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Lothern Sea Guard
I go back and forth on this one. I need to expand my small army, and what I am lacking is a good bunker unit for my high level mages and/or an anvil to use with my DPs and Chariots.
There are four options that I can see, each with pros and cons:
Pros: Dual purpose, can shoot until charged. Fight in three ranks, decent 4+ AS in melee.
Cons: Light armour only, prone to shooting attacks, expensive for what they do.
Pros: Fight in three ranks, decent 4+ AS in melee, cheapest infantry we have.
Cons: Light armour only, prone to shooting attacks.
Pros: Hit hard with ASF GWs, 3+ AS versus shooting, can hide with mages in the woods.
Cons: Only a 5+ AS in melee, expensive.
Pros: Hit reasonable hard with ASF Halberd, cause fear, 4+ WS.
Cons: Not particularly killy, only a 5+ AS in melee, expensive.
I'm leaning Pheonix Guard because I suspect they are the most survivable, but they can still hit at strength 4. Causing fear means immune to fear as well, and that could be absolutely critical against deamons and undead armies. Might also save you from a charge at a critical point as well.
So, help a HE noob out and tell me what do you use for your anvil and bunker units?
I'd go with either PG or Spearmen. The PG are an absolute must have in my opinion, as they can get you som static combat res and function well as an anchor or anvil unit, even though they're very costy. Spearmen do the same job, though they lack staying power, however speamen do fight in three ranks and therefore I tend to use them a bit more offensive than I use PG.
Also not that Lothern Sea Guard and Spearmen only get the 4+ AS if they figh with hand weapons and shields, which means no fighting in three ranks. Choose wisely, though I always use the spears.
5000p. High Elves
They have hand weapons and shields and spears though? I assumed the front rank would fight with HW/S and get the parry bonus, and the rear ranks would use spears.
Is this not how it works? Do they only get the 6+ AS from Light Armour if they are fighting in three ranks?
Sadly, the whole unit has to use the same type of weapon, and you must choose whether you want to fight in 3 ranks with a 5+ AS (Light Armour+Shield) or in one rank with a 4+AS (Light Armour+Shield+Parry Bonus). You only get this parry bonus when wielding a shield of some sort (Including magic Shields) and a hand weapon (Though not magic weapons unless spesifically stated).
So no first rank fighting with Hand Weapons I'm afraid.
5000p. High Elves
you asked for a anvil or bunker unit for your high level mage specifically. LSG and Spearmen should be tossed out as they are terrible against anything with T4 or greater.
They won't protect your mage and they won't act as an anvil. I wouldn't use them at all anymore in any of my armies unless I knew I was playing a T3 opponent in a friendly game.
I wouldn't consider any of our units to be anvils. I don't think the HE play to that style very well at all. Each unit needs to be able to take care of itself. HE are outnumbered 2:1 or 3:1 by every single army out there, sometimes more. Our special choices are too expensive to get many units and need to be able to handle themselves because most of the time, there is no backup coming and we don't have the means to eliminate units with magic or shooting like other armies.
I've played Phoenix guard extensively and they are too weak for my liking. They rarely do a wound and against anything with armor, can't generate enough combat res to stick around very often. They are too expensive to get fully ranked up and if you can't roll 4+ then they'll die. Even with BSB they are not a guarantee.
WL equipped with lion banner or banner of balance and a bsb nearby at least have the opportunity to stick around. They are also the one unit in the army book that can open heavily armored troops. They also have stubborn with when coupled with the above banners gives them a chance to hold the enemy and allow for reinforcements to come if that's what you want.
I go 15+ White Lions, with amulet of fire on the champ for magic resistence, a banner, and a bsb.
Armies: Ultramarines 2nd Co.
(coming soon) Wood Elves for my final army.
I'd go 15 White Lions, Standard of Balance, Noble BSB with sacred incense and Great weapon with standard armour etc. This unit generates decent combat res, has a really good reroll on Break Tests with STubborn, and is Immune to Pschology.
However, a good "mobile" bunker which could prove to be useful is a Silver Helms cavlry bunker which is far more mobile and can dodge out of the way of enemies, whilst sweepng aside most "mage hunters" aggresively.
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My favourite is PG i have used them extensively as a anvil unit and they are the hardest unit to take out. Chuck in a BSB with the Battle banner and the War banner on your normal standard carrier and you can get some very decent combat res out of them.
They may not cause that many wounds but they wont be dying as easily. Against 'normal' armies the fear causing factor comes in real handy they will be autobreaking and running before you know it.
I still remember with great fondness the game when i got 15 combat res on a unit of chaos warriors
I ordered 20 PG this morning. The White Lions are intriguing though, so I'll consider adding them next.
Thanks for all the advice!
If I think long term, the only way that you really lose an anvil unit that has enough bodies is through bad combats.
More often than not a unit of 20 odd will not be wiped out if it doesn't lose a combatand fail its break test.
For this reason I went with White Lions, Sure they are vulnerable and will die sometimes but you probably won't lose all of them and they should pass any break tests even after a hiding.
That said there are some units that will wipe them out without breaking a sweat, you just have to take care and make sure you engage them on your own terms.
Fully ranked Phoenix gaurd can still lose combats by 2 or 3 leaving them with an easily failed break test and me down 3 to 5 hundred points depending on what they were bunkering.