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It has long-since played upon my mind as to the more effective of the two units. I can see the pros and cons for both - spearmen have the advantage of getting more attacks onto the enemy, especially when fighting as a horde, and have the added bonus of being able to use a shield, while halberdiers have that oh-so-important S4 needed to tackle most enemy infantry.
So what are your guys thoughts on the subject? More attacks and a 5+ save (for an extra +1 point per model) or the benefit of being able to wound most infantry on a 3+ or 4+? Which do you prefer, Spearmen or Halberdiers, and why?
(Please note that this has nothing to do with Swordsmen, Free Company or any other sort of State Troop. They all have their own, clearly defined niche. But for me....well, Spears and Halberds are too close for me to make my mind up.)
"I like your style. You make up your own rules, just like me. Bean counters said I couldn't fire a man just for being in a wheelchair. Did it anyway. Ramps are expensive." - Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Halberdiers. In the first round of combat, you will probably lose the reason why you take Spears (extra rank) whereas halbs will always hit hard regardless.
Agreed, Halberd FTW!
Two different units with two different purposes. Spears are a defensive unit, halberds are offensive.
The one thing I see on these forums is people trying to fit all different types of units in. This isn't going to win you games. Sure, there is nothing wrong with diversity and no one wants to play against a gunline, but it'd be like taking Archers that are going to sit there and just shoot from a hill every turn. Sure, they will get some kills, but xbows and guns are simply better. Same goes with this. In 7th, spears had their place. When the fight in another rank rule came out, spears seemed like the core Empire unit in 8th, but when 8th came out and some play testing went on, the parent unit list came out as
Sure, if you want a defensive anvil unit, swords with their better saves and 6+ ward are good, but there is no reason to take spears in an Empire army as other core troops are simply better.
It's hard to say this without sounding condescending or cocky (and I quoted you Akaroth, but this isn't aimed at you, just a general observation), but a lot of post put forth on this board are just wrong, whether it be what units to take, what strategies to use, how to equip your characters. Yes, there are a few ways to do everything, but sometimes certain ways are just gimping yourself. Yes, the game is about having fun, but no body has fun when the lose game after game before they start because of the choices made when writing their list.
Sorry to go on a bit of a rant, but from a competitive standpoint (and no, being competitive and having fun are NOT mutually exclusive), people are arguing themselves into a hole. Nothing against LO, but there are other forums too, whether it be W-E, TWF, dakkadakka, warseer, etc, it seems like people on here seem to ignore the strategies put forward on other boards and stick to their guns here, even with all the other advice around them.
It just makes me sad to try to help people (not just in this thread) and see others give bad advice because they don't see the bigger picture and it only leads to more people supporting bad ideas because it is the only one they have been told.
Example: Spears will demolish undead hordes made of zombies and skeleton, they will also hurt goblins quite nicely. They will be far more effective against T3 units than halberds. When you look at fighting elves, you want to throw as many dice as you can.They get far more benefit from a Warrior priest due to the attack volume.
Your "parent unit" listing is wrong. Swordsmen are king in that department. They are far more survivable, have higher WS and initiative to survive some very popular initiative based spells. You say "playtesting has been done". Did you playtest these units yourself? Against a full spectrum of opponents?
What is important is what works for you. Not what you read on the forums and is declared as thruth, sometimes by people who just repeat whant they read elsewhere with no tengible experience (this is not aimed at anyone in particular, just a fact of the interwebz).
Yes, spears will do well against undead and gobbos, but so will halbs and swords, infact they will do better. Yes, you want to throw lots of dice at elves, but when you fight an ASF army, having spears wont do anything as you won't get attacks with your extra ranks, but the str bonus of halbs will get you the 2 or 3 more kills. Against T3, wounding on 3s will always be better than wounding on 4s.
My parent unit listing is correct for 8th edition. Swords were king in 7th, but we aren't in 7th anymore. When the average unit size was 18-25, high WS was great, but in 8th, the bigger unit will almost always win and the average unit size is 40-50, 25-30 being the bare minimum for core troops choices. It's not about being more survivable anymore, it's the fact that I can take either 32 swords or 40 halbs for the same price, which will give me an extra rank or almost 2 depending on formation. That extra rank or 2 gives me steadfast and gives me the chance to win the combat or atleast hold up an elite unit until my hammer can get there. 7th was all about MSU, 8th is all about big blocks.
And yes, I did play test these in tournament settings against everything but Tomb Kings, but lets face it, who plays TK?
Yes it is important what works for you and if you are playing against new players or players that don't quite know how to play, then you can get away with some bad choices, but as soon as you start playing someone that knows what they are doing, your bad choices can and more than likely will cost you the game.
The confusion starts because the advice people are giving is great advice...for 7th edition, but I think it's safe to say most, if not everyone, here is playing 8th. People are still stuck in their old ways and beliefs and not adapting to the current game. Would it surprise you if I said unlike in 7th, detachments are on the way out for the most part, especially in smaller games, because the reasons you used to take them are gone. Sure they are still good and you can still take them, but they are no longer a must for the Empire. Flagellants and steam tanks, both ripped up in 7th, but nowdays if I see someone a tank out or a big block of flaggies, I smile to myself because I know they are pretty much useless these days. If they put out 2 tanks or 2 flaggie blocks, then I know I'm in a good spot because they have wasted atleast 1/4 of their points. Yes flaggies still have their uses (stanks on the other hand dont), it is cheaper and better to just use a unit of greatswords with a WP leading or even a unit of halbs if you were taking them for core.
With the new rules comes new armies and a new way to play. People who play as if they are playing 7th are more than likely going to lose against someone playing 8th, it's that simple.
I fail to see how any of us are stuck in 7th edition. I have been playing by the 8th edition rules a month before it even came out.
I will take 32 swordsmen over 40 halberds any day because of a few things. The halberd's S4 does not outweigh the WS and saves difference (and ward save) most of the time. Your parent unit is supposed to be durable (as it will be taking 2 ranks worth of attacks) and your detachments are supposed to try and do the damage (this is where halberds shine). If you get a model or two more and lose that much or more in return, you aren't gaining anything. Minimizing the opponent's damage output is key. The less he does to your parent unit, the easier it is for you to edge out the win.
You seem to directly compare the spear by saying it's only S3 halberds are better with S4. Spear get an additional rank of attacks.
If you have a spearmen formation of 7x5, against same WS opponents, you net 22 attacks VS 15 attack You get from halberds. 11 hits and 7.5 hits respectively. Against T3, you would get 5.5 wounds VS 5 wounds. Against T4 that's 3.66 Vs 3.75 (note that formations ultimately do not matter in this case, as attacks scale proportionally)
The numbers are virtually the same. In a game where fractions are not possible. Except spears have the option of actually using their shields in melee, providing them with 1/6 more longevity against attacks of S4 or less.
It gets alot more interesting with a warrior priest. For simplicity hatred will grant against same WS opponents a 75% hit rate (going from half missing to half a half after reroll) 16.5 hits VS 11.25 hits and finally 8.25 wounds VS 7.5 wounds Against T4 5.5 vs 5.65.
Your spearmen will consistantly deal more wounds to T3 opponents, last longer and be slightly behind against T4 opponents. So the only conclusive bonus to halberds is -1 AS and when they charge.
Also, 2 months isn't enough to see the lasting impact of the changes. Players will be trying out and adjusting for at least another 2-3 months before the final tweeks are made.
I play a unit of 28 flagellants in a 7x3. In the first round of combat, they spill alot of blood. That's potentially 22 rerollable S5 attacks. How are great swords cheaper than flagellants (when their cost is the same) with the addition of a warrior priest?
Greatswords have more staying power. Flagellants will have to be cut down to a man after they are done failing your troops.
The steam tank is the most reliably charging unit in the game, He does not suffer from random movement. He is affectected by magic now, but has the benefit of T10. Chaos lords with great weapons wound it on 6s. Did you know that you can now heal it with lore of life?
6D3 S6 impact hits will wreck any monster/monstrous infantry out there. 4D6+ 1 spray with no partials will also bring a world of hurt to any unit.
I am curious to see how as an empire player you easily deal with a steam tank? Do you you use exclusively purple sun?
I've been running spears and swords as parent regiments. Halberds are nice, but they lack armor and staying power in combat.
Detachments are NOT on the way out. If you are keeping your staters at 20-man regiments, then yes. But we have <10pt troops, they should be fielded in large regiments. 40 (8x5) allows you to field 20 (5x4) men in a detachment. For me, that's where Halberds come into play. You have to kill 11 of them before they fail to negate ranks, and they're going to be lumping 10 S4 attacks into you without as many return attacks coming back their way. My swordsmen are there to soak up your hits- taking a beating as well as any core regiment can. My Halberd detachments are there to flank you and finish you off.
Spears are a detachment-free regiment, unless you really want something to either negate ranks, or to lay down some extra shooting. They get a Warrior Priest and go with regiments of 50 (10x5). That's a massive 40 attacks with Hatred coming at you, or as many as I can fit into base-base. You might kill 10 guys and start shaving down my back rank, but unless you're fighting another Spear regiment, or a regiment of High Elves, you're going to annihilate most core choices.
I've kept my spears in my collection because I like the models and they fit my fluff. However, Swordsmen certainly have their place. I am willing to accept everyone's ideas, and I've seen some that work and some which are simply bunk, but I've never come away from LO with bad advice. More importantly, I've never come away from LO with any of the Flamewars that are so prevalent on other sites, so please be aware...