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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:40 pm 
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@rusty - by pushing against the Crypt Horrors I have frontage issues. Besides he can back off, chaff me out and combo-charge at will. The house and the lake prevent me from being able to push hard. If I got after the Ghouls, he`ll wheel around and hit Lions in the flank with the crypt horrors, which is disastrous. Lions are not as strong as they used to be, doubly so with the relatively small unit. Also, by pushing against Ghouls the Helms cannot do anything (they`ll be left without support vs his bunker) and my Loremaster doesn`t get his dangerous units in front arc to harass with magic missiles etc.

Crypt Horrors are very resilient with T5 5+ regen. With poison attacks and stomps they can also reduce Lions a lot. It`s just a risky play that won`t pay off against a good general, the inherent nature of an M5 list. With a bus I could`ve simply marched 18" up in his face T1.

The Terrorgheist was a desperate play. I think he failed to realize how dangerous the PG are and tried his best to get back in the game. Too bad his bunker didn`t fall for my trap as well ;)

@John Rainbow - The building was treated as impassable. This has become the new standard for ETC after a recent vote, after they failed to land on a set of rules agreed on by the majority. Buildings have some of the poorest written rules in all of Warhammer, which is why the folding fortress is frequently banned. It`s just stupid to be able to put a unit in a piece of terrain and basically make it impossible for an enemy to ever kill it.

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:12 pm 
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Looking good. List is pretty solid.

Not sold on the second unit of 5 silver helms as not sure what they bring to the list

Also no musician in the reavers for them to rally better? Isnt it you can only move when you choose to flee if you have a musician?

Also why heavens? Woulda thought High/Life/Beasts woulda been a better lore with the knight bus

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 7:57 pm 
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You`re a bit late to the list party, unfortunately ;) Prior to the tournament I had a little over a dozen test games where I tuned it. I knew however before entering that it was highly unlikely to be a top placing list, it simply lacks the pushing power and flexibility needed to go all the way. I will give a thorough review when I`m done with all tournament reports :) As for Heavens, it`s simply for double casts of Iceshard and because I need a backup mage. The Loremaster has been casting 90% of my spells, but being able to force through Iceshard with double casts was worth its weight in gold on many occasions.

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 8:27 pm 
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My second game of this weekend`s tournament, this time I drew Daemons of Chaos!

.::. Battle Report - SM #2 vs Daemons of Chaos (ETC comp) .::.

My list:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon = 268
Loremaster of Hoeth, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Dragon Armour, Shield, Lance = 163
Heavens Mage, Dispel Scroll = 110
Characters = 871

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

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

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2397

His list:

Bloodthirster. 1 Greater gift , 2 Lesser gifts 500p
Herald of Tzeentch, level 2 (Metal) 125p
31 Plaugebearers of Nurgle 448p
-Full command,banner of eternal flame
10 Pink Horrors Full command, gleaming pennant 160p
4 Beasts of Nurgle 240p
3 Beasts of Nurgle 180p
5 Chaos Furies mark of Khorne 70p
5 Chaos Furies 60p
1 Skull canon of Khorne 135p
4 Plague Drones, Plague Proboscis 240p
4 Plague Drones, Plague Proboscis 240p
2398p

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

I hate playing Daemons. I really do. It is so incredibly hard to get points from them, in my experience. While I can understand their frustration with regards to BOTWD, I certainly don`t think it`s a good matchup for me. Not with this list in a tournament setting, anyway.

Ideally I wanted to isolate his elements and stack up huge combat resolution. With a bit of luck I could keep his Thirster away and perhaps even keep the PG/SH alive at the end. The Loremaster is quite strong here and the absence of a scroll means that I don`t have to push my luck early on to land the buffs I need mid-game.

Deployment was fine and he had a huge footprint. I had Lions centrally with a refused flank. He rolled no-AS breath weapon and NO-as + ASF for his BT, I took Iceshard for my L1.

Image

With +1, I went first again :)

// HE T1 //

I moved up to within 24" of some important units and start off with a huge cast of boosted Shem`s on a unit of flies. I deal quite a few wounds to them. Shooting targets his Cannon with 2 single bolts but one misses, the other fails to wound.

// DoC T1 //

BT remains hidden, he moves up. Magic is box cars and reign of chaos means he gets to spawn a unit of Bloodletters anywhere on the table. Great. Adding insult he injury, he gets no less than 15 which aren`t even worth any VPs. He spawns them next to my RBTs. His magic does nothing (this was pretty much the same all game) and his Skullcannon blows itself up!

Image

// HE T2 //

I reposition my entire battle line to commit to his Western flank. Magic sees me Spirit Leech his L2 Tzeentch Herald to death and take care of a couple of furies. RBTs try for furies as well, 1 is left alive.

Image

// DoC T2 //

Furies block Lions, Letters charge RBT, West moves up, BT comes out.

Image

// HE T3 //

My Reavers are unfortunately too far away to perform their duty properly so this is the make-or-break-it turn for me. I decide to commit fully despite awkward positions as my RBTs are being torn down and the BT is approaching. The Silver Helms + PG charge Bloodletters and Lions charge the blocking furies. Last Reavers move behind Lions to either taunt beasts to waste their move, or be useful T4.

Magic sees me buff PG. Shooting kills the last fury. In combat I murder the Letters to a man and reform, Silver Helms behind the hill with PG making ready for impact.

Image

// DoC T3 //

My lack of movement with the Reavers becomes painfully clear as he sets up a double-combat for his Beasts. I just have to hope that wyssan`s PG are strong enough. This time however his magic did something as lots of Silver Helms bit the dust, disabling his Flies from overrunning into them. In combat the PG luckily did what they had to do, killed some Plaguebearers and held vs Beasts. Some annoying winds meant he had an armywide 4++, a real pain for me.

Image

// HE T4 //

The WL + characters charge in. Magic sees me buff and debuff as much as I can. TOTS proves to be very valuable, I win HUGE and deal a number of wounds to him but it`s not quite as much as I`d hoped as he rolls low for breaktests.

Image

// DoC T4 //

BT charges into the fray. Flies eat Silver Helms. In combat he wins but I`m steadfast. Most annoyingly I have my BSB corner-to-corner with a Plaguebearer, killing one more would`ve allowed me to reform and re-charge into the combat with a lot more strength (as it were only the BSB could attack from the WL). Again he got 4++ from winds.

Image

// HE T5 //

No more moves, pretty much. Buffs and debuffs again. In combat the WL are finally freed and luckily for me, the PG are still alive and hold! I reform to face him.

Image

// DoC T5 //

The PG are finally done for. Unfortunately I couldn`t finish the Plaguebearers, who had 2 left. I had a charge into a Beast with an overrun into the BT, which was my last chance for a comeback in this game...

Image

So I charge the Beast. He challenges, I decline. Lions prove strong however and kill it, and I JUST roll the 3+ needed to reach the BT (my heart literally skipped a beat as I saw a 1 and a 2 before we measured it all up).

In the final turn of the game the BT managed a single wound through BOTWD. In return, the Lions only managed 1. He tested and rolled an `8`, enough to pop him and secure me 600VP! This put me just above 400vp ahead, a 12-8 victory to the High Elves!

// Evaluation //

What a tense game! Without a doubt my favourite of the tournament, a really sporting opponent who was loads of fun to play against. Despite dropping his BT from the table onto the floor and having it break apart in many pieces and eventually losing the game to an LD test, he was nice and in a good mood throughout. We had lots of rules discussions of which most were ruled in my favour, yet there was never a heated argument between us.

I think there are many mistakes to be addressed here. Again I fail to plan properly ahead with the Reavers, their move was barely enough to block at all as it were. The 15 Bloodletters popping up however did throw a huge spanner in the works for me, I had really not anticipated it. I`ll probably return to this game in more detail later, for now I just want to get the rest of the reports up ;)

My opponent ended up placing 43/102

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:06 am 
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Persistance paid off Curu!

That's the thing about Daemons, they are so random. I had one game where Reign of Chaos really hurt the guy and another where it murdered me. World Dragon is obviously great against them but they are so strong overall. Did comp prevent a second Skullcannon?

I guess the 'letters turning up stops your RBT being able to counter the 'thirster properly? Rot Flies are an absolute sod in my experience. Very hard to shoot, this is where the versatility of the Loremaster shines, he was a real star for you in this game. Sniping out that Herald looked big, lack of scroll does hurt them sometimes.

The PG holding on looked key here.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:08 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Persistance paid off Curu!

That's the thing about Daemons, they are so random. I had one game where Reign of Chaos really hurt the guy and another where it murdered me. World Dragon is obviously great against them but they are so strong overall. Did comp prevent a second Skullcannon?

I guess the 'letters turning up stops your RBT being able to counter the 'thirster properly? Rot Flies are an absolute sod in my experience. Very hard to shoot, this is where the versatility of the Loremaster shines, he was a real star for you in this game. Sniping out that Herald looked big, lack of scroll does hurt them sometimes.

The PG holding on looked key here.


Every game I have played vs Daemons Reign of Chaos has been worse for me than for him. I know that on average it`s favouring Daemons as well, but of course some times it will downright lose DoC a game.

Letters turning up was a huge blow to my plan. They had to be dealt with but more annoyingly, they got to box in my Helms, effectively rendering them useless, as well as taking out the RBT.

PG were the stars throughout the tournament. While WL are very reliable with the BOTWD, the PG are just so strong and with the Loremaster backup, they can take on anything.

DoC comp:

ETC DoC restrictions wrote:
Daemons of Chaos

• Beast of Nurgle, max 7 models in total and 4 models per unit
• 4 or more Beast of Nurgle models in the army/Skull Cannon (max 1)/1st Nurgle Herald/Great Unclean One with Lore of Death, max 2

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:08 am 
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For my third game I drew a very wacky Skaven list. See below:

.::. Battle Report - SM #3 vs Skaven (ETC comp) .::.

My list:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon = 268
Loremaster of Hoeth, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Dragon Armour, Shield, Lance = 163
Heavens Mage, Dispel Scroll = 110
Characters = 871

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

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

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2397

His list:

Grey Seer with 5++, power scroll
BSB, MR3
Engineer with Hex Scroll
60 Slaves
60 Slaves
60 Clanrats
60 Clanrats
60 Giant Rats
60 Giant Rats
60 Giant Rats
60 Stormvermin

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

Yes, that`s nearly 500 models. How on earth am I supposed to grind down 500 models? I quickly realized that this is impossible, what I needed to do here was to force him to take as many tests as possible and try my best to target his leadership. I was expecting the Grey Seer + BSB to hang back, so Spirit Leech would be my best bet here as Strength in Numbers doesn`t help. The BSB was the primary target as, even with MR3, he is still 3 points below me prior to adding a D6 to our respective LD and that is very, very dangerous on 2W.

I deployed to have WL boxed in by PG and SH. This is a terrible matchup for them where they will simply drown. Hence I needed to used them cautiously to avoid giving away lots of points. Deployment was fine, there was a huge impassable in the middle which I was hoping I could use to bottleneck and double-flee no end.

For spells he got Scorch, Deathfrenzy, 13th, Warp Lightning and Crack`s Call. I took Iceshard. With +1 for finishing deployment first, I managed first turn yet again!

// HE T1 //

I march stuff up, a little cautious with the cavalry to see what he`ll do. Magic starts off with an IF Spirit Leech on his BSB! He rolls a 4, I roll a 1... The worst part however is that I lose all my magic levels with the Loremaster! Not only do I have to grind 500 wounds, I have to do so without magic and I have no way to deal with his LD. Shooting throughout this game was pretty much the least important jobs the RBTs have ever had: they killed a few but it was never even close to being significant.

Image

// SK T1 //

He moves up and his Grey Seer + BSB + Stormvermin take up the rear position. Already the huge impassable in the middle is giving him problems.

Image

// HE T2 //

Well I have to hope that I can somehow grind my way through and score points for the characters. I move up a lot with Lions being cautious.

Image

// SK T2 //

He charges Helms with Slaves rather than having me charge him, and PG is charged by Giant Rats. Let the grind begin! Magic sees Scorch land (this was pretty much what he did in every phase, I held back dice for death frenzy) on Helms. I mostly saved them but they were slowly but surely being reduced.

He passes both break tests.

Image

// HE T3 //

Cavalry move around my rear to protect against the Clanrats + Giant Rats moving around the impassable. It is very tight so a unit of Slaves is essentially boxed in and will never reach me. On the East flank he was heavily slowed down by a lake, he tried to charge the small Helms but I fled and he took a lot of time to get out of here.

The grind continues and he keeps passing break tests, despite being "only" LD8 for the ones vs PG.

Image

// SK T3 //

He moves up and around as much as he can. Magic scorch again. Grind goes on, he holds.

Image

// HE T4 //

I charge WL into PG combat to help them. Magic sees me get off Iceshard, but he hexes me. It`s a risky play since I lose the scroll for his next turn, but -1LD can be crucial as well. It pays off however as the giant rats break. Since Lions have more ranks than PG they run from them, PG pursue and flank Clanrats while WL reform. Cav blocks Western advance.

Image

// SK T4 //

Double-flee keeps West safe (he failed both redirects). Magic sees powerscroll 13th target my PG, but I am lucky as I manage to dispel without a bonus. In combat the Rats break and PG pursue, but fail to catch.

Image

// HE T5 //

All cav rally and I set up double-flees again. WL charge fleeing Giant Rats off the table (17" charge but I just needed them to keep fleeing). PG charge both fleeing units, forcing one off the table. Magic doesn`t bring me back my mage. Grind goes on and I`m spotting an opportunity for a big kill here as his Grey Seer is exposed. Just one more round.

Image

// SK T5 //

He moves Slaves to block my Silver Helms` direct path to the Stormvermin. Double-flee keeps the West safe yet again. Magic scorch => a Helm dies. In combat the Silver Helms finally kill the Slaves! I reform them 2-wide so they can easily charge past the Slaves and into the Stormvermin with juicy points.

Image

Silver Helms charge Stormvermin. I kill Grey Seer + BSB. He holds. I made a mistake with my Lions so in his T6 they were flanked and broken (!) by Slaves. Fortunately he failed to catch me. The Stormvermin kept holding on steadfast throughout the game. My cavalry kept the West safe while the PG finally broke the Clanrats and ran them down.

Counting up victory points I was 1176 ahead, 25 points (a banner bonus) away from the next step. I made a big mistake with the Lions however and was lucky not to have the 13th go through, so overall I was happy with a 15-5 victory to the High Elves!

// Evaluation //

What a tough list to face. While he doesn`t have a lot that scares me in terms of damage, his static is dangerous and the sheer amount of 400-500 wounds is insane. Losing my magic so early on was a huge blow and at this point I decided to just dive in and hope for the best. Luckily it paid off and the T6 charge on the Stormvermin secured a comfortable win. If I had played the Lions correctly as well I would probably have gotten away with an even bigger win, oh well.

With a little more juicy items and perhaps one block less, I think this Skaven list can be truly nasty. I was surprised that my opponent didn`t use Stormvermin as a forward combat unit, with Death Frenzy it`s extremely hard for me to face them.

Day 1 was over and I was sitting at a 42/18 split. Considering the list and my matchups, I was happy with this but it was painfully obvious that I would need a good matchup in game 4 and/or game 5 to score big points as I wasn`t expecting to go 15-5 in both of my last games (72 points would be a respectable finish in my opinion).

My opponent ended up placing 29/102

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:53 am 
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There was a game at my last (one-day) event where a guy who is top 3 in England lost his GUO and a unit of 6 Beasts in one turn for no good reason. His opponent was strong enough that that was game and tournament over. That said I agree that on the whole the randomness favours the Daemons. I can see why the comp hit such Beast units, they are so hard to kill. Losing one of the cannon doesn't seem huge against your list but it should be against others.

Incidentally Curu, are Norwegian and Swedish close enough that you guys can understand each other?

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 10:40 am 
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Exactly. Bearing in mind that it can be even more devastating for an opponent, that says a lot.

Beasts are, among with Warlocks, Skullcannons and Ironblasters (and possibly a few others) the most retarded units in this game. As for his Cannon blowing itself up, that was just very lucky for me. If nothing else, it`s easy points ;)

Norwegians and Swedes can understand eachother well enough. Depending on where you`re from, what accent you have etc it could be as easy as speaking with another Norwegian. I don`t think anyone spoke English at the tables during the tournament despite 20-25 Norwegians from all over the country participating.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:03 am 
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Interesting games!

Would you mind explaining how the triple flee works? Presumably Skaven1 charges Reavers1 which flees through R2, S1 redirects into R2 who flee through R1 so failed charge. S2 now charges what? Two fleeing reavers to keep them fleeing? At what point did the helms get into this mix?

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:09 am 
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He failed to redirect ;) Thus the units are stranded. I see now that he failed with both actually, so it was "only" a double-flee. I`ll edit it :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:10 am 
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My 4th game saw me draw a friend from my local club, whom I had faced 3 times prior to the tournament. The most relaxing game of the tournament, it was early morning the last day, we knew the lists well and could just dive into the game.

.::. Battle Report - SM #4 vs Empire (ETC comp) .::.

My list:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon = 268
Loremaster of Hoeth, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Dragon Armour, Shield, Lance = 163
Heavens Mage, Dispel Scroll = 110
Characters = 871

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

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

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2397

His list:

213 pts Arch Lector, General, Warhorse, Barding, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield,
Talisman of Preservation, Crown of Command.
245 pts Battle Wizard Lord, Level 4, Heaven, Scepter of Stability, Talisman of Endurance.
90 pts BattleWizard, Level 1, Heaven, Dispel Scroll
97 pts Captain of the Empire, Warhorse, Barding, Full Plate Armour,Warrior Bane,
Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem.
180 pts Captain of the Empire, BSB, Pegasus, Lance, Full Plate Armour, Shield,
Dragonhelm, Dawnstone.
395 pts 14 Inner Circle Knights, FCG, Standard of Discipline.
140 pts 20 Archers.
70 pts 10 Archers (detachment).
242 pts 4 Demigryph Knights, Musician.
358 pts 6 Demigryph Knights, Musician.
250 pts Steam Tank
120 pts Great Cannon

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

This is another classic example of a game where I have to bide my time and react to his moves. While the Loremaster and RBTs present a significant threat to him, he dictates the pace of the game with his big blocks and the STank. I anchored with my PG towards the refused flank in this game since they can hold the small demis fairly well. The Lions were centrally for flexibility with the cavalry going towards the table edge, opposite his big Demis.

Again I managed to get really good positions for the RBTs, with one having a flank shot at his BSB T1. Magic saw him get Convergence, Iceshard x2, Comet and Chain Lightning. I rolled Chain and swapped for Iceshard.

Image

Despite his +1, I managed to grab first turn (which I had done in the 3 previous games as well!).

// HE T1 //

PG move on top of the hill to counter any hyper-aggressive moves. Magic - I think I drew the scroll already here with a huge cast of Spirit Leech on his BSB. Searing Doom was stopped. Shooting saw the flank-shot miss (would`ve been a great start to kill the BSB!), but the other 2 combined to kill a Demi.

Image

// EMP T1 //

Small demis move up, rest are cautious. Lone captain moves to intercept small Helms who were heading for the Cannon. Magic saw me let double Iceshard through on the bus, hoping to stop comet. He got IF. Shooting killed a single Helm from the small unit, the Stank failed to wound me (he had also misfired, losing 2W on this).

Image

// HE T2 //

The small Helms tried a 20" charge on his Cannon but failed. Reavers moved to block stank. Rest shuffled. Comet came down, killing some Helms, wounding RBT once, killing blocking Reavers and putting 3W on the STank. I proceeded to IF Searing Doom boosted on the STank, killing it off. Shooting took a wound or two off of Demis.

Image

// EMP T2 //

Small Demis charge PG. Magic sees me scroll his attempt at helping Demis, saving dice for Comet. I roll abysmally low however and again it goes through. Captain tried to charge Helms but didn`t have the move he needed. Shooting was insignificant. In combat the PG struck true and I was lucky with some poor armour saves as 2 demis died before hitting back. I won, but he barely held.

Image

// HE T3 //

I needed to get my cavalry out of the comet-zone. The best way to do this, I figured, was to flank the Demis with the PG. This would allow me an overrun and, in case charges would threaten me, I could keep running and he`d expose his cavalry to PG + WL combo-charge. I failed the required 8+ however and stood directly on top of the comet with my Prince. I was in trouble. Small Helms charged the Captain.

Magic saw me aid the PG as best as I could. I think the end result was Wyssan`s only.

Shooting again did very little I believe as RBTs missed.

In combat the PG won again, but this time he was in range of BSB as well as General and held easily. The Helms tied the captain, winning by musician. He held.

Image

// EMP T3 //

This is where I was fearing he`d press home the advantage and isolate me. However he was overly afraid of comet so instead he shuffled (!) sideways, pretty much creating a huge opportunity for me. Magic saw me let Convergence through on the Demis with PG, more importantly though the Comet did not come down!! A simple 4+ here could potentially have ruined my day.

Combat saw the PG finally break the Demis, creating the opening I wanted...

Image

// HE T4 //

PG charge big Demis. Bus charge big Demis. Both units make it (4+ and 8+ needed). Reavers move to block IC Knights. Magic sees me land a number of spells. In combat, the Wyssan`s PG + bus deal 8 (!!) wounds before he strikes back and he fails to deal significant damage to me. He needs snake eyes, doesn`t get it. I run him down and overrun into Wizards` bunker behind with both units. Captain beats Silver Helms and catches them.

Image

// EMP T4 //

IC Knights charge Reavers. Captain runs towards RBT. With the overrun, I have to close the door which gives him a potential overrun into Lions. In combat I kill almost all the Archers + 2 Wizards, but unfortunately he holds on stubborn (skirmishers in woods). Adding insult to injury, the Archers wound Silver Helms twice. I roll snake eyes and thus, I lose LoS!

Image

// HE T5 //

I finish the Arcers and reform to help the WL if need be. Magic sees me get Wyssan`s off. WL with S7 hack lots of Knights. I target the Lector as much as I can, 1W left. He holds on stubborn. RBTs killed the lone captain.

Image

// EMP T5 //

Cannon targets Prince, hits, wounds, rolls a `4` and I lose nearly 400VP. WL break Knights after Lector dies.

Image

Cavalry charge his Knights and catch them. Magic sees him dispel Iceshard on the first cast, I get the second through. In his last turn he fails to roll the 4+ needed (BSB no longer had Crown, so good for me!) and the game is over.

Counting up, I`m a massive ~1650 points ahead, a 18-2 victory to the High Elves!

// Evaluation //

This is the first game I`ve been in trouble vs Empire. When he could`ve pushed his advantage and isolated me, he was too afraid of the comet. Had it come down, I might`ve been prevented from doing what I did as well, as 2D6+2 S6 hits is a lot of damage. I was lucky to get the opening I did but I really did capitalize on it. Losing the Prince cost me a point or two, but in the end 18-2 is a very solid result against this list.

After the 4th game I had a 60/20 split and was in second place. Last game coming up soon :)

My opponent ended up placing 40/102

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 12:41 pm 
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Going into my last game I was 10 points behind the leader, who I got to face. We were roughly 5-6 people hovering around 60 battle points after 4 games, whereas Kaj (my opponent for this game) had an impressive 70 with a score of 20-0, 14-6, 16-4, 20-0. He also had a huge VP advantage, so in reality my only chance at winning the tournament would be to win this game 16-4 or better.

.::. Battle Report - SM #5 vs Dark Elves (ETC comp) .::.

My list:

Prince on Barded Steed, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon = 268
Loremaster of Hoeth, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 330
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Dragon Armour, Shield, Lance = 163
Heavens Mage, Dispel Scroll = 110
Characters = 871

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

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

3 RBT = 210
Rare = 210

Army Total = 2397

His list:

Dreadlord, Dark steed, heavy armour, seadragon cloak, shield, Giant blade, Dawnstone, The
other tricksters shard - 277
Supreme Sorceress, lvl 4, Death, Ring of hotek, Dispel scroll - 295
Master, Pegasus, BSB, heavy armour, seadragon cloak, lance, Charmed shield, Talisman of
preservation - 211
Master, Pegasus, seadragon cloak, shield, lance, Armour of destiny - 184
Master, Pegasus, heavy armour, seadragon cloak, shield, lance, Cloak of twilight - 188
5 Dark Riders, X-bows, shields - 100
10 Dark Riders, X-bows, shields - 200
25 Darkshards, FC, Banner of eternal flame - 340
5 Harpies - 75
Bolt thrower - 70
Bolt thrower - 70
Bolt thrower - 70
Bolt thrower - 70
5Warlocks - 125
5Warlocks - 125
Totalt: 2400

// Pre-battle thoughts and deployment //

Upon realizing that his list has 80 shots + 4 RBTs in addition to 3 casters of which 2 have Doombolt + Soulblight, I quickly dismissed going for the win here. If I push, I will be surrounded, choked and shot to death. My one chance at a decent result is if he over-commits or otherwise make a mistake. I would have to harass him with magic + RBTs as much as possible and hope for some good rolls for Spirit Leech, Searing Doom and single bolts. So, from the get-go I gave up going for the win as, barring a T1 Cascade etc on his part, it simply isn`t possible. Unfortunately I had not met such a Dark Elf list in my practice games (only the Witchstar which I`ve faced twice: once with HE and once with CD) so I wasn`t sure how to deploy.

My initial thoughts was to split up and present semi-juicy targets for him, hoping for a turn or two of firing upon his advance. Apart from this I would have to brace myself and pray he couldn`t shoot down everything. Characters going with Lions was pretty much a given because of his Death snipes. The question was, how much could I keep alive?

I ended up with RBTs away from my main forces as I couldn`t have them blocking my LoS: while I had to play defensively I couldn`t risk giving him an opening either as his fighters are really strong and I need my space behind the hill I got.

Spells saw him roll a triple, giving him great flexibility. He picked all the snipes though (a mistake in my opinion relative to 3 casts of Soulblight) + D&D. I rolled something useless and swapped for Iceshard.

Image

With his +1 from finishing deployment first, he got first turn (we had equally many drops so this was as close as it could get). This is truly terrible in this matchup as getting an extra turn of shooting is so extremely important.

// DE T1 //

Flyers advanced on their own. Fast cav cautious. Magic contained. Shooting killed a unit of Reavers and annoyingly, panicked a nearby RBT despite BSB re-roll.

Image

// HE T1 //

Silver Helms wheeled around to hopefully put pressure on his back lines, or at least distract a unit/flyer for some time. I moved the Loremaster into PG to get arc and range to his general. Magic saw him contain it though, unfortunately. Shooting saw both RBTs miss despite being on short range.

Image

// DE T2 //

Flyers charge RBTs. Warlocks move to counter Silver Helms. Magic sees Doombolt kill off my small Helms, I contain the rest. In combat, the RBTs die. One flyer reforms, the other tries to overrun into a second RBT (needing 9+) but fails. He is left stranded.

Image

// HE T2 //

I figure that I have to move the Lions onto the hill to get the Loremaster where I need him. This means exposing them to fire, so I might as well move up the SH as well to present too many targets. I make a huge brainfart however as I forget that he has harpies, so instead of moving them cautiously they go full speed towards RXBs. I also make a mistake with the PGs arc, not making sure they cover the Lions` front.

Magic sees the scroll come out to stop Spirit Leech. Rest is contained. In shooting, I keep up my misses and the flyer lives to kill me.

Image

// DE T3 //

Flyer charges RBT to run off table. Warlocks chaff Lions, and this is a brilliant move because they score 5-6 wounds on average, so if I want to clear them I risk losing the Lions as he`ll have 3 turns left of shooting and they`ll be exposed. Harpies block Helms. Magic: can`t remember. Shooting kills 7 Helms (this should tell you a thing or two about how much firepower his list really sports), panic passed.

Image

// HE T3 //

With the PG being angled wrong I leave the Warlocks alone. My hope pretty much boils down to magic bringing me a few points home, perhaps the PG can survive if I`m lucky. Helms charge Harpies. Magic sees IF Spirit Leech target his Lord... He rolls a `1`, I need 4+ to kill him and get a 4! Quite lucky on my part, and possibly my only points in this game. Miscast drains dice but is otherwise contained by BOTWD.

In combat I fail to kill more than 2 Harpies. He breaks, I restrain. I should`ve pursued to ensure the points, but I didn`t have an overview at this point (which was also a mistake, I even brought a book which I used to note points during the game for making clutch decisions in cases like this).

Image

// DE T4 //

Flyer returns to the table and goes outside of PG arc. Other flyer charges congalined Helms. Magic sees D&D land on Helms. Shooting kills Lions, but at this point I learn an important lesson: when BS shooting targets a unit with characters having mismatching footprints, you can allocate one hit to each character! This is HUGE for my survivability in this game (p.99 BRB for those of you wanting to look it up) and I start (ab)using it to the fullest potential. His Harpies rallied as well.

In combat the Helms break, he catches me.

Image

// HE T4 //

The PG were correctly re-positioned in my last turn. I charge the Warlocks in the flank. I reform Lions, move back and position Loremaster to have the flyer who broke the Helms in my front arc.

Magic is 7v5. I want Earthblood + Searing Doom, and with his Scroll gone I figure he HAS to let Earthblood through. I quickly look up the percentages, with the BoH a Loremaster has an 89% chance of casting Earthblood on 2D6. I roll snake eyes, thus needing a 5+ on the re-roll. I fail to cast and with broken concentration I can`t even attempt Searing Doom. Iceshard from L1 is dispelled.

PG breaks Warlocks but I fail to run him down. I only caused 2 casualties as well, so he can easily rally.

Image

// DE T5 //

Warlocks rally. Magic and shooting combined kill all 10 remaining PG. I am now left with only WL + characters.

Image

I have 2 turns left. All his characters are in units, so it boils down to Spirit Leech and magic missiles vs his RBTs. Throughout the game, I never had more than 7PD so it wasn`t a lot to work with, the same held true for the last 2 turns. With Hotek he could contain my attempts and I managed no more points. With me allocating 2 hits to Prince/BSB for each unit he shot with, he couldn`t bring the Lions down either. In the end though, the sad reality of the situation was painfully obvious as I had points only for his general, whereas he had annihilated the better part of my army: a 6-14 loss for the High Elves. Had I ran down the Harpies with the Helms, it would`ve been 7-13 and if I had taken the time to do the calculations (which I should`ve as we played fast and had lots of time on our hands), I would`ve realized this.

// Evaluation //

Out of all the lists I could face in my immediate vicinity for the 5th game, this was undoubtably the worst. I had another, way softer DE list, DoC, Empire and bus-HE. All of these are good matchups compared to this. In this game, while my opponent player a more solid game than me, I really don`t believe my list has a chance. I think that on average, a good DE player should look at this as a ~700vp win, a 13-7 under these conditions. Good play by the HE might result in 8-12 or even 9-11, but I really don`t see HE winning this. You can`t push and he has superior magic + shooting.

I did consider deploying Lions + characters in the other corner for a long while, since he commited the RXBs prior to my drop with them. I don`t think this would`ve been better as although his RXBs would`ve been less effective, it would be easier for him to mop up the rest while keeping his characters outside of my Loremaster`s 24" threat range. With more practice I could`ve managed a tighter deploy and early-game play, but it`s important to remember that the few points I did get was lucky as well, so in the end I think a 6-14 is a fair result here. It highlights the list`s weaknesses very well which I elaborated on prior to the tournament. It`s a decent list, no doubt, but suffers from being M5-push based in nature which you just cannot work with at a high level of play. You either have more mobility than M5 or you have enough ranged threats to force your opponent to come to you.

Thus my results at SM ended up with a 66/34 BP split, which sent me down from 2. => 12. place out of 102. Just outside of my top 10 ambition, but "only" 2 battle points which I should`ve managed with more solid play. Kaj ended up with a massive 84BP, 10BP ahead of the runner-up, a true testament to his play and list strength in this tournament.

My opponent ended up placing 1/102. Congratulations, Kaj! List musings and tournament analysis coming up!

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Really good reports Curu, the pics show clearly what's going on and the armies look good. Nice touch with the 2-wide reform in the Skaven game, I'll try to remember that one! I did worry that those blocks would get you in the rear but you seemed to time it right.

Don't you just hate cannon? But I remember losing a Prince like that and it doesn't matter if you can hold your other points and clean up his army. Do you tend to have the edge over this opponent or is it more 50-50? I'm struck by how often your games go from a measured pace to an all-out attack.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Thanks for the nice reports. I really like the DE list Kaj played, it looks a lot like mine. ;)

I think the most interesting thing in the last game was how outmanouevred and outgunned you were. I believe one of your greatest strengths a player is to control the movement phase and establish board control and I am not sure whether this list allows you to do that. That being said, congratulations on a good performance. This tournament certainly did not look like a walk in the park.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:07 pm 
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@SpellArcher - thanks :) I`m hoping to get a better cellphone camera sometime this year which should hopefully improve the pictures as well. I hate when they get blurry. I`ve found that reforming to non-standard widths often catch opponents off-guard, almost regardless of when they´re done. People tend to think of 20 PG as a unit that is -always- 5x4 for example.

The list I play here is a very tactical one. When I have a slight ranged advantage, such as vs Empire, I can use this to force a favourable situation, where I go from a measured pace as you say to full speed ahead. Constantly being harassed by the Loremaster + RBTs is very stressful to play against and this helps set up good positions. The same thing happened in the VC game, but I was unable to do this vs DoC and SK, unfortunately. Again though, it`s a weakness of the list. I`ll address it more soon.

As for this Empire army, I think I have a pretty clear advantage here. Frontage is a huge issue for him and Heavens is not that scary against me. Light would`ve been a ton worse. My record vs Empire with a Loremaster based list is 10-10, 12-8, 15-5 and 18-2 if memory serves.

@Dark Reaper - Indeed. Board control is the name of the game. It is the easiest way to make your skill account for something, whether used offensively and defensively. Having played a lot of similar lists (see my old blog + WoC builds), I know very well how it should play and Kaj executed it perfectly.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:30 pm 
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Could you elaborate a bit more on why you couldn't push? I would take the opposite approach - you *have* to push. Neither option is good because you're *forced* to do it, but here's my reasoning.

He has you seriously outgunned, particularly with his ability to reach your firebase(s) quickly, which surely means you need to advance towards him? Like if you take monster mash vs gunline: T1 move up into position and T2 hopefully charge, T3 at the very latest if you're setting up your combats/mess up/are outdeployed. And you've got good units to do this with: 2+AS cav, 3+AS and 4++ infantry. Even reavers could threaten RBTs (he should shoot them down, but BS shooting isn't guaranteed and you only need to pass your panic test and survive/win combat for a round to achieve your goal...and even then he's not whittling down your elites). Yes he has chaff galore and that is problematic, but at least this would force him to use it more/decide whether to go after your RBTs or block you up so much. And it would earn you points too. And actually, given how much of his list is invested in shooty/evasion I don't think he has the combat punch you would expect from other DE lists which make them scary to engage in combat. I like characters in lions for this match-up, and it also gives you the opportunity to do a longer swiftstride M9 charge on a character if he gets sloppy and thinks the lions can't get there - it leaves you exposed if he flees or you fail but it's an idea (in a hypothetical, given how differently the game was played).

Where have I gone wrong? Is my approach more wrong than yours (given the result)?

From my one game vs DE I feel they're a tough army for us, but at least they're fun to play against as they use all the phases and yet have weaknesses (T3, AS5 sound familiar?).

This feels like one of those lists where having more core archers would be a good thing - I wonder whether we'll see a shift to that with woodies too.

Cheers for all these reports!

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:41 pm 
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That was a grim match-up. As you say Curu, you have 18 shots and he has so many more. I know very well the problems of running a mainly M5 combat list. The Loremaster seems to have done well almost every game though. It's not that he always has useful casts, he always seems to have deadly ones. Was the DE magic that much stronger?

I can see why you were disappointed as you set very high standards for yourself and a big win would've landed you the tournament! But 12th is no disgrace. Very much looking forward to the summing-up!

Ferny, as Curu says, M5 without serious shooting and/or fast attack units can be horrific in the wrong match-up. I doubt the infantry would have killed enough to justify the risk of losing them completely.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:51 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Ferny, as Curu says, M5 without serious shooting and/or fast attack units can be horrific in the wrong match-up. I doubt the infantry would have killed enough to justify the risk of losing them completely.


How different to Tethlis' list is this one though? Loremaster switcheded in for Shadow, helms amalgamated into bus and no core archers, Prince means smaller elite unit sizes and no sisters. Overall: less shooting, different magic approach, gained a third combat unit (one with M9 swiftstride). Possibly other changes as neither are my list, but that's a fair summation?

Are these changes huge to how the game plays? To coin a phrase, WWTD (What Would Tethlis Do)? Is his list better suited to the match up? Why - does his shooting represent that much more of a threat? Are his infantry units big enough to weather the storm? Or is he even more vulnerable as a true M5 footslogger? I ask because his list is similar to mine and Curu's doesn't seem /that/ dissimilar, but in understanding the effect of the differences I'd understand Curu's pessimism going into the game and approach throughout it (intended as an objective statement rather than a critical comment). Maybe I just haven't faced a true shooty/evade list yet but I do feel pushing is a better bet than death by a thousand cuts. Curu's outcome showed that his approach isn't brilliant, although I can't present the counterfactual given that it wasn't played out (and I don't have a batrep) where my suggestions were played, so despite the loss my suggestions might well lead to a bigger loss ;).

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:10 pm 
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hi curu,

great tournament and reports!!

big thing for me was that prince and BSB had to go into the lions for dragon banner protection in 3 out of the 5 games.

are these characters just holding points really for 4-5 turns in these 3 games and not actively contributing to your armies efforts(apart form ld 10 & ld rerolls)

I toyed with the setup to give the prince a ward save: barded horse, ogre blade, Heavy armour, enchanted shield, talisman of pres, potion of foolhardiness. (268 points in total, 95 in magic items)

its still not an efficient setup though.

when the characters leave the helms, are the helms more bothersome than actively contributing?

what are your thoughts on the next stage for this type of list after this tournament? or is this as good as it gets for your style of cav prince?

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:16 pm 
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Curu's list has 28 shots Ferny, Tethlis has 63. While I still feel this would be an awkward match-up for him, he is less vulnerable than Curu here. While my WE list has big holes in it, it does have M9 cavalry and M5 combat units like Curu's. The cavalry are gold dust but they can't rescue the whole army in a bad match-up. I feel Curu did pretty decently considering.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:37 pm 
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I didn't realize you were going to SM! :D
Bad luck having to face Kaj. He's one of the best players in Sweden (and I assume he's the swedish master now as he placed #1). I think I've seen him on every single tournament I've been to and he almost always gets a very good placement. His list was pretty brutal as well.


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:09 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Curu's list has 28 shots Ferny, Tethlis has 63. While I still feel this would be an awkward match-up for him, he is less vulnerable than Curu here. While my WE list has big holes in it, it does have M9 cavalry and M5 combat units like Curu's. The cavalry are gold dust but they can't rescue the whole army in a bad match-up. I feel Curu did pretty decently considering.


Absolutely - I don't mean to be critical of Curu or his performance - I'm just trying to see i) why it is such a tough match-up and ii) how the (IMO) relatively small changes in list focus between his list and Tethlis' might change things, which in part would inform i).

If the difference between 28 and 63 shots is significant, lets explore why (bearing in mind Curu's list has other elements instead, most notably the prince, although said prince seemed fairly impotent in this match up (due to death?)).

I'm also curious because Curu has said a few times that his list doesn't cut it. Tethlis' list clearly does, and Curu's has had plenty of success, so that's part of why I'm curious. There's also been a lot of discussion over on Swordmaster's thread about whether MSU HE can function at high level. Generally I like to think that any two well constructed lists of equal points ought to be able to have a good game against each-other (accepting the element of rock-paper-scissors this game has). Curu's list is well constructed: it has three clear threat units, plus RBTs for board control and reavers/small helms for chaff and board control. It doesn't have points allocated into odd places - it is, I would say, fairly optimised for the type of set-up which he has chosen to run. That it has such a strongly bad match up isn't immediately apparent to my eyes as it looks like a coherent, good list, which includes mutually-supportive threats.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:31 pm 
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@Ferny - 80 shots, let`s assume hitting on 5s for the sake of simplicity (move + multi or long + multi. Perfect world scenario is 4s, which you can achieve when M5 stuff pushes). That`s an average of 27 hits, 13 wounds. This equates to a little over 5 dead PG on average, or 4 Helms. This is before we account for Soulblight, Doombolt and Repeater Bolt Throwers. Once PG are down to ~15, the Lord can handle them on his own for the rest of the game. They can`t hurt him so he`s looking to beat the static only. 1 rank + banner vs his attacks sees them stuck forever, or until they die. The same goes for Helms, a character can hold up 9+ indefinitely. This leaves 2 flyers, 4 units of fastcav and all his shooting to cope with the Lions. Note that when he blocked the Lions in the game, he made sure to cover my Prince`s charge as well.

By pushing, you lose 0-20. This is one of the best players in Sweden and probably one of the best Dark Elf players in the world. He will surround you and eat one unit at a time if a push happens. With 5 chaff units and 4 super-mobile characters, going against him is suicide. You are correct that my play wasn`t optimal, however the strategy of holding back isn`t flawed in itself, it was merely my execution (deployment, tactics) that failed to achieve my goals. I think that ending the game with either the PG or the SH alive should be possible, which would`ve made a huge difference here. Dominating the board against M5 blocks with M9 fastcav units is trivial, even for a mediocre player.

If you deploy for a push, he will counter-act it from T1 by moving Dark Riders in position and using Warlocks more aggressively. His flyers can also move around me, so that I don`t have him in my front arc and cannot threaten him with neither Spirit Leech nor Searing Doom. T1 you lose a handful of PG and 2 RBTs are threatened. You march up. T2 he blocks Helms with Harpies, Lions with double Dark Riders and he shoots PG. 2 RBTs die. You charge Harpies with SH, Lions cause a double-flee. PG march up. T3 Lord hits PG, Silver Helms are targeted and Lions are blocked by Warlocks. Lions charge, Helms are dead or reduced to near-dead amounts and his flyers, having cleared up your back field, are now in the game as well. T4 PG are locked, Lions are far away and Silver Helms aren`t enough to threaten ~25 infantry with AP stand and shoot. He can thus target the Lions with everything he has and the poor 20 models have to weather 3 full turns of shooting. He can also engage if he brings them low enough, as I said in the report a warlock averages a little over a wound so that`s 10 dead lions right there. If BOTWD disappears the Prince and BSB go down as well. I don`t see how this is a winning strategy, you are lucky to even get 2-3 points with this approach.

@SpellArcher - The Loremaster has seriously impressed me in both the games leading up to this tournament and during these 5 games. He is a very flexible and powerful character and one I`ve enjoyed playing. His casts are indeed frequently deadly in the current meta - Spirit Leech and Searing Doom are almost always killers, but in certain matchups Shem`s Burning Gaze is very strong as well. Miasma and Iceshard are always good to have.

12th place is ok. I am content with it, but I wish I could`ve gotten just a few points more. I made mistakes I shouldn`t have, the most glaring one being the WL-Skaven move which cost me 2 points. Sure we always make mistakes, but this was exceptionally poor on my behalf. Indeed Skavenslaves winning over White Lions AND breaking them on stubborn LD9 shouldn`t happen, even with a flank charge, but it`s stupid to even take the risk in the first place since it gives me nothing.

As for Tethlis` list, I don`t think this is a good matchup for him, either. It`s probably not as disastrous as it is for me, but it`s very, very tough. With his shooting + Shadow he stands a good chance at retaliating though. Our lists are vastly different, just because we both have PG + WL it doesn`t mean that we have the same playstyle. My list sports a lot more combat power, his has a shooting phase that is devastating to a lot of armies. There are High Elf lists that can compete with this though, which I will elaborate on in my post-tournament analysis ;)

@sparkytrypod - Indeed! In the DoC game, the Prince hardly even got to attack at all! It`s just how you have to play vs Death, you NEED character protection. Do note that in a matchup where this wasn`t as crucial (e.g. SK), the bus was really effective. LD10 + re-roll is really crucial though, and the implicit board control is really good as well. The Prince`s setup HAS to include Giant Blade and Dawnstone. Anything else and he has to perform a different role. The Helms are, in a lot of matchups, a very weak unit. That`s a fact you just have to live with, but it`s core tax and our useful options are very, very limited. I will comment on the Cavprince approach in my post-tournament analysis ^^

@Prince Luficer - Playing well, you meet the best. Despite mistakes here and there, I was overall better at capitalizing on my opponent`s mistakes than making bad ones myself. Thus, facing Kaj (or a player at a comparable skill level) was inevitable. That being said, him playing that list was worst case for me.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:37 pm 
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@Ferny - just saw your most recent reply now so let me address those comments as well. The Prince is locked to the Lions when you face Death. Caress and Spirit Leech will kill him at some point otherwise. An alternative is MR3 in the bus, but I don`t have that.

As for Tethlis` list, I haven`t seen it perform in a tournament against skilled opponents so I can`t say how strong it is. I know for a fact that my list is too weak. Sure it can take you top ~10 (which I should have managed here), but winning a tournament with it is down to pure luck: it simply isn`t flexible or strong enough. It`s a fact I was pretty sure of prior to the tournament, but now I am 100% sure that this list is too weak.

As for MSU, I don`t believe it is strong enough either. Taking a look at my 5 games, I don`t think it could do well against either DoC (Bloodthirster kills absolutely everything and there`s nothing to compete with the flies), Skaven or Dark Elves. Perhaps you`d have a shot against Empire and VC but even here I don`t fancy an MSU list`s chances: Empire`s Heavens is really strong and VC Death is just brutal. When evaluating a list, you have to take into account the opposition it faces. It`s all about quality over quantity, you can win 40 games in a row without having proven a thing. When it comes to a tournament with strong players however, poor lists are bound to fall through (such as mine did in game 5 here).

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:51 pm 
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Curu is a damn good player Ferny, which is why he usually wins. The list is not 'bad' per se, it just has one or two problem match-ups. Unfortunately shooty avoidance Dark Elves are one of them and they are very popular and effective generally. There is a lot of utility in having the two blocks and the Helm Bus. Arguably though, the price is too high.

Because the DE list has so much more shooting it can pick off Curu's chaff and RBT. If his combat units were faster he could maybe land a blow with these whilst sacrificing the support. But M5 will leave them stranded to be shot down or cleaned up at leisure. Look at a list like Tethlis' (two blocks) or CavBus plus one block lists and they have appreciably more shooting. So they restrict the DE's somewhat because those Warlocks running rings around a lot of lists will be shot down. The DE's are still a problem but if they spend most of the game winning the shooting war, they won't have time to take down the blocks or characters making a big win unlikely.

Edit: ninja'd!

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:03 pm 
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shooty avoidance wood elves are going to be just as bad now too, I played 2 games against them at the weekend, its tough. if waywatchers get to fire twice at your helm bus, you will only have a couple left!

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:18 pm 
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@SpellArcher - thanks for the kind words, but I must disagree unfortunately. The list is "ok", but I think it`s not strong enough. Post-tourny analysis coming up in just a moment, I will elaborate on it there :)

@sparkytrypod - interesting you should say so. I`ll be playing new WE tomorrow with a Helmbus and I believe the matchup is heavily in my favour ;)

Analysis coming now!

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:18 pm 
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Having played my first big tournament in quite a while, it`s time for a recap, list musings and my thoughts on an arbitrary amount of topics ;)


.::. SM - Post-tournament Analysis .::.

First of all SM was a blast. We had a great time going there with lots of Norwegians and were welcomed by the Swedes. Definitely a good first-abroad tournament experience which sees me looking for other, potential candidates in northern/central europe.

Prior to the tournament I said that my list was unlikely to be strong enough. In 4 games, I was lucky not to face disastrous matchups and I was able to exploit bad moves from my opponents, bringing me to a respectable 60BP after 4 games. My rule of thumb for winning a tournament is averaging 15BP per game, and having some luck (you can never win a tournament without things going your way in at least one game, in my experience) as 80+ BP is usually needed and 5*15 = 75. Thus 60 after 4 is a good standing. In the 5th game however I was destroyed and there was little I could do about it. Was this poor luck? Taking a look at the other top 10 players, there are very few lists I want to play against. Without a doubt the matchup I got is the worst, but the others aren`t good either.

The inherent problem with my list is its M5 nature. The reason I started playing a Dragon in the first place was the realization that handling M5 is easy for skilled players, when forced to go offensively. One unit can work, but it cannot be a central one: it HAS to be supporting something else or play defensively. In my list, the bus is a supporting unit with the PG and WL being offensive ones. I have a number of matchups where the Loremaster alone provides enough ranged presence to force an enemy to advance (see the Empire and VC games for example), but there are also a LOT of matchups where the opposite is true and I have to push to win (DE, LZ, WE, DW, CD, other variations of Empire, HE and even SK). Pushing with M5 is flawed, it really is that easy.

Thus the list has 2 logical developments: either go bigger on the cavalry or go bigger on the defensive parts. After my loss in the final game, I had a chat with Sweden`s best High Elf player (Dennis, for those of you who know him) and we discussed how to deal with such a list. He`s a big fan of defensively-oriented High Elves and is thus better qualified to understand how an infantry-based list can play vs DE. He said he doesn`t like Shadow for High Elves (which I can understand as it is VERY hit-or-miss, i.e. some phases you just win games whereas in other games you hardly do anything useful all game). He does like Light though, and I believe he invented the Coven build that was so popular last year (Loremaster + L4 + L1 + WL horde with BOTWD + Frostheart). Now, that build cannot be taken under ETC restrictions (not without sacrificing the book from the L4, which is huge) but variations exist, of course. One option is to go even more defensive, swapping the Frostheart for Sisters.

The other approach though resembles where I came from, with a cavbus + WL-horde with BOTWD. This is also what Furion`s played and won lots of games with. Do note that his list includes MR3 on the bus, which helps you avoid putting the characters with WL just because you face a sniping lore. This list is usually played with an L4 instead of the Loremaster, but I`m not sure it has to be. The counter-intuitive thing about this list though is that in most of my games, PG have been more valuable than WL. Perhaps BOTWD-bus + Razor Standard PG with Loremaster is a viable approach? WL really struggle without magical assistance, their damage output just isn`t the same any longer. Indeed, the most recent infantry success HE we have heard of had PG at its core instead of WL (with a S7 foot prince and High Magic to boot).

Playing and evolving this list was for me largely an experiment as I`ve never been good at defensive play. I feel that I`ve evolved a lot as a player and can now better judge how to play defensively. I have also concluded that this is not my preferred style of play. I might revisit defensive lists every now and then, but my true potential is wielding an offensive one. Unfortunately, the list I tried here with double infantry blocks and bus, cannot work. That is my conclusion anyway, it has too many bad matchups and is too easy to play against for skilled players.

Speaking of offensive lists, let`s take a look at the top 15 from SM:

SM top 15 wrote:
1. Kaj Gyllinger DE 84 0 0 84 7140
2. Håkan Karlsson HE 74 0 0 74 6125
3. Fredrik Karlsson DE 74 0 0 74 5281
4. Tor Erling Vassrusten OK 71 0 0 71 4331
5. Johan Lagmo DE 70 0 0 70 4384

6. Toni Kortelainen WOC 67 0 0 67 3883
7. Sverre Reikvam DOC 67 0 0 67 3809
8. Marcus Persson LM 67 0 0 67 3666
9. Asbjörn Willersrud HE 67 0 0 67 3657
10. Khan Runander DoC 67 0 0 67 3637

11. Johannes Einemo WOC 66 0 0 66 3504
12. Jarle Svendsrud HE 66 0 0 66 3448
13. Peter Edvardsson HE 65 0 0 65 3350
14. Rickard Johansson BM 65 0 0 65 3044
15. Lasse Kalberg EM 64 0 0 64 3638


With a few noteworthy exceptions (rusty`s 4th place with shooty Ogres, congratulations! and Empire in 15th place) these list are pretty much all offensive by nature. The 2 HE lists placing above me was the Star Dragon list I`ve faced twice in my practice games and a cavbus with L4 High and Frostheart, which is very interesting as this was what we landed on for HE candidates for our team tournament (see this link for details: clicky), prior to SM.

So if you are reading this and you enjoy playing Loremaster + infantry High Elves, I would advice against 2 blocks + bus. At 2400 points, it simply doesn`t work, you are stretched too thin and end up having very little flexibility in too many matchups. I would suggest trying 1+1 approaches, i.e. bus + block. Perhaps you can even fit a Frostheart in there ;) I will leave this experiment for now, but for the sake of discussion and list development I will post a couple of builds I would/will consider playtesting when/if I return to infantry High Elves.

Coven of Light wrote:
Light L4 Archmage, Book of Hoeth = 275
Loremaster, Power Stone, Gem of Sunfire, Shield of the Merwyrm, Sword of Might = 310
BSB, Reaver Bow, Potion of Strength, Heavy Armour, Halberd = 146
Light Mage, dispel scroll = 110
Characters = 841

29 Archers, Full Command = 320
10 Archers, Musician = 110
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core = 600

28 White Lions, Banner of the World Dragon, Full Command = 444
4 RBTs = 280
8 Sisters = 112
8 Sisters = 112
Special & rare = 948

Army total = 2389


PG + bus wrote:
Prince on barded steed, S7, 1+ re-rollable, ICI = 268
Loremaster, Book of Hoeth, Gem of Sunfire, Shield of the Merwyrm, Relic Sword = 330
BSB on Barded Steed, BOTWD, Lance etc = 172
Mage L1 Heavens, Scroll, MR1 = 125
Noble on Barded Steed, Star Lance, TOTS, HA/shield = 136
Characters = 1031

18 Silver Helms, Full Command = 444 //I forgot to note that the small Helms were next to useless all tournament. I would much rather have had them in the bus
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85
Core = 614

25 PG, FC, Razor Standard = 450
4 RBT = 280
Special & rare = 730

Army total = 2375


With that, I`ll be taking a break from this style of play now. I`ll be playtesting mobile lists again, looking for tournaments to test my skills again and hopefully finish within my goals next time ;) My next game is already tomorrow against the new WE and I`ll be taking the list below:

High Archmage L4 Steed, Power Stone, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem = 300
Prince on Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Armour, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon = 282

Lords = 582

Noble BSB on Barded Steed, BOTWD, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance = 172
Noble on Barded Steed, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm, Dragon Armour, Shield = 147
Noble on Barded Steed, Lance, Dragon Armour, Charmed Shield, Luckstone, Potion of Strength = 131
High Mage Steed, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury = 145

Heroes = 595

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 444
5 Reavers, bows = 85
5 Reavers, bows = 85

Core = 614

5 Shadow Warriors, Champion = 85
1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240
4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
Special & Rare = 605

Army total = 2396

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:47 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
@SpellArcher - thanks for the kind words, but I must disagree unfortunately. The list is "ok", but I think it`s not strong enough. Post-tourny analysis coming up in just a moment, I will elaborate on it there :)

@sparkytrypod - interesting you should say so. I`ll be playing new WE tomorrow with a Helmbus and I believe the matchup is heavily in my favour ;)

Analysis coming now!


ha ha, well you are using a radically different list now! I look forward to reading the report!

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