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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:06 pm 
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The Cavalry Prince
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Yeah we houseruled it because, otherwise the character made little sense. He and his unit did an absolute number on my archers, too, before my star lance noble and reavers went in to them and showed them what proper spears can do.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:04 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Tell Donal to get the Ogres out! (Edit: He's taking Dark Elves to London's Calling. Eurgh!) So who gets the dodgy match-ups and who gets protected to cash in on their good ones?


I'm borrowing a mates dark elves (think they will be my next army so wanted to play test). They are horrible to play against (particularly uncomped) - had a game against matt using his standard build and had a very comfortable 19-1 win, without him ever really having a decent shot to threat me. Its a combination of "you can't touch this" and shooty / magic for the win (#notmadeforfriendly games). I didnt take ogres to calling cause they struggle too much with uncomped death magic (though HH and scroll can help). "Oh look, its purple sun - IF, and i get another magic phase - yay". Will be taking out the ogres back out for Reading :)

Lists arent completely decided for firestorm4, but think dark elves work well under the comp. they have only a few hard counters and avoidance is hard to catch. Just a pity we dont have any wood elf players, they are pretty solid in team events.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Ogres won NM this year. 2k uncomped with plenty of death and Teclis around. When played right, the weakness is not so big because having both a scroll and the Hellheart effectively renders purple sun very hard to get off during the crucial turns. I don't think shooting is the way to go though (apart from the mandatory double Ironblaster), they are too situational and weak with that build (doubly so when taken in a team event).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:27 pm 
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I play WE's Donal but TBH I'm not good enough for your team. Most teams will bring DE's so if Rando's happy to have a crack at them that's a good start. What's Mr Pemberton bringing?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:00 pm 
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He'll be Empire. His heart and soul rests in standing back and blowing people away from distance. Plus demis.

Donal's our resident team tourney expert so he'll be in charge of matchups. Dark elves aren't friendly but getting 200 points knocked off is a big hit, and BS shooting plus high magic is a good counter to them. The question is whether I can get any decent cavalry power in at these points but, in a matchups-based event, being all-comers is probably less important so I may just have to live without.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:13 pm 
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I think you'll be better off thinking about the pairings rather than trying to be all-comers. It really depends on the mindset and other lists in your team though. I imagine Curu might have some ideas here but I think taking to your team and then deciding on how to design your list is the best idea. That way your list has some more context.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:53 pm 
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I'd have thought that any static element, like Darkshards, maybe Witch Elves or other infantry would give you something to point your bus at Seredain. We're looking at lists on Asrai at the moment and Moonstone looms large as a way for a foot bunker to avoid getting trapped.

I agree on the points, I'd happily play Daemons or DE's with 200pts more and especially Warriors. I always had the impression you'd cut magic if necessary. Back to the lvl4 with Scroll?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:55 pm 
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There are multiple ways to go about creating a team. The TL;DR version is that you can either have a set of solid armies and pair them as best you can, or you can have one, maybe two varying armies that have some great and some poor matchups (e.g. Star Dragon) and try and steer these into good games for lots of points. What's best of these depends on a lot of factors. The one common denominator however is that the team should be composed largely by stable and solid armies, i.e. ones that have very few bad matchups and can play almost anything to a draw. This allows player skill to shine while also avoiding unplayable matchups. What we found is that corner armies are the toughest ones to build: They inevitably have bad matchups and they are not good at scoring big points in strong matchups because opponents simply go and hide away.

Can someone give me some more details on this event? Comp, amount of players per team, cap per round/point system, team restrictions, pairing etc?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:01 pm 
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Link to comp pack:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/88222296/Firestorm%20Fours%20Pack.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Oh nice! Is this event full? If not, any chance some of us Norwegians can attend? Who do we talk to in that case? :D

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:18 pm 
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So anyway, onto the pairing itself and the teams available:

Not comping Lizardmen and Skaven is absolute madness. High Elves are also very strong with more points and DoC are stable against most armies. Empire is ok I suppose, but uncomped they may suffer from some of the wacky other things out there.

The pairing, in effect, is like this: You put out an exposed army. This is the army you like the least, typically, against your opponents. By putting it out, you're effectively trying to trick your opponent into sending unfavourable matchups back. In doing so, you hold back an army that is strong against your exposed army's counters. An example is worth a thousand words:

At BSK game 5 we really dreaded a Wood Elf list for our Dwarfs. We revealed Dwarfs first and our Dwarfs were countered by Wood Elves + X. By keeping High Elves in reserve (a particularly strong army against said Wood Elf list), we dodged the Wood Elf counter to our Dwarfs, gaining a favourable matchup in doing so. Dwarfs could handle X quite well also. Note that this would not work if there are 2 terrible counters to your exposed army.

To take advantage of situations like this, you can only really have one army with a significant weakness per pairing. If you have multiple, you will have problems because the 2 armies you send to counter your opponent will have a hard time. As you have no control over these matchups, these armies need to be stable.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:21 pm 
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So 50-30, 4 players, pairings like your last event Curu, very light comp. One LoS is interesting.

It is full. There's a reserve list with about six teams on but may be enough drop-outs, most teams are not locked down by payments yet. Any who don't pay by 1st December drop out.

Does that mean you tended to offer Dark Elves and Daemons to the opposing team's first gambit Curu?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:30 pm 
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SA - do you have any contact details you could PM me on the organizer? I would very much like to talk to him about the possibility of maybe reserving a spot or two if at all possible, among the reserves that is (I'd have to talk to club mates etc as well).

Dark Elves and Daemons were typically what we countered with, yes. Dwarfs were a liability for us because of the many armies we faced that they simply can't play. However, being able to keep the Star Dragon back, which is typically strong against the things DW are weak against, was a great asset that sort of made up for this. Strange also delivered some great games in the face of terrible odds which really helped the team.

As for our counters, Dark Elves ended up claiming 41bp over 5 games (interestingly enough, same as DW). This was largely due to a huge miscalculation on our part however, where both DE and DW lost 0-20 in matches we controlled. By swapping these matchups, the result would be a lot brighter for DE at least. Rusty's Daemons on the other hand however performed extremely well and he was able to outplay several opponents, using 0-matchups for what it's worth (letting player skill shine) and bringing home 76 or so BP over the 5 games despite always (I think) being sent into matchups we didn't control.

I'll elaborate on this more in the post-BSK analysis which I'm hoping to have time for tomorrow afternoon :)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:40 pm 
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This is the thread on TWF Curu. I think they give contact details:

http://www.warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewt ... 3&t=126323

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:47 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
This is the thread on TWF Curu. I think they give contact details:

http://www.warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewt ... 3&t=126323


Much appreciated :) Any chance you will be going, SA?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:52 pm 
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I'd give my eye teeth to play an event like this Curu. But as a family man with a lot to deal with right now it looks impossible. At least I have an army book I'm happy with again and the odd event here and there.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Hello Seredain, I will never stop following the Cavalry Prince forum.
Hello to every follower,

I´m experienced player with this army build up, always using it almost copied from Seredain´s posted army list.

My last matches (and previous metagame job) have been interesting, lightly changed the orientation of the Cavalry Prince.
My army list version takes away the Prince (and nowadays list´s second prince) to spend more points in ranged power. 2000p -Archmage, Bsb, horse Lvl 2, 8 S. helms, 5 E. reavers, 19 A., 6 D. princes, 19 Smasters, Geagle, 4 RBT.

Orientation change: slower
High Magic 6 levels and spam shooting protagonize early turns.
Oponent isn't able to run forward mindless due to infantry big block's (still swordmasters) stability threat -Archmage boosts the leadership as the general-.
Heavy and light cavalry eat chaff easily while controlling the board.
During the game I can choose to protect the swordmasters if I expect to close in combat in the late game or the heavy cavalry, with Archmage's or cavalry-mage's ward saves (Book of Hoeth is necessary).

In my last games -against goblin archers, warrios of chaos and Vampire Counts- the Bsb and cavalry-mage both joined the silver helms, dragon princes, archers, swordmasters and runned solo at least once.
I killed the chaff with the cavalry, shooted big targets and grinded enemy to pieces in turn 5 with intact swordmasters. Or:
I killed the chaff with ranged magic/shooting and combine charged with heavy infantry and heavy cavalry safely in a flank in turn 3.

Prince
I see spending points on the Prince as accelerating close combat time (less ranged power and consecuenced necessary earlier charge-killing).
It is not necessary his Leadership if you play well with the Bsb, High Magic and Archmage as General.
We (high elf and Cavalry Prince users) need to wxploit High Magic and shooting more turns before charging.

Thank you for reading and I really really hope to hear opinions.

Sutilar

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:38 pm 
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Sutilar, thanks very much for the moral support! It's very kind of you. It's unfortunate that I get such little time to post these days but, at least, I have been having fun tinkering away with the army, discovering new benefits, problems and, lately, the fun possibilities we've stumbled upon with our new characters.

I'm interested to hear about your own adventures because, to a great extent, they seem to accord closely with mine. For myself, I find my army performs best when it forces (or entices) an opponent out of hiding - exposing himself to close-ranged fire and counter-charges without the benefit of chosen ground or (often) infantry support and/or close range firepower from his own ballistic skill weapons. My own army benefits massively from the difference between 3+ to hit with missile weapons as opposed to 4+, and an enemy that is able to sit back and punish you is far more likely to have cover saves protecting your chosen targets.

The two problems for lists like ours, (by which I mean shoot+counter-attack lists), is what to do when either a) your opponent out-shoots you at 30" range (dwarfs, empire, some elf lists), or b) your opponent rushes into combat with you before your ranged power has had a chance to take effect. War machines and enemy characters are therefore the counters that we need to really worry about, I feel, and lately that's what I've been bending my mind to when considering what changes to make to my own army in the wake of the new 50% lords allowance. Considering your points allowance and the fact that the helms unit remains small, dropping the prince makes some sense - he's a comparatively big investment in points that forces you forward to get the benefits from combat. But of course, to the same extent, so are your other combat units and I've found that, with the new 50% allowance, it makes more sense to think of your combat characters in the same category as your infantry and cavalry units than it does to think of them alongside your mage characters. A cavprince effectively does much the same job as dragon princes (broadly speaking), so it's this unit you should think about as a point of comparison rather than, say, an archmage. The trick with my high elf army has always been to get the balance right between units which cause mass-damage and those which deal anti-armour damage. Dragon princes fit in the former category, unless they have the AP banner perhaps, so seemed less important in my army where I could easily spam low-ish strength hits but had far fewer solutions for the heaviest units, especially characters, beyond bolt throwers, arcane unforgiving and the giant blade. With the 50% allowance this challenge is more pronounced than ever so, in fact, I have been finding the combat prince more necessary rather than less necessary, and have spent much of my time trying to find the best ways to support him rather than drop him altogether. I discuss this in some detail below - in effect the challenge is to maintain the flexibility offered by taking a number of smaller characters instead of a big monster, but still be able to bind all those points together for when your combat lord needs to face down a massive monster character who, normally, would be too powerful for him. Without this ability - to kill (even just finish off) the big lords without relying on getting lucky with your bolt throwers - your small units and/or characters become vulnerable to being gobbled up one by one. High magic is of limited use in is context, so maintaining that ability in combat is important to me.

Having said that, I suspect that playing 2K armies poses fewer problems in this context. But out of curiosity, how does your army perform when your opponent brings a character-heavy force? What sort of tactics do you use?

Thanks again for the comments,

S

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:33 am 
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Army Diary - an Update

The last couple of months has actually been a very interesting time for the army as my clubmates have variously further tweaked their established (and impressive) lists or else dived headlong into entirely new (to me) concepts. One thing that has been of particular interest is that many of these armies have been reluctant (since we don't play ET lists), to over-abuse the new lord cap. Perhaps this is mere conservatism (as when I kept trying to include spearelves when our new book came out), but time will tell. What is nice to see is that monstrous cavalry have very obviously started to look less attractive in the face of a new-found freedom for certain armies (High Elves in particular, I feel), to take vastly improved anti-armour options under the new lords allowance. Simultaneously, large blocks of core infantry have begun to re-appear in the club meta, partly because, if you have the remedy to moncav, your infantry blocks are less of a liability, and partly because lord level characters can spend a huge amount of valuable time stomping these massive units. Although everyone was predicting hero-hammer domesday when 50% lords arrived (the club's WhatsApp chat has been renamed "Warmachine Talk" har har), in fact the meta appears to have been blown wide open.


Cavalry Prince Evolution

The new lords allowance has given my own list some interesting new possibilities to play with. You may recall that, when it came in, I was considering running either a double cavalry prince list (giant blade, star lance) plus level 4, level 2 and BSB, or else adding in a loremaster as my third lord. Well I tried the former and had a good time with it against Nurgle-wall warriors (trolls, throgg in ogres, warriors with Nurgle level 4 and Festus) and a very interesting lizardman flying circus list (3 big units of razordons, signatures slann, magic carpet old blood, two units of terradons, 3 flying skink chiefs, 2 small skrox units and a bunch of skirmishers).

Frankly, when I took the new prince, I was starting to worry that my army was slowly turning in a straightforward big bus list and, although this makes a lot of sense against some armies, as an all-comers strategy I wasn't at all happy with the idea. Parking all those characters in one unit can surrender a huge amount of board control and makes it relatively easy for your opponent to pick a strategy, since he has only a few units whose movement he needs to consider (you can only charge one hero out per turn). Happily, necessity forced me to run my characters solo. In my opinion our characters are themselves, in effect, our easiest way to recreate MSU tactics with an army book which, outside of a few builds (which I shall leave to the experts), encourages fewer more expensive units. Running the characters solo gave me board control against the cloud lists and multiple threats / angles against the blockier armies - important for swinging difficult combats with a second-round rear charge (+3 res before your lord even strikes is huge). So, I was able to run rings around the chaos list (albeit I nearly came a cropper of keeping the fight close to a set of buildings) and, with my characters, solo-stomp the light lizard units and heroes (a glorious moment saw my prince chop the 4++ oldblood to pieces in one round - the gods were obviously smiling on me). I was pleased to see that, unless a very good reason exists for deploying the full bus (basically that's cannons), the army performed much better when split into its constituent parts (the archmage + phoenix guard being the permanent exception). Apart from anything else, being able to throw a block of silver helms against skink units allows them to perform a valuable service in themselves while the heroes can stay with the army and/or remain free for harder work.

My latest games did get me thinking again about the army's utility, however. In particular, both victories, as is frankly often the case with my army, revolved around the enemy having to advance in the face of my greater ranged threat (based on 4 repeaters, hand of glory archers, 2-3 soul quenches). This is an advantage I really wanted to press further. Also, against Chaos I had to admit that there were problems for an all-comers list that hadn't made any allowance for regeneration. I got round it by assassinating Festus and shouldering trolls aside with 3++ phoenix guard, but the game was a lot dicier than I wanted it to be because it was difficult for my ranged power to make significant dents in the enemy during the first 3 turns. This is something that is very useful for my list, since it's usually much better for me to blow through combats rather than grind them out. With both these important considerations in mind, the second combat lord started to look like a luxury. Running solo he destroyed chariots, kept skirmishing units away from my shooters and threw in flank charges during the late game, but for much of the early game he was pretty much just hanging around keeping his points safe. There's also the consideration that, to get the best out of him as a fighter (and protect him from cannons), I was pretty much bound to keep him with the level 2 high mage for the 3++ (armour of destiny + shield of Saphery). That meant I either had to run him with the silver helms (fine but kinda limiting, as mentioned, with two combat lords deployed in there, plus at least a mage), or have him run in a pair with the mage (very effective but vulnerable to magic missiles, making manoeuvring tricky against a savvy opponent). There was, then, a constant tactical tension between taking advantage of the star lance's excellent solo hitting power, or surrendering some manoeuvrability in favour of the 3++. Although this second prince was a wonderfully manoeuvrable combat threat, getting full value out of him in addition to my giant blade prince felt tricky, especially when, as I saw it, many of the jobs I was using him for (chiefly backline duties) could have been handled by a much cheaper noble. And of course this expensive character did nothing for my ranged power, nor solved my inability to break regeneration.

So, having enjoyed our time together, I swapped out the star lance prince and opted for a loremaster with ogre blade, merwyrm shield, dispel scroll and cloak of beards. The utility that this adds to my magic phase is impressive - combat buffs in particular are a real boon - but my army's ranged options are also nicely enhanced by fireball (for regeneration and war machines), burning gaze and searing doom. Combined with arcane unforging, SD is a spell that will make some opponents cry and fills a significant capability gap against monstrous cavalry (important since the loss of the slance lord) and (especially) steam tanks.

The typical setup will see this guy deployed with the phoenix guard so that he can be close to my cavalry for Life-heal and the cheaper short-range versions of his spells. He also grows stronger on the back of his bodyguard - Str 6 attacks become armour piercing from the guard's AP banner giving me more anti-armour combat attacks round on round than even the slance prince could manage, and the 15 point merwyrm shield suddenly provides a magnificent parry save of 3++. The chief weakness of such a deployment is against death snipes. I have no real ward save, so getting 2 High spells off from the unit for a 5++, or casting Earthblood, are going to be things to watch out for and a good opponent can but me under pressure here. As it happens, I could probably scrape the points together for MR(1), but that would involve losing dragon armour, or Ironcurse from the prince (both mistakes I think), and Cloak of Beards from the loremaster himself - and I'm currently unwilling to lose what is a game-winning item versus one of my biggest bogeyman armies (see below).

Often, however, I'll deploy the loremaster with the archers, since it'll get the best out of regeneration, add in another unit which causes Fear (great against the kind of units that go after them - monsters excepting), give another one of my units Ld9 and provide this block with some much needed hitting power to challenge out solo-heroes looking for some easy points. Against horde or cloud armies, such a deployment would also effectively give me an extra combat block or, at the very least, some real defence for my shooting phase against BS-shooting lists (where the archers are always star performers). So I am currently working with the list as follows:


The current list

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

Archmage
Level 4, High Magic, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation.
320 points

Loremaster - Ogre Blade, Merwyrm Shield, Dispel Scroll, Cloak of Beards.
320 points

Battle Standard Bearer - Great Weapon, Dragon Armour, Barded Elven Steed, Featherfoe Torc, Charmed Shield, Golden Crown.
174 points

Noble
Dragon Armour, Barded Elven Steed, Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield, Luckstone, Other Trickster’s Shard.
140 points

12 Silver Helms - High Helm, Musician, Standard Bearer, Shields.
306 points

21 Archers - Hawkeye, Musician, Standard Bearer.
240 points

5 Reaver Knights
80 points

19 Phoenix Guard - Keeper, Standard Bearer, Razor Standard.
350 points

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers
280 points

= 2500 points


Hard Counters in an All-Comers List

Selecting the Cloak of Beards my for new lord is the latest step in an ongoing experiment in how to maintain all-comers capability in a meta with a greater variety of extreme builds (from skink cloud all the way to 6-monster mash). Traditionally, I've mostly been one of those players who has only taken items which will always be useful against the majority of armies. However, lately I've adapted this approach by considering the particular weaknesses of my army and selecting items to compensate (much as I have always tried to do with my unit choices generally). The first such choice was against flyers. I actually have a good track record against these - the knights can't be stomped and I have plenty of ranged attacks to wound them pre-combat, but always being vulnerable to being outmanoeuvred made life very stressful against good players, and taking the points off such lists quickly was difficult because, while my prince was usually the best way of killing such monsters, he couldn't stick his neck out to far in the movement phase or his unit would be surrounded and possibly mashed to death. Such problems were particularly acute where the biggest flyer was a lord choice - like many (even most) of the chaos lists I faced. The mega-lords made the task of prince-led interdiction even harder, since against these he was outmatched unless arcane unforging could take out particular item and/or my bolt throwers found their mark. So, I put the Featherfoe Torc on my BSB and, now, I have a hard counter to all flying units which, even better, can be where it's needed even quicker than winged enemies can run rings around me.

Considering enemy lords - of more importance now than ever - I also swapped out my level 2 for a noble with sword of might, enchanted shield, luckstone and other trickster's shard. Since the silver helms, in bus formation, would no longer be abusing ward saves as a principle tactic (since I've opted for the more mixed support of the loremaster), taking another item to screw over mega-lords felt like a good choice. Next time I face a daemon prince, I no longer need to spend as much time playing cagily and sitting back - by which the danger is always that you lose the initiative and much of your board control. Rather I can now be much more pro-active with my cavalry and so get the best use out of them. Combat with flying lords feels more like an opportunity for my prince now than something to be avoided.

So, the latest changes have left me with a trio of cavalry characters which can operate independently with decent combat abilities, or band together to power up my prince enough take down monster-characters. It also means that now every character in the army can be turned towards winning my prince the hardest challenges with the aid of spells and magic items. As long as I can still maintain decent MSU play with these characters, having that capability to focus all those points into a single challenge feels like a big leap over the old system which was, in effect, to hope for a +2 ward save from shield of Saphery and grind it out with the aid of Apotheosis. Buff-wise, now the prince has access to so much more and, if I'm up against an enemy death star and still want to abuse ward saves, I'm usually free to deploy the prince with the phoenix guard (i.e. with the archmage) to get the best of both worlds.

The cloak of beards operates in the same mould as the featherfoe torc. I don't face them that often but I always hate fighting gunlines, and dwarf gunlines have cannons which are much more likely to cause me the most damage (more accurate, harder to shoot with arrows). Here, the introduction of a long-range fireball and Iceshard blizzard from the loremaster is really useful. But spending only an extra 10 points to completely mess up dwarf characters is a bargain against lists which an army like mine - fast moving but not a full-aggression list - will typically find challenging. Of particular use is the fact that dwarf armies really don't seem to be great at killing 3++ phoenix guard, so this unit is the perfect vehicle for the rune-pocalypse cloak. Even if the worst happens and my prince gets blown away, this item gives me a real shot at recouping those lost points by ripping the heart out of the dwarf army in turns 4-6.

So, the one obvious weakness that remains in the list is my cavalry's defence against war machines - the 6++ remains but I've lost shield of Saphery for when I go full bus. In practice, I'm hoping that the big increase in my war machine-killing/nerfing power (magic missiles + blizzard), will take some of the pressure off, and also that the extra spell redundancy will more likely see me benefit from Walk Between Worlds to rush my knights into combat. Also (and just as important), the combat buffs I now have access to make it less likely that I'll lose as many knights during combat itself and, therefore, expose my prince to a snipe in the final turn of the game (which is when cannons usually get him, when they get him). After that, I'll be deploying in one rank and looking for early combats, and possibly tempting shots at my BSB by deploying him with the phoenix guard.

My remaining concerns as 'one to watch' issues are, firstly, that my two cavalry nobles are robust enough to perform as decent combat choices in an all-comers setting - even when not using their hard-counter items. With all my deployment options (the BSB can go in the phoenix guard for the ward save and improved Ld bubble), and improved combat buff magic, I think they'll work just fine, but we'll see. Also, I'll naturally have to be much more focused as to which High spells I choose against which opponents. I've been spoiled for choice so far with my High magic and am curious to see how I can re-adapt to more limited choice. I suspect that High magic will, in fact, provide the hard counter element to particular enemy armies whilst the loremaster covers the all-comers bases. As long as there's room for Hand of Glory...

When I get some good games in, I'll do an update and have a look at how the army got on.

Thanks for reading,

S

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:47 am 
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Interesting list. Very similar to what I ran at Indian Summer last year (main difference was that I only had an L2 high mage since we couldn't have 50% then). I'd prefer the PG a little bigger as I believe 19 simply evaporate too quickly. MR1 for Loremaster would also be good. Big difference for PG as it means people frequently won't bother targeting them (which is a good thing as they go down faster than you'd think).

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:04 am 
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HI Seredain,

Great to hear from you again and read army blog update!

I was very curious how different players are going to adapt to the new environment. It was clear that the fact you can get more characters alone will be a temptation to do so. And while some other armies can do great with multiple flying characters, HE options seem to be less encouraging, simply because our heroes cannot get 1+ armor save in the way DE ones can.

I have an impression that the effect of adding more characters hasn't reached its peak yet. There is always a little delay in people's response. Add to that uncertainty as to how Warhammer is going to look like in a couple of months and it is easy to notice why people might be hesitant to introduce changes.

But at the same time they did updated their armies. Sometimes it is just an upgrade from hero level to lord level. Of course something had to go to make room for it. And indeed, as you have said, I observed that there are more chieftains and fewer warriors to the point where it is sometimes hard to talk about an army!

That is why I was very interested in your comment that packing all the characters in a single unit gives away board control. And it was also very interesting to read you want to use them as units of one. The question is, however, which characters will you be willing to run solo? I presume, based on your new list, it will be your Prince and a Noble. BSB technically can do it too but maybe it is too risky? I assumed that it is the case because they are all mounted and have the best protection. So unless you run into the army with some shooting that does not allow armor saves you can have relative freedom of movement. However, you don't increase the number of deployment drops and if you start running your characters solo it means you increase the number of "units" from 4 to 6-7 (not counting war machines). While in terms of percentage it is a significant change how does it affect the game?

I am truly impressed by the flexibility of a magic phase High Magic and Loremaster can offer. It is another tempting option indeed! It looks like they simply cover each others weaknesses wonderfully. And the sheer choice of spells is just fantastic. The only problem I see is making up your mind in terms of what to cast and in which order :)

I wanted, however, to ask about your view on Loremaster in more detail. Many players think his combat skills, while better than the archmage, are still not good enough to consider him combat character. You, on the other hand, equip him for combat. I like how you don't want to keep him with PG all the time and allow yourself more flexibility with assigning the role for particular battle. I think that is the strength of characters/units like him where you might not use all of their potential in a single game but choose the way he is going to perform.

The use of characters and their respective items to give you the best counter to some hard enemy choices is very thought provoking. If I understand it correctly, you are looking for opportunities to use your characters as a team rather than group of individuals. As an example, I presume it would be technically possible, to charge flying enemy character with your Prince and BSB, where Prince would challenge while BSB presence would allow activation of Featherfoe Torc and Banner bonus. In addition, nice selection of spells in the magic phase can further increase your odds of beating an enemy hero as even things like Miasma or Iceshard can be great. Your opponent already has to re-roll successful hits so why not make it even harder? Is that one of the options you were talking about?

You definitely made me thinking about mounted characters again. I am currently amazed by the sheer speed and maneuverability of flying nobles but maybe I simply need to learn how to use mounted ones better. Both options are very tempting and I better choose quickly!

Thanks a lot for as usual thought provoking update. It would be fantastic if you could add one of your excellent reports soon so that we can have a look with more detail how does new ideas for the army work in practice. Personally, I have no doubt they do but it is always nice to have a real game example.

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:32 pm 
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Yep, very interesting Mr S.

The impression I get is that UK events are fully embracing 50% but are split over allowing End Times. None that I can see are using Khaine magic ATM. I agree on Monstrous Cavalry, they still have a place but can be a little inflexible. Nice to see a slight resurgence in block infantry, they often have a place IMHO. PG are good here I believe because the 4++ allows them to hold better than a lot of infantry while they can go forward also.

Like Swordmaster, I'm very interested in the general trend that is seeing tailored characters cover jobs previously done by units. They certainly reduce your drops but to a lot of armies, going first is more valuable than deploying last I believe. How often do you use them independently. As said, some armies are good at picking them off and some aren't. I suspect it might be difficult to combo-charge a flyer with them but they certainly project a good charge threat.

I've been wrestling with the same issues for the list I'm writing for an event next month and was having real trouble choosing between two builds. Then I realized that for me, flexibility was the key. This made the choice easy. Because these days it's not just about how hard you hit but when and where and knowing when to give way and try a different tack. A vital point for me was eschewing the Treeman Ancient I can add now under 50% Lords. At first sight 135pts to add 4 levels of magic (I have a Treeman already) is a no-brainer. But when you consider the Eagle and Branchwraith I lose, the greater cost if he is one-shotted, the slight loss of fighting power, he's not worth it. The magic should be great. But I've learnt that my army really needs a steady stream of S-enhancing buffs, MM's and hexes. With four levels of Life you can get sucked into a Dwellers war that, even if the odds are in your favour, leaves you perilously open to losing the game to the dice gods.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:32 pm 
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Hey Seredain !

First of all, as this is my first post on your topic, I wanted to tell you how impressed I am of your work on this army blog. It's rare to read such deep analysis of games and army list building, and it's also teaching immensely for new HE players like me ! I came on this forum not three weeks ago, so saying I have read all you post would be lying. But I had a very good time reading the 10-15 last pages (as I found they are more related to the current meta and how you ended up were you are today). I also tryed your last list (dual cavprinces) for my first game as HE, and I even tho I know I played it completly wrong, I really enjoyed the versatility and capabalities of it !

So thank you, and keep up the amazing work ! I hope you'll find more time to write here :D

Now about the last update, I don't find the cloack of beards to be a solid choice (over that MR(1) for exemple). As a dwarf player, I'm not really affraid of this item, especially not in a 2500 all comer game. My uncomped 2500list is your typicall gunline, running 5 warmachines (2canons, 2organ guns, 1GT), 2 gyros, 2 smith with spellbreaker, Grungni BsB, Shieldbeards, hammerers with Groth on eye rune (12" stubborn) and 2x10 quarrelers. So, appart from the Grungni rune (and maybe groth), I don't see the cloack to be a threat. The smithes would anyway have used they spellbreaker before the cloack arrive to close, and there is nothing else it can destroy. And if your characters runs into the Hammerers Std bearer to destroy the anvil of the list, he will most likely be smashed by the dwarf retaliation, and the unit is still stubborn by itself..

The thing is that dwarves tend to skip combat characters in 2500 points. Some of us run a tuned lord (some original lists run a combat thane, but it's so rare I don't feel it's worth considering), but they are very few on my knowledge. A tuned lord is 300 points, hits hard and his nearly unkillable, but still only has M3. Those 300 points could be used in more warmachines/utilities rather than in a point denial sink that won't see combat for more than 2 turns per game most of the time. For that reason, the standard approach of dwarf gunline is to minimize characters equipment and spend to spare points in more shooting, gyros or bodies in your units, to have a good balance between those).

Therefore I don't really get this particular item pick up, but I also don't know what does the dwarf lists of your meta look like ;)

Meuh


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:02 am 
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Very interesting read. But I can't help but wonder how a list like that deal with an army that has a lot of chaff. Beside hunting your RTB all the chaff have a clear target against a list like that, the SH bus. How would you prevent chaff from delaying you too much? Are the RTB enough to clear what your opponent throws at you?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:59 am 
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Deamon wrote:
Very interesting read. But I can't help but wonder how a list like that deal with an army that has a lot of chaff. Beside hunting your RTB all the chaff have a clear target against a list like that, the SH bus. How would you prevent chaff from delaying you too much? Are the RTB enough to clear what your opponent throws at you?


I think that RBT, archers, magic missiles and even Reavers can clear chaff pretty efficiently in this list !


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:27 am 
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Thanks for the comments all!


MeuhMeuh,

Thanks for the breakdown of your experience with dwarfs. Very interesting. I'll keep an eye on how the cloak does against them. In my meta there is a tendency in the dwarf players I've met (not many) to use their characters in one big block as a last line of defence against monsters and big buses, in case the dwarf shooting doesn't perform as it should, and as a combat winner in its own right. Dwarf lords get mentioned a lot in this context by clubmates discussing lists. At 10 points, the cloak doesn't need to do much to perform, and it always causes Fear for those times my loremaster deploys with the archers, but I'll keep an eye on it and, if your suspicions turn out to be true and I don't get to smash a single rune, you'll hear about it! Beware phoenix guard though, bearded ones. With armour piercing and a 3++ they absolutely tear dwarf infantry to pieces.

As you mentioned, my army has no problems at all removing chaff. 21 archers, Hand of Glory, magic missiles aplenty and four bolt throwers, plus whatever aggressive use I can put my reavers and cav characters to, means I clear up chaff pretty effectively.

Curu,

19 guard feels light to me too, but it's important to remember that this unit doesn't have a 4++ most of the time - it has a 3++. In such circumstances, in my experience I find that the vast majority of opponents already leave them alone and go after easier points or larger threats (as they see it). As it happens I've lost the unit of 20 only twice, and those to flopped break tests. I wouldn't like to make the unit any smaller - ultimately it's still designed to fight in 3 ranks of 7, now including the loremaster - but I don't see sticking with a unit of 19 as a serious risk. The couple of other times they've come close to destruction has been from getting mashed by multiple flying monsters. But now I have the Str 6 AP loremaster to help the unit kill off these beasts, plus more buffs. Against the units I'm most concerned about, then, the unit is now more robust. Magic, except Dwellers, Final Trans and Dreaded 13th, doesn't really scare me, although banishment is always a pain. Where MR(1) would really come in handy is in protecting the loremaster himself, rather than his unit.

Swordie,

As for the loremaster's spell selection, I suspect that the right spells will present themselves in the right situations. I've thought "Christ, I wish I had searing doom right now" once too often not to recognise when to use it now! This character can certainly perform in combat, too. The simple fact is that 3 WS6 ASF attacks backed by a 100-point item allowance gives you plenty of options. In this instance, where I feel I need the loremaster to really perform in combat (in particular against armoured armies), deploying him with the phoenix guard makes him a genuine threat. He has the armour-piercing capabilities of the giant blade and a 3+ combat-ward after only one cast from the Book of Hoeth archmage. This is impressive capability for the points spent (total 55), and gives the phoenix guard access to some genuine AP capability on top of their massed Str4 attacks. Of course, being a frontline fighter also allows this guy to better support the other combat characters - hard for my prince to feel the benefits of Wildform if the loremaster spends the game hiding in the backline.

Swordmaster & SpellArcher,

Picking when to use lone cavalry characters as MSU units is all about the army matchup. If my opponent doesn't have cannons I'll always consider it, but if , in addition, he's taking scouts, light flying units or certain types of fast cavalry then it starts to become positively a good idea - you close down board space for your opponent and stop him from easily being able to clog up as many of your points by dropping a single light unit in front of a full helm bus. Controlling the flow of the game becomes much easier. Against the lizardmen flying circus list, for example it meant that it was much harder for his ripperdactyls to choose targets for their stink toads, and much harder again for them to ambush my characters by breaking a softer, large footprint bodyguard through active combat resolution by slaughtering silver helms. With only a couple of models in base contact with a single cavalry character, it would be much harder to win combats so, rather than bomb right in, my opponent became pretty cagey with these units. In the end they were stuck between a shooting phase they didn't like and combats they didn't want (partly because the terradons and solo skink chiefs had been unable to redirect 1000 points of single knight bus). Good times for me. Being able to kill, or fend off, chaff units with a couple of these models gave me a way of securing board control even in the turns when the silver helms were basically inactive eating chaff units. If I'd kept the characters in the bus, they would have been wasted doing the jobs that the helms could do perfectly well by themselves, and my opponent would have had free rein to move more of his flyers where he wanted without any threat of a response from my fastest units. So, when you look at the enemy army, think whether your characters can survive outside outside of the helms and whether the helms can kill units without the characters. If the answer to both these questions is 'yes', you should definitely look at separating these units rather than just running the same old bus formation against every opponent you face, regardless of his list. For me, I'll only band all the knights and heroes together if it's essential for their survival or the smashing of particular targets. Otherwise, enjoy the benefits of all that movement!

Swordie you've got it exactly re. how characters get to team up. As single characters they can do their own thing but if a daemon prince (or two) is in the enemy army, then the OTS noble can ride in the front rank with the prince, and the BSB can sit anywhere in the same unit (with or without the helms - if ranged attacks aren't a threat you could always have them ride together as the Three Amigos). Even though these characters can't fight in a challenge, they can still help the prince win it - as can the spellcasters of course. This is in fact the first list I've made where all my characters can be used to this degree to win a single challenge and, now that lord choices have become steadily more prominent (and indeed powerful), since the giant blade prince first arrived, this feels like a game-winning trick to pull where you can enjoy the benefits of super-flexible MSU play against other kinds of list. If these monster-characters fly, it feels especially important to be able to take them down because, unlike other characters, I can't count on just avoiding them. And if I can take them on in combat, my bolt throwers can turn to softer targets that they actually have a good chance of killing. Cumulatively, therefore, my damage output against flying-characters/monsters increases a great deal

Combo-charging flyers who are not yet engaged in combat (or indeed solo-charging them with a full bus) is not something I should realistically be able to do, unless my opponent makes a mistake. Of course, players will be free to make mistake. They might have seen their lord character stomp on a hundred knight units without ever coming across the featherfoe torc. But usually, unless they can get a dead-cert combo-charge themselves, most players I've faced have more faith in my cavalry characters than I do, and will be reluctant to throw their most important model into them all by himself. The trick with catching big flyers is to present them only with bad options. If you take a powerful combined shooting and magic phase, it forces them either to hide (removing them as a charge-threat), or rush into combat. Against my army this means that they (unless they go chasing bolt throwers - a bad use of a daemon prince, if you ask me) get stuck on a steadfast unit, holding on at least Ld9 re-rollable, and become vulnerable to counter-charges. Of course your opponent will be aware of this, but apart from the war machines there are no units in my army that a flyer can simply blast through and, sooner or later, he has to get away from my shooting and damage magic and take some points in combat. If I can hold him there, I can hit him. A good alternative is to make your own aggressive units such a nuisance that he just can't ignore them any more. If my knights are running riot through his army and my mages are sniping away at his characters, at some point my opponent will feel compelled to tackle the two hardest nuts to crack. As it happens I normally run a combination of these tactics. I'll sit back and throw ranged damage then, once the flyers respond, I go on the offensive with whichever of my combat units is capable of it whilst covering ground where I need to. You'll see this a page back against two chaos lists I faced at Milton Keynes. The big difference then, however, was that I was never sure of getting the big lords dead in close combat without risking the annihilation of my helm bus (and, albeit MSU character deployment is a good way of throwing off a daemon prince, I do often deploy the full bus against monster mash lists - the extra static res and steadfast are very useful indeed). That meant I would often avoid the worst flying monsters with my helm bus almost entirely - look at the last Chaos report and you'll see that I'm trying to avoid Galrauch and Friends as much as they're trying to avoid me. The end result of this sort of play was often that other parts of my army came under attack without close support - they (in particular the phoenix guard) could hold, but they had to do so for longer than was desirable and only rarely themselves had the hitting power to actually kill the big monster they were fighting (whether it be chaos dragonlord or daemon prince). Getting big points of such lists could therefore be tricky. Now, my collection of cavalry characters is much more capable at taking on these units and therefore much better able to offer close support to the rest of my army, and bagging the big prizes, without risking its own destruction.

The trick will be seeing how my noble and BSB stand up to the rigours of combat against more typical heavy units. Here, deploying the BSB with the archmage (for shield of Saphery) gives him some more backbone, while the slightly underwhelming sword of might would see enormous benefit from Wildform cast by the loremaster. It will be interesting to see whether my new flexible magic phase is an enabler in this context or a crutch, but on current thinking I reckon both nobles pack enough of a wallop that they'll always find a use.

SA, the deployment drops issue is one I struggled with for a while until it became apparent that the game had changed. Back when I was using 12 drops, the meta was filled with a small number of large units. Out-deploying these was therefore easy, because I had more units than them, and beneficial, because these were relatively static units and therefore easy to outmanoeuvre or leave stranded in an irrelevant part of the table (assuming they didn't intentionally spend the game sitting in a corner). The game is different now. MSU armies are everywhere, as are cowboy hero characters, special/rare choice flying monsters, core chariots and so on. I have regularly faced greenskin armies that easily reach 15+ drops, or else face armies that can use speed to quickly redeploy. Even if I stuck with a 12-drop army (and I believe that our current book is much worse at building such lists than the last one was, at least with the kind of list that I used to field), I couldn't hope to out-deploy most of the armies I face to anything like the same degree as I was once used to. As it happens, our current book, since it relies far more on intra-unit rather than inter-unit synergies (chiefly from our character choices), has encouraged me steadily to build a different kind of army from my old one, albeit in operates in a similar way. My new list has much more ranged power and so greatly values the first turn (an added benefit to facing gunlines). Its loss of deployment ability is made up for by its ability to draw opponents out with that ranged power, and by its ability to both redeploy and move very quickly - using horsepower, high magic and (as an accident of design), its compact formation (so much so in fact that this army often treats Turn 1 as a sub-phase of Deployment). Of course running your cavalry characters solo only enhances these characteristics, since they have no movement restrictions at all and only a very small footprint.

Thanks again all for the comments, and for reading.

S

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:09 am 
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Hi Seredain,

Thanks a lot for your quick and very detailed replies! The more you talk about your characters the more I like the idea of combining their might with each other but also letting them lead particular units depending on the situation. It is as close as we can get to creating different unit formations in Warhammer. I always admired how many opportunities Warmaster gave to players simply by allowing them to combine the regiments into brigades. Imagine what could we do with mixed units of fighting infantry and archers for example.

It is incredibly thought provoking because your ideas help to get the most of the potential units and characters offer and to keep the enemy guessing as to where they are going to be and what the units will do. Cavalry characters might be a natural choice for you, since they can easily join infantry or cavalry type of the regiments. They have that sheer speed advantage over poor eagle riders who become very slow when they cannot fly.

Thanks again!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:51 am 
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Swordmaster of Hoeth wrote:
Imagine what could we do with mixed units of fighting infantry and archers for example.


*cough* seaguard *cough* :lol: :lol: :^o

Seredain, bit of a weak one given all the deeper thoughts going on here at the moment...but your Loremaster idea intrigues me. I've been toying with various character ideas and after a brief spell with a foot annointed PG star (wowzers that dude has staying power) I really like the idea of hiding a spellcaster on the second rank, but I hate the point sink which a dedicated annointed has to be.

But with a loremaster you get an awesome magic phase (all by his lonesome) and as you say his ward increases too. Like swordmaster I think, I'm intrigued by your 'combat'master build. Do you find he has enough staying power to be a frontline fighter though? 4+/4++ isn't that great with just T3 and 3W. Does the 3++ swing it for you?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:56 am 
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In my experience 4++ with 3 wounds is workable. It won't keep going forever but he's unlikely to go down in one round and then other factors come into play. The 3++, Lifebloom, Hatred ceasing (ASF already negates any enemy ASF). Not to mention what's going on with the rest of the combat. I have a similar set-up with my fighting Sisters bus and while my 2-wound BSB is a bit fragile, the 3-wound Lord is fine. Both love Razor Standard.

Much as I like the MSU characters play, the lack of Wards concerns me a little. RBT are popular, Waywatchers, Engineers, Doom Divers. Are Death snipes an issue here?

Noteworthy, only one redirector, the Reavers. From my lone recent game against a monster mash list I can see that eagles for example have less utility than normal here. Has the meta reached a point where such units can almost be omitted?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:30 am
Posts: 263
Hi Seredain.

I really like the evolution of your list. Especially the loremaster. This guy combined with high magic makes for a very potent magic phase, and really helps you out in areas where high magic couldn't. Personally I still haven't figured out how to play him correctly just yet. Recently I have tried a light council with him, an archmage and another mage, but I am not really happy with how it (or I :wink: ) play(s).
As has been said on this forum before, the loremaster eats up a lot of your power dices. Yes sure he brings flexibility, but what use do you have, if you can't cast the spells you want? He needs to throw 3 dice after a lot of his spells, which IMO is not optimal. I found myself in way to many magic phases casting only with the loremaster or the archmage. Therefor I think this guy really needs the book of Hoeth. It is great to have this item on a lvl. 4, because it provides you with an edge in the dispelling phase as well, however I do think it needs to be on the loremaster in order to make full use of him. Now you can basically 1-2 dice every spell he has. You still have over 2/3 of a change to cast a 10+ spell with 2 dice.
So what have your experiences been so far with the loremaster without the book? Do you feel you really need the book on the lvl. 4?


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