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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
Drakova wrote:
Ive notice people treat killing them like its the holy grail and people so happy to kill them even if its an trap... something about knights make people think defeating a unit of 5 of them is SOOO important... I keep seeing this.

That's true! Especially with dragon princes. You might not want to throw away a unit of 5, but there's also nothing else worth 150 points that'll get such a reaction when you put it down. I've often placed them on a flank and seen my opponent just freak out and throw units in front of them like they were literally princes, much to the detriment of the rest of his army...


It's as much forcing your opponent into making bad choices as it is making good ones yourself. I include both a lion chariot and 5 DPs in my list and the reaction has been similar to what you've seen - throwing excessive force into removing these two small units, while my main infantry does all the damage.

Thanks for all the input into this, I know it must take a lot of time and effort!

All we need now are some lovely photos.... [-o<

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:47 am 
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I really like what you've done with this list. :3

I have an admittedly bizarre aversion to using cavalry, mostly for just silly aesthetic reasons, but I feel I've started moving down a similar path. Each of your units is small, a bit fragile, and bordering on MSU, but through combined arms actually quite well, if not better, and avoids to a large degree the problem of magic wiping out half your force in one shot when you rely heavily on deathstar.

I found myself going down this route with the advent of eighth addition - huge blocks of 'Seaguard and 'Lions... but then I broke up the 'Seaguard so that they could fire at more targets, broke up the 'Lions so I had more units to fix things in place with, and started using them in combination with my Lion Chariots again. After reading this, I'm strongly considering painting my unit of Silver Helms I've got laying about...

It really has opened up a lot of options and increased the versatility of the army, and made it a lot more fun to play with. 3 blocks of 40 infantry and spears can often times win in the straight grind, but I found the main problem was magic, and also that if my blocks weren't statistically superior, there was little they could do besides charge forward and hope for the best. Now I've got a lot more options and a lot of the skill and tactics has come back into the game that seemed to cause so many people to rage-quit.

Also, I've recently been playing Rome Total War... I can definitely see the Macedonian influences in your army and in the language you choose to describe them... like calling the Silver Helms companions. Also your avatar! Ironically, my own army has a black, white and red color scheme similar to the colors they chose for them in the game... :3

Anyway, keep posting battle reports even if your army hits the point where it stops changing much. It's definitely good reading!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:07 pm 
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~Milliardo~ wrote:
I found myself going down this route with the advent of eighth addition - huge blocks of 'Seaguard and 'Lions... but then I broke up the 'Seaguard so that they could fire at more targets, broke up the 'Lions so I had more units to fix things in place with, and started using them in combination with my Lion Chariots again. After reading this, I'm strongly considering painting my unit of Silver Helms I've got laying about...

Yes... Feel the tactical possibilities! Join us...

You could do a superb mage-knight bus with the helms to add some Milliardo flavour. Maybe a Seerstaff/Helm of Fortune/Radiant Gem Prince taking Doom and Darkness, with a Lance+Shield/Dawnstone/Terrifying Mask BSB riding alongside...? That could be fun.

~Milliardo~ wrote:
It really has opened up a lot of options and increased the versatility of the army, and made it a lot more fun to play with. 3 blocks of 40 infantry and spears can often times win in the straight grind, but I found the main problem was magic, and also that if my blocks weren't statistically superior, there was little they could do besides charge forward and hope for the best. Now I've got a lot more options and a lot of the skill and tactics has come back into the game that seemed to cause so many people to rage-quit.

I completely agree. I think many people have missed the ways in which 8th has broadened the range of tactical possibilities for combined arms lists. Alongside steadfast spearelves you can also now take heavy cavalry which can't be march blocked (assuming you have the right leadership), archers firing in multiple ranks and skirmishers which can march and shoot. Finally, the fact that a successful charge only needs line of sight and the right distance between units (leaving out all the wheeling etc we had to deal with in 7th), means that I've found it much easier to gain flank charges on enemy units, since I can use all of a unit's movement to simply move them into a flank zone rather than having to move and wheel to improve my prospects of a successful charge. On top of all that, charge distances are now higher on average and, crucially, the movement of infantry blocks in response is limited to either shuffling sideways, back, or reforming. Effectively, aggressive maneuvres have become easier while the responses of enemy blocks have become more limited. For a list like mine that's gold: take a successful combo front/flank charge and you won't find steadfast much of a problem.

~Milliardo~ wrote:
Also, I've recently been playing Rome Total War... I can definitely see the Macedonian influences in your army and in the language you choose to describe them... like calling the Silver Helms companions. Also your avatar! Ironically, my own army has a black, white and red color scheme similar to the colors they chose for them in the game... :3

Haha, that's well spotted! I did my degree and masters in ancient history and the Macedonians were a big influence on the way I play Warhammer. It almost seems silly but the tactics really work (a good sign that, when all's said and done, 8th Edition is a pretty good game). Google the Battle of Gaugamela and see the similarities between Alexander's deployment there and my deployment in that last game: learn from the best, I say. ;)

Yes, I've played Rome: Total War for years. Dude I can't recommend heartily enough the mod Rome: Total Realism. Basically a bunch of ancient history nuts redid the entire game, multiplying the number of cities, extending the map to India and redoing all the factions and units (introducing many many new ones), so they were all as historically accurate as possible. It's a fantastic piece of work and you can download it for free. Trust me, the game is sooo much better with this mod.

Chracian wrote:
Thanks for all the input into this, I know it must take a lot of time and effort!

All we need now are some lovely photos.... [-o<

No problem, Chracian. I enjoy the analysis as much as anything else - it helps to get the tactical juices flowing and, I find, makes you a better player. Having people to bounce ideas of is very useful so I owe thanks to the guys here.

My army is currently camped at a friend's house in Weston. I was supposed to be there today but I'm stuck at home with what looks like glandular fever... That'll probably put a limit on the number of pre-campaign games I play (maybe not a bad thing - I don't want everyone to know about the army!), but next time I'm there (in the next couple of weeks I'm sure), I'll set them up on a shelf and get a picture done. Until then, it's all drugs and soup... Ugh.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:56 pm 
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I like the concept of a Mage Knight on horseback in a cavalry bus, but try as I might, I have serious aversions to fighting on horseback... it may sound silly, but I think I may have charged headlong into a spearwall in a past life and been skewered. The thought of riding a horse into battle would freak me the hell out, so I can make my sub characters cavalry commanders, but as for my own character, I think I'd excel in the bump and grind hoplite style warfare, and chariots. I'm from the Heroic Age, I guess. :3

I'm really, really loving my chariots when combined with a Life Archmage with ToS/Robes, as they're so bloody close together anyway, that so long as they aren't obliterated, they usually return to full health by the end of my next magic phase. My last few games I've managed to out deploy on a flank, move forward, shift 90 degrees towards center field, and run up the middle by sacrificing my two to three RBT and small units of archers as my expendable drops.

I'll check out that mod. I have heard of it, but I was worried that it would make my beloved hoplites less effective, as the only races I can get behind are the Greek ones (did you catch that?)... but I think the novelty of flying-V'ing my way through everything has run its course, and with your shining praise, I can't help but give it a try. :3


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:34 pm 
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That's a nice use of chariots- keeping them near the archmage is an excellent idea. They also work really well alongside white lions since the latter bring the high strength and the chariots bring the extra attacks. I use my chariot in conjunction with my lions in most cases. I'd also be interested to see your list if you have it to hand- combined arms forces are always welcome here!

You don't need to worry about total realism hoplites, either. You won't have access to those coated wholly in bronze, which faded after the Peloponnesian War in the 5th Century BC- layered (often linen) armour and bronze shields were the order of the day in the Hellenistic period. However you'll have a greater variety of citizen hoplites, including Spartan, Athenian and Corinthian Hoplites- all of them good- and excellent heavy peltasts. Plus, there are many more cities in the Greek world to make up a pan-Hellenic empire. Give it a try. :)


EDIT: Since we've now reached 5 pages, I've placed a summary of Thread Contents in the original post for ease of reference.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:46 pm 
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Hi Seredain! I´ve read through this topic and think that your army is brilliant. It´s great to see a combined arms approach. Been playing VC´s for a long time and I´m eager to get my HE´s back up and running again. With my VC´s i´ve had problems with the whole big units vs big spells things. Dwellers totally wrecks my big units of ghouls and grave guard :mrgreen: . This topic has gotten me to rethink the cavaly role in army lists, both VC and HE. Vamps could do the silver helm thing with black knights and their lords are awesome fighters too :mrgreen: .

Your earlier posts has also made me consider RBT´s and archers in 8th edition, both of which has been considered sup par choices. Now you´ve done the same with cavalry :mrgreen: . Great to see that I can still use those silver helms I have lying around.

Another question, how would you translate your current 2500pts list into a 2000pts list? :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:15 pm 
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I also love reading this thread, because I love the thought of making HE work, but have always had problems making alist that I like.

Also comes down to the people I play, one of them being an avid Empire player, so not having an answer to his Stank, and cannons, and mortars, kinda sucks.

But it certainly does peek my interest, maybe should just give em a go, and see what happens,

My problem is I have kinda got tuck on the 30 White lions, not giving much up for much else, and altho they are excelent, it gets very one dimensional.

Love the idea of a Gem Prince, also for leeching other characters, or BSB's, but get stuck on every thing else.

Polle


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
You could do a superb mage-knight bus with the helms to add some Milliardo flavour. Maybe a Seerstaff/Helm of Fortune/Radiant Gem Prince taking Doom and Darkness, with a Lance+Shield/Dawnstone/Terrifying Mask BSB riding alongside...? That could be fun.

Funny you should mention this. I'm going to try out a mage-knight bus next time out.

Prince - Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Endurance, Radiant Gem (Beasts), Dragon Armour, Barded Steed and Great Weapon.
BSB - Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Heavy Armour, Barded Steed and Great Weapon.

Taking signature spell in the lore of Beasts, will make these guys hit like a freight train. S7 attacks from the Prince and BSB, S6 from the helms and S4 horses? Sure, I'll take that. Not to mention T4. Coupled with a Shadow Archmage, it will put a lot of pressure on the dispel dice. Hmmm, do you let Wyssan's go thru and get crushed by cav, or do you let Mindrazor thru and get crushed by spears? I'm happy either way.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:37 am 
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Seredain wrote:
I'd also be interested to see your list if you have it to hand- combined arms forces are always welcome here!
Sure thing, no problem. I typically play at around 2k points, so this is my default list. I make substitutions to it frequently to keep things interesting, but I enjoy using this when I get to play.

Archmage - Lv.4, ToS/Robe, Silverwand - 250
BSB - GW, AoC, Dawnstone - 143
20 Seaguard - Shields, Full Com, Banner of Eternal Flame - 295
2x 10 Archers, Musician, Standard - 125
2x Lion Chariots - 280
2x 14 White Lions - Full Com, (Banner of Sorcery) - 240 (290)
Great Eagle - 50
RBT - 100
1998

I use the Archers, Eagle and RBT as disposable deployments to confuse my opponent as to which flank I'm going to deploy on - very rarely will I deploy in the center unless we're using a lot of impassable terrain and buildings. The Seaguard are the hinge on which the force rotates and are usually deployed 1' to 2' feet in from the center and provide missile support when there's nothing safe for them to charge alone. The White Lions deploy in the space between the board edge and Seaguard, march forward and rotate towards center. The Archmage usually deploys with a unit of lions and the BSB remains in the Seaguard, but they switch if there are a lot of opponents with magic attacks like Dryads.

If everything works the way it should, the army becomes very difficult to flank, and the opponents usually superior numbers can't be brought to bare. The lions and chariots excel at grinding through tough opponents, and with the Life Mage, generally are able to replenish losses with Regrowth. The Chariots themselves typically only charge things along with a block of infantry, but can pair up to take on certain units. Against common troops, a block of 2x7 lions and chariot puts out around 20 - 25 wounds, and look far more fragile than they actually are, which I find is important - it gives some people just enough incentive to actually think they can win with their huge block of 30 - 40 infantry, and wind up with only 5 return attacks.

Common substitutions include trading the BSB's kit with a Radiant Gem using Death, or Life - it ensures I get the spells from life I want, putting regen on two units a turn is fantastic, and the extra point of healing each turn is rarely wasted - people really hate the poor chariots. Sometimes I'll combine the 'Lions, give them a Banner of World Dragon, and exchange Life for Death, but as I said earlier, its not very versatile and actually less survivable - I've had it nearly shot off the board and then finished off by state troops, which was really just embarrassing. Other times, particularly if I know I'm going to be doing the Watchtower scenario, I like to trade a unit of Lions for Swordmasters - they attract an inordinate amount of fire and with some Life magic can tank missile fire for the rest of the force.

Its weakness is definitely gun-lines with cannons, but I find at 2k you really have to pick your poison... I enjoy this list a lot because even when I get a bad match-up, it can struggle along and do surprisingly quite well. I think the correct way to handle my list is to remove the chariots, because without them, the list starts to fold rather quickly... I'm tempted to drop the RBT and Eagle for a third chariot, but the RBT when combined with the Flaming 'Guard are theoretically how I deal with Regen Monsters - I've not run into one yet!

I tried making a list for 2.5k... definitely not used to that - it feels a bit like I've been fighting with my left hand tied behind my back. I'm less encumbered and have more options, but at the same time, I'm so used to fighting with my right that not much changes.

I add another unit of 20 Seaguard (Generally I don't go over 25 with these, and 20 feels about right - I can always heal them, and I try hard not to send them into any fight alone anyway.), another Lion Chariot, and either another Great Eagle and RBT, or a unit of 'something fun' like Ellyrions with bows and spear or some Shadow Warriors or both - I don't really expect the pilosi to do much, but just annoy the enemy until my lions can get to grips, and if they die preventing a unit of crossbowmen from firing, its usually worth it.

... and that's all I have to say about that. I downloaded Rome Total Realism and am about to try it now. :3


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:04 pm 
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mcpolle wrote:
Also comes down to the people I play, one of them being an avid Empire player, so not having an answer to his Stank, and cannons, and mortars, kinda sucks.

Polle, the war machines I'm not worried about, but the Stank really will be a test of my 'all comers' credentials- the campaign's empire player is fielding one. It may be that I put a couple of early wounds on it and render it redundant, nut I'll have to keep my fingers crossed...

Glad you're finding the thread useful- run a few tests in building an all-comers list and see what you can come up with, eh? It's almost as much fun as it is deeply, deeply frustrating. ;)

Bolt Thrower wrote:
I'm going to try out a mage-knight bus next time out.

Prince - Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Endurance, Radiant Gem (Beasts), Dragon Armour, Barded Steed and Great Weapon.
BSB - Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Heavy Armour, Barded Steed and Great Weapon.

Taking signature spell in the lore of Beasts, will make these guys hit like a freight train. S7 attacks from the Prince and BSB, S6 from the helms and S4 horses? Sure, I'll take that. Not to mention T4. Coupled with a Shadow Archmage, it will put a lot of pressure on the dispel dice. Hmmm, do you let Wyssan's go thru and get crushed by cav, or do you let Mindrazor thru and get crushed by spears? I'm happy either way.


BT that's brutal, haha. Very cool and really good kit on the prince. Bear in mind that, in order to force that nasty dispel choice, you'll need both the spears and the knights to have made successful charges that turn. If the knights get into combat earlier, as is likely, be prepared for them to live without the buff until the spears also make it in. On the other hand, casting miasma could force a difficult dispel choice in the meantime: no-one wants to be hitting your characters and helms on only a 5+... Good build.

I'm guessing that the only reason you haven't taken Guardian Phoenix on the prince is that you've given it to your archmage?

~Milliardo~ wrote:
Against common troops, a block of 2x7 lions and chariot puts out around 20 - 25 wounds, and look far more fragile than they actually are, which I find is important - it gives some people just enough incentive to actually think they can win with their huge block of 30 - 40 infantry, and wind up with only 5 return attacks.
...
Its weakness is definitely gun-lines with cannons, but I find at 2k you really have to pick your poison...


Nice list, Milliardo. I completely agree that the two units of lions are the way to go, there. It's funny isn't it, how players often assume their 40-man block is going to stick around forever, without thinking that its wide frontage means we can throw an enormous number of attacks into it and completely ruin it before it gets to strike? Your chariots are gold-dust for your infantry in that respect. Yeah, I can see how gunlines would be a problem: at least you don't have that big single white lion unit making such a juicy target: it's quite hard hitting 2-rank units with machines. Best course of action, I guess, is to just get up in their face and keep regrowing things! You'll have to watch out for enemy magic, too, but that's true for most lists these days.

If you can, give 2.5K a go - the extra points provide a great opportunity to maximise your strengths and (especially), minimise your weaknesses.

Mikael.K wrote:
This topic has gotten me to rethink the cavaly role in army lists, both VC and HE. Vamps could do the silver helm thing with black knights and their lords are awesome fighters too :mrgreen: .

Your earlier posts has also made me consider RBT´s and archers in 8th edition, both of which has been considered sup par choices. Now you´ve done the same with cavalry :mrgreen: . Great to see that I can still use those silver helms I have lying around.

Cheers, Mikael - that's good to hear! I'm no VC expert but I see no reason why black knights couldn't make an excellent bus with a powerful vampire. You'd have to ponder whether getting your general that involved is worth the risk of him dying and crumbling your army, though. Maybe a Thrall with a Wight BSB?

I will say that I think High Elf heavy cavalry has a massive advantage over that of other races because we re-roll missed hits. It can't be over-stressed that the fact we no longer suffer from rubber lance syndrome makes our cavalry (uniquely in the game), something that lance-wielding cavalry has never been - reliable. For units which mostly rely on breaking or crippling their targets on the charge, ASF is so incredibly useful and makes, I would suggest, High Elf cavalry buses some of the best in the game (along with their speed and the high leadership needed for marching and free reforms). Dark Elf cold one buses will get the re-roll from hatred, so they're powerful too, but our ASF high-strength characters can tip that match-up in our favour.

Mikael.K wrote:
Another question, how would you translate your current 2500pts list into a 2000pts list? :)

That's a tough one which, frankly, I've tried to avoid! The basic point is that, firstly, I have to lose one of my lord choices and that, of course, limits the tactical possibilities open to me a great deal. If I were building a 2K list from scratch, I don't yet know what I'd take exactly but, if I were trying to build a 2K Cavalry Prince list, it might look something like this:

2000 point Cavalry Prince List

Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec - 281
Battle Standard Bearer - Barded Steed, Lance, Dragon Armour, Shield, Radiant Gem, Luckstone, High Magic - 188
Lvl 1 Mage - Lore of Shadow, Dispel Scroll, Dragonbane Gem - 125

30 Spearelves- Full Command, Gleaming Pennant - 300
18 Archers, Musician - 203

12 Swordmasters- Bladelord - 192
10 White Lions- Guardian, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 184
8 Silver Helms- Musician, Shields - 192
1 Tiranoc Chariot - 85

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 200
1 Eagle - 50

2000 points

So, I keep the fighting prince and the shape and style of his army remains the same, with the loss of the dragon princes being the only significant change in the unit line-up. Loss of the archmage is made up for by the fact that I now have two low level casters including a dispel scroll and access to drain magic: good magic defence for a prince list. As for casting spells, I'll have three (not bad on average dice), and the default Shadow and High spells are both excellent for their casting cost- the former is amazingly flexible (and useful for aiding the knights with its long range), while the latter can make my tank even harder. The fact that they're both of such a low casting value should lower the impact of my mages being only level 1. The BsB is obviously not as hard as he was, but the changes to him are probably necessary to keep the list balanced. Besides, the prince is correspondingly more powerful at these reduced points levels.

The down sides? The silver helm tank is worth as many points as it was in the 2.5K list, so it's going to be a bigger target for enemy spells. That's basically the reason I've gone for magic defence over trying to manufacture an aggressive phase out of a single Level 2 mage (Banner of Sorcery, Seerstaff). I've also spent a lot in characters. There's a good argument here for taking out the BSB altogether and going for a more powerful mage whilst spending the rest on more troops, though I'd have to think about it. I do like the spell selection granted by the BSB and the Level 1 - I think it could be nicely workable.

It's an interesting experiment, anyway. If the time comes where I have to fight someone at 2000 points, I'll give it a try.

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Last edited by Seredain on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
BT that's brutal, haha. Very cool and really good kit on the prince. Bear in mind that, in order to force that nasty dispel choice, you'll need both the spears and the knights to have made successful charges that turn. If the knights get into combat earlier, as is likely, be prepared for them to live without the buff until the spears also make it in. On the other hand, casting miasma could force a difficult dispel choice in the meantime: no-one wants to be hitting your characters and helms on only a 5+... Good build.

I'm guessing that the only reason you haven't taken Guardian Phoenix on the prince is that you've given it to your archmage?

Actually, I originally had it on the BSB but then opted for the Dawnstone in the end and didn't think to switch it out on the Prince. Thanks! 5 points to spend...Gleaming Pennant unfurled for a little leadership insurance on my Sword Masters since the Prince and BSB are off running around on horses.

Unfortunately, the AM can only be Lvl 4 with a scroll at this point because I squeezed in the banner of sorcery to help the Prince get enough dice for his buff in addition to the AM's casting needs.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:49 pm 
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Bolt Thrower wrote:
5 points to spend...Gleaming Pennant unfurled for a little leadership insurance on my Sword Masters since the Prince and BSB are off running around on horses.

I squeezed in the banner of sorcery to help the Prince get enough dice for his buff in addition to the AM's casting needs.

Good plan on both counts. I think it's a really good character set-up. Let us know which list you run with them and how you get on!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Quote:
2000 point Cavalry Prince List

Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec - 281
Battle Standard Bearer - Barded Steed, Lance, Dragon Armour, Shield, Radiant Gem, Luckstone, High Magic - 188
Lvl 1 Mage - Lore of Shadow, Dispel Scroll, Dragonbane Gem - 125

30 Spearelves- Full Command, Gleaming Pennant - 300
18 Archers, Musician - 203

12 Swordmasters- Bladelord - 192
10 White Lions- Guardian, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 184
8 Silver Helms- Musician, Shields - 192
1 Tiranoc Chariot - 85

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 200
1 Eagle - 50

2000 points



It´s a very nice list you have there Seredain :). Another option would be to go with the level 4 life mage and have a commander running with the helms, or would that reduce their effectivness too much? A bit more elite infantry wouldbe nice, 10-12 is bare minimum, especially when one dont have the lore of life. Choices gets tougher when the points go down :P.

Quote:
Cheers, Mikael - that's good to hear! I'm no VC expert but I see no reason why black knights couldn't make an excellent bus with a powerful vampire. You'd have to ponder whether getting your general that involved is worth the risk of him dying and crumbling your army, though. Maybe a Thrall with a Wight BSB?



One could give a thrall infnite hatred/dread knight and a magic weapon to go with the knigts. Spamming cheap WK´s is another option. A magic lord is probably the more competative choice. Thanks for the input :).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Firstly I'd like to say that this thread is fantastic, and your tactical insights and thoughts are interesting, so thank you for the time these well thought out replies must take.

And a couple of questions, if you don't mind. I'm a fan of smaller units, and the interest they add to games, instead of point and click with your horde and let the dice decide. However, I must admit that I am not too much a fan of cavalry. Whilst small units of dragon princes and possibly even the dirt cheap naked SH units I've been considering are fine, I much prefer the look and feel of an infantry line, with chariots providing manuverability. I guess my question is how much do you feel the extra speed of the silver helm bus and dragon princes add to the list, and do you think that a slower list, based of this combined arms approach, could be played effectively? I know that it is a major departure from the theme of your list, but I really want to pick your brains :D

Secondly, the prince. What does the prince add to your force, that another unit or two of supporting cavalry wouldn't? I understand that leadership 10 helps, but as you said, you like to commit to combat only when you will win solidly, and the BSB helps significantly in other leadership issues. I just feel that he is very expensive for a few S7 attacks and +1 leadership.

Thanks again

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:30 am 
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Seredain wrote:
It's funny isn't it, how players often assume their 40-man block is going to stick around forever, without thinking that its wide frontage means we can throw an enormous number of attacks into it and completely ruin it before it gets to strike?

Reminds me of when I shored up my flank with Slayer Pirates, smugly confident that they would hold up the attacking Daemons forever. Two combat rounds later there was nothing left to be unbreakable!

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If you can, give 2.5K a go - the extra points provide a great opportunity to maximise your strengths

Lord-level caster for the win!

:)

Seredain wrote:
Cheers, Mikael - that's good to hear! I'm no VC expert but I see no reason why black knights couldn't make an excellent bus with a powerful vampire. You'd have to ponder whether getting your general that involved is worth the risk of him dying and crumbling your army, though. Maybe a Thrall with a Wight BSB?

One of the lists at the UK Masters featured this.


Sturen wrote:
Secondly, the prince. What does the prince add to your force, that another unit or two of supporting cavalry wouldn't? I understand that leadership 10 helps, but as you said, you like to commit to combat only when you will win solidly, and the BSB helps significantly in other leadership issues. I just feel that he is very expensive for a few S7 attacks and +1 leadership.

With Loec, those attacks are almost auto-wounds. Seredain's got a huge concentration of force in that unit.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:30 am 
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One of the lists at the UK Masters featured this.




Anywhere I can find out more about that list and how it did?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Try http://www.rankingshq.com/masters/profile.aspx?MasterId=8

The list is Russ Veal's. Closed list of course, don't know what hidden stuff he ran with I'm afraid. As you can see he took the Wight King BSB in the bus. He finished 6th out of 16 in a strong field.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:02 pm 
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Thank you :). Maybe my black knights will see the light of day (:P) aswell as my silver helms.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:52 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Seredain wrote:
If you can, give 2.5K a go - the extra points provide a great opportunity to maximise your strengths

Lord-level caster for the win!

:)

Bingo :)


Sturen, thanks for your comments.

Sturen wrote:
I guess my question is how much do you feel the extra speed of the silver helm bus and dragon princes add to the list, and do you think that a slower list, based of this combined arms approach, could be played effectively? I know that it is a major departure from the theme of your list, but I really want to pick your brains :D


Why Heavy Cavalry?

Speed and armour are both massive advantages that heavy cavalry has over other elven units.

With powerful characters, the armour means I can lay down kills but not take many in combat, swaying combats heavily my way. The armour and speed also means that shooty armies hold few fears for me: I have two cav units that can be in combat on Turn 2 and a nice little array of other distractions/counter-fire measures like the eagle, chariot, repeaters and archers, while the archmage can go on 'march forward and heal' duty and follow in their wake. Against shooty armies, High Elf infantry lists can often struggle. That's simply because they don't have the armour and speed to survive then close with the shooters quickly. So far, I haven't found shooty lists to be much of a problem.

The aggressive use of Speed is probably the crucial reason why I love my knights against any opponent. The point of them is that, with the characters I can be through an enemy's flank and into their centre by the time my infantry centre has hit combat, turning the tide massively in my favour. The fact is that, though you can conduct aggressive flanking moves like this with wholly infantry armies (as Milliardo does with his white lion/ lion chariot groups), cavalry are simply better at it because they move much more quickly. This is especially true given the 8th Edition rules governing both marching and free reforms. With LD 10 re-rollable, I can march or free-reform whenever I like, meaning my Silver Helm Tank can exploit its initial charge very quickly indeed and get into the heart of the enemy army. This is a level of maneuvrability that units in 7th edition could only dream of.

All in all, this speed and flexibility gets my powerful characters and their unit into many more combats than an infantry unit could manage, giving me more return for the points spent. Crucially, this 'strike hard and exploit fast' capability also means you can take advantage of any gains you've made in the deployment phase before your enemy has a chance to counter your move.

Cavalry actually also complements defensive play extremely well. We've often discussed (on this thread and elsewhere), the threat to our infantry posed by massed skinks and other such annoyances. Such units can overwhelm and/or outmaneuvre infantry blocks, but they can't do either to cavalry which acts both as an immediate solution when you choose to declare a charge, or a defensive unit casting an exclusion zone around your soft units which enemy skirmishers are wary of straying into.

Finally, the high-speed of cavalry allows you to play tricks in the deployment phase. As discussed in the section on Deployment, a small dragon prince unit can throw your opponent into countering with units before it uses its pace to redeploy toward your other flank on Turn 1, leaving the opposing enemy units stranded.

Alternatives

I've found that a useful way of viewing cavalry is as a form of ranged force projection. In effect, I use my knights as a moving missile weapon to critically injure the enemy army before the big infantry-on-infantry fight happens. Defensively they can work, as discussed, in casting an exclusion zone around your archers etc, effectively acting as a force field against skirmishers or, alternatively, getting out there and neutralising ranged threats. If you don't take knights, then, I feel that in order to keep your army balanced you need to compensate by taking some of the other methods of ranged force-projection available to you in order to help cave the flank you're attacking. That means using a larger amount of shooting, magic, chariots or a combination of all three. Choice of particular lores can also grant infantry lists the movement that they otherwise lack and open up greater opportunities for fast-attacking wings - the Lore of Light in particular.


Sturen wrote:
Secondly, the prince. What does the prince add to your force, that another unit or two of supporting cavalry wouldn't? I understand that leadership 10 helps, but as you said, you like to commit to combat only when you will win solidly, and the BSB helps significantly in other leadership issues. I just feel that he is very expensive for a few S7 attacks and +1 leadership.


Why Take a Cavalry Prince?

1- Force Concentration

As SpellArcher suggested, force concentration is the name of the game for any successful charge. It's much easier to pick the battles you're sure you're going to win when there's a prince riding along! Another unit would provide more attacks but obviously can't focus them all (alongside my silver helms) against any enemy unit that doesn't have a very wide frontage. The Prince will add those 3 or 4 kills while taking up only the space of a single knight. So, accounting for the BSB as well, my 2-rank helm unit is throwing down a massive number of attacks in a very small space. This is enough to devastate some units and provides more space for combo-charges against larger ones: against hordes I can throw the helms and BSB and prince and another unit and a chariot.

2- Target Selection

Simply put, the Prince can kill (and survive) things that other High Elven troops can't. Str 7 isn't just '+1 Strength': it's the difference between wounding Toughness 6 beasts on a 3+ rather than 4+; between enemy knights having a save of 6+ rather than 5+. There are plenty of targets out there which Str 5 knights will bounce off and which can thunder-stomp white lions. The prince can tank these units with his great save and avoid being hit with WS7: WS3 monsters (like stegadons) will only be hitting the prince on 5+.

So, the prince can kill most things on the table by himself and there's nothing stopping him from leaving his unit for such tasks, allowing his knights to run off and accomplish something else. He therefore offers both an aggressive solution to big nasties while acting as a shield protecting the rest of my more fragile army - double whammy.

3- Combat Resolution

Also remember that getting those extra attacks isn't just about removing a few models: 3 more kills is +3 combat res and, since the prince is re-rolling hits and his attacks are at such high strength, that's usually guaranteed combat res. That's the difference between your enemy taking a savable break test and a hopeless one. More particularly, it's often the difference between an enemy that's steadfast and one that isn't. It's in these little differences that important combats are won.

There's also the question of combat res saved. Say I want to charge something like a unit of minotaurs. The prince kills an extra minotaur than I'd otherwise manage. In so doing, he not only gains 3 wounds for my combat res, he prevents 3 attacks plus stomp coming back: that's another two knights saved and amounts to a total combat res swing of 5 points. Effectively the prince acts like a very powerful combat-based Annullian Crystal. This is especially true when fighting against hardcore opponents that your units might struggle to wound or who might, in return, ruin your elves. Obviously powerful enemy fighting characters need to be considered here.

4- Anti-horde Tanking

This makes the prince particularly valuable to an army like mine with a fair few small elite unites. If you need time to deal with that block of 40 great weapon marauders, park the prince in front, start killing and, as long as the BSB is near, he's not going anywhere, giving you plenty of time to access that flank and sweep them aside.

5- Deployability

Characters deploy last. If you choose the prince you therefore get a powerful combat unit which can respond directly to threats placed by your opponent. It's also combat power which your opponent can't himself counter easily unless he has combat characters himself (and challenges are something my prince is good at, so that's fine by me). In the meantime, I keep my opponents guessing since sometimes I deploy the prince with the DPs, just to throw everyone off. ;)

6- Re-deployability

Once they've hammered their target and found their way into the enemy backfield, my cavalry bus can split, like a cluster bomb, and have its component parts- troopers, BSB and Prince- go after up to three different targets (very useful for taking out war machines). Three cavalry units could, of course, do the same, but then they wouldn't have had the force concentration that got me into this position in the first place. The prince will also be able to take out things back there which a cavalry unit might fear or bounce off, things with high toughness, ward saves or high strength attacks- hell cannons, for example.


So, why the prince? All of the above. He gives me a ton of different options which another unit isn't capable of and, additionally, he's much harder to kill. As a final straw, it's worth pointing out that one of the things this prince does best is take out enemy cavalry units all by himself- if I took an extra cav unit myself, it'd probably end up doing something similar but it wouldn't provide me with the flexibility, strength and toughness which enables me to do 'all of the above' as described. I haven't even mentioned the Leadership 10 thing - having that as backup is wonderful, especially with the BSB nearby.

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Last edited by Seredain on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:45 pm 
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very well written analasys there, well done =D>

Made some very good reading.

Would be a very good post to sticky, if there is a mod around anywhere.


How would you cope with Empire, with a Stank, and a Arch Lector????

Polle


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:12 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
Simply put, the Prince can kill (and survive) things that other High Elven troops can't. Str 7 isn't just '+1 Strength': it's the difference between wounding Toughness 6 beasts on a 3+ rather than 4+; between enemy knights having a save of 6+ rather than 5+.

Plus with Loec there's kind of a multiplier effect as your Strength increases. So S5 wounds T6 on a 5, with a re-roll. S6 on a 4, better still. S7 is almost a given. And you get the same double-go at armour saves. S5 with Loec is very strong but S6 is much, much better. S7 is out of sight.

Slight problems with it are hitting (3's at best) and 4+ Wards, 5+ Wards not so much. I've been looking at spells like Enchanted Blades which give +1 to hit, horrendous on the Loec Prince. You can also have fun with spells that give bonus attacks.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:00 am 
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Seredain, you forgot to answer my question: as the points go down, could the silver helms work with a commander since a level 4 life mage is very important for the survivability of the small elite infantry? :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Arrgh! Forgive me.

The short answer is yes, you can run a bus with just the noble. Obviously, though, remember that you won't be able to steamroll as many things without the prince. As discussed above in Why Heavy Cavalry?, you might want to compensate slightly for losing the prince in the same way you'd compensate for taking less cavalry, by taking more support to help your bus shatter its target. A cost-effective measure would be to take an extra tiranoc chariot to run alongside the helms. Also, since you'll be relying on your noble to be your big killer, take a High Helm to deal with unwanted challenges.

At 2K, Archmage and BSB is the much more common choice, so a BSB-only bus is definitely worth a go- just be prepared to support it more!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:40 pm 
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No problem :). I wil have to try lists with the prince and the archmage and see how that goes. Mostly it´s up to how much magic hurts me by not having a high level caster myself. Or just play 2.5k games so that I can have both :lol: .


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:22 pm 
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mcpolle wrote:
How would you cope with Empire, with a Stank, and a Arch Lector????

Polle,

Facing Empire

I've only played Empire a few times and none of those armies have taken a steam tank! In truth, I'm not afraid of anything else in the Empire list. I have plenty of fast attack units to close with shooty armies quickly and provide target saturation, my characters beat his, as does my infantry, especially since my smaller units are harder to hit with templates. It's really a question of taking the Empire army apart in sectons and not allowing yourself to be surrounded. Watch out for the stubborn/unbreakable blocks of flagellants and greatswords: either avoid them or, if you commit to combat with them, make sure you annihilate them in 1 or 2 turns: that means helping your unit out with missile fire/magic or combo charges.

Having lots of T3 troops makes Empire lists vulnerable to elf shooting- archers and repeaters tend to give a good account of themselves. Dwellers Below is also excellent against them. In respect of elites vs elites, my white lions and silver helms tend to trump Empire knights with ease: my two ASF characters fillet knight units very nicely, so I'm happy to take my cavalry forward and give their knights some awkward decisions to make. Swordmasters are good against basically anything, though your archers will need to focus on enemy missile units deployed opposite them and your archmage will be needed for repair duty.

I'm not too worried by the Arch Lector. I believe the speculum only affects base stats? Since my prince's attacks gain +3 str from his sword and I get to keep ASF and loec, I'd favour him in that match-up. Also he has the speed to close quickly while not giving a damn about impact hits. Broadly speaking, my army has plenty of high strength attacks to put the hurt on the altar and enough units to avoid the Empire player flanking me while the altar acts as tank. Playing a refused or stepped flank helps here.

Theoretical Thoughts on the Steam Tank

So, the Steam Tank... We've talked about this thing a lot on Page 3 of this thread. Basically, the simplest/cheapest direct solution to it is to take a Lvl 1 Metal Mage with Staff of Solidity and just chuck 6 dice at Searing Doom every turn until it's crippled (you'll need the Banner of Sorcery here to give your other caster something to do). I don't have one of them and wouldn't squeeze one in since my list is designed to be all-comers. Stanks are, therefore, quite awkward for me to face. Best rules of thumb I've come up with (without any practical experience), are as follows:

1: Try and put some early wounds on it to make the expending of steam points awkward. My repeaters are probably one of the better units to choose for this: in three rounds (from Turn 1), they should manage two or three wounds. I'd probably wait until the thing was within half range to make the shooting most effective, though, using my 1st volley on something softer like crossbowmen or fast cav.

2: An eagle might be useful for mobbing the thing: if you can persuade your opponent to expend steam points in trying to run it over, those are points he isn't spending firing his cannon or steaming at your more valuable troops.

3: My spears should hold this thing up and put on a few more wounds if I need them to. Life magic is there to repair the damage, but I have so many spears that I'll hopefully be able to employ it elsewhere.

4: The Prince will, on average, put one wound on the tank per turn. That's something to think about for the late game if it's only got a couple of wounds left, but frankly he's better employed elsewhere.

5: Deploy away from it! It can get lucky with its movement, but it can can't close with you that quickly. You should have your knights in combat before it reaches your lines.

6: I think the final thing to remember is that it's probably best not to obsess over the tank. It's one of the hardest models in the game but it's also 300-odd points. If your opponent is taking one his list is weaker elsewhere. I'd say you should pick on that weakness with your powerful troops rather than spend the entire battle trying to neutralise the tank. I'd be surprised if it did its points worth of damage in a single game. Rather, I suspect that the tank earns its points partly through denial (it stays alive), but particularly in absorbing the damage from enemy armies. Effectively, if you expend too much energy in trying to kill the tank, you waste all the points you spent on units which are better designed for killing other things.

Don't fall for that. Use the advantages that you have in speed and combat killing power and pick on the empire player's weaknesses in these respects. If you spend the entire game trying to kill the tank, you're basically wasting your talents and playing to his.

I'll come back to this issue once I've played my first game against the Stank. The empire player in our upcoming campaign is almost certainly fielding one, so it shouldn't be too long.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Very interesting points Seredain.

I can see how having your army in two "waves" so to speak, allows you to easily collapse a flank and by that point support the infantry. Have you ever played a game where the cavalry was unable to take the flank? If you where very unlucky and lost to the enemies units, or the enemy army was similary quick and redeployed a unit that your knights could not handle easily onto their flank, what would you use them for?

For your prince, I would agree with points 1, 2 to an extent, 4, 5 and 6.

2- Target Selection
It is true in that S7 attacks are significantly better than S5, but quantity does have a quality of its own. Against elves particularly S7 is no better than S5. 10 S5 attacks are often better than 4 S7s. Ofcourse with ToL in use the prince will cause significantly more damage, but that is only for one turn, and it costs him a wound.

3- Combat Resolution
Following on from this, the double effect on CR has the same effect wherever the wounds come from, the prince or a unit of dragon princes.
Quote:
This is especially true when fighting against hardcore opponents that your units might struggle to wound or who might, in return, ruin your elves. Obviously powerful enemy fighting characters need to be considered here.

This is when the prince will shine. But against a T6 4+ save monster, even one with high WS to favour the prince, the DPs deal just over two wounds, and the prince, without ToL in use, deals 1.926 wounds. With ToL he causes 2.57 wounds. I'd imagine his damage goes up relative to the DPs if the monster is T7 and has a slightly better save, but there aren't too many monsters can claim that. And the DPs are half the cost.

4, 5 and 6- Anti-Horde Tanking, Deployability and Re- deployability
All very good points. I'd like to point out that the 10 DPs that you get for the cost of the prince are 2 redeployable drops, which can keep the enemy guessing where you're focusing your strength, whilst the prince cannot mislead your opponent like this. Similarly, for redeploying, two units give more options against more normal strength war machines, since chances are 5 DPs will be plenty for normal warmachines.

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Sturen wrote:
Have you ever played a game where the cavalry was unable to take the flank? If you where very unlucky and lost to the enemies units, or the enemy army was similary quick and redeployed a unit that your knights could not handle easily onto their flank, what would you use them for?


Actually, I haven't seen my tank held up that much! With some decent deployment you can usually select the right kind of target for your cavalry charge. If you're facing units which you can't take on solo, you'll have things like repeaters to tip the balance and get you the win- it's basically up to you to stack the odds in your favour. This is why force concentration is so important: it's no good having three 1-rank cav units all bouncing off separate targets!

You make very good points about the utility of dragon prince units. The essential points about the prince which inform all the others, though, are those about force concentration and the fact that the prince can basically take on anything, without charging, for as long as he needs too. It's in these qualities that he far exceeds DPs and it's because he can do all those other things as well that makes him such a valuable unit.

DPs can do lots of damage against certain beasts if they charge, but if they don't get the charge or kill their target in one round, they're stuck and are probably looking at being ground down. The prince is as capable as 5 charging DPs (better against tougher opponents as you say), but will be far more capable in round 2 and will stay alive. Likewise against really tough enemy units, the presence of my characters allows me to melee effectively in subsequent rounds of combat. This has happened to me in several battles. Eventually, the knights will need to keep hacking. Lance-wielding cavalry is obviously no good at this, but the prince is very good at it. Eventually, the knights can be ground down by enemy infantry (like the Temple Guard in my last game), but the prince will always keep on trucking.

Likewise, DPs are no good at receiving cavalry charges. This can be a problem if the enemy army has lots of quick units of its own- luck will not always be on your side when it comes to rolling charge distances. My prince can be hit by, shrug off, then slay enemy knights with ease. So, in putting him with the helms I'm not just spending points on more attacks at higher strength, I'm spending points on a serious level of both force concentration and tactical flexibility. I can block off a fast enemy attacking wing with my own knights who, because of ASF characters, don't mind if they have to take a hit, fight off their attacker and then counter-charge.

Talking about the deployment benefits of the extra DP units is very true. The critical thing about my deployment of the prince, though, is that is usually indicates that "I want to win on this part of the battlefield". Following the laws of force concentration, he's a very important drop but the fact that he goes last, as a character, makes it a drop that's difficult for my opponent to counter.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:53 am 
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Milliardo, in your 2k list above, I think your BSB is the wrong points. I play the same BSB and I have him at 168.


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Gildor777 wrote:
Milliardo, in your 2k list above, I think your BSB is the wrong points. I play the same BSB and I have him at 168.
Ah, thanks for catching that. I forgot to take the 25 point BSB upgrade into account. It should be 168 instead of 143. I was tinkering with 2.5k and had an extra noble in it at one point, but decided to share my 2k list and they clearly got mixed up at some point.

Here's an updated version I've worked out since my last post:

Archmage - lv. 4, Foliarth/ToS, Silverwand, Shrieking Blade - 360
Noble - BSB, Radiant Gem (Life), Luckstone - 168
20 Seaguard - Full Command, Shields, Banner of Eternal Flame - 295
15 Archers - Full Command, Light Armor - 205
14 White Lions - Full Command, Banner of Sorcery, Potion of Foolhardiness - 295
14 White Lions - Full Command, Ironcurse Icon - 245
2x Lion Chariots - 280 pts
Great Eagle - 50
Repeater Bolt Thrower - 100

I added a few things with Empire and gunlines in mind, as everything else I'm reasonably confident against. The Radiant Gem I think is a bit more critical than the extra defense for the BSB - if I put him with the Lions, between them and the chariots, he should be protected well enough and can always heal himself if he survives - I'm trying to destroy enemy units rather than the characters in them. The extra point of healing and casting a 5+ regen is useful for weathering missile fire. Ironcurse is there so that each unit has some missile protect, much the same as the light armor on the archers.
While it admittedly doesn't save them much, between that and their range, I hope to discourage enemies from shooting at them and into the White Lions or Seaguard instead... also, I just got some classic metal armored archers. I combined the two smaller units so that they can be used as a light combat unit for flank charges if I run into an enemy that just doesn't care about S3 shooting. 90% of the time I fight against human armies, so there's usually something for them to shoot at, but if they survive to late game, there's sometimes nothing left that isn't in combat and then they just sit there. I suppose at some point, when I collect enough metal seaguard, the archers may take a back-seat where I only bring them out for huge games, but I still value their range - with careful positioning it removes them as a target, and then late game the unit is largely intact and, weak as it may be early game, suddenly becomes very useful.
Finally, I gave the other White Lion champs the Potion of Foolhardiness, mostly just because I had 5 points to spare and the extra S6 attack is useful, but also because my fluff is coming through and I picture my champion as a bit of an inebriated wino.

Also, Seredain, I tried that Total Realism mod you mentioned and its really as excellent as you say. I was worried it would ruin the Greek Cities for me, but my original hoplite tactics are largely intact and working fine - the fact that many of them that aren't armed with huge sarissa pikes and can now march without constantly switching formation is really helping with their flexibility. I've been on a bit of a hoplite bender this winter (last winter was vikings - hence the white lions) and am greedily devouring all knowledge about them and their tactics that I can, so its definitely appreciated. :3


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:21 am
Posts: 3
Seredain, quick question:

After reading through the 5 pages front to back for the first time, I understand that each unit, character and item choice work as a small cog in the machine of your army, perhaps working in tandem more-so than many people's WHFB's armies. This is a refreshing change, and I personally love the theory and understanding shown at how each unit fits into your ideal vision.

The one question I had was about your chariot. Why not opt for the HE-unique Lion chariot in your army? For such a small amount of points, the benefit you gain in raw power to help support your infantry surely must outweigh the extra one base movement... I know points space is gold plated real-estate in your list, but hypothetically, if you had to lose 55 points somewhere, what would you cut to upgrade it?

Again, a pleasure reading your thoughts, and very inspirational. I look forward to seeing some pictures of your minis!


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