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Help with Sorceress on steed. 
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Shade

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:49 pm
Posts: 102
Location: I have to return some video tapes.
I've been running the same sorceress build for a long time. Some of you might recognize it from Army lists or from other posts.

Lvl4 on Peg
Focus familiar
powerstone
2x scrolls

Lvl2 on Dark Steed
Tome of Furion
powerstone



What I'm having trouble with is deploying the lvl2 so that I can protect her and utilize her mobility to cast spells at the best targets. The obvious option for me was a unit of Dark Riders. Dark Riders are usually going after the same targets so it seems like a good boost, her ranged magic and their shooting. But this unit has proven to be a juicy target for enemy ranged attacks, taking panic checks that have, more than once, taken my lvl2 out of the game.

So I hoped that someone would have an idea of how best to deploy my lvl2 and how to protect her while getting the full effect of her mobility. I've tried warrior blocks and, believe it or not, bolt thrower crews.

To be honest, the Bolt Thrower deployment has worked the best for me. They don't panic and randomize shooting with the machine. And she's worked well supporting the refused flank tactic from that position.

Any thoughts?

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Sat May 23, 2009 5:35 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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The mobility of the DS is udeful, but she is still best in an unit for protection. Adding lifetaker gives her a stand and shoot reaction which is useful for the RBT as well. Otherwise she can use cover for some of her spells, as 3, 5 & 6 from Dark are not LOS.

DR are the worst place for her as they are an easy kill when people pay attention to them.

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Sat May 23, 2009 6:11 am
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Arnold Layne
Arnold Layne
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My method with a Sorc on Steed is Focus Familiar... probably the best method for your build is to have her riding about joining whatever unit has the LOS she wants, every unit except COK or Witches, that is.

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Layne
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Karonath - WS6 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I3
Equipment: Bloodfeather, heavy armour, helm, Sea Dragon Cloak, rope x 2, month rations x 2
Inventory: longspear, 2 short swords, glaive, winter gear, shade cloak,
Mount: Dark Steed (Shiny), talisman of kurnous
Gold: 2294
Skills: Ambidexterity, Controlled Frenzy, Basic Ride, Drukh Kaganth
Class: Khainite


Sat May 23, 2009 6:50 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I've used a Sorc in DR (5 with RXB's) for a long time now and always found the trick to her survival is not to get hung up on keeping her in the unit (unless I want my opponent to focus on them at the expense of something else).

Her usefulness (and survivability) post leaving her bodyguard has been increased hugely by the focus familiar.

Edit: Damn you grammar; my immortal enemy...

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Sat May 23, 2009 8:39 am
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Focus familiar is already on the lvl 4 peg sorc, so we are trying to create a survivable mounted sorc without using the familiar.

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Sat May 23, 2009 8:41 am
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:59 pm
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The Pearl of Infinite Bleakness would prevent a panic check, but also prevent a flee reaction, and it costs 25points, Perhaps a larger unit of dark riders, or use the long move of the steed to move her into different units if her bodyguard is threatened. You honestly might do better sticking her in a large block of warriors with the sacrificial dagger, as they are an excellent bodyguard unit, and the dagger boosts her casting.

The problem is she loses her mobility, I think bouncing her between units is the best idea, but then you need to devote more of your movement phase to keeping her in range of friendly units.

I don't think their is a grand solution to this problem which answers all of your problems.


Sat May 23, 2009 9:09 am
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Corsair
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
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DR babysitters.
DR make a good babysitting unit only in case the opponent has very little magic & shooting, or, at least, if you can predict that neither magic nor shooting will hurt:
- magic-users may move and cast, their spells are known, range, damage... sometimes they get no usable spell.
- many shooters may not move and shoot, so it's easy to move out of their LOS (but remember that LOS-blocking foes may move away...).

Facing shooting-heavy, or mobile shooting (like our DR), or threatening magic (such as any magic missile), the DR babysitting a sorceress have a huge bounty on their heads.


Babysitter's criteria.
The trick indeed is to jump from one unit to another one, according to:
- LOS/distance required
- vulnerability of would-be babysitter to next turn's charge
- vulnerability of would-be babysitter to next turn's panic from shooting/magic/terror.


Babysitter candidates.
RBTs are very nice but very often are more than 24" away from targets, and don't like to move.

MXB are better because they agree to move, especially if it brings the target at 24", where many spells can be cast. Excellent choice. However, the MXB love to go inside buildings where the mounted sorceress cannot follow them.

BG or SSS frenzied corsairs are excellent choices in the early game: being ITP, they can be killed to the last without ever taking a panic test. The only problem is that they have a tendency to get into melee, which the sorceress wishes do avoid.
It's not much a problem inside ASF'ed BG. It might be a good idea if the spells are close range.
Frenzy is not really a liability: sure, they can be baited, but even after failing a charge, the sorceress can cast spells; but she cannot get out of the unit in that case.

Large blocks of spears (cheap) or corsairs (good resistance to shooting) make good babysitters: it takes a lot of shooting before the first panic test is triggered.

As you see, all good babysitters are slow movers, the slowest being the RBT.


DS-mounted or footed sorceress?
All these babysitting unit would be as convenient with a footed sorceress.
According to the spells you would like to cast, a footed sorceress could be more appropriate.

However, the mounted one has the unique advantage of being able to cast spells requiring mobility for a close delivery, and she can compensate the lack of mobility of her babysitters by jumping from one to another.

- Footed sorceress: 12 less pts, can enter buildings, 360° LOS if she happens to wander alone (warning: usually it's her last move before dying). Shade sorc can cast herself away.
But she has a tendency to remain forever in the unit she started in.

- DS-mounted sorceress: can jump easily from one unit to another. Can leave her unit, rush towards the enemy, sneak between their lines and cast spells from within the enemy lines (warning, it requires suicidal tendencies).

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Sat May 23, 2009 10:25 am
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Rabidnid wrote:
Focus familiar is already on the lvl 4 peg sorc, so we are trying to create a survivable mounted sorc without using the familiar.


Personally I was just sharing my experience with using a DR bodyguard for a mounted Sorc, and in doing so briefly answering the question:

Quote:
So I hoped that someone would have an idea of how best to deploy my lvl2 and how to protect her while getting the full effect of her mobility


Rather than specifically taking into account the loadout on other characters.

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Sat May 23, 2009 3:36 pm
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Shade

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:49 pm
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Thanks for the quick responses, and thanks to Calisson for another well organized bullet point presentation. ;)

I think that I really have lots of options, it will just take some more practice. The RBT will always be a good fall back option but I think that RxBs will be the most useful. I think that one really good thing about this tactic will be to draw fire to the more resilient RxBs w/ shields and away from my DRs who have just died every game without doing what I bring them to do.

In addition, I need to focus more on deploying my DRs behind cover. I've gotten use to dropping them on the front line expecting the first turn, so they can make the most of that first turn open field. I've learned that I just can't count on winning the dice roll, especially since I like to have more deployment drops than my opponent. I need to utilize cover better, which will make the DRs a better option for my lvl2.

Either way, if I can keep them alive long enough to the point where I get them behind the enemy line to march block away from shooters, they will be the best place for my sorceress in the latter turns of the game.

Thanks again guys, but if you still have ideas, I'd love to hear them.

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In the Winter,
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Sat May 23, 2009 3:55 pm
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I have been using a Sorc on Darkl Steed for a while now and found her usefullness fluctuates depending on the rest of the game.

Against heavy shooting, magic she isn't much use no matter where you put her as she always seems to be targetted and wiped out. Putting her in a unit of Dark Riders only makes things worse as they are easy to kill to start off with.
In this case the best option is to hide behind some form of cover and use spells which are non los, or get behind the opponent so they have to turn to attack you. either way a sorc on foot in a unit or on the more mobile peg is a better plan.

Against armies with less magic/shooting she works really well in a unit of Dark Riders which can simply run full speed across the board unleashing arrows and magic and running away if anything tries to attack them.

Against absolutely no shooting she doesnt even need the DR guard and can run solo.

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Mon May 25, 2009 2:49 am
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