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Unkillable roadblock dreadlord... or not? 
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Dragon Lord
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I've tried the "Unkillable Roadblock Dreadlord" in the last tournament (ended up 4th place)

His equipment was:
Pendant of Khaeleth
Crown of Command
Dragonhelm
Soulrender
Heavy Armor
Sea Dragon Cloak
Dark Pegasus

He managed to pull off the roadblock part very well... but the unkillable one, not so much. Out of three games... he died three times.
In game one, Blood or Glory his death was the point where I lost the battle... that sucked.
In game two it didn't matter.
In game three his death was probably the difference between just winning or massacreing my opponent.

I think the problem was, due to the fact that he's perceived as unkillable I put him in really dangerous positions. Granted, anyone else would probably die there in a round or two of combat without much to show for it. But his "roadblocking" ability was only really needed in second game where he stopped a train of ogres with 3 heroes in it from crashing through my lines.

So I think I'll be replacing him with this:
Master
Pendant of Khaeleth
Dragonhelm
Great Weapon/Halberd
Dark Pegasus

Advantages of this guy: Same amount of wounds and same durability as the dreadlord for about 100 points less (and giving another 100 less to the enemy as he's not the general).
Disadvantages: slightly lower hitting power than the dreadlord (one attack less and no armor piercing) and no stubborn.

His job would obviously be different than the dreadlord. While dreadlord tried to be universal roadblock/warmachine hunter/monster killer... this one has to focus on war machines and monsters as he can easily lose combat and break away (which is basically how I was losing the dreadlord, being overconfident in his "unkillability")

Whatcha all think?

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Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:05 pm
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Well, i do give a "roadblock dreadlord" the armour of living death as well as the pendant, the extra wound really helps. Also he is on a cold one, so he's gonna b stupid anyway. Full armour, a lance and there ya go. Without the soulrender, however, he's gonna be less killy.


Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:20 pm
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Umm, with armor of living death and pendant, how do you afford crown of command?
Without the crown his roadblock status is none.

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Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:25 pm
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Putting the general on a pegasus is rarely as good an idea as it sounds since he often flieds out of Ld range of the army.

Also, the +1Ld banner makes a Ld10 general far less important than he used to be. If you have the hero points available, use the master instead.

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Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:49 pm
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I'm actually weighing those 2 builds up against each other atm for the next 2500 pts tournament. Only exception is that i have other trixters shard on both, since i often play daemons.

I've personally come to the conclusion that the DL is too expensive for the role, and as sulla says, not cool to have him be the general too.

Master, and a lvl 4 in a unit with Ld banner is the way to go, imo.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:40 am
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Dalamar would your master also have mundane armour and sea dragon cloak?

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:09 am
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Of course, all the way up to 2+ save in combat and 1+ save against shooting.

The thing is that master can't have the crown as well... meaning that if you face a huge block of say, chaos chosen with 3+ ward and MR2 with nothing that can touch them... he at least can hold them up for most of the game.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:21 am
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You're playing agains that unit, you're probably playing against double hellcannons and 2 units of 40-50 khorne GW marauders too. You might hold them up, but I'm picking the rest of the WAAC WoC will steamroll you anyway.

If by some miracle, the chosen are the only decent threat in the WoC force, I'd feed them harpies to limit them to 1" per turn for a couple of turns. There's so much more a dreadlord could be doing than fighting an unwinnable fight.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:35 am
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Why is the dreadlord not on a cold one (+2 armour save and ITP) or dark steed with beserker sword (+1 armour save, +1 attack and ITP while frenzied)

My preference for the unkillable roadblock dreadlord is:

Dreadlord
Cold One
Crown of Command
Pendant of Khaeleth
Heavy armour, shield, sea dragon cloak
Whatever you want to spend the remaining points on.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:52 am
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I've played A LOT with the Blocking Lord. At a few tournaments as well and have been really successfull.
And yes, he can, and often will die unless you help him out.
Don't expect him to last the entire game vs a Really tough unit, cuz he won't.

Though, there are two things I've found that helps a ton to make him more effective:
(And this is the most important one)
He must, must, MUST have 1+ AS. No question about it. The less saves you have to take with the pendant, the better. Armour needs to be maxed! The difference between 2+ and 1+ is Huge when you have to soak up about 12 str 5+ attacks/round.
So get that armour save up!

And secondly, he doesn't need a Pegas. Befor deployment starts, you allmost always know which unit you want to hold up. It's not difficult to get him there, at all. And if, for some reason, you can't charge the unit you want, just put the Dreadlord 1" infront of it and have your opponent decide what to do. If the Dreadlord is out of combat but still doing his job - all the better!
So what he really needs, is a Cold One.
Fear can sometimes help him out, but it's just a bonus, nothing more. And don't worry about stupidity, for the first test you'll have your BSB nearby, and pretty often for the second as well.
Allso, mounting him on a cold one will you give you this Hugely important 1+ AS.

So, the conclusion:

Soulrender is a great weapon indeed (no pun intended). So I suggest to stick with the items you allready have.
Pendant
Crown
Soulrender
Dragonhelm

It's worth repeating it: He's NOT unkillable, don't Ever think he is. Eventually, he will breake or die.

The weakness with this guy is that your LD10-bubble is stuck somewhere on the table, but with a BSB, that isn't allways that much of an issue. You'll be able to handle most LD tests.
Allso, he's worth a few points when he eventually dies. So if you want to prevent that, I suggest you plan ahead, and send a Hydra into the flank of what ever the Dreadlord is fighting as soon as it doesn't have a more important job to do!

There, hope that helps!

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:14 am
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It has always seemd to me that the pendant DL on peg is way to expencive to use as as roadblock. With clever play, 3 units of harpies will do the same for half the points really. The Chuck Norris build on the other hand is one of the strong DE weapons imo. Far less points and extremely versatile. Takes out warmachines, small harassment units and shooters making hes points back many times. My build is peg, full mundane armor, pendant and sword of might. Don`t like to make him a bsb as I like to have the bsb central for rerolls. Less than 200p if the enemy should go after him big time. The pendant, general DL is a far more juicy target. Thats my take on it annyways.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm
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If you know that you are going to be up against rank and file only, the best build is:

Dreadlord
Cold One
Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak
Armour of eternal servitude
Dawnstone
Crown of Command

Against S3 and S4 foes, that gives you:
2+ armour save
2+ armour save
4+ regen save

You're also still stubborn and ITP.

You're not realistically going to take any wounds with that.

The build's gaping weakness is against foes with high strengths and/or flaming attacks. A S7 sword of flaming doom is going to really hurt :(

Soo, the build is frankly peerless as a rank and file blocker, but not good as an anti character roadblock.



As to the original OP, yes, your master build looks pretty optimal. But, having run it before, it is a bit risky - only having two wounds makes it all too easy for him to be killed by a couple of freak dice or need to roll massed saves (a horde unit with spears, for example, will be attacking him with 16 attacks per turn, hitting on 4s or 5s and wounding on 4s or 3s. You could end up with a lot of saves from that per turn). For this reason consider replacing the dark peggy - you will reduce the number of attacks that can be directed at him if he is on a dark steed or cold one.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:06 pm
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Blocking S3 infantry is really not a problem... Hydra can do with with little effort... hell, my crossbowmen can fight S3 infantry off.

Dreadlord needs the pendant over AoES because he gets stuck with the biggest, baddest enemy unit... which usually means a lot of S5 or more attacks that will squish any other elf with little effort and put a huge dent even on a hydra.

DP master has 3 wounds, thanks to profile merging of monstrous cavalry, and he will not fight anything with more than a handful attacks. His job is killing war machines, small shooting units and stopping dangerous monsters on their tracks.

I believe roadblock on the cold one would be better as a roadblock... but a lot less universal.
What if the enemy army happens to be a gunline where there's nothing to block? He needs to get in combat with those ranged units fast and be able to move around the battlefield (pegasus master can safely fly over dwarf units to reach their war machines... he's much taller than them and can fly over... something a Cold One master can't do)

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:46 pm
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The problem with the unkillable Dreadlord is that you're using an expensive, killing oriented unit a defensive role where death/failure is likely inevitable. Yes, you're tying up an enemy, but you're also sacrificing all the other roles that character can potentially fulfill and throwing him into a hopeless situation. Sure, it can be useful to have him, but only if you're confident you'll be gaining enough VP to justify using a character in that fashion.

I encountered a similar phenomenon with my Wood Elves way back when. I was using the Treeman Ancient, supported by the popular 7th edition configuration of a Noble with great weapon, light armor, shield, Helm of the Hunt, Hail of Doom Arrow (essentially, a pure glass cannon character with no defense and lots of offensive hitting power.)

After 50+ successful games with this character combination, I decided to swap the hitting-oriented Noble for a BSB to help my Treeman tarpit better and maximize his use of Stubborn. Once I started doing so, my W/L ratio dropped off and I found my troops were getting bogged down and killed more frequently in my games. Once I stopped using my characters to deliver decisive, VP-earning charges, and focused more on delaying/hindering dangerous enemy units, I struggled more to win games.

Now, I think there's a parallel here. I think that using a character like the cheaper, offensively-oriented Pegasus Noble (I refuse to call him Chuck Norris because I do not like how the actual Chuck Norris has used his pop culture influence to weigh in on social and political issues) will be an easy way to gain VP and maintain the initiative in executing your battle plan. The roadblock Dreadlord, while no doubt incredibly useful, is too easy to use carelessly and overestimate when setting up your strategy.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:08 pm
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So what is your point there Tethlis?

That it's easy to just get him stuck in without any real mind behind it and hope for it to work?
While it's much more difficult to use him effectively, especially if you get a bad matchup.

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Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:21 pm
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The "unkillable" is always able to be killed. I think I did the math once and determined that the Dreadlord "Horselord Guardian" build should typically only hold for between 3-5 rounds of combat against an opposing heavy-hitting character, or about 4-5 rounds against a rank-and-file unit of strength 5+.

People tend to assume that "unkillable" truly means exactly that, while there is something like a 51% chance of taking a wound each round of combat assuming he's facing 7 or so strength 5 attacks a turn. (If I recall, I was doing the math for Grimgor.) In otherwords, he's a wonderful tarpit, but you should fully expect him to die if you don't have something that can help him out to actually win the combat in a turn or two.

I get Tethlis' point in that having a source of damage can often be more beneficial than simply pinning something in place. I'm not even going to try to contest the validity of the "best defense is an outstanding offense" strategy, because it works the majority of the time.

On the other hand, the Dreadlord tarpit works when we have a list that doesn't have a convenient way to eliminate an elite horde. I know that I have been trying to avoid the auto-kill spells from the BRB, so in case I encounter a horde I will need to buy time to deal with it. I have no real issue with using a model that is worth less than 400pts, including the General VP bonus, to buy myself 2-3 turns against a 400pt horde complete with the opposing side's 300pt general to eliminate everything else on the other side of the board.

That is the main point of the tarpit Dreadlords, to buy time to deal with those threats that you haven't built an effective counter into your list. If you have a high offense list, his necessity goes down as the points are better spent on more offense. If you have a slower slaying, maneuver list then he may fill out that important slot of decoy to a tremendous degree.

As big a fan as I am of this build, I wouldn't recommend him for everyone. He fits a certain role, but leaves you in a bit of a lurch as you are short some hitting power in close combat. As with most things built into the army list it is a tradeoff that you are attempting to take advantage of. Similar to the trade between ranged and combat, quantity and quality, this adds endurance versus lethality to our options. It's not a catch all, merely another arrow in our quiver to purloin a phrase.

As a final note regarding the "unkillable" label, tell that to my dreadlord after he got Dweller-ed then Transmuted in sequential games. :roll:

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Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:19 pm
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EbonyPhoenix wrote:
As a final note regarding the "unkillable" label, tell that to my dreadlord after he got Dweller-ed then Transmuted in sequential games. :roll:


There is a tool for every job, including our "unkillable" lords. Very well written post.


Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:36 pm
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Xzazzarai wrote:
So what is your point there Tethlis?

That it's easy to just get him stuck in without any real mind behind it and hope for it to work?
While it's much more difficult to use him effectively, especially if you get a bad matchup.


EbonyPhoenix hit the point. Yes, by investing a lot of points in a unit that can potentially have a lot of hitting power, but is used defensively instead, it can mean you lose initiative and decisive killing power. You become reactive, rather than proactive, and any game where I find myself defending a lot with my Dark Elves often turns into a game I lose.

That being said, Dark Elves (unlike Wood Elves) can generate appalling high-strength, high-weaponskill killing power without relying heavily on characters for help, so having a Dreadlord who doesn't do much besides pin something down still leaves a lot of potential for hurting things in other parts of the list.

I agree that the Roadblock Dreadlord is a great take-all-comers method for troubleshooting Deathstars. You won't get any VP for that Deathstar, but you won't have to deal with it for most of the game either, which is very useful. I see the appeal of the Roadblock Dreadlord, but I also don't have enough faith in my dice own rolling to keep him alive and in combat phase after phase. It makes me nervous to know that I'm hinging my strategy on the dice rolling and performance of one single model.

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Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:01 pm
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ive lost too many games by having my expensive general die in this fashion. the vps he gives up doesnt make him worth it to me. i get get more by making him do other jobs.


Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:50 pm
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also in this, I am finding that there is a different type of roadblock for different types of armies- a WAAC WoC (in Sulla's illustration) would need something far different than say Skaven Hordes. A Dragon Egg could easily handle the horde, and might give you an edge vs others, but with 50 Chosen fully blessed by round 2, you've just handed a LOT of points to your enemy

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Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:43 pm
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I think i got my roadblock pretty well equipped....

Death Piercer
Pendant of Khaeleth
Crown of Command
Cold One
Heavy Armor
Enchanted Shield
total 276 pts.
1+ Armor / *+ Wardsave.
S6 on the charge, S4 otherwise, with killing Blow.

Definately a build i'm keeping.

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:36 am
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About the killing blow part...
Not anymore.
It's a lance.
According to new lance rules (8th edition) you use lance on the charge only and then it specifically says in the lance description that you switch to hand weapon. It overrulles the "I'm using this one" rule.

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:03 am
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Dalamar wrote:
About the killing blow part...
Not anymore.
It's a lance.
According to new lance rules (8th edition) you use lance on the charge only and then it specifically says in the lance description that you switch to hand weapon. It overrulles the "I'm using this one" rule.


but since its a magical weapon, arent you forced to use it no matter what?

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:13 am
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It's an issue to be FAQd (hopefully soon)

It's something you have to do... but you can't do it.

So imagine yourself having to pick up a 500 pound weigth.. you have to, but you physically can't. Even if your life depended on it, you just can't.

That's the way I'd play it.

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:27 am
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i've re-read both rules (the lance, and the magical weapon one), and yeah, not that easy to figure that one out...

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:33 am
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