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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:33 pm 
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An epic stuffing!

Like clockwork...

:)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:25 pm 
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Nice report, a game very well played by you. You had a good plan, and you managed to execute it brilliantly.

However, as Swordmaster of Hoeth pointed out, I also have a feeling that your opponent did not field a balanced army and had no answer to your optimized combined arms force. He lacked fast cavalry, he lacked any shooting, and believe me, for mere 270 points he could have fielded 3 chukas, a rock lobba and a doom diver, which would have presented a challenge to an elite and expensive army. Also his choice of chariots is sub-optimal. The pump wagon with out rigga and explosive spores costs 70 points, can command 4d6 movement and deliver 2d6 S4 hits that ignore AS... They would have been a great threat for the cavalry. I think we will see few armies without one or two of these strange, but deadly constructs. On a side note, I feel that savage orcs is the way to go nowadays, and the failed panic test in the critical moment further convinces me that this is case, especially for the bigúns upgrade...

That being said, none of the above in any way takes anything from your well deserved victory. I hope that more reports will follow soon.

Cheers,
M


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:54 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
An epic stuffing!

Like clockwork...

:)

Like clockwork is right - it couldn't have gone better if I'd planned it, which of course I did. :)

Thanks for the great comments everyone.

@ Milliardo: Hahaha, I was wondering which of you would be the fist to spot the different bases. You win the prize. :) The white lions are in the process of being replaced, so most of the troops will have uniform bases pretty soon. A product of changing styles over a period of many years, I'm afraid.

@ Mikael: Yeah my opponent was really cool- I've played him a bunch of times and he's good fun. Also, he's still pretty new to orcs in 8th, so I'm reckoning he'll get tougher as he gets more games in.

Nithe wrote:
I have a question: Why do you use the Giant Blade for ** points instead of using a great weapon? Is the extra +1 to strength worth that many points when you can take a great weapon and still have asf?

The Giant Blade

An overdue answer, Nithe (with apologies), is that the extra point of strength makes a very big difference against opponents who have either Toughness 6 (3+ to wound is much better than 4+), or very good armour (1+ saves reduced to 5+ instead of 4+). In the important combats, these little extras make a big difference. Likewise the ability to carry a shield. Against Str 7 attacks the prince is rolling two 5+ saves instead of 6+ - a huge difference since he has only three wounds. In effect, then, the points I've spent on the Giant Blade don't just give me +1 to a single stat over and above a great weapon, they give me +1 to wound, -1 AS to opponents, +1 save and (of course) magical attacks. The cumulative effect of all these makes a big difference to Prince's combat abilities against the most powerful opposition. In that last battle, I had the Orc Warboss saving on 6's - if the prince had only been Str 6, the orc would've had a 5+ re-rollable save - much better odds for him.

flanker wrote:
Seredain, your posts adds that extra level of sophistication and deep insight to this forum. Thus, I’m in the process of collating the highlights of this thread into a single concise “Calvary Prince manual” which can be read over easily.

From a tactical movement and positioning perspective, are you able to explain how to fully maximise the flanking impact of your cavalry through movement and positioning? E.g. spend turn 1 & 2 moving deep into his flank, reposition on turn 2 to prepare a charge so that his block cannot angle to accept charges from 2 units to the front only? Proper manoeuvre and execution has always been a sticking point for me so many thanks advance.

Many thanks dude. I do quite like the idea of a 'Cavalry Prince Manual', I must admit! [@Scubaelf - if you've spotted any spelling mistakes while highlighting your printouts, please let me know! I have a horror of bad grammer - probably why it takes me ages to write anything...]

Getting Flank/Rear Charges

If you look over the section on Deployment, I've mentioned that a good rule of thumb, in order to flank an army, is to simply deploy outside of it (ie further towards the flank than their outermost unit). It's a simple but important point: basically it saves you the extra effort caused by deploying your units directly opposite his: of having to move your unit further to the outside flank on Turn 1, wasting valuable inches in a wheel and leaving your cavalry facing away from the enemy at the end of the movement phase, unable to declare charges next turn. Deploy outside and you can move further while keeping your options open in respect of line of sight.

The fundamental rule of getting flank charges, though, is to have threats against your chosen target on at least two fronts so that, whichever way the enemy unit turns, you'll have a flank charge on. In that last game, then, to prevent the orc spears from simply turning to face my silver helms as they moved around their right flank and into their backfield, I simultaneously threatened them with charges by the swordmasters and champions [dragon princes]. Whichever way they turned, then, the orcs would be facing a charge from the rear within a couple of turns. A more direct route, of course, is to use one of your units to pin an enemy unit in place. Spears or the tanking cavalry characters can achieve this very effectively while your flanking unit spends the turn getting into position.

Cavalry units are naturally, since they're so fast and manoeuvreable, excellent units with which to win yourself some crushing flank or rear charges.


@ Swordmaster: You've written a great bit of feedback there with some really excellent points. I'll take a bit of time to read through it properly and get some replies down. This last battle is worth a look for High Elf players I think, since it shows off nicely the strength that a manoeuvreable combined-arms list can have against infantry-heavy forces.

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Last edited by Seredain on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:21 am 
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Great battle report, and a great thread! Truly inspiring :)

C


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:07 am 
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Seredain wrote:
This last battle is worth a look for High Elf players I think, since it shows off nicely the strength that a manoeuvreable combined-arms list can have against infantry-heavy forces.

It was well worth the read, the photos really helped to visualise your maneouvres.

I also think this game should be really useful for your opponent. So he's tried a raw 'Blocks FTW' approach and got beat. Now he can refine his list and tactics to counter the approach you've used against him. Reminds me of when I started with Lizardmen under 6th. Facing an LSG army I thought 'lets just go for it' and threw lots of Saurus at him. I got march-blocked and shot to bits but it was very educational!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:23 pm 
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This thread has been a great read and truly inspired me! I will most definitely scroll through these pages more than once...

Seredain - I have a favour to ask: can I use your army list as an example? I've recently written a concise article about my approach to High Elf army list design. I would very much like to include your list as an example, demonstrating my principles with your army. The link can be found in my signature.

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:38 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
This thread has been a great read and truly inspired me! I will most definitely scroll through these pages more than once...

Seredain - I have a favour to ask: can I use your army list as an example? I've recently written a concise article about my approach to High Elf army list design. I would very much like to include your list as an example, demonstrating my principles with your army. The link can be found in my signature.

Cheers!

Of course! Not a problem. Thanks for the kind comments.

SpellArcher wrote:
I also think this game should be really useful for your opponent. So he's tried a raw 'Blocks FTW' approach and got beat. Now he can refine his list and tactics to counter the approach you've used against him. Reminds me of when I started with Lizardmen under 6th. Facing an LSG army I thought 'lets just go for it' and threw lots of Saurus at him. I got march-blocked and shot to bits but it was very educational!

He's taken this point to heart actually, SA. List design is being given a thorough overhaul - we're looking at a rock lobber, a couple of spear chukkas, a unit of wolf riders and another small unit of boar boyz. Spear and Black Orc units are getting bigger but it looks like the choppa horde is being completely got rid of. Just like some people never got over 'Nam, this orc isn't going to get over my archmage tearing his horde to pieces with Dwellers below. That one stung!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:10 am 
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That's almost kind of a shame - I think O&G are one of the armies that can actually make very good use of the horde formation.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:17 am 
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I believe Hordes are hard to use. They're so big and unwieldy that getting the proper use out of them could be pretty hard. That being said, O&G are probably one of the armies to pull it off though.

I'd say it definitely needs more polishing. Adding more variety will allow it to handle elements like your rbts / flanking cavalry better and this is something you'd want against almost any list.

Seredain - I linked this thread in my army list design topic. I don't know if my interpretation of your list matches your own, but from what I've read here that's what I gathered ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:23 am 
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I have a question about the previous battle. You said the giant was held up by your RBT because first turn he decided to "yell and brawl." Did he not thunderstop after the normal attack phase? Or did it fail to wound? I believe the giant can still thunderstomp regardless of what he does that turn, and if he did fail to wound 2 unarmored archers with a S6 thunderstomp that is horrendous luck for your opponent!

That said, well fought battle. That type of combo-charge on the black orcs is something I have always wanted to do in a battle but I have yet to succeed to isolate a unit that badly. Well played.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:40 am 
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Seredain wrote:
He's taken this point to heart actually, SA. List design is being given a thorough overhaul - we're looking at a rock lobber, a couple of spear chukkas, a unit of wolf riders and another small unit of boar boyz. Spear and Black Orc units are getting bigger but it looks like the choppa horde is being completely got rid of. Just like some people never got over 'Nam, this orc isn't going to get over my archmage tearing his horde to pieces with Dwellers below. That one stung!

So he's going combined arms over multiple blocks?

Warms the heart don't it?

:)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Hello folks, allow me to introduce myself....

I am Seredain's punchbag- general of the Orcs he massacres and the Lizards he slays. It's been more or less this way for many many years now, so I'm quite used to his merciless treatment of my beloved armies. It has improved my game no-end, and against other players I nail 'em with my Lizards.

The Orcs have been much revised- I wanted to see if a dedicated infantry combat force might work in 8th, but as has been said, Hordes are as vulnerable as they are strong. I will still be running a Horde in the Orcs, but I may not necessarily always use it in horde formation.

Against Mr. Seredain here, however, I never really know what to do. He's a master of deployment and maneuvers, and with so many seperate threating entities its really difficult to know where to begin.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:40 pm 
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I think a combined arms force works good for every army in the rule book, but I wouldn't be copying Seradain's approach exactly.

Taking a little from Sun Tzu here:
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.


Make sure you play to your own strengths. Orcs have cheaper troops, so a horde formation isnt necessarily a bad decision with them, just remember that you cannot rely soley on the horde to achieve victory.

I think the part of Seradain's tactics that sticks out the most to me as far as army building is concerned is putting as many attacks as possible on the smallest base size as possible, showing the value of chariots, and calvary to some degree. Its also important to have some durability in the units you plan on sticking in the big fights and the "glass cannons" to be auxilary to main assault forces intent on breaking the enemy or severely inhibiting them in the first round of combat.

Just my 2 cents.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:01 pm 
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O&G strength lies in their huge variety and relatively cheap units. There are also elements in the army list which in particular can be handy against HE. Doom diver catapults and very cheap spearchukkas are handy against cavalry units. Chariots and pump wagons (especially upgraded so that they have S5 2D6 impact hits with no save first time they hit something) are useful against elite infantry as impact hits are resolved before anything else.

During the game itself what was O&G undoing was the ability of HE to attack with a few units against one. The trick would be to prevent that. One-on-one combats in some cases might still be advantageous for Elves but cannot guarantee breaking regiments in one turn. For example, if it was unlikely to reach Swordmasters with SpearOrcs why not move them full ahead together with Black Orcs and brace for impact next turn? Silver Helms seemed to be still too far away, SpearOrcs could fight with 3 ranks instead and if Swordmasters and DP attacked together they would draw Black Orcs into combat. Just a thought, I know it is easy to come up with an idea after the battle. I just think it is a lesson I would draw from this battle. If your enemy supports his units with each other, why not you? Thanks to that your battles would be much more interesting for you and for us, reading about them later. And it is even better to get comments about pre-battle and after-battle thoughts from both generals :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:51 pm 
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Not an Elf wrote:
Hello folks, allow me to introduce myself....

Welcome! Apologies for any undue High Elf triumphalism on my part but Seredain's thread is good for team spirit!

I was really inspired reading the fluff for Gorbad Ironclaw. Here was an orc who loved to get stuck in with his best troops but also knew how to use the gobbos, a Hannibal to Seredain's Alexander! I've always felt the sheer variety and flexibility of O&G should be deadly in the right hands, if only the player can ride the randomness of the army.

Artillery has to be a good addition, very cost-effective.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Greetings. I gave a list based off this a go last evening at my local game shop. One of the guys there wanted to test out his 2200 point tournament list he intends to use at a GT this weekend, and I wanted to give High Elven cavalry a go (usually I use infantry). While I'm sure that a lot of it had to do with lucky rolls on my part, unlucky rolls on his part, no shooting on the part of Vampire Counts, and my level 4 archmage manhandling his 2 casters (l1 and l2).

The list I brought:

Prince w/ B. Steed, Dragon Armor, Shield, Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec
Archmage (Level 4) w/ Lore of Life (Shield of Thorns, Throne of Vines, Flesh to Stone, Dweller's Below) (Sadly, I couldn't afford the Silver Wand since it would put me at 551 points for Lords, and only 550 at 2200)
Noble BSB w/ B. Steed, Heavy Armor, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, Amulet of Light, Great Weapon

30 Spearmen w/ Full Command, Gleaming Pennant
11 Archers w/ Musician
12 Archers

12 Swordmasters w/ Bladelord
11 White Lions w/ Guardian, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
8 Silver Helms w/ Musician, Shields
Tiranoc Chariot

2 Repeating Bolt Throwers
1 Great Eagle

He brought (more or less):

Vampire Lord w/ +2 power dice, 2+ save (one use), 5+ ward, All of Vampire Lore
Vampire w/ glittering shield (ignore first hit), All of Shadow Lore
Wight King BSB (didn't seem to be much on him)
~30 Grave Guard
~30 Ghouls
~30 Ghouls
~20 Skeletons
4 Wraiths
Black Coach

I thought the battle was going to go downhill for me from the start since he was bringing a tournament list, and I was expecting a lot of cheese from it (non comp). The Black Coach sucked up a lot of power dice in the first turn and by halfway through turn 2 it was fully buffed. It tried to charge my cavalry block which was running up the right flank, failed the charge, so I got the charge next turn. The coach killing blowed my BSB, and I figured it was going to be downhill from there. Miraculously, my cavalry held on a 6+, and were able to reform on a 6+ (2 5s in a row). That was my spot of absurd luck for the night.

As usual, the archers performed far better than my bolt throwers (I seem to roll horribly when using the bolt throwers, but pretty well when using archers).

Ultimately, the cavalry was able to roll his flank, and kept his wraiths out of the fight for the majority of the game since he was busily trying to avoid it and all its magic attacks. He summoned 2 spirit hosts turn 1 with a winds of undeath (IF), and later in the game my spearmen destroyed them through static resolution without taking a single wound (again, luck, plus the spirit hosts really aren't too impressive).

I ran my chariot up the left flank, and as his grave guard were approaching my left flank where my swordmasters and lions were, I charged it into the rear of his block, and between impact, attacks, and a successful Shield of Thorns, it broke down 7 of the Grave Guard and made him think twice about charging my elites. When he finally did, I had weakened the grave guard further with shooting, and my swordmasters made short work of them, though attrition got them through.

In the end it came down to my Lord facing his Lord after she had taken a couple wounds from miscasts. It did not end well for the Vampire.

End results:
All he had left on the field when he called it after losing his Vampire (due to the fact everything else would start to crumble anyway) was his 4 wraiths (which couldn't make a successful charge to save their lives), his BSB and something like 8 grave guard (which were about to be charged by the white lions after they overran into my spearmen).
I lost my swordmasters and chariot.

While a lot can be attributed to luck...I must say, I'm liking cavalry. It takes a lot more planning and strategy to get it right, and doesn't seem very forgiving if you don't get it right, but if you do...yikes.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:25 pm 
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Bravo!

Those VC blocks can be a sod to get rid of.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:19 pm 
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Battle Report - Debrief


Not an Elf wrote:
Hello folks, allow me to introduce myself....

I am Seredain's punchbag

Wayhay! Welcome to the lion's den, amigo... This is where the magic happens.

Meridian wrote:
I think the part of Seradain's tactics that sticks out the most to me as far as army building is concerned is putting as many attacks as possible on the smallest base size as possible, showing the value of chariots, and calvary to some degree.
Yep, this is a key point. If you want to win combats against large units quickly (and, as elves, we usually do), get as many attacks in there as you can.

SpellArcher wrote:
So he's going combined arms over multiple blocks?

Warms the heart don't it?

:)

Orc Hordes

Sure does! Although I reckon Milliardo has a good point about orc blocks - with relatively cheap troops, combat characters, high toughness and the new choppas rule, orcs really are well placed to take advantage of horde formations. A big problem for them, though, is that their wide-but-shallow formation condemns them, when they suffer lots of casualties in combat, to take break tests on modifiable leadership. When they start losing combats, then, they don't usually hang around for long. Another big weakness is that having lots of units with a very wide frontage means the Warboss's leadership won't usually reach as many units. That's not good for low leadership orcs.

jwg20 wrote:
I have a question about the previous battle. You said the giant was held up by your RBT because first turn he decided to "yell and brawl." Did he not thunderstop after the normal attack phase? Or did it fail to wound? I believe the giant can still thunderstomp regardless of what he does that turn, and if he did fail to wound 2 unarmored archers with a S6 thunderstomp that is horrendous luck for your opponent!

Stomp and Thunderstomp attacks only work against the unit types Infantry, War Beasts and Swarms, not war machines, so he couldn't stomp on my repeater. War machines aren't really great targets for giants, as a rule.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
O&G Army composition
However, lack of support troops, and especially artillery, seemed to make your flank maneuver much easier. No diverters, no need to worry about positioning your cavalry, so that it does not expose its flank to spear chukkas, etc.

This is absolutely the case, and the big weakness of all-infantry armies everywhere. Basically, if I get into the enemy army's flank unmolested, they're dead.

Deployment
Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
So I believe there where two questions you had to ask yourself. Where is he going to deploy his Boar Boyz? And where would be better to deploy your Silver Helms? I must admit I was wondering about his deployment of Giant and Boar Boyz. Maybe that was his initial plan to destroy your shooters, as the rest of the army is slow while these two units can absorb some amount of damage and still do the job. On the other hand, it seems you gave him some hints about where your main cavalry unit is going to be. As you pointed out, on your east flank there was a piece of terrain which limited maneuverability. And other units were already on the west.

The placement of the boar boyz was a big concern for me. I was happy to deploy my knights against them - confident I would triumph in that match up, at which point I would have the slow-moving orc infantry at my mercy. My opponent made a good call, I reckon, in deploying them next to the night goblins - whose fanatics I didn't want to put my knights anywhere near. It just so happened, however, that my combination of repeaters and spears on my right flank made it much easier for me to adapt my plan on that part of the field than for my opponent to adapt his. Apart from all the shooting and the infantry, I had the eagle, who would've held the boars up for another turn of movement. Unfortunately for the orcs, they had nothing to shoot or hold up my units on the opposite flank and it cost them dear.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
I was wondering why you deployed White Lions and Chariot so far away but during the course of battle it all seemed clear. At the beginning though I thought they might be too far away to be ready to support your cavalry and Swordmasters.

The White Lions Out of Combat

The white lions were there, firstly, to protect my soft core troops and archmage and, secondly, to draw on and then tackle the black orcs in conjunction with another unit. This was my silver helms' ultimate target (at the time I figured it would be just them and the lions). Even when they weren't in combat, though, they served a very useful purpose. By covering the centre of the field with them and then, latterly, by hovering at maximum charge range, I had a unit which the black orcs couldn't ignore - if they went left or right to support either flank, I had the white lions ready to move into their flank. So, instead, they just marched forward, unable (or unwilling) to help out their fellows busily being torn up by by shooting+magic (my right) and combo charges (my left).

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
3. I believe you had some luck in this game which helped you and left the impression of a one-sided battle. Failed panic test of Boar Boyz was definitely something you hoped for but obviously could not count on it happening for sure with Ld 8. Further failed animosity test rendered this unit useless for the rest of the game. Indeed, I believe in future battles Boar Boyz are going to find themselves waving this new and shiny banner :).

Testing on Leadership 8

It's not that unlucky to fail a test on Ld 8. As a High Elf general, I try and never rely on it because any test you make at Ld8 you can fail. This is the reason I first put Gleaming Pennant on the spearelves. During Orc Turn 3, when my 14 archers fled through the spears, I had to test for panic. If I'd failed and not had the Gleaming Pennant, the spears would have run off the board - that's 345 points gone in an instant. If it'd happened, I could've called it bad luck, but really I would've been playing with fire. Likewise the Boar Boyz are, with the Big 'Un status and the character in there, an expensive unit. You don't want to be leaving their behaviour to that level of chance. Incidentally, this is also the reason that I don't really rate Savage Orc boar boyz. From my perspective, and orc list that does everything it's told is a terrifying thing. It's the randomness that often screws them over. If I were an orc commander, I wouldn't want to erode the control I had over my troops further by taking a cavalry unit that was forced to pursue and overrun everything. Eagles love these sort of cav units.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
4. Your Dwellers was truly devastating. No wonder people do not like this spell at all.

Dwellers Below

Dwellers going off was a game-changing moment, but not especially lucky. We all know how vulnerable massive infantry units are to this spell and this particular cast killed an average 50% of the unit (though getting the character as part of that 50% was lucky!). Also, in most magic phases, you'll have enough dice to throw at Dwellers if you really want to (as will your opponent if he has it). In this game, then, during every magic phase where I had the dice, I cast Dwellers on the horde. At some point it was bound to go through. The funny thing about it was, though, was that it didn't go through on Irresistible Force - it was merely cast and NaE didn't have enough dice to sort it out. This is why I like the dispel scroll rather than the Silver Wand.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
5. I was impressed by the effects of the combat where Swordmasters and DP defeated Spear Orcs. I should not be really surprised as I know from my own experience what Swordmasters alone can do. However, this is yet another example of what you wanted to highlight in your posts. With enough attacks the huge enemy infantry block can be reduced to insignificant numbers in one turn. And by combo-charging you can break it, destroy it on pursuit and combat-reform with other unit to position it so that it can immediately be ready for another charge next turn. I was just wondering, did you attack boar chariot with your chariot first? If you resolved Swordmasters+DP fight first, then if I am not mistaken, you could resolve Dp+Chariot fight in the same turn.

Breaking the Orc Spears

In truth, I wasn't banking on breaking the orc spears in one turn, which is why I (foolishly) didn't bother to fight that combat before the chariot one - losing me the extra round of lances against the boar chariot. On average, the orc spears would have killed 3 swordmasters with their reply attacks, losing me my second rank and rendering them steadfast on Ld9. I was happy to spend two turns hacking them up, however, since my prince's knights were coming around the back ready to sort out the black orcs. In the end, it went better than planned there. :)

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
6. It was interesting to see how Spearelves perform during the battle. Despite the lack of Regrowth spell this time, they managed to keep their combat prowess all game. Sure, they had some luck with charging through fanatics but in the end emerged victorious. It also showed that against other core infantry they can prevail on their own. It does not matter they cost much more than night goblins with fanatics. They managed to protect the flank and push forward when required, defeating enemy units and not letting them to help isolated friendly regiments.

The Spearelves

The spearelves were brilliant. I think a unit of 35 is so versatile, especially since they can take a beating for a whole game and still have 4 ranks to fight at full strength. Good enough in combat to break enemy core troops and standing in enough numbers to remain steadfast on a defensive flank for as long as I need them to. Charging through the fanatic wasn't that lucky, then, since a couple more dead elves simply wouldn't have made any difference to the outcome of the fight against the night goblins. The eagle deserves an honourable mention here- it's great for ensuring victory against large goblin units - flank charge, 3+ to hit, stomp and WS5 T4 means that goblins (especially when fighting in only one rank on the flank), really struggle to wound it. Lovely little unit.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
7. I like the fact that clearly every single unit contributed to the entire game constantly. It is nice to see shooting effective enough to kill a chariot and a giant. Viable targets for HE archery which didn't waste their arrows for horde.

Shooting

Repeaters are great against cavalry, since they score reliable hits (cannons and template machines are less of a sure thing - and the speed of cavalry makes any misses from your machines much more of a worry). I had two turns of shooting against the boars - that's 6 dead on average from the repeaters alone - leaving a unit of manageable size by the time they get to my lines. As for High Elf archers, the moment when they picked the chariot off is a lovely example of the excellence of BS4. High Elves were hitting the hidden chariot on 6's, while other shooters would need 7+ - that's the difference between a chariot that lives and a chariot that dies, which was, in this battle, the difference between D6+1 impact hits on my silver helms as opposed to 2D6+2.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
I was wondering though if it was not too risky to challenge Black Orc General. You were definitely lucky with 6's for armor save.

The Challenge

Tactically, this wasn't a good idea and I wouldn't advise that anyone put their character at risk when victory is in the bag, as it was for me. Still, it made for a good finale. :) As for the armour save issue, on average rolling I was likely to throw one 6 in four dice and save the prince, though rolling two 6's was definitely lucky! In the end, the 3-point shield made all the difference. If my prince was wielding a great weapon and had a 2+ save, he would've been dead. It's always the little things...

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
Summary
I am going to repeat myself but I really enjoyed the report. I do hope it is just a nice beginning to see more of them. Would be great to see a re-match, and find out what your opponent learned from this crushing defeat.

Great job and Congratulations!

Many thanks! Another game, with the amended orc list being discussed above, is on for this Saturday. Assuming we throw down again I'll definitely do another report!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Janwin wrote:
Greetings. I gave a list based off this a go last evening at my local game shop. One of the guys there wanted to test out his 2200 point tournament list he intends to use at a GT this weekend, and I wanted to give High Elven cavalry a go (usually I use infantry). While I'm sure that a lot of it had to do with lucky rolls on my part, unlucky rolls on his part, no shooting on the part of Vampire Counts, and my level 4 archmage manhandling his 2 casters (l1 and l2).

......

Ultimately, the cavalry was able to roll his flank...

Excellent work, hombre!

Janwin wrote:
While a lot can be attributed to luck...I must say, I'm liking cavalry. It takes a lot more planning and strategy to get it right, and doesn't seem very forgiving if you don't get it right, but if you do...yikes.

And I bet your opponent thought you were bringing a 'soft' list, too. :twisted:

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*grins* We both did. Didn't realize just quite how lethal the list could be since I'm not a huge fan of Silver Helms nor Bolt Throwers of late (I hadn't broken out my helms all of 7th ed...had to dig them out of the dusty box of 6th ed stuff in storage to play it).

Far far -far- more fun than the static infantry list that so many (including myself) run (ran). Thanks muchly for the inspiration, and all the advice that's been presented in this thread. My elves were getting boring (ironic since I play Dwarves and VC also, which are perhaps even more boring and static) and it's nice to try something new.

Next step? To see if I can make a list largely based around my beloved (and really sadly overpriced with 8th ed) Shadow Warriors... :shock:


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Janwin wrote:
*grins* We both did. Didn't realize just quite how lethal the list could be since I'm not a huge fan of Silver Helms nor Bolt Throwers of late (I hadn't broken out my helms all of 7th ed...had to dig them out of the dusty box of 6th ed stuff in storage to play it).

Far far -far- more fun than the static infantry list that so many (including myself) run (ran). Thanks muchly for the inspiration, and all the advice that's been presented in this thread. My elves were getting boring (ironic since I play Dwarves and VC also, which are perhaps even more boring and static) and it's nice to try something new.

Great to hear! You're very welcome.

Janwin wrote:
Next step? To see if I can make a list largely based around my beloved (and really sadly overpriced with 8th ed) Shadow Warriors... :shock:

I'll leave that one to you!

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I could not believe this topic could get any better but it seems it can! Excellent! :)

@Janwin
Congratulations on your win! Did you miss Dragon Princes much in that game? It seems to me that VC lost a lot of their advantages from 7th edition (mainly auto-breaking) and they might be in the process of even greater change in the way they fight than other armies. They also seem to lose more warriors in combat than they can resurrect. Especially when winds of magic do not blow strong.

@Seredain
Thanks for replays! It is always good to have a chat after a battle. :)

I really like the way you used white lions. As I said before and as you explained in more details, they were hold a little further back on purpose. They kept a nice pressure and now I see that they were to be teamed up with cavalry charge from the back. It would be good enough to defeat Black Orcs but of course, it was even better during the game as we all saw it!

Well, I agree that testing on Ld8 without re-roll is not that secure but still odds are in your favour. It is of course good to increase your chances with whatever you can. I also believe that it would have been your first Ld test on Spearelves so the pennant would give you a second chance. In any case I agree, it is not something you should rely on too much.

I was wondering how would you cope with Dweller cast on Spearelves. Your Lizardmen opponent was more occupied with increasing toughness of his own troops than depleting the number of your warriors. It is very potent spell and with enough winds of magic it can be through no matter what. So here are questions for you. How do you plan to cope with killer spells like Dwellers, 13th or similar? And how do you try to recover from heavy casualties situations, especially when you do not get Regrowth?

Orc spears on defense with 'Ere We Go spell (re-rolls to Hit rolls) can be tough to crack too. As you say, two rounds of combat here usually, so good for you that you broke them on the charge. It is easy to forget that sometimes that one wound might be a difference between steadfast and break test. So I believe you also plan for longer combat but still on your terms.

That is true that even with more casualties Spearelves could do well in combat after a charge through fanatics. However, I still find it hard decision, this is psychology warfare fanatics are really good at :) And I keep forgetting about Stomp rule for Great Eagle, that is always nice!

I am really happy that a re-match is on schedule. I am curious about the O&G exact army list and the outcome this time. Whatever it is going to be I am sure we are about to have another very interesting report! :)

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Janwin wrote:
Next step? To see if I can make a list largely based around my beloved (and really sadly overpriced with 8th ed) Shadow Warriors... :shock:
I'd like to help - I think I can do so without derailing the thread very far from its topic, as they fit in very well with cavalry and combined arms as well.

On Shadow Warriors

I tried to make an army out of Shadow Warriors at one point myself, with varying success - the problem I found was similar to any list I've tried to base around a support element. It's like trying to make a whole list of mortars for Imperial Guard, or archers, or hand gunners. It isn't very balanced, and so its very hit or miss. They certainly still have a role, but its rarely a prominent one, which I think in its own way fits their background.

I've found that Shadow Warriors in small units of 5 are very useful against lists that feature no magic or shooting, or, if they do have shooting, its concentrated in one unit (again, people like to try to conserve points this edition, so some are apt to do this with missile units as well.) You can predict If their missile units are concentrated, then they'll need to dedicate that large shooting unit to taking care of your 85 point unit of Shadow Warriors, but it means many shots will be wasted and they may even need to take a turn to rotate the unit - useful if its something that's Move or Fire.

What does a 5 point unit do then? Not much, most of the time, but it can be very irritating! It's also yet another deployment drop, and this is its strongest use, in my opinion - taking Shadow Warriors, particularly if your opponent knows you have them, forces him to deploy in such a way that his warmachines are protected. You're now playing a game of economics - you're using an 85 point unit to threaten one or two 75 to 100 point warmachines. To protect himself, he's either going to need to shoot the Shadow Warriors (and they should be at -2 to hit most of the time), allowing the rest of your army to close the distance more safely, or, better yet, he'll have to dedicate a unit of melee troops to hunting them down, in which case you flee.

In addition to this passive-aggressive threat of his warmachines being removed, as well as march blocking, they can contribute aggressively to this with their bows. It may not seem like much, but most of their shots should be at short range, and when combined with archers, rbt and magic, can begin to get something done, or, you can simply use them to pick off stragglers - that unit of one or two survivors of a horde who are denying you the points for it - or in keeping enemy mages from avoiding the dangers of miscasts by deploying outside their unit.

You can always increase the size of the Shadow Warrior unit, but then I feel you start to run into trouble - they become a very early melee threat to missile units, and actually have the potential to wipe them out, however, you've also invested enough in them that they become a viable source of points to the enemy - much wiser I think to split them in half and simply take two units of them. By doing this, you can also deploy them on either flank of the enemy army if he deploys centrally, and now he has to worry about being attacked from three directions - you can either hem him in, if he's playing defensively, or pull him in three directions and scatter him much more easily. If he deploys in a corner, deploy to one flank, and if he's playing Skaven, and he covers the entire board edge, deploy them in buildings and other bits of terrain - any enemy force sent to root them out is not contributing to the main battle, and as long as its over 85 points, the Shadow Warriors are doing their job.

Finally, coming full circle to the point, the beauty of Shadow Warriors is that in small units, they're very cheap and can be shoe-horned into most any combined arms list. If you're simply running elites and spearmen, they're admittedly not very good. However, in a combined arms list, they're exponentially more useful. They pair very well with Great Eagles and Reaver Knights, as they all serve overlapping roles, but go about it in different ways - sometimes one will be more useful than the other, and the temptation may be to spend the points all in one area, but then I feel you're missing out on that versatility.

They pair very well with faster elements as well, like Silver Helms, Dragons and Dragon Princes - place the Shadow Warriors in such a way where the enemy will be tempted to charge them. If you're good at impromptu mathhammer, and you feel there's a chance that the shadow warriors won't be butchered and flee in the same turn, you can use this to pull the enemy into combined charges with these fast elements. If you're also good with distances, you can pull these units out of the protective umbrella of enemy shooting as well.

The key is to find a balance when creating your list - with High Elves, I find I start with an Archmage, a BSB, minimum core, and then as many blocks of 20 elite infantry as the point limit will allow. Then take those elite units, and strip them all down to what you feel is the minimum size you can (Life Lore will help remedy this), and you can usually afford - you'll usually end up with about 4 or 5. Then I remove two of those units. One for my flanking element - usually lion chariots for me, but in the context of the thread, Silver Helms work just as well - and then the other is spent on Eagles, RBT, or Shadow Warriors. I find this is about the right proportion for support in 2k - 2.5k lists.

I could go on and on, but I think I've more than got my point across - its very hard to create an army based around them, as they simply don't have the damage potential of our elites and chariots, the speed of our cavalry, or the (relative) hardiness and survivability of our core, and I don't think they should be directly compared. However, they excel at support, letting those other elements of the army perform well, and generally being a tremendous nuisance!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:38 am 
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Seredain wrote:
with relatively cheap troops, combat characters, high toughness and the new choppas rule, orcs really are well placed to take advantage of horde formations.

I remember dabber making the point that Horde is often better on powerful troops, as extra S6 attacks from WL say are more use than extra S3 attacks from Clanrats, who might want to go deep instead. Maybe Black Orcs are the boys for this.

Seredain wrote:
As a High Elf general, I try and never rely on it because any test you make at Ld8 you can fail.

Absolutely. Sometimes you have to take a key test on Ld9 but too many Ld8 tests and something important gives.

Janwin wrote:
Next step? To see if I can make a list largely based around my beloved (and really sadly overpriced with 8th ed) Shadow Warriors...

Millliardo makes a lot of good points. Also have you read krysith's shooty avoidance tactica?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:26 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Seredain wrote:
with relatively cheap troops, combat characters, high toughness and the new choppas rule, orcs really are well placed to take advantage of horde formations.

I remember dabber making the point that Horde is often better on powerful troops, as extra S6 attacks from WL say are more use than extra S3 attacks from Clanrats...

Large Hordes vs Elite Hordes

Oh, yes this is absolutely the case, but such better troops are also, when fielded in hordes, incredibly expensive. Orcs are a nice intermediate choice for a horde since they're pretty cheap but also have access to strength bonuses. They can also be boosted by cheap (but powerful) fighting characters - Orc Big Bosses are less than 60 points each - and decent combat buffs like Ere We Go. Black orcs would make an excellent horde, for sure, though for 40 models you're looking at a 500+ point unit there, so you'd better make it work... I'd love to see it on the field. Nothing more orcy than a massive legion of steel-clad mothers wielding huge axes.

For me, the chief vulnerability of hordes is the fact that they don't have the ability to suffer large amounts of damage and stay effective unless they are genuinly massive units. The wide frontage not only allows more enemy units to easily get into base contact and inflict more casualties, it also means your unit will, all things being equal, not have as many ranks to retain steadfast at the end of combat. 30 models of expensive troops, meanwhile, (10x3) only need to suffer a few kills to make the extra rank of attacks meaningless, leaving just the wide frontage as a massive defensive liability.

The only way to get over this fundamental defensive weakness is to take units in horde formation which also have a decent number of ranks. Whether you'd want to do this with any unit I'll leave to the commanders of 'horde' armies but, certainly, we'd have to be looking at cheap troops here- goblins and rats. As for 'shallow' hordes, I'd say that 50 orcs (10x5) is probably a better use of points that 30 elite troops (10x3), since the latter unit has no ability to take hits and be left with any benefit from its formation in combat. The cheaper orcs, however, can take the casualties and still make the formation work, so long as they're not relying on steadfast (which a spearelf column will bust through). 40 black orcs would be a nice unit combining the benefits of both staying power and hitting power though it is, of course, a big investment and still won't be able to rely on being steadfast if it's facing superior opposition- unlike an infantry column or massive goblin horde, for example.

To be honest, I have more experience in killing hordes than in building them! From what I've seen, where they've been fielded against me they've simply made my opponent's army more vulnerable to my combined-arms ASF charges since I've always killed enough of the horde off to nullify their extra attacks back and get rid of steadfast. Against my list, the only exception I can see to this involves massive units which will get a full 3-ranks of attacks back at me and/or retain steadfast (preferably both), without being so expensive as to make the rest of the army tiny and allow me easy access to the flanks. Such a unit would only be feasable with cheap troops, though 50 orcs seems a nice middle-way option. If my opponent throws down a horde of 30, though, I'll start licking my lips.

SpellArcher wrote:
Janwin wrote:
Next step? To see if I can make a list largely based around my beloved (and really sadly overpriced with 8th ed) Shadow Warriors...

Millliardo makes a lot of good points. Also have you read krysith's shooty avoidance tactica?

Yep, kudos there, Milliardo - that's a really nice write-up. If you want to shove a bold title at the top, ('On Shadow Warriors' or something), I'll put the header in the Thread Contents - I'm not likely to do a guide to Shadow Warriors myself any time soon - just can't fit 'em in - but for sure they can play their part in combined-arms High Elf armies.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
I was wondering how would you cope with Dweller cast on Spearelves. Your Lizardmen opponent was more occupied with increasing toughness of his own troops than depleting the number of your warriors. It is very potent spell and with enough winds of magic it can be through no matter what. So here are questions for you. How do you plan to cope with killer spells like Dwellers, 13th or similar? And how do you try to recover from heavy casualties situations, especially when you do not get Regrowth?

Dwellers Against the Spearelves

I mostly cope with it by shrugging my shoulders! Big spells hurt large units in 8th and there's no way around it. With the Archmage I have a pretty good magic defence, as they go, with the dispel scroll and the +5 to dispel, but against something like a Slann you must account for the fact that, in the magic phase, you're bound to take some hits. My Welcome to 8th! moment, in fact, happened when NaE cast Dwellers (which I had not yet heard of), on my Archmage's unit of 50 spearelves. That was messy.

35 spears are actually very useful in this regard. They're big enough to lose half their number and still function (as they did in the last game against the Lizards - getting a flank charge on the Saurus BSB's spear block which, working with the swordmasters, forced the break), but not overly expensive. They also attract a lot of attention from template weapons and spells like Dwellers, taking the heat from my elite units (which are themselves less attractive targets for these things given their small size).

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
Orc spears on defense with 'Ere We Go spell (re-rolls to Hit rolls) can be tough to crack too. As you say, two rounds of combat here usually, so good for you that you broke them on the charge. It is easy to forget that sometimes that one wound might be a difference between steadfast and break test. So I believe you also plan for longer combat but still on your terms.

That's right. In principle, don't rely on anything happening unless the averages really are in your favour. What you want to do is to set up combats stacked in your favour to the point where a bit of bad luck isn't the end of the world, but where a bit of good luck really swings the result massively. If those orcs had killed an above average number of swordmasters, then, it would have been fine- a second-round victory for me- but they only had to score one less kill than average to turn a Stubborn Ld9 break test into needing double 1's.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:02 am 
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I threw a header on the Shadow Warriors.

I agree completely with your write-up on hordes as well; at this point, I just don't think its worth it for High Elves to even field a horde. It can be done of course, with Spearelves, White Lions and maybe Phoenix Guard... but I'd save it for Apocalypse sized games over 3k, especially if you're not scaling the magic phase up. Spearelves, I don't think its necessary really, because they already have so many extra attacks that its more important to have extra ranks, Phoenix Guard are durable, but again, I think I would rather have ranks. I think the White Lions are our most viable horde unit, because they're stubborn and have high strength attacks, but even then, I'm finding they aren't durable or cheap enough to pull it off well... I don't think I'd put any troop into a horde that wasn't less than 6-7 points a model.


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While 50 orcs or 40 black orcs would be a nice unit, it also makes for a nice dwellers target. I´ve been thinking a lot about what the optimal unit size would be, but it´s different for every army and unit.

I´ve had some problems with my big VC units beeing dwellered into submission, but then again they need to be big in order to cope with beeing unstable. Also, they can be raised back to a good effect (summon undead horde anyone?) and so can actually make great use of expensive hordes like grave guard in 10x3 formation. Also this unit usually include the drakenhoff banner to even further reduce casualties. Though, I have been thinking about running my ghouls 6 wide and 5 deep as they still have a good number of attacks but dies fast vs opponents withs lots of attacks. VC too needs to counter steadfast and have support to win it´s combats.

To tie this with this topic, what I have done is to take more support units in form of varghulfs, black coach and wraiths. Even black knights and blood knights can be used for this role. I´ve even been thinking about a black knight bus instead of the grave guard, much like with the silver helms.

What I gather from the above mentioned battle reports (O&G and VC) and from personal experiance is that armies with just a few big blocks and very little support have a hard time vs combined arms/magic heavy armies.

All in all is that unit sizes or horde formation depends on what army one is using, but what all have in common is that support units are maybe more important than ever before.


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What I think makes your army particularly effective against elite Hordes Seredain is ASF and it's ability to focus lots of S5+ attacks at once. The White Lion horde works well for some people because with ASF it won't be getting chopped up before it has a chance to strike. It's also Stubborn of course. Other troops like Bloodletters say, have good intiative and the fear factor of KB but against your hammer units that may not be enough.

I can see the problem with Black Orcs. They're relatively expensive, they strike last, armour and leadership OK but not awesome. Maybe the bigger Orc Boyz horde is the way to go. Or possibly 40 Big'uns with Spears? I also had this idea:

Savage Orc Great Shaman, Shrunken Head, Potion of Toughness (maybe).
Savage Orc BSB, ASF Sword, Potion of Strength, Charmed Shield.
Lots of Savage Orcs.

So the Shrunken Head gives the unit a 5+ Ward, which is nice. As mentioned, there are a couple of good combat buffs in the Big Waagh and with a Lvl4 you can get away with burning the Arcane slot on the Shrunken Head I feel. Not sure if the Big'uns upgrade would be a good idea. The biggest problem is still the I2 I feel. Spells like Purple Sun and Pit will hurt and even the 100pt Banner does nothing against them. I look at trying to build for Orcs and just keep noticing the sweet High Elf options I no longer have available.

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SpellArcher wrote:
What I think makes your army particularly effective against elite Hordes Seredain is ASF and it's ability to focus lots of S5+ attacks at once. The White Lion horde works well for some people because with ASF it won't be getting chopped up before it has a chance to strike. It's also Stubborn of course. Other troops like Bloodletters say, have good intiative and the fear factor of KB but against your hammer units that may not be enough.

Yeah, ASF-fuelled quick-kills are the key to the way my list plays. At full strength, white lions hordes are better than many others because of ASF- it really makes the best use of the extra attacks- but the lion horde is also both very vulnerable to damage and very expensive, while only 8 or so wounds before it hits combat will render the wide formation useless.

SpellArcher wrote:
I can see the problem with Black Orcs. They're relatively expensive, they strike last, armour and leadership OK but not awesome. Maybe the bigger Orc Boyz horde is the way to go.

I think BO's are best used to chop up core troops- they die hard to elven elites.

SpellArcher wrote:
Lots of Savage Orcs...

So the Shrunken Head gives the unit a 5+ Ward, which is nice. As mentioned, there are a couple of good combat buffs in the Big Waagh and with a Lvl4 you can get away with burning the Arcane slot on the Shrunken Head I feel. Not sure if the Big'uns upgrade would be a good idea. The biggest problem is still the I2 I feel. Spells like Purple Sun and Pit will hurt and even the 100pt Banner does nothing against them. I look at trying to build for Orcs and just keep noticing the sweet High Elf options I no longer have available.

This would be a powerful unit, SA. The ward save is excellent. Only problem I see (other than the vulnerable shaman), is that I wouldn't really want one of my most expensive units overrunning sacrificial eagles every turn! I think that, in an army already cursed by its uncontrollable elements, losing more control by taking frenzied units would be playing with fire. But then I'm used to disciplined elves. :)

Mikael.K wrote:
While 50 orcs or 40 black orcs would be a nice unit, it also makes for a nice dwellers target.

And there's this too! I suppose at least Black Orcs and Big Uns are better at strength tests.

Mikael.K wrote:
What I gather from the above mentioned battle reports (O&G and VC) and from personal experiance is that armies with just a few big blocks and very little support have a hard time vs combined arms/magic heavy armies.

All in all is that unit sizes or horde formation depends on what army one is using, but what all have in common is that support units are maybe more important than ever before.

This is what I've seen so far, but lots of players haven't. Most armies I've seen in the upcoming campaign I'm entering (starting Monday) are built around a few big blocks or hordes with precious little support. I haven't played lots of armies but I think I can handle them. 50 Seaguard anyone?


In other news, NaE and I had our High Elves v Orcs & Goblins rematch today. Battle Report on the way...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:11 am 
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Green Istari

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Seredain wrote:
the lion horde is also both very vulnerable to damage and very expensive, while only 8 or so wounds before it hits combat will render the wide formation useless.

I'm not sure getting those third rank attacks is the only point of the formation. As mentioned in the tactics forum, wide formations tend to be better against templates. There are also times when you want to go wide with Stubborn troops, maybe to extend your whole battleline and overlap the enemy. I also remember Rob Lane making the point that while a unit might take casualties before it hits combat, it might not so much, especially if there are other threats heading towards the enemy. Maybe in this case the sheer points invested makes this less likely.

Seredain wrote:
This would be a powerful unit, SA. The ward save is excellent. Only problem I see (other than the vulnerable shaman), is that I wouldn't really want one of my most expensive units overrunning sacrificial eagles every turn! I think that, in an army already cursed by its uncontrollable elements, losing more control by taking frenzied units would be playing with fire. But then I'm used to disciplined elves.

Frenzy is not so bad now as you can restrain the charge. I think if this was a unit that had to chop up the enemy's best to be worth it then getting stymied by eagles would be a big problem. Firstly though, it's a glorified character bunker, those two can really help the army without getting into combat. Maybe it can afford to take the 1pt bows and fire off a few arrows! I'd be nervous of taking a charge from something like your cavalry bus though.

Mikael.K wrote:
All in all is that unit sizes or horde formation depends on what army one is using, but what all have in common is that support units are maybe more important than ever before.

I too agree with this. I can only see the Orc hordes discussed above working with good flank support.

Let's see what our green friend has come up with!

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