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I haven't played much, in fact not really at all. The only army I've ever played against is my friend's Orc army, and I have always thought that halberds were the best choice of HTH infantry (compared to Spearmen, Swordsmen, Free Companies) just based on the fact that they recieve +1 Strength which is useful against the tougher orcs. But lately I've noticed that not many people include them on their lists and I heard someone say that they are useless in the new rules. I'm about to build some new state troops, so I wanted to know if it's just some people saying it or if they really are useless and I should consider converting them over to something else. (Which i wouldn't mind so much because those frigging halberds are the frailest little things to glue together)
I'd say they are decent as a counter charge detachment. However due to only having a 6+ save (no shield or hw/shield bonuses to armour) or getting to attack in 2 ranks (spears) they will never be as good of a main unit. Personally I would run Swordsmen as a main unit and keep the halberds as spears, since the swordsmen have more survivability and better WS iirc.
I like Spearmen and Swordsmen as my main R&Fers. So I voted by rolling a die.
Halberds and Free Company are, to my mind, Detachments for all intents and purposes.
Greatswords are just cool.
Swordsmen or spearmen as main units. For detachments I use crossbowmen and halberdiers. With halberdiers you will generally get to hit first (so long as you are not against ASF troops) and do not need too much survivability.
I also generally use very narrow groups of detachments. You are not going to worry about getting ranks with these chaps so they don't need to be five wide. I find that three wide works for combat detachments. and five or six wide for missile troops.
Swordsmen or spears depending on what you are fighting against. Halberds, Swordsmen, or Free Company for detachments.
Spears: Free Co/Swords
It is my dream to build an army around a 30man Spear regiment, and then give it a 15man Free Co. detachment and 10man gunner detachment.
Im giving large ranks of halberd state troops with swordsmen and handgunners as detachments a shot since i do face alot of chaos opponents. I voted for the halberdiers since you can give them a shield (unless my army builder decieves me) and the little up in strength is valuable to me. I see Swordsmen as a better detachment since they are durable and chances are if the detachment is charged instead of the parent unit the swordsmen will live longer for the parent unit to assist.
The problem with the halberd-shield combo is that a halberd requires two hands, so you either get no shield and S4, or shield and hand weapon (which is the same as a swordsman except you have -1 WS and -1 I for the same price). So if you're going to equip them with shields you would be better off getting swordsmen. I just can't make up my mind whether close combat speed and skill are worth trading off for the added strength. I am sensing based on other people's replies that the answer is probably no.
swordsmen with swordsmen detachments. They won't kill anything anyway, they just need to stay alive and negate ranks. give them anything other than WS4 and the HW&S bonus and they drop like flies forcing my huge unit to flee like little girls. Crossbowmen or handgunners as the 2nd detachment.