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how do you deal with super magic armies? With the advent of new and improved Vampire Counts, High Elves and even now Dark Elves (among others) there seems to be an emphasis on improved or more deadly magic phases. One of the things that I've always struggled with (and this may be more of a commentary on the way I play than anything) is having or getting a decent magic defense against some of these stronger magical armies. In our club we have several strong magic armies. I know part of the problem is our army is not really designed for over-powering magic or even defense. I seem to take the usual scroll caddy and branchwraith with cluster but all it takes is a decent roll on a 2d6 str 4 magic missile and a unit disappears. I use some magic resistance units but in reality that doens't help that much because the opponent can target them with shooting and the units without MR with the magic easily. It could be I'm just having a string of bad luck, but I'd like to see what other suggestions there might be.
There are three ways to deal with magic heavy armies that I have tried. They work with varying degrees of success.
Number 1 is the anti magic list. Take a level 3 weaver, the wraith and one or two level one scroll caddies. Make sure to take the wand of wych elm, so you can throw fewer dice at a spell to dispel it. And use wardancers and wild riders to screen off casters for more free dispel dice. I have had success with this against the new dark elves and skaven armies.
Number 2 is a speed list. Have several fast kamikaze units that are only there to beat up wizards. Warhawk riders work excellent for this. Wild riders, and even glade riders can be used as well. Just make sure that you don't use champs in these units. Charge them in a put as many attacks as possible on the wizards. If they die, they usually have taken out the enemy wizard which is a good trade. Warhawk riders are best at this because of there hit-and-run of course.
Number 3 is the MSU army strategy. Just make a list with nothing worth very much. Take your requisite wraith and scroll caddy. Then a ton of dryads, archers, wardancers, etc. Stay away from the big point sink units such as treemen, treekin, waywatchers. Use the dryads to screen the rest of your troops from LOS to the enemy wizards, and race across the board. Then just hope by the time you get there, you still have a decent force to deal with what the enemy has.
Some more obscure sub strategies can be implemented as well.
There is the character with the hunters talon and pageant of shrikes. Hasn't worked well for me in the past, but with good rolling, it could be great.
A BSB with Ariel's banner could really up your dispel dice if you keep everything close.
Of course, you could also go with a really shooting army and just unload on a unit with a mage each turn hoping to obliterate or at least panic them.
That is it from my experience at the moment, that I remember. Personally I like number 2, but have had success with number one as well.
I am right 94% of the time, why worry about the other 3%.
I do something along the lines of SirKently's #'s 2 and 3.
Most of my units aren't worth a whole lot. Lately, I've reinserted one treeman to deal with other big uglies which are more likely to be running around nowadays, at least where I game. And my alter highborn is a pretty penny, and the wild riders just over 200. Otherwise, units average 98 points for Dryads to under 150 for wardancers. I can lose units and never lose a huge chunk of points.
I take 2 scroll caddies and try to weather the first 2 rounds, 3 if I'm lucky, of magic and start gunning for mages or moving into position to charge. I pick and choose carefully which spells I dispel and let a few through.
Hopefully I can eliminate at least one magic user and keep units out of line of sight and eventually pounce and cause some damage.
I go with a mix of all 3. My Lord and Hero's consist of an TMA with Cluster of Radiants, and 2 scroll caddies. So decent magic defense there.
Then I have an Alter Noble, glade riders, and Warhawk riders to try to assassinate mages.
I also add in the the MSU because with the exception of my TMA, there is no one thing in my army that is over 152 points.
I look forward to our new book to see what kind of magic phase we will have. High Elves focus on Magic Defense, Dark Elves focus on Magic Offense. Will Wood Elves get some kind of "safe" magic phase? Since we draw on the winds of magic using Athel Loren's web of consciousness to protect our spellsingers from the unadulterated winds of magic.
Last edited by Phaeron Typhoon; September 18th, 2008 at 00:06.
"I am the architect of fate!"
One thing to remember is that it is not neccessary to stop every spell. Just those that affect your plans.
I run with 5 DD and 2 DS up to 3000 pts and have faced some very magic heavy armies. Spells get through and do some damage but as a general rule I have more units to put on the board so I can absorb those casualties. By turn 3 you have generally hurt some of the spellcasters.
The only list I have had problems with is a Tzeentch Daemon army with several units of horrors, heralds and greater daemons. But who doesn't?
well, I'm doing most of those. I do a pretty good job if allowing the right spells go off or not. Maybe I'm just frustrated because I've never found a list I'm totally in love with and I always seem to roll terribly (anyone else's alter average .7 wounds on the charge?) It does get pretty bad when you lose a unit to magic and then lose a unit to shooting. After two turns (average time to get to the enemy when you don't get to go first) I've lost 3-5 units and have half my army put back in the transport case. Even if I pull out a draw, I'm considering myself lucky.
I think I'm goint to try a list with these characters
lvl3 with wand of the wych elm, scroll
normal alter setup
branchwraith lvl1 cluster and pageant
WR noble on stag with stone of the crystal mere.
If I get creamed, at least I'll show my love to my models, less chance of them getting nicked and scratched right if they don't spend too much time on the table top.
I guess I just play with people that focus alot more on magic then others do. Because I used to try to get by with just 2 scrolls and it never worked out very well for me, and it doesn't seem like its going to get any better with the new army books. It seems that GW is trying to put a bigger importance on the magic phase again.
"I am the architect of fate!"
How many dispel dice do you run with?
I find that 5 DD gives me plenty of defence, especially as your opponent has to successfuly cast the spell in the first place. The difference between 2 scrolls and 4 is 140pts. That's a fair chunk of points.
I suppose I tend to play a fairly agressive style so enemy casters tend to die quickly.
I have 5dd in my 2k lists. I think the problem might be that my most common opponent is a demon player that likes his tzeentch heroes. So it gets difficult to hunt down all those flying heralds.
"I am the architect of fate!"
Considering the new magic heavy armies, the staple magic defense would now be 5DD + 2 Scrolls. This is what I use in my army.