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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Seredain, not sure if you are aware of this, but unless I have the wrong Lizard book, or it has been FAQ'd, according to page 59, if there is a Slann in the army, Saurus Scar-Veterans cannot be the army's BSB. I quote: "If there is no Slann Mage-Priest in the army, one Saurus Scar Veteran may carry the Battle Standard for +XX points." However, it is kind of a moot point unless the Slann goes down, as on page 58 it states that a Slann bearing the Battle Standard may have a Magic Standard with no points limit AND regular Magic Items to his usual limit AND be the general. Just making sure that I haven't got this wrong or something :D


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Stormie wrote:
I don't understand "but he held with ranks, partly due to him making an illegal combat reform" means, it was the first round of combat, so he couldn't have made the combat reform before that break test? Disruption also doesn't remove steadfast by the way (You just count ranks, and that's that), so unless he reformed to go a lot deeper the next turn, then it doesn't matter which unit was in his flank. The reform was illegal though, so that's your first big lesson: ignore the idiots in the peanut gallery who so often give duff advice.

Also I guess it was really a loss if you should have broken turn 3. Very nice of your opponent to make a mistake giving you the game ;)


My bad. He made the illegal reform after the first round of combat to bring his ranks into play against the Silver Helms. Disruption had previously removed his rank bonus, not steadfast, yes. However, disruption still affects who wins a round of combat, which is still important.

As for the technical win/loss: I proposed we consider this a draw given the mutual confusion about the scenario parameters. I would not have risked my general if I knew it would cost me my break point.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:03 pm 
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ether_drake wrote:
The Black Orcs were facing the Dragon Princes to the front. The Silver Helms were engaged in the flank of the Black Orcs and they had two full ranks, thus disrupting the BO formation.

Reforming to face my SH allowed supporting attacks to directed against them, effectively doubling their attacks (hitting with great weapons to negate my armour) whilst regaining their +3 bonus from ranks to CR (as the Dragon Princes were now less than one full rank).

A unit engaged in more than one front in close combat cannot make a combat reform (p. 55, BRB). This ruling makes intuitive sense since the confusion ensued by assault from multiple assaults prevents orderly reform.


Now I see. I missed the direction the Black Orcs were facing. It makes a lot more sense now, thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:32 am 
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Hey Seredain :) It's been said before... a lot... but wanted to add my appreciation for this thread =D> I'm working on a HE army to take to the big War of the Beard refight at Warhammer World next february, and based my force in a Universal Battle game on the precepts of your list at 2000pts. Well, between that and my reading of the Eagles thread, I wiped the floor with my VC opponent. The fast strike force, number of drops, and good support really made sense once I started using them.

Thanks again for the inspiration, and I aim to build my real life army to match my online one!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:57 am 
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Malcontent wrote:
Now I see. I missed the direction the Black Orcs were facing. It makes a lot more sense now, thanks.


No worries. I was working with powerpoint as my battle mapping software, so it was less than optimal, though very quick :|


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:31 am 
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Sethai Ithilvarden wrote:
Seredain, not sure if you are aware of this, but unless I have the wrong Lizard book, or it has been FAQ'd, according to page 59, if there is a Slann in the army, Saurus Scar-Veterans cannot be the army's BSB. I quote: "If there is no Slann Mage-Priest in the army, one Saurus Scar Veteran may carry the Battle Standard for +XX points." However, it is kind of a moot point unless the Slann goes down, as on page 58 it states that a Slann bearing the Battle Standard may have a Magic Standard with no points limit AND regular Magic Items to his usual limit AND be the general. Just making sure that I haven't got this wrong or something :D


Sounds like you're looking at quite an old, out-of-date book to me!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:15 pm 
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Doesn't surprise me, thanks for the heads up! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Ether,

Thanks for the report! I'm glad I got the new version of the list up and running before you took it to a Blood and Glory battle- my old list was bloody fragile in that scenario.

You ran into one of the downsides to the changes, though: the lost rank of spearelves. You're quite right that having the BSB run off with the prince around the flank can make your infantry centre pretty brittle. In every battle, depending on your opponent's forces, you need to legislate for this. In the first daemon game I reported (where I knew I'd be taking a lot of leadership tests), I kept the prince and BSB close, for example. This isn't always necessary, but you still don't want to have your spears fighting a full-strength black orc block all by themselves. In these instances you want to be throwing away a sacrificial unit to hold them up rather than letting them close with anything juicy, even your poor archers. This is more important in Blood and Glory because your opponent can deploy further forward and so get to you quicker, so good deployment matters (keeping your knights closer is also worth thinking about for the same reason, depending on what the board looks like and how your opponent deploys).

In response to this disaster, the rest of your army did what it was supposed to, though: you got a nice surround off and annihilated the black orcs before your opponent's right flank had a chance to engage (make sure to make the pursuit next time!). A bit of trouble and confusion, then, (remember that, once begun, challenges continue until one of the two fighters dies- see rulebook p.103), but the plan came off in the end!

ether_drake wrote:
Anyway, hopefully things will get sharper with more games, but I have to say that following your thread over the last few months leading up to my 8th edition debut has really helped me get stuck in. Its interesting that my opponent and other observers were surprised that I was fielding so much cavalry, the players at my local seem to favour the infantry block approach. Here's to hoping that I can prove them wrong in time!

If my experience is anything to go by, most people you meet will be surprised to see your knights. Get your deployment and movement phases ticking over, though, and you'll make them understand. ;)

ether_drake wrote:
Btw, sad to hear that you may not have much time to play, but congrats on the move and I hope it leads to greater and better things for you!

Many thanks! Fingers crossed. The Big Move is this weekend...

Meniour wrote:
Hey Seredain :) It's been said before... a lot... but wanted to add my appreciation for this thread =D> I'm working on a HE army to take to the big War of the Beard refight at Warhammer World next february, and based my force in a Universal Battle game on the precepts of your list at 2000pts. Well, between that and my reading of the Eagles thread, I wiped the floor with my VC opponent. The fast strike force, number of drops, and good support really made sense once I started using them.

Thanks again for the inspiration, and I aim to build my real life army to match my online one!

Great to hear! Thanks for saying so. I've thought about attending the War of the Beard event myself (what an event that's likely to be!), but, as things stand, I probably won't have the time. Sadface.

Sethai Ithilvarden wrote:
Hi! New to the forums, love the thread, it made me sign up yadda yadda... :D

Haha, thanks Sethai. :)

Sethai Ithilvarden wrote:
Now then, I am almost totally new to elves, and fairly new to warhammer, having played around with skaven and found them a little slow and unwieldy with their big blocks. Now, around here we mostly play 2k games, but there are a few of us who play rediculously sized games, one of us actually has a 10k WoC army... I was wondering how you would boost this up to 5k and keep it competitive. Would you just double up on units? Increase some unit sizes? And what magic items would you use if you had this many points to play around with?
Thanks for your opinion, Sethai Ithilvarden.

Not at all.

Expanding your Forces

The basic principle of expanding your regular list is to strike the right balance between 'more' and 'bigger' units. Your main hammers and anvils will need to get stronger- to break steadfast against larger enemy units and to take the increased level of punishment which is bound to hit them in larger games- but you don't want to lose the manoeuvreable nature of your army, nor sacrifice too much in the way of deployment drops (which gets your powerful units the good positions they need). In the 12,000 point battle I recently took part in (and I will produce a report for as soon as I am able- campaign battles and Life have stood in the way slightly!), I fielded a 4,000 point army which was just a straight 1.5K upgrade from my (then) usual list. Hopefully it makes clear what I'm talking about though, bear in mind, certain choices were limited by the painted models I had available (like the 2 eagles and limited archers). Here's the list:

4,000 point Cavalry Prince List

Seredain
Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Plucker Pendant, Talisman of Loec - 286
Lecalion
Level 4 Archmage - Folariath's Robe, Silver Wand, Lore of Life - 315
Caradath
Battle Standard Bearer - Barded Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Amulet of Light - 190
Thalias
Level 2 Mage - Annullian Crystal, High Magic - 175
Acheron
Level 2 Mage - Sigil of Asuryan, High Magic - 175

45 Spearelves - Full Command, Standard of Discipline - 445 (archmage here)
20 Seaguard - Full Command - 285
14 Archers - Musician - 159
11 Archers - 121

21 Swordmasters - Full Command, Razor Standard - 390
14 White Lions - Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flame - 250
13 Silver Helms - High Helm, Musician, Shields - 323 (prince and BSB here)
6 Dragon Princes - Standard, Banner of Sorcery - 250
5 Dragon Princes - 150
1 Tiranoc Chariot - 85

3 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 300
2 Eagles - 100

Models permitting (and I'm getting there when it comes to core troops, at least), I'd want 4 eagles and more archers instead of the 20 seaguard. For this battle, though, the seaguard support block made sense- not much room for manoeuvre in a 12K game! Normally I'd go for more archer detachments, though. Oh and obviously you've noticed that the Helm Hammer is 15 strong now. Tasty. :twisted:

Edit:
Stormie wrote:
Sethai Ithilvarden wrote:
Seredain, not sure if you are aware of this, but unless I have the wrong Lizard book, or it has been FAQ'd, according to page 59, if there is a Slann in the army, Saurus Scar-Veterans cannot be the army's BSB. I quote: "If there is no Slann Mage-Priest in the army, one Saurus Scar Veteran may carry the Battle Standard for +XX points." However, it is kind of a moot point unless the Slann goes down, as on page 58 it states that a Slann bearing the Battle Standard may have a Magic Standard with no points limit AND regular Magic Items to his usual limit AND be the general. Just making sure that I haven't got this wrong or something :D


Sounds like you're looking at quite an old, out-of-date book to me!

I'm not familiar with the Lizardmen army book when it comes to this level of detail, but it sounds like Stormie's got this covered. He's a reliable (and, for me, necessary) WHFB rules safety net. :)

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Last edited by Seredain on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:39 am 
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Thanks for your comments, Seredain. And thanks for the list, its really fun to play with!

Seredain wrote:
This isn't always necessary, but you still don't want to have your spears fighting a full-strength black orc block all by themselves.


Oh my, this lesson has certainly been learned. Never again!

Seredain wrote:
In these instances you want to be throwing away a sacrificial unit to hold them up rather than letting them close with anything juicy, even your poor archers.


In the crystal clarity of retrospect, I think I could have advanced my left wing archers up to an oblique angle between the Black Orcs and the Spears (facing 1:30 on the clock). Meanwhile I should have reverse moved my spears and allow the dragon princes a window of engagement. That way the archers could have taken the charge from the BOs, when they broke they could have been too far away to induce panic, and pursuit by the BOs at an oblique angle to my battle line (facing 7:30) could leave the latter open to flank/rear charges from the spears and DPs.

ether_drake wrote:
If my experience is anything to go by, most people you meet will be surprised to see your knights. Get your deployment and movement phases ticking over, though, and you'll make them understand. ;)


In fact, there was general surprise that the elite units were small. "Get more Sword Masters and White Lions." I think the 'big blocks' thinking is the reigning concept here rather than MSU. But frankly, even without getting full engagement across their front rank the Sword Masters were superbly killy and very few succumbed to enemy attacks (this time). Extra ranks wouldn't have made much difference in combat and those extra points are nowhere to be found.

The redundancy of hard-hitting units in this list is crucial. Without multiple S5/S6 units like the Sword Masters and White Lions, or the Prince - that could wound reliably in turn 2 of combat - I wouldn't have felt comfortable dominating more than one section of the battlefield at a time.

One thing that came home in playing this first game was that, list tweaking aside, manoeuvre and position counts for so so much. The advanced starting lines of Blood Glory really put the pressure on creating sufficient space between armies when you need it.

Anyway, have a Mighty Empires campaign coming so, so there'll be plenty of chance to practice all this. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can put Ellyrian Reavers to good use in this army with my bonus campaign points. Though the temptation to sic a dragon mage for the hell of it if I come up with 350 bonus points is strong! :)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:44 pm 
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Hi all!
First of all it took me years to read through all of this, but the time was not wasted, perfect thread!
On quick question that i have since ~page 3, have you thought of a noble wearing the reaver bow?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Hey Seredain,

I know you're busy with the move, but would love to hear your thoughts on fielding your list against a Warriors of Chaos army. They're the current Enemy of the Month over on the Tactics Forum.

I just watched a WoC player from my shop table an Orc & Goblin army in 2.5 turns today. Interestingly enough, the WoC was entirely cavalry. Great looking army with chaos marauders with flails, 10 Chaos Knights, 2 Hellcannons. Very mobile via their vanguard move. The Lore of Tzeentch was really brutal with its Pandemonium spell (can't use character leadership, your spellcasters miscast on all doubles) and Treachery of Tzeentch (every model in target unit makes one attack against the unit). Pandemonium was deadly in combination with the Hellcannon (-1Ld and Panic test on wounded units). Lore of Tzeentch has really low casting values and enjoys a +1 to cast from the Mark of Tzeentch.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:39 pm 
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Todesguck wrote:
Hi all!
First of all it took me years to read through all of this, but the time was not wasted, perfect thread!
On quick question that i have since ~page 3, have you thought of a noble wearing the reaver bow?

Todesguck,

You must fogive me for taking so long to get back to you. I don't have much time to wander the corridors of this place at the moment- even at weekends! I'm sure things will settle down sooner or later.

Anyway, the Reaver Bow. The answer is 'yes'. Back in 7th, I fielded a Reaver Bow noble BSB and loved him. The problem now is that, because it is very unlikely that you'll kill an entire enemy unit in 1 turn, a High Elf noble with only a 5+ armour save is too vulnerable to see combat. For me, that's a problem. For certain lists, though, you can take your noble, give him the reaver bow, make him a BSB, and keep him at the back, bestowing his ranged talents (in leadership and arrows) without throwing him into combat. If you wanted to go gunline-elves, for example (core archers, repeaters, heavy magic), magic bow-toting characters like this make sense.

Ether,

Thinking about Warriors of Chaos

I actually love fighting Warriors of Chaos. They have some truly brilliant strengths (their characters can be devastating, the chosen ward-block is filthy, Gateway, the hellcannon), but they have serious weaknesses too and, as far as I see it, these correspond rather well with our strengths. The major point is that their shooting, papa cannon excepted, is totally rubbish: poor range, poor ballistic skill, low quantity. Compounding this problem, their leadership isn't brilliant and, when it comes to The Battle of the Support Units, neither is their armour save. If I came across an army of marauder horsemen, I'd feel brilliant: deploy nice and tight and shoot the crap out of them. If they charge, your ASF murders them. As for those marauder infantry hordes we see a lot of, they're brilliant gate-way units for your forces. Nice wide bases (so you can cram lots of killy troops into them), little armour and low leadership all mean that you can kill tons, break steadfast and run them down. Once you get rid of all the chaff and break through into the Chaos backfield, their slow warrior blocks should find it difficult to stop you surrounding the remaining sections of the enemy army and picking them off one by one.

Some exceptions to the rosiness above. I generally like fighting enemy characters with the prince but, when it comes to Chaos lords, I live in fear of the runeshield. Tzeentch chosen and warshrines are a bitch. And if you do run into a marauder horde: before you start licking your lips, make a note of whether or not he has a hero in there. He may have the crown of command- so guard your attackers' flanks accordingly. The infernal puppet, if you haven't taken the Lore of Life, is horrid, so think very carefully before you chuck 6 dice. In principle, though, we can out shoot and/or out-manoeuvre and/or out-magic warriors and, once you've done these things, we can outfight them. As a fail safe, we have plenty of small cheap units (read 'eagles') to feed to whatever deathstar we can't handle in CC- and your opponent won't typically have the missiles to stop them doing this. Likewise they don't have the missiles to really cripple our elite infantry.

In short, we're such a tactically flexible army that I feel we have all the tools we need to handle the Warriors of Chaos. Don't make the mistake of feeding your units to their killers one at a time, dominate the board and get your killer combos rocking.

P.S. I played against a 4K Warriors army recently. It's the last set of photos I've yet to do a report for. It'll take me some time since I'll have to write the report in little pieces, but I'll get it done eventually.

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Last edited by Seredain on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:51 pm 
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The Battle of the Archmages

Now, on this thread we spend so much time focussing on the glories of the prince that we can find ourselves ignoring, or down-playing, the significance of Archmage Lecalion. This would of course be a big mistake. You'll notice that, in the only game where I lost the archmage, fortune deserted me: the enemy magic phase (a good one at that), became overwhelming and my own units had to live without any buffs. Bad.

When I'm fighting against an army which relies on its magic phase to power through, then, I'm never under any illusion that getting rid of the lead enemy caster isn't a priority. Against some armies, rushing straight into the enemy caster is a bad plan: they might be in the midst of a huge steadfast anvil, designed to hold you in place and see you flanked (think Temple Guard, Grave Guard hordes and so on). However, some armies have very powerful but more vulnerable casters. I got to have a go at cracking one recently, the day before I moved to London. I was playing against another army of High Elves and, although my opponent (my sister's fiance, in fact!) wasn't an experienced 8th Ed player, he had a typically dangerous set of ranged force-projection units and items, including:

Level 4 Archmage, Folariath's Robe, Jewel of the Dusk, High Magic (with;
Arrow Curse, Fury of Khaine, Flames of the Phoenix, Vaul's Unmaking);
Banner of Sorcery;
20 Seaguard;
14 Archers;
2 Repeater Bolt Throwers.

Backing this up were 3 units of elite infantry and a White Sword prince, plus the usual sundries (2 eagles, tiranoc chariot) and a unit of 10 silver helms (a useful weapon for the shooting war: fast, armoured and in numbers enough to make them very hard for my shooting to destroy). Not a perfect list, then (no BSB!), but carrying a very nasty magic phase (D3+1 extra dice per phase!), and some decent shooting. To win, I wanted to kill his magic phase quickly and, to do this, I had to kill the enemy archmage standing in the centre.

Image
When you move, the first thing that goes is the terrain. Welcome, cereal box hill. Welcome.

Cutting the Head off the Snake

The principle is simple: where assassination is possible, focus as much force against the enemy archmage and kill him before he can turn the game for the other side. For me, this means forming all my knights and the chariot into a fist and storming them into the soft underbelly of the enemy army with spells and arrows flying over their heads against the same part of the enemy line.

The above is easy where you're playing against an opponent with far fewer drops than you: you can simply deploy your attacking units opposite the enemy weak spot and rush it accordingly (as I did in my last game against Empire- here). In this latest game, however, I was playing against a High Elf army with as many drops as me. How could I persuade my opponent to leave his archmage defenceless?

Deployment

Since my opponent made me drop first, I'm not able to just ambush him with my helms in the deployment phase. Instead, I deploy my fast units on the flanks in a pretty typical fashion. My opponent responds by placing his hardest infantry units opposite these to block what looks like an attempt by me to envelop his army's flanks. Indeed, he deploys his silver helms and chariot to do the same to me.

Image

Notice the way my own infantry are deployed, however. By placing them near the back of the field, I open up all that space infront for my fast units to redeploy to where I really want them to go... I am trying to think of a better title but, for the moment, we shall call this tactic Operation Bumrush. The details will change depending on the enemy army, but in principle, the steps are as follows.

Image

1. First, redeploy your fast units and rush up the centre toward the weak enemy core and its precious archmage. Advance with all of your fast troops and keep the eagles close for support (even if you think you'll break your enemy in one turn, plan against enemy counter-charges!). Present too few targets and your enemy's job becomes easier.

2. Once you've marched your cavalry, prevent your enemy from surrounding you by setting up protective perimeters with your combat infantry. On the right flank, the spears and white lions form a defensive line to protect my centre from the enemy cavalry. On the left, my swordmasters advance just enough so that, if my opponent's swordmasters attempt to march toward the centre to counter my cavalry-attack, he'll be hit with a flank charge. Effectively, this unit is pinned in this sector of the field and the enemy centre is left defenceless.

3. Remember your Life archmage! The above manoeuvre isn't just about your knights: it doubles the tools you have slay the enemy caster early in the battle. Dwellers Below is even more of an immediate threat to your opponent's mage bunker than your knights are. Indeed, against larger bunkers, you will want to focus as much early effort against this unit as you can (with your shooting too, if necessary). Like all force concentration, this makes casting, dispelling and shooting choices difficult for your opponent. He can't stop all of your knights, shooting and magic in 2 turns! Of course, if you don't roll Dwellers, remember that you have this manoeuvre as a more reliable back-up!

The Battle

Image
End of Turn 2

My knights are within strike range of my enemy's vulnerable centre, but his own attacking avenues, on the flanks, have been blocked off. Note that, on the right, my white lion detachment is protected from a combined chariot/knight charge by placing it so as to keep the chariot in its flank arc (covered by the spears). The rogue bolt thrower model represents an enemy eagle (he ran down the dragon princes after they'd been shot/magicked up)!

Image

The enemy archmage is killed by Dwellers Below (this is why the Banner of the World Dragon is good!). Robbed of their prize, my knights now pick on the little swordmasters and run them down. My archers have taken out a repeater. On the right, the spears and white lions have, together, crushed my opponent's cavalry and run them down (the lions held and the spears came in with a flank charge once they'd dispatched the chariot- which had tried to pin them).

Image

On the right, the enemy white lions just can't catch the manoeuvreable silver helms. Seredain (the turn after this shot was taken), takes a flank charge into them (his unit at the time was in the front arc, but individually he was in the flank: tricky :)), breaks them but can't run them down. In the end I dance my knights around until I get a combo-charge alongside my spears. The enemy lions rally and latterly find themselves arrayed against overwhelming odds:

Image

Image

On the left and centre; once my shooting has taken out the last enemy repeater, they and my own repeater (which fired a salvo against the last enemy eagle to save itself), get to work on the enemy prince's swordmasters. Dwellers Below makes a bad situation worse. By the time the enemy swords get into contention (only to find themselves blocked by one of my eagles), they have been badly reduced. By the time the enemy prince himself sees a meaningful combat, he no longer has a unit around him and is overwhelmed.

Image

The endgame- the enemy white lions are ground down and finished off.

Conclusion

'Win the support war' is (and certainly should be) a common mantra for us High Elves. If you can gain dominance in the movement and shooting phases by taking out the enemy support units early in the game (scouts, archers, cavalry etc), you can use this dominance to, firstly, protect your vulnerable infantry from damage & harassment and, secondly, to swing the big infantry fights your way.

Winning the battle of the magic phases is just as important, however. If your units are preserved from enemy spells, and your own archmage can cast unchallenged, the game is yours to win. If you think you can achieve this by killing the enemy mage as quickly as possible, go for it! If you have a strong fast attack force, you'll find that its speed, combined with your ranged magic and shooting, can put some enemy casters in a critical position very early in the game (your opponent can't dispel Dwellers and the knightly Life buffs in the same turn). If you don't roll Dwellers, or if your opponent is savvy and keeps his caster out of range, having the ability to quickly rush him anyway (remembering the value of the Amulet of Light against other High Elves), can be very powerful.

Tp pull it off against armies you can't simply out-deploy, then, get your opponent to deploy his strength wide in order to protect his flanks. Then, on Turn 1, quickly redeploy your cavalry and use your knights, magic and shooting to overwhelm the enemy centre. Cut off the head!

Image
Get in there!

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Last edited by Seredain on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:22 am 
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Damn High Elves. Dont'cha hate 'em?

:)

Elf v elf games are always bloody aren't they? It's so much like a game of chess with little subtleties in deployment swinging things one way and then the other. Dwellering his AM off was huge. That Swordmaster block with the Prince in looks out of place on the flank. I guess he dropped it to counter your stuff but a foot character has to get into meaningful combat and losing the general's leadership on so many units can't be good. It's not like your guy where he can redeploy like lightning.

Seredain wrote:
we shall call this tactic Operation Bumrush.

Now you're getting all technical! I also note the tactical use of beer...

Well played, I always enjoy these kind of games!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Nice report, so very rarely get to see how HE vs HE goes down. Shame that for all the tactics involved, "throw dwellers at the archmage's unit" is the most effective path to victory in this case. Glad that most gaming groups/tournaments I play in modify Dwellers to make it less game-breaking! Still, if you don't take a dispel scroll when you've got S3 characters and an opponent could have Lore of life, you are signing your Archmage's own death warrant.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Stormie wrote:
Shame that for all the tactics involved, "throw dwellers at the archmage's unit" is the most effective path to victory in this case. Glad that most gaming groups/tournaments I play in modify Dwellers to make it less game-breaking!


Agreed. In my opinion these spells ruin all the fun and make the game quite random.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Siegfried VII wrote:
Agreed. In my opinion these spells ruin all the fun and make the game quite random.


I know that in the tournament I was on they had the added the "look out sir"-rule to these kind of spells to make the game less random.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:38 pm 
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http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36723

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:53 pm 
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I'm just glad no one was taken out by that Sorcerous "Pear"-tal. <rimshot>

I always think HE vs. HE is going to be boring but, when I go up against it, I find it to be a very enjoyable game. I didn't really get his deployment to be honest. It seemed like a list meant to hit at range effectively (many bows and curse available), but the deployment seemed too open to combat for that build. On the diagram, it looks like there may have been a building in the right hand corner of his zone. Castling up within and around that could have been more of a tough nut for your knights to crack.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:28 am 
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Hi Seredain!

I am very glad to see this new report, especially that you introduced your idea of aggressive redeployment. I was thinking about it as well and this is why I like our cavalry. This an important example of how to use deployment to disguise your real intention. Before I came up with ideas which had main disadvantage, i.e. I could still redeploy but in the case when the enemy had first turn my units were not in the position to attack just yet. In your example, even if your opponent moved forward you still have a lot of options, you could go for center as planned but also you have an opportunity to outflank him.

I am a little disappointed, however, that all your effort in terms of deployment were rendered less spectacular by simple use of dweller's below. I really wanted to see that central attack. :)

Cheers!

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I for one am not disappointed by your use of dwellers. It's why there are tactical nukes and your army list gives you enough tools that you have choices and redundancy. He could have deployed his Mage out of the block, knowing you had the spell. There are always risks, but a keen general mitigates those risks as best he can. In the army we have a system of composite risk management when planning operations, the same applies to this game. Well played victory.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Great comments, everyone. Let's get cracking, shall we?

Battle Review

SpellArcher wrote:
Damn High Elves. Dont'cha hate 'em?

Yes! Things I now hate facing:

The Banner of Sorcery. Watching your opponent get a wadge of extra dice is upsetting. Hence my urgent desire to kill Mr Mage.
Swordmasters. Even without re-rolls, they're hitting on 3's and killing on 2's. Deadly.
Repeater Bolt Throwers. Expensive, but perfect for killing other elven elites. Knights are a useful distraction for them, mind.
Eagles. A pain in the arse. My dead dragon princes can testify to that.

SpellArcher wrote:
That Swordmaster block with the Prince in looks out of place on the flank. I guess he dropped it to counter your stuff but a foot character has to get into meaningful combat and losing the general's leadership on so many units can't be good. It's not like your guy where he can redeploy like lightning.

Agreed. A straightforward play to counter a flanking move by me which I never intended to make. I obviously tried to lure him to place strength there (and with the knights and swordmasters stood on my left flank, you can understand his reaction) but, in principle, infantry princes shouldn't be out on their own like that. Too easily isolated. I guess a good lesson to take from this would be to play to your own army's strengths in formation, rather than have all your drops dictated to you by what your opponent does.

SpellArcher wrote:
Seredain wrote:
we shall call this tactic Operation Bumrush.

Now you're getting all technical! I also note the tactical use of beer...

Well played, I always enjoy these kind of games!

Thanks chap. I admit for the record that, after all the beers (and since it was my last day in Bath), I was pretty blind technical.

Bolt Thrower wrote:
I'm just glad no one was taken out by that Sorcerous "Pear"-tal. <rimshot>

Arf! Quality terrain piece, that. Perfect, as it turns out, for blocking enemy bolt throwers from drawing line of sight to your eagles.

Bolt Thrower wrote:
I always think HE vs. HE is going to be boring but, when I go up against it, I find it to be a very enjoyable game. I didn't really get his deployment to be honest. It seemed like a list meant to hit at range effectively (many bows and curse available), but the deployment seemed too open to combat for that build. On the diagram, it looks like there may have been a building in the right hand corner of his zone. Castling up within and around that could have been more of a tough nut for your knights to crack.

The Shooting War

Our terrain selection precluded buildings- that piece in the top-right was pretty much just a slab of rock (read 'cereal bar box'). The deployment issue was problematic for his army, I feel. You're right to point out his advantage in the shooting phase (I was certainly very aware of it), but, all things considered, I think his army was not actually suited to playing in a castling fashion.

Shooting-wise, he was only ahead by one repeater bolt thrower. Sure he had the arrow-curse and Flames of the Phoenix, but I had Dwellers Below (a more dangerous spell than either) as well as the ability to Regrow my damaged units- a better spell in this context than Shield of Saphery since it remedies damage done and therefore always finds the most important target (whereas I could always shoot something not protected by the Shield- like an enemy bolt thrower).

The nature of our troop choices muddied the waters further. Although he had a bit more shooting, my opponent also had more units which were very vulnerable to shooting- particularly all those swordmasters. By comparison, my knights were well protected from arrows and only really had to worry about the repeater bolt throwers. The fact that my fast units were in his face early also meant that he wasn't focussing his own ranged power on my missile units, whereas I was targetting his. This quickly began to swing the shooting war in my favour, even though I started off with less (and even after a complete dud in that phase on Turn 1). All in all, I'm not sure the ranged war was so in his favour that he could simply castle up and wait for me.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
Hi Seredain!

I am very glad to see this new report, especially that you introduced your idea of aggressive redeployment. I was thinking about it as well and this is why I like our cavalry. This an important example of how to use deployment to disguise your real intention. Before I came up with ideas which had main disadvantage, i.e. I could still redeploy but in the case when the enemy had first turn my units were not in the position to attack just yet. In your example, even if your opponent moved forward you still have a lot of options, you could go for center as planned but also you have an opportunity to outflank him.

Hi Swordmaster!

'Central flank' deployments like the above really do give you a lot of flexibility- I put the chariot in these sort of positions all the time (since it tends to act as a utility unit), but there's nothing to stop you doing it with your knights and, since they're so powerful, they can really mess up your enemy's day if he doesn't know where they're going! The simple trick is to just keep your infantry units back in deployment. You can't redeploy your cavalry if you don't have the room to manoeuvre.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
I am a little disappointed, however, that all your effort in terms of deployment were rendered less spectacular by simple use of dweller's below. I really wanted to see that central attack.

If it makes you feel better, the enemy archmage was toast anyway. I had a charge on for my Turn 3 so, if he hadn't died to magic, he would have died to massive knightly charge. Ultimately, the move worked perfectly, even if it wasn't required in the end. Two methods of attack are better than one, eh?

Siegfried VII wrote:
Stormie wrote:
Shame that for all the tactics involved, "throw dwellers at the archmage's unit" is the most effective path to victory in this case. Glad that most gaming groups/tournaments I play in modify Dwellers to make it less game-breaking!


Agreed. In my opinion these spells ruin all the fun and make the game quite random.

Shinzou wrote:
I know that in the tournament I was on they had the added the "look out sir"-rule to these kind of spells to make the game less random.

Dudes! Not a lot of love for the Dwellers, I see...

Is Dwellers Below Overpowered?

The bottom line is that the existence of Dwellers Below is not, in itself, a guarantor of victory either generally or in this instance. We'll ignore the possibility that you won't roll it (not likely) or that you may not end up casting it successfully (possible but not likely to happen in every magic phase). However, there are many many ways my opponent could have prevented me sucking his archmage into the ground. In principle, these are:

1. Take Magic Defence

I've said it a lot but, for only 20 points, a scroll can be a game-changing item. This is especially true when used against spells which take up lots of dice, like Dwellers. One pop, and 4, 5, 6 power dice are wasted. That not only blocks the spell cast, it severely damages the caster's chances of doing much else useful that phase- he has far fewer power dice and you have all your dispel dice left. Players who spend their points gathering spell selection and extra power dice, but who shirk on magic defence, can't very well cry foul when they see enemy spells getting through and causing them damage. As Stormie says, we all know the big spells exist and we're perfectly capable of acknowledging that with our arcane item choices.

2. Stay out of Range!

24" is a decent range, but it isn't amazing. There's nothing stopping you from moving your archmage back, especially since he can carry Folariath's Robe and so may leave bodyguard units with impunity. In this last game, my opponent had plenty of spells to cast which would allow him to stay back: Arrow Curse and Vaul's Unmaking on the knights, Fury of Khaine against the chariot, Shield of Saphery on his own units. By choosing to cast Flames of the Phoenix on the spears (where Lecalion first deployed), the enemy archmage willingly put himself at risk. Bad decision. If he'd played it safer, of course, I'd still have my knights closing on him fast; but I wasn't going to pass up the chance to kill him off with magic!

3. Deploy Appropriately

An extension of point 2. If you know the enemy caster has Dwellers, don't offer him early casts at your most valuable units. When I'm fighting against Lizardmen, I tend to deploy my helm hammer on the far side of the field from the Slann (no quick kill possible when there are steadfast temple guard about). This way I can get lots of killing done before the Toad can do anything about it. By the time I get in range, my knights tend to be in combat and, therefore, immune to direct damage spells, Dwellers included. Of course, where there's a gap, I have the scroll ready and waiting.

4. Don't build a Beautiful Target

If you put a Str 3 character in a killer horde of 50, don't be surprised if your opponent starts chucking juggernaut spells at him. In the last game that wouldn't have made a difference to me (I wanted that wizard dead- no-one likes a High Elf Banner phase- least of all another High Elf player!), but the principle is an important one to remember. Target saturation applies against magic spells just as it does against enemy shooting. If you have to, split your characters out of units to ensure Dwellers has no perfect target.

To all those recommending that 'comping' Dwellers Below is an easy way to make the game fairer, then, please consider Point 4 and think about what would happen if these sort of spells no longer existed. Since its introduction, with 'stepping up', supporting attacks and steadfast, 8th Edition has often been criticised for being an uninteresting, straightforward game determined merely by two infantry deathstars having a shoving match. This isn't at all the case (as I hope this thread has shown!), but certainly the horde-star is a very influential force in 8th Ed Warhammer. Think of all the grave guard hordes, savage ward hordes and the like which, even now, dominate many armies. I can think of no single way to better secure their dominance than to remove their chief vulnerability- the deathstar-killing spells. If you want to build an all-conquering unit filled with characters and huge numbers of troops, you can expect to enjoy the good times in combat, but be aware that you take a big risk!

Conclusion

I've always seen the horde-star and Dwellers Below as being at the extreme opposite ends of the 8th Edition spectrum. To remove one and not the other would, in my view, create more imbalance than we currently have to live with. As long as there are units of 100 night goblins with 6 great-weapon heroes in them, I'll be happy that I have access to a spell which punishes them! By comparison; my small units, magic defence (even cheap as it is), fast units and deployment options protect me from such spells rather well. In this sense, Dwellers Below is a supporter of more balanced lists and, in the context of 8th Edition especially, this can only be a good thing. I honestly think that comp systems which punish the spell are, in respect of the metagame as a whole, pretty short-sighted.

SpellArcher wrote:
http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36723

Any contributions gratefully received!

So as you can see, I'm not currently in favour of the comp! I guess I could cut n' paste? :)

Oberon wrote:
I for one am not disappointed by your use of dwellers. It's why there are tactical nukes and your army list gives you enough tools that you have choices and redundancy. He could have deployed his Mage out of the block, knowing you had the spell. There are always risks, but a keen general mitigates those risks as best he can. In the army we have a system of composite risk management when planning operations, the same applies to this game.

Agreed!

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Last edited by Seredain on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:59 pm 
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I'll throw out my 'third' as well to Oberon and Seredain - no problems with 8th edition magic for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
1. Take Magic Defence.

I've said it a lot but, for only 20 points, a scroll can be a game-changing item. This is especially true when used against spells which take up lots of dice, like Dwellers. One pop, and 4, 5, 6 power dice are wasted. That not only blocks the spell cast, it severely damages the caster's chances of doing much else useful that phase- he has far fewer power dice and you have all your dispel dice left. Players who spend their points gathering spell selection and extra power dice, but who shirk on magic defence, can't very well cry foul when they see enemy spells getting through and causing them damage. As Stormie says, we all know the big spells exist and we're perfectly capable of acknowledging that with our arcane item choices.


That point is moot to a great extent since one can throw 6 dice on a spell cast it with irresistable force and render you dispel scroll useless in the time where needed it the most. Of course that won't happen 100% but there are very good chances.

Seredain wrote:
2. Stay out of Range!

24" is a decent range, but it isn't amazing. There's nothing stopping you from moving your archmage back, especially since he can carry Folariath's Robe and so may leave bodyguard units with impunity. In this last game, my opponent had plenty of spells to cast which would allow him to stay back: Arrow Curse and Vaul's Unmaking on the knights, Fury of Khaine against the chariot, Shield of Saphery on his own units. By choosing to cast Flames of the Phoenix on the spears (where Lecalion first deployed), the enemy archmage willingly put himself at risk. Bad decision. If he'd played it safer, of course, I'd still have my knights closing on him fast; but I wasn't going to pass up the chance to kill him off with magic!


Since you are reffering to the specific battle his spells had also 24 inches of range maximum so in order for him to cast spells he should be relatively close. Also since he was on the defensive you could move your Archmage in range and cast the spell just by marching. On the other hand your opponent indeed took his chances.

Seredain wrote:
3. Deploy Appropriately

An extension of point 2. If you know the enemy caster has Dwellers, don't offer him early casts at your most valuable units. When I'm fighting against Lizardmen, I tend to deploy my helm hammer on the far side of the field from the Slann (no quick kill possible when there are steadfast temple guard about). This way I can get lots of killing done before the Toad can do anything about it. By the time I get in range, my knights tend to be in combat and, therefore, immune to direct damage spells, Dwellers included. Of course, where there's a gap, I have the scroll ready and waiting.


Sure there are ways to minimize to some extent the chances of Dwellers being cast on your unit with characters, but again that is not the point.

Seredain wrote:
4. Don't build a Beautiful Target

If you put a Str 3 character in a killer horde of 50, don't be surprised if your opponent starts chucking juggernaut spells at him. In the last game that wouldn't have made a difference to me (I wanted that wizard dead- no-one likes a High Elf Banner phase- least of all another High Elf player!), but the principle is an important one to remember. Target saturation applies against magic spells just as it does against enemy shooting.

To all those recommending that 'comping' Dwellers Below is an easy way to make the game fairer, then, please consider Point 4 and think about what would happen if these sort of spells no longer existed. Since its introduction, with 'stepping up', supporting attacks and steadfast, 8th Edition has often been criticised for being uninteresting, straightforward game determined merely by two infantry deathstars having a shoving match. This isn't at all the case (as I hope this thread has shown!), but certainly the horde-star is a very influential force in 8th Ed Warhammer. Think of all the grave guard hordes, savage ward hordes and the like which, even now, dominate many armies. I can think of no better single way to secure their dominance than to remove their chief vulnerability- the deathstar-killing spells. If you want to build an all-conquering unit filled with characters and huge numbers of troops, you can expect to enjoy the good times in combat, but be aware that you take a big risk!


Again you miss the point mate. If you read my comments in the other topic you will know what is it about. It's about these spells destroying both characters and units with one fell swoop. That is why ETC has the look out sir addition (with the normal restrictions for it) against Dwellers Below, Dreaded 13th, Infernal Gateway and Final Transmutation (although the later may not need it that much).

It is just sily to lose characters inside units just like that along with a good chunk of unit. The game should not be one of cat and mouse and "who will get to nuke the level 4 wizard of his opponent first.

Seredain wrote:
Conclusion

I've always seen the horde-star and Dwellers Below as being the opposite extremes of the 8th Edition spectrum. To remove one and not the other would, in my view, create more imbalance than we currently have to live with. As long as there are units of 100 night goblins with 6 great-weapon heroes in them, I'll be happy that I have access to a spell which punishes them!

By comparison; my small units, magic defence (even cheap as it is), fast units and deployment options protect me from such spells rather well. In this sense, Dwellers Below is a supporter of more balanced lists and, in 8th Edition especially, this can only be a good thing. I honestly think that comp systems which punish the spell are, in respect of the metagame as a whole, pretty short sighted.


You are right that these big nasty spells are a nice counter measure for deathstars, but I firmly believe that eliminating a whole unit with Gateway or Dreaded 13th is enough damage even if the characters inside get out unharmed from it. And there's always rolling 1 on the look out sir.

By the composition of ETC these spells are still very powerful and still very killy in large units, but at the same time they aren't so devastating for the characters inside.


Just to make clear I implied nothing about your strategy (which was very good) but yes after the spell, the battle lost its interest.

Cheers, Sieg. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:09 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
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Fixed!

Even allowing a LoS, or restricting to a single wound, Dwellers is still very powerful against Deathstars IMHO. Plus Flames eats huge goblin units and characters alive! I think the main problem is when you get 'boosted' versions of the top spells, eg Dwellers on a Slann with Cupped Hands and Focused Rumination or Mindrazor on an Archmage with Book of Hoeth for example. My personal opinion (as stated in the other thread) is that Dwellers (but probably not the other three 'comped' spells) needs addressing re character-kill. That's not to say that playing it by the book is bad, just that I feel adjusting it leads to a more tactical game.

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I also agree; put it like this: if your opponent had taken the Lore of Life, the game would basically have been decided by who successfully Dwellered the opponent first. And that's why we protest it, because that is basically what it reduces the game to. It's the next UK Throne of Skulls tournament very soon, and this one spell is why so many of the lists will be uber-Slann with Lore of Life and Teclis with Life. GW have tacitly acknowledged that the instant kill effect was a mistake (From Jervis saying publicly that no-one had really considered the character sniping effect, to none of the army book big spells instantly killing enemies despite having similar methods and casting values).

It also seems a bit wrong to point to huge units loaded with characters as being why this spell is a "good thing". Your opponent had 20 Seaguard protecting his Archmage. Hardly the stuff deathstars are made of... If you had faced a Chosen Deathstar, I would have applauded its destruction though! :)

But still, this is getting off the point. Hope to get to see the tactics in action again (Not the 6-dice dwellers type)!


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I think the difference of opinion comes more from a matter of perception than one of ignorance. A lot of you who are arguing that dwellers is broken are listing the reasons why it's broken, as if the rest of us couldn't possibly know the same things you do and arrive at a different conclusion.


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~Milliardo~ wrote:
I think the difference of opinion comes more from a matter of perception than one of ignorance. A lot of you who are arguing that dwellers is broken are listing the reasons why it's broken, as if the rest of us couldn't possibly know the same things you do and arrive at a different conclusion.


It is always a matter of perception. :)

Thing is that as Stormie said a game can become reduced to who gets to nuke the other first. That is a fact. And it is a fact that it more or less reduces the strategic level of the game.

Now if one finds that annoying or not it is indeed a matter of perception.

Finally one cannot know in advance the experience one has in a certain situation and with certain things. Personally at the beginning of the 8th Edition I have seen but also heard from many of my friends about whole battles that were decided by which of the opponents rolled an irresistable force and nuked his opponent's characters.

All them including me did not like it one bit. So yes I was very happy when I learned of the comp the ETC council had decided to use for these spells.

I believe noone implied that you guys are ignorant or that you haven't thought about some or all of the reasons we mention.


Cheers, Sieg. :)

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Indeed. My perception is that losing my archmage turn 1 doesn't automatically cost me the game - it hurts, a lot, but it's not auto-lose. That's where our perceptions seem to differ.

Seredain didnt win his game because his opponent lost his archmage and he got to keep his - it certainly helped, but it's far from being as black and white as that. If anything, he won it in the deployment phase and the subsequent first turn of movement.


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~Milliardo~ wrote:
Indeed. My perception is that losing my archmage turn 1 doesn't automatically cost me the game - it hurts, a lot, but it's not auto-lose. That's where our perceptions seem to differ.


It is not auto-lose but it is devastating especially if it happens early in the battle. If it happens later in the game it may not be as catastrophic.

~Milliardo~ wrote:
Seredain didnt win his game because his opponent lost his archmage and he got to keep his - it certainly helped, but it's far from being as black and white as that. If anything, he won it in the deployment phase and the subsequent first turn of movement.


Of course he didn't win only by that spell. He had a nice strategy planned which would have probably worked. What the spell did though was making it much much easier.


Anyway all sides can use the format of their choice, so there's no problem there. :)

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