Total War Warhammer Guide: Army Composition
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Total War Warhammer Guide: Army Composition

September 18, 2019

Before setting out onto the battlefield to
control an army you must have an army to control. You must choose what units to recruit and
with that a general plan of action against the enemy. In this guide, I will explain in
a few short steps what I believe are necessary for army composition. Some of these tips will
be slightly altered depending on the faction you play so please note the suggested differences
based on your faction. In Total War Warhammer there is a new element
that is different than previous games in the series. You now have access to generals, as
well as lords and wizards to command and inspire your army. These Lords give leadership or
morale boosts to your troops and when they die there is a morale debuff on your troops.
To make sure you always have that advantage on your side I suggest getting a lord and
another hero unit that are good at killing other Lord and hero units. For example, as
the Empire, I get Karl Franz on Deathclaw and a Witch Hunter. I pick Karl Franz because
he is the best in a one on one fight and being on Deathclaw he has high mobility which will
help to get to the fights when needed and also avoid fights that he shouldn’t be in.
I get a Witch Hunter because as the Empire he has an ability called Accusation which
does damage over time to a single target. Other characters for other factions have spells
similar to this so I suggest getting those characters to support your main Lord. When
you begin a battle your Lord and your supporting hero are to be kept safe, behind your lines,
until you can engage in combat on your terms and win the fight with the enemy Lord and
then the supporting characters they may have. This will give your army a leadership advantage
over their opponents. Step 2: Your main battle line
Your main battle line should be built based on a few ideas but which units fit these ideas
depends on your faction. These units are meant to be the linebackers or main defense. The
main line would ideally be units with shields because it will give added missile protection.
This way they can get engaged in melee combat without taking much damage from enemy ranged
units before hand. This allows your troops to have as little disadvantage as possible
and thus hold as long as possible. It also should not be made up of your best troops
from your faction. Not only will this cost more money but this means your main troops
will be the ones first to be wounded, killed off, or tired out from fighting. Lastly they
would ideally be troops meant to kill other infantry to make sure they can last longer
in the fight against the enemy mainline. As and example I would use about 4-5 swordsmen
units playing as the empire. Step 3: Your Reserves
Your army should have a second line of reserves and just like the main line it should be based
on some core ideas and the units you choose should be different based on your faction.
Your second line should be your utility line, the line that has all the specialist skills
and there are two skills in particular they should have. The first is anti-Large. Certain
units such as spears are usually good against large units which would be cavalry, giants
and veirgeists. Since these units will not be committed to the original fight they have
the flexibility to cover the flanks, to be thrown into the mainline if they are under
attack from large units or to protect your ranged units from flying monsters that may
come attack them. The second skill your reserve units should have is armour piercing and ideally
as well anti-infantry. This will help you to have troops waiting to see where the trouble
spots in your line are and to counter them. Sometimes the enemy throws their best unit
against your main line and they start to break that unit well before the other parts of your
line. Having an armour piercing and ideally anti-infantry unit to back them up is crucial.
Not only does that help to restrengthen the leadership of your unit who was loosing but
it allows your best unit to get into combat against their best unit but only after theirs
has lost men and has lost their endurance which lowers their combat skills. You get
to put fresh troops that are on their A game against the enemies tired units and you will
usually switch that fight quickly to being in your advantage. As always it’s ideal to
have these troops be shielded as well to help deal with any missile fire they may get while
waiting to be committed to a fight but it’s less necessary then your front line. Example
Empire Reserve line would be 2 spear units (possibly with shields) 2 halberdiers, and
2 Greatswords. Step 4: Ranged units
I always have a ranged componenet of about 2-3 units depending on who I am facing. Obviously
if you are playing the Vampires or even the Chaos you will not have a ranged component
of your army. I usually stick with normal archers or crossbowmen unless I am going against
dwarves or Chaos who have more heavy armour units and I need the armoured piercing power
of the gun missle troops like hand gunners. These units are important and should be used
in a few key ways. They should be used against high damage melee troops ideally the ones
without shields such as savage orcs or other units with great weapons. Once those units
are engaged in combat, take your ranged units and focus fire them all on the enemies ranged
units. If you are playing dwarves, for example, then go for the gun missile units first to
stop their armour piercing damage from being as substantial as it can be against your troops.
Go one by one till each of the ranged units route. From there I usually have them support
the flanks or shoot across the front lines toward the other side to have the best angle
on the enemy troops. So my ranged units on the right of my line shoot the enemies on
the left and vica versa. This means less friendly fire for you. Also think about trying to have
your missile troops on terrain higher then your main line so they have a better angle
of attack on enemy troops. If your missle troops can’t see the enemy they will avoid
firing to limit friendly fire but they can still fire and hit your own men. If your are
one of those factions with little or no ranged options then merge step 4 with step 5. An
example Empire would be 2-3 crossbows or handgunners Step 5: Mobility Units
Molbility is totaly necessary in my book but as say the dwarves, who have no cavalry, it
is possible to switch mobility for ranged units and forgo units like gyrocopoters altogether.
I would suggest though that if you are dwarves then get a unit or two more of ranged and
a unit or two more of anti large to help counter the other factions using cavalry or monsters
against you. For mobility, I have cavalry and maybe a flying monster or two but it depends
on who your up against. I would say though that ideally whatever mobility you choose
it should be anti-large. The reason for that is so you can win any cavalry engagements
thus giving you the mobility advantage and then you can use them to again counter Lords
or monsters. Also the charge of any mobile unit, cavalry or monster, should be used in
the rear of a unit, ideadlly not against a unit that is also anti-large. Rear attacks
demorallize enemy troops anyways so the fact that your unit is not meant to kill infntry
won’t matter as much. Also as mobility it’s best to charge your unit in and after a few
seconds get them out of the engagement. Once the unit is far enough away from the enemy
cycle them back into the rear of that same unit. This is best really with cavalry as
flying units are designed by Creative Assembly to not take back off until after a shor tperiod
of time. As an example I would pick the demigryph knights with halberds. They have tons of armour,
tons of weight and can win almost any cavalry engagment and their weight and charge bonus
will be more then enough to wreck a unit of infantry if you rear charge them. Overall points:
1. Your Lord and his supporting hero should be focused in battle on killing the enemy
Lord and his supporting heros. 2. Your main line should be shielded and ideally
units that can take up decent damage. They should be seen as your defensive line/line
backers to give you a wall that you then opperate the rest of you units around.
3. Your reserve line should be your better troops and more veratile troops. You should
have anti-large, armour piercing and anti-infantry troops in this line. Put them into the fights
as needed depending on how the battle plays out. If you have the advantage then take a
unit or two and flank the enemy with this reserve line. Watch them to make sure they
do not take too much ranged fire. 4. Your ranged units should be used either
to take out lightly armoured/high damaged units and quickly moved to help support either
the flanks from attacking mobile units/ flying units or to focus fire on the enemy ranged
units to protect your flanking moves/flying units.
5. Your mobility should should be used to destroy their mobile units, artillery, Lords
and heros or rear charge their main line and in that order. Again prioritys go as follows(
typically) enemy mobile units, then artillery, then lordsand heros then rear charging an
infantry fight. Again these are guide lines and not hard and fast rules to fight by. If
you are in a fight where their arty can’t hit yet then get a quick rear charge in and
cycle out or lock down the lord on his mount, using that anti large on your mobile units,
and send in your lord and hero to go for the kill.

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  1. I was waiting for a video like this. With real tips for build the most functional army possible. Thanks. I hope you make videos like this for all races 🙂

  2. If your using vampires or chaos with a lot of monstrous units, what is a good recommendation for them?

  3. Thank you for the basic description.

    I am going to play Vampire counts, and I had a question about the vampire cavalry flying bats. You mentioned how flying units can't pull back so well after they have engaged? So they should commit themselves?

    And where would you put your flankers in the case of the Vampire counts, who have no ranged attackers?

  4. Hello good sir..I'm playing as the dwarves right now and on a campaign trying to fight the chaos but the chaos hellcannon just slaughter my inf and arty..ive been trying to counter it with the gyros but failed because they just shot the hell out of them just like AA plus most of the chaos army have at least 2 or 4 of them there any suggestion to solve this problem..any help is much appreciated..thank you in advance.. 😀

  5. Great video, helpful and direct. Just for future reference linebackers, as the name suggests, are actually not in the main line they play behind the line and tackle people that break through it. The linemen,those 300 pound meat walls on offense and freakishly fast monsters on defense, are the line. So in summary if you are going with the football metaphors linemen are the main line and linebackers are the reserve.

  6. The salt and pepper spread composition and hammer & anvil tactic works best. Allows maximum flexibility "in battle" This from a Medieval Total War I and II vet.

  7. Good work im currently trying to understand how to play this cuz with magic and aerial units it seems quite hard 😉

  8. So, your composition is around 5 front line. 5 secondary front line, and 2 crossbows and zero artillery. Interesting.

  9. The reason I always end up with relatively expensive armies is because the more you want your army as one-size-fits-all, the more it seems you have to spend. Sure, you can have a good guess of what you'll be faced with based on where you send that army….but that guess gets harder to do when in mid game, what with chaos running amok and different factions filling the void rather quickly. I had Bretonnia spread out past the Grey Mountains almost all the way to Kislev, the Vamps often spread out rather quickly and get closer to Reikland around end game. Might as well be ready for anything, might as well pay top dollar.

    One exception being the difference between what I call front line armies and "warden" armies. The first needs to be ready for anything, the second only needs to be ready for feral orks and beastmen.

  10. Really good tips there man, good stuff. One thing I will say though is lay off the amphetamine! Haha! That was a lot of information for the newbs to digest condensed into a micro-second. You sound like you know your stuff though, and I'd be up for giving you a game at some point. I always either go full Infantry shooty (Wood Elves) or sheer Inf/Cav Brutality (Greenskins). That said you are completely correct in army composition, but always play to your factions strengths. ie. Elves…shooting, Dwarves… defensive and tough, Vampires…overwhelming numbers, Bretonnians…flanking units, Empire….artillery, and so on. The only army I have a hard time beating is Chaos, unless I'm fighting as Wood Elves with armour piercing units.

  11. "In Total War Warhammer there is a new element that is different than any previous game in the series…You know have access to generals…these lords give leadership, or essentially morale boost to your troops, and when they die, there is a morale or leadership debufff to your troops."

    Seems like this guy has never played a Total War game ever. Literally every Total War game has done this!!!

  12. I think you meant "Linemen", not "linebackers". Your linebackers would be heavy-hitting elite troops, like cavalry.

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