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Hellpit Abomination - How do you deal with them? 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I only faced the HPA's on one occasion and there were two of them. one I shot down with 2 unit's of xbs and 3 unit's of DR shades heroes and magic 2 RBT's (didn't have any fire attack's), despite the storm banner. Statysticly he will fail some roll's, make shure you have enough shot's. (I think i took some thing liek 80-100 shot's)

The other was in CC with a 2+ save (cold one) pendant lord, for the entire game.

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:54 am
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br13 wrote:
What's left is to figure out whether the pivot is restricted as well or not :)


PjEOs' post (with all the edits :lol: ) makes it pretty clear that the HPA cannot pivot before moving, and thus cannot approach within 1" while pivoting (because it doesn't count as charging until it's found to be in range of something directly in its line of movement). Thus RAW, Harpy "boxing" does work.

Nevertheless I personally am deeply uncomfortable with "boxing" as it feels wrong to me for reasons that I explain at the end. However, I'm not about to condemn someone for doing it because I also find Skaven f***ing hard to beat, or even draw with. I've lost count of the number of times a HPA has eaten my army for breakfast and the one time I've killed the f***ing thing it suddenly miraculously came back from the dead (yeah, because that's a fair rule). Then there's the Screaming Bell and the Plague Furnace and the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell and the fact that half their units, you stand a risk of dying (with no armour save) if you so much as move into contact with them... before the combat's even started! (A slightly unlucky roll saw me lose four Chaos Knights in the turn I charged a Plague Furnace, and the survivors got wiped out in combat. WTF...? Can't shoot it, can't charge it, can't magic it, what the heck are you supposed to do? In the following turn my 700pt unit of 14 Chosen plus Lord got turned into Clanrats, and Queek butchered a unit of Warriors on his own. Game over. Yeah, IMO Skaven are really, really nasty.)

So, for me, in a normal/friendly game, a Skaven player has an implicit obligation not to cheese out his army too badly. (Actually, so do we DEs. You've taken multiple Hydras, indestructible DE lords, and get through 18 power dice every magic phase? OK, congratulations, there's a strong chance you're going to win, now swap sides and see whether your victory was due to your own skill or your army list). If they choose to ignore that obligation, perhaps because it's a tournament game or perhaps because they're just jerks, then fine, bring out the nasty tactics, box in that HPA and watch it stomp off out of control.

But I do find it frustrating that such tricks (not tactics!) are sometimes necessary... it's a reminder that I'm playing a game, not commanding an army in battle; it becomes a contest of who can push the rules closest to their limits, not a battle of manouevre and tactics; so it breaks the immersion of disbelief that, for me, speaking personally, is what makes Warhammer fun. YMMV, I'm certain tournament players feel differently, each to their own.


Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:58 am
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Hi there,

Off topic:

Bitterman wrote:
So, for me, in a normal/friendly game, a Skaven player has an implicit obligation not to cheese out his army too badly. (Actually, so do we DEs.

This. I'm fielding 1 Hydra and I'm to face 2 HPAs+1 Doomwheel+Scroll/13th+Doom Rocket+Brass Orb? Jeez Skaven can be sooo cheesy...

On topic:

So, I asked a friend of mine who is a veteran Skaven player and he thinks that this is an inherent disavantage of untis with Random Movement special rule in exchange for not allowing Charge Reaction nor failing charges. He sees it ok and an obviuos use for Harpies. In fact, what he did exactly say was: "What I can't understand is why noone has thought of this yet".

Another friend was very impressed, but in the negative sense. He disliked the idea, despite recognizing the idea was good. He went through all FaQ, Skaven book and Rulesbook and came to me saying he couldn't prove it illegal, but that consider it a flaw of the game system rather than a real tactic.

Finally, another friend told me it was perfectly legal and consider the ethic discussion had no place. To him, it's like when people partially hide units behind impassible terrain to avoid getting charges or small units that redirect hordes of warriors. In real life that wouldn't be happening, nor the HarpyBoxing. But is a movement tactic to be exploited .



So, considering all this and all points made here in druchii.net, I'm to clasify this as "PLAN B Tactics" or "Anti-cheese tactics".


Oh, and Random Movement specifies that the unit first pivots, then rolls and see wether it is enough to charge something. So, first the HPA decides where to face, but cannot face anywhere else than forward. Then rolls. Then charges if movement is enough to touch something in it's way.


So, as a first option, we have flamming attacks WEs, then CoKs, then Warriors with or without Assassin. Maybe even a BSB with fire in a big Xbowmen unit or RBT?.

Then, some suggest accumulating shooting power to take it down. Problem against Skaven when you devoute too much points/turns to shooting, you become easily overwhelmed in close combat. I personally feel safer in combat than receiving bolts, Burns and Dreaded 13th and my current list has 0 shooting, so I'd go for close combat options. I feel like Warriors can be ok, i.e: tarpitting the HPA with the Lord and flank charging with Warriors or whatever.

My only problem with Warriors is that they're big and have poor maneouvrability/speed and that, as Tethlis said, I'll want my Warriors to stop the hordes of Slaves/Clanrats. I have 2 big units, so I can devoute each one to a different purpose, but 1 Warrior unit won't prevent the Skaven player overwhelming me with his infantriies...

Need to think of this.


See ya


Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:14 pm
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It is, of course, possible to work in solutions to HPAs that don't involve boxing. The choice to do something like that is up to the player involved, though I myself wouldn't attempt it unless it seemed absolutely called for. The trouble with it for me is two-fold:

1) It doesn't fit the "atmosphere" of the game. It's clearly a construct of the rules, rather than something that seems plausible, which takes it from the realm of "making sense" to the realm of "wtf". This detracts from the enjoyment of the game, both for me and my opponent. While boxing is technically legal, it's not fun.

2) Explaining it takes forever. If you're running against anyone who hasn't encountered it before, or is new to the rules, and more accustomed to maybe "faking it" a bit rather than playing very precisely, trying to explain this ruling will make your opponent think you're cheating him. Even though it's valid, even though the rules support it, your opponent will think you're trying to rob him, which is always an uncomfortable and unpleasant situation.

I'd rather try to drop the HPA through other methods I work into my list. Not only does it seem more "valid", but it also means I get Victory Points too.

As for Skaven "cheesing out lists", Dreaded 13th is their default spell, and an HPA and a Doomwheel are two separate Rare choices they happen to have which have advantages and disadvantages. They're strong, but unlike 3+ Ward Chosen, they're not something a player builds to specifically configure and give him an advantage. They're nasty units, but they're still just units, with clearly defined advantages and disadvantages that we can still counter. If you're finding these to be major and unbearable obstacles in your game, consider using tougher lists. I'm accustomed to seeing them in all levels of games. Skaven are a tough matchup for Elves; lots of armies face the units above and don't find them too horrible.

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Last edited by Tethlis on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:54 pm
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Agree with Tethlis and Bitterman about the 'ethics'.

I think that flaming banner on either witch elves (very good amount of attacks+poison+manbane) or black guard (good attack amount, str 4 = 5s to wound HPAs).

Or a good old level 1 wizard with Fire (fireball), plump many dice into a max power fireball and watch it squeel...

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:25 pm
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Tethlis wrote:
1) It doesn't fit the "atmosphere" of the game. It's clearly a construct of the rules, rather than something that seems plausible, which takes it from the realm of "making sense" to the realm of "wtf". This detracts from the enjoyment of the game, both for me and my opponent. While boxing is technically legal, it's not fun.


I kept thinking of this all the evening. I must admit you're right. I thought of me having My Hydra boxed and....ehr no thanks. Not fun, definitely.

:roll:


Will have to keep working on fighting the HPA on its own terms.


See ya


Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:34 pm
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PjEOs wrote:
Will have to keep working on fighting the HPA on its own terms.

Dude, a level 4 wizard with Tome of Furion gives you a damned good chance of rolling up Flaming Sword: pop this onto almost any of our units (even harpies) and you stand a GREAT chance of hurting it.

Honestly this and Fireball are great spells vs it.

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:29 pm
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Tethlis wrote:
1) It doesn't fit the "atmosphere" of the game. It's clearly a construct of the rules, rather than something that seems plausible, which takes it from the realm of "making sense" to the realm of "wtf". This detracts from the enjoyment of the game, both for me and my opponent. While boxing is technically legal, it's not fun.

2) Explaining it takes forever. If you're running against anyone who hasn't encountered it before, or is new to the rules, and more accustomed to maybe "faking it" a bit rather than playing very precisely, trying to explain this ruling will make your opponent think you're cheating him. Even though it's valid, even though the rules support it, your opponent will think you're trying to rob him, which is always an uncomfortable and unpleasant situation.


Agree with both of these points. Especially 2 which I'd not actually considered earlier. How much discussion has there been in this very thread about whether, in fact, boxing is possible? Now replicate that at the gaming table (where both players can't help but have a vested interest in "winning" the debate, rather than taking their time to read through the books to cover a hypothetical situation). Yeah, that sounds like fun...?


Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:23 pm
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Bitterman wrote:

Agree with both of these points. Especially 2 which I'd not actually considered earlier. How much discussion has there been in this very thread about whether, in fact, boxing is possible? Now replicate that at the gaming table (where both players can't help but have a vested interest in "winning" the debate, rather than taking their time to read through the books to cover a hypothetical situation). Yeah, that sounds like fun...?


Indeed, no way that this conversation could go down smoothly. Of all the players I know, I think maybe 5% of them would listen to logic behind "boxing", review the rules on it, and accept it a tactic and be perfectly comfortable with it. Most players either wouldn't understand it, wouldn't accept it as possible, or would simply call me bad names for even bringing it up. The only players who would embrace it are the sorts of players who play strictly to the letter of the law, always. I would feel like I'm taking advantage of my opponent, which just doesn't make the game fun for anyone.

Of course, if he's the type of guy working similar tactics on me, this is a good piece of knowledge to keep in reserve ;)

To steer things back towards practical solutions on the HPA, I had great experiences with Cauldron-buffed Black Guard with Banner of the Eternal Flame. However, I have recently dropped Banner of the Eternal Flame in favor of Banner of Murder, which has no impact on the Hydra.

Do players think that Flaming Attacks on Spearmen is reliable enough to act as "insurance" against an HPA? Or does the Flaming Banner need to be on something more hard-hitting?

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:56 pm
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Quote:
Dude, a level 4 wizard with Tome of Furion gives you a damned good chance of rolling up Flaming Sword: pop this onto almost any of our units (even harpies) and you stand a GREAT chance of hurting it.

Honestly this and Fireball are great spells vs it.


I may just have to do this for the FUN of it.

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:30 am
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Hi there,

Man. sure a Lore of Fire Lvl4 will make short work of a HPA or 2 XD. But you see, my problem with that is that I am mostly a torney player. And, imho, Shadow is far better lore for a tourney with closed lists and all that stuff.

So the Fire lvl 4 is not an option for me. But it is pretty good option indeed.

Regarding giving flamming attacks to a hammer unit, I can see some flaws to this. Many 2+WS against fire out there these days, so I won't give this banner to any hammer unit that is either big or very important to my plans (my 9-10 CoK or my 18-20 BG) because I don't want them stuck in combat with an unkillable lord (wow, now I know how my friends feel about Stubborn-Khaeleth lol). So I'd have to give the BoEF to a small, cheap hammer.

That's why I thought of 5 CoKs that can get buffed by CoB for 10 S6 attacks. For the same points we have also 14 WEs that dish out 35 S3 attacks with poison (with the CoB blessing too ofc). Both options come in at 160 points, pretty afordable, isn't it?

Other than that, I did my maths for Warriors taking on a HPA and 30 guys can deal 3-4 wounds before dying. And if they get a little help like +1A, 5+WS or Withering on the HPA, they will survive the encounter. Problem is, as Tethlis said, that I'd rather have my Warriors stalling Slaves/Clanrats...

Atm, I'm running a Master with Potion of Strength, Dragonbane Gem and Battle Sword. He gives protection against ethereals, can put a dent into big things and is an excellent support unit hunter (even the tough ones like Gyros or Salamenders). But with the points from this guy I can easily work in the 5 CoKs or the 14 WEs.

I really fear ethereals as I only have my Dreadlord with Magic weapon and Shadow is my Lore. So no way of hurting them form the distance and I want my Dreadlord to deal with Wraiths or other stuff, but not with spectral hosts. So the Master is helping my list in a variety of ways and against different opponents. On the other hand, the WEs can be a pain for a VC player and still give me the HPA killer unit I need.



Your thoughts?


Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:33 am
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for tourney play I would take a shadow sorceress, but I will always take a nasty unit with the banner of eternal flame for dealing with HPAs, Trolls, our hydra and every other nasty regen unit around, witches and the BoEF will make a mess of the HPA, most regen things I know of are high T monsters without ward or significant armour (hdra being the exception with decent scaly skin) so witches are a pretty safe bet.

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:29 pm
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Malus99 wrote:
witches and the BoEF will make a mess of the HPA, most regen things I know of are high T monsters without ward or significant armour (hdra being the exception with decent scaly skin) so witches are a pretty safe bet.
Yeah these babes are joining my hareem for my next tournament :D

I think that actually the HPA is on a chariot base so if 50mm wide at its smaller edge: meaning we only get 4 models in contact with its front/rear.

Still the witches with Cauldron blessing should do the trick: I added manbane to hag in my unit so she could lay some hurt on enemy hydras too! :D

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:04 pm
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Hi there,

HPA has its own movement base and in its front it makes contact with 5 WEs. ;)


Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:50 pm
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GW's website says it is a 60X100 mm monster base

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:52 pm
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PjEOs wrote:
Atm, I'm running a Master with Potion of Strength, Dragonbane Gem and Battle Sword. He gives protection against ethereals, can put a dent into big things and is an excellent support unit hunter (even the tough ones like Gyros or Salamenders). But with the points from this guy I can easily work in the 5 CoKs or the 14 WEs.

I really fear ethereals as I only have my Dreadlord with Magic weapon and Shadow is my Lore. So no way of hurting them form the distance and I want my Dreadlord to deal with Wraiths or other stuff, but not with spectral hosts. So the Master is helping my list in a variety of ways and against different opponents. On the other hand, the WEs can be a pain for a VC player and still give me the HPA killer unit I need.


I also worry a lot about Ethereal units. Dark Elves don't have a great solution for them unless we take a very zappy magic lore, so having some support characters and support magic weapons floating around really helps. I'm trying to work magic weapons onto my Black Guard and Cold One Knight champions for exactly the reason you mentioned; I would like to keep using Shadows, but still have a solution for Ethereals.

I have to say, I really like the thought of 14 Witch Elves. They're cheap for their cost, so can be sacrificed when necessary, but their monstrously high Initiative makes sure they can dispense some pain first. I may have to try this in my next game.

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:36 pm
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Tethlis wrote:
They're cheap for their cost


:lol: Hope you're right because because if not, we have a serious problem here :lol:

Just kidding.

I'm also tempted to include the WEs. Buffed by the CoB they sit at 35 attacks!. Flank charge the HPA and it's pretty well dead...

But the magic weapon is sooo tempting too...in my list I cannot get any points from nowhere else. It's either WEs or magic weapons. If you're curious of the Master, I posted my complete impressions on them in your battle report against WoC.

Other than that...If i can manage to charge a HPA with the WEs, I can do it too with Warriors...and Warriors with Master is HPA dead as well, with 5 hatred S7 flamming attacks, and another 11 attacks and more coming in the next round I'm pretty confident of killing it...

Your thoughts?


Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:18 pm
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PjEOs wrote:
:lol: Hope you're right because because if not, we have a serious problem here :lol:


Good catch. I'll rephrase and say they're cheap for their benefits ;)

My only hesitation about warriors and Witch Elves is that they're all dependent on rolling 6s to wound an HPA. Yes, probability will indicate the likely result, but I find that 6s very often elude me. Attacking with higher strength, by comparison, leaves room for me to roll poorly to hit and to wound but still manage to get what I need. This has always been my problem with shooting at the HPA too... Even in shooting phases where I should be doing 3 or 4 wounds, I'll end up doing 1 or none simply through virtue of not really enough 6s. Fighting the HPA with warriors sounds a bit like shooting the HPA with my crossbowmen, hence my reservations.

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:46 pm
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The difference being that with warriors you can move forward all the army (conviniently) to prevent him to maneouvre at all, having the help of the CoB and not having to deal with the Banner of Storm to balance the combat in your favor. Oh, and heroes can join with their 2H to definitely kill it, but this is secondary, as we may want our characters somewhere else maybe...dunno.

Well, will have to test all three units: Warriors, WEs and CoKs. I have 4-5 tourneys in the following 2-3 months with all the preparatory games they involve, so I will have good chances of testing them.


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Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:54 pm
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Tethlis wrote:
My only hesitation about warriors and Witch Elves is that they're all dependent on rolling 6s to wound an HPA.

Don't forget that Witch Elves may only require 6s to hit and if that's not enough, some 6s to wound :) It's next to impossible *not to* roll a few sixes when you have two chances to do so with so many attacks :)


Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:26 am
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