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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:15 am 
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Hi. Here is the list I was planning to take against my friend who plays as dwarves. The battle will be 3000 points. The Anointed will go in with swordmasters, as will the high mage for the ward save. Bsb will go in with the lions. Archmage will most likely go in with the Archers. I have chosen shadow in order to augment my considerable shooting. Also enfeebling foe may help protect my squishy infantry in combat. The shooting will hopefully be potent enough to destroy any gyros that dare to come near me! The reavers and silver helms will be useful for warmachine hunting and redirecting his elites, as well as providing some cover for my valuable infantry.

I still have some spare points to use up..

++ High Elves - Army Book (2013-4) -V8.8.0. (Standard) (2959pts) ++

+ Lords (545pts) +

Anointed of Asuryan (260pts)
····Magic Items [BRB - Enchanted Shield, BRB - Luckstone, BRB - Ogre Blade]

Archmage (285pts) [Lore of Shadow, Wizard Level 4]
····Magic Items [BRB - Power Stone, BRB - Talisman of Preservation]

+ Heroes (275pts) +

Mage (120pts) [High Magic, Magic Items, Wizard Level 2]

Noble (155pts) [Battle Standard Bearer, Dragon Armour]
····Magic Items [AB - Golden Crown of Atrazar, AB - Shield of the Merwyrm, BRB - Ironcurse Icon, BRB - Sword of Might]

+ Core (750pts) +

Archers (230pts) [20x Archer, Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer]

Ellyrian Reavers (90pts) [Musician]
····5x Ellyrian Reaver [5x Spear (Mounted)]

Ellyrian Reavers (90pts) [Musician]
····5x Ellyrian Reaver [5x Spear (Mounted)]

Ellyrian Reavers (90pts) [Musician]
····5x Ellyrian Reaver [5x Spear (Mounted)]

Silver Helms (125pts) [Musician]
····5x Silver Helm [5x Shields]

Silver Helms (125pts) [Musician]
····5x Silver Helm [5x Shields]

+ Special (857pts) +

Sword Masters of Hoeth (383pts) [Champion, Musician, 26x Sword Master]
····Standard Bearer [BRB - Banner of Swiftness]

White Lions of Chrace (474pts) [Champion, Musician, 33x White Lion]
····Standard Bearer [BRB - Standard of Discipline]

+ Rare (532pts) +

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower (70pts) [Crew]

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower (70pts) [Crew]

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower (70pts) [Crew]

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower (70pts) [Crew]

Sisters of Avelorn (126pts) [9x Sister of Avelorn]

Sisters of Avelorn (126pts) [9x Sister of Avelorn]

Created with BattleScribe (http://www.battlescribe.net)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:29 am 
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Is there any reason why you chose to bring the power stone rather than the book of hoeth? how about the ogre blade rather than a giant blade?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:41 am 
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SM, I was responding to a direct attack by Ether Dude on this forum. I am a mod here and believe it is a good one. I don't find it quite as interesting or relevant to me as I used to but that is partly because I play a different army now (and partly because of End Times). I can play a style I enjoy and still hope to win games with the WE book. Ulthuan's lessened appeal for me has more to do with the HE army book than anything else.

Again, debate entered into whether auto-taking World Dragon on a Swordmaster block could somehow be holding us back from finding a new, powerful way of using them. I severely doubt this for the reasons I gave. If someone could demonstrate how a WD-less SM block in a viable list is stronger than simply inserting the Banner I would be delighted.

Galdor, your list is very similar to the 'classic' shooty/defensive double-block build except that it uses Swordmasters instead of PG. I could suggest all sorts of tweaks but this is supposed to be a Tactics thread and the basic tactics with such a list are sit, shoot and mop up with the blocks. Input from guys like John Rainbow would be very useful to you because as he mentioned, he's played these lists a lot with success and will be au fait with all the tactical variations.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:26 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
John Rainbow wrote:
I don't understand why our book was designed to be so polarized. We are so hugely dependent upon a few, critical elements to work, one of which is magic, and if something doesn't come through (e.g. poor winds/banner of the world dragon gets destroyed) it all falls apart. I would easily trade BOTWD for an inferior version (let's say it didn't work against close combat attacks, for example) for having better troops across the board. Bring back true ASF for example, at least we'd have reliability.

/rant


Agree with this 100%. It seems that most tournament list rely, to some degree, on "The Bird, The Book, and The Banner". For a competitive build, these options are simply better than the alternatives in most cases, which leads to fairly one-dimensional lists.

It doesn't stop me from bringing our less popular options (I bring thinks like (gasp!) Tiranoc chariots and shadow warriors), but if my life depended on the outcome of a game, I would definitely bring all of our crutches.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:04 pm 
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@aquietfrog: I've taken the power stone as it will be very useful when there is a particular spell I really need to be cast. That could be something like Mindrazor or Enfeebling Foe depending on the circumstances. I have also agreed with my opponent not to take Book of Hoeth as he thinks that it is an overpowered item, particularly against Dwarfs, and I agree with him to some extent. Dwarfs really suffer against magic now! I could upgrade to the Giant Blade on the Anointed but it seems a lot of points for the extra +1 strength.

I've decided not to take Banner of the World Dragon in this list as my friend is wise to it and always takes unruned warmachines and non-magical shooting. Therefore, I think it is not worth the points in this list and particular match up. I think I would still include it against other members of my group: Vampires, Warriors of Chaos, and Skaven.

I hope that with the BSB and Standard of Discipline the White Lions will be a solid anvil. I've given Banner of Swiftness to the Swordmasters to get into combat asap and help get those critical charges off.

@SpellArcher: Thanks for the feedback. Yes, it is definitely a form of the shooty/double infantry block build. I'm just excited to try out Swordmasters instead of Phoenix Guard!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:56 pm 
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Galdor what list does your Dwarf opponent run?

What is the basic plan to get the Swordmasters across the table without getting shot up?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Actually he tends not to run a gunline. Last time I played him he used a 'Strollaz' list with Hammerers and Longbeards, supported by Gyros, Rangers and Irondrakes, which was quite interesting. Unfortunately for him, I used a large Silver Helm bus, large unit of Phoenix guard (buffed to 3++ with high magic from Lvl 4), Frosty and 4 RBT. I got a crushing victory and he was incredibly frustrated by the 3++ Phoenix Guard (his Hammerers just bounced off them). Incidentally I didn't use Book of Hoeth or Botwd in that game, but his list wasn't the strongest either.

If he plays a Strollaz list again I think I have a good chance with the Swordmasters, getting them and the White Lions into combat quickly, whilst my shooting takes care of the Gyros etc. His infantry blocks are usually stubborn and so I hope the Swordmasters and White Lions can deal enough damage to kill them down to the last dwarf!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:34 pm 
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The thing is that if your opponent keeps bringing lists like that he will be frustrated by things like 3++ PG because they honestly go through Dwarven infantry as if they were butter. Likewise, you'll get frustrated if you take Swordmasters or White Lions - with or without BOTWD - if you face a strong Dwarf list.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:12 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
SM, I was responding to a direct attack by Ether Dude on this forum. I am a mod here and believe it is a good one.

Nobody said it is a bad forum. And I am surprised that you considered ED's post (or part of it) as an attack. I can easily remind you what the attack can look like by providing a suitable example from this very forum.

ED made an accurate observation though. There is nothing wrong with army list building, it is part of the hobby. However, how stating the fact that army list building is by far the most popular activity on ulthuan an attack?

SpellArcher wrote:
Again, debate entered into whether auto-taking World Dragon on a Swordmaster block could somehow be holding us back from finding a new, powerful way of using them. I severely doubt this for the reasons I gave. If someone could demonstrate how a WD-less SM block in a viable list is stronger than simply inserting the Banner I would be delighted.


You see, that is the problem. Galdor expressed his interest in building an army with both WL and SM and observed there is very little about such idea. I get it that you don't consider my feedback valuable as I don't use big blocks. There are others who don't have experience with blocks of both types at the same time either but that's ok, I don't mind.

However, if there is very little about the idea and Galdor, in this particular case, is also new to it but eager to try it out, how can you expect any evidence? What is more, you simply doubt it. That is also fine but tell me, how is that helpful for a person looking for advice? Or if there is not much experience to be shared, for some support and brainstorming?

Such approach is quite negative and discourages creativity. It discourages people with fresh enthusiasm from posting their ideas when all they can hear is "it cannot be done". They might still try it out but they will not tell you about it. Especially if their first steps are not that successful (and first steps are always hard) why would they want to share their experience when the only thing they can expect is "I knew you would lose/struggle, it would not work etc."

I presume that as a mod you might want more than others for ulthuan to thrive. Ask yourself then if nay-saying really helps to achieve that.

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Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:46 am 
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Ether Dude's comment was an attack in passing on this forum Swordmaster. There is all kind of tactical discussion all over it, much from strong players.

I apologise if you saw my comment on what you said as dismissive. I sought to point out that my comments on how SM and WL blocks function doesn't directly apply to MSU set-ups, ie some weaknessess in the former may not necessarily be there in the latter.

But I fundamentally disagree with the last bit. Making what a player considers an objective assessment is absolutely essential in my view. If another player is dissuaded from even trying something out, that is his problem, he should be made of sterner stuff. Feel the fear and do it anyway. If a player were to present an approach as stronger than he believed it to be, that would be doing anyone interested a huge disservice.

Edit: paragraph retracted.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:55 am 
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SA, I am sorry you feel bad about my post and I wanted to assure you that it was not my intention. I don't want to derail that topic any further so I will continue by PM.

Please, accept my apologies. I hope I will be able to make my point better outside this topic.

Also apologies to Galdor. I wanted to stress out that I think the ideas of players like him should be more supported and didn't want to side track the discussion too much.

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Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:04 pm 
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I too apologise.

I mistook passionate argument for personal attack and have edited my last post accordingly.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:20 pm 
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I've put the battle report of my first attempt with this list on the battle reports section. Thanks for your replies on this thread.

Here's the link

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=67811


Last edited by Galdor on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:30 pm 
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Ok so to bring this thread back on topic I'll explain why I'm not a fan of our infantry.

First of all, let's assume a competitive setting. Like, people bring the cheeselists. If they don't, well then pretty much anything can become viable. Likewise, a comp system will naturally shake things up.

I'm going with 2400 points because that's what I know best. I only ever play bigger games when we play some sort of campaign/add-on (like Storm of Magic) so 3k is not something I know too well. At 2400 points, the lists you can expect to face are roughly as follows:
BM - Weak
BR - Multiple lances. HKB Lord. Double Treb. Double L4, dobbel scroll. Possibly triple Peg knights. Multiple paladins.
CD - Gunline with K'daai, Hashut/Death and Chalice. Khan's for chaff. Possibly Iron Daemon and Wolf Riders.
DoC - Tzeentch heroes + core, Nurgle special + khorne rare. Furies. Literally over a dozen drops. Possibly hounds. Possibly Epidemius with Nurgle core and possibly Kairos.
DE - Shooty avoidance or full flying circus. Possibly SCs.
DW - Gyrospam: 7 gyros, 3 cannons, lots of BS shooting. It simply is -the- go-to Dwarf list. The alternative is double cannon, double organ gun, double block (longbeards + hammerers) but it's inflexible compare to the gyro-list.
EMP - 1+ spam. Magic: Life/Light/Heavens. A variation on the 1+ spam is all-skirmish core with strong counter-pushers and Light coven.
HE - Teclis Light Coven or monster mash. Possibly cavstars as well, if the meta isn't Life-heavy.
LZ - Skink cloud deluxe. Combined with either air cav, razordons or temple guard. Possibly Tetto'ekko
OK - Gutstar, poisoned Maneaters, double skillblaster. L4 Heavens.
OnG - Gunline. Trolls, either 2x9 or 1x9 and lots of impact hits stuff (chariots, manglers etc). Savage orc bunker.
SK - Double WLC or double HPA. Tons of Slaves, strong magic. Gutter Runners.
TK - Sphinxspam or Necrospam + Light Coven or Death.
VC - Screamspam + death. One of the worst lists to face in Warhammer, it's just that terrible.
WoC - Herohammer! Lots of super-strong characters backed up by chariots, for the most part.
WE - L4 high + L4 Shadow with lots of waywatchers and poisoned/trueflight and Wild Riders for counter-charging and waystalkers for character sniping or full-fast cav with Light Coven.

Ok so now we have an idea about what the meta looks like. Let's go back to our concept here, running WL + SM.

First of all, the assumption that SM is a hammer unit is not correct. Taking a look at the list above, they can pretty much beat nothing in combat apart from non-combat units and possibly a few more. By and large however, they lose badly to the vast majority of units out there. The same goes for Lions, but they are stubborn so they'll stick around, besides you can congaline them or dual-line them to reduce damage income and simply hold an enemy. Assuming you run L4 Death you can even keep purple sunning your pinned enemy!

Secondly, SM and WL largely fulfil the same duty: Volume of medium-strength attacks. I say medium because with the insane amount of high-t and/or super-save things out there, you really need S7 to be considered high-strength. S5 is the new S4 etc. Thus, they can be compared directly. WL are simply better, which again boils down to stubborn. If SM were stubborn, I'd be willing to at least consider them.

Thirdly, let's take a look at how such a High Elf list would look like. Basically you have 900 points invested in 2 combat units. At 2400, that leaves 900 points for characters and rare selection after the mandatory core has been spent. How would you go about spending these? You could go all-out push and take two frosthearts, a helmbus and minimum characters. You could go magic heavy with dual L4s and RBTs for a defensive build. You could do a mix with both RBTs and a Frostheart and a single L4 for a combined arms approach. The problem with all of the above is that the list struggles to do much. It's not fast enough to push well (it could -possibly- be done with dual Frosthearts), it's not strong enough to defend well and your points are spent in an awkward manner which doesn't benefit the list. A hybrid could be done, but such a list, even if played well, will likely lose a lot of games because it can't push and it cannot hold (I played a lot of games with a similar list only with PG + WL instead of SM + WL). Again though, in almost all of these cases you'd likely be better off with 2x WL.

Lastly, let's take a look at the other builds in the meta. Notice a pattern? Combat infantry units are near extinct. With a few noteworthy exceptions (DoC Plaguebearers for example), people just don't take them. Considering some of the awesome choices out there on paper (CORE Nurgle Chaos Warriors with GWs for example), it's logical to assume that the meta has simply evolved past this. Basically, things are either fast, resilient, shoot/magics well or supports, or all of the above (in the case of Warlocks for example). You can "tactics" all you want but when your enemy puts a unit of Harpies in front of your M5 unit in T4 after you spent the first 3 turns foot-slogging across the table, there is nothing you can do to have your crucial charge hit home: It simply won't.

So let's revisit a few of the exceptions in the meta: DoC Plaguebearers and Teclis WL coven.

DoC Plaguebearers typically work in a context where there are multiple other pushing units, such as Beasts of Nurgle and Plague Drones. What's interesting to note is that they are extremely resilient and hard to shift, kind of like White Lions (largely because of stubborn in the case of the latter as they can reduce damage input by congalining and have the BOTWD protecting them). The Teclis WL coven list features White Lions to protect that all-important cargo, one of the most hated special characters in warhammer. BOTWD + stubborn is what does the job here and enough of the Lions will deter enemies from closing in because high volumes of S6 threatens nearly everything (that said, this build does have a few very hard counters where enemies can just run in regardless of S6 spam - WoC 1+/3++ lords with stubborn crown and third eye for example).

In taking a second unit though the BOTWD protection disappears and with SM, you are not stubborn either.

To conclude, the problem is that our infantry units simply aren't strong enough in the current meta to make an impact. Infantry combat units in general aren't worth taking and ours are not the strongest, nor are they core tax points. Previously we had PG + WL as a popular combo, which largely boiled down to Shadow support (with the durability of PG, Shadow is an excellent lore) and shooting units (archer + reaver core and RBTs + sisters in rare).

If you do wish to go down this route regardless, I would suggest trying out a push build based around simply having too many wounds for most enemies to chew through:

Quote:
Archmage, Level 4, Lore of Death, Dispel Scroll, 245
Lothern Sea Helm, BSB, +1LD, 140

17 Silver Helms: FCG, Shields, 421
2x 5 Reavers, champs, 2x 90

28 White Lions, FCG, BOTWD, 444
28 Swordmasters of Hoeth, FCG, Razor Standard, 439

2x 1 Frostheart Phoenix, 2x 240
Great Eagle, 50

Army Total: 2399


As always, the question is: Is this the best way to spend your points? In this particular case, you could spend the ~440-490 (assuming the Eagle isn't mandatory) on more characters and/or support, for example. Death was chosen here to benefit from the Lions' traits and to add some actual punch to the list. Purple Sun and the various snipe spells are great counters to this list's weaknesses (or a lot of them, at least) and Soulblight + D&D are great for boosting you in combat, doubly so when you have this volume of bodies and high static res across the board.

Generally with this build I'd deploy Silver Helms near the table edge with Swordmasters on their other flank. Lions go 3 wide with both characters next to them and the flyers whereever needed. Something like this:

Silver Helms (5 wide) - Swordmasters (7 wide) - White Lions (3 wide). The Helms on one flank and WL on the other allows you to slowly push forwards without the enemy being able to isolate the Swordmasters. The WL are stubborn and have Naval Discipline so they're not going anywhere and the Helms are protected by the table edge. With 2 Frosthearts as well, you should have the needed flexibility to keep going and counter most threats.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Thanks for the detailed post Curu. Some of those lists sound brutal! I agree about Vampires, especially. The Vampire Count player in our group is basically unbeaten and usually runs a black knight bus with terrorgheists and death magic - it's insane. I've lost to it twice, bringing what I thought were strong High Elf lists (variations of Phoenix Guard + Botwd White Lions + Frostheart + Shadow Archmage).

I like the aggressive version of the Swordmaster/White Lion list that you have posted. I can see how 2 Frosthearts would bring more to the list than shooting (they really are great). A couple of questions: Why the Razor Standard on the SMs? At S5 and -2 armour is it worth the extra -1 to the armour save for the points? What does the Lothern Sea Helm BSB do/bring to the list?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:11 pm 
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Vampires are just nasty. Really nasty. With Death they are hard to cope with because our monsters are limited as well. I have played a couple of games as VC recently and their forgiving nature (not the Vampire Lord's, however) is a real treat compared to the Elves I'm used to. I can easily see how WL + PG + Shadow lists get beaten horribly by them because they just run over you with speed and summons. Yet another build that just demolishes our infantry.

Razor standard on Swordmasters: As I said S5 is the new S4. By that, I mean that prior to all the MC madness and the 1+ characters, 2+ was the "heavy armour norm". At that point, volumes of S4 would bring them down, because 2+ fails twice as many saves vs S4 as S3. With the introduction of 1+ all over the place, S5 is the new S4. However S4 when not taken in volumes didn't use to do a whole lot: Likewise for S5 now. It basically means that Swordmasters will be significantly scarier vs things like skullcrushers, chaos lords, demigryphs and Elf busses (bonus: the VC bus you posted). I don't see any other solid choice for them. With Razor, arrayed 7 wide (thus getting max attacks against "most normal frontages"), you put out 28 attacks. Vs Demigryphs, that's roughly 6 wounds, for example. That is actually quite huge, bearing in mind you will frequently have soulblight as well. The problem then, of course, is getting them into combat. Unharmed. This is where our poor Elves are just bad. Anything even remotely killy will tear us apart, doubly so without BOTWD protection.

The Sea Helm is essential. I play him in just about every list where I have combat infantry these days. Naval Discipline is ridiculously powerful: It allows you to go 3 wide (meaning command takes up the front rank) and if you're charged, you can move into an optimal formation without having to send your characters to dodgy positions. Going 3 wide not only protects your characters, you also get a lot less frontage. With my suggested build, being able to send the Lions as an anchor minimizes your footprint and despite your rather big amount of bodies (56 elite infantry and 18 cavalry is a lot for a High elf force @2.5k), the area you occupy isn't all that big. This helps to mitigate some of the weaknesses of M5 infantry as well as they tend to be cumbersome to wield.

Often, the sheer knowledge of Naval Discipline keeps enemies at bay. This can be enough to create huge threat zones. Check out my blog (NM reports in particular) to see how a Sea Helm affects a WL bunker.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:20 am 
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I agree with Curu's comments about infantry. Having said this though, depending on the meta and what you face you can still do very well with it. Half of winning a tournament is luck and who you get in the draw anyway it seems so I don't think it is all that terrible a build.

@Curu: what VC build have you been using?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Meta matters a lot, no doubt. Swordmasters are, I believe, still quite good at cutting down below-average rank and file elites. I haven't done the math here in a while so I could be wrong but I think they are still an effective unit point-by-point against a lot of elites in the game -IF- they get into combat. Again though part of the problem is that so are PG ;)

With VC I've been running Hexwraith lists. Mostly variants of Malta's 2013 insane build which won the ESC and then went on to score a record 119/120 points at the ETC. Granted the latter probably saw Malta strive to give VC optimal matchups in the pairing process, but winning the ESC as well speaks volumes of the list's capability (taken together, these 2 are very impressive), but of course also player skill. I've found it is a headache to master actually as there are so many things to consider. Part of this might be because I'm not used to Undead stuff like marching within 12", crumble, not being able to flee from charges etc. With that said, I've still won 20-0 vs solid players. Given the current comp on VC and the brutal efficiency Hexwraiths have against lists that can't deal with Ethereals I think we can expect to a see a fair few such lists in the year to come (in ETC games at least). Doubly so if Lore of Undeath becomes popular as the first spell there is truly ridiculous with Hexwraiths (heal D3+1 wound worth of models, move as if it were remaining moves. 6+ to cast).

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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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