Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dark Eldar and State Troops

I've received the a modest shipment of DE kits to begin my army which I probably won't actually paint or game with for a while, as I am going into maximum overdrive to get my fantasy army done. Here, have a picture:

Taking stock, I have, in my possession, one Kabalite Warrior kit, one Wych Kit, one Raider, a three pack of Reavers, and the metal Archon Blister.

On to Fantasy, here is part one of my Empire troop choices, starting with State Troops:
SPEARMEN: The ubiquitous spearmen. If you want to get fluffy, than these guys are for you. Sadly, they really do not preform in game as well as in the fluff. First, lets look at their statline
M4 WS3 BS3 STR3 T3 W1 I3 A1 LD7
With a modest profile, like most State Troops, they need to be used in numbers to be effective. Their spears allow them to fight in one additional rank, but, with only WS3 S3 T3 I3, they will likely go last in a combat, and will have to be taken in excess of units of 40, for 3 reasons, A: They die in droves B: They will not hit or wound half of the time and C: To take advantage of their extra rank attacks, then you are more or less forced to field them in a horde, a very costly horde, that will have to be very large because, as said before, they die A LOT.

SWORDSMEN: "Dashing figures on the battlefield/Expert blade masters". They share the same stat line as all State Troops with the exception of their weapon skill, which is a 4. Along with their shields, giving them a +5 Armor Save and a +6 Parry save, they are the most durable state troops with the exception of Greatswords. WS4 means that they will hit slightly more often, and the +5 save gives us some insurance against STR4 attacks form Halberds.With STR3 they will still struggle against tougher models, but Swordsmen excel as a defensive block. 30 Swordsmen Five wide and Six deep will hold out a fair while, assuming you have a BSB/General/Priest nearby/in the unit. However, they are one point more expensive, which CAN add up if the unit is too big.

Arguably the best choice out of the three Core State Troops CC choices, Halberdiers give up the extra fighting potential of Spearrmen or the extra armor of Swordsmen for a +1 to Strenght. Is it worth it, I would say yes. While they do have the rather modest Weapon Skill of 3, a STR4 wound will remove the Armor save form lightly armored troops (Elves, Skaven, Gobos) and weaken the armor of heavy infantry (WoC, Dwarfs), and the STR4 hit will wound fragile models (again, Elves, Skaven, Gobos, and even other State Troops and Brettonians) while making it easier to wound tough fighters (again, Dwarfs, WoC, and Saurus, Orcs, etc). These guys work well in most any number. 15-25 man detachments to lend some punch to Swordsmen and Spearmen or in huge 40-50 man hordes and battlebuses to really hurt your opponent.

With the same staline of a Spearman/Halberdier and no armor, you may wonder as to why someone would take these guys. The reason? Two attacks. These guys, if they survive to hit back, can unleash a torrent of Str3 attacks. I see them as the poor man's flaggelants.These guys in a horde with a Warrior Priest get 40 hits with re-rolls, and will be cheaper than Swordsmen if fielded in a 30 man throw away horde (this really only fits into larger games however) Augmented with some magic (Flesh to Stone, Mind Razor, Speed of Light, etc) they will cut throw a lot of models.

With a respectable BS3, and their hard hitting STR4 AP handguns, the Empire's finest riflemen can pack a punch against both light and heavy infantry. Move or fire combined with a 24" range means that positioning will be important, but if they get a good view of the field they can really hurt your opponent, as well as providing ranged punch to CC units as detachments, and giving the unit marksmen a Long Rifle can put the fear of Sigmar into your opponents Champions and Characters.

Giving up the hitting power of handguns for greater range, crossbowmen excel at massed supporting fire. Multiple units of ten spread throughout the table will be able to rain a hail of bolts on anything in sight.

Being Skirmishers, they can;t hold up in CC like Handgunners and Corssbowmen can, but being able to roam the battlefield raining arrows in massed volleys can prove to be useful, and Huntsmen allow for a very annoying, very effective hassling force.

Heavily armed and armored, with Stubborn and Ld8, massed Greatswords form an excellent anvil and when supported by other troops can be a deadly hammer. However, they have a rather poor weapon skill for a "elite" infantry at WS4, and their Great Weapons, while adding a devastating +2 Str, make them ASL, so they can be killed before they get to hit back. However, if supported by detachments of swordsmen or halberdiers, as well as handgunners or maybe archers, Greatswords can cut through the toughest foe.

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