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The general consensus is that the sniper noble (waywatcher or scout kindred with hunter's talon and pageant of shrikes) is generally not very points effective and only tends to carry his weight against armies that field significant numbers of soft mages (Dark Elves and High Elves being the obvious culprits, but many other armies do this as well).
I've been thinking about active magic defense quite a bit recently and want to spend a bit more time on this character.
Specifically, I've been thinking about using Alter characters (standard and amber alters mostly) as "cruise missiles" against enemy hero-level casters. Basically you charge them in, kill the hero and expect to lose your alter either to return attacks. The problem with this strategy is when the enemy brings a unit champion to challenge the alter and protect the mage. Then you're likely facing a break test followed by a round where you may be striking last (for the standard alter), assuming the enemy unit has some static combat res.
It occurred to me that one potential solution to the problem is the sniper noble, who can pick of that champion first. Of course, in some situations you'd be better off just firing at the mage.
He can also try to knock lord level casters down a wound to make them vulnerable to "cruise missile" attack.
Is it possible that this guy might be better protection against magic than a simple scroll caddy, or at least relatively close? If so, might he be worth taking more regularly -- after all, he'll help out more against a non-magic army than a scroll caddy would.
Might there be a better way to field him? For example, one could field him on a steed or eagle, which would give him much better mobility and some increased close combat punch, although he wouldn't be able to deploy in as good a position (then again, he doesn't need to be in close range to be hitting on 2's =) ... Or maybe field him as an alter, giving him even more pop in close combat. I'm actually rather liking that second idea.
Just figuring I'd stir the pot a bit!
As cruise missles, I tend to prefer the Warhawks. You can easily get two of them in base with the mage, which gets two strength 4 attacks and 4 strength 3 attacks all told.
This only comes to 120 points and eats not a hero slot.
Also, the advantage of flying and multiple wounds.
I'm not sure where you are getting those numbers from. Warhawks get one attack each and the riders get one attack each, which is made at S4 on the charge... so 2 warhawk riders = 4 S4 attacks (all at WS4).
I like warhawk riders in this role too, but I don't want to rely on them entirely. Against a WS3 T3 wizard with no saves of any kind, 2 warhawks averages 1.78 wounds, which is pretty good, but still a less than 50% chance of killing the wizard in one go. More likely it'll take two charges. Any of the alter nobles have a significantly higher chance of killing in one charge, which can be pretty important as you want to silence the magical assault as quickly as possible.
Also, some wizards out there can be significantly tougher -- WoC casters, Skink Priests on Stegadons, BoC casters, and probably some things I'm not thinking of -- and Warhawks may not do much against them. S6 can come in mighty handy here.
Honestly, I think using a combination of the two is a good call =)
Ur right! I was reading my codex quickly. I got the numbers from the mounts and riders mixed up.
Thanks for the correction!
I like them, but rarely have room for them, as I take Wild Riders; so I don't use them enough to know the numbers off the top of my head.
One problem I encountered with my alter charging a HE L4 mage was the magic item making the mage Ethereal, so my alter slashed the air, then ran away due to a failed break test.
Yeah, that is an annoying possibility! It's always going to be riskier going after a lord level caster this way because they are more likely to have some sort of defensive item.
In this particular case the sniper noble can come in handy as both of his shooting attacks are magical. Wild Riders can also shine as they too have magical attacks =) And of course, if you can get a treeman close enough...
entirely inclonclusive an' all, I'd go with a waywatcher still over an alter, partially for fluff but also because it can join a unit of waywatchers to maybe increase the chance of panic tests plus give the noble a bit more protection. If you're paying 50 points for 'sniping' I guess it should be shooting most turns instead of charging. Thats not to say you can't have an alter cruiser as well.
Or on an entirely different level how bout a branchwraith cruise missile, maybe with AoN and murder of sprites, seeing as most mages don't have armour, and it would be cheaper than an alter
The main problem is that the branchwraith only has movement 5, which makes it all but impossible to get into contact with the mage early in the game.
And yeah, with the alter you'd be shooting most turns and charging only when needed.
Iva used a sniper noble with pegeant of shrikes and hunter's talon,but with a great eagle,spear,LA,and shield.The mobility and extra attacks of an eagle reinforce his role of a character hunter but he can also help out in combats i need an extra punch.Ive only used the build once but with great effect against old VC,claiming 2 necromancers.
I like the sniper noble myself, but would not give him a kindred. With an alter you are paying for an extra attack and higher initiative, which you will likely not us much. As for the waywatcher, you want to be behind the lines with them, which will limit the targets that you could get line of sight to.
The one army against which this setup should shine is skaven. You can target there weapon teams and should be able to take them out. I love seeing ratling guns go bye bye before I get into range of them.
I am right 94% of the time, why worry about the other 3%.