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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:36 pm 
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Seredain, I like the basics of your list and am getting into using a similar one. I'm not sure I get what's behind your choice of magic lore, though.

It seems to me that since the Silver Helm bus is such a central part of your army, the most potentially helpful lore would be one that synchronizes well with the Helms to turn their weaknesses into strengths. So I'm wondering why you don't use Shadow magic. Half the spells have a huge potential effect on Silver Helms in combat: Enfeebling Foe can prevent higher-strength enemies from getting through their armor, while Withering and Mindrazor can make up for the Helms' low strength in the turns after they charge. And with the amount of shooting in your army, Withering can help greatly even when the Helms don't need it.

I'm surprised you don't replace your High mages with a Shadow archmage and a L1-2 Beast mage (for Wildform, another spell that really helps Helms). I would then also be inclined to replace the Swordmasters with Phoenix Guard, who also sync well with Shadow and Beast magic and are super effective compared with Swordmasters now that they have Martial Prowess going for them and retain their ASF rerolls.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
Still, the risk from flyers to elf infantry is real enough that I am resolved now to get that third repeater in. They're too cheap and too potentially influential not to enjoy more than before. Guess what I've taken out...?

=D> A corageous action. Making the change in an army list that has balanced numbers of small different units. 2 harassment cavalry units, 2 flaming/magic shot units, 2 RBT and 2 Great Eagles is what I mean.

I guess you've taken out a great eagle and 2 lions. I think is an acceptable loss still having the chariot and small silver helms like luring units. The last game showed the uselessness of two great eagles in a game were (in this case thanks to deployment) our close combat units move straight toward the units we need to take in combat with the sequence we need (in this case: take charge with silver helms like the anvil in the east end and then chop safely with swordmasters the enemy units deployed behind the units that threaten silver helms).
A third RBT would assure killing all the dogs in case of magic couldn't do the job. I think more RBT is less enemy harassment units.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:10 am 
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Seredain wrote:
bear in mind the generic properties of the units we have available and make sure we take units which not only do their own work well, but which allows your other units to play well too.

We've been here before haven't we? This is why I struggle with things like the survey to find out which are the best units in the army books. Yes, some get taken more than others. But it really does depend on the blend. I have to say I'm surprised that you're looking at a bigger Archer block instead of Spears Seredain! But perhaps I shouldn't be. It's hard to justify the Spears now and I know you've always considered the large Archer block to be a good pick in a lot of High Elf armies. Be interesting to see the specific justifications here.

When you look at the Warriors 'netlist' (maybe Daemon Prince, BSB/Disc, Sorcerer/Scroll, 3xChariots, 3x Horse, 2x Schoolcrushers, Chimera(e) etc..) it is so fast. Flyers are indeed plentiful. It still has bad match-ups (O&G spring to mind) and in some cases it could suffer from the lack of infantry but that ability to race combat threats around the field has to be dealt with quickly, else it will sweep enemy armies away.

Shadow magic is powerful. But this army (and similar High Elf lists) have always built the high-strength killing power into the troops themselves (RBT, Lions/Swords, Killy characters) so you don't need the Shadow debuffs so much. You trade these off for the early magic threat and board control that High Magic gives you (plus other things these days).

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:24 am 
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The list I recently used that is based on yours has three bolt throwers, and no chariot. So I'll guess that's been taken out. I regularly come up against a Daemon Prince and Disc Lord so the third repeater has always been necessary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:49 am 
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Guys I'm itching to get to it and go through everything properly, but I have an interview in the morning and am currently revising my face off (did you know that, as of 31 July 2013, the RTA online claims portal is going to be extended to EL and PL claims valued up to £25,000? Incomprehensible but true), so I'll need a couple of days to respond.

Just briefly - Cyrus - see SpellArcher's last post on why I don't take Shadow Magic with Phoenix Guard. Mundane high strength units, models and magic weapons don't need spells in order to keep that high strength and, therefore, tend to be a more solid basis for a battle plan (and I like units which kill things), than relying on the winds of magic to make them effective (no doubt the results can be spectacular, but are too chancy for my tastes). By contrast, a defensive buff for an aggressive unit from Shield of Saphery is much more reliable, since it can come from any spell. As other considerations, add in Miscasts - which tend to happen more when you're throwing big Shadow spells than smaller High ones (with +1)- Arcane Unforging (still of game-changing potential for a duelling cavalry prince), and excellent board control from High (Miasma being Shadow's exception), and High Magic is likely to remain my lore of choice.

Not enough room for a decent block of spears, enough archers and core helms SA but, with Martial Prowess, large (not horde) archer units are very much worth a look. More on that soon. For now the main point is that yes Tetengo, I agree that at 70 points a pop, repeaters are a bargain for infantry-based armies in need of ranged support (another reason to like High Magic Cyrus - having a good default magic missile is a big deal!).

But now I must dash. I'm moving on to the Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol (woo). No-one's guessed my removal yet I see... You're all going to shout at me.

Cheers,
S

EDIT: I forgot to say to Sutilar: Useless great eagles?! Certainly not! I should have said in the report (the problem with rushing through summaries); I used at least one of the eagles (probably both but I can't recall), to hop over the tower in the late turns and make sure the Nurgle warriors couldn't go anywhere. This brought me my Turn 6 surround, and so was very useful indeed (you can just see one hiding behind the tower in the last photo). This is where the Fly special rule comes in so handy - you can close a tight net with your units in cramped conditions without having to worry about leaving a gap for your harassers to move through, or exposing them to enemy magic (in this case).

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Seredain and SpellArcher: yes, generic tactical analysis opens minds to considerations we couldn't think of by purely looking at individual units. That's the reason why we sometimes see tournaments won by armies that most people would rate weak - but synergy, tactics and finesse still exist in Warhammer. :)

That said, enough teasers Seredain! Publish that new army list and the reasons for your changes so we can fail to tear them apart. I'm curious about the 24 archers especially (why not 10 + 14? Giving less points? Seems you lose flexibility and a deployment drop, which you are usually fond of).

As for which unit you dropped, I bet it's the chariot as well. With 3 RBTs, archers and Sisters, I believe you don't need it so badly (RBTs being able to shoot all around is a nice feature there!).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Seredain wrote:
No-one's guessed my removal yet I see... You're all going to shout at me.


Your Battle Standard Bearer?
The only other two choices where I foresee you getting chewed upon would be your combat prince, or all of your silver helms.

I would have traded Sisters of Avalorn, as you getting 6 strength 4 shots in exchange for five S4 flaming magical short range shots. You keep one unit for regeneration, but if your meta is full of double regeneration units I can see why you'd pick something else to trade instead (mine is full of tree spirits, so I would probably keep the extra unit of sisters).

White Lions?
6 sword masters would be enough points for another bolt thrower.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:06 pm 
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I'm guessing that part of the reason for going to 24 with the Archers is gaining the capacity to throw some ranks into a combat and break Steadfast alongside something more killy. Tricky to organise without getting them chopped up for lots of combat res but I've seen Seredain do it before with Spears. Two smaller units would not achieve this, though the extra drop is always nice of course.

A good signature spell is so, so helpful. It's a rare list that doesn't need an MM of some sort so getting one for sure is a good thing. One of the reasons Beasts is such a good choice for Wood Elves is the sheer flexibility and usefulness of the signature. Compare Treesinging from the Wood Elf Lore (which I desperately want to make work) and it just falls way short.

I'm guessing you're dropping the Lions Seredain. Cheap and useful but not as choppy as they were and not essential, upping the Swords to 21 maybe to compensate? I had to lose a drop when re-jigging my old list but it was worth it. An eagle funnily enough. But as you say here, having a flyer or two around is always worth it, even in the new age of cavalry Core.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:42 pm 
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I guess I don't feel that the justification for Swordmasters over Phoenix Guard holds up. The difference between the two, especially with army-wide martial prowess, amounts to one point of strength, and the PG can go a long way toward compensating for that with Razor Standard. So the PG don't *need* Shadow to succeed in combat, they just benefit from it in an added way. These days I would rather have a unit of Phoenix Guard in hand to hand than a unit of Swordmasters.

As far as the Silver Helm unit having enough power because of killy characters, I'm dubious. The prince helps, but he has four measly attacks, and the SH unit has another 15 attacks that will often be going to waste at S3. Again, it's not that they *need* Shadow magic per se. It's that in combination with Shadow, they can win any major combat in one round. That kind of power is just too much of an opportunity to pass up, especially given that it's hard to use Shield of Saphery to benefit your troops unless you have the sort of infantry bunkers that bump your mages to the second rank. If I'm taking High Magic, I'm taking a four- or five-wide unit of White Lions with an Anointed and foot BSB to fill up the front rank and stack the Anointed's Blessing with Shield of Saphery.

While this is less essential than it used to be, I'm still of the opinion that a HE army's magic lore should be chosen to complement the specific troops you bring to the fight.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:12 pm 
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Azaireal wrote:
Seredain wrote:
No-one's guessed my removal yet I see... You're all going to shout at me.


Your Battle Standard Bearer?
The only other two choices where I foresee you getting chewed upon would be your combat prince, or all of your silver helms.

I would have traded Sisters of Avalorn, as you getting 6 strength 4 shots in exchange for five S4 flaming magical short range shots. You keep one unit for regeneration, but if your meta is full of double regeneration units I can see why you'd pick something else to trade instead (mine is full of tree spirits, so I would probably keep the extra unit of sisters).

White Lions?
6 sword masters would be enough points for another bolt thrower.


No, the Silver Helm unit + characters would never be taken out. I'll change my guess to the banner and some bits. Seredain says he will get shouted at because everyone on the board thinks it's a no-brainer. Am I right? Probably not....

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Hey Seredain and Co.! I'm new to the boards and just getting back into the hobby, but the discussion on this thread is SUPER helpful in terms of thinking about pretty much everything list/battle related, unit synergies, and avoiding getting swept up by group-think.

Anyway, wagering a guess on your removal, going off of your 2500 pt list, I'd guess the back-up caster got the axe. Entirely possible that I'm thinking of an older version of your list, but chopping the extra caster gives points for the RBT and additional archers (which I think you've been talking about). Adding that extra shooting gives you guaranteed longer ranged output (vs. not guaranteed magic missiles) that moots part of the reason you've given previously for taking the back-up caster. The exception here is the dispel scroll, but I know you've gone scroll "commando" before, so wouldn't surprise me to see you do it again, especially given a Lvl 4 with the Book. I'd guess the same thing with your 2400 point list, but with the exception that you may not get as many points to play with.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Rando,

Great thread mate - good to see you testing things out at OG Games Club recently. We spoke a few months back when you brought your 7th ed list to a Waaagh. I've been interested in this style of list for a while, and whilst I don't quite subscribe to every tactic you use, I find myself enjoying the fact that I'm also settling in a similar 8th list. If you're interested, this is what I'm running, with solid success so far; I find that it just overwhelms opponents in the first two turns of the game, a timr frame we all know is vital to a HE general's hopes of victory:

Prince: Giant Blade; Dragonhelm; Dawnstone; Ironcurse Icon; Elven Steed (ithilmar barding); heavy armour; shield. 276
Archmage: Book of Hoeth; Level 4 Wizard; Lore of Shadow. 275

Noble: Star Lance; Enchanted Shield; Golden Crown Of Atrazar; Potion of Foolhardiness; Elven Steed (ithilmar barding); great weapon; heavy armour; Battle Standard. 168
Mage: Dispel Scroll; Level 2 Wizard; High Magic; Elven Steed (ithilmar barding). 160

17 Silver Helms: High Helm; Standard Bearer; Musician. 421
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Musician. 90
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Musician. 90

20 White Lions: Guardian; Standard Bearer; Musician; Banner of the World Dragon. 340

Frostheart Phoenix
Frostheart Phoenix
Great Eagle
Great Eagle

2,400 points

Seriously dude, Hero is right: a Frostheart is nails; two is downright deadly.

Sami

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Haha I like that, here's my guess:

- Lions reduced to a cube formation (3x3). Maybe getting champion instead of banner (18pts free)
- Chariot and extra mage are still in. 2x eagles as well
- Two units of 5 sisters turned into 1 unit of 7 sisters (42pts free)
- minor item tweaks to free 10pts

thinks that i don't like, if those are the changes, is the loss of 2 drops. However big archers might benefit much more from Hand of Glory than a small unit. Main question is, does those 2 extra drops make a difference in deployment?
:)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:10 pm 
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I'd be surprised if the support caster went. The extra spells are useful with the new High Magic and I've seen Seredain's games turn on the adroit use of a scroll so many times it's not funny.

I don't think it's that PG are worse than SM's now, it's just that they don't fit the kind of list Seredain likes to run as well. Though WS6 and the extra attack on the front rank are significant in grinding combats. But with High Magic you don't get the offensive boost, you need troops that are killy to start with. Running the mage in the unit makes them tick because they really benefit from Shield of Saphery and if he is close to the enemy he can start firing off those missiles.

Though the Silver Helms can do some killing, their main point is to provide bodies that have a 2+ armour save. A unit in combat with the bus finds it hard to kill much because of this, while the characters reliably put a few wounds on each turn on top of the static res.. The Prince's ability to win challenges is golden, see the earlier Bretonnian game where he pretty much dismantled a multi-character lance on his own. Of course Talisman of Loec is gone now but Seredain is drafting in OTS to compensate.

Your list is very interesting Quannum! Reminds me a little of the Warriors lists with so much speed and armour. As said there, I guess it just sweeps some enemies away. Obviously Shadow is a generally strong lore but what's the specific justification here? The list does lack shooting (and MM's to some extent) which might make some match-ups tricky, O&G maybe? Normally this would lead to a chaff problem but I guess with such speed in the list you can bypass much of it or use your own fast troops to clear it out? Are armies with cannon a problem, given the double Frostbirds?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Thanks for a great report. The post on infantry was very useful too. This topic gives me a lot to think about. :)

I was going to say the frost phoenix, but I forgot that you decided against having one in the end. :P I must have confused it with the chariot in the diagrams. Well, I was reading the report on a small screen! :oops:

I understand that you are very busy at the moment, but I was wondering if you'd be able to have a look at my latest report or at least the list I used. It was a bit of an experimental list and a different take on the cavalry prince which I hadn't tried before. I'd be interested to see your (or anyone else's! :D ) comments on the list.

Thanks,

Eli.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:12 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
I don't think it's that PG are worse than SM's now, it's just that they don't fit the kind of list Seredain likes to run as well. Though WS6 and the extra attack on the front rank are significant in grinding combats. But with High Magic you don't get the offensive boost, you need troops that are killy to start with. Running the mage in the unit makes them tick because they really benefit from Shield of Saphery and if he is close to the enemy he can start firing off those missiles.


Yes, but there's a huge risk to that plan, namely the risk to the mage's life from being in a front-line combat unit. High Elf mages are close to being the most fragile characters in the game, and even a best-case-scenario 3+ ward save is not going to keep them alive for long against many of the enemies those swordmasters will have to fight. Again, I don't see how Shield of Saphery can be used reliably against a wide variety of tough opponents unless the wizards are bumped into the second rank.

SpellArcher wrote:
Though the Silver Helms can do some killing, their main point is to provide bodies that have a 2+ armour save. A unit in combat with the bus finds it hard to kill much because of this, while the characters reliably put a few wounds on each turn on top of the static res.. The Prince's ability to win challenges is golden, see the earlier Bretonnian game where he pretty much dismantled a multi-character lance on his own. Of course Talisman of Loec is gone now but Seredain is drafting in OTS to compensate.


Against many enemies this will work fine, I agree, but it won't work reliably against really threatening opponents like ogres. A Helm bus backed up by Withering and/or Mindrazor can destroy any enemy regiment in the game, on the other hand.

Quannum, your list is very similar to the one I've been trying, except that my elite infantry are PG and I reduce the size of the Helm unit a bit to make room for an archer unit to house the mages.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:01 am 
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Cyrus wrote:
Yes, but there's a huge risk to that plan, namely the risk to the mage's life from being in a front-line combat unit. High Elf mages are close to being the most fragile characters in the game, and even a best-case-scenario 3+ ward save is not going to keep them alive for long against many of the enemies those swordmasters will have to fight. Again, I don't see how Shield of Saphery can be used reliably against a wide variety of tough opponents unless the wizards are bumped into the second rank.

My first reaction was similar to yours Cyrus. But when you look at the lists of really good players, they often cut things fine like this because they've worked out they can get away with it. Be interesting to see further justification from Seredain.

TBH I'm not that impressed with Ogres against armies with good shooting and fast hard-hitting units. Yes they are one of the better armies in the game but Seredain's old list could handle them. I don't think the new is any worse.

I feel Quannum's list, while obviously competitive, is substantially different from Seredain's. Taking double Frostbirds (and that big bus) instead of all that shooting makes for very different tactics.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:54 pm 
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I'm interested in further justification, too! I note that in neither Seredain's battle against Chaos, nor the previous one against Wood Elves, did his elite infantry units with mages in the front rank end up in hand-to-hand.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Have you dropped the tiranoc chariot?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Since Seredain hasn't posted here in a while, I'm going to shamelessly steal his thread to show off my own Cavalry Prince report:

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=49814&p=831599#p831599

:mrgreen:

(Actually I do feel a bit of shame)

Seriously though, I love this kind of list Seredain and I wonder what changes you've come up with after the games you've played. The list I used is basically stolen from yours with a few tweaks, and it seemed to work amazingly well against WoC. Granted, I have tailored it bit to them as it's all I ever fight (extra BT and lore of Light for Daemon Prince hunting; Metal for Skullcrusher &Chariot hunting), but it works so well and I haven't missed a big steadfast-breaker infantry unit (from your old list that I shamelessly stole) at all. I realise that's because I don't play against anyone who uses big infantry blocks that I need to remove steadfast from, but I wonder what you've faced that may have made you want them.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:53 am 
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I guess the banner had to go c",)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Aaaaaand we're back.

Image

So, I've been away for a while. I mentioned interviews and stuff didn't I? Well, the good news is that I'm going to successfully qualify as a Construction solicitor in September, so it's all been worth it. BOOYAH.

So back to elves. I mentioned some changes too... We'll start off with the core troops, because they really do matter.

Getting the Core Balance Right for Combined-Arms

Introduction

So after a few games I’ve been learning something about how the new army plays and, in particular, the impact of perhaps the two biggest changes in the list: core silver helms and the new 2-mage High Magic phase. Let’s start with the core. To clarify, up to now I have been running the following setup:

13 Silver Helms, Full Command
18 Archers, Musician
5 Helms

There are good strengths to all of these choices, and they’re all in line with how we think the new book as made our army better. “We can fight in 3 ranks!” So we take units in 3 ranks. “Silver helms and reavers are core!” So we take all cavalry core (or something close to it). The immediate (and obvious) consequence of this is a massive shift in the make-up of our armies away from infantry- based forces to cavalry+monster smash lists or shooty avoidance lists with some elite infantry to mop up the pieces. I'm not here to say that either kind of army is bad in and of itself, but I also think that neither kind of army is for me. In both cases, the model/wound count of our forces plummets dramatically (slightly cheaper elites doesn’t really dent this trend), the net result being that, although we can both avoid combat and shoot more effectively than previously before rolling the dice on a crushing counter-charge (in this sense the BT Skycutter is perhaps the quintessential unit of 8th High Elves), we have significantly fewer defensive units capable of actually holding the ground on which they’re deployed. This has had a dramatic effect on how my army, which relies ultimately on overwhelming enemy armies in combat, seems to play, and has caused me some problems which I’d like to fix. Let’s start with what’s left of my core infantry.

18 Archers as Core Infantry

The 18 archers can all fire and fight in combat in three ranks, both better than they used to and at lower cost. With a musician they’re nice and manoeuvreable and, at 18 strong, they are relatively cheap but also good enough in combat to easily trounce the kind of units that tend to make it to a backline (the new riderless flying monsters being the notable exceptions). Their big weakness, however, is that they cannot anchor my line in the way my old unit of 30 spears used to. They are not strong enough (either in terms of damage output or steadfast), to hold and control board space against most units which would encroach on it. This has some unfortunate consequences for the rest of my force because now, if I want a sturdy ‘hold the line’ unit to defend one flank whilst my knights are off chasing glory on the other, I have either to rely on the white lions, who aren’t quite in large enough numbers to perform the role against massed infantry, or else reach for the swordmasters.

This situation tends to see the swordmasters deployed in defensive parts of the board, such as on a refused flank, where my need for defence in numbers is most common. Certainly they act as an amazing deterrent in this position, and an excellent home for High Elf mages chucking out a range of damage spells. However, they can also typically find themselves unable to advance from this position for fear of being surrounded and stalled, even picked apart, by a locally more numerous enemy (by definition a common occurrence with outnumbered elves refusing a flank). By any standards, 6 turns of standing off is a waste of an expensive combat unit. A large core unit does this defensive job, when it needs doing, much more efficiently.

By contrast, if the swords are able to advance in the company of my knights in a classic step formation (eg knights far left flank, then swords to the right (covering them), then archers/white lions (covering the swords) and so on), the swords are far less likely to find themselves facing an awkward choice between staying stranded in inactivity, or risking a lone assault against a large portion of the enemy line. With the knights attacking on one side and infantry allies covering the other. the swords are much more likely to be in a position to threaten board space (and therefore close it off to enemy movement), before engaging in overwhelming force. With no sturdy flank anchor, however, this tactic becomes much more difficult to pull off. To properly defend your side of the board you often find yourself separating your knights and elites, and losing the mutual support offered by one to the other.

Why my Infantry Matters (2)

As per the above, my core troops need to work in such a way as to free up my swordmasters for more aggressive duties. Can our cavalry core units step into this defensive gap? Honestly, as my latest posts have argued, I don’t think they can. Silver helms are not cheap enough to be fielded in massive numbers, and are only basic elves underneath all the armour: as previously discussed, they don’t kill very much if they don’t charge. Reavers are cheaper than they were, but they’re no more powerful than they used to be in the last book, and their role remains exactly the same: they can kill war machines, ping a wound off of light units or unarmoured monsters, force failed charges, follow up charges against fleeing units or charge down scouts (at a push – this is one reason I prefer 5 helms: they can take a stand and shoot from units like shades, chameleons and so on). Being able to do all this makes them incredibly flexible, but for holding ground their use is also, I think, limited.

Firstly, the problem with all these skills is that they require the reavers to move out into the board, either to kill a cannon (etc) or to charge-block an enemy unit. In the first kind of instance, they are instantly written off as a unit which can defend your flank, simply because they’re probably in the wrong place. And in the second, there is inherent risk. Being close to the enemy forces exposes your fragile cavalry unit to a greater variety of weapons (spells, missiles, charges) which can quickly take them off the board. Against lizardmen, for example, moving a unit of 5 reavers out makes them very vulnerable to skink darts. Fleeing from charges, meanwhile, doesn’t always go your way: you have to rely on a risky dice-roll to pull it off. If it goes wrong, the enemy unit leaps forward and you lose your reavers. In the end, if you take light cavalry, there is no actual threat coming from your Core troops which might dissuade enemy units from trying to march right into your teeth. If they do so anyway, only core infantry will be able to stand and hold them in place.

This is an important option for a Cavalry Prince bus list. Why? Because, although you can spend points on slowing enemy combat units down with your fast cavalry (ultimately by sacrificing them), if you want the points for that unit, eventually you’re going to need to kill it. What is your army's most effective method of doing this? For me, it's the helm bus and swordmasters. So, I need to hem enemy units in, so that the knights and swords can get into combat with as many of them as possible (with overruns and successive charges), before the end of my Turn 6. Conversely, if I allow the enemy to march right through my refused flank, they travel further and make it harder for my best units to catch them in the late game. Keep them bunched up with their fellows, however, and I have a much better chance of getting the elites into them by turn 6 and taking the points.

As previously discussed, of our core troops only the infantry can hold ground in enough strength to hem in enemy units in this way. And only a core infantry unit can apply enough ranks to break large units in conjunction with the fighting elites. Against weaker opponents, meanwhile, using the 5 helms, chariot or white lions can likewise work to break an enemy unit without my having to rely upon direct aid from the Bus or Swords. Now that helms are in Core, I can’t afford a large block of spears without punishing my shooting phase. So, a large block of archers is the next best thing. 18 won't cut it at 2500 points.

Problems with the Big Bus

Of course, I can't have all these silver helms and a large unit of archers. So the question now is '[/i]which is best[/i]'. Again, in and of itself, the bigger helm bus (up to 13 Full Command from 8 with a musician), is a no-brainer choice. 3 ranks of knights all get to attack and get to smash steadfast against units the old helm bus might bounce off. The extra knights cover the characters even better from war machines and allow me to take a High Helm to accept challenges without worrying about the loss of a rank and file model for the purposes of Look Out Sir! rolls. However, including the new standard bearer as well (my old bus had only a musician), the extra expenditure on this unit has been massive: from 190 points in the old list to 329 in the new draft. So far, we’ve all been saying ”Doesn’t matter - It’s a core choice! but I’m starting to think it does matter. I’m taking 139 points out of core infantry and putting it into a unit that was already my army’s primary threat. As a consequence, I may have made that threat even more potent, but I have significantly weakened my army’s stand-and-fight defensive capabilities, as explained above. If that results in a tendency to deploy my swordmasters in a defensive position as compensation, losing their contribution to the main attack (along with the option of throwing the old spears in, of course), you have to say that taking all those extra helms wasn’t worth the trouble.

One other problem for the Big Bus is that you become tempted to use the helms themselves as a separate unit. Especially against more MMU lists (or perhaps chariot lists/lists with multiple monsters), you will often feel compelled to run your characters solo rather than drag this great monolith around and, by focussing all these points in one place, leave other parts of your army exposed to units they can’t quite handle by themselves (a problem exacerbated where you don't have a large core block). The thing is, having the extra 5 helms in the bus does not make them a line of battle unit. They have all the weaknesses of other Str 3 cavalry, and can get stuck easily in unwinnable combats or else expose themselves to disastrous long charges (which they can’t stand up to without the characters). It’s awfully difficult setting up a charge with cavalry that can’t take it back because, eventually, the dice turn against you and you either fail your charge or your opponent gets luck and rolls a 10 to get his infantry in first. 329 points is very expensive for a unit which can’t defend itself (or at least hold its ground) in such circumstances, and it’s surprising how cheap enemy units can be while still posing this kind of threat (would you risk a charge from 15 saurus warriors with your 13 helms? I wouldn’t).

So, if you’re separating the helm bus from the characters on a regular basis because to do otherwise would put too many points in the one place, it’s maybe a sign that you want to shift some of those points elsewhere. Ironically, your characters and helms may both end up more powerful if you have an army which is strong enough to be able to afford for them to go together. Less, in other words, could very well be more.

Switching up the Core

To me the obvious solution to these problems, in the absence of spearelves or the desire to spend more than the minimum on my core troops, is to increase the size of the archers at the expense of the Big Bus. Specifically, to work with the following setup:

24 Archers, Musician, Standard – 260
10 Silver Helms, Musician, Standard – 250
5 Silver Helms

The helms are still larger than they used to be, so I get some defensive benefit, at least, from their move to core and get to keep the +1 from the standard (handy in conjunction with BSB re-rolls). Now, however, I have an archer unit which can not only shoot but also tackle enemy core in close combat. These are not fights I’d necessarily want to seek out, but this is a unit which you can feel much more comfortable using to defend a portion of the field. Against particular opponents, you also have a unit which can bring a genuinely large number of ranks into the fight. Throw a ward-buffing level 2 mage in there, and you have 5 well-defended ranks to hit something in conjunction with your knights and/or swords and break enemy steadfast. With Walk Between Worlds now in play, this kind of switch from, defensive position to offensive, is an option not possible in our last book, making (in my mind), archers and seaguard better multi-tasking units than they used to be. Alternatively, you can deploy this unit on the defensive flank, in which case the counter-attack MSU elements of my list (chariot, lions, 5 helms or a combination of all three), now have a steadfast block to revolve around. Especially with a little magic and MSU support, this is a core unit which has significant ranged power and, crucially, the ability to hold ground. If this frees up my swords for pure attacking duty, then moving these 70 points over has, potentially, very large consequences indeed.

List Edit - Core Archers, 3 Repeaters, No Flag

Prince – Giant Blade, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, Potion of Foolhardiness, Heavy Armour, Shield, Barded Steed – 276
Archmage – Level 4, High Magic, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Endurance, Ironcurse Icon – 310
 
BSB – Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Other Trickster’s Shard, Dragon Armour, Barded Steed – 170
Mage – Level 2, High Magic, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Khaine’s Fury – 170
 
24 Archers – Musician, Standard – 260
10 Silver Helms – Musician, Standard, Shields – 250
5 Silver Helms – Shields – 115
 
20 Swordmasters – Bladelord, Musician – 280
12 White Lions – Musician, Standard, Gleaming Pennant – 181
1 Chariot – 70

8 Sisters – 112
3 Repeater Bolt Throwers – 210
1 Great Eagle – 50
1 Great Eagle – 50
 
2498 points, 11 deployment drops.

Image

Image

So... Nyeave and Tetengo, take a bow. I've dropped the Banner of the World Dragon and replaced it with a third repeater bolt thrower. In part, this is because I think SpellArcher is right: the flag is absolutely brilliant against some stuff. Lots of stuff, but it's true that an extra repeater bolt thrower would be useful against everything, so I'm going to live life without the flag for a bit and enjoy the extra firepower and board control. What helps tip the balance is my choice of High Magic on the archmage: I'm getting good ward saves on the swords anyway, so I feel more comfortable living without that extra level of save delivered by the banner. I've got a head start against all missiles with the swords' parry save, the archmage's Ironcurse Icon helps against war machines, and my excellent magic defence (Book of Hoeth, Scroll), will help against the spells. Would I surrender a rank of swordmasters to get the flag back? No I wouldn't.

I've also reduced the sisters slightly. A single unit, although obviously giving fewer targeting options, is robust enough to work as more all-purpose light infantry, especially with the stand-and-shoot, while two units of 5 was really only about the bows. With the spare points, I've added two troopers and a musician to the white lions, so they can dish more damage, take more punishment without surrendering points and, importantly, reform into useful formations depending upon the opposition they face. As it stands, their base formation will be 4x3 - the maximum number of attacks you can get into a single monster base. All in all, the list feels more balanced, sturdy and less fragmented than its predecessor, with significantly better ranged potential coming from the extra repeater. Happy days.

Thanks for the great posts in my absence, everyone. As of this weekend I am on HOLIDAY so, after a massive 10k game at Warhammer World (pics will follow...), I'll get my replies rocking. Lots of good points happening.

Cheers all,

S

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Last edited by Seredain on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:38 am 
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I've been following this thread from the beginning (never posted), and I love the cav prince; pretty much all of my lists have been based around the helm bus with mounted prince and bsb. Your in-depth analyses into all of your tactical and list-building decisions have been instrumental to me while learning the game. Though we've started to drift slightly in list styles (currently exploring the phoenix guard route), I've also recently started to lean toward a little heavier shooting in order to better deal with chaff, wear down the larger units, threaten solo models, and to create more synergy with things like hand of glory. A large unit of basic archers being able to hit at long range on a 2+ is pretty awesome even against the toughest monsters (I'm looking at you, warsphinx). It's also fun to allow that single bolt shot to be able to hit on a 2+ when the right moment presents itself. Is it worth casting that spell on a single bolt thrower? Maybe not, but it could be fun :)

I've noticed a lot of people have started to turn from high magic already with the opinion that it is just not very good. I'm glad to see you're not one of them yet! I won't recount all that it offers, as you've already posted your analysis on the lore, but it offers a ton of tactical flexibility (and at the very least the all important stacking ward saves that high elf elites have always desperately needed). I certainly don't have an optimized list at the moment with high magic and phoenix guard (mage bunkering with the PG), but that's mostly just because I've always been curious to try PG out and didn't want to get rid of high magic to do it.

BTW, I think your calculations on the lions is a bit off. Their current setup should cost 181. I'm looking forward to seeing your new list in action!

Blade


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:23 am 
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Hey Blade, thanks very much for your kind comments. I agree completely on the shooting front. Infantry especially need the support it brings, but even in a general sense it's so so useful to force your opponent to make that horrible decision to advance against your shooters but simultaneously open himself up to an attack or flanking manoeuvre from your knights...

All good with choosing phoenix guard. Against slightly lighter, high initiative stuff, they are the superior infantry. I take swords just because I get lots of wards off the high archmage (sorting out their chief weakness), and I have lots of tools to deal with the high initiative stuff elsewhere in the enemy army (largely through ranged attacks and spells), even if it means resorting to Hand of Glory as a last resort. What I often miss, as an elf, is high strength attacks in numbers, so I like to take that and think about defensive support rather than looking at it the other way around. I'll never tell people not to take phoenix guard, I just prefer aggressive infantry where I can find it!

On the note of support, I am seriously considering switching my level 2 to Shadow for the Miasma/Hand of Glory double (plus one other hopefully useful Shadow spell). Keeping the magic missile from Ring of Fury, this would give me extra tools against high initiative opponents and something hard against the low initiative tough units out there. I like the balance alongside the archmage's High spells- a couple of Shadow spells would synergise really well (range is much less of an issue for the level 2). The only things stopping me at the moment are:

1) The archmage will get a better tailored spell selection if the level 2 keeps High. 2 extra spells means I'll always get the selection I want. In particular, I can take a relatively specialist spell (eg Tempest, Convocation, Drain Magic), on 2 platforms (this flexibility is important with one caster typically tied to a unit), without sacrificing the all-purpose spells. 4 spells feels like not quite enough to cover all the bases.

2) No option for hand of glory working in the back line from my level 2.

3) Magic missile spam hurts everybody, big time. The board control this gets you can be huge (though Miasma helps a little here, killing stuff is better).

4) Free wards to a second unit is better than Shadow's ability against all comers.

So basically it's the general synergy of High+Shadow versus overwhelming your opponent with all the good High spells and, in particular, ranged damage. I'm seesawing on it at the moment but maybe leaning towards Shadow on the level 2..? I'll have to get some more games in and see how each option plays.

Thanks for posting,
S

P.S. Good spot on the lions! I did calculate it to 181, just forgot to update the number. Edited.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:28 am 
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Always a very interesting read! Thanks Seredain ; )
But: your Archmage magic item selection: BoH+ToE = 100, No? (I don't have the book(s) here, but I'm pretty sure those are the costs)
How do you add the ironcurse icon? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:34 am 
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Personally I would have no faith in such a small WL unit without ASF. Against multiplie high armor threat I can see you struggle a bit. Like the cookie cutter chaos lists. I played one yesterday (not very filthy as we play comped) but he had skullcrushers, a knight bus and 3 x chariots plus a large warrior unit. My bus and spears had to go head to head with his bus while my SM faced his inf so my WL was alone vs the crushers. If I only had 14 and no botwd like your list that flank would be run over and he would possible have steamrolled me from the side as eagle had to redirect gorebeast chariot (that thing just wont die) and my own chariots was trying to pick of last wounds of his nurgle chariots (after 2-3 turns of shooting). Even with 3 boltthrowers you have so many priority targets that is hard to kill off with their tough as nails chariots and while high magic is nice do not help very much in these kind of matchups. Welll its still great chaff clearing and some utility and for me it was neat to boost my WLs initiative so I went before the crushers but no answers to the high T high armor saves these kind of lists have. It also depends on meta I guess.

Just my thoughts after playing a kind of similiar list to you.

Jadex wrote:
Always a very interesting read! Thanks Seredain ; )
But: your Archmage magic item selection: BoH+ToE = 100, No? (I don't have the book(s) here, but I'm pretty sure those are the costs)
How do you add the ironcurse icon? :)


My rulebook seems to have escaped me but I think thats the 5+ ward he got there not the 4 + for 45 points.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:24 am 
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MR. GRUMPY wrote:
My rulebook seems to have escaped me but I think thats the 5+ ward he got there not the 4 + for 45 points.

Sorry! My bad! :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:45 pm 
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Hey Seredain,

Definitely like all of the possibilities of this new list. A tweak/comment/suggestion:

Drop 1 Swordmaster for an additional Sister. As you have it now, the Sisters are in one of the worst unit sizes (multiples of 4), and I imagine will likely be away from the General and BSB. They can both suffer 2 casualties for a panic check, and need snake eyes to rally if only 2 remain. If you had 9 Sisters, you could then field them in a 3x3 formation, without any real effect in either their shooting or possible CC abilities. The smaller frontage also tightens up their wheel, which is a small boon for a shooting unit with no access to a musician.

I have similar thoughts for your White Lions, but the mix of Gleaming Pennant, and the fact that an additional body would only be useful as a 'free' casualty prevents me from making that suggestion. :)

As you probably know, this suggestion makes the Swordmasters slightly more vulnerable to heavy casualty panic tests, but they are more likely to be close to your General and BsB, right?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:10 pm 
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First point was big IMHO, we are seeing a real shift from infantry-heavy armies to cavalry + flyers. Not my bag, which is one reason I've jumped ship for now. The question I have, is how many enemies can the Archer block handle now? Given that a larger unit of Spears is a lot more likely to get quickly ground down than in early 8th against all the killing tools out there now. I assume of course, that you have calculated this pretty accurately Mr S and believe that your multiple support units, shooting and the imminent threat of your attacking wing will prevent the enemy from quickly running the Archers over?

It's certainly quite a different approach to a defensive flank than relying primarily on light units. Good points about the Reavers, while flexible, they cannot do everything. I always tried to make sure that if they failed, I had a Plan B, for example having an eagle handy to plug the gap. But I take the point. We debated the merits of mid-sized units of Helms a fair bit in the run-up to the new book and you are pretty much saying the same as I did (and guys like Curu were coming to the same conlusion much earlier after testing). Spears are not great and it is hard to justify them at all now. But at least they can do something reliably. Mid-sized Helms without characters often have to be babysat, which is not good at all.

The point about using the SM's offensively makes a lot of sense too of course. As we know, the defensive merits of a SM unit held back to threaten board space have always been considerable. But when this unit is bigger than the old 14 and carries an AM who very much wants to be within 18" range of something important, using them offensively becomes a much more pressing need.

I don't know, I really don't! First the guy stubbornly refuses to rock Banner of Sorcery and now World Dragon is given the Spanish Archer! You must be loving this Seredain! It's a good point about doubling up on the Wards, Furion was questioning the usefulness of World Dragon on PG for this reason. But as Mr Grumpy says, it's damn useful against a lot of the worst stuff out there. Further, it seems to really help with matchups like Warriors and Daemons which are otherwise arguably problematic for HE's. Suck it and see I guess?

Massed Archers are great vs things like Sphinxes. You used to be able to cause much pain here by combining with magic bows, multi-shot and Curse of Arrow Attraction. It's just a shame that Eternal Flame has disappered as an option here for this block, adds an extra level of utility.

I've never been quite sure if it's 25% or under 25% for needing snake eyes to rally. Rulebook seems to say different things in different places.

Edit: Army looking good!

:)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:16 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
I've never been quite sure if it's 25% or under 25% for needing snake eyes to rally. Rulebook seems to say different things in different places.


Clarified in BrB FAQ, pg1

Page 24-Compulsory Moves, Rally Fleeing Units. Change the third sentence of the first paragraph to "A unit that has 25% or less of its starting models left can only rally on a roll of double 1."

:D


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