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View Full Version : Playstyle of the various armies . . .



BBWags
16-04-2010, 23:56
A friend and I are just getting into FB. I've already chosen my army (Wood Elves), but my friend hasn't. He is on vacation right now in a no-convenient-internet-access locale (yes, they do still exist) and he has asked me to ask all of you for help in knowing how the various armies play. I have access to the big rule book, but I also know that GW doesn't always make rules that actually make armies fight how their fluff describes. So we need to rely on all of you who have actual on-the-table experience.

My friend is looking for an army that is an all-rounder, but that has a larger bent toward CC. What I take that to mean is that they are basically a CC army, but aren't so specialized that they are limited to one build that actually works. He is interested in Dark Elves, Warriors of Chaos, and Vampire Counts in specific, but neither of us is really sure how these armies play.

Can anyone give me a run-down on the gameplay that these armies provide? And if a different army seems to fit the description that he is looking for, please post that description as well!

Extra e-cookies for anyone who wants to post a description of gameplay for ALL the armies! :-D Thanks for helping!

Tower_Of_The_Stars
17-04-2010, 00:28
Out of the three armies you gave I would suggest Dark Elves. They can do pretty much any phase well so they are certainly capable of being fielded as a close combat army with some extras. It has to be said though, that they are very competitive, perhaps overly so, since the army book is open to a lot of abuse. However, if you trust your friend to play nice or aren't in fact bothered by having the odds stacked against you then this obviously wouldn't be a problem.

I don't read rumours too much but I am aware that a new edition is round the corner so would advise perhaps waiting for that to come out until committing too much time and money to the hobby.

P.S. nice paint log ;)

darkstar
17-04-2010, 00:31
Essentially, both Warriors of Chaos and Vampire Counts almost entirely step out of the shooting phase and leave that to everyone else.

Dark Elves can be very competitive in the shooting phase, and have an admirable showing in all of their phases. They move fast, they have magic coming out of the wazoo, they poop shooting attacks, and they fight like little else. They have the single most overpowered monster in the game (the hydra) and they excel when they're in control of the game. The downside? Well, they're big sissy girly elves, so when someone starts hitting them back with any more than halitosis, they start falling over. There are exceptions that are tough in the army, but the core elfy stuff gets.

Warriors are all about the fighting. They also do magic, and can be quite quick as they can go for a predominantly fast-cavalry force, but their bread and butter is in the hitting things with sharp objects. They also quite like getting hit, because they like the ringing noise inside their silly hats as they clang pathetically off their monstrous amounts of armour. That said, they are quite expensive in points; (you get nearly two basic dark elves to every full blown warrior of chaos). They do get cheap infantry, that are quite effective, but that's not really playing to their strengths too much.

Vampire counts really throw the rule book out of the window. They're a niche force that relies on magic and their characters to do damage (mostly). They're not an army to play if you want to learn how to play warhammer fantasy. That said, if you want to learn how to play undead, there's none better. They're reliable, in that they are incapable of running away, but they're unreliable, in that when they should be running away, they fall apart. Literally. That said, they have magic and duct tape that can put them back together and restore the units to starting strength, and some above that.

Best of luck to you both, and I hope that helps.

BBWags
17-04-2010, 01:18
Thank you both for your insights! DE sound scary! I can't help but look at this in light of who I want to be facing a lot of the time, haha. WoC seem like a good other-side-of-the-coin for my nimble and lightly armored wood elves . . . and even though I don't know much about VCs, the idea of zombies is just too fun to dismiss lightly.

My friend also really likes dwarves, but I think we both understand that dwarves are just too slow to do anything but shoot, and while big booms are fun, if that's all you've got, then . . . well, it's just not fun.

Anyone else have any perspectives to add to what has already been shared? How about any of the other armies? Where would Empre or Bretonia or even Skaven or Lizardmen fit in here? I actually once had a Lizardman roleplaying character in Gurps named Ficus. I thought that'd be kinda fun . . . but I guess that's not really the focus of this thread, so . . .

what do you think?

Ultimate Life Form
17-04-2010, 01:23
Dark Elves:
Definitely all-rounders, but also definitely not with focus on close combat. Shooting and Magic are more to their liking, supported by swift tactical attacks. That is by the way the key word for all Elf armies. Tactics. Get yourself stuck in prolonged combat and you will quickly lose to the bigger and tougher things out there.

Warriors of Chaos:
THE close combatant monsters out there, but sadly not much more. Shooting is entirely out of the question, but they seem to offer a bit of interesting Magic. Definitely not all-rounders though, and many regard them as one-dimensional and boring.

Vampire Counts:
Very good in close combat, though not necessarily at winning those. The key is to lock the enemy in battles they cannot win, either. This is achieved by raising back casualties while the enemies inevitably dwindle. This brings us to Magic which is very important for the army and also very potent. But there are also many things in the list that hit quite heavy. What we do not have is Shooting of any kind. Still a very versatile and customizable army, and if your friend has a soft spot for undead then these are definitely one army to consider.

Stuffburger
17-04-2010, 01:27
I'd second the recommendation for dark elves. Vampires and warriors are both very specialized- vampires towards characters and magic, and warriors are combat heavy to the exclusion of all else- you can either have fighty infantry, fighty cavalry or fighty monsters, with amazing CC characters in support. Their magic is average and shooting is non-existent.

Lizardmen and Orcs and goblins also fit the "mostly but not exclusively CC" bill. LM have the second best CC infantry in the game with saurus, with a potent magic phase and decent shooting. O&G is fluffed and usually played as a close combat horde, but they have the greatest variety of units in the game (With 8 core, 9 special and 3 rare) that lets them do just about any build to varying degrees of success.

I haven't looked much at the new skaven book but from what I've seen around the forums they've gotten even hordier. If swarms of terrible CC troops supported by magic and warmachines indiscriminately laying waste to friend and foe alike are his thing then they could work. Also assassins and skirmishy troops but no cavalry.

Empire is the "good guy" jack of all trades army- they can do any build decently, but not really well. I think their most effective build is currently a gunline. Brettonia is one sided as well, with 5 types of cavalry, then trash peasants and a trebuchet to round out the list.

kaubin
17-04-2010, 02:14
Dark elves are the only all-rounders in those 3. Warriors are about combat, Vampires are about magic, and neither shoots. I heard nice things about the new close combat skavens too, and they can pretty much do it all reasonably well too.

meneroth
17-04-2010, 02:54
the best "all-rounder" armies are probably Dark Elves, high elves, skaven, and lizardmen.

by all rounder i assume you mean armies that can compete in all 4 phases.

most other armies stick to 3 phases (bretts, empire, wood elves, tomb kings) while a few, namely vampire counts and warriors of chaos really are stuck in 2 phases.

For some reason i totally failed to give any advice. so, my advice is to look at some of the other armies that are all rounders besides just dark elves. i have a buddy who played like 4 different armies and then picked up skaven and his whole way of looking at the game changed. he acts differently when playing them, and enjoys them so much more. its almost like a religious experience for him ;) so it really depends on your buddies personality. if he takes satisfaction in killing small animals then go with dark elves. if he likes to be crazy, go with skaven maybe. have him read the fluff, look at the models, whatever and he may just find one he likes best.

Ultimate Life Form
17-04-2010, 02:56
most other armies stick to 3 phases (bretts, empire, wood elves, tomb kings) while a few, namely vampire counts and warriors of chaos really are stuck in 2 phases.

Or, if you're Dwarf, in 1. :p

Condottiere
17-04-2010, 06:37
You can make a case for almost any army, but DE really are the most flexible currently, the rest that could tend to be compromised in one way or another. Lizards have a really good shooting phase, but you need to get those skinks into close range; High Elves have a moderately good shooting phase, but can do so from a distance; Empire needs quantity, whether in muskets or war machines, since they lack the quality for accurate shooting.

The Red Scourge
17-04-2010, 07:42
You're guaranteed to get some good match-ups, when you're playing woodies vs. darkies. They're quite decently balanced against each other - and the battles are usually a bloodbath :)

Hjiryon
17-04-2010, 10:14
You're guaranteed to get some good match-ups, when you're playing woodies vs. darkies. They're quite decently balanced against each other - and the battles are usually a bloodbath :)

Come again?

It's certainly not like the WE player loses by default, but the two books do not look balanced against each other at all to me. Basically, the DE player typically has a more-or-less equivalent choice to that of the WE player, which will be a bit cheaper, and quite a few RnF options the WE player will never see.
The exception: The WE player has better skirmishing close combat troops witout a doubt.

Then we can start getting into the lack of high-str attacks in a WE list (comes from characters, treemen and... Wild Riders if you include str 5 on charges). A monster mash DE list is extremely painful situation for a WE list.

In short: Build the lists for it, and DE vs. WE can be really great games. See the DE player tool his list? You're going to face an uphill battle as WE.

Harwammer
17-04-2010, 10:39
Beastmen's play style revolves around trying to be shot in a way that is least detrimental to your army to ensure your fragile hammer units are able to make it into combat. Hopefully enough will survive in order to win.

Games involving beastmen are invairably bloodbaths but the fun is in discovering if the bloodbath is due to a slaughter or just a massive battle of attrition.

Rodman49
17-04-2010, 16:29
Come again?

It's certainly not like the WE player loses by default, but the two books do not look balanced against each other at all to me. Basically, the DE player typically has a more-or-less equivalent choice to that of the WE player, which will be a bit cheaper, and quite a few RnF options the WE player will never see.
The exception: The WE player has better skirmishing close combat troops witout a doubt.

Then we can start getting into the lack of high-str attacks in a WE list (comes from characters, treemen and... Wild Riders if you include str 5 on charges). A monster mash DE list is extremely painful situation for a WE list.

In short: Build the lists for it, and DE vs. WE can be really great games. See the DE player tool his list? You're going to face an uphill battle as WE.

Every army has a hard time against Monster Mash except for Empire and Dwarves. WE vs DE are a good match, its a complete bloodbath for sure but the Wood Elves have an extremely good list and Dryads or Treeman can counter a Hydra easy. If you haven't played the matchup multiple times then get your non-sense out of here pal.

smallgreenguy
17-04-2010, 19:25
Every army has a hard time against Monster Mash except for Empire and Dwarves. WE vs DE are a good match, its a complete bloodbath for sure but the Wood Elves have an extremely good list and Dryads or Treeman can counter a Hydra easy. If you haven't played the matchup multiple times then get your non-sense out of here pal.

Well I wouldn't say easily...

Hjiryon
19-04-2010, 21:59
Every army has a hard time against Monster Mash except for Empire and Dwarves. WE vs DE are a good match, its a complete bloodbath for sure but the Wood Elves have an extremely good list and Dryads or Treeman can counter a Hydra easy. If you haven't played the matchup multiple times then get your non-sense out of here pal.

From memory, I've played WE vs. DE 7 times in 7th edition. Get thee thine strawman out of the room. I'm not an expert, but I've seen this play out a few times.

Let's assume the dryads get into CC with the hydra. The hydra will charge (due to higher M value). All DE attacks reroll to hit due to hatred here:
Handlers hit on 4+ with 6 attacks if memory serves, wounding on 5s - that's 1.5 wound, so 1 unsaved.
The hydra: Hits on 4s, wounds on 3s. 5.25 hits, let's call it 2.28 unsaved wounds. Roughly 4 dead dryads all in all.
Left to return attacks: Nothing on the hydra (no models left in contact), 1 on each handler.
Handlers are hit on 4+, wounded on 3+, 4 attacks = 2 hits, 1.33 wounds.
So basically, one handler dies - let's play nice and say they both die.
CR: 4 kills vs 2, assuming minimum dryad unit, the hydra now outnumbers as well. No banners. The dryads lose by 3.

Let's do the same calculation without the handlers:
Once again, circa 2.28 unsaved wounds. Let's call it 2.
4 attacks returned. 0.22 unsaved wounds. One every four combat phases - not enough to justify calling it even one. The dryads now outnumber, but the hydra still wins combat by one.
So how the hydra is "easily handled" by dryads, I do not really see. Also note: All of the above is without taking hatred into account.

I'd never make a case for a hydra losing on average against dryads being a scenario to expect, since there's a certain point- and slot-discrepancy present. But you did make the argument, so there you go.

As for the treeman, I see no compelling reason for the opponent to let you get the treeman into combat with the hydra (barring getting the treeman out of the way to do something else while he's away I suppose. If it happens, you're right, it's bad news for the hydra.

As for monster mash being bad news for everyone, you're right - wood elves are generally accepted as lacking mobile high-str attacks and hence being particularily weak against such attacks, though.
The thing is, Dark elves can field 4 monsters is they really want to at 2k points, the slowest of which would be the hydra - that's at least one more than most others.

I just mentioned monster mash, but it's hardly the only problem present.
*Shrug* At the end of the day, the comparison is between one of the top-tier power armies in the game and a mid-tier army that, granted, holds up extremely well for its age (and was all the rage in its day). With the ridiculous power creep in 7th, you should not expect to see the codices being equal - and they aren't.

Also, place the two books side by side. Compare the units one by one. They are often similar (Xbows vs GG, Dark Riders vs. Glade Riders, Shades vs Scouts or WW, EG vs BG, the list goes on). I generally find that the dark elf units cost slightly less or are signifigantly better.
Note that the cheapest model in WE book costs 12 points - Aren't DE warriors 6 points apiece? I'm not saying DE warriors are awesome, I'm saying they afford the DE player a kind of flexibility WEs do not enjoy.
Then compare the magic phases the two armies can bring. Take into consideration power pool sizes (including, obviously, PoD), the numbers of different schools of magic available and so on... Oh, right, and any possible armywide bonuses present to the phase. I think it's pretty obvious which of the two has the upper hand here.

Once again: Build darkie lists for the purpose, and these fights can be awesome (and, as you say, very bloody). Run both lists in their most tooled-up state, and that'll be bad news for the woodies.
If you wish to contest this claim, try using arguments and not sweeping claims; I conceede a made the same mistake in my initial post; here's a small attempt to outline some of the reasoning.

Edit: Messed up math, and went back to include hatred.