Reflections from a 2400pt tournament
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Author:  Grimma [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:55 am ]
Post subject:  Reflections from a 2400pt tournament

Hi guys - this last weekend I played at Ides of March in a 2400pt tournament using ETC 5 restrictions. I thought it might be useful to reflect on how my list played. I took:

Lord on Peg with Dragonhelm, HA/SDC, Great Weapon, Pendant and Other Tricksters Shard
Supreme Sorc Lvl 4 with Scroll, Lore of Shadow
Master on Cold One with HA/SH/SDC, Lance and Hydra Banner
20 Spears with Banner of Discipline
2 x 5 Harpies
5 Dark Riders with RXBs
30 Corsairs with handbows
11 Cold One Knights with Ring of Hotek and Banner of Swiftness
1 Chariot

Key Highlights:
Game 1 vs Empire – 18-2
Pitted the Stank on turn 1, the Cold Ones failed a charge up the middle and were charged by a War Altar and a unit of Great Swords. I’d given them killing blow and they took the Arch Lector off the Altar but were struggling against the Great Swords so I cast Okkams and removed both units. The Lord got into the back line and took out the war machines.

Game 2 vs Daemons – 13-7
Cold Ones took the extra attack and charged a Great Unclean One with Balesword. I rode my luck as he missed with all of his attacks and my Cold Ones took every one of his 10 wounds off in 1 round with a little help from Okkams. They were destroyed soon after by Bloodletters but my Lord with Other Trickers Shard killed 6 flamers, 6 fiends and a Tzeentch mage almost single handedly.

Game 3 vs Lizard – 8-12
When you’re facing 3 units of skirmishing skinks, 2 units of chameleon skinks, 3 blocks of skinks with javelins, 2 units of terradons, a Slann with fire and 2 salamanders the best thing is to go and hide behind a hill. I didn’t and was lucky not to lose by more.

Game 4 vs Brettonians – 16-4
He had a very good build that gave his Knights of the Realm block D6 re-rollable extra charge range that caught my chariot (which had failed stupidity) and after killing that an overrun into the Corsairs. I gave the Corsairs killing blow and took off his BSB and a Lord but the Corsairs broke and where run down. When the Cold Ones finally got a charge they butchered a block of Realm to a man with the help of Okkams. The Lord had been busy killing Trebs and Peasants and got a last turn rear charge into the Grails from a hill, broke them and was a bit unlucky not to run them down for a bigger win.

Game 5 vs Warriors 20-0
Harpies in front of 6 Khorne Knights plus BSB and unkillable Lord on Jugger. He charges, must overrun and gives my Cold Ones his flank. I charge the Cold Ones into the flank, chariot into the front (locking his Lord out of the flank combat) and just for good measure my Lord goes into his other flank. Toughness and Strength Debuffs went off and the entire unit was destroyed except for the Lord in exchange for 1 wound on the chariot. The Lord broke and was run down. Just for good measure my Knights went on to destroy a block of 18 Warriors and finished it of my removing a second unit of 6 Khorne knights.

Game 6 vs Empire 8-12
Again the Stank disappeared down a pit on turn 1 but this guy went on to win the tournament and outplayed me. I eventually got a hold of one of his Knight blocks with the Cold Ones and took it off but my Lord fluffed an opportunity to kill his BSB in a Swordsman block, was broken and flew off the board.

Reflections – the Good.
Cold Ones are awesome and can take care of any problem you might have, but are especially good when combined with the flexibility that the Cauldron and Shadow magic offer them. It’s also quite hard to kill all 12 of them so they keep their points very well. The Banner of Swiftness was important in a couple of situations. Shadow magic was amazing, not a bad spell in the deck (not even Steed if you’ve got a Peg) and you can overlap and combine them to turn an uber unit into a mediocre one. Okkams Mindrazor got me out of so many tricky situations, especially in subsequent combat rounds with the Knights.

The Lord was very hard to kill and very manoeuvrable although next time I will be giving him Caledor’s Bane as the mundane great weapon was a major liability in challenges with the Peg striking first. The Hydra was OK but not spectacular and the chariot also proved quite useful, usually for holding things up.

There’s nothing to say about the Cauldron that hasn’t been said before. They are gold.

The not so Good
Ring of Hotek did something once – possible a ruby ring or something different for next time. The handbows were hard to get into range although they were useful in a couple of situations and I didn’t feel I missed the extra attack in CC.

Author:  Kaleth stinson [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:05 am ]
Post subject: 

Good to hear mate! How do you think your core units did? An for your champion, i would consider Dawnstone as he would survive better against challenges so that he can keep the bsb alive longer.

Did you miss not having ASF on the CoK?

Author:  Calisson [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:32 am ]
Post subject: 

Great testimony! Thanks.
I'm surprised at the B of discipline on the spearmen, unless the general was your Lev4?
How did the DR and horde corsairs fare?

Author:  Grimma [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:06 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks guys - the banner of discipline is in there because the spearman block hides the sorceress and therefore comes under a lot of fire from template weapons and spells. Against the Brets for example he had 2 trebs so I deploy the block 10 wide and 2 deep to minimise the damage from a direct hit.

The Dawnstone would be excellent on the Lord. I was limited by the 25% cap on Lords but would definitely consider taking it on him next time. The unkillable Lord becomes even more unkillable! As for challenges, I just declined most times with the champion and the rest of the Cold Ones pasted the unit anyway unless the BSB was under threat, in which case I decline with him and he moves out of combat but still gives all the BSB benefits. ASF didn't mean much because the opponent was usually gone after the first round of combat. The Banner of Swiftness got me into a couple of combats that I would otherwise have missed so I would rate that as a better investment.

Dark Riders were useful and kept a unit of 6 flesh hounds chasing at shadows for an entire game but I would rather have another unit of harpies (not allowed under ETC restrictions).

The Corsairs had a mixed tournament. I lost the unit in 2 games through poor play, but at the same time they got into the flank of a unit of 20 bloodletters and ground them off over 4 rounds of combat (he kept failing to reform to face me) and KB'd a Brettonian BSB and Lord (which came as a bit of a surprise to my opponent). I suppose the bottom line is that with the Cold Ones doing all the heavy lifting the Corsairs provided an anchor for the rest of the army and were a unit that, when played right, is hard to get points out of. I was really keen to try out the handbows but most opponents were wise to them and made it hard for me to get in range.

Author:  Jbtheslipperking [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thx for sharing. Seems to me you did fairly well. Was wondering about the pit on the stank. Thought it was faq`d that the pit doesent work on it ?

Author:  Grimma [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have a feeling that the first Empire FAQ ruled that the stank was not affected by Pit of Shades, but this has subsequently been removed.

Author:  Tethlis [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

Great review and discussion. Did you find the points invested in the BSB to be worthwhile? 3 attacks per Cold One Knight does sound pretty fearsome, but obviously there's a lot else you could get with the points spent on that character.

Author:  Grimma [ Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

The new black seems to be Khorne knights wrapped around a hard core lord of some sort. Without the Hydra banner the Cold Ones are going to take some hits back and will die. I also found it extremely useful after the unit had been whittled down to say 4 or 5 knights - it still packs a hell of a punch.

The other option the Hydra banner gives you is against ranked infantry. With the extra attack blessing from the Cauldron you can kill 15-20 rank and file without too much trouble which is enough to break most blocks.

There were several times when I blessed the knights with killing blow, which I believe (and I'm lousy at maths) against 1+ AS knights gives you a slightly better outcome. In game 5 I KB'd the Chaos BSB 3 times over :D and I knocked the Arch Lector off his War Shrine with that blessing also. Against 3+ AS or worse you give them the extra attack of course.

Author:  Tomcowlin [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

On the subject of the COK banner, I would have taken Banner of Murder. Was there any point in the tournament where the +1 movement did truly make a difference? What I mean is could you have moved an extra inch previously anyway, which would have had the same effect as the banner?

Also, even though you didn't play against VC were you not cautious about ethereal units. Your army lacks any magical combat attack and the only way to deal with them would be pit of shades. Just something to consider.

Other than that well done! Would like to hear what position you came out of total players.

Tom out!

Author:  Grimma [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Tom - The banner of murder is a good option I'll grant you but I had Okkam's to do the job of blowing through armour saves - and it did that quite nicely. The banner of swiftness gives the knights a threat range that equals most cavalry in the game and got me home in 2 games where I would otherwise have failed charged. I still have nightmares about a tournament I went to last year where in 6 games my knights didn't make a single charge (which was a combination of me being a bit silly and poor dice).

Lifetaker was taken specifically for Wraiths (and Skaven weapons teams, and chameleon skinks....) - I forgot to list it but the Lvl 4 was carrying it.... I just have to stop rolling 1's to hit.

As far as placings go I came 5th with 115pts, which was only 2 points behind 2nd place. If only I'd caught that unit of Grail Knights in game 4.

Author:  Tomcowlin [ Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

Nice going. I'll be trying out a big COK unit soon

Author:  Iff [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:25 am ]
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Good read Grimma, thanks for posting. I have one question though. It's about magic, which seemed to be very effective for you. Out of your six games, you had three in which Okkam's went off on a decisive turn and one in which a S and T debuff went off on the turn of the important CoK charge.
How do you get that to happen, with only a single level 4 and no magic items to boost your offensive capabilities on her? For me, most of my spells get dispelled or scrolled, especially a spell such as Okkam's on the important charge turn. How do you get it to work so consistently?

Author:  Grimma [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:16 am ]
Post subject: 

In the game against the Warriors I was fortunate enough to get a silly number of dice through winds of magic in the first couple of turns and he had only a lvl 2 with no scroll. This allowed me to roll some debuffs early and then get Okkam's off on the turn I charged. In other games I threw all the dice I had at Okkams when I really needed it - resulting in a number of IF/miscasts but the payoff was usually well worth the cost. In the last game against empire I only had 4 dice in the first turn but IF'd Pit of Shades anyway to get rid of the Stank.

The thing that was most apparent to me is that a single lvl 4 (under ETC restrictions - and using my build) is going to use all the dice you can get through winds of magic. Taking any more casters would have been a waste of points.

Author:  Tomcowlin [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

^agreed. When you roll all those dice you know what might happen, but as long as you made the risk worth taking then losing your level 4 shouldn't be too terrible for you. This is why taking sacrificial dagger is very important, if you can draw the scroll early then with an average 7 dice magic phase you can get off multiple spells or two important spells, most likely only one of which they can dispel.

Author:  Lord jbaum [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

Interesting recap. When reading the list I was thinking to myself about the handbows. But apparently it benefited you by making your opponent account for it. With handbows you can stand and shoot if you are charged, yes? The extra attack might be worth it considering the number of times you seemed to give the corsairs KB. Lastly, how did your harpies fair? You said you would like a 3rd unit. Is warmachine hunting that vital in tournaments?

Author:  Tomcowlin [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:55 pm ]
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Lord Jbaum wrote:
Is warmachine hunting that vital in tournaments?

Yes, against some armies, but against most the harpies exceed in redirecting, and generally being a nuisance.

Author:  Grimma [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lord Jbaum wrote:
With handbows you can stand and shoot if you are charged, yes? The extra attack might be worth it considering the number of times you seemed to give the corsairs KB. Lastly, how did your harpies fair? You said you would like a 3rd unit. Is warmachine hunting that vital in tournaments?.

Handbows are a bit situational but as it was explained to me by someone who knows how to play ;) - "would you rather get 80 shots but walking to within 8" , shooting and then shooting again as a stand and shoot or get 10 extra attacks with the extra hand weapon?"

The practice is a little trickier than the theory but you can force your opponent to do things with just the threat of the handbows. A little upside to handbows is that you can stand and shoot no matter the distance between you and the charger.

As for Harpies - they are indispensable and the things you can do with them are amazing - in Game 4 they flank charged 20 skirmishing bowmen with damsel in the flank, broke then and then ran them down. Another unit sat 1" in front of his Realm Lance with my cold ones 13" behind them - so he must spend a turn reforming and turning or charge the harpies and be destroyed next turn. In Game 3 I placed them behind my infantry blocks so that if the skinks got too close I could charge over the blocks and get a hard cover save against the stand and shoot. Otherwise they generally created a nuisance and killed small units and warmachines. You can also hold up steam tanks with them and by charging and forcing the tank to grind them off the next turn... if you're really lucky you might take a wound or 2 off. All that for 55pts a unit

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