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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:38 am 
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I dunno - demis, IC knights, cannons...?

Also, can you link me to your fire pheonix/eagle conversion please - I was browsing but I can't find it. Cheers :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:50 am 
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I feel like a shooty wood elf list would eat that empire list pretty fast.

True flight negates FFF
Hag bane/way watchers plink away at the stanks
Return fire is moderately effective at best and banishment/awakening are probably his strongest ranged threats in this match up

What do you think?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:53 am 
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@Ferny - Interesting: Demis, IC Knights and Cannons. Incidentally, the second best Empire list at NM looked like this. Unfortunately the two never met. Basically I think this is one of your best bets, but you are still vulnerable to Dwellers and you can`t touch the Folding Fortress (seeing as you have to dismount). Basically the Archers can just dance around the tower and force you to fight for small points, all the while S7 Banishment, Dwellers and 2 STanks pound you. True, you can go Dwellers yourself with double stanks, 7 Demis and IC Knights. Possibly the best choice for pushing such a list, I don`t know?

@vespacian - Wood Elves struggle with the sheer amount of wounds to go through and Dwellers, Regrowth and Banishment are all very painful. I think a bigger problem however is that Wood Elves aren`t that popular, there were only a couple of them at NM compared to 10 (!) Empire armies.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:23 pm 
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Its funny that you guys have such a negative attitude towards 6 dicing spells. We play uncomped almost entirely in my larger geographical area, and Dwellers is an incredibly rare spell mainly because life is such an underwhelming lore. Your empire opponent got around it with light council and you did with Teclis. The army that I think probably does it best (DE) all seem to be addicted to Death and Shadow, and Empire almost always plays war alter light council.

This may be similar to the different strains of mammalian evolution, where environment has influenced where we end up. Having feared 6 diced power spells for years our lists have evolved in such a way that we are almost incapable of losing big to a timely power spell. For example a lists similar to the lists you are seeing are rare and when they do show up they don't preform. On the contrary most competitive lists are centred around getting one or two easy to cast spells off to decide combat or buff an already deadly shooting phase. And the lists are centred around getting game deciding combats.

I'd be interested to know your vp conditions. Locally we do less than 25% of the unit for half points, meaning a lot of units don't give up points at all unless they die. And a 150 points per bp. I'm curious to see how much these changes can influence lists and games.

I have reached the same conclusion as you however that HE essentially must have multiple characters in units, or have them riding monstrous mounts. Its a sad state of affairs, and I don't know when it really started. Do you think its the lose of Armour of Caledor? Or had it started even before the 8th edition book?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:36 pm 
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I think it's got a lot do with World Dragon, Shield of Saphery and similar unit buffs which do not rely on getting a particular spell off, like the Everqueen's 5++.

I also have never played under anything but a six-dice casting limit and never wished it was five. LoS vs Dwellers is another matter but I agree that most armies can build to cope with Dwellers to a fair extent.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:48 pm 
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@Baleanoon - Where do you play? Basically, I think there are ways for High Elves around this meta, but not at 2000 points where your options are very limited, unfortunately. At 2400 with SLoS I believe other approaches are viable. I agree that Life is underwhelming and it really shows when you face Warriors and Ogres for example, but that didn`t stop people from taking it in our setting seeing as a lot of people knew Elves would come aplenty (I met 3/5 armies with Dwellers, watch this space for Game 5 vs DE Dwellers).

Meta factors in heavily. The meta you describe is a logical evolution for armies fearing 6-dicing. This was also apparent in the lists the French brought, which were all less susceptible to these threats than the average Norwegian list. None of them brought HE though.

VP conditions are same as you describe. This is pretty much the standard here which we rarely diverge from.

As for HE viability, it depends on points level and comp system. I do think it boils down to grouping up characters though, but our last book had a bit more flex in this regard. I will touch on this subject in my post-NM analysis :)

@SpellArcher - In a nutshell, it has to do with a combination of the power of BOTWD (more specifically its ability to protect mages from miscasts and snipes, in my opinion the greatest asset of this item) and the fact that we don`t have good options for sending our characters solo, with the exception of monster mounts. We don`t even come close to DE in terms of what they can do and we don`t have anything resembling Warlocks, allowing us to get magic offense from other areas than characters.

I am curious as to why you`re a big fan of 6-dicing. Do you feel this adds to the game significantly as compared to having a cap on 5? If you are, do you think 7-dicing should be allowed? If no, why not? Is a 6-dice cap the holy grail of magic balance?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:57 pm 
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I think it boils down to players in English-speaking countries not finding the default of six to be a major problem Curu. On the continent, players have found it to be a problem.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Yes, that much is obvious. The question is why you find 6 to be the golden number. Why is 5 too little and 7 too great? Personally I find 5 to be a good balance, I think Death is too heavily comped with ETC (and have also felt the 4-dice cap with Hashut in some of my CD games). The reason for this is two-fold: The huge spells are hard to cast on 5D6 and by no means safe to cast on 5D6. Boosted Dwellers for example can quickly lose you the entire magic phase with a risky cast. Secondly, you get a LOT of phases with 5+ DD, given you a decent chance of stopping a specific spell, meaning magic strategies have to revolve around more than a single, key spell. Reading the reports above, it`s clear that there is typically one big spell that totally dominates the way the game plays. Yes, this is related to army composition as well, but not everyone can get around this. For some spells a 4-dice cap might be more appropriate but I see very few spells that justify 6-dicing. Again, if you think 6-dicing is fine, what about 7-dicing?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:23 pm 
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Most of Canada plays uncomped, and most of the north east of the states is essentially cosmetic things, 6 dicing and power spells remain.

12" dwellers on a fast cav unit I can't catch is actually my fear with the 2k list I've built for an upcoming event, but like I said DE appear to not be interested locally.

Like SpellArcher said its isn't that we find it particularly superior just don't find it so offensive or game deciding that a 5 dice or 4 dice on shadow and death that it needs to be changed. Its known information, so its shocking when people are still surprised or annoyed by it as this point. At least here. And its threat keeps people honest from creating units that push the limits of the game mechanics. I've gone up against units of like 50 Savage orcs with like 4 or 5 characters, looking for hand of gork, my only method of potentially winning was Infernal Gateway at the time.

I mostly comes down to is how much do we need to tinker while leaving the defender to use 6+ dice and win on ties? Magic is unreliable enough as it is.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Curu, the point is that our approach is (as Baleanoon has said pretty much) "are we happy playing the game as written" and our answer is, largely "yes". Whereas the continental approach is "how can we take the game as written and make it better". I'm not saying from a pure gameplay angle I wouldn't enjoy a 5 or a 7 dice cap but to do so you start down a path that has further implications, for better or worse, that go beyond immediate gameplay. There is equally something to be said for altering the core rules as little as possible.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:12 pm 
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@Baleanoon - I thought I heard that comp was starting to become more popular in that area? Grenic is preparing for an ETC tournament for example. I know that team USA usually performs well at the ETC and seeing as they need some kind of practice when they`re not abroad, there`s bound to be comped tournaments around.

I will be musing on some lists when the NM reports are done, we can continue the "how-to-play-high-elves-2k-uncomped" list discussion then ;)

4 dice as excessive as a limit, I think. Perhaps the point could be made for Purple Sun seeing as it`s so ridiculously cheap to cast, but overall I don`t think the lore is that powerful in a singles setting: Like Life it`s kind of selection dependent and kind of hit or miss. I think that without any limitations however, certain choices just go out the window as they`re simply not viable.

Your 50 Savage Orcs example is interesting. I`ve encountered some bad Orc "deathstars" through my games, but have never found them to be a problem. Again though, this is a thing most "sensible" comp systems would limit, along with capping the worst of the worst elsewhere. In my experience, this promotes diversity but also places a great deal of responsibility on whoever writes the comp as loopholes in poorly developed comp systems are just as bad - if not worse - than some of the most broken uncomped configurations.

Magic unreliable - yes indeed! But limiting magic is actually a way to make it less unreliable. You are forcing people away from the Dwellers war (which in a nutshell is almost always a coin toss as to who will win) and into a system where you have to be flexible and base your magic strategy on other factors. The Loremaster does quite well in many comp environments for example and he`s all about reliability: Regardless of what you are up against he will have 2+ useful spells to cast. None of them game-breaking (necessarily), but always enough to give you a boost.

@SpellArcher - Point taken. While comp is common here, I know a lot of countries are way more pro comp than Norway is. I think that the heavier the comp is, the bigger the chance of a loophole occuring is. I was originally opposed to the 5 dice cap as well, but having played with it extensively I now hate it when I`m back to 6-dice environments. Teclis is particularly brutal in this department: So many retarded spells and +5 to cast means that most opponents will flat out lose games whenever they don`t score 6DD + channels. Add to this the fact that you can get the Forbidden Rod without giving up points and you have magical power beyond what the game is designed for.

I`ll be looking to get up game 3 now, stay tuned ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Third game and the last game of day 1. I was playing a club-mate whom I`ve never played before, who had been inactive for a while. This particular game was a relief seeing as I got to meet Morathi-Dark Magic DE instead of Dwellers double-stank Empire.


.::. Battle Report - Norwegian Master`s #3 vs Dark Elves (uncomped) .::.
Points Before the Game: 25/40

Lists:

Quote:
Teclis, 450 points
Lothern Sea Helm: BSB, Reaver Bow, Shield of the Merwyrm, Ironcurse Icon, 170 points
Mage: Shadow, Forbidden Rod, 120 points

30 Archers, FCG, 330 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (Swap), 85 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (Swap), 85 points

36 White Lions, FCG, Banner of the World Dragon, 548 points

1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
Total: 1998 points


Quote:
Morathi, General, 375
Master, BSB, Pegasus, Heavy Armor, Sea Dragon Cloak, Shield, Lance, Cloak of Twillight, 213
Sorceress, Level 2, Shadow, Dark Steed, Dispel Scroll, 150
14 Witch Elves, Musician, 164
14 Witch Elves, Musician, 164
5 Dark Riders, Shield, Musician, 95
5 Dark Riders, Shield, 85

8 Shades, 2 Hand Weapons 144
8 Shades, 128
4 Reaper Bolt Throwers, 280

8 Warlocks, 200
Total: 1998


Pre-battle thoughts and deployment:

This game was a weird one. From the get-go I realized that my opponent had a lot more respect for my shooting than he should`ve had. This caused me to deploy too aggressively to capitalize on his fear of my Archers + RBTs. I also started the game out very aggressively to try and capitalize on his passive moves, but at one point he basically said "oh well, f*** this let`s just go, I didn`t come to NM to play conservative!" and switched gears. At this point in time, I was cought out of position and felt, yet again, how brutal Dark Elves are when they can capitalize on their mobility and ranged power.

Anyways, back to the analysis: Witchelves are small enough for me to deal with without too much of an issue. The problem is if they advance with the rest, there`s too much to shoot and multiple RBTs + 16 Shades is a significant amount of firepower for me to weather. Thus, divide and conquer would be my strategy. Spells saw me take Enfeebling, Dwellers, Comet, Flaming Sword, Banishment and can`t remember the rest. He rolled Word of Pain and Black Horror from Dark, along with Chillwind and Doombolt.

The following pictures show the deployment and first turns:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Ok so basically I deployed the Archers on the wrong side, this meant I would have a hard time dealing with his Dark Riders on my Western flank and my Lions couldn`t properly protect my refused flank. A big strategic error that I made because I wanted to capitalize on his defensive deployment. I should have known better. T1 I try and compensate by moving Lions up and this is a good move. I also get Comet through early on his RBTs, it doesn`t come down for a while which is just fine.

I then make 2 big, tactical blunders. I don`t measure his flyers` potential positions on my weak flank so he lands where I can`t charge him and the Lions are likewise far away from where I need them to pressure him. On the West flank I make a stupid gambit as I block the DR with Reavers with little to gain as I would eventually win this regardless. He capitalizes on both of these, sending his cloak Peg up and killing the Reavers.

Image

Image

Image

I realize I can`t catch the cloak Peg so I give up on him and instead push the Lions up to threaten the rest of his army. I`m hoping this will buy my remaining Reavers + Archers the space they need to survive. Comet comes down and kills all RBTs. His cloak murders RBTs. The DRs fail to reach theirs and die in return. I`m struggling with Teclis as I get a number of X+1 phases where he channels as well. The Reavers flank-charge his DRs which hold, much to my annoyance. Archers charged their way out of trouble into Shades, basically ending up in a pretty sweet spot as they run off the table. It`s a very bad situation for me as I`m bleeding a lot of points and he`s effectively getting away with murder since I can`t catch him and don`t have enough/right spells to threaten him properly.

Image

My opponent smells blood in the water and sends Morathi past the WL to unleash Word of Pain + Black Horror with Warlocks wrapping around to engage my Reavers. The Reavers miraculously hold out for like multiple combat phases but the more important part here is that my complete inability to kill Wizards with Dwellers is reversed: In a desperate attempt to get back in the game I launch Dwellers at Morathi (without her being enfeebled) which he fails to stop and he fails the 4- needed. With +200VP for killing special characters, this is a huge swing in my favour.

Image

He tries pushing with all Witchelves against me, the combined might of them + Warlocks could still easily win him the game. The heroic last Reaver however keeps holding on (!!) and with Morathi dead, the Archers are preserved as well.

In the last turn of the game I drop a comet directly on top of my Lions so that if he charges, he`s taking a big risk. The Reaver somehow holds yet again (it was like 4 combat rounds with a single reaver holding down warlocks + DR), so he`s forced to "only" charge me from one side, allowing my Naval Discipline to take effect. He does take the charge in a desperate, last game, moving the shades up to hopefully score the Archers as well. Comet comes down and kills lots of Witchelves however and Shades fail to do their thing. The Witchelves still win combat, being ridiculously strong vs WL, but I hold on LD10 stubborn. He does score half points for Archers and I do actually believe the lone Reaver survived the entire game, but I was really counting my blessings here as dice won me this game, not skills.

Counting up VP the Morathi kill is the huge swing here, providing me a 14-6 win which I`m not particularly proud of.

Evaluation

I pretty much summarized my mistakes in the walk-through of the game: Deploying Archers on the weak side is just BAD, the RBTs limited me a bit as well and my Lions simply spent their time pushing way too hard for what they can, enabling my opponent to counter-push and he really was on his way to a big win here.

What I should have done instead is what I learned in my last practice game prior to NM, go Archers in corner with Lions on weak flank, RBTs tight where I can provide them with cover and where they don`t interrupt my ability to move around and basically just play defensively. With Valour of Ages I don`t really fear panic tests and the BSB can be quite flexible here. Furthermore, tight RBTs make it easier to keep Teclis within 12".

Anyways I hope you enjoyed the read, feel free to leave a comment as this was easily my worst game in this tournament.

Opponent`s Final Placing: 24/58
My Points: 39/60

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:48 pm 
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I don't think the US ETC team (which are the guys from the NE) are particularly happy with their results to date! 6th first year was excellent of course. If we look at the recent Crossroads GT (which these guys dominated) the comp was heavily ETC-influenced. US Masters is using Swedish for a second year. But uncomped or lightly comped is more generally prevalent I believe.

Looking forward to a good look at various uncomped builds for HE's at the end. I can see Dwellers being an issue for the usual multi-character units, if less so for some other armies.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:13 pm 
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The ETC has hardened a LOT over the past couple of years. You basically have to spend a lot of time preparing and testing lists against equally minded people. I can imagine that team USA struggle to find opponents. Most of the continental teams have multiple candidates to playtest against, not to mention how often we go abroad (and this is not just Norwegians). I think England struggles with largely the same: Though some of their players are without a doubt some of the best in the world on an individual level, they struggle to deal with the team tournament aspect and in my opinion, they have never fully delivered. The same thing happened to Norway this year, the preparations were no-where near where they needed to be and despite the players doing their best, there was little they could do to avoid terrible matchups (at one point one of the players had to tank a 0-20 loss to avoid two other terrible matchups for the team, this is basically one of the worst positions you can find yourself in).

Swedish is a whole different ballgame. It is significantly harder than ETC unless you change it substantially. It will be interesting to see how they develop this year, if Bretonnia and Skaven get new books we could possibly finally see a meta without too many ridiculous things around.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:57 pm 
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That's a good point about the US Team's lack of practice against the European teams Curu. There will be a Canadian-resident team this year but I doubt they'll be up to speed immediately. Their big practice event is Bragging Rights I think, which is an ETC-rules club event. I believe Hinge's guys from California caused them a lot of trouble there this year.

England have a set round of practice events, notably the ETC Warmup in Denmark and the Six Nations (UK, Ireland & France). There used to be more team tournaments in England. The third place (year or two ago?) was well earned but as the captain said when they lost the decisive match v Poland "I think they were just a bit better than us".

Norway seemed to be going really well until the Sweden match. Ouch!

Morathi's powerful but that kind of character is always a little vulnerable to a mistake or bad luck IMHO. Interesting that your opponent took the Shades and MSU Witch elves, do you feel this style of list is still pretty strong? I guess you really need Teclis to perform here and a more cautious approach might have been wise. But as we saw, it only needed one opening and he put you on top.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:19 pm 
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Norway drew some good opponents for the first games, including first-time participant Latvia I think. Sweden was just a taste of things to come. The team composition was pretty bad with way too many lists sporting little-to-no flex (WoC, VC, DE, HE and SK were all designed to get strong matchups and win. Though some of these can play safe for a tie-ish result they can`t play properly as a blocker nor go for the 12-8s that more solid lists can).

Morathi DE is in my opinion an overkill in terms of points. I just don`t think she does enough to justify her cost, especially not when she gives up +200VP for being a special character. True, swapping lores depending on opponent is nice, but often when you need Purple Sun you have to hide her away. MSU Witchelves are very good vs HE, but you need to apply pressure to use them. I do believe a Witchstar possibly could`ve worked in this environment, but as with most Elves it´s susceptible to Dwellers... 2 or more smallish units, while good vs most HE, have too little flexibility vs stuff like Warriors, Empire and other DE which will just tear them apart.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Canada's involvement in ETC will probably forever be extremely limited for a few reasons. Less vacation, expensive travel, etc. Even going to Bragging Rights is a reach making hard to get even then the top 10 players in Ontario to go. We would need serious structural changes to how we play Warhammer to be competitive at all, and make the trip worth while. But like most geographic based things the US lack of preparation likely has something to do with the lack of a local rival.

Crossroads gt is doing full ETC comp in the spring, which should be interesting to follow. I'm not sure if I'll go myself but it is interesting to hear from the people who go what their feelings are like.

On DE I feel the only other top level dark elf list is the infantry shooting based build. The city guard build if you will from WD way back in time.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:49 pm 
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It`s sad that expenses is what keeps you from engaging in the ETC. Personally I would go to Canada without hesitating to play the ETC, but then again Norway is a rich country so nothing`s that expensive for us. I can see it being an issue, but with Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and USA sending teams year after year I think it`s more about willingness to commit, which I can understand.

As for USA`s preparations, from what I`ve heard they take this very seriously and I believe they spend a lot more time specifically preparing for the ETC than lots of other countries, I think the problem is more that they`re simply lacking other players and the various metas to play against, they are stuck with a small group of players and their ideas.

I would strongly advice you to go to an ETC-comped event. From a tactical point of view, I think it is far more rewarding as all the blunt force strategies I expect that you usually see dominating the scene simply won`t exist. Furthermore the comp on magic and SLoS means you have to think differently about how you approach the game, you don`t have a cop-out like taking Shadow to counter monsters for example. The team aspect is one thing, but the lists I see winning ETC single events are usually way more multi-faceted than the ones winning uncomped/low-comp events. In my opinion, this promotes and rewards creative thinking and tactical skills.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:23 pm 
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Day 2 started with me meeting a list that I can only lose against if I`m unlucky: Daemons of Chaos with Nurgle spam. Basically he had horrors and Tzeentch Heralds with double Skillcannons and as much Nurgle nastiness as you can fit in at 2000 points. His only chance here is Final Transmutation and Treason followed by a panic test on my White Lions, neither of which are particularly reliable, especially considering I can pick Timewarp to close in fast, Purple Sun to threaten Beasts and Final Trans + Dwellers to return the favour...


.::. Battle Report - Norwegian Master`s #4 vs Daemons of Chaos (uncomped) .::.
Points Before the Game: 39/60

Lists:

Quote:
Teclis, 450 points
Lothern Sea Helm: BSB, Reaver Bow, Shield of the Merwyrm, Ironcurse Icon, 170 points
Mage: Shadow, Forbidden Rod, 120 points

30 Archers, FCG, 330 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (Swap), 85 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (Swap), 85 points

36 White Lions, FCG, Banner of the World Dragon, 548 points

1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
Total: 1998 points


Quote:
Herald of Tzeentch, lvl 2, metal, 125
Herald of Tzeentch, lvl 2, metal, 125
10 Horrors, 130
10 Horrors, 130
10 Horrors, 130
10 Horrors, 130

1 Beast of Nurgle, 60
6 Beasts of Nurgle, 360
6 Beasts of Nurgle, 360

3 Plague Drones, plague probosics, 180
1 Skullcannon, 135
1 Skullcannon, 135
Total: 2000


Pre-battle thoughts and deployment:

With yesterday`s lessons fresh in mind I was determined to conserve as many points as possible this game. Basically the RBTs always die here, so they are a drop that I`ll largely put down just to create some options without revealing my plan. Reavers can possibly be kept alive, depending on many things. The Archers however I should be able to keep alive. The question then is how I can best achieve this whilst pushing for points with big T.

Daemons are always tricky because they have so many drops. With me having to protect the Archers I had to go for a corner. When you want to push, this is -far- from ideal. My opponent made an interesting play as he committed a full unit of 6 Beasts, a Skullcannon and 2x10 Horrors to my flank. I assume his thinking here was that if I ignore them, they can wrap around and go for my Archers, which sort of forces me to push vs this corner alone, ignoring the rest (another 2x10 Horrors, 2 Heralds including the General, a skullcannon, 6 beasts and flies). Furthermore, by pushing against a corner I would be unable to keep his Heralds in my front arc, thus I could not reply with Final Trans or Dwellers.

So an interesting turn of events for sure! Let the games begin.

The following pictures show deployment and Turn 1:

Image

Image

Image

So my Archers are fairly safe and I advance on his corner. A back-to-back miscast on Teclis, both in my T1, both rolling 10, ensure that I lose a LOT of important spells here: Final Transmutation, Purple Sun and Timewarp are all gone (though luckily one of the spells going off with IF was Timewarp so I could close in next turn). My purple sun causing the 2nd miscast is the template you see in the last picture, unfortunately I didn`t roll a high value here so it didn`t do anything. His Heralds are too far away. Flaming Sword Archers start pounding Beasts.

Image

Image

The advance continues, his Heralds are closing in for FT range.

Image

Image

Single Beast blocks me. I try for the lucky overrun (9+ needed) but fail.

Image

Image

I am forced to eat horrors first, unable to overrun into combat and thus be safe from Final Trans.

Image

Image

Final Trans fails to meet its casting value and I rush the Beasts, overrunning into Horrors.

Image

In the last turn of the game I combat reform having beaten the Horrors in his T6, getting Teclis within 34" of his main bunker, containing both the general and secondary Tzeentch Herald. I march big T up on his own, making sure to have the Skillcannon in my front arc as well for Amber Spear. Dwellers goes off on the big bunker and he can`t stop it, but both Wizards pass their S test much to my dismay. I fail to cast Amber Spear. Shooting sees Reaver Bow BSB, Archers and the last Reaver try to kill the cannon but it stands defiant at 1W left.

Counting up the points this is slightly in my favour, a little over 300 points making it a 12-8 win for the High Elves!

Evaluation

With Teclis miscasting and losing spells early game, I knew a big win was unlikely to happen here. Again my T6 moves with big T fails to deliver, showing how fickle relying on magic can be. Given my luck in game 3 however I`m not complaining. 12-8 is a decent result here, given the skewed deployment DoC typically make and the fact that an unlucky roll of Final Transmutation can downright lose me the game. Big.

DoC - HE games are typically predictable in how they play out and this was no exception. This means the game plays fast and, although beating DoC is by no means easy, it`s a relatively soft start compared to fighting DE for example (where the games always develop a lot more dynamically and you have to cover so many possible threat arcs and prods).

Opponent`s Final Placing: 21/58
My Points: 51/80

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:13 pm 
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For the last game of the tournament, I drew Life Magic Cavstar Dark Elves with ranged support. I had learned quite a few lessons during my game 3, which I was hoping would pay off now.


.::. Battle Report - Norwegian Master`s #5 vs Dark Elves (uncomped) .::.
Points Before the Game: 51/80

Lists:

Quote:
Teclis, 450 points
Lothern Sea Helm: BSB, Reaver Bow, Shield of the Merwyrm, Ironcurse Icon, 170 points
Mage: Shadow, Forbidden Rod, 120 points

30 Archers, FCG, 330 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (Swap), 85 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (Swap), 85 points

36 White Lions, FCG, Banner of the World Dragon, 548 points

1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
1 Repeater Bolt Thrower, 70 points
Total: 1998 points


Quote:
Dreadlord on Dark steed, general, sea dragon cloak, enchanted shield, giant blade, dawnstone 258
Supreme sorceress on Dark steed, level 4, lore of life 240
Master on Dark steed, BSB, heavy armour, sea dragon cloak, shield, lance 123
Master on Dark steed, heavy armour, sea dragon cloak, shield, lance, Other Trickster's shard 113
Master on Dark steed, heavy armour, sea dragon cloak, shield, lance, Ring of hotek 148
Master on Dark steed, heavy armour, sea dragon cloak, shield, Sword of might 112

19 Dark riders, FCG, shields, 353
5 Dark riders, shields 85
5 Dark riders, shields 85

5 harpies 75
Reaper Bolt Thrower 70
Reaper Bolt Thrower 70
Reaper Bolt Thrower 70
Reaper Bolt Thrower 70

5 Doomfire warlocks 125
Total: 1997


Pre-battle thoughts and deployment:

My general idea going into this game was as follows: Use Lions to protect Archers, ensure cover for RBTs, eliminate his RBTs one at a time with using my big units for cover (Reavers if need be) and force him to come to me. I took Final Transmutation, Dwellers, Banishment (for putting pressure on Warlocks and small DRs), Enfeebling Foe, Savage Beast, Comet, Flaming Sword of Rhuin can can`t remember the last (think it was Soulblight).

The most important thing however is to beware Dwellers and him wrapping around me. To prevent this, there`s not much I can do as he`s M18, but I do have a trick or two I was hoping would pay off.

Deployment thus sees me go in the corner. Reavers have one unit blocking my RBT for cover and the other making him think twice about advancing headlessly. His Reapers are directly opposite me, which is hugely in my favour as the Archers suddenly have something to do and their impact will likely be minimal. By preserving cover for my own RBT and taking out one at a time this is a duel that heavily favours me, forcing his Lifebus to push if he wants to win.

Image

I open up with letting all RBTs shoot one of his Reapers without cover, maintaining cover vs the rest. Magic sees him stop Comet, I get Banishment through on WL which kill 3/5. Shooting kills a Reaper and puts a wound on another (Archers).

Image

He moves up and takes care to place his unit more than 46" away from Teclis. This means that if I march, I`m still not within FT range. I get a little too eager here so I forget to take a picture, but the gist of it is that my reply to this is to reform the Lions 2 wide: Gaining lots of space and allowing me to move within 36" with Teclis. The cast of Final Transmutation is absolutely game breaking as his L4 goes down, along with the Hotek carrier (!) and a second master (!!). That`s 3 out of 6 characters going down to a single cast of FT. For all the points Teclis could`ve taken during this tournament (see games 2 and 4, especially), he most definitely made up for it now.

Image

My opponent tries one last push and sends the cavalry up, getting the DR within reasonable distance of an RBT.

Image

My response is to simply reform the Lions and move the RBT so that he cannot make a legal charge. At this point I know the rest of the game is all about grabbing as many points as possible. I manage Enfeebling + Dwellers on his Dark Riders with a healthy magic phase due to Forbidden Rod (the Lord was on his own), he saves dice for the latter but i IF and the last 2 masters and all but 1 DR die. I ignore miscast with the staff.

Image

He knows he has to try and conserve points so he moves away to the cover from the hill.

Image

The rest of the game is spent with my Lions reforming and moving after him, BSB shooting and Teclis casting spells on as few dice as possible. I claim the big DRs but fail to get points for the Warlocks, Lord, small DRs and Harpies. This picture is taken towards the end, showing the Archers clearing up Reapers as well:

Image

I had lost 2 units of Reavers and although my opponent had lost a lot, he had conserved some points. A 17-3 win to the High Elves!

Evaluation

My Final Transmutation T2 completely broke this game. It goes to show how much you fear these spells and how they dominate the game. True, he had a deathstar and these spells are designed (I suppose) to deal with just that, but taking out the 2 most important characters (Hotek is a pain) was very, very lucky for me. This could easily have gone worse for me if he had survive with the L4 and pushed towards me, Dwellers away. With the scroll however, I have a big advantage in this duel so basically he needs IF to gain the upper hand.

I was particularly happy with how I used the Archers and RBTs this game. In the end I lost ~10 Archers and not a single Bolt Thrower. Although this might seem like a small thing, the difference between losing all my RBTs with him having all of his intact and vice versa is a total of 500 points. Final Transmutation broke the game, yes, but winning the small war here made the win a big one instead of small (or perhaps even marginal).

In the end then I had 68 points. Some of the people in the lead however kept racking up big kills so I knew I wouldn`t get a top spot. I ended up taking 7th place and with it, best in race High Elves 4 points ahead of the second best High Elf player (who also had Teclis, by the way). Considering my lack of practice and my (correct) anticipation that I would not be able to score big points, this is an outcome I am happy with. Furthermore, I won all of my games which has never happened before. Always a welcome thing, especially seeing as neither number 1 nor number 2 (at 89 and 84bp, respectively) could claim the same. I think it goes to show that Teclis is very stable, but hard to rack up big wins with (at least the configuration I ran). This makes him an utter pain to play against (though there are a few hard counters, WoC for example), but it also means he requires a lot of skill to be a top contender. I know this is likely a controversial statement, but that`s what I believe after having played him for a few games.

Post-tournament musings coming up :)

Opponent`s Final Placing: 20/58
My Final Points: 68/100
My Final Placing: 7/58

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:42 pm 
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To wrap up uncomped play for now, let`s take a look at NM, its lists, the games, predictions and add in some musings and further thoughts on the topic.


.::. Norwegian Master`s - Post-Tournament Analysis .::.

NM was a very interesting tournament with nearly 60 players (quite big for Norwegian events). I met hard competition from the first game onwards, as my opponents` final placings show as well. Lots of ups and downs, crazy dice rolls and a good atmosphere really helped making the tournament come alive beyond what some of these utterly boring matchups would suggest.

First of all, uncomped play and High Elves at 2000 points. I tried making infantry lists, I tried making cavstars, I tried making monster mash lists ranging from 2 to 4 phoenixes, I tried everything I could think of. In a meta where I knew Empire and Elves would be dominant (quite evident from my games as well with 2x EMP and 2x DE matches) with a little bit of DoC, WoC, LZ and SK thrown in the mix, I could never find a list without glaring weaknesses, much to my dismay. Thus it was that I started designing a list around Teclis, the sheer flexibility this guy has makes up for our one-dimensional options @2k. I contemplated going double Phoenix for a long while, but in the end decided against this seeing as they are a liability in a lot of matchups. Furthermore, I don`t think Phoenixes are that good uncomped: If combat units are hard they are HARD, to the point where a Phoenix really struggles. Furthermore there`s no follow-up. Long story short I decided to drop them, beef up the Lions and get more RBTs instead. In hindsight, this was a move I was very happy to have made. I still don`t know how I`d build my list without Teclis though. Perhaps we have more options, but at 2000 I could not find any strong configurations without Teclis. Partly sad because our book lack options and synergy at this point level, partly sad because it implicitly shows how game breaking single elements (Dwellers, Bells and Whistles WoC characters, Trollstars etc) can be. At 2400 with SLoS I think we have at least some more options, such as the Star Dragon, cavstar, Allarielle, Light Council etc. True, I assume Teclis is a very strong pick here as well, but I don`t think he`s necessarily our only hope for a competitive build. I could be wrong as uncomped play is not my area of expertise.

Anyway, since we are talking about how these games play, let`s recap my 5 games from a macro point of view:
- In the first 2 games it was an outright Dwellers war. Nothing even impacted the game to a significant degree apart from setting up/defending against this madness.
- In game 3 I probably had my only game that "felt" like a normal, comped game. With Morathi being on a peg, she would not have gotten Look Out, Sir! anyways and our armies both had multiple phases to contend. A highly interesting game which I sadly played bad, but luckily won due to the dice.
- The last 2 games I view as variations of the first 2: Though neither were as obvious as the first two, they were all about the right spells at the right moment. In game 4 I miscast early on, losing my momentum but in game 5 final transmutation came through in style, outright winning me the game.

The way I see it, magic and Teclis in particular was the key factor in all 5 games. My opponent`s magic was my main concern in all games barring game 3. Though this is partly what you`re asking for when playing Teclis, this is not what my Star Dragon games typically boil down to when I play 2400 points. This one-dimensionality is not something I enjoy and I`m glad I`m done with uncomped play for a while. Also keep in mind here that I feel a competitive build at 2k is pushed towards Teclis, so the lack of alternatives here is just as big of an issue as anything else.

I ended up grabbing 7th place, which means that quite a few people performed better than me. Let`s take a look at their lists. From 1 to 6, their lists were as follows:

Quote:
Jeremy Payen
Ogre Kingdoms

Slaughtermaster, general, level 4, lore of heavens, great weapon, talisman of preservation, glittering scales, The other trickster`s shard 380
Bruiser, BSB, great weapon, Rune maw 201
Butcher, level 1, lore of the great maw, additional hand weapon, dispel scroll 127
Firebelly, level 1, lore of fire, additional hand weapon, hellheart 172

10 ironguts, FCG, look out gnoblar, standard of dicipline, 480
10 gnoblars 25

Gorger 90
Gorger 90
Gorger 90

Ironblaster 170
Ironblaster 170
Total: 1995


Quote:
Sylvain Jaber
Empire

Arch Lector, general, Fozzrik`s folding fortress 200
Wizard Lord, level 4, lore of life, obsidian lodestone, sceptre of stability 260
Captain, BSB, standard of dicipline 100
Wizard, level 1, lore of light, 65
Wizard, level 1, lore of light, dispel scroll 90
Wizard, level 1, lore of light, scroll of shielding 80
Wizard, level 2, lore of light, power stone 120

10 archers 70
10 archers 70
10 archers 70
10 archers 70
10 archers 70
25 handgunners, musician 235

Steam Tank 250
Steam Tank 250
Total: 2000


Quote:
Lasse Kalberg
The Empire

Battle Wizard Lord, warhorse, general, lvl 4, lore of life, dispel scroll, crown of command, dragonbane gem, 283 pts
Captain of the Empire, warhorse, battle standard bearer, full plate, barding, charmed shield, dawnstone, biting blade, 147 pts

13 Knightly Order, inner circle, fcg, standard of discipline, 370 pts
6 Knightly Order, 132 pts

5 Demigryph Knights, musician, banner, gleaming pennant, 315 pts
4 Demigryph Knights, musician, banner, 252 pts

Steam Tank, 250 pts
Steam Tank, 250 pts
Totalt: 1999 pts


Quote:
Augustin Leth
Warriors of Chaos

Daemon Prince, general, daemon of khorne, chaos armour, daemonic flight, collar of khorne, soul feeder, scaled skin, sword of striking, charmed shield 400
Exalted hero on daemonic mount, BSB, Mark of Tzeentch, barding, great weapon, shield, talisman of preservation, potion of foolhardiness, third eye of tzeentch 264
Throgg 195

11 chaos trolls, additional hand weapons 418
5 chaos warhounds, vanguard 40
5 chaos warhounds 30
5 chaos warhounds 30

Chimera, flaming breath, regenerating flesh 275

4 Skullcrushers of Khorne, musician, standard bearer, ensorcelled weapons, banner of swiftness 347
Total: 1999


Quote:
Thibault Rigolet
Dark Elves

Dreadlord on dark steed, general, heavy armour, shield, sea dragon cloak, repeater crossbow, giant blade, dawnstone 267
Supreme Sorceress on dark steed, level 3, lore of death, dispel scroll 230
Master on dark pegasus, BSB, heavy armour, sea dragon cloak, lance, charmed shield, talisman of preservation 211
Master on dark pegasus, heavy armour, shield, sea dragon cloak, repeater crossbow, lance, cloak of twilight 193

10 Dark riders, musician, shields, repeater crossbows 210
10 Dark riders, shields, repeater crossbows 200
5 dark riders, shields, repeater crossbows 100

5 harpies 75
Reaper Bolt Thrower 70
Reaper Bolt Thrower 70
Reaper Bolt Thrower 70

7 Doomfire warlocks 175
5 Doomfire warlocks 125
Total: 1996


Quote:
Amund Teigum
Skaven

Grey seer, power scroll, 275
Warlord, wizarding hat, 190
Chieftain, bsb, storm banner, 120
Warlock Enginer, lvl 1, scroll, 90
Warlock Enginer, lvl 1, 65
Warlock Enginer, doomrocket, 45
Warlock Enginer, brass orb, 65

72 Slaves, mu, champion, shield, 186
40 Slaves, mu, champion, 86
40 Slaves, mu, champion, 86
21 Slaves, mu, champion, 46
21 Slaves, mu, champion, 46

9 gutter runners, poison, slings, additional hand weapons, 162
9 gutter runners, poison, slings, additional hand weapons, 162
8 gutter runners, poison, slings, additional hand weapons, 144

Warp lightning cannon, 90
Warp lightning cannon, 90


The recurring theme here is that these armies do not have glaring weaknesses to the common magic lores that dominate Elves. Yes, many of these struggle vs Purple Sun, but how many people will load up on Death when you anticipate Elves and Empire with lots of Life magic around? To answer my own, rhetorical question, the above lists sport a single wizard wielding death.

As you can probably tell from the names above most of the top placing guys at NM were French. Their preparations and meta predictions were spot on and their individual skills were good, making for an unbeatable combination. Next year, we have to claim our own tournament, nothing to do but practice ;)

To do consistently well in an uncomped environment, I think you have to include elements that don`t have these super-polarized matchups and hugh 50-50 situations because inevitably during a 5-game tournament, magic will let you down, you will draw bad matchups and you will have bad dice. The lists above are, almost without exception, flexible enough to play the game that they want to. For this reason I was actually looking to take WoC to NM (which I have a concept list with that I`d really like to try), but I simply didn`t have nearly enough time to paint an army. I think this army excels at avoiding the usual suspects and still have enough punch to win big when needed. If you know of a High Elf configuration at this points level that isn`t particularly vulnerable to Dwellers, STanks, Dark Elves avoidance and Teclis, I`d very much like to know ;)

As predicted prior to the tournament, my list doesn`t have enough power to grab big points. Winning all 5 games and still finishing below 70 points says something about how hard it is to grab points from (I didn`t even lose all support elements in any of my games), but also how much it struggles to capitalize on a good matchup. The 12-8 win vs DoC is a good example here. This reflects my thoughts on the subject of why tournament lists almost always should be aggressive by design (see the powerplay article submission thread in the tactics section, link will come in this blog later on). Part of why I took this list then was because I didn`t know how to configure a Teclis list to be capable of pushing, but it should also be said that I specifically went with this army because I wanted to expand my horizons in terms of High Elf playstyles: Throughout this year I`ve taken anything from combined arms to star dragon to teclis to tournaments and this versatility, I hope, is making me a better player.

In hindsight of my experiences though, I think that the obvious choice to improve this list`s viability in terms of winning big is to swap out those Archers for Silver Helms. I think the RBTs are still worth keeping over a Frostheart as they were golden in many of my games, but this would of course require playtesting. Basically the Silver Helms go well in tandem with Lions when pushing, Lions towards the center and Silver Helms flanking wide, wrapping around the Lions on the extreme flank and sweeping towards the middle mid-game. 20 with full command is a fearsome sight in its own right against many enemies, but the reason I believe in it in this context is of course Teclis` versatility. Many of the armies I met would`ve struggled big vs such a unit, bearing in mind that I can cast Mindrazor at them and basically put S10 ASF attacks en masse on anything from STanks to Beasts of Nurgle.

Furthermore I believe I was lacking a bit of ranged flexibility in terms of pure damage spells. Dwellers is nice vs Elves but close to useless in many other cases. I was also lacking a 2nd dispel scroll - true I got by nicely throughout the tournament - but Teclis did take a Dwellers test which I passed and it was iffy in a couple of my other games as well. The Lions are so big and strong that they hardly saw combat at all, I think a third wizard with a scroll and Light for both backup wizards allows Teclis to go "budget banishment": At S6 it`s still a very, very dangerous spell for many opponents.

To conclude then, if I were to take this further I would be experimenting with another wizard, a big unit of Helms in core (Reavers did next to nothing all tournament, true they killed an Empire Wizard but this was down to sheer luck, really), a few less Lions and maybe an RBT less to pay for the wizard. Even with Teclis' formidable array of spells, you need to bring the fight to the enemy to ensure big points.

The plans for the rest of the year contains 2 tournaments: First there is BSK, a 4-man team tournament ETC event in 2 weeks' time, followed by 2d6 Challenge, a local tournament in the middle of November with Giant Fanatic comp. I'm particularly looking forward to BSK as we've been practicing for months, but Challenge will also be a refreshing experience seeing as Giant Fanatic is something nobody around here knows particularly well and it's a significantly heavier comp system than we're used to.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:27 am 
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I mostly agree with everything you have said. I'm taking a SH bus and PG to a 2k event in a fortnight so I'll have some actual in game examples to share. I don't expect to see a lot of dwellers myself, and am considering using life on my Archmage myself.

I do agree the post HE books have really put us in a pickle. Previously we could just spec to beat WoC, and everyone else was some variety of combat similar or worse than that. With the books that followed us they play the game a lot different, both elves have more general speed than we do, and reavers are not sufficient to keep us in the game that way. Unfortunately I feel HE play the most defensively out of the three elf books, which is sadly not the blueprint to gaining BPs.

I've essentially dropped Reavers from all my lists, we get core heavy cav may as well use them. I also found if I didn't chuck them in a corner they almost always died with limited effect on the battlefield. A canny opponent would often kill them as soon as they were about to do their job, and if I kept them safe they were usually too far away to do their job.

On they I've gone back to eagles, they can follow my bus around and be relatively safe from bs shooting, and with fly and free pivots have the movement to block when I need them too.

I've gotten tired of giving up VPs in games and feel life magic will help my greatly keep my Bus and characters alive. Beast of Nurgle do keep my up at night though. I've tacked on a lvl1 beast wizard with scroll and khaine's ring, to supplement my magic phase.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:08 am 
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Presumably Dwellers gives you a shot vs Beasts Baleanoon?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:14 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Presumably Dwellers gives you a shot vs Beasts Baleanoon?


At S4 yes, but 5 from 8 BoN charging is still an issue. I hope I just can avoid the match up all together they aren't super popular in the area. I won't get a test game against the army sadly.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:00 pm 
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What size Beasts can your combat units handle Baleanoon? I assume you don't have World Dragon which would simplify things?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:26 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
What size Beasts can your combat units handle Baleanoon? I assume you don't have World Dragon which would simplify things?


I have BotWD on the silver helm bus, but getting it bogged down would basically end my ability to collect VPs in that match.

I do have banner of eternal flame PG in the list who I think should be able to fight a weakened unit, but without razor standard they are significantly weaker i every other match up.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Congrats on the 7th Place

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:44 pm 
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Vindicated Strategist
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Location: Oslo, Norway
@Baleanoon - The amount of Dwellers depends on your meta. If people wise up to the fact that magic is popular, WoC and OK for example should become popular, which in turn decreases the amount of armies taking Dwellers seeing as it's just not good against them. I think that NM had a largely premature meta, meaning that people had not had the chance to adapt to uncomped play (which makes sense, seeing as we almost never have uncomped tournaments), which explains the Dwellers-24x7 experience many of us had. Looking at the top placing French lists, they were probably more used to this and were thus able to play around it.

@SpellArcher - The main problem with DoC is that they are literally everywhere. With 2 units of flies, 2 units of ambushing hounds, a unit or two of beasts and horrors + herald backup with army-wide ITP and Daemonic Unbreakability, not to mention Reign of Chaos, they will simply swarm you. True, one unit is always safe, apart from Final Trans and Treason of Tzeentch, but what good is that if the rest of your army gets killed off? If you look at my last ~5 reports or so vs DoC you will see that these games largely boil down to whether I can keep my non-BOTWD elements alive and how effectively I can use my BOTWD-unit to kill DoC fast, as opposed to getting bogged down.

@Browncastle - Thank you ;) I was hoping to see you around, but perhaps I'll see you at Challenge instead? ;)

---

Good news! I've been chosen to be part of the Norwegian ETC team for 2015 :) I'll be going to Prague along with 7 other very skilled players, which I'm really looking forward to! As the team has just been chosen, it's too early to say much about how this'll affect me in any way, but I'll keep you up to date ;)

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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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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:26 pm 
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Green Istari

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:26 am
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Location: Otherworld
Curu that's fantastic!

=D>

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:37 am
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Location: ireland
=D>
Congrats

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do an rpg personality test, im from Ireland and I get...

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