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The Sword Masters and the White Lions look interesting to me, but I'm bit frustrated in using them, especially in short points battles.
Also, would it be useful if they are accompanied with nobles/mages?
Thanks for helping.
Are you using them for flanking? Both of them won't hold up too long as a block force against enemy troops. Try to use swordmasters with spearmen, flanking with the swordmasters. I can usually just destroy anything like that.
To me, Swordmasters are the closest unit we get to shock troopers, and they are meant to deal tremendous amounts of damage to your opponent, so get them into combat as soon as possible. Best used on the front to break the key units of your enemy and reduce big squishy units.
White Lions on the other hand are more like flankers and knight openers, and the fact that they can move through forests without penalty make them excellent to surprise your opponent. Run them down the flank, possibly through a forest, and use them to flank charge like a combo with another unit.
5000p. High Elves
Usually shooting is the most effective tool in low point games and our shooting is not the greatest. White lions would be my choice if I had to choose between them due to the lion cloaks, forest walkers and stubborn abilities. Str 6 doesn't hurt either.
Swordmasters are a second-line reserve unit, once PG/White Lions and other resilient units have held the enemy. SM only have a 5+ save against shooting, and generally will operate in smaller units to get the most of their attacks. A rank of SM is as expensive as PG or WL, but a rank of SM can also deal out twice as many attacks, so it would be silly to hamstring your most potent counter force. Issue with SM is they are squishier than the others, so I would suggest using them to counter-attack enemy units hitting your line.
My preference now is to use a block of 10 SM, 15 WL, 20 PG. The 20 PG are there to cause fear against enemies, the 15 WL can be guaranteed to not lose combats easily and if they do, they aren't as likely to run (especially with Standard of Balance helping them out..) and the SM will help the other two units out by providing a good deterrence to enemies if they choose to charge me.
Given you cannot move within 1" of an enemy unit unless you wish to engage them, the best bet, depending on how the enemy looks likely to deploy (fear causers, Knights etc) is:
This way, whichever of the elite units the enemy chooses to strike at, they will face a unit of great-weapon wielding loonies...
You can do the same thing with Spears. Note that the SM are NOT a flanking unit in the arrangement show. They are a supplemental combat unit, approx 1" behind the main line of the WL and PG, and about 12 sideways from them as well. This makes them ABLE to threaten flanks without being charged directly themselves. You can even cover them with a sacrificial unit of Spears, or us the gap in the line to cover them with a unit of cavalry, who will peel away to go play with the enemy flanking forces or threaten flanks themselves
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Just remember this low point armies are designed to allow you to try out different units finding out the one you really like to play with once you get to 2250 level.
Keep trying different things.
except the game mechanics are quite different in small point battles vs. 2k battles. I would think swordmasters would be terrible against 2/3 of the armies out there in a small battle because there is no way to protect them from shooting. WL and PG have "built in" protection. Also fully ranked units are probably not as common, so smaller, more numerous units of fast moving, hard-hitting elites works better in smaller point games whereas fully ranked units with full complement of characters is reserved for smaller point games. In under 1k, I'd probably only take 1 hero with the reaver bow, whereas in 2250, I've got 2-3 spellcasters guaranteed.
Buckero0 you make a very good point about the mechs of the game. Maybe that is why escalation leagues are set up that way. To allow you to try out different things and units to see if they work as good as you think they will. Then the next month you move up in point values and get to try again.
But you are still right. Elite troops in a smaller game can be the tide turner. There is no doubt about that.
I have been thinking about the same thing lately. Would SM be better in smaller games as opposed to WL or PG? Part of me says no because having a unit with a 4+ ward and fear would be great. Also, 3+ save against shooting would be pretty awesome too. On the other hand, I was also thinking that, in smaller games like 750 or 1,000, there may not be much shooting, if any at all, from the enemy. You can almost guarantee there will be a bunch of shooting units in a larger game but in smaller ones, there may not be much. This leads me to believe that SM may be a good choice in smaller games because they can just trash stuff and potentially not get shot at. I would most definately make sure you can get Shield of Saphery cast on them as often as possible.
From my perspective, magic heavy HE armies seem to work very will with SM because of the high chance that Shield of Saphery getting cast. Personally, I think I will go with SM in smaller games because I have a way of shielding them that is suitable for my defensive style of playing. WL and PG to come in the next stages of point escalation.
Last edited by afterimagedan; February 26th, 2009 at 06:23.