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I'm pretty confident in saying that the big thing we're lacking as Chaos players is access to nippy skirmish-type models and nifty shooty-type models.
Now, these boys cost even more per model than Chosen, but I reckon that, in a large enough battle - probably around 2,250 and upwards, there's no better way to über-balance a Chaos army than employing Mengil Manhide's Manflayers.
They're better at shooting than most models that can do shooting, which in itself makes them valuable - more so to Chaos than perhaps any other army - plus they're absurdly hard to damage, can set up as scouts and have a handily large movement, being elves.
I reckon, set these bad boys up in your opponent's deployment zone with access to his war machines or units of shooters and watch the mayhem start. In your first turn, if you're careful, you can persuade his shooters that they may want to point away from your main force, you can stop at least one unit of his main force from marching towards you and you can take out a war machine.
Even assuming he is kind enough to turn his shooters towards you and have a go, you can ensure that even an elf (BS4, unmodified hit roll of 3+) has trouble hitting you: -1 for moving; -1 for shooting at skirmishers; and - depending on whether you want to shoot at the shooting unit or at something else, like a war machine - a further -1 or -2 because of Mengil's banner, with an easily arrangeable -1 for long-range. Repeater crossbows can't hit you with multiple shots. If your opponent is lucky with his shooting, he'll be able to hit you on a 6+ with single shots. You can then return fire with a 4+ to hit using repeater crossbows, coupled with Mengil himself firing off a salvo of three bolts hitting on a 2+. Oh, yeah - and your attacks are poisonous. You'd destroy everything that your opponent wanted hidden, safe, behind his harder troops. And, with that done you can focus on bringing your harder troops across the battlefield to engage his units which, all the while, are peppered from behind by an unerring hail of lethal crossbow bolts.
What are people's thoughts about engaging Mengil to fight with a Chaos army and - as I genuinely believe - completely balance, if not over-power your force...?
Last edited by el_don; October 13th, 2008 at 23:33. Reason: Typo
Indeed, I think that this is a superb idea for a WAAC tournament that allows it. For anything else, I think players will call cheese, and call it as loud as they can. While it might not even make you as tough as some demon or VC lists, it is very clearly a combo which will erase a lot of the Mortals' weaknesses.
This is an issue because we are meant to be very rough in CC in exchange for losing that flexibility, so if we get both... yes, cries of cheese. I would love to employ this, in fact, I just wish we had a unit of skirmishers (wtf happened with Forsaken GW?) which weren't even close to this power. I would consider doing this combo, but I would expect that shortly after I got them, built them, painted them up, and put them on the table, not too many would want to play against that list anymore.
Valid points. But is it that cheesy? He's a frikkin' Khaine-following, victim-flaying blood thirsty renegade Dark Elf, wandering the world - Chaos wastelands included - looking for opportunities to kill people and skin them. Now, I can understand someone calling cheese if, for example, he was to line up in a High Elf army. That doesn't work. But for an army of Chaos - particularly an army of Chaos dedicated to Khorne - I don't see any problem at all fluff-wise.
Also, there's the fact that these guys are even more expensive per model than Chosen. Seriously - if your opponent is going to cry 'cheese' at you fielding these guys, I'd aim for taking another unit of absurdly-hard-hitting, impossible-to-kill, steel-armour-plated, roll-on-the-'give-me-a-stat-bonus'-table, march-across-the-playing-field-and-drive-a-sword-through-your-head Chosen, just to show that, ok, sure, those Manflayers are nasty - but they're not really much worse than the alternative. It just means more variety in your playing style, which surely is a good thing both for you as a player and for your opponents, as games become more interesting and tactics have to change radically to cover new troop-types.
This whole 'crying cheese' thing severely gets my goat (I kinda want to say "p*sses me off", but I'm not quite clear on the forum stance on language?). I read something in one of the threads that I kinda agree with - there are two kinds of players who have no problems with 'cheese': the WAAC player and the totally casual, I-play-for-the-love-of-playing player. Someone who is WAAC can never call cheese because they do it themselves. And the totally casual player can't call cheese - or, rather, wouldn't call cheese because they don't care if they win or lose. If you've seen my army fluff and army list, you'll see I fit quite happily into that category. The people who call cheese are some group of bizarre middle-grounders who pretend they're into WHFB for the social element and don't mind if they lose, but in actual fact can't stand when someone does something they didn't expect or don't know how to counter. These people should work out why they're playing: either they're playing to win, in which case they cannot call "cheese" without being utterly hypocritical, or they're playing for the fun social side and the story of the battle, in which case they should just shut up and enjoy the twist to their expected tactics.
Just my two cents.
I totally and completely agree that that is how people should react.
Did the point get across clearly enough there? We don't live in an ideal world, and many people are unhappy about cheesy armies. By cheese I don't necessarily mean something that people use to their advantage even though it is unfluffy... I could care less about that portion. The thing is, this really rounds off the biggest fault of the Warriors of Chaos army.
The idea is that other people will be upset at an army that has a really strong CC game, and yet doesn't have to face it's own weakness. With this, you start to take away the flavor of the army, what you are forced to deal with in trade for what you use to crush people. For example, what if you gave skaven a really elite stubborn or unbreakable unit like blackguard? Or what if you gave wood elves some cheap throw away infantry? Or Brettonia some Ogre style hard hitting tough flankers? What you are really doing is falling down the slippery slope of giving armies complete well-roundedness rather than strengths and weaknesses. This turns into Warhammer Fantasy battle 12th edition - now with one perfectly balanced army! Sure nobody can complain about their weaknesses, but where is the fun in everyone playing with the same set of rules.
Okay, that's enough of the ranting. I'm really just playing devil's advocate here, and letting you know how I THINK it would go over. That said, I would be perfectly fine with letting you play this way, and it is a really great combo. It does really fill that one space we need to round off our weakness.
Alrighty, I understand. Excepting to say that my understanding of the Dogs of War lists essentially is that a Skaven army could field an elite stubborn unit (such as one of the Dwarf Slayer units), or Wood Elves could get some cheap throw-away infantry (such as the multitude of pikemen units). Brettonia can't be given Ogre-style hard hitting flankers because the Brettonians cannot use Dogs of War, because it's unfluffy. So, in fact, GW have even considered the fluff when they decided to use the Dogs of War.
It seems to me kind of like if you played against a High Elf army composed entirely of spearmen and archers, except your army had - as well as your required core - knights, ogres and a warshrine, for example. And you get your models out and put them on the table and your opponent says 'oh, that's cheesey. I haven't used any special or rare units. Why did you? It's just unfair. Those models are just too powerful. Core units are obviously designed to not be powerful, so why would you go against that and use specials and rares?'
Because, you know, there's really very little difference. GW have created the Dogs of War lists precisely to allow people to take them. Now, if I was fielding a unit of repeater crossbow troops with BS10 who ignored penalties to hit after moving and had a -8 to hit them in both combat and from shooting plus a 2+ ward save and every model cost 2 points, my opponent could call cheesy - because I'd made the unit up, in this case. If I decided to field a unit of Wood Elf archers in my Chaos army because I fancy the added firepower to my shooting round, my opponent could call cheesy - because I'd be taking units that GW had invented but specifically said I wasn't allowed to use. But for me to pay through the nose (remember - every one of these models costs more than our most expensive infantry) for what is a very limited number of troops (an absolute maximum of 15 troops, and that sets you back by 458 points) which GW have designed and told me specifically that I'm allowed to use in my army can hardly be called cheesy.
Again, it comes down to that middle-ground groups of people who care about losing and are just angry that they didn't think of it first.
Now, from what I read of your post, I think we actually agree with each other. So we're kinda just banging heads together. I guess what I need to do, rather than spouting off, is to hush a little, read what you've said and use your greater experience in the game to my advantage. So, I'll pop into my GW and ask the guys there what they reckon. Given it's them I'm going to be playing, I figure I should ask them what they think.
And, as I said earlier, I'm not a powergamer. I do like to know how to powergame so I can do it if I have to, but for the most part I count myself in that bracket of people who genuinely don't care what the result is, so long as I get to have some laughs with the bloke on the other side of the table.
My main reasoning for liking the Manflayers is that I think they provide an extra level to the tactical side of playing with and playing against Chaos. And, as I say, if my Skaven or Wood Elf opponents want to use the Dogs of War lists to supplement their armies, they're very welcome to.
Well said. To reinforce just once more, I do really agree that there shouldn't be an issue with you fielding those. My main concern is that although GW says that you can use that, they said that back when Warriors of Chaos were Hordes of Chaos ("big" difference). The point being that the army has changed since then.
This wouldn't be an issue, considering the RAW directly say that you CAN use them, except for the fact that GW is pretty notorious for leaving those unfilled gaps, so lots of people would say they're not meant to be used anymore. I haven't really spent much time on the tourney scene, but, to my knowledge, I don't think too many would allow that (I could be wrong).
Also, while the unit is expensive, that is a shaky argument at best. Yes, you are paying quite a bit for them, but I think that what you're getting, which is an amazing unit, not even discussing the huge amounts of flexibility, is worth far more than what you're paying. I think that a Warriors army with menghil's will generally do better than one without. It is worth more than all those points, because all those points couldn't have been spent on anything that would fill the same role. Yes, you could have bought a unit of chosen, and those chosen can do their jobs, but what good are they at quickly disabling expensive warmachines, or causing havoc from behind enemy lines?
Going into your LGS and talking it out is definitely the best option. If they allow it, I think it is a great idea. That being said, the topic may change from player to player, so you should probably discuss it with those you might play with ahead of time. Take 2 lists with you, one with menghil's, one without. Even better, don't use them right away, but whenever you are playing a game with someone, ask if they would be alright with that, and then next time you play them, you can bring them.
You sound like an increasingly thouroughly decent bloke. And you're right. And I agree.
I recently played a few games with my Ogre Kingdoms army including Mengil. I completely agree that although you are paying out the nose for them, in the right armies, it's well worth it. What I got out of the deal was a unit of nasty (and I do mean nasty) scouting skirmishers who generally ate (and I do mean ate) my opponents game plan as a light snack.
While solo wizards and war machines were being shot to pieces, units of missile troops were being slapped silly on the charge, and large blocks of were infantry slowed down behind the rest of the force, my primarily cc-based horde charged in and chose their own battles and generally devoured whoever they encounter. Mengil and Co. cover most of my armies weaknesses and, at the very least, made for an interesting game on both sides. Outside of more CC based armies, however, I don't know if they'd be so worth their points.
I definitely noticed the type of players you all were speaking about in doing so. The guys who are just in it for wins complained because, well, they weren't so sure they were going to win anymore. The guys who just love a good game seemed to enjoy the twist. I myself just wanted to mix it up a little since it's still going to be a little while before OK pick up some much needed variety.
And when an opponent complained about it not being 'fluffy'? I got to inform him that Mengil and the Ogres are basically soulmates - Mercenaries that really just want to slay and then eat anyone that gets in their way.
Let me know if and how it works out for you with WoC!
I tend not to use skirmishers as I have yet to use them effectivly.
If a Million Guardsmen die, that's a statistic. If one marine dies, that's a tragedy.
As things stand, I currently have one unit of painted Marauders, an undercoated Hero and a second unit of not-even-constructed-yet Marauders. It'll be a little while before I have a suitable army to which I can add Mengil. But, when it happens, I'll let you know and let you know how it goes.