Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WHFB: 'Ard Boyz Scenario Review

Hey everyone.  While I won't be able to attend the prelims this weekend, I'm sure many of you will, so I figured I should chime in with my thoughts about the three scenarios and to see if there is a general trend that should shape how you build your lists.  Let's dig in.

Scenario 1: Eyez Don't See So Good

Meeting Engagement.  At the beginning of each player turn, roll an artillery die and multiply by 3.  This is how far your units can see.  Misfire means no restrictions.

Bonus points for killing your opponent's cheapest unit, for a massacre, and for killing their reserve units.

This is a big fuck you to warmachine armies.  In meeting engagement there is a 12" no man's land so you can close with the enemy quickly, AND the artillery likely won't have the vision ability to shoot at a unit more than once before they close on it.  This is a tremendously imbalanced scenario.  Artillery is nerfed, and fast units are favored.  I guess they realized that heavy cavalry suck in 8th and warmachines are good, so they needed to flip the script.

Scenario 2: Da Blood Soaked Choppa

Battleline.  Each player nominates a core unit to carry the choppa.  The choppa grants that unit +1 strength and +1 attack.  Bonus points for a massacre, capturing/owning standards, and two bonus points for destroying your opponent's choppa unit.

This is the most straightforward scenario.  Bringing a fighty core unit to carry the choppa is tempting, like Savage Orcs or Tzeentch Chaos Warriors.  With some armies you don't have much of a choice, but in practice it will be better to put the choppa on a unit that can avoid combat.  Putting it on a unit of fast cav and having your opponent over-focus on it can win you the game.  They can be so desperate to get the 2 bonus points that they lose 15 points by getting trounced.  My advice is to just win the game, and play your normal way.  This mission doesn't require any specific list tailoring, though.  But if you must, perhaps bring a slightly more survivable troop choice.  Instead of going all Khorne/Halberd Warriors, bring a unit of Tzeentch with HW/Shield to carry the choppa.

Incidentally, this works pretty well with heavy cavalry too.  Someone favor Brettonia much?  A nice KotR unit with the Choppa is relatively hard to kill and hits insanely hard.  
Scenario 3: The End Times

Meeting Engagement (again?!).  Random game length after turn 4.  Every turn some crazy cataclysmic event happens, the worst of which is a 2 which does d6 unsavable wounds to EVERY UNIT ON THE BOARD.  This fucks over MSU, elite, and warmachine armies big time.  Bonus points for killing the enemy general, keeping your general alive, and killing the enemy's most expensive core unit.

You have to plan for this game with the assumption that the lightning will strike at least once.  Making any other plan is setting you up for a disaster.  Incidentally, the lightning scares the piss out of my DE list.  Every single unit in my army could die in one turn, scary stuff.  Chariots and Hydras do not like taking D6 automatic wounds with no saves.  This scenario would make me rethink my whole plan, if I was attending to be honest.

OK, so don't bring MSU.  Don't bring warmachines.  Don't bring fighty generals.  Bring big units of fighty Core.  Heavy armor elites like Chaos Knights are bad when lightning strikes, Dragon Ogres are much better.  This is a bad.  The game is very likely to end after turn 4 so kill fast.  

General Concepts

OK.  So we have two scenarios that completely fuck over warmachines.  Don't play Dwarves or Empire if you want to advance.  If you play Orcs and Goblins bring big units of Savage Orcs.  Since warmachines are basically neutered, magic is the only counter to hordes.  Bring tons of anti-horde magic.  Bring tons of magic defense.

Also, if your army can bring large units of heavy cavalry as core (Brettonia, Empire) are going to be strong as they will have a great unit for scenario 2, and also will be getting first turn charges in scenario 1.  Scenario 3 is somewhat more random, but the 12" no man's land means that they will get early charges as well.  Armies that should also do well are anything Magic/Fighty that don't use warmachines anyway.  Daemons of Chaos are the big winners in my mind, as you can take some outstandingly powerful magic (Kairos) and some outstandingly awesome core units (Bloodletters with Heralds) and add Skulltaker into the mix as your general to be generally unstoppable.  Also strong will be High Elves.  They have the magic powerful enough to take out extra buff units you will see, and also have good fighty units of their own that can hang in combat.  Just don't run them as MSU elites, because your whole army could evaporate with one die roll.  

Vampire Counts might also be a strong choice, since the rules favor strong core choices and it's an army that revolves around buffing hard to eliminate core choices.  Plus, they have strong magic, which is a plus.  Ogre Kingdoms is another army that I feel does very well with these scenarios.  They don't have the strong anti-horde magic, but they don't care about the special rules in Scenario 3 hurting them, and they definitely can make use of the Choppa in scenario 2.  And they are quite happy to get first turn charges in Scenario 1 without fear of bolt throwers lighting them up.

All in all, I'm not a fan of how unbalanced the scenarios are, but there are definitely paths to victory.  Make sure you do your best to take advantage and minimize the risk.  If anyone attending wants some list specific advice, email me and I will try to get back to you before Saturday.

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