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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. Lately I've been getting a bit tired of the same old "This week High Elves, next week Warriors" mode that I've gotten myself in to. I have a gorgeous Empire armybook just mouldering on my shelf, and I would really like to get back into using the army. Especially since they're my 'Counts as' companion to my Samurai book/army, and I'm working on finalizing the list that I'll likely purchase to kick off the new year.

The problem that I've been having is that my regular opponents are the fairly competitive type. We're all a bunch of powergaming gits, and that's what's led me to the HE/WoC song-and-dance routine in the first place. Taking down a Daemons tourney-list and a well-honed Lizardmen force is a daunting task even with the heavy-hitters, so I don't see my poor Empire army standing much of a chance at all! What I want to know, is what units and options are looking the best these days? What's a guy got to do to keep his Empire force as a contender in the ring? And why the hell is nobody posting in this subforum anymore?!

The obvious calls (if I'm right) are:

Core
:: Swords over Halberds, never take Spears, for the Infantry
:: Are Knights better than the Infantry, bar-none?
:: XBows are better than Handguns. Do either have a place?

Special
:: Demigryphs Demigryphs Demigryphs Demigryphs
:: Cannons/Mortars?
:: Does anything else have a place here? Are Greatswords worth batting a lash at? Our Fast-Cav is good, but does it compete?

Rare
:: WAGONS! And that's about it really.
:: Consensus is that our Warmachines are overpriced and only the HBVG is any good anyways, and only for protecting Move/Fire troops in a gunline, yes?

Any genuinely solid characters or character builds that I should be running for a competitive game? Answer as if I were taking this army to a tournament.
 

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Hey cap not a lot goes on in the empire room took months for my doubles list to get a response. Personally I believe the more points the less competitive they become. Thankfully a lot of people are moving away from hordes well at least in my area (accept skaven gits) at 1000 my list is fairly competitive with 8 demi knights 2 units of 4 and halberds priest lvl4 and bsb I tend to go halberds with priest for the hatred and prayers and a lvl 4 light asf ws10 i10 a2 re roll misses (and if lucky with power dice re roll wounds) they can be effective at 1000pts this is good not to many opponents can match the damage output of 4 demi knights with t4 and 1+ armour they certainly pack a punch at 2000 it gets more difficult as your opponent can start calling on their more expensive heavy hitters and our lists aren't equipped for it. I advocate all cav lists for these guys you can go for gw wilding guys with a 2+ or stick lance but I prefer str bonus in all rounds again support with light in and infantry 2000 I am torn between my light lvl 4 and bathzar I tend to play artillery train lots of cannons mortarts and 2 hell blasters and halbadiers pistols flank 2 priests bsb if I'm doing bathzar in my list if I go light I go more aggressive less to no range 3 units of 4 demis pistols for flank and lots of halberds normally 3 units each with a priest 1 bsb and a lvl 4 light and I just pile in the numbers both are fun I haven't tried all cav only as i have a bret and now working on a dark all cav I do love cav lol

So none of that really answers your question I'd take swords if you wanna last longer halbadiers if you want to try hurt
Knights are awesome
Demi are amazing our best unit I feel
Duel steam tank is a pain people will hate you for it
Our characters are ok I prefer priests as they add a good dynamic to the units

Hope this helps or I have just wittled on lol
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #3
Seems to be the normal response. I see how Empire would be more effective at lower points, but that's generally how shooting-based armies work. I'll keep goofing around, and waiting to see if anyone else replies.
Your reply did help reinforce some of the ideas I had rattle around, and I agree that Cavalry does seem the best choice for the list. We'll see how the rest pans out. Thank you!
 

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Yeah the fact you can have 2+ armour gw wielding models is good and there not to pricery you can get 40 for 1000pts thats alot of cav models. The artiliary train is good but i like to fight lol though balthzar is pretty good :D. Wish i could help further i just love my demi knights :D and leaves so much room for converting them you can have them riding anything really :D anf 4 of them with standard 242 pts if you wasn't capped to having only 3 specials i would take 4 units :p
 

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RAWR! KROXIGOR!!
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Been out of the game for a while but I can't see knight + demi spam ever being bad. Finding the balance of how much chaff, cannons and buffs to include is trial and error but a list philosophy of "take to much armour and kill or distract the stuff he brought to deal with it" seems strong to me. Combined arms (without focus) is for suckers.
 

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Ive tried the Cavalry approach, 4 demi's, 2 blocks of Knights,14 KotIC with Mounted WP, another 10 Reiskgard, its gets expensive but thats a lot of really high armor saves. Throw in a Wiz Lvl 4 beast with Wyssans wildform and you cant go wrong.
 

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RAWR! KROXIGOR!!
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Ive tried the Cavalry approach, 4 demi's, 2 blocks of Knights,14 KotIC with Mounted WP, another 10 Reiskgard, its gets expensive but thats a lot of really high armor saves. Throw in a Wiz Lvl 4 beast with Wyssans wildform and you cant go wrong.
Hmm, I reckon more Demi's in the mix would be better. 1 Demigryph is much better than 2 Reiksguard, which is pretty much the points exchange.

Heavens magic is definitely optimal for buffing knights. Harmonic convergence increases survivability against low strength by 500% and increases damage output by 36%. Also, Killing Blow unit (normally good against knights) hate Midnight Wind.
 

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Generally, anything that rolls BS to hit is not worth its points. My only exception usually is 2 regiments of 6 outriders. Their vanguard rule makes deploying them at exactly 24" great. Moreover; the opponent usually underestimates the amount of firepower 6 mounted models can deliver.

Don't expect them to take out whole infantry regiments or skullcrushers; but they can hurt elite infantry or monstrous infantry a lot.

Demigriphs are golden; as are steam tanks. The answer to the VC's dual terrorgheist is a dual steam tank empire force; and it's just as cheesy.

Take a steadfast regiment of halberdiers or swordsmen to guard the center (don't expect them to kill anything though) and kill the off with the steam tank or demi's.

Priests make great addition to Knights. If you are fielding the 60-man halberdier horde with 2 detachments of 30 swordsmen; it makes sense to spend 120 points to add a warrior priest and witch hunter to the regiment. (aside from the bsb that should also be there. In that case, 120 men will benefit from the hatred, magic resistance and hold the line buff.

Empire artillery is a bit overpriced as many opposing monsters/war machines have ward saves or regeneration saves; making their effectivity much smaller. Great cannons do have some use (especially against ogres) but mortars are a waste of points.
 

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Light in a great weapon wielding cav force is amazing at 2k i can get 2 blocks of 15 knights bsb lvl 4 light 2 priests to get re rolls and 5+ ward for knights 2 units of 4 demis and som chalf in the form of pistolas or out riders.
 

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Well i think the Empire can be played well but i always feel they have to focus rather than try be balanced an all cav force is intense as is an atillary shooty force either way never leave home without at least 8 demi knights they can pick there way through most things :D
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #13
That's the vibe that I've always gotten from them. Short of Demigryphs, there's nothing that stands out as "oh holy crap that's intense!" It's all down to using the army coherently. I really like that. It makes them a bit more fragile and therefore I would say probably less competitive, but they're not at all bad, and I can definitely keep up. Lately I've been playing lots of Nippon games, I need to get back into throwing some Empire forces on the table.
 

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That's what I like about them to they are just human and they feel like it my units do well o almost always have 2 units of 39 halbadiers with priest and bsb and Lvl 4 wizard go in a small unit of knights (so wizard is in second row) 8 demi gryphs 2 units of pistols and some cannon
 

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I just came back from Adepticon, where I saw (and was one) five empire players in the top fifteen tables in pivotal game four, that's a pretty high level of representation. The other four were spamming stanks, cannons, and demigryphs, taking minimum core, and no more than one infantry block. So I guess that's what's competitive, which is a shame. Dual stanks and eleven demigryphs doesn't come within miles of the empire fluff! With two blocks of swordsmen, one block of greatswords, four pieces of artillery, and only six knights (KOTIC), I went 3-2, including killing over 2000 points of chaos dwarf cheese (four models made up 3/4 of his points!!!). I lost one game on the top of turn one when a council of light blew Elspeth off the board (there were three of her in the tourney, the other two players running her won three games between them) and then overran me with eleven gryphs and two stanks. I lost the other one (game three, on table six!) because Epidemius survived four purple suns and saved seven of eight spirit leech wounds.

I would say that blocks of swordsmen have their use in competitive play. They make great bookends to a line of artillery pieces, warding off the usual fast artillery hunters. If you put all of them into the main block, avoiding the use of detachments, and give them a captain instead of a priest, and they can also be big enough to deny VP. I've had a lot of games where my blocks of 40 have weathered the storm an emerged from the game with about a dozen models, representing a significant, but failed, effort by the enemy to collect their VP and their banner.

Greatswords are good for one thing, and that's killing cavalry. I only take them because I don't have any other access to S5, but they're really quite terrible on a point for point basis.

People laugh at the S2 of mortars, but they wound a ridiculous variety of models on 5s, and I regularly cover 30+ models with a template...worst-case, the center hole is S6 D3 wounds, so they can be hurled at monsters if the enemy has no blocks of infantry to abuse.

My favorite tactic now is KF on barded with a dozen KOTIC. The other day, that unit stood around and died slowly (ok, they killed off 6-7 of the enemy in the process) to nine KOTR+BSB and 3 peg knights while KF killed the KOTR champion, the peg knight champion, a peg lord, and eight grail knights in 11 consecutive challenges. He took one wound and inflicted about 20 points of overkill along the way. Actually, I learned that the unit needs a champion, so that KF doesn't have to accept a challenge from a stupid KOTR champ or a GK, and can throw his attacks at the enemy BSB instead...
 

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If you want str 5 why not take knights with gw you get the 2+ I like them with a priest for hatred re roll and 5++ it's a good combo.

Your right doesn't sound empire fluff accept maybe a nuln army. I like mortars they fill a necessary roll and that's thinning out big blocks for my demis to hit. Swordsmen are ok but again I tend to take halberds with priests again for the 5++ and they can hurt something usually 2 blocks of 39 with priests. I also tend to take a captain on peg with 1+4++ to move him about to help with combat then 3 mortars just because, 8 demis 12 if I can fit them and 10 pistols in 2 units of 5 for flanks
 

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I would love an Empire army list where men of the empire would be point-for-point on par with the core from other armies, most notably chaos warriors.

Nowadays, my 50 empire lads can stand 2, maybe 3 combat rounds of punishment by a regiment of 18 chaos warriors before they are all dead. The amount of damage they do in return is neglible, while point costs are rougly equal. I would perfectly like an empire army where my men of the empire are at least an equal choice compared to all the special cheeses Empire has access to.
 

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They are just men but my block of 40 halberds with priest has defeated 18 chaos warriors I went horde with 5++ really makes a difference I won and run them down alone men of the empire aren't gunna cut it they need to be buffed I find light works well in empire lists I load up on offensive stuff and take a defensive lore the Ws 10 I 10 is a great spell as is birons striking before most things with re rolls is very handy indeed boosted with 5++ and you will laugh as you mulch that chaos scum empire is about synergy it's never going to work on its own unit for unit with the elite army's
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #19
I would love an Empire army list where men of the empire would be point-for-point on par with the core from other armies, most notably chaos warriors.

Nowadays, my 50 empire lads can stand 2, maybe 3 combat rounds of punishment by a regiment of 18 chaos warriors before they are all dead. The amount of damage they do in return is neglible, while point costs are rougly equal. I would perfectly like an empire army where my men of the empire are at least an equal choice compared to all the special cheeses Empire has access to.
Yeah, these days the internal balance in the Empire book is a bit off. The Demis are cheap enough that they are mostly an "always take this" sort of unit, and then everything else is kinda "meh". They're not bad (okay, a few units might be pretty terrible) but they're not jumping out and screaming to be taken.

One thing that should be understood about Chaos (and this is coming from a Chaos player) is that they force you to write a solid list. One of the biggest flaws out there are people taking 'standard' shooting regiments and thinking that they'll ever pull their weight. Also, Scouts, as well as overloading on Characters and "support" units will net the same results. Warriors simply can't. They have no option except to get into close combat ASAP and their army never wastes points on shooting or overloads on tons of characters.
Of course the problem is that other armies are built to play with shooting, and Empire is notable for it. The developers just seem not to have realized that it doesn't quite work like that once you get to a real table.

Also, like DK said - Empire is built to play the Buff game, with all the synergy and blah blah. It works when you play the army very intelligently, and the army is certainly good. No game is ever decided purely on the strengths of the books, and Empire is a fairly average book all around. The problem is that the few really solid armies out there, like Warriors or Dark/High Elves, start the game with a bit of an advantage. An equally skilled general playing Empire across from an equally skilled general playing Warriors - I'm giving the win to Warriors. Of course the advantage that the Empire guy has, is that he's almost always the better general. You just don't learn as quickly with Warriors, since you can always rest on your statline and just "slog" your way through a game.
 

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Cap is right empire players are normally better tactically. Tbh like previously said it's about synergy you can load up on demis they are one of the best units in ther game and are a steal points wise. You need to be hitting first dealing some damage I don't like swords they are a waste your paying for the 6+ parry and Ws 4 it's not gunna help much you need to be hurting hence why I go halberds and priest hatred for re rolls and 5++ spell really keeps you in the fight put with the light spells even just the Ws 10 I 10 most enemies will need 5+ to hit you and you will hit first accept asf so against chaos warriors you should be winning combats if you got halberds in horde against 18 you should be able to line up at least 9 which is 18 attacks at str 4
 
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