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Well, title asks the question.
Which are better for the Skeleton Warriors, in your opinion, and why? Are they better in certain situations? Is the 6+ Parry Save in close Combat worth more than an extra rank of attacks?
In my opinion and experience, the purpose of the skeleton horde isnt to DEAL the damage, but to tarpit while the chariots crash into the enemies flank winning combat. I dont think the spears will add that many more wounds and you would probably lose more skeletons by losing the ward.
Stay awhile, and listen...
Sword and board all the time. for the cost of 4 spears you can get another skellington. I have always used the rule, the best thing you can get a person, is someone next to him to take the hit!
Mathhammer says that the extra rank will only do you at most 2 extra wounds of combat at horde setup (10 men, 1/2 hit, 1/2 wound = 2.5, average to 2 for bad luck). where as the points of those spears (4 ranks of 10) means another 10 bodies.
But as it has been said on this board before. 2 more points gets you shooting skellingtons. And i find them much better. You dont feel the need to get into combat with them to get their potential out of them. and they can be run in smaller numbers, but more of them...
Proxy. Try them both out. But for the extra point, you can getg so much more.
Is that even a question? sword'n'board, of course! It's not just the ward save, it's that you'd be paying extra to get the spear/shield setup....that's ultimately far worse than sword'n'board even if they did cost the same!
As for the idea that "two more points gets you a bow," well, "two more points" is the WRONG way to look at it. Try "50% more expensive." two points is nothing...two points times SCORES of models adds up insanely fast. Don't get me wrong, bowmen have their place...as a liche bunker. But bowmen are only a better choice than swordsmen when they cost the same. At a 1 point premium, it would probably just barely be better to use bowmen for your core melee blocks, since the shooting damage output on turns one and two would probably meet or beat the extra wounds that they'd take for being naked....but at 6 points versus 4 points, especially when you consider that a bowman tarpit won't be firing every bow, bowmen are no longer the one-size-fits-all no-brainer choice that they used to be. My own army will now include two blocks of 50 with sword'n'board plus 30 models worth of liche bunkers...for the cost of "upgrading" my two melee blocks to bowmen (bearing in mind that they'd then be more fragile), I get within spitting distance of buying a sphinx...or 50 more skittles.
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