In my never-ending journey to become a wargaming master, I have been in the process of trying to decide against the age old wargaming question…what is better, quantity versus quality?
Warhammer Ancient Battles, and other games such as Clash of Empires, rely on a mechanism to avoid damage via an armor saving throw. The better your saving throw, the better your chance to avoid losing models and thus minimizing the combat resolution your opponent will receive. Over the years, I have seen many new(er) gamers attempt to build large armies of low to medium quality troops to avoid various negatives, such as 25% casualties from shooting and psychology reaction from fearsome troops. In the end, give your troops the best armor you can. If they can get light armor, get them light armor. If your troops can upgrade from a regular shield to a large shield…do it. This may mean you have less models on the table-top, but give your troops the best armor saving throw you can muster, in the long run you will be better served by the higher quality troops.