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US Masters List discussion 
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Malekith's Best Friend

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@Jal: thanks for sharing your experience for this type of list, I definitely think that this is a very strong list variant that currently provides a strong option to infantry based DE lists. Have you designed a master-bus list that fits the current ETC restrictions? If so, what would you run? :)


Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:09 am
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To be honest, I'd prob end up going Dragon Lord
L1 Metal on foot, 2* Masters on Peg, 2*10 DR with Crossbows, 14 Darkshards, 4 Bolters, 2* 5 Locks and 2 K-beasts given the comp

For a master bus, I'd look at:

Dreadlord on Cold One
L4 Beasts on Cold One
Master on Cold One
BsB on Cold One
Master on Cold One
Master on Peg

15 DR (no crossbows)
10 DR
5 DR

4 RBT
5 Shades
2* 5 Locks

It's a bit think on the ground in terms of numbers, and ot sure how well the bus would do under ETC comp.

I think the Draon list is stronger under the comp.

To be honest, it's ome of the reasons I adore comp - continually tweaking lists to fit a) comp for a tournament b) for matchups against top table players registered for said tournie is one of the things I enjy about the hobby the most

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:40 am
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Malekith's Best Friend

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Good insights, thanks.

I'm slightly surprised that you wouldn't use the three allowed Masters and (especially) the Supreme Sorc on Dark Steeds, and go CO on all of them. Is it for the 1+ AS with GW?

The Dragonlist looks like a strong option as well, I suppose you would run Ogre Blade, OTS, and 4+ Ward on the Lord, Cloak on one Peg, Dawnstone / Dragonhelm / Foolhardiness on the other. I'm a bit surprised by the K-Beasts though, most people don't rate them that highly and I would probably have been looking for other options myself (most likely CoC).


Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:43 pm
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I love the dragonlord ETC list. Sadly last time I played it at an ETC singles tourney, I faced warriors (whom I beat quite convincingly), and then empire followed by O&G gunline (yes, you read it right). That many war machines just cant be hunted down :P

You toss all masters on cold ones because you get +1S and +1A on the mount without being penalised. You're gonna want all characters in the same unit, anyway.

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:58 pm
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Setomidor wrote:
Good insights, thanks.

I'm slightly surprised that you wouldn't use the three allowed Masters and (especially) the Supreme Sorc on Dark Steeds, and go CO on all of them. Is it for the 1+ AS with GW?

The Dragonlist looks like a strong option as well, I suppose you would run Ogre Blade, OTS, and 4+ Ward on the Lord, Cloak on one Peg, Dawnstone / Dragonhelm / Foolhardiness on the other. I'm a bit surprised by the K-Beasts though, most people don't rate them that highly and I would probably have been looking for other options myself (most likely CoC).



I think I may have misread the comp - I was under the impression it was max 3 (DR units or characters on Steeds), not max 3 of each.

If it's 3 of each, drop the K-beasts for the masters

Included them as it gives the army another threat, that can also be easily hidden in ETC if needed.

If for a team tourny, De seem well built for either smash 20-0 or misdirect 10-10 lists

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:37 pm
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Rasputinii wrote:

This forum surprises me that there is so little love or acceptance for this kind of list.


I would say that that there is a lot of love or acceptance for this kind of the list in the forum. Since the arrival of the new book there has only been two real competitive ways to go: (i) Major Cavalry or (iii) Towered-up infantry.

& I think lack of models is the only thing stopping people from running loads of mounted masters !lol!

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:18 pm
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T.D. wrote:
Rasputinii wrote:

This forum surprises me that there is so little love or acceptance for this kind of list.


I would say that that there is a lot of love or acceptance for this kind of the list in the forum. Since the arrival of the new book there has only been two real competitive ways to go: (i) Major Cavalry or (iii) Towered-up infantry.

& I think lack of models is the only thing stopping people from running loads of mounted masters !lol!



I agree. I went ahead and dropped half a paycheck for 50 mounted DR/Brolocks. :sick: Now it just comes to taking all the time to glue and paint.

As to playing in an ETC environment, I can see K-Beast and Dragon Lords working as long as you can park behind a hill until the cannon threats are dealt with. But here is the States we take the good rules with the bad (and actually play WARHAMMER) and there is no such protection. Maybe a really tall building model occasionally....


Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:32 pm
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reading the list, it felt... boring?

don't get me wrong, i'm sure they are very tactical, and very competitive, but i guess its just not the type of game i like....

running around ennemies picking on weaks one seems a bit boring.

Hell, even a Trogg army sound more fun than those... list...

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:04 pm
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Enkiel wrote:
reading the list, it felt... boring?

don't get me wrong, i'm sure they are very tactical, and very competitive, but i guess its just not the type of game i like....

running around ennemies picking on weaks one seems a bit boring.

Hell, even a Trogg army sound more fun than those... list...



I'll try and change your mind with my upcoming tactica taking inspiration from the masters of real world steppe warfare ;)

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:20 pm
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dunno, i play the game to see nice army and throw dice... i don't mind some cavalry annoying the ennemy, but when your whole army is about that.... meh.

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:23 pm
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Enkiel wrote:
reading the list, it felt... boring?

don't get me wrong, i'm sure they are very tactical, and very competitive, but i guess its just not the type of game i like....

running around ennemies picking on weaks one seems a bit boring.

Hell, even a Trogg army sound more fun than those... list...


To each his own, but this is the type of list that has gotten me re-excited to paint up and buy new models. The army is very competitive in a comped environment, but in a non-comped environment, it doesn't feel as cheesy as many other list. As in "very tactical," there is a level of complexity to playing the list that is fascinating.

I think the the key of what looks like so much fun is deciding each game if it will be an MSU game or a deathstar game.


Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:03 am
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@ Dragonarmy

Exactly - the list is versatile enough to work out playstyle once you've een the list you're facing.

No comp, I'd be keen to try something along the lines of:

L4 on Death, power sroll, Horse
L4 Dark, Scroll, Ring of Hotek, Horse
BSB on Steed, 1+ rerollable
Cloak PegMaster

All Dark Rider Core

4 Bolters
2*5 Shades

5 Locks
10 Locks

Should be c2500.

Idea is to use the death dice gain attribute and POD to refill magic phase once you've drawn out dispel dice before either 3* Doombolt or 3* Souldblight to setup for the shooting

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:26 am
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Jal: That's interesting. Removing the out and out punch you in the face master death bus and replacing it with a hefty magic phase and offensive threat is maybe more subtle.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:28 pm
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Many tournaments won't allow more than 12 dice per magic phase so the re-boot would be wasted where I play. :(


Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:29 am
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Hey Jal/Amit,

I ran a very similar list last week at Dark Sphere (uncomped, 3 games). I was 2nd overall by VP (lost out to 3rd as Mr Tomlin is a much nicer guy than me). My list was:

Dread - pony
Lvl 4 - scroll, pony
Lvl 2 - Dark, Powerstone, pony
Master - bsb, roh, pony
Master - pony
Master - pony

2 x 5 dr, xbow, sh
10 dr, sh, FC
10 x WE, standard, muse (correction, this was 15 WE)

8 CO, standard, muse
10 WL
2 rbts

The dark lvl 2 pretty much always sit with CO and she was gold. In combat turns, she can turn 1 dice into 2-3 while still buffing units with POD. Or turn 1 dice into a clutch doombolt. No one ever dispell her in fear of the death wizard. The CO were then grinding with 3 x str 5 which chewed through infantry. She also gives a 2nd doombolt with +3 to cast which is better than the wl. Didn't find the death wiz generated that much dice due to purple sun getting shut down and everyone running MR so I wouldn't really go nuts with a lvl 4 dark.

This list was actually a modification of my BB list. The BB list had a peg cloak hero instead of a lvl 2, had shades, only 1 rbt and lvl 4 was beast. Was table 1 day 2 vs Si but everything went downhill after. First, the table had a river straight in the middle so you can only play 1/2 the table so really hurt avoidance list (can't march through rivers) esp. vs 6 chariots, then i failed to roll amber spear during spell selections so can't threathen the DP or the chariots, then he stole initiative during meeting engagement and finally my wl and lvl 4 fled T2 meant no savage beast or any buff to kill the DP.

Anyhow, all the other games in the tournament I didn't have any major problem with. Like Jal said, cav army is about control and response. Movement is about countering your enemy positions (moving to opposite flank of his strong force and thereby halving his str, or force him through choke points) whilst picking off key components before (in my list at least), charging in for the finish with the master's minibus. I have discussed with Dalamar in another thread long ago about how my experience an all mounted DE cav army such as these do not have problems with gunlines. Last weekend I played 2 orcs army with the typical green dwarf built, 1 even had 40 savages with bows and the list overcame the other. Generally I deploy my units 5 wide but during vanguards, move forward and stretch them 1 deep. There is now nothing to cannon and or template in the army. The issue is bs fire and thats where vanguard and 18" moves come in to throw forest, other units, impassable in the way or forcing the enemy to move. At worse, I've thrown units of 5 dr to act as human screen in front of anything with particularly heavy shooting. Unlike Jal who uses counter-shots to take enemy shooting, my list rely on having 3 blocks to tank casualty (DR, WL, CO). Turn 1 weather the shots, turn 2 move out of arc, turn 3 regroup and turn 4 charge. All the while, sniping things like RBT, manglers, trebs, etc. If I get first turn, then everything is a turn earlier. At BB, I played DE mirrormatch with 4 RBT vs my 1 and 2 large block of executioners. Whilst on paper it's a horrendous match up, i did win 18-2. What i did was, identify weak point (the furthest point from one of the executioner block and least exposed to RBTs), overwhelm it (bolt off one the RBT covering that flank, shot off potential redirectors, weaken one of the executioner block) and finish with the master bus. His other 2 rbt spent the game being pushed around whilst his 2nd block of exe never got to fight anything.

When the book first came out, my first list revolved around bus of 13 and 10 WL. I find this sucked so much points that I wasn't able to have as many other things beside core and characters (no rbt, no harpies, no shades, etc). Also, all the cav blocks are light cav which whilst brilliant moving and positioning, really struggle vs an infantry death star. Swapping one of the block for a CO block has been great as it gave me 3 different cav blocks with overlapping capabilities (redundancies) whilst still being slightly different (new options and new counters).

Az


Last edited by Tanglewood on Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:32 am
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Hi Tanglewood,

Great and informative post.

Tanglewood wrote:
The dark lvl 2 pretty much always sit with CO and she was gold. In combat turns, she can turn 1 dice into 2-3 while still buffing units with POD. Or turn 1 dice into a clutch doombolt. No one ever dispell her in fear of the death wizard. The CO were then grinding with 3 x str 5 which chewed through infantry. She also gives a 2nd doombolt with +3 to cast which is better than the wl. Didn't find the death wiz generated that much dice due to purple sun getting shut down and everyone running MR so I wouldn't really go nuts with a lvl 4 dark.


I've found it difficult to power a L4 Death + a unit of Warlocks, so the inclusion of a Lv2 Dark surprises. Do your Warlocks mostly play a combat role, or do you find the mix and match of Warlocks/Lv2/Lv4 a worthwhile use of points and magic phase?

Tanglewood wrote:
Generally I deploy my units 5 wide but during vanguards, move forward and stretch them 1 deep. There is now nothing to cannon and or template in the army. The issue is bs fire and thats where vanguard and 18" moves come in to throw forest, other units, impassable in the way or forcing the enemy to move. At worse, I've thrown units of 5 dr to act as human screen in front of anything with particularly heavy shooting. Unlike Jal who uses counter-shots to take enemy shooting, my list rely on having 3 blocks to tank casualty (DR, WL, CO). Turn 1 weather the shots, turn 2 move out of arc, turn 3 regroup and turn 4 charge. All the while, sniping things like RBT, manglers, trebs, etc. If I get first turn, then everything is a turn earlier. At BB, I played DE mirrormatch with 4 RBT vs my 1 and 2 large block of executioners. Whilst on paper it's a horrendous match up, i did win 18-2. What i did was, identify weak point (the furthest point from one of the executioner block and least exposed to RBTs), overwhelm it (bolt off one the RBT covering that flank, shot off potential redirectors, weaken one of the executioner block) and finish with the master bus. His other 2 rbt spent the game being pushed around whilst his 2nd block of exe never got to fight anything.


Nice tips. I'm not sure if I follow you correctly but does moving your cavalry into a 1 by x "conga" formation not make them more vulnerable to cannonball bounce?

Thanks for the tournament-level feedback :)

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Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:47 pm
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Heya,

Np - I'm still learning to play with DE and I thought I'll share some of what I've learnt along the way.

Most of my magic is casted via lvl 4 and very little through the other casters.

WL are fantastic value even if they weren't casting spells. In fact I don't usually use them to cast with as 11+ doombolt needs 3 dice and imo is dice inefficient while soulblight needs 7+ which is a very risky (i'm risk averse) 2 dice. You can throw 3 dice but then it's dice inefficient when the lvl 4 can use 3 dice for bigger spells such as PoS. What I do use them a lot for is when I heavily need a spell + another spell after. I'll then use 4+ dice and feel safe that their miscasts do not drain dice to foil the next spell that I need. Or for 6 dicing bubble soulblight.

The lvl 2 is there to buff the CO/characters. Due to the power dice, you can rely on magic not to let you down in that turn you're in combat and need the buff. Many a plan has been ruined when the wind roll <4 dice, the opponent channel, etc and the phase become a wash. With PoD and power stone, this doesn't happen as a 2 dice magic phase becomes a 6 dice magic phase (1 p dice + 2 from powerstone to cast PoD + 2 returned by PoD on average + 1 original p dice). In return, your opponent is still sitting on his 1 dispel dice so you can get multiple spells off in this critical phase. When really desperate, you can also use 2 dice for PoD in the hope of generating 3 dice. Even if you fail to get 3 dice, you've got a free buff off at least which can protect you vs dweller or in combat.

As for the conga, it's the other way round. It's x by 1 (with cannon in front of you). As you're 1 deep, there is nothing for the cannon to hit in the 2nd rank and many rock lobber scatter directions are likely to miss on a 4+" scatter


Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:08 pm
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Cool.

Tanglewood wrote:
As for the conga, it's the other way round. It's x by 1 (with cannon in front of you). As you're 1 deep, there is nothing for the cannon to hit in the 2nd rank and many rock lobber scatter directions are likely to miss on a 4+" scatter


I read it wrong, as a conga rather than "deep" as you said! Makes sense :P

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Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:18 am
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Do people feel the Level 4 is essential?

I've been trying to play a very heavily combat-focussed list - I've got a magic-heavy shooting-heavy semi-avoidance army already, in Lizardmen. As such, I've been running dual Dreadlord, and only Warlocks for magic.

This does leave me quite limited in terms of magic defence; but it also does give me an extra threat, which can prove rather useful in controlling space. The idea is that where the shooting-heavier lists engage one flank and control the centre with firepower, I can use a secondary charge threat to do the same thing, or punch through with a dual charge/engage with one and come rescue with the other / punch through two adjacent points at once.

A sample list I've been using:

Dreadlord on dark steed (giant blade etc)
Dreadlord on dark peg (ogre blade/cloak of twilight/etc)
BSB on cold one (Hotek, great weapon)
Master on darksteed (run cheap - MR1, halberd, dragonhelm. I'd like a great weapon but the list is 2399 as is.)
Master on darksteed (also cheap - lance, charmed shield, dragonbane gem.)

3*5 dark riders (crossbows, shields, standards)
2*10 witches (std, mus, one has flaming)

10 cold ones (std, mus, razor banner)
2 rbt

5 warlocks
8 warlocks

The dual warlocks work fine for offensive magic so long as I don't lose them to heavy shooting, albeit magic phases of 7 or the like can be an irritation. Defensively it is more of an issue, but what I lose in magic, I gain in lack of miscast risk, lack of need to protect a caster and having that extra hard-hitting flying threat.

Everyone seems to swear by units of 10-15 dark riders. I've not tried them out yet, as until about a week ago I only had 10 dark rider models. I now have 15, but still worry that I'll have too few units on the table with a 10 and a 5; possibly I'm too hasty to throw dark riders away as redirectors? My Lizardmen experience has made me fairly cavalier with sacrificing units for advantage, and my tendency to cautious play wants more models on the table. Have other people found issues with too few units?

(I *could* get more dark riders in place of the Witches, but that means more models. Also, I quite like the Witches as a second-line combat threat. With careful placement they close off space to monsters like frost phoenixes that otherwise can threaten the backfield/flanks, and can also nicely answer single beasts of nurgle, help deal with trolls, and later in the game the support charges into flanks I've had turn games. This said, more dark riders might mean more ability to pressure flanks.)

I'm aware that my build is probably not optimal - it suffers in the mirror for example, lacking effective return firepower - but I do enjoy the sheer aggression of it, and the multiple combat threats, and wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences?

(I'm still tweaking specifics. Moving a master over to cold one to get great weapon as I've not been a fan of the lance is possible, though it leaves the warlocks with only one darksteed master, so the dreadlord probably has to go over there, and I like the AP+Hotek on the Cold Ones. Hmmm, that's a thing for a list thread really.)

On Lv4 approaches - how do people protect them - is it usually just second rank, as it seems like above? It seems a lot easier to get one in if you don't need the 4+ ward save, eg I could drop 5 warlocks and the peg dreadlord down to a master (saving 114 and 125pts respectively, leaving me with 240 available, ideally would need to save 25 for a scroll). However, given how often my units get in combat and how limited magic resistance cover is, it feels like it'd give me nightmares trying to work out whether to engage or not.

Life magic helps there, of course, and is pretty good at the moment anyway.

I suppose the issue is trying to double-bus; Tanglefoot/Az - are you finding issues protecting your casters?


Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:44 am
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The Kremlin wrote:
Do people feel the Level 4 is essential?


I my Meta I would say 4 levels of magic are necessary as well as a dispel scroll. How you get to the four is up to you. Could be 2 x level 2s. Or a Warlock Unit and a Level 2. But you need at least one sorceress to carry the scroll. So many games are won or lost on the presence or absence of the scroll.


Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:15 pm
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The Kremlin wrote:
Do people feel the Level 4 is essential?


I don't, even when facing a Level 4 on the other side. A level 1 scroll caddy and 2 units of Warlocks can do a very good job of magic defense (3 channels is a good thing) with very few points dedicated to magic (Warlocks obviously can do a lot more than just cast and dispel) . You won't stop everything, but unless a spell is irresistible, you can stop the worst of it.

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:21 pm
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Kremlin what has that list to do with the US Masters?

On a site note, with the new Swedish Comp pack out the Dark Elves list have taking a heavy pay toll! :(

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:27 pm
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I've been finding generally that the lack of a scroll is teaching me quite a bit about magic phase management (coming out of being a Lizard player and used to very consistent magic offence and defence.) Equally, sometimes, the ability to more often than not stop a key spell on the turn of the main game-changing engagement can be critical - I've felt the lack when facing the threat of Mindrazor for example, and narrowly lost a game vs Empire where I couldn't stop a key Speed of Light going off.

In other games, though, all it'd have done was save a couple of models here or there, or mean I face one less turn of final transmutation/dwellers barrage (and I've mostly been managing those spells ok, with mobility, character assassination and hiding in combat). The 130pts I'd be spending on a mounted Lv1 with Scroll could be more combat stuff - eg in my list the obvious way to get it is to go down from a peg dreadlord to the 188pts master build, and I do feel that is somewhat of a combat power hit, that even for example a Beasts wizard doesn't help with as much.

(In comp systems like ETC that limit warlocks, keeping the unit of 8 with characters, and running a lv2 on some lore - not decided fully which yet - with scroll is definitely an option to consider.)

@Gerner The discussion looked to have moved to general discussion of similar styles of play to some of the lists at the US Masters, and the discussion interested me. My apologies if I have moved too far into thread derail.

Not looked at Swedish since the update you mention, but it did feel like we got away with murder before; I could write a dual-bus list like the one I posted above with only the most minor of tweaks and come out in the 12ish region.


Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:14 pm
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