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Best Dark Elves Units in AoS 
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:56 am
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Hi,

I miss a thread that highlights the Dark Elve-units that actually have gotten better or just stayed good. Maybe also the things that have gotten worse. I invite you to discuss this here.

I'm still not really sure what to think of AoS and I'm aware that the old armies just have gotten rules, so gamers with existing armies don't feel left out by GW. If I jump on the the AoS-train, it's gonna be with something elvish that's (hopefully) about to be released. The Sigmar-guys and new Chaos don't impress me that much.

I wanna check out AoS with my friends before we either get in or stick with 8th. So after having a look on the new rules what do you think? How do we do in the meta?

At first glance I think compared to the old book, almost everything got mcuh better! Black Guard with a 4+ ward always hitting and wounding on 3+??? Amazing! That's what they should have been like in the old book to be worth 15 points! ;-)

Of course you have to comapre the new rules to those of everybody else. Here a 4+ ward for "elite" units is rather regular, and most heavy guys have at least 2 wounds now. So maybe Black Guard are not that good after all.

However, Black Guard, Hydra and Cold One Knights would be my first choice. What do think of those? What about hero choices? I'm still not sure, what dreadlord and sorceress is generally the best one. What do you think?


Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:54 am
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Dark Rider
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How can we say if a unit get worst without a point system? Bg should be great at 10 and sucks at 30..But why should I ever use non elite unit? Why should I field everything but dreadlord if I want to win?
Aos is not a game, since it doesn't have playable rules, if it's mean to be a parade then the best unit are the best looking, or the best painted...
If it's a cooperative game where both players try to balance each other then it just depends on your opponent's units which one is the best to play for you..


Last edited by Bigboar on Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:34 am
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The only way we can look at them to see if they improved or not is by giving them their old points back. Tho without a points system in AoS this is useless.

Tho... Theres is one rare occasion where i think we can pretty much assume the Model got better. The Black Ark Fleet Master ;) that is ofcourse if you make him your general for the command ability

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Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:49 am
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Elite characters are best, field an army of them.

In seriousness, isn't the point of AoS to field whatever you think looks cool? If so, a side by side comparison misses the point. You're still locked in old GW mode, where people cared about things like points and competitive playing. Just choose whatever looks best and run with it. That's supposedly far more fun than trying to make a competitive army list. Remember, we're hobbyists not gamers, apparently.

I'm sorry, you're getting snarky replies to what was a very fair and reasonable question, which is bad of us. We as a forum community should do better, hopefully someone who is not so demoralized by AoS on here can chime in and give some actually useful input :)

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Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:39 pm
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@ Bigboar and Searinox
There are ways to compare units without point system!
- per model (conditions for minor victory, sudden death)
- per unit (recipient of abilities, charge, attacks, battleshock...)
- per surface (set-up, controlling the terrain)

@ all
Obviously, single model units are more powerful per model and per surface than large units. But they have a limited number of wounds, they are hard to hide from shooting and don't have that many attacks.
Large units may have more wounds and control more space on the ground. They have many, many more attacks (shooting and melee) per unit than single model units. Finally, you can control how large they are by adding models.

Buffs provided by magic and hero are best spent on large units, because the buff is granted to many models, to many attacks and to a large space. Furthermore, improving a stat by +1 is often more significant for mediocre stats than for stats already good.

The way I feel the game, it is all about synergies in your army.
Monsters, some heroes and some warmachines seem to be the most powerful of all units, with ability to kill many mediocre models per turn.
However, if you take only them, you will be wiped out by very large units of mediocre models, which can control all of the battlefield and concentrate a very large amount of firepower and melee attack on a single unit. Furthermore, these mediocre models can be boosted by heroes.

Overall, I have the feeling that if there is a comparison, it should be within categories having different functions.
Similarly to the comparisons we had in 8thed, comparing units as skirmisher, melee, elite, shooter...



This said,
within the multiple models units, there are certainly elite models which are better than mediocre models.
Be sure to compare the abilities when the units are in sufficient numbers to trigger some special abilities.

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Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:12 pm
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Trainee Warrior

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Assuming all of the special rules are met (X amount of models give X buffs) and only 10 models in each unit can attack the stats for the infantry staples are (roughly);

20 x Corsairs - 6 wounds
20 x Dreadspears - 4 wounds
20 x Witch Elves - 14 wounds
10 x Executioners - 9 wounds (3 mortal)
10 x Black Guard - 11 wounds at -1

Black Guard with 2 attacks, hitting on 3+, re-rolling hit rolls of 1, wounding on 3+, a -1 to the save, 2" range and a 4+ save are pretty nasty.


Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:38 pm
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Shooting is king.

Simple, hitting takes no modifiers, wounding doesn't care what the target is, close combat has limited range.

Put down a line of crossbows, supported by reapers, a wizard or two and a general to lead your force. Maybe a shock unit to countercharge.

Then have a boring "game"

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Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:46 am
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Well, having read more attentively the DE scroll, here are my findings.


1. Monsters.
They are deadly. 9 to 15 attacks, hitting average 4+, wounding easily 3+, often making 2 damage.
They have 10-14 wounds, K-beast, Hydra and Maly can regenerate them.
In addition, dragons fly at 14".
If you want to give your opponent hard times, go monsters.
At first glance, I'd rate:
Malekith > Dragonlord > Manticore BM > Hydra > Kharibdyss > Dragonsorc.
Note that the MantiBM makes reroll hits of 1 by monster models (including the rider). It is only because of this ability that I rate him better than the non-flying monsters - but only to make another monster better.
Note that for some obscure reason, the Manticore can't fly.


2. Shooters
RBT at 36", shoots 12 times. I understand it counts as 3 models. Can't beat that.

The scourgerunner seems interesting, it moves 12" and shoots 5 shots at 16 or 18". Plus slight bonus against monsters.
Note: Strange enough, it is now a unit of 1-99 models, including one kind of champion named BM. I see no benefit to take several of them, I see only benefits to say that all SR are single unit with BM.
However, COC are quite good as shooters and twice as deadly in melee. They are better choice if you have not built your model.

DR are good with 3 shots and 14" move. Plus interesting ability. Take shields, always.

Shades could be interesting as scouts, but I don't foresee any great use for that ability. Still, they shoot better than Darkshards.
EDIT: Lord Drakon AOS reports has a good use: to carry assassins close to the opponent's heroes.

Darkshards have one great ability: the minimum size is... 1. And that 1 can be the champion. Using this flaw makes them immune to Battleshock. I'm sure there might be other loopholes in melee and shooting phase thanks to this.

RAW for Medusa/BWS indicate that if a unit is within 10", all models (not limited to those in range) have 1/6 chance to get a wound.
That seems a great anti-horde ability: a unit of 4 medusas halves the number of models. However, it makes no sense to kill models out of range and I would not personally use this ability for models at more than 10".

Overall, for shooters, I'd take RBT and SR (if model already available) and DR above footers.


3. Mass melee.
Here, I look for large units, with the ability to add the attacks from many models.
And the winner is... the COC, by far. One unit can include 99 chariots if you have them! And with 6 attacks per model, it hurts!
In addition, they are not bad shooters and they move fast. Their only drawback is their width, which prevents rear ranks to fight. You could field a large unit of COC in a very wide line, and charge! It would stampede most things on its path.
Be sure to take a CO dreadlord as general if you go for such a large COC unit.

COK are fast and deadly (especially on the charge). They have a standard. Good save. What not to love?

Warlocks seem to be good in melee, very quick, with 4 attacks per model. Plus arcane ability! They should be great to protect your flanks/rear.

The Medusa, in unit of 1-99, could be a neat choice, with many deadly attacks per model, in addition to its deadly shooting. It is quick, too. Its main drawback is that is is not an Exile/DE unit, so no command ability can help its mediocre bravery.

Then come the footloggers. Their advantage is that they can be compacted in large, dense units.
I'd evaluate roughly that WE>BG=Execs>SoS.
WE supported by a CoB have an incredible density of attacks. However, they will die in droves with no armor but the CoB.
BG and Execs are close. BG get the advantage of a greater weapon range.
SoS are not as good as WE with support, but at least they need no support.

The corsairs need obviously to be commanded by a Fleetmaster of Lokhir. Even then, I'm not sure they reach SoS level.

I see no use for dreadspears/bleakswords, unless you take the Exiled Warhost - but in this case, you could take only 3 models of darkshards and get away with them...
EDIT: Spears could be a nice defensive unit, in very large numbers.


4. Single unit melee.
Note that heroes are limited to 1 per unit. It means that it is not interesting to buff them as units.
However, no rule prevents you to take 99 units of dreadlords if you wish.
And that would be very useful.

Dreadlord on foot or on CO (including Malus) are very capable individual fighters, much deadlier than any WE or GB.
If you're not limited by mutual agreement or comp, do not hesitate to take as many as you can.

The assassin (not Shadowblade) has interesting anti-hero ability. It can hide in any DE unit, any number of assassins. You could imagine "air Ninja" dropping from a dragon a dozen 'sass in vicinity of an opponent hero (possibly riding a monster) and all the sass poisoning that hero before it has a chance to strike.

I'd rank the single units as follows:
All monsters > Malus > CO lord > foot lord > COB Hellebron > BW shrine. You can take them for their fighting ability.
Then, Shadowblade > Assassin > Hellebron > CoB = COC > Lokhir > Master BSB > Fleetmaster. If you wish to take them, they fight better than any ranked unit, and in addition they bring unique properties.

All other single model units are to be taken because of their unique ability, not because they fight well.


5. Buffers.
Noted already the need to take a CO dreadlord to help COC/COK to be even deadlier.
Hellebron allows one unit to pile and attack twice. That is incredibly powerful in conjonction with a large unit.
The dreadlord on foot has the great ability to have one unit reroll failed wounds. This alone makes a mediocre unit become elite.

The BSB has a similar ability, and this is not a command ability! One should always take a BSB.
Note that RAW do not prevent anyone to take several BSB. That seems strange, when only one general can use a command ability. I'd assume that BSB should be limited to 0-1, even if it is not specified.

I have not realized yet the usefulness of other buffs or magic abilities.
Please complement that first study.


6. Magic-users.
Well, they no longer compete against each other for scarce powerdice.
Malekith heals himself.
The sorc on foot has WoP wich makes an opposing unit hit less (shooting and melee). That can be precious.
All other casters are just like another shooting unit. With a good movement value, that can be useful sometimes.

For spellcasters, the synergy seems to be with terrains.
Balewind Vortex, Dreadfire Portal, Dreadstone Blight, Witchfate Tor make interesting additions.


7. Units with no use.
Well, Bleakswords seem not to bring much to the army. I see no particular use for them.
Everything else could argue some use.

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Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:22 am
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The dreadlord on a dragons command ability is almost a halfway house between the generic inspiring presence and more mele focused ones already mentioned, if gives a slight buff to combat and also provide battle shock immunity (if your close enough.....)

I think spears are a strong unit because if you have a block of them don't move and have numbers over 20 they hit on a 2+ couple that with the foot dreadlords, reroll all wounds and you have a solid unit

Also saddened by our manticore, it can't fly and doesn't have its own special rule like the chaos manticore which is frustrating as monsters are strong and it would have been nice to have a command option on the manticore.


Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:07 am
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I love the Master with Battle Standard's Treachery and Power ability. Late in the game your Dreadlord's down to one wound left? Cut his throat and let the young blood take command of the army.

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:51 pm
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Icon hack wrote:
I love the Master with Battle Standard's Treachery and Power ability. Late in the game your Dreadlord's down to one wound left? Cut his throat and let the young blood take command of the army.


Agreed - at first glance this seems pointless but actually its one of the most tactical things you can do withe the army.


Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:47 pm
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Could you care to elaborate?
At first reading, I had the feeling that this rule was just another useless fluffy rule.

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:24 am
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The point is, only a general can use their command ability, it is useless for all non-general characters.

if your general is on their last wound, and in danger, it is often more beneficial to usurp their power with a healthier master, who will take over their command ability (as well as retain their own) and continue leading the troops.

If there is a shred of tactics in AoS, it is preservation of the general as command abilities in many cases can swing the battle (mostly by preventing large units from taking battleshock tests)

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:29 am
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Dalamar has it. A Dreadlord on Black Dragon with 1 wound left only has 6" of movement. A Master w/ BS has 14" of movement, regardless of how many wounds it has. I can essentially take the general's command ability up to 20" away (if I roll well enough) and make use of it somewhere else on the battlefield to influence the outcome of a key objective late in the game if the general can't make it there himself/herself.

Plus it's cool. :twisted:

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:17 pm
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Dalamar wrote:
The point is, only a general can use their command ability, it is useless for all non-general characters.


Unless you climb up on a Magewrath Throne : )


Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:06 pm
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And you are still limited to a single command ability per Hero Phase (which is actually super ambiguous in the rules but that's not a surprise).

As well as making your character a juicy prime target.

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:31 pm
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Not really. The rules say that, 'In your hero phase, your general can use (only) one command ability.' They don't say that you are limited to one... it only turns out that way because you can have only one general. The Magewrath Throne says that, 'all other Heroes from your army can use a command ability listed on (the general's) warscroll if they are within 15" of the Magewrath Throne in your hero phase, even though they are not your general.' Hence, all heroes within 15" can do so. It isn't ambiguous at all.


Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:58 pm
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Which is fine by me because that's the moment my army either

a) pulls back, making sure your general is far away with a useless ability
b) aims everything it can at the guy sitting on the throne, depriving you of a general (kind of important model for the game)

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:46 pm
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I think the unit that got the most extreme buff is the Reaper Bolt Thrower (relative to other warmachines).
12 shots instead of 6, wounding on a 3+ (which is a nice buff against dwarves, greenskins, saurus, etc.), 2 damage instead of 1 if you roll a 6 on the to-wound roll (which is huge because multiple wounds now spill over onto the rest of the target unit).

The downside/upside is that the warmachine crew is now much easier to kill. I would say this is a blessing for us, because we aren't overly relying on warmachines, like dwarves for example (their organ gun also got nerfed).

I also love the "Sow Terror and Confusion" ability of the Dark Riders, which is AMAZING. For this ability alone it always pays off to bring at least one unit of Dark Riders.

If you take 10+ Warlocks in a unit, their Doombolt always causes 6 mortal wounds (no saves allowed). That's a lot stronger than the previous incarnation of Doombolt.

The Sorceress spell Word of Pain (on foot) is still pretty strong and the Sorceress now has a buffed sacrificial dagger as innate ability, which is pretty nice. Of the three sorceress spells (Bladewind on a dragon, Chillwind on a CO) Word of Pain seems to be the most useful.

The infamous pegasus master doesn't really exist anymore, but you can take a Dreadlord on CO which in addition has the ability to fly. The character isn't as invulnerable as it used to be, but instead can buff COK and COC, like a regular Dreadlord on CO. And COK and COC are already more lethal in AoS than in 8th.

Assassins now seem more useful, especially against Hero models.

Witch Elves combined with a CoB are still Boss. But if the CoB get's destroyed they are much weaker now. One of the best examples how important synergies and abilities are in AoS.

Monsters and monster riders are pretty insane and worth taking now. But I'm going to wait to buy anything until the first Aelf book or box gets released.

Harpies still seem to suck ...

AoS isn't as shallow as I thought at first with all the possible synergies. It just needs some necessary ruletweaks (shooting into combat and measuring from model to model being the two big offenders ... those two need to get fixed).


Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:29 am
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Ceridar wrote:
I think the unit that got the most extreme buff is the Reaper Bolt Thrower (relative to other warmachines).
12 shots instead of 6, wounding on a 3+ (which is a nice buff against dwarves, greenskins, saurus, etc.), 2 damage instead of 1 if you roll a 6 on the to-wound roll (which is huge because multiple wounds now spill over onto the rest of the target unit).

The downside/upside is that the warmachine crew is now much easier to kill. I would say this is a blessing for us, because we aren't overly relying on warmachines, like dwarves for example (their organ gun also got nerfed).

Yes, they are very nice. You can also move and fire, which makes repositioning them an option.

Ceridar wrote:
I also love the "Sow Terror and Confusion" ability of the Dark Riders, which is AMAZING. For this ability alone it always pays off to bring at least one unit of Dark Riders.

Agreed.

Ceridar wrote:
If you take 10+ Warlocks in a unit, their Doombolt always causes 6 mortal wounds (no saves allowed). That's a lot stronger than the previous incarnation of Doombolt.

And with each model getting 4 attacks (leader gets 5), they aren't too bad in HtH either. The chance to dispel enemy spells is also nice. 6 Mortal Wounds with a unit size of 10+ is great, though I'm sure there are some people here who will try to argue that the unit size refers to the target unit and not the size of the Warlock unit. :roll:


Ceridar wrote:
Witch Elves combined with a CoB are still Boss. But if the CoB get's destroyed they are much weaker now. One of the best examples how important synergies and abilities are in AoS.

They are great even just with a Death Hag nearby. I had a unit of 20 chew through a unit of 20 Chaos warriors in two game turns. With the pile in rules, I was getting 25-30 attacks per combat phase.

Ceridar wrote:
Monsters and monster riders are pretty insane and worth taking now. But I'm going to wait to buy anything until the first Aelf book or box gets released.

The Hydra played out quite wickedly for me. Being able to breathe fire in the shooting phase and then charge in on the same turn is a powerful combination. Add the regeneration ability, and I don't think I will ever refrain from bringing one along.

Ceridar wrote:
Harpies still seem to suck ...

I have not used them yet, but they do seem like a very minor unit. Still anything that adds to the number of fleeing models is big help, since there are not break tests anymore to send entire units fleeing.

Ceridar wrote:
AoS isn't as shallow as I thought at first with all the possible synergies. It just needs some necessary ruletweaks (shooting into combat and measuring from model to model being the two big offenders ... those two need to get fixed).

Try a game. It is very different from WHFB, but not in any way more shallow. Whereas WHFB was all about Min/Maxing Army Lists and positioning troops to use the LOS and Charge Arc mechanics to your advantage, AoS seems to be about positioning troops to gain synergy, and correctly judging which combats to fight first, since both players take turns picking units to fight with in both combat phases. Also, while the game I played was not a heavy shooty game, I don't think that things like the ability to fire into combat are really as extreme as it appears on first glance. Prefer to measure from base-to-base instead from model-to-model? I don't think it's a big deal either, but I can't imagine anyone would put up an argument if you are more comfortable playing that way.

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Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:05 pm
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Quote:
And with each model getting 4 attacks (leader gets 5), they aren't too bad in HtH either. The chance to dispel enemy spells is also nice. 6 Mortal Wounds with a unit size of 10+ is great, though I'm sure there are some people here who will try to argue that the unit size refers to the target unit and not the size of the Warlock unit. :roll:


From the Warscroll:
"The Doomfire Warlocks hurl bolts of blazing black flame at their foes. Doombolt has a casting value of 5. If successfully cast, pick a visible unit within 18". The target unit suffers D3 mortal wounds if the casting unit has less than 5 models, D6 mortal wounds if it has 5 to 9 models, or 6 mortal wounds if it has 10 or more models."


I think that's pretty clear ;)

Quote:
Try a game. It is very different from WHFB, but not in any way more shallow. Whereas WHFB was all about Min/Maxing Army Lists and positioning troops to use the LOS and Charge Arc mechanics to your advantage, AoS seems to be about positioning troops to gain synergy, and correctly judging which combats to fight first, since both players take turns picking units to fight with in both combat phases. Also, while the game I played was not a heavy shooty game, I don't think that things like the ability to fire into combat are really as extreme as it appears on first glance. Prefer to measure from base-to-base instead from model-to-model? I don't think it's a big deal either, but I can't imagine anyone would put up an argument if you are more comfortable playing that way.


I'm especially worried about the shooting of warmachines. The new version of the Dwarf cannon is absolutely devastating against, well, pretty much everything. Especially units with 10+ models. If only 2 of those are allowed to shoot into combat they can cause horrendous damage (on average 8-9 wounds against units with less than 10 models and even more against units with 10+ models, because the Dwarf player can reroll how much damage the cannonballs cause ... 2 attacks with D6 damage, hit on 4+ with reroll, wound on 2+ :burns: ).


Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:24 pm
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Dwarf cannon hits on 4+ on my pdf. They are dangerous indeed, but somewhat random in their damage.

When firing at 4+ save elites, our RBTs score this:
Image

While the Cannon, without engineer, rolls:
Image

And the Cannon with engineer can go as far as:
Image

This is all assuming the target has 10+ models and the player re-rolls only 1 and 2.

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Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:45 pm
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Canons are to be feared but they have a 32 inch range only now and also our dark riders just a unit of 5 have a good chance to kill one or two crew in just one round of shooting so we have the tools to deal with them yes they can be tough but it's no different to having to suffer a round or at worst two of shooting before we got in and killed all the warmachines like in 8th :-)


Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:47 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:36 pm
Posts: 3831
Location: Belgium, Brussels
Hm, the unreliable damage pattern of the cannon makes for a weird comparison. I upped the stats to 5 machines each to see if this would make a more reliable comparison. In order of destruction:
- 5 Cannons with Engineer. Definite winner. Reliable scores: 14-29. Peaks up to 39.
- 5 RBTs. Reliable scores: 12-21. Peaks up to 27.
- 5 Cannons. Reliable scores: 8-21. Peaks up to 32.

The cannons have a marginal chance of doing a more damage but a considerable higher chance of scoring lower. The RBTs don't peak as highly, but offer reliability.
On a smaller number of warmachines, the randomness makes it hard to compare. My guess, one game you'll see them smash you and the other game they'll fail the player early on and won't score results before it's too late.

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Furnace of Arcana, a warhammer blog with delusional grandeur.

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Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:53 pm
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Corsair
Corsair
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 8564
Location: Hag Graef
Harpies are no longer to be counted among our troops.
They belong to Chaos.

Now, I understand that most of us have some in their army, but we could as well take any other unit from the other army that most of us have, too.
Actually, in my personal case, it makes now more sense to get Empire support than harpy support, from a fluff point of view.

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Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:01 pm
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