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SilasOfTheLambs
13-11-2010, 22:26
This isn't exactly a full battle report, but a story about two games I played yesterday in a local WHFB league.

My opponent, to be fair, is a pretty nice guy most of the time. I'll let my readers make their own judgments about this particular game.

My list: Speculum Pope on War altar, the dawn armor, great weapon.

23 greatswords with walking pope, great weapon, 1+ rerollable armor save, other trickster's shard.

2x 30x Swordsmen, cmd

39x Halberdiers, full command, with a walking priest with hw+ shield

BSB on horse with charmed shield

2 mortars

a beasts level 2 with a scroll

5x pistoliers, outrider with repeater pistol, musician

So, we're looking at a lot of infantry, only two war machines (and not the best ones available) and in general what you could call a pretty soft list, outside the pope wagon.

He, however, took a level 4 tz caster with blood of tzeentch AND conjoined homunculus AND an infernal puppet. then there was a 40-man khorne marauder horde, 6 knights, 6 trolls and, in the first game (we played two) some dogs and marauder horsemen. In other words, he tailored his list expecting warmachine spam.

In the first game, it was pretty much tic-tac-toe. I squeaked out a 200-point win in which I pope-blocked his chaos warrior block by challenging the BSB and camping there until the halberd horde could get into their flank and generate enough CR to win. Elsewhere, though, his knights and trolls completely obliterated both swordsmen units and, though I broke his trolls in combat, I then overran into his sorceror.

Normally, that would be great, but the sorceror was within the range of a dwarf brewhouse, so my greatswords were stuck there, bouncing off that damnable 3+ ward, until the chaos knights came around behind them (fresh from breaking two steadfast units of swords in two turns) and destroyed them completely (my BSB and arch lector both managed to survive on the stubborn LD from the brewhouse). The whole game was basically played with pandaemonium in play, and in the final turn of the game it was neck and neck until he couldn't quite kill my BSB with his one remaining chaos knight and then rolled a 3 on his insane courage test for his marauder horde, which had been flanked by the exultant halberdiers after a rules check confirmed that his frenzy forced him to overrun into their arc (I think they had been fighting a mortar or something). To me, a close, fun game, in which this crazy BRB terrain had played a critical role in changing the tactics of both players. (I should note that there was also a tower of blood on the board. I ask

Between games he re-tooled his list, dropping his dogs and marauder horsemen and picking up a hellcannon to combat my infantry blocks. I made no changes.

The broad outline of the second game was much like the first, by which I mean that the critical event was a very long charge by my arch lector to get into the front of his tz-flavored chaos warrior unit. Interestingly, my opponent very nearly chose to flee that bundle of ws5 death from my 2-attack puny lord choice, but in the end he decided to stick. So, that unit wasn't going to go anywhere and freed up my halberd horde to face-charge his marauder horde.

This was the crucial combat of the game, because whichever unit survived, the opposing player had no answer for. I charged him, got off Birona's Timewarp on them from the nearby war altar (+1A, asf that didn't matter) and had my BSB and a priest in the unit. I hit him first, and with priest hatred I killed a bunch of his dudes, cutting seriously into his number of attacks. However, his remaining 18 or so guys outkilled me by one (this with no hatred, and no characters), meaning that with my charge and my battle standard I managed to win the combat by 1.

At this point was where the complaining began. He complained about hatred being overpowered. Really, that is what he said. I ignored him. He also complained how, when I rolled doubles on my arch lector's Birona, how my arch lector's "miscast" didn't require him to roll on the table (innate ability).

In the meantime, the chaos knights were busy chewing their way through some swordsmen (who valiantly killed one) and the trolls, deployed poorly, ate popcorn and regenerated some mortar hits to give them MR3 on the eye of the gods table.

The rest of the game went the way you might expect, given this situation. I eventually got my spare swordsmen over to the orphan trolls, out-combat-resed them and ran them down (some had died from mortars to make this easier). the halberdiers, with the benefit of not having great weapons, managed to finish off the marauders in his turn and reform to face the chaos warriors, still locked in combat with the pope, from the flank. On my turn, the greatswords and the halberds (down to 20 or so, and reformed into a 5-wide formation) flanked the chaos warriors and the greatswords got in on the action from the front. His BSB had been speculumed to death by this time, so he failed his 4 check to stick and was run down by the angry pope.

The chaos knights finally killed all the swordsmen on my turn, and then on their turn, turned around and obliterated the pistoliers, who had been hovering behind them waiting for a chance to shoot something. The stand-and-shoot left two knights, who killed the entire unit. His hellcannon misfired, munched all the dwarfs, and eventually rampaged to where I could greatsword it to death.

Through all this, the complaints continued. As he killed 8-10 swordsmen per phase, he complained about steadfast and how it was OP. When I finished off the marauders, he complained that hatred was OP. And the whole time, he complained that the speculum was OP. He also disapproved of my not being able to miscast (other than on my wizard, who eventually did and exploded a large number of swordsmen, but they wouldn't panic).

Losing my patience, I pointed out his 5-point, 2-attack, ws4 s5 infantry, his hellcannon (not only a great buy at 205 points, but also modeled on a 30x30 base to make it harder to kill in close combat), his 3+ armor, 5+ parry t4 ws5 infantry, and his flying 3+ ward +5 to cast dice-re-rolling sorceror lord (who survived both games as I either couldn't catch him or couldn't kill him once I did) and asked him if he could really complain about empire being OP, especially given my soft list. He didn't see the thrust of my argument.

So, that is my triumph story. My opponent is not a bad guy in general, as I said, and we've had some good games in the past. However, when he can look at a cheese-filled dex like his and then complain about how overpowered my ancient armybook is, apparently I've done something right.

Hope you enjoyed the semirep.

Killingspree
13-11-2010, 22:45
Am I the only one who doesn't think Empire or Warriors of Chaos are over powered?:confused:

I think most armies right now can boast some pretty nasty builds but over powered, :eyebrows: not in my opinion. That's just me anyway.

Very nice two games by the way, it sounds like you did everything you had to do to win with a least that you like playing. Can't really ask for more than that. (Aside from having an opponent that doesn't whine)

K/S

logan054
13-11-2010, 23:25
At the end of the day, people just sometimes just how something is broken because they are annoyed, as WoC spec is one of those items I really hate simply because I am forced to challenge you with my characters. Neither army is amazing, they both have some great tools, lore of Tzeentch is one of those things that really annoys people, I can imagine if he of has a Tzeentch mage with Gateway and pand then you might tempted to call cheese.

Evil Hypnotist
14-11-2010, 00:01
Sounds like he was used to succeeding and couldn't handle the fact that you were giving as good as you got. People find it much easier to blame others before themselves

H33D
14-11-2010, 01:19
Just a note: Being modeled on a 30 mm base doesn't help a war machine in close combat, as up to 6 normal infantry can fight the machine regardless of who is in base contact.

Torpedo Vegas
14-11-2010, 01:52
Wow, I have never though of fielding 2 Arch Lectors before.

Kardon
14-11-2010, 02:10
Just a note: Being modeled on a 30 mm base doesn't help a war machine in close combat, as up to 6 normal infantry can fight the machine regardless of who is in base contact.

Its a Monster with a spewing mouth of death, so yes it does help.

SilasOfTheLambs
14-11-2010, 04:16
Am I the only one who doesn't think Empire or Warriors of Chaos are over powered?

Yeah, I was probably a bit unfair in my assessment. There's a couple things about the WoC book that I think are broken but fairly fixable.
1) Marks of Chaos should be per model like everything else, not per-unit no matter how large. Khorne-marked chaos marauders should be sufficient example of why.
2) 3+ wards against a specific thing (e.g. 3+ ward against shooting) doesn't bother me too much. 3+ wards across the board, on the other hand, are just too much.
3) The infernal gateway auto-kill effect. As if any number of s11 or s12 hits (or even s10) weren't deadly enough...

However, the rest of the book is just good, and I usually don't feel about it the way I feel about, say, skaven, or... yeah that's about it.



Originally Posted by H33D
Just a note: Being modeled on a 30 mm base doesn't help a war machine in close combat, as up to 6 normal infantry can fight the machine regardless of who is in base contact. Originally Posted by H33D
Its a Monster with a spewing mouth of death, so yes it does help.
... yup, with what amounts to a 5+ ward against shooting due to allocating hits on handlers.


Wow, I have never though of fielding 2 Arch Lectors before.

I've found the one on the wagon to be practically mandatory, what with large LD bubbles and what with all the buff spells he gives you access to (pope wagon is the only "loremaster" ability the empire has access to without dipping into named characters, and it's limited by having no casting bonuses and by never being able to use the powered-up versions). The second pope with the greatswords would be almost as good if he were just a priest, except for the extra DD. But I'm finding that hatred from priests is about the only way empire troopers can muster any serious damage output. Also, core flagellants, which I anticipate adding to my list as soon as I can afford the models :)

Djekar
14-11-2010, 05:48
Sounds like you did well, and I might be frustrated as well at your prowess in a similiar situation. Ultimately though I would be frustrated at myself not the opponent, so maybe he'll come around in the same manner. Also, I think that your list is one of the more tame empire lists that I've seen and so I agree that his complaining is baseless.

That being said, next time he fields that Sorc Lord you should probably kindly inform him that Blood of Tzeentch and Infernal Puppet are both Arcane items and so he needs to choose one or the other.

SilasOfTheLambs
14-11-2010, 13:28
That being said, next time he fields that Sorc Lord you should probably kindly inform him that Blood of Tzeentch and Infernal Puppet are both Arcane items and so he needs to choose one or the other.

As I reflect, I realize that while I'm quite sure he mentioned to me that he had the puppet, he certainly never ended up using it, because the only time I actually miscast (as opposed to the tame innate-ability substitute) I rolled a 3 and he would have been foolish to adjust it. Killed about 18 swordsmen and wounded wizard boy. So, even if that was a rules goof on his part, no effect on gameplay.

Harwammer
14-11-2010, 13:48
Puppet effects all wizards on table so maybe it was on a secondary mage?

SilasOfTheLambs
14-11-2010, 13:49
Nope, he only had the one.

Dreadgrass
15-11-2010, 01:15
To be fair, his list wasn't an extreme powerhouse as WoC are concerned...

However, besides the pope-mobile, there is nothing in your list I could see being construed as OP.

I think your tactic of not using much artillery made him think he was in for an easy victory, but you beat a straight up rush-tactics WoC army by outmanouvering him, So congrats to you!

Its always good to hear of tactics and manouvering winning a game rather than massed magic/ artillery/ who has the better deathstar.

Malorian
15-11-2010, 15:39
"My list: Speculum Pope on War altar, the dawn armor, great weapon.

23 greatswords with walking pope, great weapon, 1+ rerollable armor save, other trickster's shard.

2x 30x Swordsmen, cmd

39x Halberdiers, full command, with a walking priest with hw+ shield

BSB on horse with charmed shield

2 mortars

a beasts level 2 with a scroll

5x pistoliers, outrider with repeater pistol, musician"


Empire are very powerful in 8th and you have tapped into some of the reasons why in your list.

1. Magic shut down: your 5 free dispel dice make it fairly easy to shut down enemy magic

2. Powerful warmachines: you may only have two by the mortars are extremely deadly now in a game of horded infantry

3. Cheap and deadly infantry: halberdiers with hatred are second only to khorne marauders with great weapons for killy value.

4. Pope mobile of doom: it beats characters, ties up hordes, gets off free spells, and heals itself. What's not to love.


I think empire players need to realize how good they have it.

Hell I sold off my empire because of how good they became!


Here is the podcast I did on the subject:

Oct 23/10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7LamALBjKI (Empire in 8th)

Jericho
15-11-2010, 16:26
Now that cheap infantry are actually useful instead of free lunch for the enemy, Empire really are pretty solid. They have the war machines to thin enemy ranks quickly, Warrior Priests are amazing for magic defense and hatred is a huge bonus on a big horde unit, and like you say the Popemobile is as good as ever when it comes to tarpitting units. Less amazing if the enemy can refuse challenges, which the WoC of course can not do :p

It looks like you definitely played the games well and outwitted him in a few key ways. Definite kudos to you on that one, my WoC are proving to be much more effective now than in 7th and have yet to lose in 8th (not that I've played a huge number of games or anything).

But, as has been stated already, that was in no way a balls to the wall WoC army list. No Hellcannon in game 1, just the one in game 2, no Throgg, etc. One of the big reasons for WoC getting a huge bump in power is not the magic rules (Lore of Tzeentch is no longer the big bad scary Lore, its relative ease of casting reflects its power compared to some of the new spells) but its ability to bring some deadly templates to bear before mincing it up in close combat. Hellcannons really are worth their considerable weight in gold. The breath attacks of Throgg and anyone with Stream of Corruption are also well worth the price of admission.

Once again, I tip my cap to you for using the standard Empire tactics in a textbook exploitation of a combat army. Pin them down with the exceedingly hard to kill Popemobile w/ Speculum and smash the flanks with ranked Halberdiers.

But please don't tell me you used a soft list. 2x Arch Lectors, 1x Warrior Priest and a L2 with dispel scroll should have shut down any magic phase (I can't for the life of me figure out how he managed to keep Pandemonium up all game long), reliable magic with no miscasts to worry about, and the Dawn Armor/Great Weapon/Speculum Popemobile is a migraine on wheels for many armies to deal with.

Like most armies these days, it's difficult for you to make a crappy army list unless you throw all common sense out the window. Take a few solid bricks of infantry with well thought out supporting characters and a few pie plates/breath attacks to thin the enemy ranks, and you're set. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need an alleged Purple Sun/Power Scroll incident to win games, but reasonably smart army list creation and some clever application of leverage to break the enemy will usually do the trick.

SilasOfTheLambs
15-11-2010, 18:16
Mal, Jericho, much of what you say is true. Empire have definitely seen a substantial step up in effectiveness with the move to 8th. That said, I have never, under any ruleset, heard anybody assert that the empire book is overpowered or broken until yesterday. I've fielded some complaints about somebody else's list (which maxed out every war machine for a total of 10, spammed master engineers, and dared the enemy to approach and get steam tanked in the face), but in that instance the individual doing the complaining had actually proceeded to win the game with his toad-fueled lizards.

The infantry you mention is not worth the 2.5 skavenslaves for the same points, nor even, as you also point out, the equal of their chaotic cousins.

It's also true that my opponent's list wasn't nearly as gnasty as it could have gotten.

The point is, I do recognize how good I have it, although I don't think empire competes on even terms with either skaven and their endless bodies or dark elves and their endless PD. I also think my opponent's assertion that my book is fundamentally broken was unwarranted.

Malorian
15-11-2010, 18:48
The point is, I do recognize how good I have it, although I don't think empire competes on even terms with either skaven and their endless bodies or dark elves and their endless PD. I also think my opponent's assertion that my book is fundamentally broken was unwarranted.

I would say that empire has an edge on skaven (even outnumbered 2.5 to 1 you'll still win every time, and your war machines are better) and dark elves aren't really that crazy in the magic phase (lizardmen have that title).

I agree with you that the idea that the empire book as a whole is broken is false, however as I said you have a lot of the elements that make them very strong in your list, so I can see where it could lead a frustrated opponent to saying something like that.

Even pistoliers, who aren't that amazing in 8th, are a great unit against WoC.

frapermax
15-11-2010, 19:25
Empire have a very nice book. Nicely built empire armies can beat anyone and can be beaten by anyone, that's the beauty of the book.
About players complaining about OP armies: some even claim TK or orcs and goblins are overpowered. I call that very situational complaints (mostly due to a big loss and an inability to grasp the game mechanics). It is true that he didn't take maxed out cheese himself, but that doesn't give him the right to call your list OTT. A cool opponent would have congratulated you on a deserved win.
greets
fpm

Malorian
15-11-2010, 19:49
About players complaining about OP armies: some even claim TK or orcs and goblins are overpowered.

The orc and goblin book actually is fairly powerful now.

russellmoo
15-11-2010, 21:41
If you want overpowered- try this a unit consisting of-

40 swordsmen-
9 Captains gw's + Warrior priest- yes in horde formation you are looking at 21-30 Str 6, re-rollables, plus 7 - 10 str 3 supporting attacks- this is an OP unit-

Since you did not do this- I don't find anything wrong with your list-

Empire are really good in 8th ed- they have cheap infantry, deadly war machines, possibly the best magic defense, they can shoot, use cavalry, fast cavalry, skirmishers- the only thing they lack is monstrous infantry- their versatility makes them difficult to play against-

SilasOfTheLambs
15-11-2010, 21:52
If you want overpowered- try this a unit consisting of-

40 swordsmen-
9 Captains gw's + Warrior priest- yes in horde formation you are looking at 21-30 Str 6, re-rollables, plus 7 - 10 str 3 supporting attacks- this is an OP unit-


Check again, russ. The warrior priest rules specify that hatred doesn't effect other characters in the unit. Your captainstar has some chop, but not as much as you're making it sound like. Then of course there's dwellers, purple sun, mortars and other stone throwers... (since you didn't give your captains any armor)... it's a huge pointsink and people will simply avoid it.

russellmoo
16-11-2010, 03:44
Avoid it? Oh you mean by attacking the horde of greatswords, or the unkillable war altar which accompany this player's Cap'ten' as he calls it- They form up in a semicircle around the artillery- it's ridiculously hard-

Dreadgrass
16-11-2010, 06:58
If you want overpowered- try this a unit consisting of-

40 swordsmen-
9 Captains gw's + Warrior priest- yes in horde formation you are looking at 21-30 Str 6, re-rollables, plus 7 - 10 str 3 supporting attacks- this is an OP unit-

Since you did not do this- I don't find anything wrong with your list

How many points was this in? Cause thats 600ish points of characters plus the unit there in... say 850pts total?

For a little over 700pts you could take a horde block of 40 Halberd wielding Warriors of Tzeentch with command and Banner of Rage... that'll kill 8 of the captains before they get a strike...

Just an example, I don't think character spam like this is a great build...

Anyhow, I think this was a match between 2 fairly well balanced forces, which was somewhat spoiled by "O.P. Observation syndrome"

Alex Under
16-11-2010, 09:24
Where you playing against Jose Mourinho? (sorry, bad joke only football fans will catch). Quite honestly, congrats on a great victory. If I had lossed that game against you I would be actually quite happy as it seems both were very fun tight games.

Odin
16-11-2010, 09:33
Speculum Pope on War altar, the dawn armor, great weapon.


Anyone who fields that should be shot.

IMO.

SilasOfTheLambs
16-11-2010, 14:20
Anyone who fields that should be shot.

IMO.

Sigged that.

Why do you think so?