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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:17 am 
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Vindicated Strategist
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@rusty - I dread to think how this matchup would've been if he'd have had a non-flaming cannon! As for countering me, I'm surprised he didn't go for Ancient Power (or whatever it's called) on the Anvil to seriously stall my advance. Granted, it's a long shot but he should've known he needed that extra turn. Essentially, the worse a game is going for you, the more risks you have to take. If not T1, then he at least should've attempted it T2, in my opinion.

@Jimmy - yeah after T1 I wasn't overly concerned. His uncanny ability to roll that 'hit' though really made it tough for me. It's not often that I get to remove the Dragon before it's killed a single model!

@Seredain - yeah me too! Being down 722 VP just like that hurts a LOT, especially when I considered what the elites have to mow through to get those points back.

As for the local metagame, it's kind of hard to tell because I haven't played the same players (with a couple of exceptions) particularly much. This tournament for example was far away from where I usually play (the only one I knew prior to entering was Rusty and we had decided to attend because we knew the skill-level would be rather high). So, what opponents have I faced multiple times and how do they adjust?

There's rusty of course and he's managed to draw me twice in a row now. I find that what rusty does is that he plays a rather compact style, which makes it hard for me to concentrate enough force to break a key component of his army. What's more, the chaff he's fielded stays out of range of my Archers so that when the Lions / Swordmasters get there they won't necessarily get into combat as soon as I'd wish. Basically, he's playing his army more like one fist rather than multiple fingers on their own. Against his VC I should've won but made a couple of mistakes. Same against Wood Elves really. Regardless, the games would've been close so there's no doubt that he has a good grasp of how to counter it. As he's used to playing with a Bloodthirster himself I imagine that he's got a fairly easy task identifying optimal Dragon movements and therefore prevent them.

When I practiced and fine-tuned my list for this tournament I had a few games against Strange who played Tomb Kings. I've faced his Dwarfs earlier on so he knew what the army was capable of. I find that he pretty much ignored the Dragon but tried to reduce its optimal targets (e.g. area denial with a Warsphinx and moving his casters out of a lucrative unit). Instead, he focused on decimating my elites where possible. I think this can be a viable strategy - depending on your army - but in the end 40 elites aren't that easy to kill with all the 'support' they're getting.

Lastly there's Dark Reaper. I've faced his Dark Elves and Daemons on multiple occasions. In our later games, he's also largely ignored the Dragon when he could, though he's been a little reckless trying to kill it a couple of times (presenting his flank to 14-strong Swordmasters hoping to KB Saerith and break Faeria is a long shot with the Breath Weapon up and Naenor nearby...).

Overall, what I say these 3 players have realized is that the Dragon isn't necessarily game-breaking. They've accepted the fact that my 622-point model IS going to do some harm. From there on, it's all about reducing that harm and maximizing your own. Indeed, I have to get very favourable combats to actually kill a lot of points with the Dragon. As my games show, she hardly ever does this on her own. I guess you could say that they're rid of their Dragonfever and have started adapting to the playstyle of the army - rather than the Dragon itself.

Did that answer your question sufficiently or is there anything else you'd like me to elaborate further? :)

@jwg20 - have no fear mate, Faeria has yet to finish her path of destruction ;) It's good to hear that more people are picking up this style of play as well, as I really believe there are a lot of possibilities worth exploring with this setup. Feel free to send me a pm if you/she has any questions you don't feel like posting here!

That thing about the anvil most definitely would've changed the dynamic of the game. I'll make sure he knows it before he's off to ETC (not sure he's taking an Anvil list, but regardless it's fairly essential to know one's own army's rules).

Next report will likely be up tomorrow ;)

@pk-ng - I know that this is how Vaul's works against a magic item on a character, but thanks for the clarification anyway. The discussion with regards to war machine has to do with the wording of the spell / engineering runes. Essentially, is it possible to use Vaul's at all against a war machine or are the runes like Daemon gifts? If yes, do all the runes count as being on a 'single item' such as your armour example? This is a very hazy area and one of the million annoying things GW could've easily fixed with a FAQ.

So day 1 saw me finish with 1 tie and 2 wins. I was fairly happy with my play, especially given the opponents I'd faced, but regardless I felt that I needed to perform better if I wanted to finish in a good spot. I knew that I'd have to play for the bigger wins on day 2 which could mean anything from disaster to 20-0. Essentially, a high-risk play. At this point, I was having 41-19 while the best guy had 60-0. It was kind of frustrating to not get a really easy matchup though, there were just so many armies there which I could totally decimate but I hadn't faced any of them yet. I spent a couple of hours discussing the next day's fights with Rusty (who knew what he was up against, whereas I did not), who was wondering what on Earth he was supposed to do with a flaming bloodthirster. See this is exactly what I'm talking about - a Daemon list with a mix of soft choices (e.g. Daemonettes), semi-decent combat units and the double-edged sword in the shape of a flaming bloodthirster. If I had gotten this matchup, I'm fairly certain it would be a huge advantage to me and likely close to 20-0, barring any big mistakes. For Rusty however, it was a real nightmare. Anyways, as far as I was concerned, we agreed that 'going for it' would be the best course of action. Now I know that I can easily get impatient and and make some rather suicidal decisions in the pursuit of a big win, so I made sure to convince myself that only patience could provide a solid win or two. Essentially, I would just have to keep playing my normal game but not be afraid of an opportunity should it present itself.

So a couple of hours sleep later we were again at the tournament and the pairings were announced. I was to meet VC - yet again! This time however, the list was a real nightmare and the player was a former Norwegian ETC member. Luckily for me, he wasn't playing that much any longer so I was hoping he didn't have the same edge which I assume he used to. His list was roughly as follows:

Vamp Lord on flying thing with S7 ASF red-fury attacks (seriously, do the math on this guy vs Faeria and despair)
Vamp BSB on flying thing with stuff
12 Black Knights

~20 GG with a Vampire
40 Ghouls
Zombie blocks
LOTS of Chaff

From the get-go I knew that the only way to win big here was to decimate the black knight bus. How to do this, I had no idea: even getting the Lions + Saerith in wouldn't necessarily be enough! Also, with him having 2 fliers it would be extremely hard to catch him a poor position. I knew this, but more importantly I knew that he also knew this. Essentially, before deployment we both knew that this would be a game very much about manoeuvring, where we'd have to capitalize on the slightest mistake to make an opening. Now, seeing as my opponent was also a former Chess player, I most certainly didn't have the easiest task on my hands.

Now, where were those easy matchups you were talking about?

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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: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:51 am 
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Dwarf player played that well with the force he had, although I don't quite agree with his list, namely the sizes and selection of his infantry units (and the WM and character setup). The ld-9 reroll fail really did it, I lost a game that way recently and it left me with that empty feeling knowing I played the game as well as I could only to get let down like that. For dwarfs its the equivalent of someone IF gateway 40 WL off the board. There isnt much that can be done, as a player I count on it holding. That said it does fail sometimes. I don't know how many hammerers he can take in ETC, but if he takes something like 30-40 with the same amount of firepower would he even have lost combat in the first place to force the break test? Its hard to say. I'm not sure why he doesnt deploy on the table edge, with machines inbetween with his blocks. Sure, eagles have easier paths but do any eagles arrive there with all that shooting?

You did well too. I've been using a dragon recently and I liked what it can. But If i fight my dwarfs vs my high elves I'd put money on the dwarfs every time.

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For the dwarfs, there was only this. Hammerson met Grombrindal’s gaze, and the White Dwarf nodded slowly. If it must be done, let it be done well. Whether they were dead or alive, that was the only way dwarfs knew how to do anything.

And Grombrindal said "10 from the back, yeah?"


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:35 am 
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ETC has a unit cap at 450 points or 40 models (whichever comes first). I don't know how you'd build around that. There's also a max. 4 war machines restriction, which is less than last year because Simple Line of Sight is now king (basically: you see through everything as though it weren't there, save for hills, buildings and impassable terrain). Tomb Kings and Dwarfs enjoy this LoS change very much!

As for the break test 'doing it' - I highly disagree. As I wrote previously, that unit was dead and gone regardless: what with 19 Lions ready to pound on 14 Hammerers with a frontage of 8. By fleeing, he essentially forced me to block myself, something I'd otherwise avoid.

Deployment-wise it was a little tighter than the diagrams suggest. A pretty standard setup with the ETC LoS rules: war machines at the table edge with infantry directly in front.

As for a Dragon's capabilities - I think it's a viable pick under the ETC composition rules. Even against Dwarfs it stands a reasonable chance at doing some serious damage. Factoring in the pairing part of the team tournament, I believe we'll see some very successful Star Dragons in August :)

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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: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:03 am 
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Yeah thats true, I forgot there were only 19 hammerers. In ETC he could have 40 hammerers and I find it hard to not take at least 30. My dragon list is pretty similar to yours, except I choose to put the bsb on foot with the WL. I also have no swordmasters but 2 tiranocs and 6 DP. Regarding the dwars the 4 machine cap makes it a bit tricky. I love the anvil but every time I roll it I cringe. I'd probably go with 2 cannon and 2 organ.

I am returning to HE for real this time (currently buying models) and I am really excited to play with the big gribbly. I played 4 or 5 online games with the dragon and its done well. Although I didn't fight any of the big guns it did show that the dragon can win big games on its own, it can take out some tough enemy characters (with other trickster's shard), I don't necessarily lose the game if the dragon dies (because prince has to die to lose points and I still have lions and other stuff), and magic defense with 1 lvl2 + crystal appears to be alright for its points. I did fight a high elf coven of light (st6 or 7 banishment spam) where I lost the dragon and the prince, but I still ended up with a draw which isnt so bad in the end. The dragon has done some great stuff, tanking shooting, killing a pendant of khal/crown peg character, killing a chaos lord on disc with 3+ ward. Im not fully sure the dragon can be competitive, with dwarfs/empire/ogres/skaven able to reliably take it down, but its not as bad as I expected. IT does nearly autowin some games (example wood elves have nothing for it). I also found it gels with the 2 tiranoc, which for some reason attracts missile fire. I don't know what it is, they always do nothing in CC for me, but people seem paranoid of me rolling 11-12 for impact hits. Had some opponents firing shades and what not at them instead of my lions/dragon/dp/archers/spears.

That said I highly doubt my HE will be painted before our new book comes out so all my theory is likely for nothing. Either way, the dragon will make a great centre piece for the army.

_________________
For the dwarfs, there was only this. Hammerson met Grombrindal’s gaze, and the White Dwarf nodded slowly. If it must be done, let it be done well. Whether they were dead or alive, that was the only way dwarfs knew how to do anything.

And Grombrindal said "10 from the back, yeah?"


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:38 pm 
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I have a lot of faith in your abilities as a player, indeed I see your name popping up on multiple forums in relation to skilled players on UB for example. As such, it will be interesting to see how you view the Dragonlord - what kind of context he needs (in your opinion), how he'll work in another environment than the ETC and how the army development overall will look like ;)

As for Pit on the Dragon - remember you use the rider's I for tests like these. It's important that ridden monsters get the best of both worlds here - any characteristic test is taken on the best value from the couple (e.g. the Prince would take T tests on the Dragon's toughness :D).

I recently completed the diagrams for Game 4. Suffice is to say, it's a very tactical game! Lots of unusual moves, tricky setups and of course, a couple of mistakes (on both sides)! Should be up before I go to bed tonight, but for now I have a dinner date so I'll get the report online later :)

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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: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:12 pm 
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I am SO excited to try out a dragon army! Believe it or not I havn't used a dragon since the beginning of 7th ed when I took it to a tournament and ended up 3-2 with him. Your blog and really encouraged me to work on the army and play with him. He is such a beautiful model and I am tired of him sitting on my shelf. I would love to be able to use dragon princes with him though, but it appears they don't work well with the dragon. Seems odd, since they are fast enough to keep up with him most times. I was wondering what you would think of two units of DPs instead of one and a smaller unit of WL. I kind of have to have a smaller unit than you field as I don't have enough lions and don't really want to buy anymore at this point. What are your thoughts. I don't really expect an in depth analysis, just some general ideas. I of course play in a non-comp environment.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
I have a lot of faith in your abilities as a player, indeed I see your name popping up on multiple forums in relation to skilled players on UB for example. As such, it will be interesting to see how you view the Dragonlord - what kind of context he needs (in your opinion), how he'll work in another environment than the ETC and how the army development overall will look like ;)

As for Pit on the Dragon - remember you use the rider's I for tests like these. It's important that ridden monsters get the best of both worlds here - any characteristic test is taken on the best value from the couple (e.g. the Prince would take T tests on the Dragon's toughness :D).

I recently completed the diagrams for Game 4. Suffice is to say, it's a very tactical game! Lots of unusual moves, tricky setups and of course, a couple of mistakes (on both sides)! Should be up before I go to bed tonight, but for now I have a dinner date so I'll get the report online later :)


The truth is my reasoning behind the dragon was to have something cool to centerpiece the army around. It was more of a 'how can I make a dragon work' as oppose to 'dragon makes the army work' line of thinking. I wouldn't even play high elves at all if I was looking to win regularly. That said, I am adjusting slowly to the style, the gung ho caution to the wind aggressive play that the list needs. The dragon is safest in combat, even if he gets stuck in with a chaff block he needs a few rounds to kill its still a point sink my opponent can't get to. Is a dragon the best way to go with high elves if winning was my only objective? I'd have to say no. The big gribbly is worth a lot of points and lots of things can bring it down. Poor magic defense and shooting vulnerability means I have to play my opponent's game, getting into combats or forcing situations I would not normally do. For example, against the light coven list I put my dragon in a position where he could charge 14 swords in the front and 5 dp in the flank. The odds showed I'd win even though the dragon would lose a bunch of wounds. Turns out I did pull out with 1 wound left on the dragon, who was then killed by a block of spearmen of all things. Regardless it was still better then facing 2 5 dice banishments a turn (or 2 cannon or ST shots a turn against other armies). I would never have given up the dragon so easily, and therein lies the biggest issue I have with the dragon list. For an elite army like HE I'd try to cover all my bases, like I do with my dwarfs... excellent magic defense, units that are tough to kill off with shooting and don't break easily in cc (ie white lions), and defense defense defense everywhere, making opponents work for every point. The dragon sadly doesn't fit into that style, but I won't stop using it any time soon.

For the record my list is:
14 Archers, sb, m 169
14 Archers, sb, m 169
30 Spears, sb, m, gleaming pennant 290
20 Elite Infantry (using lions), FC, ironcurse 335
1 RBT 100
3 Eagles 150
tiranoc chariot 85
tiranoc chariot 85
6 DP, m 190
Noble, BSB, GW, flaming 128
Lvl 2, (i've been changing lores not quite set on anything), Crystal 175
Prince, Star Dragon, VoD, AoC, Other trickster's shard, halberd 621
2497

_________________
For the dwarfs, there was only this. Hammerson met Grombrindal’s gaze, and the White Dwarf nodded slowly. If it must be done, let it be done well. Whether they were dead or alive, that was the only way dwarfs knew how to do anything.

And Grombrindal said "10 from the back, yeah?"


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Curu Olannon presents:


:: 2D6 Crusade - Game #4 - Vampire Counts - 41/19 points before pairing ::

Coming into Day 2 and the last 2 games, I knew I had to get a really good game or two to get a decent finish. By now, I had a pretty good grasp of the lists and player skill around the upper tables and I was sure there were no impossible matchups for me. The questions were, would the dice be willing, would my matchups be favourable enough to score big and last, but not least: would my skills prove sufficient or would I make too many mistakes?

Game number 4 quickly turned out to be highly interesting and tactical. I really enjoy these types of games, as they force you to make moves that are as close to perfect as possible to really outplay your opponent, as opposed to having a superior matchup or capitalizing on a major mistake.

:: Though Some Have Called Thee Mighty and Dreadful ::

The lists -

:: High Elves ::

Saerith with GW, AoC, Vambraces, Loec, Star Dragon - 622
BSB Naenor with Sword of Might, HoF, Shield, Dragon Armour, Great Eagle - 208
Olannon with Level 2, Annulian Crystal - 175

Characters - 1005

30 Archers, Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flames - 365
15 Archers, Musician - 170
10 Spearelves - 90

Core - 625

26 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness, Amulet of Light - 450
14 Swordmasters, Bladelord w/Skeinsliver, Musician, STD w/Gleaming Pennant - 270

Special - 720

3 Great Eagles - 150

Rare - 150

Total - 2500

:: Vampire Counts ::

Vampire Lord
- Quickblood, Red Fury, Dread Knight (+2WS, must always issue and accept challenges), Ogre Blade, Talisman of Preservation, The Other Trickster's Shard, Hellsteed (flying cavalry), Lvl 4
Vampire
- Ironcurse Icon, Dragonhelm, Luckstone, Aura of Dark Majesty(-1LD within 6". Cumulative), Hellsteed
Vampire
- Sword of Striking, Enchanted Shield, Dispel Scroll, Aura of Dark Majesty

32 Ghouls, Champion
20 Zombies, standard, musician
20 Zombies, standard, musician
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves

2 Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats
12 Black Knights, standard, musician
26 Grave Guard, standard, musician, banner of barrows
Spirit Host
Spirit Host

Total - 2400

:: Pre-battle thoughts and deployment ::

Magic saw me get Shield and Fury of Khaine. I was really hoping for Vaul's here as it would make life so much easier: a WS9, S7 Vampire with ASF is really scary for my Dragon (and pretty much everything else I got, too!). Regardless, a magic missile is far from the worst I could've gotten. He defaulted to Invocation of Nehek on his 2 Vampires, while the Lord got Curse of Years, Invocation, Vanhels and Raise Dead.

Deployment saw me get the Archers in a central position, flanked by the elites. I was counting on him to put his combat power centrally but he refused my flank instead. Initially I didn't understand this, but in hindsight he was probably afraid of being steamrolled: by deploying in a corner it's way harder for me to envelop him since one flank will always be too far away to interfere in the earlier turns of the game!

Image

Finishing first and having Skeinsliver, I rolled a '5' and got first turn!

:: High Elves T1 ::

I wanted to bring as much force to bear as quickly as possible to his corner. I moved the Lions up to create an awkward threat-zone, giving me lots of options for T2 should he be a little too aggressive. The West was pretty standard: Swordmasters went full speed ahead and the flyers took up a central position.

Magic was 8v6 and I got Drain up as he prioritized dispelling Fury (I think I threw 4+4).

Shooting killed 2 Wolves on the West and 3 Ghouls in the centre.

Image

:: Vampire Counts T1 ::

His Western Wolves decide to flank-charge my Eagle, I hold my ground. The centre takes up defensive positions, taking care to create a lot of non-fly zones for me. The Eastern Grave Guard move up full speed and I can see what he's going for as my Lions can get isolated if I'm not careful.

Magic is 8v7 and the result is Vanhels on the Ghouls (I dispel Invocation casts), which I don't view as a threat. He uses it to slightly shuffle them, no biggie.

Combat sees my Eagle roll very well and kill all 3 Wolves before crumble even! Go Stomp!

Image

:: High Elves T2 ::

I back my Lions up 3" while my Swords continue their advance. I don't want him doing anything fancy with the Zombies, so I place an Eagle infront of them so that they either have to charge me (fleeing 7" or more will take my beyond the Swordmasters) or stay still. Regardless, my Swordmasters will have a good position in my T3, also enabling me to put pressure on his centre.

My Archers (15 strong) reform to face the East and I can't help but chuckle as my opponent announces "the job here is done, move on men!" (referring to the dead Wolves on the West). These things just make the games so much more enjoyable!

Magic sees him channel twice for a total of 6v7, and I can't get anything through his Dispel rolls.

I finish my turn with killing a single dog and a single Ghoul.

Image

:: Vampire Counts T2 ::

His Zombie charges my Eagle and I flee, however the flee roll is really poor and he catches me. His Spirit Host on the West charge my Spears, and as he aligns properly I notice a big mistake: the Eagle I had placed behind him to counter-charge is now in his flank! This would've been easy for me to correct and while I realize this it also dawns on me that those Spears are probably going to stay there for quite a while! The centre continue their semi-slow approach while the Grave Guard move up big. I know that at some point he'll have to open up. The plan with the Lions is to escape by entering the building, because I realize I can't help them fast enough if he plays the West smart. I'm not sure he can properly cover my building-escape so I'm hoping this'll give me an edge in later turns.

Magic is 4v5, however he can't get anything through. So far his magic has been very little impressive (though so has mine!) and I'm hoping it'll continue the same.

Spirit Host wins combat, naturally, but I hold and all's good.

Image

:: High Elves T3 ::

I'm still a little cautious, though I know by now that I'll likely get 2 crucial charging turns: either 4+5 or 5+6. I also realize that it's highly unlikely that I can successfully engage his bus, so my goal now is to get rid of as much other stuff as possible and feed the bus cheap stuff / neutralize it as well as possible.

First things first though - get that West under control. An Eagle flanks the Spirit Host while the Swordmasters charge the Zombies. Magic is 9v5 but he scrolls Drain and dispels Fury.

Combat sees me kill his Zombies easily and the Swordmasters reform to be maximum width with regards to attacking the Ghouls. The Spirit Host however rolls well and doesn't lose combat.

Image

:: Vampire Counts T3 ::

He finally commits to my Lions, taking care to ensure I cannot charge my way out of anything, save for trying against his bus. He reforms the ~28 remaining Ghouls to a single rank, thus preventing Saerith from flanking the bus (a brilliant move, I must admit, which I didn't see coming! With that being said, I'm not sure I would commit the Prince + Lions against his bus anyways). He also moves his centre fairly well - I was hoping to use Naenor in an interesting way here but he dodges my attempts yet again.

In a very eagly fashion, he sends his Bats to block my Swordmasters. He had moved them well in this game, making impossible for me to charge, magic and shoot him! Very impressive, and now very painful for me!

Magic sees us get an 8v8 split. He starts with a 2D6 Vanhels which I dispel with 3D6. He then tries a 12+ Nehek on 3D6 but fails to meet the casting roll and I dispel his last attempt.

His Spirit Host ties me this time and we're stuck.

Image

:: High Elves T4 ::

I reform the Lions and move them into the building and it's clear that my opponent did not expect this. The Swordmasters charge their blocking Bats while my Eagle charges the zombies behind to create an overrun situation (poor diagram placement on the angle here). Now, I reform my big Archers to 5-wide instead of 15-wide, which puts them a mere 3" away from the small Archers: thus, if his bus charges me it's really easy to flee them away to safety and he'll be stuck in the middle of no-where! Naenor takes up a position against his Knights while Saerith keeps his hill controlled (it was a little closer to the bus than the diagram indicates).

So - lots of movement and magic's up. I'm not sure as my notes aren't 100% at this point (time could quickly have become a problem here) but I believe that he dispelled Drain.

Combat sees the Swordmasters make Batman Special followed by Zombie Kebab and reform to a single line, facing the Ghouls. His Spirit Host rolls well again, and this time my Eagle decides to leg it! This Ethereal creature is proving to be a real pain...

Image

:: Vampire Counts T4 ::

I think he realizes that chasing the Archers could ruin the game for him (it would've been a huge risk at least!) so he flies both characters out of the unit, going up near my Swordmasters. The Ghouls reform to a conga-line fashion, ending up 2 wide. The Black Knights move up to a central position and I immediately realize that I have a pretty good opportunity here. His Grave Guard reform (probably afraid of the Lions entering his back space).

Magic is a rather big 11v7. He starts with Invocation on the Ghouls, which go off with IF! I'm really hoping to see him roll a disastrous result here (as you always are when your opponent miscasts!) but it's a dull result which has no effect save for ending the phase. Regardless, the Ghouls are back to full strength.

Image

:: High Elves T5 ::

Naenor + Saerith + Archers charge his Knights. I reckon that I can place Saerith corner-to-corner to minimize KB-impact. Naenor however would have to be lucky: if I could kill off 4+ Black Knights before the Undead strike back, I could reduce him hitting me back drastically. The Swordmasters charge his Ghouls (if his Lord wanted to charge me - so be it. It would be hugely risky as I could challenge him out for a turn and then charge his Ghouls with my characters, potentially killing him on crumble). Long story short - I think it would be a big risk for him to attempt anything here while it was only a mild risk for me. The Lions exit the building behind the Grave Guard, hoping for a glorious T6 charge.

Magic - he fears Drain so much so I get Shield of Saphery through on the 30 Archers - effectively reducing his combat resolution by a potentially big amount. I'm very happy with this as it's crucial to me to kill those Knights.

Combat - the Swordmasters kill a few (including the Champion!) and a few more crumble, I reform to 3 ranks. My Spears however break against the Spirit Host (no longer being steadfast) and he catches me. Worse, he's now in a position to strike at Olannon (really poor play on my part not to put him behind the Archers...). The big combat approaches and I roll very poor with my Characters, killing only 2 Black Knights. He gets his full 4 attacks at Naenor, of which 3 hit. I know it's a 50-50 of him dying now, and I'm hoping for some luck but to no avail - a '6' comes up and the Noble Elf dies. I manage to get the Knights down to roughly a handful after Faeria attacks and crumble etc, but this is not going as well as I'd planned.

Image

:: Vampire Counts T5 ::

His Lord + BSB decide to help out the Grave Guard - I think he realize that it's crucial that they don't die. Also, the Swordmaster combat is super-risky for him to enter. The Grave Guard turn towards my Lions.

Magic sees him get no big effect, which is good for me as I can't afford not killing the Knights now: he does however summon a unit of Zombies to protect his Ghouls' flank (though this is easy to combo-combat so I don't care).

Combat sees his Spirit Host put 1W on Olannon while I kill a couple more Ghouls. The big combat against his Knights see me roll a little better though (seriously killing 2 Knights between Saerith + Naenor...) and he crumbles, many thanks to static combat resolution from the Archers (+4 helps!). I reform to face his centre.

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:: High Elves T6 ::

My Eagle rear-charges his Spirit Host: if he just rolls poorly now he'll be gone. Saerith and the Archers charge the Zombies (diagram is poor - I had Saerith behind the Archers which allowed me to combat reform them to screen him from the Lord, should he try anything). The Lions charge the Grave Guard. The last Eagle finally rallies!

Magic - he dispels Shield (of course) and I get Drain through, though it hardly matters.

Combat sees the Zombies and Ghouls die horribly and I reform to protect Saerith. The Lions have an interesting one though - I challenge the Vampire and he initially accepts. As I point out that the accepting part must move to base contact with the challenging part (and not the other way around, which he thought) and my Guardian is in the middle of the unit, he kindly asks to undo this decision. Now, playing Rusty's Vampire Counts a couple of months back, I'm very certain about this dynamic in a challenge and I see no reason to try and get an advantage here. I allow him to undo it and he refuses the challenge, placing the Vampire at the back of the unit instead. I roll somewhat poor and not nearly as many crumble as I'd hoped.

His Spirit host barely manages to kill Olannon but he dies himself as well. So close, yet so far away!

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:: Vampire Counts T6 ::

His Lord charges the Swordmasters. Magic sees him get quite a few dice and he heals back a handful of Grave Guard. Combat sees my Bladelord challenge his Lord out, I die but hold on Steadfast. The Lions however roll very poor and he beats me. The game comes down to a break test (Stubborn LD10 from Saerith) - Aura of Dark Majesty x2 makes it interesting: I manage to roll a total of '5' however and with that, the game is over!

:: Victory Points ::

I was confident that I was ahead, but didn't know how much. Carefully counting the points, I've killed 1060 against his 437 - which is a 12-8 victory to the High Elves! Interestingly enough, this difference is very close to being a 13-7 split AND he originally miscounted the points I had killed (1092), however as my result differed we re-counted it and I was barely below the required limit.

:: Evaluation and Conclusion ::

What a game! This is the closest Warhammer has ever felt to playing Chess for me. So much manoeuvring, trying to get the slighest advantage and pound through. Some risks were taken on both sides, which made the game really tense and exciting. Some big mistakes were made as well, him forgetting about the House and me sending Olannon to his death for no reason (I knew those Spears stood a good chance of breaking) in particular.

I totally didn't see his refused flank approach coming, but to be honest I don't know if I should've deployed any differently regardless. I think I could've played the Western flank a bit better and perhaps moved my Flyers up T1. As it were, I was always looking for a chance to breath fire on those Ghouls to open up a big gap in his centre but there was no-where to land! Mid-game saw him brilliantly play his chaff and reform the Ghouls to deny my every attempt at getting a solid advantage against his bus, yet in forgetting the Lions' escape through the house he couldn't really capitalize on this. Instead, his Knights ended up in a really awkward position and I finally had a game where I managed to really squeeze the most out of that Archer block!

So again, thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed it! As always, I appreciate any comments you might have :)

~Olannon

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:54 pm 
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Well played, but I dont understand, why weren't all 3 of his vampires in the bk?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:03 pm 
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@Delaqure - if you go a few pages back there are a couple of suggestions for making a DP bus list. I think I would've gone with one big unit though rather than 2 smaller ones, to really add to its hitting power when needed. How many Lions do you have? What about Swordmasters? An example list is to remove the Swordmasters I have (270 points), put the BSB on a barded steed instead of an Eagle (roughly 20-30 points) and take 9 DP for the cost (should even out). You can also reduce the Lions to like 21 to save even more points. Going down this road however you need to figure out different ways of playing - you don't have 2 flying characters capable of really messing with an opponent's plans any longer. As I haven't tried this playstyle, I'm unfamiliar with exactly how it would affect the tactics and thus unable to offer any expert advice. I will say though that this was Furion's suggested build and I respect him very much as a player so it might well be that this is an even stronger approach than what I currently have. The only way to find out is to playtest it :) I might get around to it myself as well!

@Lord Anathir - In an uncomped environment I agree that the Dragon is probably sub-optimal. I struggle to see him being the best we can bring, as regardless of his power there will be matchups that are simply close to impossible. If you can score some good results with it still though that would be very impressive :) As for your list - I can't immediately see the big synergies here, is there any chance of getting a report sometime soon to detail how you play it? Also - what do you do against Ethereal stuff?

As for the VC game - the 3rd Vampire was on foot. Why he didn't mount this one as well, I don't know. Honestly I suspect that a third Vampire adds relatively little while he increases the risk significantly. Certainly having him on foot give those Grave Guards a lot of flexibility. I think that this dual-approach (bus + solid infantry hammer) can be one of the stronger VC builds out there. It's also my opinion that Ghouls are still worth considering, despite their points increase they're still a stupidly versatile unit given the other VC core choices.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:41 am 
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Interesting game. The VC army looks like a thinking man's list, one that rewards a smart player. Which he obviously was.

Did you see any major weaknesses in his army?

You were critical of his foot vampire. What do you think that vampire adds to the grave guard?

Do you see any hard counters to your dragon in a VC list?

Do you think a full "Flying circus" is viable with VC after what you experienced this game?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:03 pm 
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A comment from my opponent on another forum made it clear that this list was primarily based on what he had, model-wise. Without going into details, he said it could definitely be tuned to be more optimal.

Weaknesses in the army - well, to be honest there weren't a lot. Every unit, character and choice seems to have its place and a good reason to be there. To analyze this further I would've needed to playtest it myself.

The foot Vampire - with the Sword of Striking and Banner of Barrows, this Vampire drastically increases the unit's damage output. Bearing in mind that is usually has a small frontage, this can be crucial. Also, the Aura of Dark Majesty can be a real pain! With that being said, perhaps the points could be better spent elsewhere, I don't know.

A VC list like this creates a hard counter to the Dragon by denying me favourable spots. Essentially, the tarpitblocks + heavy hitters combined, not to mention the Ethereal chaff, means that I have very few places to land, should the VC army play smart enough and remain in a compact state. As you saw this game, I was trying to use Naenor to catch any chaff off-guard but he constantly made a mockery of my attempts by shuffling the units around and using his own chaff to thwart my bigger blocks (primarily the Swordmasters). Him keeping his Bats safe was very important in order to accomplish this.

As for a full flying circus - I imagine it can be done. You have excellent chaff in the form of Wolves and Bats. By having a flying circus list you also allow those fast chaff units to march, most of the time. I think you can add 2x3 Vargheists (with champ) instead of the Grave Guard here for a truly terrifying prospect. By having a champion and being a flying unit, they essentially fulfil the same role as my BSB. When you have that super-strong bus as well, you have a very strong string of opportunities once you get in ~15" range. By having a General + BSB close to the Vargheists, their Frenzy becomes less of a problem (Bats can also counter this by being placed strategically). I think that a major asset of the flying circus is to fill up your core with a mix of Ghouls (still very dangerous despite their increased points cost) and Zombies (quickly turning into a tarpit nightmare). Whether it's viable though remains to be playtested. I can see a couple of armies you'd have real problems against, but there's always some sort of an answer. Also, a lot of armies would basically be a free-win for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:13 am 
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Curu Olannon presents:


:: 2D6 Crusade - Game #5 - Vampire Counts - 53/27 points before pairing ::

After my 4th game I was fairly certain that I was in the top 10 area. Around me, I could spot a lot of juicy armies to face - ranging from Dark Elves to Daemons, Empire and Beastmen. I was pretty frustrated at this point because I never really got to get my powerful elements into the play at once, like I'm so used to doing. I was partially blaming the matchups, but I had also made a few mistakes along the way. Regardless, I was hoping for a matchup along these lines for the last game.

It was not to be however, as I drew Vampire Counts yet again. Another game with a severe deployment disadvantage, tons of chaff I have to go through, resilient tarpits and deadly counters to my characters. I decided to throw caution to the wind and play as aggressive as the game would allow me, but kept in mind that I couldn't push my luck by overestimating units. With that, we went to list review (just a quick read and explanation of anything we hadn't encountered before) and deployed the terrain according to the tournament manual.

:: For Thou Art Not So ::

The lists -

:: High Elves ::

Saerith with GW, AoC, Vambraces, Loec, Star Dragon - 622
BSB Naenor with Sword of Might, HoF, Shield, Dragon Armour, Great Eagle - 208
Olannon with Level 2, Annulian Crystal - 175

Characters - 1005

30 Archers, Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flames - 365
15 Archers, Musician - 170
10 Spearelves - 90

Core - 625

26 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness, Amulet of Light - 450
14 Swordmasters, Bladelord w/Skeinsliver, Musician, STD w/Gleaming Pennant - 270

Special - 720

3 Great Eagles - 150

Rare - 150

Total - 2500

:: Vampire Counts ::

Vampire Lord
- Lvl 2, Heavy Armour, Red Fury, Beguile, Quickblood, Talisman of Preservation, Sword of Striking, Enchanted Shield, The Cursed Book
Necromancer
- Lvl 2, Scroll, Ring of Ruin
Necromancer
- Lvl 2, Book of Arkhan
Wraith
Wraith
Wight King
- BSB, Trickster's Helm

30 Ghouls, Champion
30 Zombies, standard, musician
20 Zombies
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves

2 Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats
30 Grave Guard, standard, musician, banner of barrows, great weapons
5 Hexwraiths
3 Vargheists, champion

Total - 2400

:: Pre-battle thoughts and deployment ::

On first glance, it was clear that this was very different to the ones I'd currently played. A trickle-strategy with multiple bound spells meant he had so many spells to throw. Regardless, I wasn't too worried about this as none of them posed a significant threat to me. The only real threat here was the Grave Guards, while his core could easily tarpit me. The idea was to isolate the Grave Guard and combo-charge them, this time I knew I was going to have to go for the big kill so I would have to play accordingly. I also knew it was of paramount importance that I cleared enough tarpitters and chaff to get there in time, before I would find myself occupied with multiple key units.

Magic saw me get Shield and Flames, which I was very happy with! He got:
Lord - Nehek, Hellish Vigour
Necro 1 - Vanhel's, Curse of Years
Necro 2 - Gaze, Nehek

Deployment saw me placing the Archers first, that central hill was so obvious that I saw no reason to start with Eagles. He had so much chaff that I had deployed my entire army before he commited (hence the central-ish position). I decided to place the Lions on the flank I considered to be the likely long one, as their +1M banner would help me out tremendously here (2 turns of marching effectively gives me a 4" difference!). He opted for a refused flank, and I was asking him if he intended to go for a draw by just sitting there for 6 full turns. He simply reply 'well we'll see' and I was worried we'd get an extremely boring game...

Image

Having +2 to start, I rolled a '5' yet again and got first turn!

:: High Elves T1 ::

The Lions move up hard and the rest of the line slightly adjusts. I have a feeling that in a couple of turns the table will look like we're playing 'Meeting Engagement' due to the nature of his deployment. The Archers with Olannon move into 24" of the 30-strong Zombies, hoping to purify them with Flames of the Phoenix. The East is played conservatively as I see no reason to stress here - let him show his intentions with the Hexwraiths and Vargheists first and then I can reply. The Eagles positioned themselves to create a HUGE threat arc for his chaff while the Spears took on a waiting position, denying his dogs the optimal disruption route.

Magic saw us get a 7v4 split. I intended to cast Flames on 5D6 and Drain on 2D6, hopefully either getting a scroll out or getting a crucial spell through. As I started with Flames though, I managed two 6's... I rolled well for the Zombies and 19 (!) of the 30 undead went down. For my result however, I rolled Snake Eyes. Now, my mind immediately leapt to the thought of facing VC magic-spam without the annulian crystal as I picked up the crucial dice, hoping to roll that vital 4+ to save Olannon... Which I managed! Phew, that was close. I tell you, one miscasts WAY more than you'd think and quite frequently the result can be disastrous. I was lucky to avoid dying, but a number of Archers were killed to the big blast.

Shooting - since my Archers had moved I would be hitting flying chaff on 6's (move - long range - skirmish). Because of this, I opted to shoot the Zombies (hitting on 5's - twice as many hits on average). The idea was to bring them down so much so that he wouldn't bother with them anymore and just leave them for dead. Had he wanted to keep them alive, they could prove to be tremendously annoying against the White Lions in their quest to reach his lines before T6. To this end, the weakened Archers performed admirably and reduced the Zombies to but a handful. The smaller Archers did very well, too, killing all 5 of the central dogs (not moving really helps on the 'to hit' part of things! I envy Wood Elves...).

Overall, a pretty good first turn and I was curious to see what he was up to.

Image

:: Vampire Counts T1 ::

I breathed a sigh of relief as he starts advancing everything. There is no way I could manage a huge win here if he'd have wanted to castle up and go for a tie, save for him making big mistakes. Granted, I still had a long way to go but at least he wanted to play a game ;) Everything moved up as fast as it could, with the Ghouls + Wight BSB taking on the flank duty on one side, the Hexwraiths + Vargheists on the other. His West saw the Bats charge my Eagle and I happily fled. The rest of his chaff there repositioned as to best avoid my threat zones and prepare for T2 blocks.

Magic was a 7v7 split. He started by using the Cursed Book - he got Miasma and decided to slow my Lions. As I was having none of this, I dispelled it with 2D6 (I think he lost 2 dice as well). The rest went into neheking the Zombies but I managed to dispel this as well.

Image

:: High Elves T2 ::

My Great Eagle charges his Wolves, while the Spears move up to a position where they carefully adjust their angle so that they can both flank the Wolves if something goes wrong and counter-charge the Bats should he flank my Eagle. The fleeing Eagle rallies while my Eastern units reform and back off a bit. I present an Eagle as bait to his Hexwraiths, carefully placing Naenor centrally with counter-charging options should he wish to play too aggressively.

Magic is a big 9v5. Flames start by killing a couple more Zombies. I then cast Shield on 2D6 and Drain on 2D6, he let them both through. I then discard the remaining dice, not wishing to trade Flames for a miscast.

Shooting sees me kill the last Zombies - the Lions provide the chaff with hard cover so I'd rather just wipe these out completely. The small Archers kill a single Grave Guard.

Combat sees my Eagle roll fairly bad and I don't win as big as I'd hoped. Next turn, I know he's going to counter-charge me and I'm just hoping I can hold this once to get the Spears into the mix.

Image

:: Vampire Counts T2 ::

As I feared, his Bats flank the engaged Eagle. The other Bats, happy to still be alive, realize that they aren't going to be alive for much longer so decide to delay the Lions some. The angle is a bit off in my opinion as he could've placed them way worse for me, but I'm not complaining! His East sees the Hexwraiths declare the charge on the taunting Eagle, but as I have no intention of them using him as a speed-burst to get into the Swordmasters I flee and escape easily. The Vargheists move up to the board edge, where they have a number of potential targets in their T3. I know he has to pass an LD test at 7 next time, so I'm hoping to use this move against him. The Ghouls however seem content with their position, which I find a little odd.

Magic is 5v5 and he starts with the Cursed Book, targeting the Dragon with a Curse of the Midnight Wind (he lost 2 dice) which I happily let through as I have no intentions of doing anything fancy with it anytime soon. I dispel the rest easily with 3v5 dice.

Combat - my engaged Eagle manages to kill a dog or two and hold his ground, much to my relief! He was also left on a single wound, so it was really time to get those Spears into this mix...

Image

:: High Elves T3 ::

The Spears charge the bats while the Lions charge their blocking bats. My small Archers move up toward the Vargheists, making sure they need to roll a 5+ to escape them in a flee situation (due to proximity to Swordmasters). I place my units so that a flee roll will take them very far away. The idea is to force him to charge the Archers, flee, have him redirect into Naenor (a bit risky for him as he can only get 1 in contact - corner-to-corner and it's pretty far away) or the Swordmasters, where I'll slice him a new one. The centre reforms to face him properly and it now very much looks like we're playing Meeting Engagement! Saerith moved to counter-charge the Vargheists almost regardless of what they'd end up doing, taking care to stay out of the Hexwraith's charge arc.

Magic - notes are poor here with regards to the split but his scroll came out (I think it was low and he scrolled Drain, dispelling Shield).

Shooting did nothing and we went to combat - not only did my Spears manage to ensure the victory but my Eagle managed to survive - his 2 hits failed to roll a 5+! The Lions of course won easily and with that it was his T3 and I was very happy with the position. Now, what kind of trickery could he be up to?

Image

:: Vampire Counts T3 ::

His Vargheists charge the Archers and I flee. He passes his LD test and tries to charge Naenor (needing 8+) but fails! He's now left in the middle of no-where. His Hexwraiths realize they're poorly placed and redeploy to a central position. His Ethereal characters come out as well, moving up to very juicy positions. The Ghouls again decide they like this position while his Grave Guards are ever advancing.

Magic is 6v7 and he starts off by hexing the Lions with the Cursed Book. As it wasn't Miasma, I didn't care and let it pass (think it was Soulblight). He then tried to Gaze them with the rest of his dice but I dispelled it easily.

A short turn, and I was more than ready to initiate some aggressive moves...

Image

:: High Elves T4 ::

Naenor has one Wraith in his Arc, just barely. He's 19" away, making it roughly 50-50 to reach him, but the juicy part is that he can overrun into the Hexwraiths! Taking a minute to calculate my position, I ask myself the following:
- what happens if I reach the Wraith?
- what happens if I don't?
- what happens if I do but fail to roll 4+ on Swiftstride (the distance required to overrun into the Hexwraiths)?
The answer to question 1 is that his Grave Guard can counter-charge me, regardless of overrun distance. I have an Eagle to block him (measuring up, I can also block his Lord from solocharging out). Essentially, this is a win-win situation - there is no risk involved IF the charge is made. Question 2 is a bit more tricky. However I gather that if I do not reach them, I need Naenor pretty much where he is right now to threaten his centre with regards to the Ethereals in my T5. A failed charge won't hurt this and the angle will be good as well. Again, no significant drawback. Question 3 - the Hexwraiths don't bother me due to the 2+ ward and regardless nothing else can charge me - essentially I've killed a Wraith for very little risk.

Taken together, I conclude that this charge can be game-breaking. I roll the dice and make the required roll of 9+! Saerith rear-charges the Vargheists and the rest move accordingly: the Lions take up a very threatening position while the Swords move full speed ahead. An Eagle blocks his Lord + Grave Guard. The idea is to force him to charge it and overrun - perhaps reaching the Swordmasters, perhaps having to face a charge from them. Regardless, Saerith will have their flank and Naenor will be nearby.

Magic is a low 3v3 and my attempt to Shield the Swordmasters is dispelled. Shooting does next to nothing, and we go to combat:
Saerith kills the Vargheists easily, the wrath of Faeria too terrible to behold for the wicked undead. Naenor also slays his opponent with ease and overruns into the Hexwraiths!

Image

:: Vampire Counts T4 ::

His Wraith charges my Archers (needing 8+), I decide it isn't worth the risk and run away. He redirects into my Eagle, which is 11.5" away from the table edge. I flee this as well but roll box cars and the noble bird is gone (at least it didn't die, huh?).

The interesting part here is that his Ghouls back off, fearing the Lions apparantly, but his Lord + bunker charge (!) into the Eagle, leaving them very, very isolated.

Magic gives us an 8v6 split and he starts with a boosted Vanhels - getting IF! The result is lots of units with re-roll to hit and 1W on all his casters. The rest of the dice are drained by the miscast.

Combat sees his Lord kill the Eagle with ease and they overrun but are too short to reach the Swordmasters! Meanwhile, Naenor perform admirably as he kills enough to crumble the Hexwraiths. This is crucial as he can now charge away to let the Lions through to the Grave Guard! I reform him to face the Zombies with Necromancer behind his Lord.

Image

:: High Elves T5 ::

Well, Saerith needs to roll 3+, the Swordmasters are automatically in while the Lions need to roll a 5+. Naenor goes against the Zombies, I move in the Swordmasters and start rolling dice:
- Saerith easily makes it
- The first dice for the Lions come up a '1'... The second spins for what seems like forever but ends up a '4'!

I now have a situation which most High Elf generals would wet their pants at the mere thought of and I intend to make the most of it ;)

The Archers (luckily) rally and we move to magic - again it's low and my attempt at Drain is dispelled.

Combat - I'm glad that my Swordmasters strike at the same time as his Lord as he kills quite a few of them. Regardless, the Lions + Prince + Swords + Faeria(breathing fire of course) reduce the Grave Guard to a mere 4 remaining and kill the Necromancer. When he hits back, he puts 1 hit on Saerith: hitting, wounding on a '6' for a killing blow and I fail my ward save! Luckily, this only awards him 100VP according to ETC rules. His Lord easily crumbles. Naenor kills his Necromancer and the Zombies crumble a bit as well. Crumble tests across the board kill off some chaff and zombies.

Image

After this, I calculate that there's no need to engage further targets. I kill off his Zombies engaged with Naenor but don't bother with his Ghouls + Wight.

:: Victory Points ::

He's killed 3 Eagles and gets 100 bonus points for Saerith - 250 total. I have wiped out everything save the Ghouls and score 2050 VPs after bonuses have been calculated. Finally, a 20-0 Victory to the High Elves!

:: Evaluation and Conclusion ::

First of all, props to my opponent for being a very good sportsman throughout the entire game! With everything falling apart around him, he was still in a good mood and this ensured that all of my tournament games were very enjoyable. I was lucky to not experience the same as e.g. Brewmaster_D did in his most recent tournament against the infamous Ogre player and this most definitely makes me want to come back to a 2D6 event!

The initial miscast saw my pulse rise to 200 or something like that. I was lucky not to lose the mage, but it meant I had to play my magic way more conservatively throughout the game. I managed to keep his worst magic down, which is the main important thing, given the size of my magic investment. In the magic department, I think he suffered from not having multiple high-priority dispels. My initial devastation of his 30-strong Zombies left Nehek being of no importance. As such, I almost always had only 1 spell which I had to dispel. I think it's risky investing this much in casters without having a reliable way to boost their offensive capabilities (Casket of Souls for TK, Banner of Sorcery for us etc).

Overall, his list suffered from having a bit of everything in my opinion. In particular, the Vargheists didn't thrive in this context and indeed ended up doing nothing. While they might've made the charge on Naenor, I believe the result would largely have been the same, at least for them (losing combat -> rear-charge by Saerith -> gone). With that being said, this game could've turned out very differently to what it did, I was lucky with a number of things that could've gone wrong.

A note on strategy and execution: while I was unable to go full speed ahead in this game, I think I managed to follow through on my original plan: where I could take a risk to gain a lot, I did it without overreaching and praying for insane luck to save me. The risks I took, while calculated, could indeed have gone both ways. As I didn't want to settle for yet another mediocre victory I think this was the only right thing to do and it paid off!

A shoutout to thelordcal for treading this path before me: Dragon + Swiftness Banner White Lions is downright scary! Indeed the +1M was crucial in this last game, giving me those extra inches all the time and finally ensuring that I made the charge - just barely! Also thanks for the angry music tip - see the report headlines in these tournament VC games and compare them to Children of Bodom's Follow the Reaper introduction lyrics for a 'hidden' tribute ;)

My total standing was thus 73-27 in a 5-game tournament. My list continues to avoid losses (the last one - and only one I've had - was against Ogre Kingdoms where he had a points advantage on me), but I was unable to rank up big enough points to get the really solid victories.

The final top 10, battle-points wise, were as follows:
1. Wood Elves (rusty) - 85 BPs
2. Ogre Kingdoms - 83 BPs
3. Dark Elves - 75 BPs
4. High Elves (me) - 73 BPs
5. Chaos Dwarfs - 71 BPs
6. Beastmen (!) - 70 BPs
7. Empire - 67 BPs
8. Daemons of Chaos / Vampire Counts - 66 BPs
10. Beastmen - 62 BPs
There were 46 in total who finished, out of ~55 who'd signed up

In my opinion, a very 'healthy' spread. We saw a lot of different armies and builds at Crusade, and in particular I think these top 10 show that ETC can make it interesting to play just about every army. It's a pity that the top TK player wasn't even in the top 20 though, but I think you'll agree that this spread is fairly uncommon compared to uncomped tournaments.

C&C, as always, very welcome :) Now that you have seen all all the games I've played I'm sure it's time for some conclusions with regards to a lot of things - my strengths, weaknesses as a player and what the list could do with/without! I will wait a little while before writing my own thoughts so as not to influence your feedback, and will post them up with along with some pictures from the tournament and a more thorough look at my how opponents performed overall!

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: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:49 am 
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=D> I've only just glanced at the last report because I'm in a bit of a hurry, but I'll come back to it later.

That is very good! To clarify, what restrictions did the tournament have, if any?
Also, what was the wood elf list?

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And Grombrindal said "10 from the back, yeah?"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:04 am 
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Lord Anathir wrote:
=D> I've only just glanced at the last report because I'm in a bit of a hurry, but I'll come back to it later.

That is very good! To clarify, what restrictions did the tournament have, if any?
Also, what was the wood elf list?


Thanks, looking forward to your analysis then :)

The tournament was run using ETC restrictions, Draft 2 (I realize I should've clarified this way sooner as far from everyone is familiar with these rules):

ETC 2nd Draft wrote:
Rules changes:
- Characters will get "look out sir" versus the following spells that automatically kill models or automatically remove an entire regiment: Dwellers Below, Final Transmutation, Dreaded 13th, Infernal Gateway 11-12 effect. Normal requirements for lookout sir apply.

I. General Restrictions:

2400 Points.
No Special or Named Characters.
Army used can be any of the currently published GW Army books. Forge World based army lists & units may not be used on the event
A maximum of 3 identical core choices may be taken (regardless of equipment and other upgrades)
An army may have up to 4 war machines and template weapons. Warmachines that use a template count as a single choice in this regard. All template weapons (from magic items, abilities, etc.) count, except for spells.
Max. 45 models with missile weapons with a range of 20”+ (not incl. war machines, characters and chariots).

Unit sizes are limited as follows:
Units cannot be more than 40 models nor 450 points (including all command, upgrades, magic items/banners). This restriction applies during the creation of the roster - unit size/cost may be increased during the game (for example - by joining characters to the unit). This restriction does not apply to characters.

Magic Restrictions:
- Apart from Winds of magic, an army may only use 2 PD/DD per magic phase. After an army generates the limit all the other extra dice are discarded. This includes channeled PD/DD.
- Player can use maximum 5 PD to cast spell (+ wizard level). For death & shadow spells this max is lowered to 4 power dice.
- An army may use up to 12 PD during each phase.
- You may have units/abilities that actually would generate more than 2 extra dice, but any excess dice are lost
- Some magic items/abilities count as generating dice toward this limit.
- “Count as” items/abilities may never exceed a cumulative 2 PD/DD per phase. This means that player who already spent his limit PD limit, cant take more items which “count as adding PD” or add PD from channeling during game (same for DD).
- All modifiers are applied from the army list and will not change during the game.

Detailed description
Apart from Winds of magic, an army may only use 2 PD/DD per magic phase (unless army restrictions specify otherwise). After an army generates the limit all the other extra dice are discarded. This includes channeled PD/DD.

If a dice is stolen from the opponent’s pool, but your army has already generated two extra dice, the dice is removed from the opponent’s pool and then discarded.

Some special items and abilities DECREASE the limit of power or dispel dice you can add to the pool. We refer to those as “count as” items. What this means is that, if your roster includes one “counts as 1 Power Dice (PD)” item, your army can only add 1 power dice (instead of the usual 2 dice) to the pool in each of your own magic phases of the entire game (regardless of whether the item is destroyed or used up).
Please note that you cannot have a combination of items that would decrease the limit of extra power or dispel dice to below zero.

Item restrictions:
- Any item that auto-dispels a spell counts as generating 1 DD each magic phase.
- Folding Fortress is not allowed

Army Specific Restrictions:
Beastmen: Beastmen armies have an extra 200 points for their roster (2600 total), All victory points scored against this army are decreased by 10% (excluding bonus points for banners, general, etc.), Beastmen can generate 3 extra pd instead of 2. Can use 4 instead of 3 same core units and have a unit cap of 50 models per unit.
Bretonnia: No Restrictions
Chaos Dwarfs
Hellcannon 0-1
Iron daemon, kdai destroyer and every model with hashut lore count as war machines
chalice of darkness counts as 2 pd
Max 3 out of lore of Hashut, s5 war machine templates, destroyer, iron daemons.
Chalice or Sorcerer Prophet
Flask counts as 3 war machines.
Dark Elves: Hydra is a 0-1 choice. Max. 35 repeater Crossbows (including characters and excluding chariots) in the army. Repeater Bolt Throwers 0-2. Flying units (inc. characters on flying steeds) in the army limited to 0-3. Harpies are 0-2. Shades max 20 models per army, Pendant of khaeleth cannot be taken by lord characters, player may take up to 2 of following: Pendant of khaeleth\Crown of command\any number of wizards using death & shadow magic\Cauldron of Blood\Hydra.
Dwarfs: Each spellbreaker/spelleater rune counts as +1 DD. Grudge Throwers are a 0-2 choice; May generate Max. +4 dispel dice instead of +2; 0-3 of anvil, miners & rangers (in any combination of them)
Daemons of Chaos
Max. 30 Models per unit; Flamers are a 0-1 choice. All daemonic gifts are 0-1. Bloodletters and Herald of Khorne are 0-3 total. Daemonic Battle Standard can take either daemonic icon or gifts. Siren song cannot be taken by Herald of Slaanesh. Master of sorcery cannot be taken by Herald of Tzeentch.. Max 6 flamers in the army. Mos: Rule change: It doesn't give loremaster lore (can take any rb lore)
The Empire: Steam Tank counts as a war machine; Tank, Rocket battery and Engineers are a 0-1 choice. Max 2 cannons, steam tank count as a cannon.
High Elves: High Elves armies have an extra 100 points for their roster (2500 total); High elves army can generate extra 3 powerdice instead of 2; Vortex Shard counts as +1DD; Book of Hoeth counts as 2PD and 2 DD; Banner of the World Dragon counts as +1 DD
Lizardmen: Salamanders are a 0-1 Choice;Scar-Veterans 0-2, Terradons and Stegadons (any kind) are 0-2 choices; player may take up to 2 of following: Beclaming Cogitations\ Focus of Mystery\ Focused Rumination \Higher State of Consciusness; Beclaming Cogitations counts as +2DD; Cupped hands of the Old Ones counts as +2PD; Higher State of Consciusness counts as 2 discplines (takes two slots, but cost same points); Crown of Command & Higher State of Consciousness cannot be taken on 1 model; A maximum total of 6 Skink, Chameleon skinks and Skink Cohorts units combined maybe taken in an army (Cohorts containing kroxigor or numbering above 20 models do not count for this restriction). Max 1 of these in army death lore/bane head/feedback scroll
Ogre Kingdoms: Hellheart counts as 2dd & 1pd, Greedyfist on death mage counts as 2dd. Each leadbelcher/ sniper maneater with pistol(s) counts as 3 models towards to shooting cap. Max 3 combined units of Mournfang Cav & Ironblaster. 0-1 Ironblaster.
Orcs&Goblins: Night Goblin Shamans(0-3 cap removed) mushroom dice do not count as power dice in regard to the PD limit. Maximum model cap is 60 models per unit. +100 pts.
Skaven: All Skaven rare choices 0-1; Gutter runners are limited by 2 units & 20 models total; Engineers are a 0-3 choice; Can take max 2 of the following: doom rocket, brass orb, storm banner;
Vampire Counts
Master of black arts & blasphemous tome upgradeare 1pd each. 0- 3 etheral units (incl. Heroes). 0-2 red fury and/or quickblood abilities. 0-4 howls (death shriek counts as 2)
Tomb Kings: Tomb King armies have an extra 200 points for their roster (2600 total), All victory points scored against this army are decreased by 10% (excluding bonus points for banners, general, etc.), Neferra's Scrolls of Mighty Incantations counts as 2 PD AND 2 DD. Hierotitan is worth 1 PD so long as it's alive. Sphinxes of all kinds: 0-3 per army. Tomb Kings may generate up to 3 power dice per phase
Wood Elves: Wood Elf armies have an extra 200 points for their roster (2600 total) All victory points scored against this army are decreased by 10% (excluding bonus points for banners, general, etc.), Wood Elves can take 4 of the same core unit instead of 3, Wand of Wych Elm counts as +1 DD; Only Glade guards (including scouts) count for max of 45 models with shooting weapons
Warriors of Chaos: Hellcannon is a 0-1 choice. Infernal Puppet counts as +1 PD and +2DD; Tendrils of Tzeench and Conjoined Homunculus both counts as +1 PD. If you have warriors, knights and or chosen with marks of tzeentch in army then you can take max 2 out of 3 of warshrines and favor of the gods (2xwarshrines or warshrine and favor of the gods).

II. Pairings.

1. (1&2th match up of Team A v. Team B)
Both Teams put up 1 army.
Both Teams put up 2 opponents
Both Teams choose their match

2. (3&4)
Both Teams put up 1 army.
Both Teams put up 2 opponents
Both Teams choose their match

3. (5&6)
Both Teams put up 1 army.
Both Teams put up 2 opponents
Both Teams choose their match

4. (7&8)
Not chosen army of Team A plays against Team B last army («in hand»)
Not chosen army of Team B plays against Team A last army («in hand»)


III. Scoring

Victory points scored as per the rulebook, with the exceptions that:
- units that are at 25% or less of their original models yield 50% VP's to the opponent (characters, monsters and handlers, war machines and single models are unaffected).
-units that are fleeing at the end of the battle yield 50% VP's to the opponent.

In both cases, bonuses (for generals, banners, etc.) are not counted towards the 50%. Units that are both: fleeing and at/below ¼ strength still only yiled 50% VP’s.

0-20 Victory-Points per game
60-100 Battle-Points per team, except for the last round, when the lower limit is dropped.
(The losing team gets 60 points even if they score less[except in the final round] – the winning team never gets more than 100 points, even if they score more. Real Battle Points [non-limited by the 100-60 bracket] will be used in case of the Battle Points tie as tie-breaker.)

Victory points to Battle points per game:

0-150 Victory-Points difference - 10-10
151-300 - 11-9
301-450 - 12-8
451-600 - 13-7
601-750 - 14-6
751-900 – 15-5
901-1050 – 16-4
1051-1200- 17-3
1201-1350- 18-2
1351-1500-19-1
1500+ - 20/0

IV. Scenarios

Pitched battle scenario

V. Simple Line of Sight
All units and terrain pieces are divided into the following three categories.
- Blocking: Hills, Buildings and impassable terrain.
These block Line of Sight, even to other blocking terrain (You can't see through it).
- Non-Blocking: Rivers, marches and swarms.
Does not block Line of Sight (You can see through them/it).
- Interfering: All other terrain and units.
Does not block Line of Sight (You can see through them/it).

- If you shoot through interfering units or terrain there is a -2 to hit penalty, only -1 for woods (never
cumulative).
- If shooting at a large target, units in buildings or on hills there are no to hit modifiers for interfering
or non-blocking terrain or units, unless it is an interfering wood.
- When such a unit is doing the shooting there are no to hit penalties for interfering or non-blocking
units or terrain, other than interfering woods.


The Wood Elf list was roughly as follows:
Lvl 4 Beasts Mage, scroll
Treeman Ancient, You-can't-hit-me-in-challenge, +1DD
BSB on Eagle, 3+ ward vs non-magical stuff, Dragonhelm

13 Archers
3x10 Archers
8 Dryads

5 Treekin
6 Treekin

Treeman
2x Great Eagle

There is a report against it a few pages back - our final practice game prior to Crusade ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:03 pm 
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Hey Curu!

Sorry I haven't had a chance to post much in the last couple days with some tournament preparation of my own going on. I'd like to jump back to game #4 for a moment.

What would have happened had you charge the thin line of ghouls in your turn 4 with your lions on the flank, maximizing with the far 3 models on his one, then the prince and the BSB in the front, set to overrun into the flank of his bus. Noble could have taken the champion's challenge, freeing up your 10 lion attacks and your Dragon + Prince attacks on the unit. Short of a major whiff fest here, it seems to me that the ghouls would have popped, freeing you up to overrun.

I'm not 100% on the rules in this situation, but wouldn't your units each continue in the direction they're facing, allowing you to get that combo you were after?

If you're feeling even riskier, you could just do the Dragon + BSB on the ghouls; I have them doing about 15 wounds if you breathe on them, which is sooooo close to doing the job on their own. This would let the primary combat on the bus happen during this turn as well. I think in a tournament setting, the first option is the most ideal - White Lion champ accepts the Lord's challenge and all those S6/7 attacks should mangle the bus and pop the rest with combat resolution.

Does this make sense to you?

Getting those two vamps would have really swung things in your favour.

D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Sure thing, I didn't think everyone had finished analyzing all the games just yet so I'm happy to go back a game or two.

Let's see. He reforms his Ghouls (28 remaining) to a single line, thoguh 4 have to be placed in the back rank because of the 2x M rule. My Lions need like a 3+ to hit the charge, while Saerith and Naenor both have a guaranteed charge (I double-checked the picture on my tablet). Additionally, the positioning of Naenor is such that I can fly him as far to the flank so that he'll get an overrun into the Knights as well.

The problem is the placement of the Lions. I think I could only get 7 attacks - perhaps as few as 4. This is because the Knights would cut me off relative to an optimal move, where I would wheel more to get the horde effect (the last rank was centralized to make it harder for any chargers to avoid it by placing the unit on a corner).

So - let's assume 7 attacks for the sake of simplicity. The static combat resolution I have then is:
- charge
- banner
- 2 ranks
- bsb
- flank
For a total of 6. By killing 8, I have a combat resolution of 14, which is enough to kill the remaining 14. So, assuming I can kill 8 Ghouls for no wounds in return, this is easily the right choice. What chances does he have at wounding me in return? Worst case scenario is of course out of the box, but let's say for the sake of argument that he manages 2 wounds on the Lions, and nothing on the characters. My static combat resolution is then reduced by 1 as well, and he gains 2. We're now looking at:
5 + wounds from HE vs 2 from VC. Essentially, a static advantage of 3 to HE. By killing 13, I have a combat resolution of 16, which is enough to kill the remaining 15. What we see is that if he gets just a little bit lucky, I have to obliterate a dozen of the Ghouls to auto-crumble them and get the needed overruns.

Some math then:
7 Lions ~ 0.9 * 0.83 * 7 = 5.22
Saerith ~ 0.9 * 0.83 * 4 = 2.99
Naenor ~ 0.9 * 0.67 * 3 = 1.8
Great Eagle (normal attacks) ~ 0.67 * 0.5 * 2 = 0.67
Faeria (normal attacks) ~ 0.67 * 0.83 * 6 = 3.38
Sum: 14, before any Breath Fire and Stomps of all kinds.

Now, assuming a few less Lions get to attack (charge move difficulties), we're looking at a somewhat more risky prospect. However, I need to be unlucky with Breath Fire + Thunderstomp AND he needs to be lucky with wound rolls to make this go wrong.

The biggest problem however is that it's impossible for me to engage his Knight Bus and thus gain a continued combat in the same turn. Looking carefully at the position of his Grave Guard, I'm fairly certain that they would have an angle to my Lions' flank. Since it's his turn before that combat starts, he can probably counter-charge with Grave Guard and, perhaps equally important, he gets a magic phase.

It's a very interesting idea and perhaps it would pay off. I must admit I didn't consider it at all during the game. Perhaps it comes down to Saerith against his Lord (since he has to challenge). I don't think I can crumble him since his Grave Guard are in my flank. If the Grave Guard were angled a little further away, it would probably be the best move: have the Guardian eat the challenge and kill all the rest of the Knights to insta-crumble the characters. Very well spotted, I like to analyze things like this :)

EDIT: I just noticed your suggestion to charge the Ghouls without the Lions. This is a high risk - high reward manoevre (obviously). However, what makes this particularly interesting is the fact that my Archers could flank the Ghouls (from the picture it looks to be 10-11"). Now, getting 6 more attacks, flank, rank bonus and banner would probably be enough. Let's mathhammer it again:

28 Ghouls facing a static combat res of charge + banner + rank + flank + bsb = 5. He probably gets 2W this time (Archers are way weaker than Lions), so let's assume it's 3 in my favour before I strike.

6 Archers ~ 0.9 * 0.33 * 6 = 1.78
Saerith ~ 0.9 * 0.83 * 4 = 2.99
Naenor ~ 0.9 * 0.67 * 3 = 1.8
Great Eagle (normal attacks) ~ 0.67 * 0.5 * 2 = 0.67
Faeria (normal attacks) ~ 0.67 * 0.83 * 6 = 3.38
Great Eagle (stomp) = 0.5
Faeria (thunderstomp) ~ 3.5 * 0.84 = 2.94
Faeria (breath weapon) ~ 7 * 0.5 = 3.5
Total = 17.5. Assuming that Naenor is caught in the Ghast's challenge (and that he slays him without overkill, for the sake of simplicity) we have to reduce this number by ~2. Rounding down, we're left at 15. So we have a resolution of 18 in total, more than enough to kill the remaining 13 Ghouls. Note that where applicable, numbers have been rounded down here and we still have a little bit of 'safety' in these calculations.

Having crunched these numbers, it's fairly obvious that the optimal move for me would be to do as you suggest. As I said previously, I didn't even consider this during the game. This is naturally a mistake on my part, I guess you could blame it on tunnel vision (I was so focused on escaping through that building). Granted, I never would've had the time to work out this calculation during the game, but I should know my army well enough to calculate this 'on the go' (of course not precise, but get a rough figure).

I think it boils down to the Archers' distance to the Ghouls. If it's below 12", I think it's the right move. However there's a lot of risk involved here (the Lions could very well be in an extremely tough spot) so if the Archers' charge needs 7+ on 2D6 I think it's better to play it safe. Thoughts?

Again, very well spotted! Interesting thought-experiment :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:36 pm 
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I think the path you chose was the low risk/low reward path. There's a ton of merit in that - he had almost no counters for that move, but the reward also wasn't near what the higher risk route would have been.

Going all in like that is a hugely complex calculation to do on the fly - I probably would have just worked out what the dragon/prince could do, and gone with my hunch that it was do-able after that. It's certainly riskier than the route you took though, so there's a chance that archers don't make it, the dragon whiffs its rolls and you get stuck in two combats that lose you the game. It's all part of the game though :P

I think you need a degree of this playstyle, since I believe a measure of calculated risk taking is what's necessary to get 20-0 wins over great opponents. Some guys just won't open up clear cut opportunities to take advantage of, so you need to create them, like in this situation.

Plus, how gold would the look on his face have been that turn if it worked out? :P

D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Curu, I'll go back to our earlier conversation at a later date (if you don't mind) as I have an insane amount of uni work to do, but something is confusing me:

ETC 2nd Draft wrote:
Army used can be any of the currently published GW Army books. Forge World based army lists & units may not be used on the event

...

Army Specific Restrictions:
Chaos Dwarfs


The ETC rules contradict themselves - Chaos Dwarfs are Forge World, aren't they?

Why have they put in that specific allowance, yet have blanket-banned all other Forge World stuff?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:26 am 
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@Brewmaster_D - indeed there's a lot of merit in being able to tread the low risk, low reward path when appropriate. I think that given my position (I wanted to go for the top!) I should've thrown caution to the wind and went for the big kill here. I will upload the picture from my tablet so we can see better what the situation looks like :)

As for the calculation being insanely complex - indeed you're right! However, working out key numbers shouldn't take too long with an army I know this well. I guess the main problem is that breath weapon + thunderstomp is high variance damage sources, unlike ASF attacks (the more dice you roll and the more re-rolls, the less variance). Having played poker for quite a bit, I hate natural variance ;)

Last but not least, the look on his face would be pretty priceless, yes :D

@Nemo - sure man, no problem!

The ETC rules draft are constantly updated but they frequently tend to miss how new rules impact old ones. The idea of the blanket forge world ban was to stop people from asking 'can I bring X from Y FW book?'. When a captain's vote decided that Chaos Dwarfs should be included, they did indeed include them but forgot to make an exception in the general FW ban paragraph. It's just a plain oversight and I believe it'll be fixed before the final draft is out :)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:42 pm 
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What general views do you guys have on the ETC rules? Do you think they do a good job of balancing the field? Not enough? Too much? I ask because I've recently tried to organise a tournament using them in the US and the overwhelming view was 'I won't play with those restrictions'.

I have some guesses at the reasons for this. Mainly I think that the ETC rules have taken away some of the 'fluffly' side of the game. No one can get overpowered magic phases now - where in the fluff they probably should and some armies like Empire that would be composed of huge units of guys in real life can no longer play that way. There's also a lot of power-build lists around my local scene i.e. WoC Tzzentch Chosen & Disc Lord, Mega-Slaan + Sallies, Dual hydra + Cauldron, etc. Pretty much all those people were said no to the ETC ruleset. Would people agree that the rules have made it more about generalship and as such, succeeded in this regard but failed in other areas?

It's also interesting that Brets have no restrictions for/against. They are the benchmark I guess. I should have a BatRep from a game against them up tonight on my blog too.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:02 pm 
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It's very mixed, really. Personally, I'm a big fan. I don't think all the rules that are currently in place are perfect, but it's a way better game than uncomped Warhammer, in my opinion. Just look at the top 10 I posted - it basically shows that almost any army can do well (bear in mind that many of these top 10 players are the best in the country).

I'm not surprised that powerbuilds don't like ETC as that's exactly what it's trying to counter. Here, a lot of people dislike the rules as well, but once they try them out most seem to think that they aren't so bad after all. I can't speak on behalf of anyone, but my impression is that the majority feel that ETC balances the game out better, which in turn means that it's more about generalship.

For all those powerlists - just bring Teclis and ask them if that's fun. If they agree that he's unbalanced, why can't they be open to the idea that there are a multitude of imbalances in the game, and that fixing some of them makes it more interesting to play for everyone, especially those that are used to having a terribly hard time against the worst of the worst?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:13 pm 
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I admit I am disappointed to see this was under ETC rules. It would have been a more accurate indication of its level for me as I play under a no-comp environment (just special c's banned). I know someone else who also did well with a dragon list under ETC rules in northern ireland.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Yes, I gotcha. As I said before, I think ETC fits the Star Dragon better than a more uncomped environment. However, you might want to check out this link - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39279&p=760354#p760354 ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:18 am 
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Analysis time!

Game 4 - Turn 4. I elected to move my Lions away from danger, into a building to escape the Grave Guard + Black Knights. Brewmaster suggested that I consider the possibility of going for the big kill here by trying to take out the Black Knights. How can this be done? What is the best way of doing it? Is it a better call to go for this big kill rather than take the low-risk, low-reward path?

First of all, here's the picture (which is way more correct than the diagram, as usual):

Image

The colour coding is as follows:
- Black represents Lions. I think it's almost impossible for them to engage the Ghouls. As the straight black line shows, they have a path to the Ghouls but I do believe that they'll crash with the corner of the Black Knights before hitting home. Thus, the only option for them to engage Ghouls is to wheel all the way around, engaging my right corner to his flank. This is very bad as an overrun will only give me a couple of Lions (at best!) in contact with his Black Knights

- Yellow represents Archers. I'm not 100% but I believe this distance is roughly 11". What do you think? I think this also represents the most sensible option - charge the Archers in the flank and the characters in the front

- Green represents the characters. As you can see, they both have guaranteed charges and due to 8th ed charge rules I could move Naenor all the way over so an overrun would bring him into contact with the Black Knights.

- Red represents the Grave Guard. It's fairly clear that it will be impossible to hide the Lions from a counter-charge. As such, I believe it's crucial that the Knights are engaged in my turn - a counter-charging unit of GG in my flank will make the situation very, very bad.

So, what do you think? Discuss! :)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:37 pm 
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As you have to maximize for all units charging, the white lions could actually fit (they'd clip the corner.) Giving you 4 archers in contact, 2 white lions, Saerith, and Naenor.

Naenor accepts the challenge, otherwise you accept with the white lion champion, which gives you two wounds, but means 4 archers and two white lions wouldn't attack. The white lions is a moot point, but the 4 archer attacks should net you 1-2 wounds.

Saerith does - 2.96 wounds
Faeria (attacks)- 3.9 wounds
Archers - 1.8 wounds
White lions - 1.5 wounds
Faeria (thunderstomp)- 3 wounds

Naenor - 2 wounds (1 for casualty count, and 1 overkill)

13.1 casualties to the ghouls
14.1 resolution from casualties

add in - Flank, rear, charge, banner, bsb, 2 ranks -

1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2 - 8.

Total resolution - 22 resolution. Against the 1-2 wounds the ghouls will do. You've popped the unit, and you didn't even use your breath attack.

Archers will dictate the over run direction, into the black knights for a quadruple combo charge.

*edit* Of course if you charge the Blood knights with the Lions instead, and pop the breath attack on the ghouls, the odds are you would pop the ghouls, and over-run into active combat, and fight twice. You'd lose the lion attacks, but if you instead have the archers charge first, they'd get 6 in contact, so add a wound there...

High Elf wounds - 2.9, 3.9, 2.9, 2, 2.7 = 14 casualties. + Rank, flank, banner, bsb - 18 resolution, should pop them anyway. But I'd use your breath attack in this scenario.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:01 pm 
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I actually think Curu is right here about the lions - since they only get one wheel, the only way to make that charge is to wheel nearly 90 degrees, move forward and clip the right corner of the lions against the ghouls. This has the other effect of making the bus combat happen in the next turn, which I don't think is optimal.

I'd have probably gone for the Archers in the flank - didn't realize they were that close. Here's my reasoning:

Situation 1

Archers make their 6+ roll to make it in and provide about 2 wounds plus a flank charge. By the time the dragon attacks, you should have enough information to know whether you need to breathe fire on his unit; probably won't need to.

Plan succeeds, you overrun into the bus

Situation 2

Archers fail their 6+ roll. Average dice rolling on the behalf of your two characters, however, still pops the unit and overruns into the bus

Situation 3

Archers fail their 6+ roll and you whiff one or both of your less reliable rolls (Breath, thunderstomps) - characters get held up, lions get flank charged, game over.



Looking at it like this, it becomes clear that to really lose in this situation you require not one probable dice roll to fail, but a series of them. That would be good enough for me to take the chance. Again, though, it comes down to risk tolerance.

If you're a glut for punishment, roll it right now just for fun :P

D

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:10 pm 
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The more I look at this picture, the more convinced I am that the best move is to go for the big kill. Doing the math on the Vampire Lord, it's unlikely (though far from impossible!) that he kills Faeria.

One must also remember the overall tournament context here: I was playing at table ~7 I think (meaning 'only' top 14) with only 2 games left, including this one. I would've needed 2x 20-0 to have a chance at the top 3, most of the time. As such, it's better to go all-in here I think.

Another small thing to remember - which helps a bit on the reliability, is that Saerith would've activated Loec here. Essentially, that would make it a bit safer against the Ghouls. Another big thing here though is that his BSB is close by - doesn't it reduce crumble by 1? How does this interact with huge crumble results (e.g. if you'er 20 left and lose by 30, does everyone die or is 1 left alive because you can't lose more than you have left?)?

Assuming it goes well against the Ghouls and I overrun into the Knights, we have the following sub-combats:
- Saerith v Vampire Lord
- 3 knights' frontage vs Lions (a total of 75mm which gives me 5 Lions * 3 ranks)
- BSB vs 'edge' Lions (a total of 4 attacks: champion + 2 more ranks)
- Naenor vs Knights
Perhaps it is better to direct more against the BSB? I doubt it, because I miss my re-rolls due to his I6. Granted, if he dies I get an automatic +2 combat resolution effectively (BSB gone, BSB -1 effect gone).
So, let's do the math:

:: Saerith vs Vampire Lord ::
Saerith: 0.75 * (8/9) * (8/9) I assume he had a 2+ armour save? * 0.75 * 4 = 1.78
Vampire Lord vs Faeria: (8/9) * 0.67 * 5 = 2.98 ~ 3
Red Fury vs Faeria: (8/9) * 0.67 * 3 = 1.79
Let's say a total of 5W. He has to pretty lucky to take her down, though it's not impossible. We assume the Dragon gets to strike, and that Saerith managed 1W:
Faeria vs Vampire Lord: 0.5 * 0.83 * (35/36) * 0.75 * 6 = 1.8
So Prince + Dragon manage ~3.6W by average. In other words, he could very well survive, with a bit of luck, but most of the time you can expect him to go down.

:: Lions vs Knights ::
15 * (8/9) * 0.83 * 0.67 = 7.4
Assuming 3 Knights strike back:
3 * 0.5 * 0.67 * 0.83 = 0.83
Steeds:
3 * 0.5 * 0.5 * 0.67 = 0.5

:: Lions vs BSB ::
4 * 0.5 * 0.83 * 0.4 = 0.66
Striking back:
4 * 0.83 * 0.83 = 2.76

:: Naenor vs Knights ::
3 * 0.83 * 0.67 * 0.5 = 0.83

Adding up:
Undead 5 + 0.83 + 0.5 + 2.76 ~9
High Elves 3 + 7.4 + 0.66 + 0.83 ~12

So, assuming the challenge goes well and that the rest play out roughly as average, the 'dynamic combat res' is +3 in my favour. Static:
+1 rank
+1 charge
+1 flank
Both have BSB + banner.
An average of +6 to High Elves, which will crumble the unit to near death. It's a risky play, but then again it's definitely in the HE player's favour!

What I can do then, since I win combat, is to reform the Lions with the flank to the remaining Black Knights, assuming a 5x4 position and facing the Grave Guard. Saerith and Naenor would then be in the flank of the remaining Knights and the game would pretty much be over.

Do you agree? Do you have anything to add here or is there anything you think is wrong, poorly evaluated etc?

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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Doesn't the Vamp lord need to accept and issue challenges? I would just have him fight the White Lion champion to keep all those juicy kills on the knights and pop him through combat resolution.

BSB reduces the number of wounds they would normally suffer by 1, but just like combat, it's possible to suffer more wounds than you have. Ie. 30 wounds would become 29, but still pop the unit.

D

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Brewmaster_D wrote:
Doesn't the Vamp lord need to accept and issue challenges? I would just have him fight the White Lion champion to keep all those juicy kills on the knights and pop him through combat resolution.

BSB reduces the number of wounds they would normally suffer by 1, but just like combat, it's possible to suffer more wounds than you have. Ie. 30 wounds would become 29, but still pop the unit.

D

Definitely agree with Brew, champion takes the vamp challenge, and brutalize the Knights instead with your heroes. My first thought was to use Naenor in this regard, but that would cost you the BSB bonus, and his extra hits in the combat.

And if you kill enough knights, he won't get the chance to strike back at your heroes and earn cheap and easy KB's against him.


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