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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:50 am 
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Hey guys, thanks a lot for some wonderful replies. It's been very interesting to read your thoughts on this and I was thankfully surprised to see so many rapid responses as well ;) Anyways, let me try my best to answer these!

@~Milliardo~ - thanks man :) Do you have a lot of experience against Skaven yourself?

@Andrew_uk - good point about the Stormvermin, indeed I should've done this! As for his Slaves failing their test - I don't believe it made too much of a difference in the end as the Dragon Princes would've survived had the Slaves not broken. If you like this list and how it plays in general I would highlight some other games though as this game robbed me of a lot of things. Anyways, if you decide to give it a try - let us know how you fare :)

@Teledor - Thanks! Ironically enough, if Olannon had been alive that 6v4 phase would've been 5v5, in which case his powerscrolled 13th likely would've gotten through my defences. It's hard to say though, but for sure playing a couple of turns without any bonuses or the crystal felt very naked.

@Brewmaster_D - I was confident that I *could* win at any point, simply due to the fact that Lions + Saerith are worth half my points. I knew if I could go through those Vermin fast, keep his bunker pressured and eliminate the Plague Monks the chances for a win would very much be there. It really played out like I needed it to though, with a bit of luck in the necessary combats. With that being said, the Hell Pit made two-thirds of its saves so on average it should've died (seriously, 50 shots followed by something like an aggregated 100 ASF attacks) which might've scored me WAY more victory points on that end. It was a calculated risk to leave the Archers alone like that. As for restraining the Hell Pit - he did try this but failed! This indeed was a thorn in his side but with 2W left, it might've died otherwise.

The Lions indeed wanted to get to a place where the greater number of the Skaven wouldn't matter as much. The Thermopylae comparison is a very good one as all manner of unspeakable filth assaulted me (hence the title but I suppose you guessed that already) - from the Doomwheel to the Warlord on the Bonebreaker there sure were enough fantasy elements in play here ;) As for putting an Eagle west - I wanted him to place as little support there as possible. Thus, by placing the Eagles fairly central, I made him believe that I was going to go with more stuff East which allowed my Dragon Princes a pretty clear field. Indeed this succeeded, had I overran like I should've they would've engaged the Cannon on my T3.

Reforming the White Lions - a crucial decision. The thing is that I knew his Stormvermin could charge so as to have Saerith in their front arc. This would mean that the reform would've had to leave 1" on both sides of the Dragon (essentially creating a column of 50mm + 1" on either side) in order for the Dragon to go through to get a flank charge the next turn again. This ALSO would've opened up for his Doomwheel to go through that little column and blast the Dragon. I don't think it would've been possible to create a charge-column (which wouldn't have needed the extra 1" clearances) and guarantee that the Dragon was in the flank arc.

The Plague Monks in my mind played a perfect role! Were it not for Flames of the Phoenix they would've been an almost insurmountable obstacle. Essentially, they would've been almost guaranteed to kill the Lions after the Warlord + Stormvermin had taken their toll. In essense, he commited the Stormvermin and Plague Monks to keep Lions + Dragon at bay. Even if he'd have lost them both, they would've probably taken the Lions with them and that would mean that my Dragon wouldn't be anywhere close to killing as many as it can do sometimes. How would you play them differently? In Horde formation they're rather unwieldy and I was pretty sure from the get-go that he'd get one unit in against the Lions and play the other as reserves - I just didn't know which unit would have what role until his T1. I suppose that me forcing out his Scroll on T1 affected his decision as the Monks are weaker to Flames (seeing as the Warlord's near immune to it and accounts for a lot of killing power).

About the Warlord though - he was a real pain. Without him, way fewer Lions would've died as the 9 attacks he put out and the stomp really was the major damage dealer. It's a very unorthodox but interesting pick: he essentially transforms the Stormvermin into a really powerful unit that is capable of taking on just about anything (at 50 strong they won't be going anywhere anytime soon, either). With 4W, too, I'd say he might just be a competitive pick actually as the Skaven army gains something it otherwise would never have - an elite infantry unit. Granted, he had 2+ ward vs flaming so attacking him was out of the question, but even if he would not have had this item I would not have attacked him - with a 2+ armour save, 4+ ward save, 4W and me losing re-rolls to hit it's just way too hard to take him down with regards to having to reduce the sheer size of the Stormvermin.

@Paricidas - I deployed my Dragon Princes at the very last moment, even putting down characters before them. At this point, he'd already commited his Doomwheel. Placing it on the West would've been a huge risk, in my opinion, as my Dragon Princes could've gone East and effectively denied the Gutter Runners a good shot at my Eagles. The Doomwheel charging the Lions is indeed a huge risk as well, which didn't turn out to be a good one. His original plans were indeed to keep it close to the Slaves, waiting for the Dragon to make its move.

The Hell Pit very early got the 3D6 result - which indeed are attacks - and reduced the Archers drastically with a huge roll of 15 hits (yes, we played hits, not attacks). Again, I'm very glad it didn't determine anything with regards to the outcome.

As for the power scroll strategy - I honestly believe that he should've just powerscrolled and thrown every single Power Dice at this spell in this situation. Last turn charges - the Grey Seer was very unlikely to escape completely. As for the Dragon Princes dying - it might be that they were only 2 left at this point. Regardless, poison attacks are high variance and can easily score plenty wounds. It's just careless play on my part - I knew he would flee and I didn't have that good a shot at catching them. Lesson learned (hopefully!).

I think his 'Thermopylae strategy' of keeping the Lions busy and the Dragon at bay was sound. I didn't manage to kill as much as I should have with the Dragon and indeed the Lions eventually died. I think this is one of the best ways to approach the Lions - especially in this situation: wear them down over time.

Trondheim is pretty far north (relatively speaking to what people are used to) but as far as Norway goes there's still a LONG way to go before you're at the northernmost point. I think that the shortest days we have are something like 5 hours of sunlight, which means we have an 18-19 hour night, yes. This is in December though so we're mostly studying for exams (or playing Warhammer!) at the time so don't notice as much ;) Now the sun's up from like 8 to 16 I think. Compared to Tromsø (which has the University which is the farthest North in the world) where they don't see the sun for a month or so at all it's not too bad ^^

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:51 am 
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@~Milliardo~ - thanks man :) Do you have a lot of experience against Skaven yourself?
Only a few battles so far in 8th with Skaven, and a heavily themed Eshin list at that - lots of gutter runners, night runners, assassins, clan rats and slaves.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Despite losing noble on eagle and not being able to use prince/dragon in CC untill turn 4, you still managed to win.
That's really great. Very tight game and once again a nice written report. I'm really enjoying your blog.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Looking back at the battle - How do you feel about not taking Vauls? Personally, it could have been attempted in turn 1 on the stormbanner (draw out the dispel), and subsequently on the dragon helm'd warlord (which would have decimated his 'elite' unit's fighting capability, as the lions would have pulped the oversized rat).

Of course the efficiency of the spell would only last until you've neutralized the helm, plague banner, and the talisman of endurance, and the storm banner ending turn 1.

Two other points - As he had the gutter runners, a slightly more defensive approach would have been to face two archer units on the flanks of your army, creating a threat zone to ward off the runners. This would result in an archer fight off against runners (we tend to win this) and provide some much needed protection for your eagles. Your archer 3 group didn't prove much use helping out the horde (who were utterly doomed) but if they had been on your eastern flank they could have put off both gutter runner units effectively (Through shooting and charging as needed).

The second point - I believe you should have over run the dragon princes after the dart unit. This would have given you a flank charge on the cannon, with an over-run path into the BSB unit of slaves. At which point, fly Saerith into the unit turn 4 and you'll have his BSB and grey seer pinned! Leadership neutralized, the rat army should crumble.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Hey Curu!

All very good points. I only have a couple things to add.

First, the Doomwheel no longer has the ability to turn during its movement. It has the random movement rule, so your opponent would have to elect a direction and move in that way. Based on your photos, this means the Doomwheel has no way of reaching your prince on Skaven Turn 2. If anything, if he had run the doomwheel down the opposite side of the rock, there would have been a good chance of it zapping the prince if he resolved the other shooting first and eliminated the eagles as targets.

Quote:
How would you play them differently?


Seeing the unit of Lions and the narrow channel on the Eastern side of the board, I would have likely deployed them in a narrower frontage. With 3 base attacks each and the plague banner, they don't need horde formation to pack a serious punch. I'm thinking 6 wide would have been just the ticket. By my math, with the plague banner activated, his 25 attacks should have resulted in about 9 White Lion casualties, which would have gone a very long way towards grinding that block down quickly. White Lions are such a potent offensive threat that my goal would be to reduce their numbers as fast as possible. By combo charging with the Stormvermin, Doomwheel and Plague Monks, there might have been a chance that that combat would have ended after a couple rounds with him retaining both units.

I totally agree with you about the Warlord. This match actually makes me reconsider the possibility of fielding Stormvermin - I had dismissed them as not very cost effective, but the combination of threat from Death Frenzy and the support from the Warlord (who is an absolute steal at that price too!) makes that unit quite menacing.

With any match, there's always going to be a bunch of "shoulda, coulda, woulda's". It's easy enough for me to say that what I would have done differently, however what's missing is that you're good player who can react to different circumstances well, so I'm sure your playing would have changed to accommodate the changing threats. I don't think your opponent played wrong, I just think he played differently than I would have.

D

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:12 pm 
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@~Milliardo~ - that sounds like a fun list to play! I guess it suffers from a lack of LD across the board with so many rank-less units but Skaven probably have some tools to overcome that :) The Skaven player I played yesterday felt that the current edition pretty much forces you to play in a certain way, most notably with a dedicated level 4 almost regardless of army. I'm hoping to prove him wrong, of course! Actually, in our league there are a total of 7 (!!) out of 12 armies that do not sport a level 4 wizard. I'd say that, if nothing else, the comp we're playing encourages variety.

@Lagast - Saerith indeed had to wait a LONG time to do something useful. I'm actually not so sure he was even needed for the Lions to eventually win that combat, though the Lord with the 2+ ward would've been a problem had he not broken. It was a very weird situation for me not to have a single Eagle AND have the Dragon waiting so long to do anything. The Lions pulled through like I needed them to though, and Saerith finishing his Warlord + BSB really helped (indeed, the latter won me the game!).

@Brewmaster_D - are you sure about the Doomwheel? My opponent pointed to the fact that it specifically says that it moves like a chariot in the Skaven book to justify wheeling despite of its random movement and I took his word for it. Is there a common concensus that it has to move in a straight line like other random movement things or has it been FAQ'd?

Plague Monks in a tighter formation makes sense. Indeed I often fall to the 'used-to-deploying-them-this-way' mindset myself, it's important to consider the context! Sound argument.

Death Frenzying Storm Vermin would give the Warlord INSANE damage output. Another interesting thing here is his Sword of Anti-Heroes which gives you a strong yet expendable unit against Deathstars! Just imagine a VC cavbus facing like 7 S7 attacks from the Warlord alone!

@Baeronvonbleat - not taking Vaul's was indeed the right choice. Flames was critical here. Remember that Storm Banner was activated before I even had a magic phase. Vaul's doesn't remove its effect I think as soon as it's been activated? Apart from that, the only real item I wanted to neutralize was the Plague Monk one and they could be dealt with through Flames anyway. Like I said in a former reply - I wouldn't have directed any attacks against the Warlord regardless of the flaming ward as he packs 4W and a 4+ ward AS WELL as having I7. Did I mention that against S6 he still has a 5+ AS? It just takes way too many attacks to bring him down for it to be effective: I'm hitting on 50% instead of 90% and I wound on like 1 out of 5 instead of 5 out of 6.

As for Archer placement, I probably should've dedicated the 14-man unit to the East flank. There was a nice hill there, too. I was just so concerned with putting some hurt on that Doomwheel.

Your last point about the Princes is indeed correct. Without Naenor around and with the White Lions pinned down, I really need that Drakemaster for Saerith to be effective! If I'd have ran him into the bunker on his own he'd be stuck in challenges for the rest of the game - likely breaking at some point due to static CR (3 ranks, banner, bsb).

__


I keep asking myself how the formerly proposed change of bringing in Swordmasters instead of Dragon Princes would've affected this matchup. For one, I would have had to place one Eagle West and one East - this would've denied his Scouts a super position (though to be fair I could've accomplished this regardless). More importantly, I would have nothing with which to chase the WLC BUT I would've had a flanking unit (would've placed the Swordmasters extreme East I think) to break up those nasty blocks sooner.

Now, though Skaven is a hard enemy, I still don't count it as one of my worst matchups - indeed I believe Ogres are way worse and probably also Dwarfs. As such I'm not too preoccupied with the utility of Swordmasters vs Dragon Princes in this situation as they both have their uses. However, I do believe that they would've performed at least as well as the Princes (granted, I didn't kill the WLC but that was purely a mistake and due to its misfire the result was actually sort of the same, regardless ;)).

On another note - my custom bases from Micro Arts Studios arrived today! They even mailed it so I don't have to pay the customs anything - perfect (as opposed to the Carmine Dragon which increased 25% in price due to this)! Naenor got a terrific tree as a flying base, which I really like. I'll spray them now and hopefully re-model most models tonight. Tomorrow I'm having a couple of friends over to paint so I'll likely borrow a smartphone and snap a couple of pictures ;) The Lions are also coming along nicely, I've painted over half the unit now. Though they are a tad bit too white for my taste, they still fit in very well and I think it'll help break up the otherwise sinister feel of the army. After all they are High Elves :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
@Brewmaster_D - are you sure about the Doomwheel? My opponent pointed to the fact that it specifically says that it moves like a chariot in the Skaven book
Yes, we are sure. The entire paragraph your opponent cites (mentioning "chariot") was errata'd out of existence.

Curu Olannon wrote:
@Baeronvonbleat - not taking Vaul's was indeed the right choice. Flames was critical here. Remember that Storm Banner was activated before I even had a magic phase. Vaul's doesn't remove its effect I think as soon as it's been activated?
Unclear. In my opinion, if the Storm Banner was "unmade" (or the bearer killed), all its affects instantly stop. But that is highly debatable and there is no useful rules text on the concept.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Thanks for the quick reply. I'll make sure and notify him about the Doomwheel!

With regards to the Storm Banner I believe that once it's been activated it's been used sort of (kinda like the Folding Fortress) and as such its existence doesn't matter. This belongs in another thread though ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Another thought - Why cast flames on the Plague Monks turn 2, instead of the storm vermin?

Same number of wounds to threaten, the first round would have almost halved the unit, making them breakable by the white lions (and they'd be annihilated on your turn 3.) At which point you dispel the flames and cast on the plague monks for the same result.

*edit* Side note - Your magic rolls were fairly pitiful. 10 on 3 dice (8 before level bonus), and then 7 on 3! (5 unmodified!?) Send Olananon back to the tower for some training >.< My last game, I was casting 17 and 15 on 4 dice with a level 1, and no miscasts.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:49 pm 
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@ brewmaster: gutter runners can be deployed in many ways, if they are forced into a shoot out with the archers, they are simply not deployed at all and come in a random round of the game. Their movement 6, march and shoot and 18 inches will make it very likely that they will find their eagles nonetheless.

@Curu: Doomwheels and HPAs both have the same movement rules, it was the first thing to be faqed in the skaven faq when 8th came out.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:18 pm 
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@Baeronvonbleat - that is indeed an option! To be fair though, there are a couple of considerations:
- given the situation I'm in the only spell I fear from him is Death Frenzy
- I want to burn the Plague Monks so they are effectively rendered harmless if the Flames aren't dispelled in his turn
- I win combat against Stormvermin regardless of whether they're flamed or not (though it does take more time!).

I wanted to eliminate the Plague Monk threat. I do think that he had 2 key spells to get through - Death Frenzy and Howling Warpgale. The latter of these is irrelevant to my strategy, but he cannot know that. As such, if I cast Flames on the Stormvermin he will be forced to dispel it, if he wants them to engage the Lions! This changes my casting strategy drastically - as I don't care about Warpgale (whereas he does), I'd rather cast it on a less significant target (which indeed did prove to be a success as he didn't dispel it but went for all-out offense instead). Another thing is that the Stormvermin sport a 5+ save, but then again this is pretty much the same as the T4 Plague Monks ;)

As for my magic rolls, they were very good or very bad. My opening cast saw a value of 20 on 4D6 - giving me 22 with my bonus. I also had 2 casts of Shield on a value of 10 +2 from bonus on 2D6 which forced him to dispel with enough to leave me free to do whatever I wanted. In general though he was lucky with his Winds rolls, getting doubles etc as well as channeling, which sort of reduces the impact of the crystal as opposed to 6+1 rolls etc.

@Paricidas - don't you have to declare prior to the game how Gutter Runners will be deployed? As I'm used to Flamers I know perfectly well what marching and shooting 18" means, range-wise.

I've started rebasing my models and I'm very pleased so far. If any of you are considering custom bases I can really recommend Micro Arts Studios - high quality for a decent price. Their range is also amazing so regardless of your taste they should have something you like at the very least ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:44 am 
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For the gutter runers: I have never ever declared befor game how my gutter runners will enter the game nor do I know anybody who ever did this. I can also find nothing in the special rules for gutter runners that would imply such thing. Grs can be deployed by three different ways: As normal unit during deployment, as scouts, 12 inches away (in which case any non scouting opponent will get the +1 for the beginner-roll) or as Infiltrators, who get to enter the table on a 4+ by turn 2, 3+ by turn 3 and so on.

"Proper" deployment against GRs includes a (ranged) unit on each side of the table (not mor than 12 inches away from the edge), so that the GRs cannot use their scout rule and deploy in your flank. This will force them to a. deploy somewhere in the front arc of your army (not so good, magic missles love gutter runners) b. use the normal deployment rules for regular troops or c. enter via their special rule, which is most of the time good, but it is random and if the GR are unlucky, the stormbanner will affect their shooting too (which can be deadly for skaven when the GRs poisoned shots are a vital part in the battleplans against warmachine armies).

As you in your last game decided to deploy all troops that would be usefull against GRs (archers, dragon princes to a certain degeree) on your western flank, he could load up with his two units on the eastern one. That is probably the reason why those relativly costly units could do their job unmolested (this, the stormbanner and the fact that you do not have any magic missles).
Against this army it was not game breaking, but if you played uncomped or with another AC or with tourney rules, where the skaven tactic simply consists of tarpiting you with slaves for 6 rounds, it is sometimes important to get the gutter runners, as even 5 of them are worth more than 40 slaves, and otherwise the skaven bunker army may perhaps not lose enough points to make it a decisive victory. Your opponent had enough juicy targets in this game (especialy the Unshielded stormvermin and the oddly equipped characters), but if one is running into wave after wave of 80-points ld 10 units, one will be thankfull for the tasty points the GRs can provide for the end-game-calculation.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Yeah I guess there are no rules saying that it must be declared. It's just that I'm so used to everything being made clear beforehand in 8th (e.g. Seerstaff of Saphery). Duly noted, I'll stop asking my opponents and let them play their units as the rules say they can ;)

I also see your point about counter-deploying against Gutter Runners. Ironically enough, even my All-Archer core didn't feel like it was enough for this particular task as I wanted more bows than I had available. In hindsight though I could definitely have spared the 10-man unit. I could also simply have angled the Eagle differently. In general, I haven't faced scouts a whole lot but with that being said I know very well what I should do - it's just that at some point my priorities shuffle around. In this particular instance I didn't really think he'd activate Storm Banner in T1 (because Saerith could easily make it to cover anyway) in which case my Eagles would've been free from poisoned stones. If I were the Skaven I think I might've saved it for a crucial turn - disabling me from an otherwise potentially game-breaking move. Do you think it was the right choice to activate it T1?

The last 2 league games are probably a couple of weeks away (at best) and they're against Vampire Counts (old book) and Dwarfs (2 big hordes + artillery, fairly one-dimensional). I'll re-post the lists later on for further analysis. At the moment I'm doing a fair bit of modelling and painting (just finished re-basing 40 Archers yesterday, as well as 2 Drakes!) but I'll play a game on Sunday - against Tomb Kings! This will be my first encounter against them and I will be featuring the Swordmaster-variant of the list again. I have no idea what I'll be facing, if I hear anything you'll be the first to know. In the meantime, any general tips? I heard they aren't big fans of static combat resolution and that they have some rather nasty potential damage/shooting but that's about it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:50 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
If I were the Skaven I think I might've saved it for a crucial turn - disabling me from an otherwise potentially game-breaking move. Do you think it was the right choice to activate it T1?


Very hard to say. He also had howling warpgale to stop flying and him using it on your first turn more or less killed the eagle bsb, on the other side, not knowing if you are grounded for a whole movement phase (or not) really can mess up with battle plans in an army that fields 5 flyers. He aso had a 25% chance that the stormbanner would still be active on your turn 2, but there was also a 25% chance that his WLC would not fire in his turn1. Honestly , I think there was so much pure randomness involved that it canot be decided if it was right or wrong (but charging from the rest of the dragons movement phases, it seems that movement 6 without flying was nearly enough for him to get where he wanted, and all your eagles died anyway...).

Sidenote: I do not know if I read the diagrams correctly, but as from the look it seems that the S2 unit OR the lvl2 warplock could have been saved if he had decided to use the lvl2 as a redirector or simply run away with him.

This evenening I have a match against ogres. I will give your list a try as this army really seems to be real fun. Considering that my opponent has played double the years of WHFB with HE than I have played in total with skaven and HE together, this will probably come to a very cruel end, but at least I can give him something to shoot with his heatseeker cannon :D


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:01 pm 
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How did you fare against OK? That are indeed one of this list's very worst matchups.

Unfortunately tomorrow's game's been cancelled because I have to take a business-trip. I do have a game scheduled against VC on Wednesday though, so that should be very interesting ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
I do have a game scheduled against VC on Wednesday though, so that should be very interesting ;)


I'll post the VC list here in advance for your perusal. Probably fiften minutes in advance, but still..
Currently at the number-chrunching stage of army building. VC do have many new and interesting options :)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:42 pm 
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My lvl 2 IFed all spells that he managed to get through, it was a wonder that he survived 4 turns, always rolling a "1" when he wounded himself. Of course his fellow archer-bunker was not so happy…

My dragon princes where killed by 10 gnoblars.

My bsb did not break another 10 gnoblars (they needed snake-eyes) and was steamrolled by the deathstar.

My dragon skillfully dodged a shot from the cannon by hiding behind a wall, the next shot got him, the prince failed his wardsave, got 6 wounds, the dragon was wounded too and also lost 6 wounds, in the next round he was killed by a unit of 3 ogres he flankcharged...

My 40 archers managed to kill exactly zero of his redirectors and thus the white lions where hunting wolfs until the ogre death star turned its face and smashed 24 lions in 2 rounds of combat. The only highlight was his firebelly breathing at the lions, hiting 18 and killing two.

After the game we did some pratice duels between his general and my dragon with Loec, in none of the duels the dragon was able to take the ogre out (and gut magic healing him every round will make sure he kills the prince and binds the dragon endlessly).

When my opponent saw my troops he began to laugh (him playing HEs for I think 4 years and recently starting ogres because of general HE-suckiness), he suggested I should just hide behind a hill and hope for the best...

Ogres seem to be one of the harder match ups for me. Nearly all of their units are “undragonable”because of the uncounted str 7 attacks and the immense amount of wounds on their characters. So my dragon is:
a. hiding from the cannon, doing nothing but having a 18 inch LD bubble,
b. charging “meaningless” units that simply declare “flee” leaving the dragon alone in the open, ready to be brought down by the cannon, or
c. charging into a combat he cannot win.

Their charriot rules make the cannons versatile, dangerous and hard to catch.
If I want my core to do anything else but gorger-fighting, I will have to deploy in really silly ways and their redirectors are really really nasty if I cannot shoot them (because a gorger is rampaging through my backlines) or magic them (because I have no MMs available).

If have played my opponets army already 3 or 4 times, without magic, there is nearly no way to bring his units down.
I once managed to kill his deathstar with a very very tooled up unit of PGs (Prince, noble, folariaths mage, toughness 5-7 for the whole battle) and if I start to throw Pits and Purple sun in his direction, he really begins to sweat, but a dragon does not really impress him…

On VC: Played two games against the new book until now. There are imho 2 main dangers for the dragon-prince, Nehek spam and etheral units, both of them cannot kill but tarpit the dragon very very long. The first one can somewhat be countered by spaming high elf basic spell, but the etheral fast cav is disturbingly nice for catching dragons (riding through impassable terrain is öööörgs….)
Under no circumstances may you ever charge the vampire with anything else but the dragon. I managed to get a triple charge on him (BsB, Tiranoc and 24 WLs) and the vampire and his killing blow buddies totally destroyed them all (he had an item that robbed any str bonus from the models in BtB contact, white lions hitting like wet noodles is not that nice, especially if an ASF red fury monster is hacking away at them).
The new models are also rather terrifiying, especially the one that has the same strengh as the game has turns, granting ASL and ASF is also something that no HE really wants to encounter.
Flaming and magic weapons are mandatory in this match-up, will be rather hard to win, but at least you have the chance that the vampire overestimated his “chuck-norisness” and gets stomped into the ground by the ToL-Dragon.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:06 pm 
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@rusty - yeah well I don't have the book anyway so 1 hour, 1 day, 15 minutes... Makes little difference really!

@Paricidas - That sounds like lambs to the slaughter, unfortunately :( I can live with the fact that Ogres are a terrible matchup though. The way I see it, they're a terrible matchup for us regardless, what with Hellheart, Greedy Fist and their ridiculous core units backed up by some of the best chaff and war machines.

I do wonder though, what kind of items did his general have? When activating the ToL he should really be in trouble rather quickly.

As for VC - tarpitting is indeed an issue, however mobility is all mine and now that Vanhels can't get units into combat any longer (about time if you ask me, the flexibility of this spell truly was ridiculous) it should be possible to control the movement phase fairly well. What did you mean with this sentence: "Under no circumstances may you ever charge the vampire with anything else but the dragon"?

Flaming and magic stuff - well we all know what I've got here so I guess that'll have to do! My own mage can probably be very effective here as well, before even rolling for spells I'm guaranteed 2 very useful spells (Shield and Drain).

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Ogre game: the game was lost before it started. The dragon and the BSB had to be deployed behind the only useable terrain to get protection from the charriot cannon. He had 7 "deployment stallers" (2 times a 3man-ogre unit, 2 times gnoblars and 3 wolfs). Therefor he was able to match his death star against my WLs and from the first turn on the game went straight down the drain.

By "do not charge the vampire" I mean that there is not much that can withstand the power of a combat-vampire. 5 str 5 attacks with endless ini and Ws, now throw in red fury, ASF and a sword that grants additional attacks (and/or str), and you have one hell of a rank&file killer, who has enough points left for a decent defense. He will probably be acompanied by a champ and a BSB with 3 wounds and KB. The vamp will have a lot of time to kill almost anything that is not a phoenix guardian and your BSB has a high chance to be killed by his BSB (not immune to KB thanks to this fxxxing FaQ).

As you have no PGs in your list, there is not much that you can throw at the vamp. Even WLs will grant him really high amounts of CR. You can try to redirect them with eagles, but that will not work forever. Sacrifice your eagles sooner than later, as otherwise they will probably be blasted by the mortis engine (or the explosion it makes when it dies...).

you will probably be very busy using drain, and vanhels is still extremly powerfull, especially if it is cast with AoE effect. I would rather concentrate my dispell pool on this spell, as the nehek spam is probably unstopable.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Talisman of Loec: how does it work?
Is it "reroll all hits, all to wound and all saves" or "reroll all failed hits, all failed to wound and all successfull saves"?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:30 pm 
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@Paricidas - gotcha. I will probably encounter more Ogres at some point and will definitely report back what my own experiences are :)

As for the Vampire - I wouldn't want rusty to tailor his list and as such I don't know if he'll go for the all-out aggressive build. He's tried this before (see BRep vs VC with my Furion-inspired list) and it didn't work out too good for him. If he does - I know perfectly well how nasty he can be! The clue here is to stall him with a challenge and let whatever else I have (e.g. Dragon) rip apart Rank and File to generate CR. Alternatively, in a challenge it is indeed an extremely powerful build that can stand up to Saerith (remember that Faeria can thunderstomp if he isn't mounted).

@rusty - lazy, eh? You have the High Elf book (or at the very least easy access to it). Regardless, I'll post the wording: "The bearer may re-roll rolls to hit and wound until the end of the phase. Any model wounded by his attacks this phase must re-roll any successful saves of any kind." Note that this means that as long as Saerith wounds when having the effect from the Talisman, you must also re-roll successful saves from the Dragon. Between 6A, potentially breathing fire and thunderstomping, this is incredibly hard to survive.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Couldn't find the book, for some reason. Anyhow, does that mean you have to reroll all to hit and to wound, also the successfull ones?

I'm considering both offensive and other options. Going all out aggressive is fun, but the game can be lost on one roll of the dice, which makes for a boring game.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:20 pm 
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As there is no stated imperative you can choose. A very flexible item indeed!

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about VC when you've finished your analysis and see the resulting list. I personally do not believe an offensive lord is a good choice in a take-all comers competitive environment: consider OnG sniping, Ogre Maneaters, Death Magic... The list goes on!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:41 pm 
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I was having a break from the hobby but you guys were busy it seems. :)

Today I read through your 7 last battle reports (2 vs WoC, 1 vs DoC, 1 vs Dwarfs, 1 vs O&G and 1 vs Shaven) and I must say congrats on your victories. Very well played indeed. 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:49 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about VC when you've finished your analysis and see the resulting list. I personally do not believe an offensive lord is a good choice in a take-all comers competitive environment: consider OnG sniping, Ogre Maneaters, Death Magic... The list goes on!


Well, as mentioned before, I have only played two times against the new vamps, so I may have made some mistakes in my assumptions, but: Afaik both red fury and ASF are granted by abilities and not by items, which means that the offensive combat vampire does not lose out on defense, he just gets more expensive (although i do not know if he could buy some fantastic defensive abilities instead of red fury).

The "I tank you all day with my challenges"-tactic will probably be a little risky, as if you run a combat vamp, you are probably running him in a unit with a champ and at least another hero character. If you take for example your list, if the vamp is acompanied by an etheral hero, he is completly save from challenges as you do not have magic attacks, if he takes his twohanded-deathguard guy (dont know his name) you risk a killing blow on the challenger (which would probably be the BSB, as soon as the WL champion is dead). In the meantime the vampire and the dragon are happily hacking away at each others units. Your prince will also risk to be killing blown by the normal rank and file deathguard (?) and the vampire can heal his wounds and regnerate his unit while your white lions twindle away.

But perhaps I am just a little paranoid because of my experience with the Vamp. You will probably cast a shield of Saphery on the WLs, the vamp fluffs its attacks, the enemy unit does not get in any killing blows on your chars and is completely wiped out in a single round of combat.

One question: If both the vamp and the enemy have ASF, can the vampire regenerate wounds by his ability (do not know the name: for every wound inflicted, roll a d6, on a “6” the vamp gets back a wound), if he started the round unwounded?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:36 am 
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Hey Curu. A few comments on your roster, if you don't mind.

Curu Olannon wrote:
Tonight's league game saw me face the dreaded Skaven. Indeed one of our worst matchups, as most of you will agree. How did the Dragonlord fare against the dreaded Ratmen? Read on!

:: Unspeakable Filth::

My Dragonlist:

Prince Saerith on Star Dragon - Vambraces of Defense, Great Weapon, Armour of Caledor, Talisman of Loec :: 622
Noble Naenor BSB on Great Eagle - Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Helm of Fortune, The Other Trickster's Shard :: 216
High Mage Curu Olannon - Level 2, Annulian Crystal, Ironcurse Icon :: 180


I don't like this setup a single bit.

Prince on Star Dragon - Vembrances, Ench Shield, DA, The Other Trickster Shard, Sword of Might @ 624
Noble BSB on Barded Horse - shield, DA, Gromril Great Helm, Sword of Battle if you like @179
Mage is ok.

Justification:
    Prince
      1. With high strength you take down units armor anyway. It is ward save that is more important (be it parry or daemonic or other)
      2. Talisman of Loec doesn't bring much to the equation, it's a relic of 7th edition in my eyes. With high I you have rerolls anyway, and taking a wound in order to force enemy to reroll armour save which he doesn't really have from high S is definately not worth it.
    Noble
      1. Eagle and trickster shard and great weapon is too much. You have good movement combined with insufficient shooting AS and bad CC AS.
      2. He has a bigger footprint, which comes to greater importance when combined with poor AS.
      3. He can't really utilise his Trickster Shard. Units deep are usually cheap, have stubborn and no ward save. Elites are usually wide and have a ward save. Elites will kill him, Core will hold him.
    Overall: There is no way to bring Dragon and BSB to a common fight when dragon will touch the enemy's elites that are in contact with the eagle aswell. You have to maximize the number of combat participants.

Under these conditions, I think my setup is better. Dragon is much more effective in killing stuff, including some ethereal units (which are an issue in this roster, imo) and BSB is much more resiliant - due to saves and smaller footprint. Also, you can hide BSB in a unit of cavalry now.

Quote:
Characters Total :: 1019

30 Archers, Full Command and Gleaming Pennant - 360
14 Archers, Musician - 159
10 Archers - 110

Core Total :: 629


30 is too wide in my opinion. 26-14-14 would be better, unless you have some specific roles assinged specifically to those numbers.

Quote:
30 White Lions, Full Command and Banner of Eternal Flame, Amulet of Light :: 505


Flaming Attacks on WL is such a big gamble. Nuff said. The trade is, the banner helps you in 1/3 of battles and makes you lose 1/6 of them.

Furthermore, assuming that BoEF is acting in your favour, it only boosts your White Lions, that your enemy can somewhat choose to engage with or not. Puting banner on Archers is way more effective, since you have to field them anyway, and enemy doesn't really have much choice if he wants to get shot or not. Additionally, in case of 1/6 battles, you have crippled unit for 300 points which you are happy with when they do any wounds of any kind, instead of crippled 500 unit that is the backbone of your army.

Also the number of 30 seems like an overkill to me. Droping them to 28 (and droping Amulet of Light, since you have magical attacks on yor dragon / bsb) allows you to field more units of your choice.

Last but not least, Banner of Swiftness sounds like a mandatory element to this roster. Otherwise your WL will just fall behind.


Quote:
5 Dragon Princes, Drakemaster with Skeinsliver :: 195
Special Total: 700

3 Great Eagles :: 150

Rare Total :: 150


These choices should be somehow related. Since you are going for Skeinsilver, you should minimize the number of deployment units to a reasonable minimum. Assuming that you'll go first (which is reasonable considering you have +2 to roll) allows you to deploy apprioprietly, so smaller number of deploymeny overall shouldn't be an issue.

Overall, I would suggest that you try the following roster. Heck, I might give it a try myself! :)

Quote:
Unnamed2500 Pts - High Elves Army

1 Prince on Star Dragon @ 624.0 Pts
General; Dragon Armour
Vambraces of Defence [55.0]
Sword of Might [15.0]
Enchanted Shield [10.0]
The Other Trickster's Shard [15.0]

1 Noble on Barder Steed @ 179.0 Pts
Dragon Armour; Shield; Battle Standard
Helm of Fortune [25.0]
Sword of Battle [20.0]

1 Mage @ 175.0 Pts
Magic Level 2; Lore of High Magic
Annulian Crystal [40.0]

26 First Archers w/ Standard Bearer; Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame @ 311.0 Pts
14 Archers w/ Musician @ 159.0 Pts
14 Archers w/ Musician @ 159.0 Pts

28 White Lions w/ FCG, Banner of Swiftness @ 465.0 Pts

8+1 Dragon Princes w/ Mucician, Champion @ 325.0 Pts
1 Drakemaster: Skeinsliver @ [45.0] Pts

1 Great Eagle @ 50.0 Pts
1 Great Eagle @ 50.0 Pts

Models in Army: 91
Total Army Cost: 2497.0


cheers
Furion

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:14 pm 
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@Siegfried VIII - thanks man, good to know you're back :) Any specific points as to potential improvements in my game / mistakes I made from your point of view?

@Paricidas - remember that I don't have to engage in challenges though! With my mobility I can easily get 2-3 characters/champions into a fight - which means that whatever I want in a challenge, goes in a challenge whereas the rest can clear off other stuff.

As for the fighty lord - let's assume he has like 5 S5 attacks, getting extras. Since I'm also ASF he loses re-rolls. That means we're looking at an average of ~7 models killed. However, in a unit-with-vampire vs wl-with-saerith fight, my Lord will likely kill way more than that (seeing as I can breath fire AFTER the Elves' have finished their work if it's crucial) and my WL's attack at the same time at his lord and will undoubtably have bigger damage output than any unit he can bring (disregarding magic etc which is always situational). I'm confident that any infantryblock will be beaten by my 2 characters + white lions and my superior mobility should ensure that I can pick my fights.

I appreciate the theoretical approach before the game, but in this particular instance I think you're a little paranoid because of a poor experience. Remember that Lions + fighty characters is roughly 1300 points, which is a LOT in a 2500 point game.

As for 2 opponents having ASF, they strike simultaneously so he can't heal before the next combat round (assuming he lost some wounds). The same thing applies for the Keeper of Secrets vs High Elves - very useful considering my amount of shooting!

@Furion - I never mind comments, so thanks a lot for the input! Let's go in-depth:

:: Talisman of Loec Prince ::

There are so many instances where Talisman of Loec is crucial. I strongly believe it to be one of the best items in the book and I don't see why people do not like it. For a mere 10 points it just gives you a huge amount of reliability for those crucial spots that will occur!

First, let's look at it from a theoretical perspective:
- Talisman increases your damage output against single models tremendously
- When taken on a Dragonlord, the Dragon's damage also increases (assuming the Prince wounds)
- Talisman allows you to take those fights you otherwise wouldn't want to
- The only real contendor to the Talisman is, in my opinion, the Other Trickster's Shard, which forces me to lose the Great Weapon

So, let's look at some games:
- Vs Dark Elves (my 2nd game) I used the Talisman to ensure that those Cold One Knights died. Due to poor rolls I ended up receiving a charge rather than getting one. Though it didn't have an insane effect, the reliability was good to know that I had
- Vs Warriors of Chaos (1st league practice game) I used the Talisman to (barely!) kill his Khorne BSB before he could strike back
- Vs Skaven I engaged in a challenge to relieve my White Lions from the pressure from the Skaven Warlord. I only barely killed him with the Talisman, meaning I would not have done so without. The importance of relieving the White Lions here was that I was facing 13th next turn so a handful more models could make a big difference

While I admit that it hasn't been crucial thus far, I do value S6 on the Prince. I also value the fact that I can engage Bloodthirsters (this is not viable as a 1-v-1 fight without the Talisman as you don't get re-rolls to hit) and Vampire combat lords with confidence that I stand a very good chance of coming out on top. With The Other Trickster's Shard in these circumstances, you'll lose a LOT (seeing as they likely have a high armour save which neuters your S5 and your Prince could very well die before the Dragon gets to hit, which removes the effect) compared to the Talisman.

As for situations where The Other Trickster's Shard is valuable - I see this mostly coming into play against mediocre heroes (where it's not crucial to kill them as soon as possible, i.e. I wouldn't have used the Talisman) and Daemon rank and file. Though I could surely use it against Daemons, I don't immediately think that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I will definitely consider this though, as the implicit inclusion of magical attacks is also worth bearing in mind as it's useful in a variety of situations (e.g. Wood Elves, Vampire Counts, Lizardmen).

With your proposed build, I suppose you must rely more on unit-coordination to be able to take the fight against stuff like a Bloodthirster or a tooled up Vampire Lord. This might not necessarily be a bad thing - seeing as you have more firepower and mobility - thus more movement control. Indeed, I will consider at least giving this outfit a try!

:: Flying BSB ::

I am usually very happy with having my BSB on an Eagle. The utility combined with the Dragon is just so amazing, they can tag-team to annihilate most things in 2 rounds of combat. I don't know if you've read my reports but this frequently happens - by charging in both the BSB eats the challenge. They're most likely still in combat (as they can't break steadfast that fast) but that's usually a good thing as it'll save me the trouble of shielding them from shooting and magic. The next round however they kill what's left and reform just in time for my next turn.

So, for this reason alone I think it's worth having him on an Eagle. There's also the fact that no big guns target him before the Dragon's down (unless the Dragon's not a viable target - see my last Skaven game) so he's usually safe for as long as he needs to be (though obviously this isn't always the case - see my Dwarf game).

While I agree that the The Other Trickster's Shard is probably sub-optimal on this guy, I don't believe GW on a flyer is too much. I still sport a 2+ re-rollable against shooting and a 3+ re-rollable in melee. I've been thinking a lot about giving him the Guardian Phoenix instead, to increase his survivability. I do think this yields more utility than The Other Trickster's Shard. It's important to remember that the original inclusion of this item was in a list where I had 3 flyers - which makes it a lot easier to get the carrier of this item + the prince in base-to-base against the same model (due to maximising as you pointed out).

Your suggested build is intriguing - why do you choose to pay 20 points for +1A when you can pay a bit more for +2S and a 5+ ward, increasing both damage output and survivability? Do you consider the magical attack to be that vital?

Core - will think about restructuring. For now I mostly find that I like having 10 Archers as it's so easy to sacrifice, while 30 Archers really can be a good anvil. I've tried 26 (though not in this list) and am not sure they can perform the same duty in a satisfactory way. Good call on the flaming banner, with the new VC book out I think that this approach is likely better. What I do find is that I deploy 30 Archers as 2x15 most times, but this still hasn't really gotten me into deployment issues.

Special - will think about the banner and champ item for the Lions. I don't see any reason in decreasing them though as it's a marginal play and the damage output has 100% increase per model (assuming the whole width get to fight though!) up to 30. If I were to play ETC I can see the argument being made (simply due to the fact that they're illegal) but at the moment this is not the case.

Your proposed bus of Dragon Princes is in my opinion somewhat strange. I don't know if you've played a lot with a Dragon in 8th nor if you've read my reports, but I typically don't find that cavalry is crucial. Quite the opposite, I usually tend to be wanting more elite infantry. In particular, I'm considering Swordmasters (as I noted in your thread) which I thus far believe to be a really good pick here. They are very useful in my poor matchups (Ogres, Dwarfs) compared to a Dragon Prince bus and besides they give me reliability (i.e. taking down the Lions won't remove my infantry damage potential).

I suppose that you could play a Dragonlord like this as well, however I don't think a cavalry bus fits my current playstyle. I will definitely consider such a setup though but this would be very different from how I currently play so I might have to re-evaluate a few things.

Again, thanks for the input :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:59 pm 
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I agree with Curu on Loec. My last three games it's killed a Sorcerer Lord, a wounded Hydra and a small unit of Mindrazored infantry (needed to remove the second rank).

As my Prince is also on a Mount I've considered the Shard but Regen, 1+ (or re-rollable) AS and T5 or more swing it for me.

Loec also re-rolls to hit vs ASF, ASL causers, when you've been Miasma'd etc..

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:09 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
As my Prince is also on a Mount I've considered the Shard but Regen, 1+ (or re-rollable) AS and T5 or more swing it for me.

I believe Regeneration is now classified as a ward save, so The Other Trickster's Shard takes the cake.
Star Dragon's S7 wounds T5 on 2's and the 1+ armor saves would be a 5+.

Furion wrote:
Prince on Star Dragon - Vembrances, Ench Shield, DA, The Other Trickster Shard, Sword of Might @ 624

Wow. I am amazed at how awesome this build is. It has everything I could ask for! This is definitely the Star Dragon build I will be tinkering with from now on!

Furion wrote:
Noble BSB on Barded Horse - shield, DA, Gromril Great Helm, Sword of Battle if you like @179

This... got me thinking a little more as well. I am thinking Amulet of Light here with a Great Weapon, in a 9-man DP bus with Banner of Ellyrion, so they can better keep up with the Dragon.

Thanks so much for the great ideas! I think I have a very fun working list in mind now.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:46 am 
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Pg 74 seems to make a fairly clear distinction between Wards and Regen.

Has it been FAQ'd or something?

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