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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Positioning the rider further behind isn't possible without more thorough tweaks to the legs - the neck is pretty wide. As for platforms, I'm not a fan of these. I've seen a couple of the models you're talking about and it looks weird, in my opinion. I'm hoping that greenstuffing a robe will prove sufficient to provide a decent look. At the moment, the main thing I'm unhappy about is the 'seat', i.e. the joint between him and the Dragon. Such a robe would conceal all of that :)

So - the revised list. I'll be testing it this Sunday against Dark Elves ;)

Prince Saerith on Star Dragon - Vambraces of Defense, Great Weapon, Armour of Caledor, Talisman of Loec :: 622
Noble Naenor BSB on Great Eagle - Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Helm of Fortune, The Other Trickster's Shard :: 216
High Mage Curu Olannon - Level 2, Annulian Crystal, Dragonbane Gem :: 180

Characters Total :: 1019

30 Archers, Full Command and Gleaming Pennant - 360
13 Archers, Musician, Standard Bearer - 158
10 Archers - 110

Core Total :: 628

30 White Lions, Full Command and Banner of Eternal Flame, Amulet of Light :: 505
5 Dragon Princes, Drakemaster with Skeinsliver :: 195

Special Total: 700

3 Great Eagles :: 150

Rare Total :: 150

Army total: 2497

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:03 am 
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Why not swap the Dragonbane Gem on the Mage for the Ironcurse Iron? I believe it will be much more useful in various circumstances and since it will be on the Mage it will give you the option of enhancing the unit of your choice if the need arises...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:56 am 
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I see you've got your dragon. I sent you a pm about assembling it, but it looks like you made out pretty well. Nice location for the lord. I'm placing mine a little further back. I've found that he can sit a up near the shoulder if you place him on a saddle. I'm using the one from the dark elf dragon kit. The legs are from the high elf dragon kit with the extra cloth cut off. Hopefully I'll have pictures up on my modeling thread by the end of the weekend. Good luck with the rest of the work on the dragon and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:42 am 
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What lore are you planning on taking? I'm guessing High magic most likely for the ward save?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:12 pm 
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@Siegfried VII - that's a good suggestion! I didn't really think too much about it. Granted, the Dragonbane Gem is really nice every now and then and indeed I had a lot of use for it in my recent game against Daemons, however I see the value in taking the Ironcurse Icon instead.

@Dragonlord Hailthir - yeah I saw your pm but I was in a hurry and forgot to reply! Thanks for the head's up anyways ;) The model indeed did have a few gaps but patience and greenstuff go a long way :) As for positioning, I don't have a saddle available. Making extra cloth will hopefully suffice though. Looking forward to seeing yours though!

@John Rainbow - if you look at the list you can see that the mage is listed as a 'High Mage' - hence he's taking High Magic ;) I always note the lore of my mages before the mages themselves, so that they appear as 'Light Archmage' or 'Death Mage' etc. I haven't really considered any other lores save from Life seriously because of the fact that High Magic covers a lot of weak points (ward save, drain magic), has a lot of potential spell-selection-wise (most of the spells are useful and if you roll terrible you're still safely backed up by drain + shield) and you get a third spell for free. The reason I chose not to pack Life was the lack of overall good spells, i.e. selection is important, the fact that I can't pass the 5+ regen around (only on Mage's unit) and that I can only get 2 spells here.

An alternative list is packing a 2nd mage with Seerstaff (Shadow - Withering, Mindrazor), tweaking it a bit (e.g. WL horde is broken down to a PG bunker with BoS) etc. In this case, I'm not sure High is the best but that's another story!

So, game's on tomorrow against Dark Elves! We're practicing for an upcoming league in January which has a special comp (can post it later if you're interested) so his list is likely to be a bit unusual, although it'll be competitive within the limitations of the league. Hopefully I'll have a battle report up before I go to bed tomorrow night :)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
An alternative list is packing a 2nd mage with Seerstaff (Shadow - Withering, Mindrazor), tweaking it a bit (e.g. WL horde is broken down to a PG bunker with BoS) etc. In this case, I'm not sure High is the best but that's another story!


If you plan on using two Mages I would suggest picking Lore of Light. Pha's Protection is a spell that can make all the difference when you face warmachines as it can protect to a great extent your Dragonlord from them but also a good portion of your army.

Also Speed of Light can make your Dragon and Prince's weapon skill and initiative 10, thus making them able to tackle even Bloodthirsters. Imagine that the Greater Daeomon will suffer in reality a -1 to hit on both rider and mount and since he has initiative 9 you'll get to strike first with the Dragon for two combat turns (and get rerolls on your to hit rolls with the Prince). :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:12 am 
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My second game against Dark Elves! As we're playtesting our lists for a league with unusual comp, the Dark Elf list is somewhat un-orthodox. The main comp for Dark Elves is as follows: no cauldron of blood if you have either a shadow mage or a hydra, max 30 repeater crossbows, pendant banned, max. +2 PD per turn (this one counts for ALL armies), Black Guard + Hydra 0-1. Anyways, on to the report!

:: No quarter asked, no quarter given ::

My dragonlist:

Prince Saerith on Star Dragon - Vambraces of Defense, Great Weapon, Armour of Caledor, Talisman of Loec :: 622
Noble Naenor BSB on Great Eagle - Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Helm of Fortune, The Other Trickster's Shard :: 216
High Mage Curu Olannon - Level 2, Annulian Crystal, Dragonbane Gem :: 180

Characters Total :: 1019

30 Archers, Full Command and Gleaming Pennant - 360
13 Archers, Musician, Standard Bearer - 158
10 Archers - 110

Core Total :: 628

30 White Lions, Full Command and Banner of Eternal Flame, Amulet of Light :: 505
5 Dragon Princes, Drakemaster with Skeinsliver :: 195

Special Total: 700

3 Great Eagles :: 150

Rare Total :: 150

Army total: 2497

Dark Elves:

Supreme Sorceress (Shadow Magic) - lvl 4, +1DD, sac. dagger
Cold One Mounted BSB, Hydra Banner, 1+ armour save

30 Corsairs, Full Command, Sea Serpent Standard
10 RxB - shields
10 Shades, champ
10 Shades, champ
20 Spearelves, full command, +1LD banner
5 Harpies
5 Harpies

11 Cold One Knights - Full Command, ASF Banner, Whip of Agony on champ
20 Black Guard - Full Command, Banner of Armour Piercing

1 War Hydra

:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

Magic: I got Shield of Saphery and Vaul's Unmaking. He got Miasma, Withering, Pit and Mindrazor.

The scenario was automatically Battleline as per the rules of the upcoming league. I got to choose sides and chose South because I knew North would force him to advance in columns - 2 or 3 depending upon how tight he wanted his troops. To this end, I deployed my big Archers centrally and the battle plan was to destroy one flank of Dark Elves while the Archers held the middle. As deployment unfolded, I was confident I could achieve this - I also made sure to deny his Shades any lucrative position.

Image

Note: His Supreme Sorceress was in the Spearelves unit, the BSB with the Knights.

I rolled a 4 for starting and since he had scouts, that meant he needed a '6' for a re-roll. He didn't get it, so I went first.

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

I advanced cautiously with my flyers, setting up lots of flexible moves depending on his turn 1. The rest stayed put, apart from the Horde archers who moved to within 24" of the Corsairs. Olannon joined them.

Magic is 6v4 and I throw it all at Vaul's. I get a miserable total of 16 (after the added bonus!) which he dispels with his 4D6.

Shooting kills 5 repeater crossbows and a black guard.

Image

:: Dark Elves Turn 1 ::

My opponent replies with a very defensive tactic, which again surprises me. His Hydra is the only thing moving up, which does so to threaten my weak flank. This suits me perfectly as I immediately decide to smash his Western flank and hope I can stall the Knights for long enough to turn around and help the centre before it's too late.

Magic is 8v7. He starts with a 2D6 miasma on the Dragon, which I let through. The result is -1M, nothing major. He then casts Withering on 6D6, getting IF! The result is -2T but the miscast sees him lose 2 levels - along with Withering and Mindrazor! Talk about luck...

His shooting then decides to throw caution to the wind and everything (50 crossbow shots) now open up on the Dragon which is T4, its rider T1. After some amazing rolls the result is that Saerith has taken a single wound while the Dragon (which, by the way, is desperately in need of a name!) saves everything: me making 6 or 7 4+ saves!

Image

:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

I now bring my flank-attack moves into play: Naenor and Saerith moves up aggressively, making sure to threaten the Hydra and the Black Guard. The idea is to force him to give up one of them to a combined charge, leaving the other defenseless. The Lions move up, too, eager to take up a flanking position should he threaten my middle. They also have a good arc to the Hydra, which I block with an Eagle. I don't want to fully commit them yet as aggressive moves on his part could see my middle threatened very quickly. The second Eagle blocks his Harpies, effectively somewhat blocking his Corsairs in, while the last stays put, waiting for future use.

Magic is 7v7 and I simply dispel Withering. Shooting kills off his Crossbowmen and another Black Guard.

Image

:: Dark Elves Turn 2 ::

Hydra charges the blocking Eagle. His blocked Harpies charge my hill archers, who stand and shoot to bring down a couple. This allows his corsairs to charge the Eagle. The Harpies are very far away and don't run too far, which means that even if the Corsairs kill the bird they won't advance more than a few inches. The other Harpies fly to block off my Lions from the Hydra's flank.

Magic is 10v7. He starts off with a 5D6 boosted Miasma on the White Lions, which I let through, the result being -3. He then tries a boosted Pit but I dispel it.

Shooting kills a handful of Archers, my Dragon Princes' armour being solid against the Shades.

Combat sees the Eagles die badly, the Hydra overrunning a full 10", landing 2" away from the Archers!

Image

:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

I dual-charge his Black Guard (he didn't see this coming!), the Dragon being 17" away. The Lions charge the blocking Harpies while the Dragon Princes charge the Shades: stand and shoot killing 1.

Magic is 6v6 and I spend it all at Vaul's Unmaking, removing the Corsairs' Frenzy Banner. I imagine that without this, and with a couple more turns of shooting, my archer anvil can hold firm against them, provided that they don't get any support.

Shooting sees the 13 desperate Archers fail to wound the Hydra. The rest combine to kill a couple of Harpies and Corsairs.

Combat - my flyers do what they do best and only a couple of Black Guard are left alive. At one point here we had a few interesting dice-rolls: he wounded Saerith twice, leaving me with a 4+ triple-save. I failed the first 2 on BOTH my dice, making that last roll dramatic as I'd already lost a wound. Luckily, I saved both, leading me to breath a sigh of relief!

The Dragon Princes kill all but 1 of the Shades and lose none in return. They overrun into the Cold One Knights, effectively tarpitting them for a turn. The Lions easily kill the blockers and reform to face the Hydra.

Image

:: Dark Elves Turn 3 ::

Hydra charges the Archers, the last 2 Harpies move to block off my White Lions.

Magic is 5v6 and the result is -3I on the Lions. His shooting kills my small unit of Archers on the hill.

Combat sees my Dragon Princes kill his champion (who made way to make use of the Whip) and wound his BSB once. In return, they're all killed, unfortunately, so he doesn't have to pursue or anything. Anyways, removing the champion was vital, as was wounding the BSB. The very dangerous hammer now looks a lot more like... Dragonfood? The last Black Guard go down and I reform to face his mage's bunker.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 4 ::

Both flyers charge the bunker. The Lions charge the Harpies, who flee as the Hydra got a very good overrun move. I decide to redirect and I get a good roll - catching the Hydra. Can 30 White Lions with a flaming banner do what 18 with a movement banner could not?

My last Eagle moves to block off his corsairs, denying a charge on my big archers.

Magic is 4v3 and I remove the Cold One Knight's +1A banner, fearing it more than ASF. Shooting kills a few corsairs.

In combat I kill a lot of Spearelves but he holds due to steadfast (he had like 6-7 models left). The Lions chop-chop the Hydra, dealing no less than 9 wounds to it! I reform to face the centre.

Image

:: Dark Elves Turn 4 ::

Corsairs charge blocking Eagle. Magic is 1v2 and thus I dispel what little he has. Shooting kills off 6 Archers.

Combat - Eagle dies, his Spears die. Naenor runs down his Supreme Sorceress while Saerith reforms to face the centre.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 5 ::

Saerith charges the Cold One Knights (who are 16" away) and roll a 2, 2 and 1 for a failed charge! The White Lions, being 13" away from the Corsairs, try their luck but fall 1" short. The Archers then decide to free reform, but fail their leadership test. Instead I simply reform them to have maximum ranks.

Magic is 7v4. I start off with a 5D6 Vaul's which removes the Knights' ASF banner. I then cast Shield on the Archers on 2D6, getting 2 6's and killing off Olannon.

Image

:: Dark Elves Turn 5 ::

He smells a last chance of victory: the Corsairs charge the Archers and lose a couple to Stand and Shoot. His Knights then charge the Archers and I flee, being 7" away from the edge I properly roll a 6. Adding insult to injury, the Corsairs fail to catch me! The Knights redirect into Saerith, and I choose to hold. He makes the roll and passes ALL 11 difficult terrain tests.

Shooting kills a couple of more Archers but I'm not really concerned at this point...

I challenge and he refuses, his BSB thus ending up in his rear rank. Saerith starts off by killing 4 Knights on his own. I didn't activate Loec here but in hindsight I probably should have to make sure those Knights go down. It doesn't matter if he gets killed as the entire model is worth the VP's and the Dragon gets to attack regardless of whether he's killed. The Knights combine to put 4(!) wounds on the Star Dragon. In return, it kills ALL remaining 6 Knights, leaving the BSB alone. He needs snake eyes to hold, and as he does not he auto-dies since he has a banner and all.

Image

The last turns weren't too interesting: I combo-charged and killed his Corsairs, my Archers rallied. His Shades were the only ones surviving the battle.

:: Victory Points ::

He lost everything apart from one unit of Shades. I lost 3 Great Eagles, 13 Archers, 10 Archers, 5 Dragon Princes. In addition, I had his general, BSB, 4banners (corsairs, cold one's, black guard, spearelves) while he had a single banner (the 13 archers). A massacre to the High Elves!

:: Evaluation ::

Well - the Archer core worked very well here. Mainly is was their ability to stay back and actually do something useful while doing so (as opposed to Spears) that proved to be effective. Also, having the large Archer unit is comforting as it'll put out a huge amount of firepower, relative to fighting T3 5+ save opponents, while also being strong enough to hold most mediocre combat blocks on its own.

My opponent had a really poor start: not only did he lose his 2 most important Dragon counters to a T1 miscast, but his shooting also failed to hurt me the one time in the game when my toughness was lowered. Shadow can be a brutal mistress as I've experienced myself, and this was one of the worst starts he could've had, shy of just losing the mage directly (which I probably would have).

Throughout the game I felt that my units were being stretched as far as they could. I always needed everything to do its job perfectly to avoid my army being too scattered and unable to support the various elements. Despite the Hydra going down fairly fast to the Chracian hunters, it did make a mess of my otherwise perfect battle lineup as I had to devote a 500 point unit, which covered the centre of the board perfectly, to make sure it couldn't run wild with my anvil. The units did manage to do just this though, the Dragon Princes performing their intended flank-guard duty with excellence while my flyer-tag-team did their thing.

Vaul's unmaking was crucial in this game and I really believe that with a single level 2 mage there is no better lore for this army. So many of the spells from High Magic is useful, Vaul's with its value of 12+ to cast being the icing on the cake. Removing 3 banners gave me a lot of tactical flexibility (no way I could've held the Star Dragon against his charge if he'd had both +1A and ASF) and eventually gave me a massacre as opposed to what (probably) would've been a normal win.

The way I imagine this army will play and the way I played it this game ensured me that I really believe the all-archer core is the superior setup.

Hope you enjoyed, C&C welcome :)

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Last edited by Curu Olannon on Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:52 am 
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Hi Curu,

I loved seeing the Dragon do its thing. I performed exceptionally well, especially when it dual charged with the BSB on the Black Guard.

That Withering+RXB combo is a known winner for Dark Elves. I'm not surprised he went for it in the first turn.

I will say that the Comp on the Dark Elves is pretty hefty. It basically attacks every one of their inborn advantages. This isn't to say that they aren't still good, but it does gut them a bit. Still, 40 executioners + Cauldron is still possible so it doesn't take away all of their silly little tricks either.

Are there comp restrictions on the HEs we should know about?

How did you find magic defense with only a level 2? I imagine the Annulian evens the field quite a bit? Did you find you missed the +2 the Archmage brings?

No charmed shield on Naenor? What about cannons/warmachines? Not worried about direct hits?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:51 am 
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Yeah Withering + RxB was expected but I can't do anything when he IF's, otherwise I might've dispelled it with 7v5(6 with sac. dagger) dice.

The comp on DE/DoC/Skaven and Lizards is deliberately pretty hard. I'll post it on these forums in detail. The idea is to bring these 4 down to playable level for everyone else. The league will be run in short rounds of 10 weeks so evaluation can mean rapid adjustments of the comp in-between rounds (each round has 5 games).

As for HE: we can't take any Arcane Items nor Banner of Sorcery WITH BoH. Other than that, 0-3 Light mages, max. 2 PD/DD generated, max. 30 models per special unit.

Magic defense with a level 2 is adequate. I miss the +5 but +3 is still very good with regards to the points invested. The Annulian is naturally crucial here. So far, the Archmage missing hasn't been a huge issue. The magic-comp of the league probably means I won't miss him that much.

As for Naenor's loadout: the Other Trickster's Shard is so crucial against Daemons of Chaos, Chosen, Phoenix Guard etc. I want to be able to just go in wade through anything with the flyer combo. I might end up reversing this one though, but as I discussed with Krysith in another thread, the Charmed Shield leaves him too weak in melee to perform his duty. If anything, I'd swap the shard for Guardian Phoenix. Not many armies feature big threats, and those who do usually target Saerith first. As such, I'm more concerned with Naenor being able to perform what he's supposed to when he gets stuck in combat.

As for cannons and war machines - do these worry me? Of course they do! But really, only 3 armies field cannons:
- Empire
- Dwarfs
- Ogres
Empire might have 2 cannons, but hardly ever more. They have a plethora of soft units I want to engage (basically anything) so I imagine I have to cope with 1-2 cannonballs on average. The odds are on my side in this particular instance. Dwarfs just about ALWAYS have 1 flaming cannonball and 1 normal. That means they pose half the threat of what Empire does, which isn't too bad. Lastly, Ogres with dual Ironblasters is a real problem. Their mobility means that hiding the Dragon is that much harder and their accuracy is insane. I wonder what GW were thinking when they made the Ironblasters more accurate than cyber-enhanced humans with technology augmented laser cannons (40k), tougher than any other chariot ingame, S10 grapeshot AND a points cost so poor it makes the Hydra look balanced in comparison.

I do believe that against the following lists, I have a built-in advantage as opposed to more traditional High Elves build: Note that this is not because the list is superior in itself, it has to do with what I do best (movement), meta-game(nobody expects a flying monster - those who do usually have Searing Doom as a back-up plan) and psychological impact (nobody manages to completely keep their cool when the Dragon starts rampaging - this creates mistakes which ultra-mobile lists are better suited to capitalize on)
- High Elves infantry/magic heavy
- Dark Elves
- Lizardmen MSU + Slannbunker
- Bretonnia
- Warriors of Chaos
- Beastmen
- Wood Elves
- Daemons of Chaos
- Vampire Counts
Basically the combination of force concentration and hyper-mobility allows us to really capitalize on our strengths. As discussed before, I don't believe lots of lists even consider what to do against Dragonlord-lists, which is an added advantage as, apart from cannons, built-in advantages are very uncommon.

As for Skaven, I believe it's a neutral matchup: by most standards it's considered a default loss for us. Storm Banner hurts me badly but the Dragon is still surprisingly fast. If it can get into combat with anything but Slaves, chances are it'll keep on killing and never die. Orcs and Goblins is probably also neutral: the Dragon will kill just about anything short of big hordes of Savage/Black Orcs. Dwarfs and Empire are probably worse than typical lists while Ogres is the worst.

In short - I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Besides, a Dragon really emphasizes what Warhammer is all about to me. Watching it maim just about everything game after game is very encouraging ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:24 am 
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Do you think Vaul's Unmaking was crucial in your game? Would it have made an impact if you DIDNT have it?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:32 am 
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Yes, most definitely. Vaul's allowed me to disregard the corsairs as opposed to having to pay attention to them. Additionally, I never could've held my ground vs the CoK charge.

By the way I made a post regarding our comp. Check it out here - clicky

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:44 am 
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Quite a nice game. I like seeing the Dragon do well, though I think that Withering/RxB combination at the opening of the game could have easily left you in trouble. The Dark Elf player really hamstrung himself with deployment, I think. Elves are still Elves, and mutual support and combined combats are still key (especially when you don't have the Cauldron to really help overkill an opponent.) You pounced on his error there and picked him apart very nicely.

Curu Olannon wrote:
- High Elves infantry/magic heavy
- Dark Elves
- Lizardmen MSU + Slannbunker
- Bretonnia
- Warriors of Chaos
- Beastmen
- Wood Elves
- Daemons of Chaos
- Vampire Counts


I'm a little surprised at some of these evaluations here. Brets with double Trebs, or Warriors of Chaos with Hellcannons, can dispatch or critically hurt a dragon just as easily as a more conventional shooting army can (not to mention Heroic Killing Blow on a Bret Lord.) Beasts aren't bad either... Herdstone spam, or a buffed Beast character, is no joke. I think the magic-light approach works heavily in your favor for making the Dragon Lord work though; it makes your magic defense pull more weight, and you're less likely to find the Dragon in a combat where you're facing an endless stream of Augments/Hexes.

I like seeing the Star Dragon chalk up another win. Are you content with the list, at this point? Any tweaks or adjustments?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:13 am 
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My take
-Comp hurt DE, no doubt.
-DE player made some avoidable errors in deployment. I believe he should rather have placed his 20 shades on your left flank as far forward as possible and start killing archers and eagles asap. Trying to take down a dragon and dragon princes with light shooting when you had so many good targets were folly.
-I believe he was right in playing defensively, since you can very easily jump your flyers behind him. His fault was probably not deploying farther back in cover and force your advance more.
-I think you had pretty good luck with magic, getting off Vauls so many times and him losing two levels early.
-For your part; well played. Can't really find fault with your moves.
-Don't overestimate the archer core though. In this game you had good targets for shooting, while spears would have suffered in CC. That is true for many other armies, like DoC and maybe Lz, but not, I believe for, skaven, dwarfs and VC. Remember that Dw WM have four crew and will often be in hard cover behind units.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:41 am 
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Hi,

I was the DE player Olannon played against in this game. I am quite aware that I made quite a lot of mistakes, but I suppose that's what you get by staying out of the game for 6-7 years.

rusty: I may have been a little to focused on taking down the dragon with my shooting, but it is so intimidating and I know it will make short work of any given unit in my list that has not been mindrazored if it makes it into combat. Shades are actually pretty decent against Dragon Princes and will on average kill about two a turn, though it would have been preferable to get rid of those pesky eagles ASAP. They can really hamper your movement. I also have very limited experience with the COKs and I think it shows. Well, I suppose I will get a little better as I get a few more games under my belt.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:06 pm 
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@Dark Reaper
I'm theoryhammering a bit here, but I imagine that the shades could have killed off the eagles first(3-4 wounds a shooting turn) and then start on archers. Then you might be have been able to use your CC troops fully. Agree on the dragon, it's nasty. There might be one way; Set up in such a way that whatever the dragon charges he can't be sure to kill it in one round, and then counter charge, preferable with Hydra or CoK. Not very easy to do. That's why killing the eagles are essential to open up for counter charges.

Not that I have beaten the dragon list myself yet :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:09 pm 
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Hi all, I have been lurking on this forum for a while because while I really like the High Elves (and want them), my first love is my Daemon's horde (specifically Slaanesh, which probably stands to reason) so I've been 'spying' on the Elves for a time and generally just enjoying all aspects of the hobby.

Anyway, the reason why I have ceased lurking and deciding to take a hopefully more proactive presence on this board is because I have a burning question for Olannon; namely why spend 55 points on Saerith for Vambraces of Defense for a 4+ ward save when for 10 points cheaper you can just buy the Talisman of Preservation which does the same thing (admittedly, I'm looking at all this on the program Army Builder and not actually looking at the army book or any Errata's, but generally speaking the warhammer data file author does a good job of being up to date in my opinion) cheaper. You don't have the Talisman of Preservation on anyone else either, as I thought perhaps you were saving points or mixing them around in order to get two characters with the equal ward save.

Anyway, a very enjoyable thread and look forward to reading more battle reports!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Vambraces of Defence also confers a re-roll for any failed armour save. Combine this with a 2+ armour save or better and you have a very tough character. Strength 3 hits, for example, now have a 2% chance of wouding you instead of a 9% chance - which is a huge difference!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Ahh. Thanks for clearing that up!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:02 pm 
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@Tethlis - Bretonnians' double trebuchet are way worse than cannons when it comes to killing Saerith, first of all they scatter most of the time and second of all they only hit one part of the model; either the rider or the Dragon. Additionally, most blocks the Bretonnians have are perfect targets for my Dragon, meaning it'll be stuck in combat fairly fast considering the Bret player will give up first turn. As for Hellcannons, the same applies as for the Brets except they're prone to go on a rampage as well. Beastmen I don't have a lot of experience against to be honest but I'm confident that flyer-mobility beats skirmisher-mobility. As for the list, I'm happy as it stands now but I need more games and more varied opponents to properly evaluate everything.

@rusty - placing Shades on the left flank is a HUGE risk. The abundance of size 2 terrain means my Eagles can dodge out very fast into the middle (which would then be safe) and there aren't a lot of Archers there to kill either. Additionally, Naenor and Saerith can get over there in 2 turns and there's nothing the Shades can do about them. If 20 of them are stuck in a bottleneck as well, they won't like their chances. As for magic - I was lucky with the miscast result. However, as the battle went there never would've been a good target for mindrazor and playing Shadows will frequently provide your opponent with an advantage due to miscasts. Just do the mathhammer on an average 9PD magic phase casting on 4D6 + 5D6 with regards to getting a miscast. As for Archers - against Dwarfs they fight as well as Spears (as virtually any Dwarf is S5+) AND can shoot as well. Don't see much of a disadvantage here. VC could be a problem but my strategy against them is mostly to just character-assassinate by charging dual-flyers or overwhelm with lions + flyers. Spears may be marginally better here given that ghouls are S3 poison.

@Dark Reaper - first of all, thanks for a nice game :) Hopefully this report and the comments here can give you an idea of how to better counter my list next time around!

@Ravuziel - welcome to Ulthuan! Flame of the Asuryan answered your question I believe - taking the Vambraces is a real no-brainer for just about any character wanting a 4+ ward, save for a naked Archmage.

As for tactical errors - I believe the Lions moved too far up. There was no need to be that aggressive with them as, regardless of his moves, the Hydra or Black Guard would've been left alone. The middle was also too far away to force an immediate move from the Lions. By moving them a few inches less I could cover the Hydra better (regardless of overrun) without any disadvantages. Another mistake was not finishing the Harpies in my shooting phase when they were down to 2 strong, enabling them to block the Lions. Although they fled the Lion charge, I never should've fired on the Corsairs and left the Harpies alive in the first place. Lastly, not activating the Talisman of Loec when the Dragon was charged was a very unnecessary risk: I needed those Knights to die before they could strike me back.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Nicely done sir. You were right about the table sides, and it got him. If that ruin thing in the middle was impassable, he really needed to stack most of his army on one side (probably east), just to avoid dragon isolation. It would make the shooting situation worse, but his shades should be able to out-shoot your archers, especially with withering.

After the deployment, the turn 1 miscast, and all your saving everything with the withered dragon, kinda ended his chances. You seem to have rolled well for shooting saves throughout.

Minor rules note: Champions cannot make way. Only characters can do that. That cold one knight champion could not have moved over to die.
Additionally, the Cold One knights were not going to be forced to pursue your DPs, even if they had not been wiped out. Hatred has no drawback in 8th.


With the magic limits, the Star Dragon makes a ton of sense in this league. You cannot be *massively* outmagiced. Empire power is reduced (limiting STANK + machines, dispel dice), and ogre units will be small enough the Dragon can engage them.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:57 pm 
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The ruin wasn't impassable but was declared to be dangerous terrain. Good thing to know about champions and making way, didn't know that! As for pursuing, he would've had to pursue the DP or not gain the VP's. 200VP's is quite a lot!

As for the League comp - the magic is identical to ETC if I'm not mistaken and as far as I know no Dragonlists were successful there. The extra 100 points does allow a lot more items though. As for Ogre units being small enough, I'm not entirely sure about that. Some, sure, but 10 is still way too many to comfortably engage.

If it turns out that ridden monsters are too powerful, we might have to allow the magic to be stronger, e.g. remove the 12PD max limit.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:25 am 
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Nice game Curu - it's been interesting to see you test out different lists but, in the end, I think you've built a really good combination of units here. I'd be careful of judging each unit on its own merits (archer horde vs spear column, for example), because it seems to me that the strength of this list, although the dragon gets all the attention, is still very much in synergy. Spear columns have some advantages over archer hordes in the movement phase, for example: not having to shoot means they can be moving to support faster elements or positioning themselves ideally against an opposing enemy unit. In your list, though, you have a huge amount of movement in your characters, while the white lions, in less need of core combat-support than smaller elite units, provide you with the steadfast meat-grinder role (albeit a killy one) that a spear column might perform. What your special and rare choices lack is board dominance, since both the dragon and white lion horde are incredibly expensive and, as you found while chasing the hydra around, cannot be everywhere at once. Here, your archers are able to kick in and clear the field of smaller threats which might forever lead your white lions around by the nose (harpies are a priority target for you, I think, unless you want to use your eagles aggressively against them and shoot up shades and units like that in the early turns). Further, since your archer horde is only going to be deployed statically alongside one or two friendly units (rather than a whole army's worth), its wide frontage stops be a problem (when it comes to force-concentration or refusing a flank, for example), and instead becomes an asset, since a very small army still, with its two hordes, has an impressive frontage.

All in all, I'd say your all-archer core perfectly backs up your white lion horde (if I fielded such big elite units, I'd probably go all-archers too); while your eagles and DPs give you cheap options in the movement phase to work around your big infantry block and prevent it from getting bogged down; while the big infantry block acts as an eternal 'STOP' sign, giving your powerful flyers lots of time to gobble things up before coming to the rescue. A cost-effective High Magic phase is the cherry on the cake (I love Shield of Saphery and Drain Magic on a level 2!). Great list.

The above strengths played out nicely in this last game (though I was worried for your dragon on turn 1- you threw him right infront of a load of crossbows!)- it was nice to see. Generally, though (since they're not getting cannoned to death, here), I'd like the see the flyers take on one or two of the more mobile enemy units before getting stuck into units like the black guard, so as to leave your backline unharassed, preserve your powerful shooting phase and prevent your mega-lion horde from having to spend a few turns facing the wrong way. Really, with your archers doing well and with the board covered in eagles, the black guard need not have seen combat for a good while, nor at full strength, giving you plenty of time to protect your infantry with your fast hitters by killing off the mobile elements of the enemy army. The hydra benefited from a good overrun to get past your dragon, of course, but it is a flyer's prerogative to be able to hang back (away from crossbow fire) and strike forward with ease if the enemy advances (as he did in this case and as he so often will when faced with all those arrows), keeping all potential targets within line of sight. With a whole host of winged creatures, some knights (you used them really well I thought), and 53 longbows, you can be aiming to win board dominance early and then move your army in concert against the slower, harder enemy blocks in the later turns. Your white lions should, as a result, see more solid action (or at least guard your backline more solidly), while your archers should last longer and, therefore, get to shoot more, perhaps standing in enough strength in later turns to provide combat support for the lions.

Anyway, thanks for the reports. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how you get on with this list: I think it has great potential. The comp issue isn't a deal-breaker for me, either. I think you could do well with this army in many environments, as long as you have a Plan B when your prince snuffs it on Turn 1 occasionally!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:15 am 
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Who better than you Seredain to highlight the importance of combined arms :) I believe the strength in a Dragonlist lies in its ability to conceal its true potential. Whereas the opponent sees the Dragon as the main thing, it really only is a support element. Knowing this, and knowing that this is not how your opponent perceives things, makes a huge difference. The way I played this last game examplifies this: Turn 1 the Dragon received all his attention, sparing the rest. Turn 2, his infantry were left almost where they started because they were afraid of the Dragon in the centre. What did the rest of my army do in these 2 turns? The Eagles got perfect positions, the Dragon Princes single-handedly held down a flank, the White Lions got into a really good spot (though I made a slight mistake with them) while the Archers slowly whittled him down.

Naturally I agree with your comment about evaluating something on its own merits. The reason I believe Archers work better here is because the way I play the list and the way my opponents react to the Dragon, is by having a defensive and semi-static centre. To this end, Archers are the superior choice as they get to do something useful while they're standing still. Spears, on the other hand (as experienced in my first game against Dark Elves) are left in an awkward role. It's interesting how far off my initial assumptions were - that I needed the infantry to keep up with the Dragon's speed as best as they could!

As for moving my Dragon into the open on Turn 1: I wanted his Knights to be afraid. I also didn't want his Shades to move up too aggressively. Lastly, I wanted to have the flexibility to engage his Western flank (which I indeed ended up doing). Long story short, this was impossible to accomplish without exposing it. Note that without his IF on Withering, I most likely would've dispelled it. It's a risk, but I gathered that the flexibility was worth it. It also kept the rest of my army safe for a turn, which was very nice ;)

As for engaging mobile elements - the Shades were out of the question to charge. They were too far away - if they'd fled my charge the Dragon would've been in a very awkward position. Their mobility and relative placement (far from the Western flank, unable to support the Hydra + BG) meant that I didn't see much value in going after them. The fact that his sorceress was so close to the BG also made this decision easier. By the way - the Hydra never got out of my Dragon's arc, just the Lions'.

I really liked how the army played last game. A small mistake or two taught me a lot. I'm now confident that I can utilize the list to capitalize on opponent's mistakes. As for the league, it's starting up in January and today the groups were formed. My opponents are as follows:
- Warriors of Chaos (same player as the last game)
- Dark Elves (same player as my first game vs Dark Elves)
- Dwarfs (don't know this guy but I heard he's good)
- Skaven (plays very hard lists)
- Vampire Counts (good player, hard Blood Knight bus list most likely)
An interesting mix indeed! The Skaven list has me worried the most, between the inevitable Storm Banner and WLC I could be in for a rough fight. The Dwarfs matchup is going to be a proper test - how well can my army perform against cannons? Against WoC and Dark Elves I imagine I can just play as I have thus far and I'm not expecting serious problems. The Blood Knight bus can hopefully be handled by mass redirectors. If I get the Lions in against them I believe I should be in good shape.

One thing's for sure - my list will be put to the test :)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:57 am 
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I'd say that's the perfect lineup to test every facet of this list - really looking forward to these reports!

Great game versus the Dark Elves - really shows the huge threat area that Dragon puts out, and how it really changes the way your opponents act. Basically, when you put down that model, win or lose it changes the way your opponent plays their list. I like to think that everyone goes in to a game with an idea of how their list is going to accomplish what they want. They have it all worked out in the head, then the Dragon comes out and it all goes to the wind. It's the perfect type of situation I like opponents to be in!

A couple comments regarding your game:

- With those archers, don't forget that a) they have a 30" range and b) they don't need to be in a horde during deployment. By the looks of things, you had enough room to squeeze a few more shots out of them by deploying them a bit wider. I typically put them 5" back from the deployment zone, effectively forcing the Repeater X-Bowmen to move forward the full 5" if they want to shoot me, and even then they only get 1 rank. Using this tactic, I feel like it should have been possible to eliminate all 10 crossbowmen first turn.

- Interestingly, the spell that was an auto trade for shield now becomes one of the more powerful spells in your arsenal. Curse of Arrow attraction would be your opponent's worst nightmare with a core setup like you have!

- I'm inclined to agree with Seredain regarding the Black Guard. You had time here. I know the points are juicy, but it would have been extremely effective to use the Dragon in tandem with your archers on the Western front- position it in such a way that your Dragon threatens a charge on any advancing troops, yet the Archers force them to move forward. It's the perfect way to force juicy targets into the jaws of your dragon. You'll notice your opponent got aggressive on that side the minute the Dragon left town.

- I see that your opponent went the route of a spear bunker for their Sorceress. I'm wondering if their list might have been a bit more effective if these were x-bowmen instead. In my mind, if I've created a bunker who's purpose is to avoid combat, I just add the price of that unit right on to the mage, then grimace at the number of points that mage will need to try to earn to pay for them self - I can't remember, your opponent was reading this thread too, right?

- That flaming banner looks good on those white lions. Really good.

- Dark Elf turn 2 - he really set up that flank charge on his cold ones nicely for you! Dark Reaper, I'm sure you were expecting to pretty much level that unit of knights with high volume shooting, but I like to always plan for the worst regardless. A bit of careful positioning could have had those Dragon Princes stalled out or redirected. Remember, skirmishers can march and shoot


The more I read these reports, the more I love watching the way opponents react to that one model. It's a lot of power to be able to influence their movement the way it does, and I think we're definitely going to see more people revisiting the Dragon idea in 8th edition.

And let's face it, we need more Dragons.

In terms of names, is the dragon male or female?

D

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Brewmaster_D wrote:
- I see that your opponent went the route of a spear bunker for their Sorceress. I'm wondering if their list might have been a bit more effective if these were x-bowmen instead. In my mind, if I've created a bunker who's purpose is to avoid combat, I just add the price of that unit right on to the mage, then grimace at the number of points that mage will need to try to earn to pay for them self - I can't remember, your opponent was reading this thread too, right?


Quite often, a lot of models will die due to the sacrifical dagger, and spearmen are a bit cheaper than crossbows. Our league also has a cap on 30 crossbows and I am already at the limit. Therefore the sorc's bunker is quite large as I can't add any crossbows and don't need any more corsairs and still have to think about minimum core.

Brewmaster_D wrote:
- Dark Elf turn 2 - he really set up that flank charge on his cold ones nicely for you! Dark Reaper, I'm sure you were expecting to pretty much level that unit of knights with high volume shooting, but I like to always plan for the worst regardless. A bit of careful positioning could have had those Dragon Princes stalled out or redirected. Remember, skirmishers can march and shoot


Yeah, even at the time I could see I made a mistake here. I was really at fault for misplacing the Cold One Knights during deployment and had to move the shades out of the way to let them through.

Brewmaster_D wrote:
The more I read these reports, the more I love watching the way opponents react to that one model. It's a lot of power to be able to influence their movement the way it does, and I think we're definitely going to see more people revisiting the Dragon idea in 8th edition.


I really think most lists doesn't expect to have to cope with a dragon on the other side of the table. Of course the knights charging it hurt it, but had he been on fewer wounds he could easily have positioned it out of charge range due to the dragon's superior mobility.

Another thing I find almost as nasty as the dragon is the WL horde. None of my combat units could really do anything about them as they would simply be wiped out before they got to strike. This is especially true as I was pretty much outdeployed.

Anyway, I felt I learnt a lot both from playing the match and from reading this report. I will hopefully be a tougher opponent next time. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:54 pm 
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@Brewmaster_D - my Archers had to advance in order for Olannon to be able to cast Vaul's. It was crucial to get as many casts of Vaul's as possible and I had no other unit to perform this duty. In hindsight, this might mean that a small Spearbunker could be a viable choice. As for the Black Guard, the only other alternative was the Hydra. Additionally, taking out the Black Guard would allow me to take his Sorceress w/Spears while still assisting the middle in time. I don't know what else I could've done here that would've utilized the Dragon's power fully.

As for his turn 2, his deployment gave him a really hard time here. Either the Shades would have to fall behind or the Knights would be forced to accept a flank charge in the case of a successful charge roll + overrun.

@Dark Reaper - looking forward to our next encounter, which I expect will be against Warriors of Chaos :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:57 am 
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On another forum I found this post, related to the issue "what's wrong with High Elves". Just thought I'd post it here as it's really inspired me for 2012. The end result of his army compared to mine, arrived at individually, is very, very interesting:

Quote:
We were having a similar discussion the other day (at the Aus Masters I think), which ran slightly differently. It was noticeable that all the HE generals here doing well used radically different lists - from a no-shooting army with 40 Spears, 30 SMs, 30WLs, to a mixed arms force using a cavalry bus, Lvl 4 on life and some bits and pieces, to a Star Dragon/Eagle Rider list. All have hit the top 5-8 of sizeable tournaments on multiple occasions, playing against essentially the same player pool.

The key to the list was determining how you were going to win games. I ended up with the plan of hitting the enemy where I wanted with fast combat units. I ended up with:

Prince + Star Dragon
2 x Nobles on Eagles
Lvl 2 with High Magic
2 x 10 and 30 Archers
24 White Lions
2-3 Eagles

Against anything that wanted to fight, I was able to shoot diverters and smash in where I wanted with the flying circus. Against armies that shot a lot, I could generally get in quickly enough to minimise the points conceded. I had to tone down the army for the Aus Masters, and would still have managed top 3-5 if not for one brain implosion and some horrific rolling. The point being that HE have a bundle of different ways to build them that can all compete at a high level ut you need to know what you're trying to do with the army, and your plan A needs to be realistic.


Could his list be much more similar to mine?

Anyway, this post definitely removed what little doubt I had about this army's competitive potential and I'm now super-excited to try it out for 2012 :D

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Very nice report mate. I really enjoyed it. Regarding the composition I will agree with what the others said that it really nerfs the Dark Elves. It is even more strict than the ETC restrictions they have.

Also I would like to comment regarding your match ups analysis is that you fail to consider seriously the threat of stone throwers. Even the simple ones have strength 9 on the hole and while they don't kill the Dragon and the Rider with one shot they can still kill one of the two easily.

Bretonnia: x2 Trebuchet
Dwarfs: x2 Grudge Throwers (that can be very very accurate) on top of cannons
Beastmen: THe monster CYgor (if I remember the name correctly) is a moving catapult and they can have 2 of those.
Orcs and Goblins: They can pack x2 Stone throwers and can also kill the Prince with Doom Divers.
Warriors of Chaos: There is the Hellcannon, although granted here it is only one. (They have Infernal Gateway though)
Skaven: They have the cannons that can potentialy deal a lot of pain although again not as good as normal cannons.

Don't get me wrong I think your list is very good, but I don't want you to understimate the stone throwers, because I have seen them reap holes...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:30 pm 
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Curu, if you want to have a go at another Helf army after Christmas tell me, it would be interesting to see this list against other Helfs.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:37 pm 
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I just got on this forum and I already got three different inspiration for my 2012 re-vamp of the High Elves......amazing.
Now Curu, let's talk about your list and how to boost it in a competitive environment.
First, I think it's got some good chances to do well. You know, being a tournament addict, I can say that big monsters are more common that you think, but only in one version: Greater Demons.
This means that, yes, you will indeed face a lot of dwarves and empires, and orcs and ogres, and yes, they will shoot you to death.
Ok but, if a Demons player can win torunaments (and they sure do) with a 5 wounds, 5++ save tough guy, why couldn't you do the same with you dragon?
Let's do some analysis. First I would separate the shotty threats into two categories: real threats and lesser ones.
REAL: empire, ogres.
LESSER: dwarves, skavens, bretonnians, woc.

We will deal first with the minor threats.
Dwarves, while having the most powerful artillery in warhammer, will be totally owned by the caledor armour, rendering ineffective two of their (usually) four cannons/grudgers. Now, with a 4++ save on the rider and 7 wounds on the dragon, plus some eagle support you should be able to handle it. BUT, you shouldn't forget the damn anvil. Which means your Lord WONT be flying for the whole game.
Skavens will pose the same obstacle, but with the good M of the dragon you can overcome it. Also, the maximum you will see is 2 WLC, not enough to kill the dragon, giving the random strenght. BUT, you must avoid at any cost the Doomwhell, which is a sure kill for the dragon. You must shoot the thing down with everything you have from turn one, or delay it with eagles and re-deploy the dragon on the opposite side of the table. Avoid slaves, too.
Brets are a double threath: trebuchets and heroic killing blow. While the first are still a scattering weapon, and the eagles can deal with them pretty good (cause they will probably have no protection), the latter can be a problem. BTW, the real power of the guy is the psycological impact he has, forcing you to move the dragon the way HE wants, or to make mistakes in movement. Remember, it' just a poor human, with maybe a 2+ armour and a 5++ ward. The prince could kill him before he attacks, if boosted with loec.
WOC are seriously no long range threath, and I say it as a WOC player. You will se maybe one hellcannon, and that's all. In close combat, however, you could be more worried, cause even their cores can kill you. Luckily, they have small units size.

Now, for the REAL threats. And I mean cannons, which hit almost every time, do not scatter, and hit both dragon and rider.

EMPIRE: that's absolutely the worst you can face. 3 cannons for sure, NONE of which flaming, backed by the smaller cannon from the Steam Tank, and Mortars, Rockets (but those will be aiming at the infantry). Oh, and you must avoid getting in CC with the Tank, cause you won't kill hit but he has serious chances of wounding the dragon. Seriously, you should aim for a draw here, and consider it a victory. Warmachines will be covered by infantry, and tons of BS shooting too, so eagles won't be much help. I think that's the best way to play it: Hide the dragon, try to disable maybe two cannons with shooting/eagles and then by turn three pull the dragon out and risk it all. If your opponent is not too experiences, and moves forward the ArchLector, he's a good target for the dragon, cause the Speculum works on the Prince, but the Dragon is still crippling him. And the waraltar is Unbreakable too, which means a couple of safe turns in CC.

OGRES: well, same thing goes here, you should try to disable at least one ironblaster before risking the dragon, but those things are sure resilient. Your opponent will sure be running over the board with his Ironguts deathstar, this could mean that if you put on a good bait your dragon could be chargin them aiming for the safety of close combat, but in this case i don't think that loads of S6 attacks and a dragon go very well together.

As you can see, these two matchups are really bad for one reason: they are forcing you to play the dragon defensively, scrambling your whole strategy based on the dominance of the movement phase. If you're lucky, in a tournament of 3 games, you will face only one bad matchup. They key here is not playing for the "all or nothing", but getting every battle point you can, capitalizing then on the other victories you should have. And that's why a dragon list will never end up first in a competitive tournament, but hey, who cares. If I'm getting in the top 5 or 10 with a Star Dragon, I'm STILL winning over all those morons cannons addicted :wink:


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