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 Post subject: Tactica: Mage on dragon
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 12:06 pm 
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Have any of you tried running a mage on a moon or star dragon?

What sort of items would you look to if you did run it?

Are there any benefits to negate the downside of mage who wants to be out of combat vs dragon who wants to be in it?


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 7:36 am 
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Go for a defensive set up. I would look at High magic to boost ward saves, Talisman of Protection and Book of Hoeth. Or a Talisman of Endurance and the Ironcurse Icon in order to give the dragon a 6++ vs warmachines that can be improved with High magic.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:25 pm 
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I've considered it, haven't tried it yet. In the last game I played I ran an all-cavalry list for fun, and, because my mage was in my main DP bus which was going round the flank of the enemy I had trouble finding viable targets for my spells. So if you're running a hyper-mobile list, and you're not likely to face lots of cannons, go for it!

I agree on the defensive setup. I would look to get them into combat quickly as that also protects your mage from magic, but only as a combined charge with another of your units. Make sure the dragon is on the flank, and, ideally, near the edge of the enemy unit, to minimise the number of attacks that can be directed at it, or rather at your mage :p Against most normal infantry I don't think your mage will have trouble surviving, and the dragon will contribute enough to combat resolution to make it very likely the enemy will run away so you won't have to endure a second round of combat.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:25 am 
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My Empire army is based around Elspeth von Draken on a Carmine Dragon from the Tamurkan book. Basically a L4 Death loremaster T4, no Ward Save, -1 to wound her, and she has a special item that she can reroll one dice a turn or regain a wound.

I take two cannons for warmachine defense.

Sadly, this list is not cutting it for me. She dies very easily - both to magic and warmachines. My win-loss record with her is poor - only 4 wins, 6 losses in two Adepticon tournaments. Even accounting for some less than stellar luck in those two tournaments (I guess I used it all up with the High Elves), I honestly don't think you can expect to go more than 3-2 with her.

While a fighty lord on a Stardragon (3+AS, 4++WS) is pretty safe from small arms, and does okay versus magic, the only ultra threat is warmachines.

For a mage on a dragon, there won't be any armor save to speak of, so small arms fire becomes huge even.

With my Empire experiences in mind, if I was to do it, I wouldn't want to try it without the 4++ WS, ever. Don't downgrade to a 5++. That 4++ would be mandatory, and still is risky. I'd love to throw in some MR, but I don't see how with the Talisman slot filled.

A pity we can't use the WS 10 paired weapons mounted for some close combat help.

Okay, for 2400 - L4 with 4++, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse, Moon Dragon. If I did the math correct, that would be 595. The mage is most likely to get killed in close combat still, but I'd still take High Magic. Another option is to dump the Scroll and take the Toughness Potion. While you are likely to cast at least one spell to boost the Ironcurse Icon up to a 5++ vs. warmachines, the potion of toughness would make you very survivable in close combat for a round.

At 3000, for sure take the Stardragon. Read my reports - it rarely dies except to warmachines. With an Ironcurse Icon, T7 and 7 wounds, and a L4 High mage, you'd have a very good chance to keep the dragon at least alive. Possibly a Life mage too. I'd have to consider if the upgraded ward is worth the lore attribute of Life.

I think this build is much better at 3000 than 2400 with the Star rather than the Moon, as the Stardragon in my experience is probably twice as likely to live as the Moon Dragon. Other than warmachines, it takes a LOT to kill the Stardragon, and you'll see it coming.

Also, with High Magic, I think you might consider throwing a bunch of waste spells first, while your opponent could hold dice for the perceived big spell. Your magic phase might not be as optimal. Or you could use a power stone instead of the Scroll for that one critical phase.

At 2500, I'd take the Star, 4++ and live with only a L3. That is how big the 4++ is. Probably would have to pair it with a L2 for any kind magic phase still.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:06 am 
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The Dragonmage you can get to a 2+ with re-roll. Dragon Armor, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone, add in the Iron Curse Icon for the 6+ ward on the Dragon.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:01 am 
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Frankly, a frostheart would make for a much better mount but for some obscure reason they wouldn't let us have it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:02 pm 
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What about a Life Achmage on a Dragon with Talisman of Preservation, Iron Curse Icon.

Can heal the Dragon or give it Regen and get up close for Dwellers and a Breathe weapon.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:36 pm 
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I think High Mage would be better with the High attribute. Dragon starts off with 6++ from the ICI which is easily boosted to at least 4++ thanks to the book of hoeth. Yes, that leaves the mage himself with "only" 5++, but that's quickly fixed by High attribute.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:19 am 
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If your opponent is really gunning for this unit he's going to bring it down. I say go fast attack and max damage. Talisman of preservation, Book of Hoeth, and Lore of Death. Get in there and purple sun his butt. Try to protect him through target saturation and screening. Maybe take a page from the WoC book where they screen their DP with dual regen chimera. Frosties?
A 6++ T-shirt save vs WM's just isn't going to do it.
High Magic? Ok, u get an awesome magic phase and get your AM and Dragon down to a 4++...then what? Engage in CC? Not advisable...jump around and cast devastating magic and pop a one use BW? Not with High Magic. Having a dragon delivery system for soul quench and fiery convo is a waste
I think the LoLife suggestion that someone made was a good one. At least u have dwellers. Who knows, with a regen and a flesh to stone u could risk taking ur AM into combat with a serious unit (not alone though)
I'd go Death with Life as a close 2nd choice.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:10 pm 
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Nice discussion going here.

I do like the High attribute on a dragon theoretically. You can get it to about a 4++ with relative ease.

I'm thinking Fencer's Blades for mage protection in combat.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Dreadlegions wrote:
Nice discussion going here.

I do like the High attribute on a dragon theoretically. You can get it to about a 4++ with relative ease.

I'm thinking Fencer's Blades for mage protection in combat.


But what is the point of having a high magic AM on a Dragon? I guess only to buff your dragon for CC. I may be way off but I don't see that going well. I wouldn't say getting a a dragon down to a 4++ with HM is "relative ease". I would call it down right difficult. That's getting off 3/4 of your HM spells in a single phase. Even if you get the PD for that your opponent isn't just going to let it happen. It's possible don't get me wrong but definitly not easy. Also once you're in CC some of those spells may not even be castable. I would bank on no more than a 5-6++ per turn. Less once in CC. If you had a starting ward I may see the benifit.
I think you have a much better chance of getting through a Regen or stone to flesh
If you hold off on CC until u can flank an engaged unit to finish them off that makes sense but what are you doing in the mean time with HM? Soul Quench? Fiery convo? Ok but you could do the same from the safety of a bunker.
Your dragon gives you the ability to close to range quickly and move to locations where u can play the angles. No other lore benifits from that more than Death. A powerful lore that is only mitigated by limited range and angle of attack. Two things Your Dragon will let you overcome. Take away the range restriction of Spirit Leech, caress of Laniph, and fate of Bjuna and consider those spells. They effect models and not just characters. You could be killing off cannons, Stanks, monsters as well. A Soulblight bubble in the right location could severely change the course of a game. Last but not least, flying to just the right flank angle and blasting a purple sun down an enemy's battle line could win you a game.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Indeed, Death is a great lore for a mobile caster.

I love High as well though, lots of good spells and most castable on one die.

4 spells and possibly Khaine's Ring and you've got a lot of easily castable spells and 5 chances to boost the save.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:59 am 
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really i think that the dragon mage (dude on sundragon with armour) is the best option if you're gonna take a mage on a dragon. The fact that he can get a 2+/re-roll and still be a caster is awesome, plus he wont break the bank if he dies.

If you want to take an archmage on a mobile casting platform, then its a great eagle or nothing I reckon.
Give him a 4++ and it applies to his mount so he can't have it shot out from underneath him + is boostable with High magic. Eagle is just as mobile, and is much smaller so can hide from cannonballs much easier and you're not piling hundreds of points into a combat beasty that you're unlikely to want in combat till the mage is dead.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:34 pm 
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I really want to like the dragon mage. The biggest weakness for me isn't his paradoxical nature, but the fact that it's 400 points for two spells. You just can build a magic phase around that.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:59 am 
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Nightwing wrote:
I really want to like the dragon mage. The biggest weakness for me isn't his paradoxical nature, but the fact that it's 400 points for two spells. You just can build a magic phase around that.

I wish he was a fire lore master The fluff allows it but not the rules :x may be next book he'll be more flexible


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:21 am 
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matrim wrote:
Nightwing wrote:
I really want to like the dragon mage. The biggest weakness for me isn't his paradoxical nature, but the fact that it's 400 points for two spells. You just can build a magic phase around that.

I wish he was a fire lore master The fluff allows it but not the rules :x may be next book he'll be more flexible

That's what we wished for, for this book.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Nightwing wrote:
I really want to like the dragon mage. The biggest weakness for me isn't his paradoxical nature, but the fact that it's 400 points for two spells. You just can build a magic phase around that.

No, its 400 for two spells from the back of a freakin dragon. And a mage who's got an armour save and might actually survive a round of combat.
Its a totally different package than a lvl4 on a dragon, like eltharion on stormwing but better in a few ways

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:27 pm 
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Csjarrat wrote:
Nightwing wrote:
I really want to like the dragon mage. The biggest weakness for me isn't his paradoxical nature, but the fact that it's 400 points for two spells. You just can build a magic phase around that.

No, its 400 for two spells from the back of a freakin dragon. And a mage who's got an armour save and might actually survive a round of combat.
Its a totally different package than a lvl4 on a dragon, like eltharion on stormwing but better in a few ways


Oh I get all that. Problem is, poor magic defence and with only two spells, your opponent is going to have an easy time deciding which to dispell, if they even have to choose! You need to spend points on another mage, just to be able to get some spells through, and have a decent chance to dispell.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:42 am 
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Took a high archmage on moon dragon in a game against wood elves today.

He was kitted out with:
4++, khaines ring, scroll

I feel like she had a pretty solid game against a list that was pretty tough. 14 waywatchers+50 true flight/hagbane archers. The Mage died top of 4.

In her 3 phases she got off a spell or two per turn including a crucial apotheosis on one of my frosties. The dragon managed to kill a unit of warhawk riders and tag teamed a wild rider unit with a Phoenix.

I ended up using the dragon as more board control after the archmage died.

High ended up being pretty solid, I am very tempted by both life and death. I will say that the 3++ on the Mage made her pretty durable. SHe took 3 turns of way watcher / hagbane archers, and combat with the warhawks/wild riders before going down.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:15 am 
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I just finished a tournament where I brought the dragon mage. Besides I also had other more friendlier games with it.

The good stuff:
- Having the 2 best spells in the lore of fire (flaming sword and fire ball) EVERY game is great.
- You can get into good positions and fireball whatever you like
- Draws A LOT of attention

The bad stuff:
- It's horrible in close combat, but it is also to expensive to just fly around.
- it's horrible in close combat again.

Being a fairly new player I decided to drop the dragon mage, since I think it requires a very skilled general to make it work. You really need to be super careful which combats you take with this guy.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:35 pm 
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I once charged a dragon mage into a summoned unit of zombies about 20 strong. Lost both rider and dragon over about 4 rounds of combat.

Mind you, this was the old book so he had a 6+ armor save, and the dragon had only a 5+. Now it's very easy to get 2+ for the mage and 3+ for the dragon. And the breath weapon is a lot stronger too! Zombies beware

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:23 pm 
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My issue with the mages on dragons is that they are 2 conflicting ideas, the mage wants to avoid combat and the dragon wants to be in it.

That being said a dragon mage is the best one to chuck into combat because he can get a 2+ rerollable or a 2+/4++.

Flaming sword is a great spell to have for the dragon, but with the rest of the lore of fire being ranged damage the mage can't even use that when he's in combat.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:26 pm 
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I have a couple of problems with the dragon mage as compared to the archmage on dragon:

1) Sun Dragons are terrible. 4 attacks is passable on a frost phoenix, but on a sun dragon who has S/T 5 he's unlikely to remove any threats quickly and will take significant damage back from even st 4 troops.

2) Dragonmages don't make good solo casters because in order to give them a dispel scroll their defensive kit is significantly reduced and their reckless rule means you have no dispel boost in the magic phase

3) Despite the above weaknesses a fully kitted out dragonmage is still 445 points. I can take an appropriately kitted out Life Archmage on Moon Dragon for 580. A 135 point difference for 2 more spells, a much better dragon, +4 to dispel vs +0 and with the lore approximately the same survivability(agreed that against mass st 3 shooting this last point is not the case). The basic point values of these differences are 165+ depending on kit(100 pts difference between a lvl 2 and a lvl 4 and 65 points difference between a sun dragon and a moon dragon) meaning you're getting a bargain with the archmage on moon dragon.

I agree with the general assessment that any kind of mage mounted on a dragon is suffering from an identity crisis, but, an archmage on dragon is a great way to get a powerful caster into a monster mash list and ideally with correct lore choice and target saturation he can make his presence felt.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:32 am 
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vespacian1 wrote:
I have a couple of problems with the dragon mage as compared to the archmage on dragon:

1) Sun Dragons are terrible. 4 attacks is passable on a frost phoenix, but on a sun dragon who has S/T 5 he's unlikely to remove any threats quickly and will take significant damage back from even st 4 troops.

2) Dragonmages don't make good solo casters because in order to give them a dispel scroll their defensive kit is significantly reduced and their reckless rule means you have no dispel boost in the magic phase

3) Despite the above weaknesses a fully kitted out dragonmage is still 445 points. I can take an appropriately kitted out Life Archmage on Moon Dragon for 580. A 135 point difference for 2 more spells, a much better dragon, +4 to dispel vs +0 and with the lore approximately the same survivability(agreed that against mass st 3 shooting this last point is not the case). The basic point values of these differences are 165+ depending on kit(100 pts difference between a lvl 2 and a lvl 4 and 65 points difference between a sun dragon and a moon dragon) meaning you're getting a bargain with the archmage on moon dragon.

I agree with the general assessment that any kind of mage mounted on a dragon is suffering from an identity crisis, but, an archmage on dragon is a great way to get a powerful caster into a monster mash list and ideally with correct lore choice and target saturation he can make his presence felt.


You are looking this the wrong way.
You are thinking of TWO individual models but if you put them into 1 army it's a totally different ballgame
a) You can fit 3-4 flying monsters into a 2400 army.
b) You get 2 lores and 2 casters BOTH of which is +4 to cast; meaning you statistically have a better chance of getting more spells through.
c) When you have a Lvl 4 to dispel the DM's reckless rule is negligible.
d) Agree that 4S5 attack isn't great but the DM can perform a tank role against S3 Knights (after the lances are spent or charged).

I agree that the Mage on Dragon does have an identity crisis BUT there is also a psychological affect on your opponent...3 flying monsters bearing down on you is no mean sight. But if you know how to finish combat off quickly charging your Mage into combat to the flank / rear is relatively safe.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:55 am 
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I was thinking of fielding a archmage with lore of the beast and a dragon mage in combo. Wyssans wildform and savage beast of horros should buff the combat potential of the dragon mage on top of his own flaming sword buff. I would equip him with enchanted shield, dragon armor, talisman with rerollable armor save and sword of battle for an extra attack.

You could even field the archmage on a dragon too (sun on 2000 points and moon on higher) and go for a tag team and do the elevated version of savage beast to shred your opponent to pieces. Too bad the transformation spell doesn't work when the archmage is mounted, otherwise you'd have what I call a dragon double decker :).


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:29 am 
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Mylle wrote:
I was thinking of fielding a archmage with lore of the beast and a dragon mage in combo. Wyssans wildform and savage beast of horros should buff the combat potential of the dragon mage on top of his own flaming sword buff. I would equip him with enchanted shield, dragon armor, talisman with rerollable armor save and sword of battle for an extra attack.

You could even field the archmage on a dragon too (sun on 2000 points and moon on higher) and go for a tag team and do the elevated version of savage beast to shred your opponent to pieces. Too bad the transformation spell doesn't work when the archmage is mounted, otherwise you'd have what I call a dragon double decker :).


Number of attacks isn't such an issue its rather the S of the attack (at least that's how I found it).
Even with Savage beast you're looking at 4S6 attacks on the mage and 5S6 from the DM (assuming no items) and 5S6, 4S5 from the moon / sun dragon respectively. S6 is just barely enough to go through high toughness units.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:03 pm 
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Quote:
Number of attacks isn't such an issue its rather the S of the attack (at least that's how I found it).
Even with Savage beast you're looking at 4S6 attacks on the mage and 5S6 from the DM (assuming no items) and 5S6, 4S5 from the moon / sun dragon respectively. S6 is just barely enough to go through high toughness units.


What kind of troops do you have in mind when you say high toughness? Because unless they are toughness 5 or higher you will be rolling 2's with s6 and 3's on s5. The only thing I know on top of my head that are t5+ are heroes, monsters and some chariots/warmachines. With monsters I don't mean monstrous infantry or cavalry, because the only one there that I know that has t5 are treekin (trolls, ogres, minotaurs, kroxigors, rat-ogres, demigrifs all t4). That being said, if there is a big unit of these, there will be a painful return fire since they have the strength to hurt your dragons. So a flank charge would be advised there to reduce the counterattack (With the dragon's mobility I'd always look for flank charges on big units, because why not?)

Armor is a different thing. If you have a 1+ armor save, with s6 attacks you still have a 4+ save. However lets be honest with the numbers you just specified (which even exclude thunderstomp and breath attacks), I think you will still do very well against even those, because those troops are usually not high in numbers (block of 10 cavalry?). So I would say from s6 onwards we are mainly talking about an armor save modifier with some exceptions. Maybe str7 is ideal to tip the balance but in most cases that's going overboard.

Still, don't forget that next to savage beast of horros, you also have wyssans wildform and flaming sword of rhuin, so s7 or a +1 on to wound might be in there as well and those spells do take effect on your dragons too! So you have the right spells to defeat high toughness troops. Depending on the amount of powerdice at your disposal you can try flaming sword => wyssans wildform => Savage beast, the first two with a low number of dice (only need to be careful you don't fail to cast wyssans wildform since that would mean you can't cast savage beasts anymore) and you make sure you can 6 dice savage beast as last one if your opponents is conservative with his dispell dice.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:46 am 
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Mylle wrote:
What kind of troops do you have in mind when you say high toughness? Because unless they are toughness 5 or higher you will be rolling 2's with s6 and 3's on s5. The only thing I know on top of my head that are t5+ are heroes, monsters and some chariots/warmachines. With monsters I don't mean monstrous infantry or cavalry, because the only one there that I know that has t5 are treekin (trolls, ogres, minotaurs, kroxigors, rat-ogres, demigrifs all t4). That being said, if there is a big unit of these, there will be a painful return fire since they have the strength to hurt your dragons. So a flank charge would be advised there to reduce the counterattack (With the dragon's mobility I'd always look for flank charges on big units, because why not?)


I actually meant high armoured troops.

Mylle wrote:
Armor is a different thing. If you have a 1+ armor save, with s6 attacks you still have a 4+ save. However lets be honest with the numbers you just specified (which even exclude thunderstomp and breath attacks), I think you will still do very well against even those, because those troops are usually not high in numbers (block of 10 cavalry?). So I would say from s6 onwards we are mainly talking about an armor save modifier with some exceptions. Maybe str7 is ideal to tip the balance but in most cases that's going overboard.

Not sure about your meta but in my meta / comp (ETC) Cav or even MC come in 2 sizes. MSU (3-5) or bus (12+).
On average you S5 dragon would do 1-2W whilst S6 fares slightly better between 2-3W. You can't thunderstomp because they are cav. And breath weapon is negligible ... S4 AS 1+ becomes 2+ their minimum they need to roll.
That means on average you either lose combat or win but the enemy is steadfast unless you bring in support but also S5 on the charge you're not going to winning by alot (or winning if you roll badly).
S7 on the other hand shifts it completely -> 50% -> 33% for armour saves. This is where odds are in your favour (as oppose to S6 which is just draw). You damage output increase to 3-4W which is sufficient to win combat (most of the time) and sufficient W to win by a decent amount and in some cases break steadfast fast enough before supports comes in.
S6 is the minimum now to kill AS1+ and S7 tips things in your favour. S7 is definitely not overboard. It is there for the HIGHER CHANCE of killing AS1+

Mylle wrote:
Still, don't forget that next to savage beast of horros, you also have wyssans wildform and flaming sword of rhuin, so s7 or a +1 on to wound might be in there as well and those spells do take effect on your dragons too! So you have the right spells to defeat high toughness troops. Depending on the amount of powerdice at your disposal you can try flaming sword => wyssans wildform => Savage beast, the first two with a low number of dice (only need to be careful you don't fail to cast wyssans wildform since that would mean you can't cast savage beasts anymore) and you make sure you can 6 dice savage beast as last one if your opponents is conservative with his dispell dice.

Savage Beast is the worst of the 3 spells as it only affects the mage - 4-5 S6 attacks...not that scary
Wyssans Wildform & Flaming Sword is good.
So I only need to dispel wyssans and flaming sword. (assuming you get a good magic phase [which is a bad assumption]).

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:03 am 
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pk-ng wrote:
Savage Beast is the worst of the 3 spells as it only affects the mage - 4-5 S6 attacks...not that scary

Why would it only affect the mage? Dragon + rider are a single (character) model. Savage beasts affects the model. And thus they both benefit from it. See BRB p105 for instance: "if a character has a ridden monster, the whole model is treated as having troop type monster and thus follows all rules for characters and monster models."

As for casting / dispelling wyssans and flaming sword, a good/bad magic phase doesn't matter that much for casting them. Both can be cast on 2 dice (remember that a dragon mage gets an extra +2 to cast). Worst magic phase 1-1 will see one of them cast unless you roll very badly or run into a scroll. The worst magic phase you could actually run into in this instance is one where a 6 has been rolled. If your opponent has 6 dice he can always dispell at least 1 spell you try to cast. So a 6-1 phase is probably the worst. And you can still get at least 1 spell cast if you're a bit smart with your PD. Again, unless there is a scroll, or a channel for your opponent, in which case it's down to rolling high enough.

Best phase you could probably get is something like 4-4, which would let you cast something like 2-3-3, Which would see 2 spells cast and even vs a scroll see you cast 1 spell. But most phases without a 1 and a 6 in it can be considered good.

Rod

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:45 am 
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Prince of Spires wrote:
pk-ng wrote:
Savage Beast is the worst of the 3 spells as it only affects the mage - 4-5 S6 attacks...not that scary

Why would it only affect the mage? Dragon + rider are a single (character) model. Savage beasts affects the model. And thus they both benefit from it. See BRB p105 for instance: "if a character has a ridden monster, the whole model is treated as having troop type monster and thus follows all rules for characters and monster models."



Because SBoH is castable on a character and a dragon is not a character therefore doesn't affect it. Unless there's a different rule I'm not aware of?

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