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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:44 pm 
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Hi all, I am going to play a VERY hard Empire Army. He wins just about every tournament we play in and I really want to beat him with my army. I don't know if it is possible but some tactical advice would be helpful. Here is what I have.

Alarielle
Loremaster-Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown
Noble-BSB Dragon Armor/Halberd, Reaver Bow, Potion of Strength, Stone of Luck


18 Archers- full command
18 Archers-full command
5 Reavers- musician, bows
5 Reavers- musician, bows

19 Swordmasters- full command, Banner of World Dragon
10 White Lions
10 White Lions

3 Bolt Throwers
2 Great Eagles-Sharp Talons
5 Sisters
5 Sisters

2500 pts

Alternatively I could use some Dragon Princes instead of the White Lions and an eagle.
Or I could change up the characters a bit, but the rest of the army needs to stay pretty much the same.

He has the following

The empire dude that goes insane
Empire general with Runefang
4th lvl Life mage
BSB with the best magical banner they have
War Priest
(most of the characters have a 3+ ward)

Huge Block of inner circle knights with 1+ saves
Smaller block of inner circle knights

2 units of 3 demigryphs

2 Organ guns

3 cannons

Steamtank

Hurricanum or that other wagon (don't remember which)

So, any thoughts? Is it even possible to win with my army or at least pull out a draw?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:50 am 
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First of all we need specific lists to evaluate this. His list as it stands now looks closer to 3000 than 2500 for example. Secondly you are lacking a ton of models to compete with the min-maxed list he is fielding: Double runefangs in a Lifebus with a warrior priest backed up by pretty much everything Nuln had to offer that is strong? Fight fire with fire, you need to min-max yourself. Taking MSU elements will simply get you crushed: the HBVG blasts them apart, the STank smothers them on the charge, the bus literally laughs at you and even the Demis will win this easily.

What you need is to decide on a specific approach and try that out. Prior to that though you need more models in your collection ;) What you currently have simply won't cut it if he plays it right. I'm sorry to say so, but given his skill (based on your description) he is unlikely to make big mistakes and his list is rock solid.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Well i've got more models. I also have
10 DPs
5 Silverhelms
Flamespyre
Dragon
45 spearmen
6 chariots


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:17 pm 
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I also think that empire with all their 1+ amour is very tough. I actually voted for them, as our enemy of the month.

Anyway, let's get on with it then.
First of all, with 3 cannons and a steamtank there is no need to even consider a dragon or a mounted Phoenix.
I think you should gather as many White lions as you can and give them the banner of the world dragon. From here you can go to ways IMO.
1. Take alarielle in the unit, BSB with the banner of Avelorn and go for a light council. Your block of white lions should be able to eat his inner circle knights. A bubbled version of Pha's protection (remember 8+ to cast) is also fantastic against his list.

2. Take an archmage, give him the book of hoeth and go for lore of metal.

I think you should bring 2 groups of 5 swordmasters as they will work fine as heavy hitting chaff. You will be hitting first against anything in his army (except impact hits for the stank of course).
Also, bring as many reavers and eagles as possible. They will really put some pressure on his warmachines early on.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:52 pm 
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Delaqure, could you please provide a specific list first? I'm fairly certain the list you posted above is way above 2500 points. It's pointless to discuss 2500 points of model-restricted HE vs a min-maxed 3k Empire list. If you are struggling to handle it, we need specifics to discuss what can be done.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:13 am 
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Curu i gave you the best guess I can concerning his list. I will be playing him tomorrow and I may have to make sure his points are accurate. I played him a while ago with my Brets and I thats the list I remember him having. If you think his list has too many points in I'll double check tomorrow. I distinctly remember the following.
2 hell blasters
3 cannons (maybe 2)
Steam tank (killing blowed it)
2 units of demi griffs (3 griffs each)
1 large block of knights
2 5 man blocks
1 buff wagon
Insane character
4th levl mage
Warpriest
Bsb
1 more character (not sure)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:18 am 
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Ok, let me try and see what makes sense here (I'm assuming quite a bit re: equipment):

Marius Leitdorf, 220
Wizard Lord, L4, dispel scroll, warhorse, 243
BSB, barded warhorse, full plate, dragonhelm, dawnstone, tots, great weapon, 163
Warrior Priest, barded warhorse, heavy armour, enchanted shield, ironcurse icon, 88

IC Knightbus
2x 5 Knights
Total: 625

2x 3 Demis, 2x 174
3x Cannons, 3x 120

Steam Tank, 250
2x 1 HBVG, 2x 120
Celestial Hurricanum, 130

Army Total: 2667.

If he in addition to this had a secondary dude with Runefang and "most characters with ward saves" his list is easily 3000 points as my magic items have been few and far between here.

Anyway, I get the general point of the army: He hangs back and shoots with 2 big counter-threats in the shape of a STank and a Lifetrain with Runefangs. Onto your list then, the monsters we can basically just leave at home because half of Nuln is arrayed against us and it's pointless to bring them. We are left with 2 options, we can either spam bodies at him or simply win the ranged duel. Wait, what's that? That's right, the latter sounds too good to be true but it's not: If you can protect a body of Archers he has very little that can deal with them effectively.

The problem is, your model range does not have anything that can protect the Archers from his bus, let alone STank. You basically need a big block of WL to do this effectively. Arguably SM could do the job with some creative setups (BOTWD on the unit, Razor on the BSB) but you still don't have enough bodies.

Assuming you would have had everything, I would do something like this:

Teclis 450
Lothern Sea Helm BSB with shield of the merwyrm, golden crown, warrior bane, 155

41 Archers, FCG, 440
2x 5 Reavers, 2x 80

30 WL, FCG, BOTWD, 470

4x 1 RBT, 4x 70
15 Sisters, 210
2x 1 Eagle, 2x 50

Army Total: 2265

This leaves some points to play around with. Not sure what else you'd want. This list has been designed to be more of an all-comers thing. Perhaps a Frostheart is better than Sisters but in this matchup that's just pure suicide.

Anyway, something like that. Strong shooting with big WL backed up by powerful magic. Teclis can be swapped for e.g. L4 with Book (Life is a good lore, as are Death and High). You get my point ;) Light coven should also be feasible, Pha's is a nightmare for him.

An alternative is to go with a deathstarbus. The problem with this is his insane amount of shooting. You risk simply losing everything in a single turn. It's also a bad idea vs Dwellers.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:05 am 
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With your initial army posted and that of your opponent. I see lore of metal being very good on a mage and a lore of shadows high mage.

The signature in lore of metal can put the hurt on alot of his nasty stuff such as steamtank and demigryphs. Lore of shadows is perhaps a bit of a bigger gambit but with the large amount of archers you have at disposal you need something to make them wound stuff and The Withering can do that.

Pit of shades can make a bit of a mess of things in his artillery backline, steamtank or demigryphs, Miasma might be able to pacify a Hellblaster for a turn, Enfeebling Foe could save your squishy elves and even the Pendulum could add a few wounds on the Steamtank or, if lucky, kill a warmachine.

I have run my all core high elf army with that lore setup against my mates empire army and he likes artillery as well.

One thing I know for sure is that you need to put a few wounds on that Steamtank ASAP. More than a few actually, because you can be certain he will try an heal it every turn with his signature. And if he rolls Regrowth I would do all in my power to stop that spell from getting through.

Finally, with all that artillery I would probably just sit back, out of range of the hellblasters and wait for the cannons to explode. It might seem like a boring mexican standoff kind of situation but it would be almost suicide to advance against such a gunline and he is, in my mind, forcing your hand in that regard.

And don't be afraid of trying out different formations. I have sometimes deployed my units extremely wide to prevent my opponents cannons from killing more than two dudes. then change formation when the demigryphs/knights come closer, this, in theory, should save you a few elven lives from artillery.

But you say you opponent is a good tournament player, so he might know precisely how to counter all my suggestions.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:55 am 
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A Level 4 on Metal will help vs. armor

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:02 am 
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May I suggest playing with scenarios / by the book terrain?

I mean, looking at his lists, it lacks anything to take the watchtower, and at best it has 4-5 fortitude points at 3K for Blood and Glory. Meeting Engagement and Dawn Attack can be problematic for him, as he will have worse mobility than you to correct a negative deployment. And a hill, forest or swarm (or even a Settlement) in the middle of the battlefield can really hinder his fire lanes.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:08 am 
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Well I played the empire army from hell today and ended in a draw. It may not have but we weren't able to finish the game. Here's what I took.
Light council with 2 arch mages and 2 mages
Bsb
18 archers
18 archers
5 reavers
5 reavers

19 swordmasters with BOWD
23 White lions with Razor Standard

3 bolt throwers
1 great eagle
5 sisters

I really looked at his army and this is what he had
Insane General
4 th lvl life mage
Captain on pegasus 1+ save with rerolls
BSB with 18" Range.

Inner circle knight bus
Unit of knights
Unit of white wolves
2 units of demi griffs
2 cannons
1 hell blaster
1 steamtank

This army is FAST and 1+ saves everwhere. He also has cold blooded on his characters with re-rolls on leadership due to 18" banner.

My light council did NOTHING due to horrible rolls either for winds and casting. I think I killed 2 knights with it. The best spell was Phas which saved my bacon.
My archers were awsome in hitting but killed nothing.
Bolt throwers took out unit of demi griffs and almost a whole unit of knights.

Dissapointments were magic really sucked. He made a million armor saves. Archery did nothing. At one point his pegasus hero took 17 hits in the face from swordmasters and took no wounds. I still won combat but he held due to cold blooded re-roll preventing me from hitting his knights in the flank. Good grief :?
He was very afraid of my WL which was a bonus. But they never saw combat due to time constraints.

So I re-worked my list and this is what I came up with.

Alarielle with high magic.
I think she will go with the swordmasters providing the boosted wards. I think high as a defensive lore would be very good. Drain magic against life augments, Hand of Glory boosts bolt throwers, Walk to out maneuver, Arcane gets rid of pesky magic armor and wards. Apotheosis could heal bolt throwers too. Soulquench and Fiery Convocation combined with Plague of rust could be deadly.
Archmage-metal with BOH. I really like metal after looking at it. It has a lot of good spells that I think compliment high magic. Enchanted Blades helps archers get past those 1+ saves. Even the hounds could be helpful against those demigriffs or pegasus captain.
Sea helm BSB-Merwyrm shield, potion of strength, warrior bane, Golden Crown

18 Archers full command
18 Archers full command
5 Reavers spears and bows
5 Reavers spears and bows

19 swordmasters mus, standard BWD
22 White Lions mus standard Razor Banner

3 bolt throwers
5 sisters
5 sisters
1 Great Eagle.

Ok the plan is since he is so fast I need to slow him down a bit. His hell blaster sits with his canons and protects them from the reavers and eagle. So I think I'll leave them alone and use them as blockers and re-directors ro slow him down and give my magic and shooting time to work. He got into me way to fast this last game.

Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:10 am 
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First of all congrats on your draw. You are moving in the right direction :) .

I have a few things.
Why do you have the razor standard on the lions? They don't need it in my opinion. I think it would be better to give the swordmasters the razor banner, BotWD in white lions along side all your mages.
If you want to bring Alarielle, I think you kind of need to build your list around her. She is to expensive for "just" casting high magic. You might as well just take a normal archmage. Regarding high magic, I don't see how this lore really would benefit you, in this matchup.
Quote:
Drain magic against life augments

Okay yes true. But if he get's flesh to stone of, you just shoot at something else. When I play against life magic, I only focus on stopping throne of wines and the burn the scroll if he get of dwellers off. After that you have to safe your dice to stop dwellers.

Quote:
Hand of Glory boosts bolt throwers

No very effective IMO. So what if one of your bolt throwers are hitting better?

Quote:
Walk to out maneuver

This spell is not very effective on an infantry army. You want to hold your line intact and not having one unit racing forward without support.
Quote:
Arcane gets rid of pesky magic armor and wards

Hands down one of the best spells in the game. Always useful.

Quote:
Apotheosis could heal bolt throwers too
.
A very bad spell. How many times do you find that his cannons only manages to remove one single wound on your bolt throwers? Then you heal it up to it's full two wounds, and it still get's shoot of by one cannon. He only need a 2+ to wound.

Quote:
Soulquench and Fiery Convocation combined with Plague of rust could be deadly.

Yes, but he still has a 3+ amour save against this. Not very effective either.

If you want to bring that many archers, I think lore of metal is a must. Otherwise they just can't get through that armour.

Finally, I don't think you should give up your light council based on one single game. You could go for a lvl. 4 light, loremaster and lvl. 1 light. That gives you both searing doom and banishment. Both really dangerous spells for him.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:13 pm 
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Hmmm... You have a good point on the Banners. I think Iwill switch it up.

The biggest reason I took Allarielle was for the 5+ ward for the unit. One thing I've learned is that for whatever reason I totally suck at wounding stuff. This has been the bane of my existence in warhammer. I desparately need my stuff to stick around long enough for my attacks to finally get through. As far as adding BS to bolt thrower haven't you ever really NEEDED on to hit? I have and od course it missed. I dunno I could be way off here but I know my luck so I am trying to mitigate that somewhat.

But I like the thoughts. I think I just might place the madges with the lions and the Banner.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:58 am 
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Shadeseraph wrote:
May I suggest playing with scenarios / by the book terrain?

I mean, looking at his lists, it lacks anything to take the watchtower, and at best it has 4-5 fortitude points at 3K for Blood and Glory. Meeting Engagement and Dawn Attack can be problematic for him, as he will have worse mobility than you to correct a negative deployment. And a hill, forest or swarm (or even a Settlement) in the middle of the battlefield can really hinder his fire lanes.


So true.

Sure, the rulebook scenarios might not be the most balanced games(e.g. watchtowers), but I believe it does help mitigate the cheese level of certain lists.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:08 am 
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If the swordmasters have the razor banner, your opponent is now facing two units that can cut through that 1+ armour. I would deploy the swordmasters 7 wide, to maximize the number of attacks. The only problem with keeping them in one unit is dwellers. The white lions can still be combat effective because of there s4.

I understand you want to give the swordmasters some protection, however I think she really needs to be in a unit with the banner of the world dragon. If she miscasts and blowup, that swordmaster unit is toast. Remember they don't get their 5++ against magical attacks.
You have to accept that some of your units will die. If you can keep the white lions plus characters alive, you have saved a lot of points.

With regard to hand of glory on the bolt throwers, let's do the math here:
Witout hand of glory and at long range. Let's say you shoot 6 arrows at his knights:
6*1/2*2/3 = 2

With hand of glory on long range. We are gonna assume you boost their BS with 2 or more.
6*5/6*2/3 = 3.33

This is before armour saves.
As you say it is nice if you just really need you bolt thrower to hit something for that one crucial turn. I just find it very situational. They are good support elements, but I don't think your gameplan should be about them hitting their targets.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:19 pm 
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Congratulations on a solid result :) Looks like you really managed to understand this list and how best to counter it - managing a draw even with poor magic is very impressive here!

As you can see, the resulting list he took is quite a bit away from the original one you wrote. The compromises he has to make to get everything included means he has some weak spots and his ranged presence is not quite as dominating.

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:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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