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View Full Version : Ranged combat advice please



Makarion
21-11-2007, 19:50
Hi folks,

I'm an Empire player, and firmly in the "combined arms" camp. Which means predominantly infantry (say, 3 solid blocks with detachments), supported by 2 small knight units and various ranged combat and war machines, plus medium magic.

I like the maneuvering interaction between the infantry and the cavalry, and I like having both crossbows and rifles as well, since that 6" extra has paid off more often than you'd think.

Regarding characters, they are fully at the service of the army as a whole, e.g. always a BSB, and never a wizard lord - got to have the Ld of a good general.


Lately I've gotten a little tired of the massive amounts of squishy humans, and the move-or-shoot nature of the Empire ranged combat. Sure, we have archers (and I always field at least one detachment of skirmishing archers - sometimes scouts, too), but S3 bows (not even longbows in 7th) don't kill anything.

So, what can I do? I'm considering starting something else, and I'd like it to be a little more elite than Empire - there's *still* unpainted infantry somewhere in a box. Less need for about 7' of deployment zone would also be nice. Last but not least, I'd like move-and-shoot ranged combat troops that are better than S3.

Lizardmen might sound like a decent option at first, but I have consistently smoked them with my Empire (the one time I lost he had two units of saurus cavalry that were very lucky, and my war machines must have forgotten to keep their powder save - both cannons misfired or exploded). They also seem overpriced for what you get, and I am generally not much interested in a list build around monsters.

Second thought would be something like a Slaanesh mortals heavy magic list, but it has no shooting at all - although I could have good fun with the maneuvering of my own units, and my opponent as well. They seem to have the reputation of being overpriced as well, though (chaos warriors, and knights to some extent, at least compared to my Empire IC, or VC, or Bret).

Wood Elves have the shooting, and Wild Riders, but I am not enamoured of the trees too much, and I am not sure they are viable without the foliage in their bonnet.

Dark Elves, well... Overpriced in spades of course, but I love the dark riders and corsairs. They have little else going for them, I'm afraid. Plus, they are just as squishy as Empire, but at a much higher cost in both $ and points.

Last that sprang to mind is Tomb Kings with Khalida and poison arrows. My spouse plays that (and other versions of TK), and it's effective enough, but it also means I'm not going to pick it up myself, of course.


So, what did I miss? I want missile troops that can actually wound (and maneuver better than Empire handgunners or crossbows), I want rugged infantry that doesn't cost 15 points per model, and I don't want another 200+ model army. Suggestions? Or am I just in cloud cuckoo land and am I looking for something too good to be true?


Thanks in advance

Mercules
21-11-2007, 20:04
Bretonia?

The Peasant Archers have long bows and can be set up either with stakes to be defensive or as Skirmishers making them mobile. You can also pick up Mounted Yeomen for Fast Calvary with bows.

The Grail Reliquae is a wonderful tarpit unit. It doesn't hit very hard after the first round of combat(where they at least get re-rolls on misses) but they have solid saves and can stick around for a bit.

You will have to have a unit of Knights, but it sounds like you are using them in your Empire army and KoR are like Knights! version 2.7.11. They make a great hammer unit and things like the Reliquae become the anvil.

Etienne de Beaugard
21-11-2007, 20:06
Hi folks,
So, what did I miss? I want missile troops that can actually wound (and maneuver better than Empire handgunners or crossbows), I want rugged infantry that doesn't cost 15 points per model, and I don't want another 200+ model army. Suggestions? Or am I just in cloud cuckoo land and am I looking for something too good to be true?


Mobile, tough and good shooting... Hmmm... Space Marines? Tau?

No, seriously, toughness, mobility and good shooting are an army core? I think your out of luck. Bretonnians have toughness and mobility. Dwarves and toughness and shooting. Woodelves have mobility and shooting.

Maybe OK has some formation that might fit the bill?

Mercules
21-11-2007, 20:22
Mobile, tough and good shooting... Hmmm... Space Marines? Tau?

No, seriously, toughness, mobility and good shooting are an army core? I think your out of luck. Bretonnians have toughness and mobility. Dwarves and toughness and shooting. Woodelves have mobility and shooting.

Maybe OK has some formation that might fit the bill?

OK has a couple things that shoot.

Hunters - tough, mobile, hard shooting... but they are Characters that can't join units.

Leadbelchers - each one can make between 2 and 10 shots on a turn but they can blow up their own unit, have a range of 12" and need to spend a turn doing nothing to reload. They can move and shoot without range penalties and such, but only have a BS of 3.

Gnoblars - Which bicker and can end up doing nothing or throw Sharp Stuff a whole 8" x2 with a BS of 3 and Str 2.

Maneaters given a Brace of Handguns - 80 points per model, Rare choice, good all around shooting stats, can be given Heavy armor and solid toughness makes them hard to kill. WAY to expensive to have very many of these though.

OK's infantry is either very big and tough and thus expensive, or Gnoblars which die in droves and seem more lucky than they should be. Nothing in between.

Makarion
21-11-2007, 20:30
Mobile, tough and good shooting... Hmmm... Space Marines? Tau?

No, seriously, toughness, mobility and good shooting are an army core? I think your out of luck. Bretonnians have toughness and mobility. Dwarves and toughness and shooting. Woodelves have mobility and shooting.

Maybe OK has some formation that might fit the bill?

I agree that OK would fit the bill, since their Leadbelchers are rather excellent. Sadly, they irritate me a lot, possibly because of the "Monster Ball" flavour I don't want (I'm one of those reactionary wargamers that happen to play WFB, not the other way around).

I considered O&G for a bit, since I like the bolt throwers and the wolf riders, but they are just as massed as Empire, and they have the same issues wounding (at range). I could possibly live with those two problems but for the animosity, which really takes away too much from the tactical decision making.

Then there's Chaos Dwarves, who have a fine selection of models (not much choice, but the right choice), but they are a touch tricky to collect, to put it mildly. Not to mention, it's really not sure whether they are a legal army right now, given the most recent GT announcement. They might be a contender, though. At least their monsters are based on real life mythology, instead of B-grade Tolkien et.al.

Malorian
21-11-2007, 21:18
I'd just stay with empire and try substituting in some units of pistoliers and outriders. And if you really want mobile, tough, and shooty try the stream cannon.

txamil
21-11-2007, 22:58
If you hadn't said you played Empire, I would said Empire to what you want.

So it's High Elves.

The army you want doesn't exist. And to speak frankly, with good reason.

Xzazzarai
22-11-2007, 01:04
Sure you could play an Asrai list (Only elves, no branches, no trees, no twigs etc)

You just gotta be more carefull, cuz you don't have those wossy things that can hold up the enemy. You gotta rely on you ability to avoid combat and/or doubleteam. And shoot the meanwhile doing this.

Maybe sounds pretty much like any WE army, but you gotta do it in a greater extent than if you had those woody... trees.

Finnigan2004
22-11-2007, 04:41
You could try dogs of war. You can use a nice combination of humans, dwarfs, ogres, cavalry, etc.. You basically get to mix and match until you have a combination of units that you really like.

SilentTempest
23-11-2007, 01:12
As others have said, it sounds like maybe you could just alter your Empire army a bit. Pistoliers, maybe some Galloper Guns from DOW?

According to your criteria, I think the Asria list is as close as you're going to get. Rubbish on the resilience front, but they're fast, shooty, and don't require a truckload of models. If you could get over your tree-aversion, they also have some very resilient units. (I personally don't care for the Treekin/men, but don't mind the Dryads. Do you hate ALL the forest spirits?)

CaptScott
23-11-2007, 06:00
I have to agree with many other here in that Empire seems to fit the bill. An all mounted fast assualt force might work wonders

Grand Master
5 units of 6 knights
3 units of 6 pistoliers
1 unit of 6 outriders
2 Captegi (captains on pegasus)
Some huntsmen scouts

Unfortunately its still Empire, and you probably want something new...

Highborn
23-11-2007, 07:20
I've run my Wood Elves tree-less from time to time, with some success. The key is recognising your specialist combat units' strengths. A Wardancer Noble with the Moonstone and 7 buddies is deadly. A Wild Rider Noble with 5 tag-alongs and the war banner forms a second hard-hitting strike force. A BSB sitting in a sizable Eternal Guard unit makes a good anvil. An Alter Highborn with Bow of Loren, Arcane Bodkins, Stone of Crystal Mere and a great weapon, and possibly Briarsheath, makes for a great troubleshooter against armour. The Elves of the Wood Elf list are all quality choices (with the exception of Scouts and possibly Warhawk Riders), that are simply overshadowed by the trees.

Makarion
24-11-2007, 06:06
As others have said, it sounds like maybe you could just alter your Empire army a bit. Pistoliers, maybe some Galloper Guns from DOW?

According to your criteria, I think the Asria list is as close as you're going to get. Rubbish on the resilience front, but they're fast, shooty, and don't require a truckload of models. If you could get over your tree-aversion, they also have some very resilient units. (I personally don't care for the Treekin/men, but don't mind the Dryads. Do you hate ALL the forest spirits?)

Actually, I love the idea of the forest spirits, and I've been wanting to do a seasonal-themed wood elf army for about two years now. Sadly, I got to seriously dislike Treemen with my Empire (and dryads are too good as well, to be honest).

The wood elves' reputation for brokenness is sadly well earned, and I'd have to select units so careful not to upset myself let alone others that I'm quite unsure on whether I'd be happy with such a project.


Let's see what units I like.

(Note: I am not a big fan of treesurving ranked units - it feels inappropriate. But then again, I'm handicapping myself often enough, that's only one more thing.... Also, a game won means a game in which both players had a good time. I'll fight very hard to be the guy in front at the bottom of the 6th, but if my opponent is unhappy about how it went, I lost nonetheless.)

Glade Guard. Pretty much the definition of the type of shooting I like, but a royal pain to deal with as an enemy, unless you totally dominate the magic phase. I wonder whether the scout variety is worth the extra points. Probably worth including a single unit of the latter.

Glade Riders. I'm uncertain about their cost/benefit picture though, given how vulnerable to enemy shooting they are - but then again, I am used to 26-pt S4/6 Sv 1+ knights, and that's always been a deal hard to match.

Eternal Guard. Such a beautiful anvil, but they require some serious thought on how to deal with enemy shooting, especially dwarves (who have war machines, good magic defence, and enough armour on their ranged infantry to withstand arrow fire). Rhymer's Harp would help, but is a serious investment, since it requires a lord - and I might prefer a BSB instead. Is a Spellweaver with the harp an option at all for the EG?

Tree Kin. Weakest of the forest spirits, but I prefer their appearance and their flavour. And I'd feel less cheesy. Besides, they would complement the idea that my elves bring some of their allies, instead of the 30+ dryads having some token woodies along for the ride.

Warhawk Riders. Expensive, vulnerable (of course), but I can see how they would be very good, once you get the hang of them. Nowhere near useful against all-cav armies and the like, but about the most elegant harassment unit I know of.

Wild Riders. How do you use the A+1 when *not* charging though? Them being fast cav, you'd think that hit and run would be the preferred tactic, even if their partial wardsave grants them a tiny lifeline.

And I guess I'm about the only porspective wood elf player who feels there's no good choices for the rare slots.... Maybe include some DoW heavy cav as a Bretonnian detachment, since they have a fair amount of shared background material.

Characters: all but Drycha and Naestra & Arahan. Especially fond of Orion (although it seems a tough call to make him earn back his points), and I like many of the magic items as well that are available.


So.... does this leave a viable army, or shall I start buying a box or two of BfSP, lots of green stuff, and start working on tall hats and curly beards?

Dwarf Runelord 45
20-12-2007, 00:28
Well..... empire has the longest ranged cannon so use it 60" yeah.

SilentTempest
21-12-2007, 01:25
I'm a little surprised that you're not interested in Waywatchers. Sure, they're expensive, especially for T3 and no armour. But you're talking about mobile shooting that can hurt things. Apart from Fast Cav, I don't think shooting comes much more mobile than Scouting Skirmishers that can walk through woods unhindered. And in terms of hurting things, well, yes, they're S3, and I know people always say not to rely on it, but Lethal Shot can work. Given Waywatchers will pretty much all hit at short range, a unit has a decent chance of at least pulling one 6 to wound. Handy against heavily armoured models(roll a couple of 6s to wound against Chosen Chaos Knights and you'll be laughing).

If you don't like them, you don't like them, but I'm sure a little surprised that someone who wants what you want doesn't rate any WE rare choices.