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From the people who brought you "Treeman vs. Treekin", and "Treeman Ancient... Tank or Target?" there comes the new forum hit of the summer... MGA or Waywatchers.
Ok so last night as I was creating a few new army lists for 2,000 points when I decided to make a semi-cheese TMA list (it looks good). After I decided to make a "Machine Gun Alter" list (for those of you a machine gun alter may contain all of the following: Bow of Loren, Arcane Bodkins, La, Enchanted Shield, GW, Glamourweave/SoCM) and he totaled to a beefy 289 points.
Now This made me stop and think... 289 points is quite a but for a single T3 model. In fact thats slightly more points then 12 WayWatchers. This is where the hamster started spinning because WayWatchers have killing blow... Now the Highborn is by design, supposed to take out the enemy's heavily Armored units. The issue here is thatt the really scary and heavily armored units (not all but most) are Toughness 4 or higher. So with your 5 shots a turn your needing to hit on 2/3's and then wound on 5's with no saves. On the other hand 10 shots from a Waywatcher unit a turn hitting on 2/3's and wounding on 5's, and KB on 6's.
--No matter how you spin this I'm thinking the more the merrier, 2X the shots hitting and wounding on the same values, but with 2X the shots the average should be 50/50 for 5's and 6's meaning that 1/2 the wounds your landing with that unit (theoretically) will be KB. So half of twice as manny in my books is equal? so with a unit of waywatchers will KB as manny riders as a MGA will drop total, and offer the possibility of the riders rolling a 1 on their regular save giving you a bonus amount of dead enemy's.
----So until math-hammer proves me wrong then I'm thinking Waywatchers are more effective.
-So waywatchers idealy are more effective especially for their cost and offer less victory points. Another benefit that came to mind of Waywatchers is that they can be used to capture/contest table corners in addition their to ability to march-block from turn 1.
-There are a number of benefits to the MGA as well but those benefits can be replaced by that of a standard alter noble or TMA.
-I don't know if my thoughts above are correct or if anyone else has the same opinion but its my two cents and I hope it can shed some light on this for others. I'm half expecting someone to try and math hammer this to prove me wrong but thats the point, as I have learned before there is a difference between the way things look on paper and the way they play out in a battle.
---post your thoughts, and if your up to it dust off the hammer and give 'er a swing.
Wood Elf Fantasy Player
All good points you make. The one thing though that the MGA has over the waywatchers is movement. Much easier to keep your MGA cruising around the board and firing every turn than doing the same with the waywatchers. A lot of turns waywatchers can't fire because they have just rallied after fleeing a charge, or if they can fire, it is at long range and killing blow isn't available.
Personally, I like both, but the MGA has a better chance to fire the whole game and still be on the table at the end, than does a unit of waywatchers. But like I said, I like both.
I am right 94% of the time, why worry about the other 3%.
I agree I like the idea of the MGA, but when I was thinking of what armor I was going to slap on him to help prevent his frail self from getting slaughtered from shooting/magic I realized that he was worth 389 VP. I know if I had shooting against him I would devote a unit (a measly 120 points) every turn to launching shots at him.
Wood Elf Fantasy Player
I find the MGA a better option.
1. Good movment
2. Only one model to hide and keep out of LOS
3. Can be a bugger in combat
4. Ingores saves at ALL ranges *
* this is the big one for me. It makes the MGA more survivable than the waywatchers.
1) Yeah I got nothing. He's base movement 9.
2) The unit sits inside of a wooded feature and is deployed behind the enemy units (terrain permitting). I have actually played a game where they literally ran around a unit for 3 turns taking shots at them. Also with careful placement you can be more then 2" in a wood on one side and not on another giving you selective LOS.
3) Can easily evade combat as they are already in combat. Can also go after war machine crews and lone mages. The MGA is still T3 and worth 389 VPs.
4) You start the game march blocking. even the quickest cavalry won't be beyond 15" by turn 2 when march blocked and followed down the battle field.
-5) Great for point denial.
-6) Frees up a lord choice slot. (but yes it does take up a rare slot)
-7) They are -3 to hit if in a forest.
- Draws an enemy unit away from the main battle and puts them in the forest making them an easy target for tree singing.
Again I don't disagree with your post I'm just playing devil's advocate.
--Keep em' comming.
(Ps. I also like the Noble with Bow Model more then any waywatcher model)
Wood Elf Fantasy Player
First you said that both units would hit on 2s or 3s well the Highborne is actually higher BS (if memory serves me) so if they are at long range or in cover he will hit more then the waywatchers.
Second his shots always ignore armor, while killing blow is only if they are at half range.
Third as said before his move of 9 is great, and if you simply add a great weapon or extra hand weapon he can still hold his own in cc should you need it.
Forth with glamourweave he is more resistant to magic then the waywatchers are and with his move it is easier for him to just stay out of range of some spells.
Fifth is he doesnt take up a rare slot which since I love treeman is great to me.
Math Hammer: (vs t4 targets, 2+ armor target) rounded to 2 decimal
short range = 10 hits = 3.33 wounds = 1.66 normal save hits and 1.66 killing blow hits = 1.94 dead
Long range = 8 hits = 2.66 wounds = 2.66 normal save hits = 0.44 dead
short range = 4.16 hits = 1.37 wounds = 1.37 no armor save hits = 1.37 dead
long range = = 4.16 hits = 1.37 wounds = 1.37 no armor save hits = 1.37 dead
Last edited by Lyzaru; June 7th, 2009 at 22:42.
- You must set fire to water or you will be extinguished.
----so thats the 12" deployment, and a full movement of 9" as they are marchblocked. Then the WW would move up 5". Repeating this the enemy would be within half for likely 3 turns. From my experience when their Heavy Hitters are getting picked off quick they make stupid moves and try and get them in combat with the closest unit possible, or turn to face you in which case you fall abck into the woods out of view only to pop back out when they turn around again or pursue you in the woods.
Now I agree that the Highborn can be great in combat but that is a lot of points to risk at T3 and a save of 6+ with GW or 3+ with HW and E-Shield. Also 3 wounds and he's dead when it comes to magic, shooting, or combat. 3 Wounds on a unit of 10 WW is barely a panic check, and 0 VP's awarded.
PS. Plus REP for Math Hammer
Wood Elf Fantasy Player
I play on a standard sized table so no real issue there.
One question. How the hell do you get 10 waywatchers into someones deployment zone to march-block?
Also keep in mind that 12 waywatchers takes up two rare slots, not just one!
Anyway, I think that ignoring T3 troops is unwise. Brettonian, Empire, High Elf, and Dark Elf players frequently field T3 troops with high armor saves.
Against T3 enemies with 2+ saves:
Waywatcher short range: 10 hits, 1.67 KB's, 3.33 non-KB wounds, .56 unsaved for a total of 2.23 kills.
Waywatcher long range: 8 hits, 4 wounds, .67 unsaved
MGA: 4.17 hits, 2.08 kills.
So against T3 knights waywatchers are a tiny bit better at short range and much worse at long range.
I think that the choice of taking an MGA really depends on what you would be using the slot for otherwise. Clearly two units of waywatchers and the MGA are pretty interchangeable in terms of their killing power, with each option providing different perks. So instead it comes down to what you would otherwise do with the rare slots or lord slot. If you need a spellweaver for magic defense and don't plan on needing a treeman or two, then the waywatchers are a great option. If you feel like you need those big trees for your game plan to work, then the MGA is a good choice.
Of course, if you are expecting a lot of heavy armor then you can always take both. I think the two work naturally well together. The waywatchers march block from turn one, giving your highborn (and the waywatchers) more time to shoot. If you shoot first with the highborn, you'll pick off a few knights and whittle the unit down quickly, giving your waywatchers a chance to randomize some hits onto the characters in the unit and hope for a lucky KB.