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How to survive hard empire list ? 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:25 pm
Posts: 1003
Location: Delft
Greetings !

As I will attend my first Grand Tournament in october, I developed a list I doing well with recently. More information and discussion can be found in my battle log, but now I need some tactical advise. To challenge myself I asked our local Empire player to bring a very hard anti-list against my list, as my list has one weakness = armour.

The list itself is set for the game, so I do not need advise how to change the list, but tactical advise how to use the components of the list against a list I know is the worst possible matchup. Maybe it is even impossible to win, but then all the advise how I can survive his list through tactics is very welcome.

The Empire player will bring at least one very big unit of knights (15 +) with several characters, LVL 4 with Life (Dwellers), two captains on pegasus, some small units of knights, two steamstanks, unit of demigryph knights etc. with 2400 points. So all has 1+ armour save, difficult to kill and deadly on the charge.

I bring the following list.

Quote:
Dreadlord, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Enchanted Shield, Ogre Blade, Ring of Hotek
Supreme Sorceress, LVL 4, Light Magic, Talisman of Preservation, Dragonbane Gem, Dispell Scroll, Dark Steed

Sorceress, LVL 1, Light Magic, Dark Steed -
Sorceress, LVL 1, Light Magic, Dark Steed
BSB Death Hag, Cauldron of Blood

7 Dark Riders, Musician, Shields
5 Dark Riders, Shields, Repeater Crossbows
27 Witch Elves, Full Command, Razor Standard

5 Shades, Additional Hand Weapons
5 Shades, Additional Hand Weapons
Reaper Bolt Thrower
Reaper Bolt Thrower

10 Sisters of Slaughter
5 Warlocks
Kharibdyss


One big unit of 27 witch elves with Cauldron, which I normally field in Horde formation. The Dreadlord provides 4 strength 6 (-4 armour) attacks with re-rolls + re-rolls to wound. Both Timewarp and Fury of Khaine can add more attacks. They are also LD 10, with 2+ ward save against magic (but useless against Dwellers ofcourse) and double 1 let enemy miscast. Attacks from Death Hag are -2 armour while normal Witches have -1 armour. Maybe the best thing to do is to field them as deep as possible, to maintain steadfeast instead of output of attacks, while the Dreadlord inflicts the damage.

The Sisters of Slaughter are going to be useless in the sense of inflicting damage, as they struggle a lot against heavy armour. However can are difficult to kill in combat, so maybe can lock a Steam Tank for some turns.

Warlocks provide the strong spell Soulblight, I don't know if Doombolt (still 3+ armour saves) is worth it against 1+ AS units. They can maybe take out small enemy unit of knights when charging in the flanks?

My two units of Shades and unit of Dark Riders will not have any targets as enemy is unlikely to bring any artillery, Although they have armour piercing against 1+ AS that doesn't matter so much. Dark Riders can be used to slow down enemy unit, but I have no idea how to use the Shades. I can even use the LVL 1 sorceresses as sacrifice to redirect enemy units at crucial moments.

The kharibdyss can provide some danger against enemy units with his strength 7, however he only haves 5 attacks. Can he take out a Steamtank on his own ? I do suspect him to be priority number 1 target for enemy so how can I keep him alive, should I play aggressive or defensive with him ?

Two reaper bolt throwers provide excellent answer against armour, but what should be their priority ? Steam Tanks, Demigryphs, Captains on Pegasus or Knights ?

The spells I want are Pha's Protection (-1 to hit), Speed of Light (WS and I 10), Light of Battle (Unbreakable), Banisment (2D6 STR 6 hits) and Timewarp (+1 attack, double movement) to manipulate the combats.

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Last edited by Lord Drakon on Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:46 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:51 pm
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Location: Hinterlands of Khuresh; The Lost City of the Angels
Difficult one.

He has a very strong list, and it doesn't match up kindly to yours.

His is an attacking list, and in your favour is the defensive nature of the S6 Banishment.

I'd probably castle up somewhere with your CoBWitches and Reapers, protected on each flank by the K-Beast and the SoS (ideally these two units behind cover). The K-Beast is your armour crusher, the SoS your combi charger (aiming to make full use of trial of blades).

Warlocks and Shades make a nuisance of themselves to slow his advance, Covenriders go wherever they need to be to be effective.

I'd probably prioritise taking out things that can catch your SS --> Peg riders.

The above strat may not work :P But my 2 cents.

Bon Chance!

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Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:15 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:02 pm
Posts: 59
I played against a very hard Empire list in a tournament and it wasn't too bad.
he had 2 tanks, 3 cannons and only knights and flying things, everything 1+ armour.
I had a huge unit of exec and this made the difference, but this is not your case..

the main advice is: do not charge his tanks!
you have no chance to kill them with your list and it/they will destroy everything that charge in, even the dreadlord! (they have flaming attack and impact hits from the spot).
do not worry, they will blow by themself! you can also RBT them or magic works well.
war machine must be put down: my opponent was bunker them in the middle with a huge unit of cavalry on one side and big unit of knight on flying things.
I had multiple units of dark riders/warlocks (4) and eventually one managed to sneak through. A unit is enough because you can overrun WM one by one and eventually someone panic.
Shades will be very useful to redirect as well as to keep their "guardian dog" busy (he is likely to be very compact in his army so you can put them directly behind enemy lines).
do not panic if knights get down the side. if your RBT is on their flank you can easily do a good human skewer (RBT ignore armour). i killed 4 in a row with one single shot, they are toughness 3 remember!

the best thing would be to start tight and cast Pha's, bubble version, as it provide 4+ against warmachine, while the riders try to sneak through.
on the big unit of knights, the statistics will help you: loads of attack will generate some 1s trust me :)

My opponent was using life as re-growth is amazing on the tanks and dwellers is brutal with us. the wizard was in a big deathstar of knights of the inner circle with the BSB. My luck here was to have a sword of anti-heroes in my list and loads of exec :)


Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:15 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:25 pm
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Location: Delft
Thanks for the tips !

First battle was a complete massacre, after Dwellers killed 1/2 of the witches + COB in enemy first turn while Steam Tanks killed Kharibdyss and RBT with their cannons. This was mainly due to me failing to dispel Throne of Vines because of extremely low roll.

Second battle minor defeat because mistakes I make with Kharibdyss and Covenriders so enemy could catch them. Witch Elves with COB + Dreadlord killed 2 Steamtanks and 6 Demigryphs in combat. Especially Reapers took out a lot of points. The second battle showed me that although it a difficult match up, its not desparate at all.

Life is the most dangerous Lore out there for my list thanks to Throne of Vines (which negates the double 1 miscats of RoH) and Dwellers (ignoring 2+ ward save of witch elves against spells). In these matchups Witch Elves need to be in combat asap.

A nice combo in the list is Light Magic with the Kharibdyss. A special case of Birona's Timewarp is that it gives the Kharibdyss in most cases re-roll to hit, which means that when hitting at 3+ in 90% of the cases the 6 strength 7 hits actually hit, adding D6 strength 7 hits. Therefore he can inflict a maximum of 12 strength 7 hits in one round of combat, killing a Steam Tank in one go !

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Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:33 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:51 pm
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Location: Hinterlands of Khuresh; The Lost City of the Angels
Lord Drakon wrote:
A nice combo in the list is Light Magic with the Kharibdyss. A special case of Birona's Timewarp is that it gives the Kharibdyss in most cases re-roll to hit, which means that when hitting at 3+ in 90% of the cases the 6 strength 7 hits actually hit, adding D6 strength 7 hits. Therefore he can inflict a maximum of 12 strength 7 hits in one round of combat, killing a Steam Tank in one go !


Nice combo find! Thx 8)

Sounds like you played well vs tough opposition.

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Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:13 pm
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