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Rebuilding my 1K Easterling Army

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:52 am
by BaronDeSade
Hello All,

Finished painting some models this morning and have used my experience with the new rules to see what works well in the ol' Easterling army and what doesn't. One thing I can say is that I don't like Easterling Archers, and having half of my warband full of 'em does NOT work for me.

Anyso, this, to me is what a great Easterling warband looks like, and the first part of my 1K force is to have three of them

1st rank includes: Easterling Captain on foot with Halberd (Why does the Khandish Chieftain cost 5 points more when all he does is trade a point of Fight for a point of Defense. Shouldn't they cost the same?) This is a solid leader and the Easterling Halberd is more useful now in the new rules. I don't want to put him on an armored horse as I think that those are too expensive.

1st rank also includes: 2 Easterling Warriors on each flank and 2 Khandish Axemen in the center. Armor on the sides and fighting power in the center. 2-handed piercing strike can break through just about any armor.

2nd rank: 4 Easterling Pikemen. Since spears and pikes can now support models attacking with two-handed weapons, the Pikemen are very useful to support either the Axemen or the Easterling Captain.

3rd rank: 4 Khandish Horsemen for missile fire that can move along with the infantry and still shoot, knockdowns, piercing strikes and general fighting skill.

These warbands are self-contained armies that can fight, shoot or move as needed. The three of them cost only 510 points together and make up 39 models, so they could be slightly adjusted to also work in a 500 point game by replacing a couple of horsemen with cheaper models.

Next up, command group!

Re: Rebuilding my 1K Easterling Army

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:02 pm
by Smeagol
I'm not sure placing the axemen up front is a wise idea. Of course missile fire is a whole lot less effective than it was so maybe it'll work for you. Trapping those soft warriors isn't a good idea though. Placing them in the center pretty much guarantees they die if they lose combat while backed up by two pikes.

Otherwise this formation/warband design is pretty close to what you've already been using.

Re: Rebuilding my 1K Easterling Army

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:44 pm
by BaronDeSade
Axemen need to go up front if they are ever going to be used, I've found. Trapping myself? Pshaw, I do not intend for the Cav to be pressed into the front two ranks; they will be in the "third rank" in the sense that they will be behind the first two ranks of infantry where they can shoot but have a protective layer of men in front of them, and then when combat is engaged they can charge around either flank of the warband to attack the enemy. That has worked well in the past, especially as I cannot guarantee that terrain will allow me to line all three of my fighting warbands next to each other in an unbroken rank.

Moving right along to the HQ warband, this is where I put the models that boost the army as a whole, but need to be protected. In their position behind the three main warbands, they can use their bonuses with little fear of retaliation. In a more "historical" army, this is where I would place the army's general, but there isn't really a compelling reason to do that for the Easterlings, as the LD bonus created by the War-Priest excells anything anyone else, including Khamul, could create.

All in one rank:

Easterling War Priest, Kataphrakt with Banner, Kataphrakt with War Drums and three standard Kataphrakts.

This warband is expensive, almost two hundred points, and small, which is why it begins the game behind the main fighting line (and if it begins the game in a random spot, it uses its horses and its war-drums to quickly move to a defensible position. Even so, these models create very useful effects in the army as a whole. The War-Priest is a big gamble, it is true, but his benefits are amazing. A banner, if it does nothing else, is worth scenario points in "To The Death." The war-drums are very useful for making contact quickly, and especially useful for the scenario "Reconnoitre." Aside from their function as bodyguards, the Kataphrakts are fast enough to react to developments on the battlefield, acting to exploit an opening or plug a gap with their large base-size.

Last, flanking warbands.

Re: Rebuilding my 1K Easterling Army

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:51 am
by BaronDeSade
To finish up my army, I'll create a warband whose main purpose is flanking/ blocking a flank, since my combat warbands would be in a lot of trouble if they were to be flanked. Alternatively, if I can put pressure on an enemy's flank, it's a good thing. Also, it is almost always a benefit to have more warriors on the field. The one downside of the Easterlings, though, is that they don't have any troops cheaper than 8 points (unless you want to spend a lot of time carving shields off of warrior models) so with only about 300 points left, I can't field two more full warbands. So, instead of two flanking warbands, I'll take one and some army upgrades.

Captain Tai-Shan on armored horse with bow will lead the flanking force, as he is the true hero of my army :wink: !
8 Easterling Warriors with shields can last a long time in melee, although not as long as they used to, because of piercing strikes.

After some brutal beatings at the hands of the Goblin King and a troll or two, Tim has correctly divined that monsters are going to be a big deal in the new rules-set. Sadly, there are no monsters native to the Easterling list (unless you count chariots, but Tim also suffered when he sent a chariot up against a troll, so I think that we would both agree that chariots are a weak substitue for monsters.) Instead of monsters, then, I'll take some models useful against monsters and also the wizardly-types that Tim is using with his Dunlendings as anti-monster troops (which I expect to see more of, as monsters become more popular.)

Khamul the Easterling on an Armored Horse is terribly expensive and, I would argue, the weakest of the Nine (despite the fluff that has him as second in command.) However, he can Transfix monsters or Sap Will enemy wizards, and his status as an Easterling gives him the benefits of the War-Priest's Fury spell. He's a couple of more Might in the army and the Harbinger of Evil rule is useful in the end game. He can even fight...if he has to, so I don't mind bringing him along.

The last model in my army is the Castellan of Dol Guldur. Given that he is virtually fearless and nearly indestructable, he will have no problem facing down an enemy monster, while his Morgul Blade makes him a real threat in return. Given his enormous store of Will, he can pretty much ignore the chicanery of conjurers-of-cheap-tricks as well. While he is not native to the Easterling list, Khamul the Easterling was the commander of the fortress of Dol Guldur, thus commander of the Castellans, blah blah blah. Sometimes, it is also useful to have a single-model drop so that one can see how the foe is setting up his army before committing one's own forces.

That finishes the list at 999 points with 56 models, which is not a large amount, but with the majority of my army being D6, it should be able to stick around for a while.



Re: Rebuilding my 1K Easterling Army

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:09 pm
by Smeagol
So why are you using infantry as flankers when your cavalry would make a better force for this. In fact that's how you explained the inclusion of cavalry in your center was to use them as flanking elements.

Khamûl sucks. Put him on a fell beast and there is your wizard monster.

Re: Rebuilding my 1K Easterling Army

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:35 pm
by BaronDeSade
I'm using infantry because cavalry is too obvious and expensive and weak against infantry. Remember the game against your Dwarf Rangers, where you just turned your elite unit to face my cavalry? I might as well not have bothered.

Yes, my cavalry behind the battle line are used as flankers, on a local basis, but my three warbands aren't wide enough to cover the whole table, so that's why I have a "strategic" flankers warband.

I didn't put Khamul on a Fell Beast for a couple of reasons, but mainly I don't really want him in combat because it drains his Will (even with Essence Leech) and leaves him open to counterattack and if he gets killed in the first half of the game I can't use his Harbinger of Evil in the end game. You're also right that he sucks, which is why I don't want to spend a lot of points upgrading him! :wink:

Re: Rebuilding my 1K Easterling Army

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:58 pm
by Smeagol
If Khamûl is not leading a warband why not substitute him with a generic wraith or the Knight of Unmbar. Or the Dark Marshal for that matter.