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Ok, here is the case. I am trying to collect an offensive army of HE with a good amount of magic, some cav and some infantry. Basicaly "balanced" force. I am going full ofensive and I know that I will be using the following for sure in a 2k game: An RBT, 2 eagles, 10 shadow warriors, 6 dragon princes with or without a lord depending on whether or not I feel like fielding a prince.
My main question is what is the BEST infantry for an offensive basic infantry unit for HE, spearmen, swordsmen or sea guard. From previous threads I have learned that spearmen are an ALL-defensive unit and only excel in that role, while swordmasters are an offensive unit that needs to get a charge to be effective. I am currently examining swordmasters but my official desicion isnt really made yet, so for my basic 2 infantry blocks in a standard 2k army, should I field 2 units of spearelves, or 2 units of swordmasters with Ethalion for a general???
>Rep for all good suggestions<
Well even with Eltharion, according to his rules on the US gw site, it doesn't say swordmasters are core with him. Just that its no longer 0-1 restricted. Sworsdmen are better than spearmen but you'll still be required to take core.
As for the best infantry to take, well, stay away from Sea Guard. They're paying far too much just to tack a bow onto some spearmen, particularly as only the front rank can fire. This means that you'll only get, say, 5 or 6 shots if you keep them in 'combat' formation, or have to spend lots of time reforming them if you do otherwise. Similarly Phoenix Guard are a big no, they are also paying far too many points for their abilities as well as taking a valuable rare slot.
I like spears, but they're not really too offensive, since S3 attacks aren't going to do all that much to a lot of units out there. Any unit they can rip up probably only cost half of what they did, plus, used offensively, they lose a rank of attacks when they charge.
I would say te best offensive infantry are Swordmasters and White Lions. With both of these units you need to remember that while they do hit hard they are also very fragile. Swordmasters can protect themselves better in combat since they'll probably be striking first in subsequent rounds, but you don't really want them to stay in combat that long. White Lions are more protected against shooting but will die quite quickly if any enemies get to hack at them in combat.
Really I'd say with these it's a matter of personal preference. If you are taking a big unit, I'd recommend taking a look at giving the champion a magic item like the Amulet of the Purifying Flame to give them a little extra protection as they advance.
Finally, a lot of players like to use elite infantry units like these in small numbers, say 12, to serve as flankers. Engaging the enemy with spears in the front and have some White Lions charge out of a wood into the flank, for instance. This is often used simply because a large unit is so darned expensive!
Agree with pretty much all Ancalagon said. Seaguard are too expensive for what they do, and are only really any good in the seaguard list. (SOC)
If I was using elite infantry as flankers though, I'd put them in either a unit of 5x3 or 6x3 (15 and 1 12 seems a little bit small for my tastes... They are very fragile to shooting, and don't really stand up to much in combat unless they do well attacking and leave nothing to fight back. I'd personally prefer the faster and better armoured cavalry to be my flankers then elite infantry.
None of our infantry is really brilliant in this edition. I'd just stick with a bare minimum, whatever you like the models of, and wait until november and see how they change. Spearmen are pretty good all round, they can attack decently since 2 ranks can fight when they charge. PG are terrible for their points, and White lions are ok but take up the very valuable rare slot.
White Lions are really nice infantery, and you could bypass the fact that they're rare by using the honor lion guard, though it is very expensive:cry: . Swordmasters are very similar and probably used more often than WL simply because they're special, but the models are no way near as cool . In an offensive army it could be very efficient to use Unseen Lurker from the lore of shadow on the infantery so that they can keep up with the cavalry. :yes:
(Huanzlat - I believe that the Lionguard honor allows the use of White Lions, but it does not remove them from their place as a 'rare' unit.)
Back to the thread...
I know you said you want to build a balanced force. Fine-tuning that balance for HE usually means choosing a mostly infantry force supported by cav or you'll find yourself slipping away from infantry altogether into an all cav force.
Silverhelms are wonderful core units; real heavy cav, but choosing them as all or most of your core units basically forces the list into all cav. IMHO, trying to mix infantry, even good infantry like Swordmasters, in with cav rarely works. The infantry is always trailing the fight; essentially splitting your force in half for the enemy.
If you want a 'balanced' army that works, it will have to be an infantry army - yeah, I know that sounded funny. Few will argue against basing this balanced force around a block of Swordmasters. Swordmasters are the favored HE infantry unit a) because of their special ability to use a greatsword in iniative order, b)their quality for the point cost, AND c) their placement in the 'special' unit slot leaving your rares for eagles/bolt throwers.
Building an army around Swordmasters means you'll need 'Core' infantry blocks supported by smaller cav/chariot flankers. Core infantry blocks mean spearmen. (Seaguard being too expensive and archers being ineffective.) HE spearmen (spearelves?) are quite good, having the special ability to gaining one extra rank's attack more than any other race. These extra attacks will not result in many kills, but our Spears can hold the line well enough while our heavier and more skilled flankers collapse inward after defeating our foes' flank efforts.
With a block of Swordsmasters and a couple blocks of spears, you'll still have points left for some Silverhelms, Reavers, chariots to manoever about. But they will be in the role of supporting the infantry core rather than competing with it for primacy.
One last tip as you consider your HE army. Beware sinking too many points into your heroes. Our heroes are among the most expensive in the game! In making my first lists, it was easy (and fun!) to get drawn into providing a full set of heroes loaded with fine items from Vauls Forge. For 2000pts, I'd try to hold char points down as close to 600 as possible. HE infantry armies will take casualties, so having small units can be problem.
Last edited by kooshlord; June 28th, 2007 at 18:00. Reason: largely duplicate posts: merged. -Koosh
So, if you take them as bodyguard, it moves them to special, and removes the 0-1 restriction? Or am I not looking at this right?
On the topic:
Best Infantry of the HE --> Swordmasters.
Downside is they die soon (T3 an dnot great armour) and are only 0-1.
Taking Eltharion clears this but they remain special.
Going good balenced HE is very good.
It gives you something of everything to play with.
You want offensive, HE can do it.
Let's look at the core choices:
Best core there is. Use as 5/6 man units to flank and they will work wonders.
They can also make a nice line breaker unit with a heroe/lord with them.
Overall the best there is for HE.
Yes they have less attacks on the charge but watch them in the following rounds, their attacks tripple.
Since they loose their aditionel ranks on the charge, let them use Hw/Sh combo.
You don't lose any attacks but gain aditionel armour. Always handy.
I'd advise on taking these if you want a core infantry unit.
Are not good to take, they are too expensive for what they do.
It''s a waste since their fluf and intentions are good, but they fail to achieve them.
They can be usefull to get that last kill to force a panic test but general all those T4 and good armour guys out there make them a bit less usefull.
I hope this helps.
"Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers; all of which are true and terrifying to know"
Audible Silence -
Quote from armybook: "If you have a character with Lion Guard, then White Lions become a Special Choice for your army (but remain 0-1)".
/High Priest Huanzlat