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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i have been looking at alot of empire army lists and i always see these guys as detachments hardly ever parent units?

is there a specific reason for this the pros for me of the halberds outrank that of a swordsman. we are hitting on 4+ with most of our core choices anyway so that ws4 to me becomes a bit pointless where as a group of str4 halberds with shields for the same price seems pretty tasty considering they can now fight in two ranks!

so basicaly am i missing something here for me being able to hit on a 4+ and usually wound on a 4+ is better than a 4+ 5+

obviously theres the fact of initiative but were usually hitting last anyway ...?
 

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Halberds don't affect initiative, so I guess it's whether you want to do damage or survive.

WS4 doesn't just affect what you hit on, it also determines how easy it is for the enemy to hit you. Being hit on 4s is much more preferable to being hit on 3s. Swordmen will also get the 6+ Ward save from the Hand weapon and shield that Halberdiers won't.

On the other hand, Halberdiers wound T4 on 4s, rather than 5s, and T3 on 3s, rather than 4s, which is a major improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
see thats what i was thinking perhaps my next blob unit will be some halberds ill let you know if they fair better lol
 

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With swordsmen you get a better armour save, higher init (more likely to hit first) better ws but a little less strength, So you are more likely to survive and hurt cheap weak troops but any well armoured elite stuff will laugh at you.
With halberdiers you've got lower ws, st ,Init and very little armour for 1 pt of st against anything but dwarfs/ saurus and undead they will get splattered all over the battlefield.
 

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Halberdiers as mainly used as flanks because they cant really fight to the front. only a 6+
to defend them, and though they are str 4 the low I, WS means that swordsmen are an all around better choice. So throw them in as a detachment, when something you need str 4 to kill shows up you have them. But when your fighting crappy weak enemy units your halberds have little worth.
 

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Someone at my local game shop plays Halberdiers, he uses them in a horde. Now I'm not saying you should do that as well but I've noticed that they can quite hurt anything that attacks their front, considering it aren't elite troops, if they are with a decent amount (around 25). Their weakness though is their flank. When flanked they almost die instantly, but as long as they can claim supporting attacks they are quite worth it. (And yes, his horde died because of skaven clanrats charging in the flank, no rank bonus and only 4 models that could hit back, go go ratties I'd say)
 

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well that was all rather unacceptable- hijacking a post with an agressive off-topic argument which is a whisker from being an all out flame war is not something we're really looking for on heresy. The OP wants to know about the tactics behind halberds and as detatchment options; either stay on that or give well reasoned arguments about why another infantfry type would make a better choice instead.
1-2 quick comments as banter might be alright... but 7 posts later I dont expect a row to still be going; that is far over the line.
- T/S


Right, and with that I get to actually post on-topic.

I think the use halberds being used as detachment is mostly just a hang-over from 7th ed: having a unit such as swordsmen as the main unit meant that if the enemy charged them then their higher WS would make most enemies hit on a 4+ rather then a 3+ (a lot of infantry in the game are WS4) and then the increases armour of the swordsmen meant that they would take less wounds... meanwhile the halberdiers got in a flank charge on the enemy and so would strike first with stronger attacks, getting relatively few attacks back.
So the use of halberdiers was mainly because while they did more damage then anything else on the charge, they were much less able to take the damage that was directed their way if they didnt charge...

In 8th I dont think that halberdiers will be all that useful other then as hoard units. As detachments they are still useful, but the enemy will often hit them first with a relatively large number of attacks, so their fragility will be much more of a problem.
Personally I tend to agree with Vaz that greatswords are a much better choice of combat infantry with shooty units or knights filling up the core requirement... but that doesnt mean that spearmen/swordsmen/halberdiers are useless. I've seen hoards of spearmen and halberdiers used with success and Im sure that detchments flanking the enemy will still be incredibly helpful, although I would expect most people to move towords swordsmen simply to keep more of them alive for longer and keep those enemy units disrupted through multiple rounds of combat.
 

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The advantage of the Halberd is two fold for Empire Troops as a staple choice. In any review of our three staple core block choices, halberds, sword or spear you will find each has their own supporters and detractors.

However the benefit of the Halberd is as follows as most people have eluded too here. Its the added Str of the swing without the I penalty that Great Weapons suffer.

The detachment system itself lends to an anvil style block in general. You have two choices, advance with them and catch a unit or stand still and invite the unit to your halberd, spear or sword points. The detachment system works by keeping two units close enough to either present another target OR to become the flanker itself for an attack. If the opponent attacks your block the flanker hits the side, if he goes for the flanker unit you could either block and then smack him with the main unit or flee with them so that they are now lined up perfectly for the charge.

I have found Free Company to be the best close combat style detachment to use in about a group of 15, so you can suffer a few losses and still be a flanker worthy of doing damage. As for the main block of troops to use, I tend to think the Halberd is better. Its a fact of the game that Empire State Troopers no matter what they are are fairly expendable, a ward save or parry save for me is not worth it on such cannon fodder, I would rather be striking back with superior strength. When you look at the more elite armies out there that Empire face (DE, WOC, Demons, Beastmen in some forms,) The extra point of strength is usually more useful than the save. I have resigned myself to the fact I will suffer casualties as Empire in the State Troop corps, so you compensate with numbers.

If the Halberdiers have a detachment of Free Company and a detachment of Handgunners you are covering a lot of ground fairly cheaply and effectively, with a decent character like a priest or a good support wizard with spells, your halberds become even better.

In general though.... the three choices you have all are ok, none are terrible for their use as outlined above. I just personally feel that strength 4 gives you so much more ability for a cheap unit than either a save or the extra from spears.

From a fluff perspective, every standing Counts army is under orders to maintain a unit of Halberdiers. Whether or not this influences you is up to you as well. The only thing I will say though..... THEY ARE THE WORST TO LINE UP IN REGIMENTS!!!!!! I spent hours putting them together then had to change them and move things etc..... the sword and shield option is always the easiest.... hmmm I need 10 wide by 5 deep and I am gluing them all tonight option!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sorry for the late reply but have been away playing with swords all weekend... :)

how was the block of halberd you made did they all go in unison? and yes its swung it for me alot i am going to try it soon in a game with a nice horde of say 40 ? as i saw them really come into there own even just at 10 strong! ill probly mix it up a bit and ill purchase some free company soon enough

thanks for all your replies :)
 
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