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I've been tinkering with the idea of fielding ye ol' Emperor Franz.(for the bigger games ofcourse (yet while i'm writing this, I think I would probably use him in smaller games too)-1500 to 3000 point games)
The thing I like about him is the 10 Ld to everything within 18"... and the ability to make the unit he joins immune to psychology... and the 4+ ward save and magic resistance (3)... and the choise of either his Runefang or the mighty Ghal Maraz(both of which i like alot)...
Okay, there are a lot of things I like about him.
My thing is, that I plan to use him on horseback with a unit of inner circle knights. The trick for me is to reduce his massive points cost. This way of using him would make him around the 370'ish points. The strength of this composition is that he would be a great hammering unit with good save and protection while providing the state troops with some much needed Ld.
But what do you think ? is this something viable?
The problem with big units of knights is that they are not manvauverable. A smart opponent will avoid and send suicide units against your big unit and wait for the right moment to hit you in the flank.
The best setup for Karl Franz, who is indeed amazing, is by sticking him on the Dragon with Gharl Maraz and use his 20" move to use cover, then fly out 20" somewhere where the enemy can't get away from you and kill stuff.
You shouldn't need to worry about cannons and the like, as an empire army should be fielding some of it's own, and just use them to fire at the enemy cannons the turn the emperor is getting into cover and the turn he pops out.