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Author Topic: Need help with army lists for big tournament  (Read 1279 times)

Offline Tomasus

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Need help with army lists for big tournament
« on: June 26, 2015, 06:50:29 PM »
My fellow Generals, I bid you welcome! Although I am somewhat new to the WFB I foolishly agreed to participate in the tournament organised by my friends. The biggest problem for me is that every player has to submit two army lists to our judges and he may use only them during the competition. The battles will be 1v1, 1500p (max.1 lord), 8th Edition. My friends are playing with Dwarfs, High Elves, Warriors of Chaos, Wood Elves, Vampire Counts and Skavens. And I want to make it clear- I'm not skilled enough to win, but I really want to make them fight for every point. Will you help me to achieve that goal?

If your answer is "yes", I'm giving the list of models I currently have (we have a proxy limit of 500p):

2xBattle wizard/wizard lord
Witch hunter
warrior priest
capitan of the Empire
cannon (assembled as a mortar, but noone cares)
18x musketeer
20x state troops
8x knights(can be Reiksguard, again, noone cares)
steam tank

   I can also quickly assemble:

10x greatswords
2x musketeer
8x state troops
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 08:37:34 PM by Tomasus »

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 07:21:44 AM »
(( Tomasus,

First a couple of brief thoughts:

1) At 1500 points, you can get away with having LD in the 7 - 8 range.  It's not fully reliable... but... it's passable.  Especially if you have a BSB to let you re-roll LD tests.

2) At 1500 points, you really don't need a lord-level character.  That'll save you a ton of points to use elsewhere, if you want.

3) For Vampire Counts, taking out the lich is critical.  A good Vampire Counts player can generate some 15 skeletons a turn, easily.  Taking out the Lich will allow you to then really begin melting the Vampire troops.

4) I find Skaven to be very hard to plan against, as their book / FAQ is very... badly written.  It relies too much on "fun", and not enough on "clear rules that make for straight-forward understandings"

5) With the new book, Dwarf Armies are no longer as static / castling as they used to be.  They can still do that very well, but now Dwarves have a number of mobility options, and one of the racial abilities rewards Dwarf players for being the one charging into melee.

6) You really don't have enough models to come up with two, separate lists... both of your lists will be very similar.

7) Even at lower point games, blocks of infantry need to be about 25+ models.  This'll give them the ability to weather missile / spell fire, and still have the weight of numbers to do be a legitimate threat melee.  Any smaller, and they tend to become combat ineffective fairly quickly.

8) Blocks of cavalry can be 5 - 6 models, depending on their role.  I find, though, that I like cavalry in blocks of 10 - 12... as it adds to their ability to HULK SMASH pretty well.

Now, given the small pool of models you have to work with, I would suggest the following.

Characters:
1) Wizard, level 2 upgrade, with a dispell scroll.  I tend to like Fire, Heavens, and Shadow (Red-Blue-Black, if your a MtG fan)... others like Life (Green-White) and Light (White-Red)

1-A) Fire offers some cheap ways to get damage against your opponent; Heavens is pretty well balanced; Shadow offers some neat ways to cripple your opponent... though the spells are a bit pricier to cast.

1-B) If you did want a Lord-level character, upgrade the wizard to a Wizard Lord, and then get him level 4.  At 1500 points, he'll be able to do some serious magical umph to your army, as our wizard characters are on the cheaper side.

2) Warrior Priest, heavy armor, shield (this'll be your general).  For your Battle Prayers, keep in mind that you can attempt to cast them on 1d6 with a decent chance of success.  So... if you have a low-power magic phase, you can still get off a prayer.

3) Captain of the Empire, Full Plate, Shield, Pistol, Battle Standard Bearer upgrade (his main job is to give you the ability to re-roll all LD tests, within 12" of him,... thus making the 7 - 8 LD range more reliable)... you could easily use some of your extra points to give your BSB a Ward Save.

Units:
1) 20 State Troops.  Your choice of Swords or Halberds.  Both have their advantages.  I prefer Swordsmen, as they are a spot more survivable.  I've used Spearmen fairly extensively (as I have a whole company of them assembled and painted)... they're alright, but, don't really excel in anything.  Still... Spearmen are cheap, even when fully equipped. 

1-A) If you can, I would assemble the Greatswords, and then use them to up-size your block of state troops to the 25 - 30 range.

1-B) I would suggest full command for your block of State Troops as well.  If you're tight on points, at least the Standard and Musician.  The ability to Swift Reform via the Musician can save you critical movement.

2) If you can, use the Handgunners as Crossbowmen.  Normally you'll deploy about 20 - 24" apart from your opponent.  The 30" range of the crossbow will let you back-deploy them a bit, giving them the potential of having an extra turn of shooting before everything becomes a melee scrum.  At 1500 points, the Strength 4 / -1 to Armor crossbow is plenty, as you shouldn't be facing too many heavily (3+ or better Armor Save) armored troops. (Skaven and Wood Elves also tend to be lightly armored.  High Elves and Vampires tend to be moderately armored.  Dwarves and Chaos tends to be armored.)

2-A) Keep in mind that our missile troops cannot multi-task. At all.  They will not do a whole lot successfully in melee.

2-A-1) Due to this, giving them a Standard is a bad idea, as the crossbows can easily lose in melee.  A standard lost in melee gives your opponent extra Victory Points.

2-B) Since missile troops can fire in two ranks, I'd build your last two handgun troops.  That way the block will be 20-strong.  20 shots, even when hitting on 5+, does tend to make someone nervous.

2-C) I would suggest a Musician for the Crossbows... and a Marksman, if you have the points.

3) 8 Knights with Lance and Shield; full command.  These guys should be flanking whatever the infantry block engages in the front.  Overall, they'll be one of your hammer units.

3-A) If you have the points, up-grade them to Inner Circle knights.

Overall, that'll give you three, Core units for the field.

Special:
1) Cannon.  While the cannon is okay at taking out enemy troops (you only hit one model per rank, so it doesn't do a lot of volume hits), it's phenomenal at taking out (or at least heavily damaging) enemy characters, monsters, and big fuglies.

Rare:
1) Steam Tank.  This beast should be a chore for other armies, at 1500 points.  They'll not have a reliable way to damage the tank, as its high Toughness, high Wounds, and 1+ Armor Save allow it to soak damage... like a boss!  It is also quite capable of damage, and can be your other hammer unit.

1-A) Just generate 4 steam a turn... trundle the tank forward, and steam-on with the steam gun (not the cannon).

1-A-1) Don't forget, even in melee, you can use the Steam Gun each turn.  (Normal Breath Weapons can only be used once... a game.)  So in melee, with 4 Steam Points, you can generate 3d3 Grinding Hits during the movement phase, and then 2d6 hits from the Steam Gun each turn... plus the one attack from the Engineer as well.

Overall that'll give you about 1300 of your 1500 points used... so, you have some points for magic items and upgrades... or the Wizard Lord. ))

Offline Tomasus

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2015, 08:22:22 AM »
Although I agree with most of your logic, I should also share some of my previous experience from playing with my opponents.
Steam tank tends to get stuck in dvarven infantry most of the time, because they act as the tank themselves. I was also one-shotted by vampire magic last time I used it. I also have problems with magic, as almost all of my opponents are magic-heavy and tend to have unavoidable dispell. That's also why my stank was so easy to kill- I had Life wizard to heal it, but I was unable to cast anything.
My biggest worry is Dvarfs, while my friend plays high dispell, very shooty, heavy and annoying army. I don't think that I have any way of dealing with him in cc and I don't stand a chance in shooting. And I'm not skilled enough (yet) to use every opportunity that will happen during the fights.
The vampires are also scary because of their Hexwraiths. If I'm not missing something obvious, there is no way for me to hit them with my normal units and they can move like a crazy bunch of ghosts on horses (which they are, i guess). Last time they were used my mortar died on the spot.
As the last thing, I don't really have to make two lists, I can play with one but how big is the chance that my army will be adequately well-rounded, given the small number of models I have? And also, after the first battle everyone will know what I can ad can't play and they will plan their tactics for that. If there is anything that would make it work and costs less than 500p, I can use proxy bases for it. Also, why not use mortar against carpet-like armies, like Skaven or vampires? It has multiple wounds and armour piercing rules, so it can also sometimes damage characters.

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 10:32:04 PM »
(( Tomasus,

You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.

A couple of quick thoughts.

1) For magic, if you're worried about Ethereal creatures (like the Hex Wraiths) Fire and Metal both have augment spells that make your attacks magical.  Flaming Sword of Rhuin and Enchanted Blades, respectively.

1-A) Hexwraiths can get caught in melee.  While you might not be able to affect them directly, you can still cause them to lose melee via Combat Resolution, and then watch as they dissolve due to Unstable.  Doing it this way might be on the slower end... but it does get around their Ethereal nature.

2) While Dwarves may be able to damage a Steam Tank, they shouldn't be keeping up with the output the tank is doing.  Even Strength 6 (which is fairly common with Dwarves due to Great Weapons) only wounds a Tank on a 6+... and then, you still have 4+ Armor Save (after the penalty) the tank can make.  When you get into melee, just Grind (which will be causing 3d3 Strength 6 hits... average 6) and Steam Gun (which will be causing 2d6 Strength 2 hits... average 7) until you flank the Dwarves with another unit.  And that's not adding in the one attack from the Engineer.  Overall, you should be getting some 13 hits in on the Dwarves, causing about 5 - 8 wounds. 

2-A) In comparison, only about 4 - 6 dwarves will be able to attack the tank... and now they do have to use the WS 3 of the tank to challenge them.  So... the Dwarves should only be getting about 4 hits on your tank... meaning 1 wound.  The tank might not be able to break an elite unit like Dwarves on its own; yet, it should be able to cause enough damage to the unit that a flank charge will break it.

2-B) It sounds like your Dwarf opponent is doing a Castle-style dwarf army (heavy shooting / square formation), which can be a very hard nut to crack.  One idea is, Dwarf missile troops are move-or-fire.  Get him to turn his troops to face your targets, as that will keep them from firing.  Or, you could also try to max-cast augment spells like "Protection of Pha" that offers penalties to shooting.

2-A-1) Castle armies are designed with the whole "you come to me" mentality.  It means he's giving up the initiative, in order to stay-put in a highly defended position.  Castle-armies tend to be static, and reactive in nature.  If your Dwarf player is playing handgunners, deploy 30" or so away.  That way, you can plink away with your Crossbows while he loses at least 1 turn moving into range.

2-C) Also, your cavalry has 7" move, 14" march move, and a 7" + 3k2" charge distance.  You should be able to get a flank charge with the cavalry, while your foot troops move into position.  With the 1+ Armor Save, they should be able to absorb a spot of damage, from dwarven missile troops.

2-C-1) And, if the Dwarf is turning his troops to face your cavalry, he's not shooting with them, letting both units get more into position to charge.

3) Your army is fine.  You have a mixed-force.  Empire... in my opinion, does poorly to average at lower point games, as our guys aren't quite cheap enough to horde up... but also lack real skills / finesse / gear in comparison to what they cost.  Still, one advantage we do have is easy access to 1+ Armor Save troops via knights.  Yes, a lot of players will say "oh, Empire, I'll use Metal magic"... and that's just something you'll have to work around.  The reverse also works too.  Metal does fairly well against Dwarves, Chaos, and the heavier-armored undead troops.

3-A) I'm going to assume "500p" means "500 pence"... which is like... five bucks I think?  I never did understand the whole British pennies / pounds / shillings thing.

3-A-1) The Empire Battalion Box is a decent way to upsize some of your force, while not breaking the bank.

4) Overall, anything the Mortar can do, the Volley Gun can do better.  Strength 2 struggles to wound everything.  If it was Strength 3(6), the Mortar would be a competitor.  Just... right now, its so overshadowed by Cannons (which are great at anti-characters, and okay at troops), Tanks (which are great all around), and the Volley Gun (which is good at anti-characters, and good at troops).  I'd rather be doing d6 wounds against a character than d3... even if the Cannon might not cover the same number of models with its bounce.

4-A) Not to mention you can cast augment spells (like Flaming Sword of Ruin) on your Volley Gun, and watch it shoot, flaming, hot, leaded, death.

4-B) The Mortar does work well with Shadow mages, though.  If you can lower the toughness of your opponent, the Mortar will start to be more effective.

5) How are you attempting to cast your spells?  Usually a rule-of-thumb is to cast 7+ spell, you use 2d6; a 10+ spell uses 3d6.

Anyway, just some quick thoughts. ))

Offline Tomasus

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 11:17:29 PM »
I really like your quick thoughts :biggriin:
"500p" was my short way of saying '500 points". That means I could use Demigryphs or anything else I don't have as a figure unless it doesn't cost me more than 500 in-game points (It's because some of us use substitute figures all the time and we wanted to limit that during the tournament). Maybe this can let me make two slightly different army lists?

Offline Sceleris

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2015, 07:30:50 AM »
Re point 2) above. S6 dwarves will wound your T6 steam tank on 4+. Are you remembering the steam tank in its previous T10 incarnation?

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2015, 01:44:53 PM »
((Sceleris,

No, I was thinking "Six Dwarves with Strength 6 vs Toughness 6 must need a 6"... stupid "6" on the brain.

Anyway, it is a 4+ to wound, with a 4+ Armor Save. ))

Offline Tomasus

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 11:29:15 AM »
Ok, so I made two army lists. As you said, they're very similar but not identical. My first battle will be against High Elves. Wish me luck!
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 11:31:32 AM by Tomasus »

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Re: Need help with army lists for big tournament
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 12:26:17 PM »
(( Good luck, Tomasus. ))