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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently on this very page a few new faces have turned up eager to take to the field with an army of the empire. Some of the new list or ideas of list have had spears in them and I need to ask why? They do the empire no good, WS3, S3, and I3 does not impress and getting more mediocre attacks is not going to help at all. Elves can get away with it due to all the good rules and stats they have, the empire can not get away with it. Swordsmen are better at survival and points denial, halberds are better at killing, ranged weapons are a matter or choice and knights are just awesome core.

Spears have no place in our army unless the next ed of warhammer changes things to give spears a better battle field role other than an extra rank of attacks.
Spears are the cheap buys in the army and I can see at first why some newer folk may want to take them. Everything in the empire army bar one or two things are worth taking and I would rather take an army of archers and helstorm rockets than take spears.

This is in no way a slam at the people taking spears, I just ask that people look at what they do and ask will an extra 5 S3 attacks really make a difference on the battle field. I am a hypocrite and use them with my goblins but I use 60 in a unit and those guys are dirt cheap. Lots of things in the empire work well together but spears don't go with anything. Swords and halberds should be the main combat infantry other than greatswords but even they will need to be used right.

Anyway my little rant is now over and I hope that anyone who is thinking of starting an empire army or who has just got into them or back into them will read this and know not to take them.

Please don't take spears.


Benevolent Dictator
9,222 Posts
Agreed. But I'd like to point out that High Elves can take Spears because they have to. Dark Elves don't use theirs, and Wood Elves prefer to use Archers in Core. The High Elves have the choice of garbage archers (furby, you stay out of this with your heresies) Silver Helms, or Elyrian Reavers. You can't make an entire army out of chaff, so the Reavers don't often fill minimums. Silvers are good but the rest of the army is "slogging" and you can get Dragon Princes. Spears are just there as the cheap-buy Core.

One of the big kickers for Spears in my opinion, is that you can get +5S3A with Free Company, who have 2A each. It's better to not have to rely on more models to get your attacks. If you have 15 Spears, you get 15A. If you have 10+ Free Company, you get 15A. You can have a regiment that is the same size, and have that regiment suffer more casualties before you start losing attacks. The downside? No detachments on Free Company.

It's not all doom-and-gloom for Spears though. They absolutely shine with Lore of Shadow. Obviously, they make terrible detachments, and if you don't want detachments you should just use Free Company. But one of the common builds that I see (and have used myself) is to take a huge block of 50-60 Halberds, and then put a Stubborn character in them, and put two detachments of 25-30 Swordsmen as your Core at 2500pts. The big block has lots of bodies and is hard to shift, while providing damage, and the small blocks of Swords are just stubborn, parrying, TarPits.
But if you have 50 Spears, and you can get to where Halberds or Spears were wounding on 2's, the Spears would win out through sheer weight of attacks. This is especially true for Mind Razor, which will negate armor, but if armor is not an issue then you can also use the Tough Debuff on the target.

In general however, yes - avoid Spears.
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