Please register for Total War Access to use the forums. If you're an existing user, your forum details will be merged with Total War Access if you register with the same email or username. For more information please read our FAQ’s here.


Empire vs HE

Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 7,679
edited January 2019 in Multiplayer
I have big trouble winning this matchup. The HE roster seems to really show its weaknesses here.

The "default" Empire build you will get is something like:

- Lord on Griphon (Boris or KF)
- Hammer of the Witches
- Silver Bullets (not 100% of times but pretty often)
- Royal Altdorf Griphites
- (rarely) Steam Tank
- token frontline (sometimes couple Greatswords thrown in)
- Zintler's Reiksguard
- Life mage

The problems with this matchup is that due to the flying Lord, contesting the cav game is impossible. At the same time, while you can put pressure with Shadow Warriors on his cannons, this takes a fairly long time to do and in the meantime you need to dodge his lord trying to terror rout you and make you lose models.

Take Tempest right? Boris regenerates, KF has 80 armor and gets healed. Sure shooting his lord is sort of worth it but you're in a for a grind that will probably expend most of his ammo because you will likely get heal capped. Unless you wanna take Sisters, but they're too expensive and also you need to take Net too at that point. Also, you have only 1 net, and you're outmatched on cavalry, infantry and probably Lord choice too. Tempest also normally doesn't 1 shot the enemy lord, and if he is a flyer he can dodge it pretty much until it doesn't matter anymore

Spearmen are good for blob fights vs cav but Demis are far more resistant to them than any other cav with 120 armor. WL are cool to win frontline but I'm not sure it's necessary. Also this is a matchup where they're below average. I think 1v2 vs 2 Emp Swordsmen they lose? Or at least are left with so little HP that they just get terrified or cycle charged easily.

Frontline is also a problem, though not a huge deal: Swordsmen beat Spearmen and Greatswords although more expensive beat WL. Shooting the frontline, even from the sides to avoid shields, is not worth it because you have limited ammo and higher priorities.

To recap:

- far inferior cavalry game where it's hard to predict the Empire at the same time. 1x DK (to which HE have no counter) is given. But will you see 2? Or 2x Emp Knights? Will there be Zintler's Reiksguard? Will they bring Accusation to snipe your Fireborn (with no counterplay)? Or Final Transmutation which means that the Empire goes around unpunished?
- inferior infantry game
- inferior artillery game
- arguably tied for monster mash

This is not to mention strong combos such as faith demis or FT.

Any tips on how to win this matchup? After playing it several times it seems to me that HE is behind a lot.

I haven't tested KF 1v1 vs a Star Dragon but it wouldn't surprise me if fully kitted KF ties with fully kitted SD. Empire also has arguably better support in air duels in the form of Silver Bullets and Cannons as well as access to sick cannons and nets too.
Post edited by Green0 on


  • OrkLadsOrkLads Registered Users Posts: 1,875
    Can you give some sample builds you've tried? I've played this from the High Elf side and had a pretty decent success rate and I would consider the match up pretty even.
  • Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 7,679
    edited January 2019
    Tyrion full kitted
    High Mage with Apotheosis and Tempest and Staff because I had spare gold
    2x Spearmen
    3x White Lions
    3x Shadow Warriors
    1x Fireborn

    (it might not add up to 12400 but you get the gist)

    2x Noble
    1x Reavers
    1x Silver Helms
    2x Spearmen
    3x White Lions
    3x Shadow Warriors
    1x Sisters

    I could go full cavalry but like, sure if you spend all your money into it you might win but it's betting on the surprise factor and the fact that Empire won't go full cavalry themselves (which is far less "cheesy", i.e. win at selection screen, from the Empire side). I really don't like to HAVE TO kite though, because in the end once you get rid of enemy mobility, you deny the opponent participation in the game if all he has left is infantry through slighty abusive cycle charging (I do cycle charge myself, what I mean is that infantry normally can't really fight back vs cav charges).

    Don't tell me to go Bolt Throwers: cannons outrange BT and HotW has phys. resistance.
  • OrkLadsOrkLads Registered Users Posts: 1,875
    edited January 2019
    My go-to build is teclis, 4 spears, 2 white lions, 1 swordmaster, 2 lothern sea guard with shields, 1 sister, 2 ellyrian reavers, 1 dragon prince, 1 bolt thrower.

    Teclis has net, regrowth, enfeebling foe.

    I also like using Phoenixes in that match up as they can do surprisingly well.

    In regards to bolt throwers, have you considered taking alarielle on a horse or foot and keeping her near the bolt throwers so they get magic attacks? I ran some tests and 1 bolt thrower will lose to the hammer, 2 bolt throwers will comfortably beat the hammer, 2 bolt throwers with magical ammunition barely take damage while beating it.

    Considering that 2 bolt throwers = 1400 & hammer of the witches = 1100, I would say the extra 300 is worth the tactical advantage sniping potential of winning the arty duel.
    Post edited by OrkLads on
  • Disposable HeroDisposable Hero Registered Users Posts: 6,170
    It's a bit in EMP favor imo, but not by a huge amount. The difficulty from my perspective lies in that it's hard to find a single build that does well vs both the slightly more common Karl + demis builds and the old Gelt/WH builds. At the same time there's always the threat of a heavy artillery presence, and/or muskets. Taken together it's a very real risk to lose in the army selection screen.

    I think DPs and SHs can challenge the cav game though, it's not that unfavorable. It very much depends on which support is brought on both sides and which engagement you get so it's a bit risky.

    Otherwise I think the "safest" bet is to go archer-heavy with Teclis (or light foot mage), several Soa backed up be some LSG and spears, and Nobles to deal with Demis/leadership. There is a risk you'll run into the sunmaker and mortars though...
  • CirdanCirdan Registered Users Posts: 785
    edited January 2019
    I usually do:

    Allarielle on eagle
    4 Spearmen
    2 WL
    3 Archers
    2 ECBT
    1 DP
    1 Fireborn

    I have had some luck with this build against the empire. If the EMP general gets too close and outside his fire support, you can tempest + AU him and engage him in melee with allarielle. Coupled with a short series of archer and artillry fire, he can be broken in mere seconds and chased off the battlefield.

    ECBT can snipe enemy art and then procced with fire on DK.

    I do however struggle with witch hunters and steam tanks firing on DP.
  • Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 7,679
    So I see that nobody is using SW... maybe they're a Lotus exclusive? Indeed they can snipe artillery and Lord but do so for 850g. I noticed that they also tend to do badly vs Greatswords in the last big engagement...
  • CirdanCirdan Registered Users Posts: 785
    Green0 said:

    So I see that nobody is using SW... maybe they're a Lotus exclusive? Indeed they can snipe artillery and Lord but do so for 850g. I noticed that they also tend to do badly vs Greatswords in the last big engagement...

    I haven't tried them out in this MU as of yet, mainly gone reaver archers or regular archers.

    Maybe i'll give it a go.
  • Disposable HeroDisposable Hero Registered Users Posts: 6,170
    Green0 said:

    So I see that nobody is using SW... maybe they're a Lotus exclusive? Indeed they can snipe artillery and Lord but do so for 850g. I noticed that they also tend to do badly vs Greatswords in the last big engagement...

    No my go-to build for a very long time has been SW, Cav, Alarielle, spears and WL, but I have been looking into switching things out lately because of Karl and demi spam seems more popular and it's a bit weak to that. I just tried the archer build and got spanked by a complete corner noobbox with sunmaker + 2 more arty + FT though so I don't think there are any guarantees lol.
  • ystyst Registered Users Posts: 8,777
    If ure using shadow war u need to make sure ure getting the $ back. They have to really be aggressively used to gain benefits. Apart from emp missiles and basic inf, they r quite armoured, from knights to greatswords. Shadow war may not be too effective against them unless ure shooting pistoliers or something.

    5 archers r cheaper than 3 shadow war. If ure using them to shoot cannon, or some random stuffs, better off swaping 3 shadow to 2 eagle bolt and 2 archer.

    I havent really figure out in depth whose on the more disadvantage side here. Too many element pointing quite an equal. It can be bit problematic if they go heavy cav. They do have a wide range of spells, art and inf.

    Top #3 Leaderboard on Warhammer Totalwar.
  • Black_PhillipBlack_Phillip Registered Users Posts: 625
    I go 2 dp, fireborn, just the RoR shadow warriors for artillery, teclis and I think a mix of spears, white lions, and archers for the remaining army.

    I think you need a heavier cav force.
  • Wyvern2Wyvern2 Registered Users Posts: 1,608
    I think a lot of it will depend on map, because on a more enclosed map I think HE have a distinct advantage if they go aggressive. The issue arises on more open maps where cannons/helstorms/mortars are given enough room to do their work. Personally I like something like this

    Gives you a good amount of zoning, a net and some firepower. I don't think it's worth it to contest empire frontlines. They take forever to chew through your spears anyway and you need to deal with cav more.
    Regularly publish Total War: Warhammer 2 content on my YT channel

  • OrkLadsOrkLads Registered Users Posts: 1,875
    edited January 2019
    Green0 said:

    So I see that nobody is using SW... maybe they're a Lotus exclusive? Indeed they can snipe artillery and Lord but do so for 850g. I noticed that they also tend to do badly vs Greatswords in the last big engagement...

    I don't like kiting much as a playstyle (although I have no problem with it) so generally don't focus on it. I might take 1-2 shadow warriors/reaver archers but in general for hybrid range I will use lothern sea guard and use their duel spear archer role to allow myself to go heavier on elite infantry (2 sword masters or throw in a phoenix guard) or more cav.

    Map dependent, this is one match up where I like the storm riders. I forward deploy them with a couple reaver archers or shadow warrior to provide defence against cavalry while I harass the back line and bring the rest of my force forward. When I do this I find taking a phoenix can be worthwhile too as they are very quick and will allow you provide timely armour piercing support if necessary.
    Post edited by OrkLads on
  • eumaieseumaies Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 7,581
    i feel like cav is the way to go. They usually don't have more than 1 unit of demi's with halbards and you have fireborn and faster cav in general. Then archers can kite.

    Even though you don't have AP cav greatswords are anti inf and so wouldn't hold up with if empire loses the cav fight.

    The cannon is a problem but can be disrupted with reavers or perhaps shot up with archers.

    I'm not convinced the presence of one flier means cav fight is a lost cause. You have the option to take multiple fliers and he doesn't.

    Sisters of avelorn are faster than empire infantry so if you can neutralize cannon of the witches you could combo foot archers with lots of cavalry and be in a pretty dominant position.

    I'm not saying you can't alternately go heavy infantry vs some builds but vis a vis the generic army you described, why contest the infantry line at all? Elves are faster than humans and i doubt he's bringing flagellants.
  • Lotus_MoonLotus_Moon Registered Users Posts: 10,608
    My build is

    Allariel on eagle, light mage on horse, ROR DP, DP, 2 shadow warriors, ROR lsg, Sisters, 4 spearmen.

    Spread super wide you have lots threats and area denial, i could drop items on mage and a spell and get another spearmen or upgrade the spearmen to LSG but i dont want to.
  • JoukeSeinstraJoukeSeinstra Registered Users Posts: 281
    Alith Anar (Darken the Skies, Mislead)
    Mage of Light on Chariot(LoB, NoA)
    5 Silver Helms(Without Shields)
    4 Shadow Warriors
    2 Great Eagles

    258 gold to spare

    Cavalry seeks cavalry engagement.
    Shadow warriors reinforce Cavalry
    Light mage denies infantry support

    If Empire plays denial, Alith Anar/Shadow Warriors play value. The challenge is to find the right timing to engage with cavalry. Dictate the engagement with mobility, range, and vanguard. Use vanguard deployment to set up a trap.

  • Elder_BasiliskElder_Basilisk Registered Users Posts: 426
    edited January 2019
    I've had some limited success with Allarielle on an eagle, fire phoenix, 3 white lions, 4 shielded sea guard, 3 archers, and the fireborn.

    It is pretty effective against that flying lord you were talking about because tempest will keep him from running away and Allarielle plus the phoenix will outmatch even Karl Franz if you use some of your magic. Just don't fight right next to the silver bullets or you'll be in a world of hurt. It's also pretty good against witch Hunter and steam tank (the phoenix and Allarielle are what carry the day there) builds and kitey outrider builds (which are outranged and outshot by the sea guard and archers) but it tends to lose to mass cavalry or heavy greatswords builds. And it will lose if you get suckered into running Allarielle and/or the phoenix next to the silver bullets or get them caught out by demigryphs.

    I've tried downgrading some of my shielded sea guard to regular and scraping some of the other luxuries and can find a way to fit a couple spearmen in too which helps a little against demigryphs+Altdorf gryphite builds.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file