home

Author Topic: My first army!! 2500pt  (Read 875 times)

Offline Agrajag

  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
My first army!! 2500pt
« on: February 24, 2016, 06:23:15 PM »
Hello!

I've been collecting and painting me some empire for a while now and after reading about tactics and watching a few battle report videos I decided to compose my very own 8th edition army list.

I've never played a warhammer game in my life and I don't know what the typical points allowance is but I've seen a lot of 2500pt so I guess I'll stick to that.

I'd be very grateful of any feedback and especially points on glaring vulnerabilities so I know if I'm wasting my money on an army that will get tabled every single game.

My army

Characters:
Arch lector with crown of command, armor of meteoric iron and a great weapon. 190pt
Amber wizard lvl 3 on a griffon with van horstmann's specculum, amulet of amulet of preservation and sword of striking. 435pt
Captain as my BSB with the griffon banner. He is armed and armored with a handgun, full plate armor and a shield. 159pt
Witch hunter with brace of pistols. 55pt

Core:
50 handgunners with full command. Champion is armed with a brace of pistols. This unit is also a accompanied by two detachments of 25 halberdiers each. 785pt

Special:
4 demigryph knights with a champion and musician. Armed with lances. 252pt
3 demigryph knights with a musician. They too have lances. 184pt
5 pistoliers with musicians. 100pt
5 pistoliers with musicians. 100pt
2x great cannons 240pt

Total points: 2500

My thinking here is to use my core units as an anvil and the demigryphs as a hammer. I will have all my characters in the handgunner unit to make them as fighty as possible and try to force the enemy to attack them. Hopefully, I can keep my characters out of reach by placing them on the flanks and maybe cover them with the detachments.

I know that the amber wizard is a huge investment and that he actually is quite squishy. I will use him to first and foremost cast Wyssans Wildform as many times as possible on my handgunners but also to hunt big bad combat heroes. With the specculum and a griffon I think that he can take on almost any hero and win. 
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 06:29:15 PM by Agrajag »

Offline CarolineWellwater

  • Posts: 380
    • View Profile
Re: My first army!! 2500pt
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 01:08:11 AM »
(( Hey Agrajag,

Okay a couple of quick thoughts.

1-A) For your Arch Lector, you already have a re-rollable LD of 9, since you have a BSB.  You could save quite a few points, and drop the Crown of Command.

1-B) Armor of Meteoric Iron is expensive, and tends to sit at a YMMV, since it's Ward Save isn't terribly impressive.  I use it, but I've also been moving towards using just heavy armor and a Dragon Hat to get a 4+ Armor Save 2+ Fire Save.  You might be able to save some points, and downgrade to Heavy Armor.

1-C) Usually folks get the Arch Lector to get the War Altar.  The Altar offers some impressive augments to your troops, and protects your Arch Lector pretty well.

2-A) For your Amber Wizard, you might want to consider up-leveling him to 4.  Level 4 offers +4 to cast / dispel, and one more roll for spells.  Empire wizards tend to be cheap, so having both two Lord choices makes us a bit spoiled.

2-A-1) I did notice you don't have a Level 1 or Level 2 wizard to be your Dispel Scroll carrier.  Keep in mind that if you fail a dispel, that wizard cannot attempt to dispel again that turn.  As such, most players have a pair of wizards… one big… one little.  The big one gets most of the power / dispel dice, while the little guy offers some oddball spells and carries the Dispel Scroll (for that one enemy spell you have to counter.)

2-B) For me, the Griffon is a YMMV- monster, because it doesn't really have the staying power, for its size.  In comparison, while a Necrosphynx cannot fly, it has Toughness 8, and a 5+ Armor Save.  Our Griffon has to rely upon Toughness 5… which is wounded decently easily by missile fire.

2-B-1) For that matter, if you put your Amber wizard on a mount, you cannot use Transformation of Kadon at all.  If you haven't checked it out, Transformation has the ability to make your Amber wizard freaking monstrous.

2-B-2) I did use a Griffon for my Elector Count for a while, as I have the old-style, smaller griffon from 5th edition… but after trying out the Pegasus, the Pegasus is just a better mount… which is kinda sad.  If the Griffon was cheaper… or had "Armor Save 5+" or something it would be better… but the poor thing dies to racial slurs and angry insults.

2-C) I'd have to say magic weapons on our wizards is a waste.  He only has 1 attack, and only a mediocre ability to hit with his one attack.  Magic Weapons tend to be on Pegasus Captains, Arch Lectors, Elector Counts, and Grandmasters, where they start with multiple Attacks.

2-D) While I get it that you plan to use the Speculum on a suprize challenge, savvy players will see that a mile away, as you have to move your wizard into melee… something our wizards don't tend to survive terribly well.  I'd suggest saving some points, and dropping the Speculum.

2-D-1) Not to mention that they can accept / give challenges with unit Champions too, and you Have to switch stats with the Speculum.  This may actually make the wizard a worse fighter.

3-A) With how average our LD tends to be, it is recommended that you equip your BSB for protection, and not offense. 

3-A-1) As such, I normally equip my BSB with Full Plate, Shield, Pistol, and Burial Shroud of Sigmar (Ulric's Cloak).  This gives him a 3+ Armor Save / 5 + Ward save / 2+ Fire Save, and -1 to be hit in melee.  It makes him decently survivable.  And the pistol increases his threat radius to 12"… cause 1 wound with it, and the Pistol has paid for itself.  You'd be suprized how many times your BSB can get some pot shots off with the Pistol… and at BS5, he's a pretty good shot with it.

3-A-2) The Griffon Banner really isn't worth it, mostly due to Steadfast, and most of your damage comes from chasing down fleeing units.  It's too cost-prohibitive for its bonus.  I would, instead, focus on keeping your BSB alive, so you get his ability to re-roll ALL leadership tests.

3-A-2-a) Though… if you want to go high-risk with your BSB, and get him the Magic Banner, usually the thoughts are banners like Razor or FLAMING BANNER OF FIREY FLAME… that way the magic banner helps everyone's attacks… the BSB's attacks… the heroes' attacks… the unit champion… the unit itself.  You get a much better payout.  But… if you get your BSB a magic weapon or magic banner, you do have to accept that it does greatly decrease his survivability on the battlefield.

4-A) Handgunners are one of the most sub-par units in our list, and make a horrible anvil unit.  They can only move-or-fire, and our BS3 means we'll be hitting on 6s usually… 5s occasionally.  If they try to stand-and-shoot, you stand a good chance of trying to hit on 6s or worse.  Our usual anvil units are Swordsmen, who have decent survivability, and Halberds, as you can still cause a spot of damage with them.

4-A-1) Even with your super-sized unit of 50, you only get two ranks that can fire.  Now, that means you can deploy your guys 25x2… but a number of your models are going to be outside that 45 degree firing arc.  And, you can only target one enemy unit.  There are usually several units that are worth targeting.  So… basically you've paid for equipment they aren't using.

4-A-2) Detachments in 8th took quite a hit, and aren't really worth it.  Why?  Because your Parent unit really cannot support them.  Savvy players will hit your Detachments, in an effort to get both the Detachment, and Parent to make panic tests… or to just plow through the Detachment into the Parent unit.

4-A-2-a) Also, with how wide your Handgunner unit might be, your Detachments are going to be flirting with being outside the 12" LD / BSB radius as well, meaning they'll be easier to Panic / Break test off the field.

4-B) Instead, I would combine your two Halberd units into one block of 50.  That way, you can Steadfast formation (5x10) or Horde formation (10x5) as the opportunity presents itself.

4-B-1) Then, if you want to keep your Handgunners, just get small, 10-man, no-frills sized squads of them, and semi-forward deploy them 5x2.  Remember, normally you deploy 20 - 24" away from your opponent, so, if you want your Handgunners to fire on the first turn, they need to be a bit forward deployed to do so.  And, with multi-squads of Handgunners, you open the option of concentrating fire on one enemy unit, or splitting fire once you make an enemy unit combat ineffective.  (If two of your Handgunner squads brutalize a unit, your next three can target something else.)

4-B-2) But, a better bet, would be to get Archer squads.  They can move-and-fire and Skirmish.  This means they can be more dynamic on the Battlefield, and scurry around, letting you take the initiative.  If you move the Handgunners, they cannot fire at all, and you've wasted the points on their equipment.  It is easy for an opponent to maneuver around the 45-degree firing arc, forcing you to move your move-or-fire unit.  In contrast, you can always move the Archers and still shoot.  Sure, you might not have an optimal target, but the Archers should always have something to shoot at.  And, Archers gain Stubborn in woods too.  And, they make pretty good Wizard Escort Units as well.

5) Your Special / Rare units seem pretty normal.  Since you haven't played before, are you familiar with how our Fast Cav is meant to operate?  How about how to actually use our cannons?  Do you know what should be targets of priority for your cannons / pistoliers?

Anyway, just some quick thoughts. ))


Offline Zygmund

  • Pure of Heart
  • Posts: 1255
  • Europe, Finland
    • View Profile
Re: My first army!! 2500pt
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 08:33:11 PM »
Hej!

Caroline beat me to it.  :icon_biggrin:

That 50-man unit of Handgunners... Initially, I thought it either as a joke or as a very bold statement that you intend to play extremely friendly, just testing some units.

But if this is a list you think of first buying and only then using, I'd take heed of Caroline's ideas and be very careful with the Handgunners. I think two units of 10 are nice to have as detachments, but anything more in a starter army might be waste of money and enthusiasm.

Yes, Handgunners are that bad. And that single big unit gets the worse out of them. It's sad, but that's 8th ed Handgunners...

Then again, if you plan to use your Empire models in any other game (Kings of War, Pike&Shotte, other historical) or any other iteration of Warhammer (3rd to 7th ed, and The 9th Age), a good number of Handgunners might be much more plausible. Have you thought of that, or are you strictly a WH 8th edition player?

How many of the units have you bought? Assembled? Painted?

Welcome to the forum!

-Z
Simulation over gaming. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Agrajag

  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: My first army!! 2500pt
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2016, 12:11:08 AM »
Darn it! I've already painted up 25 handgunners and half a griffon.

Thanks for the great feedback. I made away with the crown of command as you said Caroline. Your right, it's superfluous. I also included a lvl 1 mage for that dispel scroll since youn pointed out that my magic face would be to weak.

The reason I came up with a hord of handgunners IS because thats not really a thing so no one would expect that right? Right? ^^. Also I think that it might force an opponent to commit his forces against my horde rather than at my detachments or flanking units.

Has anyone even tried it? I figure that it's the buffs and synergies that really matters with the empire anyway so I might as well use missle troops. The only downside I can see is the price tag which is not that much more than a swordsman anyway. I was thinking of deploying the handgunners in four ranks to begin with and place the characters on both flanks. That way I might be able to charge the enemies in such a way that my arch lector and bsb would be out of reach.

And about the specculum: I'm I wrong in thinking that if I would challenge, say, a demon prince and swap stats with him. Does the griffon get to attack against the demon prince stats or the wizards? If it's the latter then the griffon would wound on 2+ with higher initiative. That fight should be over in one round right? I would like to try that at least once.

So this is my reviced list:

Arch lector with armor of meteoric iron, 155
Amber wizard on griffon with the specculum. 420
Battle wizard lvl 1 with dispel scroll. I'm thinking lore of life or metal. 90
Captain with the griffon standard, full plate armor, handgun and a shield. 158
Witch hunter with 2 pistols 55

Handgunners plus full detachments!!! 776

7 demis 406
2x cannons 240
10 pistoliers + music 200

tot 2500





Offline Agrajag

  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: My first army!! 2500pt
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2016, 12:20:23 AM »
As for cannons. Point them against the big nasties, right?

Offline Agrajag

  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: My first army!! 2500pt
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2016, 12:32:14 AM »
Hej!

Caroline beat me to it.  :icon_biggrin:

That 50-man unit of Handgunners... Initially, I thought it either as a joke or as a very bold statement that you intend to play extremely friendly, just testing some units.

But if this is a list you think of first buying and only then using, I'd take heed of Caroline's ideas and be very careful with the Handgunners. I think two units of 10 are nice to have as detachments, but anything more in a starter army might be waste of money and enthusiasm.

Yes, Handgunners are that bad. And that single big unit gets the worse out of them. It's sad, but that's 8th ed Handgunners...

Then again, if you plan to use your Empire models in any other game (Kings of War, Pike&Shotte, other historical) or any other iteration of Warhammer (3rd to 7th ed, and The 9th Age), a good number of Handgunners might be much more plausible. Have you thought of that, or are you strictly a WH 8th edition player?

How many of the units have you bought? Assembled? Painted?

Welcome to the forum!

-Z

Hei Zygmund!

I don't play anything yet but 8th edition seems to be the most popular. Ninth age seems nice also but I don't know about age of sigmar. The rules for that seems... strange. I'll try to post I picture of my painted models. I have about thirty painted as of today.

Offline Zygmund

  • Pure of Heart
  • Posts: 1255
  • Europe, Finland
    • View Profile
Re: My first army!! 2500pt
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2016, 10:02:45 AM »
The reason I came up with a hord of handgunners IS because thats not really a thing so no one would expect that right? Right? ^^. Also I think that it might force an opponent to commit his forces against my horde rather than at my detachments or flanking units.

Has anyone even tried it? I figure that it's the buffs and synergies that really matters with the empire anyway so I might as well use missle troops. The only downside I can see is the price tag which is not that much more than a swordsman anyway. I was thinking of deploying the handgunners in four ranks to begin with and place the characters on both flanks. That way I might be able to charge the enemies in such a way that my arch lector and bsb would [not?] be out of reach.

[not] added, because I couldn't make sense of it otherwise. Sorry if I read you wrong.


No-one would expect a Handgunner Horde!  :icon_biggrin:

But I'm pretty sure no-one would play against it as you think. They're either afraid of it, and avoid it, forcing you to move and thus not shoot. Or they laugh at it, and avoid it, forcing you to move and thus not shoot - or feed unimportant chaff to it and thus force you to play their game to your loss. In the 8th, it's a common and valid tactic to avoid the parent horde and eat its detachments.

I've never tried it on board, but I've toyed with the idea. A little bit of maths and the experience from games and large-footprint hordes is, I believe, a valid way of testing if something works or doesn't. I've played with an independent unit of 12-13 Crossbowmen, deployed either in 1 or 2 ranks, and they're clumsy and inefficient enough.

Empire buffs in general are less effective for shooting than for close combat. With the right magic (both aggressive and buffing, both spells and items), you can make shooting somewhat more efficient, that's true. But you won't get those spells off every turn, and you still have to struggle with the limited range and move-or-fire rules of a Handgunner Horde. It's very clumsy, believe me.

Deploying the Handgunners in four ranks will make the Horde feasible regarding movement and ranges to Detachments and buffing Heroes, yes. But that will not help you to make use of the points put into the unit. The unit doesn't want to move, and if you want to buff its shooting especially, these buffs will not be very helpful when transferred to the melee detachments.

The problem with the Handgunners is that even theoretically you get to use them for shooting just three turns. As the enemy might feed you totally unimportant chaff, avoid you, and close in faster than you thought, you might not be able to shoot a single effective volley. Here, an effective volley means targeting a unit that matters in the game and where ranged S4 and AP-1 would be crucial.

I repeat: an effective use of a Handgunner horde depends on your ability to shoot at a range, against something strong and armoured. Your enemy will not give you the chance to do this, and it's easy for him!

When the enemy units close in, the Handgunners become extremely expensive and extremely vulnerable footsoldiers. Even a small unit of though guys (probably with a Hero or a Lord) will beat them badly.

The Handgunner Horde eats up a ton of points, but its not a real threat to your enemy. :icon_sad: Your enemy would be more fearful of about anything else you bought with those points!


But in the end, all of this is just repeating the gamist points that Caroline delivered. In this hobby, you must pursuit what makes you happy, not listen too much for advice given by anonymous forum members. :-)

I'm a fluff player myself, so this actually doesn't matter much. From the fluff perspective, my reason of not using big Handgunner parent units (I've got something like 35 painted) is my reliance on Renaissance tactics. Smaller independent Handgunner units - maybe yes. But otherwise I like to deploy them as Detachments to a big unit of infantry. The important point is, I'm using them, even if they're the worst points-to-effect RnF unit that 8th ed Empire has.

So, if you like the idea of a Handgunner Horde, you should go for it!  :icon_biggrin:

I'd love to see some pictures.  :smile2:

-Z
Simulation over gaming. Because fantasy matters.

Offline CarolineWellwater

  • Posts: 380
    • View Profile
Re: My first army!! 2500pt
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2016, 06:17:28 PM »
(( Hey Agrajag,

Well, this time Zygmund beat me to the punch.  Anyway, here are some additional thoughts that will parrell and echo his comments.

First, these are recommendations to help you design your army to be more competitive in play.  If you simply want your army to be thematic, or you just like a particular idea, go for it.  Here in the States, we do tend to have our armies designed more to be competitive (even when "fun"), so our recommendations do tend to favor that as well.

1) Overall, 8th Edition is more melee-centered than shooting centered.  As such, most of your spells, character-augments, and the like assist with melee, and not shooting.

1-A) Now, Handgunners are made to shoot.  You've paid premium points, to get them the ability to reach out 24" and touch someone.

1-A-1) Problem being, 8th is melee centered… not shooting centered.

1-A-2) Compounding this is that the Handgunners are not equipped to multi-task.  At all.  They have meh WS, S, T, and I (all melee-heavy-influencing stats).  They have zero Armor Save and Ward Save, and thus have to rely upon a Toughness that a angry stare can get through. 

1-A-3) Also compounding this issue is that the two, most-used formations (Horde and Steadfast) don't give you the option of having additional ranks of shooters.  You are limited to two ranks.  Whereas Horde gives three ranks of melee attacks.

1-B) Now, as mentioned above, Handgunners cannot mult-task.  They are extremely static on the battlefield.  You move them, or even pivot them, and you cannot shoot with them.  At all. 

1-B-1) If your opponent moves them (such as with Windy Whoosh of Whipping Wind… the Heaven's Wind Blast spell), they can make the case that your unit has moved cannot shoot. 

1-B-2) If you deploy your Handgunners poorly, you also lose a turn moving them to a better location. 

1-B-2-a) Compounding this is that the game itself is dynamic.  Your opponent moves as well, which can cause your movement to be voided. 

1-B-3) In comparison, Archers, while their ranged attack is weaker, can multi-task.  They can move and shoot.  They are still poor in melee, but they can affect two portions of the game: Movement and Shooting.

1-B-3-a) Even though your opponent moves as well, Archers should always have something they can shoot at.  It might not be an optimal target, but they can still pepper something with arrows.

1-B-3-b) And, Archers, since they Skirmish, can scatter themselves in such a way that they can all shoot the target, instead of being limited to just two ranks can shoot.

1-B-3-c) And-and, since they Skirmish, they have effective-360-LOS.  Not true-360 LOS, effective-360 LOS.  (There is a difference.)

1-B-4) As a second comparison, Dwarven Crossbows are still Dwarves… so while they might not be the best in melee or shooting, they can do both melee and shooting decently well.

1-C) Even Empire Crossbows have 6 extra inches of range; which also means a longer-short range (15" over 12").  Most charges are about 12" - 16" (infantry tend to be 12" charge and cavalry tend to be 16").

1-C-1) That longer-short range means your Crossbows have a better chance of being only at -1 to Hit for a Stand-and-Shoot reaction, instead of -2 for your Handgunners (-1 for Stand-and-Shoot, and -1 for Long Range).  And, you also stand a chance of having a turn or two where you are shooting at Short Range.  As Zygmund mentioned, you only really get two… maybe three turns of shooting in a game.   The rest of the game is a melee scrum.

1-D) 8th Edition has about 6 turns per game.  That's broken down to about 2 turns of important movement, 2 turns of shooting, and 5 turns of melee.  This relates to melee units being a better choice… unless your missile troops can also do melee (like Dwarven Crossbows).  As an aside, you can "overlap" the types of turns… hence why the total above comes to 9.

1-D-1) Now, while Swordsmen cannot shoot, they can affect at least 4 turns, and upwards of 6 or more turns of the game.  They aren't great in melee… but they can survive melee better.

1-D-2) In contrast, your Handgunners are affecting maybe 2 turns of the game.

1-E) Overall, these above thoughts are why Handgunners are thought of to be one of the poorest choices in our Army book, and for play on the field.

1-E-1) Handgunners do… tolerable when in smaller blocks, where they are 6x2 or 5x2.

1-F) I would say that, if you do want to use all your Handgunners, just have multiple teams of them.  10-man squads, no frills, deployed 5x2.  That way, you can still have your potential for 50 shots a turn.  These small units can decently support a larger-sized block of infantry.

1-F-1) Or you could just get a Volley Gun and Engineer for about the same price as your 50 Handgunners, and be blasting stuff all John Woo style.  (This is another topic altogether.)

2) Now, something else to think about, is that Empire armies do tend to focus on combined arms sorts of approaches.

2-A) Our units aren't fantastic, but they are decent enough that, when you have them work together, they can take out units that are better.

2-A-1) Your infantry blocks are the anvil, and your cavalry squads hit engaged units on the flanks.

2-A-2) That's why, most Empire armies have a mix of units that offer specified roles and actions on the field.

3) Now, as to target priority for your cannons… "Point them at the big nasties" isn't quite right.  What may seem harmless can be a lot more dangerous to our armies than the big, monster thingy.

3-A) As such, learning Target Priority for our artillery does become important.  Almost as important as it is for the Imperial Guard in 40k.

So… just some quick thoughts and applied theory.  I'll work on Target Priority in a bit, if you want.  I just figured I'd focus on Handgunners this time, being as I already spent some two-and-a-half pages on it. ))
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 06:32:33 PM by CarolineWellwater »