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I tend to hold mine in the back field seemingly timid while my frontline troops slowly make their way across the field. Then bolt the hounds up just in time to be the supporting models with them, not the other way around.

 

 

That is the general idea. Against shooters hang back and rely on my combat troops high dv, deflect and MD (boosted by the casters if needed) and run across the field to close. Once I am close enough to base the shooters or wizards throw the dogs in. If against combat hordes same thing but don't atack with the dogs use them to break up charges and block flankers by standing in the way.

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In response to Greenie's request for a rundown of the Crusader infantry in another thread, I will attempt to portray my opinions on the Crusader soldier options. Please note right away that I have not faced Crusaders yet in version 2, I don't play Crusaders, and this is all conjecture based on how similar models from other factions play.

 

Line of Battle - These soldiers are good at marching up to face an enemy head on. They are typified by having good defensive stats and moderate offensive capabilities.

---Justicars
- These guys are the most hardy of the Line of Battle soldiers. DV 11 is respectable and 3 damage tracks will keep them on the table longer than other soldier choices, and they will force your opponent to devote extra resources to taking them down. Against anything other than the best soldiers in the game they will be able to hold their position for several turns.

---Templar Warriors
- A perfect mixture of defensive ability and low cost, these are the bread and butter soldier of the Crusader army. Look to them to form the backbone of your army's presence. MAV 4 and #MA 2 is fairly standard, so you can expect them to dish out the hurt as well as any other army's standard soldiers.

---Templar Unforgiven
- DV 10 puts the Unforgiven below the curve for Crusader battle soldiers, but considering that Necropolis and Reven models, for example, have a common DV of 9, 10 isn't that bad. Cleave is a very useful SA and for the Unforgiven it allows them to bring a little bit of punch to the Crusader line. I wouldn't rely on them alone to hold a position, but sprinkling a few of them into a formation can give you some good offensive options.

 

Shock Troopers - These soldiers are unified by having a decidedly offensive focus. Most also have a high Move to allow them to engage first.

---Lion's Lancer
- These guys have it all. Rush Attack can guarantee them the first attack against most opponents. Shock has a good chance of taking away enemy defensive strikes. And First Strike can get in that all-important damage before the enemy has a chance to swing back. If you double up your Lions against standard enemy infantry, even without Shock you'll probably kill most of them with First Strikes before they get a chance to swing back. Defensively they have high DV, Deflect, and Tough. That will force your opponent to devote significant resources to taking them down, or else face the fury of heavy cavalry running amuck. At nearly 80 points a piece they are extremely expensive, but their presence on a battlefield ought to be a cause for great concern to their opponents.

---Ivy Crown Light Lancer
- Next to the Lion's Lancers, these guys seem like chumps. But they're close to 1/3 the cost, so they can afford to be. Ranger gets them up the battlefield quickly, and Swift Attack means you'll be harassing with these soldiers. Target selection is going to be key! Don't send your Ivy Crown Light Lancers against the best models in the enemy's army. Use them to wipe away skeletons, archers, and so forth, and then gallop away to safety. Your Light Lancers are there to keep the swarms off of your main formations.

---Battle Nun
- I really don't like the Martyr SA, but I can't deny it's power either. Battle Nuns are fragile and need to be protected as they move up the field, but against tough targets with high MAV that you know will rip up your force... there's nothing better to send than a Martyr model. Think about bringing a few Nuns along to help bring down the enemy's super strong models.

 

Support - Support soldiers grant an extra edge to their allies, allowing those allies to do what they do better.

---Templar Ironspine
- Reach is a wonderful SA. One of the Ironspine's primary roles is to stand behind your other Templars and grant an extra high MAV attack while making it easier to gain support bonuses. Assuming you can maintain a line of battle, your Ironspines can slide along your front line providing extra punch where you need it. It is my opinion that any troop including Line of Battle soldiers ought to have at least one Ironspine behind it, but that's me. Ironspines have a secondary role that revolves around their Pike SA. If you know you're going to get charged, and don't need to worry much about ranged attacks, put your line of Ironspines out ahead. Pike will allow them to get an attack off against charging enemies, and that can make a big difference. Ironspines are all around solid models that ought to be easy to include in nearly any list.

---War Dog
- Disable is an important SA when you are faced with a high #MA opponent. Unfortunately, the War Dogs need to hit in order for Disable to work, and they have MAV 3! Ouch! Don't miss their super cheap cost of 9, though, and then MAV 3 doesn't hurt so bad anymore. You can afford to purchase plenty of War Dogs if they fit your strategy. I tend to think they go well with the mounted troops since they have plenty of speed which will be lost in aiding foot soldiers. Though, perhaps you'd like to keep them way back from the line so they don't get picked off, and then use their speed to bring them up when it matters?

 

Specialty - These soldiers all have some ability that gives them a unique battlefield role that can be exploited by canny players.

---Hospitaler
- The ability to heal your soldiers is a core part of the Crusader strategy and the Hospitalers are an important part of that. They can only heal a total of 3 wounds, and they've got to last three rounds in order to do that. Try to avoid bringing too many of these as you must have soldiers to heal in the first place. Like Ironspines these are important models to have, even if you only have a sprinkling here and there.

---Ivy Crown Skirmisher
- Like Ironspines, these soldiers have a dual role. They can perform just fine standing in the front line taking a charge and fighting tooth and claw with the enemy, but they really shine when you focus on their other role. For the skirmisher, that role is a rapid re-deploy shieldwall. Skirmishers have Ranger which allows them to get ready to perform their role earlier, and the Raider SA makes it easier for them to break away from the enemy and re-deploy where needed. Say you need to maneuver a mage close to the front line to get a good angle on a spell. Now your mage is out in the open... Break away some of your Skirmishers and form up a defense around that mage, and you'll be all set! Don't send them up against anything too tough, but expect them to fair well against light enemy infantry.

---Ivy Crown Archer
- The oft-maligned Ivy Crown Archer. They have the standard "guy with a bow" ranged attack and a typical DV for a ranged model. You won't be pincushioning anything strong with these models, but you will be getting in the lucky shots you need to weaken your opponent's army. I would be Rapid Shot-ing with them as much as possible since RAV 3 isn't all that stellar. What makes these guys stand out to me is Ranger. Ranger will allow you to take up a good position early. It also means you can probably Focus for some accurate fire on turn 1 (wait for an opponent to activate a troop and move it in range, then activate your Archer troop).

 

 

So, there are my thoughts on the Crusader soldiers. Not all of those are original thoughts, and very few of them are complete thoughts. As I said up top, Greenie was asking for input in another thread and I decided to post this in the Crusader thread since the information is obviously relevant to this thread. Feel free to critique, add, lambaste, whatever!

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You the man! Thanks alot for all this info. I come from 40k and Imperial Guard no less so using this info and trying out a static defensive posture might be the ticket.

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I have always found that Crusaders, more than any army, other than maybe Overlords, gain huge benefits from fighting in formations. You need to maximize the synergies and supports they all provide. A standard troop I usually fielded was always Templar Knights: Ironspines in a 2:1 ratio. With the way support works, and now with Reach, this is even better.

 

Sure, you will be at risk of AOE attack. That what her Lady's Artillery, Ian is for. He lost the ability to drop Fireballs. So now he can Bolt, 9" range - meh; Burning Touch - Good when it's time to suicide, better than Matyr; Wall of Fire - Good Delaying tactic; or Arcane Shield - Probably one of the better spells, especially against heavy Ranged armies. He's not going to live to do all those, and gets 9 points to spend on spells. Counterspell!

 

Sir Malcolm - 39

Templar Knight x3 - 83

Ironspine x3 - 66

Unforgiven x2 - 40

Ian - 33

 

Total: 262 points, 10 models.

 

Nice solid basic troop.

 

Want a M*A*S*H unit, swap the Unforgiven for Hospitaliers for 2 more points. Want more defense, swap the Unforgiven for Knights for another 16 points. Want a hedgehog, swap the Unforgiven for 2 more Ironspines for 4 more points.

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With 3 leaders and 2 elites with the Divine tome that is 5 different models that can cast this combination:

 

bless

divine presence

Divine Vigor (this one is stackable)

 

Don't overlook the value of this. I am not saying that other factions dont have access to something similar, just saying that those Justicars with Mav 5 can go to a MAV 6 real easy. Or the dogs with their disable can go from a 3 to a 4 real quick.

 

Then toss in support and they go to MAV 7 and 5 respectfully.

 

If they can also focus or get in on an inspired attack and now you are talking MAV 8 and 6.

 

Throw in a battle totem and now those are MAV 9 and 7.

 

If you did have a model cast successfully a divine presence on the enemy, then that is the same thing as gaining another +2 mav, so now we are talking MAV 11 and 9.

 

There are so many different combinations of ways to make models that seem blah or generic into superheros in a very quick fashion. People just look at the datacard themselves and quickly dismiss all of the different possibilities. We developers created each faction to work a little differently. Some factions we built kinda like this one, where we specifically built it around teamwork and people boosting each other up rather than having each individual model with a bunch of super powers so to speak. They are just humans after all.

 

Other factions, the individual "monsters" have more skills but then they might have less "team boosters". Then yes, there will be some that have both.. but they will also on average cost more too.

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Not to mention with the right Faction Doctrine - Paladins of Light, your Leaders can get Lay on Hands as a freebie that can be cast outside of normal spell casting. So Lay on Hands with the Freebie, then use Restores to do it again if necessary.

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Ok, there have been some comments elsewhere about people being unhappy with certain models in the Crusader army, so I wanted to take the time here to discuss a little theory crafting when it comes to army building.

 

Warlord is a game of statistical averages, and the point cost of models are built directly on the probabilities that their stats and SAs will come into play. While the stats on the datacard themselves are fixed, the game still involves rolling dice and flipping initiative cards (the random statistical average part of the equation). The problem with statistical averages is that they can easily be skewed by small sampling populations. Let's compare two Crusader lists to illustrate:

 

Crusaders - 998 points

Troop 1

Duke Gerard w/Magic Weapon

Justicar x 6

Templar Ironspine x 2

 

Troop 2

Sir Brannor, Justicar

Justicar x 4

Ivy Crown Archer x 3

 

Troop 3

Guardian Beast of Aurellius

 

vs.

 

Crusaders - 999 points

Troop 1

Duke Gerard

Ian, Mage Apprentice

Justicar x 2

Ivy Crown Skirmisher x 4

Templar Ironspine x 2

War Dog x 2

 

Troop 2

Vernone, Ivy Crown Skirmisher

Templar Knight x 4

Templar Ironspine x 2

War Dog x 2

 

Troop 3

Acacia, Ivy Crown Ranger

Ivy Crown Archer x 3

 

Troop 4

Hound of Judgment

 

Troop 5

Guardian Beast of Aurellius

 

The first list has 2 initial Troops, 1 Summoned Model, 53 DTs and 33 attacks per round. The second list has 3 initial Troops, 2 Summoned Models, 58 DTs and 43 attacks per round. Now, the 2nd list is clearly built with more models that have less punch (per model) than the 1st. However, because the 2nd list has more Initiative cards, more models and more attacks, it should generate statistical results that fall closer to the norm than the first list. So what does this mean for game play? Both lists are viable, but the first list carries a greater risk of having a terrible game (or a dominant game) because of the smaller statistical samplings in both initiative and combat. However, if you were to play the two lists 1000's of times under the exact same conditions, in the end both should win and lose about the same.

 

Does this mean that Justicars aren't worth their points? Yes and no. Part of the problem regarding Justicars is that they basically cost you 24 points per attack that they have. However, the reason for this is that they an extra DT over the average soldier, and a better DV over those later DTS. Because of this, it is possible for them to have times when they will shine, but there are also times when they will fail miserably. It is my opinion that the best way to use almost any expensive soldier is to support them with other less expensive models. If you present an opponent with nothing but Justicars, then their tactical options for dealing with you are simple; gang up and kill the Justicars. If you present a mixed list of models with varying abilities, you open up new tactical options. As an illustration of this, I love Reptus Warriors and River Trolls, yet I never field more than 2-4 of each of them in a 1K list. Instead, I mix in snakes, turtles, and clutchlings to give my opponent more to worry about, which give my "big" soldiers a chance to shine. Because I am taking so few of them, sometimes they don't. However, because the rest of my list is larger overall (than if I were using mostly Trolls and Warriors), a statistical anomaly in their performance is generally mitigated by the rest of the force.

 

~v

Edited by Shakandara

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I also find that a mix works well. Even something as simple as bringing a few of your faction's cheapest soldier to stand in the way works well. A Crimson Knight that spends an activation killing a wardog is essentially wasting his time even if the wardog doesn't inflict any wounds in return. While he's wasting his time you have point superiority elsewhere. I find that over allocation of points is the biggest problem accompanying expensive models. If I'm bringing only Justicars, then the smallest amount of points I can allocate to deal with a given threat is 47 points and the next step is 94 points. That means I run the risk of allocating far more points than necessary to solving a given task. A Justicar taking out a 15 point model is essentially wasting potential and the task could have been performed equally well by a 30 point model. Similarly if I want to take out a 30-35 point model a single Justicar is probably insufficiently to get the job done in one activation, while assigning two justicars represents a gross over allocation of points.

 

I hope that made some sort of sense.

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Ok. So after taking everyone's advice to heart tell me what you all think of this:

 

Crusaders - 998 points

 

Troop 1

Duke Gerard

Armor of Courage

Magic Weapon

Marcus Gideon, Undead Hunter

Halbarad, Priest of Aurellius

Auricus, Pegasus Rider

Battle Nun x 3

Templar Knight x 3

Justicar x 2

War Dog x 2

 

Troop 2

Sir Conlan, Lightbringer

Book of Tactics

Templar Knight x 3

Templar Ironspine x 3

 

Troop 3

Celestial Lion

 

3 Troops 2 tacticians 0 spy's

 

Using the awesome advice about Bless and Divine Vigor I tried to make a list that would incorporate as much as I could. Using the Paladin's of Light Doctrine I still have healing in each troop. Also I was thinking to keep the Lion as a summons and pop it right behind the enemy as a free action once we get into the thick of it. Please pick apart and tell me what you think. Don't be gentle I can take it....

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I think that is a pretty solid looking list. Any changes I could suggest I think would be purely a matter of preference, rather than picking on any flaws in it. There is some risk to putting your eggs in one basket (the basket being a 700+ point Troop), but at the same time, such a Troop can also be a real hammer when used correctly. You can bring an awful lot of firepower to bear in a single activation, which can be downright brutal. I think the only two suggestions I might make would be 1) to move the Book of Tactics to Halbarad (he will likely not see any B2B combat until late in the game, thus your extra card should hang in their longer than if Conlan gets killed in melee), and 2) consider dropping the 3rd Ironspine from Troop 2 - a 2:1 or 5:2 ratio of frontline models vs. Reach models seems to be the sweet spot, and you only have 4 frontline models in that Troop (counting Conlan). If you shave one Ironspine off, you could add 2 more Wardogs to Troop 1, plus a Luck Stone, or something similar.

 

~v

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Not a bad list at all.

 

You probably already saw it, but dont forget about using faction specific spells. With Halbarand, his points are great for a couple of purifies or cure 1s on the peg rider then summon the Lion as a free action, let it fight then use Touch of the Gods on it, followed by Martyrs True Restoration on Gerard when its time.

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It looks like a good crusader list but beware of fast mobile and or shooty opponents. My normal elf lists would shoot this apart while staying out of range of the big bruisers. I use a lot more archery than most and elvish archery at that, RAV 5 and 7 shots ignoring deflect is cool. Like most crusader foot lists I have seen and tried you will take it in the shorts the first few turns as you close but if you can close then its all your game from there on.

 

More war dogs would definitely help

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You entirely lack offensive magic and archery. Not necessarily a bad thing, really, but it does limit your options. To compensate, I'd say that if your opponent seems to have a strong magic and/or ranged component to their list, what you need to be doing is double moving towards them each activation. You start 24" away (usually..) and by move/running, even your slowest Templars will be 12 inches closer at the end of turn 1. Right there in the middle as fodder for their archery and magic, BUT if they stop to fight, next turn you'll base them unless they're withdrawing. And if they're withdrawing, chances are they don't have much meat to withstand your full court press. I have seen more than one player (myself included) letting an enemy's ranged superiority get to their head, and start ducking and dodging and hiding behind terrain. All that does is give your enemy more rounds with which to pepper you and reduce your strength. Heck I posted a battle report where I was only single moving my dwarves towards a defended line of archers and a lich, and I got all shot up and blasted. Who knows how it would have gone if I had just blitzed?

 

Even if you need to move/charge to get into b2b and can't attack that turn, they won't be able to withdraw out of charge range and attack the same turn, and they may even fail their Dis check to disengage, so you've got them on the ropes once you're in b2b.

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In the end, any list built will have counter lists. Merlonc points out that his normal list would counter this one. Then you can tweak it and counter his. And we could do that all day long back and forth.

 

Knowing anything about your opponent and their play style definietly is a part of all of this and a part of army building in general. But, even then, if your opponent knows that you know what they know. Then you can hardly choose the cup on the left....

 

End result is, both cups are poisoned. Just build up your own immunity to it and have fun.... :)

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