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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:58 am 
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By big games I mean 3,000pts level game usually.
Any more than that and the game becomes too exhaustive and tedious, or so i've felt.

And in such games, does the handmaiden with reaver bow and potion of strength worth the cost in such pts level?
I've seen many players here eschew handmaiden in favour of noble, and I fully understand why.
The extra cost of handmaiden is justfied only when the list has a sister unit with considerable size.
Otherwise the extra points are usually wasted, hence the preference on noble.

Despite this drawback, BS7 AND Quick to fire allows those precious one-use 3xS8 shots hit more accurately than the noble.
Even after moving and being at long range and using multiple shots, the handmaiden still hits at 2+.
The noble, on the other hand, hits at measley D6 roll of 4+.
I believe such great difference is crucial when shooting at T6+ models that give HE much trouble(flying monsters, ironblasters, warmachines) in the eraly phase of game. Hence my inclusion of handmaiden instead of noble in my list.

However, with the reaver bow and potion of strength she costs whopping 140pts.
That's the price of another pair of bolt throwers, or a bolt thrower and great eagle with spare points left.
One-use 3 S8 shots are good, but after that the longer range and utility of 2 bolt throwers(or one bolt thrower and one great eagle) outshines the handmaiden in later turns. Has anyone tried such setup at 3,000-ish pts level games?
How do you find her performance to be? Is she worth replacing more bolt throwers or not?

P.S. The 3,000pts list I've designed is like following.

Lords : 633pts
Prince(Halberd, Dragon Armour, Barded Elven Steed, Shield, Giant Blade, Talisman of Endurance, Dragonhelm)
Archmage(Elven Steed, Level 4, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation) - High Magic

Heroes : 420pts
Noble(BSB, Dragon Armour, Barded Elven Steed, Star Lance, Enchanted Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Potion of Foolhardiness)
Mage(Level 1, Dispel Scroll) - Lore of Beasts
Handmaiden of Everqueen(Reaver Bow, Potion of Strength)

Core : 750pts
12 Archers(Light Armour, Standard Bearer, Musician)
10 Silver Helms(Shields, Full Command)
6 Silver Helms(Shields, High Helm, Musician)
5 Ellyrian Reavers(Musician)
5 Ellyrian Reavers(Musician)

Special : 783pts
12 Dragon Princes of Caledor(Full Command, Ogre Blade, Charmed Shield, Banner of the World Dragon)
Lothern Skycutter(Eagle Eye Bolt Thrower)
Lothern Skycutter(Eagle Eye Bolt Thrower)
5 Shadow Warriors

Rare : 414pts
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
Great Eagle
6 Sisters of Avelorn
5 Sisters of Avelorn

3,000pts


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:31 am 
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Rhetor militaris
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It's the same at lower points too - if you're taking a unit of Sisters, as you point out, the Handmaiden becomes more useful than the Noble almost immediately. I also happen to think if you're going for this kind of character, and you're already taking a Noble for the BSB (i.e. the Reaver isn't going on the BSB), the difference between them is minimal.

However, I would personally combine the Shadow Warriors and Sisters together into a single unit and pop the Sister in there. You have a whopping 14 drops (if you don't scout the Shadow Warriors, 13 if you do) which is quite a lot. You have plenty of misdirectors in the form of Reavers, Eagle, Archers, and even Helms and Skycutters if needed. Do you really need three more small units in addition to this? I would propose not. The shooting benefit of Quick to Fire then becomes easily worth it.

Also, don't forget the best time possible to pop the Potion is on the turn you think you're going to be charged, if you can manage it. This gives you the strength bonus both for the shots and in combat, which makes the extra attack from the Noble better, but also makes BS7 more reliable for the shooting. The variance between them, is as I said, small.

Charmed shield is also a good buy if you have points to spend, regardless of if you go Noble or Handmaiden.

Axiem


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:18 am 
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Axiem wrote:
It's the same at lower points too - if you're taking a unit of Sisters, as you point out, the Handmaiden becomes more useful than the Noble almost immediately. I also happen to think if you're going for this kind of character, and you're already taking a Noble for the BSB (i.e. the Reaver isn't going on the BSB), the difference between them is minimal.

However, I would personally combine the Shadow Warriors and Sisters together into a single unit and pop the Sister in there. You have a whopping 14 drops (if you don't scout the Shadow Warriors, 13 if you do) which is quite a lot. You have plenty of misdirectors in the form of Reavers, Eagle, Archers, and even Helms and Skycutters if needed. Do you really need three more small units in addition to this? I would propose not. The shooting benefit of Quick to Fire then becomes easily worth it.

Also, don't forget the best time possible to pop the Potion is on the turn you think you're going to be charged, if you can manage it. This gives you the strength bonus both for the shots and in combat, which makes the extra attack from the Noble better, but also makes BS7 more reliable for the shooting. The variance between them, is as I said, small.

Charmed shield is also a good buy if you have points to spend, regardless of if you go Noble or Handmaiden.

Axiem


The only thing that keeps me back from using a single, larger unit of sisters is because of target saturation.
Sisters are fragile, and I don't want to risk losing them to a single warp lightning cannon or magic missiles.

To elaborate further, sisters are crucial against these armies : WoC, Skavens, Orcs & Goblins.
WoC and Orcs & Goblins have little to almost no BS shooting, which is effective at killing sisters.
And if WoC is shooting hellcannon at sisters, I suppose he/she is doing something very wrong.
Same goes for O&G doom divers. And if i recall correctly both armies don't use much magic missiles nowadays.
So the risk of losing 12~13 sisters unit in one lucky shot/magic missile is rather low against them.

Skavens I believe is a different story. Most 3K skaven lists bring 2 warp lightning cannons minimum, along with some gutter runners and warp lightning.
All these choices are either template shooting with good strength, BS shooting or high strength magic missiles ; the bane of sisters.
And sisters are quite crucial for hurting those hell pits, which I would never charge with my cavalry.
Unless seriously depleted of wounds due to shooting, of course.
And to prevent the sisters from getting wiped out with one lucky shot, I opted to divide the sisters into smaller units.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:28 am 
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Rhetor militaris
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That's not enough of a reason, IMO. It's also something you can overcome with deployment (deploy in a line, you don't have a very large footprint army at 3k, so you can do this). If he's also shooting all his Warmachines at your Sisters, he's doing something wrong. The Hellpit isn't (likely) to win him games against you - it's going to be the Bell Unit that really gives your Dragon Princes a run for their money. You also have 3x Bolt Throwers and 2 Skycutters. Not a concern the way I see it, even if he obliterates half/all of your sisters. Larger frontage Sisters also protects your Bolt Throwers from Gutter Runners.

I think you're over-thinking it. Focus on your deployment decision-making and you'll be fine. Better even.

Axiem


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:03 am 
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I think with the shift in Meta, large units of sisters with handmaiden are fastly becoming an attractive choice.

They are good against almost anything, and are not that expensive. They are actually better value than most wood elf shooters for their points...

They are super against anything with regen, chariots, skirmishers, chaff... anything. They will even cut into knight (esp. from forces of Evil) and infantry. They wont be short of targets, and if you play good, they can do alot of damage over 6 rounds.

Their ability to move is amazing. You can constantly back up, force the enemy into difficult charges, where they will take a horrendous amount of damage on the stand and shoot.

This is really what makes all the difference compared to f.x. bolt throwers. Sisters can stand and shoot, and with big units with a handmaiden, this is just scary. Then they can back up, and still hit super well. Then they have ranks, more wounds and better close combat with ASF to nick of the last wound of something they have weakened with the stand and shoot.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:52 am 
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@Auere - probably true but there are a couple of facts you seem to neglect.
a) T3 - especially with WE I see the rise of MM ... bad for sisters
b) 24" - get out shot easily. DE (RXB), WE 30", HE 30"
c) Rare - competing with RBT and Frosties.
d) bigger unit = bigger footprint = hard to maneuver as sisters can't get musician.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:39 am 
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a) T3 is never nice, but we are used to it. Nearly all our models cost 10+ points and have T3 and little armour. No big news there. You can give the handmaiden ironcurse icon and maybe stick a high mage with them for some ward saves. Other than that, I usually keep the unit close to a building in case it is getting small.

b) Not if you move and shoot without penalties.

c) For 2500p-ish, 20ish sisters, 2 rbts and a frost phoenix is just right for me.

d) Nahh... its not bad. They will usually be 6x3 or 7x3, in which case a wheel of 5 inches is easily 90 degrees. Never been a problem for me.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:19 pm 
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Being unable to Swift Reform means Sisters are fine if you can channel the enemy towards them but could suffer if the enemy are coming at them from differing directions. -1 to be hit from Skirmish would also be pretty handy.

I feel they're a good unit but having a musician or skirmishing and they'd be a great one.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:45 am 
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True. But the handmaiden in part removes that issue. Giving quick to fire means that you can easily wheel to point the unit to where it need to look. She also adds an extra 5'' to their effective range. Of course, with a muso they would have been more awesome. But with a handmaiden in there they are more effective then archers with a muso. No penalty for moving is a pretty big thing.

Rod

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:27 am 
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I've found that now and then you need that swift reform, sometimes the wheel is not enough to let you shoot effectively.

Quick to Fire's great for Sisters though, no argument.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:25 am 
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I agree that they would have been much better with skirmish and musician.

But when you look at them as they are, they are still really good value at 14 points. Especially when led by a handmaiden, who btw is well worth her own points with her always hit on 2+ S5(8) attacks, compared to mostly 4+ from a reaver bow bsb.

19 sisters cost the same as f.x. 6 leadbelchers or 18 hagbane archers. The sisters just do MORE damage than those two units, and unlike leadies, sisters can stand and shoot. Unlike woodies they can always shoot in three ranks. Ofcourse sisters are rare, which counts against them.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:38 am 
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I was wondering about the wheeling and shooting with the sister unit so I figured I'd do some math and plot out the effective maximum (at least one sister shooting) threat area for a unit of sisters of varying size (5*3 and 7*3). Thought I'd share in case anyone is interested.

Image
5 wide (3 deep) they can rotate ~71 degrees (add 45 to that for new arc of sight)

Image
7 wide (3 deep) they can rotate ~52 degrees (add 45 to that for new arc of sight)

I think this shows a potential issue vs something like fast cav with the wider units as they only need to get a little past the sisters before they won't be able to turn and shoot. Remember that the arc only represents some (not necessarily all) of the sisters having line of sight and range after movement.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:58 am 
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Green Istari

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It's horses for courses really.

Sisters are better for T3/4. Hagbane is for T 6/7. T5 is the overlap. Hagbane has an edge against things like hard cover because of the Poison. Flaming is very handy of course, especially when you can't get it from Core shooters.

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