Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas-Fort Worth Area
The detachment rule BTW is that the points cost of the detachments count as the same as the parent unit, so using archers in that manner means that they are special units since greatswords are special, not core. Also, the limit on the detachment size to being no more than half the size of the parent means detachments are generally not feasible as horde units and are often best used for stand and shoot, flank charges, and as relatively inexpensive roadblock and redirection units.
Detachments with 3" of the parent unit can borrow from the parent unit's leadership and carry over its psychology (frenzy, hartred, Hold the Line, Immune to Psych, Stubborn, Steadfast, and stupidity). Also, any battle prayers by arch lectors and warrior priests in the parent unit (on the parent unit) benefit the detachments within 3" of that unit (p. 36).
I don't find archer detachments with greatswords parent units to be cheesy. Archers are skirmishers (meaning no rank bonuses) with no armour and their characteristics (as shown on GW's site) are WS, BS, S, T, and I of 3 and LD of 7.
The empire book is not broken and using detachments of archers to stand and shoot and act as stubborn diverters is a legit strategy. In fact, the example in the book (p. 30) is of using a detachment of shooting models (handgunners) with a stubborn parent of greatswords to gain stubborn and greater LD for the detachment. A strategy intended by the author of the book is not cheesy, especially given how much they nerfed stuff in empire and made most state troop units (including greatswords) more expensive in points costs.
The real debate is whether it is worthwhile to employ a large parent unit with detachments and to spam warrior priests given that the points cost is very high and the detachments often lack hitting power. Warrior priests do have (as noted) the ability to cast bound spells with single dice in order to eat up dispel dice. The problem with the battle prayers is that the bound spells are really only effective in combat and only benefit the unit the warrior priest is in and any detachments associated with that unit that remain within 3" of the parent. Thus, the battle prayers are largely useless until a regiment or one of its detachments are actually in combat. That means warrior priests will often be eventually exposed to combat and will be killed and give up VPs before the end of the battle. Given that, there are risks and costs to the strategy mentioned.
I'd complain a lot more about a skaven slave horde within range of a general and BSB than archer detachments with a greatsword parent.