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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Hi Seredain,

Just wanted to say what a great thread this is, I find your approach to list design really inspiring, and want to wish you all the best for your upcoming game, and the future. Looks like it will be the toughest test of a cavalry Prince list to date!

I was hoping that maybe before that comes round you might have time to expand on your idea of what a 3000pt version of the list might look like? I have been thinking about this for some time, based on the different versions of your list so far and the 4000pt list you posed a few pages back, I have come up with my own idea.

I was hoping to get your critique on it, but first I wanted to know in general what you think of the effectiveness of your list at different point levels, both higher and lower? Your upcoming game is a good example of what I mean, while still at 2500pts it has several "big monsters" and a "super hoard" at larger point levels I would expect these choices to be more common, do you still think the choices made in your list will be as effective? Namely MSU units, Cavalry Prince, Core composition, high magic?

An example of this would be the Plucker Pendant, I'm sure it has more value in higher point games than lower ones, but if you are nearly guaranteed to see bigger monsters in larger games do you actually need a better ward save overall on your Prince?

Anyway onto my version of your list at 3000pts,

Prince - Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec, Plucker Pendant - 283
Archmage - Level 4, Life Magic, Folariath's Robe, Dispel Scroll - 325
Battle Standard Bearer - Barded Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Other Trickster's Shard - 190
Mage - Level 2, HIgh Magic, Annulian Crystal

35 Spearelves - Full Command - 340
15 Archers - Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 190
10 Archers - 110
10 Archers - 110

14 Swordmasters - Full command, Amulet of Light, Banner of Sorcery - 305
14 White Lions - Full Command, Gleaming Pennant - 245
8 Silver Helms - Musician, Shields - 192
5 Dragon Princes - 150
Tironic Chariot - 85

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 200
2 Eagles - 100

= 3000 points

I have tried to put back in all the elements that you have had to take out, due to points constraints, such as the Banner of Sorcery and Chariot, while also adding a second support Mage.

I chose to reintroduce Life on the the Archmage and have High on the support mage, mainly due to the presence of the Banner of Sorcery, giving more dice to throw at larger Spells (Dwellers) whilst also having the availability of cheaper support spells on the High Mage.

Im not sure I'm happy with this though, and could easily switch the Lores around, or keep High on the Archmage and and something like Fire or Metal on the support mage for extra damage potential? Ultimately though I think with so few few bodies on the field (made correspondingly worse at 3000pts) support and defensive magic will be more useful. Which leads me nicely onto my next concern.

I was a little shocked with how few bodies were added with the extra 500pts, while some units filled out a little (White lions, Spearelves) and another drop was added (Archers) the Flaming banner archers had to go down in size. Yes getting the chariot back in was nice, but I can't help but feel a few more bodies would help in survivability, and that units such as the Swordmasters that are now much more expensive, are still no larger, and that much easier to wipe out.

This brings me back to the support mage, its a massive points sink from the extra 500pts, taking up 240pts if you include the Banner of Sorcery and the requisite Standard bearer. That is enough for another unit of 14 sword masters/ White Lions, or 7 more Swordmasters and a Lion Chariot.
So I guess my question is do you think another mage adds more to the list than the extra punch and survivability of more elves?

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated, and again thanks for the awesome thread!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:58 pm 
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That is spookily close to a 3000pt draft I know Seredain drew up a few weeks ago.

Both mages to High Magic and you're almost there.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:15 am 
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Skewedviews wrote:
I was hoping that maybe before that comes round you might have time to expand on your idea of what a 3000pt version of the list might look like? I have been thinking about this for some time, based on the different versions of your list so far and the 4000pt list you posed a few pages back, I have come up with my own idea...

Skewedviews your post is eerily well-timed! I'm heading home for Easter for a week and, while I'm there, I'm throwing down against an old friend who wants to play me with his 3000 point tournie-lizardmen. So, I've been thinking hard over the last couple of weeks about what exactly I'd put in my 3K army and, for the most part, I was looking simply at putting in the things I'd toyed with in the 2.5K list but had ended up deciding to lose for the 'greater good'. Thus the chariot, Banner of Sorcery, support caster and the extra white lions all made it in and I ended up with almost exactly the list you posted above! To be specific, my most recent 3K was as follows:

Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec, Plucker Pendant - 286
Archmage - Level 4, High Magic, Folariath's Robe, Annullian Crystal, Dragonbane Gem - 350
BSB - Barded Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Other Trickster's Shard - 190
Mage - Level 2, High Magic, Dispel Scroll

30 Spearelves - Full Command - 295
19 Archers - Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 234
10 Archers - Musician - 115
10 Archers - 110

14 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Standard, Amulet of Light, Banner of Sorcery - 299
14 White Lions - Guardian, Standard, Gleaming Pennant - 239
8 Silver Helms - Musician, Shields - 192
5 Dragon Princes - 150
1 Chariot - 85

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 200
2 Eagles - 100

= 3000 points

Skewedviews wrote:
I was hoping to get your critique on it, but first I wanted to know in general what you think of the effectiveness of your list at different point levels, both higher and lower? Your upcoming game is a good example of what I mean, while still at 2500pts it has several "big monsters" and a "super hoard" at larger point levels I would expect these choices to be more common, do you still think the choices made in your list will be as effective? Namely MSU units, Cavalry Prince, Core composition, high magic?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the Cavalry Prince list in bigger games, it's worth dealing with these points first - and they're good ones. The temptation in expanding any army (or indeed reducing it in size), is that you try and do the same things but on a bigger scale. As a basic example, we might say that, because I field a cavalry prince, 14 swordmasters and 12 white lions at 2.5K, I might automatically field two cavalry princes, two units of 14 swordmasters and two units of 12 white lions at 5K, or something approaching that at 4K.


Larger Games and the Combined-Arms Army

The dual temptations of expanding my forces (that I've found), is that I both want to make sure the army maintains the same strengths while taking the opportunity to use the extra points to make up for its weaknesses. The problem is that, while the former will tend to entail the increase in numbers of troops I already posses, the latter will require the addition of new troops or magic items. And so, this leaves me in something of a conundrum!

The 3K list you drafted, mirrored closely by the one I built recently, demonstrates this conflict nicely. Now, we have a combined-arms cavalry-led list with plenty of drops and, now, a powerful (as opposed to efficient) magic phase, with superb magic defence and guaranteed spell selection (assuming you go double on the High magic like me) and dual-Shields. So what's the catch?

Skewedviews wrote:
I was a little shocked with how few bodies were added with the extra 500pts, while some units filled out a little (White lions, Spearelves) and another drop was added... I can't help but feel a few more bodies would help in survivability, and that units such as the Swordmasters that are now much more expensive, are still no larger, and that much easier to wipe out.

This brings me back to the support mage, its a massive points sink from the extra 500pts, taking up 240pts if you include the Banner of Sorcery and the requisite Standard bearer. That is enough for another unit of 14 sword masters/ White Lions, or 7 more Swordmasters and a Lion Chariot.
So I guess my question is do you think another mage adds more to the list than the extra punch and survivability of more elves?

Exactly as you pointed out, the melee centre of the army, around which the fast elements, support units, magic and shooting all operate, stays the same size and looks both small and expensive at 3000 points. On the one hand, this might not matter all that much when the point expansion of 500 is relatively small and where deployment is considered (see below) but, if we assume the enemy army gets significantly larger and/or takes an extra powerful drop (as opposed to inflating its magic phase or adding more toys of its own), things can look a little awkward. Let's take a look at the following (very basic) example.


Army Expansion on the Field - Magic vs Swordmasters:

Model 1 - Extra Magic

Image
Extra drops added in the armies' expansions to 3000 points are shown using bright red (enemy) and pale blue (High Elves).

Now, let's take deployment out of the equation slightly and assume I've been left with the limited options presented above. Here, I've spent the points on the extra magic and my opponent has bought extra troops, with which he's extended his line. Now let's assume I want to run my usual policy of smashing one of the hordes on my left and breaking inwards. I'll be looking to:

a) Hit them with the silver helms and at least one of the neighbouring High Elf infantry units, with the other occupying the attention of the other horde; or

b) Plug all three units into one horde and crush it.

In either case, I'd have a problem to solve. Option a) leaves me with a reduced capacity for swift horde-slaying. It's doable, but I'll need shooting and my improved magic phase as a back-up to weaken the target unit. Since I'm not getting that many more spells, this will still mean I'm still looking at Arrow Curse, Fury and Flames (though I'm guaranteed all three unlike with a single-archmage list). Meanwhile, option b) means that, although my main attack will be much more powerful, I'm leaving a vacuum of space in which the second enemy horde can operate. I'll need to plug this with at least one eagle and look to use my magic and shooting to wither this unit into ineffectiveness, with the chariot and an archer unit as backup to buy my main attacking units time to come to the rescue.

Both of these options are doable, but both are slightly restrictive. What if my shooting and magic want or need to be elsewhere? On this model, my right flank is hardly looking strong against the units opposite - surely arrows and bolts will be needed here or, failing that, my eagle harrassment? The simple fact is that, if these options are engaged winning me my main attack on the left, my defence on the right is weakened. The solution to this problem will be to out-deploy the enemy so that I always win myself an overlap on my left flank and use the improved magic phase to quickly tilt the balance before switching its attention to defending my army elsewhere.

So, the big plus? I've invested points in an ability which, since it is ranged, easily switches from one part of the battlefield to the other (dispelling enemy spells, of course, works regardless of range). The minus? A crucial part of my attack, the elite infantry, is increasingly fragile at these points and my ability to occupy and control boardspace with combat units is limited.


Model 2 - Extra Swordmasters

Here's what my army would look like at 3K with those extra swordmasters:

Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec, Plucker Pendant - 286
Archmage - Level 4, High Magic, Folariath's Robe, Dispel Scroll, Dragonbane Gem - 330
BSB - Barded Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Other Trickster's Shard - 190

30 Spearelves - Full Command - 295
19 Archers - Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 234
10 Archers - Musician - 115
10 Archers - Musician - 115

14 White Lions - Guardian, Standard, Gem of Courage, Gleaming Pennant - 249
14 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Amulet of Light - 237
14 Swordmasters - Bladelord - 222
8 Silver Helms - Musician, Shields - 192
5 Dragon Princes - 150
1 Chariot - 85

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 200
2 Eagles - 100

= 3000 points

And here are the consequences of fielding this army with regard to the above example:

Image
14 Swordmasters extend the High Elf line and open up more attacking possibilities on the left flank.

Here, then, I have the extra swordmaster unit and can directly match the enemy army's expansion by extending my own line. Thus, without having to cast anything, I can put the silver helms, spearelves and one unit of swords into the horde on the far left and still have a powerful combat unit to occupy the interior boardspace and prevent the second horde from doing whatever it likes. Crucially, this means I no longer have to use shooting, magic and eagles to win me my main attack (though I can choose to if opportunity allows), and this greatly improves my ability to defend the right flank or work with secondary combat units (like the extra swords) to win other combats. The fact that I have the extra deployment drop, too, makes winning such an advantage that bit more likely.

The choice of extra swordmasters, then, can feel like just adding a bigger stick to the army while leaving it relatively weak in the magic phase. However, because the swords make such an effective stick, an extra unit of them allows the army's mobile and ranged units to dedicate themselves to tasks other than supporting my main combat troops early in the game. The big plus? My main attack is now very powerful indeed and can operate without magical aids and with limited shooting support. The minus? The army has greatly reduced dispelling ability compared with Model 1 and, likewise, a reduced ability to transfer my ranged powers around the board at will (since I'll have fewer dice and fewer spells to play with). Dispelling is an interesting issue. On the one hand, not having the Annullian Crystal is a very big difference. On the other, High Magic mitigates the damage somewhat. Drain Magic and Flames of the Phoenix, together, will typically drain away some 4-5 dice from enemy magic phases (assuming they dispel Flames and depending on the number of casts they try and make). The lore acts, therefore, somewhat like a large Anullian Crystal in and of itself (albeit with the usual vageeries of casting magic).


Army Expansion to 3000 points - a Summary Comparison

In summary, looking at examples such as the above will help you think about how these decisions will affect the way the army plays on the board at increased points levels. It's also, however, worth looking at the specifics to remind yourself what each version of the army actually buys you for your points. In summary, these are as follows.

Model 1 - Banner of Sorcery, Support Caster

1) + D3 power dice per magic phase;
2) A two dice swing per enemy magic phase (+scroll);
3) Guaranteed spell selection (High Magic);
4) +1 Shield of Saphery;
5) +1 Drain Magic;
6) +1 Standard (on Swordmasters)
7) Substitute caster/dispeller.

Another version of Model 1 might use a Shadow support caster instead of the extra High Magic, in which case you'd alter the above accordingly. In principle, however, you've spent 220-odd points on D3 power dice, the Annullian crystal and a couple of extra spells.

Model 2 - Another 14 Swordmasters

1) + 22 attacks at str5 (assuming 7x2 formation);
2) Elite Redundancy (specifically, you have increased your elite infantry strength by 50%);
3) + 14 wounds to the army;
4) +1 deployment drop;
5) Improved ability to hold board space;
6) Gem of Courage on the White Lions (as good flank anchors, the re-roll + Gem makes up for the likely distance from the BSB).


Conclusion

At the end of the day, can a boosted magic phase contribute as much as an extra unit? For some lists, such as the Coven of Light, or lists wielding a combination of lores featuring high-powered spells (eg Shadow + Metal), magic is a potential game winner in itself. For a list like mine, however (which has already spent plenty of points on characters), is it so essential to get hold of those D3 extra dice? I'm no longer sure...

Skewedviews wrote:
Your feedback would be greatly appreciated, and again thanks for the awesome thread!

I hope the above has helped, Skewedviews, because I can honestly say that your excellent post helped me a great deal! When I first drew up the 3K list I was all fixed on Model 1. I didn't have the Banner of Sorcery at 2.5K, now I could afford it: bam, it's in. A support caster could make my magic phase comprehensive and allow me to, with double High Magic and the Crystal, completely shut down the most powerful enemy magic phases - like the Slann I'm preparing to face. Difficult to resist when I knew I could win combats.

But then your point about the number of models I was putting down made me think of the benefits of continuing to focus on what my list was good at (combat, deployment), while mitigating the fragile state of my elite units, rather than attempting to build a fragile 'jack of all trades' army. Could I not survive enemy magic with the scroll, Drain Magic, Flames of the Phoenix and the improved redundancy provided by my extra elites? What were the benefits to be had by spending so many points on more magic?

It remains the case in larger games that, once you've claimed your free 2d6 power dice per turn, magic brings you diminishing returns for the points spent unless you dedicate it as your main weapon (like the Light Coven). Indeed I recently wrote that, when deciding whether to choose the Banner of Sorcery, you have to look specifically at what it adds to your particular army. As it turns out, and as your post reminded me, this doesn't change at all when building armies at larger points.

So, many thanks for your post, Skewedviews - a real humdinger - and also for your kind comments. And yes, I think I'm going to give 28 swordmasters a try at 3K. :)

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Last edited by Seredain on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:08 am 
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Good choice, Seredain! But then, I am obviously biased :) Looking forward to reading about the 3k game. What army is your friend going to field?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Hi Seredain,
good to see you capitalise on what worked so far on the road with that 3k list. I must say I still personnally prefer your 2nd list :)

Some questions for that 3k list:
- Any particular reasons you kept the spears at 30 instead of going back to 35 for that 3000 pts list?
- Did you consider a second spear regiment instead of more archers?
- Considering your cavalry theme, would adding some strenght to the Dragon Princes and giving them the amulet of light better than having it on swordmasters who already hold the sorcery banner? Or the inverse so to not have all eggs in same basket.
- Also, did you ever consider using 2 heavy cavalry silver helms units and placing one of your characters in each?

On a personal note, I wanted to move away from my LSG horde theme ( Still kept a unit of them :) ) and white lions blocks as I went down from 3k to 2.5k, so I have tried out a list highly inspired by your 2nd list with great effect. Not sure about my latest list as I am going to try my own take on pure cavalry. Game got delayed for this weekend, will let you know :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:48 pm 
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I'd always go for more troops.

I've recently been considering a change to more shooting myself. I was thinking High Mage and Shadow Mage, both lv.2. Ideally I'd get Arrow Attraction and Withering (and Pit or Mindrazor are always nice ;) ).

Good luck in your game. I'll be interested to see what your opponent's list is like at 3k too.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Probably, with option 2, you could drop the WL and one unit of SM to 12 both? You get the 60points you need for BoS + 1 standard.
This extra magic can really make the difference if you think on what the spells you get will do to your enemy if they go through (Fury, Flames, Vault, Arrow attraction, Shield), only for the loss of 4 bodies

And about the chariot..i prefer 1 unit of Ellyrian reavers for the same price. These guys are perfect for getting into the backline of your enemy in turn 1, going against WM in turn 2 freeing your DP or Characters from this duty. Also for redirections if needed. They are awesome for the price and, in my opinion, more versatile than the chariot.

I'm going to a tourney this saturday, 2999pts, and will be using this list, with this changes and some other minor ones: Annulii instead of scroll, at the cost of dragonbane and courage gem). Will tell you how it goes!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:08 am 
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Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
Good choice, Seredain! But then, I am obviously biased :) Looking forward to reading about the 3k game. What army is your friend going to field?

Cheers bud! We're looking at classic Life Slann lizards but with some extra toys. Lots of saurus, two scar vets (one with an I10 sword, 1+ 1++; the other with a mental number of attacks), three sallies, a skink cohort bus - 6 across with 3 kroxigors, Engine Steg, Cube of Darkness + scroll (ouch), two chameleon units and some normal skirmishers. I'm not a fan of the big skink/krox bus - too much frontage (I think they're better 5 wide) - but the rest of it looks pretty solid. Ranged advantage is all mine and I kick arse in combat, but the Lizard magic phase, sallies and grinding ability are always a worry. Should be fun!

Elithmar of Lothern wrote:
I've recently been considering a change to more shooting myself. I was thinking High Mage and Shadow Mage, both lv.2. Ideally I'd get Arrow Attraction and Withering (and Pit or Mindrazor are always nice ;) ).

A Shadow seermage is a mean back-up to High Magic, as some Furion-style shooty lists have shown. Withering + Arrow Curse is a killer! That's the sort of magical combo where the Banner of Sorcery really comes into its own, too. Getting the extra spell off is that bit more important for a tactic relying upon combined casts.

Findolfin wrote:
Hi Seredain,
good to see you capitalise on what worked so far on the road with that 3k list. I must say I still personnally prefer your 2nd list :)

To be honest, Findolfin, I still feel guilty about making all the changes! In the long run, guess I prefer the varied things I can do with High Magic when compared with Life. I really do miss the chariot, though. Apart from anything else, I just love the model. I'll probably play a lot more 3K games just to keep using it!

Findolfin wrote:
Some questions for that 3k list:
- Any particular reasons you kept the spears at 30 instead of going back to 35 for that 3000 pts list?
- Did you consider a second spear regiment instead of more archers?
- Considering your cavalry theme, would adding some strenght to the Dragon Princes and giving them the amulet of light better than having it on swordmasters who already hold the sorcery banner? Or the inverse so to not have all eggs in same basket.
- Also, did you ever consider using 2 heavy cavalry silver helms units and placing one of your characters in each?

I don't think the 3K list is big enough to fit in two separate cavalry buses - that's a lot of points to spend on helms and, since my 'killer prince' niche is already served by the Giant Blade (and I can only have one of those), I probably wouldn't field another cavalry character at these points. A Mage Knight Prince would be tempting at higher points levels, perhaps with a bus of his own. In principle, though, if I were fielding helms in larger games I'd just make the unit bigger - the better for taking hits and punching through stuff.

I went with extra archers rather than more spears because I only really need the spears there for breaking steadfast and, with the amount of combat power I can throw down, 30 has done the trick quite nicely. The extra archers, meanwhile, provide me with another cheap drop and anti-chaff unit. Since I've added more elite infantry, the army really needs this kind of support rather than another combat unit.

As for the amulet of light, I'd say it was too expensive to field on 5 dragon princes - that's a total of 35 points just for magical attacks - not worth the expense on such a small unit. Indeed, it's low cost just improves its utility. The bladelord, however, is needed for swordmasters, I feel. This is partly because he can seriously threaten enemy heroes but, also, because he can tie up big characters (especially ones with Thunderstomp like greater daemons) and prevent the fragile and un-stubborn swords from getting mashed. The princes, meanwhile, provide an emergency/alternative bodyguard for a mounted character as they are- something they couldn't do if they took a champion.

Findolfin wrote:
On a personal note, I wanted to move away from my LSG horde theme ( Still kept a unit of them :) ) and white lions blocks as I went down from 3k to 2.5k, so I have tried out a list highly inspired by your 2nd list with great effect. Not sure about my latest list as I am going to try my own take on pure cavalry. Game got delayed for this weekend, will let you know :)

Good luck! If the 2nd list magic set-up is good for anything, it's for regrowing swordmasters. That's quite fun. Dwellers ain't too shabby, either!

Syleth wrote:
Probably, with option 2, you could drop the WL and one unit of SM to 12 both? You get the 60points you need for BoS + 1 standard.
This extra magic can really make the difference if you think on what the spells you get will do to your enemy if they go through (Fury, Flames, Vault, Arrow attraction, Shield), only for the loss of 4 bodies


Swordmasters and the Banner of Sorcery - Best of Both Worlds at 3000 points?

Syleth that's very well put. I see this flag as a luxury for an army with one caster but, at 3K, we can afford luxuries and you're right- it seems sure to achieve more, in itself, than 4 elites. It would make up nicely for the loss of the Annullian Crystal, too. SpellArcher recently emphasised to me how important he found the banner to bolster his magic defence, as he carries no scroll in his Chariot Prince list. Since the Banner can be used to cast an extra Flames or Drain Magic, it forces enemy power dice into dispel rolls during their next phase and, effectively, acts like an Annullian support caster in and of itself. Since I haven't been using High Magic that long, I honestly hadn't thought of it like this, but it's definitely worth noting. Certainly, all things considered, 5 spells from the High Archmage is enough to put the Banner to good use. Although I can't get it into my 2500 army without losing something I feel I need, at 3000 I can do it by shedding a few cheap toys, the better to hold on to my elites. So:


Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec - 281
Archmage - Level 4, High Magic, Folariath's Robe, Dispel Scroll - 325
BSB - Barded Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Other Trickster's Shard - 190

30 Spearelves - Full Command - 295
19 Archers - Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 234
10 Archers - Musician - 115
10 Archers - Musician - 115

14 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Standard, Banner of Sorcery - 284
14 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Amulet of Light - 237
12 White Lions - Standard, Gleaming Pennant - 197
8 Silver Helms - Musician, Shields - 192
5 Dragon Princes - 150
1 Chariot - 85

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 200
2 Eagles - 100

= 3000 points

Banner of Sorcery to help the 3K magic phase and I still get to field 28 swordmasters. Happy days. :)

Syleth wrote:
And about the chariot..i prefer 1 unit of Ellyrian reavers for the same price. These guys are perfect for getting into the backline of your enemy in turn 1, going against WM in turn 2 freeing your DP or Characters from this duty. Also for redirections if needed. They are awesome for the price and, in my opinion, more versatile than the chariot.

Chariot or Reavers?

Much more versatile in the movement phase, to be sure. The chariot has the principle advantage, though, of being able to pack a wallop into a very small space - even just corner-to-corner. This is very useful for an army designed to lay down combined charges. The chariot will also more reliably clear out enemy light units with its heavy charge and the fact that it'll typically give up less combat res as well (Toughness 4, small frontage reduces number of enemy attacks back). It will also take a couple of wounds and not have to take a panic test - something which reavers are often vulnerable to. For assaulting war machines, though, the reavers definitely have it. The redirector point is worth noting too - two eagles is not a lot at 3K - having the backup could be useful.


Remember that Dragonbane Gem + Gem of Courage only comes to 15 points, so you'll need to lose the Plucker Pendant or something to get the Crystal in. I do think the crystal is a fantastic item, by the way, but (as I've mentioned before) I stick with the scroll at 3000 points because it allows total dominance against the enemy magic phase for one turn when my opponent chooses to try a big dice spell - typically a crucial turn before I make a big charge. It's far less effective than the crystal against spam-magic phases, but High Magic's Drain and Flames (especially aided by the Banner), mitigate against this very effectively.

You made some really good points, Syleth - thanks. Let us know how you get on.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:07 am 
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The scroll is really good and I wish I had one. As said, it means you don't have to seek extra defensive cover from Banner of Sorcery. It is also brilliant against surprise casts (mainly bound spells) that might otherwise snipe characters for example. I put 5+ Wards vs spells on mine for this reason but Seredain doesn't need to.

While Sorcery does give this extra cover it also increases miscasts. Twice recently, I lost two levels and had to play half the games with only +2 to dispel (not to mention only 3 spells). Not game-breaking but uncomfortable. Especially considering the 3 games I played without Sorcery, where I didn't miscast at all so kept my +4 the whole time.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:33 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
While Sorcery does give this extra cover it also increases miscasts. Twice recently, I lost two levels and had to play half the games with only +2 to dispel (not to mention only 3 spells). Not game-breaking but uncomfortable. Especially considering the 3 games I played without Sorcery, where I didn't miscast at all so kept my +4 the whole time.

SA this is a really good point to remember. I hadn't thought of it before in respect of the Banner in particular, but it always stands to reason that, where you're throwing more dice, you're more likely to miscast. For an army with only one caster, this is a danger to always bear in mind. I guess the Banner should be used as an enabler - use when you have to. Nothing about the item itself forces you to use those extra dice. Of course, knowing the theory and actually resisting the temptation to chuck more dice are two very different things... At 3K, I'd say it's probably worth having the option to use more power when the only significant losses I've suffered are two white lions. 12 with gleaming pennant isn't quite the 'line of battle' unit that 14 with additional Guardian and Gem is, but it is quite significantly cheaper and still able to perform all it's flank-guard duties, while the reduced frontage makes it an easier combi-weapon for my other units should I want to use it more aggressively.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:52 pm 
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I try to use all my power dice. The great strength of High Magic in my opinion is that if you have four rolled spells plus Drain Magic you should be able to use a ton of PD on useful casts every single phase. I wouldn't chuck more dice than necessary to cast a spell though, unless I was desparate. It's not worth it re miscasts. With a smaller spell repertoire I don't think Sorcery is worth it.

It may seem reckless to play thus. But in those early turns I am aiming by overloading an enemy's defence to keep a lid on his (often very dangerous) magic phase with Flames and Drain. So not only are his spells killing less of my warriors but mine are hopefully killing more of his too. My Archmage may take damage but probably mid-late game. By which time I aim to be on top.

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SpellArcher wrote:
It may seem reckless to play thus. But in those early turns I am aiming by overloading an enemy's defence to keep a lid on his (often very dangerous) magic phase with Flames and Drain. So not only are his spells killing less of my warriors but mine are hopefully killing more of his too. My Archmage may take damage but probably mid-late game. By which time I aim to be on top.

I like to see my magic this way, too. I always feel that, if I can hold off the enemy phase for three turns, I can win the game. If my opponent hasn't stopped me crippling his support and romping into some main combats with a couple of my best units by Turn 4, he's usually in trouble. High Magic performs very well indeed in this role. Losing my archmage is never a good idea, though: that late-game Vaul's can be bloody important!

As you say, the best advice for High Magic users is to cast as many of the five spells as you can with relatively few dice each.

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For a lvl4 I'd consider Shield, Curse and Drain to be 2-die casts and extremely reliable as such. When would you consider using a single die Seredain? Fury and Courage still probably 2 dice. I'd probably play safe and throw 4 dice at Flames and Vaul's, would you use 3?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:48 pm 
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I go for Shield on 1 die if I don't have many dice. After all, you only need a 3. 4/6 times you should get it.

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That sounds good if you've got a back-up caster or on the last spell. I've seen guys with 2 dice left roll 1 each at 2 cheap spells.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:37 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
That sounds good if you've got a back-up caster or on the last spell. I've seen guys with 2 dice left roll 1 each at 2 cheap spells.

Yeah I've done this.

If you use a big spell to draw out your opponent's dice (Flames or Vaul's), you can then use your remaining dice to slip through the low-level spells against his non-existent magic defence. If I felt I really wanted to get one of them through, I'd throw two dice as normal but, otherwise, I've often 1-diced Shield followed by a 1-dice Drain Magic. It's just too funny getting potentially influential spells of for a single dice each! I'd almost always throw 2 dice at Arrow Curse, though: it's just too good for an army with decent shooting to run the risk of failing the cast.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:52 pm 
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Really great thread. Thanks Seredain! Up to page 30 and can't help wondering about your Prince and BSB builds. I used to run a helm hammer back in 6th and was thinking of fielding one as would like to get back into the wonderful game.

First: your prince rocks!

Anyway, my (very small) point. You could save 6pts!

Here's your current setup:
Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec - 281
Archmage - Level 4, High Magic, Folariath's Robe, Dispel Scroll - 325
BSB - Barded Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Other Trickster's Shard - 190

If you gave your prince enchanted shield and dawnstone and lost the helm of fortune (and the mundane shield) you could then have the Helm of Fortune on the BSB and give him dragon armour. Small point I know but just thought I'd mention it.

You could also give the prince charmed shield instead of the enchanted one to survive the odd cannon shot. Might be worth having guardian phoenix instead of the armour save re-roll then because of the loss of the 1+ save. This is just my preference and I see where your coming from (many more standard attacks can hit the prince in 8th ed).

Last quick point:
Do you play that you and your opponent know each others lists (so that big magic items don't have such a surprise factor)? This is just out of interest really, but would affect the usefulness of the charmed shield.

Thanks in advance. And happy hunting.


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The only way Seredain could put dawnstone and enchanted shield on his prince is if he lost the ToL (cause of the 100p limit, tES cost 10p not 5 to Helfs atm) and I don't think that is worth it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:15 am 
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I'll always go for more protection than killing power. Personal preference though. My cavalry prince always rocks a 2+ 2+ 4++.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:27 pm 
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It should depend on the list, Seredain went with killy because he had Life to help him out, now that he's using High, he still hasn't changed but we'll see.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:28 pm 
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The great battle between the Trolls and noble elves has been done (last thursday in fact)
Seredain has the notes so i'm sure we'll see a full report from him when he has time.

Editted for reasons of national security


Last edited by Eldria on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Battle Report Preview – High Elves vs Monsters of Chaos

So Eldria and I finally got to throw down and... what a nail-biter! Before I get into the report proper, let's take a look at the armies and my musings on how I planned to bring those monsters down.

The Lists

High Elves

Prince - Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec - 281
Archmage - Level 4, High Magic, Folariath's Robe, Dispel Scroll - 325
Battle Standard Bearer - Barded Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Other Trickster's Shard - 190

30 Spearelves - Full Command - 295
18 Archers - Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 223
10 Archers - 110

14 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Amulet of Light - 237
12 White Lions - Standard, Gleaming Pennant - 197
8 Silver Helms - Musician, Shields - 192
5 Dragon Princes - 150

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 200
2 Eagles - 100

= 2500 points

Monsters of Chaos

Galrauch the Great Drake - 616
Throgg the Troll King - 175
Albrikt the Exalted – BSB, Mark of Tzeentch, Talsiman of Endurance, Dragon Helm, Warrior Bane, Shield, Chariot - 290

17 Chaos Trolls - 765
5 Warhounds - 30
5 Warhounds - 30
5 Warhounds - 30

Shaggoth - Great Weapon - 285
Shaggoth - 2 Hand Weapons - 275

= 2496 points

Since the armies were so yin and yang, before the game I wrote up my plan so that, after the battle unfolded, I could go back and review properly whether or not I'd had the right idea. For starters, I had never faced an army quite like this (there are deathstars and then there's the Throgg trollstar) and, since Eldria knew what he was doing with it, I had no intention of going in blind and getting hammered. So, before we begin, I invite you to cast your mind to an elven army's camp in darkest night, buffetted by howling, horizontal rain. Within a sodden but sturdy tent, the elf commander sits with his captains and begins wondering how the fvck he is going to destroy all these monsters. Here's what Seredain wrote the night before the battle...

The Plan - Wednesday 4th April - 'To Kill a Throggstar'

The obvious focal point of the enemy army is the troll horde, so the first question is, 'can I kill it'? The answer is yes, but I need a serious level of dominance to do it, either by completely controlling the magic phase or by completely controlling the movement phase. In the case of the former, a magic phase consisting of Flames of the Phoenix (2 trolls dead), followed by Fury of Khaine, followed by Arrow Attraction, followed by flaming archers and bolt throwers, will whittle the horde down very effectively, making the chances of following through on my usual anti big-block policy much better (surround, combi-charge and overwhelm).

But there are problems. Unless the rear rank (at least) is wiped out before I charge in, those trolls will rack up so much combat resolution that I will not win combat where I engage with a unit to the front – regen will stop too many of the wounds I inflict and there will be just too many attacks coming back at me. Further, with all those high strength attacks, it will only be a single round before my elites are shattered. The solution? Shoot and magic the crap out of them – for at least three turns – or avoid their front completely and go for the flanks and rear (after some, albeit less, preparatory magic and shooting). Elites in one flank and spears in the other, for example, will pin the trolls, prevent horde-level attacks coming back at me and should see me winning combats while also breaking steadfast. I have the greater number of combat units, so manoeuvering into such a position is doable. But how?

To take out this troll horde, I need to cripple the enemy magic defence and his ability to outmanoeuvre me. And here is the problem. The trolls are M6 and everything else is at least M7 and possessed of single-model manoeuvreability. The dragon, of course, flies and has ranged magic. As long as the shaggoths, BSB and dragon are alive, then, I cannot at all safely make the movements I need to surround the trolls. These units will need clearing before I can think about Throgg.

And now we come to the next major problem. I have never seen an army so filled with hard counters to my units. The trolls themselves have Throgg's vomit (a prince-killing D6 hits), stomp (anti-elites), eye of the gods regen (anti-everything) and armour-negating, magical vomit (anti-knights, anti-Folariath's Robe). Galrauch, meanwhile, has three different breath weapons, one armour-piercing (at -3) and one which will force my models to take a toughness test, on elven toughness, or die. My knights and characters do not like this at all. Throw in I6 (to prevent my re-rolls to hit from ASF), and it is clear that I cannot fight this model without reducing it, at least, to 4 wounds (or ideally 3). If my prince gets into combat with the beast, I either kill him in one round or I die. Next, the shaggoths. Thunderstomp hurts the elites, Str 8 (GW) and Str 6 with an extra attack hurts the knights and characters. Again, they ideally need to be weakened before I engage them- especially with the prince. In fact, the only easy targets out there for the prince (un-shot) are the dogs and the chaos BSB. On the plus side, the Shaggoths are both expensive and relatively fragile – toughness 5 is something I can handle with ease if I concentrate on them for even a little while.

Kill the Monsters; avoid the Trolls

In conclusion: I can't kill the trolls without board control; I can't win board control without killing the chaos monsters (since they're faster than my own troops); and I can't take on the chaos monsters without prepping them with shooting. So here's the plan: every round that he is visible, shoot at Galrauch. In an open field, with High Magic on my side, my shooting phase ought to bring him trouble – he's only T6 with 6 wounds. For those times I can't shoot him, I'll shoot the shaggoths. Archers will work on the dogs first before helping out with the big beasts. Arrow Attraction will be critical. My knights can move in behind the missiles and wallop the weakened shaggoths in one round before I put Seredain into the enemy BSB. Galrauch will most likely go after my machines as they are the greatest threat to him (until he's down to fewer wounds, when the prince kicks in). If he goes for them, I can pin him with an infantry unit (preferably the spears) and, since he has to challenge, hold him long enough for some hard-hitters to run to the rescue. The eagles, naturally, will become troll food. If my army scatters I should, therefore, be able to prevent them from getting in amongst it and overrunning into more valuable targets. M6 will make this more difficult than I'd like, but there's nothing to be done about that short of Mystifying Miasma. If I can kill the big beasts quickly enough, I can assess the possibility of surrounding and beating the trolls. If it isn't on, I'll scatter my units and try and win on points.

Postscript in hindsight:

Something very important that I'd failed to realise at the time (but which Eldria and I talked about later and which should be noted here for tactical purposes), is that Galrauch's breath weapons are not magical. The possibility of using the archmage to pin him, then (should he approach close to my repeaters), did not occur to me until after the battle but is worth bearing in mind for the future. If you have an ethereal archmage, you can pin a monster like this indefinitely.

Now, a crack of lightening and the piercing, tortured screech of the great drake pierce the sky. The elves assemble silently in the darkness as monstrous, looming shapes gather in the distance...

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Battle Report coming soon...

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Last edited by Seredain on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:12 am 
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Hi Seredain!

Really looking forward to see the battle report and shame on Eldria for spoiling it by revealing the result! Bad Eldria! But I kind of understand his excitement as he won against very famous cavalry Prince so it would be difficult for anybody not to do so. :)

His army is indeed tough and a great point denial. With so many fast elements it is not that easy to outmaneuver it at all and as you have already said, he has a lot of tools to negate your advantages. On their own all the regiments can be dealt with but of course they are an army which is something more than the sum of components presented in the army list.

When I saw the list for the first time my reaction was - avoid trolls and kill as much as possible in the rest of the army. That would be much easier if he spent 600 points on other units but not the dragon. To hunt it down would be difficult but I think your Prince himself could do that. Having said that I would use your cavalry bus in such way that it would not focus only on dragon hunting but have a secondary target in their front arc all the time. This way you could charge it, possibly engage it and destroy it. This way you would not give up the initiative, maintain pressure, be able to get rid of other elements of his army and also be safe from breath attacks while in combat. It will take a lot of patience and strong will as it reminds me about maneuvering the cavalry under heavy fire. They are going to take casualties but need to maintain the discipline and charge the right target and not chase after the flier which has an ability to simply avoid your knights.

That teaser photo is simply great and I am glad the report will involve some pictures, especially that there are so nice and unique characters involved.

Please, do not keep us waiting too long! :)

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:01 am 
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Very interesting, I do wonder, however, if the BotEF would be better suited for one of your elite infantry units instead of the archers. As long as one wound is inflicted on a unit with regeneration, that unit cannot make a regen save for the rest of that phase.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:23 am 
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Having faced Throgg a couple of times, I know he's a b**ch to deal with. When he brings this many Trolls, I think the best thing to do is feed him crap all game and take out the rest, ignoring them completely. If you manage to do that, the rest of the list is easy enough to deal with. You always have the threat of Flames to cast on his Trolls, but other than that I wouldn't bother: it's 1000 points and you can give him basically half your units and still come out way ahead, if the rest can be dealt with accordingly.

I must admit that I'm not a fan either of knowing the result before the report is over, it tends to influence the way I read it. Regardless, this will most certainly shape up to be highly interesting and I'm eagerly awaiting your side of the story :)

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I have editted my previous post to allow later readers the joy of finding out what happens as the report shapes up. I suggest swordy makes a quick edit too ;)

As Seredain said its an awesome nail biter if some muppet hasn't spoiled it :oops:

I agree with Most of the pre-game thoughts, the trick to dealing with the ThroggStar is to avoid it and kill the 'softer' monstery parts. The shaggoths in particular are frankly a liability and if I didn't love the models they would be replaced by 2 far superior hellcannons and a warshrine (gives you an idea how crazy expensive they are for what they do...)

Killing the BSB early is a great plan vs the Throgg Galrauch combo as well. Without the re-roll I have roughly ~1500 points that could do nothing in a turn or in Galrauchs case even attack himself! So those re-rerolls really matter to the list and the BSB is actually quite exposed out on his mighty chariot and lacking his 3+ ward save in this list.

A thought on Flaming banner in combat vs the Trolls for anyone who thinks its the answer:

Its not.

My game plan is always to get the trolls into the flaming unit ASAP and kill it. I've not yet met a deathstar strong enough to deal with the Trolls even with a flaming banner. I'll link my Throne of Skulls reports:

http://warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=99964 where I play a smaller stronger version of the list.

In it you will notice the Trolls running over big combat units with Flaming banners. It tends to go seomthing like:

They kill 3/4 trolls, I kill the entire unit. (barring a little blip with some bloodletters)

In a previous Throne I ran over 20 swordmasters with a flaming banner with the trolls in a single round...

Also with High Elves because of our ASF only the unit with the banner negates ASF as they all hit at the same time (unless there are horses/eagles around!) so it really doesn't do all that against big regen units.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:51 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:07 pm 
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I see what you mean Eldria, how about if there was a mage with either fire or metal spells that would give flaming attacks?


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Seredain,

Long time fan. First time poster.

I've been out of the game for six months or so and somehow, somewhere, and somewhen, in that time the conventional wisdom on the banner of eternal flame took a ninety degree turn. When I was here last it was all, "white lions or swordmasters!!'. For pages and pages of internet debate. :D But now, the sober reflections of many a veteran has become, 'on archers'. Period.

Well, I thought this was odd. And I remembered your early arguments for having it on the white lions as 'monster hunters'. But when I checked your latest list I noticed that you had also swapped it to your archers! :shock:

Now after spending thirty minutes looking through the - ahem - rather copious blog here trying to find the point of the switch, my eyes started to bleed, and I gave up. :oops: Would you care to summarize your thinking on that? Or at least point me to the page of the switch.

Thanks a bundle,

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 3:06 am 
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Headshot wrote:
Now after spending thirty minutes looking through the - ahem - rather copious blog here trying to find the point of the switch, my eyes started to bleed, and I gave up. :oops: Would you care to summarize your thinking on that? Or at least point me to the page of the switch.

Search-fu! It seems to have happened between Dec 13th and Jan 10th on page 28. One thing I notice looking at those two lists posted by Seredain is that when the flame banner moved to the archers he also added a second RBT. The additional high-strength, ranged fire base may have helped with the decision? At the same time his lore changed from Life to High which dominated the discussion.

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