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Swordsmen
Req. Town Buildings Barracks,
Smithy
Variants

Unit Icon BarbarianSwordsmen Transparent Barbarian Swordsmen

Unit Icon GnollSwordsmen Transparent Gnoll Swordsmen

Unit Icon HalflingSwordsmen Transparent Halfling Swordsmen

Unit Icon HighElfSwordsmen Transparent High Elf Swordsmen

Unit Icon HighMenSwordsmen Transparent High Men Swordsmen

Unit Icon KlackonSwordsmen Transparent Klackon Swordsmen

Unit Icon LizardmenSwordsmen Transparent Lizardmen Swordsmen

Unit Icon NomadSwordsmen Transparent Nomad Swordsmen

Unit Icon OrcSwordsmen Transparent Orc Swordsmen

Unit Icon BeastmenSwordsmen Transparent Beastmen Swordsmen

Unit Icon DarkElfSwordsmen Transparent Dark Elf Swordsmen

Unit Icon DraconianSwordsmen Transparent Draconian Swordsmen

Unit Icon DwarfSwordsmen Transparent Dwarf Swordsmen

Unit Icon TrollSwordsmen Transparent Troll Swordsmen
Baseline Properties
Construction Cost Icon Production.png 20
Upkeep Cost Icon Food.png1
Icon Gold.png 1
# of figures Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6
Moves Icon Movement Ground1
Melee Attack per figure Icon Melee Normal.png 3
Defense per figure Icon Defense.png 2
Resistance Icon Resist.png 4
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 1
Baseline Abilities
Ability LargeShield Large Shield

Swordsmen is the name of a Normal Unit Archetype. It is a template defining the baseline attributes and abilities of 14 Normal Units, all of which are called "Swordsmen". Each of these units is a variant of the basic Swordsmen archetype, and is produced by a different Race. The archetype is discussed in this article, and each variant has its own, separate page.

Swordsmen are available to every single Race in the game. In fact, each empire will start the game with one Swordsmen unit (and one Spearmen unit). Dwarf empires start with two units of Swordsmen.

Swordsmen are a little more expensive than Spearmen, but also appropriately more useful. They have a respectable Melee Attack score for a low-tier Normal Unit, and are somewhat durable against weak enemy Ranged Attacks and some Special Attacks. Swordsmen will likely form the backbone of most early armies, and will continue to do so until better units can be produced to replace them. Experienced Swordsmen can sometimes remain useful well into the mid-game.

Description Edit

The most "majestic" of all weapons is the Longsword - a long metal blade with one or two sharp edges, which is held in one hand and used as either a slashing or stabbing weapon. It is light and comfortable, freeing the user's left hand to carry a shield - thus providing some additional protection. Good swords are expensive and more complicated to create than other, simpler melee weapons (such as a Spear or an Axe), but not so much that they cannot be produced on a massive scale.

Swordsmen are often seen as the core of an army, with tactics revolving around their use. They tend to advance straight towards the enemy, and strive to make contact as soon as possible. Within close proximity, the sword is superior to most melee weapons. Furthermore, the shields that these units carry will help them reach melee combat without being slain along the way by enemy projectiles.

Baseline Properties Edit

The following section describe only the "baseline" properties of the Swordsmen 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

Nearly every empire starts the game with one unit of Swordsmen (Dwarven empires start with 2 such units), and won't take long to begin producing more of them. A town requires only a Barracks and a Smithy for Swordsmen production, and both structures are very cheap and can generally be built immediately. Swordsmen are quite cheap, costing only Icon Production.png 20 per unit and having an Upkeep Cost of only Icon Food.png1 and Icon Gold.png 1 per turn. Until such time that Halberdiers or other superior troops become available, Swordsmen will likely be produced in fairly large numbers.

A unit of Swordsmen contains Icon Figure.png 6 figures by default. It may never contain more than 6 figures. This makes Swordsmen a little difficult to destroy, as each figure can defend itself autonomously.

Swordsmen possess only a Melee Attack, but its strength is a respectable Icon Melee Normal.png 3 per figure. Each figure can be expected to deliver about Icon Damage.png 0.9 points of Damage with this attack - enough to pierce most Normal Units' armor. With all 6 figures attacking in unison, this can cause serious damage to enemy Normal Units - but is not strong enough to hurt heavily-armored opponents.

Swordsmen have a Defense score of only Icon Defense.png 2, but this is automatically increased by Icon Defense.png +2 for purposes of fending off enemy Ranged Attacks (of any type), Icon Thrown.png Thrown Attacks and Icon Breath.png Breath Attacks, thanks to the Swordsmen's Large Shield ability. It is also similarly increased when blocking enemy direct-damage spells. Swordsmen possess only a basic Icon Resist.png 4 Resistance, making them an easy target for harmful enemy Curses and other ill effects.

Basic Tactics Edit

Swordsmen are generally useful for striking enemy Normal Units. Their attack can pierce light armor rather easily, especially when the Swordsmen unit still contains all of its Icon Figure.png 6 figures. As the unit loses figures during combat, it becomes much less effective.

Swordsmen will generally have an easier time than other units when advancing towards the enemy formation. This is thanks to their Large Shield, which protects them fairly well against enemy Ranged Attackers pelting them with arrows or magical bolts as they advance. Swordsmen strive to make contact with the main enemy force, but a large group of them can sometimes manage to maneuver around the enemy's Melee Attackers and go straight for the weaker units in the rear.

Swordsmen will do well to gang up on enemy units. With several Swordsmen attacking in unison, even enemy high-tier Normal Units or low-tier Fantastic Units may be at risk from this coordinated assault. In one-on-one combat, Swordsmen can be expected to defeat enemy Spearmen, Bowmen and even Shamans pretty much every time. They may even best enemy Cavalry from time to time, as long as the Cavalry is not allowed to use its First Strike.

For best results, support your Swordsmen with other types of units, such as Bowmen, Cavalry and so forth. A mix of forces can assist Swordsmen in various ways, making for an easier victory with fewer casualties. Nonetheless, a large force comprised entirely of Swordsmen can be quite dangerous during the very-early stages of the game.

Gradually, Swordsmen will be replaced with the stronger Halberdiers or other, better Normal Units. If the empire's economy is strong, the obsolete Swordsmen can be relegated to garrison duties, protecting towns and reducing Unrest. Spearmen are often better for this role thanks to a lower Upkeep Cost, but Swordsmen will do at least until they can be replaced.

Of course, Experienced Swordsmen can remain useful on the front lines well into the mid-game, particularly Swordsmen belonging to the stronger races (Gnolls, Beastmen, Draconians, Trolls, etc.).

Variants Edit

Each of the 14 Races has access to its own Swordsmen unit. Each Race produces a different type of Swordsmen unit, which not only looks different but may also have different properties compared to the "baseline" template described above.

List of Variants Edit

Icon Name Bld Cost U Icon MultiFigureUnit Moves Icon Melee Normal.png Icon Ranged Bow.png Icon Defense.png Icon Resist.png Icon Hits.png Special
Unit Icon BarbarianSwordsmen Transparent Barbarian Swordsmen TownBuilding Smithy

TownBuilding Barracks

Icon Production.png 30 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Thrown.png 1 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 5 Icon Hits.png 1 Large Shield
Unit Icon BeastmenSwordsmen Transparent Beastmen Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 40 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 4 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 5 Icon Hits.png 2 Large Shield
Unit Icon DarkElfSwordsmen Transparent Dark Elf Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 50 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Ranged Magic.png 1 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 7 Icon Hits.png 1 Ranged Attack x4, Large Shield
Unit Icon DraconianSwordsmen Transparent Draconian Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 50 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Air2 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Breath.png 1 Icon Defense.png 3 Icon Resist.png 6 Icon Hits.png 1 Large Shield
Unit Icon DwarfSwordsmen Transparent Dwarf Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 50 Icon Food.png1 Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 8 Icon Hits.png 3 Mountaineer, Large Shield
Unit Icon GnollSwordsmen Transparent Gnoll Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 20 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 5 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 4 Icon Hits.png 1 Large Shield
Unit Icon HalflingSwordsmen Transparent Halfling Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 30 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 8 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 2 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 6 Icon Hits.png 1 Lucky, Large Shield
Unit Icon HighElfSwordsmen Transparent High Elf Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 30 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 6 Icon Hits.png 1 Icon ToHit.png +10%, Forester, Large Shield
Unit Icon HighMenSwordsmen Transparent High Men Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 20 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 4 Icon Hits.png 1 Large Shield
Unit Icon KlackonSwordsmen Transparent Klackon Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 40 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Defense.png 4 Icon Resist.png 5 Icon Hits.png 1 Large Shield
Unit Icon LizardmenSwordsmen Transparent Lizardmen Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 20 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Water1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Defense.png 3 Icon Resist.png 4 Icon Hits.png 2 Large Shield
Unit Icon NomadSwordsmen Transparent Nomad Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 20 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 4 Icon Hits.png 1 Large Shield
Unit Icon OrcSwordsmen Transparent Orc Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 20 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 1

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 4 Icon Hits.png 1 Large Shield
Unit Icon TrollSwordsmen Transparent Troll Swordsmen TownBuilding Barracks

TownBuilding Smithy

Icon Production.png 60 Icon Food.png1

Icon Gold.png 2

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 4 Icon Movement Ground1 Icon Melee Normal.png 5 Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 7 Icon Hits.png 4 Large Shield, Regeneration

Unit Icon BarbarianSwordsmen Transparent Barbarian Swordsmen Edit

Barbarian Swordsmen possess a Icon Thrown.png Thrown Attack of strength 1 per each Icon Figure.png figure, which improves alongside their Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack. This somewhat increases their average damage output, but only when making voluntary attacks against enemy targets (i.e. not when Counter Attacking). Thus, as long as Barbarian Swordsmen keep the initiative, they can punch above their weight and are dangerous to most low-tier and some mid-tier Normal Units. The Thrown Attack allows this unit to initiate attacks against flying units.
Furthermore, Barbarian Swordsmen have a slightly elevated Icon Resist.png Resistance score, though this does not provide much protection from harmful effects.
Barbarian Swordsmen cost 50% more to produce than the "baseline" Swordsmen. This is a little inconvenient, but should not prevent them from being produced in large numbers, and is well-worth the unit's advantages.

Unit Icon GnollSwordsmen Transparent Gnoll Swordsmen Edit

Gnoll Swordsmen are physically stronger than other Swordsmen, possessing a Melee Attack strength of Icon Melee Normal.png 5. This essentially makes them stronger than most enemy Swordsmen, in terms of offensive strength. Gnoll Swordsmen are still somewhat fragile, but can be directly compared to baseline Halberdiers in terms of combat usefulness - and at no extra cost. Gnoll Swordsmen are also much more useful against heavily-armored targets as a result of this improved attack strength.

Unit Icon HalflingSwordsmen Transparent Halfling Swordsmen Edit

Halfling Swordsmen have several racial advantages and disadvantages that affect their Melee Attack, but ultimately they are no stronger or weaker than other Swordsmen on the attack.
On the upside, Halfling Swordsmen possess the racial Halfling ability called Lucky, which confers a Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit bonus to their Melee Attack, delivering a little bit of extra damage as a result - particularly as the unit gains more Experience. Furthermore, the unit contains Icon Figure.png 8 figures by default, giving an increase of about 33% to their overall damage output - at least when the unit is at full numbers.
On the other hand, Halfling Swordsmen have a reduced Melee Attack strength of only Icon Melee Normal.png 2, which means that individually each Swordsman is weaker. This more than nullifies the bonus from both Lucky and the increased number of Icon Figure.png figures.
Nonetheless, with further Experience, Halfling Swordsmen should eventually benefit from all this, giving a slightly stronger attack than other Swordsmen of a similar Experience Level.
Lucky also bestows a Icon ToBlock.png +10% To Block bonus, which will help protect Halfling Swordsmen from physical damage, and a Icon Resist.png +1 Resistance bonus (on top of an innate racial Icon Resist.png +2) which will greatly help prevent enemy magic from taking effect on these Swordsmen. With Icon Figure.png 8 Figures in the unit, the Halfling Swordsmen are also significantly harder to destroy, even with powerful attacks.
Halfling Swordsmen are 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Swordsmen template, which fortunately isn't a big difference. Halfling empires should be able to maintain a large number of Halfling Swordsmen to defend themselves and to quell unrest later in the game.

Unit Icon HighElfSwordsmen Transparent High Elf Swordsmen Edit

High Elf Swordsmen possess a racial Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit bonus, which allows them to deliver a little more damage with each attack. This makes them more dangerous than the "baseline" Swordsmen template, especially as they gain more Experience Levels.
Furthermore, High Elf Swordsmen have a higher Icon Resist.png 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 Swordsmen cost 50% more than the "baseline" template, but are still rather cheap.

Unit Icon HighMenSwordsmen Transparent High Men Swordsmen Edit

Identical to baseline template (see above).

Unit Icon KlackonSwordsmen Transparent Klackon Swordsmen Edit

Klackon Swordsmen receive a racial Icon Defense.png +2 Defense bonus, which makes them very durable against weak attacks. Furthermore, whenever the Large Shield ability kicks in, Klackon Swordsmen are very hard to damage. Thus, they can go up against enemy low-tier Normal Units with little fear, and will generally survive longer in battle. They also have Icon Resist.png +1 Resistance, which makes them a little bit harder to harm with enemy spells and Special Attacks.
On the downside, Klackon Swordsmen cost twice as much to produce than the "baseline" Swordsmen, which is still about as much as the common Halberdiers unit - and thus not too expensive. Fortunately, Klackons also have higher Icon Production.png Production rates than other races, not enough to completely make up for the increased costs but enough to ensure that Klackon Swordsmen are still abundant.

Unit Icon LizardmenSwordsmen Transparent Lizardmen Swordsmen Edit

Lizardmen Swordsmen are significantly hardier than the "baseline" Swordsmen, with Icon Defense.png +1 and Icon Hits.png 2 Hit Points per figure. This allows them to survive much longer during combat, especially when fighting enemy Normal Units and against any attack that triggers their Large Shield bonus.
As with all other Lizardmen units, Lizardmen Swordsmen are capable of Icon Movement WaterSwimming at a rate of Icon Movement Water1 per turn. This enables them to move across Oceans, protecting overseas assets and carrying out wars on other continents. Constructing a large Swordsmen force early on and sending it to attack unsuspecting targets overseas is a common and valid strategy.

Unit Icon NomadSwordsmen Transparent Nomad Swordsmen Edit

Identical to baseline template (see above).

Unit Icon OrcSwordsmen Transparent Orc Swordsmen Edit

Identical to baseline template (see above).

Unit Icon BeastmenSwordsmen Transparent Beastmen Swordsmen Edit

Beastmen Swordsmen are more dangerous than the "baseline" template, thanks to an innate Icon Melee Normal.png +1 Melee Attack bonus and Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Resist.png +1 Resistance, making them just a little bit harder to affect with enemy spells and Special Attacks.
Beastmen Swordsmen cost twice as much as the "baseline" Swordsmen. This is a fair price to pay for their augmented capabilities. They should be able to engage enemy Halberdiers on even ground, and may even come out victorious.

Unit Icon DarkElfSwordsmen Transparent Dark Elf Swordsmen Edit

Dark Elf Swordsmen cost 2.5 times more to produce than the "baseline" Swordsmen, though this still only makes them about as expensive as the common Halberdiers, 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 Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attacks.
Dark Elf Swordsmen can use this attack up to 4 times per battle. This attack has an initial strength of only Icon Ranged Magic.png 1 per Swordsman, but will improve fairly well with Experience. As a Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attack, it does not suffer from distance penalties, and thus can be expended early in the fight before the Dark Elf Swordsmen's advance.
On top of this, Dark Elf Swordsmen are quite Icon Resist.png Resistant to enemy spells and various ill effects.

Unit Icon DraconianSwordsmen Transparent Draconian Swordsmen Edit

Draconian Swordsmen have several advantages and very few disadvantages, making them some of the best Swordsmen available. While they will still fall into disuse in the later portions of the game, Draconian Swordsmen are superior early on.
Draconian Swordsmen are Icon Movement AirFlying, and have a Movement Allowance of Icon Movement Air2. This is a strong advantage both on the battlefield and on the overland map.
Overland, Draconian Swordsmen can be used as cheap scouts, since Flying gives them a Sight Range of 2. When they do go into combat, Draconian Swordsmen are still Icon Movement AirFlying, 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 Swordsmen to utilize their Icon Breath.png 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 Swordsmen avoid enemy attacks, and only engage voluntarily - thus delivering slightly more than their normal damage.
Draconian Swordsmen are also better protected from both physical and magical attacks. They possess Icon Defense.png 3 Defense and Icon Resist.png 6 Resistance, both slightly better than the "baseline" Swordsmen. Coupled with smart maneuvering on the battlefield, this can keep Draconian Swordsmen fighting a little longer than normal.
Draconian Swordsmen are expensive compared to "baseline" Swordsmen, 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.

Unit Icon DwarfSwordsmen Transparent Dwarf Swordsmen Edit

Dwarf empires begin the game with 2 Dwarf Swordsmen units, since they have no Spearmen units whatsoever. In lieu of Spearmen, Dwarf Swordsmen will form the basis of their armies and garrison forces.
Fortunately, though 2.5 times more expensive to produce than "baseline" Swordsmen, Dwarf Swordsmen have a lower Upkeep Cost, requiring only Icon Food.png1 per turn to maintain! This makes them as cheap to maintain as the common Spearmen, and allows a Dwarf empire to keep many Dwarf Swordsmen without issue. Dwarf Swordsmen are thus rarely replaced entirely by Halberdiers, as would happen in other empires, and dwarf Towns are better protected by the presence of these strong units (instead of cheap and weak Spearmen as happens in other empires).
The Dwarf Swordsmen's primary advantage is their high Icon Hits.png Hit Points per figure, which allows them to stay in good shape even during heavy combat. They aren't stronger than other Swordsmen, but have more time to make repeated attacks and possibly win through sheer attrition. Dwarf Swordsmen also possess a very high Icon Resist.png Resistance score, which makes them very hard to affect with enemy spells and Special Attacks.
Dwarf Swordsmen also possess the Mountaineer ability, which should allow them and their entire stack to move quickly through Mountains, Hills and Volcanoes - but this normally has no effect due to their slow default movement speed.

Unit Icon TrollSwordsmen Transparent Troll Swordsmen Edit

Troll Swordsmen are both the strongest and most expensive type of Swordsmen in the game. Each Troll Swordsman possesses Icon Hits.png 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!
On top of this, Troll Swordsmen have a much-stronger attack than other Swordsmen, at Icon Melee Normal.png 5. Unfortunately, to balance this out, the unit contains only Icon Figure.png 4 figures and so is roughly only about 10% stronger than "baseline" Swordsmen in terms of overall damage output. Nonetheless, a stronger attack is better at piercing enemy armor.
Finally, Troll Swordsmen also possess a higher Icon Resist.png Resistance score, which protects them fairly well from enemy spells and Special Attacks.
For all of these advantages, the Troll Swordsmen unit is 3 times more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Swordsmen, 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 Swordsmen can be very hard to stop. Note that Troll Swordsmen also have a higher Upkeep Cost of Icon Gold.png 2 per turn, requiring the empire to grow rapidly in order to afford more and more of these.
As Troll Halberdiers become available, production of Troll Swordsmen is normally halted. Troll Spearmen are cheaper and better for defending your towns, and Troll Halberdiers are much stronger on the battlefield. Thus, there is little reason to continue producing Troll Swordsmen later in the game, though existing Troll Swordsmen should still be attached to advancing armies - if only to boost their numbers!

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