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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:47 am 
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Argurio wrote:
Usually i survive the enemy shooting phase but my eagle always dies and i have to move him into a unit so its like im wasting 50 points

You can't target the eagle separately so this couldn't happen. Check the rules regarding monstrous beasts/cav., etc in the BRB.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:31 am 
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John Rainbow wrote:
Argurio wrote:
Usually i survive the enemy shooting phase but my eagle always dies and i have to move him into a unit so its like im wasting 50 points

You can't target the eagle separately so this couldn't happen. Check the rules regarding monstrous beasts/cav., etc in the BRB.


Of course not but usually i get shooted by 20 arrows and when he throw the dices to see what he hits, like 15 usually EAT the eagle xd


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:38 am 
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All the shots roll against the riders toughness and armour save i believe.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Noting your concerns about the lack of protection for your Banner of Sorcery,Curu, I was wondering if a small unit of 5PG with full command would not be worth the investment of 105 points, placing the BSB in the second rank and then adding them to a critical combat later in the game,maybe turns 5 or 6.
Also while archers arent very durable once combat prevented your shooting had you considered throwing them into the fray to ease pressure on your general at all?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:40 pm 
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@Caradryal - thanks for the feedback :)

@dabber - yeah I really dislike it when it takes for the later parts to come up, the report sort of loses momentum.

I think I'll stick to all-at-once unless something comes up which limits my time.

@Argurio - I think you're stuck in the 7th edition rules. In the 8th edition rules, a ridden monstrous beast and its rider counts as one model for the purposes of being killed. This composite model has the highest wound profile of the two parts (thus 3W in this case) and uses the rider's toughness and armour save, the latter of which receives a +1 bonus for being mounted. Note that this does not apply to a monster, which can thus still be killed separate from the rider.

@John Rainbow - indeed you are correct.

@KJSparkz - 5PG is way too fragile a unit for the Banner of Sorcery. However, the bigger problem is that I spend lots of points which gives me very little. While PG are tough, they need to be taken in some numbers at the very least, to be useful.

In the last game I did contemplate charging the Archers in. However, this would put my weak characters at risk and with the stubborn crown it's kind of hard to achieve a whole lot. Bear in mind that he was pretty strong for most of the combat phases, relative to Archers' melee strength. One advantage would of course have been that if the Archers had wounded the 'guts they wouldn't receive regen vs the Dragon due to the Banner of Eternal Flame.

I'm having a practice game against Dark Reaper tonight. We're playing ETC rules so he'll bring 2400 Daemons and I guess I won't get the most insane magic phases. Oh well, at least I'm allowed to generate +3 as opposed to the usual +2 ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
@Argurio - I think you're stuck in the 7th edition rules. In the 8th edition rules, a ridden monstrous beast and its rider counts as one model for the purposes of being killed. This composite model has the highest wound profile of the two parts (thus 3W in this case) and uses the rider's toughness and armour save, the latter of which receives a +1 bonus for being mounted. Note that this does not apply to a monster, which can thus still be killed separate from the rider.



I see i didnt know that, but anyway this is making it hard anyway to resist a salvo of 20 arrows with the rider's toughness whic is gonna be 3 :S:S. Even a salvo of strenght 3 bows is a serious danger this way isnt it?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Argurio wrote:
Curu Olannon wrote:
@Argurio - I think you're stuck in the 7th edition rules. In the 8th edition rules, a ridden monstrous beast and its rider counts as one model for the purposes of being killed. This composite model has the highest wound profile of the two parts (thus 3W in this case) and uses the rider's toughness and armour save, the latter of which receives a +1 bonus for being mounted. Note that this does not apply to a monster, which can thus still be killed separate from the rider.



I see i didnt know that, but anyway this is making it hard anyway to resist a salvo of 20 arrows with the rider's toughness whic is gonna be 3 :S:S. Even a salvo of strenght 3 bows is a serious danger this way isnt it?


Remember you also always get the Armour Save - it is impossible to hit the Eagle directly, you just consider it as one model with 3 wounds, T3 and whatever the riders' armour save is. Most riders will have a 2+, sometimes with reroll, and maybe a Ward Save too.

Strength 3 Arrows almost never get through, especially with a rerollable Armour Save. :)

@Curu: I don't post much, but have been reading your blog for a while. Perhaps it would be an idea to post the evaluation / post battle thoughts in a later post, so you could see what others think of the entire battle before you post your own opinion?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Hey Curu, are you going to NM next year? http://www.2d6.no/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=9557


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:00 pm 
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@Argurio - while T3 is generally quite vulnerable, it is easy to kit him out with a good armour save. As you can see from my roster, I field him with a 2+ re-rollable armour save, which is plenty of protection against S3 firepower.

@Elolith - will take it into consideration, at least try it for a report or two :) Thanks for the input, much appreciated!

@Chayal - I haven't decided yet. It's relatively far into the future and I have loads of other things before that to consider ;)

I had a very enjoyable game against Dark Reaper and his ETC Daemons tonight. He fielded an interesting list, featuring a Keeper with Spirit Swallower at the core with a plethora of lesser Daemons from various fractions helping him out (in fact, all 4 were represented!). I don't know if I'll have the report up tomorrow or if it'll take longer, however here are some teasers:
- how important is IF? How dangerous can it be?
- how much can HE Archers really do?
- what is it with playing Daemons and the importance of those 5+ rolls?
- is the Star Dragon really that powerful?
- does a Horde of Bloodletters with a fully kitted-out Herald hit relatively hard, or does it truly hit you like a train wreck?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:17 am 
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I'm going to get the report up today, but I don't know when just yet. Might be early, might be late. For now, here's the deployment for you all. Input appreciated :)

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:12 am 
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Aright, report-time again!

:: Descendants of Aenarion ::

My list:
Saerith with GW, AoC, Vambraces, Loec, Star Dragon
BSB Naenor with RGoH, GW, DA
Mage lvl 2 crystal
Mage lvl 2 seerstaff

20 Archers, Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flames
15 Archers, Musician
10 Archers
10 Spearelves

21 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Sorcery, Amulet of Light
7 Swordmasters, Bladelord w/Skeinsliver, Musician
5 White Lions

2 Great Eagles

Daemons' list:

Keeper of Secrets, Spirit Swallower

Tzeentch Herald, Scroll, fly
Nurgle Herald, BSB with Icon of Despair
Khorne Herald on Jugger with Armour of Khorne, re-roll to-wound stuff

26 Bloodletters, Icon of +D6 first charge
19 Plaguebearers
5 Chaos Furies
5 Chaos Furies

6 Flamers of Tzeentch
1 Fiend of Slaanesh
5 Fiends of Slaanesh

:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

By ETC standards I was expecting to face Banner of Sundering, but since he knew I was fielding Coven of Light he didn't feel like bringing it because it would feel like tailoring. Like I told him, I think 90% of all Daemons armies will sport this banner in ETC so I may as well get used to it now. Regardless, the Icon of -2LD it was for this game.

The big threat here was of course the fast stuff. I was confident that I could handle the rest, but the Keeper + Fiends could potentially tear through me as if my units were paper. To this end, I was very happy to see him use the Fiends as a flanking element with the Keeper going in a central position - nothing worrying me at all so far! I out-chaffed him, which gave me a pretty good deployment.

Magic saw me miss out on both Banishment and Pha's, my BSB got Speed of Light while the Crystalmage got Net (which I swapped for Shem's) and Timewarp. He got a perfect selection for his Tzeentchian Herald: Glean Magic and Bolt of Change.

Image

:: Daemons Turn 1 ::

Everything surged forwards, the Keeper and Fiends being somewhat cautious. His Herald on the Bloodletters was positioned centrally, meaning he had to take a dangerous terrain test if he wanted to stay in that place as opposed to on a flank. Dark Reaper said it wasn't that important, and promptly failed both the test and his ward save, leaving the Herald at 1W.

Magic gave us a 7v6 split and he started off with a 3D6 Gleaned Shem's on the closest Eagle. I let it through and it did no damage. Bolt of Change was dispelled.

Shooting saw his Flamers target my first bunker, the Spears. A few died, but I passed panic. Overall, a pretty good T1 Daemons from my point of view.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

Saerith was 19" away from the Keeper and I reckoned I could put pressure on him early on, blocking the Letters if need be. Anyway, I failed the charge so only moved a couple of inches.

Eagles moved up to block the Keeper and keep the 'Letters from getting their +D6 charge move against something valuable.

Magic - 9v5 and I started with a 5D6 Banishment, getting IF. The result knocked 3W off the Keeper and killed a couple of Elves. The rest of the phase was contained. I shot what I could at the Keeper and managed 1W, leaving him on only 1W! The Western Archers started targeting the Fiends though, fearing the incoming charge.

Image

:: Daemons Turn 2 ::

Keeper charges the Eagle. It flees and Dark Reaper realizes that if he pursues, he'll be standing in no-man's land with 1W. He successfully redirects against the Archers with the Seermage, which Stand and Shoot. 3 hits are rolled, but none find a weak spot. Regardless, I still have ASF for another chance. The Keeper makes it. The Letters charge the Eagle, who also flees. Due to its angle, he's not too keen on being left in the middle, so he decides to redirect against the Swordmasters, hoping the Icon of Endless War will help him. Alas, it does not and the Eagles are both alive, still. The fiends charge the Archers and a very good roll on my part sees no less than 4W scored by Stand and Shoot.

Magic gives us an 8v6 split and his Herald is now within range of 2 of my mages. He thus uses Glean Magic to Banish the Dragon. Fearing Bolt of Change more, I let it through and the net result is, luckily, 1W on Faeria and none on Saerith. I dispel the Bolt.

Shooting sees his Flamers roll really miserably and fail to kill the rest of the Spears, leaving 3 alive.

Combat - my West Archers manage to win, again some strong rolls, but the Fiends hold onto reality. The central and important combat sees me fail to roll 6's to wound yet again, and he kills all but 3 models, catching them in pursuit and overrunning into Saerith. Due to Spirit Swallower, he is now fully healed.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

I have a bit of a problem, I really want Timewarp on the Prince and Dragon but his scroll is still intact. The solution is that he's all Daemonic and his Herald is alone. Though I've lost Pha's and Banishment, my spells are still pretty good. While you ponder this, let's look at the movement phase first.

The small Lions need 9+ to help the Archers. I figure that they may as well try, and successfully roll the charge, flanking the Fiends. The Lions and Swordmasters move back while the Eagles both rally. My BSB shifts to the rear Archers while the remaining Spears move to block the Plaguebearers, forcing them closer to the building.

Magic - a crucial phase sees him channel twice for a total of 11v8. This is pretty bad for me. I start with a 3D6 Speed of Light, which he uses 5 (!)D6 to dispel. I then cast a powered up Shem's on 5D6 (probably should've cast the normal one on 3D6 as the Herald of Tzeentch is only T3) which he scrolls. We're thus left with 3v3 D6 and I successfully get Timewarp through his defenses, granting me a total of 12 (!) attacks and ASF on both models!

Shooting does very little and we move to combat.

The Fiends are now in dire straits but one of them manages to hold on, much to my relief (as they're thus shielded from the Flamers). The Keeper loses 2W to the Dragon and deal 3 back. He thus wins by 2 but I manage to hold due to the BSB.

Image

:: Daemons Turn 3 ::

His Furies charge Saerith's flank (forgot to move them last turn, they were screening the Herald). His Bloodletters charge my Eagle again and I flee - he fails to catch me. The Plaguebearers charge the Spears.

Magic is 10v8 and he gets IF Timewarp on the Keeper. Not that it matters too much, I can handle +1A. I dispel Bolt of Change. Shooting sees his Flamers target my big Lions, killing 4.

Combat sees me declare Loec. I manage to kill the Keeper with Saerith's 5 attacks alone, re-rolls be praised! In return, he brings the Dragon down to 2W. Because he challenged, I miss Faeria's attacks on the Furies (I actually forgot that because she had ASF this should've been counted for the purposes of Overkill) and lose combat, however I pass the break test. The last Fiend dies and miraculously, a Spearelf survives. He decides to pursue, much to my relief, catching the Spear but getting stuck next to the building.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

I move the Lions up together with the Swords, using an Eagle to block the Letters for now. The idea is to have him charge it, overrun and give me a very favourable combat. However, doing it like this I also have a couple of other lucrative options. The West move up close to the building, the Lions making ready to either go against the Plaguebearers or interrupt the Flamers should they try and escape the Archers.

Magic is 9v6. I cast Speed of Light on the Lions, which he lets through. Looking carefully at the Eagle placement, it's clear that if it flees it'll go past the Lions, not through them, thus not even causing a panic test. If he redirects, WS10 I10 can pose serious issues for his Herald and with stubborn I stand a pretty good chance of holding, if I even lose, since killing the Herald (who only has 1W) will lose him his Hatred. The rest of my magic is dispelled.

Shooting does little and in combat the Furies manage a wound on Faeria, bringing her down to 1W. I kill them all in return.

Image

:: Daemons Turn 4 ::

The 'Letters charge the Eagle and I promptly flee. He then fails to redirect into the Lions and cannot catch the Eagle either because the Lions are blocking! He uses his Furies to block the Swordmasters.

Magic is 7v7 and he starts off with a 5D6 Bolt of Change, which I dispel. He then manages a 2D6 Timewarp (through Glean Magic, needing 7+) on the Letters! Shooting sees his Flamers (still full strength) target the small Lions, but they only manage to kill 2 - leaving 2 alive!

Image

:: High Elves Turn 4 ::

Swordmasters charge the blocking Furies, flaming Archers charge the Flamers. The small Lions block the Plaguebearers. I make a big mistake here as I forget to move the Dragon and flame his Bloodletters from the rear.

Magic is 7v3 and I start off with a 5D6 IF Speed of Light bubble. I lose the BSB's magic level and I manage to cast Timewarp on the Lions with 2D6 as he fails to dispel with 3D6!

Combat sees my flaming Archers put a real hurt on his Flamers as they lose 4W for killing 2 Archers. I win but he holds. Swords kill the Furies and reform.

Image

:: Daemons Turn 5 ::

Both Lions are charged. Magic is 4v4 and he fails to cast his first spell on 3D6. Shooting finally sees his Flamers target an Eagle and they promptly kill it. Panic tests - I fail like 4 because his -2LD Icon is so close, but due to the BSB they are all passed on the re-roll.

Combat sees the small Lions fail to wound the Nurgle BSB, T5 proving too tough for the 2 hits I scored. His Khorne Herald receives no less than 5 Lions attacks at WS10, I10 and I score 3 wounds. He manages to pass 0/3 armour saves - only to pass 3/3 ward saves!! The rest of the Lions manage 15 wounds on the Letters but he rolls well and saves 8 (!) of them. They are butchered down to 3 in return and I fail my break test despite the BSB. He fails to catch me but the Lions eventually run off the table.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 5 ::

I quadruple-charge his Bloodletters and the Archers charge his Flamers again. Magic is 9v6 but it doesn't matter because the only spell that matters is Timewarp. I try a bubble but fail to get IF and he dispels it easily, having 1 dice more.

Combat sees him challenge with the Herald and I accept with Saerith, killing him before he gets to strike at the Dragon. The Swordmasters do what they do best and kill a lot of 'Letters. The Archer and BSB (who made way) manage a couple more an in return he kills a couple from each unit. Needless to say, he lost by a mile and a high break test sees him vanish. The flaming Archers bring the Flamers down to 1 model.

Image

After this, he charges the Archers with BSB and mage but I flee, needing 10+ to get off the board. I promptly roll a 9 and he can't catch me, the blocking Eagle being in his way. He probably should've moved the lone Flamer out of the building but he doesn't so in my T6 I rally the coven-protection and charge + kill the last Flamer. The only thing he has left is the Plaguebearers, who miraculously enough haven't lost a single wound all game.

:: Victory Points ::

Counting up I'm ahead by 1256 points - a big victory to the High Elves! I'll save the evaluation until some I've received some replies for a change ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Nice report. I disagree about 90% of Demon armies taking the banner of sundering. It likely depends on which role the Demon army is going to fill on the team. I think HE light coven has other bad matchups and demons have few bad matchups, though I don't think that list was optimized anyhow.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:24 pm 
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nice report =D>

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:39 pm 
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No command and no re-roll wound banner on the Plaguebearers? I'm not sure Plaguebearers are worthwhile WITH that banner, but I really don't see them being valuable at just size 20 and without it.

Turn 1, why would he use Glean Magic for Shem's? Banishment is strictly better for Eagle blasting.

Your turn 1, why roll only 5d6 at Banishment when you have 9 dice? Go for 6 and force the scroll (or get IF). It works (IF), but I don't understand the decision. Only 3 wounds from Banishment is unlucky dice. 3d6 hits at strength 6, right?

On Daemon 2, the Keeper charges an Eagle and redirects into the Archers with Seermage. Why do you hold? Flee and leave him stranded. Even if you were certain the Archers with Seermage would flee off the table, holding is certain death anyway (unless you mean to challenge, but you didn't do that either). Hitting on 5s, wounding on 6s with just 8 attacks is really unlikely, even for the big payoff. You have better odds with Shem's and other Archers shooting. Or charging with the Dragon.

I understand the Flamers shooting spears on turn 1, since they could not reach another target. But I do not understand shooting the remaining spears on turn 2. Yes the spears are able to move up and block the Plaguebearers, and the Eagles are fleeing so cannot, but the Bloodletters are what matter, and only the Eagles can block those.
And the Flamers still don't shoot an Eagle on turn 3! And they stayed in the building turn 4 for no reason I can see.
Along with that, I don't understand the Bloodletters redirecting away from an Eagle and into Swordmasters. The rest of the Daemon army is not in position to help take down the White Lions nor Swordmasters, so I don't see a reason for him to worry about the Bloodletters being engaged. After killing the Eagle, reform to keep the Swordmasters in the Bloodletter front and he should be okay. Or he can throw Furies/Fiend in the way, to ensure a 1-on-1 engagement in High Elf turn 2 with either Swordmasters or White Lions, but not both at once.
Did he forget the eastern fiend on turn 2?

Your turn 2 shows why the flying Tzeentch Herald is not such a good idea. At minimum he needs to hang out with the Flamers (why didn't he?). Alternatively he just hides in the back, and forgoes his offensive magic. That is one of the advantages of Loremaster+scroll - Shadow Magic has 36" range hexes, so he can kinda do something why being far far away from danger.

Finally I don't like his Timewarping the Keeper on turn 3. Pha's is better.


How do you consistently have interesting and tight games? I swear if I was playing this, either that first Banishment would have killed the Keeper, or a Bolt of Change would have gotten through and pasted Faeria, with either one radically changing the game in one direction.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:17 pm 
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@Keith - I guess the jury's still out, but with the latest ETC draft it seems such an obvious choice to me as you don't want to lose the ability to have gifts. Khorne Herald on Jugger with Obsidian Armour and Sundering is ridiculously strong for example. I guess we'll see it soon enough when the armies are posted :)

@Benjamin - thanks mate!

@dabber - lots of interesting opinions, as usual :) Always appreciated, please keep the coming. For now, let's address your latest batch of comments:
- The Plaguebearers were mostly an experiment. I'm pretty sure they won't show up again ^^
- T1 he didn't have LoS to Banishment-mage
- ETC restricts PD usage to 5D6 per spell (4 max for Shadow and Death), thus no 6-dicing Banishment. I rolled 10 or 11 hits, but failed to wound with quite a few. 3D6 S6 is correct.
- Daemon T2 you are of course correct, I should've fled the Archers. This would probably have lead to a way easier game for me. Can't believe I didn't consider this!
- The Flamers were played poorly, I agree. Target the Eagles with all you have an life will be so much easier!
- The Bloodletters redirected into the Swords to hopefully clear the flank instead of ending up in the middle of it all where I could flank him fairly easily. Perhaps chasing would've been better. The Eastern Fiend was moved, I just forgot it in the diagram.
- I agree that fly is sub-optimal for a Herald of Tzeentch. I wounded him 3 times with Archers this game in total but he saved them all. Suffice is to say it could've easily turned out differently. Keep in mind that with ETC restrictions, you can't get Loremaster Shadow for him.
- Pha's is definitely better, but it wasn't available as the Pha's mage was dead. His options were Speed of Light, Shem's and Timewarp :)

As for consistently having interesting and tight games - I guess that overall I play a pretty safe approach, so even if a game is vastly in my favour it may not appear that way. I'm not saying I had this under control from like T2 or anything, I totally did not, but I frequently have a very good position that it simply takes a turn or two to capitalize on. See the last report from Crusade for example, having won the Western chaff war and forced his Vargheists into a poor position I knew I would win, barring insane dice, but it took a while to actually get the crucial charges through. Bear in mind though that I have had some really one-dimensional games as well (first Ogre game springs to mind...) where a Terror test, a miscast or a cannonball ruins/makes my day. The Keeper could easily have died T1 here, which would've made it a LOT easier for me. I guess I'm lucky to avoid having these insane dice all the time as well ;) To some degree though, the difference in skill level matters as well, as a good opponent can frequently at least present a challenge despite losing a ~500 point unit early on. Though the Dragon is powerful, it is still a High Elf army and as such it's incredibly fragile and very unforgiving.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:52 pm 
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In no way do I believe this to be my finest hour. I made way too many stupid mistakes and also some of the things I wanted to test out turned out to not be that great at all.

Tbh, I think the Great Standard of Sundering will become a staplein most ETC-players lists. Daemons usually struggle a bit in the magic defense department due to no easy access to a lvl4 and it is especially useful without a LoC or loremaster Herald as you are absolutely guaranteed that no other army will have the same lore as you unless they are also playing daemons. That combined with the fact that a BSB can take it and still take gifts, makes it almost a no-brainer in my eyes. The only reason I didn't include it in my list was that I now Curu is running the mini-coven, and I did not want to be a dick. The plaguebearers are definitely going the way of the dodo and the Jugger Herald will become the new BSB me thinks.

I played the Flamers very poorly, no doubt about it. I think it has something to do with my extreme disbelief in their ability, or rather my ability to roll anywhere near average results on them, so I mostly just pick a target and fire, not really believing I am going to inflict any wounds anyway. Next time I will bring 2 units of 3, as I think they are more effective at clearing chaff this way.

The big question is magic I think. How to make an effective magic phase under the ETC-comp. I am actually considering dropping the Herald of Tzeenth, and swap the Plaguebearers for a huge unit of Horrors and swap Keeper for a BT with scroll.

Anyway, it was a fun match against a great opponent once again. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:18 am 
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I had a go with star dragon + a 4 mage coven of light.

I was not impressed, the army turned from a mobile strike force into a semi castle army that needed to defend mages. I much preferred having the one mage that really was on his own to stay alive which allowed the rest of the army to move in preparation for combat. 4 Mages to defend is quite a lot.. stick them all in a unit of spearmen? I'm not sure. I had to drop 2x reavers and 2x tiranocs just to squeeze them in.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:27 am 
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Lord Anathir wrote:
I had a go with star dragon + a 4 mage coven of light.

I was not impressed, the army turned from a mobile strike force into a semi castle army that needed to defend mages. I much preferred having the one mage that really was on his own to stay alive which allowed the rest of the army to move in preparation for combat. 4 Mages to defend is quite a lot.. stick them all in a unit of spearmen? I'm not sure. I had to drop 2x reavers and 2x tiranocs just to squeeze them in.


This is actually something I noticed in Curu's last Battle Report compared to earlier ones, too.

The list used to be all about controlling the movement phase and picking your combats, but in the last battle it seems you rely completely on your Eagles to do that for you. For example, your Dragon didn't move at all until your turn 5, and until your turn 3 everything else is shuffling around in the back as well. This is also true to a lesser degree in the Ogre battle report, where you don't enter your opponents' side of the table at all, despite those Ironblasters (and your Dragon got stuck in an unfavourable combat, something I'm not sure happened before at all).

It looks like mainly a change in play-style, and I don't think it really changes the effectiveness of the list, but it does seem you are now reacting to your opponents instead of forcing them to react to you. That is a bad thing, I would say.

It could of course just be because of these two opponents - and two battles isn't really enough to comment on a list change - just wondering if you are noticing the same thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:53 pm 
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@Dark Reaper - I fondly remember rusty declaring that playing Daemons make you stupid because you're not used to having to think about your game in the same way you do when e.g. playing Wood Elves. Granted, he said this after he lost a game due to a Bloodthirster charging a 50+ skink/krox unit but I think the point is valid: from a psychological point of view you 'know' the inherent advantage in a matchup. I think that, especially when facing strong players, these things need to go out the window and focus must be 100% at all times. Giving a good player a solid opportunity to exploit, even if he's playing Tomb Kings, can easily lose you the game.

As for being a dick about taking Sundering, please bring it next time ;) With regards to the Flamers, I really have never seen anyone roll as poorly with them as you do. I remember losing entire units to them, have characters severely hurt etc, however when you open up with 6 of them I'm really not afraid of more than a couple biting the dust ^^

I'm also wondering what Daemons will do about magic in ETC.

@Lord Anathir - I think 4 is a bit overkill. However, High Elves have an inherent advantage when it comes to magic offense due to Banner of Sorcery. If nothing else, I believe utilizing this to some degree can be very successful - even if you tie up ~600 points in a Dragon.

@Elolith - Whether you play defensively or offensively will always depend on the matchup. See my very first game against with the Dragonlord for example. In this game, I lost a lot of table control when my Dragon failed the T1 charge on his Keeper. Had I made this, I would've played the game very differently. Against Ogres, I really could not have moved the Dragon up before those Blasters were dead. Had I not had the Coven of Light, I would've probably lost the game way worse than I did, way earlier than I did.

As for opponents reacting to me vs me reacting to them: in the Daemons game I knew exactly how the movement would occur prior to T1 starting. Regardless of the list, with his deployment I have to respond to him: when those Letters move up 10" with Icon of Endless War, you have to block them. Likewise M10 Fiends and Keeper force you to pay attention. Apart from these things, I think I dictated the flow of the battle very well, in keeping the Letters constantly threatened and the West safe. Overall though, the list is perceived as more reactive than proactive because its nature is less mobile. The multitude of units and options though frequently mean that I determine the flow of the game in the deployment phase, with minor adjustments as the turns progress.

Like I said, I'm not convinced yet that this is a stronger approach, however it has really opened my eyes to some of the other viable builds for a Star Dragon. I really appreciate the critical input asking the hard questions which we frequently don't want to realize ourselves, because it forces us to consider the notion that 'perhaps I'm wrong' - something which is uncomfortable for most people, including me, but nevertheless vital to achieving an optimal list :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:24 pm 
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I am continuing our discussion about your list from my blog (Link) here as it makes more sense to have it here and I find that I am in agreement with some of the others here - most of which expressed the same thoughts more eloquently than I did!

When I mentioned a 'coven-lite' but still keeping to a similar play-style as previously, I had in mind something like this:
Quote:
Saerith with GW, AoC, Vambraces, Loec, Star Dragon
BSB Naenor on eagle, Sword Might, Helm Fortune, DA, sh
Mage lvl 2 crystal
Mage lvl 2 silver wand

20 Archers, Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flames
15 Archers, Musician
10 Archers
10 Spearelves

26 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness, Amulet of Light
8 Swordmasters, Full Command, Skeinsliver

2 Great Eagles


Obviously this has lost something in comparison to the previous list in that the power of the coven has been significantly diluted. However, the power level you could achieve was never realistically going to rival Brewmaster. I feel the lack of a lvl4 really hurts the coven and is almost a necessity to get the most out of the set up. Based on IMHO how poorly the coven performed against the Daemons (with no real magical defence), I don't think that dropping the RGoH will lose much as you are still casting with a max. lvl2. Str5 banishment is still fairly decent. Obviously Str6 would be better but I think you gain more from the flying BSB.

An issue I have had while trying to build this list around a small coven is in equipment. I don't think that the BoS is really a necessity here due to the lower caster levels and I have starry eyes for the +1 movement on the WLs so it loses out. The question is then whether the seerstaff is a necessity also. I'm not sure that it is with the chances of rolling the same spells on your mages anyway. I went for the wand in this case but I could see an arguement for the scroll or the seerstaff being valid. This decision has an impact in the size of the WLs or SMs so you have to take that into consideration. The list I posted above is also 2500 on the nose, assuming I can calculate these things correctly...

So, what do you think? I have kept up with our discussion of my list on my blog also.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Interesting that I had a bunch of factually poor comments yesterday. Thank you for taking the time to point out my errors.

Glad I was correct on one thing of consequence - noticing the Seermage and Archers should have fled the Keeper redirect.

I'm still curious about the Bloodletters not chasing down the Eagle turn 2 though. Was the distance short enough there was a reasonable chance of hitting the Swordmasters? It looks like under 50-50 odds, but not hugely under.
Mainly I don't see the threat from killing the Eagle. Leadership test to reform after catching the bird is 9 re-rollable, so really nothing is going to be flanking the Bloodletters. I think going to the middle also puts the -2 leadership banner in range of various things that are taking panic and fear tests, so that might help.


PS I wonder if I end up analyzing your opponents' decisions more than yours.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:52 pm 
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The Bloodletters needed a 9" to make the charge. I figured I might as well try since their banner only works on their first charge anyway. I think I have a fairly decent chance of making it tbh, but things didn't go as planned.

I think my decisions need more analysis than Curu's anyway, so I am happy. :-)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:19 pm 
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@John Rainbow - it's an interesting example list, but I strongly disagree with dropping the Banner of Sorcery: at 50 points it truly is a steal. The question then becomes if you want to go for 2 mages and the Banner, or just 1 mage (like my original list), at least that's how I see it. When we have access to +D3 power dice for 50 points, I see no reason why you'd want to spend 300+ points in mages and not invest in a secure and strong magic phase. I'm also not so sure that Lore of Light is the best setup with 2 mages: consider this for example - both mages with Life, their items are silver wand + ring of fury and annulian crystal. 5 spells of which most are cheap to cast (Lifebloom for the win!) and a magic missile or two to boot! Also, Flesh to Stone is downright terrifying on the Dragon even without Throne of Vines. I find that the casting values in Life synergize greatly with level 2's, the first 5 spells (if you include the signature) can be cast on 3D6 with a 90% or more chance of success: perfect for trickle, perfect for avoiding miscasts, perfect for diminishing the effect of the ubiquituous scroll defense. I'll post a reply relative to your own list and context in your thread shortly ;)

@dabber - yeah no worries! Remember that sending the Bloodletters after the Eagle would allow the Swordmasters a wide, flanking manoevre. It's a pretty big chance that they fail to catch it at all, since it could've reached the Archers and gone past their possible charge. I can't remember the details here, but at the moment I didn't consider redirecting a big mistake, if any at all. Had I known this would've been important I would've measured up more to give a better starting point for analysis. Remember that the Letters didn't have the -2LD banner: the Plaguebearers did. As such, sending more stuff into the centre rather delays the -2LD banner much more than it helps it as space is prime real estate with 25mm armies.

@Dark Reaper - yeah I think it was roughly 50-50 for those Swordmasters, either 9 or 10 to make it. Have you considered making an army blog of your own? That should certainly help you out with regards to feedback and analysis :)

I'll post my evaluation of the game tomorrow. For now though, I'll say that John Rainbow's onto the interesting aspects of this version of the Star Dragon list: can magic offense be combined in another way than the Lore of Light?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:17 am 
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The reason I used 4 mages is for the strength banishment that can take out monsters. The army doesn't really need buffs as much as it needs high strength nukes to get rid of dragons/greater demons/terrorgeishts/etc. If I could take 2 mages and find a way to keep them alive without having to use too many of my forces I might consider it. The option to take sorcery does make it tempting. However having an army that is predominantly combat with archers/rbt (I like to take an rbt) to take out chaff seems easier to manage and can be specifically designed to do exactly what they are supposed to.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:36 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
I'm also not so sure that Lore of Light is the best setup with 2 mages: consider this for example - both mages with Life, their items are silver wand + ring of fury and annulian crystal. 5 spells of which most are cheap to cast (Lifebloom for the win!) and a magic missile or two to boot! Also, Flesh to Stone is downright terrifying on the Dragon even without Throne of Vines. I find that the casting values in Life synergize greatly with level 2's, the first 5 spells (if you include the signature) can be cast on 3D6 with a 90% or more chance of success: perfect for trickle, perfect for avoiding miscasts, perfect for diminishing the effect of the ubiquituous scroll defense.


Speaking as someone who has tested the lore of life with dragon extensively i can honestly say it doesnt work. throne is a waste without a level 4 and by the time the dragon has taken wounds he's usually out of range of lifebloom, although most common cause for dragon death is run down from combat res. Flesh to stone is the only worthwhile spell in that lore as earthblood requires you to be in the same unit and who wants the 150pt+ mage on the front lines. I think the best combo is lvl2 with seerstaff on high or maybe shadow and lvl 2 with scroll on fire.

Either way Curu is dead on with banner of sorcery as i can say from testing it helps the 2 mage magic phase massively. While i haven't test the mini coven i just dont see it working as bad spell rolls mean you miss double banishment and you have to sacrifice too many models to fit the third wizard in.

@Lord Anathir I agree 100% about the rbt and take 2 as combined with a good BoS magic phase forces the enemy to you rather than the other way around. However I find that the dragon beats all other big beasties head on no problem especially if the talisman of loec is in play although the threat of 2 rbt and a good magic phase can keep even a bloodthirster worried.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:57 pm 
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@Lord Anathir - I can most definitely see the value in S7, however having tried to design a list or two to go with it I can't come up with a list that I like because you end up spending >1200 points on characters alone. A solution to the 2-mage problem COULD be Folariath's Robe - especially in a list like yours with so many elements that could truly give you some flexibility without sacrificing lots of your units to mage-protection duty. Worth considering, at the very least!

@Irishranger - looking at the spells I can see what you mean, however I'm not sure this is necessarily the case with Silver Wand: a total of 5 spells from Life oughta give you a good selection! I'll comment more indepth on this matter later, along with an evaluation of the game :)

Thanks a lot for the input everyone, you keep making this blog worth writing with all the superb feedback you're providing and the discussions you're starting and participating in!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Irishranger wrote:
Speaking as someone who has tested the lore of life with dragon extensively i can honestly say it doesnt work.

Although I haven't tried it myself, I'm with Irish Ranger as I also don't believe Life is a great lore choice here. There are several issues with the lore: the short range of the lore attribute will mean the Dragon is out or range most of the time as it needs to be mobile and will not likely be in your backfield with the mages - remember regrowth does not work on dragons either! The Awakening of the Wood is a pretty poor excuse for a magic missile .One of the key spells I feel that this list needs is a decent magic missile for ranged output and to deal with annoying ethereals. Life doesn't really have it. The signature spell is not particularly useful as it is on the caster's unit only - regen archers is cute but not really that useful. The usefulness of throne is also severely diminished and this is a huge reason to take Life magic (if not the reason as it is really good!). The only way I can really see life magic working is by taking throne and the spell you want on the same mage to boost it's effects i.e. dwellers and throne on a lvl2 can potentially be as good as on a lvl4 as you can 6d it and not care about miscasts. Having said this though, I think that there are better choices for magic...

We want a strong magic missile. With just the 2 mages in the list to try and keep other stuff in there too this becomes an issue with light magic as Banishment is no longer as effective as with the full coven. Two similar but less(?) powerful spells are Amber Spear in Beasts & Thunderbolt in the Lore of Heavens. Perhaps the seerstaff mage could take one of these spells instead? Admittedly it's only d6 str6 and no rerolling of ward saves but it is str6 after all. This could then be combined with something else from Beasts/Heavens - many of the other spells are also good e.g. comet for forcing gunlines to move or one of the buffs/debuffs for helping out with combats. We would then be looking for a lore to put on the other mage. I would be tempted to go back to either Light magic or High magic as they both feature a plethora of spells that could be useful and work well with Heavens. Shadow magic might also be fun but depending on actual spells rolled could also be significantly less effective.

The question is whether d6 Str6 hits (from Beasts/Heavens) is worth more than 2d6 str5 hits forcing re-rolls on wards. TBH, there is actually not much in it in terms of wounding a T6 beastie, both spells are likely to do a net 2W. The difference comes in that str6 strips more armour which will probably be more useful against a generic opponent, the longer (boosted) range of banishment is also something to consider while the boosted version of Amber spear is also very good (with Beasts you could also use Wildform/Pelt to boost the strength/toughness of you units as you mentioned you could with Life).

Anyway, perhaps I've rambled a bit here but I think Heavens/Beasts are worth considering, especially with the 'seermage'.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:59 pm 
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Yes, the mage setup is certainly open for lots of discussion! In particular, a lore has to synergize well not only with the Dragon, but also the other elements. In addition to this, it has to be worth the price you pay for including that second mage and the Banner of Sorcery, as we already know that a level 2 can hold his own fairly well relative to being a 175-point investment. I'll delve into this in a bit, first up though is an evaluation of the game against Dark Reaper:

:: Descendants of Aenarion - Evaluation ::

Initially I was intending to refuse the Eastern flank, which I realized too late that was impossible. Because of this, I had some suboptimally placed Archer units, which forced me into more of a static position than I would've preferred. Also, the small Lion squad was completely misplaced as I had intended for them to be an anchor on the refused side of things. When he grabbed first turn as well, these mistakes became even more glaring because I was forced to accept some unfavourable matchups - 20 Archers are by far not a sure bet against 5 Fiends without immediate support!

I was very happy with my Eagle usage this game. Also, the smaller units proved more than capable of supporting eachother and block his vital elements when needed. Part of this was because of luck, as his Flamers failed to eradicate my support, but it was also because I realized early on that the central building would be key.

The biggest mistake in the game was probably to not flee from the Keeper charging the Archers in his redirect: this would've left him in the middle of no-where with 1W left. Hopefully I won't make such a mistake again!

A Bloodletter horde hits really hard. I think that in general, even a Star Dragon struggles to cope with their sheer damage output as the hatred granted by the Herald is so powerful with S5 killing blows. I dread the day when I face multiples of this configuration with proper support, played by a strong general. What I do find though is that eliminating / isolating their support allows them to be dealt with as and when I please. Though this unit is a very good example of a braindead glasscannon, it's far from the only one in the game. I think that the choices around the Star Dragon need to help out in these situations. Perhaps more than anything, a strong magic phase should consider these elements.

As usual, Dark Reaper did not have his way with the dice when he needed it the most. He tends to end up in hard spots against me, and we all know that sometimes you just need that little bit of luck. Luckily for me, this didn't happen this time either: the game could easily have turned out very differently (as we were, the win would've been an 18-2 victory in a tournament setting) than it did. I believe he's more than capable of beating me: though he made mistakes which I was able to exploit I certainly make a few as well, which he frequently picks up on.

***

Now, back to the magic discussion. As I said previously, I believe that the Coven has shown more than anything that going for a somewhat decent magic phase is viable, even with a Star Dragon occupying north of 600 points. It all boils down to the fact that Banner of Sorcery is ridiculously good. The choice then remains to figure out what kind of spells the army needs to:
- have the flexibility necessary to take on most threats/armies out there
- present at least 1, preferably 2, high-priority casts in most situations
- support the Dragon and the rest of the configuration in a proper manner: covering weak points and amplifying strong points

This is the gist of it anyways. As usual, I'll approach this in a theoretical manner first:
- I don't really need help to bring down big stuff. Without Banishment, I can't reliably threaten the few things in the game which I would like to hurt at a distance (e.g. Ironblaster, cannons, mortis engine). What I do need is chaff-clearing (to allow favourable combats) and buffs to increase my survivability (strong point for the Dragon; weak point for the specials). It could be argued that hexes are equally important, as they amplify the damage output. I'm not sure where I stand on this one, but my gut feeling tells me that augments are slightly better here (by nature) - Shield of Saphery holds so much value!
- Presenting high-priority casts is a very hard thing to accomplish, but it is nevertheless essential to most strategic magic phases because you want to threaten the enemy so heavily early game that the scroll comes out before you hit combat, allowing you to cast those vital buffs when needed. This is a thing which really fits the Coven very well: S6 Banishment, especially the double kind, usually does this extremely well. However, presenting high-priority casts in multiples also allow you to overcome any/most dice splits: even a 12v8 split should allow you to force through one key spell if you have 2 or 3 of them (example: flesh to stone, the withering, enfeebling foe).
- Supporting the Dragon and the army as a whole is perhaps the most complex part to analyze, simply because you cannot know for sure from a theoretical point of view what the optimal spells for a given army is. It has to tried and tested, perhaps fine-tuned as you go along. It boils down to an educated guess as a starting point and working from there.

Ok, so enough abstract ranting. Let's get down to some sample setups:

Mage level 2 Annulian Crystal (Lore of Life)
Mage level 2 Silver Wand, Ring of Fury (Lore of Life)
- An interesting thought focusing on survivability. Based on comments, it may be impractical to use due to the 12" range of Lifebloom and the fact that you cannot Regrow the Dragon. Nevertheless, I believe it holds some value and I'm positive the items are a good starting point.

Mage level 2 Annulian Crystal (Lore of High Magic)
Mage level 2 Silver Wand, Ring of Fury (Lore of High Magic)
- A very appealing setup which allows duplicates of the highly versatile Shield of Saphery, along with a possible duplicated version of a strong magic missile and access to the game-winners Flames and Vaul's. Could you need more? Well, the lore allows your Dragon to be stubborn - perhaps helping it out against its worst enemy: combat resolution. The icing on the cake is that the last rollable spell is Curse of Arrow Attraction, which synergizes very well with lots of Archers. Did I mention that between these 2 mages, you'll get a staggering 8 (!!!) potential casts?

Mage level 2 Seerstaff of Saphery (Lore of Shadow Magic)
Mage level 2 Annulian Crystal (Lore of Fire)
- With ETC rules you can choose your spells when the game is about to begin with the Seerstaff, instead of writing them down. With a lore as powerful as Shadow, this gives me huge flexibility. The downside is a 4PD maximum per cast, but regardless both Withering, Enfeebling and Miasma are terribly strong debuffs. The second mage is mainly there to ensure a strong magic missile and if he can get either Flaming Sword or Flame Cage it'll augment the army very well.

Mage level 2 Annulian Crystal (Lore of Light)
Mage level 2 Seerstaff of Saphery (Lore of Light)
- Essentially a toned-down Coven. While Banishment isn't the gamebreaker it can be otherwise, it's still a very strong magic missiles and the AoE buffs in this lore synergize very well with multiple, fragile High Elf units. Also, making the Dragon practically unbreakable and/or WS10 I10 and/or ASF is quite strong.

I'm sure there are other configurations available, but these are the initial ones I've thought of. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter, as well as how you'd configure the rest of the army to go along with this :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:14 am 
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I'm having a practice game against Dark Reaper tonight and I've asked him to put together the nastiest DoC army he can, under the ETC restrictions. I'll be playing the same army I used last time: essentially I think that Daemons are far from my worst matchup using the 'old' army (the one I took to Crusade), in fact I'd call it a favourable matchup, but if their nastier builds are now suddenly a poor matchup I don't think that the Star Coven is worth taking. This is not to say that this will be a 'make it or break it' kind of game, but it'll be interesting to see how the list performs against the Sundering Icon.

I have no idea when I can get a report up, but rest assure it will appear ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:34 pm 
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OK, so after an insane amount of rumination on my part, here is the list Curu will have to beat tonight. Undoubtely he will do as he always does, but at least I can hope. :)

I truly believe this to be one of the strongest setups DoC can do under the ETC-comp.

Great Unclean One - lvl2, Balesword, Pestilent Mucus
Herald of Khorne - BSB, Juggernaut, Great Standard of Sundering, Obsidian Armour
Herald of Khorne - Juggernaut, Armour of Khorne
Herald of Tzeentch - Spellbreaker

30xBloodletters - Full Command, Icon of Endless War
29xBloodletters - Full Command
5xFuries
5xFuries

Fiend
Fiend
3xFlamers
3xFlamers

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