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This is something I posted in my army list thread.
On a further note if you have enough hitting power in the form of Dragon Princes, a largeish unit of Phoenix Guard would do well to soak charges and let the DP's maneuver for flank and rear charges.
"I am the architect of fate!"
Has anybody tried MSU Swordmasters, since 7 is the optimum go with 4 small units and reavers and eagles for flanks and war machines. Put Arachers or seagaurd in front and just walk forwards.
Yeah I also think Swordmasters are the worst of the elite infantry we have, despite their brilliant attacking potential. Sacred incence may well help them out, but overall the other two choices are much better. Swordmasters just die way too easily to be worth taking for their points, anyone who has seen their stats will focus firepower on them straight away. IMO they are a 'broken' unit. Not overpowered, broken. They are either too weak, and die before they get to combat due to shooting/magic, or too strong, and carve up combat orientated armies with ease.
I strongly considered MSU for swordmasters, they would be a less attractive target. I don't think it wil be effective though; a short round of shooting will get rid of them, and even a small unit is expensive. For the cost of a small unit of Swordmasters, you could buy a chariot which is going to be more resilient, faster and have the same job as a small unit of swordmasters would have.
depends on the army. A heavy shooting army ought to be able to sit back and take pot-shots at the swordmasters. I've noticed that HE can now be super shooty and super magic without spending too much pointwise. With 3 different mages casting shield of saphery and a ring and possibly 2 other fury of khaines coming in, you should be able to get your stubborn and ward spells off and keep them protected.
If you're playing a non-shooty army, the swordmasters are really good and can take any unit on, presuming they have their wardsave.
try my friend's army list out - I think it is pretty hard to deal with.
Prince Helm of fortune, sword of might, radient gem of hoeth, jewel of dusk
Mage lvl2 seer, scroll
mage lvl2 ring of fury
noble hvy armor, reaver bow, grt weapon
swordmasters x15 FC, banner of sorcery
dragon princes x6 FC, amulet of light
2x Spearmen x20 FC
Reavers bow/spears musician
archers/seaguard x10 musician
I'm not saying it's impossible to beat, but it sure is tough, like I said, if you don't have a lot of shooting, than your toast. You've got to have tons of magic defense and shooting to beat this bc ASF makes combat oriented armies hard to fight with. Like I said, you have 3 SoS spells, and the stubborn. Probably 1-2 fury of khaine and the ring at least.
I think SM have their place, if you can get SoS off then they can be effective in large units. Unfortunately I have a poor sucess rate with this, and even with SoS and scared incense i find that the SM take such a pounding that very few ever reach combat. I like small flanking units of 7 WL with a champion 8 S6 attacks can move through woods with no penalty a 3+ basic save against shooting and stubborn. I am also experimenting with the PG as a central tarpit they have proved very difficult to stop. I have found the SM quite effective in small 7-10 man countercharge units in a defensive situation where they can be protected by scenery or other units until they charge. It all depends on your, preferences, playing style and that of your regular opponents.
I played my first game against HE's recently. He had a unit of sword masters and a unit of phoenix guard.
My 30 archers only needed about 2 rounds of shooting to leave just 4 sword masters before I jumped the unit with Wild Riders and Wardancers. Needless to say, the sword masters didn't last long.
I largely ignored the phoenix guard, other than focusing enough shooting to drop it below half, which took a lot of effort. I knew I didn't want to engage the phoenix guard in combat, and even shooting at them was a chore.
They make a phenomenal reserve force which can be used to counterattack after the initial battleline is stuck in or can thwart flyers going after your machines etc.
Sort of like using a jackhammer to open a walnut. Sure it would work, but do you need to be that excessive?
"I am the architect of fate!"
I have 2 small unit of sword masters in a list with lots of shooting/magic, 2 units of archers, large seagaurd, reaver bow and 3 bolt throwers. My reasoning being that with a frontage of 7 and a champion they can compete with fully ranked units in the front without too much assistance, so they are being used in a support role there.
They get torn apart if the opponent has a hill though and can see over my lines of archers.