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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:55 pm 
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I’m back! Long time, no see :) I haven’t played any Warhammer for ages, except for a game against Strange, a couple of days ago. He brought out his trusted Dwarfs and I brought the list I had faced Rusty’s WE with, last time I played. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures, so bear with me as the report will be brief and text-based only.

We played 2500 points (though I forgot to adjust my list so had only 2400 points) without any comp. I decided to try out Life and got a perfect selection: throne, flesh, regrowth, dwellers. Strange tried out the anvil for his first time ever, eager to see if its added flexibility would prove to be worth it.

I managed to grab first turn and marched the bus up hard, as per usual. He had deployed somewhat aggressively so my shooting was able to clear out the organ gun before it could shoot. As it was the only war machine without runes, I felt my bus was safe. An IF Dwellers on his Lord + Hammerers brought down 8 Dwarfs, but the lord survived. In return, BOTWD saved all but 1 wound on the bus. I had also managed to get a unit of Reavers past any shooting and they were now threatening a GT.

With such a poor start, Strange decided to sacrifice his Lord to combo-charge the bus, hoping massive amounts of S6 would bring it down. Long story short, I managed to place my Prince on a flank, providing nothing else for him to hit with the Longbeards, while the Frostheart hit the congalining Hammerers in the flank (he tried to siren song out the frostheart but the crossbowmen + thane failed their terror test and I could redirect, very unlucky for Strange). The Prince’s armour proved solid and I eventually killed off all the infantry. In my last turn I got another IF Dwellers on his Anvil (the last Dwarf model on the table), he failed the roll and the game was over. I had lost 3 Dragon Princes, the Frostheart, 2 units of Reavers and one unit of Archers, a clear massacre to the High Elves.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Warmachines automatically fail strength tests so all you have to do is cast the spell and it will die every single time :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Welcome back Curu! Looking forward to your batreps again.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:03 pm 
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@Stormie - are you sure that applies to the Anvil as well? I thought it was unique, and not a WM.

@vespacian1 - thanks :)

So, list musings! Life is a strong lore, but I believe that it'll all too often be all about the Dwellers Below. To me, this is a somewhat poor strategy because High Magic has so much more flexibility. I'm going to be switching back and I doubt I'll miss it.

The rest of the list I believe to be pretty optimized by now. Everything has its place and I feel that I'm using the elements well. There's a tournament next weekend but unfortunately I'm busy, otherwise I'd love taking this list to a proper test. Hopefully I'll at least get a few games now and then with it in the not-too-far-away future.

I've also decided to make a slight change to the equipment setup. I believe the BSB's current S5 through Halberd is inferiour to a 1+ armour save and Lance. Sure, I lose a bit of grinding power but I don't reckon that's a biggie. To accomplish this, I am annoyingly 1 point over as the difference between a Halberd and Lance for a Noble is 4 points and I'm currently at 2397. So, the Prince loses Dragon Armour in favour of Heavy Armour (saves 14 points) and swaps Enchanted Shield for Dragonhelm. Additionally, he gets the Potion of Foolhardiness. The BSB gets Crown of Command + Enchanted Shield + Luckstone + Lance, for a total of 1+ with a single re-roll and a 6+ ward. The prince loses a slight bit of survivability, but I doubt this is a biggie. He also gains a bit more offensively so overall I think this is slightly better: with the BSB sitting on the Crown of Command it is often paramount that he survives.

The list:

Prince on Barded Steed with Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Dragonhelm, Potion of Foolhardiness, Heavy Armour - 273
Archmage on Steed with Book of Hoeth, Ring of Fury - 320
BSB Noble on Barded Steed with Crown of Command, Enchanted Shield, Lance, Dragon Armour, Shield, Luckstone - 173
Noble on Barded Steed with Ogre Blade, Crown of Atrazar, Dragon Armour, Shield - 147

Characters: 913

18 Archers, musician - 190
15 Archers, musician - 160
5 Reavers - 80
5 Reavers, bows - 85
5 Reavers, bows - 85

Core: 600

11 Dragon Princes of Caledor, Full Command, Star Lance, Banner of the World Dragon - 429

Special: 429

5 Sisters of Avelorn - 70
2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 140
1 Frostheart Phoenix - 240

Rare: 450

Army Total: 2392

This does leave 5 points to play around with, any suggestions? Also, food for thought: I could drop the Potion of Foolhardiness on the Prince: this gives me +5 points in the lord section, which is enough to swap the Archmage's Ring of Fury for Crown of Command. This frees up the BSB for a more combat-oriented build, e.g. Sword of Might, Dragonhelm, Potion of Strength. This swap does lose me a bit of flexibility as I no longer have 5 spells to cast, but I gain a lot of grinding power since the BSB can now suddenly actually appear in the front rank. Thoughts? :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:09 pm 
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The anvil is a WM, according to the FAQ :)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Thanks! Does that mean it deploys with WMs too?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:55 pm 
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.::. Battle Report: 2400 SCGT vs Ogre Kingdoms .::.

I had a game against a relatively soft Ogre list, which I haven't faced with our new book until now. Ogres have an incredibly strong book, especially against us. Most of the tools High Elves use against other races fail hard against Ogres, for example the Frostheart doesn't deal a lot of damage against any of their important units, cavalry can`t grind through stuff fast, high I is negated by impact hits and
so on. Anyways, I was eager to face them again.

Lists:

Prince on Barded Steed with Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Dragonhelm, Potion of Foolhardiness, Heavy Armour - 273
Archmage on Steed with Book of Hoeth, Ring of Fury - 320
BSB Noble on Barded Steed with Crown of Command, Enchanted Shield, Lance, Dragon Armour, Shield, Luckstone - 173
Noble on Barded Steed with Ogre Blade, Crown of Atrazar, Dragon Armour, Shield - 147

Characters: 913

18 Archers, musician - 190
15 Archers, musician - 160
5 Reavers - 80
5 Reavers, bows - 85
5 Reavers, bows - 85

Core: 600

11 Dragon Princes of Caledor, Full Command, Star Lance, Banner of the World Dragon - 429

Special: 429

5 Sisters of Avelorn - 70
2 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 140
1 Frostheart Phoenix - 240

Rare: 450

Army Total: 2392

Ogres (as well as I can remember):
Slaughtermaster stubborn 4++ gut
BSB 4++
Mage lvl 2 hellheart heavens

9 Bulls w/mage and FC
6 Ironguts w/SB, muso
25 Gnoblars

2 cats
2 mournfang, 3+
4 mournfang, 2+ FC ironhide
Ironblaster
Stonehorn

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

My opponent deployed his important stuff first and thus I could choose whether to go toe-to-toe with him or play a refused flank variant. I opted for the first, mostly to test my bus` strength in a matchup where the BOTWD doesn't really give me a whole lot. Magic didn't give me much of a choice as I rolled 1,2,4,5. I opted to swap 4 and 5 for signatures to give me lots of low-cast spells. He got toughness, regen, magic missile and panic as well as iceshard and chain lightning.

When deployment was done it was apparant that we would have a crammed game on our hands:

Image

I was lucky and got first turn, despite him finishing first.

// HE T1 //

Cav moved up to blast him with missiles, the Archmage taking front rows. The fast cav all moved up to tempt him out. Magic ended abruptly as I rolled IF on 2D6 for my second cast, losing me all the rest of my dice for +1BS on the 18 Archers. BOTWD saved the damage. The combined shooting took its toll as quite a few wounds were put on the Ironguts.

Image

// OK T1 //

He charged the Reaver with the 2-strong mournfang and I ran. He redirected to the second, needing 11+ and I chose S&S, he failed the charge. Stonehorn moved up and the rest were cautious, cats blocking my bus. Magic - no biggie is all I can remember. Shooting saw the IB kill an RBT.

Image

// HE T2 //

Bus swift reformed and backed up. Frostheart moved out behind a fence and the Reavers took on blocking duties. Magic saw me get off a magic missile which, combined with more shooting, brought the Ironguts dangerously low (both cats disappeared as well).

Image

// OK T2 //

He moved up, the Stonehorn into the Reavers and the Gnoblars into the Frostheart. Mournfang 2-strong threatened flank while 4-strong stayed cautious; his general + remaining tatters of Ironguts acting as bait. As his chaff was out, my bus had free reign of the middle. Magic - can't remember but probably very little effect. IB killed the second RBT. Gnoblars actually won combat (rear charge + static) but Phoenix held.

Image

// HE T3 //

Caution to the wind: full speed ahead. Bus went into Ironguts and blockers went up again for Stonehorn + Mournfang (2-strong). Magic saw Hellheart giving me a '3', which caused wounds on both sides but luckily the mage survived. With my remaining 3D6 I got off an IF WS-boost, getting my ward save up as well. The resulting miscast put even more wounds on both sides, he was now down to 1W on the Ironguts and 2W on the BSB. Shooting put a bit of damage on the Mournfang.

Combat proved significant as I killed his BSB and his Slaughtermaster failed his break test, despite being stubborn (that's LD8 for you). I ran him down but overran into the Bulls at the same time, exposing my flank to Mournfang (4-strong, almost unharmed) and the front to the Ironblaster.

Image

// OK T3 //

He counter-charged wherever possible. The damage was brutal, but I survived. I managed to stop Iceshard Blizzard which was all that mattered. I ended up winning combat by 2, but was 1W away from breaking his bulls' steadfast. Instead, they held and the IB ran. The Mournfang ALSO held, on 5- without re-roll. At least my Phoenix won and was thus able to help me out by counter-charging in my next turn. His remaining Mournfang from the 2-strong was down to 1W and had ran down a unit of Reavers, however things were now looking very grim for him.

Image

// HE T4 //

Phoenix counter-charged Mournfang. He hadn't dedicated enough attacks on my Archmage, who had 1W remaining. The magic phase was 4v3 and I opted to sacrifice him for the greater good: instead of going 4D6 boosted Apotheosis I cast 1+1+2D6 and he only stopped the last, giving my unit a 4++. I was hoping this would be enough to win decisively and break him. As the Phoenix was only in combat with the Mournfang I could've run them down. However, my Prince thought differently as he fluffed ALL his attacks. The fighter Noble followed suit and did exactly the same. The Frostheart managed a single wound, as did the BSB (killing his caster). The combat ended a draw (!) with his Stonehorn looking very, very eager to join in the fray. Meanwhile, my Archers in the corner had killed off the last Mournfang from the 2-strong, securing a lot of points worth of chaff.

At this time, my opponent got a call and had to leave so we called the game. I feel it was heavily in my favour, as an unharmed Stonehorn most likely would've been bad news for me, as the Archmage was dead. Even at full strength, the Prince would've struggled with the impact hits and there were a LOT of bulls remaining as well.

Counting up the points he had roughly 1000 points left, giving me 1400 points + bonuses for general, bsb and banner. I had lost roughly 800 points and was ahead by ~700. A win to the High Elves, albeit a bittersweet one given the way the game ended.

// Analysis //

Lesson number one: there are units in the game which I cannot go toe-to-toe with with the bus. Ogres cannot be engaged head-on, regardless of bus equipment. True, a somewhat beefier BSB might've been a bit better, but the problem is the sheer tankiness of everything they have, especially combined with annoying 4++ dudes in the front rank. Because of this, I have to play to my list's strengths, which is a combined arms approach. My shooting took a surprisingly heavy toll on him, with the dual casts of soul quench helping me even more. I deployed the way I did largely to discover how viable this approach is against Ogres and it's clear to me now that it's a very bad way of approaching things.

Lesson number two: just because a unit isn't frequently used doesn't mean it's bad. The Stonehorn was the star of the game here. True, I fed it chaff and ignored it, but it was too fast for me to deal with properly, given my deployment. It is a very strong unit against High Elves and I believe that what I should've done was to charge it instead of the juicy SM + BSB + Irongut target (worth like 1000 points). This would've given me a LOT of board control and I could've shot the Ironguts to death regardless. Furthermore, I had reavers intact to chaff away mournfang for long enough. This would've freed up Frostheart + Phoenix to combo-charge at will, what with his West flank evaporated and cats dead.

Overall, I learned a lot in this game and I'm hoping I'll have an edge the next time I face Ogres. Although I consider this Ogre list to have a glaring weakness or two (most notably the small size of the Guts), it is still hard to face and presents a couple of unique challenges, one of which I completely failed to address (and which would've cost me the game had it continued for a full 6 turns).

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:05 pm 
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It should be noted that in my T3, both units of Reavers failed their march tests due to the 2 Mournfang being nearby. This was part of the calculated risk I took when I engaged his center. Had I passed at least one of them, the Mournfang would`ve been blocked from interfering with the cavbus approach. I forgot this when I was writing the report but it suddenly dawned on me now as I was wondering why I didn`t just charge the stonehorn instead (declaring the Potion of Foolhardiness would`ve pretty much guaranteed its demise). However, failing two LD8 checks was not something I counted on. Indeed, it is far from impossible but sometimes you have to take a risk and this is a relatively small one bearing in mind how much the Guts + characteres were worth (not to mention taking away his boosted LD AND re-rolls).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:37 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Thanks! Does that mean it deploys with WMs too?

No as it is a character therefore it deploys with characters if i'm not mistaken.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:10 am 
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Interesting report and I’m glad to see another example of High Elves vs Ogres at SCGT level sort-of mirroring my thoughts. I played a little tournament last weekend and was up against Ogres, but because tournament organisers in the UK have a crappy habit of asking for lists in advance and then not actually bothering to check them, it was actually illegal (2x Mournfang units, 2x Ironblasters and a Slaughtermaster, so more pool choices than allowed). Shame we didn’t quite get to see how your game would’ve ended, but it looked good.

My game came down to my putting my bus (not as impressive as yours, just Prince, BB and 13 Silver Helms) into his Gutstar (Tyrant, Slaughtermaster, Bruiser and Butcher in 6-8 Ironguts) and being unable to do the damage and getting counter-charged much like you did. So I don’t think I’d go for this type of charge again given the choice, but it’s always handy to try. Mind you, I had to play without my Frostheart Phoenix (dead to first IB shot) and Archmage (dead to first IB shot at him after failed look out sir turn 3) so maybe things would have worked with that support, but I just don’t know if it’s worth engaging the Ogres properly. Maybe just aim for the cannons and Mournfang and be happy with their points…


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:21 pm 
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The thing is that a proper Ogre gutstar is impossible to engage head-on, even without counter-charges, unless it is severely reduced beforehand. Well, if it`s not stubborn you can probably get away with it, but regardless of how you look at it we have too little grinding power to win such a fight, on even terms.

What I did find was that magic and shooting was amazing. I think the number 1 priority should`ve been the Mournfang for my cavalry and this is a very valuable lesson for my future encounters with OK. If I had gotten a double or rolled a 6, this would`ve been even better.

The matchup also largely pushed me in favour of not putting the Crown on the Archmage, seeing as the dual-soul quench yet again proved to be very valuable. The additional grinding power the bus achieves otherwise is too marginal to be worth it, in my opinion.

I think the best thing to do vs Ogres is to neutralize the Mournfang at all costs and chaff away his star. If the situations is good, you can always combo-charge the star at the end, the bird + intact bus should take it without anything else interfering. This means that an ideal deployment sees a refused flank with the bus in the center, maximizing the ranged advantage and charge arc threat. Ideal spells are Soul Quench, Drain Magic, Walk Between Worlds and Fiery Convocation: the first is perfect for trickling down his core units (and clear cats!), the second is a no-brainer given the regen/toughness buffs, the third gives you some pretty incredible board control and the last is just brutal, given its casting value and RiP status. The good news is that 2 of these are signatures and losing Walk Between Worlds in favour of Hand of Glory or Apotheosis isn`t necessarily that bad. The only poor spells are tempest and, sometimes (depending on configuration on his characters) arcane unforging. Lots can be mitigated by deployment though, but you have to know beforehand what it is you`re trying to achieve. For my list, I think this game gave me a pretty good idea.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Nice report. What's up with the shaky-cam :wink: ?

Ironguts are definitively number one target for shooting. With them gone, the characters lose much of their punch. I mostly agree on your assessment: Shoot and redirect guts, kill everything else, and combocharge the guts in the end if possible. The problem is of course managing both the mournfang and guts at the same time. You may not have enough redirectors. Also, losing one RBT/turn does put a dent in your shooting.

On the other hand(If I understand you correctly): You did break the depleted irongut unit on the charge, then got countercharged hard, survived and managed to hold on, even though you had below-average rolls. I don't think that's a bad result.

It's possible to build much harder gutstars, just by adding more characters. Even then, there are a few things that have in the past simply rolled over my gutstar. I think your cav star can do it on occasion. Ogres are soft, it's the wall of characters up front that's hard.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:59 pm 
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The lights were out and my phone had a hard time focusing. We were short on time, so I didn`t check the quality. Hopefully it will be better next time :)

I rolled quite well for shooting, though to be honest the RBTs did next to nothing. I tried to hurt the Mournfang with them but I think in total they managed like 1 or 2 wounds all game.

As for the Gutstar-engagement: it probably wasn`t a terrible move, but the Stonehorn would`ve run rampant at some point, regardless. My initial thought was to keep the Slaughtermaster while my Reavers blocked mournfang, hoping to kill him with the Prince instead of having to chase him down. If I could`ve managed this in 1 more turn, I would`ve been free to combat reform and charge either the Stonehorn, bulls or mournfang at will. I agree that the characters are what`s tough, but usually there are so many Ironguts around that multiple turns of ranged firepower is necessary to engage them. While such a star is definitely hard, it can certainly be engaged by many other stars. Stars usually fall into rock-paper-scissors scenarios: Ogres fear high volume and multiple wounds but don`t care about quality, HE is the opposite. As such, no one star in the game is beyond everyone else (which is a good thing ;) ).

---

I`ve been pondering the viability of including a Dragonlord in our current book (no surprises there!). Following Italy`s impressive 2nd place at this year’s ETC, indeed featuring a Star Dragon, I`ve been considering how and if we can take it to a competitive match. For those of you not familiar with the list, here is the gist of it:

Star Dragon w/Prince – dragonhelm, OTS, star lance, golden crown
2 nobles, one barebones, other BSB w/BOTWD
2 mages, one w/scroll, one with stubborncrown

15 Helms
3x5 Reavers

No specials

Frostheart
Eagle
4x RBT

The prince, sporting nothing but a 3+/2++ against first wound only, is quite interesting. At first sight, he looks useless. The thing is though, that this kind of list is not meant to have the Prince endure any combats: you charge, win and break. At most, you have one hairy situation per game, in which case the Crown is usually enough to get you through. Furthermore, it is excellent cannonballprotection. Also, should the Prince die it`s not disastrous as the Dragon`s stubborn.

In our last book I ran what I consider to be the optimal prince build, where he sported a 2+/2+/4++ and the ToL, striking at ASF S6. This Prince can do just about everything. Obviously, this is no longer possible. What is possible however is creating contexts we were never able to previously. Furthermore, the meta has changed drastically in the past year.

Long story short I believe there are 4 interesting approaches to a Dragonlord:

Cavbus-support (i.e. like Italy`s list)
Monster mash (double phoenix, BSB on tooled-up griffon)
Avoidance-shooty (lots of sisters and RBTs)
Combined arms (classic with elite infantry support)

Among these I rate the cavbus as the strongest, monster mash as funniest, avoidance-shooty the most matchup-dependent (good luck if you’re facing proper gunlines) and combined arms the weakest, but also probably easiest to play. Bear in mind, I haven’t tried any of these myself – this is all preliminary analysis.

I see the Prince`s optimal build as dependent on what you want your army to do. Basically, I see 2 schools of approach:
Hitty
Durable
A hitty Prince is meant to only survive 1 round of combat, and 0 against strong enemies. His emphasis is to strike hard when he does hit home. The Italy build is a good example here, though by swapping the Dragonhelm for an Enchanted Shield, you can afford heavy armour for 2+ at least (though at the cost of 2++ vs fire, so it’s a tradeoff).
A durable Prince is meant to tank smaller combats somewhat successfully. Example equipment: Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Sword of Might, Heavy Armour. 2+/4++ and S5, magical attacks. The lack of OTS means the Star Dragon won`t hit as hard, but then again the Prince needs to be alive when it strikes for this to take effect (the Frostheart synergizes very well with the hitty prince here).

I think that cavbus-dragon and avoidance-dragon need to build hitty. When they hit, you are committed with all of your forces (or rather, you should be!) and all that matters is hitting power. If the Prince does die, the Dragon still needs to fall to award VPs (your mileage may vary depending on comp) – not an easy thing to do with T7 W7, possibly stubborn @LD9.

The monster mash and combined arms approach however needs the Prince to be able to engage in those combats that a hitty prince will fear, i.e. engaging a group of warriors of nurgle without dying for example. Such a list will possess enough striking power regardless, so Star Lancing up the Prince is not a big concern.

Now I’m not making any promises, but I do love my Carmine Dragon so perhaps we’ll see the Dragonlord fly again J I have a couple of ideas I find interesting ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:08 pm 
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Me and Malossar have both been running a dragon list recently. I have a BatRep up using this list:

Quote:
Prince on Star Dragon + Sword.Might, Ench.Sh, 4++, OTS, HA
BSB + B.Steed, DA, Golden Crown, Charmed.Sh, Pot.Str, Sword.Striking,
Noble + B.Steed, Ogre Blade, HA, SH, Dragonhelm
Mage(2)[High] + Scroll, Ring.Fury

10 Silver Helms + command, SH
3 x 5 Reavers + spears & bows
3 x 5 Reavers

7 Dragon Princes + command, BotWD, Star Lance

Frostheart
3 x RBT

Link to BatRep 2500pts v. Nurgle WoC

As you can see I went for the cavbus supported dragon with more or less the setup you were thinking of too. Malossar has something very similar although he opted for another phoenix instead of the RBTs. I'm interested to hear which you think would be the better choice and why?

As for the other list ideas you suggest I also really liked the look of the BSB on griffon idea and wrote out a few lists before settling on the one above. My issue is that the griffon is simply too easy to kill and leave the rider stranded as it has no AS or way to gain any protection short of magic - and with a level 2 that's an issue. I haven't found using a single mage a problem yet but I would like to have 2 if possible, I just don't know where to get the points from.

I don't see the shooty or combined arms dragon lists being all that powerful. I think the combined arms approach died with the new book due to the problems inherent in trying to fit all the magical support you know need in and the shooty list doesn't seem to pack enough punch for me over the two turns you get of shooting, again it suffers from lack of magical support.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Go for it!

I'd say monstermash is definitively the most fun (maybe leave out the griffon and add a dragon mage?), while the italian job is the most powerful when played right.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:13 pm 
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@John Rainbow - any list with significant investment in flyers need board control. It is what mobile lists live and die by. If you for some reason cannot go where you want to go, you will frequently find yourself a) playing a forced game (i.e. it`s up to the dice to determine the outcome, for example vs Dwarfs) or b) playing a lost game. Good infantry generals can, depending on their army and its elements, sometimes even force a flying circus to play under the 2nd scenario, however most armies are unable to do so and that is why I believe flying stuff can still work in 8th ed, despite cannons being more accurate than in 40k and hurting twice as much: people say the movement phase died, I beg to differ and the flying units let us show people why this is still the most important phase of the game.

So, yet another flyer or stack up RBTs? I`m inclined to lean towards the latter. Not only do they grant you a pretty big advantage against enemy flyers, they also possess enough power to seriously contend the ranged threats to your flyers (4 RBT will, with a little luck, take out a war machine in a game turn). The second phoenix gives you some terrific combat potential (seriously not many things can face 2x frosthearts and a star dragon), but I think the loss of board control means that it`s not worth it. I could be wrong though, 3 flying monsters is no joke (you can even griffonize the BSB for 4 thunderstompers!).

Re:griffon BSB, while he is easy to kill will he really be targeted in a proper monster mash list? Perhaps he will, perhaps he won't. Yet another option is to take a Dragon Mage, he can easily be given decent protection and the dragon is, yet again, another monster that is tough to deal with.

Shooty dragon I believe can be deceptively powerful. True, you have a terrifying game on your hands vs Dwarfs. But honestly, 4 RBT and 20 sisters along with 30 archers and 20 reavers... Not much can cope with that! Furthermore, this list isn`t designed to take fights, as such you can invest more in ranged heroes: Reaver Bow + PoS for example, Shadow Magic... The options are many. This list has an inherent advantage against lists like WoC (compared to "standard" high elf armies) as it denies so much of the board, yet still possess a LOT of counter-charge power. I haven`t played this sort of list yet so I can`t say for sure, but I know fully well how much mileage skilled players can get out of a significant ranged presence. I do agree with you re:combined arms though, I doubt it has much of a fighting chance given the big nerf our elites received. Perhaps fighty-lions w/free-reform-on-charge-BSB could do it, but I don`t see it being all that powerful to be honest.

@rusty - the question is how fun it is when you play Dwarfs on Planet Bowling Ball and lose 1500 points T1. To an extent this is a problem for any monster-based list, but even more so when you go all-out I feel.

I think playing a star dragon comes down to 3 things: you have to preserve your points as much as possible, and you need to be able to control the board and decide combats ASAP. Previously, in our last book, a Dragon-list could endure through pure strength, the 2+/2+/4++ prince striking at ASF S6 combined with ASF S6 Lions were enough to just grind it out, even against MC. Now however, things are drastically changed. Seeing as I`m a big fan of abusing the movement phase to its full potential and will likely play a lot of ETC games, the shooting list and combined list are out of the question. That leaves monster mash and the cavbus. The first suffers from the 0-1 Frostheart ETC restrictions, the latter can pretty much play as it wants.

The monster mash I believe have some very polarized matchups. I believe that when you go with this, you go big or go home. This means Star Dragon, Griffon-BSB, Frostheart, Flamespyre, lots of min-sized units for chaff-clearing and deployment control (3x10 Archers, 3x5 Reavers, 5xSisters) and a utility mage (likely to go with Ring of Fury + Scroll, lore debatable but I'm thinking Fire is actually a good idea to complement the semi-decent ranged presence).

The cavbus is somewhat more interesting to build. Basically, you have 3 solid elements: the bus, the star dragon, the frostheart. The rest of the list is written in stone, with RBTs for board control, silver helms and reavers in core and characters pretty much maxed out. Problem is, how do you max them out?

First of all I would like to ask you to consider what we see winning games as of today. I`ll stick with some typically strong ETC lists for the sake of simplicity, I doubt lists diverge too much from this regardless of comp to be honest:

- Warriors with multiple chariots, crushers and flying stuff
- Daemons with a greater daemon, lots of beasts of nurgle, plenty of chaff and a skillcannon
- Ogres with a star, mournfang and ironblaster
- Empire with STank, an infantry block or two (or maybe even cavstar) as well as artillery and significant magic offense
- Lizardmen MSU poison spam
- High Elves with lots of Lions
- Vampire Counts with enough units to bog you down forever, spirit leech spammability
- Skaven. No comment
- Chaos Dwarfs - rock hard elements, powerful magic, powerful artillery

I`ve probably left a few, but a main trend appears: armies are composed of a few units dealing a lot of damage, with the rest basically just around to support them in doing so. Also, quite a few armies sport stars that you cannot successfully engage, unless you have a stronger one or the opportunity presents itself. Also, lots of lists have something they want to "sink their teeth" into. For example, Ogres want to ram home a combo-charge with their star + mournfang, Daemons want to block stars with Beasts of Nurgle while the rest kill the rest etc. To this end, I believe that units comprised of non-skirmishing or non-flying models are at an inherent disadvantage. Note that this is contrary to most people`s fears about 8th (at least if you are to believe the internet), where massed ranks of infantry will win you games. Likewise, ignoring this completely means you will struggle with steadfast (to a certain degree) and you might end up with units that are easy to take points away from.

So, inherently I believe the monster mash is actually better suited than a cavbus to exploit the movement phase and the current meta. While M9 is certainly strong, a 15+ strong unit sure isn`t easy to move around (of course depending a bit on the rest of your forces). Furthermore, taking the Shelmbus removes ranged presence. The huge saving grace of the cav bus however is its capability to deny points to the enemy. Not only is the bus incredibly hard to completely whittle down, it is also hard to catch off-guard. Thus, you will likely only lose it if you do something stupid, or are already losing big regardless. Additionally, a bus allows 2 mages which provides a significant magical offensive advantage.

I`ve been giving this a lot of thought today. Perhaps not surprisingly, my initial draft is very similar to team Italy`s ETC list:

Star Dragon, Prince with: Enchanted Shield, Star Lance, Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy armour = 596 (2+ and one 2++, hits like a firetruck at Mach 1 when he lands a charge).
Steed, Mage with: level 2, dispel scroll (high magic) = 155 (Soul Quench is very flexible and the rest of the Lore provide a lot of utility spells: WBW is great, apotheosis doubles up combined with life, hand of glory is somewhat situational but cheap to cast and drain can be a game winner against armies that rely on magical buffs).
Steed, Mage with: level 2, crown of command (lore of life) = 165 (Lore attribute synergizes perfectly with the list, signature spell is at least as good as high magic attribute, though somewhat wasted when I already have a high mage, flesh, regrowth and dwellers are super-powerful)
Barded Steed, Noble with: BSB, BOTWD, heavy armour, shield, lance = 172 (no-brainer. Added bonus: stubborn star dragon, potentially being healed up).
Barded Steed, Noble with: Heavy armour, Dragonhelm, Shield, lance = 107 (basically the points that are left, providing hitting power and the fireward you can just about never go wrong with. 1+ is nice)

Characters: 1195

13 Silver Helms with Shields, Full Command = 329 (17 strong in total. Yikes footprint!)
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95 (redirect is the name of the game. Bows give a lot of utility against lone mages and chaff, as well as annoyingly plinking away at whatever presents itself in lack of other threats).

Core:

1 Tiranoc Chariot = 70 (with the points left over from rare, I think this is the best investment given that character points are already maxed. The other options include a Great Eagle or a unit of Sisters. The former I simply consider sub-optimal given that the list has 3 units of Reavers, the latter could arguably be a nice inclusion).

Special: 70

1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240 (no-brainer)
4 RBTs = 280 (board control)

Rare: 520

Total: 2399

Long post, now I`m hoping for some replies and thoughts from you :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:51 pm 
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For good measure, monster mash draft:

Prince on Star Dragon with Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Lance, Potion of Foolhardiness (598)
BSB Noble on Griffon, Swiftsense, Swooping Strike, Star Lance, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Charmed Shield, Ironcurse Icon, Heavy Armour (344)
Mage level 2, dispel scroll, ring of fury (170)

Characters = 1112

10 Archers, musician = 110
10 Archers, musician = 110
10 Archers, musician = 110
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95

Core = 615

Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Flamespyre Phoenix = 225

Rare = 465

Total = 2192 (core can be trimmed a bit, the ring of fury is optional. Leaves roughly 250 points to play around with. 2 Skycutters with BTs is one option...)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Hi.
Looking at your cav list I'm having three thought.

1. What to do about regen monsters and troops. You will need a lot of redirecting to avoid these or you will need to invest a lot to take them out. This would be a reason to include the sisters instead of chariot
2. Your RBT's will need to earn theirs points within the first 2 or 3 rounds (which they actually can). They can be a bit too easy points for your opponents as you haven't got anything to protect them with other than your chariot.

A suggestion could be to use 3 RBT's a chariot and some sisters (not optimal i know)

3. Protection against spells. You have put appr. 900 point into one regiment of helms and 600 into the dragon. So a lot of different spells will actually give you problems. First of all you prince is more than vulnerable to searing doom and other metal spells without flaming resistance. Secondly lvl 6 spells and hex's on your big helms group. I would be afraid that you would have too much problem deciding which spells to let go and which to let through. At least I would consider going for some sort of flaming resistance on you prince as a lot of MM are flaming.

Other than that I think the combination RBT's and a lot of fast you units could be a very interesting combo.
Hope this is an input you can use.
Regards


Last edited by Dragon fire on Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:24 pm 
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I would probably throw a vote in for 10 silver helms. Decent hitting power, and long term better staying power than the sky cutters. Although I could definitely see the allure of having some mini-bolt throwers in a list like this.
I will say that I love that high Mage lvl 2 build. For all intents and purposes he's a lvl 3 with a dispel scroll at a 40 pt discount. Pretty cost effective.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:48 pm 
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@Dragon fire - Regen is without a doubt a problem. I find that in general, our only way to deal with them is ranged, indeed in this scenario sisters is a go. The question is, how many of these will I see?

I disagree with you re:RBT. They are not there to earn points, but control the board. As long as they allow me to move as I want to and limit my opponent`s choices, they`re worth the investment :)

Spells. Indeed, a problem - hence why drain magic and a dispel scroll are available. The bus however is deceptive: it is not meant to engage (especially not hard targets). It is meant to preserve points and keep the mages safe. As for the Prince, I don`t think people will be using metal too much. In my experience it`s becoming less and less popular. Also, if I want to give him a fireward I need to decrease my AS by 1 point, a tough tradeoff in my opinion.

Thanks a lot for your input :)

@vespacian1 - 10 Silver Helms, I just don`t see what they bring to the table. Then again, Skycutters aren`t fantastic either... Long story short I`ve been contemplating a completely different monster mash build because I wasn`t happy with the given setup. Read the post below for more info ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Monster mash, two new concept-lists:

I believe that for a monster mash list to have potential, you need to be able to fight on your own terms. That implies having a lot of mobility, but it also implies not allowing your opponent to sink into anything valuable. To this end, I have thought about re-arranging the layout. Both of these lists are fairly unique, I have never seen anything like them. Anyway, enough talking:

List #1

Prince on Star Dragon with Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield = 598
Dragon Mage on Sun Dragon with level 2, dragon armour, enchanted shield, dispel scroll = 425
Noble BSB on Barded Steed with Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Banner of the World Dragon = 172

Characters = 1195

5 Reavers, bows + muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows + muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows + muso = 95
13 Silver Helms, Full Command and Shields = 329

Core = 614

Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Flamespyre Phoenix = 225

Rare = 465

Army total = 2274

List #2

Prince on Star Dragon with Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield = 598
Dragon Mage on Sun Dragon with level 2, dragon armour, enchanted shield, dispel scroll, opal amulet = 440
Noble BSB with Heavy Armour, Halberd, Moranion`s Wayshard = 151

Characters = 1189

30 Spearelves, full command = 300
5 Reavers, bows & muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows & muso = 95
6 Reavers, bows & muso = 112

Core = 602

8 Dragon Princes, Full Command and Star Lance, Banner of the World Dragon = 357

Special = 357

Frostheart Phoenix = 240

Rare = 240

Army Total = 2388

No more reasoning for now, eager to hear your thoughts :)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:30 pm 
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HE list idea, MSU-cav Star Dragon:

Star Dragon, Prince with: Enchanted Shield, Star Lance, Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy armour = 596
Life Mage lvl 2 on horsie with scroll 155
Life Mage lvl 2 on horsie with power stone 150
Noble BSB with: Heavy Armour, Shield, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm, barded steed 166

Characters = 1067

6 SHelms, muso + champ & shields = 158
6 SHelms, muso + champ & shields = 158
5 Reavers, bows & muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows & muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows & muso = 95

Core = 601

7 Dragon Princes, muso, standard, BOTWD = 273
3 RBT = 210
Frostheart = 240

Special & rare = 723

Army Total = 2391

List idea: 5 hitty units, with very varying degrees of "hittyness". Multiple champions around to help with the Star Dragon. The Helms will usually deploy 2-wide, making them small darts and protecting the mages. This allows me to combo-charge quite flexibly.

The list is designed to fit most comp systems, otherwise I'd probably base it around double Frosthearts instead. As it stands though, it is a list that can compete in all phases of the game, with a focus on the movement part. This list is not particularly well suited to attacking deathstars, nor smash apart gunlines for 20-0. I do however believe that against the most typical deathstar armies (HE, VC, OK for example), I will have superior mobility and thus the flexibility to avoid them. As was demonstrated in a battle report I read recently, the BOTWD provides some pretty good options for dealing with magic-damage-based deathstars, i.e. you charge the DP to the front and the flyers on the flanks/rear.

The big part about magic is obviously Lifebloom. The Power Stone provides some much needed reliable offense and can be used either for an early dwellers, a crucial flesh to stone or whatever - most of the time it will be there to either compensate for poor winds, or draw a scroll. Lastly, I'm pondering dropping a DP to include the Ring of Fury, as I believe having another offensive spell can help me greatly in a number of matchups.

C&C appreciated

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Lastly, I'm pondering dropping a DP to include the Ring of Fury, as I believe having another offensive spell can help me greatly in a number of matchups.

If it wasn't for the fact that I run this list with a (high) mage in the DP bus, I'd go for the Ruby Ring of Rhuin every time. That extra 6" of range is probably worth more than the +1 to ward saves in your list.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:17 pm 
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It's also 1D6 vs 2D6 hits, which I think is worth more than 6". Don`t you? ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:24 pm 
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Ring of Ruin also brings some flaming to the table. Which we star dragon lords are trying to find...

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:20 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
It's also 1D6 vs 2D6 hits, which I think is worth more than 6". Don`t you? ;)

The problem is that you (obviously) have to get into range to even use those hits. For the amount of time that you're within 18" v. 24" and able to use the Flame Ring, I'd take it every time. Your mileage may vary though as your mages are placed in units other than the bus so you might be able to get it to work better. I've just found that getting the bus within 18" and able to use the Ring of Fury is pretty difficult, especially when the bus is also trying to maneuver into a position to get into combat without itself being charged.

Malossar Dragonborne wrote:
Ring of Ruin also brings some flaming to the table. Which we star dragon lords are trying to find...

There is also this issue which will really help against Hellpits for example. I'm not sure it's a good enough reason by itself though when there aren't any other magical damage effects to back this up after the regen has been stripped in the magic phase.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:36 pm 
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The thing is though, what do you want to use it against? I honestly don't see D6 hits as being worth anything, even if it's fire. I've played with the Ring of Rhuin multiple times before, both as HE and WoC, but I simply hardly ever find it useful to cast. The reason I want to include the magic missile is primarily to clear chaff and soften up targets like Gutstars. Getting within range is not a problem here, I've already played multiple times with Soul Quench out of knight busses and I don't see this as being a problem at all. To create threat arcs and exploit the superior movement of mounted units, you need to have them fairly close in the first place. While 24" covers a far greater area than 18", 2D6 is worth so much more than 1D6 hits in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:12 pm 
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I said this in my thread but I'll reiterate here:

The only flaw with the dual level 2s rocking Lore of Life is that lifebloom has a pretty short range meaning you can't quite spread the table as well as you'd like to.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Good point. Lifebloom is somewhat situational and movement is prior to magic so with M20 it will (hopefully) not be a big deal. There are multiple targets that can be healed as well and the mages can spread out. A bigger question is whether Life synergizes well with what the list's trying to achieve overall or if Lifebloom (which is a big deal of why I want to give the lore a try) is counter-productive to my goals. The list is designed to hit hard and fast like once or twice per game and the characters and units have been tooled-out thereafter. In light of this, maybe other lores are superior to pinging back a wound now and then?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:58 pm 
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:: Lore Analysis for Star Dragon MSU Cav List ::

Three things spring to mind when analyzing magic
1. The potential of drawing an early scroll
2. The viability of signature spells/lore attributes, i.e. having something to always rely on
3. Spell selection for the intended caster(s), relative to the army's intended playstyle

Ok, so what am I trying to do here? I have lots of small units that are very fast, but also deceptively weak to combat. Ironically enough, I need to combine these to win combats decisively when I do engage, hence the offensive loadout on the Prince for example. I need to dictate movement and I need to support combat as best as I can with magic. To dictate movement, I must be able to threaten fast stuff, flying stuff and have spells that provide board control. To win decisively when I do engage, I need multiple hexes and augments that more or less duplicate each-other.

For each of the three categories listed above, I assigned a Low - Medium - High value to each lore. The results were as follows:

Fire - 1. Medium, 2. Medium, 3. Low
Beasts - 1. Low, 2. Medium, 3. Low
Life - 1. Medium, 2. High, 3. Medium
Light - 1. Medium, 2. Low, 3. Medium
Metal - 1. High, 2. High, 3. Low
Shadow - 1. Medium, 2. High, 3. Low
Death - 1. High, 2. Medium, 3. Low
Heavens - 1. High, 2. High, 3. High
High - 1. Medium, 2. Medium, 3. Low

I'm open to discuss these evaluations, if you disagree with any of them please notify me and we'll look into it :)

So clearly, it would appear that Heavens is my best fit, with Life and Metal coming behind. Let's take a closer look at Heavens:

Iceshard Blizzard - wonderful signature, one of the best in the game and also synergizes well with my list: when I do hit home against [insert strong unit], -1 to hit AND -1 to LD is huge in turning a fight in my favour as well as breaking the enemy easier.
Harmonic Convergence - the common cure for poor armour saves and rubber lances - of which I have plenty! Boostable version is not only good with RBTs, but also when I combo-charge. Very useful.
Wind Blast - crap. If this is rolled I will always swap for Iceshard.
Curse of the Midnight Wind - wonderful hex combined with my high-T targets in particular.
Urannon's Thunderbolt - this is a very useful spell at a decent casting value, perfectly capable of drawing early scrolls.
Comet of Casandora - one of the most typical Warhammer spells around. Needs no explanation, perfect fit for this list.
Chain Lightning - the second to worst spell in this lore for my list, after Curse of the Midnight Wind. Its casting value is too high, otherwise it's a very decent spell, albeit a little too random for my tastes.

So overall we have 3 combat augments/hexes that more or less duplicate eachother and have very good casting values, 2 very good scroll-drawers, 1 crap spell and 1 decent ranged-presence nuker (which will likely frequently be dropped). We have a winner - Heavens it is!

Now, I have to schedule a practice game for this list...

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