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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:22 pm 
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:: Star Coven - Looking Ahead ::

I tried various ways of playing the Star Coven some time ago. The long story short is that I didn`t find it feasible because the mages were too exposed. However I have since thought of 2 things that might make such an approach more valid: First of all, by having Crown of Command on a mage, you can afford to run the Helms around in a 3 or 4 wide manner, depending on how likely the champ is to die (thus forcing a mage to the front). The problem with this approach is that the Helms are suddenly very, very reduced in the roles they can play: applying static combat res becomes nearly impossible (apart from bringing a banner + bsb into combat) and the sheer size of a proper bus means that you`ll have a huge footprint that`s hard to move around as you please. It is however superior to keeping the mages in a 5-wide bus with the huge inherent risk of losing one or two in combat every time you charge something, depending on how many initiative steps you are up against.

Anyway, let`s take a look at a sample list:

Stubborn Bus Star Coven wrote:
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, Spear, Shield, Banner of the World Dragon = 168
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Dispel Scroll - 155
Mage L2 Light on Steed, Sceptre of Stability - 145
Mage L1 Light on Steed, Crown of Command - 130
Heroes/Characters: 598/1196

15 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 375
5 Reavers, champ = 90
5 Reavers = 80
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core: 630

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

Army Total: 2396


As some of you may remember, I tried for a short time to run bunkers of reavers for the mages. While I didn`t find it to be successful, the problem was not the Reavers themselves, but the lack of magical and miscast protection from BOTWD, as well as a reduced bus which was basically a huge points sink. I think the problem here was that I didn`t take the concept far enough outside of the box. What is far enough outside of the box you might ask? Read on:

Reaver Bunkers Star Coven wrote:
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, Ironcurse Icon - 150
Mage L1 Light on Steed, Ring of Fury - 120
Heroes/Characters: 597/1195

10 Reavers, bows = 170
9 Reavers, bows, champion = 163
9 Reavers, bows = 153
6 Silver Helms, Shields, Champion = 148
Core: 634

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

Army Total: 2399


A possible change here would be to reduce the Reavers to 2 bunkers to include another Helm dart. The Helms` main purpose is to provide the Star Dragon with a challenger to ensure the Prince brings the Star Lance to full effect. The idea of triple reaver bunker was presented by a clubmate who originally had a different idea: play High Elves in a highly annoying avoidance manner. Consider the following:

Catch me if you can while I burn you! wrote:
Anointed on Flamespyre Phoenix, Dawnstone, Giant Blade, Potion of Foolhardiness, Enchanted Shield = 530

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, Ironcurse Icon - 150
Mage L1 Light on Steed, Ring of Fury - 120
Heroes/Characters: 597/1127

10 Reavers, bows = 170
10 Reavers, bows = 170
10 Reavers, bows = 170
5 Silver Helms, Champion, Shields = 125
Core: 635

Flamespyre Phoenix = 225
Flamespyre Phoenix = 225
2x1 RBT = 140
Rare: 590

Army total = 2352


Some new ideas here for sure. If I return to try an offensive Light Coven, I`m definitely looking to go with one of these lists ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:46 pm 
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:: The Necessity Of Multiple Mages To Support The Star Dragon ::

The following analysis is based on 2400 point armies

This is a topic whose headline I find to be the sad truth, unfortunately. I have been completely unable to create a list that I like which doesn`t feature at least 4 levels in magic alongside a Star Dragon. First, let us look back at how it used to be: In our old book you always got Drain Magic for free: A spell that was cast on 7+ and increased all casting values from there on out by +3. Tremendous spell to get for free if you ask me. Furthermore, we got Shield of Saphery as a signature spell, a 5+ to cast 18" 5+ ward augment. Together, these spells were almost always useful, easy to cast and, perhaps most importantly, you always got them if you wanted them. Add to this, we had potential game-breakers such as Vaul`s Unmaking (remove a select magic item 24", 12+ to cast) and Flames of the Phoenix (24" S3 flaming hit on every model in unit, increases +1S per turn, 11+ to cast). Between this, I found we could get by with a single Level 2. He gave me amazing amounts of return for the tiny investment, also in big parts due to Annulian Crystal. I`m not saying it was optimal, but I do believe it was feasible. Freeing up the points you`d otherwise spend on a second mage allowed for a LOT of freedom. I feel the following report demonstrates this very well (pay attention to T1 and T2 magic offense. The mage cost ~180 points). HE vs VC.

So, fast forward to our new book. We now "only" get 2 spells. On the upside, we have 2 signatures, both of which are quite good. On the downside, both our signatures are heavily dependent on context: Soul Quench has short range and cannot be cast if the mage is in combat, Shield of Saphery really only benefits a unit if it`s being targeted and Drain Magic only works to dispel enemy magic, rather than prevent it as the old one did. Why I wouldn`t say High Magic got worse (the inclusion of spells such as Apotheosis and Walk Between Worlds are total game-changers), it became less flexible for a barebones mage investment. Furthermore, the casting values have increased, so despite the +1 to cast you need to spend more dice: especially since you`re likely to try and boost Soul Quench/Walk Between Worlds every now and then. This significantly increases the frequency of miscasts, which leads to BOTWD protection pretty much being a necessity. This is doubly true bearing in mind the short range of High Magic spells, meaning your mage often has to go close to the action where death snipes etc are abundant.

Why have I only considered High Magic thus far? Long story short: No other lores sport more than 2 spells (whereas High Magic used to, hence the logical starting point) and no other lores come close to High in terms of flexibility in the context of a Star Dragon list. True, lores like Beasts and Heavens have really good signatures, but what else? There`s no healing, no damage prevention and what you`ll get will vary greatly from game to game with few game-changers.

But but, I hear you say. There are items that provide you with more spells! Yes indeed, there are. The problem with these is that they are just as situational as our signatures. If we had the Empire`s Ring of Volans, we might actually consider a one-mage approach... But then again, taking that ring is a one-use only and it`s too expensive to combine with a dispel scroll, so probably not. The question is then, can you possibly create a context where the Ring of Fury is worthwhile? This context essentially means that the mage has to stay out of combat, which means that the BSB has to stay out of combat to provide BOTWD protection as there is no other sensible unit to carry the BOTWD with the purpose being to stay outside of combat. Keeping the BSB out of combat is, contrary to popular belief, a very sensible option seeing as he`ll always be squishy when he carries the BOTWD: Even fully armoured on an armoured horse he`s only T3 2+ W2 - not much to write home about. The question then becomes bunker. What kind of a bunker could these guys possibly benefit from? In a nutshell, there are 3 options:
- Silver Helms
- 2 or more units of Ellyrian Reavers
- Infantry
Silver Helms obviously provide the best protection with a way stronger armour save than Reavers. They do however suffer from a lack of mobility since they are not fast cav. With 2 units of Reavers acting as dedicated bunkers, you could possibly run them around swapping characters every turn (in effect they would still maintain fast cav benefits). I have found that this works well with Light Mages, at least well enough to warrant more playtesting, but there`s a huge difference between Light and High: Banishment has the range of a Bolt Thrower. Soul Quench has the range of a Short Bow. Whereas Reavers are relatively easy to keep safe when you can stay far away, having to get them up in the face of your opponent is nothing short of insanity. Infantry are an interesting choice because they have the most wounds to cover your characters per points invested, but in a meta where armour and speed dominates, you`ll have a huge points sink that is easy to grab for a skilled opponent. Effectively you need to dedicate the rest of your army to keep them safe - if you want to do so - which is detrimental to their intended role: They are there to support the Dragon, not the other way around.

That leaves us with Silver Helms. A unit that are only 3 wide with Full Command are relatively mobile: With such a small frontage even relatively big wheels expend fairly little movement, their armour means they can get relatively close without fearing a wipe-out, and lastly they are strong enough to probably wipe out anything that isn`t dedicated to combat. Could it work? Possibly, but given that we need Reavers and/or Helms darts and/or preferably a bus to bring some static res alongside the Dragon, our Core Tax is running out of points. It`s thus time to see a barebones setup and perhaps calculate some points to see what, if anything, we have potentially gained from this trade.

BSB BOTWD Horse with horse armour, stuff to protect dude, stuff to provide dude with some much needed S6 on charge = 172 points
Mage with mandatory level upgrade, bound spell item and 1+ scroll on naked horse = 180
Hero points spent = 352/600 - 248 left to spend.
12 Core cavalry with mandatory armour upgrade and front rank occupiers = 306
Core tax spent = 306/600 - 294 left to spend.
Actually, this kind of looks half promising. The big question is, can we get something real for the rest of these points? First, let`s turn to the rare section: We want at least a Frostheart and an Eagle and 3 RBTs. From here, we can either add an RBT or another Eagle, but not both. Let`s assume the Eagle, this makes our rare section cost 550 points. In other words, our core can go up to 650, which means we can potentially bring the following: 14 Silver Helms with Shields and Full Command = 352. I assume we can ditch one model from the bunker for the sake of argument, which means we have enough for 3 full ranks (woho!). In a perfect world then, our Silver Helms provide +3 static combat resolution when helping out the big Dragon. If we want this configuration, we are sacrificing Reavers in core. An alternative setup is 2 barebones Helm darts (250 points), leaving us enough points for a unit of Reavers. This setup has no static res bonus worth speaking of and no way to break any kind of steadfast.

The first setup allows us to field 2 more Nobles on Barded Steeds with fairly decent setup. This does provide a bus that has unparalleled power compared to most SD support busses, but it lacks magical protection from BOTWD. The upside is of course that you -can- of course place the BSB here. With 3 Nobles, 2 of which are decently equipped, we are starting to get some serious fighting power out of what is essentially a supporting unit. Let`s have a look:
Noble on Barded Steed with Ogre Blade, Enchanted Shield, Heavy Armour = 134
Noble on Barded Steed with Potion of Strength, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance = 117
This brings our hero total to 603, which is slightly too much. We could ditch the BSB`s Lance for a Spear though, saving 4 points. This adds up and we`re pretty much at the very edge of what we can afford. 2 fighter heroes that are expendable sounds nice, but remember that we haven`t only lost our second mage but also our Reavers.

The second setup doesn`t care about grinding anyway, so we might as well continue our Blitzkrieg approach. For 260 points, we could get a Noble on a Griffon with Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Lance and Heavy Armour. Degrading Lance to Spear for the BSB, we still don`t have the points though: 168 + 180 = 348, so we need to cut 8 points from this Griffon. The only logical place to do this is the Dawnstone, which allows for very little in terms of defense. The best I can do for this guy (remember 17 points to spend) is probably Potion of Foolhardiness, Luckstone and Lion Cloak.

Are there other setups here that make sense? Dual-Noble on Eagles sounds interesting, but are there points left over to make this worthwhile?
Noble on Eagle x2 = 240. Dang, nope, I`m sorry. What about one on an Eagle and a barebones one to ride with the naked Helms?
Noble on Eagle with Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Heavy Armour, Lance, Potion of Strength = 180
Noble on Barded Steed with Lance, Shield, Heavy Armour = 97
Total = 277, which is far too much given our 252 budget. There is nothing obvious we could ditch either, as even leaving the Potion of Strength and the Lance for a spear, we`re still not there (601 points). We could leave the Dawnstone, which makes the Eagle a glasscannon if there ever was one.

To summarize then, our options include 2 decent fighter nobles, a griffon noble with fairly minimal equipment and lastly a naked barded steed noble + fairly naked great eagle noble. At this point, it`s time to remember what the rest looks like: by taking this approach we also gave up a bit of our core flexibility and we`re down to 2 units of Helms (one for protection, one for assault) or one protective unit of Helms + MSU cav support. Furthermore, our magic is tied up to S4 18" ranged magic missiles and we have invested a hefty amount to keep that magic around (if successful, lots of points are preserved as well though). It`s important to remember that we`re not trading 2x L2 for 1x L2 + some more fighting power and core changes, we`re also trading out massive amounts of magical flexibility. Anyone who`s ever gotten a crucial Apotheosis through on a Star Dragon knows what I`m talking about, and 2x L2s have a 90% chance of getting one specific spell whereas a single level 2 has only a 44% chance. Risky, at best. Madness, at worst.

Taking a step back then, here is a sample of the alternative, go with the magic investment:
Quote:
Prince on Star Dragon: Dragonhelm, Star Lance, Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Shield = 598
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Banner of the World Dragon, Heavy armour, Shield, Lance = 172
Noble on Barded Steed, Enchanted Shield, Heavy Armour, Ogre Blade = 134
Mage L2 on Steed, Scroll = 155
Mage L2 on Steed, Ironcurse Icon = 135
Heroes = 596, Characters = 1194

16 Silver Helms, Full Command & Shields = 398
5 Ellyrian Reavers = 80
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (swap) = 85
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion = 90
Core = 653

3x1 Repeater Bolt Thrower = 210
Frostheart Phoenix = 240
2x1 Great Eagle = 100
Rare = 550

Army total = 2397


In the light of this analysis (which turned out to be lengthier than I`d have thought), I believe it`s safe to say that it`s obvious that this is the superior setup in an all-comers, competitive setting.

TL;DR - Star Dragon needs at least 4 levels in magic supporting it ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Interesting read. I would add though that this refers specifically to 2,400 - by 2,500 a lot of the restrictions you mention lift.

I'm reasonably sold on BSB+2xLv2 high in the helms - that's certainly what I'd take as my starting point (I don't like the compromises to get the 2nd noble in, though I might playtest it too when I can). I'm keener on High than coven and on helm bunker than reaver bunkers, both for reasons of ease of play. I don't doubt you could give either or both a good whirl but I think helmbus is simpler.

I think you get more of a stab at a decent magic phase with 2xLv2...with basically a Lv4 meta just one would be disadvantaged in spell generation, dispel priorities as well as just casting vs dispel (when compared to the loremaster, he only suffers the latter) and losing concentration. If you expect any positive output from the phase I think you need two of them. But if all you want is to mitigate their phase, then a single Lv2 with scroll would give you +2 to your dispel rolls straight off, a scroll, a channel attempt (meh), drain magic and, well, something to do in the magic phase. Going this cheapo route would then free up points to properly kit out a second noble and at least partially a third. Remind me (I've read so many reports I've lost track!) have you tried this route and how did it go? Did you miss your magic phase?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:00 am 
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True, I should add that to clarify. Indeed the premise changes with 2500, what seems to be but a minor detail (+25 points) can completely change a configuration`s viability when points are this tight. I should add that at 2500, the Prince can get his Lion Cloak which is a huge deal in many matchups, making S4 AP weaponry face a 3+ armour save instead of 5+, for example.

Quote:
Remind me (I've read so many reports I've lost track!) have you tried this route and how did it go? Did you miss your magic phase?


Yes. I have at least one report up from such a game. Even with decent/lucky spell selection I found it lacking: viewtopic.php?f=76&t=45081&p=878534#p878534

The thing is that 2d6 PD for free is nothing you should take lightly. The potential is there. Always. Best to make use of it ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:23 am 
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A very interesting read but it got me thinking is BOTWD necesary when using only L1 and L2, also your set up is a very offensive one. What is your opinion on a defensive set up and using your Star Dragon as a counter attack element. That way you don't have to worry as much about bunkers for your mage(s) and you BSB can be in a more flexible supporting role gahtering points from turn one role.

So you get a Prince on Star Dragon for 600, L2 High with Scroll and Ring for 170 and a BSB for 170 which saves you cca 250 pts on characters, skin a few points from the Core and you can get a decent Special CC unit to support the Dragon and the Phoenix and gives you another harder unit drop along the Silver Helms.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:39 am 
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If nothing else, BOTWD provides 2++ vs miscasts and death snipes. Regardless of lore you will find yourself casting on many dice, quite often. If you take the Ring of Fury you are furthermore agreeing to keep the mage within 18" of the enemy if you want to maximise your magical potential. If you don`t take the BOTWD, you are giving up on magical protection and your BSB is but a snipe away from giving up that invaluable re-roll bubble. Besides, what unit should you put him in? Lastly, a special infantry unit to ~300 points isn`t all that much. I think you need roughly 400 points to make it decent enough to worth including.

The defensive role is indeed something the SD could perform, but I would still have 2x L2s and BSB with BOTWD. With this setup I`d be looking at something like 2x L2 Shadow, lots of Archers in core, Sisters and RBTs in rare. BSB with BOTWD because mages need protection and it makes the Dragon stubborn, so if nothing else it can be a huge roadblock. T7 W7 takes some time to grind down, especially when it`s hitting you back with all the strength a Star Dragon has.

I would be very interested in seeing a suggestion along the lines of what you`re thinking Giladis, could you present a draft perhaps? ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:33 am 
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With two lvl 2's you should not fear miscasts that much. If you loose one you still have the other. And by running the helms wide the template will not hurt that much (and you are guarantied a minimum 6++) You could use MR 2 or 3 instead of banner. Then the bsb could be kitted for combat and the second noble running with MR2 and PoS as an example. With dragon armor they will both spawn a 4++ against deathsnipes before high attribute takes effect.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:35 am 
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Hmm something like this

Prince on Star Dragon - Heavy Armour, Lance, Lion Cloak, Talisman of Preservation, Enchanted Shield - 599
Noble on Barded Steed - Heavy Armour, Halberd, Lion Cloak, Reaver Bow, Potion of Strength, Dragonbane Gem - 170
Mage - Level 2 High Magic, Dispel Scroll, Khaine's Ring of Fury - 170
12 Silver Helms - FC, Shields - 306 6x2/5x3
18 Archers - Musician - 190 6x3
5 Ellyrian Reaver - Musician, Bows - 105 3x2
20 White Lions - FC, Sword of Battle - 310 5x4
Frostheart Phoenix - 240
3 RBT - 210
2 GE - 100

Total: 2400
Models: 64



In my initial comment I hadn't taken into consideration that we play in two very different gaming environments. In my neck of the woods 20 strong unit of Elf elite infantry is considered a heavy hitter or a strong blocker. At the same time casting is not done with more than 4 PD and Star Dragon is believed to be borderline OP.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:33 pm 
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What I see in that list is a lot of everything, a true combined arms approach. The problem here I believe is that your magic is very limited and your shooting isn`t strong enough to force almost anyone`s hand. How do you intend to capitalize on the mage investment? Does he go with Lions to close in with the enemy? Does he stay with Archers? Speaking of the infantry units, what are these guys` intended role here? It would appear that this list is written for a much tighter comp system than ETC. Star Dragon being considered borderline OP is interesting as I have never heard of a meta where this is the case before. Your comments at the end also seem to imply this: 20WL will truly just get run over by pretty much anything under ETC restrictions. Is there a proprietary comp system in Croatia or do you use any of the big systems, e.g. Swedish with tight score intervals?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:58 pm 
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The purpose of magic is to have three spells that will benefit the army. Depending on what you roll you can change either both or one or neither spell for the signature ones. Though I personally wouldn't play the game without Drain magic. He can either heal the Prince/Dragon, remove enemy spells or throw MM at enemy chaff. 18" isn't that short of a range if it targets Fast Cavalry, Scouts and such units that approach you to divert/block you. Apart from maybe the first turn you will have targets for your spells. He can go with either White Lions or Archers but considering I would play a closed formation he would be able to jump between the two as needed.

Archers are here to remove chaff one unit per shooting phase or given targets of opportunity to soften up enemy combat blocks. While the White Lions are there to intercept things, kill them or block them and put a dent for the Dragon to finish.


We do have several comps in Croatia but the most widely used one is UMS-Agram one since it is the largest club in the area and organises the largest events. Here you can find the version prior the release of the Dwarfs and Wood Elves > http://www.ums-agram.hr/forums/viewtopi ... =2&t=18717

It hasn't been updated yet because preparations for the ETC and we decided a month ago to use Swedish AC for a bit to shake things up a little. I guess Swedish will be used until 9th comes.

But we kept our own LoS and Magic rules as well as our own amends

Quote:
BEASTMEN:
Amends
• Replace Beastmen Ambush special rule with Ambush special rule from the rulebook
Clarifications
• Herdstone Shard is counted as open terrain and can only be placed on open terrain (it must be no more than 60mm in diameter)

BRETONNIA:
Amends
• Sacrament of the Lady; exchange the second sentence with “The model may roll 3 additional dice when attempting to channel power dice, but may not cast any spells that turn.”

CHAOS DWARFS:
Clarifications
• Chalice of Blood and Darkness: Roll for the effect after the number of power dice or dispel dice in a given magic phase is determined, but before any attempts to cast a spell.

DAEMONS OF CHAOS:
Amends
• Banned: The Rock of Inevitability

DARK ELVES:
Clarifications
• Strength of Khaine: It only works in close combat.

DWARFS:

EMPIRE:
Amends
• Steam Tank - loses Random Movement special rule and is treated like a normal chariot with movement value of nD6“(n being the number of Steam Points used for movement), meaning it moves and charges nD6“. When charging, it declares a normal charge and the opposing player can chose to react as normal. When it moves it doesn't have to move in a straight line but like a normal chariot

HIGH ELVES:
Amends
• Banner of the World Dragon: Army Battle Standard only

LIZARDMEN:
Clarifications
• Predatory Fighter: It does not work on supporting attacks.

OGRE KINGDOMS:
Amends
• Banned: Hellheart

ORCS & GOBLINS:
Clarifications
• Magic Mushrooms do NOT count as power dice, so can be used in conjunction with 4 normal dice

SKAVEN:
Amends
• Hellpit Abomination - loses Random Movement special rule and is treated like a normal monster with movement value of 3D6", meaning it moves, charges and flees 3D6. When charging, it declares a normal charge and the opposing player can choose to react as normal. When it moves it doesn't have to move in a straight line but like a normal monster.

TOMB KINGS:
Amends
• Hierophant does NOT have to be a wizard with the highest wizard level in the army

VAMPIRE COUNTS:

WARRIORS OF CHAOS:
Amends
• Daemon Princes created from unit champions give 150 points if killed
Clarifications
• Soulfeeder: Roll at the end of the Close Combat phase.


WOOD ELVES:
Clarifications
• The Arrow of Kurnous: It takes place before the Vanguard move.
• Ambush from the Worldroots: The additional forest should be a Citadel Wood terrain or a custom made forest of the approximately same footprint. The forest may not be larger but can be smaller then Citadel Wood terrain.



The score that is allowed is between 10 and 20.



If one is to be honest comparing what we in Croatia play and what is played on the ETC or straight out of the box is like comparing 3 different editions of Warhammer. I think that it also shows in our ETC performance that such type play doesn't suite most of our players and is more of a chore than is fun.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:00 pm 
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I see. That makes it kind of hard to compare lists. For uncomped HE and ETC HE I think the main difference is the lack of SCs. At least this year I really don`t find the restrictions to be too severe. Yes, some combinations are banned but they`re hardly as restrictive as the ones for e.g. DoC or Dark Elves. I have tried my fair share of wacky SD variants (unfortunately quite a few of them without reports) so unfortunately I have lost faith in a lot of variants that I`d originally consider interesting. I was holding on to my hope when I saw what Pash was taking to the ETC this year, but unfortunately he had a very poor run. For now though, I simply don`t have time to test wacky builds even if I wanted to (believe me, I still have a few ones left I`d really like to try out) as I need to play as many games as I can prior to November to prepare for our team tournament, and there are also 2 other tournaments before that that aren`t even 2400 points, and another one at 2400 points but with NO COMP -and- scenarios. In other words, I`d have to be unemployed with a personal sponsor to play all the Warhammer I`d like to (and someone to play with as well :D).

ETC is the most restrictive comp system we have in Norway. Most tournaments are run with less comp (at least that has been the trend the past couple of years), so I have very little experience with heavy comp, which it appears you are mostly using. If the aim is to remove the WAAC aspect though, I can definitely see this helping as the cheese is -always- coming out at our uncomped tournaments. Our national masters this year is 2k uncomped and I`ve already seen 18-beasts DoC lists, S8 banishment dual-stank Empire, Arkhan infinite-PD TK lists etc being practiced at my club. This is not my idea of fun as the game boils down to rock paper scissors in the drawing: I could bring 4 Frosthearts and dominate some lists while autolosing to others.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:37 am 
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Dragon fire wrote:
With two lvl 2's you should not fear miscasts that much. If you loose one you still have the other. And by running the helms wide the template will not hurt that much (and you are guarantied a minimum 6++) You could use MR 2 or 3 instead of banner. Then the bsb could be kitted for combat and the second noble running with MR2 and PoS as an example. With dragon armor they will both spawn a 4++ against deathsnipes before high attribute takes effect.

I don't know if you saw my earlier post but would think it is feasable to use MR indstead of BotWD? It would be a way to make Bsb a lot harder.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:42 am 
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My apologies, I saw your post but forgot it while replying. Let med address it now:

MR2 solves some of the problems the BOTWD tries to address. However, it fails at providing any sort of protection against non-spell magical sources of damage. This in itself is a problem as WoC, CD, DW and DoC can engage and shoot you with impunity, but even more dangerous is the fact that miscasts are very, very devastating. Remember that in our old book, we could take 2++ vs spells alone for 40 points. Virtually any defensive infantrybuild had this item. I believe BOTWD would be worth it with just 2++ vs spells and miscast protection alone. MR2, by comparison, leaves it risky to let a Death snipe through. What if you get Caress on your Scroll caddy? Do you let it go? Simply put, the BOTWD is just a necessity, and that`s not even considering the stubborn Dragon effect ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:49 pm 
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I`m looking to create a concept list under Giant Fanatic comp. Generally regarded as more restrictive than the norm here (we usually have less restrictions than ETC and GF is beyond ETC by far), I`m surprised the following is allowed: Double Frostheart + Star Dragon... Comp link: http://www.giantfanatic.dk/wp-content/u ... on-1.3.pdf This might be interesting as we are potentially having such a tournament in Norway later this year.

Giant Fanatic v1.0 Royal Air Force wrote:
Star Dragon = 598
Noble BSB, Shield of the Merwyrm, MR(2), Warrior Bane, Heavy Armour = 154
High Mage L2, Scroll = 145
High Mage L2 = 120
Noble on Great Eagle, Heavy Armour, Lance, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Potion of Strength = 180
Heroes = 599

5 Silver Helms, Champion and Shields = 125
5 Silver Helms, Champion and Shields = 125
5 Reavers, Bows = 85
5 Reavers, Bows = 85
20 Spearelves, Full Command, Movement Banner = 225
Core = 645

2x 1 Frostheart Phoenix = 480
2x 1 Great Eagle = 100
Rare = 580

Army Total = 2422


I have to shave some points but it`s a starting place. Would be interesting to play ;)

EDIT: Alternative hero setup -
Dragon Mage L2, 285 (-100), Dragon Armour, Gem of Sunfire, Enchanted Shield (35) = 320
Noble BSB, Dragon Armour, Reaver Bow, Charmed Shield = 135
Mage L2 Scroll = 145
Heroes = 600
This probably favours Archers in core because of Flaming Sword of Rhuin

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:53 pm 
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I'm preparing one of my DE friends for the event. I really believe in the monster approach. I thin. k that a DM will be a compettive choice if you can live with not having the +1 for first turn (250 points i quite ok). Two dragons and two frosties for an event with a limited amount of canons. However rumor has it that dragons will be restricted before the event as the restrictions are not final before somewhere around september 1. Or at least that is what i have heard. Other viable approach could be SM botwd with high everqueen. But not the power stile that you like.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:18 pm 
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My point with regards to magic still stands despite going from an ETC environment to a GF one, hence I don`t think the Dragonmage will cut it, or can you fit one, a normal mage and a BSB with the bonus points? I do believe it`ll be tight, but might be worth a look. The current Eagle Noble is a setup I really do believe in though and this comp kind of sets up for him to be taken.

Anyway, for now I just wanted to get the list down. It`s not yet decided what comp system the tournament will use and I don`t know if I´ll be able to attend it at all.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Both yes and no. You have 100 points left after paying for a noble bsb, mage lvl 2 and a DM lvl 2. So full equipment on the bsb a scroll and perhaps enchanted shield. Otherwise have only 3 mage lvls and full gear.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:12 pm 
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I suppose the BSB could get by with minimal equipment but I would be very unsure of how to play him then. Archers make a lot of sense if the Dragon Mage is taken as it makes Flaming Sword of Ruin a worthwhile spell to cast. This in turn means Reaver Bow / Potion of Strength would be a natural go-to build for the BSB, but it eats heavily into points. Let`s see if we can make it work:

Dragon Mage L2, 285 (-100), Dragon Armour, Gem of Sunfire, Enchanted Shield (35) = 320
Noble BSB, Heavy Armour, Reaver Bow, Charmed Shield, Potion of Strength = 149
Mage L2 Scroll = 145

14 points above. I assume Potion of Strength isn`t critical here, can be dropped in favour of Dragon Armour. I think it`s a setup I can live with:

Dragon Mage L2, 285 (-100), Dragon Armour, Gem of Sunfire, Enchanted Shield (35) = 320
Noble BSB, Dragon Armour, Reaver Bow, Charmed Shield = 135
Mage L2 Scroll = 145
Heroes = 600

Thanks for your input :)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:44 pm 
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Why charmed shield? When for 1 point more you can get Lion Cloak for additional protection from shooting if he is ever found alone and a halberd to do some damage in CC.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:02 pm 
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Because I don´t have 6 points. I have 5. Furthermore, Charmed Shield is nice insurance for when you fail LoS!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:28 pm 
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Pushlist idea:

Star Dragon
Sea Helm BSB, Merwyrm Shield, Warrior Bane
Mage L2 High Scroll
Mage L2 High Scepter

3x5 Helmdarts
3x5 Reavers

Big unit of WL, BOTWD
Frostheart
Points left? Eagles

Not sure it`ll work out but seems interesting. Will work out more thorough draft tomorrow. Thoughts? :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:29 am 
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Quote:
Pushlist idea:

Star Dragon
Sea Helm BSB, Merwyrm Shield, Warrior Bane
Mage L2 High Scroll
Mage L2 High Scepter

3x5 Helmdarts
3x5 Reavers

Big unit of WL, BOTWD
Frostheart
Points left? Eagles

Not sure it`ll work out but seems interesting. Will work out more thorough draft tomorrow. Thoughts?


I tried something very similar when I was working through my idea of a Phoenix Coven. It was fine, until I went up against Wood Elves with Snipers, then it was an auto-loss because there was no reasonable way I could deploy the Lions to both control board space against all the Wild Riders and also protect the characters. I also think 3x Helms in inferior to Helmbus, which is the same amount of points in this list. Losing the Bolt Throwers is also not worth it, even at the inclusion of the Stardragon, IMO.

My preferred method would be:

Stardragon/Anointed
Noble BSB, Mounted, potentially BotWD
Mage, Level 2, High Magic, Mounted, Ward
Mage, Level 2, High Magic, Mounted, Scroll

15-18 Helms
2-3 Units of Reavers / Helms

Unit of White Lions, wither BotWD or Gleaming Pennant based on points and preference

Frostheart
Bolt Throwers

Axiem


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:42 pm 
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The problem with having a bus without 2 Nobles is that either you have to send mages into the second rank by going less than 5 wide (thus giving up lots of static), or you have to send mages into the front rank where their life expectancy is comparable to a great eagle blocking out a witch elf horde once you hit combat. My idea here is to run the Lions 3 wide. This largely negates the huge footprint which would normally limit wheels and furthermore I can just put them in the face of whatever and have them charge into a combat reform or charge myself, combat reforming before their turn starts pending on the situation. Also, Lions grind a lot better than Helms and benefit more from Shield of Saphery as Helms already ward off the large majority of return attacks by their armour: if you are fighting things that ignore their armour then chances are a point or two of Shield of Saphery won`t save you.

I would like to see a specific suggestion based on your draft though because I`m struggling to get the points to add up, unless you compromise more than I would feel comfortable doing. In particular, how many RBTs and WL would you have? What balance do you believe achieves the overall goal here, best?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:53 pm 
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Yes, putting the mage in the front rank is somewhat risky, but with High Magic and Talisman of Preservation, I haven't been having much trouble. I do have a knack of passing 3+'s though :) So long as the bus is supported with the Frostheart or Dragon on the charge, or even another unit of Helms to knock to Mage out of combat, potentially, it's not that big of a concern. The bigger problem is if you don't have the ability to clear chaff, the Cav bus can end up taking quite a pounding, which is why I feel 2+ Bolt Throwers is required, unless you're going to stock up on Archers in Core, which I find less point-optimal.

Here's my 2400 version of the list, using similar ideas:

Anointed of Asuryan on Flamespyre Phoenix, Giant Blade, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone, Potion of Foolhardiness, 530 

Noble, BSB, on Barded Elven Steed, Heavy Armor, Ogreblade, Charmed Shield, Luckstone 164

Mage, on Elven Steed, Level Two, Lore of High Magic, Talisman of Preservation, 175

Mage, on Elven Steed, Level Two, Lore of High Magic, Dispel Scroll, 155

18 Silver Helms, Shields, Full Command, 444 

2x 5 Ellyrian Reavers, 160

24 White Lions of Chrace, Full Command, Banner of the World Dragon, 392

Frostheart Phoenix, 240 

2x Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower, 140



Total: 2400


Currently, it's Dragon Armor for Noble + Ironcurse Icon (after point fiddling in Core) or Musician on the Lions. I think the former is better, but I had one game already where the Musician would have helped me more. Likely I'll play around with it some more to get both. 18 Helms might also be a bit over the top, considering Lions can take over some of the hitting/staying power of the list, meaning I might end up taking a third unit of Reavers instead. If this was to be a Star Dragon list, I'd put Banner of the World Dragon on the BSB, Gleaming Pennant on the Lions, and upgrade the Anointed to Prince on Dragon, fiddling points here and there to make it fit however I think the Anointed is likely a better bargain. It also doesn't reduce the hitting power of the BSB the way the Banner of the World Dragon does.

For reference, when I tried the Sea Helm in Lions, I encounter two problems. The first was as I pointed out above, against Wood Elves. The second was that I couldn't play super aggressively with the Frostheart or Flamespyre Anointed because I couldn't reliably commit them to combats I might lose by 1-2 due to static resolution without the BSB nearby. The whole feel of the list then was backwards: I was investing a lot of points in really aggressive elements and had to wait for the slower Lions to catchup who, at three wide, didn't want to charge, but be charged instead. There was an obvious disconnect here.

This is once place I also think the Lions could be swapped for Dragon Princes, especially if you're going to include the Star Dragon. It then frees up points in Core, which can be taken as Archers instead of Bolt Throwers (even if they aren't as good of value) and you end up with Star Dragon, Frostheart, Dragon Princes, Archers + Reavers or Archers + Helms. The difference here in relation to a normal Helmbus v. Dragon Prince argument is that you also have the Star Dragon, meaning you don't mind if the Princes get whittled down as much, provided you can finish things off with a final combined charge.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:48 pm 
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That list suggestion reminds me of my SM list: Essentially it feels like everything is stretched just a bit too far. Lions aren`t big enough, RBTs aren`t numerous enough, there are no Eagles and only 2 units of Reavers etc. This is part of the reason why I went for the build I originally suggested: It is more one-dimensional indeed, but it is more focussed as well with the units being more capable of doing their intended job. Lastly, a ToP mage is far from safe. A BSB with the basic 2+ feels iffy to put into S4 troops which is basically what the 4++ mage will be like defensively... Vs S3. I can see it working a bit better with the Anointed as this follows somewhat different concepts than the Star Dragon.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:04 pm 
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Specific pushlist suggestion:

Quote:
Star Dragon - 598
Lothern Sea Helm, BSB, Merwyrm Shield, Warrior Bane = 145
High Mage Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon = 150
High Mage Level 2, Scepter of Stability = 135
Heroes = 430

5 Silver Helms, Shields, Champion = 125
5 Silver Helms, Shields, Champion = 125
6 Silver Helms, Shields, Champion = 148
5 Ellyrian Reavers = 80
5 Ellyrian Reavers = 80
5 Ellyrian Reavers = 80
Core = 638

28 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Autoinclude = 444

Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Great Eagle = 50
Rare = 290

Army Total = 2400

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:12 am 
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In the list above, there are 23 points I can spend on pretty much anything. Currently they are in the 6th Helm for one of my units, but I believe it`s better with Bows on the Reavers. That leaves 8 points, which translates to a utility item for one of my mages or BSB. Dragonbane gem for the BSB is the best I suppose. Thoughts? :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:39 pm 
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Short report vs TK. This time, my friend is preparing for Northern Warlords so a change in comp for us. His list is thus down to 2400, but he gets to take SCs and can 6-dice spells... On the bright side my SD no longer tests on I2 vs Purple Sun, yay!

.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (NW comp) .::.

My list:
Prince on Star Dragon: Dragonhelm, Star Lance, Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Shield = 598
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Banner of the World Dragon, Dragon armour, Shield, Lance = 178
Noble on Barded Steed, Enchanted Shield, Heavy Armour, Ogre Blade = 134
Mage L2 on Steed, Scroll = 155
Mage L2 on Steed = 130
Characters = 1195

16 Silver Helms, Full Command & Shields = 398
5 Reavers = 80
5 Reavers, bows (swap) = 85
5 Reavers, champ = 90
Core = 653

3 RBT = 210
Frostheart = 240
2 Eagles = 100
Rare = 550

Army total = 2398

His list:
- Arkhan The Black; General, Heirophant = 360

- Lich Priest; Nehekara, Dispel Scroll = 95
- Necrotect; Obsidian Lodestone = 105

- 28 Archers; Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer = 198
- 10 Archers; Standard Bearer = 70
- 10 Archers = 60
- 5 Horse Archers = 70
- 5 Horse Archers = 70
- 5 Horse Archers = 70
- 5 Horse Archers = 70

- Warsphinx; Breath Wepon = 230
- Warsphinx; Breath Wepon = 230
- Warsphinx; Breath Wepon = 230

- Necrosphinx = 225
- Casket of Souls = 135
- 2x Skullhapult = 180

I got double Soul Quench, Arcane Unforging and Apotheosis.

The following pictures show deployment and turns 1 through 4:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I deployed skewed as I learned in my last game vs TK was a good thing to do in this matchup. RBTs had clear fields of fire and the chaff was spread out for a multitude of roles: put pressure on his chaff, redirect sphinxes, act as annoyance elements. I was very happy with the resulting deployment.

As he got first turn my bus had a hard time getting within SQ range of the Sphinxes in the early turns as his fast cav kept blocking me. Instead my RBTs stepped up their game and downed the Necrosphinx in 2 or 3 turns. This gave me a lot of space and I could move up safely, using the Phoenix to block a Sphinx and the bus within SQ range. The Star Dragon ended up getting a sweet charge on the blocked Sphinx (which broke the Phoenix but failed to reach it). I killed it but paid with its life for it as the massed arrows brought it down (it was hurt from catapults). At this point however the Prince could charge the catapult and overrun off the table. He was faced with trying to push the Prince with Sphinxes or play it safe. With my bus nearby he decided on the latter and the rest of the game was uneventful. I ended up ~700VP ahead, a 14-6 win to the High Elves! (using the ETC table which is irrelevant for NW).

// Evaluation //

I was very happy with most of my execution in this game. The Reavers on the East kept the fast cav away while my chaff on the West helped keep his at bay. Furthermore, the deployment worked out excellently with me establishing solid control in an area where he basically can`t pressure me due to my superior mobility. I got off lots of soul quenches in this game, but failed to score big 6s from the missiles. The RBTs on the other hand were on fire!

Strategic error: I took Arcane Unforging. I think I could`ve chosen any spell here and WBW/Hand would be better, but even Drain is superior because of DnD.
Tactical errors: None that I recall. One of my better games in a while :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Having played vs TK I was looking for another game and I was lucky as the club was full of people today. In the end I got to meet an Empire matchup I believe is very, very hard for this list...

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

My list:
Prince on Star Dragon: Dragonhelm, Star Lance, Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Shield = 598
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Banner of the World Dragon, Dragon armour, Shield, Lance = 178
Noble on Barded Steed, Enchanted Shield, Heavy Armour, Ogre Blade = 134
Mage L2 on Steed, Scroll = 155
Mage L2 on Steed = 130
Characters = 1195

16 Silver Helms, Full Command & Shields = 398
5 Reavers = 80
5 Reavers, bows (swap) = 85
5 Reavers, champ = 90
Core = 653

3 RBT = 210
Frostheart = 240
2 Eagles = 100
Rare = 550

Army total = 2398

His list:
Arch Lector on War Altar, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem
Level 4 Life Wizard
Level 2 Light Wizard, Dispel Scroll
Captain on Pegasus, Full Plate Armour, Dragonhelm
Captain, BSB, Enchanted Shield

50 Halberdiers
--25 Halberdiers
--12 Archers

2 Cannons
1 Steam Tank
5 Demigryphs

I got double Apotheosis, Walk, Drain and Fiery Convocation. He got Regrowth, Dwellers, Earthblood, Awakening as well as Speed and Net.

The following pictures show deployment and turns 1 through 5:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

He got first turn. An astonishing 5 drops usually ensures that. Stank moves and gets a bead on the Dragon, which I barely managed to hide from the 2 cannons as we were. 5W and Crown removed. Great start, cannons remove an RBT and the other doesn`t bounce. His Captasus is visible for the Phoenix and 20" away. I try a charge, he passes panic and I fall short. There goes my shot at a T2 cannon charge. This means my Prince has to hide for 2 full turns before moving out T3, earliest. I charge the Stank with Reavers to prevent him for a turn of shooting. RBTs try to ping the HBVG which downed an Eagle trying to hunt it (the stank moving gave me exactly 50x50 to land) but I couldn`t keep up the 6s from the TK game.

Because of the terrain my bus had to sweep very wide on its road to the Demis. Furthermore I needed flyers to engage and my chaff units were all brought down by magic and Archers so I needed a combo-charge. When the Prince eventually moved out my opponent had used his Scroll to stop a boosted Apotheosis on the Dragon (which was sitting on 2W still). Moving up I managed to grab a fence, his only chance of hitting me was to roll 6+. He managed to do so, the Prince died but the Dragon luckily survived on 1W. The next turn I got boosted Apotheosis through but only healed 1W. This turn I had set up for a combo-charge on the Demis with the Frostheart blocking the Stank from hitting the SD, unless he could roll 8+. He duly did and wounded the Dragon, but again rolled a `1` for wounds! I combo`d the Demis and got boosted Apotheosis through again, still only healing 1W. The Demis dragged down the Noble and reduced one of my mages to 1W (he had to go in the front rank because of some reform shenanigans earlier on). I had to pursue to catch them and when I met the small Halberdiers, not only did the wounded mage die but he took down the BSB as well. The Star Dragon pursued into the big Halberdiers and killed the L2.

Adding up the points, he was roughly 400 ahead, an 8-12 loss for the High Elves.

// Evaluation //

Empire with a cannon in each corner and a Steam Tank moving around is just so hard to deal with. In this game however I had a few things I could`ve done better: spend Eagles to block Stank paths (I think this was deploy-able, have never done this before but will remember next time as it`s basically a ~4+ ward). Furthermore the Fiery Convocation should`ve been swapped for Soul Quench, I don`t want to move within 24" of him nor spend this amount of PD. Because of the terrain and his cannon-control I can`t really move forward until T3-4 which only gives me a few turns of combat, thus Fiery Convocation on big Halberdiers is hardly likely to happen. In general I think it`s better but given the development of this game (which is easy to predict) I think Soul Quench or even double drain is better.

Lastly, the bus is highly vulnerable and this game shows just that. I gave up way too many points in the end, had the BSB alone survived it would`ve been a tie. I played a risky game by pushing and even then I only went 8-12. This matchup is a good, solid -2 for High Elves I believe unless the map gives me some help: you can`t hide indefinitely and without a good path to push (see my last Empire game) you`ll just constantly bleed points. In light of this, I`m ok with 8-12 but I was lucky as he basically had 2 shots that could`ve killed the Dragon, needing 2+ but getting 1s.

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Retired from Warhammer. Playing Warmachine & Hordes (Cygnar).

Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:15 pm 
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9th Age Moderator

Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:03 pm
Posts: 1906
Hi Curu,

Any chance of some more written details to go with the pictures here - I found this hard to follow with just pics and comments at the end. (Apologies if this ninjas a WIP on this).

Cheers :).

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