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Am putting together a purely defensive list (magic heavy/lots of shooting) and was thinking about sticking my master BSB with the ASF banner (Standard of Hag Graef) in a large block of Spearmen that will hold the centre. Is this a sensible idea?
Would have at least 10 Str3 attacks (strngth 3 isn't much, I know, but could still kill a couple of models depending on what your fighting) and 3 attacks from the BSB. Would hopefully soften the enemy up with the 2 sorceresses and the shooting from boltthrowers and crossbowmen before I am charged. Plus, it might also come as a surprise to the enemy... Not forgetting Eternal Hatred either.
Anyway... Has anyone ever tried this before? Is it a good idea?
Not a terrible idea, but I prefer the banner of nagarythe. It makes you unit of spears unbreakable, which is a huge bonus, and gives +1 to combats nearby. So a big block with warbanner, and nagarythe can give you 7-8 SCR and be unbreakable as long as the master stays alive. You keep him alive by putting an assassin with rune and manbane in the unit, since it has ASF, it can clear out most of the front rank of normal things by its self.
The unit ends up being rather expensive, but it really is quite effective. With the secrecy regarding assassin and magic items, it really isn't apparent that the unit is that dangerous.
If you want an ASF unit that can hold, use black guard. LD 9 ItP stubborn S4 2 attacks each is really much better than giving warriors that. Plus they can take it as a unit banner, letting you use a different BSB banner.
I personally use both units at the same time. Not very many people expect DE to bring a pair of rock solid combat blocks that act as really effective anvil units. It is really nice to be able out block hammer the block hammer armies. I really have enjoyed using a pair of anvils with a pair of hammers (hydras and CoKs) to really break the main body of many of my enemies.
Sometimes when I feel like being really funny, I bring the cauldron of blood and a good sized unit of witches. So that is 1 unbreakable unit, one ItP stubborn, and one frenzied stubborn unit, and I have the ability to really boost the effectiveness of any of the units (ward save, killing blow, or +1 attack are great options to give units stuck in protracted combat, or to give to hammer units charging home)
Banner of Nagarythe and an Assassin to protect the BSB seems like a massive point drain in a 1,500 point army. Would be over a third of the total points, and with 2 level 2 sorceresses in there as well, wouldn't have many points leftover for an army, lol. The beneifits are rather impressive though. Would definately be something to consider anyway, especially in a larger battle.
As my collection stands just now I don't have any Black Guard. Will probably definately add some in the future, not only are they hardcore but the models are awesome! They would probably replace the Spearmen altogether.
1500 point game? I don't believe you had stated any point limit...
I consider games lower than 2k to not really be WHFB, since not having access to lord level guys really changes the game. So when people post generic topic headings like ASF spearmen, I assume they are talking about Lord level battles.
Black guard are indeed great. I get all sorts of questions when I DON"T take them, since they have proven themselves over and over again.
No, I didn't specify a point limit because I wanted some general advice on whether ASF warriors would be good. Would probably be more useful in a smaller game than in anything over 2000 points as there's a higher likelyhood that the enemy won't field a lot of super-uber death units. In a smaller game he might field one or two, which will then be shot and magicked to death. Or (hopefuly) at least weakened enough to give the Spearmen a decent chance of fighting them off if they went first, a Great Weapon on the BSB would help them acheive this.
In anything bigger than 2000 points would ditch the banner altogether and put an assassin in there instead and use the setup you described earlier.
Black Guard are definately on my list of units to get. I can see myself using them a lot
ASF isn't really worth it in Warriors. ASF is important when you want to kill the enemy to reduce incoming attacks, thus making your own unit more survivable. This raises a few problems in regards to ASF warriors.
#1. Str 3. Hitting first with Str 3 isn't going to really slide the balance in your favor except against other Str 3/T 3 infantry...in which case the ASF is overkill anyway.
#2. Warriors are cheap. Using ASF to protect them is inefficient.
#3. Shields. For less cost than the ASF banner you could give a unit of 25 shields and they would probably outperform an ASF counterpart with no shields against most enemies except HE.
#4. Warriors are defensive units, trying to upgarde them to be more 'fighty' is a little silly. We have plenty of other 'fighty' units that bennefit more from such upgrades.
If your looking for a solid unit, give 20-25 warriors shields, full command, a War Banner and then give your BSB no magic standard and kit him out for close combat with magic weapons and armour, maybe a null shard for magic defense. This unit has penty of static rez, rerolls break tests and has a nice fighty master to even the odds against elite troops. This type of unit can hold out against most enemies long enough for flank help to come.
The only honorable options left to we combatants is seppuku or semantics...which amount to the same thing really.
Yes, got to agree with Notabot, the result wouldn't be bad, but it would be a waste. Besides, the Black Guard need the help in striking first and the spearmen's opponenets more often than not will have a lower initiative.
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