Swordsmen is a Empire melee infantry unit in Total War: Warhammer. The Swordsmen form a resolute battle line. Blades in hand, they thrive in melee, at the heart of battle.
State troops are paid as full-time professional soldiers, ready to answer the call to arms at all times. In addition to forming a standing army to repel enemy attack, state troops also serve as city guards, the fire watch and the enforcers of the law. However, most of the time these soldiers spend their days drilling and training with various weapons to the barked instructions of grim-faced Sergeants and veteran Marksmen. Every state trains its regiments to fight together, providing each other with mutual protection on the battlefield. State regiments often march to battle with detachments of differently armed troops to aid them. These detachments form up close to their regimental units, where they guard vulnerable flanks and provide battlefield support, either by joining their regimental units in the bloody melee of close combat, or by showering oncoming enemies with missile fire. Swordsmen fight shoulder to shoulder with Spearmen, the close range parries and ripostes of swords complimenting the longer reach of the spear. Handgunners and Crossbowmen fell their foes with withering volleys of fire, but should a foe survive through such salvos, a detachment of Halberdiers will bravely intercept them, cutting them down with heavy bladed pole arms.
- ↑ Shielded: Shields have a chance of blocking arrows, bolts, rifle shots and similar small arms fire - but only in a forward facing arc.
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Lots of people like to disband their swordsmen for the greatswords units as soon as they can. I disagree with this tactic, and its worthwhile to keep in mind that a unit of swordsmen with silver or higher rank is an excellent unit to make the anvil you can then hammer down on with cavalry or flanking greatswords from behind. They're cheap, effective and will tie up much heavier infantry rather easily, so remember to try and split down your experienced swordsmen between new armies rather than outright replacing them. Of course bronze or below are generally expendable, but still that experience can literally make or break your defensive line against chaos or a Waaaaagh!