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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:58 pm 
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Can i get a bit if advice too mate?

In your opinion what's the general rule of thumb for getting boosted banishments off? I've been throwing dice at it as follows

3D6 from lvl 4
4D6 from lvl 2

Can I expect them to go off or should I be looking to get my coven closer to the enemy sooner to lower the cast values?

Casting strategy is so important with the coven and I'm learning but still struggling to get the right spells off at the right time.

Finally what's your opinion on the ring of corin? Is it worth it on my lvl 1 or should I take jewel of the dusk on him? Do I have to meet the minimum casting value of vauls unmaking to cast it?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:16 am 
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Hey Caradryal,

In terms of the 12+ casting value, I tend to stick to the format you listed. 3D6 on the level 2 is much too risky, and the second casting of banishment is very crucial - especially in those first turns, as it typically forces out their scroll.

Once you're in close range, You can safely switch to 3D6 & 3D6, or if you're running the +1 to cast variant of the archmage you can go 2D6 & 3D6

The Ring vs. the Jewel is going to be a matter of personal taste and tolerance for risk; however I'll say this - the ring is something that I'd rather be looking at than looking for. With so many items out there that can potentially wreak havoc on the coven and/or the small units of elites, having the option to neutralize one of those threats per game is extremely handy.

On the flip side of the argument, the jewel is a real steal for the points, and goes a long way to mitigating the risk of a flukey magic phase. Between it, the banner and the channels, you'll find that even snakeyes usually means you can cast two spells unimpeded (2 x 2D6 casts, on a conservative estimate).

So long story short - if you're ok with taking the chance that you might roll up an opponent with a hard counter (ie. Hellheart or stone of spite), then take the jewel. However if you're looking to be ready for any situation, I'd take the ring in a heartbeat.

Good luck in your games Caradryal!

I still owe you guys a final battle report, which I promise I'll finish tonight, and tomorrow night I've got a 2500 point game as well.

I've also been stirring on some list change ideas, which I'll post shortly after the report.

D

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Ok guys, heading to a game versus a random opponent tonight, and I've made a change to my list that I'm going to give a shot.

I'll explain my reasoning below

The List

Archmage - Level 4, Jewel of the Dusk, Forliath's Robes, Guardian Phoenix, Lore of Light
Mage - Level 2, Seerstaff, Lore of Light (Pha's, Banishment)
Mage - Ring of Corin, Gem of Courage, Lore of Light
Mage - Anullian Crystal, Lore of Light

35 x Spearmen, Full Command
14 x Archers, Musician
11 x Archers, Musician

13 x Swordmasters, Standard Bearer, Musician, Gleaming Pennant
13 x Swordmasters, Standard Bearer, Standard of Balance
16 x White Lions, Full Command, Dragonhorn, Banner of Sorcery
9 x White Lions, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame

2 x Great Eagles

Rationelle

After playing plenty of games with the Coven at this point, particularly at the tournament, one thing stands clear to me:

The Coven is best played as a defensive, countercharge list. There are very few armies that have the ranged capability to compete with the destructive power of Strength 7 banishments. With each army list that is released, this becomes more and more true - the new empire release has toned down their ranged capabilities, and given me plenty of new, juicy targets (Hurricanum, Luminark, T6 steamtank provided it's not immune to magic).

The Dragon Princes previously filled the role of a mobile threat. Their goal was to close in on enemy units fast, and allow me to put pressure on enemy shooting units early on.

However, due to the nature of the magic phase I've built, as well as the nature of the lore of light itself, I've come to realize that gunlines are actually a lower threat matchup for me. Between Pha's, Net, Timewarp and Banishment, I have plenty of magical solutions for a ranged war. With this in mind, it's become apparent that my Dragon Princes are *overly* redundant. I'd much rather have another unit of elites that can a) introduce back in flaming attacks that I gave up when I dropped the BSB, b) offer up another unit, and as such another countercharge arc and c) provide more sustained hitting power, which pairs well with the overall theme of the lore of light (providing defensive and offensive combat buffs that allow our troops to fight sustained combats)

In the tournament, it became apparent how fast 3 small units of combat elites can evaporate when things start to go south. It also became apparent that things tend to go well for me when I hold back and force the opponent to me, and they go poorly for me when I overextend.

So my only question now is do I go with White Lions or swordmasters for the additional unit? I went with White Lions in this list for two reasons - the first is stubborn, which makes them great flank protectors, and the second is their armour save vs. shooting. I see them as a good halfway point between Dragon Princes and Swordmasters - they're less mobile, but almost as survivable against shooting. If the change works out for the best, I'll probably give swordmasters a shot at some point.

A proposed change that didn't make the cut... this time

The final change I've been mulling over is one that I didn't implement in this list. Do I drop Forliath's Robes for another eagle? At this point, with the Steamtank dropping in Toughness, I'm down to just Sphinxes to worry about in terms of "Stuff I don't want to get into combat with". Even they should fall pretty hard to S7 banishment. I've tended to avoid putting the archmage in my elites as it is, due to his tendency to... well... explode them.


So I'm going to give it a go tonight and see how things go. I failed at doing the final round writeup once again (It's tough because my notes are super spotty, as well as my pictures :P), but it wasn't really a critical game anyway. He was a relatively new player, so I both toned it back so that he could have a good time, as well as he made some pretty big blunders.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on the list changes though! What does everyone think at this point about the robes? Do you see the changing meta reducing the need for this item?

D

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Well played Sir
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Fast elements like cavalry are handy when you need to finish units off that have been hit hard. Your enemy should be trying to hold them back to deny you VPs, Dragon Princes, Silver Helms and Reavers give you that unit that will roam the back field cleaning up after your banishments and stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Thanks for the quick responce D
Brewmaster_D wrote:
In terms of the 12+ casting value, I tend to stick to the format you listed. 3D6 on the level 2 is much too risky, and the second casting of banishment is very crucial - especially in those first turns, as it typically forces out their scroll.

I need to start spamming banishment more. I've been using net to draw out dice so far and whilst it works wonders for that, I've found that people will let net through in order to dispell my banishments. My recent opponants have also tended to be armies that can generate lots of extra dispel dice, High elves and vamps mostly. This tends to hamper my chances of either banishment going off.
Brewmaster_D wrote:
Once you're in close range, You can safely switch to 3D6 & 3D6, or if you're running the +1 to cast variant of the archmage you can go 2D6 & 3D6

This is very helpful thank you. By the +1 to cast do you mean a lvl 4 or are you talking about the book of ashur/starwood staff?[/quote]
Brewmaster_D wrote:
The Ring vs. the Jewel is going to be a matter of personal taste and tolerance for risk; however I'll say this - the ring is something that I'd rather be looking at than looking for. With so many items out there that can potentially wreak havoc on the coven and/or the small units of elites, having the option to neutralize one of those threats per game is extremely handy.

On the flip side of the argument, the jewel is a real steal for the points, and goes a long way to mitigating the risk of a flukey magic phase. Between it, the banner and the channels, you'll find that even snakeyes usually means you can cast two spells unimpeded (2 x 2D6 casts, on a conservative estimate).

So long story short - if you're ok with taking the chance that you might roll up an opponent with a hard counter (ie. Hellheart or stone of spite), then take the jewel. However if you're looking to be ready for any situation, I'd take the ring in a heartbeat.

Good arguments for both items there and i can see you are currently running both in your 2.5k list. I think i'll stick with the ring of corin for now as items like the Hellheart and pendant have been a problem for me recently :roll:
After playing plenty of games with the Coven at this point, particularly at the tournament, one thing stands clear to me:

I'm curious about your decision to drop the dragon princes from your list. I considered the uses for them when i built my new list and couldn't decide whether they would make their points back or not. I quite like to have them as a threat to one flank and as a hard counter for units I know will have flaming attacks and at the time I couldn't see a better way of spending the points.

What i did consider was taking some reavers and another eagle. The extra misdirection and harrassment would be handy and give me more turns to get banishments off before combat and set up counter charges.

I'm looking forward to seeing how your decision to take the small unit of lions works out :D

Good luck and many thanks for your detailed reply.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Hey Guys!

My apologies for no reports recently - I did end up playing a game last week, however once again it was versus a new player, and I tend to avoid writing up reports vs. opponents that are new to the game or take sub-optimal lists. In this case it was a Wood Elf list with two level 4 casters hiding in forests outside of units. Needless to say, they didn't last too long with Banishment in the mix :P

I guess there's a 40k tournament in a week or two that everyone in the area is getting ready for, so all the usual strong players have been taking a bit of a break.

As compensation for the lack of reports, I wrote up a tactics article that you can view in the tactics section, or by following this link:

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=39115

I also have a second tournament coming up in a few weeks, so we'll see if the Coven fares a little better - my focus will be on playing over reporting, but I'll still try to snap some photos so I can patch something together for you.

D

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Looking at your latest list with 4 mages, I cant help to wonder if one of those couldnt be swapped for a BSB with Radient Gem instead ?. I know that this would mean either no Annulian or no Ring, but on the plus side you would gain those rerolls ?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Hey Overg!

I actually ran a few games with that exact suggestion. I found a few things, however. First and foremost the Radiant Gem BSB is pretty expensive and is very easy to kill. You basically are limited to keeping him back with the mages. Second, he's even more points to give away when you include the 100 points for taking the BSB.

With the points I save by dropping him, I get to include plenty of great new tools to my army, including:

- The standard of balance - this thing is simply fantastic versus Warriors of Chaos or Dark Elves, not to mention the new empire
- Lots of standards for fortitude points
- The extra arcane slot, allowing me to take all of the critical items
- The ability for many of my units to operate outside of a 12" bubble, opening up new tactical possibilities

With all that in mind, while I miss having his reroll bubble, I feel that I have enough tools at my disposal between the Dragonhorn, Light of Battle, Standard of Balance, Gleaming Pennant and Gem of Courage to mitigate enough of the risk of going without him that the list is viable.

Hope that makes sense!

D

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:29 pm 
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It makes a lot of sense!, nice to see this level of "thinking outside the box", I play with a more "kiss" aproach to things myself, but I can certainly see your build open other options. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Hi Brewmaster!

I missed that update on your list. I was still awaiting fourth BR from the tournament :)

I must admit I didn't see it coming (the change to the list, that is) but once you have explained it it makes sense to me. I also think infantry units benefit better from the Lore of Light. I think taking WL is better as it gives you more flexibility. They can always be timewarped ifyou need more attacks.

As to the suggestion of Radiant Gem BSB I must say I agree with you too. It is a nice combination but if you end up having your bsb in combat too often then he also dies and that is painful indeed. I still need his re-rolls but it seems you are doing well without him anyway. As a level 1 mage he is very useful but needs to be positioned with even greater care than typical level 2 mage.

Looking forward to your new reports from another tournament!

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Supreme General Brewmaster_D,

Thank you very much for the very informative article on the magic phase, i do not know if you have already covered it or not, but it would be good to get your guidance on the key points when deploying the coven also, as that plays a major part in your magic phases as well.

Wishing you all the best in your upcoming tournament

Commander Flaxis


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Caradryal wrote:
Can i get a bit if advice too mate?

In your opinion what's the general rule of thumb for getting boosted banishments off? I've been throwing dice at it as follows

1. 3D6 from lvl 4
2. 4D6 from lvl 2

Can I expect them to go off or should I be looking to get my coven closer to the enemy sooner to lower the cast values?

1. 74.1%
2. 84.1%

cheers
Furion

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:18 pm 
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@Furion - That's wierd, my numbers are coming up differently

I have reaching a 12 on 3D6 with a level 4 at 83.1% success and 4D6 on a level 2 at 90.28%

I just use this thing because I'm lazy:

http://www.fnordistan.com/smallroller.html


@ Flaxis - The deployment of the coven is probably one of the trickier parts of the army, to be honest. There's plenty of constraints to work around, including keeping the mages within 12" of each other, then keeping them within 12" of units for the area buffs, giving them good line of sight to their prime banishment targets, and finally keeping them protected.

Typically they end up being in a more central position, with the tougher to move troops nearby - ie the spears and the lions. Ideally I like to try to get them within 24" of some of the good banishment targets to help reduce the the number of power dice I need to spend per spell.

When you consider all of those constraints, there is usually only one or two good spots to put them, but you need to consider it right from the start so you don't end up with a vulnerable coven.

@ Swordmaster - I'm having a hard time doing up the last report simply because it was versus a novice opponent who made a lot of questionable choices (Like chasing a sphinx after some reavers). There's not much to be gleaned from the match due to this, so I figured people would get more value out of a tactics article :P

Timewarp is also an interesting spell in its ability to turn a unit of infantry into a unit of cavalry - it actually lets them become more maneuverable than the Dragon Princes! I'll give the list change a go for a couple matches, just for comparisons sake. Then I'll swap them out for more swordmasters and weigh the differences. The lions also get flaming attacks back into the list, whos value can't be overlooked.

D

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Brewmaster, boosted Banishment is 13+, not 12+. Thus, you are both correct :)

Looking forward to seeing the new list in action!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:00 am 
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Righto - my bad, I was thinking of Pha's boosted.

I should know better at this point than to open my yap while I'm at work away from my rule book :P

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:44 am 
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Hey Guys!

So I had a friend over tonight, and we ended up having an impromptu game - he used one of my ogre lists I've been working on, since apparently I have trouble with them (his army is actually ogres, he just didn't have any of his own lists with him)

No time constraints on this one so my notes are quite good, but I still tried to keep the pacing good for the tournament preparation.

I also made a few more tweaks to my list than the last revision, which I'll list below

Stopping the Hordes

Ogre Kingdoms

Slaughtermaster, Level 4, Fencer's Blades, Glittering Scales
Bruiser, BSB, Crown of Command, Enchanted Shield, Heavy Armour
Firebelly, Level 2, Hellheart

9 Ironguts, Full Command, Standard of Discipline
7 Bulls, Ironfists, Full Command

4 x Mournfangs, Full Command, Dragonhide Banner

5 x Maneaters, swiftstride, stubborn
- 2 with GW's, 3 with braces of pistols

2 x Ironblasters


The Coven of Light, Re-invented

Archmage, Jewel of the Dusk, Level 4 (lore of light)
Mage, Level 2, Seerstaff (Pha's, Banishment)
Mage, Ring of Corin, Gem of Courage (lore of light)
Mage, Anullian Crystal (lore of light)

35 x Spearmen, full command
14 x Archers, Musician
11 x Archers, Musician

14 x Swordmasters, Standard, Standard of Balance
14 x Swordmasters, Standard, Musician, Gleaming Pennant
18 x White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Sorcery, Dragonhorn
11 x White Lions, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame

2 x Great Eagles

Going with a budget archmage in this one in favour of more bodies on the field. 57 elites is enough to give anyone pause, and with the changes to the steamtank I finally feel like I can let go of the robes without too much fuss.

Lately I've been bunkering my archmage in archers anyway in order to avoid costly miscasts exploding elites, and due to that I've needed the protection less and less.

Spells are as follows:

Slaughtermaster: Bonecrusher, Bullgorger, Toothcracker, Trollguts
Firebelly: Fireball, Piercing Bolts

Archmage: Timewarp, Speed, Banishment, Net
Ring Mage: Shem's
Crystal Mage: Shem's

1 in 36 odds of rolling banishment twice with my two level 1's, and I nailed it this game ;)

Deployment

Image

I forego the refused flank deployment - I learned my lesson in the last two matches. These fatties can move! With a central deployment I can make sure that all of my forces can be brought to bear if need be when it really counts.

But seriously, Ogres have a ton of drops. It was pretty much impossible to figure out where the hellheart was going to go until it was too late.

We roll off for first turn, with me getting the +1. I win the roll, and gladly take the initiative.

High Elves, Turn 1


Image

Determined to play a defensive game for once, I advance only enough to get my archers in range, and my White Lions in the East to threaten any aggressive advancing from the hellheart unit.

The Western great eagle moves around in order to threaten the flank of the ironblaster, should it get any ideas of shooting down my flank.

Magic rolls up 2 & 3, with the banner adding 3 and the jewel adding 1, making the phase 9 v 3

I start the phase with a 3D6 Timewarp on the White Lions, which he allows. My hope here is that the added movement will really make him think twice about moving up those mournfangs into their usual charge range. Essentially doubling the Lion's movement allows them to threaten a huge swath of the middle of the board, disrupting the normal Ogre advance; even ogres don't usually want to trifle with white lions.

My next spell is a 3D6 banishment on his Ironblaster, which he fails to dispel with his 3. 6 hits is below average, but my rolling to wound is stellar - 6 wounds results in a dead ironblaster!

I then throw 3D6 at a banishment from my level 2 on the mournfangs, but fail to meet the powered up casting value. It was a long shot, I know :P

Shooting puts one wound on the Bulls (I'm not going to stop calling them that, by the way), since the sabretusk has plenty of cover bonuses

Ogres, Turn 1

Image

Two of his sabretusks charge two of my eagles; The Western one makes a ridiculously long charge, and the Eastern one fails miserably, rolling 3 1's.

The rest of his army advances, but very cautiously to the West - Timewarp on the Lions keeps them honest.

Magic is 5 & 4 with no channels. He leads off with a 4D6 piercing bolts on my spearmen. I have a choice - Dispel this, or risk a powered up fireball on my elites. I decide I need the hitting power more than the ranks, so I allow the spell. 11 spearmen's wives write me angry letters after the battle. I try to explain to them how the point cost on their husbands is too high, but they don't want to listen.

He then throws 5D6 at a fully powered up fireball, but fails the casting value.

In shooting, his ironblaster misfires, and the result spins it to face the north

The sabretusk in the West whiffs its attacks, and the eagle, in an unusual display of combat prowess, manages the two wounds required to take the cat down.

High Elves, Turn 2

Image

I charge my eagle into the rear of the ironblaster - with 3 combat resolution from the charge, I'm confident that I can win combat by enough to break the ugly warmachine. The Western unit of white lions also make their charge, hoping to at least get in to the back lines despite their charge on the bulls being cut off.

The rest of the army, confident in its ranged superiority performs a... let's just call it a tactical retreat.

Magic is 5 & 2 - I channel, roll a 1 for the banner and add one for the jewel, making it 10 v 5

I lead off with a 4D6 banishment on his mournfangs to make things really awkward for him to dispel (drop 5 or don't bother, 1 DD won't do any good). Unfortunately I cast it irresistably. I roll 9 hits, and 8 wounds make it through with only a 6+ save remaining after the S7. However, the resulting miscast puts a wound on every one of my mages except the ring mage, making the hellheart truly terrifying. It also drains 4 dice from my phase, and I discard the rest given his remaining dispel dice. Damn. There goes my perfect shot at the ring taking out his hellheart.

Shooting actually manages some good wounds on the bulls this turn, and we move on to his

In combat, my eagle fails to wound his ironblaster, and he does likewise. However, he manages to pass his -3 break test, as well as his -3 test to reform!

Ogres, Turn 2

Image

This turn, with no timewarp in play, there's no doubts about it; Things are going to get pretty real next turn, one way or another. His troops move up to the optimal ogre charge range, while also making an elf charge unlikely.

His Firebelly moves out into hellheart range, and also to stop the charge from the swordmasters in the flank of the bulls.

Magic is 4 & 3 with a coven channel - 6 v 6

He throws all 6 at a fully powered fireball, but is dispelled by the coven.

In combat, he destroys my eagle with his ironblaster, and reforms to start taking potshots at flanks.

High Elves, Turn 3

Image

After my bust magic phase last turn, I'm faced with a choice - keep the mages in their bunkers and face the full brunt of the hellheart, or move them out and potentially get picked off by an ironblaster and maneaters. I choose the latter, because death by hellheart is almost a guarantee in their current position. I move the mages out to just beyond the 15" position, meaning he'll at least need to roll a 4+ to ruin my day completely.

The rest of my forces move up, now much more confident in their combat abilities with the ogre numbers reduced. The most serious combat unit gets redirected by an eagle.

Magic is 4 & 2 - I get 2 from the banner and 1 from the jewel for a total of 9 v 4.

He rolls for the hellheart and... gets a 3! It's just shy of my mages, and I'm now *only* faced with the risk of being shot to pieces.

I start with a 4D6 Banishment on his Ironblaster with my archmage - He dispels with his 4 dice
I then throw another 4D6 at Banishment with my level 2, and succeed! Boxcars for hits, and I think you can surmise the rest.
Finally, I throw one last dice at Pha's protection on the spears, hoping that they'll hold and protect my now vulnerable coven.

The Swordmasters kill the Firebelly and reform to face the approaching Maneaters.

Ogres, Turn 3

Image

His troops make the only charges they can, knowing that they can't weather any more banishments. Mournfangs on swordmasters, Guts on the redirecting eagle and bulls on the spears.

His sabretusk also moves up to redirect the swordmasters in the east, clearing the way for the Maneaters to take potshots at the coven.

Magic is 6 & 4, with no channels on either side

He powers up a toothcracker on 4D6 and promptly casts it with irresistable force. The resulting miscast drains the rest of the magic phase and does a wound to the Slaughtermaster.

In combat, the mournfangs do three hits, resulting in two wounds - boy are these guys less fearsome in smaller numbers! The swordmasters manage the 4 remaining wounds on the unit, despite the +1 T, and they reform to face the guts in the middle.

The bulls vs. spears doesn't go so hot. Wounding on 6's is rough, however he's unable to break steadfast this turn, and Pha's keeps his attacks from getting out of hand. The spears stick around.

High Elves, Turn 4

Image

The combo is lined up, I'd be a fool not to take it - Lions, Lions and Swordmasters charge in on the guts. Swordmasters in the East take out their redirecting sabretusk.

Magic is 6 & 3, with The banner producing 1 and 1 for the jewel, resulting in 11 v 6

I start with a 4D6 banishment on the maneaters - I roll high, and he allows it, fearing the combat buffs in the key combat for this game. 5 hits result in 4 wounds - nothing spectacular, but I'll take it.

I then cast a 2D6 speed of light on the white lions, in the hopes that I can reduce the incoming damage should I whiff my attacks. He dispels this with 3, wanting to maintain his ability to hit on 3's with his Slaughtermaster.

I follow that up with a 4D6 Timewarp, which he fails to dispel, and a successful D6 pha's on the lions.

Shooting sees my archers put out a stellar round, forcing a panic test on the maneaters and them failing it.

In combat... well, it's not pretty. 33 white lions attacks and 12 swordmaster attacks absolutely wreck the gut unit, leaving only the characters behind. Much to my bemusement, I forget about the crown of command I wrote into the list, and the BSB sticks around preventing my expected overrun into the bulls and leaving my coven vulnerable next turn.

The spears, expectedly, take a thrashing but pass their -3 break test. At this point my opponent conceeds the match, knowing that there isn't much left on the field to turn the battle.



After Battle Thoughts

I really took what everyone had to say about my tournament performance to heart; I played a defensive game that forced him to come to me. Boy did it pay dividends! There really are a ton of things in the Ogre army that are vulnerable to banishment, so every turn I can delay combat the further ahead I get. It was nice to see them scrambling to get a charge for once instead of me!

I won't go too in depth here, because it's late, but I'd love to hear everyone's feedback. I've got another tournament coming up in a couple weeks, and I'm strongly considering dropping the robes/phoenix in that too.

D

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:52 am 
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Hi Brewmaster!

That game was fantastic! There are so many things I like about it and the way you played:

1. Defensive approach you have already mentioned - I would call it aggressive defense as it put so much pressure on him he just had to run towards your line. Reminds me about fighting gunlines a little too. But the main thing is that your list is flexible, you can attack or defend depending on what you choose.

2. Magic phase supremacy - I could not believe how many power dice you generate! makes me really jealous! :) And with fantastic spells to choose from you always had something cast further improving the capabilities of your units.

3. Hellheart - your opponent too the risk but so did you. It payed off perfectly, hellheart was wasted and firebelly dead. The most important part, however, is that you didn't let him take away the initiative and I like the way you both had guts (pun intended! :)) to take a risk for even better outcome.

4. Graphics - yet again you show how to spice up the report! I really need to do the same, it is so much fun to see those spells in effect, well done!

I wonder how your opponent could have played differently. It seems that by simply moving his entire army up to the center he played into your hands. It made encirclement easier. Also, he committed his sabertusks too early, in my opinion. They were much more needed later on (if he could saved them from shooting) to prevent the combo-charges.

It is clear you are very proficient with Coven of Light now and I am really looking forward to your tournament experience as I predict it will be a great success you definitely deserve.

Thanks a lot for fantastic report and congratulations on the great victory!

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:51 pm 
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What was the IB shooting at first turn when it misfired? If he could have gotten rid of the eagle that would have freed up the the entire flank for him. The blaster would have been a flanking threat to your elites when they went after the IG and the sabretusk would have kept your mages in their units.

From the diagram I'd say he should have put the firebelly straight towards the coven, trying to avoid the charge arc of the swordmasters. That would have gotten him closer, and he would rather take a charge from the spears than the SM.

Also I don't think he used the maneaters very well, with a sabretusk to keep the swordmasters busy and swiftstride he should have been able to clean out both units of archers and then on into either the coven or the main combat.

Basically it seems a bit of dice luck, but mostly familiarity with your respective armies that won the game for you. Well played!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:05 pm 
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When I saw the HE T2 diagram I was nodding and thinking "oh yeah!". Brilliantly executed, you managed to keep him where you wanted him by applying a combination of spells (timewarped lions), movement (aggressive Spears) and tactical decisions (backing your units a couple of inches in T2). Even with his superior movement, your firepower was far greater than his so you can easily achieve this. With Timewarp, this strategy is doubly tough to face as any time it goes off he's left in a very awkward position. Rusty frequently employs such tactics against me, the mobile Treemen means it's easy to move up to where it's uncomfortable, and just keep something there. I believe the Coven is well suited to performing this very same role!

It was good to see you crush OK like this. The magic priorities were good as well!

Last but not least, I love the graphics :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Hey Guys!

Thanks for all of the comments - it definitely felt good to have a successful match finally against the big brutes. I don't think my confidence could have weathered another bad match lol!

@ Swordmaster

Glad you enjoyed it! This was the first game that I made a conscious decision to play defensively, but in an aggressive way; "Aggressive defensive" as you put it. Even with two ironblasters, the clock was ticking, and his only magic defense mechanism required close range, forcing him forward into my waiting elites.

With this current setup, I find that I can typically count on 3-4 additional power dice. I had one turn where I only got 2, which is the lowest possible, and of course there are going to be crazy turns where I get 5 or 6 as well, but they're not too frequent. My spell selection got hurt a bit this game with banishment being rolled for both of my level 1's, but I still had plenty of options.

I think this game really illustrated what all of the Ogre players always try to convey about the hellheart - its random nature. Here he had a perfect opportunity to blow up 600 points worth of wizards, but at the end of the day it's based on a D6 roll which will always produce wildly variable results. I still think it's too good to be on a cheap hero, but I do agree with them that it's not as crazy as many make it out to be.

In terms of what the opponent could do differently - I think that gut unit could have been more aggressive given that it was stubborn, and the other two units could have been used as countercharge mechanisms. With two characters and boatload of guts, I don't think a head on charge would have budged them, even with timewarp. It was the rear charge that really sealed the deal on this one.

@theviking

The IB in the first turn was shooting at my eastern eagle that the tusk failed a charge on. Realistically, the eagle should have lost combat to that sabretusk - the tusk does slightly more wounds usually, and it had a charge as well. Either way, the eagle *should* have been tied up in my next turn, so it really was a stroke of luck that I managed to kill it in one round. Having said that, it was also a bit of luck on his part that he passed not one, but two ld4 tests on his ironblaster; one break test and one to reform to get the rhinox attacks.

Having said that, had the tusk ventured towards my mages, I'd have definitely directed my archer fire at it. With only 2 wounds, they go down pretty easily and are surely a better target than the big blocks.

The Firebelly - hmm, interesting thought. However, this does open up the bulls to a charge from the swordmasters, which is almost certain disaster. He did move his full 12" that turn, I know that for sure.

If the maneaters had charged the archers, there definitely would have been some flee action going on! Having said that, I think you're right. Taking pot shots at the mage probably wasn't the most effective use of that unit that turn.

Luck definitely played into this match - namely the ironblaster misfiring and sparing my eagle, and the hellheart failing to get its range. However, it also swung the other way a couple times too - miscasting in that critical second magic phase was probably at the worst possible time, preventing me from taking out the hellheart when I needed to most. I basically only get one shot at it - I need to be within 24" to use the ring, meaning in the next turn he can be within 12" of my mages. Then rolling the miscast result that damages all of my mages made things extremely dicey for me in the next turn. Would have been a different game had that hellheart rolled a 4+, that's for sure!

Thanks for the comments! Do you play ogres yourself? How would you improve the ogre list, if it were your own?

@ Curu

Thanks for the comments! I know you're busy with all that painting :P

I'm definitely going to play defensively much more - the tournament, and everyone's comments (including your own!) on my matches afterward really showed me that. The elites are fearsome enough that entering that 11" range is terrifying, but at the same time the banishment onslaught creates the imperative to move forward or watch every expensive model vanish.

Part of what I love so much about this list is how quickly it switches from "gunline" mode to "time to saw off some faces" mode. The minute people get too eager, all of a sudden they're facing 2 attack white lions at -1 to hit instead of S7 magic missiles.


D

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Remember that your Eagle gets to stomp a Sabretusk (type warbeast). So while killing at Sabretusk in one round is still above average performance, it isn't grossly above the average.

The problem with the Hellheart is the game can be decided by a single die roll. If he rolls the 4+, you lose at least 2 wizards, and the game outcome probably changes.

I'm a little surprised you nuked the remaining ironblaster on turn 2. I was thinking the Mournfangs were still the best target, although I hadn't realized they had only 4 wounds remaining. The Ironblaster might drop your Archmage, but you could attenuate that with Pha's. The Mournfang autohits could blow straight through your Swordmasters, and with 6 wounds remaining (and +1 T), they might just live to pop the banner and do that.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:59 pm 
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Very nice. Using Timewarp to threaten his whole centre was clever, and that huge combined charge at the end with swords, lions, and lions was amazing! And yes, as Swordmaster said, I was amazed at how many dice you got each turn. I wish I could have that many dice. ;) Banner, channels, Jewel, great! :D

Good win, you're really excellent at using the Coven.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:11 am 
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Brewmaster_D wrote:
However, this does open up the bulls to a charge from the swordmasters, which is almost certain disaster.

If the maneaters had charged the archers, there definitely would have been some flee action going on!
I feel this would have happened if the SM were elsewhere. With swiftstride charging the first unit of archers was almost guaranteed, and redirecting into the second archers was very possible. Then the coven is on a platter, even if the second archers held they would certainly be destroyed and the coven left vulnerable. The more I think about it, the more I think the maneaters and mournfang should have switched places. Then he would have had more wounds front and center to survive banishments, the handguns could have been used to better effect, and the faster cavalry would have gotten closer around the flank.

Brewmaster_D wrote:
Do you play ogres yourself? How would you improve the ogre list, if it were your own?

I do play ogres, they are my first and favorite army. Unfortunately I live in an fantasy deprived area so I play very seldom and haven't had a chance to bring out the fatties since the new book arrived. Generally speaking though, here's my take on the list:
-I fail to see the point of unit champs in OK. They might be occasionally useful, but if you are challenged, are you going to use the unit champ or the tooled up character? I suppose a clever opponent might challenge the character to prevent casualties on his unit, but you still get the overkill CR and ogre units bring the pain anyways against RnF troops, so it's probably going to be a futile guesture.
-I'm not a fan of the maneater setup. They are St5 already and the unit has a massive amount of attacks, so unless they need to take out an entire brett army, I would rather use the points spent on GW for a standard and the flaming banner or gleaming pennant. Then there's the handguns which can't be used if you march, and if you putz along you will never get into combat and make their points back. I view the brace of handguns as a novelty item, useful if you take sniper and poison, but not otherwise. And the stubborn is probably unnessessary for maneaters, units putting out 15 WS4 St5 attacks from the front row don't worry about losing combat. ITP is much more useful in my opinion, as evidenced in this battle. Theoretically I like the scout/ITP or vanguard/swiftstride combos, with xhw and a cheap banner, but I have yet to try either of them in real life.
- The 2nd level on the firebelly is iffy to me, as with the level 4 also using dice you can really only count on fireballs from him. And if he has the hellheart chances are he will be left out to dry at some point in the game. I would probably give him a second HW though, it's cheap and if he gets into combat those flaming attacks could be gold.
- I would put the crown on the slaughtermaster. Put him in the IG you have a Ld9 stubborn anvil that needs no help killing anything it finds. The BSB then goes with the bulls who need some help in CC, and increases their reliability as well.

P.S. Did he ever use the breath weapons? The FB and mournfang were both close enough to do some decent damage at some point in the game.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:03 pm 
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I love the use of timewarp on the lions as a long range deterrent, very clever use of the spell the slow his advance somewhat.

I think your magic usage in the game was excellent and everything payed out quite nicely in that respect. Boxcars on the ironblaster was insane :D

It seems that your small unit of lions did well for you here, and that was a great move punching through his lines. I think he should have placed the bulls slightly further back here and angled the saber tusk so an overrun would take you into their path. With the lions behind his lines he's in all kinds of trouble very early on. I guess these guys are here to stay?

It was a brave move taking the coven out from their bunker but i feel it was the right decision as the hell-heart would've ruined your day. You were lucky that you got both banishment's off as a failed casting would've spelled certain doom for your Archmage, however i think that given the guaranteed 2 extra power dice i think it's a fair gamble. In light of this will the Archmage stay how he is or will you bring back some protection for him?

Finally great game brewmaster very well played =D>

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Hey Everyone!

@ dabber

Good call on the stomp on warbeasts - I tend to forget this, because I associate all non-infantry bases with no stomps.

I also agree about the hellheart - it does have the potential to do all of those things. However, when people talk about it, I find that they make it out to be an absolute; It will force a miscast on your wizards every time, every game. So while on one side of the coin, it can severely effect the game by killing enemy wizards, on the other hand it can go the complete opposite way and accomplish nothing. My main gripe with it is that I feel that the wager the Ogre player has to pay to take it is too low. I think if you want to take a bet on ending an opponent's magic phase in one turn, and potentially killing his wizards, you should need a lord level character to even play that game. So essentially I think it's 1 point undercosted :P

In that last turn, the swordmasters were still at full strength going in to that fight, and he had 8 wounds already done to the unit - leaving him with 4 wounds, not 6, in the unit. So it's still risky - full attacks on that frontage from the swordmasters averages out to around 4 wounds - but taking a shot on my archmage from the ironblaster had the potential of surrendering even more points in addition to drastically reducing my magic output. My theory was that if he did manage to weather the swordmaster attacks and blast the unit with the breath weapon and break them, he should only have a wound or two left on the unit and I would have a good opportunity to banish/shem's them in the following magic phase. Had they had 6 wounds left, this might have been a much harder choice.

@ Ethilmar

Thank you kindly, sir! I definitely feel like I'm getting close to the sweet spot with this list. I just wish I could somehow translate the confidence I feel at 2500 to 2200!

The S7 banishment and the additional power dice per magic phase really does push the magic phase from "pretty good" to "exceptional", so the loss of the last mage at 2200 really hurts.

@ theviking

I definitely think that the Maneaters would have been better suited on the Western flank, like you say. However, that does make the Mournfangs extremely vulnerable to panic, with them being outside the leadership bubble and lacking a reroll. Nothing would be worse than seeing a 300+ point unit of heavy cavalry flee off the table!

With regards to charging the archers - I would have fled with both, as a failed charge would almost certainly leave those mournfangs with a flank exposed to my swordmasters. Worth the risk of losing 1 of my level 1's to panic (since the Ring mage had the Gem of Courage still, he probably wasn't going anywhere)

Unit Champs - When the units have only two or three ranks, I really do see some benefit to keeping those combat characters churning out wounds on rank and file. Personally, with my spears, for example, my goal is going to be to mitigate as much damage as possible to pin the unit in place in order to open up flank opportunities for my elites. With that in mind, a challenge will mean you need to waste a character's attacks on one model, giving me a better chance at steadfast for a turn. Having said that, the difference for ogres is more negligible, since their champions have 4 attacks as well :P

Maneater Setup - Flaming banner is a good idea, the list will for sure struggle versus regen in its current state. I also think immune to psychology (given how this game turned out :P) is important if they're being given flanking duties.

Firebelly - I find that gut magic leaves much to be desired in the first couple turns of the game. Two levels at least gives the list (usually) two spells to threaten with, making dispel priorities more difficult. Having said that - with the hellheart he's definitely going to be in harm's way at some point, so I'm a bit torn on this one.

What would you give up on the Slaughtermaster to get the Crown? I wouldn't want him too vulnerable, since there are some things out there that could potentially take him out in one round of combat (like White Lions or swordmasters). Do you have any favourite Slaughtermaster builds?

Breath Weapons - No, he was saving the Mournfang one to hopefully win that combat, and the firebelly he outright forgot on the turn he moved out of the unit.


The 2200 point saga

With my next tournament mere weeks away, my attention is going back to how I can translate the success I have at 2500 points to a 2200 point game.

Some truths about my list that have become clear to me:

- The list works best played defensive. There's lots of room for aggression within that constraint, but the gist of it is the more turns for banishing, the better off I usually am. There isn't much in terms of gunlines that can truly match the power of banishment at S7, provided there's good targets to shoot at.

- The more elites I can comfortably fit in the list, the better off I am - At the last tournament, one mistake could often lead to a whole unit of elites getting steamrolled, leaving me with dangerously few bodies on the field.

- There is a huge difference between S6 and S7 banishment. Both in terms of the spell itself, and the additional arcane slot.

So with these points in mind, I've attempted two revisions to my 2200 point list:

List A

Archmage, Level 4 Jewel of the Dusk, Lore of Light
Mage, Level 2, Seerstaff (Pha's, Banishment)
Mage, Ring of Corin (Lore of Light)
Mage, Anullian Crystal (Lore of Light)

30 x Spearmen, Full Command
10 x Archers, Standard, Musician, Standard of Discipline
10 x Archers, Musician

15 x White Lions, Standard, Musician, Banner of Sorcery
10 x White Lions
12 x Swordmasters, Standard, Gleaming Pennant
12 x Swordmasters, Champion, Gem of Courage

2 x Great Eagles

So at 2200, I have to essentially pick between two things - the full coven, or more bodies/mechanisms to mitigate panic etc. This version of the list keeps my coven at full strength, but in return I have to give up a couple tools: the Standard of Balance and the Dragonhorn.

I expect that in this list, the swordmasters will be the units that operate outside of the leadership bubble, with the white lions staying close to the archmage for leadership 10.

Having said that, I think that S7 banishments and D3+1 power dice per phase will be incredibly influential at 2200 points.

List B

Archmage, Level 4, Ring of Corin, Ironcurse Icon (Lore of Light)
Mage, Level 2, Seerstaff (Pha's, Banishment)
Mage, Anullian Crystal (Lore of Light)

30 x Spearmen, Full Command
10 x Archers, Standard, Musician, Standard of Discipline
10 x Archers, Musician

16 x White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Sorcery, Dragonhorn
12 x Swordmasters, Standard, Gleaming Pennant
14 x Swordmasters, Standard, Standard of Balance
10 x White Lions

2 x Great Eagles

I increase the number of elites on the field by three, and get all of the psychology protection mechanisms back into place. This costs me the last mage, however, so banishment drops to S6 and I lose the additional power dice per phase and opportunity to channel. This army will definitely stick around with a much higher degree of certainty, but the drop in S on banishment means that many targets that previously take 1 cast of the spell to eliminate now take two.

Decisions, Decisions

D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:11 pm 
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@ Caradryal - Haha, beat me to it!

Check out my two new 2200 point lists, and I think it will answer a couple of your questions regarding what is staying and going in the list.

I agree with you about the bulls, however once again, this stalls his advance for another turn. I'd have likely just left the Lions where they were, if not backed them up a bit and taken my free round of attempting to take out the hellheart/banishing his expensive troops.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:29 pm 
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I can see why your having trouble deciding, i was looking at them for a good 20 mins myself playing out situations.

I'm leaning towards the second list i think. The main reason is that you want your army to stick around and those items have shown their worth on several occasions thus far. The S7 banishment and extra dice is nice but the S6 is still terrifying for most big nasties out there.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:22 am 
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Do you need to give up anything to move the crown the the slaughtermaster? As the list is written above he has the points available.

As for a favorite build I think fencers blades/glittering scales is about as good as it gets for a generic slaughtermaster, with either the crown or the greedy fist. Since I can't usually have both a tyrant and a lord level caster, and ogres being naturally good at combat, it just seems logical to double up the caster as the fighty general. I have also pondered gruts sickle, the potential to be at +7 casting is intriguing. I think that is more of a big game item though, where you can have hordes and two lvl 4's.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:23 pm 
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Hey there Brewmaster.

First of, sorry for the long post. I just wanted you to see that others take inspiration in your blog and that the list you are using is a goodie :wink:

I have been looking at your blog the last couple of weeks and figured I would give the Coven a try at a six game local tournament. I only got one practise game with the list, so quite a new experience for me, as the last year or so I have tended to play with a Star Dragon. My coven list was quite simulare to your latest edition, with som tweeks here and there.

So without anymore fuss. The tournament went quite well. It was an uncomped tournament (except Teclis, Kairos and folding foretress was banned) and 14 players, both skilled players and those not so experienced, attended. The lists were mostly as hard as it gets. Anyways I placed second :)

Game 1
I faced an quite inexperienced Dark Elf player who had a list cosisting of a hydra and a Knight buss with BSB. I Wiped his entire army without conceding a single victory point. Banishment wiped out the cold ones, his mages, and the last unit of crossbowmen. Shems took the bolt thrower. 20-0

Game 2
This was against the winner, who played an untraditionale Skaven list (and also have a masters degree in algebra meaning hes got quite the handle of math hammer), and proved to quite an interesting fight. My Flaming unit of 12 White Lions killed a doomwheel, his slave horde and the Hell Pit and secured my one flank. Magic was Great and took out a Vermin Lord, dealed 4 wounds to the Furnace, and secured that my Elites were able to take out his combat blocks. Overall magic won me the game! 18-2

Game 3
Again I face our dark cousins, only this time the list is as hard as you can imagine and the player is one of the best in our envirement. The whole game was very intense and the combination of some weird rolling, some good magic from both sides and a last minute kill from his dread loard made the score 9-11 in his favour. This game banishment wasnt that useful and that was almost a relief as I could augment my units so much!

Game 4
This might have been the most boaring game ever that still was a nailbiter! The scenario nerfed magic quite a bit an as I faced a magic heavy Beastman army it influenced the game in a big way. Magic was close to nothing, with a Timewarp on a unit of SM causing a SM-fever in Beastmen blocks on the march, as the highlight. The victory point score talks for itself, 430-312 (in my favour) and 10-10.

Game 5
This was the matchup I was hoping for the most. I Chaos Dwarf list overflooded with good Banishment targets. The best ting was that the scenario boosted magic! Banishment record: Kadaai Destroyer, his special caracters mount and a Quake mortar. If you count the points for the special caracter who died because the lack of his mout thats about 1000 points. Also I got a boosted Pha's throu two times witch resulted in him failing 6 out of 8 4+ rolls on his warmachines fiering at my elites and coven bunkers. gamepoints: 18-2.

Game 6
The dreaded last game. I was very tired at this point. Since I felt I had a chance at winning the tournament I got a mental down when opponents were drawn. A ogre list containing: lvl 4 death mage using the fist thing, the hellheart, two ironblasters and sniping poison maneaters. A combination of some dead mages, to many miscasts, a couple of major mistakes from me and three failed fear/terror tests at crucial points (the WL champ with dragonhorn got Spirit leached or something) made the whole game almost impossible to turn around from turn 2. It was just a question of how many points he would get... 0-20.

So to conclude I really enjoyed playing the Coven. I have never before had such an reliable magic phase, and many of my opponents were thrown of guard by the amount of spells I could get throu. As for the casting strategies, I didnt find it very hard to get the right spells throu. With the big amount of possible threats my opponents often got paranoid and threw to many dice at dispelling or to few (to save dice for thos damn other spells).

There is one major change I would maybe add to the list that I were using and your current one. I sometimes felt the need for that really big unit of elites to scare of my opponent. I have played quite a few games with 30 WL horde formation and found them great! Mainly because they disturb the opponents approach to your army. No units like to face 30 WL and that will be even more so when augments from lore of life come into play. Of course there ar positives and negatives with such a change, but I think that it would have helped me. Giving them the Banner of Balance to make sure they dont run, and giving one SM unit a more defensive role with the BoS could work well.

Anyways, thanks for reading.
Cheers, Odin


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Vindicated Strategist
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Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:21 am
Posts: 4929
Location: Oslo, Norway
(Odin is a local player around where I play and the DE player he played in Round 3 is Dark Reaper)

Brewmaster - I would go for the second list (B) because Banishment doesn't necessarily need to kill stuff - just render it close to dead. For this price, you get way more reliability, which I consider crucial to High Elves.

As for Odinki's experience - I'm glad to see more players favouring the Coven! It indeed appears to be a viable way to play our beloved Elves, placing 2nd in an uncomped tournament is really impressive, especially considering that you had next to no practice games. A pity about the last game, Ogres are just so powerful against High Elves when they can take all their toys. What made you abandon the Star Dragon list by the way?

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Retired from Warhammer. Playing Warmachine & Hordes (Cygnar).

Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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