrated having played this army, which leads me to believe that you are a person of rather competitive nature (correct me if I'm wrong).

Of course there are some compromises I'll most likely have to make, hence this thread, but there has to be a way to make this work.

N00B
08-10-2014, 23:00
Evan got it pretty much right - Empire is a real power army, but only if you go down one of two builds.

If you are happy to play a gunline it can be semi competitive though?

Dr.Zahnfleisch
08-10-2014, 23:17
Again, this is not about power levels or being competitive - these things can be adjusted. If I get horribly smashed against all my opponents (which, frankly, I refuse to believe), we will make adjustments.

What I am asking for is someone to tell me how the units I mentioned might interact in a way that makes sense.

EvanM
08-10-2014, 23:19
You're painting a very dark picture there, but I'm still looking forward to doing this. First off, I'm not playing in a competitive environment, meaning no actual tournaments and within a group of people who field the stuff they like, as opposed to cookie cutter builds.
Although I'm aware that the empire is supposed to be a very mediocre army in every respect, I can't believe that is such an environment I will get trashed every single time I field the stuff I mentioned (and leave the rest out).

Judging from your comments, you are pretty frustrated having played this army, which leads me to believe that you are a person of rather competitive nature (correct me if I'm wrong).

Of course there are some compromises I'll most likely have to make, hence this thread, but there has to be a way to make this work.

yeah first off im not that competitive. in a competitive environment or not, empire combined arms is a fricken joke. its like saying "i want to field a high elf army of almost entirely spearelves and archers". yeah right. that dont work.

if you do play without any wagons, any demis, any steam tanks and dont spam high level wizards or light council or take 3 cannons then you are severely gimped. you know how everyone says beastmen suck? you essentially become beastmen

I am very frustrated because even in an uncomp environment or even a fluffy environment our book sucks SOOO bad. seriously. compare it to anything and you'll see how bad it is.

the thing is that all empire players are romantics who think their army is the best because it wins even when its an underdog. NO. it doesnt. it fails. warhammer is a desolate post apocalyptic wasteland where fluff goes to die and uber crazy unfair builds reign supreme. no matter how you slice it, what you REALLY want is to play dwarves. You want dwarf playstyle but with humans and poofy hats. that doesnt work.

in fact even though dwarves are very balanced internally, they still suck because they dont have anything unfairly priced to spam at people with. In order to be competitive, youd need dwarf cannons to all be 50 pts each. then everyone could take 10 of them and blow everyone else up.


empire is..... just so depressing. i gave up on them.

N00B
08-10-2014, 23:35
Play dwarf army book but Empire models?

EvanM
08-10-2014, 23:45
you basically cant really effectively use the units you listed together in an effective way. thats what i am trying to say.

if you want to play empire you need to consider taking tanks demis a lvl4 wiz and wagons (probably all 3)

Dr.Zahnfleisch
08-10-2014, 23:45
Play dwarf army book but Empire models?

and glue state trooper heads onto fat little dwarf bodies? Worth a try, I'd say. XD

I understand that empire is a terrible, terrible army not worth of anyone's time except if they use op units. I really get it now, but that's not what I am asking.


Just pretend you are given only these units...how would you go about it? What if the game is only 500 points? How can I possible fit all these "essential" units into my army then?
What if I played a mirror match against the very same list?

N00B
09-10-2014, 00:07
I suggest a good starting point would be to take the units you want and negotiate with your playgroup either new rules of a points cost reduction. How do you feel about the other characters? Warrior priests, witch hunters and engineers?

draccan
09-10-2014, 00:09
I have to say I disagree with a lot of what is being said here. The Empire is one of the most versatile and powerful armies. They are not limited to just one or two builds, but have a plethora of options available to them. They have some of the best cavalry in the game that is priced cheaply enough to give them all sorts of backup and boosts. They have the ability to go gun heavy or infantry block heavy or do a balanced mix of infantry, shooting and cavalry. There is also the schism between cheap infantry (state troops / militia) and elite infantry (great swords and flagellants) The magic is cheap and very powerful and again with a lot of choices in terms of spell lores and other shenanigans.

I do agree with the point that your plans are too limiting and gimping yourself. For the War Altar and wizard wagons I think you can always do a conversion suiting the armies but using the wizard wagon rules. I particularly like the hurricanum and the added bonus to troops.

I know people who play with no wizards with moderate success at least. Warrior Priests used to be better, but they still pack a punch. I would suggest having a confused old man with a dispel scroll hang in the back in lieu of a wizard for balancing out your army.

In the end the game is what you make of it, but most top tier lists I have seen puts The Empire in the top tier. And you just can't beat the variety and amount of choice you get with Empire. You could use the Empire rules and create anything from Araby, Kislev, Pirates, Zealots / Witchhunters, Marienburgers or anything else you can think of.

If you don't like the steamtank, how about something more akin to the Landship with Steam Tank rules or some other vehicle with same base size and using the same rules.

And for a non-high fantasy wizard you could go with this guy:
http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/empire/65-venerable-taumaturgo.html
201359

Don't let yourself get discouraged, but find a way to incorporate some of the wagons, steam tank, monsters and magic in way that still preserves your idea...

EvanM
09-10-2014, 00:21
I have to say I disagree with a lot of what is being said here. The Empire is one of the most versatile and powerful armies. They are not limited to just one or two builds, but have a plethora of options available to them. They have some of the best cavalry in the game that is priced cheaply enough to give them all sorts of backup and boosts. They have the ability to go gun heavy or infantry block heavy or do a balanced mix of infantry, shooting and cavalry. There is also the schism between cheap infantry (state troops / militia) and elite infantry (great swords and flagellants) The magic is cheap and very powerful and again with a lot of choices in terms of spell lores and other shenanigans.


this.

this is what a lot of people think but they are wrong. essentially due to bad internal balance you CANNOT do this.

sure the units exist, yes, but if a goblin was 20 pts each and an orc was 3 pts each, what would you take? you could still make the argument "sure i guess you still can play all goblins..." but NOOOOOO. you cannttt, not really. if you play empire infantry then you are losing about 1-2 pts off your army for each and every individual guy.

everyone has this idea of how empire works and says they are good, they have lots of options... NO.

like 4 armies have cannons now. like 8 armies have access to more lores than we do. every single army has access to stubborn (used to be an only greatswords thing). Empire, the army that does everything decently but nothing well, is DEAD. DEAD. DEAD.

we are now just like everyone else: a gimmick army with one single good build except that our "not good" choices are even worse than just sub optimal, they are rediculous.

you can compare our troops to elves, orcs, skaven, whatever. no matter what you see a massive inconsistency in our cost vs what they cost.

bottom line: we cant do anything that every other army cant also do too, so we dont have that going for us, and theres only a small amount of stuff that we do GOOD compared to them, and that is ONLY the 1+ armor save spam.




however if you want to play themed empire i do agree that you could convert wagons, priests, tanks, demis to be more suitable fluff pieces if you dont like the way these units look.

Dr.Zahnfleisch
09-10-2014, 00:22
Well, this particular confused old man looks amazing indeed. Do you know how he compares to GW-stuff in size?

That's exactly what I meant when I said "adjustments". If I have to use a wizard to not get slaughtered, I'll think of something.

draccan
09-10-2014, 00:25
Gamezone Miniatures Empire is very similar to GW Empire. If you rank their cavalry up in the same unit there may be small differences, but for a character like that, no problem!

draccan
09-10-2014, 00:25
this.

this is what a lot of people think but they are wrong. essentially due to bad internal balance you CANNOT do this.

sure the units exist, yes, but if a goblin was 20 pts each and an orc was 3 pts each, what would you take? you could still make the argument "sure i guess you still can play all goblins..." but NOOOOOO. you cannttt, not really. if you play empire infantry then you are losing about 1-2 pts off your army for each and every individual guy.

everyone has this idea of how empire works and says they are good, they have lots of options... NO.

like 4 armies have cannons now. like 8 armies have access to more lores than we do. every single army has access to stubborn (used to be an only greatswords thing). Empire, the army that does everything decently but nothing well, is DEAD. DEAD. DEAD.

we are now just like everyone else: a gimmick army with one single good build except that our "not good" choices are even worse than just sub optimal, they are rediculous.

you can compare our troops to elves, orcs, skaven, whatever. no matter what you see a massive inconsistency in our cost vs what they cost.

bottom line: we cant do anything that every other army cant also do too, so we dont have that going for us, and theres only a small amount of stuff that we do GOOD compared to them, and that is ONLY the 1+ armor save spam.




however if you want to play themed empire i do agree that you could convert wagons, priests, tanks, demis to be more suitable fluff pieces if you dont like the way these units look.

So what's this one and only super build acc. to you?

EvanM
09-10-2014, 00:41
So what's this one and only super build acc. to you?

2 steam tanks
cannons (2-3)
helblasters (1-2)
2 demigryphs (unit of 4)
hurricanum and maybe luminark for extra magic power and buffing the main combat block
big unit of inner circle knights, maybe 16 of them or even more with all the non wizard characters in there
10 archers as a bunker for your lvl4
chaff to taste, usually 5 man vanilla knights or 5 man archer detachments
SOMETIMES you can run 50 halberdiers in a horde to protect the bunker/wagons but usually its only knights

you need a level 4. the best way (IMO) is to take your general as an arch lector on the war altar, then a lvl 4 and 3 lvl 1's all lore of light. you stick all the wizards in the archer bunker and keep it near the war altar and you spam 2 banishments a turn, both of them at like S8.

if you dont go for that, then a lvl 4 life is good to infinitely heal the steamtanks while your army is led by a grand master with runefang in the ICK unit, with a warrior priest and a BSB guy in thee too.


this is the UBER build i am talking about. taking more than 60 infantry men means you are not playing optimally. not taking a light council, 2 demi units, 2 tanks, 3 cannons also means you are pretty much screwed.

anyways trying to run a greatsword horde with handgunner detachments is absolutely horrible.

you cannot have any infantry other than archers and halberdiers. every other infantry unit is very very overcosted. these two are only minorly inefficient.

Dr.Zahnfleisch
09-10-2014, 00:53
2 steam tanks
cannons (2-3)
helblasters (1-2)
2 demigryphs (unit of 4)
hurricanum and maybe luminark for extra magic power and buffing the main combat block
big unit of inner circle knights, maybe 16 of them or even more with all the non wizard characters in there
10 archers as a bunker for your lvl4
chaff to taste, usually 5 man vanilla knights or 5 man archer detachments
SOMETIMES you can run 50 halberdiers in a horde to protect the bunker/wagons but usually its only knights

you need a level 4. the best way (IMO) is to take your general as an arch lector on the war altar, then a lvl 4 and 3 lvl 1's all lore of light. you stick all the wizards in the archer bunker and keep it near the war altar and you spam 2 banishments a turn, both of them at like S8.

if you dont go for that, then a lvl 4 life is good to infinitely heal the steamtanks while your army is led by a grand master with runefang in the ICK unit, with a warrior priest and a BSB guy in thee too.


this is the UBER build i am talking about. taking more than 60 infantry men means you are not playing optimally. not taking a light council, 2 demi units, 2 tanks, 3 cannons also means you are pretty much screwed.

anyways trying to run a greatsword horde with handgunner detachments is absolutely horrible.

you cannot have any infantry other than archers and halberdiers. every other infantry unit is very very overcosted. these two are only minorly inefficient.


All these recommendations are tailored to very specific circumstances, which are not the ones I am facing.

Who cares if our infatry is overcosted? Other armies have overcosted units, too, don't they?

Your premise is that everyone is playing "optimally" which in reality is far from true. Again, this is not about cost/performance but mechanics. Would you rather have melee detachments for Greatswords? If so, why?
"You cannot have any infantry other than archers and halberdiers" also sounds more min/max than anything else. If that's the case, how come people are successfully fielding pike and shot setups?

It's not debatable whether or not I will be using these units, it's a matter of how to approach this particular setup.

EvanM
09-10-2014, 01:29
All these recommendations are tailored to very specific circumstances, which are not the ones I am facing.

Who cares if our infatry is overcosted? Other armies have overcosted units, too, don't they?

Your premise is that everyone is playing "optimally" which in reality is far from true. Again, this is not about cost/performance but mechanics. Would you rather have melee detachments for Greatswords? If so, why?
"You cannot have any infantry other than archers and halberdiers" also sounds more min/max than anything else. If that's the case, how come people are successfully fielding pike and shot setups?

It's not debatable whether or not I will be using these units, it's a matter of how to approach this particular setup.

My recommendations are to a specific army list build but not because it needs to counter a specific opponent or anything.

other armies DONT have that many over costed units and often avoid using them. Our issue is that ALL of our infantry is not great. see if it was simply use spearmen and not militia, thatd be one thing, but thats not the issue here.

you need an army that can fight elves, orcs, chaos, and ogres. whether or not they use their optimal units or not, our sub optimal units cannot compete with these opponents. The thing is that our infantry essentially doesnt do anything, they are literally exactly the same as goblins except we cost twice as much for no reason. what I am trying to say is that it IS a big deal to choose our infantry over other units we have. you are just getting a big blob of wounds that are only there to die slowly.

it doesnt matter if everyone is playing optimally or not, truthfully empire is full of awesome choices that mostly suck. you cant run big units of free company or flagellants. Its a HUGE deal and i am just trying to help you not make any mistakes in deciding on this.


the BIGGEST problem with new empire players is that they want the army to be something that its not. you have this romantic notion of the army that just isnt how the army really works, whether you are uber competitive or not.

pike and shotte does not work. detachments of handgunners shoot and do no damage, then get panicked off the board or get ignored because they never do anything anyway. our shooters cost 2 or maybe even 3 points more than they should.

people TRY to play empire all these different ways and its just pretty mehhh. thats all i am trying to say.




the problem with detachments is that they suck. you cant support charge anymore, and when you are getting attacked its super easy for the opponent to either charge his deathstar into your detachment and make it explode or they just tarpit the detachment for several turns while their deathstar destroys the parent unit.

greatswords are 2-3 pts more than they should cost, compare them to white lions.... seriously. M5, I5, WS5, S4, LD9, strider, ASF and martial prowess. ALL OF THAT FOR 2 PTS MORE THAN GREATSWORDS.

thats the biggest what the FFFFFFFFF comparison. and dont tell me the armor or detachment rule makes up for it, white lions have their own armor that helps vs shooting which is nice and detachments suck anyways regardless of what you do with them.

Dr.Zahnfleisch
09-10-2014, 01:50
I don't know how to make it much clearer: I do not care about the power level of the units I mentioned compared to other units, especially not units from other armies. Of course are elves better than humans. They also happen to have had their army book released only recently, so of course they are priced more favourably in order to make them more attractive for people to buy them. I accept that there might be a vast imbalance within the armybook itself and between different books. Warhammer is not very well suited as a competitive game for that very reason and I'm cool with that.

I appreciate you trying to prevent me from doing a horrible mistake, but I feel that you are missing the point here. This is about fielding the army I want to field, regardless of effectiveness. If it turns out that it is too weak compared to my opponents' armies, we will find an appropriate solution. I might add a unit (like the wizard that was mentioned earlier) or we'll adjust the point cost. It's a non-issue, you see?

All I want to know is how the units I mentioned are supposed to interact. Imagine somebody asks you to play using only these units agains a list that is just as strong (or weak). See it as a challenge, if you will :)

rolly_321
09-10-2014, 03:21
If you want to go heavy infantry you need to use the correct tactics. They are expensive for what you get, but it's not impossible. The difference with empire infantry and say goblins isn't the marginal stat difference it's that you pay points for a rule that is situational and that most players have no idea how to use. The rule I'm referring to is the detachment system.

Check out this tactica for some really useful tips.. http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=42921.0

Much like the old wood elves book from 7th ed in 8th, it's a style with a huge learning curve that is generally considered one of weakest out there until you work out its really unique play style at which point its actually surprisingly effective. The old WE book was one dimensional though, it was based around glade riders and warhawk spam - every game ends in a draw or minor victory and its rather boring as you spend the entire game avoiding anything and focusing fire on chaff (for a small portion of VPs). With Empire you get a lot more options, although that said, if you are flat out avoiding anything 'high fantasy' you make a challenging build (to use) more challenging.

Another really important part of the Empire is the BSB, personally I think he's generally to vulnerable for magic banners because he needs defense.

That said, if you take a knight deathstar give him the griffon standard, the 1+ save isn't too bad and counting your ranks as double is a god send for cavalry.

EvanM
09-10-2014, 03:53
i agree completely.

one thing i suggest is that you dont spend any more points on characters than you have to. warrior priests die way too easily. we need a wizard, but any of our fighting characters suck and are a waste of points.

just take 1 or 2 level 4 wizards, and a BSB, then tons of troops and warmachines.

liddan
09-10-2014, 05:30
Well they won't interact all that much in the same sense that a support unit or model buffs the other(s).

Your greatswords will stand there and wait while your handgunners and huntsmen make feeble attempts at shooting :) When the enemy comes into charge distance (which is unlikely he will, you'd be surprised how many armies outrange empire) you will charge him with your greatswords. You will probably hold your ground for 1-2 combats before your greatswords are gone. They are stubborn which is super and lets you freely use the horde formation but the damage output and survivability leaves much to be desired. It's a great unit for a warrior priest and a witch hunter but don't expect them to go toe-to-toe with any elite unit and alot of the core units even with those characters in it.

ICK is quite nice for core and you said you were ok with them. A S6 charge may sound impressive but still, you will probably do about 12 attacks which will result in 6-8 hits. That won't kill off any main block and isn't actually that impressive considering alot of armies have S4 great weapon or atleast S5 in rank-and-file units.
Just remember that after the first combat they are simple S4 T3 models so you can't expect them to outlast any medium or larger rank-and-file unit. Alot of armies have sufficently high strenght on their rank-and-file units to counter your excellent army save, some of them even in core. Beware of that.

It's hard to find synergies and "make it work" when leaving out the stronger parts of the army list. It's like dropping someone off on a desert island with a my little pony playset and go "use this my little pony playset to the best of your abilities". Sure you can do some stuff with it but most likely you'll be left sitting there staining princess sparkle's mane with your tears :)

I Am Forsaken
09-10-2014, 07:10
I am by no means an empire expert, but I thought I might chime in here because I feel that one of my opponents armies might be exactly what your looking for. Our group is fairly competitive, we don't use any comp and have a mix of the usual "netlists" (boy I hate that word) as well as players how have devised their own lists and done really well with what might not be considered the norm for certain armies. Our resident empire player is a medieval historian and has built an army without all the high fantasy stuff, and has one of the better records in our group. We play at 2400-2500 points and his list looks roughly like this:

13 Inner Circle Knights with (Warrior Priest or Luthor Huss) and (Grand Master or General of the Empire)
Horde of Greatswords with Warrior Priest and Captain BSB
2 small units of handgunners (i dont think he takes them as detachments to the GS tho)
2 cannons, 1 mortar and 1 volley gun, with an engineer close by
another unit of state troopers (forget which type but they basically are there to make up the minimum core)
smallish unit of flagellants

Also despite what everyone says you don't need a lvl 4 wizard. I play mono khonre with both Warriors and Daemons of Chaos and do quite well, but again I'm not too familiar with playing empire myself.

Wesser
09-10-2014, 09:44
Hold on guys

You can make a solid force without using Hurricanums, Steam Tanks, demigryphs, spamming Cannons or even wizards. I myself chafed at all the goofy must-take stuff.....

What you can't do however is to make one without 1+ saves and Warrior Priests.


The key is understanding that Empire isn't especially good at combat, nor got many tricks to play when it comes to shooting. However unlike dwarves or VC for example there's no glaring weaknesses either. The Empire invites to actually make a balanced army and the best way to play them is actually to combine a few solid halberdier blocks backed by warrior priests and BsB, 1 or 2 units of knights and whatever "joker-units" you like or fits your meta.

Flagellants, Outriders and Griffon Lords (Bloodroar) are examples of the big risk/high potential units that can easily give your opponents a nasty shock. I always field one such to give me a wildcard alongside the more dependable units that makes up the core of the army.

Basically the core of the army is that you use artillery to take out monsters and other stuff Empire really really can't take in combat. Then you set the halberdiers on anything which modify armour saves (White Lions, Nurgle Halberds..) and your knights on low str stuff that would paste your infantry (basically anything elven)

Realistically Crossbowmen, Swordsmen, Handgunners, Mortars and Spearmen are fluff units that you can't expect to do an awful lot... (Greatswords have some uses due to their stubborn, but are probably overpriced for what they do)

A "competitive" German renaissance inspired army would probably be: Halberdiers, Knights, Reiksguard, Helblaster, Cannon, Flagellants, archers and Outriders


Empire certainly can win outside the goofy Steam Tank/Demigryph netlists, but you have to be careful and be clever with your knights and Warrior Priests

boli
09-10-2014, 10:54
The best lists I've seen are actually light council lists; as aside from taking multiple wizards they do offer combined arms which has a good chance of winning against even the biggest min-maxed list.

They allow an infantry heavy list, mobile striking power and ranged artillery; the trick is to stack the buffs from Warrior Priests, Buff Wagons and the Lore of Light.

greatswords, Flaggents and especially the cheaper Halbadiers Hordes all start to shine then.

Yes; this can all be classed as "fluffy" but takign a light council does allow for a combined arms approach more than any other.

Banville
09-10-2014, 11:37
Take whatever you want. Play with whatever models take your fancy. If you come on Warseer expect a few knee-jerk DOOOOOOOM posts. Ignore them. It's perfectly feasible to use a Renaissance-themed Empire army ignoring the high fantasy stuff. It's also quite fun. You might not win any tournies with it but then again only one person can ever win a competition. I'd rather be happy with my little army of toy soldiers and be confident about having fun with my opponent than winning at all costs.

The day you invest your entire self-esteem in how your plastic soldiers perform in a game based on probability and luck, is the day you should put down the dice, go for a walk in the countryside and then meet up with some friends for a pint. For that way lies madness.

rolly_321
09-10-2014, 11:39
My 2500 infantry heavy list looks like this:

Arch Lector 200
Armor of Silvered Steel
Cloak of Ulric
Great Weapon

L4 Wizard Lord 240
Speculum

Captain of the Empire BsB 99
Full plate & Enchanted Shield

50 Halberds Full Command 330
• 10 Crossbows 90
• 25 Swordsmen 175

50 Greatswords 590
Full Command
Flaming Banner
• 25 Swordsmen 175
• 10 Handguns 90

10 Archers 70

10 Archers 70

Great cannon 120

Streamtank 250

I try to actually make the most of the detachment system and I've had a fairly good success rate (and no knights! shock horror!). To be fair I'm not uber competitive and neither is my meta but I've taken it against some of the nastier builds and it holds it's own. If you exchange the Stank and wizard for some knights you have a no high-fantasy list.

CountUlrich
09-10-2014, 13:02
Ignore Evan he is an idiot. Empire is an army that is extremely competitive, they win and finish highly in GTs all over the world, a d with a variety of bhilds. There is NOT only one or two possible builds.

As others have said though, wizards, buff wagons, steam tanks, demigriffs, cannons and hell blaster volley guns are some of the stars of the army and it sounds like you want to avoid most of that.

You mentioned a general of the army, I will say that a grandmaster and/or arch lector are both far supperior to act as your general. Warrior priests. Take a witch hu ter with ruby ring of ruin and he can snipe out enemy characters VERY effectively while giving a nice buff to the unit he is in.

You mentioned hand gunner detachments, archers are far supperior. Handgunners can't move and shoot, and so even reforming to face a flanking unit keeps them from then firing. It means they are easily out maneuvered and rendered useless.

draccan
09-10-2014, 13:09
I disagree with Evan too, but let's refrain from name-calling please!

The only real gripe I have with The Empire army units are handgunners. Such an iconic unit and yet archers like others said are the only efficient shooting unit of those two. I hope they recitify this shortcoming in an upcoming book.

I wouldn't underestimate huge blocks of halberdiers with a warrior priest and possible a converted Hurricanum (into something low fantasy). They can take a beating and still deliver a punch. Put greatswords and knights at flanks of a couple of state troop hordes with detachments and you have a solid core that can be interspersed with war machines.

CountUlrich is right about The Empire ranking high in tournaments. But as Dr. Z. said it isn't about being super competitive...

Either or The Empire is a great army to start with and should be getting a book as soon as 9th ed. hits the street...

Banville
09-10-2014, 13:16
I wouldn't completely discount handgunners, either. S4 and armour piercing is nothing to sneeze at. I agree, the lack of mobility is a negative but you're not going to be moving them much anyway. And if people want to invest a decent unit to take them out, then fair enough. And it will take a decent unit because their stand and shoot reaction will total most chaff units.

CountUlrich
09-10-2014, 13:19
I disagree with Empire being a great starter army actually. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't start with them ... in this hobby the most important thing is to pick an army whose look and fluff you are interested and inspired by; picking based on game related or power level terms will never maintain interest, pick an army that you love and you can't go wrong.

That said, Empire has really poor internal ballance, and the way it relies on combined arms and proper balance i think actually makes it an army with a real learning curve for new players. Also one that can cause wasted dollars if you buy certain units that are so poor in that mentioned badly internally balanced book.

Ayin
09-10-2014, 14:03
I wouldn't completely discount handgunners, either. S4 and armour piercing is nothing to sneeze at. I agree, the lack of mobility is a negative but you're not going to be moving them much anyway. And if people want to invest a decent unit to take them out, then fair enough. And it will take a decent unit because their stand and shoot reaction will total most chaff units.

It's not just the lack of mobility, it's the cost vs what you can actually expect them to do. Spending most of the game hitting on 5's is not a great investment when the unit is expensive. Stand and Shoot is a joke for a unit that's going to be hitting on 5's or worse.

There are undoubtedly good Empire Builds, and you can make a fair few things work even if they're not optimal, but you can't put too much into the bad units and expect to have good games.

You CAN include:
-Spearmen
-Pistoliers
-Handgunners
-Mortars
-Rocket Batteries

And several other units but you can't expect to have good games if you take mostly those, or even 'more than a few'.


Honestly, your army sounds EXACTLY like what mine was LAST edition. It was a large unit of spears backed by Crossbows, Greatswords backed by Handguns and swordsmen, then had three units of pistoliers, two mortars, and a few other things. It's not just the change of Empire book, but also the change of edition rules that make that army nearly impossible-to-explain bad. If nothing else, just realize that army is nowhere near what anyone would consider powerful, and yet it went up something like 200pts+ (from 2400 to something near 2700), lost nearly half it's points of Core (and no longer had enough core to be legal), and was now WAY over it's points in Special (pretty much doubled).

Dr.Zahnfleisch
09-10-2014, 14:41
Thanks for all your insight, I think I'm getting a clearer picture now.

I suppose I will stick to the general idea and keep adding stuff that I feel is necessary after playing my first games. My reluctance to field "high fantasy" units comes mostly from the fact that I don't like their particular design (Demigryphs, Griffons and the buff-carts come to mind), but this can be worked around by conversions.

In fact, I do like the idea of a character on a griffon, because I feel that it is very iconic (yes, I know it's considered weak). I also happen to have a spare griffon from the island of blood set, which does not look as silly as the current GW-iteration of the imperial griffon.

Handgunners might not be optimal, but they look great and, who knows, in future books they might become a more effective choice. By the time I'm finished painting everything a new book will be out most likely anyway :P

rolly_321
09-10-2014, 14:49
If you're playing with friends I can't recommend highly enough the value of 'counts-as' models. In the long run there is nothing worse than looking at an unpainted army of random stuff, but for getting the feel of units and stating up games without having to invest tons of time and money strait up its invaluable.

I made the mistake of buying lots of Eternal guard for my wood elves last edition because I liked the models, after a few games I realised I hated how they played... I wish I had made that realization BEFORE spending all that money on those ridiculously priced blister packs.. I live in Australia too.

CountUlrich
09-10-2014, 14:55
If you would be open to demigriffs with conversions, the space wolves thunderwolf cav make amazing looking "demiwolves", i used them in my empire army.

Ayin
09-10-2014, 15:28
Thanks for all your insight, I think I'm getting a clearer picture now.

I suppose I will stick to the general idea and keep adding stuff that I feel is necessary after playing my first games. My reluctance to field "high fantasy" units comes mostly from the fact that I don't like their particular design (Demigryphs, Griffons and the buff-carts come to mind), but this can be worked around by conversions.


As an old Dogs of War player, conversions and re-imaginings of Empire units are fun, not that hard, and really let you mix in the stuff that works. Instead of a solar system or magik laser on a chariot, for example, mine is a Pay cart (goes with the Paymaster idea), overflowing with gold coins, and topped with a heroic statue (made of gold). It does great to 'inspire' the troops (+1 to hit) and a little bit of pilfered Lizardmen gold explains the magic.




Handgunners might not be optimal, but they look great and, who knows, in future books they might become a more effective choice. By the time I'm finished painting everything a new book will be out most likely anyway :P

This should not be overlooked when starting to collect an army or building one up. Lots of things that aren't good now are going to be good later, and the opposite is also true. The absoute LAST thing you want to do is buy models based on their rules if you don't LIKE the model. Better to have nice looking models that you like and are happy with that are okay now (and hopefully better later) than fill your force with some out of scale, 20 year old plastic (like Empire Knights...) in great quantity just because they happen to be better than the other option for a few more months.


The 'Counts As' votes are key as well. A big block of any FINISHED troops looks a lot better and will make you happier than a bunch of mismatched or never completed troops, even if their spears do count as Halberds when you use them (and you really should count your spears as Halberds). My Empire line Infantry are carrying Pikes (old Dogs of War Player), they count as Halberds. i would LIKE them to count as spears, but I'm far more happy fielding a unit I like, that is complete, that is GOOD in the game, than trying to stick as close as I can rules-wise to what they SHOULD be. Similarly, I converted all of my armoured Crossbowmen to armoured Handgunners. As this edition goes, it was a mistake, but I'm not turning them back just so GW can decide next edition all Blackpowder weapons get +D6" to their range the first time they fire or some such.

The moral of all this is that you should be able to make an army you like the LOOKS of, that includes a few units you like the idea of, that still includes enough things with rules to allow you to play good games. You don't HAVE to take all the bad things as the actual bad things they are, and you don't have to ignore the best rule-wise choices because you don't like the models (don't like Demi-Gryphs? Mod Chaos Steeds and Empire riders 2/Demigryph Base to look like a unit of huge men on giant horses making a disordered charge).

EvanM
09-10-2014, 16:15
Okay I fixed empire with 1 single simple house rule:

Any unit that can be a parent/detachment can "support" another unit that can be a parent/detachment in exactly the same way as a detachment would as long as it's within 6".

Now the detachment rule would apply no matter what, to all infantry units, you don't need specific detachments for specific parents. Also the size of both units doesn't matter.

This means you could have a greatsword unit with a general, warrior priest, and witch hunter and every infantry unit within 6" would get stubborn, cold blooded, hatred, prayers, and MR2.

Also, no matter which on the units gets charged, you have at least one unit in position to counter charge.

Maybe try this houserule to make the non high fantasy empire army workable.

What do you think of that?

Ayin
09-10-2014, 16:59
That makes their infantry gimmick rule more powerful, but does nothing to fix the majority of issues the army faces. Spearmen are still terrible compared to Halberds, Pistoliers are still vastly over-costed, Mortars don't perform to their cost and are not even close to being competitive with Cannons, Ranged units gain little to nothing from the detachment rules (as they lost the ignoring the standard S&S penalty to support another unit) and as such are paying points for a rule that doesn't help them (hatred doesn't help shooting, nor stubborn against panic from return fire, ect.) while still being outclassed by the shooting units of other armies point for point, casters still have no reason to be mounted on Luminarks/Hurricanums, ect.

The main problem with Empire is that they have so many options that are just not good, compared to other things in the book, compared to other books, or even taken entirely in a vacuum.

EvanM
09-10-2014, 17:07
Very true. Probably a point reposting and this change to the support unit rule would work fine, maybe with more perks like ignoring panic from some things. I don't know. At the least you'd be able to use all the buffs empire can get without them all getting killed off in the first round of combat by basic soldiers

Ayin
09-10-2014, 19:21
I think it's safe to say when half of the unit options in a book are poorly done, there's no simple fix besides just waiting for a new book. As it's been years since it's release, it's probably pretty safe to put things like this:

Good Units
-Demigryphs (were considered stupid good, now much more in line with the things that have come later, but a rock solid choice and a great investment in points)
-Knights (in pretty much any form. Reiksguard don't get as much attention, but they're still in here)
-Steam Tank (with the increase in the availability of monsters and ESPECIALLY cannons it's no longer super surviveable, but generally still worth it)
-Huricanum (+1 to hit is one of the best buffs you can get in the whole army)
-Cannon (no matter who else has them or what theirs can do that ours can't, it's a solid choice)
-Helblaster (mostly with an Engineer)
-Halberdiers (best infantry unit available)
-Archers

Okay Units
-Luminark (buffs just not as good as Huricanum)
-Greatswords (just so expensive, you lose out on so much army to take them, but can still be used effectively)
-Crossbows (and possibly Handguns, opinions are split here, but they're not great and you can easily leave both at home)
-Outriders
-Flagelants (though I think they deserve to be a space lower)
-Swordsmen (way expensive, but are at least different in concept to Halberds)

Poor Units
-Pistoliers (you can use them if you want, I do, but they are pretty much the perfect example of what's wrong with the Empire book)
-Mortars (shockingly bad)
-Hellstorm Rockets (see above)
-Free Company (just take Halberds)
-Spearmen (just take Halberds)
-Huntsmen (ugh.)



As long as any Empire army makes most of it's selections from "Good" it can afford a few "okay" or even a "poor" and still have a fun game (by 'fun' I mean have a chance to feel like you had a chance at winning). If your selections are going the other way... you're in trouble. This is why my previous build of Greatswords (okay) backed by Handguns (okay/poor) and Swordsmen (okay), supported by Mortars (poor) and Pistoliers (poor) had to be pretty much abandoned.

Wesser
10-10-2014, 06:49
You forget that without a Hurricanum, Warrior Priest or War Altar nearby then even Halberdiers aren't worth their points.

It's really only Demigryphs, Flaggies, Mortars and Steam Tank you can get away with judging in a vacuum (and I think the Steam Tank stinks....). The rest is subject to the "Yea, but what support are you getting them?" special rule

pinktaco
10-10-2014, 08:36
I think you should be very aware of how your own group plays. It's super important to differentiate between how the usually more competitive forum player plays compared to one who's purely on it for the fun of it aka casual.

As you can see a lot of people have been going on about how shltty half the book is. What does it really matter though? In my last game I played against a horde of ungors and a gorgon. Not exactly good choices. But we had fun and that's was it was all about. I've also played vs the new dryads and my friend is painting up eternal guards - both units not favored and the dryads are down right bad.

You can very well make fun and balanced lists as long as you're aware of how each unit works and how good/bad they are. Obviously if you fill up your army with sub-optimal units you'll have a very hard time, but nothing is stopping you from being able to win if you should decide to include flaggelants and not include demis.

Just be mindful though that the empire kinda lacks hard hitting units. I mean S6 inner circle knights on the charge is fine, but you got to make sure you can kill what you charges otherwise they're stuck.

I still think you can make a good army with inner circle knights, reiksguards, cannons, halbards, warriors priests and a couple of dubious choices such as a small unit of flaggelants to flank charge.

Warrior priest + wyssan's wildforn + halbard horde can make for an interesting unit although that's also stacking the odds. Should the priest live long enough the halbard horde could potentially do roughly 15 wounds against T4 models. That's not bad. But maybe you don't want any magic at all in which case it's even more of an uphill struggle.

EvanM
10-10-2014, 14:13
Support units ain't free. Still not worth the points. Until empire gets to have detachments that are bigger than the parent unit and can have them for greatswords that count as core then we will suck eternally.

Ayin
10-10-2014, 14:19
You forget that without a Hurricanum, Warrior Priest or War Altar nearby then even Halberdiers aren't worth their points.


I'd argue that they're not worth THEIR points when those things are nearby, since the rise in effectiveness you are getting is being paid for seperately in the cost of purchasing those additional units, but that's not really here nor there.

CountUlrich
10-10-2014, 14:19
Support units ain't free. Still not worth the points. Until empire gets to have detachments that are bigger than the parent unit and can have them for greatswords that count as core then we will suck eternally.
If by "suck" you mean win and place highly in GTs all over the world, using a variety of different builds and tactics, sure.

EvanM
10-10-2014, 14:31
If by "suck" you mean win and place highly in GTs all over the world, using a variety of different builds and tactics, sure.

if by "win" you mean win at GTs because of 1+ armor spam and excessive use of our amazing units ALL of which are not infantry.

Ayin
10-10-2014, 14:38
I've no doubt many great players play well built Empire armies well and can take them pretty high, but I'd argue that very near every Empire army that has done well still conforms to my general grouping of units above (with the vast majority of selections coming from 'good' with room for one or two 'okay'). They no doubt have variety, but (and I'm not saying you did this) there's no reason to act as if all (or even most) of the units in the book are even comparable and worth taking.

I don't agree that the Empire army is terri-bad, but I really, REALLY do understand players who are extremely frustrated with it (to the point of claiming it always sucks, never wins, ect). It's not hard to see what they were going for, and the army is SO CLOSE to working the way it was supposed to, with units supporting each other, characters adding ability to the force instead of raw power, ect., but it just didn't work out, and it's very dissapointing. For every person out there running a successful horde of Halberdiers, there's someone with a classic detachment of Handgunners for every parent unit who is left scratching their head and wondering about all of that synergy they'd read about, or someone like me who found themselves holding onto an army that suddenly WAS terri-bad and somehow was ALSO significantly more points than it previously was while ALSO being illegal on the percentages.

EvanM
10-10-2014, 15:09
Exactly. Empire is good but very very very limited compared to what's in the book and what was intended to happen with the army.

The book came out early in 8th which is a death sentence (ask tomb kings) as the later 8th ed books are so much better that it's rediculous (elf units all went down in points and got more powerful, where we went up in points and got worse)

Ayin
10-10-2014, 16:41
One of the most brutal parts of working the Empire book is TRYING to include the units that aren't very good, and just getting HAMMERED on points for it. A Mortar or Pistoliers, when compared to other warmachines and fast cavalry, are pretty poor choices, but I'd love to include them because I like the look of the units, like the units I made and of course own them, but considering they are both at the three digit starting point... you just can't afford to pay THAT much for things that you want to include DESPITE their effectiveness.

The same thing applies to units like shooting detachments. I have and really like my Handgunner units, even if they are worse detachment choices than, say, Archers. I'd use Handgunners to bunker my Wizard in, I'm willing to take the hit on effectiveness to use something I like... Except I have to pay significantly more to be able to get less.

EvanM
10-10-2014, 16:51
Exactly this.

All the units that we say "suck" are bad because they are priced horribly for what they do compared to other stuff in the book and compared to other stuff in other armies.

Ayin
10-10-2014, 17:17
That is an interesting point. The things that are 'bad' aren't just bad externally or internally, they're bad on both ends.

Pistoliers really kill me. I've got three units of them and want to include them, but...so many points! It's a tenth of my force at 3000... In a world without points costs, they are a (generously) middle of the road Fast Cavalry unit.

Movement: Poor (Fast Cav are between movement 8 and 10, and many have additional special movement rules)
Combat Potential: Poor (although a higher WS than goblins, they are otherwise at the starting WS, S and I base line, with a complete lack of close combat weaponry like spears)
Toughness: Average (standard T3 with light armour, no ability to get shields)
Shooting: Poor-Average (this is going to be heavily debated by everyone who likes them, but at the end of it, they have short range, heavy penalties, and average BS, and THIS is what they are paying their points for! This is supposed to be the thing that sets them apart from all other fast cav, it's their strength!)
Reliability: Average (standard Ld7, no special rules)

It's on top of this that they get their heavy price tag, which makes them more expensive than anyone should want in a unit that is potential sacrifice or is going to be put in high risk situations. you're paying high points for shooting effectiveness (because there's NOTHING else about them you should be paying high points for about them), and that shooting effectiveness just doesn't exist (a general problem with BS shooting in the Empire book, but one that's really obvious here). And because of this, the hardly ever appear in lists unless put there by people who ust really want to have them... who get punished for taking a poor unit with their price tag.

EvanM
10-10-2014, 17:22
That is an interesting point. The things that are 'bad' aren't just bad externally or internally, they're bad on both ends.

Pistoliers really kill me. I've got three units of them and want to include them, but...so many points! It's a tenth of my force at 3000... In a world without points costs, they are a (generously) middle of the road Fast Cavalry unit.

Movement: Poor (Fast Cav are between movement 8 and 10, and many have additional special movement rules)
Combat Potential: Poor (although a higher WS than goblins, they are otherwise at the starting WS, S and I base line, with a complete lack of close combat weaponry like spears)
Toughness: Average (standard T3 with light armour, no ability to get shields)
Shooting: Poor-Average (this is going to be heavily debated by everyone who likes them, but at the end of it, they have short range, heavy penalties, and average BS, and THIS is what they are paying their points for! This is supposed to be the thing that sets them apart from all other fast cav, it's their strength!)
Reliability: Average (standard Ld7, no special rules)

It's on top of this that they get their heavy price tag, which makes them more expensive than anyone should want in a unit that is potential sacrifice or is going to be put in high risk situations. you're paying high points for shooting effectiveness (because there's NOTHING else about them you should be paying high points for about them), and that shooting effectiveness just doesn't exist (a general problem with BS shooting in the Empire book, but one that's really obvious here). And because of this, the hardly ever appear in lists unless put there by people who ust really want to have them... who get punished for taking a poor unit with their price tag.


Pistoliers suck. Since reavers and dark riders, the bar for fast cav is REDICULOUS. Plus those units are CORE and FASTER, BETTER, OH AND CHEAPER, OH AND ELVES.

yeah its like WTF. I wish they fixed empire.

pistoliers need to be core, get heavy armor, or be like 5 ppm cheaper haha.

Ayin
10-10-2014, 17:53
Well, they're never going to get heavy Armour, as in Warhammer that represents a certain technological level combined with coverage. Heavy armour is plate and chain or some combination, the demi-plate the pistoliers have could count as Plate Armour if they were represented as Demi-lancers (with plate armour that covers their upper body and a helmet, which is what they are actually wearing and is very comparable to the armour of Greatswords), but it never will, because all fast cav (in GW's rules, not reality) are required to be wearing unencumbering, 'light' armour, so Pistoliers get the Cuirassier style armour save (breastplate, backplate) even if they have Greatsword style armour.

As for being Core, I COULD see it, they can't be more rare than Knights, and it seems there are a lot of them, but at that point Empire are running out of Special units and the entire army would need a re-work (you'd have to think there are more cannons and groups of Outriders than there are units of Demigryph Knights, for example).



Really, their claim to fame is that they wear plate and have pistols. GW is NEVER going to treat them like they wear the armour they have (goblin chain and Brigandine/Coat of Plates combined with a wooden shield is always going to be better than Pistolier Demi-Plate, while both are inferior to Greatsword Demi-Plate), so that's out of the equation, and I can't see any way to make the pistols more effective than they are (or should be) so it pretty much all comes down to points. Pistoliers are pretty directly comparable to a Goblin Wolf Rider with spear and shield, the Goblin wins on armour save (ugh..) and speed (movement) as well as combat power (spear), the Pistolier wins on shooting (because he has some...) and Leadership, and that's the price point they should match up to, unless they were given some kind of special rules.

They also currently gain no benefits from ANY of the Empire synergy either, so any idea that their points need to be increased (in the same way as state troops) to account for that 'hidden' bonus is ridiculous. They don't gain either the Hatred (can't have FC Warrior Priests and don't get detachment bonus) or Hold the Line (can't have FC captains), can't be joined by Witchhunters, aren't built for combat (Huricanum bonus), don't have any shooting style buff, and don't get any engineer character style support.


They are Wolf Riders. And I would personally be COMPLETELY okay i we just got Goblin Wolf Riders (as a Special choice) instead of them.

EvanM
10-10-2014, 18:20
I think the entire concept that you have to increase a units cost because of "hidden" synergy is dated and rediculous. All the new armies ignored this idea completely and got fair prices on units AND synergy units without extra cost.

Our book tanked because all of our stuff is priced assuming that everything is taking detachments, has hatred, hold the line, both wagon buffs, and prayers.

Problem is: we don't. Our buffs are easy to kill and they aren't free!!! You know? Priests wagons captains wizards and stuff is NOT free so the cost shouldn't be passed onto the unit it's supporting.

It's the biggest uggghhhh about empire.

Also I agree that pistoliers are comparable to wolf riders. Either give them full plate or make them core and 12 pts each

EvanM
10-10-2014, 18:20
I think the entire concept that you have to increase a units cost because of "hidden" synergy is dated and rediculous. All the new armies ignored this idea completely and got fair prices on units AND synergy units without extra cost.

Our book tanked because all of our stuff is priced assuming that everything is taking detachments, has hatred, hold the line, both wagon buffs, and prayers.

Problem is: we don't. Our buffs are easy to kill and they aren't free!!! You know? Priests wagons captains wizards and stuff is NOT free so the cost shouldn't be passed onto the unit it's supporting.

It's the biggest uggghhhh about empire.

Also I agree that pistoliers are comparable to wolf riders. Either give them full plate or make them core and 12 pts each

Acephale
11-10-2014, 14:34
I'm currently building a themed Empire army without any wizards or magic, except for a WP. It's mostly for laughs and I play in a rather non-competetive environment so I'm not going to join the "X unit sucks/rules" discussion - I'll just say that it's an uphill battle to make it work when you play against stronger/more cheesy lists.

You'll need to be rather artillery-heavy and that's always a gamble. My personal experience is that bad dice rolls usually will cost you the game, since the cannons and hellblasters need to do their job pretty early in the game to be effective and a few miscasts at the wrong moment can be disastrous (and often hilarious as well). On the other hand, I've had some really epic "wtf" moments with this army - everything from handgunners unexpectedly obliterating entire units with one salvo to ridiculous "last stands" where a lone engineer manages to snipe the enemy lvl 4/general before fleeing off the table.

I kind of share your mindset, OP; I don't like the "high fantasy" empire stuff but really enjoy the renaissance thing they've got going. Right now I'm distracted by having to paint some 40k stuff but this thread has made me want to pick up my Empire project again. Can't wait to field my recently finished Landship for example... :P A pet plan of mine is to run a Witch Hunter with an Arabyan Carpet as well, that's going to be interesting.

One great thing about Empire that the book is versatile enough to allow functioning themed lists, even though they're not super-competive or cheesy. This is certainly not the case with all armies.

EvanM
11-10-2014, 15:52
I'm currently building a themed Empire army without any wizards or magic, except for a WP. It's mostly for laughs and I play in a rather non-competetive environment so I'm not going to join the "X unit sucks/rules" discussion - I'll just say that it's an uphill battle to make it work when you play against stronger/more cheesy lists.

You'll need to be rather artillery-heavy and that's always a gamble. My personal experience is that bad dice rolls usually will cost you the game, since the cannons and hellblasters need to do their job pretty early in the game to be effective and a few miscasts at the wrong moment can be disastrous (and often hilarious as well). On the other hand, I've had some really epic "wtf" moments with this army - everything from handgunners unexpectedly obliterating entire units with one salvo to ridiculous "last stands" where a lone engineer manages to snipe the enemy lvl 4/general before fleeing off the table.

I kind of share your mindset, OP; I don't like the "high fantasy" empire stuff but really enjoy the renaissance thing they've got going. Right now I'm distracted by having to paint some 40k stuff but this thread has made me want to pick up my Empire project again. Can't wait to field my recently finished Landship for example... :P A pet plan of mine is to run a Witch Hunter with an Arabyan Carpet as well, that's going to be interesting.

One great thing about Empire that the book is versatile enough to allow functioning themed lists, even though they're not super-competive or cheesy. This is certainly not the case with all armies.


it ALLOWS themed lists but they end up being about 500 pts overcosted by the time you are done. thats the shame. bringing the stuff you say CAN work but still, you are probably playing at 2.5k battle with an army thats worth 2k pts. really not that fun sometimes.


itd be nice if the book allowed you to field a decently strong list that didnt include demis, tanks, wagons, wizards and all that.

Maybe End times will bring us something that makes empire more playable.

Acephale
11-10-2014, 16:13
it ALLOWS themed lists but they end up being about 500 pts overcosted by the time you are done. thats the shame. bringing the stuff you say CAN work but still, you are probably playing at 2.5k battle with an army thats worth 2k pts. really not that fun sometimes.


itd be nice if the book allowed you to field a decently strong list that didnt include demis, tanks, wagons, wizards and all that.

Maybe End times will bring us something that makes empire more playable.

Sure, ideally some units would be priced differently. But tbh that's the case with most books. At least Empire provides many different options for all phases of the game, whereas some other armies are extremely one-sided and really only favour one type of build.

Of course, there will always be that uber-build that you "have" to take according to the internet, but it's not like with Dwarfs, Beastmen or Skaven where the options just aren't there for much else than the most common type of list.

Also: while some builds are harder to use than others, it's not impossible for a skilled player (preferably one who is also blessed by the Dice God) to make even a sub-par list shine.

EvanM
11-10-2014, 17:08
Sure, ideally some units would be priced differently. But tbh that's the case with most books. At least Empire provides many different options for all phases of the game, whereas some other armies are extremely one-sided and really only favour one type of build.

Of course, there will always be that uber-build that you "have" to take according to the internet, but it's not like with Dwarfs, Beastmen or Skaven where the options just aren't there for much else than the most common type of list.

Also: while some builds are harder to use than others, it's not impossible for a skilled player (preferably one who is also blessed by the Dice God) to make even a sub-par list shine.


yeah i think the issue with empire is twofold: people WANT empire to suck, because they think its supposed to be an underdog army. And that empire players are insanely good. If empire players started playing other armies theyd be kings.

I wish you could take militia hordes, spearmen and swordsmen. Ranks of handgunners firing at the enemy, pistoliers that dont suck running up and shooting. All of our artillery pieces working together.

Mike3791
12-10-2014, 01:51
Hello folks,

the Empire is looking more and more interesting to me, but I'm gonna need some advice how to field them. The goal is to build a small company of battle hardened men without any of that high fantasy shenanigans.
Greatswords with handgunner detachments are on the very top of my list, with an imperial general as a close second. Huntsmen, Warrior Priests and Knights are all welcome, but stuff like Demigryphs, Wizards and that fancy planetarium on wheels I won't have.

Basically, I want dwarfs with feathered hats and striped pants :)

How can I oppose enemies in the magic phase without fielding wizards? Are witch hunters a viable option for magic defense? Are knights worthwile? How do I dish out the pain? What about Mortars?


Please enlighten me!

Dude you're playing a fantasy game, if you want "less fantasy" then play dwarfs or a historical game.

The playstyle you mention is like playing a maurader-only chaos army, it completely defeats the point of playing the game at all.

Dr.Zahnfleisch
12-10-2014, 01:57
Dude you're playing a fantasy game, if you want "less fantasy" then play dwarfs or a historical game.

The playstyle you mention is like playing a maurader-only chaos army, it completely defeats the point of playing the game at all.

Dude, the point of playing is whatever I want it to be. Stop trying to tell people how to have fun.

Btw. Marauder-Only-Armies do actually exitst (with a lot of count-as, of course).

I dont want less fantasy, I just don't want to use stuff that I think is ugly :)

EvanM
12-10-2014, 02:43
Dude, the point of playing is whatever I want it to be. Stop trying to tell people how to have fun.

Btw. Marauder-Only-Armies do actually exitst (with a lot of count-as, of course).

I dont want less fantasy, I just don't want to use stuff that I think is ugly :)

Okay to answer your REAL question: you can do it. there really isnt anything anyone can help you with when it comes to tactics EXCEPT tell you "DO NOT ENTER", "WARNING: LOSING EVERY GAME AHEAD", and stuff like that.

Dr.Zahnfleisch
12-10-2014, 03:00
Actually there have been a few answers that helped me quite a lot. It's just a matter of digging through all the ot-stuff. It's amazing how easily threads derail.

EvanM
12-10-2014, 03:15
Actually there have been a few answers that helped me quite a lot. It's just a matter of digging through all the ot-stuff. It's amazing how easily threads derail.

especially when I am involved in them. HAHA.

Anyway this weekend has seen a bipolar emotional roller coaster with me an empire... i swear, i have a love/hate relationship with empire. Its like they are so lovably bad, yet then i get frustrated, then i get nostalgic and it just repeats.

Dr.Zahnfleisch
12-10-2014, 03:27
If something is able to trigger this kind of feeling, it must be something special indeed :)

EvanM
12-10-2014, 03:32
If something is able to trigger this kind of feeling, it must be something special indeed :)

empire is my insane, abusive, time suck, money suck, bipolar mistress that drains my soul a little bit at a time.

Ayin
12-10-2014, 08:28
The Veteran army of human fighters, well equipped and lead with technological superiority is exactly what I wanted out of my Empire and you can make and play whatever army you want, but at the end of the day remember that not only are:

-Steam Tanks
-Demigryphs
-Huricanum

About the most popular and useful choices in the whole list, but:

-Handgunners
-Pistoliers
-Mortars
-Most Infantry

Are all not only just flat out bad, they are also expensive, meaning that not only will you end up with a less powerful army, you'll also end up feeling like you're playing a less powerful army at a points penalty.

That said, if you've got Warrior Priests you can make a functional army out of a Halberdier horde, Greatsword horde, and Knights, backed up by cannons and HBVGs.

One piece of advice though, if I may. Don't take a General of the Empire. It's just a flat out terrible choice unless you are doing it for the Griphon (which isn't to say the Griph is good, just that taking said giant bird-cat is the only reason to take one).

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 10:01
Alright, now that the doomsaying has calmed down a bit I'd like to jump in on this. I've been playing Empire in one form or another since 5th edition. While many things have changed in that time, as others have mentioned or alluded to, one key principle has remained the same:

Our units need support.

People run Steam Tank, Demigryph, and Cannon spam because those lists are easy, as individual units can operate without support from the rest of the army. Greatsword and Halberdier bricks are workable, as are big blocks of knights, but at the end of the day the tournament scene will gravitate to whatever is most reliable and has the fewest moving parts, and the power lists that have been talked about are simply a reflection of that. All of that said, as you've mentioned that you're not interested in power levels, lets branch out from there and look at the army as a whole.

First, the current edition of the Empire book has some questionable unit pricing. The designers, knowing about the golden "Our units need support rule", and assuming that everyone would include support units, opted to make things like Warrior Priests and Hurricanums cheaper than they should be and rank and file more expensive than they should be. After all, the only planet on which a chariot granting +1 to hit to all units within a certain range should be under 150 points is one in which a Swordsman costs 7. As a result, a properly built Empire army with all of the trimmings mostly balances out; that block of Swordsmen isn't so overpriced when they're all of a sudden hitting on 2's, re-rolling to hit, re-rolling to wound, or sitting on S9. Remember not to view anything in a vacuum, because, aside from those aforementioned power builds, this army can't perform in a vacuum.

To the point of the naysayers, there are a few units in this army that are particularly difficult to work with even under the best of conditions. This is either because they're so ineffective that they have difficulty making up their points, are too expensive to realistically justify their inclusion, or because there are other units in the army that perform the role better. In my opinion, those units are:

-Spearmen (Though this is symptomatic of a problem with spearmen in general, not an Empire-specific one)
-Handgunners and Crossbowmen (A point too expensive, and share the plight of most BS-based shooting in this game)
-Free Company (About 2 points too expensive per model)
-Flagellants (Slightly expensive, fight for Special points, and their Martyrdom special rule has been rendered less consistent and less helpful...)
-Mortars (I've only seen these work in tandem with the Withering from the Lore of Shadow, but generally your opponent will see that combination coming from a mile off. Otherwise, S2 is completely unusable)
-Hellstorm Rocket Battery (It used to be that its randomness was compensated for by its powerful S5 punch. That's since been nerfed, and most players prefer investing their points into something a bit more reliable)

Additionally, there were some odd design choices from a balance perspective. For example, the Arch Lector becomes the no-brainer Lord choice because he totes the same Leadership as a General of the Empire (whereas, had he been Ld 8, it would have made the General a viable choice). No one running a Hellblaster should leave home without the uber-buffs provided by an Engineer, nor should any Empire army not include a Hurricanum. There are also a few things that every Empire army needs, such as a Lv. 4 and a couple of cannons, but really I view these things as staples of the army than some kind of restriction.

All of those things said, just about everything in the list is workable under the right circumstances, it will just take some playtesting on your part to get a good feel for the units and buffing combinations you prefer. Despite the illusion of them being one of the "main" Fantasy armies, this is not a beginner's army. Still, with a little patience and imagination you can successfully run some incredibly diverse, rewarding lists.

EvanM
12-10-2014, 14:29
I think the ONLY thing wrong with empire is this:

1) things need be priced better related to each other, all infantry except archers and halberdiers are overcosted and need to be equivalently useful for how much they cost. spearmen would be very useful if they were 5 pts with a shield for free.

2) The support units should be more survivable. warrior priests in units are SO INSANELY EASY TO KILL. Same with captains/generals and witch hunters. I think maybe a look out sir roll in close combat would represent our soldiers trying to protect their leaders.

3) detachment rule needs to be range 6" and detachments shouldnt cause panic in the parent unit

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 16:17
1) things need be priced better related to each other, all infantry except archers and halberdiers are overcosted and need to be equivalently useful for how much they cost. spearmen would be very useful if they were 5 pts with a shield for free.
I don't disagree that the pricing is a little off, but this hardly makes the book as unusable as some of your other posts have indicated. Spearmen are overpriced because spears are an underwhelming weapon option. Handgunners and Crossbowmen are overpriced because BS-based shooting in this game has a hard time making up its points unless it's spammed. Swordsmen are overpriced because a boost in WS is less impactful than the Halberdier's boost in S (not to mention their loss of I4, which bugged me). Free Company are just embarrassingly overpriced.

Still, with perhaps the exception of Free Company, all of these detriments can be overcome with careful planning and a little finesse. Handgunners and Crossbowmen should never be expected to hunt skirmishers or take down swathes of infantry, so their targets (and, by extension, placement in Deployment) should reflect the things they ARE good at: countering fast cavalry, whittling down knights, and removing rank bonuses. I once placed a unit of Crossbowmen on a far flank just so they could inflict enough damage to an enemy unit so as to remove one of its rank bonuses. They didn't make up their points on their own, but the Halberdiers that ended up fighting that combat subsequently and fortuitously won the combat by 1, meaning that the Halberdiers going on to run that unit down and claim its points was only thanks to an assist by the Crossbowmen. THAT is how units should be thought of within an Empire army. The question of: "Can this unit make its points back?" is mostly a moot one here, because very few units in our army are capable of doing that on their own.


2) The support units should be more survivable. warrior priests in units are SO INSANELY EASY TO KILL. Same with captains/generals and witch hunters. I think maybe a look out sir roll in close combat would represent our soldiers trying to protect their leaders.
Sure, but other armies rely on their support characters just as much, if not more than we do. Should High Elf mages be given LoS rolls in combat? Skaven and Goblin characters? No, I think that's just too much. Besides, if your opponents are specifically targeting him you can get your Warrior Priest down to a 3+/4++ on foot, which is pretty darned survivable. I generally run mine with nothing but HA and the Enchanted Shield, and don't often run into problems.


3) detachment rule needs to be range 6" and detachments shouldnt cause panic in the parent unit
6" is too far and would cause too much confusion; the rule is 3" so that your opponents can keep a visual tab on where things are grouped.

To your second point, that actually used to be the rule for detachments, but I think they removed it with the addition of the rule granting most parent unit's special rules to their detachments. I don't have much of a problem with that trade-off.

EvanM
12-10-2014, 16:25
OR another thing they could do would be to make detachments be ANY unit within 3", so you dont have to dedicate them to a unit, and you could support any nearby infantry (regimental units only) with your psychology and stuff.

so imagine ANY regimental unit within 3" of another being able to get all the detachment benefits, plus supporting charges and stuff and THAT would be epic and make the infantry very very very very useful (note not GOOD as in OP, just useful).


and yeah if spears were useful and WS4 was useful then both of those would be fine, militia is a lost cause.

Ayin
12-10-2014, 17:35
I'm honestly going to argue the 'Hurricanum too cheap for what it does' line of thought, as I think it's wrong on two fronts.

First of all, yes, +1 to hit is awesome, BUT it's +1 to hit for (pretty much always) a WS3 unit with a max S4 (yes, it could help Greatswords as well, but that's another discussion about a unit that needs all the help it can get...). Would it be ridiculous in, say, an Elf army, running behind a unit of White Lions or Executioners? Yes (and also overkill, they would in no way need it), but as is it's a slow (can't march), visible and ward-save-less boost to troops who are generally STILL outclassed by near every other horde they're going to face. It's not bad, but it's not wildly undercosted.

The other point being this idea that you're getting too much for what you're paying. It's a chariot WITH special powers? WOW! Except, we're deep into the edition of Skull Cannons. Most Elf players for example feel that the Lion Chariot is a sub-par unit in their book, and it's an amazing example of a classic heavy hitting chariot that would be 'reasonably' pointed in previous editions. A slower Goblin chariot with special abilities that require other units to be nearby to take advantage of them is not breaking the game in the current Warhammer.



Spears are an interesting topic though, in a lot of ways they embody everything that's wrong with Empire, and they've suffered in this way for a few editions now. The original basic spear concept was that it WAS worth more points than a handweapon, because it gave you more (double) the attacks, and not only that, but in a time where very nearly ALL infantry were limited to a single attack and models killed didn't get to strike back (no step up) it nearly guaranteed you a chance to hit back. Since then the rules have changed SIGNIFICANTLY, and besides the effectiveness of spears dropping from doubling your attacks to increasing them by 33% (or even 25%) and the change of infantry gaining more than one attack, their main advantage of assuring you a chance to hit back has been completely removed. Basically, you are paying points... to not get access to rules that don't exist anymore.

Until the third rank, spears may as well be hand weapons. There is absolutely no difference in function (though one is two-handed and one one-handed). This means that when buying units with spears, you are paying a penalty on the first two entire ranks of troops to get no benefit, but not only that, you are paying an ADDITIONAL penalty on any troops beyond the third rank. The best example of this of all time in Warhammer were (and are) the Pikes carried by the Dogs of War Pikeman infantry. Pikes allow you to fight in three additional ranks, a powerful ability...in 6th edition. However, the basic thought process for pointing pikeman was +1pt/model for every additional rank you can fight in, creating a unit who pays VASTLY too much for what it can do.

The pricing of spears is difficult, as without a mechanic allowing you to pay extra points starting at the third rank (and limiting it from there) they are always going to be more expensive than they should be vs any weapon option that has immediate effect.


This 'spears' mentality is all over the Empire book, and a lot of things suffer for it. As long as you have to pay points to access abilities regardless of if you are using them (to say nothing of whether that ability is even worthwhile on each unit, looking at you, missile troops and Detachment rules...), many things in the book are going to be wildly overpriced. We talk about Free Company being overpriced, but their pricing is consistent with the system. Two handweapons ARE better than spears, and Spears cost points. If a spear costs +1pt for a 4pt infantryman, what does that give him? An extra attack but ONLY if he has three ranks and ONLY if he doesn't charge? Two handweapons give a unit +1 attack regardless, they get the same attacks for fewer models, for fewer ranks. They get them from the side and the back! Additionally, Free company are going to perform the Detachment role better than spears, since they can save their attacks when counter charging and you need to buy fewer of them to get this bonus. All of these things IN THEORY add to the unit, and, in the 'Spears' system, they need to come with points. If Spears are +1, 2xhw are +2, and if units pay points for detachment rules, the extra usefulness of a 2xhw unit over spears has to be factored in.

Mortars are another great example of this. They pay a huge penalty for a theoretical game bonus. Since 8th allowed rules for and encouraged larger units, the large template of the Mortar was clearly going to be more effective (bigger units of more guys = more hit/shot) and the clear way to balance that was to lower the effectiveness of a shot (fair trade, more guys hit, less effective hits, should average out about the same). The problem, of course, was that although the mortars effectiveness dropped, the effectiveness of the units they were firing on didn't remain neutral, but increased. When two 20 man units were combined into one 40 man unit (theoretically lets say doubling the hits a mortar would get on average) it didn't change from one mortar shell hitting like two would previously against ONE (20) man unit, it changed to be one mortar shell hitting (less than double) against a unit that was BETTER than just two 20 man units stuck together (due to Horde formation, Steadfast, ect).

This is how units end up costing way more than they should, paying real points for 'theoretical' advantages that are not going to be apparent much of the time. It was something obvious earlier in the edition, and honestly if the whole edition stuck to that then there wouldn't be a problem. As it is, we can hope that NEXT edition use the same concept (synergy, special rules) as this edition and thus early edition books will be written with what was learned in mind. I've got my doubts, but overall 8th is still my favourit edition (tied with but totally different than 6th), and for the love of Gork at least it's not 7th...

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 17:45
I'm honestly going to argue the 'Hurricanum too cheap for what it does' line of thought, as I think it's wrong on two fronts.
Let us have it.


First of all, yes, +1 to hit is awesome, BUT it's +1 to hit for (pretty much always) a WS3 unit with a max S4 (yes, it could help Greatswords as well, but that's another discussion about a unit that needs all the help it can get...). Would it be ridiculous in, say, an Elf army, running behind a unit of White Lions or Executioners? Yes (and also overkill, they would in no way need it), but as is it's a slow (can't march), visible and ward-save-less boost to troops who are generally STILL outclassed by near every other horde they're going to face. It's not bad, but it's not wildly undercosted.

The other point being this idea that you're getting too much for what you're paying. It's a chariot WITH special powers? WOW! Except, we're deep into the edition of Skull Cannons. Most Elf players for example feel that the Lion Chariot is a sub-par unit in their book, and it's an amazing example of a classic heavy hitting chariot that would be 'reasonably' pointed in previous editions. A slower Goblin chariot with special abilities that require other units to be nearby to take advantage of them is not breaking the game in the current Warhammer.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suppose that you didn't read my post after the words "Hurricanum" and "cheap". If I may:

"The designers ... opted to make things like Warrior Priests and Hurricanums cheaper than they should be and rank and file more expensive than they should be. After all, the only planet on which a chariot granting +1 to hit to all units within a certain range should be under 150 points is one in which a Swordsman costs 7. As a result, a properly built Empire army with all of the trimmings mostly balances out..."

Emphasis mine. In other words, we agree. The Hurricanum would be underpriced if it weren't buffing "7 point Swordsmen".

To your latter point, I feel spears need to be made into a debuffing weapon for the enemy as opposed to a poor man's AHW. I know others have proposed things like making the enemy at -1 to hit, lose all charge bonuses, debuffing S or WS, etc., any of which I feel would help catapult spears back into a genuinely worthwhile role.

Mudkip
12-10-2014, 17:47
What a hysterical thread. It's a shame how a small number of prolific posters can set such a poor tone of discussion. I should also point out that the OP didn't ask for a a blow-by-blow account of the army book's perceived flaws; he asked for help building a certain type of army that thematically appealed to him. I'm sure most people implicitly understand that should they build an army to a theme rather than to the most competitive standard, then they are probably going to lose some matches because of it. Warhammer is a hobby that encompasses more than just competition, even though that is a perfectly valid part of it. Calm down.

Personally I think an army led by Warriors Priests and Witch Hunters would be interesting. To my understanding a Warrior Priest can cast multiple prayers and throw lots of dice at them just like a wizard, so you have some semblance of a magic phase once you get into combat.

Ayin
12-10-2014, 18:37
Emphasis mine. In other words, we agree. The Hurricanum would be underpriced if it weren't buffing "7 point Swordsmen".

I think the difference in our opinion is that I wouldn't think it was under-priced even IF the infantry it was supporting were appropriately costed (which to me is cheaper).

A Goblin Wolf Chariot is very comparable to the Huricanum as both stand soley in the chariot role. The Hurricanum being tougher (T5 vs T4) and with a better Leadership (7 vs 6) and more wounds (W5 vs W3), the Wolf Chariot being faster (M9 vs M8) and hitting harder (Scythed Wheels, +1 crewman, spears). Both have the same save and the goblins have bows, the Hurricanum is a Large Target. I'd actually argue the Wolf Chariot is a better Chariot, but regardless, that accounts for a bit more than 1/3 of the points of the Hurricanum. Let's assume that the Power Dice and the Comet are worth half the remaining points.

If we figure that the +1 to Hit is worth about 1pt/model it's effecting (seems reasonable, Elves seem to pay about a point for ASF for their Core infantry), we would have to be effecting 40-50 models for the points to work out. That covers the fighting ranks of, say, a Horde of halberdiers, and one nearby support unit.

Now, clearly this is just playing around with numbers, but those numbers seem to add up to being pretty reasonable to me, and I'd be interested to see where the additional cost should be added on.

Ayin
12-10-2014, 18:40
What a hysterical thread. It's a shame how a small number of prolific posters can set such a poor tone of discussion. I should also point out that the OP didn't ask for a a blow-by-blow account of the army book's perceived flaws; he asked for help building a certain type of army that thematically appealed to him.

I have no doubt both the original poster and everyone else can easily build a thematic army that appears to them. Choose the units you like, buy them, point it out, done. The next step is trying to play with it, and to play with it, you need an understanding of it's strengths, weaknesses, and any problems or advantages it's going to have. In this case, an army steering away from the strong units in the Empire book and towards the weaker ones is going to have weaknesses, be giving up strengths, and face some problems. To understand those requires some level of explanation as to why that is (what the situation is).

Mudkip
12-10-2014, 18:48
That's true, I agree. Attempting to mitigating the flaws that a thematic army presents while sticking to the idea is going to be important part of building that army list.

Ayin
12-10-2014, 18:54
And I can't state how much this problem is alleviated if you're willing to use the RULES of the unit/mechanic you don't like and just changing the image(model).

For example, the original Empire concept army of Greatswords and Handguns would be at significantly less of a disadvantage if it had some magical support. Being averse to including Wizards floating around and carrying big staffs and crazy universe models on golden carts due to their models is one thing, but not including such units because you don't like the mechanic of 'magic' in your army is another altogether. The first can be solved by just changing the models to fit your force, and there are so many ways to do that and make a good army, but the second is just hamstringing yourself. Not that you can't make an army with no magic (my Warriors of Khorne do it and play fine), but you can't make a mid-line army full of the poor-end troops and choose not to include major game mechanics and expect to get any real advice that you're going to want to hear.

SpaceGimli
12-10-2014, 19:13
Dr.Zahnfleisch you speak the truth. Welcome to The Empire, you're going to have a great time. I hate the silly Demi-Gryph things too and don't see them in the character of my army, I wont be taking any horse drawn Ron Weasley houses either (that Luminark thing, no thanks). I'm taking men with halberds, men with crossbows, knights and cannons. My general will be an ordinary man on a horse with the knights. I do not care if I lose against broken tournament lists, I will be putting together the army that I want and enjoy the game. The Empire can be competitive and the trick is not to pick elite units that don't work - I really do believe that Empire played as a footsoldier horde is a viable option, but I will be taking two low level wizards in my list so I don't get pwned in the magic phase.

SpaceGimli
12-10-2014, 19:14
Sorry for massive font there! Wasn't expecting that!

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 19:26
I think the difference in our opinion is that I wouldn't think it was under-priced even IF the infantry it was supporting were appropriately costed (which to me is cheaper).

A Goblin Wolf Chariot is very comparable to the Huricanum as both stand soley in the chariot role. The Hurricanum being tougher (T5 vs T4) and with a better Leadership (7 vs 6) and more wounds (W5 vs W3), the Wolf Chariot being faster (M9 vs M8) and hitting harder (Scythed Wheels, +1 crewman, spears). Both have the same save and the goblins have bows, the Hurricanum is a Large Target. I'd actually argue the Wolf Chariot is a better Chariot, but regardless, that accounts for a bit more than 1/3 of the points of the Hurricanum. Let's assume that the Power Dice and the Comet are worth half the remaining points.

If we figure that the +1 to Hit is worth about 1pt/model it's effecting (seems reasonable, Elves seem to pay about a point for ASF for their Core infantry), we would have to be effecting 40-50 models for the points to work out. That covers the fighting ranks of, say, a Horde of halberdiers, and one nearby support unit.

Now, clearly this is just playing around with numbers, but those numbers seem to add up to being pretty reasonable to me, and I'd be interested to see where the additional cost should be added on.
I suppose I rate +1 to hit far more highly than you do, in that, short of blowing up the chariot, it can't be countered in the way that ASF can.

Ayin
12-10-2014, 20:26
I suppose I rate +1 to hit far more highly than you do, in that, short of blowing up the chariot, it can't be countered in the way that ASF can.

What ways do you have to counter ASF besides giving it to your own units, giving ASL to their units, or modifying Initiatives (by significant amounts)? Becuase likely the counter to those is usually magic, which can also be used to give units minuses to hits or boosts or negatives to WS in what to me seems about the same way.

Lord Dan
12-10-2014, 20:49
Becuase likely the counter to those is usually magic, which can also be used to give units minuses to hits or boosts or negatives to WS in what to me seems about the same way.
That's difficult to do when Empire units are already hitting on 4's most of the time anyway. A WS4 unit striking a WS3 Empire unit would need to have its WS boosted by 3 before it would negate the +1 to hit from the Hurricanum. Outside of High Magic, is there a spell that does that?

By contrast, ASF is countered by other ASF units, things that grant ASL (Thundertusk, Frostheart, etc.), and spells that boost initiative or grant ASF (Lore of Light comes to mind).

Ayin
12-10-2014, 23:00
Well, of the top I can think of Curse of Anraheir (beasts) and Pha's Protection (light) and Iceshard Blizzard (Heavens) for -1 to hit, Transmutation (-1WS) which evens the bonus out against WS5 troops (of which there are a lot), and Melkoth's (Shadow, -D3 WS which puts Empire at 1 on average), and there are also spells which grant your opponent +1 to hit, evening it out (in the same way that both sides having ASF on both sides evens it out). Those are from rulebook and memory, and I am SURE that there are race specific spells as well (and also items, unit powers and upgrades, ect., but we were just talking magic).

In addition, when it does work, the re-rolls from ASF (ASF hitting on 3's = 88% hits, hitting on 4's = 75% hits) are almost always superiour to the flat +1 to hit (from 50% on 4's to 66% on 3's, and from 66% on 3's to 84% on 2's if my quick math is right), and more consistent, in addition to allowing the striking first.

EvanM
13-10-2014, 01:05
I love empire, but there is so much missed opportunity.

Like the thing is that you have to SO CAREFULLY craft your army to be perfect and honestly it takes a small breeze to ruin a key unit (wizard, priest, wagon).

itd also be nice if you could play empire without priests, wizards, wagons or any of that and just be men with guns and knights taking on the scary things of the world. Its difficult to do this.

Also, I wish spears were a debuffer. even take away additional rank of attacks but give them a -1 to hit me in combat when i have spears (and shields) THAT would be nice, or make the unit you are fighting Init -3 or something to counter elves (hitting an elf unit before they attack or robbing their rerolls would be epic)

boli
13-10-2014, 12:34
One handy thing Empire Warrior Priests War Alters and Hurricanius have which has not yet been mentioned is the "immunity to miscasts". So when you *really* want a spell cast you can 6-dice spells with the knowledge you don't have to roll on the misscast table.... which is nice :) (pg 37 BWB)


Just thought I'll add something which isn't a rant about how bad empire is.

Ayin
14-10-2014, 04:42
Yeah, Priests and the Hurricanum are certainly good choices, but i don't think anyone's disputing that.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 05:25
you could run an empire army without any wizards if you had a lot of wagons (one of each) but still, not that great. empire needs everything: air support, artillery, tanks, infantry,.... its an analogy but the point is an empire army is like a cake: dont include a key ingredient and the result is not good. An empire army really needs to follow a strict formula to work properly

fanucci143
14-10-2014, 21:10
First of all, any of you that say that the Empire are a bad army have either never played the Empire, or have played the army and failed miserably because you dont know how to play them. It took me many losses before I became good with them. Over the last three monthly tournments at my local Gaming Store I have placed 1st, 2nd, 1st using the Empire. It's true you cannot go into battle using just infantry because lets face it, there's nothing special about being human. But playing the Empire is about more than chaff units. Utilize the three virtures in the army: Faith, Steel, and Gunpowder. These are The Empires major strengths. Arch Lectors & Warriors Priests are beasts (not because they have a nice stat line, which they dont, but because of the many benefits they provide their units). Secondly, The Empire have best Armour in the game (WoC being the only army to compare), utilize Steam Tanks, Knights, and Demigryphs to hold up units. Thirdly, how many armies besides Dwarfs and Skaven have anywhere near the firepower of the Empire. Helblaster volley guns and cannons will take down any army no matter what they bring. When it's all said and done a nice large horde of about 50 troops (I prefer Halberdiers) can do some massive damage when they include a Warrior priest for that hatred. Also a Captain BSB giving them "Hold the Line" with their steadfast and you will never run from combat. Here is the list I like to use in 2500 Points:

Arch Lector - Great Weapon, Armour of Meteoric Iron, Dawnstone, Other Trickster's Shard
Captain (BSB) - Full Plate, HW, Shield, Dragon Helm (2+ Armour Save)
58 Halberdiers with Full Command
(Detachment) 28 Swordsmen
(Detachment) 20 Handgunners with Lvl 4 Wizard Lord (Dispel Scroll)

Great Cannon

Helblaster Volley Gun
Master Engineer

Steam Tank
Steam Tank

Demigryph (3) Unit (Full Command)
Demigryph (3) Unit (Full Command)

Make sure that the Engineer is with the Helblaster so it fires with BS 4 and can reroll that misfire die. Also dont forget to use the cannons on the steamtank. This list will scare the pants off most opponents. Use the Steam Tanks to control the board, remember they have about a 12" bubble around them inwhich they can make an out-of-sequence charge inwhich charge reactions are not permitted.

Reply if you guys have any comments or concerns.

Ayin
14-10-2014, 21:39
Yeah...

I don't think ANYONE was arguing that Empire is not a good, powerful army. The conversation was that the good stuff is pretty limited, and leads to a very repetitive build and style.

And you come on and argue that because your army that's (1) Led by an Arch Lector and Includes (2) a single horde of Halberdiers backed up by (3) A Cannon and Helblaster with Engineer and (4) not just one but TWO Steam Tanks and (5) again not just one but TWO Demigryph units is succesfull, that everyone else was wrong?

I feel like you didn't actually read the thread at all.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 21:44
Yeah...

I don't think ANYONE was arguing that Empire is not a good, powerful army. The conversation was that the good stuff is pretty limited, and leads to a very repetitive build and style.

And you come on and argue that because your army that's (1) Led by an Arch Lector and Includes (2) a single horde of Halberdiers backed up by (3) A Cannon and Helblaster with Engineer and (4) not just one but TWO Steam Tanks and (5) again not just one but TWO Demigryph units is succesfull, that everyone else was wrong?

I feel like you didn't actually read the thread at all.

exactly. the point is if you try to use more than one horde of infantry, if you try to use a big unit of infantry that isnt halberds, if you bring knights instead of demis, if you bring mortars or helstorms.... or for god sakes militia!! jeez or the fast cav.

all that. try bringing that. it dont work noneee.

Ayin
14-10-2014, 22:07
Well, I think the Knights have their strengths. Granted, an equal number of points for Demigryphs does the same job better (as well as being able to perform other roles), but Demi's aren't Core (and probably shouldn't be Special either...).

I also think two units of Halb Hordes can be effective, but the problem there of course is doubling up on the characters. Which you MIGHT be able to alleviate by getting that War Alter between them (and Huricanum between and behind), and then packing some archers behind it to give you some place for your Light wizards to go, and you're off to a great start for a defensive minded Light Council build.

EvanM
14-10-2014, 22:34
Well, I think the Knights have their strengths. Granted, an equal number of points for Demigryphs does the same job better (as well as being able to perform other roles), but Demi's aren't Core (and probably shouldn't be Special either...).

I also think two units of Halb Hordes can be effective, but the problem there of course is doubling up on the characters. Which you MIGHT be able to alleviate by getting that War Alter between them (and Huricanum between and behind), and then packing some archers behind it to give you some place for your Light wizards to go, and you're off to a great start for a defensive minded Light Council build.

Yeah the issue is that our characters arent cheap enough for our infantry to be as expensive as they are. it would probably still work if witch hunters, warrior priests, captains... were all something like 30 pts each base. but short of that, yeah no. they die too easily.

facepalm
14-10-2014, 23:00
I still feel a lot of people are missing the point of this thread. It wasnt to say empire are bad or even to discuss how one dimensional you have to be if you want to go full on power army it was asking how could he make the most of empire if he didnt use any of the "high fantasy" unit options. there for saying things like your going to lose or that this is bad, good overpriced or flat out rubbish is still immaterial in regards to the initial question.

Ok so if i were to build a list with the limitation you mentioned i would start with a couple of warrior priests/lectors with great weapons and then use there points allowance to focus on protecting them, each of them in a horde of 50 or so halberds.

A 10+ unit if IC knights with a captain/general for some extra sustained combat damage.

BSB in which ever unit you prefer.

Definitely a couple of cannons.

5 man units of knights as chaff.

Depending on points add in some witch hunters which are hardly high fantasy since witch hunters and the inquisition come directly from medieval Europe.

And depending on if you think they are fitting or not helblasters with engineers. ( i think you can get away with them since there are again medieval examples of early machine guns so its not too far a stretch to believe a crackpot genius came up with it.)#

Will it be able to win all the time No. Will it get insta crushed even by power armies No, i think its about the best you can do and its not that bad.

ewar
18-10-2014, 01:28
yeah i think the issue with empire is twofold: people WANT empire to suck, because they think its supposed to be an underdog army. And that empire players are insanely good. If empire players started playing other armies theyd be kings.

Uugh, of all the inanity spouted in this thread, I think you take the biscuit here Evan.:rolleyes: Nobody wants Empire to suck (they don't btw). Empire players don't suddenly dominate when they play a different list.

I don't know how many other armies you play with/against or how long you've been into WFB, but there are plenty of other armies out there that play just the way you're complaining about, and they also don't have the fall back option of the stank and DG build for when you want to smash some face.

Empire infantry is perfectly fine when supported properly and fighting against pretty much anyone except daemons/WoC and DE/HE. I hate this attitude of bleating about how UNFAIR it is IN CAPS. It makes me picture my three year old jumping up and down in a screaming tantrum.

@OP

If you like your theme and you're not playing in a cut-throat environment you'll probably win some and lose some. Just make armies you like and try them out, every time you lose you'll learn something new and like you've repeatedly pointed out, you can tweak things to fit.

EvanM
18-10-2014, 04:35
all caps isnt supposed to convey screaming but to convey inflection in the sentence.

yeah i dunno. i am playing empire on sunday against skaven and i am gonna get creamed.

Ayin
18-10-2014, 13:22
There's nothing 'perfectly fine' about Militia, Handgunners, Flagellants, ect., but that in no way means that the Empire as a force isn't competitive. Even the worst armies have a powerful build (beastmen with Herdstone, Tomb Kings with Light Council, heck, even Dogs of War had the MSU avoidance Core with ITP special), and much like you said, having things like the Steam Tank and Demigryphs goes a long way to hiding terrible internal balance by giving the army powerful external options.

That said, I've never seen anything suggesting that Empire players are better than other players. The ONLY time I feel I've seen that was in mid-late 6th edition with Wood Elves. When Wood Elves were running out of the Warhammer Chronichles 2002-2004, in my experience anytime you matched up with a Woodelves player you were likely going against someone who had a solid grasp of the army and the game, and had been playing for awhile, which was likely because it was a nearly all-pewter army and very few beginners picked them up.

Ayin
18-10-2014, 13:23
Oh, and I get decimated by Skaven. Turn 2 Warlock Engineer jumps out of unit and Doom Rocket's my infantry base is pretty much the standard way for that game to get going.

EvanM
18-10-2014, 16:14
Oh, and I get decimated by Skaven. Turn 2 Warlock Engineer jumps out of unit and Doom Rocket's my infantry base is pretty much the standard way for that game to get going.
is there anything you can do vs doomrocket?????

Ayin
18-10-2014, 17:18
Well, in theory the counter to something like that is that it is supposed to have this HUGE Skaven chance of not working correctly and decimating their own side(!!!). Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that the chances of that happening are relatively small, AND the low cost of some of these items and tricks (like with the Doom Rocket) is ALSO supposed to be balanced by it's unreliability. So, you end up with two levels of balance being hinged to one mechanic, which doesn't work (it took Skaven players little time to figure out what the safest average roll for the rocket was, for example, and launch from there).

So no, you can just hope that his (cheap) Doom Rocket on (cheap) Warlock hero either misses entirely, hits his own (cheap) infantry, or kills the Warlock, while watching game after game as the reality of the Rocket working just fine occurs and the Warlock engineer is then used as a redirector once his rocket is away. It's pretty similar in that respect to the A-Bomb, which is also 'random', and sees likely nothing but benefit for that.

Just be happy that Empire should be cheap-ish enough to be able to absorb a few of those hits. In 7th when that book came out my high elves pretty much threw in the towel on them (though that was going to happen anyways, playing in a group of 2 Vampire Counts armies, a Demon army, and two Skaven armies...).

EvanM
18-10-2014, 18:16
doomrocket is S5!!!! like wtf/???? show me one other S5 large blast template IN THE GAME thats only a 30 pt magic item??? ugh skaven...


I am gonna try casting the heavens sig spell on him to at least make him roll a 4+ before he shoots it at me.

ewar
18-10-2014, 21:24
Maybe you guys should take your pity party to just PMs and save everyone else from the whining? :rolleyes:

If you're tailoring, have you thought about hochland long rifles, death magic, counterbattery fire. Hell, Empire stuff isn't even that susceptible to Skaven machinery - trying playing with LM against the Doomrocket/WLC. You have the best tools for taking down the doomwheels, bells and WLCs. Nothing else in the Skaven book should scare you.

Also, Evan, you need a character to carry the Doomrocket so it's not just 30 points. You could say the same about Bret Trebs, 90 points each and can shoot EVERY turn OF the GAME OMG!1!1!!

Seriously guys, look for solutions instead of whining, nothing is more off-putting on a gaming forum.

EvanM
18-10-2014, 22:00
The bret trebuchet scatters and is small blast, that's fine. The doomrocket is rediculous and is insanely reliable. It has amazing range and hits better than almost any other stone thrower. If the doomrocket scattered as normal it would be fine, if it had nearly any chance to misfire it would be fine.

Ayin
19-10-2014, 02:37
If you're tailoring, have you thought about hochland long rifles, death magic, counterbattery fire.

Doomrocket is generally fired by Engineer on the second turn. It would take something like 9 Hochland long rifle shots to kill the Engineer out of the unit. Long Rifles aren't a serious solution to any problem, otherwise people bringing T3 wizards would be concerned about them, and they're not. Tailoring your list to include them is a pretty bad idea. As for what upgrades you may see some advantage in by giving to Handgunners, a Pistol for the unit champion is, in my opinion, the best plan for a unit that's going to be above the basic size (this of course requires you to take the Handgunners as a full unit and upgrade a unit champion). A 20 man unit of Handgunners isn't going to be able to keep out of combat forever, and that little bonus of hitting your Stand and Shoot on 5's (or worse) may help a lot. Small detachments to go with the unit of 10 Swordsmen have potential as well. As long as their opponent doesn't have more than one rank, they can still claim Steadfast from the parent unit, and the inclusion of a Captain in that unit will give them Ld8 Cold Blooded steadfast and the ability to hold up things like monsters, small cavalry units, and some other threats that would love to be able to get to your Handgunner line. Multiple charges are pretty much the end of BS shooting units (can only S&S against one target) and detachments help stop that.

Death Magic may well be a viable alternative. I honestly don't remember how that works with the Skaven Ld tied to ranks rule. If it ignores that, then our Ld8 wizard lords have a reasonable chance of pulling it off. If it doesn't, then they're not going to see much success.

Counterbattery fire against single 15pt hero choice infantry sized targets in units doesn't really need to be addressed as a reasonable plan.



, Empire stuff isn't even that susceptible to Skaven machinery - trying playing with LM against the Doomrocket/WLC. You have the best tools for taking down the doomwheels, bells and WLCs. Nothing else in the Skaven book should scare you.

Interesting. That has nothing to do with the Doomrocket and how to counter it with Empire.




Also, Evan, you need a character to carry the Doomrocket so it's not just 30 points.

You're right. It's carried by a character that costs half as much as the Doomrocket itself and provides the Skaven with a slighly more than dozen point redirector after being fired.



You could say the same about Bret Trebs, 90 points each and can shoot EVERY turn OF the GAME OMG!1!1!!

You COULD say that, if you were talking about Brets and hadn't read or understood any of what has been said before, but no one has. The Trebuchet, being a stationary war machine, is significantly different iin pretty much every way, namely the options we have to counter it. For example, in this instance, Counter Battery fire is a viable option.



Seriously guys, look for solutions instead of whining, nothing is more off-putting on a gaming forum.

Feel free to offer some.

The solutions to the Doom Rocket are Destroy/break the unit before it's fired (which would mean usually by turn 1, turn 2 if the Empire side goes first), kill the Warlock Engineer before it's used (same time frame), or hope it just doesn't work out for your opponent. The first option is the best, the last is the likeliest. It is unfortunately one of the things in the game you generally don't have a lot of control over. As noted above it is very capable of punching well above it's weight, any Skaven list with half a hundred points left near the end of list building should throw it in.

EvanM
19-10-2014, 03:26
the doomrocket is a rediculous side effect of a 7th ed book

the empire had the helstorm rocket batter which is essentially a doomrocket shot each turn, but when we got the 8th ed book it went from beiing an accurate large blast template at S5 to d3 s3 small blast templates.

a systematic nerf of template weapons has been across the board, so in the 8th ed book for skaven i am certain the doomrocket will go to S3 or be small blast that scatters.

Ayin
19-10-2014, 03:40
It's unlikely that there will be an 8th ed Skaven book. There current book works perfectly fine in 8th (though it's clearly of 7th ed style) and 8th edition will likely be over not so long after the Endtimes releases.

The nerf to template weapons was a reasonable attempt at balance in the beginning of 8th, as the game designers were pushing people to take units larger than had ever really been seen before (between horde and steadfast) and those larger units (and lack of partial hits) made templates themselves vastly more effective. And you're right that it was across system, the limiting of the once per game to breath weapons was also a big part of this.

Unfortunately, some of the early template weapons got 'balanced' on two fronts, the first by lowering effectiveness (to be balanced by an increased number of hits per use due to rules changes) and the second by increasing the points of the unit. GW seems to always seems to 'correct' things on two ends, which almost always turns units from 'great' to 'never used', which is unfortunate, and the main reason I would suggest Dr.Zahnfleisch avoid mortars if at all possible. I know, they're neat, I like them as well and want to put them in my lists (I've got three I think?), but they just eat points and don't pay you back nearly anything for that investment.


One option that hasn't been discussed for Dr.Zahnfleisch's force are the Nuln Ironsides. Forgeworld makes amazing models for these, but I've converted a unit of these out of the armoured Empire State Troop bodies, left arms from Empire Knights and the right arm with rifle from the Handgunner/Xbow unit (which should not be hard to get ahold of, since anyone you know who has made a X-bow unit has these extra arms laying around). My unit was originally to be used as Braganza's Besieger's, but when Tamurkhan came out I stripped the X-bow off them and replaced it with a handgun.

Although the unit isn't GREAT, it IS more effective than a regular handgunner unit, isn't unbalanced at all, is very characterful, and is generally neat. Keeping the Engineer in it to one corner beside a Helblaster is a good combo, as he can assist the warmachine (and a cannon behind the unit is also a great system) while benefiting from being in the unit. Having a detachment of normal handgunners on the other side of the Helblaster is fun, as well as putting a 10 man detachmenet of Swordsmen on the other side of the same unit. Although it gets very expensive, increasing the Ironsides to 30 men (two ranks of 15) sees them put out enough shots to actually harm units (shocking) and is a very impressive sight.

EvanM
19-10-2014, 03:56
I think there should be a way to play empire without any magic, and have it actually work. I'm sure tons of people would play a "pike and shotte" type army

Ayin
19-10-2014, 04:04
Well, you can make that work, you just have to have the right 'other magic' support. Witchhunters and Priests would be helpful here (in theory, if not so much in rules), but to play this way you still need to take 'magical' unit types (ie units that are somehow involved in the magic rules of the game).

If you don't want to take any magic at all, from wizards to witchunters to magic weapons, go for it. You'll just not have any answers to certain problems, just as a real force in the Warhammer world would. There's a reason Magnus' force was aided so much by only three Elven wizards against an entire Chaos invasion. Having no counter or defence against something, you can still fight, but it's going to really suck.

EvanM
19-10-2014, 04:48
What I meant was no priests, wagons wizards at all. It should be viable, it's not though.

A lot of people would enjoy playing essentially well dwarves (humans without magic) but with cavalry too.

Ayin
19-10-2014, 05:46
But dwarves have counter magic in the form of heir natural bonus to dispell and Runesmiths and Runelords. An Empire army with no Wizards/Priests/ect is not the same as a Dwarf army that just doesn't cast spells.

Also, making an army that ignores one of the main game elements is going to be hard, and there's no reason it shouldn't be. If I said I want to make a Bret army with no combat or an elf army that doesn't move, although I could do it, that army is going to have huge problems, as it should, because it's trying to ignore whole game mechanics.

(I also have a Warriors of Chaos all Khorne army with no shooting or magic, so I understand how these things can be done, but I also see why for most armies it's a terrible idea.)

Lord General Armstrong
19-10-2014, 06:43
I have a question, I've never played Fantasy and I may branch off into it in the future. I don't really want to play something conventional, I really want to try a gunline of just handguns and great cannons, with some wizards for magic support, would that be effective at all? What commanders would you suggest?

Axel
19-10-2014, 08:11
Dude you're playing a fantasy game, if you want "less fantasy" then play dwarfs or a historical game.

I fear that this might be the best option for the OP. Play a Maximilian style army (or Burgund, Swiss, French Valois, Trastamera Spanish or Imperial) with heavy guns, heavy knights, pikeblocks and handgunners. It fits perfect. You just won't fight Fantasy opponents.

I play Empire since the 3rd edition, but the current ed. made sheer fantasy options so crucial to the mechanics of the army - at the cost of the mundane units - that I lost my interest and concentrate on my historicals. I will be back for the next edition - or at least giving it a try.




I think there should be a way to play empire without any magic, and have it actually work. I'm sure tons of people would play a "pike and shotte" type army

I tried it for some 20 years. Rarely with success - without ANY magic you usually get stomped in the magic phase. Depending on edition you need at least some defensive magic-wielders. In the current edition the magical/monster components overwhelm the rest.



I really want to try a gunline of just handguns and great cannons, with some wizards for magic support, would that be effective at all? What commanders would you suggest?

Used to work (to some degree), if backed by infantry. Without support you will get overwhelmed, as no shooting is so efficient that it can totally stop the enemy, and currently imho Empire lacks the points for such defensive units (or the points just yield insufficient units). Using Knights for that task means they hang back and hand over the initiative to the opponent.

Ayin
19-10-2014, 09:20
I have a question, I've never played Fantasy and I may branch off into it in the future. I don't really want to play something conventional, I really want to try a gunline of just handguns and great cannons, with some wizards for magic support, would that be effective at all? What commanders would you suggest?

One of the big problems with how some people view the empire is time scale. The arquebusiers of the Empire are not capable of winning a battle unsupported by close combat infantry, that's not the timeline they were drawn from and their technology doesn't support it. In the timeline Empire handgunners are from, handguns are one of three equally viable long ranged weapons seen on the field, and though they're going to become the dominant ranged weapon, they'll still be the minority supported by close support infantry, then the majority supported by infantry, and only THEN will they be the sole infantry on the field.

Basically, the Empire army and it's handguns are set a hundred years or more before everyone having a handgun was a viable way to fight. Arquebuses need to develope into true rifles and THEN need to be able to support bayonets for that to happen.


As for how it works in-game? About as well as it would work historically for that time period. Your handguns will fire, they'll not hit great, and they don't have the rate of fire to truly decimate the infantry advancing on you (but they will do a great job of getting through armour!), and when that enemy infantry does get to you, your lack of armour and close combat weaponry will see your thin line of gunners quickly routed.

If you play to the time period with large groups of combat infantry waiting to close in and kill opponents (who are being decimated while trying to close to stop your gunners) who are trying to advance with you, then you can do just fine.

My current army is a block of 50 Pikemen (which I use as Halberds) supported by a smaller group of sword and shield using duelists (a detachment of Swordsmen), Cannons and Volleyguns, supported by one heavy cavalry group. It's a very reasonable, historical force for it's time period and for the Warhammer world.

Waiting on my shelf are three units of Pistoliers, a unit of 20 Handgunners (and a lot more handgunners) and two Mortars, who hope to see play when the next Empire book comes out. The ability to use Empire Pistoliers effectively (late period Demi-lancers with their demi-plate) and handguns will go a great way towards allowing people to build more 'mundane' styles of Empire armies, but until then an army of infantry supported by field guns is completely doable and reasonable.

Axel
19-10-2014, 12:12
>an army of infantry supported by field guns is completely doable and reasonable.

Indeed, though it needs at least two mages to survive the magic phase and will still get routed by any "competetive" army - as these may outshoot you (yep), grill you with magic and/or are able to get superior quality or quantity (or both) into cc whith only minimal exposure to fire.

Still it is is much more stylish (imho) to field a block of pike then eg five Demigryphons. And you will get a lot of epic battles, were a soldier able to flee the battlefield instead of beeing annihilated feels like a small victory.

PaulGreatrix
21-10-2014, 07:31
Hello folks,

the Empire is looking more and more interesting to me, but I'm gonna need some advice how to field them. The goal is to build a small company of battle hardened men without any of that high fantasy shenanigans.
Greatswords with handgunner detachments are on the very top of my list, with an imperial general as a close second. Huntsmen, Warrior Priests and Knights are all welcome, but stuff like Demigryphs, Wizards and that fancy planetarium on wheels I won't have.

Basically, I want dwarfs with feathered hats and striped pants :)

How can I oppose enemies in the magic phase without fielding wizards? Are witch hunters a viable option for magic defense? Are knights worthwile? How do I dish out the pain? What about Mortars?


Please enlighten me!

I have to agree with the common condemnation of the empire. I ran of fluffy army for ages and tried over and over to find a winning formula without demis and steam tank. I found only 1.

Double hellblaster, each with an engineer (these have won me the game alone in the past).

Knight buses. With a priest, and more importantly, with Kurt Helborg. Most players take cav or monstrous cav, and invest heavily in them. Helborg and his knights will go through them like they were wet paper so long as they outrank them.

But I see no way round using wizards. You are quite simply dead in the water without them.

PaulGreatrix
21-10-2014, 07:54
Another couple if things worth a try are outriders and flagellents.

Outriders kick out a right blizzard of shots, but you have to be prepared to plant them on the edge of your deployment zone and not move them.

I run a 40 strong unit of flaggellants and people told me I was crazy, that flaggies are aweful. I dont agree. Yes they ARE vulnerable and expensive, and perish to bowfire, but so far mine have done well and have often proved gane winners. Last battle they went through a block of ogres infantry and two ironblasters without taking a wound (there was nobody left to attack back!). My flaggies pumped out 50 - yes 50! - attacks, at S5 with reolls on hits and wounds.

Ayin
21-10-2014, 14:04
I don't doubt flagellants, if you are willing to invest in a large enough group of them, are a solid choice and work well in some matchups. In much the same way, I'm a big fan of my Marauder units in my Warriors of Chaos army. They cost more than they should, but they do the single most important thing Infantry can do in this edition, which is deal damage to win combat. Just because their are better pointed units in the book (either WoC or Empire) doesn't mean they aren't a potentially good choice, and just because their are RIDICULOUS(ly pointed) options in the same book doesn't mean that they can't be used well if you want to take them.

It does mean you will see more consistent results with those other choices though. My Marauders do well...until they run into some Dark Elves (and probably High Elves as well). In the same way, Flagellants probably serve your force well (against Ogres, for example, where they can put real hurt on things like Ironguts who they strike before), but of course, aren't going to do you the good the same points invested in Demi's will (and also likely suffer greatly against elves. Damned elves :) )


One thing to consider is trying to balance out a(n Empire) force. You can certainly take a few units that are not the best, or even a unit that's likely terrible, and have good games, but you're more likely to be able to do this if you balance out some of your bad choices by taking some of the better choices. Taking Pistoliers is a brutal way to spend points, and a unit of Greatswords might not be as good as the points spent on Demigryphs, but if our army also contains those two cannons and maybe two helblasters, and your Core is built on a great unit of Knights, you're much better off. On the other hand, backing up your Pistoliers and Greatswords with Spearmen and a Mortar isn't a likely way to have games you're going to enjoy.


As for Outriders, I really think they're a unit that, while clearly not great, most people (who want to include them) can put a unit in their army and see a reasonable return from them. Whether they're just used as Vanguarding Handgunners (so they can shoot on your first turn) who conserve points late game, or as a protected ranged unit, they can do some damage and be fun.

Although it's about the exact opposite way the unit likely SHOULD be run, I've seen a unit of 9 with a wizard, with barded steeds, deployed behind your own troops (like, directly behind your own lines) be somewhat effective. Giving the unit that 4+ armour and -2 to be shot from BS based weapons (from having your own troops in the way) but keeping your guys able to fire over your own troops without penalty gives them some level of protection, and a good place to put a Wizard (especially if there is no place an enemy can fit a flying unit in to attack and the Wizard is carrying something to give them MR). It seemed to work well against Dark Elves who previously had absolutely no difficulty simply walking RX-Bows up and wiping normal Outriders off the board.

EvanM
21-10-2014, 15:17
flagellants, pistoliers, outriders, mortars... all are actually okay but they are simply WAY TOO SITUATIONAL. mortars are good for their cost vs armies that actually use infantry especially with t3 and if you have a shadow mage to drop toughness thats awesome. But vs warriors of chaos? vs ogres? that mortar will likely do 1-3 wounds to the enemy if any at all during the entire game.

flagellants are completely based on init, init 3 means they can get that rediculous round of attacks BEFORE your opponent if that opponent is undead, orcs, lizardmen, ogres.... but against elves and chaos you are just boned. they will charge in, strike first, and kill 20+ of your flagellants before you strike. So again, situational.

pistoliers are actually good at shooting, most fast cav cannot do the damage that pistoliers can with actual ranged attacks. However they have stupidly low armor (they honestly look like they are wearing full plate armor just no barding or shield). So the best thing to use them for IMO is against an army with no shooting (shooting destroys these guys) and against an army with chariots. Your pistols could probably take out a chariot with 4 wounds at T4 (lightly armored) in one round of shooting if you are lucky and have the outrider with repeater pistol.

outriders are probably the best choice for BS based shooting that isnt a warmachine. 15 high accurate shots that you can shoot over your own men is nice, getting a 4+ armor save with barding is nice.


but in the end, most tournament players will just take demigryphs and steam tanks as those units are good vs everything, not just good vs some things.

Ayin
21-10-2014, 15:58
flagellants, pistoliers, outriders, mortars... all are actually okay but they are simply WAY TOO SITUATIONAL.

I'd argue kind of the opposite. They might situationally be okay, but are actually just not very good.


mortars are good for their cost vs armies that actually use infantry especially with t3 and if you have a shadow mage to drop toughness thats awesome. But vs warriors of chaos? vs ogres? that mortar will likely do 1-3 wounds to the enemy if any at all during the entire game.

I think the situation here is actually too broad. Mortars for instance might be more effective against low armour save, T3 troops, but many of those troops come in abundance. Your Mortar may be more effective against, say, Skaven than Warriors of Chaos, but in the end it's not really effective vs either. In the Warrior case because just not enough damage is done, and in the Skaven case because although more kills are made, they're not impactful.

Mortars are good vs T3, low armour save troops who are individually expensive but still numerous enough to come in large enough numbers for the template to hit enough models to be effective. Really, they want to land on units of Dark Elves and High Elves (preferably Executioners, Black Guard, Swordmasters and other Special choices).

I agree with Flagellants being very situational. Marauders are the same way, and with many units with that the way to make them work is no half measures. 30 might work against opponents who you strike before or with, but against many armies in the game you're going to need enough to be able to absorb a full round of casualties before hitting back. If you're not going to take the numbers to be able to do that (and thus allow the unit to be able to fulfill it's role against many opponents), you may as well not invest in them at all.



pistoliers are actually good at shooting, most fast cav cannot do the damage that pistoliers can with actual ranged attacks. However they have stupidly low armor (they honestly look like they are wearing full plate armor just no barding or shield). So the best thing to use them for IMO is against an army with no shooting (shooting destroys these guys) and against an army with chariots. Your pistols could probably take out a chariot with 4 wounds at T4 (lightly armored) in one round of shooting if you are lucky and have the outrider with repeater pistol.

I'd personally argue that Pistoliers are terrible at shooting, but your conclusion that they suffer greatly against opponents with shooting is right on. It's unfortunate that they're just SO vulnerable (despite wearing armour that was supposed to be pistol-proofed, demi-plate which had seen it's thickness increase in the chest and back as it's main purpose was to defend the wearer against ranged attacks) and easy to wipe out with said shooting, but assuming they're hitting on 4's (which is the absolute best they're going to achieve, and it's not likely to happen often) it's going to take all 12 shots (from a unit with champ carrying repeater pistol) to take out a Wolf Rider chariot (which only has 3 wounds). They're just not going to put out any reasonable amount of damage consistently, and they'll lose most shooting engagements against other fast cav (and lose combat against nearly all of them).


Again though, it's not like these choices can't be good, or don't have good match-ups, it's just that there are so many bad match-ups for them that they're not very popular, and they're so expensive that most armies can't just toss one in.

EvanM
21-10-2014, 16:06
Yeah I guess I agree, I was just trying to point out that they can do stuff sometimes, they aren't always useless. Mortars vs skaven is good no matter what, even if u are just killing slaves.

But anyways all of these units really need to be fixed or priced fairly. I love flaggies, pistoliers and mortars but they are all pretty much 25% over priced especially compared to other armies that have units that are better and also cheaper.

Elf fast cav outclassed empire's hands down.

Most stone throwers are better than our mortar

Ayin
21-10-2014, 16:13
Oh yeah, sometimes you'll find yourself wishing you had taken these things that 'suck', because of how helpful they could be, but you rarely will because of price. I often wish I had two units of fast cav (Pistoliers) in my force, but then I look at that Cannon and Helblaster I have instead for nearly the exact same points, and decide I've made the right decision.

And I can't express how much I love Pistoliers and Mortars and want to put them in my force.

EvanM
21-10-2014, 16:22
I fricken hate our book so much.

I want to fix it. The book just shuts down hopes and dreams.

Seriously.

I honestly think that if I made some corrections to our book and made up an army list (that would be too many points otherwise) people would look at it and say "oh yeah I guess that's fair"

Ayin
21-10-2014, 16:34
Haha, yeah, I've been there.

Right now the books been out for years, there's really nothing new to discover in it, and the idea that books released after it will somehow make the bad things in it seem good (or reasonable) has been beaten out of us. Most older books go through this, especially ones that don't have a lot of character. Thankfully, late(r) edition add-ons often come about to add flavour to these groups, like with the new Nagash build for Tomb Kings, or what's likely going to be mixed Chaos forces with the next release (or from Tamurkhan, that books is crazy under-rated). Even tournaments allowing a certain points value of chioces from Storm of Magic/Monstrous Arcana for each force is in my opinion awesome, since it allows people to mix things up.

I don't think Empire will see anything super neat in these releases, but 9th ed is likely to see some big changes. If mounted characters on monsters use the same combined stats system that the new ones out of Nagash use in 9th, then characters on Gryphons (or even possibly, though less likely, Wizrds on wagons) might see some more play. If Large Targets get their +1 to be hit by BS based shooting attack back, handgunners might see some use.

Until then though, i'm just concentrating on building the force I want that looks awesome, and eventually hopefully big parts of it will get better.

EvanM
21-10-2014, 16:55
I hope we get something to make empire more fun to play. I'm fine with our guys sucking, being the "baseline" that everyone else is compared to, but why do we cost nearly exactly the same as units that are insanely more useful? How come pistoliers cost more than ellyrian reavers and are special? How come greatswords cost almost as much as swordmasters or white lions yet are insanely outclassed against them? How come our handgunners and crossbowmen cost nearly the same as elf archers or repeater crossbowmen yet do less damage from shooting and also aren't elves when it comes to close combat. How come?

Because if you say "because of detachments" or "because empire has "synergy with unit buffs" then wow you have never played empire.

Ayin
21-10-2014, 18:54
Because the book was done early on in 8th when they were trying to bring the power level back down. Because in the beginning of 8th they thought that TLoS was going to make BS shooting better and priced BS units accordingly. And because the book wasn't very well done. There's really no excuses, just reasons. Books early on in significantly different editions tend to be based on theory and not stand up well to time.

EvanM
21-10-2014, 19:24
Because the book was done early on in 8th when they were trying to bring the power level back down. Because in the beginning of 8th they thought that TLoS was going to make BS shooting better and priced BS units accordingly. And because the book wasn't very well done. There's really no excuses, just reasons. Books early on in significantly different editions tend to be based on theory and not stand up well to time.

they dont stand up well to MATT WARD is what happens. Crudface makes an excessively limited book (empire) and Matt ward the screws it all up by making the 8th ed elf books 50% better than the 7th ed ones.