Thoughts on Dragon Princes

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unseenlurker
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Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#1 Post by unseenlurker »

I wanted to ask the community what they think about Dragon Princes.

To begin with, I thought they looked borderline useless, due to the impetuous rule. However, after testing them in a game yesterday, I changed my mind.

They can be very effective due to drilled. I used them in a way that allowed me to march 24 inches per turn (marching column) along the flank, hiding from enemies until I was ready to utilize drilled to change formation and charge the enemy in the rear. This way, I did not have to test for impetuous at all during the game.
In addition, they hit quite hard with 2 attacks each.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#2 Post by saga »

I think your experience demonstrates that impetuous is not "useless". It sounds like you have to be thoughtful in how you deploy, move, and use them as part of your army.

I play Lizardmen, and I found that drilled on the saurus cav is very helpful in exactly the same role as you used your dragon princes. I think cavalry is very strong and multi-attack cav is worth it even with some oddities or restrictions (Impetuous, Stupidity, etc). I absolutely plan on playing Dragon Princes for High Elves.

Also, if we set aside competitive advantages etc for a moment. Dragon Princes are strong, and you and your opponents will both know it. Impetuous rolls will be a point of drama for both players and probably make for an interesting game.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#3 Post by Csjarrat »

I think with the rampaging banner they're great. A lot of the time they're going to want to charge something anyway, and the rampaging banner helps a lot for those long bombs if you don't want to charge chaff units
an interesting variation on my usual playstyle, which is 'charge forward, forward for the love of khaine, we can fight better than any of them and they can't shoot into melee why is our armor so thin ohgodcannons'
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#4 Post by The Peacemaker »

I think you still have to test for impetuous - the way the wording is for marching column seems to make it so that you can still declare charges, you can't actually charge.

I find dragon princes are ok. You do need to choose their targets carefully though, they can't just charge anything. 2 attacks is great but if not base to base you only get 1 supporting attack.
This can be easily wasted on subpar enemies. And in a grind they are only Strength 3, AP0.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#5 Post by Tethlis »

With how long and grinding combats are right now, I'm really skeptical of investing Special units in a cav unit that relies on lances, when we can spend our Core tax on that instead.

That said, Dragon Princes have really meaningful upgrades now in all the right places. Great stat bumps and vastly superior durability. So I'm not sure yet.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#6 Post by Shalyir »

Be careful of Night Goblin fanatics. Facing endless stream of them I tend to avoid any low toughness units.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#7 Post by unseenlurker »

The Peacemaker wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 6:03 pm I think you still have to test for impetuous - the way the wording is for marching column seems to make it so that you can still declare charges, you can't actually charge.

I find dragon princes are ok. You do need to choose their targets carefully though, they can't just charge anything. 2 attacks is great but if not base to base you only get 1 supporting attack.
This can be easily wasted on subpar enemies. And in a grind they are only Strength 3, AP0.
Yes, you still have to test for impetuous, but with drilled and marching column, it is easier to position them in a way that only demands you to make an impetuous test when you actually want them to charge.
I've been using a unit of 5 dragon princes in ~10 battles now, at 1250 points. So far, I'm extremely happy with them, except for the one time they got blown up by the Necromancy magic missile (str 2, no armour save).
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#8 Post by Prince of Spires »

Shalyir wrote: Sat Mar 30, 2024 12:41 am Be careful of Night Goblin fanatics. Facing endless stream of them I tend to avoid any low toughness units.
Unfortunately, that's most HE units, other than chariots and monsters. We're a glass cannon army.
Tethlis wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 9:28 pm With how long and grinding combats are right now, I'm really skeptical of investing Special units in a cav unit that relies on lances, when we can spend our Core tax on that instead.
I think this is their main issue. Impetuous can be dealt with. But we have to take 25% core. We get a pretty decent heavy cavalry unit in core. The rest is mediocre, except for reavers (and you normally only want 2 units of 5 of those). This makes it logical to fill up core with SH. If you already have one or two good sized cavalry units in core, then why would you take a more expensive one in special? Points become scarce, and they can in many cases be better spent on other choices.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#9 Post by The Peacemaker »

Dragon princes are ALOT better than Silver Helms though. 2 attacks base is usually double the attacks in a small front. Plate, dragon armour, ithlimar weapons. And drilled for the extra march.

I think unseenlurker is spot on with his drilled+ march tactic for these guys. 27" move gets these guys in good positions. I think this is the only I'd use these guys from now on.
A Silver Helms unit is just a 5 man MSU unit. Take 2+ of these and combo charge. Heck, maybe the Dragon Princes combo with a rear charge.

I'd take both units in a list. It's not "one or the other" since they perform differently.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#10 Post by Minion X »

Has anyone tried the Dragon Princes against other heavy cavalry? With I5, Elven Reflexes and Counter-Charge they have a good chance of striking before most other equivalent units even if charged (the exceptions being Cold One Knights and Chaos Knights of Slaanesh, I believe), and with two attacks S5 and -2AP they have a decent chance of killing a few enemies and limiting how many attacks they make in return.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#11 Post by Pash »

Minion X wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:21 am Has anyone tried the Dragon Princes against other heavy cavalry? With I5, Elven Reflexes and Counter-Charge they have a good chance of striking before most other equivalent units even if charged (the exceptions being Cold One Knights and Chaos Knights of Slaanesh, I believe), and with two attacks S5 and -2AP they have a decent chance of killing a few enemies and limiting how many attacks they make in return.
I’m afraid the maths is not in our favour. Dragon Princes are roughly equivalent to Grail Knights or Chosen Knights in cost and both of those pack more of a punch and can withstand more damage than Dragon Princes, especially in subsequent rounds of combat, when DP’s strike at the same time as them. I think you’re hoping for quite a bit of luck or a multi charge in order to get your DPs to outperform other elite cav units.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#12 Post by NHB »

Pash wrote: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:37 pm
Minion X wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:21 am Has anyone tried the Dragon Princes against other heavy cavalry? With I5, Elven Reflexes and Counter-Charge they have a good chance of striking before most other equivalent units even if charged (the exceptions being Cold One Knights and Chaos Knights of Slaanesh, I believe), and with two attacks S5 and -2AP they have a decent chance of killing a few enemies and limiting how many attacks they make in return.
I’m afraid the maths is not in our favour. Dragon Princes are roughly equivalent to Grail Knights or Chosen Knights in cost and both of those pack more of a punch and can withstand more damage than Dragon Princes, especially in subsequent rounds of combat, when DP’s strike at the same time as them. I think you’re hoping for quite a bit of luck or a multi charge in order to get your DPs to outperform other elite cav units.
Yeah, if we want to go up against the other Elites it has to be in such a way that we can ensure the strike first.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#13 Post by Csjarrat »

Minion X wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:21 am Has anyone tried the Dragon Princes against other heavy cavalry? With I5, Elven Reflexes and Counter-Charge they have a good chance of striking before most other equivalent units even if charged (the exceptions being Cold One Knights and Chaos Knights of Slaanesh, I believe), and with two attacks S5 and -2AP they have a decent chance of killing a few enemies and limiting how many attacks they make in return.
I think you'd need some support to make it stick, +1a from high magic, plague of rust on enemy unit, razor standard etc
an interesting variation on my usual playstyle, which is 'charge forward, forward for the love of khaine, we can fight better than any of them and they can't shoot into melee why is our armor so thin ohgodcannons'
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#14 Post by Pash »

NHB wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 10:00 am
Pash wrote: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:37 pm
Minion X wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:21 am Has anyone tried the Dragon Princes against other heavy cavalry? With I5, Elven Reflexes and Counter-Charge they have a good chance of striking before most other equivalent units even if charged (the exceptions being Cold One Knights and Chaos Knights of Slaanesh, I believe), and with two attacks S5 and -2AP they have a decent chance of killing a few enemies and limiting how many attacks they make in return.
I’m afraid the maths is not in our favour. Dragon Princes are roughly equivalent to Grail Knights or Chosen Knights in cost and both of those pack more of a punch and can withstand more damage than Dragon Princes, especially in subsequent rounds of combat, when DP’s strike at the same time as them. I think you’re hoping for quite a bit of luck or a multi charge in order to get your DPs to outperform other elite cav units.
Yeah, if we want to go up against the other Elites it has to be in such a way that we can ensure the strike first.
I’m afraid even with us striking first, you’re really only doing between maybe 1.1-1.4 wounds to a Chosen/Grail knight. Meaning even if they return their attacks, they will still come out on top. In subsequent rounds you’ll go at the same time and they have better strength and often better AP.
I think you’re really looking to add some magic buffs or some additional support (character, chariot, other combat units, loaded dice..🤣) in order to swing things in your favour.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#15 Post by Prince of Spires »

Pash wrote: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:37 pm I’m afraid the maths is not in our favour. Dragon Princes are roughly equivalent to Grail Knights or Chosen Knights in cost and both of those pack more of a punch and can withstand more damage than Dragon Princes, especially in subsequent rounds of combat, when DP’s strike at the same time as them. I think you’re hoping for quite a bit of luck or a multi charge in order to get your DPs to outperform other elite cav units.
Is it really that big a difference in later rounds? In the second round, Grail Knights have +1S, and +1 WS compared to DP's. On the other hand, DP's reroll 1's to hit, which compensates for that, and they have a 2+ armour save vs a 3+ for the Grail Knights. Very back of the envelop calculation: 5 DP vs 5 GK, second round of combat, both get 10 attacks:
DP: 10 attacks, 5 hits, reroll 1 of the misses, for another 0.5 hit, half wound giving 2.75 wound, 3+ armour save means 0.9 wounds, 6+ ward means 0.75 wounds after saves.
GK: 10 attacks, 6.7 hits, no reroll, 4/6 wound giving 4.4 wound, 2+ armour save means 0.74 wounds, 6+ ward means 0.61 wounds after saves.

The DPs deal more wounds in the second round of combat on average, though it's more or less a wash really. I think the GK probably win if they are in Lance formation (which gives them +1 CR if I understand its rules correctly), but they would also need an extra model to get those 5 models fighting. So 6 vs 5 models (which also gives them an extra rank bonus, making them win by 2).

The differences are minimal I think, though the extra point of wardsave against higher S attacks does benefit the GK in the first round (and I'm too lazy to math hammer it). In later round they would both be hitting each other with wet towels for all the damage they're doing.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#16 Post by Pash »

Prince of Spires wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 9:15 am
Pash wrote: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:37 pm I’m afraid the maths is not in our favour. Dragon Princes are roughly equivalent to Grail Knights or Chosen Knights in cost and both of those pack more of a punch and can withstand more damage than Dragon Princes, especially in subsequent rounds of combat, when DP’s strike at the same time as them. I think you’re hoping for quite a bit of luck or a multi charge in order to get your DPs to outperform other elite cav units.
Is it really that big a difference in later rounds? In the second round, Grail Knights have +1S, and +1 WS compared to DP's. On the other hand, DP's reroll 1's to hit, which compensates for that, and they have a 2+ armour save vs a 3+ for the Grail Knights. Very back of the envelop calculation: 5 DP vs 5 GK, second round of combat, both get 10 attacks:
DP: 10 attacks, 5 hits, reroll 1 of the misses, for another 0.5 hit, half wound giving 2.75 wound, 3+ armour save means 0.9 wounds, 6+ ward means 0.75 wounds after saves.
GK: 10 attacks, 6.7 hits, no reroll, 4/6 wound giving 4.4 wound, 2+ armour save means 0.74 wounds, 6+ ward means 0.61 wounds after saves.

The DPs deal more wounds in the second round of combat on average, though it's more or less a wash really. I think the GK probably win if they are in Lance formation (which gives them +1 CR if I understand its rules correctly), but they would also need an extra model to get those 5 models fighting. So 6 vs 5 models (which also gives them an extra rank bonus, making them win by 2).

The differences are minimal I think, though the extra point of wardsave against higher S attacks does benefit the GK in the first round (and I'm too lazy to math hammer it). In later round they would both be hitting each other with wet towels for all the damage they're doing.
So a wee correction on your maths there - Grail Knights are T4, which makes some difference to the wounds output (from your 0.75 wounds to about 0.48 wounds + 0.24 wounds from the horses). Otherwise much the same but the Bret horses have some additional damage to add (however unlikely) of around 0.26 wounds per round.

So the maths is not in the favour of DPs but it very swingy of course. One upset, an extra wound taken here or there, an additional combat res or so and you've got combat swinging one way or another. I think the key thing to take away is that Elite vs Elite cav fights are not ones that have the odds favourably in the High Elf camp. You'd want to stack things a bit more with spells, characters, combo charges etc. Alternatively, pick an easier target! :lol:
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#17 Post by Prince of Spires »

Grail Knights are T4? I'd missed that. Thanks for pointing it out. I already found the S4 unfair to elves. T4 is just an insult to elves everywhere. I had simply assumed "human model, so T3 default".
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#18 Post by Pash »

Prince of Spires wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 11:30 am Grail Knights are T4? I'd missed that. Thanks for pointing it out. I already found the S4 unfair to elves. T4 is just an insult to elves everywhere. I had simply assumed "human model, so T3 default".
Ah but they are Living Saints after all :roll:

Agree though, T3 across the board (while not mounted on Chariots or tougher critters) is tricky to manage. At least having a decent Armour Save and going (generally) first seems to be realistic, so there's that to balance out. It could be worse, you could be Empire cavalry :lol:
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#19 Post by NightHawk45 »

I just countercharged my dragon princes into Grail Knights and got destroyed. I did one wound and they killed the entire unit.
On the other hand, DP's reroll 1's to hit
this is only on turns in which they do not use their Lance correct? That's how I've been playing it.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#20 Post by Prince of Spires »

NightHawk45 wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 5:02 am I just countercharged my dragon princes into Grail Knights and got destroyed. I did one wound and they killed the entire unit.
On the other hand, DP's reroll 1's to hit
this is only on turns in which they do not use their Lance correct? That's how I've been playing it.
That's correct. That why I mentioned it being a second round thing (assuming they didn't charge of course). It's one of the few things they have over grail knights who get +1S and +1WS.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#21 Post by Houdini »

So far I have found DPs easily our best unit (outside of Characters). Cavalry have a huge advantage over infantry, and then add into the mix the large amount of special rules the DPs are packing. One advantage I have found even with the DPs is the ability to flee 3D6 with Swiftstride. Now I know some might say why on earth would DPs flee :shock: ? In my last game I failed the impetuous check and had to charge into a unit of Crypt Horrors, I then won the combat and did not follow up, otherwise I would've been locked into a combat that I would've eventually died from. The following turn the Crypt Horrors charge the DPs and I was easily able to flee from their charge range.
My one concern with the DPs is that they will become more useless with the Impetuous rule as time goes on. This is because more players will figure out how to best over come any charge blocking units like the Reavers and how to best charge bait the DPs.
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Re: Thoughts on Dragon Princes

#22 Post by Prince of Spires »

I'm not sure how much of a downside Impetuous will turn out to be. In previous editions, other races often had trouble figuring out how to use redirectors correctly, which made some unit feel broken to them, even though 2 sacrifical units could often keep them out of the game. It might very well still be the case, where on paper people know it's a downside, but in practice people don't abuse said downside nearly enough.

I do find it a bit sad that one of our best units is worse than the comparable choice from other armies. The already mentioned Bretonian Knights and Chosen knights are just better. What does that say about the book overall? Of course, they shouldn't be taken in isolation. On the other hand, they're priced such that if you bring a big unit of them, then you won't have all that much left on the table. 10 of them make a 400pts unit, or about 20% of an army.
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