Brewmaster D's Coven of Light Blog - 05/12 Battle Report
Page 7 of 22

Author:  Baeronvonbleat [ Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Few Points -

While I tend to follow the same logic, in 8th edition Eagles have more important duties than march blocking. With BSB re-rolls and general leadership, march blocking rarely works (with the rare occassion of heavy hitters on flanks away from supporting leaders).

In Turn 2, I think the swordmasters clearing the hounds was unnecessary. Hounds are a bread and butter unit that I'd almost prefer to keep around, and hope he dual charges with the chariot or the shrine with the hounds. Then focus attacks on the hounds to win combat and breakj the shrine and chariot! And using the hounds to block up the west flank frees the lions and other swordmasters to better position for the middle. Leave the dragon princes on the eastern flank, push an eagle in the middle to slow the warriors appropriately, and pincer for the win!

Author:  dabber [ Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Brewmaster_D wrote:
However, because it was his turn, he opted to reform first, preventing me from doing so.
Per the BRB, reform order is a roll-off.

Brewmaster_D wrote:
I'm not sure why you didn't flank charge with the white lions on turn 3 instead of shuffling over.
Nice observation! I actually had the same thought, but luckily got out the 90 degree tool and saw that because of my 3rd rank placement, just over half of my unit was in his front arc
The 3rd rank is irrelevant. 8th edition arcs are determined only by the front rank.
That said, flank charging chaos warriors is pretty much pointless. Their supporting attacks are a tiny fraction of their damage output, and you are going to be losing that fight no matter what (T5 matters). Starting the fight sooner just means you die sooner.

Brewmaster_D wrote:
I got distracted by the fact that for once in their lives the spears actually had a decent target for their S3 attacks - the marauders. This caused me to forget about their most important role, which is to provide ranks!
Good point, and it really reinforces how bad spears are. Empire swordsmen, at 2/3 the cost, are a better unit, because they are better at providing ranks.

Author:  Jimmy [ Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

As they say magic is fickle, I think this perhaps was just one of those games where it wasn't going to do you any favours, at least not in the first two turns.

Fantastic flank charge setup in turn 2 leading into 3 with the spearelves/archers/great eagle on the marauders, well played!

Thanks for the report, it's always great to read others experiences.

Author:  Swordmaster of Hoeth [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Hi Brewmaster!

Thanks for the report. That was a tough one but as long as the opponent was nice and you still enjoyed it then what else can you ask for? You will learn and get your revenge next time. :)

I have a few questions as there are some things not clear to me.

1. Which list did you use? I have just checked List A and B and seems you ended up with List C :)

2. What spells did all the spell casters had? Yours and your opponent too.

3. In your Turn 2 you shifted the Spears so they faced away from Warriors and next round it seemed they could not charge their flank. Why did you move them like that? I think that it would be great to charge from both flanks this unit after it destroyed your DP, where even Swordmasters could participate in the attack (at least I think they were in a good charge range judging by the diagram).

4. How did you divide the attacks against Warshrine and Chariot? I presume that as many as possible went against the chariot.

5. The part I don't understand:
Brewmaster_D wrote:
Magic is 6 v 7, and he throws it all at a Timewarp on his warriors, finally getting the double 6's he was after. This gives him +1 attack, and strips me of my rerolls in combat.

How? What gives WoC opportunity to cast Light Magic spell?

My main comment to that battle is, however, about your magic phase management. :) I think you are your own worst enemy in insisting on casting Pha's Protection no matter what. The only time you did it great was in turn 4 and I loved that double penalty for warriors to hit WL not to mention using Ring of Corin. Excellent! But since your first turn you did your opponent a favor. Why? Because he let you have that not-the-most important spell and you just lost 2 power dice. I would go for another order. Banishment from level 2, then Banishment frome level 4. He must dispel these. He might succeed but might not and he could have burned that dispel scroll first turn. Then you cast your protection ... or timewarp. I was especially disappointed when you explained nicely what you are going to do in turn 3 and then you didn't do it at all. Just because you cast protection which was not yet that crucial to have.

You know as well as I do that HE need to rule the movement phase. We have tools for that and you have magical support for that too. Yet you didn't use it. He had a single cannon and you approached his army as if it were an Empire Nuln Artillery School :) Your Swordmasters on the West should join the fight as soon as possible and timewarp would help them. You said yourself that charging hellcannon with them was a mistake. I would use that unit to come back and help in the fight against Warriors.

Ok, I will stop at that :) I hope my comments make some sense :)

So, when the re-match is scheduled? :)

Author:  akielzather [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Will answer swordmasters question over spells.

WOC have a nice we gift called the third eye of Tzeench that allows it's user to cast any spell from any wizard that is in it LOS.
Reason 3 for not picking dwellers against WOC as will most often be turned against you.

It is 25pts and one of the few things i would say is broken in the WOC book.

My friends favorite set up is to run it on a lvl 2 disc Socerer mark of tzeench. Plus 3 to cast, 2 spells from his lore, and as i run 2 wizards 5-7 spells of mine.....

Author:  Swordmaster of Hoeth [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Thanks akielzather!

I thought I checked all the items of the WoC army and since I have never played them in 8th edition I didn't know about this useful trinket.


Author:  Stormie [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

It's a very cool gift (not an item per se), but it's only as broken as the spell selection chosen by the Warriors' enemy! Take a balanced Lore (as in this game) and you have nothing to worry about :D I've used it myself a few times, and being able to Dweller big enemy Daemon blocks, or cast Pit of Shades on a Steam Tank has been immeasurably useful. Also note if they use their enemy's spells, then they can't cast their own that turn- so they have to forgo a Gateway or whatever for the privilege.

Was a really good battle, felt like you almost had him!

Author:  Curu Olannon [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

I can't remember having encountered it either actually, despite playing Warriors of Chaos a handful of times.

I do second Swordmaster's questions: in this matchup banishment should be spammed as much as possible. You positioned your elites on one flank, meaning that they would need to beat that flank fast in order to help out middle. To do this, only 2 options exist: banishment and birona's. The first is the better option. As soon as the scroll comes out, just wait to get the Corin off - after this you're free to spam high-cast spells without too much of a risk.

I don't know what else to comment on. Your traps failed due to luck on his part and your cast rolls weren't too good. Maybe you could've deployed differently but I believe that with dual banishment this is a good deployment as you can usually overwhelm West fast and pincer his centre.

Thanks for the report ;)

Author:  Brewmaster_D [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Hey Guys!

I'll try to get to as many questions/comments as possible here:

Baeronvonbleat wrote:
While I tend to follow the same logic, in 8th edition Eagles have more important duties than march blocking.

Hey Baeron! I totally agree with you here, march blocking isn't really a worthwhile use for Eagles in this edition. The eagle that didn't perform the reposition on the Marauders, however, was just getting himself into a spot to redirect those Chaos Warriors in a later turn, however due to their miraculous charge he was left with little to do - I didn't want to feed him combat resolution by charging the eagle in to anything, so instead he flapped around waiting for an opportunity.

Baeronvonbleat wrote:
In Turn 2, I think the swordmasters clearing the hounds was unnecessary. Hounds are a bread and butter unit that I'd almost prefer to keep around, and hope he dual charges with the chariot or the shrine with the hounds.

Against an unexperienced opponent, this would be pure gold. However, there's a saying that's going around my local game shop - partly due to my list - "Don't feed the woodchipper". People are wising up that the only way to take out the Swordmasters in combat without suffering ridiculous casualties is to give them hard targets. I doubt this opponent would have charged the dogs in, and they would have prevented my Eastern flank from advancing.

I agree about the eagle though - Second turn I should have had the second one up in front of the warriors to completely prevent the charge. I learned a valuable lesson about risk management this game lol!

@dabber - Thank you once again for all of those rules clarifications. Looks like I need to give the movement section another read!

@Jimmy - Thank you for your kind words! Magic was indeed fickle here - I'm going to touch on my magic strategy a bit more in my reply to Swordmaster later in this post.

@Swordmaster of Hoeth

I guess it's time I update my first page post, isn't it? I've been focusing on getting this second report out, but it's definitely on the list of things to do. Here is the list for your reference:

Archmage, Forliath's Robes, Guardian Phoenix, Ring of Corin, (Light)
Mage, Level 2, Seerstaff of Saphery (Pha's Protection, Banishment)
Mage, Annulian Crystal (Light)
Noble, BSB, Heavy Armour, Great Weapon, Radiant Gem of Hoeth (Light)

35 x Spearmen, Full Command
14 x Archers, Musician
11 x Archers, Musician

14 x Swordmasters, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
14 x Swordmasters
18 x White Lions, Standard, Musician, Banner of Sorcery
5 x Dragon Princes

2 x Great Eagles

2. My spells were as follows (Shame on me for not listing them!)

Archmage: Pha's, Net of Amyntok, Banishment, Timewarp
Level 2: Pha's, Banishment
Level 1: Speed of Light
Noble: Shem's Burning Gaze

3. This was due to his Chaos Lord - I reformed the spears so that he was in their front arc, but they also had a view to the Chaos Warriors so that I could charge in there in the eventuality of what I thought would definitely be a failed charge or 8" advance. I also wanted to keep his second chariot from getting too aggressive in its advance - this at least panned out for me in the end, since it fled my charge and never rallied! In retrospect, you're right though - as has been previously stated I needed those spears in the center, and it was on my mind, I just didn't account for the 14" charge.

4. As many as possible on the Chariot until it was dead. I needed the combat resolution, and I needed to eliminate return attacks.

5. akielzather covered this one for me, but I'd like to add to this - this is a gift of chaos. It can be taken in addition to an arcane item. Keep this in mind if you're trying to calculate whether your opponent has a scroll or not.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
My main comment to that battle is, however, about your magic phase management.

And since this is a relatively new style of magic phase for me, I certainly appreciate it. Let me try to explain my rationalle for my casting strategy, and hopefully it helps you understand my line of thinking (which may or may not be correct)

First turn I had 11 dice, and he had 6. I've found that Pha's protection, once a player has played against it once or twice, ends up being more like a 99% ward from shooting. That is to say, they almost always pick the target they can reliably shoot rather than one that they risk losing their shot entirely. Having been on the recieving end of one too many direct hits from a hellcannon/S5 Grudge thrower, I know the havok it can wreak, particularly first turn. So my spells, ranked by priority were:

Bubble Pha's
Timewarp on the Swordmasters

Now, I know that my opponent already knows that my Banishment is S7 (believe it or not, this fools a lot of people still). So I know that his top priority in dispelling is going to be Banishment. If I come out of the gates with my second highest priority spell, it throws him off a bit - he expected Banishment, and he knows it's still coming, so he wants to save his dice for it. I also suspect he has a scroll, but I know he wants to save that for banishment as well. So he lets Pha's go through without much fuss.

At this point my intent is to draw out his dispelling mechanisms with two banishments - obviously it didn't work, but this is where a bit of my risk management comes in to play. Let's say I did it the other way around: Banishment then Pha's. I cast banishment, and instead of allowing it, it's his highest priority spell, so he dispels it. I then fail Pha's protection (I'm just switching the order around with how the turn actually played out), and he's left with dispel dice and a scroll, and I'm left with Level 1's and 2's. In this example, I get nothing to show for my phase, whereas in the actual game I end up with Pha's up.

It's interesting that this comes up, because I did want to touch on it - people *love* letting Pha's Protection go off when you have banishment in your deck. I would even go so far as to say *this* is the true power of the Coven of Light. People will always focus on the lethal spell, letting you have your way with all the others. I would have really liked to have seen how this game would have played out if I hadn't whiffed two easy (10+) castings of Banishment on 3 dice. I think his magic defense would have been exhausted pretty fast, then the bodies would have started hitting the floor.

I do think on the turn I banished the lord I could have started with the 4 dice banishment - in this situation I agree with you. At that point I would have had a free cast of any spell after seeing the results of the Banishment. I just expected it to kill him lol!

I'd love to hear input from other people on how they'd run the phase as well. I'm going to be paying particular attention to this moving forward.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
You know as well as I do that HE need to rule the movement phase.

I agree with you 100%. I am finding, however, the more I play this list that with the ranged power it offers, it almost functions better by putting out supression zones via charge arcs. I think my next game illustrates what I mean a bit better, so I'll wait to really address this topic until after I get that report up.

Once again, thank you all for posting - if I didn't get to somebody, I'll try to touch on it later.


Author:  Curu Olannon [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Against this sort of list Brewmaster you basically NEED banishment off as many times as possible. If you eliminate his support aspects (chariots, warshrine, lord) then you have won the game pretty much!

As such, priority should be as follows:
-Banishment on 3D6 from lvl 4
-Banishment on 4D6 from lvl 2

In every magic phase until his threats are gone. Sometimes the simple way is the best way!

Author:  Brewmaster_D [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Given how much miscasts hurt and the presence (or at least it's safe to assume it'll be there) of the Cursed Puppet, you don't get a bit leery casting with 4 dice before that threat has been dealt with?

Author:  Curu Olannon [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

4D6 = 13.2% chance of IF. In other words, it's less than the chance of rolling a '1' on a D6. 5D6 is almost 20% (1 in 5), which is pushing it, but 4 is usually ok. You miscast every 7th attempt but in this case, IF also means he can't stop it and it's a crucial spell for you: the re-rolling ward saves part means that even his normally tough lord/warshrine fear it.

Author:  Brewmaster_D [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

I suppose in that case the risk to benefit ratio is pretty good - I could have potentially witheld his +1T buff for the game by offing the Warshrine.

I'll give it a go next game - Banishment right out of the gate.

Author:  Curu Olannon [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Yeah it's all about the context you know! Pha's is indeed an amazing spell and I agree that the 'other' spells in Lore of Light is what makes the Lore viable for a Coven strategy. However, the Warriors of Chaos context does not favour Pha's in the early turns of the game, perhaps unless he's packing dual-Hellcannons.

I believe that with the Coven of Light, proper understand of the context and resulting magical strategy is key to success. Identify what armies fear what kinds of spells. Lore of Light has something against anyone - be it Wood Elves MSU or big VC blocks.

The first step here is to analyze your own army - the good ol' Know Thyself. So, what can we say about this?
- Your army hits very hard (implies you win most combats 1v1)
- Your army relies on combined arms and unit synergy (implies you need to clear chaff to let your elites do their job)
- Your army is fragile (implies you must handle tough monsters etc at range, preferably)

Basically, the Coven is there to cover the threats that otherwise make your elites unable to perform their desired duties. In this particular matchup, the 'biggies' were the biggest threat (warshrine, lord, chariots). Against a typical Empire army, the 'shooty' ones are the biggest threat (handgunners, mortars).

The interesting part here is how much analysis you can do beforehand: indeed you can evaluate every viable fraction and identify key points for your magical strategy. I believe you'd be surprised many times during this process if you involve the rest of us as I'm sure there are many varied opinions about this :)

Author:  KarsaOrlong [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Curu Olannon wrote:
The interesting part here is how much analysis you can do beforehand: indeed you can evaluate every viable fraction and identify key points for your magical strategy. I believe you'd be surprised many times during this process if you involve the rest of us as I'm sure there are many varied opinions about this

This is the entire reason I like reading D and Seredain's threads. And of course yours Curu. So much information and analytical thought processes packed into easy to read and enjoy threads. A lot of information has been passed on to me through you guys and although it doesn't often get a chance to be used it gives me lots to mull over on quiet days at work :wink:

Author:  Swordmaster of Hoeth [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Hi Brewmaster!

Thanks for quick replies! :)

I have also observed that Pha's is often (if not always) allowed to be cast in favor of dispelling more lethal or simply magic missiles spells. And that is indeed a good thing because in general you need that protection. So if you can have your banishment through or not is kind of secondary thing. If it goes through - great, if not - you are still protecting your troops. That is why I said many times that you need at least S5 banishment for people to fear it.

However, I was also talking about this particular game. Lore of Light is versatile and flexible, so should be the approach of the player who uses it. I had an impression (correct me if I am wrong :)) that your are casting these spells in the same order out of habit and kind of automatically.

We know that WoC player feared your banishment the most. And that he would save his dice to dispel it. On the other hand you have 2 of these and 2 Protections. Even if you miscasted with one wizard, there is still backup. It could have happened that you roll poorly on Pha's Protection as a second spell but that could have also happened during the very first attempt. So it is not that good argument that you should cast them in that particular order just because you got unlucky :)

I am simply wondering if reversing the order of casting spells, knowing that he is going to save dice for banishment anyway, would not be better in this battle. You don't need to use many dice to cast these spells and I agree that it is not good approach when there is Infernal Puppet lurking in the enemy ranks. But if you tried to use 6 dice for 2 attempts of banishment first from both your spell casters he could have failed to meet the casting value (always a risk) or use his scroll in first round. Then you are left with 5 dice he has no answers for and could use to your advantage by casting pha's protection and some other spell. In my opinion with that order you do not take away the opportunity to cast Banishment but give yourself more options.

And one more question because I got confused in this as well. You wrote that Chaos Lord armor saved 5/9 of wounds caused by Banishment and then it transferred into only 2 after re-rolls of his ward save. What was the strength of the spell at that moment that he still had his armor save?

Looking forward to seeing that next battle! Who was your enemy?


Author:  Tethlis [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

This was a heck of a game, and one that I really enjoyed reading. Much obliged for sharing it with us!

I honestly thought you had it in the bag for a quite a while, but it started looking a little grim when your respective flanks started running into trouble. The generally unimpressive magic showing was a tough knock to take; Light is one of my favorite lores, and I think Chaos is a brilliant showcase for how versatile and powerful it can be, but the big downside here is casting redundancy. One thing I love about Shadow, for example, is that I have multiple spells that can accomplish the same goal. Do I want to make my troops more survivable in combat? Miasma to drop enemy WS, or Enfeebling to drop their Strength. Do I need to boost their hitting power? Withering, or Mindrazor. The general dynamic of a strong Winds roll is that an enemy can frequently stop one cast, regardless of what its cast value might be, so it helps to have another spell in your arsenal that you can also cast to help achieve the same in-game purpose. Based on my own experience with Light, I find it's easy for an opponent to prioritize a dispel if he's really worried about one particular spell effect. Even with that in mind, I still think you made your opponent make some tough choices as far as dispelling is concerned, and I think it was only bad luck that your magic phase didn't weigh the game more decisively in your favor.

In terms of feedback, I guess the point I would highlight is the use of the Spears. I've had a number of games where Spears, when tag teamed with one of our choppy elites, are a heavy-duty nightmare for Chaos Warriors. Spears versus Marauders are a nice matchup for us, but since one Marauder unit was in the building, and would therefore take a couple turns before it could threaten you in combat, and since you skilfully diverted the other Marauder block with Archers + Eagle, I think it would have paid to turn those Spears to the west and dogpiled that Warrior unit in support of your White Lions.

Any chance of a rematch versus this player?

Author:  Brewmaster_D [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Hey Guys!

Let's get right to it:

@Curu (and Swordmaster)- You know it's funny. For being such a large proponent for the lore, most of the experience I have with the lore of light is with Banishment being more of a peripheral spell. I think a large part of my casting pattern stems from this, and after reading all of your comments is something I'm going to change up in my next game. When banishment is S4, more often than not Pha's is a bigger threat to most opponents. It makes otherwise pin cushion-like High Elves frustratingly slippery. However, now that I'm playing with S7 on my banishment, my casting patterns need to change to reflect the change in threat.

Thank you everyone that pointed this out - You'll see a bit more of this in the next game, but after that I'm printing myself a T-Shirt that says "Banishment or Bust!". There's always going to be games where Pha's does start to gain a competitive edge on banishment (Double Pha's versus a gunline pretty much neutralizes their shooting), however lists that don't have even one enticing banishment target are few and far between.

I wish I had the opportunity to play a game turn by turn, posting the turns as they go, however most of my games are played person to person at the game shop, so time is often limited.

@KarsaOrlong - Thank you very much! Truthfully, while we all like to yammer on about strategy and list composition, at the end of the day it's the thought that we can pass along some of our experiences to others that keeps us putting up these Battle Reports. It's always nice when one of the lurkers pops in to say hello ;)

Ps. Whereabouts in Ontario? Kitchener/Waterloo here

@Swordmaster - I used the example here of the second spell failing just to illustrate what the turn would look like with the order switched. Naturally, any spell can (and will eventually) fail. Basically what I was trying to say in too many words is that since I know Pha's almost always gets let through, I like putting one out first in case of failure later in the phase. 2 x Banishments are always in my budget. Having said that, after thinking this over quite a bit, given the similar casting values there is no real reason to be casting Pha's first since both have an equal opportunity to fail/miscast. I might as well go with the most important one first in this case!

Regarding the Chaos Lord, he had a 1+/3++ and my banishment was S7. 9 wounds should have resulted in 3.33 wounds after saves, but he made a silly amount of 5+ saves in his initial throw.

@ Tethlis - You're absolutely right, and a hard lesson I had to learn this game. The spears, although highly successful at taking out those marauders (and chariot for that matter) would have probably won me the game if involved in the central combat. Remembering back, one of those turns I won by a significant margin, I just didn't have the ranks to beat steadfast. Since I'm typically combining charges to reduce ranks enough so that it doesn't matter, this definitely exploited a bad habit I've been developing; assuming my elites can handle their business on their own.

When I originally wrote the list, back when the lore of light wasn't even involved, I included that unit of spears for no other reason than to provide ranks for my choppy elites. I have little to no faith in their ability to do much in combat. I mean the unit that I've seen them be the most effective against is still only 60% of the cost of the spears (the marauders). So like I said to dabber, I got sidetracked by the combination of a juicy flank charge and the ability for those spears to be effective in combat for once lol.

Regarding the luck - can't win 'em all. I think you and I both had to swallow our pride in the magic phase in our last games :P

Thanks once again for all the comments and feedback. I'm done the Battle Report section of my battle versus a Lizardman opponent, so I'll try to get the written part done tonight yet.


Author:  KarsaOrlong [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Hey D,

I'm in the Ottawa area myself. I was going to head to bed but since I'm only working a half shift tomorrow and will be to crammed to find a twenty minute reading break I may have to stay awake a little longer :lol:.

In regards to casting order. I understand the psychological game you were playing with casting Pha's first a couple of times. And I liked that you were trying to preempt your opponents dispel dice. Obviously SM and Curu have offered some good reasons why this logic wasn't necessarily correct but do you feel you were worrying too much about a dispel scroll and maybe puppet too early in the game? I mean personally I would sit on the dispel scroll until a more crucial time than the first turn. Obviously it can be argued that all turns are crucial but I like to think nobody has scorned the dice gods so bad that the dispel dice will fail that early.


Author:  Brewmaster_D [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Alrighty, here comes number two from last week!

So the context of this battle: I asked last week what people thought would be the toughest opponents for this particular setup. One of the responses (I think it was Dabber) was a well rounded Lizardmen list with a Lore of Light Slann. I happen to know quite a few Lizardmen players, so I set up a game with one of them. I say to him "Write a well rounded list with a Lore of Light Slann". Naturally, he assumes it's a trap, and this is the list he comes up with:


Slann, Focused Rumination, Focus of Mystery, Becalming Cogitation, Cupped Hands of the Old Ones, BSB (Lore of Fire)
Skink Priest, Dispel Scroll (Chain Lightning)

30 x Skink Cohort w/ 2 Kroxigors
30 x Skink Cohort w/ 2 Kroxigors
11 x Saurus Warriors, Full Command
10 x Skink Skirmishers, blowpipes
10 x Skink Skirmishers, blowpipes

6 x Chameleon Skinks

2 x Salamanders
2 x Salamanders


Ancient Stegadon

Ok, not quite what I was after, but some scary stuff nonetheless. Serious target saturation for my Banishments and a Slann throwing fireballs at my vulnerable T3 troops.

Also interesting, for whatever reason in this game we managed to draw a bit of a crowd, all of which seemed to be rooting against me. I had to explain plenty of rules, including: Why I get to double up on Banishment, why Banishment was S7, why Pha's protection effects stacked, and on and on. My opponent is a friend of mine, so he just laughed and took a bathroom break while I had to look things up for people in the rulebook lol.

For my spells, I get the following:

Archmage: Pha's, Net, Banishment, Timewarp
Level 2: Banishment, Pha's
Level 1: Light of Battle
Noble: Shem's Burning Gaze



Well that's certainly an interesting looking army on the field. With enough impact hits, blowpipes and firey breath to raze my army before I could even do anything, I had to be very careful with deployment. When he dropped a unit of salamanders behind the rock, this was the point where I decided to commit more heavily to the Western front - I could use a combination of Pha's protection and two unit's charge arcs to deter the salamanders from exchanging a good firey breath shot for providing me a great launching pad into what I could only assume was going to be the Slann's bunker behind (11 Saurus). Ethereal doesn't matter much with S7 banishment flying around!

His glut of drops really gave me trouble this deployment phase, as I ended up having to make some tactical decisions before him. With that, I focused around deploying centrally, with a very modest refused flank in the form of all my heavy hitters in the West.

We roll off for first turn, and with my oft-sought-but-rarely-achieved +1 to my roll, I take the first turn.

Turn 1, High Elves


I fly the Western eagle up and together with the two units of swordmasters, I create a huge area that the skink skirmishers cannot approach within - between the charge arcs of the two swordmaster units and the eagle, the skinks would have difficulty positioning themselves without surrendering a charge or overrun to one of those units.

The Eastern Eagle and Dragon Princes move up (even with a 2+ save, I could see him drooling at the opportunity to blast 32 poisoned shots at my princes) to threaten the salamander advance and the easternmost archers reform to face the chameleon skinks.

In the center, the swordmasters are just out of optimal range for the salamanders, and I can tell he doesn't like the idea of me banishing them very much.

Magic is 8 v 5 - True to form, I begin with a 2 dice pha's (single target) on the Western swordmasters - they're under imminent threat from those salamanders, and I'd very much like for them to neutralize that threat. He dispels this with 2 dice of his own. I then go for a 3 dice banishment on his stegadon, which he dispels with his remaining dice, and another 3 dice banishment which he scrolls.

Shooting I manage to kill a chameleon skink and a Saurus Warrior, so we move right along to his turn.

Turn 1, Lizardmen


The western salamanders move up full distance to generate a long, but still possible shot on the swordmasters.

The skink trap in the West works, and he moves up *very* modestly, with him vocalizing exactly what I was trying to create ("there's really no safe spot for these guys... If I put them there I can see you leapfrogging into my units which would be really bad").

His Slann's unit moves up into Cogitation range, and the stegadons stay put for some bolt thrower shots (I screwed up which stegadon goes where, the ancient is in the East). His Eastern Skink cohort moves up very aggressively to force the hand of the Dragon Princes, and the middle salamanders don't want to risk a charge by getting into position to shoot the swordmasters.

Magic is 4 v 5 (thank you annullian crystal and 4 attempts to channel :P) - He throws all 4+1 at a full powered fireball on my swordmasters, but I manage to dispel it by just matching it with the high elf +1 to dispel. Phew.

Shooting sees him short with one salamander shot, and kill one swordmaster with the other, just nicking the unit. The bolt throwers all miss, and the chameleon skinks fail to wound the Dragon Princes.

Turn 2, High Elves


I charge my Dragon Princes into his cohort with a sigh - forgot those guys have Movement 6 - and I position the eagle in the bottleneck to avoid any salamander nonsense. The spears move up to clean up the mess that the Dragon Princes are going to make, and my swordmasters move up to threaten charges, but still make for long charges on his behalf.

My Western great eagle positions 1" in front of his salamanders (I got the angle wrong, a shuffle sideways wouldn't have provided a shot on my swordmasters).

The archmage pops out of the unit of white lions to avoid cogitation, and the lions advance to threaten any aggressive movement or failed charges by the stegadons/Slann unit - not that he was going to charge with the Slann bunker.

Magic is 11 v 8 (Boxcars for channeling on his behalf) - I start off with a bubble Pha's (3 dice) to protect against the inevitable salamander bombardment. He allows this. My next spell is a Banishment from my level 2 on 4 dice, which goes off irresistably on his stegadon - when the dust settles, a skink is killed from the howdah and a wound was done to the stegadon (only 5 hits), and the miscast drains me of 1 dice and kills 3 archers + a wound on my mage. I then throw the remaining 3 at another banishment, but he uses his remaining dispel dice to dispel it.

In shooting, I kill another 2 chameleon skinks, and another Saurus Warrior.

Combat sees the Dragon Princes kill 11 of the skinks (hey what do you know, horses can actually do something vs skinks!), and lose 2 of their numbers due to the high strength attacks of the Kroxigors. The skinks hold on steadfast.

Turn 2, Lizardmen


With few options, his Western salamanders charge the great eagle, and the skink skirmishers move out of the way of the skink cohort.

His stegadons declare charges on my swordmasters, however I flee the second one, resulting in a failed charge for both. His eastern salamanders move up near my eagleand the western ones charge their eagle. The Ancient Stegadon moves up to threaten charges on anything that moves up in the wake of the Dragon Princes.

The Slann's unit backs up to avoid the incoming elites and I think he forgets about his eastern skinks here.

Magic is 3 v 4 and he once again throws it all at a powered up fireball. This time I fail to meet his value, and he rolls his hits on the swordmasters, giving him 10 total. Out of those 10, he gets a whopping 9 wounds, and I fail to save any of them. This leaves me with 5 swordmasters, who thankfully pass their panic test.

With shooting, he sneakily aims a shot "at the eagle", but the flames soar right over and hit my spearmen, since pha's is only applicable if the unit is targetted. 11 casualties later, I learn another lesson about another one of my limitations.

In combat, we start with the Dragon Prince combat, who naturally get decimated. His unit, however, isn't in great shape either.

My eagle manages a wound on his salamanders, and he fluffs all of his attacks resulting in a tie.

Turn 3, High Elves


I advance centrally, bearing down on the slann's bunker, and my great eagle swoops Westward to position itself to block both stegadons.

My fleeing swordmasters rally, and my spears charge his cohort, who opt to flee (with good reason, this was also a bad matchup with my S3 versus his T2).

Magic is 11 v 6, and things get interesting. The crow gathered around us at this point starts talking about all of the things that his Eastern salamanders can do in his next turn, so I start off by throwing 3 dice at a banishment from my level 2. It's not pictured here, but I squished my mages to the right side of the unit in order to track line of sight. Regardless, he dispels this one with 3 of his own dice. I then follow up with a 4 dice Banishment using my Archmage, leaving him hoping for double 6's. He doesn't get them, and 10 hits later his salamanders are nothing but a charred hole in the ground. (queue questions about how I double up spells and how I achieve S7 - or in this case 6)

With the imminent threats dealt with, and no immediate charges demanding my attention, I put a Net of Amyntok on his slann's unit - I'll take a 1/3 chance to not have to deal with another one of those fireballs lol.

Shooting I manage to kill all but one of the chameleon skinks and fail to do any wounds with the Western Archers.

In combat, the Western eagle manages a wound, and the salamanders do a wound in return. Once again, they tie combat.

Turn 3, Lizardmen


His Stegadon Ancient charges my spearmen, and the Western one closest to my troops charges my eagle. The slann leaves the unit of Saurus Warriors (despite me reminding him of banishment), and the Warriors move up to distract my troops. He turns his skinks in the Eastern forest to rain down blowpipe shots on my spears should the charge from the stegadon fail.

He rolls for his net during the magic phase, and fails his attempt to cast spells. Now, I'd really appreciate it if somebody could fill me in on the rules here for a character leaving a unit that is hexed. It's a bit ambiguous, and we couldn't really figure it out at the time. We decided to 4+ it, with the roll determining that the character remains effected.

In shooting, his javelins and blowpipes manage to kill 3 swordmasters, and his stegadon misses his flank shot on my swordmasters.

Combat sees him finally kill my eagle, and the stegadon whiff its attacks with only a thunderstomp providing 3 wounds. The volume of attacks from the spears results in 2 wounds on the stegadon, causing him to lose combat. He fails his stubborn test, but I fail to catch him.

Turn 4, High Elves


With his Slann becoming ever more vulnerable, I charge my swordmasters at his remaining saurus warriors, who opt to flee. The swordmasters move up 4", which is enough to allow my previously declared charge of my white lions on his stegadon. He has to hold due to being immune to psychology. My other unit of swordmasters charge his cohort, amongst onlookers telling my opponent to "not feed the woodchipper". I lol inside.

My spears charge his stegadon again, not expecting to catch it, but lo and behold I do. I had expected to just shoo it closer to the board edge, but now I'm in a bad spot, ready to take a horrible flank charge.

Magic is 7 v 3 - I get it wrong in this picture. This phase sees me start with a 4 dice banishment, which he fails to dispel. His slann dies a gruesome death, and with my remaining dice I put up a pha's bubble to help in the multiple combats.

Combat sees the White Lions + BSB able to kill the stegadon, and they overrun into the next one. The western swordmasters, now with only 8 left still manage to make their presence known by killing 12 skinks, and taking only 2 casualties in return.

Turn 4, Lizardmen


His salamanders move up for a final shot on my mage bunker, and his cohort charges my spearmen.

Magic is a wash because the slann is dead (again, I got the picture wrong)

Both of his salamander shots get blocked by Pha's protection, so we move to combat.

Combat sees me take out enough of the skinks in the west that they break from combat, only managing to kill one swordmaster in return. I pursue into the salamanders. Predictably, he blasts through my spearmen and catches them when they flee. I do, however, manage to kill the next stegadon with my White Lions/BSB.

Turn 5, High Elves


We basically clean things up at this point - the swordmasters kill the salamanders and my elites charge and kill his saurus unit.

The end result is a massacre for the high elves!

I'm pretty tired tonight, so I'll leave the report with you guys tonight and post my after battle thoughts tomorrow.

As always, thanks for reading!


Author:  Swordmaster of Hoeth [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Now that is what I am talking! You used your spells in different order depending what was needed more at a time. Excellent use of lore and its flexibility.

One important thing that would have saved your Spears. If you catch fleeing enemy you are still allowed to reform provided you pass your Ld test. That would let you face the cohort and be in good shape to even win the combat.

I like both of your recent games a lot as there were a lot of things going on and especially in second game you used your movement phase better. Moving troops is not always about pushing them as fast and as far as you can but to place them where you still have many options while whatever your enemy can do is bad for him.

Well done and thanks for such a quick posting of a second game! :)

Author:  Prince of Spires [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Brewmaster_D wrote:
He rolls for his net during the magic phase, and fails his attempt to cast spells. Now, I'd really appreciate it if somebody could fill me in on the rules here for a character leaving a unit that is hexed. It's a bit ambiguous, and we couldn't really figure it out at the time. We decided to 4+ it, with the roll determining that the character remains effected.

Not realy clear, but I think it works as follows.

BRB p97: This points at the character only being affected as long as he is part of the unit. It's not 100% what it sais though, as it first talks of a character joining an affected unit and only then leaving again.

The only ruling in the FAQs I can find is:
Q: If a character tries to leave a unit that is affected by the Net of
Amyntok (or another similar spell or ability such as a Fulminating
Flame Cage) including if he tries to charge out of it, is he required to
take a Strength test? Also, if the test is failed, will any resulting
damage hit only the character? (Reference)
A: Yes to both question. Though it is worth noting that a test is
not required if he leaves without moving, through the Smoke
and Mirrors lore attribute for example.

So the Slann would definatly need to test when leaving the unit. However, it again seems to suggest that after he left the unit he is no longer affected. (going from how its worded)

That being said, it's not very clear. Could be interpreted either way.


Author:  dabber [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Brewmaster_D wrote:
With shooting, he sneakily aims a shot "at the eagle", but the flames soar right over and hit my spearmen, since pha's is only applicable if the unit is targetted. 11 casualties later, I learn another lesson about another one of my limitations.
Nope. Pha's works. FAQ, page 10, upper right. Notice that the word "targetted" is not part of the Pha's Protection spell.

I agree with rdghuizing on Net. From the FAQ, the Slann must test to leave (on the Saurus strength, oddly), but once he gets out, he does not have to test to cast.

I don't understand the thing with the Eagle vs the skinks on the west side turn 1. A charging Eagle should beat skinks, but stand-and-shoot should do a wound or two, and they might manage another one in combat, or hold. I don't consider an overrunning Eagle any sort of problem.
That said, clearly what you did worked. Your Swordmaster positioning looks good, and worked great, and obviously the Eagle placement caused him trouble.

His chameleons should have been behind the building, I think (east of the building). They could still move up and mess with you if he went first, but the building would protect them from your archers when you went first.

As always, going first really helped here. That gave you extra separation between your advancing combat units and your wizards to protect from Cogitation and his damage.

Even with Lore of Fire (which is think is a terrible lore), I disagree with his constantly throwing everything at Fireball. He did have poor winds rolls, but he needs to cast 2 spells to help overcome the crystal. Unless maybe he was just hoping for a miscast he could bounce to you. Hoping for a miscast isn't a completely terrible plan, although I personally consider it unsporting.

Your one Banishment on the Slann seemed to have rolled really well - average damage from a single Banishment is unlikely to kill a Slann (under 3 wounds net) because of his 4+ ward. Plus a solo slann should be packing the 2+ ward against ranged. Buying the 2+ ward is much better protection than that otherwise useless unit of Saurus, especially since skinks can give the Slann "look out sir" if he really needs it.

As one who suggest a Light Slann would be a problem for you, the problem for your opponent was he didn't bring a Light Slann!!! The general theory behind a Light Slann, as I have seen it, is he advances into Cogitation range behind a wall of combat Lizardmen, that the Slann buffs with augments. Even when things go wrong, his troops have Cold-Blooded leadership 9 with a re-roll, so they get another chance. With no augments or hexes from the Slann, the Lizardmen troops are no match for High Elf elites, as you showed. His limited combat troops were not concentrated to protect the Slann, which allowed you to avoid Cogitation range several times, and helped insure you got massively more impact from magic.

Author:  Brewmaster_D [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

@ Swordmaster - Thank you! I definitely tried to take the lessons I learned in the previous game and apply them to this one. I had already come to the conclusion that I didn't use my movement phase as effectively as I should have in the Warriors game, so I really took my time and thought it through in this one. It helps as well that we got an early start, so this wasn't "speed warhammer" so to speak.

@ rdghuizing & dabber - Thank you very much for clarifying the rules here. Seems like this is one of those cases where it doesn't explicitly say, so you have to read between the lines a bit.

@ dabber - Regarding the skinks and the eagle. Essentially what I was trying to create here was a series of charge vectors that created a no-win situation for the skinks. The area in front of both of the swordmasters was a no-go, because moving there would have given the swordmasters a free path into his troops, or provided one of the units flank charge if he angled them for diversion. His other option was to move them Westward and assault the eagle, or angle them to face the swordmasters and shoot them. If he assaulted the eagle, I'd get a flank with the swordmasters, and if he angled them to assault the swordmasters, I'd get a flank with the eagle. This deprives him of stand and shoot, and puts the eagle into a winning situation with the flank and only two attacks back. The positioning of the eagle also deprived the Salamanders of a flee charge reaction from the swordmasters if they moved up to a good spot for their flame breath - if he fled from a swordmaster charge, the Eagle is then in a position to charge as well and likely catch them. I hope that clears my thinking up a bit!

I totally agree with you about the chameleon skinks. I think the first turn shots at the princes was a mistake as well - clearing out those archers would have freed him up to harass my mage bunker/spears.

Cogitation presented a unique challenge here. I knew he was sporting cupped hands, and wanted to eliminate that with the ring of corin, however to get into range for the spell, I would have to willingly subject my Archmage to Becalming Cogitation. In the end, I opted to risk the miscast possibility and stay back in favour of more aggressive light magic casting. I think he thought I had to have a dispel scroll among all those mages, so undoubtedly this effected his casting strategy. Regarding lore of fire - it was his first time trying it this edition, and I don't think he was too impressed with it either. His comment was "It's not really the ratling gun of magic missiles that it used to be, is it?"

The Slann only had the 4+ ward, and I forgot to mention that he had suffered a wound from the D6 S4 hits when he failed the Net test. I did 4 wounds after saves with a roll of 10 on the banishment (had good luck on the rolls this game).

I also do solemnly swear to you dabber that I will line up a match versus a Saurus-centric, light wielding slann list ;)

Author:  Baeronvonbleat [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Great game and well executed! My only issue was the death of the Dragon Princes, but who nkows if the mixed unit would have fled if they hadn't been sacrificed.

Augments and Hexes - If a hero leaves a unit while augmented or hexed, the controlling player decides whether it stays with the hero or the unit.

Author:  dabber [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Brewmaster_D wrote:
I also do solemnly swear to you dabber that I will line up a match versus a Saurus-centric, light wielding slann list
Given how well you usually play, you'll probably take it out anyway!

Just looking at roughly this list ... Give the Slann Light, 2+ ward, and put a few more skinks into the cohorts (dropping the Saurus). Put the three stegs roughly in the middle, with both cohort units in between the stegs, and the Slann behind that.
Run the cohorts straight towards your troops, with the stegs hanging back a bit. You probably cannot blow through a cohort in one combat phase, which lets a steg (or two!) counter-charge. The skinks (and Burning Gaze plus Banishment) try to take out your Eagles, and in the meantime the Salamanders stay conservative until they can get off a good shot. I think that works a lot better for the Lizardmen. You still have plenty of options, but it makes combat a riskier choice for the High Elves, and means Cogitation is more likely to cost you a spell.

Baeronvonblast, I think you are incorrect in your augment/hex statement. That was true in 7th. Where do you see that written in 8th?

Author:  Baeronvonbleat [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

I'll try to find exact wording when I get home! Honest!

Author:  Stormie [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Interesting report, seemed to just give you the Slann halfway through the game though. Reminds me of why I hate playing at stores (or similar locations) - the "peanut gallery" can just be so annoying; come up with anything they've never heard of, and it's all "BUT I THOUGHT... I WAS SURE..!" and if not that then it's tactical advice, which is ughghghghg.

Only thing that confused me here was why the western Salamanders had "few options" and went for your Eagle? They're Skirmishers so I don't see why they couldn't just skirmish around you and flame the tasty Swordmaster block, leaving the Skinks to kill the Great Eagle in kind...

Also I dunno if you've missed this or not but if you run someone down who flees as a charge reaction, then if you pass LD you can reform on the spot as reward! Can be mighty helpful when a flee like from that Stegadon draws your unit out into a difficult position.

Author:  Curu Olannon [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

To be honest, you made this matchup seem like a walk in the park! Indeed his choices were sub-optimal against you and a few of his tactical decisions made little-to-no sense at all. With that being said, Lizardmen are never an easy matchup for us so kudos for a well-played game: you most definitely deserved the win!

I don't have anything major to comment on, other than the fact that I think you very rarely seem to consider Birona's. I'm not sure there's any specific moments here where it would've been an awesome spell (perhaps save from Turn 4 - a Birona's Bubble here would've been SO deadly!) but it's a very good weapon to have at your disposal.

Author:  Tethlis [ Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brewmaster D's Army List Blog

Yes, there's certainly a lot less to say for the winds than for the losses. I like your character configuration, and I'm impressed that you got so much out of your Swordmasters when fighting an opponent that's very well suited to threatening them. I think a big advance with those Spearmen, in the same turn you charged the Skrox unit with your Dragon princes, might have put you in a good position to follow up the Princes' sacrifice with a Spear charge. Certainly the Sallies over there aren't too healthy for Spearmen, but perhaps the Eagle was keeping the Sallies pushed back far enough to offset the danger of those flames?

Just comments from the peanut gallery; the outcome was a win, so clearly nothing much needed to change!

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