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Forgoing "Elite" infantry all together? 
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Slave on the Altar

Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:29 am
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I've been playing a few games with my black guard now and got to thinking, is it even worth paying for these guys instead of spearmen? Since none of our units generate enough attacks to negate stepping up usually why pay around double for the same durability with slightly increased stats? What are your guys thoughts on our elite special choices compared to our core in 8th?


Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:29 am
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Variation is king. Just playing with the same kind of dolls is rather boring :)


Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:01 am
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SiegeCommander,

Yes, I essentially agree. I've not yet played my first game of 8th (that's scheduled for this evening! :)), but from everything I've read, seen and heard so far it does seem that elite dark elf units have been nerfed a great deal and it is often more useful to take core instead.

Blackguard are particularly badly hit because you can only take a maximum of 20 of them. That stops you from fielding them as a horde unit, even if you wanted to!

The only realistic way to field elites in 8th seem to be to use the cauldron to give the unit a 5+ ward save, even when in combat. Which is still pretty dismal and a terrible way to use a 200 point buffing machine imo. Or invest in silly expensive horde blocks (40 executioners with full command for at 510 points? not my cup of tea thanks...)

Well, we'll see. I think there are probably good ways to field elites, but it will now be much more of a strategic choice than a must do.

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:49 am
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Disagree.

Someone has to do the mathammer to determine how a large unit of elite behaves compared to a large unit of spearmen, before we can reach a definitive conclusion.

Another answer is that if an elite unit manages to get a flank attack, they will stay on the winning side (unless they get flank attacked themselves).
Elite need to avoid frontal collisions with mass units, because no matter how many they kill, there will be some painful retaliation.
However, if elites manage to get a flank charge on the same mass unit, the retaliation is much less and they will achieve a much faster destruction of the opposing mass unit.
Key is maneuvre.


Finally, small elite units could also be useful in frontal fights before they die.
I'll develop on that in another thread:
Uses for MSE.and Uses for MME (Many MEDIUM Elites)

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Last edited by Calisson on Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:28 am
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Agreed with Calisson.

But to see someone NOT using BG in their DE lists is just awsome in my books :)

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:30 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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There's a strong movement that seems to believe that taking casualties is somehow terrible, or wrong, or means we instantly lose and forfeit the game.

It's OKAY if Black Guard take casualties. Same with Executioners. Same with Witch Elves. The important thing is that your opponent takes even more casualties than you do, breaks, and you win the combat. Skaven Clanrats, on average, kill 2 to 3 BG a turn, compared to the 10+ Clanrats that unbuffed, unsupported Black Guard kill in return. Not bad.

"But what if I'm fighting something nastier than Clanrats? BG are only T3 with a 5+ armor save!"

True, so it's up to you as the general to dictate the matchups for your units, what you fight in melee and what you shoot at, and use your skill as a player to make sure our elites fight against opponents they can gain VP from, while ignoring the threats that are simply overwhelming for them.

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:14 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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Thanks for the input everyone. I have been using my BG with decent results but certainly not as awesome as before. I guess it means I just have to be even more discerning in choosing their targets.


Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:07 am
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Malekith's Best Friend

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Meteor wrote:
Agreed with Calisson.

But to see someone NOT using BG in their DE lists is just awsome in my books :)


Having never used BG in my life I chuckled when I read that. Guess that just makes me awesome ;)

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:01 am
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Well, BG are surely not a unit I am going to be wanting to charge head on with. My BG are mainly for shutting down the opposing players magic, since my tower master has the RoH. I'm going to be keeping my BG far away from my sorceress, and up close to my enemies, but not without two conditions being met: 1) The unit I do confront will be weak enough for my BG to not be owned or 2) One of my anchors is holding and my BG can flank. So my BG are going to be flankers and my RoH holder so that I may laugh while my opponent rolls on the miscast table (Which with all the dice being thrown happens a lot! My high elf buddy is ready to smack me MUWAHHAHAHAHA).


Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:24 am
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Slave (off the Altar)
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Just to second Blaqkheart I'm increasingly of the opinion that elites are the flanking units of choice now. The expense of making them large enough to benefit from steadfast is prohibitive when you can do it much cheaper with warriors. Ramming the flank of an enemy with Blackguard/Executioners/Witch Elves however exposes the unit to less return attacks (supporting attacks are to the front only) for the casualty averse amongst you. ;)


Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:58 am
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doing mathhammer right now... but im at work, so i have no book. does BG have WS 5 or 6?

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:54 am
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Lord of the Venom Sword
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Having played 4 games of 8th now I belive the elite infantry are now the best units in the DE (and high elf) book.

I've used my skaven in all 4 games vs DE, HE (twice) and Beastmen. I won all 4 games but the units which caused me most trouble in all 4 games were the elite infantry.

My DE opponent and 2 units of 12 WEs and a horde of SSS corsairs. The corsairs I just threw my abom at and the simply couldn't deal with it because they were only S3 so they eventually went down over a few rounds. The WEs though cleared the central building (we were playing the cature the building scenario so this was fairly important), and I only got rid of them due to my magical superiority. They could also have handled the abom too because of their poison, and were much cheaper than the corsairs, and the spearmen which I easily dealt with.

VS HEs I threw my 30 strong giant rat unit at a unit of 15 White Lions expecting to kill a few and hold them up for 4-5 rounds due to my steadfast, perhaps even win. The White lions obliterated my unit in 2 rounds and took only 2 casualties themselves.

And vs beastmen the 15 man bestigor unit almost won the game single handedly by breaking my 8 (yes 8) stong rat ogre unit in a single round of combat (despite striking last and losing half the unit before they got to attack) and almost reaching my grey seer's unit. Again I only won by virtue of my magic and shooting phases.

Elite infantry is absolutely amazing in 8th. Especially HE and DE infanrtry because they both a) strike first because of high I/ASF, b) get rerolls to hit because of hatred/ASF. Their only problem is their fragility to return attacks and, more significantly, magic and shooting. However these factors can be mitigated by a good player. Yes there are issues when fighting against a marauder/orc horde, or elven spears but most other things they can handle. Even in the front if you don't mind taking a few casualties too.

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:09 am
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For us it'd be flank attacks. If you're using HE for example, you can comfortably field massive blocks of elites and just walk down the red carpet. So it differs from army to army.

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Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:54 am
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The maths are assuming your unit is 5 models wide and your enemies unit is also 5 models wide. I have disregarded champions since they can be killed. I am assuming that models with spears can fight in 3 ranks (disregarding who is charging).

The numbers shown in the table below answers the question "how many more models does my unit kill compared to my opponent?" A negative number naturally means that your opponent kills more models than you do. The numbers in parenthesis is when hate is factored in. BG have "hate" all the time ofc.

I chose 3 types of opponents; Human Spearman (weedy but with extra attacks), Dwarf Warriors with shields (strong defensively) and Tzeench Warriors with shields (strong both in attack and defence). You cant draw any general conclusions for all unit types, but these three gives you an overview.

I am also assuming your equip your Warriors, Witches, and BG with Armour Piercing Banner. It seems reasonable to do so if you want a big fighting unit.




Fight against human spearmen (WS:3, T:3, AS:5+)
    Warriors 1,67 (3,05)
    Black Guard6,39
    Executioners3,06 (4,91)
    Witches 3,16 (5,46)



Fighting against Dwarf Warriors (WS:4, T:4, AS:4+, Ward:6+)
    Warriors -0,28 (1,67)
    Black Guard2,96
    Executioners2,96 (4,51)
    Witches 2,13 (3,67)



Fighting against Tzeench Warriors (WS:5, T:4, AS:3+, Ward:5+)
    Warriors -6,11 (-5,7)
    Black Guard-1,67
    Executioners-1,75 (-0,53)
    Witches -4,82 (-3,89)




So, what conclusions can we draw? Against the spearmen, all our units can expect to win every round, but BG really stand out. Even a slightly smaller (15?) unit of BG could expect to chop up enemy light infantry in a prolonged fight. Perhaps a bit surprisingly, executioners will be on the same level as witches. witches cause more kills, but they die themselves a lot. You will lose 2,5 models per turn (3,75 witches)

Against Dwarfs your warriors can no longer expect to win a prolonged fight. After the first round the Dwarfs have a slight edge. It will take a long time but you will start losing fighting models before the dwarf, since you fight in 3 ranks. All the elites will keep beating the dwarfs in the long run. In this case executioners looks the best, with their powerful first turn. you can expect to lose 1,67 models per turn (2,5 witches)

Against the super powerful Tzeench Warriors things look pretty bad. You will lose more models than your opponent in every turn, but remember that your guys are cheaper, so you will have more models than he. Warriors and witches will rapidly deteriorate, but warriors at least are cheap enough to be bought in bulk and maintain steadfast till help arrives. Just remember that it will have to be a lot of help, since you will need to kill 4+ chaos warriors per turn to win the fight. A flanking hydra (or why not executioners?) will do the job. An interesting thing is that BG and executioners lose, but they are also cheaper. It is therefore a possibility that a prolonged fight between BG or executioners and chaos warriors will hurt them more than it will you. In any case, i would advise against going toe to toe with these types of monster units. Combine your frontal assault with a hydra in the flank for best success. You will lose 4,17 models per turn (6.67 witches).

To the question "isnt it better to just buy warriors, since they are cheaper?" i would say: not always. Your elites can do stuff that your warriors just cant. Warriors are great for providing ranks and steadfast, but they will usually lose the fight. You wont win any battles simply by not running away, you will have to force your opponent to do so instead. A huge unit of 40 warriors will be steadfast till times end, but a unit of 20 BG can tear through enemy light infantry in a few turns. Warriors cant do that. A horde of executioners can obliterate almost any unit in the game in 2 turns. Warriors cant do that. an army that completely foregoes elites for a bulk of warriors can be successful, but it will most likely be more successful if it had some elites. The elites are obvious hammer units, but BG are stubborn, and executioners too if they are near the cauldron. they also make good anvils. if you buy 2 units of warriors instead of one unit of elites you have a flanking unit, but its not very punchy. you might be able to win even against chaos warriors if you get a flank charge, but probably only by a point or so, and if they stand? they will whittle your units down. A unit of executioners in the flank will cause you to win at least the first round of combat with a good margin, probably causing the enemy to flee. That's what is needed to actually win a battle. A good mix of warriors an elites is probably the best way to let your units do what they do best.

PS. these calculations show witches to be inferior to the other types of infantry. i would probably reserve them for kamikaze charges to kill a mage (unit of 6) or possibly something very tough like a giant where their poison really shines. versus enemy infantry though, id rather go with the other unit types available to us.

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Last edited by Lord tsunami on Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:11 am
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Interesting. Can you do that again and factor in a killing blow blessing from the cauldron (turn into a 1+ attack for execs).

This would then give us an idea how the numbers are effected when a cauldron is on the field, and if it's a good way to compensate for the lack of elites.


Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:21 pm
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with my secret excel sheet its simple ;)

adding in +1A or KB depending on whats best. ill put +1 A on WE cause of the mess with poison+KB...

VS spearmen
Warriors (1A): 3,43 (5,40)
BG (1A): 9,35
Exe (1A): 5,83 (8,61)
WE (1A): 3,19 (5,51)

VS Dwarfs
Warriors (1A): 0,55 (1,67)
BG (1A): 3,27
Exe (1A): 5,27 (7,59)
WE (5+ ward): 0,18 (1,11)

VS Chaos
Warriors (5+ ward): -1,96 (-1,54)
BG (5+ ward): -0,29
Exe (5+ ward but +1A first round for hate): -0,56 (1,25 :!: )
WE (5+ ward): -2,16 (-1)


The only time KB was better than 1A was for Warriors against chaos. otherwise 1A gave better results. Executioners became very nasty with +1A. Even beating chaos warriors first turn.

EDIT: 5+ ward turned out to be better than KB for warriors against chaos. KB will overtake +5 ward if you fight something with high armour but low offence (knights that arent charging)

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Last edited by Lord tsunami on Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:10 pm
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erm. spotted some errors. should be correct now. 5+ war is viable for witches since they die in droves...

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:22 pm
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In short:
vs T3 light armour: +1 attack all the way
vs T4 medium armour: +1 attack for elites, ward for cores
vs T4 heavy armour: go with the ward unless you're executioner and strike with hatred, or don't exspect much punishment in return (flank attacks, bogged down cavalry)

This makes COB less of a must have if you don't include some elite blocks in your list, just like back in 7th!

Thanks for the calcs!


Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:55 pm
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All of these calculations ignore the reality of the game

You'd be foolish to run a big block of unsupported warriors by themselves.

But, if you put a nasty character in them, the character does the killing and generating ACR side of things (particularly through challenges, where with their high I they will strike first most of the time), while the warrior horde provides the SCR and missile soaking buffer.

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:14 pm
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A character alone in a unit is not enough to generate enough CR in total to break the enemy if they butcher handfuls of your spears in return. Whats our Lords got? Four attacks base, you could bump it to five or six attacks that aren't all that effective then. You'll generate roughly ten or so CR in total counting in SCR and some kills from your warriors on a good lucky round of combat. They'll have at least two SCR, killing a further eight warriors isn't all that hard.

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Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:02 pm
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Dreadlord with sword of strife, armour of darkness and potion of strength has enough teeth to do some real damage. With the banner of murder to boot (which adds to the dreadlord's powerhouse attacks), a horde unit of spears led by him is very sweet indeed.

Also. Enemy elite troops cost A LOT more than your warriors do (I saw Tzeentch Chaos Warriors mentioned somewhere on the thread - they are very steep costing indeed!) So even if he is stabbing several warriors to death for everyone of his, odds are its costing him several times as much to do so.

What's more, the aim of a horde unit of warriors is not to win combat in the first turn or two, its to do significant damage over an extended period. If you have more guys than your opponent does, you get stalwart and stubborn, on the dreadlord's leadership of 10. Even if you don't, you still have a good chance of staying, even if you lose combat, as you're subtracting from leadership 10.

Finally, a horde of spearmen is much better equipped to absorb a battering from missile fire and magic (as each model has the same basic T and AS as elite dark elf infantry) and still be a viable combat unit. If he shoots/bombs/blasts 20 out of a unit of 45 warriors? No biggy, the unit lives on. If he kills 20 out of a unit of 20 blackguard via ranged attacks - the unit's dead. What's more, you've lost a whopping 260+ points for 20 blackguard being shot, compared to just 140+ for the warriors...

Yes, man for man, elites do better in combat, but they are more vulnerable, can't absorb damage for as long and cost more. They certainly have a role, but I think its diminished from 7th ed and that big units of warriors and RxBs both can and should be more commonplace.

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:17 pm
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Cold One Knight

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Thanatoz wrote:
In short:
vs T3 light armour: +1 attack all the way
vs T4 medium armour: +1 attack for elites, ward for cores
vs T4 heavy armour: go with the ward unless you're executioner and strike with hatred, or don't exspect much punishment in return (flank attacks, bogged down cavalry)

This makes COB less of a must have if you don't include some elite blocks in your list, just like back in 7th!

Thanks for the calcs!


+1 attack is not that good, unless you field 7 wide. Don't forget that the bonus is only for the front rank.

With T3 elf, i found that the ward is the way to go for everything. Maybe sometime i'll give +1 attack if i got a flank and not a lot of attack (like only 3 or 4 guys can attack opponent), cause the strike back is not strong. But i think i'll give the ward anyway, in case my opponent charge/cast spells in his turn.


Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:34 pm
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Quote:
With T3 elf, i found that the ward is the way to go for everything. Maybe sometime i'll give +1 attack if i got a flank and not a lot of attack (like only 3 or 4 guys can attack opponent), cause the strike back is not strong. But i think i'll give the ward anyway, in case my opponent charge/cast spells in his turn.


i suggest you scroll up. i did the maths, you didnt ;)

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Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:30 pm
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Elites may have the same defence as Spears but offense wise they do a LOT more damage. Whilst our spears are now easily stubborn , you need to actually win the combat at some point and hence Models which can actually kill something come in handy

The increase in points may not be the most cost effective but it may tip the "effectiveness" enough such that you win the combat instead of losing it in which case the cost of the unit is then irrelevent.
i.e If your Black Guard lose 19 models but see off several units of Chaos Warriors or what not then you still haven't lost a point so they d better then the warriors who may be good value for their points but got butchered anyway by the considerably more expensiv chaos warriors.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:17 am
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A horde of spears even with a geared up DL is not enough to win a combat alone. Be it on first round or third. Back in 7th that is more viable, but not here in 8th. Your DL costs you at least 240pts to be combat effective, that's like, ten-fifteen elite models of their you got to kill before the values balance out. And that's not factoring the swatches of spears you'll be losing along the way. DE are not fit for prolonged combat as a rule of thumb, if you're bogged down in combat for turns on end, you'll be grind to dust before the fewer elites, be it if they break you or not. Chances are, you won't win a combat round alone even with a BoM and a killy DL. I had a horde of spears in steadfast mode hold up twenty chaos warriors of slaanesh. I flanked that same unit with a chariot, a hydra and front charged it with twelve WE all in the same turn. I was forced to use my hydras breath weapon along with the thunderstomp to win CR. So spears alone with DL won't outclass elites, who cares about absorbing damage for long when they can butcher our spears?

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What's mine is mine, What's yours is mine.
Now that we understand each other, lets get down to business.

Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

Skills
Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

Magic Item
Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:26 am
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