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When I see an empire army, its usually one of two styles:
1. A Gunline, filling the enemy with hot lead death from afar. Or,
2. A Close combat army that quickly moves across to kill the enemy with close combat.
I was wondering if a mixture of these two armies is tactically sound. For example, units of state troops moving across and meeting the foe while being supported by cannons and ranged state troops.
Are you talking about spearmen with handgunner detachments that take the charge while you shoot cannon balls over your ranks?
I personally love this kind of tactic.
Or we're you thinking of splitting the army between cavalry on one end of the board and gunners on the opposite and try to sweep the board that way?
I was thinking of having a unit of swordsmen with a detachment of halberdiers and a detachment of handgunners/crossbowmen. The swordsmen would move up a bit along with the halberdiers to charge/receive, with the halberds helping either way, and the ranged state troops peppering the enemy with fire. A few cannons would be thrown in for fun.
well our ranged state troops are move or shoot. Recieving the charge puts the detachment rule into full affect. It kinda sucks but they feel it when we do hit.
To be honest, I have never seen or heard of a close combat empire army. We don't have anything that isn't human or has stats better than a human = poor combat troops. Almost any shooting in the game will "line up" so to speak because you get more shots that way.
The most effective and most often "build" I've seen has a combination of shooting (cannons, xbows or handguns and rocket/hellblaster) with magic (archlector, wizards,etc) and combat resolution hogs (full detachments with 25+ full rank/command swordsmen blocks) That's the way Empire was meant to be played that's the way the book was written.
You can play cavalry heavy if you like, you could play only shooting troops I guess, but you only have so many warmachine slots and that's not really playing. The biggest challenge of the Empire army is deploying your units. Big blocks of swordsmen don't want to march across the board, because then your shooting elements can't shoot (line of sight issues) so usually you'll have an element of shooting and then try to charge or take the charge once the shooting has been eliminated or neutralized.
But really this is the way the book was written. It's like saying Brettonia shouldn't have horses or something. Empire has shooting and then combat blocks to back up their shooting elements. They can't fight well, but they do have numbers and the detachments to overwhelm the enemy.
IMHO, Empire armies could be anything you want it to be. Shooty, close combat, CR, magic heavy, all those are a possiblity.
Close combat = Grand templar to lead knights. You could even have some gunpowder to support them.
Shooty gunlines = Handgunners, cannons, stank, etc etc
CR = Empire state troops are cheap. Die easily but also you can horde them out easily too. And in Griffon standard and you'll have a solid CR in a unit.
Magic heavy = Lvl4 wiz or archlector, battle wizards supported with some gun support.
Balanced = This is the type that I play. My list would have archlector, swordmen, knights and some shooty. My blocks would usually go in the middle, flanks guarded by knights and the cannon/shooty units support fire from the back.
The Empire have so many variety of units to choose that you could go any style that you want. There's no fixed way of playing it and you need to be tactical in using your troops to win rather that just charge blindly and roll dice.
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My army consits of 3 main groups:
1. the steam tank and my block of uberknights (helborg, wp)
3. 2 groups of 25 state troops (one sword, one spear) w/ detachments of halberdiers.
basically my strategy is group one goes out and fights. both units in group 1 are very durable so even if they get in a bad spot they will hold. meanwhile, guns shoot, and my state troops move up and look to add their static res to the fight. it seems to work pretty well, as no one expects knights and a steam tank to be the anvil and my state troops to be the hammer!
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Well I'm planning on building a mixed army. Greatswords and swordsmen supported by handgunners and a cannon. I don't see what's wrong with it. Just be versatile.
Deployment is painful! I'm planning an army with a combination of static CR and artillery. The artillery will have to be on a flank to be able to shoot past the line...or on a hill to shoot over the top? Anyway, I'm fielding a 42" wide line where all except the two flank-most detachments are inside the bubble of the imperial banner, and every parent unit except the one with the banner is led by a priest of one sort or another. Oh, and a halberdier unit with two shooty detachments to guard the artillery park. But 120 bombproof state troops advancing in a line with artillery pounding in from a flank...should work. Another benefit of putting the cannons on a flank is that enemy units are generally wider than they are deep...so if you're shooting from a flank, your margin for error in guessing range is slightly better, since the gun-target line is diagonal through the unit instead of head on.
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