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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:07 am 
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Hi all,

Having just got back into fantasy, I've decided to take the plunge into 9th Age. I made some modifications to the list I used to run in 8th edition — a heavily Seredain-inspired Cavalry Prince that rides with the BSB alongside the Lancer Bus. I haven't had a chance to play any games so I don't know how well this army will perform on the battlefield.

When drafting the list, I wasn't sure how to outfit the BSB. Ogre blade allows him to better support the prince in combat, but having already taken hardened shield on the prince, the BSB feels vulnerable. Lucky charm and lucky shield were simply items I scrapped together for the remaining 10pts I had. Any tips on how to build him better? The same goes for the Archmage. Have people had more success with the book of arcane power or the book of meladys?

I'm also not sure what banners to take on my special infantry. Ideally, I want my Lion Guard to take on big monsters or hold ground if the prince is not in position. With the loss of banner of the world dragon and shield of saphery, my swordmasters feel more vulnerable than ever. These guys need to get into combat fast to avoid shooting and magic.

As for my own shooting, I don't know if I should break up my archer block into two smaller units of 11 and 14 for more drops; the archmage will probably hang back with them. Should I also take longbows on my Queen's Guard despite being a small unit?

Feedback would be greatly appreciated from anyone already accustomed to the 9th age meta.

Lords
High Prince - Mount's Protection, Dragonforged Armor, Giant Sword, Hardened Shield, Dusk Stone, Potion of Swiftness (280pts)
Archmage - Level 4, White Magic, Book of Arcane Power (265pts)

Heroes
Commander - BSB, Mount's Protection, Dragonforged Armor, Ogre Sword, Lucky Charm, Lucky Shield (182pts)

Core
25 Archers - Musician (235pts)
15 Lancers - Full Command, Mount's Protection, Banner of Speed (390 pts)

Special
5 Knights of Ryma - Devasting Charge (160pts)
20 Lion Guard - Full Command, Flaming Standard (310pts)
20 Sword Masters - Full Command, Rending Banner (325pts)

Rare
6 Queens Guard - Longbows (90pts)
2 Giant Eagles (100pts)
2 Sea Guard Reaper - Repeating Shot (160pts)

Total:2497


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:06 pm 
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Welcome!

RationalExpectations wrote:
Feedback would be greatly appreciated from anyone already accustomed to the 9th age meta.

Limited I'm afraid but I know a little and quite a lot about how these lists work in 8th edition.

RationalExpectations wrote:
When drafting the list, I wasn't sure how to outfit the BSB. Ogre blade allows him to better support the prince in combat, but having already taken hardened shield on the prince, the BSB feels vulnerable. Lucky charm and lucky shield were simply items I scrapped together for the remaining 10pts I had. Any tips on how to build him better? The same goes for the Archmage. Have people had more success with the book of arcane power or the book of meladys?

As ever, I suspect you just have to make a choice between grinding power and defence on the BSB. Your build looks OK, an obvious alternative is to go lance and shield plus 50pt magic item defence, sacrificing the grind. There is a middle ground, the sword that gives +1 S and +1 A is probably worth a look, spending what's left on defence. As for the Archmage, I believe the +1 to cast and dispel item is well thought of and dispel scroll still looks solid.

RationalExpectations wrote:
I'm also not sure what banners to take on my special infantry. Ideally, I want my Lion Guard to take on big monsters or hold ground if the prince is not in position. With the loss of banner of the world dragon and shield of saphery, my swordmasters feel more vulnerable than ever. These guys need to get into combat fast to avoid shooting and magic.

One big thing is that these guys don't fight in three ranks by default in 9th Age. The Lions are also not always Stubborn, so going 10x2 could be risky. I would look at Hording them and going bigger to maximise attacks. Conversely, I'd be tempted to go smaller with the Swordmasters and stick to two ranks because they don't have the armour save to survive templates etc.. I believe movement banners are well thought of. This is slightly less pressing here because the fast threat of the bus (and your decent shooting) reduces the need to get the infantry into combat pronto.

RationalExpectations wrote:
As for my own shooting, I don't know if I should break up my archer block into two smaller units of 11 and 14 for more drops; the archmage will probably hang back with them. Should I also take longbows on my Queen's Guard despite being a small unit?

I can see the attraction of splitting the Archers but if they're going to bunker I think the unit needs bodies. This also benefits from the shooting buff spell. One option is to drop some archers for a unit of Reavers to reduce your reliance on Eagles. I had a funny feeling three RBT were still allowed despite being Rare, if so I'd take that over Sisters, for flexibility. Otherwise, the extra 6" from Longbows is golden.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:05 pm 
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Conventional wisdom is that the cav bus in 9th is not as strong as it was in 8th because a) lancers don't get 3 ranks b) no BOTWD and c) no re-rolls (+1 to hit instead). That said, I personally think there's still mileage in them - but recognise I'm no Seredain!

Prince - you've taken the classic and probably best build. Consider making him a Prince of Rhyma to get +1A on the charge (mount also is a bonus bonus) to take advantage of the lovely hitting on 2's S7 attacks.

AM - I think if you've going Lv4 then the book is a very good bet. I like white but you can have fun playing about with the same list and just changing lores, especially as +3 is huge in the 9th age meta. You might wanna consider asfad scholar to increase the range, but IMO it isn't obligatory. (I would however definitely look to get a scroll caddy).

BSB - If you're going that route, I'd probabyl suggest dragonhelm for 1+, arguably instead of dragonforged armour. Have you considered Banner of Rhyma to give your knights more punch as an alternative build? It also works quite nicely bcause depending on your enemy he can go in the KoR instead.

Lancers - I think banner of speed is a really cool 'secret weapon' for the lancer bus, I really rate this. 20" move is rediculous, even if they were only a delivery mechanism for your lord (which they're not IMO).

I think your rare is fine. I don't think I would actively *recommend* SMs though, especially as a block - for me too many armies ahve too many hard counters. But, if you have them, like them and they work for you then more power to you.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:09 pm 
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RE: your questions...

AM with BoAP always I think - the other book works best on baby mages IMO.

Archers I would keep in a big block for white magic BS buff, but ymmv - either is valid IMO

QG always deserve longbows

lions work with flaming, i think that's sound...but I'd be tempted to go x3 march to keep up with your knight bus...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:13 am 
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Thank you Ferny and SpellArcher. I really appreciate the feedback from such veteran members like yourselves. :D

Quote:
One big thing is that these guys don't fight in three ranks by default in 9th Age. The Lions are also not always Stubborn, so going 10x2 could be risky. I would look at Hording them and going bigger to maximise attacks. Conversely, I'd be tempted to go smaller with the Swordmasters and stick to two ranks because they don't have the armour save to survive templates etc.. I believe movement banners are well thought of. This is slightly less pressing here because the fast threat of the bus (and your decent shooting) reduces the need to get the infantry into combat pronto.

Quote:
lions work with flaming, i think that's sound...but I'd be tempted to go x3 march to keep up with your knight bus...


Admittedly, I'm not sure what to do with the Swordmasters since 9th white magic can't sufficiently protect them like it did in 8th. If I were to field them in two ranks, I'd like to have at least 2 units of 14. Unfortunately I don't have the points for that without compromising other parts of the army. Losing shield of saphery and our ability to fight in 3 ranks were some of my least favorite changes. Even though the lancers don't get to fight from the 3rd rank, the cav bus feels too frail without the extra bodies (one should expect to take losses in such a high profile unit). The lions now have skirmish in order to get better protection, and have the icon banner for x3 marching to stay with the cav bus.

Quote:
Have you considered Banner of Ryma to give your knights more punch as an alternative build? It also works quite nicely bcause depending on your enemy he can go in the KoR instead.

I've definitely considered taking the banner; it seems like a lot of people have made this recommendation. My only reservation is that while the charge from the knights will be absolutely devastating, there's obviously going to be a huge loss in the unit's combat power come round 2. Maybe I'm being overly cautious? While my shooting is decent, perhaps an improved magic phase in the form of an extra Lvl 2 mage, can help soften enemy targets before the cav bus gets there? Sacking the KoR would allow me to give Asfad Scholar on the Archmage as well as bring in a Lvl 2 mage with the dispell scroll. This does however mean I will have less board presence, doubly so if we're talking about heavy cavalry. Not to mention that no player likes getting hit in the flank by a unit of KoR, and that they're also an alternate unit for the prince to go in. What are your opinions on this? Keep the knights or stronger magic?

Lords
High Prince - Prince of Ryma, Mount's Protection, Heavy Armor, Shield, Giant Sword, Dragonscale Helm, Dusk Stone (288pts)
Archmage - Level 4, White Magic, Book of Arcane Power (265pts)

Heroes
Two Options:
(1) Ogre Blade: Commander - BSB, Mount's Protection, Dragonforged Armor, Ogre Sword, Hardened Shield, Lucky Charm (182pts)
or
(2) Ryma Banner: Commander - BSB, War Banner of Ryma, Mount's Protection, Dragonforged Armor, Hardened Shield, Lucky Charm, Lance (182pts)

Core
25 Archers - Musician (235pts)
15 Lancers - Full Command, Mount's Protection, Banner of Speed (390pts)

Special
5 Knights of Ryma - Champion, Devasting Charge (170pts)
15 Lion Guard - Full Command, Skirmishers, Icon of the Relentless Company (280pts)
20 Sword Masters - Full Command, Rending Banner (325pts)

Rare
7 Queens Guard - Longbows (105pts)
2 Giant Eagles (100pts)
2 Sea Guard Reaper - Repeating Shot (160pts)

Total:2500


Last edited by RationalExpectations on Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:21 am 
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Quote:
Conventional wisdom is that the cav bus in 9th is not as strong as it was in 8th because a) lancers don't get 3 ranks b) no BOTWD and c) no re-rolls (+1 to hit instead). That said, I personally think there's still mileage in them - but recognise I'm no Seredain!

Reading Seredain's battle reports and seeing how the list evolved over time had a huge influence in my decision to play high elves. I can't help but wonder how he would have approached 9th Age with all the changes to the army book. Is he still active anywhere?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:26 am
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RationalExpectations wrote:
Thank you Ferny and SpellArcher. I really appreciate the feedback from such veteran members like yourselves.

You're welcome sir.

RationalExpectations wrote:
Admittedly, I'm not sure what to do with the Swordmasters since 9th white magic can't sufficiently protect them like it did in 8th. If I were to field them in two ranks, I'd like to have at least 2 units of 14. Unfortunately I don't have the points for that without compromising other parts of the army. Losing shield of saphery and our ability to fight in 3 ranks were some of my least favorite changes.

This is quite a generalisation but I believe that the army in 9th Age functions more like it did in early 8th edition (under the 7th edition army book) than later 8th. The synergies in the latter (World Dragon, SoS, Martial Prowess) encourage substantial units packed with characters to take most advantage. Without those elements, Swordmasters for example are arguably better in MSU-ish units. Seredain (and I and many others) found the unit of 14 very effective because it was powerful enough while not costing you the game if you lost it. As mentioned, other strengths like the fast bus and the shooting reduce the enemy's ability to persecute this unit. It's surprising just how often you can get the 5+ Ward spell off on them because your other magic draws scroll and dice.

The problem I see with the 20 is how does it fight? In three ranks it is wasting the back rank attacks, while presenting a juicier template target. In two the guys on the flanks might often be unengaged and it isn't Stubborn to let you get away with stuff. As said, I'd go with Lions (or PG) for a 'main block' unit. That said the Skirmishing Lions look decent, not least because they now become Stubborn in woods as well as vs Fear-causers. If you look at Seredain's lists all the way through, he never exceeded the mid-20's for total of elite infantry. This wasn't arbitrary, even in early 8th when these were amazing (because they re-rolled to hit with Great Weapons), there were limits on the amount you could field if you also wanted the full benefits of a combined arms list.

RationalExpectations wrote:
I've definitely considered taking the banner; it seems like a lot of people have made this recommendation. My only reservation is that while the charge from the knights will be absolutely devastating, there's obviously going to be a huge loss in the unit's combat power come round 2. Maybe I'm being overly cautious? While my shooting is decent, perhaps an improved magic phase in the form of an extra Lvl 2 mage, can help soften enemy targets before the cav bus gets there? Sacking the KoR would allow me to give Asfad Scholar on the Archmage as well as bring in a Lvl 2 mage with the dispell scroll. This does however mean I will have less board presence, doubly so if we're talking about heavy cavalry. Not to mention that no player likes getting hit in the flank by a unit of KoR, and that they're also an alternate unit for the prince to go in. What are your opinions on this? Keep the knights or stronger magic?


On the whole RE, I really like your thoughts re the need for grinding power in the bus. That said, there may be a tipping point where the sheer killing power on the charge bestowed by Banner of Ryma is too good to forego. On the other hand a grindy bus receives charges better hence can approach the enemy faster. I think your reasoning is leading you to keep the Knights of Ryma in and I think this is correct. They are a very efficient little unit and they fit the list. If you want the extra magic I'd consider dropping some Swordmasters and maybe the Queens Guard to get it. A slightly smaller bus could be feasible, given the somewhat reduced killing power across the board in 9th Age. If it's mainly the Scroll you need though, that could go on the Archmage instead.

RationalExpectations wrote:
Is he still active anywhere?

Latterly, Seredain played much of his Warhammer at Angel Wargamers in north London. I believe that club is now mostly AoS, no idea if he still plays unfortunately. I haven't seen his name on any tournament listings for a while (he used to be quite active).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:24 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
The problem I see with the 20 is how does it fight? In three ranks it is wasting the back rank attacks, while presenting a juicier template target. In two the guys on the flanks might often be unengaged and it isn't Stubborn to let you get away with stuff. As said, I'd go with Lions (or PG) for a 'main block' unit. That said the Skirmishing Lions look decent, not least because they now become Stubborn in woods as well as vs Fear-causers. If you look at Seredain's lists all the way through, he never exceeded the mid-20's for total of elite infantry. This wasn't arbitrary, even in early 8th when these were amazing (because they re-rolled to hit with Great Weapons), there were limits on the amount you could field if you also wanted the full benefits of a combined arms list.

With all units you always have to find the optimum. You're looking at still getting the maximum punch without wasting points. The point at which this happens depends a bit on playstyle and army type I think. I like bringing units down to the minimum number for them to still be effective. Or rather, still be effective after losing a few models. How many depends on the unit and what I expect to lose on the way in. SM tend to take a beating vs shooting and so would get a few more spare models then PG who shrug off most of the shooting or return hits. On the other hand, PG tend to be a main line unit, which means I want it to be a bit bigger then a support unit.

Complicating matters of course is the fact that unit size will dictate how your opponent reacts to the unit. A unit of 10 SM will perhaps be ignored by your opponent if you have a bigger target / threat on the table. A unit of 20 generally requires a response from your opponent. Also, a unit of 10 losing 3 models can perhaps still be the support unit you need it to be. But if a unit of 20 loses 6 models then perhaps it becomes less effective at whatever goal it has.

Of course, all this doesn't help directly with figuring out what to do. Perhaps the important thing is to find an answer to the questions "what do you want the unit to do?" and "how many models do you expect to lose before it can do what you want it to do?". Answering these questions gives an indication of how big the unit should be.

Rod

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:27 pm 
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Lords
High Prince - Prince of Ryma, Mount's Protection, Heavy Armor, Shield, Giant Sword, Dragonscale Helm, Dusk Stone (288pts)
Archmage - Level 4, White Magic, Book of Arcane Power (265pts)

Solid prince build :) Perhaps try to afford dragon armor for extra safety?

On your magic. I tried running solo archmage like that for quite some time and was underwhelmed. The key reason is that you will probably end up with 1 damage spell, and your opponent will have an easy time selecting which spells to dispel. I suggest finding the points for ring of fire, that way you are sure to have two missilies :) or the alternative 2 lv2s with dispel scroll and extra spell. That way, you are guaranteed 2 x luminous bolts :) You really want to have enough threat from magic to assist shooting, or even, to target units that your shooting struggles with (like skirmish razorbacks and skinks). Removing annoying chaff and dangerous warmachines and enemy shooting FAST is absolutely key.


Special
5 Knights of Ryma - Champion, Devasting Charge (170pts)
15 Lion Guard - Full Command, Skirmishers, Icon of the Relentless Company (280pts)
20 Sword Masters - Full Command, Rending Banner (325pts)

Mus is not really needed on lion guards. I ran 15 with IotRC before as well, and my opinion was that the unit served its purpose just as well at 10 men (5x2). Actaully, even better, because with less size, they became more manouverable, and really easy to get them where I want to. So it's an option for you to reduce unit size if you want to save points and use elsewhere.

Rare
7 Queens Guard - Longbows (105pts)
2 Giant Eagles (100pts)
2 Sea Guard Reaper - Repeating Shot (160pts)

switching from 7 QG to 1 SGR will save you 25 points, and for 1 less shot, but AP1 and the possiblilty of firing one single bolt. QG are great, but in my experience, more effective in larger units, and together with queens companion (you usually need to move them a bit every round, meaning hitting on 4s even with BS5 is not rarely.

Total:2500[/quote]


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