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Phenix guard 
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:36 am
Posts: 25
Hi iv just started to play and my dad plays high elves ,
When I come up against pheinx guard they don't seem too budge
What would any one recommend I use to fight them

What unit of dark elves or units am I going to defeat them god dam phoenix guard and why ?

Thank full for any advice


Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:31 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:46 pm
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Location: The Depths of Despair
The power of the phoenix guard are not what they do to your troops as much as what your troops cant do to them. A 4+ (or 3+ with high magic) ward save means that only half or a third of your actual wounds go through. This makes troops like executioners, knights or even black guard useless. Its true, PG wont deal many wounds back at you, but they will NOT die, and you will lose the combat.

There are several ways to mitigate them, though. Certain spells cause models to be removed with no save of any kind. Dwellers Below from the lore of life, or final transmutation from the lore of metal. Either lore can be useful against high elves depending on the usual setup of his army. Does he like to shoot a lot? Go life. Does he like monsters (dragons)? Go metal. Just beware that metal does nothing to dragon princes or do the cheating banner.

How to deal with having your succesful wounds cut in half by other means? Volume of attacks. PG are expensive elite infantry with T3. Lots and lots of crossbow shots WILL whittle them down in time. Or, what is it dark elf core units do best? Volume. Witch elves. Slam witch elves, maybe with a cauldron of blood, into phoenix guard, and watch them die. Just beware of redirectors, since witches must overrun. And they cannot take a flank charge, or you risk losing their frenzy.

_________________
Name: Ladry (female)
Class: Mage (Pyromancer)
Equipment: Staff, longsword, dagger, 20 gold, insignia ring.
Skills: Power of Aqshy (2), defensive figthing
WS4, S2, T3, D4, I6.


Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:13 pm
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Generalissimo
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 3725
Location: Baltimore
Let's break this down a bit:

Saves:
Phoenix Guard have two protective layers: a 5+ armour save followed by a 4+ ward save. You can't do too much about the latter (beyond fielding a character with the other trickster's shard, although the utility of that item is limited for this context), but you can do a lot about the former. Try to either hex the armour save away (plague of rust is ideal for this purpose) or take troops that hit strongly enough to negate an armour save.

Damage output:
Of the three elite infantry fighter units that High Elves have (Phoenix Guard, Swordsmen of Hoeth, and White Lions of Chrace), Phoenix Guard typically inflict the least amount of damage on their opponents (1 attack each at S4 is nowhere near as nasty as two at S5 or two at S6). So you can typically field units that survive a little better against them.

So, what are your options? I'd suggest against RxBs - they just aren't strong enough. A unit of 20 RxBs at 12"-24" against an unconcealed and unbuffed unit of Phoenix Guard get 40 shots (assuming you multishot), hitting on 5s (assuming you have not moved), which equals 13.3333 shots. You then wound on 4s, which leads to 6.6666 wounds. He saves on 6s from his armour, which leads to 5.5555 wounds, half of which he then saves from his 4+ ward save, leading to 2.7777 casualties. 2-3 Phoenix Guard dead is okay, but you've just invested 240 points of shooting to kill around 30-45 points of models - not a great return). The ratio gets even worse when you throw reality into the mix (your RxBs are probably going to have to move to be in range, which reduces their accuracy dramatically, he may have buffed the unit, which increases their durability a lot, and they may have some sort of cover, which again reduces your accuracy). Finally, never take a repeater crossbow to a missile fight with high elves - they simply do it better. While you are focusing your RxB fire on his Phoenix Guard, he is focusing his bowfire on your RxBs, and that's reducing the number of shots you get overall. So, RxBs are a big no.

So what should you run instead? Well:
- Witches are okay, but they are S3, which means you are running up against both a 5+ armour save and a 4+ ward save, making many of the wounds they inflict bounce off. The Razor Standard helps, but still allows a 6+ armour save. They are also a challenging unit against a bow heavy high elf army, which can shoot them to bloody ribbons very quickly and pretty easily.

- Executioners can be very nice. At S6, they remove the armour save together and they wound on 2s (with 1s re-rolled), which means the only two obstacles to their doing well is their absence of ASF (due to their great weapons) and their low number of hits. The latter can be dealt with by adding frenzy or super frenzy, but the former is more limiting. The absence of ASF means that the Phoenix Guard not only strike first, they also get to re-roll their misses, which dramatically increases the damage that the Executioners will receive. Still, a major plus is that if your opponent DOES manage to buff his Phoenix Guard, Executioners don't care. S6 with the Razor Banner will still entirely remove a 3+ save (glittering scales buff), while S6 versus T5 (lower strength version of Flesh to Stone) will still wound on 3s and even against T7 (higher strength version of Flesh to Stone) they will wound on 5s rather than 6s.

- Blackguard with the Razor Standard are optimum. They have a good number of attacks, can re-roll misses for every turn due to their special rules, and have a strong S4 (which, with murderous prowess, means they will wound on 3s and get to re-roll 1s) to achieve a good wounding ratio too. The S4 with AP entirely removes the pesky armour save too, meaning he only gets his ward save. A horde of 30 blackguard with razor standard against an equivalent sized unit of Phoenix Guard with Razor Standard will get 40 attacks, hitting on 4s with a re-roll, which leads to 30 hits. They wound on 3s, with 1s re-rolled (so about 23 wounds). The Phoenix Guard get their 4+ ward saves, which leads to 11.5 deaths. The Phoenix Guard hit back, hitting on 4s without a re-roll (15 hits), wound on 3s (10 wounds). They are also S4 with AP, so no save for you. So, end of combat you have killed 11.5, he has killed 10. (Interestingly, a frenzied unit of Witches with a Razor Standard kill around 11.25 Phoenix Guard, in exchange for 10 deaths back, so a similar ratio, with the advantage of cheaper points per model, but disadvantage that the witches become less effective in subsequent rounds as they lose their hatred, and if they lose combat then they lose frenzy for subsequent rounds too, while Blackguard retain their effectiveness throughout).

Ignoring them - usually not a feasible approach
The other option is to ignore them and distract them. But that is harder than it looks due to the teleporty high magic spell they have available, as well as the tendency for High Elf players I know to run missile lines that use the Phoenix Guard as an intercepting force rather than an offensive force. Approach his archers and get a Phoenix Guard charge in the face. Stay away from his archers and get shot to bits all game. No, I think you have to bite the bullet and take them on, head on.

Buffs:
Phoenix Guard aren't too bad, but Phoenix Guard buffed by horrendous buffs are terrible. So, first step is, make sure you dispel buffing spells such as Flesh to Stone (+2/+4 toughness), Glittering Scales (+2 to armor saves), and other improvements.
The overall key with Phoenix Guard is to buff your own troops while dispelling your opponent's buffs. A unit of 3+ armour saving Blackguard with Razor Banner versus a unit of Phoenix Guard without any buffs or the Razor Banner are laughing: the BG get more attacks,hit on 4s and get to re-roll their missed attacks, wound on 3s and get to re-roll their 1s to wound, and face a 4+ ward save with no armour save. In contrast, the Phoenix Guard get less attacks, hit on 4s but do not get to re-roll their to hit rolls, wound on 3s and do not get re-rolls failed wounds, and face a 4+ armour save. However, a unit of 5+ armour saving Blackguard with no Razor Banner and no buffs versus a unit of Phoenix Guard with Razor Banner and a 3+ armour save are crying: they still get more attacks, hitting on 4s and the ability to re-roll their missed attacks, wounding on 3s with the ability to re-roll 1s, but they they face a 3+ armour save followed by a 4+ ward save, which absorbs nearly all of their wounds. They again face fewer attacks on 4s, with no re-rolls for misses, and wounds on 3s, with no re-rolled for failed wounds, but they get no armour save at all. The odds flip horribly in favour of the Phoenix Guard. Pay attention to buffs and hexes here - they are the decider of battle outcomes in High Elf vs Dark Elf elite fighting infantry scraps.

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Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:40 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:36 am
Posts: 25
That's brill thank you my dad likes to shoot a lot ,
Is there any magic that improves ballistic skills that could improve the dark shards


Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:04 pm
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Generalissimo
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 3725
Location: Baltimore
Yes and no. Yes, there are a few ways to minutely buff dark shards (or hex their targets) but not sufficiently to beat high elves in a missile fight. Dont do Darkshards, they have too short a range against high elves. Go big on close combat troops, supported by magic instead.

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Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:15 am
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