Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Prep for Panzerschrek...the fine art of balancing Swedish comp

Hi All,

I thought I would take a quick break from painting Reavers and work on a super soft Empire list for the Swedish Comp event in July.

Now I've posted about Swedish Comp before where I applied it to the lists I was running at the time. This time around I have to write a list for the comp which is "score between 7 and 13" + I want to try something completely different with my Empire.

20 minutes of jumping back and forward through the comp, my armybook, and my vague idea of what I want the list to do I have ALMOST come to a list.

My proposed list:

lvl4: Death, scroll 225 -7-18-10-8
Alector: GW, HA, Dhelm, 4++ 164 -10

Engineer: pigeon bombs 85 1WM-2
Engineer: Pigeon bombs 85 1WM-5
Engineer: Pigeon bombs 85 1WM-10
WarriorPriest: HA, 2HW 69 -5
Witchhunter: Brace of Pistols 55 -2
Witchhunter: Brace of Pistols 55 -2
BSB: FPA, ench sh 96 -3-10

40 Halberds: FC 270 -12
2x5 Archers detach 70 -2-1-1
10 Archers 70 -2
5 Knights: M 120 -5
5 Knights: M 120 -5

28 GreatSwords: FC 338 -13
4 Demigryphs: M 242 -25

Stank 250 4WM
2399                                                 total 7 WM = -7

Swedish score = 13.5

So list of lolz. Pigeon bombs ftw + stank + infantry + demis + character sniping and NO ARTILLERY.

Will it work? possibly. Will it fail? depends on how the Swedish comp affects everyone else's list design....HOWEVER THIS LIST IS NOT COMPLIANT because I have made it "too soft" gaaaarrrrrrr! More tinkering to come as I try to find another -5 to bring it into line...

Monday, 27 May 2013

Dragon Princes aint all that...thoughts after first game

Sup all,

So with a massive ONE game (and watching one game) in with the new High Elves and I have some observations:

  • It's either Loremaster OR lvl4: 600pts where 1/2 of that is actually casting (loremaster) and the other half is there for +4 to dispel and the 1 big spell per game...yeah. I'll be running one or the other from now on and pumping the spare points into boyz. 
  • Core needs to bring some punch: I made the fatal flaw in the list I used in that all my punch was in the special choices = core was all chaff. Wait a sec-Silverhelms are there!
  • Calv buses...what a great way to give up lots of points: Dragon Prince bus with 2 nobles = awesome charge...then they are glorified s3 guys while the rest of the army plays catch up. Elves are an infantry army with calv support...not a calv army with infantry support!
Having smashed a Skillcannon the bus gets stuck into/on some beasts and ground down.
 Whitelions look on from afar
  • Banner of the World dragon to be treated as a nice addition to a unit-not the key strategy: Units can still lose to Combat res...especially when only pumping out s3 attacks. Treat this item as an  "oh yeah-your magic weapon does nothing" not a "hahahahaha I shall charge into the middle of your army!"
So with that in mind I have had a good look at the book. It is playing in my mind that I'm still hearing "there is a good build in there somewhere"...Tim Joss-you made Tombkings work... 

The Phoenix look great...but my Empire cannons laugh at them. Calv buses need to break on the charge or they die. Silverhelms vs Empire Vanilla knights = vanilla knights FTW. Basically I cant see anything that threatens my Empire build other than a crazy good run with the winds of magic. Even the new Whitelions are a negligible threat. Wack them with Iceshard blizzard vs Demigryphs or my Halberd bus and my Empire is doing fine...especially if they have worn a round of Hellblaster goodness. 

However, what I do see is lots of mobility, and classic anvil/hammer TVI tactics (see for a break down). My proposed take on this tactica looks something like this:

Loremaster: Book of Lolz, axe of might, shield of Merwyrm, 80's powermetal hairband of Atrazar
BSB: Armour of Caledor, Halberd
2x5 Reavers
10 Silverhelms: M, SB
18 Archers: M
27 Whitelions: FC-banner of world dragon
24 Phoenix Guard: FC-razor standard
2x5 Dragon Princes: M
2x1 RBT

Anvils = the Whitelions and Phoenix Guard. Hammers = silverhelms, and the dragon princes. RBT help thin lines, archers archer stuff/make up the 600pts of core, and the reavors do what the do. Still not the strongest, but it would force my Empire list to pause for thought before tackling the Elite infantry-especially when the threat of s5AP re-rolling to hit, t4 4+ ward fear causing Phoenix Guard is always there. They would be deployed 5 wide to take the charge and then reform 7 wide to get their (wildformed) chop on.  

Anywho that's the latest thoughts. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Hobby update: Chrace Loremaster

Hi all,

So it's been an exciting time since the last post. My days have been filled with near constant High Elf crunching that it's amazing I've gotten anything done!

I had a game vs Mike King's NICON lizardmen thoughts. My post Runefang Empire proved themselves worthy of the upgrade...well except the ICKS who managed to kill 1/2 their number from difficult terrain tests on the way (eventually) into combat! Such is life. It was also great to see my list perform when there were no real cannon targets. I'm sticking with the Stank even though it managed to roll triple 1's to fail a 7 inch "charge"...but it did redeem itself next turn with a 13 inch uber game winning flank charge. Dice...gotta love them!

On Saturday the Hub part 2 played out...I'm sure that Glen at Wrythhold will be posting a run down of the fun and fluffy narrative driven 40k. In short- lots of fun and the Orks will rise again!

Anywho. I've been trying to keep my High Elves "fluffy". Heck, I even looked at the map in the armybook before deciding how to cheese up my list (still yet to read the fluff).

My Chrace Loremaster:
and here he is hanging with this chosen Jarls

So a kitbash between the lionchariot kit, noble kit, Phoenix guard sword arm, and Spearelf shield. He is WYSIWYG Book of Lol Catz, Axe of Might, shield of 4+ parry, and 80's powermetal head band of 2+ ignore first wound.If Loremasters could have lioncloaks he would have one too.  I honestly cant think of a more effective build for Loremasters-especially if not spending (wasting?) points on a lvl4.

This dude is my new General in my Chrace/Ellyrian mountain pass patrol force.

Loremaster: Book of lol catz, axe of might, 4+ parry shield, 2+ ignore first wound
BSB: Barded Steed, HA, Ench shield, lance, 4+ ward
Noble: Barded Steed, HA, sh, Starlance, Dragonhelm, halberd
4x5 Ellyrian Reavers: Spears and Bows
2x10 Archers: M
27 Whitelions: FC-banner of the purring Kitty
5 Lion Princes: M (dragon princes)
8 Ellyrian Knights: M, C (dragon princes)
2 RBTs

and the for next wee while there will also be 2x1 Tiranoc Chariots. I'm not convinced 2 chariots is the best spend of the points...3rd RBT is almost a given, however the final 70pts is more problematic. 5 shadow warriors = influence deployment but not much else, 5 sisters of averlorn = magic missile bait (but helps vs Regen)...4th RBT = overkill???? single chariot = possible? Basically I'm trying not to spend money and it might turn out that 2 chariots is made of win!

With this list I'm putting my hat very much in the "speed and movement wins games" boat. Loremaster with book of lol catz in whitelions = I can 6 dice spells all game with little consequence. No scroll = big boys warhammer, but the book should help a lot there.

Monday, 6 May 2013

I guess I should give my opinion on the new High Elves

Hi all, High Elves.

Things I like:

  • The "old stuff" wasnt nerfed to useless. There hasnt been a mortar/flagellant/rocket battery moment. Sure we lost GW re-rolls, but the units affected are still good for their (now cheaper) points-especially with the addition of martial prowess...which brings me to my next point:
  • Martial Prowess is the shizz. an extra rank of attack has lots of implications. The best one for me is not needing to deploy in horde. Not deploying horde = smaller frontage which = less return attacks + easier to move around the table and set up combo charges.
  • Speed is king. Movement 9 heavy calv, flying chariots, dragons, phoenix, eagles, fast calv core, heck even griffons = High Elves all of a sudden have the best charge threat range of (any??) army. 
  • CHOICE. The tournament player inside of me is hesitant, but this armybook was written to be themed. I dont read the fluff, but for those that do, this must be a good thing. (PS I do plan to read the fluff and to prove it I will write a review).
  • Jedi Loremaster is a cool idea. yeah...I bought the model and the squid thing looks less stupid IRL.
Good thing  my swordmasters already have blue swords
Definitive proof I didn't jump on the bandwagon...

Things I'm meh about:
  • Still no answer to skaven. Once again we (the collective) are waiting for the skaven armybook nerf. Stormbanner, warpgale, powerscrolled 13th, and no ranged answer to the Bell ruins the High Elf army....worse than the Banner of the World Dragon screws over Demons.  
  • Dragons meh compared to Phoenix. This is classic GW play. I could spend lots of points on a prince + dragon, OR I could get (ie purchase) an Annointed on a Frost phoenix with MR(1), built in 4+ ward with opponents being -1strength and ASL Oh wait...I have the points to get the Giant Blade and a few tricksy items for fun...just waiting for the FAQ once the sales drop...
  • "Elite". I'm sure this is part and parcel of the territory of  being an elf, but it still sucks when you don't have units that absolutely shred units in combat, or enough units to engage an army properly...good thing we now have chaff coming out our ears. 
  • The "fluff match". Dark Elves vs High Elves. In the Dark Elf corner we have i6 elites re-rolling every round. In the High Elf corner with i5 elites no re-rolls. This equation is no longer as simple as I make it due to other factors, but it is still not cool that elf on elf, my money is on the bad guys.
HOWEVER, I'm no rager quitter and I am very much looking forward to seeing what builds drop out of the book.

I've done my crunching and my first list looks something like this:

Lvl4: Book of Hoeth. Either High magic (cos it's all the rage)...or possibly life
BSB: Armour of Caledor, GW
Noble: Eagle, HA, SH, Dhelm, Starlance, Crown of Atrazar (credit James M for the build)
4x5 Reavers: Spears and Bows
2x10 Archers: M
12 Swordmasters
21 Whitelions: FC
2x5 Dragon Princes: M

List FAQ:
  • "OMG no Banner of World Dragon?!?" I learnt long ago that in warhammer you put boyz before toyz. The Banner helps in selective eagle helps in every situation. 
  • "Bows on the reavers???" I had 60pts to fill in core. That could either be 6 more s3 shots, or 20 more s3 shots. My money is on the 20 shots, even if it pushes my chaff up in cost. 
  • "Where's the l33t h4x0r Silverhelm with 7 characters bus?" the same place the 1800pt deathstar is...on the internet + I wanted to avoid characters in knight units...boyz before toyz. 
  • "Only 1 phoenix-everyone knows you need minimum 4 to win". Ok...but my wallet doesnt extend that far and I quite like the models I already own.
  • "Swordmasters?" Yeah I know right? High Elf armies tend to suffer from "only 1 thing can actually do any damage" syndrome. With the old book it was light coven + 1 horde of Whitelions. This approach always falls apart when you have to play scenarios. Swordmasters give me a another unit to play with and they provide a useful answer to cheap troop buses. Hand of glory and guaranteed that ws3 will be hitting on 5's. 

So there we have it. Now to purchase a Phoenix and a 4th unit of Reavers off Ebay...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Runefang 2013 write up

Hi all,

Last weekend was Runefang VI in Wellington. I took the Empire figuring that a semi-decent result will net me the NZ Empire icon. I was a bit rusty going in having not actually used my list prior to the event, and having spent most of the year so far using the woodies.However, I was not going to let a small thing like that get in the way of having a good time!

Game 1 vs James M's WoC dawn attack

We deployed:

Not a bad set up for me. Hellblaster vs the important stuff, demis vs the rest and cannons miles away from everything.

The first couple of turns went this way and that. I cannoned off the Hellcannon with 1 shot! The stank missed a spawn by 1 inch... (it ran it over the next turn)
Eventually I got myself into a decent position with a comet in a good location...
Then the hellblaster exploded (double misfire, re-roll...double misfire...roll 1 on the misfire table) and my cannons couldnt get past the super wards on the flying lord and the lvl2. 1 unit of knights got thrown under the bus to get the skullcrushers out of the game.
However 2 escaped and I threw more knights at the skullcrushers to try get their points. Meanwhile the comet x2 comes down and the Demis go in for the kill.
Win combat, but then roll 12 and 10 for overrun (but the wrong way around) and ended up like this
If rolled in the other order = flank of warshrine and other unit looking front on to tznch warriors...sigh. So the Demis get rolled...however the disclord fails stupid...

And gets run down. Meanwhile my archers + lvl4 flee the lvl2 charge, fail to rally and give up too many points running off the board.

End result: 11-9 to me.

A little fustrating as this could have easily been 15-5....shouldnt have overrun with the Demis. But a fun game none-the-less.

GAME 2 vs  Simon "in the freezer right?" Switzer Dwarfs. Blood and glory. 

Game 2 and all enjoyment of the tournament is sucked away as I find myself vs Dwarfs.

We deploy (no surprises)

Close up of the Dwarf "tactics"
I slowly win the artillery war and close in on this fort (note the comet!)
But the dwarfs kept retreating with stubborn Hammers protecting his units
The halberds have a go at the rangers in the building...4 short of getting them and 12 warriors left grrrr

End result: 11-9 to me (or "massive victory to the dwarfs"). 

Game took all of 10 minutes and Simon went round the other dwarfs to tell of his famous victory! In all fairness, Simon knows how to avoid combat...I wasnt going to charge stubborn Hammers when everything is covered with a counter charge.

GAME 3: vs Cody WoC Watchtower

Cody gets the tower and chucks in 20 warriors. I charge the building...
And then kill the Demon Prince with 1 cannon shot, which panics the chimera off the board. I'm ashamed to say I then used a "tactic" I learnt from Simon the previous game...the sideways deployment of hellblaster on the 12 inch mark. Pivot to front on centre = in range turn 1. 4 Nurgle knights eat lead.

Knights + BSB charge  into nothing and then experience the grind.
  BSB eventually dies and my artillery turns its attention to killing the remaining warriors. I then get into combat with the Hellcannon
take it out in 1 round of combat and occupy the watch tower turn game as Cody only had his lvl1 left.

End Result: 20-0 to me. 

A bad match up for Cody. This mission and blood and glory both had 1000vps associated with the mission. I felt it was too much as there were lots of 20-0's. If it was 600vps as usual, I still would have won 20-0 this game. Good to see Horned Gobbo is back to 600vps and score minimum of 11-9 win.

End of day 1 I was near the top of the "rest" and in a good position to push for top 3.

Game 4: vs David Skaven. Meeting Engagement

So naturally I hit one of the armies I had down as a bad match up. Plague magic, blocks of "worth nothing" and chaff toys = I was going to struggle. Dave got first turn. I had my halberds, hellblaster and a unit of knights off the board.

Dave's WLC explodes (yay!) My stuff comes on.
And my cannons fail to kill the Doomwheel. Doomwheel then fails to zap stank runs it over. My knights and demis completely forget how to pass 1+ armour and start dropping like flies. I then force the point.
Mainly because my cannons were doing nothing, but also because the gutterrunners were taking me apart. Naturally everything holds, so the assassin (weeping blades, potion of strength) charges in
And I hold
But then both demis fluff and run. Meanwhile I finally get the rat ogres. The halberds get skaven'ed, so the charge the Ogre rat thing kill it, and overrun into the greyseer special character to get a sneaky 550Vps...
...nope. It was worth the shot though.

End result: 5-15 loss. 

A decent result for me given the match up. Everything now rests on the last game...

Game 5 vs Jeff Kent's Skink cloud. Battleline

SO yeah...another really bad "get a decent win" match up.

We deploy:
Lots of flee charges
Then I finally catch the damn skinks!
However the knights rubber lances + cold blooded ldship = I dont get far. 2 other things didnt work for me....cannons killed 3 skinks failing again, and again to hit, or wound. Hellblaster blows up again, another cannon blows up. Stank cannon misfires etc etc. Basically there are 2 very lucky scarvets out there! However one did die to thunderbolt (Thunderstruck!) I made a gamble and fled a scarvet charge with a unit of demis and got caught (fail charge by scarvet = run over by stank + had a decent chance of successful flee). Two comets got cast. 1 came down at s7 (so everything escaped) and the 2nd didnt come down at all (up to s8...). End game stank was on 2 wounds (survived 2d6 searing doom with 6 wounds left) and the archlector got turned to gold bottom turn 6 to bring the game back to a draw.

End result: 10-10 draw

A great game. I've learnt my skink cloud lesson from NZTC and I feel I had the upper hand all game. Pity skinks are worth nothing when die!

Tournament result:
I ended up 10th equal, so top 10 yay! The extra 1000vps for 2 missions really screwed the bell curve as the top 10 (except for Pete Dunn) were crazy clumped together. In total there were 12 people in the top "10".

Also, I'm now the NZ Empire Icon holder (which was my main goal for the year).

Given the lack of warm up games this was a good result. 2 bad match ups and a dwarf castle didnt help, but I'm happy with the way I played with the exception of the demigryph overrun game 1 and flee game 5.

Big thanks to Peter Williamson for TO'ing and Pete Dunn for the usual efforts.

Thoughts on the list:
 I think the list was 90% there. Having the banner in a Demi unit cost me dearly in the skaven match up. auto dying when flee = the survivor was on snake eyes to rally. The 2 chaff knights was 1 too many as they really wanted to be in combat, but couldnt do anything. Not running the halberds horde and only 1 mage made the hurricanum redundant too. (pity as it is such an awesome model) I constantly felt like I was lacking a combat unit. The stank earned its place in the list. Sure it was "just" another cannon...but it was finally more than that every game. I dont know how I've survived without it!

So the Post Runefang Empire look like this:

Archlector: GW, HA, Dhelm, 4+ ward
lvl4: Heavens, scroll
BSB: Fullplate, enchanted shield
38 Halberds: FC
5 Archers detach
10 Archers
5 knights: M
10 ICKs: M, SB
2x4 Demigryphs: M
2 Cannons