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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:30 am 
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Alrightey then, Dwarves are the focus for this month so lets see what everyone thinks on this ol' enemy match-up.

Personally, I find Dwarves to be one of the easier matchups against HE. Their general lack of multiple attacks, re-rolls, decent defence on troops, and their lack of manouverability usually means we control which combats happen when.

Yes, the Dwarves can be a bad match-up for some lists but as most (UK) comp packs tend to limit the amount of warmachines present, I don't find it too bad. Generally, my Dwarven opponents castle up in a corner or middle of the board and shoot me for 2 turns before I charge in and steamroll through units.

Magic can be very difficult against a cunning Dwarf opponent. With their natural +2 to dispell and the 2-4 dice plus two scroll runes they can have means there won't be much they can't dispell unless you really power it up. Book of Hoeth is one option, 6-dice monkeying is another. I've also had some success with a Magic Missile spam that targets warmachines.

A good set up against Dwarves would include - all characters with cannon protection (charmed shield etc) and Dragon Armour (too many lists include flaming cannons), Swordmasters, plenty Spears, Dragon Princes.

So, what do people struggle against then?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:23 am 
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I'm surprised to hear you suggest swordmasters. Aren't they the most vulnerable to shooting? That's what I find. I won't say anything else since I don't have experience vs dwarfs.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:44 am 
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Dwarves only need three or four war machines to be effective against us. Those High elf players that play a small, magic orientated force such as Seredain's list will have real trouble when the strength five grudge thrower that re-rolls the scatter dice lands on the swordmasters heads and smashes them apart. When this happens I really don't know what to do!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:10 am 
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Simple - take a decent sized unit and put them in a line wide. Seriously, a unit of 20 Swordmasters in one rank will lose at MOST 5-ish models per turn and considering you'll be in charge range turn 3 for sure, that actually works in your favour.

I recommend Swordmasters because they will ALWAYS win combat against ANY Dwarf infantry. The fact that they have 2xS5 attacks AND they get rerolls means that those Dwarves will not be Steadfast for long. Yes, they're vulnerable to concentrated fire but if that's an issue then just take two units instead. They won't kill them all.

Dragon Princes are great but again, have to be taken in decent numbers, 7-10 is the minimum to make sure they make it across the board. I also find Shadow Warriors surprisingly effective in this match up as Dwarves have little in the way of being able to take care of chaff and Eagles are much less effective against Dwarven artillery than we're used to.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:27 am 
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Elf_And_Safety wrote:
Those High elf players that play a small, magic orientated force such as Seredain's list

Really, magic is support for Seredain's list, he has 330pts in it.

It's a combat list, it has six fighting units. He's done pretty well against gunlines so far. His Swordmasters and Lions are in two ranks so are less vulnerable. More to the point though, he puts the cavalry bus down last, away from the worst shooting. That, the DP's, Chariot and Eagles speed towards the enemy line, they don't really have time to shoot the elite infantry. The bus can chew up most things in combat so is generally not getting shot from turn 2 onwards.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:50 am 
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I've never had that much difficulty with Dwarfs either. Their magic defence is good, but so is our offence if Banner of Sorcery is included :). Usually I find it's playing the game of "which spell do I want to be let through?" with my friend who plays Dwarfs quite a lot, and has a sizable army.
I agree with Pash; Swordmasters always get shot at, but I take so many in my list that the fury ones can't get em all. Also my Lore of Light Archmage helps a bunch :D (Swordmasters with -1 to hit and three attacks for the win!!!).

The most annoying and difficult unit I've ever come across in a Dwarven Army are Rangers. Strength 5 Throwing Axes with no penalty to hit rolls AND great weapons in CC? With scouting, a large unit of Dwarven Rangers really ruins the plans of many an elf player, especially if they can manage to get around your side or rear :(.

Besides this, I have a lot of fun playing Dwarves, and can't wait to get my Avenging and Bright list into those Stumpies soon :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Yeah, rangers can be nasty, especially in horde and with the Anvil making them charge first turn they turn up. Luckily, Anvils are rare and I don't field a static army anyway so this tactic can be mitigated.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Dwarves without an anvil are fairly easy. While they have strong armour and protection, they don't dish out a lot of wounds. So I'll break out my opinions into two concepts:

Dwarves without Anvil:

Magic Defense - Moderately strong - Often able to shut down your magic phase, so you can't rely on it as heavily. However, they lack the tricks to dominate or control your phase, all they can do is block a few spells. They won't force miscasts, or abuse your mages. So keep your casters at range, use what tricks you can to maximize your power dice, and be sure to keep your casters alive all game (while keeping an eye on their Runepriests and the like, eliminating them where you can). Runepriests, while not entirely squishy, are fairly vulnerable, so as long as your not challenging them to the back rank, if they're in combat they should be targeted and eliminated.

I said moderately strong, as they lack any offensive strikes, and a proper magic defense like warriors of chaos or empire really relies on a dual threat of defense and offense.

Shooting - Strong and resilient. Toughness 4 and an extra crew member makes it a tough thing to send an eagle to take out a warmachine, and there are more wounds to get rid of. And even the weakest dwarf unit is a tough nut to remove when it comes to defenders. This forces us to make some early charges which are sub-optimal (with large ranks and big blocks, it's often hard to shift a dwarven force). But with a less than optimal BS for crossbows, we can rely on the speed of our cavalry to really force their riflemen into bad positions, and early gains for ourselves.

Target engineer manned stations first, and mass archer fire on their ranged forces is ideal. Getting a flying hero into the backline is a fairly simple manner of surviving the artillery, as the movement of the dwarves is less than optimal.

Close Combat - Steadfast, and frustration. But as with everything dwarven, they're very hampered by the maneuverability. Line up those combo charges, use your eagles as redirectors, and you can completely dominate the match ups.

Lords and Heroes - TOUGH! The runes give the dwarves a large room to play with, and I'm always cautious when my heroes meet theirs. 1+ armour saves, reverse strength, asf, and other oddities pop up when you least expect them. Half the frustration of fighting dwarven nobility is never knowing what trick they're going to pull and whether my scissor will beat their paper, or crumble to their rock. Challenges should be offered only when RnF will prove futile. Vauls unmaking is invaluable.

Suggestions - Shadow, Death, or High magic are all fairly optimal. Avoid taking Seaguard (Archers or spears), use Dragon princes over silverhelms (the WS difference WILL matter), any of our elite infantry. Eagles should be used for redirection only. If you can keep a dragon alive against artillery, they are a perfect tool for dealing with the stunted ones (no cavalry, so thunderstomp is always an option, the toughness gives protection against almost all dwarves, and the mobility will dominate the game).


Dwarves with Anvil: The Wrench in our gears

The Anvil is the key to winning as a dwarf in 8th. With swift reforms, units can easily maneuver into optimal positions, and a daring dwarf leader will shift what seems to be an optimal position for the High Elves into a mass combo charge fiasco. Almost every dwarven unit is both hammer and anvil in many cases. And with miners coming off table edges and engaging vulnerable locations, it's near impossible to keep the field cleared.

Shooting - Shooting is the shepherds crook of the Anvil list. It's less a tool of destruction, and more a threat to get you to change your movement, putting your cavalry off from places he wants them to be.

Movement - Their horribly mobile, and with extremely long charges (by dwarf standards) you always have to plan for a reform, full march, and then 11 inch charge range (average).

That's a potential 20 inches threat radius of every dwarven unit on the table every turn. And a brazen dwarf general can make that happen for 3 units on a risky turn.

So our target in anvil games is the anvil. It's a strong source of magic defense, and the entire threat of the army. It'll be well protected in a corner out of the way, and a pain to take out, but it'll be worth the entire match if you do.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Anvils rare? #-o

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:38 pm 
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2 of my friends play Dwarfs and I've only won one of the games and had one draw (out of maybe 8games)

Usually I get blasted to bits...

BUT the unit that I found is saving the day most of the time (except for Irrisistible broken sun who killed of all warmachines+anvil+ third of the dudes units in one go) is actually swordmasters.

Usually I field white lions and swordmasters, and the dwarf player usually concerns more about the white lions targeting them so they get blown to smitherens while my swordmasters (not completly untouched) reaches the line, and then they do O'boy do they make kills. the game of the draw he shot basicly all I had to pieces 22white lions 15phoenix guards 5dragon princes my sea guards. but he didnt manage to kill my 30swordmaster horde they where still like 22when they reaches. They killed 16dwarves first turn of combat second turn they denied their steadfast and overunned into the unit with bsb and killed them all off. then the game ended

But that single unit of swordmasters made the game from a crushing lost to a draw.

And usually when I fight dwarfs I find that if my swordmasters reach relativly intact (just give him something else so shoot at) you get a draw or very close to a draw just by getting them into cc ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:09 pm 
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My all-comers list is build around two 14-strong units of Swordmasters (7x2). Against Dwarves they rarely make it into combat in real fighting trim (Same against Ogres and I suspect the same would hold true of any gunline army).

Now, I'm currently painting up a third squad of 14 Swordmasters. It's your basic target-saturation plan. Even a competant gunline has an upper limit to the number of wounds they can put downrange per turn and as vulnerable to fire as Swordmasters are there are 42 of them in this plan.

One of my current units carries the Banner of Sorcery (Critical Vs Dwarves), the other has the Amulet of Light (Not so useful Vs Dwarves, but it's an all-comers list). I'm strongly considering giving the third unit the Banner of Swiftness and Ironcurse Icon.

With the banner that unit will obvious lead the charge turns one and two and hopefully, apppear to be the most immediate threat, encouraging the enemy to concentrate his fire on it (May slap an Eagle in front for hard cover?). If he does so I spring the Ironcurse Icon on him which has a good chance to mitigate some of his fire, particularly the stone throwers.


Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:06 pm 
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I'm a little surprised to see swordmasters recommended against dwarves. I don't usually find dwarves to be a tough matchup, but I always thought that was because I rarely play with SM. Speed seems to be key against dwarves, so if you have enough eagles and cavalry usually you will be fine. PG and WL have good shooting defense, so they don't hurt either. The thing to keep in mind is that they cannot reposition themselves quickly, so look for where you can gang up your units without them responding.

I don't know if anvils are common or not, but it does seem like the better players like to field them because it makes the army more fun to play. Usually they like to include rangers and/or miners, and use the anvil-granted mobility to get a large great weapon wielding unit into your flank or rear. Since I tend to play a fairly defensive army, I have learned that against anvil armies if they deploy their rangers or miners behind our troops, just run the whole army forwards. Miners and rangers have huge mobility before they are deployed; not so much afterwards. Watch out for miners coming in late game off the back edge to defend war machines.

About a month ago, I lost my first game against dwarves in 8th. Now, it was a Battle for the Pass, there was a tower in their deployment zone, I was playing without a banner of sorcery, and it was an anvil army wielded by a skilled player. So basically, the worst case possible. Nevertheless, it stung a bit. My luck was worse than usual: losing all 4 eagles to shooting the first turn made quite a difference I think. I still remember shooting with an archer horde with 24 shots hitting on 4+, and hitting with 4, none wounding. Still, while the dice bear most of the blame for that loss (really they do), there were a few things I learned from the loss:

1) Our cavalry are extremely vulnerable to flank charges from great weapon troops (pretty much all of theirs). So if possible, it may be worthwhile fleeing from the anvil charge just to negate their army's one big advantage. Yes, you can flee from the anvil charge, unlike some other out-of-sequence charges. I had forgotten that.

2) Miners can't come out on the first turn. It is important to use this "free turn" when you know you cannot be surprise attacked to move into a good position. I tried to guard my rear when I could have used that unit to advance. Of course, I thought I would still have an eagle or two next turn.

If you really want to be mean, you could always give the book of Hoeth to a mounted Life Archmage, run him up within range in a cav unit and irresistible dwellers the anvil. Pretty much an auto-win, but not very sporting and it wouldn't make for a very good game.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:18 pm 
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I didn't know you could flee from the anvil charge. That's huge!

I played where miners came on and took a long charge at my archmage spear bunker in the rear. There was plenty of room to run (right towards my bsb) and as it's my turn afterwards, it would have been a very easy go.

So I take it you can also stand and shoot. News indeed! TY!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:48 am 
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Pash wrote:
Simple - take a decent sized unit and put them in a line wide. Seriously, a unit of 20 Swordmasters in one rank will lose at MOST 5-ish models per turn and considering you'll be in charge range turn 3 for sure, that actually works in your favour.


This doesn't ring true to me. You could say they will lose at MOST 5 models to each Grudge Thrower shot- but that's not the only thing in the Dwarf arsenal. If they have one, or even two Organ Guns you'll probably be taking off 1/4 - 1/2 that unit per turn. Organ Guns are still a popular choice, after all. Add an Anvil of Doom into the mix, and if the Swordmasters were such a big threat then they certainly aren't getting over the board by turn 3. And if they're not there by then, then they'll be dead pretty soon. At least Phoenix Guard and White Lions are a bit more survivable to the enemy shooting, but sadly not as good at the killing. This is why it's often a bit of a catch-22 situation facing Dwarfs, sadly!

You might get lucky and get some protective spells off, maybe some magic missiles will take down a warmachine, or even a misfire... but obviously, as this is a tactics thread, suggesting people get lucky isn't going to end their woes :D

So, in the name of not being a naysayer, what does work? I tend to find that timing is everything. The absolute worst thing you can do against Dwarfs (When I say "Dwarfs", assume I mean typical Dwarf army with a few great weapon blocks and a few warmachines) is to dilly-dally and feed them one unit at a time. You MUST co-ordinate your attacks so that everything that can fight arrives at the same time, and has support. This is difficult because High Elves are generally more expensive than Dwarfs, but on the other hand you can take advantage of your superior movement. Eagles are, as ever, key to this: rather than charging warmachines with them (which will usually give you the benefit of holding up their shooting for a turn; rarely does an Eagle actually destroy a healthy set of warmachine crew!), if they can get in the way of the big enemy blocks that are preparing for the countercharge, then you'll be able to isolate and hopefully destroy the enemy bit by bit. And, if you plan well, the destruction will happen in the enemy turn, leaving you protected from warmachine fire for a turn and then free to reform and move on to the next target! For this reason, having an Eagle or Chariot involved in the combat is especially handy, as it means they can run down the slow stunties, while your proper unit gets to reform from victory. I know, that's three different roles for Eagles I've listed in the last few lines- like I say, they're pretty major :D

Next point, which is a bit of a sad one is... magic. Yeah, magic. Dwarfs have excellent magic defence, but don't be entirely downheartened, you will eventually get through it! About the nastiest Dwarf magic you'll face will be +3DD, stealing one of your power dice and up to 3 scrolls. Still, we're High Elves! We will have +2 to cast (assuming you've got an Archmage, and aren't playing some silly comp system that removes bonuses to casting but leaves Dwarfs with their dispel bonus!), and with channels and Banner of Sorcery you can make up some of the difference, and so most turns you will have roughly equal dice, but better casting ability. Start off slow, but make them all count; a standard 2-3 dice spell to kick the phase off will leave your opponent wondering whether to a) dispel with 3-4 of his and then use a dispel rune or b) let it go and save his dice. Each Lore has some small spell that they shouldn't want cast, whether it's a Shield of Saphery protecting your Swordmasters, a Net of Amyntok to prevent a warmachine firing or even just a bogstandard magic missile. After you've done this, I find that just launching into the most powerful spell you can is the next best option- a Pit of Shades or Dwellers on a warmachine (or a huge horde unit if they have characters) will cause much stress. And if you miscast, well, at least you won't be losing any power dice if they're already gone by that point, you might've got the first spell off from your opponent's saving their dice, and even if your Mage does die, at least you don't have to worry about magic defence :D

Finally a couple of quick notes about Dwarvern "gimmicks": first up, the Master Rune of Challenge. If you see a big Dwarf unit with a character itching for a fight, they probably have this, and they probably will use it on you at the most inappropriate time. If you haven't heard of this, it's a one-use Rune that forces one unit that is not ItP and is within 20" to declare a charge on the owner's unit. Try and ensure your support is in place to prevent your unit going in alone; alternatively, use your Eagles to cover the front of your units, and if you really don't want the charge to happen (but don't want to flee, obviously!) then declare a charge with it on a far-off target; ideally, the Eagle will fail the charge and in doing so will block the Challenged unit. Alternatively you can just face the unit away from the enemy to begin with. Obviously in either case, be wary of a cannonball ending the Eagle's career prematurely! Another unit that could have this which should cause you to stop and think is a big Ranger unit and an enemy hero with the Rune of Brotherhood that lets him scout with them. If you're not careful, and he has this combo, that simple unit of Archers might end up charging into a horde of Dwarfs turn 1!

The other gimmick involves Miners combined with the Anvil. These units can be sufficiently huge, will probably turn up on turn 2 (Usually 3/4 chance due to Steam Drill on the champ), and on the same turn can be Anvil-charged into the rear of any unsuspecting units near the table edge! Not much you can do to prevent this in my experience... last game my opponent had 2 Miner units, the first came on, rear-charged my Archers with Reaver Bow Noble, and killed 'em stone dead. Sometimes you gotta just take the beats! And yes, you can flee, but a smart Dwarf opponent will plan for this, with either a Gyrocoptor ready to run you down, or if he has confidence in his troops, then they can be 12" forwards by your first turn. That won't leave you very far to run- but if you're feeling lucky and they're close, you could try fleeing from the Miners up the wazoo to go THROUGH the enemy unit, to safety (except for the 1/6 failing dangerous terrain tests- I like to think of them as fighting a rearguard :D ).


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:43 am 
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Quote:
Really, magic is support for Seredain's list, he has 330pts in it.


That may be true, but it is often needed to stop your swordmasters/cavalry from being blown apart. Then bring them back.

Quote:
My all-comers list is build around two 14-strong units of Swordmasters (7x2). Against Dwarves they rarely make it into combat in real fighting trim


Exactly. Some of us play an all comers list, so we can't just tailor our list to suit each army we play. Where I play, tailoring is considered unsporting.

Quote:
You could say they will lose at MOST 5 models to each Grudge Thrower shot- but that's not the only thing in the Dwarf arsenal. If they have one, or even two Organ Guns you'll probably be taking off 1/4 - 1/2 that unit per turn.


Yep, this does happen a lot.

As for tactics, all I can do is reiterate what stormie said. Timing/ target choice is key. Against Dwarves, you only get one shot at setting up a decent charge, whereas against many other armies ASF can help you out of an otherwise bad situation.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:27 am 
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I have experience deploying units in 1 rank against war machines (empire). It typically doesn't work. First of all, my units are more spread out, which means a crappy ld bubble, which means more likely to panic from shooting. If you panic, it's all over, as one of your combat units is delayed by 2 turns. I can't afford that. I have 3 or 4 combat units, and since one will die before it crosses the board, I need them all together.
Also, don't dwarves have ranged attacks that do fine against 1 rank units?

Regarding the 3 SM units idea, I still don't see it. I've used 2 units of 2x7 SM and a deep unit of pg against empire. By the time they all get across the board, the 2 SM units are really really dead from shooting and templates. Also small units of SM are particularly vulnerable to impact, which makes for a poor all comers list.

So dwarves have a S5 stone thrower that rerolls artillery dice? Any chance they're getting a new army book soon?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:27 am 
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eriktheguy wrote:
So dwarves have a S5 stone thrower that rerolls artillery dice? Any chance they're getting a new army book soon?


And they also have an identical second stone thrower that has strength 4 instead of 5. Not that great of a difference when they hit us with it.

I must say that I agree with Stormie and Baeronvonbleat on this debate.

Also most people have forgotten the existance of one or two Thunderers/Quarellers units of 20 raining death on your units on top of the warmachines. This really adds in the depletion of your units before they reach the opponent.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:55 pm 
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im sorry best plan against dwarves is pray. Pray your opponent is either planning an army without wm or anvil :D pray he is having bad dice :lol: or pray hes such a nab you can actually get him to not slow 2 (d3) units a turn to half speed. Comments that were silly included useing any msu list, dudes they will anvil whack eagles sw etc or organ gun them who said that needs to read their codex. The best hopes againt them are lots of cav that gets in or lots of any of our 3 elite infantry that get in they can cause dwarfs problems but pray he rolls bad, is a shit player and doesnt have redirectors oh and the 14 man sm units in combat will be butchered noob dwarfs take hand gunners good dwarfs have blocks of rangers and quarellers with great weapons probably 40 big at least 30. 14 sm charge they lose which means you will need units of 30 plus to even touch a dwarf gun line imo but then you will get slowed. As i said pray our oldest enemy deserved enemy of the month thats for sure [-o<

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:30 pm 
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My Dwarf opponents do not particularly like gunlines (luckily!), and I've never faced an Anvil either. As such they haven't been impossible for me to defeat so far. Reading what the above posters wrote made me realize they've probably been taking pretty much sub-par choices... I'll throw in some suggestions for them, but anyway I'm digressing.

As I said, unfortunately I cannot contribute to the discussion very much. I wanted to ask something though: if you know you're going against Dwarfs, would it be viable to drop magic altogether? Ofcourse it would be suicide in a tournament/very competitive environment; my reasoning behind this is that if you have your Dwarf friend coming over for a game, he's probably bringing quite a bit of anti-magic ("ZOMG High Elves! I better bring as many Spellbreakers as will fit!"), and if he goes really heavy on that you probably have very little chances to get more than just a few succesful spells throughout the game, even if you have spent 400+ points on magic. By forgoing magic you can field a lot more elites, weather the hail of stones/lead/arrows better and ultimately kick their teeth out in CC.

What do you guys think?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:02 am 
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If I knew I am going to fight Dwarves I would probably try no-magic approach jut becaue I have never done so. It is true you save a lot of points and that would be a surprise for the enemy too. I am sure, however, that your Dwarven opponent would consider that cheating (as he expects that from Elves anyway :)) and you would earn yourself a proper chapter in his Book of Grudges. :)

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Rabidnid wrote:
Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:09 pm 
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I see lots of people saying go swordmasters against dwarves and this is in fact a terrible idea. Any dwarf player worth his salt takes 2 grudge throwers, usually with 1 strength rune, and this means they just go splat from any kind of hit. Against dwarves the optimal elites are first and foremost as big a white lion unit as you can afford with the ironcurse icon (3+ armor and 6+ ward) and as a secondary unit the phoenix guard with the razor standard. The way to beat the dwarves is to make sure as many of your models get into hth asap. If you MUST take the swordmasters, at least give them ironcurse or maybe even the +1 movement banner as it might mean you get into combat a turn earlier. Remember that a horde of white lions has as many attacks as a normal unit of Swordmasters, and at strength 6, which means wounding dwarves on 2s not 3s. A dwarf facing white lions and phoenix guard will (if he's smart) look for greener pastures and aim his catapults at spearmen instead. Which means your best troops make it into combat intact. This is because you hopefully have Mindrazor and (if it's allowed) Book of Hoeth. A mindrazored unit of spearmen is one of the best things in the game, i killed oodles of tough ogres with them last night. A dwarf player would be insane to not focus on them if you have BoH. If your tourney doesnt allow BoH, then ask your TO why he allows things like Cupped Hands, Rumination, Sacrificial Dagger and Pendant of Kaelith (Hellheart is also pretty damn potent, but I am giving it the benefit of a doubt because it generally means that character is otherwise naked unless he gave it to his general). I think I would trade my Book of Hoeth for any of those things.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Hortennse wrote:
I see lots of people saying go swordmasters against dwarves and this is in fact a terrible idea. Any dwarf player worth his salt takes 2 grudge throwers, usually with 1 strength rune, and this means they just go splat from any kind of hit. Against dwarves the optimal elites are first and foremost as big a white lion unit as you can afford with the ironcurse icon (3+ armor and 6+ ward) and as a secondary unit the phoenix guard with the razor standard. The way to beat the dwarves is to make sure as many of your models get into hth asap. If you MUST take the swordmasters, at least give them ironcurse or maybe even the +1 movement banner as it might mean you get into combat a turn earlier. Remember that a horde of white lions has as many attacks as a normal unit of Swordmasters, and at strength 6, which means wounding dwarves on 2s not 3s. A dwarf facing white lions and phoenix guard will (if he's smart) look for greener pastures and aim his catapults at spearmen instead. Which means your best troops make it into combat intact. This is because you hopefully have Mindrazor and (if it's allowed) Book of Hoeth. A mindrazored unit of spearmen is one of the best things in the game, i killed oodles of tough ogres with them last night. A dwarf player would be insane to not focus on them if you have BoH. If your tourney doesnt allow BoH, then ask your TO why he allows things like Cupped Hands, Rumination, Sacrificial Dagger and Pendant of Kaelith (Hellheart is also pretty damn potent, but I am giving it the benefit of a doubt because it generally means that character is otherwise naked unless he gave it to his general). I think I would trade my Book of Hoeth for any of those things.


I must admit that I highly disagree with a few point in your statement.

Firstly, Phoenix Guard are not better than Swordmasters in 9/10 situations. The only way they're better is maybe with Wildform on them and surviving combat. They're just not hitty enough. Swordmasters will pretty much always win combat against Dwarves do will not need to rely on combat res like PG do. Yes, Swordmastes are the most fragile of all the elite infantry we have but if you put them one/two ranks deep you shouldn't be losing that many men. If you are, take a second unit. Only one of those has to make it into combat.

Dwarf artillery isn't THAT accurate. Ok, they're the most accurate in the game but they are still prone to misfires and scatter. I refuse to believe that all of your opponents have loaded dice and hit 100% of the time on target and mine manage to miss 1/3 of the time or more. Also, i'm pretty sure you can only have the same rune once in any Dwarf army so you'll never get two grudgethrowers at S5.

Secondly, taking White Lions is a good idea. Taking White Lions over taking Swordmasters is, however, rarely a cleaver thing to do. I have played with horder White Lion units and while they're ok-ish, they don't get as much killing power as Swordmasters. Recently, i've been running two large units of Swordmasters and one large unit of White Lions. I've been finding that I'd rather drop the unit of White Lions and get more Swordmasters, they're just more useful in some match ups.

Thirdly, well at least here I do agree with you. Banner of Swiftness and Ironcurse Icon are great items. I've used them in the past and found them to be excellent when facing artillery. Fortunately, the tournament scene where I play doesn't tend to have too much artillery so I have moved on from these items to try other things.


Dwarves are generally pretty easy to take on if you have the right things to take them on. Here are some key ingredients:

-Magical support. Ideally geared to be able to protect your troops from getting shot. Lore of Light (Phas, Timewarp) is best but other work too (Beasts for Wildform, High for Shield of Saphery, Shadow for Miasma, Metal for Glittering Robes). Concentrate to get one good spell off a turn as any more would be pushing it with Dwarf magic defence. For this reason I wouldn't overindulge in magic load out and would be happy with a L2 with Silver Wand and Staff of Solidity or some such.
-Shooting support. Nothing major, two units of 14 Archers will do. You'll generally outrange most Dwarf heavy shooting (unless Quarallers are present but then you could just move out of their range). This is useful for taking out things like Gyrocopters, thinning down ranks of Warriors and pinging the odd wound off artillery. Also useful in case he fields units of Slayers. Also, Reaver Bow is an excellent investment for this.
-Redirectors. Eagles are still useful against Dwarves. Because their artillery is particularly difficult to get rid off, I would consider pairing them up. You'd be surprised how much attention will be diverted in order to take them out and that stops them from shooting at our precious Elves!
-Combat units. Now, this is where you will win the game against Dwarves and hence why getting it right is crucial to your game plan. You want to be in combat against them as soon as possible and have plenty of high strength attacks. The best units for this (in order of preference) are: 1) Swordmasters 2) Dragon Princes 3) White Lions.. 4) Ellyrion Reavers :lol:
That last one is a bit of a joke but I would still rather take Reavers against Dwarves than things like Phoenix Guard. A good set up (if you can afford it) is 2x20 Swordmasters and 7-10 Dragon Princes. Either way, if you throw all of them at your opponent, they will not able to keep them all off. You will win the game most of the time.

That should hopefully help. Honestly, once you get the hang of it you'll find that Dwarves are very limited and are a very comfortable match up for High Elves.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:53 pm 
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My 83-Swordmaster list? I think it could work.

I've never played against Dwarves, but I'll keep all this advice in mind. How exactly does their magic defense operate?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:27 pm 
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They get +2 to dispel naturally; Runesmiths are heroes that add +1 dispel dice each and can carry Runic items that act like dispel scrolls, or a destroy scroll like ours. They can have multiples of these. There's also a few other bits and pieces, like a Master Rune that acts as our Annulian Crystal. Finally, the Anvil of Doom can be taken by a Runelord, and that grants +2 dispel dice. So a typical Anvil Dwarf list would have +3DD, +2 to dispel and 2-3 dispel scroll Runes. Makes it hard, but not impossible to get magic through...

Pash wrote:
I must admit that I highly disagree with a few point in your statement.

Firstly, Phoenix Guard are not better than Swordmasters in 9/10 situations. The only way they're better is maybe with Wildform on them and surviving combat. They're just not hitty enough. Swordmasters will pretty much always win combat against Dwarves do will not need to rely on combat res like PG do. Yes, Swordmastes are the most fragile of all the elite infantry we have but if you put them one/two ranks deep you shouldn't be losing that many men. If you are, take a second unit. Only one of those has to make it into combat.


I've actually had very good success with Phoenix Guard vs Dwarfs. You're getting too focused on pure numbers of who "wins" the combat. Tell me: is it better to win the combat for one round, or the war? Rhetoric aside, yes, I imagine Swordmasters will definitely win the combat they get into, butthey are less likely to survive to win the war, and break and run down their opponent. If they've taken a pounding from the shooting while getting there and lost twice as many models as a PG/WL unit as a result, and are wider, then the enemy will very likely have more ranks and be steadfast, or obviously if they're Hammerers with a Lord, they'll be stubborn fullstop. In that case, you'll chop up a load, yes, and they'll hit back and a standard 5-wide unit will probably kill 4-5 of your elves a turn. If they're a horde, then it'll be more like 10... and they'll probably still be steadfast!

NB this is theory, so if you can get there in one piece and reliably break your opponent, then I'd love to be convinced that this is likely for us doubters to be able to manage as well! I'm always chopping and changing my lists, and am probably going to be painting another 10 Swordmasters from the Island of Blood set soon, help make me eager :D

It's also worth considering Dwarf Lords. There is very little in our army that can kill a Dwarf Lord in combat, short of arming a Prince with an Ogre Blade, and even then he'll probably be killed first. A Dwarf Lord on Shieldbearers will likely have a 1+ re-rollable save and 4+ ward save; in this case he'll probably absorb attacks from Swordmasters etc. very easily, but more importantly, the width of the base (40mm) means that 2 Swordmasters will have to hit him. Put him next to a champion, and that can ensure that 3 Swordmasters (+the supports) can only kill one model! In that circumstance, and with a powerful Lord hitting you back and adding another couple of high-strength wounds (and his shieldbearers!) a turn, can make the staying power of Phoenix Guard a welcome addition. Several times my elites have squared off against Dwarvern elites, with a Dwarf Lord in the fight and - slowly - managed to whittle down his bodyguard.

I guess it comes down to the short-game - hit 'em with Swordmasters quickly and brutally, hopefully from multiple sides - against the long-game - hit 'em with Phoenix Guard and whittle them down, while the rest of the army gets into position. And on the outside of all this are White Lions, who can go into a losing combat but wear down the enemy thanks to being stubborn.

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Dwarf artillery isn't THAT accurate. Ok, they're the most accurate in the game but they are still prone to misfires and scatter. I refuse to believe that all of your opponents have loaded dice and hit 100% of the time on target and mine manage to miss 1/3 of the time or more. Also, i'm pretty sure you can only have the same rune once in any Dwarf army so you'll never get two grudgethrowers at S5.


Dwarf artillery really is that accurate! Sadly you're sure-ness isn't correct, as Dwarfs can't have the same combination of Runes in the same army. So they could certainly have one stone thrower with +2Str and re-roll scatter dice, and then another with +1Str and re-roll scatter dice. Not to mention, the most accurate warmachine in the game, the Organ Gun, which hits with 100% of shots (unless they get a misfire).

Agree on most of the advice you give though :)

Quote:
-Shooting support. Nothing major, two units of 14 Archers will do. You'll generally outrange most Dwarf heavy shooting (unless Quarallers are present but then you could just move out of their range). This is useful for taking out things like Gyrocopters, thinning down ranks of Warriors and pinging the odd wound off artillery. Also useful in case he fields units of Slayers. Also, Reaver Bow is an excellent investment for this.


Gyrocopters tend to be unkillable when I face them, I dunno why, but that damn T5 (plus zipping around flanks to make you move/reform to face them) just makes it too tough. I always deploy my Archers opposite Slayers when I can though, the combination of no armour save and giving them a dishonourable death is too much to pass up :D Shooting warmachines is also very useful, if you can get in range. With 30 shots and 15 hits you have a very fair chance of killing a basic warmachine outright!

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-Redirectors. Eagles are still useful against Dwarves. Because their artillery is particularly difficult to get rid off, I would consider pairing them up. You'd be surprised how much attention will be diverted in order to take them out and that stops them from shooting at our precious Elves!


Underlining this! All too often I'll have an Eagle charge and be killed/broken. Much like women, I've never managed two at once but I'll never stop trying :D


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:46 am 
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Yes, Swordmastes are the most fragile of all the elite infantry we have but if you put them one/two ranks deep you shouldn't be losing that many men.


I disagree. A dwarf player with organ gun can count himself unlucky if he only kills 4 per turn. Then there is the stone throwers, the handgunners. The list goes on.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:26 pm 
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In my opinion Sword Masters are the worst choice we can make when facing a dwarf gunline. No matter how you deploy them they'll just die before they reach the enemy line.

I have seen that happen all too many times when. You'll just be filming "The Last Samurai 2"...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:07 pm 
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Siegfried VII wrote:
In my opinion Sword Masters are the worst choice we can make when facing a dwarf gunline. No matter how you deploy them they'll just die before they reach the enemy line.

I have seen that happen all too many times when. You'll just be filming "The Last Samurai 2"...


How many Swordmasters are you fielding? Because It's obvious that it's not enough. Also, what comp are you playing? Because if there is no limit to what you can take then the Dwarves can bring out the serious firepower but it'll never match the sheer brute force of the magic we can throw back at them. He's fielding 2 Grudges and 3 Orcan guns? Fine, take Book Of Hoeth and Purple Sun his ass off the board.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Siegfried VII wrote:
In my opinion Sword Masters are the worst choice we can make when facing a dwarf gunline. No matter how you deploy them they'll just die before they reach the enemy line.

I have seen that happen all too many times when. You'll just be filming "The Last Samurai 2"...


That's why god invented the Lore of Life.

I fought Dwarves last night - first time I've ever beaten them. Now I admit that luck was with me, but my Swordmasters still performed admirably.

Particularly pleaseant was when my lone Bladelord charged his Longbeards. The Dwarf player thought that was a bit rich until I rolled a six for my Throne of Vines buffed Regrowth and seven more sowrdmasters got up and started mincing stunties.

Like I said, luck was with me, but with two units of Swordmasters, two Eagles and a unit of Dragon Princes I was able to saturate his ranged options until I hit CC and I was generally able to get two Life spells off per turn.

I think that, with the Banner of Sorcery and two Magi you should be able to account for all his spelleater/breaker (I forget which is which) runes by turn three or so.


Speaking of Runes - I know little about them, other than what I've observed in-play. could someone give us a rundown of the runic system and the runes that dorfs have available?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Pash wrote:
How many Swordmasters are you fielding? Because It's obvious that it's not enough. Also, what comp are you playing? Because if there is no limit to what you can take then the Dwarves can bring out the serious firepower but it'll never match the sheer brute force of the magic we can throw back at them. He's fielding 2 Grudges and 3 Orcan guns? Fine, take Book Of Hoeth and Purple Sun his ass off the board.

Filth breeds filth. Learn to love it :twisted:


That happened mainly in 1 year back when I used about 42 Sword Masters in my army list. And apart from Book Of Hoeth we have no brute force against the Dwarfs. With 3 spell destoyers (dispel scroll that on 4+ destroyes said spell), you won't have many chances to use your magic at all.

Just to make clear I'm not attacking you here, but I believe the fact that we play have different metagame is critical on the way we view this match up. :)

As for the format I play with, I play exclusively in the ETC Format. Also I almost always use overall tournament lists and I never tailor my list against an opponent.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Azezel wrote:

That's why god invented the Lore of Life.

I fought Dwarves last night - first time I've ever beaten them. Now I admit that luck was with me, but my Swordmasters still performed admirably.

Particularly pleaseant was when my lone Bladelord charged his Longbeards. The Dwarf player thought that was a bit rich until I rolled a six for my Throne of Vines buffed Regrowth and seven more sowrdmasters got up and started mincing stunties.



This generally doesn't happen. I used to employ life lore and swordmasters. Even against enemies with decent shooting and no special anti-magic it's damn hard to keep them on the board. With throne and regrowth you save 7 warriors if you roll well. That's about as much magic as you're going to get off against a dwarf in a good phase. Grudge throwers and organ guns are going to eviscerate any SM that don't have a serious toughness or regen buff. You aren't going to get that much magic past a dwarf. Moreover throne is a bad investment imo because after you cast it, the dwarf probably has more remaining DD than you have PD, and he can dispel it for free on his own turn.

The reason I don't like lore of life/SM over shadow/PG is that when life fails you have no defense, when shadow fails you have weak offense. Life needs to work multiple times a couple of turns in a row to protect SM from dwarves, whereas PG will always be getting a 4+ save. Shadow only needs to work once with pit or okkams to destroy one or more of their units.

I'm not saying that life lore isn't good, I'm saying that relying on it to keep SM alive against a shooty list is very hit/miss, mostly miss against antimagic armies like dwarves and empire.

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