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View Full Version : Making a couple of the more..."disliked" armies fun



Caligula
09-04-2007, 23:24
Like the title says, I'm currently interested in making two of the armies that some people don't find much fun in playing against, being Bretonnians and Wood Elves, more fun....while remaining competitive and sporting.

Both of these armies have some amazing miniature lines, not to mention some very nice background and character, and as such interest me. I've got a Dwarf collection going on currently(see the army list in the army lists forums *nudge nudge*) but really want to get into some different things as well. Wood Elves, like I said, have some beautiful and characterful minis, and Bretonnians have a really nice fantasy Knightly feel to them(well, obviously). So, long story short, I'm interested in both of these armies.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of banter back and forth, mostly dealing with how these two armies tend to be overpowered and not much fun to play against. Now, this isn't to say this is entirely true or anything, but there seems to be enough people saying things like this to warrant me at least asking about it.

In any event, when it comes to Bretonnians and Wood Elves, do you find they're fun to play against, and also competitive? What aspects of their respective lists are the reason behind them being labelled as overpowered and one-sided?

I'd like to collect one of these armies in the near future, so anything you have to say in regards to them would be very helpful. Thanks for reading.

MalusCalibur
10-04-2007, 01:58
Well, my regular opponent owns both armies so I can tell you a little about the receiving end...

Bretonnians:

The main complaint here is twofold. Firstly, the Lance Formation. The sheer number of attacks it allows a unit to bring to bear, combined with the fact that it's fast (no barding reduction on movement), thin (only 60mm wide), and gains ranks at 3 wide rather than five (so it didn't suffer at all from the 'needing more models for ranks' issue that EVERY other army did). Also, Damsels can hide in the second rank and still cast spells. People complain that the rules for the Lance make it far too powerful, and the fact that its thin makes it all too easy to get two or even more of them them against a single 'normal' enemy unit.

The formation alone would probably not so bad if it weren't for the second problem, and that is the utter abundance of knights. It's very easy to simply stock up on Knights of the Realm as the core of the army, add a few 'special' knights to taste, and then charge across the battlefield and win. OK, I'm oversimplifying, but there is no validity in choosing Men-at-Arms or even Peasant Bowmen to some extent (even though they are arguably the best missile troops for the points in the game) and this is what people don't like-they don't want to fight all-knight armies because they're very difficult to stop. Not impossible, but difficult. Even moreso for newer players. All cavalry armies are fairly tricky to stop anyway, but it's a lot easier when they don't have a whole bunch of special rules helping them out.

I have heard other complaints about other special rules, such as the 'unjustified' Ward save (people feel it shouldnt apply to combat), free BSB (no worse a fighter than a 'normal' Paladin and means the Bretonnian player can have more characters than anyone else), and smaller things like the 'no VP's for peasant banners' and magic resistance on Damsels. The 'big two' are certainly what I mentioned above.

The solution is simple, though: take some peasants! Even if its only a Trebuchet and a couple of Bowman units, it's better than the all-knight route and opponents will thank you for the mercy.


Wood Elves

The issue here is that fighting Wood Elves is like trying to nail jelly to a wall-it just can't be pinned down (note I have never tried to nail jelly to a wall). All those skirmisher units combined with excellent missile fire makes the WE's very frustrating to fight, because any army with 'proper' ranked units just won't be able to get them into combat, and all the while they're being whittled down. Also, some people believe Forest Sprits and Treemen to be too powerful, and take away from the 'proper' theme of the army (lets face it, it's not really Wood Elves if there are hardly any actual Elves in it) when taken in abundance.

As for the solution, I'm afraid I don't have one. Nor do I know a good way to beat them....or indeed ANY way. Damned tree huggers.....*grumbles to self*


MalusCalibur

Ward.
10-04-2007, 02:19
It's because people only want to fight in a pacific way, both the bretonians and wood elves have a largely unique play style.

While that's not a bad thing it does tend to make you need to think, it'd be okay if there was a way to adapt to it as well, but the codex's are balanced against common armies and it's not until people start to use them differently from what may have been intended that the unique play style gets frustrating.

IMO tho.

I'd agree with the taking of peasants though, and i don't really know what you could do with the wood elves.

Caligula
10-04-2007, 02:41
Great, thanks for the replies so far!

Hmmm, while it's unfortunate to hear that there doesn't yet seem to be a way to play Wood Elves in a more...opponent-friendly manner, I'm glad to hear the solution to the Bretonnian woes. Fortunately, it's a fix that I already planned on, and if you'll take a look at the 1000 point list I have posted in the army lists forum, you'll see I've included a fair amount of peasants. Men-at-arms and Peasant Bowmen, actually. I like them:)

Watcher666
10-04-2007, 07:46
so the fact that most WE armies, have maby 4 forest spirit units (2x dryads, treekin, treeman) ALL of which have their ward save removed by magic and 2/4 are flamable. (2 really easy to exploit weakness' there peeps)

AND that ALL wood elves are t3 and have no armour, my mates quickly learn that if my woodies dont get the charge or get bogged down they WILL die and that str 4 hits really hurt the weak elves.

people are just too set in their ways and would like every army to basically be a r n f hack at each other style.

2 treeman can get unfair but you know how wood elves bait and avoid YOUR big scary units of doom, well take the hint and do it back!

Wood elves need forest spirits to provide a unit which can take some hits, and every single wood elf unit is very specialised, if they are caught out of their task they will die.

wood elves arnt as strong as ppl make out they just dont think.

DesertDirge
10-04-2007, 13:54
"because they're very difficult to stop. Not impossible, but difficult"

YES! and warhammer is all about making it easy for your oppenent to have an easy time in beating your force. ;)

I say make them work! hahahahhahah

Belerophon709
10-04-2007, 17:14
Firstly, the Lance Formation. ... thin (only 60mm wide)

Cavalry bases are 25mm wide, making the unit 75mm wide (actually, cavalry bases are 23,7mm, but the game lists them as 25mm).

Anyways, what I think should be done with Bretonnia is that they need to implement a rule that you can't take more knight-units than you have 'serf'-units (man@arms, peasant bowmen, whatever).

I also feel that this would be more fluffy and would be the way I would play them, as I see the knights as the 'aloof' elite, with a mass of expendable 'not-of-noble-blood' serfs rallying around them.

As for Wood Elves, I personally find them alot of fun to play with and against. Never felt the need to complain about them. With Wood Elves, the games tend to turn into more of a guerilla-war than the usual 'charge-across-the-field'-type battle.
Having WE on one, or even both sides of the field just makes the game more intersting if you ask me. In regular games, most players just view terrain as nuisances or something that blocks line of sight. With or against WE, the terrain matters alot more than in usual games (to my experience at least) and the player with the best knowledge of how to use terrain and skirmishers to his advantage - be it the WE player or his enemy - usually wins. Most of the time, this is the WE-player (go figure), which should just serve as a wake-up-call for anyone else to look into this hugely overlooked part of the rules and tactics.


My 2 cents.

superduperkoopatrooper
10-04-2007, 17:46
so the fact that most WE armies, have maby 4 forest spirit units (2x dryads, treekin, treeman) ALL of which have their ward save removed by magic and 2/4 are flamable. (2 really easy to exploit weakness' there peeps)


So treemen are flammable? Great! So if i can get 36 hits from fireballs on a treeman that isn't hiding in a wood he'll die easy. (1/6 wound, 1/2 are saved, double wounds = 6 wounds) I know grumbling about WE is getting old now but i just can't let comments like the one above pass.
TREEMEN
ARE
RIDICULOUS
Better than normal monster stats? check
Excellent armour and ward save? check
Auto-hitting missile attack that can't backfire? check
Terror, stubborn? check
Bound spell? check
Move through woods? check

Back on topic for the thread... umm, give all treemen opponents a dwarf bolt thrower with the flammable attacks rune?

In terms of 'fun' games, i think the challenges posed by Bretonnians and WE actually do make for more interesting games as you're forced to play expceptionally carefully. However, when special rule after special rule starts tipping the balance in almost every phase it gets a little wearing. I'd maybe collect an outrageously disorderly orc and goblin army simultaneously to give your opponents a breather every once in a while ;)

forgottenlor
10-04-2007, 17:57
The running & shooting aspect of woodelves make them unpopular. My friend plays a wood elf army with only very few missles. This is a beatable army, but tough. Wood elves also become more difficult to play if the table has tons of terrain.
I find Brets easier to play against: They are a simple army to play though. The best way of defeating them is to offer up "road bumps." Playing a balanced list is always good.

Belerophon709
10-04-2007, 18:09
I know grumbling about WE is getting old now but i just can't let comments like the one above pass.
TREEMEN
ARE
RIDICULOUS
Better than normal monster stats? check
Excellent armour and ward save? check
Auto-hitting missile attack that can't backfire? check
Terror, stubborn? check
Bound spell? check
Move through woods? check

Back on topic for the thread... umm, give all treemen opponents a dwarf bolt thrower with the flammable attacks rune?



Yup, treemen ar nifty, but using a single unit type (rare choice) as a base for saying the whole army is unfair is stretching it a bit... And Treemen have drawbacks. Above average monster stats? More wounds and such yes, but look at the movement. Compare it to a dragon flying 20 inches. Mmmm... yeah....

Llew
10-04-2007, 18:52
Well, one of the many armies I play, and the one that drew me into Warhammer, is the Bretonnian army. I was surprised to find that people found them so difficult to play against, since my friends used to routinely beat me. That did change, however, when I stopped playing chivalrously. I used to never flee a charge, never turn down a challenge, suicidally charge with a lone hero on the last turn of combat, etc.

Personally, I don't like the current ward save. It was great when it was against missile fire, but I think they just wanted to simplify it. As for the lance formation, I don't find it any more difficult to deal with than someone who makes good use of, say, the Detachments rule for the Empire.

Peasant bowmen are well worth their price, but in general, I think the Men-at-Arms aren't worth using. Are they utterly useless? No. But they don't make for an interesting or varied game experience. Why build a strategy based on keeping your MaA in the mix (which plays like an Empire force with no artillery) and start fighting on turn 4 when you could start fighting on turn 2?

Overall, I don't think, as a Bretonnian player, I'm given a whole flock of interesting ways to play. (You can play tons of knights, or you can play like sub-standard Empire.) It really comes down to getting a great charge or two off and trying to break your enemy early. To my mind it's not an army design that lends itself to creative play.

That's also probably why, of late, I've enjoyed Empire and Dwarves more. I'm utterly awful with my Ogres though. Just need to figure out their flow.

Cragspyder
10-04-2007, 19:49
TREEMEN
ARE
RIDICULOUS


They seem very tough. How many points are they?

Between my two armies there are a couple of ways I can think of to deal with him.

With my Tomb Kings, I'd land a Screaming Skull on him, which is very possible when you get two shots a turn (using Righteous Smiting). With 2 guesses, he will probably be auto hit once, wounded on a 2+ (Str 8 on a direct hit , he has Toughness 6), and then he takes 2-12 wounds, with no armour or ward save, as Screaming Skulls count as magical and flaming attacks. And then a panic test if he lives. :P

In fact that may be the absolute best solution to them, so its probably not the best example....

With my Lizardmen, I would have a harder time. Shooting with my Salamanders wouldn't do much, I don't think. With 2 Salamanders, 4-20 auto hits, so average 10, with a Strength 3 hit, so I would wound on 6's.... so, 2 wounds? I assume he has a 3+ save base, so then he has a 4+ armour (-1 to save due to a special rule) and 5+ ward? Probably no wounds. With 3 Salamanders it would be better, of course, 6-30 hits, average 15, 3 wounds, maybe 1 wound multiplied 2 after all is done. Though you could do better, you could also do worse (or misfire).

I suppose I would have to support them with a spellcaster of some sort. You aren't guarenteed to bring a Slann, but he might have a hard time anyways. Rule of Burning Iron might actually be the best bet :( 1 hit, wounds on 5+ (assuming 3+ AS), 2 wounds caused. All the Lore of Fire attacks are Str 4, so it would work out to 2 wounds with armour saves even with Fiery Blast, and that's with a good roll. Pit of Shades is a good bet, but you'd have to roll it...

Your other Lord choice would be an Oldblood, but not necessarily on a Carnosaur, though that would have a good chance at the Treeman, and if he had the Burning Blade of Chotec, even better, but once again you'd have to know you were facing treemen in advance.

The only other good option against it would be a Stegadon with a giant bow.

Certainly no really good choices for dealing with Treemen there. I would have to agree with you on their toughness, unless you're Tomb Kings with a SSC :)

I suspect Cannons would have an easy time with Treemen as well, but that's only 2 armies covered.

Watcher666
10-04-2007, 23:50
you guys do know that:

1.a treeman costs 285 pts
2.a treeman ancient costs 325 pts and takes up a lord and a rare slot.

a treeman is one of the only units in a WE army which can take hits over and over again, with out it WE would seriously lack staying power.

and the all powerful strangle root attack which tbh if u can use u should have been charging anyway.

Hazhumie
11-04-2007, 05:23
For some of the reasons listed above, the boss and I always saw more all knight Bret armies at cash tourneys....

Against both of those armies, I had the best luck over the years was Dark Elves. Bolt throwers, fast cav, and some nasty spells (older Editions).

Frankly
11-04-2007, 07:28
"because they're very difficult to stop. Not impossible, but difficult"

YES! and warhammer is all about making it easy for your oppenent to have an easy time in beating your force. ;)

I say make them work! hahahahhahah


I agree!

Make an armylist people want to try to beat. A list that people want to compete against.

ZeroTwentythree
11-04-2007, 21:07
To pin down WE skirmishers (or skink heavy LM armies, for that matter) you really have to operate your entire force in unison and not send out single regiments/monsters/characters on hunting expeditions unless you're fast & maneuverable enough to play their game. Also, sending them fleeing isn't always a bad thing. You sort of like you have to "herd" them. (I suppose there's an advantage to playing a horde army, in that case.)