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Riding the Manticore: deep in the discussion 
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Hi to everyone.

I'd like to build a constuctive discussion about the uses of these poor beasts. Though there are many other better choices out there, the Manticore is one of my favourite pet, and when I go down to get the car and see it in the corner starving for some good ride I always feel unsatisfacted not to go around with it.

This thread wants to confront not only some builds and combos (every set up excluding the one with the high sorceress on top), but also the list that you would like to have running along this choice. Then it is possible that the theme would become more tactical, speaking about the major flying routes to follow when travelling in the sky with the monster or the best use of it, still considering the list.

Any "brainstorming" is welcome until it does not become free spam.

About the lists I'd like to move the discussion on the limited contest, so that this thread will not become too long or time-wasting. I'm referring to the ETC limited contest that could be a fair place to discuss the different hypothesis.

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Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:46 pm
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I like the Manticore -- but only for a Dreadlord or Master. I have tried it as a mount for a High Sorceress (admittedly under the old book but the combo hasn't markedly improved) and it's not somethign I would do again.

The major obvious weakness is vulnerabilty to shooting and magic since the Manticore is easy to hit, has no armor save, and not a lot of wounds. As a result, if I know in advance the army I will be playing against, there are certain times I will not use the Manticore. The primary examples are against Lizardmen (too much poisoned shooting) and Wood Elves (Hail of Doom Arrow + regular shooting).

Due to this vulnerabilty to shooting and magic, in a tournament list I will generally try to take some equipment that will protect against shooting or magic -- possibilities include the Ring of Darkness, the Ring of Hotek, or 2 or 3 Null Talismans. This means no Pendant of Khaeleth for the rider, but I can live with that.

The equipment combo I like on a Dreadlord on a Manticore in a tournament list is Death Piercer, Armor of Darkness and either (a) Ring of Darkness or (b) 3xNull Talismans. I normally have the Ring of Hotek elsewhere in the army. Also, the Ring of Hotek isn't great against basic magic missiles (normally cast on 2 dice) to which the Manticore can be vulnerable. So I tend to think the Null Talismans are the better choice. Also, a pair of repeater handbows is definitely worth taking. If not in combat, you can almost always find something to shoot, and 4 shots with BS 6 is nothing to sneeze at.

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Last edited by Dyvim tvar on Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:03 pm
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If you're tailoring, he has no place against HE or VC (strikes first will kill him easily).

If not, I have found him to be fun vs any other army. I have 2 but rarely use the master on manticore as I don't think he justifies 2 hero slots (although he is certainly too powerful to only cost a single slot).

So I only have experience with dreadlords. Firstly, manticores die... a lot... A single war machine hit or flickering fire and mine is usually gone. A volley from 2 units of shooters will probably do the same.

So I play him differently to how I would play a dragon. With a dragon, I might happily fly him into the centre of my opponent's army with a big f*#@ off attitude screaming "what 'chu gonna do now!?!" and watch them scramble to react.

With a manticore, I am more likely to take 3 turns of careful manouvering, setting up a flank charge or holding him in reserve till an enemy is committed, then using his flight and large target status to isolate a unit.

The dragon rider can take a missile weapon since he is almost as useful out of combat as in. The manticore rider is virtually useless out of combat (unless youy play that rare army that is actually vulnerable to psychology... maybe O&G). So don't bother with a missile weapon; If he's not in combat, I would prefer if nothing has los to him that can hurt him, which often results in him having no LoS to anything he can hurt either. But do buy him a GW or halberd for when he gets un'horsed' and his magic lance is useless.

That's right, I said magic lance. I just can't resist the sheer number of killing blow attacks this combo can rack up, so I always go for deathpiercer on him. Dvim's setup (deathpiercer, 3 nulls and AoD) is the most efficient you can get but I usually prefer the pendant just because... well, that's the general... that's me... :oops: And I want 'me' to survive if at all possible. So I hope that my use of terrain, caddy and nearby (hopefully) hotek knights can protect him until he gets into combat.

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Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:53 pm
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Dyvim Tvar wrote:
The equipment combo I like on a Dreadlord on a Manticore in a tournament list is Death Piercer, Armor of Darkness and either (a) Ring of Darkness or (b) 3xNull Talismans.


Oh, I forgot to adress the ring of darkness; Now this is just theoryhammer, but I don't recommend it because, against most opponents, it equates to a measly -1 to hit; jezzails, thunderers, empire handgunners, marauder horse with throwing axes. It only gives -2 vs elves and outriders (or other bs4 or bs5) which is not enough of a shooting benefit to justify taking as shooting protection on a manticore (perhaps it is enough for a dragon though).

But as I said, this is just theory as I have never actually taken it because of that 'halves bs, rounding up' caviat.

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Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:59 pm
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Right -- The one place where it can potentially make a difference is against the Woodelves and the Hail of Doom Arrow. At long range, it's the difference between hitting on 2+ or 4+. But in most cases, the Ring of Darkness only serves to offset the +1 to hit for being a large target, so I agree it is not extraordinarily cost-effective. Null Talismans are the better bet.

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Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:16 pm
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I'm not a Manti owner - but who can pretend to really own a Manticore anyway? let's rephrase that.
I'm not a Manti rider myself, not intending to become one either, but as you welcome brainstorming, brainstorming I'll provide.

- KB.
KB manti plus KB dreadlord = reliable KB.
Consider that in addition the mere strength of both Manti and the deathpiercer's give chances to get the kill even when the hatred KB failed.
The DP-Manti is the ultimate killer.
Designed to get rid of either the big warlord or its knight escort in heavy armour.

- Useless KB.
I've read that some armies have anti-KB features. Dwarves at least have. Ogres have naturally.

- competing KB.
How does the DL-Manti compare to a couple of KB-maxed assassins?
This question proves that the Manti has to be used for its mobility and terror, in addition to KB which is not enough, unless you care only for reliable KB.

- Mobility.
The large flying beast can charge over anything.
That is its second outstanding asset, shared only with the dragonlord.
The Pegasus is not large and far less deadly.

- compare to a dragon.
They have similar characteristics: a large flying mounted monster causing terror.
The dragon is superior for resistance, breath, strength.
The Manti is superior for (reliable-)KB, cost, and requiring no hero slot not dreadlord.
In my eyes, the Manti is justified mostly if you can't take a dragon, i.e. for a master.

- vulnerability to distance attacks.
This is the greatest liability of the Manti, and the main reason why many people (and me too) don't like it.
RoD is not sufficient to protect it from shooting. LOS avoidance is.
2-3 null shards seem to me an adequate protection from magic. LOS avoidance is often not enough.
As a large target, it can hide only behind an hydra or some terrain.
You never know the terrain. I would not consider a Manti without an hydra: you're always certain to be able to hide your mount!
although crossfire from very open angles are problematic, or canon shooting that can shoot across the hydra.

- the Manti frontal attack
Planning to kill the opponent's lord, the Manti gets away of the cover, position at 15" of the selected enemy which can no more flee. Then comes the enemy's turn. One round of shooting/magic. Meanwhile, the selected target may find a spot to get cover and the process has to be redone, for a second round of shooting/magic.
Frontal attack is not safe!
The investment to have a reliable-KB manti seems not justified considering how difficult it could be to get the opponent's general without the opponent's consent.

- the Manti rear attack
Assuming it will get killed ultimately, it has to survive long enough to make its death worth.
If you can magic-move the Manti to charge, that result sure can be obtained. But the chances that the opponent will let your spell go through are remote.
So you must instead hide the Manti a couple of turns (assuming that terrain is large enough to allow that), until you decide to move the beast in a spot at 20", out of any dangerous shooter's LOS (taking into account the possible enemy's moves).
Only then you can threaten a rear terror-charge with US5 and many KB. Likely result is one opponent's unit fleeing to our lines and get caught by our other troops in the way.
Trouble is that the Manti will have to pursue and come in front of the opponent's battle line, vulnerable to shooting. And die.

It seems to me that the Manti is a dreadful gun with a single shot.
So you better be able to destroy a unit worth more than the Manti.
In that case, the KB will be nice against heavly armoured troops. Attacking their rear means that the rank&file are targetted, not the über-hero, for a nice ACR+rear attack cancelling ranks.
There, the KB needs not to be that reliable.
Finally the deathpiercer may not be mandatory.

- A possible combo of terror?
Double-hydra plus one Manti.
Hydras skirmish-move forwards, keeping a "V" shape inside which the Manti remains safely, protected from everithing except non-LOS cannon, non-LOS spells and warmachines on top of hills.
When close enough, fly the Manti above the enemy's battle-line while the hydras get close to the front and breathe.
Result: many terror tests resulting in fleeing towards a US5 foe, and many opportunities to rear-charge for the Manti.
If the foe turns 180° and faces the Manti, the hydras get close and breathe again.

- one good reason to take a Manti: corsair fluff! :D
Mantis are said to fly in vicinity of Black Arches. ;)

My 10 cents.

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Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:15 pm
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Cool trick with double crossfire!
Never though of that!
1 Question. Considering a unit takes a single break test is he going to flee towards the main army + the hydra who is in front or towards his deployment since the hydra has US 5 ?
Asking because crossfire may not happen since the bases of the monsters are too small in case more than 1 enemy fails the test.


Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:42 pm
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I have often used a manticore for dealing with those stubborn warmachines such as dwarves with master engineers or the tomb kings casket which comes with a character. It may seem a bit overkill when we have so many other good war machine hunters, but landing in the middle of a battery of cannons, eating the one with the character and causing others to run through terror is too funny to pass up sometimes. It especially works well when used as part of a combined attack on such an emplacement, killing the toughest one (or one you want dead the most) with the manticore and having other units charge anything else in a position to counter attack with shooting in the following turn, just to tie them up.

The other thing worth a mention while on the subject is the repeater cross bow. Your character always has line of sight over terrain and with a flying move and a 24" range, he can normally find something to shoot even while keeping out of the line of enemy fire, if you have the spare points that it.

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Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:24 pm
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Let us not overlook the viability of taking a BSB Master on a Manticore. Both with a magic banner and without a magical banner. The extra 1 CR from being the BSB is worth it to take on any Manti-master that you don't need to be your general. Taking a magic banner results in a lack of protection for the hero and the manti, as well as a bit of loss of the combat power. However, taking the Standard of Slaughter gives the manticore the ability take out blocks of units. While it probably won't be taking out any elites, it can reliably hit units of spears and the such and beat them in combat. Given a regular CR of 5 (3 ranks, Banner, Outnumber), the manticore will start of with anywhere from 2-4. Add in 8 high strength hatred attacks, and you should be killing everything in base to base. With no attacks coming back, you have a good chance of beating a lot of ranked units. However, I'm tired, and I've probably missed some things with this, so anyone who wants to run with it feel free.

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Fri May 01, 2009 1:52 am
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Well Loki its a good tactic but the again a protective item is needed more that a magical banner. Its my personal opinion but the BSB is a viable option for a master on manticore with him having magical protection of some sort... least you want the enemy to get +100 victory points :P

Great threat but I think we should note the potential failure of the manticore due to frenzy taking over... this is the main reason i am not using a manticore as of yet.


Fri May 01, 2009 2:01 am
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Tu'Shan wrote:
...The other thing worth a mention while on the subject is the repeater cross bow. Your character always has line of sight over terrain and with a flying move and a 24" range, he can normally find something to shoot even while keeping out of the line of enemy fire, if you have the spare points that it.
I've found out, in The D.R.A.I.C.H. Boot Camp – Shooting, that the MXB provided to a Master will kill in 3 shots more than its modest cost. A pair of RHB are more effective but being more expensive, they have the same cost-effectiveness, i.e. they need 3 rounds of shooting as well to pay back more than their cost.

The challenge for shooting is to remain safely out of the opponent's shooter's LOS, while getting in position to shoot.
It seems easier to fly circles around foes and shoot them in their back at short distance until they make a mistake and we can charge them.
The pair of RHB would kind of replace the lacking breath weapon.
So I'd advocate the pair of RHB rather than a single MXB.
Remember, if you feel that most likely you won't be able to shoot 3 times, you better leave RHB and MXB home and spend your pts on something else, they are not likely to pay back their cost for only 2 rounds of shooting.

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Fri May 01, 2009 7:31 am
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I often use the Master on Manticore at 2000 pts in combination with a Dreadlord on Dragon (Lord has Sword of Battle, Crystal of Midnight and Hero has just the mundane equipement, the ring is on my CoK champion)
And I often use him to advance over the flanks where he can hide behind some terrain. Sometimes when there is no such terrain on the table I make a full advance in my first turn with whole my army, which is maybe somewhat tailored on this tactic, as I have 3-4 units of Dark Riders, 2 units of CoK, 1 unit of Shades and a Hydra. If you do this, the enemy will have one single turn to use his shooting, and will have to choose what to shoot.
After this first turn of advancement the manticore charges a somewhat lighter unit preferably in the flank (core infanteryblocks in the flank, warmachines, plaquebearers with herald in the front if I already came to know the herald hasn't got the 'ASL for the enemy' gift for a nice killing blow)
If I play <2000 pts, the manticore takes up the role of terror-spreader, light missile magnet and combination charger. Combine his charge with one of an unit of CoK, a Hydra, even an unit of Dark Riders, and you have a charge that is to be dreaded.
Mind however always to set up you manticore with his sight to your deployment zone if your enemy has units he cannot take on on his own. He might become frenzied, which might become a pain in the, well... you know.

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Fri May 01, 2009 7:43 am
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I'm going to a tourney this sunday (etc limits) and I'll bring the Manticore with me (yes Calisson, indeed someone does have the model :D , even painted pretty well). Probably I'll add the link to the battle report that I'll post sunday.

This will be the set up of the Manticore:
Lord with deathpiercer, armour and ring of darkness, couple of rhb.

My thoughts: I always tried the master on manticore as I feared to lose early in the game the mount for my lord, so havin him going around on foot from the 3rd turn. This time I choose to get the Dreadlord on top, as I wanted to be more covered and gain an extra punch. Sure it costs a lot with this items (446) and probably won't earn his points back, but could be a force multiplier for other units.

Why this set up? I'll explain my reasons.
Deathpiercer: I do not have any other killing blow in the list (I'll post the complete army in the br) and I wanted to threathen heavy armoured characters: with reroll the chance of getting a kb is quite good and if you can force a character in a challenge even the regeneration is useless.
Getting an halberd would have been nice too, but I didn't have the points.

Armour of darkness: I choose this one, because I gave the regenerating one to the bsb on foot. Then, with the etc limitations, you have one hero slot less if giving to anyone the pendant. So this is the best protection I could give him.

Ring of darkness: I partially agree with sulla on this item, but I start from considerating that it is quite impossible to always avoid all the fire (at least one turn you need to be on "open ground" to get the charge). This ring helps the manticore to survive, even if it only grants a -1 most of the times. I considered that, to play the Manticore, you need to avoid enemy fire always but one turn when you'll probably be exposed to it. That time you'll need all what you can get to protect the mount. If it is true that you cannot freely move the monster on the table, it is equally true that you'll be forced to get some shooting in the game, not being allowed to wait until turn 6 to make a charge, as the piece costs too much to be repayed in one turn only. Another consideration that got me into this choice was the fact that you should be able to survive a double shoot from 6 pyros (normal shooting with the penalties from moving and long range and then the s&s reaction) and then wiping them all on the charge, not suffering this big damage.
Along with this choice go the handbows: 4 shots that can weaken the enemy shooters ready to break the mount, or maybe able to earn a panic check.

On the other side I do not fear magic that much, as there are only 9 pd usable in this contest and I've got 5 dd plus 2 scrolls.
I'll add a little extra comment later, after the tourney with my impressions.

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Sat May 02, 2009 4:42 pm
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Darkurieth wrote:
Well Loki its a good tactic but the again a protective item is needed more that a magical banner. Its my personal opinion but the BSB is a viable option for a master on manticore with him having magical protection of some sort... least you want the enemy to get +100 victory points :P

Great threat but I think we should note the potential failure of the manticore due to frenzy taking over... this is the main reason i am not using a manticore as of yet.


The ways of managing frenzy are to limit your charge options at long range (by using cover to restrict LoS and facing your manti appropriately).

At short range, it is almost inconsequential because you should close on the enemy lines and leave yourself many targets to choose from in case of frenzy. With a large flyer at close range and with multiple targets, frenzied charging is not a liability. All the other downsides of frenzy are already conferred upon DE by their hatred anyway.

The only real time it is bad is at long range when only one possible charge target (usually fast cav or skirmishers) is in range, forcing it to charge. Get past that stage (or just pass your Ld :twisted:) and frenzy doesn't impact at all in practiacal terms except to give you even more killing blows. This is not like the old 6th ed bloodthirster who had to deploy backwards in case he lost turn 1.

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Sat May 02, 2009 10:41 pm
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I use a master on manticore as my general in games below 2000 points, and its generally a bit hit or miss. The manticore and rider attracts a significant amount of attention, which can be exploited by other units.

My last game, against wood elves, involved the manticore & rider dancing around a small wood with a treeman, each trying to get line of sight to good targets without offering themselves as a target to the opposing monster. The dance-off was ended when an altar kindred with the Hail of Doom arrow showed up and inflicted 4 wounds on the manticore.
The master subsequently joined up with two units of corsairs slowly being ground down by three treekin, eventually breaking them though a little luck.
What won me the game though, was that the manticore, though it didn't kill anything and got shot away in turn 3, managed to keep the attention of the treeman and treekin from more important targets, such as my hydra.
Ultimately the hydra won me a solid victory, by pac-maning through 10 wardancers & wardancer hero, 10 glade guard, 3 wild riders, treeman (togther with some Cold one Knights) and the aforementioned altar kindred.

Essentially I think the manticore needs other heavy hitting units in the list in order to avoid becomming too obvious a target, and even if it does, then focus is shifted away from other heavy-hitters.

My Master is usually equipped with the Deathpiercer and Ring of Hotek, though looking at some builds here, I'm tempted alternatives such as the great weapon add-on with Null Talismans


Sat May 02, 2009 10:54 pm
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I also own a shiney manticore model, but it hasn't seen to many games yet. Yes, I know the potential combinations that may make the model worthwile, but the real question for me is, what kind of list to include it in?

As a hammer, it is almost worthless, too fragile. So we need it in a list as a heavy hunter/march blocker/terror bomber. I've been thinking about this a lot, and I envision the manticore in a khainite list more than anything else (not just for fluff), with lots of infantry and harpies, and a cauldron of course.

So my question really is: in what kind of list do you see the manticore working best? What supporting characters? What other hammers/anvils would you use?


Mon May 04, 2009 9:32 am
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I've added the br from the last tourney I played. The link is this one:
http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=61294

General notes on the Manticore: the opponents knows that it costs many points, so they try to kill it ine every way. This give you a nice edge, knowing what are they intentions. Flying around and especially the ring made it survive, most of all in the first match, while the killing blow lance is really feared. A null shard would be welcome to avoid the nasty d6 shots in the magic phase, while the handbows proved very useless as you should see the unit that you want to shoot at, so that many times those units are not your main target.

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Mon May 04, 2009 4:12 pm
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Hi all, I have used the dreadlord on manticore for nearly 2 years now...since the final days of the 6th ed.

And all these while it has rarely been shot down (i fought high elves, woodies, lizzies etc). By careful hopping around terrain pieces and taking cover, the manticore will rarely suffer from wounds. It can be done. Note: if you are afraid of shooting, take some counterfire of your own....rbts kill enemy archers very well!

thanks to the killing blow, my manticore has taken out a fair share of chaos knights and lizardmen characters (especially skink priest on EoTG)

Another advantage of fielding the manticore is that it frees up extra points and 1 hero slot for not taking a dragon.

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Wed May 06, 2009 4:11 pm
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sulla wrote:
but I usually prefer the pendant just because... well, that's the general... that's me... :oops: And I want 'me' to survive if at all possible.


Spoken like a true dark elf. ;)

I generally use a manti exclusively in fluff khaine lists, and I've found that Captain Scarlet combo generally works decently.

Out of curiosity, has anyone tried fighting competitively with dragon and manti in a 2kish list? I always thought it would be amusing, but haven't gotten around to it.


Fri May 08, 2009 1:16 am
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One thing I've learned is that manticores should never go into combat with any other sort of monster, they will get seriously pwned. I had a recent game of 3000 points limited to 1 Lord choice against a Beasts army. While my manticore dreadlord chewed through 2 units of knights (he used the old HoC book in conjunction with BoC) and several smaller herds (I had a Pendant, AoES, Shield, SDC, Deathpiercer), I stayed away from my friend's minotaur lord for the whole game, much to his disappointment. Afterward, we just did a test run of me charging the Minotaur and I got my ass handed to me. He had the armor where you reroll successful hits, and I was unable to do enough wounds to kill it. At that point he just attacked the manitcore, killed it out from under me, and autobroke me due to outnumber and fear. Lesson learned: manticores are best used to take out small units of knights, warmachine crews, fast cav, and maybe small weak blocks of troops.

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Fri May 08, 2009 1:25 am
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Loki wrote:
One thing I've learned is that manticores should never go into combat with any other sort of monster, they will get seriously pwned. I had a recent game of 3000 points limited to 1 Lord choice against a Beasts army. While my manticore dreadlord chewed through 2 units of knights (he used the old HoC book in conjunction with BoC) and several smaller herds (I had a Pendant, AoES, Shield, SDC, Deathpiercer), I stayed away from my friend's minotaur lord for the whole game, much to his disappointment. Afterward, we just did a test run of me charging the Minotaur and I got my ass handed to me. He had the armor where you reroll successful hits, and I was unable to do enough wounds to kill it. At that point he just attacked the manitcore, killed it out from under me, and autobroke me due to outnumber and fear. Lesson learned: manticores are best used to take out small units of knights, warmachine crews, fast cav, and maybe small weak blocks of troops.


Mino lords can only use magic weapons, not any other magic items (unfortunately).

Having said that, yes, your original statement is correct in general. Stay away from anything you can't kill in a single combat phase with a manti if you don't want it to get mauled. This includes the front of khorne chariots, frenzied chaos knights and most large monsters.

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Fri May 08, 2009 5:55 am
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Noble
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Reroll successfull hits... that means that in conjunction with hatred, you reroll all dice the first round? :D

@Loki: with fluff khaine lists, what's the general character layout?

Dreadlord on manti, CoB, Hag BSB, Scroll caddy?


Fri May 08, 2009 7:49 am
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Brolock
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sulla: Damn. Though it didn't make any real difference, this was after the game and we were just seeing what would have happened. The point still stands, at T5 with no armor save and only 4 wounds, other smaller monsters (manticores, griffons, and the like) are about all that would be worth charging.

Thanatoz, I don't know, I never ran a fluffy Khaine list. I just ran a Dreadlord on the Manticore because I couldn't take a dragon (that would have been an extra hero choice) and I needed something with the extra punch and mobility.

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Fri May 08, 2009 10:13 am
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I'm going to move this to the tactics forum because it seems like more of a tactical discussion than a druchii discussion. Feel free to pm me if you disagree though ;)

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Sat May 09, 2009 1:21 am
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I love the master on the manticore. I typically field him with the armor of eternal servitude, a sword of might, a sdc and a shield. 336 points isn't that much to spend for what he does. He can break ranks and cause all sorts of havoc to a battle line. He can take a flank by himself. It also keeps your lord spot free. If I run a magic list, a level 4, a level 2 and a master on manticore is a bit pricy, but a really solid combination in 2500 or so points. I have also run two masters on manticore in a 'budget' monster list with a ring. The other one will have the pendent and the sword of battle and cost 340 points if I go that route.

The dragon is superior if you run low magic over even 2 manticores (and I usually run a dragon and a scroll caddy), but a manticore really shines to me with a master in a high magic list. It gets shot a bit, but your hydra does, too... and I typically run a chariot or two, so there are only so many shots to go around.


Sun May 10, 2009 1:10 am
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