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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:34 pm 
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Hey John! Indeed lots have happened here lately.

1) Bad matchup and inexperienced player with a weak list. A pretty terrible situation to be in, unfortunately.
2) Thanks! I agree, since my first posts on Ulthuan after starting 8th edition warhammer I`ve come a long way. I think some of my CD projects are the best I`ve made so far, but I`m very happy with my recent string of characters and Frostheart as well.
3) Please do, there`s plenty to pick apart ;)

Hoping to have time for BR game analysis tomorrow!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:47 am 
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I am not sure if I got this correct, but your Sword of Anti Heros noble reformed so he had his flank to the Cav bus? Is that not iligal? I thought you only could reform to have your front to a unit not your flank/rare?

I do not have my rulebook with me so can not check right now :P

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:03 am 
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Danidude wrote:
I am not sure if I got this correct, but your Sword of Anti Heros noble reformed so he had his flank to the Cav bus? Is that not iligal? I thought you only could reform to have your front to a unit not your flank/rare?

I do not have my rulebook with me so can not check right now :P

I believe you can reform to have the enemy in your flank. The restriction you might be thinking of is that you cannot reform to be in a different facing of your opponent i.e you cannot use your reform to go from being in the front to being in the flank of a unit. You also cannot reform if you are fighting a combat in two or more facings.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:06 am 
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@Danidude - it`s perfectly legal. It`s an important move to bear in mind with the Phoenix and Star Dragon especially, as these reforming like this could make a unit otherwise hitting its flank (and thus get 100mm frontage) hit its front instead. Say you charge Dwarf Irondrakes with the Star Dragon and he has a unit of Hammerers lined up. You then reform to give the Irondrakes your flank so that the Hammerers have to hit your front. With one side being occupied by Irondrakes, this means only 3 Hammerers wide get into b2b as opposed to 6.

@John Rainbow - exactly. Many people misinterpret that rule.

Analysis coming up!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:48 am 
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:: Bretonnia Game - Analysis ::

This matchup is tricky to play because of the Trebuchets. A direct hit will likely kill quite a few Helms and it`s very hard for me to chew down on anything as his busses, despite their size, are fast and relatively agile with their 3-wide formation. Furthermore the no-fly item makes the Phoenix a glorified war machine hunter at best, it`s very hard to utilize it properly. I dare say next to impossible against a good player. You might be able to defend RBTs with it, but that means no pressure on the Trebs.

So basically the clock is against us here. The Vanguarding Pegknights ensure that despite always going first, you can`t deploy 100% as you please because these guys are tough enough to mess up if you don`t respect their threat arc projection. More specifically, if you deploy too aggressively they can easily sneak past and neutralize RBTs at an early point.

When the game starts, I think the best thing to do is to have a strategy for dealing with the Trebuchets. If you fail to do so, you will lose the game unless you`re lucky and they blow up: 6 turns of consecutive shooting will see you eventually lose Look Out, Sir! at which point the VPs quickly fade away. In this matchup, I failed to commit the Frostheart quickly enough: both deployment and T1 move should`ve been hyperaggressive towards the Treb on the right. This would`ve freed up my Shadow Warriors and second ER unit to go after the one on the left, for 3 units in total harassing it. The problem with ER however is that they`re too slow: I usually deploy them before the trebs (which is his last unit drop) and even vanguard + 18" can´t necessarily put them where I want them for T1.

The map messed up my cavstar. You might look at the deployment and think why on Earth did I get so out-deployed with his busses on the opposite corner? The central lake and wall makes it next to impossible for me to advance there. Even the wall providing dangerous terrain is too hard for such a big unit, with 3-4 casualties on average I just can`t risk it. Thus I had 2 options and he could`ve cornered on the opposite side if I had deployed West of the lake. As I deployed, the RBTs had better lines of fire than I think they would`ve had otherwise. The lesson to be learned however is to get the cav unit as centrally as possible. It is actually so obvious in this matchup that I think it`s viable to drop the Helms as your first unit. An inexperienced opponent might take this as a sign of weakness/overconfidence and make mistakes against it: the fact of the matter is that his entire army HAS to avoid this unit at full strength. By placing the Prince and Ogre Blade Noble in the first rank along with command and having the Champion on a corner, both lances hitting home at once will likely cause only ~4 dead Helms. In return you do roughly the same, but you hold on stubborn and make way with Sword of Anti-Heroes and maybe also BSB for the second round, at which point his entire combat strength is S3 (a paladin or two might have S4 but it`s not a biggie) and he`ll eventually be ground down. Heavens can mess things up but the HE Scroll should be intact until combat starts. On the other hand, Death is insane, if he does commit both lances purple sun is a nightmare. The take-away from this is that the cavstar, at full strength, can be played hyper-aggressively. Back to deployment of it, I don`t think going West would`ve been better. As it were, RBTs forced his Pegs further behind which gave them an additional turn of shooting. I should`ve spaced these better though, to prevent the cascade of overruns from the Pegknights. Lesson learned! The most obvious deployment/T1 error was my inability to commit the Phoenix to the rightmost Trebuchet. Had I done this, the cav could`ve gone more straight for his lances and put pressure on them earlier.

My opponent`s miscast + ensuing panic T2 gave me a huge opening, which I completely failed to properly take advantage of. Not measuring the distance for his L1 to intercept was just really bad. I`ve done the same myself multiple times and am used to my opponents using it against me. There`s just no excuse for this sloppy play. Luckily I had one Noble which could charge out, unfortunately it was the least useful one here (I would never charge the BSB out alone though). However when he got stuck in, I made another mistake: by not reforming the bus properly to hit his front rank, they hit him so hard that they beat themselves out of combat. It should be noted here that we played this wrong: I forgot to attack with all Helms (the characters alone wiped enough BR Knights to disengage, but as I have ASF it all strikes at the same time) and despite the champ being in a challenge with my Noble and the L4 being out of base contact, the Helms could`ve (and likely would`ve, given their amount of attacks) killed one more Kngiht - the Standard Bearer - and thus he`d lose steadfast and likely would`ve broken (snake eyes needed). However, despite us forgetting this, my characters rolled quite well so this could`ve happened regardless. The point is to make sure I can wheel to hit his front, which means I can`t kill enough to disengage, and I think this would`ve been possible.

After this, it was all down to rolling dice. With a little luck his BSB might`ve gone down: I had 2 combat rounds with 0.9 * 0.84 * 0.25 * 0.9 * 5 ~ 2*0.85 = 1.7W on average. This would`ve seen me get +250VP or so, in addition the Noble would`ve survived for a ~140 VP difference there as well, making a total VP difference of 600 which is a 14-6 victory instead of 11-9. However I made a lot of break tests at -2, -3 etc and I even rolled the required 4+ to save my mage during a late-game dimensional cascade, so it wasn`t like I was unlucky or anything. In the end, failing to capitalize properly on his unfortunate miscast was what prevented me from taking home a big win I feel.

There are lots of lessons to be taken away from this game, but I would also like to point out that this is one of the best players, if not the very best, in Norway. He plays a lot and has a very solid game, I have never seen him make a strategical mistake and his tactical ones, while existant and exploitable, are rarely big. He plays a variety of armies and before this game I had never beaten him (2 losses vs his Skaven, 1 vs his Empire), so I`m happy to take home an 11-9 victory despite mistakes being made. When playing against strong players, your mistakes are much more likely to be exploited and you will often feel like you have no good moves to make and your opponent is just countering you at every turn with the correct moves. Thus, these games reveal very easily what you have to work with to improve as a player, and analyzing them is a lot more interesting than in a game where you have a good matchup and inexperienced opponent, where hardly even the dice can save him.

For matchup purposes I think this is a neutral one. Double Treb is the main reason for this, as losing enough Knights is disastrous. However if the deathstar gets into combat, I can take this fight no matter what: he cannot beat this unit at full strength. This is important to remember, as I had multiple moves in this game that were too cautious (tactical errors as opposed to the strategical ones with e.g. the Frostheart). I can basically place the unit 2" away from both lances and if he charges, that`s all good for me. Having played lists that rely on mutual support for like, forever, this is a mindset I have to get used to if I want to maximise the Deathtrain`s potential.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
So basically the Shadow Warriors and third fighter noble are "changeable". Combined, it`s a little over 200 points. The problem is, we don`t have that many places to put these points: Skycutters are useless, infantry doesn`t fit the list and rare is full, to the point where I can add either an Eagle or a small unit of Sisters. Whatever I drop these 2 choices for will also mean more drops, less survivability, flexibility and grindability for the bus. The Noble could indeed be exchanged for a third mage, but I find I don`t really need more spells. Combat power on the other hand always comes in handy: although I`ve swapped High for Death at the moment I don`t want the bus stuck, grinding. Currently there are a few things out there which requires grinding.

To phrase the problem a bit differently: if you want to restructure the list, how would you go about doing so? You could of course do major re-working, but assuming that only the third Noble is what brings problems, how would you change the list?


I see your point. However I have not needed the third noble in my games (off course that doesn't mean that he would not be a good choice). With saved points (and some shuffling) you can get an eagle, level 2 upgrade for high mage and chariot. I find that the eagle is really, really good in aggressive lists. I also didn't like chariots first but after playing with them I think one in this kind of list is actually quite nice addition. It gives you more board control and protects your bolt throwers that are often "easy points".


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:08 pm 
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I will consider your points :) I have played 2 games that have not been reported yet, very interesting. I will discuss both lists when I have gotten the reports up, hopefully Thursday.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Trying out the Star Coven yet again, this time vs a shooty matchup, OK!

.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Ogre Kingdoms (ETC comp) .::.

My list:
Prince on Star Dragon: Star Lance, Dragonhelm, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield = 598

Noble BSB on Barded Steed: Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Banner of the World Dragon = 172
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Dispel Scroll - 155
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Sceptre of Stability - 145
Mage L1 Light on Steed, Ring of Fury - 120
Heroes/Characters: 592/1190

14 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 352
8 Reavers, Champion, bows = 162
8 Reavers, Champion, bows = 162
Core: 676

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Special & Rare: 520

Army Total: 2386

His list:

Bruiser BSB Maw Banner
Bruiser Crown of Command
Firebelly Ruby Ring, Dispel Scroll

Guts
3 Ogres
3x10 Gnoblars

3 cats
7 Maneaters, poison, stubborn, handguns
8 Leadbelchers

2 Ironblasters

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

Our last encounter ended badly for me, with him getting a 20-0 victory. Could swapping the mages for a Light Council provide me with a fighting chance?

From the get-go, deployment was a huge factor. I had to go centrally since he could corner up on either side, and risking a commit to the wrong side would be disastrous. This meant my bus would have to wheel around a piece of impassable terrain to reach his corner. Overall though I was very pleased with the results:

Image

He got flaming sword of ruin while I got everything I wanted pretty much: Pha`s, Net, Timewarp, Banishment. I got T1 with +1.

// HE T1 //

An ever-recurring problem with this list is that the Star Dragon is also weak vs Maneaters, not only Ironblasters. I managed to place it outside of his range, but this meant I had a long way to go to his bunker as well. Note to self: try and place Star Dragon in hard cover from Phoenix in future games, this distance is too much and thus can`t be relied upon. Everything else followed suit. I moved mages to a reaver bunker and off we went.

Magic saw me cast a 5D6 IF boosted Pha`s, taking 1W off of all my mages. Shooting saw RBTs combine to take 4W off of one IB, nearly killing it outright!

Image

// OK T1 //

Maneaters moved up to face an RBT. Leadbelchers move towards Star Dragon. Guts back off. Magic sees him cast Flaming Sword on a big roll on the Leadbelchers. I think for a while but end up letting it go: I can`t dispel it and the scroll needs to be kept for more dire straits.

Shooting however is spectacularly bad: the Leadbelchers put 2W on the Dragon and removes Golden Crown, but one Ironblaster (the 1W one) fails its Pha`s roll while the other misfires, blowing itself up and killing a couple of Ogres as well. Maneaters kill an RBT.

Image

// HE T2 //

I make a huge strategical error as I move the Star Dragon away from the Maneaters again. I should`ve let him shoot me now, he is weakened and the 1W IB will likely die this turn. The Phoenix and bus charge respective blockers, so I`m setting up for a big charge on his guts T3.

Magic sees IF Banishment remove Ironblaster. I hold my breath, the result is the L1 mage dead only though. Shooting kills a Maneater and a Sabretusk I believe.

Image

// OK T2 //

His guts charge the Phoenix. I flee box cars, which is JUST enough to put it in range of the 3 flanking bulls on the Eastern flank (barely within 18", barely within front arc. We had to roll a 4+ it was so close). They charge as well and I flee to a useless position. His guts then need to roll 10+ to reach my bus and he takes the chance: if he can`t make it then he`ll get hit by them (with lance bonuses) and a flanking Star Dragon in his next turn. He makes the charge...

Shooting, I messed up with the SD so it is in range of the Maneaters anyway. Such a bad move. He takes a wound off the Prince I believe. In combat my bus is beaten badly, but he restrains and some SH survive to keep the points. Losing BSB is a blow though.

Image

// HE T3 //

I charge the Leadbelchers. They are 20" away so probably not the best move, but it reduces his shooting if they flee. If he takes the chance, it could get nasty. Anyways he flees so it`s a failed charge. Phoenix rallies. Helms rally and position to zone out small Bulls on the East.

Magic sees me cast Banishment again, again with IF. This time I only manage 2W or so on the Maneaters, in return I lose my 2nd mage. 3 casts, 3 miscasts. Is this fate telling me to keep those mages within the BOTWD-unit? Shooting keeps pounding his shooters.

Image

// OK T3 //

Guts charge Phoenix, I flee. I need 11 or 12 to get off the table but roll a 10 so the bird is still alive. He fails to reach me. Magic: Fireball on RBT, no effect. Shooting: 1W SD, dead Prince I believe (might`ve been the next turn).

Image

// HE T4 //

SD moves up to his Maneaters. Magic sees low winds and I fail to cast my first spell, ending it quickly. Phoenix rallies.

Image

// OK T4 //

Guts move towards SD. Leadies and Maneaters open up, think they did 1W in total (the SD had 4W at this point).

Image

// HE T5 //

Dragon charges Leadies. They are 11" away so if he flees, I`ll catch him on average. If I don`t however I`m stuck ahead of Maneaters with guts in my flank = dead SD. He takes his chances and flees, but I catch them and get a good reform. Phoenix moves up for a T6 charge with the SD. Fast cav block his guts in, severely reducing their options.

Image

After this not much interesting happens: it`s down to rolling dice. I charge the guts in my last turn and win huge, but he holds on stubborn. In the very last turn of the game it gets interesting: due to a huge breath weapon in combat in my T6, his guts are so reduced that the Phoenix kills off enough to force BSB into B2B with the SD, allowing me to target him with all 6 attacks. 4 hits (and he had lost 1W previously so this was looking good!), but snake eyes on the rolls to wound. He lives on 1W and adding insult to injury, he fails his stubborn LD9 break test only to pass it due to BSB re-roll.

In the end though, the SD had 4W left, the Frostheart was unharmed I believe and the Helms were 6 strong or so. I had lots of chaff, he had lots of chaff but no-one had really big points. Counting up, it was a very close game which ended up being a 10-10 draw!

// Evaluation //

I think my major mistake here was the T1 moves. The question is whether the frosty can conceivably give the SD hard cover while keeping the SD close-ish to getting off a charge T2 on an important unit. With him having so many drops, this becomes very, very hard to do.

Other than that, I think the game nicely highlights how many things have to go right for HE if a win is to be achievable. He had he not made the 10+ charge T2 on the bus (16.7% chance to make it), he would`ve faced a combo-charge from the SD + bus with magical assistance, which would`ve broken him badly, likely leading to 18-2 or an even bigger win for me. However he was in a bad spot with everything going my way T1: grabbing the first turn, getting off IF Pha`s, killing 2x Ironblasters without shooting once. He did what he had to do and it paid off.

The SD charging Leadies T3 is also questionable. Perhaps I should`ve allowed it to just fly up 20" instead, the shooters were quite weakened at this point by RBTs and I had my scroll intact.

I was very pleased with the ER bunker setup this game. Jumping between units was relatively easy to achieve without sacrificing a lot. The only minus is of course not having them in the BOTWD unit, but this is matchup-dependent and here I simply can`t do it as going into combat with them is suicide and I need the bus` support for the SD charge (on average, the Helms alone do 15 * 0.89 * 0.67 ~9W to Ironguts on the charge).

Will try at least one more game with the same list :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:13 pm 
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The Deathtrain face the dreaded Skaven!

.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Skaven (ETC comp) .::.

Death Archmage L4 Steed, Power Stone, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem = 300
Prince on Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Armour, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon = 282

Lords = 582

Noble BSB on Barded Steed, BOTWD, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance = 172
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm = 141
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Luckstone, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Sword of Anti-Heroes = 141
High Mage Steed, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury = 145

Heroes = 599

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 444
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85

Core = 614

5 Shadow Warriors, Champion = 80
1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240
4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Special & Rare = 600

Army Total = 2395

His list:
Grey Seer, Screaming bell, General, Fencers Blade, Dragonbane gem, Scroll of shielding, Skalm

Chieftain, Bsb, Warbanner, Greatweapon
Chieftain, Charmed shield, Rival hide talisman, Potents of verminous doom
Warlock Engineer, lvl 1, dispel scroll
Warlock Engineer, lvl 1, Warplighting condencer
Warlock Engineer, Brass orb
Assassin, Weeping blade, Potion of streght

39 Stormvermin, Full command, Stormbanner
40 Slaves, champion, musician
40 Slaves, champion, musician
40 Slaves, champion, musician
5 Giant Rats, Packmaster

9 Gutter runners, Slings, Poison, 2x Hand weapon
9 Gutter runners, Slings, Poison, 2x Hand weapon

Hellpit abomination
Warplinging cannon

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

This list is so nasty, I don`t even know where to begin. Luckily, the usual problems of HE facing Skaven aren`t present: the bus is immune to everything in his army apart from one single model: the Hellpit. The only way he can tear me down is to get it into combat and kill the Prince. In any other case, the game rests upon him clearing the rest of my list and my reaching the Stormvermin without the HPA grinding me.

Sounds easy, right?

Image

Magic saw me get SL, D&D, Soulblight, Caress.

With +1, I go first:

// HE T1 //

I move the bus up hard with the Phoenix going along. Magic sees me draw his scroll with Spirit Leech + Caress on the brass orb dude. Shooting saw me make a big mistake: single bolt hits the Bell => Bell rings => he moves forwards. Suddenly the Phoenix is exposed. Skaven and all their rules. The rest proceed to kill Stormvermin.

Image
Notice the SWs getting up to his WLC

// SK T1 //

He charges the Phoenix and makes it, which is huge (8+ needed). Magic, can`t remember but nothing significant. Shooting, again nothing. Combat: he puts the force-re-rolls-chieftain into the Frostheart which means I only deal 1W to him. Thunderstomp is big though, which saves me big time as his static is huge and I barely manage to hold.

Image
There is a small Engineer blocking my bus, he`s just impossible to see on the corner

// HE T2 //

Prince charges in to help the Frostheart. Start the grind! The bus reforms to an insanely long blocker and I can only pray his HPA can`t grind me down somehow. He does need 12+ to reach me, so there`s hope still. Shooting sees 2 single bolts hit the HPA despite needing 6s due to storm banner, but no wounds were caused. Magic saw me kill an engineer with soul quench who had moved to block the bus from charging the Bell (again a mistake on my part, pretty much the same as my BR game. Need to start measuring more carefully!). I also get D&D on his HPA.

In combat the Prince is challenged out by the champ but the Frostheart likes its killing and thunderstomping so we`re stuck. SWs kill WLC and run towards the center.

Image

// SK T2 //

Potion of Strength on the Assassin is declared. 2 Slave units charge the blocker, along with the HPA which makes the roll. Due to having to maximise, one unit of Slaves get an insanely long charge. Magic: low cast of Death Frenzy, but a truly terrible dispel attempt sees it go through. Shooting: nada. Combat: bus goes about grinding slaves, HPA kills a few. I stand on stubborn. In my previous reform I took great care to ensure maximum character safety, essentially it`s impossible for him to start targeting me for a few more rounds.

Prince is challenged out by an assassin. I`m lucky that I even survive, but manage to save all wounds despite being down to 5+ re-rollable. I do 1W in return. This time the thunderstomp isn`t big: I lose but the Prince holds, allowing the bird to escape safely.

Image

// HE T3 //

Shadow Warriors charge Slaves to help out. Frostheart rallies. Magic sees a boosted Soulblight go through, which is huge for me. Shooting irrelevant yet again.

In combat the Prince finishes the assassin with a couple of overkill, which helps me hold on a low roll (his static is huge!). The Slaves die in droves but his HPA kill a few as well, he wins just BARELY (we found out the next turn that we had calculated this wrong, I was supposed to have won by 1) and I hold.

Image

// SK T3 //

Last Slaves charge into the bus. Magic sees him cast Deathfrenzy on Slaves. He also gets the no-fly spell off. Shooting nada, and in combat the Prince kills the BSB and holds (finally less CR!) while the bus finally wins, the HPA only scoring the B2B attack with being corner-to-corner so only 1 dead Helm. The HPA still being Doomed fails its break test and runs. There is hope still!

Image

// HE T4 //

Bird charges HPA which runs away. I redirect AND make my 7+ charge into the Slaves` rear. Magic sees me get off boosted Soulblight again. In combat he challenges with his Grey Seer, but I am lucky and score 4 wounds, of which only 1 is saved! The Grey Seer goes down instantly. I hold. Bus + Phoenix win, but he holds with all.

Image

In his next turn the HPA rallies. The Gutter Runners STILL don`t arrive. What happens now is just insane: his Slaves ALL break and explode, which deals a TON of wounds: Frostheart down to 1W, bus down to 1W on the bus itself, AM on 1W, BSB on 1W and Ogre Blade Noble on 1W. The Prince even takes a wound! Stormvermin are severely reduced, so I have 2 choices with my bus since I break him in his T4 (thus I can reform and move in my T5): I can either charge the Bell and hope his HPA doesn`t make it or I can run around, hoping that 2 rounds of GR shooting won`t kill me off. I take my chances with the former and everything I have (including Reavers) hit the Bell.

Image

The Prince struggles to deal enough damage to it so he can`t help with clearing the Stormvermin, so I`m stuck and have to face the HPA which makes the distance (yet again, this is a fast beast!). By this time I had reformed with my rear to the bell to be able to cast SL + Caress on the beast, but to no avail. It hits me and kills the Archmage (300points), the BSB (272 points), the bus (247 points) and the fighter-noble (142 points). The Prince does kill the Bell however and all Stormvermin were dead, so both sides had taken huge points.

In the end, Skaven won by a small margin (less than 150 points) with my General bonus for the Grey Seer keeping me within a 10-10 draw

// Evaluation //

The HPA is a true pain for this list. I probably should`ve dedicated both units of Reavers to it from the get-go. He deployed on unit of Gutter Runners on that side though, which screen Reavers quite effectively.

Shooting the Bell T1 was a huge mistake. The bird was charged and I probably would`ve lost right then and there if it had broken and been run down. Also letting the bus be blockable is bad, especially since the same thing happened last game! I guess I didn`t expect things to hit off so soon.

RBTs in this matchup are largely useless. By the time the game ended I had 5 single bolt hits on the HPA but no wounds were caused (ALL of them because I failed to roll a 3+!). I think the best use for them here is to clear as many Stormvermin as possible before combat begins.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:46 pm 
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Comments on StarCoven v. OK

Thanks for posting this one Curu. I like seeing the reports and getting your thoughts on games which TBH, are an uphill struggle for an army like yours. I think you both made some mistakes (as you noted) and there were some really odd rolls during the match - like all of the IFs you had. Having said this though, I agree that this is a tough game for your list. His T1 shooting was pretty terrible and you were lucky in getting Pha's off on your T1 - I would think this would be his dispel priority without IF as Banishment is unlikely to really affect him in T1 (unlikely to kill a cannon/unit in one go without help/lucky rolls).

With the cannon and belchers performing to even average effect I think this becomes a tough almost no-win scenario for the StarCoven list as you have it. In general I'm not a fan of this build you have as it seems to be very schizophrenic about how it wants to play with some very aggressive units in the SD, bus & phoenix but also wants to keep those squishy mages out of CC. You could move them into the reavers as you did here but this has multiple attached problems, one of them being the lack of BotWD protection as you found here. The other issue then is that you prevent the reavers from doing their jobs as chaff units unless you are willing to either sacrifice mages or disrupt the power of the coven by splitting the mages up. The bus too is fairly weak for such a massive investment in terms of points. You are not as likely to be able to uff this unit/debuff opponents with the lower level mages you have and rubber lance being what it is, I can see the new version of the bus lacking a lot of power. In this case, is it worth such an investment in the StarCoven list?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Very nice reports, particulary enjoy the ogre smashups. Unfortunately doesn't have the time to dissect your playstyle right now, so I'll just throw in one question: Why not two heavens mages With the star dragon? You get magic missiles and double iceshard. In a straight swap you can bring lvl 2 fire, lvl 2 heavens and lvl 1 heavens.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:04 pm 
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@John Rainbow - I will reply more in-depth later. How would you run a Star Dragon list under ETC restrictions? How would you run it under no restrictions? :)

@rusty - I tried this a good few games. Long story short it looks good on paper but works poorly in action. High is just vastly superior and I would think both Light and Shadow are stronger.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:22 pm 
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:: Star Coven - List Evaluation ::

To start off this discussion, I`d just like to quote the list:

Quote:
My list:
Prince on Star Dragon: Star Lance, Dragonhelm, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield = 598

Noble BSB on Barded Steed: Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Banner of the World Dragon = 172
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Dispel Scroll - 155
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Sceptre of Stability - 145
Mage L1 Light on Steed, Ring of Fury - 120
Heroes/Characters: 592/1190

14 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 352
8 Reavers, Champion, bows = 162
8 Reavers, Champion, bows = 162
Core: 676

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Special & Rare: 520

Army Total: 2386


The premise of the discussion is that a Star Dragon will be included. The question thus becomes what is the optimal path(s)? We have already seen a variation perform successfully in multiple events, namely a variant which features 2 Nobles (BSB with BOTWD and a Noble with Stubborn Crown) and 2 High Magic mages in a big bus of Silver Helms. The rest of the list is pretty much identical to mine. Having confirmed that this list is an option, we're basically considering if there exists another possible option (or perhaps several). I believe it's worth exploring because a novel list will inherently hold an advantage over an opponent who hasn't faced it before, since he won't know how it plays he can't counter it perfectly.

So the idea behind the Star Coven is to have the Reavers emulate DE Dark Riders for a bunker, with the mages jumping between the 2 units constantly, if needed. By doing so, they maintain their fast cav bonuses despite the mages always being harboured. I also find, so far at least, that nobody really wants to shoot the mages while the SD and Frostheart are still around. Furthermore, despite being T3 5+, the status of fast cav means Reavers aren't trivial to bring down. In some matchups I can also just keep them with the Helms, with the flyers doing enough damage on their own.

Quote:
In general I'm not a fan of this build you have as it seems to be very schizophrenic about how it wants to play with some very aggressive units in the SD, bus & phoenix but also wants to keep those squishy mages out of CC.


Indeed! This is however something a lot of flexible lists have in common. It's about being able to compete in various stages of the game. The clue here however is the Reavers allowing the mages to stay safe. Losing blockers is a blow, but I don't find that it's that crucial with this list to be honest. If it turns out to be a big deal, I can look at making the Reavers smaller and include an Eagle, which should help in this regard.

Taking a look outside the Star Coven and High Magic bus variant, I believe there are a few more candidates for a Star Dragon list:
- Shooting + Shadow. Basically take 2x L2 with Shadow and load up on as much shooting as you can afford: 4 RBTs and 2x12 Sisters with lots of Archers in core
- Dragon mage + all-out assault. Build the BSB defensively and grab 10 DP with BOTWD along with a big unit of Helms in core. No RBTs mean the list plays hyper-aggressively, but in return you have 4 flying monsters and 2 cav busses. Combined, this list hits like a ton of bricks on the charge.
- Elite infantry support. A big unit of WLs with the BOTWD provides something unique for this list: a big unit that keeps hitting hard and isn't vulnerable to high-quality attacks. As you cannot get this with the Frostheart and RBTs though (or even maxed heroes), I think it eats up too much with the M5 being insufficient, given the meta.

There might be other variants, I'm open for ideas, but these are the main approaches I see as potential. If I find the Star Coven to be insufficient I will probably give the Dragon Mage hyper-aggressive list a try, if nothing else it's unique and its nature fits my playstyle very well. For the fun of it, here's a draft:

Quote:
Prince on Star Dragon: Star Lance, Dragonhelm, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield = 598
Noble BSB on Barded Steed: Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Dawnstone, Ring of Fury = 172
Dragon Mage, L2, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Dispel Scroll = 425
Characters = 1195

17 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 421
5 Reavers, Champion = 90
5 Reavers, Champion = 90
Core = 601

10 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner Bearer with BOTWD = 360
Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Special & Rare: 600

Army Total: 2396

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:08 am 
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My comments weren't about the Star Dragon in general, just the build with the Star-Coven. I think taking the mages has still left you with a sub-par magic phase and with an ineffective SH bus. I think it has also limited a lot of your options and if anything, removed flexibility from the list as you both need to keep the mages together and protected. I don't really think it works in this list alongside the dragon. I much prefer the lists you have drawn up (particularly the DM one) but I also really like the previous lists you had where you ran a more punchy bus with a couple of extra nobles in it alongside the dragon. I think these lists offer a lot more options and have a lot more viability on the tabletop.


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That last one was a bit unfortunate for you Curu. With little flaming attacks, the regen is hard to get rid of.
One thing I'm not sure about is why the bell unit was deployed with so little files. With stormvermin pushing the bell, i'd assume they'd want them fighting, otherwise they may as well have taken clanrats.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:20 am 
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@John - losing the strength of Timewarp is unfortunate. It should be noted that it`s still nasty once the Dragon`s hit combat. However most lists fear at least 2 out of the 3 following: Net of Amyntok, Banishment, Pha`s Protection. That means I always have at least 2 very good spells to cast, usually with 1-2 nice back-up spells as well (e.g. Ring of Fury, Speed of Light). I don`t consider this a sub-par magic phase, given the investment which is only 420 points. True, the strength isn`t near that of a lord level caster, which you could easily get for the same points, but the versatility is a lot better. So far I only have 3 games with the Lore of Light: vs TK Net is disastrous for his bunker, Banishment is really good and here you can even spam Shem`s with good effect. Vs DE Net was a game-changer, Pha`s saved my Dragon (and thus the game) with Speed of Light being a defensive nice-to-have vs Purple Sun (a common situation to be in). Banishment killed off his L4 and was overall a big threat to his flyers. Vs OK here, magic saved the day: giving me a fighting chance and it nearly won me the game (in the final turn I got a huge cast of Timewarp on the Dragon, which would`ve seen his BSB die and the guts break, but he had the scroll intact because of all my previous IFs so he managed to stop it).

In reality, you get 4 heroes. Squeezing in more than this is next to impossible: it might be do-able to go with 4 Nobles and 1 L2 mage with minimal equipment on everyone, but you`re still stuck with the heroes providing nothing but charge-only damage, which the Helms surprisingly do fairly well as is (see my earlier calculation vs Guts for example). Adding more Nobles does not help the bus with its weaknesses: if it gets charged it is only a matter of time before the grind finishes them all off. A stubborn crown Noble makes it resilient, but he can be killed quite easily as well.

To look at it differently, I think neither of my 3 SD + Light Magic games thus far would have been easier with a different configuration. Do you think so? If yes, which game and why?

@NexS - Don`t forget that I started the game with the Phoenix scoring a big thunderstomp and holding, after which I passed a LOT of break tests with the Prince, varying from -1 to -3. As such, I don`t think I was unfortunate. Perhaps I could`ve used the bus differently in the last fight, avoiding all of them dying. I didn`t have to reform for example, nor even make way with the Nobles in the first place (BSB + AM are worth the most point so I could`ve had them in B2B with the Ogre Blade + SH standing in the rear). This would`ve seen me get a comfortable victory and likely been the better option.

The Stormvermin are about flexibility. There`s no point going wide vs me, not unless fighting the bus. He just needs static res and a footprint as small as possible. Furthermore, the Stormvermin can take the Storm Banner which makes a huge difference, even if you only use them for static ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:48 pm 
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I think the game against Ogre Kingdoms got away from you. His turn 1 was absolutely perfect for you, you couldn't have asked for anything better and I think that might have let your guard down subconsciously. You danced around WAY to much in that game. As I read the report I couldn't help thinking "surely the dragon's about to charge" on more than a few turns and it never happened until the very end of the game when you got another break which was enough to force the draw.


I think you need a bit more aggression in this matchup. while its nice conserving the combat points and plucking away with your bolt throwers you never went for his jugular. Then your prince died and your star dragon was left bleeding. Get in combat and get the points ye olde fashion way ;) especially with the Lore of Light buffs there's no reason why you should fear plugging your dragon and phoenix in against maneaters or leadbelchers.


The skaven game was just miserable. Seems like a hard counter. Not nearly as bad a list as I've seen or had the pleasure of playing against but still pretty tough.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Definitely! I was set up to win but spent too much time fooling around. What`s interesting here is that his 10+ gutstar charge really changed things, had he missed this I likely would`ve won BIG. This was partially why I placed the Dragon the way I did. I consider it interesting though because the ensuing tie forces me to look closely at the game, and I believe Phoenix/SD deployment coupled with T1/T2 moves were my biggest mistakes in this game. The Dragon was just always so far away from getting a charge off, which shouldn`t be a problem to set up better knowing his IBs are out of order from T1 onwards.

As for the Skaven list I believe it is as hard as they come under ETC restrictions. It really is a nightmare to face. Perhaps you can add a few more tricks uncomped, but if you stray too far away from this setup you`ll end up lacking flexibility and will have more polarized matchups. This list has virtually no terrible matchups: a few bad ones but there are so many tools around it can handle almost anything well. I should`ve managed a win here I think, I don`t think it`s a hard counter to my list: I consider this matchup neutral.

Speaking of this list, some musings on the cavstar coming up ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:46 pm 
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:: Deathtrain - List Evaluation ::

Again I`d like to start with the current list:

Quote:
Death Archmage L4 Steed, Power Stone, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem = 300
Prince on Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Armour, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon = 282

Lords = 582

Noble BSB on Barded Steed, BOTWD, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance = 172
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm = 141
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Luckstone, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Sword of Anti-Heroes = 141
High Mage Steed, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury = 145

Heroes = 599

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 444
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85

Core = 614

5 Shadow Warriors, Champion = 80
1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240
4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Special & Rare = 600

Army Total = 2395


Last game highlighted an interesting weakness: the HPA. While it is far from the only monster in the game with regen, its damage output coupled with stubborn is just such a hard counter. Most other such stuff I can handle. Regardless, let`s consider what quick fixes I have available. It basically boils down to Lore of Fire or Sisters of Avelorn. Taking Sisters means losing Shadow Warriors. Furthermore, Sisters are only 24" and very fragile, and vs Skaven in particular they will next to never make their shots count because of Storm Banner. Even if they get a wound or two through, the RBTs can`t follow up with significant damage. Yet another point about Sisters is that they provide +1 drop, something I don`t like.

So Lore of Fire then. Basically my L1 High Mage is in there so I can grab 2 magic missiles (the second being Ring of Fury). Fireball vs Soul Quench is an interesting matchup: the 36" range of the boosted Fireball is very appealing as the mage is rarely in range for soul quench in avoidance-based matchups early on. So not only does this help vs the HPA and similar stuff (to a degree, it`s not a hard counter), it also helps vs WE, DE, HE and probably a few more I`m not considering at the moment.

So, given that I`m taking the Lore of Fire, what other options do we have out there? Turns out, quite a few interesting ones! Flaming Sword of Ruin is very nice, Flame Cage is very nice and synergizes great with this list`s blitzkrieg style of play, but lastly also Piercing Bolts of Burning add a lot of utility in matchups that can otherwise be annoying: vs Skavenslaves stacked 5x8 it averages a little over 2 ranks down, which can mean the difference between them being steadfast or not when the bus hits home. OnG and Beastmen also fear this spell. The long story short is that finding the extra 35 points is at least worth trying out...

...and it turns out it`s not so hard! The third Noble has recently been fielded with Sword of Anti-Heroes and Luckstone, along with the mandatory TOTS. The problem with SoAH is that enemy heroes need to be in B2B with the Helms for it to matter, which can largely be negated by the units where it makes a big difference. Also, against RnF his charge is really weak if there are no characters around. As such, I`ll be looking to strip away these 2 items, which will give me the points needed for an L2 mage. Annoyingly I don`t have points to give him a lance, so the BSB loses his lance (he doesn`t need to be in the front rank anyway if it`s a hard unit I`m engaging) so this guy gets one. He ends up being a cheap utility Noble with the TOTS, allowing for more magic:

Quote:
Death Archmage L4 Steed, Power Stone, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem = 300
Prince on Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Armour, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon = 282

Lords = 582

Noble BSB on Barded Steed, BOTWD, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm = 141
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, The Other Trickster`s Shard = 112
Fire Mage Steed L2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury = 180

Heroes = 599

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 444
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85

Core = 614

5 Shadow Warriors, Champion = 80
1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240
4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Special & Rare = 600

Army Total = 2395


Thoughts? :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:02 pm 
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I think this highlights why I like dragon princes so much more than I like the silver helms bus. You're essentially paying a 97 point tax to take the Other Tricksters Shard which could be placed on the BsB and you'd either keep the sword of anti heroes or swap to a sword of might and keep grinding ability longer. It also gets you another magic weapon (I like the star lance) for the champion within the unit cost without paying the 91 points for a noble in heavy armor, shield and b.steed.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:01 pm 
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But DP are special, so you pay the big price anyway if you want full RBTs and a bird (which I do). I can see their value with high magic and a more flexible approach, but not as a deathstar. If I were to evolve this list I think I would likely keep the Helmbus and L4 death, but probably include WL with BOTWD instead. This is a totally different list though.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:42 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:

Quote:
Death Archmage L4 Steed, Power Stone, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem = 300
Prince on Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Armour, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon = 282

Lords = 582

Noble BSB on Barded Steed, BOTWD, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm = 141
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, The Other Trickster`s Shard = 112
Fire Mage Steed L2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury = 180

Heroes = 599

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 444
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85

Core = 614

5 Shadow Warriors, Champion = 80
1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240
4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Special & Rare = 600

Army Total = 2395


Thoughts? :)


This list looks really inefficient to me. Maybe it manages to pack in what you need, but it looks unrefined and too squeezed. Having to spend 112 points on TOTS is horrible. Wouldn't mind so much if he also either packed a punch or could tank, but he's basically a caddy with a smallish boost on the charge and negligible benefit in a grind. How much do you value Ogre blade on your other noble? He could have Starlance, enchanted shield, TOTS (and give dragonhelm to prince), or sword of might, TOTS, and 15pts of protection to taste. Not as grindy, but saves 112 points...this isn't quite enough for a unit of DPs with flaming (or without), but it is enough for a 5-man helm squad if there's nothing in special which you fancy. It is an extra drop, but I'd imagine there's a fair bit of utility you could get from it. If I'm honest I don't know what the points are best spent on, but if you go 4 (especially mounted) heroes at least one of them is going to look inefficient, and that's certainly the case here IMO. Does it work better in the field than on paper? Possibly - you tell me :P .

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:30 pm 
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True, he is expensive for what he does. However, having S6 ASF and being able to charge out of the unit is also highly valuable. The question is basically where to invest the points elsewhere? The Ogre Blade is essential because it is the only way to maintain some grinding power aside from the Prince.

I find small units of Helms to be largely useless. I know some people like taking 2-3 small units of Helms in core, but it`s not something I`ve had good experience with so far. There are so many matchups where they just don`t do anything. They sure cannot replace the versatility of a Noble, even if he pays a pretty steep price for TOTS.

In the end I`ll have to playtest it. I just know that whenever I face something with a ward, TOTS is so incredibly valuable. As my cavstar reports thus far have shown, being able to solo-charge either with an expendable dude (TOTS) or a more grindy dude (Ogre Blade) or the boss himself (Prince) is a lot of where this list`s strength comes from. In a way, playing a deathstar like this revereses the way you think about army composition I find: it becomes more and more about what the unit can do than about how you select other elements to support it. Case in question: the L2 mage upgrade costing me the 3rd Noble´s equipment. It is basically a trade I have to make to increase my options and ranged threat projection from the bus.

Again though, playtesting needed ;) There`s a local tournament running this weekend that I couldn`t attend (nor do I care much 2k points, I made a rough list which is pretty much identical to what Hans is bringing but in the end I don`t think it can cope with an uncomped environment and yes, I was busy anyway) so I don`t know when I`ll get the next game (which will be a Star Dragon one by the way), but I`ll be looking to play one as soon as I have time!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:42 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Okidoky so it`s time for me to jump the big-bus-high-magic bandwagon as well. Yesterday`s game showed two things: Star Council doesn`t work (not with this configuration at least) because by putting the mages in the bus, they are super-vulnerable to so many things. While I probably could`ve played more aggressively, throughout the game I had to beware of dual-charges on the bus (the Dreadlord can easily eat 2 mages in one phase while a flyer kills the champ in a challenge), it`s just a disastrous proposition. With a second Noble there instead along with High Magic, suicide-charging is a lot less lucrative because you are not shutting down my magic immediately and you face possible counter-charges from the monsters.

Perhaps the Star Coven can work in a list sort of mimicing the DE one I played yesterday: i.e. lots of Archers in core, RBTs and the mages on foot. The awkward problem here is getting both Archers for shooting/bunker and Silver Helms for BSB. The BSB could be on foot as well, but this puts some serious constraints on how the list can play. Since I`m looking for an aggressive list, I`m not going to try out this approach (not for now, anyway) but I do believe it could be an interesting idea. You could even take it further and ditch the Frostheart for Sisters of Avelorn, creating a true bowline with the Star Dragon as a strong counter-pusher.

So, bandwagon-time. While I`ve had very few games recently with the Dragon, I believe it`s all about quality over quantity and one single game can tell you a lot about how your list plays. Essentially, game 1 taught me that the Star Dragon relies on magical support. I consider 2x L2 mandatory. The question then is whether 2 or 3 mages is the way to go. 3 proved to be one too many, because you cannot run them in a secondary unit and be safe: their mobility is too small. I really do believe this would`ve been viable though if the mages (like WE and DE) had been fast cav on steeds, which would`ve allowed for an ER-bunker (which I believe could work very well with this list). Thus, we`re looking at 2 mages. To protect these in the bus (BSB with BOTWD on steed is also mandatory for this type of list), a second Noble is also called for. With all these things set in stone, there`s not a whole lot left to choose. 600 points in lords, 600 heroes, 600 core and RBTs + Frostheart = 520. The choice boils down to an Eagle and slightly more core or Shadow Warriors, both of which I believe have their merits.

Anyway, enough rambling. Let`s take a look at the new list draft:

Quote:
Prince on Star Dragon: Star Lance, Dragonhelm, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield = 598

Noble BSB on Barded Steed: Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Banner of the World Dragon = 172
Noble on Barded Steed: Dragon Armour, Lance, Enchanted Shield, Luckstone, Ironcurse Icon = 116
Mage L2 High on Steed, Dispel Scroll - 155
Mage L2 High on Steed, Ring of Fury - 155
Heroes/Characters: 598/1196

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 444
5 Reavers, Champion = 90
5 Reavers, Champion = 90
Core: 624

1 Great Eagle = 50
4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Special & Rare: 570

Army Total: 2390


Going back a bit, I am eager to hear your thoughts on the topic above ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:30 am 
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Curu, have you considered life mages for topping up the wounds on the dragon and prince?

Just getting a single spell off, even if it's not regrowth will be a bonus.

You have the ring for chaff and ward bonus.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:01 am 
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I have. The problem is it`s only good on paper. Dwellers can`t be cast on 5D6 with an L2 and Regrowth can`t target the Dragon (unless the rider is dead). This leaves the entire lore with the neat sum of 0 useful spells in so many situations: basically I only benefit from Lifebloom. I don`t see this as superior to High Magic, where I can usually grab Apotheosis.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Another run with the Star Coven sees me finally face a favourable matchup.

.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Lizardmen (ETC comp) .::.

My list:
Prince on Star Dragon: Star Lance, Dragonhelm, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield = 598

Noble BSB on Barded Steed: Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Banner of the World Dragon = 172
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Dispel Scroll - 155
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Sceptre of Stability - 145
Mage L1 Light on Steed, Ring of Fury - 120
Heroes/Characters: 592/1190

14 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 352
8 Reavers, Champion, bows, musician = 172
8 Reavers, Champion, bows = 162
Core: 676

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Special & Rare: 520

Army Total: 2396

His list:
Slann, super-channel, all signatures, quango, razor standard, store dispel dice
2x L1 Heavens, both with scrolls
2x Saurus Heroes on cold ones, 1 with dawnstone and fireward, other with 4++

4x10 Skink Skirmishers
2x21 Skinks
16 Skinks

28 Temple Guard, FC, +1LD
2x1 Salamander

5 Chameleon Skinks
9 Chameleon Skinks

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

While this can definitely go badly for me with all the poison and Searing Doom, it`s a matchup without WMs AND I don`t have infantry for him to slowly whittle away. I can dominate a part of the board which I decide, which is a welcome change when facing Lizardmen.

I got a very good start with near-perfect vision for all RBTs, which were also positioned offensively to put pressure on him early on and I would advance anyway. His on the other hand was very poor, with lots of units outside of LD-bubble and the large Chameleon super-exposed T1. Magic saw him roll Iceshard + Comet, I got Pha´s, Banishment, Timewarp, Speed of Light, Burning Gaze.

Image

With +1 to go first, I managed to overcome his 6 by rolling a 6 of my own!

// HE T1 //

Dragon moved up max to flame Chameleon Skinks. Frostheart followed behind along with the bus. Magic saw me fail to cast my first spell, rest was easily contained. Shooting was a blast: RBTs combined to kill a Salamander which caused a cascade of panic tests with multiple units fleeing off the board. The big Chameleon unit lost 7/9 and panicked as well. The Reavers on the West followed up by putting no less than 3W on the Chameleon Skinks who failed panic as well. An amazing start!

Image

// LZ T1 //

He immediately started moving his units around to shoot the Dragon. Most fleeing stuff rallied, except for the ones needing snake eyes. Magic saw him get IF boosted Searing Doom which took 2W off the Dragon and removed Golden Crown. Poison followed up in his shooting phase with 3W on the Dragon (I rolled next to no saves) and 1 on the Prince. Suddenly my good start wasn`t looking as promising still.

Image

// HE T2 //

I thought for a while. I needed to neutralize his poison. I still had the scroll intact so I could potentially keep the Dragon alive for one more turn with regards to magic. In the end I decided to do the following:

Image

Western Reavers into small, rallied Chameleon. He fled, as I expected. I redirected into Skinks, he stood and shot but no panic was caused. Then SD goes into Skirmishers. This was important to do first, because if he flees I have to re-think the rest of my moves. He stood and shot, no wounds. Frostheart into Saurus + Priest + Skinks (19"). He holds. Bus into the same unit (17" or 18"), he holds. Reavers into the same (15"), he holds. The Frostheart fails to make its distance while all cavalry make theirs. This presents a truly awkward situation because I can`t put the Helms on the right side and the Reavers on the left side if I want to maximise attacks (which I have to), because my footprints are too big. This forces the bus to contact the hero. See the blue circle in the picture above? Yep, that`s the L1 mage on the corner.

Magic draws a scroll but is otherwise contained. Shooting brings down a few TG I believe.

In combat his Cold One kills my L1 mage. This forces an L2 mage to the front, which the Hero kills. I kill a lot of his Skinks so he needs snake eyes, fails and I run him down. The bus fails to roll the 10+ needed to overrun into Skirmishers behind, however. This is a huge blow, having lost so much magical potential I can`t hang back and win the game with the SD/prince preserving points I think because I have nothing with which to threaten him at a distance whereas his missiles and poison will slowly but surely rank up kills. Anyway, the skinks vs the Dragon hold (!), leaving me safe, for now. Reavers beat the Skirmishers who run off the table (through multiple units) but I fail to overrun into the Chameleons behind and am left in the open.

Image

// LZ T2 //

Skinks on the East pass their march test and get into an incredibly strong position: from where they are now they are blocking my Helms from making an effective reform and furthermore they are threatening Reavers, and the Dragon (if I want to escape this is the best path). From the rest of this turn he doesn`t do too much, except for panicking the Reavers on the West.

Image

// HE T3 //

I know I need the Phoenix helping the Dragon but I just need to pray I`m lucky here so I charge the Skinks blocking the cavalry with the Phoenix to clear them out. He runs, I fail charge. Reavers charge them off the table. My last mage moves to block the TG with the Dragon going up behind him. The bus moves to counter-charge. The idea is to run with the mage, hold with the Dragon and pray I`m lucky. I can`t double-flee because I`ll lose the scroll and the Dragon will be highly vulnerable to Searing Doom and without the Phoenix being able to counter-charge it`s a grim prospect.

Magic sees me get a big phase, but I get IF on boosted Pha`s Protection. Shooting removes more TG, but it`s not enough, I fear.

Image

// LZ T3 //

He charges the mage, I flee. He redirects into the Dragon. I figure with Pha`s up, I might be lucky. Magic gives him a big phase, Spirit Leech starts it off and kills the mage. I then contain ALL combat buffs as he`s too greedy. In combat the Prince goes down, the Dragon targets the hero with all 6 attacks but 1+ re-rollable is hard to get through. 1W caused. I thunderstomp a few but lose, hold on stubborn. He reforms to have my Helms in his front.

Image

// HE T4 //

Helms into TG. Phoenix turns around. Magic gives Phoenix extra ward. Shooting kills Skinks.

In combat his Saurus challenges. I accept with the Helms` champion. The thinking is as follows: if I can hold one more round with the SD, the Frostheart comes in. Thus, I can decline with the BSB in my next turn and get his lance attacks this round, hopefully felling a TG or two instead of suiciding to the Saurus. The Champ dies, but my Helms + SD make a big impact on the TG, who hold on stubborn. The SD doesn`t even take any wounds. Would it be enough?

Image

// LZ T4 //

Magic sees my opponent throw LOTS of debuffs on the Helms (??). I let it all through and the BSB declines the challenge. Despite hitting on 6`s and needing 6`s to wound him the Helms score an unsaved wound. The Dragon kills the hero, but this time the 3 TG in B2B step up and kill him off with their 6 attacks, dealing 3 unsaved wounds. The Helms break and he pursues off the table.

Sorry, no picture

// HE T5 //

I brainfart as I bring the Phoenix to bear against his Skinks which have started running towards my West flank. I was hoping to score points for his L1 mage + the unit, I didn`t even consider simply awaiting the return of his TG (only 7 left, easily doable in 2 rounds of combat!). Anyway the Skinks ran and I shot them up, but not enough to get points.

Image

After this the TG returned to the table. His magic didn`t accomplish anything and my shooting scored no more points. In the end the battle was extremely bloody, I had 1.5 units of Reavers, 4 RBT and 1 unharmed (!) Frostheart left whereas he had 2 units of Skinks, half TG and the Slann along with an L1 mage. He was comfortably ~400 points ahead, sadly an 8-12 loss for the High Elves.

// Evaluation //

Quick and dirty: T1 was perfect. T2 was terrible. Reavers charging in along with Helms cost me the game. T3, I probably could have reformed the Helms here somehow by going 4 wide or something (after moving the Reavers first) which would`ve allowed Frostheart to help the SD vs TG. The rest was just rolling dice, apart from T5 brainlag Frostheart which should`ve awaited the TG for a T6 charge (there is ~1000 points to be gained if everything goes down).

List evaluation coming up :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:40 am 
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Location: Oslo, Norway
The Deathtrain face the dreaded Skaven!

.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Skaven (ETC comp) .::.

Death Archmage L4 Steed, Power Stone, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem = 300
Prince on Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Armour, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon = 282

Lords = 582

Noble BSB on Barded Steed, BOTWD, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm = 141
Noble on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, The Other Trickster`s Shard = 112
Fire Mage Steed L2, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury = 180

Heroes = 599

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 444
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85

Core = 614

5 Shadow Warriors, Champion = 80
1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240
4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Special & Rare = 600

Army Total = 2395

His list:
Grey Seer, Screaming bell, General, Fencers Blade, Dragonbane gem, Scroll of shielding, Skalm

Chieftain, Bsb, Warbanner, Greatweapon
Warlock Engineer, lvl 1, dispel scroll
Warlock Engineer, lvl 1, brass orb
Assassin, Weeping blade, Potion of strength

39 Stormvermin, Full command, Stormbanner
40 Slaves, champion, musician
40 Slaves, champion, musician
40 Slaves, champion, musician

9 Gutter runners, Slings, Poison, 2x Hand weapon
9 Gutter runners, Slings, Poison, 2x Hand weapon

Hellpit abomination
Warplightning cannon
Doomwheel

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

Same player and list as I faced in my last game, with a slight variation: the second chieftain has been changed along with a couple of other minor things for a Doomwheel. This time my own list also had a slight variation, with an L2 fire mage instead of L1 high.

We rolled an interesting table with 3 hills and I got the "best" side. Deployment was fine, I was directly opposite his bell-unit and not too much dangerous terrain to roll through.

Image
The Screaming Bell is only a tray whereas the Bretonnian Trebuchet is a Doomwheel

I got Spirit Leech, Caress, Soulblight, D&D. Fire took Fireball and Flaming Sword. He got all the stuff he wanted. With +1, I went first.

// HE T1 //

Everything marched up with the cav and the frostie barely touching the hill. Magic drew a scroll with multiple snipes targeting his Brass Orb Engineer. Shooting saw some Slaves die with lack of a better target.

Image

// SK T1 //

His Stormvermin had a 10+ charge on the Phoenix but he decided not to take it. Instead he started chaffing away with the Hell Pit moving backwards. Magic saw me dispel Skitterleap, Scorch killed 4 Shadow Warriors and Howling Warpgale was up. As long as the Brass Orb is alive keeping both skitterleap and howling warpgale out of play is nearly impossible and the first has priority. Shooting saw the WLC target the Phoenix but it failed to wound with S2.

Image

// HE T2 //

So basically I see 4 units I have to chew through to get to a victory: my Reavers, SWs and RBTs will die so by killing Slaves + WLC + Doomwheel + Hellpit it`s pretty much a draw: to win I need to kill off the Stormvermin. Thus, the 3 Slaves and Hellpit are just trying to deny me a chance at winning. First things first: The Hellpit is a lot harder to handle than the Slaves. I decided to take a turn of magical barrage since reducing it a bit is essential. Thus the bus didn`t engage this turn, but the Phoenix jumped into Slaves to lock them down. Reavers moved to deny his Stormvermin/HPA a charge on the Bird.

Magic saw him let through a 2D6 Fireball on the Hell Pit, but I only dealt 1W. He then used scroll of shielding to keep his Brass Orb dude @1W when I got caress through. I finished with a 1D6 DnD on his Hellpit which he failed to dispel on 3D6. Some amazing rolls on my side here. Shooting saw me put another wound on the HPA despite -3 to hit (Storm Banner was declared for this reason).

Image

// SK T2 //

Slaves block deathtrain, HPA engages Reavers. Magic sees me save my dice for Crack`s Call, but he IFs. Phoenix passes its I-test, luckily! In shooting, the Brass Orb targets the Phoenix... and scatters off! Lucky me. In combat the Reavers only lose 2 (!).

Image

// HE T3 //

Time to engage, if I want to have enough turns to go into his castle. T1 my opponent had miscast with something and he got all in b2b contact, so bsb + L1 mage with the Stormvermin were all left on 1W. Last turn his Crack`s Call IF had left his mage dead (with the remaining one in the slaves I wanted to charge). His Slaves were lined up so that my Archmage in the second rank would have his BSB in my front arc, perfect! The bus charged in.

Magic saw me land Spirit Leech on the BSB, killing him. I then cast Flaming Sword of Ruin on the Reavers, which he failed to dispel. Shooting did nothing. When combat started I made a huge mistake: the Hellpit had DnD on it so I should have started with this combat first: if the Reavers die the HPA takes a panic test @LD5 due to nearby friends breaking. Furthermore, by killing the Slaves first they explode, possibly killing Reavers. So yes, I started with the Slaves and they exploded. He needed a 2+ to reach the Reavers with the explosion and failed, getting a 1. I breathed a sigh of relief and the Reavers followed up with putting 2W on the HPA (thanks, Flaming Sword!) so it was now left on 2W.

Image

// SK T3 //

He contemplated charging my deathtrain with bell + hpa, but decided against it because the latter only had 2W left. He sent it into the Phoenix instead, with the Bell trying to shuffle away. Magic - can`t remember but he had no threats at this point. Shooting saw the West flank starting to take casualties with RBTs dropping to Doomwheel and Gutter Runners, but this was inevitable.

In combat the Frostheart dealt 3 wounds to the HPA and with him failing 2 regen saves, the beast was dead.

Image

// HE T4 //

His Slaves were placed so that they would make an opening for his bus to flank the Phoenix if I charged them with the bus and they held. Killing enough for him to lose steadfast should be a trivial matter though, so I charged in. Magic saw me get Soulblight on the Slaves to ensure their destruction, and I finished off with an IF Flaming Sword on my bus (so even the horses would kill on 2s) which drained away my magic levels.

In combat I destroyed the Slaves and reformed to block a charge on my bird.

Image

After this, he had no more units capable of delaying me, so I hit his Stormvermin with the bus and moved the Phoenix to a position where it could charge T6 (thus dodging the S7 assassin) and I also placed it to make a shot from the WLC very unlikely to hit (in fact it was impossible for him to target me due to the combat):

Image

The Prince was challenged by GS which he killed, but as the Bell was alive at the end I got no points for it. I killed all Stormvermin and the Assassin.

Counting up points I was just over 750 ahead, a 16-4 victory to the High Elves!

// Evaluation //

I didn't miss Sword of Anti-Heroes, whereas the extra firepower and TOTS was vital. I'm sure this Noble has poor matchups, but I think he currently stands as a worthwhile investment. The strategy in this game was fine I think, I was lucky to keep the bird alive but one of the few lucky rolls he did get was ensuring he could put pressure on it in the first place: the Brass Orb dude can easily die to death snipes and his IF Crack`s Call "should" be dispelled. While talking about rolls though, my opponent truly had some horrible ones this game. The WLC got off 3 shots or so at the Phoenix, doing nothing. His miscast put his mages back very early and his BSB was super-vulnerable to Spirit Leech. He failed to dispel DnD on 3D6 3 times I believe, but in the end it didn`t matter so I guess that part was irrelevant.

I think this list is one of the few builds we have that can really compete with a strong Skaven list. I have faced Skaven with lots of different configurations and they just have so many tools against our infantry and monsters. In this game, keeping the Phoenix alive was essential (it did help kill the Assassin in the end which would otherwise have survived), without it I might not even have won at all seeing as another unit of Slaves would potentially be redirecting me.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:23 pm 
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I accidentally edited this report post :( Will hopefully have time to get the original back up

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:01 am 
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Hey!

Nice reports! This is a marginal point but why did you overrun when the bus killed furies in turn one? Why didn't you just reform so that the bus could see his army and potentially get the charge in turn two? Now your opponent didn't have to chaff you up in turn two. Off course in this match up it's always pretty good option just go forward and have some purple fun like you did.


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