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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:51 am 
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Green Istari

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Magic

I consider this phase the strongest part of my game, so it was chastening that it hurt me so badly in the last game. Why was this?Essentially because I got drawn into a six-dice IF'ing war and the dice favoured my opponent. In some ways I believe I played the phase better than he did but it's the kind of exchange where luck plays a large part. It's easy to say 'I was unlucky'. It's also easy to say 'don't blame luck for your losses'. In retrospect, I'm very pleased I realized about re-routing the Wild Riders because it helps me understand one other reason why I lost and to not make that mistake again.

As said, I had good chances of coming out on top in the magical exchange. But there was no need to get into it. I had the tools to handle his bus anyway, mine eats it alive. What I should have done was dispel Throne to force a difficult decision on him and concentrate on buffing my troops. The issue there though, is that Life buffs, without the Dwellers option (both to draw the scroll and inflict damage) can be a bit limited. Once you get a hitty unit into combat, great but until then a bit lacking.

I also missed Lore of Beasts. Amber Spear is key for my army because it has no RBT's and there are some targets archery cannot handle. Plus the ability to buff killing power with Wildform or Savage Beast can overcome issues like an un-boosted Flesh to Stone for example. Deathstars remain a problem but if I can achieve board control they are manageable. At the end of the day, I feel a phase with incremental, low-mid dice casting just suits me better and reduces the luck element. Before relying on it myself, I never found six-dicing an issue I couldn't handle. I can always Wildform the bus!

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:01 pm 
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First of all thanks for some nice rapports and a very interesting blog :) .

I haven't read everything so I might have overlooked some of your reasons for taking what you did. But if you don't like a six-dicing strategy I don't understand why you would go for life. I have tried it a couple of times, and I honestly find it a bit boring. As you mentioned yourself life is very limited outside combat. If you get earth blood or flesh to stone up, your opponent will just focus fire elsewhere. So it is really just all about dispelling thrones.

With that said, I don't think you should be to upset about your magic phase. Although when you have your scroll, I believe it is better to dispel thrones and scroll(if possible) dwellers. In that way he at least doesn't get the protection of the miscast. When the scroll is gone math says that you should let him have thrones and try to dispel dwellers.


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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Green Istari

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Thanks Andros.

I find it's really helpful to analyse my games to help me improve as a player. Comments from you guys really help that. We used to have even more blogs on the site with a lot of cross-fertilisation as it were. I regret in a way that I'm not playing and blogging about my High Elves because that would mean more site interaction. But I do think it's healthy to have blogs of other races, like Jimmy's for example, to help give perspective. I often post on Asrai.org and I find my grounding in High Elves very useful in a lot of the discussions that crop up there.

I played High Elves under the old book, used High Magic and never threw more than four dice at a spell, an approach that worked well for me. With Wood Elves, both the old book and the new, I had always run Beasts up until now, six-dicing now and then. I switched to Life for this event because I felt the list in general would benefit from protective buffs. But more precisely because the Rangers could not survive without them. I'm no longer so sure. But it was helpful to at least find out how Life worked, partly to give me more insight into the decision-making of opponents using it.

Your last paragraph is the conclusion I've come to. It's so tempting to hold on to those 6/7 dispel dice when Throne is cast because you know you have a 75% chance of throwing them at a six-diced Dwellers and hence putting off the evil moment of scroll burn. But dispelling Throne while you retain the scroll at least puts a seed of doubt in your opponent's mind. Another downside of my Throne/Dwellers strategy was that there were no dice left to dispel my opponent's Throne in my turn. As Seredain pointed out once, sometimes for a combined arms list, stopping the opponent's magic phase can be at least as important as furthering your own.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:58 pm 
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Yeah I agree on your take on analyzing games. I wanted a blog myself, but not really sure I have the right experience to really provide possible readers with any new information and tactics.

Having played a fair share of games against wood elves, I feel the best lore for wood elves (against high elves at least) is actually high magic. Hand of glory on those waywatchers are just brutal while arcane unforging is always useful.
Have you tried running 2 lvl. 4's?


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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:33 pm 
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I'd go ahead and start one. I'm an average player but average players still have interesting stuff to contribute re list design and tactics. If you follow an army style that interests you and document your games, it'll develop it's own style and perspective that guys will find interesting.

High Magic interests me, not least because my Wood Elves used it in 4th edition! I agree that on a mobile WE caster the missile is great, while Drain would have made a big difference to both of the Empire games above. Apotheosis works great with the Sisters' Lifebloom. Walk could be game-changing on my combat units. Convocation epic vs Witch Elves and such. Not to mention the Protection Counters. Where I am wary of it is because I feel the biggest threats to my army are things like Steam Tanks and especially flying monsters, that I struggle to shoot off. It sounds crude but Amber Spear is a real equaliser here, it's almost essential vs WoC for example. High Magic doesn't give me that same 'heavy board control'. Additionally, most WE combat attacks stop at S5, so the Beasts buffs can make a big difference vs high toughness and armour.

The obvious way to get a second level 4 into the army is to drop the Rangers (replacing Starfire and Dryads with Eternal Guard) and use the points to upgrade the Treeman to a level 4 Ancient. I would also add a second eagle and a couple of Waywatchers as a Moonstone bunker for the mage. The sixth wound helps the Ancient a lot vs cannon and he can self-heal. I go from 10 deployment drops to 8 which I dislike. I also risk losing more points in one shot vs Daemons or Dwarfs say. It would certainly be a cheap way of giving me tons of magic.

Another option I'm considering is simply swapping Life for Beasts and dropping Razor Standard for Lichebone Pennant. This makes the bus more durable vs MM's and Death snipe, while the S buffs of Beasts compensate for the loss of AP. Again, I'd up the Waywatchers to 7 as a Moonstone bunker option. The Rangers could be a bit exposed, it depends how much pressure my other units can put on in the board control war.

If I want two elf lord casters, it pretty much either costs me the Rangers or the Treeman. The latter is really good in tough match-ups like WoC so I'm not keen to let him go. Going with EG instead of Rangers is workable but then I struggle to kit out the mages. I pretty much have a 2200 base list (with EG instead of Rangers) and then it's a case of whether to add Rangers, Ancient upgrade, or a lvl3. I'm unsure which way to go right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:14 am 
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I had some queries from Seredain, so:

Hagbane vs Trueflight

In general Wood Elf players consider Trueflight better than Hagbane for their Glade Guard. Trueflight is generally excellent and especially good vs elves, which are dominating the metagame. This was borne out today in a game at the UK Masters between Amit Hindocha and Zach Martin. The former had Trueflight Core vs the latter's Hagbane and won convincingly.

My Core archers have Hagbane though. This is for what I call 'heavy board control'. Ie stopping fast, high Toughness nasties like Phoenixes and Rot Flies from running me over. Lacking artillery, this is a very real danger for Wood Elves, in fact I consider it such a problem that I'm willing to worsen match-ups like Lizardmen to deal with it. In mitigation, 30" AP BS4 shooting with Poison is still pretty useful vs most targets.

So how do the Trueflight Core lists maintain heavy board control? Basically by having twice as many shots as my list. But they generally have Hagbane Scouts along to help out. This is because the other job of Hagbane is to take out war machines and this is done quicker when Scout pretty much guarantees you first turn Poison. I should also mention that any WE list pretty much needs help from spells to keep big flyers etc properly under control.

Magic Support

In my reply to Andros above, I touched on the benefits of High Magic. Now I'm pretty much decided I'm going back to Beasts. But it is possible to take a second lord level caster with High. One interesting option is to mount her on a Unicorn. With a 4++, MR2 and Protection Counters she is resilient enough to run solo or can be put into the bus to make it quite scary, as run by Astorre (see Asrai.org).

The problem is, that the Unicorn costs me my Treeman. He is very important as pretty much the only thing I can stick in the way of a WoC (for example) advance to buy time and space for the rest of the army. This worked well for me in game 5 at the Pillage, partly because I had my BSB on foot in the central unit of Eternal Guard, radiating re-rolls to both flanks. It is slightly more difficult with the mounted BSB in Sisters, who often finds himself advancing on a flank.

Looking again at the Ancient, he has the advantage of Stubborn Ld10, meaning I can maybe risk testing on it even if the BSB is unavailable. He is also more durable, with a sixth wound and Life magic. He is weaker offensively but that may be acceptable for this job. At 360 pts for level four, he's a bit of a golden target for enemy fire. But this is reduced if I field him as a cheaper level 2. I'd be looking more towards buffs like Flesh to Stone than hoping for Dwellers here. Upgrading to Ancient would also cost me a Branchwraith or Eagle.

Infantry

Seredain made the point that Rangers, while passable, just aren't as strong as PG for example, whose resilience makes them powerful both offensively and defensively. Rangers are better than Eternal Guard on the attack but lack the Stubborn to be able to hold reliably if required. Worse, they are Special which means in addition to my 20 Hagbane archers, I have to add another 10 Starfire and 10 Dryads, which reduces my flexibility further. The alternative Scouts, Branchwraith and second Eagle are far more adaptable. While I have combat elements, I need to capitalise on the Wood Elf elusiveness at times, to attack or defend as required.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:07 pm 
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Makes sense. The trueflight lists I've seen (Amit's and Jay's) are basically all-archer core lists so they can have a good go at hosing large targets down just through sheer volume of fire. Your list doesn't have the volume so choosing archers-as-artillary makes a lot of sense. Likewise beasts makes plenty of sense to really get your magic phase behind the eternal guard. I think this is the unit that defines your list, for me. It's a wood elf army that, at some point, has to stand and fight. On which note, how do find the eternal guard working with the treeman? Do they both serve primarily defensive roles as bastion units or are you using the tree for glory kills and thunderstomping? I say this because the unicorn idea sounds really, really good. If you like to just use the treeman as a roadblock, then I wonder if this is something the eternal guard could do, with the right magic buffs, while you get access to all the options a level 4 on High would bring..?

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:20 am 
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Green Istari

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25% Meta

Interesting you should mention Amit's list Seredain because the UK Masters has just finished and while Amit started well, he fell back later. Zach Martin started badly but recovered a bit. Neither did awesomely, which I believe has something to do with the 50% meta. But for now consider this thread:

http://www.asrai.org/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=28233

Quite a few Wood Elf players, even good ones, have found that fielding all-archer Core can leave them vulnerable to certain armies, notably WoC and Daemons. Basically, the more M5 non-skirmishing archers you have, the less maneouverable you are and the less able to slip through the net that some fast attacking armies draw around you. I don't know whether Amit suffered from this. Zach in contrast had only 20 Core archers, backed up by two small units of Glade Riders. These are obviously better at evading the smash lists, so are pretty much the go-to solution here. A list which really went for this was Bogi's list from ETC 2014. This had all-Glade Rider Core with a Coven and finished top Wood Elf.

Next, have a look at the US. Swedish comp is all the rage there because of their imminent Masters. This has led players like Astorre to give Eternal Guard a look (alongside 20 archers) because they comp well. They also fit rather nicely with his favoured Shadow magic. I hardly need to tell High Elf players how effective Mindrazored Spears can be. Add Stubborn and he's in business. I favour Beasts over Shadow firstly for fluff reasons. But also because Shadow WE lists depend heavily on Withering and that only works with shot volume. For my, shot-deprived list, Amber Spear is a better option for dealing with the heavy brigade. Beasts works especially well with the Moonstone too, Shadow less so.

As mentioned, Wildform is really important for Eternal Guard because it gets them up to the crucial -2 to AS modifier. A Branchwraith can help a lot too. But even with buffs, they are vulnerable to things like Chaos Chariots in a way that PG for example and crucially, Treemen, aren't. So a Treeman, with a little support, can stop a WoC flank in it's tracks. He might go down eventually but that buys crucial time for shooting, magic and cavalry to do their work. Where does that leave the EG though?
Points denial maybe. With only a couple of turns left I've had players ignore them and go for archers. TBH against many enemies, a combination of Wildform, Life and/or Venom Thicket can be enough. I also feel there are Moonstone possibilities.

50% Meta

I've seen more than one strong player opine that this hurts Wood Elves. Partly because, as touched on above, this army is not spoiled for heavy board control. So multiple WoC characters for example, are an issue. T5 with 1+ AS and 3++ is not going down easily to arrows. Typically you see a unit of Tzeentch Warriors in Core with Blasted Standard (vs cannon), chariots or chaff. Then your WoC player can basically spam the characters, adding in Hellcannon or whatever as it pleases him. The last game at Pompey Pillage convinced me that my army could hold the 25% version. But the new kid on the block is exercising me greatly.

The Unicorn is undeniably interesting. Obviously the 4+ Ward is key but the really interesting option looks like Crown of Command to me. She might then actually be usable as a solo blocker. She can also go in the Eternal Guard and help them out with the Counters. The first question is whether even with the Counters, she can stand up to massed attacks, either shooting or combat. Secondly, even Ld9 Stubborn is a little chancey without a re-roll. Thirdly, I can't see an easy re-build of the Stag Lord without the 4+ Ward. Swapping Unicorn in for Ancient, the list looks like this:

Stag Lord, Ch Shield, Ogre Blade, 4+ Ward
Lvl4 Beasts, Scroll, Moonstone, Opal Amulet
Lvl4 High, Unicorn, 4++, Stubborn Crown
BSB, Horse, 4+ Ward Armour, GW, Sh

10 Hagbane, Musician
10 Hagbane, Musician
20 Eternal Guard, FC, Flaming

7 Sisters, Razor, Musician
5 Wild Riders, Std
5 Starfire Scouts

7 Waywatchers
Eagle

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:00 am 
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Iller Blood

So I've just got back from Ill Blood 2, a repeat of last year's Uncomped (all Battle Line though), 2400pt affair except two days this year and five games. Run by the Corehammer guys at Dark Sphere not far from London's Waterloo station. 32 players, great atmosphere to this one, opponents good to play. I took:

Stag Lord, Ogre Blade, Charmed Shield, 4+ Ward, Potion of Foolhardiness
Lvl 4, Beasts, Opal Amulet, Dispel Scroll, Moonstone
Treeman Ancient, Lvl 4
BSB, Horse, GW, 4+ Ward armour, Shield

10 Hagbane, Musician
10 Hagbane, Musician
21 Eternal Guard, FC, Gleaming

7 Sisters, Razor, Musician
5 Wild Riders, Shields
5 Starfire Scouts

7 Waywatchers
Eagle

So I kept the Treeman and upgraded him to an Ancient, 50% being in effect now. Whilst vulnerable in some match-ups, he would be very useful as a blocker and the sixth wound and Ld10 could be key, especially as I didn't want to tie the BSB down to providing re-rolls for him. I upgraded him to lvl4 on the advice of Seredain. To do this I had to drop an eagle (ouch!) and Eternal Flame from the Wild Riders. We felt that access to Dwellers (no Look out Sirs here!) could be crucial. Options like 2-diced Flesh also looked attractive.

I felt confident I could better last year's placing (bottom)! But I'd be taking a risky list into the cauldron of Uncomped Warhammer. There would be little room for mistakes!

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Blow and Counterblow

Game One - Lizardmen

Death Slann, Stuff.
Lvl2 Heavens Priest, Scroll.
Oldblood, 4+ Ward, GW, 2+/3+ AS
Scarvet, Cold One, 1+ AS RR, Sword of Might
Scarvet, Cold One, 1+/2+ AS, GW, 5+ Ward
Chief, Terradon, 4+ Ward, LA, Spear, Shield
Chief, Terradon, LA, Spear, Shield

9 Skirmishers, Jav\Shield
9 Skirmishers, Jav\Shield
20-strong Cohort.
20-strong Cohort
12-strong Cohort, Krox

5 Chameleons
5 Chameleons
5 Chameleons
Bastiladon, Solar Engine

Salamander
Salamander
Razordon

So a bit like my army in a way, a mix of power picks and less fancied choices. The Slann rolled three snipes and Doom & Darkness, so would obviously be a big threat (I would have to watch out for spells cast through the Priest who got Iceshard and Comet, nasty). Three hard combat characters and the usual proliferation of lighter threats. At least my opponent hadn't brought the full Cloud. Barring this, Lizardmen are a decent match-up for Wood Elves, I felt this one was pretty neutral.

I put the Eagle out on my left to ensure the Chameleons couldn't scout behind me. Then 2x Hagbane (with mage), Eternal Guard (left of centre), Ancient, Sisters (with Stag Lord and BSB), Eagle. Waywatchers & Starfire also on my right. My opponent Scouted the Chamo's in front of his line, one left, one right and one centrally. His deployment was pretty symmetrical, Slann in the middle flanked by the big cohorts, with a Scarvet in each. For some reason the Skirmishers started behind these (Priest here), only advancing mid-game. Then on my left Bastilodon, Salamander. On my right Oldblood, Skrox, Razordon, Salamander, Chiefs.

On my left I managed to shoot the Chameleons off fairly early. My archers took a little damage from the Salamander but passed Panic and shot him off too. I held the Bastilodon up with my eagle, though his bound spell proved a pain, drawing precious Dispel dice. I got him eventually.

One casualty in the centre was my mage, who fell victim to IF snipes in successive phases. This pretty much cost my opponent his Priest but the Slann was unscathed. Centre-left he got the Scarvet into my Eternal Guard and eventually broke them with the aid of a D&D I couldn't dispel.

Centre-right my opponent managed to get Oldblood and Scarvet into my bus. First round was inconclusive but round two I took the Oldblood down and the SV ran, getting away. He then took a pair of Wild Riders in the flank (they'd been shot up by Chameleons) but survived. I got both Chiefs and the Salamander, after dealing with the Chamo's.

I pushed the Ancient forward in the Centre and Dwellers drew a scroll, though I got Throne up and it stayed because my opponent had been busy killing off my mage. Now the Skirmishers came forward and with the Chamo's and Razordon, peppered the big tree with shots, to little effect. Death Snipes were similarly ineffective. Finally on the last turn I got Dwellers through and killed half a Cohort. The Slann needed a 3 or less to survive and he made it.

11-9

In general, this game was a bit messy. I managed to shoot off a lot of light elements but (perhaps predictably) lost my most vulnerable character to Death snipes. The demise of the EG was annoying too. If I'd got the Slann at the end it would have been a decent win but hey ho. I feel it was right to be fairly cautious at the start, I have to make my range count against the Skinks and Salamanders.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:35 pm 
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Sisterbus

So this was the first real test for my version of this. Here it dealt very nicely with the Saurus characters. In general over the event the Stag Lord with his 4 S6 AP attacks did most of the work, the 3 S6 AP from the BSB was a useful backup but clearly support, true ASF making a difference here. The Poison attacks from the Sisters were useful at times too. It's worth noting that WS4 can actually be better than WS5 here because you get more chances to reroll Poison!

But the main reason for running the Sisters was vindicated. Enemies struggled big-time to get wounds past the 4+ Ward which made wounds put on by my characters count for more. There were times later in the event where I asked too much of them (this is not a Deathstar) but in general they performed well and they stay. The key thing is that although they are very nasty buffed-up, they can fight without magic too.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:48 pm 
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Sooo Twenty-twelve

Game Two - Warriors of Chaos

Slaanesh Daemon Prince, Lvl4, Standard Kit plus Chaos Familiar
Tzeentch BSB, Barded Daemonic Mount, 3+ Ward, Third Eye, GW.
Throgg

8 Trolls
2 Nurgle Chariots
2 x 5 Warhounds

2 Gorebeast Chariots

2 x 3 Schoolcrushers

Pretty much what was running around when the wozzas book was nice and new, except for the Gorebeasts. You tend to see Blasted Standard Warriors these days and Tzeentch character spam, which I would have been happier against. But the old school filth posed problems for me. I was missing my second Eagle already and pondering just how I could deal with all the threats about to roll across the battlefield. Definitely a -2 match-up.

I dropped Wild Riders on my left to deter an advance, then the Ancient as back-up. Hagbane next, then a bit of a gap to the Eternal Guard centre-right, with the bus next to them. Other Hagbane unit (with mage) to the right of these, Scouts and Waywatchers. Eagle behind my centre. My opponent had Warhounds on my left, then BSB, Crushers and the two Gorebeasts. Next the DP, more Crushers, Throgg's lads, Chariots, Warhounds. Despite my +1, my opponent won the roll-off and went first.

On my left he pushed the Warhounds forward to screen his advance. Not fancying a Wild Rider rush into the jaws of death I made a long diagonal charge with the Ancient instead. He took the Warhounds off and reformed, while the Riders made a flanking move. My opponent faced off with the Gorebeasts but changed his mind and fled both when I redirected with the Riders. The BSB then charged the Ancient in a clash of anvils. I sacced the eagle to keep the Crushers off but they went after my archers, killing them afterwards. The Riders then went for glory with a flank charge on the BSB but failed to break him, despite putting a wound on. He proceeded to chew them up and eventually got the Crushers into the rear of the Ancient, sealing the flank.

Lacking redirectors, my bus took a charge from the other crushers. I needed even dice to take a crusher off early and I got bad ones. Three of them killed my back rank but I held and next round put the EG in at a corner for some ranks. The BSB and all but one Sister went down but I took two of the crushers off and broke the other, he got away though.

On the right I amused Throgg with the Scouts. The Waywatchers shot the Warhounds off but got run down by a chariot, which I Amber Speared in revenge. The other chariot though got a rear charge in on the remnants of my victorius bus. Stellar dice wiped me out. The EG took a rear charge from the DP, who ground them down, aided by the returned crusher, annoyingly durable even on a single wound. I at least managed to shoot off the second chariot. That, pretty much, was that.

4-16

Essentially, I couldn't kill his units. These would survive an early battering and then be reinforced, killing off my troops. My shooting was not strong enough, the Starfire making little difference vs the Trolls. The Wild Rider charge into the unkillable BSB was clearly a mistake, they should have left the Ancient to it and reinforced my centre. Otherwise I didn't play badly but lacked the tools to capitalise on openings and was slightly hampered by the dice.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:01 am 
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Green Istari

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Wild Riders

Despite getting too excited with them in this game I'm beginning to master these. One thing they did really well all tournament was hold a refused flank. Essentially the big threat arc they project pens even quite dangerous enemy units back. This can be compromised by pushing chaff at them, drawing them out of position to be charged (Frenzied, they can't Flee). In this game I countered with the Ancient but shooting said chaff off also works.

The great thing about the unit I ran is that it's only 140pts. My next event offers VP's regarding Fortitude though, so they'll be getting a banner for that. I'm leaning towards Eternal Flame but Swiftness is tempting. You can do a lot with a 20" march. Perhaps more importantly, it increases their charge reach, key for troops who can't Flee.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:15 pm 
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Haven't had a chance to read through all this - but I thought I'd let you know that a WE army took 90/100BP at the tournament I attended this weekend. Were it not for painting scores it would have won ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:15 pm 
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Indeed a WE player was second here Curu. Sadly, I doubt he had a Treeman and a Great Stag.

:(

The shooty builds can be awesome but it depends on match-ups IMHO. There are some things under 50% they don't like at all, especially uncomped.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:48 pm 
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Can't remember what our guy met. He won all games though. Met DoC Game 4 and the TK army I faced Game 1 in his Game 5. I don't think the worst matchups for Wood Elves are rushers to be honest.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:17 pm 
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I agree a shooty list would have done better vs the list I faced here. Firstly, more Waywatchers lets you shoot Crushers (and perhaps DP) off. Shadow has Pit for the Trolls and Withering to help the WW's, not to mention Mindrazor. High has Unforging for the unkillable BSB. Conversely, the Blasted Standard build has multiple T5/1+ AS/3+ Ward characters which are very hard to shoot off. Ironically I see that as 'only' a -1 for my list because I can restrict stuff with the Ancient and fight it with my bus.

We had a thread on Asrai about this including ETC players and the consensus was that MSU Daemons was very swingy for the shooty build, maybe a +1 for all-cav. I still don't like HE monster mash as a match-up for the shooty build.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:54 pm 
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Safety Dance

Game Three - Ogre Kingdoms

Slaughtermaster, lvl4 Heavens, Scroll of Shielding, Stuff.
BSB, GW, Stuff.
Butcher, lvl1 Maw, Dispel Scroll.

9 Ironguts, FC, Std of Discipline
10 Gnoblars, Trappers
10 Gnoblars, Trappers
10 Gnoblars
10 Gnoblars

6 Leadbelchers, Champion, Musician
6 Leadbelchers, Champion, Musician
5 Leadbelchers, Musician
Sabretusk

2 Ironblasters

My last game vs Ogres involved Mournfangs and I had that down as a level match-up, maybe even favouring me. But as this opponent explained to me, the big cats are "not what they were". He confided that he'd moved to this shooting-heavy build specifically to counter the proliferation of elves. I'm still unsure whether it's level, or slightly favours the Ogres. Either way, I knew I'd be losing a straight shoot-out, so would have to use a little elvish craft.

I ended up with my bus (a late drop) on the far left, away from the mass of firepower. Next Wild Riders, Eagle and then the Ancient, who had found a nice bit of impassable to hide behind. Then Eternal Guard, then Waywatchers. Next the Scouts, then two units of Hagbane, who had gone down in my free wood as soon as I saw a unit of Leadbelchers. The key to these I felt, would be to stay at extreme range and stack negative modifiers against them. My opponent refused his flank opposite my left. He had a couple of units of Gnoblars centre-left, in front of an Ironblaster. Then some Leadbelchers with the second Ironblaster behind. Then Gutstar, more Gnoblars, Leadbelchers, Leadbelchers. Sabretusk behind these. I won first turn.

I started by making a wide flanking move on my left with both units of cavalry. This prompted a Gnoblar counter and a general wheel of my opponent's battle line to face the threat. The shooting phase was brutal, removing the Wild Riders. The bus had some long charge options but they didn't look good, so I moved the Stag out 18" and then followed with the Fast Cav, hiding the lot behind a big piece of impassable. This had however, allowed me to start plugging away with my archers, without return fire (I was very keen to get on top in the ranged war). The first volley was poor but thereafter a steady hail of arrows gradually shot one unit of Leadbelchers off and reduced another to a single model.

Centre-left I sneaked my mage forwards in the Waywatchers and got Amber Spear through, the Scroll of Shielding failing to protect the targeted Ironblaster, which suffered six wounds and collapsed. Emboldened, the Ancient emerged from cover but was soon being pounded with cannonballs from the remaining blaster. The Waywatchers also suffered from magic missile attrition as I was having to dispel Harmonic Convergence as a priority. Just in time, I dropped the mage back to the safety of the EG. Agonisingly, I had to leave the Ancient to be (eventually) shot off by Leadbelchers, to preserve my shooty elves.

Now the Gutstar advanced, so I moved the Scouts in front and advanced the EG. The bus emerged from cover and swept through Gnoblars and into more Leadbelchers. Agonisingly, a single Ogre held on until the end. The EG got held up clearing more chaff and a cheeky Chain Lightning ripped through my archers. The game had come to life at the last but when we counted up it was...

9-11

Overall I was fairly happy with the way I'd played. Heavens though, was a real pain here, Convergence & Comet needing constant dispelling, which meant I ate MM's. As in my last game vs Ogres, Hagbane proved deadly, just as well considering the sacrifices made by the rest of the army. The plan worked after a fashion but collateral damage prevented a win. Was there a better way to play this? I'm not sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:08 pm 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWaYt1XhqYw

I lolled!

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:38 pm 
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The old ones are the best ones.

:)

Archery

One classic point that reasserted itself in this game was the wisdom of placing two shooting units the same together, in this case the Hagbane. Their fire was withering, Poison being especially effective vs T4, unarmoured Ogres. I'm sure I'll miss Trueflight when I have to face Wood Elves but until then I'm more than happy with the clout the Hagbane give me against the tough stuff.

I took this to heart in my last two games and whilst less critical, I still felt it was an effective deployment. Lack of drops in the list means I have to beware of commiting in the wrong place but at least with a 30" range you can cover much of the board. Between the centre and one of the flanks seems favourite in most of my games. Lacking the firepower of some WE lists, it's essential to concentrate what I have and make it count.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:40 pm 
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how did you find the eternal guard? contribute much/consistently?

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:00 am 
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Eternal Guard

At times Sparky I do wonder whether replacing the EG with another 20 archers might not be the best idea. Like most elves the EG tend to die fast, so commiting them to combat can be a tortuous business. Obviously my list would simply love another 20 shots. There are basically two reasons for keeping them. Firstly, the unit of 20 or so is more durable than 2x10 archers, partly because of Stubborn. There are some things Core archers struggle to shoot down and that sweep them away easily. Having less of these units to babysit can be a good thing.

More fundamentally, this is a list built to fight if it has to. Treekin and Dryads have fallen by the wayside. I've pondered dropping the EG, the Treeman, even the bus. But these elements are necessary if I want to retain that option to fight. In the EG's case, the ability to provide ranks and break Steadfast remains a useful option. This is also now a list with multiple buffing options and the EG, with their Stubborn and their (relatively) decent size are a good target for these.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:40 am 
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The Crunch

Game Four - Beastmen

Beastlord, Heavy Armour, Steel-claws, 5++, Crown
Shaman Lord, lvl4 Beasts, 4++, Power Stone
BSB, Eternal Flame, Heavy Armour, Gnarled Hide, Shield
Shaman, lvl2 Shadow, Scroll
Shaman, lvl2, Shadow

30 Gor, AHW, FC
30 Gor, AHW, FC
10 Ungor Raiders
6 Ungor Raiders
2 Tuskgor Chariots

30 Bestigor, FC, Std of Discipline
Razorgor
Razorgor
Razorgor Chariot

So a classic 3-block set-up with support. Slow and with very little shooting. Amber Spear might be an issue but no Pit (Treeman). My opponent did roll up Mindrazor. Still, I fancied this one a +2. It was now my job to put the boot in. My opponent was a real hobbyist and BM diehard, nicely turned out army. But despite his fluffy list he clearly knew how to play.

I covered my far left with the Wild Riders and then the Eagle. Ancient centre-left, then bus, then EG. A gap and then both units of Hagbane (with mage) in my free wood, Waywatchers on my right. The Scouts I threw forward 12" from his line. My opponent had the larger Ungor unit opposite my far left, then two chariots. Next the Bestigor (with Beastlord and Shaman), opposite my Ancient, followed by the two Gor blocks (with the remaining characters) in the centre. Now a Razorgor, small Ungors (chariot behind), Razorgor. My opponent won first turn and went for gold.

The Ungors on my left advanced with chariots behind, threatening to mop up my Wild Riders if they charged the Ungor. I backed off, he followed up but left me with a good chance to kill the Ungor and Overrun off the table, which I made. The chariots adjusted position and waited ominously for the return. Massed shooting and Amber Spear simply took the whole right flank off bar the Ungor, who headed for the hills.

But it was the centre that mattered. The blocks steamed forward, the one opposite my EG being delayed by the Scouts. My units waited. My opponent IF'd Wildform on the centre unit. Then I had a shot at a triple charge into it, all three units made it in. The Beastmen killed just enough EG to hold on Steadfast. In his turn the other Gors (somewhat depleted from DT tests) made it into the EG, while the Bestigor killed my blocking eagle and hit the Ancient, forming one massive combat in mid-battlefield.

Importantly, a modest phase saw me scroll Wildform, my opponent getting a single Miasma through on the EG. The Bestigor, even with S6, made little impact on the Ancient, while the tardy Gors struggled vs the EG. But my cavalry went berserk and killed every last Gor in the centre unit. The remaining BSB & Shaman Lord legged it but were run down. The other Gor escaped temporarily but were charged and destroyed by the EG in my turn.

Meanwhile on my left, the Wild Riders bit the bullet and returned, to take a charge from the Razorgor chariot. Only one died to impact hits, the other four then rolling outrageous dice to take the chariot clean off! My opponent was understandably a little put out. I had the option to charge my depleted bus into the rear of the Bestigor but figured I was well ahead on points and thought better of it. The Bestigor then killed the Ancient and that was that.

17-3

Well, I'd duly brought home the points but it did look a bit hairy at one stage, we agreed that my use of the scroll was key here. I did wonder whether deploying chariots between his blocks would have helped him. As it was I was able to weaken the Gor blocks and keep the Bestigor at bay with the Ancient, before chewing the former up. My opponent managed 45/100 BP's in the end, not a bad effort.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:59 am 
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Ancient

This game showed just what a Treeman can do. After Thunderstomping the central Gor block he delayed my enemy's hardest unit while the elves broke through. He is so important to the playstyle because he can advance and hold charges which would wreck my other units. A normal Treeman is better offensively but the Ancient's extra wound and Ld 10 make him absolute rock.

He does tend to die but in this game for example, his sacrifice let me take off almost a whole army. In the Ogre game he drew crucial fire from my elves, giving me the upper hand in the shooting war. At 135pts more than a normal Treeman, his four levels of Life magic give me heavy threat via Dwellers and a lot of 2-dicing options. Some games he has to be hidden but even then his magic can make a difference.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:50 am 
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Touching Distance

Game 5 - Bretonnia

Royal Pegasus Lord, HKB, Stuff.
Lvl4, Heavens, Silver Mirror
Lvl1, Beasts, Scroll
BSB, 1+
Paladin, 1+ RR
Paladin, 1+, Extra D6" virtue

9 Realm Knights, FC, Swiftness
9 Realm Knights, FC, Std of Discipline

3 Pegasus Knights
3 Pegasus Knights

6 Grail Knights, FC, Eternal Flame
Trebuchet
Trebuchet

In general I've always found Bretonnians a difficult match-up. The sheer speed means you have to constantly calculate all their charge options, a real headache. In contrast my opponent had obviously had one too many games against maxed-out Waywatchers, he was delighted to find I'd only brought seven. He was less pleased when I rolled up Dwellers so he had to split his characters up though. I believed this a par match-up or maybe favouring my opponent slightly.

Once again, I dropped the Wild Riders on my refused flank, the left, to deter his fast units. Then Eagle, then Ancient centre-left. Next the two units of Hagbane, Eternal Guard and bus centre-right. Waywatchers far right and Scouts in a wood mid-table. My opponent had both Trebs on his baseline opposite my left (safe from my scouts). One unit of Pegs and Grail Knights in front of these. Lord and more Pegs in the centre, Lances across from my centre-right. He prayed and I chose to go first.

On the left I edged forwards with the WR's, just out of Peg charge range. The Treeman advanced into Dwellers range. The Scouts moved in front of his end Lance while the EG, bus and Waywatchers came forwards a little. I was wary of the threat posed by the charge virtue. Crucially, Dwellers on six dice failed to meet the casting value, hence failing to draw the scroll. This would hurt me later. My opponent advanced his Lord, wheeled his Grails towards the Ancient and charged the Scouts with the central Pegs (which I had shot), taking them off.

The next turn I was similarly cautious, wary of charge threat and happy to get shoot the Pegs some more. The Ancient however, I pushed forwards to make the central Lance commit. In order to set up a combo-charge on the Ancient, my opponent flew the fresh Pegs right up to the wall just in front of the Wild Riders. I charged and broke them, losing a couple of Riders but running them down. My opponent then moved the Grails forwards to flank the Ancient. He also flew forwards with the Lord. At this point he placed an IF Comet counter next to my infantry, taking wounds on his wizards.

Next turn the Ancient was flank charged by the Grails and took the central bus (with BSB and lvl4) in the front. My attempted Wildform had been Silver Mirrored and my opponent returned the favour. I agonised over scrolling it and decided against because I'd completely failed to guess Eternal Flame. The Bretonnians put exactly six wounds on and Reformed. A crisis.

I now turned the Wild Riders to threaten his victorius units from behind and dropped my eagle in front of the Lance. The unengaged lance was fairly obviously now the super-fast one but I was happy to fight it one-on-one and moved my bus into charge range. My opponent moved the Grails forwards to threaten my archers and flew his Lord across to the other flank. The centre Lance killed the Eagle and reformed, threatening my bus but offering it's flank to the WR's. The remaining Peg unit was dropped 1" in front of my bus.

I had to go for it and charged the Pegs, killing them and reforming. The bus badly needed support so the EG marched into the central wood. My archers did a real number on the Grails but left one alive to retreat ignominiously. The WR's had a real go at the central Lance, killing five knights but were then wiped out by three attacks from the BSB. I'd badly needed them to at least hold and pin his unit. I then managed to Wildform the EG but Savage Beast on the Stag Lord was scrolled, a legacy of my failed Dwellers turn one.

Both Lances and the Lord went into my bus. Comet came down and destroyed one unit of archers, while I stopped that turn's magic with the scroll. In the ensuing combat I managed to take down the weakened bus completely, losing four Sisters and crucially, the BSB. I then faced a Break test on a six, rolled a nine and was caught. Game over.

6-14

This was a swingy game, delicately poised. It's easy to pick out key moments like my failed Dwellers, the demise of the Wild Riders, my failure to scroll and that last unsuccessful Break test as crucial to my defeat. So mistakes were made but it was a close game and had one or two things not come off for my opponent I would have won it. The luck was very up and down, the Trebs for example having minimal impact all game. Lessons learned!

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:22 am 
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Specialist Shooting

I'd written the Scouts into my list to deal with Regen, mainly because of a hair-raising encounter with Chimaeras at the Pompey Pillage. But I ended up facing only Throgg's Trolls in game two and even at M6, there were faster targets that stopped me focusing fire there. I like the option of Flaming shots but most of the time the unit was simply shooting armour-piercing longbows. Useful but not worth 17 points a shot. In contrast, the pain meted out to the Grail Knights by the Waywatchers was impressive, although one escaped. Food for thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:58 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Specialist Shooting

I'd written the Scouts into my list to deal with Regen, mainly because of a hair-raising encounter with Chimaeras at the Pompey Pillage. But I ended up facing only Throgg's Trolls in game two and even at M6, there were faster targets that stopped me focusing fire there. I like the option of Flaming shots but most of the time the unit was simply shooting armour-piercing longbows. Useful but not worth 17 points a shot. In contrast, the pain meted out to the Grail Knights by the Waywatchers was impressive, although one escaped. Food for thought.
If you ask me, this "dead or fled"-only thing is BULLCRAP! :evil: :evil: They should never have removed the half-points for half-strength rules, OR the rules for +100 pts per table quarter. It at least encouraged tactical play, instead of just WAAC lists all the time! :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:44 pm 
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To be fair, none of the lists I played were particularly extreme, except maybe for the WoC one.

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:18 pm 
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Conclusion

So I finished on 47/100 BP. I feel this was about par, considering the lists I faced. All my opponents were competent players, not tourney winners but tactically decent. It was good to play five different armies and in general there was a nice mix of filth and fluff on show. While I feel I have a decent understanding of the game, I did have a tendency to forget things and in general a slight lack of sharpness that keeps me from becoming a stronger player. But I have at least one more tournament in 8th edition to go:

http://www.warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewt ... 3&t=127715

The comp is interesting, sort of medium-level, as evidenced by the 5-dice casting cap, double-scroll restrictions etc.. Fortitude is very important. Quite a few of the guys from Ill Blood will be there I imagine and already a fair number of the bigger names have appeared on the entry list. Bring it on!

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Baptism of Fire
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:29 am 
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Thank you for sharing all these reports, there's a reflection and clarity to them that make them a pleasure to read. :)

I just wanted to say, I find it interesting you consider Brets difficult. I've always considered WE an army they struggle with - they can outmaneuver the lances, their shooting can really hurt, and they can even outfight you (Wild Riders...). Your list is a bit more combat oriented than usual, though. Do you think you might have had an easier time with a more standard shooty-avoidance list?

It was nice to hear about Grail Knights getting used, too! :lol:


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