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Calisson's analysed approach to a balanced corsair army. 
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Corsair
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
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Location: Hag Graef
Yep! It's my turn to post a list.
Warning: the post is long. Hope you'll enjoy it.

-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O- o|--}

Background.

I've been playing so far mostly home games, usually with small armies of less than 2K.
I'd like to develop a bigger army, get used to it, and hopefully get confident enough with it, to the point of being able to dare to start playing in a more competitive environment with reasonable expectations, should the opportunity present itself.

Today I'm posting this army list because:
- you may provide me with some good advice for improvement, and rectify false assumptions;
- the way of analysing it may be of interest for you;
- it's supposed to be an efficient list with a corsair theme, which could be of interest for corsair lovers.

The idea behind the list I'm toying with is to get a lot of flexibility, and to try to make it very balanced.
The units fall into 5 categories: magic – shooting – agility – melee enhancements – melee.

In addition, there are other characteristics:
Magic-heavy, because it's fun.
A significant corsair presence, because “Go Navy!”, but using the best corsair settings.
No Khainite units, because I don't own any (except characters: COB and sass).
No CO, because I miss too often stupidity rolls in important moments.

-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O- o|--}

Army List: The Calissons.
(edited 9 posts below)
Magic:
Being footed, the two sorceresses can be babysat in many units, adapting to the terrain found: MXB, 2 x RBTs for long range spells; BG, corsairs, RHB corsairs for short range spells. Lores to be adapted to the situation.

Sorceress, level 4. Black staff, scroll. 340 pts. General.
Black staff is there to eat 2 DD from the enemy, or if he doesn't, to provide 3 more PD!

Sorceress level 2. scroll. 160 pts.
FF would bring more flexibility to the positioning of the sorceress, if I had the pts.


Shooting:
Provides far-reaching effective annoyance, killing light march-blockers, putting pressure.

10 MXB, shield. 110 pts.
I had no spare pts for the musician, but I found him rarely needed. With shield, they can occasionally become a melee unit.

2 x RBT. 2 x 100 pts.
Flexibility is provided by the choice between 6 shots or 1 more powerful shot. 360°LOS allows a flexible selection of targets.


Agility.
March-blocking, snipe-charging warmachines & characters, shaping the battlefield to my needs..

5 shades, GW. 90 pts. Threatening flank-charges. When they don't threaten, they shoot. Flexible positioning during deployment. The assassin could start here, if not babysitting the sorceress.

2 x 5 harpies. 2 x 55 pts. Flying is extremely flexible. Expandable! Great annoyance for the enemy.

5 DR, musician. 92 pts. Fast cavalry is inherently flexible with an impressive mobility and the option to bait charges.
I had not the pts for MXB, so no option for shooting, but with naked DR, I accept more easily suicide charges.


Melee force multipliers.
These enhancements can either help one melee unit or work alone as one more agility unit.

“Unkillable” Master, BSB, PoK, soulrender. 177 pts. Can lone-charge from a larger unit, and especially ethereal creatures. Can stay in BG or in vicinity and allow them to reroll their stubborn roll. Can bodyguard the Lev4. If in BG, the ASF compensates his strike last. Otherwise, he is more likely to get the charge than to receive it. Anyhow, being nearly unkillable, he can afford to strike last.

Assassin. AHW, KB, d3 more attacks. 151 pts. The flexibility is provided by the positioning during the deployment. He can join shades and allow the surprise charge, threatening effectively even armoured Bretonnians with a deadly flank-charge. Otherwise, it can be the Lev4's bodyguard, or the corsair's ASF. Finally, if no better use, he can go with the RHB corsairs and be sheltered quite safely onto the opposite side of the battlefield. If within COB 's range, he can lone-charge efficiently. If Shadow Lore is taken, he can benefit from it.

COB. 200 pts. Enhancer for either BG, corsairs or hydra. In addition, shades, possibly DR and even RHB corsairs will benefit efficiently from it.
Also, it makes the assassin stubborn with Ld10! Allowing him to lone-charge a large unit with several characters/champion that can be challenged, and even suicide-charge a lord on monster.

10 corsairs, RHB, musician. 105 pts. The cover for BG. They are here also to get rid of march-blockers, with a range of 8+5=13” not requiring LOS prior to moving. They can flee through ITP BG if charged. If left alone, they can taunt the enemy. If facing a flight-heavy, little shooting army, they can serve to protect the RBTs instead of being a curtain for BG.


Melee power.
Three units combining together, with the DR and shades providing an additional flank threat.
All three are in the 175 pts range and could be lost with no drama. Two of them can shelter characters. These units are made for ACR, not SCR. All of them can benefit greatly from the CoB, and that is how they become hitty. I assume only one will be busy at a time, this one will receive COB's blessing. They may manage to combine charges.
More important, all three units can be shot at or spelled at to the last body without triggering any panic test, with the sole exception of the hydra, for which sniping the beastmasters will result in a panic test.

9 BG. Standard with ASF, champion. 180 pts. The champion is there in case the unit is the Level 4's babysitter. Otherwise, it may lead the opponent to suspect that the champion has the RoH. I know the ASF is not very original, but it's a life insurance. But that's 49pts.
I wish I had the pts for more BG, but I haven't. But they are covered against shooting by the RHB corsairs.

11 corsairs. FC, « frenzy » SSS. 160 pts. Could be joined by the Master or the assassin. The champion is there in case the unit is babysitting a sorceress: the enemy will probably not let it charged by a KB'ed 3 attacks per model unit, that he can just bait and flee. The FF sorceress can remain effective as it is allowed to cast a spell after failing a charge. I with they were 15 of them, but I have not the pts. Anyway only the front rank is deadly, the 4 rear ones are just more bodies.

Hydra. 175 pts. Straightforward. May benefit from the COB's KB like anyone else. With a 5+WS, this large target can hide efficiently something behind, during deployment or while progressing.


Summary.
Total 2,250 pts exactly.
Total of 4 characters plus 1 assassin. 3 footed, 1 BSB on DS and the COB.
Total of 11 units, none of them essential, mostly in the 90-180 pts range.
4 core + 2 harpies, 2 specials, 3 rare for 2 rare slots. Only duplication is RBT and harpies.
8 PD + 3 PoD - 5 DD + 2 scrolls.
63 shots per turn, including 21 at 8”.


-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O- o|--}

Check-list for a balanced army.

1. Review of the defensive strategies.
A balanced army needs several of the defensive strategies below.
A balanced army must be able to overcome all of the possible opponent's defensive strategies.

- Mass. Own: SCR, regen Weak: 2 combat units have 1 rank and 1 pennant, the 3rd has regen.
Against foes’mass: Strong: mass attacks for corsairs, COB +1 attack; lots of shots; magic, especially Dark #5.

- MSU. Own: Good.
Against foes’: Good: Melee, or shooting + magic can take care of many targets at one time.

- Armour. Own: Very weak, except hydra. COB can improve that for a single unit.
Against foes’: Great: Assassin's KB; COB's KB granted to a unit with many attacks; hydra high S; RBT; magic Metal Lore, Dark Lore #5 & 6, Death Lore #2 & 6.

- Ethereal units. Own: none.
Against foes’: OK: Master; magic. That's it (own SCR is too low to hurt them) but it should be enough.

- Fear & Terror. Own defense: : Good: hydra; COB; ITP SSS corsairs and ITP BG.
Against foes’ fear: excellent: hydra; ITP corsairs & BG; Shooting & magic.

- ASF. Own: quite good: assassin & BG (and master if inside BG).
Against foes’: good: assassin & BG; shooting & magic.

- Distant magic. Own pre-emptive attacks: A strong point with 8PD and 3PoD. Enhanced with FF. Helped with march-blockers.
Resisting foes’: normal resistance: 5 DD and 2 scrolls. No RoH, no shards. The many corsairs are resilient to magic missiles. Several ways to get rid of march-blockers: MXB, RBT, RHB, magic, terror. Expandable screens are available.

- Shooting before getting in melee. Own pre-emptive attacks : Good: 10 MXB, 2 RBT, 5 shades, hydra. Several march-blockers.
Resisting foes’: quite good: corsairs, hydra, Master, COB are resistant. MXB, RBT are OK. Shades & harpies are skirmishers. Several ways to get rid of march-blockers: MXB, RBT, RHB, magic, terror. Expandable screens are available.

- Snipe charges against magic-users/warmachines. Own pre-emptive attacks: Very good with 2 harpies, DR, master, assassin if Shadow magic is taken.
Resisting foes’:. Very good resistance: Master & COB not vulnerable. Assassin takes care of himself. The two sorceresses must be protected, either by the ASF BG or by the ASF assassin; the FF level 2 can hide. RBT can be protected by RHB corsairs if they are on a hill, the corsairs in front.

- Avoidance. Own: depending on the terrain: DR and harpies can avoid foes, lone Master as well. Shades & hydra in woods as well, where the COB can be hidden an still be useful. Many infantry can take benefit from buildings, especially MXB.
Against foes’: good capabilities: DR and harpies can hunt quick elusive foes, lone Master as well. Shades and hydra in woods. RBT have long range, magic can be used.


Overall, own defensive strength: Very good psychology. Good ASF, good distant shooting & very good magic, good snipe-charge ability. Nice MSU style which can become elusive by the use of terrain.
Overall, own defensive weakness: little mass, little armour, no ether. Must win the charge, with ACR and side charges.
Overall, own offensive strength: Should be good against hordes, against armoured units which can be KB'ed, against foes relying on fear.
Overall, own offensive weakness:None really. Must not be exposed too long to magic or shooting.


2. Review of the phases.
Psychology: Own turn: Not much to fear from psychological tests at the beginning of my turn, the tests are not likely to fail either when charging.
Opponent’s turn: The hydra can hurt them. My main unit fear not fear-causing chargers.

Movement: Own turn: Several agile units: 2 x harpies, DR, hydra, BSB.
Opponent’s turn: can be controlled with harpies & DR & shades.

Magic: Own turn: rather strong.
Opponent’s turn: might hurt but only if very heavy.

Shooting: Own turn: Quite good.
Opponent’s turn: Rather good resistance.

Mass Melee: Own turn: Should go well.
Opponent’s turn: If the melee is prolonged, it is bad. It is important to keep the initiative.

Elite Melee: Own turn: : Should go well.
Opponent’s turn:Risky.

Combination of phases: Own turn: Magic & shooting to destroy at distance. Shooting & movement to control positioning. Magic & COB & psychology helping melee.


3. Balance of the army.
Efficiency in all phases. Yes
Adapted to any opponent you're not playing today. Yes
Versatility. Excellent
Redundancy. Somehow
Reserves available. Somehow

This list should be especially flexible:
It has quite a strong magic, which is inherently flexible with the choice of Lores.
It has respectable shooting, with the addition of secondary role shooting for shades & hydra.
The COB provides a great flexibility with the selection of blessings, and the choice of units which can benefit from it.
There are three medium hitty units, which, by manoeuvre, allow one of them to be threatening, instead of a single large über one which could be avoided.
The mobile BSB can be either be used stand-alone or join any of the melee units (which are not Khainite).
The assassin has a broad selection of units to start in.
The list has no stupidity, which could have been a flexibility denial.


4. Plans.
Use of terrain.
Preferred terrain:
Hill in deployment zone for both RBTs, alternatively a wood in deployment zone will do.
Building in or close to the deployment zone for the MXB, with sorceress inside.
Building on the middle line for the RHB corsairs. A sorceress would jump in.
Buildings can serve as well as safe haven if facing cavalry-heavy armies.
Dense terrain on the sides for DR to gallop around.
Woods in the no man's land for shades, allowing a safe progression for the hydra as well.
Overall, as the army is mostly infantry, buildings are nice.
This army can live with difficult terrain, although it doesn't like it much.

Intended deployment:
BG with RHB corsairs in front of them – SSS corsairs – hydra make the three central blocks.
COB just behind corsairs.
RBTs and MXB in the rear aisles. The MXB move forwards if necessary, and looks for a building to settle in.
Agile troops rush towards the enemy and march/block. They charge the enemy's warmachines or suicide-charge the magicians.

Last positioned, the characters.
Facing slow armies, both sorceresses can remain with shooters while the army rushes forwards. That is for Metal or Fire Lores. The Master can go with corsairs or BG, the assassin goes in shades.

Facing heavy cavalry, the Level 4 goes inside ASF BG with babysitters. The level 2 can go in the RHB corsairs!

Facing non-melee oriented armies, Death or Shadow Lores could be selected; Dark Lore is in-between, more flexible. One sorceress can go in the BG, the other one in the SSS corsairs.
They would get the Master (in BG) and the assassin (in corsairs) as bodyguards.


Check-list based on D.R.A.I.C.H. The balance of an army. A theoretical approach.


-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O- o|--}

Corsair fluff.
The fluff is not forgotten. I adapt the fluff to the list rather than the other way, in order to optimize the efficiency of the army, rather than optimize the fluff.
This list is already remarkable for having two corsair units.
Sorceresses & assassins are associated with Black Arches. A BSB master is fine, even mounted: horse can survive long periods at sea, although their numbers should not be too large.
Harpies, shades, DR, MXB, RBT are expected with corsairs, they are mostly footed.
The only problematic units are: BG, hydra & COB.
My BG are just the most seasoned corsairs, impressive professionals who have renounced being anything else than corsairs. They don't care much any more about glory, not even surviving, their fate is to live and die corsairs, and they expect nothing more. Hence superior combat ability, stubborn and ITP.
The COB is a different story: it's a gigantic statue coming from Ind, representing a goddess who could be Hekarti herself, with four arms. On arm with the trident blocks some of the attacks, providing a ward save. One arm has a bowl with fresh blood, inspiring frenzy. The last two arms carry a sword and a freshly cut head, inspiring the acuteness necessary to deal a similar blow.
The hydra has just been tamed magically since it was an egg. It is the general's pet. It swims well and follows the ships.


-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O- o|--}

Which models I did not take.
The units I leave behind are:
1 dragonlord. 1 CO master. Lokhir. 2 more assassins: all slots are taken.
1 peggy sorc, 1 DS sorc, 3rd footed sorc. I could mount the sorceresses if I had he pts.
20 MXB. 5 more shades. 6 DR with MXB. A balanced list relies not too much on shooting.
21 spear warriors. 6 COK. 1 COK. Warriors less efficient with COB. CO stupid.
I can have up to 15 BG and 22 corsairs. I would take them if I had the pts.


-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O- o|--}

Unsettled questions.
Q1. I may drop the Black Staff in order to buy 4 corsairs (increase the unit to 15) and 1 BG (increase to 10).
I know I need bodies, but forfeiting the BS would dowsize my magic phase to average, making it useless against a strong magic defense.

Q2. If I keep that list, will the low number of BG and corsair suffice? Knowing that BG are protected with RHB corsairs. I could consider dropping the BG standard bearer and the Hag Graef ASF, with 49pts I can buy 3 corsairs, 1 BG and the MXB's musician. Opinion?

Q3. I may drop the hydra for fluff reasons, deeply regretting its efficiency. This would result in a purer raiding army, with very few horses, a couple of harpies, a statue and everything else is footed elves: easy to pack inside a ship for a lengthy journey.
With the hydra 175pts, I could buy:
5 more corsairs, making them 16,
6 more BG including a musician, increasing them to 15.
1 more shade, for a unit of 6.
A musician for the MXB.
A horse for the level 2 FF sorceress.
Overall, that would make 2 strong melee units rather than 3 medium.

Q4. Otherwise, which unit is the least useful and could be dropped in order to get more corsairs and BG?

Q5. Sorceresses deployment. Assassin deployment. BSB deployment.
Both sorceresses must not remain in the same unit. Never.
But I'm not familiar with having sorceresses deployed in units rushing towards melee.
Also, who should bodyguard the sorceresses in the BG? In the corsairs? BRB? Assassin? Is the champion enough?


-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O- o|--}

Thanks for reading, thank you more for commenting.

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Last edited by Calisson on Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Thu May 21, 2009 10:06 pm
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Very interesting read.

However, I don't think you can really classify the army as a "corsair" based list as you only have 2 very small units of corsairs.

Here's a look at my current corsair army.

http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=61426

Time of Madness

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Thu May 21, 2009 10:15 pm
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Thanks.

Indeed, I could have chosen a title like:
"An approach to a balanced army with corsairs." :)

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Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Thu May 21, 2009 10:22 pm
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if you were to free up 10pts i would recommend Dark Venom for the assassain. That way when he charges units with lots of characters you can actually win the comba, rather than just holding on stubborn.

_________________
Name: Khalia D'Vaarko (meaning: Khalia, property of Vaarko)
Age: 210
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Other: no distinguishing features, barring the brand of a great house left wrist.
Class: Mage
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Skills: Power of Ulgu, Power of Chamon
Stats: Ws3, S3, T3, D4, I5

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Fri May 22, 2009 11:50 am
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I tried that list against Bretonnians.
Let's compare the plans (cyan & white) with what happened (green).


Deployment:
BG with RHB corsairs in front of them – SSS corsairs – hydra make the three central blocks. COB just behind corsairs.
=> as the Brets had hardly any shooting (15 bows :lol: - but wait for what follows), I had the RHB corsairs deployed instead in front of an RBT on a hill.

RBTs and MXB in the rear aisles. The MXB move forwards if necessary, and looks for a building to settle in.
=> they found one (during terrain deployment, I placed 3 buildings to be sure ;) ).
The MXB were placed far apart, only one on a hill. Good view over most of the battlefield for both of them. By separating them, one was charged by Pegasi but the other one survived.


Agile troops rush towards the enemy and march/block. They charge the enemy's warmachines or suicide-charge the magicians.
=> shades should have gone inside a wood, but the Bret's deployment prevented any scouting at all.
Harpies did march-block efficiently - and more!


Last positioned, the characters.
Facing heavy cavalry, the Level 4 goes inside ASF BG with babysitters. The level 2 can go in the RHB corsairs!
=> the level 2 went with MXB in building, the level 4 in BG with BSB bodyguard. Lesson Learned, the contrary would have been better.
The assassin could not be offensive in scouting shades, so I placed the ASF/KB assassin inside corsairs, helping them to withstand the inevitable charge.



Magic.
Lores to be adapted to the situation.
Metal for both. Both side's defenses, and having magic-users in melees, made magic useless, but probably Dark Lore or Shadow Lore would have been better for the sorceress in the BG.
My level 2 killed herself with 2 miscasts. Such an incompetent deserved to die. :evil:


Shooting:
Provides far-reaching effective annoyance, killing light march-blockers, putting pressure.
Excellent! RBTs and MXB were great in thinning down slightly knight's block, removing rank bonuses, and were even better for killing all Pegasi (a unit of 3, after it killed 1 RBT, and a Hero, before it did anything).
However, it's hopeless against infantry inside buildings. I'm glad I did not have more shooting, it would have been wasted.
On the Bret's side, the 15 bowmen hid inside a building, targeted the hydra with flaming arrows, passed a 700 VP-worth panic test when the hydra got close and became the Brets of the game.
Why 700? - survived; - 1/4 table; - killed the poor hydra with flaming arrows (fluffed ALL my armour saves), which did not take a 1/4 table; - killed the last surviving BG, who was holding a captured banner; wounded my "unkillable" BSB. :x


Agility.
March-blocking, snipe-charging warmachines & characters, shaping the battlefield to my needs..
The shades remained in my deployment zone and were used to bait & flee but did not rally.
The DR tried hopelessly a suicide-charge against Pegasi. Lesson Learned: they should instead have let the Pegasi charge the RBT and the COB, and they would have side-charged then. I lost the COB for that mistake. :?
Harpies rocked! one unit was charged by a Hero, and, after 3 rounds, won!! :o


Melee force multipliers.
“Unkillable” Master BSB. Can stay in BG and allow them to reroll their stubborn roll. Can bodyguard the Lev4. If in BG, the ASF compensates his strike last. => did all that with great effectiveness.
Assassin . the corsair's ASF. => fluffed all his KB but 1. However, ASF was essential and did kill enough to preserve the corsairs.
COB . Enhancer for BG... => Provided BG with 5+WS till destroyed.
Lessons forgotten: when they are already in melee, give either BG or corsairs the KB instead of 5+WS. Also, I forgot the rules of COB in melee: poison, AHW...

10 corsairs, RHB. If facing a flight-heavy, little shooting army, they can serve to protect the RBTs instead of being a curtain for BG. => did not work, the Pegasi just flew around. However, by share luck, they just happened to be there when I made a unit of knights flee through them... and be destroyed. That's the magic of MSU. :lol:

Melee power.
Three units combining together, with the DR and shades providing an additional flank threat. => forget the flank, but the combination was superb!
Bretonnians moved first (the damsel was present, they needed not to pray). So I had only 1 round of magic/shooting before receiving the charge - and it proved not to be very effective.
I did not move at all the corsairs in the middle.
I wheeled slightly the BG on the left and the hydra on the right, making an amphitheatre centred towards the incoming charge.
Next turn, two Bretonnian large knight units charged my BG with Sorc4 and BSB, and my Corsairs where the assassin revealed. Both my units lost, but the stubborn BG held and the corsairs were lucky not to have too many losses and held as well.
In my turn, the hydra side-charged the unit in melee against corsairs. They won easily.
The Bretons fled away from the corsairs. The hydra pursued and ended in open terrain. Now there is the trick: the corsairs pursued forwards, but doing so, as the BG were oriented slightly towards the corsairs, the corsairs hit the side of the knights engaged with the BG! So they had a 2nd round of melee!
They won easily. The knights fled, away from the corsairs (highest US)... into the RHB corsairs who happened to be there.
Boom. The two main opposite units destroyed in a single round of melee. :twisted:
The result would have been a massacre if not for the 700VP panic test brilliantly passed by the peasants, the final result was "just" a major victory :D


9 BG . ASF, champion. ASF is a life insurance. I wish I had the pts for more BG, but I haven't. => ASF was vital against knights. 9 weren't any too many: they did their job brilliantly, but the last survivor fell to the last arrow :cry: Having been blessed with COB's 5+AS all the time, they obviously need to increase slightly in numbers.

11 corsairs . FC, « frenzy » SSS. Could be joined by assassin. I with they were 15 of them, but I have not the pts. => Frenzy lost after 1st round, but afterwards they did not need ITP anymore. Survived with little losses. Slavery rule very handy, when combining charges.

Hydra. => No-brainer. Nice to draw in incoming fire, unfortunately it can burn to ashes... strangely, even though it had been magically wet early in the game :?


General comments:
For it's first battle, this army proved to be very well balanced as intended.
In my previous encounter with the same Bretonnians, I was massacred. That was a revenge! The dice rolls were mostly average, I passed most Ld tests when required, the only unexpected result was the Hero failing to kill harpies.

Unsettled questions.
Q1 could be the next improvement to contemplate, but certainly not Q2 nor Q3. Not yet decided.
Q4, neither shades nor DR proved useful. I did not manage to get a side-charge with them, they were destroyed fruitlessly. They must improve next time, no hurry to decide.
Q5, there aren't too many bodyguards.
Also, I need to understand better Shadow Lore which I never use so far.

Magic is lunatic, this time it was useless, next time it may become game-breaking.

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Sat May 23, 2009 12:42 pm
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Second try, against HE. Both lists were balanced. I was massacred. :cry:

He killed half of my army with a dragonlord (ancient dragon, with the bow acting like a bolt thrower): easy positioning on a side of one of my units, the dragon breathes half of the unit to ashes, the bow kills the other half, 8 to 10 dead DE per turn. With the complement of rather heavy shooting 2 real bolt throwers and 30 bows, I had 1.5 infantry unit destroyed every turn.

He had two level 2 with every possible anti-magic object, so no magic was effective at all, even though I had theorically an advantage there. When I lost all my magic-users, his magic-users killed my MXB unit inside a building, safe from arrows.

He had a lion chariot which was able to charge and kill my 4 remaining BG, overrun into my COB and destroy it in 2 turns.

Besides that, his infantry did pretty much nothing (10 forest axemen, 2x5 swordsmen) nor did his light troops except bait my frenzied unit (2 fast cav, 1 eagle).


Sure, I can partially blame the dice:
- the shades with assassin refused to charge the dragonlord (I should have charged with the assassin alone, he would have challenged anyway, lesson learned).
- the PoD were cast with so low a result that they were too easy to dispell, especially with +2 to dispell. Lesson learned, don't use PoD against HE, the more spells cast, the more they benefit from the advantage for dispelling.
- Too few BG, again, with the same bad rolls the unit could have avoided being wiped out so quickly.
- the hydra lost 3 wounds to arrows, and the last 2 to ASF foresters. Being a large target sucks sometimes.
- the BSB missed three Ld rolls before rallying, then was charged by the dragon and missed too many PoK saves. Not so much unkillable!
- and not a single 5+WS worked.


I can certainly blame me:
- I did not choose the appropriate Lores. I felt that Shadow could help me move quicker, but after wrong positioning in turn 1, it helped not at all.
- BG could not be protected from 2 BT nor 15 arrows coming from a large building, so I thought the RHB corsair's cover was useless; however, one of the BT was on the ground and its hits could have been avoided.
- I did not use RHB corsairs properly: their job is to cover, and to get rid of harassers. I let the frenzy corsairs be baited without getting rid of the bait.
- I did not positioned the harpies properly: they could have charged the BT, yes, but they were also both in position to be charged, so I had to flee and I lost them for no gain.
- The DR were used only once for something: they avoided the hydra a rear charge from the dragon. Not much achievement.
- I tried to get slowly across the battlefield, instead of having all my units supporting each other in face of the dragonlord and chariot which caused havoc. Result: I never reached the other line, and I had 6 models remaining at the end.

Oh, also I realised I forgot 25pts for the BSB, so I had to drop the FF. I did not miss it. That's a change to my army list.


What did NOT go wrong?
- Shooting was effective: Two RBT, MXB and shades did their job. Not enough to save the sinking ship.
- Unkillable BSB proved to be hard to kill indeed.
- ITP BG and frenzied corsair chose to die rather than panic.
- shades were a great deterrent, although only 3 were remaining.
- the RHB corsairs provided another unit for sheltering characters when the BG were destroyed.


Review of the phases.
Psychology: Not an issue against HE.

Movement: Could not control the dragon, not even the chariot. My frenzied troop was dragged for 3 turns in a row before being destroyed.

Magic: Neutralized.

Shooting: Good on both sides.

Mass Melee: Hydra lost to ASF and high S. No other big unit's melee ever happened.

Elite Melee: PoK lost to dragonlord. No other melee.

Combination of phases: After my bad positioning in my turn 1, I was doomed and no lucky roll countered that.
Easy game for my opponent who feared my magic but neutralized it, feared my melee but avoided it, outmaneuvred me with his dragon and easily got rid of my agile units, and out-shot me with clever use of terrain.


Unsettled questions.
Q1. I may drop the Black Staff in order to buy 4 corsairs (increase the unit to 15) and 1 BG (increase to 10). => it would have helped.

Q2. I could consider dropping the BG standard bearer and the Hag Graef ASF, with 49pts I can buy 3 corsairs, 1 BG and the MXB's musician. => it would have helped as well

Q3. I may drop the hydra for fluff reasons, => certainly not yet.EDIT: finally I will try.

Q4. Otherwise, which unit is the least useful and could be dropped in order to get more corsairs and BG? => right now, the sorceresses. But that would change the character of the list and I'm more ready to loose than to renounce magic.

Q5. Sorceresses deployment. Assassin deployment. BSB deployment.
=> So4 in BG with BSB, So2 in SSS corsairs, RHB corsairs next where they could jump in, that was OK; Assassin in shades was OK.


I knew my son was a good tactician, he proved it another time: he learned well the principles of a balanced army and outmaneuvred me easily.


What next?
I need a revenge! I'll keep the army as it is, again. EDIT: finally I will modify it - see below.
Next time, the dice rolls will be closer to average, possibly better than average.
Next time, I must think better about positioning and Lore selection.
And next time, I'll have read the D.R.A.I.C.H....

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Last edited by Calisson on Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun May 24, 2009 5:53 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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A very extensive list including tactics, clearly you have worked a lot on what should work well so there isnt much I could help you with.

Primarily I think you need more corsairs. This isnt so much a corsair list as a general raiding list. If you want the fluff you have to sacrifice the power. I would beef up the frenzied corsairs to 20 and then take another unit as well perhaps with the Banner of Murder.

Regarding the unsettled questions I think dropping the Black Staff is a good idea, while it is useful according to standard around here six levels of magic already above average so you dont really need to get rid of any extra dispel dice. The extra troops would be quite handy I think especially in the frenzied unit as you really dont want to lose that frenzy so rank bonuses and outnumbering is essential.

Q2, The banner of Hag Graef is good, but is considered a bit cheesy and makes your army more point and click. Personally I would avoid this and show your opponents you do have the knowledge and ability to use actual tactics rather than simply running full speed at the enemy.

Q3, Again this is the difficulty between a fluffy army and a competitive army. The Hydra is fantastic for its points but doesnt really fit a Pirate army. You either have to come up with an excuse, i.e He swims alongside the ship. or ignore the fluff to win more games. This is up to you.

Q4, It changes a lot based on who you are playing but the worth of a supporting spellcaster is a bit dubious to my mind.
1) They can miscast and prevent your main wizard from casting anything else or stopping the spells they have cast.
2) Another fragile model which needs protecting
3) They cant usually cast much, often their two spells will roll up something you dont want or are unable to cast due to a lack of dice.
For almost 200 points you could get a Hydra, Huge unit of Corsairs, Multiple Bolt Throwers, 2 Basic Assassins, A unit of warriors etc.

Q5, character deployment is always a tricky question and really depends upon the terrain and what you are facing. If going against Khorne Demons than your Mages can go by themselves, against Dwarven Gunline much better to hide them in your toughest unit or use the FF.
With the Assasin stick him in a unit that will need help but is unlikely to run from panic. BG and Frenzy Corsairs are ideal for this. I would place him in the corsairs as he gains an extra attack and can deal with characters and high toughness which the Corsairs cant, while the BG being stubborn will hold.
The BSB needs the most protection and should hide in the BG who arent going to run on Stubborn re rollable LD 9. This is a good set up although more Black Guards are needed to make the most of it. As 10 can be killed fairly easy thru shooting having only 5+ armour

Hope that helped somewhat.

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Mon May 25, 2009 3:21 am
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-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-o|--}

Army List: The Calissons. - it is edited again two posts below

Magic:
Sorceress, level 4. Black staff. 315 pts. General. (dropped 1 scroll)
Sorceress level 2. scroll. 160 pts. No FF yet.
In addition, there is a new assassin with the cloak (bound spell).


Shooting:
10 MXB, shield, musician 115 pts.
2 x RBT. 2 x 100 pts.

Agility.
5 shades, GW. 90 pts.
2 x 5 harpies. 2 x 55 pts.
5 DR, musician. 92 pts.

Melee force multipliers.
“Unkillable” Master, BSB, full armour, PoK, sword of might. 177 pts. (Sw of Might instead of soulrender)
Assassin. AHW, KB, d3 more attacks. 151 pts.
Assassin. AHW, cloak, stars. 146 pts.
COB. 200 pts.
10 corsairs, RHB, musician. 105 pts.

Melee power.
Instead of three units as previsously, I dropped the hydra and increased the bodies in the two remaining units.
14 BG. champion. 196 pts. No more ASF. Increased from a unit of 9 with ASF.
14 corsairs. FC, « frenzy » SSS. 190 pts. Increased from a unit of 11.
No more Hydra.


Summary.
Total 2,247 pts.
Total of 4 characters plus2assassins. 4 footed, 1 BSB on DS and the COB.
Total of 10 units, none of them essential, mostly in the 90-200 pts range.
4 core + 2 harpies, 2 specials, 2 rare. Only duplication is RBT and harpies.
8 PD + 3 PoD + bound cloak - 5 DD +1scroll.
63 shots per turn, including 21 at 8”.


Changes.
Instead of Q1 considered, I give a try to both Q2 and Q3.

The most spectacular change is to drop the hydra for a 2nd assassin.
The hitting power and the resilience will decrease a little bit. I'll have no terror causing unit anymore. However, the cloaked assassin is highly mobile and his stars provide a huge range of threat. I'll have to learn to use him. Less cheese, more challenge, still good power.

Another significant change is to drop the ASF in BG. The second sass provides more ASF so it should not be that much a big deal.
These two changes decrease the cheesiness in the list, but allow more bodies. As a consequence, it is less straightforward to play, it will require more reflexion.

One benefit of these changes is to make that list a much more fluffy raider's list: no more cumbersome hydra to put in a ship's hold. :)

The last change is to take a single scroll. With 5 DD, I hope it will suffice.


The list should remain flexible (the assassin is slightly more flexible than the hydra). The magic is probably much above the usual limitations.
The army is weaker in prolonged mass combats, and has hardly any armour left. The psychology war is less favourable, and ASF HE are more a problem.
The efficiency of magic can be increased, especially shadow magic (which I'm not familiar with at all).
The flying assassin should be interesting to play, provided he does not find himself alone in the openness to be shot to death.
My melee is weaker now and should be carefully tailored to the opponent.

I expect overall an exceptional flexibility, a great balance with a very strong magic, a good shooting, a very good mobility and quite a good melee... but a very high vulnerability to magic, shooting and melee as well! Challenging, high potential, no cheese, very druchii! :twisted:
With such a vulnerability, I must concentrate on the strong factors of the enemy in order to deny them. Traditionnally a weak point of mine.

Thanks Bounce for your input. I'll give a try to most of it. More comments welcome, as usual! :)

-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-o|--}

Result. (Edit)
Played against gobbos with lots of magic & fanatics.
Tried shadow magic again. It sucks. The Black staff is unnecessary. Lvl 4 + lvl 2 is enough. Magic is definitively not competitive, but fun.
The addition of bodies to corsairs and BG proves highly useful. Frenzied corsairs are putting themselves into trouble, BG is brilliant.
The loss of hydra is dramatic.
The second assassin is not making up for the loss.

Next game against dwarves (tomorrow), I'll bring back the hydra instead of the cloak assassin and the Black Staff. As there is 25pts left, I'll give a Focus Familiar to the Level 4.

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Last edited by Calisson on Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:26 pm
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Concerning the upcomming battle vs dwarves and depending on how much missile threat exists, I would be concerned about the number of bodies in your infantry units. Although you have increased their numbers some, against organ guns, str7 bolt throwers, grudge throwers, thunderers and crossbow stunties, I find it difficult to meaningfully impact the combat phase against them MSU. My opponents likes to castle in a corner in front of a hill providing only one real flank with a stubborn unit of hammerers holding that side. With 7 dispel dice, entrenched war machines, and a stinking gyrocoptor floating around, they may be one tough nut to crack.

My hydra ALWAYS gets nailed by flaming warmachines before hitting combat and the only consolation I have is that my other infantry units are more intact and will win even a protracted frontal battle with the set up I'm using now. Although I will still take the beutiful hydra, I don't expect much except to absorb damage before dying. Of course we play with a max of 4 pieces of terrain but a wiley stunted general will accept the eventual loss of strategically flanking flanming str 7 entrenched bolt throwers to if only to gain critical fire arcs to mitigate interposing terrain placement. Oh and sometimes the warmachine blows up too, taking with it that shade/assassin or DR unit which just mowed them down.

Their armor will also be a pain and I suggest the Banner of Murder for the AP on them black guard allowing for the KB blessing on another unit. Beware of wasting time in a challenge with a dwarven BSB with the rune of resistance and re-rollable armor saves. No KB, Manbane or poison will affect him and his armor is a 2+ save. I've got some serious grudges with this guy. The consolation is that he is weak in offense.

Thunderers will outgun them MXB troopers so careful going head to head. Quarrelers are better target, unless you choose to overwhelm them with assistance from the RBT. That gyro deserves RBT attention cause that thing can be very annoying and is tough at T5 4+AS. Hope the organ gun blows up.

I personally have not had much luck with magic vs dwarves cause my opponent loads up on at least 7 DD plus a token spell breaker and knows which spells to absorb and which ones to dispel. I would actually recommend the Black Staff against dwarves although against most armies it is unnecessary.

I could ramble on some more but suffice it to say good luck. Dwarves are a very challenging battle.

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Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:41 am
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Played again.
Dwarves. Thorek, 4 warmachines, muskets and crossbows, 2 über-units, 7DD.

I played well the terrain deployment, allowing my two main units to hide in forests and take 1/4 tables, while my lighter units, shooting & magic destroyed the opponent's warmachines and crossbows. The trick was to place two woods and a hill next to each other, so that 1/4 of the table was safe from shooting.

The best was when I managed, after heavy prolonged shooting, to kill finally a single one of the anvil servants: it was Kraggi, the one who allows Thorek to reroll "miscasts". And, guess what, the next anvil blow resulted in a miscast! followed by "1" = a huge explosion and Thorek was gone! :lol: resulting in a - minor - victory for me (I let pass several mistakes in the end, and it was close to a major victory).

His warmachines hardly ever had anyone significant to shoot at. His über-units managed to kill my hydra and capture the BSB (loosing to SCR with insane bonuses). My magic was lucky: I rolled each time 3 or 4 dice and miscast only once (5=>which allowed my dwarf opponent to cast freely any of his own spells :lol: ). My level 4 was safe inside a wood, casting from the FF. The anvil nor the warmachines could do nothing to her.

Lessons learned:
Magic can be effective indeed even against dwarves. Lvl4+Lvl2 suffice, I never had to try PoD, Black staff will stay home, FF is much better. Dark Lore is our best Lore, even against dwarves.

Shooting is exactly what I need, as usual.

Many light troops can effectively get rid of warmachines, sometimes thanks to combined charges. DR are fragile, harpies are not great combatants but can achieve results (one unit alone killed once a warmachine but once screwed up its attacks and did nothing).

COB is a great enhancement: the hydra KBed a thane and the 5+WS saved it for 2 melee rounds.
The assassin did nothing.
The BSB was nice but lacks SCR. He should not charge alone, and harpies are not sufficient to help him.
RHB corsairs just soaked fire from organ canon but 5 of them stood to claim a 1/4 table. Did nothing else than flee and rally and over again.

Only the hydra went into melee, against the 2 über-units, and lost after making some damage.
The two big troops were slowed down and locked while crossing woods and taking anvil's hits (speed halved... in woods...). They saw no melee (nor were they taken as targets except by the anvil). Thanks to ITP, they did not care about loosing troops to anvil's blows. They did nothing else this battle but it was enough. Their increased mass prevented them to fall below 1/2 force.

The list is vulnerable to shooting. I managed efficiently to hide from most warmachines thanks to the terrain, but on the other hand, warmachines forced me to stay hidden. The anvil, however, needs no LOS. There is little that seems to be doable against Thorek, but luck did the job and overall the anvil was withstandable.

-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-o|--}

Army List: The Calissons. - updated

I'm much more happy now with the present list, it should remain as it is for the next battles.

Magic:
Sorceress, level 4. Focus Familiar. 285 pts. General. (dropped the Black Staff)
Sorceress level 2. scroll. 160 pts.

Shooting:
10 MXB, shield, musician. 115 pts.
2 x RBT. 2 x 100 pts.

Agility.
5 shades, GW. 90 pts.
2 x 5 harpies. 2 x 55 pts.
5 DR, musician. 92 pts.

Melee force multipliers.
“Unkillable” Master, BSB, full armour, PoK, sword of might. 177 pts.
Assassin. AHW, KB, d3 more attacks. 151 pts.
COB. 200 pts.
10 corsairs, RHB, musician. 105 pts.

Melee power.
14 BG. champion. 196 pts.
14 corsairs. FC, « frenzy » SSS. 190 pts.
Hydra.175 pts. (can be exchanged for an assassin, cloak, stars, manbane, 171 pts).

Summary.
Total 2,246 pts.
Total of 4 characters plus 1 assassin. 4 footed, 1 BSB on DS and the COB.
Total of 11 units, none of them über, mostly in the 90-200 pts range.
4 core + 2 harpies, 2 specials, 2 rare slots. Only duplication is RBT and harpies.
8 PD + 2 PoD - 5 DD + 1 scroll.
63 shots per turn, including 21 at 8”, and breath.

-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-o|--}

Features.
Finally, I kept the hydra.
The option of another assassin is not forgotten though.
If ever I want to play more fluffy, I just need to change the hydra for an assassin, cloak, stars, manbane: the perfect chariot hunter. The difficulty is to keep that guy alive after his flight & starshooting.

A staying concern is the lack of ASF for BG, but I should be able to live with. BG are so resilient, they will just wait for the 2nd turn of melee.

With a single scroll and 5 DD, the list remains vulnerable to magic. I don't face strong magic usually anyhow.

The list is very flexible & balanced as it is. A pleasure to play with. :D
The magic is good and probably within the usual limitations.
On the other hand, this army is vulnerable, to magic, too.
Shooting is sufficient. Reversely, this army is quite vulnerable to shooting as well (although ITP helps).
Mobility is good although the hard hitters are infantry.
This army doesn't like much prolonged mass combats, and has little armour.
The psychology aspects are neither overwhelming nor a big concern.

With some reasonable vulnerabilities in all fields, I must understand the strong factors of the enemy in order to deny them, and his weak factors, that this army has the potential to take advantage of.
Challenging, high potential, no cheese, very druchii! :twisted:

Comments welcome, as usual! :)

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:35 pm
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