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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:16 am 
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Let's just pretend for a second the errata rules our way and that we ASF with Great Weapons.
Let's also pretend the Woodsman special rule will turn into Strider.

Which one will benefit in this new Ed? Since we get 2 ranks to attack in.. a unit of say.. 24x (in 6x4) will get..

White Lions - 13 WS5 I5 attacks at S6.
Sword Masters - 19 WS6 I5 attacks at S5.

Let's pretend for now they all get re-rolls to hit.

White Lions are better vs shooting and can be made pretty beefy with Caradryan giving them MR3. And Stubborn is sick in the new rules.
The Sword Masters.. eh.. doesn't benefit as much from a character, or from the banners. Although, both units can take that new Standard of Blades, which gives them armor piercing chop chop chop.

Thoughts?

NOTE: I intentionally skipped the Phoenix Guard because we all know they're going to rock anyway. Keep this discussion focused on White Lions vs. Sword Masters.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:53 am 
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out of every unit in our arsenal, swordmasters really got the ugliest end of this edition. their multi attacks aren't fully utilized in ranks, the step-up and multi-ranks-of-attacks rules will give retal to their attacks that they can't defend against, and the new rules for template attacks definitely need you to have more ranged protection. sm's have little to none of that.

sure, the white lions are just as vulnerable in cc but at least white lions can use their strider rule to get a better chance to flank and force down a single rank of retal.

either way, both units are unfortunately lacking in this edition but swordmasters definitely have it worse


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:38 am 
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I was under the same impression until I got to thinking - are all our opponents going to be so many ranks deeps that we will face a big barrage in return, and even if they are big, will they still be once the lines meet after taking a good dose of magic and shooting.
Of course it's a two way shooting/magic range, which is where as said, white lions shine a little brighter, though we all know who does more in close combat so I'm thinking it evens out.
I'll likely be pushing my spears up front with elites in tow, and spears supported by chariots and characters, using swordmasters to clean up combats, and white lions to deal with cav/monsters and utilize terrain.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:44 am 
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I think it simply changes their role to support unit killers rather than taking on an infantry block to the front. I figure I'll use white lions with flaming attacks 7 wide and go to town!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:57 am 
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It definitely suits the White Lions to hack down big beasties with flaming attacks - of course ill roll ones to hit, reroll 2's for the most part and then ones to wound.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:47 am 
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If we can't get the full benefit of two ranks of SMs, we may have to start calculating if we can get away with using a single rank to confront our opponents and hit them on multiple axis. Also, it might cut down on possible casualties from templates, though whether this is viable approach is left to be seen.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:44 am 
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I actually thought about that and tried rolling in a hypothetical siutuation against units of 40 or 50 empire infantry or and goblins: a 12 model wide SM unit (12 to maximize agains 10 wide horde units) of 180/200 points and having ASF (I didn't even count the rerolls) hol the line. Although they slowly dwindled in numbers, didn't even have to roll once for breaking, as they won with overwhelming numbers, notwithstanding the high number of enemy attacks and ranks. The hypothetical enemy had to rolls everal times on their, usually mediore leadership, and broke several times. In short: one unit of SM usually defeated an enemy horde unit of equal or higher points within several turns.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:49 am 
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grantmepower wrote:
I figure I'll use white lions with flaming attacks 7 wide and go to town!

I've had mine 5x3 more or less sacrificing killing power for stickability. I'm now sorely tempted to go 7x2.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:01 am 
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Aerendar Valandil wrote:
I actually thought about that and tried rolling in a hypothetical siutuation against units of 40 or 50 empire infantry or and goblins: a 12 model wide SM unit (12 to maximize agains 10 wide horde units) of 180/200 points and having ASF (I didn't even count the rerolls) hol the line. Although they slowly dwindled in numbers, didn't even have to roll once for breaking, as they won with overwhelming numbers, notwithstanding the high number of enemy attacks and ranks. The hypothetical enemy had to rolls everal times on their, usually mediore leadership, and broke several times. In short: one unit of SM usually defeated an enemy horde unit of equal or higher points within several turns.


How many wounds were the Swordmasters taking back? If its 10 wide its fighting in 3 ranks, seeing as theres 40-50 of them thats granting stepping up to attack back and you should be taking a minimum of 30 attacks, in which case the Swordmasters would be cut down to a man, no?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:35 am 
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How many wounds were the Swordmasters taking back? If its 10 wide its fighting in 3 ranks, seeing as theres 40-50 of them thats granting stepping up to attack back and you should be taking a minimum of 30 attacks, in which case the Swordmasters would be cut down to a man, no?


In the end, yes, assuming the opponent never fails his morale check. However, most horde units have a leadership that isn't that brilliant even with stubborn, and it usually took at least three or four combat rounds before the SM's lost - that is, several potential faled break tests. In my test I didn't include heroes or banners (on both sides), although I did include a champ.

Note that SM's can bring about in the first turn 25 attacks, hitting first, usually hitting on a 3+, rerolling, wounding on 2+, and no save at the other side, which results in the elimination of a full rank of 10 or significantly more per combat round. Within 2 or three combat rounds, it will be difficult for the opponent to have two full ranks left, limiting extra attacks and perhaps even losing stubborn. In addition, with to hut on 4+, wound on 3+ and a 5+ save to pass, SM casualties were low, often a mere handfull. In short: elves get killed, it is hardly without ristk and rolling well during the first round is crucial, but a relatively small unit can take on a horde unit of comparable of greater cost and win in the end. To turn that around, the opponent must invest more in rank and file (at 40-60 points per rank!), or include costly characters, a battlestandard or magic items. And even the victory is not secured.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:58 am 
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The idea being to neutralize, though not necessarily overcome, the horde factor using a min-max equation; nor would I have left them completely isolated, since I would have tried to send support units like chariots and other SMs to attack the flanks; the basic idea is to allow us to spread out our units and be able to choose our schwerpunkt without unduly worrying that another part of the line will break before it can be supported.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:14 am 
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Exactly, Dr. Watson!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:47 am 
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First, all of my views on SM and WL are based on SoA allowing full ASF for these units. If this ends up not to be the case, my views on them change to simply “relegated to supporting roles except for friendly games”.

I think that the analysis of 1x12, 2x7, and 3x5 just demonstrates how important including a musician in the unit really is. Clearly, being able to freely reform at various times in the game will be very useful. For me the optimum SM unit in 8th is likely to be a unit of 14 models with FC, Standard of Balance, and ToL. This unit is a real powerhouse. Supporting units for a SM unit includes a Lore of Life mage and units that can assist with a fast flank charge (interestingly, SH may be good enough for this duty with their ASF re-rolls).

With the WL I see them being more of a 3x5 to 2x7 formation type unit as they gain nothing by widening their formation to a single rank. This of course means that they will see fewer attacks back as compared to the single rank SM unit and this combined with their natural stubbornness, they will hang around for some time. For WL I see their unit size being 14 or 15 models with FC, Lion Standard/+1 Ld Banner, and AoL. With WL supporting units are SM (consider the effect of a SM unit getting a charge into the flank), fast moving flanking units, a Lore of Life mage (no surprises here), and the BSB.

Now for the tough question, which one do you take when you have a choice? I would likely take SM over WL due to their lower point cost per attack. For larger games though, I would likely take one unit of each instead of two units of SM.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:24 pm 
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I think I might go with 7 wide white lions in 2 ranks and a flaming banner. Its not cheap compared to a 2000 point game but with all the new toys I think people will just WANT to go up a thousand.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:45 pm 
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WarpPhoenix wrote:
I think I might go with 7 wide white lions in 2 ranks and a flaming banner. Its not cheap compared to a 2000 point game but with all the new toys I think people will just WANT to go up a thousand.


Sounds good. I believe I heard that flaming attacks cause fear as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:59 pm 
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Bolt Thrower wrote:
WarpPhoenix wrote:
I think I might go with 7 wide white lions in 2 ranks and a flaming banner. Its not cheap compared to a 2000 point game but with all the new toys I think people will just WANT to go up a thousand.


Sounds good. I believe I heard that flaming attacks cause fear as well.


Only to Cavalry, Monsters and Chariots.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:13 pm 
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One thing to keep in mind is that the average number of wounds inflicted on Swordmasters/White Lions by your average horde profile is pretty low. Most units with "average" statlines, and fighting in 3 ranks with spears, are still only causing a couple of wounds a turn which isn't that terrible. Yes, we're squishy, but since most horde opponents have a 50% chance of hitting SM/WLs, then a 50% chance of wounding them, that already chops the damage number down in a significant way.

Also, elite infantry will do a lot of damage, but so will SM/WLs. The real question will be who can afford to take those casualties, and who can provide the most support. I expect that Chaos Warriors are just as nervous at the prospect of fighting White Lions as the WLs are at fighting Chaos Warriors.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:12 pm 
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Well, Sword Masters actually flee in combat whereas White Lions say, I don't care and swing back with 11 next turn.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:58 pm 
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Fear the cheap Spearmen Horde. 40 attacks, 20 hits, 10 wounds, save 3 = 7 dead Swordmasters. Sort of. Personally I think it best for Elite Infantry to minimize their frontage against Hordes. They'll be paying for attacks they can't use and you'll be using those points to slap them in the flank.

Elite Infantry should always fear Elite Infantry. Nothings changed there

I'm convinced Swordmasters are the 2nd tier Elite choice for the Asur now. Like my beloved Chaos Warriors, paying for an attack you can't use from the 2nd rank blows. I always liked the Phoenix Guard just as well, better now, anyway


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:35 am 
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Dracos wrote:
Fear the cheap Spearmen Horde. 40 attacks, 20 hits, 10 wounds, save 3 = 7 dead Swordmasters.
While this may be true of SM it is equally true for WL. This difference is that the WL will be killing fewer spears per round and as a result the WL will be eliminated quicker.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:41 am 
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Ill probably (barring major changes) always view Swordmasters as a unit that is designed to hold the line for a bit in a sticky situation, or to disrupt the enemies' advance, not a main combat unit, such as WL. Swordmasters became slightly more potent in a flanking role, but I wouldnt want a big block of them in the middle of my line. Not too crazy about WL doing that either (like to bait enemy into forests) but WL are much more capable and suited to it. So, as in the 7th, which one is better is determined by how you will use them.

Cant wait for Luna's answer.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:02 am 
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Although our elites will die, White Lions will stay in the fight when SM will run.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:44 am 
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This edition is supposed to be speeded up - we're real good at this.

After placating Murphy, we probably have to think in combo terms, easy to do if presented with a fat unmanouevreable block.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:40 am 
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Foxbat wrote:
First, all of my views on SM and WL are based on SoA allowing full ASF for these units. If this ends up not to be the case, my views on them change to simply “relegated to supporting roles except for friendly games”.

I think that the analysis of 1x12, 2x7, and 3x5 just demonstrates how important including a musician in the unit really is. Clearly, being able to freely reform at various times in the game will be very useful. For me the optimum SM unit in 8th is likely to be a unit of 14 models with FC, Standard of Balance, and ToL. This unit is a real powerhouse. Supporting units for a SM unit includes a Lore of Life mage and units that can assist with a fast flank charge (interestingly, SH may be good enough for this duty with their ASF re-rolls).

With the WL I see them being more of a 3x5 to 2x7 formation type unit as they gain nothing by widening their formation to a single rank. This of course means that they will see fewer attacks back as compared to the single rank SM unit and this combined with their natural stubbornness, they will hang around for some time. For WL I see their unit size being 14 or 15 models with FC, Lion Standard/+1 Ld Banner, and AoL. With WL supporting units are SM (consider the effect of a SM unit getting a charge into the flank), fast moving flanking units, a Lore of Life mage (no surprises here), and the BSB.

Now for the tough question, which one do you take when you have a choice? I would likely take SM over WL due to their lower point cost per attack. For larger games though, I would likely take one unit of each instead of two units of SM.

This basically how I think as well. In my army Swordmasters will be a flanker and a hammer. The White Lions will be a battle line unit with, probably the +1 Ld banner. Then I'll have a spear unit with a BSB in it to complete the main line. Then Chariots, DPs and a medium unit of Sea Guards and some arhcers will support them.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:35 pm 
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My early theory is to run several units of single rank Swordmasters. I'm just not sure how wide to go. 7 would be the minimum, but 12 wide sounds good sometimes. Either way, the idea to maximize everyone getting two attacks to inflict maximum damage. Throw the first unit into an enemy and fully expect them to die, but trust they'll put some hurt out first. Then the enemy runs into the second unit and hopefully is down a rank, meaning kills may reduce their attacks back a little bit. Even if the second Swordmaster unit dies, the third should be able to shred them.

My main concern with single rank Swordmasters is protecting them from things that are *not* infantry. Monsters would obliterate them and something like chaos knights would probably take them out too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:34 pm 
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Fourteen may be the magic number, but units spread out a little more widely; enemy commits horde, bears down on single file unit, companion SMs on either flank lay in two ranks and neutralize rank bonus.

We'll have to see if that's workable.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Swordmasters 7 strong. Man even bad shooting armies will make that a red mist on the battlefield Turn 1, 2 max


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Dracos wrote:
Swordmasters 7 strong. Man even bad shooting armies will make that a red mist on the battlefield Turn 1, 2 max


maybe but then they spent some firepower on a unit that costs like 105points ;) and your other units will survive better equipped to deal with stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:46 pm 
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wouldnt it be better to take 2 ranks of SMs now that the second rank can attack?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:08 pm 
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I'm gonna Enjoy using my big unit of 3x7 White Lions in 8th Ed. (finally a usage for all my modells.)
While the unit is alittle big, I like my units to be able to take some casualties and still attack with full strenght in close combat.

I'm afraid I'm rarely gonna use Swordmasters in 8th Ed. I've always preferred White Lions for their nifty specialrules and 8th Ed. will add to the favour of the White Lions when Swordmasters will only gain 50% attacks when White Lions 'gain' 100%. (14+7 compared to 7+7). I'll always consider 15 S6 attacks at WS5 to be superior to 21 S5 attacks at WS6, and when you add in Stubborn, Forestwalker and a better save against shooting, that seals the deal for me.
(I also prefer the WL modells over the SM's.)


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