Monday, October 4, 2010

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 5

Today's Awful Warseer Tactics is of a different sort than prior articles.  You see, the guy asking the question is actually a good player.  He has made it all the way to the 'Ard Boyz WHFB Finals.  So he must have at least some grasp of what he is doing.  

Secondly, he doesn't get responses which are all that bad.  Granted, they aren't GOOD responses, but they aren't shockingly bad.

The fantastic part about this thread is that the fellow is even asking for these mouth breathing forumites' opinions in the first place.  He is clearly an accomplished played, and chances are he is a good deal better than ANY of the people who try to answer his question.  So rather than snowmobile the bad answers, I thought I would give the guy honest and correct answers to his questions.  Once I post this I'll send him a PM with the link so he can read it and hopefully we will have rescued at least one good players from the Warseer abyss.

Here is his original post...

thisisntnotjt:  The Good: I made Finals!

The Bad: The competition at my regionals was extremely tough, and I saw a preview of some of the sick armies that I'm going to have a really hard time dealing with.

As such, I implore you to please, help me figure out how to beat these monsters. I know it's not all that bad, but there are certain aspects to these key lists that I'm nervous about as a WoC player.

1. Skaven:

--13th Spell. Yes, it's somewhat difficult to cast, though power scrolls are a real threat. I do like to take the puppet, with which I can get my revenge, but I would rather like to keep my rock hard warriors from turning into little rat-things.

--Abominations. The only answer I can think of here is to spam a couple of Tzeentch sorcerers with Flickering fire, then blast him with the L.4s Gateway. This would work, but all the pieces have to fit.

2. High Elves:

--Teclis. Too much magic going on, not enough miscasting. Fortunately, besides that, I shouldn't have too many problems.

3. Dark Elves:

-- Again, too much magic. Hydras I'm not so worried about, since I've been consistently giving them hell with chariots and khorne warriors.

4. Lizardmen:

--Sigh... too much magic, not enough miscasts. Stegadons can be a problem too, but chariots are a great monsters killer en masse.

5. Daemons:

-- Magic and Blood Thirsters, oh my. Blood crushers are nasty too, I hear, though I've not played against them.

6. Dwarves:

-- Warmachines, though I actually tend to play a bit defensive and usually field 2 hellcannons. Unfortunately, I don't have much experience against these guys.

7. Warriors of Chaos

-- I played another Warriors army for round three, and it wasn't terribly fun. I just need general tactics against someone who also has the puppet, or worse, maxed out chosen with a sick 3+ ward save! I don't care for the tactic usually, but maybe I should? Dunno.

Perhaps we can start with general counters to each of these problems individually, then gradually put a list together. Thanks in advance!

Alright, JT, here goes...

1.  The 13th Spell is nasty against WoC, for sure.  And if he brings Power Scroll he is going to get to cast it at least once and you won't be able to stop it.  There are two solutions to your problem, one of which you already found.  The Infernal Puppet can help, but how much depends on your opponent.  If he is smart, that 13th Spell will be aimed at whatever unit contains the sorcerer with the Puppet, thus eliminating the Puppet as the spell is resolved before the miscast is rolled for.  If he is dumb, he will likely lose his Seer to your Puppet.  Also, lots of noobs will take a level 4 with the 13th Spell.  At 'Ard Boyz finals it will be much more likely you'll see the 13th Spell and power scroll on a level 1 or a level 2.  If they lose that wizard to a Puppet fueled miscast, he won't be out much.  So Puppet helps, but how much depends on how much your opponent let's you use it.
The second thing that will help is running an MSU list.  If you aren't giving your opponent juicy targets it will mitigate that spell.  OK fine, suicide cast the 13th, and kill my 5 Knights.  I lose 200ish points, but you lose a wizard and maybe more from the miscast and I don't have to worry about that spell for the rest of the game.  If you run a unit of 15 Chaos Knights, they will be destroyed by the 13th and you will lose the game.  If you run 3 units of 5, you will lose one of them and the other two will wreck shop.  Simple as that.

Third, Hell Pit Abominations I covered in a previous post, but you should have a Flaming Banner, a Tzeentch Sorcerer with Flickering Fire and Gateway.  Whatever wounds are left after the magic phase you can power through in close combat, especially with the Flaming Banner.

2.  Teclis is a beater.  A Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord sadly cannot go toe to toe with him anymore.  But you do have options.  Teclis depends on his bunker unit to keep him safe.  Chaos depends on its flying disc mounted characters to get to the enemy back lines quickly.  With 1+ or 2+ armor and a 3+ ward save, a Lord on disc should be able to charge Teclis' unit on turn 2 and kill him with ease AND survive the hits back from the Phoenix Guard/White Lions.  If you can multi-charge with a flying Lord and 2 flying Exalted heroes you're in good shape to wipe out him and his bunker on turn 2.  From then on it's your 3000 points against his 2000.

3.  Dark Elves.  You're right not to fear the Hydra.  They aren't what is scary to  WoC.  What is scary is 7 bolt throwers in a 3k list.  Even your most heavily armored units will wither under that shooting.  42 strength 4 armor piecing shots will blow a unit off the board per turn.  Unless you do the Tzeentch flying circus you won't be able to shut that down quickly.  
As far as DE magic goes, they have strong magic offense but little magic defense.  If they use Lore of Darkness there aren't many spells in there which really scare WoC.  If they use a book lore they will get more miscasts.  Puppet the hell out of them then.  And since they have little defense, I'd suggest that your magic can do more damage than theirs.

4.  Slaan.  Yeah that's tough for WoC.  A couple things though..  First you can use Puppet to minimize the brutality of Cupped miscasts.  Second, you can use your fast cavalry to kill their Salamanders before they do real damage.  The Slaan will be tough to kill inside his unit of Temple Guard who will probably be Toughness 8, so that prevents using the anti-Teclis Disc bumrush plan.   My suggestion is to dispel Throne of Vines at all costs and drop 3 Hellcannon templates on that unit every turn until you can get to grips with them in hand to hand.

5.  It isn't too likely someone will bring a Bloodthirster.  Be more worried about Fateweaver and Skulltaker and Tzeentch Heralds and Flamers of Tzeentch.  Daemons can still do some crazy things in the magic phase and can still throw down in the combat phase.  Your best defense against Fateweaver is the Disc rush.  You fly so he won't be able to escape 4 or 5 disc riders on turn 2.  The Flamers are also tough to deal with as they can march and still shoot the crap out of you.  But it shouldn't take more than 1 or 2 disc riders per Flamer unit to deal with them.  Have you noticed yet how important lots of guys riding Discs of Tzeentch is to WoC is yet?

6.  Dwarven warmachines will eat you alive, if you don't have disc riders and Marauder cavalry to threaten their back lines early.  You can't count on magic to do much for you, so you just have to silence the big guns early and chop them up with your superior combat troops.

7.  Don't worry about an opposing Puppet, they cancel each other out.  Not a big deal.  Your Sorcerer Lord has a 3+ invulnerable save anyway, so chances are he isn't going to die from miscasts.  Also remember that the person whose turn it is determines the order of the Puppets.  Always let him move the Puppet roll first so you have the final say in where it lands.
As far as the Chosen Deathstar goes, this isn't bad for you.  They won't get to your lines until turn 3ish.  Use Warhounds as re-direct bait and there is a solid chance you can almost completely mitigate them for most of the game.  

Helpful?  Anyone have any other good answers?


  1. I would suggest you fix your errors before you tell him about this.

    1. Warlock Engineers CANNOT get the 13th spell, so it is on a Lvl. 4 Grey Seer or perhaps a Verminlord.

    1a. The 13th Spell is only usable against infantry models, so Skaven cannot touch a mounted army with that spell.

    You clearly have a list in mind that you believe is good in the 'Ard Boyz finals round. Why did you not post the list that you believe fulfills all of the pre-requisites you have spelled out. I see a bunch of dudes on discs (One sorcerer, a regular lord, and 2 exalted heroes), 3 hellcannons, Chaos Knights and some Marauder cav. What do you see as the rest of the list?

  2. Aww, no malice or spite? I am disappoint.

  3. @jollyboy42 Sorry about that, I am not familiar enough with the Skaven book to know that the lower casters can't take that spell.

    13th spell only being used versus infantry is not a big deal for WoC as the only infantry unit you won't be willing to trade for their Seer is a Chosen Deathstar, which I don't rate that highly anyway. So I guess the advice to take away from this would be to make sure you Puppet is carried by a mounted character.

    @thcave: I'll post the list I'd suggest tomorrow.

  4. JT, here. Sorry it took so long to get your message. I do find it a bit funny that you're "saving" me from warseer. Frankly, I just use the site to get over-arching ideas rather than word for word advice.

    I appreciate the kind words, and congratulations yourself for making it to the finals. I'm going to Chicago myself. If you are as well we should totally grab a drink on break.

    This advice for each army is what I was looking for originally, and I appreciate it. Honestly, I wasn't surprised when I didn't get a straight answer from warseer.

    Anyways, I read your other list first and it shocked me quite a bit. The idea of winning or losing the game in the first 2 turns doesn't suit me one bit. I'm not saying that it doesn't work; it just doesn't work for me. Not my angle. I prefer the chess game with larger blocks, all of them murder machines. I'm really liking my latest list I posted in the thread from my test games. I've been brutalizing every list Omaha can throw at me without fear of loss once (save one against daemons where I made a mental mistake involving siren song. I was sick, dammit!). I'll comment on your list in better detail there.

  5. I wouldn't take the winning or losing on turn 2 thing super literally.

    My take is that at 'ard Boyz level you can and will see lists that bring 8+ war machines. That's a lot of firepower. And they still have good magic and good fighting units on top of that because its 3000 points. Either you have a plan for those warmachine armies or you don't.

    If you face a Dwarf army with 3 cannons, 3 grudge throwers and assorted other machines, you're going to have to stop that shooting by turn two or you're going to lose. If you let those weapons fire for 3 or 4 or 5 turns there is no way you can beat them.

    So when I see WoC lists with no real answer to that I see lists whose strategy is "pray not to play against Dwarves/Empire/Goblins."

    The problem is, what answers are there in that crap army book? The best I can see is the Tzeentch flying characters and fast cav.

  6. Actually I'm typically in combat turn 3. The only unit I'm really concerned about with shooting is my khorne warriors, mostly because there are only 20 of them. She can shoot up my marauders all she wants, they're not worth a lot. But, that being said, if they're taking 8+ warmachines and heavy magic, they're not taking a lot of combat, especially not as hard as WoC. With several large blocks I have options, and turn 3 charges and only losing one of those blocks, while my opponent tries to counter with a couple of his inferior ones, it's game over.

    Obviously all of this is not that simple. I still have to outsmart my opponent in deployment, which I can do with throw away deployments like dogs and chariots, the later of which defends my flanks like nobodies business.

    Also, goblins I laugh at. They have next to nothing to offer that can hold my army back. All I have to do is sacrifice the dogs and chariots to get those fanatics out, watch them dance around, and pulverize their line into oblivion. It's pretty amusing, actually; I enjoy it very much.