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Greatswords is a Empire melee infantry unit in Total War: Warhammer. Wielding double-handed swords and wearing heavy plate, Greatswords are a potent elite unit with an impressive melee strength.
Description[edit | edit source]
Regiments of Greatswords garrison the castles of the Elector Counts and form their lord's honour guard on state occasions. These grim men are equipped with huge two-handed swords called zweihanders that can cleave an armoured Knight in twain with one blow. Greatswords are also adorned with superb suits of Dwarf-forged plate armour, for these elite troops are expected to fight in the thick of the bloodiest and most dangerous combats of a battle. Upon a soldier's induction into the esteemed ranks of the Greatswords, he is required to swear an oath never to take a backwards step in the face of the enemy. Every regiment of Greatswords has its own particular punishment for those who fail in their duty. However, such instances are extremely rare, and the history of the Empire is replete with heroic tales of regiments of Greatswords that have died to a man to protect the life of their liege lord, even after the rest of their army had been butchered.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
- ↑ Anti-Infantry: Anti-infantry units have an advantage against targets that are smaller than a horse. This advantage can be a damage bonus against small targets, superior weight used to smash through lighter enemies, or an explosive attack from range that effects a large area.
- ↑ Armour-Piercing: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.
- ↑ Armoured: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Greatsword Tactics and Suggestions[edit | edit source]
Greatswords aren't meant to be used akin to your Swordsmen. Their melee stats are worse (especially given Honest Steel) but their main strength lies in the fact that they do comparatively high damage/swing and do AP damage.
This leads one to two things:
- They're good at hitting armored things
- They're good at hitting stuff without being hit back in return.
General Use[edit | edit source]
The Greatswords are mainly used to take down armored infantry. Thus should be kept away from monstrous infantry, cavalry, and war machines like chariots or Steam Tanks. Greatswords shouldn't immediately go after the standard infantry of other factions if there are higher end threats on the field.
They are akin to slow cavalry that does a bit better in melee and has a bigger unit size. They are expensive to purchase and maintain and have no shields (for obvious reasons) to protect against missiles. This means you should use Swordsmen or Spearmen as your front line units and keep the Greatswords in reserve to be used where needed.
Where will they be needed?
To flank the enemy's armored units and or to aid in holding the line if need be. They are also effective when held in reserve and used to counter attack weak points in your lines.
Your shielded infantry must be at the front to absorb the missiles and charges of enemy infantry. Then have the Greatswords go 'round and charge from the flanks or the rear. However, they can also advance through the ranks of your common soldiers and aid in combat, just make sure the enemy is more likely to hit the shielded troops. The Swordsman and Spearmen(shields) have higher melee defense anyway, so they will tank and deflect the AP that heads towards the Greatswords.
The Greatswords, in turn , will swiftly eliminate armored foes that would laugh at the (most likely shoddy) equipment of the imperial peasantry (thank the grim-dark cheapskates called the elector counts for that).
Specific Tactics[edit | edit source]
Empire[edit | edit source]
State Troops: Due to the slow attack and movement, use the Greatswords for any of the following:
- Have your own lower tier soldiers hold them in place as the Greatswords concentrate on a more pressing matter.
- Have the Greatswords flank the plebeians after your plebeians have held them in place. (If your doing this you either have nothing better for them to do, you have no cavalry, or you have no idea what they are for or what your doing.)
- Have the Greatswords tank the charge, but with crossbowmen to shoot the troopers from the blind sides as your cavalry/flagellants/state troops move in from the rear
Greatswords: Have artillery blast them while they are too far and deactive once they get too close, then use either Outriders or Handgunners for ranged support. Have Swordsmen (or spearmen, if your poor like that *annoying laugh*) tank the charge as your Greatswords move to flank.
Large: What did I just say? Keep them away from Large units, let the Spearmen and Halberdiers take care of it.
Dwarfs[edit | edit source]
Greatswords are incredibly effective here, but still you should make peace with them. The Empire and the Dwarfs are the oldest alliance in the Old World and you have no reason to break it. If you do break it, especially just to please an elector count (who most likely sent you to fight them for them to take revenge and weaken your rule), see my entry on Spearmen.
Greenskins[edit | edit source]
Goblins: Their tiny size makes them problematic to hit. Use AoE magic, Mortars, and Helstorm Rockets when they are in square formations. When they spread out into line formation to minimize damage from this, charge with your shock cavalry. Use spare Swordsmen against them, but commit most melee units against the Orcs they are trying to distract you from.
Orc Boyz: Use Swordsmen to tank their charge, Orcs have higher damage and health but have less attack and defense skill. Then use knights to smash their flanks or rear then retreat them to do it again to get the orcs to flee so you can focus on something else, or have another melee unit such as Flagellants, Greatswords, or (if they have nothing to do) Spearmen to kill them all quickly.
Orc Big 'Uns:These orcs are focused on fighting this just as or bigger than they are, thus they won't give it their all against your Greatswords. They will only be able to do about 12 damage while you dish out far more, though the Greatswords should still be supported with missiles, flanking cavalry, and hero/lord abilities.
Trolls: These things are monstrous, use Halberds.
Night Goblins: They have poisoned attacks, better melee skill and damage, and vanguard deployment at the cost of worse leadership and armor, get them to rout and run them down with knights.
Savage Orcs: They have no armor but have a resistance to non-magical attacks deal and a lot of base damage and melee skill with little armour piercing. I suggest that you send more than one Swordsmen unit than savage orcs to attack backed up by a wizard or priest with a couple of crossbows and pistoliers, with shock cav ready to flank.
Savage Orc Big 'Uns: The same as above, minus the cav.
Vampire Counts[edit | edit source]
Grave Guard: The great weapons variant will give you trouble, with them having cheaper costs and higher damage, thankfully they have less armour and skill. Proper support from heroes and armour-piercing missiles to ensure that they don't rout and survive with minimal casualties.
Skeletons: The main infantry of the VC, send Swordsmen supported with crossbows and lords/heroes to deal with them. Greatswords or Knights will flank to reduce leadership and induce crumbling while pistoliers fire from horseback.
Zombies: These things are made for the purpose of distracting you and bogging down your regiments. Use swordsmen and AoE to deal with them to leave the Greatswords free to focus on more important targets. If you want to get rid of them fast, have the Swordsmen tank the zombies while Empire Knights and/or Greatswords flank.
Crypt Ghouls: These abominations don't do much damage but will slow down the greatswords attack speed for other undead to take advantage of. Put Pistoliers in skirmish mode to whittle them down as Knights repeatedly run them down.
Chaos[edit | edit source]
Marauders: Demon worshiping conan wanna-bes. Swordsmen will suffice, protect them still with hero abilities.
Chaos Warriors: The Great Weapons Variant will be troublesome, but attack all variants with a mix of Swordsmen, Greatswords, Handgunners, Magic, and Prayers. try to use assault hero actions on them before the battle.
Chosen: The Great Weapons Variant will be troublesome, but attack all variants with a mix of Greatswords, Handgunners, Demigryph Knights, Magic, and Prayers. try to use assault hero actions on them before the battle.
Forsaken: Armoured and Damage dealer, but little armour-piercing.
Beastmen[edit | edit source]
Ungor: Swordsmen are what are needed here. Buff them with your Characters and spells or prayers. be wary of their stealth.
Gor Herd: Very little armor, good at dealing damage but not good at deflecting or withstanding it. Nor are they courageous in the face of danger unlike the noble race of man. The moment they think they'll lose they run, but often forget the danger afterwards and rally for another charge.
Gorebulls: Send Halberdiers supported by Lords/Heroes, Handgunners, and cannons.
Bestigore: These are good in attacking, but not so much in defending themselves. Use magic and prayer to protect and enhance the Greatswords as they attack the beasts from the flanks, hit them from range with either outriders or handgunners, while have your Swordsmen hold them in place. Buffing plebians can also help.
Wood Elves[edit | edit source]
ALWAYS LURE THEM OUT OF THE TREES FIRST UNLESS YOU'RE DESPERATE
Treekin, Treeman, Ancient Treeman, Durthu: These guys are the only ones worthy of a Greatsword to the face so unless you want to waste perfectly good time, money, and lives, don't bother using great swords against any other unit in the wood elves roster. That assuming you don't have halberdiers of course, if you do then don't bring greatswords at all.
Bretonnia[edit | edit source]
As tempting as it is to think of them as wet toilet paper. You must realise that their weakness serves a purpose, to make them a very tempting distraction. Their comparatively lower stats than your state troops excites commanders and soldiers looking for easy prey, to the point that they hopefuly are to distracted attempting to kill the mewling beggars in front that they may not notice chorus of hundreds hooves and this swiftly gaining volume at their backs. Be warned, there are experienced soldiers among them that have learned how to survive longer. While not possessing tremendous skill in striking or proper equipment, they have learned how to block and deflect better. This allows their lords the sweet, sweet time needed for their polishing and laundry so as to look as good as possible when they trample your entire army to the dust before going back to their jousting tourneys and oppression contests. Its best to let have your own plebs bog them down as you and your own nobles teach the tin tyrants how to be less tyrannical, like you. Unfortunately, just like in real life, birth rates tend to be higher in poverty stricken areas due to intercourse providing a precious distraction from reality as well as producing more hands to help carry the burden of life. An few places are as impoverished as Bretonnia.
Peasant Mob: Show no mercy for these guys when on the battlefield, killing then would be doing them a favor. Mobs are often used as a cheap filling in the gaps so as to bog down the enemy when the knight couldn't (or would'nt) bring enough men-at-arms. If the men at arms are a tarpit, mobs are ankles deep water. As meat-shields for the meat-shields, they don't hold the line, they simply slow you down.
Man-At-Arms: Going to battle clad in cheap gambesons made out of the least worn out blankets and equipped with broken or rusty swords either thrown away by the knights or looted from the enemy or the previous peasants that wielded them. The men at arms are here to act as a living, moving, smelly wall of bodies to keep your units in place for the knights. They can still kill your men, but expect them to suffer more casualties than you.
Man-At-Arms (shields): Given a shield by a knight less haughty and stingy (or perhaps one that genuinely cares but can't do much more without losing face in front of the others). These men are little better in terms of skill, but last longer due to their shields.
Spearman-At-Arms: You will notice that most of these guys use spears that look like pitch forks. This is because they, like all peasants, are simply there to hold the line. The design is not mean to impale but to catch and push or divert people and attacks away. In the hands of a army of skilled combatants, it would be lethal weapon. In the hands of a bretonnian peasant, its a cheap way to keep a guy in place and easily disposable, just like the wielder. Granted, they can be a threat to enemies (especially large) with higher experience and support, but the anti-large knights are the primary damage dealers.
Spearman-At-Arms (shields): Same as above but with higher chance of dying slower.
Man-A-Arms (Pole-arms): They have armor piercing and better over all stats than the above spearmen, with lower cowardice to boot. They will still be supported, and will give trouble to your own knights and warmachines. They don't have shields thankfully, but this is likely to not give potential rebels a means of surviving missile barrages from loyal archers than to defend against enemy shots and blows. Though a secretly compassionate knight is uncommon, no knight is stupid enough to think all peasants will thank compassion with increased loyalty rather than rebellion. The fact that shields cannot be used with this kind of weapon came only afterwards and has served as the excuse since.
Battle Pilgrims: Bretonnian equivalents of Flagellants. These fanatical idolaters have deemed the best way to survive and earn the favor of the Lady is to kill the foe faster than they can kill you. As such they deal extra damage when having high leadership at the cost of having worse defense. They are better at holding the line than running away, unlike most other peasants. This isn't due to greater skill but rather because their desire to please their gods and masters often overrides their sense of preservation as they fight regardless of how much blood or limbs they lose.
Nobles:[edit | edit source]
Walking is for poor people, or for nobility that has yet to come of age.
Squires: They are less skilled in attacking and defending with their weapons and are less armored. But they have higher damage due to higher strength and zealotry. they will likely charge you from the from rather than flank just as they are likely to use the same tactics that you do.