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Dragons in 8th 
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Slave (off the Altar)

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:59 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Newark Ohio
So I love the dragon model and the idea of my general dominating from the back of one. But I am just finding it hard to not run strong magic in 8th. Does anyone know if they can get consistent success with one? If so please share some ideas I'm still fairly new and learning the game. Thanks in advance for the answers!


Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:48 am
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Generalissimo
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 3725
Location: Baltimore
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A lot of it depends on who you are playing against.

Dragons versus low shooting armies can often do well. Dragons against high shooting armies will often be killed pretty quickly by sniping cannon balls or machine gunning lothern sea guard.

Generally, dragons in 8th do well by either combi charging alongside a massed rank and file unit or killing smaller formations (e.g. units of 20 archers). They don't tend to do that well in combat by themselves because they can't break steadfast, although a dreadlord on dragon with crown of command may be able to stick around for a good number of turns before either getting cut down, failing his leadership 10 stubborn morale test or chewing through and breaking the enemy unit.

Two important benefits to avoid forgetting if you do run one:
- Thunderstomp versus infantry
- Breath attack once per game

Three important disadvantages to avoid forgetting:
- No hatred for mounts anymore, so no re-rolls in combat for the dragon
- Dragon's don't break steadfast because they have no ranks
- Template weapons (including cannon balls, which have a template the size of the cannonball apparently) hit both the dragon and the guy on top, without any randomising. So theoretically a single cannon ball hit could kill both the dragon and the dreadlord if you get some unlucky dice rolls

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:54 pm
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Noble
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Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 8:56 am
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Good points Red.

Alex that depends a lot on what comp you play under.

Generally speaking yes. Dragon armies can be very effective and competative.

If you look at the last ETC 2012. Both the highest and 2nd highest scoring DE armies present were Dragonlists. As was the worst and 2nd worst scoring armies.
A Dragonlist is oftentimes win or loose big.

If you are looking for good tactica on Dragonlists, you can find some very interesting material in the high elf forums. Especially Curu Olannon and Furion has written some really interesting thoughts and battle reports in the army list forum on ulthuan.

While DE Dragons are not as strong as HE dragons, but the addition of Hydra(s) and or chariots, makes a DE dragonlist very viable. (Depending on the comp and metagame you face)

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Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:46 am
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Slave on the Altar

Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:16 pm
Posts: 8
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So if not going with hydra(s) is it best to include chariots and at lest one flying supportive ch?

Have not seen many builds with lvl4 dragonsorc why is it, is it a poor choice?


Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:47 pm
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Corsair

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:54 pm
Posts: 86
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The dark elf dragons is viable, but using one effectively takes a bit of skill and it's 'all eggs in one basket' situation. The dragon is very vulnerable to high strength multiple wound attacks (cannons) and breaking from combat if you get into the wrong situation. Furthermore, as you noted, you cannot take a lvl 4, so your magic phase suffers.
If you're still learning the game, I think you'll have better success trying a more traditional army and transitioning into a dragon after you have a good feel for game mechanics and what you can reasonably expect from units (your and your opponents). Of course, there's the other theory of learning which is just to jump in the deep end - it wouldn't be the worst way to go about it, but expect an uphill battle.
If you're looking for some discussion as well as some examples of what a dragon can do, I've written up a few battle reports here.

Edit: There are a few ways to go about supporting a dragon - you definitely want some fast support; if not hydras, then chariots or knights would work well.
I think the biggest reason you see few sorc lord dragonriders is the point cost - to get a lvl4 on a dragon with enough magical items to make it worthwhile, you're already starting around 2600, which is higher than most tournaments I go to. Also, there's the theory that a dragon is best in combat, which is where you do not want your sorceress to be - though with the right items I think it could work well.


Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:07 pm
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Slave on the Altar

Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:16 pm
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@ cycloptic squirrel your battle reports help a lot, seeing how I am yet to play a match and still building my DE list. I have now have a little working knowledge.

Would the lore of metal sync well with a dragon list?


Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:33 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:37 am
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Location: New Zealand
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Quote:
Also, there's the theory that a dragon is best in combat, which is where you do not want your sorceress to be - though with the right items I think it could work well.


Giving her the Black Amulet, Focus Familiar and having her on Dark Magic is one of these set ups. Hope to roll up Soul Stealer (you could use a lvl 2 on Dark to make this a bit more certain), get her up to 6 wounds, charge her into combat (she may want a cheap 5pt magic item to help her out a little here, not that the 5 pt weapons from the BRB are much use on her). Once she is in combat she can then put the Focus Familiar outside of combat to aim Soul Stealer at something else to keep topping up her wounds.

She isnt going to do much damage with her one attack but the dragon will be doing some harm and the wounds bouncing back from the Amulet will deal out a bit of hurt as well. She will also have her other spells that she can use to dish out some pain while keeping the unit locked in combat. If there was a way to get the ward save and the Crown of Command on her she wont be going anywhere any time fast.

I am sure I remember hearing somewhere that this set up on the Supreme Sorceress could go toe to toe with a Bloodthirster no sweat, bouncing back wounds until the thirster died, and that was without the dragon. Of course you can always take a different, cheaper ward save if you are not wanting to bounce wounds back onto the enemy.

Just writing this I am contemplating running this girl the next chance that I get....

Edit: Just had a look at the Crown of Command option:

Supreme Sorceress: Lvl 4, Crown of Command, Talisman of Endurance, Focus Familiar, Black Dragon. 670 points.

You don't have enough points to get the 4+ ward so you are risking it a bit but if you consider yourself lucky on the dice rolls you may want to try it. That been said, 670 points plus 100+ more for the support lvl 2 is a crazy amount just to try include the dragon with SS.

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Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:19 am
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Corsair

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:54 pm
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Any lore you're looking at should ideally be able to address what you think the dragon can't do well. If you're worried about high armor targets (knights, monstrous cavalry, etc) Metal would be a great lore. If your concern is characters, Death would be pretty good. I'd say Dark is pretty good for anti-massed troops and Fire is pretty good for anti-chaff. Shadow is kind of a catch all - good in most situations, but probably best at debuffing a particular enemy unit.
I don't think there are are any truly awful choices when it comes to a support lore; the best thing is to try a bunch of stuff out and see what fits with your particular playstyle.

@reject - The Black Amulet sounds like a lot of fun - I might have to give it a go if I ever play a game at that point level. I don't think you'd actually need focus familiar to make Soul Stealer work. The crown could be left at home - you just really need to pick your combats carefully and keep the BSB nearby.
Maybe kitted out with the Amulet, Other Trickster's Shard, and the Tome? Or maybe replace the tome with a magic weapon for those instances where you run up against ethereal.


Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:51 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:37 am
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Like Cycloptic Squirrel said, all of the lores that we have access to would go nicely with the dragon but remember you will be wanting to target things like cannons early in the game and so maybe a lore that gives you something like fireball to deal with these would be good. 3d6 str 4 hits that reach most areas on the table can make short work of the war machines that are out to kill your dragon.

The Crown of Command is definilty just a little add on to top the combo off and isnt needed like you say (having a BSB nearby can be just as effective as long as you are not losing combats by too much, but that shouldnt matter because you shouldnt be picking combats that you will lose right?) but I think the Focus Familiar is quite important to the set up. How else will you regain wounds once you are locked into combat?

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Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:48 pm
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Corsair

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:54 pm
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I'm not sure that 3d6 S4 hits would do much against cannons as most war machines are T7 against ranged attacks (average of a little over one wound vs 3d6 Fireball). If you're looking for anti-warmachine, Pit of Shades or Purple Sun would work well, as war machines autofail Initiative tests, though Bladewind from the Dark lore is pretty fun to cast against cannon crews.

Soul Stealer says you can pick one unit within 12" which may be in close combat - it doesn't say the caster cannot be in close combat. You would absolutely need the Familiar if you were trying to cast magic missiles, but regaining wounds with Soul Stealer should be fine.


Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:47 pm
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Highborn

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:06 pm
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Location: the Netherlands
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@cycloptic squirrel don't forget that the 3d6 WS4 S4 attacks count as close combat attacks....and these would target the crew who have a lot lower toughness.
Then again...there are some warmachines out there..esp. on Warriors of Chaos and Chaos Dwarves who don;t have any crew.... hmm...must admit i;m not sure if these are catagorized as Warmachines or something else.


Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:52 am
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