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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:09 am 
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Stormie wrote:
Interesting report, seemed to just give you the Slann halfway through the game though.


Things were getting pretty tight for Mr. Slann once the elites started their advance, and I can understand his decision - he was between a rock and a hard place, so leaving him in the unit would have had him minced by swordmasters and moving him out gets him blasted with Banishment. At least with magic he can hope for poor rolls, whereas the swordmasters are pretty reliable destruction.

Stormie wrote:
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...


That's a good point - after rereading the rules for how skirmishers operate, he could have reformed facing southwest, single file, moved ahead, then reformed to face the south east two wide and lined up a shot on the swordmasters. I now fully appreciate how ridiculous it is that there is a skirmishing unit of flamethrowers that can march and shoot. Luckily it appears he didn't understand the free reform rules to the fullest either, so I'll have to be extra careful of this. Had I known this, I'd have likely charged with the swordmasters and the eagle to deal with them after they moved up.

Stormie wrote:
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.


I believe it was Swordmaster who also pointed this out to me - wasn't aware of this rule, and it surely would have seen a different result with that spear combat! Thanks guys for pointing this out, I'll definitely be putting it to use later.

Curu Olannon wrote:
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.


First off, thanks for your kind words Curu! Traditionally I've struggled versus Lizardmen, so it's always nice when things go well. Regarding Birona's - since the bubble casts on a 24+, I tend to reserve it for situations where I get a combo charge, and the spell will help me decimate a unit. It's a great spell, but with such a high price tag you need as many bodies within the bubble as possible to outweigh the risk. In turn 4, I was up against the stegadon that already had a wound from banishment, so I was pretty confident in the Lions and BSB's ability to dice it up. The swordmasters definitely could have used it, but I didn't see the 7 extra attacks making a huge difference since the majority of the damage was coming from the kroxigor anyway. This is why I opted for Pha's instead. Having said that, the next time I play a match that actually allows me a great combo charge, you can put money down on a Birona's explosion.

Tethlis wrote:
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?


I think you're right here, given what I know now - that Pha's protects a unit even if they're not targeted directly. Again, this is all stuff I'm learning due to all of your excellent comments, and things I will definitely be incorporating into my next matches.

Speaking of next matches - I've lined up my next non-random opponent. It's going to be versus a much stronger Empire player than the first. This means I can expect lots of artillery, an Arch Lector on a War Altar, a nice horde of halbrediers and who knows what else.

In terms of a rematch with the Warriors player - we agreed that a rematch was necessary after the last game, but I'm guessing it won't happen until after the holidays.

Once again, thanks all for your input - I'm really liking the way the list plays, so I'm going to focus on refining the player :P

D

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:14 pm 
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The Lizardmen battle report was excellent, congratulations on your victory.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Very nice report mate. You clearly out-palyed you opponent on this battle in my opinion. :)

Not many things to add, just that that I believe apart from other mistakes, you opponent failed to use his normal stagadons properly.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Hey Guys!

Had an opportunity to squeeze a game in last night between all of the Christmas and New Year's calamity. I asked my friend who plays empire to put together a list that would curdle milk, and I think he really pulled through in spades. His list was as follows:

Arch Lector, War Altar, Hand Weapon & Shield, Dawn Armour
Wizard Lord, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Life

BSB, Armour of Meteoric Iron
Warrior Priest

47 x Halbrediers, Full Command
10 x Handgunner Detachment

15 x Knights, Great Weapons

40 x Greatswords, Full Command
10 x Handgunner Detachment
20 x Swordsmen Detachment

3 x Mortars
3 x Cannons

**I'm sure the characters had more stuff - not entirely sure on their loadout

So it's basically a legal version of the Empire list I went up against last time. I asked him to make an all comers list, which is why he didn't include the Steamtank - he's had too many bad experiences with turn 1 Pits of Shade swallowing it whole.

Regardless, he's got tough as nails magic defense with 3 bonus Dispel Dice and a scroll, and access to two lores - Life via. the Wizard Lord and Light via. the War Altar. Naturally, if he can get his War Altar near my coven, I'll be in trouble, since he would then have access to S8 banishment himself, and the Altar has a 2+ ward versus magic. The only easy points available in this list are whatever war machines I can manage to assault. The rest are tucked away in big, hard to kill units or detachments.

I'll leave you with this for now, and I should be able to get the full report up tonight.

D

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Last edited by Brewmaster_D on Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:22 pm 
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It sure is a nasty looking list, but it has a few weaknesses: no tarpits, poor magic resistance, poor magic offense. I believe that in order to win this game, getting crucial Pha's off and Timewarp to help you win combats is key. I don't believe banishment has too much value here as it has no really juicy targets. With that said it's not worth disregarding it completely - 2D6 S7 hits on the Knights will hurt a lot for example.

One thing I've thought about is the viability of getting +1 to cast item for your archmage. Since your strategy relies upon spamming, this can greatly enhance your ability to get every last drop out of those dice. There are 2 items we have available for this task - Starwood Staff and Book of Ashur. The latter also gives you insane magical defense with a staggering +6 to dispel. Another benefit of these items is that they actually make the Timewarp bubble an easier cast - essentially you go from having to roll 20+ (64.8% chance) to 19+ (72.5% chance). The really hard choice is shuffling the arcane items around to make this work - and I'm not sure this is doable. Anyways, just some food for thought :)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:40 am 
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So I've posted his list above, and mine is listed on the first page of the thread, so without further adieu, I'll jump right into the battle report!

Fire in the Skies

We roll for spells:

Wizard lord - Flesh to stone, Throne of Vines, Regrowth, Dwellers Below. Pretty much the ideal lineup when rocking lore of life...

Archmage - Pha's, Net, Banishment, Timewarp
Level 2 - Pha's, Banishment
Level 1 - Speed of Light
BSB - Shem's Burning Gaze

Deployment

Image

Looking at the terrain, I know that empire players can't pass up the opportunity to put their artillery on hills. I used terrain deployment to my advantage here - we rolled 10 pieces of terrain, so I used buildings and a couple tall forests to create blind spots for anything that sets up on those hills.

My eagles go down first, each in one of those blind spots, and due to most of his points being tied up in 3 units which drop at the same time as detachments, I end up with a huge advantage in the deployment phase. I decide to focus my casters on the Eastern end of my battle line, and pair up the White Lions against those knights - They're weilding great weapons, so S6 should drop their saves respectably.

I deploy everything very wide to minimize the incoming template damage, and put the BSB in the biggest unit (the spears). History has taught me a valuable lesson that people can't resist putting templates down on my only big unit. The archmage goes in with the swordmasters to diversify my character portfolio, since I know he's rockin' Dwellers.

Finally, the Dragon Princes go on the Eastern Flank, which should match up very well against that unit of swordsmen, then follow through into the artillery unless he commits his big horde to defending that direction.

We roll off, and he wins the first turn with his +1 to roll

Turn 1, Empire

Image

He wheels his knights enough that pretty much every approach is cut off for my Western Eagle. His two units of handgunners move up into shooting/redirecting range, and the rest stays put.

Magic starts off with a boxcars, but I successfully channel one, plus the crystal, making it 11 v 8. He starts off with a 2 dice throne, and gets as high a roll as he could possibly get without miscasting - 15 total. I throw 4 of my own dice at it, since I know that his Arch Lector is out of 24" range of most of the light spells, and I'm not too concerned about buffs this turn. He then throws 2 dice at making his unit unbreakable, 2 dice at flesh to stone on his greatswords which I allow, and his remaining dice go into bound Pha's on the Greatswords which I dispel... well... because I can. :P

He then commences his bombardment. I had spent much of my previous workweek sending over taunts and attack ads to him via email, so there was no doubt in my mind that this is where I was going to suffer. He aims his first mortar shot at my swordmasters in the East... and misfires! Second one lines up and scatters westward, clipping the edge of the swordmaster unit and getting the spears. My archmage fails his lookout sir roll and soaks up one of the hits, so I only lose one swordmaster, and the Spears take 5 wounds, losing 3 models after a couple successful saving throws from armour and the icon. The third mortar misfires too, and I really dodge a bullet... ahaha get it?

The two Eastern Cannons can't see either Eagle, so they opt to shoot at the dragon princes, with one shot falling short, and another taking one out. The Western cannon can't actually see the Western Eagle, so it puts a shot through the White Lions and Swordmasters, causing two wounds on each.

Wow, that could have been a *lot* worse...

Turn 1, High Elves

Image

Not ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, the Elven host hike up their battle skirts and double time it across the field. The Western Eagle opts to fly Eastward, since his approach along the West would just result in a charge from the knights and allow them a reform to threaten my White Lions. Instead, I park it in front of my White Lions, which I assume he won't want to trifle with. The Eastern Eagle flies up aggressively, and positions itself to force the cannons to choose between the Dragon Princes and it, as opposed to getting both in one shot.

I move my archmage's unit of swordmasters up temptingly close to the Arch Lector, since I believe that he doesn't have a magic weapon, so worst case I can stick it in a challenge.

With one more round of serious shooting coming my way, I hope for big numbers in the Winds roll - and naturally I roll a 3. A channel + the banner puts me at 5, and his 3 bonus dice put him at 3 as well. I throw it all at a banishment on his mortar, and he throws his dice but fails to dispel. 10 hits later, his mortar gets banished back to the Empire workshop. Not quite the all powerful magic phase I was hoping for, but I'll take it.

Shooting puts a couple wounds on the Eastern Handgunners, and we move on to his turn.

Turn 2, Empire

Image

He takes the bait with the Arch Lector and issues a charge on the Swordmasters. He also, to my suprise, issues a charge with his knights on my White Lions and his swordsmen into my Great Eagle in the East (this eagle is actually angled a bit more towards the board edge, my bad). He turns his Greatswords to face the incoming knights in the East, and also to swing his mage into lifebloom range of his Arch Lector. The central handgunners move up again, as in their current position they'd allow an overrun right into the halbrediers. He positions his Halbrediers far enough away for it to be unlikely for this to occur, but to also give him a great countercharge should I overrun his handgunners.

We move along to magic, and a 6 & 1 puts the final total at 7 v 8 after channels. He starts with a 2 dice throne, and I fail to meet the casting value with 3 of my own dice. Yeesh. Next he throws 2 dice at Flesh to Stone, and rolls snakeyes, allowing me to dispel all of his attempts at bound spells.

The bombardment commences, and he targets his first shot at the unengaged swordmasters. A wide scatter puts the template right on the White Lion combat. It kills a knight, and 4 white lions. The second shot scatters almost identically, but 2" farther, putting it on the knights and Eagles, taking out 3 knights, and putting a wound on the Eagle. The Eastern Cannon fires a shot at the mage bunker, but the ball stops short, and the second East cannon misfires. Finally, the Western one puts a shot right through the spears and swordmasters, catching the back of the spears and killing two swordmasters. All of his handgunner shots bounce off the Dragon Prince armour, and we move on to combat.

The White Lions do well vs. the charging knights - they take 4 wounds, but do 6 to him , causing him to lose combat by one. He fails his break test, and the White Lions manage to catch him, but stop their advance at the eagle.

The Swordmasters direct all of their attacks at the War Altar, and manage to put 3 wounds through the armour and ward save. In return, they take 3 wounds from impact hits, and another from attacks, but they hold on steadfast.

Finally, in the East, the eagle has an excellent round of combat, putting 3 wounds on the swords from attacks and stomp and taking none in return. The eagle loses combat, but manages to hold. Didn't see that coming lol!

Turn 2, High Elves

Image

The Dragon Princes join the fray in support of the Eagle, and the Western Eagle fails his charge to get to the exposed mortar. He moves 5" forward, and the White Lions reform to 7 wide and move up to threaten the halbreds, but still keep the cannon in their front arc. Spears reform to fully ranked, and the swordmasters move up to threaten the halbreds as well.

Magic comes up big for me, with 9 being the initial roll, but the banner and channels putting me up to 12. This makes it 12 v 9. I start off with a 4 dice powered up banishment on his central mortar with my level 2, but it is dispelled. I then power up a Pha's with my Archmage on 3 dice, which he also dispels. I use two more dice to put net on his central mortar, which he allows, then finish off with a timewarp on the Archmage's swordmasters. He scrolls this, as he doesn't have enough dispel dice to match me.

Shooting brings his Eastern Handgunners down to 4, and they pass their panic test.

In combat, the swordmasters put the remaining two wounds on the War Altar, leaving the Arch Lector feeling suddenly... breakable. He does, however, pass his break test after taking down one more swordmaster.

In the East, the Princes' attacks swing the combat in favour of the High Elves, but the swordsmen remain steadfast and pass their break test.

We move on to his turn 3

Turn 3, Empire

Image

His greatswords are in a tough spot - If he turns to face the advancing elites in the West, he essentially surrenders his artillery. He keeps them facing the way they are, hoping for another steadfast round with the swordsmen, and relying on stubborn to get him through should the unit get charged. His halbreds wheel to prevent a flank charge from the white lions, and make for some long charges for the two Western-most units of elites.

Magic ends up 6 v 6, and with throne still up, he starts with a flesh to stone on his swordsmen with 4 dice. I'd need a slightly above average roll on 4 dice, and have a good chance of dispelling it on 5. However, if I do this, it leaves me with only one dice to dispel his bound spell. I decide I want to crumble that flank more than I fear a soulfire on my swordmasters engaged with the arch lector, so I throw 5 dice and dispel it. He throws his remaining 2 at soulfire, getting an 8, but a roll of 6 + my 5 to dispel manages to take it out .

Shooting - his only mortar to fire this turn puts the pie plate down on my recently reformed Spearmen (I swear this is a genetic glitch in template users lol. The see a ranked unit and just have a compulsion to put a template on it). A direct hit drops the unit down to 24 models, and his handgunners put it down another 3 more.

The Western cannon lines up a shot on the eagle, but it soars over it, killing two white lions instead. The two Eastern cannons both shoot at the swordmasters, with one of them taking out two from that unit.

In combat, the Prince's attacks and the eagle's stomp manage to get the unit below 5, and it flees, being pursued and caught by the eagle. The Dragon Princes reform to threaten a combo charge on the greatswords.

Turn 3, High Elves

Image

After some consideration, I decide to go all in on the Halbrediers. I declare charges with both swordmasters and the White Lions, figuring two of them should get in based on the distances. The spears charge the handgunners, and both eagles charge warmachines. Since their support charged in to the halbreds, I run the Dragon Princes up out of line of sight of the Greatswords.

Magic is 8 v 6 - I start with a single target Pha's on the White Lions, which he allows fearing worse things. I then snatch up my remaining 6 dice, mutter "This one's for you Curu" and toss them all at a powered up Timewarp. I manage it on a 25, and he fails to dispel.

Shooting is ineffective, with their target now cowering in a tower, so we move to combat.

The Eastern eagle takes out one cannon and moves on to the next one, and the Western one stalls out when the mortar crew pass their break test. The spears predictably skewer the handgunners and overun.

In the big combat, I direct 2 white lion's plus supporting attacks at the Warrior Priest. This kills him good, and the rest go on rank and file. 26 wounds later, he returns attacks on my units, killing 3 lions and 4 swordmasters. He's still steadfast, and he passes his break test.

Turn 4, Empire

Image

He turns his greatswords to face the main elven host, and we move on to magic.

9 v 8 - He tries a flesh to stone on his halbrediers on 3, which I dispel with 3, then he throws his 6 remaining at dwellers on my mage bunker. He succeds, and I fail to dispel. However, miraculously, both mages pass their test, and 7 archers get dragged into the ground.

He shoots at the archers, killing all but 1.

In combat, I take his unit down to 8 models remaining, and he does a couple wounds to me. At this point he needs insane courage, which he doesn't get. The white lions pursue and catch him, and the swordmasters reform to face the greatswords.

Facing a turn of 2 timewarped units (spears and swordmasters) definitely making their charges, and a rear charge from dragon princes, the concedes the game at this point. He shakes his fist at me and threatens to take 100 crossbows next time. We laugh, and go have a beer.

So there you have it. For the first time in my Warhammer career, I surrendered 0 victory points to my opponent.

After Battle Analysis

So there were a lot of things that effected this battle in my opinion, both in and out of my control.

- His shooting in the first and second turn was largely ineffective. Given, I deployed my units to minimize template and cannon hits, and hid my eagles well, but the first turn of shooting was something he was really relying on, and it largely let him down.
- His lack of supporting units, and my large number of units forced his hordes to have to consistently make difficult and often bad choices. For example, his greatswords had to guard that flank and leave the halbreds unsupported, or they could have supported the halbreds and left me to take out the artillery unimpeded. The clear choice here would have been to support the other combat block, and one more supporting unit would have done the trick. This is what I mean when I say that "Deathstar" armies typically have poor(er) support.
- True to Curu's prediction, the real winner here was the timewarp/pha's combo on the halbred combat. That, combined with killing the Warrior Priest immediately both decreased the incoming damage, and allowed the elites to chew through a huge unit in two turns.
- I think he overestimated the War Altar's survivability - I think he was counting on it surviving until the life mage could start putting back wounds on it. It's a great tarpit, but only versus lower strength troops. Swordmasters did just fine at taking it out.


I think that the shooting letting him down is a primary issue, but I really see the lack of supporting units as the thing that lost the game here - It allowed me to move in fast and hard, and dictate exactly where and when combat was going to happen.

Thanks once again for reading! I'd appreciate any comments or criticism anybody has to offer!

D

Ps. Curu, I'm still mulling over the +1 to cast and dispel, I'll respond to that tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:06 am 
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Great game :)

First of all - your opponent got first turn, meaning he had more time to shoot you. Thus, one semi-ineffective round of shooting should not have cost him the game. Also, his lucky rolls for spells should've seen his magic phase pose a bigger threat than it did. For example, why wasn't the Wizard Lord moving up in order to help out the Arch Lector? Why didn't he attempt more Dwellers? Long story short - he made mistakes which meant that his shooting being sub-optimal was the least of his problems.

So - your game. I wasn't initially sure about your deployment but it seemed to fit you very well. I guess this means that you know your army better than I do, because it definitely looked like it was a good deployment for you as the game unfolded.

Magic - I believe your priorities were really good in this game. You really utilized every aspect of the lore when needed. Drawing out that crucial scroll with an early Timewarp was just the icing on the cake which allowed you to get that Timewarp bubble up!

The one main mistake I could see here was your Spears not charging the blocking Handgunners in your T2: this would've allowed you to thoroughly beat them and combat reform - note that this reform would've allowed your Swordmasters to pass through as well. Also, if the Lions had fared worse, you would've been in a way better position (having defeated his Handgunners) to counter a weak western flank.

Also, your Archers staying put behind had me puzzled - with the threat of Dwellers I'd have preferred to advance them as well to act as a mage bodyguard - this would've allowed you to spread them out even more. In my opinion, your opponent should either have moved his Wizard Lord up to support his War Altar or thrown Dwellers at you every phase he gets 5+ dice in total. In either case, the split would favour you.

Anyways, great game against a tough list! Thanks a lot for the report and congrats on the win :)

PS - note that the Starwood Staff is way cheaper than the Book of Ashur but still provides the +1 to cast, if you consider the +1 to dispel redundant / not worth the extra points.

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:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Hey Curu!

One thing that cost him was forgetting that direct damage was front arc only. I'm sure he would have attempted more dwellers, but his unit with the wizard in it was facing the wrong direction for most of the game trying to discourage my advance on his artillery.

Curu Olannon wrote:
I wasn't initially sure about your deployment but it seemed to fit you very well. I guess this means that you know your army better than I do, because it definitely looked like it was a good deployment for you as the game unfolded.


Interesting you say this - I think it was in Prinsh's thread that I said this, but the gist of it was that I feel that deployment really is the toughest phase of the game for this army. The reason is that you've got two equally important game goals that conflict in terms of deployment. The coven wants protection, and all of the units close, and the MSU aspect wants to fan out and create multiple charge threats. So typically this means that one has to get a bit creative and compromise between these two. Having said that, I'd love to hear how you might have deployed differently - the game was a win, but it doesn't mean I did things perfectly by any stretch of the imagination.

Curu Olannon wrote:
I believe your priorities were really good in this game. You really utilized every aspect of the lore when needed. Drawing out that crucial scroll with an early Timewarp was just the icing on the cake which allowed you to get that Timewarp bubble up!


After our previous conversation about the Timewarp bubble, how could I not go for it when a situation like that presents itself, haha! How about first turn? I had 5 dice vs his 6, so I basically had to throw it all at one spell. Think Banishment was the right move on the Mortar? Or should I perhaps have been more defensive and gone with a bubbled Pha's?

Curu Olannon wrote:
The one main mistake I could see here was your Spears not charging the blocking Handgunners in your T2: this would've allowed you to thoroughly beat them and combat reform - note that this reform would've allowed your Swordmasters to pass through as well. Also, if the Lions had fared worse, you would've been in a way better position (having defeated his Handgunners) to counter a weak western flank.


The thought definitely crossed my mind here, however after some though I opted to just reform them because I actually liked having those handgunners there - they prevented his horde from being able to engage any of my units with the exception of the lions, which were very far away. The biggest risk to an MSU style army is a 1v1 battle, so in this respect I feel I played it right here - engaged with all of my units at once, allowing me to blast through both units on that side and reform to be ready for the next threat - the greatswords. The handgunners were only about 10" away from his unit, so it probably would have opened me up to a countercharge. The musician reform also allowed me to get the second unit of swordmasters up into position to assault the halbrediers as well, which would have been impossible if I waited for the combat phase to reform (there would have been something like 16" between the swordmasters and the Halbrediers as opposed to 11 or 12.

Curu Olannon wrote:
Also, your Archers staying put behind had me puzzled - with the threat of Dwellers I'd have preferred to advance them as well to act as a mage bodyguard - this would've allowed you to spread them out even more. In my opinion, your opponent should either have moved his Wizard Lord up to support his War Altar or thrown Dwellers at you every phase he gets 5+ dice in total. In either case, the split would favour you.


T1 and 2 they were trying and failing to take out that unit of handgunners - subpar rolls ensured they weren't successful though. I wanted to keep the Eastern flank free, and so didn't want to risk a flukey volley of handgun shots on my Princes.

T3 and 4, I don't think a dwellers on any of my units short of the Archmage's would have really changed the game much. Once combat had begun, I think I could have sacrificed both of my Mages and still come out ahead with the Archmage and the banner. His priorities had shifted at this point to trying to mitigate the damage on the halbreds and get them to hold for a round till the greatswords could come in to support. I agree though, at this point I probably could have shifted the level 1 over to the other archer bunker.

Thanks for the input Curu!

D

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:54 pm 
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In general, if your amount of power dice is roughly equal to the amount of your opponent's dispel dice, you want to throw as many and as cheap spells as possible. The math is as follows:

6v6 Dice. You each have a lvl 4 and you throw it all at one spell. Barring IF, you're ~50% to get any effect.
6v6 Dice. You each have a lvl 4 and you start off with Banishment on 3D6. Now, he can choose to dispel with 3D6 (a very risky proposition), giving you a 50% chance to get the spell off. If he does, you can 3D6 a Pha's bubble, which again has a 50% chance of going off. Normally though, he won't try and dispel a 3D6 spell with 3D6 of his own, as he can very well lose his +4 to your remaining 3D6.

Furion has a few really good examples of how to really squeeze out the potential in these situations. If you really need to push it, you can even do stuff like 1-dice single-Pha's from your Archmage - after all it has a 67% chance of going off. The thing is that, as long as PD/DD are roughly equal, the more casts the better as he constantly runs the risk of either losing his +4 or spending too many DD.

So - with 5 v 6 I believe I might've done as follows: 2D6 Banishment (72% cast chance) followed by 3D6 Pha's Bubble. It's risky, but has a better chance of getting through his defenses than a single cast of 5D6 v 6D6 dispel. Please note that in situations like this, having +1 to cast (for example from the Starwood Staff) would be massive (2D6 banishment with +5 to cast has an 83% cast chance). This is why I believe that having +1 to cast can be really useful to your list - it basically enables you to run a lot more few-dice spells, which in turn maximizes your massive cast bonus: the average on 2D6 is 7, and an added bonus of +5 to cast means that you basically boost the average by 71%. In comparison, going for 4D6 the average is 14, which means that the +5 bonus only boosts the average by 35.7%.

Essentially, Lore of Light is very flexible because it supports low-cast spells (Pha's, Banishment), middle-value spells (Pha's bubble, Birona's) and hard spells (Birona's bubble). Having a massive cast bonus helps you out the most in the bottom range (see math above) but most importantly it allows you to really squeeze out a lot of potential from the low-winds phases / phases where the PD/DD are roughly equal.

On a last note, there's nothing magic about getting that last +1 from an item. +4 is still a massive bonus and the same principles apply ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Right-o, the +1 to cast. I've taken some time to crunch some numbers before I comment on this, because I wanted to eliminate the qualitative and focus on the quantitative.

First, regarding the +1 to cast and dispel vs just +1 to cast - If I dropped the Robes off the Archmage, I'd further limit the units that I could put him in, essentially forcing him into one of the archer units. I'm not sure I'm ready for this kind of limitation at this point. Couple that with the steep points cost, and I think the item I'll look at is the +1 to cast item.

So from a pure casting success/failure perspective the casting values that I'm most concerned with are 10, 12 and 24. Anything below 10 and the odds are acceptable on 2 dice regardless of +4 or +5 to cast.

Casting value 10: The difference between +4 and +5 to cast on 2 dice is quite large, giving me an 11% increase in reliability, and pushing it over the 80% reliability threshold, which is typically my acceptable risk level. This is the base casting level for Banishment, so this is pretty huge.
Casting value 12: 12 is the casting cost for both the powered up version of Pha's protection and Banishment, so this one is at the top of the list of importance for me. Neither +4 or +5 are able to cast on 2 dice reliably, 12 is a 3 dice value, with the odds being 84% and 91% respectively. I get about a 7% boost here.
Casting value 24: The Timewarp bubble. Hugely useful in scenarios like my last game. This one gets me a boost from 64% to 72% casting reliability. A boost of 8% here.

So from a pure casting value perspective, the +1 to cast is the most useful with the default banishment spell, allowing me to cast it with 2 dice with 83% reliability.

So that's one lens to examine it under. The other way to look at it is the increased difficulty of dispelling for the opponent. This is much more difficult to calculate, so I just ran some numbers based on a 2D6 casting attempt.

In this case, let's assume my opponent has the same tolerance for risk as I do - He wants an 80% chance or higher to dispel. With normal casting bonuses (+4), he needs to throw 3 dice to dispel with over 80% reliability if I roll 6 or higher, and he needs to throw 4 dice if I roll 9 or higher. Add the +1 to cast, and these numbers shift down by 1 each, so he'd need to up the number of dice he throws at 5 and 8 respectively.

Right, get to the meaningful information. According to my math on the +1 to casting attempts, on a 2D6 casting attempt, there's an 11% (from 73% chance to 84%, ie, the difference between rolling higher than 5 vs. higher than 6) boost to the chances that your opponent will have to throw 1 more dispel dice than you threw to cast, and there is a 14% (From 28% chance to 42% chance) boost to the odds that your opponent will need to throw *two* extra dice to dispel.

On the more qualitative side of things, I'd have to give up my ring of corin to achieve this, so is the marginal benefit of percent increases as good or better than the ability to remove some of the nastier magic items in the game?

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts!

D

PS. Now my head hurts :S Can you see why I took so long to answer that question? lol

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:05 pm 
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How many times have you missed the casting roll by exactly 1? How many times has your opponent exactly made the dispel roll?
How many times have you clearly felt the impact of the Ring of Corin destroying a magic item?

I think the Ring affect has happened more than the first two. So I think the Ring is better.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:58 pm 
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Unfortunately, the turn 2 charges by the empire really sealed the battle.

The knight-bus is an expensive hammer and anvil, and at ten models, there's not much you could threaten him with (asides from banishment and the lions). Putting them into a strength 6 large model unit with stubborn is just asking for trouble. And the mortars killing four of them is just frustrating!

Your eagle surviving or winning that combat on the east also hurt him dearly. If they had killed the eagle, and over-run into the dragon princes, this would have held them up for most of the game, freeing his greatswords to combat the central battle. Also, holding his archlector back.

He should also really bring an engineer. These really help smooth out the shooting phases, as they can baby-sit the siege weapons and help avoid those completely fluffed first rounds. I do see empire always going for pie plate on the spears (much to my relief). The best place for a well placed mortar is dead center on swordmasters everytime. They do the most damage, and have the least protection.

That being said, I really didn't see any mistakes on your part. Your placements, follow through, and coverage were all very consistent throughout the game, and didn't really leave any room for recovery after the initial mistakes. And there didn't seem to be any above average rolls for you, just a strong strategy and solid placement. Kudos on an excellent win!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Hey Dabber,

It's a tough call to make, since the two items operate very differently. The ring of Corin is an items that makes a big difference once in the game, whereas the +1 to cast would be a small benefit very frequently.

However, I can't say I've been too disappointed yet in my ability to punch through most magic defenses, so I'll likely stay put with the Ring for now, and keep this in mind in my future games.

D

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Hey Baeronvonbleat!

Thanks for your comments - incidentally the Empire player and I are talking about his list as we speak, so I'll pass along some of your suggestions to him.

I agree with you about charging in to the White Lions with the knights - it's about the worst matchup my army had to offer him, and it definitely showed in the results. Not entirely sure what his rationale was for this decision, other than avoiding them would have been a difficult proposition as well. The Arch Lector charge was definitely an early mistake, but impact hits on squishy elves tend to make people act a bit more brashly than normal :P

My positioning of that eagle on the East flank in Battle Chronicler wasn't quite right -I angled it so that the swords would have overrun off the board, or had to reform to face the dragon princes. This would have given me one good round of combat versus them to thin out his numbers a bit.

Regarding the mortars - I've suggested the engineer to him, and I totally agree with you about the swordmasters. Unfortunately in this game, the shots that he did fire at them ended up scattering off them and doing minimal damage. The swordmaster units have a pretty small profile, so direct hits are important.

Thanks for your comments!

D

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:23 pm 
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Regarding the latest Empire battle ...

* His army would be stronger with an engineer. An engineer to babysit 3 artillery pieces is certainly better than the third mortar.
* I think the knights are better off split up as well. Particularly with no warrior priest to give them re-rolls, they don't accomplish much as a big unit with great weapons. They just aren't hitty enough to be a "hammer", so they might as well be multiple smaller units that can kill Eagles and slow your advance.

* As you saw, hills are a trap for artillery. Assuming you are playing with normal rules of "true line of sight", hills provide no benefit to most artillery. Getting them on the hills left his machines paired too close to each other, but too spread out to protect with his combat blocks. If he crams them all in between the too hills and shifts his line a bit west, or places them all around the brown hill and puts his knights with everything else, he comes out better. Better positioning means his hordes do not have to make choices about which way to face, or at least have to make fewer choices.

* He declines to move up turn 1, which leaves him out of range for Dwellers. But then he does move up turn 2. And he charges the Popemobile alone into the worst possible target - Swordmasters, and the knights into their worst possible target - White Lions. He needs to either hold back more consistently, or move up more consistently. He let you chop up both those all alone, then let you fight the halberdiers and greatswords individually too. Basically you killed his combat units one at a time.
I understand the swordsmen charge on the Eagle at the time, but if he deploys better, he could have left the swordsmen and greatswords further back and made it extremely difficult for your Eagle to reach the artillery at all by denying landing spots. Maybe.
* He seems to like his bound spells more than I think is appropriate. With the dice totals relatively even, he needs to either use the bound spells first to draw out your dice, or throw enough dice at the important spells to get them off. When he throws fewer dice at the good Life spells (Flesh to Stone), you dispel them and don't worry about the bound spells. His turn 3 magic shows this - with 6 vs 6, and Throne already up, he has a perfect chance to likely force through a Flesh to Stone or a Dwellers. Or to get off a series of weaker bound spells. Yet he starts with only 4 dice on an important Life spell, so you dispel it. Then you are able to beat his one bound spell. He should start with 1-dice soulfire, then maybe 2-dice Light bound, or he should just 6-dice a Life spell.


My one doubt on your side was the Banishment turn 1. Obviously it killed the Mortar, which is good, but the mortar easily could have lived, and it leaves his other 5 artillery unimpeded either way. I would done a powered up Pha's instead.
Additionally, if you are blasting artillery that way, why not hit one on the western hill? That causes panic in the other one, outside range of the general and BSB.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:36 am 
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Yes I agree that losing Corin is one of your main problems. I suppose the best tweak for this would be to add (!) another mage. This has the added benefit of a potential S8 blast (useful for very heavily armoured opponents, war machines, greater daemons, dragons) but more importantly - you can spread out the Coven more and still have flexibility.

So, a proposed list:

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

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

12 x Swordmasters, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
12 x Swordmasters, Musician
16 x White Lions, Standard, Musician, Banner of Sorcery
5 x Dragon Princes

2 x Great Eagles

I haven't calculated exact cost here, but I believe it's the easiest way to add the item without losing something important. Shaving the elites down even further might not be a good choice though...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:30 pm 
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@ dabber - Thanks for the great analysis for the Empire player. I'll pass this information along to him; he's tweaking his list after this game, and he'll definitely take these things into account in the future. As I mentioned, he's also my partner for the 2v2 section of the tournament in March, so these things will all help.

Regarding my Banishment choice - in the turn I banished the mortar, I only had line of sight to the one mortar due to that hill in the middle being very tall, as well as the forest. Having said that, the panic idea didn't occur to me.

@ Curu - 5 mages! Well, in the name of progress I'd be willing give it a go - it certainly does make the magic phase truly overwhelming. I think it's important to establish the point where you have too much invested in magic and not enough in troops. S8 banishment would be downright obscene, allowing me to wound almost everything in the game on 2's and rendering almost all armour saves ineffective.

However, it does make my Archmage vulnerable to mundane attacks, which reduces his utility in combat units.

Does anybody else have any thoughts on Curu's suggestion?

D

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:55 pm 
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S8 is very tempting, but this probably gets too close to having a one trick pony. If I were your opponent, I would focus fire down your swordmasters, tie up the white lions and charge into your core. Banishment won't do much good once the real fighting starts. Your list has the benefit of S7 banishment, but banishment isn't the real reason to use such an utility lore.

The fifth Mage doesn't really add anything to your magic phase. With four channels and the banner you are likely getting a few power dice each phase, another 100 points isn't worth it. You would get more utility with more troops, reavers or something.

That being said, S8 is tempting.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Hey D,

I've got some questions for you. I know you're completely established with your white lions and swords and you've discussed your reason for including both. But I wanted to know if you thought the Coven list would benefit at all from PG. I don't see a lot of synergy in the spell list to aid the PG. But I've always liked how they can shrug off most major threats. I wondered if I modded the list a little and gave the PG a killy character if that would increase their function. With Pha's they'd be laughing at most incoming assaults and the character should add the missing punch right?

Just curious on your opinion of PG and Light.

Thanks,

KO

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Hey Karsa,

Thanks for the question! I'll do my best to answer to the best of my ability.

When it comes to combat, the lore of light does two things really well - mitigates incoming damage by reducing the enemy's hit-rate and amplifies already existing attacks.

The first is achieved through Pha's Protection and Speed of Light, which unlike other ward based defensive spells actually stacks well with the Phoenix Guard's innate ward. So you'll get no arguments from me on this end - Phoenix Guard would be nigh indestructible with lore of light support.

The second area, however, is where they're going to fall a bit short. Since their base attacks are the weakest among our elite infantry, while the lore of light will increase their damage output, it will not come near the increase that it would confer to White Lions or Swordmasters. Basically the better attack you start with, the better effect Timewarp or Speed will have.

Phoenix Guard, who are already quite survivable, would then really shift the overall flexibility of the lore a bit too far towards the defensive side for my tastes. What makes Light so lethal is its ability to change to suit the needs of any given turn. When you need that extra combat punch (for example the turn I got into combat with the Halbreds in my last game), I feel that the Phoenix Guard will fall short.

You're definitely on the right track with the character idea - it would likely add the necessary punch to the PG, allowing them to be much more threatening in combat, however it would also mean shaving off points from somewhere else. Being already quite character heavy, I would either have to drop the Strength of Banishment down or shave off troops, neither of which I'm willing to do. Banishment deals with issues that would otherwise be hard counters for this list - for example the flying Chaos Lord from a couple games ago.

Hope this answers your question Karsa!

D

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:55 pm 
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This is about what I expected for an answer. I've got enough models now to build a 2500 point list easily. But I want to either buy a box each of PG and WL or two of one or the other. If I bought the box each I'd have an MSU force of 10 WLs and 20 PG or I'd end up with 30 PG or 20 WL. But I knew that the PG and character would draw too much from your list to be considered.

The appeal I saw in it was a force that could walk through a gun line with a noble and a couple mages. Give them units to prevent them from being redirected places you dont want them and I see Dawi and Empire players dealing with a handful of trouble. But anyways thanks that answered my question about PG and light magic.

Reading the previous posts on Str 8 banish I don't think it would be as useful or "any more" useful than your current set up. The extra Mage isn't going to bring your game any extras in my opinion. Even for another magic item. Your list is one I can foresee making its way no matter what chanes occur in 8th.

Really I like how the WL and SMs stack together in combat. I wanted to try Reavers in a list in place of an eagle. They're more expensive but I think with a little protection they could prove fun.

KO

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:08 am 
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Thanks for your kind words Karsa!

With the models you mentioned, you should really check out Tethlis' and Ptolemy's respective blogs. Both focus on utilizing White Lions and Phoenix Guard in tandem with Shadow magic for some often spectacular results. Both are well written and have lots of thoughts on strategy and execution.

In terms of Reavers - check out Swordmaster's most recent list in his blog. He's always had a soft spot for the Reavers, and it definitely shows in his ability to use them. He presents some good arguments that illustrate the situations where the Reavers are better than eagles, namely getting into the enemy backlines in turn 1.

One other thought I had regarding the unit you had proposed - An enemy with Dwellers would be your worst nightmare. Not only are Phoenix Guard already tempting to cast Dwellers on, but add in a couple characters and you can be sure your opponent will be 6 dicing that every turn at you. This is part of why I like the MSU style of army - it lets you mitigate the risk by spreading your characters out if needed.

Best of luck in your list writing endeavours!

D

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:35 am 
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I really enjoyed reading this battle report, thanks for posting it!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Hi Brewmaster!

Thanks for a great battle report! It is a very interesting one as we usually struggle against Empire artillery and winning it with such a great style is a reward in itself!

I just wish I could read it earlier and offer my congratulations sooner! Well done! I am sure it will help other players to fight against similar Empire armies. I have some comments and questions but as I haven't read the other replies I apologize in advance if the similar issues have been rised already (I had barely enough time to read the report and don't want to wait to reply any longer :)). In no particular order:

1. How effective was the icon? I like the idea of 5 point item significantly reducing the casualties but I guess you need to be lucky to roll 6's.

2. Good positioning and general deployment on your part. I tried shallow formation before and I agree that deep blocks are mortar shells magnets.

3. It does look like you were lucky in the first turn. I wonder how much damage you would take if the shooting was average. But then luck is also important. Would be great to have first turn as well :)

4. It is a good idea to use powered up Banishment to silene their artillery.

5. It was still kind of surprising to see how little artillery did. What do you think about it? What was the reason? And how to counter it if they are more efficient?

6. Good to know Swordmasters can take War Altar in combat! :) can you direct all the attacks against it? His attack seemed reckless and in general he didn't support his units. It might be the thing for us to exploit.

7. “26 wounds later” reminds me about opening battle scene from LotR movie! Excellent execution and definitely something worthy seeing just for the sake of number of dice you throw. I really think we have one of the deadliest units in the game in terms of ability of killing lots of enemies. What is more you even want them to stay steadfast for that first turn so when you break them in their combat phase you have freedom to move while being "protected" by melee from spells and shooting.

Excellent stuff! Thanks again for this report! :)

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@templargdt - Thank you! I'm glad to hear that others are getting enjoyment out of reading them.

@Swordmaster - Thanks to you as well! I can always count on you to ask some good questions and notice things about the battle that I might have missed. I'll do my best to answer all your questions:

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
1. How effective was the icon? I like the idea of 5 point item significantly reducing the casualties but I guess you need to be lucky to roll 6's.


At 5 points, it's really a steal. Yeah, a 6++ save isn't great, however for 5 points you're always going to get those rounds where you save a silly number. The other benefit is that the ward is on the character, so it's mobile - he can pop in to whatever unit you feel is going to need it.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
2. Good positioning and general deployment on your part. I tried shallow formation before and I agree that deep blocks are mortar shells magnets.


Thanks! All those laser targetters definitely drew a bead on my spears the minute they reformed to a deep formation, so I'm glad I put them so wide initially.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
3. It does look like you were lucky in the first turn. I wonder how much damage you would take if the shooting was average. But then luck is also important. Would be great to have first turn as well :)


Yeah, losing first turn vs. a gunline is harsh, so luck really played a big factor here. Regarding his bad luck - it has been mentioned before, and I'm pretty sure my opponent came to this conclusion by himself too - Engineers would do a lot to stabilize the shooting phase. Having said that, I'm fairly confident that I could have taken one good round of unprotected shooting and still pulled off a win.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
4. It is a good idea to use powered up Banishment to silene their artillery.


There was a bit of debate about my choice here earlier in the thread. I'll explain my reasoning, then present the other sides as well. In this match, due to the nature of my army and my deployment, the real key risks in my mind were the mortars. The cannons, after deployment, were limited to about 3 kills per shot, maybe a few more with good bounces. Both the eagles were hidden, so I was ok with taking cannon shots. With my underwhelming first magic phase, I had a choice - given that he had more dice than me, I opted to take my chances and silence one of the high risk artillery.

Having said that, a couple people posted good ideas:

Curu Olannon wrote:
6v6 Dice. You each have a lvl 4 and you throw it all at one spell. Barring IF, you're ~50% to get any effect.
6v6 Dice. You each have a lvl 4 and you start off with Banishment on 3D6. Now, he can choose to dispel with 3D6 (a very risky proposition), giving you a 50% chance to get the spell off. If he does, you can 3D6 a Pha's bubble, which again has a 50% chance of going off. Normally though, he won't try and dispel a 3D6 spell with 3D6 of his own, as he can very well lose his +4 to your remaining 3D6.

dabber wrote:
My one doubt on your side was the Banishment turn 1. Obviously it killed the Mortar, which is good, but the mortar easily could have lived, and it leaves his other 5 artillery unimpeded either way. I would done a powered up Pha's instead.
Additionally, if you are blasting artillery that way, why not hit one on the western hill? That causes panic in the other one, outside range of the general and BSB.


I think in retrospect, my priority should have been on Pha's in that first turn. I killed one artillery piece, and that helped, but a 4+ to shoot on most of my army would have been even more crippling to his following shooting phase.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
5. It was still kind of surprising to see how little artillery did. What do you think about it? What was the reason? And how to counter it if they are more efficient?


I think this is partly to do with his bad luck and lack of engineers, and partly to do with me eliminating some of the higher risk pieces. First turn I reduced his Mortars by 1, second turn I got a net off on another, then third turn my eagles were into his artillery. You don't really have many rounds to shoot in this edition, so one or two bad rounds can really make life hard when you invest that much in shooting.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
6. Good to know Swordmasters can take War Altar in combat! :) can you direct all the attacks against it? His attack seemed reckless and in general he didn't support his units. It might be the thing for us to exploit.


Absolutely you can direct attacks vs. the Altar. It's T5 with 5 wounds, 4+/4++. Significantly easier to take down than an Arch Lector who is rocking a 1+ rerollable/4++. Once the wagon is down, the lector isn't much anymore, since his AS drops by two and his ward save disappears.

Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
7. “26 wounds later” reminds me about opening battle scene from LotR movie! Excellent execution and definitely something worthy seeing just for the sake of number of dice you throw. I really think we have one of the deadliest units in the game in terms of ability of killing lots of enemies. What is more you even want them to stay steadfast for that first turn so when you break them in their combat phase you have freedom to move while being "protected" by melee from spells and shooting.


It's risky to try the bubble, since there's only a 60% ish chance of it going off... however it's worth it for the look on your opponent's face *every time* lol. I had really hoped to have both units of swordmasters in here too for maximum calamity, but unfortunately one of the units failed their charge attempt.

Thanks again for the comments Swordmaster!

I'm hoping to arrange a couple more matches in the coming week or so, so I'll keep you guys posted as to what's coming up.

D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Hey Guys!

So it looks like I'll be having two matches next week. The first is versus a Warriors of Chaos player (not the one that kicked my butt, but a good one nonetheless) and the second will be a random opponent on league night.

The Warrior player has been on a bit of a tear lately. He's blasted through two other people in my local group that fielded quite strong lists. In terms of lists, this is what I know he's taking for sure:

Chaos Lord on a Chaos Dragon with a 4++ save and stream of corruption (3 breath weapons?)
Level 2 Sorceror of Slaneesh w/ Puppet
Level 2 Sorceror of Tzeentch w/ Scroll and Third Eye
Mounted BSB

24 halbred warriors with the banner of rage
A horde of 40 Marauders with great weapons and mark of Tzeentch
5 knights with the blasted standard

Warshrine
Spawn
Hellcannon


This'll be my first match against a large nasty flying monster. The disk lord was bad enough, and now I'll have a dragon to contend with. He's got a ton of points invested in that one model, though, so my hope is that I can force through a banishment on the first turn, putting a few wounds on the dragon. With a few wounds on the dragon, I imagine he'll be a bit more conservative against my elites.

I think a defensive style is best here - use my elites to create large areas that the dragon can't go while I force action out of him with my ranged threat. He hasn't got much for supporting units due to the nature of his list, so the eagles should really show their worth here in the movement phase.

Alternatively, if he only armed his lord with a great weapon, I could just put the archmage in combat with him to neutralize him. I'll have to do some research to see if any of those breath weapons are magical.

Any thoughts on how you would approach a list like this?

D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:04 pm 
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First of all - I love that WoC list! No wonder there ;) With that being said, you have just the tools to deal with it.

Basically, he has to get in combat and those combats need to last 2 turns in order for him to be safe from your magic. You can ensure that this does not happen by feeding him single units (if he even makes it that far) which he'll kill in 1 round of combat, allowing yourself to blast him again in your next turn.

Your magic strategy here should be to cast with as few dice as possible. Again, this is a matchup where the +1 to cast (and the +1S for Banishment...) could be VERY useful. Also, getting the Corin off early could be very valuable. Assuming you get an average (ish) first round of magic, say 10v6, you can go as follows:

4D6 Banishment - 4D6 Banishment - 2D6 Corin. Very effective, minimal chances of miscast, almost guaranteed to draw out the scroll.

Remember that champion challenges should be issued strategically to maximise your chances of having it be your turn when the combat's over.

Your core can beat his marauders whereas his warriors can be slowed and re-directed until you're ready. The only threat really is the dragon. Take it down and it's game over ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Hey Curu,

It'll be a fun matchup, no doubt in my mind. You'll be interested to know that one of his two recent victories was versus an Empire player sporting 3 cannons, 3 mortars and an engineer. Cannons took his dragon down to 1 wound, then it got in combat and tore up a halbred horde. Hope that helps instill some confidence when you go up versus some cannon sporting opponents!

I totally agree with you - with only level 2's for defense, he's already at a disadvantage in terms of magic defense. Provided I don't whiff my first couple winds rolls, I should be able to blow through his magic defense in the first turn, then really lay into him in the second turn. The sooner I can get rid of that puppet, though, the better I'll feel.

Regarding the S8 banishment - if ever there was a list to try it against, this is it. Tons of T6 targets, and plenty of armour to punch through. 5 mages is pretty experimental though, so I'll probably sit on the fence about that one until game day and see how brave I'm feeling ;) Running the numbers, it looks like to take out the Dragon, factoring in shooting distribution (it is on a 5+ it hits the rider, correct?), I'll need to score 13.5 hits with S7 or 10.8 hits with S8. So on average 2 banishments take it out with S7, but S8 allows for some crappy 2D6 rolls for the number of hits. As a side note, both also have a good chance of killing the lord, assuming he's not marked Tzeentch. Which he probably is lol.

I'm also thinking that considering the archers haven't got any dogs to shoot at, I'll probably focus on keeping one unit as a bunker (the unit of 14) and the second unit as another redirector. Like you said, if that dragon doesn't get into combat ASAP, he's cooked, so I have a good shot at accomplishing exactly what you said by either presenting them as an appealing breath target (goading him into breathing on them, but leaving himself open for banishment x 2) or redirecting him and letting him punch through in one round, opening him up to more banishments on my turn. I think it's a great idea to feed him inexpensive units in exchange for potshots at it with banishment.

The marauders - I'll likely try to pair them up vs. the marauders like you said, and line up a big countercharge on my turn. I agree with redirecting the Warriors and saving the best for last. I have a bone to pick with banner of rage warriors.

Thanks for the feedback!

D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Curu is suggesting strength 8 banishments now, but I want to ask how important you think S7 banishment is? I just scanned your blog and didn't find discussion on swapping out the standard BSB for the Radiant Gem Light BSB. I'm really tempted to run a Coven of Light list, but I fear I would miss the fighting BSB sometimes. Is Strength 6 enough of a threat to the big nasties?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Hey dabber,

I touched on it a bit in this post, and I've found my initial analysis to have held true. When it comes to sniping spells, there is typically bigger fish to fry (namely the archmage), and when it comes to combat between positioning him on the edge of a unit, Light Magic protective buffs and a general lack of interest from my opponents, I find that he often does just fine.

I think the S of the banishment depends on your personal playstyle. I think I'm most comfortable at 7 (though I'll never know till I try 8 ;)), because the toughness of most big nasty units is typically 5 or 6. S7 banishment also increases the utility versus heavily armoured units as well. So it really depends what you want to gear yourself towards. For example, the S6 poses significantly less threat to the Dragon in my upcoming match-up than S7 does. S6 would need 21.6 hits on the dragon to generate enough wounds to kill it, requiring 3, if not 4 banishments on average versus the 2 that S7 would require.

I'd say personally, the increase in threat that S7 banishment poses over S6 is well worth the sacrifice to the survivability of the BSB - when the game finally comes down to combat, the impact of those rerolls lessens, since with an army full of units smaller than 20, losing combat probably means you've lost the game anyway.

Hope this helps you make your choice!

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