Jump to content
Bhelliom

Spearmen General

Recommended Posts

Alright, let's talk about our favourite (edit: melee!) infantry! Please note, I'll be looking at unreleased content here.

So, first thing's first - if you're looking for a pure attrition offensive combat unit, the Oathsworn Cavalry are basically a better pick. Faster, harder hitting, and white defense modifier cast them as Daqan's premiere hammer. So, when would you choose Spearmen?

  • Their defense modifier is more effective. Spearmen on the defensive require 8 damage or 4 mortal wounds to destroy a tray, compared to 6 and 2 for the Cavalry.
  • They're more mobile in close quarters. The Cavalry go plenty fast in a straight line, but lacking a Shift and Wheel on their dial means they're more likely to need to spend a turn Repositioning.
  • Upgrade synergy. This is a big one, so I'm going to break it down further:
    • The Infantry Command expansion introduces some very interesting options that are totally unavailable to the Cavalry. Presumably with time this will balance out, but for the short term if you want a Greyhaven Channeler or Artifact Bearer then Spearmen are your only option. This means they have more tools to fill battlefield roles.
    • The Spearmen's Special Ability modifier is white, so they're the kings of getting use out of those.
    • More wounds per tray mean defensive upgrades, such as Shield Wall, scale better.

Alright, enough of Spearmen vs Oathsworn; each has a different role to fill. Now, what are some particularly good uses of Spearmen? I look forward to hearing your contributions, but here are some I've found:

  • Premium tar pit. Rally on 3 with defense modifier clears banes, refreshes upgrades, and acts early enough in the turn that it's likely to do real good. Combine with Shield Wall and they're really quite tough. Of course they're not attacking in this case, but if the rest of your army can make good use of the time they buy, it's well worth it. 
  • Deathstar! I'm pretty dubious of this being a good idea largely because of the Blight mechanic, but for raw numbers they can't be beat. Front Line Rune Golem increases their threat, and all the upgrades can greatly increase their flexibility and output. I really look forward to hearing how units like this perform, because they look like a ton of fun. Best value target for Dispatch Runner. Lion Standard Bearer helps shore up the weakness to Morale results.
  • Support units. A 2x2 with Dispatch Runner or Greyhaven Channeler is the cheapest way to get those abilities on the table, while being attached to a competent little unit. Rallying cornicen fits right in here as well - a unit as small as two trays can act as support to clear bands and refresh upgrades.  Unstable Geomancer looks very weird and hard to evaluate, but this is the unit for it.

Particularly notable things:

  • Rallying Cornicen on a 2x1 is so handy. Removing banes is quite useful, and there are a ton of great upgrades that exhaust. Plus they do a little damage in the late game, very useful unit.
  • Eagle Banner Bearer, with some support, is very dangerous. To stack a reasonable number of tokens you'll need Hawthorne in the list, and maybe a Rallying Cornicen nearby to avoid having to use the tokens for anything but murder. Could also reconfigure to a 2x3 to help protect the banner, but that's probably overkill. Not much use against infantry, but makes siege, heroes, and cav think twice before coming close.
  • Visored Helms is costly at 7 points, but with the late melee attack can be virtually guaranteed to go off. Remember, it only needs to save (slightly more than) one tray to pay for itself, and if it's going against a heavy hitter it will do that in a single use. 9-tray units might get away with Shield Wall, but the more casualties you take the less useful it becomes. Visored Helms puts you (mostly) in control.

Long story short, Spearmen are a toolbox. With the right upgrades they can do just about anything, so you're best off asking what you want them to do when putting them in a list.

Edited by Bhelliom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matching the Daqan "Deathstar" against the Waiqar "Deathstar" so far hasn't worked out for the Daqan.

Reanimates with terrifying heraldry, two red dice, and the morale dial modifier makes them set off strong morale tests regularly, and without Steadfast, Spearmen are more vulnerable to the bad ones than the Reanimates are.

If the Reanimate's can survive long enough to hunt out a morale test that lets them reform the spearmen block, it collapses pretty fast, as it simply can't afford to do much more than defend, lest the three red dice and constant threat 4 tear them apart.

Big units in general seem very vulnerable to morale tests, and I'm starting to think that morale is where the Reanimates get most of their work done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, siege golem is almost compulsory.

The great disadvantage is that they cannot set training upgrade cards, which are enormously good (They can however place shield wall, which is quite good as well).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say, I've been having some success with a 2*2 block of spearmen with Citadel Weapon Master and Fire Rune.

Fire Rune gives them a ranged option as we go across the broad and the added die from the weapons master is also great once you hit melee. It gives a nice ranged option that can pick off opposing spearmen or reanimates as they travel across the board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, garek365 said:

I have to say, I've been having some success with a 2*2 block of spearmen with Citadel Weapon Master and Fire Rune.

Fire Rune gives them a ranged option as we go across the broad and the added die from the weapons master is also great once you hit melee. It gives a nice ranged option that can pick off opposing spearmen or reanimates as they travel across the board.

The citadel weapons master is funny. He brings the spearmen's dice up to 2R1B, the same as the oathsworn. The cav are faster in a straight line, but between dials and the current suite of upgrades I would rank the spearmen more maneuverable (I really hope the cav get access to a marching or aggressive cornicen equivalent). So when do we take one over the other? 

Well, I guess it depends what you want. If you want any of the infantry command figures then spearmen it has to be. They're also better defensively, as an anvil. Last, the rune golem figure attachments make them the go-to for deathstars. 

As for oathsworn, that leaves smaller "missile" units and maybe not much else right now. The classic two trays with rank discipline always does good work, though I've had trouble steering them on the flanks. They can also take the powerful moment of inspiration, though with rerolls as valuable as they are I'd be inclined to save that one for a 2x2. Bigger than that? I don't see it right now. 

Edited by Bhelliom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that we've had some more time to get actual games in, what specific builds have you been using?

I've mostly been trying to refine a mid-sized general use combat unit, which has been variations on 3x2 with Lance Corporal and Shield Wall. It's 51+ points, so a healthy chunk of the army, but it's performed... ok. It has pretty solid mobility options, decent damage output, and great survivability. I really really like attacking at initiative 3 with the defense modifier. Generally though I've used it poorly, letting it get matched up against big Reanimate blocks (Lingering Dead really changed the attrition game in their favour) and/or flanked, and that's one of its big weaknesses - RB with 2 threat is not impressive, and as soon as they kill a tray it drops down to a dismal 1. The idea has been to find an effective general purpose block without the deathstar pricetag, but I'm still not quite happy with it. Better use may be the key, more than the build itself.

Everyone thought of this one as soon as it was previewed: 2x2 with Unstable Geomancer. Very matchup-dependent: fantastic against big blocks of infantry, next to worthless again Siege and MSU. However, with the introduction of Lingering Dead big Reanimate blocks look good, so I think this will frequently have good targets. Keep it away from your own squishy infantry, support with Golems and heroes, and let it do its work. Very much looking forward to testing.

2x1 with Rallying Cornicen. A 22 point support unit, use it to guard flanks and pseudo-inspire nearby units. I'm not sure whether I like the minimum unit to get the horn on the table as cheap as possible or if it's going to be worth it to bring on something a little sturdier, but it's definitely making it into lists.

Share your own!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of the 2*1 for rallying concern, I've been using a bit more costly but also more versatile. I got with a 2*2 with Greyhaven Channeler, Fire and Rallying Concern (47 pts total) and just have it pretty much rally and skill every turn.

I'm a big fan of Fire runes and the Channeler insures that they hit for a lot each turn, it also makes the Golems a lot more reliable and helps keeps reanimation to a minimum.  While I can't both fire rune and concern both the same turns having the options means early game when the army is bunched up I can add a few inspiration tokens and later in the game I can pick off some stuff with the Fire runes.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you get rerolls for additional ranks when using Fire Rune? I read somewhere that you don't, but looking at the card, it says, "Perform a [ranged attack]..." which makes me think you can reroll. You would also get to use threat, except the rest of the card replaces that with a special rule for using unstable energy runes instead. Is that the correct interpretation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fire Runes on a 1x2 mini conga line of rune golems has been really fun as I've played with it.  It's been surprisingly effective especially when you have an inspiration stacking grayhaven channler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, garek365 said:

 While I can't both fire rune and concern both the same turns having the options means early game when the army is bunched up I can add a few inspiration tokens and later in the game I can pick off some stuff with the Fire runes.
 

Unfortunately Rallying Cornicen either removes a bane or readies a card, but doesn't add an inspiration token.  Only Lord H does that.  Still a useful combo though.

 

5 hours ago, Parakitor said:

Do you get rerolls for additional ranks when using Fire Rune? I read somewhere that you don't, but looking at the card, it says, "Perform a [ranged attack]..." which makes me think you can reroll. You would also get to use threat, except the rest of the card replaces that with a special rule for using unstable energy runes instead. Is that the correct interpretation?

That's right - you can re-roll a fire-rune attack but you don't use threat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve played this unit:

 

9 tray Spearmen, Frontline Rune Golem, Kari Wraithstalker, Trumpets, Shieldwall, Bull Pennon. 94 point unit.

 

But your hitting with 1R2B, with a threat of 4-5, and triple rerolls, and you can Surge for further damage.

 

Having played the unit, I think I’m considering dropping Kari down to Citadel Weapon master. Hitting for 2R1B is just as efficient for all needed purposes.

 

The next unit I’m considering playing is a 4 tray Spearman.

 

For the upgrades, I’ll add in Artifact Bearer, Wind Rune, Aggressive Cornicen, and the Dawn Blade. Then as a further play this unit with Lord Hawthorne.

 

At this point, I’ll rearrange to be a 4x1 due to Lord Hawthrone’s special rules, set to a blue March, and a Special action modifier. If the roll on runes is right, I should be able at Init 5, Shift speed of the runes, Reform for a new direction, advance for the speed 3, and count it at as charge, then hit with a Red and blue with threat 4, and if I can get a surge, or 2, pump it through the Dawn blade to do another 4 damage, per surge I roll.

 

Anyone see how this wouldn’t work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hawktel said:

At this point, I’ll rearrange to be a 4x1 due to Lord Hawthrone’s special rules, set to a blue March, and a Special action modifier. If the roll on runes is right, I should be able at Init 5, Shift speed of the runes, Reform for a new direction, advance for the speed 3, and count it at as charge, then hit with a Red and blue with threat 4, and if I can get a surge, or 2, pump it through the Dawn blade to do another 4 damage, per surge I roll.

 

Anyone see how this wouldn’t work?

:o Good gravy! That's terrifying!

Somebody please come up with a reason this won't work :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hawktel said:

I’ve played this unit:

9 tray Spearmen, Frontline Rune Golem, Kari Wraithstalker, Trumpets, Shieldwall, Bull Pennon. 94 point unit.

But your hitting with 1R2B, with a threat of 4-5, and triple rerolls, and you can Surge for further damage.

Having played the unit, I think I’m considering dropping Kari down to Citadel Weapon master. Hitting for 2R1B is just as efficient for all needed purposes.

The next unit I’m considering playing is a 4 tray Spearman.

For the upgrades, I’ll add in Artifact Bearer, Wind Rune, Aggressive Cornicen, and the Dawn Blade. Then as a further play this unit with Lord Hawthorne.

At this point, I’ll rearrange to be a 4x1 due to Lord Hawthrone’s special rules, set to a blue March, and a Special action modifier. If the roll on runes is right, I should be able at Init 5, Shift speed of the runes, Reform for a new direction, advance for the speed 3, and count it at as charge, then hit with a Red and blue with threat 4, and if I can get a surge, or 2, pump it through the Dawn blade to do another 4 damage, per surge I roll.

Anyone see how this wouldn’t work?

In general, I'd advise the Marching Cornicen over Trumpets. Wheeling at speed IS pretty nice, but I prefer to maintain the defense modifier as often as possible.  I tend to agree that the Weapons Master is the better fit in the deathstar. Kari's surge ability IS great, but it doesn't use the unit's threat so it's a bit of a wasted opportunity.

Wind Rune doesn't quite work the way you'd like it to, or more specifically the Spearmen's dial doesn't. You resolve the two actions left to right, so they'd have to advance 3 before activating the Wind Rune. Further, I think Oathsworn are just a more natural fit for the 4x1 - Artifact Bearer with Dawnblade is a whopping 14 points, and the damage from the Dawnblade is actually pretty close to an extra red die (generally it's a bit worse, but it pulls ahead slightly when you get a flank) so you can go with the cheaper Weapons Master, but for the same price you can get Oathsworn with Rank Discipline. That reroll is precious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I spent some time reading the rules to make sure but I don’t see any specific rules that say you resolve the 2 actions right to left.

 

So I believe I’m fine to Shift with the Wind rune, then Reform, then advance 3. And count it as a charge from the Cornicen.

 

If you do have a page and a paragraph that I might have missed, let us all know.

 

Regarding Oathsworn with Hawthorne. Yes that is great, but this topic is about Spearmen. So I didn’t bring them up. I’ve used the Oathsworn as described and they are wonderful. And the best point, is that he can convert more than 1 unit, so you don’t have to pick between the above Spearmen, and the proposed Oathsworn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RRG 5 Activation
Units are activated during the Activation Phase. When a player activates one of his units, he resolves the following steps in order:

  • 5.1 Step 1—Reveal Command Tool: The player reveals his unit’s command tool by tipping it over so the icons on the dial are faceup on the play area.
  • 5.2 Step 2—Perform Action: The unit performs the action selected on its action dial, applying the effects of the modifier selected on the modifier dial.
  • 5.3 Step 3—Perform Bonus Action: If the selected modifier is a bonus action, the unit performs this action after the first action is resolved.

You always resolve regular actions before bonus actions.

I would argue that the two units compete with one another, so a person should choose the better value. For pure simple offense that means the Oathsworn, though it's certainly plausible that upgrades might tip the scale towards the spearmen, depending on what you wanted them to do. In this case I'd always choose another unit of Oathsworn over the Spearmen, based on their individual strengths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that does kill that idea, as I’m thinking. My next plan….

 

2x2 Spearmen

Artifact Bearer

Fire Rune

Fortuna’s Dice.

 

Basically you get to move and shoot with this unit. The shooting is fairly effective, giving you double red damage, and threat equal to rolled runes.

 

After that, you can set to a rally, that resets your Fortuna’s, and then skill, and keep blasting.

 

Its worth trying once for 49 points, as shooting is so limited for Daqan right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Hawktel said:

I think that does kill that idea, as I’m thinking. My next plan….

 

2x2 Spearmen

Artifact Bearer

Fire Rune

Fortuna’s Dice.

 

Basically you get to move and shoot with this unit. The shooting is fairly effective, giving you double red damage, and threat equal to rolled runes.

 

After that, you can set to a rally, that resets your Fortuna’s, and then skill, and keep blasting.

 

Its worth trying once for 49 points, as shooting is so limited for Daqan right now.

Interesting idea (and actually its only 47 points!).  If you also run the Channeller it averages out at about 50% of the time getting 4 red runes, 50% 2 red.  So that should produce either 8 or 4 damage per round.  

I see three options for it - shoot and move, (it will need Lord Haw-haw or a Rallying Cornicen unit to keep Fortuna's Dice active) or reform (on In3) allowing it to spray fire in any direction ahead of most units movement (needs LH or RC as well), or else just rally and shoot in its existing fire arc.  

Another nice trick if it looks like it is going to get charged:  dial in shift and fire.  After taking the charge If its still around!) it disengages and fires.  Next turn rallies (on In3) and fires again.  Possibly hitting the enemy for 16 in two quick bursts.   (Of course if the enemy don't charge you still get to shift and fire off at them).

Looks like a major threat to most units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trip report with two configurations I've been considering. Disclaimer, I've only used them in a couple games and only against Waiqar, so they bear more testing.

3 x 2 with Eagle Banner Bearer and Shield Wall (not essential to the build but I had the points) (Hawthorne was also in the list)

  • This unit Rallied and received an Inspiration token from Hawthorne first turn, and actually got another from him around turn 5 (he had 1 wound left and 4 blight tokens, so it was the best use of his last activation).
  • As it was coming about to flank the enemy line, my opponent put a single Carrion Lancer in its way as a speed bump, a favourite tactic of his. Dialing in defense, the worm would usually take 2-3 turns to kill, but the Eagle Banner allowed me to pop it on the charge.
  • Gives the Spearmen much more reach against worms, heroes, and eventually Death Knights. As far as I'm concerned they're wasted against Reanimates, so increasing their output against their prime targets seems worthwhile.
  • I don't think it's a great fit on the full deathstar. This unit doesn't really mind losing a die to blight or the modifier to Stun, so it can afford to use the Inspirations on those mortal strikes. I think the Deathstar would rather use them to stay at 100%, and besides does huge damage to begin with. Plus, probably wants the Lion Standard to reduce the chances of a lucky morale hit.
  • The Banner has no interaction with threat, so the unit remains deadly throughout the game (unless of course they snipe it out, which ain't too hard).
  • I simply didn't have the points for a Champion, but I'm not really sure who I'd take if I did. Lance Corporal is pretty generally good, War Crier would let it get rid of Banes without spending Inspiration tokens, Kari's blue die really increases their chances of generating Inspiration tokens with surges, Artifact Bearer can bring Reaping Blade which supports the mortal strike theme. I dunno, it really doesn't NEED anything to do its thing, so it will depend on the list whether there are points for something.

2 x 1 with Rallying Cornicen

  • The list with this unit had Tempered Steel, Shield Wall, and Lance Corporal, and my usual opponent is Waiqar so there was always going to be good opportunity for blowing the horn. In the Daqan/Latari matchup it will mostly be refreshing upgrades, so it probably needs a few of those to be worth it.
  • It acted like a flank guard for another block of Spearmen, tooting a couple times to help keep it combat ready. This was somewhat useful.
  • It also got an opportunity to flank charge a unit of Reanimates engaged with the Spearmen. Threat 2 RB with no rerolls is nothing to write home about, but still puts out some decent damage on the flank!
  • For 22 points, it provides an additional threat vector and deployment option, which is valuable (though it wants to be within range 3 of friendly units so it's not like it's much good for faking out your opponent with deployment).

Overall, two reasonably successful configurations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking ahead a bit, I like the following as a support Daqan unit...

3x1 Heavy Crossbowmen w/ Fire Rune, Rallying Conicern and Simultaneous Orders.   More expensive, but it has a solid ranged attack and can do it, Fire Rune and rallying effect all at once.  No rerolls but I like to think you'll land something between the ranged attack and Fire Rune.  If you don't think you'll need Simultaneous Orders you can fit in Rank Discipline. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that's an interesting idea. I'm doing a little looking at the Crossbowmen, and there are few builds that seem good. I'm planning to try a couple of 3x1's with rank discipline and tempered steel with a 2x1 Rallying Spearman unit to back them up. Each of them can spit out 6-9 damage per turn pretty reliably thanks to our support spearmen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my list that in which I have been having success lately against Waiqar. I have not played anyone with a Daqan list yet - I seem to be the only Daqan player in my area.

Triple AAA+ 199/200

Spearmen x9 [59]

-Champion: Lance Corporal [6]

-Equipment: Shield Wall [5]

-Heavy: Front Line Rune Golem [7]

-Heraldry: Raven Tabards [2]

-Music: Aggressive Cornicen [5]

 

Spearmen x4 [30]

-Champion: Dispatch Runner [7]

-Equipment: Empty

-Music: Empty

 

Rune Golems x2 [28]

-Equipment: Wind Rune [6]

 

Lord Hawthorne x1 [34]

-Artifact: Shield of Margath [6]

-Unique: Might of Daqan [4]

I usually sit back for the first 2 turns building inspiration on my units. Waiqar are generally slower and I'm not in a rush to get into range of those archers. I deploy the small Spearman block and Rune Golems as flank defence for the main Spearstar.

Then I send out Lord Hawthorne to harass the enemies archers. Or Rune Golems depending on my opponents deployment - which ever one can get the job done quicker. I might also send Lord Hawthorne or the Rune Golems after the objectives (again depends on the mission and my opponents deployment).

It mostly takes me another 2-3 turns to get the Spearstar into range to charge enemies largest block of units on init 3 or 4. Again I'm not in a rush to engage them, I have found that is not in the Daqan's interest to engage early against Waiqar they just regenerate and increases the amount of panic tokens you can receive.

I use the Lance Corporal to ensure I always get a +1 defence (or Shield Wall if I have more trays and then modify with that extra hit at Init 3 - sometimes I use both shield wall and the +1 defence!) and the Dispatch Runner to attack twice. If the Spearstar has too much blight to remove with its inspiration tokens the Spearstar Rally's instead to remove them and then attacks with Dispatach Runner from the second group of Spearman. Either way its doing damage.

This forces my opponent to make a choice over what to blight each turn, and I don't think there is a "correct" choice, either way they are going to get hurt.

Their dilemma is this: Do they concentrate blight on the Spearstar so its doesn't attack twice? In which case I then Rally to remove the blight anyway and still attack once using Dispatch Runner. Or spread the blight around all my forces lowering the entire forces effectiveness? In which case, I use my inspiration tokens to remove the blight from the Spearstar and attack twice thanks to Dispatch Runner.

Using the +1 shield each turn and the offensive power of the Front Line Rune Golem ensures that I win any exchange of attrition whether I attack once or twice.

Because I engage later in the game (turns 5, 6 or even 7). I can out damage my opponent very quickly, they don't have enough turns left to regenerate and regain any lost units.

(I have also run the Rune Golems with Tempered Steel and the second Spearmen with Rallying Cornicen for 200 points. It gives me another option for the second spearmen other than Dispatch Runner).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How damaging have you found morale on that deathstar? I've only played it once, but in that game it attacked itself for like 12 damage and was forced to reform, offering up a juicy flank. The Lion Standard seems like a good investment to keep it operational.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played with the 3x3 star twice and the first game was hilariously powerful the 2nd fell victim to bad morale cards.
The 2nd kinda scared me off that tactic, also i tend to avoid strats that utterly flatten foes when it works anyway.
Granted, that was pre-command upgrades, i imagine the banner for doubt (fear) would help a ton since those were the main ones kicking my butt. Also Lance Corp for perma +1 armor is insane, i ran that on a 2x2 and that 2x2 stuck around for quite a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...