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EvanM
03-10-2014, 22:42
Lately I have been thinking: How can combat characters measure up to wizards?

I have been playing a few games against my buddy with Vampire counts and he brings several kitted up vampires. It makes me think: whats the point of combat characters if they are very expensive, somewhat fragile, and cant always beat other characters (meaning sometimes they do nothing).

Why not just run wizards and a BSB?

Especially with how amazing our magic is.

Also, at 3k pts, what character builds do you use? (infantry characters for the most part)

SimaoSegunda
03-10-2014, 23:44
I don't play high elves. However, my main armies, I always run a combat character or two. They have a variety of purposes, and can be built to certain roles. They can boost the combat power of low to mid-strength combat units, they can operate solo in place of chaff units. They tend to have higher LD than casters, and can often punk wizards in combat. There are a number of different builds that work well for different armies. As I said, I don't play high elves, but with Woodies I tend to take hero-level combat characters, one or two to boost my main combat unit, and one on an eagle or stag to assassinate characters or deal with chaff.

Edit: with the coming of the End Times, and a 50% lords limit, it's possible that combat lords might start accompanying wizard lords to battle.

Knifeparty
03-10-2014, 23:49
If you notice, all of the HE characters have a specific bonus that they give to the unit they join. Like Empire, HE characters are not simply beatsticks like Chaos, they offer buffs to supplement a specific style of play or allow a specific unit to be better in some way or another.

That being said, a Prince with a 1+/4++ a Star lance and the Other Tricksters Shard isn't too shabby.

High Elves are about Synergy and working in concert with each other in order to overcome, They are literally the opposite of Warriors of Chaos.

EvanM
03-10-2014, 23:59
I feel like in combat against vampires if my characters get anywhere near them they don't get to attack anyway. So magic is better.

What lores to use? I'm gonna try 2 archmages

Kahadras
04-10-2014, 00:07
Why not just run wizards and a BSB?

My thinking on HE characters is one Lord and between one or two Heroes.

I've got two sets I use....

Combat -

Prince + Dragon armour, Enchanted Shield, Ogre Blade, Talisman of Preservation, Star Dragon

BSB + Dragon armour, Shield of the Merwyrm and Sword of Might (sometimes replaced by the Griffon Noble from below)
Mage + extra level and Dispel Scroll

Magic -

Archmage + Book of Hoeth and Talisman of Preservation

Noble + Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might and Griffon
BSB + Dragon armour and Shield of the Merwyrm

WhispersofBlood
04-10-2014, 06:55
To be honest HE need characters for a couple reasons. One, the army Ld isn't really that good, its a lot of 8's which isn't enough to be without a General. Certain units can't fight well without a supplementary character. Silver Helms need multiple nobles or a Prince, or can just straight up bounce due to needing 4's a lot. White Lions are prone to panic at LD8, they also are vulnerable to being flanked as they have few attacks.

Now there are units that can function without characters directly in the unit, like Phoenix Guard or msu Silver Helms these units just need magic support.

On the characters specifically give HE's an edge? Loremaster of Hoeth is a solid choice since he is a okish combat character, who is a great wizard. Adding in a few attacks without needing to spend points on a low use bunker. If he was Ld10 it would probably the most often taken character. I'm shocked HE combat characters aren't cheaper than their DE counter parts though, they are worse by some margin.

Annointed is a solid general because he can spend all 100 pts of gear on offence or unit buff items like Crown of Command, Folding Fortress, or feather foe Tork.

If Handmaiden could be bsb I think you would see her in every list, but there just isn't space for her unless you have already invested heavily in the shooting phase, and other sisters.

Seahelm, is an interesting character and I think its only the general positive attitude of HE players that stops him from being abused. But if a HE player feels up against it in a comp pack I can see stubborn, Seahelm conga lines quickly becoming a thing.

MOMUS
04-10-2014, 10:47
Lately I have been thinking...

Since the start of 8th edition a lot of people do just run lvl4 and BSB, lord level fighty characters often are overlooked and many a thread has been posted in the past to lament the overcosted fighty lord.
Vampires are the main exception* to the rule, being both a potent combatant and wizard (who can wear armour). Some combat characters are intrinsically better than others as benefits from their race/fluff, a combat chaos lord is better than an goblin/human.
That said and elf character with the +2/+3 strength blade is a very common build and one i see in almost all elf lists.

Camman1984
04-10-2014, 12:56
I think if you go heavily in combat for your characters you basically give up an entire phase (and also make the opponents spells more reliable) so taking a a wizard almost becomes mandatory.

Magic is just so powerful as well, what 500point melee character can regularly get their points back? I usually find the best characters get bogged down fighting rank and file block infantry. A wizard on the other hand has the power to blast units of the table.

EvanM
04-10-2014, 14:40
I think if you go heavily in combat for your characters you basically give up an entire phase (and also make the opponents spells more reliable) so taking a a wizard almost becomes mandatory.

Magic is just so powerful as well, what 500point melee character can regularly get their points back? I usually find the best characters get bogged down fighting rank and file block infantry. A wizard on the other hand has the power to blast units of the table.

IMO characters need to either be wizards, or be characters that buff your units fighting ability (a prince or noble in a silver helm bus works, but also like a warrior priest in a halberdier horde), or be very fast running around killing tiny stuff.

i just dont see much options with high elves that appeal to me, maybe a noble on eagle, but I dont have a prince on horse but maybe if i did i would use him.

i really like the annointed but last time i actually forgot to use his abilities on my unit when they needed it (magic resistance would have saved me from curse of years and ItP would have saved me from failing a fear check)

so high elf combat characters on foot, not good?

WhispersofBlood
04-10-2014, 17:34
IMO characters need to either be wizards, or be characters that buff your units fighting ability (a prince or noble in a silver helm bus works, but also like a warrior priest in a halberdier horde), or be very fast running around killing tiny stuff.

i just dont see much options with high elves that appeal to me, maybe a noble on eagle, but I dont have a prince on horse but maybe if i did i would use him.

i really like the annointed but last time i actually forgot to use his abilities on my unit when they needed it (magic resistance would have saved me from curse of years and ItP would have saved me from failing a fear check)

so high elf combat characters on foot, not good?

6++ and magic res 2 4++ against damage spells. Very good in units without BotWD, the 6++ is wasted on PG units but the other buffs are excellent.

EvanM
04-10-2014, 17:44
i like him in a unit of spearelves/LSG to give them a ward save and magic protection and immunity from panic fear and terror (which can ruin your day if they are failed) but vampires slaughter everything which sucks.

Kahadras
04-10-2014, 17:47
Magic is just so powerful as well, what 500point melee character can regularly get their points back? I usually find the best characters get bogged down fighting rank and file block infantry. A wizard on the other hand has the power to blast units of the table.

It has to be noted though that although magic is powerful it's also a fickle mistress. I look at combat charcters as being a safe bet. They (usualy) bring a better leadership than a magic user, provide a solid combat buff for one of your units with their extra attacks, are harder to kill (access to a good armour save) and don't cost as much as a magic user (certainly to begin with).

WhispersofBlood
04-10-2014, 19:42
It has to be noted though that although magic is powerful it's also a fickle mistress. I look at combat charcters as being a safe bet. They (usualy) bring a better leadership than a magic user, provide a solid combat buff for one of your units with their extra attacks, are harder to kill (access to a good armour save) and don't cost as much as a magic user (certainly to begin with).

Elf combat characters are pretty frail to be honest. T3 is major weakness, and a general inability to get a decent save on foot is also very limiting. I'm very jealous of DE, and how they can get 1+ re-rollable bsb on foot, hell he can even have a parry save.

EvanM
04-10-2014, 19:54
yeah and also what do combat characters even do? kill monsters, kill other characters, or swing combats. all of this can be accomplished with a combination of magic and better soldiers. sure as say, VC, if you have ONLY soldiers and like 1 character, then you are F'd against anything tough/important but with elves i think i am good with just mages.

SteveW
04-10-2014, 21:13
The most combat oriented character I take is me Loremaster. He fights like a hero and can cast spells, what more can you ask for.

EvanM
04-10-2014, 21:49
The most combat oriented character I take is me Loremaster. He fights like a hero and can cast spells, what more can you ask for.

loremaster is sick. i love this guy. maybe i will use him...

Imperator64
04-10-2014, 22:31
Theres alot of use to be got out of a noble on eagle. With the golden crown HE have access to two items that protect them against cannons and they can get the 2++ against fire without using their magic item allowance. This guy is a dependable warmachine hunter, mage assassin or even support combat unit when needs be. The potion of foolhardiness and starlance on a high WS chatacter with asf can rip apart a small unit of knights with ease.

EvanM
04-10-2014, 22:36
Theres alot of use to be got out of a noble on eagle. With the golden crown HE have access to two items that protect them against cannons and they can get the 2++ against fire without using their magic item allowance. This guy is a dependable warmachine hunter, mage assassin or even support combat unit when needs be. The potion of foolhardiness and starlance on a high WS chatacter with asf can rip apart a small unit of knights with ease.

noble + eagle + crown + charmed shield + starlance + dragon armor ends up being about 160 pts but thats a nice warmachine hunter, maybe chariot hunter or chaff killer.

but like i said. you either need to be fast, get really good unit buffs, or be a mage to be an effective character.

Imperator64
04-10-2014, 22:54
I see what you're saying and I certainly don't take any HE characters for their rnf close combat abilities.

EvanM
04-10-2014, 23:00
I see what you're saying and I certainly don't take any HE characters for their rnf close combat abilities.

I dont think princes/nobles on foot really work as a combat guy. they are too weak with t3 and you cant get that much armor on them.

i hate how these types of guys are usually only good if they are on a barded horse.

Kahadras
04-10-2014, 23:41
Elf combat characters are pretty frail to be honest. T3 is major weakness, and a general inability to get a decent save on foot is also very limiting.

Toughness three is pretty poor but, as with most Elf units, you trade off toughness for ASF and a high initative. On the bright side you can still get a 2+ rerollable armour save, fireborn (Dragon armour) and a 4+ ward save. I'd also put forward that most lords will struggle to get a decent save on foot when you discount magic items.


yeah and also what do combat characters even do? kill monsters, kill other characters, or swing combats. all of this can be accomplished with a combination of magic and better soldiers.

It can be acomplised with magic but you have to have the right spells for the job and you have to get those spells off at the right time. Magic, IMHO, is complicated. At the start of the game I need to roll up spells raising the possibility that I might not get the spell that I really want. A poor magic dice roll might leave me unable to cast the spell I want to at that point in time. My opponant might pull out a Dispel Scroll or throw dispel dice into stoping the spell. I also run the risks involved with miscasting; there's been a few games where my Archmage has forgotten his best spells or been sucked into another dimension in the first couple of turns.

EvanM
05-10-2014, 00:32
Toughness three is pretty poor but, as with most Elf units, you trade off toughness for ASF and a high initative. On the bright side you can still get a 2+ rerollable armour save, fireborn (Dragon armour) and a 4+ ward save. I'd also put forward that most lords will struggle to get a decent save on foot when you discount magic items.

It can be acomplised with magic but you have to have the right spells for the job and you have to get those spells off at the right time. Magic, IMHO, is complicated. At the start of the game I need to roll up spells raising the possibility that I might not get the spell that I really want. A poor magic dice roll might leave me unable to cast the spell I want to at that point in time. My opponant might pull out a Dispel Scroll or throw dispel dice into stoping the spell. I also run the risks involved with miscasting; there's been a few games where my Archmage has forgotten his best spells or been sucked into another dimension in the first couple of turns.

which is why i say lets run 2 level 4's. you lose one to the warp? okay fine. you find one spell lore too limited? i have 2 lores. thats what I am saying.

Kahadras
05-10-2014, 00:56
which is why i say lets run 2 level 4's. you lose one to the warp? okay fine. you find one spell lore too limited? i have 2 lores. thats what I am saying.

There's a massive price tag attached to that flexibility though. Having a back up is nice but it's over 200 points of your army for access to another four spells and for somebody to take over if your first expencive character bites the dust. Potentialy he's a guy who could hang around for most of the game casting the odd spell or two when you aren't using the Archmage who has the better kit (like to Book of Hoeth). He's also in danger of becoming a liability in combat.

EvanM
05-10-2014, 01:33
the massive pricetag is worth the versatility and the stability of not having all your eggs in one basket. Besides most players spend those 200 pts on some killy combat lord who often doesnt do much in the game. all i am gonna do is NOT do that and instead take 2 mages..

I think i will run archmage with talisman and high magic , then a loremaster or another lvl 4 with a different lore to complement high magic.

Laniston
05-10-2014, 01:54
I personally love the handmaiden with Reaver bow and if I have a few spare points the potion of strength. I consistently run a unit of 20 sisters of avelorn and I have found that with the sister this unit is powerful. I usually stick a lvl 4 with high magic, book of hoeth, and talisman of preservation in the unit to offer some small ward save buffs and I hope always to get hand of glory. I don't know why but my opponents generally let me cast hand of glory on my sisters. I think they are more afraid of other spells like fiery convocation. But when you get even 1 more point of BS on the sisters the entire unit hits on 2s regardless of range and with +2 or +3 even units in a building aren't safe.(especially thanks to flaming arrows).

The handmaiden is BS 7 and with 3 str 5 shots she is, along with her unit, consistent in her damage output. It's the consistency that I appreciate and for a little burst damage there is the potion of strength.

Lately I have also been using an Annointed to go in elite units that I really need to not run away. What is also great about this character in addition to what others have mentioned is that he is a Ld 9 character which means that you have options on general choice which is important for me. Stick the general in a unit with standard of discipline and you don't need to worry about the 1 point of Ld. I think the annointed just brings so much to the table with built in ward saves and unit buffs. 4+ ward vs. direct damage spells, immune to psychology, 6+ ward save + whatever magic items you give him. That's just plain wonderful. I tried him once on a flame phoenix and he managed to do pretty well. Even came back to life which was hilarious.

WhispersofBlood
05-10-2014, 02:09
the massive pricetag is worth the versatility and the stability of not having all your eggs in one basket. Besides most players spend those 200 pts on some killy combat lord who often doesnt do much in the game. all i am gonna do is NOT do that and instead take 2 mages..

I think i will run archmage with talisman and high magic , then a loremaster or another lvl 4 with a different lore to complement high magic.

Its a bad idea, don't do it. In a lot of cases even a 2nd hero level wizard is a sometimes liability. Let me put it this way that second level 4 is a frost heart, 3 bolt throwers, or half a unit of PG. A Giant Blade Prince is a better investment than a 2nd level 4 as well.

EvanM
05-10-2014, 02:28
okay again though, what happens when youre level 4 dies?? the game is just over?? last time i lost teclis and BOOM i lost, everything got wrecked. i went from winning to losing.

i love the annointed.

what do you guys think about Lvl 4 high magic, BoH, talisman of pres + Annointed, crown of command, enchanted shield, ogre blade + BSB guy with Shield of myrwyrm + 32 spearelves for a bunker? that way they are always gonna have a good ward save, be stubborn, have great magic resistance, be immune to panic, fear, terror, cause fear, and also pass an ld 10 bubble rerollable to everything within 12"

WhispersofBlood
05-10-2014, 03:59
okay again though, what happens when youre level 4 dies?? the game is just over?? last time i lost teclis and BOOM i lost, everything got wrecked. i went from winning to losing.

i love the annointed.

what do you guys think about Lvl 4 high magic, BoH, talisman of pres + Annointed, crown of command, enchanted shield, ogre blade + BSB guy with Shield of myrwyrm + 32 spearelves for a bunker? that way they are always gonna have a good ward save, be stubborn, have great magic resistance, be immune to panic, fear, terror, cause fear, and also pass an ld 10 bubble rerollable to everything within 12"

If your 250 point caster dies you have 2000+ points of an army left. If your level 4 doesn't die, in your case you have 1800 point army. I've lost my DP, Slaan, Loremaster, Archmage in the first 2 turns of the game and won the game. Magic is powerful but without it you just don't put yourself in certain situations. Teclis is a different situation he's 550 vps handed to your opponent for free, huge difference.

EvanM
05-10-2014, 04:08
How do you kit up a loremaster to be the general?

I'm gonna take loremaster and archmage

SteveW
05-10-2014, 06:21
How do you kit up a loremaster to be the general?

I'm gonna take loremaster and archmage


I run a lormaster and archmage with the loremaster as my general.

EvanM
05-10-2014, 06:32
what do you take on them?

SteveW
05-10-2014, 06:43
what do you take on them?


Talisman of preservation and book of hoeth on the archmage. Armor of calador and a dispel scroll on the loremaster.

Rudra34
05-10-2014, 07:57
Two level fours isn't necessary in a HE army. There are a lot of armies that are dependent on having a level 4 wizard around, and HE is not one of them. Your may take a beating in your opponent's magic phase, but your troops are good enough to take on the enemy without any buffs. If your level 4 dies, get over it. Use your brain and play smart.

It's been said before, but something like a frosty or another unit of troops is going to be much more beneficial than a second level 4.

Kahadras
05-10-2014, 10:45
the massive pricetag is worth the versatility and the stability of not having all your eggs in one basket. Besides most players spend those 200 pts on some killy combat lord who often doesnt do much in the game. all i am gonna do is NOT do that and instead take 2 mages..

By taking two Archmages you're in danger of putting your army's eggs into one basket i.e magic and those 200 plus points don't go on a combat character, they go on bulking up your army.


okay again though, what happens when you're level 4 dies?? the game is just over?? last time i lost teclis and BOOM i lost, everything got wrecked. i went from winning to losing.

Losing your caster is something that's going to happen from time to time. Magic is a powerful tool and it's partialy balanced by the fact that it's potentialy dangerous to the caster and the unit the he happens to be standing in. IMHO an army needs to be more than just a magic caster. Teclis dies? GG. I've never viewed my Archmage as the lynchpin of my army (same with the Prince if I run one). He's a useful tool but I expect my army to be able to win without him.

EvanM
05-10-2014, 14:22
I need to get more experience with it, but honestly I like the loremaster archmage combo when you are playing 3k. At 2k, no way, there's not enough guys to be buffing/killing. But I like how many spells that gives me.

liddan
05-10-2014, 15:24
The way magic works in this edition you severely gimp yourself if you don't take a level 4 but taking more than one level 4 hardly improves your magic at all. That's why almost every army has a level 4 and possibly a caddy but hardly ever more than that.

Vampires are more of an exception than the rule in that you can get both your level 4 and combat ability on one character. If you can't do that, having characters only for their combat ability is often times a bad idea. The way you play against the classic grinder vampire is trying to minimize the damage he can do. He is very hard to beat in combat unless you direct a bunch of attacks with an elite unit and risk losing the combat.

I wouldn't be too scared of hero level vampires since it's just T4 W2 for 105 pts base which isn't that impressive.

copesh
06-10-2014, 17:18
The way magic works in this edition you severely gimp yourself if you don't take a level 4 but taking more than one level 4 hardly improves your magic at all. That's why almost every army has a level 4 and possibly a caddy but hardly ever more than that.

I completely disagree. I run only 2 lvl2 wizards and 2 combat lords and my HEs are very potent.

Lords:
Prince, Giant Blade, Sh of Mermwyrn, other armour and stuff to taste
Annointed, Blade of Leaping Gold, Glittering Scales

Heroes
Seahelm, BSB, BOTWD
Mage, Lvl 2 Beasts, Dispel Scroll
Mage, Lvl 2 Beasts, Forbidden Rod

I do beasts to buff the unit and hope to get savage beast of horros. If I can bubble that then the prince and Annointed can blender an entire unit of Skullcrushers themselves.
I stick all 5 guys into a unit of 50 archers and bunker. The way the winds work - if you get bad rolls the investment from the 2 lvl 2s isn't too bad and I haven't wasted the points.
Also, if I don't buff the two lords - they still rock hard.
The annointed takes the challenges and tanks while the prince blenders the rest.

EvanM
06-10-2014, 17:25
I completely disagree. I run only 2 lvl2 wizards and 2 combat lords and my HEs are very potent.

Lords:
Prince, Giant Blade, Sh of Mermwyrn, other armour and stuff to taste
Annointed, Blade of Leaping Gold, Glittering Scales

Heroes
Seahelm, BSB, BOTWD
Mage, Lvl 2 Beasts, Dispel Scroll
Mage, Lvl 2 Beasts, Forbidden Rod

I do beasts to buff the unit and hope to get savage beast of horros. If I can bubble that then the prince and Annointed can blender an entire unit of Skullcrushers themselves.
I stick all 5 guys into a unit of 50 archers and bunker. The way the winds work - if you get bad rolls the investment from the 2 lvl 2s isn't too bad and I haven't wasted the points.
Also, if I don't buff the two lords - they still rock hard.
The annointed takes the challenges and tanks while the prince blenders the rest.

wow i have never heard of doing this build before... why not put both +3 attack swords on your fighty guys and then try to bubble sav beasts on a level 4 guy to get everyone to rediculous levels. it sounds like you are playing HE like most people play bretonnia.

copesh
06-10-2014, 17:46
wow i have never heard of doing this build before... why not put both +3 attack swords on your fighty guys and then try to bubble sav beasts on a level 4 guy to get everyone to rediculous levels. it sounds like you are playing HE like most people play bretonnia.

You can. But 4 attacks at str 7 base is good. And it means you can deal with high arm things without spells. Then, if you get the beasts off - you get 7 attacks at str 10.

I call it Primal Elfdom.

Our greatest asset is the ASF. In my opinion - our combat lords are better than the Archmage because the AM is so expensive and the winds are too random. The combat lords output a lot and more reliably.

EvanM
06-10-2014, 18:18
Wow. Well that's cool but I think i'm gonna stick with traditional stuff. Haha

copesh
06-10-2014, 21:44
I was just pointing out that you don't need a lvl4. A lot of lvl 2s can trickle cast and drain out a lvl4's dispel pool then you cast the spell you need.

SteveW
06-10-2014, 21:59
I was just pointing out that you don't need a lvl4. A lot of lvl 2s can trickle cast and drain out a lvl4's dispel pool then you cast the spell you need.
They can't do it as well as their points worth of level 4's. The additional die or two from channeling won't make up for the -2 to cast and dispel you're at for every cast. The main benefit I've seen from multiple casters is that you can 6 dice for IF more frequently without the chance of all your magic getting sucked into the warp.

copesh
06-10-2014, 22:06
I never 6 dice a spell.
on a 7 dice phase, I will tend to throw two at the sig twice, then three at the one I want.
Either I get one or more wyssan's off - or an amber spear of savage beasts

it works quite well

the most I ever go is 5 dice on a bubbled savage beasts

SteveW
06-10-2014, 23:15
Cool, but if that was a 6-1 roll on the winds you have 1 more die but are at a -6 over all those spells and that only have one extra di to make up for it. If you had a level 4 and a level 2 you not only save points but now don't have the deficit to cast.

Kayosiv
07-10-2014, 08:27
I dont think princes/nobles on foot really work as a combat guy. they are too weak with t3 and you cant get that much armor on them.

i hate how these types of guys are usually only good if they are on a barded horse.

This is something that has really bothered me as well.

I play armies with very potent combat characters, Vampire Counts and Lizardmen.

I am often tempted... mostly for visual/fluff reasons, to take characters on foot. However mounts are so cheap for the extra protection, speed, and attack that they provide, that it is very foolish not to take them.

cptcosmic
07-10-2014, 10:06
the HE BSB is also a combat character, just saying. the BSB just has an additional role of providing moral stability. I even use him on griffon on my MMU fluff list and honestly the BSB on griffon is a boss of a combat character (if you can hide him from war machines ofcourse).

copesh
07-10-2014, 22:39
I prefer the seahelm bsb, naval discipline is really good in seaguard or archers.
go horde, shoot, shoot, react and contract down into column and be steadfast for at least 3-4 rounds.
have a character wall in front and let your combat characters slice and dice their way through the enemy.

Knifeparty
08-10-2014, 03:11
I would agree that the Seahelm would be useful if he could choose to reform after declaring stand and shoot. As it is, I see no reason to take him because i'm missing out on a vital extra volley of fire when the enemy charges.

As it is, he's an overpriced noble with less attacks and fewer equipment options.

SteveW
08-10-2014, 03:15
I would agree that the Seahelm would be useful if he could choose to reform after declaring stand and shoot. As it is, I see no reason to take him because i'm missing out on a vital extra volley of fire when the enemy charges.

As it is, he's an overpriced noble with less attacks and fewer equipment options.


After it was pointed out I was playing his rule wrong he made an exit from my lists. A noble is better and cheaper for everything.