Thursday, December 30, 2010

WHFB: Dark Elf 2k List and 2,200 Thoughts

As I said earlier in the week, I am strongly considering going to Adepticon this year for the Warhammer Fantasy tournament, despite the softscore hell and battle point formats.  In fact, if I don't go, it will be because of those things.  Anyway, I've been very concerned about the 2,200 point list format.  I've been told it plays like 2k and not like 2.5k.  So having a finished 2k list in hand, I want to see if I can brain storm a good use for the second 200 points.

As most 40k players will know, lists have to scale.  Some 1750 lists can easily add another 250 points to get to 2k and still have the same ideal synergy.  Others simply only work at 1,750.  So here is my 2k list...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Better Playtesting: Pay Attention!

Let's be honest with ourselves for a bit.  How often do you finish your turn and then zone out during your opponent's turn.  You pay a small amount of attention to his moves, but only insofar as it applies to what you won't have to shoot with next turn.  The rest of your attention is focused on the games around you in the hall, or thinking of the food break after the game, or maybe you're just focused on what you're going to do next turn.

I know personally I have often ignored my opponent's turn and I spend it planning out my next turn of moves.  Planning your next turn is good right?  Wrong!  So what should you be doing?  Watching your opponent and his moves like a hawk.

Don't Zone Out, you're missing half the game.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So It Looks Like I'm Going to Adepticon

Like the title says, thanks to my dad living about 20 minutes away from the tournament location there is a better than good chance I will be playing in the Warhammer Fantasy Championship at Adepticon this year.  There are some pros and cons with Adepticon that I want to think out loud about.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hobby: Cold One Chariots

Hey all.  I've been using some of my holiday vacation to get caught up on modeling projects I've had on the shelf forever.  While I have barely made a dent in what I have left to do, I did make some cool progress.  I have 4 Cold One Chariots build, and a BSB Master on Chariot.   I have another Master to make, and two more normal chariots.  Anyway, here is a preview of what I have done so far...

Cold One Chariot

Cold One Chariot

Master Battle Standard Bearer on Chariot

Close up of the BSB.  I love that closed helmet.  So evil looking.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

40k Strategy: Philosophy of Fire

Like I said in my Who is the Gunline article, there is a lot of Magic the Gathering theory articles that have fairly universal game theory application.  While not all of the concepts are directly applicable to Warhammer 40,000, some of them are.

There is a nice discussion blooming on the Whiskey40k forums about a classic Magic article, The Philosophy of Fire.  The gist of this article is that an aggressive deck should be set up so that the average card in your deck is capable of doing damage equal to 10% of your opponents life total.  With that as the benchmark, you can figure out if your aggressive deck has the strength to be competitive. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Better Playtesting: Improving Your Technical Ability

One of the most intimidating things you can face in a tournament is a player with drastically superior technical play skills.  You might be the better strategist and better on the fly tactician, but there is something intimidating about an opponent whose moves, language, and mannerisms are studied and precise.  It creates an air of confidence in himself, and forces you to question your own confidence.  Once you start quaking, all it takes is a few mental lapses on your part and a good turn of shooting on his part to throw you off your game completely and cause a match loss.

You need robotic precision

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 12: Power Scroll Edition

It had to happen.  We have danced around the subject of how uber leet A+ #1 Awesome the Power Scroll is in 8th Edition for some time now.  I've said what I have to say on the subject many times, but now it's time for the real experts to chime in.  And by that completely non-sarcastic comment, I am of-course talking about the Warseer drones. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Odds and Ends: Wrap Me Up in Plastic

It's Christmas season and many of us will be giving and receiving some pretty nice swag.  In that spirit, I've made a list of the models that Games Workshop should release in plastic that are so long overdue that it would be like them giving us a gift, despite the fact that it would be us paying for them.  I decided to do the top 5 Fantasy and 40k units, though thanks to Daemons there is some crossover.  Without further adieu...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tavern Talk: Looking Back

So, another year ends.  As we wave bye to 2010, I wanted to get your thoughts on your hobby throughout it.  What are your proudest achievements?  Where did you fail?  Just how has your year in Fantasy been?So, another year ends.  As we wave bye to 2010, I wanted to get your thoughts on your hobby throughout it.  What are your proudest achievements?  Where did you fail?  Just how has your year in Fantasy been?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interesting BoLS WHFB Article

I already did my review of the common magic items here, here, here, here, and here.  I'm sure most of my readers who care about Fantasy have checked that out already.  

Today Big Red over at BoLS posted his review of the top 10 items and there were some interesting statements.  I agree with his review on a lot of them, and its nice to see that they agree with my conclusions from a few months ago.  Looks like I may know a thing or two about this game.  Either that, or we're both total scrubs.

So I'm going to go through his review and post my comments in orange.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 11: Second Edition

Hola amigos.  Today I wanted to continue the trend of delving into the abyss of stupid that is  As we all know, army specific forums have their own brand of idiotic groupthink that arises when you have a lot of space to talk about small topics.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Better Playtesting: Overcoming Localism and Forming a Team

In my previous post in this series, I discussed how to playtest in an organized manner in order to prepare your list for a tournament.  One of the biggest assumptions I made was the availability of 3-4 committed teammates with similar goals.  If you are competitive enough to consider playtesting in that manner, chances are your potential teammates are competitive too.  This creates a problem: your teammate for the next GT is your opponent at the next local weekly.  A lot of players would resist forming a real playtesting team for a GT because they don't want to share information that could hurt them on the local level.

Overcome localism
If you are going to focus your energies on winning GTs, you and your potential teammates have to have a serious discussion where you all agree to put your competitiveness into national and regional tournaments, and treat the local tournaments as non-competitive friendlies that you use just to sharpen your technical ability, not to actually break new grounds with your lists.  If you can't overcome a locally minded focus, you'll never rise above the local level. 

During my M:tG career I was locally minded and myself and 3 other players dominated the local scene and between the 3 of us we won nearly ever local tournament.  But we didn't playtest together, and we didn't share deck tech.  What ended up happening was when we would go to Pro Tour Qualifiers, or Junior Super Series tournaments, we would do OK due to our abilities, but we would always lose to people who were organized into teams and had better playtesting.  Their decks were more refined and their sideboards were especially superior.  After one tournament, we decided to form a team of our own, playtest together, share information, and help each other refine the technical aspects of our game.  The result was that within 6 months all of us were playing on the Pro Tour.  We didn't care about being cut throat at the local tournaments, but we did care about cutting down the competition regionally, and it worked.

So what do you need to do to get a competitive team?

e pluribus unum

1.  Talk about goals, don't assume them.  You might think that your goal for the team is the next GT, or 'Ard Boyz semis.  But if you never say it aloud, you might be surprised to find out that the rest of your "team" has a different agenda.  You can't overcome localism if you have teammates who don't want to.  A good team always starts with the players sitting around a table having an honest discussion about goals.  If someone is not on the same page with the rest of the team, unfortunately that person has to go.  If you aren't all willing to commit to the national or regional level of competition, there is no reason to be a team, because the localism will sabotage your plans.  

2.  Plan your year as far in advance as possible.  One player might be most interested in a GT 6 months away.  Another may care most about 'Ard Boyz semis 9 months away.  You should circle these important 'event' dates on your calendar as early in the year as possible, because it will allow you to focus your playtesting schedule.  What you do not want, is to have to playtest two formats simultaneously.  If one player's 1500 point GT is a week away from 'Ard Boyz, chances are one of them is not going to get the playtesting time it deserves since you can only do serious playtesting for a limited number of events per year.  To avoid this, plan your year out as far ahead as possible, and you won't have hurt feelings down the road.

3.  Be willing to jettison weak links.  Your playtest data is valuable, and being a teammate who contributes is the price for obtaining it.  If you have someone who doesn't contribute, even if he is a good player he can't stay on the team.  It will cause drama and problems.  There are other ways to contribute besides playtesting hours, but a teammate does have to contribute somehow.  

For instance, on my old M:tG team, one of our guys wasn't the best player, or a good deck builder, but he literally had 12 of every card.  Thanks to him, we could build 3 of any deck we wanted to play at a tournament.  Nowadays with store/website sponsorships, that isn't a big deal, but in the late 90's this was a huge deal that gave us a giant leg up on other teams.  Say other teams playtested and they found a deck that was dominant.  But they had 5 teammates.  Chances are, they don't have enough copies of the cards to all play the same deck.  And buying cards for a deck for a single tournament is cost prohibitive.  So having a teammate who already has enough cards to make any deck in multiples is a huge, huge deal.  And it wasn't one sided.  While he wasn't a great player, he was good enough to benefit from our playtesting data and our deck decisions, and he was quite successful in tournaments himself due to it.

So if a player isn't willing or able to contribute to the team effort in some form, he has to go.  This also goes if he turns out not to be a good player.  If your team playtests together for a few months, and you find all of your skills progressing nicely, but one player despite his helpfulness and enthusiasm, isn't progressing he might have to go.  You can't have every player on the team be a 7 and one guy be a 3.  It creates problems with playtesting by skewing the data.  If weak link guy consistently loses games that someone else would have won, how could you ever trust the mathematical results you get from playtesting?  Simply put, you can't.  You need playtest teammates who you feel are as skilled as (or hopefully more skilled than) most of the players you'll be playing against at the event.

Dropping a player from the team is a really difficult conversation to have, and should not be done lightly.  Heck, in many cases it's easier to just break up the team entirely and reforming with a new nucleus than dropping a player that you're all close with, if that's what it takes.  As difficult as it is, its way less difficult than spending dozens of hours in mathematically meaningless playtesting and getting smashed at the event you trained so hard for. 

4.  Triumph as a team.  After that downer section, I want to end this on a positive note.  The biggest thing you have to do to get over localism is be willing to sacrifice individual glory for the sake of the team.  When your teammate wins the tournament, you have to be as happy for them as you would be for yourself.  Winning that tournament was not from luck, it was a team effort and you should take a great deal of pride in the win, even if it isn't you holding the trophy.  If everyone is contributing properly, a win for anyone on the team is a win for everyone on the team.  The guy who takes the prize gets to buy everyone a round of drinks, though.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WHFB: Beginnings of a 'Ard Boyz List

Hey all.  I know it's 8 or 9 months away, but I have been brain storming 3,000 point lists lately.  This year at 'Ard Boyz I played a scaled up version of my 3 Blackguard list, and while it was good, I wouldn't call it broken.  And at 3,000 points you have to be broken.  I want a list that is capable of multiple nutty things, and capable of producing massacres, not just close wins.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hobby: Space Marine Bike Command Squad

Hey all.  Wanted to display my progress on my bike command squad.  They are now fully assembled and ready for primer.  I think they came out cool.  I'm going to dread 6th Edition when the next SM codex comes out and they aren't legal.  But they will be fun for now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WHFB: One Great Thing

I'm going to keep this update kinda short, but I want to comment on something I've been thinking about for a while.  Brent wrote an article on BoLS explaining the obvious: win/loss is the way to run tournaments, not battlepoints.  Sadly, despite an article written to advocate for the less competitive player is being slammed by the less competitive players in the comments.  The article condemns WAAC gamers, and explains how tournaments can be (and are being) run that brings out competition without WAAC douchebags, yet the FAAC crew can't resist bashing it. 

I asked myself why this is.  And I realized, the FAAC crew doesn't recoil at the words 'WAAC' or 'competitive,' they hate the word 'tournament.'  No sooner than you utter the word 'tournament' then some moron responds with, "THE GAME WAS NOT WRITTEN WITH TOURNAMENTS IN MIND SO STOP TRYING TO RUN TOURNAMENTS!"  So I propose a solution: stop using the word tournament.  Start calling all Grand Tournaments "Grand Conventions" and have a "competitive track" within that.  That way, the hated word won't be uttered.  

But that isn't even the point of this article, as you might tell by the title being about Fantasy.  In 40k there are FAAC douchebags, because the fluff is simply so good.  The 40k fluff is great, and it's so compelling that it creates and attracts gamers that care about fluff above any other concern.  So powerful is this consortium of players that they managed for a decade at least to completely destroy the tournament scene with soft scores, successfully banned special characters, and managed to label any player who understands basic statistics and probability as the one who is ruining the game.

But in Fantasy this isn't the case.  The Fantasy fluff is just not nearly as good.  Reading the fluff section of the BRB would put you to sleep.  Oh the High Elves fought the Dark Elves again in another war, almost lost and ended up turning the tide and winning.  Crazy.  Repeat that story 10 times for each race in the game and their rivals and you have Fantasy fluff.  Because the Fantasy fluff isn't as... compelling... as the 40k fluff there are not nearly as many, nor as vocal FAAC gamers.  I've never made a Dark Elves list and had someone say, "3 bolt throwers?  You know that the Naggarond army would never use that many bolt throwers" or "I can't believe you are mixing Kainite units with normal units in your army!"  Simply put, there is no stigma in Fantasy about army list construction the same way there is in 40k if you give all your Plague Marine units dual meltaguns.  Very few people in Fantasy are going to go into a FAAC frenzy because you mixed chaos gods in your Warriors army.  The same people won't complain when you mix Night Goblins with Black Orcs.  Or if you run more than one unit of Grail Knights.  

I'm not saying that this is better, because the 40k fluff is cool and a rich background can make the games more interesting.  What I am saying is, next time you are playing 40k and someone goes into a FAAComa, take sometime off 40k and play a game of Fantasy and enjoy a game where the FAAC drama is at a bare minimum.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WFHB Battle Report. Dark Elves vs. Orcs and Goblins

As promised, here is my 2,000 point Dark Elves Battle Report from this weekend.  Ofcourse, I use this list.  My opponent was playing a rather battleforcey Orcs and Goblins list, but despite that it still had some scary elements.  With some tuning it could have been very scary.

From memory, here is the list he had.  I'll put asterisks next to the units that were good.  Anything else should be cut.

L2 Goblin shaman with the staff of sneaky stealing*
L2 Goblin Shaman with a dispell scroll*

Big unit of Black Orcs*
Unit of Night Goblins with 3 Fanatics*
Big unit of normal Orcs
5 Spear Chuckas*
3 River Trolls
A way too big unit of Spider Riders

So as you can see, he had some good stuff and some crap.  Replace the crap Orc unit with another unit of NG with Fanatics.  Replace the Giant and trolls with another unit of Black Orcs.  Replace the spider riders with Rock Lobbers.  Replace Azag with the Black Orc named character.  And if there are enough points add in another L2 goblin shaman.  That would have been a scary list.  

So onto the game.  First I want to say the terrain was pretty bad.  I got to the LGS late and the table was already set up so I didn't want to bother changing it.  But there is a giant castle thing right in the middle of the table.  You just can't have a game that is supposed to be about maneuver and setting traps and multi-charges work when there is a huge impassible, LOS blocking thing in the middle of the board.  But enough about that.  We rolled Battleline, and I finished deploying first and got first turn.

My Deployment.
I deployed with both BG units on my left flank.  One Hydra in the middle, one Hydra on the right.  A unit of RBX on the left with the BG and one on the right screening my spearman horde.

Not a terrible set up for my game plan of playing defensively and shooting and Purple Sunning him to death until he is close enough for me to charge and blow up.

His deployment.
He set up with his spear chuckers all on the right flank facing my BG.  Clearly he planned to shoot the hell of them, which was good because it would disrupt my 'play defensive' game plan and force me to come to him.  He also set up his Night Goblins over there with the Boys in the middle.  This was his defensive flank.  I was going to have to come to him, and he was going to shoot me and Fanatic me when I did, and then counter charge me with the Orcs.  Solid plan.  Had the Orcs been a second unit of Goblins with 3 more Fanatics it would have been even better.  

His left flank had Azag, Trolls, Black Orcs, and Giant.  His plan was clearly to push aggressively to that side with more big stuff and overwhelm me and try to turn my flank.

End of Turn One
On turn one, I moved forward.  I had to push on the left flank in fear of the shooting, but I made a horrible mistake in pushing a few inches on the right flank.  If anything, I should have gone backwards.  My magic phase I cast Purple Sun but not irresistible, and it was stopped my his dispel scroll.  My shooting put a wound on his Giant.  No CC, so I was done.  

On his turn one, his Giant rolled boxcars on the charge and got into combat with my RBXmen.  If I had pulled back an inch, or even just not moved forward at all, he would not have gotten the charge, and I would have had another turn of shooting and magic.  Oh well.  The Giant wiped out out my dudes, and followed through into my Spearmen horde.  This was huge, because it meant that since my Sorceress was locked in combat, she couldn't cast Purple Sun on my turn.   On the other flank, his NG pushed up and threw out the Fanatics which killed half a unit of BG.  So not a good turn one, I killed basically nothing and he wiped half a unit of BG and a whole unit of RBX.

End of Turn One, view from the right flank.
Onto Turn 2...

End of Turn 2.

Turn 2 went rather well for me.  On my turn my half strength BG charged the Night Goblins.  For some reason he did a flee reaction and I redirected into the Orcs which I just managed to catch.  I multi-charged the Orc unit with the Hydra which was forced (to my benefit) to also be in combat with one of the spear chuckers.  I don't understand why he didn't fight with the NG.  Between the nets and spears they might have at least killed a few of the BG, as it was, they killed none.  In my magic phase, I cast Soul Blight with buff, so all his nasty stuff was -1 strength and toughness on the right flank.  This was game breaking.  My Hydra on the right flank templated the now Toughness 3 Black Orcs with a Str 5 Flaming blast and killed around 10 of them.

In combat, my half strength BG unit and Hydra pureed his Orcs and Chucka as expected.  My BSB Master and Spearmen made short work of the now Toughness 4 Giant before it could strike.  

On his turn 3, his Orcs and NG continued to run towards the table edge, and he charged my Hydra with his Black Orcs and Azag.  His magic did nothing.  His spearchuckers did some serious damage to my Blackgiard and Hydra, but nothing I couldn't handle at this point.  In combat, I killed 4 or 5 more Black Orcs with the Hydra, and he managed to do a whopping single wound to my Hydra since he was -1 Strength all around.  He lost combat by 1, but held as he was stubborn.

View from the right Flank end of turn 2.
Onto Turn 3...

Right flank, end of 3.
So this turn I delivered the Coup de Grace.  In order to bail out my Hydra, I charged my horde into the flank of his Black Orcs.  On the left flank, I started smashing my BG into his Spear Chuckers.  My horde was in combat so no Purple Sun, but I did get off the Soul Blight on buff again.  In combat I slaughtered his remaining Black Orcs and forced Azag to break and flee off the table, but not before Azag killed the Hydra.  It was basically game at that point.  He only had a single level 2 left and I had my whole army more or less intact, minus the unit of crossbowmen the Giant killed and the Hydra Azag killed.

Left flank end of turn 3. 
On the left flank I had a wrecked unit of BG, a War Hydra, and a full strength unit of BG, and a full strength RBX unit.  He had two Spear chuckers and a big unit of Spider Riders.  On the right flank, he had 3 River Trolls left.

We played turn 4, but it was basically mop up.  I smashed the trolls, smashed the Spider Riders, and killed a Spear Chucker and was in combat with the last one.  Tabled by turn 4, but basically over turn 3.  

Obviously, his list wasn't great and he was limited by the O&G models he owned as his primary army is Wood Elves, but I gave him advice about what he should add and what I thought didn't work.  All in all it was a solid victory that I was happy with, even if it was a mild seal clubbing.  The thing is, he was a good player with a bad list, not a bad player with a bad list which would be a real seal clubbing.  As much as Wood Elves suck, I would have been interested to see how they would have played against this as I haven't played against them in 8th yet with my Dark Elves.

Comments?  Questions?  Concerns?  I'd really like some feedback on if the pictures were useful to understanding the battle, because I'm never sure what to shoot, and also to see if the narrative makes sense.  Since I remember the battle in person I might be leaving out important details that I know that you don't but makes it difficult for you to follow.  I appreciate the feedback.

Friday, December 3, 2010

WHFB: Dark Elf 2k List

Hey all.  I was thinking of playing some 2k Fantasy this weekend since I haven't played that points level too much.  I wish I had chariots to try Cold One Chariot spam to accompany my Hydras.  But I don't.  So I'm going to scale back my 3 BG list and make it a 2 BG list.  I am worried that 2 units of Blackguard will get shot to pieces, but I figure at 2k and with 2 War Hydra to block for them it should be doable.  Anyway, here is the list I'll be using...

Supreme Sorceress
Level 4
Sacrificial Dagger
Pendant of Kahleth

Battle Standard Bearer
Armor of Eternal Servatude
Dragonbane Gem
Sea Dragon Cloak

10x Repeater Crossbowmen

10x Repeater Crossbowmen

35x Dark Elf Warriors

20x Blackguard
Banner of Murder

20x Blackguard
Razor's Standard

War Hydra

War Hydra

Total: 1994

Should be pretty beaty in close combat and magic phase.  I'll try to have a battle report up Monday if I get the opportunity.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 10: Edition

I figured for the very special 10th Edition of this article I would delve into  We all know that forums encourage group think and it's the loudest voice that's heard, not the right one.  Well if general forums encourage group think, army specific forums are the group think of group think. is a Dark Elves specific Warhammer Fantasy forum, and as bad as the tactics area of forums are, the role playing and fluff areas are worse.  In those areas you will find grown men (and grown women who weigh more than grown men) taking Elves far, far too seriously.  

But enough of that nonsense.  We aren't here to make fun of people who masturbate to thoughts of being raped by a Dark Elf Dreadlord.  OK, we ARE here to do that, but right now what we are here for is to make fun of people who post really bad tactics.  In this thread, some guy posts a lists of particular units that he believes flourish in 2,500 point Dark Elf lists.  And it's not that his choices are even that bad, though they are, it's that he is making the cardinal mistake of looking at units in isolation rather than as parts of a cohesive list.  If you just randomly picked units from this list and tossed them into your army list, you would get trashed.  So what's the point of making a list of 'good' units that isn't applicable to actual gameplay?  There isn't any.  To make matters worse, after the original simpleton posts his retarded list, the even more simple people post their even more retarded opinions.  As always, my comments will follow each post in orange.

jbtheslipperking:  I've tried out different units and my conclusion so far is:

Big spear block unit with lv4+dagger is a no brainer. Extremely effective magic phase. 

Duh.  Everyone already knew that.

6-7 shades + assassin with manbane/rending star combo. Might seem a bit expensive, but the assassin makes the unit very effective in many situations. Those rending stars are really scary on stand and shoot against otherwise hard hitting dudes. Doomwheels, Scrap launchers, lone ogres, small cav units, warmashines in general ofc etc. The unit never fails me. 

No, they suck.  The unit never fails you?  I guess you don't play against any other armies with shooting then.  One unit of Lotheran Sea Guard should blow this overpriced unit right off the table turn one.  Thanks for playing.

14 WE with flaming banner . Vulnerable, but if protected it is amazing against trolls, hellpits, small ogre units, difficult high toughness stuff in general. And combined with mindrazor it goes through anything. 

Waste of points, waste of points from the all important Special slots.  Oh and if you buff with mindrazor it's really good.  No shit?  Name a unit in the DE book that ISN'T good when buffed by Mindrazor.

Cold one unit with DL on cold one. 6 COK + DL is a rock hard unit. Tried them with the +1 move banner and find it very useful. It is especially useful because of the synergy with the COB giving them extra attack. 16 str 6 attacks rerollable. Charge into blood knights, 12 hits, 10 wounds, 5 saves. Still 5 net wounds. The unit is crippled unless he's got like 12, but that many points is very rare. This hammer is anyways really good. 

WRONG.  Dreadlord?  Not a BSB?  You like failing Stupidity tests and looking like an idiot?  Good deal then.

Hydra is amazing, but be aware. It can get into trouble. T5 and 5 wound is vulnerable and there are flaming banners and flaming attacks out there. And breath weapon only once per game, remember. Still a no brainer and remember that you hit a lot more models with flame template now, so it's not always good to use it in close combat.

Now that's something ground breaking.  Except, you know, Hydra suck at 2,500 points.  They are good at 2,000 and good again at 3,000.  But at 2,500 they blow. And since this is a 2,500 point article, you should keep that in mind.

10-20 xb unit is a must. Not always as effective as one thinks, but you need to fill up that core quota and sometimes they are extremely useful. 20 with mus and shield is my choice. They can hold up a flank in many cases. 

"Not as effective as one thinks."  What?  It's the best core unit in the game.  Go away.

BG , big units is IMO too expensive because of the new warmachine rules. But I've had great success with a small/medium one. The conga line tactics works nice. Enemy hitting/killing only the champ on the charge. And then in your turn, reform and hit with everyone. They got charged by 8 ogres with 2 heroes in it. Killed champ, I reform, extra attack from COB and then mindrazor from my lv4 with dagger. 27 str 9 attacks with reroll hitting on 3+ wounding on 2+. My opponent went pale, I can assure you.
Pure fail.  Blackguard are the best infantry unit in the game.  They don't need all your stupid buffs either.  A unit of 20 with the AP banner can kill that stupid Ogre unit and heroes without a COB or Mindrazor buff.   This is such a good example of looking at a unit out of context of the whole army list.  My 3 BG 2,500 list is pretty ridiculous, and it doesn't use the COB or Mindrazor.  Nor does it use most of the other stupid shit you recommend on this list, yet I still win games.  STRANGE.

Harpies of course, 2x5 or 2x6, cheap and versatile. 

What universe are you in?  These are good in 2,500?

12 corsairs with sss . Sometimes it shines, but sometimes not.

So a unit that is sometimes good, sometimes bad makes your list of best units in what is considered the best army book?  Go play in traffic.

COC - not so happy with it. Too slow and too unstable for my taste. To roll 5-6 on impact is good, but roll 1-2 and its bad. Comes in handy sometimes, but it's on and off. 

More utter stupidity.  Maybe you've heard of multi-charging.  Maybe you've heard of taking more than one of something.  Try multi-charging a unit with three of these simultaneously and tell me they suck.

DR - always used them in 7 ed. But now, not so happy with them. Not being able to do anything useful in the flank of a unit and with the game being so combat oriented instead of manoeuvre/move oriented, they are not performing as reliably as before. 

So Harpies are good, but the far, far superior Dark Riders are not?  I'm can't even comprehend your thinking.  A fast cavalry unit with quick to fire repeater crossbows is a bad thing now?  You're mad because they aren't good at close combat?  That isn't the point of the unit.  That's like being upset because Blackguard aren't good at casting magic.

RBT is slightly less effective now and a bit more vulnerable. Still, that single bolt in the flank of a knight unit going all the way through is so nice that it can be worth it.
A bit more vulnerable?  How's that?  They are T7.  You fire your Reaper Bolt Throwers in single shot mode?  Are you insane?


 Wow that was some dumbass shit.  Let's see what the peanut gallery responds with...

olderplayer:  I've played a lot in 8th ed and almost all at 2500 to 2750 points in empires campaigns and local tourneys and indy GT's. 

uh oh, anytime someone prefaces their comments with their tournament resume you know you're going to get intelligent comments...

A hydra is essential now to survive, two is better. Spearman unit with lvl 4 and sac dagger is very good but a warmachine magnet. Spearmen are generally inferior to RXB warriors absent the sac dagger. I use the standard of disciplne to boost LD for panic checks. I have had mixed success with BG unit. They need to be protected too much (cauldron ward save, lore of metal augment to AS, and/or screened) due to magic and war machine shooting being more effective against this unit. My experience with Dark Riders has been more positive than expected. Above 2000 points, a cauldron is almost a necessity.  RBTs are still good but not nearly as valuable as before relativer to hydras and seem to be killed much more oftren and much more easily in 8th edition by shooting 

Where to start?

1.  Hydras are not essential at 2,500.  At 2,000 you can take two and your opponent only has 2,000 points of power to kill them.  That's hard.  At 2,500 you can take... two.  And your opponent can take 2,500 points of power to kill them.  That's not as hard.  Guess what happens then?  That's right, Hydra are not essential at 2,500.

2.  Spearmen with the LD banner?  Maybe you've heard of this crazy thing called a battle standard bearer.  They allow you to reroll panic tests, it's great.

3.  A single BG unit will indeed be a fire magnet and will die.  But who runs single units of BG?  No one good.  
4.  Dark Riders are good.  How many times do I have to say that fast cavalry who can shoot really well and scout deploy are good?

5.  A Cauldron is never a necessity at any points level unless you are really bad and play battleforce lists.  Now, if you run a triple Cauldron list you have something, but this is not what you are advocating.

6.  Run 5 reaper bolt throwers and tell me that they die easily.  Oh so fast cavalry deployed nearby.  Use 2 or 3 bolt throwers and blow them off the board before they can do anything.  Hydras at 2,500 aren't amazing.  But 5 Reapers are.  Not many of the "elite" units you face in 2,500 can withstand the combined fire of 5 bolt throwers.  They just can't.

Babnik: Hi Druchii fellows,

So far, I have fielded our legions in 2 tournaments. Means 10 games + 6 home games.

With experience like that, I'm sure you will have some great insight...

Large unit of COK . 10 to 14.  Very resistant, can't take a lot of damages thanks to the +2 save, ITP and COB ward save (usually for the first 2 rounds). I call it my swiss bank account. Just because my COK represent 20% up to 33% of my whole army points. As 50% casualties do not give away VP anymore, there are always couple of COK left at the end of round 5.
Furthermore with ASF banner and sometimes Hydra bsb, they simply crush any opponent. Recently, I drove over 10 Chaos knights, 30 bloodletters. The only unit who managed to resist were these god damned swordmasters!

My god you're dumb.    Your opponents are so bad.  You're putting 33% of your points into a single unit that isn't an auto-win against everything in the game?  Wow that's a bad idea.  I guess you really never play against armies with good magic or shooting.  2+ armor save with no ward isn't really all that "resistant."

24 Xbm . Compulsory for core units slots. More versatile than spearmen and corsairs.  

24?  I guess where you play no one utilizes maneuver in their game plans.  Please explain how one unit of 24 is better than 2 units of 12.  I'd love to hear that so I can laugh in your face.

28 witch elve s. Just great. High I and multiple attacks make them irresistible against any blocks of infantry. Even against swordmasters (I5 so no hitting reroll). Just make sure they are in combat in round 2-3. 

I just don't know how we can look at the same army book and draw such different conclusions.  A huge block of Witch Elves would just get laughed at where I play.  They would be shot up before they ever saw combat.  They would get hit by multiple chariots and die to impact hits before their high initiative mattered.  Please explain how they are any better than Blackguard.  

24 execs . I just love these guys, I was used to play in 7th ed so they are obviously in my 8th games! However, they can't fight any units. Cavalry OK, single attacks infantry ok. Multiple attacks infantry NOT OK! 

Now I think you're trolling.  One of the worst units in the game you love?  You say you love them and they are "obviously" in your 8th edition lists, then you go on to list that they are only good against shitty infantry and heavy cavalry.  When was the last time you saw anyone running shit infantry and heavy cavalry lists?  Executioners are insanely bad.  Just please save me from this...

6 Dark riders . If you don't manage to get in combat with the warmachines crew, they are just useless. You give VP away to easily. 

What?  You mean you don't give them RBX and have them dance around the flanks shooting and never able to be charged?  Wow you're dumb.

I still need to try properly harpies and shades. But I think they should do well against heavy artillery. However, they are useless against VC, Chaos, daemons, etc...

Shades are useless against Daemons and VC?  Other than, you know, killing  Fateweaver first turn.  Or killing Corpse Carts and Black Coaches.  Besides that maybe they are useless against those armies.  Here is my conclusions: you don't have a fucking clue of what you're talking about, along with the rest of your stupid forum buddies.     


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WHFB 6 Months Later Part 2: What's Losing?

In part one yesterday I examined the things that the critics initially said were going to be shitty in 8th Edition, but which turned out to be pretty competitive.  In this part two, we'll flip the coin and look at the top five things that critics said were going to be amazingly good in 8th Edition that hasn't panned out to be as strong as advertised.

1.  Warmachine armies.  This is both Dwarfs and Empire.  When the new cannon rules everyone said the sky is falling and these armies would be able to blow everyone off the board.  Also, the move to bigger blocks of infantry means that stone throwers are better, which also benefited these armies.  Despite these big buffs to their artillery, these armies are not nearly dominant.  Dwarfs are still slow and linear, and thus easy to set up multi-charges against which means easy to beat.  Empire can be good, especially in the hands of an experienced player, but they just aren't in the same league as Skaven, Dark Elves, and High Elves.

2.  Swordmasters of Hoeth.  Yeah, they are good.  Not too many units can stand toe to toe with them in combat, which is really nice.  But when the new ASF rules came out, people went apoplectic saying that how broken they were and how they would ruin the game.  What turned out in practice, though, is that they are T3 with a 6+ armor save.  And there is lot's of shooting and magic in the game.  They tend to get blown off the board prior to getting into combat.  Also consider that HE armies are strapped for points.  They only have so many points to dedicated to their hard hitting special units and most HE armies are better off being aggressive and taking Lion Chariots, or being defensive and taking Phoenix Guard.  Swordmasters tend to be a good choice that there aren't enough points for in most lists.  Sorta like Sternguard in most Space Marine lists.

3.  Daemons of Chaos.  Once the undisputed top army, they are now closer to the bottom of the top tier.  Everyone predicted that large units of Bloodletters would be unstoppable when backed up by Fateweaver using Life buffs and Pink Horrors spamming magic missiles.  While this is clearly the most competitive daemon list, it's not nearly as nasty as everyone predicted.  With true line of sight, Fateweaver just isn't the bomb that he used to be.  In the last three games I've seen him in, he got magicked and shot off the board on turn one in two of them.  

4.  Always Strikes First.  Somewhat related to Swordmasters, everyone said that ASF units were going to break the game.  Has it happened?  No, it hasn't.  In fact, one of the scariest ASF units from 7th, Blackguard, dropped the ASF banner because it wasn't very useful.   ASF is a very nice bonus, but it isn't the be all, end all skill that everyone predicted it would be.

5.  Ogre Kingdoms.  I know I know: you're saying that no one said that they were going to be a top tier army.  That is true.  But I did hear plenty of people saying that a horde of Bulls was going to be unstoppable.  On a great many places on the internet I heard people mentioning how their mega unit of Ogre Bulls was just going to be trashing everything they came into contact with.  How'd that work out?  Your horde of Ogres dropping the hammer on the top tables?

What did I miss?