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2500pt All Cavalry + Dragon competitive list 
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M-A-D
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 9:52 am
Posts: 5178
Location: Melbourne Oz
So as I continue to read, think, play and plan for getting back into the game, I really see movement as where I want to play the game. So out goes infantry, sorry guys, you're too slow and fragile.

Rather than talk through my thought process, I thought I'd show the list, then talk about the list from the point of view of what I've got (not what I want to achieve). So the list:

Code:

+ Lords + (557pts)

    * Dreadlord (557pts)
        Black Dragon, Heavy Armor, Sea Dragon Cloak
        *  Other Trickster's Shard, Dragonhelm, Crimson Death,  Pendant of Khaeleth


+ Heroes + (397pts)

    * Death Hag (225pts)
        Battle Standard Bearer + Cauldron of Blood

    * Sorceress (172pts)
        Dark Steed,  Wizard Level 2 (Death???) Dispel Scroll


+ Core + (638pts)

    * 5 Dark Riders Unit (117pts)
        Musician, Repeater Crossbows

    * 5 Dark Riders Unit (117pts)
        Musician, Repeater Crossbows

    * 5 Dark Riders Unit (117pts)
        Musician, Repeater Crossbows

    * 5 Dark Riders Unit (117pts)
        Musician, Repeater Crossbows

    * 5 Dark Riders Unit (85pts)
    * 5 Dark Riders Unit (85pts)


+ Special + (558pts)

    * 6 Cold One Knight Unit (186pts)
        Musician, Standard Bearer

    * 6 Cold One Knight Unit (186pts)
        Musician, Standard Bearer

    * 6 Cold One Knight Unit (186pts)
        Musician, Standard Bearer


+ Rare + (350pts)

    * War Hydra (175pts)

    * War Hydra (175pts)


2500pts exactly


So I've ended up with lots of redundancy, a level of this is deliberate, so much symmetry is not a great thing, and it makes for a small bag of tricks. The issue with Dark Elf Cavalry, is there isn't much choice. I've also ended up MSU. I can see the strength in the Hydra Banner COK bus with the COB, but its not me. I don't like to have so many points going on in one place, and I don't like the uber unit play style. I've always seen characters as support units, able to lend their strength independently though combi charges. I've always seen great value in more units then more bodies in the units. That said I very much wanted at least one unit of 10 COK. The problem, which I think should be immediately obvious is that everything but the boss on Dragon is very bare bones, theres not a lot of room to play. That I don't like. It would be possible to downgrade two units of COK to upgrade the third, but I've always felt the solution to stupidity is redundancy....

Initially I wasn't going to play the Dragon. I thought I could have more COK a lvl 4 and master BSB, but then I stopped and thought. Without a battery of RBTs, I am solely reliant on Death magic to deal with Deamon Princes and vampires and greater deamons. I lack static CR, and so I am vulnerable to monster based fast lists (and looking at most tourney reports a third of the average field seems to be such WoC lists. Reluctant to rely on Magic or invest in the necessary firepower to make that option viable, I think the Dragon offers the only solution. Not to mention I love Dragons and I love Breath weapons.

So with the Dragon in I feel that I am definitely better off with more smaller units of COK than a bigger unit. Between the three large targets with breath weapons I am confident that combined charges isolating enemy key units one at a time will be effective despite steadfast. It should be possible to absolutely destroy units in single round combats if I can get the right assets into play. Setting up favourable combats should not be too hard, as with 6 units of DR I should be able to win the chaff wars decisively and quickly before being able to goad and divert the enemy in to positions I want them to be in. Plus as far as I can tell the current Meta pushes two army styles - armies with 2-3 big/strong units & armies with lost of flyers / monsters / a single uber unit. In both these cases I am sufficiently equipped to tackle their units on the charge.

I didn't intend to take a COB. Its slow and its expensive. But I see the ability to give one unit of COK extra attacks as incredibly powerful. Not to mention being able to provide the dragon with a 5++ in the first turns is very very awesome. The idea is that it can provide stupidity re-rolls in the first turns, whilst in the middle turns the COKs will either be in 18" bubble LD10 or in combat. I don't see the BSB as being key to break tests. I think in this list I am having to take break tests I am already in a less than ideal position. In later turns of the game the COB should have moved up enough to provide the rerolls again (I think T3 is the main turn where I won't have them).

I am very interested in your thoughts. In particular to how I could better redistribute what little surplus I have to maximise efficiency and power (The only points that can be easily gained would be through alterations to COK size and command options, lord equipment and by reconfiguring core to free up a measly 13pts)

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Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:02 pm
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Highborn

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:16 pm
Posts: 734
Your list assumes that you won't be playing the rulebook missions specifically watch tower.

units of 6 cold one knights with standard seems an on way to go. They are over done for chasing chaff and underdone as combat units.

The list will struggle to get points from armies that have blocks of comabt infantry. against most Orc and Goblin lists the best this army could do would be a minor win by claring the enemy chaff. Against the combat blocks of savage biguns, black orcs and trolls, this list has nothing.


Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:53 pm
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M-A-D
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 9:52 am
Posts: 5178
Location: Melbourne Oz
Ignoring watch-tower for the time being (have yet to look into scenarios) lets examine your concern over dealing with ranked units:

Assuming fighting WS4 T4 5+ infantry:

1 hydra = 7 attacks / 3.5 hits / 2.3 wounds / 2.3 dead
2 handlers = 4 attacks / 2.6 hits / 0.9 wounds / 0.6 dead
Breath weapon = 2d6 hits = 7hits / 3.5 wounds / 3 dead
Stomp = D6 hits = 3 hits / 2 wounds / 2 dead
(Total for Hydra: 8 Dead)

6 COK with extra attack = 12 attacks / 10.7 hits / 8.9 wounds / 8.9 dead
6 Cold Ones = 12 attacks / 6 hits / 3 wounds / 2.5 dead
(Total for COK with COB: 11.4 Dead)

6 COK (no COB) = 6 attacks / 5.35 hits / 4.45 wounds / 4.45 dead
6 cold ones = 6 attacks / 3 hits / 1.5 wounds / 1.25 dead
(Total for COK: 5.7 Dead)

Lord = 4 attacks / 3.6 hits / 2.96 wounds /2.96 dead
Dragon = 5 attacks / 3.3 hits / 2.7 wounds / 2.7 dead
Breath weapon = 2d6 hits = 7hits / 3.5 wounds / 3 dead
Stomp = D6 hits = 3 hits / 2.5 wounds / 2.5 dead
(Total for Dragon Lord: 11 Dead)

5 dr (3x2) = 5 attacks / 4.4 hits / 2.2 wounds / 1.83 dead
3 horses = 3 attacks / 1.5 hits / 0.5 wounds / 0.33 dead
(Total for Dark Riders: 2 Dead)

As you can see the potential damage output is huge! Against T3 troops the damage goes up. So the challenge is being able to bring enough damage to bear on a single unit at a time. Against real big units I might not be able to break on the charge, but I should be able to in my opponents turn.

You see you need to get out of the headset of thing my unit vs your unit. It's never about units. It's about the application of force. This can be achieved through super units, or through the combination of units. This is one of the key principals that lead this community to develop MSU. We elves are fast and hit hard. That's our strength.

So if you go back to the numbers above: If there was a unit of 40 of WS4 T4 5+ troops in horde formation you would need to kill 26 models to get them down to a point where they wouldn't be steadfast. What combination of Units could be brought to bear to achieve this result?
1) Dragon (11), COK w/ CoB (11) 2 units of DR (2x 2) = 26 Dead
2) Dragon (11), COK w/ CoB (11) COK no COB (6) = 28 Dead
3) Dragon (11), COK w/ CoB (11) Hydra (8) = 30 Dead
4) COK w/ CoB (11) COK no COB (6) Hydra (8) DR (2) = 27 Dead
5) COK w/ CoB (11) Hydra (8) Hydra (8) = 27 Dead

And there are many other options (obviously). But I think this should keenly illustrate to you that big blocks aren't as tough as you think. 2 units of 5 has the same hitting power as 1 unit of 10. What it lacks in ranks you make up for in options. In 6th everyone saw value in multiple units, in 8th I think the majority have become to focused on steadfast. The result being really big units that have really big dimensions that make it much easier to get combo charges off. The lacks of combat units the enemy has also makes it easier to totally dominate the movement phase.

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Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:35 pm
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Highborn

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:16 pm
Posts: 734
Rule number 1 every army that can have cannons have multiple cannons
Rule number 2 monsters die to cannons.

In you analysis you have picked the weakest kind of enemy to fight and not allowed for any return casualties so of course your units look good.

If your unit of 40 troops are savage ork biguns then the 14 or so left still swing back with 40+ S5 attacks. That would wipe out your unit of COK leaving you with no ranks and the unit still steadfast.

Your army sounds fine on paper but will struggle against many units found on the tabletop. Gorebeast chariots on the charge would rip up any of the units as would enemy flying monsters.

If you can make this army list work I'd be interested in some battle reports.


Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:08 pm
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Executioner
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:58 pm
Posts: 188
Location: Cambridge, UK
I run an all cav list (with the exception of chariots, shades and harpies), and have to say it can be great fund to play! Against ranked units you have to use your speed to pick your fights; if it's a target you can get through in 1 round, combo charge it with (ideally) 25% more than you think you need to get the job done, just to be sure. If you can't be sure of slaughtering them in one round, use your speed to hold off (or go and pick on a weaker unit).

I find enemy cav to be a bit of a bane, meeting me strength for strength. In such a match up I find lore of metal to be great to tip the scales in my favour...

With the very charge heavy nature of the force, I do find that chariots fit in very well, so I'd be tempted to drop a unit of knights to make room for 2 chariots.

Do remember that for the enemy to be steadfast, they only need more ranks than you including the front rank. So if your knights loose even 2 models, then an enemy unit of 5 infantry will be steadfast against them.

As observed by Kargan, watchtower can be a bad match, but isn't unwinnable. The key lies in using a hydra to slaughter whatever garrisson unit starts in the tower and using your speed to ensure other enemy units never get to the tower... Of course this does mean you loose control of where the battle will be fought, which restricts your greatest advantage - speed.

Blood and glory is another scenario that might give you trouble with how few banners you have. My force has banners in all dark rider units to give me a few expendible banners that take considerable effort for the enemy to chase down, leaving the knights free to tear up the foe without concern for loosing their standards.

The only thing I actively dislike about your list is the CoB BSB. You want your BSB to be mobile to stay alive, and to keep up with the knights for re-rolls to stupidity. The CoB risks being left behind or isolated and easy prey for the foe, and with it being your bsb as well is a very juicy target for them.

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:33 am
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Slave (off the Altar)

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:21 pm
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the hydras hadlers got 3 attacks each.

edit: and I dont think the cold ones benefit from the extra attack of the cauldron.


Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:37 pm
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Warrior
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:12 am
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I really think dragonlists need 2 Sorceresses to have more flexibility in the magic phase and bring the Seal of ghrond for extra magic defense. It also makes casting power of darkness with one dice a lot more appealing since u can atleast continue to cast even if the first Sorceress fails ;)


Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:32 pm
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Highborn

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:16 pm
Posts: 734
You don't need the sorceress to bring the seal, any hero can do that, although at 30 points it's very expensive for what it does. For example the dark star cloak provide +1 power dice for 25 points.

Handlers do generate 3 attacks each.


Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:33 am
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Warrior
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:12 am
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The Seal + a second Sorceress is ideal in this situation though, atleast imo. ;p


Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:04 am
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Warrior

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:12 pm
Posts: 58
In the current meta, where extra dice are impossible to come by for most armies, 30 pts for an extra dispel dice is a very good bargain. More so if you only have a lvl2 dispeller to work with.

Also, I cant recommend chariots high enough for the playstyle you are trying out. And I would drop one or two units of dark riders and use those points to add 1-2 banners and beef up one unit to 8-9 to be the bunker for the mage.

Best of luck with this interesting approach (I once tried something similar) and please take the time to share your experiences.


Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:26 am
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Warrior

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:12 pm
Posts: 58
Moreso, I would consider dumping the pendant for the talisman of preservation. Reasoning:
1) High str attacks will target the dragon.
2) Low str attacks have a higher chance to get through,
3) Its cheesy
But most importantly...
4) Death magic, which is on it's peak. One 4/2, 5/3, 6/4 magic phase and you dont have a general anymore. Also, the rest of the "no str" attack (Terrorgheist comes to mind).

The pendant adds a smirky note to the otherwise interesting and flully list,


Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:41 pm
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M-A-D
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 9:52 am
Posts: 5178
Location: Melbourne Oz
Hi all thanks for the replies!
Sorry for the lack of radio silence. I figured that after I found out the new book was coming out imminently there was little point worrying about this list. The cob and hydras are likely to change dramatically. Which means the list needs will need reworking drastically.

Personally my big hope is that manticores are changed to be like WoC ones (do t see why they won't be). When that happens I will probably have 2 heroes on them. 2 manticores, a dragon and two rare choice monsters (or three if they are 200pts or less). Screw magic, let's go for target saturation. Core would be DR, special would be harpies and COK if Points allow it. One dimensional, but ballsey and in your face. The other option would be four heroes on pegs....

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Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:38 am
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