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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:40 am 
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Interesting thoughts, Curu.

You're right in that it's too difficult trying to fit in a full character loadout, full Rare shooting loadout, plus multiple Special combat blocks.

Now, as you mentioned, it is possible to go with one Special block. A lot of us have been tinkering with that idea for the last 6 months, and the US Masters result announced it to everyone. I myself have two issues with that setup though: the first is that I don't think that setup has a good chance against Empire, because not enough of the army is effective against massed 1+ Armor. Since Empire is also an army that can reliably run Dwellers, that complicates things further. The second is that, no matter how tough your Deathstar might be, you might run into someone who can crack it. If that's the case, a loss is guaranteed.

As a result, I like going character light (AM + Book, BSB w/ Reaver Bow, Scroll Caddy) to allow room for all the other great options in Special and Rare. Having the Lions as well as the Phoenix Guard gives you some versatility versus heavy army, and distributes your points a bit more evenly across the table in case disaster hits one unit.

However, to compensate for the lack of combat characters, I have to step up my shooting phase a lot. While I'm not quite at 4 RBTs and max sisters, I have been running Reaver Bow BSB, 3 RBTs, 20 Sisters (two units of 10) and it's been performing well in some tough matchups. Against most opponents, it forces them to come to me. Against even shooting-heavy Dwarves, it's enough firepower to shoot back, threaten machines, and even potentially outshoot them if they are careless with positioning their machines. Having that strong shooting gives me nice options between offensive and defensive play, making the approach very flexible.

I have experimented some with the Cavalry Bus, as well as the Loremaster, with mixed results. I liked the mobility of the bus, but was frustrated by how much it relied on characters to do damage. I also liked the flexibility of the Loremaster, but his fragility in combat was also frustrating. I do very much like the look of your most recent list though, but would be careful having the BSB on his own with that unit of Helms. I tried a setup like that when our current book launched, and it was very annoying how weak that setup was after it expended its charge.

Give it a try though, and see how you like it. The only other thing I might suggest would be dropping one bolt thrower to give yourself more sisters. Any time someone with cannons fights against High Elves, they're just itching to find something to shoot at. I think you'll appreciate having a couple 7-8 strong units of Sisters that only die one-at-a-time to cannonfire, giving your shooting phase a bit more staying power against multiple cannons.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:42 pm 
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I don't primarily want the Loremaster for his combat-abilities, it's the plethora of ranged threats he brings to the table that I'm interested in. There's a counter to anything here, be it searing doom for MC, Fireball for chaff, Miasma for board control or Iceshard vs artillery. Furthermore, to complement this, there are enough combat spells available that someone will always go through - a big deal considering how big the relative impact is.

As for one block, yeah I can see how that could possibly work, e.g. masters, but I doubt it'll fit my style much. I also second your opinions about empire and other deathstars: DE, OK, WoC, DoC can do it better than us with ease and we can't shoot it down either.

I'll see if I like this BSB setup or if I'll go for Reaver Bow/PoS instead, which I know to be a solid choice. I know the current loadout is a one-hit-wonder, but at that it is quite scary with the Star Lance. I'll see if I swap an RBT for more Sisters, but the ETC-meta doesn't really favour cannons that heavily, so I'll start with max RBTs for their superior range. Thanks a lot for your valuable input :)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:48 pm 
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Here's my take on the list:

Loremaster w. Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation - 330

Prince, Dragon Armor, B. Steed, Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Dragon Helm - 285

Noble, BSB, Dragon Armor, B. Steed, Lance, Obisidian Amulet, Enchanted Shield, Other Tricksters Shard - 176

5x Reavers w. Bows - 85
5x Reavers w. Bows - 85
5x Reavers w. Bows - 85
5x Silver Helms w. Shields, Banner - 125
5x Silver Helms w. Shields, Banner - 125
5x Silver Helms w. Shields, Banner - 125

8x Dragon Princes w. Full Command, Star Lance, Rampager's Standard - 347
20x Phoenix Guard w. Full Command, Banner of Swiftness - 345

3x Repeater Bolt Throwers - 210
6x Sisters of Avelorn - 84
6x Sisters of Avelorn - 84

2496


Its been doing reallly well in an uncomped environment, and I play against 1+ Empire frequently. The cav bus is built to take it down. When I feel like being nasty I swap the Rampagers back to the BoTWD and the BsB back to the ogre blade drop the dragon armors and a phoenix guard which nets me the Razor Standard. But in my region, comp score is generally based on player perception and it is impossible to comp well while using the banner. I think you're underestimating the Loremaster's combat abilities. 3 str 6 is nothing to sneeze at especially when buffed up with the phoenix guard and wyssans and the hexes.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:27 pm 
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Perhaps I shouldn't have called the Loremaster a combat char since that immediately puts him into competition with the cav prince, blender vampires and chaos lords, a competition where he is clearly outmatched. However, I have been using a Loremaster for quite some time now and he seldom lets me down when I stick him in close combat. He is effectively an excellent battlemage.

As Malossar said, 3 s6 attacks is decent and if you get wyssans off on him, its 3 s7 attacks. His ability to give himself and his unit a 5+ regen is also great and combined with a good AS it ups his survival potential considerably.

My two favorite ways of running him is either with the BoH and the Armour of silvered steel or with the BoH, Sword of might, Mervyrm shield and Golden Crown. This last build lowers his S but gives him his rerolls back. It also grants him a 4++ for when in close combat.

As for infantry, I think that he actually works best with the swordmasters since the 5++ he can grant them will help them out no end. They are also great recipients of wyssan's as it push them up to s6.

If you do want 2 combat blocks I also think you can do worse than PG and swordmasters with a loremaster in the swords.

On the Anointed, BotWD and Archmage SM block, I ran this in my last battle against dwarfs and it was very very resilient and packed quite a punch. It never had below 5++ for the entire match and the 5++ was only during the final turn. Most of the time it had 4++ (3 turns) or 3++ (2 turns).

One finale note, when I field the Loremaster, I often find that he uses up all of my power dice. As a consequence I started leaving my lvl 2s at home (unless I really want a scroll).


Last edited by Francis on Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Francis wrote:

On the Anointed, BotWD and Archmage SM block, I ran this in my last battle against dwarfs and it was very very resilient and packed quite a punch. It never had below 5++ for the entire match and the 5++ was only during the final turn. Most of the time it had 4++ (3 turns) or 3++ (2 turns).


This. Archmage with High Magic and Book + Anointed makes a serious combat block. Give the Anointed the Giant Blade, Glittering Scales and OTS and he's now a mulcher in challenges. The 6+ Ward and MR 2 makes the swordmasters super durable when combined with the archmage especially since the archmage can 1 dice almost every spell in the Lore.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:42 pm 
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IMO the LM is competing with the AM, both for points and, if you go for both, for power dice...but as a bonus he has the stats of a noble, so he's a little tougher, little hittier.

But in terms of a combat character, compare him to our nobles. Under what circumstances do we ever employ them not as a BSB geared up either defensively, reaver/PoS (avoid combat) or as a CavPrince's squire? Sometimes we see an eagle BSB. Occasionally we see a second noble to toughen up a unit of cavalry or carry an essential magic item. I guess some of us still hanker after the old 7th ed BSB and give him 2+/6++/2++vs fire plus luckstone and great weapon/halberd, but it doesn't really do it for me. But that's the combat level of the loremaster (and FWIW I reckon the best build if you're planning that is BoH and 2+ armour). Sure he can be buffed, but compared to a noble you're spending a lot of points on magic which you'd be buying via mages otherwise. I reckon he can work in combat, especially situationally, but his real strength is spell diversity.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Indeed, I tried running the AM and Loremaster together when our new book dropped and learned the hard way just how inefficient that is. Still a painful memory ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:07 pm 
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Thanks a lot for your replies, everyone :)

@Malossar - pretty similar setup to what I had in my last game, with the exception of DP <=> SH. Sorry to hear about the banner being comped so hard, it really does take a lot of our builds away.

@Francis - point taken. I don't feel good leaving him without death-protection at all though, at Ld9 he's really not that tough. I'll at least start with the 4++ and see if I miss the 2+ armour more. As for SM though I don't think I'll field them without high magic. They're just such an unforgiving unit, despite how could it would be have the Loremaster with them from a fluff perspective.

@Ferny - Loremaster + Archmage can probably be done, i.e. Light Council, but you need a very clear plan of what you want your casters to do and how. With his 8 spells, there really isn't room for a lot more. I do think a scroll's mandatory though, and I consider Heaven's the best back-up lore as double Iceshard is brutal. As for the Loremaster in combat, running the setup I suggested last I don't see any other option but for him to see combat every now and then. For this, I think 4++ is the best way to go.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:31 pm 
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First off, thanks for that productive piece of discussion, guys - a great way of
revivifying a great thread! Plus, I feel that I can finally ask a related question
which has been bugging me for a while and yet was not worth its own thread:

What are your guys' thoughts on/experiences with running CavHammer plus
Double Elites? At least in the 2k5 area, I wonder if this could be done properly,
and in a world bigger (and more dangerous!) than my own living room...

Tethlis is of course right when he says that going full boar in every department
is some sort of bad case of squaring the circle, but what if one would be content
with a medium shooting load out and going with a somewhat slimmer point investment
in characters ?

Chars (all mounted): Prince (Giant Blade, Dawnstone, PoF, DH), AM (MR3, ICI, Scroll) and one of the 170pts BSBs
Core: 10 FC Helms, 3x5 Reavers with bows, 10 Archers
Special: 24 razor PGs, 21 botw WLs (both with boom box)
Rare: 3x RBT, Eagle, 6 Sisters
2498pts

Could this work? I'm more of a painting dude myself, just getting into the game, so please
excuse my ignorance, if this has been asked a thousand times already or is full of blatant
oversights in the eyes of those who actually know the game ;)

Thanks again, especially to Curu for coming back !


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:15 pm 
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Hey teep, thanks for stopping by :)

I can't remember having run 2 serious combat blocks next to a cavstar, only one or two smaller ones. I think the general problem with this approach is that there's too much combat troops - you lose board control and the ability to choose when and where to fight. I'm not saying it wouldn't work - perhaps indeed it will - but the question is if skipping that second mage, the 4th RBT, the second unit of Sisters etc is worth it to have even more combat power?

The HE Cavstar is a weird configuration. No matter how you configure it, it will never be a true Deathstar: you can't goe toe-to-toe with any serious deathstar in the game, period. You will lose. As such, it's usually taken as a points-preserving unit, i.e. an enemy has nothing in your army he can really chew into, as M9 is simply too fast to catch if it doesn't want to get caught. Thus, we usually see two variants of cav configurations: the "light" one which is basically a delivery system for a Giant Blade toting Prince and a BSB with (insert equipment) or the big one, which either includes a Prince and Archmage, or a number of heroes to go alongside a Star Dragon. With your proposed list above, you're doing neither: you have too many slow points, and it's too big to be "light". Granted, simply de-mounting the Archmage sort of solves this, but that puts even more points into the slow category: you now have a dilemma since your board control abilities are decreased (which was the points you freed to get these 3 combat units in the first place). Again, I'm not saying it can't be done, but this is what I see as its primary dilemma. I do believe such a list is better off having the Archmage on foot, probably with High Magic in the BOTWD-WL block. The question then becomes if you've invested so much in combat that maybe you can try all-out combat and ditch even more shooting for a Frostheart? As far as I know, nobody has extensively playtested this kind of approach, so I couldn't really say how it would work. It is my experience though that we rely heavily on shooting/magic to help us out, as we really have to pick favourable fights to win games, at the very least as long as a statline 7 monster isn't around to shake things up ;) It can be tempting to remove that 1 RBT and small unit of Sisters on paper to allow for just some more (insert combat dudes), but in practice it often backfires. Those armies that do this - and do it well - are imo DoC, WoC, OK. The first has Skillcannon support which is just insane, not to mention the brokenness that is the Beasts of Nurgle, the second has so many fast and strong combat units that you always get to pick your fights while the latter produces a very strong deathstar, coupled with skillblaster support and strong MC in the shape of Mournfang. Remember that all other races that we compare our elite infantry to when we say "strong" rely on board control as well, when they do not (as in the cases above), they have other capabilities that our T3 M5 Elves lack which allows them to play the full speed ahead game.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:25 am 
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Tethlis wrote:

I have experimented some with the Cavalry Bus, as well as the Loremaster, with mixed results. I liked the mobility of the bus, but was frustrated by how much it relied on characters to do damage. I also liked the flexibility of the Loremaster, but his fragility in combat was also frustrating. I do very much like the look of your most recent list though, but would be careful having the BSB on his own with that unit of Helms. I tried a setup like that when our current book launched, and it was very annoying how weak that setup was after it expended its charge.
.



My experience has been if you're going to run the cav bus you'd better run THE cav bus. I love the dragon princes with the star lance and the giant blade + ogre blade characters. Its deadly and effective. Why dragon princes? Simply because in uncomped games I can take the banner or if I can't, i'm still immune to flaming magic and cannonballs (looking at you skullcannon). The initiative bump is great.

Its more of an aggressive point denial build. Point it at some small nasty elite unit that is a lot of points (ie Monstrous Cavalry) which is currently dominating the Meta and secure the points. It tackles 1+ empire just fine when combined with the loremaster. Threaten with searing doom and push wyssans through. My cav bus can now take down a steam tank in 2 rounds of combat and sometimes in 1. I went for phoenix guard so I had an anvil to secure my center or the corner of a denied flank plus I've been using phoenix guard in virtually every game since 6th edition so I'm not stopping now :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:24 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
I don't feel good leaving him without death-protection at all though, at Ld9 he's really not that tough. I'll at least start with the 4++ and see if I miss the 2+ armour more. As for SM though I don't think I'll field them without high magic. They're just such an unforgiving unit, despite how could it would be have the Loremaster with them from a fluff perspective.


I really get that, and my builds might very well reflect that I don't come up against Death magic all that often. My last battles against lists capable of taking it was against empire lists, and they seem to prefer Light, Heavens, Beast and Life.

The swordmasters are also very fragile as you say, and in a heavily competitive setting, I do think that the High Archmage is the best choice by far for them. On the Lions, they benefit almost as much from having a loremaster with them as the swords does, and especially Miasma will work better for the lions than the swords.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:12 am 
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@Malossar - I agree that the bus is very well suited for taking on smallish, strong and expensive units. It seems you have found a setup that works really nice, and a quick look at your most recent list relative to comp looks as well :)

@Francis - I play against a variety of opponents and regardless I always try and tune my lists for tournament, i.e. all-comers play. I think having a "true ward" is pretty essential on a character like this, as you never now what could threaten him. Relative to 2+ armour, it doesn't take more than S5 (which is abundant) to make the ward equally good, and vs S6+ it's just better.

So, the list I will be playing my next game with:

Loremaster of Hoeth, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Enchanted Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Potion of Foolhardiness, Dragon Armour = 170
Heavens Mage level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon = 160
Characters = 660

8 Silver Helms, Armour, Full Command = 214
5 Reavers, Bows & Musician = 95
5 Reavers, Bows & Musician = 95
19 Archers, musician = 200
Core = 604

21 White Lions, Full Command & Banner of the World Dragon = 353
20 Phoenix Guard, Full Command & Razor Standard = 375
Special = 728

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
9 Sisters of Avelorn = 126
Rare = 420

Army Total = 2398

The BSB will run with the Helms in a 3x3 formation, their goal is to deter smallish units of MC and help the infantry as needed. What I'm looking for is to evaluate the infantry blocks, the Loremaster and the BSB - perhaps he is indeed better off with Reaver Bow/Potion of Strength. Time will tell!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:27 am 
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At 2,500pts, bringing two lord-level character does indeed shrink the overall size of the army.
Unless playing 3,000pts games or taking a prince on dragon, I'm more inclined to taking minimum essential characters and beefing up the
model counts in my army. This usually means one lord-level character(mostly a lv 4 wizard), BSB, scroll caddie.
And if the frostheart phoenix is absent, this would allow enough space for two solid special infantry blocks, like Ptolemy or Tethlis' lists.

This is one of the reasons why I recently revised my lists in a way similar to Olannon's recent one, albeit with slight difference.
While the frostheart phoenix is one tough, amazing support, at mediocre sized games players can usually afford lone phoenix.
And in times when 4 out of 15 armies in WHFB can bring minimum two cannons at 2,500pts games, the phoenix is nothing more than free VP.

I originally wanted to put frostheart phoenix despite the threat of cannons.
This is because I wanted to have an advantage against tough, melee-oriented armies without good warmachines(WoC, Lizardmen, etc).
But two special infantry blocks and decent shooting supported by versatile loremaster seems to do enough job.
(My current loremaster-led 2,5K list has 3 bolt throwers and 15 sisters bar core shooting for example)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:51 pm 
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Hey Curu,
thanks for your detailed reply - much appreciated :) As I said, I had a feeling that there might be one or two snags
in my thinking. If I understand you correctly, I sort of over emphazised combat at the expense of support, i.e.
board control, which is not an ideal approach considering that I field tender elves...
Originally, I wanted to go with a Frostie for both punch and another fast moving thread to provide my Cav list
with extra teeth as well as extra board control. But since I mainly face Empire, I want to try something cannon
proof, so that's how the extra elite block came to mind (think Seredainesque with his extra Lions).

Curu Olannon wrote:
Thus, we usually see two variants of cav configurations: the "light" one which is basically a delivery system for a Giant Blade toting Prince and a BSB with (insert equipment) or the big one, which either includes a Prince and Archmage, or a number of heroes to go alongside a Star Dragon.


I'm sure that I don't understand that paragraph in its full glory and I'd be glad if you could elaborate/rephrase that one for us.
See, I originally planed to go with the delivering system option at first, but then I remembered Magic - suddenly, I felt a need to get
some MM/Death Magic protection in there, thus the AM found her way into the bus...
So, I gues my questions are:
- how would you get MR in the bus (Dragon Princes with BotW, or a lil mage with MR)?
-how can one prevail against multi-combat-threat armies with only two units being able to fight?

Thanks again for your time and input,
d


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Curu, where are you placing the Loremaster? If he is accompanying the White Lions with the BotWD I'd run Armor of Silvered Steel instead of the Talisman of preservation, as he'll have a 2++ against most of the things the ToP would help against. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:05 pm 
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@Sinsigel - your list indeed sounds similar to mine :) It`s easy to see how maxing out on Lords limits the rest of our options @2400 - 2500. If you`ve written a list or two you know all about it. Truthfully, it`s pretty simple mathematically as well: lords = 600, then you want BSB and maybe a support character like a scroll caddy or handmaiden, so another 300-350 there. With the core tax, we`re looking at 1500 - 1650. That leaves 850 - 1000 points to spread out between shooting and combat in special and rare. 2 dedicated blocks of decent size are at least 700 points, so yeah the math simply doesn`t add up.

@teep - well I mean, if it works for you then it works :) Nobody can tell you that what you`re doing isn`t working if you play tough opponents and keep winning ;) As such, "over emphasize" is by default a term that I`m not too comfortable with throwing around. You have to look at what you`re trying to achieve and whether the elements in your list allow you to do this. As for facing Empire, my experience against them is limited, but when I have faced them I have had a Star Dragon and Frostheart. I haven`t felt this a huge setback to be honest, you might have to expose them for a turn (or two at worst!), but usually terrain + combat means it`s not a terrible prospect. If you play TLOS you can probably forget about it though, at least I have yet to see a hill that could physically block my Carmine Dragon.

So let`s take a look at 3 different cav units. First off, the light version:
Prince, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Yadda yadda we all know the drill
Noble BSB, Golden Crown, Star Lance, Potion of Foolhardiness, Enchanted Shield
8 Silver Helms, FC

This unit is a delivery system for the characters. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the Helms are capable of providing anything to a tough combat: they are only there to ensure your S7 goodness can find its way to combat without evaporating to war machines in the meantime. Many players use this as a full-on combat unit and lose games when they send it into (insert dedicated combat unit) and lose the fight. Because of this, a list featuring the above list needs other strengths to play to, my original suggestion (see p.1 of this thread) is very close to what Seredain`s running these days. A later attempt can be seen in my last battle report, but I was not happy with this configuration. Anyway, suffice is to say that this is not a deathstar, the fighting capability of this unit is solely with its characters.

So, the heavy version, DP-style:
Prince with stuff
Archmage high magic boh
BSB with stuff
Mage with scroll, ring of fury
Noble with stubborn crown
Optional third noble with stuff

12 DP, FC, BOTWD, Champ with either Star Lance or Ogre Blade (Star Lance best, in my opinion).

This unit is designed to take on anything and everything barring the worst deathstars. The rest of the list typically consists of combat support in the shape of Silver Helms and Frostheart, and redirectors like Reavers and Eagles. By swapping the DP for SH and giving the BOTWD to the BSB instead, lots of special points are freed up which allows the rest of the list to be shooty heavy with maxed RBTs, Sisters and whatnot.

Lastly, the points preservation Star Dragon assistance. First of all, the context: 4 RBT, Star Dragon Prince, Frostheart Phoenix, Eagle. Strong elements that provide board control and extremely heavy hitters. Problem? Most core configurations will bleed points, that is otherwise hard to gain from this list. Solution? See below:

13 Silver Helms, FC
Mage l2 high scroll
Mage l2 high stubborn
Noble BSB BOTWD
Noble with stuff

The heroes` configuration here is tricky, as you quickly hit the 600-point limit. However the essence is to stack so many characters in with a single SHelm unit that there are no more points left. Furthermore, BOTWD + 2x High mages allow this unit to prevail against just about anything at range, and with M9 and the nature of the rest of the list it won`t see combat unless you want it to. It`s a hugely expensive unit with all characters and bonus points, yet surprisingly weak so beware of applying it as a hammer (which will turn out badly). With 2 nobles the mages are in the second rank until one goes down (or the champ), but this unit doesn`t really want to see a fight unless it`s with the other monsters. Ring of Fury is an interesting choice here as it allows you triple-casts of Soul Quench, which really plays to the list`s strength of winning by chipping away small points. Soul Quench is excellent here as it clears chaff wonderfully, gives you board control but also allows you to put pressure on stuff like an Ogre gutstar (so it can eventually be engaged) etc.

I`m sure there are other options out there as well, but these are the main ones I see. As soon as you put an Archmage on a horse to provide the unit with even more, it switches from a delivery system to a true combat unit: the added points and loss of flexibility in other places (e.g. she can`t buff Swordmasters) necessitate this approach for a successful list.

Quote:
-how can one prevail against multi-combat-threat armies with only two units being able to fight?

Give me an example with 2 armies and I`ll try and elaborate on this. In general I don`t like to stereotype as much because it doesn`t provide any analytical value. How many combat units does the WoC flying circus have for example (DP, Heroes on discs, multiple chimeras and chariots)? None of them are strong enough on their own to be called a combat unit in my opinion (save for the dp, arguably), yet together they hurt more than any HE army can ever hope to field.

@Iamjack42 - I don`t know. I assume having him with Lions makes the most sense with miscast protection etc, but we`ll see how it plays out. Armour of Silvered Steel provides no defense against spells and is inferior against S6+ and equal vs S5. I don`t really fear S4, hence I find the ward to be superior :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
@Iamjack42 - I don`t know. I assume having him with Lions makes the most sense with miscast protection etc, but we`ll see how it plays out. Armour of Silvered Steel provides no defense against spells and is inferior against S6+ and equal vs S5. I don`t really fear S4, hence I find the ward to be superior :)


I must first say, I have been a long devoted follower of your lists and must certainly concede the field to you in terms of experience. However, as I am seeking the ideal build for my own Loremaster, allow me to bother you about this further. I certainly agree that ToP is superior against the threats you mention. However, once the Loremaster is in a unit with the Banner of the World Dragon the ToP is no longer used against spells, magic weapons, or other magical attacks. Are there specific non-magical S6+ attacks you are thinking of?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:22 pm 
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The BOTWD is a very good point, but as of yet I don`t know where it makes the most sense to have him. Thus, at least for now, I`d rather have the option of sending him where I want him regardless of protection ;) As far as mundane S6+ threats go, there aren`t a lot: Monstrous cav, monsters and Ironguts are what spring to mind immediately.

Yesterday I began a Loremaster conversion which I finished painting today. Have a look at this link for pictures: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=45081&p=808517#p808517 :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Wow, thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experience! Now, I feel
that I have a better understanding of the in's and out's of CavHammering -
well, at least in theory which is a good starting point, if not much else :)

Just to reiterate: I have never tried my suggested set up, let alone any
of the ones you've discussed and I definitly didnt want to play coy and get
applause for "my" idea or for something that I've perceived to be working great
for me anyways - it was a genuinly theoretical question on a topic I'm
rather ignorant on.
As well as my usual set up (double elites plus x), the idea of fielding any sort
of CavBus comes from what I've got( recently) painted :roll:
So, as soon as the bases are done, I can finally try rocking knights and get some
homegrown, raw data myself -
thanks to nice and patient poeple such as yourself, I might stand a good chance of
looking a bit less like a fool when I give it a go...

Ah, and btw - nice conversion you got going on there!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:07 pm 
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No worries. I haven`t run all of this myself so I can`t say it`s all experience either, lots of it comes from watching other people play and talking to experienced generals, as well as reading stuff here on Ulthuan of course.

The problem with this bus is that if you don`t have a clear idea of what you want it to do, even at the time or writing your list, you can quickly end up not getting enough out of it. I think this report is a good example: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=45081&p=815044#p815044 The only reason I won big here was because of the Frostheart Phoenix. Basically, reviewing the list I used and this game in light of our recent discussion, you can tell that there`s too many points for too little gain in the bus, making it DP > SH provides little value and the list isn`t really made to capitalize on High Magic. Although WoC is a hard army, I think they`re a good matchup for HE as we have so many nice counters to them and they do not have the same against us.

If this Loremaster idea doesn`t pan out, I`ll probably be looking to go back to some sort of bus. I just can`t seem to write any Dragon lists I really like: our lack of strong, mounted Noble options make it very hard, in my opinion, to play to the same strengths I used to with our last book.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:41 pm 
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Curu,
I was interested to read this:
"I can't remember having run 2 serious combat blocks next to a cavstar, only one or two smaller ones. I think the general problem with this approach is that there's too much combat troops - you lose board control and the ability to choose when and where to fight."

I'm assuming that serious blocks is 20+ troops, in which case I have to disagree. Even with our relatively tough phoenix guard, I'm concerned that providing only two major targets for ranged/magic/fast combat troops(i.e. the bus and one strong infantry unit) leaves you without enough redundancy to win a slugging match. I've been running my two 20-man infantry units in support of one another. Although the swords got depleted one game, the flanking threat of the lions kept my opponent from pushing up too aggressively and gave me the time I needed to swing the bus around for a rear charge.

Although neither block is a deathstar by any means, in concert they are a pretty serious proposition. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on my noble bus list in my thread here: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=45800&start=30

Great to have you back and posting by the way!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:35 am 
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I`ll have a look at your thread in a minute, first let`s address this point. The math here is fairly simple: you want to include a 250+ point character in essentially an army that has nothing to give up. Let`s take my list above as an example:

Quote:
Loremaster of Hoeth, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Enchanted Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Potion of Foolhardiness, Dragon Armour = 170
Heavens Mage level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon = 160
Characters = 660

8 Silver Helms, Armour, Full Command = 214
5 Reavers, Bows & Musician = 95
5 Reavers, Bows & Musician = 95
19 Archers, musician = 200
Core = 604

21 White Lions, Full Command & Banner of the World Dragon = 353
20 Phoenix Guard, Full Command & Razor Standard = 375
Special = 728

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
9 Sisters of Avelorn = 126
Rare = 420

Army Total = 2398


The "least viable" cavprince configuration is, in my opinion, heavy armour, enchanted shield, giant blade, dawnstone, barded steed. This gives 1+ re-rollable and S7, nothing more. This is 263 points. How would you drop this many points from the list above to make him fit? Obviously some vital elements need to disappear. I`m very hesitant to drop the support mage because a scroll caddy is essential. The Loremaster is probably better off as an Archmage with this configuration so that saves a few points. That leaves us with dropping rare points. Let`s have a look:

-1 RBT = 70
-Sisters = 126
-Convert WL to SM and drop 1 model = 13
-Archmage l4 with BoH, Talisman of Endurance ICI = 310, net gain of 25 points relative to current setup since ICI is already in the list.

Total save: 70 + 126 + 13 + 25 = 234. Still 30 points short. The secondary mage could be L1, which would bring us home. The list then:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Archmage level 4, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Endurance, Ironcurse Icon = 310
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour = 164
Mage, scroll = 110
Characters = 847

Core (same as above) = 604

20 Swordmasters, FC, BOTWD = 340
20 PG, FC, Razor Standard = 375
Special = 715

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2376 (even some points to play around with!).

While admittedly not a terribly huge sacrifice, I do feel the loss of the 4th RBT and Sisters are significant here. It means the list has to seek combat a lot more proactively since its abilities to get points and threaten the table at a distance have been reduced. I think anything less than these combat blocks also don`t really count as combat blocks: anything less than 20 models can easily be swept aside by just about anything in the current state of things. Also, PG without Razor and WL/SM without BOTWD fear a LOT of things. Anyways, this list doesn`t look that bad so I suppose it could work - I just haven`t tried it :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:00 pm 
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.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Empire (ETC comp) .::.

My list:
Loremaster of Hoeth, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Enchanted Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Potion of Foolhardiness, Dragon Armour = 170
Heavens Mage level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon = 160
Characters = 660

8 Silver Helms, Armour, Full Command = 214
5 Reavers, Bows & Musician = 95
5 Reavers, Bows & Musician = 95
19 Archers, musician = 200
Core = 604

21 White Lions, Full Command & Banner of the World Dragon = 353
20 Phoenix Guard, Full Command & Razor Standard = 375
Special = 728

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
9 Sisters of Avelorn = 126
Rare = 420

Army Total = 2398

His list:
Arch lector w/stuff
Wizard lord l4 life
Wizard lord l3 heavens scroll
BSB Dawnstone
2x captasus, 1+ 2++ fire, lance

11 IC Knights, FC
10 + 5 + 5 Archers
6 GW Knights, musician

5 Demis, musician
2 Cannons

Steam Tank

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

I wasn`t sure how to attack this: I was pretty sure that his only major combat threat was the demis. That being said, the Stank can also hurt and the knightbus isn`t trivial to handle. My goal was to neutralize the Stank ASAP and then see if I could bring 2 or all 3 combat units into either the bus or the demis simultaneously.

Deployment was very unusual for me and I made a number of mistakes. The biggest one though was spreading out my army far too much (I used the entire table length), anchoring one extreme flank with Archers and the other with Sisters:

Image
The Swordmaster models are my PG

Spells gives my L2 Iceshard + Harmonic, while he gets Shield of Thorns, Regrowth, Dwellers, Awakening (no doubles!), Chain Lightning, Iceshard and Comet. We both roll a `4` so he goes first.

// Emp T1 //

Everything moves up cautiously, one Captasus with Gryphs, the other close to the GW-knights. Magic sees him fail to cast Dwellers and that`s that. Shooting takes out an RBT and a fence.

Image

// HE T1 //

I realize my first mistake as my Sisters cannot get anywhere. I move them forward and angle the PG so that they can potentially handle the rests. The Reavers march up to go cannon-hunting while the Archers start their advance to support as well. The cavalry back off a little since the demis aren`t risking anything if they attempt a charge.

Magic is huge as I get IF boosted Searing Doom on the STank (BoH re-roll!). I manage 8 wounds in total and the miscast result kills like a single Lion. Shooting sees my RBTs combine to kill off the Stank: with Life I feel I cannot risk him having it alive. The rest does pretty much nothing.

Image

// Emp T2 //

Demis face my Eastern flank, GW-Knights + captasus 1 charge Sisters, other captasus charges out of demis at RBT. Magic - he fails again. Shooting: 1 RBT goes down. Combat: Sisters break and are caught, however due to failing dangerous terrain his GW knights flee! The captasus overruns out of the PGs arc.

Image

// HE T2 //

I create a pincer-like trap for his bus with the PG and WL, taking care to put the latter out of Demi-arc. The bus has a charge at 9+ required to reach the RBT and thus escape me, however if he tries this and fails it´s game over. SHelms setup for counter. Mage leaves Archers to be safe from captasus: as he carries the scroll he is vital. Magic draws his scroll so the net result is 1x Iceshard on his bus. Shooting does nothing as my RBT both fail to hit the Eastern captasus.

Image

// Emp T3 //

His bus decides to charge the RBT and he makes it. Captasus on the East runs away from the Archers, not wanting to face their front and lots of ranks. Demis move up to support their bus. Magic does nothing as his wizards lack front arc targets due to escape-charging the RBT. Shooting kills an RBT again. In combat, he fails to hit with any of his attacks against the RBT due to defended obstacle + iceshard, however he wins too big for my break test to handle and overruns to safety. The dangerous terrain tests (20 in total) kill off a few horses.

Image

// HE T3 //

I move both infantry units toward the bus to keep trying to pressuring him, however the SHelms fail their free reform and thus are unable to block his escape. Magic sees me get an IF yet again on my first cast: Searing doom small version on the bus. Though a few knights die, I lose all my dice and am unable to unload on the Demis as I intended to: double Iceshard would make life a lot easier for me. I was counting on him to focus on dispelling the Searing Doom as the bus contains so many points, now however I was in dire straits. Comet came down and killed a handful of Archers, making them a lot more tasty to the captasus with reduced static res.

Reavers clear cannons.

Image

// Emp T4 //

Demis rear-charge my WL. Bus gets out of all charge arcs and away from PG. Captasus charge Archers and PG. Magic sees him get IF Iceshard on my Lions (just perfect), result puts a wound here and there and kill a knight. In combat the Lions lose, but take a couple of Demi-wounds with them (I made way with the Loremaster which saved a couple, he lost 1W but 4++ kept him alive). I passed the break test many thanks to stubborn and BSB, however failed to combat reform (thank you very much, Iceshard Blizzard!). Meanwhile, the PG didn`t manage a single wound and lost two of their own as well to the captasus, so I only barely won combat. He passed his test so I was unable to help out my beleaguered Lions. I reformed to face him. The Archers lost but held on steadfast and managed their combat reform.

Image

// HE T4 //

BSB and Helms flank the Demis. Magic is big and I manage to land DOUBLE Iceshard on the demis AND get Earthblood off, not only giving me 5++ but also healing the wound on the Loremaster via Lifebloom. In combat the Star Lance proves its worth and I win big. He needs 3- to hold, and promptly makes his break test!! I finally reform Lions but at this point they are so depleted that it`s hardly significant at all. PG win vs Captain and turn towards the main combat area. Archers hold vs Captasus.

Image

// Emp T5 //

His bus turns around to get away from PG, also getting LoS to my Helms` rear. Magic sees him get Iceshard through on my Lions yet again. Combat sees me fail to cause a SINGLE WOUND on his demis (which was a real problem as one knight was down to 1W). In return he gets a couple of 6`s and stomps kill enough Lions for him to actually win combat. I was speechless, but passed both break tests, luckily.

Image

// HE T5 //

PG charge in and make the 8+ required to reach Demis. Magic is big again and the threat of Wyssans + Earthblood lands yet another double Iceshard on the demis. I again fail to impress his armour much, and though I win and have double Iceshards on him, he passes the break test on -4 and holds. The Lions are now completely gone.

Image

// Emp T6 //

His BSB rear-charges my Silver Helms to provide combat bonus. I am now confident I`ll manage more wounds on him though, as my PG can attack with their full strength with the Lions gone (the last around I only got a handful of attacks). A huge regrowth cast finally draws my scroll but he gets Iceshard Blizzard through on the Loremaster (who wouldn`t be steadfast in case of breaks). Now, his bus was down to 1W on one wizard, 2W on the other, 2W on the General and 1 (!!) knight remaining for the unit. With Shem`s burning gaze, spirit leech, searing doom and fireball at my disposal, I was so eager to get my T6 and grab some juicy points!

Fate, however, deemed it otherwise: my PG were finally able to bring their strength to bear and managed 4 unsaved wounds on the Demis. This left a single model. Hitting on 6`s due to Iceshard. Regardless, he proceeded to put 2W on the Loremaster (1 by Stomp) and I failed to save both with the 4++ (I had lost one wound in the previous combat). Thus, I lost 430 points AND the ability to hurt him in my T6. Luckily, he broke with both the remaining Demi and the BSB this time, netting my both. In my T6 I couldn`t do anything noteworthy so the game was over!

Counting up victory points we were within 50 points of eachother, a 10-10 draw.

// Evaluation //

Deployment was terrible. I need to work more on that with this type of army. The Loremaster was an absolute beast throughout the entire game. I failed to use PG and WL properly with the rest of the army, which was partly the fault of a stretched deployment, partly the fault of my overextending their M5 capabilities. There were many "oh so close" moments this game, like his RBT escape charge, Demis holding on 3-, 7-, 6- or whatever they needed and lastly the Loremaster suffering 2W in that crucial round. Regardless, I couldn`t quite get there, and given my wonderful start with the Stank being cleared T1 I should have managed to win this decisively, despite some poorly deployed units.

Please leave a comment if you have one, thanks for reading ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:38 pm 
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Hey Curu

Nice report mate, thanks for sharing. Good to see you stuck to your plan, took out the stank and got to work on the rest of the army even though perhaps it didn’t quite go to plan. What was the initial thought behind the sisters deployment? Did you entertain the idea of moving the RBT back 5” to make that charge (which seemed to turn the whole battle) that much more difficult?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:58 am 
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Hey Curu good to see you back into the swing of WH.
In regards to the 9" from Bus to RBT I think you should of moved the RBT back. 9" is around 50/50 chance for him to make the charge which in my opinion can be easily made.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:43 am 
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Hey Curu. Good to see you back in action! I second Jimmy's thoughts on moving the RBT backwards. Even just 1" back shifts the probabilities in your favour as a 9" is average with swiftstride. Then he would really have to think!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:23 am 
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Nice battle!

50/50 charge by your opponent was a poor move; making the charge is good for him but failing is a complete disaster. Nonetheless his risky play paid off--maybe he felt it was necessary due to his bad start?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:20 am 
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Thanks for the input, folks :) First of all, I`d like to say that I think my opponent did the right thing: while I haven`t exhausted all options here, I do believe he would`ve had a hard time saving his bus from his position. Given his poor start with the STank gone as well, it`s not a terrible move (in my opinion) to try and break free and have a chance at the game. The alternative is to swift reform and move back 7" I suppose, which is a safer play but leaves him struggling to ever do something: as I can march 10" after him the rest of the game becomes a chase where he cannot use the majority of his spells due to not having me in the front arc. Perhaps he could`ve shuffled back 4" and reformed the demis to face the Lions as well. The problem with all of this is that it leaves at least 1 RBT intact and my ranged advantage is huge with his Cannons taken care of by Reavers (the Loremaster is just so strong in this matchup as none of his characters had wards or MR either).

@Jimmy - The Sisters were meant to counter GW Knights. I didn`t consider the Captasus which cost me dearly. Regardless, it is a flawed plan from the get-go because such an expensive and fragile element cannot anchor a flank. I need to deploy my entire army tighter for better support. As for the RBT, I kind of wanted him to go for it. Basically, I had 50-50 for a 20-0 victory and I was assuming that I could still win easily if he made the charge. By moving it back I could`ve indeed made the charge impossible, but even in hindsight I don`t think I would`ve or should`ve: what cost me the victory (despite him passing the 3- break test and killing the Loremaster) was essentially the IF Seering Doom: this prevented me from putting anything on the demis which rear-charged my Lions and made for a disastrous combat. IF on 3D6 isn`t really something you can expect, although of course it happens from time to time, but I think this was a crucial moment.

@pk-ng - Indeed it can be easily made, but if he had failed I would`ve combo-charged it to death. That unit is worth over 1000 points, easily. I also believe I should`ve been able to win, and truthfully it was very close a number of times afterwards as well.

@John Rainbow - True, shuffling it 1" backwards would`ve made the charge 10+ on Swiftstride. Perhaps this is the best play here, decrease the odds marginally but still make it very tempting :) I think that this actually boils down to the opponent you`re facing - how risky does he like to play? I mean I really want him to declare the charge: almost regardless of whether he needs a 9 or 10, as 50-50 for a 20-0 victory is huge. As I hadn`t played this opponent before, I couldn`t say whether this would`ve influenced the decision. For the record, he did roll a 10 for his Swiftstride so I would`ve had to put it at 11+ for him to fail, and at this point most reasonable players won`t make the charge as it`s too unlikely to hit home.

@Nicene - My point exactly :) I do believe he was left without good choices at this point though, but as I said above I haven`t completely exhausted his options here.

In a speed that`s almost unheard of for me, I finished all 9 Reavers I currently have yesterday! Astute readers might`ve noticed them in the BR (I have been using stand-in models for nearly a year now...). Check out this post for some pictures: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=45081&p=808517#p808517 :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:25 pm 
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So this project took up a lot of my yesterday: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=62880&p=870053#p870053

However, I`ve also bought more PG so I`ll be able to complete the army soon. A 20-strong unit hopefully won`t take too long. I`ve completed a unit filler piece which I intend to paint as a statue, the rest are in the making and I`m awaiting custom bases as well:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Next game will likely be in a couple of days :)

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