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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:54 am 
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You don't have Shadow. I believe Withering is crucial. Backup lore can be either Metal, High or Death, depending on your perception of the meta. Light Council might also be worth looking at. Furthermore your units are too big, 18 is way too many for this concept and Full Command is somewhat pointless. Champions and musicians are optional. Swordmasters and WLs should all disappear. That leaves you with lots of points.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:09 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Grenic - while true in principle, catching strong players offguard with such moves is nigh on impossible with a flyer. Of course, the sheer possibility of it forcing said flyer to beware of certain places to land helps control the board. Re: Regrowth - it's a long shot.


I've had some degree of success doing exactly that. The point is actually laying units in multiple lines. Fast units forward, because of the bigger charge range, and slower ones behind. Finally, enough magic presence and RBTs force most flyers to engage fast. I've been running a cheap Light council (S7 exorcism is all but amazing, and the buffs/debuffs are all awesome), but I've been tempted to give a loremaster + high archmage combo a try (chaos lords aren't as threatening with just a 1+/6++).

Personally, I feel MSU is still viable, even in a meta full of tough, mobile characters. But it requires a heavy investment in magic. There are just way too many things that units alone can't even scratch, no matter how awesome those units are, BotWD or not. And the problem with the current meta is that establishing board domination is very hard against flyers, which kind of ignore most other units limits. Being able to react and switch focus to different locations is critical, here, which is magic's biggest asset.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:01 pm 
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I personally think MSU is becoming harder with each ET release. Especially the Khaine changes to magic can make life very tough for MSU lists. With bigger magic phases and nearly unlimited access to magic missiles it has become easier for some armies to simply makes multiple units in a MSU list useless. Just imagine what a loremaster can do by himself to a MSU list. Several castings ofa MM will destroy enough of a MSU unit to just not do anything anymore.

I can see armies moving towards MMU lists. With units that can survive a few castings of several spells, you're more likely to have something left over for combat.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:26 am 
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But ET rules are not yet official, only 50% characters allowance was FAQ-ed. Unless you want to play ET scenarios specifically or use ET army lists there is no need to worry about ET magic.

Specifics depend on what kind of MSU you want to play with and on many other factors such as scenarios, for example. What is more, there is no reason not to add a few mobile characters on your own and keep the spirit of MSU where each hero is a different kind of unit too.

Having combat infantry in MSU these days still pays off due to the reasons Shadeseraph mentioned. The fact they are slower does not mean they are static and they are still the source of high number of relatively high strength attacks. Not all armies out there are WoC with all flying characters, 3+ ward saves and chariots.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:31 pm 
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MSU is is a style which is fun to use especially with Elves and Daemons.

Like all play styles it has its good and bad match ups.

Is it optimal? probably not it is a very precise form of play and errors can cost games more so than larger block armies. Also harder to play due to the number of moving parts.

I think it is still a viable build currently Wood Elves are actually a good counter to HE MSU and the WE's do MSU really well.

As mentioned above Magic Missiles are a good counter to MSU.
However a lot of the Magic Missiles are Fire based eg: Ruby Ring, Lore of Fire, Searing Dooms, Shem's Burning Gaze which makes our DPs a more viable choice along with Dragon Helm and Dragonbane Gem..

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:31 am 
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Hi Eltherion,

You might re-consider "optimal" in a context of "for whom". Players define and use the list. That is why not everybody can succeed with the same army. For example, I would not play well with a current net list with huge cavalry bus and 4 bolt throwers because I find it boring and it looks like it has very limited ways of play. If you get a favorable match up there is not much your opponent can do, if you don't - not much you can do.

For example, I was watching a game between Swedish ETC players, one had HE with cavalry bus, the other had MSU daemons with 2 Blood Thirsters.

Here is a link to a game on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AJh0HxwDJ4

The outcome of the game was predicted before it started and the only question was who is going to get support units of each army first. While interesting to see some details it was quite straightforward game and there were no surprises during it.

With MSU I have many more options. While risky and not forgiving, I have more freedom and I can do much more with MSU. There is no single deployment, no single approach even against the same enemy. Hence, for me it is definitely more optimal than clumsy cavalry bus.

It might still be too early to see what is the impact of 50% character allowance as all End Times story is not finished yet and we might wait until the release of 9th edition to see the full scope of changes to come.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:39 am 
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Thanks for the link Swordmaster

Interesting game to see though a bit slow to watch.

I guess in the hands of the best players MSU works well as they tend to not make many mistakes.

Not sure if you have seen the Swedish ETC guys Youtube casts, here is the link in case.
warhammer outside of the box.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0uu6e ... oi7Pey_CkQ

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Last edited by Eltherion2 on Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:55 am 
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Daemons are particularly well suited to MSU because of their army-wide rules regarding ITP and Daemonic Unbreakability. They also have the right unit to do this, between Beasts, Drones, Furies and Screamers you have hitting power, durability, mobility and enough chaff to choose your fights. It is however a far cry from what we can do. A common way of deploying MSU Daemons is to spread them across the board, taking up the entire deployment zone. If you do that with HE, you risk losing big portions of your army to untimely LD-tests because it's impossible to get the BSB and general to cover anywhere close to everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Hi Eltherion,

You welcome! Indeed, it is kind of slow but it was live commentary on the game so it could not have been faster. I hope they will continue with that channel in new year. I haven't checked the names but I am pretty sure some of the guys who do the cast did that commentary.

I think there is more to good performance of MSU than not making mistakes. It is of course very important but you can say so for other styles too, even if they are more forgiving. The challenge with MSU is to spot the opportunities or even create those in the first place. Because the units are small you need to make sure they cooperate together to overwhelm the enemy.

The best players will create situations where enemy is forced to make a mistake or will face difficult decisions between 2 or more bad options.

I have seen many armies doing MSU style so I don't think only Elves or Daemons are suited for it. Interestingly, when MSU was for the first time suggested at daemonic legion forum, the players said it is not going to work because ... daemons cannot flee and that they were unstable. Let me know if you are interested and I will try to dig out the topic.

It is also worth remembering that different armies will have different MSU styles. WE are very good at shooting and avoidance, for example. Same can be done with DE. Other armies may be more tailored to combined arms style. HE are good candidate for that for sure.

In any case I am sure MSU can adapt to new environment. I just wish I had more times for games in order to test new ideas!

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Hi Swordmaster
Yes 2 of the Swedish guys are also on out of the Box an interesting listen while painting.

I think one of the reasons Elves are good for MSU is their speed. Demons also as Curu says ItP and quite powerful units.

MSU is my preferred playing style but I find time can be an issue at Tournies especially vs. slow playing horde armies.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:31 am 
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Hi Eltherion,

I agree that speed is a factor but as very good tactician of old, Machiara, wrote in his fantastic article on WE, maneuverability is the key rather than sheer speed alone. Back then skirmishers had 360 degree line of sight and that was fantastic. Today swift reforms, flying units, fast cavalry regiments etc. have great potential for successful MSU. It does not mean, however, that infantry is not useful either and they can also be faster thanks to magic, for example.

I think this is where the challenge with HE lies, we have very good units that provide high strength attacks in every round of combat but you have to make sure they get there when they are most needed. Having said that I am inspired by some fast cavalry DE based forces where they could surround the enemy and hit them hard also thanks to the fact their characters keep fast cavalry status. It might be interesting to see how all mounted HE MSU performs.

It is quite possible that the way to adapt is to increase number of characters as well. If you make them flying, as eagle riders for example, they might be treated as separate units too and they do add to the options you can use. I have already found out that my opponents tend to be a little more cautious with them around.

As far as other armies go it is common misconception that ItP is making Daemonic MSU strong. It is double edged sword at best and players who used these armies with success told me it is often a liability. You have to be extra careful how you position your units as they cannot flee and draw the enemy into a trap. What is more such bait can evaporate too due to instability. It is, of course, something that can be used to advantage but simply means Daemonic MSU has to play in its own, unique way.

Interestingly, Daemonic MSU is also sensitive to their own Realm of Chaos. Last tournament DoC player was fighting for the first position in the last round against Bretonnian player. He surrounded the knights and pulled out deadly charged from many direction only to lose at least 2 units to unlucky roll where he had to test all his regiments. As a result he lost 19:1 where he was going for a win. Might not happen often but everybody felt sorry for the guy who played very well but due to that dropped to 5th place overall.

It is true, of course, that Daemons have durability, speed and can hit hard too. But that is also true for any Daemonic army.

I agree that time can be an issue but that is something you can work on and easily improve. That is one of the reasons I write the reports because it allows me to form some ideas before the future games. On the other hand there is not much you can do if the opponent is slow. In fact, the army slow player plays may be secondary reason. I had some games against a Dwarven player that were slow because he took a lot of time to make decisions and there were too many rules discussions in the process. What can be done is to have a more aggressive plan that does not come to the fruition in 5-6th turn.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:03 am 
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Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
Hi Eltherion,

I agree that speed is a factor but as very good tactician of old, Machiara, wrote in his fantastic article on WE, maneuverability is the key rather than sheer speed alone. Back then skirmishers had 360 degree line of sight and that was fantastic. Today swift reforms, flying units, fast cavalry regiments etc. have great potential for successful MSU. It does not mean, however, that infantry is not useful either and they can also be faster thanks to magic, for example.

I think this is where the challenge with HE lies, we have very good units that provide high strength attacks in every round of combat but you have to make sure they get there when they are most needed. Having said that I am inspired by some fast cavalry DE based forces where they could surround the enemy and hit them hard also thanks to the fact their characters keep fast cavalry status. It might be interesting to see how all mounted HE MSU performs.

It is quite possible that the way to adapt is to increase number of characters as well. If you make them flying, as eagle riders for example, they might be treated as separate units too and they do add to the options you can use. I have already found out that my opponents tend to be a little more cautious with them around.


I'm looking forward to seeing how your MSU forces develop with the advent of all-elven armies - assuming you adopt any of the potential new options - with access to fast-cav characters, peg (rather than eagle) mounted nobles, magical fast cav (option of no or reduced wizard point spend), more exciting shooting options (e.g. drop RBTs for wood elf units), etc etc etc. Fluffwise as Outcasts I can see your force adopting dribs and drabs from other armies, although you might be slowed by the need for actual (and painted to your standard) models.

I think your force has moved further from the combined arms of where I started following your progress more towards a fast-combat orientated list. This is distinct to wood elf evasion and somewhat distinct also to the dark elf equivalents, which tend to lack the heavy cav but have more and better flyers and more RBTs (but less small arms fire). It's a fairly unique path I think for elven MSU lists and I suspect the hardest. I'd definitely be interested to see you do all mounted, it certainly fits your current trend. (I think I suggested somewhere else you could even squeeze in a dragon into such a list if you wanted to - indeed, although it started to stray towards WoC style single model spam territory, there was another very active high elf MSU blog here which took chariots and phenonix(es?) a while back and had some success with them).

Quote:
As far as other armies go it is common misconception that ItP is making Daemonic MSU strong. It is double edged sword at best and players who used these armies with success told me it is often a liability. You have to be extra careful how you position your units as they cannot flee and draw the enemy into a trap. What is more such bait can evaporate too due to instability. It is, of course, something that can be used to advantage but simply means Daemonic MSU has to play in its own, unique way.

Interestingly, Daemonic MSU is also sensitive to their own Realm of Chaos. Last tournament DoC player was fighting for the first position in the last round against Bretonnian player. He surrounded the knights and pulled out deadly charged from many direction only to lose at least 2 units to unlucky roll where he had to test all his regiments. As a result he lost 19:1 where he was going for a win. Might not happen often but everybody felt sorry for the guy who played very well but due to that dropped to 5th place overall.

It is true, of course, that Daemons have durability, speed and can hit hard too. But that is also true for any Daemonic army.


I'd like to get more experience playing with other armies, but I think you're right, MSU daemons will be very different to MSU anything else. The rise in popularity of MSU daemons does suggest that however unique their game-features might be, it is certainly working for them though.

Quote:
I agree that time can be an issue but that is something you can work on and easily improve. That is one of the reasons I write the reports because it allows me to form some ideas before the future games. On the other hand there is not much you can do if the opponent is slow. In fact, the army slow player plays may be secondary reason. I had some games against a Dwarven player that were slow because he took a lot of time to make decisions and there were too many rules discussions in the process. What can be done is to have a more aggressive plan that does not come to the fruition in 5-6th turn.


I'm surprised you don't seem to have more problems with this in your games (possibly a combination of your adeptness and professional opponents?). MSU for me took longer to think about and longer to physically move, tended to come together in later turns (especially with the slower combined arms type lists), and I'm a slow player anyway. But if you're up against a slow player and/or have lots of rules queries then it really hits home. None of that invalidates the style of course, it just perhaps works against it in a tournament setting. I don't think I'll take MSU anything (daemons, wood elves, dark elves) to a tournament again, huge fun though it was when I did, until I've worked successfully on speeding up my play, so maybe that is a factor in making it a less common style?

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:26 am 
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Hi Ferny,

I don't want to derail the topic Delaqure started with too much focus on my own approach. Rest assured I will try to write something about potential options based on End Times armies in the army blog. Of course, if Delaqure wants, we can start discussion here as well as ET brings both opportunities and challenges to any style, MSU included.

There is no mistake that DoC MSU works. I find it very encouraging because I remember how much disbelieve daemonic players showed when MSU was first suggested for their army. Now it seems MSU is a standard if not net listing. But why they are successful (or for that matter, what kind of different styles of MSU among other armies showed potential) is a story for another topic. I cannot say for sure, because I have never played with MSU daemons but I have some observations from the point of view of MSU practitioner.

Playing games with MSU definitely helped me to be faster. I am not saying that having more units has absolutely nothing to do with being slower. I am sure my deployment still takes longer than for more compact armies. But it is possible to improve it to the point where the opponent does not really see much of a difference. In fact, some of the armies such as Skaven and Orcs & Goblins also have multitude of units to drop. Other forces, such as shooting orientated Elves or Lizards with skink clouds apparently take forever to go through their shooting phase (no surprise as you have to measure who is in range, who is not short, calculate other penalties and roll dice).

There is a good article about speed play in tactics articles sub-forum saying what you can do to improve your speed play. It sounds obvious but trying to come up with a generic plan before the game helps. Being able to solve disputes quickly helps. Playing games helps with the former, knowing the rules helps with latter. Trying to avoid ambiguous situations also saves time. For example, if you try to position your unit out of sight of the enemy just make sure your opponent agrees even if it is something that looks obvious.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:09 am 
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Swordmaster you have inspired me to try MSU HE's again

The last MSU HE game I had I almost lost to WE's as they shot off my Silverhelms with Way Watchers. Then proceeded to destroy most of my army if the game had gone more than 6 turns I would have lost.

I might take another look at at MSU/MMU High Elves again as I have been using WE's and Skaven lately.

I am thinking ditch the Silverhelms replacing them with DP's (due to possible Meta shift towards Magic Missiles and a lot of these are flaming).

Achmage Metal or Shadow maybe High (unsure as yet)

Nobles (mounted some on horses + some on eagles) once again with Dragon Armour to help defend vs. flaming Magic Missiles, as well as Skull Cannons, etc....

Lvl 1 Metal or Fire Ruby Ring, Scroll

I am thinking
Core
2x 15 Bowmen (to help deal with Wood Elves)
2 x 5/6 Reavers

Special
2x 5/6 Dragon Princes with Gleaming Pennant and Eternal Flame
WL's block BoTWD

Rare
Frosty or Flame Spyre
RBTs 2+
Eagle 1+

Tactical solutions.

It plays like most MSU lists using co-ordinated multi charging units

The Key things about the list will be the characters and DP's (Hammers) are all very resilient vs. Flaming. So in the current Meta their are quite a number of troops which use Flaming'
1. Vs. Magic: Fire, Metal spells, Light: Shem's
2. Shooting: Demon Skull Cannons, Lizardmen Salamanders, etc.....
3. Close Combat: Banner Eternal Flame

Whilst the Anvil WL block is Magic resistant and Stubborn

The Chaff and shooting support are expendable but have enough shooting to occupy a shooty opponent giving time for the hard hitters to get into position.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:16 am 
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You better write some tactical advice, Eltherion, on how this army is going to tackle new challenges or we might be accused of writing in the wrong sub forum. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:38 am 
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Ye true Swordmaster,

I am having trouble keeping up with the new challenges but I think Wood Elves is one particular threat that MSU HE's have trouble with as small units can be Magicked and shot off quite easily unless given a degree of protection.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:58 am 
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WE are indeed a problem but they pose a huge threat to other elven armies too. I have seen Star Dragon with cavalry bus with BotWD shot to pieces. Waywatchers don't care about the Banner. Hagbane scouts made the dragon nervous and the maneuverability of WE army was used to great effect to avoid HE for as long as it was necessary to kill main threats.

I guess we all have a problem with WE anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:18 am 
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Swordmaster Regarding Wood Elves

The Waywatchers are my number one target when fighting WE's. They need to be dealt with to save our expensive cavalry troops. This is one reason my Silverhelms may be out of my new lists and archers back in to assist the Magic and RBTs. They will also provide more (cheapish) bodies to absorb WE shooting.

I think our mobile Nobles on Eagles which I have used in the past (and Swordmaster has been using) could be one answer to the WE's and they can double up as Monster/Warmachine Hunters as well. Maybe I will try Lore of Life to heal these Nobles back and Dwellers things off.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:43 am 
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My experience in regards to avoidance wood elves is that silver helms tend to be quite good at pressuring them. Even 2 lone silver helms can hold their own against most wood elf units in close combat, so several units can be quite efficient at pressuring them. Furthermore, their threat range helps a lot at keeping them far from our RBTs, at least for the first turn, and RBTs murderize them (and in turn are murderized by Hagbane arrows).

Reavers give some useful cover to silver helms, too. Sure, they die to shooting just as easily, but Waywatchers are only M5, and they can't use trueflight arrows, so they are "easy" to screen compared to glade riders.

Chained charges to punish flees, layered protections to punish avoidance and limit LoS free space, and charging with eagles from behind a unit (for that tasty hard cover) can hurt a lot.

One thing I've found invaluable against them is shadow warriors. They die like flies to trueflight arrows, but denying those scout/vanguards and securing your own vanguards is absolutely critical.

Fighting them is in general tiring. It's akin to hunting: it will wear you down, but keep on closing down on them and you can eventually catch them. That's, by the way, one of the biggest problems too, at least for me: one starts collecting meaningful points late game, which means that on tourneys, if you aren't fast, the game might end before you've earned your points back. But, in general, I feel MSU has a bunch of tools against avoidance WE that no other style has. Mostly, you only need a few guys to get in c/c to be able to deliver a serious blow.

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 Post subject: Re: Is MSU dead?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:50 am 
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Green Istari

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:26 am
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Location: Otherworld
I feel Reign of Chaos is something you take on board if you play Daemons. It's a strong army but there is that element of randomness that sometimes takes games outside your control.

I actually find myself deploying faster the more drops I have. This is because each one is individually less significant and I can happily put three or four down without worrying too much. By that time I often start to see what my opponent is aiming at and that makes subsequent deployments simpler. Deployment is one area that can help an MSU force vs raw speed IMHO. Because a faster enemy can redeploy but that costs him a turn.

The other advantage of course is simply that more units equals more movement options. If you have two or three large blocks of infantry there are only so many things you can do with them, not only are they slow, they are predictable. A faster enemy will run rings around them. Not so easy if he has to calculate multiple charge/flee/encircling possibilities.

I agree that DP's and eagle nobles are definitely worth a look.

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