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'Ard Boys Semi Finals are this weekend. I'll be taking my high elves along again. I've modified my list a bit to help out with the 3 scenarios that will be faced (check out GW site for more info). Here's what I was thinking of brining. Comments welcomed:
Teclis (Probably life)
Noble w/ BSB, GW, Armor of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix
Mage w/ Folaith Robes (High or shadow)
30x Spears full command
30x Spears full command
18x Swordmasters full command w/ Banner of eternal flame
18x White lions full command w/ banner of sorcery, Gem of courage
30x White lions full command w/ Standard of dicipline, other tricksters shard
All characters (save the lvl1 mage) go in with small unit of lions (5*4), forcing Teclis into the second rank and keeping him safe. Caradryan goes right in front of teclis, and does a pretty good job of blocking true line of sight, so even snipers shouldn't be able to get him most of the time. The swordmasters can fill the same role if needed, like if the lions wake up on the wrong side of the field (see scenarios).
Low mage is designed specifically for the second game. The crazed fanatic is going to be almost as important as actually winninng the battle, so capturing it is a must. 2d6 S6 hits on any T3 elf unit is going to hurt, save for phoenix guard, but i'm not bringing an entire regiment for this one purpose. The mage, being immune to non magic attacks, will leave the unit and capture the fanatic on his own if the oppertunity presents itself. the hits are not magical, so the mage is immune. I just have to pass a strength test, so it'll be 50%, but i'll take zero casualties. Might make the low mage beasts just for the +1 S/T spell. Only problem with that, is that I'd have to cast the spell two moves before I captured the fanatic (i cast in my magic phase, fanatic moves randomly in opponents movement phase, then randomly in my movement phase, and THEN i'd have to hope i was within range). The ideal situation, however, would be simply popping flesh to stone on one of the lion units and taking it that way. S4 on the lions would really help.
I'm debating on removing the guardian phoenix from the BSB. that unit will not be in combat without buffs from Teclis anyway, so i'm thinking I don't need the 5++, since it'll pretty much always have 5+ regen (excapt against flaming, but he's "immune" to fire anyway). Thoughts?
I know I don't have any RBT. they didn't do well last time around, and they're worth too many victory points in game 1. Not worth the risk. The eagles will likely be staying back the whole time in game one, unless I can get something to chase them.
Horde formation of lions. Thought it sounded sexy. Been having this inner struggle over whether to take lions or sword masters though. Swords would probably kill more, but lions will kill more reliably. they'll also last longer (vs shooting, dwellers, etc). all my play tests show that either unit can hold its own against even tripple boosted chosen. tested agaisnt sword/shield tzeench chosen with +1A, +1T, and 4++ stubborn. that gave them a 3+ and 3++. That will be my biggest threat. Even khorn chosen don't compare (more attacks, but changing that 3++ back to 4++ really does a number on thier survival). I'm confident I can handle anything thrown at me with that unit. If i switch to swords I'd lose the magic banner, but would likely replace it with something.
Sorry for the long post, but it is slightly less conventionall than most lists (horde of elite, no RBT, single purpose mage) and I felt it deserved some explanation.
Key things i'd like to hear back on:
Guardian Phoenix: yes or no?
Horde: Lions or swords?
Mage: worth it for the win? or just go with a beefed lion unit? what would i use the extra points on if scrapped?
1) The Guardian Phoenix. I would keep it. Theres always a chance that somehow you dont get the buffs through, or more likely someone is smart enough to take an item that gets rid off all remain in play spells just when a deathstar unit plans to charge you. Its always nice to have a backup. Was going to say dont put him next to the WL champion with "The Other Tricksters Shard", but its a differernt unit.
2) I would keep with WL at the moment. The fact that they have a better save against shooting is going to most likely have opponents with shooting direct thier attacks against easier targgets like the Spearmen or archers in search for some easy points. Being S6 even though you get 1 less attack per model will help chew through those elites aswell. Too many times i have seen amazing armour save rolls against modifiers which arent quite good enough.
3) Robe is good if its the one im thinking of. Dont forget you could also use him to issue challenges against opponents with none magical weapons to take them out of the fray. (Though how often you will come across a character without magic weapons in combat is arguable, a Chaos Warrior Champion maybe).
The List seems solid enough, i would just worry a bit about template weapons from war machines, got any plans for those?
I have never had much luck with eagles, especialy since 8th ed. How do you intend to use them?
Hope this helps,
Lucky for me, earthblood and flesh to stone are augments, not remains in play. So even if i do run across that kind of a deathstar unit (that makes it past my horde for that matter), my buffs will still be fine. And with teclis, theres about 85%+ (guessing, so please no number nazis) of IR. But i haven't made a solid decision yet, so the guardian phoenix still in for now.
I'm glad to hear that someone has the same opinion as i do on the lions. Swords might have more attacks, but that extra AS punch really makes the difference. Again, swords will cause more wounds, but lions cause more casualties.
Robes mage will be carefull about when he challanges. But, since it's an open list tournament, I'd be more than happy accepting a challange from someone without a magic weapon. actually, since i'll know before hand everything in the unit, i guess i could (potentially) force a character to the back/make him waste his attacks. Thanks for the tip, i probably would have never thought about that unitl it was too late.
Eagles are just too valueable to me, so they've got to stay. if someone pulls a frenzied unit, who better than a 50 point flyer to get in the way? All they have to do is pass a LD test and move out of the way, but they're wasting movement going around it, so still worth it. Plus, its the fastest/cheapest way to mess up war machines. Even if it can't take them out, like dwarfs with thier T4 and 3-4 wounds, it still keeps them from fireing. Another good stategy that i like to use is placing my eagles as some of the first units i put on the table. this forces my opponent to place his main units first, and i can them place my guys accordingly. i've got 2 units and 100 points on the table, he's got 2-3 units and close to 1000 points. Its another nice advantage.
Templates, my only option is to just pray. main targets will be spears (oh well really... regrowth if casualties get too big) and horde of lions. Lions have 3+ vs shooting, so not too many worries there. Magic templates, admitedly a bit more difficult to counter, but thats why i have flesh to stone. If its a strength X weapon, having T5 of T7 will limit my casualties. and if its a characteristic test, that unit will be fine anyway (best Strength test possible, LD9, no worse toughness than any other elf). Then there's also simply dispelling magic templates. extra D3 dispell dice and +1 to dispell makes a big difference really fast.
Although a RBT would be useful, you seem to know what your going to dowith your eagles, in which case swapping them out for a RBT isnt going to be worth while.
Didn't realise the spell were augments, im still getting used to the new spell types so ignorewhat i said about it.
Glad that for now your sticking with the WLs. Letsnot forget the second/extra ranks would still only get to make 1 attack regardless of there profile, its just going to be the +1WS and +1I that would make much of a differance, but i would say that easily countered with the fact you are likely to get more WLs to your enemy units intact and that extra +1S is going to help deal with monsters and high armour targets, things that you may otherwise want RBT to handle.
I appologize for the double post, but people seem to like hearing after action reports, so i figured I'd do that here:
I took 3rd place and qualified for the finals. Prize was a free battalion box, so that was cool. Did make a few changes to the list above before i set out though. The single purpose mage was scrapped in favor of a noble with reaver bow, and the guardian phoenix was dropped in favor of the skeinsliver. I don't normally take the skeinsliver, but i started to get really worried about someone else casting dwellers on my teclis unit on turn 1, so i figured i had to do everything i could to make sure I got the first turn, and dwellers THIER mage first.
Round 1 was against an empire gunline. There were two empire gunlines at the tournament, I got to face the smaller one. He only had 12 war machines. The other guy had 18 from what I'm told. Can't even imagine that.... I massacred the empire player, but he did manage to kill teclis. He took all his warmachines and just whittled the unit down until teclis couldn't benifit from a look out sir, then cannon sniped him. Brilliant strategy on his part. It did, however, mean that the rest of my army made it to his lines virtually unmolested. the mortars and rockets did a number on my spearmen units afterwards, but both spears finally hit his main artillary bunkers. His general on war alter, along with a horde of halbards and its detachment of halbards, kept bouncing off my lion horde. I charged his horde, and his detachment countercharged. Beat the crap out of the horde and it ran, but i could only attack the detachment with 3 guys, so they remained steadfast and stuck around. I reformed to face them. His war alter charges me in the rear, and his horde (whats left of it) rallies. I beat the crap out of the detachment and it runs away, but the alter is unbreakable. I reform to face the alter. My round of combat I kill the character, but can't punch the ward save enough to kill the alter (especially not with him healing it with lore of life). His turn, his horde re-engages my horde. It runs away again, but the stupid alter is still alive. I'm finally able to get my smaller unit of lions out of his warmachines and into the rear of his alter. Combat res doesn't mean anything to unbreakable, but an extra 9 attacks does. it finally dies. At the end of the round, all he had left was a cannon and a wounded wizard (that somehow survived TWO dwellers attempts!!). He had long since lost the game, and was just fishing for points, and couldn't get much. Both eagle went down, but he then started to cannon snipe lone models. I had 1 archer left, and he used a cannon to take it out. My spears units were 5 strong and 1 strong, so no points there. Swordmasters (teclis bunker that got RAPED by mortar fire) was down to 1 as well. But if that one guy is alive, no points. He coulnd't snipe enough. End result: Massacre and I'm tied for first.
Round 2 wa against demons. Some special character greater demon that knew like 20 spells and had +6 to cast all of them. The scenario was dawn attack, where each unit gets up and "stumbles" to a random part of the deployment zone. his deployment looked nice. Most of his guys got to set up in the middle. All but 2 of my guys had to set up in the leftmost 18 inches, behind a building, and a big hill. It took me FOREVER to get out of that. I had two units (at different times of coarse) jump in the building, just to get out of it, because there was no way to get around everyone else in that cramped corner. Two main highlights for this game. First was getting an eagle into his special character caster person. Its a mage, not a combat beast. WS1, I1, 1 attack. So I throw the eagle into him just hoping to tie him up unitl i can get an actual unit in there. Keep him from casting offensive magic, keep him stationary. it worked. The eagle held him for a full 3 turns (6+ rounds of combat) before finally biting the dust, but not before my horde of lions finally made it up there, and forced him to reroll his ward saves via other tricksters shard and killed him. Second highlight (which actually happened about the same time) was taking out his 50 strong horde of plauge bearers with two heralds and skulltaker. teclis's small lions and the flaming banner swords tried to dual charge, but the swords decided they didn't want to roll high enough, even when they only needed a FREAKING FOUR! so teclis charges head long into a losing fight. That was fun to watch. Used all my magic to keep that unit alive, and by the time combat came around it was a unit of T7 elves with +4 regen, 8 lions and 3 characters relentlessly pounding on his guys. no real damage at first, he did have 4+ regen and there are 50 of them. my next charge i get the swords in there and thats where the damage started. doubling my attakcs, and lowering his save, i popped the unit in two more rounds with minimal losses. Having a unit of spears nail him in the flank the same turn helped. they didn't kill much, but it was still +2 CR, and it negated his 2 ranks. So an extra +4 essentially, and with the whole unstable thing, meant an extra 4ish guys dead each round. Once the swords got in i switched my spells. Gave teclis's unit T7, and the swords regen. Beef both units, and neither one took many losses. Excpet teclis himself. caradyan sacrificed himself to take out skulltaker, which forced teclis into the front row. and since i moved regen over to the sword masters, poison got teclis when he wasn't expecting it. Somwhere near the end of it all he charged a horde of pink horrors into the fray by charging the spears in the front. So once the plauge bearers popped, i've got two units looking right at his flank. The lions, actually, were determined to be in his rear. My charge, and his unit dies. But really, what unit could really survive too long with spears in the front, swords in the flank, and lions in the rear? It was game over. Ending result: Massacre for me, still tied for 1st place.
There are three of us at this point with tied scores. Me, a deamon leadership bomb, and a double slaan lizardman player. funny part was, none of us wanted to play each other. i didn't want of face leadership bomb or 125 T4 S4 saruases with 2 slaans. deamons didn't want to face two slaans, lizardmen didnt want to face leadership bomb (sure they get the extra die but they don't have high leadership) and nobody wanted to face teclis (even though there were 4 of us at the tournament with Teclis, me being the only one to place in the top 7). So we all had a giant laugh about that durring the break between round 2 and 3. Final seeds showed me against the demons, and the lizarman player against the same empire gunline i faced in round 1.
Round 3. Deamon leadership bomb. I hate this guy. Really, he's a nice guy, and a great player, but it always comes down to me and him. The first tournament I went to, it was him and me in the lead, and he kicked the crap out of me. Went from 1st to 3rd. Prelims, it was him and me tied for first, he kicked the crap out me and i went from 1st to 3rd. semifinals, its him and me, and he .... .... kicks the crap out of me. pushing me from 1st, to 3rd. Moral of the story, even high LD elves that are stubborn, can't pass leadership tests at -5. His army didn't need to win by much, he just needed to win combat by 1. now you're testing at minus 3-5 LD to stick around. you fail, obviously, and run. He catches you, wash rinse repeat. He had a special character that automatically causes a unit to be -D3 LD. its not a spell so you can't dispell it, it just happens. Then he uses a banner that makes all enemies within 12" be at -2 LD. his characters, that are spouting off all this crap, have some gift that says you can't attack them unless you pass a leadership test. oh... and he causes fear too. so you have to pass a test at -5 to see if you can even attack him, pass another at -5 to see if you're afraid, and even if you get through all that, he's got a 4++ save. you can't kill him, he gets 2 kills and he wins by 1. you're already -5 LD, and you just lost by 1. My lions were Stubborn 9. but Stubborn 3 aint worth JACK! so I ran. and he ended up with a minor victory. I killed some core units, and a good size unit of seekers. all i had left was my sword masters, who carried the BSB and caradryan (teclis was there too, but got snipped by an irresistable death spell and poofed). End result: Minor loss, moved to 3rd place.
all in all it was a great tournament. Lizardman player got a major victory over his opponent, which beat the minor victory my opponent got. Since we were all tied to start, we instantly knew the top three would be lizardmen, deamons, high elves. good stuff though. some of the best games I've played. very intense. I thought i had that deamon army this time, and it was really looking my way. But thats just because he was focusing on my spears and archers and such instead of my elites (worth more bonus points at the time). then he turned on me and i just poofed. out of the total 9600 or so victory points possible (3000 from each army, 100 for each general, 100 for each BSB, and an extra however many for captured standards) I had 8400. not bad for my first 'ard boys. Still haven't decided if its going to be worth the 6+ hour trip to go to finals, but i've got a while to decide. If i do decide to go, I'll definitly come here and ask advice on the list, and post after action for those interested. Thanks again folks.