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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:54 pm 
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So, I played a final practice game with rusty before his upcoming tournament. This was an important game for the both of us - he feels that High Elves is a really tough opponent for his list and I wanted to figure out if I'll continue with Shadow or Life. Since this was potentially my last game with Shadow, I decided to go all-in and try a build I've been tinkering with lately.

:: The Superior Kin ::

So, my list:

Shadow Archmage, Silver Wand
Std. Prince
Mounted BSB, Radiant Gem of Hoeth, Luckstone (Lore of Beasts)

35 Spearelves, Gleaming Pennant
14 Archers, musician
11 Archers

18 Phoenix Guard, Banner of Sorcery
8 Silver Helms, full command
Standard DP hammer

2 Eagles
1 Repeater

His list:

Lifeweaver - +1 DD against spells with 4+ dice
BSB - hail of doom

10 Archers
10 Archers
10 Archers
10 Archers
12 Dryads

6 Treekin
6 Treekin

1 Treeman
1 Treeman

:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

Magic: I got Miasma, Enfeebling, Withering, Pit, Okkam's. BSB rolled a 4, swapping to Wyssan's. He got: Throne, Shield, Regrowth, Dwellers.

His list is solid and follows a principle or two like my own: For example, he has 4 combat units and a clearly defined firebase. The problem however, is that he's not as manoevrable as I am, and his firebase is most lethal within 15". Due to the sheer size of his units etc, he can't simply castle up since my movement will tear apart any weak spot. Likewise, I can't sit back and chill, since 40 Archers, Hail of Doom and Dwellers Below can potentially devastate me. This creates a lot of interesting dynamics between us, and it's funny how much damage output we have and how frail a lot of the models are.

Anyways, I believe that in the end, the flexibility between Great Eagles and Cavalry gives me an edge in this part of the game, which mostly feels like chess. For this game, we decided on Battle Line to keep it simple (as I understand it, all scenarios in the tourney are slight variations of Battle Line). He won the roll-off but wanted me to deploy first. I took the side which left him the least terrain with which to hide behind. I deployed my army a lot more stretched than I usually do. This was to keep his flank seriously threatened by my Phoenix Guard and disrupt any steamrollers wanting to go through my middle. Other than that, I got Dragon Princes against Treekin and Silver Helms against Treemen.

Image

He goes first, with a 6 vs a 4.

:: Wood Elves Turn 1 ::

A cautious advance and careful movement sees his Treemen move towards my Silver Helms and his Treekin move towards my middle, while fire lanes are opened up for all of his Archers. His Dryads move into the nearby woods, where they are stubborn because of being Skirmishers.

Magic is short and painful. 11 Dice vs 6. He rolls 5 at Throne, which I let pass. Dwellers is then cast with IF and kills off half my Dragon Princes. Sigh. They pass their panic test.

Shooting sees every unit target the Dragon Princes. 2 more die, and they panic!

Image

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

Well, if anything, I'm used to going second and I'm used to having a good portion of my army obliterated by the time I get to make a single decision. No charges are declared and my Dragon Princes barely rally (I rolled 10)! Silver Helms move up at full speed, the Eagle angling a potential Dryad charge away from them. The other Eagle finds itself useful as well, getting ready to play hide and seek with the Treemen, if need be. The deployment left it a little bit too far away from where I wanted it, but with a 20" move this is quickly taken care of.

Phoenix Guard advance a full 10", threatening his flank and middle. The Archers follow up 5", drawing line of sight to his Mage's bunker (diagram is poor - the Treekin were further behind. There was nothing in-between what-so-ever). I have a nasty plan for that unit come my shooting phase!

Magic, and I expect to unleash all sorts of hell. The dice disagree however, and I get a total of 5 dice vs his 3. I hoped for more as I would've preferred throwing 2 spells: pit and withering. I throw all 5 at reducing his bunker's toughness, he fails to dispel with his 3+1 dice. Luckily for him, the toughness is only reduced by 1.

My shooting kills his entire bunker but the Archmage survives, having taken a single wound from my barrage. Had I reduced his toughness by 1 more, he probably would've died. Another Repeater also probably would've killed him.

Image

:: Wood Elves Turn 2 ::

His Treemen move up to completely block my Spearelves. The Dryads stay put, not wanting to give up their stubborn for a pesky Eagle. On the other flank, one unit of Treekin turn to face my Phoenix Guard while the other unit moves up to threaten my pretty much non-existing centre. The Mage finds himself a new bunker.

Magic is again brutal as he gets 8 vs 6 dice: IF'ing Dwellers on my Archers. The resulting miscast does nothing, Throne protecting him. I roll my S tests very well though, and only lose like 4. I end the phase by dispelling Throne.

Shooting sees him unleash a LOT upon my bunker, including the Hail of Doom arrow. Faith, it seems, is not without a sense of irony: Olannon is left alone, his entire unit dead. I pass the panic test. His Treemen combine to kill like 2 Spearelves or something (poor rolls).

Image

:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

I charge Phoenix Guard into his Treekin. Time to see if they're worth fielding! Silver Helms charge his Dryads. I hope to kill him in 2 rounds of combat so that, when we're done, it's my turn again. The Spearelves free reform to get away from the Treemen and help out the centre. I eye an opportunity here for a pretty nasty combo-charge next turn around, so my Archers move up around the trees to give him no good ways out. One Eagle places itself 1" in front of his Treekin, the other blocks BOTH Treemen from interrupting my Spearelves. Perfect! Olannon moves behind the hill. Don't need line of sight that much ;)

Magic time, and I want to assist the Wardens of Asuryan. The Winds of Magic strongly disagree, and I get a total of THREE dice after 2 failed channels, snake eyes for winds and a 1 from the Banner of Sorcery. Seriously... Anyway, I get enfeebling through on his Treekin, reducing his Strength by 2. Now, with the momentum from the charge, a banner etc... It just might work, despite a horribly poor magic phase!

Shooting kills a couple of Archers - who panic! A great bonus.

Combat sees his Dryads roll 5+ saves like they've done nothing else their entire lives. I win combat, but not by nearly enough unless I roll very well next turn. Sigh, at least I'm safe from Dwellers. The Phoenix Guard however put up an amazing display and show that they can manage 5+ as well - wounding the Treekin 8(!!) times. 2 of them are saved, but that's 2 Treekin dead. In return, his S3 fails to impress me, and kills only a single Phoenix Guard. He needs to roll snake eyes but fails it. I run him down but stop 1/2" in front of his Mage + BSB bunker! One thing's for sure: I'm back in the game!

Image

:: Wood Elves Turn 3 ::

He charges my pesky Eagle, I hold. The Treemen split up, one follows my Spearelves, the other moves to block my Cavalry's path to his Mage bunker, should I win. If I don't win, he can charge me in his next turn. Mage switches unit, the BSB moves out, hiding behind the central rock (this was a big one - the 2D diagram doesn't shot it properly), out of sight of my shooters.

Magic - and he against rolls 6+ dice vs my 6. He throws it all at Dwellers, and AGAIN get IF. Come on... My Spearelves are down to 13 models. So much for ruining the Treekin's day I guess.

Shooting does next to nothing, killing a single Phoenix Guard or so. His Treeman finished off the annoying Eagle which wasn't charged, but I assumed he'd die this turn regardless.

Combat sees my Helms roll poor yet again. However, his Dryads fail their LD8 re-roll break test and I run them down! The Helms are now down to 5 models (the Dryads took their toll in melee). The Treekin kill the Eagle with ease and reform to face my Spearelves.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

Treekin are triple-charged. I do not declare potion of strength as I assume I'll need it more later. The Archers in the rear was to get the extra combat resolution: they die as easy as the Spearelves anyway so wouldn't grant him any free food. Saerith leaves the Helms to get a good tactical position for the last few turns, depending on how the combats would fare. The rest of the Helms wheeled past the Treeman to get towards his juicy Mage bunker. Phoenix Guard charged the Archers right in front of them, who fled and were caught.

Magic, and I'm praying for a decent phase. The result gives me 8 v 5 (would've been 10 v 5 had I not been ETC-capped) and I put it to good use: 3 dice on -D3T on his Treekin is dispelled. Okkam's on 5 Dice goes through on the Dragon Princes. He wondered why I targeted them, instead of the Spearelves. The reason is simple: they have flaming attacks, their steeds get S5, they're hard to kill (e.g. hard for him to remove Okkam's models should he last yet another turn). If he targets them he'll limit his combat res by a lot. Between flank AND rear charge and facing a rank too much, he needed all the resolution he could get.

Shooting - my Repeater has no good targets left so shoots the Treeman right in front of it - properly inflicting 3 wounds!

Combat is bloody: the Dragon Princes take 4 wounds (after saves) - which is doubled to 8. 2 Treekin die. The Spearelves and Archers take 1 more wound, meaning only 3 are left. They all attack the Archers, also with their Stomp: leaving only 2 alive. He fails his break test badly, even with BSB nearby (to be fair, he needed 3-). Dragon Princes and Archers pursue, while Spearelves reform to face the Treeman. I catch him, and the game looks to be pretty much over.

Image

:: Wood Elves Turn 4 ::

One Treeman charges Saerith, the other my Repeater. The first one fails his charge roll, advancing 2". The rest of his army moves to dodge me.

Magic AGAIN sees Dwellers cast for the 4th phase in a row, this time at my Silver Helms (I rolled terribly for my dispel attempt on 6v6 dice). Between this and his remaining shooters, only the Champion and Naenor were left. They passed their panic test.

Combat sees his Treeman easily kill my Repeater.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 4 ::

Saerith charges his Treeman, who stands and shoots to no effect. My Spearelves charge his other Treeman, hoping for Olannon to aid them. Helm Champion + Naenor charge his remaining Archers, who stand and shoot to kill the Champion. My Phoenix Guard reform to a single line, intent on catching his Mage before the game ends.

Magic is very low again, 5 v 4 dice. I throw all 5 at Okkam's, but get a low roll and he dispels it with his 4+1 dice.

Combat sees Saerith put 3 wounds on his Treeman for none in return. My Spearelves manage to get 2 wounds past his Treeman's T6 and 3+/5++, but lose a lot in return. They hold due to Gleaming Pennant, the Treeman now left on 1W. Naenor wiped the Archers in a pursue roll, having won the combat easily.

Image

The rest of the game went like this: My Spearelves lost to the Treeman, only the Champion survived. He managed to flee but never got off the table. My Dragon Princes taunted the Treeman with a juicy charge, the Drakemaster using his potion. He took the charge, but saved the 2 wounds I caused on his 6+/5++. In return, the Princes were wiped out. Saerith killed the remaining Treeman with ease but failed to reach anything else for the rest of the game. Naenor eventually caught and killed the Mage in my Turn 6, the Phoenix Guard blocking his escape path.

In my last 2 turns, I cast Pit on the Treeman, which he failed to dispel. On the very last game turn, I rolled a 'hit' but he PASSED his I1 test. That treeman, with 1W against Spearelves, then Dragon Princes with Potion of Strength, then 2x Pit, simply wouldn't die.

:: Victory Points ::

Counting up(for the fun of it) I was ahead by over 1000VP. A massacre to the High Elves!

:: Evaluation ::

Magic most definitely was on his side this game. I mean, getting off Dwellers 4 turns in a row like that. I don't even know how I had anything left to fight him with. Close combat rolls, on the other hand, were mine. The game felt very much like Chess at times, especially in my Turn 2 where a lot of critical movement took place, enabling me to get some solid choices in Turn 3. After we talked it over we agreed that overall, luck didn't play too big a part of it as we both had our good and bad situations. It comes down to the fact that he has a hard time with armies as fast as mine: having to use his Treemen to keep my cavalry from slaughtering whatever they please means he's often losing out on Thunderstomp. Also, Saerith is a real beast against Wood Elves.

As for my new units: Phoenix Guard performed above and beyond what I expected from them. That being said, they proved most resilient when shot at - a welcome change for any Elf general! The BSB Mage-knight though failed to make an impact. This was largely due to the fact that I never had a really good magic phase, and so had to use all my dice with Shadow's. The thing of it is, though, I believe I need an easier signature spell. 10+, or 9+ on Cavalry, is simply too much for him, it appears. I'd prefer a spell where I can 2-dice a spell with a somewhat good chance of getting it through. If this is a useful spell, sufficiently threatening my opponent, casting the 3-4 dice Shadow spells could be a LOT easier. A typical phase could be 10 v 5: 2-dicing a <insert useful spell> from the BSB, 3-dicing Withering, 5-dicing Okkam's. No good and safe defense against this, as far as I can see.

_______

So, 3 games in 2 days! Looking for some C&C here folks ;)

Regards,
~Olannon

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Last edited by Curu Olannon on Mon May 30, 2011 10:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Vindicated Strategist
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Brewmaster_D wrote:
Now the Warriors game certainly was more like it!

Great job combining your units to generate enough damage that you reduce the number of hits coming back at you. This is key with high elves (especially shadow magic weilding ones), and you did it here in spades.

Only one thing I would comment on in this match - In turn 4, I would have probably split up the drakemaster and the Prince. Let the prince tank the hellcannon (he's so well suited for this it isn't even funny) and run off with the drakemaster to preserve the points for the entire unit of Dragon Princes. In this game it didn't matter, but in other games this move might enable you to get a massacre where you otherwise wouldn't have!


Thanks, this game felt so good after I got severely outplayed against Lizardmen.

As far as I know, a character can't leave a unit after I've won a combat. They're simply allowed a reform, I believe. I thought of this, as the Drakemaster at this point was pretty much just free combat resolution, however I don't believe it's legal.

I'll make sure and relay your comments to the WoC general :)

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Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:36 am 
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Nice report :)

Just a couple of quick thoughts:

I'm glad to see the Phoenix Guard performing so well. They've always done right by me, even when the rest of my army's taking a battering.

As for fighting the Wizardmen... erh... Lizardmen, the one time I did it I found I did pretty well using high magic. I just focused on keeping Drain Magic up, to hamper his casting as much as possible.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:52 am 
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Modessa wrote:
As for fighting the Wizardmen... erh... Lizardmen, the one time I did it I found I did pretty well using high magic. I just focused on keeping Drain Magic up, to hamper his casting as much as possible.


Interesting that you should say this, as I was going to suggest High Magic for the Mage Knight to Curu. Shield of Saphery is a nice cheap signature that is amazingly useful on just about any High Elf unit (your Swordmasters would LOVE this spell). Plus you get a second spell free, which can just be plain annoying to your opponent.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:23 am 
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Death is often a good choice for the radiant gem character, although it is of course better for a prince. The signature spell almost seems written for a HE radiant gem character. The signature spell, spirit leech, is 7+ to cast, so even with a lvl1 you can 2 dice it comfortably. And unlike shield from High, this is a spell your opponent will definatly want to disspell. With ld9 you can take out many characters on a good roll and your opponent will want to prevent that from happening.

For instance, because it uses the unmodified ld you can take out a grey seer if you roll 1 higher than your opponent. This puts a lot of pressure on your opponents DD.

Shield on the other hand is usefull, but doesn't have the impact you are after I feel. If you have a lot of dice, your opponent will simply let you have this one and either focus his shooting on other units or hope to survive the combat. And drain magic is nowhere near as usefull as it was last edition. it costs you 2 dice minimum to cast and only increases the casting cost by 1 dice per spell (roughly speaking). So you only gain anything if your opponent has a strong phase and wants to cast more than 2 spells.

To sum up, I would go for death if I were you.

Rod

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am 
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Death is a great choice for a lone character, but Beasts can be devastating when used in a cavalry charge.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:36 am 
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The signature Death Guy is great indeed. Against Hell Cannons, Stegadons, Empire orc and skaven characters and hydra's it is absolutely fantastic.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:21 pm 
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Another comprehensive win Curu, well played!

I think the game showed what I was going on about re small Archmage bunkers. You both got away with it but it's risky IMHO. Withering obviously came in handy here but you can imagine the carnage when it's backed up by 40 RXB's for instance.

On the WE front you can see why a BSB is so important to them. There's a world of difference between a Ld8 test and a re-rolled Ld8 test. As said, they don't like heavy cavalry at all. As an ex-WE player I can see the strength of the Forest Spirits approach but it limits your flexibility a bit I think.

I disagree about Shield not being a good spell for the Gem guy. With kills being so important in combat now, removing 1/3 of the enemy's seems pretty useful to me. There are also times when one vulnerable unit really needs extra some protection.

I take the point about Drain being less useful now but consider upping the CV of Dreaded 13th to 28 or even of Dwellers to 24. I also think Shadow is worth a look. Miasma is a great spell.

So are the PG staying? What about the Lores?

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:01 pm 
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I have found that using death with the RGoH noble is very useful but can be a waste sometimes because you want his unit charging into combat. If you get the first turn or he doesn't move up aggresively then you should always have at least one turn of using his spell. If you get two rounds of using the death signature spell then it can really be devastating (the good thing is that it is only 45 points and on a prince you can still make him very tough with Vambrances of Defense and GW)

If I am using his unit as a flanking unit then it works out very well because then you almost always get two turns of him using the spell. If you are using him to run up the middle then it isn't as efffective and a buff/hex spell is better.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Curu, I Pretty much agree with your evaluation. As for general lists, yours simply have more tools in to handle all kinds of situations. If I should tool up to fight your army I would probably bring a Bow of Loren Alter and Waywathcers, among other changes. In a All-comers list I believe wood elves struggle, but at least it's a challenge :)

I think phoenix guard did well, and probably would do so with not so hot dice. They benefit a lot more from shadow, and aren't a auto-target, relative to swordmasters.

I don't really think you made any big mistakes. I did quite a few:
-unloading on the mage bunker without thinking through the sequence of units shooting. A more average roll on dwellers and HoD would have cost you the archmage then.
-Incorrect placement of my two treemen, several times. I wasn't thinking sufficently long ahead and missed a few changes at charging you. I also should probably have killed the eagles earlier. The way you used them totally screwed my movement in this game.
-Failing to use the terrain properly. I should have anchored one unit of treekin on the wall (chargers -1 to hit). When I thought of it I had already deployed one unit of archers, and blocked that opportunity.
-Underestimating the phoenix guard and sending my combat units in three directions, making it a lot easier for you to outmanouver me.

The game did swing back and forth a fair bit, so good fun in the end.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:22 pm 
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Modessa wrote:
Nice report :)
I'm glad to see the Phoenix Guard performing so well. They've always done right by me, even when the rest of my army's taking a battering.


No doubt, I rolled very well with them. Regardless, with Shadow support I believe they are by far our best Elite Infantry.

SpellArcher wrote:
Another comprehensive win Curu, well played!

I think the game showed what I was going on about re small Archmage bunkers. You both got away with it but it's risky IMHO. Withering obviously came in handy here but you can imagine the carnage when it's backed up by 40 RXB's for instance.


Thanks ;) About Archmage bunkers - you are indeed correct sir. It can be a risk! The problem in this game was that he was allowed to focus on them like that. With my Dragon Princes properly deployed, I would've had a lot more options. Besides, you rarely face more shooting than 40 Archers, Dwellers Below and Hail of Doom arrow in a single turn. I took the risk by having them there because I thought I could've killed his Mage. Had this opportunity not been there my Archers wouldn't be exposed like that.

So, the big question: should I stick with Life or Shadow? I've made my choice, having pondered the question all day. First, let me break it down for you, the way I see it:

Life
+ Great synergy with weak units and extended combats
+ Lifebloom works very well with my Characters
+ Dwellers is incredible
+ Miscast protection
- Throne is usually a must, which reduces my potential advantage
- Most of the time, it's fairly easy to prioritize against
- I typically want to engage hard and fast, winning decisive combats. Life does not provide any hexes to augment this and Dwellers can't be cast into combat

Shadow
+ Many useful spells, regardless of what part of the game we're in
+ Hard to prioritize against
+ Good synergy with units that need to win combat hard and fast
+ Okkam's is a game winner on potentially any unit in my army
- Higher Casting Values mean fewer spells go off
- No Miscast protection
- No reliable threats at a distance (though Pit is often times better than Dwellers)

Overall, I find Shadow better suited to my list. Having played a couple of games with it recently, I'm really starting to like it. Between Enfeebling, Withering and Okkam's, it's really hard deciding how to protect against it. It helps my units win where and when I need to - something Life is not good at. The only spell which can really augment this part from Life is Flesh to Stone: if your opponent knows this, he'll simply concentrate on dispelling it.

One of my biggest reasons for taking Life was its potential to seriously damage big units, as I perceived Hordes to be a greater threat to my army than Elites. However, in the Skaven game I never once cast Dwellers and got away with it just fine. In my recent game against Warriors of Chaos, I never once felt a need for Dwellers.

Shadow has an implicitly nasty spell in Miasma - at 5+ it's a real steal which will allow me to dictate deathstars as I see fit.

So - this means a couple of changes in the list! First of all, the Swordmasters are out. They deal insane amounts of damage, but putting lots of S5 on the enemy is not that hard with my 20 Cavalry models. What I need them for is covering the Banner of Sorcery and act as a solid infantry unit which can benefit from my magical support. With my current list and Shadows, I find them to perform rather poor at this task. Indeed, in my game against Lizardmen they never once saw combat. Instead, I'll bring about Phoenix Guard, which I featured in my last game against Wood Elves. Though way less killy than Swordmasters, they become a real threat with Okkam's, and are very, very hard to kill. My Core will remain the same, essentially. The Spearelves now have the Gleaming Pennant because that re-roll can indeed be very crucial when Naenor is far away, as Seredain's experienced a bunch of times.

Since I run Shadow, I don't have a need for boosting my various unit's combat potential. For this reason, I will mount Naenor, as I also did against Wood Elves. Most likely, I will continue to run him as a mage-knight, as it's an excellent build giving me great flexibility.

His Lore though, I'm very unsure of. At the moment, I probably rate High Magic / Death the most. The reason is that Beasts is hard to cast and doesn't really provide anything which Shadow doesn't already. With High Magic, I get a lot of flexibility against caster heavy armies, as well as allowing an easy spell to be cast on 2 dice. In a 12-v-6 phase, this means I can cast as follows (for example): shield(2) - withering (4) - okkam's (6). How do you protect against that? If you spend dice at my Shield, I can throw withering on 3 or Okkam's on 5, leaving a dice for Miasma. If you don't, you'll be hard pressed to choose either Withering or Okkam's. That being said, High Magic is seldom crucial, it's more of a 'nice-to-have' support.

Death Magic, on the other hand, is very powerful, but very circumstantial. It can be cast out of combat, though not into combat. As I'm mounted, I'll usually have Line of Sight to what I want to target. However, its range is really poor and flexibility not so much. Also, I don't find that I struggle with single models that much, whether it's characters or monsters.

I think I'm going to start out with High Magic. This has the added benefit that if my Archmage dies, I have 2 spells to cast per turn - making it more likely to get one through proper defenses.

A couple of other thoughts I've had:
- remove the Drakemaster and his Potion of Strength: this gives me a few points to play around with, but I don't really feel a need for them. In return I get a lot of flexibility without having to rely on magic. I might change this over time though, in case I feel Olannon needs a ward save for example.
- swap the Giant Blade for Blade of Leaping Gold: with Shadow this can be insane. However, I need Saerith to be able to operate independently and take on anything reliably. With his performance against Treemen, Razordons, Temple Guard, Shaggoths, Trolls, Iron Guts, Rat Ogres and Tyrant recently, I know for sure that the current build is solid. Blade of Leaping Gold has insane potential, but I feel it's redundant.

What do you feel? Is Shadow the best choice here? Is Phoenix Guard a better unit in this context than Swordmasters?

My next game's tomorrow - against the Lizardmen player. He'll be fielding Vampire Counts. The match against Daemons is post-poned until Sunday.

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Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Very nice evaluation. I am very interested on seeing how the PG work out for you. I have never used them and you are convincing me to go buy some and try em out :). I always enjoy reading good battle reports and evaluations on the list/battle. It really helps me with my game. Currently in my gaming group I have won like 9 games out of 12. I am the new guy and most of them have been playing a lot longer than I have. The reason why I have done well is because I spend a lot of time on these forums reading good threads like this one.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:55 pm 
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I think the bunker issue depends on what you're expecting to face. I think I will be facing substantial shooting and damage magic in a fair number of games so I consider a moderately sized bunker essential for my army. Regardless, I think 14 archers clearly a better bunker than 10.

Shadow does seem to be a good choice. In swapping your Swordmasters out for PG you've basically made sure all four of your combat units can take damage. The Spears are large enough to soak it up, the cavalry have their armour and the PG their Ward. One implication of this might be that any light shooting/magic may be targeted at your Archers now, given the loss of the Swordmasters as a juicy target for such.

As you identified Curu, instead of Swordmasters or Lions (which benefit from Life protection but already do enough damage) you now have PG (which are rock but benefit from offensive Shadow buffs).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:42 am 
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I think you should drop the potion of strength. DP either have sufficient strength, or the whole unit gets help from Withering or Mindrazor. It's useful if you're charged, but then it's probably too little, too late and you should never allow the DPs to be charged unless you want to.

Leaping Gold or Giant Blade. Keep the giant blade. If you have a bad magic phase you still have someone who can reliably take half the wounds off a big monster in one phase. If you're using leaping gold you have seven S4, not so hot. Also, your main Mindrazor/Withering synergizers should be PG and spears. The two cavalry units already strike at S5.

Good luck with VC. I think your speed and damage output is so high that you should be able to concentrate force and crumble through his units, probably...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Hey Curu,

I support your lore and list switch wholeheartedly. With tough to kill combat units, and decent ranged potential, your list really manages to mesh well with what the lore of Shadows brings to the table. It enables your cavalry to do damage past turn 1, and turns your spearmen and phoenix guard into combat nightmares. Your opponent will be forced into tough situations - Do I want a mindrazor to go through on my unit? Or dispel it and then face a withering for similar effect? As you mentioned, this creates a *very* difficult to manage magic phase.

It also gives you some defensive tools, which although they're not as potent as the ones in the lore of life, will certainly help to amplify the survivability of your already very survivable troops.

I think this lore is going to serve you well, and I'm excited to see how you do in your upcoming matches!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Just got home from my game against Vampire Counts! An interesting encounter, to say the least ;) I have never played against Vampire Counts before. Luckily, I knew more or less what to expect - many thanks to the battle reports in these forums by Swordmaster of Hoeth and others. Regardless, I was surprised to see a couple of their tricks pulled off. Anyway, on to the battle!

:: The Lords of the Dead ::

My new list:

Shadow Archmage, Silver Wand
Std. Prince
Mounted BSB, Radiant Gem of Hoeth, Luckstone (True Magic)

35 Spearelves, Gleaming Pennant
14 Archers, musician
11 Archers

18 Phoenix Guard, Banner of Sorcery
8 Silver Helms, full command
Standard DP hammer

2 Eagles
1 Repeater

His list:

Vampire Lord - +2PD, Helm-of-use-my-WS, 4+ ward stupid armour
Vampire - power stone, BSB
Necromancer - dispel scroll
30 Ghouls, champ
30 Ghouls, champ
30 Grave Guard, full command, banner of +1 to hit
1 Varghulf
1 Varghulf
1 Black Coach
1 Corpse Cart

:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

Magic: I got Miasma, Enfeebling, Withering, Pit, Okkam's. BSB rolled a 4, swapping to Shield.

Definitely a solid list! We rolled Battle Line (yet again playing that scenario!), I won the roll-off to choose sides. Here, I made the worst decision in the entire game. Please take a moment and look at the deployment. Before reading on, can you see why this was the case?

Image

At the time, I was happy with sides and deployment. I was a little worried by all the terrain in the middle but figured I'd be able to handle it. Despite him finishing first, I won the roll-off and got the first turn.

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

Cautious movement from my side, probably a little too much so. Terrible angling of the Dragon Princes, allowing an exploit which he promptly took.

Magic sees me Miasma his Grave Guard to -3M and Enfeeble them to -2S. I also got Drain Magic through. His Black Coach ate 1 of my dice. Shooting did nothing what-so-ever.

Image

:: Vampire Counts Turn 1 ::

His Lord jumped from Grave Guard to Skeletons - he now had all characters in this little bunker behind his main combat units. His Varghulf exploited my Dragon Princes mistake, moving up outside of their charge arc. I should know better the way I use Eagles. The rest of his movement is very cautious.

Magic, and we roll 5v5 after channels. He then shows +4PD from his characters. Man, I'm in for another run of relentless magic. The result of his phase isn't too bad though, many thanks to Drain Magic, and I lose 4 Phoenix Guard in total.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

My DP roll up towards his Varghulf at full speed, stopping 1" ahead. I was hoping to go around him next turn. Phoenix Guard reform to 5 models per rank (which is the maximum size I can get into the gully with). The rest of my moves set up for turn 3 charges.

Magic - I dispel Curse of Years on the Phoenix Guard. Black coach eats 2 dice. The rest of my phase between this is useless as everything's dispelled.

Shooting is excellent - his Corpse Cart is destroyed!

Image

:: Vampire Counts Turn 2 ::

I declare Potion of Strength to keep him from charging my Dragon Princes. This works perfectly as no charge is declared there. His Ghouls charge my Eagle though, which blocked both them and the Varghulf in my last turn, shielding my Prince. In hindsight, I should've moved the unit up more aggressively and only blocked his Varghulf. His combat blocks move up and his Black Coach dodges away from my likely charge range.

Magic - he gets 12 dice, I get 6. A couple of casts into the phase which I dispelled, he miscasts on 3D6! The result is a '3' and he promptly rolls a '1' - killing the Vampire Lord. At this point, he simply concedes the game.

However, since we were this short into the game and had spent some time getting there and all, we decided to continue. This gave me an opportunity to learn about Vampires as well as my new list while already having the win. Besides, playing is all about the fun anyways.

In combat, his Ghouls easily killed the Eagle and reformed to face my Cavalry.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

My Spearelves are now 9" away from his Grave Guard. I figure I can charge them and decimate them pretty hard now, if I can get support from Olannon. However, I assume he carries a dispel scroll. I am prepared to let another round pass before getting serious magic support - hoping the Spearelves have what it takes to get through it. Anyways, I roll a measly 3 on the 2D6 for a failed charge. My Prince had declared a charge on his Varghulf which he promptly made. What use was this when the Spearelves weren't in combat? Oh my... My Helms reform to get away from the Ghouls and the Dragon Princes shuffle 4" back (big mistake, should've continued their original path and hoped he'd roll poor for charge distance or just take it and wheather it on steadfast LD9). The Phoenix Guard move into the gully. The remaining Eagle flies into the middle to prevent charges before I'm ready. Another big mistake - I want him to charge me. Charging him means there's one combat phase before his magical support. Doing it the other way means it's only 1. He didn't have any chance of combo-charging either, due to the terrain.

Magic does nothing important, his Black Coach eating up a few dice and now being at full strength. Shooting is likewise disappointing.

In combat I take a single wound off the Varghulf for none in return. He loses by 2 (charge + wound) but this is reduced to 1 because of his BSB. I probably should've called for Loec here, simply to finish him off. Another mistake.

Image

:: Vampire Counts Turn 3 ::

Double-charge on the Eagle. Various reforms against Saerith.

Magic sees Ghouls vanhels'd into Saerith and Invocation of Nehek replenishes wounds all over the place. While he keeps throwing 2 dice it's very hard for me to keep the dispelling up. He also summons a unit of Zombies out of my Dragon Princes' charge arc, also preventing me the perfect wheel to get behind his main combat units.

In combat the Eagle dies, of course, and they reform. Saerith is beaten by combat resolution and flees a mighty 12" - through both his Grave Guard and Ghouls! No wounds though, and he stops safely on the other side.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 4 ::

My Spearelves charge his Ghouls and the Phoenix Guard move to intercept his Grave Guard, preventing a counter-charge. I needed one unit in combat to draw out the inevitable Dispel Scroll. I wanted my Phoenix Guard to wait due to being relatively few. I was hoping I could win heavily with the Spears and bring in Saerith the next turn around. Saerith rallies. My Dragon Princes finally perform their manoevre around his flank, far too late. Due to the Zombies from last turn, I was further away than I'd hoped.

Magic draws out his dispel scroll: it was 9 v 6 dice and I started with The Withering on 4 Dice. He scrolled this and used his 6 dice to dispel a poor 5-die attempt at Okkam's. Now, I just had to hold out...

Shooting kills a couple of Zombies, due to no better targets presenting themselves.

Combat - I win by a little margin with the Spearelves and he loses an additional couple of Ghouls. It would've been a lot more had they not had WS7 from his Lord.

Image

:: Vampire Counts Turn 4 ::

His Grave Guard charges my Phoenix Guard. The Varghulf attempts to charge the Dragon Princes, needing 8+ on 2D6. It ends up being 1" too short though, and I breath a sigh of relief. His forces in the rear turn around and move to intercept my cavalry. Strangely enough, his Skeleton bunker has their Rear towards my Prince... I'm thinking he just wants to keep feeding me Skeletons for the rest of the game, as I probably can't eat through them fast enough. Regardless, at the time it seemed like a good thing to do - didn't want him against the Grave Guard without serious support. Still, I had the Ghouls to flank-charge.

Magic - Curse of Years dispelled on Spears. He then casts Vanhels on his Ghouls until I fail to dispel.

Combat - Phoenix Guard lose due to musician but hold (casualties were 4 v 1). My Spears lose badly to Ghouls because of ASF AND re-roll to hits. They flee, even with Gleaming Pennant. This ruins my Dragon Princes' charge at the Ghouls' rear. Adding insult to injury, Saerith fails his panic test as I roll two 6's. The Spearelves escape though.

Image

The rest of the game was, as you can pretty much guess, fairly one-sided. My Spearelves reformed but Okkam's was dispelled again. The Phoenix Guard eventually broke, unable to keep up with his constant heals. Saerith rallied and survived the game - despite of having to roll a 4- test on his turn 6. The Dragon Princes were combo-charged to death.

:: Victory Points ::

As he conceded early on, it was originally a massacre in my favour. The way it played out, ignoring the miscast - he won big: my Spearelves, Naenor, Dragon Princes and Phoenix Guard were all dead. In return, I had killed a Corpse Cart and 2 units of Zombies.

:: Evaluation ::

Iniesta's a strong player and makes few mistakes, at least few which I'm able to exploit. In return, I made plenty of them this game. The biggest one was the deployment - the rocks in the middle ruined all my opportunities for combo-charging him. If I had chosen the other side it would have been a million times easier to avoid the grinds which wore me down. The way it played out, he was able to easily protect his flanks and get a very favourable grind in the middle.

My use of Cavalry was particularly poor in this game - I played them way too cautiously and the angles were terrible way too often. There are, however, 2 events which likely could've changed things:

1. My Spearelves hitting his Grave Guard instead of failing to roll 4+ on 2D6. This would've forced the dispel scroll a lot sooner and would've let me have much more magical freedom later on.
2. Him getting Vanhels through on Ghouls - breaking the Spearelves. Had they held, it would've been very interesting come my turn around: Dragon Princes and Saerith in against them could've crumbled a lot, maybe all.if they'd all crumbled I could've overrun into the Grave Guard.

These were longshots though, but my best chances after a poor start.

About the fact that I actually won this game - going as magic heavy as he does does not come without risk. Even on low-casting strats you will blow up every now and then, as I've so painfully experienced myself recently. I should've used Drain Magic more offensively to force him to use more dice. He frequently took a wound on his Lord to gain a die, only to replenish it on a cheap spell.

Vampire Counts are very relentless. In magic, their ability to cast as many times as they want is insane. In combat, they just never go away. Because of this, I needed to shut down one big thing at a time and then proceed to the next. Poor deployment and lots of mistakes made this impossible to accomplish.

In hindsight I would've tried the following: Pick the other side, get my cavalry far up as soon as possible. This would've meant him needing to do some daring movement to prevent combo-charges from my side. Also, I would've deployed with more focus on combat and less on shooting. Though my firebase took out the Corpse Cart, it would've been way better to have my combat units in proper positions. The following image demonstrates how my position could've looked like as early as Turn 1, movement complete:

Image

The Eagles would've prevented the most dangerous charges with proper angling, allowing me lots of options come my Turn 2.

As to the performance of the list - I like the way it plays! Magic was hampered a lot because I frequently had to dispel Curse of Years AND his Black Coach usually stole 2 of my dice - negating much of the benefit from the Banner of Sorcery. Phoenix Guard impressed me and I think no other elites would've accomplished the same: both Swordmasters and White Lions would've been grind down.

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Last edited by Curu Olannon on Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:37 pm 
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Vindicated Strategist
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As for your replies:

Nithe wrote:
Very nice evaluation. I am very interested on seeing how the PG work out for you. I have never used them and you are convincing me to go buy some and try em out :). I always enjoy reading good battle reports and evaluations on the list/battle. It really helps me with my game. Currently in my gaming group I have won like 9 games out of 12. I am the new guy and most of them have been playing a lot longer than I have. The reason why I have done well is because I spend a lot of time on these forums reading good threads like this one.


Though I've only had 2 games so far, I'm confident that Phoenix Guard will continue to impress me with Lore of Shadow. Like you, I'm relatively new to the gaming group. I've played some 40k with some of them earlier but I really only got involved this side of New Year's.

@ SpellArcher - if you'll be facing substantial shooting / magic damage, I believe the easiest answer is to take the fight to them. We're not a good army for fighting a shooting war of attrition. Instead, you need to engage with them. If they can still find the resources to dedicate against your mage's bunkers, I'd really like to see just how these games go the way they do.

@ Rusty - I'm becoming more and more inclined to dropping it, since it's a lot of points for relatively little flexibility now that I'm running Shadows. I'm not sure what to swap it for, though. I actually do have an idea that could be interesting...

@ Brewmaster - time will tell if I made the right choice. I can always just go back to the old list, of course (which I have yet to lose with, by the way!). Today, I missed Life against Vampire Counts. This was mostly because I played it wrong and Life is way better than Shadow in wars of attrition as Flesh to Stone makes you unkillable and Dwellers kill lots and lots of enemy infantry. It'll be interesting to see what lore you'll end up with! I seriously believe the Lore of Light is worth trying out! Your elites will benefit immensely from Birona's and the multiple auras are all useful and hard to prioritize against once you get into combat.

===

EDIT: What do you think about dropping a few points, e.g. the Drakemaster w/PoS to upgrade the Prince's hammer to Dragon Princes? This allows me to field the BSB in the other Hammer - splitting the potential instead of having one big, juicy unit. Also, I've found in several of my games lately that Silver Helms need just that little bit extra which I feel Dragon Princes often have. WS5, I6 and 2A is nothing to sneeze at. Also, the Cavalry Hammers rarely reach combat intact - which means the Dragon Princes relative damage output is higher as their main damage contribution comes from the front rank. Dragon Armour is not to be ignored either as everyone and their mother sports flaming attacks/war machines/spells.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:54 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
@ SpellArcher - if you'll be facing substantial shooting / magic damage, I believe the easiest answer is to take the fight to them. We're not a good army for fighting a shooting war of attrition. Instead, you need to engage with them. If they can still find the resources to dedicate against your mage's bunkers, I'd really like to see just how these games go the way they do.

Public enemy no1 is Skaven I think. The magic is so destructive that when you throw in the Doomrocket and other shooting they are very capable of putting major damage on early. They are also good at slowing us down, with the threat of weapons teams and the deep Steadfast blocks, not to mention all the Pestilens stuff.

I agree completely that we need to be aggressive but I see no problem in also fielding a sizeable bunker. Your 14 is reasonable and my 15 LSG slightly safer but 20 archers is fairly solid and not difficult to field I think. Some people use a small unit of PG but they can't shoot, the unit needs to be doing something constructive I feel.

Interesting report will have a closer look when I've got time. I wonder why he doesn't take the Earthing Rod?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:51 am 
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As you know, I've only faced Skaven once at 2500 points. That game, he pretty much had no time to even think about dealing with my Archmage. I get your point about 20 being a solid choice! I still believe LSG are very, very poor though - especially for a bunker.

One thing I've been contemplating lately is whether or not to include Vortex Shard. I find that with Shadows, spell selection isn't nearly as important as with Life. I probably could do ok with a level 4 without the wand. The Dispel Scroll, however, often is not of much use: my main problem is against relentless magic such as Slann, Vampire Counts, Ogres etc.

So, here's my take: almost every army includes a level 4 wizard. Almost every army which fields a competitive build has a really solid magic phase and spell potential. Now, here's the beauty: Miasma and Okkam's are not RiP spells and as such would not be affected by the Vortex.

Obviously this is radically different from anything I've ever thought about before, what with me ignoring defensive magic items and all. Thing is, I find dispel scroll too one-sided (e.g. it will not help much against dice-spamming magic phases) and annulian doesn't help that much when people chuck all the dice they have at 1 or 2 spells. Many times, my army is in such a position against a particular opponent that only a magic phase can ruin my game plan.

Examples include:

- Vs Skaven: When I had everything engaged and was about to reposition, a solid phase seeing plague and 13th through could've turned the game around
- Vs Warriors of Chaos, game 2: Granted, I lost this due to the loss of my Archmage. However, I was very lucky that he didn't get better Winds as I was able to fend off the worst. I held my breath here a couple of times and sheer luck with regards to his poor magic kept me in the game
- Vs Wood Elves, game 1: When I blocked his Treekin and charged his other Treekin, Regrowth seriously turned the tables. I really did fluff my attacks, but with 3 Treekin in my flank I couldn't do too much. If my Eagle had blocked properly, this wouldn't have been that big of an issue as I only would've needed to dispel flesh to stone
- Vs Lizardmen: He rolled Snake Eyes for a critical magic phase. This could've won him the game easily with a better roll. In general, I see Lizardmen as one of the best lists to play Vortex Shard against. Chances are that at one point you will set up for a super-assault on his crucial units. If you can deny his reliable Slann that all-important magic phase consisting of flesh to stone, shield of thorns and potentially dwellers below before you hit home, your chances are vastly improved.
- Vs Vampire Counts: The fight where my Spearelves broke was solely due to magic: I lost ASF and he gained it. With all probability I would've been able to hold had he not had any magic here - which would've allowed Dragon Princes and Saerith to hit home. In general, I believe Vortex can be really powerful against Vampire Counts as they're so reliant upon their magic phase for both movement and combat potential. The ability to kill off one such phase gives you potentially 3 (!!) combat rounds where he's unbuffed in a row. Suddenly, the chances for decimating those units to the point where they cannot get back increased a lot.

TL;DR version: My list plays kind of a blitz krieg style. I often find that a single powerful magic phase is all that stands between my units hitting home successfully and the game slipping from my grasp. As Shadow doesn't require perfect spell selection, I believe Vortex Shard could be a very interesting item for me.

What do you all think?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:39 am 
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The vortex shard sounds like a rather interesting idea :)

But it'd certainly require more aggressive play/careful maneuvering and planning to get maximal usage out of it - such that the one magic phase you stop is the game changing one. Not an insurmountable problem though.

Think you'd need to consider, however, what will you be giving up to slot in the vortex shard? Where will the extra X pts come from: 1 eagle/1 elite? Downgrading the drakemaster + elites? Or worse downgrading the DP bus or losing more elites? Not quite so much fat left to trim, unfortunately... The give and take is that if you put in the vortex shard to make sure those combat phases go uninterrupted by magic, you end up losing some pts of offensive/maneuvering power for those phases anyway, in taking the shard.

Could work though, would be interested to see some games with it ;) Certainly a jaw dropper the 1st time your opponent sees it since it's not a common item choice anymore nowadays.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
I get your point about 20 being a solid choice!

It's slightly problematic with the big spears and 2x archers set-up as you either trim the spears or spend over 600 on Core, not ideal. You'd also have to trim something else which is always tricky. Your 14 seems to be just about enough, I guess if you start losing the AM that's when you might want to look at it again.

Curu Olannon wrote:
I still believe LSG are very, very poor though - especially for a bunker.

I'm more or less constrained by the figures available to me. I'm still not sure though whether they are just a bad pick or one of those strange picks that can work in the right list. 20 is too expensive and 10 too small. 15 don't shoot as well as Archers but the AS is helpful. Once I've played some games with elite infantry in to take the close combat heat off I'll have a better idea I think.

Again, the Shard is one of those items that could be awesome with the right tactics. Traditionally it's been thought of as especially effective against Undead, reliant as they are on raising and Vanhelsing. It also seems to suit your list, as you do not have the mass elite infantry grind which needs several phases. One well co-ordinated turn can sweep the enemy away.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:41 pm 
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The question is - is the Shard a good item for what this army tries to accomplish and how it does it?

I reckon that every competitive build, save Dwarfs, have invested a substantial amount in the magic phase. The least you can expect to see is a level 4 wizard with a cheap item or two. Far more frequently, you'll meet something a lot nastier. As such, the Shard should, from the get-go, be an advantage against everyone.

The problem is its points cost and taking up an arcane slot. There's also of course the chance of blowing up the wizard before you get to use it. Then there's the question of whether it goes before or after you roll for Winds of Magic, which has a pretty big effect upon its tactical viability.

As for making points to include it - I would drop the Drakemaster and a couple of Phoenix Guard. These are hardly crucial points - provided I can make proper use of the Shard.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Hi, the 1 playing VC here.
The reason i didnt take earting rod is i mostly cast w two dice, VC lore has low castingvalues and for it its a calculated risk. With crumblerules from hell one has to regularly throw the summon undead horde spell, and with the setup for arcane item allows me to get a free powerdice (or more every phase if i need it), and when opponent dont dispel that spell i get that wound back + getting back(average another 9,5) wounds in a 18 yard radius or if im full buffing up ghouls further. With crumble VC need an insane magic phase + the helm of commandment to bring back wounds / decrease enemy killing or lose bigtime. 8. th edition has made serious decrease in possible compositions of the army if one want to win. The most stable one is to bunch up in magic and grind down the enemy with the aid of replenishing troops and mitigating losses through the helm and magic. That makes the army a bit one sided and the main reason i dont play it the most.
If he wanted to reliable kill me he should have gone all in with all his units, forcing me to not be able to hold em up. Yes i know i lost from miscast, but that was very unlucky roll from me, and with me casting on average mostly on two dice that danger was bigger for him as he was regularly throwing more dice on every spell. losing 1 wound from miscast(thats more common) make no difference for me because i can bring that back plenty of times per game. I`m kinda glad i conseded because the army would have crumbled anyway when i have overall such low ld and it happened so early. I`m glad we agreed to play further anyhow, i also tend to make such calls when playing me most regular opponent because its kinda wasted to finish after round two when it still was a possible match to be played.
I think that apart from some bad positioning i think he played mostly good. I think if i was him i would have wasted eagles on attacking my lords bunker, stopping me from using the ws7 on an unit within 12, with two eagles that could have stopped me two of my his cc turns(together with the buffing he could do), seriously hampering my damageoutput in grinding and crumbling me bigtime. was overall a fun match, and kinda fun when terrain being a challenge 2.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:02 am 
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Hey Curu,

The vortex shard certainly is an interesting idea. You give up a bit of offensive power/versatility in your magic phase in the form of the silver wand, and in return you get an item that has the ability to drastically alter the effects of one turn of the game.

When you look at it compared to say, the annullian crystal, you see that the item has incredible potential, but it is concentrated into one player turn. Whereas the crystal will provide its benefit over the course of the game, giving you a two dice advantage every opponent magic phase, the vortex shard allows you to dictate one turn almost completely, with your opponent only retaining the ability to dispel during your turn.

So to me, it's necessary to examine what you hope to get out of your magical defense. Do you want to mitigate the phase throughout the course of the game, disregard one hopefully crux spell (dispel scroll) or remove all opportunity for one turn?

The answer, to me, lies in what your list does well. As you worded it, your list is a blitz - in most of your games I could identify the one turn that pretty much decides the fate of the rest of the game. Typically this is the turn that your cavalry gets the charge off, hopefully punching a hole in the enemy line. Having the shard, provided you have sufficient foresight, can ensure that you end up in predictable combats without things like lore of light or life throwing kinks in your carefully laid plans.

Having said all of this, if you choose to take the vortex shard, just remember that it is a sizable investment - at 75 points, you need to be quite confident in your ability to choose the turn that will produce the most benefit for your investment. Like I said, I think it's easier with your particular list than most, however at the end of the day it is still a risk that needs to be evaluated. Might be useful to go back over your games in this thread and ask yourself, not knowing what any given opponent's magic phase held in store, which turn you would have used the shard. It could potentially be very revealing about the viability of this item.

D

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:40 am 
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One thing to keep in mind about the vortex shard is that it also disspells all your remains in play spells. Not saying that this is necsesarilly a bad thing, however if you are counting on that enfeebling / withering to win the combats, it's not going to happen. (Does it also disspell spells that last until the next phase like mindrazon?)

That said, I feel it is an item with a lot of potential especially against magic heavy opponents. It gives them a nasty surprise in that one crucial turn where their magic could potentially swing the battle in their favour. As for your archmage blowing up before you get to use it, that goes for every item you put on him.

Rod

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:42 am 
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@ Iniesta - Earthing Rod sounds interesting, your phase is already quite strong. Any chance of putting that get-one-extra-dice at somebody else? Though the values are low, miscasts will occur every now and then on just 2-3 dice. With Vampire Counts pretty much living and (un)dying by their general, this cheap item could prove to be interesting.

@ Brewmaster_D - nice summary! I believe your analysis is spot on ;)

@ Rod - it does not dispel lasts one turn spells. If Enfeebling and/or Withering are crucial to winning a combat, chances are that they'll be dispelled anyway. However, bearing this in mind, ie knowing that next turn's probably the vortex turn, I can concentrate my casting on the other spells.

I've decided to give the item a try in a couple of games. As with the Shadow try-out, that means 5 at the very least. I'll re-evaluate after those games. One thing's for sure though, I feel the need for some magical defense. I might end up with annulian or sigil, but I feel Vortex potentially fits this list way better.

So - Sunday's a fight agains Daemons. It's going to be interesting to see how I fare against them. I'll remember to read through Seredain's thread to see what advice he was given before his battle against the Bloodthirster.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Quote:
I've decided to give the item a try in a couple of games. As with the Shadow try-out, that means 5 at the very least. I'll re-evaluate after those games. One thing's for sure though, I feel the need for some magical defense. I might end up with annulian or sigil, but I feel Vortex potentially fits this list way better.


I think this is a good idea - I believe this item will have its own learning curve, so it deserves to have a fair shake before being truly evaluated. Like I said, it's strength is really relative to the player's ability to pick the right phase to end, and I'm sure this will take a couple matches to truly get the hang of it.

Oh, and don't forget to make a loud, obnoxious "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu" noise to signify you powering down their magic phase. This'll really help your popularity among your gaming group. :P

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Brewmaster_D wrote:
Oh, and don't forget to make a loud, obnoxious "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu" noise to signify you powering down their magic phase. This'll really help your popularity among your gaming group. :P

Or perhaps:

"What magic phase?"

:)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Quote:
Or perhaps:

"What magic phase?"

:)


Or alternatively, you could try the soft approach:

*draws breath in through teeth*

Oh man, you didn't get the memo? Corporate just downsized your magic phase. I'm so sorry man...


lmao the possibilities are endless!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:15 pm 
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A good read, and my only real comment is something you already noticed. Your deployment forced you to split your forces right in the middle of the field, which lead to difficulty in your line being able to dictate charges or be defended from his. On your side of the board though, it would be hard to say how else to deploy (unless you spend the first turn over on one side, rearranging your line from being clustered into a normal looking line (on perhaps the Left side of the field). Over there you would have had more room, but it would have taken a turn or two to get your line back into position (though his units would have been having issues to trying to realign against you).


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