Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Things Someone Else Learned at 'Ard Boyz Finals

I don't normally go to the BoLS forums for cutting edge Fantasy tactics and advice but someone made a post in the "what I learned at 'ard Boyz" thread about his experiences at the Finals, and I wanted to comment on them because they are interesting.  

As an aside, I want to remark about what this says about forums that someone making a single good post is enough to warrant me getting excited about it.

Mynameisgrax had the following to say,  my comments in orange...

1. There were very few Vampire Counts players, and the ones that were there all played giant hordes of 200+ ghouls/zombies. The strategy was to keep the units filled with invocation of nehek, and use danse to lock the opponent's army in close combat with unbreakable troops. They did well, but the lack of any other builds may mean that this is the only viable strategy they have right now.

This isn't news to people that play 8th Edition at a semi-competitive level.  8th Edition requires you to have useful core units to be successful.  Vampire Counts do not have useful core units.  They have awful ones that require a significant portion of your army to be spent buffing them in order to make them usable.  Sorry, that strategy isn't going to win tournaments unless you play people who are totally terrible.  As far as the 200+ zombie horde, you are begging to lose to Dweller's or Purple Sun.  As in first turn.  You won't be so steadfast/unbreakable when 2/3rds of your horde is gone and then I charge and smash it with my whole army.  If that is the best VC got, they are even worse off than I thought.

2. There were a LOT of Bretonnian players. Despite many people calling them low tier, they seem to be doing quite well, at least at high point levels. I think the lance formation is to thank for that, since it enables them to remove steadfast from most infantry blocks, something that other cavalry units can't easily do.

Brettonians remind me of Dual Land Raider Black Templar lists.  If everything works and my two assault terminator rock units get the charge off 2nd turn against the exact two enemy units I want, things will go very well.  If my opponent figures out a way to stop that, it will get ugly early.  Same for Brettonia.  If their big knight units get the charge off exactly when and where they want it, without getting ruined by shooting or magic, they will do good.  But when they play people who use re-directors, good warmachines, powerful magic, superior maneuverability and so on, they fold.  At the lower levels of 'Ard Boyz I would definitely expect a skilled player with a Brettonian list to do very well, since he can club seals with his triple knight unit rock list.  I do not expect them to dominate the top tables against equally skilled players with good army books, though.  And I believe the results at the finals locations bore that out.

3. Lot of Orc and Goblin players qualified as well. Cheap tarpits + cheap warmachines + great Lords/heroes make the army more viable than I originally thought.

Well well well.  Looks like I am quite the visionary.   You saw that above formula and thought it added up to being bad?  You even left out "best anti-magic army in the game" so I'll forgive you for not putting the puzzle together all the way.  But it is nice to have my opinions vindicated.

4. Lizardmen seem to be getting snubbed in favor of Chaos Warriors (for near invincible blocks of troops) and High Elves (for super wizards). There also don't seem to be any engines or stegadons in any competitive lizardmen lists anymore, at least not at high point levels.  

The Engine and Stegadon thing is not surprising.  Neither is the High Elf thing.  The big toad is nasty, but Teclis is nastier.  If you are going for an 'Ard tournament magic based list, why go with the 2nd best caster?  Do the job right the first time.  What is surprising is Chaos Warriors doing so well.  I'd be interested to see what is successful and how it's being played.  I'd be sure that triple Hellcannons is ubiquitous in all the successful WoC lists, though.

5. Every last High Elves Ard Boyz list I've seen has included Teclis, without exception.
Again, not surprising.  Teclis with Life in a unit of PG with the banner of you can't magic me is almost unkillable.  You could bring a normal archmage to skimp on points and get something 80% as good, but why?  Is the point savings going to open up more tactical doors than Teclis will?  Will the normal archmage be as big a threat to your opponent as Teclis?  No and no.  In a 2000 point game, leave Teclis at home.  In a 3000 point game, there is no excuse not to take him.

1 comment:

  1. I wish there was something I would write about as definitively as this... I'll have to think on a topic for next week. Thanks for a great read!