PDA

View Full Version : When to put the spears away?



Jonahmaul
21-01-2007, 10:48
I'm starting to use a unit of Saurus with spears in my Lizardman army but this can be applied to anything that has spears & hand weapons and could also be applied to units that carry hand weapons along with halberds or great weapons.

Just wondering when people think it's a good idea to use the spears and when is best to use hand weapon & shield. Haven't got my rulebook with me but I think you can change each round of combat can't you or do you have to stick with the same combination once you've decided in the first round?

Corrupt
21-01-2007, 10:57
You have to stick to it until the fight is over.
I use spears all the time unlss facing a charge by heavy Cav and have a counter charge set up and I really need to hold. In that case shields for the extra survivability.

McMullet
21-01-2007, 14:28
If you're charging the enemy and have a reasonable expectation to win the first round of combat, it's probably worth using hand weapons. If the fight will only last one round, the spears aren't going to do any good so you might as well get the extra save.

Other than that, I'd pretty much always use the spears; Saurus rely on scoring wounds to win combats, so they need as many attacks as possible. Even against cavalry, the best save you can get is 6+ (unless you have the Spawning of Quetzl), so it's not really worth it.

chase123
21-01-2007, 14:53
I agree with the above. It's a cost/benefit analysis based on each individual combat. Do you need attacks to mow through some Goblins who aren't going to hurt you anyway or are you steeling yourself for a charge from Chaos Warriors where the save bonus is more important than five more attacks?

Avian
21-01-2007, 15:02
With Orcs, the problem with spears is that the choppa is now excessively good, so most of the time, a spear and shield is not a good weapon, even if you get charged. In fact, only if you expect the battle to last more than one turn and you expect to strike last in the second turn (which admittedly you gererally do) is there generally any point to spears.

The irony is of course that by choosing the spears and hoping to do better in the second round, you will end up doing worse in the first round of combat, which decreases the chance of there even being a second round of combat, since you are more likely to run away...

NakedFisherman
21-01-2007, 15:11
If you're charging the enemy and have a reasonable expectation to win the first round of combat, it's probably worth using hand weapons. If the fight will only last one round, the spears aren't going to do any good so you might as well get the extra save.

Well, that's certainly untrue. Winning combat means nothing most of the time.

If you have a reasonable expectation that the enemy will break, then use hand weapons (except in cases where spears are better!).

It often comes down to not just the mathematical probability of desirable outcomes, but also the flow of the battle and surrounding area. If spears are your best bet for winning a combat, but attrition is a big deal, then hand weapons are better (and vice versa).

McMullet
21-01-2007, 15:36
Well, that's certainly untrue. Winning combat means nothing most of the time.

If you have a reasonable expectation that the enemy will break, then use hand weapons (except in cases where spears are better!).

Whoops, that's what I meant to say.

NakedFisherman
21-01-2007, 15:43
Whoops, that's what I meant to say.

I figured as much. :)

I thought I'd bring the issue into the forefront as it's one of my pet peeves when people discuss tactics. Statements like 'Swordsmen are better than Spearmen because Empire troops win combat by not taking casualties' always appear silly to me. I always wonder what the person making the statement does when they face off against Slayers!

paulsk
21-01-2007, 19:10
I almost never use spears, and I don't pay for them when I don't have to. Saurus would be an exception if I played lizards, but my infantry exist to give static resolution while giving up as few wounds as possible, and I do my own damage if at all, with supporting units.

My pre-army book Wood Elf spearmen always used sword/board to preserve their valuable rank bonus as long as possible. My skeletons never take spears. My short-lived empire army never used spears. Five extra attacks from low WS, low weapon skill infantry are just not very useful against most enemies.

Even against charging heavy cav whose strength negates my armor I would rather use sword/board. My odds if scoring combat res kills on heavy cav cav with spears worse than my odds of preserving combat res by making an extra armor save against the attacking mounts. And if my unit holds into the second round of combat (and if it won't, who cares what weapon I picked) the sword/board has better odds of eventually repelling the heavy cav that did not break me on the charge by reducing the limited damage from the heavy cav.

Limited exceptions where I would considering using spears if already available are: fighting 6th ed swarms, fighting very fragile enemies whom I might not catch even if I beat in combat, and freak situations where for some reason bringing a enemy unit size down by exactly one would be very valuable to cross a VP/scoring unit/25% unit remaining threshold.

Crazy Harborc
22-01-2007, 00:31
I normally recieve a charge with spears. Most opponents seem to "normally" only take out 5 of mine when they hit first. It's very nice to have 5 bodies fighting back with plus one die for a unit character's extra attack.

It's in my nature to think more about how much damage I'll inflict with the chance of a second rank joining the front one in HtH.

Lyinar
22-01-2007, 03:08
When should you use spears? If you're fighting defensively.

Especially if you're High Elves... 5 more models fighting might not be much, but 10 more can be useful.

stashman
22-01-2007, 09:09
Orc Big Uns with spears is a good killer unit. 10-12 attacks S4 can hold the enemy and stop them from charging you. Have a Mork Spirit Banner in the unit and the 3 dices will go along all fight.

Jester007
22-01-2007, 09:44
One little combo I like to pull with my Lizardmen is give my General the Sword of the Hornet to make him strike first. Put him in a unit of Saraus with spears. They get charged, the Oldblood can possible kill the front five with his 6 attacks at S5, then the spears will take very little damage. In return, I may get 14 attacks from the Saraus. One of my buddies didn't like that very much when he charged a unit of choosen Khorne Warriors into by guys and only ended up killing two of my geckos when he took 5 casualties him self. Thereby getting run down when he fled from combat. Nothing like beating Khorne at his own game =)

Got Squig?

Avian
22-01-2007, 11:34
I always wonder what the person making the statement does when they face off against Slayers!
Shoots them, if he has any sense. ;) Certainly I would not recommend fighting them with any kind of Empire infantry unit unless there were only a very few Slayers left.


I normally recieve a charge with spears. Most opponents seem to "normally" only take out 5 of mine when they hit first. It's very nice to have 5 bodies fighting back with plus one die for a unit character's extra attack.
Eh? Don't you find that your unit is pretty much screwed anyway if the opponent wipes out a whole rank with his attacks. If I was fighting against a unit that I expected to wipe out five of my guys in a normal round of combat, I don't think that a few extra spearmen attacks would comfort me.

Jonahmaul
22-01-2007, 18:44
One little combo I like to pull with my Lizardmen is give my General the Sword of the Hornet to make him strike first. Put him in a unit of Saraus with spears. They get charged, the Oldblood can possible kill the front five with his 6 attacks at S5, then the spears will take very little damage. In return, I may get 14 attacks from the Saraus. One of my buddies didn't like that very much when he charged a unit of choosen Khorne Warriors into by guys and only ended up killing two of my geckos when he took 5 casualties him self. Thereby getting run down when he fled from combat. Nothing like beating Khorne at his own game =)

Got Squig?

I like this idea, me thinks I will use this in my next game as I usually run a character with Sword of the Hornet anyway as I think it's amazing, especially as everybody expects Lizards to be going last as they're so dumb!

Thank you for the idea.

Crazy Harborc
23-01-2007, 00:53
Shoots them, if he has any sense. ;) Certainly I would not recommend fighting them with any kind of Empire infantry unit unless there were only a very few Slayers left.


Eh? Don't you find that your unit is pretty much screwed anyway if the opponent wipes out a whole rank with his attacks. If I was fighting against a unit that I expected to wipe out five of my guys in a normal round of combat, I don't think that a few extra spearmen attacks would comfort me.

Yes, it is a long shot that the spears will do enough wounds that go unsaved to pull out a win in a HtH where the unit took 5(or more) wounds. IMHO, it's STILL better than having only a unit champion left to fight back;)