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Offline Marlinspike

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Starting Empire
« on: April 28, 2009, 01:19:24 AM »
My friends and I have decided to start playing Warmaster.

Now, I'd like to play Empire but I have no clue what constitutes a good balanced force.

Please ramble on about Empire army selection, strategy and tactics.

Offline Shrapnelsmile

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 05:13:31 AM »
Greetings and welcome,

In your army list you have "Min/Max" selections out of 1,000 points. As you may know, for example, a "2/-" indicator means for every thousand points you must have at least 2 of that unit.

Using this as a basic guide, you can begin envisioning a small 1,000 point army.  In general, the "numbers equal the fluff" as well as providing game balance.  In my Cult of Slaanesh army list, for example, I need to have at least one unit of Crossbowmen for every thousand point. They commonly use these troops, so my opponent will expect to see them on the battlefield -- and the army would expect them as well.

As for further advice, I cannot assist just yet, as I have not fought nor played Empire.  In general, however, remember that missle fire is important against most armies, and cavalry are quite powerful.
~Shrap
Rolling Ones for Over Three Decades

Offline Lex

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 08:16:08 AM »
As mentioned before, you will have to start with the compulsory troops, which together with the General, hero(s) and a magician will tie up app 50% of your first 1000 points.

The Empire army is definitly a combined-forces army, although you could opt to go "with lots of knights" (an approach some players take because 1) you have few units to paint 2) Cavalry is a good buy for any WM-f army), as soon as a table has a good Warmaster-quantity of terrain your mixed set-up will out-perform the knights every time.

You do not have über"-troops, but when used in conjunction with each other you should have a fighting chance against most opponents. As mentioned your knights are the unit with the most "punch", either charge them ahead, and have them die gloriously, taking out half the opponents battlelines and winning you the game  8), or combine them with some Pistoliers and explotre them as a flanking force, or mobile reserve.

For flanking your pistoliers are worth every penny. Against most armies you will be able to have the "longer" battleline, so the abilty to bring them around a flank and shoot away support, or to backstop and destroy units is well worth a try.

Dont put your money on the "shooty" units. Shooting is Warmaster is seldomly enough to kill units outright. Your shooting units do have one important task! If properly applied shooting will disrubt battlelines, breaking them up in smaller "formations" and single units. Which will force your opponent to issue more commands, which means a bigger chance for failure and thus loss of initiative. Or "snipping away" stands from units, reducing their fighting effectivness and imposing additional command penalties!

Quote
Important note on shooting is that your hits are applied on a unit imidiatly when they exceed the hits of a stand. As you can decide the order in which you work through your shooters, this mechanism allows you eg. to snip away a stand from a screening unit, which would be the nearest target for your cannons, bringing a more opportune target into the cannons field of fire. Also, when shooting at units that are partly in cover you would direct attacks on the stand in the open first (without modifiers), before moving to the defended other stands.
And remember that you normaly shoot with all stands of your unit on the SAME target, unless a stand can not make LOS on that target, in which case it shoots ar the nearest target in it own LOS

Your artillery essentialy has the same function as the normal missile troops, but through its longer range, no AST and bounce effect has even a bigger disruptive impact when applied correctly. Find a "fire corridor" to set-up in, and 9 out of 10 times your enemy will avoid crossing that, which means that you can "dictate" your opponents options (which is what Sun Tze tells us wins battles  8)). BTW realize that your opponent will probably make the arty a priority target, and with most armies having access to flyers (the one "arm" you dont have) be aware for "death from above".

Offline Marlinspike

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 11:56:23 PM »
Excellent, thanks for all the advice so far.

What are your opinions on wizards? Voice of command seems to me a rather powerful spell, especially if you throw in a ring of magic to assure it's success. While on the topic of magic items, what do you find works well in an Empire army? Cavalry with a banner of fortitude and a sword of might backed by a General mounted on a Griffon sounds quite deadly.

Offline Guthwine

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 12:05:00 AM »
The "weird enchantment" alone is worth the wizards costs!

I would use only the leftover points for magic items to get to 2000P (with any army). Some are really powerful, but not as useful as an additional unit on the field.
Warmaster:
- Bretonia
- Dwarves
- Highelf WIP

Epic:
-Imperial Guard
-Necrons
-Space Marines WIP

Offline Lex

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009, 12:12:58 AM »
I would use only the leftover points for magic items to get to 2000P (with any army). Some are really powerful, but not as useful as an additional unit on the field.

This is a very good point !! dont create strategies around Magic Items. A lot of tournament/event play has strong(er) regulations over what is and what is not accepted, or even provide you with "random" items.

MI zare a good use to fill your Army selection to "maximum", but if you can use the points to sneak in another unit (specialy an ODD number one), then the choice is a no brainer.

And more importantly, I personaly tend to forget THAT my units have MI (other then a dispall scroll) all the time, and I know from experience I am not the only one !

Offline Marlinspike

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 02:49:41 AM »
(specialy an ODD number one)

Could you expand on this?

Here's the list I'm thinking of for 1000 points:

GENERAL 125
HERO 85
WIZARD 45

CHARACTERS: 250

5X HALBERDIERS 225
2X CROSSBOWMEN 110
FLAGELLANTS 70
KNIGHTS 110
PISTOLIERS 95
CANNON 85
HELLBLASTER 50

TOTAL: 995

Too few knights? Too character heavy? Not enough Infantry? Too much Artillery?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 04:06:12 AM by Marlinspike »

Offline Lex

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 10:32:05 AM »
(specialy an ODD number one)

Could you expand on this?

Here's the list I'm thinking of for 1000 points:

GENERAL 125
HERO 85
WIZARD 45

CHARACTERS: 250

5X HALBERDIERS 225
2X CROSSBOWMEN 110
FLAGELLANTS 70
KNIGHTS 110
PISTOLIERS 95
CANNON 85
HELLBLASTER 50

TOTAL: 995

Too few knights? Too character heavy? Not enough Infantry? Too much Artillery?

Looks nice and balanced for 1k. Empire Infantry should (be able to) move in small portions, so having a bit more characters in bigger games be OK. Right now this is fine for 1k. The only thing you might consider has to do with creating BreakPoint. Count the number of untis and divide by 2 (remember ?). 12 units = BP 6. So sometimes it make sense to see if you can "fit in" an additional unit.  Right now for 1k you are fine, with a 5 points MI binus to full up your tally

Offline Guthwine

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 10:56:13 AM »
Could you expand on this?

Odd numbers to increase your breakpoint, if you have 16 units for example with a magic banner you have a breakpoint of 8 but if you take another unit instead of the banner, you get a breakpoint of 9 with 17 units.

As for the list, the characters are fine, I wouldnt take less than that. Also with the 5 points left you could give your hero a sword of faith maybe. For my taste there is to much infantry and to few cavallary but then again I am a bretonia player :) It really depends on your playstyle. Best thing is, to play your first games with homemade cardboard bases. So you can get the first impressions of the game and your army.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 10:58:58 AM by Guthwine »
Warmaster:
- Bretonia
- Dwarves
- Highelf WIP

Epic:
-Imperial Guard
-Necrons
-Space Marines WIP

Offline azrael71

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Re: Starting Empire
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 02:34:42 PM »
Looks fine for a scenery heavy table.
If scenery is scarce then up the knights!

Got to be honest I have never had any luck with pistoliers, but I do with dark riders and high elf reavers which are for all intents and purposes the same troop type  ::)

Protect your artillery flanks with shooters :)