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I think spear men are great if you can get 15 attacks at an above average ws 4 and an average s 3 not many attacks are going to be coming back and at 9 points thier a bargain 125 points for 3 ranks
Because they aren't as good as you think.
Lets do the math shall we?
Best possible scenario, just like you said, they are fighting a unit WS3 S3 T3 with hand weapon and shield.
With 15 attacks, that is 10 hits, 5 wounds, and 2.5 kills after the 4+ saves.
They attack back with 3.5 attacks with the champion, 1.75 hits, .875 wounds, .58333 kills after their 5+ saves.
Now you are are 1.92 CR ahead of them at this time.
Lets finish up all the combat res. You both have banners, etc. so that evens out. But for their points (lets say the banners and musician, etc. are all even, but you are actually a tad more expensive; and you even did your math wrong it is 135 for the unit) that is 6.75 points per model for a unit of 20 of something else. Quite cheap as most would come in at under 5 or 6 for a mediocre statline like that. A unit of (at least) 20 would have an outnumber and a rank on you so they have +2 CR from that. 2-1.92 = .08, it is close but it means on average you still lose.
So there you have it, taking the charge with ASF spearmen means even best possible scenario you still barely lose due to combat res. Woe be to you if you fight something a little harder.
Last edited by frozencore; June 21st, 2008 at 20:29.
I hate mathhammer
Even if the numbers dont stack up, spearmen are still a great unit for High Elves, most of the time you wouldn't want to get them in a straight up one on one fight with an enemy unit, but if you have a unit of Sword Masters or Silver Helms on the enemies flank, you're almost guaranteed a victory.
Also, Spearmen are the cheapest unit available in our army, and are great for taking hits for the rest of the army, 2 units of 20 is relatively cheap and should be big enough to distract your enemy from the smaller elite units, and in my experiance, 20 spearmen are quite hardy despite their low Tougness and armour values.
High Elf spearmen have potential to be overrated, they only get a small amount of kills even if you charge them in the front. In the end their points cost for what they can do works out to make them a mediocre unit. If you don't get hit in the front all bets are off and there is little to no way you could possibly win, even for the extensive point investment.
Saying that you will flank with Swordmasters or Silver Helms (why are you using them instead of Dragon Princes BTW?) is a non issue if the spearmen lose their first round and run. It is even less of a factor when you add in the fact that on average the High Elf player will be outnumbered unit to unit by at least 1.5 to 1 and all the way up to 3 to 1 against some armies. You will flank? Well they have 3 more ready to hit your single unit of swordmasters (or maybe some shooting? A 5+ save unit with that price tag is just asking to get shot up). I would happily trade units with you, and at the end of the game, if you play that way, I will be the only one with anything left. For a proposed "anvil" unit T3 with only a 5+ save is anything but hardy.
I find that with HE's the most important part of the game is the deployment phase...or even strategizing before the game even starts. I like to try to predict my opponents strategy and screw him up in any way possible. By the way I dont play against any gunlines, they would just outright kill me. Fortunately I mostly play against VC, O&G, Chaos Mortals and Ogres, so I really dont have to worry about getting shot at.
The reason I would use Silver Helms instead of Dragon Princes for flanking is because they are cheaper, which allows me to field slilghtly more troops than other HE players. Silver Helms are good flankers because when I'm flanking, I find that it doesn't really matter how many kills you get, the main advantage is negating the enemies rank bonus.
I'd like to point out that my army doesn't include ANY archers becuase I think they are an absolute waste of points compared to spearmen, the only range in my army is a Bolt Thrower or two...and some magic, but that is mostly defensive anyways. Rather than buying expensive characters and units, I try to get the job done with as few points as possible, and by not taking the most expensive units in the army I can afford more units.
I was playing against a goblin army and I managed to match his units 1 for 1 (they were bigger than mine, but my Spearmen made up for that with superior WS and fighting with 3 ranks). My spearmen were also the unit that stepped on his fanatics when they came out and they didn't break due to the armies high Leadership (my general was close).
Because an Elf unit isn't likely to win a fight on it's own is a bad reason to think it's not a good unit. No Elf unit is going to do well on it's own, every movement in the army has to be part of a larger plan. As has been said so many times before, every unit in the army has to support the other, otherwise a HE army will get picked away one unit at a time untill they are all destroyed.
If you want to get an army that doesn't need support (or strategy) get a Khorne army.
As with all Elves, it's unfair to compare them 1 vs 1 or unit vs unit. Their superior movement allows for other kinds of combats. Or, that's what you will want anyway, and try to get.
If it moves, shoot it! If it doesn't move, shoot it anyway ... It might move later!
Almost every army in the game uses combo charges to win, but the fact that high elf units are so much more expensive than other units hurts them in that respect. You can either have fewer units, but have more CR from rank bonus, or you can have more units as you did, but have less ranks.
The better movement rate, while certainly nice, isn't a be all end all. For example the "superior" movement of high elves isn't better than that of a skaven clanrat, who is almost half the points of the high elf spearman. What is more important in warhammer fantasy is mobility. Wood Elves are a great example of this. They use their increased mobility to flank their enemies to win. When everyone else must wheel and turn, they can simply move wherever they wish and charge in any direction with their skirmishers.
Showing how a high elf spearmen unit is not as good at dealing wounds as you might think isn't "unfair" to them. It shows you what will happen in the first round of combat if you manage to get charged in the front by a sub par unit. If they had engaged anything harder or been flank charged they surely would have been in trouble. Saying that you will fix the problem by flanking the charger is "unfair" as it artificially inflates the value of spearmen in the first round. If you say you flank my unit, I say I flank yours....where does this "circle of flanking" end? What if you aren't in a position to flank because I have tied up your nearby unit? Surely a good general will realize what you are doing and attempt to stop you. My point being, saying "I will do X to counter Z" is poor response as in a game nothing is perfect and you might not be presented with an adequate situation. Furthermore, unless you are empire , those spearmen will have to last the first round without help. I showed how spearmen do on their own against a mediocre unit, it is up to you to take it for what you will, but it is a foolish general who doesn't take heed and listen to the strengths and weakness of each unit in his army.
Last edited by frozencore; June 23rd, 2008 at 19:38.
I`m just going off of my own experience with HE`s, and I find that my strategy works, usually. One time I did break from combat and run with my spearmen, but it doesn`t seem to happen that often.
But since this is a post about Spearmen, I will stand by my first statemen. I think Spearmen are a good unit for the HE army because they are the cheapest unit in the army and they are the only unit that we can use effectively as a meat shield/distraction.
I think they would be a pretty good defencive unit as well, but I haven`t tried them that way beecause I`m a fairly aggressive player.
XXXX you're mathhammer damn you! Spearmen are fairly awesome troops and can hold their own agaisnt most core troops (exluding some heavy cav and things like warriors of chaos or whatever you call em.)
No need for this.
Last edited by Skarsgard; June 24th, 2008 at 09:48.
. "Stop complaining ponce and hit stuff with yer shiny new axe"
I'm pretty sure frozen is not, in fact "mathhammer". He is applying basic statistics to help assess the quality of spearmen compared to their likely rivals(other cheap core choices). This is a valid and can be a good way to understand how they MIGHT do against certain match ups in the game. These assessments are rarely "end all" since this is a complex game with unquantifiable variables such as "player skill".
Let's keep it civil.
Last edited by Skarsgard; June 24th, 2008 at 09:48.
W/D/L Eleventy trillion billion/NONE/ NONE - I am STILL rulezor!
WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!