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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:14 am 
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Vindicated Strategist
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List suggestion, two-block approach:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Heavens Mage, l2, scroll = 145
Characters = 904

13 Silver Helms, Shields, Full Command = 329
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core = 604

28 White Lions, FC, BOTWD = 444
5 Shadow Warriors = 70
Special = 514

4 RBT = 280
5 Sisters of Avelorn = 70
Rare = 350

Army total: 2372.

These changes allow the list to play more flexibly, with more board control, shooting, drops, scouts, magic, but less combat power. Slightly less than 30 points to play around with doesn't leave room for a whole lot, but a little more wiggle space than my current draft has. The Ironcurse Icon on the Prince for example would be a welcome addition.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:35 am 
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I`ll be facing Ogres tonight with the same list as I used in my last game. I`m hoping to decide whether or not the PG are worth it sooner rather than later: I`m hoping I`ll be able to attend a big tournament in a month`s time and the lists have to be in before April 15th. What are your thoughts on the matter? For reference, the 2 lists:

2 Blocks + Bus wrote:
Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Mage, scroll = 110
Characters = 869

13 Silver Helms, Shields, Full Command = 329
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core = 604

20 White Lions, FC, BOTWD = 340
20 PG, FC, Razor Standard = 375
Special = 715

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2398


Big Lions + Bus wrote:
Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Heavens Mage, l2, scroll = 145
Characters = 904

13 Silver Helms, Shields, Full Command = 329
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core = 604

28 White Lions, FC, BOTWD = 444
5 Shadow Warriors = 70
Special = 514

4 RBT = 280
5 Sisters of Avelorn = 70
Rare = 350

Army total: 2372.


Hoping for feedback ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:22 pm 
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I played a small 3 game tournament last Sunday with at somewhat similar list to the 2 block + bus list. I had a high AM instead of the Loremaster with the PG's. With the 3++ PG's I rarely lost combat however I only won the combats with one or two meaning that my opponents held. After two or three rounds of combat I started loosing the combats due to too having too few models left. 5 models more would probably have made me win so I think the blocks are too small.

I addition I really like the fire power in the Bus+WL list. And I like the fact that it can deal with regen Monsters. In one game my PG's ended up being mashed by a big unit of 10 trolls, because I lacked flaming attacks. For the last 28 points I would add two sisters. 7 sisters mean that you on average would be able to clear regen of a chimera around 80% of the time and against something like trolls you would be almost sure to remove it.

So I would definitely go for the Bus + WL approach.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:48 pm 
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1 vote for the Lionblock + bus then ;) Typing up the BR vs OK now, should be up soon! Thanks for your input, Dragon fire :D

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:45 pm 
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.::. Battle Report - 2400 vs Ogre Kingdoms (ETC comp) .::.

My list:
Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone = 263
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Mage, scroll = 110
Characters = 869

13 Silver Helms, Shields, Full Command = 329
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows, muso = 95
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core = 604

20 White Lions, FC, BOTWD = 340
20 PG, FC, Razor Standard = 375
Special = 715

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2398

His list:

Bruiser General Crown of Command
Bruiser BSB Mawbanner
Firebelly L2 Scroll, Fire Ring

9 Ironguts, FC
3x10 Gnoblars
3 Ogres

8 Leadbelchers, musician, champion
7 Maneaters, brace of pistols, poison, stubborn, musician
3 Cats

2 Ironblasters

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

I think this is one of the most disastrous matchups for HE to face. The list sports a number of drops for the OK player to completely outdeploy me, the shooting tears me apart and there are hardly any good targets to engage (the Leadbelchers are pretty much the only unit I want to fight).

My intention for this game was so have the PG central, WL hammering and SH wheeling wide around. Hopefully I`d be able to combo-charge to engage 1 unit while keeping the others away. His magic is super-poor but his shooting is super-strong, so I can`t win a ranged fight. Advancing on S4 armour piercing and 2 Ironblasters...

Magic - I auto-defaulted to Iceshard. No point doing anything else here in my opinion. He rolled up flame cage and a useless spell, swapping the latter for Fireball.

Image

Horribly out-deployed. I didn`t realize how bad until later on. The main problem is the Silver Helms being utterly incapable of reaching meaningful combat due to Lake + Ruins + chaff. I rolled higher for first turn, luckily.

// HE T1 //

Full speed ahead on the Western flank. PG slower, Lions grab cover. Magic, I land debuffs on the Leadbelchers, but no scroll is drawn. He dispels Spirit Leech on an Ironblaster.

Shooting is miserable: the RBTs all have to fire on the same target to kill a single cat. Reavers do nothing.

Image

// OK T1 //

Maneaters start walking up with Ironguts nearby (BSB with Maw with Maneaters). Chaff on the West getting into position. Magic is big and I have to let 2 Fireballs through which kill off one unit of Reavers (3 panic tests without Lord or BSB, all passed luckily). I stop flame cage. Poor decision on my part to leave the Reavers exposed like that: there`s nothing of value in the East and the RBTs will quickly face Ironblaster-death regardless.

Shooting: 2 Ironblasters fire, one kills an RBT, the other misfires and is unable to fire for this turn and the next. Maneaters kill an RBT. Leadbelchers roll a ridiculous amount of shots and despite needing 6`s back to back to hit they manage to kill one Lion.

Image

// HE T2 //

I swift reform Silver Helms and manage to slip past the Gnoblars, for now. I place PG for a tempting charge from his Ironguts (needing 5 or 6), intending to flee. This is a move purely to buy the assault on the Leadbelchers some more time without expending Reavers, of which only 2 units are left. One moves West, the other East. Lions move up hard, outside of Ironguts` charge arc.

Magic: I catch a lucky break as I start off with a Spirit Leech on the Ironblaster which can shoot this turn. He decides to take it and I roll a 6 to his 1. He dispels the rest. Shooting: RBT does nothing.

Image

// OK T2 //

Big mistake revealed as the Gnoblars simply reform to block my Helms. Leadbelchers move further back and other Gnoblars block Lions. A cat charges East Reavers. Ironguts charge PG, who flee. However I roll a miserable 3 and he needs an 8 to catch me. Luckily he fails and stumbles ahead a couple of inches. Magic sees him land Flame Cage on the PG: with them fleeing and the Western situation pressured so badly, I decide not to scroll it. Hopefully I can keep retreating tactically with them for the rest of the game and the 4++ should be enough to see them get to safety.

Shooting is a lot worse with his Leadies hitting on 4`s, but Lion Cloaks help quite a bit and I have roughly half the unit remaining at the very least. Maneaters blast away at PG who are now far below fighting strength.

Combat sees Reavers beat the cat. He runs, I pursue but fail to catch. Gnoblars fail panic test and run as well.

Image

// HE T3 //

The situation is becoming very desperate. The Prince needs a 10 overrun from the Gnoblars to reach the Leadbelchers. I decide to make the charge but I charge the Lions in as well. Big mistake: if the unit is not destroyed completely the Prince is shuffled towards the front rank (he was 2 wide) and thus an overrun would be impossible. Reavers move up on both sides. Silver Helms reform to get out of ruins. PG rally and take casualties from Flame Cage. I face them away, intending to keep on running.

Magic sees the scroll come out finally. I think I landed a couple of debuffs on the Leadbelchers still. Shooting finally sees the RBT prove its worth as it combines with the Reavers to JUST cause a panic test, which sees the Gnoblars flee.

Combat: I kill 9/10 Gnoblars... This shuffles my Prince after the last one. He fails his break test and I pursue away from the Lions. NOT what I was intending...

Image

// OK T3 //

Ironguts reform and go 4-wide towards my aggression. Leadbelchers move behind. Ironblaster lines up Prince. Maneaters go after PG. Gnoblars on the East rally, cat keeps fleeing.

Magic sees him fail to cast anything on low winds. Shooting...

Leadbelchers kill a couple of Lions and it`s now an interesting matchup between them: basic Ogres can still hurt our Elves a lot! The Ironblaster however misfires (thank you very much) and loses its ability to shoot. Prince intact!

Image

// HE T4 //

I take a lot of time to contemplate what to do here. In the end I decide to yet again go for the risky play in hopes of getting a decent-ish result: The Prince acts as the most expensive roadblock in history as he goes next to the Ironguts. WL front-charge Leadbelchers and Reavers flank them, after sending a cat fleeing first in the direction of the Maneaters (it lands right in front of them). Silver Helms and BSB move up with an angle that sees them able to charge both the Leadbelchers and the Ironguts.

Magic is low, but luckily I channel. I manage Miasma WS, but roll a `1` so he still hits Reavers and mage on 4s. I get Earthblood on Lions but he dispels Iceshard (I only had 5PD here so power of the Book people!). Shooting sees RBT put a single wound on Ironguts (single bolt, was hoping to get lucky here which could help my Prince a lot.

Combat: I fluff horribly and actually lose to the Leadbelchers. Reavers run and Lions barely hold due to LD10. Wow.

Image

// OK T4 //

Yet another mistake revealed: Ironguts have a flank charge on the Prince. He makes it and Ironblaster charges WL. Cat rallies and blocks Maneters. Magic sees me stop his one cast. Shooting: can`t remember, probably not important.

In combat the roles are reversed: with barely a handful of Lions left I score more wounds than I did last phase and he fluffs a LOT. 1 Lion (!!!) is left and I`m stubborn. I hold. However the other combat is where interesting things happen: he Makes Way! with both BSB and General to get higher strength impact hits on the Prince. I challenge, he declines. I move General to the back and manage to kill the BSB outright! He scores 1W, which means I lose by 2. Hold due to BSB.

Image

// HE T5 //

Silver Helms charge Leadbelchers: with the Mawbanner gone I think the Prince is fine on his own. I need to kill the Leadbelchers and free up that space before the Loremaster gets in trouble. Magic is low, but again I channel which is crucial. I start with 2D6 Earthblood, getting 5+1, book making it 5+6! With only 3 dispel dice he lets it go and Prince is back on 3W. He dispels Iceshard on the Ironguts but second cast goes through! 6`s to hit the Prince, yes please ;)

In combat the Silver Helms show that they actually can do some damage: Ogres are pretty good targets for ASF S5 attacks and the Leadbelchers lose like 10 wounds or so, left with only the champion on 1W. He kills the mage and Lions but fails both break tests. I pursue Leadbelchers with both units to get Loremaster away from Maneaters and catch them. BSB within range of Prince since I pursued with Loremaster first.

The Prince duly thanks the Loremaster for his aid and I kill the Firebelly this time around! In return he fails to wound me, which means I actually win combat. He is steadfast, but is lacking his BSB. A roll of `9` sees him relieved because of Banner of Discipline, but Iceshard is -1 to LD as well and he breakes. Prince catches them and a massive amount of points fall into my lap.

Apologies, no picture :/

He tries to charge PG but fails to reach. I block Maneaters with Reavers, chase Ironblaster off the table and preserve Loremaster + Prince. Counting up points I`m 1258 ahead, a comfortable 18-2 win to the High Elves!

// Evaluation //

I don`t even want to start counting mistakes in this game. On both sides, they were plentiful and affected the game greatly. This is a bad, because it makes it very hard for me to properly evaluate the matchup.

Anyways, let`s start:

Deployment-wise was a big bummer for me. I`m sure I could`ve find a way that would`ve made it easier for me to advance with the SHelms. Also, early game move of Reavers was really bad: these should be as close as possible to the Helms to help clear the way. Also, they`re the only good target for Fireball AND I need their chaffing abilities mid-game when my aggression hits home. Big advantage OK with the refused flank...

...However, despite everything that happened I believe OK would`ve won if he had simply swapped places with Maneaters and Leadbelchers. I don`t know why he didn`t place the WS4 S5 stubborn Maneaters on the refused flank and having the Leadbelchers wheel around! Furthermore, with the Maw banner on this unit T1 and maybe T2 I couldn`t have dropped his BS with Iceshard.

Early turns I started blasting away at chaff but I couldn`t roll the numbers I needed to clear it quick enough. Getting angles with the Loremaster was also hard and winds weren`t high enough to let me both debuff shooters and throw missiles at chaff. Well I could`ve but I opted to SL the IB instead, which I got lucky with (tbh I was hoping to draw dice or even a scroll).

The T2 Silver Helms move was pretty bad. Largely a result of my deployment, but I could`ve looked for better solutions. I was so pre-occupied with the fact that he didn`t have a musician that I didn`t consider a normal reform to 1-rank wide blocking me out. His T2 Ironguts move was also unnecessary in my opinion: with the Maneaters on the flank there`s no way my PG can do any harm here. I would`ve simply reformed the guts around now and ignored the PG.

T3 WLs charging Gnoblars - no comment. With their lousy LD I could`ve simply charged with the Prince in the flank alone and he would`ve needed snake eyes to hold.

The Prince getting flanked, no comment: I haven`t used Eagles in a while and with Reavers you pretty much always get a front. However the single biggest mistake of the game was making way with the BSB + General to get stronger impact hits on the Prince, no doubt. This allowed me to go from what would likely have been a minor defeat (see below) to a huge win. Last game I tried a gambler`s move like this, it failed. This game it most certainly did not.

// The Prince & Guts situation //

Let`s assume that the Prince would`ve held for 2 combat turns, a reasonable assumption given his inability to put more than 1W on me in the first round and me having such a strong Lifebloom cast in the next combat round. I would`ve killed the Firebelly and Leadbelchers, but the Guts (+banner), BSB + General (+bonuses) and Ironblaster would be intact. I believe I could`ve secured the Loremaster regardless. I won by ~1250 points. The gutstar is roughly 475 with bonus, General 250, BSB 250. The Prince is ~350 with bonus. So adding these numbers together, we`re looking at a difference of 1325 points, which would mean a 10-10 tie.

Of course mistakes happen in every game, so I can`t just dismiss the analysis on the basis of this game having "too many". I think this last paragraph is the closest I can get to a "reasonable" evaluation though, which shows that the matchup might not be as critically bad as I feel it is.

Thanks for reading, C&C appreciated :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Wow, your Prince was just amazing this game. Explain again why make way! was a poor move, please. (also, is it legal to make way with two models in a single combat?)

Are you saying it was a poor move because it exposed the fragile BSB to your Prince's attacks? I can't tell from the pictures. I haven't fought Ogres yet but my friend is painting his Ogre army right now so I need some insight :P

Are you happy with your decisions and movements with the Phoenix Guard?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Curu, could you get by with fewer Helms?

That might free up some points for a support unit without losing the second block.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:19 pm 
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Without reading the batrep, my gut feeling is that one big block and more support is better.
I think you can make two blocks work very well, but they are small and vulnerable. You will be rather heavily task loaded setting up the best situations.

On the flip side, I believe the two block army is the cool and original one you should take.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:48 pm 
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Fascinating report. I'll post more tomorrow, for now I merely wonder in which units you kept your loremaster and mage throughout the game.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:34 pm 
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Thanks for the report!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:15 am 
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Played an army just like this at the top table final round of my last tournament. He took one IB and a unit of mournfsng instead of 2IB.
Ended with a hard fought draw we each took about 1k VPs off each other.

The sheer quantity of firepower the leaddies and the man eaters can put out is pretty intimidating. You're looking at losing at least one elite unit on the way in, which means if he castles up(which my opponent did) you're not going to get to his lines with enough force to wipe him.

I think if you're opponent had advanced more cautiously with his guts instead of pushing forward in turn 1 he could have fed you the lead belchers and hammered you for another turn with the rest of his force without you getting fully engaged. I think you took advantage of that mistake giving you the win, well played.

It definitely is one of our worst match ups, and one where we have to take significant risks to come up with a win. Just one exceptional round from those units can cripple our army.

Thanks for the bat rep, congrats on getting the W. Suck it ogres!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:44 am 
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@Nicene - Indeed the Prince went above and beyond the call of duty, single-handedly winning me the game! Here`s the make way situation explained:

Image

The red rectangle is the Prince who is flanked.

Picture 1: position when he charged me. Since Ogres are Monstrous Infantry, they get 3 supporting attacks each. The BSB and General both strike at S7 and, unlike the rest of the unit, hit on 4s instead of 5s. In other words their attacks are very valuable.

Picture 2: By making way with both (I can`t find anything saying this is not legal?), he gets 2 impact hits at S7 instead of S6, big difference against 1+ re-rollable. Note that had he note made way, I could`ve challenged and put 1 guy at the back rank regardless, but he would`ve gotten 3 S7 attacks at me and not put his BSB in harm`s way (for the first round: once the Firebelly dies he has to step up).

Picture 3: I challenge to reduce incoming attacks, he declines. I move the General to the back of his unit. I am now in contact with a gut, a BSB and a Firebelly, as opposed to 2 Guts and a Firebelly. I put all the attacks on the BSB and hit all 4, due to ASF. I pray no 1`s and no 1`s turn up, BSB dies instantly as he has no ward. Next round I did the same with the Firebelly and he broke.

Consider this: when there are no wards in this unit to occupy the Prince, he can usually (if you don`t brainfart and put him up for a flank charge like I did) face 4 models attacking. On average he`ll deal ~3W to the Ogres and take maybe ~1W back, depending on spells etc (most of the time nothing as Rune Maw stops me and this build has very few augments available). Thus we`re looking at 2 ranks + 2 banners vs 2 wounds. An LD8 test. With a BSB nearby this is not terrible, considering he can kill characters slowly, but surely. Also Lifebloom helps out greatly. It`s worth remembering how much weaker this gutstar is than those who sport 4++ characters in the front rank.

I`m happy with the performance of the PG: they distracted Maneaters (who did nothing all game but shoot at RBTs, PGs and Reavers) and the Ironguts, who failed to have an impact when they should have.

@SpellArcher - I tried this in a couple of games and found that the list was inferior in 3 ways: a unit of Archers does very little in this list, a smaller unit of Helms loses LoS! too easily and lastly 2 units of Reavers isn`t enough for what I need. See reports against Lz and CD in particular ;)

@rusty - Loremaster and mage with Lions, on opposite corners. I pretty much do this every game. Yes the mage tends to die but that reduces attacks at Lions and the scroll is usually spent when he does so no big deal in my opinion.

@gaz - you`re welcome ;)

@vespacian - I think there`s a big difference between 1 and 2 IB. Mournfang makes the dynamics of this army very different. Regardless, the firepower the list puts out is frightening for Elves. I agree that his Guts weren`t paying enough attention to the Lions, lucky for me that the PG distracted him ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:18 am 
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I was just comparing Seredain's list where he seems to get by OK on fewer Helms and finds the archers useful. Ogres don't have much armour and if they kill this unit in a shooting duel that helps your other stuff, it has more wounds than the Reavers. Of course he does get Hand of Glory off on them regularly. I can see you need Reavers though.

The Prince thing just goes to show how careful you have to be taking on tank models in combat. In my last game a Savage Orc Horde picked a fight with my Treeman. He just couldn't get past the double saves and lost two characters and much of the unit. I also found Treekin excellent against Ogres for the same reason. Is it possible to mimic this with something like Lions with a High mage for example? Or even use Earthblood as a makeshift alternative?

I just read your Lizardman report Curu and struggled at first to see why you consider them such a difficult opponent, given that Wood Elves find them a good match-up. But I guess the difference in the archers plus the tree spirits are significant. The latter are not that bothered by BS shooting and Dryads have the flexibility to counter skinks. I wonder if it's worth running a small unit of Helms for chaff clearance? In general I feel Reavers are better but this might fill a gap.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:24 pm 
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I haven`t read any reports from Seredain in a good while, nor do I know if his list is built to handle CD (has he ever faced them?), the new Dwarfs (Irondrakes and the new OG make this a lot harder than it used to be for cavalry) or shooty Ogres. Suffice is to say that with only 2-3 Helms dying before LoS is lost, everything becomes scary for this unit. Even a normal magic missile is enough to warrant a dispel, which can be critical seeing as you don`t want to be prioritizing this kind of spell with this list. I have tried it and practice really shows that it simply doesn`t work. Also I haven`t found the Archers to play well with this list. They`re not our worst core choice, but in this scenario Lions, PG and SHelms tend to block them, they get isolated out of general/BSB range and give away points too easily without providing any value while doing so.

Tank models are indeed deceptively scary! I have experienced the Treeman-pain many times myself playing against Rusty. I have to consider using the Prince like this more, because it really is a trait of his build that I can probably capitalize upon way more than I currently am.

The Lizardmen matchup... Well, that game was won in large part due to my opponent forgetting how strong WLs were. Allowing the combo-charge was suicide. Also, I don`t think Life is a good lore for them and lastly the winds were usually with `1`s so the Slann couldn`t really make his presence felt. I don`t know how this matchup is for WE but the reason it`s a problem for (most) HE is that their mobility and poison is something you just have to go through. I don`t think a single unit of Helms would`ve helped that much either and it`s a very specific case. True, they`re better than Reavers in this matchup (as Reavers can ONLY redirect against Lz), but there are so many other situations where Reavers are better. I think a Slann with Loremaster High Magic is a pretty good choice. If the Lore doesn`t fit that well against your opponent then a number of Signature spells (as evidenced by our Loremaster) have a lot of value. Furthermore, Hand of Glory and Walk Between Worlds are always powerful, especially so with Skinks. I don`t have enough experience with Lz to know whether this is one of their strongest builds, but I`m confident that Life is definitely not their best choice.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:11 pm 
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I can see that with 8 Curu, Seredain was running 10 I think. Also the champ is helpful but is he essential? We haven't heard from him for six weeks so I don't really know! I have to say I really like the double blocks. Things are tight but that's usually a good sign IMHO. I was suggesting running a small unit of Helms alongside rather than instead of Reavers. I feel that light, semi-disposable combat units like the Helms (or Dryads for example) can be a useful element to have in. TG with low I, WS 4, T4 and 4+ AS are pretty much ideal targets for Lions so I'm surprised your opponent (who obviously knew what he was doing) had a mental block there.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:14 pm 
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10 is an awkward size given the rest of the list - there`s nowhere to put the remaining points apart from increasing the Reavers, which does more harm than good as they frequently die. With Reaver units being 0-3 I doubt there`s a better way to spend core tax than increasing the Prince`s protection. The Champ is essential for keeping the Star Lance and Giant Blade engaged at killing as many troops as possible and/or targeting characters.

The Dwarf list I faced recently isn`t really heavy on anti-cav stuff (there are far worse Dawi armies out there!) and, although it was a mistake on my part, even 13 Helms wasn`t enough. I`m really not keen on reducing their number because of this. As I touched on in a recent post, the whole world is geared to killing T4 1+ (MC standard) so T3 2+ is way less durable than it used to be. A small unit of Helms could indeed provide value to the list, helping pave the way for the real bus and even act as chaff/wm/mage hunters, but at the end of the day I think it`ll make the bus itself too vulnerable to be worth taking.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
10 is an awkward size given the rest of the list - there`s nowhere to put the remaining points apart from increasing the Reavers, which does more harm than good as they frequently die. With Reaver units being 0-3 I doubt there`s a better way to spend core tax than increasing the Prince`s protection. The Champ is essential for keeping the Star Lance and Giant Blade engaged at killing as many troops as possible and/or targeting characters.

How about something like this:
13 SH / Shields, FC
2 x 5 ER / Spears
5 SH / Shields
Comes out at 604 points, and gives you two units of "light chaff" (Reavers) and one unit of "heavy chaff" (Helms). I'm finding that I really prefer having 5 Helms as the third chaff unit since they really help keep the skinks and gutter runners/other scouts at bay, and also help keep the chariots honest. Reavers are with Spears only - I find that spears help quite a bit when charging enemy chaff / war machines / characters. Bows are handy but unreliable - sometimes they are great for removing that one last wound off an enemy redirector, or popping the Charmed Shield, but most of the time they are underwhelming (IMO).

Alternatively, for people that are big on Bows and Muso for the small helms - here's another variation (courtesy of Furion)
12 SH / Shields, FC
2 x 5 ER / Swap for Bows
5 SH / Shields, Mus
This version comes in at 601 points. Extremely handy for 2400 points SH cav bus lists.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:24 pm 
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It`s an interesting idea and I can definitely see the arguments for this. Another interesting detail is that by reducing the core by 3 points I can squeeze in the Ironcurse Icon on the Prince ;) I`ll consider it, but I do believe that the current setup is optimal. Thanks for the input and well-put argument, vladamex!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:51 pm 
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Ok you`ve convinced me. Thanks for your input, SpellArcher and vladamex! Next game I`ll feature a secondary unit of minimized Helms ;)

Current list draft is thus:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon = 268
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Heavy Armour, Shield = 166
Mage, scroll = 110
Characters = 874

12 Silver Helms, Shields, Full Command = 306
5 Silver Helms, Musician = 125
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core = 601

20 White Lions, FC, BOTWD = 340
20 PG, FC, Razor Standard = 375
Special = 715

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2400

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:00 pm 
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I like this list - I'm running something very similar, but with a slightly different character setup. I'm experimenting with L4 on horse and LM for the caster, and PG and WL for the main block (when running single block version).

Things that are interesting to call out IMO:
1) Getting OTS into the bus - it helps greatly against Daemons, Brets, Savages, WEs with Cauldron, PG... It also helps the Prince when fighting the challenges. Finding the points is hard, I know. I'm very happy with this setup (pioneered by Furion):
Prince on Barded Steed / Heavy Armor, Shield, Giant Blade, Dragonhelm, Dawn Stone, Ironcurse Icon 276
Noble on Barded Steed / BSB, Dragon Armor, Star Lance, Enchanted Shield, OTS 170

The price to pay would be to lose the full kit on the Loremaster, which is unfortunate, but (IMO) lesser of the two evils.

2) Magic resistance on the bus - given that Prince and BSB have no ward saves, this is very important to have (almost necessary in the hardcore ETC meta I would say). In addition, MR3 or MR2 would help make helms more survivable vs. metal magic and the likes of doombolt/gateway. Have you found this to be a problem so far? There's not much you can do here in a Loremaster-based list, other than getting another mounted character in the bus (probably a noble) to carry this item - but where to find the points?
What Gatti did in one of his lists is to take this as his BSB:
Noble on Barded Steed / BSB, Dragon Armor, Lance, Obsidian Amulet, Enchanted Shield, OTS 170
So trading the Star Lance for the MR2 item - losing combat power but gaining quite a bit on the survivability side.
For a Archmage-based list this is easier to do - you can mount your Archmage and have him carry the MR2/MR3 item. The price to pay is that you need to have all your eggs in one basket (all 3 chars in the bus, ~1000 points), and you become more susceptible to killer spells (only 2 chars can get LoS from Dwellers and the like)

3) Scroll Caddy - another difference between the list that I'm running and your list is that I take 4th RBT (or 5 sisters) + Eagle instead of the L1. Frankly speaking, I find it very hard to leave home without at least one Great Eagle (always useful), and benefits from 4th RBT (or more shooting in general) are very tangible as well. Do you find your scroll caddy (or your "110 point scroll" I would say) to be worth it more than "RBT + Eagle" (which is quite a bit on my scale)?

Furion, Gatti (& others) - it would be great to have you chime in with your thoughts here :)

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:44 pm 
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The way I play the Lions the Loremaster cannot do without the 4++. As such, I`m looking at no Star Lance for the Noble if I want the Other Trickster`s Shard. As I`m more afraid of MC in general than Ward Saves, I don`t think this is a good trade-off. True, it helps out in a lot of situations as you point out, but I haven`t found this to be a big problem (i.e. they`re not frequent enough) compared to MCs.

As for MR. What armies do I need MR against? I think it boils down to a precious few that can run LD10 SL snipes. Searing Doom doesn`t concern me that much because it`s a huge cost to get off, sort of risky with its 20+ for the boosted version and metal isn`t that popular. So, for LD10 snipes we`re looking at mostly VC and CD in my experience. Against the former I can stick my Prince and BSB with the Lions without losing much value. Against the latter I need to get in combat fast, regardless, so blowing the scroll early isn`t an issue. It`s important to remember that the bus is not a deathstar, it`s a delivery system for a combat prince, aided by a BSB who is mostly there for re-rolls and some charge-utility. While playing this setup, I have yet to find MR being an issue.

Scroll caddy. Best 110 points ever spent. The doubling of Iceshard is insane. I think that if I had 35 more points in some magic way, I would quickly look to spend these upgrading this guy. Heavens is an incredible lore with this army (see my last battle reports, he provides tremendous value) and the scroll really is priceless. It`s the difference between losing a game because of that crucial magic phase or losing because your opponent couldn`t land his killer spell. While an Eagle would surely be nice, when I play the Reavers like I`m supposed to it`s, strictly speaking, not a necessity I find.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:10 pm 
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In my (modest) experience, OTS in the bus is really a BIG deal, offering a huge increase to the unit's combat power in a large number of situations, and also significantly boosting the Prince's challenge power. Personally, I would go for OTS over the pure 4++ for the Loremaster (picking Shield of the Merwyrm instead). The thing is - BotWD already protects the LM from snipes, miscasts and magical attacks. You can put him away from the corner of the unit to hide his flank (since he can't use SotMW parry vs. flank attacks). So in this situation SotMW is pretty close to a true 4++ (as close as it will ever be) - a bargain for 15 points. And for the other cases not covered by the SotMW parry (not sure if there are any?) - there's still Earthblood and Lifebloom.

So IMO this is a good deal:
SotMW on LM + OTS on BSB + Fireward on prince (via DragonHelm) + 20ish spare points > Pure 4++ for Loremaster

Re: scroll caddy on Heavens: I hear you - will see if I can find the points myself (no idea how though!)

Also I might try to go without the eagle and see what happens :) (no promises!)

Good discussion - thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:36 pm 
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vladamex wrote:
In my (modest) experience, OTS in the bus is really a BIG deal, offering a huge increase to the unit's combat power in a large number of situations, and also significantly boosting the Prince's challenge power. Personally, I would go for OTS over the pure 4++ for the Loremaster (picking Shield of the Merwyrm instead). The thing is - BotWD already protects the LM from snipes, miscasts and magical attacks. You can put him away from the corner of the unit to hide his flank (since he can't use SotMW parry vs. flank attacks). So in this situation SotMW is pretty close to a true 4++ (as close as it will ever be) - a bargain for 15 points. And for the other cases not covered by the SotMW parry (not sure if there are any?) - there's still Earthblood and Lifebloom.


Impact hits and (thunder)stomps are the only thing I can think of. I'd agree with your assessment - I think for a combat prince he really needs to be backed up by TOTS to be an all-rounder, and the Shield of Merwyrm does look to offer most of what the loremaster needs...though it does mean that his attacks will become S4 ASF (assuming he's allowed to do unarmed attacks), but that seems a fair trade off.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:29 am 
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Shield is not an option for the Loremaster. Losing S6 and the true 4++ is a huge deal. The Lions, given their role, are often engaged from all possible directions, thus a wardless Loremaster will largely be useless. Furthermore, as has been pointed out, it doesn`t help against impact hits or thunderstomps, nor any ranged threat for that matter.

Thus, it boils down to the BSBs setup. In theory, we can give him Star Lance + OTS, however as the Prince occupies the Enchanted Shield this leaves the BSB with a 2+, not enough. Since I`m not willing to compromise with my Loremaster, the Prince cannot take Dragonhelm to open up for the Enchanted Shield on the BSB (even if I drop the ICI there won`t be points for this as the inclusion of Dragonhelm is +8 points as you have to equip a mundane shield as well). So, taking the OTS on the BSB means I`m forced to leave the Star Lance at home. This means no S7, no anti-armour, no magical attacks. Let`s take a look at what the BSB has done so far:
- Vs Ogre Kingdoms. Charged T4 Leadbelchers. Star Lance/normal lance have the same effect here. While my opponent didn`t have wards at all, Ogres commonly do (when not arranged in a gunline-fashion, anyway) and the Star Lance is largely wasted (though you do hurt their characters on 2s) compared to the benefits of OTS. Advantage OTS
- Vs Dwarfs. Charged war machines and Hammerers. Hurt everything on 2s with no saves regardless of OTS/Star Lance. In my experience the new Dwarfs rarely pack a ward save, with the exception of the BSB. Their characters are usually sporting 1+ or 2+, so the Star Lance has its merits, too. It`s hard getting the BSB into contact with the particular model you want to attack, so I don`t think it matters too much what his equipment is here. Tie
- Vs Chaos Dwarfs. The BSB is one of the few advantages I have against the K`daii Destroyer, largely due to Star Lance which wounds on 67% instead of 25%. Star Lance is also very good vs Iron Daemon, where every wound counts. Against infantry it`s tied, but characters are frequently warded. I think it boils down to the K`daii Destroyer, so I`ll go with a slight advantage Star Lance.
- Vs Empire. Advantage Star Lance, no doubt.
- Vs Lizardmen. Their Saurus are usually heavily armoured, wards overall are relatively rare. However a Saurus with 1+ 4++ is something you don`t want to leave the BSB next to, so it doesn`t matter too much. Tie

Let`s take a look at the other armies in Warhammer:
- Beastmen. Haven`t played these in ages, don`t know.
- Bretonnia. I`m not too familiar with their character builds these days, do they typically have wards? Star Lance is by far superior for RnF.
- DoC. Advantage OTS.
- DE. I`m unsure about this. OTS helps vs Cauldron and Warlocks, but they frequently sport 1+ characters also. I guess I`d say advantage OTS because their 1+ characters are usually flying and don`t want to engage the bus.
- High Elves. This is a tough one, but I think I`ll say slight advantage OTS
- OnG. These guys have nothing worth talking about re: armour but wards are frequent on both units and characters. Advantage OTS
- Skaven. Same as OnG: nothing with high armour, wards are frequent and being able to handle the Grey Seer for example would be very nice. Advantage OTS
- Tomb Kings. Star Lance is nice vs Sphinxes and Necroknights and I never see these guys sporting ward saves. Advantage Star Lance
- VC. Characters always sport wards. Magic Weapon is nice against Ethereals but the Prince has this covered and the Loremaster has a multitude of missiles. Advantage OTS
- Warriors of Chaos. A tricky one. At first, one might think Star Lance as the heroes are typically well armoured as well, and the MC are kind of hard to cope with. However, the real issue here is really threatening the nasty stuff, 3++ lords etc. Besides the Prince will do the grinding anyway and I should have enough chaff to deal with MC effectively. Also, OTS helps vs Hellcannon. Advantage OTS
- Wood Elves. With true wards on forest spirits there`s no doubt: Advantage OTS

I`ve always been a proponent of identifying hard matchups when deciding what to go for when 2 choices seem to be roughly equal, overall. In other words, what choice provides the most utility in a matchup that is hard? As such, I would ask you all to help me identify the poor matchups for my army. Quote the part below and post whether you think it`s a good, neutral or bad matchup for me:

Beastmen
Bretonnia
Chaos Dwarfs
Daemons of Chaos
Dark Elves
Dwarfs
Empire
High Elves
Lizardmen
Ogre Kingdoms
Orcs and Goblins
Skaven
Tomb Kings
Vampire Counts
Warriors of Chaos
Wood Elves

Thanks ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:04 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Shield is not an option for the Loremaster. Losing S6 and the true 4++ is a huge deal. The Lions, given their role, are often engaged from all possible directions, thus a wardless Loremaster will largely be useless. Furthermore, as has been pointed out, it doesn`t help against impact hits or thunderstomps, nor any ranged threat for that matter.


What ranged threats do you expect to face? You've already got a 2+ ward vs cannon snipes etc in the form of LoS, and your infantry blocks won't get so depleted that these evaporate (if they do you've got bigger problems than cannons). In my head that leaves me with death snipes. Do you see a lot of them (particularly in ETC where I gather there's a cost/cap)? Nurgle deamon, maybe elves, maybe VC, maybe lizards, maybe empire...all the maybe's have solid alternative options. And death has its limitations, notably range, which make it solid on VC or DP but a juicy target on the other races. Is it worth sacrificing TOTS for it?

And on the stomp/thunderstomp side of things, where would you see that? Stomps from a few places, but it's only one wound and a lot of the things which stomp you will potentially kill before they strike (often smallish units). Thunderstomps are scary on non-warded characters, but what brings them these days? Chimera & DP, TK constructs, Arachnarok, rare star dragons, aboms, terrorghiests (at a push)...they don't seem that common I think? And fighting on all sides isn't a problem if you don't sit him on the edge.

Is true ward *absolutely* essential in that context? What am I missing?

I'm also curious why you value the S6 attacks so much? It's only 1 more than a champ and 2 more than a regular lion. The unit is already kicking out what, 15, 18 S6 attacks? What difference do a couple more from your wizard make? Without ASF he'll likely hit with 2 (1-2 vs characters if he's tanking a challenge) which may be enough to kill a hero but won't kill a lord, and only adds 1-2 to the CR...which potentially you could do anyway with S4 ASF depending on the target, and even if you can't, you've still got the lions backing you up. I know you began using the loremaster as a caster and seeing his combat abilities as secondary - what's changed?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:38 pm 
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Ranged threats per se is not usually a problem, seeing as the WL-unit carries the BOTWD. The problem is that the Lions are small, so it doesn`t take too much power to remove them, unfortunately. This has happened in multiple games already. The bigger problem is a lack of true 4++ in combat, see the Empire game for example. With the Lions being stubborn, I shouldn`t have to be afraid of them facing attacks from weird angles and in this case I want the Loremaster sliding over to provide combat strength.

Thunderstomps are very common in the ETC meta. Star Dragon builds are still very powerful, Terrorgheists are all over the place, virtually every TK player has sphinxes and so on. While it is true that a Loremaster is rarely the target of these attacks (unless the Lions are really small), the problem is that when this freak event does happen, he`ll be dead instead of likely alive for one more turn. I guess in a way you could say that the Talisman of Preservation is the more conservative choice, whereas the Shield of the Merwyrm is the aggressive choice: it provides you with more points to spend, but even under the BOTWD it comes at a cost (obviously): it`s not a flat-out 4++. In general, I`m more a fan of conservative choices as they tend to reduce risk. I`m not a fan of risk, I take risks when I have to but prefer to play safe and make overwhelming plays to win games. Knowing when to risk something is a valuable trait as a general and one I think far too many miss out on, but when it comes to list building I want reliability.

I see the TOTS discussion as a separate one from this: changing the Loremaster`s equipment is not a necessity in order to swap the Star Lance for TOTS on the BSB. They can perfectly fine co-exist. If I change the equipment on the Loremaster, it will be because the points will really make a difference, such as bumping the L1 to an L2 (which is actually a huge deal considering the increased spell selection from Heavens).

The Loremaster in combat with the 4++ and S6 is actually way better than I`d thought. Usually, people face 2 options: try and kill him or ignore him. The first is very hard unless I`m fighting a very strong enemy (see the Dwarfs report), the latter lets him keep dishing out S6 hurt at WS6. Since most elites are WS5, this is a significant increase in the damage output of the Lions once they start taking casualties (which they tend to do rather quickly). In the 5 games I`ve played so far, the S6 4++ of the Loremaster has been crucial in 4 and almost in the last one as well. Against Empire, he held the field against Demis, allowing me to eventually wipe them all. My opponent directed attacks at him early on, which saved the Lions. In the end he died (to a stomp, none the less), but he provided way more value than he ever could`ve with S4 and SotMW. Against Lizardmen, the Saurus were barely wiped to a man, losing him stubborn. He contributed to this directly by his S6 attacks and tanked a Bastiladon on the corner, saving Lions from the damage. Against Chaos Dwarfs, I barely managed to kill the Iron Daemon in 2 rounds of combat. This would probably not have happened without the Loremaster contributing. Against Ogres, he held his own with a single Lion for long enough so the cavalry could arrive. He contributed enough wounds to the combat to ensure the survivability of the last Lion (thus giving me stubborn), something unlikely to have happened without S6. In the last game, he nearly ended up being a lifesaver yet again as he almost beat the Hammerers with the Lions (one more round survived would`ve given me another magic phase, this time facing no scrolls). The bottom line: strong defense and S6 is a tried and tested combination, which have proven to be valuable far beyond what I`d thought beforehand. S4 ASF isn`t comparable to S6 I7. S5 could be, but looking at the Sword of Might + SotMW we aren`t really saving enough points to get that L2 upgrade (which I consider the treshold for this trade to be worth it). In a nutshell, you can say that what`s changed is that the Loremaster has proven to be better in combat than I thought (which some people did indeed tell me before I embarked upon this type of list), to the point where he`s become an integral and invaluable part of the Lion threat.

I`ve been toying around with numbers now, but I feel that if I drop enough to provide 35 points for the L2 upgrade, I`m making too much of a sacrifice. The list is already stretched very thin and I`m afraid that doing the same with the characters will see all elements be almost strong enough to do what I want them to. Example calculation:
- Star Lance => TOTS nets you 9 points (the BSB buying a mundane lance for 6 points)
- ToP => SoM + SotMW nets you 15 points
- Dropping GCoA and ICI nets you 15 points
At this point, we`re home free. We can even swap the Enchanted Shield / Dragonhelm around, giving the Prince the 2++ fire (and thus inherently giving us more flexibility as he is better off with it than the BSB). This costs 1 point (Prince buys mundane shield, bsb drops his. 1 points overall difference and with the drop in points from the Loremaster`s swap lord allowance is no longer an issue), leaving us with 3 points to play around with. Character setup is thus:

Prince on barded steed, heavy armour, shield, dragonhelm, dawnstone, giant blade
Loremaster, Book, sword of might, shield of the merwyrm
BSB Noble on barded steed, heavy armour, lance, enchanted shield, other trickster`s shard
L2 mage, scroll


3 points left. No Golden Crown, no ICI, no S6 Loremaster, no true 4++ ward. The prince gaining fireward is a noteworthy asset. Let`s consider the alternative, where we only care about the inclusion of TOTS:

Prince on barded steed, heavy armour, enchanted shield, dawnstone, giant blade, ironcurse icon
Loremaster, book, talisman of preservation
BSB Noble on barded steed, heavy armour, shield, lance, dragonhelm, golden crown of atrazar, other trickster`s shard
L1 mage, scroll

9 points left. There aren`t a lot of useful things to buy with this few points, but Dragon Armour for the BSB (for a true 6++) is one of the better things I suppose.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:35 pm 
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I'd go with the Shard Curu, it makes a mockery of 5++.

The bus is good against armour even without Star Lance, as are the Lions and RBT.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Are you still considering moving to one block of Lions together with the bus? This will give you all the points you want for your characters as well as giving you anti regen which I think the current list lack. My current meta at least features quite a few regen target (trolls and chimera in particular). This will also increase your combat ability of the lions giving less work for the Loremaster.
If you really want ToTS, you will even have the points to add an additional noble on horse however I would prefer adding sisters and RBT's.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:30 pm 
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Vindicated Strategist
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Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:21 am
Posts: 4929
Location: Oslo, Norway
SpellArcher wrote:
I'd go with the Shard Curu, it makes a mockery of 5++.

The bus is good against armour even without Star Lance, as are the Lions and RBT.


All true, I will try it out :)

@Dragon fire - no I think I`ve dropped that train of thought. There`s simply not enough time! TOTS will make an appearance in the next couple of games.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:27 am 
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Just caught up on that last game against the Ogres Curu - wow! You certainly pulled that one around. That massive unit of Leadbelchers backed up with dual IB and Maneaters are certainly pumping out some firepower!

Well done.

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