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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Only Seredain does not have the BOTWD, hence my original comment

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:35 pm 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Only Seredain does not have the BOTWD, hence my original comment



I know, I have questioned it in an earlier post.

mine was just a general comment, but Seradain take note, another good reason to bring back that banner!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:44 pm 
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Given that Seredain has gone for PG I feel that Razor is the better choice here. He can easily get up to the 3+ Ward and then the unit makes a less attractive target than the cavalry. He could go for World Dragon on the BSB but then he either has a slightly vulnerable BSB or an eggs-in-basket unit. I too am a bit suspicious of the extra Noble but so far he's working OK I gather.

So presumably Curu, the Organs would be close together with the ME close to both?

Ferny, I've been considering a mounted BSB in Helms, especially after reading Lecai's account of the joys of the Dawnstone, in John Rainbow's blog. The unit looks more durable than what I have right now but a combat Lord gives you extra punch which can be really important. Give my unit ASF and it becomes very respectable. We'll have to see whether the new WE book nerfs the build however.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:21 am 
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hey SA,

I just wonder if the PG enough killing power to be the only the main infantry unit, even with the razor banner.

also the mage is probably more in danger with the PG as im guessing they will be deployed deeper, meaning more attacks on the wizard.
if he deploys with the archers is he limiting his casting options turns one and 2?

regarding the dwarf engineer, at the start of the shooting phase, before a shot is fired he must nominate a machine to use his skills. only one machine per turn can use his skills. if the machines are parked together, tempest will come in handy, if the are separated, you will know which machine will be using his skills and tempest is still handy again.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:28 am 
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From what I can tell sparky the PG have been working OK so far but obviously it's early days for them. One plus of the new list seems to be that the AM can be deployed according to opponent, the PG can manage without him if they have to. I imagine they would usually be 7x3 to maximise attacks but could go 5-wide if Steadfast is relevant.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:49 am 
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Hi Seredain,

It seems like you are slowly turning your army into a net list :-P I am very curious about your experiences from the SCGT as according to my understanding it had a significantly different players pack than other tournaments. W/D/L system itself may introduce some changes in the way people play the game, so I wonder how it felt when you actually played with that. Also, there is some kind of comp too. What were your impressions on the impact of that on the games and/or results?

And last but not least (and possibly most important) how is it to play in the tournament with almost 200 players? Must be unlike anything else!

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:07 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Ferny, I've been considering a mounted BSB in Helms, especially after reading Lecai's account of the joys of the Dawnstone, in John Rainbow's blog. The unit looks more durable than what I have right now but a combat Lord gives you extra punch which can be really important. Give my unit ASF and it becomes very respectable. We'll have to see whether the new WE book nerfs the build however.


I knew I'd read good stuff about it somewhere but I couldn't think where - I think that's it!

As an aside, I've been wondering whether nobles could work instead of the prince. Between PoS, Starlance, Ogre Blade, Dawnstone, TOTS, golden crown, dragonhelm and BotWD there are some interesting options.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:40 am 
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SpellArcher: you have to declare which machine a master engineer is helping at the start of the shooting phase so you need one for each OG. Nevertheless many Dwarf players see this as a worthwhile investment, you get hard cover and an additional redirector. I just know that BS5 is brutal.

Netlist? He just dropped the book and banner! If anything I feel like Seredain is moving into unexplored territory here, the only PG centered list (read: no other elite infantry) we have seen online is the Crossroads winner which is a far cry from what Seredain has.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:25 am 
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Can a Master Engineer confer his BS and re-roll misfires in the same turn? The latter really hurt the machine's damage potential and it's 1-in-3 of it happening. Agreed it's a hefty investment for each machine but I can see that it could be worth it.

Ferny I'd be interested to see a build for a 3-noble bus say. I just fear that it would lack the Prince's grinding and challenge power. Ws7, A4, S7, 1+ re-rollable, it's a potent package.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:23 am 
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Yes he can. Note that his ability allows re-roll of an arbitrary result, not just misfire. I do believe most Organ Guns take the misfire-rune in addition, it`s just that good ^^ The beauty of BS5 with re-rolls of all misfires and a free reroll of any artillery dice is assured destruction, almost regardless of context: if something is within 30" then chances are this machine can put the hurt on that unit. With hard cover and -1 to hit in combat as well (from entrenchment), coupled with another redirector (the Engineer) and stubborn WM (dwarf special rule) the hefty investment at least has a lot of flexibility.

As for a noble bus, I`ve seen it done but in a different way: supporting something stronger and acting as a roadblock/points-preservation configuration. It plays entirely different to the Prince, it`s impossible to configure any Noble to provide the same reliability as a Prince with Giant Blade, Dawnstone and 1+, unfortunately.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:39 am 
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Curu - out of curiosity, could you post the noble bus list you've seen and a brief comment on how it works? I know it's something of a derailment of the CavPrince thread, but as it's all change here and it's interesting it's maybe OK?

Cheers,
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:49 am 
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Yes. I think the concept should be relevant to Seredain as well as this also relates to the cavstar-approach, which could indeed be a list development for him to consider ;)

So we have:
Noble BSB on Barded Steed with Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance and BOTWD
Noble on Barded Steed with Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, Crown of Command, Luckstone, Enchanted Shield
High Mage L2, Scroll, Steed
High Mage L2, Steed
~600

18 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields - 444

So in total we`re looking at roughly 1050 points. The heroes are dangerously close to 600 points (the limit for 2400 point games), hence the lack of fury ring and a 2nd arcane item. The unit has a big footprint and is scary against medium-sized elites (Lions, Swordmasters, Black Guard, Executioners, Chaos Warriors etc), will crush small stuff (Skavenslaves, Goblins, Spearelves etc) and can tie up quite a lot of things with its Crown.

I`ve only seen this configuration used alongside a Star Dragon. It could possibly work in a different context as well, but if you`re not taking a Star Dragon then chances are you will have a mage lord (either Loremaster or Archmage) in which case 2x L2 is probably too much (at least with High, an interesting concept would be Light!). I faced such a list in my most recent report, you can read more about it in my blog. I actually have a rematch against that very same list today as well, should be interesting :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:32 pm 
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I understand an SCGT recap is coming?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:26 am 
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Seredain is unwell.

He's traumatised by all the ruthless criticism.

:)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:25 pm 
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I found his name on the standings. That's a respectable finish.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:39 pm 
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Lord Anathir wrote:
I found his name on the standings. That's a respectable finish.


Link? I've not yet seen any feedback from SCGT anywhere (by which I really mean Ulthuan and facebook...). Cheers.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Still here! Just stuck on my ARSing phone as am on holiday in the West country. They closed the road to my home in Bath, so I can't get the delivery van in to carry all my objects ( inc PC) to London until May 5th. Annoying.

But, for now, I may day that AP phoenix guard with a 3++ can beat most infantry units and break most heavy units with a combination of wounds (average 3 on skullcrushers) and static res. You don't really need the Banner if you have a 3++.

Band practice tonight - am staying with Boho friends in the West, but I'm going to try and jump on a PC on and off over the next few days.

I should say that, at South Coast, I completely forgot about my missions, which were important to ranking. I think I conpleted 2 out of 6, and both of those were by accident.* Victory points came after missions in importance, I believe.

*My brain can't think about two things at once.

Bear with me! I'll be back soon.

S


Sent from my utter bullcrap Samsung mobile


P.S. Curu, against organ guns, you deploy away,take cover behind terrain or behind friendly cav units. The.helm bus certainly is fragile against gunlines, but the archers and reavers both need to be the size they are to do the jobs intended for them. As for the PGs, the point of them is to have the option of running my elite block independently of my (now less overwhelming) magic phase. You don't rely on the Bus to do everything - 3++ AP guard own face - but I have the option to tailor my spell choices against armies where the mini deathstar matters less than boosting my archers or chucking damage spells (mostly against gunlines and infantry hordes). For true high strength, the new noble brings very valuable access to flexible high strength damage - at range, in the charge or as a combinwtion of stand-and-shoot and defensive close.combat attacks. I actually have access to more true high strength attacks now than in my old list. The comparative weakness is in the mqgic phase, not in terms of mundane damage output.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating... Let me ooze these reports out and we can debrief in full.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:22 pm 
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Hi Ferny,

I sent you the link to the results. I can post it in the topic if Seredain wants.

Baddice podcast talks about SCGT briefly and Ben stated clearly that what set players apart was really missions and sometimes comp. For example, in the top 10 only 2 players had 6 victories and what made a difference is that the winner got his missions while second failed to get them all. Even more so for the rest of the ladder where more people had the same number of victories. Very interesting I must say.

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:44 am 
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Hey Seredain, love the blog and army style.

Quick question, how did you finagle the pose of seredain? Is it a unit champ of some kind? I like the sword arm, but can't find it anywhere in my bits.

Please help,

-Jon


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:48 am 
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Seredain is a 5th edition hero from the mid-90's.

Nice model.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Hey Bandit,

Cheers! As SA says, the prince is the 5th Ed mounted metal prince. The sword has a handle from a metal swordmaster, though, and the horse is from the Tyrion model.

I should have a better pic around here somewhere...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:41 am 
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Is it dead here now? Has seredain changing his list that much meant he's gone from the darling of the scene to a pariah?? I'm still looking forward to the battle reports.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:11 pm 
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We need to see battle reports! Come back soon!

Thanks for the last answer. I really ned it.

Sutilar

P.D: Personally I still see a better future in a swordmasters based army list. That's why I really need the battle reports!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:30 am 
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Hei Seredain. Here we are a lot of people following you for a long long time, we had taken many great examples from you not only on Warhammer gaming. But on life attitude, on how personal motivation helps in the life.

Here are a lot of people with that motivation that like me sometimes I'm shy about playing with miniatures. We all need your example, to copy you on realizing that motivation plenty.

Next time you wake up and say 'Yes! One more day'; next time you feel the happiness of being creative, if Warhammer strategy game is the reason of that, we want to know about you.

I must say to know me better my greatest motivation are martial arts, and my life's main goal is to dedicate week's most hours on preparing to fight and fight.
Warhammer is another motivation, it is completely different. From too years ago it helped me to be creative and develop my mind, which I appreciate now in Muay Thai fights.
I like to dedicate each moment to it's motivation.

Hoping to know about you,
Greetings from Finland

Sutilar

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:19 pm 
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Ah,a fellow muy thai practitioner who also plays warhammer - good stuff for sure!

And you're right, Sutilar, it would be great to hear from Seredain again :)

Him, Tethlis, Curu, John R., Mal and Axiem should have their own ulthuan podcast, if you ask me!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:58 am 
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Guys, upshot is that Seredain is just too busy with RL right now.

However, he is playing tournaments, he did pretty well at MKGT recently for example. The extra noble has gone for a High lvl2 in the bus with Shielding Scroll, he felt it needed more protection.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:26 pm 
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Chaps,

Many apologies for being stuck away so long! Solicitor shiz takes a looot of time and my new computer setup isn't very convenient (girl friendly flat = awkward positioning for the pc).

The bad news is that this is pretty much par for the course now. The good news is that every now and then I have an attack of being non-diligent at work and I secretly type away on battle reports and army articles. Law work and High Elf talk pretty much looks the same at a distance.

So I've typed quite a lot on the office PC and finally got home with enough time to upload it. Below are the battle reports and musings that review the fate of the phoenix guard list (2.4 version) at South Coast GT, the design list changes that followed and how the new army fared at Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes isn't finished yet but there's plenty to chew on in the meantime.

Thanks,

Seredain.


Image
Back in the game!


SOUTH COAST GT

My first tournament with phoenix guard was go. By way of a reminder, I fielded:


Prince- Heavy Armour, Shield, Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon - 276
High Archmage - Level 4, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Endurance, Ring of Khaine’s Fury - 300

Battle Standard Bearer - Dragon Armour, Barded Steed, Ogre Blade, Enchanted Shield, Luckstone - 170
Noble - Dragon Armour, Barded Steed, Lance 6, Reaver Bow, Charmed Shield, Potion of Strength - 151.

24 Archers – Full Command - 270
9 Silver Helms - Standard, Musician, Shields - 227
5 Ellyrian Reavers - Musician, Bows - 105

21 Phoenix Guard - Full Command, Razor Standard - 390.
5 Dragon Princes - Standard Bearer, Banner of Eternal Flame - 165

6 Sisters of Avelorn - 84
3 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 210
1 Great Eagle - 50

Army Total – 2398

Image

Power Pool choices – 3
Soft Pool choices – 0
Comp Score = 5-2+0 = 3


Game 1 – Ogres - Battle for the Pass

My opponent was fielding a very interesting shooty ogre list. The only characters were two level 1 firebellies as mobile missile turrets. The rest comprised three units of 3 ironguts, three units of 4 (I think) leadbelchers, one unit of 5 maneaters with pistols, poison and character snipe, another 4 maneaters with scout and pistols, two ambushing gorgers, two ironblasters (HATE them) and a couple of sabretusks. My opponent won the scenario roll and chose Battle for the Pass (a fun SCGT mechanic to promote fluffy lists was that you got to pick a scenario – the roll off being determined by your comp score, as for deployment and winning first turn).

We then had to choose secret missions, and I took “kill more special units than you lose”, since I was playing an MSU ogre list and was, myself, fielding relatively large blocks (except for the bolt throwers, sisters, eagle, dragon princes… ok it was a bit of a snap decision).

Deployment was decided pretty quickly for me. First, I reckoned I couldn’t get any points from sitting back, not least because those cannons would be banging away all game. To clean up those leadbelchers (who can get lucky and rip elves to pieces) and get safely into combat, I’d have to get my knights and infantry forward in force and start running things over pronto. As for my MSU shooters – bolt throwers and sisters, I had to decide whether to park them behind my force for safe keeping, or set up on the other side of my zone to draw off attention from ogre units who might otherwise mob my main force into immobility. I chose the latter – not least because, if I deployed everything together, cannonballs could bounce through my main units to clean out a repeater anyway. I couldn’t, in good conscience, have elite elven units hovering around waiting for gorgers to come on in order to protect the machines, and I figured I needed the archers and dragon princes supporting the main attack. In the end, this meant that my right side had archers, phoenix guard and silver helms facing leadbelchers, maneaters and an ironblaster, and my left side saw bolt throwers in a corner opposite the ironguts with (CRAP!) some scouting maneaters parked horribly close by. My dragon princes hovered behind a helpful central building – they had the Bow noble with them so I didn’t want them taking unnecessary shots from the other ironblaster, stood opposite, until I committed them forward.

Image

Image

Winning Turn 1 was great. My main force leapt forward, the dragon princes rushing straight out of hiding, and with a combination of Hand of Glorified arrows and two magic missiles, I destroyed a unit of leadbelchers and blasted about 7 wounds off the maneaters. At the back, my bolt throwers and sisters calmly swivelled around at the scouting maneaters and wiped them out completely. This was an excellent start.

Image
Pew pew

Image
Fireballs about to happen.

Unfortunately, things soon started to unravel. My dragon princes were shot down to two by the third unit of leadbelchers and had to spend the rest of the game hiding where they’d started. My bolt throwers then lost their eagle-eyes and started underperforming. Their combined efforts were enough to force repeated panic tests on the irongut units slogging across the field, but my opponent didn’t fail any of his tests and the guts closed in inexorably. In the end, these units (and the emerging gorgers) swamped my shooting base. Where dice were unhelpful, my own errors were fatal. The first was to assume that Luck maintains balance some kind of balance, like Karma. It doesn’t. Thinking that I was owed a failed ogre leadership test, I charged my 3++ phoenix guard into a building where the damaged maneaters had bolted (on my right in the ogre deployment zone). I won combat, but they held, and my best infantry unit (which should have been pushing into the open ground where leadbelchers and ironblasters were free to move about), was stuck doing nothing. I’d clean up on my right eventually, but this was a critical delay and, frankly, stupid. My second mistake was that, when my helms were forced to run over a last leadbelcher from a unit facing my far left, instead of reforming to allow more charges next turn, I overran off the board to stay safe from the ironblasters. This was self-defeating. Without the threat of a charge next turn, my opponent could just fill up the evacuated space with chaff units and mess me around for the rest of the game. My shooting and magic kept up a decent barrage, but my opponent continued to pass all his panic tests and, with my best infantry unit stuck and my dwindling bus chasing cheap units all game, it was only a matter of time (specifically a 3d6 fireball which annihilated 4 knights in one round), before the ironblasters were plinking my characters off the board. A beautifully set up double-charge caught and destroyed the remaining DPs on the far flank, my repeaters got eaten and it was very much game over.

Image

Image
For a while things were in the balance in the backfield...

Image

Image

Image
"This is going to be bad..."

Even though I got my secret mission, it was a big loss – about 800 points.

Loss


Debrief

1- I got way too clever (ie dumb) about the secret mission here. Even in a scenario, you should be aiming to beat your opponent’s army. I resolved, from this moment, to more or less forget about the secret missions unless opportunity allowed. This would cost me many tournament places in the end but at least left me concentrating, first and foremost, on winning games. Once I’d picked up more tournament experience, and experience with my evolving list, I’d get more comfortable multi-tasking.

2 - If a powerful unit hides in a building, take advantage of the evacuated battle space and, unless you have a very good reason otherwise, pass them by with your combat units. Spending all game stuck next to a house is not a good use of 3++ phoenix guard.

3 - Albeit the Ironcurse Icon did nothing, the helms in this form were not an effective bodyguard against two ironblasters fielded by a very decent opponent with multiple MSU units (and sabretusks) acting as chaff. With hard cover around it’s much, much harder to kill these things than conventional war machines and, over 6 rounds, those cannonballs are so dangerous to our characters. Another couple of defeats to another excellent ogres player (after this tournament) hammered the lesson home and saw some permanent changes in my list. For now, I would have to husband my knights much more carefully, and hope to avoid any more shooty ogre lists.

4 - MSU ogres passing all their Ld 7 panic tests is a massive ballache.


Game 2 – Orcs & Goblins – Battleline

Now I was playing the guy who would end up as Top Greenskin. In essence it was a typical list except (thankfully) it only had one mangler. Apart from that all the usual suspects were there – Savage Big Un ward horde loaded with Shrunken Head Level 4, BSB and (I think) a fighting lord, 2 doom divers, 2 rock lobbas, 1 bolt thrower, 6 trolls and then some other stuff including a block of 20-25 black orcs, 10 savage arrer boyz, 10-15 squig hoppers and a massive unit of night goblins with Level 2 and a couple or handful of GW big bosses. There was possibly some fast cav about too but, if so, elven arrows disposed of them so quickly that I’ve forgotten. The mangler, deployed opposite the helms and died on Turn 1 without incident.

The most prominent terrain was the wood in the centre of the board and a tower in the left-hand of my deployment zone. I chose the ‘garrison buildings’ mission and resolved to sit in the tower with the sisters (my opponent had no units small enough to garrison buildings). Savage orcs went in the centre, with black orcs facing my right and night goblins my left with the trolls staying close, between the gobbos and orc horde.

Having drawn out the black orc deployment by placing the dragon princes on my right flank, I dropped my helm bus (with all three fighting characters) left, to run over the doom divers – fortunately quite close together – and a bolt thrower, all of which were sat on the goblins’ flank. I wasn’t afraid of the latter’s counter charge and was happy to grind away at them assassinating characters and forcing leadership checks: getting the doom divers dead was the priority. With the gobbos stuck in their own deployment zone, the savage horde would have to leave them behind and risk them breaking if it wanted to come on and eat my infantry. This should, I thought, buy my own shooting and magic time to do some work on the horde’s numbers before I tackled it. Reavers and eagle stood close by the helms in support, to eat war machines and/or block a counter by the orcs. The job of tackling the savages themselves went to the phoenix guard, with Fiery Convocation, Arcane Unforging, Hand of Glory and Walk Between Worlds, bolt throwers, archers and sisters as backup. The PGs sat on the central side of the tower, with the archers to their right. Hopefully, the dragon princes on my far flank would be enough of a distraction, and threat to the rock lobbas (deployed behind the orcs), that the black orcs wouldn’t rush out. If they did, my archers and dragon princes combined (front and flank) could make a fight of it whilst I engaged on the left with cavalry and the elites.

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As the game went on it occurred to me that the greenskin gunline, when things don’t go very well, can be tricky to play. The infantry is powerful but slow – if you want to pick up lots of points with it, you need to come out early unless your shooting phase forces the whole enemy army into your spiky embrace. For that your war machines need to perform or, at least, to survive as an ongoing threat. These war machines did not survive long enough for that. Using elven trickery (in particular a timely Walk Between Worlds to move a ghost eagle past the night goblins to release their fanatics early and open up a clear advance), my eagles, reavers and helms swamped the doom divers and bolt thrower before they had a chance to do much damage.

While this was going on, I brought the phoenix guard up so that any countermove made by the trolls or savages against the helms would expose a flank charge from the elites. The trolls, on the receiving end of sister + bolter fire, decided to take their chances in a straight fight with the guard rather than be shot to death, but got their asses kicked very badly against the 3+ ward and massed attacks of the elves. My shooting and magic, having wiped out the squig hoppers (pretty nasty), turned their attention now to chipping away at the savages which, frankly, they did pretty unsuccessfully. My knights, however, carved on through doom divers before reforming to take and hold a charge from the massive unit of goblins. With the centre ground covered by my infantry, I was happy to sit the knights safely in combat, killing characters and forcing breaktests. Aware of the goblins’ leadership issues, and unwilling to risk being flanked, the savage orcs stayed put at first. But when the rampant phoenix guard charged, pursued, missed, then charged, beat (again) and caught the trolls, the horde had no choice but to react.

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The savage horde charged the guard and a desperate battle ensued. There was only stalemate at first, so both my opponent worked quickly at turning the tables. The free infantry units on both sides scrambled to join in – the black orcs abandoned post to prevent a flanking move from my archers (the dragon princes had evacuated, ran around my backline and were catapulted round the far side of the savage orcs to find another route to the last rock lobba). They weren’t quick enough. Walk Between Worlds catapulted the archers 20” past the black orcs and into the savage orcs’ flank zone. The black orcs could do nothing about a charge from the archers next turn and this finally saw the horde collapse under the sheer weight of the elven assault. I took all the points for the big units and, with their general and BSB dead, the goblins finally broke and were destroyed by the helms. End of game; I’d lost my chaff units and the sisters, who fled out of the tower for some reason and then never rallied (so much for the secret mission). My opponent had lost everything except the black orcs and 10 archers.

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Oof

Win


Debrief

1 - I played the scenario just fine this time, but my sisters ran away. Like girls.

2 - Fiery Convocation scares big greenskin units. Walk Between Worlds is also amazing – commandoing the archers into the flank zone of the savage orcs was a Warhammer highlight.

3 - Hand of Glory is a wonderful equalizer when your archers have to spend most of the game shooting through a wood.

4 - The big version of Foot of Gork is tremendously cheap for the fear it inspires. I had to save my scroll in this game for something which might turn the phoenix guard combat, so on one occasion I had to let this spell go against the helms. With the rock lobbas still alive, I did not forget the dicey nature of that decision (as against other armies recently where I’ve had to suffer powerful DD spells for similar reasons – especially vs Kairos), and made a note to remedy the situation. Fortunately my helms rolled well on their armour saves and then Gork decided to stomp on the savage horde before wandering off. Phew.

5 - With a 3+ ward, phoenix guard can take on very powerful units. Absolute stars.

6 - This was the second game in a row that my main combat unit had its game dictated by the presence of enemy war machines. It was dawning on me that this had to be remedied too.


Game 3 – High Elves – Battleline

Ugh, I was not looking forward to this. My opponent was friendly and awesome, but fielding an intimidating gunline. Alarielle toting Dwellers, a High Level 2 and Seahelm BSB sat in a unit of 25-ish white lions with Banner of the World Dragon. Then there were (you guessed it) the 4 bolt throwers, one unit of sisters, 3 units of 15 archers, 1 unit of reavers (so at least not all archer core), and a unit of shadow warriors.

Dwellers notwithstanding, I was much more afraid of my opponent’s shooting than I was of his white lions albeit, with the Banner and mass ward saves up from Alarielle, I didn’t fancy having a go at them until strictly necessary. So, I had to run some deployment shenanigans. The first trick was to make sure I had more units focussing down his bolt throwers than he had focussing down mine. In my bottom right-hand corner was a tower, so this was pretty easy, as I used that to provide hard cover for a couple of my machines against a couple of his, whilst leaving line of sight open so that two of my repeaters were able to shoot one of his. Dragon princes deployed on the far right flank to provide cover to my right-most repeaters whilst my infantry did the same on the left – archers next to the tower and phoenix guard closer to the centre on their left.

Before deploying the phoenix guard – which was the real giveaway that I was loading my army on one flank against half of his – I dropped my helms down centre-left. Assuming (with good reason) that I was drawing his drops to my right flank only to sucker-punch him with my bus around the left, my opponent countered with his white lions. Cracking – the reavers deployed in the wood opposite them and would keep them chasing air whilst I shot and rushed the shooting units deployed opposite my right flank – 2 x 15 archers, the sisters, shadow warriors and all the bolt throwers. My BSB went in the archers, my prince and archmage in the phoenix guard and my Bow noble in the dragon princes. Fantastically, I won first turn.

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Charge!

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All the initiative was mine. The phoenix guard and dragon princes leapt forward - the latter getting a charge on the shadow warriors deployed on the far side of the tower, who had no choice but to hold or else be caught (sloppy deployment costing my opponent there). The phoenix guard went full gung-ho toward the archers opposite, moving another 10” with WBW and easily coming within range of a bolt thrower, which I blasted to death with a Soul Quench once my opponent’s dice had gone on Arcane Unforging (to protect the Banner). My archers, with Hand of Glory, took out another machine and my own bolt throwers destroyed a third. Wow. My archers (and BSB) soon paid with a failed panic test, but this was quickly recovered by a successful rally and Walk. With only one chaff unit left – the reavers (stuck on the far flank with their hands full), my opponent was powerless to stop the phoenix guard and dragon princes rolling into, and over, his archers and sisters. The prince leapt out and got stuck into another block of archers which, eventually, he killed by himself.

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A slight hiccup..

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The white lion star reacted sluggishly to all this. They weren’t willing to throw themselves out alone against my whole army, or perhaps they were unwilling to expose their rear to the silver helms loitering around on their right flank (I guess because magic phases fail sometimes? Who knows). Albeit I couldn’t ever get Arcane Unforging off against the Banner (my magic phases stopped working after Turn 1), I easily avoided them by chaffing them up and, in the final turns, scattering my units. Having killed their targets, my army turned around and retreated to base before they could be caught. Finally, on Turn 6, Dwellers broke through my defences and buried my archmage in a cave along with half his guard. But by then it was too late – everything in my opponent’s army was dead except his lions – a good win.

Win

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Debrief

1 - If you want to take out a lion star, I reckon you need to start early. And throw as many dice at Arcane Unforging as you need to get through your opponent’s defence.

2 - High magic is amazing against elves.

3 - Heavy cavalry is excellent at running over archers, even without re-rolls.

4 - In an elf-off especially, review your typical methods of deployment in order to win the support/shooting war. It looked like my opponent employed his usual army formation here and it cost him big.

5 - My opponent could see it was game over by about Turn 2, but he took it like a gentlemen. Even gave me a couple of his club dice to say ‘thanks for the game’. Legend.


Game 4 – Lizardmen – Meeting Engagement (but without random deployment)

A really weird list, this (in a good way). Life Slann (Dwellers) sat in a big block of saurus warriors with oldblood on a cold one, deployed front and centre with a pair of stegadons either side: one ancient with an engine, two with blow pipes (one of those with a skink chief) and a final baby steg toting the bow. Apart from that there were the assorted skirmishing skink units hovering behind: they weren’t there to do much with all my missiles – the tactic was all about the reptilian steam train rolling forward and punching me in the face.

Once again I turned to deployment and magic-assisted movement to sucker my opponent into defeat. I dropped my silver helms, archers and phoenix guard central, the latter behind a building on my centre-right and the former two units out in the open in the centre of the field. These drops persuaded my opponent to set up his army (again, apparently quite rigid in formation) in the middle of the board. Out on my far left – just out of sight of the stegs, went the dragon princes – perfect for running round the flank and back of the enemy eating up skinks. In my bottom-right corner went the bolt throwers and sisters, ready to receive the lizardman onrush.

Turn 1 and my central units all evacuated: the knights cut forward and right infront of the building, the phoenix guard swift reformed and started to move round the building further to my right, and the archers did likewise before I WBW them in a sweeping loop that brought them next to the building but with line of site on the enemy army. So far so good.

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Choo choo!

Except it wasn’t. The plan, of course, was to leave the lizardman army twisting in the wind. They couldn’t catch my helms beginning to loop around the open ground on their left flank, and they couldn’t stop my dragon princes doing the same on their right (my left). I would collect skinks, pick away at the big dinos with missiles and then close in for some charges with the bus in the mid-late game from an awkward angle. If my opponent tried to close with my infantry, which he could catch, I’d hop my chaff over the house and simply continue to travel around the other side of it, or else force my opponent to split his forces. This could be fatal – I hadn’t charged out on Turn 1 with the Bus because, if I failed the roll or got stuck against one stegadon, I could be charged by 3 more. If this formation split up, however, it was much, much weaker. Tactics b1tches!

But it all went so, so wrong. To get out of line of site of the nearest dinosaurs, my dragon princes had to deploy behind a hedge. I declared a charge against the nearest skink unit anyway (who had to hold or else run off the board), and promptly lost two knights. They then failed their panic test and ran off the board. Turn 2, my helm bus got irresistibly Dwellered and I lost the prince, my dispel scroll clutched uselessly in the archmage’s hand – and so lost the only model in my army which allowed my units to quickly dispatch stegadons.

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A bad start

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"Shit!"

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Bolts and arrows couldn’t do it – 5 rounds of shooting and magic combined killed one – a useless performce. Albeit my opponent couldn’t kill much else besides repeaters (blow pipes are extremely good at this), I was looking to minimise losses rather than win. Somehow, however, I’d begun clawing the game back to evens by killing a steg and downing some skinks when the oldblood uselessly charged out of the saurus against my sisters, hiding in the building. A chance at victory: I pumped him with close range bolt shots and… failed to do anything, in spite of Arcane Unforging wounding him and nailing his ward save a moment before. Still, although now I wasn’t going to get enough points to win the game, at least I was looking at only a small loss. Until my remaining 3 silver helms, getting out the oldblood’s way on my Turn 6, ran into a wood and were all killed by branches. A cool 270-ish points to my opponent. The reavers then panicked and ran off the board, adding another 105. Game over bro!

My opponent (great guy) looked down at the table, shaking his head. “What a nightmare.” He pointed at my helms in the wood. “Take a photo of that – no-one will believe you.”

Loss

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That's that then.

Debrief

1 - Ugh, what a catastrophe.

2 - Bolt throwers are more influential in a match-up like this, as in most matchups where range or strength matters, than the equivalent points in sisters. The 4th bolter was starting to look more attractive.

3 - Heavy cavalry is excellent at running over skinks, but doesn’t like fences.

4 - My opponent thought I should have just smashed into a steg with my bus on Turn 1, gone for the overrun into the one behind and just taken them out quickly whilst staying safe in combat. In this instance I didn’t agree – a failed charge would leave the bus in deep trouble with very little room for a safe flee move against 3-4 dinos. Even 2 would pin me long enough for the whole lizzie army to come rolling in. Charging in and failing to kill a steg would bring the same result. In any case, by that stage the rest of my army, in particular my chaff units, were deployed around the building and therefore were too far away to put up a safety net to prevent counter-charges in a situation like this. Against that opponent, on that board, I think I made the right choice, but it was worth noting, at least, that your opponent can be more afraid of the helm bus than you might think. Something I could bear in mind more when I deploy in future.


Game 5 – Bretonnians – Battleline

What lay before me was much as you’d expect from a Bret list – mutli-hero big bus led by an HKB lord (hiding from my bolt throwers behind a tower on my far right), 11 KotR with paladin, 8 questing knights with paladin, 4 pegasi, two trebs, a unit of 10-15 flaming longbows, some fast cav, a level 2 beasts with scroll and… the Fey Enchantress, also in the big bus. That last one was a surprise.

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I think I got lucky with my opponent’s super-conservative deployment of his main bus. By the time it came into contention, my chaff was in position and I had already leapt out with the helm bus (just Seredain and Caradath deployed there this time) to destroy the knights of the realm deployed in the centre. Bolt throwers forced panic tests on the coalition of units facing my left, with some success, and my dragon princes – the Bow noble with them on the far left – covered the ground infront. To force the issue there my opponent invited a charge from the dragon princes against his pegasi, and held it – a mistake. Annoyingly the dragon princes (plus noble) absolutely bombed but, even so, my opponent needed a 4 to hold… He got it. Into the flank came the questing knights. Thankfully my noble was able to make way into that flank, sheltering the princes, and dispatch his opposite number in a challenge by popping the potion of strength. By some miracle, I then eventually ground the pegasi down and held the questing knights for the rest of the game.

My magic did little all game but, while this combat on the left was dragging on, my shooting units were doing work, pulling down fast cavalry, small knight units, one of the trebuchets (the other one destroyed itself) and the Beasts mage. That just left the enemy big bus to deal with. Neither my opponent nor I wanted our bus to be charged by the other’s, so much of the game was spent with these units dancing around each other. However, elven shooting meant he had no chaff units and I did so, eventually, the charge was mine. A heroic challenge between the Bretonnian lord and the elven prince ended quickly with the human’s head rolling the floor and, after that, I had two or three rounds to dispatch more characters to take a big win, having lost only chaff units.

Win

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Debrief

1 - Because of my ongoing obsession with super-accurate archery, after a poor spell roll I took Hand of Glory instead of Walk Between Worlds. When playing infantry against a cavalry army, this was a mistake. If I’d had Walk I could’ve got my phoenix guard into the big bus to finish it off.

2 - I gave this opponent best sports for this game. Charming chap, and very engaged with the fun of the game and in learning more about how to play his army. All his models had a really cool back-story, and we’ll see more such coolness from him in Milton Keynes.


Game 6 – High Elves – Battle for the Pass

Another shooty list with a character Banner bunker and, unfortunately, this time my opponent won the scenario roll to chose BftP.

The heart of the army was (unusually it seemed) a large phoenix guard bunker deployed back and centre with Teclis (all the big spells), BSB and Level 2 light mage (I thought this guy should’ve been High for the 3++, but whatevs – Net of Amyntok is irritating). In front of the guard was a block of 25 white lions – a tarpit designed to prevent people getting to Teclis. Elsewhere were the 4 repeater bolt throwers, deployed evenly across the enemy deployment zone, two units of reavers with bows, a small unit of archers and a large (21-25 ish) unit of seaguard facing my left flank.

Keeping the priority to focus my shooting as much as possible, my bolt throwers went down together on the far right flank (3 vs 2), with the silver helms inside of them (led by the prince only), and the archers further to the centre deployed with the archmage – the ward save would matter to them if I wanted to win a grinding shooting war and, with such little space for manoeuvre, I didn’t fancy throwing the archmage forward with the phoenix guard toting only a 5++ from his talisman - something else to note. The phoenix guard went down front and centre to push on into the white lions and/or take some of the heat off my shooting units. My left flank faced a loose coalition of two bolt throwers and a unit of reavers.

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My opponent won the roll for first turn – uhoh – and I was ready to ride into the Valley of Death. Turn 1 saw my silver helms take heavy casualties from only two of the bolt throwers – good accuracy and bad saves leaving me quickly in very real doubt that the unit, and therefore the prince, would survive the game. A third bolt thrower miraculously managed to kill one of mine (damn), and I started to think that Karma wanted to pay me back for the last elf-off I’d played. Luckily the cover provided by the hill on my left flank prevented any such damage in that quarter from the reavers and 4th repeater.

My biggest lesson in all of my recent losses had been that Dithering is Fatal, so I resolved (since turning around and hiding didn’t feel like an option) to chuck my army down the enemy’s throat and force him to try and swallow it. Lecalion’s archers walked between worlds for a 15” toward the seaguard before taking aim at close range. The phoenix guard (with the help of the BSB) shrugged off a Net of Amyntok and then advanced full pace at the white lions. The dragon princes (with bow noble, who drank his potion) moved 9 inches and, next to them, my reavers and sisters came out of hiding from behind the hill and shot down the enemy reavers before them. A loose of missiles rippled along my whole army, albeit with mixed effect: the bow noble destroyed the repeater facing my far left flank, my archers (aided by a Hand of Glory, Soul Quench being dispelled), killed a number of seaguard (who didn’t run), and my two remaining bolt throwers… flunked and did nothing.

To remove themselves from the shooting war for a time, the helms took an easy charge off the table through some reavers on that side – surely deliberately placed albeit I was very happy to keep my knights safe and, on my return, would have free reign to move as I wished in the absence of any other harassing units.

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What followed was a long, slow slog. Magic increasingly seemed to do little for either side except confirm that the guard-star at the back of my opponent’s army was, in this game, surely unkillable given the casualties I was taking. But slowly I inched forward and enemy resistance started to falter. On my left the reavers, sisters and dragon princes, after faltering in the face of enemy missile fire, attacked and destroyed the remaining bolt thrower, after which my own light troops hid, taking pot-shots at the white lions, while the noble-led princes turned inwards for the final battle. On the right, the helms returned only to take a pounding from the two remaining enemy bolt throwers (Ironcurse Icon doing nothing), and were destroyed one turn before I could send the last model safely behind a house. The prince had evacuated by this point and joined the archers who, in the face of determined resistance from the seaguard, continued their advance behind a creeping barrage of missiles (High magic displaying its wonderful utility even in small magic phases). The archers took casualties but slowly ground the seaguard down before Seredain led the charge and finished them off. In the centre the phoenix guard and BSB, with the aid of an eagle harass, charged headlong into the white lions and, in only two rounds of combat, completely destroyed them. The enemy guard-star, with its wide frontage, just stood there completely powerless to intervene. My turn again, and I was able to clear up: the dragon princes, much depleted, turned down a risky assassination mission against Teclis and instead charged across to a bolt thrower (killed) and safety. The archers killed the last machine and it was game to me. A pretty decent win, but marred by the loss of the helms who, again, had proven vulnerable to lists with a combination of decent magic and shooting.

Win

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A hard slog eventually brings victory.

Debrief

1 - Phoenix guard absolutely slay white lions.

2 - My silver helms (albeit not deployed in bus mode) got shot up again – definitely time to adapt.

3 - The bow noble earns plaudits for helping me win the shooting war.

3 - Moving archers forward and using them to lay down close-range fire and combat support gets you so much bang for your buck. I’m convinced that the best lists are the ones that make real use of their core, and I think 3 ranks of archers married to High magic is a good example of this principle. Against elves in particular, they’re stellar.


Results

With 4 wins and 2 losses, I finished pretty well (edge of top third, I think). You’ll probably have noticed that I stopped talking about the secret missions and that’s, pretty much, because I forgot about them. Bad tourney-pack preparation from me, there, and I’m sure this cost me a slew of places. Even so, I felt that a bit of growing tourney experience was just starting to come good – albeit there was much work to do. I still had far too little experience of some armies and some lists – people could drop down units without me knowing precisely what they did, and this put me (and to a lesser extent still does) under pressure, and gave my brain more work to do. It seems to me that the finest tournament players know the rules and enemy army books well enough that they only need to think about deploying their army and playing the game, secure in relatively good knowledge as to what threats lie within the enemy army. In a closed list environment especially, these collective skills represent a big advantage. I’ll need to keep improving on these.

But more on that when we get to Milton Keynes Grand Tournament, which took place about a month ago.

_________________
The Cavalry Prince - List Design, Tactics, Battle Reports

It just ain't cool if your chrome don't shine.


Last edited by Seredain on Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:40 pm 
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The Cavalry Prince
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Cavalry Prince Evolution

Between South Coast and Milton Keynes, I played some more games against good opposition – Matt Hinton (Lizards), Dom Pemberton (Empire) and Donal Taylor (Ogres), from Angel Wargamers. These were decent players who, frankly, often know the minute rules better than I do (in particular the exact mechanics of challenging have only been only slowly dawning on me for some time now).

In particular, Donal’s ogre army proved an insurmountable obstacle on 3 occasions through a combination of tight list design, tough unit matchups and player skill. I can beat ogres, but beating a top ogre player with a top list is a completely different ball game. A top ogre player doesn’t give you his ironblasters, and an army like mine has limited tools to deal with them in the early game when 4-5 mournfang, a full gutstar and 7-8 maneaters are bearing down on you. Archers are not so reliable a solution when the move-and-shoot chariot cannon can always hover behind a building or friendly troops, sniping away from the far side (magic notwithstanding). So, at 2.5K, there is always the chance you will have two cannon balls rolling through your characters on Turn 6 and taking vast chunks of points off you. Since my other big losses of recent times have largely involved the same problem – it was time for a rethink on how the bus worked.


Getting into combat - Problems

The best way to get safe from shooting is to get into combat. But, although this sounds relatively simple for a knight unit with M9, it isn’t against good opponents because they will do their utmost to chaff you up and expose you to counter-charges. Ogres have access to cheap chaff and units which you do not want to be charged by – mournfang in particular. I often found, watching games and playing them, that the curse of slow-play usually afflicts players that look at the table during the movement phase and genuinely don’t know which option to choose when they only have a bad set of options. I often found this with the knight bus against Donal’s ogres: I could outrange mournfang, for example, but needed to clear the chaff first before I could take advantage. Also, the risk of taking a charge from them with my 2 ranks of knights meant I sacrificed chaff early to hold them off, and hovered my bus at its average charge range whilst my shooting chipped away to tilt the odds. All this took time and valuable shooting resources, both of which exposed the rest of my army to the ogres’ assault while my best heroes prevaricated. Crucially, it also allowed more time for the ironblasters to batter my knights.

The upshot was that, when my heroes emerged from combat in the late game, it was very unlikely that they were going to be safe from cannonballs. Ogres were the worst but, against armies with access to both good shooting and good magic, Chaos Dwarfs in particular, this could (and had) happened to me even before the pre-combat dithering was over. It was a very serious problem indeed.


The Bow Noble as a solution

In part, the Mounted Bow Noble helped. With access to a third fighting character the helm bus could (and did) absolutely destroy monstrous cavalry, even when they managed to get charges on it. I would pop the Potion of Strength when it seemed my opponent had no option but to take the charge and BOOM, the incoming unit would take 3 S8 shots from Stand and Shoot and 3 additional S7 attacks alongside the attacks of the prince and BSB. Fantastic, and very useful in forcing earlier combats to escape enemy shooting phases.

But, considering the points spent on this extra character, there were some inadequacies for my list. Firstly, the Bow Noble would almost always die by the end of the game if the “full bus” was involved in serious combats. The Charmed Shield gave him the utility to ride with the dragon princes or go solo to eat cannons, and so the character gave me a myriad of options, but he was ill-suited to the helm bus’s primary role: to lead from the front and get stuck in. Secondly, he was actually of limited use in the cannon-sniping role. Not against static machines like Empire cannons and elf bolt throwers, which he helped kill quite happily, but against the ironblasters, with which I was most concerned. These could always hide behind terrain or units (miraculously shooting between models.. grrr), making the Bow too inaccurate to work properly. Finally, the Reaver Bow itself offered limited utility for the removal of chaff, since it only fired 3 shots per turn. These considerations, which I could play around for the sake of the noble’s wonderful utility and usefulness in a cavalry stand-off, were made particularly keen by the fact that I hadn’t yet taken a 4th bolt thrower: a much simpler way of adding flexible damage output and chaff clearance to my shooting phase without the need for the careful employment of the carrying character. Alternative options were available which might achieve more for the unit itself than the noble could.


Other solutions

Firstly, magic. Since High Magic is a versatile lore with lots of tools, it rewards having a good spell selection. On the flip side, against versatile lists it also forces you to make unsatisfactory decisions when you can only take 4 spells. Against some lists, chiefly lizardmen and other elves (good magic, good combat units / shooting, lots of chaff), you really benefit from access to a clutch of the numbered spells as well as the sig spells: drain magic is fantastic against buff-spam phases and soul quench is wonderful for clearing the board of chaff, archers and even machines. 4 High magic levels (even with the Ring) does not allow you this utility – 6 levels does.

Secondly, the fighting characters. The prince, with a 1+ rr save, continued to be hardcore in combat but he had his limits against multiple S6 and S7 attacks, and the BSB was more fragile still with only the single re-roll from Luckstone and a 6++ from dragon armour. In the absence of other high strength ASF attacks, these models were vital for my army and needed protecting. Against the baddest stuff, dragon armour on the prince, and High magic in the unit, would constitute a massive boost to my heroes’ survivability (and the knights love a ward too).

Thirdly, numbers. A full 3rd rank of knights would assist in holding on steadfast against nasty charging units, meaning I could more confidently take and hold charges.

I concluded that taking High magic on the unit would, therefore, contribute more to the unit’s ability to move freely, choose its fights, and then grind them out where necessary, than the noble could manage with the Bow and Potion of Strength, especially where the latter capability could be in-part replaced by a 4th bolt thrower.


Protection from Shooting

Curu has written extensively about his belief that helm units need to be large in order to protect their noble cargo. Based on my experience, I would agree with him, excepting the rather semantic difference that High Magic replaces, in part, the need to take more knights (a decision which would render my archers far less effective). I decided to split the difference and trim points off the reavers and a little from the archers to buy 12 helms FC.

With the level 2 mage and the Ironcurse Icon (carried by the prince), I now had more bodies, harder characters and much better protection against war machines for my most important unit.


Protection from Magic

The worst lists for a knight bus to face are those which can field both powerful shooting and powerful magic phases full of magic missiles and/or direct damage spells. Orcs & Goblins, Chaos Dwarfs, and Skaven are good examples, but even armies which can field endless damage spells, such as Dark Elves (plus bolt throwers) and Daemons (particularly Kairos), can cause problems where you both really want to preserve your knights and save your dispel scroll for swaying a crucial combat.

Since I was already taking the mounted mage for the bus, I therefore decided to add another layer of defence in the form of the Scroll of Shielding. For 15 points and the cast of one spell, I could get a 3++ against damage spells when I really needed it, without having to a) burn my dispel scroll or b) put World Dragon on the BSB and kill him off as a serious fighter.

A quick word on Dwellers Below. I have often said, and will continue to say, that players who load their units with characters risk losing games to Dwellers and Final Transmutation – and that these spells serve a useful purpose to prevent consequence-free deathstar play. Unfortunately, since we lost all our ASF great weapons, I have found that losing the prince alone can be unbearably damaging against certain lists (eg Game 4 vs Lizardmen, above). My list needs its high-strength ASF attacks much more than the old 7th Ed list did (albeit losing your general is never a good idea). Correspondingly, to allow my fighters the chance to do their job in an environment where ranged damage and armour-piercing attacks are more common, I’m happy to place another character in this unit to protect the unit and heroes against more common methods of death – shooting and close combat.


Other changes


Phoenix Guard

A lesson I’d learned before SCGT, but which was amply demonstrated during the course of the tournament and afterwards, were the virtues of phoenix guard, in particular when fighting alongside the High archmage.

The loss of Speed of Asuryan from our white lions and swordmasters remains, in my opinion, the biggest change between the old army book and the new one. Firstly the GW elites’ ability to kill things is, comparatively, much reduced from their old versions once the 3rd rank loses models. Secondly, they don’t get to strip enemy I5 units of wounds before getting hit and, thirdly, ASF troops, now more common than ever (and which phoenix guard are par excellence), tear them to pieces.

So, without significant support from our army’s latest Big Trick – the ability to spam excellent defensive buffs through the use of magic items, special characters and/or Shield of Saphery – these troops leave a lot to be desired. Given this, I think it no surprise that the majority of white lion (or indeed swordmaster) units I saw at this tournament (top High Elf fielded almost exactly the same list as my opponent in Game 3), featured large numbers of them and a clutch of characters dumping out ward saves. Without this kind of defence, our non-rerolling great weapon elites are so much more vulnerable.

This presents a problem for my army because, in the end, it is not a points-denial list – it’s about killing things. If I fielded a massive unit of swordmasters with a bunch of characters (which I would over white lions), then it would absolutely be worth using my smaller magic phases to just buff up ward saves and make the deathstar invincible. 20 swords in 3 ranks performed wonderfully with Book of Hoeth High magic making them tonk, but would be a fair criticism of them in an MMU list that, on occasions, you can be conflicted in a small magic phase as to whether you want to buff the infantry unit, or get aggressive and throw 5 dice at Arcane Unforging. In those scenarios, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that High Magic should sometimes be about the spells first and the ward saves second. In a list where protecting the infantry is not always your first priority, the High Archmage sometimes needs to throw big dice in small phases.

Phoenix guard, since they only need one ward buff, give you no conflict between buffing the unit and casting spells. Albeit they have less to gain, in absolute terms, from Shield of Saphery, they do give you complete flexibility to use your magic phase however you wish, in the knowledge that you’ll probably get your 3++, or at least can live without the +1 if you have to. Even though it’s only a +1 boost, a 3++ on a unit with ASF and the AP banner is absolutely tremendous. You will see this unit do crazy things at MKGT.


Archmage

Related to the above, it is dangerous against good opponents with good magic defence to rely on getting two spells off when you absolutely need to, especially without the Book (for which I don’t have the points). I therefore replaced the archmage’s Talisman of Endurance for Preservation.


4 Bolt Throwers

I have, over time, become increasingly dissatisfied with Sisters of Avelorn as a single small utility unit. Albeit I think the new book is a wonderful object, giving us access to a fantastic variety of army builds and good combined-arms options, there are some things that reek of last-minute decision making that don’t seem to have been thought through properly. The first standout example is the fact that Tempest needs to wound, not hit, before its nerf applies – making it useless against the war machines for which it was obviously originally designed. The second standout example, for me, is the Sisters of Avelorn. With no musician and standard, these archers were surely conceived as skirmishing troops.

Perhaps GW didn’t want to step on Asrai toes, but the fact is that a 24” range on a unit that has to wheel and can only move 5” is not what I’d call an adaptable shooting platform. I bow my head to players who field large units and can see, there, the massive benefit of being able to stand-and-shoot in a way that bolt throwers can’t manage. I can also see that having two or more small units of sisters would get much more out of them, since prime targets would be far less able to escape from flaming shots. But, for me, 70 points of bolt thrower is much, much more effective in an all-comers environment than 70 points of sisters (I know I had 84 points for 6 sisters but I needed the 14 for the prince’s dragon armour). The switch loses me a deployment drop but, in its current guise (mass missiles, fast attack units, direct damage and movement spells), my list doesn’t mind this so much. The old army worked best when it had a lattice of 3-4 units working in concert, and therefore required the deployment advantage (or at least benefited from it). The new army typically employs a lattice structure too, but with only 2-3 units and with a more powerful set of ranged attacks. The build has therefore tipped on the scales, from needing to deploy the bus late in order to find a weak point, to wanting to win Turn 1 so I can shoot first and/or rush defensive positions (or, indeed, redeploy).

All-comers lists need to consider hard counters, of course, so I’ve had to think about trolls and chimeras. Sure, I don’t have flaming shooting, but I do have flaming attacks on the dragon princes, useful especially against the chimeras. As it happens, my phoenix guard and silver helms can hold of chimeras just fine and, against these flyers, it’s also worth considering the fact that an additional bolt thrower at least forces an additional regen save. As for trolls, I had a lovely time in Game 2 of SCGT watching my phoenix guard chop them up without caring much about the regen, basically because ASF and a 3++ beats a 4++ (the litmus test of this concept will be when I first come up against a Throggstar, in which case I may need the dragon princes chipping in). In the end, a 4++ is not immunity (something so many people forget when they decide to leave phoenix guard alone and go for softer targets).

After all the above I made some subtle but important changes. To finish this chapter, here is the current list (and the list I took to Milton Keynes).


The Current List


Seredain - Prince - Dragon Armour, Shield, Barded Elven Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon - 290

Lecalion - Level 4 High Archmage - Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll - 290

Caradath - Battle Standard Bearer - Dragon Armour, Barded Elven Steed, Ogre Blade, Enchanted Shield, Luckstone - 170

Thalias - Level 2 High Mage - Elven Steed, Golden Crown, Scroll of Shielding, Potion of Toughness - 175

Talthos Lances - 12 Silver Helms - Full Command, Shields - 306
Elean Citizens - 23 Archers - Musician - 240
Vale Reavers - 5 Reaver Knights - Spears - 80

Talthos Guardians - 20 Phoenix Guard - Full Command, Razor Standard - 375
Urithan’s Champions - 6 Dragon Princes - Standard Bearer, Banner of Eternal Flame - 194

Eagle Claws - 4 Repeater Bolt Throwers - 280
Lathandros - 1 Great Eagle - 50
Merlyn - 1 Great Eagle - 50

2500 points

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:57 pm 
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The Cavalry Prince
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Location: London, England.
sutilar wrote:
Hei Seredain. Here we are a lot of people following you for a long long time, we had taken many great examples from you not only on Warhammer gaming. But on life attitude, on how personal motivation helps in the life.

Here are a lot of people with that motivation that like me sometimes I'm shy about playing with miniatures. We all need your example, to copy you on realizing that motivation plenty.

Next time you wake up and say 'Yes! One more day'; next time you feel the happiness of being creative, if Warhammer strategy game is the reason of that, we want to know about you.

I must say to know me better my greatest motivation are martial arts, and my life's main goal is to dedicate week's most hours on preparing to fight and fight.
Warhammer is another motivation, it is completely different. From too years ago it helped me to be creative and develop my mind, which I appreciate now in Muay Thai fights.
I like to dedicate each moment to it's motivation.

Hoping to know about you,
Greetings from Finland

Sutilar

Sutilar,

Thanks for your kind words. If we're talking motivation, the good news is that mine remains very firmly fixed in WHFB High Elves, and with Ancient History (I massively recommend The Great Sea by David Abulafia for anyone interested in Mediterranean Studies). And beer. And Construction Law. It's a lot to cram in but, though my long absences suggest otherwise, I play more games now than I have historically, and am starting to attend more tournaments. The bad news is that, since I work on computers all day and get back late, the last thing my eyes need is to keep staring at a computer screen. So the best thing to do is to chip away on the blog while I'm still at the office, in lunch breaks and so on, and that's what I've been up to these past weeks. In the end, you find a balance. If I can keep up the lawyering, keep playing games and save the odd moment for writing about them, I'll be doing ok. The army has kept adapting over time so I'm sure there's plenty more to discover.

Thanks,

Seredain

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:50 pm 
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Somebody else running the 6 dragon princes with flaming banner! How's it treating you? I keep cutting it from the list but seeing yours it might inspire me to bring me back!

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