Newbie Empire Army 'Sharpe' style... advice please - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-14, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Default Newbie Empire Army 'Sharpe' style... advice please

Hi all,

Relative newcomer to the whole table top universe and its wicked ways, recently started a Chaos Marine army in 40k with friends ang going ok, however, my initial interest in Warhammer was to model and paint a 'Napoleonic' Sharpe/British peninsular war army, obviously the Empire has such troop types and the Games Workshop models have more flair than the other counterparts for that era in my opinion.

My immediate thoughts were to get some advice from experienced players of Fantasy to see whether my force would be a viable army to use, as the competitive gaming side of the hobby has become more of an interest to me of late.

My model wishlist would be as follows...

Empire state troops (handgunners)

Pistoliers

Outriders

Great cannons

Rocket Batteries

Cavalry (Knightly orders) - though i would use the pistolier/outrider model with lances to keep in tune with the theme.

Empire Captain ( tbc )


I have seen some dislike towards sit and shoot gun line armies, though i intend my force to be quite balanced with my cavalry being aggressive whilst the obvious fire power doing what it is intended to do.

All this is theory of course, so, to my main question really... can this army list work?

Cheers
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-14, 08:40 PM
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Sounds much like my own thoughts. Would be vulnerable to Magic is what I have been told. I'm still going for it though.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-14, 09:37 PM
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Depends on what you mean by competetive. If you wish to play 8th edition you almost can't do without at least one huge block of infantry and at least one magic user.

Further, it depends on the amount of knights you can field. An army composed entirely of the units you described is very vulnerable to an army fielding lots of heavy cavalry. As soon as your gunline gets into combat, they'll be rolled up quite easily. You should try to fit in at least a capable unit of swordsmen or halberdiers to protect the missile troops from cavalry or flyers and units such as miners, tunneling teams and the like. Due to gunlines being fielded predominantly as linear formations (and being not as heavily armed and armoured as combat-oriented troops), they break easier and are quickly overrun in close quarters. Unless your cavalry is capable of occupying each enemy unit capable of quick advancement, a block of troops is very versatile in defending your artillery and gunners.
Should spears become a viable option again in 9th edition, you could possibly convert a unit of gunners to wielding muskets with plug-bayonets, to keep your army themed.
The same still holds for older editions (which I play) though the units you use don't have to be as massive as in 8th.

A quick run through the rest of your units:
Handgunners are devastating against light and medium infantry/cavalry, but struggle against heavy infantry/cavalry. Heavy Cavalry is especially dangerous because they can close with your gunners very quickly.

Pistoliers are my favourite unit, though I'm unsure how they work in 8th edition. They're fast and can easily bait and flank units, denying them marching capability thus slowing them down, which is very good for a gunline army. Additionally, they pack quite some firepower, making them deadly harrassers. Beware of enemy missile fire, they're still light cavalry you know!

Outriders are very useful as well. They're basicly a mobile firing platform, laying down as much fire as an entire gunline! They're not as broad as a gunline, thus are very manoeuvrable and don't get in the way as much. Try to move them as little as possible, because they can't shoot if you move them. Get them were you want them to be and lay down fire for as long as possible. They're quite expensive however, and take up valueable special choices/points.

Cannons are okay. They're the only thing capable of reliably wiping out heavy cavalry and monsters, and can be used to snipe enemy characters if you're lucky. Use pistoleers to trick enemy knights into showing their flank to your cannons and watch as a well-placed cannonball wipes out the entire unit in one shot. Like most artillery however, they're a two-edged sword. They often don't kill as much as you'd like, and have a tendency to blow up at unfortunate moments.

Rocket Batteries are a bit like overgrown mortars. They scatter wildly however, meaning they almost never hit a thing unless you're very lucky, or if you fire into a very high concentration of units. If they hit, they slaughter light and medium infantry/cavalry very well.

Knightly orders are very basic heavy cavalry. They'll do the job, but will fail against their superior counterparts, such as chaos knights, bloodknights or any brettonian knights, unless they outnumber them and are bolstered by a powerful character. Heavy cavalry can be used to quickly destroy enemy missile troops, or to smash through weak units in the enemy line and then charge larger units in the rear. Artillery is their greatest fear, but in the mean time there's no better unit to take out artillery quick and easy.

Using only captains will certainly limit your magical capabilities, both offensively and defensively, which in some games is a major handicap. A warrior priest or battle mage might bolster your magical defenses, and perhaps give you some offensive capability as well. Master engineers can be used to make cannons somewhat more reliable. Captains might bolster the fighting ability of a unit gunners, perhaps enough to withstand attack from some smaller medium or light infantry wittled down by fire, but absolutely shine in more combat-oriented units.

There, my vision on those units. I'm by no means an expert, and really not up to date on the latest 8th edition stuff, so take my advice for what it is.
I myself would include a unit of plug-bayonet gunners as count-as spearmen or halberdiers, just to add a little protection to your gunline and to finish of any unit surviving the storm of lead.

Gunline armies are not the most exciting to play, as movement is what makes (pre-8th edition) Warhammer great. The more cavalry and combat-infantry you'll include, the more exciting it'll get. None the less, a gunline army can be very thematic.

I hope this is of use to you.

Last edited by Tha Tall One; 10-21-14 at 09:41 PM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-14, 10:45 AM
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I will agree with most of the points raised, although i debate the necessity of a huge infantry block, especially if that infantry is as crap as empire state troops, and especially in a shooting army. Magic though is a near must have, to help with dispels (a level 4 wizard lord with a dispel scroll is pretty decent antimagic for honestly very cheap, compared to other wizards). If you are worried bout thematics, you could take a 'spymaster' diviner of the celestial college, to represent major hogan, or an 'engineer' metal college practitioner.

In regards to units, you are going to be dealing damage by shooting. That means you are going to need as much time to shoot as possible. In 8th, they remove marchblocking, which used to be a major plus. Now, Small units of cheap core knights to suicide into enemy fast movers, redirecting suicide cavalry as well.

You cannot take too many as they are fairly expensive - a unit of cavalry costs as much as a cannon after all, or nearly a unit and a half of handgunners.

Rockets, and Stone throwers in general are not particularly brilliant in this edition, but they can do okay - Still s3/4 shots, despite sometimes hitting upwards of a dozen still only do half that number of wounds at best, and of those, some are either saved, or do a load of damage to a really crappy unit like goblins or whatever.

It would never be competitive - move or fire bs3 with 24" range means that most of the time they are hitting on 5's, and are outranged by things like fast cavalry longbows (such as Glade Riders), and other fast units which can avoid firing arcs or only take minimal numbers of shooting turns, like warhawk riders, spirit hosts, fellbats/carrion, fast cavalry.

Now, if you are playing against an army that is fielding 3 big blocks of heavy infantry, and walking into the gunfire then that is to be expected for them to lose - if you do enough damage of course. But the current meta on the internet is shifting into avoidance lists - where there is rarely any combat unless one side makes a mistake and isolates a unit, and honestly, Empire can do okay with replicating that as Pistoliers, hurricanums, and skirmishing archers dot around the battlefield. To counter it, the best thing to rely on is crossbowmen - 30" range is a big one.



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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-14, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Really appreciate the feedback guys thanks, as a non fantasy player (just yet) its interesting to know regular players thoughts on my future units, its been a great eye opener thankyou.

The thematics of my force is of great importance to me with this army build and again, thankyou for some great tips with that in mind, the 'Major Hogan' character and the plug bayonets are fantastic ideas which ill definitely incorporate, plus ill look further into the captain / general options.

Master engineers are a obvious choice ( that somehow i completely missed ) to complement my artillery.

The magic phase is something i hadnt considered, tho ill bow to your knowlwege of the game and add a mage somewhere, try and hide him in some near by woods or something to not disrupt my theme haha.

Being competitive for me is by no means tournament standard, just so i can give my opponent a worthwhile game, hopefully that should be the case.

Thanks again
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-14, 09:20 PM
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Sadly shooting heavy is the exact opposite of a worthwhile game

You turn up, deploy. Roll some dice for a couple of turns. If by end of Turn 3 there are till models alive on the opponents side, you shake his hand, congratulate him on his win, then pack up.

As a woodelf and former dwarf gunline player, that says a lot, both of whom do gunlines better than empire. It is an awesome theme, and just removing dozens of models for turn and turn isn't fun for him, or for you eventually.



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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-14, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
Sadly shooting heavy is the exact opposite of a worthwhile game

You turn up, deploy. Roll some dice for a couple of turns. If by end of Turn 3 there are till models alive on the opponents side, you shake his hand, congratulate him on his win, then pack up.

As a woodelf and former dwarf gunline player, that says a lot, both of whom do gunlines better than empire. It is an awesome theme, and just removing dozens of models for turn and turn isn't fun for him, or for you eventually.
I do intend on my cavalry (lancers) having a big part to play, having gained a little gaming experience alately i completely get your point about just deploying and rolling dice being very poor game play, for both sides.

Plus, bayonet charging infantry should provide hand to hand shananigans.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-15, 06:34 AM
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an option to keep in the theme would be model up a big block of handgunners with bayonets and treat them as spearmen. maybe make them look torn up like they've been in a fight and have spent all there ammo.

Master engineers are also a viable, and in theme element, and if your willing to go the Steampunk, say fantasy british empire, then you could get away with wizard modeled right.

note: if you see me giving tactical advice: just assume i have a internet tab open to 1d4 chan and I'm summarizing off of that.

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