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I learned and started playing WHFB on Highelves but quit playing them early this summer. I've still got most of my good models and just bought the army box, so I have most of everything worth having and love putting the new models together. So in preparation to start playing HE again, I have made a list that I like, but it is lacking in the models I want to take (I can't fit them all in)
See if you can help me fix my balanced list.
Prince Barded Steed, Hvy Armor, Halberd R.Gem of Hoeth, Temakador Gauntlets, Dispel Scroll I figured out that taking this guy was nearly as effective magically and a whole lot cheaper than taking a noble + 2nd mage. BSB Grt Wpn Armor of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix
Mage lvl2 Dispel Scroll, Silver Wand (or should I go with the jewel of dusk? I'm afraid I could have all these power dice and only low point spells to throw them at)
20 Spearmen Std/Musician
10 Bowmen Musician
I think we get away with murder only having 2 core choices. But, I also don't have a lot of faith in spearmen (never trust str3 anything) but if I'm going to take them, they need to be at least capable or full strength instead of the cheesy 90pts of throwaway spears)290s 14 Phoenix Guard FC Banner of Sorcery
6 Dragon Princes Warbanner/Musician I want these guys to be able to handle things on their own. With the warbanner, they should be able to charge and take most average units.
5 Reavers Musician spears cheap, redirecting, marchblocking, warmachine hunters
14 Swordmasters Banner of Arcane Protection
RBT x3 3 of these are really good, it makes good shooting and keeps the opponent from standing back and just hiding behind their own shooting.
Here's the problem, I have about 100pts left over. I want to include some White Lions (have some of the models and have made my own from the new chariot crew and they look awesome. If I take these guys, they really need some numbers (probably 13-14 with character to get ranks and a banner) If I take that many, the swordmasters either have to go, or lose their banner and become a flanking unit. Either I hide them or run them up a flank so they don't get shot as much and then let them loose on the enemy that gets close and let their swords chop stuff up (mainly in supportive role for wounds or taking on smaller, weaker units) Would this work? Anyone have experience with the new specials, my friend has only played the new HE 3x and 2 times the SM were avoided, the 3rd time he got them into combat with a beast herd and obviously tore it up. Some advice would be appreciated.
I have played using both the white lions and swordmasters about 8 or 9 times now against empire, dwarfs, orcs and vampire counts. The swordmasters seem to panic my opponents more than anything else in my army, although i think the dragon princes are more effective. in most of the games i have played the swordmaters are either decimated due to missile attacks or avoided by the more mobile opponents. If they are the focus of fire at least the rest or you army gets away relativelty unscathed. the white lions are an effective flanking and / defensive force that are excellent at moving round the flanks ( hopefully through some woods) and can decimate heavily armoured foes they can also survive a reasonable amount of missile fire in their direction, unlike the swordmasters (even with the benefit of sacred incense). the dragon princes in large enough numbers are devastating they can survive most missile fire, cant be avoided, and hit as hard as swordmasters which is why i have moved away from my ed5 list which was predominantly infantry to a more cavalry orientated army under the current HE codex. Sorry to be so long winded.
from my experience this would seem an excellent choice. in two of my games there were less than 7 out of 15 swordmasters left by the time they got to the enemy and they still managed to decimate a unit of 20 empire spearmen in one game and 7 swordmasters decimates 15 dwarf warriors and 9 thunderers. So small units of swordmasters are still effective. in two other games ther were wiped out completely and three other ganmes they were avoided like the plauge. A 15 strong unit of white lions lost an average 2-4 models to missile fire under similar circumstances and they in various games destroyed 2 units of empire inner circle knights, a unit of greatswords a unit of chaos knights and a 20 strong units of black orks. this unit did contain the BsB with a greatsword. In some smaller games they proved a great hinderance to wood elves chasing them through the woods and eliminating units of treekin with ease (with the amulet of light). they are almost impossible to break under most circumstances. I would take both but a smaller unit of swordmasters and a larger unit of white lions in the type of army you are building. I like the list and will probably incorporate you excellent idea of the prince with the radiant gem of hoeth in one of my armies it does seem as effective as a second mage and leaves far more points for troop choices. Again sorry for being so long winded good luck.
White Lions work better in MSU than swordmasters for Aenar's very example. Small amounts of swordmasters are still deadly, however you still need to get them across the field. If you need a unit of 15 just to get 7 into combat, then imagine how likely you are to get a smaller amount into combat.
White Lions on the other hand have a better save versus shooting, while also being protected by their ability to advance through wooded terrain with ease. So I would go the opposite, if you want to use both, go with a larger block of swordmasters, and smaller units of white lions. Protect the Swordmasters with Shield of Saphery if you need to (which you probably will).
"I am the architect of fate!"
I agree with demandreds logic, but it depends on what you are trying to achieve. If the swordmasters are prodomenantly a distraction then a small unit is probably better so as not to loose to many points if they are wipped out. I have found that even with sacred insence and sheild of saphrey 15 swordmasters have great difficulty getting to my opponents with more than half their numbers remaining. In my experience if you want the swordmasters to get into combat three options are effective, 1) use larger numbers of swordmasters (20+), give you enemy lots of equally dangerous targets, eg swordmasters, dragons, dragon princes (however even with this approach i have found that swordmasters are still the main target, such is the hype about them amounst our opponents). hold the swordmaster back in a defensive army and use as a counterstrike unit whilst decimating you opponents missile units with 3 x repeater bolt throwers and magic and forcing them to come to you.
In my mind, even a small unit of SM has a chance of tearing a new one into a unit. If I do 5 wounds (average) against him, there's a good chance he can't hit me back, so even a fully ranked unit will tie a unit of 7-8 SM 5 wide (watch out for units with fighty characters is all - aim for units with mages or just ranks, numbers and banners). That gives me a chance to flank them, with another unit (in which I'll massacre them)
The same number of White lions on the other hand, can't rack up enough kills to tie combat. It's too risky to run them with banners, and you can't count on the stubborn, because as we all know, stubborn 8 only gives you a 3/4 chance of staying (and I'm really good at rolling 10-11 for leadership)