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Fighting vs Point Denial Units
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Author:  Vietnow [ Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Fighting vs Point Denial Units

Hey guys long time.

My most common gaming opponent plays WoC and Skaven. His army lists generally lack originality (not like WoC really have much) outside of a few hundred pts different a list.

WoC. 1 of 2 units Tzeentch warriors x 22ish with a lvl 4 of Tzeentch and a BSB of Tzeentch. 2 Warshrines of Tzeentch (also getting a 3+ ward)
Or, Chosen with crazy buffs from the shrines 4+w and stubborn as long as he takes the re-roll eye of the gods standard.

Skaven; Bell with lvl 4 Grey Seer in a horde of 48ish stormvermin. frequently also a horde of plague monks with a furnace. Both of these units are unbreakable while the bit model is alive.

The amount of points in these units are INSANE. They are basically unkillable and besides the storm vermin and shrines they have a TON of active CR. (shrines actually do about 2 wounds a turn also) I can avoid them in combat.... but depending upon the scenario I cant get points for them. (and he wonders why i dont like playing pitch battle every time) These massive point denial units are really starting to bother me. I don't use MSU tactics in 8th, but our guys die fairly easily, and I will enevitably lose a unit or 3. But these huge units will give me no points back.


Here are my previous ideas;

Pit of Shades
Both of these armies have a high Initiative value 4 or 5 minimum. WoC are great against any characteristic test to boot these types of spells are next to useless vs them. Sure I can pit the bell or the furnace, but it scatters... when i'm alway going D6' or 2d6" I don't see this as a reliable method to removing either unit. Also, not guranteed to get off the spell every phase.

Spells like final transmutation only remove 1/3 of the unit per successful cast, with a 1/6 of removing anything but troopers. This doesn't really help me destroy the unit. Again not guranteed to get this spell off every phase. I can't take Dwellers, Purple sun has a better chance of hitting the large unit, but death isn't the lore I want on a lvl 4, but i'd have to take it to gurantee rolling the spell. It also does nothing for I5 chaos, as the shrine buffs do not disappear if the shrine dies.

Against the skaven i can directly attack the character riding the machine, but both have 4+W, and the grey seer can heal his wounds with an item. The unit who attacks them will also get mugged, esp by the furnace, but i may be able to render the machine useless......... except for the 4-5 blocks of steadfast slaves in front of the bell. He also hides the bell in a bunker of these slave units if possible.

I don't have much experience with 8th. I usually only play vs WoC, Skaven, Lizzies, Woddies. I'm not looking for a "beat skaven" strat, but a general way to deal with point denial units in a balanced list. However, if you have any tricks for skaven/WoC specifically I will take them. I also play O&G and Empire so specific strats for those races work as well.

Thank you all in advance, and yes I'm aware I wrote and essay here.

Author:  Thetosh [ Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

Remember, you can lower your enemy's initiative value by using the shadow signature spell, then you can pit of shades if needs be.

Author:  Tethlis [ Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

These units exist as points denial for a reason; there really isn't a good way to get points from them, short of pulling off a big combined charge.

The nice thing about Tzeentch Warriors is that they don't hit particularly hard, but all that can be changed with the Warshrines. If the Warshrines are Tzeentch, than they themselves can't be easily killed either.

I regularly fight against these types of setups, and I just make it a point to kill everything else in the army and not focus too intently on these kinds of threats. Generally, going after them isn't worth it.

If you do want to try and tackle them, then don't underestimate the power of Cauldron-and-Shadows augmented elite infantry. The Bell's unit in particular can be chewed down in a couple rounds of combat if you bring enough force to bear; 40 wounds isn't a lot for Dark Elves.

Of course, since you'll never reach them due to slaves, it's sort of a moot point ;)

Author:  Phierlihy [ Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Your opponent sounds like he's bringing tough lists because he's facing an uphill battle against Dark Elves. Are you bringing more than one Hydra, an unkillable Dreadlord, the Sacrificial Dagger, or a Cauldron of Blood? If so..yeah, he's going to step up to your power level to try and give you a competative game. It's not inappropriate (at least where I'm from) to ask an opponent not to bring a certain combination for whatever reason (tired of playing the same build, you don't have an answer for Chosen with a 3+ ward, you want to try a new list, etc). But lead the way - tell him you want to leave some of the power combos at home and would like him to do the same. See what happens.

That being said, aside from avoiding the Chosen bunker, Mindrazor'd Corsairs or Witch Elves are about the most potent (broken?) thing in Warhammer. You should be able to crush anything you want with them.

Author:  Rabidnid [ Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:09 am ]
Post subject: 

phierlihy wrote:
That being said, aside from avoiding the Chosen bunker, Mindrazor'd Corsairs or Witch Elves are about the most potent (broken?) thing in Warhammer. You should be able to crush anything you want with them.


Yep, I don't use shadow or the sac dagger for that reason, they are so stupidly good that it would give me an unfair advantage. Run softer lists and see what he will change.

Author:  Ichiyo1821 [ Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:42 am ]
Post subject: 

You have answered your own question little grasshopper.


Point denial works but it has its disadvantages. First he is putting all his points into a few units that correspond into being cumbersome and take a lot of space on the board. Now you can either take your chances and roll the dice to do spells or you can avoid one unit as you have said for the mean time. Throw in sacrificial units against one of his units and isolate the other. Multicharge and pour every amount of killing power you have on the other then come back for the waylaided unit later on. Shoot, magic missile debuff and multicharge unit A then send something to hold the other one in place. A POK stubborn Dreadlord, a unit of BG, send in Spearmen then debuff that unit's strength or something. The point is you divide and conquer. MSU still exists, people however fail to realize that a 20 man RXB unit, a 18 man Corsair unit, 12-18 Witches IS STILL MSU when you compare DE to what other armies can bring. 30-40 is the new 20 when you compare 8th edition to prior ones thus we adapt the numbers but DE play the same. If you are not bringing small unit of Shades, Harpies, naked DR, 6 man WE units or smething then you are not utilizing one of our strengths. Try to take down one unit first while making sure your combat units don't get countercharged.

Oh it may be of use to use if you actually provide us with units you use often. Doesn't have to be a complete list. Just to give us an idea where you are coming from exactly.

Author:  Vietnow [ Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  My usual units

This is the list i used against his skaven last game, to the best of my recolection. Also, is a mini battle report, if I seem to be doing something silly plz let me know. I generally only play with my friends at his place so we don't get a wide array of opinions.

-Lvl4 with dagger shadow pit, razor, miasma, pendulum
-lvl2 with Dscroll fire saddly i rolled burning head, changed to fireball, then rolled burning head again.
-BSB cauldron

25 spear warriors FC, no shield (going up to 35 next time) +1LD banner
19 rbx shields, music
14 rbx music (3 wounds to the doomwheel)
5 DR's music with rbx (they did do 2 wounds to the doomwheel via shooting)
5 harpies
5 harpies
5 harpies

30 witches, FC, AP banner
6 Cok naked
1 CoC (died in a 5 wound dangerous terrain test)
9 shades ahw

hydra
hydra

This is similar to most lists i use. To be fair, he had an amazing terrain advantage and every artillery die strength value weapon he had rolled a 6 or higher EVERY turn (2 warp cannons and doom wheel) he never misfired a weapon/unit worth more than50 pts. He won by 200 pts. My remaining 5 witches died the last turn to a lucky warp lightning roll.

We drew pitch battle, he was able to use terrain to establish himself in a corner behind a river. He was able to bunker down and tried to shoot/magic me to death.

Witches ate an irresistable 13th spell first turn for 15 deaths. Warp lightning spell and cannons all targeted the WE. they were down to 9 models on turn 2. No guessing has really improved artillery.

He let one hydra get close, attempting to remove it with the brass ball's mini pit of shades effect, he missed. Hydra finished HPA and 2 slave units.

I ended with,
1 cok
1 shade
both Rbx units
my lvl 2
both hydras

Lets not talk about how the doomwheel with 1 wound managed to take my spears unit down to 9, removing steadfast. 7 impact hits can hurt, thus the reason im boosting them to 35 strong. Also, how does that thing always seem to move 16" or more on 3d6? Also, pendulum failed to wound the doomwheel (with one wound left) the turn before it charged 16" to hit my spears.

Pit scattered into open fields twice. The other attempts were scrolled or dispelled.

I was able to remove EVERY unit of his minus one warp cannon and his stormvermin bell unit. His bell unit had the grey seer and 2 engineers with 48 storm vermin. Well over 1k points it self.

His biggest gripes; 7 WE managed to kill 12 poison wind globadiers after stand and shoot dropped them from 9.

CoB blessed +1A Cok managed to kill 2 rat ogres and 2 pack masters in the round i charged.

3d6 IF cast fireball dropped his HPA to 1 wound my first turn.

His engineer's rifle never wounded a hydra.

Not enough warpstone tokens to cast warp lighting every turn using no PD.

Author:  Dalamar [ Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

First silly thing: You seem to have rolled fire spells one at a time. Rolled once, changed to fireball, then rolled the next.
You roll all spells for one wizard at the same time, so in your case you'd roll burning head once, could replace one with any other spell and the other with fireball.
Also, burning head is awesome against Skaven. Panic tests are their bane, especially the smaller units of Jezzails or Globadiers, their Ld sucks and they have no ranks to back it up.

You're saying he wan by measly 200 points and from your recounting he had amazing luck with rolls. So to me you didn't do much wrong, he just simply had more luck.
Rememeber that Skaven are possibly the most luck based army. If everything goes right for them, you're unlikely to get any kills other than some slaves.

Author:  Rabidnid [ Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

This is why i don't like shadow, though you had pendulum which is my favourite spell in that law. Miasma and pendulum would have slaughtered his big unit, and run the pendulum through his bell and lightning cannons.

Dark or fire you could have stopped farting about and just blown his units up with spells. Bolts of burning, flame cage, burning head and fireball are excellent long ranged damage spells. Run metal on your caddy for those things you can't kill with S-4 flaming attacks and you would have slaughtered him at his own game.

Author:  Vietnow [ Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  spell rolls perhaps i should re-read hte 8th rule book lol

My lvl2 IF'd fireball on turn one and lost her wizard levels, better than dying, I still got to scroll a spell later.

The way he was bunked up, EVERY one of his units was near his bell/general. While head is classy for PWGlobadiers's he just stacked his units on top of each other at angles to keep me from the bell.

Recounting the game with him today, I realized I should not have kept my lvl4 so far back. I should have attempted to get into pit's small template range. It also would have saved her from the doomwheel. I believe his warp cannons have a 4+ ward, and I know the bell does, which is why I favored pit over pendulum.

I was wary of using pendulum on the bell b/c it would ring the bell. Had hit it my CoK, shades, and one of my hydras would have likely died., but if i got the bell points it may have evened out.

My shades, CoK, and Hydras did magage to take the rest of his units off the board, I was pleasantly suprised with the 6 naked CoK (+1A cauldron). It was the first time I used them in 8th.

I honestly think my strategy was too timid. Plz don't revoke my Dark Elf man card.

Author:  Ichiyo1821 [ Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:55 am ]
Post subject: 

Off the top of my head you seem to have too much of the light elements of a DE army in your list.

15 Harpies
5 Dark Riders
9 Shades

but only 2 real hard hitters in the form of Hydras. I always put myself in the shoes of the opposing general after I've built my list by putting all my models on the board and see my priorities. Off the bat my threats are the Sorceress and two Hydras. The rest of the army can annoy me but fail to represent real threats. Given that Skaven is a luck based army, he can dish out a lot of hurt specially if he goes first. Now 3 units perhaps of any of the said units above works. The rest should be put on more units either to bump them up or take other units. the WE are great against Skaven as you deal a lot of attacks and can double as an anti HPA if they are given a Banner of Flame. The spearmen are a necessity for you Sorceress so you can't go wrong there, consider giving them Iron Curse Icon as standard. Sadly aside form the Hydras, the COB has little synergy to the army without a beefy unit to take its blessing. You could consider Corsairs or more knights perhaps. As for your spellcasters. I don't think Fire is a good compliment to Shadow regardless of who you face. Dark would serve you better as you have access to
A) Chillwind - to stop his shooting units and take out weapons teams
B)Bladewind - same as above and can be used to snipe his characters and warmachines
C)Soul Stealer - deal damage to his horde units
Word of Pain - throw in spearmen to his units and cast WoP to make them saty in combat longer and maybe even win.
D) Black Horror - s3 rats die in swarms with this spell

The problem with facing Skaven is nasty spells and numerous troops. YOu just have to suck it against his warmachines as Harpies, Shades and DR are not so effective against them luckily they explode 1/3 of the time. Take note that 13th Dreaded does not work on Cavalry meaning a block of COK is immune to it however it means his Warplightning Canons might consider shooting at them. Now this is fine as it means the rest of your army, WE, Hydra can do the word with to be honest will do better than the COK due to volume of attacks anyway. If he goes for the Hydras and leave your COK intact, slam them into his Screaming Bell or general's unit and it's bound to die. Skaven ld is horrible without ranks or without the general so even if he does have hordes upon hordes of rats, systematically picking his army will win you the game. Make no assumptions however, Skaven are quite tough for DE to handle IF they get all their tricks up. a single good 13th Dreaded on your Sorceress unit can shut down your magic defense, a good Plague combo can devastate your entire army and Crack's Call can kill your COB and Hydras outright. It's going too be hard but if you prioritize your kills and balance your units out it could help.

Author:  Vietnow [ Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

In addition to the hydras i did have a unit of CoK's, a CoC, and a unit of 35 WE.

I'd consider 35 WE's beefy enough to warrant a cauldron. Unfortunetly they ate a S8 small template directly in the center before i could put a ward on them, and the 13th doesn't allow any saves. The cauldron is also generally a safer spot for a bsb than in a unit.

Backed by a cauldron and a lvl4 with shadow CoK's and a block of WEs can hit hard. The harpies may not be as great as 7th (opinion) however, 3 more units esp of harpies allows me to do the following;

1. Control deployment phase.
2. Prevent scouts from deploying in my deployment zone.
3. tie up multiple war machines/skirmisher/chariots/etc. Esp. vs skaven these harpies allow me to tie up gutter runners, prevent a doomwheel from shooting lightning at my hydras/shades.
4. Redirect charges by aligning harpies at angles similar to how peole use warhounds, slaves, speedbump WEs.

By having 3 units of them I have a small amount of redundancy in these roles. If I only took 1-2 units I may not succeed in one of these roles when I need it.

Fast cav also may not be as great as 7th (opinion) But with the resurrgance of war machines, I like to have one unit. They are very similar to harpies in their uses, but more reliable to rally after fleeing, slightly more durable, 10 rbx shots can useful. (25 pts tho meh)

Shades are disgustingly good. The only reason I wasn't a shade freak in 7th was the limited amount of special slots. BS 5, double shot, AHW, scouting, hating, versatile DE commandos are awesome. They may not be able to fight things head on but they have many, many uses.

The soft units mentioned are about 430ish points and 100 of my core. I believe these points are worth it in a list designed to take on any army.

Author:  Vietnow [ Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:47 am ]
Post subject: 

Sorry if i come off as upset, I'm not, I'm just arguing my points, if you disagree that's great as we'll all probably learn something.

I'm a big fan of the lore of fire on a lvl2 scroll caddy (or lvl 1)

The signature spell is excellent, there are several mean monsters/units who are flamable or regen in 8th; Hydra, hellpit abom, trolls etc, 3d6 fireballs are not to be scoffed at, they destroy skirmishers, eat units of few models (chariots, monster riders, fast cav/orc cav)

The other spells have situational uses, but can be very very handy. Flaming sword, cage, piercing, cloak are all good pickups for a 2nd spell on a lvl 2. Over all i feel these aid the DE play style more than our own dark lore.

I see dark magic on a lvl2 as a bad gamble. Black horror is great, but you've got a slim chance of getting it. SS can also be good but still not that great, esp vs T4 models. Bladewind is a very roll dependent spell but is good for warmachine crews, and the magic missles are ok for their cost, but unless you're using hte last die, you're wasting 2 dice to get them off.

Also, chillwind isn't great for stopping shooting, units/war machines/ weapon teams have to take a casualty not a wound. (some ranged models are multi wound e.g. ogres) Average of 3.5 hits on T7 is no wounds. Skaven weapon teams with the 4+ ward are not much better. Great for bit units of missle troops, but not much else.

Generally going against a balanced list I see fire being more useful than dark.

I'd almost say Metal is a better lore on a lvl2 than Dark. fairly cheap augments/hexes, and final transmute has the same killing potential as black horror (on targets S4 or higher) doens't allow saves, and has a 1/6 chance of killing multiwound characters (no look out sir)

Metal is more situational, and may take dice away from your lvl4, but the arguments are there. I'd take fire over metal however.

Author:  Dalamar [ Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:23 am ]
Post subject: 

On a level 4, Dark is irreplaceable.

Facing lots of shooting? - Chillwind/Word of Pain
Facing high T? - Doombolt (my least favorite spell in the lore actually)
Facing war machines (who isn't these days?) - Bladewind
Facing elite troops? - Word of Pain
Facing plenty of armor? - Doombolt/Soul Stealer/Black Horror
Facing hordes? - soul stealer/black horror

I agree that on level 2 you will often end up with just the wrong spells for the occasion.
But Dark Magic has spells that are easy to cast, and will work against any opponent.
If you want to field a shadow sorceress to support the dark one then withering and enfeebling foe get that much better (ever seen Soul Stealer wounding on 2+? I have, it's a scary sight)

Problem I noticed with level 2 designed to support level 4 is that sometimes you don't get the spells you needed, and Shadow by itself isn't that awesome of a lore with its high casting values.

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