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Discussion of big games (3k+) 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:54 am
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I'm starting up with a new gaming group that focuses a lot on big games. Having been active in the tournament scene, 90% of my games in the last 5 years have been at the 2000 to 2500 range, and I'm curious how players shift the dynamic of list building in the 3k-5k range.

Taking a 4000 point game as an example, and especially under 8th edition rules, it seems like there's the possibility for some fairly severe mayhem when it comes to list creation. As a simple example, piling up a ton of War Hydras or Great Cannons certainly makes for an interesting dynamic, one that isn't really present in smaller point games.

For those players accustomed to these types of big games, do you try to put together a large, unstoppable unit? Or multiple units? It seems like you could easily create a line-breaking phalanx of nasty monsters/characters that could sweep up a flank pretty easily.

By contrast, do you focus on keeping your lists balanced, using even distribution of units with a lot of combined arms and unit variety?

Similarly, how do you counter the powerful choices that your opponents can access, with so many points to spend?

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Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:09 am
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Assassin
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:15 pm
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just at 3000 pts, you can face people with easily 7-8 warmachine, and still stuff in front of them...

8 War hydra could be in danger facing 5-6 cannons...

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Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:42 am
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Noble
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Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:33 pm
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I have never played a game that size, but from my outsider-looking-in perspective, I would think the most logical way of creating a balanced list would be to simply keep the ratio you would take in a smaller game. If you take 1 hydra in a 2000 game, 2 would be good for 4000.

For me, I would be more apt to think of a large size game more akin to a game of Warmaster. I would keep similar unit sizes (maybe add a rank or two to rank and file units) and worry more about battlelines and formations than winning any single combat to score victory points.

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Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:38 am
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Scourge
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:05 am
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Of the warhammer games that I actually get around to playing these days, many, if not most are in the 3000-5000 point range. Balanced lists are still important, it is so much harder to tailor lists against balanced lists with multiple aspects than against a single-track list, againast regular opponents, all that will happen with tailored lists is that you bring a tailored uber-list, then your opponent will build a list around countering it, then you build a list to counter their counter...

Balanced lists with points spread out is important because there is so much more damage which can be brought to bear in a single place, more damage can be put out than in smaller games and if you bring uber-units it will be focused on them, much better to have a balanced list with relatiovely even points values and no death stars for three reasons. It is more fun, it is more sustainable and it actuall;y gives a test of who is the better player rather than who can build the nastiest unit.

I take atleast one big block of spearmen, 2X20 RXBs and 20 corsairs as standard in lists these size, then have them backed up with blocks of BG, executioners and witches (some, or all depending on what sizes things are), have several hunter units, I take 10 harpies, 10 DR and 10 shades in 4000-5000 if I can. I only have one hydra and view the bolt throwers as overexpensive, so generally I only have my single hydra in rare. Characterswise, cauldron of blood, Lv4+Lv2 sorceresses, a DL and maybe a master depending on what sizes, I tend to always take the sorceresses and CoB at 3000, add in a DL at 4000 and then Masters at 5000, but depends on the situation.

As scion said, in big games, concentrate on the big picture, destroying a single unit has less and less impact as the games get bigger and bigger, position play becomes even more vital. Generally I aim to cut off support, and then get down to general footslogging but depends on your opponent, but shattering that big horde is alot easier when you are not being pelted with canonballs, magic and arrows.

a 4000-5000 might look like:

DL: AOES, Dragonbane gem, giant blade, cold one, shield: 276

Supreme Sorceress: Lv4, darkstar cloak: 285

Sorceress: Lv2, ToF: 150

Master: AOD, CD: 130

Master: Blood armour, Heartseeker, SDC, shield: 136

BSB CoB: 225

characters total: 1202= slightly under 25%

Core: 40 spearmen, FC: 255

2X20 RXB with muso and shields: 450

20 Corsairs, FC and SSS: 250

10 Dark riders, RXB, muso: 227

another unit of corsairs when I buy them!: 250

10 harpies: 110

Core total: 1565

10 witch elves, FC, manbane: 150

10 shades, AHW: 170

20 Executioners, FC: 270

20 BG, FC: 295

10 CoK, FC: 310

special total: 1195

rare:

hydra: 175

2X RBT: 200

rare total: 375

total: 4337, which can be cut to 4k by removing RBTs and some characters or bumped up to 4.5k or 5k with some more rare and specials and upgrades such as magic banners. Characters would be: DL with CoK, sorceresses in RXB, master with spearmen and other master with BG. In this way, only two units will total just over 10% of the army, CoK with DL and RXBs with supreme sorceress, meaning all units in the army cost around 10% of total or less, which is a good spread. Of course, this list could be improved upon alot, but this is the basis of my 4-5K lists because those are basically all the models I have.

Just some food for thought, my advice, is to spread points out and have a balanced list, and that big games are much more about the overall army than individual units, divide and conquer! Do not let your opponent do the same to you.

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Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:27 am
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Dark Rider
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As a rule of thumb greater games mean greater fun!
In my gaming community games below 3k points are fairly rare, usually only at tournements or campaigns. Average game is between 4k and 5k, but we have games of up to 10k points a side (one of the benefits of having long timers like me: we have huge model collections).
My friend Andrea's dwarven army is fairly typical of what we field in bigger games, and his collection includes 5x25 and 2x30 strong clansmen units, one iron breakers and longbeards unit (both 20ish strong) , one 30 strong hammerer unit, one large slayer unit (i think over 30, sometimes split into 2 smaller units), two units of crossbowmen (or crossbowdwarves?), 3 of handgunners (i think all his shooty units have a frontage of about 8-10 models, usually 2 ranks deep, but i never really conted them all), 4 gyrocopters, two organ guns, 4 cannons, a stone thrower and 4 bolt throwers. Recently, to our dismay, he introduced two small units of miners...really ruin your day when used well. As far as character go he has an engineer, two runesmiths (one with the anvil), 4 thanes (one with the bsb), two dwarf lords and a slayer hero of some kind.


Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:27 pm
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Yea games started off big, 3000pts was standard when 8th first came out. As time wore on, we slowly dropped down to the 2500pt margin, especially when tournaments started to frequent again once 8th ed was more familiar to TOs and players.

When given so many points to spend, one can be distracted and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice and diversity. I personally build these big lists around an existing smaller version I use. Like bulking out units, or adding an additional block of spearmen in to hold against units etc. I maintain a balanced list, and to keep it soft and friendly. Truthfully, it's still a bucket load of fun no matter what kind of list you build.

I would normally put in a Dragonlord at 4000pts for a spin, since at such big games, that one unit itself doesn't consume so much of your points and character allowance that it becomes a point sink and a detriment to other lord choices. That's about the extent I'll go for a bit of mayhem and fun.

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Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:24 pm
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Corsair
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I don't play that size of games.
If I came to play >3k, I'd take into account the following:

1. Magic
No more powerdice at 3k than at 1k.
Therefore, it is not very useful to get more casters, except if you really wish to benefit from a large choice of casting points.
Overall, I'd probably take a level 4 and a level 2.

2. Lord allowance.
At 3k, you get 750pts of Lord allowance! This is the unique chance to get a dragonlord in addition to the level 4.

3. COB: the only scalable boost.
The tremendous help provided by magic to boost one unit is diluted among the many units available. If you're used to buff 25% of your units at 1k, you will have to get used to buff less than 10% of your troops at 3k.
However, it is a different story for the COB: you can take 2 or even 3 at 3k, they will always have one unit to receive their blessings.

4. Troops.
As magic is (relatively speaking) very scarce, troops are much more likely to fight on their own.
Therefore, it is advisable to take troops which are sufficient without any buff (except a magical banner), rather than crapy troops requiring magic to become as good as the opponent.
In that light, spearmen are probably good for their points, one large unit of SSS corsairs as well. I'd trust less RXBmen or DR.
In the special range, BG and COK shine.

5. Maneuvering.
The table is supposed to be more crowded than in smaller games. This is when harpies love to disrupt the opponent's plans.

6. Strong shooting.
I'd be tempted to try 6-8 RBTs.

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Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:24 pm
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Executioner

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:17 am
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Lv4 with dagger as usuall, but with focus on augment/hex spells so prolly shadow or maby metal.
I would consider both general and bsb on dragon/manticore - that 18" range would be very usefull.
2 COB for sure
Units ITP would be preferable, panic spreading in a large army wuld be devestating.
Not so sure about shooting cuz I would expect armies to clash in turn 2 and CC from then on.
Template warmashines could be devestating, but then again with several of them the chanse of misfire increases so I expect the effect to be reduses to.
Never playes larger than 3k, but I would assume that the horde armies would suffer hard from the lack of space to deploy and manouver in the really big games like 4k+.
And ofc with no comp the death stars would probably reign like never before in a 4k army. Imagine the huge chaos warrior block supported by 2-3 warshrines resulting in T5, 2+AS and X+wardsave in turn 3. Probably lots of nastyt examples from Chaos and demons guess. 4k with death stars is not a friendly place to be.

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Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:24 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Actually Death Stars are not as bad in larger games. Generally speaking you'll have more junk troops to feed the Death Star and more options of how to deal with it.

A 3000 point game is the absolute largest army I'd field on a regular 4x6' table. Beyond that size I'd recommend a 4x8 or more depending how big your armies actually are.


Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:40 pm
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:18 pm
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The best bet is just to improved the size of unit and play hordes more than steadfast formation. You'll get lot of fun, and found some very intersting idea and strategy!!

Keep your exact same list, make sure to take a lvl 4 and a lvl 2, like said before HEX and BUFF become very strong when you play 50 guys! Upgrade each unit, after all you won't play on bigger field, so don't take too much unit, just bigger one.

Have fun! I really like 3000 and 4000 pts. We are preparing a 6000pts battle!


Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:09 pm
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