Swordsmen is a Empire melee infantry unit in Total War: Warhammer. The Swordsmen form a resolute battle line. Blades in hand, they thrive in melee, at the heart of battle.
Unlocked with: Training Field (Empire)
Swordsmen are expert fencers, equipped with a standard sword and shield and fighting in a loose formation, allowing them to manoeuvre in close combat. These daring soldiers are often romanticised by Imperial poets as tall, dashing figures, often bravely engaging the best enemy regiments with only their bravery and combat skill, striking an opponent's weak spot while knowing how to defend themselves with their battle-worn shields. This, along with their tremendous skill with the sword and their flexible formation, makes them a tough challenge for even the most skilled opponents, providing the Empire with powerful offensive capability.
Soldiers wear highly ornamental half-plate armour that bears the emblem of the Empire, their province, and other personal accessories and talismans. With the Empire housing many of the finest fencing schools within the Old World, many have regarded the Empire as having some of the best swordsmen in all of the human kingdoms, and some say that they are even better than the fearsome swordsmen of distant Estalia.
- ▲ Shielded: Shields have a chance of blocking arrows, bolts, rifle shots and similar small arms fire - but only in a forward facing arc.
Swordsmen make for an excellent early game unit that can stand their own against most other early game units. Even into late game Swordsmen make for a cheap, inexpensive melee unit that, while lacking the specialty of Greatswords or Halberdiers, do very well against light infantry and can hold their own against heavy infantry, but will get slaughtered by anti-infantry.
Swordsmen do best supported by other units, such as crossbowmen, handgunners, and halberdiers.
Lots of people like to disband their swordsmen for the greatswords units as soon as they can. I disagree with this tactic, and its worthwhile to keep in mind that a unit of swordsmen with silver or higher rank is an excellent unit to make the anvil you can then hammer down on with cavalry or flanking greatswords from behind. They're cheap, effective and will tie up much heavier infantry rather easily, so remember to try and split down your experienced swordsmen between new armies rather than outright replacing them. Of course bronze or below are generally expendable, but still that experience can literally make or break your defensive line against chaos or a Waaaaagh!