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View Full Version : Pop quiz, hot shot...



willowdark
03-04-2012, 10:17
You're staring down the table at a Hell Pit A-bomb, a Doomwheel, 2 big units of Slaves, some Clan Rats, a Warp Lightning Cannon, a Plague Furnace with full compliment of Plague Monks, along with your regular bits to fill out the points.

You have 3x10 Glade Guard and the Hail of Doom Arrow.

What do you shoot?

I say the Plague Furnace. Soak 'em with enough shots to soften them up then swarm them. It's the most points on the board that you can get the easiest and most effectively. So get the points and run away from everything else.

What are your thoughts? Discuss.

BigbyWolf
03-04-2012, 11:23
Why would that be all you have? Surely it's far less points than what the Skaven have to offer? :confused:

willowdark
03-04-2012, 11:46
Because I'm just talking about the shooting phase. Obviously you'd have more points, but I was just trying to get to the root of what each person's shooting priorities would be.

warplock
03-04-2012, 11:51
The Warp Lightning cannon's the only thing listed which can inflict mass casualties at range, so that might be the best thing to neutralise? You can just avoid the plague furnace.

Djekar
03-04-2012, 11:55
Hrm, no flaming banner, huh? I'd have to say that if everything is fair game I would go after the cannon first and then the Abomb/Doomwheel (while staying out of conceivable 3d6 range). Warplock is right, you can avoid/lead the furnace around with some eagles - poor, sacrificial eagles.

Without knowing the situation on the rest of the board, it's hard to say what the "best" option is - you might be in a good position to hammer one or more of those targets and so shooting them becomes a bit superfluous.

Chicago Slim
03-04-2012, 11:57
I'm assuming that the other 1500 points or so is Tree Kin, Treeman, lots of Dryads, and a wizard (Life-4, of course). As the OP says, "soften them up then swarm them". So, he's telling us his shooting resources, and leaving the exact composition of that "swarm" unsaid.

As a fellow MSU woodie, I'd say a lot depends on the deployment. If you can crush one flank, while denying the other, that's about the easiest path to winning that we have. If he parks a unit of slaves on a wing, figuring it'll anvil out for the game, show him the error of his ways (2 rounds of shooting to strip off a quarter, then pile on dryads and burn them up quick-- once they're down to even 2 ranks, they're really likely to break: sure, they're Steadfast-- but without their full compliment of rank bonus adding to Leadership, it doesn't matter!) If he presents his Doomwheel, take it out (6's always wound, and at close range, you'll peel off his 4+ armor save very quickly! Even with just 3 wounds done, he'll have to think twice about getting it anywhere that your big wood could finish it off).

Basically, I wouldn't start off by trying to decide which target to hit. I'd start by deciding which flank to own, and then go to work on whatever's there...

willowdark
03-04-2012, 12:05
I'm assuming that the other 1500 points or so is Tree Kin, Treeman, lots of Dryads, and a wizard (Life-4, of course). As the OP says, "soften them up then swarm them". So, he's telling us his shooting resources, and leaving the exact composition of that "swarm" unsaid.

As a fellow MSU woodie, I'd say a lot depends on the deployment. If you can crush one flank, while denying the other, that's about the easiest path to winning that we have. If he parks a unit of slaves on a wing, figuring it'll anvil out for the game, show him the error of his ways (2 rounds of shooting to strip off a quarter, then pile on dryads and burn them up quick-- once they're down to even 2 ranks, they're really likely to break: sure, they're Steadfast-- but without their full compliment of rank bonus adding to Leadership, it doesn't matter!) If he presents his Doomwheel, take it out (6's always wound, and at close range, you'll peel off his 4+ armor save very quickly! Even with just 3 wounds done, he'll have to think twice about getting it anywhere that your big wood could finish it off).

Basically, I wouldn't start off by trying to decide which target to hit. I'd start by deciding which flank to own, and then go to work on whatever's there...

Yeah, deployment is the biggest unknown in this hypothetical, especially if you roll dawn attack and are forced to deploy your shooters in a way that doesn't provide good overlapping shooting lanes.

I was thinking Doomwheel would be a good choice as well, for all the same reasons. That seems like one option that would really fall to the mass shooting.

I'm surprised no one has said the Slaves. Seems like WE would benefit more than most armies by clearing out slaves without having to fight combat, since our model count is so low and Slave popping would hurt.

BigbyWolf
03-04-2012, 16:13
Because I'm just talking about the shooting phase. Obviously you'd have more points, but I was just trying to get to the root of what each person's shooting priorities would be.

Ah, I see what you're getting at. Assuming that all the models are of an equal distance away (so as to reduce the effectiveness of my bows), and nowhere near any of my other units (so I don't have to worry about protecting anything), or hidden by any terrain, I'd go for whatever I felt the rest of my army would have trouble dealing with, so either the A-bomb or the Furnace + monks.
But that really is dependent on a lot of variables.

willowdark
03-04-2012, 17:28
One of the reasons why I thought this was such a good question was because of the variables, but not just the variables we don't know - the rest of my points, deployment, ranges, terrain - the variables we do. The value of the Skaven units.

For instance, think about the overall strategy of the game, the ultimate victory not just the most immediate benefits. Think about the economy of action. The first thing that occurred to me was to shoot the Doomwheel, because it's such an immediate threat, because it's otherwise very difficult to deal with, and because it's very vulnerable to shooting, especially the HoDA. But then it occurred to me that a Doomwheel isn't exactly a lot of points, so while it's a huge investment in points to take it out for a defensive victory, stopping it from wrecking my line, it's not a big payoff offensively for the huge investment.

That's why I thought that the Plague Furnace and the Monks would be a better target because they yield a bigger payoff in points, potentially even collecting the banner or taking out the general.

But that's why I thought Skaven would be a good subject to have this discussion over, because you can crunch the number so many ways, a testament to how internally balance the Skaven book is. It takes a lot of brass to allow an A-bomb, a Warplightning Cannon, and a Doomwheel, to run free in the early turns and to concentrate on such a foundation piece like the Furnace Monks. There is a lot there to shuffle around in terms of how you set your priorities, and I think says a lot about each of us as strategists, since there really aren't any right or wrong answers.

brother_maynard
03-04-2012, 22:10
definitely the abom. its the easiest to kill compared to the pts you'll get out of it. then kill the doomwheel. the cannon is dangerous but the threat it poses to your small units is really negligible compared to the other two. and the big blocks aren't really much of a threat at all, especially the frenzied plague furnace.

Gaargod
03-04-2012, 22:17
But that's why I thought Skaven would be a good subject to have this discussion over, because you can crunch the number so many ways, a testament to how internally balance the Skaven book is. It takes a lot of brass to allow an A-bomb, a Warplightning Cannon, and a Doomwheel, to run free in the early turns and to concentrate on such a foundation piece like the Furnace Monks. There is a lot there to shuffle around in terms of how you set your priorities, and I think says a lot about each of us as strategists, since there really aren't any right or wrong answers.


Well it depends. What turn are we on?

Because if we're on turn 1, and you're ignoring the killy stuff to deal with the plague furnace... I'd say that counts as wrong. Deal with the doomwheel, because it's a scary thing against your trees; deal with the abom, because it's a silly thing capable of doing a lot of damage. Both of those can't be deal with via avoidance, due to random movement. The warp lightning cannon... To be honest, I think i'd be trying to deal with it in combat. If that's just not an option, then try to deal with the immediate problem first (i.e. if either of the critters are getting close to important stuff, kill them first). Possibly try hiding your treeman/kin depending on terrain.

Assuming 'full complement' of plague monks = ~30, + plague furnace + plague priest with gear ~ 500-600pts of unit. But it's a seriously difficult unit to get any of those points out of - about the easiest is the actual furnace itself, by just spamming shots at it and hoping to wound.

So if we're in turn 5-6, and neither of the big critters are wounded / about to deal damage (killing them may prevent them from killing your stuff, remember), then I'd shoot the furnace, specifically. Moreso if I can reasonably get a combined charge on the unit in the near future. But seriously, how often is that going to happen?

brother_maynard
03-04-2012, 22:19
i agree with Gaargod, the furnace is actually the worst target imo. it may be the most points, but its the hardest pts to collect as well as being the smallest threat on the table.

popisdead
04-04-2012, 19:47
Why would that be all you have? Surely it's far less points than what the Skaven have to offer? :confused:

Exactly, take 80-100 archers :)

boli
05-04-2012, 09:00
If the skaven player has the same luck I do with the WLC you need not fear that! never hit once and its blown up or had its shots fizzle every match :/ Add to that its 90 only points and whilst he can cause mass casualties there are 2 rolls it can completly fail on.

HPA is T5... only a 5+ to wound at short range and a glade guard w. flaming banner will take it down pretty easily.
27 shots @ 3+ = 18 hits
18 hits @ 5+ = 5 wounds
Flaming no save, no roll on too horrible to die = dead HPA.

Doomwheel *can* die to mass shooting but T6 and 4+ save mean the HPA is easier to take out.

Don't bother with the plague furnace unless you throw *everything* at the model; you'll definatly want to avoid this model as my opponant found out to his cost last night... toughness saves with elves = lots of dead elves :D

To kill 35 plague monks (well 30 and you'll stop it moving entirely) you'll need 90 shots at close range or 180 shots at long range.

SkawtheFalconer
05-04-2012, 09:24
My experience of the Doomwheel is that it's very tricky for Woodies to take out any way other than shooting.

Personally, I would shoot the weapons teams that I'm sure are hanging out at the side of those block units...

willowdark
05-04-2012, 11:55
Flaming banner has been mentioned a couple times. My assumption in the OP was that I was running 3 units of 10 rather than a single volley of 30, so even if I took the banner it would only help 10 shots. Does the flaming banner make a good argument for a single mass unit of Glade Guard? I don't think so but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I've also been considering a big unit of 10 Wild Riders to take the flaming banner and deliver flaming attacks through combat. In that case, that would be how I planned to handle the HPA.

And, yes, I think weapons teams would be a solid choice too. Poison wind mortars I think are especially dangerous to WE.

Still no one thinks we should shoot the Slaves?

brother_maynard
05-04-2012, 12:07
Flaming banner has been mentioned a couple times. My assumption in the OP was that I was running 3 units of 10 rather than a single volley of 30, so even if I took the banner it would only help 10 shots. Does the flaming banner make a good argument for a single mass unit of Glade Guard? I don't think so but I'd love to hear your thoughts. what do you mean the flaming banner only benefits 10 shots? if you cause one flaming wound, you stop regen for the whole phase, so all subsequent shots fired at the target benefit as well. i don't think you need a massed unit of 30 but a couple extra (14-15 guys total) will make sure the wound goes through.


I've also been considering a big unit of 10 Wild Riders to take the flaming banner and deliver flaming attacks through combat. In that case, that would be how I planned to handle the HPA. i wouldn't risk it. i don't know how expensive they are but i imagine they are hugely overcosted. if they fluff their attacks, you just lost 10 wild riders. if you fluff a round of shooting, you have another chance and lose no VP's.


And, yes, I think weapons teams would be a solid choice too. Poison wind mortars I think are especially dangerous to WE. i agree, but only after the HPA and doomwheel have been handled.


Still no one thinks we should shoot the Slaves? there's no reason to. they're not worth anything and can't threaten anything.

SkawtheFalconer
05-04-2012, 12:11
I've also been considering a big unit of 10 Wild Riders to take the flaming banner and deliver flaming attacks through combat. In that case, that would be how I planned to handle the HPA...
Still no one thinks we should shoot the Slaves?




The Wild Riders might work against HPA as it doesn't have an armour save, but they'd really struggle against a hyrda. If the list is tooled for Skaven fine, if all comers I'd recommend one of GG to have banner (And have them shoot first, so everything else feels benefit).

I don't see the point of shooting the Slaves. They don't cause panic in anything else (except other slaves), will be reasonably hard to panic (if there's loads of them taking out a quarter would be hard, plus they have a surprisingly good leadership with general nearby and a number of ranks), and cost nothing, so Skaven player wouldn't care either. My only exception to that would be if they're armed with slings - you need shooting superiority for GG to be effective.

theunwantedbeing
05-04-2012, 12:30
Just 30 gladeguard and a single hail of doom arrow?
That's not a lot to throw around at all.

Personally I would pick one of the ranked blocks and gun that down to a level where it's not a proper threat anymore, then slam something fighty into it.
Repeat the process unless the Abom get's too close, in which case fire at that and hope for the best.

willowdark
05-04-2012, 21:33
Just 30 gladeguard and a single hail of doom arrow?
That's not a lot to throw around at all.

Personally I would pick one of the ranked blocks and gun that down to a level where it's not a proper threat anymore, then slam something fighty into it.
Repeat the process unless the Abom get's too close, in which case fire at that and hope for the best.

This is what I mean when I talk about the Plague Monks or a unit of slaves. My style is a balanced combination of shooting and combat, which is why I'm only talking about 30 longbows and the HoDA. I guess I really underestimated how many people are bringing 60-80 or more Longbows in their WE lists, compulsively.

I could shoot the HPA and Doomwheel and avoid everything else, but that's not how I want to play. I'd rather avoid the HPA and Doomwheel and pick a combat block to soak with shooting and then clean up with combat. I think if I play right, either I'll lose my shooters to the HPA and DW because they are fast enough to cross the board, but by then the damage will be done and the two will essentially be out of the game, having outpaced the rest of the army. Meanwhile, the huge point sink Plague Furnace is reeling and going down under the pressure of massed Bow shots, Dryads and Wild Riders. Or I'll clean up the Furnace Monks fast enough that I can redirect shooting onto the HPA and DW for the rest of the game.

30 shots + HoDA isn't much shooting, so if the other ~1800pts is dedicated combat with some Magic support, and not suited for avoidance, wouldn't the better strategy be to avoid the HPA and Doomwheel and soak down the Monk Furnace?

Or, if there is a unit of Slave holding a critical spot on the board, wouldn't it be better to soak them down so you could punch through and surround the rest of the army without suffering too many hits from Slave Popping?

boli
05-04-2012, 22:33
Speaking as a skaven player against WE I would prefer to be in combat than not; and I would prefer to be charged than charge those archer units!

A melee combat WE list would be a blessing for me to see. All a skaven player has to do is survive the first round and then smile as the slaughter begins.

Even against a full cheese skaven you do better with more bows. 30 just isn't going to cut it.

GodlessM
07-04-2012, 01:53
Because I'm just talking about the shooting phase. Obviously you'd have more points, but I was just trying to get to the root of what each person's shooting priorities would be.

Pretty much everything in the Wood Elf army should have a shooting phase these days.

Chicago Slim
07-04-2012, 02:27
For instance, think about the overall strategy of the game, the ultimate victory not just the most immediate benefits. Think about the economy of action. The first thing that occurred to me was to shoot the Doomwheel, because it's such an immediate threat, because it's otherwise very difficult to deal with, and because it's very vulnerable to shooting, especially the HoDA. But then it occurred to me that a Doomwheel isn't exactly a lot of points, so while it's a huge investment in points to take it out for a defensive victory, stopping it from wrecking my line, it's not a big payoff offensively for the huge investment.

That's all entirely fair-- but my point is that, while the Doomwheel doesn't earn a lot of points directly, it's a real force multiplier for the Skaven player. In terms of "opportunity cost", an unspoiled Doomwheel can not only pick up a fair number of points from me (because it can charge and crunch unit after unit after unit), but it can also tie up my heavy-hitters, keeping them from picking up the real points I need to win.

So, I guess that speaks to my play-style: I don't expect my shooting to actually pick up points for me. Rather, I expect it to soften up my opponent, and empower my ground-pounders, so that they can finish the jobs they need to do, quickly.

I'm not saying my play-style is the only right way to play Wood Elves, of course-- I think it makes sense to find the play-style you're good at, and do that!

willowdark
09-04-2012, 02:57
Speaking as a skaven player against WE I would prefer to be in combat than not; and I would prefer to be charged than charge those archer units!

A melee combat WE list would be a blessing for me to see. All a skaven player has to do is survive the first round and then smile as the slaughter begins.

Even against a full cheese skaven you do better with more bows. 30 just isn't going to cut it.

I'd say this cuts both ways. With the obvious exception of Slaves, if I'm a balanced shoot and combat WE army I want my dedicated combat force to be in BtB as soon as possible, since Skaven shooting can be so devastating.

And I'm not entirely sure why you'd rather take wounds from combat than shooting. Equal points Dryads vs. Glade Guard are delivering more attacks at the same strength and hitting on the same roll, except the Dryads are likely boosted by Life magic and regrowth, and with high toughness, a Ward Save, and ItP, have likely been a lot more successful surviving those first turns of enemy shooting on the way to combat. I know the tendency to view WE combat as weak, except that Dryads are still every bit as tough as they were last edition and awfully well suited to survive the wars of attrition in 8th, especially with Life magic factored in.

herohammer
09-04-2012, 03:47
Shoot the gun since it can kill a GG unit in 1 shot with the template explosion. Then kill the wheel since it is very bad for treekin. Then the Abom because it is a damn abom and no one wants one of those running around everywhere.

The abom does need 3s to wound your treekin however which is better than the 2s it needs to wound most other units. It can be killed in close combat by WE.

Big monk block has pretty much no answers from WE other than eagles unless you shoot way too many shots into it and get destroyed by other stuff.

Skaven core is really hard for WE to score points off of too but on the other hand it is really bad at killing anything in close combat so dryads, treekin, or treemen can hold it up for a long time. 8-10 dryads costs a lot less points than a unit of 50 clanrats too. Slaves are even more of a waste of time for WE than for other armies, ignore them and try to keep them from scoring any points.

Shoot the stuff that is easy points (for you, not for combat armies huehuiehue). HPA, wheel, and cannon is around 1/5 of the rat's points in a 2500 game. If you can kill that and maybe knock off one non-slave infantry block or the gutter runners and rat darts you can win by a pretty slim amount (but still win) if you have better unit positioning than the skaven. If the skaven general knows what he is doing though and knows that playing WE is backwards land where HPA and wheel are trash units and slave blocks can actually go earn points then he can win by swamping the elves and just splitting his forces and going for as many woodies as he can to grab more than maybe 750 points to win.

willowdark
09-04-2012, 13:06
So, I guess that speaks to my play-style: I don't expect my shooting to actually pick up points for me. Rather, I expect it to soften up my opponent, and empower my ground-pounders, so that they can finish the jobs they need to do, quickly.

I'm not saying my play-style is the only right way to play Wood Elves, of course-- I think it makes sense to find the play-style you're good at, and do that!

I think we're arguing the same point, here. My point was that instead of the obvious targets like the DW or the Abom, that a bolder tactic might be to soak the Monk Furnace right from turn one so that you can actually get the points, which is huge, but that every other WE player so far seems to have conceded never to get. True, the DW and Abom will wreak havoc if left alone, but say the Monk Furnace could actually be rolled up by turn 3, would it be possible to reinvest in bringing down the DW or Abom and still come out on top?

Ultimately, though, I do agree that the DW should be the priority turn one, because of it's own devastating ranged ability. I've been considering an Alter Hero with 2 hand weapons and the potion of strength. Would this be a reliable weapon against a DW?

A fair disclaimer: I played most of 7th edition with less-than-half painted armies. I'm starting 8th with a brand new army and don't want to take it out until it's proper and respectable. So my intention hear is really to just churn up the meta-game as much as possible while I build it, and we have a lot of Skaven players around here.

panic_puppet
09-04-2012, 15:20
I'm not a wood elf or Skaven player, so some of my thoughts may be off base, but I'll give it a try anyway (I play Tomb Kings, pretty much all my games with the old book came down to deciding what to shoot and when). In a vacuum either the doomwheel or the cannon - probably doomwheel because if it gets into combat it will sting, and has shootiness, and if you can drop the cannon as well as the wheel then you have complete ranged supremacy. Nutshell: standard pitched battle scenario, I'd start with the wheel, move on to the cannon if eagles etc can't get to it, if they can then switch to the nearest target. If it was Blood and Glory, I'd put all my fire into the plague rats, since chances are that's where the general is, plus a banner, and that unit dying might well be enough to win the game on its own. I'd ignore it otherwise, as my experience FACING wood elves has been that they do best by killing a little bit, then using their manoeverability to prevent their opponent killing more. It's a hard unit to kill, you can lead it around and neutralise it - don't attempt it unless its necessary to win. I'd ignore the a-bomb until, at the very least, the WLC and Doomwheel are gone, as its going to be easier to kill with magic

tmarichards
09-04-2012, 15:32
I'd say shoot the abomb- glade guard + the flaming banner turn them into free points, same with hydras.

No matter how much you shoot them, Doomwheels simply will not fall over so they're not really the best target.

Also, in this instance I'd argue that the Plague Furnace is somewhat redundant- unless you kill the Priest as well you get no points for it, and regardless of whether you kill the Furnace, Priest or both that Plague Monk block will still roll over anything in standard Wood Elf lists.

Shooting blocks of rats is fine, but only if there is nothing else to shoot at- a unit of 4 Treekin can roll over pretty much an infinite number of slaves/clan rats, and even Dryads can tie them up for some time.

Also, more often than not Cannons are either out of range or given hard cover by intervening slave units, so shooting them is not always possible, let alone optimal.

Based on the information you've given, I'd kill the abomb first and then turn my attention to the Plague Furnace as it's the next most likely thing to die and get you points with shooting. This is an especially good idea if he's been careless with his general/BSB positioning as killing Abomb can often panic other units.