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I'm interested in starting an Empire force to play with friends in some smaller games. What advice do you have for smaller Empire forces?
For core choices, I'm thinking Swordsmen and maybe Handgunners. For special choices, I was thinking Pistoliers. But, this is only based on my readings online and of the Empire army book--I actually haven't played Empire (which is why I'm looking for advice/comments here).
Handgunners and Swordsmen are both fantastic choices in 200-500pts. Infact most anything will do. Although, a good rule of thumb would be to bring a cannon. It takes out the big guys that your enemy try to throw at you and it more than makes up for it's points. Other than that it is up to you.
PS: Avoid taking Helblasters, as this is frowned upon.
I only have 500 points of Empire and my army has Handgunners, Spearmen, a detachment of Free Company and a handful of Flagellants. They seem to work pretty well together. I have a Cannon to paint up, but I won't start using it until I get to 750-1000 points as it's a bit over the top with the handgunners in smaller games.
The main thing would be to ensure that you have a balance of shooting and largish infantry units (15-20) with detachments.
Wood Elves 2/0/1
Orcs & Goblins 0/1/0
Next Army - Tomb Kings
I play small battles quite often, and I find that a unit of Knights can really pack a punch, especially when your opponent can only field small units.
I've never tried it, but I think the Pistoliers are a great idea. The extra mobility and pistols can provide a devastating flank charge, or take out that irritating war machine- and a huge chunk of his points.
In all honesty...your work has been done for you!!
Have you got the fantasy rulebook?
Somewhere towards the back is a couple of sample armies, one of which is an empire one.
It goes something like this: (i think)
- barded warhorse
- full command
1 Great cannon
I think it also has some archers.....though with the ballistic skill of humans they are quites simply wasted...
I would follow the advice given above and add a nice little unit of knights to this....probably only 5. they will be quite sufficent.
You will find this list nicely balanced and it should work well,
For small games I would have thought just buying the empire batallion would be perfect. A captain, some state troops and a cannon. Everything you want packed in a bundle.
The Empire Battallion set has everything you need to start off, but you should also definitely think about adding LOTS of pistoliers. Whatever size army, pistoliers are fantastic and they're devastating in 500pts or less, since they're fast cavalry which always causes a problem for opponents, and the guns are lethal. Knights are an essential choice too.
"Well... that hurt" - Vampire Jon Skellan (Mannfred's right hand man) after being beaten up, falling down an underground waterfall and being impaled by a stalactite.
Free Company are about the best thing you can buy, since they are so cheap AND get an extra attack (thanks to the additional hand weapon).
Swordsmen are a bit more expensive, but are the best defensive unit you have (for the price).
I would stay away from cavalry because they are terribly expensive for the points you are playing. A mortar would be interesting since your opponent's army is pretty small, which means a hit could be quite devastating. But it's a gamble. I'm not sure how useful a Great Cannon would be against such a small army, since there's unlikely to be any "juicy" targets.
I would also resist the temptation to bring a lot of shooting. Shooting, point-for-point, is terribly expensive in this game. You may consider bringing a detatchment of skirmished bowmen (possibly make them scouts instead) to mix it up a little.
But in my experience, shooting in this game is really a all-or-nothing prospect. Spend HEAVILY on shooting and let it be your army's main tactic, or don't bring any at all.
There are armies that are exceptions to this (Skaven Jezzails, who have a specific purpose), but H2H infantry is the way to go for an Empire army of your size.
On the great cannon note, in smaller battles just bring a 'normal' cannon to the field.
The only differences is the range and number of wounds, which, in a 500pts battle will make NO difference whatsoever.
Also, just be careful the way you go about making an empire army CC heavy. You have to remember that in the grand scheme of things empire are only mediocre troops.
If you find yourself against ogres, Dark elves, high elves, chaos or some specialised army you will get yourself annihilated.
The main strength of the empire army is its superior diversity.
For less points than any other army, you can field so much more.
i.e. in a typical chaos (500pt) army, there will be a hero, unit of warriors and maybe a chariot. There tactics, run forward and pray you get into combat.
In an instance like this you would find you cannon able to destroy the chariot, the handgunners followed by knights will be able to handle the warriors, then all you have to so is kill his character with everything you have left.
Empire armies play much better as an all round, all comers army.
The empire battalion would actually be an ideal place to start. ( i play Dark elves and we dont have one
can empire get normal cannons? they arent in the army book. I presumed they were a dwarf thing.