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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:35 pm 
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I agree about Glittering Robes. I might use Seer on a level 2 to get Robes. Otherwise with this setup I'd switch Seer to Silver Wand. Only if you roll both 4 and 5 without doubles do you come out worse. Sometimes Seering Doom is a waste, but when you can use it, it is game changing good. Although since you want multiple small spells, maybe Seering Doom and Transmutation are bad outcomes, although they are awesome spells.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Rhetor militaris
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Quote:
That list does not really fit with your love of Plague of Rust. Rust does nothing to Daemons, very little to Skaven, and not much to VC. It only really hurts a couple DE things (cavalry and characters).


This is the main reason I suggested Shadow in the first place. As you pointed out in your post Curu, the hardest matches for High Elves are Daemons, Skaven, Lizardmen, Dark Elves, and Vampire counts; what are considered to be the best lists at the moment anyway. Because of the high Strength of our Elites, S6 White Lions especially, high armor save opponents are notably lacking from the list of poor match-ups for us. If you were generally having problems with Dwarfs or WoC then Metal might be the better option but as it stands, I'd still recommend Shadow as it cuts down on the mass body-lists which are so prevalent and powerful at the moment.

Quote:
I believe that apart from these armies, most of our encounters can be dealt with and any difference between Metal and Shadow can be overcome by strategy and proper use of units.


Agreed. Generally every army has something they don't want Plague of Rust-ed and Enchanted Blades is a nice spell, especially on Archers. However, if you're looking to consistently beat those listed armies you'll need strong magical combinations and synergy within your list, which really isn't Metal and High Magic as they do partially the same thing, enable you to get more wounds at the end of the day with shooting.

Quote:
The problem with this is that dispel scrolls, by far the most common defense, is so much more effective with these big-dice spells. Miscasts are also way more common. This is a big problem for me, as I don't need IF with all these small spells and the miscast results can be horrible. Additionally, I can have my entire magic phase shut down by a single dispel scroll. Imagine it's 9v4, a fairly typical magic phase. I cast Withering with 5 dice and it's scrolled. This leaves 4v4 dice - a situation in which it's perfectly normal not to get any spells through (though, most of the time, you will get one through). The question is - how critical is this for me as opposed to what benefits I get from The Withering? Is the -D3T that much better than Plague and Enchanted Blades? I know for sure that having Okkam's Mindrazor as a backup for close combat is a huge bonus. This spell will usually be cast with 6 dice anyways, in which case it matters little whether it's a level 2 or a level 4 casting it.


Dispel scrolls usually aren't that big of a deal, especially with Vauls Unmaking (delete it if you're worried about it, or force your opponent to scroll that rather than Withering by targeting his general before casting Withering). Moreover, you should only ever be using the smaller version of the Withering as 18" really is plenty to work with: if you get the first turn, move up within range and spend the next two / three turns backing up 5" / 7.5"; if you don't go first you'll be within range anyway. This means you can get away with only having to use four dice, which changes quite a bit.

FIrstly, you're much less likely to have to worry about miscasts and opponents scrolling you: if you're only using four dice, people become very leery about scrolling as they really aren't shutting down much of your magic phase (taking your example which is average, you'll still have 5v4 dice) and they worry that you'll later try to six dice a Flames / Vauls when you really need it (or even that phase, which is an option: chuck five dice at either and he cannot stop it now). Remember also that, even if he does scroll, you're still coming out ahead on dice and that's only one turn you have to worry about it anyway: the other five your opponent is sweating bullets because he cannot stop Withering and all your other spells.

Using four dice still allows you to "bleed" your opponent dry of dispel dice as you can throw either 3/1/1, 3/2, 2/1/1/1, or 2/2/1 dice for the remainder of your phase based on what you need / want to go off (in the case of two or more ones following each other, one of them represents Ring of Fury: in the case of three ones, the third is always Miasma). An opponent with only four dice (assuming he lets Withering through) still cannot stop all of your spells and you're sure to get one off with a 50% chance of getting a second. If he does stop Withering, then you get all of your spells off, as High Magic has low enough casting values that you shouldn't be failing them, which is sometimes more favorable. You can also push this if you're feeling lucky or your magic phase is above average: Withering is such a strong spell that your opponent is sure to want to stop it, even if he can't. If the magic phase is 10v4 for example (roll of an eight or seven with banner rolling 3) you're golden. If it's below average (8v4 say) reverse the order of your spells and start with High Magic doing 3/1/1 with the last being conditional based on his response. If he lets the first two go off, you don't mind missing Withering and you use all of your dice to continue casting High Magic (because he'd stop your Withering anyway and this gives you the chance of getting another spell). The second cast should also be the Ring of Fury if possible to prevent you from ending your Archmage's phase early. If he stops either of your first two spells, you get Withering and one High Magic spell off, preferably Flames.

All of this assumes that you get within 18" and thus only have to use four dice, but that's really easy to achieve safely (so long as you remember to continuously move back) and really allows you to capitalize on an enemy's small amount of dispel dice and your casting value being equal to his dispel (the whole, the more dice you use the less bonus you get). This is also why, while it's very tempting to pick another super-killy spell from Shadows, the second spell should really be Miasma; not only does it work great with slowing down enemy units, but reducing enemy's WS and I is often just as important in keeping your army alive and it has a low casting value to boot. This means that even if he shuts down Withering you can potentially get Flames, Miasma, Ring of Fury, and Shield of Saphery / Arrow Attraction all off or playing it safer, getting Flames, Vauls and Miasma / Arrow Attraction all off. Generally though, you need to be throwing multiple spells with a 50-60% chance of success to allow for you to capitalize on the fact that your opponent cannot respond (statistically giving you a little more than two additional spells) OR else play it safe and be sure to get two off (this is where the risk comes into effect: how much you think you can push the magic phase and need to in order to win).

Risking the magic phase is generally how High Elves are able to beat the aforementioned lists: taking a bit of a chance and getting both Flames and Withering off or multiple rounds of Miasma on a key unit is absolutely paramount to success. This is also why Metal isn't nearly as effective against said lists; you cannot risk anything to get a higher return on your magic phase and tip the game back in your favor. Remember, if you're playing against the top 4-5 lists, they're already at an advantage over you, just because of how the current rules favor them, and you need to do something to unseat that. Magic is the easiest way to accomplish this, and Withering + Miasma, the most practical and least risky (as opposed to say Mindrazoring your way to victory).

Summing it all up, Metal is a great lore but it doesn't really do anything to do address lists we have problems with. Yes, it's great against High Elves, Warriors, Dwarves and the like but those lists really don't give us trouble to begin with; rather it's the lighter-armored massing armies or monster heavy lists that do.

Hope that helps!

Axiem

P.S. I did re-read your battle reports and they seem to mirror what was said above (you normally had trouble with Lizardmen (a close draw which could have been a loss) Demons and VC (taught him not to concede!).

P.P.S As for the Prince protecting the White Lions / Archers how do you think a unit of twenty Elites would have protected them? Better? Worse? Why/Why not? Another unit of White Lions for instance would accomplish much the same role as the Prince (even against monsters, as Furion's is built) and wouldn't give up any points unless they all died.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Auctor Aeternitatum
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Worloch wrote:
4 - Most common application applies last in a diminishing returns formula (A bonus to hit will net you more wounds inflicted than reducing AS by the same amount, because you have to hit first)

Statistically speaking this is not true. To calculate the chance of killing you mutiple the chance to hit, to wound and to fail the armour save. The order in which this happens is irrelevant to the actual outcome.

Example:
4+ to hit, 3+ to wound, 6+AS (so chance of 5/6 to fail). This gives: 3/6*4/6*5/6 = 60/216 chance to kill (about 28%)
other way round:
2+ to kill, 4+ to wound, 5+AS (so a chance of 4/6 to fail). This gives: 5/6*3/6*4/6 = 60/216 chance to kill (again 28%)

Generally speaking, it is best to increase you lowest chance as this statistically gives you the best chance of a kill

Another difference arises when you get re-rolls somewhere. In that case it is better to get the bonus for one of the factors that doesn't give a reroll. For HE, this is mainly in rolling to hit.

Example: 3+ to hit, 3+ to wound. 4+ as: with re-roll to hit you kill 18.75%
get +1 to hit (with the reroll) and you kill 22.22%
get +1 to wound or -1 to AS and you kill 25%

Rod

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:56 pm 
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@dabber - I agree with your point about Plague of Rust against said armies. Will get back to this in another post when I have the time.

@Worlock - as Rob explained this isn't true. In mathematics it doesn't matter in which order you add or multiply a certain numbers.

As for Glittering Robes - I don't see it as being very useful to be honest. My magic is mostly offensive, and Shield offers excellent defensive measures. If I invent 150-200 points in that second caster, I want him to really DO something. Best way to assure that is to grab either Seer or at least Silver Wand with a very forgivable lore (spell selection wise).

@Axiem - as usual, you really give me something to think about! I didn't really consider Vaul's vs dispel scroll because I'm simply not used to it ;) Of course this is a great opportunity to force it out in an unfavourable situation - which makes it more forgiveable to take harder spells. As for the offensive usage of the mage, I suppose I could get around with it by swapping him out a lot in hard situations - this is a position in which shadow's attribute REALLY shines. As for your bleeding magic phase strategy - this is exactly what I'm aiming to do, only with more dice in most of the cases (to make the casts more reliable). Anyway, I get your point that even with a scroll around, I'm likely to get something through, thus my magic will rarely truly be shut down totally.

As for your argument about Miasma - it really, REALLY does make sense. With that said, I'm not 100% sure I can safely drop Mindrazor. I suppose though that with my intended changes, I have enough options with which to deal with tough/highly armoured opponents. Withering really helps me out here even without Mindrazor so I suppose they're somewhat duplicating eachother (with regards to having mass S6 attacks).

As to your PPS - how does a Prince AND a unit of 20 elites help me out? ;)

I have a game against rusty tomorrow and I don't know what he's taking (army-wise) as of yet. I do suppose however that it won't be an easy fight since I asked for a tough list.

Before that, I have some changes. Basically, I figured I don't feel comfortable with just one unit of elites. At 2000 points it felt like too little. I really don't wanna give up the Prince either. So, what did I do? Basically I went into awesome-mode and allowed myself to take 2 units of elites AND keep my Prince :)

Revised list:

High Magic Archmage - level 4, Ring of Fury, Annulian Crystal, Dragonbane Gem :: 345
Prince - Bow of the Seafarer, Armour of Caledor, Luckstone, Talisman of Protection, Great Weapon :: 262
Noble - Battle Standard Bearer, Reaver Bow, Ironcurse Icon, Dragon Armour, Great Weapon, Charmed Shield :: 174
Shadow Mage - level 2, Seerstaff of Saphery (spells TBA) :: 165

26 Archers - standard bearer and musician :: 301
15 Archers - standard bearer with Banner of Eternal Flame and musician :: 190
12 Archers - musician :: 137

21 White Lions - musician and standard bearer with Banner of Sorcery :: 383
18 White Lions - musician and standard bearer with Gleaming Pennant :: 293

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers :: 200
1 Great Eagle :: 50

====
2500

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:42 pm 
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Rhetor militaris
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I like it. It's missing the cavalry elements but you've made up for that by taking the second unit as White Lions, ensuring that a defensive playstyle will surely be effective against all lists, a somewhat less-risky plan that hopefully will pay off.

Besides the whole Prince vs more troops debate, there isn't really anything I'd change about the list. You've got plenty of shooting to deal with, well everything, and your elites are all stubborn and S6, so you won't have a problem with Deathstars or Cavalry Hammers. Against other shooting armies, the double White Cloaks will really help keep your troops at full strength. Nice also to see that you have two Bolt Throwers; with the extra White Lions, you should be able to protect them adequately.

The only small change I might suggest is tweaking the unit sizes for your Archers: if I was looking to take points off your list (to close down a victory point gap let's say), the unit of 12 archers would be where I started (and they would be fairly vulnerable). To that end you may want to drop a couple models off your Anvil unit (I'd suggest making them a unit of 24) and beefing the other up, making them and the unit of fifteen nearly equatable: that overall feels stronger to me, although it doesn't change anything in the list. Personal change though.

As for spells, I feel confident in saying that with Withering reliably at your disposal, you won't need Mindrazor in most games. Yes, it might be nice for those games when everything goes against you and you want a stable to fall back on, but if we're talking about averages and average performances then you'll probably find that most of the time what you did with Mindrazor you could have done with Withering anyway. Miasma just fits the build better and allows you more usage nine times out of ten, and also allows you to cast for the other five turns of the game. That being said, if you do decide to go with Mindrazor, I'd suggest dropping Ring of Fury as you'll be starving yourself of dice and won't have enough to do both, and the rest of your magic (and this + the Dragonbane Gem will get your second unit up to 21 models).

Hope that helps!

Axiem


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:37 pm 
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First 2500 point game in a long time! I asked Rusty for a hard list, and I got one! He offered up Dwarfs, Vampire Counts and Wood Elves. I find that playing Dwarfs is simply boring and random, and I know Wood Elves fairly well. So it was that I was going up against the Undead.

:: Ghostly Ghasts from Ages Past ::

My last list, featuring a small tailoring as encouraged by Axiem:

High Archmage Olannon, Ring of Fury, Crystal, Dragonbane Gem
Prince Saerith, Bow of the Seafarer, Armour of Caledor, Luckstone, Talisman of Protection
BSB Naenor, Reaver Bow, Charmed Shield
Shadow Mage Cael, Seerstaff (choosing Miasma, Withering)

26 Archers, std and musician
17 Archers, banner of eternal flame, musician
12 Archers, musician

21 White Lions, musician and Banner of Sorcery
18 White Lions, musician and std

1 Eagle
2 Repeaters

Rusty's list:

Vampire Lord +3A blade, hatred, ghoulkin, + attacks equal to hits from first go' round, 4+ ward
Vampire Hero Helm of Share WS
Necromancer, dispel scroll

40 Ghouls, champ
40 Ghouls, champ
23 Ghouls, champ
40 Grave Guard, full command and +1 to hit banner

1 Black Coach

:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

Magic: I threw 2,2,5,5 for Olannon and swapped for Shield and Vaul's - giving me a very good selection against him. He got what he wanted, can't remember what at the moment (for his level 3 vampire)

He indeed had a solid list. Deployment-wise I felt that I had no good options and was rather unhappy with the end result. I'm still getting used to changing my mindset for this kind of army and I think this deployment says it all. He marched his ghouls up (not shown in picture but taken in consideration for his Turn 1) and got first turn, the bonus he received from finishing first ensuring this.

Image

Note: I forgot to put his characters in. They are included in subsequent turns. He placed Lord with Grave Guard and the Hero + Necro in the small unit of ghouls.

:: Vampire Counts Turn 1 ::

Everything moved forwards, oh my so fast these undead creatures are! He was now standing just about 8" away from me.

Magic - he rolls snake eyes. However, one channel later and his +2PD vamp hero ensures he has a decent 4v2 phase, after I fail to channel. Due to some reckless positioning, he can't move his Lord's unit (regardless of movement it would've gone within 1" of his ghouls ahead of it). He Van Helsed these first but when I made it clear that he couldn't legally move them we agreed to put the cast on another unit instead. In a tournament setting, I might not have let this go by but in a friendly game, especially in one where I really want to test my army's limits, I believe I'm obliged to let this go. The result is that I have a big unit of Ghoulkin right in front of my archers with flaming banner. The second Van Hels casting (this time on the Grave Guard) was dispelled with a roll of 10 vs his roll of a 9 (I had +5 vs his +3 as well).

Image

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

My start is shitty, my position is shitty. I spend about 5 minutes thinking what on Earth I can do at all in this game. I quickly realize the small Lions need to go for the greater good. I charge them into the left Ghouls, hoping to be able to assist them somehow. The other Lions go against the right Ghouls. It's a stretch hoping that I can end this quickly, but it's my only chance - if the 21 Lions can survive, I have a decent chance of being able to really put a dent on his Lord's unit with combined charges, provided I've reduced them drastically first. My Eagle blocks his Coach's path for charging the Lions in the flank, angling so that an overrun leads to the flank of the Ghouls.

So - for magic. His Black Coach forgot to pull PD last turn, so we agreed it couldn't get any this turn either. With poor rolls and a channel from him, I manage to only get 6v5. Sigh. I realize that if I'm going to have any chance in this game, I need to get a decisive magic phase where shield, flames and withering are key. I reckon he has a dispel scroll, and I'm fairly certain it's not on his Lord. I thus Vaul's his unit with Hero + Necro, and it's rightly scrolled. Being left with 3v5 dice, I have to gamble. I roll 1D6 @ Curse of arrow Attraction at his Lord's unit, and score a 6. He rolls 3D6 for dispel, barely making it! (low roll) The remaining 2v2 sees me get Flames of the Phoenix through on his Ghouls in melee with my big Lions (right unit of 40 Ghouls). He loses 10.

Shooting - my 26 Archers, Searith and Naenor target his Grave Guard. Naenor starts out perfectly with rolling three 1's for his to hit rolls. Are you kidding me? This is just what I need to get back from a bad start... Saerith manages to down 3, his Seafarer Bow ploughing through ranks like a hot knife through butter. The rest of the Archers pull down a couple as well, along with the RBT plucking 1. The 12 Archers on my left flank put 1 wound on the Varghulf and the last Repeater fails to do anything.

Combat - my Lions win both combats, but not nearly with enough. They take a handful of casualties in return and it's looking grim for me as he's taking his second turn...

Image

:: Vampire Counts Turn 2 ::

He charges the Eagle with his Black Coach. Being 12.5" away from Saerith and Naenor, I promptly fail the Terror test and flee. Come on already! His Coach redirects into the Lions' flank. His Varghulf and Lord with Grave Guard charge the White Lions in the middle...

Magic sees a poor roll again leave him with a 5v3 phase. He starts off with a 2 die IF Vanhel's on the ghouls fighting my larger Lions (the only Lions with a chance at surviving, if I'm lucky). The resulting miscast drains the rest of his phase and kills a couple of ghouls around the necromancer.

In combat my White Lions have 3 models in base contact with his Lord and manage to put 3 wounds past his armour save (which was non-existant, save for a charmed shield which blocked 1 hit). He saves 1 of them on a 4+ ward, leaving him on 1W! In retaliation, he reveals his insane CC potential by single-handedly killing like 11 Lions, destroying the unit on his own. The overrun is 8" - leaving them just ahead of my Archers (he started 24" and a bit away and had now made 3x 8" moves). The Varghulf reforms to face the Archers as well, with the Ghouls overrunning towards the repeater.

The other combat sees his Coach fail a dangerous terrain test, and receive 1W for its troubles (he saved 3 out of 4 on a 4+ ward save). The Lions are reduced to 8 Elves but manage to put a couple of wounds on the Ghouls, his Vanhels hurting me. I hold on stubborn (thank you very much!).

Image

:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

I immediately realize that I just might have a chance at this game. I charge the big Archers, with an Archmage, a Prince and the BSB into his Grave Guard. The left Archers wheel to be able to target his Ghouls in front of my Repeaters.

Flames drops 10 Ghouls, leaving him with only a few left before combat. Magic is huge as I get 12v6 dice, after his coach ate 1 dice (I used BoS after it had eaten and got a 3 - winds were 6+4). I decide that I need to draw him out on a Vaul's, as his lord won't last 2 seconds without his ward. I start off with a 3D6 Vaul's, scoring 9. He dispels with 3 dice on a good roll, and I'm good to go.

The result is this: his Grave Guard are -3WS, -3T, my Archers are 5+ Ward, his Hero bunker lost a couple to ring of fury. Olannon is swapped with Cael due to Shadow Lore attribute. In hindsight, I believe I might should have played this differently. The strategy I used was as follows (number is for # of D6 used):
3 Vaul's, 2 miasma, 2 shield, 1 fury, 4 withering

I could've opted for:
3 Vaul's, 4 withering, 3 Flames (on Grave Guard), 2 shield

He spent all his dice trying to dispel Withering, which I saved for last. This trickle allowed so many spells to stack up meanwhile, just wonderful! The reason I went for what I did was this: with the withering failing to cast or being dispelled, I would've been unable to swap out my Archmage safely with a good strategy. Having 3D6 left, I went for the safe option since we wasted 3v3 anyways.

Shooting did nothing major.

Combat - the Lions crush the Ghouls and the Coach dies to combat resolution, its ward save negated by the special undead rule. The central combat, I believe I asked him for challenges but he had none. I had none either, and proceeded to Make Way! both fighty characters against his Lord (as neither were engaged). In the middle of it, he called out a challenge with his Lord and I forgot that I specifically asked him if he wanted to challenge and accepted with my Prince. Normally, you can't challenge after Make Way! and I'm not sure he saw this coming. Regardless, we ended up in a challenge. Saerith scored 3 hits due to his -3WS. All 3 wounded, and he rolled his three 4+ ward saves. The first 2 came up a 4 and a 6, the last spinning dramatically only to come down a 3 after a couple of seconds which felt like forever. Wuzzah! The rest of the combat saw my characters evade killing blow (he directed too few attacks against them) and when I hit him (actually this happened first, of course, as I have ASF) on his -3T my Archers proved to be solid. Despite of miasma, his Hero's Commandment Helm gave him WS6. I don't know if this is how it works when these 2 combine, but that's how we played it. I killed a lot of his Grave Guard, the Archers taking only a handful in return. I win by 5 and he loses a few.

Crumble rolls sees his army begin to evaporate, and I'm feeling confident I should be able to pull this through!

Image

:: Vampire Counts Turn 3 ::

Crumble time again and a few more models drop!

He realizes that a last effort to kill off my main unit with characters can see him win, despite his general dying. His Varghulf charges my Archers, his remaining Ghouls deciding the Repeater's had its share of fun this game (killing what? 2 models?).

Magic is 5v4 and he spends all his dice dispelling Withering.

Combat - the Varghulf only touches my Prince. Since this is the case, I issue a challenge with him. He refuses, which lets me put his Vamp hero at the rear rank where he can't butcher Elven Archers. The combat is a real nail-biter, as Saerith is brought down to 1W by the Grave Guard (no killing blow!) and the Varghulf had yet to attack. He scores 3 wounds on S5, the luckstone being gone. I save 2 of them on my (now) 4+ armour save, and Shield of Saphery helps me when I need it the most! Naenor bows down to a Grave Guard killing blow though. The resolution ends up being 14 v 14 exactly - a draw!

Image

:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

My White Lions charge his small Ghouls in the flank and my Archers reposition should the fight drag on.

The magic phase sees me get a massive 12v4 - and at this point he concedes the game: the combat is looking hopeless (GG only 8 remaining, Ghouls 16 or so, the other Ghouls 11) and with all this magic and the clock being 22:30 we decide it's better to leave it at that: I have 30 Archers outside of the combat, along with a repeater and full 3W Archmage. My mages are both alive and the shadow one could've swapped Searith out of base-to-base to keep him alive. It might've been worth shot but overall he would've been extremely lucky to even grab a draw from this situation.

Image

:: Victory Points ::

As he conceded it's a clear massacre to the High Elves!

:: Evaluation ::

There's a lot of things to be said here. First, my deployment has hardly ever been this bad. Looking at the board, I'm unsure what I could've done differently. The woods and hills blocked LoS so badly and forced me to deploy offensively. Even still, I had really poor arcs of sight and my shooting was really limited (this was not just due to his speed). Suggestions on this part in particular would be welcomed! (I won the roll-off for table edge so could choose).

Vampire Counts are fast. This army can struggle with fast armies as its shooting advantage is reduced. Deployment probably needs to take this into consideration to create more favourable opportunities, instead of being forced to charge in with both melee-dedicated units on Turn 1.

The Shadow mage really performed well here, and I believe the Lore Attribute of Shadow is extremely versatile with my list as the characters need to be able to swap out frequently and safely. I was unable to get a proper withering + flames combo off, but this really requires a set of conditions to be met: most dominant magic phases (12vX) sees your opponent with enough dice to stop one of them if it's crucial. As for Mindrazor, I didn't miss it a bit.

The Archers performed really well. The Withering made them very very strong, although the -3T roll was lucky (as opposed to -1). With that said, they never got to do much shooting, partially because of my poor deployment, partially because of his speed.

The fighty characters did what they were meant to in combat - slicing and dicing apart rank and file. It's a pity I couldn't put their bows to better use.

Would more infantry have been better than the Prince? Maybe, but I doubt it. With that being said, this is one of the matchups where the Prince is probably not the best option. I see him as way more powerful vs Skaven (HPA, Doomwheel), Daemons (Juggernaut-ridden heralds, greater daemons), cavalry busses (hello T3 rank piercing no armour save dragon princes/cold ones/empire knights etc) and the likes.

A problem I find with this army is frontage. I tend to find that my units clutter up too much, the melee getting in the way of my shooting arcs etc. I guess this is something I need to work on. I would very much like your input with regards to this specific aspect.

As for Rusty, he made a few mistakes. Capitalizing on them allowed me to get back from a bad start, with a bit of luck and good magic results. First, his Vampire Lord was too vulnerable. Granted, he could kill 12-16 Elves per turn, easily, but as important as a general is to the Vampire Counts, this is too risky. Secondly, his careless positioning of the right Ghouls denied his Lord's Grave Guard to be Vanhelsed in Turn 1. This gave me the chance to engage him at my terms - maximizing the Archers against him while keeping the characters out (to allow Make Way!). Apart from this though, he played very well. I suppose in a lot of ways this game was pretty much point and click for him, seeing as he had units engaged so fast and magic was rather poor (not much prioritization to do).

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Retired from Warhammer. Playing Warmachine & Hordes (Cygnar).

Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:49 am 
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Hey Curu!

Nice report, as always! I looked at your position after his first turn and wondered how the match could possibly go your way. Well done!

With regards to your deployment:

I think the way I would have deployed would have differed a bit. My strategy would have probably been to have the two units of lions in the middle, and the archers on the outside edges. An army like the one you faced is very singular in purpose; get up in their faces as quickly as possible. The archers are prime targets, because they don't pack much of a bit back. By having the archers towards the outside, he'd have two choices - fight the hard units in the middle, which will almost definitely win combat and cause his numbers to dwindle or swing out towards the archers and face some very nasty flank charges from the same units.

I really feel like this list would benefit from an eagle or two more - both to get the advantage with deployment (getting the +1 to go first is going to be a tough task as it is, so adding a couple more doesn't change much) and for slowing down/redirecting your opponents. Even one more eagle would have saved you from a couple of those really tough decisions you had to make first turn. Plunk the eagle down in front of the unit on the West, and you get a round of free shooting on it before you have to commit the lions.

I just see the eagles being so much more valuable in a list like this than the Prince. For his points, you could get two more eagles and beef up the second unit of lions without sacrificing that much, in my humble opinion :)

Curu Olannon wrote:
The Shadow mage really performed well here, and I believe the Lore Attribute of Shadow is extremely versatile with my list as the characters need to be able to swap out frequently and safely.


This guy didn't just perform well, he stole the show lol! I'm definitely going to run a level 2 shadow mage next time I run a list like this.

I really like your choice to split the unit of lions. I think it mitigates your risk, and increases your tactical options.

One last thing I noticed is that the ghouls in front of the archers in the first picture seem to shift right in the second. Could this have been a flank charge opportunity? With the flank charge bonus, and disrupting bonus, plus your kills reducing his attacks back on the archers, this could have potentially aided you in busting that unit a bit quicker. By my math, your lions and archers should have killed about 15, leaving only 5 models on the flank to attack back on the archers, and safely getting your mage out of any sort of risk.

D

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:05 am 
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Nice report Curu, thanks for sharing!

I've been taking a break from the High Elves but when I come across lists like this I just want to jump back into the game and playtest them.

Looking forward to doing some more reading of your thread.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:54 am 
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Nice report. I pretty much agree with the conclusions. I made some crucial mistakes. In addition to the ones you mentioned, I should and could have deployed ghouls wider, or combat reformed them once the lions charged in. Having a better protected vampire lord start in one of the ghoul units would have been a wiser choice too. Then any WL charge on that unit would end very badly for the lions. As it were, I allowed you to engage on your terms.

Oh well, next time I'm bringing daemons, maybe I'll have a chance then :wink:

Edit: My list was
Vampire Lord, lvl 3, crown og the damned, Sword of blodshed, charmed shield, ghoulkin, infinite hatred, red fury.
Vampire, Helm of Commandment, Master of the Dark Arts.
Necromancer, Van Hels, Dispel scroll

2x40 ghouls, ghast
23 ghouls
40 Grave guard, full command, banner of Barrows

Varghulf
Black Coach

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Last edited by rusty on Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:21 pm 
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@ Brewmaster_D - With regards to deployment, your idea may have worked. I originally wanted to play refused flank but this proved to be impossible due to the terrain. I may have been able to sacrifice an RBT and the smallest unit of Archers to achieve this, taking up the barricades as my defended corner. Problem is, this would've left me fairly static against his magically assisted movement and the central woods would've kept him safe for a long time. As for dropping the Prince - I will only consider this if I see him perform very poorly in a game (without just rolling horrible for him) or if someone can come up with a specific army suggestion which really appeals to me. As it stands now, I don't see a lot of value in a second Eagle nor a few more Lions to be honest.

The Shadow Mage, Cael, really did perform above and beyond the call of duty. I'm glad you all convinced me before I had my first game at 2500 points.

The right Lions charging his ghouls - this indeed did force him to shift his unit somewhat. The big Archers would've been able to launch a flank charge here, with the Prince, BSB and Archmage engaging him. The other Archer unit had no chance of getting past the Lions and I felt that leaving the big Archers in the middle of it all was too risky - even a victory could see his graveguard deathstar and other ghouls combo-charging me the next turn (not to mention the Black Coach!). There's only so much a free reform or potential overrun would've helped me out here. Maybe the Eagle could've mitigated things somewhat, but I felt it would've been too much of a risky move.

@Jimmy - good to see you back again and interested in playing High Elves! I remember your frustration a couple of months back. Lately there's been a lot of different lists around here seemingly performing well. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that your run-of-the-mill High Elves army simply doesn't have anything special enough to be competitive. However, when things like S9 Eagle Princes, Star Dragons, Magic-shooting Synergy lists and Seredain's cavalry come out, we have something that's powerful and rare - very hard to deal with. Hopefully you can find your own niche here, getting more victories, success and satisfaction :)

@rusty - one thing I forgot to mention: Your right ghoul unit, who was charged by the Lions, was just barely in my LoS. Reading over the BR, I had to check on my photos. Indeed my Lions could only barely make the charge (to to the 90 degree arc). If you had placed them just a little further left, this would've denied my Lions an intervention. In turn, this probably would've forced a combo-charge by both Archer units - something that could indeed have been dangerous (I may have been able to sacrifice the Eagle here to force you to charge and redirect into the Lions, not sure).

With any reasonably defensive set-up on your Lord, you probably would've won. As such, my tactical errors were bigger than yours. In the end, a bit of luck and a risky Lord setup on your part was what decided the game, in my opinion.

I'm going to update the first post in this thread and write a couple of paragraphs about the recent changes. Even though I hardly have a dozen games at 2500 points, things have evolved a lot from the beginning. For new people reading this thread, it would probably be nice to get the rationale behind this nicely summed up.

Regards,
~Olannon

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Rereading my list I noticed I made a few errors.
-I didn't have champ in the small ghoul unit.
-Power dice from Master of the Black Arts can only be used by that mage, no one else. Not usually a problem, but when MotBA provided roughly 50% of all my dice throughout the game...
-Forgeting tests for Crown of stupidity

Seing as this is my 5th VC game in 8th ed, and I got to butcher 11 lions in one swipe, I'm quite happy. A rematch at one point would prove interesting.

Any good suggestions for protecting the general? My Vampire Lord had a 4+ ward for 35 pts, and could buy a 2+ AS for 25 pts. Still, AS doesn't help much vs S6. Vs HE the sword of swift slaying would actually be a better bet, reducing your chance to hit.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Question is - do you want him in combat at all?

You could do like this:

Armour of 2+ save (25 pts)
Dawnstone (re-roll armour save) (25 pts)
4+ ward (35 points)

For damage, I'd just go with a great weapon I think. If you're worried about ASF opponents, Gold Sigil Sword offers even more protection.

I'll bear in mind the MotBA special rule indeed!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:56 pm 
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If I want to play it safe and have a better chance of winning, no.

Here's as safe and solid one, hiding in a bunker, raising and Van Helsing the rest of the army:
Vampire Lord,
extra level, Master of the Black Arts,
Dark Acolyte, Summon Ghouls
Talisman of Preservation, Helm of
Commandment, Earthing Rod 450

Just saying there's lots nastier VC out here :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:34 pm 
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As ever a great read and an interesting new list you've taken to playing.

I agree with some of the other posts about eagles. I think you need more. By dropping an RBT and taking another eagle (you could get two or put the points elsewhere - maybe into WL champs to take challenges?) I think you might mitigate the problem you had here of the baddies being on your doorstep before you could even use your ranged firepower - you couldn't get the best out of the magic bows and large archer units you had here because the vamps were on top of you so quickly. Admittedly this might be a problem with vamps especially due to vanhel's but I do think extra eagles will help both here and against others.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Cor, bit of a nailbiter that one! The Vampire Lord fought bravely but against so many White Lions and shadow magic needed to pick his battles better.

Why would ASF sword matter? Your Vampire lord has better initiative than White Lions (although Miasma can make the difference I guess). If you're going to fight such powerful enemies, then Blood Drinker and a Potion of Strength will keep him in the fight longer. Ideally you'd want either immune to KB armour or 2+ and Drakenhof Banner to provide his protection. And, since you've got a solid combat list where your Lord will die sometimes but do a helluva lot of damage in the process, a BSB is a must (As noted above, perhaps with Drakenhof Banner), since it will slow down your crumbling substantially.

Also, no casting Flames of the Phoenix into combat. I'm sure the Ghouls would have died either way, or another target would have been just as lethal :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Despite of miasma, his Hero's Commandment Helm gave him WS6. I don't know if this is how it works when these 2 combine, but that's how we played it.

Yes, that's correct; that specific example is mentioned in the VC FAQ. Next time, Miasma the Hero's bunker instead!

Stormie wrote:
Also, no casting Flames of the Phoenix into combat.

As discussed elsewhere on this forum, and all over the web, this point (and Scorch, Gateway, etc.) is very open to interpretation and/or house ruling. I agree that Flames can't go into close combat, but I'd say I'm in the minority (at least on Ulthuan.net).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:20 pm 
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put me in the "flames can't be cast into CC" camp.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Seems like I'm late to the party!

First off, a big congratulations Curu for an impressive win, despite the setbacks.

Secondly, very happy to see you went with Miasma and Withering, and even happier that it payed off for you!

Next the battle report.

Quote:
Due to some reckless positioning, he can't move his Lord's unit (regardless of movement it would've gone within 1" of his ghouls ahead of it). He Van Helsed these first but when I made it clear that he couldn't legally move them we agreed to put the cast on another unit instead. In a tournament setting, I might not have let this go by but in a friendly game, especially in one where I really want to test my army's limits, I believe I'm obliged to let this go.


See what being kind hearted gets you? You end up coming back from a rocky start to win the game! Had you been nit-picky, you may very well have lost to bad Karma!

Quote:
I quickly realize the small Lions need to go for the greater good. I charge them into the left Ghouls, hoping to be able to assist them somehow.


Personally, I wouldn't have charged them and instead put them an inch in front of the Ghouls, possibly swift reforming them to keep them alive longer (four by five even). Also, you placed them skewed right (sticking out on the right) which is the only reason he got his Grave Guard in anyway: when you aligned you should have aligned maximizing from left to right (rather than right to left as you did) which would have prevented his GG from getting it. As another option, you could have reformed them into a kongo line which would have resulted in you only losing (at very maximum) a third of the unit per combat phase and also prevented the unit of Grave Guard from being able to get into combat (they would have been on your front but unable to join the fray from where they were).

Quote:
I thus Vaul's his unit with Hero + Necro, and it's rightly scrolled. Being left with 3v5 dice, I have to gamble. I roll 1D6 @ Curse of arrow Attraction at his Lord's unit, and score a 6. He rolls 3D6 for dispel, barely making it! (low roll) The remaining 2v2 sees me get Flames of the Phoenix through on his Ghouls in melee with my big Lions (right unit of 40 Ghouls). He loses 10.


Now that's how you do magic! You got rid of his dispel scroll on your terms, rather than the other way around, and then forced him to make the impossible choice between Arrow Attraction and Flames of the Phoenix. Brilliantly handled!

Quote:
Magic is huge as I get 12v6 dice. The result is this: his Grave Guard are -3WS, -3T, my Archers are 5+ Ward, his Hero bunker lost a couple to ring of fury. Olannon is swapped with Cael due to Shadow Lore attribute. In hindsight, I believe I might should have played this differently. The strategy I used was as follows (number is for # of D6 used):
3 Vaul's, 2 miasma, 2 shield, 1 fury, 4 withering

I could've opted for:
3 Vaul's, 4 withering, 3 Flames (on Grave Guard), 2 shield

He spent all his dice trying to dispel Withering, which I saved for last. This trickle allowed so many spells to stack up meanwhile, just wonderful!


Not shabby at all. Yes, you could have risked going for Flames as well, but as it stands, Miasma was just as useful (you may not have killed his Vampire without it!). If you'd really wanted to risk it, you could have gone with: 3 Vauls, 4 Withering, 3 Flames, 1 Shield, 1 Miasma, but generally being greedy hurts you in the long run.

Quote:
Saerith scored 3 hits due to his -3WS. All 3 wounded, and he rolled his three 4+ ward saves. The first 2 came up a 4 and a 6, the last spinning dramatically only to come down a 3 after a couple of seconds which felt like forever. Wuzzah!


Happy days! Always nice to kill a Vampire Lord; it nearly always marks the beginning of the end for VC. Great comeback.

In response to Evaluation:

As for deployment, it wasn't as bad as you probably think: that's generally how you want to setup the list. Archers in the middle, elites on the outside, Bolt Throwers well protected in between. As far as generalities go, you did well. As for specifics, I would have deployed the archers a little bit farther back (like six to eight inches behind your front line): he has less drops than you, so you knew that he was probably going first, and even if he didn't, you could have just moved forward a little bit anyway and been at exactly max range, making it harder for him to connect with you in later turns.

The other, and more complicated solution could have been taking the other table edge and trying to make the most out of the terrain on that side, weighting the left side (as the picture stands). You archers would have gone in between the hill and the rocky bit with the White Lions being to the left of the rocks and on the hill. This would have been a very defensive position as your White Lions would have easy flanks and it would have forced him to split up his spearhead attack away from your center.

Quote:
The Shadow mage really performed well here, and I believe the Lore Attribute of Shadow is extremely versatile with my list as the characters need to be able to swap out frequently and safely. I was unable to get a proper withering + flames combo off, but this really requires a set of conditions to be met: most dominant magic phases (12vX) sees your opponent with enough dice to stop one of them if it's crucial. As for Mindrazor, I didn't miss it a bit.


Glad to hear it! Convert from Metal then? As for the Withering + Flames combo, it is tricky to get off but partially its benefit is a psychological one: opponents will realize how effective this is and they'll be sure to stop it, allowing you to, as you did in your key magic phase, get everything else off you wanted to.

Quote:
Would more infantry have been better than the Prince? Maybe, but I doubt it. With that being said, this is one of the matchups where the Prince is probably not the best option. I see him as way more powerful vs Skaven (HPA, Doomwheel), Daemons (Juggernaut-ridden heralds, greater daemons), cavalry busses (hello T3 rank piercing no armour save dragon princes/cold ones/empire knights etc) and the likes.


Hey that's my question! Agreed though: against certain armies the Prince does have his high points but against VC probably would have been better suited with troops. More importantly though, if you're enjoying playing with him, keep him as you tend to play better with models you're happy with.

Quote:
As for Rusty, he made a few mistakes. Capitalizing on them allowed me to get back from a bad start, with a bit of luck and good magic results. First, his Vampire Lord was too vulnerable. Granted, he could kill 12-16 Elves per turn, easily, but as important as a general is to the Vampire Counts, this is too risky. Secondly, his careless positioning of the right Ghouls denied his Lord's Grave Guard to be Vanhelsed in Turn 1. This gave me the chance to engage him at my terms - maximizing the Archers against him while keeping the characters out (to allow Make Way!). Apart from this though, he played very well. I suppose in a lot of ways this game was pretty much point and click for him, seeing as he had units engaged so fast and magic was rather poor (not much prioritization to do).


This is true but had you deployed slightly better, it would have resulted in the same. You both took killer armies and both made mistakes with them: worked out for you in your case but had you both played brilliantly the result still would have been similar simply due to the nature of the lists.

Looks like you've gotten the hang of the list: first WoC and now VC taken apart with relative ease (ok, maybe not so much ease in the second case). With a little more practice, you should have the list ironed out completely. So what do you think of it? Anything you aren't happy with? How about the small units of archers? The Ring of Fury (had you actually casted Flames instead, you wouldn't have needed it)? The Banner of Eternal Flame placement? Was there any point in the game that you said to yourself, I really wish I had X right now?

Not really much else to say, you've gotten a hang of how the magic works and that's ninety-percent of the list right there. Most importantly however, when you're making mistakes, your instantly recognizing what you should have done in each case and that will hopefully prevent you from making such mistakes in the future!

Anyway, terrific win! Glad you were able to do the High Elves justice!

Axiem



In response to Brewmaster-D and John Rainbow's suggestion for more Eagles, I'd encourage you to keep with the Bolt Throwers. You haven't really needed the extra eagles so far (even with your one failing the Terror test, you still did fine) and the extra deploys might hurt you more than the Bolt Throwers help (as you generally want first turn). Also, against lists with Giants, Great Demons, Sphynix, and the like, the extra Bolt Thrower will be much more effective than a couple of eagles.

In response to Stormie's and Lord Anathir's posts,
Quote:
Also, no casting Flames of the Phoenix into combat.


Flames of the Phoenix can indeed be cast into combat and I haven't heard of a single tournament stating otherwise, especially not for Flames when there are so many other more dangerous spells out there. It is not a direct damage spell as of now and as such is treated more like a hex spell with a damage component which, since the FAQ also doesn't state otherwise, trumps rule book inferred understanding that it would function as a Direct Damage spell.

Unless there is some unwritten agreement stating otherwise, playing at tournament level (even outside a tournament: which it appears they were as the 1" between allies was being enforced, which often isn't in casual play) means taking the rules as they are, not as they are interpreted as intending to be. I agree that in the spirit of the game between casual players, this could be argued but these are two good players each enjoying the game to it's fullest and playing the hand they've been dealt. Also keep in mind it's not Gateway or 13th, it won't automatically destroy your entire unit if it goes off, and nearly always remains un-comped as a result, even in tournaments which restrict Gateway and 13th.

Axiem


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:27 pm 
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:: Once Upon a Time ::

This army blog started out with me being inspired by Seredain's thread about the cavalry prince. Basically, this is a school of approach quite different to your run-of-the-mill High Elves competitive army: Seredain chose to centre his fighting potential on the least popular choice in the book - the Silver Helms. Essentially, they act as a delivery system for his 2 hard characters, both of which are mounted and highly armoured. His thread can be found here

Instead of copying his army, I wanted to try my own version of this. I started out with the basic idea that I wanted to have 4 combat blocks, spreading out my potential. I settled for 2 strong cavalry units - one big unit of Dragon Princes and a smaller of Silver Helms to carry a fighty Prince. Unlike Seredain, I chose to spread the risk by having my BSB on foot. This means the cavalry unit is not as vulnerable to Dwellers, Transmutation, Gateway etc and my Spearelves would get a fighting chance.

The first few games proved to be very interesting, with the idea working out for me pretty well. I was able to out-deploy my opponents and dictate the flow of battle - something I've learned to appreciate from playing Tau in 40k, where it's all about having the most firepower at the right point. Essentially, this type of army seeks to land 1000 points worth of pain on 500 points worth of models on the other side. Achieving this fight after fight usually ensures victory.

My first problems appeared when I started playing better opponents with harder armies. For example, I faced a Wood Elf army with lots of shooting and strong combat units. In these matchups, his combat units would constantly keep my cavalry at an awkward range - making it very hard for me to charge with any good chance of success. This same trick was later played on me by other opponents, and it became obvious to me how crucial it is to get the charge off with this kind of army. I also had a tough game against Vampire Counts, during which the awkward charge ranges coupled with Vanhels meant I could no longer dictate anything. If you couple that with the fact that High Elves are overpriced on a model-per-model basis, you end up with very expensive and in-effective cavalry.

Lastly, I played a really tough Daemon army. Between 2 big units of Bloodletters and a Bloodthirster, cavalry ends up being seriously weak. Consider how little killing blow matters to our elite infantry when they're S5 base anyway. Against cavalry and tooled-up fighters, it's a disaster. As many have pointed out, killing blow is getting increasingly more common in Warhammer.

A couple of fellow posters on this forum have made their own attempts at a fighty, mounted Prince. I was determined to try more approaches before giving up, as I didn't see any other 'unique' way to play High Elves at a competitive level. However, as I was contemplating new builds, minor tweaks etc, I came over Furion's great thread.

:: A Change of Pace ::

Furion advocates an army designed around strong magic, in the form of casting multiple, low-value spells. This is, in my opinion, the most dangerous form of magic as I remarked upon after my first game against Vampire Counts having +4 PD constantly, spamming the same spells until I had no chance to dispel. Ironically, rusty had the same feeling against me in our last encounter, in which he was Vampire Counts. In one of my most decisive magic phases, he simply said: "Well, let's see.. You got bad, bad, bad and bad spells headed my way. Doesn't really matter what I dispel". While not 100% true, you get the point.

One amazing thing with this kind of approach is that all of a sudden our core is turned into a seriously powerful force. Archers, backed up with Curse of Arrow Attraction, The Withering and Miasma, REALLY can put the hurt on most things. Shield makes them durable in combat and there are more threats in the shape of Drain Magic, Vaul's Unmaking, a magic missile item and Flames of The Phoenix (which, coupled with The Withering, is just deadly). Other than mindrazoring Spearelves, there's no way to make our core this deadly. The great benefit of The Withering is that it's deadly at all points throughout the game and way easier to cast than mindrazor. This means that a dispel scroll will have a much harder time ruining your day (as it often does with Mindrazor).

Furion is without doubt a very good Warhammer player who understands the mechanics and synergies very well. It is perhaps not surprising then that he's taken a very uncommon approach and performed admirably with it. Regardless, I had one of those "a-ha" moments when I saw his list because I immediately reckognized how it could work and why this could be so powerful.

Consider this: let's assume our core is overcosted by 30%. In a 2500 points game, you spend 625 points on core, at the very least. This means that basically you end up being 200 points short in total - assuming the rest of our army is properly balanced (points-wise). Between our mages (look to Daemons and their 160 point loremasters) and the 100-point Repeaters, this is highly unlikely in itself. Regardless, the thing with making your magic support your core makes them better, which sort of counters their high cost.

After Furion posted his list, along with tournament reports and justification, carefully answering all questions received, it was no doubt he could really make a work at a competitive level. If you haven't read his thread already, I seriously suggest you do so right now. It can be found here.

While I personally don't agree 100% about some of the finer points here (plus the fact that I don't usually have to care about ETC comp restrictions), it is no doubt that my army borrows heavily from his approach.

My Vindicators, as they stand now, are as follows:

High Magic Archmage - level 4, Ring of Fury, Annulian Crystal, Dragonbane Gem :: 345
Prince - Bow of the Seafarer, Armour of Caledor, Luckstone, Talisman of Protection, Great Weapon :: 262
Noble - Battle Standard Bearer, Reaver Bow, Ironcurse Icon, Dragon Armour, Great Weapon, Charmed Shield :: 174
Shadow Mage - level 2, Seerstaff of Saphery (spells TBA) :: 165

26 Archers - standard bearer and musician :: 301
15 Archers - standard bearer with Banner of Eternal Flame and musician :: 190
12 Archers - musician :: 137

21 White Lions - musician and standard bearer with Banner of Sorcery :: 383
18 White Lions - musician and standard bearer with Gleaming Pennant :: 293

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers :: 200
1 Great Eagle :: 50

====
2500

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Hey Curu,

What do you see being the greatest risk to the overall functionality of your list?

Any particular lists you think will give you a run for your money?

What would you say is the primary, and secondary objective of your list? For example:

Primary Objective: Diminish the opposing forces utilizing ranged attacks, then present them with hard infantry once they reach my lines.
Secondary Objective: Augment the primary objective with a multitude of low casting cost spells.

The reason I ask, is because after a match, I always like to use the objectives I set out to accomplish as a benchmark for how well I did, regardless of whether I won or lost.

Curu Olannon wrote:
As it stands now, I don't see a lot of value in a second Eagle nor a few more Lions to be honest.


Axiem wrote:
In response to Brewmaster-D and John Rainbow's suggestion for more Eagles, I'd encourage you to keep with the Bolt Throwers. You haven't really needed the extra eagles so far (even with your one failing the Terror test, you still did fine) and the extra deploys might hurt you more than the Bolt Throwers help (as you generally want first turn).


Both yourself and Axiem in the above posts mention not seeing the value of extra eagles.

a) They could have been used to cover that flank charge I suggested, allowing you to collect some easy points and this would also free up your eastern white lions with fewer casualties
b) They could have halted the advance for a turn of the Western Ghouls by placing it 1" in front and redirecting them westward, allowing you a full turn of shooting on them, delaying the White Lion charge by a turn, and the casualties would have either put pressure on him to raise instead of vanhels or give those western white lions a fighting chance of making it out of that combat alive. (I often find the best magic defense vs. Vamps is to cause casualties and force them to spend power dice on raising instead of moving)
c) On your turn 1, a well placed eagle could have redirected his Grave Guard into the already clogged up battle line on the eastern front, further dividing his forces and avoiding that combo charge on the western lions.

These are just off the top of my head, to try to demonstrate the value that those fine feathered friends can bring to just about any list.

To address your concerns about extra drops - not sure what the concerns are. It's an advantage to have extra drops when it comes to deployment - your opponent has to commit to giving away his plans before you do. The only disadvantage is in the +1 to see who goes first, but you already have 7 drops as it is. If this was really a top concern, I'd sooner see those two smaller units of archers combined into one bigger one, so they can double as a makeshift combat unit when need be, and make room for an extra eagle drop.

I don't, however, think that dropping an RBT is the solution to making room for these guys. You need that firepower to accomplish your primary goal of softening up the opponent's blocks.

Eagles are so versatile, especially in an army designed to keep the enemy away while you soften their units with shooting. Wasn't much softening going on in this match ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:43 pm 
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rdghuizing wrote:
Worloch wrote:
4 - Most common application applies last in a diminishing returns formula (A bonus to hit will net you more wounds inflicted than reducing AS by the same amount, because you have to hit first)

Statistically speaking this is not true. To calculate the chance of killing you mutiple the chance to hit, to wound and to fail the armour save. The order in which this happens is irrelevant to the actual outcome.

Example:
4+ to hit, 3+ to wound, 6+AS (so chance of 5/6 to fail). This gives: 3/6*4/6*5/6 = 60/216 chance to kill (about 28%)
other way round:
2+ to kill, 4+ to wound, 5+AS (so a chance of 4/6 to fail). This gives: 5/6*3/6*4/6 = 60/216 chance to kill (again 28%)

Generally speaking, it is best to increase you lowest chance as this statistically gives you the best chance of a kill

Another difference arises when you get re-rolls somewhere. In that case it is better to get the bonus for one of the factors that doesn't give a reroll. For HE, this is mainly in rolling to hit.

Example: 3+ to hit, 3+ to wound. 4+ as: with re-roll to hit you kill 18.75%
get +1 to hit (with the reroll) and you kill 22.22%
get +1 to wound or -1 to AS and you kill 25%

Rod



Sorry for responding so late to this, but I wanted to clarify what I wrote since it did not come across as I had intended.

I know that statistically speaking it will work out the same - I was referring to the actual weighted outcomes of each roll as you take them in a game.

For instance, as above, 4+/3+/6+ = 2+/4+/5+, on average meaning over time. What I meant to convey had more to do with what I look at as my limit potential versus average actual performance. If I have 20 attacks, I can do 20 unsaved wounds, max. Every bonus to hit, to wound and dropping saves helps my potential reach that limit. Each round of rolling reduces that potential limit by the actual result, not the statistically average result.

Continuing as above, if I do get the average for each scenario, I will hit with 10/20 attacks in scenario 1, and 16.67~/20 in Scenario 2. Now, before I roll to wound, my potential limit has dropped. In scenario 1, I can now only reach 10 Unsaved Wounds Max, while in Scenario 2 I can reach 16.67~ Unsaved Wounds Max.

And that is what I meant by Diminishing Returns - At each step of the process, my potential is reduced, so by introducing bonuses earlier in the process rather than later, you keep your potential high. Sure, over time Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 will equal out, but Scenario 2 keeps your potential higher longer than Scenario 1.


Sorry for the confusion on that, and I realize not everyone looks at it in that light.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:17 pm 
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The problem with the eagles Brewmaster is it comes down to point benefit ratio. While eagles are, without a doubt, a very powerful and versatile unit and at only fifty points, most people consider a steal, but when you're trying to squeeze the most out of your play, every little bit adds up (unit champions, five point magic items, and yes, eagles).

When you buy an eagle, you're essentially buying two things: an extra drop for deployment which, as you point out, can be a benefit but it can also be a detriment (more on that later), and a misdirector. Notice I've left out the common anti-warmachine purpose. This is because, generally for High Elves, if you're looking for ways to counter Warmachines the better cost-benefit units are small units of Knights and Archers as they can absorb so much more wounds and deal a lot more damage than an eagle or two can, thus achieving the same goal and denying points in the process. This is especially true against the newer warmachines which have tougher/more crew or additional special rules (such as the Ironblaster, Casket, etc.).

As for the first aspect of eagles, extra deployment, it is true that extra drops give you an added edge however, when you're playing against savvy opponents, they actually do far less than you might think. When playing agains moderate opponents, eagles are worth their weight in gold as you can often abandon flanks or tease your opponent into deploying in poor positions. However, if your opponent is a solid player, he/she already knows how wide your list is and generally how you're going to deploy it to maximize its effectiveness. In the case of someone playing against Curu's list, they already know he'll want maximized frontage, to get as many shots as possible and thus, will be taking up a large portion of the board (reference the picture and you'll see what I mean: Curu takes up nearly all of his six feet, leaving only a foot of his right flank bare). Anything less than this, and the army plays at a disadvantage; you're giving up shots to try and out-smart your opponent, which probably won't work anyway if they have any chaff deploys of their own (even against this VC list, Rusty could have dropped a Vargulf, Black Coach, and one unit of Ghouls in the center to counter the eagles: Curu wouldn't have gained anything). Someone playing against Curu's list already knows they'll need to use up at least 60-80% of his deployment area and as such, they don't have to worry about being teased into bad situations (in Curu's battle for instance, the archers on the far left didn't tease his opponent to do anything less, he simply continued with his plan and knew that eventually the center would fill up with troops). This obviously is subject to change based on what list your running, so don't take this as a golden rule but rather as a specific for Curu's list, but in general you become a better player through winning by strategy and not through trying to psych your opponent out.

Secondly, the average number of drops for a list is roughly seven to eight. At seven, Curu stands a good chance of getting the +1 to go first, which while is an unpredictable variable, will often help swing unfavorable match-ups in his favor. When you consider adding two eagles pushes his deploy value to nine, Curu doesn't stand a chance of getting that bonus, which is quite nice for a shooting list (I talked about Curu knowing he was probably going to go second anyway and what he could have done differently in my response to his battle: the same applies to opponents thinking about his army). This in turn leads to the problem of having extra eagles: their points. It might not seem like much, but when you're trying to maximize every point, two eagles really take up a quite a bit (that's another rank of elites between the two of them). More on this later.

The other bonus you'll get from Eagles is misdirecting. However, buying misdirectors simply for the sake of having them available doesn't necessarily help your list: think very hard before including them and ask yourself do you really, really need them? For an army like Wood Elves, the answer is almost assuredly yes: Wood Elves lack the punch and staying power that High Elves have and thus, the misdirectors are incredibly crucial to overall success. For High Elves however, we have the combat ability and staying power combination, which our kin lack, and because of it, most of the time, the points are better spent on troops. In Curu's case for instance, an extra eagle on the far left wouldn't buy him another round of shooting: he had other targets which needed just as much attention and he wouldn't have gained anything more than smarter positioning would have already enabled (and then was in combat the following turn).

A final and somewhat abstract point revolves about getting the most from your eagles. When you play with three a lot of the time the automatic response is to try and misdirect everything the enemy has, without stopping to think if you should. Should you give up the fifty points to put your opponent in a slightly worse position? Sometimes the answer is yes and a lot of the time the answer is no, even if you know how to position an eagle effectively. With one eagle in your list your priorities are kept simple: you inherently know what you need your eagle to do and will do so without fail or hesitation (Curu knew he had to misdirect the coach). You're not giving up many points, but your altering the course of the battle slightly to make the inevitable confrontation more beneficial to you. Another way of thinking about this is if an eagle accounts for an X% of your battle plan (let's say five percent per eagle: note percentage of your plan, not your points), with one eagle, if everything goes wrong with him (as it did in Curu's battle) you're still 95% of your way to victory. If you've instead got three eagles and everything goes wrong with them (shooting kill them, they fail terror, spells alter the conditions of the battlefield (Van Hels), etc. etc.) you've just had 15% of your battle plan go down the drain. To have them do as they are intended, you have to alter 15% of your opponent's battle plan with them and not just make them a necessary speed bump, which is actually quite difficult to do if your opponent knows his stuff. Summed up: a lot of the time you can do more with one eagle than you can with three, and for a lot less of a detriment to your list / strategy.

In Curu's battle, he could have done as you suggested anyway with the lone eagle he had (had it not run off after the first sign of trouble). Assuming normal circumstances however, he may not have even needed that. Had he been able to keep the coach out of combat, he would have smashed through the Ghouls sooner and could have helped relieve the archers.

Moral of the story? When you're buying eagles really stop to think what your getting for them and don't automatically throw a whole bunch in. When your spending time nit-picking your list and improving every aspect, if you have a lot of eagles you'll feel that you should be doing more and just don't know why you aren't. Dropping an eagle (or two, or three in some list's cases) is often the right decision in making your list more well-rounded.

Hope that helps!

Axiem


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:42 am 
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Hey Axiem,

Couple things:

The percentage of your plan concept is pretty qualitative. It's easy enough for me to argue the same point, except that they're only 2% of my plan, so what's the harm? My argument could even be made more compelling by the fact that they take up only 2% of the points as well.

The real concept here is one I always come back to: opportunity cost. As you mention in your (well worded and thought out!) post, points are a scarce resource. Curu has a goal in mind and only so many points to do it. Given that points are a scarce resource, any time somebody says "you need to take x", it is implicit that something needs to be given up. When this point of "Give up x for y" is reached, it's important to weigh the marginal benefit that each option brings to the table. While your points are quite valid, they imply that every single thing in the army is good as is, and nothing can be sacrificed.

My argument is that the prince, at 280 someodd points, represents too large of a concentrated points investment, and that the marginal benefit of one or two more eagles and beefed up infantry is much higher than what he brings to the table. Let's look at what he is:

a) A high S shot with great BS (in addition to the two that already exist + plus 3 S5 shots from the BSB)
b) 4 High S, High WS attacks (in addition to those that already exist in the lions)
c) A defensible character, capable of handling small, light units on his own, should the situation arise.
d) Leadership 10 vs. Leadership 9

Then let's look at what the eagles and infantry bring to the table:

a) Redirection possibilities when needed - note that just because players have a tendency to go redirection crazy doesn't mean that Curu will. That's generalizing.
b) Redirection of ranged abilities - a shot on an eagle is a shot that's not on your troops. This is almost always a good thing
c) Deployment advantage in many cases - Yes, it's a much more rigid list than most, however the way Curu deployed and the way I suggested are much different, suggesting that there is still a degree of adaptability
d) More resilient blocks of infantry - More wounds means the unit lasts longer, simple as that. In some situations where the opponent is vastly overkilling your unit, this doesn't matter, but remember that even just one white lion left over is a stubborn check. Could have been the difference between the Grave Guard getting the overrun or not.

The other way to look at it is if you remove the item in question, does the list still function? Remove that prince, and you still have a list that has very aggressive shooting, and very powerful magic. I can't think of a single thing that Prince does that isn't done already in the list with something else:

Big Monsters? Bolt throwers, check
Fighty Characters? With only one armour reroll and a 4+ ward, he certainly isn't a character killer as it is (last game aside, of course :P)
Small, light units - There's 52 archers on the table. It's a bad day to be fast cavalry. Magic missiles are icing on the cake.
Leadership 10? With leadership 9 and rerolls, the additional benefit of leadership 10 is a couple percent. This matters more with no BSB present.

Take that guy out, and I'm willing to bet the list doesn't even notice.

Without the extra eagles, what do we miss out on:

Not just redirection, but controlling the movement phase - plan A for this list is to soften up the enemy before they get to your lines, yet to accomplish the goal of keeping the enemy from you, all that is there is miasma (unreliable) and one eagle. To emphasize my point, rusty's army was in his face turn one, forcing a charge because he had no options:

Curu Olannon wrote:
I quickly realize the small Lions need to go for the greater good. I charge them into the left Ghouls, hoping to be able to assist them somehow.


My argument is that eagles *are* those options. Any time your opponent is forcing your hand like this, and you have no options, you are playing in to his hand. 50 points to accomplish this goal is a downright steal. Currently in this list, there is very little to mitigate the movement phase, which was starkly apparent in this game.

Without the additional infantry troops, what do we miss out on?

Staying power. You make the argument that we have it where our wood elf kin don't, but I'd respectfully disagree - We certainly do have the hitting power, but staying power is another story. Almost any other army in the game has more staying power than us - we need to kill our opponents quickly, and the only way to do that is to make sure we have the killing power to accomplish that. One wayward magic missile and those blocks of White Lions are losing attacks (in the 7 x whatever formation, 14 is the threshold, leaving only 4 wounds on the unit of 18 before their hitting power is reduced),and are no longer capable of holding their own versus an enemy combat block for more than a round, regardless of whether they were softened by shooting.

There were around 5 white lions left on the table at the end of the match - this tells me there weren't enough there. The combo charge was unfortunate, but I've addressed that with my redirectors suggestion - the fact is one block of those ghouls ground down those white lions pretty severely, and a clinch vampire slaying pulled this one out of the gutter.

Ok, that was more than a couple points lol. Sometimes I get carried away.

Ps. Thank god for this forum and its intelligent discussion.

D

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:01 am 
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Rhetor militaris
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Hey Brewmaster,

Firstly, love the positive discussion. I too am glad to find other people who can articulate their opinions properly. It beats the "No way man, this one time I killed a Abom with a POS. BELIEVE IT!!!!!!"

In response to the abstract concept of units and their strategy value:

Warning: First bit is serious theory-hammer.

Yes, the percentage is qualitative and I won't argue with you that you could say eagles are 2% of your list's plan but consider something first. Most people when they plan a list consider two things from their units: points/unit and effectiveness/unit: often simplified (incorrectly) into the point/benefit ratio. However, what is often perceived to be a two part system really could be broken down into three: points, per unit, versus effectiveness, per unit, versus strategic benefit, per unit. Most people when planning a list, lump the last two together however they truly aren't the same thing: as evidence, you can often strategically win games without units that are what most people call "point/benefit positive," although this term is incorrect (or people will plan a list with solid choices and then lump in Eagles because "well they are good for the list," without really knowing why).

What does this mean? Well if you took an entire army that is strategic/unit benefit positive while their effectiveness/unit or point/unit are negative you would probably lose (an entire army of Great Eagles for instance, if it were possible, wouldn't really be viable: most people take this for granted because they know, if I charge my Eagle into his unit, it'll do damage then die and I could do more damage if I took the same amount of points in other troops: three swordmasters for instance). Units such as these often seen as out-flankers, misdirectors, and skirmishers but also include units that have special rules such as Stubborn, Unbreakable etc. (more on that later): units which don't win you the game solely by their damage but by their supporting or utility aspects. They are important to the army in their own way and whether or not you see them to be beneficial to your army is based on their strategic/unit benefit, not their effectiveness/unit benefit.

Now, similar to you, I like to have general goals for the lists I'm planning. Units I take in lists don't necessarily have to have a effectiveness/unit ratio that is positive if they have a strategy/unit ratio which is positive. Similarly, some units have higher strategic/unit than their points are worth, and this is based on what kind of list you're playing and how they meld properly into that list; thus is subject to a large deal of interpretation and opinion. In the example I gave, they might be 5% of your overall plan, but you'd have to justify it to yourself that they really are worth the 5% and that they aren't worth 2%, as in your example. If you felt they were worth 2% to your strategy but you were spending 5% of your points on them and you knew that their effectiveness/unit ratio was negative, you'd have to consider whether you were overpaying for them (weren't getting enough benefit from them). If on the other hand, you felt they were worth 8% to your strategy but you were spending 5% of your points on them and you still knew that their effectiveness/unit ratio was negative, you could consider them a good investment (you were getting enough benefit from them). This is because, according to your plan and what you want the list to do, they are either not very important or a key part to your success. Also remember that it isn't a simple one to one ratio between strategy/unit and point/unit: this is where your interpretation and opinion comes in, based on what list your running (in the 8% example at 5% of your points, you could still justify that that was a poor investment of your points, given your list because you needed more of something else to ensure your success).

Because you're limited by points, you have to decide how many units you want to take that are effectiveness/unit positive and how many are strategic/unit positive and compare this to points/unit. This last stage also impacts what kind of list you end up running: a balanced list or an unbalanced list. Balanced lists are what most people commonly build and are seen as those lists that include a range of effectiveness/unit and strategic/unit per unit, while unbalanced lists are the exact opposite, and choose to swap all of their strategic/unit to negative in an attempt to make their effectiveness/unit as high as possible or vice versa (no damage and all strategy). Most people are familiar with balanced lists, as that's what most people endeavor to build. As for unbalanced lists, Deathstar armies are a common example: they choose to ignore of all the strategic abilities the army has access to and instead make their army (often one unit) as absolutely killy as physically possible. Some Wood Elf lists rely on the other form of unbalanced lists, getting rid of nearly all their effectiveness/unit positive choices in exchange for as many strategy/unit positive choices as possible with maybe one unit that can actually kill something (although not where most of their points are spent).

Exaggerating and simplifying the situation, if you decided to take eight eagles, you would then be very reliant on those eagles performing. They would equate to a much larger portion of your battle plan (possibly upwards of twenty to thirty percent) and you'd have to come up with some serious tactics to make up for not only all the points you aren't spending on something else to fill that same roll (or fills both roles) but all the points you could be spending on other things which would require you to use less strategy (those units which are effectiveness/unit positive) to win the game. An example of this would be White Lions: part of what makes them so great is their Stubborn and a large number of strategies are built upon this (how many times have you heard or said to yourself, "I'd really like Swordmasters but I'll be taking White Lions because I need something to hold my center"). People take them because they are nearly effectiveness/unit and strategic/unit equal: they do a little of both and it's that combination that makes them so effective and desirable when building a list.

From my testing and for the way I play, I find that additional eagles beyond the first don't yield as high a strategic/unit benefit as their points should suggest. Personally, I find the first eagle to be a steal, the second to be about 10-20% over priced, with the third being about 50% more than he's worth (and the return only gets worse the more I add).

Long story short, yes this is all subject to personal opinion but its a terrific guideline to follow when building lists, and helps you weed out bad apples and false friends, especially if you can be brutally honest with yourself. You could say that Eagles are two percent of a list's strategy and if you truly believed that I wouldn't care to argue that with you: it comes down to you making a call based on how you play and deciding what's best, which is why all Warhammer lists look different anyway; people making different calls based on what they feel is best. At the end of the day, I don't feel that extra eagles would be worth the points for this particular list, an opinion I could, and have, back with many different forms of evidence based on how I play, while you may feel that they do, an opinion you could, and have, back with many different forms of evidence based on how you play. Curu will have to make the same call for himself.


Now as for the rest of the comments, the first of which that the rest of the army is perfect as is, I would say that while it isn't there yet, it's fiarly close (with the exception of the Prince and some magic items, which I've already argued towards dropping previously and cannot logically support). In regards to the Prince, I absolutely agree with you; he is not worth his points. All the analysis about the character being a 260 point Bolt Thrower, a LD10 Bubble, and an Armor save I concur with and second. However, Curu feels differently (and also I'll wager has fun playing with him); I respect that and am no longer pushing him so hard to drop the character (although I've not given up yet!).

If we were debating what to take in stead of the Prince, I would still advocate cavalry over Eagles as a feel the combination of effectiveness/unit and strategic/unit benefit is much higher on adding Knights than additional Eagles and helps round out the list more. When Curu was talking about the White Lions hoping for support I instantly thought, now how would have 10 Dragon Princes hitting the Ghouls on the side have helped? As an aside, I'll be posting up a few battle reports shortly of working through getting my version of the list to as perfect as possible which I feel is currently the strongest list High Elves for competitive play, before hopefully finishing it and allowing this forum to try and shoot holes in it. The goal is hopefully to give additional evidence as to why a Cavalry or Chariot potion of the list helps the army overall while also give those playing these shooting-style lists additional tactical insight, provoke more healthy discussion, and be left with an army that cannot be improved upon in any way.

Anyway I know that was long but I hope that gives you, if nothing else and even if you disagree, insight into my thought process. I still stand by my analysis of Great Eagles (the post prior to your latest) and respect your conclusion as well but I'll not derail Curu's thread with further with more two-thousand word posts. I hope you'll continue to tweak your version of the list, which I'll surely throw my two-cents into, and I'll be doing something similar, with a hope that you'll give input on, and uploading my findings.

Thanks so much!

Axiem


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Hey Axiem,

I have a hunch that this is the exact type of discussion that Curu was hoping to inspire, so I wouldn't worry too much about derailing his thread :D

I think we're mostly on the same page here; the only point of difference between you and I is where the point of diminishing returns is for those eagles. You mention in your post that the first is a steal, the second is overpriced by 10-20%, and so on. My scale is a bit different, being more along the lines of the first is a steal, the second is perfectly priced and the third is 10-20% overpriced (you'll notice most of my lists include two)

So you're exactly right, it's up to Curu to decide exactly where that balance lies - I've done my part of supporting my argument with some specific, as well as abstract examples, and so have you.

To be honest, I see room for both here. With 260 points, you could include

A unit of 5 Dragon princes
A Great Eagle
Bump up the up the unit of 18 to 21

and still have a couple points left over to spare and put where he sees fit.

Since most of your argument is based upon the subjective numbers the list writer comes up with, the point is moot.

D

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Sorry for not adressing your comments right away, I wanted the last post to be clean for future reference.

@rusty - I have faced the caster version. While it's nasty indeed, I believe you can have equally hard Vampire lists with a combat-oriented lord as well. You just have to consider where, when and how to use him.

@John Rainbow - dropping an RBT is not an option, I don't believe. If anything is to be dropped here, it's the Prince (which all the discussion is about, too).

@Stormie - I was lucky with my Lions, but they were butchered in return.

As for all those of you who claim Flames cannot be cast into close combat, I beg to differ. The spell description clearly says any unit within 24". Around here, old spells are ruled on their wording. According to Axiem, this seems to be the norm in tournaments, too. There is no way Flames of The Phoenix is too powerful to be cast into close combat, in a game where Dwellers, Mindrazor and Dreaded 13th exist so I don't really see a strong argument why you would rule it otherwise. Regardless, we play it this way and it'll stay this way. If anyone feels a need for further discussion, go to the rules forum.

@Nicene - thanks for the clarification! I still made sure his Lord was hit on 3's though, as my Prince is WS7.

@Brewmaster_D - I couldn't move Lions to block him off because I would've approached the Archers within 1", hence I had to charge him to accomplish this. In hindsight, perhaps re-shuffling the Archers somewhat would've allowed this. Didn't really consider this, it could've made a big difference. If I'd have done the same on the other side, my units would've suffered a potentially devastating series of combo-charges. Regardless, it could've worked and would've granted me a turn of focused shooting on his Ghouls.

With that said, shuffling + vanhels on his part could've been extremely dangerous. In general though, my list needs to get as much shooting time as it can to play to its maximum potential.

@Axiem - yes, I'm definitely switching from metal. Your point about Vaulsing the scroll indeed works out wonderfully, and in most cases this is easy to accomplish seeing as you usually know who carries the scroll and 24" is plenty to get it out before the really critical magic phases begin. As for miasma vs mindrazor - I believe that the possibility of swapping a character with the attribute is the final deciding factor here - in a crucial magic phase it's very easy to get miasma through defences, allowing me to swap an Archmage in danger etc out. Miasma and Withering it is!

As for the BR comments:
- I did shuffle to keep his right corner blocked, he combat-reformed to open it up. He still would've been able to engage though as he could see the Lions behind
- Kongaline is frowned upon where we play, noone ever does it. I believe it's a terribly poor loophole from GW
- Deployment-wise, I couldn't go further behind due to the hill blocking so much. Point taken about taking the other side though, it may have been helpful.
- The Flamebanner would mostly be better on the big Archers, but I don't feel that I can risk it as they're such a big amount of my firepower + the magical bows usually go in there. Since shots from a unit are fired simultenously, these bows wouldn't get the benefit of flaming vs regen etc.

Now - the big point of the day: the second Eagle question

From a theoretical point of view, I believe you two covered it nicely. In general, I agree with Brewmaster_D in that a second Eagle here would be a good investment, at least how I play. Whenever I only have one Eagle, I wish I'd have had 2. This game was no different. The problem is - there's nothing I'm willing to drop by 50 points at this moment to include that second Eagle.

If anything, the Prince needs to go. As of now, he's the only element I'm not 100% on. If I decide to drop him, I have a few ideas:
- Include a third mage with spell destroyer scroll, taking miasma default. This allows my other mage to pick withering + mindrazor and gives me insane magical defense
- Beef up White Lions and add an Eagle
- Include a Chariot
- Include cavalry

Any and all of these are, as of now, viable ideas, should I decide to drop the Prince. As if now though, I feel that he plays well. I'm not 100% sure he's worth his investment (unlike Furion), but I have yet to face armies against which he really shines (S6 no armour save mostly hitting on 2+ vs heavy armoured, low-T knights for example or big monsters). Although I see Axiem's reasoning I'm not sure I agree, given my playstyle and priorities. Playtesting is the only way to go here.

Last - this army's priorities. I think it's a brilliant idea to structure what your army is all about in just a couple of sentences. As such:

1. Have a magic phase which is always synergetic and potentially game-changing regardless of which phases it buffs (cc, movement, shooting) by having a number of few-dice spells spammed at your opponent and a selection to make defense prioritization hard
2. Keep the enemy away for as long as possible, making sure my ranged elements take their toll before combat is initiated

Thanks for the comments and intelligent discussions! Please keep it up as it's very relevant and in no way derailing the thread :)

Regards,
~Olannon

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Retired from Warhammer. Playing Warmachine & Hordes (Cygnar).

Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:11 pm 
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One possibility for the Prince debate (I love this thread, by the way!) is to adjust as follows:

Drop the Seafarer prince to a noble with a dragon helm, GW, HA, and Reaver bow. He won't do quite as much damage as the Prince, but can still lay down some fierce shots, as your current BSB can attest. This would also allow your BSB to pull the AoC/Dawnstone combo, thus giving you some resilient combat power. (Alternative would be to swap the gear sets on these two nobles to keep your current BSB setup and swap the prince for a killy noble, but I'd rather protect the BSB...) This should free up enough points for your extra eagle at the expense of the bow of the seafarer, one more close combat attack, and one wound.

Perfect? Probably not, as the prince and noble are slightly different. It still gives you the same number of swap-able options via shadow, too.

Just my two cents!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Rhetor militaris
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In response to Brewmaster:

Quote:
I think we're mostly on the same page here; the only point of difference between you and I is where the point of diminishing returns is for those eagles. You mention in your post that the first is a steal, the second is overpriced by 10-20%, and so on. My scale is a bit different, being more along the lines of the first is a steal, the second is perfectly priced and the third is 10-20% overpriced (you'll notice most of my lists include two)


Yep, that's really what it comes down to. It's also very hard to quantify such values as there aren't any scales to go by so inherently, everyone is going to assign different values which reflect how they play. I think we've exhausted the issue as much as possible without becoming redundant.

Axiem


In response to Curu:

Ahh the dreaded combat reform. Another reason why I'd recommend taking the charge instead of giving it: whoever's turn it is has to combat reform first so if he had charged you, and reformed to open, you could have followed by reforming to close.

Agreed on the kongaline, it is cheesy and I don't use it, but some people have no qualms about such things and it is an option as per GW rules.

As far as deployment, you would have had to swap where your White Lions and Archer Anvil were, putting the archers off to the right. It may have been just as difficult because of the woods however, which is why I feel your deployment was fairly good as is.

Glad your taking all the long posts in stride: hopefully fueling thought for not only you but others as well!

Axiem


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Nice battle reports and good, interesting armies, Curu Olannon. Keep them coming. I'm new around here, but I've just read all of them, they've been interesting, informative and fun to read.

Just a quick question: Excuse my ignorance, but what's a kongaline?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
As for all those of you who claim Flames cannot be cast into close combat, I beg to differ. The spell description clearly says any unit within 24". Around here, old spells are ruled on their wording. According to Axiem, this seems to be the norm in tournaments, too.


Axiem is absolutely wrong. I know the organisers of nearly every major tournament in the UK, and not a single one allows past edition spells such as FotP to be cast into combat unless it is allowed in the spell description (Such as Vaul's Unmaking). It's also not allowed in ETC games, so we're talking about the majority of tournament gamers in the UK, rest of Europe, and also players in other countries (Such as Australia and USA) who play by this ruling. This is from casual gamers who simply go to tournaments for a few fun games to the most hardened tournament players in the land, and everyone in-between.

I'm not saying that their word is law or you should change how you play because of it (Although I would, obviously ;) ), but if anyone's looking to say, "Most tournaments allow it", they are very wrong.

Quote:
There is no way Flames of The Phoenix is too powerful to be cast into close combat, in a game where Dwellers, Mindrazor and Dreaded 13th exist so I don't really see a strong argument why you would rule it otherwise.


You're right about it not being too powerful to cast into combat, but that's not relevant. In fact, if you're going to bring power into the discussion, if your group does play that old edition spells can be cast into combat, then you really should have Banner of the World Dragon in your list, otherwise your Chaos opponents will be casting spells like Infernal Gateway and Dreaded 13th into combat as they have the same (lack of) casting restrictions!

Anyway sorry for that derail, not discussing whether you can or not here, just correcting Axiem's statement (Appeal to authority is a poor debating technique, but appeal to a made-up authority is far worse) and alerting you to how dangerous the magic of many other armies could be if your group lets you cast into combat! In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if many of the people you've played haven't been aware they could do it, as it's so common to play it as not being cast into combat...

Also Axiem is wrong on turn order determining combat reform- it's a straight dice-off as per the main rulebook. Funny how important a simple roll off can be sometime...


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