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Good MSU links 
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Noble
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I've enjoyed the articles from other forums that Calisson posts from time to time.

Here are some more good ones on MSU in 8th:

Swordmaster of Hoeth on Ulthuan.net
http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=40285

Joey_Boy on Asrai.org
http://www.asrai.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=22678

SmithF on The Warhammer Forum
http://warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=94395

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Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:40 pm
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Thanks!
If Druchii have shades and assassins, that's also to get some knowledge from abroad.

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Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:00 pm
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Noble
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Calisson wrote:
If Druchii have shades and assassins, that's also to get some knowledge from abroad.


;)

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Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:13 pm
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Thanks for the reference :)

I actually started out playing DE as my first army when getting into wfb back in Ravening Hordes/6th, but sold them when the current book came out and their power level got an insane boost. Lately Iv been looking at them again, borrowing an army and playing in a tournament last weekend. Now I'm a bit intrigued by Helleborne and the option of a Witch based MSU army, it might become my next army if I find I like the way it plays. :)

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:27 am
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Noble
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I was just wondering when I saw your name on other threads if you were "THE" Joey_boy.

Turns out you are :mrgreen:

Excellent article, and I hope in future you can contribute some quality tacticas to the EVIL side of Elves :twisted:

PS Haven't tried the Witch army myself either, though I am in the middle of converting a Manticore so I can :P

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:01 am
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Never had someone refer to me a "THE" before ;)

I'm having fun messing around with the "weaker" choices right now. And I might try and finish of an army during the summer depending on what summer job I get and if I have any exams I fail and need to study for.

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Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:10 am
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i see very different thoughts and positions about going small or large. seems that 8th edition players call more for bigger units instead of deploying MSUs. i am a very, very beginner, so I like the idea of having lots of small ones because i concede less points to my enemy if i fail to move something (i am gonna make lots of mistakes while learning to play) and i can always double attack an enemy unit. but it seemes that experienced players prefer to go larger these days!


Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:44 pm
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Hi iamghost,

I think if anything the opposite is true - inexperienced players go larger, highly experienced players go smaller.

*But that's not quite true as even experienced players tend to go large these days because of the ruleset of 8th edition with horde formation and steadfast favouring larger unit sizes*

For a beginner, I'd recommend starting simply and learning the game with big to medium units.

However, if you are ambitious you can always try to play MSU using excellent resources like 'Swordmaster of Hoeth's tactica and battle reports threads.

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Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:26 pm
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It depends a lot on the ruleset being used to be honest, in "pure" 8:th edition you get no victory points at all if you don't destroy every model of a unit, so the enemy can kill 39 out of 40 stubborn Executioners (boosted with 5++ from the Cauldron) without scoring any points what so ever. Therefore, bigger units tend to give up less points to the enemy. Before, you got half the points for killing half the models (and some events still do that), which mitigates the effects. Also, before 8:th edition a unit could only attack with models in their front rows, so a block of 40 Execs would only get up to 11 attacks. Now a simillar unit would get up to 31 attacks... Another reason for the big unit size is the rise of Augment spells in 8:th edition, casting Occam's mindrazor on a big unit is a lot more threatening than casting it on a small unit as its value scales up with the number of attacks.

Going MSU means bringing lots of small units, and while this means the enemy can score points more easily they also will score a lot less points at a time. You'll get considerably less payoff from Augments (including CoB) since the number of models is a lot smaller, but at the same time you'll suffer less effects from Hexes.

To be honest I think that MSU with DE will suffer a lot from the inability to flee charges with our main fighting blocks. Everything that is ItP, Stupid, or Frenzied cannot flee a charge, and I my mind the success of MSU is all about baiting and fleeing to force your opponents into a trap, where you can hit him with several small units at the same time. It still can be done -- but it's not likely a very easy task!


Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:31 pm
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Setomidor wrote:
To be honest I think that MSU with DE will suffer a lot from the inability to flee charges with our main fighting blocks. Everything that is ItP, Stupid, or Frenzied cannot flee a charge, and I my mind the success of MSU is all about baiting and fleeing to force your opponents into a trap, where you can hit him with several small units at the same time. It still can be done -- but it's not likely a very easy task!


Good point.

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Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:10 pm
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Setomidor wrote:
It depends a lot on the ruleset being used to be honest, in "pure" 8:th edition you get no victory points at all if you don't destroy every model of a unit, so the enemy can kill 39 out of 40 stubborn Executioners (boosted with 5++ from the Cauldron) without scoring any points what so ever. Therefore, bigger units tend to give up less points to the enemy. Before, you got half the points for killing half the models (and some events still do that), which mitigates the effects. Also, before 8:th edition a unit could only attack with models in their front rows, so a block of 40 Execs would only get up to 11 attacks. Now a simillar unit would get up to 31 attacks... Another reason for the big unit size is the rise of Augment spells in 8:th edition, casting Occam's mindrazor on a big unit is a lot more threatening than casting it on a small unit as its value scales up with the number of attacks.

Going MSU means bringing lots of small units, and while this means the enemy can score points more easily they also will score a lot less points at a time. You'll get considerably less payoff from Augments (including CoB) since the number of models is a lot smaller, but at the same time you'll suffer less effects from Hexes.

To be honest I think that MSU with DE will suffer a lot from the inability to flee charges with our main fighting blocks. Everything that is ItP, Stupid, or Frenzied cannot flee a charge, and I my mind the success of MSU is all about baiting and fleeing to force your opponents into a trap, where you can hit him with several small units at the same time. It still can be done -- but it's not likely a very easy task!


It's all valid points. If addressing your first example about the 40 Exe's. The thing most folks miss here is that while you do have the ability to retain your points you also lose a lot of points when it dies, and that is an issue. In the end I guess it all depends on the enemy units you might be fighting. If they have control units, mass damage spells och heavy hitters of their own that can deal with the Exe's, a GutBuss or CrusherBuss as examples.

While your right about arguments, hexes on the other hand will affect the enemy unit and help several of your own guys. Your also taking less damage from the different "all-kill spells" and do more damage yourself.

Lastly regarding the inability to flee. It's not a big deal, your fast units like DR and Harpies can still flee if needed. Your shooting base of shades and rbx-warriors can flee, same with handbow corsairs. In my MSU WE all combat units and many of my diverters are ItP. It's both good and bad, but mostly just good once you learn the tricks.

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Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:55 am
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I've just finished reading Swordmaster's battle reports and thoroughly enjoyed them. Every time I saw all those white arrows pushing small units of High Elves into a double envelopment I couldn't help but grin :D

I'm hankering for an MSU style of play myself, although I'm thinking of borrowing a friend's Wood Elf army to do it rather than the Druchii, mainly for thematic reasons (I like my big phalanx of Spears).

But I'm sure I could be persuaded otherwise. Has anyone here written up Tournament reports like Swordmaster has over on ulthuan.net?


Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:15 pm
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Clockwork wrote:
I've just finished reading Swordmaster's battle reports and thoroughly enjoyed them. Every time I saw all those white arrows pushing small units of High Elves into a double envelopment I couldn't help but grin :D

I'm hankering for an MSU style of play myself, although I'm thinking of borrowing a friend's Wood Elf army to do it rather than the Druchii, mainly for thematic reasons (I like my big phalanx of Spears).

But I'm sure I could be persuaded otherwise. Has anyone here written up Tournament reports like Swordmaster has over on ulthuan.net?


SmithF has some WE MSU reports towards the end of his Battle Rep log. And I more or less agree with the way he plays combat MSU with WE. There are some areas where we differ, but it gives you a good basic template for CC oriented MSU WE.

But if your looking for doing the same with DE there are several options. Even Spear blocks can fit nicely in MSU. 20 Spears are only 155p. For me MSU is not only about the number of models in a unit, it's equally about the cost. The reason many MSU Warriors lists are not really pure MSU. You will want to keep your units under 200p, the best case is having them around 100p-150p in my experience.

While I play more shooty MSU normally I have been looking at the following for a combat MSU DE.

lvl4: Lore of Shadow, 4++, earthing rod, life taker.
CoB: BSB, Banner of Swiftness.

20 Spears: Shields, FC, Lichebone Standard.
20 Spears: Shields, FC, Gleaming Pendant.
20 Spears: Shields, FC, Banner of the Eternal Flame.
5 DR: Musician.
5 DR: Musician.
10 Witch Elves: Musician, ManHag.
10 Witch Elves: Musician, ManHag.
10 Witch Elves: Musician, ManHag.
12 Black Guard: Musician.
12 Black Guard: Musician.
12 Black Guard: Musician.
5 CoK: Musician.
5 CoK: Musician.

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Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:07 am
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Interesting list. I think I'd want to make a few changes though; perhaps dropping one of the Spears for a unit of crossbows and the Witch Elves for Shades.

Is Shadow our only option for MSU? Although I like the hexes, I don't really enjoy casting Mindrazor all the time, and what I like about Swordmaster's list is that magic complimented it in a support role, rather than being built around it. I usually run Metal myself.

I do like the idea of 5 CoKs.

EDIT: So I think my 2.5k MSU army would look something like this:

Supreme Sorceress, Level 4, Lifetaker, Seal of Ghrond Dispel Scroll.
Death Hag, Cauldron

20 Warriors, Shields, Full Command, Standard of Discipline
20 Warriors, Shields, Full Command
10 Repeater Crossbows, Musician
10 Repeater Crossbows, Musician
5 Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows, Musician
5 Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows, Musician
5 Harpies
5 Harpies
5 Cold One Knights, Banner of the Eternal Flame, Musician
5 Cold One Knights, Musician
5 Shades, Additional Hand Weapons
5 Shades, Additional Hand Weapons
12 Blackguard, Musician
12 Blackguard, Musician
12 Blackguard, Musician
5 Witch Elves

This gives me about 30 points left over. I can drop the Gleaming pennant on one of the Warrior units and sprinkle some command options around (needs more banners, perhaps?) or increase the Witch Elf dart to 8 models.

Shields on the Warriors worthwhile? It saves me about 20 points each, but 6+ armour saves aren't worth the paper that they are written on. I could also drop one unit of Dark Riders and try to add a second unit of Knights or Witch Elves, but I really like Fast Cavalry.

Would probably look at Metal or Dark magic on the Sorceress.


Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:23 am
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Clockwork wrote:
But I'm sure I could be persuaded otherwise. Has anyone here written up Tournament reports like Swordmaster has over on ulthuan.net?


Maybe we can persuade Joey_boy to write up a tactica/wbatreps on Dark Elf MSU in 8th? :mrgreen:

@ Joey_boy

*hint hint*

:P

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Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:17 pm
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Clockwork: Iv not really refined the list but I do love the WE units. They kick out an insane amount of damage over a small frontage, last game I used 8 with a ManHag to divert 6 Khorne Knights. I killed 4 when they charged and another the next turn before they all died. Since I do use Shadow they are extra good with some Mindrazor or Whithering. But something that many people miss is that the fear of a mindrazor lets me get of miasma and enfeebling that will keep the unarmored units in the game longer. So while I will pick up 8 dice and cast mindrazor if I have a potentially game winning flank with my WE, normally it's the threat of mindrazor that lets the other spells slip by. But they are also really good with metal, plague of rust, transmutation of lead and enchanted blades all make them more viable against heavy armor and they are already great against monsters and chariots as is.

Regarding lores in general I have actually been looking at Fire with some interest lately. The lore has 2 great control spells(since the last BRB faq). Flame cage is always nice with the move and die, but it's also sneaky with the fact that any make way or accepted/denied challenge by a character will trigger the effect. Then there is flame storm and with the new faq saying that a vortex is "impassible" you can really control movement using it. But I think I'd use fire with a lvl1 metal back-up for searing doom on knights/MC units.

Your list overall looks solid, but I'd recommend ManStar Assassins if you want a shooty counter-charge list. The shades are pushing you towards this, as is metal that needs some time to go to work on the enemy units. And Assassins can deal damage without magical support against many armored units and makes a unit of 6-7 Shades a real combat threat against anything thats not sporting a 1+AS.


T.D: Thanks for the nod. But I really don't have time to do Tactical battlereps like SmithF and Swordmaster. I'm doing law school right now, and I'm struggling to find time to play games as it is, it's the reason I don't have any with my WE tactical. I might do a tactical for DE in the future, but I need more games with DE before I jump in. There are a lot of hidden synergies that take time to work out and I need to feel out unit compositions to find a good balance. :)

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Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:00 am
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Joey_boy wrote:
T.D: Thanks for the nod. But I really don't have time to do Tactical battlereps like SmithF and Swordmaster. I'm doing law school right now, and I'm struggling to find time to play games as it is, it's the reason I don't have any with my WE tactical. I might do a tactical for DE in the future, but I need more games with DE before I jump in. There are a lot of hidden synergies that take time to work out and I need to feel out unit compositions to find a good balance. :)


No worries. We can read your Wood Elf ones and adapt in the meantime :P

Best wishes for your studies :D

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Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:18 am
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Joey_boy wrote:
Your list overall looks solid, but I'd recommend ManStar Assassins if you want a shooty counter-charge list. The shades are pushing you towards this, as is metal that needs some time to go to work on the enemy units. And Assassins can deal damage without magical support against many armored units and makes a unit of 6-7 Shades a real combat threat against anything thats not sporting a 1+AS.


Hmm, good point. I haven't really tried Assassins out yet. I assume that with the ManStar build the +1 strengths stack so you're always wounding on 2s?

Ideally I want the list to be combat orientated, with shooting in support - similar to Swordmasters build, in fact. Here, the repeater crossbows replace his archers, and as we don't have a Seaguard analogue, I'm using Shades in that role. Shades also have the advantage that, with double hand weapons, they can get stuck in too!

I'm concerned the list lacks high strength though, as it can really only be found in the Knights and the Witch Elves poison. Metal will help with this, I guess - but are Executioners worthwhile in an MSU list?


Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:56 am
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Clockwork wrote:
Hmm, good point. I haven't really tried Assassins out yet. I assume that with the ManStar build the +1 strengths stack so you're always wounding on 2s?

Ideally I want the list to be combat orientated, with shooting in support - similar to Swordmasters build, in fact. Here, the repeater crossbows replace his archers, and as we don't have a Seaguard analogue, I'm using Shades in that role. Shades also have the advantage that, with double hand weapons, they can get stuck in too!

I'm concerned the list lacks high strength though, as it can really only be found in the Knights and the Witch Elves poison. Metal will help with this, I guess - but are Executioners worthwhile in an MSU list?


Yeah, the Assassins have Rendingstars and Manbane for 3 s5-s7 shoots hitting most things on 2+. They are really nasty, and they do good work in CC if they are flanking something as they have 12 s4-s6 attacks with ASF.

I don't think DE can do what HE can. If you look at Swordmasters list he has 4 units with s5(SM and DP) and 2 units with s6(WL) all with ASF. This is where Shadow comes in, Withering/Enfeebling can make enemy units weaker and thus e contrario makes our units stronger. The only problem is really heavy armor, and here we need to rely on ap banners, mindrazor and CoK with CoB boosted attacks. if you want to emulate Swordies style with his shooting base I'd make the Shade units bigger as rbx-warriors cant really emulate the role of archers for picking off chaff and WM. Shades can however as they hit stuff when they shoot and can move and shoot without gimping. I'd change the rbx-warriors to handbow-corsairs as they can provide close shooting support and then be used to bait and flee. Lastly I'd say that Exe's are not worth it in small units as they have ASL and will get chumped fast.

How about something like this for a Swordmaster style adapted to DE?

lvl4: Shadow, Lifetaker, Earthing rod, Talisman of Preservation. (When in warriors she has a 3++ against all the death snipes out there, but if you never face Death then I'd drop the 4++ for seal of ghrond and swap the warrior banner for discipline or swiftness.)
BSB Hag: CoB.

10 Corsairs: Handbows, Musician.
10 Corsairs: Handbows, Musician.
22 Spears: Shields, FC, Lichbone Standard.
5 Dark Riders: Musician, x-bows.
5 Dark Riders: Musician, x-bows.
5 Harpies. (If you need more banner because your playing the silly fortitude mission you can drop the harpies for banner on the corsairs and extra bodys in the corsairs and WE)
6 CoK: Musician, BotEF.
6 CoK: Musician.
12 Black Guard: Musician.
12 Black Guard: Musician.
9 Witch Elves: Musician, Hag: Manbane.
9 Witch Elves: Musician, Hag: Manbane.
8 Shades: xhw.
8 Shades: xhw.

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Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:01 am
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Corsairs are actually a really good shout for the MSU army!


Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:49 pm
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Okay, I've been refining this list further, based on your list above and some comments from Swordmaster over on ulthuan.net

level 4, Metal, Lifetaker, Dispel Scroll.

Whilst still pricey at 315 points, she does what I need her to for my army: long range support against high armour opponents (metal); counter magic (dispel scroll); and an ethereal counter/fire support (Lifetaker). I could give her ward saves or the Pendant, but I've found that wizards need really only fear shooting and template weapons, which they have Look Out Sir. Ideally, I should be controlling the movement phase and preventing her from getting into combat. These items would also push up her cost, and for the same reason I didn't take Seal of Ghrond, and as my strategy doesn't rely on Mindrazor, losing her to miscast or the odd assassination shouldn't be too much of a blow - hopefully. Unless its Blood and Glory, of course.

Cauldron, BSB

I really, really tried to work a double Cauldron list - but that 200 points really works well elsewhere. Also I don't fancy converting another Cauldron - its possible I may return to this after a few attempts, or when we get a plastic Cauldron/whatever dual kit.

Swordmaster suggested some cheap Pegasus Masters. Mundane ones come in at around 144 points.

20 Dark Elf Spearmen, Shields, Standard, Musician.

A bargain at 155 points, if you ask me. They have the shields to hit minimum core and 20 is a nice round number, though I could drop them for a magical standard (Swiftness or Discipline) and a couple extra bodies.

10 Black Arc Corsairs, Musician, Reaver with Repeater Handbows
10 Black Arc Corsairs, Musician, Reaver with Repeater Handbows


These guys perform a dual support/shooting/chaff role. Their 4+ armour save can be used as a living wall for the rest of my guys against missile fire. Their job is to clear out enemy chaff in the first few rounds, set up traps/flee charges, and then go in on flanks. To this end, they have Reavers for more volume of fire as well as challenge potential, as I am extremely light on champions elsewhere in the list. Plausibly, I could go for Standards instead for Blood and Glory - but I figure small throaway units like this would only give away Fortitude points.

5 Dark Riders, Musician, Repeater Crossbows
5 Dark Riders, Musician, Repeater Crossbows
5 Harpies
5 Harpies


Pretty much self-explanatory.

15 Executioners, Musician
15 Executioners, Musician


The wild cards of the list. Both units come in at a mere 186 points, which isn't a substantial increase over 10, but gives enough bodies to ensure that most of the guys eligible to attack in one round will get to do so. In other words, I can lose 5 without harming the units killing potential at all. Seeing as the MSU philosophy, as well as Dark Elf potential, works best when winning the first round of combat, I needn't really worry about rounds 2. This is probably where the double Cauldron would work best, as one could follow each unit of Executioners around, buffing them up and keeping them Stubborn.

6 Cold One Knights, Banner of the Eternal Flame
6 Cold One Knights
12 Blackguard
11 Blackguard
6 Shades, additional hand weapons
6 Shades, additional hand weapons


Firstly, no Witches. I really couldn't see how I could make them work: their poison is great against high toughness/low armour save models (Monstrous Infantry, Monsters) - but that role is going to the Executioners and Cold One Knights who will both be better at it, and can also go after high toughness/high armour save models (Monstrous Cav) which the Witches can't. They'll cut through lightly armoured troops for sure, but so will the Blackguard and Shades - and both will do it better. There's some tweaking of points here, where I could drop the Shade's additional hand weapons and give Musicians to the Blackguard, or add the 12th guy in (who can't currently due to Special cap o.o).

Some more drastic changes available:
Drop the Blackguard to 10 and a unit of Harpies, and use these points to grab Blackguard banners (as they are Stubborn they are unlikely to flee and lose them; though the unit is still small and may be destroyed through other means) and the Banner of Murder or Hag Graef. Alternatively, Blackguard champions with Crimson Death and Whip of Agony for some more high strength damage. This would also give both units some character-killing potential, if somewhat mutually assured. Which leads me on to my next option...

Replace the Harpies and tinker some points to get a Witch Elf Suicide Squad. If this list is lacking anything, its character-killing potential outside of the Executioners Killing Blow; a small team of Witches buffed by Cauldron Killing Blow could account for this by diving in and trying to kill characters off with their I6.

Drop a unit of Shades and the smaller unit of Blackguard for a second Cauldron. This leaves an awkward 45 points, though further changes (dropping the Harpies or reducing the size of the Blackguard) could allow for further additions (like the aforementioned Suicide Squad or 2, or one unit of around 10-12), or even try to squeeze in a cheap, mundane Pegasus Master (or a magical one with some extra cuts from Special).

Replace the Spearmen with a unit of Repeater Crossbows. I think the numbers are somewhere around 15. This would increase my shooting base further, but I'd lose the ranks and the combat ability. I really want to try and keep a combat theme, rather than shooting/avoidance. Alternatively, I could increase the size of the Corsairs to around 15 and start adding command options (particularly magic banners) and use them as close support, like a short range Swordmaster-style LSG unit. It would be broadly points-netural to do this, but it would concentrate more points in fewer units.


Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:34 pm
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What about 2x Hydras for the Executioners? Much more manouevrable, durable and powerful IMO.

Or 3 chariots + some extras? Pin with Black Guard/Spears, strike with Chariot as per Swordmaster of Hoeth's use of Lion Chariots?

I think Executioners as a flanking unit holds potential - and please feedback on the results if you do decide to go with them - but I think the above alternatives will be easier to employ in this strategy.

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:27 pm
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Generally, I'm trying to stay away from Hydras. Perhaps because of their reputation, they feel too much like a crutch. I also have my Lizardmen army for monsters :D

I run two chariots in my regular army as a matter of course, and I love my conversions. I've left them out here for two reasons: one the one hand, they look good from an MSU perspective (free pivot, narrow frontage, front-loaded damage, ItP). On the other hand, they can't march and are entirely reliant on a single d6 roll for their damage output. Fluff that, and for every 6 you roll for impact hits you'll roll a 1, and their use drastically decreases. Then you're reliant on two strength 5 attacks from the crew to do something, which in my experience isn't nearly enough. See my most recent battle report for an example of this - I rolled two 1s for successive impact hits; the chariots did no damage at all, and lost their combats. It strikes me that an MSU army needs reliability; and whilst the Executioners might reliable lose some models before attacking, they are going to reliably get around 10 back.

Then again, I do love the models, so I might well slip them back in at a future stage ;)


Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:04 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:51 pm
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Location: Hinterlands of Khuresh; The Lost City of the Angels
Thanks for the rationale.

Have fun - and let us know how it goes :D

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:56 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:49 am
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Greetings Druchii!

I must admit I was greatly surprised to find out my reports were linked here. I would like to thank for that as the fact the even the bitter enemy considers my achievements worthy checking out is a reward in itself! :)

Long time ago I was reading all that was written on this very forum on MSU concept. Back then I totally failed with implementing it to my own army. I guess it was not a right time yet. I hope I can contribute to the discussion now as some of my experience is of more general nature. I like the MSU idea a lot and I tried to add a little to discussion about it on other forums as well, e.g. daemonic legion or tomb kings. Yes, some people play TK in that way too!

So before you send your assassins and witch elves to get me (and if you do send the best you have! :)) let me share a little from what I have learned so far.

First of all, please remember that it is all about what you as a player like. Do not fall into a trap of thinking that others know better. They might have more experience and even be better players but in the end it is your army. If you don't feel it you will not enjoy playing with it. On the other hand, if you start building the army that feels good and that you like, sooner or later you will learn how to play with it and win! And believe me, that is a great thing when you start a game as an underdog and then you win, seemingly against tougher opponent.

Another thing I firmly believe in is that there are no useless units. Yes, some of them are more straightforward in use, some have few weaknesses and very obvious strengths. But all of them can be used to good effect because it is the army that wins the battle. You might even enjoy winning with units that are considered worse choice more. You can also learn more with them as strong regiments/models tend to be more forgiving. Some lessons will be more painful as small mistake will result in a disaster but that is the way it is. It is up to you if you want to try it out.

I also found out that when I play with MSU army but without all the nasty combinations my opponents enjoy the game much more and even if I manage to win they still liked the experience. It is important for me so that is another reason I enjoy playing with MSU armies.

Because I think all units can be used I do not often discuss army lists. I'd rather talk about the way you can use them in the army they are already part of. Or even better, how they were used in the game. But we have to start with something in order to make changes later. Theory-hammer is all good but eventually it is all to play games!

Before I talk about some list in this topic let me add a few remarks to the comments made here.

1. MSU in 8th edition

Introduction of horde formation and step-up attacks seemed to promote big formations. It is true they are efficient and are good points savers (unless you lose one) but there are also rules that help MSU armies.

Swift and combat reforms are very important and add a lot of options in the movement phase. People often say that small units lose against hordes as they cannot win in a war of attrition. Not true. If you trap the horde in a pincer maneuver and attack from both flanks you have many more attacks than the bigger unit and they cannot reform. You can happily stay there for longer and keep destroying your enemy as they can do nothing.

Steadfast seems to be another argument against MSU. But there are plenty of things you can do about it. Draw the enemy to the forest or into the river, so they lose steadfast and cannot count rank bonus. Engage them and cast doom and darkness and let them fail their "stubborn" test. Add your cheap spearmen unit (especially at the flank) to disrupt their formation and by killing enough you would break them anyway.

There is more but I hope you see the picture now! :)

2. Fleeing

It is a good option to draw some enemies into a trap with a fleeing troops. But my experience tells me that only fast cavalry is good at it because they can rally and move again next turn. You lose 2 turns when you flee to get back to the game. In that time a lot changes and it might be too late. You don't want to flee with your combat units. You might use that as an option but it is not the main tool.

Instead you have far more reliable units. I suffered much more due to unlucky panic checks than I would if I could not flee. Your Black Guard or Witch Elves don't care and can be used to great effect even if not close to BSB because they automatically pass all the test. You can use them on far flanks if need be or use them in isolation if the situation requires that.

You also know they cannot flee so you can move them accordingly and support them so that the enemy does not reach them on his terms.

To trap the enemy, especially experienced one, you cannot count on him to make a mistake. You must create a situation where he has to choose between two evils. So that no matter what he does he is in trouble.

I do agree that it might not be easy to do but that is also part of a challenge and the fact it can be sow rewarding when it works.

3. Army lists

What I like in the army list is that it does not reveal all the cards when you look at it. One way to do that is to have 2 units of each kind (at least). For example, if your regiments are all 10-12 strong but there is a single 20+ spearmen unit then your enemy knows where your characters go. But if you have 2 of them, he will wonder. You don't even have to place your characters there at all thus adding to the confusion. However, with a single big unit you will also be inclined to put your characters there.

Each unit and character should be flexible and potentially expendable. I am still learning how to do that well but I noticed that traps work better if the bait is juicy. If you place harpies as a bait your enemy will know the trap is there without even looking. But what if you "accidentally" do so with black guard? Or knights? It does not mean you have to sacrifice them but be ready to do so at any time.

Some units cannot really preform multiple roles. But some can. Dark Riders can attack and shoot. Same with corsairs. Characters and their equipment can be chosen with that purpose as well. That is why I like Lifetaker so much. Check your magic items and pick some cheap ones to add flavor and add options. Your wizard might do something more than just casting spells (and main role for me is to dispel enemy spells than anything else). Your BSB will provide some re-rolls (main role) but maybe there is one little trinket he/she can use (even once a game) to your advantage?

I also like variety of units. Hence I would like to have black guard, witch elves, executioners and knights. Maybe even 2 of each for some redundancy! :) Sure, you cannot have it all hence the whole brainstorming about what to choose. But the more tools you have the more options you can have. In one game one unit will be the bait, in another the regiment that was the hitter will take the brunt of enemy attack.

I suggested some options to Clockwork at Ulthuan mainly because you have them and HE don't. You can invest more in characters because you have better ones and they might aid you where you lack some strength. They also seem to be good war machine hunters. You have assassins that can be a wild card too. It all depends on what you prefer. I seem to be better with units but some players do wonders with their cheap characters.

Unit upgrades can be useful but you have to be careful. Magic items for Black Guard champions can be quite useful. Champions in general are good addition. They will help you hold some nasty characters for longer and even if you lose units to Daemon Princes it will be at a slower rate and in the meantime you might kill more of them thus gaining in the end.

The last list by Clockwork looks very interesting and I would like to see how the executioners work in small units like that. The army by joey_boy is also good (although I would really try to add second spear unit or make corsairs 15 strong and have more units of them for the purpose I mentioned before).

Let me know if anything of the above is useful for you. I am looking forward to more comments about DE MSU and I will do my best to aid the discussion.

Cheers!

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:48 am
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