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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:21 pm 
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The Cavalry Prince
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~Milliardo~ wrote:
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

Good to hear! I heartily recommend Soldiers and Ghosts - A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity by J. E. Lendon. Gives a brilliant insight into how various military tactics evolved throughout the Greco-Roman World.

Candleshoes wrote:
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?

Cheers Candleshoes! Photos will be on their way as soon as I get a game on, which will happen as soon as I shake this rather nasty fever.

Tiranoc Chariot or Lion Chariot?

The truth is that 55 points is a lot to take out! Apply it to any unit in my army and it suddenly becomes significantly downgraded. My characters, cavalry numbers and repeaters have to stay leaving just the elite infantry units which, unfortunately, are already small enough. As for the eagle, I really can't afford to lose it as it's one of my only cheap throwaway harassment units, and this brings me to the tiranoc chariot.

The lion chariot is an excellent aggressive unit but my list has several of those already. What the list somewhat lacks is a nice selection of cheap fast support units, since I've only taken one eagle. The tiranoc chariot can act as such a unit if required or play a role in a heavy attack (in which case I've just spent those excess 55 points on the elite unit running alongside it- leaving my attacking power undamaged). Or it can act in defence, protecting my repeaters and archers. The lion chariot, as expensive as it is, is probably best employed in fighting with the heavy troops. It therefore weakens my tactical options unless I'm happy to leave my main combats more exposed by having it run off to do other things. It is, for another thing, far too expensive for me to throw away in something last ditch like provoking charges or in acting like a speed bump.

So, the tiranoc chariot gives me the tactical flexibility that I need, for very few points - it's an excellent unit.

As for the lion chariot itself, if I were going to put it in my list it would probably be at the expense of the dragon princes. Running alongside my helms it could allow me some truly devastating force concentration in charges, perhaps allowing for a stronger fast attack than the DPs currently do. Also, as you say, it would be excellent in running alongside my infantry. On the other hand, I've already spent plenty of points on force concentration in the shape of my cavalry characters whose knights, in turn, support my infantry by getting in the enemy's flanks (with further support coming in the shape of my shooting, magic and tiranoc chariot). Further, the lion chariot would be less useful than the DPs against shooty armies or armies with flaming attacks. It would also be less useful for acting in a defensive capacity, casting an exclusion zone around my missile units before counter-charging advancing enemy units weakened by fire, as I sometimes use the dragon princes (and where the 2+ armour save is important). All in all, that's why I settled on the knights.

I can see the uses for lions chariots but, for my cavalry prince list, I think that taking one would be a case of unnecessarily maximising my strengths at the cost of significantly increasing my weaknesses, especially against opponents with a good deal of missile fire.

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Last edited by Seredain on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Hi again Seredain! Yesterday I had the opportunity to test your 2500pts list, and here is my take on it.

Scenario and deployment
The scenarios was to hold 3 points on the table, one on each flank (a forest and a building) and one in the middle (hill). This game showed me how important deployment is in this list. I went for the more general deployment you explained earlier in this topic. My brother pointed out after the game that I should have put the SM´s near the building. Once they take it, they are hard to get out of there :mrgreen: , anyway my strongest units were on my left flank. His slann was on his right flank, a perfect target for my silver helm bus. It was just that he always reformed so that he had his front towards my best unit, but this also ment that he lost LoS to other units. In a way, he played into my hands there. The two units that were deployed wrong was the SM´s and the chariot.

My brother also mentioned that my deployment was good in the sense that he had to put his chameleon skinks elsewhere than in my back yard :mrgreen: , just how you mentioned earlier.

Characters
Casting life magic is a new prospect to me, since my VC´s dont have access to that lore. Of course I missed out on throne of vines and dwellers! Still, flesh to stone kept my elite units in the game, and so did regrowth. The shield of thornes was a thorne in my brothers side so to speak :mrgreen: . Awekening of the woods (or whatever the spell is called) was handy for clearing the woods from skinks. So all in all, good and useful spells. Only one miscast and that only took a wound of the AM and killed a handful of archers. After the game I asked why he didnt just dweller my AM to death, he responded simply "He didnt seem like the biggest threat". The fact that I didnt get throne of vines made the other spells less powerful.

The prince was a monster, easily chopping down a saurus hero. My BSB and most of the silver helms got dwellerd to death before he had a chance to prove himself. Needless to say, my silver helm bus didnt have the impact I wanted. Ld 10 is just fantastic.

Core
Archers were suprinsingly useful in killing skinks and putting the odd wound on salamanders. The spearmen got hit pretty hard by dwellers, but I didnt mind. They did great in protecting the RBT´s.

Special
As said earlier, the SM´s got harrased by skinks quite a lot and were deployed wrong and so suffered for it. WL´s are brutal, 8 of them hacked a half saurus unit to death before I fluked my stubborn roll. Flesh to stone goes a long way to protect both these units.
Dragon princes were great in taking out skinks, should have used them even more offensively for best effect. Silver helms got almost wiped out by a single dwellers, so had no big impact on the game. I need to learn how to use the chariot, still, he diverted the steggy so he did his part.

Rare
Eagle helped divert the stegadon and is always useful. My RBT´s were really effective, keeping salamanders honest. Very nice firepower and vital to this list, very effective.

Conclusion
Having lots of units is so much fun! The opponent doesnt see them as big threats when that is exactly what they are. Having so many units has it´s benefits, especially while deploying. Love the army and will surely keep playing it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Thanks for the response!

I am currently rediscovering my love of High Elves (and Warhammer Fantasy in general) and haven't been knee deep since Ravening Hordes/6th edition/the 2001 High Elf book.

Your 2000 point variation is something that I really have my eye on. It has all the right pieces for someone to have a lot of fun with, and with no large singular foccus, it relies on the army as a whole to preform and operate.

After a trip to the store, I am now only a few models short of a variation of your 2k Prince list, with my first "test" game of 8th edition set up for tomorrow against Vampire Counts. I'll try my best to use it as a stepping stone to reign in the concept tactics brought up in your thread.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Mikael.K wrote:
Conclusion
Having lots of units is so much fun! The opponent doesnt see them as big threats when that is exactly what they are. Having so many units has it´s benefits, especially while deploying. Love the army and will surely keep playing it.

Hey hey! Welcome to the party. That's a nice mini-review of your units' performance there- I'm glad you're seeing the benefit of the army's unit structure. I have to ask, though, did you win in the end? You seem happy enough so I'm hoping so!

Mikael.K wrote:
My brother also mentioned that my deployment was good in the sense that he had to put his chameleon skinks elsewhere than in my back yard :mrgreen: , just how you mentioned earlier.

Nice work.

Mikael.K wrote:
The prince was a monster, easily chopping down a saurus hero. My BSB and most of the silver helms got dwellerd to death before he had a chance to prove himself.

Great to hear the prince doing his thing but I'm sorry to hear of the fate of your poor helms and, especially, the BSB... Still, it's a Slann- stuff like this can happen. I suppose he got the spell off with irresistible force, or had you used your dispel scroll already?

When I see a Temple Guard unit, I usually deploy the Helm Bus a little away from it, partly so they can get a load of killing done before they come within range of Dwellers (and hopefully the spears are in range by then to provide another tempting target). Obviously, if the Slann's deploying without a bodyguard, he has the edge on you in deployment so that's not always possible. If he does blast your knights, though, your life-buffed elites are free to do their thing, as you say.

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Last edited by Seredain on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:17 pm 
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Candleshoes wrote:
After a trip to the store, I am now only a few models short of a variation of your 2k Prince list, with my first "test" game of 8th edition set up for tomorrow against Vampire Counts. I'll try my best to use it as a stepping stone to reign in the concept tactics brought up in your thread.

Hey, that's good news. I'm having a real laugh with 8th Ed High Elves and I'm sure you will too.

Vampires! Excellent - I haven't played them for ages but the last time I did it was a lot of fun. Get those combo charges in and overwhelm their units one at a time. A round or two of shooting should prep the first target for the assault. Watch out for ethereals and avoid the Grave Guard with your characters until you're sure of totalling them in one go - they should be a big target for your shooting. The vamps will try and raise them back but, if they do that, it'll make it easier for you to crush the units targeted by your big charges. If he runs big hordes, get your knights around a flank- you should have more unit drops than him so this should be doable.

I haven't run the 2K list myself yet so I'd be interested to hear how you get on. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:32 pm 
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Greetings Seredain!

I hope you are not getting tired of hearing how good your topic is. As many others before me, I must say I like your army list very much. Mainly because it shows that HE can be in 8th edition an army of many interesting choices. I had a feeling that these days Warhammer is a point-and-click like game, where units simply grind each other to death. You provided a nice example that it does not have to be the case and that one can have an interesting army based on such a tempting idea of combined arms. I must also admit I am very tempted to use your army list too :) It is sometimes very hard to come up with original idea when somebody has already designed something you were looking for :)

I have a few questions though, after reading all these pages (and I hope that asking questions will keep this topic going :))

1. Gleaming Pendant - it is a nice little trinket but I have a feeeling it was there also to give you a little more points for a minimum core requirement. Was it helpful in any of your battles?

2. Fluff - HE army is kind of mixture of exotic and unique troops. It is, however, quite unusual to have almost all of them in one army (at least in my opinion). It will obviously make the army work differently with 2 units of Swordmasters and 2 Silver Helms to make it more uniform. Would you risk it though?

3. What armies (apart from Lizards) do you usually play against? How is your army dealing with them? Did you lose a battle with that army? If so it would also be interesting to know what did you learn from defeat.

Thank you in advance! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:02 am 
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This appears to be an excellent review and one I'll spend time reading properly on the weekend when I'm not a work.

You use a Tiranoc chariot rather than a Lion chariot. I have three of the latter and none of the former. From page 2 you don't appear to be needing the Fear causing factor of the lions, rather it almost a type of fast moving skirmisher. Is this a correct interpretation?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:44 am 
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Quote:
Hey hey! Welcome to the party. That's a nice mini-review of your units' performance there- I'm glad you're seeing the benefit of the army's unit structure. I have to ask, though, did you win in the end? You seem happy enough so I'm hoping so!


No, I didnt win unfortunately. The game was decided in my last turn when my DP´s had to drive the saurus from the woods objective. One died on the way in from dangerous terrain. I did cause some casualties but those in return were too great (bad armour rolls, killed 3 out of 4 DP´s). Still, not the usual steamroll my VC´s suffer so :).

Quote:
Great to hear the prince doing his thing but I'm sorry to hear of the fate of your poor helms and, especially, the BSB... Still, it's a Slann- stuff like this can happen. I suppose he got the spell off with irresistible force, or had you used your dispel scroll already?

When I see a Temple Guard unit, I usually deploy the Helm Bus a little away from it, partly so they can get a load of killing done before they come within range of Dwellers (and hopefully the spears are in range by then to provide another tempting target). Obviously, if the Slann's deploying without a bodyguard, he has the edge on you in deployment so that's not always possible. If he does blast your knights, though, your life-buffed elites are free to do their thing, as you say.


Yes, I could have deployed the SH´s on the other flank, steamrolling the two other saurus units before coming in contact with the slann and his temple guard bodyguard. That would have given me a fighting chance to claim the centremost objective aswell. One live and one learns :).

I was forced to use the dispel scroll the previous turn and I fluked my dispel attempt. It was not IF so I had a chance to dispel the spell using dice.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
Greetings Seredain!

Greetings! Thanks for your kind comments.

I've been thinking for a while about the issue you raise about 'point and click' Warhammer.

On 8th Edition and 'Point and Click' Warhammer

I don't think it's any surprise that people are finding the game a little 'point and click' at this stage, simply because 8th Edition hasn't been around for all that long. I suspect part of the problem is that many players, when they take a unit, simply think about how it'll perform by itself against a single opponent (typically an enemy block)- as if it would ever be a good idea to throw 6 dragon princes into the front of 30 orcs. This means they tend to just choose big powerful infantry blocks- I believe, unnecessarily.

Of course, infantry got a massive buff from 7th Edition, rightly I think. I really like the way it's become the backbone of pretty much every army, but some people have become obsessed by steadfast, attacks back and the extra attacks of hordes, to the exclusion of much else. Sometimes it's easy to forget that everything else got to fight in two ranks too, that cavalry became much more manoeuvreable with free reforms, unlimited marching, easier charging and the removal of slowing terrain, that skirmishers now march and shoot, that fast cavalry vanguard, that archers fire in multiple ranks, that monsters have thunderstomp and that template machines hit everything they touch. Sure, infantry has become tougher and more durable (in large units), but everything else has also become better at what it does.

Effectively, units and their roles in armies have become more specialised and, in my opinion, this can only be a good thing. While infantry is stronger in a straight fight, attacks back and steadfast don't work well if the infantry unit concerned has suffered a lot of casualties- and 8th edition provides you with lots of opportunities to inflict damage on that scale. This is especially true of High Elves, whose initiative, speed of Asuryan, leadership, movement, accurate shooting and powerful magic make all those other assets of the game more powerful (by contrast I'm sure armies like orcs would do well to field lots of hordes). So, that infantry block is much more powerful, but so are the methods of inflicting enough damage to cripple it, from range (shooting+magic), in combat (high initiative+ ASF) and by outflanking it (movement+leadership). Finally, you can throw in cheap(ish) ranks of your own in the form of the spearelves. The point is- I don't field a combined arms army because it's soft and fun- I field it because it's hard and fun!

I suspect that more experimental play will eventually filter into the meta-game as people begin to exploit the tactical vulnerabilities of armies made up of few massive blocks. Indeed, players are already effectively doing this with the big anti-horde spells. I know people complain about the big magic spells and war machines being overpowered in 8th, but a lot of that is because they've only taken the massive infantry units particularly vulnerable to these things!

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
I have a few questions though, after reading all these pages (and I hope that asking questions will keep this topic going :))

1. Gleaming Pendant - it is a nice little trinket but I have a feeeling it was there also to give you a little more points for a minimum core requirement. Was it helpful in any of your battles?

2. Fluff - HE army is kind of mixture of exotic and unique troops. It is, however, quite unusual to have almost all of them in one army (at least in my opinion). It will obviously make the army work differently with 2 units of Swordmasters and 2 Silver Helms to make it more uniform. Would you risk it though?

3. What armies (apart from Lizards) do you usually play against? How is your army dealing with them? Did you lose a battle with that army? If so it would also be interesting to know what did you learn from defeat.

Thank you in advance! :)

Sure thing.

The Gleaming Pennant

Yes, the gleaming pennant is a superb item for two reasons: 1- I often anchor an attack with the steadfast spears, so they need to hold, and 2- The BSB is typically (though not always) on the other side of the board killing stuff with the prince and elites. Basically, the spears need that re-roll as insurance. It's a 5 point item that can mean the difference between your 340 point unit holding or breaking - massive. I think I've had to roll on it only a couple of times, but it's worth it.

Fluff and Unit Choices

Fluff isn't much of a problem since there is an endless variety of models you can use to represent your units and paint jobs you can use to unify them. Since my army is made up of colonial exiles based out of Lothern (before they reconquered their old city, Talthos Elea), they can field a decent selection of units. The white lions were assigned to the expedition by the phoenix king, the swordmasters came with the archmage and the dragon princes... aren't actually dragon princes. They're 'Elean Champions' and I've simply used elaborately modelled and painted silver helms (courtesy of Popatachi), to represent them. As for a simple chariot, that can come from anywhere. So no, I wouldn't change out units to fit some artificial fluff - I say draw up a story for your troops and include what you want. :) EDIT: I wrote a very brief version of my army's back story here: http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=34199&p=701697#p701697

Some General Tips Against Some Other Foes

Other than Lizards, I've played against Orcs and Goblins, Empire, Warriors of Chaos, Brettonians and Wood Elves. The principles of the list remain the same but you must remember to adapt to your opponent's army. I fight against the orcs, daemons, warriors and even Bretts much as I do against Lizardmen.

Against the Bretts I obviously play more defensively with the cavalry for the first turn but, once I've cracked a unit with the helms it's important to exploit your victory with some aggressive play before all their knights thunder into your line (also, Bret units often fail panic tests- a crushing victory close to their other troops can often turn an entire flank in one turn). Bolt throwers are good against knights. Backfield play against the trebuchets is handled by the eagle and chariot, with the DPs in support to run down archers if necessary. Everything else pretty much comes to me so I can pick my deployment setup quite nicely, though it's wise, in deployment, to scatter your units a little to avoid scattering shots from the deadly and horrible trebuchets, if your opponent gets the first turn. Archers and repeaters focus on pegasus knights before weakening their main blocks.

Against the rather shooty Empire and Dwarfs, I've found it best to run a very heavy attacking flank, with the eagle and chariot drawing fire from the machines. Repeaters and archers focus on the organ gun if there is one or the equivalent Empire mental machine (volley guns, rocket batteries), before going after handgunners and so on. Archmage goes in the spears against Dwarfs, keeping pace with the attack to provide his buffs. Since he's with the unit, the spears tend to draw a lot of fire from the template weapons - this is fine by me- but usually there's enough of them left to break help steadfast alongside something killy. The cavalry charge and Life Lore combined are marvellous for protecting your soft elf infantry from the attention of the guns and getting into the action. As far as your weighted attack is concerned: dedicate more units to it that you need to win, so you can absorb casualties and still win. Deployment is important against shooty lists - keep your opponent guessing so he is less able to deploy all his missile fire in range of your attacking force. Against the more accurate dwarfs, this will typically mean putting my eagle and chariot somewhere they're likely to get shot, but you've just gotta take that!

I haven't lost a game yet with this list, but I've been playing with similar lists for years so, despite all the changes (I had to lose the prince in 7th Ed, for example), I know this style of list pretty well. As far as 8th is concerned, though, I haven't played that many games. Eventually the dice go against you (miscasts and failed charges have already started to bite...) and, eventually, something terrible always happens. So, when it does, I'll try and remain philosophical. :)


slug wrote:
You use a Tiranoc chariot rather than a Lion chariot. I have three of the latter and none of the former. From page 2 you don't appear to be needing the Fear causing factor of the lions, rather it almost a type of fast moving skirmisher. Is this a correct interpretation?

Hey Slug.

Sometimes that' s the case, yes. It's very good for driving fast units away from your soft infantry, archers and repeaters, while it's cheap enough to do this while ensuring that your assault isn't too badly damaged by its absence. When I can, however, I use it to charge into combat alongside my elite infantry (most commonly), or cavalry. The best fast attacking wing the army can put together, for instance, has the silver helms, dragon princes and chariot charging alongside each other with the eagle running interference.


Mikael.K wrote:
No, I didnt win unfortunately. The game was decided in my last turn when my DP´s had to drive the saurus from the woods objective. One died on the way in from dangerous terrain. I did cause some casualties but those in return were too great (bad armour rolls, killed 3 out of 4 DP´s). Still, not the usual steamroll my VC´s suffer so :).

Never mind, it's all good learning. ;)

Mikael.K wrote:
Yes, I could have deployed the SH´s on the other flank, steamrolling the two other saurus units before coming in contact with the slann and his temple guard bodyguard. That would have given me a fighting chance to claim the centremost objective aswell. One live and one learns :).

Yeah, bear that in mind. It'll serve you well to try and and crush the weaker infantry blocks first since this will allow you to bring overwhelming force against the Slann and his retinue from the front and flank, to a degree that he won't be able to deflect with magic.

Mikael.K wrote:
I was forced to use the dispel scroll the previous turn and I fluked my dispel attempt. It was not IF so I had a chance to dispel the spell using dice.

Dang, I hope you used the scroll for something reeeeeally important! Remember that it's principally there to protect or aid the prince and his retinue: crushing a flank and killing the Slann are your two great aims here and your prince's unit is the cornerstone of your assault. Unless something truly disastrous happens, save your scroll for a game-changing moment like Dwellers going off on your Prince and your BSB and their whole unit. If you suffer damage elsewhere, you pretty much have to take it- the Slann is mean. :)

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Last edited by Seredain on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:27 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:50 pm 
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I got a good question via PM by Flanker, who wanted to ask how I protect my prince from characters and troops with Killing Blow. Since we haven't dealt with it elsewhere in the thread, I thought I'd put up my reply here FYI.

Against Killing Blow

The basic truth is that you can't legislate for everything and Killing Blow (like spells demanding stat tests-or-death), is something that my prince is vulnerable to. Against enemy characters it's not so bad because, with ASF, Str 7 and the Talisman of Loec, that character isn't likely to survive long enough to kill the prince. Against Dark Elf executioners and VC grave guard, however, you have to be careful.

There's a simple solution, though: get a flank charge with your prince's unit and have him deployed on the corner of his unit, furthest from the front of the enemy. You'll easily kill enough of whatever you're charging to put the prince out of base contact and, therefore, out of harm's way. If you have to fight a second round of combat (against the grave guard at least), you can 'Make Way!' the prince into the same position and have him kill his way out of base contact again. To make this work you need to have also engaged this unit to the front to prevent them reforming to face your prince's unit.

The second solution is, as you say, to total the KB unit. The right combo charges (knights, chariot, elite infantry) can wipe whole units but you can't afford to leave anything in contact with the prince, so you have to be sure. Shooting will help prepare the way if you aren't.

If the KB unit is deployed in the centre of the enemy line and you're not sure of totalling it in one round, break the flanking units first before charging it in the front and flank, with the prince flanking as described above (since I field him with heavy cavalry, this is what he should be doing anyway). Until then, shooting is your friend.

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Last edited by Seredain on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
I don't think it's any surprise that people are finding that at this stage, simply because 8th Edition hasn't been around for all that long.

It's really encouraging that builds like yours Seredain, together with Dragon, Shooty Avoidance, Anvil Shooting etc. are emerging now.

Seredain wrote:
Until then, shooting is your friend.

:)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:36 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
It's really encouraging that builds like yours Seredain, together with Dragon, Shooty Avoidance, Anvil Shooting etc. are emerging now.

Cheers, man. Vive la Révolution!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Thanks for quick reply! :)

I suspected that Gleaming Pendant is useful when Prince and BSB are far away, so great to get a confirmation. It is also great to have such a useful item just for 5 points. I have noticed cheap magic toys still can be a game winner, since a tide of battle may and often turns thanks to that one dice roll.

I am not that strict in terms of fluff. I just remember the fun of creating stories for your army. I used to attend tournaments where you could even earn extra points if you had a short description of units you field. Some of them were not that brilliant (something about 4th level wizard with his acolytes "accidently" meeting Nuln artillery train on his mission to save Empire :)), some quite interesting. It might encourage some nice modelling and painting projects too. Since you mentioned that you are using specially created Silver Helms as Dragon Princes it would be fantastic to see some photos of them (and entire army for that matter).

There is another thing I wanted to ask and I believe it would be interesting for others too. Namely your lonely archmage protection. If I understand your previous descriptions properly, he tends to move from unit to unit, usually starting with archers but not necesarily staying with them all the time.

@SpellArcher

Would you be so kind and let me know if these are the names of topics I should be looking for? They seem quite interesting already and it would be great to read other unique ideas. The only one I remember was Guardian army, which relied on Shadow magic and very interesting use of Eagles (not to mention Eagles Tactica itself!). As you said it is very encouraging that new ideas finally emerge after some time of testing they required in real games.

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:37 pm 
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I must say that this thread is one of the best I have read so far, on both Druchii and Ulthuan, it is good for more than just High Elves, most people would benefit to read it. Keep up the good work Seredain (and you other people to)!

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Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
@SpellArcher

Would you be so kind and let me know if these are the names of topics I should be looking for? They seem quite interesting already and it would be great to read other unique ideas. The only one I remember was Guardian army, which relied on Shadow magic and very interesting use of Eagles (not to mention Eagles Tactica itself!). As you said it is very encouraging that new ideas finally emerge after some time of testing they required in real games.

Try:

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=34333

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=34280

I found these (along with this thread!) especially thought-provoking.

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Seredain: Do you think that it is possible to take the 12 bowmen and the big block warriors and turn them into a equal big block Seaguard (roughly the same cost)? You lose a small unit to protect the repeaters in the deployment so is it worth it? Or could you take the 35 spearelfs and turn them into roughly 25 models of Seaguard, so you not lose the tactical advantage of placing more units on the table?

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Shinzou


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SpellArcher wrote:


Thanks! Indeed, they are all very interesting. And what is more important, very unique in their approach. The more variety - the better! I just wish these topics would evolve into some more lengthy discussion, especially when new findings are backed by real game experience.

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I picked up a slightly used copy of Soldiers and Ghosts (I would say a college student owned it last, judging by the interesting notes and doodles in the margins) and have been chugging through it with the combined arms of insomnia and far too much time on my hands - I've just finished Alexander's chapter and we're on to one-eyed Antigones and boyish Eumenes now.

If you don't mind me borrowing your thread for a sub-topic, I'll try to relate it to the main topic where possible. I'm sorry, but after recommending and thus condemning me to this admittedly excellent book, you've earned this, Seredain. Everyone else, feel free to skip this wall of text and continue with the tactical discussion. :3

I'm enjoying the book a lot, even though I'm not sure I agree 100% with the authors interpretation of the Iliad - he has a very modern, reductionist, scientific, A to B, straight-line appreciation of progress and why people do or did the things they did that I feel lacks totality or holism. In any case, I certainly enjoy reading about his ideas. He clearly puts the puzzle pieces down and assembles them well, but I think a few of them aren't necessarily facing the right way up... or they have a picture on both sides... or he's finished only half the picture? I don't know... my metaphor is falling apart... listen at how arrogant it sounds for me to give opinions on something this author has spent his life learning about - perhaps I'm missing the point. I certainly agree with his interpretation of how the Greeks interpreted it though.

To clarify, I think I disagree more with the Greeks interpretation of the Iliad that he presents - the idea of simplification and homogenization that led to armies consisting purely of hoplites and a General, usually integrated in the lines, is very similar to the line of frustrating thinking that leads to people taking nothing but ranked hordes of infantry in 8th, and then complaining about the state of the game when its boring! The Greeks did it because being a Hoplite and standing in line was the true, standardized test of bravery, while with 8th, people do it to conserve points with the dead or fled rule, but the result is much the same - armies with little to no versatility and no replay value. I wish, like the Greeks, people would simply hurry up and exhaust themselves on this train of thought so we can get back to the game.

As I see it in relation to Warhammer, The Iliad itself is more 5th edition hero-hammer with some combined arms, then later in history, Greeks misinterpreting the book for their own concept of what is a correct demonstration of a fair fight between cities should be (almost like 6th or fluff-gamers really, claiming to want armies of nothing but infantry... and then the tourney gamers getting upset that all you can do is push it forward), Iphacrates using Skirmishers effectively to combat this (bait and flee 7th), and then you have Alexander, who demonstrated what combined arms could do - which is probably the reason you had me read this book, I think.

I knew that you were recreating Alexander and his companions with your Silver Helm tank, but I have a better appreciation of the depths of how far you've gone - I couldn't help but laugh as I thought of Darius as a Slann, and I couldn't help think Alexander himself would have done far better if he could have found the extra 60 points for a Giant's Blade. I don't feel like I'd be too far off the mark if I said that Alexander must be one of your inspirations in life as well as in Warhammer?

I'm more inclined to play as the Macedonians in Rome:TR after reading this far, and I'll continue reading more, though conversely I'm less likely to use cavalry, and I think my motivation to train as closely as I can manage to that of a historical hoplite this Spring has diminished a lot - I'll explain.

I think the truly inspiring thing about Alexander, and the part that makes him a character I can relate to, as ego-maniacal as that is, is the fact that he was completely batshit insane, and ego-maniacal as well. He had several qualities I find admirable, such as being a historian, intelligent as well as physical, a hero-worshiper, an aesthetic, and then found a way to make it actually work in his own time, such as riding pell-mell for the enemy general and killing him himself with his mates. Hilarious, elegant, dynamic, awesome, and effective.

The author makes a comment questioning whether Alexander was really as cerebral as people give him credit for (are you a cerebral player Seredain?), and I think he certainly was, but the genius he demonstrated is often in the simplicity. Why use a ten-hit combo when kicking someone in the junk will suffice and save a lot more time and resources? Cut the head off and the rest will follow (maybe I should use Death more often... hm). His formations were brilliant in their simplicity, and the fact the organization of the line encouraged a sense of competition in his men was brilliant - it's too bad formations in Warhammer don't effect moral as much, although there certainly is some with some mental gymnastics and abstraction, such as distance to leaders and ranks and such, exact troop numbers and magic equipment, etc.

I think I'm actually a bit jealous that it seems you have such a shining example of what you want for your army in Alexander... or maybe its the other way 'round, and you've made your army around Alexander? In either case, I felt a bit jealous for a bit that you do while I was reading about him, while my own perception of the Greek Hoplite has fallen a bit by the wayside as I read more about them. Their one-track mind, their lack of tactics, the fact that it truly was a grind and many of them not only not trained, but believed it was the antithesis of a fair fight... it sounds so familiar to southern duels with smoothbore pistols... or these people that throw deathstars at one-another. What is the point of it?

Of course, the hoplite had better training later, and started cross-training with other weaponry but... there's something in the mentality of the hoplite that bothers me. I think its the concept of a citizen soldier, fighting in line with his lover-brothers for his city, whereas I've always felt like an outsider... not like an emo, goth kid outsider (although my hair is long and I do wear a lot of black leather!), but I've always spent more time by myself or in the woods than I have with others. With a deeper understanding of what a hoplite is, I'm starting to connect them with concepts that define them - citizen, patriotism, altruism, philanthropy... In my more arrogant and selfish moments, I wonder how Alexander would have felt in this age.

I'm sure many of you reading this are wondering what I'm on about, and why it matters in the context of Warhammer, but the truth is I view Warhammer as yet another form of self-expression and a microcosm of myself, the same as talking, writing, dressing, martial arts or anything else. Whereas other people strain endlessly to create a perfect list that performs well, I honestly believe that if I create a list that demonstrates my particular ethos well, I'll find that I can not only win reliably, but also lose comfortably when it happens. Its a matter of aesthetics and taste more than anything, because I've since reached a point where I can win fairly reliably if I take a hard list and simply play in the most scientifically critical way possible. Similarly, it makes martial arts worth pursuing, because if I just wanted to win, I'd just carry an automatic rifle with me everywhere... instead, learning to use a Colt SAA, or a Longbow, is more of an acceptable compromise and demonstrative of myself in this age of missile warfare.

I sometimes realize that while I'm searching as I do in history, or reading the Iliad, I'm looking for a place that I would fit in better. Even if its just escapism, I would like to be able to point to a place in history and say 'That is where I should be, if only I was born in a different time and place', so that I could join in conversations with other people who do the same more easily, and so that if I said something strange I could give a book about Greeks or Romans or Samurai to someone and after reading it, they'd suddenly gain a bit more understanding of what I was talking about, even if they didn't agree or relate themselves. It would be very nice if I had that shield of patriotism, religion, science or whatever to hide behind... but perhaps in the end, I'm hiding behind being an aesthetic.

I suppose, in that sense, I'm not all that different from those Greek Hoplites and their own aesthetics, or fluff gamers who sometimes render themselves impotent, but at the same time I find aesthetics that detract too much from effect to be ugly, as well as ineffective... again, Alexander charging off towards the enemy general, although dicey, is as effective as it is hilariously archaic and therefore beautiful! Other writers may have scorned him for it, but I don't think the concept of death or glory ever even enters into these people. In Alexanders, I'm sure he either expected to win big or die, in which case there wasn't much use in feeling bad about it, being dead and all.

When something someone puts heartfelt feeling into fails, it can be very pathetic or even feeble... which is something I try to avoid. When however, something blends form and function in such a way, when it works, it creates that spark of life in a game or an event that is often times more important than the context alone should dictate... such as a glorious cavalry charge... similarly, when it fails, it creates a much more meaningful impact... that same cavalry charge turning into 'Charge of the Light Brigade' or the Spartan 300, that can often seem like a victory in and of itself because of its poignancy and impact. The difference between tragic failure and pathetic failure is a hairsbreadth, but infinitely important, and based firmly on perspective.

*slapped* Right! Back to Warhammer!

I think that's what I find interesting about this thread, is that just as you've said, you've created your very own Alexander, and it works for you so well. It feels very similar to the Mage Knight thread I started with Siegfried - there's a form and fuction at play. I can't comment on the deeper points of your list any more than you'll talk about, though I sometimes think I see flashes of similarity between us in list construction and the inspiration behind it... although I may be putting words in your mouth, and if I have, I apologize.

I think at this point, as I've done so many times in the past, I've reached a point where the concept of a Mage Knight in my army no longer exists in stark terms (needing the Radiant Gem), but it always exists more in my lists as a concept of balance or versatility. It is demonstrated by the Archmage, with his ability to tank for damage and heal in the manner of a Paladin in an MMO, even though he's technically a Mage. It is also in my Seaguard, which act as a central hub around which the rest of my army rotates, holding that crucial axis in the manner of Hoplites but also contributing to the missile fire. Similarly, the archers primary role is missile fire, but they can move and keep pace and participate in late game flank charges.

The White Lions demonstrate many concepts as well - it stands to reason that a black and white, (though very effective!) unit like Swordmasters, who excel in short close combats and little else, would be weak against missile fire, or attrition. In the 'Lions however, that concept of duality, balance, form and function exists in the opposite natures of their axes and their cloaks - as well as in their background - the concept of a strong, masculine, viking warrior/hunter/bodyguard with an axe and a pelt, contrasted against the culture, and yes, even femininity of elves is part of their appeal (form) and their versatility (function) to me. The Swordmasters can fit into my lists of course, but they require support in a similar way Spearelves do.

The reason I keep coming back to elves and Warhammer, as opposed to historical races of humans and a more realistic game like Warhammer Ancients, is that within this one race, their exists so many races, as well as deep contrasts in character that are confusing or fearful or weird to most people. In the Iliad, you have a cavalcade of different and opposing fighting styles, mentalities, and relations that exist in the pre-greek, Mycenaean world - I firmly believe that this chaos is the true face of mankind, without its veneer of civilization.

The Greeks on the other hand, with their infinite logic, tried to create a world where the Hoplite was exonerated as the principle, bravest warrior to the exclusion of all else - hence they got screwed at times - they were creating unbalanced lists. I'm sure they felt it was a tragic failure rather than a pathetic failure, but my own particular bias towards versatility obscures that - as I see it, they were not able to 'struggle well' even when as they failed, as they simply had no answer for peltasts and skirmishers, though the Spartans came close - their fitness being very high, they were able to give chase. Spartans, Silver Helm Tanks, Mage Knights, and White Lions are similar in that respect.

The antithesis of my army would probably be the gunline. It is the gunline because, firstly, I'm playing elves, and secondly, I have a stalwart (Greek?) opinion not to use cavalry, at least of the the heavy type. This comes from fluff - my elves live in the mountain pine forests with deep snow, where heavily armored horses would suffer - and my own feelings about fighting - I have no idea how to wield a lance in a charge, and would therefore have to dismount before fighting, so I don't kill the animal in my foolishness (horse archers are fine, as they're not charging in the manner of lance armed cavalry). Chariots are fine as well, as I would be on my feet, and probably using them as battle-taxi.

Despite all this stuff that seemingly gets in the way of my defeating gunlines (all other army-types being something I can fight on more or less equal terms with with successes and failures in respectable ratio), I'm still able to struggle quite well against them. Between the elements such as lion cloaks, the slight bonus in speed of elves, my heavy counter-shooting (which unlike a gunline, seeks to eliminate only certain elements), and the healing of my mage, is still able to do quite well - its almost never a foregone conclusion, and I think that is what I'm trying to stress with this drivel - the concept that form, as well as function, is a very good thing for many, many reasons.

Once again, I've typed far too much and revealed way too much about myself than I'm 100% comfortable with doing on a forum, so I think I'll stop and see what parts get replies and go from there. This has been a catharsis.


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This is a very interesting post, Milliardo. I would like to contribute to the discussion to that topic (any many aspect of it) but I just wait until Seredain decides if it is a good idea to discuss it here or in a separate thread. In the meantime, if you are interested in some recomendations on what is interesting to read in terms of Hellenistic warfare, feel free to PM me, as I have a few nice titles in mind you might be interested to have a look at. :)

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Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
There is another thing I wanted to ask and I believe it would be interesting for others too. Namely your lonely archmage protection. If I understand your previous descriptions properly, he tends to move from unit to unit, usually starting with archers but not necesarily staying with them all the time.

Sure thing.

Deploying the Archmage

Typically, I only ever put the archmage with a unit of archers. If he has to move forward to get in range with his spells (he usually doesn't), then I have to move the archers with him and sacrifice their shooting in order to do it. This isn't too much of a problem, however, since these archers tend to deploy behind my elites so, when the combats start to fly, they can't shoot the stuff opposite them anyway. In any case, I don't want my archmage running around by himself so no, I don't normally have him leave a unit.

The bottom line is that any unit I deploy the archmage with becomes a much bigger target. If he goes with the swordmasters or white lions, those expensive troops are getting shot- and I don't want that. If, on the other hand, he goes with the spears, that unit is going to get Dwellered before you can say 'oh, sh*t that was stupid'. I don't want to lose my archmage on a 4+! It's all about target saturation and spreading your risk - I don't want a 280 point mage making a 345 point spear column an even more attractive target for the big killer spells. The archers, however, don't tend to draw the big spells because they're too small but have enough bodies to cover the archmage from a good deal of missile fire - it's best of both. Just remember to bear panic checks in mind!

The exceptions I see to this deployment, so far, are when I fight Dwarfs, Empire or another defensive shooty list which doesn't have a test-or-die spell. Against these lists I want the archmage to close with my opponent quickly. This is because my opponent's troops will be on the defensive and, therefore, out of Dwellers range. Also, I'll need to go on the offensive with my attacking troops and the archmage needs to keep within range to buff these units. In these instances, I've sometimes put the archmage with the spears. It makes them a massive target but, since they're my least valuable combat troops yet the most able to take a pounding, this is fine by me. The crucial difference here, though, is that my archmage gets a Look Out Sir! roll against artillery, so the chances of him getting picked off are pretty minimal. Against this amount of shooting, too, regeneration becomes an excellent spell for the spears. Indeed when charging a gunline, a very large and expensive spear block can be exactly the kind of distraction your cavalry and elites need to get into combat!

Shinzou wrote:
Seredain: Do you think that it is possible to take the 12 bowmen and the big block warriors and turn them into a equal big block Seaguard (roughly the same cost)? You lose a small unit to protect the repeaters in the deployment so is it worth it? Or could you take the 35 spearelfs and turn them into roughly 25 models of Seaguard, so you not lose the tactical advantage of placing more units on the table?

Hey Shinzou - thanks for your kind comments. The enthusiasm is greatly appreciated!

On Seaguard, Archers and Spears

Merging the archers and spears together is possible for my list, but I don't think I would do it. As you say, the tactical advantages of having the two smaller archer units are very great - they provide extra drops to confuse your opponent in deployment and, crucially, provide a flank guard to protect my main body of infantry from harassment by scouts, skirmishers, light cavalry and fliers. This is often crucial.

On the seaguard themselves, the fact that they can either choose to move or shoot accurately, and that they can't fighting and shoot at the same time, means that they're only ever using a portion of their full capability. Generally speaking, my archers stand and shoot, my spears move and fight. In each turn before combat, however, the seaguard would effectively have to choose. This works fine, obviously, if that shooting is targeting the enemy unit likely to charge a static line of the seaguard themselves (this dual level of force concentration- especially with stand and shoot- is what can make seaguard competitive). In other situations, though, it limits your options significantly while the selection of other targets is made more difficult by the guard's short range of 24".

In contrast, the archers' greater range of 30" makes them better at the shooting part, while the spears' lower cost means you can field them in larger units which will be correspondingly better in combat without becoming so expensive as to render the unit's loss really painful. As regards combat, since I need to be prepared to face a variety of armies, I need my spear column to be able to march forward to form part of an attack: in these situations I don't want to have spent points on bows I'm not using. With my current setup, the spears can march forward and the archers can fire - I have complete flexibility over the two kinds of attack. If the spears play defensively, they can move and reform without fear of wasting points on missed bow shots or of being outflanked by harassment units, giving me the ability to respond to my opponent's advance with more precision.

Generally speaking then, to my mind the archers and spears can work in conjunction with each other when they need to, attaining the benefits of seaguard, but have the freedom and better capability to focus on different tasks if I need them to. Because they're able to do this, they complement each other very well.

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Milliardo, that was quite a speech!

I don't think it's any surprise that Warhammer is more enjoyable if you play a list that suits your personality - any hobby which you spend this amount of time on wouldn't be much fun if you were playing something you found unsatisfying! There's no doubt that it's a form of escapism but that's no surprise since any fiction - books, movies, games, music - has escapist elements. Indeed, history is partly about exploring other worlds, so can have this quality too. I'd be wary, obviously, of seeing much in the way of personal philosophy in a game of Fantasy! Even real historical figures (especially ancient ones), make shady role-models since they inhabited a completely world from ours- almost every piece of accepted wisdom, down to morality and the nature of reality, was very different to them than it is to us. Even the Greeks themselves never agreed on the former - Socrates was executed for impiety!

~Milliardo~ wrote:
I'm enjoying the book a lot, even though I'm not sure I agree 100% with the authors interpretation of the Iliad - he has a very modern, reductionist, scientific, A to B, straight-line appreciation of progress and why people do or did the things they did that I feel lacks totality or holism.

On Ancient History

I'm glad you're enjoying the book and understand your point completely. Lots of academics are guilty of focusing on their central thesis to the exclusion of much else. Lendon's subject is the influence of culture on armies so, at times, he seems to suggest that culture was responsible for every tactical element in the Greek, Macedonian or Roman army. As you suggest, this is simplistic, but a good way to view to book's argument is as being in addition to the more commonly accepted notion that military tactics are simply a case of advancement from one older tactic to a newer better one. The underlying point is that the way armies fight has as much to do with the collective personalities of the people who make them as it does the technology and skill they've acquired over time. Indeed, no doubt one contributes to the other. This is a valuable and often understated point which the book usefully emphasises.

Greek Cavalry

Other factors are important too, however. You speek of the Greeks' aversion to cavalry as something cultural but, in the long run, the absence of cavalry was chiefly down to the fact that Greece did not have enough high quality agricultural land to support large numbers of warhorses. For the most part the Greek cities were also, because of their limited agriculture and small size, rather poor and unable to amass the wealth needed to maintain expensive cavalry divisions. In many states these basic facts led, ultimately, to cultural aversions to horses, especially amongst the democracies: as an indication of their suspicious nature, politicians in Athens were often lambasted by their enemies as 'horse-breeders'. Indeed the lack of a horse-riding warrior class was almost certainly a contributing factor to the formation of Athenian democracy in the first place: hoplite phalanxes are nothing if not egalitarian. The original stimulus of all this culture, though, was geography rather than philosophy.

In city states which had both wealth and good agricultural land (e.g. Syracuse in Sicily), cavalry was fielded in significant numbers. For their part, once they'd acquired their empire, the Athenians chose to spend a great deal of their new-found wealth by also fielding a large amount of cavalry - this is why cavalrymen are so prevalent on the Parthenon frieze. During the Peloponnesian War, it was Athens' use of cavalry, along with peltasts, that formed a great part of the revolution in military tactics which took place during the period and prior to Iphicrates' reforms. So, there's nothing inherently anti-Greek about horses. For their part, the Macedonians shared both Greek culture and an aristocratic horse-fighting culture chiefly because, in the long term, their good land allowed them to develop both. Given that, however, it's no surprise they ended up with kings- ancient and medieval history teaches us that cavalry-based societies are not, as a rule, democratic.

Philip II and Alexander III of Macedon

I wouldn't doubt Alexander's intelligence, incredible bravery or tactical genius, but I wouldn't say either that he was 'cerebral'. In the Greek world there was always a very stark distinction between humans and the gods, but Alexander personally violated this by repeatedly having himself hailed as a god. This was unusual behaviour for the Greeks! His father Philip II had done the same (once), but he was a very shrewd politician and wanted to cement his dominance over the Greek cities. There is evidence that Alexander believed his own legend. Indeed, it was his maniacal behaviour which led to his murdering several of his former comrades when they began to suspect him of developing an unhealthy attitude to kingship and power. And he died young - that wasn't smart.

No, Philip was the cerebral one. He reformed Macedon itself, built roads, opened mines and, from scratch (taking lessons from the military reforms of Thebes), built the world-conquering army which Alexander later took into Persia. I am a massive fan of the Macedonian army - it was far more advanced than anything that had gone before. The brilliant combination and use of heavy infantry, light support troops and heavy cavalry charges are the chief inspiration for the way I play Warhammer. It was Philip's machine, though, so in terms of inspiration I'd like to give more credit to him than to Alexander whose personality which was, at the very least, erratic and bordering on (depending on who you read), psychotic! I'd like to think of myself as a a cerebral player. Without doubt, though, Alexander was one of the World's greatest tacticians and showed the real potential of what a well led cavalry charge can do. That's a lesson I owe to him! As you say, it tells a better story: my prince's great charge in to the heart of the enemy will either end in heroic victory or tragic defeat - in any case, it's suitable dramatic! Always ends up as a talking point after the game. :)

The Fall of Combined Arms

As a final point, I'd mention that the fall of military dominance by the Macedonians and Successor kingdoms to the Romans was in large part due to the fact the Philip and Alexander's genius use of combined arms slid away. Successor kings grew to rely more on bigger and bigger phalanxes to the exclusion of much else. At the Battle of Cynoscephalae, King Perseus of Macedon engaged his phalanx largely unsupported and didn't even commit any of his heavy cavalry at the flanks, despite having it in great quantities. Eventually, despite initial successes, the phalanx started to break up over rough ground while the more flexible Roman legions got in the gaps, around the flanks and started to take it apart. The mistake Perseus had made was to think that a rigid block of infantry alone could win the battle, forgetting that Philip II and Alexander's great victories were all off the back of combined arms tactics. There are lessons to be learned there, chaps. ;)

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
This is a very interesting post, Milliardo. I would like to contribute to the discussion to that topic...

Happy to carry on the discussion, though we should probably open up a separate thread for it (I put the above here because it's all pretty much the genesis of my army composition!). Swordmaster, if you start a new thread when you're ready to reply to Milliardo, you can post a link to it in this thread so that, having read the above, people know where to look.

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No problem, I will start a new topic. I will post a link as soon as it is ready. We can come back to dicussing Warhammer armies now :)

EDIT: The topic is now open in Warhammer Fantasy department :)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=34674

To help to come back to the discussion about your army, Seradain, I have another question. What about redundancy? Every unit in your army has such a unique role to play that it seems they are very specialized. What if you lose one of them too early? Can Swordmasters really pick up on the monster hunt if there are no White Lions around for example? I think that there are still some overlapping missions for your units but give us your opinion :)

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High Elves MSU - Observations

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


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:05 am 
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@ Seredain
Ah! As a DE player (half active) and a new HE player (bought IoB to convert to DE but now leaning more to HE as a secondary army) I don't know every rule. Since DE crossbowmen can walk and than shoot I assumed that the HE bows could do the same, none of my friends use any bows so I have never really learned about those rules.

I have tried to find the "move or shot"-rule in the books, but where to find it? In the basic rule book the only thing it says about Bows is Volley Fire, but for example Crossbows have Move or Fire. Anyone who could enlighten me? :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:50 am 
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Crossbows and handguns have a "move or fire" rule because if they move, they can't fire at all. By default, anything else, ie blowguns, bows, longbows etc... Can move and still shoot with a +1 penalty to hit for moving. In addition, all the bows have volley fire, which allows you to shoot half your third rank and half of each additional rank, but this too does not apply if you move.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Shinzou wrote:
Since DE crossbowmen can walk and than shoot I assumed that the HE bows could do the same, none of my friends use any bows so I have never really learned about those rules.

Yeah, as Myrnir explained, it isn't that your seaguard will be unable to shoot if they move, just that their shooting will be subject to penalties. Typically this means that players fielding seaguard will want to move no more than they absolutely have to in order to get the best out of their shooting and not waste all the points they've spent on bows. This usually means a swift reform into a deeper formation before the enemy starts declaring charges. Marching, of course, precludes shooting altogether.

In effect, then, seaguard commanders are always forced to choose between either moving or cost-effective shooting. This leads to a certain level of tactical inflexibility compared with archers and spears, who can do their thing separately. For High Elf lists with very heavy shooting (like Myrnir's), this rigidity isn't as much of a problem since your infantry is more likely to be standing on the defensive with Volley Fire and stand & shoot coming into play. For a list like mine, however, the fact that I sometimes need to be aggressive with my infantry means I'd rather have the flexible dual capability of a combined force of archers and spearelves.

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Last edited by Seredain on Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:46 pm 
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In responding to Halskarl's army list thread, I wrote some paragraphs arguing that he had all the tools he needed to take on the biggest infantry units. I've used these paragraphs as the basis of a fuller account, in respect of combined arms High Elf armies in general and my list in particular, of how you can take out these big enemy blocks, which many people assume to be invincible unless you've taken 30 white lions. The good news is that they aren't invincible. Against most of the enemy you're likely to face, the right combination of smaller High Elf units will be able to take out those giant enemy blocks in one or two turns. Here's how.


Breaking Infantry Hordes with Combined Arms High Elves


The Principles of Breaking Steadfast

Breaking big steadfast infantry units quickly is just about getting the right number of kills. In this respect, the angle you attack at (flank, rear) is not the crucial point except that it allows you to bring more of your models into base contact to fight. Only when you kill enough enemy models to break steadfast does that +1 CR from the flank charge count for anything. Against hordes, then, with their wide frontage (10 models), combined front charges with the right units will work just fine, since you can cram more of them in (we've discussed this already on High Elf Ranks and Hordes on Page 2). Against large enemy units in column, with reduced frontage, you'll be looking to get in on the front and flank. In any case, if you mean to break a large unit, get as many models in base contact as you can.

Since we go first and re-roll missed hits, our ability to wipe out large numbers of troops in one round is one of our greatest strengths- much greater than that of other armies. Our armies are, therefore, superb at crippling hordes before those 3-rank attacks come into play. Ultimately, the basic principle is that 'stepping up' attacks don't work if there aren't enough models to make them.

For breaking Steadfast, then, your aim is to get enough kills so that your opponent is removing models from their second rank, while you yourself have one full rank left at the end of combat. As an example, let's make a combined charge with a cheap Silver Helm Bus - 9 Silver Helms with High Helm plus a BSB, alongside 14 Swordmasters with a Bladelord. If your combo-charge can get the target unit down to only one rank at the end of combat (ie one full rank and up to 4 models in the second rank), the one full rank of knights you will typically have left will be enough to break his steadfast and make him run (this makes your 10 silver helms +BSB a better unit for helping to crack large enemy units than a smaller number of dragon princes +BSB, who aren't as likely to have a full rank left after fighting). For their part, the swordmasters make an excellent accompaniment to your knights since they bring huge DPS for this kind of combined attack. Incidentally they, too, might have a full rank left at the end of combat, but we don't want to always rely on them because they're far more squishy without a toughness buff on them. In any case, having two 2-rank units in this charge is good insurance, since it increases your chances of having at least one unit with a full rank left after combat.

The Horde-Smashing Combined Charge

So, your knights and swordmasters charge an enemy horde of 40 chaos marauders to the front. Here's the crucial point: against typical horde infantry (Weapon Skill 3 or 4, Toughness 3, Armour Save 5+), your 9 Silver Helms+ BSB (2x5) and 14 swordmasters inc. bladelord (2x7) will, on average, kill 28 enemy rank & file in one round of combat. That leaves the horde unit of 40 with 12 models left and only one rank over 5 models. You only need, therefore, one rank of models left after the enemy attack to break steadfast and run them down and here, as discussed, the extra rank of silver helms makes the difference since you can lose 5 knights and still have that full rank left. The vulnerable sword masters are likely to suffer a few casualties in reply (especially from things like Khorne marauders), but the knights are solid. The enemy breaks.

As an alternative, you could combine the knights' charge with your spearelves, giving you more ranks in and, therefore, reducing the number of kills you need to break steadfast. It isn't as overwhelmingly deadly as the swordmaster combo, but with a defensive buff, the spears will hold their ranks well while your knights get the kills. Then again, spearelves can run alongside DPS specialists such as dragon princes or chariots. Will all these units, you can effectively take out two hordes in one turn.

If you run into a particularly large and tough horde (expensive so probably rather lonely), however, you'll be looking to hit it in the front with the spears & swordmasters, perhaps the chariot too, and in the flank with knights. The point is that there's nothing preventing you bringing this amount of force into play. Indeed, this is the dream charge you should aim to achieve as it will pretty much just steamroll any horde unit into the dirt. Playing a weighted flank with your troops, as described in the section on Deployment can make this scenario a reality.

Horde-Smashing Cavalry Charges

More good news comes in the shape of your fast units- because you don't even need infantry to take on a horde. On average, a frontal assault against an enemy horde by 9 Silver Helms (inc. High Helm) + BSB, 5 Dragon Princes and the Tiranoc Chariot, will kill 22 of those 40 marauders. It'll only take a little preparatory shooting from your archers, repeaters (or indeed Dwellers!), to get the 4 kills necessary to have that 40-man horde unit breaking in one round (only 4!). Against hordes of 30 models, with a little shooting the Silver Helms and Chariot can force the break without the DPs even being involved. With either combination, you usefully maintain dominance over the target horde in terms of charges distances, since all your attacking units are much faster than their victim.

Please note that in both these instances, it's the spare rank of silver helms which forces the break. If, instead of the helms, you only had the equivalent points in dragon princes (6), you will get, on average, an extra 2 or 3 kills but, since after attacks back you're far less likely to have a full rank left, you'll be needing an extra 10 enemy casualties to reduce their final rank to below five models and break steadfast. The DPs won't deliver that, the enemy will hold, and you'll suddenly have a load of strength three knights spending the next two turns slowing bashing away and achieving very little. If you want the crushing victory, you need that extra rank of cavalry and Silver Helms are the most cost-effective way to get it.

So, if people tell you that 'dragon princes are always better', don't pay any attention. Dragon princes are, for the purposes of breaking large units, best employed providing extra damage output alongside a unit that'll have a rank or two left at the end of combat, just like a block of silver helms. The exception to this, of course, is a 2-rank unit of dragon princes! These have their own problems, though, being very expensive (if you take them the rest of your list will tend to suffer), and wasting half the attacs from models in the rear rank. If you're happy with the investment, however, DPs are the most powerful cavalry we have and, as we've seen above, that second rank will be crucial in the big combats.

Conclusion

As a rule of thumb, then, when you see a big unit you should do a bit of math-hammer and rate your chances of getting enough kills to break it. If you don't think you can, get some shooting and magic or a chariot in there to even the odds. There aren't likely to be that many hordes of decent troops in enemy armies, so ganging up on a horde with the right combo-charges is doable for an army as manoeuvreable as combined-arms High Elves. My list has silver helms, swordmasters, white lions, a chariot, dragon princes and spearelves, with good shooting support to weaken enemy blocks before they hit home. That's enough combined force to tackle two hordes in one turn while also providing all the flexibility in deployment, movement and target saturation we've discussed elsewhere in this thread.

If the enemy army is all big infantry units, it'll typically have fewer deployment drops and be pretty unmanoeuvreable- this makes it easier to deploy a weighted flank with your army and get these combined front and flank charges against one horde at a time with your infantry and cavalry. The speed of your cavalry, in particular, will further your advantage on the flanks and in setting up deadly combined charges like these. When building your army, then, be aware that there are several troop combinations available to you in the High Elf book besides massed infantry. These combinations are just as capable in terms of hitting power but don't have the vulnerabilities of the big blocks to template war machines, Dwellers Below, massed skirmishers and so on. The bottom line is that you don't need 30 white lions to break enemy hordes. Rather if you deploy and move a selection of smaller units well, your High Elves are perfectly capable of taking down the big hordes very quickly. They are, in fact, very good at it.

And do you know what the brilliant thing is? I haven't even accounted for the Prince in any of the above. Archmage-led lists can do all this too. For me, the prince is just the icing on the cake.

EDIT:

A Word on Orc Hordes

Orc infantry makes one of the most cost-effective horde units since they're relatively cheap and have toughness 4. Typically, the increased toughness means you'll need to either throw more combat power or more shooting against them to deliver the 1st-round break. The downside of orc hordes, however, is their large base size. An orc horde takes up a very large amount of space on the table, making them less manoeuvreable than your troops (wheeling, for example, takes up more movement). More importantly, the increased base size increases the frontage of orc hordes, allowing you to fit into base contact more killing power than they can stand.

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Last edited by Seredain on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:36 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
What about redundancy? Every unit in your army has such a unique role to play that it seems they are very specialized. What if you lose one of them too early? Can Swordmasters really pick up on the monster hunt if there are no White Lions around for example? I think that there are still some overlapping missions for your units but give us your opinion :)

Swordmaster, I got to this at last!

Redundancy

It's true that white lions and swordmasters do different things, but I have ways around that. If the swordmasters died, for example, the lions could take on the ideal target for the swords by teaming up with the chariot, which would boost the 1-attack white lions with extra attacks, acquiring the benefits of the lost unit . Meanwhile, if the lions were wiped out, my list has other things which provide strength 6 (or 7) hits- including the repeaters, BSB and Prince. If I have to hold up the lions' former target with the more squishy infantry, I have Life Lore to buff them and make them more resistant to the kind of monsters the white lions would normally be tackling.

This is the benefit of combined arms - you're not dependent upon a single unit and, if you do lose one, your army can usually adapt itself and form another combination of units to fill the gap in capability. For their part, the Silver Helms can lost a great hadnful of knights but retain effectiveness because of the excellent characters riding with it. The size of that unit is basically defined by the principle of redundancy!

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Last edited by Seredain on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:54 pm 
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After testing your smaller list, with a few modifications, it certainly led to one of the most fun and successful play experiences I have had in a long time.

Though the dice gods held their fickle blessings close, I saw portions of the strategy / list work in unison exactly as you describe in your tactics insights. Positioning, foresight, and really thinking ahead seem to really steer and drive the list, which is extremely fun, when the plan is working, things move very quickly, however, I like how sour things can turn if too many pieces of the puzzle aren't in their proper spots.

In my game against Vampire Counts, some highlights with the list were:

- My white lions (Without the flaming attack banner ... shhh ... :-6 I know it was a mistake) found themselves up against a Vargulf, after charging through a forest. Did enough wounds to kill it twice over, and sure enough, he made every regeneration save possible. With lucky rolls and thunderstomps, the white lions died outright!
- Chariot rolling triple ones for 3 consecutive failed charges. ](*,)
- Mage miscasting and almost obliterating half of his archer entourage.
- 3 Dragon princes (on the turn they charge) getting killed by strength 3 ghouls.
- Bolt thrower (with flaming attacks due to Vaul's Anvil terrain) having a clear shot on the vargulf, and rolling a 1 to hit. I kept thinking to myself ... "this is it, time to literally make it's points back ... i'll probably roll a one ..."
- Spearmen holding strong and cutting down almost 70 skellies / zombies, before being relieved by support
- The Dragon Princes finally freed on the flank, on the last turn fully behind their lines, launches a charge which kills the vampire - general, securing a draw.

Loads of fun, I hope to give it another go this thursday, and this time, maybe my cursed dice will allow my units to play more into your strategy!

@Millardo

Sat and read through your post with a coffee yesterday, very interesting insights into both WHFB and history. I understand your personal connection to certain elements that make an army, an army, and having grounded views as to what you naturally agree with and don't, especially with the ideals, and being able to turn that eye inward and view it in context with yourself. Applying that to warhammer really cements the unique experience.

I have the tendency myself when playing Total War (I enjoy Medieval 2 the most, and play as Britain) to always have mixed infantry and archer heavy armies, with very little cavalry, but enough to secure, or harass flanks. The infantry really are the heroes, but the farther east the campaign goes, and mobility and horse-heavy countries increase, I know I fight each time at a severe disadvantage. Oddly enough, you'd think I would adapt by creating new units to combat or match them ... rather ... I find myself not doing that, but changing the tactics of the very same army and try to beat them in a different way. Though the mentality is different, I can't help feeling like those Greeks preserving the phalanx. The mindset of "If I am going to beat you on the field, I will do it with good old fashion English might, not eastern frills and cheating.", an example of how tradition tends to trump reason.

As I look at this thread, see what concepts Seredain visits, I find just how realistic those unit/situation/rules analysis can really be used by any player, with any HE army, and receive benefit. As simple as "Pick a plan, pick the units that will move the plan forward, use your tools to build the plan in game" I'm sure not everyone looks at those 3 things in depth when creating their army. I'm sure after getting used to the whole machine, I will slowly begin to integrate my Prince and standard bearer into my infantry line, and work the principals to branch out.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Candleshoes wrote:
After testing your smaller list, with a few modifications, it certainly led to one of the most fun and successful play experiences I have had in a long time.

Excellent, that's really good to hear. And kinda the point of playing any game, eh?

Candleshoes wrote:
- My white lions (Without the flaming attack banner ... shhh ... :-6 I know it was a mistake) found themselves up against a Vargulf, after charging through a forest. Did enough wounds to kill it twice over, and sure enough, he made every regeneration save possible. With lucky rolls and thunderstomps, the white lions died outright!

Hahaha! Lesson learned. ;)
I don't know the VC book all that well, but don't Varghulfs have Stomp instead of Thunderstomp?

Candleshoes wrote:
- Chariot rolling triple ones for 3 consecutive failed charges.
- Mage miscasting and almost obliterating half of his archer entourage.
- 3 Dragon princes (on the turn they charge) getting killed by strength 3 ghouls.
- Bolt thrower (with flaming attacks due to Vaul's Anvil terrain) having a clear shot on the vargulf, and rolling a 1 to hit. I kept thinking to myself ... "this is it, time to literally make it's points back ... i'll probably roll a one ..."

Ugh, feeling your pain there my friend. The dice gods can be total bastards.

Candleshoes wrote:
- Spearmen holding strong and cutting down almost 70 skellies / zombies, before being relieved by support
- The Dragon Princes finally freed on the flank, on the last turn fully behind their lines, launches a charge which kills the vampire - general, securing a draw.
Huzzah! Well done. A suitable valiant effort snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Even in a draw, we all know that taking out the Vampire is the important thing!

Candleshoes wrote:
Loads of fun, I hope to give it another go this thursday, and this time, maybe my cursed dice will allow my units to play more into your strategy!

Excellent. You've had your fair share of bad luck so hopefully the gods will lay off you next time. Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:38 pm 
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Hey mate,

Congratulations on creating and maintaining this wonderful thread. I have found the information and ideas here very useful and entertaining.

I am tempted to try your list in an upcoming tournament, which is under the ETC rules. The list fits perfectly in the restriction, but it has to lose 100 points. The easiest way to do it would be to shove off 25 core and drop the TC. However, it is very useful in the concept of the list. So I would like to hear your opinion - how would you fit this list for the ETC rules?

Cheers,
M


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