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I tend to feild a semi-cavalry intensive army, Silverhelms, Elyrian Reavers, with archers/bolt throwers on the wings and a big block of infantry in the middle. Lately, though, I've had a hard time chosing between spearmen and swordsmasters and I was wonderiing if anyone had any input on which was good against what army, ect. ect. I love swordsmaster (plus the models look nifty) but I'm starting to grudgingly accept that Spearmen do have their purpose.
Oh, and I'm also really new to the game. My father plays and he just got me into it. So any feedback period would be amazing
Hi and welcome to the game and LO!
Well i say that, for any army in WHFB, before you delve into any special/rare slots you have to have your core sorted out.
I love HE spearmen, the whole 'fight in three' ranks thing is awesome, the sheer number of attacks they can pull off is unbelievable. And these attacks aren't to be scoffed at either, with a good WS and average S.
HE spearmen make for a great defensive unit, and i like to have at least two large (20+) blocks of them, maybe three if i can squeeze em in.
Swordmasters are fun as well, but tend to have a target painted on them for some reason. They don't have great armour and really need to pull off a charge to be effective.
So if it's a straight up question as to which i prefer, give me the spearmen anyday(Y)
How many points are you playing? I don't see any reason why you can't shuffle it a bit to have both in the same army at the same time and see what you prefer, i agree that swordmasters seem to get targetted specifically by all my enemies, but spearmen are pretty much the core of the HE army unless you are very heavy on Cav?
I think HE should always have a unit of spearmen in there to cover certain parts of your army, and a biggish block can attract enemies attention, enough for you to set up flanking maneouvres, for instance last battle i managed to get off a double flank charge (one with a chariot and the other with a large-ish unit of silverhelms) on a huge unit of Orc Boyz with a character in and destroyed them, with my spearmen blocking their way and fighting in three ranks..
Try things out, if you get beat then maybe it didn't work so well, and if it's reasonably successful try something slightly different, eventually you'll find out what style and what units fit your tactics and the way you want to play WHFB....ultimately it's you're game, so however you play it is your decision!!
well what does you're infantry do?
is it ment to take the charge that cav can flank?
or does it has to charge as well?
spearmen are one hell of a defensive unit, you get an awsome amount of attacks so you will always get to strike back. combined that they are the cheapest elves HE have (still not cheap when compared to other races) you can field rather a lot of them.
if you go offensive get SM, WS 6 S 5 attacks striking firest is great and they should NEVER EVER be charged, THEY should charge. (IMHO) they (just like spearmen) die fast but spearmen have more attacks and are (slightly) cheaper, so that you have more spearmen than SM.
"Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers; all of which are true and terrifying to know"
try things out and treat every game as a learning experience...and have fun.
You want to know a great trick to keeping Swordmasters alive? Put a unit of Cav in front of them and give the Bladelord the Amulet of Purifying Flame. The enemy can't see over the Cav and anything that targets them is -3 to their casting roll + your dispel dice. I've learned to get rid of that giant TARGET on Swordmasters. Course they're still ways around it but its been then just marching them without ne protection.... Of course Spearmen are lovely too. Problem is, whenever they get into combat about 2 1/2 ranks are wiped out.... Daemonettes, Devotees to Slaanesh, Chosen Chaos Knights With the Mark of Khorne <---- OUCH!!!!!!! Witch Elves and the like... I just have bad luck with spearmen so I just bring them because their Core....
I've actually had fantastic results with HE spearmen, which is why i think they are so great(Y)Originally Posted by ScioN of KingS
Just goes to show how different people like different units eh
Our spearmen suck vs Chaos and Empire knights though, even our 15 attacks -.-
I like swordsmasters better. Granted the spearmen have much more attacks but they hardly ever wound with them. Swordsmaster on the otherhand almost always hit on 3's and wound on 2's. And they are harder to hit by elite units with their high WS.
I think this is an excellent synopsis, and I'd like to add one point. Swordmasters can take magic banners/items as people have mentioned, while the first-among-equals banner is probably already on one of your silverhelm units. So if you have a specific role for them to play, and magic gear can help them achieve that role then Swordmasters are definately the better bet.Originally Posted by elfwarden
If you just want a big ranked unit, and don't know if you want offense or defense, I'd take spearmen, as the are cheaper and core.