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I get that the niche of the Empire was originally supposed to be something like average infantry where the magic, cav, and artillery were supposed to pick up the slack, and that seemed to work better before TWW2 when their biggest opponents were Chaos, Orcs, Dwarves, and whatnot. After lots of balance changes and the new factions, especially all 3 elves, the crappiness of the Empire infantry really shines through with hardly any artillery, magic, or cav that really do anything beyond meet what the enemy has.
If the Empire is supposed to be a sort of jack of all trades type faction, then their infantry really should reflect their lore quality. It seems CA tries to stay lore friendly with a lot of units but the Empire really fails to capture this. The men of the Empire are constantly cited for their bravery and discipline above all else, yet their leadership is largely average and even beaten out by some shiftless backstabbing dark elf infantry. Empire spear and halberd formations are the backbone of their army that provide a very defensive wall. While it'd be nice if their defensive stats reflected this a little more, they're really not the worst offenders.
Empire swordsmen and greatswords are pretty pitiful. Swordsmen are, in universe, more elite than spearmen, detached as specialty units to provide more of a mobile, offensive pressure. Swordsmen now are seldom used online and they're always used as a point of comparison as the bare-bones, crappy stock infantry.
Greatswords really disappoint me. They go up against demons and chaos warriors in lore with heavy armor everywhere but their backs because they fight to the last man. For how expensive they are, they really should be able to put up more of a fight and have much higher leadership. They're obviously no Swordmasters or Chosen but their rank on the melee infantry spreadsheet as only 27th best is laughable.