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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:55 pm 
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Here's the link to my first Lizardmen battle - same player, I eeked out a win here.

Linky

Just waiting for the rest of the battles to go down, then we're putting together the next round match-ups tomorrow night. I'll know who my opponent is then, however, if I'm given the choice, I'm going to start being a bit more strategic about my battles. Some things that may influence my decision:

One of the Warriors of Chaos players took a tile right next to the Orc player from my first round. This puts them in perilously close range to taking a capital - all they would need is to challenge the player, and get 4 Empire points from the round (major victory or higher). If the warrior player gets too aggressive on the Orc player, I'll probably challenge the Warrior player in kind - if he has to fight two battles, you average out the number of points and round down. I could then deprive him of the ability to take a capital city by reducing his empire points for that turn.

I also have a bone to pick with that Lizardmen player too. He's going to be the largest empire after this round, so he definitely needs to be taken down a peg.

I also have to contend with the possibility that people will see me in a weakend state and pounce on me - I have 0 gold, 0 empire points, and the ability to generate 0 gold this turn. In this case, I have one thing to say:

Bring. It. On.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:52 am 
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Alrighty, round 2 is down, and round 3 is ready to rock.

The matches went as follows:

Lizardmen vs. High Elves - Major win for Lizardmen
Lizardmen vs. Warriors of Chaos (1) - Massacre for Lizardmen
Tomb Kings vs. Warriors of Chaos (2) - Massacre for Warriors of Chaos (2)
Orcs vs. Warriors of Chaos (2) - Massacre for Warriors of Chaos (2)

The Lizardmen player had "Land Grab", and used his points to claim 2 tiles and build a mine - This put him as the largest empire with 4 tiles

The Warriors of Chaos (2) player used his double massacre to get two tiles, but he didn't have any from the first round, so he brought himself up to 3 total

I sat there and wallowed in my defeat, unable to generate revenue or use and Empire points due to losing a match and having "Double or Nothing"

The Warriors of Chaos (1), Tomb King and Orc player all opted to generate gold with their 1 empire point each.

So then on to Round 3!

I finally managed to get a shot at picking an event, since I was no longer the biggest empire. I picked "fool's gold" on the Warrior of Chaos (2) player, as payback for last round. He then used "diplomacy" on me, preventing me from challenging him this round - darn, I really wanted to challenge him, after the round he just had.

In the end, once again, I had my pick of battles, with the exception of being able to challenge the aforementioned Warriors player. I ended up challenging the Tomb Kings player. He's smaller than me by one tile, so I get my 100 point bonus, and I really want to see what these guys can accomplish.

I have absolutely no experience fighting the tomb kings, only what I've observed. From what I can tell, their magic phase can be pretty unrelenting, and I've seen him field the tomb guard with the banner that has a bound spell to bring them back. That build on the Tomb Guard is pretty nasty, making them very good at grinding down the enemy, especially with the Tomb King in the unit.

Has anybody here had any experience with the new tomb kings? Things to know and watch out for, or general strategies that seemed to work well?

Any input is much appreciated!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Chariots are pretty devestating now, with 4 attacks from crew, 2 from horses, and a spell that can give each chariot an additional 4 attacks (2 horses, 2 each for crew). The magic is still fairly cheap to cast, and you're facing heavy toughness on the big guys.

This is just from reading reports, as I haven't played any matches against them yet. Still, highmagic with Phoenix for massdeath, and vauls to take out the harder bound items (and threaten the hierophant). Mass shooting totake out the casket (it's a mobile banner of sorcery that casts chain lightning) and the hierotitan (+3 to casting aura monster), and don't be afraid to target heroes with your elites in combat (Princes and Kings grant Hatred and their weaponskill to the unit they fight with, remove the hero and the unit is back to regular WS attacks).


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Thanks for the heads up on that stuff Baron! I can be sure that he'll be fielding plenty of chariots, knowing that his opponent is high elves. I'm hoping that my eagles can hold him off long enough for my elite troops to combo charge his combat blocks and crumble them. It'll be interesting, to say the least, facing a very similar magic phase to my own. Hopefully the Annullian Crystal ends up being the tipping point, shifting the scale of magic superiority in my favour.

Speaking of magic, I've been giving my magic phase a lot of thought recently, mostly spurred on by Curu's switch to Shadow magic in his respective blog. His reasoning was that his list's strategy relies on a blitz type strategy - fast moving, heavily armoured troops that punch through the enemy lines through their damage output. In this sense, I believe that Shadow is a good choice for that style of list. His troops (especially after the switch to Phoenix Guard) are all tough nuts to crack, and Shadow lore ensures that combat will go their way.

Now with respect to my list, here is what I've been thinking:

Shadow magic allows me to bring the close combat potential of my units to unparalleled heights. With two units of swordmasters, two units of Dragon Princes and a unit of Phoenix Guard, there's not much that can match my combat potential with this lore.

The shortcomings of the lore, with my particular lists, however, seem to be many. I don't have the ranged firepower that many lists have. Without the Repeater Bolt Thrower or heavy archer presence, I sorely miss the presence of a reliable way of dealing ranged damage. Pit of Shades is simply too unreliable versus smaller units (see my last game for evidence of that), and pendulum is equally so.

My conclusion, therefore, is the opposite of the one Curu reached. My troops already hit hard enough, with two units of swordmasters in it. Where I lack is the ability to grind it out when needed, and weather a storm of shooting. The lore of life seems to be a good fit for my army, filling in a lot of those niches - especially with a high magic wielding secondary mage. It also has the added effect of (hopefully) preventing the 5 miscasts per game that I seem to be prone too.

As such, thus begins the Brewmaster_D experimentation with life magic!

Questions for you:

1. Do you think the lore of life suits this list better than shadows and why? If no, why not?
2. Do you think the Phoenix Guard are now overkill on survivability? Would this unit be better suited as White Lions, for a stubborn, somewhat shooting resistant unit?
3. Are there any other changes you would make in order to further benefit from the effects of the lore of life? Perhaps switch the second unit of dragon princes back to the lion chariot for more grinding potential and the ability to use lifebloom?

Thanks again for all of your helpful responses!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Firstly, I think you can pick your spells with seerstaff at the start of the game. (I know I am late on this discussion). Yes, the BRB says you must pick your spells beforehand, BUT it also says that rules in the armybooks override any contradictory rules in the rulebook. If two rules contradict, armybook > rulebook. From that, the seerstaff allows you to pick your spells at the beginning of the game as stated in the armybook, not when you make your list. After all, the rulebook directly says that chariots cannot form or join units, while the new TK book has units of chariots as a core option, which directly goes against the rulebook. In these situations, the armybook always takes precedence. Sorry for being so late on this response.

Okay, on to your questions:
1) Life would be helpful to keep your SM alive, but I think shadow is better. The reason I think that is because PG combined with shadow is deadly. Your army has a lot of phoenix guard, and shadow makes them absurdly powerful. Life for them would be redundant. While life could keep your SM alive, taking shadow gives the opponent the option: shoot at the SMs which are killy but weak, or shoot at the AM bunker that is also potentially the most dangerous unit in his army? This is a tougher question than "shoot at something killy but weak, or shoot at something that is hard to kill but bad in combat?" It also, as you said, allows you to jump your powerful units around, and greatly compliments your core.

2) I do not think they are overkill. If you decide to go with life, then maybe take WLs instead, but with shadow, PG are a great unit. Their survivability has many advantages, which you elucidated in a previous post. Having a unit that is that resilient, resistant to miscasts, cause fear, and only have one main weakness (dwellers) makes them a great choice. They are our most durable choice, really, and with shadow, they can be really powerful (S10 with Okkams? Yes!). If you want to take WLs but keep shadow, maybe trade out one unit of SMs for WLs? That would give you one unit of each of our elite infantry, which increases your army's potential considerably. WLs have a few great advantages over SMs: namely their strength makes them great monster killers, and their cloaks make them great against shooting, not to mention being stubborn making them really powerful in woods or in hopeless situations. I'll give you an example: In my last game I played lizardmen. My 14 WLs took a charge from 8 kroxigors. First round of combat, I lost, but my guys stood due to stubborn and BSB (I lost by like 3, so SMs would have been testing on LD 5, as we had the same number of ranks after the first round of combat). Second round of combat, I cast enfeebling foe on the kroxis, won combat by a landslide, and the kroxis ran and were caught. SMs would have run after only one round in that situation. After all, the difference between S5 and S6 on a T4 creature (like an orc) is the difference between 2+ and 3+ to wound (for the same roll to-hit), and the difference between -2 and -3 to armor. With the prevalence of high T monsters in 8th ed, WLs will always have a role (though maybe I am biased, as my army is Chrace-themed).

3) If you do take lore of life, I would consider switching the PG to WLs, as you lose the ability to make PG a dangerous unit. They become an anvil in all situations, rather than being able to be used as a hammer when needed. WLs can be both a hammer AND an anvil without any magical support. Also, with life, being resilient as a base stat isn't as important thanks to regrowth and flesh to stone. I would also consider the LC over DPs. LCs are a much better support than DPs, as you only need to touch a corner to get all your attacks from a chariot in combat. With life and lifebloom, you can keep your chariot alive longer, while DPs do not benefit from lifebloom. A chariot can also dish out damage solo (as many attacks on average as 5 DPs on the charge, and keep their strength in subsequent rounds which helps), and is more maneuverable. I would also give your LV 2 mage a more damage output lore than High. High is a great all-around lore (like shadow). Life, however, despite having the best horde killer in the game (dwellers), its primarily defensive. As such, it is nice to have something offensively-minded to offer variability to your magic phase (for those times that you just can't get dwellers off but need to kill something in the magic phase). While Fury of Khaine and Flames are great, there are better spells out there that kill more reliably (fire would be good, having all damage spells at S4 and low casting values makes it very solid with a LV 2 mage. It also offers a simple answer to creatures with regeneration).

Anyway, that's my input.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Greetings!

I am really interested in the discussion about Phoenix Guard. Shadow lore indeed makes that unit a dangerous regiment on its own. However, it also got me thinking about the role of core troops in such an army. In particular, is there any need for Spears? Sure, they become dangerous with Mindrazor but so do Phoenix Guard who have a lot of advantages with or without it. What is your opinion on that matter?

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:19 pm 
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I agree that Shadows isn't the best choice for this list. I do believe, however, that Light is a worthy lore to try out here. Also, your Phoenix Guard feels very redundant now. They don't have anywhere close to the damage output one needs to justify them without Shadows and Life doesn't synergize that well with them. An interesting strategy could indeed be to block up 40 Phoenix Guard and a combat Lord in Horde formation, supported by a Life Archmage. Between Dwellers, Flesh to Stone and Regrowth, this is one nasty unit!

As to the phoenix guard vs spears: They mostly fulfil the same role with Shadows. The big differences are that Spearelves are core. Thus, you need to take them or mass archers. I suppose you could take like 60 Archers and only have Phoenix for specials. This is an extreme form of relying on Shadows though, and one I would advocate against. Phoenix Guard also implicitly have better combat resolution against tough units as they reduce wounds taken by 2, due to the 4+ Ward Save. Bottom line is: one unit of each works fine with Shadow.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Quote:
I am really interested in the discussion about Phoenix Guard. Shadow lore indeed makes that unit a dangerous regiment on its own. However, it also got me thinking about the role of core troops in such an army. In particular, is there any need for Spears? Sure, they become dangerous with Mindrazor but so do Phoenix Guard who have a lot of advantages with or without it. What is your opinion on that matter?


I think both have a place in a shadows list, and I think they play different roles. I think it's important to consider them in two different situations: With, and without shadow buffs. In a true all comers list, you never know what you're going to be up against, so you don't know if you're going to be able to count on getting those spells off exactly when you need them. So to me it looks like as follows:

Without Shadow buffs/hexes:

Spearmen - easier access to ranks, less effective in combat, less durable (let's face it, S3 leaves something to be desired)
Phoenix Guard - More effective in combat, more durable, more difficult to achieve ranks

With Shadow buffs/hexes

Spearmen - easier access to ranks, higher volume of S8 attacks, less durable
Phoenix Guard - Lower volume S9 attacks, more durable, less ranks

So the gist of it is that you need to choose your risk level - the spearmen are more polar, with their high volume of low quality attacks they arguably amplify the shadow buffs better than the phoenix guard, but leave you high and dry without.

Phoenix Guard are closer to the base line - they're not *terrible* in combat on their own, mostly because they don't give up many wounds to the enemy, but they'll have a hard time breaking steadfast.

Long story short - I think your best bet is to, like Curu said, mitigate the risk and take both :D

Quote:
I agree that Shadows isn't the best choice for this list. I do believe, however, that Light is a worthy lore to try out here. Also, your Phoenix Guard feels very redundant now. They don't have anywhere close to the damage output one needs to justify them without Shadows and Life doesn't synergize that well with them. An interesting strategy could indeed be to block up 40 Phoenix Guard and a combat Lord in Horde formation, supported by a Life Archmage. Between Dwellers, Flesh to Stone and Regrowth, this is one nasty unit!


I'm a big fan of the playstyle of MSU. I feel it fits me better - I love the risk vs. reward that it offers. If played right, and you can effectively position your units, you're an unstoppable wrecking ball (see my first round match :P), and if you play it wrong, you suffer the consequences and the list struggles (See my second match). There's no doubt a huge unit of PG would be one tough cookie, I just don't think I'd enjoy fielding it, know what I mean?

So, light vs. life. With the invincible archmage build, light certainly is an interesting option - The archmage can be up in the combat blocks, using the auras to maximum effect. The lore also certainly offers some great tools in terms of damage - what I wouldn't have given for access to banishment versus those darn salamanders in round 2!

My main reason from switching away from Shadows is that my units deal quite a bit of damage on their own. I suffer, though, when it comes to incoming damage. Light is a close second for me, but I feel that it goes a bit too far towards amplifying my damage, and doesn't offer enough in terms of protection. -1 to hit and 4+ protection from warmachines is nice, but it's no regrowth or flesh to stone.

It may be the happy medium that I'm looking for in the end, so I'm not discounting it. I do, however, for the time being, want to see how a drastic shift in magic from very offensive to very defensive affects the playability of my list.

Loving the comments guys! Really making me think here!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Oh, and one last thing - I think for the lore of life experiment, I'll be switching the PG to WL. If I put the Archmage in there, it opens up the opportunity to give them regeneration, which is nothing to scoff at!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:33 am 
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Brewmaster_D wrote:
Oh, and one last thing - I think for the lore of life experiment, I'll be switching the PG to WL. If I put the Archmage in there, it opens up the opportunity to give them regeneration, which is nothing to scoff at!


+1. Agreed there. With life, you add protection to weak units, but can't add to their damage output. Phoenix guard, as stated, do not need the help in durability, but do need the help in damage output. Light or Shadow is important for them. WLs and SMs, however, need the bonus of durability. High and Life offer that, so I agree that if you try out life, WLs would aid you more, as they already have good damage output and acceptable durability which you can further buff.

Oh, and just FYI. With Okkams, their LD becomes their BASE STRENGTH. As PG have a LD of 9, their base strength becomes 9, but haliberds still confer +1 S on top of this, so they become S 10. So PGs get strength 10 with Okkams. Common error that I have seen a few times. In most situations, this is unimportant, BUT just had to clarify in case someone out there reading this forum thinks PG with Okkams wounds a warsphinx on 3+, when they really wound it on 2+ :D .

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:19 am 
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jwg20 wrote:
Oh, and just FYI. With Okkams, their LD becomes their BASE STRENGTH. As PG have a LD of 9, their base strength becomes 9, but haliberds still confer +1 S on top of this, so they become S 10. So PGs get strength 10 with Okkams. Common error that I have seen a few times. In most situations, this is unimportant, BUT just had to clarify in case someone out there reading this forum thinks PG with Okkams wounds a warsphinx on 3+, when they really wound it on 2+ :D .

Unfortunatly, no. Okkams specifically states that "any strength bonusses from weapons are ignored". So no S10 PG (unless you give them the standard of discipline of course).

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Firstly, I think you can pick your spells with seerstaff at the start of the game. (I know I am late on this discussion).

As for this, RAW you are probably right. However, everyone seems to accept that you have to write them on your army list. So be prepared to argue this every time it comes up. For me, that wouldn't be worth the effort.

Rod

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:43 am 
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Greetings!

That was a good point to look at Spears and PG with and without Shadow spell in effect. And that is indeed something should be done with any other unit in the army, no matter what is the composition and what lore one selects. However, you do chose Shadow to play a particular role in the game. And I am quite sure it would not be that useful for White Lions and/or Swordmasters as it is for PG. You actually have a way to plan magic phase accordingly so that S4 PG can deal damage be it with Mindrazor or by lowering target toughness.

My question, however, was not about Spears vs. PG but about Spears + PG. The question is how these units should work together if they benefit from Shadow in the same way and have a similar role to play. Both units are anvils which can turn into hammers with Shadow. But without spells they need other units/characters to do the killing. I understand that having two potential targets for Mindrazor makes it more difficult for the enemy to decide which spell to dispell. But at the moment it seems to me they duplicate the roles while taking away many points which could be spent on something that adds more variety and options to the army.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Quote:
The question is how these units should work together if they benefit from Shadow in the same way and have a similar role to play. Both units are anvils which can turn into hammers with Shadow.


To me, the reason to take both is versatility. Shadows has two key combat buffs/hexes for increasing damage output - The Withering and Mindrazor. They are similar, but also very different; one offers to increase incoming damage on one enemy unit, whereas the other allows you to increase the damage output of one of your own. With two units that are excellent at making the most out of these two spells, you can really squeeze the most out of the lore that you can. If you're in a situation where one is engaging, Mindrazor is the clear winner. If you're in a situation where they both engage the same unit, the Withering is the winner. Then if you're engaging on two fronts, they both have the staying power to ensure that there will still be something left to buff come next magic phase.

Having two units that provide similar roles allows you to do one of two things. First, you have redundancy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. People on here tend to look down on it, but with redundancy comes safety - one untimely dwellers below can really ruin Phoenix Guard's day, and if you're invested solely in them for this role, then your game just got a whole lot more interesting. There is a reason that important servers have redundant power supplies. When it comes to critical roles, redundancy allows you to be confident that your primary battle objective will be accomplished. With these two units, you're not truly redundant either - The lore of shadows allows you to change a unit from an anvil to a hammer at your discretion. Because of this, the roles of the individual units are always in flux, and very rarely will both units be filling the same role at the same time during the match. This keeps your opponent on his toes and always guessing.

Remember, the less predictable you are, the more difficult it is for your opponent to come up with a plan.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Hi Brewmaster_D!

I had some initial thoughts about redundancy in the case of Spears+PG so I am glad you elaborated more on that matter. :) The main difference is, however, that you already have some battle experience with both units while I can do theoryhammer at the moment only. Speaking about the enemy, what are their reactions to PG on the field?

To push the discussion a little further I have another question. If you need redundancy and ability to cast Shadow on two similar units why not take two units of Spears? :) I know that you like PG for their ward save and better bunker for the Archmage and magic standard, things unique for that unit. But then you could have more Spears for the same cost and probably play in the ame style. Now it is a Spears vs. PG time :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:25 pm 
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Quote:
Speaking about the enemy, what are their reactions to PG on the field?


In my gaming group in particular, I'd say severe. Their survivability tends to cause opponents to build them up to be a castle in the sky. Look at my game vs. the lizardmen (Round 2). The player specifically avoided the Phoenix Guard (although, they were mindrazored at the time...) with his unit of temple guard. He would have had ample opportunity to use his light magic to modify the effectiveness of the PG in combat, and would probably have won that combat in the long run. Seasoned players will know their limitations, but I find that with average opponents, the psychological effect is far greater than their actual abilities.

Quote:
To push the discussion a little further I have another question. If you need redundancy and ability to cast Shadow on two similar units why not take two units of Spears? :) I know that you like PG for their ward save and better bunker for the Archmage and magic standard, things unique for that unit. But then you could have more Spears for the same cost and probably play in the ame style. Now it is a Spears vs. PG time :)


Well the first thing that comes to mind is the ability for the PG to carry the banner of sorcery. This is an essential item in a Shadow magic list, and these guys are the perfect guys to carry it - read Curu's recent game vs. the wood elves to see what happens when swordmasters take it :P Somebody has to take it, and it might as well be a unit that makes the opponent really work to neutralize it.

Secondly, Phoenix guard present a slightly different opportunity than the spearmen do - They can do their wounds while surrendering few of their own, whereas the spearmen pretty much give them away for free. As such, this makes the phoenix guard much better equipped to take on some of the hittier threats out there - chaos warriors and Temple Guard come to mind, off the top of my head. Both units taking a charge from a unit of frenzied, 6 wide, halberd wielding warriors, the spearmen surrender 14 wounds, and the Phoenix Guard surrender 5. This difference is HUGE in a situation where even with mindrazor you won't be cutting in to the opponent's return attacks. Yes, the spearmen will do 5 or so more wounds than the PG, but in this case it doesn't matter much.

There seems to be quite a bit of focus on damage output, however it is also very important to think about damage input as well - if you take as much damage as you dish out, you're going to be cutting it pretty close when it comes to combat resolution.

Thirdly, it is much easier to start cutting in to the spearmen's return attacks. They need 4 ranks to be at full effectiveness, versus the Phoenix Guard's two. Couple that with the Phoenix Guard's ability to soak up damage, and they become very difficult to neutralize. This goes back to the reliability that I talked about earlier.

Finally, I view the Phoenix Guard as the better aggressor, versus the spears as the better defender. The PG don't give up any of their offensive capability on the charge, whereas the spearmen do. In situations like the Chaos Warrior one above, this can really be the difference between winning and losing combat. In that example, the attacks the spearmen lose cause them to *definitely* lose combat.

So yeah, that pretty much sums up my view on them. The differences are subtle, yes, but they're there.

Oh, and if you play against Dark Elves, you'll be glad you took the PG. Trust me on this one :P

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Thanks for a quick reply! You explained the differences between the roles of both units perfectly. Your points are very valuable and I must say I have a feeling that in the same fashion as Seredain showed cavalry is very dangerous, you and Curu provide nice evidence that PG has their place in HE army. It seemd that they have been neglected in comparison to White Lions and Swordmasters. Yet another great choice in a list and more variety on the battlefield. I am looking forward to more battles to see how this unit performs.

Thanks a lot again! :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:47 pm 
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What I find with Phoenix Guard is that they perform very reliably. Also, they aren't core. If they'd been core, we could have had some very interesting configurations around...

The Spearelves do however serve one purpose which the PG are poorly suited for: breaking steadfast. Whenever an opponent has a wide unit, the Spears can really save your day. I have yet to see people field blocks of 35 PG successfully, apart from the uber-deathstar-unit approach. Then again, it can be discussed if this is actually an effective approach at all...

Magic synergy is what it's about with the Phoenix Guard. Well, that and durability. As Brewmaster noted, I had a game against Wood Elves in which I nearly lost the entire elite unit in one single turn, hard cover saving me. This was a unit of Swordmasters however. I have yet to play enough with the Phoenix Guard to feel that I've proved that they can work, but I'm confident I can get there. I've seen some other Shadow approaches fielding them successfully as well.

I'm really hoping that I can make my army work more or less the way it is now. How could would it be to have a really competitive HE force that fields NEITHER of the following:
- Book of Hoeth
- Teclis
- Dwellers below of Doom
- Swordmasters
- White Lion Horde
- Dispel scroll

The approaches springing up around here are pretty unique. However, as I noted in another thread, we have yet to face the really hard lists played by good opponents to judge if our lists/tactics are good enough to be considered competitive. I'm not saying we can expect to run these untraditional approaches against Kairos Daemons, Dual-Hydra DE, Tooled-Slann Lizardmen etc and expect to win every time. I do believe though, that in order to categorize our lists as successful, we need to show that we can give even these lists a good run for their money and come out on top :)

Now, there's vacation coming up and I don't know how much I'll be able to play during the summer. Come August though and I'll be very active again, with a local Mighty Empires campaign coming up and all.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Quote:
I'm really hoping that I can make my army work more or less the way it is now. How could would it be to have a really competitive HE force that fields NEITHER of the following:
- Book of Hoeth
- Teclis
- Dwellers below of Doom
- Swordmasters
- White Lion Horde
- Dispel scroll


I think if there's a list that can do it, yours is it! It's always great to see new ideas for how to use our troops effectively. I think this is part of why Seredain has done such a service to this community; he took a unit that was otherwise completely disregarded - the silver helms - and gave them a purpose. A competitive one at that! It required thinking that was not standard at the time, and quite contrary to the popular choices. Not only was it something new for us all to try out, but it is way more fun than plunking down a unit of 40 white lions and marching it up the middle of the field.

Quote:
Thanks for a quick reply! You explained the differences between the roles of both units perfectly. Your points are very valuable and I must say I have a feeling that in the same fashion as Seredain showed cavalry is very dangerous, you and Curu provide nice evidence that PG has their place in HE army. It seemd that they have been neglected in comparison to White Lions and Swordmasters. Yet another great choice in a list and more variety on the battlefield. I am looking forward to more battles to see how this unit performs.


I'm glad that you're getting a lot out of the discussion! I know I sure am. Good questions like the ones you posed forces me to put into words what sometimes is something that previously was just a feeling. I've been fielding the Phoenix Guard pretty regularly before I started this blog, and they've always performed well for me. Your questions, however, forced me to validate what was just an opinion I'd had.

Unfortunately, during my experimentation with life magic over the next few games, the Phoenix Guard are getting swapped out for White Lions. Curu's list, however, will be showcasing them in action, in a very similar manner to my own.

If I choose to go back to Shadow on my main archmage, I'll likely be toying with different configurations for my elite infantry. Swapping out the swordmasters for something else seems to be the best choice.


Having said all of that, my first chance to field my life archmage setup comes tomorrow, when I'll be facing off against Tomb Kings. I expect this to be an interesting match, and I'm quite confident my opponent will come prepared. By the looks of it, it'll be one of the first High Elves vs. Tomb Kings reports up since the release of their new book, so I'm excited to get it posted - for better or for worse :P

Some comments have been made previously about my secondary mage lore, and I agree wholeheartedly: Now that my Archmage is primarily defensive, I believe the secondary mage needs a new niche to fill. So far, I can see a couple potential weaknesses in my list that I'd like to address:

1. My highest S attack is 6. I have nothing that can deal with very high toughness models. I'm pretty much guaranteed to see a sphinx and I don't really have any means to deal with it other than to avoid it as much as possible while peppering it with volume fire. Perhaps this is something I can address with magic? Unfortunately my go-to lore for this task is the lore of Metal, and the sphinx is only a 5+ armour save. Still, better than 6's!

2. The lore of life presents me with two key damage dealing options - dwellers for hordes and awakening the wood for smaller distraction units. I feel that I'm still ill equipped to deal with the smaller distraction units, however. Or maybe that's just salamander fever talking again? lol.

I'd love to hear your suggestions about what that level 2 should take. Right now he's my wildcard! Keep in mind that he's typically bunkered in some archers towards the back of the line, so range is a bit of an issue too.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:05 pm 
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For your 2nd mage, it depends what you want him to do really. If you want him there to take out monsters/tough characters, then death it is! If, however, you want a variety of damage spells that can hurt infantry, I would go fire. Fire has a lot of spells that cause a high number of hits all at S4 flaming. This is good as it also eliminates regeneration (which is more annoying than a ward save, in my opinion). Fire if often unused, but it can be useful, and I think its just fun! Fireball can be useful against annoyance units (D6 S4 hits) or more numerous enemy infantry (3D6 S4) all from just one spell. Even flaming sword of Rhuin is a great spell now and couples well to increase the hitting power of your units in combat (or shooting power of your archers). It also has pretty low casting values, which is a good plus, and it gets easier to cast the more times you hit one unit with a flaming spell. Think: cast weak fireball on a unit, he may let it through, then you get +D3 to cast the next lore of fire spell at that unit. That can be more annoying your your opponent than anything as his extra level or two with his LV 4 mage is useless. High would also work, but has much damage spells and may be a little redundant with life.

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I'm tempted to say Beasts for your other mage. Downside is, it's kind of the same benefits as shadow (thinking of the signature spell here, obviously). Upside is, you'll have lots of opportunities to get combat monsters.

Death on a level 2 is a gamble if you intend to go for the signature spell. With seerstaff however, you could have a couple of interesting setups.

As for the other lores around... None really provide reliable damage. With Seerstaff though, the following are interesting:

Beasts - S10 Spear
Death - sniper spells
Heavens - Chain Lightning

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Greetings!

There is nothing wrong with switching to units you feel will suit you better or simply to try them out. I am glad people decide to create their own lists, although sometimes the inspiration is clear to spot. Variety is the key here so even if you face HE on a tournament, hopefully it will be completely different force and you do not feel like fighting against yourself. The fact that people try different configurations and win tells me that HE army is not the one which has a single built. It also makes me happy to know that I can field my Swordmasters and still hope for a little unique look to my own army list (I will eventually get there :)). What is more I do hope that in the process all the players who still like to field White Lions/Swordmasters/Book of Hoeth etc are not going to be perceived as those who have no skill and simply take what is the best in their army list.

I was curious about PG as I feel there is also a great potential for the army with a theme. Pick a unit and try to build the erst of the army around it. My questions came also from that reason :) But the main point is to know that there are ways to use all units effectively. Some time ago there was a nice army of 2 x PG and 2 x LSG with Shadow Archmage which had a lot of successes and I am glad there are some other ways of seeing PG in actions.

I am looking forward new battle report. You will field a new army list and it will be against new army too! It really looks like a proper rematch from White Dwarf! :)

As to 2 level mage in addition to Life Archmage. I think the purpose of such a spell caster is to provide you with even better selection of spell but in a way that will keep your enemy guessing. To achieve that you need to have spells which both of your wizards can cast no matter if you have a strong or weak winds of magic. You will not cast all of them obviously but there must be always a threat that you can make an attempt to cast something that is dangerous to your enemy. It means that you should either look at signature spells as they are usually relatively easy to cast or take Seer and also choose spells which are not that difficult for level 2 to get through.

Since you mentioned that you would like some missile spells I would consider level 2 with either High Magic or Light Lore. High Magic is very good as support as it is easy to cast and you have 3 spells for level 2. Drain Magic is always useful against Undead as for them magic is much more important. If you take Seekr you can pick Fure of Khain for some magic missiles and then decide which of the other spells is the most useful against particular enemy. Light lore, as you already know, has some interesting spells too but for level 2 I would take a signature spell (against Undead even this one can hurt badly not to mention Banishment).

Apologies for a little chaotic post :) Good luck with the battle and do not keep us waiting too long for the report!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:16 am 
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Good luck with the battle and do not keep us waiting too long for the report!


Never being one to disappoint, I bring you:

The Sands of Fate

As I was the biggest empire in this battle, I received a bonus 100 points to my list. I put these points into a couple more archers, a 4+ ward save for my archmage (I was *really* tired of him dying at this point) and a couple more white lions.

His list looked like this:

Tomb King - Magical blade of +2 attacks (well, maybe that's not the name, but you get the picture), Armour of Destiny
Liche High Priest - Heirophant, Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Nehekara
Liche Priest - Feedback Scroll, Lore of Light

40 x Skeleton Warriors
40 x Skeleton Warriors
3 x Skeleton Chariots
3 x Skeleton Chariots

20 x Tomb Guard, Full Command, Banner of the Undying Legion
3 x Necropolis Knights, Entombed beneath the sands
Warsphinx

Casket of Souls

My spells were: Level 4: Earthblood, Flesh to Stone, Throne, Regrowth, Dwellers. Level 2: Shem's Burning Gaze, Timewarp
His Spells were: Level 4: Protection (5+ Ward), Smiting (+1 A), Movement, -1S -1T Hex. Level 2: Timewarp, Shem's


Deployment

Image

My first three drops were the two eagles and the archers. However, he was wise to my plan, and had by the looks of things given his own deployment some thought. He dropped his army fairly compact on the left-most side of the board, so I changed my strategy to a hard left flank. The relatively undefended casket had a large part to do with this decision. Since the eagles are easily re-deployed, not much was lost to this.

We roll off, and I win first turn

Turn 1

High Elves


Image

My left-most flank advances up. The Dragon Princes move to a position to force a charge from the chariots, else risking a charge on either them or the casket turn 2. The swordmasters advance up behind, in the safety zone that the Princes provided them. Not quite a full move forward from the spearmen, since combat with that sphinx would be just awful for them. Really, really awful.

Magic comes in hot at 12 v 6. I start off with 4 dice at throne of vines, and what do you know? Miscast. Luckily, my new venture into lore of life pays off, and the throne saves him from what would have undoubtedly been a grisly fate. At this point, my opponent announces the feedback scroll. I promptly roll 3 out of 4 of the power dice I threw as 5+ for wounds, and begin to sweat profusely. I then recall my decision to give him the 4+ ward save for just such an occasion. I save two of the 3 wounds, and take a break to recompose myself with a rousing speech in front of the mirror.

The archers loose all their arrows at the sphinx, and between all of their shots manage to put two wounds on it.

Tomb Kings

Image

With the risk of losing a key piece in his army so early in the game, he decides to charge the princes with his chariots. The rest of his army creeps forward, and we move on to the magic phase.

My annullian crystal pulls through, as does one of my mages. The winds are 7 v 7. He starts by throwing a riteous smiting aura up, which I allow. He knows I saved my dice for what's next, so he throws them at dispelling my throne.

The chariots level the dragon princes, then opt to reform to face the swordmasters - though he had few options here. Either overrun off the board, or accept the incoming attack from the swordmasters. Either way they're out of the picture for a couple turns.

Turn 2

High Elves


Image

The swordmasters leap in to action, combo charging the chariots. The middle eagle moves up to tie up his center unit and the sphinx, and the rest of my army moves up. My intention was to force a charge on the spearmen with the tomb guard, then get a flank charge with the lions.

Magic phase, I roll snakeyes. Banner gives me 2 dice, so the total is 4 v 1. I abandon throne for this phase and throw 2 at flesh to stone on the white lions, and 2 at earthblood. They are now T5 and have a 5+ regeneration save.

The swordmasters mince the chariots, and the right-most unit overruns into a position to flank the big unit of skeletons. The second unit reforms to threaten a counter charge, should he charge the first unit, as well as any action that should happen in the center

Tomb Kings

Image

Not wanting to get stuck versus a big block of steadfast spears, he issues a charge with his Tomb Guard on the White Lions. My original intent was to prevent this charge with the spearmen by moving them far enough up to block the wheel, but unfortunately I didn't get them up far enough and missed blocking it by millimeters. D'oh #1!

His necro-knights come up out of the ground just behind the forest on the left flank, facing the back of my white lions.

His sphinx and skeleton warriors in the center charge the eagle in frustration, and his chariots makes a long charge against the lion chariot.

The winds treat him well, giving him 10 v 7 power dice. He manages to get a Dessication off on my White Lions off, which I allow - they're still S5 T4 due to the life buffs and their already high strength. He then gets a Protection off on them, giving them a 5+ ward save. His next two are Timewarp and Smiting, both of which I dispel. Can't have those tomb guard having extra attacks!

The chariots hit the lion chariot and do low numbers for impact hits - 5 between the 3, and only manage a single wound. In combat, the lion chariot destroys one, and he does one wound with the rest of his attacks. I end up winning combat by 1!

His Sphinx overruns the eagle, moving up in position to help the chariots assail my firing base. His big block containing the heirophant turns to join the action in the center.

The combat versus the white lions is... interesting. My champion chops his to bits, and the rest of them manage to do 12 wounds - the tomb king's weapon skill making them hit on 4's. He then manages to roll 6 5+ saving throws from his protection spell, taking only 6 wounds. Between his Tomb King and his regular attacks, he kills 9 lions, despite them having the same save due to regeneration. Blah. They lose combat, but are stubborn. They hold.

Turn 3

High Elves


Image

Now is when my plan comes together! The northern-most swordmasters charge his block of skeletons in tandem with the block of spearmen - he was expecting the spears to go against his heirophant's unit. The other unit of swordmasters needs a 4 to make their charge... and promptly trip over their dresses and roll snakeyes. Sigh. So much for that awesome combo charge.

My eagle flies up again to redirect the sphinx away from my chariot, who looks like he might actually pull off this fight with the skeleton chariots.

Magic is 10 v 5, and I start off throwing 3 at throne. He tries, but fails to dispel it with 3 of his own. I had rolled low, but he rolled lower. I then at Earthblood, which goes off for a 4+ regen save on the lions. Finally, with throne up I throw 5 dice at dwellers on his heirophant unit, but fail to meet the casting value.

In combat, the Lion Chariot does manage to finish off the Skeleton ones through combat resolution. To the north, the combo charge on the block containing the level 2 manages 27 (!!) wounds in one turn, and take 1 wound each in return from skeletons. The skeletons evaporate, and the spears reform to face the heirophant's unit. I make an executive decision that those lions in the center need help, and *one* unit of swordmasters clearly can't be counted on to make a charge. I reform the swordmasters to face the rear of the tomb guard.

Finally, the white lions manage another 10 wounds which gets mitigated to 3... YES 3... wounds due to the 5+ ward save spell. My champion challenges his tomb king, and they stalemate (lol). His guys then cut through *my* 5+ save like it is nothing, leaving me with 6 lions left defending my archmage. Once again, they hold on stubborn.

Tomb Kings

Image

Two charges: His heirophant's unit versus my spears, and the sphinx does another one of those "I can make it by two millimeters" types of wheels. We do a good natured 4+ to see if he can make it, since it is so close, and he makes the roll. Sphinx hits my lion chariot (On the front, we got out the corner measurer for this one), then he charges the lions in the rear with his necro knights.

His magic phase is powerful once again, with the winds giving him 11 v 7. I brace myself for the onslaught to come. Since I'd taken out his Level 2, he was left only to his nehekaran lore and bound items. He starts with a huge roll on 4 dice for Riteous smiting (Something like 6, 5, 5, 5). I wanted to try to preserve even 1 white lion to hold on stubborn, so my priority was offensive buffs/hexes. I throw all 7 dice at it to be safe. It gets dispelled, and he casts the protection spell on them, hexes the lions again and then reveals the banner of the undying legion - between the two spells, the unit raises back up to almost full. CURSES! (get it?)

In close combat, the lions do a handful of wounds. He kills the champion in the challenge and manages to kill the rest of the white lions, who might as well have not even had their 4+ regen save. The Archmage breaks, and he pursues with both units. A big roll of 11 from the archmage sees him get away with plenty of room to spare. The necro knights prevent the tomb guard from going too far.

In combat to the north, I don't look a gift horse in the mouth and direct 8 of my attacks at the heirophant. I manage to put two wounds on him, and the rest of the spearmen kill 7 skeletons. I win combat by 3 or so.


Turn 4

High Elves

Image

Both units of swordmasters charge the Tomb Guard. The eagle flies over in front of the necro knights to redirect a charge against the archmage. He rallies, and we move on to magic.

The phase is 8 v 4. I try to draw out dispel dice with a 3 dice attempt at throne, but of course I miscast it. The spell protects me from the effects, but I'm left with 5 v 4 dice. I cast a powered up Shem's Burning Gaze on the Necro Knights. It goes off, and because the enemy is undead, it does 2D6 S6 hits. I roll 11 for the hits, and incinerate all but one wound of one Knight. The level 2 makes an imaginary gun with his fingers and blows the smoke off the barrel. Unfortunately this caused the unit to shrink significantly, leaving his remaining one wound knight the opportunity to charge my archmage. I'm not out of hot water yet!

In combat, the swordmasters do 15 wounds, which he saves 8 (!!) with his 5+ ward save. He kills 8 of mine in return, and a handful more evaporate. He's now down to about 11 left.

The heirophant, seeing his fate at hand, issues a challenge. I accept it with my BSB and prepare to make dog treats out of the skeleton. I hit with 2 of his attacks and wound with 1. He saves it with his ward, and I stare blankly off into space for a while. Luckily, the rest of the spearmen do 9 or so wounds, causing another handful to evaporate. Slowly but surely, the unit was crumbling!

Tomb Kings

Image

His remaining Necro Knight charges my archmage, hoping to break him on a -1 ld test (winning combat due to the charge). The sphinx charges the archers holding the level 2 in the flank.

Magic finally cuts me some slack, and due to the annullian crystal magic is 4 v 4. I manage to dispel both of his 2 dice attempts to cast with my +5 to dispel, and he gets no tomb guard back.

The swordmasters *finally* manage to kill the tomb guard now that they don't have their 3+ ward save spell on them... Wait, what's that? Oh, my sources tell me it's actually a 5+ ward save. Hm. Anyway, I kill them, and the king explodes due to combat resolution, taking down 1 and 5 swordmasters in each unit respectively.

The BSB swings a mighty 3 attacks at the heirophant, and wounds with all 3. With one wound left, surely this has to be it! He saves all 3 once again with his ward save. Through wounds and combat resolution, the unit is down to less than 15 models.

Image

At this point, he concedes the game, so we sort of breeze through this turn - mostly so I could see if I could actually kill this heirophant or not. I charge the rear of the Necro Knights with the swordmasters.

In combat, I put 3 wounds on the heirophant again, and once again he saves all 3! I contemplate turning the table over, but the mess it would inevitably make deters me. Finally, the combat resolution wounds kills off the pesky Liche, robbing me the satisfaction of actually slaying him.

The 5 swordmasters that charged the necro knight finish it off, and we call it a match.

Result: Massacre for the High Elves!


Campaign Results

Interestingly enough, our first campaign finished this round. The Orc player that I fought in the first round placed his capital city with one tile between him and a neighbouring chaos player. In the first turn, the chaos player took the adjacent tile, then this round, despite our warnings not to, the Orc player challenged the chaos player and lost a massacre to him. This gave the Chaos player 5 empire points this round, which is enough to take the Orc player capital, fulfilling the criteria to end the campaign. Talk about anti-climatic!

Not to worry though, we're starting a new one pretty much immediately, since that one was so short :S

After Match Thoughts:

Well, it certainly plays differently with Lore of Life! I'm quite confident that my choice to switch from Phoenix Guard to White Lions was a good one - The tomb king magic phase was relentless, and with all of those buffs on the Tomb Guard, I sure am glad the White Lions had stubborn to hold despite losing combat most rounds. There's just going to be rounds where your opponent makes saves like he did, and the Lions add a great element of reliability in that situation. They held long enough for me to line up a nice combo charge with the swordmasters to finally wipe out that troublesome unit.

I still need to work on my eagle positioning, or just positioning in general. Twice this match, he was able to squeeze through an advantageous charge by making a wheel that I specifically intended not to allow him to make. This was completely my fault for not measuring properly and working them out in my head.

I ended up going with Light as my secondary lore for a variety of reasons. First, the lore doesn't contain any un-useful spells. As such, it's great on a Level 2, since no matter what you get, you win. Second, it offers a couple great ranged damage spells, which I've previously expressed was a desirable thing for me. Finally, it is extra handy when facing things like undead!

Boy am I glad my paranoia about losing my Archmage got the best of me and I took that 4+ ward save. I mostly took it for things like the lore of death or the Orc sniper spell that got me on game 1, but the feedback scroll on turn 1 would have *really* ruined my day quickly.

I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to try out life with this list some more. At the end of the day, I love the tactical versatility of a MSU build. Seeing a 40 strong unit of skeleton warriors pop in one turn really speaks testament to the abilities our warriors possess. There is not much margin for error with units so small, however when things go according to plan (I'm looking at you 1" charge swordmasters! :x ) it really is a rewarding thing.

The Tomb King player is still in the midst of getting situated with his new book, and as such this was somewhat of a new build for him. No archers was definitely a different approach. I know his list wasn't as hard as some, but it was definitely still a great, fun game!

I'd love to hear your feedback about the army in general, the lore choices and their applications or any comments about this specific match!

D

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:00 am 
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Hi Brewmaster!

Thanks a lot for a very interesting report and congratulations on the win! I am very glad that you posted it so quickly :)

As to the comments to the battle itself, here we go (in no particular order :)):

1. It looks like DP got an awful lot of impact hits against them and despite saving on 3+ it was not enough to save them. The sacrifice payed off, however, and your Swordmasters had a much more room on the western flank. I think it was a good move.

2. I realy hate these situations when you need "just" 4" to complete a charge and then you roll snake eyes. You had a fantastic position for two devastating combo-charges. Ah well. More sacrifices to dice gods are required, also because of these regeneration rolls :) By the way, I think your opponent made a mistake by charging his TG against WL as he exposed a flank of his Skeleton unit to your Spears. It seems to me he was impatient a little. I think it would serve him better to deal with your eagle first, keep the formation and probably move a little forward to prevent combo charges. His Sphinx was also more needed close to his King while chasing archers was a little waste of potential of the huge beast. I also think he would benefit from some archers in that list too :)

3. I like the way Light Lore worked for you and think it adds nicely to your magic arsenal. I am just wondering if it would be better to target the sphinx with Burning Gaze instaed of his Knights? It is difficult to inflict 3 wounds with 2D6 roll (as you have inflicted 2 already) but maybe it was worth risking? Your Archmage would be safe too, as the eagle would redirect the enemy too.

4. You definitely used that protection and Life lore on archmage to the best :) The funny thing is that having IF on throne made other spells more difficult to cast as your opponent didn't waste any dispel dice. Just a pity that despite spells in effect you could not make these regeneration rolls. Maybe you should have used your opponent set of dice? :)

5. Careful positioning is a key and I found myself that it pays off to spent some time measuring distances and angles (since you can). In the end these "mistakes" did not cost you too much and sometimes even gave you new opportunities. But it can be a good habit to have these measuring tools at hand. Add some software to predict trajectories on your laptop and refer to it constantly during the battle saying you need to consult the oracle too :)

6. I am also interested how your mainly infantry army will deal with other enemies in the future. You have some nice but fragile hard hitters so Life+Light to protect them and speed them up looks like the best choice to me.

Any new battles coming up soon? A pity the campaign ended so quickly but then new empires will rise on the ashes of the old ones. Keep up the good work! :)

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High Elves MSU - Observations

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Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Thanks for the report! Can I have the link please?

Your army seems to be working quite well. Life and Lions definitely suit this list well.

Your tactics this game were pretty good, in my opinion. You had a plan which you managed to execute without any big problems. You only need to work on those Eagles a bit ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:02 pm 
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Quote:
Thanks for the report! Can I have the link please?


Hey Curu! Here's the link for you:

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=718188#p718188

Quote:
1. It looks like DP got an awful lot of impact hits against them and despite saving on 3+ it was not enough to save them. The sacrifice payed off, however, and your Swordmasters had a much more room on the western flank. I think it was a good move.


It was definitely a calculated risk for me. I knew he'd probably wipe the Dragon Princes (He did 14 impact hits on the charge), so I was more interested in the turn after. Incidentally, I think he made the wrong choice here - overrunning would have taken his chariots out of commission for two turns, yes, but they sure would have been a pain to have re-appearing right in the middle of all that combat in the middle!

Quote:
By the way, I think your opponent made a mistake by charging his TG against WL as he exposed a flank of his Skeleton unit to your Spears.


For sure! He didn't even see that possibility, he thought for sure I was going to go after his heirophant. You're absolutely right that he needed that sphinx in there, however it was my top priority to prevent that at all costs. Yes, there was enough points to the south to pay for the sphinx between the lion chariot, archers and level 2 mage, but sometimes it's not just about points.

Quote:
I am just wondering if it would be better to target the sphinx with Burning Gaze instaed of his Knights? It is difficult to inflict 3 wounds with 2D6 roll (as you have inflicted 2 already) but maybe it was worth risking?


I forgot to mention in my report, but the two wounds I managed on it first turn with the archers got healed back with aura spells. Having said that, I agree with you in concept - the key to these guys is volume fire. I don't mention it in the article, but pretty much every turn I could I was shooting those archers at it. 25 Archers should put 1 or 2 wounds on it reliably a turn, giving us a fair shake at taking it down once it does hit combat. However, I really do need to make some sacrifices to the dice gods, because this game was not treating me well. I failed every other turn to wound it!

Quote:
4. You definitely used that protection and Life lore on archmage to the best :) The funny thing is that having IF on throne made other spells more difficult to cast as your opponent didn't waste any dispel dice. Just a pity that despite spells in effect you could not make these regeneration rolls. Maybe you should have used your opponent set of dice?


It just goes to show, though, that although this is a game of rolling dice, victory is still possible even when the rolling doesn't go your way. I recall a game of Seredain's versus the Daemons where a similar thing happened to him - his opponent rolled an inordinate number of 5+ ward saves, however he still managed the win regardless!

Quote:
Careful positioning is a key and I found myself that it pays off to spent some time measuring distances and angles


Yeah, I have a bad habit of plunking eagles down where it *looks* like they're going to do their job, but then it turns out I missed it by a hair's breadth. Something I have to work on.

Quote:
Any new battles coming up soon?


After the campaign, I challenged the Chaos player that won the campaign to a grudge match. That'll be today, so I'll try to pop up a report tonight. He runs a build with double warshrine chosen, halbred wielding frenzied warriors and a big steadfast block of marauders, so it should be one of the more competitive builds I find myself going against.

Also, regarding the Tomb King player - his primary army is empire, so you can definitely tell that he's not used to one character having as much importance as his heirophant.

We talked out of the match, and agreed on a few things:

1. Some archers would have been a huge boon for his list. Dealing with my eagles would have limited my options in dealing with the sphinx and caused me a lot of headaches down the road.

2. He got over ambitious trying to take that one unit of white lions with the archmage. It worked, but it put him in a horrible position later on. He later revealed to me that he forgot they were stubborn!

3. We agreed that he needs to keep his heirophant out of combat at all costs. I threatened to initiate "Heirophant strike team alpha" next time he put him on the battle line like that (an eagle noble that suicide bombs him!). We laughed and laughed.

Any other feedback for him would be very much appreciated too! Like I said, he's still learning the ins and outs of a new army list.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:30 pm 
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Under the Feedback Scroll rules, it states that you can use it instead of attempting to Dispel.
If a player rolls Total Power, you cannot attempt a dispel, and thus cannot use the Feedback Scroll.

Truth?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Good catch Rudedog! According to the FAQ, a dispel attempt must be able to be made for the feedback scroll to be used, so this move wasn't actually legal. I'll try to remember this for future matches!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:47 am 
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The Chosen ones

Yesterday was the fated match-up between the WoC player who won our Mighty Empires campaign. Let me give you a little background on this one. This player is one of the newer players in our gaming group - not a rookie by any means, but still hasn't been around to see all of the tricks. Before this campaign started, I offered to help him write a list, because he'd been struggling to put together a really cohesive army.

We sat down one night, and put together the list you're about to see over a couple beers.

Fast forward to today - He's been on an absolute tear. He won the campaign by completely massacring the Orcs, and has been getting very comfortable with his list. You could almost say that the unit of Chosen, in particular, have gone to his head a little bit.

After he took the campaign, I decided it was time for me to face the monster I created head on! But winning wasn't enough for me. I had to take the chosen. No ifs ands or buts about it, the chosen needed to fall. Who better to do it than the glimmering host?

So when reading this match, keep in mind that my end goal was to, for better or for worse, kill his unit of chosen. This is the complete opposite route that I would normally take when faced with these guys - I'd just feed them chaff the entire game and avoid them, killing off the rest of his army.

Warriors of Chaos

Chaos Sorceror Lord - Chaos Armour, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone, Dispel Scroll, Necrotic Phylactery, Lore of Shadows
Chaos Exhalted Champion - BSB, Armour of Morrsleib, Mark of Tzeentch, Great Weapon

40 Marauders, Hand Weapon + Shield, Full Command, Mark of Tzeentch
24 Chaos Warriors, Great Weapons, Banner of Eternal Rage, Mark of Tzeentch, Full Command
5 Chaos Warhounds
5 Chaos Warhounds

20 Chaos Chosen, Full Command, Additional Hand Weapons, Wailing Banner, Favour of the Gods, Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Chariot
5 Chaos Knights

Warshrine
Warshrine

My spells are:
Life: Earthblood, Throne, Flesh to Stone, Regrowth, Dwellers
Light: Banishment, Pha's Protection


and his spells are:
Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Pendulum and Mindrazor

Deployment

Image

During deployment, I knew the only possible way I was going to kill a unit of chosen with two warshrines was to punch one flank and surround it with my heaviest hitters. I started off with two non-committing eagle drops, then put down my favourite gambit - the Dragon Princes on a flank. This unit is known to have funny reactions in opponents, and I love dropping them relatively early.

Sure enough, it works, and his unit of Great Weapon weilding Warriors goes down on that side. I then continue with my usual tactics of deploying on the opposite flank - I figure my best chance of punching through a flank will come at the hands of the marauders that he put down there.

I win the roll for first turn - phew! - and we start the game.

Turn 1

High Elves


I'm not sure what happened to my battle chronicler here, but the little arrows for movement disappeared for this turn.

Image

My left flank advances forward, with the swordmasters being the most aggressive with their movement. The Dragon Princes on the right peek up over the hill.

I know that I out-range him, with dwellers, banishment and my archers, so there is no sense being aggressive with movement.

Magic is 8 v 4. I start off with a 3 dice Throne, which he allows, then I throw the remaining 5 at a beefed up dwellers at the unit of marauders. I manage it, on a 23, but he rolls all 4 of his dice and gets a pair of 6's.

My shooting manages to kill 3 dogs (why are these guys 11 points again??) and we move on to his turn

Warriors of Chaos

Image

Predictably, he double times it forward towards me. We wrote this list to mangle people in close combat, and that's what he's setting out to do.

Magic is 9 v 6 - I manage to dispel Miasma and Enfeebling Foe, then he uses the rest to dispel Throne.

In shooting, his Chosen get their two extra buffs, putting them at +1A +1S and +1 Armour save. No big one yet!

Turn 2

High Elves


Image

I see an opportunity on the right flank to stall him for a turn, so I run my eagle up in his way - I position it in such a manner that if he charges me, the wheel will clip his unit of dogs, ruining his pursuit attempts if the eagle flees.

The other eagle runs up in the midst of his troops hoping to potentially march block (yeah right lol). I move the lions up enough to dare a charge from the chaos knights, and the north most unit of swordmasters angles himself in such a way that if he chooses to charge them with is marauders, he'll be leaving himself open to some nasty counter-charges. The Dragon Princes back up a smidge to open up their field of vision more to where I predict the action to be in the middle, and to prevent a charge from his chariot.

Magic is 12 v 6 - now we're talking! I get throne back up on my archmage with 3 dice and miscast it - protecting myself once again. God do I love that spell. I then 3 dice a pha's protection aura. Not sure if the picture gets this accurately, but this encompasses both units of swordmasters and the white lions. Finally, I throw 6 dice once again at a powered up dwellers, and he pops out the dispel scroll instead of trying to dispel my higher than average roll.

With shooting, I manage to fell 7 marauders from the horde. Now we're talking!

Chaos Warriors

Image

On the right, his warriors charge my eagle, and as expected, they can't make their wheel to pursue. The eagle flees away to safety. Hey look, I got it right for once! lol.

Not having his ward save gift yet, he slows down his super aggressive advance - he can see what I'm planning in the middle, and he didn't want any part of it... yet. His dogs move up to block a combo charge from the lions, chariot and spears.

Magic is 4 v 6 - Have I mentioned how much I love that annullian crystal? I dispel his one dice miasma, then he fails with a hopeful 3 dice casting of mindrazor.

He rolls once again on the eye of the gods and what do you know? 3+ ward save chosen. Great. I give him a long stern look. So long that it gets awkward.

Turn 3

High Elves


Image

After making absolutely sure that he acknowledged my glance, my elves spring into action. The north most swordmasters spring into action and charge the marauders, and the white lions charge the dogs in the middle. I notice that the angling is such that if I charge so that my lions are weighted right, I'll overrun and have a good shake at those knights behind. The lion chariot charges too, just to be on the safe side, but the white lions' charge ends up blocking it. It moves forward 3".

My fleeing eagle rallies, and the other moves up to protect my white lions from a flank charge by the chosen.

Magic is 11 v 6 - I still have throne up, so I start with a flesh to stone on the Swordmasters versus the marauders. He manages to dispel it. I follow that up with a pha's protection on the same unit, which he allows. Finally, I power up another Dwellers, and initiate operation "soften up the invincible unit" - I miscast it and take 4 chosen down. My miscast is ignored due to throne.

In combat, my swordmasters dice through 11 of the 5+ parry save marauders. They also manage to put two wounds on his sorceror lord, who has a 4+ rerollable versus them. He kills 3 of my guys in return, as he was hitting on 5's from pha's protection. He holds due to steadfast.

The lions hack through the two remaining dogs, and overrun into the knights.

Warriors of Chaos

Image

The chosen howl in frustration at the eagle and back up a couple inches to improve their arc of view on the lions. His chariot charges it from the right, and his other unit of warriors moves up again (the red arrow is supposed to be white).

Magic is 11 v 7 - yeah, boxcars. Here we go... He starts off with an enfeebling foe, which I dispel. He then throws one dice at miasma, and what do you know? 1! His magic phase ends, and he learns a hard lesson about throwing 1 dice at spells, no matter how easy to cast.

Combat with the marauders goes well once again - the swordmasters putting another 9 wounds on his troops, but failing to wound his sorceror lord.

The lions only manage to kill 2 knights, with him rolling some incredible armour saves. He kills a few in return, and manages to hold his line.

In combat, the eagle takes only one wound from the chariot and passes it's break test due to the proximity of the BSB - wow, didn't see that coming lol!

Turn 4

High Elves


Image

My lion chariot springs on the opportunity presented by the eagle and charges the chariot in support. I made a mistake in this turn - the swordmasters don't actually overrun the marauders this turn. Sorry for spoiling the suprise! (lol)

My other eagle flies up to block the wheel of the chosen once again.

In magic, I roll the ill fated snakeyes. That's ok though, my channeling and banner will pull me through! Or will they? I roll a 1 for the banner and fail to channel with both mages. So I literally have the worst possible magic phase at my disposal, with the exception of him having only one dispel dice. I throw all three at a regrowth on the swordmasters, and manage to get 5 back.

In combat, the White Lions finish off the Chaos Knights and hold their position - I have plans for them later.

His chariot manages to kill my eagle, but my chariot manages to put two wounds on his, resulting in tied combat.

My swordmasters fail once again at putting the final wound on his sorcerer, and the rest of them do 6 wounds to his 3. He's down to 15 models total - almost there!

Warriors of Chaos

Image

He advances his right flank one more time, and charges his warshrine into the white lions. His chosen charge the eagle that is once again disrupting him.

Magic is 4 v 5, and I manage to dispel his enfeebling foe. He then gets a miasma off on a good roll, and puts it on my swordmasters for initiative. He rolls a one, leaving them at the same initiative as his marauders - bonus! My spirits are then crushed as he uses smoke and mirrors to teleport his sorceror out of his unit, and the BSB in. I thought for sure I was going to neutralize his magic phase this turn!

In combat, I take all my swordmaster's attacks an direct it at the marauders this time. I manage 11 wounds on the tough little buggers, to his 3. He breaks from combat, despite his BSB's attacks, and I overrun and take the unit (this is the picture from last turn that I did a turn early in the battle report).

The lions fail to wound the warshrine, and the shrine holds in combat.

The lion chariot manages one more wound on the chariot, but it too holds.

Turn 5

High Elves


Image

I prepare myself for the final assault. The swordmasters both loop into position just out of the possible charge arc of the chosen, but still on their flanks.

I decide "what the hell", and declare a charge with my spearmen on the chaos warriors, and my Dragon Princes on the Dogs. Go big or go home, right?

My magic phase is a 9 v 6. I throw three dice at flesh to stone on the spearmen, which he dispels. I respond by throwing 6 dice at dwellers, miscasting and taking out another 6 chosen. He's now down to 14 or so. My throne of vines saves my archmage once again. Have I mentioned I love that spell?

In combat, after the DP manage to kill the dogs and overrun into the warriors, the spearmen and dragon princes muster up a respectable 8 wounds on the warriors, however they take 12 wounds in return. The spearmen are steadfast, but the remaining 2 dragon princes break from combat. Good, I get to keep those points :P The spearmen hold.

The lion chariot manages to kill the Chaos Chariot, and I reform to face the middle. I figure I can take the warshrine with it potentially, and if I charge the chosen I'll just feed them more wounds.

The white lions break the warshrine but opt to hold their position - I have a plan!

Warriors of Chaos


Image

The fated hour has arrived. The chosen charge in to the flank of the white lions.

His warshrine charges the flank of my spearmen, and we move to magic.

The dice are 4 v 4, and he manages to get a mindrazor on the chosen with irresistable. He rolls boxcars for his miscast result, and manages to avoid taking his final wound once again. I really can't catch a break here.

In combat, he does enough wounds to break steadfast on the spearmen, and overruns them with the warshrine. He reforms his warriors to face the impending combat in the middle.

The chosen shred through the lions, leaving only 5 remaining. They are stubborn, and they hold, leaving only my makeshift conga line, headed up with the invincible archmage. LOL.

Turn 6

It all comes down to this! 6 turns of setting things up, let's see if I can pull it off!

Image

I charge in with both of my units of swordmasters. The lion chariot charges the warshrine, in the hopes that I can take the points for it as well.

Now, at this point I realize I've already achieved a minor victory, and there is no need for me to try to take those chosen, since they're stuck. But I was on a mission. I was doing this for the good of our gaming group.

Magic is 11 v 7. Throne is still up, so I get a full powered flesh to stone off on the swordmasters, which he fails to dispel with 4 dice to my 3. I regrowth the other unit to near full, and then throw the remainder at a full powered pha's protection, shown in the picture. All of my units in that combat are at -1 to hit.

Combat. Drum roll please.

I throw close to 30 attacks at him between the two flanks. Out of those 30 attacks, 3 manage to wound. Yes. 3. He returns his attacks and manages only 2 on me - thank you pha's protection and WS 6! I win combat, and of course he holds.

The lion chariot wins combat, but fails to break the warshrine.

So much for that...

Warriors of Chaos

Image

The final turn. I'd won the match, provided I could hold on to what I had. This is easier said than done, however, with this ridiculous unit of chosen!

He attempts a long charge from his warriors, but fails to make the distance. He gets a rear charge with his warshrine on the swordmasters, and we move on to magic.

7 v 5 is the roll, and he manages to get an Enfeebling Foe through my defenses. It reduces my northern swordmaster's strength by 1, and he fails an attempt at okkam's.

Combat - This is the big one! My swordmasters finally manage to penetrate his defenses, causing 5 wounds this turn to his 3. We work out the combat resolution and he's lost by 1. He takes his stubborn test and he.... BREAKS! No BSB reroll, and I declare a pursuit with everything that I can. He rolls a 6, and both of my units roll enough to take him out. At this point he is privy to my robot dance, which only makes an appearance in situations as awesome as these. Upon witnessing it, he can't help himself and starts doing it too.

Result: Massacre for the High Elves!!!!!


Final Thoughts

Don't try this at home, kids! Honestly, charging those chosen was a horrible idea. A unit like that concentrates so much force in one spot that if anything was on the line for this game, I would have simply continued to avoid it and tie it up. It's insane to me that it can take two flank charges from two units of some of the hardest hitting infantry in the game and laugh it down to 3 wounds. If it wasn't for a huge amount of luck, this all could have gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Having said that, I did learn a few things about both armies this battle:

1. With all those little drops, Chaos Warriors really do have a similar advantage to us in the deployment phase. The only giveaway is the placement of the warshrines. Their range is relatively short, and as such you can fairly safely predict the positioning of his chosen/warriors based on their placement.

2. Lore of Light is amazing. Period. In the two games I've played with it, I've been nothing but impressed. Every single spell is useful, and this game I feel showcased how powerful Pha's is in combination with Swordmasters. WS6 ensures that any rank and file is hitting on 4's at most, and so with pha's you can be guaranteed that everyone is hitting on 5's. Add in the fact that you can make it an aura, and you're ready to go! The lore also offers some great ranged damage, which was showcased in my recent tomb kings battle.

3. My opponent forgot to dispel throne of vines most turns. This was probably one of the single biggest things that cost him this game (besides the unit of warriors on the far flank)

4. The Annullian Crystal never ceases to amaze me. Every time I have a 4 v 5 or 7 v 7 magic phase, I am reminded why I take this item - two dice difference is a huge advantage. I find in most games I get at least one phase where I have the same or more dispel dice as he has casting dice, in which case my +5 to dispel gives me a decent chance at shutting him down completely.

And now, the best news: Our Orc player felt bad about his decision to challenge the Chaos player, and suggested that we finish the campaign without him. As such, the battle continues on! I now have a massacre worth of points under my belt, and am looking towards the next battle. My sights are aimed at either the Lizardmen player once again, or the other Warriors of Chaos player, who has been doing pretty well so far.

I'd love to hear your input on this game, just don't be too hard on me for actually trying to fight 3+ ward save chosen. :P

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Check out my Army Blog for tactics, battle reports and general ramblings: Brewmaster D's Coven of Light Army List Blog
The Art of Deployment
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Last edited by Brewmaster_D on Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:12 am 
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Awesome report! I am super glad you won :) After reading the list and the preface you gave the game I thought that for sure you had lost. I have a WoC player in my group and I hope he doesn't take a list like the one you played. That looks nasty. I think 3+ ward saves on a killy, stubborn unit is overly ridiculous. Unless you get lucky or can focus the majority of your army on it you pretty much have to kill it with spells that ignore ward saves.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:59 am 
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Hi Brewmaster!

I was waiting for this report and I am very glad you posted it so quickly as it is one of the best games I have ever seen. You played with great patience and I see that you also used your laser measuring tools perfectly :) The way you held his flank and stopped Warriors from advancing (not to mention he got the DP bait and positioned them on that flank) was a masterpiece. It shows nicely that sometimes you can use enemy screen units to your benefit and there is no need to get rid of them. If you can't charge them they can't charge you!

I was only sometimes confused as I think that you mentioned Chosen but had Warriors in mind. For example, diagram shows that you charged Warriors with Spears and DP while obviously they could not do that against Chosen. Speaking of this fight. You said you inflicted 8 wounds and lost 12. What about static combat resolution bonuses? You had a flank and a charge and I think you might have had at least 1 if not 2 more ranks than him. In that case you would lose by 1 or it would be a draw! It was kind of lucky DP broke from that combat and retreated. From the hindsight maybe it would have been better just to park Spears in front of them, try to hold and then countercharge? That at least would keep them busy longer. Sure they didn't make it to the fight but I am just wondering about other options. :)

I have a question about warshrines. Does their effect combines? Like when he got some +1S and +1A and then that nasty 3+ ward save, is it all there? Also, do you have to roll on the effect from warshrine each round or can you skip it if you don't want to add anything (might be useful if one effect replaces the previous one). Sorry, don't have WoC book with me at the moment.

Your magic phase was amazing. Sure, you rolled well for winds of magic but seeing how you miscast every second turn I see why you trust in Life Lore :) I am glad Light adds so nicely to the whole effect and it definitely made Swordmasters better. Imagine what it would be like to have Flesh to Stone on them too :) The only trouble is I wanted to use Light Archmage myself while after reading your reports I have second thoughts. Damn! :) I also do not think you would exchange your level 2 mage for a mage knight with Light? Mainly because of the Annulian Crystal.

I am also impressed by the speed this army posses despite being infantry mainly. Having 3 hard hitting infantry regiments means you don't really need a fighting character. Or do you miss one (BSB not counting)? Do you think you would benefit from exchanging one Swordmasters unit for another DP for example? I like Swordmasters a lot (surprise, surprise :)) but prefer to have a little more cavalry and I just wonder what do you think about the composition of your army at the moment after a few new battles.

I am very glad your campaign is going on. When can we expect next battle report? :) I am also sure your WoC opponent will benefit from this hard fought battle and will be perpared next time you meet again. Congratulations and thanks once again!

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High Elves MSU - Observations

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Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?


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