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Sistine_Shrapnel
09-02-2010, 05:40
Hi all, first post here on Warseer. This is a list I've been working on for some time now. I hope to play in local tournaments and do well, but I also want to avoid cheese. Thus, no unkillable Dreadlords or dual Hydras. Anyway, here it is: be as brutal as you like.

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Level 4 Sorceress with Focus Familiar, Lifetaker and Dark Pegasus - 365
Level 2 Sorceress with Seal of Ghrond 165
Death Hag with Cauldron of Blood 200
Assassin with Additional Hand Weapon, Rending Stars and Manbane 151

10 Corsairs with Repeater Handbows and Musician - 105
5 Dark Riders with Repeater Crossbows and Musician 117
5 Dark Riders with Repeater Crossbows and Musician 117
5 Harpies 55
5 Harpies 55
5 Harpies - 55

14 Witch Elves, Standard Bearer with Banner of Murder 175
5 Cold One Knights - 135
14 Black Guard, Tower Master with Crimson Death, Standard Bearer with Standard of Hag Graef 270
5 Shades with Great Weapons and Bloodshade - 108

Royal War Hydra 175

Total: 2248 points

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The Level 4 will hop around and zap things, using the Lifetaker to take pot-shots and keep mage-hunters off her.

The Level 2 will hang out with the Corsairs, who will screen the Black Guard, behind which will be the Cauldron. The Cauldron will bless the Corsairs with the ward save until it gets in range of something else, and between that and their armor save they should survive long enough. If they don't, she can always mosey on over to the Guard. If anything charges her bodyguard, they'll flee through the BG who will take the charge and make mincemeat out of just about anything.

The assassin will be with the Shades, and will make a nasty surprise on turn 1, plus he'll be able to take out chariots and with those rending stars.

The Witches will be screened by a unit of harpies, and will hopefully survive long enough to make impact, since it would take a few turns to wipe them out and there are lots of other things on the board to draw fire. Plus, between the harpies, riders, shades, and Sorceresses, enemy shooting will hopefully be neutralized fairly quickly. If the witches contact with a rank intact, they'll dish out 21 Poisoned, Armor-piercing attacks, re-rolling hits!

So, thoughts?

Zarroc
09-02-2010, 07:01
If your entering a tourn, you enter with the best list, regardless of cheese :D

tmarichards
09-02-2010, 07:23
You won't really get the best benfits out of the Focus Familiar if you use Lifetaker as well- it's best used for tasks like taking out units of shades hiding in a forest, for example, and if you can see something to shoot it, then it can see you to shoot back. I'd drop Lifetaker, and give her the Pendant and the Black Staff.

Is the assassin comped to be a hero slot? Either way, in a fairly magic heavy list, I'd give him the Cloak of Twilight. If nothing else, it's a good way of drawing out at least one, frequently 2 dispel dice.

You'll only need 2 units of harpies really, I run them in units of 6- that way, they can still take a casualty and claim a table quarter.

The knights probably ought to have a musician,in case they have to flee an unfavourable charge. Take 6 of them as well, you can get that many into base contact with a 5 model wide infantry unit so there's reason not (unless you don't have the points).

Drop the Bloodshade for another shade, and try to get the unit up to 7 if possible. 8 as a maximum.

I'd drop the Seal of Ghrond for a pair of dispel scrolls, at a tournament you'll definitely need these. I don't think running her in a unit is a good idea, I'd put her on a Dark Steed so that she can run around and get into a good position to throw her spells around.

Aside from that, not sure what other tweaks to suggest without ripping out the special choices and starting again. Personally, I don't think BG are competative enough, especially with the Witch Elves- the Cauldron can only give one unit a ward save per turn, and whichever one doesn't have it will get nuked by every missile weapon in the opponent's army.

Sistine_Shrapnel
09-02-2010, 07:46
The main reason I took the Lifetaker was to ward off fast, harpy-equivalent mage-killers I can't fly away from. Losing that 365 point character to a 50 point unit would be quite a blow. Is there another way to deal with this threat?

Even if he is, I have an extra slot. The problem I see with the cloak is that if it's dispelled my assassin is stuck on the ground. Plus, he has to be deployed with the rest of the army, which gets rid of the psychological intimidation factor.

I took three because one is screening the witch elves. Running them at six is a good idea though.

I'm generally of the school of thought that says you shouldn't pay for insurance for bad play. It seems to me that if I've put my knights in a position where they have to flee, I've done something wrong. Good point about bumping them up to six though. Of course, their function is as flank-biters. Can you still get six in contact with an average unit's flank?

I took the bloodshade for the extra attack and BS, and so he could absorb challenges from unit champions, freeing the assassin up to slice and dice.

It seemed like a DD every turn was a better investment than one sure dispell. Is this not the case?

The placement of the sorceress is something I've been worrying about for a while, actually. How survivable will she really be on a steed? I could theoretically keep her out of fire lanes, but it still seems like she'll be awful lonesome out there by herself.

Why don't you like the BG? Certainly, they're a missile magnet, but that just means they're not shooting the Hydra/Knights/Dark Riders/Shades. Plus, if either one sees combat, they'll tear anything to shreds.

Shooting is the big weakness of this army though, you're right. I've tried to cover it with disruption units (Riders, Shades, Harpies, Sorceresses) and screens (Harpies, Corsairs + Ward Save). Is there any more I can do?

tmarichards
09-02-2010, 08:19
Probably the best way to avoid to get rid of mage-hunters is to use your own. A unit of dark riders will be able to do a fair bit of damage to something like a unit of harpies.

I usually run my Cloaked assassin in a unit of scouting shades. They hide in a forest, and turn one they move so that the assassin, whilst still in the unit, is outside the forest. If the spell goes off, he's off hunting chariots, war altars or mages. If it doesn't, he's still hiding in a skirmishing unit in a forest, so is hard to kill by shooting, is still rock hard in combat and should be close enough to throw his rending stars at something.

You make a good point about the knights. Personal preference I suppose, but for 8 points it's an extra LD point IF they do flee, and knights can make a more tasty target for redirecting a charge than dark riders. I'm not sure if you get 6 into the average flank... but a good set up if 6 with a champion with a null talisman and a musician for 201 pts. Actually, null talismans are awesome. If you have 15pts left over on a character or champion, consider one. Just remember that single talismans on multiple models don't stack.

I've just never found a Bloodshade to be more effective than an additional 2 shots, again just my preference and experience.

An extra dice is very useful, but at the moment your list has 6, which is good. But, 5 dice and 2 guaranteed attempts to stop a spell means that if your opponent rolls well on his casting rolls, you can stop a dangerous spell without having to risk failing the dispel attempt or throw all your dice at it and thus leave yourself open to the rest of the magic phase. Try playing both set ups and see which you find works better in your meta-game.

I've found a sorceress on a dark steed to be very survivable, provided you're careful where you put her (ie: not opposite a steam tank... *facepalm*). With M9, even if march-blocked she can skip out of line of sight, and if she's not march blocked then she's just too fast to catch.

Don't get me wrong, I love Black Guard. The models are awesome, and they rock in combat. But, I've never managed to get them to do much because they always get avoided and shot to pieces. My main concern was that by using them with the Witch Elves, one or other of the units is going to get badly hurt each phase, as those harpies need to be pro-active and hunt shooting.

There are a couple of ways around the shooting problem you face:

First of all, your deployment. Hide behind hills, forests and buildings, and use the harpies to screen what you can't hide. Offer the hydra as an alternative target for speculative shots- obviously be careful against Dwarfs, but you've got a 50% chance the cannon ball will bounce off. Risky though. Also think about what your opponents shooting can reach- for example, imagine you play agianst another DE player with lots of xbowmen. They have a range of 24", and can move 5" before hand giving them an effective range of 29". So, deploy only 5.5" onto the board- he can move and still won't be able to reach you. Works even better if you give him the first turn, as he gets one last turn to shoot you.

Throw the harpies forwards, and the dark riders. Don't bother shooting war machines unless you have no other missile troops to get rid of- there's only a 1/3 chance that you'll hit the crew, and that's not taking into account the rolls to hit beforehand, and then wound. Instead, use these fast movers to go after war machines. If they don't get shot, then charge with them. If nothing else, it'll give you a turn where your expensive stuff isn't getting shot at by war machines.

Rush him, target saturation means some stuff will inevitably get through. I find that presenting the hydra can work against less experienced opponents- they know it's harder to kill, but worry about it not gettig wounded and so throw shooting at it that more often than not only chips away a wound or 2 at best, but which would do a LOT more damage against the knights.

Sistine_Shrapnel
09-02-2010, 17:33
Doesn't that require committing the riders to babysitting her when they could be used for something else?

I can see the appeal of the cloak, especially to draw out dispels. It's an extra 20 points though - I guess I'll just see whether I have room for it.

I've heard a lot of people praise null talismans, but have never quite understood why. Magic resistance is good, sure, but doesn't it only apply to the unit which carries it? What's to stop enemy magic from simply targeting something else?

Good point about the sorceress. Do you think I'll still need the Corsairs then? They still seem like useful screeners/flank guards.

Here's my thinking about the BG/Witches. Say the witches are screened by the Corsairs, and the BG by a unit of harpies. The opponent gets first turn and with the clever deployment tactics you outlines, I deny him a turn of shooting. On my turn, I move toward him 10". His turn, he kills the harpies and halves the unit of Corsairs. Next turn, I move another 10". Possibly by this point, at least some of his shooting/war machines have been crippled or at least weakned. Say he takes a rank off both units, and I charge him next turn. I don't get a rank bonus, but both are so killy that they should shred him anyway. In any case, this is assuming he's spending a large portion of his shooting on these two threats, when he might very well be focusing at least partially on the Hydra/Knights/Dark Riders.

Don Zeko
09-02-2010, 18:40
I'm in agreement with most of Tmarichard's advice. I run a pretty similar tournament list to this, although I have more dark riders and fewer harpies, and I swap out the black guard and witches for another unit of Cold One Knights and some warriors. I think you should re-think the role of those cold one knights. With a Cauldron in the army, they can break all but the toughest units on the charge. I once had 4 of them kill an ancient stegadon in one round of combat. THe most important thing, though, is to get a black staff on your high sorceress instead of the focus familiar. With that item, and perhaps a sacrificial dagger, the magic output of those two mages will be very impressive. Even better, most opponents won't expect your magic phase to be that formidable.

chase14101
09-02-2010, 18:47
i really like it bro, almost identical too one of my list, but w/o harpies and dark riders. Id drop a unit of harpies for a couple more shades myself, but list looks good bro, not your reg list

Sistine_Shrapnel
09-02-2010, 20:20
How to get a black staff though? The familiar is sorely needed to keep the sorceress out of harm's way.

Don Zeko
09-02-2010, 20:57
She's on a dark pegasus, which allows you to get some protection from mobility. If you can free up a couple more points, then ditching lifetaker and focus familiar for the pendant and Black staff gets you plenty of survivability plus lots and lots of magic power. Plus, if you take dark magic and cast soul stealer even once, then taking wounds from shooting becomes a much less serious concern.

Sistine_Shrapnel
10-02-2010, 03:58
So, you're thinking something like this?

Level 4 Sorceress with Black Staff, Pendant of Khaeleth and Dark Pegasus - 400
Level 2 Sorceress with Dispell Scroll and Dark Steed - 172
Death Hag with Cauldron of Blood – 200
Assassin with Additional Hand Weapon, Rending Stars and Manbane – 151

10 Corsairs with Repeater Handbows and Musician - 105
5 Dark Riders with Repeater Crossbows and Musician – 117
5 Dark Riders with Repeater Crossbows – 110
6 Harpies – 66
6 Harpies – 66

14 Witch Elves, Standard Bearer with Banner of Murder – 175
5 Cold One Knights - 135
14 Black Guard, Tower Master with Crimson Death, Standard Bearer with Standard of Hag Graef – 270
5 Shades with Great Weapons and Bloodshade - 108

Royal War Hydra – 175

Total: 2250 points

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I like the cloak idea, but I just couldn't fit it in.

I'm still not sold on dropping the Lifetaker - I just keep picturing my 400 point sorceress getting run down by a pack of Terradons.

Don Zeko
10-02-2010, 06:05
That looks pretty good. My only quibble is that an additional shade will probably help you more than the bloodshade will. As to what I have in mind...I'll just post my tournament list and we'll see if a happy fusion of the two is possible. Again, we're working with broadly similar lists and haggling on details at this point

High Sorceress w/black staff, dispel scroll, power stone, dark pegasus
Lvl 2 sorceress w/dispel scroll, sacrificial dagger
death hag w/cauldron, BSB
Assassin w/ahw, rune of khaine, touch of death, cloak of shadows

5 dark riders w/crossbows, musician
5 dark riders w/crossbows, musician
10 crossbowmen w/shields
25 warriors w/full command
6 Cold One knights w/champ, musician, null talisman
6 Cold One knights w/champ, musician, null talisman
8 shades w/great weapons
Hydra

As you can see, I'm less enthusiastic about hitty infantry, but the basic idea is the same. I also appear to have much more tolerance for risk when it comes to that high sorceress. The black guard are a great unit of course, it's just that I wrote this list specifically trying to avoid the more hated combos, so no dragon, no black guard, no pendant, no ring, and no ASF banner.

Sistine_Shrapnel
10-02-2010, 08:02
Cool. We really do seem to have quite similar lists. Some detail quibbling:

Why put a command on the Power Dice Elves if they're just going to die anyway? Why not get the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness so you can murder as many as you want without them realizing they should run away from the crazy magic-lady with a knife?

Why not put a musician on the crossbowmen so they can run away if charged by something nasty?

There doesn't seem to be much for taking down lots of light infantry except crossbow bolts. That's why I like witches so much: they're one of the best units in the game at slicing up hordes.

Also, do you really need all those power dice? The amount you're generating is pretty incredible, but it seems to me that it stops mattering after a while.

I do like that you've managed to make a really competitive list without those combos, and I'm a bit leery of the ASF banner myself for that reason. I'd give them the Banner of Murder instead, but it's so effective on the witches and there just doesn't seem to be much else that's nearly as useful.

How survivable do you find that sorceress to be without the Pendant? If I drop it on mine, that'll let me buy another knight. Do you think it's worth it?

Also, why are Null Talismans good? Since they only protect one unit, what's to stop enemy magic from just targeting something else?

tmarichards
10-02-2010, 12:51
If you give them the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness, they are no longer able to flee from suicide charges to kill your mage (I call them suicide charges because the chargin unit is never going to beat your static res, but is instead aiming only to kill your mage). If you take this to a tournament, you'll come up against other DEs with Dark Riders, who are awesome at these charges. At the very least, put a champion in, so he can challenge off the mage if needs be.

Musician on the Crossbows can't hurt too, but it's not that necessary- anythig that gets close enough to engage them should get charged by the Black Guard or Witch Elves.

There will always be tweaks that I'd recommend such as a musician on those dark riders that don't have one, another shade instead of the Bloodshade (partly because in my opinion 5 is too few, 6 is just about enough, and they'll only see combat when you want them to), and in a competative environment I prefer not to use infanrty blocks as I ust don't see them as more competative in terms of points than cavalry (until it matches my own list, which I really like, funnily enough...), but my main advice would be that if you like this list, run with it.

I like Don Zeko's list, I ran a similar one to Impfest (except it was run under a comp) last week-end. If you're interested, let me know and I'll post it on here.

The more games you play, the more you'll see what works and what doesn't. Although, I do still think that a second unit of knights instead of the Witches would be more competative.

The sorceress can be quite survivable. I the tournament I played in at the week-end, she only too one wound from a magic missile in the last game, and all her other wounds came from miscasts. However, I was using the Focus Familiar to hide her behind forests and building all game, and sacrificed a unit of Cold One Knights in game one to charge and then chase down an Empire Captain on pegasus who would have otherwise chased her all game.In my opinion, running her without the Focus Familiar OR Pendant is just asking for trouble. If she's taking the Black Staff (which rocks), she needs the Pendant to protect against miscasts.

The reason null talismans are good is that they give you a free dice to protect what your opponent will view as high priority targets- knights, mages etc. He'll put more effort into targetting these, but for every spell he casts at them you'll have a free die for every dispel attempt. You may also find that your opponent will try to draw out your dispel dice and scrolls with 'bigger' spells, then once they're mainly gone throw a magic missile or somesuch at your mage. Basically, it gives you a guaranteed 'free' dispel dice against spells at the bearer, and frees up your generated dice and scrolls for use against spells that effect the rest of your army. They also help me as I'm a big believer that a dispel attempt should usually use a number of dispel dice equal to the number of power dice he used +1 (assuming he rolled an average result, if he rolled badly I'll use less and if he rolled really well I'll use a scroll. If this goes above 4 dice, or the spell is too risky to let him get it off, it's time for a scroll).

Don Zeko
10-02-2010, 14:56
Why put a command on the Power Dice Elves if they're just going to die anyway? Why not get the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness so you can murder as many as you want without them realizing they should run away from the crazy magic-lady with a knife?

I give them command because this unit can do some fighting too. Without a character it has some serious weaknesses, but a ranked infantry unit can still beat some enemies with static res. As to the pearl, i would get it, but it prevents me from fleeing, and I don't have any of my magic allowance to spare on it; i need that dispel scroll.


Why not put a musician on the crossbowmen so they can run away if charged by something nasty?

Because points have to come from somewhere, basically. I'd like to give them a musician, but I just couldn't come up with anything to cut, and in my experience, this unit doesn't wind up fleeing that often anyway.


There doesn't seem to be much for taking down lots of light infantry except crossbow bolts. That's why I like witches so much: they're one of the best units in the game at slicing up hordes.

I suppose, but those Cold One Knights will run over light infantry blocks plenty well, and I do have lots of crossbows and magic.


Also, do you really need all those power dice? The amount you're generating is pretty incredible, but it seems to me that it stops mattering after a while.

I use all of my power dice when I play this list. Plus, it's fun to have vampire players tell you after the game that they're shocked at the effectiveness of your magic phase.


How survivable do you find that sorceress to be without the Pendant? If I drop it on mine, that'll let me buy another knight. Do you think it's worth it?

It depends on the enemy, really. I've played a half-dozen games with this particular list, and the only time the sorceress went down was against other dark elves with the ring and a dragon; she wounded herself twice with miscasts and was finished off by some harpies. Sure, I'd like to have the Pendant, but losing that dispel scroll and the power stone is pretty painful.


Also, why are Null Talismans good? Since they only protect one unit, what's to stop enemy magic from just targeting something else?

Well, if the enemy does that then you've protecting valuable units that were likely to get targeted with magic for a measly 15 points. Just because you aren't rolling those dice doesn't mean you aren't reaping a benefit. Also, the enemy doesn't know that they're there in most cases. If the other guy rolls on the lore of metal, then finds that my knghts are magic resistant, it's not like he's got good targets for rule of burning iron and spirit of the forge.