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Author Topic: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo  (Read 3841 times)

Offline frank

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War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« on: December 27, 2006, 07:50:02 PM »
One thing that continues to amaze me, is the War alter where the hero has the Mace of Hellsturm.It gives him the oppetunity to handle even big monsters with a S10 D6 Wounds hit. What do you guys think about this or do you have better combos?

Offline Laerniss

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 08:02:57 PM »
That's definately a solid choice frank, considering the AL can re-roll to hit due to hatred on the first round. What are you planning on giving your priest for armor or a ward save though?

I personally don't plan to use the war-altar though. More a poor-mans priest feel, the model I use most often is a bretonian converted to look like a friar. 

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Offline Gneisenau

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 08:14:08 PM »
As far as I remember, the altar gives a 4+ ward save - or is this only for the altar, not for the archlector?

A very good combo, I'd say, especially since the archlector has only two attacks. But it makes him a very expensive character, and I'm afraid the altar will be too clumsy to catch some of the big nasties. A good idea, nonetheless.

Offline Patch

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006, 11:34:03 PM »
Just better hope you roll high with it, although second sign would help with that, I think.
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Offline Atchman

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2006, 12:09:46 AM »
To heck with second sign, the WP has his own re-rolls spells. :) 
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Offline Patch

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2006, 12:17:34 AM »
Do they work on magic weapons now? Sweeeet!  :-D
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Offline Darmort

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2006, 01:02:37 AM »
Yes, the War Alter coffers the Ward Save to the Archlector.

The Warrior Priest/Archlector may re-roll failed Hits and Wounds, it says nothing about mundane or Magical Equipment (good for after the first round of combat).  The same with Armour of Contempt about Ward Save Items, so with an Archlector you could cast both of these, save a lot of points on the Chariot (Just loose out on the Magic Resistance).  But this way he can also join a unit to give them Hatred... hinthint. ;)
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Offline lack0fbettername

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2006, 01:16:37 AM »
I was also thinkin about the war alter/mace combo.  As well as others.

I like the war alter.  For 100pts, you get
4+ warsave (45pts holy relic)
Chariot (can range from 45pts for tomb kings to 85 for high elfs to more for others like chaos)

The free bound spell from lore of light is insane.
3 of the spells i live

Burning gaze.  Magic missile, flaming attach
Guardian light, all units in 12" are immune to psycology, all freeing units  rally immediately
Cleansing flar, all units in 12" take D6 S5 Hits,

THis combined with the arch lectors arleady cool bound prayers makes for some nasty spell casting.

I also have read on other forums that if the arch lector is killed the war alter can continue to remain in play.  I done have the NEB yet though so im not 100% sure, i have herd that it doesnt have an actual "crew" listed.

I think with an AL on war alter i would eather go defencive, or offince.

offence = Mace of Helstrom, heavy armour, shield
Defence = dawn armour, enchanted shield, hand weapon
Cheap = Enchanted shield, heavy armour, sword of strength



As someone aready pointed out, trading 2 strength 4 attacks for 1 strength 10 attach isnt a bad deal at all.
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Offline gorenut

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2006, 02:01:55 AM »
Now I'm even tempted to include one.  I'll probably make my own though.
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Offline Tate

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2006, 08:01:11 AM »
I thought of exactly the same thing about 5 days ago.  It prompted me to do some math and surprisingly the Helstrum combo is not as good as it looks.  You loose out on the best defense he can get, VHS and AoMI.  This makes him really, really hard to kill with his 4+ ward on top of that.  Anyway, here is a brief mini-article I wrote a while back on warseer.  I have been meaning to edit it with some of my new experiences, maybe in a day or so.

Anyway, on to a brief tactica about this bad boy. . .

Either way it is a great unit. As has been said before its "only" 100 pts for a 5 wound chariot with T5 and a 4+ ward save. Thats incredibly cheap. The only drawback is that you have to put your general on it (unless its a 3k game).

Equipping the Arch Lector:

There are a few main ways I see to equip the Lector on a war alter; many are expensive though.

Cheap:
Heavy Armor, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might (261 pts). This option gives you two S5 attacks and a 3+ save in combat (1+ against shooting). Of course the magic items could be dropped totally to save 27 pts but then you only get a 4+ save and S4 attacks, pretty sad for your general I think. Swap the Hvy armor and Eshield for Armor or Meteoric Iron for only 4 extra pts to get a better save in combat.

Defensive:
Dawn Armor, Shield, Sword of Might, VHS (308 pts). With a 3+ rerollable save in combat (1+ shooting) and the ability to swap stats in a challenge this guy is pretty survivable, especially since he can heal wounds up to two times (once with a prayer and once with the alter). Also consider adding the Jade Amulet to shrug off the first wound (cannonball anyone?) instead of the VHS or Dawn Armor for an extra 10/5 pts. I dont think its worth it, but it is fluffy.

Monster Killer:
Heavy Armor, Mace of Helstrum, Enchanted Shield (306 pts). Taking one S10 attack instead of 2 S4 is a great tradeoff, especially since he has hatred and the ability to reroll hits and wounds with the casting of a prayer. Against monsters d6 wounds is great especially when you have the impact hits at S5 going for your same target. For character killing consider swapping the Enchanted Shield for the VHS for a higher weapon skill and to lower your opponents stats, however most of the benefits are lost with the mace. I wouldnt do it as it costs and extra 18 pts (buy a mundane shield) and your save becomes a lousy 4+. The Speculum is there to make your enemies S6 with a GW instead of the chariot popping S7. Cool use of it and I would definatly consider doing that in a very S7 heavy environment (lots of lizzies, chaos, vampires). Against a tricked out lord with a 1+ save and 4+ ward you only have a 30% chance to wound him (that means only a 20% chance to kill with 3 wounds -- but most other combos cant kill a lord outright like that).

Character Killer:
Armor of Meteoric Iron, Sword of Might, VHS (295 pts) this gives you a solid offensive character with a 1+ save and stat swapping +1 S attacks for 'only' 295 pts. Will do about 1 wound to a 1+ save 4+ ward S5 T5 Atk 5 character per round. You also get steed attacks (shouldnt do much) and impacts hitting the regiment. The real benefit is that your enemy now has 2 chops hitting on 4s and wounding on 3s (assume S6 with GW) and must get past your 4+ armor and 4+ ward saves.

Armor of Meteoric Iron, Hammer of Judgement, VHS (305 pts). IMO this is the best offensive combo as swapping T gives your opponenet a 1/3 chance per hit of being wounded with no save (thank you T4 Speculum Swap and Hammer of Judgement). This really shines against hardcore chaos lords and vampires. Against unit champs you might as well take the sword of might because its cheaper (although the hammer is still better).

I have been using the cheap option to great effect lately. If I played games over 2,000 pts I would try out some other kits (VHS, AoMI, and Hammer is my second favorite), but simple and cheap means more bodies on the table.

Deployment Strategies:

Since the Alter is a large target you obviously want to try and protect it against armies that have a lot of S7 shooting. Shots at less that S7 are not that scary as the alter is T5 with 5 wound and a 4+ ward and the Lector has 3 T4 wounds with (hopefully) a 1+ armor save and 4+ ward. Even so, the prayers do not require line of sight and the only light spell to need LoS is the first magic missile. I like to hide him behind some terrain so its out of sight for the first turn or so. The I try and maneuver him around that piece of terrain so only half (or less) of enemy shooting can target him.

Placing him central is a good idea, since LD9 is really good. However, if you place greatswords on the flank and have the lector on the other flank, you should be able to give your LD to all units besides the swords. This places your alter in a great position (as with US6 you want to flank) and still confers your LD bubble to many weaker units.

Movement and Combat:

Like I said earlier, hide the bugger as much as you can against shooting in the first 1-2 turns. I am not saying to be overly cautious, as he can take a lot of punishment before he goes down. Play smart and only hide from real threats (two cannons on a hill) and go all out towards the smaller threats (bowmen, ha). Try and flank where you can, but unlike a griffon count you are unbreakable. If you need to charge into combat to be protected from shooting or to pin an enemy unit down then do it. Charge a scary unit (as long as they dont have S7) and watch them sit there. Then flank them next turn with some nilla knights or a parent unit.

You want to be in combat with the lector. Sitting around he doesnt do much. In combat you get 2 WS3 S3 and 2 WS4 S5 hatred attacks that probably reroll wounds (assuming sword of might or GW) plus d6 S5 impact hits. This is all after you cast soulfire to get d6 S4 no save hits and Cleansing Flare to get d6 S5 hits on every enemy within 12". Not bad if you ask me. So you kill 6-7 enemies, lose combat, stick around, flank, kill another 10, pursue. Dont forget that you can still charge 14". Hang back from your line and go barreling in on turn two or three.

Remember that you have to pursue because of hatred, so be careful of where that might take you. Also be aware that enemies will often flee from this awesome unit so keep in mind where the 7" move would place you.

Cons: This thing isnt perfect. You can still be popped by S7 and you are a large target. Your lector only has a base 2 attacks so the only way to beef him up is with expensive magic kits. I consider him a more survivable Griffon Count and I think he should be played like that. WarhammerEmpire.com has a really good griffon tactica that would help a lot in learning how to play the alter. Remember though, you dont cause terror like a griffon, which means you want to get into combat much quicker so you can actually do something.

Good luck with the Alter, its by far my new favorite unit for not only fluff reasons but gameplay reasons. Plus the conversion opportunities are amazing.

Thanks for Reading,
Tom

Offline Patch

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2006, 03:45:05 PM »
Loads of great ideas there Tate! Another idea is to partner up the Altar with a unit of knights, or even a STank, and you've got a seriously nasty Hammer combo.
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Offline redflag

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2006, 05:00:18 PM »
In a challenge a character steps off the chariot (at least he did in the 6th edition I don't have the 7th edition rule book in front of me right now).  If that is still correct in the 7th edition does the war alter no longer give the 4+ ward save during a challenge since the character is on foot during a challenge.

Offline BK

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2006, 05:11:17 PM »
In a challenge a character steps off the chariot (at least he did in the 6th edition I don't have the 7th edition rule book in front of me right now).  If that is still correct in the 7th edition does the war alter no longer give the 4+ ward save during a challenge since the character is on foot during a challenge.

Character no longer steps down from a chariot to fight challenge, and you can beat the chariot if you want...

Offline Tate

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2006, 05:33:21 PM »
BK is correct, you no longer step down.  You do not benefit from the +2 armor save from the chariot in combat though (why AoMI is the only way to get a 1+ save, you cand use heavy, ehsield, chariot against anything besides shooting attacks).  The fact that most S7 users are characters means that you can deny them their chariot-popping ability by making their base S4.  Thats where the defensive abilities of the speculum make it almost a necessity.

I played two games with it the other day.  First game against dwarves with the cheap kit at 2k pts.  I got unlucky and my alter was charged (by a pursuit move).  He just sat there taking a beating from a Thane and was doing fine until the S7 lord came by.  Then he died along with his chariot.  The defensive abilities of the cheap kit are mediocre (mostly if you dont use AoMI and are stuck with a 3+ save) and I was sweating every time I had to make my ward saves.  Overral I could have saved the alters life had I played smarter or had better luck.  I was disappointed with how I used him, he ended up behind my lines not in combat thanks to being bottlenecked by terrain, and I need to learn quicker.  At least I learned.

My second game was 2250 against MSU ogres (5 units of 3 bulls, 2 units of 3 guts, 2 units of 2 belchers, 2 hunters, 3 trappers, 2 scraplaunchers, tricked out tyrant).  My magic was able to tear through his meager 2 dispell dice and I was able to kill off the hunters with magic missiles.  This caused panic in nearby units and bought me time to manuever.  5 pistoliers, 5 outriders and 14 flagellants held a flank against two units of 3 bulls easily while 5 pistoliers, 14 flagellants, and 5 knights stalled a flank with 2 units of 3 bulls and 2 belchers long enough so that they didnt hit my lines at all.  But this thread is about the alter so lets go into that.  He saw mu 300 pt chariot and like almost every player out there immediatly was set on matching his tyrant up against it.  After watching him march 14" into woods (magic cloak and longstrider) directly towards me I got a bit nervous and moved backwards.  This was not smart as it made his LD bubble useless while my blocks advanced.  Next turn I got smarter and moved him back up, but out of the tyrants charge arc.  By turn 4 I couldnt avoid being charged by the tyrant so I let it happen.  My opponent was smiling real big and was ready to bust me open but then I issued a challenge.  Not being able to refuse (or even see my sneaky plan) he accepted and learned that he now had 2 WS4 S4 attacks and only T4 to defend himself with.  Meanwhile I had 5 S5 attacks with the hammer of judgement and a new and improved T5 to protect me.  He no longer had the S7 required to pop me and I actually finished him off in the next magic phase with 5 wounds from cleansing flare (he stopped soulfire). 

Basically the moral of my story is that S7 characters will gun for the alter every time.  I know when I have S7 I try and match it up against enemy chariots, it just feels right.  With the most survivable chariot in the game (yeah I just said it, I think its better than the coach) enemies dont know what they are getting into.  You can use that to your advantage to make your opponent deploy or move in a certain way.  In my game against the ogres his tryant could have flank charged a block of mine, but instead chose to go after the alter (a mistake, but not necessarily an obvious one if you dont know the kit on the alter).  I will add something about that into my mini-article either today or tomorrow.

In conclusion, I would always try to find the extra pts for the AoMI, VHS, might/judgement combo.  The near-guarantee that you wont lose your already expensive general is worth it.  Watch out for cannons and monsters though, as not being able to challenge them hurts you a lot (giants, minos, and especially shaggoths are scary and should definatly be shot and magicked to death asap). 

Offline Laerniss

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2006, 09:32:26 PM »
BK is correct, you no longer step down.  You do not benefit from the +2 armor save from the chariot in combat though (why AoMI is the only way to get a 1+ save, you cand use heavy, ehsield, chariot against anything besides shooting attacks). 

Arch Lector can have 1+ in ways other the the AoMI.  Both involve a barded warhorse, a shield plus either the Dawn Armor or the Helm of the Skaven Slayer + heavy armor.

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Offline Patch

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2006, 09:50:14 PM »
I most certainly think that the War Altar is far, far better value than the Black Coach. The fact that the AL can take a vast array of items to thwart any attempts to pop it speaks for itself. The VHS is a certainty against Chaos, Vamps etc.

Pity we couldn't make it the BSB as well, although doesn't it have a radius of Hatred, and all those lovely light lore spells? Bargain!
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Offline Clarkarias

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2006, 09:51:28 PM »
To heck with second sign, the WP has his own re-rolls spells. :) 

And he has hatred the first round of combat anyway!!
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Offline Tate

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2006, 11:08:27 PM »
I'm sorry, I meant that the Lector could only get a 1+ save on the Alter in one way (and that would be with AoMI).

You are entirely correct with the barded warhorse examples.  I think that the new models on foot are so fantastic that I wont mount them on anything besides the Alter though (but the Luthor Huss model is very nice as well).

Offline Clarkarias

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2006, 04:53:09 PM »
I'm sorry, I meant that the Lector could only get a 1+ save on the Alter in one way (and that would be with AoMI).

You are entirely correct with the barded warhorse examples.  I think that the new models on foot are so fantastic that I wont mount them on anything besides the Alter though (but the Luthor Huss model is very nice as well).

Let's see, since riding on a chariot gives +2 to your armour save we have:

Chariot, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield
Chariot, Heavy Armour, Shield, Helm of the Rat Slayer.
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Offline frank

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2006, 07:50:05 PM »
I'm sorry, I meant that the Lector could only get a 1+ save on the Alter in one way (and that would be with AoMI).

You are entirely correct with the barded warhorse examples.  I think that the new models on foot are so fantastic that I wont mount them on anything besides the Alter though (but the Luthor Huss model is very nice as well).

Let's see, since riding on a chariot gives +2 to your armour save we have:

Chariot, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield
Chariot, Heavy Armour, Shield, Helm of the Rat Slayer.

You only get the +2 for shooting not combat.

Offline gladius

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2006, 09:31:13 PM »
This is a very interesting thread and Tate's analysis is definitely a must read - good work.

However, I'm a bit concerned seeing so many advantages on that one lord type, NEB has not been (officially) released yet, but still we are already speculating on some killer combos that the NEB will be offering in the shape of the AL.

I'm somewhat scared to see the interest in Wiz lords, ECs (now empire generals) and GMs drop significantly (not that wizard lords have ever triggered significant interest, but anyway) and that these other lord choices end up been relegated to a fluff-only pool of characters. For a book that supposedly aimed at achieving more balance by seriously nerfing some of the most popular units, it is disappointing to see that there is now a clear consensus on our lord options, and this, I repeat, already before the book being released and before most of us having had a chance to actually use the new list in real games.

Now, I'm also getting some sort of feeling that Edition 7 is gradually sliding back to KillercomboHerohammer again (Am I the only one to be concerned about this?) AL is (or seems to be) a very efficient and powerful character for an empire army, but if GW offered this to us, what sort of nasty characters can we expect for Chaos, VCs, tomb kings and the like whey they, in turn, get their own release? I have seen too much of entire "normal" units, been annihilated in one turn by lone Chaos characters only two editions ago that I ended up been a bit bored about this and I was  naively hoping the relative balance GW managed to bring in edition 6 would not be broken in this new edition.

So, do not take me wrong, it is really nice and fun indeed to speculate about the new Lord options we are been offered, especially when these give you the thrill of been able of handling monsters in hth on their own,  I'm also quite happy to see that our new lord choice is not just a puppet, but can actually be useful. However, looking in the longer term, I'm just scared we finally get stuck with AL as the one and only decent Empire lord option when the other armies get even more destructive character and unit choices.

*concerns over*
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 09:34:26 PM by gladius »
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Offline Patch

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2006, 10:57:57 PM »
No, I'll still take the GM and EG and WL, depends on my mood. The introduction (or is that re-introduction?) or the special characters is a little worrying.
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Offline Hans Blom

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2006, 11:25:07 PM »
I agree with both of you in regards to the introduction of a hefty number of special characters for each new army. We don't want 5th edition power houses battling it out while our troops watch in terror.

I don't however share the concern that the empire has been given a powerhouse of a normal lord character. The archlector is strong, and may be the strongest of the empire lord choices but I don't see him as "that" strong.

Mounted on his altar with vhs he is a hefty 270 points.
Maxed out in gear he's even more (345)
And loosing him would earn the enemy 445 points in a 2000 point game!

People will learn to deal with him fast.
There will be no sending the bloodthirster after him, as they can smell the vhs miles away
They will align the cannons to bring down the chariot, making us hide him, thus lowering his usefullness
They will send in eagles and fast cav to draw him away from our line using his own hatred against him
Even with a 1+/4+ save he can be taken down by elite infantry, like chaos warriors/saurus/dryads or big guys like the kroxigors/ironguts


I'm not saying I don't like the chap, I do.
I like to alternate my lists from game to game, and he'll get some playtime.
In 3000 games I'll use him in a higher prosentage, as I can afford loosing him, as he won't be my general.

But I see him as more usefull in the traditional empire manner.
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Offline jlutin

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2006, 02:11:25 AM »
Now, I'm also getting some sort of feeling that Edition 7 is gradually sliding back to KillercomboHerohammer again (Am I the only one to be concerned about this?) AL is (or seems to be) a very efficient and powerful character for an empire army, but if GW offered this to us, what sort of nasty characters can we expect for Chaos, VCs, tomb kings and the like whey they, in turn, get their own release?

I too am concerned that Hero Hammer might be in the offing but, lets face it...  The Empire was seriously underpowered in the hero/lord area.  The changes that were made take us from seriously underpowered to just a little underpowered.  Now if new armies are greatly increased, then Hero hammer is here and our improvements will be short lived.

But here is to hoping that it was done for balance purposes and new armies will get an acceptably low level of buffing.
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Offline Keith Ambrose

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Re: War alter ,Mace of Hellsturm combo
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2006, 08:03:10 PM »
is the alter necesary? isn't any lector goodenough? lol
Keith