The Swordmasters are the heavy armour heavy hitting foot solders of the Aelf army. Thier great swords hit often and cut deep.
General Swordmaster Tactics
Swordmasters are elite units this means that you will want them to take on the more difficult enemy units. The crunch is that the enemy will do thier best to avoid getting thier best units sliced by the Swordmasters and may try to tie them up will large cheap units. As the Swordmasters are on foot you will need to engineer situations where the Swordmasters get in to combat with the right targets.
Swordmaster Weapons and Abilities
The Aelf Swordmasters only has one weapon, a double handed sword, however they are experts using these swords. First off they have 2 attacks each wounding 44.44% per attack each. They also re-roll 1’s to hit so will wound almost once per combat round per so there are 2 extra 1/6th chances of hitting at 44.44%. This means the total chance of hitting is 103.69% per Swordmaster (just over 1 chance of wounding each) befor saves. When saves are rolled the Greatswords get -1 rend too.
This is an unexpected bonus ability. In the enemies shooting phase you can re-roll saves. This will not help is you do not get a save to re-roll, but can be useful when you do get a save.
The Aelf Swordmastrer’s Bravery is high at 7, and you get a bonus for being at 10 models, however this is increased by another 1 if you have a Standard Bearer. There is an interesting clause in the rules that says that if you are in 8″ from another Eldrich Council unit with a Standard Bearer then you get +2 bonus instead ( so you don’t get +3 bonus). However the other unit could be another unit of Aelf Swordmasters. Indeed at the time of writing the Swordmastters are the only Eldrich Council units that can take a Standard Bearer!
You can have one or more hornblowers in a Swordmaster unit. This will allow you to re-roll run or charge rolls of 1. This means that the average run and charge distance jumps from 7 to 8 and a bit. On top of this you almost eradicates those 3″ failed charges.