Thoughts on Swordmasters of Hoeth (Warhammer Armies Project)

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Tethlis
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Thoughts on Swordmasters of Hoeth (Warhammer Armies Project)

#1 Post by Tethlis »

I'm undecided on whether or not I like Swordmasters in Warhammer Armies Project. Their advantages and disadvantages are about the same as they've ever been, but they also come with some very interesting buffs/nerfs as a result of WAP's specific rules. Let's look:

Pros:
-WS6, 2 Attacks. Obviously quite good. WS6 not only gives them an edge vs fairly common WS5 elite options, but means a buff like Valor of Ages can get them to WS7 (WS3 needs 5+ to hit) or even WS9 with luck (WS4 means 5+ to hit.) This is a great defensive asset.
-Ignore Initiative penalties for great weapons. This is obviously great, since Initiative 6 means they'll be attacking before almost all opponents out there, hitting hard in the first round, and able to take great advantage of debuffs on the opponent like Always Strikes Last.
-Gain Dodge 6+ against missile attacks. This is particularly great, since you can stack it with other Ward Save effects to making them very durable against ranged threats.
-Proper heavy armor. Every point helps, and this gives them some nice resilience against Strength 4 and less. It's a notable advantage over the Medium Armor of White Lions.

Cons:
-Great weapon nerfs: with Great weapons only being +1 Strength after the first round of combat, Swordmasters drop down to a rather pitiful Strength 4 in subsequent rounds of combat. This is borderline unplayable for me, since Strength 4 really isn't impressive relative to how fragile Swordmasters are.
-No staying power: White Lions are Stubborn, and can get to a 5+ Ward in combat with zero help from High Magic. Phoenix Guard obviously among the most durable infantry in the game. It's thematic that you want a High Mage with your Swordmasters to boost up their Ward Save, but they lack the staying power of the other 2. Dangerous.

This is a tough one. I've been defaulting to Lions and Phoenix Guard, because Swordmasters just feel like a liability to me. Lions have a great toolchest of options thanks to their different stances (+1 to Ward, Killing Blow vs various monstrous enemies, confer Always Strikes Last to the enemy for a great debuff.) Phoenix Guard obviously speak for themselves. Lions at least remain at Strength 5 in subsequent rounds, which is still respectable against hardened targets like heavy cavalry.

Anything I'm missing? Have other players had much luck?

SpellArcher
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Re: Thoughts on Swordmasters of Hoeth (Warhammer Armies Project)

#2 Post by SpellArcher »

Tethlis wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:16 pm
It's thematic that you want a High Mage with your Swordmasters to boost up their Ward Save, but they lack the staying power
This reminds me of why Seredain switched from Swordmasters to Phoenix Guard in 8th. Most of the time the SM's (with Shield of Saphery) could raise a respectable Ward save but it demanded you cast almost exclusively from that unit. It also could break down at times, for example against the monster dispelling phase that Slann could bring. The PG in contrast were always at least 4++ and usually 3++.
Tethlis wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:16 pm
Swordmasters drop down to a rather pitiful Strength 4 in subsequent rounds of combat.
A main combat unit has to be able to grind.

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Tethlis
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Re: Thoughts on Swordmasters of Hoeth (Warhammer Armies Project)

#3 Post by Tethlis »

Thanks SpellArcher. Good input, and I agree.

Warhammer Armies Project did an interesting thing: Ward Saves now combine, in the same way as armor. Swordmasters in WAP come with a built-in 6++ versus missile attacks (their old Parry Missiles rule.) All Elves now have a 6++ Dodge in close combat too, similar to a parry save from using a hand weapon and shield. This means that Swordmasters are already starting out at 6++, which is quite good when combined with Shield of Saphery.

Phoenix Guard lose a bit of advantage here, because Ward Saves are maxxed at 4++. Shield of Saphery does nothing for them. This is nice because it means they don't depend on Shield of Saphery to get better, but it also means they have less synergy with High Magic.

Pretty interesting stuff overall. Lions and Swordmasters definitely benefit from a High Mage in a big way.

Ramesesis
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Re: Thoughts on Swordmasters of Hoeth (Warhammer Armies Project)

#4 Post by Ramesesis »

Still, heavy armour and 4+ ward is so good.

It is true SM and WL benefit from.a mage with high magic but I am rather reluctant putting mage in a unit that I want to fight as much as possible.

Ramesesis
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Re: Thoughts on Swordmasters of Hoeth (Warhammer Armies Project)

#5 Post by Ramesesis »

Still, heavy armour and 4+ ward is so good.

It is true SM and WL benefit from.a mage with high magic but I am rather reluctant putting mage in a unit that I want to fight as much as possible.

But against other infantry two strength 4 attacks ain't that bad. Also with a Loremaster among them that can buff them I think swordies have a use.

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