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This is the start of a new series, that will hopefully bring new ideas and tactics to the forums. Each week, a new topic will be posted up about a different unit in the army book. This gives you your chance to discuss the unit to its fullest. So, please leave your comment!
This week's topic is Halberdiers.
How do they compare to the other state troops? Is the shield worth its points? How do they perform as a detachment? What is the best detachment for them? Tactics?
well compared to other state troops they are fairly average and have the lowest point cost. giving them shields is not worth it IMO because if you use a shield in combat you aren't using them for their chief ability which is the halberd, and if you want to make some saves you should just go with swordsmen. They work quite well as a detachment because of their strength bonus plus on a flank a enemy model can't benefit from the hand weapon shield bonus effectively a -2 to a basic troops AS. the best detachment for halberds to me is more halberds. they are meant to be used aggressively and are the ones who should be charging, not being charged. I would say field these guys in a solid block of 25 -30 with 8-12 strong detachments.
my thoughts anyway Halberdiers FTW
They should be the mainstay of Empire armies, instead they're rarely taken as anything more than a 10-man detachment.
yeah that has always been their drawbacks- if you are going up against shooting type armies then you need the shield, to be sure. If your enemy does not have a lot of shooting or magic, then the shield becomes less an attractive option.
If your opponent has high T or Armor Saves, then take the halberders. If they don't.....I'd go with swordsmen or free companies.
Listen...they're the mainstay in the fluff...but not on the tabletop. Paying one point to trade 1S for 1WS and a shield is, per mathhammer, a fantastic trade.
I've found two good uses for halberdiers. The first is as detachments for regiments of swordsmen. The parent regiment soaks the attacks from the enemy, but responds with paltry S3 attacks. The halberdier detachment (8 or 10 ) strikes back with S4 and strips rank bonus. Empire infantry doesn't overcome by inflicting wounds, it overcomes with static CR. Therefore, ensuring that the enemy needs a 4, not a 3, to hit, and the improved armor save of the shield, is far more useful than S4. If you could get halberdiers in heavy armor for 6 points, so that you'd be trading 1S for 1WS when switching to swords...but that's not the case.
The other good use for Halberdiers is guarding the artillery park. A block of halberds is more than enough to handle "war machine hunters" of any sort, and, being in the backfield, won't attract much enemy attention, attenuating the need for the added protection of a shield. I tend to use a block of 20 halberds for rear guard, allowing me to attach 10-man shooty detachments in lieu of making the shooters independent regiments. That way, if there's a mob of heavy cav coming, they'll take it in the shorts when they charge the halberds...
Last edited by Marnepup; February 11th, 2010 at 16:23.
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010
What Marne said ^^
The Land, The Lady, The Light.
I am a big fan of Halberdiers, they are cheap and cheerful good strength troops who function well on the offensive, maybe they have a weak save, but in most games I consider it a bonus if they get a save, I face S 4+5 that much. I like the option of having shields for that occasional battle where they may not be able to hurt something effectively and you just want to hold it up for as long as possible or just want to survive against bowfire, but I've never added them for halberdiers.
Swordsmen are great for taking on tougher enemy, but if you have the advantage, (say against undead zombies: WS, S and T are no concern and you want to rack up kills) then Halberdiers average WS and T and improved Strength are huge bonuses, plus points saved are useful elsewhere.
I tend to use them in a unit of 24 with 4 ranks of 6 across. The best Detachments for them in my opinion is approximately 8 freecompany and 6-8 halberdiers. These are used in a simple supporting charge, occasionally one detachment may be held back to act as a deterrent to enemy flanking units.
Cheese… milk's leap toward immortality
Here's a thought.
You've recently been given a job at the Games Development department. One thing you would like to do is make it so halberdiers become the mainstay unit, but you obviously don't want them to become overpowered or your name will forever live in infamy among the geek community (which, let's face it, is not an admirable fate ). How would you go about this?
*Their main competition comes from Swordsmen, which are supposed to act as an elite core as opposed to the majority. Personally, I would consider keeping their points cost as-is, but raising their WS by one and making them 0-1 per full 1000/1500 points, or perhaps allowing people to take more if they add halberdiers and/or spearmen.
*Make halberdiers more appealing. I would do this by creating extra types of halberd: such as the Cavalry Bane (+1 point, gains armour piercing), the Close Order halberd (+1 point, gains fight in ranks), or stuff like that.
Do you agree/disagree with any of these? How would you go about it?
i think they should change the rules for halberds to better represent why they were such a popular weapon
1. easy to use
2. you could attack from further away
3. you could pull a rider from his mount with ease
4. using 2 hands allowed more force to be used
I think that the stats represent the halberdiers good as the are, but when using halberds i think you should get to pull riders from their mounts or any charging "Calvary" losses any sort of charge bonus when charging the front.
5000 Pts of Undeath descend upon you....
I do like the idea of 'upgrading' the halberdiers, certainly there were many different types of Hablerds, if they did that though they would probably have to upgrade them to special choices when upgrade was made. I would say that to ensure they became a mainstay, or at least included as a main regiment that 0-1 Halberdier units could take a magic standard worth up to 50 points. Its not much, but would encourage people to take a large unit with standard, plus all the detachments already in an army, would look like quite a few Halberd units.
Going back to the cavalry thing, I'm sure there is/was a dogs of war Pikemen regiment that required Cavalry to take a Ld test before they charged, if they failed they counted as a failed charge that turn, I think that's pretty realistic.
Cheese… milk's leap toward immortality