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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:36 pm 
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I pondered taking a Metal Gem Noble with Luckstone, HA and Shield. The trouble is as you say he needs to be able to move around to use Searing Doom and he also needed to sit in my LSG so he didn't make the list. A character I think would work better is a Gem BSB with DA, Barded Steed, Lance, Shield, Luckstone, High Magic. I'm not saying he's better than what you've got but he's reasonably survivable, unlikely to miscast on two dice and gives you that synergy with Life without actually costing you any more points.

Arcane Items are a thorny issue of course, we can never have enough of them. I've come round to your pick of the scroll on the solo Archmage, against monster phases it gives you a chance at least. Ring of Corin is nice but again like the Metal Mage I think it's something you can manage without.

Playing without Sorcery now and then you roll 3 dice or so and have all those points in mages sitting idle. Of course if you take Sorcery with a solo Archmage, now and then you roll 12 dice and might struggle to use them all effectively. Where I think you might miss Sorcery is against things like Annullian Crystal, Warrior Priests, Black Coach, Dwarfs, all things that mess with the magic dice. Plus it's only 50 points compared to the 120 of the Metal Mage. I don't know though, I like your style to play without it but overall it just seems too useful to me.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:08 am 
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Agh, SpellArcher- all of what you say is annoyingly sensible! You're like one of those little angels sat on a shoulder to encourage good behaviour. You speak of sensible phase-reinforcement while the little devil speaks of the wonders of Corin and fiery metal death...

Magic on a Budget- The Banner vs The Support Mage

SpellArcher wrote:
I pondered taking a Metal Gem Noble with Luckstone, HA and Shield. The trouble is as you say he needs to be able to move around to use Searing Doom and he also needed to sit in my LSG so he didn't make the list. A character I think would work better is a Gem BSB with DA, Barded Steed, Lance, Shield, Luckstone, High Magic. I'm not saying he's better than what you've got but he's reasonably survivable, unlikely to miscast on two dice and gives you that synergy with Life without actually costing you any more points.

The High Gem Noble build you describe is pretty much my favourite mage-knight build (he does everything!), but he can't hack it in the serious heavy fighting that I like to throw my prince in to so, all comers, he's less valuable to the Helm Hammer than a more dedicated fighting character, who can hack away turn after turn, take challenges for the prince, and stay alive (with the archmage picking up the defensive slack). I'd also miss the Amulet of Light, which I feel is needed for an all-comers list and suits the manoeuvreable BSB well (as long as you remember to move him, ahem...).

SpellArcher wrote:
Playing without Sorcery now and then you roll 3 dice or so and have all those points in mages sitting idle. Of course if you take Sorcery with a solo Archmage, now and then you roll 12 dice and might struggle to use them all effectively. Where I think you might miss Sorcery is against things like Annullian Crystal, Warrior Priests, Black Coach, Dwarfs, all things that mess with the magic dice. Plus it's only 50 points compared to the 120 of the Metal Mage. I don't know though, I like your style to play without it but overall it just seems too useful to me.

The flip side of the Banner's primary benefit is, as you say, that I could roll very many power dice and have few useful spells to cast. But certainly it's hard to dismiss the Banner- so much so that I've recorded not having it as one of my army's weaknesses earlier in the thread. It's useful every game and excellent at breaking through a good defence, especially those defences which sap your power dice turn after turn- things that ordinary phases can struggle with. I do see the logic in taking the Banner over the mage. It's cheaper (though 62 points not 50- I have to pay for the swordmaster standard to carry it), buying you extra stuff (my white lions are back up to 12 for starters); it's always useful regardless of your opponent (unlike Searing Doom) and sometimes very powerful (we've previously discussed the fact that, especially after low power rolls, the extra two dice from the Banner can really see you breaking through an opponent's magic defence in a dramatic way).

The arguments for taking the extra mage are as follows:

1) Extra spells can operate without the flag. More powerful spells to cast = more things my opponent wants to dispel = more difficult choices for him. If I take the extra mage, I have the same kind of target saturation as provided by the many small units in my list. If I roll a decent amount of power and can cast, say, 4 spells in a phase (one of them Corin), my opponent will want two of them gone and, if he manages it and uses his dispel dice, Corin steps in and punishes him.

2)The Ring of Corin/ Searing Doom only need to go off once in the game to dramatically alter it. In other words, I don't need to be rolling high for the winds of magic every phase, I need to roll high once to make the difference. I realise that 120 points is a lot to pay for a walking missile carrying a one-use ring but, when used against the right enemy at the right time, the chink in enemy armour provided by Vaul's can make all the difference: the unkillable dreadlord dies to my prince; the regenerating grave guard fall like flies to my swordmasters. Likewise for Searing Doom: In that game against Empire I rolled poorly for magic all game, but that one good cast from the little mage denied the Empire the counter-attack they were depending upon and left them powerless to stop me once I got into combat- Kurt and his few knights just couldn't penetrate the sperars because there simply weren't enough of them left.

As for the timing of these critical casts; in the case of Corin, since I'm not likely to have my general facing off against the enemy tank unit until Turns 3 or 4, I would bet quite a lot of money on being given enough power dice to benefit from it (or indeed Doom) at least once before the time I needed it. With the Banner I'd have enough power dice to do something every phase, but my ability to do something killer at a critical moment and dependant upon the enemy I was facing would be reduced.

3) One of the reasons I like the cheap archmage is that, despite having the potential to be extremely powerful, he doesn't represent a critical investment of resources. If he does blow up (and he has, and will again), it's not as great a loss in points as a Folariath's Robe archmage drawing on the the Banner of Sorcery (lose the mage, lose the benefits of the of the banner- that's at least 355 points of fighting strength lost as opposed to my 280). Losing him does, however, end my magic phase altogether, and that is a very bad thing. Also bad are the lesser miscasts, failed casts (phase over that turn) and failed dispels. By taking the back-up mage you spread your risk.

4) The extra mage will double your chances of channelling a power dice every turn. A small point, but worth bearing in mind.

5) The banner turns a fragile medium cost unit (14 Swordmasters w/ Bladelord - 222pts) into a fragile and expensive one (14 Swordmasters w/ Bladelord, Standard, banner of Sorcery - 284pts) which, once the banner is activated, gains a bullseye on its head.


Ultimately, I honestly can't see how the Banner of Sorcery isn't a good choice. If I'm going to lose a repeater to buff my magic (still an 'if'), it's the first thing you think of: my archmage becomes loads more powerful for half the price of another mage, who'd only himself add maybe 1 power dice per game (by channelling).

And yet I honestly think that my army could handle a greater variety of tactical situations if I invested in the extra mage with the extra specialist spells. Sorcery would get me what I have now, but Plus. The extra mage would get me access to two new kinds of capability which are currently completely denied to me. My magic phase's synergy with the army would, therefore, be greatly improved even at the loss of those extra power dice.

It sounds like I'm fully pro-metal mage, but I only list the above to show there are benefits to be had- fewer arguments need to be made for the Banner since we all know it's awesome. The arguments for the extra mage are there, though, and are making this would-be list edit a very difficult decision for me!

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Last edited by Seredain on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:29 am 
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Green Istari

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Normally I'd come back on some points but what you say makes a lot of sense and some of it may come down to playstyle in the end. I have to say I like it when a player nails their colours to the mast and does something their way.

Of course I've stolen one or two of your ideas for my own list...

:)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:53 pm 
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I've been reading this thread consistently since I joined Ulthuan and I've been impressed by many of the thoughtful discussions brought here. This is, however, the first time I'm choosing to really post my thoughts on the current thread of chatter...

Specifically, I've been considering something very similar to Seredain, but for different reasons. Consider the cost/benefit analysis and role of the RBT vs. the lvl 1 metal mage for a moment. The RBT is a 2 wound, multi-purpose blaster without the ability to 'hide' that creates an effective zone of consideration for big beefies and small annoyances alike (can plink at a unit of fast cav as easily as a hydra, for example). The metal mage is a 2 wound, single-target blaster with the ability to hide in an already-present unit of archers and a restricted facing. He is great for the hard stuff - knights, dragons, hydra, etc. - and worthless against light units. He does not, however, have to roll to hit.

When I look at the HE list, Seredain's in particular, I see two small archer units capable of dealing with the small stuff and the RBTs being able to tackle the larger things. The metal mage can tackle those bigger baddies better than the RBT, in my opinion, for an identical cost. This addition can also free up the focus of, say, an Eternal Flame-toting unit of white lions from monster hunting, letting them work within the battle proper.

My suggestion, then, would be to consider the lvl 1 metal mage (perhaps with the jewel of dusk to lighten the impact on your life mage's phase) for 115 points in lieu of the RBT. The mage is a little more survivable and focused...

Just my two cents. I apologize for the somewhat rambley post...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:45 pm 
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The Cavalry Prince
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Anvalous,

That post wasn't rambling at all! You explain precisely what I like about the metal mage, and far more succinctly than I have done above. What's good about your analysis is your acknowledgment that we're not just looking at what's good for the magic phase we're building, but what's good for an army which has just lost a repeater bolt thrower. I take that 2nd repeater for a reason and, if I am to replace it with something else, that something must, in part, make up for its loss. Some extra power dice heading the way of the life archmage would not do that (though, the points left over from the Banner could also get me an extra eagle- soemthing seriously worth thinking about). The metal mage would, however, more than make up for the lost RBT against certain opponents while offering something else. What you say about the mage allowing the white lions to operate more freely is an excellent observation, too (though the white lions are reduced from 12 to 10 if I take the mage).

Your Jewel of the Dusk mage is an excellent idea since he boosts my spell selection and offers some extra power (JotD is a steal, in my opinion). He is, if you like, the third way and something of a best-of-both choice- probably, in fact, a most effective choice considering my needs (replace RBT, gain some capability against the heaviest things, take the opportunity to boost the magic phase with some extra power). In fact I started off with him in the last army I took against Empire. From there it was only a short step to the Ring of Corin mage ("what's the loss of one power dice per turn for the chance to nerf that deathstar?"), but your Jewel Metal Mage is possibly the better option all things considered. I'm not sure there's any right or wrong answer to all this- but I have to make sure that, what ever I choose, I take note of the impact that choice will have on the way the list plays.

Thanks for your post.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:08 pm 
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i think the metal mage is defin worth a few battles. i tried one out, and i was surprised how much i liked the rest of the lore. blades and plague are very useful spells.

There is something else (apart from shooting) that you lose with the rbt though - that's the bait quality of 2 bolt throwers sitting with your archers. Krysith brought this to my attention in his HEASA thread, most armies will feel compelled to move towards those models, making your encirclement and combo charges easier to set up, and easier to control during deployment. The metal mage certainly makes your opponent worry about where his heavy stuff is going, but it doesn't have the same effect on his general movement.

That subconscious lure is one of the best reasons for fielding two rather than one rbt, and i wonder if you will miss it.

Just a thought, I look forward to seeing metal in action!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:02 pm 
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telemachus wrote:
That subconscious lure is one of the best reasons for fielding two rather than one rbt, and i wonder if you will miss it.


I wonder if this can be evaded by positioning of the single RBT? Not that Seredain seems to match up against many poor generals. But if there is that mindset of "must destroy all RBTs", then logically placing one in the center of a deployment, refused or otherwise, will allow you to wrap around and essentially form a pincer. Yes, two would give you the divergence of their forces, but for drawing enemy attention, if their is a lure to attack the RBTs, then its the placement of the signle RBT that is important. Right? I dunno thats just my thoughts.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:55 pm 
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One other thing to consider (well 2 actually...) are the ruby ring on your metal mage, and the positive impact of no RBTs. First the ring-- one of the things a RBT is good for that the metal mage is not is taking down skirmish units and fast cav. Give the metal mage the ring, and he regains capability; he might be better at getting skirmishers, since he doesn't have to roll to hit. Now, to the NO RBTS: what worries you about skirmishers and fast cav if you don't have expensive, easy to kill, stationary drops?

BTW, I have also been trying out the cavalry prince, due to the inspiration that is this thread-- so far, I am 4-0 against Skaven and Empire. In my opinion, the list strikes the balance of combined arms and MSU that high elves are really geared to. The list is incredibly versatile, has (mostly) replacible parts, and packs a wallop in a few different phases.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:22 pm 
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Beregond wrote:
One other thing to consider (well 2 actually...) are the ruby ring on your metal mage, and the positive impact of no RBTs. First the ring-- one of the things a RBT is good for that the metal mage is not is taking down skirmish units and fast cav. Give the metal mage the ring, and he regains capability; he might be better at getting skirmishers, since he doesn't have to roll to hit.

Asking the magic phase to do too much here, I think. It's too fickle to be allowed to take responsibility for everything.

Beregond wrote:
Now, to the NO RBTS: what worries you about skirmishers and fast cav if you don't have expensive, easy to kill, stationary drops?

Because my list is all about manoeuvering its way to victory- a few enemy light units can really be a pain in the arse. If a couple of light cavalry units start messing around with my advance, I will not be a happy bunny. Archers help with this; repeaters make sure.

Beregond wrote:
BTW, I have also been trying out the cavalry prince, due to the inspiration that is this thread-- so far, I am 4-0 against Skaven and Empire. In my opinion, the list strikes the balance of combined arms and MSU that high elves are really geared to. The list is incredibly versatile, has (mostly) replacible parts, and packs a wallop in a few different phases.

Cheers- that's good to hear!

Telemachus wrote:
That subconscious lure is one of the best reasons for fielding two rather than one rbt, and i wonder if you will miss it.

A very important point, Telemachus, and my final (and favourite) reason for taking repeaters. Point 6 of my "On Repeater Bolt Throwers" piece- Page 1:

"6 - An important one for me: against opponents without all that much long-ranged shooting (Warriors, Lizards), RBTs will curse the enemy with itchy feet. These opponents will tend to feel that they have to advance or be slowly ground down. When they do advance, it allows me to exploit open flanks and gaps that open up, as well as taking advantage of the closer range for spells and missiles. If the enemy feels able to stay put, on the other hand, it is easier for him to choose benefical positions or castle up to the point where attacking him becomes much harder."

I also wonder about the impact of losing the 2nd. Difficult to gauge until I've seen my opponents respond I guess. I won't lose the last repeater for sure- and partly for this reason.

KarsaOrlong wrote:
I wonder if this can be evaded by positioning of the single RBT?

Yeah I think this is partly right- a good thing to consider during deployment. If I place my repeater in such a way as to encourage it to be killed, something will try to kill it. I don't know about whole armies manoeuvring to surround it, but certainly it's a drop that'll draw some attention.

Again, quality posts guys- cheers.

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Last edited by Seredain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:48 am 
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In an attempt to encourage Seredain to get on with the grand battle, heres a proper breakdown and scene setter to whet your various appetites...

12,000 points per side, Good vs Evil. Location: a Garage on a storm swept hill in Weston. Evidently a Storm of Magic, as Seredain will explain. Table size: 11' x 4'... good for our force of good... not so good for our evil counterparts.

I took centre, leading LifeLord Aes'Culpax and his Dinosaur enforced Lizardman throng. To my left- 4,000 points of Bretonnians and to my right, 4,000 points of Seredains legion. The Alliance of Light was well ordered. Combined we were maybe 80% fully painted and based; we had a coherent and sensible strategy worked out, and only one of us was hung-over (me), but this was countered by a heady combo of codine and caffeine. And we all had hats of command.

To oppose us, from our left, 4,000 points of Orc and Goblins (Wurzag and enough Night Goblins to shake many sticks, or in this case lances, at). Centrally, over 200 Dark Elves (boo-hiss) and facing Mr. Seredain, 4,000 points of Chaos Warriors. The Forces of Destruction were, naturally, disordered. 2 generals wrote their lists just before the game due to enormous hangovers. The only sober general amongst them (Chaos), brought 3 litres of Cider to fuel him through the battle. Their grand plan was, and I quote, "Go forward and kill stuff". Totalling less than 10% painted, with a tonne of substituted figures, and no hats of command, let battle commence.

To set the table, each player rolled a d3 for scenery. No rivers, no magic woods. Whatever we rolled we were free to place where we wanted. Worked out really well for the Alliance of Light- Arcane Ruins to the right, a Sorcerors Portal to the left, and a nice big building for the Bret's to garrison with flaming archers. The Force of Destruction had no beneficial scenery.

Our rules for Magic at this scale were thus: 4 d6 rolled- one per general, with the overall general rolling the extra dice. The dispel pool accounted for the 2 highest rolls. Channeling as usual, but we had no upper cap on magic pools. Dice distribution was down to each side- our Alliance of Light split dice in accordance to necessitiy, whilst the Forces of Destruction chose an even distribution, at least for Power.

I'll leave the next part to Seredain, cos he has the pic's. I'll post up my account of the middle sector of the battle, and what I saw of the left-most flank, in due course...


Last edited by Not an Elf on Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:49 am 
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Quote:
Seredain wrote:

Asking the magic phase to do too much here, I think. It's too fickle to be allowed to take responsibility for everything


--My point there was to replace some of the flexibility and functionality of the RBT you'd be losing for the metal mage. For 25 points, you have made him effective in a situation where he wasn't before-- taking care of those pesky fast cav and skirmishers. I get your point; and it would mean losing something else; 25 points is significant in a list like this.


Mind you, the RBTs have been VERY useful in my games, and amazingly, they have generally survived (lost one in 1/4 games!), and at a minimum have softened up the targets I need them to (Rat ogres, pistoliers). With all the moving parts, I've been able to pull my opponent's army apart, and keep the action away from them. I found that the chariot was the least useful part of the list-- I've replaced it with protection for the archmage and the banner of sorcery on the white lions. I'm prepping for a tournament in September, and plan on bringing a variation of this list (Some of the most fun games I've had this edition!), and the RBTs are 99% in.

it's an interesting debate. The thing I'd worry about with the metal mage is that there are some games where he is not useful. Against a horde army, you've got a 50/50 shot of not having a useful spell. I don't think you want to give up 100+points as a placeholder against an equally-skilled opponent. That's why I was thinking of the ruby ring-- you've guaranteed that you have some use for that mage, even if you roll poorly for your spell, and the base spell isn't useful against your opponent. It's an insurance policy so that character has a purpose regardless of opponent and spell selection.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:36 am 
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Not an Elf wrote:
12,000 points per side

Whoa!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:54 pm 
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I lean towards the argument for the metal mage. To me, it offers the kind of flexibility this particular list thrives on. That single mage, as Seredain points out, has the ability to change the game in one turn against threats that can be difficult for High Elves i.e. heavily armoured knights, hydras, etc and more effectively than the RBT. Let us not forget that the metal mage is not tied to Searing Doom should the opponent be lightly armoured. Metal does have other useful spells in it that can be rolled up vs. those enemies. Glittering Robes and Enchanted Blades are extremely helpful to the High Elves.

As far as equipping the metal mage, I don't think I would go for the ring of corin simply because I don't feel it is the maximum setup which would benefit the army as a whole. For me, I'd switch the necessary dispel scroll to the metal mage and add the silver wand to the archmage. The added spell from Life makes the potential of your magic phase that much more dangerous and, though I'm not a mathhammer guru, should greatly increase your ability to get the spells you want EACH phase vs. the ring's one use.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:57 pm 
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That's a very good point BoltThrower--Life Lore is incredibly versatile-- the additional spell gives you a lot of versatility, even without extra casting dice.

The thing I'd worry about with the metal mage is that, against certain opponents, you've got a high probability of not having a useful spell. yes, metal has some very useful spells, but 3/6 that you could roll don't have any use if you don't have an opponent with armour. In an all-comers tournament-style list, it's worth thinking about. Using the mage for his arcane slot could mitigate that though.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:57 am 
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I think id be more comfortable giving the mage the +1 spell wand rather than the archie. At least youd stand a much better chance of getting useful spells against lightly armoured enemies. Either that or annulian crystal would be good

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:41 pm 
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Bolt Thrower wrote:
I lean towards the argument for the metal mage. To me, it offers the kind of flexibility this particular list thrives on. That single mage, as Seredain points out, has the ability to change the game in one turn against threats that can be difficult for High Elves i.e. heavily armoured knights, hydras, etc and more effectively than the RBT. Let us not forget that the metal mage is not tied to Searing Doom should the opponent be lightly armoured. Metal does have other useful spells in it that can be rolled up vs. those enemies. Glittering Robes and Enchanted Blades are extremely helpful to the High Elves.

Nicely put, BT- thanks. Specifically, and as Beregrond has suggested, I'd say the list relies on overlapping capabilities- so that I can place my various units in different combinations during deployment, and adapt these formations during the game as circumstances require, to perfrom a number of different tasks. Each unit can, individually or while working with its fellows, perform one of several functions. Usually, I will have two or three units free to perform a particular task at any one time. For example:

Fast Attack/Movement Dominance- Silver Helms, Characters, Dragon Princes, Chariot
Steadfast Defence- Spears, White Lions, Tank BSB, Silver Helms+ Characters
Melee- Swordmasters, White Lions, Silver Helms+ Characters
Anti-harassment- Archers, RBT, Chariot, Eagle
Harassment- Eagle, Chariot, Archers...

... And so on. The metal mage offers just such an overlapping capability. Assuming he takes Searing Doom (though you nicely point out, BT, that there are other spells to be had), he brings the ranged attacks and armour-penetration of the RBT (but better) and the flaming attacks of the white lions (but with longer range). All assuming I get the dice, of course (the white lions can't be dispelled!).

The extra piece of capability is to be provided by the mage's arcane item- and I think the best choice will be made if we follow the same philosophy as above- ie the 2nd mage brings an item which offers some direct benefit to the archmage's casting as well as the mage's.

In this respect, taking the scroll and allowing the AM to have the silver wand would work well (mage gives- armour penetration, flaming attacks, boost to AM spell selection). I think however that, in this respect, the Jewel of the Dusk is the better choice since it can benefit both mages, depending on need, while the silver wand can only help out the archmage. The extra power also makes up, in part, for the absence of the Banner of Sorcery (the Jewel is, points wise, far better value). I think, all things considered, that this is the best choice (even if Corin is a personal favourite)- especially considering the influence that a little extra power can have (it can be the difference, as discussed, between a spell cast and not cast- the difference between an enemy's Annullian Crystal (or similar) making life difficult as opposed to totally screwing you over).

Bolt Thrower wrote:
As far as equipping the metal mage, I don't think I would go for the ring of corin simply because I don't feel it is the maximum setup which would benefit the army as a whole.

It can, where your army's victory relies on smashing that one unit/mega-character with that one item but, all-comers, you're probably right.

Bolt Thrower wrote:
For me, I'd switch the necessary dispel scroll to the metal mage and add the silver wand to the archmage. The added spell from Life makes the potential of your magic phase that much more dangerous and, though I'm not a mathhammer guru, should greatly increase your ability to get the spells you want EACH phase vs. the ring's one use.

I like the extra Life spell. Typically it means, for me (assuming I have a choice), taking either Earth Blood (overlaps Flesh to Stone very nicely), or Shield of Thorns- which can do terrible things to large enemy rank & file units and, since it's RiP, helps out in defence too.

8th Edition is very forgiving when it comes to spell selection, however. Although my archmage can never have everything he'd like (including, typically, one or both of the above spells), he is always very likely (so far without exception), to get the spells he really needs (ie Throne of Vines). I might not be able to cast all the spells I'd like, then, but I am very likely to be able to choose to spells I really need and dedicate my power dice to those. Inevitably this means you play the odds at the beginning of each game but, nonetheless, I feel that the Silver Wand is not the auto-choice it was in 7th. I feel its impact in terms of spell selection is less about the spells you will actually cast, then, than it is about the difficulty presented to your opponent in knowing what to dispel (as we've talked about above- he won't know what you're going to cast, even if you already do!).
Beregond wrote:
That's a very good point BoltThrower--Life Lore is incredibly versatile-- the additional spell gives you a lot of versatility, even without extra casting dice.

To conclude, then, I think this remains perfectly true. Since, however, the extra mage would already have given the army a great chunk of versatility, a bit of extra power to service both mages could be the more balanced choice. There's not a lot in it, mind.

Csjarrat wrote:
I think id be more comfortable giving the mage the +1 spell wand rather than the archie. At least youd stand a much better chance of getting useful spells against lightly armoured enemies. Either that or annulian crystal would be good

Annulian crystal, though excellent, is too expensive for my budget (I can't afford to hack out any more elites). Your point about the wand is a good one, though- definitely worth a look.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Not an Elf wrote:
I'll leave the next part to Seredain, cos he has the pic's. I'll post up my account of the middle sector of the battle, and what I saw of the left-most flank, in due course...

Can't friggin' WAIT!
Sounds so epic!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:52 pm 
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I know that you are pretty sold on the chariot; but in my opinion, you'd be better off dropping the chariot than dropping elites to come up with extra points. Have yuou gone through the exercise of looking at a complete list with the metal mage and no chariot? Chariot and bolt thrower for metal mage + eagle seems like it could be intriguing. you'd have 35 points available for kit, or making a change somewhere else in the army. You could add the Jewel of Dusk and upgrade the dispel scroll to the sigil of asuryan, for instance.

+1 PD would be useful. Since I've added the Banner of Sorcery, the versatility of the magic phase has increased significantly without changing the functionality of the units in the army.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:48 pm 
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Hey!

I've been lurking on this particular topic for a long time, and first let me say this is a great discussion and (like many who read this) was the inspiration for me starting a cavalry prince list. I've finally decided to post something since we've arrived at a topic that I can actually contribute something to!

This weekend, I played in a local tournament with a metal mage in my cavalry list, and I thought I could share my limited experience with him. I won't share the battles here; don't want to bore people with the details. Here's the list I used:

Lords:
Prince with B. steed, giant blade, Armor of Caledor, Talisman of Loec, and Ironcurse
Archmage (Shadow) lvl4 with Folriath's robe, and Jewel of the Dusk

Heroes:
Noble BSB with Great weapon, heavy armor, B. steed, shield, and helm of fortune
Mage (Metal) lvl2 with dispel scroll

Core:
Spearmen x35 with full command and gleaming pennant
Archers x12
Archers x13 with musician

Special:
White Lions x12 with banner bearer and Banner of eternal flame
Swordmasters x14
Silver Helms x8 with shields
Shadow warriors x5
Dragon Princes x5
Tiranoc Chariot

Rare:
Eagle

2500pts

I played 3 rounds against Chaos Warriors twice and once against Brettonians. All very good draws for the metal mage. The overall impression I had with the mage was positive, although this is probably skewed by the armies I faced. I stuck the mage either in with the white lions (when I got glittering robe) or with the archers to cover the center of the board with searing doom. I got glittering robe one game, and blades of Aiban another, but in general, he was used for armor hunting. Searing Doom had a clear advantage over the bolt throwers in destroying heavy infantry and cavalry, and in my opinion even out performed the BT in bringing down large models like chariots and warshrines. The D6-2D6 hits were awesome when the spell was successfully cast. I think that's the greatest problem with the metal mage. Sure, it's great when you have lots of power dice, but when you've got a light breeze of magic instead of a wind, well... I did find that threatening to cast the unboosted version of the spell did invite a lot of dispel dice from my opponent. However I also found that if I really needed that unit of chaos knights dead, there wasn't enough dice to cast other useful spells to boost the rest of my army. If you can find points for a banner of sorcery, that might help, but it doesn't make it as reliable as essentially being able to shoot a bolt thrower every single turn. I took a lvl2 to increase the versatility of the mage, but I'm thinking a seerstaff with lvl1 might be more cost effective here. Against armies with no armor like wood elves, searing doom just doesn't do much, but the enchanted blades, glittering robe, or even transmutation of lead would be interesting to try.

Anyway, I placed 3rd in the tournament (missed 2nd by 1 point...arrg!). Considering I've only been playing for about 3 months, I think that's pretty good! I really think the reason I did so well was because I was able to get such excellent advice from reading this topic. The battle reports and strategy discussions here are simply amazing! Thanks, and keep it up!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:59 am 
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A thought I've had recently is running a 3-mage setup as follows:

Archmage
BSB w/Radiant Gem + luckstone
Mage

Now - it's been discussed whether to go for the bsb or the mage in your case - I don't see why you can't do both! Adding in the BoS you have a pretty serious magic phase! It also allows you to cover a lot of areas. BSB takes High, Mage takes Metal and Archmage takes Life. You get 3 Channel rolls as well and the BSB won't increase price-wise.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Just wondering, Seredain, or anyone else who is Archmage-reliant, has an opponent ever thrown a Feedback Scroll at you when you've spent 6 dice on a spell? (It forces 1 wound per dice used on a 5+).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:53 pm 
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ether_drake wrote:
Just wondering, Seredain, or anyone else who is Archmage-reliant, has an opponent ever thrown a Feedback Scroll at you when you've spent 6 dice on a spell? (It forces 1 wound per dice used on a 5+).

Oh yes! Popped my Archie like a pimple. It's a nasty little suprise, one my friend (who plays Ogre Kingdoms) uses quite a lot.
The trick is not to lean over the table and throttle your opponent. They don't like it when you do that.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:43 am 
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Phloop wrote:
Oh yes! Popped my Archie like a pimple. It's a nasty little suprise, one my friend (who plays Ogre Kingdoms) uses quite a lot. The trick is not to lean over the table and throttle your opponent. They don't like it when you do that.


Heh. In fact, I heard about this from some Ogres who were whining about High Elf magic. It sounded like a nasty nasty counter. But then, you gotta be doing something right with magic for them to resort to this.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:04 am 
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Can be nasty if you roll six dice.

This is one reason many people take a Ward save on their AM. It does eat the Arcane slot though and in an all-comers list most guys prefer to have somthing with more general uses.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:22 am 
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Well, you could just ward from your Talisman slot, such as the aforementioned Seed of Rebirth.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Sorry, I meant it eats the enemy's Arcane slot.

So he has to choose between Feedback and a normal dispel scroll say.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:52 pm 
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ether_drake wrote:
Just wondering, Seredain, or anyone else who is Archmage-reliant, has an opponent ever thrown a Feedback Scroll at you when you've spent 6 dice on a spell? (It forces 1 wound per dice used on a 5+).
I've seen a number of games where someone took a feedback scroll, but I have neer seen it kill a level 4. Even a 6 dice casting only averages a single wound against the normal 4+ ward. They almost should have named the Talisman of Preservation instead as "ward save for your level 4".


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:04 pm 
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I find it best used against level 2s, as you're probably going to get at least one wound, they probably won't have a ward save, and even if you don't kill 'em, it's going to put them one miscast away from death. Plus you have a good chance of wiping them out before they can use their own scroll. Still, I wouldn't bother unless I had the spare arcane item slot, so I'd only ever likely have it in a Goblin army. I did face Tomb Kings last week where he had 3 Wizards and one had the Feedback Scroll, he used it on a 5-dice casting from my level 4 earlier on, but 4+ ward save meant no damage. Still, perhaps worth it for that one game in 3 where it will do something neat.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:05 pm 
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I play 3k most often and have have recently, in the past month or so added in a second mage.Lvl2.

Have tried beasts, light, high,metal and shadow.
Lvl 4 have tried swaping life with beasts.

For the most part i have found light and metal the most usefull for how i play. I did pay for this by dropping bolt thrower and a couple of elites(although i run bigger uints that you do.

Overall, i have found the metal more reliable, as the default spell is slightly better than light. Do not get me wrong, when light works on a lvl two it is fantastic , but limiting when say drawn out against a non warmachine army.

Metal thou, i found my oponents saving scrolls and dispell dice for these, allowing life buff to slip through as the hold there dice back against the searing doom....

Anyway, keep up the blog!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:19 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
A thought I've had recently is running a 3-mage setup as follows:

Archmage
BSB w/Radiant Gem + luckstone
Mage

Now - it's been discussed whether to go for the bsb or the mage in your case - I don't see why you can't do both! Adding in the BoS you have a pretty serious magic phase! It also allows you to cover a lot of areas. BSB takes High, Mage takes Metal and Archmage takes Life. You get 3 Channel rolls as well and the BSB won't increase price-wise.

The Radiant Gem and the Helm Hammer

In this list, I'm not likely to ever take the Radiant Gem on the BSB: he'd just be too squishy to be able to hack it in the kind of combats I like to throw the Helm Hammer into. One of its unique strengths (as a cavalry unit), is its ability to grind away (where it has to) with its 7 high-strength ASF attacks. A Radiant Gem BSB is a one-round fighter- if you get stuck in combat (and it happens), he's in trouble and he doesn't kill much (assuming you've gone for the 2+ AS and taken a lance). Such a fragile BSB is no good for an army with relatively few standards but which still wants to compete in the Blood and Glory scenario.

The exception to this, of course, is when he uses his spellcasting abilities to make the unit (and therefore himself) more hardcore. The problem there is that you're having to expend power dice (in significant quantities if you're looking to cast anything more glamorous than Shield of Saphery), to keep this guy alive. As things stand, the unit can often get by without magic helping out (sometimes not!), giving me more options when it comes to choosing targets for my Life buffs. Take the Radiant Gem, however, and the unit needs magic fairly constantly in order to keep its flag-carrier alive in combat. In magical terms I'd be swimming just to stand still.

The Banner of Sorcery vs the Chariot

Adding in the Banner of Sorcery is, in part, a solution to the radiant BSB problem: I have more power so can do more stuff, including, ideally, buffing the silver helms whenever I need to. The problem comes in the form of the units I'd lose to get it, like the chariot. A good way to look at this trade-off is as follows:

Firstly, more units cannot be dispelled and more magic can. At least one spell per turn is likely to be dispelled by your opponent and it could be the one you really want- like the necessary combat buff for the squishy radiant BSB. We'll all use neat little timing tricks (and hopefully good spell selection) to persuade our opponent to pick the wrong spell to dispel but, ultimately, he gets to choose.

Secondly, units and magic achieve different things. Units can, when appropriate, operate independently and achieve goals by themselves. For example: a fast cavalry unit makes it into my backline; my chariot charges the cav; the cav break and cease to be a problem (I possibly pick up the points for running them down).

Magic, however (with the exception of magic missiles and some direct damage spells against such small targets), largely operates to improve your chances of success with a pre-existing unit. Hexes, Dwellers, buffs- they all get you that win but they won't ever do it by themselves. Without a unit to back them up, they just don't work. In the above example, then, all my extra power dice from the Banner of Sorcery can do nothing to stop those cavalry from having the run of my backline unless I have a unit there to benefit from them. In the best case I'm able to use archers (but I'll have to drag them away from whatever else they were doing) but, otherwise, I'll have to dedicate a more expensive unit or just try and ignore the fast cav. Neither is an ideal solution.

Ultimately, in taking the Jewel of the Dusk metal mage, I've sacrificed some ability against harassment units (a repeater) to make my magic phase more powerful. To sacrifice more such ability would make the magic phase better again, via the Banner, but leave me critically exposed to enemy units looking to obstruct a co-ordinated advance. I've spent 286 points on a fighting prince- I can't have everything!

Beregond wrote:
I know that you are pretty sold on the chariot; but in my opinion, you'd be better off dropping the chariot than dropping elites to come up with extra points. Have yuou gone through the exercise of looking at a complete list with the metal mage and no chariot? Chariot and bolt thrower for metal mage + eagle seems like it could be intriguing. you'd have 35 points available for kit, or making a change somewhere else in the army. You could add the Jewel of Dusk and upgrade the dispel scroll to the sigil of asuryan, for instance.

Don't get me wrong, I could do a lot with 85 points (and your suggestions are good ones), but, further to the above, I just can't lose the chariot. For me the 'complete list' is just so much more complete with the chariot in it. I've probably done this to death but it's worth mentioning again that, really, there are few units that can contribute to so many parts of your game. Fast attack, counter-attack, harassment (as a last-ditch eagle as has been mentioned above), anti-light troops exclusion zone, back-line defence, aggressive target saturation, adaptable deployment drop... it will find an important use in every battle for very few points. It is the ultimate utility unit.

Beregond wrote:
+1 PD would be useful. Since I've added the Banner of Sorcery, the versatility of the magic phase has increased significantly without changing the functionality of the units in the army.

The functionality of each other unit in the army would not have changed, then, but the functionality of the army as a whole will have suffered. In particular, the loss of a unit like the chariot means that another unit will typically have to take over at least one of its many possible roles (so far we've focussed on back-line defence). I've already lost a repeater bolt thrower, so my ability to take out the kind of units that can get behind me and cause problems (such as fiends), has already been reduced. To lose the chariot too is to remove yet another layer of defence against such units, leaving only my more expensive attacking units to pick up the slack to defend themselves- and they'd much rather be concentrating on building a combined-strike. Having supplementary units like the chariot therefore gives me the freedom to focus my strongest forces much better. An eagle could fill the gap somewhat, but it's not likely to drive off enemy strong enough to be causing me problems in the first place. At best, it'll delay them by a turn. By turns the chariot won't be as good at harassing but, with free manoeuvering, 9" movement will usually be enough where you've planned in advance.

Asharoth wrote:
The D6-2D6 hits were awesome when the spell was successfully cast. I think that's the greatest problem with the metal mage. Sure, it's great when you have lots of power dice, but when you've got a light breeze of magic instead of a wind, well... I did find that threatening to cast the unboosted version of the spell did invite a lot of dispel dice from my opponent. However I also found that if I really needed that unit of chaos knights dead, there wasn't enough dice to cast other useful spells to boost the rest of my army. If you can find points for a banner of sorcery, that might help, but it doesn't make it as reliable as essentially being able to shoot a bolt thrower every single turn.

Anyway, I placed 3rd in the tournament (missed 2nd by 1 point...arrg!).

Great to hear!

You outline the pros and cons of the Metal Mage well, I think. If you don't get much power, you're pretty much looking at an either/or situation in respect of the spells you actually get to cast (to I regrow those white lions or do I degrow those knights?). With this caster set-up you will, at least, almost always have something useful to cast, even if you won't often get it all off.

akielzather wrote:
Metal thou, i found my oponents saving scrolls and dispell dice for these, allowing life buff to slip through as the hold there dice back against the searing doom....

Yep! A point just as important to remember as our being able to get the spell itself off at all. Jewel of the Dusk helps here, too. The reliability of the extra repeater is something I'm likely to miss against some opponents, though. Especially elves.

ether_drake wrote:
Just wondering, Seredain, or anyone else who is Archmage-reliant, has an opponent ever thrown a Feedback Scroll at you when you've spent 6 dice on a spell? (It forces 1 wound per dice used on a 5+).

Yeah a couple of times! It hasn't yet killed my archmage though- even without any save it'll only do two wounds on average when used against a six-dice cast and the odds get worse once ward saves are involved. It's scary to face but, as has been said already, there are usually more important/ popular arcane choices for enemy mages to take, so you're only likely to face it when playing against armies with lots of cheap casters (like greenskins). Lore of Life archmages make especially demoralising targets for the scroll: if they do survive, as they're likely to, they'll just put those lost wounds back on after a couple of casts.

In other news... I played my latest campaign game a few days ago and it was... tense. A Blood & Glory game full of manoeuvres, death and falling banners. I'll do the report for this game before setting out the one for the 12K game, since otherwise I'll forget all the little details (and this should allow me to get hold of some more photos for the big battle too). For the moment, here's a teaser:

High Elves vs Daemons of Chaos
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Last edited by Seredain on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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