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Bigred
10-21-2009, 09:02 PM
So lets get down to brass tacks.

I'm starting Empire, and I want to hear the skinny on your core choices.

In particular, what are the recommended State Troops combos and how to you use them with the detachment system.

I almost never hear anyone talking about them.

HELP!

BilboBaggins
10-21-2009, 09:23 PM
Personally I go with Halberds (but have used Swordsmen and Spears in a pinch) with detachment of free company (got to love 2 attacks each) and if I have the points another detachment of Halberds (S4).

My typical Core at 2K was

20 Halberds Full command with detachments for counter charge.
10 Handgunners with marksman using Hochland
10 Handgunners with marksman using Hochland
8 Knights Full Command
8 Knights Full Command (I loved 6th edition because these were inner circle as core)

Kieranator K82
10-21-2009, 10:28 PM
Well Mr Bigred, my Core seems to be:

- 20 Swordsmen with 2 detachments of 10 Halberdiers
- 20 Spearmen with 2 detachments of 10 Handgunners
- 10 Crossbowmen
- 8 Knightly Orders
- 29 Flagellants and a Priest, who is obviously a Hero but must be mentioned here.

Now I haven't played a single game yet, but theoretically this is how I'd do things:

- The first group are the main combat section. The swordsmen are the parent unit and they'll usually charge the front. With a better save than the halberdiers, they should be able to survive better while the Halberdiers deliver 20 Strength 4 attacks in the flanks.
- The second group are more for defense. The Handgunners provide ranged support for the army, while also standing and shooting if the Spearmen get charged. I'd probably put this unit at an important landmark or chokepoint.
- The Crossbowmen also provide ranged support, even giving cover fire to Handgunners if they are advancing.
- The Knights do everything that heavy cavalry do, targeting weak points and whatever.
- The Flagellants are just crazy guys for ripping people up.

Aldramelech
10-22-2009, 01:15 AM
I used to run a big unit of Halberdiers with detachments of Handgunners on one side and Swordsmen on the other.
If you get charged the guns stand and shoot and if you charge/get charged you can whack the Swords in on the flank.

I have seen lots of people play Empire and complain that its no good and its impossible to win with them. In all these cases the player is not using the detachment system and I ask why? Why wouldn't you use it? Its a fundamental part of the army, its how its designed to work. If your not using detachments then your not playing the army properly.

Bigred
10-22-2009, 08:13 AM
I agree Aldramech. While Empire isn't a super top-tier army, I have seen some super good natinoally ranked players really nail other"uber" armies with it.

So fundamentally it seems like Empire is going to be about *playing* at peak ability, instead of just making deathstar lists. I figure the detachment system must have a key part to play but almost no one ever seems to use it (kind of like Space Marine combat tactics).

I would love to hear about not just army composition, but deployment and how you guys USE detachments on the tabletop.

Here are some comments from other threads here:

-Screen your parent units with tiny groups of archers who pull chargers away in bad directions with skillful use of the charging skirmishers rules, then flank em in your turn.

-Intersperse tiny 3x3 detachments between parent units 1" behind the front line so they can't be charged by most enemies (tiny frontage), but can still counterchage effectively.

-Interweave detachments in a checkerboard pattern with other parent units/ detachments (almost roman legion manipular formation) with screens up front (who flee, leaving the chargers high and dry) and shooters interspersed inbetween parent units to stand and shoot. (basically give yourself an extra turn of protection and 2 extra turns of shooting to soften up enemies.

It seems like we will need diagrams for some of this stuff...

Lord Azaghul
10-22-2009, 09:32 AM
I will freely admin I had a hard time using the detachment system, but I also wanted to build a knight centered army - empire was not the best choice.

One of the reasons I stopped playing this army because once I saw that knights were to ineffective, I began using the detachment system in smaller games, but I just didn't want to buy 100+ swordsman, to really take full advantage of the system at 2k!

The other problem I had was no one would actually charge the front of the parent. They would simply chew up the detachment first, then be in a position to flank the parent, or out of the parents charge arc. Or if I had taken handgunners or xbows they were often not in support range for the stand and shoot option.

The uses I did find (that worked) were to take 3x3 unit of free comany as detachements - I didn't own any halberts. Small units of archers worked ok, but it seemed like an expensive meat shield (when points may have been better spend else where)

Aldramelech
10-22-2009, 11:18 AM
I agree Aldramech. While Empire isn't a super top-tier army, I have seen some super good natinoally ranked players really nail other"uber" armies with it.

So fundamentally it seems like Empire is going to be about *playing* at peak ability, instead of just making deathstar lists. I figure the detachment system must have a key part to play but almost no one ever seems to use it (kind of like Space Marine combat tactics).

I would love to hear about not just army composition, but deployment and how you guys USE detachments on the tabletop.

Here are some comments from other threads here:

-Screen your parent units with tiny groups of archers who pull chargers away in bad directions with skillful use of the charging skirmishers rules, then flank em in your turn.

-Intersperse tiny 3x3 detachments between parent units 1" behind the front line so they can't be charged by most enemies (tiny frontage), but can still counterchage effectively.

-Interweave detachments in a checkerboard pattern with other parent units/ detachments (almost roman legion manipular formation) with screens up front (who flee, leaving the chargers high and dry) and shooters interspersed inbetween parent units to stand and shoot. (basically give yourself an extra turn of protection and 2 extra turns of shooting to soften up enemies.

It seems like we will need diagrams for some of this stuff...

It is key. The Empire army without detachments is a collection of very average human units with no real advantages, the detachment system is what pulls it all together and makes the force play as an army as opposed to a collection of individual units. Used properly it can be brutally effective, but it is hard to master, practice with it is also key.

People moan alot about the effectiveness of Knights but have missed the point entirely. Knights are not the key unit in the Empire force, they are a force multiplier, there to bolster the effectiveness of the Key Infantry formations.

The Empire are the classic example of combined arms warfare. Artillery gives you the long punch (Battlefield interdiction) threatens big nasties and can break up large horde formations. Archers and Pistolliers are your skirmishers, use them to block marching and keep the initiative, use them to stop your opponent maneuvering against those detachments. Knights should be there to support those infantry formations, not charging off into the distance trying to win the battle on their own, they will die and serve no purpose then to act as an armored speed bump.

All of the above forces allow you to fight the battle your way, if you allow the enemy the opportunity to pick off detachments, then again your not playing the army properly.

If you do it right you'll have one of the most versatile hard hitting forces in the game.

Aenir
10-28-2009, 10:28 AM
I have a question, as I am also an empire player (over a year, but have had only 3 games)

Why wouldnt someone just grab all handgunners, with detachments of handgunners or crossbows/archers, and just become an army that shoots a ton of things?

It seems to me (in my admittedly small amount exp.) that since they are basic humans with nothing special in melee, why not turtle up and shoot the C*ap outta anything that dares to come charge?

BilboBaggins
10-28-2009, 10:40 AM
I did the Handgunners with detachment of handgunners but it didn't work for me very well. You can only shoot so much before you die in droves. :D

Aldramelech
10-28-2009, 11:37 AM
Yep, If you have some Close Combat weapons you stand some chance, if you have none you stand no chance.

Confuddled
10-28-2009, 09:04 PM
Why wouldnt someone just grab all handgunners, with detachments of handgunners or crossbows/archers, and just become an army that shoots a ton of things?
Because BS-based shooting just isnít that effective.

1) Each model has a limited firing arc (approx. 45 degrees), and you canít move and fire with crossbows and handguns.
So, youíre going to have a hard time concentrating all your fire on any one unit.

2) BS3 and range penalties mean youíre hitting on 5s for your first round of shooting (ie when the other guy is at long range).

3) Relatively low strength means that the other guyís heavy hitters will still have good armour saves (2+/3+), and possibly a ward save to boot.

4) Most newer armies have dedicated missile hunters Ė fast units that can hit your shooters on turn 2 and/or block LOS to the melee specialists advancing behind them.
And there are additional penalties for trying to hit skirmishers.


Where BS-based shooting excels would be to take down the smaller, lightly-armoured support units that the other guy uses to control your movement (fast cavalry, basically).




So fundamentally it seems like Empire is going to be about *playing* at peak ability, instead of just making deathstar lists. I figure the detachment system must have a key part to play..
Well, technically, its about:
1) Using your mandatory 2+ Great Cannon as equalizers. :wink: They help keep the big gribblies and heavy cavalry honest.

2) Advancing aggressively with your detachments Ė when he charges, you either flee or hold. Both work depending on the type of detachment and the distance from which heís charging. Key objectives are to:
a) Slow him down;
b) Pull him out of position
Ideally, you use the detachments to pull advancing enemy units (heavy cavalry in particular) into a position where you can hit him in the flank with a cannonball or two...

Simply camping with detachments just doesnít work so well - a) You donít have much room if/when things go wrong.
b) Against some of the nastier melee units in play these days, counter-charging with a detachment just means youíre giving more enemy models the opportunity to strike back.

3) Main blocks move up and/or countercharge or hold.


Traditional Empire armies (lotsa infantry) rely heavily on coordination and static combat resolution to win combats (and games).
Trouble is:
1) Poor to above-average Ld makes coordination difficult when fear/terror-causing units are a lot more common.

2) Static CR alone just doesnít work so well anymore (some might argue with cause that static CR alone never did work!)Ö
a) Shock armies can dish out enough attacks to chew through an Empire regiment with ease Ė they might not break you on the charge, but theyíre not likely to lose combat either.
It doesnít help that all sorts of pesky big gribblies have access to ward/regeneration saves that allow them to shrug off cannon fireÖ

b) Grinding armies can out-grind an Empire army.

c) Magic-heavy armies have access to excellent money-shot spells that can fry entire regiments with a single successful casting.


A combined-arms Empire army (3+ regiments of State troops with detachments, 2+ cannon, 2+ cavalry/fast cavalry squadrons) can still work pretty well against other combined-arms Empire army (and most army books released before 2008).

Playing in a moderated/comped environment? Youíll have a chance at a technical win, especially if youíre up against a less-experienced/sloppy player whoís just coasting on the strength of a new army book.

Playing in an open environment?
Youíd probably do better to invest in Flagellants, a War Altar, cannon and a steam tank or twoÖ :rolleyes:

Aldramelech
10-29-2009, 01:34 AM
Sensible advice that

Jesse
11-08-2009, 09:57 PM
I have been playing empire in tournaments all year, the best core choice empire has is 5 man knight units with no upgrades. Crossbows, and 1 unit of core infantry w/ archer detatchments are also good.

The list I run is

War altar
2 lvl 2s
warrior priest on horse
3x5 knights
19 swords w/ 6 archer detatch and 5 free company detatch
10 xbows
2xgreat cannons
6 outriders
5 pistoliers
tank
hellblaster.


Alot of people seem to be under the impression that empire are a weak army, this is not even close to true. If built and played properly they are a threat to ANYTHING they go up against(In the 20 GT games I have played with them this year I have only lost 1 game,drawn 4, and won the other 15)

As you can probably tell by my list, empire is not, as some people think an army that relies on ranks or detatchment counter charging or anything like that. They are an army with access to great magic defense/offense and many useful units. I can count on one hand the number of times my swordsmen have been engaged in combat intentionally (in 50+ games I have played with empire), I have also only done a supporting charge with my detatchments ONCE in all of those games played. Swordsmen(or halberds or spears, doesnt matter) are simply warm bodies for your wizards to hand out in. Detatchments are for protecting your wizard bunker from threats by redirecting. Archer detatchments are also great at screening outriders and pistoliers. Dont worry about trying to put shooting detatchments other then archers in your army, they will limit your deployment and make it harder for you to get line of site for all your units.


So to sum it up, infantry is not what matters in a good empire army, and a good empire army is very strong.(New skaven might change this though, I expect they will be a really bad matchup for empire)

Dosadi
11-09-2009, 08:41 AM
Jesseís Empire army is probably the most ďmetaĒ build for Empire and it obviously works. Itís got a good deal of magic offence and defense and will shoot the pants off things. I can see how one would do very well with such an army. I may have to give this sort of an army a try. It looks fun.

My Empire army is little more militarized as Iím building off a theme more than trying to make the most effective list (maybe thatís why Iím the king of Moderate Victories?).

Iím using;
General: Meteoric Armour, Holy Relic, Icon of Magnus, great weapon, pistol
Mounted BSB w/Griffon Banner
Warrior Priest: Doomfire Ring, Enchanted Shield
Level 2: 2x Dispel Scrolls
30 Spears w/10 Xbow and 8 halberd detachment.
12 handgunners w/hochland
12 handgunners w/hochland
10 Hunstmen
24 Greatswords w/ 9 swordsmen detachment
2 Cannons
6 Pistoliers

The General leads the Greatswords with the BSB and Warrior Priest in the Spearmen. The wizard goes wherever heís needed. I like lore of Fire (pure offense) and Heavens (support) but Iíll sometimes take Light if fighting daemons or undead. Combined with the Warrior Priestís Prayer and the Doomfire Ring I get a nice little magic phase and 4 dispel dice.

The Handgunner units are bigger than most people use (most Iíve seen are the minimum 10) but I almost always take a few casualties and having the extra few shots can often make the difference in forcing those panic checks. The Hochlands are great for picking on lesser characters like enemy BSBs or even champions. Iíve found them useful for killing the crew off of indestructible Cauldronís of Blood or any war machine for that matter. Also, never underestimate the value in picking off a unitís Champion; especially if they are those champs that can take a magic item. They also get into short range a turn before the rest of your gunners. I canít say enough good things about the Hochland, well worth the points IMO. Try it on an Outrider Champ with BS5 and watch him make all those headshots.

Pistoliers are probably my most favorite fast cav in the game. Always take the Outrider w/repeater pistols as thatís 4 shots that hit on one better than the rest of the unit. Use them to harass flanks and march-block; slowing down the enemy so you can shoot them more. The Huntsmen perform a similar role, usually on the opposite flank. They are also good for redirecting and just generally getting in the way.
Cannons are there to do what cannons do; punch large holes in things. Large monsters, chariots, enemy warmachines, anything that can potentially break through my lines are priority #1. Also, when shooting at units with characters in them always remember to line up your shots with them and force those ďLook out SirĒ rolls. I have killed many a enemy wizard, BSB and even generals when that ď1Ē comes up. Combined with the hochland snipers there is no reason an enemy character should make it across the table without missing at least a single wound.

Iíve been told that Greatswords are not worth taking. I disagree. They have the best armour save in your army and Stubborn 8 means they are good at tar-pitting an enemy unit. Both my big infantry blocks are designed for this role. Most enemy units that make it to my battle line are not in very good shape due to several rounds of decent shooting. The static combat-res on my Spearmen are 9 (10 if I get the flank). Thatís the point of having decent firepower, to whittle down anything scary and then overwhelm it when it finally gets to my side of the table.

The army is not really a gun-line; itís more of a combined arms force. You need to isolate and neutralize the greatest threats in you enemyís force before a single sword stroke is made. Once engaged your sturdy yet squishy infantry needs to be in a position to fend off the enemy through weight of numbers, not skill of arms. Protect the flanks of the infantry block as a smart opponent will know that a good flank charge with even a weak unit will break your line quickly. Detachments counter charging are not always a good idea if it exposes a flank. But beware of getting over run as most detachments cannot stand up to a change on their own. Use terrain to block enemy approaches if possible. Depending on what sort of terrain you use a well placed forest can often protect a unitís flank better than any detachment ever could. My personal favorite is a building of some sort that your unit can line up right beside. Iíll occupy the building with my xbow detachment and even if they get evicted the enemy canít charge out of a building and my flank is safe. On the other side Iíll put the greatswords who thanks to being Stubborn will be less likely to break from a flank charge.

I just started the army this past summer and Iím still working out a lot of the finer points so this is not the final build Iím sure. I really enjoy the Empire as they feel the most ďhistoricalĒ compared to all my other Fantasy armies. You really get the sense that this army could have actually existed at some point in our own historyÖwell, except for the Wizard. ;)


Dosadi

elrodogg
11-10-2009, 08:49 PM
First off... good job on picking the Empire. Probably my favorite fantasy army.

Regarding detachments: The two best choices IMO are 5 strong archer detachments and 9 strong free company. Redirecting rules for skirmishers mean that for 40pts you get a fantastic buy. Every ranked unit should have one. 9 strong free company in a 3x3 formation are excellent becaues they can be deployed set back from your battle line, where they can't be charged but are in a great position to countercharge. Not a big fan of any other detachments to be honest.

Regarding your core troops: You really do have a great selection. Swordsmen and spears are the best state troops for your blocks. I personally like xbows over handguns, except if you up grade the champ for hochland.

The list I've been having alot of fun and success with is:
Lector on war altar, sword of +1 attack, meteoric iron, speculum
Lvl 2 w/ 2 scrolls
Lvl 2 w/ rod, ring
BSB w/ plate, barded steed, icon of magnus, sword of might

24 Swords, Standard, Musician,
5 archer detachment
5 Knights
15 Flagellants (core b/c of archlector)
10 handgunners w/ marksmen and hochland

20 greatswords, full command
5 archer detachment
Cannon
5 Pistoliers
5 Pistoliers

Hellblaster
Steam Tank

Kieranator K82
11-11-2009, 12:42 AM
Might I make another recommendation?

This one revolves around the sneaky enchanted item, Van Horstmann's Speculum.
This special little mirror can be activated at the start of a challenge, and swaps the WS, S, T, I and A values of the two fighting the duel. Essentially, without the enemy knowing, you can get your character into one on one combat with the enemy's most powerful character and do a stat flip. In the best cases, you can take the stats of a special character, such as Archaon, Azhag or even Karl Franz.
This secret trick will make your enemy :mad:

Aldramelech
11-11-2009, 01:58 AM
Yep, fab item. Never leave home without it! lol

BilboBaggins
11-11-2009, 09:38 AM
Might I make another recommendation?

This one revolves around the sneaky enchanted item, Van Horstmann's Speculum.
This special little mirror can be activated at the start of a challenge, and swaps the WS, S, T, I and A values of the two fighting the duel. Essentially, without the enemy knowing, you can get your character into one on one combat with the enemy's most powerful character and do a stat flip. In the best cases, you can take the stats of a special character, such as Archaon, Azhag or even Karl Franz.
This secret trick will make your enemy :mad:

The treat of the speculum is sometimes enough to stop uber characters from charging my wizards. :D