Monday, June 28, 2010

High Elves in 8th - Strategy

Now that you have an army, what do you do with it?  Let's go over my unit bucket really quickly and I'll go over the various strategies I plan on doing with them.  Keep in mind that there's a ton of units that'll have all kinds of great expectations, but these will probably fade once the games start rolling in.  Units such as Sword Masters, Lothern Sea Guard and Ellyrion Reavers all look pretty good on paper, but nothing says what works and what doesn't than spamming games.

Let's go over my units:

Teclis - Between Banner of Sorcery and the Moonstaff of Lileath, Teclis can generate an average of 11/12 Power Dice for himself at the beginning of every turn.  What you do with this is strictly up to you.  For me, the general options are:  Throw a giant spell like Purple Sun of Xereus out, full blown with 6-7 dice because even if you roll double 6s, you ignore your first miscast.  Once that thing hits the table, it will cause absolute havoc for your opponent.  You can also choose to cast more cautiously, throwing 3 dice at medium cost spells and up to 4-5 for high cost ones.  With an average roll, you should be able to IF these spells without dropping your concentration or anything else too drastic.  Just keep in mind you always have that Scroll of Hoeth in your inventory and use it when it matters.  Also keep in mind that just because Teclis is awesome at casting, doesn't mean you have to sit in the unit and cast without fear.  He is still the most fragile mage in the game with T2 and 3W with no saves of any kind.  Don't be afraid to run him out of the unit and cast some support spells because keeping him alive means absolutely everything if your army is focused on him.

Archmage [Book of Ashur or Hoeth] - For 330 points, the Lv.4 with Book of Ashur is now one of the best buys in the book.  The fact that the mage gets +6 to dispel before any dice are thrown is just gigantic.  That, combined with the fact that he also gets +5 to cast means that most low-medium spells are cast much easier.  Since you can now switch out spells for anything that rolls a double when you're randoming spells, getting the spells you need is much more reliable for a Lv.4.  The Book of Hoeth on the Archmage is also a pretty solid buy.  Having IF on any doubles as long as you reach the casting value lets you break through magical defenses if you throw enough dice at it.  Just be mindful of what spells you're trying to cast and always cast the big ones first if you can.  Casting a lower level spell and having the chance to lose concentration and not being able to cast anything else is bad.

Friday, June 25, 2010

High Elves in 8th - Making a list

With 8th Ed. on our doorstep, we must prepare ourselves for the trials of fire ahead.  The absolute worst thing you can do when going into a new edition is to march forward blindly and seeing where fate takes you.  I don't know about you guys, but I don't like it when my Elves die.  In fact, it offends me because it's my fault they're dying.  The entire point of spending ridiculous amounts of time taking them out of their cases and putting them on the table is to kill some face, and I intend on doing that to the fullest.

Now, I already listed the units that I think will be superior in 8th Ed in my previous articles.  I don't want to go over and explain everything all over again, but I will for the sake of time (and memory) write them all down here.  Just like my competitive Blood Angels unit bucket, I also have a competitive HE bucket.  It looks something like this:

Archmage, Book of Ashur [or Hoeth, depending on lore]
BSB, either on foot or mounted, with a good amount of protection
Prince, Star Dragon, Great Weapon, AoC, Vambraces, in larger games
Lv.1 Mage with Annulian Crystal
Lv.2 Mage with Seerstaff of Saphery
30x Spears in FC
30x LSG in FC
24x Phoenix Guard in 6x4 in FC
24x White Lions in 6x4 in FC
11-12x Dragon Princes in 6x2 in FC (varied size depends on BSB)
Lion Chariots
Great Eagles

High Elves in 8th - Magic, Part 2

Since I've gotten a lot of responses from other gaming forums on my articles on High Elves and Magic, I guess I'll write a Part 2.  Keep in mind that this time, I'll go over the rest of the lores (and High Magic) except for Fire and Heavens.  The reason why is because I feel that there are just better lores out there.  Fire can be easily replaced with High Magic for a larger array of supporting and potentially dangerous spells and Heavens is just random all over the place.  Relying on the enemy or yourself to roll a certain way for the spells to gain effect is just mediocre.  Not to mention that the comet is a big fat "Eh.." in 8th because everything moves quite readily and its the other spells don't do enough damage for my liking.

The first lore that I'll cover today is the Lore of Light.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

High Elves in 8th - Magic, Part 1

In the new 8th Edition, Magic has completely changed in the way it works, how it plays and which certain spells will effect the outcome of the game.  Good thing for High Elves, we can take every single lore in the BRB ontop of our High Magic.  For the purposes of this post, I'm going to go over only 3 of the 8 lores in the new book.  I feel that these lores will enhance the needs of the High Elf army the most.

First, let me post the 3 lores and what they do and how we'll use them.  My comments will be the non-colored:

Monday, June 21, 2010

High Elves in 8th - Units

First thing is first:  The entire way armies are constructed have changed.  Even though there's no official statement saying that High Elves ignore any type of restrictions, there is an official statement saying that these rules trump everything else:

25% Max Lords (Including mounts)
25% Max Heroes
25% Min Core
50% Max Specials
25% Max Rare

You must take a minimum of 3 units, not including characters.
No 3 of the same type of Specials.
No 2 of the same type of Rares.
These numbers increase when games reach 3000 points.

With this in mind, let's go over and look at our unit choices in 8th Ed.

High Elves in 8th - Lords and Heroes

So 8th Ed brings a lot of new things. The entire game has changed and thus, my unit selection has to go through intensive revision in order to stay competitive. I'll start with Lords and Heroes since I want to cover everything over the next couple of days.

Archmage builds:
Lv.4, Annulian Crystal = 300
Lv.4, Book of Ashur (new item) = 330

The reason why these two will work is because they're relatively cheap and have specific purposes. The Silver Wand and Seerstaff is no longer a good choice for Archmages because of the way magic selection works. I still roll 4 dice randomly pick spells, but for each double I roll I get to pick the spell instead of re-rolling to see what I get. Chances to me to get the one or two spells I really want is pretty high already. Another reason not to take these two items is because I can only take one Arcane item and both Annulian Crystal and Book of Ashur are superior choices. This also means that dispel scrolls cannot be taken if the Archmage already has an arcane item.  Book of Hoeth will be covered later so I purposely left it out here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blasted Heath Campaign

Here is where I'll record all my league games.

6-8-10 - WIN
25pts eCaine vs. pKreoss in Kill Box
The game was pretty much hit and run with eCaine picking off choir boys with Magic Bullets.  Eventually, my ATGM pushes the Revenger that was blocking LoS to Kreoss of the way with Thunderbolt shots and Caine follows up with 10 shots to Kreoss' face.

6-15-10 - WIN
35pts Siege vs. eThagrosh in Fight Club
Siege and Defenders kill the Carnivean on Breach round and does heavy damage to his Typhon.  Shredders, Soldier and the Raek puts heavy damage on the Stormclad on his Feat round but he stays in the fight.  Next round, the Stormclad fights back with full focus and kills the Nephilim Soldier and puts heavy damage on the Shredders.  The left most Defender sees melee and kills the Raek.  His next turn kills the Stormclad and Thagrosh leaves the Defender with 6 damage boxes but the Shredders are out of melee.  On my turn, I was able to aim, shoot and boost to destroy the rest of his warbeasts  for the game.

6-22-10 - WIN
35pts eCaine vs. Ravyn in Caster Kill
Didn't get to play scenario so we just played caster kill for this game.  I forgot to move eCaine further away from the MHSF and they get in range to shoot.  Caine survives the barrage from the under-strength squad with 7 boxes.  Next turn, I punish with Ol'Rowdy charging Ravyn and using Tremor.  I knock her down with a boosted attack roll and Caine goes to town with 10 shots and Overkill.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guess range = skill?

I don't know how many times I've seen this topic come up.. but would you guys consider guessing ranges to be a skill?  I think it is.  To guess distances in your head and plan your moves accordingly is not only a sign of veteranship at table-top gaming, but also a demonstration of true wargaming skill.

For example, I move a unit in position to charge next turn.  His charge distance is 14".  I'm eyeballing this game-changing maneuver a turn in advance so I can force my enemy's next move into a check.  I know that if he gets in my charge range, my flank charge will win the game for me, but can he judge range as well as I can?  Another scenario can arise when I need to make a critical shot from a Stone Thrower.  I need to guess the correct distance to stop that Stegadon from charging and breaking my units.  My aim has to be true and I must not miss.  Luck is not a dependable factor to justify victory or defeat.  The last example would be that I need to make the correct game winning activations with Cygnar.  I know my Stormclad's charge range is 8" + reach but do I really need that extra 2" from Telekinesis or Temporal Acceleration or can my focus be better spent to boost my Defender's ranged and damage dice.

All these things are mere examples of what veteran wargamers consider a skill and what amateurs consider luck: It was pure luck that you moved your units 2.5" back and made me fail my charge!  It was pure luck that you hit my Bloodthirster with a Stonethrower from 28" away!  It was pure luck that you moved your units 2" away out of my 14" range and I wasted 3 focus on my warjack!

Guess range is an art gathered from years of seeing that measuring tape extend and retract.  It's like watching a pianist play a masterpiece with his eyes closed.  He has done it so many times he has it in his mind.  Sadly, from what I hear about 8th Ed. Fantasy, guess ranges are out of the picture and you can measure anytime when determining charges.  No further comment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why you should play Warmachine

I'm taking a break from 8th Ed. rumors because they're driving me crazy.  Fresh rumors come in every day and things get discredited left and right.  Bah.. that's what rumors are after all.

So for now, let me make a quick post on why you should get into Warmachine in case you haven't already.  Take everything you read here as honest opinion, coming from someone who has been a faithful GW player for 10 years.  There are 3 key facets that drew me to Warmachine and these are it:  Money, time and fun.

The first and most important reason to play Warmachine is because it's affordable.  I live in the USA and we don't have the greatest economy right now.  With the economy on the decline, hobbies take a back seat.  For me, 40K/Fantasy is the most expensive hobby that I ever owned.  When a box of 5 plastic dudes costs 35 bucks and you need 20 of them, things can get quite ludicrous.  Now I'm not saying that PP is dirt cheap, but when you factor in the cost needed to play a full scale game, the differences become quite noticeable.  For example, a 35 point game is considered the "standard" for Warmachine.  Compare that to 40K and you're looking at 2K points or 2250 points for Fantasy.  Let's be a little generous and say that 40K is actually 1500 points.  That's because 35pts for WM can be played in an hour and a half.. about the same time as a 1500 point game of 40K.  Don't worry; we'll touch upon the time issue later.