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I'm curious as to whether or not you think the Empire can be played effectively and competitively without the use of gunpowder units, such as handgunners pistoleers cannons, etc.
Granted, gunpowder is one of the three things that make the Empire great, besides faith and steel, but I'm curious as to whether or not more experienced players think it's possible to fight it out with just faith and steel.
If it is possible, what setup would you recommend?
I may not be an experienced empire player but I'd say a knight army would work without gunpowder, and crossbows could be used as support.
Tough, sure, but doable. Empire Knights are solid enough, those Swordsmen blocks don't really need help...
And you can still take some magic right?
It will work but without gunpowder weapons you may struggle in some areas since all our warmachines are gunpoweder based. You'll just need to smash them in combat i guess with knights or that. What kind of force are you looking at? Mayby try magic heavy for some firepower including the useal xbows, bows.
Personally, i love empire for it's use of black powder. X-bows can be considered superior in that they have a longer range than handguns, so that'll work. But on the higher pointlevels it may indeed be harder for empire because they would not be able to use cannons or any of the other heavy weaponry.
There are many backwater provinces with would indeed have very few powderbased weapons, like hochland.
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Relatively cheap troops, and cheap characters, can make a pretty big army. Priests and Mages, special characters and officers, leading rank and file troops by the numbers because you shaved points on no gunpowder.
Try out a monsterous mount on your general even. When played right, you learn why they cost so much... and with no expensive gun choices, you have the points to leaern how to do it.
Knights work just fine.
Also don't forget... Dogs of War. No pistoliers? No outriders? NO PROBLEM!!! Take some Dogs of War, Light Cav, with some spears or bows.
The list would be doable, and competative, it's the same question you always ask...
What will I likely face?
How can I counter it?
It's just if you answer with something gunpowder based, pick a differant answer. Magic, troop masses, characters, mercs, whatever.
You'll certainly be able to spend all your points. Even in an Empire list their are plenty of other things both in bulk and pricey elite to buy.
For fluff reasons it's not even unreasonable. Several of the northern provinces of the Empire are actually pretty poor, and after the SoC events many state troops got pulled out, so what is left is alot of armies heavy on experianced troops and troop numbers, but light to non-existent on 'powder based weapons. Many Priests, officers, and Wizards make their mark in such places, where the priests can preach to those truly in need, the officers can lead troops in virtually constant skirmishes and make a name for themselves, and the wizards can overcome the usual anti-wizard prejudice the Empire is still learning to overcome because lets face it... when you don't have a cannon, and you need something blown up because it's trying to kill you, you complain less about a guy whose hair glows red if he'll blow up what's trying to kill you. And the troops... well sure they may not have guns, but when virtually every male after the SoC is now a experianced fighter of at least 1 engagement, it's not hard to raise up large numbers of swordsmen, spearmen, halbrediers, and free companies and crossbowman are a dime a dozen.
Last edited by BFGMidwesternPrisoner; April 8th, 2008 at 12:30.
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I have had some success with all-infantry armies - Greatswords, Flagellants, Swordsmen and even (horrors!) halberdiers. With good use of detachments, items (Griffon Banner/Rod of Command) and Archers, you can do quite well in combat.
The biggest problem I have is securing the opponent's quarters, as I usually get a bit tied down just on my side of the middle of your table.
Does steam count?
I'm curious too. Not that I don't love the Cannons of the Empire, it seems like a pretty cool theme. I think I'd like to see something like this done with a White Wolves theme, as I love their models and their fluff.
Definately have to be heavy in magic to make up for the lack of traditional firepower. It's tempting. A good excuse to take a griffon as well.
I think the Steam Tank (which is what I suspect you're really asking) definately counts as a "gunpowder" unit, even if it uses steam instead.
For that matter, he should probably avoid the master engineer on a mechanical steed as well.
as some of other people have posted that would be a good theme. the crossbows are a good replacement for guns, altough they do lack penetration, they do have that extra 6'' of range, which means you can blast away at the enemy on the first turn, in thier own deployment zone.
personally though, it would be tough, ive relied on blackpowder to kill some of the toughest monsters out there, dragons, shaggoths, and special characters. magic could be a decent replacement, but it can be dispelled, unlike guns.
but it still sounds like a cool idea