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Gen.Steiner
08-01-2007, 14:10
Just had a thought for the Empire army that I'm making at the moment, and it runs like this:

Two units of 25 Spearmen (5x5) each with two detachments of 10 handgunners.

One unit of 35 Dogs of War pike.

Deploy thus:

Shot - Spear - Shot - Pike - Shot - Spear - Shot

Add characters and assorted extra units to taste, and field.

Thoughts?

McMullet
08-01-2007, 14:35
I like it... it's so... symmetric.

35 Pikemen though, that's a lot of points - I would've thought 25 would do it. How many does that come to, without characters and specials?

The_Internet
08-01-2007, 14:41
Still allowed to use DoW in Empire book?

Gen.Steiner
08-01-2007, 14:42
I have absolutely no idea!

Without any other units and ignoring the 7x5 Pike unit... it comes to...

400 points for the four Handgunners - if you give them Marksmen with Hochland Long Rifles (only 320 otherwise).
240 for the two Spear units (280 if you give them shields as well).

So that's 680 in all. Not sure about the Pike unit! It's cheaper than I thought though - easily enough for a couple of units of Free Company or a cannon or two in addition to the obligatory Captains and suchlike.

The main reason I've gone for five ranks of seven is because I want as many Pikemen as possible fighting. Four ranks of pike is a possible maximum of 28 - larger than most units! The remaining 7 are to ensure that the Pike block stays at maximum efficiency for as long as possible.

EDIT:

The Empire book has no mention of Dogs of War, but I won't let that stop me because, frankly, they're mercenaries - they can fight for anyone, according to their army list which, as far as I know, is still legit.

Atrahasis
08-01-2007, 14:43
Still allowed to use DoW in Empire book?

The Dogs of War rules tell us who can use Dogs of War, not the army books.

Gen.Steiner
08-01-2007, 14:47
The Dogs of War rules tell us who can use Dogs of War, not the army books.

Hurray!

My idea works, that's good. :D Now... any actual ideas, as in, am I insane or am I a genius?

Makarion
08-01-2007, 14:49
Yes. All rules for DoW have been rerouted to the pdf and taken out of respective army books, it seems. So, until they update the DoW/RoR pdfs (don't hold your breath), they're in.

Gotta love a(n) (English/Scottish) Civil War historical army, even if the Empire doesn't quite have the feel for it, background-wise. I agree, though, that we're left with little choice, given that Tilea, the beacon of enlightenment and modern technology, seems to have replaced all the guns with crossbows. Doh!
You might as well get some galloper guns as well, now I think of it. That should round you out nicely :).

Gen.Steiner
08-01-2007, 14:58
415 points for the pike block (!) plus the 680 for the spear 'n' shot - 1095 points. That's pretty decent, gives me enough for some captains and wizards and things.

Ah, my dear Makarion, this isn't ECW themed, this is Landschknecht themed! :D Pike and shot was knocking around quite some time before its peak of the late 17th Century.

So, how's this sound:

40 Handgunners, 48 Spearmen and 34 pike accompanied by two cannon (200), a general on foot, two captains on foot (one with Battle Standard) and a wizard; supported by a couple of Free Company units to stick on my flanks...

Free Company-------Spear-------Pike--------Spear-------Free Company
---------------Shot--------Shot-------Shot--------Shot---------------
Cannon----------------------------------------------------------Cannon

EDIT:

Just had a thought! At 2,000 points I can have two pike blocks of 25 each (5x5) with the Core units being the shot... Hmmm... main problem with that is that it's not enough pike units... oh well.

Catferret
08-01-2007, 15:12
Gen Steiner, I'm afraid Detachments can't have any command models so you will have to lose the Marksmen with Longrifles but I doubt you would care about that considering it isn't the theme of your army!;)

Looks like an interesting list though. I'd like to see pics of it if you build the army. Lots of ranked up units look great.

Gen.Steiner
08-01-2007, 15:25
Gen Steiner, I'm afraid Detachments can't have any command models so you will have to lose the Marksmen with Longrifles but I doubt you would care about that considering it isn't the theme of your army!;)

A jolly good point! No matter, that frees up 80 points :D

I am going to embark on making this thing tonight, so pictures will be coming soon I think.

Axel
08-01-2007, 15:28
The problem with the first army is that any wise opponent will avoid the front of the big pikeblock, Handgunners make bad supporting units once the fighting starts, and 25 spearman can be overcome. Your flanks are endangered, and your opponent has the chance to concentrate on one.

You could take the initiative play the army the Swiss style, with very few "shot". Let the main block advance towards the enemy, and secure its flank with two units of spearmen and sword- and/or helbard-detachements. Keep some small handguns behind to take on the odd light unit (cavalry or skirmishers) that gets in the back of your main force, and then head in for the kill. This will also work with two units of 30 pikes:
30*2 pikes
30*2 spear
12*2 sword
12*2 helbard
10*2 handgun
~1450 pts, 186 models

Buy characters and magical protection with a focus on surviving the first onslaught.

This usually works better then a "pike and shot" without guns. The short range of the handguns usually lets your opponent decide the flow of the battle. I usually play a mixed army (using lots of Foundry pikemen as spears) with an offensive flank with a unit of knights and pistoliers play a static flank protected by a Hellblaster (wich competes with the pikeblocks). A mixed deployment of handguns and blocks does not work well for me, though.

Gen.Steiner
08-01-2007, 15:38
The problem with the first army is that any wise opponent will avoid the front of the big pikeblock, Handgunners make bad supporting units once the fighting starts, and 25 spearman can be overcome. Your flanks are endangered ... You could take the initiative play the army the Swiss style, with very few "shot".

Fair points - what of the second army, with its two Great Cannon and Free Company to secure the furthest flanks?

An alternative is to exchange one of the blocks of Free Company for a Halberdier unit, and the other cannon or swapped them for two mortars.

I don't want to play Swiss style, as I like the idea of 72 'pike' and 40 shot - it's an attempt to get as close as possible to the 2:1 ratio of the early pike & shot armies.

Commissar Vaughn
08-01-2007, 15:54
What a coincidence, the other day i was considering an Empire civil War army!
Ive already done Landsnechts Dogs of war....

Im envisioning 3 blocks of spears with small units of handgunners on each flank, a pair of cannons and a couple of units of pistoliers, one led by the lord general and the other by a captain. Captain and BSb to lead the infantry...Ah historical warhammer....

Axel
08-01-2007, 16:21
Early "shot & pikes" were practically invented first by the swiss, though they did not use either shot or pikes at main weapons. It was the advent of the Landsknechts, invented by Maximilian to provide him troops that were not Swiss but could fight the Swiss way, that made it necessary for the massed infantry blocks to wield weapons that were usefull against other infantry, rather then fight off cavalry, read: the pikes. In the first Landsknecht wars around 1498 and up to 1515, were the Swiss were beaten, the proportion of handguns was around 10-20% and slowly rising. At the same time cavalry went down to a low of 10% around 1530. It was the slow increase in handguns that made the pikeblocks less efficient, and thus cavalry - which was usefull against handguns but not pikes - usefull again.

Anyway, to bring sense into my rant, the 2:1 ratio was not a given mantra and only developed as a thumb-rule. In the earliest phase up to 1530 - those that imho is the historical equivalent of the warhammer empire - there were less handguns, and still a good deal of knights, crossbows, archers and all kinds of other weired units in the army then in the later, more "stable" phase.

On the second army - I have learned that cannons alone hardly hold a flank, nor can freecompanies really hope to win a fight. Together they can hold against light forces, like the usual light horse and knights that I use, but they are hard pressed. A hellblaster will surely help to stabilize that (weired machinery was indeed used, though with not much success, by the Condottierie on the battlefields of the late renaissance Italy), though using 25 Spearman supported by 10 freecompanies or, better yet, a small unit of knights might do the same job with more style. Personally I like to use small knight-units for such tasks - if the opponent leaves the flank alone they can still hope to join the party elsewhere. On the other hand, 50 pts of free company can be seen as an investment to draw enemy units away from the center. Just play them and see how they feel. My main problem with the second army is the same as with the first: its problematic to mix blocks and handguns - either you remain static and leave the initiative to the opponent, or you move forward either with handgunners (no shots) or without, obstructing their field of fire. The limited range of the handguns prevents the exact transfer of late renaissance tactics to the battlefields of WFB.

Gen.Steiner
08-01-2007, 16:47
A good and informative rant, but... well, see, I'd quite like a static army which, while it to a certain extent hands the initiative to the enemy, does mean that it forces the foe to confront a wall of spiky bits of metal. I am intrigued by the presence of crossbows (fits well with the idea of Wissenland being poor), and so have modified the list accordingly.

The current list that I'm looking at is this:

General (goes in the Spear unit with the Banner of Valour).
Captain with Standard of Sigismund (Pike).
Captain with Icon of Magnus (other Spear).
Grey Wizard (roams about).

Spear unit with Banner of Valour, full command (19 men).
- 10 Handgunners

Spear unit with full command (19 men).
- 10 Handgunners

Two units of 10 Crossbowmen (not detachments, but deployed as such).

15 Swordsmen with full command.

15 Halberdiers (Dopplesoldner) with full command.

2 Great Cannon.

34 Pikemen with full command.

This gives me the following setup for 2,000 points:

HHHHH----------SSSSC-----------PPPPPPB----------SSSSc----------sssss
HHHHH--XXXXX--SSSSS--hhhhh--PPPPPPP--hhhhh--SSSSS--XXXXX--sssss
HHHHH--XXXXX--SSSSS--hhhhh--PPPPPPP--hhhhh--SSSSS--XXXXX--sssss
-----------------SSSSS----------PPPPPPP-----------SSSSS---------
-----GC----------SSSSS----------PPPPPPP-----------SSSSS-------GC

S = Spearmen
s = Swordsman
H = Halberds
h = Handgunners
P = Pikemen
X = Crossbowmen
GC = Great Cannon
C = Count
B = BSB
c = Captain

Axel - how does that look?

Axel
08-01-2007, 17:52
I would like to play that one, and would certainly love to face it with one of my own Empire armies - for a good old historical game with fantasy elements.

For competetive games, however, I would add mobile units, like Knights or the Captain on a Pegasus (my Empire army almost always include him). As opposing force I would, depending on terrain, either concentrate on one flank or attack both flanks and ignore the center, and then hopefully threaten your pikes from two sides. Push up the Spearmen to 25 at least for some added stability. Main blocks who act as a focus should be 25-30, so that they can safely weather missile fire.

Give it a go, and remember to report in. I will soon have a game against Lizards, and I am tempted to play DOW using 3 pikeblocks with light support, though I will probably go for just one and try out some of the new Empire toys.

Prince Sairion
08-01-2007, 18:01
I read this thread and chuckle to myself as this kind of army is exactly why I wanted to collect Empire around 14yrs ago when I started out.

The idea of the cannon infront of the troops blasting away before the crew flee behind the blocks. . ah. . tis a sweet image. . .

Warhammer game-wise though completely impractical. Hows about - and this is drifting away from the 'shot' and more towards the 'poor' side of things here, having archers around??

I just think that seen as everything else is dependent on the enemy going 'Huh, we'd be really wise to attack the flanks, but nuts to that! There's a big block of spikes - CHARGE!!!' maybe skirmishers can tip a few things for you. Allow a sacrificial unit for flank charges etc.

If only every player collected their army for the look and feel rather than the massacre.

Crazy Harborc
09-01-2007, 00:40
Been there and done that.......It was a series of 2500 to 3000 point armies.

To get marksmen just raise one or two indie units of handgunners;). A couple of the RoR pike units (old fart moment on the names) can jazz up those pike unit's abilities.

Gen.Steiner
09-01-2007, 03:00
I would like to play that one

Good, because it's the one I'm going for. :p


For competetive games, however, I would add mobile units, like Knights

Points are an issue - that list is 2,000 points exactly...


As opposing force I would, depending on terrain, either concentrate on one flank or attack both flanks and ignore the center

If you concentrate on one flank I can pivot around you and hit you in your own flank. If you attack both flanks and ignore the centre I can sacrifice the weakest and smash into you with my 35 strong pike block... or that's the theory!



Push up the Spearmen to 25 at least for some added stability.

Again, points are iffy. I might drop the cannon...? I think adding 500 points would solve a LOT of my problems! :p

Sanjuro
09-01-2007, 08:39
I can't seem to remember (another old fart moment) - can other armies' characters join DoW units? I play pure DoW, so that question never seems to pop up.

If they can, put both the general and BSB in the pike regiment. Many enemies will be hard pressed to ignore such a tempting opportunity (if they wipe that unit, they will have won the battle). Perhaps you could coax a few charges into the pike unit that way. Though it is risky, you are by no means guaranteed a win against some units, even if they charge the front of your pikes. Trust me, pikes are my mainstay units, so I know how they can fail you when you seem to most need them.

Gen.Steiner
09-01-2007, 10:38
I can't seem to remember (another old fart moment) - can other armies' characters join DoW units? I play pure DoW, so that question never seems to pop up.

I assumed so - the battle standard is going into the pike block, the Captain into one of the spear blocks...