One of the more common questions I receive is about how to choose the units
for an army.
It is always difficult to tell which units to choose, because tactics and
composition are dependent of each other. One player might be very successful
with an army composition and a different player might not be able to win
a single game with the same army. Still there are some basic guidelines which
help to get you started. Please note that those guidelines are for
beginners and that as soon as you get comfortable with the rules, units and
tactics, you will not need them anymore and probably compose your armies
in a way quite opposite to them.
About Units (i.e. everything none character)
- Have about 10 units per 1000 points (this will usually lead to no or
only one (small) monster in a 1k army). This will give you an reasonable
breakpoint and also enables you to have 2 to 4 task forces (a brigade with
a purpose so to say).
- Decide on your units with brigades (task forces) in mind.
- Buy at least one ordinary infantry per missile infantry unit. Build
brigades consisting of missile and ordinary infantry. Putting the missiles
in a line (so all of them can shoot) at the front and the ordinary
infantry in the second line supporting the missile infantry. This
increases the half-life (half-unlife for Undead) of your infantry.
- Usually it is not a mistake to choose some artillery (except if you play
chaos than you are cheating). It is favorable to have a battery of
artillery (that can stand and shoot) between two units of missile infantry
backed up by ordinary infantry. I.e. If you have a battery of cannons
between two units of crossbowmen each backed up by a unit of halberdiers
and the cannons are charged, by anything other than a single stand of
20x40 mm size, you will have 10 shots with stand and shoot plus a support
of at least 4. The attacker can try to reduce this to 7 shots and 2 or 3
support, but that's still much better than having the cannons charged
- Have one striking force per 1000 points. A striking force has between 2
and 4 units that can deal a blow. Like 4 units of Knights or 2 units of
chariots or a mixture of Chaos Hounds and Chaos Knights. You have to take
out some enemy units eventually and that are the guys to do it.
- Have something (preferably fast) to block your opponents units or harass
kind of cavalry (preferably with ranged weapons) or fliers are perfect
choices for that.
- Have at least one unit per 1000 points that you are ready to sacrifice. These can
be part of any of the above or a completely new entry. This units main
purpose it to draw missile fire and being bait to lure enemies to charge
or to protect a unit from an unwanted charge.
Characters (i.e. everything none none character)
- Buy your General an Orb of Majesty. Often there is a decisive charge and
you can bet that you will fail the command roll when you need it
- If you play a small game (1k) and you have a General with a command
value of 10, don't take any other character. For the points saved you get
one or two units which are more useful, as your General can control the
army without any help.
- As a rule of thumb choose one character per 4 units. A General with
Command of 10 counting as 3 characters with command of 9 as 2 and with
command of 8 as 1 character.
- Don't use a sorcerer on a 1k game except if you have some cunning plan
or play Undead.
- Buy an Orb of Majesty for your General. See above.
- Only buy other magic items if you have some points left which you can not
buy a unit from. Favorites of mine are the Ring of Magic and the
Scroll of Dispelling for Sorcerers and the Sword of Might and Sword of Fate for Heroes.
The magic items are quite expensive compared to what units do. They still
have their uses and for certain tasks, they are better suited than
units. But you have to plan your moves around that, something I would not
advise to do in the first few games.
This is a 1k sample Empire army following the guideline above.
||General with Orb of Majesty
||2 Missile and
||2 ordinary Infantry units
||Striking or Blocking