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Offline rothgar13

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The 8e Empire Handbook
« on: April 16, 2013, 11:12:34 PM »
The 8e Empire Handbook


Hello there, and welcome to the 8th edition Empire handbook. The purpose of this thread is to provide a handy reference for anyone new to the Empire army to get a quick primer on conventional wisdom regarding what is known about the army, as well as a hub of discussion for more experienced players to provide feedback and ensure that we are presenting the most up-to-date and accurate thoughts on how to play this army effectively.

Assumptions:

Before we begin, I will point out a few assumptions made when making this handbook:

1. No comp is considered when rating units. While I'm aware of certain popular comp systems such as ETC, I believe that the majority of environments actually play uncomped Warhammer, and it's also too much of a chore to tailor the advice for whatever restrictions any local group may or may not have. I'm not going to bother to do so, and I'm also going to give less consideration to any argument for or against a certain unit that begins with "Well, in my playgroup, we use [insert comp restrictions here]...".

2. This handbook assumes you're making a competitive army. If you're making a themed list, maybe you can use some of the stuff that's in here, but know that you're not the target audience. The goal of this handbook is to present an objective view of what an Empire general can and should do to prepare a list that can win games. Themes often make sacrifices in playability in the name of aesthetic cohesion, so I don't think I have to explain how there could be some disagreement between that and what we're doing here.

3. This handbook is made for all-comers lists. If you only play one army over and over again, there are certain choices that go up or down in relative value. In this case, we'll consider all armies when making our choices (including the mirror-match), as tailoring is looked down upon in certain circles and downright illegal in competitive tournaments.

Ratings Scale:

OK, with all that said, it's time to introduce the ratings scale. I prefer to do this in color-coding, as shown below:

Red is dead. This is a choice that's so bad, it actively detracts from your army synergy and makes your list a worse one overall.
Yellow is conditional. It may shine in certain matchup or when used in certain ways, but in general it's a subpar choice.
Green is the average. Not necessarily a great choice, but it's rarely one you'll end up regretting.
Blue is an above-average or exceptional choice. These options frequently increase army synergy and overall list strength.
Purple is the highest rating in this handbook, and it's reserved for choices that should be staples in virtually all competitive lists. Don't leave home without 'em.

References:

Here, we will collect references to threads that may provide useful information and/or mathematical support to the arguments presented in this Handbook.

3000 points - 3rd Steam Tank, or 2 x Volley Gun?, by various posters
Flagellants - Yay or nay?, by various posters
How to balance an army of the Empire, by Calisson
Outrider Question, by various posters
New Steadfast, by various posters
Should Greatswords be a Priority?, by various posters
The Griffon Formation, by Holy Hand Grenade
The Tao of the Empire, by Holy Hand Grenade
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 05:06:20 AM by rothgar13 »

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 11:14:31 PM »
The Empire Overall

This section is dedicated to discussing what a successful Empire army is expected to look like. While there will obviously be variation based on an individual player's preferences and other factors, you can expect a tournament-caliber Empire army to share most (if not all) of the following characteristics:

1. The Empire is a versatile army. One quick look at the Army List section of the book will show you a wide breadth of units, and most competitive lists will take advantage of it. Maneuverability, magical might, shooting and close combat punch - we have access to all of it, and it can be employed in various combinations to concoct a successful list. Which brings me to my second point...

2. The Empire is a combined arms force. While we do have a huge variety of options, rather few of them can be said to truly stand out on their own. This is an army where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and concerted efforts will yield maximum results. This is especially true for close combat, where the average Human doesn't stack up particularly well with most of what's out there without a generous helping of other factors.

3. The Empire is a troop-centric army. Some armies in Warhammer Fantasy have the ability to field overpowering characters, whose individual prowess is equal to or greater than entire units. The Empire is not one of those armies. While characters play an important role in making sure your troops stand their ground and are capable of doing what you ask of them, at the end of the day, it's up to them to win the fights.

Detachments

The signature special rule of the Empire, this allows you to essentially "tie" units to one another in order to extract some benefits, namely the carryover of a variety of special rules and the ability to reduce the minimum size of units. Overall, I feel that this is an ability whose potency is user-dependent. Allow me to elaborate:

1. The decreased minimum unit size is nice, but nothing special. While it's great that you can field 5-man Detachments for chaff/redirector purposes (Archers excel at this role), multiple armies have the ability to do so without having to tie their guys to a big block. In essence, all that fielding them as Detachments does is bring you back up to where other armies were by default, which takes some of the luster off.

2. The range of the transference effect is very short. While being able to get special rules like Hatred, Stubborn, and even Steadfast on your Detachments can indeed be potent, one has to bear in mind that it's only in a 3" radius. Now, the reason why this can be problematic (aside from the obvious spacing issues) is that you are in no way protected from Panic tests if the Detachment in question bites the dust, and the more tests you take, the more likely you are to fail one.

3. The Regimental Unit can do little to protect its Detachment. Now, the flagship ability that a lot of folks think of when discussing Detachments is either Counter-charge or Supporting Fire, and those are indeed potent if they come to fruition. The issue is that a savvy opponent can neutralize these abilities with units of his own - you're not saving points if you bring Detachments large enough for those abilities to matter, and then the foe can have other units of his own charge the Detachments while his big block goes about the business of fighting your Regimental Unit, and there's not much that can be done about that.

If you're looking to make the most out of this special rule, be sure to check out Holy Hand Grenade's most excellent Griffon Formation. You'll find a very complete and interesting tactica on how to make sure you make the most of it. I will also point out a nice trick for Detachments - since the parent unit's ranks determines whether you are Steadfast or not, there's no reason to field Detachments whose job is to hold units up in standard (which is to say, 5-wide) formation. A 3 x 3 cube is very useful for this purpose, for example.

Battle Prayers

In this section, we will discuss the Battle Prayers avaiable to Warrior Priests and Arch Lectors, and what situations they excel in. A key note to remember here is that Innate Bound Spells won't impose adverse effects upon you if they are cast with irresistible force and won't break your concentration if you fail to cast them, so you shouldn't be afraid to 1-dice or 6-dice them, as the situation warrants.

Hammer of Sigmar - A big-time benefit when combined with Hatred, this ups your kill count more dramatically than most other buffs out there, particularly if your troops are good at piercing armor to begin with (or if you're not facing a whole lot of it). Once combat is joined, you probably want to set aside 1-2 dice for this every turn. That said, if you think your opponent will commit significant resources to try and stop it, go ahead and throw more dice at it; it's important that you get this off.

Shield of Faith - This prayer takes a different tack than Hammer of Sigmar does - instead of helping you kill, it protects your troops from harm. This is arguably just as valuable when State Troops are its target, but it doesn't really have the same juice on Knights, who are already well protected. Still a useful spell, though I wouldn't be going out of my way for it like I would for Hammer of Sigmar.

Soulfire - Flaming on demand is pretty nice when you're fighting something that Regenerates, and slapping on a couple of hits while in combat is also cool. You'll get maximum juice from this prayer if cast by a Arch Lector on a War Altar, but it's something to be considered every time you're in combat, as every hit does count.

Unbending Righteousness - While this prayer can only be cast by the special character Luthor Huss, we'll discuss it here. Stubborn is good to have, especially for a Knight unit caught in a grind-it-out combat, where a foe's static CR might be enough to tip the scales against them.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 04:30:58 PM by rothgar13 »

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 11:17:17 PM »
Magic Analysis

Here, we'll be parsing through the magic selection available to The Empire. This is one of the armies that have access to all 8 rulebook Lores, so there are lots of ways you can use magic to your benefit.

Lore of Beasts

Lore Attribute - Wildheart: Lowering the difficulty on the spells of a Lore that has high casting values is nice, but it doesn't apply to that many of our units. At its best if you're running cavalry-heavy.

0. Wyssan's Wildform: One of the best signature spells in the game, and it's especially valuable for us, because high Strength and Toughness are in relatively short supply here.

1. The Flock of Doom: A magic missile with low Strength. You can do better with your own shooting and spells from other Lores. Not useless, but disappointing.

2. Pann's Impenetrable Pelt: A Toughness bump this large is nice, even if it only affects one model. You'll get maximum juice out of it if you go for cheap characters, though the casting value in that case is high.

3. The Amber Spear: A magical pseudo-bolt thrower or cannon shot, this helps deal with Ethereals, as well as giving you another multiple-wound shot you can use to down other targets.

4. The Curse of Anraheir: This spell does a bit of everything; water down shooting, give you a leg up in close combat, and (most importantly) really put a clamp on the movement options of a large unit. Very nice.

5. The Savage Beast of Horros: Given that the gripe about Empire characters is that their offensive statlines aren't much to write home about, this spell is valuable. Again, at its best if you went the cheap character route.

6. Transformation of Kadon: Going from wimpy Wizard to big monster sounds cool in theory, but being Remains in Play makes it a bit scary (since an opponent that can weather the storm can pull the rug from under you), and it isn't easy to cast. I think this spell is too risky, especially considering that the Wizard has to be on foot.

Overall: While this Lore isn't much of a ranged threat, Empire can get that elsewhere, and its combat boons are much appreciated. This Lore is at its best when you use lots of cavalry and/or cheap characters, so that you can charge in and use it to put you over the top, but any army can make use of the signature spell. A L1 caster will suffice, but you can go up to a L4 and still get good mileage out of it.

Lore of Death

Lore Attribute - Life Leeching: While it is a bit unreliable, the ability to get dice to keep going after putting some hurt on your foe is definitely formidable.

0. Spirit Leech: While Empire Wizards likely won't have access to the Leadership needed to make this spell truly scary, it's still somewhat useful at the business of hunting heavily armored models you'd have trouble picking off otherwise.

1. Aspect of the Dreadknight: While Fear and Terror don't do a lot on their own, this is a cheap way to protect yourself from them (useful in an army where Immune to Psychology is hard to come by).

2. Caress of Laniph: A useful sniper spell, this will frequently be used to pick at enemy support characters and Wizards, though there are armies that are vulnerable to it pretty much top to bottom.

3. Soulblight: A Strength and Toughness penalty can really tip fights in the Empire's favor, and the boosted version can swing games pretty much on its own.

4. Doom and Darkness: While Empire doesn't have as many abilities to exploit Leadership penalties as other armies do, this spell is still nice if you win a combat or provoke a Panic test with your shooting.

5. The Fate of Bjuna: While this seems like a more potent version of Caress of Laniph, its short, unaugmentable range holds it back. It's also worth noting that more armies have an above-average Toughness value than Strength.

6. The Purple Sun of Xereus: One of the infamous "nuke spells", this spell puts a real hurting on a lot of things out there, it has a very large potential range, and it can stick around to do even more damage. Just remember that if you misfire, it could be you taking the heat, so use with caution.

Overall: A formidable Lore in the best-case scenario, but its middling range, lack of a potent signature spell, and rather low-end combat juice means that it usually doesn't align with what an Empire army is looking for its magic to provide. If you opt for this Lore, I think it's L4 or bust - you need a good spell selection here.

Lore of Fire

Lore Attribute - Kindleflame: While adding to the casting value of a spell is nice, having to have already cast a spell on the target in order to get it means that your opponent can stop this from being relevant even before it starts (though it can maybe push you past a casting value you would otherwise not meet).

0. Fireball: While the hits are stuck at S4, having 3 different "intensities" make this a very versatile damage spell capable of going after lone models, small chaff units, and even thinning down blocks. Useful.

1. Cascading Fire-Cloak: I'll start by saying that this spell is cheap to cast, and it's a nice way for your Wizard bunker to deal with chaff trying to harass it. That said, if that bunker is getting hit by anything other than that, this won't save it.

2. Flaming Sword of Rhuin: Flaming and magical attacks on both close combat and shooting enable you to deal with otherwise thorny issues (Ethereals and Regenerators), and the bump on the To Wound chart is always welcome. Arguably the best spell in the Lore for us.

3. The Burning Head: It does a little damage, but its true purpose is to fish for Panic by hitting several units and making them test. The value of that varies wildly, so I'm not a fan. That said, hitting a big block straight down the line can hurt.

4. Piercing Bolts of Burning: A straight damage spell, aimed at thinning down blocks. That's nice, but there are many other ways to do that here. Not bad, mind you, but not all that impressive, either.

5. Fulminating Flame Cage: A great way for Empire to put enemy Hordes in a catch-22 - if they don't move forward, you hammer them with shooting; if they do, this spell hammers them. Very synergistic with artillery.

6. Flame Storm: A Fireball will usually get you more hits than this with better range, and that's all you need to know about it.

Overall: While this Lore has a some nice spells, it's limited in scope (there's only so much you can do with various ways of dealing S4 hits), it does not deal with armor well, and some of the spells are duds. I'd say a L2 is about as high as I would go, and I might stick to a L1 Scroll caddy.

Lore of Heavens

Lore Attribute - Roiling Winds: While this Attribute is conditional, it puts extra hurt on units that you want dead ASAP, and lots of the spells in the Lore can deliver those hits. I think it's fairly useful.

0. Iceshard Blizzard: This is a very versatile spell, as it can mess with the foe's ability to do damage in both close combat and shooting, and it imposes a Leadership penalty as icing. Plus, it's cheap to cast. A good mix of effects.

1. Harmonic Convergence: While re-rolling 1s may not strike you as the greatest benefit ever, the fact that it applies to so many things we do, that it can be bubbled, and that it's easy to cast make it an incredibly useful choice.

2. Wind Blast: At first, this spell doesn't seem like it does much, but the ability to get foes out of easy charge range has use, as can knocking chaff units into each other and hoping to cause Panic. You have to be creative to wring any use out of it, so you're likely better off swapping it out for the signature spell.

3. Curse of the Midnight Wind: A great way to essentially turn off abilities such as Poison or Killing Blow, as well as giving you a better chance against armor. Given Empire's statlines, though, the impact in actually reducing hits and wounds taken is nothing special.

4. Urannon's Thunderbolt: A magic missile with few hits, but those hits have a lot of steam on them. A good complement to Empire small arms fire (it also helps solve the Ethereal problem), and it's got great range if you augment it too.

5. Comet of Cassandora: This spell can be brutal on foes in castle formation, and it will force most chaff to vacate the premises, but it doesn't really have the hit output to scare big blocks, and its unreliable range of effect really limits what you can expect from it. Not bad, but too swingy for my taste.

6. Chain Lightning: Unlike its smaller cousin, you can lob this spell at just about any unit, and then rely on the bounce to wreak havoc. My only gripe is that its damage is spread out rather than focused, but it's still nice.

Overall: I feel that this Lore is a jack-of-all-trades - it can help you at a distance as well as in close combat, and its effects range from damage to movement control to buffs. Because of its versatility, I consider it one of the premium Lores for the Empire. Anything from a L1 to a L4 can do well here.

Lore of Life

Lore Attribute - Lifebloom: An amazing Lore Attribute, the ability to heal multiple-Wound models such as characters, Demigryph Knights, and Steam Tanks is rare, and for good reason. This is one of the major reasons to take the Lore in the first place.

0. Earth Blood: While Regeneration on a unit is obviously a strong benefit, this spell's stock is hurt by the fact that it only affects the Wizard's unit, which should usually be nowhere near fights that matter. As such, it's of iffy value unless you find his bunker under siege.

1. Awakening of the Wood: A basic damage spell that gets a bit more formidable if your target is within a forest. The most obvious application is to clear out small units using the forest for cover, as well as Skirmishers that may look to jam your blocks via Stubborn. Nothing special, but usable.

2. Flesh to Stone: A Toughness bump is very welcome in an army that frankly doesn't have the best numbers in that stat - it can take Knights from tough to almost unkillable, and even State Troops have staying power when under its effects. Nice.

3. Throne of Vines: While this spell seems formidable on the surface, because everyone obviously loves ignoring miscasts and boosting other spells you cast is always good, I have several issues with it:

1. It does almost nothing on its own - it can protect you from a miscast if it happened while you cast it, but otherwise you need to keep going.
2. It takes up one of your spells known - Since Loremaster or even bonus spells known items are not available, this takes up a space a standalone spell could have taken.
3. Empire doesn't have many sources of bonus dice - Apart from a Hurricanum and/or a good round of channeling, you're stuck with what you roll for power dice, and that means that a savvy opponent will let this spell through, and focus on stopping the spells you try and cast later.

With all that in mind, I'm going to say it's a decent boost, but nothing you should bend over backwards for.

4. Shield of Thorns: While the Strength of the hits is kind of meh, this is one of the few damage spells that you can sneak into a combat, and it sticks around. To boot, it's an easy cast for a high-level Wizard. Nice.

5. Regrowth: Sure, it won't heal your beefy lone models like Lifebloom will, but putting dead guys back on the table is kind of a big deal, especially for cavalry units who are hard to put down in the first place.

6. The Dwellers Below: This "nuke spell" is a potent one, because it's guaranteed to catch everyone in the unit, and characters don't get Look Out, Sir! rolls against it. That makes it one of the best ways to try and pick off enemy Wizards and other support characters, as well as dealing with Hordes. One of the best spells in Warhammer, even if the range and casting cost are less than ideal.

Overall: I think this is the best Lore that we have access to, thanks to its presence both at range and up close, and its synergy with our heavily armored, multiple-Wound models. I don't think it's great on a L1 caster, but anything other than that and you should strongly consider it.

Lore of Light

Lore Attribute - Exorcism: A conditional Attribute, given that most armies won't have a target for it and that a lot of the spells in the Lore can't use it. That said, it is potent enough to still be considered useful.

0. Shem's Burning Gaze: A basic magic missile in its default version, but the boosted version broadens its target range by boosting both range and Strength. I'm fond of this spell.

1. Pha's Protection: Imposing difficulties on enemies trying to attack you is good, and the fact that it can be bubble-cast makes it even better. A potent defensive spell.

2. The Speed of Light: Given that Empire troops don't have much to write home about in the WS/I departments, taking them all the way up to 10 is a huge swing, especially if you affect multiple combats. Works well on both offense and defense.

3. Light of Battle: While auto-rallying and auto-passing Leadership tests is a nice way to make up for the dice failing you, its applicability is limited, since you have to be in a situation to take those tests (and where passing is unlikely) for this to make an impact. Not bad, but not something you'll be throwing out there every turn.

4. Net of Amyntok: This spell is unique in that it's one of the few ways you can try to inhibit your foe from casting spells. It can also be used to try and hold down a foe fleeing combat. Unfortunately, passing a Strength test isn't exactly the most stringent restriction, and if they pass this does nothing. It has potential, but I think you need to be lucky in order to get good mileage out of it.

5. Banishment: One of the beefier damage spells out there, this one feeds off having more casters with the Lore nearby. Not the greatest if you have a lone Wizard, but if you commit to making it better, it can be quite powerful.

6. Birona's Timewarp: This spell is very potent - doubling a unit's movement opens up a lot of options, and Always Strikes First with +1 Attack isn't chopped liver. The casting cost on the bubbled version is a bit tough to meet, but well worth it.

Overall: This is a Lore I'm very high on, because of how well it patches up weaknesses in the army. It also gets better the more you invest in it. I would consider having a L1 Scroll caddy in every list, and it really comes into its own if you are willing to pay for several L1 casters plus a L4.

Lore of Metal

Lore Attribute - Metalshifting: I feel the designers dropped the ball here. Given that most spells for the Lore of Metal don't inflict hits, this ability should have been written into the text for the few that do, and then a nice Lore attribute should have been written up. As it stands, I am disappointed.

0. Searing Doom: This is a conditional spell, but if you went light on armor penetration, you will be glad to have it, particularly because it can do double duty and beat up Regenerators with an armor save (looking at you, Hydras and Chimeras).

1. Plague of Rust: It's a permanent effect, but it's rather incremental for my taste, and I'd rather go for the kill using Searing Doom than whittle away at their save and then shoot or fight - less moving parts involved.

2. Enchanted Blades of Aiban: This is a nice spell, as Armor Piercing and +1 to hit are both big-time benefits in close combat and shooting (though much of our shooting already has the former). It's also an easy cast for a high-level mage.

3. Glittering Robe: This spell is a good survivability boost for Empire troops - nothing in this army has Scaly Skin, so this can put your saves way up there. To boot, it can be bubbled. Pretty nice, provided you weren't loading up on 1+ armor already.

4. Gehenna's Golden Hounds: Given that it allows Look Out, Sir!, you shouldn't think of it as a sniper spell - it's more like another casting of Searing Doom. That said, not having the 2D6-hit augment makes it a bit weaker than the signature.

5. Transmutation of Lead: Debuffs are nice to have, but the magnitude of the effect does not quite merit this high a casting cost.

6. Final Transmutation: Not only is this a powerful nuke spell that can pick out characters, it also has a nasty aftereffect for those nearby, especially if their Leadership is compromised. Not that potent against multiple-Wound models, but it's relatively easy to cast, and can have good range. A great spell to have.

Overall: I feel that Empire can make good use of this Lore, especially its buffs. I don't like it on a low-level caster (a bit too up-and-down), but it's a fine setup for a L4.

Lore of Shadow

Lore Attribute - Smoke and Mirrors: It takes a creative mind to wring use out of it, but swapping a character's position has potential.

0. Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma: A superb signature spell, it lets you limit the foe in the Movement, Shooting, or Close Combat phases, and the augmented version tags all 3. Extremely useful.

1. Steed of Shadows: If an Empire character is on his own, chances are he's pretty mobile and doesn't need this. That said, this can be a nice way to ensure your characters are in range to provide buffs to your troops.

2. The Enfeebling Foe: A Strength penalty can make up for our mediocre Toughness values, plus allow us to bring our armor to bear. Its being Remains in Play makes it even more annoying.

3. The Withering: A Toughness penalty is brutal against Empire, given that it can be taken advantage of in both shooting and close combat. To boot, it's Remains in Play. A gutpunch of a spell.

4. The Penumbral Pendulum: Its variable range of effect combined with the Initiative test to avoid conspire to undermine this spell. I'm not a fan.

5. Pit of Shades: A ranged template of I-test-or-die, this is a potent spell, though I recommend you stick to the basic version (the other scatters too much).

6. Okkam's Mindrazor: Swapping Leadership for Strength is a big offensive boost, though Empire troops usually don't have the attack output to truly exploit this.

Overall: Lots of nice spells here, though there are a couple of duds, and it doesn't have much of a ranged presence. I like this on any sort of caster, but would prefer it on a L4.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 08:10:16 PM by rothgar13 »

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 11:20:19 PM »
Empire Unit Analysis

Lords

Arch Lector - A cheap source of Ld9, and he provides an intriguing mounted Lord option when on the War Altar of Sigmar. Otherwise very similar to a Warrior Priest.

Balthasar Gelt - The Supreme Patriarch is pricey (and rather vulnerable to magic), but casting at +6 and Loremaster are very good things you can't get without him.

Battle Wizard Lord - This is the one Lord I would not go without; high-level magic is very important, and he gives you a cheap ticket to the party.

General - He is the cheapest source of Ld9, but he doesn't have any abilities you can't get elsewhere, and that makes him the odd man out.

Grand Master - The beefiest of all Empire fighting Lords, he also provides a rare boon in Immune to Psychology for a Knight unit. Limited in application, but mostly worth it.

Karl Franz - While the Emperor does offer Ld10 in a large radius, his points cost is very high, so he's really only an option in larger games.

Kurt Helborg - He offers the highest Weapon Skill in the army and synergizes with Reiksguard. Trouble is, Reiksguard aren't at their best when fielded in the big block a character like this would want as a bunker. I think he's searching for a purpose.

Marius Leitdorf - Mostly a mounted General with a Runefang, he does offer a couple of perks in +1A and some of The Mad Count results, though those can be bad too. Meh.

Volkmar the Grim - Though the bonus to Weapon Skill and prayers are nice, his gear is mediocre at best. I'd rather have a normal Arch Lector.

Heroes

Battle Wizard - These guys are cheap, and provide spells as well as someone to carry useful Arcane items. I recommend that you pick Lores with good signatures.

Captain - Apart from the BSB, Captains tend to be a luxury. That said, a Pegasus-mounted backfield infiltrator or a cheap boost to Leadership (plus Hold the Line!) on an infantry unit isn't bad.

Captain Battle Standard-Bearer - Most armies are very much in need of a Battle Standard-Bearer, and Empire is no exception. Re-rolls for Leadership tests are critical, and Hold the Line! is a nice rider for having him in a unit. And he's cheap.

Ludwig Schwarzhelm - While the 18" re-roll range is nice, I don't like that he's locked into a mount, and his defenses are nothing special. Color me unimpressed.

Luthor Huss - A mounted Warrior Priest with some "secret sauce", plus a 4+ Ward save and a Stubborn prayer, all for a marginal points increase over the norm. Sweet.

Markus Wulfhart - A waste of a character, given that Empire doesn't struggle against monsters and his abilities aren't that good. No. Just no.

Master Engineer - This guy ups the performance of nearby war machines, and he has access to several weapons, though I'm not a fan of any of them. He's nice if you have the artillery to benefit from him.

Warrior Priest - These guys offer several cheap Bound Spells, above-average Ld, and (most importantly) Hatred for the units they're in. Pretty useful.

Witch Hunter - An intriguing character, he brings some nice Magic Resistance, and can pick at an enemy character (particularly if he's a Demon, Undead, or a Wizard). Not reliable, but he can be a nice boost to a unit or a lottery ticket for the Snipe-a-Character Roulette.

Core

Archers - These guys make nice chaff units, particularly when fielded as 5-man Detachments. Larger units can serve as mage bunkers and sources of Look Out, Sir! for Engineers.

Crossbowmen - Not exactly a powerhouse and Move Or Fire is annoying, you could do worse than S4 hits and 30" range.

Free Company - Anything you do with these guys, Halberdiers or Spearmen can do better. A fluff choice.

Halberdiers - The State Trooper I recommend in most armies, these guys are cheap sources of S4 attacks, and while fragile, you can mitigate that with support and sheer numbers. A good choice.

Handgunners - Against the sort of targets that are threatened by small arms fire, Armor Piercing is not as good as longer range. Overshadowed by Crossbowmen, and that's saying something.

Inner Circle Knights - While these guys are pricey, they get better stats than most Empire troops, a magic banner, and the standard Knight gear options (though in this case I give lances the edge). If you're not going for Halberdiers, this is likely your main Core unit.

Knightly Orders - Good Weapon Skill and gear options (I prefer great weapons on these guys), speed, and great armor saves. You should see a couple of small units of these regularly.

Spearmen - The cheapest unit available to Empire, and you can give them Shields for respectable armor saves. Not flashy, but decent.

Swordsmen - The best defensive infantry unit in this section, they make for a nice bus as well as CR-denying Detachments. A bit pricey, though.

Special

Demigryph Knights - This is the Empire's best point-for-point fighting unit, and it's not close. If you're looking to win fights and run units down, these are your guys. That said, if left unsupported, they will tend to get into grinding combats (because they can't really break Steadfast).

Flagellants - Very squishy, and their secondary effects are unreliable, but they will do some damage on Round 1 and they have to be slain to the man. Overpriced, but not useless.

Great Cannon - Artillery is important, especially if it's accurate. A cannon with a proper firing lane hits hard and hits often, and as such I consider it an integral part of a competitive list.

Greatswords - If you're looking for a big unit that puts out respectable damage and is very hard to get points out of, these are the men to do it. Combine Stubborn with Hold the Line! and a BSB, and these guys are virtually immovable.

Huntsmen - They're cheap and can Scout, but at the end of the day, they're just guys with bows. Only the weakest of units will be bothered by them, though they can redirect in a pinch (but that just makes them overpriced Archers).

Mortar - Its Strength outside of the central hole leaves something to be desired, but if you can get Toughness debuffs and large blocks of infantry to hit, it can put on some hurt.

Outriders - Their rate of fire is pretty intimidating, and their range isn't an issue thanks to being Fast Cavalry. I feel they need to be fielded in units large enough to be a threat, as they are too pricey to be redirectors and chaff killers.

Pistoliers - While Fast Cavalry with Braces of Pistols has potential, the price tag (considering their stats) is too high.

Reiksguard Knights - Basically Stubborn Inner Circle Knights with no 1-of restriction, these guys are best as mobile roadblocks to hold the foe down while you bring your army to bear.

Rare

Celestial Hurricanum - A bonus to hit is nice, as is bonus power dice every phase, it has an OK Bound Spell, and it can provide Impact Hits in a pinch. A quality support piece.

Helblaster Volley Gun - The range could be better, but whatever is in range is going to get beat up. Have an Engineer provide a re-roll on an artillery die and his Ballistic Skill for best results.

Helstorm Rocket Battery - On the surface, this looks like a nice block-muncher, but the variable number of rockets and the fact that they always scatter just kills this thing. It's not worth its points.

Luminark of Hysh - Bonus dispel dice and a 6+ Ward for nearby units doesn't have the same pop as the Hurricanum's more aggressive benefits, but they're not bad, and the Bound Spell is nice.

Steam Tank - This bad boy is the most versatile unit in the Empire army - it has great Toughness, Wounds, and armor, it hits hard on the charge, it has a cannon, and it can spit out breath weapon shots. It gets a bit wacky as it takes damage, but even then it will still function. I consider it to be a necessity in competitive Empire lists.

Magic Item Analysis

Empire Armybook

Magic Weapons

Runefang - An awesome weapon that Empire doesn't quite have the stats to exploit. Best on a Grand Master.

The Mace of Helsturm - Too expensive for a magic great weapon with an alternate attack routine.

Magic Armor

The Armor of Meteoric Iron - While a 1+ armor save is great, this only appeals to a Warrior Priest or Arch Lector, as the other fighting characters can get there in other ways.

Helm of the Skavenslayer - The price is high for +1 armor and Fear, and I'm not sure whether the extra effects against Skaven are good or not.

Magic Talismans

White Cloak of Ulric - A penalty to hit is nice, especially on characters riding monstrous mounts, and it gives you a 5+ Ward (2+ against flaming) as icing. Pretty nice.

Magic Standards

Griffon Banner - A variable bonus to combat resolution is not worth this much, plus no magic gear on your BSB and being unable to chase foes down.

Steel Standard - This amounts to +1 Movement on units with barding, and re-rolling 1s on charge/pursue/flight rolls is pretty cool. A nice item.

Enchanted Items

Ring of Volans - While not getting to choose the spell and being One Use Only are annoying, getting to choose the Lore you want is nice.

Van Horstmann's Speculum - This can be a way to keep enemy characters from savaging your army, though only applying on challenges is limiting and the stat swap being forced make it iffy when unit champions are present.

Warhammer Rulebook

Magic Weapons

Berserker Sword - Not a whole lot different from just +1A, and it has drawbacks. Not a fan.

Biting Blade - Armor Piercing is not flashy, but it's cheap and reasonably effective.

Fencer's Blades - Weapon Skill 10 and +1A is a nice offense-defense combo.

Giant Blade - A big Strength bump, but the price tag gives me pause.

Gold Sigil Sword - Striking at I10 is nice, though you'll have to endeavor to put some steam behind those hits.

Obsidian Blade - Given that Empire characters aren't very beefy, not allowing armor saves has use, and while wounding will still be an issue, this item is cheap enough to allow for some nice defensive gear.

Ogre Blade - A nice Strength bump at an affordable price.

Relic Sword - I'd rather boost my Strength than "settle" for wounding on 5+ all the time.

Shrieking Blade - If you're running a lone character, Fear (and immunity to Fear) is useful.

Spellthieving Sword - Kill the mage and you don't have to worry about his spells.

Sword of Anti-Heroes - A bit of a gamble, but you only need one character in the unit to win.

Sword of Battle - +1A is nice, but nothing special.

Sword of Bloodshed - Lots of attacks... but not enough Strength for them to matter.

Sword of Might - A nice, cheap Strength bump.

Sword of Strife - This gives you the attack output, now you need the buffs.

Sword of Swift Slaying - Striking first and potential re-rolls are nice, though you can get the latter elsewhere.

Tormentor Sword - A cool ability, if you manage to wound. Also very cheap.

Warrior Bane - A cheap way to get magical attacks, and it might do something every once in a while.

Magic Armor

Armor of Destiny - A juicy Ward save, though the armor save leaves something to be desired.

Armor of Fortune - I wouldn't lower my armor save for anything less than a 4+ Ward.

Armor of Silvered Steel - You can get this save (or better) for way less points. Terrible.

Charmed Shield - A nice way to protect important pieces from counter-battery fire.

Dragonhelm - More armor is always nice, and this one comes with a handy Ward save against flaming.

Enchanted Shield - +2 armor for next to nothing. Nice.

Gambler's Armor - Why an Empire character would take this is beyond me.

Glittering Scales - Sure, it's a low save, but sometimes the best defense is not getting hit. A bit corner-case, though.

Helm of Discord - I like the armor bump, but I don't see the secondary effect happening often.

Shield of Ptolos - Put on real armor and have a 1+ save against everything instead.

Spellshield - MR1 isn't worth this much.

Trickster's Helm - Forcing opponents to Wound you twice sounds nice, but Empire doesn't have the Toughness values on their characters to really stop foes cold.

Magic Talismans

Dawnstone - Re-rollable armor saves are quite the commodity.

Dragonbane Gem - Dirt cheap, and a quality Ward save against flaming.

Luckstone - A one-use re-roll might save your character's bacon.

Obsidian Amulet - A solid amount of MR, but you can get this for cheaper by employing a Witch Hunter.

Obsidian Lodestone - Lots of MR (maybe even overkill). Decent, I guess.

Obsidian Trinket - A touch of MR, it's unlikely to make a difference unless the target already has a Ward save.

Opal Amulet - One good chance at a save is better than several bad ones, especially when you only have 2-3 Wounds.

Pidgeon Plucker Pendant - Conditional as heck, but a solid save when it does come up.

Seed of Rebirth - A poor man's 6+ Ward save. Meh.

Talisman of Endurance - A decent save, though the dropoff in quality from 4+ to 5+ is pretty noticeable.

Talisman of Preservation - A potent Ward save that should find its way into most (if not all) Empire lists.

Talisman of Protection - Too weak to matter much.

Arcane Items

Book of Ashur - Expensive, but +1 to cast and dispel matters.

Channeling Staff - Effectively doubles your odds of succeeding on a channel. Could be worse.

Dispel Scroll - I consider this the essential component of an army's magic defense, and am very leery of not including it.

Earthing Rod - A "break in case of emergency" item to make sure your Wizard stays in the game.

Feedback Scroll - The opportunities to use it are limited, and it doesn't have enough bite to justify letting a spell through.

Forbidden Rod - A bit risky, but it's not like power dice grow on trees for this army.

Power Scroll - A nice way to cast powerful spells for cheap and try to sneak them past an enemy that's out of dispel dice.

Power Stone - Extra dice in case you're trying to meet a tough value.

Scepter of Stability - A nice extra boost to dispel to make sure you stuff a critical spell.

Scroll of Shielding - If your opponent is casting a big damage spell, this Ward save can minimize or negate the impact.

Sivejir's Hex Scroll - It's tough to catch a L4 with it, but it's a nasty trick to spring on anyone using a combat caster with a low Wizard level.

Staff of Sorcery - Pricey, but +1 to dispel rolls can keep an enemy magic phase in check.

Trickster's Shard - Just doesn't come up often enough to matter.

Wand of Jet - If you're going for a tough cast and find yourself falling short, this can put you over the top.

Enchanted Items

Arabyan Carpet - If you want a character to fly around, I'd opt for a Pegasus.

Crown of Command - Stubborn is a nice ability to have, especially if the rest of your force lacks it.

Featherfoe Torc - An interesting way to protect your characters from flying monster riders.

Fozzrik's Folding Fortress - While Empire small arms troopers aren't the best, a bunch of them garrisoning a building make for a major annoyance.

Healing Potion - Looks nice at first, but most characters don't have the Wounds for you to milk this.

Ironcurse Icon - Dirt cheap, and this sort of shooting inflicts enough hits for a 6+ save to matter.

Potion of Foolhardiness - Very cheap, and ItP plus an extra attack are nice to have.

Potion of Speed - Sometimes, the difference between victory and defeat is who goes first. This figures to put you on the winning side.

Potion of Strength - A formidable Strength bump, which can help a lot if you have the attack output side covered.

Potion of Toughness - This can help your character hang on for a critical round of combat.

Ruby Ring of Ruin - I would just cut out the middleman and bring a L1 Fire caster.

The Other Trickster's Shard - Mitigating Ward saves can be key when fighting enemy characters.

The Terrifying Mask of EEE! - Amusing name, and useful on a lone model not expected to provide Ld.

Wizarding Hat - Bring a real Wizard.

Magic Standards

Banner of Eternal Flame - Although Priests give you easy access to fire, sometimes having it always on is necessary.

Banner of Swiftness - This can either help patch up your infantry's low Movement, or give your cavalry even more speed.

Gleaming Pennant - A cheap emergency re-roll for units that will spend time outside BSB range.

Lichebone Pennant - There are easier and better ways to get this benefit.

Rampager's Standard - Too expensive for anything but a BSB, so not that useful.

Ranger's Standard - Decent on a big block of Knights, meh elsewhere.

Razor Standard - Every bit of armor penetration counts, especially for units whose job is to grind.

Scarecrow Banner - Very cheap, but too conditional.

Standard of Discipline - Can wean a unit off the Ld bubble, or provide you with the coveted Ld10.

Wailing Banner - Causing Terror can be useful in the right army.

War Banner - Too many points for just +1 CR.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 04:12:32 PM by rothgar13 »

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 11:22:30 PM »
Unit Formations and Tactics

Lords

Arch Lector - Fielding him on foot or on a Horse is the bargain option, and it is a solid choice if points are tight and/or you don't have that many units that will benefit greatly from his buffs. However, if you're putting your faith in multiple large units of State Troops or are thinking of employing lots of Light magic, I think that you owe it to yourself to put him on the War Altar - his Leadership bubble is huge, you'll get to affect multiple units with your prayers, he can cast Banishment, and he can provide some emergency combat punch.

Balthasar Gelt - As a lone flier, you have to work a little harder to protect him as compared to your garden-variety Wizard Lord, but the good news is that he's a lot more mobile. Hover around large Demigryph Knight units if you have them - they provide Look Out, Sir! if they are 5+ men strong.

Battle Wizard Lord - Regardless of the Lore chosen, my advice is the same - stick him in an Archer bunker, keep that bunker behind your lines but within range of the spells that you want to cast, avoid combat at all times.

General - Your options are to field him in a similar fashion to a Captain, or to go for broke and put him on an Imperial Griffon. The latter option is risky and expensive, but it can give this character a much-needed combat boost and an added dimension of gameplay.

Grand Master - Pretty straightforward to use - put him in a big Knight unit, point him at tough enemy targets, use buffs and a Runefang to hack your way to victory.

Karl Franz - See the General entry.

Kurt Helborg - I think he's at his best in a moderately-sized unit of Reiksguard, giving it a lot more bite than what is commonly expected of them, as well as making them virtually immune to Leadership-based tests. Unfortunately, he'll also make that unit much more of a target due to his cost, so use with caution.

Marius Leitdorf - I'd put him in a unit of Knights and try to keep him away from anything that can chew through his armor. He should be all right if you do that.

Volkmar the Grim - See the Arch Lector entry.

Heroes

Battle Wizard - Same as a Wizard Lord.

Captain - There are 2 main options here; you either put him on a Pegasus (which provides him with flight and an extra Wound) and you hunt vulnerable targets in your enemy's backfield, or you put him in a unit that could use the Leadership bump and Hold the Line!. Both builds prioritize defensive gear, though the Pegasus Captain could use something like a Lance if you have points lying around.

Captain Battle Standard-Bearer - The key priority with him is to keep him near the units that need his re-roll. As such, I think he ends up on foot more often than not, unless the bulk of your Core is composed of Knights. Either way, gear him up defensively as best you can.

Ludwig Schwarzhelm - Keep him in a Knight unit, try to stay alive.

Luthor Huss - He is at his best in a Knight unit that is expected to be in the thick of the fighting, where his great save and ability to super-buff himself can really be brought to bear.

Markus Wulfhart - Don't do this to yourself.

Master Engineer - Put him near a gun, watch him work. I'd have one for every Volley Gun in the army, as I think the rest of the war machines get along all right without him.

Warrior Priest - This guy is pretty straightforward in terms of use; you put him in the unit you want buffed, and try to keep him alive long enough for the unit to benefit from his buffs. As such, I prize defensive gear first and foremost for him.

Witch Hunter - If you're looking to be aggressive with this guy and snipe a character, put him in a Skirmisher unit (like Archers) so that he can march and shoot, take the Brace of Pistols, and run him at his target while avoiding big blocks. Alternatively, you can use him as a bodyguard for a character or an effective unit upgrade, in which case you drop him into a block and target any character you're likely to face in a fight.

Core

Archers - My favorite use is the 5-man Detachment, which acts as the quintessential chaff unit - it runs around and gets in the way of the foe, hopefully forcing him to make unpalatable choices (at worst delaying him for a bit while you prepare an offensive). If taken as a standalone unit, I'd put my Wizard in there and hide them behind my lines.

Crossbowmen - These guys are at their most useful when picking off targets low on Wound count, such as chaff or poorly protected lone models. As such, I suggest to sit them near your artillery and fire away at anything trying to threaten them. 10-20 men will do the job.

Free Company - Use Halberdiers or Spearmen instead.

Halberdiers - The main role I would use them for is to be a Regimental Unit built to give and take damage, and as such fielded around 40-50 models strong in Horde formation (10-wide) if you fancy your chances and 5-wide if you don't, with your choice of Detachments. Alternatively, they can used as units to flank with and add punch, in which case you likely don't need more than 20 in any given unit. You can also go for both - a big Regiment of Halberdiers, with smaller Halberdier units as Detachments.

Handgunners - Take Crossbowmen instead.

Inner Circle Knights - Their price tag and extra muscle as compared to normal Knights pegs them into more of a mainline combat role, and thus I like them in a 5-wide, 3-deep formation once characters are taken into account. Incidentally, their positioning also depends on how many characters they are housing - if it's no characters or just a Warrior Priest, you'll be fine with them manning a flank, but if you have the Grand Master + Captain BSB + Warrior Priest pseudo-deathstar going on, they'd better be front and center.

Knightly Orders - The main purpose I see for this guys is as "heavy chaff" - their job is to move fast, take out weak units, and get in the way of bigger ones. For that, 5 men with great weapons and a musician does fine, though a standard-bearer also helps. If you also want to use them as a secondary combat unit, you're better off upping the model count to 10 or so, and adding a standard-bearer.

Spearmen - The way I would usually field these guys is as a "bus" unit - which is to say always 5-wide, and with as many ranks as you can get (usually 8- to 10-deep) - that unit's job is to engage the toughest unit they can find, hang on for dear life using Steadfast, and allow heavier hitters to crash the party and turn the tide. That said, if you get something like Okkam's Mindrazor on them, Horde formation can also be an option. Given their job description, Shields likely won't make much of a difference (anything S5 or higher will allow them no saves), so bring more bodies with those points instead.

Swordsmen - I think the 2 main ways to use these guys are either to field a large bus (as described above) as a Regimental unit, or several 15- to 20-man Detachments. In the first case, you basically use them as slightly superior Spearmen. The latter option is there for CR denial - they'll crash into a flank, negate the foe's rank bonus and give you a flank charge, resulting in a massive CR swing.

Special

Demigryph Knights - The key question here is whether to invest heavily in one unit, or whether to go for several smaller ones. If you go for smaller units, 3-4 of them is enough; if it's only one unit, I'm a fan of 5, but I can see going up as high as 8. In all cases, every command model you can buy helps the unit noticeably. If you have a champion, don't be afraid to challenge any Heroes in the enemy unit - most armies' Heroes can't take him on solo, and you get bonus VPs if you drop them.

Flagellants - I consider these the "spike strips" of the Empire army - squads of 10-12 guys will put out a fair amount of damage, and will hold most things up for at least a turn. Feel free to play around with the formation to make sure that is the case - they are Unbreakable, so how they're ranked up should be the least of your concerns.

Great Cannon - The question here is how many of them to take; I think that 2 is the ideal number, because they won't do much once combat has been joined. That said, if you have Steam Tanks, maybe these are not strictly necessary.

Greatswords - I think their best application is in a large brick, front and center - at least 30 guys (preferably 40), with character support, and Horde formation should be strongly considered, in order to up their offensive output and take full advantage of Stubborn.

Huntsmen - Their minimum unit size is 10, and I wouldn't recommend going any higher; that's more than enough to take down war machines and the like.

Mortar - 2 of these guys along with the proper setup (a mage with Toughness debuffs, other sources of shooting) is what I'd go for, and nothing more.

Outriders - My preferred use for these guys is to bring a couple of units of 10, and either overload one flank or sit on one each side. The former strategy allows them to focus fire, whereas the latter expands the threat area. If points are tight, you could try and make do with 2 units of 5 in combination with artillery.

Pistoliers - These guys are your garden-variety unit of Fast Cavalry - you run them around and try to get them in the way of your opponents' blocks, try to pick off other chaff units with their shooting, and just generally being annoying. I say stick to the bare minimum - 5 guys, no command.

Reiksguard Knights - I like these guys pretty bare-bones; 2 squads of 5 guys, each with a musician and maybe a standard-bearer will do the job.

Rare

Celestial Hurricanum - Given that the +1 to hit and +1 PD benefits don't stack, you probably only need one of these guys unless it's your only buffing piece, in which case bring 2 - the range is only 6", after all. In either case, keep it hidden behind your main blocks, unless you feel those D6 S5 Impact Hits could make a difference in combat.

Helblaster Volley Gun - I like these guys pushed as far forward as can be, hopefully with a unit nearby to protect them and an Engineer to beef them up. Don't be afraid to move them up a bit if the enemy doesn't want to advance - it's not like it'll be doing anything in that case anyway. How many you take depends entirely on how cramped your Rare allowance is, but either 1 or 2 are nice to have.

Helstorm Rocket Battery - Leave it on the shelf.

Luminark of Hysh - The 6+ Ward and +1 DD don't stack, so you likely don't need more than 1. Use it similarly to a Hurricanum.

Steam Tank - How you use this guy depends on how close combat-capable the rest of your army is. If you have several quality close combat units, you use him primarily as a shooter, and run it in to support one of your fighters. If you don't have much close combat muscle apart from them, they're probably going have to run in there and try to hold dangerous enemy units up. I think you always bring 1, and I'm a big fan of 2.

Sample Army Lists

Faith, Steel, and Gunpowder - 2500 points

Core - 638 points
10 Archers [Wizard Lord goes here]
38 Halberdiers, Full Command [Arch Lector and BSB go here]
- Detachments: 2 x 5 Archers
2 x 5 Empire Knights, Great Weapons, Musician

Special - 744 points
2 x 4 Demigryph Knights, Musician, Standard-Bearer
2 x Great Cannon

Rare - 500 points
2 x Steam Tank

Heroes - 143 points
Captain, BSB, Dawnstone, Dragonhelm, Full Plate Armor, Shield, Sword of Striking

Lords - 475 points
Arch Lector, Armor of Meteoric Iron, Crown of Command, Great Weapon, Opal Amulet [General]
Battle Wizard Lord, Dispel Scroll, L4 Wizard, Talisman of Preservation [Lore of Life]

Grand Total: 2500 points

Firing Squad - 2500 points

Core - 625 points
10 Archers
- Detachments: 2 x 5 Archers
10 Archers [Wizard Lord goes here]
15 Crossbowmen, Standard-Bearer [BSB goes here]
9 Inner Circle Knights, Musician, Standard-Bearer (Standard of Discipline) [Warrior Priest goes here]

Special - 750 points
2 x Great Cannon
5 Pistoliers
2 x 10 Outriders

Rare - 490 points
2 x Helblaster Volley Gun [One Engineer goes in each]
Steam Tank

Heroes - 360 points
Captain, BSB (Banner of Eternal Flame)
2 x Master Engineer
Warrior Priest, Dragonhelm, Heavy Armor, Shield, Van Horstmann's Speculum, Warhorse (Barding)

Lords - 270 points
Battle Wizard Lord, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon, Talisman of Preservation [General, Lore of Shadow]

Grand Total: 2500 points

Heavy Metal Legion - 2500 points

Core - 635 points
2 x 5 Empire Knights, Great Weapons, Musician
14 Inner Circle Knights, Full Command (Banner of Swiftness), Lances + Shields [Warrior Priest goes here]

Special - 773 points
2 x Great Cannon
38 Greatswords, Full Command (Standard of Discipline) [Arch Lector and BSB go here]
- Detachments: 2 x 5 Archers

Rare - 380 points
Celestial Hurricanum
Steam Tank

Heroes - 282 points
Captain, BSB, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Full Plate Armor, Handgun, Sword of Might
Warrior Priest, Dragonhelm, Heavy Armor, Shield, Van Horstmann's Speculum, Warhorse (Barding)

Lords - 430 points
Arch Lector, Armor of Meteoric Iron, Great Weapon, Ironcurse Icon [General]
Battle Wizard Lord, Dispel Scroll, L4 Wizard, Talisman of Preservation [Lore of Metal]

Grand Total: 2500 points

Imperial Strike Force - 2500 points

Core - 644 points
10 Archers [Wizard Lord goes here]
39 Halberdiers, Full Command [BSB goes here]
- Detachments: 2 x 5 Archers
2 x 5 Empire Knights, Great Weapons, Musician

Special - 744 points
2 x 4 Demigryph Knights, Musician, Standard-Bearer
2 x Great Cannon

Rare - 500 points
2 x Steam Tank

Heroes - 342 points
Captain, BSB, Enchanted Shield, Full Plate Armor, Handgun
2 x Captain, Full Plate Armor, Imperial Pegasus, Lance, Shield

Lords - 270 points
Battle Wizard Lord, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Preservation [General, Lore of Heavens]

Grand Total: 2500 points

Knights of the Empire - 2500 points

Core - 655 points
10 Archers [Wizards go here]
2 x 5 Empire Knights, Great Weapons, Musician
12 Inner Circle Knights, Lances + Shields, Full Command (Banner of Swiftness) [BSB, Grand Master, and Luthor go here]

Special - 504 points
2 x 4 Demigryph Knights, Musician, Standard-Bearer

Rare - 500 points
2 x Steam Tank

Heroes - 312 points
Captain, BSB, Charmed Shield, Full Plate Armor, Ironcurse Icon, Ogre Blade, Warhorse (Barding)
Luthor Huss

Lords - 529 points
Battle Wizard Lord, Earthing Rod, L4 Wizard, Talisman of Preservation [Lore of Beasts]
Grand Master, Runefang, Shield, The Other Trickster's Shard [General]

Grand Total: 2500 points

The Inquisition - 2500 points

Core - 644 points
10 Archers [Wizards and Witch Hunter go here]
39 Halberdiers, Full Command [BSB goes here]
- Detachments: 2 x 5 Archers
2 x 5 Empire Knights, Great Weapons, Musician

Special - 240 points
2 x Great Cannon

Rare - 620 points
Helblaster Volley Gun [Master Engineer goes here]
2 x Steam Tank

Heroes - 436 points
Battle Wizard, Dispel Scroll [Lore of Light]
Battle Wizard, Power Stone [Lore of Light]
Captain, BSB, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Full Plate Armor, Sword of Might
Master Engineer
Witch Hunter, Brace of Pistols

Lords - 560 points
Arch Lector, Armor of Destiny, War Altar of Sigmar [General]
Battle Wizard Lord, L4 Wizard, Scepter of Stability, Talisman of Preservation [Lore of Light]

Grand Total: 2500 points
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 02:19:00 PM by rothgar13 »

Offline The Peacemaker

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 03:27:08 AM »
2. This handbook assumes you're making a competitive army. If you're making a themed list, maybe you can use some of the stuff that's in here, but know that you're not the target audience. The goal of this handbook is to present an objective view of what a Warriors of Chaos general can and should do to prepare a list that can win games. Themes often make sacrifices in playability in the name of aesthetic cohesion, so I don't think I have to explain how there could be some disagreement between that and what we're doing here.

I can tell you got some inspiration from the Chamber of the Everchosen website. lol.

Good job though, I don't post on the WoC forum but I checked it out when the new book came out to get info on the units and read the exact guide that this empire one is based on. Good stuff.


And I'd like to add my few cents about a few units since I've been playing with them even though they are bad.
Handgunners should be labbled red. They really are a dead choice.
Xbows should be yellow - a unit of 10 is good for a deployment drop and their range lets them do stuff. They are conditional though.
Mortars are a solid yellow. It does shine  against certain armies or with some synergies in your army list(reduce toughness spells) but in general is a subpar choice. I can confirm it sucks against vampire counts. And I have not faced ogres but in theory it should suck against them too.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 03:37:50 AM by The Peacemaker »
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Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 04:00:05 AM »
Thanks for the catch. :icon_wink:

Thanks for the thoughts regarding Crossbowmen, Handgunners, and Mortars - that jives with what I've seen and heard myself. Mortars have been noted to do really well against Skaven, for instance, but for general use they just don't stack up all that well.

Offline Half-Light

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 10:35:29 AM »
I use mortars against High Elves too, and honestly I'm pretty happy with the results. I definitely agree that handgunners should be labelled red: they're very expensive and generally dont come close to killing anything..

I'll make sure to check this thread regularly, thanks for the effort!

Offline Lord Solar Plexus

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 10:52:03 AM »
Mortars must be red:

3. This handbook is made for all-comers lists. If you only play one army over and over again, there are certain choices that go up or down in relative value. In this case, we'll consider all armies when making our choices (including the mirror-match), as tailoring is looked down upon in certain circles and downright illegal in competitive tournaments.

A point could be made that a majority of units is T3 and that wounding on 5+ is good, although I would personally not subscribe to that.
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Offline Fandir Nightshade

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 11:37:30 AM »
Purple for

Steam Tank OR Great Cannons if you have steam tanks cannons should be green.
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Offline Commander Bernhardt

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 12:43:20 PM »
I'd say flaggelants should be red to. They die to easily and you'd be far better off just buyinf double their numbers in say halberdiers.

mortars definatly should NOT be red! yes it's only S2 but it will function good against most enemies. Propably green or yellow. Its large template compensates the 5+ to wound sufficient IMO. it will struggle to make an impact against WoC (unless they bring marauders), ogres, and lizards but that's it (and possibly skaven to but that's not thanks to their T)

I'm especially curious how you peeps rate the helstorm. I'll be watching this thread with interest

oh and a helblaster with engineer with reapeter pistol should be rated blue to purple. without engi just green. The reapeter pistol has often helped my chase off small warmachine hunters.
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Offline Athiuen

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 01:09:53 PM »
Mortars must be red:

3. This handbook is made for all-comers lists. If you only play one army over and over again, there are certain choices that go up or down in relative value. In this case, we'll consider all armies when making our choices (including the mirror-match), as tailoring is looked down upon in certain circles and downright illegal in competitive tournaments.

A point could be made that a majority of units is T3 and that wounding on 5+ is good, although I would personally not subscribe to that.

It should be red with a conditional yellow for certain synergies/armies.
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Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 02:10:45 PM »
That's pretty much my definition of Yellow - it sucks in general, but in certain matchups it can do well. I think that against Elves of all flavors and Skaven, and possibly the mirror match, it can be a solid tool, particularly with something like Shadow or Death magic lowering Toughness. Not the most ringing endorsement, I know, but you can wring some use out of it.

Offline Krokz

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 03:03:09 PM »
Competitive wise ... I can't think of a list without Halberdiers and a Lv4 wizard. Everything else is negotiable.
But personally STank and DKGs are purple to. So are spells Speed of Light and Banishment :)


Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 03:24:11 PM »
I think Banishment should be Blue, personally, and the reason why is because you do have to build around it for it to be the awesome force we all know and love. It needs to at least be S5 to be worth noting, and S6+ to really be a force. That's a lot of Light Wizards.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 03:47:25 PM by rothgar13 »

Offline Thirsty Beaver

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2013, 05:13:04 PM »
Thanks for this Rothgar!

And I think flaggies are going to be a point of conflict in terms of a rating scale. For me they are minimum yellow because they do have some uses and can fulfill certain roles (points level effects this as well of course).
them are some stupid and ugly ass pieces. Griffons without wings? Sure as hell ain't touching my army.

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 05:25:44 PM »
I think Flaggies are going to be Yellow as well. Are they overpriced? Yep. Are they overshadowed by other units in the section? You betcha. But they hit hard at Initiative order, and are Unbreakable. There is some use for them as "spike strips" to hold enemies up for a turn or two and put in some cheap wounds while you're at it. Would I field them? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that someone can't make lemonade out of those lemons.

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 08:34:34 PM »
Hey guys,

Just wanted to report that I've hit a bit of a snag - apparently, this forum has a 20000-character limit on its posts, and I am bumping up against it constantly. I'll try to make my explanations a bit less long-winded, and hopefully I can put up the Magic Analysis soon.

Offline The Peacemaker

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 08:46:51 PM »
Mortars must be red:

3. This handbook is made for all-comers lists. If you only play one army over and over again, there are certain choices that go up or down in relative value. In this case, we'll consider all armies when making our choices (including the mirror-match), as tailoring is looked down upon in certain circles and downright illegal in competitive tournaments.

A point could be made that a majority of units is T3 and that wounding on 5+ is good, although I would personally not subscribe to that.

Mortar is a solid yellow, its no where near green, and it combo's well with other parts of the empire army so it can't be red. But for competitive it should be noted that you need toughness reduction spells in your army to use the mortar.

Red is for stuff that doesn't synergize with anything and even if the meta changes its still bad. Helstorm rocket battery falls into this category because of the random D3 blast - unless you get 3 blast templates every time its not worth it. Or if it was strength 5 it would be worth it.


Flagellants I have not used but on paper a small unit could have many tactical uses. Chase after small enemy units or go in conga line and hold something up. But they are pretty close to Red. Just don't see much synergy with anything else in Empire.

My thoughts on some other core units:
Spears, halberds, basic knights, archers should be green. Rest should be yellow. Inner Circle knights are probably blue because of the magic banner.
Some might say spears are no where near as good as halberds but in big units you get more bodies for cheaper points and as soon as you get any buff spell such as a re-roll wound prayer they dish out alot of hurt. Best thing about spears is that they are 5pts - sometimes you just want more bodies.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 09:10:21 PM by The Peacemaker »
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Offline zifnab0

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2013, 09:22:04 PM »
This is why I was quick to post that the mortar is yellow. Cause many people consider it less, some more but when you look at the color code its right there in the yellow slot.
If the mortar isn't red, then what is?  For its points (and excluding special characters), the Mortar is the worst option in the book.

Offline Thirsty Beaver

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2013, 09:36:12 PM »
This is why I was quick to post that the mortar is yellow. Cause many people consider it less, some more but when you look at the color code its right there in the yellow slot.
If the mortar isn't red, then what is?  For its points (and excluding special characters), the Mortar is the worst option in the book.

Red (for me  :ph34r:) = Mortar and handgunners. The rocket launcher is better against skaven, and I have no idea what else you would use the mortar against? Handgunners are only playable as detachments (maaaybe) or for fluff.

Almost everything else is yellow, because you can make stuff work if you set your mind to it while still making a balanced list
them are some stupid and ugly ass pieces. Griffons without wings? Sure as hell ain't touching my army.

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2013, 09:39:51 PM »
I disagree - there are several choices that are significantly worse than the Mortar. There's the ones that are almost strictly inferior to other stuff in the same section (Free Company and Handgunners spring to mind), and the things simply too weak to make work (the Rocket Battery falls here). The Mortar is in the Crossbowmen/Empire General tier of "needs other things and/or certain matchups to be effective". I think it's the victim of backlash from how strong it once was as to what it is now.

Offline Thirsty Beaver

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2013, 09:53:17 PM »
In my games against skaven (1 with each), the rocket launcher performed much more admirably thanks to the higher strength. Mortar got a lot more hits in, but with the range bubble (can't shooter closer than 12) it gets very few shots and its still crap strength.

I regularly play my FC. Extra attacks is excellent. The downside is they can't be a regiment, but as a 20+ detachment against certain opponents or with magic/warrior priest they are lethal.
them are some stupid and ugly ass pieces. Griffons without wings? Sure as hell ain't touching my army.

Offline Gankom

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2013, 10:00:24 PM »
Free company are one of my fav units in the whole game. I always manage to work theem into my list somehow and I've almost never been disapointed. Sometimes they work miracles and when they don't they still do great in my list.

I'm always tempted to take mortars just to see how hard it is to make them work, but I'm not a big fan of artillery in my empire lists. Foot slogging infantry all the way!

Offline rothgar13

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Re: The 8e Empire Handbook
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2013, 10:07:31 PM »
In my games against skaven (1 with each), the rocket launcher performed much more admirably thanks to the higher strength. Mortar got a lot more hits in, but with the range bubble (can't shooter closer than 12) it gets very few shots and its still crap strength.

I regularly play my FC. Extra attacks is excellent. The downside is they can't be a regiment, but as a 20+ detachment against certain opponents or with magic/warrior priest they are lethal.

Large pie plate at S2 trumps 2 small pie plates at S3 that scatter by the numbers, and that's what the averages for Mortar v. Rocket Battery are. Plus the Rocket Battery is Rare (which has the STank and the Volley Gun) and costs more points. No way it's the better option, and I haven't even talked about the S6 (D3) in the middle. And if the Strength of the hits is an issue, use Shadow magic. I would never use a Mortar without a Toughness debuff.

Free Company are inferior to Halberdiers and Spearmen. Anything they can do, the ones I mentioned can do better, and in the case of the Spearmen for less points.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 10:21:15 PM by rothgar13 »