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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:24 am 
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Rather than make an article about this I thought I would start a discussion thread on this topic :) so, what do you think?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:40 am 
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The idea sounds nice, but isn't the meta game strongly depending on the social setting you play in and the time?

For example: While playing World of Warcraft Arena a few years ago, people constantly struggled to follow the fotm, because the metagame changed WITH them struggling to follow. When one combination of classes was found strong, more players started playing that combo. That resulted in another rise of combination, who themselves were strong against the new fotm .... and so on.

Another example would be the Loremaster. Some time ago, nobody really cared. And now he is the fotm, or at least a very viable modell. Or the new arrows of the Woodies ....

So: Trying to write down the 'actual' metagame with its strengths and weaknesses only leads to change it, doesn't it?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:47 am 
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In a nutshell: you are correct. However, given the ruleset and the current powerlevel of the books, certain things stand out as the "core of the meta" so to speak, factors you simply cannot avoid. Examples include heavy magic, 1+ armour save aplenty and mobility (even Dwarfs have this now!).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:30 am 
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It's very true that the meta constantly changes and evolves. Also that meta varies nationally and regionally. But I feel that some themes have been fairly widespread as 8th edition has gone on.

For example, in early 8th big, powerful infantry units were popular and effective. As were the things that dealt with them, like template war machines and the top spells. This changed somewhat with the advent partly of Ogres, who were almost tailor-made to kill infantry. But as Ptolemy pointed out, also the replacement of army books like WoC, so super-infantry like 3++ Chosen disappeared.

Mournfangs were the first really fearsome Monstrous Cavalry. Demigryphs and Skullcrushers followed. These troops could simply tank damage and dish it out royally, very hard for most armies to deal with. We also saw the resurgence of knight buses, again, armour and speed. The WoC book summed it all up. Daemons were a slight surprise. Beasts and Drones were extremely hard to kill. Skillcannon were just bent. The magic spam could be hard to deal with.

Elf players had long known that BS shooting could be effective (Furion's list, RBT vs MC, massed shots + Withering). But the new elf books with cheaper RBT, spammable shooting Core and Enchanted Arrows/Waywatchers have brought this to the fore. Avoidance lists based on heavy shooting, magic and fast cavalry are de rigeur.

Of course, other themes developed. The gradual proliferation of cannon and their duel with flying monsters. The end of the old book super-magic phases but the rise of new phases based on character-unit synergies. The rediscovery of MSU but also the continuing viability of infantry blocks, provided the right support to deal with everything above was in place.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:30 am 
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My impression of the meta is that it is shifting towards force concentration, and then especially character heavy lists.

Looking at HE lists for example, in early 8th it was fairly common to have only 2 or 3 characters in a list. Archmage/loremaster general, BSB and perhaps a backup mage. Now, you can see a prince as general, an archmage, BSB and noble and a backup mage. Or a monster mounted list, backed up by a BSB and 2 mages.

Many units have likewise evolved into character delivery (or protection) systems.

This creates lists with limited number of elements, which are often hard to take points from. And in which there are a few key elements that are the main victory points earners. They hit hard and fast.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:03 pm 
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I think that there are two types of meta, each with a rotating door at time passes. The two meta's being:

1) "World Meta." This is the meta that the world in general follows, such as the Loremaster now being used a lot, or how we all view the SH bus, or back when DE used duel Hydra's or when Fateweaver/Teclis/Archeon/Death stars were all pretty common tourny material a couple years back.

2) "Local Meta." this is more detailed in that you have a local meta of say 24 players that all have a couple or few armies but generally everyone plays in the same meta so you may have no death stars around, or more shooting than normal, or lower importance placed on magic. This would be something like where I may take a list composed entirely of 5 man calv units and win a tournament, so then everyone else starts testing out their own versions of an all msu calv list.

3) "Rotating Door." Continuing the above all calv list idea, that would probably only be 'flavor of the month' for a few months before people moved on. So if I were to bring a anti calv list (BT's, Metal lvl 4, WL with Razor std) after everyone had moved on then I would be 'out of meta' and have a pretty sub par list. I think that the Rotating Door policy is much more applicable to Local Meta's but it does apply to the world meta every time a new book or edition comes out or when a new list wins a major tournament.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Here are my thoughts on the matter (warning: wall of text). I`m assuming 2400 point competitive armies/play in the following post. Also note that when discussing metagame(s), exceptions are irrelevant as we are looking to analyse the main trends. Many people do this subconsciously when writing lists, which is why I believe in curveballs so much and continuously strive to make lists that people haven`t faced and hence, don`t know how to play against.

First of all, we are a magic dependent race. Regardless of how you build an army, you should have at least a lord caster or two hero casters. Like our Elven brethren, we simply cannot work well without strong magical support. While the +D3 powerdice from the Banner of Sorcery are gone, we can now do more with less: +1 to cast on High Magic and Book of Hoeth help us out a lot. Don`t get me wrong, the magic phase we had with our old book was insane, but what we have now is still strong. Speaking of our Elven brethren, let`s take a step back and consider them first and how they make their magic work.

For Dark Elves, it`s easy: they rely on Warlocks. Soulblight is ridiculously good and Doombolt is often a very strong spell also. Furthermore, an L4 seems to be the sole mage they take and she`s frequently mounted on a Peg or in a unit with Hotek. What this means is that a Dark Elf wizard character is inherently well protected against opponent`s magic, and with the Warlocks doing a lot of the casting the L4 will cast less spells => less miscasts. This is how Dark Elves inherently reduce the impact of miscasts. Wood Elves are a little trickier as their Sisters are no-where near as good as Warlocks, but in return their army is less reliant on characters as well. Furthermore, a Wood Elf L4 is almost always bunkered with either Skirmishers or the 4++ Sisters. Both of these provide excellent protection against miscasts and MR3 is a natural item to include with the BSB + L4 Sister bunker. Lastly, Curse of Anraheir is an excellent spell for many Wood Elf armies. This is how Wood Elves inherently reduce the impact of miscasts

Now let`s look back to our High Elves. More often than not (I`d say the vast majority of times in fact), our mages are in the combat units, frequently engaging in combat fairly early. The reason for this is that we simply don`t have any unit such as Sisters/Warlocks, nor mounts as good as a Dark Peg with 3++ vs everything you`re afraid of, NOR do we have Skirmishers that even come close to Shades or Wood Elf Scouts with enchanted arrows. Thus, a unique challenge for us is how to make our mages work in these combat units. I`ve spent a lot of time discussing this relative to our Elven brethren and now I want to explain why: It`s quite simple actually, this seemingly small difference dictates the entire way we build our armies.

Since our mages go in the combat units, how do we protect them? Basically, it boils down to 2 choices: force them into the second rank by means of other characters or give them a solid ward, hopefully to stack with Shield of Saphery. The latter is a risky proposition at best (with the Loremaster being an exception who you rarely push into the second rank), but the former is very popular. Competitively successful High Elf armies have inevitably come to the point where putting multiple characters into a unit or two is how we play. This forces the mages to safety and allows our characters to protect the fragile units from being hit back. The famous S7 cavalry prince with a 1+ re-rollable armour save is probably the best example here: an awesome fighter in his own right but doubly strong because he protects both the mages and the unit.

With having multiple characters in a unit, protection is essential. While MR3 is a real steal at 45 points, for a meager 5-point increase you get the infamous Banner of the World Dragon, by far one of the most game-changing items in Warhammer. Even if all you do is protect 2 mages, the BOTWD is worth it. Its inclusion then is pretty much mandatory. True, some concepts could conceivably work without, but by and large this is a cornerstone of our army. Please note that I don`t think is because the item itself is so insane, but because the way our army plays necessitates strong protection.

From this, it probably sounds like HE are a super-boring army to play. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth: We can create balanced, combined-arms lists, defensive lists, rock hard lists and super-pushy lists, all based on the above. In the same way that WoC live and die by their super-powerful characters do we live and die by tailoring our characters and mages to the units they go in. Achieving a balance here is absolutely crucial to playing High Elves.

Apart from this, we are arguably the best army in the game at controlling the board, with the exception of Lizardmen which are just ridiculous when it comes to board control. We have core fast cav that can beat most fraction`s WM crew on a 1-by-1 basis, good LD to operate on their own and again: they are CORE. Furthermore we have RBTs, great utility for little cost and lastly there`s a rare option called Great Eagle, possibly the most game-breaking chaff unit in Warhammer. Whereas Dark Elves have to spend 50% more points for a flying unit that has less LD than the Eagle and are harder to move around and Wood Elves lack RBTs and core fast cav that start on the table: We have it all. I think this is brilliantly designed because our army functions much more unit-by-unit now than what the case is for WE and DE: again this boils down to how our characters work effectively. Why is this so brilliant? Remember the good old 3++ Chosen of Chaos that everyone loved to hate? Personally I never had a problem with them, M4 and low board control isn`t that hard to deal with if your list possesses board control elements and this is the heart of the matter: in low-to-medium skilled games where the WoC player could simply point-and-click his Chosen unit at whatever was worth the most points in the opponent`s army, the unit is brutal. What will it do however when faced with up to 7 redirectors (3 reaver units, 2 eagles, 2 single characters for emergency situations), while the rest of the army is crushed by non-redirector elements?

In a nutshell, the roles are reversed now: Now High Elves are the ones with the Chosen units (think PG with Shield of Saphery and cavbusses with BOTWD), but as opposed to the old WoC, we do have the tools to ensure we can reach meaningful combat. Taking enough of these elements to accomplish this task is crucial. Playing High Elves is hard because the T3 nature of our army is very unforgiving, once things start going south the entire army will fall apart very quickly. This is doubly true when facing skilled opponents - if you don`t have enough board control your main units will either receive too many enemies to handle, or they will simply be bogged down and short apart, depending on what you face.

So, TL;DR state of affairs for High Elves: characters together in units, well protected mages, one unit with BOTWD. From this, you can go multiple ways depending on your playstyle: load up on RBTs, Sisters, Shadow Magic and Core Archers for defense, cavalry for offense or a Star Dragon + Frostheart for pushing.

Let`s take a look at the rest of the lists out there. To try and start with a macro-view, the game features very few deathstars these days. The inclusion of unkillable stuff such as the 1+/3++ stubborn chaos lord, Daemon Prince, steam tank etc means that a deathstar is hugely vulnerable to simply being locked down indefinitely while the rest of the army is dragged down. The few deathstars we see are cavalry-oriented, which can hopefully use their mobility to get out of these situations. Take a step back and consider this in the light of what I wrote earlier: with our units stacked with characters and other units rarely/never being deathstars, our units can go toe-to-toe with almost anything in the game and come out on top. The meta then, from a macro perspective, is inevitably about force conctration and board control. Looking at the usual suspects: WoC, DoC, Emp, DE etc we see that all these lists are terrible to face if they can bring multiple threats to bear at once. WoC with DP + 2x 3++ T5 W3 heroes along with 2 units of crushers will kill anything we can field, no exceptions. The same thing goes for Empire with double demis alongside a knightbus or DE with multiple flyers and Witchelves. In a nutshell then, High Elves want to engage a main unit into a single opposing unit while denying the opponent support, whereas the other army is trying the opposite: force the High Elf army to fight against multiple threats at the same time.

Some exceptions exist here of course: Skaven bellstar will murder anything we have that isn`t stubborn on combat resolution alone, Vampires hit ridiculously hard and Daemons are resilient beyond belief. Regardless though, even these armies play the same meta and we are one of the few armies going against it. Being aware of this is very important whilst both designing the list and playing the game.

Lastly, almost every army now comes with a balanced approach: you almost never see an army without at least 4 spells and decent shooting. This makes the game very multi-dimensional where it`s hard to assess how your army is threatened. The most important rule when it comes to this point is to evaluate who has the bigger advantage at a distance and can thus hold. Being forced to push with a non-pushy army is the worst thing in Warhammer. Trust me, I`ve played enough with/against fractions like Dwarfs and Chaos Dwarfs to know that this is even more hopeless than facing 4 cannons with a Star Dragon. If you have the ranged advantage, holding back makes it a LOT easier to get the favourable fights and force your opponents to take risks and make miscasts. Likewise, holding back when you have to push can lose you valuable time and inevitably lose you games. When designing a list then, it`s important to consider how many (and what type!) lists you have to push against and how hard this is. Vice versa, how many lists have to push against you. If you estimate that you have to push against roughly half the armies in your meta and your army is defensively oriented, you`re gonna have a hard time playing Warhammer. With this said, it`s important to realize that some matchups are close to impossible: if you face Dwarfs with 3 cannons, 2 GTs and 2 Organ guns and a big block of Longbeards and you field a Star Dragon, just don`t even bother. Just go hide in the other corner and play for 10-10, or a small win if you have Heavens with comet or something similar.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:48 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Now let`s look back to our High Elves. More often than not (I`d say the vast majority of times in fact), our mages are in the combat units, frequently engaging in combat fairly early. The reason for this is that we simply don`t have any unit such as Sisters/Warlocks, nor mounts as good as a Dark Peg with 3++ vs everything you`re afraid of, NOR do we have Skirmishers that even come close to Shades or Wood Elf Scouts with enchanted arrows. Thus, a unique challenge for us is how to make our mages work in these combat units. I`ve spent a lot of time discussing this relative to our Elven brethren and now I want to explain why: It`s quite simple actually, this seemingly small difference dictates the entire way we build our armies.

Since our mages go in the combat units, how do we protect them? Basically, it boils down to 2 choices: force them into the second rank by means of other characters or give them a solid ward, hopefully to stack with Shield of Saphery. The latter is a risky proposition at best (with the Loremaster being an exception who you rarely push into the second rank), but the former is very popular. Competitively successful High Elf armies have inevitably come to the point where putting multiple characters into a unit or two is how we play. This forces the mages to safety and allows our characters to protect the fragile units from being hit back. The famous S7 cavalry prince with a 1+ re-rollable armour save is probably the best example here: an awesome fighter in his own right but doubly strong because he protects both the mages and the unit.

With having multiple characters in a unit, protection is essential. While MR3 is a real steal at 45 points, for a meager 5-point increase you get the infamous Banner of the World Dragon, by far one of the most game-changing items in Warhammer. Even if all you do is protect 2 mages, the BOTWD is worth it. Its inclusion then is pretty much mandatory. True, some concepts could conceivably work without, but by and large this is a cornerstone of our army. Please note that I don`t think is because the item itself is so insane, but because the way our army plays necessitates strong protection.


I agree with most of your assessments. However, the part I've quoted is the exact reason why I often feel many 'competitive' HE lists are too vulnerable to the 6th spells than the other elven armies. A single casting of Dwellers Below will most of the time wipe out half the unit as well as other characters particularly the S3 archmage.

Dark elf Lv4 wizard can mitigate the danger with cloak of twilight and pegasus mount giving her S4.
Wood elf wizards in sisters unit is also equally vulnerable, although like you've forementioned they don't rely much on characters like we do.
So while HE are suited(and its book designed) for combat unit with multiple characters, increasing ward saves with multiple source of inherent ward saves(dragon armour, anointed, deflect shots, etc), the fact that lore of life is still a popular lore makes all these advantages worth nothing.

The only saving grace is that the advent of armies with high strength single models(WoC, DoC, etc.) made the meta to favour more offensive lores like death or shadow, instead of life. Without it I doubt HE lists would work as well as you've described.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:00 am 
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In my experience Life isn`t that popular. How many Life armies did you encounter at your last tournament/how many were there overall? Furthermore, our armies are usually aggressive by nature, meaning there won`t be a lot of opportunities to cast Dwellers before combat hits home. It is an inherent weakness, but I`ll take this over the weakness vs Death any day of the week as Death is everywhere and people aren`t used to hard counters against it.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:43 am 
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In the UK at least Life is on the up. As Sinsigel says, uncomped Dwellers is a big threat to characters generally and anywhere you do not have LoS against it, people will take Life more. Last tournament I played offered a single LoS, the one before was practically uncomped, SCGT no LoS (which is why Seredain lost his Prince vs Lizardmen). I remember Ben Curry (who takes Life with his DE) explaining that he designed his list so that if he faced Dwellers, he had more than one cavalry unit available to keep his characters in.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:58 am 
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While Life is certainly better uncomped than comped, it is still not a lot of fractions that can wield it effectively. Furthermore, by taking an aggressive approach you can get in combat fast, thus you won`t fear Dwellers. Likewise a defensive unit can stay further behind, outside of 24" Dwellers. Realistically, Life is next to useless against a lot of the other powerhouses out there, so taking it is inherently a risk itself. If you reach the top tables and run into VC, WoC, DoC you`re going to be sorry you didn`t pick another lore. Sure it`s great against High Elves, but that`s one of the few fractions it`s really good against. I would think that Death would be more popular by far even in an uncomped meta. How many armies really do take Life? I would be surprised if there were more than 1/6, meaning you would be unlikely to run into Dwellers more than once per tournament. As far as magic weakness goes, I don`t think this is enough to shy away from shoving characters into a unit, bearing in mind all the benefits this brings with it. I`ve played Life extensively myself and there`s a reason I stopped using it: it`s selection dependent, non-threatening apart from Dwellers early-game and easy to prioritize against. I can see it working for Lizardmen to an extent, but I believe all signatures are better. I can see it working for DE with the pressure from Warlocks partially making up for Life`s weaknesses but I believe Death is better. I can see it working for Bretonnians because the only real alternative on the L4 is Heavens, and while Heavens is better suited to the army as a whole, they are super-vulnerable to miscasts so Life makes sense. Of course there`s the odd curveball here and there, but are there really that many Life armies out there? The problem seems exaggerated. Some hard data would be good here, any big UK events with open lists recently?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:10 pm 
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http://www.warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewt ... 3&t=122518

I agree that there's a lot you can do to mitigate uncomped Dwellers Curu (which is why it's a decent shout, as is 1 LoS in my view) but you can see from the posts of strong players like Alenui, Mike Newman, Adi McWalter etc. that it was definitely an issue and affected how players played their games and how they built their armies.

As in the DE example, I would expect anyone rocking Life to have supporting lore(s) so the bad match-ups hurt them less. It may well be that players would only face Life once at SCGT for example but that's enough reason in my view to tweak a list to make it less vulnerable to getting characters Dwellered off, as Mr Curry did.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:20 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
I remember Ben Curry (who takes Life with his DE) explaining that he designed his list so that if he faced Dwellers, he had more than one cavalry unit available to keep his characters in.


I also read his posts on 'distributing' characters to multiple cavalry units.
And I concur with him. Thus the two sizeable cavalry units in my 2.5K list(10 dragon princes and 10 silver helms) and small sized detachment for BSB.(6 silver helms) I plan to use the forementioned "all in one bus" when I'm against armies without dwellers. Against those who wield dwellers, I might spread the characters around the units. An archmage in DPs, Prince in 10 silver helms, and BSB with golden crown in small silver helm unit, for example.

However, this doesn't change the fact that typical HE lists will have serious probelm against dwellers.
There's nothing we can do about it and it doesn't matter whether the archmage is in deathstar or not.
One lucky IF casting of dwellers(which happens more often than statistics suggest) that removes Lv4 wizard with 50%, against an army which is still dependent on magic. Then Boom! The wizard is gone and HE army is at the mercy of enemy wizard's magic phase.

Other players who play non-elf armies claim that this is a perfectly fine counter against the so-called 'deathstars' with BotWD(although I strongly disagree).
I, however, think ignoring LoS rolls is too punishing even for the powerful 6th spells. If pit of shades and purple sun allowed no LoS roll, I would have no qualms about dwellers. Unfortunately it isn't so, and we simply need to adapt to the environment that is extra-punishing to HE.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:23 pm 
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I don`t see the lores there, SA. Did I miss something?

@Sinsigel - One lucky cast of Mindrazor, Withering, Doom and Darkness, Dreaded 13th, Arcane Unforging, Infernal Gateway and Comet of Casandora can have the same effect, to name but a few of the potentially game-winning spells. To a degree you can work around it, but eventually you have to consider other factors as well and my argument here is that these are of greater importance than what could happen in that one game where you face Dwellers. Personally I haven`t faced Life that much (although I did face it this Tuesday), but considering people play OK, DoC and LZ competitively (armies that are as weak to Purple Sun as we are to Dwellers) and the fact that Death is more popular than Life, I don`t think it`s such a huge deal. Maybe it`s worth trying to build the Scepter of Stability for, or an extra argument to bring the Book on a Level 4, but it shouldn´t dictate your style alone.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:43 pm 
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There's a section on baddice.co.uk which has the lists from recent tournaments for download Curu. I'm on a primitive phone right now and it doesn't enjoy Mr Curry's site at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Found it! Perfect, let`s get to work:

Call To War: 11/~100 sported Lore of Life
Midlands GT: 9/110 sported Lore of Life
SCGT: 29/~200 sported Lore of Life

So the general feel looks to be 1 in 10 armies with Lore of Life, with SCGT having a somewhat larger amount: roughly 1 in 6.5.

You are not likely to run into more than 1 army with Lore of Life during a 5-game tournament I believe and you could easily play all games without meeting it at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:21 pm 
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Call to War and Midlands allowed 2 LoS's vs Dwellers etc. Curu. MKGT I believe didn't, though we can ask Seredain to confirm. Ill Blood, which we both attended in February was practically uncomped. There are others, such as Out of The Box.

A few months ago Furion argued here that comps were converging and ETC-style play was the logical destination to which everyone was heading. But as I responded, English-speaking (for some reason) countries in particular have always had an eclectic approach to comp which sees the UK, US and Australia in particular sporting all manner of different events. In the UK though there has been the generally accepted LoS vs top spells since early 8th. We are now seeing more and more events which weaken this or dispense with it altogether. There are still a fair few that retain it.

My point is that where the LoS is not available, players are more likely to bring Life and I believe this impacts list design.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:28 pm 
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Of course, a relative increase by 50% (Midlands vs SCGT) is something you should keep in mind. For High Elves however we simply don`t have the option to shuffle around as heavily as e.g. DE. We are inherently bound to grouping our characters together: literally every successful High Elf list we`ve seen is centered around multiple characters providing valuable support in areas we´re otherwise lacking in. Be it Coven of Light, Cavstar, Star Dragon, Combined arms or PG-star, we inevitable have to group at least 2-3 characters in every unit. To this end I can agree that a Deathtrain-style list with 6 characters in 1 unit is on the more risky side of things, but unlike DE we simply cannot create armies that play well without some kind of grouping. So if anything, Dwellers force us away from the worst deathstars into multiple-threat play, where we spread our eggs. In a nutshell, the design of the army is working against us in the face of Life being so popular.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:25 pm 
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My relative meta is WoC, DoC, DE, Empire, HE, skaven and WE in that order. I rarely see VC but according to my friends there should be quite a few players. OK and O&G are rare as well. I've only seen Brets and Beastmen one each. But at the events I have participated in I've only met the 7 first mentioned armies.
In general only HE,DE, skaven and to some extent WE come with chaff. The rest is maximum power and perhaps a single chaff unit.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:48 pm 
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WoC chaff is usually bad, terrible or non-existant at worst. They can take mounted marauders with mark of slaanesh which I personally believe are hugely underrated, but I just don`t see people doing it.

DoC on the other hand has some of the best chaff in the game: Single beasts and furies are ridiculously good. I`m surprised to hear they don`t take it. Skaven on the other hand is an army I`m not used to having to play the board control game with: they just swarm me with 40-strong units of Slaves.

To be honest it sounds like a board-control heavy army would dominate your meta pretty significantly. Regardless of how strong a unit is, hitting it with multiple strong units is superior.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:12 pm 
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Slaanesh Horsemen and Furies are pretty much standard here.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:16 pm 
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In other news, England beat Norway 99-61 (nearly capped out!) @ETC. I have no details on any of the games yet, but to my eyes the lists from both teams seem to largely follow the patterns discussed in this thread. For reference, here are all the lists at the ETC this year:

http://paint-hammer.blogspot.no/2014/07 ... lists.html

@SA - I`m glad to hear, that implies people realize how important picking your fights is. Luckily for us, mastering chaff is very hard and mistakes made can be capitalized greatly on :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:36 pm 
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The England team has several new faces this year but they seem up to it so far.

My last opponent had two units of Horsemen but as the early loss of my cavalry forced me to sit and shoot they weren't that significant. One got shot off quickly (this will happen vs elves of course), the other was on the flank I stonewalled. Furies are a royal pain in the ass. You set up a charge that might actually kill one of his units and the Furies appear from nowhere.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:48 pm 
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Furies are roughly like our Eagles, a bit better durability and no panic, but harder to place because of bigger footprint. I believe they are more expensive as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:18 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Now let`s look back to our High Elves. More often than not (I`d say the vast majority of times in fact), our mages are in the combat units, frequently engaging in combat fairly early. The reason for this is that we simply don`t have any unit such as Sisters/Warlocks, nor mounts as good as a Dark Peg with 3++ vs everything you`re afraid of, NOR do we have Skirmishers that even come close to Shades or Wood Elf Scouts with enchanted arrows. Thus, a unique challenge for us is how to make our mages work in these combat units. I`ve spent a lot of time discussing this relative to our Elven brethren and now I want to explain why: It`s quite simple actually, this seemingly small difference dictates the entire way we build our armies.


I agree with you that this is what you do with a high magic mage, or life, but it's also entirely possible to just plop a mage in a unit of archers and keep him back if you use a lore like shadow or death.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:26 pm 
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Shadow is a great lore for a defensive army. Personally I think it leaves you with too many weaknesses: even a defensive army will struggle no end vs Wood Elves, Dark Elves and Lizardmen with Shadow. I also think the new Dwarfs can be a real pain with this configuration. Death on the other hand is a strong lore: against said armies D&D and Soulblight are awesome spells and the potential of sniping will keep their characters at bay. Death however requires you to get in range: it is an offensive lore. Why would you want your Archmage with the Archers then? I would like to see a list with this kind of setup, or Shadow for that matter.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:47 pm 
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I find it works well in a cav prince list: 13 Helms with general and BSB, 25 PG, 2 phoenixes, couple small units of reavers and 15 or so archers. The archers miss out on a little bit of unmodified shooting, but it's not hard to keep them close enough to the cavalry bus to cast Mindrazor on the bus or Withering on its opponents. That works well enough against DE in my experience, as does Miasma to drop their initiative and give us back our re-rolls.

But I should try putting a mounted wizard in the bus, since there isn't much life magic in my local meta.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:13 pm 
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Could you post the exact list please?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:03 pm 
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This is one example I've enjoyed playing with. The L4 takes Shadow, L2 usually takes Beasts and focuses on casting Wildform. But sometimes metal seems like a good option.

Code:
2500 Pts - High Elves Roster

Prince (1#, 271 pts)
   1 Prince, 271 pts (Always Strikes First; General; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Ithilmar Barding; Hand Weapon; Heavy Armour; Shield)
      1 Elven Steed (Swift Stride)
      1 Giant Blade
      1 Dragonhelm
      1 Dawnstone

Archmage (1#, 275 pts)
   1 Archmage, 275 pts (Always Strikes First; Lileath's Blessing; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Level 4 Upgrade; Hand Weapon)
      1 Book of Hoeth

Noble (1#, 178 pts)
   1 Noble (Battle Standard Bearer), 178 pts (Always Strikes First; Fireborn; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Ithilmar Barding; Hand Weapon; Lance; Dragon Armour; Shield; Battle Standard Bearer)
      1 Elven Steed (Swift Stride)
      1 Banner of the World Dragon

Mage (1#, 145 pts)
   1 Mage, 145 pts (Always Strikes First; Lileath's Blessing; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Level 2 Upgrade; Hand Weapon)
      1 Dispel Scroll

Silver Helms (12#, 306 pts)
   11 Silver Helms, 306 pts (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Ithilmar Barding; Hand Weapon; Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield)
      1 High Helm (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Ithilmar Barding; Hand Weapon; Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield)
      12 Elven Steed (Swift Stride)

Ellyrian Reavers (5#, 80 pts)
   5 Ellyrian Reavers, 80 pts (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Hand Weapon; Spear; Light Armour; Fast Cavalry)
      5 Elven Steed (Swift Stride)

Ellyrian Reavers (5#, 80 pts)
   5 Ellyrian Reavers, 80 pts (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Hand Weapon; Spear; Light Armour; Fast Cavalry)
      5 Elven Steed (Swift Stride)

Archers (15#, 160 pts)
   15 Archers, 160 pts (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Musician Mus; Hand Weapon; Longbow; Volley Fire)

Phoenix Guard (22#, 405 pts)
   21 Phoenix Guard, 405 pts (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Witness to Destiny; Musician Mus; Standard Bearer Std; Hand Weapon; Halberd; Heavy Armour; Causes Fear)
      1 Keeper of the Flame (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Witness to Destiny; Hand Weapon; Halberd; Heavy Armour; Causes Fear)
      1 Razor Standard

Great Eagle (1#, 50 pts)
   1 Great Eagle, 50 pts (Swift Stride; Flyer; Stomp)

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower (3#, 70 pts)
   1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower, 70 pts (Repeater Bolt Thrower)
      2 Sea Guard Crew (Always Strikes First; Martial Prowess; Valour of Ages; Hand Weapon; Light Armour)

Frostheart Phoenix (1#, 240 pts)
   1 Frostheart Phoenix, 240 pts (Attuned to Magic; Blizzard Aura; Thunder Stomp; Causes Terror; Flyer; Large Target; Swiftstride)

Frostheart Phoenix (1#, 240 pts)
   1 Frostheart Phoenix, 240 pts (Attuned to Magic; Blizzard Aura; Thunder Stomp; Causes Terror; Flyer; Large Target; Swiftstride)

Validation Report:
Edition: 8th Edition; Game Type: Normal Game; Army Subtype: High Elf Army; Special Rules: Forbid Chaos Dwarfs in WoC, Forbid Regiments of Renown, Forbid Special Characters; File Version: 2.77
Roster satisfies all enforced validation rules

Composition Report:
Points of Lords: 546 (0 - 625)
Points of Heroes: 323 (0 - 625)
Points of Core: 626 (625 - Unlimited)
Points of Special: 405 (0 - 1250)
Points of Rare: 600 (0 - 625)

Total Roster Cost: 2500

Created with Army Builder® - Try it for free at http://www.wolflair.com


There are some things I waffle about, such as whether to kit out the BSB for combat rather than putting the Banner on him.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:16 pm 
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That seems to be a very aggressive list. You have close to no shooting and all your major points are spent trying to get units into favourable multi-combats as far as I can tell. I guess my question then is quite simple: Why Shadow? I don`t see a lot of lists being capable of engaging you head-to-head, in which case Shadow is overkill. True Miasma is good and Pit is terrifying for a lot of monsters and units out there, but overall Shadow doesn`t complement your army I feel. What do you do when you face evasive/shooty armies? Do you ever find shadow to be a bit too hit-or-miss? If your L4 is with the Archers, does he never get caught out on his own?

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