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I know, I know, I already asked your advice on the Stegadon, but I have another question.
My kind friends recently got me my first 10 Sword Masters of Hoeth with a command group. I'm eager to use them, and in general I like the prospect of actually being able to do damage.The MathHammer checks out on fights with typical infantry and even tougher stuff like dwarves and Lizardmen Temple Guard. There is, however, a strange anomaly with the Sword Masters and Saurus Warriors with spears and shields. No matter how I run the math I lose the fight even with a rank of seven vs. a rank of five and that seems odd, because I actually fare well against better units.
A summation of the math is, on my turn: 15 attacks*2/3=10 hits*2/3=20/3 wounds*2/3=40/9 Kills, or about 4.4 kills.
Their turn: 21 attacks-(4.4 kills*2attacks)=12.2 attacks=61/5 attacks*1/2=61/10 hits*2/3=122/30 wounds = 61/15 wounds*5/6=305/90 kills, or about 3.4.
Add in outnumber and ranks for a typical unit of twenty and I lose by about 2 points every turn, not to mention I don't have enough swordmasters to go twenty and I wouldn't do it even if I did. This is without the Scar Veteran that is usually fielded with these guys. My other friend's Priest of Sigmar, Battle Standard Bearer, Spearmen and Handgunner detachment has similarly frightening results.
As a long time gamer I know that the dice do not always do what is expected of them, and MathHammer will only take me so far, so I ask those with more experience:
Can I expect my Swordmasters to win combat against spear-wielding units without assistance, or will I be forced to flank the sons-of-mothers to be able to do any good?
I'm expecting to go with a hammer and anvil, with Phoenix Guard as the anvil and the Sword Masters as the hammer. Will the Swordmasters add enough oomph to take these units or will I need to move a hero over to deal with these things, keeping in mind that in a challenge any of their heroes will probably outclass mine?
Last edited by VenDraciese; April 6th, 2010 at 18:36.
yeah I have found the same results when running my swordmasters. The reason, simple, swordmasters, are the masters at destroying our oppenents elite troops. They struggle against things with alot of static combat res and toughness. I would recommend runing them in units of 7 either side of a anvil unit of pheonix guard and that should deal with them presky saurus.
I think that you have hit on a good point that we haven't really covered before.
Anything that can hit back after (or before) Swordmasters is going to be trouble as they are extremely soft. If your opponent only get to fight with their front rank, it isn't a big deal. Sword masters kill most of them anyway, the moment 2nd and third ranks come in too play swordmasters will struggle.
This is not due to their ranks and outnumber but more that they will kill a couple of SM back which a unit of 7 can ill afford.
With swordmasters in single ranks I think that you should be wary of anything with spears (even skeletons) and more than 1 challengable character, 10 wounds is a huge number even for swordmasters to inflict. Still you can't afford to wrap them in tissue and not fight, because then they do nothing, just don't under-rate spears against them.
I just recently played a game on the receiving end of all sorts of Elf goodies. Swordmasters were actually the one unit which scared me the most, save for the Phoenix Guard and Prince unit.
You will find that you'll suffer against Saurus, as well as any model which can fight in ranks (run it against your own spearmen, results may be surprising). Swordmasters are great assassins, but they are horrible fighters. Most elite statlines use big scary Attack numbers, with big scary weapons, and don't go for lowly spears. Therefore, the ASF of a swordmaster will nullify all of this: he'll hit you before your big scary Attack value kicks in, and after he kills you, who cares what weapon you carry. The problem is those pesky spears. You now have to kill two ranks of enemy troops before you can ensure that the enemy won't be swinging back and dragging down more Masters.
Hell, I've seen Swordmaster regiments who have fought themselves to annihilation, while winning every round. If the enemy can attack back, he has a good chance of killing off a swordmaster. What were they fighting? Human spearmen.
I'm glad I'm not just going crazy. Still, I'm glad I have them. Before I didn't have _any_ units that I could use to take on elite units. Even my phoenix guard would lose to longbeards in combat and it was driving me nuts.
I want my sword masters to do well in their first battle, but the problem with that is since it _is_ going to be my first battle I really don't know what will happen with them. Will most players think to shoot them? Use magic on them? Hit them with cavalry? What eventualities should I plan for? How do I make up for how squishy they are and still keep them on the front line? It seems likely that the first person I use them against will be Lizardmen (possibly Dwarves) and I don't really know what to do to bring out their full potential if my opponent continues to field lots of spear saurus
I'm planning on giving them a banner of Ellyrion, because I don't have any white lions or shadow warriors. My plan is to pair them up with Phoenix Guard nearby a forest so that I can avoid getting shot to death. They'll be able to keep up with the Phoenix Guard and then pop out of the forest on the charge. I figure it's a safe bet, because the banner isn't too expensive, but if I don't get a forest or any difficult terrain at all then I'm going to have to figure some other way to keep my sword masters out of the field of fire. Any suggestions? Any ideas on how opponents will react to them?
Your on a good way Keep them out of fire, because they will draw a lot.
And against spears... Try to get their flank. Then the 2nd rank (or in this case file) can´t attack.
Hallmarius is right about the flank, if you can get that then they will tear up the saurus.
Expect to be shot at alot by both armies.
Skinks could be devastating but in a forest you negate their poison a bit, (repeating, long range, moving, soft cover he needs 7's to hit so no poison). SM are pretty much stuffed against dwarven guns, but just stay out of line of sight as much as possible.
Any opponent who has seen SMs before is going to know to hit them hard with magic and shooting. When I was playing my game, my WoC were targeting the Swordmasters above all else with their spells. I wiped the first regiment of 7 out in the first turn. The second regiment however, killed a sorcerer before I could send them fleeing and finally take them down in turn 6.
The trick to drawing fire away from SMs, is to keep something scary nearby, and to conserve your dispel abilities. A lot of small, light damage spells against your other troops are fine, so hold dice until they target your SMs. Keeping them near something nasty in your army (like PGs) will draw a little fire if you're lucky. Finally, we're M5. You can always keep them behind something and just reform the leading regiment or two to 'open the gate' and let them through. It'll expose your other units to an extra round of fire, but it will at least get your SMs across the board.
I've used them a few times as a stop-gap measure by putting them behind a flimsy unit. The enemy has a dilemma- he can break through my 180pts of Spearmen and be in line for a charge (or overrun into) a line of 105pts worth of Swordmasters who are going to eat his Cold One Knights alive. Smart opponents will only take that charge if they know that somehow it will help them make back the price of the CoKs, but foolish opponents will likely take it anyways. Sometimes, you just have to admit that even Elves can be expendable.
Finally, perhaps try to present a 'target rich environment'. One way to do this, is to break your regiment into smaller components. I know it would require another box of SMs, but 2 regiments of 7 are generally a good idea. SMs churn out enough kills that you'll want as many as possible on the front rank, and they're meant for flanking other engaged units, so they don't need a rank bonus or a banner. By having 2 regiments instead of 1, your opponent now has to fire twice the regiments he normally would to take them all down.
As I have played agianst the Lizardmen I have found this out. If they have spears DO NOT charge them unless you get a combo charge of front and flank. If you cannot do this do NOT charge they have 2 A each so even if one or two get to attack back they can do some dmg to our 5+ (ooops down to 6+ with their S4) AS. I have found that having ASF make him charge you so long as you have a unit that can charge him in your turn. You strike first and should be able to wipe out his only rank of attack so all he has is static combat res.
Also I LOVE 6 sword masters with a bladelord. I usually have these guys flanking my White Lions which have the standard of Balance so that when the SM have to take panic checks or get wiped out by magic/shooting they don't panic themselves. The enemy will have a hard choice, attack the ranked up WL, or face the SM that should be able to cut through him like butter. But the best thing to do is experiment with them.
Hey you are the kid that came to Gajo in Utah that one day for the Fantasy Tournament.
Like I recommended to you on the tournament day, I would always take 14 SM's just for the fact that they always get shot at. The only time I actually had all my SM's live is when I played against VC. Funny story to go along with that is I had a High Elf Noble with my SM's and I was charging his group of..something with Mannfred in the group. My Noble was equipped with the White Sword and Talisman of Loec. Any who, the Noble challenged Mannfred and got a killing blow off of him and his army started crumbling which reassured my victory .
Enough of my bragging, I have not had the pleasure to play against lizard man so I do not have any real advice. I would just be careful and don't get careless.