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Lord Inquisitor
26-11-2007, 17:35
So I tried out against the new High Elves. I was very, very scared of this "always strikes first" so I cheated a bit and took some Lahmia vampires with Innocence Lost and with I8 or 9 I was able to get some hits in against those pesky swordmasters.

In the end I managed to get a decisive win, but it was definately dicey for a while. I'm not sure I would have done so well if I hadn't taken heroes that could actually strike before the elves.

I'm really still not sure about this "always strikes first" thing. It really makes some bizarre circumstances. An spear-elf unit declared a charge, failed its Fear test and then we both realised that we was better off that he had failed!

There are still some very odd things about the list. Can someone explain why they still have discounted items? How does it make sense that the staff of +1 to dispel costs less for High Elves when it is really much more valuble to them since it stacks with their usual +1? Surely if you wanted to get across the idea that Elves have more magic items then increasing their magic item allowance would be a better idea!

Ultimately, I really don't think the "always strikes first" was a good idea. It leads to rather ludicrous situations. I simply could not charge in with my Dire Wolves. There wasn't any unit available that wouldn't have simply slaughtered them. In the end, my Wolves never got into combat - all they did was draw out some White Lions into a dance around the battlefield. What my opponent didn't realise that he could probably have turned his unit round and he'd still have slaughtered me if I charged him in the rear. Even worse with swordmasters - there is just about nothing in my army that can actually charge swordmasters even in the rear and hope to win!

Standard tactics just don't work against elves. Now, before I get the inevitable "you'll just have to change your tactics" replies that's not what I meant. With the exception of cavalry and other units with bonuses on the charge, elves are always better off being charged than charging. Even worse, for elite units like swordsmasters, the more units I charge in, the more he's going to win combat by. Negating rank bonus might make it worthwhile, but certainly charing in the rear and flank would be foolish.

This leads to the utterly wierd situation that these ultra-mobile elves are remaining stationary and waiting for me to charge (yeah, okay, the image for LotR comes to mind), not only that, but elves suffer little fear of being outmaneuvered! What on earth happened to one of the most mobile armies in the game? My opponent also plays dwarfs and his elves used exactly the same tactics as his dwarfs!

It just seems to take away some of the tactical aspect to the game, at least for armies like Undead which lack missle fire. Point spent, for example, on magic abilities to move units - game winning stuff, especially for the slower undead - just doesn't do much.

So, bottom line, the new Elves are far from unbeatable, but not sure I like how they transform the tactics of the game.

Huoshini
26-11-2007, 18:56
I see your problem. Charging for VC is very important and losing that, sucks! But, you cause fear. That is single handedly awesome.

Outnumber and run buggers off.

You may have to change your army up a little by removing fodder units that die easily. But all things must change. Dire wolves don't stand a chance, and you're likely to never get front rank attacks from skellies and zombos. Utilize your fear. Thats the only way i can see how to win.

night2501
26-11-2007, 19:27
asdf dire wolfes flank chavalry in a single rank only 1 atack first, same with archers, force them to move get -1 to shoting too vclose to stand and shot...

play like dwarft but less T less Sv and less numbers plus less powerfull shoting, asdf just don`t charge them and slowly kill them with magic shoting, or swamp them with zombies no matter if only one or 2 elves die each turn, they can not stay static force them to move

asdf chariot, HE now really phear chariots

I thin a unit of leadlechers might do the trick, ar as you did use some lahmias to teach them

Buckero0
26-11-2007, 20:12
you may have to change your strategy a bit (why are you playing Lahmia in the first place?) and I'll agree that a few armies are going to have a harder time vs the HE ASF than others, but did you really think that your skeletons would get the charge off? You would have been better if his spearmen got the charge(5 less attacks), but I really don't think that any HE would get caught letting some slow skeleton pouncing on him. HE have always had cheaper magic items and actually very few of the items changed, and even fewer changed cost than the last edition. HE magic is in a lot of ways a bit weaker in my opinion. Outnumber and fear are really the only ways to send a HE packing. Your characters still are better, tougher and nastier. You still have ethereals which unless the HE takes the amulet of light (1 per army) most of his army can't touch you. Plus your army book is coming out in less than 6 months probably and it will be even more ridiculous with it's new rules. So live it up!

Jerrus
26-11-2007, 20:56
The Staff of Sorcery (+1 dispel) is cheaper for both O&G and Empire compared to High Elves in the 7ed Army Books

Lord Inquisitor
26-11-2007, 21:55
Firstly, I wasn't really needing advice on how to beat elves (after all, I just won against them) but much more wondering about the nature of the army. Not so much that they're hard to beat but that they can't be beaten with good tactics.

For example, night2501 suggested that I should get my dire wolves to "flank chavalry in a single rank only 1 atack first"... Very good advice, but my point was that this feels wrong. Essentially, I'm trying to clip the enemy unit. Warhammer should be about units clashing and throwing lots of dice! But this rule for elves means that I have to resort to such tactics.


I see your problem. Charging for VC is very important and losing that, sucks! But, you cause fear. That is single handedly awesome.
Fear is quite nice, and ultimately it won me the game. The High Elves have two magic standards that make units immune to Fear though and the Phoenix Guard are immune to it too. Can't rely on Fear that much.


Outnumber and run buggers off.
Good advice normally, but it is impossible to drag units like Swordmasters down by weight of numbers. Don't forget, you have to be able to win the combat too.


play like dwarft but less T less Sv and less numbers plus less powerfull shoting,
Er, that would be no shooting.


asdf
What?


just don`t charge them and slowly kill them with magic shoting,
My opponent, with only two hero mages had 5 dispel dice and +2 to dispel rolls and had Drain Magic on top of that. I wasn't getting many spells off!


or swamp them with zombies no matter if only one or 2 elves die each turn, they can not stay static force them to move
That's what I'm saying. Swamping units like swordsmasters with zombies just gives him more enemies to kill which means he's going to win by more. Look at it like this, if I charge 25 swordsmasters with 25 skeletons, assuming the swordmasters kill 5 skeletons, the combat resolution will be 5 to him. I charge him in the flank with a second unit of skeletons, he will kill about 5 more zombies but I get +5 from negating his ranks, the flank bonus and outnumbering. He still wins by 5 (both units lose by 5). Okay, now I charge another 25 skeletons in the rear. His kills go up by another 5 and I gain only the +2 for rear. I now lose combat by 8. If I go ahead and charge that last flank with another 25 skeletons I achieve nothing but increase combat resolution to 13. So if I charge 100 skeletons in and completely surround the unit of swordmasters, it would only take them two rounds of combat to slaughter the lot!

Swamping won't work. Spears and soforth might help, but remember these swordmasters are only 15 points each.

Note that this doesn't just apply to undead. Any army that relies on weight of numbers is going to suffer against the new elves - skaven or goblins, for example - but at least they've archers or missile troops that can whittle down elite elven units.


you may have to change your strategy a bit (why are you playing Lahmia in the first place?)
I don't normally play Lahmians (too many immune to psych troops and heroes out there) but actually Lahmians are very good against the new elves. Even the Vampire Thralls can take Innocence Lost (Always Strikes First) and with I8 can kill some of those lightly-armoured swordmasters before they get to butcher my troops.


but did you really think that your skeletons would get the charge off?
Oh yes. With magic in the mix, the Vampire Counts are one of the most maneuverable armies. But it isn't just skeletons (I'm usually okay with them not charging) but things like fell bats, dire wolves, black knights and vampires that really suffer here.


You would have been better if his spearmen got the charge(5 less attacks)
With 15 attacks for only 5 models wide, even spearmen are a real problem to assault these days as that's enough to get rid of the fighting rank of even heavy infantry. Obviously this is a case where a side charge is preferable!


Outnumber and fear are really the only ways to send a HE packing. Your characters still are better, tougher and nastier. You still have ethereals which unless the HE takes the amulet of light (1 per army) most of his army can't touch you. Plus your army book is coming out in less than 6 months probably and it will be even more ridiculous with it's new rules. So live it up!
Heh. Don't worry, as I said, I'm not bothered that I can't deal with elves. I just don't like what they do to the game. And I am looking forward to the new book, but I do hope the new undead aren't overpowered.

But let me put it this way, if I were a High Elf player I would hate the new rule. It would take away some of the strategy in the game for me.


The Staff of Sorcery (+1 dispel) is cheaper for both O&G and Empire compared to High Elves in the 7ed Army Books
Really? Going to have to check that out. Interesting! How much cheaper?

Jacktheripper34
26-11-2007, 22:55
I play Night Goblins (well mixed goblins, but mostly night) and one of my three main opponents plays high elves, and when i looked over the new codex... I decided to start that new dwarf army Iv been wanting to start. I just don't see how I can beat um, granted Im VERY new to the game (been painting for ten years, but never played until i found my current gaming group) But I'm not asking for tac advice here eaither, I know how my army works, Im just agreeing with Lord Inquisitor here, I think that the new rule is HEAVILY unbalanced, and forces too many armies to change their tactics and basic playing style too much. Basically GW screwed up, ..... again.

vorac
26-11-2007, 23:08
amen brother

soots
26-11-2007, 23:16
Yup.

And when you say you just have to outmanouvre him with wolves and such. Well High elves are one of the most agile armies out there! Why do i need to wait for him to make a mistake to charge him for a small chance to win combat?

Mad Doc Grotsnik
26-11-2007, 23:23
How to take on High Elves...

Flank the buggers. Piece of cake when they are so small. Most armies have access to fast cavalry, and Vampires can even raise units in irritating places to march block. Get that right, and you slow them down to a crawl.

Then, get in those flank or rear charges. Strip off their ranks, get a bonus combat res point, and watch them struggle. Yes, even Swordmaster will struggle when engaged anywhere but the front.

Bombard them with magic and ranged firepower. Knocking off even a single rank is well worth the effort.

And of course, there is good, old fashioned attrition, the traditional bane of Elves, as they lack the numbers and staying power to win a protracted fight.

And is having to use new tactics a sign of a screw up? I don't think so. Personally, it's how Warhammer should be in my opinion. Different race, differest tricks....

zak
27-11-2007, 00:43
Is changing tactics a bad thing? I think not. If something comes along and forces me to rethink how I play then that's good otherwise what what you get is a stale old army. New challenges are not bad, just different.

Crazy Harborc
27-11-2007, 01:19
For me the ASF is a reason to drag out my Empire and a bit of a gunline, a rocket launcher, a mortar.......shooting will soften up those ASF units. Detachments will get on those flanks when the parent units charge in.

Jacktheripper34
27-11-2007, 01:42
I'm not saying that having to adapt your tactics depending on your enime is a bad thing, contrary its realistic .... Well as realistic as a fantasy game can be, but to be competitive all of a sudden my horde army (what it is meant to be) has to drop its massive and now inefective troop blocks and make a fast cav Hun-like army isn't changing tactics its changing playstyle and the army, changing tactics is changing how you use your fast cav and mabey drop a unit 4 another.

night2501
27-11-2007, 01:48
asdf I get wath you say, yes HE are now an odity in all the aspects you noted, the army loses a lot of depht in the tactics department... or it dosn`t?
you noted that now HE where better not charging, but is this a tactical advantage? well the aswer is no, as they have to face shoting or magic, so exploiting that you can force HE to charge into a bad position, too bad in your case you had no shoting and magic wa snot geting off, but that would hapend against any strongh magic defensesome cheap sacrifice mage hunting unit might have solved that, so in that point HE hav enot become less tactical, just a bit diferent, well that`s for spearelves.
second, as i noted HE have not the dwarfs staying power nor the shoting power, meaning they will almost never win a game with shoting alone, so they now have the incentive to stay put there, and you have no incentive to gocharge them ... the bad thing is that as they don`t have numbers nor staying power they will be forced to move, granted that you need some ways to exploit that, so HE again have to fac eonother tough decision...
then swamping, it does work, but as you notice sometimes ading more units make things worse, but a single unit of zombies in the flank of a 2 ranks unit of swordmaster is going to win, and SW is the most killy thing HE have now, so while it might look like the HE don`t need to care about flank charges and all that, is just not true, same with cavalry you might not like that but it works...well guess you don`t like point denyal aproach too, but HE can`t do much against it unless they move...
so while HE do get a quite big boost in power, almos tto the point of unbalance, there are many subtle tricks the developers used to kept the army balanced, and while the HE seems like the where made easier to play with, it will take quite a good player to get the full potential of them and make the right decisions, now the problem if is the amry have the tolls to exploit the weaknesses of it, on the other hand most of the usual tactics against HE still works...
so no the HE have not lost any tactical depth, but it became quite difernt...


PS:
well I play WE (and mostly with elves) so the new rule hurt me like hell, and gav eit a lot of tough, and the true is not that bad, actually it make things easier for me, I jsut don`t charge him, same with dwarfs, they can put all the uber kily units they want I will kill the weak one deny the point to them and wi nthe game =P

CHOOBER SNIPES
27-11-2007, 02:16
as much as i respect yall's opinions, u cannot look at things in a vacuum. 25 SM should beat an infinite amount of cc core units that arent chaos (all mortals are core). Noone would do that because in an allcomers list that unit will be so beat up by the time it gets to the enemy its not even worth it. Target priority is a real thing people. Try it. elves only get to sit there if YOU dont do anything. WL's and SM's will almost never hav more than 2 ranks, so if you flank them, thats 2-4 attacks. PG arent nearly as killy as either, so flanking even a 25 strong unit isnt going to kill u, and definitely not kill any sturdy troops. When u argue that elves need not use tactics and that u cant flank because they are so mobile u are proving your own point wrong. If elves dont use tactics or movement then u CAN flank them, and so u win. If they do move, then theyre probably charging u so its traditional tactics. If your inability to make an enemy with so little shooting move is what is making u lose or influencing your opinion then u should learn some tactics. Safest place for an elite elf is in cc, so they want to get in combat with u, not just sit there. granted i do understand that for some armies it is certainly more difficult (but certainly not impossible) to do so, ex. no shooting VC vs. powerful shooting dwarfs. Still tho, if u deal with them using COMMON SENSE and SMELLY CATS then u should be able to use traditional tactics. Overall, shoot with target priority in mind (ie. kill the SM) and make them move by setting up flank charges. Also, just b/c the new infantry are playable, dont forget about the cav, DP's are 2A models too, with WS5 S5 and a HORSY. to show u how effective they are, the horses dont kill more than the knights anymore, and just saying, one of my horses once killed a chosen khorne chaos knight :eek::wtf:

Entreri Bloodletter
27-11-2007, 02:52
First off, I'd like to say that ASF isn't ridiculously overpowered, its good yes, but if well played they could have struck first most of the time anyway- especially vs vampire counts.

As for that hypothetical block of 25 SM I doubt anyone would actually take a unit that big simply because it costs over 400 pts! 1 failed panic test and thats a huge chunk of pts down the drain. Instead I expect most elite units will be 10-14 which means they have very vulnerable flanks. One unit of zombies in the flank of even SM will send them running for the hills. Since he only had 2 hero lvl mages that's not a whole lot of magic, especially if he's casting drain magic. You can save your dice for drain magic and then still be able to cast your movement spells to give you the tactical advantage.

Overall, fear is very good vs HE, if they fluff their attacks once, you will be auto-breaking them.

EvC
27-11-2007, 12:49
Yes, ASF is harsh to armies that rely on close-combat victories, but psychology is the key to victory against HE, just as it always was.

To be honest, Dire Wolves have never been good at taking out weak enemy troops- too few attacks, and low quality. You might be able to take out a Bolt Thrower with them, but rarely anything stronger- unless they fail a fear test to begin with, of course. You shouldn't be using Dire Wolves to assault any units (Not with HE at least), they should be nipping around, causing trouble, trying to catch flee-ers and redirecting the enemy (As with the White Lions). And if they do manage to divert a 300 point enemy unit for most the game, that's a good thing.

"if I were a High Elf player I would hate the new rule. It would take away some of the strategy in the game for me."
I agree with this, and as a High Elf player I do hate the new rule. Mostly because if you want a fighting army, then it's at a disadvantage, encouraging gunlines. But there's no point complaining any more, instead it's time to knuckle down and give them a good old-fashioned beating if at all possible. And it can be done.

LaFave
27-11-2007, 13:38
I feel that everyone is just overwhemled by the new ASF rule. Once people calm down, there will be posts about tactis to beat it, just as there is anything else. The 2 core choices is a bigger change IMHO anyway.

I play both HE and VC so I know about tactics for both. I agree with GW that the HE now fit the fluff. T3 with little to no armour, you have to give them something, other wise they would just get run over. So, fighting HE is close combat is a tricky issue now, big deal. As my Orc friend would say, "Just put some fanatics in their face"

VC wolves are as pointless against HE as dispel scrolls against Dwarfs. But Blood Dragon Lord and Thrall are very strong.

knightwire
27-11-2007, 15:00
Swamping won't work. Spears and soforth might help, but remember these swordmasters are only 15 points each.


Only 15 point each eh? That's not what you call cheap... especially if you take a lot and thrown in those upped priced characters HE have now because of ASF. If an HE army is elite it's also small.




Note that this doesn't just apply to undead. Any army that relies on weight of numbers is going to suffer against the new elves - skaven or goblins, for example - but at least they've archers or missile troops that can whittle down elite elven units.


Emphasis mine. This should read Swordmasters. You play ring around the rosey with any other infantry unit the HE have an they are breaking with a charge to the flank. Only Swordmasters are killing machines versus horde units with normal/low T and poor AS. And you answered your own question... those armies have shooting to deal with SM units.

If SM are killing zombies then they aren't killing more important things. I've seen my friend do it time and time again... isolate anything that hurts him and feed it a steady diet of zombies.


It's very odd to hear a player using an undead army discuss how ASF changes the game. The undead rules change core mechanics as well and the game didn't explode. You can not always approach undead races with the same tactics that win you games versus living armies. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask you as an opponent to change your approach to the ASF HE armies.

Duck Dodgers
27-11-2007, 19:00
Yes, individual units are powerful... but they still can't match sheer numbers. I mean, heck, you can field 100 core Night Goblins for the point costs of 20 swordmasters.

That is part of what I see as everyone saying HE are too powerful. Yeah, they are... that's why a Horde Army should use that Horde part... when you can outnumber the elite 5 to one, use that advantage.

And besides... ASF isn't a Goblin's worst enemy against HE... It's that pesky "Fear Elves" special rule... an all goblin army would be making nothing but leadership rolls against any elf army. A roll to charge, A roll when charged, automatically break if you lose combat... That will affect you far more than any ASF feature ever would... and that would apply to the old rules as well...

Lord Inquisitor
27-11-2007, 21:01
Yes, individual units are powerful... but they still can't match sheer numbers. I mean, heck, you can field 100 core Night Goblins for the point costs of 20 swordmasters.
Right. Now take those 100 night goblins, break them into units of 25 and charge the swordmasters in the front, rear and both flanks.

Odds are the swordmasters will win 9 times out of 10 and break all of your goblins! You're getting what, three ranks, outnumbering, flank and rear combat resolution bonuses. Thats combat resolution of 7. He's getting (assuming 20 swordmasters) 28 WS6 S5 attacks. I would expect about 15 casualties from that - and you'd be luck if you get to attack with any troops at all. So if you are foolish enough to charge him, he's not only likely to win, he's going to crush you for probably no casualties in return.

Kellindel
27-11-2007, 21:37
Right. Now take those 100 night goblins, break them into units of 25 and charge the swordmasters in the front, rear and both flanks.

Odds are the swordmasters will win 9 times out of 10 and break all of your goblins! You're getting what, three ranks, outnumbering, flank and rear combat resolution bonuses. Thats combat resolution of 7. He's getting (assuming 20 swordmasters) 28 WS6 S5 attacks. I would expect about 15 casualties from that - and you'd be luck if you get to attack with any troops at all. So if you are foolish enough to charge him, he's not only likely to win, he's going to crush you for probably no casualties in return.

This 25 Swordmaster example is a really bad example ... if there is a player putting 25 swordmasters on the table then he's going to be HURTING with the rest of his force. Yeah the unit is going to break lots of stuff ... But what is he going to have in his other units??? Not much.

I played some goblins last weekend. Yeah I won, but I lucked out in the next to last round. And it wasn't my dice that got me the luck, it was his. Otherwise he was winning up until then and I still wasn't even winning by much in the last round.

Chiungalla
27-11-2007, 21:38
And if the night goblins have short bows, the swordmaster will see no close combat at all.
And if the goblin player places his goblins well, the swordmasters will get no chance to beat all 4 units.

Lord Inquisitor
27-11-2007, 22:03
Flank the buggers. Piece of cake when they are so small. Most armies have access to fast cavalry, and Vampires can even raise units in irritating places to march block. Get that right, and you slow them down to a crawl.

Then, get in those flank or rear charges. Strip off their ranks, get a bonus combat res point, and watch them struggle. Yes, even Swordmaster will struggle when engaged anywhere but the front.
Yes, flanking is definately a very good idea! Granted. Yet that's hard to do, even against a relatively static elf army.

But as to swordmasters struggling... if I engage them with fast units, even heavy cavalry like black knights get slaughtered - even when charging in the flanks. Any normal infantry unit can't really hope to win even with a flank charge against a decent block of swordmasters.


And is having to use new tactics a sign of a screw up? I don't think so. Personally, it's how Warhammer should be in my opinion. Different race, differest tricks....
This is exactly the point I was trying to raise...

New tactics are fine, but the issue I have here is that these new tactics are ... unpalatable. The game should revolve around outmaneuvering the opponent - the advantage for charging has been present in every army in every edition. It's a fundamental constant within the game.

While my having to adapt new tactics is all well and good, but if I am left in a position that I simply cannot afford to charge in my fast cavalry even into a flank, or I'm trying to charge my troops in such a way that I get as few in combat as possible, or I'm left with the realisation that swamping the enemy with poor quality troops is no longer viable at all - that doesn't seem healthy for the game.

Sure I can beat elves. Remember, I won that game? I took plenty of wights, which are actually pretty good - even swordmasters have trouble with T4 and a 3+ save. I used the Dire Wolves to good effect - 100 points of wolves kept 300-odd points of white lions dancing around the table.

It just feels... like the tactics are based on the game rather than strategy. Make any sense?

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you noted that now HE where better not charging, but is this a tactical advantage? well the aswer is no, as they have to face shoting or magic, so exploiting that you can force HE to charge into a bad position,
I never said they couldn't move. There are situations where it would obviously be advantageous for them to move. But the point is that they're able to do either and, more importantly if the elf player makes a mistake and consequently gets charged he does not get punished for his mistake.

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WL's and SM's will almost never hav more than 2 ranks, so if you flank them, thats 2-4 attacks.
Really? I was facing 20+ strong units and they seemed a good deal to me! Taking 20+ models even if they're 15 points a head seems like a good idea precisely because it protects you from flankers.

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First off, I'd like to say that ASF isn't ridiculously overpowered, its good yes, but if well played they could have struck first most of the time anyway- especially vs vampire counts.
Exactly! If played well! That's precisely my point... if played badly they wouldn't. So some of the skill has gone.


As for that hypothetical block of 25 SM I doubt anyone would actually take a unit that big simply because it costs over 400 pts! 1 failed panic test and thats a huge chunk of pts down the drain.
Meh, I did face that and I think they had the Standard of Balance to deal with that.


You can save your dice for drain magic and then still be able to cast your movement spells to give you the tactical advantage.
While the movement spells can give you a tactical advantage, it's not all that great because a big part of that is to get the slow skeletons and grave guard to strike first.

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Yes, ASF is harsh to armies that rely on close-combat victories, but psychology is the key to victory against HE, just as it always was.
Perhaps, but bear in mind that if they fail a fear check when charging, that's really not a problem. Fear is still the undead's biggest weapon, but it is harder to use these days.


To be honest, Dire Wolves have never been good at taking out weak enemy troops- too few attacks, and low quality.
I don't know - 7 or so WS3, S4 attacks are pretty good against T3 troops with only a 5+ save. The key thing here is that every kill is one less attack back. And really, the only reason I was able to drag his unit around the board was because he hadn't adapted to the new rules. Because his elves are so forgiving, he could quite easily turn his rear to my wolves and STILL destroy them easily.

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Only 15 point each eh? That's not what you call cheap... especially if you take a lot and thrown in those upped priced characters HE have now because of ASF. If an HE army is elite it's also small.
My baseline infantry are what, 9 points each. How much is an elf spearman with a shield? I think it's about the same. 15 points for swordmasters or phoenix guard seems pretty good for me. Not sure I would say overpowered necessarily (they're very weak vs shooting) but they seem a very good deal compared with other, even elite, infantry.


It's very odd to hear a player using an undead army discuss how ASF changes the game. The undead rules change core mechanics as well and the game didn't explode. You can not always approach undead races with the same tactics that win you games versus living armies. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask you as an opponent to change your approach to the ASF HE armies.
A very good point, and something that has occurred to me. I don't think the Undead rules really have as much of an effect on the game itself. Fear can have an enormous effect and tactics need to be adapted - but the basic principles of getting the charge in, swamping elite units with poor troops or just plain outmaneuvering the enemy aren't affected by the undead rules.

Lord Inquisitor
27-11-2007, 22:15
This 25 Swordmaster example is a really bad example ... if there is a player putting 25 swordmasters on the table then he's going to be HURTING with the rest of his force. Yeah the unit is going to break lots of stuff ... But what is he going to have in his other units??? Not much.
I don't know - even with a full command, that's around 400 points. Not THAT much for an elite unit. My Grave Guard are also 15 points and I'd be insane to take less than 20 in a unit.


And if the night goblins have short bows, the swordmaster will see no close combat at all.
Well, granted. But I WAS replying to someone who said that weight of numbers would win the day.


And if the goblin player places his goblins well, the swordmasters will get no chance to beat all 4 units.
How? If all 4 units charge in, they're going to be on all 4 sides. I don't see how placing can improve that, unless you are talking about clipping. Now clipping would work, but if you need to rely on clipping then there is something seriously wrong with the game.

Duck Dodgers
27-11-2007, 22:44
Just a quick question... Do you know anyone who has actually played an O&G army against the HE? Specifically your HE friend who is fielding swordmasters in blocks of 20+? How badly was the O&G player slaughtered?

As to Game vs Strategy... You'll have to explain how you think it's different. Every army have abilities that bend or break the basic rules. Yes, ASF is a major rule shift... but, in it's own way, so is the fact that the Empire has detachments that can perform a Stand and Shoot reaction against units that are not charging them...

The rules that dictate your strategy -are- the game. If I was playing a different game, the strategy would be different, because the rules are different.

Always Strike First is in the main rule book. It was something that you had to take into consideration. Yes, HE now makes this a major consideration, not a lesser one. But it is still a basic part of the game; merely being used in a larger scale by one army.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
27-11-2007, 23:33
I don't know - even with a full command, that's around 400 points. Not THAT much for an elite unit. My Grave Guard are also 15 points and I'd be insane to take less than 20 in a unit.



My mate Lol has two units of Grave Guard, with Shield and Halberd, and takes them in units of 13. Never had any problems. Secret to his success is to stick Ghouls or Zombies in the flank/rear. Chews through enemy units like nobodies business, and they always seem to survive incoming fire pretty well (yay T4!)

Halberds are there for other T4 troops, otherwise he fights hand weapon and shield.

But I digress...

Flanking is a damned sight easier than you make it out to be, especially for Vampire Counts, because as I mentioned earlier, you have ways of putting flanking units and march blockers out of nowhere, exactly where they are ndeed.

For Swordmasters, well, lets see how that 400 points of unit performs when it's harrassed and bogged down by Zombies all game! Sure, they'll kick the stinky ones ****, but hey, they are tied up by inferior troops all game, allowing your better stuff to pick it's fights in a smarter way. And if you can raise them for a rear charge, so much the better. That way, you have a decent crack at winning through static res (no, really, one round of duff combat and they are history!). And even if you don't, he's likely to reform so his rear becomes his front, which is ideal. Don't go for another rear charge, let the silly git point the wrong way in the next turn!

It's going to take some getting used to, but it's worth it.

Oh, and for a giggle.....Wraith, in a unit, with Talon of Death. 3 S5 hits on the Swordmasters each time he's in contact at the end of your movement phase. That ought to take care of a rank at a time!

Doom and Darkness, with Banshee screaming. -3 to his Leadership, mass casualties he simply cannot afford.

Fell Bats are an excellent distraction. Sure, they are a little rubbish in combat, but like Carrion, you couldn't wish for a better march blocker. Agile and non-blockable, he can either accept the slow crawl up the board, or waste firepower and manouvres trying to pin them down....

Orcs and Goblins....

Fanatics, Chariots, Artillery, nuff said. Yet to see an Orcy army without some representation of these things....It's one unit. Easy enough to take down. I'm soon to start my Savage Orc army, and I'm confident either my proposed 4 Pump Wagons or the Savage Orc Lord in Boar Chariot ought to mangle Swordmasters with great ease...

Lord Inquisitor
27-11-2007, 23:37
As to Game vs Strategy... You'll have to explain how you think it's different. Every army have abilities that bend or break the basic rules. Yes, ASF is a major rule shift... but, in it's own way, so is the fact that the Empire has detachments that can perform a Stand and Shoot reaction against units that are not charging them...
There are several issues I have with your argument. I have an issue with army wide special rules like this that affect the core mechanics of the game, i.e. the tactical aspects.

Sure you have the occasional ASF unit (or, much more commonly, character), but that hardly affects the overal tactical battle plan.

Any ability that completely allows you to ignore a tactical aspect of the game shouldn't be an army-wide rule. While playing against, say, Undead is going to make for a completely different game, that's not quite what I'm getting at.

Take Unbreakable, for example. Yes, Undead do not run away. But the basic principles of trying to beat them in combat still applies - the more you win combat by, the more likely you are to destroy your enemies. The mechanic simply varies. But then with Unbreakable units that fundamental principle of the game is ignored. Now, an odd Unbreakable unit here or there isn't going to bust the game, and can be factored into any given battleplan. But if the whole enemy army is Unbreakable, then that's going to bugger up the game. I don't like Slayer armies as a consequence. Whether or not they are easy to beat is not really what I'm talking about here - they make the game less fun because it really is very much harder to win through clever tactics rather than base game tricks.


The rules that dictate your strategy -are- the game. If I was playing a different game, the strategy would be different, because the rules are different.
Right. So the rules that make up the game dictate how the game plays - and poor rules equal poor strategy.

I've always liked that proper historical tactics work in Fantasy, despite all the dragons and magic shenanigans. The game is based around fundamental principles of maneuvering and applying the greatest force against the smallest area. And a core principle has always been that being charged is bad for you! Pikemen, for example, have always annoyed me in that sense, and that's just one unit in a fringe army. Now we have a whole army!

To give you an example of what I'm talking about, as the player we are a general in command of our army. We should win through strategy - which units charge where - and our soldiers should get on with getting stuck in and doing the killing! "Game" type tactics - which troopers attack where or trying to charge in such a way that your troops don't actually fight - have always seemed like cheap tricks. A real general can't micromanage in such a fashion, or actually move his troops in a fashion as to clip enemy units. Hence I find them much less satisfying ways of winning a battle - a good battle-plan should be all you need!

Mad Doc Grotsnik
27-11-2007, 23:48
And I will win through superior Strategy.

In terms of 'real life' tactics, it's a very foolish general who leads his bodyguard against a known and feared enemy. Instead, you give them a good softening up first, then get your name in the history books by jumping up and down on the bloodied and beaten survivors. All History will record is that you beat them, not that thanks to judicious artillery and support fire, you beat them because they were quadraspazzed by the time you got to them.

Swordmasters are, in essence, the easiest High Elf unit to beat up. White Lions get a better save again shooting, and Phoenix guard have their Ward save. Swordmasters? Absolutely no difference in me shooting them with Bowfire than a weedy Gobbo wearing light armour and shield. Exactly the same chance of a kill, but almost 4 times the victory points for each casualty. And by the time they have reached my lines under my tender attentions, they will need every attack they can muster, as they won't have any Ranks left!

I see where your coming from, but it's really not such a big deal. I have to use drastically different tactics with my Empire when fighting Undead. I simply cannot get away with sticking a Captain on a Barded Steed carrying a Lance in my Pistoliers. Against most enemies, a flank or rear charge from this unit tends to send them packing. Against Undead, I'm throwing away VPs. No, far better to give him a Magic weapon, stick him on foot, and let him be a threat to Banshees, and consider leaving the Pistoliers at home in favour of the Outriders, due to the potential casualty rate being higher.

ASF is absolutely no different. It forces me to consider my setup a lot more, for mutual supporting units, and I need to really figure out what to shoot up first. Granted, not such a problem for Empire, as I have Mortars to play with, but it still stands up.

Lord Inquisitor
27-11-2007, 23:49
My mate Lol has two units of Grave Guard, with Shield and Halberd, and takes them in units of 13. Never had any problems. Secret to his success is to stick Ghouls or Zombies in the flank/rear. Chews through enemy units like nobodies business, and they always seem to survive incoming fire pretty well (yay T4!)
Heh. I'm lucky if I get half my units of 20 into combat. THey need to take punishment!


For Swordmasters, well, lets see how that 400 points of unit performs when it's harrassed and bogged down by Zombies all game!
Raise zombies, charge (takes probably all of your magic power to do this) in the magic phase. The swordmasters obliterate them in one round of combat and are free to move off or charge in their turn. I tried this, decided it wasn't a great idea. Swordmasters are likely to get more combat resolution from killing them, and that's assuming that there are enough zombies to be alive to actually negate ranks. Raising and charging swordmasters with zombies is likely to actually HELP the elves win the combat against any unit in the front.

Plus they're getting VP for every zombie killed. It adds up!


And even if you don't, he's likely to reform so his rear becomes his front, which is ideal. Don't go for another rear charge, let the silly git point the wrong way in the next turn!
And if he is NOT a silly git he will realise that he can leave his rear exposed with no real fear. The more zombies I charge in, the more combat resolution he gets.

Then this is ALWAYS a problem with zombies, and isn't really exacerbated by facing elves. They strike last anyway.


Wraith, in a unit, with Talon of Death. .... Doom and Darkness, with Banshee screaming. -3 to his Leadership, mass casualties he simply cannot afford.... Fell Bats are an excellent distraction.
Yes, yes, there are ways of dealing with them. Still, these are specific and tailored to the army in question. Personally, I'm still keen on Lahmian vampires with ASF themselves. But I need to know I'm playing against elves. But if I use a horde army in a tournament then elves are going to be a major issue to beat - and that doesn't necessarily reflect the skill of the elf player - or will require unpalatable tactics like clipping in whatever form or other "tricks" to win.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
27-11-2007, 23:56
Talon of Death is a nasty thing Lol uses for taking and holding buildings with his Wraith. Enemy units can't touch him, and the extra S5 hit tends to discourage enemy heroes somewhat.

Onto the Zombie idea. Remember, Ranks are calculated at the start of combat. Thus, even if he reduces you to US4 or less during the combat, he still doesn't get his rank bonus. It's quite easy to raise 20+ Zombies in a single turn, and then use Vanhels to charge that Magic phase. There is always the chance of a failed fear test (which is always disastrous!) and regardless, you'll have outnumber (if not, why not?) and Rear charge, for a clear +5 bonus to begin with. This means he has to nobble 6 zombies just to win. Call me an optimist, but 5 is the average from his 10 attacks (well, 5 or 6) providing he passes his Fear test.....

With the rear charge, you WANT him to turn around for the second phase. His unit is then pointing completely the wrong way, and is negated for another two turns (one to turn around again, and a second turn desperately trying to get back to the fight) which allows you plenty of time to take on the rest of his army piecemeal, safe in the knowledge his most dangerous unit is being utterly wasted.

It can and will work!

Oh, and Ghouls rule. Lol uses 40 of the sods in packs of 10, and they are a nightmare to take down....

Lord Inquisitor
27-11-2007, 23:57
In terms of 'real life' tactics, it's a very foolish general who leads his bodyguard against a known and feared enemy. Instead, you give them a good softening up first, then get your name in the history books by jumping up and down on the bloodied and beaten survivors. All History will record is that you beat them, not that thanks to judicious artillery and support fire, you beat them because they were quadraspazzed by the time you got to them.
At least in early medieval battles and earlier, artillery and supporting fire rarely won battles. Battles were won by crushing elite units between units of troops or smashing them into the ground with heavy cavalry.

Trying to surround the swordmasters flat out didn't work. I also smashed a unit of my heaviest cavalry, the black knights - arguably one of the toughest cavalry units in the game - into them and got destroyed in two rounds of combat for virtually no casualties inflicted.

I don't think my tactics were at fault. The elves were outmaneuvered, and any other elite unit in the game, including many more expensive units, would have been destroyed by that onslaught. And that's exactly how it should have been.

The only thing that not only saved them but crushed my troops was that stupid rule. Which is why I think it's a stupid rule - without resorting to gimmicks like putting a lahmian vampire in the front rank with a specific power, my heavy cavalry just can't afford to charge. And that's pretty sad.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
28-11-2007, 00:13
Right, without resorting to 'Gimmicks' wheres my VC book?

Gaze of Nagash, and Curse of Years. Those ought to much up any regiment of Swordmasters quick smart.

The forementioned Banshees squealing at an enemy unit under the influence of Doom and Darkness.

Raise a unit of Zombies, with your Fell Bats positioned nearby (Dire Wolves work here as well actually) then use the Death Magic spell to make your Zombies cause Terror. If anyone legs it due to Terror, charge them with the Dire Wolves. With any luck, they won't flee far enough and MUNCH! 400 VPs easy!

Rod of Flaming Death. The more panic tests the better.

Cursed Book....-1 to hit on all enemy models within 6"? Pretty damned useful, as this reduces their kill potential by a lot.

Screaming Banner on your Black Knights. Enemy is more likely to fail his Fear Test, thus making the ASF more of a moot point.

So theres some general tricks I'd employ if I played Vampire Counts, which conincedentally, ought to stuff up High Elves something rotten!

EvC
28-11-2007, 00:27
Talon of Death is a nasty thing Lol uses for taking and holding buildings with his Wraith. Enemy units can't touch him, and the extra S5 hit tends to discourage enemy heroes somewhat.

Onto the Zombie idea. Remember, Ranks are calculated at the start of combat. Thus, even if he reduces you to US4 or less during the combat, he still doesn't get his rank bonus. It's quite easy to raise 20+ Zombies in a single turn, and then use Vanhels to charge that Magic phase. There is always the chance of a failed fear test (which is always disastrous!) and regardless, you'll have outnumber (if not, why not?) and Rear charge, for a clear +5 bonus to begin with. This means he has to nobble 6 zombies just to win. Call me an optimist, but 5 is the average from his 10 attacks (well, 5 or 6) providing he passes his Fear test.....

I think your friend lol must be a complete cheater or ridiculously lucky, if he has enough Necromancers to consistently raise more than 20 Zombies in one turn (That's one casting on 7+ and one casting on 11+), and then use Vanhels Danse Macabre to send them into the rear of the unit (9+). Average of 10 power dice right there, more than in a typical Vampire Counts army, and assumes that all the spells are cast by the Vampire and not a single one is dispelled by the High Elf player (Despite the 4+ dispel dice with +1 to dispel). And with a Wraith taking up a character slot too. Riiiiight.

If the High Elf player is deploying 6 or 7 wide, then he will tear through even 20 Zombies, and will hopefully be polite enough to thank you for going to all that effort to give him a free 120VPs... 5 wide will still be enough, remember he only needs 5 kills to draw/win since he will have a standard (And no doubt some nice banner in the unit to negate fear or add bonus CR).

Plus I really do not think you can claim superior Strategy when most of your advice boils down to list tailoring (Which Lord Inquisitor also gets a spank for, taking Lahmians just because the strike first rather than because they're simply awesome).

Finally, next time you see a Wraith haunting a building with the Talon of Death and have a character with a magic weapon nearby, just charge in, remember the Talon only works in the VC movement phase, and after combat you move assaulting troops away from the building, so he won't get to use the Talon at all whilst in a building!

Mad Doc Grotsnik
28-11-2007, 00:34
Not particualrly lucky, and certainly not cheating. Just very clever in his Magic Phase. He uses bound items to boost the casting rate, and likes to use stuff like Rod Hull of Flaming Death to draw out dispel dice.

6 or 7 wide is largely pointless, as you are sacrificing ranks for a few extra attacks, and making yourself more cumbersome, which isn't ideal.

And it's not list tailoring at all. I was careful to explore the VC book and look for useful combos which can be put into an all comers list, which ought to do well against High Elves in particular. List tailoring, to me at least, is dropping units out for ones that might do better.

EvC
28-11-2007, 00:38
"I have to use drastically different tactics with my Empire when fighting Undead. I simply cannot get away with sticking a Captain on a Barded Steed carrying a Lance in my Pistoliers. Against most enemies, a flank or rear charge from this unit tends to send them packing. Against Undead, I'm throwing away VPs. No, far better to give him a Magic weapon, stick him on foot, and let him be a threat to Banshees, and consider leaving the Pistoliers at home in favour of the Outriders, due to the potential casualty rate being higher."

I was talking about your own "superior strategies", and that is list-tailoring mate. Caught red-handed ;)

Mad Doc Grotsnik
28-11-2007, 00:41
Fair enough. Sadly, I don't tend to know who I'm coming up against, as our local store, is well, eclectic at best, so I tend to just make a single list.

But yeah, it's a fair cop!

marv335
28-11-2007, 00:54
It's a simple tactical rule.
If a unit is good at doing something, don't let them do it to you.
If it's good at combat, engage with shooting or magic.
If it's a good shooting unit, get into combat with it.
I fail to see how ASF/Swordmasters etc changes this basic tactical mechanic.

emperorpenguin
28-11-2007, 01:01
Any ability that completely allows you to ignore a tactical aspect of the game shouldn't be an army-wide rule.

But if the whole enemy army is Unbreakable, then that's going to bugger up the game. I don't like Slayer armies as a consequence.


Absolutely agree with you here. The Slayer army is widely acknowledged to be one of the most ridiculous designs of recent years.

I know it'll never happen but I wish the combat hit chart scaled better. Actually hitting on 2+ and 6+. If elite troops were harder to hit then rules like SoA wouldn't be needed

emperorpenguin
28-11-2007, 01:04
Right, without resorting to 'Gimmicks' wheres my VC book?

Gaze of Nagash, and Curse of Years. Those ought to much up any regiment of Swordmasters quick smart.!

and why are you discounting Drain Magic and Asur dispel dice/scrolls?

Finnigan2004
28-11-2007, 01:40
I guess that the whole problem that I keep having with conversations like this is that quite a few people seem to think that there should be no infantry in the high elf army that should be able to stand up to heavy cavalry in a fair fight. I have a problem with the game as it currently stands because the cavalry charge is too much of a no brainer. People are too used to watching expensive units fold like a house of cards whenever heavy cavalry gets the charge. If this sort of tactic has to have some rethinking, and heavy cavalry charges need to rely on tactical movement with support, I think that this increases the overall strategy of the game because getting a frontal charge with cavalry on infantry should be pretty easy.

As for high elf players just standing still and not charging with four hundred point units of elite infantry--the safest place for the new swordmasters is in combat. If he decides not to get them there, I certainly won't help him. Pretty soon those swordmasters will be tired of getting shot and magicked while watching you dismantle the rest of the army, and they will leg it off to look for a fight.

Lord Inquisitor
28-11-2007, 02:26
I guess that the whole problem that I keep having with conversations like this is that quite a few people seem to think that there should be no infantry in the high elf army that should be able to stand up to heavy cavalry in a fair fight.
I don't think there should be any infantry in the game that should be able to slaughter charging heavy cavalry without taking any damage!

There's a world of difference between "being able to stand up to a charge" and "butchering charging cavalry"! Again, if you look at the sort of historical battles this game is based on, heavy cavalry are the hardest hitting units available.

Even chaos chosen with all the bells and whistles are going to take some damage from a unit of wights on the charge.


People are too used to watching expensive units fold like a house of cards whenever heavy cavalry gets the charge. If this sort of tactic has to have some rethinking, and heavy cavalry charges need to rely on tactical movement with support, I think that this increases the overall strategy of the game because getting a frontal charge with cavalry on infantry should be pretty easy.
Actually, I wouldn't expect heavy cavalry to take on a fully-ranked up unit from the front and necessarily beat them significantly. After all, if the cavalry have no ranks, the enemy have probably a +4 combat res bonus right there.

And please bear in mind that, again, if I HAD charged the swordmasters in the flank with units like skeletons or summoned zombies that would have simply increased the amount he had beaten me by and my black knights would have crumbled faster.


As for high elf players just standing still and not charging with four hundred point units of elite infantry--the safest place for the new swordmasters is in combat. If he decides not to get them there, I certainly won't help him. Pretty soon those swordmasters will be tired of getting shot and magicked while watching you dismantle the rest of the army, and they will leg it off to look for a fight.
I wasn't saying that swordmasters weren't charging. Why not charge? Makes no difference. No, the problem is that it is no disadvantage if charged. So he can happily throw his units in front of me - no tactics required there - and essentially the game comes down to dice rolling because he doesn't need to put any thought into his tactics, or at least, no need to worry about who gets the charge in - just advance with the swordmasters.

Now that's not to say there are no tactics involved - clearly he's going to want to flank my units as well - just that the tactics in the game are reduced.

Petey
28-11-2007, 02:36
The answer to swordmasters is ranged combat. And i hope every army gets some from now
on. Chaos needs marauders with bows and thrown, Undead need skelly archer/xbows. In history either you needed vast 10000-25000 man armies on the field or to be dirt poor to not consider fielding ranged units.
Even Alexander's heavy cavalry was accompanied by peltists. GW needs to put more ranged in the game.

Crazy Harborc
28-11-2007, 02:42
Most of the opponents I met through the local GW store carried extra units/minies with them. They added/changed their rosters game to game. Not during campaigns but for "open gaming".

Lord Inquisitor
28-11-2007, 02:47
If I'm playing at home, I'll know what I'm facing and make a list appropriately. If I'm going to a store or club I usually have lists prepared in advance and I wouldn't consider changing them except in extreme cases.

Crazy Harborc
28-11-2007, 02:58
What is new and unknown causes more worry than what is known. In a few more weeks/games against HEs players will learn more and more how to exploit HE weaknesses.

Heard many similar comments about Empire and Orcs when those armybooks hit the table top behind their "new armies".

soots
28-11-2007, 04:00
The answer to swordmasters is ranged combat.

translation :
Empire must now play beardy gunlines.
Skaven must use SAD armies.
Wood elves must resort to hide in bushes and tickle enemy with arrows.
Dwarfs to go gunline.


GW was making a move in the right direction by moving away from shooting, as its very boring to play with/against.

Chiungalla
28-11-2007, 07:10
translation :
Empire must now play beardy gunlines.
Skaven must use SAD armies.
Wood elves must resort to hide in bushes and tickle enemy with arrows.
Dwarfs to go gunline.


GW was making a move in the right direction by moving away from shooting, as its very boring to play with/against.

You are wrong. Seriously wrong.
No one must field a gunline or a SAD army because of the new high elves.

One of those army lists listed above with a normal amount of shooting will do very fine against high elves, and against cavalry high elves even better then a pure gunline.

You need to shoot those swordmasters, and shoot or charge the dragon princes. The rest of the high elves you can handle in close combat.


How? If all 4 units charge in, they're going to be on all 4 sides. I don't see how placing can improve that, unless you are talking about clipping. Now clipping would work, but if you need to rely on clipping then there is something seriously wrong with the game.

The answer is very simple: don't charge!
If the 20+ swordmasters need a whole game to hunt down maybe 2 units of 25 night goblins each, they will bring in 150 points, from a 330+ units.

In the meantime, your other units can deal with the other high elves.

Lord Inquisitor
28-11-2007, 18:03
Yes, yes, still people thinking that the complaint is that Elves with ASF are unbeatable.

That's not it at all. Let me give an example, using my army, which is particularly pertinent since we ARE getting a new army book soon.

I have no problem with etherial troops - they're funky, but limited in the VC army. They ignore basic game mechanics - they're immune to normal damage. They're not unbeatable in any way, but they do screw with normal tactics.

Now imagine if every unit in the VC army was made etherial - army of the dead perhaps. Would this make the army unbeatable or unbalanced? Not if the army was well constructed. But I think it WOULD make the game less tactical and thus less fun for the VC player. And it would affect certain armies more than others. Horde armies would do much better in this case and gunlines would really suffer. And this might not be as far-fetched as you might think - it looks like we'll have at least one ranked etherial unit in the new book.

So while making my whole army might make them nastier - or perceived as nastier until people learn to adapt - that's not really the point. It would make them less fun because the basic mechanics of the game would be disrupted.

This seems to be a trend in recent armylists - which is devolving the game into a glorified game of rock-paper-scissors. Horde armies can't beat elves but that's okay because gunlines can. Khemri can't take on Bretonnians but that's okay because Chaos can. Personally, I think game balance shouldn't be like this - any given army that is a well-balanced army from any race should have an even chance of winning given two opponents of equal skill.

knightwire
28-11-2007, 18:29
Personally, I think game balance shouldn't be like this - any given army that is a well-balanced army from any race should have an even chance of winning given two opponents of equal skill.

Getting an even chance is a tall order with 14 different factions.

I think the VC are the perfect example of how army wide rules can be successful. With the undead rules drastically changing the tactics/strategies needed for achieving a win I think it's quite difficult to contruct an all comers lists that has an even chance vs both undead and living armies. That doesn't mean you won't win with the list, but there are going to be certain factions that will have a natural advantage/disadvantage against... due to both what you take and who you are facing. (Hence the die rolling part.)

One-FISH-
28-11-2007, 19:21
I Typically play Dark Elves. Thanks to the new HE book, I'm shelving them for a good long time...Basically, till I get a new book. Wonderful, right? So, I'm starting Orcs in the meantime. I haven't fought the new HE yet, but I've watched my friends play three games with them.

There is a very terrifying aspect of the HE that goes well beyond the strike first. They have become the first army who can take a high pointed dragon in a 2000 point game, and not be sacrificing their general to do so. In two of the three games I witnessed, I saw the HE player run his dragon round a very balanced Empire army. Poke them with breath weapons/destroy artillery/harrass marching units making it even harder for the enemy to get close to combat for a good few rounds. Oh yea...and Terror.

This is extremely potent when used with those lothern spear/archer guys, who get to sit back for three rounds and shoot at their leisure. Once you factor in HE magic and Bolt thrower volleys, you can see the extreme tactical problem many armies face against that kind of threat.

I know that they can be beaten, but the problem is it has become hilariously hard for certain armies to have much of a chance. Its like every other army book needs to be altered just a little to combat this new threat. I am VERY impressed that Lahmia VC got the win on the HE in this example. Good job to you. I don't think I could have pulled that off when I used to play VC (Von Carstein/Blood Dragon)

EvC
28-11-2007, 19:36
I've only seen one person use a Star Dragon so far: the Empire opponent, fielding a mere General charged into the beast, took a couple of wounds and wiped out the Prince with his Runefang; next turn some Empire Knights that had positioned themselves well got a rear charge on the Dragon, and even though they lost three of their number, it was a victory thanks to the standard bearer and the Dragon ran off.

If the worst fighting Lord choice in the entire game and some bog-standard Knights can take out a Star Dragon, then come on, it's not the end of the world. Shelving an army without even trying to win against them is frankly pathetic- even if they are as bad as you say, not every opponent will be using High Elves anyway, so what is the point?!

Oh well, got my first game against High Elves tomorrow, using my Lizardmen for their first proper outting. No Stegadon, no 2nd Gen Slann, no double-Salamanders... I guess I should message my opponent and concede in advance, save us all a lot of time right? NO! :o

Crazy Harborc
29-11-2007, 03:55
Dwarves in 24 body units of HtH troops. 40 shooters, the Goblin Hewer, a DoW unit of heavy cav with barding. They can resist well against the T3 HEs.

The HEs really need to break the enemy HtH units on round one. 3 ranks of spears against T4 are not game winners. ASF will get hits. BUT S4 is needed to convert against T4.

Tonight the Dwarves beat the HEs

vorac
29-11-2007, 04:39
i played a game Vs. HE with DE,it was a game i will never repeat, my DE will also be shelved until a new book as will my VC for a couple of months and even then i doubt they'll make a decent book because all VC have is fear and HTH . for fear there are so many ways around it and HTh unless they go drastic will probably suck too so i'm not optimistic .

flopi
29-11-2007, 13:30
I played 2 times vs new HE with my DE, 1000 and 1500 points. I won by massacre the 2 times, using above aberage shooting, but not a gunline.
My opponets are good players, but i outshoot them severely, because bows sucks in comparation to rep. x-bows.

Gazak Blacktoof
29-11-2007, 14:06
Any normal infantry unit can't really hope to win even with a flank charge against a decent block of swordmasters.


I fail to see why. Most lists I've seen use units of 15-18 or so SM (sometimes less- which isn't a bad idea) deployed in 2 or 3 ranks. If you can get a flank with a normal unit of infantry with banner 3 ranks and outnumber, you'll be up by 5 (assuming the elves have a standard) before the sword masters take a swing, they'll be loosing by a point or 2 or combat even deployed 3 deep. Make sure they haven't got 3 ranks and you can guarantee a win of at least 1 point maybe more if they don't get their kills in.

Characters, banners, spells and terrain or other units can obviously make getting a clean charge and predictable results difficult but statements like the one above are unhelpful and untrue.

Don't chuck everything and the kitchen sink at swordsmasters, they're equivalent to chosen or khornate warriors you want to be hitting them where they can bring least models to bear and no where else, a frontal charge to support a flanking charge will do nothing.

I've had to learn these lessons with my goblins against every army but against certain units it can apply to almost any troop type. Fortunately in those situations where you need to start acting like a horde player you've usually got the numerical superiority you need to pull it off thanks to the ridiculous cost of fielding nasty units.

Finnigan2004
29-11-2007, 14:35
Sorry Lord Inquisitor, we are going to have to agree to disagree. I think that you are off base, but you certainly have the right to your opinion. You won the game, we know that. Therefore it can not have been that bad. The point of the new high elf infantry is that it has become a tough defensive unit. You are right in that heavy cavalry should not be able to beat a ranked up unit from the front consistently, but the problem is that it usually does. This is further exacerbated by the fact that elves are too expensive to take many ranks. This left the designers with a problem-- how to make elite infantry that are worth taking in the age of cavalryhammer. I have yet to see anyone come up with a better rule.

There are plenty of tactical decisions to make because if you select a lot of elite infantry, so saying the rule reduces the tactics in the game is mistaken. I would argue that it does change them though. The high elf general now has troops that can take a charge, but needs to find a way to get them into advantageous combats. He will have a fairly small army and positioning and movement becomes probably more essential than with many armies. Yes, if they get charged they go first, but I would suspect that they will not be charged by units that the owner thinks will lose combat (must find an ally who has high elves to team up with my slaaneshi stuff, now that I mention it). The main benefit of charging is not striking first, it is what it has always been-- picking your fights. ASF does mean that you will have to use your heavy cavalry differently, but that is fair.

Your argument about game mechanics is a little bit strange coming from an undead player. An army of fear causing, immune to psychology units that take special break tests? I know that I hate it when I face undead and beat the heck out of their tarpit units only to have a couple extra casualties. I feel cheated sometimes when they only take a couple extra casualties, rather than having me beat them and run them down. The reality though, is that this rule is absolutely necessary. However frustrating it is to me, your troops would not stand up to other unit's charges without that rule. As to rules effecting some armies more than others, I know fear is like this. Try playing a low leadership army with your undead-- I have done so plenty of times with my daemons. It is ugly because they have great difficulty charging (and landing a daemon prince in their ranks is funny when you watch the whole gobbo army leg it-- funny for me anyhow). There will always be mismatches between armies because each is unique, but take away the differences between lists and we might as well be playing 40k. Sorry 40k players, could not resist. ;)

leo_neil316
29-11-2007, 15:10
Okay while I will happily agree that army wide special rules that compleatly change on aspect of the game can be done badly........

I don't think high elves allways strike first is one of them. People keep saying that they no longer need to worry about charges. I'm sure the lance and spear wielding cavalry, chariots, ogres and other assorted impact reliant units in the game will agree.....

Swordmasters killing off all your black knights was... well unlucky really and thats about all, depends what your black knights had of course.

Units with 2+ saves and s/t4 can go toe to toe with swordmasters just fine, sure zombies and skelies will get mauled.

They'll get mauled just as bad if they pick fights with chaos, dwarf, ogre or, well just about anyones elite 'break your face' infantry. The only differance is the elves kill you before you hit them, everyone else does it after watching you roll dice and fail to do anything with any of them, really their just saving you some embarrasment.


At the end of the day their still just elves.

Hit them hard and they die (if the tough thing is heavy cavalry or artillary all the better).

Gazak Blacktoof
29-11-2007, 17:37
In high elf vs high elf games the rule is a sad excuse for a joke though.

Chiungalla
29-11-2007, 17:47
In high elf vs high elf games the rule is a sad excuse for a joke though.

No, the rule has huge impact on high elves vs. high elves matches:

Some High Elves have high initiative then others.
Phoenix Guard will rock the house against other high elves, as Dragon Princes will do.

All High Elves will strike before all mounts.
Very important, since even horses are a hard hitting unit, if you only have toughness 3 and 5+ armor.

Great Weapons will not strike last.

EvC
29-11-2007, 18:09
Yes they will, as per the rules for gerat weapons, in any combat decided by initiative (ASF vs ASF is such a case) then the great weapon-armed models will strike last :)

Unfortunately Black Knights being destroyed by Swordmasters will be a fairly common happening that we'll have to get used to (Unless you cast Hellish Vigour on them). 15 attacks/ 10 hits/ 7 wounds/ 3 dead on average. I did a trial game with Vampires against High Elves a couple of months ago and after I charged Swordmasters with Black Knights thinking their toughness and armour would protect them, the whole unit and their Wight Lord were killed horribly in a single turn- so badly that my opponent let me redo their movement and charge a different target ;)

knightwire
29-11-2007, 18:17
Yes they will, as per the rules for gerat weapons, in any combat decided by initiative (ASF vs ASF is such a case) then the great weapon-armed models will strike last :)


Nope. Great weapons strike last instead of using initiative order per their rule Strikes Last.


ASF overrides that.

Gazak Blacktoof
29-11-2007, 18:18
No, the rule has huge impact on high elves vs. high elves matches:

I know it does, the impact is too large. Matchups of like vs like troops will be decided by a single dice roll.

Also see EvC's post about great weapons.

EDIT: @Knightwire
Two models both with ASF "use the models' initiative to determine who strikes first"(P94 BRB,) models with a weapon that strikes last "will always strike last during a combat where they would otherwise strike in Initiative order"(P54 BRB.)

Any further discussion needs to go to the rules forum.

EvC
29-11-2007, 18:23
Nope. Great weapons strike last instead of using initiative order per their rule Strikes Last.

ASF overrides that.

You're wrong knightwire, but I've argued this too many times to argue it again; usually it involves me repeating the relevent rules passages, the other guy ignoring them, I get a bit miffed and then just as I give up they realise of their own accord that they were wrong all along. At least you're willing to look at the rules, however.

Plus Gav Thorpe has (apparently) said that this is the way it works, although I would not always put 100% faith in his word...

knightwire
29-11-2007, 18:29
You're wrong knightwire, but I've argued this too many times to argue it again; usually it involves me repeating the relevent rules passages, the other guy ignoring them, I get a bit miffed and then just as I give up they realise of their own accord that they were wrong all along. At least you're willing to look at the rules, however.

Plus Gav Thorpe has (apparently) said that this is the way it works, although I would not always put 100% faith in his word...


Lol... so you're stormie. I'll leave this argument to one board. (ulthuan.net)

:D

Chiungalla
29-11-2007, 18:38
Also see EvC's post about great weapons.

I'am not sure about this.
The rules for allways strikes first don't refer to the (normal) "initiative order".
They only let the one with higher initiative go first, what is a big difference for this case.

The rules for great weapons say, that if you strike in initiative order that close combat phase, you strike last.

If you were right, this will be the result:

If swordmasters face one model with allways strikes first in a whole unit of normal models, the swordmasters go very last. Because they go in initiative order this round with the one model with allways strikes first.

EvC
29-11-2007, 18:47
Lol... so you're stormie. I'll leave this argument to one board. (ulthuan.net)

:D

Ha, thought this kind of silly rules discussion better belonged here, so I deleted the other post. Oh well, off to face the Elves now!

Hrogoff the Destructor
29-11-2007, 19:54
I'am not sure about this.
The rules for allways strikes first don't refer to the (normal) "initiative order".
They only let the one with higher initiative go first, what is a big difference for this case.

If it says go by "higher initiative" when two units with strike first meet, I think the swordmasters get go according to the initiative 5 since it's not initiative order.

If it says resort to "initiative order", then swordmasters would count as striking last due to thier great weapons.

So I agree with Chiungalla assuming the big book says "go by the higher initiative", though I don't personally have my big book on hand to look at (or my HE book for that matter).

Chiungalla
29-11-2007, 20:51
A very funny result of the other point off view on this topic is the following situation:

A Unit of Swordmasters meets a unit of chaos warriors with handweapons, with a exalted champion with the helm of many eyes and a great weapon.

Who goes first in your version of the rules?
Yes, the chaos warriors.
Why?

The swordmaster and the exalted champion strike in initiative order, if you are right. And the rules for great weapons say, that if they strike in initiative order, they strike last in this combat phase.

So the chaos warriors go first.

Is this what you want?

knightwire
29-11-2007, 20:59
Hrogoff the Destructor,

The ASF rule says: "If fighting another model with the same special rule, [ASF] use the models' initiative to determine who strikes first."

You can see two things from that sentence 1) "use the model's initiative to determine" is not the same as "revert to initative order". You just compare their I stat... that's it. 2) Both of these models are still striking first before any other non ASF troops in the combat. Other troops are going in I order, ASF troops are resolving who is faster at striking first.


EvC, they told us to get our own topic on ulthuan. :)

Fredrik
29-11-2007, 21:39
The ASF will really punish the armies with few to no shooting. Still waiting tom get a game vs them but i think it can be tough.

Hrogoff the Destructor
30-11-2007, 02:00
The swordmaster and the exalted champion strike in initiative order, if you are right. And the rules for great weapons say, that if they strike in initiative order, they strike last in this combat phase.


I'm talking about when you comparing two things that both have always strike first. Since warriors don't have it, so the comparison doesn't apply. Seeing who strikes first would be between the exalted champion and the swordmasters.

So the swordmasters would still strike before warriors since they don't have always strike first, but not before the exalted champion since he has a higher init (however, the helm of many eyes has you roll off to see who goes first right? Don't have my Chaos book with me at college either).

Chiungalla
30-11-2007, 05:31
No, they strike last in that close combat phase.
It's pretty well clear in the rules.

Hrogoff the Destructor
30-11-2007, 05:45
"If fighting another model with the same special rule, [ASF] use the models' initiative to determine who strikes first."

It seems clear to me that you are seeing who strikes first between two models with the same special rule. The 'models'' listed in the rule are those with the ASF special rule. It cannot possibly apply to those without it since they would need it for what's above to apply to them.

Chiungalla
30-11-2007, 07:05
Yes, but the rule for great weapons says, that you strike last in that combat phase, if you go by initiative.
It does not say, that if you go by initiative order, you will go after all others in that initiative order.
It does say, you go last.

Everything else has nothing to do with rules as written.
And if you leave the rules by written, I'am perfectly fine with that, but then I can argue, that the great weapons have no impact on ASF as well.

EvC
30-11-2007, 14:21
Oh my god, you're right Chiungalla! That means that in fact every model that strikes last with great weapons strikes after every other enemy trooper, even those in another combat! So that means in a game with more than one combat going on you should do the attacks of every single model without a great weapon first, then and only then doing the "strikes last" troopers, even if it means switching between 3 or 4 different combats! The rules do say they go very last, after all, and it would be remiss of us to try and apply valid context to those rules (Context such as "in the same combat" or "compared to models with a similar ability).

knightwire
30-11-2007, 14:47
hehehe... you're a mean man EvC. :)


Chiungalla,

When you strike first, whether it's because you have ASF or you are charging, it doesn't matter if you have a great weapon. The Strike Last rule tells you that you strike last only where you would otherwise strike in I order. ASF and chargers do not strike with other I order troops, they go before. That's why GWs still strike first when they charge.

Also as you can see from both the Always Strikes First and the Strikes Last rules any time you have another model in combat with a matching rule you compare their initiative stats to see who goes before the other. (They will still either strike first before the I order troops or strike last after the I order troops in the same combat.)

Chiungalla
30-11-2007, 15:52
@EvC:
I don't believe you are free to add such context to the rules, and still argue with RAW, as you do.

EvC
30-11-2007, 22:54
Well then, I hope every time you play with great weapons that you go and complete all other attacks before coming back to those models with great weapons, even if it means switching between combats and fighting out of order... otherwise you're adding context, in exactly the way you should :)

I think the argument that troops with great weapons and ASF aren't fighting in Initiative order (they're simply fighting in order according to whoever has the higher initiative... riiiight) is funny, but possibly valid. Hopefully one day, when we're all old we'll have an FAQ making it clear ;)

mav1971
02-12-2007, 15:38
Just had my first game against high elves with my hordes of chaos. I massacred the elves. BTW chariots and knights work well aginst High Elves.

Shamgar Oxgoad
03-12-2007, 23:39
Although I am not a HE player I have been messing around with them a little, because my brother plays them.

About the chaos knights, I had 15 swordmasters charged by 5 chaos chosen khorne knights, I wiped the unit on the turn it charged me. This chaos player has used this same army dozens of times and has had many many victories against all sorts of armies. He rarely is massacred, but these new high elves left him with half a unit of chosen warriors at the end of round six. I, on the other hand, had only lost about 400 points. This was a 2150 battle btw.

Basically I have to agree with the other posts, shooting is the best way to take them out, Sword Masters are just going to own in close combat.

Crazy Harborc
04-12-2007, 02:29
Well....the CR was against the Chaos warriors before the first wound happened. The SWs are S5 WITH 2 attacks......

The ASF HEs can be beaten. T4(or more) shooting, lots of incoming going into the HEs. Try to hit them with larger units, two units at once, get as many CR +s going into the HtH. Hitting them in the flank or rear can take away the rank bonus....that is sooo sweet.:D

Gorbad_NZ
04-12-2007, 03:30
If shooting is the best way to counter High Elves now, what do you do if you have an army that cannot shoot well, i.e. Orcs and Goblins. My brother is coming home in a few weeks with the new high elf rule book to kick my ass and i need some ideas for my orcs

Hrogoff the Destructor
04-12-2007, 03:36
If shooting is the best way to counter High Elves now, what do you do if you have an army that cannot shoot well, i.e. Orcs and Goblins. My brother is coming home in a few weeks with the new high elf rule book to kick my ass and i need some ideas for my orcs

Fantatics may not be shooting, but they will make quick work of swordmasters. Real quick.

I like the bolt throwers too, as they are dirt cheap. With 4 you can do some damage.

Oh, and against cavalry, doom diver works great.

Crazy Harborc
05-12-2007, 04:03
A giant, a bat winged loony/doom diver, two gobbo spear chuckas, a unit of Black Orcs(w/a hero. Fanatics can do the job as well. Mine always fall short when launched and then wander off to splat against a hill, a tree or a fat ground squirrel.

Marneus Calgar
05-12-2007, 06:46
Chariots anyone? Especially since they are Toughness and Strength 5, with four wounds. That means you get D6+1(sythed wheels) strength 5 impact hits. That would be enough to wipe of most of the frontage of a swordmaster unit. I would not sugest throwing a giant against a swordmaster unit. With no armor save for the giant, he is going to be falling down quickly. Fanatics are a good choice, although you should be warry of eagles as they can make your fanatics to be release on turn one.

I agree with Hrogoff and Harborc, speark chukkas are fun to use and are deadly when they hit. Just make sure that you take enough of them so they actually make an impact.

Chiungalla
05-12-2007, 07:06
Even orcs and goblins with bows can be very good against high elves.

Admiral Samuel Eden
05-12-2007, 07:28
I played against them and didn't have to much trouble with my Empire.
A few well placed cannon shots and his units had somewhat lost their sting.
I targeted things like chariots and other nasty things with my cannon and focused my 20 hand gunners on his special units. He charged, mangled my swordsmen and got counter charged by great swords. He couldn't do much when they hit him in the flank. Also, my runefang was great against his dragon. Still, I am in two minds about the aways strikes first thing. Its neat but a little cheesy.

smileyface
05-12-2007, 13:28
There are still some very odd things about the list. Can someone explain why they still have discounted items? How does it make sense that the staff of +1 to dispel costs less for High Elves when it is really much more valuble to them since it stacks with their usual +1? Surely if you wanted to get across the idea that Elves have more magic items then increasing their magic item allowance would be a better idea!

Oooh, me, I know this one.

It's basically because the designers are lazy. The HE magic items section was left almost exactly the same as before. They didn't bother to change most of the existing items, even the ones that were blatantly rubbish (Sword of Hoeth, anyone?). The only items they added were old honours in magic item form, and one anagram gauntlet as a signature.



Ultimately, I really don't think the "always strikes first" was a good idea. It leads to rather ludicrous situations. I simply could not charge in with my Dire Wolves. There wasn't any unit available that wouldn't have simply slaughtered them.

I tend to agree. It was a lazy fix.

However, it's worth pointing out that flank charges are still valid - not for swarming them, but because the edges of formations tend not to have as many men in. EG, a unit of swordmasters will usually only be two or three elves deep, while a unit of archers might only be one rank deep. In these instances a flank might be worth going for.


there is just about nothing in my army that can actually charge swordmasters even in the rear and hope to win!

Black Knights in the flank should do the job. Two or three swordmasters attack you and kill one and a bit BK. Three BK attack back and kill one and a bit SM. You get flank, might have a rank, probably outnumber. If they aren't immune to fear (which they probably won't be if they didn't tool the army specifically for undead) then they run. Of course, if they tooled specifically for undead they are immune to fear, which means they now have a test at at least -2. They might run, and they have two more rounds of combat at a disadvantage before they get a frontage that works for them.


Even worse, for elite units like swordsmasters, the more units I charge in, the more he's going to win combat by. Negating rank bonus might make it worthwhile, but certainly charing in the rear and flank would be foolish.

For a deep formation I agree. It's more true for rear charges than flanks though, as for a shallow formation a flank charge might only be involving another one or two models.


This leads to the utterly wierd situation that these ultra-mobile elves are remaining stationary and waiting for me to charge (yeah, okay, the image for LotR comes to mind), not only that, but elves suffer little fear of being outmaneuvered!

This is a necessary feature of the design, I think. An army that does not have core cavalry is not an army that wins on manouvre. Hence it has to win despite manouvre. They didn't want cavalry patrol, and this is the result.

Please note that I didn't say I liked it.