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comistan
02-01-2015, 18:35
Hi guys, I'm looking for advice. I've decided to build an Empire army (ultimately to 2000pts). I don't have the army book yet (it's ordered and en-route). I also have the Empire Battalion box. I'm just trying to get a jump on the Army book. What units do you take and why? Do you take Halberds, spears or swords? Thanks in advance

EddieJA
02-01-2015, 19:09
Hi!

Long time Empire player, loved the army for years.

I'm a big fan of Swordsmen Hordes (40) with beefy Halberd detachments (20). I know alot of people will say that nothing besides Halberdiers is worth taking, but as a defensive-minded player, Swordsmen have never done me wrong.

Definitely get some Demigryph Knights. There's really no downside to them.

I used to love Mortars, but the current book kind of threw them into the trash, so my warmachines are all Cannons and Helblasters these days.

Skywave
02-01-2015, 20:12
For the core troops, the Halberdiers are the most useful and "all-comer" troops. Strength is the most useful offensive stats, so having some S4 core is really good. Swordsmen are also decent, although much less used overall. WS 4 and a 6+ parry is still good (the 5+ armour save is a marginal bonus), and the unit is better in a defensive role.

Lord Dan
03-01-2015, 04:43
Hi there, welcome aboard. The Empire has a pretty solid battalion, with:

10 missile troops
20 combat troops
8 knights
1 cannon

Let's go through each one and talk about expansion options. Regarding your missile troops, while BS-based shooting in this game is generally weak it can be useful for support roles - sniping lone characters, wounding monsters, clearing chaff, knocking off rank bonuses for enemy units, etc. I would recommend crossbowmen over handgunners for a couple of reasons. First, given the types of units you should be shooting with your missile troops (war hounds, light cavalry, armorless war machines, and the like) an extra -1 to armor saves will come in handy less than an additional 6" range. Second, and the thing most people overlook, is that the +6" range also gives you an extra 3" extension to what constitutes as close range, meaning you won't be at -1 to hit for long range as often. Finally, they'll almost never be useless on turn 1, while handgunners will rarely be in range to fire (barring vanguarding troops and scouts).

I would recommend Halberdiers, both because they're generally the stronger all-comers' choice and because as a new player you'll have a difficult time properly utilizing a horde of Swordsmen (which isn't impossible, but requires a lot of finesse and magical support). Your first order of business should be to bulk them up from 20 to 40 as soon as you can, as a unit of 20 is basically nothing more than a bunker.

Knights and a cannon are pretty straightforward - I'd run the Knights as inner circle, and try to find a way to get them up to 10-12 strong (eBay is a great place to find loose models).

You'll also need a general for any legal games, for which I'd recommend a Warrior Priest on foot to be used as an Arch Lector in larger games. You'll also need a Battle Standard Bearer, because our generally lackluster Ld values rely on its re-rolls. At that point you'll be looking at:

Warrior Priest
Captain

40 Halberdiers
10 Crossbowmen
10-12 Inner Circle Knights

Cannon

From there the expansion order is less important, as you'll already have your foundation out of the way. I would strongly recommend a wizard, a hellblaster, and demigryph knights. Eventually you'll need another large combat block (Greatswords are a strong, if expensive, choice) and can feasibly pick up some fun toys like the Hurricanum or a Steam Tank, but you've got a ways to go before you consider any of that.

That out to keep you busy for a while.

march10k
03-01-2015, 16:39
I also prefer swordsmen to halberdiers...the tee shirt save and crappy initiative of the halberdiers just means they die, and die badly. Sure, a large enough block will take a few enemy with them due to S4 and step up, but damaging an enemy unit while outright losing your own unit is a crummy trade in the best of times, and that's PRECISELY the calculation that you make when you field halberdiers. 40 swordsmen led by a warrior priest and backed by a hurricanum has every opportunity to absorb a charge and survive the battle. The WP and hurri don't make the swordsmen some kind of maniacal killers, they are however enough to keep the CRES differential close to even so that when your hammer flanks the enemy, you crush them. In the meantime, the swordsmen block can actually survive to the end of the game without giving up its VP if needed (obviously this depends on who charged them!), and can certainly sit there in melee for 3-4 combat phases while waiting for help to arrive. Anyway, two blocks of 40 swordsmen with WP support and sharing a hurricanum between them forms the basis of my lists.

Halberdiers try to fill the role of greatswords while still filling core minimums, but they're just weak...S4 isn't S5, 6+ isn't 4+, their WS is worse, and they run like babies at the first sign of casualties, while greatswords stand to the last man...usually.

I also shelved my mortars when the current army book released...but they're back in my list now. Hitting 3-4 dozen T3 models with S2 results in removing a rank or two, and the center hole is still great for stripping wounds off of monsters and war machines.

I agree that demigryphs are amazing...but I don't use them. If I were a powergamer, I'd take 3-4 units of 4, but they don't really suit me. I am working on some ulrican wolf riders to "counts as" demigryphs, but that'll be a single squadron. Anyway, I concur with the recommendation.

FLUEVOG
03-01-2015, 17:52
Get two Great Cannons, they're awesome. halberdiers are your best all-comers. Crossbows over handguns due to the extra range. Demigryphs are awesome. A Pegasus-captain to hunt warmachines. Steam tanks are good although I don't run them. Archers for detachments.

Ramius4
03-01-2015, 19:52
Get two Great Cannons, they're awesome. halberdiers are your best all-comers. Crossbows over handguns due to the extra range. Demigryphs are awesome. A Pegasus-captain to hunt warmachines. Steam tanks are good although I don't run them. Archers for detachments.

Pretty much this. I'd also say to get a couple Warrior Priests, they're a huge help for your Halberdiers. Knights are also an excellent Core unit.

You'll also be wanting a Wizard (or two). Choosing a magic lore is largely dependant on both the troops you're using, and what you want your magic to accomplish.

Greyshadow
03-01-2015, 20:55
What Lord Dan said. Some great advice here. I wouldn't take two cannons only because that would be a bit cheesy. If you want to win more then take em I guess. Found the Hurricanum a very powerful unit but it took me ages to paint

SteveW
03-01-2015, 21:08
Why would anyone run swordsmen in horde?

Ramius4
03-01-2015, 22:30
Why would anyone run swordsmen in horde?

I have no idea. Did someone mention it?

To the OP. If you do like using Swordsmen, go 5 wide and as deep as possible. If you go Halberdiers, go horde or go home. ;)

SteveW
03-01-2015, 22:32
I have no idea. Did someone mention it?

;)


Post 2 eddieja

Ramius4
03-01-2015, 22:43
Ah ok. Strange that he thinks of himself as a defensive player, yet fields them in horde.

Although maybe he's using the word 'horde' in a general sense, and doesn't mean the formation?

Lord Dan
03-01-2015, 22:47
I've run Swordsmen in a horde before. They obviously need to be buffed in some way (Withering, Wyssans, Okkams, etc.), but it makes for a pretty powerful unit. That said, I prefer units of 20 as bunkers or detachments for Greatswords.

forseer of fates
03-01-2015, 23:22
7 point swordsmen are so not worth it compared to halberdiers.

Lord Dan
04-01-2015, 01:00
That's because they should be 6 point Swordsmen. ;)

forseer of fates
04-01-2015, 01:48
Your dam right, hopefully many fixes when 9th comes around. Yes 12 point flagellant's indeed. I could go on:P

Stegadeth
04-01-2015, 01:56
Compared to Skink Cohorts, I think Swordsmen look about right at 7 points.

Lord Dan
04-01-2015, 02:34
Compared to Skink Cohorts

Which is like starting a sentence with: "Compared to Lothern Seaguard..." ;)

Stegadeth
04-01-2015, 05:01
Which is like starting a sentence with: "Compared to Lothern Seaguard..." ;)

Sorry. Only experience I can really speak from.

glados
04-01-2015, 05:14
Empire player here

I wont weigh in on the core infantry argument but I will say this. Dont overlook mortars. Against Elves and Skaven (who Empire really struggle against) they're a fantastic unit. They can really take chunks out of elite Elven units such as Swordsmasters etc quite easily.

Demi's are great, run them in a block of 6. Steam Tanks are also fantastic and possibly the most versatile single model in the entire game. They're a cannon, a phenomenal tarpit and high damage output unit. They're great in defensive lists. Just sit them still pumping out cannon shots and when something gets in range, charge it with max steam points. Most armies wont have a clue how to deal with it.

Runefangs are also amazing. A fun list to run is 2 X Demi's, one single huge block of IC with 2 if not 3 Runefangs in the front (take a Grandmaster, possibly Franz on a horse and Hellbourg). It moves fast and with a priest and life wizard in the ranks completely ******* up anything it comes into contact with.

EddieJA
06-01-2015, 16:51
Ah ok. Strange that he thinks of himself as a defensive player, yet fields them in horde.

Although maybe he's using the word 'horde' in a general sense, and doesn't mean the formation?


I am a defensive player, I'm just not a powergamey defensive player. Hordes look like the big units that I want to see when I play a medieval-fantasy game. I think the bus looks dumb on the tabletop. Plus, playing Swordsmen in a horde gives me a big frontage that I can use to block people from getting to the Halberdier and Handgun detachment that almost always accompany my big Swordsmen block, as I usually set my detachments an inch or two behind the front rank of the Swordmen horde.

FLUEVOG
10-01-2015, 00:17
Preserving your rank bonus / steadfast is "powergamey"?