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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:04 pm 
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You never fail to deliver! Lots of really good comments here, which I appreciate a lot :)

@Overg - characters can change placement in the unit in-game. I wanted to have him on the extreme flank to launch a magic missile if I got T1. I swapped him later on.

@dabber - Loremaster was a mistake. I wasn't aware of the specific wording.

I didn't know about the Skirmishers forming up. I will definitely remember this though. The best move would probably be to charge Saerith into the Fiend, letting the Archers fire upon either the 'Letters (in soft cover) or the Herald. I forgot about the Furies' insanely poor LD.

The Bloodthirster did not attempt to redirect: he was in the front of the Lions and flank of the Spears: going into Lions would see him face a rather sub-optimal matchup while the Spears would see him block the Letters.

I agree with the rear charge on the Bloodthirster. With my insane combat resolution of +5 before wounds were dealt, he needed to be insanely lucky to survive (which he was). Much of this is due to the context though: the Bloodletters were surely not going to be a problem for 2 turns given their position, facing and the fact that I had one Eagle remaining.

@rusty - worst case against Bloodletters is indeed horrible. Losing Eagles was just terrible, no doubt. If Daemons deploy castle-like I block what I want and kill the outer elements. It's not like he can charge through units due to facing. Generally, if you play Daemons like this against High Elves (not a particularly bad matchup) then you're not aiming to win a tournament. There's no way you'll get anywhere close to a 20-0 win (perfectly possible for a strong Daemon player to achieve in such a matchup) with such a strategy. Oh and by the way, although 351 VP is pretty close, it's still a clear win ;)

@Brewmaster_D - The Spears probably could've been angled a lot better. Honestly I have no idea why I didn't - a mistake which I didn't consider until now. The Lions were 8" away so by no means a safe bet. With that being said, I do remember that getting the Swords into the flank would've been devastating though. Somewhat risky overall, considering I didn't neutralize the Fiend by means of charging in Saerith (which is probably the optimal move here; given the low LD on the Furies as pointed out by dabber). I agree that I failed to plan for the worst here: seeing those 30 Archers fail to kill the Fiend was not something I had even considered, even though it is fairly likely to do so (well, it's by no means extreme!). Hopefully, lesson learned. I agree with your conclusion with regard to accounting for variance.

@Baeronvonbleat - on paper it's not a bad idea. The problem is that it's extremely high risk. Assuming the Thirster gets lucky with Dark Insanity against Lions and both characters die, he could very well survive the entire game (as I have no real threats left against him). I do believe that charging the 'Thirster with the +5 resolution before we start caring about wounds is just so much better. The only way for him to reliably win this combat is by instantly killing the Dragon, which he BARELY managed with 13 (!!) attacks. The variance that showed here was much more out of the ordinary than the Letters killing both characters would've been. The deciding factor here is that I cannot reliably break his steadfast (at least I don't think so, I didn't do the math at the time and haven't now as it's somewhat complicated), which could be disastrous. This is definitely worth contemplating further though, I might end up simulating it and comparing mathematical results and variance just 'cause I can you know ;) Often times, the 'feeling' of what's optimal is simply wrong. Like my high school science teacher used to say - common sense isn't sense at all.

@Dark Reaper - the point about killing blow being lost is a good one, which I didn't even consider. I think this for me at least means that there's no doubt about which build is overall best: even if you accept the variance this is hard to look past as you'll actually struggle against 1+ re-rollable 4+ ward characters (of which there are plenty in the game which the Thirster would prefer to have KB against).

It was indeed a very nice game! Next time, make sure the trays are correct: getting the Swords into your Letters' flank due to closing the door problems due to your overrun would've likely ended the game there and then with 17-3 or better. Also looking forward to facing a revised list. Your play is definitely improving and it's only a matter of time before I'll lose ;)

Again, thanks a lot for the input folks! Though I am pretty impressed with this list's track record so far (1 loss, 1 tie, 13 wins (!)), there are still plenty of mistakes to pick up which shows that there's a lot of room for me to improve and continue to work with if I want to play optimally ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:57 pm 
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Nice battle!

Just my two cents for Dark Reaper. Turn 3 of Daemons, why not flank charge lions with western fiend and charge eagle with letters who would overrun on lions? Imagine it was due to put in combat the thister but he isn't still on real danger.I think daemonns lost the battle on deployment where horrors got out of play and flamers are unable to attack swordmasters. Perhaps even crushing the lions with letters your unit would be heavy battered and you still have to face the dragon and SM.

Awesome performance for Naenor, here in Spain Polloman (noble on chicken) isn't quite common but looking at your succes I'm gonna try mine.

Again thank you very much for the reports.

P.S. How goes Saerith painting?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:47 am 
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Fun read guys, thanks.

@ Curu - On deployment...why deploy your eagles so far forward? With flamers at work I would have buried them all in the back somewhere and force him to shoot other targets. A few extra redirectors in turns 2-3 might have bought you some time to whittle down the letters (which I definitely agree with. Its one of the few places our archery really excels)

Also...why not commit Saerith to dealing with his left most flank? Even with your deployment, he could have been in position to charge by turn 3. Against Daemons, I would have deployed him a bit more centrally, particularly with the presence of the building in the middle of the board (an Elf general's best friend :D). Your dragon would have crumbled his left flank to pieces thanks to Dragon armor. You could have practically gone from one unit to the next finishing them all off one by one. Even if Saerith only did this for the entire game, it would have been more than worth it. It would have isolated his big unit and allow you to set it up a bit better. Not to mention you would have cleaned up a great deal of points in the process.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:32 am 
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Thanks for the batrep as usual Curu, great game.

What are your thoughts so far on dropping the Dragon Princes? They could have certainly been a great match up against the flamers and horrors however on the flip side the swordmasters damage output is just insane.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:25 am 
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@pedrogzc - this is a really good catch! I had to re-check the actual pictures taken during the game but there's no doubt: this would've indeed been a very good move. Although the Letters were reduced somewhat by shooting here, they'd still be in a good spot. The downside is that they would've been in woods (thus losing steadfast) so if the Lions survived and I crashed in with characters afterwards he would've likely died.

I think that the Eagle Noble can work well in a Dragonlist. I'm not so sure under more normal circumstances though.

@Ptolemy - agreed with the Eagles (this has already been addressed a couple of times but it never hurts to confirm your agreement). I guess it was a lapse due to the fact that I haven't played Daemons in a while.

Saerith on the West flank loses me the LD10 bubble. His flank there is also extremely mobile so he doesn't have to do anything (i.e. can simply elect to hold back). If I go chasing after him with Saerith he can dedicated Thirster + Letters to my centre, which would be devastating. Essentially, I don't see that Saerith accomplishes a whole lot this way - the pincer move I performed on the East was crucial to getting a good spot against the Letters. With the Eagles properly deployed on my West, his entire Western flank would've been next to useless (which was what I was aiming for during deployment) for at least the first 3-4 turns. I think that in this matchup, I need to keep the Dragonlord in a position where he threatens the most brutal elements of my opponent (Thirster + Letters), otherwise engaging these will be very, very hard.

How do you think the centre would play out with this strategy? If I deployed Saerith West, T1 would see him pretty much stay still (to avoid charges). Now, to follow up on the initial plan, I would've had to move him straight up T1, leaving the centre free for him. What then? I can use Eagles to stall him for some time I guess but at some point his Letters will reach me (at the very least the Thirster will).

@Jimmy - I did not miss the Dragon Princes one bit at all. To be honest I don't even consider a unit of 5 an option even. The only way I'd field them would be 9 strong with a steed-mounted BSB. While this approach surely has its merits, I think this setup is superior and in this matchup in particular I doubt the Dragon Princes would've performed very well (S3 is just so bad and there are so many matchups which force you to engage in protracted combats).

I think if you want to use Dragon Princes you have to reconsider large parts of the army. Essentially, from being a flying circus type of thing with strong infantry support, it'd have to revolve more around one or two big combo-charges. This is obviously way harder to set up against armies with lots of chaff (Dragon Princes can't fly) and is inferior against tough units (Ironguts, Hammerers) the way I see it. There is one player in our environment which plays the Dragonlord with a 8 Silver Helm + 2 Nobles bus, having only a mediocre unit of Swordmasters for infantry support. I will have a chat with him and hear his thoughts about future army list development.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Had a game against Beastmen! As I've never faced them before, I was very curious to learn how they play.

:: The Scouring ::

The lists -

:: High Elves ::

Saerith with GW, AoC, Vambraces, Loec, Star Dragon - 622
BSB Naenor with Sword of Might, HoF, Talisman of Protection, Shield, Great Eagle - 212
Olannon with Level 2, Annulian Crystal, Ironcurse Icon - 180

Characters - 1014

30 Archers, Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flames - 365
15 Archers, Musician - 170
10 Spearelves - 90

Core - 625

26 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness, Amulet of Light - 450
14 Swordmasters, Bladelord w/Skeinsliver, Musician - 253

Special - 703

3 Great Eagles - 150

Rare - 150

Total - 2492

:: Beastmen ::

Beastlord, 1+ re-rollable armour save, gets free attack for each wound saved
Lvl 4 Shaman, Channel Staff, 4+ ward, Crown of Command - Beasts
Lvl 2 Shaman, Herdstone - Shadow
Lvl 1 Shaman, scroll - Shadow
Lvl 1 Shaman - Shadow
BSB +1S banner

48 Gors, FC
30 Gors, FC

30 Bestigors, FC
6 Raiders
5 Raiders
5 Harpies
1 Razorgor
1 Razorgor Chariot

:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

Magic: I got Fury twice and swapped one for Flames, the other for Shield. He got: miasma, miasma, miasma + enfeebling. Wyssan's, Curse of Anraheir, Amber Spear, Transformation of Kadon.

We played open lists so went quickly through what was what. Deployment-wise, I wanted to maximise the 2 towers' potential by deploying so I could focus either side or either flank, depending on his moves. As I hoped, he dedicated too much to the space directly behind the towers, which I was certain I could capitalize on with the Flyers and my own positioning.

Image

(Lord + BSB in big unit, Lvl 4 in Bestigors, rest went in 'Herdstone Group' with the 5 Raiders)

We both rolled a '1' and because I finished first, I got first turn.

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

Everything moved up: I decided to ravage his flanks and isolate the centre. Magic was 5v5 and I had to do something risky to get anything from this phase: a 3D6 Flames got off at a high value and he dispelled with all his dice. I then cast a snake eyes Drain Magic.

Shooting took a couple of wounds, nothing major.

Image

:: Beastmen Turn 1 ::

Counter-moves: 3 units go centre (frontage at a premium becoming a big problem). The Bestigors go alone on the other flank.

Magic is 9v5. I save my dice for a potential amber spear, so he casts miasma on both units of Archers for -2 and -3 BS. He finished with an IF Curse on my Swordmasters though, so I don't spend any Dispel Dice at all. The result is a 4, but he survives! 8 Bestigors die to the blast.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

Saerith is just in the Raiders' flank arc and charges them. They hold. The rest move up - Spears as cover (so Saerith cannot be charged), Hoeth's Finest following close. Naenor also dedicates to this flank. The Lions move up behind the 30 Gors on the East with the Eagle blocking them: charging it will force an overrun stopping next to the building (as such the Lions are guaranteed a charge without interference from other units).

Magic is 12v6. I cast a 6D6 Flames on his big unit, which he scrolls. I discard the rest of the dice as I'm out of range of useful Shield targets and don't want to risk IF for Drain.

Shooting kills 3 Gors from the big unit, despite the Hexes put on my Archers.

Combat sees Saerith win easily and reform to face a potential overrun.

Image

:: Beastmen Turn 2 ::

Charges: the Eagle, the Spears. Big Gors and Chariot continue moving up the centre.

Magic is 9v5. Miasma lowers the Lions' WS to 2, Wyssan's augment his Bestigors.

Combat - my blocking Eagle performs AMAZINGLY as it not only survives, but also passes its break test, needing 3 or less! This provides my Lions with a perfect position. The Spears take down a Bestigor and are killed in return, he overruns into the Swordmasters.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

Saerith + Naenor charge the Bestigors, White Lions charge the Gors.

Magic is 10v7, I start off with 6D6 flames which he dispels with all his dice. I get both Shield on the Lions and Drain Magic through.

Shooting - nothing special.

Combat - Lions and Eagle kill Gors down to barely 3 ranks. This means he has to kill 2 Lions to remain steadfast. He hits with 5/6 attacks and only wounds on 1! I save it with Shield, failing the armour save. He breaks, rolls an 8. I need 9+ to also catch the Chariot and roll Box Cars.

The other combat sees his Shaman challenge. I forget about the Crown so Naenor accepts. My Elves kill all barring 7 of his Bestigors. He fails his re-rollable LD9 test and as such don't get hatred. Only 1 Swordmaster dies. Faeria kills the rest of the Bestigors. His Shaman fails his re-rollable LD9 test and flees (I don't catch him though).

Image

So here's what happens: He turns his Gors around, I dual-Eagle block them (both flee -> automatically failed charge) until I'm ready. The Shaman is killed with a T4 charge. The Lions kill the Chariot and I get Flames through on his last unit. As they're reduced to 8 + 2 characters, surrounded by 20 Lions, 13 Swordmasters, Saerith and Naenor, he concedes the game.

:: Victory Points ::

As he conceded it's a massacre to the High Elves!

:: Evaluation ::

Well I certainly shall not complain! With this being my first game against Beastmen, I had no idea what to expect save for what I've read in earlier reports. I must say though that I most certainly understand why people think they're a bottom-tier army: they were built to have a mobility advantage and that is basically non-existant in this edition. Playing them felt like playing a weakened, un-supported version of Orcs and Goblins (which I consider to be a mid-tier army). With that being said I don't know what an optimal Beasts list looks like.

Apart from the challenge where I accepted with Naenor instead of Saerith I don't think I made any notable mistakes here. I managed to utilize the terrain and deployment to my advantage, got the fights I wanted and had everything going for me. One thing must be said though: my opponent's luck in this game was truly terrible: miscasting on 3D6 (losing him 8 Bestigors), failing 2 re-rollable LD9 tests in ONE crucial combat phase, the blocking Eagle surviving, him failing to kill even a single Lion with 6 re-rollable S3 attacks hitting on 3+ re-rollable, me overrunning into the Chariot needing a 9+... He simply could not catch a single break! With all that being said, I'm not sure having better luck would've changed the outcome drastically: assuming the Bestigors would've been full strength AND had the Hatred re-roll, I would still beat them badly. The Lions would have beaten the Gors regardless of the blocking Eagle: getting the flank charge was amazing but there's no way that unit stood a chance.

As always, C&C appreciated ;)

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Last edited by Curu Olannon on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:12 pm 
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Feel sorry for the beastmen. I assume he didn't play an ETC list?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:13 pm 
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Having read the beastmen book a couple of times I haven't seen too much to be scared of either. They are a mobile army but since you out-deployed and out-maneuvered him there wasn't much to the army. Congrats on the win Curu! Clearly didn't miss the DPs here either.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:16 am 
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Hey nice win!

Quick question: Your white lion and building entering/exiting was looking a little funky? Is that a building on the field?

Is it true you can only move into a building, not march?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:20 am 
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A classic example of a game being lost before being played. You had him in deployment with your location and superior maneuverability. Over the course of the game you really used this to your advantage and your tactics seemed to be right on the money.

Having said this, his list does not seem to be anything like the calibre of your list (which has been a long time in development and it really shows in your results). Don't get me wrong here - I don't mean to downplay your victory but his army does not seem that scary in comparison.

thelordcal wrote:
Is it true you can only move into a building, not march?
You are correct in that you cannot march into a building. You can move normally into it or otherwise. Using a reform to touch a building and move in is also allowed.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:26 am 
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That's what i thought, the exit looked a little bizarre too, but i think its been recently FAQ'd that as long as one model is touching the building then its legal...

i think it used to be the entire back rank had to be touching.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:36 am 
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thelordcal wrote:
That's what i thought, the exit looked a little bizarre too, but i think its been recently FAQ'd that as long as one model is touching the building then its legal...

i think it used to be the entire back rank had to be touching.

It currently reads as a single model from the back rank. That's all.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:49 am 
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Hi Curu, congrats on victory!

I had quite a few games against beastmens and I must agree they don't do well in general against us. Swordmaster mentioned in my blog that taking hordes was suboptimal and was falling in the 8th edition trap. Still, probably true for high elves but from what I saw from the beastmaster community, it's seems still fairly common. And your opponent certainly had such huge blocks. I'm of an opinion that it must probably work against the majority of their opponents out there, but seems to have troubles against High Elves for some reasons. Maybe more against redirectors or MSU styles since they must absolutely get to CC.

Anyways, I think your opponent made things worst for himself with so many characters. From what I see of the list, the only things you really needed to watch out for besides his magic, was the bestigors and the lone chariot. A unit of Minotaurs , a Cygor or more Tuskgor chariots could have made you work a little more. :) Perhaps a unit of raiders to come up in 2n turn behind your archers. Still, to be honest, I am not sure what answer he could have about your dragon.

Game wise, I really don't understand why both his Ghors units faced inward when your units are all outflanking left and right? There is nothing incoming in the center field except archers, so I don't get it. After that first mistake giving his left flank to the WL, why did he not try to save right flank by backing the bestigors and reforming a proper line with his G1 to face all your units instead of charging bestigors right into their death?

In all case, your gameplay was flawless and you systematically capitalised on his errors. No offense to him, but he is clearly not at your skill level :)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:32 am 
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That's not a building in the diagram; it's just some ruins or something? Otherwise they couldn't have marched up/into it like that. I think Curu uses that icon to represent dangerous terrain/etc.

Great victory! I particularly love the use of the Spears regiment. That was brilliant. You're right that you had unbelievable luck that game, but I think you put yourself in the position to win regardless of dice rolls.

Beastmen list certainly seems adept at generating power dice, but as to using them effectively, I'm less sure.

Opponent demonstrates a flawed understanding of High Elves in his first magic phase, wasting multiple Miasmas on archers when he could be clogging up your line by debuffing movement on a couple critical blocks (spear/masters)!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:15 am 
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Thanks for the replies!

@rusty - he fielded an uncomped list. I did say I was going to field an ETC list ahead of the game and asked if he wanted to do the same but he'd rather play by the book.

@KarsaOrlong - thanks! The Dragon Princes have yet to be an element I wish I had

@thelordcal - I wasn't aware that you cannot march into buildings! I've gotta read up on this, I've done it before as well.

@John Rainbow - I agree completely. Frankly, short of pure luck I don't see how he can beat this kind of list: basically there's nothing that can deal with the combined mobility + hitting power. How do Beastmen build a list of the same calibre though? I have no idea...

@Findolfin - I agree that simply loading up on Hordes is a poor approach in 8th. My opponent did only have 1 horde here, but even that seemed to work against him as he was always in a really crowded spot, enabling me to funnel him as I pleased. Anything with decent chaff will dominate hordes and deathstars.

Loading up on characters did indeed give him a lot of dice, but I agree that the magic potential was still rather weak, at least compared to the points invested. Sure I can let through a miasma or two comfortably, all I have to do is prioritize against that one crucial Beasts spell.

As for moving up centrally - I think his deployment pretty much dictated this. With my Lions' move though (which is now known to be illegal!) it probably would've been better to leave one behind for anchor duty.

@Nicene - indeed it was a building, my bad on the rules mistake.

My opponent was asking whether I thought this list was overpowered in any way. While I can see that it's really for armies like Beastmen to handle it, I wouldn't say it is overpowered due to a number of equally bad matchups. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:53 am 
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Hey curu! Great game, well played all around.

About beasts, one thing they can do is go magic heavy. They have tons of cheap casters and have access to shadow + Death. One of the hardest beastmen lists I faced had herdstone, 2x LV 1 shadow with sig, LV 4 shadow, LV 4 death who always took sun. Gets +2 PD from herdstone and 2 LV 1s, and then gets to cast miasma 3x with 1 dice and a good hope of getting it off, before a 6-dice sun. Same army also had a banner or item in one gor unit that gives them +1 S somehow, so S4 with 40 A and hatred is pretty nice (plus requisite gor herd). He also ran a ton of chaff so I had no deployment advantage at all (first time thats ever happened to me). I'll post a BR of that sometime if I get time. It was from a 3k tourney. The beastman list won overall in 3k un-comped (though I could have beaten him if I deployed better).

Anyway, about your list, i don't think its overpowered. Really, I can't find any HE list without Teclis or book to be overpowered, but yes there are some horrible matchups for you.

1) Ogres with 2x IBs and a deathstar or two with mournfangs. The blasters, being more accurate than empire cannons (rolling 3 artillery dice, picking 2), and combined with T6 and 5 Ws make them hard to deal with, and as they can move, free pivot, and fire, your general and BSB can't hide easily unless they powow behind a building the entire game. Maybe he misses, maybe he hits, but it definitely isn't in your favor. Add to that mournfangs charging ur swords, and they will likely wipe the unit without suffering a casualty, and he could then combine on lions as he saw fit. With ogres, I find it a case of too many things to redirect, not enough re-directors. When ogres came out, I modified my army list and added 4 more semi-re-directors (how bout that hyphenated word?). Sure, you could win, but its a bad matchup for sure.
2) Skaven. Tarpit WLs with slaves and shoot into combat. 13th the swords, and WLC your dragon and BSB. Gutter runners can take care of archers with poison. Once again, winnable, but bad match-up.
3) Daemons, always rough, and LD bomb army, or a BT or keeper with spirit swallower, or even a GUO with the blade of "I kill everything I touch" would be horrible (I don't think the daemon you faced was a great build. It was good, but not great. Saying that as a 9 year daemon player ;) ) Same as above: winnable, but rough!
4) Lizards. Salas are horrible for the health of your WLs, and 40+ Poison shots at a dragon is never a happy experience.

... etc. Plenty more situational matchups, but those are the first few that come to mind as being exceptionally bad. I would include dwarves, but you proved you can deal with them already :D. You suffer from the issue of only having 2 major combat units (dragon and lions), and 2 support combat units (SMs and BSB). Deal with the major threats early, and you would be hard pressed to come back and win. Anything that can hurt those units early would be a bad match-up for you.

I just think your beastman opponent was outplayed. I always take it as a compliment when someone says HE are overpowered. It means I'm doing it right ;).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
My opponent was asking whether I thought this list was overpowered in any way.

The list has huge magic potential. If the power dice are flowing, he uses his hexes more effectively, and he only gets in one serious combat at a time, it can be really nasty. With Wildform on the Bestigors, if he had also hit the Swordmasters with -3 Ws (instead of the WL), that fight might be different. Even better if he hits them with a second Miasma to lower their iniative.

From what I've seen and read, the only way Beastmen look semi-decent is by massive power dice (like here, but better list) or a Minotaur bus. Both have major weaknesses in some matchups.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:32 am 
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Thanks for the batrep Curu, as per usual a near flawless performance.

Thanks for the explanation about the dragon princes earlier, much appreciated.

You pulled off the classic pincer method here and it flowed fantastically.

Well done.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:07 pm 
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I just think Miasma was a terrible choice for him as far as a spell selection. What's the purpose against High Elves? Reducing your strength/toughness, mindrazor. He invested a ton of points in a magic phase, and then didn't take any spells that were a threat to the high elf forces.

He also took a combat heavy unit, and then didn't bring the support to help them. In my opininion, one of the great strengths of the beastmen army is cheap chariots. Take a bunch of these, and you clear chaffe easily, and generate huge combat resolution.

If he's going magic heavy like this, he should take Lore of Beasts (stacking augments and heavy missile damage make it a devestating lore to spam).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:02 am 
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@jwg20 - That sure is an interesting looking Beasts list! It is very impressive to pull off an uncomped tournament win with that book! Just goes to show that thinking outside the box and figuring out some synergies go a long way sometimes. About my bad matchups though - do you really believe Lizardmen is among them? I would expect my list to vastly outperform an average HE army against them. 40 poison shots on the Dragon will quickly disappear: with T6 W7 and a 3+ save it'll take LOT to bring him down. My mobility and own firepower can really decimate the Skinks in short order, especially if they don't focus on my Archers. I might have to arrange a game against the Lizards soon to see whether my theoretical approach needs to be evaluated.

@dabber - He was referring to whether I thought my list was overpowered, not his.

@Jimmy - Thanks man! Unfortunately and ironically, this probably isn't a good list for Dragon Princes. With that being said, I have to talk to the other HE player in our league (which plays with a 10-strong cavalry unit).

@Baeronvonbleat - I agree to a certain extent that Miasma is poor here. However, once he started stacking those cheap spells there wasn't a whole lot I could do. If he could've gotten the combats somewhat more favourable, this could have been game-breaking. I'll make sure to convey your thoughts about Beastmen army composition to him!

Now that we know that my initial White Lion move was illegal (no marching into buildings), how would you have played them in this game? I think one viable alternative is to march them up regardless and enter the building on my T2, though this could've opened up for him to 'escape' through my middle (then again - I have Eagles). Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Now that we know that my initial White Lion move was illegal (no marching into buildings), how would you have played them in this game? I think one viable alternative is to march them up regardless and enter the building on my T2, though this could've opened up for him to 'escape' through my middle (then again - I have Eagles). Thoughts?
I see no reason to enter the building at all. That is only an impediment to getting in combat. But you don't want to push forward at max on turn 1, because you don't really want to be seriously charged on the top of 2, when he can concentrate his hexes on the White Lions. I think you push them forward enough to make him consider charging, but keeping the range long enough so he cannot count on both the chariot and the gors reaching reliably.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Point taken. It would be hard for him to gather up middle anyways.

I just finished a game against TK, a friend trying out an interesting list before an upcoming uncomped tournament. I will get a BR up tomorrow, for now though you can guess what the main points of the game were. His army was roughly as follows:

2x40 TG
1 Sphinx
1 x Lvl 4
1 x Lvl 2
2x20 Archers
4 Chariots
2x5 Horse Archers
Casket
Hierotitan

Also, rusty lost his last game today (against Lizardmen - Bloodthirster ended up fighting Kroxigor-Skinks which proved too much for him) so that makes me the winner of our league overall! Again, thanks a lot for the feedback and opinions you've provided me with over the past couple of months :)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:30 am 
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Judging from what I could see walking out the door, with the dragon ready to breathe all over the flank of TG horde, I'm pretty sure you won.

If possible I think that TK army should have 1-2 SSCs, even though they would be less useful vs HE. As it were I can't see how he will be able to force the enemy onto his hordes. Also, with little in the way of redirectors the hordes are in a very dangerous position. They can possibly become multicharged by many units striking before them. Also, I think at least one horde should have halberds, the better to kill you with. So: maybe drop one horde for SSCs, redirectors and halberds on the other horde?

Congratulations on the league win :). Well deserved! On the same note, I challenge you to take on the lizardmen. I think they should prove a decent foe.

By the way, I lost because I made at least three stupid mistakes, while my opponent made only one. Playing deamons doesn't require much brain activity, which becomes a problem when one meets a competent opponent.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Congratulations on the league win Curu! Well deserved indeed.

I agree with most of jwg20's comments - the armies he lists are some of the tougher matchups for your list, but by no means unbeatable. Unfortunately the nature of High Elves and our high average point cost per model means that we'll always have lists that we're "weak" against. Having said that, playing an army of this nature trains you to use things like positioning, combined force and favourable matchups to win the game rather than the strength of your army.

I can totally relate to what rusty said in his post about turning your brain off - one of my other armies is Skaven, and it really does happen. So many questions can be answered with "lolslaves" that you really do start to play a bit lazy sometimes. With your list, Curu, the margin for error is small with so few models on the field, yet you stayed sharp and took the league.

So what's in the future for your list? Tournaments? Another league in the works?

@rusty - tough break man, that would have been an epic end to the league. Any plans to go back to the wood elves for a while? I really enjoyed seeing a good player wield them effectively in an edition where most people dismiss them without a second thought.

D

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:49 pm 
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I too echo Rusty's comment about casual play.

I've had very competent Dark Elf players just 'push the Black Guard forward' against me, even when it's tactically unwise because they are so used to Stubborn, Cauldron etc getting them out of trouble.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:25 pm 
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@rusty - breathing fire with a Dragon is pretty much a sure thing to happen, unless you can kill it fairly early on ;) As far as TK army building goes, I am not very well versed but I do believe that this setup has some potential.

Lizardmen probably are tougher than they sound. I'll make sure and play against them at some point in the not too distant future. As far as playing mistakes go, I nearly lost my first league game this way.

@Brewmaster_D - Thanks! The future for this list is an ETC tournament on April 14th - 15th. This league will probably start another round but it's uncertain whether it'll be after Easter or after the summer break. Hopefully I'll be able to attend a tournament or two after the summer break as well!

@SpellArcher - Dark Reaper, who I've played lots of games against this past couple of months, plays Dark Elves and he seems to think that the general forum quality on Druchii.net has fallen a lot after they became a top army. I think that strong players usually prefer to play sub-optimal army lists and this might very well be because 'pushing Black Guard forward' feels boring and is, ultimately, fairly little challenging. With that being said, being able to beat these lists, especially in the hands of competent players, is very impressive!

Ok so battle report coming up shortly, I've finished the pictures in 'Chronicler and will type it up now :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:16 am 
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I faced Tomb Kings last night, first time ever against this army!

:: Of Ancient Horrors and Elven Pride ::

The lists -

:: High Elves ::

Saerith with GW, AoC, Vambraces, Loec, Star Dragon - 622
BSB Naenor with Sword of Might, HoF, Talisman of Protection, Shield, Dragon Armour, Great Eagle - 218
Olannon with Level 2, Annulian Crystal, Ironcurse Icon - 180

Characters - 1020

30 Archers, Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flames - 365
15 Archers, Musician - 170
10 Spearelves - 90

Core - 625

26 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness, Amulet of Light - 450
14 Swordmasters, Bladelord w/Skeinsliver, Musician - 253

Special - 703

3 Great Eagles - 150

Rare - 150

Total - 2498

:: Tomb Kings ::
Level 4 Wizard - Nehekara, Earthing Rod
Level 2 Wizard - Nehekara, Scroll

23 Archers, FC
20 Archers
4 Chariots
5 Horse Archers
5 Horse Archers

40 TG, FC
40 TG, FC

Hierotitan
Casket of Souls
Warsphinx


:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

Magic: I rolled Vaul's and Shield. I would've preferred Curse or Flames over Vaul's, but investing as little as I do in magic I can't complain! His level 2 got 0, 3 and his level 4 got 0, 4,5,6 - both from Nehekara.

Going through the lists beforehand, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to play this: I cannot beat 80 elite infantry magically aided and supported by 2 monsters head on. I needed to really shatter one at a time and carefully remove support elements to be able to properly isolate them. To accomplish this, I imagined getting a refused flank and using terrain as well as my chaff units to dictate when and where to fight. I wasn't sure what to do with the Warsphinx but I did know that nothing else was worthwhile shooting at so I was hoping my 45 Longbows could put off a wound or two before combat ensued.

Deployment went pretty well for me and I got a very good starting point. In particular, I was happy with how he had to commit his Chariots (or a combat block) fairly early on, allowing my Lions to go into a perfect position:

Image

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

Lions moved up full 12". I made a slight mistake as I didn't measure the wheel relative to the big rock (this would've been an illegal move due to the 1" rule) in front of them but I realized this only when my magic phase was done. The Eagles swooped towards the center - given his slow army I knew I wouldn't have to use them before later on.

Magic was 6v4. Fearing his 3D6 LD nuke bound spell I started off with a 2D6 Shield on Naenor: if he got taken out Saerith would've been a juicy target later on and failing fear tests is never fun. He let it go and Drain was dispelled on 4v4.

Shooting saw my 30 Archers obliterate the Eastern light cavalry. The other Archers targeted the Sphinx but of the 2 wounds I got, he saved both. While this might sound like a lot of luck, the fact is that I would've needed both to wound given the fact that I have to let him cast his movement bubble (thus healing the Sphinx 1W) due to higher priority spells next turn.

Image

:: Tomb Kings Turn 1 ::

Everything move up and his Sphinx cleverly moves to rear-guard duty, blocking Saerith's optimal path. He sighs as he moves the Chariots, realizing they won't see combat as soon as he'd like.

Magic is 9v8 and he starts with a "your Lions are now -D3M and treat ALL terrain as dangerous and must test for any kind of move" on 4D6. I can't let this through and decide to take my chances with Light of Death and dispel it on 6D6. He then casts a movement bubble which I let through and finish with Light of Death, which I fail to dispel. Saerith's LD10 proves solid however and no damage is dealt.

Shooting does nothing, the Swordmasters' armour protecting them from two wounding shots.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

So Saerith can't get to any really nice spots because of the Sphinx. I opt to move him to where he's barely out of the Sphinx' and the Guards' charge arcs, getting him close enough to ensure good spots in my next turn. The Lions free reform to get into position. The Eagles keep on moving towards where they'll surely be needed - I try and keep them out of his possible shooting range.

Magic is 8v6 and I 4D6 Vaul's on his General's unit to force out a dispel or see him risk losing the Earthing Rod. He dispels on 4D6 and I cast Drain with my remaining dice - however a miserable roll sees him dispel with his remaining 2D6.

Shooting - no threats to my Eastern approach chaff-wise sees all Archers target the Sphinx. I do however not manage to score a single unsaved wound.

Image

:: Tomb Kings Turn 2 ::

His Eastern horde reforms to be 8-deep (5 wide) and move up somewhat. A very smart move, in my opinion. The Warsphinx moves along on their flank. The center keep moving up, as do the Chariots.

Magic is 4v3 and he casts the movement hex on my Lions and I'm powerless to dispel.

Shooting kills a few Spears and they panic, running through the Swordmasters who pass their panic test (not shown in the diagram, I fixed this in my T3 photo).

Image

:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

I move up with Characters while an Eagle goes to sacrificial duty, blocking the Hierotitan's path to Naenor. Saerith places himself just within 12" of Naenor while getting a really juicy breath weapon on the Tomb Guard.

Magic is 5v5 and I cast Shield on Naenor again and he dispels Drain. Shooting sees the breath weapon kill 13 Guards (!) and the Archers finally manage 2W on the Sphinx!

Image

:: Tomb Kings Turn 3 ::

Sphinx + Guard charge the Lions, however the Guards fail to reach me (needing 8 or 9+ on their roll). The rest move up and make ready to face my army as best they can. The Hierotitan curiously decides not to attack the blocking Eagle.

Magic is 6v5 and he casts a boosted +1A on everything within 24" and gets IF! This heals the Sphinx 1W and drains his Level 2 to Level 0, effectively reducing his magic potential by a lot.

Shooting kills the blocking Eagle due to the Archers shooting twice, while the West fail to hurt my Swordmasters yet again!

Combat sees the Sphinx tear a bloody path through my Lions (he placed it so that it had the minimum amount of return attacks - with just 26 I can't get the horde effect in all situations) - killing half of them (aided by breath weapon) for 2W in return. I pass my break test.

Image

:: High Elves Turn 4 ::

Saerith + Naenor dual-charge the Archer bunker (which contains his Level 2 -> now Level 0): the plan is to overrun into the Hierotitan and Casket, respectively. The Swordmasters charge the Chariots, needing 8+ and failing.

Magic is 6v3 and he scrolls a strong cast of Shield on Lions, dispelling Drain.

Shooting kills a handful of Guards.

Combat sees the Sphinx reduced to 1W and the Lions to 5 men. Naenor is challenged out by his Wizard but I kill enough to crumble them anyway, Faeria proving to be very destructive (as usual). The overruns work out perfectly and I engage both juicy targets. My plan of removing his essential support is working out very well, though the problems with the Sphinx are proving to be a thorn in my side.

Image

:: Tomb Kings Turn 4 ::

Chariots charge Swordmasters, Guards charge blocking Eagle.

Magic is 7v4. He starts off with a 2D6 move bubble, which I allow. He then proceeds to fail to cast a spell and I dispel his bounds easily.

Shooting kills a single Spearelf.

Combat - he wants to start with the Sphinx and my 6 attacks score only 3 hits (after re-rolls!), making it 50-50 to kill the construct. The first two dice come up a '2' and '4' and the last spins for some time... Coming up a '6'! The next to be resolved is the Eagle - he fails to wound me but I break and escape him! Swordmasters lose a lot to impact hits but kill 2 Chariots in return. His crew roll poor though so in the end 5 of them are left standing and I pass my break test (5 for steadfast actually not mattering as I roll a '1' and a '2'). Lastly my characters both kill their opponents and reform to face the Tomb Guard: as the Casket blows up I'm anxious with regards to Naenor but he fails to hit him on the 4+ roll. Saerith is hit but no damage is dealt. A very crucial turn for me, no doubt!

Image

:: High Elves Turn 5 ::

Saerith needs to roll a 7+ on his Swiftstride to reach the Guards and make the roll. The Archers declare the charge as well (obviously), having a juicy flank shot. The fleeing Eagle rallies while the last Eagle blocks the central Guards.

Magic is low and I get Shield on Archers, Drain is dispelled.

Combat sees my Archers fail to kill a single Guard and lose 2 in return. Saerith and Faeria go to town and after combat resolution the Guards are only 5 models strong. The Swordmasters make short work of the Chariots and reform to face his centre: if he wants to move the Guard up I intend to quadruple-charge him: Swords in flank, Saerith + Naenor other flank, Archers front.

Image

:: Tomb Kings Turn 5 ::

He charges the blocking Eagle (no surprise there!), the fast cavalry move to block off Swordmasters. Magic and shooting are non-important and in combat he fails to break the Eagle! This leaves the Guard too far away from my Archers. The other combat sees his remaining 5 Guards die.

Image

The last 2 turns see my kill his cavalry and he eventually kills the Eagle!

:: Victory Points ::

Tallying up I'm 1595 points ahead as per the BRB rules. The ETC standard is 50% for severely reduced units, so my elites cost my a bit - I end up being 1225 ahead. Since he didn't play the ETC rules, I didn't bother with the 10% in this calculation (it was a friendly, after all). Still a solid 18-2 win to the High Elves!

:: Evaluation ::

An interesting game and an interesting army to face. My one major mistake in this game was to not have an Eagle stay behind for Chariot duty. Leaving the Swordmasters alone like that is a huge risk and I didn't really need all 3 on the East (I should've realized this early on). This would've almost guaranteed me a charge here, instead of receiving one.

The overall plan worked out very well, but if he had killed my blocking Eagle it would've been interesting to see if I couldn't have killed that bunker completely for a clean 20-0. With 28 Archers to the front, both characters in the flank and Swordmasters in the other flank, it would've been very interesting!

Magic wasn't big this game. He had some nasty spells but never enough to truly change the way the game played. I don't know if Tomb Kings can accomplish this without spending tons of points though, but I believe it's one of the few strengths they have given how easily they get bonus dice, bonus to cast and bound spells.

I'm sure you have a few comments and I'm eager to hear your thoughts! Hope you enjoyed the report :)

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Last edited by Curu Olannon on Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Hey Curu!

Great match, congrats on a win in your first game versus Tomb Kings.

Obviously you did plenty right - you won after all - but I know a guy like you isn't really looking for back patting, so please don't take this post as a negative one. I'm just going to point out the 10% error margin that I notice in an otherwise extremely well played game.

So a few things stand out to me here, knowing what I know about Tomb Kings (I have a friend who plays them, and I've also played a couple games as them as well).

First and foremost, any good Tomb King player has one goal in mind with that Sphinx - walk it into the toughest, baddest infantry unit your opponent has, particularly one with high quality, low volume attacks. In this respect, he accomplished his goal perfectly - if I was playing his list, goal #1 for me would have been to crush some lions with a sphinx, since its toughness completely negates their otherwise imposing S6. I think I would have been a bit more conservative with that block. He stood to lose much more than you did by not being aggressive. For example, he had the Heirotitan, the Casket, the chariots and those archer blocks, who I assume had his heirophant in it. All of these targets are great "Dragon Food" if you will.

Essentially what I'm getting at is that my tactic here would have probably been to use my knowledge of what he wants to do with that sphinx to draw it out of position and into close range of the archers. At close range, things get pretty ugly pretty quick for this guy. Unfortunately, the opposite happened; he got his charge off and survived long enough to essentially crush your key combat unit. You played it smart, and kept the remaining lions safe to preserve the points, but I'm thinking a slightly more conservative Turn 1 and 2 from these guys could have had them still be in fighting shape on turn 3 & 4, and not have to take that risky break test on stubborn ld8 in the turn the sphinx charged you.

Second thing I'll bring up is the chariots. I think his deployment of these was poor - if it was an early drop I would have never committed to a flank like that, and if it was a late drop it just seems silly to put them way out there knowing where your troops are. Having said that, if you'd have asked me before the game what my goal for these guys would be, I would have said "kamikaze mission into the swordmasters". The wounds these guys suffered from this cheap, effective unit essentially crippled them as well.

My suggestion here is in High Elf Turn 4 - you still had two eagles left at this point (amazing, given the firepower he had access to). I would have had one working its way Westward for this critical turn - a redirector right in the chariot's faces would have let you move the swordmasters up aggressively and guaranteed you the charge in your next turn, wiping the chariots out with minimal casualties.

Now for some positivity :P

I think what won you this game, upon looking at it, was a combination of two things - his failure to manage the threat that is the dragon, and your ruthless ability to capitalize on that critical mistake. Utilizing mobile elements is clearly a strength of yours, as has been demonstrated throughout your battle reports - the Dragon in you current list, the cavalry busses in the previous list. There's a lot to be said for knowing where your strengths lie and feeding in to that. This list definitely accomplishes that, so I'm excited to see how it performs in a tournament setting with you at the helm!

D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:15 pm 
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The Sphinx really caught me off-guard. I knew it would be hard to bring down, but since its models were all +1A its damage output was insane. Granted, I probably should've had another wound on it on average with all my Archers, but regardless the risk assessment should've told me to slow down the Lions. Lesson learned, the Sphinx really is above and beyond most things when it comes to absorbing damage. I assume that the Stank is kind of the same? I have yet to face Empire (and don't know if I will before the new book comes out!)... By waiting a turn, my Eagles would've been able to catch up as well - allowing me to block it if need be. Long story short, I agree with your assessment and I must remember that simply because they have M6 I don't need to move 12" per turn ;)

His Heirophant was in the 23 Archers originally but moved to the 40 central Tomb Guard when my flyers started raping his support units.

The chariots were deployed semi-early. I think the drop mostly had to do with space issues - he basically had to commit them to either flank or risk having his units run on top of eachother (it was a bit tighter than the diagram implies). I think I might've placed my Spears and small archers at this point, but I'm fairly sure neither the Lions nor Swords were dropped. While I agree it wasn't optimal, I don't know how he could've played it otherwise. I felt like I had to commit the Swordmasters to my west as well to really put the pressure on his central TG to avoid them wheeling to my strong, Eastern flank: by having the Swords of Hoeth fairly central this would've been a huge risk on his part. I agree that an Eagle should've been used here: indeed I was lucky to have any Swordmasters remaining at all!

The Eagles stayed alive because I made sure to keep them 33" away when possible (so that even a magically boosted move would be too short) and 29" at the very least (so that he'd REALLY have to dedicate to take them out). You might notice that they are kept at the extreme edge of the table and rarely utilize their full movement value for the first couple of turns.

How would you have managed the Dragon threat here, if you were the TK player? I might ask the rest of you as well, in particular I know that e.g. Jimmy plays TK. What on Earth do you do against this kind of army?

As for the upcoming tournament, it appears that 60 players will participate. I will post up the distribution of armies once registration's complete - for now it looks like there's an abundance of Vampire Counts and High Elves (!). Some Empire, some WoC, some Skaven, some DE. Very little of the rest as far as I can tell (good for me as I really fear Ogres and Dwarfs while it would also appear that Lizardmen can be a big problem).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
I can't think of any specific reason why Lizardmen should pose any particular threat to your list, with the biggest threat probably being Flesh to Stone, if you're facing a Life Slann. Additionally, I suspect your list will do very well against most Ogre lists. Your Lions and Dragon, on the charge, should flatten any unit the Ogres can field, you have low magic, you are faster then them, you can handle their chaff efficiently, your archer core will have lots of good targets, and you don't especially fear their war machines. Dwarves, though, certainly pose a major threat, as I know you already recognize.

On the other hand, I can see a heavy Goblin-based army being very deadly toward you. Against many armies, you'll like to hunt their chaff units for a few turns with your Prince, but with O&G, they have so much chaff at ~75pts and below that you'll simply be wasting time. Then there's the potential of huge NG tarpits with Fanatics, and their very cheap warmachines (notably Doom Divers, which will cripple your BSB's movement).

Your Lions will have very little to do and may end up just behaving like an unwieldy death star in this matchup. Some of the stronger O&G players like to play pure Goblin (for whatever reason, mostly fun factor I think) and I think this army type may prove to be unexpectedly tough for you.

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