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THE HIGH ELVES OF ULTHUAN
I. The Army BreakdownA. Characters1. Lordsa. Lord Mounts (Griffon, Dragons, etc.)2. Heroes3. Special Charactersa. Tyrionc. Elthariond. Alith Anare. Caradryanf. KorhilB. Units1. Corea. Archersb. Spearmen (a fallen golden age)2. Speciala. Sword Masters of Hoethb. Phoenix Guardc. White Lions of Chraced. Silver Helmse. Dragon Princes of Caledorg. Shadow Warriors (BrockSamson)h. Tiranoc Charioti. Lion Chariot of Chrace3. Rarea. Repeater Bolt Thrower (goliath)b. Great Eagle (waЯu)C. Magic1. High (herman1004)2. Fire5. Beasts6. Heavens7. Light9. DeathD. Magic Items1. Common Magic ItemsA. Basic1. Balance2. Deployment3. Use of Terrain5. Various OthersB. Advanced1. The Endgame2. Victory PointsIII. Opponent-Specific Strategy6. Various OthersA. Beasts of ChaosB. BretonniaC. Daemons of ChaosF. EmpireG. LizardmenH. Ogre KingdomsI. Orcs & GoblinsJ. SkavenK. Vampire Counts (DarkKnight)M. Wood ElvesIV. TacticsA. Principles of AttackB. Principles of DefenseI. Various othersV. MathammerA.Basics (CaptainSarathai)VI. Army ListsA. Friendly1. Vampire Counts, 1000 points (DarkKnight)B. Tournament (Current # of Lists = 0 )VII. CombinationsA. Character1. Various (Current # of Combos = 0 )B. Character to Unit2. Various (Current # of Combos = 0 )C. Unit to UnitVIII. Rules Help/FAQ3. Various (Current # of Combos = 0 )
Minimum # of Articles Still Needed = 45
# of Articles Currently Being Written = 7
# of Articles Completed = 21
Last edited by Vase; May 7th, 2009 at 03:43.
High Elf WiP Tactica
Magic: Casting Order and Power Dice
Authored by Dyvim Tvar
This article is all about managing the risk and rewards of the Magic Phase to try to make your magic more effective and to help you win games.
I am not giving general advice about army construction. Heavy-magic, low-magic, somewhere in the middle, or even no-magic builds can all be appropriate based on your opponents and local gaming environments—and you can win with any of these overall approaches. Instead, this article is about making the most of the spellcasters you do have regardless of the overall level of magic in your army.
2. Casting Ordera. The General Rule – Save the Big Stuff for LastI think the key to getting the most out of your magic phase is to keep pressure on your opponent. You need to force your opponent into hard choices about what spells to try to dispel, and what to let through. If you have enough magic that your opponent won’t be able to dispel everything you cast, you need to try to ensure that you can capitalize on that advantage. And even if you don’t have an overwhelming amount of magic, you want to maximize your chances of getting something through the enemy defense.
To force your opponent into making hard choices, you need to maximize the number of spells you cast successfully in each magic phase. Try not to give your opponent any “freebies.” Every time you try to cast a spell and fail, you make it easier for your opponent to manage remaining dispel dice and scrolls. Next to a miscast, the worst thing that can happen in your magic phase is to fail to cast a spell at the beginning of the phase. It just makes it easier for your opponent to defend against your remaining spells.
Although a failed casting roll at the beginning of your magic phase can make things much easier for your opponent, a phase-ending miscast is even worse. So in order to keep the pressure on, you also need to avoid miscasts early in the magic phase.
Obviously, if you roll more dice, there is a greater chance of a miscast. The exact percentages for miscasting and Irresistible Force are in the table below:
As the table illustrates, the risk of a miscast goes way up when you start rolling more dice. With 5 power dice, you have about a 20% chance of a miscast—a pretty big risk. Planning on throwing four or five dice at casting Pit of Shades? You should normally save it for the end of the magic phase so that a potential miscast won’t shut you down completely.
The goal isn’t to avoid miscasts entirely—there isn’t much you can do about that—but to minimize the potential effect of a miscast. A miscast late in the magic phase is much less harmful than a miscast early. To minimize the possibility of an early miscast, start with the spells that you are only rolling 1 or 2 dice on and work your way up. A corollary to this rule is that all other things being equal, you should cast with your low-level casters first. The simple reasoning is that if you do suffer a disastrous miscast, it is much better to lose a level 2 Mage than a level 4 Archmage.
Remember, there is nothing that requires you to cast all your spells from one caster before moving on to the next, so bounce around a bit if necessary, casting a spell with one Mage, switching to a second, and back to the first for a spell that requires more power dice. So if all you had to consider is this issue of minimizing miscasts and the effect of miscasts, you would prioritize your spells as follows:b. The Exceptions to the RuleThe main exception to the general rule on casting order is “Remains in Play” spells. Since these spells expire if the caster tries to cast another spell, they should always be the last spell a particular caster tries, even if it is not the one with the highest casting value. If the spell goes through and its not the last spell you planned to cast, then you have to make a choice of either stopping casting with that particular caster or of letting the effect of the prior spell go. Either way, you’ve probably wasted power dice.
The final exception is if you are at a critical point and there is one particular spell that will have a major effect on the game. Even if it is the biggest, highest-casting-value spell you’ve got, if you are absolutely sure that your opponent can’t stop it because of a lack of dice and scrolls, cast that important spell right up front. Nothing sucks more than planning to cast Pit of Shades on a Treeman Ancient only to miscast and end the phase on another spell, preventing you from even trying. But again, only cast the big, critical spell once you know your opponent is out of scrolls and has no real chance of stopping the spell with remaining dispel dice.c. Use of Bound Spells
My general rule is that Bound Spell items should be used first in the magic phase. The primary reason is that a Bound Spell requires no casting roll, and there is therefore no chance of generating a miscast. If you cast a regular spell first, there is a chance of a phase-ending miscast, and you won’t get a chance to use your Bound Spell at all in that turn. Also, since a Bound Spell always works, it keeps the pressure on your opponent in managing dispel dice and scrolls. Your opponent has to decide whether to use dispel dice for the bound item or whether save them for a later spell. If you cast a regular spell first and fail, it allows your opponent to save dispel dice for the Bound Spell or for other spells.
Having set out the general rule, there are a couple exceptions to that rule. The first exception is that if you are playing in a “closed list” environment (i.e., you do not exchange lists with your opponent beforehand), you might want to save your Bound Spells for last—at least the first time you use them. If you catch your opponent with no remaining dispel dice, a bound item can be a nasty surprise.
The second exception to the rule is Bound Spells that are one-use-only. If you try to use a one-use bound item at the beginning of your magic phase, they will simply draw dispels and you will never get to use the item again. But if you save it for the end of your magic phase, you can wait for a phase when your opponent has no remaining dispel dice or scrolls. Even if you are playing in an “open list” environment, the threat of a one-use-only Bound Spell can sometimes cause your opponent to conserve dispel dice or scrolls. If that happens, the Bound Spell item has served a valuable purpose in that your opponent probably let some of your other spells through. If your opponent saves dice or scrolls for your one-use-only Bound Spell, just wait for a turn when your opponent is out of ways to stop it. If your opponent keeps saving dispel dice for it, the item continues to serve a purpose as a decoy since those are fewer dispel dice to use against your other spells.
3. Budgeting Your Power Dice—Keeping up the Pressurea. Power Dice Per Spell
Again, a successful magic phase depends in large part on maximizing the number of successful spells each phase, forcing your opponent to let some spells through rather than dispelling everything. And to keep up the pressure on your opponent, you need to make sure you are rolling enough power dice to give yourself significantly better than a 50% chance of successfully casting each spell. It does you no good to try to cast several spells at a low percentage of success. Only a couple will get through, and your opponent will have an easy time dispelling them.
Table B sets out rounded percentage chances of a successful cast, taking into account the probability of a miscast (automatic failure).
The green squares in Table B correspond to what I consider to be the ideal number of dice for a given casting value. They generally reflect situations where you are getting the maximum out of each power die. For example, rolling three dice when needing a 9+ gives an 74% chance of success—roughly 25% of success probability per die. Rolling four dice gives a higher chance of success at 85%, but it is less efficient since you are only getting a little over 21% of success probability per die.
The yellow squares in Table B represent acceptable but non-ideal numbers of power dice to roll for a given casting value. For example, if you need to roll a 7+ to cast, you have a 58% percent chance of casting if you roll only 2 dice. The chance of failure — 42% — is a bit high for comfort, but you might go for it if your budget of power dice is tight. The orange squares represent situations to be avoided. Rolling more dice doesn’t always result in a significantly better chance to cast, and it can actually decrease the chance of success because of a greater risk of a miscast. And rolling too few dice generally results in wasted dice and should be avoided.
A key to success can be to try to make a plan at the beginning of the Magic Phase of which spells you are going to cast and how many casting dice to use for each one. You should normally deviate upwards from the ideal number of power dice only if you have a single leftover die after budgeting for all the spells you want to cast—if you have two leftover dice, that generally means that you should be planning to cast an additional spell. When deciding which spell to use an extra power die on, use the extra die in a way that will maximize its value. For example, it is better to add a third die on a spell when you need a 6+ to cast (raising you chance of a successful cast by 19%) than it is to use a fourth die on a spell when you need an 8+ to cast (raising your chance of a successful cast by only 5%). Similarly, you should try not to deviate downwards from the ideal number of dice on multiple spells, since that can result in a lot of wasted dice. If you do plan to deviate downward from the ideal number of dice, try to do it on the spell you plan to cast last. That way, if you fail to cast it, there will not be any negative effect on the rest of the magic phase.
There are a couple exceptions to the general pattern in my table. The first is that I prefer to use four dice when casting a spell when I need a 10+. Although it is slightly more efficient to use three dice (a ratio of 21% of casting per die) than it is to use four (a ratio of just under 21%), I want that extra die for insurance purposes. A 37% chance of failure is unacceptably high when the potential consequence is wasting three power dice.
The second exception is for spells requiring a 4+ to cast. If you roll two dice, you have a 92% chance of casting (a ratio of 46% percent per die), and it’s almost a sure thing that you will be successful. If you roll one die, you have a 50% chance of casting, which is actually a slightly more efficient use of dice (and you have no chance of a miscast)—but you also have a 50% chance of failure.
Last edited by Vase; November 8th, 2008 at 05:09.
Army Specific Rules
Authored by GingerNinja
Speed of Asuryan: A lot of complaints were raised about this rule before the book was released. Will it work all the time? Will it break an essential game mechanic? Will it make the High Elves invincible in combat?
The answers to all of these questions are quite simple. Like all Always Strike First (ASF) rules, the High Elves (not mounts or creatures) always strike first, after all movement based attacks are dealt with, i.e. Bull Charges and Impact hits. If an enemy has the same ability, then it is resolved on initiative order, and if those stats are equal it is down to the good 'old fashioned' dice role.
Will it break the game? I don't think it does. I have now played 3 games with the new rules, (vs Chaos, VC and Dwarves), and I can't say that the ASF rule has won me any of these games. Sure, it is very nice to have it on your side, and if it causes one casualty, then yes it is an advantage, but if your enemy is dumb enough to charge into 7 WS5 STR6 attacks head on, then they deserve to lose combat. Your enemy will only make this mistake once, and you must be prepared to protect your flanks much more than you used to, as they will benefit from those charges more than frontal charges. We are also more expensive now, making our casualties much more painful.
Will it make the High Elves invincible in combat? No. It will certainly make it more difficult for some armies to comabt us, such as Dark Elves, Empire, Wood elves, Skaven and maybe Brets, but they can still have success in other areas of the field. The DE, WE, Empire and Skaven can all outshoot us, and the Brets have very thick armour and a ward save to boot. Yes, 16 WS4 Str3 attacks when you have charged is not pleasant, but again, flank charges will limit damage, and heavy armour will be the bane of our existance.
Still not convinced? Shoot us. Our armour is paper thin for the most part, we are toughness 3, and we have no screens to speak of, bar terrain. A High Elf general will feel the loss of one unit more than pretty much any other army out there.
Valour of Ages: Now this is more like it against our dark cousins. Rerolling all psychology tests is a real bonus. Although they don't cause fear very often, this will help against Cold One Knights and chariots, as well as against panic, as we are no longer immune to that. It's a nice rule, but unless you play Dark Elves all the time, you won't really notice.
Army list selection: To represent the 'elite' nature of the High Elf army, our army limitations are altered. We have to have 1 less Core, and can take +2 Special and +1 Rare compared to other armies of equal point value. This will help us take the same amount of Bolt Throwers and less of our 'useless' core troops.
+1 to Dispel: Yes, if you have a mage on the field, (not a Dragon Mage, sorry!!), we still get this lovely power. We also have an extra spell.
Last edited by Vase; November 9th, 2008 at 04:04.
How to Field a Cavalry Army
Authored by CaptainSarathai
The old elf sat atop his horse and hefted his lance. Looking over the army which he was fighting alongside, he saw ranks of spears. Intermingled between them lay a patchwork of their more elite troops. White Lions and Swordmasters; wielding their great-weapons with wildly different styles. Behind them stood the archers, repeater bolt throwers, and there, glimmering like a small fire, was the rallying point of his own comrades. A small regiment of cavalry. Surely they were looking at all of these ground-borne warriors and wondering, “Why?” Surely they were reminiscing on the days when the field was open, filled only with the thunder of hooves and the crash of lance-on-bone.
Let me tell you this army choice is not the best - it’s not balanced. However, it is possible to “get by” with some success, using a cavalry army. Elven cavalry is still just as tough as it used to be. Here are our major problems in the new book:
1) NO MORE CORE CAVALRY!! This is a killer. It’s why you’re here isn’t it? To learn how to deal with our precious Silver Helms becoming a special choice. We now HAVE to take some type of troops choice.
2) Expense: our cavalry was never cheap. Now, we’re looking at some of the most expensive cavalry in the game, aside from Chaos Knights. This is not without reason, for we do have some the BEST cavalry in the game. But when we’re spending points on core, and then looking to buy our cavalry, our armies are going to be very expensive.
3) Priority Shift: sadly, GW is pushing the infantry army. This means that our cavalry probably won’t be getting too much love. Plastic DPs? Doubtful. Redone Silvers? Doubtful. This means that anyone looking to get into this style of army late is going to be paying out the nose. Don’t let it discourage you.
So, with the drawbacks, why would any of you want to play this type of army? Firstly, some of us may be stuck playing this army because we own the models. Secondly, some of you might like the fluffy idea of an army of Caledor or a Noble’s army or some type of crusade. Lastly, some of you may be drawn to a faster playing style and more direct approach to fighting the enemy.
The army itself is very rewarding, just as tactically demanding as any of the other elven armies, perhaps even more so, because you are essentially fighting the foe with fewer points than he is using against you. Now, with the advent of the new infantry, cavalry is being pushed aside, and the cavalry army will be one of the rarer variations of the elven list. So, without further ado, I will introduce, and likely reintroduce you to our list choices. Understand, that I present only the Core choices, and the Cavalry and Rare choices, because I personally do not include elite infantry, and I feel that it has no place in a cavalry force. If you wish to add it, there are several articles floating around the board discussing the tactical advantages and disadvantages to each elite unit. For now however; I am assuming that you are attempting to run a purely cavalry list.
Core: our core choices are mandatory, and they are footsloggers. We need to understand how to make the best of this situation. As a note: we should rarely if ever worry about command elements for our core choices- no champs, standards, or musicians. They will not be needed.
Spearmen: our spears are the backbone of most armies, and will serve you just fine in the cavalry army. They are our cheapest choice, so a player could choose to take a utilitarian route and field minimal sized units of spears in order to save points for other units. This may pass sometimes, however, I feel that if you are going to include either spears or LSG, field them in units large enough to actually fight and hold a combat. Otherwise, it truly is a waste of your points on a unit that will quickly become a liability.
Final Ruling: this unit is cheap, however, it's the least likely to earn back it's points in any situation but a defensive tactic. Leave them at home.
Archers: these are the second most expensive troops in terms of cost. However, they are the most beneficial to the cavalry army. Offering a 30" range allows our archers to be combat-effective even while our cavalry draw blood. Small units of 10 would be my choice, since you really do not want many of them, and while their shooting is better than having spears standing and doing nothing, it is not as effective as our riders. However, it is great for eliminating screens, scouts, and light cavalry that might slow down our riders.
Final Ruling: archers have a long effective range. They are the most likely to earn back their points, making them a more expensive, but most economical choice. Always include at least one unit of archers.
Lothern Seaguard: I am a fan of the LSG, as any forum member will know. However, they have a very limited role in the cavalry army. They are the most expensive core unit. They NEED to be given shields, so that ups their price even more. Certainly, they do have bows, and they have the ability to fight in three ranks. While they may be better than spears, they do not match archers. Your LSG have a short range, and within 1 turn the cavalry will have charged past them. They are great defenders, but cavalry armies work on aggression and offensive moves. There are times when you need a good, solid defensive choice, without using your Special slots. That is when you should include LSG. I find that units of 18 or 21 work nicely, allowing three wide ranks with plenty of stand-and-shoot ability. But this is not a seagaurd article.
Final Ruling: LSG are excellent, but too expensive for general use in a Cavalry list. If you need a good static defense, or you expect to be charged in your own deployment zone, this unit may be better than archers. However, I would typically steer clear of including these models in your list.
Special: we have 3 true “cavalry” choices with our army. We also have 2 chariot choices. All of them are Special and therefore they are competing for space in our lists. It is good to know what each unit can do, so that we get the most from these limits.
Silver Helms: the silver helms used to form the backbone of the All Cavalry armies. However, they have been moved to Special, have gained nothing but ASF, and have not changed points. They come pre-equipped as heavy cavalry, and they are great. However, for just 9pts more you can get Dragon Princes, who are far more effective. This means that Silver Helms are not cheap enough to be a ‘throw away’ cavalry unit, but not good enough to make them an effective use of points. Silver Helm units make good add-ins, for those situations when you come up just a few points short. It is better to have a small unit of SH among your knights, than have larger units of knights.
Final Ruling: these guys were once very good, and we probably have alot of their models sitting around. I would be looking to convert them to DPs however, since the DP is the more efficient choice. Try not to include these guys in your list, unless- as stated- you need fillers.
Dragon Princes: Wow. Dragon Princes are still very expensive, but they have seen a great deal of change since their previous stats. They are straightforward heavy cav. With 2 attacks each, ASF, and elevated leadership, these knights are replacing Silver Helms as the dominant cavalry on the field, especially since they are no longer 0-1. They maintain the ability to take magic banners, as well as 25 pts. of magic items for their champion. Beware though; this can be a pricey trap to fall into. With ASF and a lance, there’s really not much to give your champion. However, the banner is a good choice. If you intend to have any type of magic in your list, one unit should have the Banner of Sorcery. Beyond that, the War Banner is an excellent choice. Champions can take small gimmick items, perhaps like the Skeinsliver and other ‘buffing’ items. I tend to field them in units of 7. This is large for the typical “MSU” (multiple small unit) strategy, and gives a frontage that is just long enough to get maximum attacks along most enemy fronts. That makes a devastating 14 S5 attacks and 7 S3 attacks on the charge. DPs should always be taken over Silver Helms.
Final Ruling: these are our best bet for cavalry lists. DPs should always be chosen over Silver Helms, and should form the backbone of our cavalry lists. Start looking around for ways to convert all those old SH into new DPs, and your army will be golden!
The EXCEPTION: when it's okay to take Silver Helms over Dragon Princes
1) low points: if you need cavalry, sometimes you have to question whether you really need to be immune to fire or get 2 attacks each. Command is also more expensive in a DP unit.
2) Combat Resolution: This is just for comparison purposes. For a few points more than a 6-man unit of Dragon Princes, you can get 10 silver helms. Formed into two ranks, and with a US of 20, you're looking at generating more "static" CR. That's points without kills. I did a little mathhammer against a T4 opponent, and rounded up, but the 6 DPs will only average 1or 2 more kills than the Silvers anyways. The trouble is, if you lose 3 DPs, the enemy gets 1/2 points. If you lose 1 DP, you are down 2 attacks. You have to lose 5 silvers before you begin to really feel it. The trick is simple: 6 DPs against units that you know you can take down, because they're cheaper. But against an army like VC or Dwarves, it's usually Silver Helms all the way. If you can clear about 26 points/unit in your army, you might want to consider keeping the Silvers. Take a look at my math below:
10 Silvers + standard bearer + warbanner = 246 pts.
~~rank + outnumber + standard + warbanner + 2 wounds = 6CR (4 static)
6 Dragon Princes + standard bearer + warbanner = 220pts
~~standard + warbanner + 3 wounds = 5CR (2 static)
Ellyrian Reavers: again, Reavers have not changed. They are still Fast Cavalry, and have the ability to take spears or bows or both. This makes them very flexible. Many players assume the Fast Cavalry is for warmachine hunting. Actually, we have Eagles for that, and they save us a Special choice. Our Fast Cavalry is best for flank-charging, running down units which disengage, and eliminating pesky skirmishers and screens. To this end, it is best to just save your points and leave them with spears. Remember, as Fast Cavalry, they can rally and move the next turn. So, if you don’t wish to be in a fight, just ditch out. The only command element you really need is possibly a banner and a musician. This will make those rally tests easier, giving you a more reliable Fast Cavalry unit.
Final Ruling: this unit has it's place, but remember, it competes for space with the DPs. If you know that you are fighting a list that has the ability to field screens, skirmishes, fast cav, or is just very manueverable- go ahead make use of the Reavers. If you know that the enemy will not/cannot utilize those elements, leave the Reavers at home.
Tiranoc Chariots: Most of us have 1 or 2 of these lying around. This tactica is a CAVALRY tactica, not a chariot one. So, I will not be discussing all-chariot forces. Chariots do have a space in cavalry lists though. They are great hard-hitting choices, and make a great second-wave for those combats that don’t resolve after the initial charge of the knights. Unfortunately, deployment is everything for chariots, since they cannot march. They will quickly be outpaced by your cavalry. In addition, they lack any type of survivability. A single cannonball will destroy a chariot; a large monster will do the same. Regular archers can be a threat, as our chariots are neither tough nor resilient. Sometimes it is good to have chariots. Against Orcs and Goblins they are great. Against any enemy that you know will not be shooting them, or fielding many ‘high strength’ attacks, you will do just fine. Against any other type of foe however, you can count on your chariots to be shot/smashed to splinters.
Final Ruling: this unit should really only be added as an after thought. With the hitting power of our DPs, there's really no need for a slow-moving chariot. However, a single chartiot will be cheaper than anything else we can field, so it's good for filling gaps. Generally a unit that is best left at home.
Lion Chariots: I derisively call these chariots “kitty karts”. Their effectiveness is one of GW’s largest gimmicks. For just under the price of a cavalry unit, you get a chariot with all of the negative effects of the Tiranoc Chariot above. Sure, this one has the ability to cause Fear, and the steeds and riders have more attacks/better strength. But, you get the D6 S5 impacts, 4S5 lions, and 2S5 riders attacking. You could have 14S5 attacks and 7S3 attacks with a unit of Dragon Princes for just a little more. Or you could have almost 2 tiranoc chariots. Finally, the WL chariot is SLOW. It is bad enough that chartiots are not able to march, but with M8, these units will be left in the dust nearly every time.
Final Ruling: I look down on these chariots as pure rubbish. Perhaps some of you might find a place for them as heavy line breakers, but really, you are playing a cavalry list- you don’t need such a fragile, slow moving unit when DPs hit just as hard.
Rare: our rare choices are still at 2 possibilities. I leave the RBTs in for a reason. With so many rare choices, and nothing to really use them on, it’s best to take only what you need and move on.
Eagles: remember how I said that Reavers shouldn’t be warmachine hunters? It’s because eagles are much better at it. They are a 50pt/model choice. They can fly over enemy lines, get across the field in about 2 turns, and are strong enough in combat to kill lone mages and all but the toughest warmachine crews. For any other application though, they aren’t much good. I usually take either 3 for use against shooters, or none at all. As cavalry, there’s really no need for us to take march blockers, and that is a secondary job for your Reavers anyways, so the eagles would just be excessive.
Final Ruling: a good unit. With the cost of RBts and Eagles combined, you probably won't be filling out your Rare choices, so take 2 of these against most armies. Add 1 if you know conditions will be good, take one out if you think you might not need them at all. Obviously, if you know you won't be needing them for warmachine/mage hunting, just leave them at home
RBTs: I actually fielded RBTs even before we had to take foot soldiers. RBTs are good because they can force an enemy out of a defensive stance by threatening to shoot him to death. In a magic-heavy list, RBTs may be replaced to aggressive use of magic, but when you consider their cost, RBTs are the better choice for pulling the enemy to you. They are also great fire-support for your knights, offering the ability to clear skirmishers, cavalry, and screens far faster than archers can. In addition, they have enough shots/damage capability to seriously deplete enemy units before the charge. Think of a “pre-dawn bombardment”. That’s what these are for.
Final Ruling: always take 1 or 2 of these. They cost about the same as a unit of archers, cheaper actually, and they are more likely to do damage. They can nullify threats to your cavalry advance, soften hard units, or drive the enemy out from their deployment zone and into a range where you can strike them more effectively.
Characters: I am not including any notes on HOW to assemble your characters. Obviously they should all be mounted. Magic is of course a player’s choice. Going mage-heavy though, is the most expensive use of characters and will take away resources for more cavalry strike power. Remember, you can always just go for the minimum and include some scroll caddies. Combat characters are cheap, but with the hitting power we already have, we don’t need any excessive characters. Mounted, with a good save and perhaps a great weapon or magic weapon would be good. Use of a BSB is questionable though, since your army is fast and the majority of it will be spread out across the field. Your DPs have a great leadership on their own, so there’s no real demand for a BSB unless perhaps to get the Battle Banner into a Dragon Prince unit.
Tactics: now that we have the unit strengths, and the basic pitfalls of a Cavalry list, it’s time to talk about how to cover those weaknesses. There are some major points that apply to any cavalry strategy, and I will cover those first.
1) Cavalry is a once-and-done thing. Like the lances that they wield, cavalry is a one-shot unit. They ride directly into the enemy, and try to break through him. Once they are broken through though, you lose time by having to turn around and charge back through. Obviously, the MSU armies who deploy their units in single lines will lose very little time, since they could just make an about-face and still move. However, it is even better to line up your charges to take in as many enemy units as possible. Look to overrun into fresh enemies, to pursue into fresh foes, and force enemy troops through their own comrades. You want that lance to strike the very heart of the foe, and sow as much havoc and discord as you can, with one fell strike.
2) Cavalry can’t fight it out. I’m not saying they can’t hit. Cavalry are amazing on the charge, and then they completely go away. Without high unit strength, a rank bonus, or a high number of powerful attacks, the 2nd round of combat will be devastating for cavalry. In fact, cavalry will usually break and flee after a bad charge. They are far more likely to lose combat than a sturdy infantry unit. Banners can help this, close generals can too. But the truth is you need to make sure the enemy is done after the charge. This is achieved by lining up good flank charges, or charging multiple units against one enemy unit. The more you can do to negate ranks, get a bonus, or jut get more models into striking range, the better. If you have chariots, they are good charge breakers. If the charge fails initially and your unit can stick it out one more turn, a fresh chariot charge can be devastating. Similar to this note, cavalry should never be allowed to get charged themselves. You NEED that first turn with lances.
3) Cavalry’s greatest strength lies in speed. They can easily redeploy to adapt to an enemy plan. You strategy should be game-encompassing. Turn-by-turn tactics should be made on the fly, with an over all goal in mind. Know in advance what enemy units to neutralize, and how you wish to go about doing it, but be flexible. If your plan is falling apart, it’s easy to find a place to get a breather, regroup, and retry (at least, as best as an elf army can. Mistakes are costly for any elven force).
With all of that in mind, there are a few tactics that cavalry armies can make use of. As stated in point 3 above, these are major ‘game’ strategies. They are not like chess; there is no turn-by-turn overview of what goes on. Cavalry armies really have an opener, a midgame, and an endgame strategy. So, here you are:
1- Rush: Offense: High Aggression
This tactic is quite brutal and straightforward. Basically, you are doing just what it says, rushing across the field and engaging as many foes as you can. Every cavalry unit you have should be looking for nice, squishy targets that they can break through. Once they are broken through, just turn around and start making tag-team runs on the harder enemy units.
This tactic works well against armies with low toughness, low armor, or low leadership. Orks can be devastated, especially if they have goblins in the ranks. Imperial armies can also fall prey to this tactic since they are probably relying heavily on shooting or a few key infantry units surrounded by weaklings.
2- Spearhead: Offense: High Aggression
Another easy tactic to grasp, spear-heading is similar to the rush idea. However, it involves focusing your attack on one unit or a small section of the enemy and punching through. Once you have your force through the breach, you can start to turn around and widen the hole. Flanks will be open; the center may have even broken out from panic tests. Use your chariots, and Dragon Princes to smash through, and then fan out. Go after warmachines, hidden characters, and most of all- turn around and flank/rear charge the harder units you couldn’t kill from the front. This is imperative because you won’t score many points for killing just the 1 break-point unit.
This is the best tactic to use against dwarfs, since they are very resilient to our cavalry’s close quarters abilities.
3- Pincer: Offense/Defensive: Moderate Aggression
These tactics are often the domain of the Infantry armies, but remember, we also have an infantry element. For players with chariots left over, this is the best way to go. Take a tough infantry unit (LSG are good here!) and stick it in the dead center of the board. Use lots of RBTs or big archer units and eagles. Put your cavalry on the flanks. Now just shoot the daylights out of the enemy and wait for him to start moving towards you.
They will probably go for the squishier unit in the center. If they don’t bite, and fan for the cavalry, you can press the bait forwards. When they focus down to attack it, just collapse the cavalry wings on them. So cavalry WILL need to engage units to the front however, or your line will be separated, you will see your bait destroyed, and probably anything behind it.
4- Split objective: Defensive: High Aggression
This tactic is very similar to the Pincer, in that you need core infantry to be fairly tough. However, don’t let yourself think you need to add any kind of elite infantry. Your cavalry will be taking the brunt of this one. You will want a good bit of shooting though, so take your RBTs. You want to deploy your force in two parts. The first part is the infantry and shooting. Put it in one corner of your deployment zone, ready to hold it’s own as best it can. This is bait. To make it convincing, put a cavalry unit or a commander in with it. Then deploy your second part, the cavalry, in the opposite corner.
You have just presented your enemy a choice. Likely, they began deploying across from your bait force, so they either leg it to get to the cavalry, or they go for the bait. If they leg for the cavalry, fine, just shoot them, and maybe even flank them with the infantry units. If they take the bait though, and rush for the infantry, the cavalry will demolish them. Coming in at such an extreme angle, you’ll catch most of their units in the flanks. Unfortunately, your flanks will also be exposed, so it’s best to send out a screen (Reavers perhaps?) to block any unit daring enough to try and flank you. DO NOT USE THIS TACTIC IF THE ENEMY HAS WEAPONS THAT PIERCE RANKS for obvious reasons!
Last edited by Vase; November 9th, 2008 at 04:13.
Authored by Lord Aewyn Machiara
Edited by PapaElf
See the original article at Machiara's Website: forums.battleglade.com
"It is not the army with the most troops who will win the day. Rather, it is the army who has more troops at the critical point on the battlefield who will emerge victorious." --Von Clausewitz
The above quote illustrates my belief that the army that dominates maneuver is the army who is “in control” of the battle/game. There are three aspects to “Maneuver”: Speed; Flexibility; and Interdiction.
The army with superior maneuverability will, depending on its degree of superiority in the three aspects of maneuver, largely be able to dictate when and where melee combat will occur, and most likely be able to make the decisive flank or rear charges that swing the tide of battle.
I. Speed --- Speed is not a comparison of two armies' movement values; it is a comparison of the movement values of melee combat units. I define “melee combat units” as units that can win combat with opposing mainline units by themselves or in conjunction with other fast units.
Heavy cavalry is the most common example of a unit with a high “speed” value; it can carry unit destroying melee power across the table at a frightening pace. The best example of this kind of speed is perhaps the Bretonnian Lance. With a 16” march move and hard-hitting charge, the Bretonnians place a lot of pressure on their opponents simply because they are on top of those opponents with quality combat units quickly.
Although High Elves have a natural advantage in “pure” speed with infantry movement of five, cavalry movement of nine, and access to flying troops, we are hindered by the fact that our main combat units are infantry-based. Our cavalry units: Dragon Princes, Silver Helms, Ellyrian Reavers will rarely be able to break mainline enemy units without serious support. The Dragon Princes are simply too expensive for a 2000-2250 point tournament army, in that they use hundreds of points that are needed to fill out one's army with units better suited for an all-comer's army.
Our Dragon Princes have been mentioned as perhaps the best heavy cavalry in the game. I believe this is simply untrue. After all should they fail to break the enemy on the charge, then they are no stronger than an Elven archer (i.e. S3, T3, with 2 attacks and a good armor save). Attrition is part of melee combat, and the Dragon Princes simply lack staying power. This is why I believe that a frontal charge by a Dragon Prince unit against an opponent's main battle unit is a risky endeavor, and should be avoided.
Most armies have an advantage in “speed” because they can field good to excellent melee cavalry and we cannot. Although our Eagles and Elven Steeds can move faster than opposing cavalry, we do not have the heavy melee units that can match heavy cavalry’s speed. High Elf generals should recognize that most armies will better us in this aspect of maneuver.
II. Flexibility --- Flexibility, as used here, is an army’s ability to ignore factors, which would otherwise limit its movement options.
Skirmishers, for example, are the ultimate in flexible troops. They ignore terrain and can shoot or charge in a 360-degree radius. Fast cavalry has good flexibility because Free Reform allows them to avoid the wheels and turns that slow more traditional units. Flying units such as Eagles or Dragons are almost impossible for enemy melee units to engage. The Banner of Ellyrion is a very important item to improve the flexibility of a High Elf unit.
High Elf generals have won battles simply by exploiting the inflexibility of the enemy. Since our hard hitting melee units’ (e.g. White Lions, Sword Masters, with the banner) outstrips the flexibility of opposing melee units, we are able to win through redeployment during the battle that creates an advantage at the decisive “point of attack” on the battlefield.
III. Interdiction --- Interdiction is the flip, or “offensive” side of flexibility and is defined as the ability to interfere with the opposing army’s movement. An army can normally do this in two ways: by preventing march moves (“march interdiction”) by the enemy, and by “damage interdiction” over portions of the battlefield.
March Interdiction can turn a 2000-point vs. 2000-point battle into what is effectively a 2000-point vs. 1250-point battle simply because the opposing army is unable to move its troops to the critical point on the battlefield. Scouts and flyers (especially the Great Eagle) are the best units for preventing enemy march moves. Light cavalry can also march interdict, although their own inability to march within 8” of the enemy and the need to use their shooting or combat power elsewhere leaves them second-best to flyers or infiltrators.
Damage Interdiction is a very important concept. Understanding what kind of damage interdiction both you and your opponent bring to the table can be a key component for influencing your own battle plan and understanding your opponent’s.
Damage Interdiction is the ability to “threaten” damage within a specific area of the battlefield. The key is to threaten damage beyond the charge range of enemy units or as those units come into range on the charge. The Helblaster Volley Gun is a classic damage interdictor; it commands the area within 24” radius, only modified by line of sight, and largely prevents movement within that radius. Although the Helblaster never moves, it provides a huge maneuver advantage for its owner by limiting the area where opponent units can operate.
For the complete source material contained in this post, see the "General's Tent" at Machiara's web site battleglade.com
Last edited by Vase; November 9th, 2008 at 22:24.
Determine your Army’s Strategic Purpose
Authored by Lord Aewyn Machiara
Edited by PapaElf
See the original article at Machiara's Website forums.battleglade.com
The High Elf general should sit down and determine the army’s strategic purpose, i.e., how is this army going to win the battle? No army can dominate every aspect of a battle; the majority of armies will only dominate one category (if that) and have one or two glaring weaknesses. You should therefore, choose one or two aspects in which you want your army to excel.
The High Elves, as an army, are more suited to dominating certain phases of the game than others. High Elves are very good at offensive magic, better than average at maneuver, shock melee, average at defensive magic, attrition melee, below average at missile fire, psychology, and are very vulnerable to enemy missile fire.
The High Elves can be an effective “shock” army. We have the tools to concentrate a high volume of combat power onto a small area of the battlefield. Such tactics are completely dependent upon unit teams and isolating enemy units, meaning that a High Elf army must dominate maneuver in order to win the melee phase.
Your army selections should be made with the goal of dominating your chosen phase(s) while reaching parity in or minimizing the others. Every High Elf general should consider how his army will fare in each phase of battle during the army creation process: (i.e., Maneuver, Melee, Missile Fire, Psychology, Magic).
Ensure that your army can defend itself in each phase
Once you have decided the phases where you want to achieve superiority or dominance doesn’t mean that you can ignore the other phases. There are inexpensive ways to defend yourself in all phases of the game, and it's made easier if you use “multi-purpose” units, or units which have benefit in more than one aspect of the game. Shadow Warriors, for example, can serve multiple purposes; they provide missile fire, limited damage interdiction, and march interdiction. Ellyrian Reavers can hunt enemy interdiction units, mage hunt, perform march interdiction, or run down fleeing enemy troops.
A word of caution: just because a unit is multi-purpose does not mean it can always perform all its roles at the same time. Using the Shadow Warriors and Reavers as examples, notice that the Shadow Warriors can do all three of its roles at the same time, but the Rreavers are not multi-taskers as they cannot mage hunt and attack enemy damage interdiction units at the same time. When creating your army, make sure there are enough units to do all the jobs that need doing if multiple tasks arise.
Almost every phase has one or more complementary phase(s). If you have chosen to dominate the missile fire phase, for example, march interdiction should be a key secondary objective. The slower your enemy moves, the more time you have to do damage in the shooting phases. Along with the archers and bolt throwers, I would strongly suggest Shadow Warriors, Ellyrain Reavers, and Great Eagles as integral parts of such an army. As a bonus, each of these units will be able to hold or contest a table quarter at the end of the battle. By choosing these units, you have defended yourself against an opponent who dominates melee by keeping his units out of melee for additional turns.
So you have defended against the melee phase, what about psychology? Although all the units mentioned are vulnerable to psychology, it is not a big issue to this army. Hopefully, there will be few if any offensive charges where fear tests must be rolled. Panic and terror checks are always a problem, but a centrally located general will provide extra leadership as needed. On the whole, the High Elf army that chooses to dominate the missile phase is not too vulnerable to psychology.
The magic phase, however, could be a problem. Exactly how much magical punishment you feel your army can endure is up to you, but the High Elf army is known to crumble even under moderate amounts of magic damage. As noted before, five dice and two scrolls should be the minimum magic defense. Some of the march interdiction units above can dual-task as mage hunters. Also you could use the missile phase dominance to try and destroy or panic the unit(s) that are hiding the enemy mage(s). The High Elf general must be smart about eliminating these sorts of threats when he can, through active exploitation of dominance in your phase of choice.
The use of multi-purpose units and a reasonable allocation of points to defensive magic should allow any High Elf army a chance to mitigate its weaknesses before it takes the battlefield. Remember that a weakness is still a weakness, and a general should be actively looking for ways to eliminate threats during the actual battle.
Disperse your Victory Points
Many generals field their armies with an “uber”-unit which contains their general and possibly a mage along with their best shock or attrition melee troops. The problem with this strategy is that the “uber unit” can’t be everywhere at the same time, and it often fails to accomplish much aside from wading through a couple of diversionary units. The bigger drawback is that the hope of victory will be destroyed along with the unit, since the army cannot win without the unit.
One of the great things about the High Elf army is the ability to field effective units at a relative moderate cost. Many very effective units can be fielded for around or under 200 points: 12 White Lions ***, 10 Archers ***, 5 Ellyrian Reavers with Bows (105 points), 5 Shadow Warriors ***, 24 Spear Elves ***, etc. Each of these units are very effective, but losing the unit does not spell the end of your army. This makes it difficult for the opponent to “concentrate” on any one unit of the army, and any “uber unit” will be wasted taking out a unit of 110 point archers/ reavers/etc. This while the rest of your army is destroying his supporting units and occupying table quarters.
I rarely take less than 10 deployable units (at 2250 points) in my armies, and I perfer to push 12 or 13. I find it an advantage to have many different tools at my disposal; and the more units I have the more things I can do on the battlefield. 10+ deployable units also gives you a good feel for what your opponent’s deployment is going to look like before you commit your major units, and keeps the opponent from tailoring his deployment to yours. I would feel very uncomfortable if I was forced into battle with say, only eight units. The more units the better.
Detail each Unit to a Team and an Objective
An often forgotten aspect of army construction is to assign each unit to a team, and each team to an objective, and then deploy the team together within striking distance of the objective. For example, it does no good to deploy a unit of White Lions out on the right flank when they would best be used as a “stick” unit supported by a Dragon Prince (deployed on the left flank) flank charge. When infiltrators are deployed, you want to make sure the Shadow Warriors use their special deployment rules to give the best chance of achieving their objective, whether it is primarily mage hunting, march interdiction, or damage interdiction. We’ve all experienced games where we felt our units were deployed out of position, and I believe this happens because we failed to think through what the unit's purpose was, when we were creating the army list.
Teams and Objectives
Clearly you can’t detail your teams to specific objects, like “Kill the Helblaster”, when you don’t know what troops, or which army, you’re going to be facing. Unit objectives should be more general like so:
Archers – Kill enemy light units, cause panic check to larger units.
Shadow Warriors – Kill enemy war machines, mage hunting, march interdiction.
Dragon Princes – Team with White Lions, attack enemy Attrition/Shock Melee
White Lions – Team with Dragon Princes, attack enemy Attrition/Shock Melee
Ellyrian Reavers – Eliminate opposing Fast Cavalry, attack enemy missile/ War Machines, Support White Lions/Dragon Princes if needed.
This sort of unit allocation will help keep your “eye on the ball” during deployment. It’s too easy to make mistakes or fail to think through objectives during the “heat of deployment”. Save yourself the effort and do it before the game.
For the complete source material contained in this post, see the "General's Tent" at Machiara's Website battleglade.com
Principles of Maneuver II: Fighting Opposing Damage Interdictors
Authored by Lord Aewyn Machiara
Edited by PapaElf
See the original article at Marhiara's Website: forums.battleglade.com
Fighting Opposing Damage Interdictors
The High Elf general gains a huge edge in maneuver by eliminating or redirecting the enemy’s damage interdiction units. The opposing general is counting on these units to dominate their area of the battlefield, whether it's a Helblaster on the flank or a unit of Chosen Chaos Knights coming straight down the middle. He is relying on being able to destroy anything that comes into that unit's threat radius, and may not be prepared to react if that unit is destroyed or diverted.
Great Eagles are very good for redirecting the fast, expensive enemy unit your opponent is counting as the linchpin of his battle plan. Simply land the Great Eagle in front of the unit, angled away from where that unit wants to go. Your opponent will either have to charge the Great Eagle, turning his unit away from its intended target, or try to move around the Great Eagle, in which case you simply move the Eagle and give your enemy the same choice next turn. Great Eagles are our best choice for this job as they are cheap (50 points), they are a formed unit (as opposed to a skirmished unit), and they do not cause panic (less than Unit Strength 5). Ellyrian Reavers can also perform the task if the situation is desperate, but are not ideal.
Attacking with multiple units can sometimes destroy light enemy damage interdictors such as war machines and missile troops. For example, if one sends a unit of Ellyrian Reavers and a Great Eagle after a Helblaster Volley Gun, the Helblaster is only able to shoot one of the two units before you charge with the survivor on the following turn. This tactic does not work as well if the enemy is intersupporting his ranged damage interdictors (i.e., he has two units of Handgunners on either side of the Helblaster) as the damage you take on the way in can be greater than the reward of the charge. Also, you may not have enough units available to ensure a positive outcome against so many enemy units.
If your opponent has intersupported his interdictors to the extent that the above tactic is not feasible, then you have two options. The first is simple avoidance. If the enemy’s ranged damage interdictors are all in one place on the battlefield, they can’t be anywhere else on the battlefield. This option has the advantage of leaving hundreds of enemy points sitting useless on the battlefield, but has the drawback of not always being a workable solution due to terrain or army placement considerations. It also allows your opponent to dictate where on the battlefield your army will be fighting. Occasionally this is not an issue, but it is an insult to the High Elf general. After all, we are supposed to be the ones dictating the flow of battle.
The second option is to reduce the threat level of the enemy damage interdiction, either through damaging the interdictors yourself (using missile fire or magic attack) or making your units resistant to damage (magic protection or clever use of terrain). Concentrated Archer fire can almost always do significant damage to enemy shooters, and with a 30” range there is no reason to deploy within range of 24” range opponents, thereby getting first shot.
Heavy damage interdictors can be avoided, redirected (discussed above), or “stuck” by a unit capable of holding in the face of numerous mid-to-high strength attacks. To do this you need a stubborn unit from the High Elf list: White Lions or a magically enhanced unit (spell 3 high magic, “Courage of Aenarion”).
Using Your Damage Interdictors
The High Elves have access to some damage interdictors, although not on the scale of the Helblaster, Ratling Gun, or Chosen Chaos Knights. Massed Archers can perform interdiction duty (perhaps enhanced by “Curse of Arrow Attraction”) if they threaten enough damage to a target unit. However Archers struggle to cause enough damage on heavy cavalry units to deter them from moving through the Archers threat range. Our best damage interdictor is perhaps the Repeating Bolt Thrower and one of these backing the Archers will give some heavy cavalry units (mostly the 2+ save variety) second thoughts about entering the threat area.
Remember that your damage interdiction is subject to the very same countermeasures discussed above. You need to have some unit available for archer defense duties, if your opponent should decide to attack with multiple units. For the most part, however, High Elves are unable to limit the maneuver of high-speed enemy heavy units using damage interdiction (we can do it through misdirection, march interdiction, clever use of terrain, and/or diversion).
These principles are very important to your unit selections when creating your army. You need to know that you have the resources to deal with, say, a few Ratling Guns or Chosen Chaos Knights, should they show up on the other side of the table. When you look at your army list, you should be able to see how you will deal with the various threats. The plan does not have to revolve around destroying or even diverting a unit. There is no one right way of dealing with the enemy interdiction units, but you must have some way of dealing with those units. This way is provided for yourself during army selection.
Constructing an army list is the first thing a general will do in any battle. Unfortunately, many generals do not spend a great deal of time thinking about their unit choices before throwing them out onto the table. For High Elves, army composition is an opportunity to deal critically with the issues you will face on the battlefield. Games can easily be won or lost not only by what you bring to the table, but by failing to understand how what you did bring can be used to attack or defend in the various phases of the game.
For the complete source material contained in this post, see the "General's Tent" at Machiara's Website battleglade.com
Last edited by Vase; November 10th, 2008 at 17:50.
The Magic Items of Vaul's Forge
Authored by GingerNinja
Blade of Leaping Gold - It's the same as the old book, so +3 attacks. This weapon has gone down in my estimation now, as the Armour of the Gods is no longer included, and I don't think is legal anymore. Sure, 7 Ws7 attacks are great, but against higher-toughness/higher-armoured opponents, you will struggle. Horde killing is a specialty.
Bow of the Seafarer - Bolt Thrower. Pure and simple. Really good in combination with an Eagle mount or the Shadow Armour. Perfect for side attacks on heavily armoured targets.
Sword of Hoeth - Really good against those with high toughness and little armour, say Ogres. It won't help you against Dwarves or Chaos Lords as much, but auto-wounding is always nice. A little pricey for what it does.
Star Lance - Imrik reborn. This thing is nasty, although the +3 strength does kind of rule out the need for it to ignore armour saves, but still a nice functional lance.
Reaver Bow - A personal favourite of mine. Combine with a Noble on an Eagle with the Enchanted Shield and a lance for full effect. The ultimate sniper.
The White Sword - Swordmaster Honour by another name. Biggest advantage here is that you can get the +2 strength while combining it with armour. Could also be the new must for a BSB, striking first at strength 6 is a big thing for that character’s defence. This will see a lot of usage, at least from me, that is if the FAQ does what I expect it to do: remove the great weapon from the BSB entry.
Blade of Sea Gold - Always nice to ignore armour, but our low strength limits its usage. There are better weapons.
Foe Bane - Another multi-wound target beater. This is a personal favourite against Ogres. Trust me it works.
Armour of Protection – If you must have that 4+ ward, and can't get it any other way, then this is useful, but to be honest it isn't a great item.
Golden Shield – Not bad. Against our superior weapon skill on Nobles and Princes, WS3 troops would be hitting on a 6, but I still think there are better items for the cost.
Armour of the Stars – Useful if you are likely to suffer wounds, but not a great armour unless it is for fluff purposes.
Armour of Heroes – Great against low-leadership enemies. Challenge that Ogre/Skaven/Goblin and watch them fail their leadership and be unable to hit you.
Temakador’s Gauntlets - Brilliant against most armies, especially when you have a high armour save. Always to be considered on a mounted leader.
Shadow Armour - A character who is able to scout. Give him either the Reaver Bow or the Bow of the Seafarer and there you have a sniper.
Armour of Caledor – Basically the Armour of Meteoric Iron for Elves. Not to be underestimated, especially when combined with the Vambraces of Defence.
Helm of Fortune – Great item. Better armour and the reroll.
Dragonscale Shield - Combination item. Personally I wouldn't bother with this.
Mask of the Merlord – If you know the battlefield in advance, then this might see use, but points can be better spent on other items.
Vambraces of Defence - Great. Best Talisman we have, and possibly the best one any army has. Always to be considered.
Golden Crown of Atrazar – Good if you want a 4-wound leader, but I don't use it. There are better ways of protecting yourself.
Loremaster Cloak – Anti-magic cloak. Saves you from magic-heavy armies, but again, there are better ways of protecting yourself for less points.
Talisman of Saphery – No magical weapons work against you. Combination item of dreams for an Archmage coming up later.
Sacred Incense – Great for limiting how much shooting you take. Combine with the Shadow Armour and Reaver Bow for a nasty unit.
Guardian Phoenix – Standard 5+ ward save. Good solid item.
Amulet of Fire – Great to give a unit magic resistance. Useful for individuals as well if mounted on dragons.
Battle Banner - +D6 combat resolution. Place this on an important unit, and watch it win combat.
Banner of the World Dragon – Want that special unit to ignore magic? Place this banner in it, and it sure will.
Banner of Sorcery – +D3 power dice a turn. Yes please. Magic heavy armies will love this.
Standard of Balance – All enemies and friends in base-to-base combat lose psychological effects. Bye bye Frenzy, Stubborn, Hatred, Fear and Terror. Hello balance!!
Banner of Arcane Protection – Cheap magic resistance. Great.
Lion Standard – Immunity to fear and terror. Again, really useful.
Banner of Ellyrion – Any unit touting this treats all terrain as open ground. Hello cavalry charges from inside woods.
Book of Hoeth – This is a nasty little item. All your spells are Irresistible Force if they contain a double when you roll the correct amount!! This is good for magic-heavy, especially considering the amount of dice you can pump to an Archmage!!
The Vortex Shard – Critical that your troops make it to battle unimpeded by magic. End their magic phase right away. Very useful against Tomb Kings and VC's where that extra turn could mean you are in combat with their generals.
Annulian Crystal – Boosts your defence while limiting their attack. Brilliant.
Sigil of Asuryan – A dispel scroll with a 1/2 chance of removing that spell. Use it in low-point games to get rid of VC and TK raising.
Starwood Staff – Good staff. Great for improving your casting chances.
The Seerstaff of Saphery – The Seer Honour reincarnated.
The Trickster’s Pendant – You choose the miscast. That is just nasty!!
The Gem of Sunfire – Great for the new Dragon Mages. +2 for one turn only on Fire magic. If you just must have the Flaming Sword, this is a great way to go about it.
Ring of Corin – Want that magical item gone? This is a neat way of doing it, especially as it is one cast only, so you can make sure your enemy has no dispel dice left first.
Staff of Solidity – Immunity to the first miscast. Very useful if you have the points.
Jewel of the Dusk – +1 dice to the pool. Very nice.
Sliver Wand – The bearer knows one more spell, again, very useful to ensure you have the best spell selections.
Null Stone – If you want to completely nullify the magic of your enemy at close range, then this is the item for you. I personally think it is a bit useless, and very expensive.
Healing Potion – Great if you have one wound left, rubbish if you are hit by Killing Blow!! I wouldn't use it.
Radiant Gem of Hoeth – This is ok, but with the inclusion of the Dragon Mage, I think it is no longer really needed.
Folariath’s Robe – For giving up the right to attack, complete protection from all mundane attacks yourself. This is a mages dream. Nasty combination ahoy.
Ring of Fury – Only bound level 3, but now never runs out. Very useful to bolster the magic phase.
Cloak of Beards – Anti-rune item ahoy. They may hate you, but they also fear you, and that weapon they spent so many points on, no longer works. This is great.
Pendant of Vengeance – If you know they are taking an Anvil, take this.
Dragonhorn – Great against fear causers in the round before combat. Wouldn't take it if you are fighting Dark Elves.
The Skeinsliver – Helps us get the first turn. You should have this in your army, simple as that!!!
The Amulet of Light – For the points, probably the best item in the new list. I would suggest using it on a unit that will be fighting a lot.
The Gem of Courage – One-use cold-blooded rule. Stick it in if you have the spare points on a unit champ.
Talisman of Loec – Great for challenges. You will be striking first, so why not make sure they are dead!!
Lore of Shadows
Authored by happy_doctor
“Don’t believe the delusional ravings of the others. True power lies not in the ability to set someone ablaze. And death is not the thing we must fear most in this world. True power is subtle, my apprentice, and it lies hidden in the darkness of the shadows, along with things that will show you the true meaning of fear. Of course, you need not even fear the things that lurk unseen if you are one of them…”
(This lore can be used by Empire, Lizardmen, High Elves, Beasts of Chaos, Hordes of Chaos, Chaos Dwarfs, Dark Elves, Dogs of War)
The Lore of Shadows is the jack-of-all-trades lore (and master of all, some will argue!) in Warhammer magic. Available to a variety of armies-regardless of alignment- its main aspect is movement and damage, with some elements of disruption. A difficult -yet popular- lore, as all of its spells either have a high casting cost, or require great skill to use in an effective manner.
1) Steed of Shadows (5+)
The basic spell of the lore in question is a tricky one, enabling one of your US1 characters to make an extra flying move. While this ability is nice, more often than not players are reluctant to send one of their precious (and fragile) characters flying into the thick of the battle. So, how can we get the most out of it? First of all, it enables you to fly a character out of combat; use it to evade combats with your expensive yet squishy wizards, or to protect characters fighting in doomed combats (victory point denial/live to fight another day). Relocation of characters can also be achieved by means of the magical steed (fly your general/ BSB where he is most needed, relocate wizards so that their spells are in range), while using it on a cheap combat character in the beginning of the game can serve many purposes: march-blocking, warmachine hunting (even a lowly empire general can handle cannon crews by himself), mage hunting or elimination of scouts (although not if they are hiding inside a forest…). The casting cost is low as expected, but given the importance of the afore-mentioned moves, it would be wise to either wait until your opponent has expended all of his dispel dice before casting it, or use 3 dice to cast, ensuring a high casting roll.
2) Creeping Death (6+)
Every time I cast this spell, I can’t help but notice how under priced it is! At 6+, you get the ultimate cavalry-killer! 3D6 s1 hits may seem harmless, but any 6’s you roll can kill chaos knights as easily as they can kill common goblins! Correct targeting is vital to this spell. Use it to draw dispel dice by menacing expensive, high-armored units with a low-model count (Knights and elite infantry, or even fast cavalry). Obviously, it’s not efficient against massed infantry, or large monsters. Finally, all characters with a toughness of 4 or less are excellent targets for this seemingly harmless spell. Should you roll this spell with your low-level wizards, keep it! It takes only one good casting for the wizard to make his points back…. Bonus: 2 dice are almost enough to make your opponent search his army list for any dispel scrolls he has left over…
3) Crown of Taidron (7+)
A hugely circumstantial spell, dealing damage to units (friend or foe) within a 12” radius. There are some times when taking some damage is a price you’ll gladly pay in order to get rid of a skirmishing unit march-blocking you or a fast-cavalry unit ready to charge you in the flank. For these instances, crown of taidron is what you need! Whenever you make use of it, estimate what will the impact of the spell be on both sides, and judge whether it’s worth the risk. Besides the use mentioned before, it can be used in conjunction to the steed of shadows; fly your wizard behind enemy lines, then cast it in order to deal damage to a large number of units and warmachines (suicidal, but it might be worth it!). Finally, it’s one of the few spells that can harm units locked in close combat. Use it carefully to strip enemy units from a point or two of rank bonus, and tip the balance to your side!
4) Shades of Death (9+)
A battle-winner, when used correctly! This spell gives fear to a unit, even if it’s locked in Close Combat. Exploit the fact that the spell’s effects will take place long before your opponent can attempt to dispel it again! Cast it into combat, on an outnumbering unit about to win the combat marginally, and watch the foes auto-break due to magic-induced fear! Moreover, it can help you avoid impending charges (as the chargers will have to pass a fear test first) or rescue your units from annihilation form the zombie horde that outnumbers them 3:1!! Plus, if your army already includes a fear-causing unit, you can augment its capabilities by making it terror causing. Again, careful planning is the key; march that lone spawn or salamander straight into the enemy’s battle line and cast “shades” on it. At the beginning of the turn, he’ll have to take 3 or 4 Terror tests before he can even begin dealing with the unit! Overall, a spell which comes into its own during the last turns of the game. Just remember that you’ll need at least 3 casting dice to ensure a success.
5) Unseen Lurker (11+)
Arguably the best spell of the 8 lores of magic! Extra movement in a game where movement dictates the winner is a safe bet! Common uses are flank charges with cavalry or flying monsters, warmachine hunting and charging fleeing enemies (either to make them flee out of the table or destroy them.) Another use is avoiding stand and shoot fire with fast cavalry: move the fast cavalry very close to the missile unit and then charge them with magic! Frankly, this is a spell with countless uses, depending on the situation… Tactically speaking it is a great asset, and an easy one to use as well! Its only drawback is the reasonably high casting cost. It is better suited for lord-level mages, who can use 4+ dice to cast it. Whether you play lizardmen or chaos dwarves, it matters not; this spell is a keeper!
6) Pit of Shades (12+)
Also known as the “slann-killer”. A truly devastating spell, especially against low- initiative troops such as dwarves, lizardmen, treemen (their initiative of 2 means that a roll of 3+ will make the annoying walking oak disappear!!), slann, orcs, undead (both Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts ),etc. This spell has the ability to ignore all kinds of saves and protective rules, and kills outright regardless of wounds! The spell most likely to draw dispel scrolls early in the game, it can net you many hundreds worth of victory points in a single magic phase, eventually winning you the battle. Again, casting cost is a major drawback, but the potential is great! Dirty trick: Warmachines haven’t got an initiative value, and are thus immediately destroyed by the pit. Casket of souls and the Anvil of doom are not viable targets (due to their special rules taking precedence). Fortunately enough, their crew has an initiative value of 2, and killing them will neutralize these threats as well!
To sum things up, the Lore of Shadows is one of the most destructive and rightfully feared lores out there. It can win you battles, provided you choose the right targets for it and you spend the points to make your magic phase strong enough to support these hard-to-cast spells.
Last edited by Vase; November 13th, 2008 at 22:13.
Lore of Life
Authored by happy_doctor
“Some wizards might look down upon our lore, since its effects are not as flashy or downright destructive as those of the Arts they practice. Yet do not let that fool you into thinking we are weak. We simply…look beyond the limited scope of the battlefield. Rains will fall long after the hottest fires have died out, the stone of the mountain can withstand even the strongest assaults, and the roots and the soil will swallow what remains of even the fiercest battles. After death has dealt its hand, in the end it is life that begins the game anew. Ours is the lore that endures and, in the end, so will we.”
(This lore can be used by Brettonians, Lizardmen, High Elves, Empire, Wood Elf spellweavers, Dogs of War)
The Lore of Life is a lore that specializes in the disruption of enemy tactics and the use of terrain in order to cause damage. The spells are easy to cast (with casting values ranging from 4 to 10 ), making it a nice choice for low-level wizards. Although not a game-winning lore on its own (damage-wise), it can be used with devastating effects, relying less on luck and more on carefully-planned tactics.
1) Mistress of the Marsh (4+)
The basic spell of this lore is a great asset: It can effectively cancel the charge of enemy cavalry, hinder the maneuvers of the enemy's battle line, or even allow you to pursue and destroy fleeing enemies with ease. Even though water features aren't that common in warhammer tabletops, don't let the spell's range mislead you, 12" are more than enough for your wizards to cast the spell and remain in relative safety! With a casting cost of 4+, you'll need no more than 2 dice to cast it successfully. Even your lowly 1st level wizard can cast it! (And leave the enemy helpless before your blocks of infantry)
2) Master of Wood (6+)
A magic missile with almost unlimited range in most warhammer battlefields. All you need is LOS and relative proximity of the target to a wooded area. The bane of scouts and warmachines hiding inside the forest. (Even wood elves should be wary!) Again, the casting cost is significantly low and the S5 hits when inside the forest aren’t something your opponent would like to ignore.
3) Gift of Life (7+)
The "healing potion" of the warhammer world! So, your dragon has only one wound left after acting as a fire-magnet for the last round of enemy shooting. Or your wounded general isn't sure he can make it against the Vampire Lord who has challenged him...Don't worry! All you have to do is cast this spell (even in combat, no LOS required), and hope your opponent won't dispel it. Very useful in lizardmen armies (where most things have multiple wounds), as well as in high elf and wood elf armies. At 7+ to cast, it’s a steal!
4) The Howler Wind (7+)
The second disruptive spell so far, it's used to create a missile-free globe versus rank-n-file shooting. Priceless when facing gunlines with your frail, T3 elves or your costly saurus warriors. What’s more, it can protect your heavy cavalry from those cursed armour-piercing handguns, ratling guns, leadbelcher cannons and more. Very situational, but still quite effective when used correctly. Bear in mind that most missile troops have limited range and thus can be completely negated if you deny them a 12" radius of targets. The drawback of this spell is the "remains in play" status, which means that the opposing player will have another chance at dispelling it before he can shoot. Still, if you cast more than one RiP, he'll have to chose between the two (or forego his magic phase completely). Who knows, maybe he'll fumble his dispel rolls!
5) The Rain Lord (8+)
Consider the rain lord complementary to the above; its effects are permanent, it can affect high-strength warmachines and is most useful against gunpowder weapons. With a bit of luck, a life mage can disable an artillery battery (and protect your expensive units) in 2 turns. The casting cost, however, is not easily attainable with 2 power dice (8+, that is), so level 1 casters might have a problem there. A very nice combination is soaking a unit of blackpowder missile troops, and then proceeding to either charge them with your cavalry(you shouldn't fear "stand and shoot" anymore), or harass them with your skirmishers at close range(they'll be hitting you at a -3 penalty..Evil!). All in all, a useful spell which will save your troops while dooming your enemy!
6) Master of Stone (10+)
Another magic missile benefiting from the presence of hills and rocky features on the tabletop and with even better strength as well! It's fairly cheap (the cheapest of all 6th level spells overall), it's usually in range from turn 1 and can menace both heavily armoured tagets (cavalry, heavy infantry, monsters) and warmachines or missile troops standing on hills. Although not a disruptive spell per se, it will definitely affect your opponent's deployment (especially if you have come up with more than 1) and give you the edge, tactically speaking. Not as game-breaking as a Comet of Cassandora, but very useful none the less!
Overall, the Lore of Life will help protect your troops as they march towards the enemy, punish careless placement of troops from your opponent and enable you to get the charge off when you reach there-even against monsters and cavalry.