|Req. Town Buildings||None|
|# of figures||8|
|Melee Attack per figure||1|
|Defense per figure||2|
|Hit Points per figure||1|
Spearmen is the name of a Normal Unit Archetype. It is a template defining the baseline attributes and abilities of 13 Normal Units, all of which are called "Spearmen". Each of these units is a variant of the basic Spearmen archetype, and is produced by a different Race. The archetype is discussed in this article, and each variant has its own, separate page.
Spearmen are the cheapest of all units, and may be built in any town regardless of pre-existing structures. Thus, copious amounts of Spearmen can be constructed, very early on, to form the starting basis of the armed forces. As more advanced units become available, Spearmen will normally be relegated to garrison duties, as they can be maintained for a very low price without hurting the economy.
Of course, Spearmen are cheap mainly because they are very weak. With only a very basic Melee Attack and poor defensive properties, Spearmen contribute very little to combat. Their only real combat advantage is their large numbers. Experienced Spearmen are more useful, but cannot even begin to compete with mid-game units and strong combat spells.
The Spear is a very simple hunting weapon that was adapted for combat well before written history. It has changed little since then: a long stick with a sharpened tip, which is jabbed directly into the enemy or thrown with penetrating force. The tip itself is more effective when made of sharpened metal or bone, but the function of the spear remains the same.
Since spears are easy to make, and pretty simple to use, it takes very little to train a large group of Spearmen. Usually these are lowly farmers, who have some expertise in using two-handed farm instruments. Safety in numbers is the key for a Spearmen unit's survival, especially when Spearmen learn to work in formation - pointing a wall of spears at the enemy, or forming a circle that cannot be easily assaulted from any side. Still, in one-on-one combat, a Spearman is usually inferior to almost any opponent.
Baseline Properties Edit
The following section describe only the "baseline" properties of the Spearmen archetype. Most of the actual units produced will have innate racial bonuses that deviate from this baseline template. Read the section on racial variants below for more information.
Attributes and Abilities Edit
Each race except the Dwarves starts with one unit of Spearmen, and can immediately produce more in each and every Town; no additional construction is required. Spearmen are the cheapest of all units, costing only 10 per unit and having an Upkeep Cost of only 1 per turn (no Gold is necessary). This makes it possible to train many Spearmen units very early in the game, and they will form the bulk of units in most starting armies.
A unit of Spearmen contains 8 figures by default. Numerous figures provide additional protection to the unit as a whole, allowing it to last longer in combat despite each Spearman's weak performance. When at full numbers, Spearmen can often strike well above their weight, too.
Spearmen possess only a Melee Attack of extremely low strength: 1. This gives an average damage output of only 0.3 points of Damage per figure - insufficient to pose any serious threat. However, with all 8 figures attacking in unison, the Spearmen unit is still somewhat dangerous to enemy low-tier (or lightly-armored) opponents.
Spearmen are dressed only in light armor, having 2 Defense. With 1 Hit Point per figure, this means that a Spearman's life is usually very short - though again the unit as a whole takes longer to destroy thanks to having 8 Figures in total. Spearmen have a basic 4 Resistance, making them an easy target for enemy spells and ill effects.
Basic Tactics Edit
The attack of a Spearmen unit is very weak, and can't be expected to do any damage to well-armored opponents. Still, against lightly-armored opponents the Spearmen's superior numbers add some overall chance of landing at least one hit. Thus, Spearmen units are mainly useful when still at 8 Figures, but rapidly become ineffective during combat as their numbers dwindle.
As a result, Spearmen will generally be effective only when ganging up on a single enemy unit from multiple directions, each Spearmen unit hoping to deliver one or two lucky points of Damage before being destroyed or rendered ineffective. Again, since Spearmen are cheap to produce, fielding a large army of Spearmen units should not be a problem, and in fact is encouraged. If the number of Spearmen is sufficient, they might even be able to take out enemy mid-tier or even high-tier Normal Units when concentrating their attacks this way. Expect heavy casualties, of course.
Naturally, as enemy units become stronger and stronger, even Experience isn't going to make a Spearmen unit very strong. They are often replaced by Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Cavalry, and stronger units as these become available.
Nonetheless, Spearmen who are no longer required on the front lines still have their use: they will make great garrison troops for your Towns, particularly those towns that aren't under threat of attack. The Spearmen's presence reduces Unrest just like any other unit would, and they cost next-to-nothing to maintain, making them perfect for this role.
13 out of the 14 different Races (basically, everyone except the Dwarves) have access to their own Spearmen units. Each Race produces a different type of Spearmen unit, which not only looks different but may also have different properties compared to the "baseline" template described above.
List of Variants Edit
|Dark Elf Spearmen||25||1||8||1||1||1||2||7||1||Ranged Attack x4|
|High Elf Spearmen||15||1||8||1||1||2||6||1||+10%, Forester|
|High Men Spearmen||10||1||8||1||1||2||4||1|
- Barbarian Spearmen possess a Thrown Attack of strength 1 per each figure, which improves alongside their Melee Attack. This doubles their average damage output, but only when making voluntary attacks against enemy targets (i.e. not when Counter Attacking). Thus, as long as Barbarian Spearmen keep the initiative, they can punch well above their weight and are dangerous to most low-tier and some mid-tier Normal Units.
- Furthermore, Barbarian Spearmen have a slightly elevated Resistance score, though this does not provide much protection from harmful effects.
- Gnoll Spearmen are physically stronger than other Spearmen, possessing a Melee Attack strength of 3. This essentially makes them stronger than most enemy Swordsmen, in terms of offensive strength. Gnoll Spearmen are still expected to die very frequently, but can cause more damage while doing so, and can effectively strike targets with stronger armor.
- Halfling Spearmen possess the racial Halfling ability called Lucky. This confers a few advantages, mainly a +10% To Hit bonus which applies to their Melee Attack, delivering a little bit of extra damage as a result - particularly as the unit gains more Experience. While it doesn't make Halfling Spearmen very dangerous, it does increase their effectiveness by a small amount.
- Lucky also bestows a +10% To Block bonus, which will help protect Halfling Spearmen from physical damage, and a +1 Resistance bonus (on top of an innate racial +2) which will greatly help prevent enemy magic from taking effect on these Spearmen.
- Halfling Spearmen are 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Spearmen template, which really isn't a big difference. Fortunately, Upkeep Costs are not higher, and Halfling empires should be able to maintain a very large number of Halfling Spearmen to defend themselves and to quell unrest later in the game.
- High Elf Spearmen possess a racial +10% To Hit bonus, which allows them to deliver a little more damage with each attack. This makes them more dangerous than the "baseline" Spearmen template, especially as they gain more Experience Levels.
- Furthermore, High Elf Spearmen have a higher Resistance score, which protects them somewhat from enemy spells and Special Attacks. They also have the Forester ability, which means that they spend only 1 Movement Point on entering Forest tiles - but this normally has no effect on their overland speed since they only have 1 Movement Point to spend each turn anyway.
- For these advantages, the High Elf Spearmen cost 50% more than the "baseline" template, but are still very cheap.
- Identical to baseline template (see above).
- Klackon Spearmen receive a racial +2 Defense bonus, which makes them very durable against weak attacks. Thus, they can go up against enemy low-tier Normal Units with little fear, and will generally survive longer in battle. They also have +1 Resistance, which makes them a little bit harder to harm with enemy spells and Special Attacks.
- On the downside, Klackon Spearmen cost twice as much to produce than the "baseline" Spearmen, which is still about as much as the common Swordsmen unit - and thus not too expensive. Fortunately, Klackons also have higher Production rates than other races, not enough to completely make up for the increased costs but enough to ensure that Klackon Spearmen are still abundant.
- Lizardmen Spearmen are significantly hardier than the "baseline" Spearmen, with +1 and 2 Hit Points per figure. This allows them to survive much longer during combat, especially when fighting enemy Normal Units.
- As with all other Lizardmen units, Lizardmen Spearmen are capable of Swimming at a rate of 1 per turn. This enables them to move across Oceans, protecting overseas assets and carrying out wars on other continents. Constructing a large Spearmen force early on and sending it to attack unsuspecting targets overseas is a common and valid strategy.
- Identical to baseline template (see above).
- Identical to baseline template (see above).
- Beastmen Spearmen are more dangerous than the "baseline" template, thanks to an innate +1 Melee Attack bonus and 2 Hit Points per figure. In other words, they both inflict more damage with their attacks and will last longer during combat. They also possess +1 Resistance, making them just a little bit harder to affect with enemy spells and Special Attacks.
- Beastmen Spearmen cost twice as much as the "baseline" Spearmen. This is a fair price to pay for their augmented capabilities. They should be able to engage enemy Swordsmen on even ground, and may even come out victorious.
- Dark Elf Spearmen cost 2.5 times more to produce than the "baseline" Spearmen, though this still only makes them about as expensive as the common Swordsmen, and they are significantly more effective. They make up for the extra cost thanks to the common racial benefit of Dark Elf troops: the ability to make Magical Ranged Attacks.
- Dark Elf Spearmen can use this attack up to 4 times per battle. This attack has an initial strength of only 1 per Spearman, but will improve fairly well with Experience. As a Magical Ranged Attack, it does not suffer from distance penalties, and thus can be expended early in the fight before the Dark Elf Spearmen's advance.
- On top of this, Dark Elf Spearmen are quite Resistant to enemy spells and various ill effects.
- Draconian Spearmen have several advantages and very few disadvantages, making them some of the best Spearmen available. While they will still fall into disuse in the later portions of the game, Draconian Spearmen are superior early on.
- Draconian Spearmen are Flying, and have a Movement Allowance of 2. This is a strong advantage both on the battlefield and on the overland map.
- Overland, Draconian Spearmen can be used as cheap scouts, since Flying gives them a Sight Range of 2. When they do go into combat, Draconian Spearmen are still Flying, and cannot be attacked by most Melee Attack units at all. They can easily maneuver right up to their intended target - preferably a weak one - and gang up on it to destroy it.
- Flying is also important for Draconian Spearmen to utilize their Fire Breath attack, which is only executed when they voluntarily make a Melee Attack against an enemy target (not when Counter Attacking). Flying helps the Spearmen avoid enemy attacks, and only engage voluntarily - thus delivering about double their normal damage.
- Draconian Spearmen are also better protected from both physical and magical attacks. They possess 2 Defense and 6 Resistance, both slightly better than the "baseline" Spearmen. Coupled with smart maneuvering on the battlefield, this can keep Draconian Spearmen fighting a little longer than normal.
- Draconian Spearmen are expensive compared to "baseline" Spearmen, costing 2.5 times more to produce. This is still fairly cheap, especially given the advantages described above. If a large army of these can be created early on, it can go off to expand your empire by force quite effectively.
- Troll Spearmen are both the strongest and most expensive type of Spearmen in the game. Each Troll Spearman possesses 4 Hit Points, and has the ability to Regenerate. This not only massively increases their staying power, but also means that the unit may be fully healed or even restored to life after successful combat! Trolls will often produce large armies of Troll Spearmen early in the game, and these can be difficult to stop.
- On top of this, Troll Spearmen have a much-stronger attack than other Spearmen, at 3. Unfortunately, to balance this out, the unit contains only 4 figures and so is roughly only about 50% stronger than "baseline" Spearmen in terms of overall damage output. Nonetheless, a stronger attack is better at piercing enemy armor.
- Finally, Troll Spearmen also possess a higher Resistance score, which protects them fairly well from enemy spells and Special Attacks.
- For all of these advantages, the Troll Spearmen unit is 3 times more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Spearmen, essentially slowing down the rate at which Troll empires can expand early on. Nonetheless, only a few are usually required to begin aggressively expanding, and a large group of Troll Spearmen can be very hard to stop. Furthermore, Troll Spearmen still have the same low Upkeep Cost as all other Spearmen, so it is possible to maintain large number of them even after they're replaced by other units. These Spearmen will be essential to reducing Unrest across your conquered empire.