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Handling the Asrai and Trueflight spam 
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Warrior
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Hello all

I played the Asrai for the first time last night and won, however I deserved to lose. Through blind luck 4 corsairs managed to break his Glade Guard block and ran down the general, other than that I was in danger of getting tabled by trueflight arrow spam.

My opponent took 20 Glade guard, two units of 8 skirmishers (not sure but one of them were waywatchers with multiple shots buff instead of trueflight), and a 5 and 8 of glade riders, again sporting trueflight.

Due to their no modifiers rule my opponent was able to keep just out of charge range by shuffling back and peppering my corsairs, black guard, DRs and Warlocks. My CoC was nearly destroyed by the sheer volume of shots scoring sixes with AP. He also deployed a forest and kept his archers in it.

Out of 18 Corsairs, 4 managed to get into combat, ditto 18 black guard. To be fair I failed three easy charges from the chariot corsairs and guard by appalling dice rolls which exposed everything to another turn of shooting and stand and shoot reactions! My DRs were wiped out in turn 1 by that hailstorm 3D6 shots thingy and the warlocks were wiped out by turn 3.

Does anyone have any advice for handling the Woodies?! They seem absolutely perfect for massacring our lightly armoured troops with not much for us to reply with, they outrange RxBs and are way better at hitting. I considered ditching the corsairs for a sorc with melkoth’s miasma for the BS debuff and the only way to affect trueflight but I went for target saturation instead.


Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:49 am
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I wrote a tactica where I seriously underestimated their ability to devastate us while crossing the board.

Two things on Trueflight Spam:

- I don't actually think it was intended to be possible (as TF is an EI, therefore presumably cant be duplicated)

- We generally have to tailor our lists to beat it (without a good dose of luck)

When tailoring, go for high speed, toughness, missile range, deep strike and magic.

So for example:
- Lord, Dragon, Cloak, Dawnstone
- BSB, Manti ChShld/Top
- Masters on DS or Pegasus
- L4 RoH, Ruby Ring
- Warlocks
- Dark Riders - Big enough to bunker characters
- Shades
- RBT
- Chariots
- Hydra

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Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:09 am
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Corsair

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T.D. wrote:
So for example:
- Dark Riders - Big enough to bunker characters
- Shades
- RBT


While I do agree on most of your advice, I highly disagree on these counters.

RBT:
While RBT are an almost auto include in all of my lists, I find them to be very fragile and therefor not so good against Wood Elves. With True Flight and Hagbane Arrows they get these RBTs very easily. If RBT werent a great counter against Wild Riders, I would scrap them entirely against Wood Elves. That being said: Mind your placing with RBTs and protect them from scouts!

Shades:
These guys just die. Their strong devensive capability is that they are hard to hit, due to easy cover (scout deployment) and being skirmishers. Both of this doesnt apply against True Flights. They just die. Dont take them.

Dark Riders:
While Dark Riders are okay, Id rather have big blocks of infantry (Corsairs and Dark Shards) to get to those Wood Elves. Dark Riders are too expensive for what they deliver. Our Characters can get close even without being in a bus. The only thing they have to worry about are Wild Riders and Way Watchers. Our high armor and some kind of ward protects us pretty good against almost any amount of shooting.


Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:48 pm
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Fair points & thanks for sharing your experience.

I still would use those aforementioned choices though;

RBT -- I always consider these expendable, and if they are bringing the pain to (or even controlling the space of) Warhawks, Wild Riders, Sisters and Waywatchers on Turn 1 while outranging their whole army, then I think it is a fair trade for their vulnerability to Poison and massed fire.

Dark Riders -- Die easy, especially to WW, yes. But excellent speed and manoeuvrability and can threaten everything but WR, MC and their rarely seen heavier infantry and Forest Spirits on the charge. The Dark Riders don't necessarily have to reach their line, but if they caddy a DS or Peg Master, or screen Warlocks and Cold One Knights, then they are performing their role.

Shades -- Once again expendable, but making use of their ability to deny vanguards, midpoint terrain and forests and so lessen enemy board control, as well as scout into enemy deployment zone if there are gaps. Can compete with WW point for point in a shooting or CC match.

Not to say I disagree with your approach or preference of other choices over the above. There are certainly a variety of approaches to take :)

Going down the infantry route; Corsairs and Darkshards are good, especially if backed by the right magic. The advantage, of course, is number of bodies and saving throw (5+/6+). However there are some Wood Elf lists that are uncatchable by infantry, and DS can spend the whole game outranged or without an enemy in their fire arc.

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Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:16 pm
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T.D. wrote:
Fair points & thanks for sharing your experience.

I still would use those aforementioned choices though;

RBT -- I always consider these expendable, and if they are bringing the pain to (or even controlling the space of) Warhawks, Wild Riders, Sisters and Waywatchers on Turn 1 while outranging their whole army, then I think it is a fair trade for their vulnerability to Poison and massed fire.

Dark Riders -- Die easy, especially to WW, yes. But excellent speed and manoeuvrability and can threaten everything but WR, MC and their rarely seen heavier infantry and Forest Spirits on the charge. The Dark Riders don't necessarily have to reach their line, but if they caddy a DS or Peg Master, or screen Warlocks and Cold One Knights, then they are performing their role.

Shades -- Once again expendable, but making use of their ability to deny vanguards, midpoint terrain and forests and so lessen enemy board control, as well as scout into enemy deployment zone if there are gaps. Can compete with WW point for point in a shooting or CC match.

Not to say I disagree with your approach or preference of other choices over the above. There are certainly a variety of approaches to take :)

Going down the infantry route; Corsairs and Darkshards are good, especially if backed by the right magic. The advantage, of course, is number of bodies and saving throw (5+/6+). However there are some Wood Elf lists that are uncatchable by infantry, and DS can spend the whole game outranged or without an enemy in their fire arc.


These were my points exactly too. I guess we cant match asrai in firepower, but it is really important because that way we can lessen the amount of shots we receive and force enemy to kill our shooting units first. If they dont they will be in agonizing situation where we can shoot back and corner them at the same time.
We usually get the first turn against them, because we usually have a little les units than they have, unless we go MSU route as asrai usually do. With shades and RBT we can deal quite a lot pain to right targets and help our advancing troops a lot, even if we evetually lose our own shooting units. It's good for us that we are less dependant on our shooting units. WE are handicapped against us without strong shooting.

Shades' scouting is also REALLY important against WE: if you win the scout deployment, you really dominate vanguarding, movement and occupy best shooting positions. Also taking the space away from asrai and putting the heat early them is important so they wont be all over place. I think it's pretty much only we can start controlling the flow of the game, and it's decided in early turns.

Big DR unit with crossbows and characters bunkered in it can play really boldly against WE, since you can start game by vanguarding and shooting their threatening units (say Wild riders). Heck you can even take charge from those WR with S&S reaction and character fighting power included. They wont propably charge you, but then you can charge them (if you can) or shoot them up.

I must admit that I havent had a lot experience playing against WE, but the general concept of the army is quite clear now because WE armies are so common and they are usually really similar. Taking out or depleting their key units fast and then boxing them in turn by turn (not the easiest thing to do!) is the way to win big against them. Easier said than done sure, but totally manageable for us.


Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:53 pm
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There is a neat little trick in the rules if you don't mind losing fast cav with your warlocks:

Add 2 peg riders to your warlock bus and then allocate the 1st two hits to the peg riders. T4 and at least a 1+ makes things a little easier.


Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:57 pm
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Lore of Life is your friend against Wood Elves. Raise the Toughness of a unit, add regeneration to a unit, regrow dead models, Dwellers Below...it's like the anti-Asrai lore.

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Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:02 pm
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Phierlihy wrote:
Lore of Life is your friend against Wood Elves. Raise the Toughness of a unit, add regeneration to a unit, regrow dead models, Dwellers Below...it's like the anti-Asrai lore.


And Awakening of the Wood is better if they are inside a wood. ;)


Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:04 am
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Thanks for your replies gentlemen. That’s awesome, a lot of food for thought there. I never considered Lore of life, even with Earthblood its useful here to keep shooting casualties down we really wont miss it after the sorceress scarpers due to our considerable edge in combat. I think next time I’ll take at least L2 life to the with a L1 Scroll caddy sporting ‘Melkoth’s. I was considering the use of Harpies as sacrificial flyers to manoeuvre out of shooting arcs and tie up a round of shooting or support warlocks. I like the sound of Shades, two of his units were scouted right in my face and two were off the board as ambushers, consequently I counted as finishing deployment last and lost the first turn roll! I like the possibilites with RBT too.


Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:16 pm
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I fought our woodie player a few weeks ago, he played his army perfectly, and I with my head under my arm apparently.

You will recieve shooting left and right, no matter what you do. I didn't beat my opponent, however we both agreed what defeated me was my stupid charge declarations, where I should just have marched toward him instead. Yes he would be at short range, but he would hit me regardless. So instead of having to declare a charge at 16" and having his charge reaction flee, you would be alot closer and having to perhaps only charge 8" which is alot more doable.

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Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:23 pm
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It also occurs to me that Hydras must be a bane of Wood Elves. Sure they can hit it all day but wounding it and getting through the armor is hard. And if they don't kill it, it's going to heal back up. They're fast, tough, and cheap. Bring two!

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Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:06 am
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Had a game against Wood Elves yesterday. His shooting consisted of two glade guard units with trueflight, one with hagbane, a unit of waywatchers, and a unit of glade riders. Not sure if 2 units counts as spam, but they were pretty damn effective.

I can back up Phierlihy's point about hydras though. Mine must have regenerated 6 wounds over the course of the game, and he was definitely having a tough time getting those wounds in the first place. Same could be said of the dragon and manticore that I brought!

Other interesting discoveries:
Dragon vs. Treeman... was not so wise. That initiative 3 means he's only one good tree whack away from death.
16 Black Guard took a charge from 10 Wild Riders, and beat them handily (think I lost 8 BG, but the WR were wiped out). Mind you he rolled pretty poorly in that combat.
Dark magic didn't serve me too well, and I can totally see Life magic working wonders - especially if you're bringing a bunch of monsters.

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Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:48 pm
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I have been running a SCGT-komped list as of lately and found a bleaksword/bloodwack bunker with a L2 fire wizard to be quite handy against woodies.

The wizard can chuck 36" fireballs with relative leisure from there as well as whichever complementary spell she happen to have. The block is large enough to either absorb a few turns of shooting or press forward on its own, depending on woodie target allocation.

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Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:02 am
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As a person who's played with WE as my main army for years, there is a few things you can do.

If you don't mind to have a lot of eggs in one basket - a bunch of witches, hag on COB, assassin w/ MR(3). This gives you a 2+ Ward against all of those trueflight or poison arrows. You could even give the hag the vanguard banner. You'd only have to worry about the waywatchers. I'd counter them with shades. Flank this unit by darkshards. Also include some Hydras and then just sick back and laugh.

If you want to be faster - take call fast cav, COK and COC. You are going to get shot at but likely only one round.

Or - Monster mash - dragon, pegasus masters, hydras, and a bunch of darkshards. Let them pick - shoot at the units marching toward them that will shred them with arrows or the mobile monsters that will eat them.

Obviously this can all be countered if you opponent takes a balanced list, but that doesn't appear to be the case.


Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:17 pm
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Not to burst your bubble Uklv but the MR doesnt work vs Magic Arrows. Only vs Spells. So you'll just have à 5++ vs those

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Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:45 pm
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uklvrbm wrote:
As a person who's played with WE as my main army for years, there is a few things you can do.

If you don't mind to have a lot of eggs in one basket - a bunch of witches, hag on COB, assassin w/ MR(3). This gives you a 2+ Ward against all of those trueflight or poison arrows. You could even give the hag the vanguard banner. You'd only have to worry about the waywatchers. I'd counter them with shades. Flank this unit by darkshards. Also include some Hydras and then just sick back and laugh.

Magic Resistance doesn't affect magical attacks.
There is no such thing as a "vanguard banner".
How does one flank a skirmishing unit with infantry?!?
You probably meant "sit back and laugh"?

uklvrbm wrote:
If you want to be faster - take call fast cav, COK and COC. You are going to get shot at but likely only one round.

The fast cav will be gone by turn 1 or on the stand&shoot, the heavy cav by turn 2, and the chariots on turn 3. I predict this would not work.

uklvrbm wrote:
Or - Monster mash - dragon, pegasus masters, hydras, and a bunch of darkshards. Let them pick - shoot at the units marching toward them that will shred them with arrows or the mobile monsters that will eat them.

This is probably your best bet.

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Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:40 pm
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I stand corrected on the Magic resistance and the vanguard banner. The latter is a WE item that I was just used to having.

His core GG wouldn't be skirmishers so I am not sure what you mean. Scouts are skirmishers, which rank up to fight. So hitting them in a side is essentially giving their flank to your next unit to charge. But scouts won't survive the initial round of combat. Of course neither would the GG.

Your fast cav would take causalities, but it is all about target saturation with WEs. With all due respect, if your 4 units of DR and Warlocks are gone by turn two, your opponent has had some amazing rolling and...... the rest of your army is knocking on his door.

Trueflight means you either are getting in combat super fast or you don't take T3 elves. That's about it.


Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:20 am
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I'm not a Wood Elf player but I am used to getting shot by them. In my experience, a unit of Dark Riders only has to lose two models for the unit to become nothing more than a redirector. And that's assuming they don't panic away. A unit of 10 Glade Guard will statistically kill off about 2 Dark Riders per turn and that's not a war I think we can win.

Your instructions were to flank the Waywatchers with Darkshards. I don't see how this would work.

Between magic, shooting, the dang Moonstone, and some decent redirecting, I find Wood Elves to be a very difficult opponent.

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Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:10 pm
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Three Dark Riders hitting a unit of WE archers will probably survive long enough to keep that unit from shooting next turn. That can be HUGE.


Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:39 am
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Phierlihy wrote:
I'm not a Wood Elf player but I am used to getting shot by them. In my experience, a unit of Dark Riders only has to lose two models for the unit to become nothing more than a redirector. And that's assuming they don't panic away. A unit of 10 Glade Guard will statistically kill off about 2 Dark Riders per turn and that's not a war I think we can win.

Your instructions were to flank the Waywatchers with Darkshards. I don't see how this would work.

Between magic, shooting, the dang Moonstone, and some decent redirecting, I find Wood Elves to be a very difficult opponent.


Sorry for the confusion, I meant run the darkshards on the flank of the witches. The shades can counter the waywatchers. I also meant my response to be to combat the original poster's enemy list. Which was GG and GR trueflight spam. What I mentioned should work nicely against it. Especially since the GR won't come on the board till turn 2 or beyond. You would have a serious advantage with vanguard to either move forward or change the position of the unit.

Yes, some DRs will die to shooting the first turn, will likely be useless in combat and might run away. But that's a turn not shooting at the massive amount of trouble heading for his line. Or they don't get shot at because he's shooting at the scary stuff headed towards him.

The original poster didn't mention the moonstone or magic really. I agree that WE are a difficult opponent. I'm currently 10-0 with the new book and playing against guys that have been in the game for 10+ years. 20GG with trueflight, wild riders, hawks, lvl4 w/moonstone, poison scouts and waywatchers is damn near impossible to deal with when deployed well. Everything in that army shoots except the wild riders and they are a fast cavalry glass canon. The new book is very tough to deal with and most your long time WE players are great generals due to having such a TERRIBLE book for years.

In general against wood elves -

Heavens is an awesome lore against them. Iceshards means their GG only hit on 4s. Convergences means your unit(s) of darkshards are much more effective. Windblast is really only good in targeting flyers to get the lore attribute (which is brutal). Curse and thunderbolt are ok. I'd likely never take thunderbolt unless I saw a treeman. However, Comet and Chain lightning are great. Comet scares the crap out of the static gunline WE army and can be used to bring your opponent closer to you. Chain lighting loves MSU elves. Heavens pairs nicely with a large unit of darkshards with the +1 movement banner. That way, you can get in range the turn after your opponent fired at you.

You likely won't win the magic phase, but your opponent shouldn't really either. You will lose the shooting phase. You will win the close combat phase. Movement depends on the armies.

With that in mind, here are the units I think would work well against WE:

Darkriders, shields, crossbows - WE core fast cav have ambush, which means they won't be on the table till after turn one. This unit can vanguard, shoot and has a 4+ armor save. This unit helps control movement as well with vanguard.

Darkshard, banner of swiftness, shields - 5+ armor save, range of 30 after movement. So if they are getting shot at, next turn they can return the favor.

Witch elves - will die in droves unless protected, but would be good with the cauldron and other support. If going the route using the previous two units, I'd probably forgo them for special units. If skipping the darkshards, this would be the rest of my core.

COK - 2+ armor save. I can end there. Waywatchers will ruin their day, but they should be deployed and moved in ways to minimize line of sight.

Shades - cheaper than waywatchers, but do the same thing for you. You won't be shooting at armor because the WE don't have much of any. Give them handweapons so you are striking at the same time as your opponents units in CC though.

Black Guard - a better option than the executioners because of the extra attack and attacking at the same time. Plus eternal hatred and not really needing killing blow.

Hydra - could be a game winner. I'd probably try and take two. High toughness, regenerate wounds.

Warlocks - I'd always take at least one unit and doombolt stuff. Plus they help with movement.

I'm certainly no expert on dark elves, but this what my concerns are as a wood elf player when I see them.


Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:26 am
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Your post seemed a little incompetent but that was solid piece of advice :). I understand how bad army hones your skills as a long time beastmen player :D.

I like the idea of M6 darkshards, never thought of it before. Still they aren't most tournament viable choice but that extra movement will be handy against multiple opponents like HE and Dwarves... Maybe still not most tounament viable choice since have something better, and usual competitive lists around 2000-2500pts can't afford a lot of infantry. Still a big block with swiftness is something that I'm going to try some day!


Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:50 am
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uklvrbm wrote:
Darkshard, banner of swiftness, shields - 5+ armor save, range of 30 after movement. So if they are getting shot at, next turn they can return the favor.


Movement banner Darkshards. Genius :P

As with Ajattaro, never thought of that one!

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Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:37 pm
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trueflight is probably the worst arrow choice against DE.
1+ or high toughness is the answer, especially dragons with teadrop templates. BTW Black dragon breath is quite handy against WE.
I see issues with catching the LD 10 rerollable sisters bunker, but 3 flyers are doing this good enough. Just kill waywatchers first.

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Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:56 am
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Ajattaro wrote:
Your post seemed a little incompetent but that was solid piece of advice :). I understand how bad army hones your skills as a long time beastmen player :D.


Well, it was typed out around midnight, but thanks for the backhanded complement. :)


Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:50 pm
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