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Greetings from the Imperial Guard forum. Over the summer, I will be starting empire as the Imperial Guard's equivalent in Fantasy. I intend to buy the warhammer rule book, empire army book, 20 free company, empire army boxed set, and the battlewizards box. Can this give me a good army to start out with? I am buying them all at once, and have no tactical experience so help me out guys!;o
ps. can somone please give me the pros and cons of spearmen, swordsmen, and halberdiers, because I seem to be favoring swordsmen alot. Also what would you take in a beginers army; a great cannon or hellblaster volleygun?
I think that the variety of the Empire infantry is great! Swordsmen, as you say you like, are pretty good.
Swordsmen: they have the same armor save vs. ranged attacks as spearmen, but it's even better than spearman armour in melee, and they always have better armor than halberders since they don't use shields. They have higher weapon skill than both which helps then to hit less skilled enemies easier, and harder to hit by more skilled enemies.They don't have the strength to contend with tough enemies though like Orcs or Lizards, but they do very well against rats or goblins.
Spearmen: very good defensive troops, even though their armor save isn't as good as swordsmen in melee. On each turn of combat they don't charge, not only the front row attacks but also the second, so you get a good number of attacks to deal with foes. I would personally rate spearmen and swordsmen on about the same level of effectiveness against weaker troops like rats/goblins (but not just them, there are many weak troops in Fantasy Battle) Swordsmen are more aggressive (try to get charge) spearmen are more defensive (don't need to get charge).
Halberders: My personal favorite. Halberders only use their front row to attack, like spearmen they only have average weapon skill, they don't have shields, but where they shine it in their strength. Because of the extra strength given to them by their weapons, halberders are more able to tackle higher toughness enemies, which there are a lot of. And unlike greatswords, they attack in intiative order, which is an important ability.
Overall I think you should build Halberders with your first batch of state troops, but depending on how you want your play style to be choose whichever sounds most appealing!
As for the Great Cannon/ Hellblaster, most people (including myself) would choose the greatcannon, it's better for tackling bigger foes (like giants or dragons) and it's more reliable (less likely to blow up in your face).
I hope I was able to help you out! Goodluck, and welcome to Warhammer Fantasy Battle!
Thanx for the advice. I think I will make swordsmen in a large group, with halberdier detatchments. Are free company/militia any good?
Free company are great for detachments, think of charging or counter charging infantry with multiple attacks in the flank of an enemy unit.. it's a beautiful thing, even against tougher enemies they can still negate rank bonuses.
Really you're better off just using swordsmen for big unit (25-30) and for your detachments (8-10) Halberds die so easily and with so many armies getting always strike first items, you'll want them to stay alive as long as you can so you can negate ranks. Swordsmen with Swordsmen detachments is the best gamewise. The other detachments that are used sometimes are 6-8 crossbow/handgunners depending on what range you want and sometimes 6 archers are used as a screening unit (also skirmishers)
What point level are you looking at? In larger games, great cannons will be pivotal. They can blow chariots to smithereens, kill large monsters with one shot, take out other warmachines, etc. The Helstrom Rocket Battery is actually a better rare choice for the points. It has the capability of taking out 1/2-3/4 a ranked unit when you learn to use it properly.
Last edited by buckero0; March 23rd, 2008 at 20:10.
Empire is a very tactical army, you need to make decision what tactic you prefer. And then build around it.
A couple of proven empire tactics:
TVI (the village idiot):
tactic: Large infantry blocks with detachments, covering the whole table and giving the opponent no flank to abuse. The combat is not won by killing but CR and flankchargers. (I use this tactic myself, love it!)
tactic: well gunline... not much to talk about. I think it's boring, and probably not much fun for the opponent. But it is very effective, empire has the largest fire potential in the game.
tactic: A lot of small 5/6 knights units. It works, empire has some very though knights to kill. but brets are just better at it .
The key of empire is that it is not the best in all but always good in everything. So if you use a combination of the tactics just mentioned you will have a very vertile army.
On to the units. I think Ready4anything gave good discription of the basic statetroops. However I don't agree on his conclusion. Halberds just suck, they are fluffwise the best option but in game term not worthy to field. It's a shame GW didnt fix the halberd in 7th.
I tend to use spearmen, mainly because of the models (I use Gamezone pikemen). And for detachments i use halberdiers, always use 9 in a 3x3 formation. This is however not the best setup but i prefer a fluffwise aproach, best to use is swordmen. ps. free company is not skrimishing... archers are. So they WILL negate ranks, if us 5+.
The main problem you will face with the empire force is that it will not have units that are elite. Any other army in the game except skaven has better elite infantry. However empire compensate it with cheap rank & file. So use your numbers and trust me even the thoughest elites will have a hard time beating the CR of a 25 men unit with 9 men detachment. It will automatically gain static CR of 6, banner, ranks, flank, outnumbering.
Hope it helps, good luck fellow General of the Empire ;Y
I had a long post planned, but Buckero0 and Everhard III have pretty much said it all. The advice they gave is all very good.
And if you're wondering, The Village Idiot is a person that is credited with making popular the tactic of using large blocks with detachments, and using the rest of the army (warmachines, knights, etc) to support them. Also, the tactics prescribe that infantry blocks should recieve charges rather than charging the enemy, on the basis that Empire troops are not likely to inflict many casualties anyway, they get the counter-charge with detachments anyway, and if they recieve the charge, then when the enemy breaks and runs in the ENEMY'S turn, the Empire player is free to pursue and run down said units with their cavalry in the EMPIRE player's turn.
For the record, this strategy is not a static one, as the Empire player must maneuver to ensure that his blocks, rather than his detachments, are charged, and that he protects his blocks from shooting to ensure that his detachments remain above the critical Unit Strength 5 required to negate enemy ranks.