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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:39 am 
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I played a game on Monday, however I was using Chaos Dwarfs (for the first time) - an army I`ve recently picked up ;) You can check it out here if you`re interested: clicky

Anyways, onto things concerning High Elves: last week we were discussing the option of going cavprince + 2 blocks vs 2 blocks and lots of shooting. Yesterday John Rainbow posted a wonderful tournament report (you should check it out here: clicky from Crossroads GT. The winning list was indeed a variation of the cavprince + 2 blocks we discussed, with a few noteworthy exceptions. Suffice is to say I`ve been inspired to test out my version, which will be featured in my next HE game:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour = 164
Mage, scroll = 110
Characters = 867

Core (same as above) = 604

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

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2396

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:24 pm 
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.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Lizardmen (ETC comp) .::.

My list:
Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour = 164
Mage, scroll = 110
Characters = 867

5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
8 Silver Helms, FC = 214
19 Archers, musician = 200
Core = 604

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

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2396

His list (roughly):

Life Slann, 3D6 channeling on 5+, save DD => PD, re-roll one failed dispel roll per turn
Heavens Skink, scroll
Heavens Skink, special scroll
Saurus on Cold One, S7 1+
Saurus on Cold One, S7 1+ 4++
Skink on Terradon thingy
3 Skink blocks with Javelins and Shields (roughly 20 in size)
4 Skink skirmishing units with Javelins (roughly 12 in size)
Temple Guard with Razor Standard
Bastiladon

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

Lizardmen are always a pain to meet: as long as the Slann doesn`t have Death there is no way to win a ranged contest. If he does have death, you can place all your characters in the BOTWD unit and form your entire army as a circle around your RBT and just blast away with the Loremaster. It`s a boring approach, but I believe it can work against Lizardmen: Fireballs and Shem`s make Skinks cry, Iceshard is decent against Terradons and Spirit Leech + Searing Doom threaten his heroes and the Bastiladon. Anyways, my opponent was sporting Life and there´s no way I can cope with a potential 6 casts of Dwellers, so moving ahead was the only option.

Deployment saw me start off with Reavers on the West. I noticed the impassable piece in his deployment zone and was hoping to play against him on this flank: if I could bring WL + Cav into the bunker relatively full-strength I was confident I could bring this home. Thus, the first major unit I deployed were the PGs, fairly central. They are the least essential unit in this matchup so they got the tough job of flank protectors. To accomplish this I had the Reavers somewhat off and the Archers very exposed. The Reavers didn`t worry me: between Vanguard and no serious combat likely to occur before T3 at the earliest, they would be where I needed them in time. The Archers however didn`t have a whole lot of options. Anyways, the deployment plan succeeded and I was happy with the table: after Vanguarding my Reavers directly East 12" things were looking good, for starters:

Image
The obvious plan is to steamroll down the East with the Helms, wheel center and combo-charge the TG

Magic: he rolled up a perfect Throne + Flesh + Regrowth + Dwellers. When I started playing 2400-2500 point armies I used a Seerstaff mage with this combo so I know it very well. I didn`t bother rolling with my L1 as I wanted Iceshard. He rolled up Chain Lightning and chose to keep it, the other got Wind Blast so elected Iceshard instead.

Rolling for T1 I had +1 and got a `6` so the High Elves seized the initative.

// HE T1 //

Cavalry went up the East with PG and WL following suit: Loremaster within 24" of the non-warded Saurus Hero and PG within range of BSB re-roll just in case. Reavers kept closing the gap to my main forces.

Magic - I can`t remember winds but I started off with a 5D6 Spirit Leech which went off with IF. I had Ld10 to his Ld9 (Saurus Hero) and won by 1, thus killing him outright. Miscast was disastrous though, as I rolled up a 10. Basically, 3+ to lose the Loremaster`s ability to cast spells all game. I was very lucky to roll a `2` and thus kept 7 (!) spells. Phew!

Shooting didn`t do anything significant.

Image

// LZ T1 //

His East moved up carefully, center moved up hard and on the West his flying hero joined a big block of Skinks to be safe from the RBT. 15" away as well saw him have quite an easy charge T2. Magic was abysmal for him as he started failing Throne on 2D6. I know the feeling all too well and the rest was contained. Shooting put a couple of wounds here and there but nothing crucial.

Image

// HE T2 //

I can`t advance further until I`ve gotten some more control on his chaff. Thus, the infantry played cautiously while the Cavalry charged a unit. They predictably fled, and as I was happy with my position I didn`t bother redirecting. The failed charge led them a few inches ahead, which was ok: with the wheel they even had a good angle.

Magic, I failed to cast boosted Searing Doom on his Bastiladon and that was that. The normal trickle-strategy is not that powerful against an L4 re-rolling Slaan with lots of channeling and furthermore I had to get started on his scrolls! If he could have both when combat started, it would be disastrous. Shooting: I focused on his remaining chaff unit between the TG and my units but couldn`t bring it down enough. Long range + Skirmish hurts. He had 4 left, plenty to block me out.

Image

// LZ T2 //

His Skinks blocked my WL, Terradon Hero charged RBT on the West and the center was taken over by a swarm of Skinks. Terradons dropped rocks on Silver Helms with a great effect, however panic was passed. Magic didn`t really worry me: he decided against Dwellers as the investment was too high so instead the result was that my Helms received a S6 bolt downing a couple more from the Bastiladon while I contained the rest. In both this phase and his first, he rolled X+1 for PD, his channels were terrible AND he failed to gain the DD he had stored. Thus, I was lucky to keep my scroll still...

Shooting saw a couple more models drop here and there. Most annoyingly I failed saves for the WL, who lost 4 or so to roughly equally many wounds. Skink Priest won combat and rolled the needed 9+ to get off the table.

Image

// HE T3 //

I made an annoying mistake: I figured if both the WL and PG charged his chaff, he would flee. Of course he did not, so I ended up with one failed charge. I elected the WL. I should`ve just declared with the PG and moved the WL normally. Instead now they had to stand completely still. Reavers moved up to block Temple Guard and the Silver Helms moved to the flank.

Magic saw a boosted Searing Doom draw the ordinary dispel scroll. I spent my last dice dispelling Throne, which I had let through last turn. Shooting was insignificant. I won combat with the PG of course and reformed.

Image

// LZ T3 //

Bastiladon was 50-50 to reach PG so he combo-charged them: Skinks in flank, however the monster rolled snake eyes for distance and was thus left alone. TG charged Reavers while Terradons charged East RBT. Magic saw me let through Throne and dispel Flesh to Stone on his flanking Skinks. Shooting saw him whittle down some more Archers on the West, but on the important area of the table nothing happened. The all-important combat saw my PG only lose by 1. I held AND managed to combat reform. This opened up perfectly for my Lions to engage his TG, with my Silver Helms already having a superb position. To add insult to injury, his Terradons on the East failed to impress my RBT at all and lost one of their own in return.

Image

// HE T4 //

WL and SH into TG. WL need 5 or 6+ to make it and they do! Magic is quite good, 8v6 or something like that, and the trickling can begin. Between all the available signature spells, I get through both Earthblood(his dispel roll was really terrible here) and Iceshard Blizzard!

Shooting is, as per usual in this game when it`s my turn, relatively insignificant. We move on to combat and my characters do what they`re supposed to do: unload S7 nastiness. The Silver Helms combine with them to kill like 8 or so, however the Lions perform above and beyond the call of duty as out of ~20 ish attacks I kill like 15 TG (rolled with the Loremaster here as well). I didn`t bother with his 1+/4++ hero as he is neither stubborn nor easy combat res to get at. In return his Hero + 1 TG targeted the Loremaster, however with Iceshard and 4++ he proved rather resilient and lost but a single wound. The rest combined to kill 3 Lions and 3 Helms, however it was clear that this was becoming a massacre in favour of the High Elves. Could the Lizards` counter-charge and Life magic help him? The PG beat the Skinks badly and I restrained pursuit, turning towards the big combat in case their support would be needed in my T5.

Image

// LZ T4 //

Bastilodon charged the WL, with only the Loremaster being in base-to-base. Magic phase: I dispelled Iceshard Blizzard and scrolled Flesh to Stone. He finished off with Regrowth, which brought back 5 TG. However, this was far from worst case: with an IF Flesh to Stone I would probably be in dire straits.

In combat the Prince kept on killing, while the BSB was somewhat reduced in his damage output. The Lions however proved their worth as they, with the Loremaster, JUST managed to kill off the last TG, making him lose stubborn! The Bastilodon failed to impress me with his S4 and his roll of a `1` for Thunderstomp sealed the deal: he was rolling for snake eyes which he failed to get for any of his units. The Slann auto-died, being the BSB, and the cavalry chased down the Saurus, the WL killing the Bastilodon.

Image

After this it was a matter of cleaning up. I got the better of it with a couple of Skink units biting the dust and both heroes being killed off. He got the Archers and reduced the PG beyond 25%. In the end, I was a little over 1400 points ahead, a 19-1 victory to the High Elves!

// Evaluation //

Whenever I play Lizards, I feel so helpless. The amount of chaff and board control they possess is insane. In this game however I had a clear plan from the get-go and I managed to execute it fairly well. However, 2 major points impacted the game: my failure in T3 as I double-charged the Skinks nearly cost me a really good set-up and my opponent`s charge of the Terradons into my RBT instead of redirecting my cavalry paved the way for the combo-charge which brought home the big, fat kill. He admitted to underestimating the Lions quite a bit (as he told a friend after the game was over: "I lost, I I forgot that Lions are good...") and their relatively small size is deceiving. Striking at I5 with S6 is really powerful against TG, hitting on 3s sure doesn`t help him.

Overall it was a highly interesting game. Losing a level early on with the Loremaster was OK, given the tradeoff, but it does mean that trickling magic missiles becomes that much harder, which sort of forces me into the spam-killer-spells-strategy. This did indeed draw a scroll before combat was initiated, however I feel the second one should definitely have been used to counter Iceshard Blizzard on his TG (despite of it also killing off Throne of Vines, which was up at the time.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:26 am 
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Congratulations on the big win. I know what you mean with the feel against Lizards. My regularly opponent play them as well and with his Skink clouds and flying stuff he controls the board at the beginning. But we can do this quite effectively as well so it is somewhat less intimidating.

You stated your shooting phase is disappointing. How do you feel about your 3 RBTs? Are they performing their role as board control or do they even kill something? Do you miss sisters? Do you feel your Prince was essential for the win? Since a character like him costs nearly as much as an additional unit I think he should be.

Thanks for the great report! I like it!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:18 pm 
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Nice battle report! Thank God the Loremaster managed to keep his casting abilities after that miscast - his buffs/debuffs were crucial in the central battle. Perhaps you think you would have won it anyway? Congrats on the victory!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:29 pm 
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@Velmates - HE unfortunately can`t even come close to the amount of board control Lizards have. I don`t know if anyone can, actually. Onto your questions:

Quote:
How do you feel about your 3 RBTs?

They are necessary for board control. This is a poor matchup for them, but I came very close to killing off the Bastilodon with them at one point (Life magic healed him back up).

Quote:
Are they performing their role as board control or do they even kill something?

In this game, not much of either unfortunately.

Quote:
Do you miss sisters?

Nope! Ask me again when I`m up against regen-heavy stuff ;)

Quote:
Do you feel your Prince was essential for the win?

Yes, very essential. Without him, I would`ve brought more shooting which would have helped me zilch in this game. He makes the Silver Helms go from annoying to being a combat block. LD10 was also crucial a couple of times, my LD rolls in general were very high. Also, allowing the Loremaster to not be the General is really nice as he`s much more likely to die than the Prince - giving away that bonus too easily.

Quote:
Since a character like him costs nearly as much as an additional unit I think he should be.

I agree completely! However, given his 263 points, you can`t really get a third viable combat units for his points. Sure, you can get a semi-decent unit of SM/WL/PG, but it`s not the same. It`s hard to explain on paper, but in practice you really feel the 3-block approach so much better with him on the table, in my opinion. Also S7 1+ re-rollable enables us to deal with so many things that otherwise scare us.

@RE.Lee - Glad you enjoyed it! I was lucky to keep the Loremaster casting after I rolled that result, indeed. In the end though, I didn`t get any spells off which improved my damage output, I only reduced the incoming damage. Granted, this implicitly means that the second round saw more WL alive, which means increased damage output, but the first slaughter was so brutal I think it was only a matter of time. Of course, losing him completely as a mage T1 would`ve been disastrous. It`s hard, almost impossible I`d say, to evaluate how the rest of the game would`ve progressed without him being able to cast at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:36 pm 
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As usual you covered all the bases with your own analysis of the game here I think.

On the lists side of things though; I am not a fan of his Lizardmen list but this might be a result of the ETC restrictions. This is something I have pretty much zero experience with though so can't really make informed suggestions. As for your list, I can't help but feel the 4++ on the Loremaster might be a bit redundant. Assuming he is in the unit with BotWD - which he will be in most games I would think - he isn't really at risk from anything other than sniping units or CC attacks. In either case I don't think the 4++ will save him. Might the Armour of Silvered Steel be a better choice for that 2+ AS? Or would you be better spending the points on something else entirely?

As for the RBTs, I would stick with them. They give your list some punch at range that you don't otherwise have and I think they will prove very useful in some games, even if the results are somewhat hit and miss (no pun intended).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Well done on a win vs a strong opponent.

Looks to me like he underestimated your combat units and pretty much let you through. There was plenty of chaff left after you engaged the Temple Guard. Reforming the PG was an astute move though, could be that surprised him. Do I understand the situtation correctly?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:37 pm 
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@John Rainbow - Ah, this is actually highly interesting! First of all I`m eager to hear your thoughts on the Lizardmen list. Personally I believe it to be super-strong, the only thing I`m not sure about is the Bastilodon. There is so much poison here and so much chaff that most (all?) armies will have an extremely hard time getting to the juicy parts and keeping intact while doing so. Bear in mind that the Skink blocks also have Javelins (not to mention M6) ;)

The 4++ saved me here, bigtime. The TG sported the Razor Standard, so Silvered Steel would`ve been inferior. Furthermore, the Saurus here wielded a great weapon and struck at the Loremaster in both phases: with S7 the Silvered Steel would be useless. Additionally, the BOTWD can die (as seen in my last game vs Empire) and I wouldn`t want the Loremaster without protection then. The strong thing about the 4++ is that he is only on a 20mm base, which means there won`t be a lot of return attacks. With WS6 many opponents will hit on 4+ only. Thus, you might take a wound or two per round. However, with all his buffs this gets even better, and Lifebloom is perfect for healing back that odd wound.

Off the top of my head, things the 4++ is great against: WoC Heroes (they always sport GW for S7 in my experience), Demigryphs, White Lions, Temple Guard, Saurus Heroes, Longbeards, Hammerers and Ironguts. There are probably more. I think people overestimate 2+ on a character like this. I used to run a 2+ re-rollable foot BSB in our old book and even found this to be fairly weak. There are too many S6+ mundane attacks out there, and you need to limit the damage he can take maximum in a "normal" combat.

Agreed about the RBT, they have good matchups and bad ones. This is among the bad ones but leaving them at home is suicide against a number of other foes.

@rusty - Indeed he underestimated the combat units. His Terradons could`ve blocked one of my units out, at least for a turn, but given his deployment + development and the cavalry chasing one unit far away in T2 he was out of chaff options. The question I`m asking myself is whether the Lizards should be seeking combat here at all: i.e. what would I do if he placed the Slann in a corner with a swarm around here, kind of in a half-circle and then approached? As soon as I would get anything remotely close to him, double-flee and skirmishers would make it so hard to get anywhere. As for the PG reform, this was kind of his mistake with the dual-charge (which I don`t think would`ve gotten him far anyway as I do believe PG would`ve won if more of their number would get to attack the Bastilodon - it`s not that tough. Then again, my double-charge on the Skinks previously was a mistake as well, so the WL "should" have had a clear path regardless. Had he not charged the PG however he would`ve been in a for a possible triple-charge. Anyway, not using the Terradons to block me was definitely his biggest mistake and he admitted to underestimating the WL after the game was over.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:20 pm 
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In light of recent discussions on this site (which have been highly interesting!), I would very much like to include an Eagle and a unit of Shadow Warriors. However there is absolutely no way I can free the points for this without giving up an essential part of the army. At 2500 it could be done I think, but I don`t see how I can free points here as I`m already at the "breaking point", i.e. if I chip away more now then the units start to lose their ability to function as I want them to.

What do you think about this? If you think I should include them, could you please provide an alternative draft showing how this could be done? ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:16 pm 
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The obvious thing would be to drop the mage, who to my eyes appears to basically just be a caddy in this list (given that you already have all the sigs and only a Lv2 primary caster, albeit with book). The only additional support he brings is double sig or emergency concentration caster, neither of which are probably essential, so it's really just the scroll IMO. He's a lot of points for a scroll - is he worth it compared to the disruption+ effects of the shadow warriors and the redirect of the eagle? You've already got BotWD vs various nasties and re-rollable dispel dice vs spammers. Vs 6-dice the variance increases so the relative benefit of a Lv4 to dispel is diminished and your re-rollable loremaster might be sufficient, and if he IF then the scroll wouldn't work anyway. It's really, I think, for that crucial turn where that one extra crucial spell would swing it...but maybe for your list having two extra redirects would give you enough control to not need it?

I am slightly playing devils advocate here - I always take a back-up mage (usually with scroll+ring) unless I have a solid reason not to. To a certain extent I think the loremaster is a solid reason. One alternative build which I'm thinking I'll probably use in my MSU list (which cannot justify the back-up caster/caddy) is: loremaster, BoH, ring, merwyrm shield. This boosts his mundane armour by 1 but critically gives the 4++ in combat (with out of combat covered by LoS/BotWD for you - no BotWD for my MSU); doesn't work vs flank, impact hits or thunderstomp though, not sure how crucial that is to you? The ring is the back-up caster/6 dicer. BoH self explanatory. Loss of S6 attacks, but become ASF at S4...admittedly not great, but I think we're agreed that his armour/combat potential is a bonus rather than essential - he'd still be viable if he had archmage stats and equipment.

I've seen some loremaster lists where he takes the scroll himself but I think his value drops too much if he doesn't get the book.

Another (partial) option would be to drop a RBT. Do you feel you absolutely need 3 for the battlefield role you've assigned them?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:03 pm 
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The immediate problem with dropping the scroll is the lack of Wards on the fighting characters IMHO.

I would drop the Loremaster for an Archmage. His strength is repertoire, which is less pronounced with 2 casters who can tailor pre-game. You also get the extra +2 of course. But crucially, the Archmage is cheaper, letting you buy more stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:25 am 
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What if you drop the caddy and just run an AM with scroll(245 points)? Should free up enough points for the additions you want plus more.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:05 am 
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@Ferny - he is not "just" a caddy though, as both of my most recent battle reports show that second cast of Iceshard Blizzard can be a game-changer. Indeed, in both games both this cast and the scroll were crucial to my victory (or draw rather, in the Empire game). Whether he`s worth it relative to Shadow Warriors + Eagle, I do believe so, as the latter choice is more circumstantial. The main problem with magic defense re: BOTWD is when the most scary casts are augments or hexes, such as Flesh to Stone. As far as IF is concerned, the chance for this is so small that you cannot really consider it when discussing defense. You can`t do anything than deal with it when it happens.

I appreciate you playing Devil`s Advocate, but as this is the most obvious choice I`ve considered it myself and frankly, leaving the scroll at home if you can take one seems to be suicide to me. As far as Shield of the Merwyrm is concerned, part of the utility of Lions is stubborn, meaning you can put them in a position where-ever and still be fine. The true 4++ of the ToP means that the Loremaster can still Make Way! and be useful (see the Empire again), with the Shield this becomes a lot more risky. I must also admit that to my surprise, the Loremaster handles himself better in combat than I had expected. Part of this is his repertoire of combat boosting spells, but more critically Earthblood is seldom a top-priority dispel whereas Lifebloom synergizes very well with him sporting a 4++. I agree that dropping the Book for a scroll on him is losing out on a lot of value.

Lastly, reducing the RBT further is something I`m very reluctant to do. I`m already feeling the loss of the fourth one, dropping down to 2 I believe would reduce their presence so much that they might be in-effective. For example, with 2 RBT WoC DPs might decide it`s worth the risk (especially as the Hellcannon has a chance of taking one out as well).

@SpellArcher - another good point. A devastating spell could render the bus useless. While I don`t value the Helms` S5 much, the unit is worth a LOT of points with Gen + BSB bonuses. The L4 Archmage is not that much cheaper, though admittedly the 4++ might not be needed on him since his role is to hang back. Still, this would only buy me an Eagle and I lose out a lot in terms of magical flexibility. I couldn`t even begin to consider which lore to take ^^

@erik9798 - See my reply above. What Lore would you take on him and does this increase the overall strength of the army?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:27 am 
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Ah well, I did my best :P . Because you've gone down the combat lord plus caster lord route your points are very, *very* tight.

What about, controversial I know, dropping a lord choice. Obviously this is a bus list so the Prince has to stay to keep the focus of this list. That would mean dropping the loremaster. You only lose a measly channel and (more importantly) re-roll in magical defense. But with the points saved you can bump your mage to Lv2 and get the ring as a 'back-up' caster. This would free up a lot of points, but if you felt this wasn't enough magic you could add another Lv1 for double iceshard and still have points to spare for (at least some of) what you're after.

I know you'd lose out on re-rolls and spell selection and dispel selection would be easier for your opponent. But I feel your list *needs* magical defense (which you clearly aren't willing to forego) and *would like* some sort of double combat buff.

Now, personally I'm a fan of the Lv4 BoH for magical defense - I find even with the book the loremaster isn't great. But there are lists where I've run loremaster and the spell selection balances it for me, with the book making him not useless at defense either (especially as I tend to run a Lv2 ring+scroll). Before the new book I would never have suggested dropping the Archmage. Since the loremaster I revised that to 'never drop a lord level caster'.

But for the last 6 months or so I've been experimenting with various lists and there are some where you just can't fit them in (4 pheonix had no casters!, dragon/pheonix lord has no lord level caster, Ashtari can have a lord caster but you lose the BSB...). I've found magic to be less critical than a) it was in the old book and b) I and everyone else seemed to think it was, so long as you're careful and clever with your dispel selection. Indeed, the fact that I find lore selection for mages/archmages is because their role isn't as core as it maybe was before. I know Seradain runs a High AM and that is essential for his sword block to work, but I don't think the cav prince list necessarily needs the Lv4 (as your LM shows), and if it can cope without a Lv4 then potentially it can cope without a LM too.

Talking of Seradain and thinking of his list for inspiration, what about dropping one of your infantry blocks in size? It would then no longer be viable as a main combat block but its role would change. Small lion unit with gleaming/discipline/flaming is still a great road block/monster killer/house raider. Small pheonix unit with similar or MR1 is still great for covering flanks, eating basic infantry, house duty etc. And while they'd not be solid blocks, they're still solid units, and you are getting eagles/SW for them, your not simply losing points. It'd play differently but not necessarily worse IMO. Worth a shot?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Last I heard Seredain dropped the second infantry unit due to it being unable to fulfil its intended role, in favour of DPs. This is something I discovered during my very first games with HE, see the reports. Simply put elites below 20 aren`t combat effective and they`re too expensive and fragile to fulfil any other role. Perhaps an MSU approach could work, but I haven`t tried this nor do I intend to in the foreseeable future. Anyways, that is outside the scope of this discussion: the point is that when you want a combat block, 20 is the smallest number that could possibly work, in my opinion.

As for dropping the Lord and operating with 2x L2s, it`s an interesting idea. You leave the Book behind, but you can still double up on an important combat buff. Needless to say this saves a lot of points, but again also drains a lot of utility from the list. Regardless of how you kit them out with regards to both Lores and items, they won`t get anywhere near the Loremaster. Let`s take a moment to recap just how powerful the Loremaster is:

In the early stages of the game, Searing Doom and Spirit Leech are killers. Almost every army in the game fears at least one of these, if not both. This is a critical aspect as drawing the scroll is super-important prior to combat starting. Conditionally (when playing WoC, DoC and to a certain extent CD), Shem`s Burning Gaze is also a killer. Iceshard is also useful, Fireball helps with board control and Miasma is very easy to cast, very annoying to face. In most matchups, the Loremaster starts T1 with having 1-3 killer spells and another 1-3 good spells. Best case is probably the typical WoC netlist: Spirit Leech and Shem`s are killers vs the DP (the first also vs Chimerae), Searing Doom is trouble for chariots and Skullcrushers, miasma is terrible for crushers who need to get into position fast and Iceshard is really strong vs Hellcannon and anything that might be required to take an LD-test.

When combat hits home, one of the killer casts should have drawn the scroll. At this point in time, assuming the Lions are engaged (which they should if it`s an important combat), the Loremaster again is shockingly effective: Iceshard is super-powerful, miasma is almost always very good (most enemies are WS5 which means guaranteed 3s to hit and possibly -1 to hit back. Vs WoC the boosted version also means we hit before them), Wyssan`s is insane on our cavalry (dual-charge is to be expected) and Earthblood is a pain to face. With the Book of Hoeth, no defense in the game can cope with this barrage, unless their scroll is intact.

For these reasons, while it`s an interesting thought, I think that ultimately the drawbacks of losing the lord level caster outweighs the benefits of saving 150-ish points. This leaves us with one option for saving points: the BoH-naked L4 Archmage. As long as BoH is in, I can`t take Death or Shadow. Fire, Life, Metal and High, Light, Beasts don`t fit the list and/or lacks flexibility enough, which leaves us with Heavens. While Heavens is a very strong lore, I do believe it doesn`t come close, unfortunately, to the Loremaster. This option only allows points for one of the two desired units as well, and I don`t think a single Eagle or unit of Shadow Warriors will help me -that- much.

I am open to arguments on the L4 relative to the Loremaster, also with the lores I listed above as lacking flexibility. Yet another option is dropping Book on AM and taking a scroll on him, which opens up for Death and Shadow (Shadow being the likely superior option). However with this approach I`m suddenly left with absolutely nothing to compete against other board-control armies such as Lz, DE, HE, WE in terms of magic.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Fair enough. I wouldn't dismiss small blocks of lions or pheonix guard though, even outside of MSU. They're not combat effective blocks for mainline combat, but they're perfectly solid for plenty of other roles (e.g. cavalry cracking, stubborn tar pit, buildings etc). Pace might be an issue (banner of swiftness?) - I think you're right that Seradain has moved away from them now, but he did keep them in for a long time. But even if you replace one block with a min unit of DPs, that would still free up points.

I see what the arguments are for a loremaster - he's certainly a solid choice. I'd rarely view him as superior (simply different I think) to archmage, almost regardless of lore...but the issue here isn't how good he is but squeezing some more points out of these lists, and forcing the question of whether he earns his keep (or whether the eagle/SW would).

Incidentally, returning to an earlier discussion, the reason I like 2+ armour over 4++ is earthblood. Assuming you don't have him in a PG unit you get the bonus for the WL and him, which vs S6 still gives you 5+/5++ (20/36) vs 4++(18/36), and against S3/4/5 RnF is even better, and you've already said you like to sneak earthblood through for lifebloom. The downside of 2+ armour is that it does force you to prioritise on this spell or else have only 12/36 vs S6...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:58 pm 
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What about changing the Prince with a noble. This will save you appr. 120 p. You have S7 on the charge. A noble is offensively almost at the same level as a prince, except for taking on the really hard stuff like DP's. You will of course miss Ld10 and some survive ability, but I think the raw force from the prince will be a limited loss.

Seconly: How do you so far find the performance of the Loremaster compared to an AM when looking from a competitive perspective?

]Lastly: In ETC draft 3 2014 (the latest draft)
Book of Hoeth on Archmage/Banner of the World Dragon/Dispel Scroll, max 2
As I've read you usually play ETC restrictions right? You collide with this one. So dropping the scroll caddy or the banner might be forced upon you if you play by the latest drafts.


EDIT: The draft have been updated since I looked at it the last time the new looks like this:
Book of Hoeth/Banner of the World Dragon/Unmounted Frostheart Phoenix, max 2,
So not an issue for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:39 pm 
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@Ferny - The problem with reducing a combat block in this list is that it makes it so easy for a good opponent to make my entire army worthless: If I reduce the PG then all a good opponent has to do is kill a dozen T3, 5+ Lions and I won`t be able to engage heavy stuff. Already I feel that this is too easy for good opponents to do, I would very much have liked to boost the PG to 25, WL to 28 to counter this annoying issue. However again, the points simply aren`t there. If I want to do something like that, the entire army has to be re-evaluated.

As for the armour vs 4++, I don`t like relying on Earthblood. The current setup means that there are no must-stop spells for my opponent, which means that it will be very hard to prioritize and actually most opponents to prioritize badly when important combats happen due to this: people`s magic mindset is so dead set on stopping -the- killer spell, that when confronted by the level of redundancy a Loremaster presents they get confused and make mistakes. I`ve found this also applies to skilled opponents.

@Dragon fire - Back in the day I did play various flavours of Nobles without much success, unfortunately. In the old book we had items which could make them work, such as Vambraces, Helm of Fortune and Dawnstone allowing up to 3 characters to have strong armour saves. Sadly, I found that making grinding nobles comes at a very great cost now: in my experience the best grinding Noble has Ogre Blade, Enchanted Shield and Potion of Foolhardiness. Unfortunately, this is no-where near the killing power nor the survivability of the Prince and I actually don`t think the points are even worth it on this guy (unless you`re riding with a cavstar): you`re likely to be better off with units. Also there`s the LD10, which is huge with Spirit Leech.

The Loremaster in my opinion is an excellent caster. I`ve also been an advocate of redundancy and consistency when it comes to magic. While the killer lores such as Shadow and Death are huge game-changers, they can also be huge let-downs and frequently in a 5-game tournament you will lose one game because of spell selection being poor or the 5-6D6 strategy causing a fatal miscast. Small-dice trickling with redundancy-based spells and usually a killer one or two suits me very much. Of course it depends on the list, I`ve also played High Magic with this book with great success, but given my current setup I don`t see how an Archmage with any lore can out-perform the Loremaster. Sure your choice of Lore will have some matchups that are better than the Loremaster, but you will also have matchups that are truly terrible, thus you could lose the game based on this alone. So far, I have not seen or thought of a bad matchup for the Loremaster. Consistency is a very good thing, and a very rare thing, in this game.

As for the ETC draft I see you`ve checked the latest and greatest. The HE comp, as with many others, is ridiculously paranoid. They have taken it too far I think, limiting builds based on "what-ifs" instead of looking at what`s actually been proven to be broken (which, in the case of HE, is just about nothing). While their stated goal is to improve external balance, they also do too much to reduce extreme builds. This should not be necessary unless said build actually has an overall advantage on other armies, e.g. gunlines with chaff beyond belief (think last ed Dwarf book with 7 artillery pieces, Anvil and 10 slayer characters to redirect).

Getting a little off topic here with my comp rant, but back to business: I have a rematch against Empire tomorrow. I`m really eager to see how the inclusion of the Prince will work here and I`m definitely hoping for more than a tie this time around: I don`t believe it`s a bad matchup for my list and last game I did a couple of big mistakes which cost me a lot of VPs.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:16 am 
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Just a final question. Have you thought of running a lvl 1 or 2 with high magic instead of heavens in the PG's. Drain magic as situational as it might be, will grant your PG's a 3++. If you then roll either Apothesis, Hand of glory or Walk between worlds these will give some benefit to your roster as well. In the few games I've played with 3++ PG's simply don't die. They even play it even against MC. I understand that Iceshards is great, so just to get an understanding of the power levels between the choices.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:38 am 
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That is actually a brilliant suggestion: not only is the ward save great for PG, but Soul Quench could help me boost my ranged capabilities as well. I will consider this as I see both Hand of Glory and WBW as very good spells with this list. The only downside is that this would be a lot better with a level 2, but where to find the points!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:04 am 
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Star lance to normal lance on your BSB will net you 24 points. And possibly removing a champion from either WL or PG, to net you the last 10 point (I would take the PG champ)?
Every points with this many characters costs some flexibility.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:10 am 
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Yes I`ve been trying to go over it as well, it just doesn`t look like there`s a good solution. The list is so tight that there`s really nothing to play around with. It`s a shame because I think a L2 High would be very interesting here. It`s not that Iceshard is bad (I must be the biggest advocate of Heavens on this site ^^), but the possibilities of High Magic synergize very well with this list, in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:20 am 
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At least for SQ it matters quite a lot whether you have a lvl 1 or 2. A lvl 2 can cast it with 84% on two dice whereas a lvl 1 are down to 72%. Also chances are you get either WBW or HoG on the lvl 2 (60% chance to get one of them), whereas there is only 30 % to get one of them on a lvl 1.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:24 am 
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Btw are you aware of the FAQ of golden crown from ETC?.
Q: Does the Golden Crown of Atrazar count as used if the first wounding hit is deflected by the armor save?
A: Yes.
I find it odd. Just came to think about it when I saw the crown on your BSB. Often this would mean that the crown merely protection from death spells early on in the game.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:47 am 
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Spot on good sir, spot on re: L2 vs L1 High. Exactly what caused my headache as well: with a lore such as Heavens where you only need Iceshard it doesn`t matter that much but as you say, for High the difference is rather big.

I`m aware of the GCOA FAQ. As well as protecting vs Death etc, it also gives him some utility against hard fighters (who can frequently bypass his armour) and war machines. I still think it`s a good choice for only 10 points ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:35 am 
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Are you ready to unmount your prince and BSB? Then you can save the points. Essentially making either a unit of 10 SH's or two units of 5 SH's instead of the current delivering system. The BSB can carry reaver bow, PoS and ench shield. The prince, giant blade, shield of the merwyrm and MR(1), If you feel like it put Dr. A on the prince as he will then most of the time have a 4++ against death if he runs with the PG's
However you will loose the fast delivering system and essentially having only two units with hard combat abilities instead of three. The SH's instead need to be used as Warmachine hunters, flanking units or similar.
It is something very similar to this that I have run. The Prince makes the PG unit terrifying where spells like final transmutation, dreaded 13'th and dwellers are the main problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:29 pm 
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I have been considering this approach as well: the Deathstar of Doom. With this however I think that a High Archmage is better. I don`t see a foot prince as viable otherwise. This essentially changes the whole army. The entire point of including the Prince in the first place was the 3 blocks principle, which I want to try for at least a few more games. Preferably I`d bring it to a tournament but we`ll see what happens in the near future (we have one in a week but unfortunately I`m busy).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:34 pm 
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.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs The Empire (ETC comp) .::.

My list:
Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour = 164
Mage, scroll = 110
Characters = 867

5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
5 Reavers, bows & musician = 95
8 Silver Helms, FC = 214
19 Archers, musician = 200
Core = 604

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

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2396

His list:
Arch Lector on barded steed, 1+, 4++, stubborn
BSB on Pegasus, 1+ re-rollable, 2++ fire, lance
Captasus, 2+, 2++ fire, magic weapon thingy, charmed shield
L4 Heavens, Scepter of Stability
L1 Heavens, Scroll

11 IC Knights, FC
20+10+10 Archers
6 Demis, muso
4 Demis, muso
Stank
Great Cannon

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

A very compact Empire army with LOADS of tough things to wade through. I knew I would have to engage one piece at a time, so I tried for a refused flank, sort of similar to last game, with the cavalry wheeling deep, Lions center and PG on the refused end. I managed this very well and my opponent even had the STank + small Demis on the far side of the table. Now it was just a matter of silencing the cannon, using the Reavers properly and getting the combo-charges off. Magic saw him roll Iceshard, Convergence, Comet and Thunderbolt. Both L1s chose Iceshard.

Image

Reavers vanguarded defensively.

He got first turn and off we went!

// EMP T1 //

Center advanced, he forgot (!) to move the small Demis and the STank misfired, unable to move more than 1D6. Magic: he didn`t focus on the offensive stuff so I contained it. Shooting: Cannon kills an RBT.

Image

// HE T1 //

His aggressive advance with the unsupported center meant I could get right down to business: the Cavalry flanked up (18" march is pretty good!), the Lions moved up and the Reavers blocked the very wide charge of the Demis. The problem with forcing the issue this early is that you kind of have to get the scroll out. I tried a boosted Searing Doom to this end but fell just 1 short and the magic phase was over.

Shooting saw me ping off 1 wound on his Cannon while the RBTs did nothing.

Image

// EMP T2 //

Demis charge blocking Reavers. To my surprise, the IC bus charges the WLs!! This is a pretty terrible move because given the distance, this doesn`t allow his Demis to reform properly, meaning they`ll be in a very poor position against my cavalry. Furthermore, the bus unsupported against Lions is suicide. Magic I believe drew my scroll and he got off Comet. Fairly early on, but chewing through these Knights quickly and with little loss in return was crucial to me. The Demis failed their free reform test (the distance between the Cannon, who had to stay 1" clear off the building, and the impassable piece of terrain wasn`t big enough for 4-wide) and thus didn`t move much this time either. His cannon misfired and blew itself up.

Combat saw the Reavers taken care of easily enough, however the Lions opened up 7 canned men to win the combat. He passed his stubborn test and it was my T2. Looking good!

Image

// HE T2 //

Silver Helms charge the Demis. I need to roll 1 higher than him to catch them (and kill all + BSB), however I fall short and he gets away. The PG charge the central combat, needing 6+, but fall short as well.

Magic sees me get off Wyssan`s on the Lions. Comet comes down and kills a few Archers, nothing else in range. Shooting: his Western Captasus is shot down in a splendid display from the Reavers, who sneak 2 wounds past him and he rolls snake eyes for armour saves! An RBT finishes the job while another kills a couple of Archers. Who said Reavers don`t need bows, eh? Furthermore, the Captasus had charmed shield so their salvo would`ve helped my RBT single-bolt greatly even if I hadn`t gotten so lucky.

Combat sees me wipe out IC Knights and the Arch Lector is left alone. He holds on stubborn.

Image

// EMP T3 //

Demis rally, STank and small Demis move up. Archers fail march-test but still manage to just block the SHelms` charge on his Demis. Magic sees him place another Comet (small black marker next to Lions). Shooting however costs him dearly: the Archers open up on the Silver Helms and kill 1 - enough for me to sneak past them and charge the Demigryphs (I was lucky to fail my 1 armour save).

Image

// HE T3 //

PG + SH charge big demis. He holds, both make it. Reavers block STank. Magic sees the scroll finally come out and I get no buffs off (he was lucky with two dispels as well, normally I can sneak one spell through the scroll-defense). Shooting sees an RBT go above and beyond the call of duty as it kills a Demigryph with a single bolt AND skewers the man behind him as well! Way to go!

In combat I inflict quite a few casualties and in total he loses by 5. He`s testing on 4- but with Hold the Line! He passes it. Oh, and through the combat phases since I killed the IC bus I haven`t been able to wound the Arch Lector past his 1+/4++ more than once, despite sending him like 12 S6 attacks every phase.

Image

// EMP T4 //

STank into Reavers. Magic sees my scroll-less defense needing to let one Iceshard through (on the Prince), but nothing else fortunately. Combat is closer this time, I still win but without the Star Lance it`s not that much and he holds easily. Lions still can`t hurt the Arch Lector - he was wounded 7 times but saved them all. Reavers die.

Image

// HE T4 //

Not much movement to do, so straight to magic: Wyssan`s on the cavalry, Iceshard on the Demis. Rest dispelled. The problem with this combat was that quite a few of my PG were forced to attack the 1+ re-rollable captasus, something they`re really not capable of dealing any damage to. Because of this, despite their 4++, they were steadily taking stomp-based casualties. The now-S8 Prince failed quite hard as well, as I rolled three 1`s for to wound. The Iceshard kept me safe as well however and neither side managed much. I think I won, but he held.

Image

// EMP T5 //

STank charges the PG. Magic is contained. In combat we resolve the Arch Lector first, who dies. I reform Lions to face the central combat. The STank kills the PG and I lose, despite the S8 Prince hacking away at Demis. I hold, barely, on a -5 or so. He combat reforms away from my Lions`arc. STank is unengaged as no PG are left.

Image

// HE T5 //

Lions swift reform and move towards Archers. Magic sees Spirit Leech kill his Wizard Lord. I then get off Iceshard on his Demis. Shooting sees the MVP-RBT kill off (!!!) the last Demigryph from the 4-man unit. Man I gotta get my RBTs to start performing like this one! Combat sees the Prince finally kill off the last Demi, leaving the BSB alone who holds, yet again.

Image

// EMP T6 //

STank flanks me in the central combat. Magic is contained with only 1 spell available. STank deals 9 impact hits: 3 on each dude. The Silver Helm dies, Crown keeps BSB safe (he loses 1W), Prince passes all saves. I inflict a wound on the BSB and barely pass my break test.

Image

// HE T6 //

Lions charge congalined archers who protect the more important block. Archers fail swift reform (I was sending them away from his big Archers to preserve points). Magic sees Spirit Leech kill off his mage and Earthblood goes off, healing the BSB back to 2W. In combat I fail to hurt his BSB and he fails to hurt me. I lose by 1 (flank) but hold. Archers in the center lose to Lions, 2 survive and flee but I fail to catch him. Shooting sees my RBT leave one 10-man unit 1 strong. He flees, but I wish I had killed him...

Image

Counting up, I`m 885 points ahead, a 15-5 win to the High Elves!Killing off that last Archer would`ve given me 16-4. After the performance against the Demis though, not to mention the Captasus, I can`t complain with my RBTs this game.

// Evaluation //

What an action-packed game! From T1, the game was ON and everything was involved. Lots of stressing moments, a few bad decisions, insane dice all over the place: just what a game of Warhammer should be like!

So let`s start with my boosted Searing Doom T1: This is a spell that has only a 71% casting chance. However, given the pace of the game, I had to put pressure on the scroll. It was a 9v6 game and had he dispelled with 6D6 I could`ve followed up with a Spirit Leech on his BSB - a risky proposition to let through at this stage of the game. I`m very open for discussion but I think the right choice is to apply pressure here, despite the ~30% chance of losing a magic phase.

Then there`s the T2 charge by the SH on the Demis: I should`ve charged with the SH first, and then the PG. However I declared the PG into the central combat first, thus losing my chance to force a double-flee. This is a way bigger mistake than it seems, as a secondary flee could very well have taken him so far away that I would`ve been able to clear the center entirely. Part of why I didn`t do this was also for the chance to catch him (only needing one higher than him), not sure what the best play is here.

Lastly, the WL reform which he combat reformed away from. I was too hasty about this and I think I could`ve forced him to face me regardless of what he`d do. His combat reform away was brilliant. Note to self: pay closer attention to these kind of details.

The Prince, Loremaster and RBTs performed extremely well in this game and were the main reason why I could eventually take home the big win. The Prince kept hacking apart Demis, with S8 from Wyssan`s he really decimates that 1+. Loremaster was super-flexible as per usual and netted me loads of points throughout. It was a pity I lost both the PG and SH (lots of points), but ultimately a few mistakes by me and the Arch Lector refusing to go down meant I had to play a tighter game than I had to in the middle: such a big unit requires even bigger force concentration from me.

All in all a game I`m fairly happy with. I`m liking this list a lot! Thanks for the read, hope you enjoyed ;)

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Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:02 pm 
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Vindicated Strategist
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Had a game with CD vs DW today. Check it out here: http://www.chaos-dwarfs.com/forum/showt ... #pid233065 ;)

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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

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:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:30 pm 
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In light of yesterday`s gunline face-off, I would like to briefly discuss HE and these 2 kinds of armies:

The new Dwarfs is a whole different ballgame from their last book. They have gotten more expensive and more elite across the board. However, they have also gained flexibility: the change in Gyros in particular allows them a much greater degree of board control than previously, while the introduction of Irondrakes poses a serious threat to a number of units while making it very hard to sneak something through the back field, with their quick to fire weapons. The Organ Gun buff, especially the range increase, makes this a lot harder to deal with than it ever was and implicitly highlights the importance of our Archers` longbows.

The one saving grace for us here is that we finally get to have a magic phase against them. This is a huge game-changer, and the mandatory scrollsmiths are expensive for what they do (armour piercing doesn`t matter that much for us, they usually go through anyways or, in case of the Cavprince, you can just kill off the Smith first). For the Loremaster, the spell destroyer isn`t that big of a deal either: early on I imagine spamming magic missiles at war machines + iceshard and spirit leech for characters - none of these are crucial to his role later on in the game where his trickle-approach will be very hard to deal with (unless the scroll(s) is intact).

The problem with an army such as mine is that it`s very hard to push: the WL are basically the only one`s who have some kind of protection through BOTWD and even they will struggle vs Irondrakes, given a couple of turns. To win, you need to reach combat with big enough numbers to actually kill off the blocks - not an easy thing to do. I can see Dwarfs becoming a major problem for us now, whereas earlier I found them manageable. It might be too early to tell, but initial analysis points to too many must-kill targets: in a normal Dwarf army you need to at least kill off 2 WMs (flame cannon + organ gun) and preferably a copter or two in order to have anything resembling a decent push.

As for Chaos Dwarfs, I don`t see them as that big of a problem: both the K`daii and the Iron Daemon are manageable and their infantry is no-where near as strong as Dwarf infantry. The artillery is nasty, but I believe the only must-kill target is the Magma Cannon (which, unlike its Dwarf counterpart, is both mundane and sports an insane range). Finally, Chaos Dwarfs typically struggle to put pressure on with their magic (which is a significant investment with this army) early on, letting the Loremaster prove his worth in all phases of the game.

What are your thoughts on these matchups, in particular with an army like the one I`m currently using?

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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

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:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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