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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 3:16 pm 
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Green Istari

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Curu Olannon wrote:
Sitting multiple characters in a single unit of T3 no save Elves is extremely risky. I would not advice it

Good point.

He's got a Book/Scroll defence but MR3 could have been fitted surely? Is Shield of Saphery that reliable given the range issue? Serious shooting could be unpleasant too I imagine.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 3:38 pm 
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Regarding double star dragon with archmage on one, would you be better of with 2 lvl2's on high with defensive arcane items? Archmage insta dies in combat really?

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 7:59 pm 
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@RE.Lee - Knowing how dangerous OnG can be at a distance, doubly so when I don't have any ranged presence whatsoever of my own to speak of, I really didn't have a choice here ^^

@SpellArcher - While MR3 would be desirable, it's no-where near enough to protect the unit. The main problem is that it's -one- unit. Of 25 T3 guys. No saves. There are way too many armies in the game which, given the right incentives, can utterly destroy such a configuration. I think this makes it very hard to play in the pairing stage, doubly so because the list lacks real punching power to counter-attack serious pushes.

@sparkytrypod - I think the idea behind the shooty list is to have a number of ways to deal damage at a distance whereas the Dragons are mainly around for counter-attack purposes. The Archmage is a relatively cheap investment that wouldn't have contributed significantly to improved combat power had he been a Prince instead. As such if he dies, it might not matter that much.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:04 pm 
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So what would you say needs to change in that list to make it viable Curu?

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 10:44 pm 
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Viable is a relative term. The inherent problem of the list is that it's one-dimensional. Certain matchups are dicey, if not downright unplayable, from the start. Furthermore missions like Blood and Glory and KOTH become hard if I'm faced with the wrong army (in the former scenario I start being auto-broken more or less).

However assuming you could work around these issues and feel safe that you'd be able to pair it right in a team environment (alternatively in a singles environment: If you feel confident the meta doesn't hold a lot of hard matchups for you) it's all about tailoring the item loadouts etc. Given that you want SD + FP + bus with a prince you don't have that many points to play around with.

Regardless, unfortunately, it's a moot point because it's illegal (and very much so). Suffice is to say I played around with it quite a bit and found some unusual angles that I'll be posting reports of later which I really liked. In a no-comp environment however I think the list will struggle against the most polarized armies out there so the question is in what context you could play it. Something with lighter comp than ETC would likely be a good place to start but in my experience many comp systems get their inspirations from the big ones so now that the ETC comp is hitting our bus-builds hard, chances are many others will as well I fear.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 7:20 pm 
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Just been catching up on your thread as RL has been pretty busy for me too recently. I finally have a tournament on the cards (Swedish comp in July) which will likely be my first games since January. Should be fun!

I'm looking forward to seeing a few more of your ETC BatReps soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 5:00 pm 
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There seems to be a trend towards less and less interest in Warhammer since the ET stuff started so you're not alone John :) Luckily for me, my local meta is still full of people looking to have fun and our recent tournaments have seen a boost in participants (we've also taken some measures to improve our tournaments).

Speaking of which, I just got home from 2d6 Alliance - a 3-man team tournament with ETC rules. My team came in 2nd, 1BP behind the winning team who we lost to in game 4. We were sporting DoC, LZ and HE. The games were roughly as follows (from my point of view):
- Game 1 inexperienced opponents. I get Khorne Warriors with literally no magic and properly decimate them in KOTH: 18-2.
- Game 2 last year's winners. I end up facing Empire in a game that swings massively back and forth but a bottleneck keeps a large part of his troops out so the grind goes in my favour. An exceptionally lucky magic phase towards the end of the game ensures me a big win: 19-1.
- Game 3 I get a flat, tie-based VC list in Meeting. I deploy first and go super-aggressive, he deploys everything in a corner. I'm set to win anywhere from 13 => 20 here but a Cascade wants it otherwise and I end up struggling to weigh up for this. The end result is 10-10.
- Game 4 I get an absolutely disastrous DE list in Battleline but I win deployment heavily. I had multiple chances to grab a win but the dice wanted it otherwise and another 10-10 for High Elves.
- Game 5 and the last game of the tournament. We are trailing the leading team by 6 points but our soft scores are up 10 so in practice we're ahead. I get Tomb Kings and do my very best to push them. At one point in time I'm a 5+ overrun away from flat-out winning 20-0 but I fail. Regardless I've created a huge opportunity and my opponent does not manage to ever get back from this, in the end it's a 15-5 to High Elves. My other two team-mates tied their games, giving us 35 points for this. The winning team won their games to get 40 points (the cap per round), putting them 11 points ahead of us in BP meaning that our soft score lead was not enough.

So close ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 10:44 pm 
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Just out of interest Curu, how do you deal with the times when you feel you've played right, but the dice simply don't want to cooperate at important points? I had a recent 2 day singles ETC tournament where some of the highlights (or lowlights :( ) were:

Game 1: opponent has a possible cannon shot at Teclis turn 5. I say he can have it, he hits, wounds and Teclis gets blown away when I fail LOS.

Game 2: Demon Prince fails a charge and ends up stranded in the open. I fail to do any damage to him with 4 bolt throwers, a cast of Spirit Leach and he dispels Banishment with less dice.

Game 3: Over the course of the game, his Demon Prince (who doesn't get into combat to heal with Soul Feeder) takes 8 bolt thrower hits, which result in 2 wounds :( .

Game 5: I drew Unoptimised Wood Elves that I thought I could run over. Teclis rolls horribly every single magic phase, the only spells I get off are 2 casts of Flock of Doom. Despite this I was set for a 20 by picking up his Glade Guard bunker, which broke and outran my Phoenix Guard. Next turn he rallies, I pin the bunker in place with a flank charge with a few Silver Helms, with the prospect of getting the rest of my army into them turn 6. This doesn't happen when I win combat by 2, he fails his steadfast LD 10 test and outruns the Silver Helms. The flee path took him behind a building, out of my reach in the 1 turn I had left.

After game 3, I had gotten somewhat despondent, to the point where it affected my play. It was also disappointing because I ended up in the bottom half, rather than the top quarter I've managed the last 2 events.


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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 10:40 am 
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Tourney about 15 months ago:

Game One - old WE's vs good Daemon player. 0-20
Game Two - Completely outplay combat Lizards, massive dice fail, 6-14
Game Three - Blood and Glory, first O&G rock no misfire, bang on my General, wounds, fail 3++, 4 wounds, dead. 2-18

I finished last.

Four tourneys since, all much better, last game decent play and great dice took Daemons off 20-0. One bad event (and horrific dice!) can happen to anyone. There's no reason your next event shouldn't be top quarter CP.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 7:11 pm 
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@Cold Phoenix - It's an interesting question. I admire people who can keep their cool when the dice go against them. Sometimes I can, other times I most definitely cannot do that. There are multiple ways to assess this, but the most important part to remember is that often times luck is not the deciding factor: You often put yourself in a situation that allows your opponent to get lucky. Granted, it's not always the case, but the first thing I try and think about when I feel unlucky is: "Could I have done anything differently to avoid ending up in this situation?". Properly assessing risk and having back-up plans is an important part of playing Warhammer.

With all that said, sometimes it comes down to a single event where you are just plain unlucky. There is nothing you could've done better and the dice simply aren't with you. It's a part of the game and we all handle it differently. A couple of years back I played online poker a lot. I had a friend that was pretty skilled and he taught me the basics. An interesting aspect of poker is that people are way more likely to remember their bad beats (i.e. when someone draws out on them) that cost them money than their lucky breaks. Virtually any regular poker player can tell you about this one time when they lost a lot of money on pocket aces going all-in pre-flop (~80% or better vs any other hand in a head-to-head situation). I think the same holds true for Warhammer. When these things do occur, I try and think of the good times. In the long run, things even out.

While I've never had an entire tournament with bad dice, I've had games and situations where I'm just downright unlucky and it costs me anything from the tournament win to a couple of insignificant points. I try and remember the tournaments where I've had the opposite happen, for example Crusade this year where I won largely because my opponent's Chaos Lord failed his LD9 re-rollable stubborn break test or Sheffield Slaughter in January where I killed off End Times Mannfred on a single cast of Final Trans and then repeated the same against Kairos in the same tournament. These events catapulted me many places up the ladder and are just as significant as the ones where thing did not go my way. For example this weekend I had an overrun in the very last game where I needed 5+ to win 20-0. I rolled double 2's and ended up "only" winning 15. As we were 1 point behind the winners this would've seen us win. Unlucky? Sure. Could I have done anything differently? At that point in time, no. Was I equally lucky (if not more so) when the Chaos Lord got scared during Crusade? Most definitely.

I guess the TL;DR is that this is a game of dice and extreme things happen. I am not the best at handling them there and then (kudos to those who are) but I'm certainly not the worst either and I'm getting better at it. It's a natural part of the game that you have to accept.

What I mostly find though is that the "unlucky" parts that annoy me the most are the parts that I'm usually responsible for myself. For example a situation requiring me to roll a 3+ might fail me and I find that for my plan to work, I'd need several such events to go my way. While any of them, taken on their own, would be expected to go in my favour, the combined string is unlikely to "all" go well for me. Carefully analyzing this and learning from your mistakes is crucial to improving your game. Part of risk management is taking risk away from the equation altogether, for example by marching with your hammer unit and delay the combat for 1 turn instead of taking the charge with ~70% chance or whatever.

For the sake of argument, let's take a look at your games and I'll try and relate:

Game 1: Teclis gets cannoned off. Assuming a normal Empire list with 3 cannons (or 2 cannons and 1 stank or whatever) you'll be facing 3 cannonballs each turn. Assuming no engineers that's 2 hits per turn, making 12 hits per game. This averages out to 2 failed Look Out, Sirs! For this reason, I am usually very wary of exposing my characters to cannons when facing EMP, doubly so when I have no other interesting targets for them to shoot at. Case in question: NM 2014 (report on page 1, game 2 or 3 vs Empire). Hid Teclis as much as I could to avoid just this scenario. While I'm not saying you had that option at all, "exposing" him in the open "only" protected by LoS! is an inherent risk that sometimes goes like this.

Game 2: I'll post up a report from my ETC practice at some point where I had a Daemon Prince wade through roughly thrice of what you just described unscathed. Bolt Throwers are sometimes amazing (see Dennis' effectiveness vs my Star Dragon BSK game 1), other times they are not. This is an inherent part of the game, certain matchups are very swingy meaning that they'll end up going heavily one way or the other. WoC are perhaps the epitome of this, sometimes their super-expensive characters just die, othertimes they wade through an army. WoC-DW is a classic example of this but HE lists with RBTs frequently experience the same. You simply have to accept that it's sort of a coin toss and even if the odds are 70-30, that means roughly every third time you will get steamrolled.

Game 3: I've had my Star Dragons wade through I-don't-even-know-how-many cannonballs. Sometimes big beasts just won't die. The odds are crazy, yes, but other times we have equally stupid luck with our RBTs as well. I distinctly remember a UB game a couple of months back where my opponent had a 3++ WoC lord behind an obstacle. I had a single RBT bolt on him, 6 to hit, wounds, fails ward, D3 => 3W => dead lord. Crazy.

Game 5: Inherent risk of running caster lists. Unless you're Tomb Kings with Hierotitan and Casket, there's hardly no way to ensure anything resembling a "stable magic phase" in Warhammer. I often have games where I can't roll anything but X+1 for winds, severely limiting my options.

On the face of it I would say it appears you had a poor tournament. It happens, unfortunately. However going through each of the games in detail and being honest with yourself, do you believe this was all due to poor luck or did you in some cases rely on the odds going in your favour too much or perhaps you could've done something to take risk out of the equation completely?

@SpellArcher - Indeed the draw itself can often be the most important "random" event ^^.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 8:54 am 
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If you haven't played it, I recommend finding a group that plays Blood Bowl.

Not only is it one of the best games ever printed, it's also a crash course in risk management and how much 'bad luck' can be mitigated by proper planning.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 9:25 am 
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As Curu says, sometimes there is literally nothing you can do.

But often there is.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:00 pm 
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@Mentheus of Chrace - I haven't tried Blood Bowl but it sounds interesting :)

@SpellArcher - Right on. Dealing with the moments when you simply can't do anything is also a part of the game though, and at that point in time I think one of the best ways to deal with it is to remember that it goes both ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:25 pm 
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Ok so time for another prep game. This was my ~5th game or so trying out various builds possible under the very first draft. What we looked to do was to play our concepts vs existing lists from last year. For this game, I asked to play against Sweden's WE list from 2014 as I believe it's a real pain to face as High Elves. My list was a spin on Furion's list where the bus basically becomes significantly stronger.


.::. Battle Report - vs Wood Elves .::.

Lister:

Quote:
Anointed on Flamespyre Phoenix: Ogre Blade, Enchanted Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Potion of Foolhardiness, 495
Prince on Barded Elven Steed: Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Dragon Armour, Dragonhelm, Ironcurse Icon, 287
Archmage on Elven Steed: Level 4, Lore of High Magic, Dispel Scroll, Crown of Command, 300

Noble on Barded Elven Steed: Battle Standard Bearer, Dragon Armour, Shield, Lance, Banner of the World Dragon, 178

18 Silver Helms: FCG, Shields, 444
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Bows (swap), 85
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Champion, 90

4x Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: 4x 70
Frostheart Phoenix: 240

Army Total: 2399


Quote:
Spellweaver on Elven steed: General, level 4, lore of high magic, Obsidian loadstone, Dispel scroll, 310
Glade captain on elven steed: battle standard bearer, Asrai long bow, light armour, hail of doom arrow, dragonbane gem, starfire shafts, 149
4x Waystalker: 2nd hand weapon, asrai longbow, 4x 90

13 Gladeguard: musicant, starfire shafts, 218
13 gladeguard: musicant, standard, starfire shafts, gleaming pendant, 233
13 Gladeguard: musicant, 166
11 Wildriders: Standard, standard of disiplin, 333

2x 5 Deepwood scouts: 2x 65

2x 10 Waywatchers: 2x 200
2x 1 Great eagle: 2x 50
Total: 2399


Pre-Battle Thoughts

I setup my RBTs to pressure the center of the table with the Anointed on a flank and the Frost on the opposite with the bus nearby. I'm really scared of sniping and the big WR unit can completely decimate the Helms if he gets a couple of counters (and the charge, of course). Wood Elves deploy fairly aggressively with the scouts. Despite my +1, WE get T1.

Image
The dark Archers are Waywatchers with 2 Waystalkers in each unit

Image

Image

T1 starts with the L4 almost going down - 2W from Waystalkers. Arcane goes off on Anointed and removes pot of fools. I fail the 2++ and take a wound though. In my T1 I Wake the Scouts and put the Anointed centrally. L4 reforms to cover and Helms move 9". Frost positions to threaten Waywatchers and provide cover.

In my magic phase I brainfart as I forget Apotheosis. Instead I get off Soul Quench on the Archers and Walk on the Phoenix. However I start an amazing series of Wake of Fires as I do 0w on Waywatchers (2 ranks).

Image

Image

Waywatchers move towards the bus. He can't see my L4 but an IF Walk puts him in position. This also brings him past the Frostheart-area-denial. Had he not gotten the IF, my scroll would've come out very quickly.

In response I send Frostie towards Archers and the Flamespyre Wakes again. 1W this time.

Image

Image

Bus comes on the table again and another wake of fire... 1W. RBTs get taken out and I lose my control of the table.

Image

Image

Another Wake, another 1W. Another wound would've given me half points. Another IF Walk moves Waystalkers on a hill and they snipe the BSB. How I hate those guys. Wild Riders are zoning the bus.

Image

I charge Archers with the bus, he flees. I then charge them with the Flamespyre so he flees the other way, back towards the bus. Flamespyre redirects into Archers right ahead and they hold. Bus reaches Archers and I reform to a single rank to flee the Wild Riders.

In the last turn of the game I flee 11" and then rally. Flamespyre eats Archers. VP-wise we've taken roughly 900 each and it's a 10-10 tie.

// Evaluation //

Waystalker-spam is disastrous for High Elves. Since this game has been played the FAQ has been changed so that characters behind the first models get cover which helps a lot. Not getting T1 here also hurt a lot. I would've wiped Scouts and established a zone in the middle with both Phoenixes.

Wild Riders with High Magic zone the bus very hard. With the fast cav rule their mobility is pretty insane. To play successfully vs WE you have to control the WRs and I didn't manage to do that this game. If they had been played more aggressively in this game I think I might've lost big.

Wake of Fire was a joke this game. It was just sad as I came to expect doing nothing eventually. I would've loved to see how more average rolls would've affected the game. Regardless, especially with ITP and MR2, this is a significantly stronger choice vs WE than the Star Dragon (which is simply way more powerful than what you need in this matchup).

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:17 pm 
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A list concept I tried for a while in the early versions of the draft was a true deathstar with very few other elements. The idea was for this list to be used vs some of the other powerhouses out there that simply don't have an answer to BOTWD and can't chaff it out for long enough to avoid a loss. Examples include SK, DoC and VC. The later drafts have made this beyond illegal, but the introduction of scenarios and increased popularity from lists that handle this well would've rendered it unplayable regardless I believe.


.::. Battle Report - vs Daemons of Chaos .::.

Lister:

Quote:
Tyrion
Cavprince
L4 book stubborn high
L2 beasts scroll ici
L2 beasts featherfoe torc channelstaff
BSB BOTWD

18 Helms
2x 5 Reavers, champ

Frostheart


Quote:
Tzeentch Herald, L2, TZ, General
Nurgle Herald, Razor, Regen, BSB

Plaguebearers
2x 10 Horrors

2x 5 Furies
3x 5 Blightkings
Soul Grinder

2x 1 Skullcannon


Pre-Battle Thoughts

Fairly unusual list for DoC seeing as double SCs take up all comp points. With double metal heralds this list would've been a problem for me to face because of having to hide the Frost from cannons (thus reducing my ability to clear chaff) and having the bus tank final trans. Pretty much the only way I can lose this game is if Blight Kings hit me from multiple angles simultaneously.

Image

Image

Image

I deploy skewed to be able to make a wide sweep towards where his points are at (my list commits very early in deployment)- This also provides the Frost with good cover. I start off with Fiery on the Horrors and in his turn he doesn't get enough dice to dispel and the general dies. This is critical for Furies as march blocking becomes a huge issue. His Skillcannons try and snipe my BSB, an interesting gambit, but it fails and one of them blows up as the result of a misfire.

Image

Image

Reavers march-block and shut down BKs. Frost commits seeing as one skullcannon's dead and I get off a big Walk on it. It saves the incoming cannonball on its 5++ and I'm good to go!

Image

Image

Chaff is dealt with, Frostheart eats the cannon, my magic is contained.

Image

Image

Frostheart threatens BK.

Image

Image

Bus eats BKs without problems but the overrun takes it so far that the Plaguebearers are able to escape. Frost denies BKs, then charges BKs and wins but he outruns me. In his last turn of the game the Soul Grinder hits the Frost but again I ward it.

I've lost a unit of Reavers and taken slightly less than half his points. 1000 VP diff and 16-4 to High Elves!

// Evaluation //

With only 2 units of furies the template for this matchup is as follows:

HET1: Move up
HET2: Position to threaten a unit (could possibly happen T1 depending on Walk)
HET3: Eat furies
HET4: Eat furies

HE T5 + T6: Get real points.

So in practice you have 2 rounds to gather points. The things that can affect this are magic, the frostheart and superior movement to avoid said furies for example and/or get lucrative overruns to fight multiple times in a single game turn.

The risk in this matchup is near non-existant for me. With metal it's quite a bit worse. The problem with playing without Lords for DoC is that not only do they lack the scroll, but +2 to dispel is disastrous vs +5 to cast from High Magic.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:11 pm 
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Not the list a Daemons player is happy to see, I'd have thought!

:)

I like Tyrion. It strikes me that his Flaming Attacks could be a problem sometimes. The Breath Weapon rocks though and otherwise he's just Cavalry Prince Plus. Magic defence does seem a bit of an issue for Daemons. In my last game I got a 5v4 turn one and boosted Amber Spear just went straight through, any other army would have scrolled it.

So in your opinion Curu, he really needs that second wizard? Were there a lot of Blight Kings around throughout playtesting? If he had a Beasts block could he try to hold the bus with it then bring BK's in?

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:53 pm 
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Tyrion is a double-edged sword indeed. When that stubborn disclord shows up with his Dragonhelm, you're in a pickle for example. However when faced with some of the more annoying things with regen, both the flaming attacks and the breath weapon are welcome. It's a pity he doesn't strike before the rest but in my experience the sheer threat of flaming attacks have often been enough.

There are many ways to build DoC. The book is super strong and the final ETC draft for them is rather soft. The hard part is guessing what directions their lists will take for a team tournament such as the ETC. Based on what was popular last year however I believe many lists will come with only a single L2 Tzeentch wizard (apart from Horrors) in the magic department.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:21 pm 
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While some are busy discussing whether AoS will be playable or not, others are still playing Warhammer ;)

ETC lists are due very soon and we are finalizing our lists at the moment. Once the lists are public I will elaborate on my choices and discuss other, select HE lists.

In the meantime I have a report which I hope you'll find interesting: A few months back I played vs Furion on UB in a civil war and I'm hoping to post it up in a couple of days :) Stay tuned!

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:12 am 
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Looking forward to it Curu! High elf civil wars are my favourite kind of reports.


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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:50 pm 
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+1 to that...and to Curu's statement about some people still playing the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:31 pm 
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Are ETC and the general competitive scene going to be sticking with 8th edition?

Even with points costs and simple-line-of-sight/measuring-from-the-base, I cannot see Age of Sigmar being played competitively, in that I don't think it has the tactical and strategic depth, in maneuver and list-building, to be anything remotely serious.


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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:25 pm 
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Good to hear it's anticipated :)

What ETC will do is way too early to tell yet. I guess a decision will likely be made somewhere between october and december.

Report vs Furion coming up and seeing as the lists submission deadline has now been met I will post and discuss my final list in the near future :)

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:33 pm 
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Splendid!

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:58 pm 
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Furion's take on High Elves under ETC2015 composition rules quickly became a staple for the army and was picked up around the globe. I expect variants of this to be very popular at the ETC. As for my own list, this was an early draft in which we (as a team) basically looked at the strong Dark Elf lists from last year and asked ourselves: How can this be built with High Elves instead? The idea is shooting, strong flyers and death magic. Granted we don't get Warlocks, which is a huge downside, but Frost + SD are a lot stronger than DE Pegs.

How would this fare in a civil war?


.::. Battle Report - vs High Elves .::.

Lister:

Quote:
Prince on Star Dragon: Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Preservation, The Other Trickster's Shard, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lion Cloak, 645
Archmage: Level 4, Lore of Death, Dispel Scroll, Obsidian Lodestone, 290
Noble: Battle Standard Bearer, Dragon Armour, Charmed Shield, Reaver Bow, Potion of Strength, 155

10 Ellyrian Reavers: Bows, Standard Bearer, Champion, 190
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Champion, 90
29 Archers: FCG, 320

10 Shadow Warriors: 140

4x 1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: 4x 70
Frostheart Phoenix: 240
Great Eagle: 50

Army Total: 2400


Quote:
Prince on Dragon
L4 Book, Crown, High
L1 Scroll, Shadow
BSB Reaver Bow

30 Archers: FCG
2x 5 Helms: Shields, muso, champ

22 Lions: FCG, BOTWD

4x RBT


Pre-Battle Thoughts

This list is an issue for me because my magic is nearly completely irrelevant whereas his hurts a lot. In terms of sheer firepower we are evenly matched but, perhaps crucially, the Frostheart is very limited in what it can do whereas the Lions can just march up the middle and I can't really deal with them effectively. The one thing I do have going for me is the threat of Purple sun vs an eager Dragon.

Last but not least, him having 1 drop less than me is a big advantage in this game because it likely means he gets to move and shoot first, thus taking the initiative which is almost always crucial in Elven matchups.

This game was played on one of the old maps which I think highlights their problem a lot: They favour mobile aggressive lists too much. In this matchup, he will almost always be the aggressor because of my inability to effectively handle the WL and the fact that the Frostheart can be neutralized easily if I make daring moves with it. Regardless, I end up with a flank which I leave open with RBTs on the backline, thereby forcing him to take a big risk if he wants to go there while the other flank/center sees the rest of my army deploy so as to at least control that part of the board.

Image

Reavers vanguard up to grab cover.

He gets T1.

Image

Image

Dragon goes full speed ahead. In my experience, it is a trademark for skilled players to play balls to the wall. While it might seem very risky, on paper it works -most- of the time. You can also see this in Furion's videos from last year's ETC. The WL start their shenanigans towards my center: Leaving him within 24" of the Archers for Fiery and 18" from Reavers for Soul Quench (his L1 Shadow rolled Withering). I scroll Fiery and IF SQ kills (!) Reavers. To add insult to injury, the one BT which can see my Prince in hard cover hits me, randomizes to Prince, wounds, I fail ward, 5 is rolled, Prince dead. So much for LD10.

In my turn I pop Potion on BSB but to no avail: After my entire magic phase and shooting phase has targeted his Star Dragon the net result is... 0w.

This is not looking good.

Image

Dragon goes East, thereby avoiding my possible counter-charge from my own SD. I am lucky to stop Fiery in the magic phase and the rest is negligible.

Image

Time to face the facts: My chances of winning this game are very slim. Instead I am looking at what I can reasonably expect to have alive at the end of T6. I decide to try and save the SD, FP, L4 and BSB. Everything else is expendable. To do this I move the RBTs to prevent the best overruns, characters into SWs and I block SHs with Frost. To achieve this however I need to have my own SD clear his backlines on the Western flank because I don't have enough bodies to protect my fragile infantry characters if I can't silence the BTs.

Image

I catch a break as his L4 cascades. He does drag down a few Archers with him seeing as Fiery was the spell of choice. While lucky for me, this is the third time he 5-dices a spell with BoH re-roll to maximise value. As any Warhammer player doing magic phases like this can attest to: Cascades happen ofter than you'd think from looking at the numbers.

Image

Dragon into bolter. SWs retreat. Magic + shooting send SH running with 1 model left alive. T3 was crucial as I now have a bit of breathing space. With the L4 down I stand a good chance of preserving SWs + chars as well. I got the sun off this turn for the 2nd time but couldn't roll the required 8+ to reach his SD.

Image

Dragon charges Archers and I flee. I believe this to be a big mistake on his part as the flee is so obvious and he can just set up a devastating position instead should he want to get in close and personal.

For magic he rolls a miserable 3v2 but goes for gold and casts Withering on the SD. Unfortunately, he cascades yet again (!). Lady luck is on my side.

Image

The Eagle buys a turn for me by blocking WL. Frost is ready to sacrifice itself if needed as well. Dragon eats a second bolter. This time the Purple Sun finally goes long enough and his SD goes down (though the Prince survives). With 1+/4++ I am unlikely to snipe him and grab the juicy 700+ VPs.

Image

He tries to block me in.

Image

A very poor T5 from me. I don't angle the Dragon properly for a T6 counter-charge on my bunker. Speaking of the bunker: I thought skirmishers were steadfast if they were touching a wood, but as I'm about to be taught this only applies if the majority are in woods. Frostheart blocks out WL. Magic and shooting targets the Prince but to no avail.

Image

WL into Frost. Helms into SWs. Frost thunderstomps its way to victory, he holds. Helms win, I hold (lucky again!).

I finish the game by sending Archers into WL flank. I have nothing to lose seeing as I am less likely to kill the Prince with shooting than making the long charge and perhaps breaking the WL. Magic sees Soulblight go off on the Helms and D&D on the Lions. BSB makes way and I win vs SH => catch them fleeing. Soulblight really made a difference here. I win big vs WL as well as the Archers make the charge however they hold.

A truly exciting game which upon completion yielded the somewhat unexpected 10-10 tie

// Evaluation //

This game highlights 2 problems with the list that I had experienced previous to this encounter: Obsidian Lodestone is miles away from BOTWD. It's so painful to deal with magical threats at a distance such as Fiery and magic missiles. You frequently end up with too many must-stop spells. The lack of the Book makes it even worse.

The second problem is the fact that Death is primarily strong when you get it up close and personal. The 10 SW bunker/runaway solution is incapable of fulfilling such a task. They are frequently impossible to get into position, let alone be safe there, and to top it off 140 points is a significant investment. Sure they have some truly good matchups, but overall I think they're too weak in this setting.

Furion played a better game than me and had definitely deserved a victory here. He understands his list very well and he was able to utilize every part of his list to achieve specific and game-changing goals from deployment onwards. By contrast my deployment highlighted my inability to settle on a strategy and only after things went really downhill did I have an overall game-plan (which did eventually work out!) with clear goals for all elements in the list. Again though I must highlight what I consider the map issues to be here: Being of a more defensive nature there are no good spots for me in this matchup: If I commit to the West too early he gets all bolters in Ruins which means it's game over.

I definitely learned to consider deployment in light of more angles and approaches than previous to this game, as such I found it highly interesting and learned a lot. That said, I'm still not sure how I should've gone about deployment here.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:20 pm 
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Thanks for that Curu.

The dice certainly played a big part here, from your unluck re shooting to his double Cascade. Did you expect the early Conga Reform with the Lions and was that the best move do you believe? Also interesting was when you decided to change tack to preserve the characters. Do you often identify a key point in games where you have to change strategy and if so, how often do you get it right?

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:54 am 
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I didn't realize his conga could quite reach my Archers with Fiery, which did cost me the scroll early on. However the general manoevre I'm fairly well acquainted with seeing as I use it a lot myself. I think it was the right move because it is essentially risk free: There's no way for me to penalize him for that move and it doesn't restrict his T2 options in any meaningful way.

As for key turning points: Typically I am looking for them actively during the first 2-3 turns of the game. In this one however the choice was forced very early on. Usually the first 2-3 turns consist of judging one another and trying to out-manouvre the other. Things like scrolls being blown, levels/casters lost to miscast etc also play a big role in your late-game options. I'll try and address this in detail in some of my other reports to be posted :)

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:47 pm 
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So, to the news! Here is my submitted list for the ETC, which took me roughly 150-200 games to find. I have tested tons of concepts and although this type of list was one of the first I tested it took a lot of draft changes before I ended up with considering this to be strong enough (largely because the drafts heavily nerfed the other powerbuilds out there which this list fear). Here it is:

Jarle Svendsrud, High Elves
Loremaster of Hoeth: General, Book of Hoeth, Shield of the Merwyrm, Sword of Anti-Heroes, 330
Archmage: L4, Light, Power Stone, Ironcurse Icon, Golden Crown of Atrazar, 255
Mage: L1, Light, Dispel Scroll, 110
Lothern Sea Helm: BSB, Standard of Discipline, 140
20 Archers: FCG, 230
10 Archers: Musician, Standard, 120
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Bows (swap), 85
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Bows (swap), 85
5 Ellyrian Reavers: 80
28 White Lions: FCG, Banner of the World Dragon, 444
1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: 70
1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: 70
1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: 70
1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: 70
1 Frostheart Phoenix: 240
Total: 2399

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:36 pm 
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I've noticed in each of my wins lately that there comes a point where I've killed so much stuff it makes sense to back off a little. I also had a game at London's Burning that turned bad and I rightly tried to do what you did here Curu, keep the characters. Didn't work and I got tabled.

Looks like a fairly classic 8th book Coven. Nice to have the three Arcane items eh? I love the Shield/Sword combo. What's the reasoning behind the 20/10 Archers split? Will you miss not being able to be quite so aggressive as normal?

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:51 pm 
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Yes, I can't claim much in terms of originality here. As those of you who've followed me for a while know I've advocated this build on a number of occasions: The Swedes took it to the ETC in 2013 where it performed really well, the same list + player also dominated the Swedish tournament scene and on top of that one of our players won a tournament here in Norway with it. It's a very solid and stable build in a world without extremes.

The problem this has year, at least in the beginning, was that all lists were extreme. The full-on threat projection lists such as Dark Elf peg-circus variants just had too many threats for such a list to handle. As the comp gradually got stricter however this list rose in power again, eventually resulting in a tournament win and 2 runner-up finishes for me in April, May and June. True, I got lucky in quite a few situations as well both in terms of matchups and dice, but this is a list that I believe is the best we could come up with for HE considering what we want HE to do.

I'm really looking forward to playing it in practice vs the other nations at ETC. I expect some highly skilled opponents and rock hard lists which will test both the list and my abilities to the max.

One thing to note is that although the differences on paper between this list and Dennis' list from 2013 are marginal, their actual in-game effect (combined with a new meta and new rules) are tremendous.

The 20/10 Archer split was one of my later changes. I originally started with 40 Archers +2x5 Reavers but I couldn't find points for an Eagle so I felt I needed 3 units of Reavers vs the hardest pushers out there. Combine this with a need for banners due to fortitude (where I found 5 to be too little) and I had the choice whether to go 30 Archers + 3x 5 Reavers or 20+10 + 3x 5. I settled for the first for a long while and it took a couple of games where I had to mess around with characters here and there to make me try 20 + 10 instead. I didn't have much faith in it but playtesting has shown it to be superior in terms of in-game flexibility. The bonuses of having a single, large unit have come to play too rarely to outweigh the increased tactical options that 2 present.

As for not being able to play as aggressively as I prefer: It takes time getting used to. The good thing is that this list often can do just that though. I have had many games where you'd think Banishment is the real killer when in fact Timewarp is what wins me the game. A classical case is vs DoC when I get T1 and march up WL to get a 8v5 phase. I start off with 4d6 Timewarp, say. What do you do? You try and stop with 2 levels less than me and only 1 dice more or do you hold to maybe stop Banishment? Most players fear the Banishment more, in which case I'll simply opt to start small-dicing with the Loremaster instead. If they stop Timewarp on 5D6 I can abuse the Power Stone to effectively get a resulting 6v0 split. Being able to catapult WL like this presents the DoC player with a huge headache, assuming he can't effectively chaff them out of course.

I'll get a couple of reports up and running as soon as I can. First however I'd like to introduce a concept that I was asked to comment on by a Danish friend whom I've played with a bit on UB this year. We developed the core of it together but I didn't have faith in it so I just let it be. He however took it to a very hard tournament where he did very well and he was totally convinced it was absolutely brutal. After his success I had to start playtesting and although I didn't share his view of it being overpowered, it suited my playstyle 100%. Lastly I don't think many other people would've shown up with this list:

Quote:
Prince on Star Dragon: Heavy Armour, Shield, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster´s Shard, 604
Archmage on Elven Steed: Level 4, Lore of High Magic, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury, 290
Noble on Ithilmar Barded Elven Steed: Battle Standard Bearer, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, Banner of the World Dragon, 172
Noble on Ithilmar Barded Elven Steed: Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Ogre Blade, 134

17 Silver Helms: Shields, FCG, 421
5 Silver Helms: Shields, Champion, Standard Bearer, 135
5 Ellyrian Reavers: Bows (swap), 85

Great Eagle: 50
Flamespyre Phoenix: 225
4x 1 Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: 4x 70

Army Total: 2396


There are many ways in which you can tweak this list, I think I ended up favouring Crown of Command over Ogre Blade for example, and it also looks to be an inferior version of what Norway brought last year.

However in-game testing showed the L4 + ring to be lightyears ahead of 2x L2s and the Flamespyre, while no-where near its bigger brother, had some absolutely amazing matchups seeing as the Elven MSU-builds became so popular. I had games vs WE and DE where it singlehandedly won me multiple BPs.

I still believe this list is in no way broken - its weaknesses are obvious and glaring to an experienced player - but it was tons of fun to play.

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 Post subject: Re: Path To Glory
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:42 pm 
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I was wondering about Fortitude!

Even reading Brewmaster's stuff so long ago, I remember him stressing the importance of the buffs. I took World Dragon Swordmasters to my last tournament and the movement spells from High Magic caused a lot of trouble for opponents who couldn't easily handle them in combat. But here you have the magic to force stuff through, which makes all the difference. In fact it's quite funny because you have Lions plus Phoenix. I had other combat units but really, the SM's and Frostheart did all the work! Against some opponents you have to hold but vs others you can push as I saw in some of Irishranger's games with a similar list recently.

That was another thing from the ETC lists. Flamespyres where you'd expect Frosthearts, because of comp.

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