Wednesday, October 7, 2009

WFB 'Ard Boyz Semi-Finals- my thoughts

Well, I'm not really sure why, but for my first post on this blog, I've decided to write about Warhammer Fantasy, and the impending Semi-Finals.

I recently played my Dark Elf army at the Preliminary 'Ard Boyz in Laramie, WY, and somehow ended up winning the whole thing, with 2 massacres and a draw. Here's a link to that particular Battle Report (henceforth I'll be posting the battle reports here as well as on forums):

As you are likely to see if you read the report, I don't really play much Fantasy. I love my Dark Elves, and it's a lot of fun to play them casually, but I'm sort of at a loss of what to do against the current 'power builds' out there. It seems to me like my current list is somewhat nasty, but I'm just not sure how well it'll hold up in the greater scheme of things, playing against things like Power Dice Demons- or ANY demons for that matter, Vampire Counts Ghoul armies, Empire Cannon builds, and all the other crazy ones that I don't know about since I don't play very much.

The thing is- the semi-finals are going to be held here in Fort Collins this year, and I'll be attending. I don't see myself as likely to win the tournament by any means- but I would of course LIKE to win it. Winning a free 3000 point army is always a good prize. I won the Semi-Finals last year for 40k, and got an Imp Guard Army, and am just now finally selling off the remaining pieces of it that I don't want- it was like $600 worth of stuff I could sell for a new army. Being as I don't have as much money as I need to go to Adepticon this year, winning would be a great boon to me.

So here are the things that I've decided I need to be able to deal with if I've got any chance of winning the stupid thing (keep in mind they're not the ONLY things I need to beat, just the things I'm most concerned about):

  • Bloodthirsters- I know that the 3 demon armies that won in Colorado Springs (a very competitive town for most wargaming) all contained a Bloodthirster. The build I'd personally take for a 'thirster includes flaming attacks at S7, armor that negates magic weapons, and rerolls to hit in every round of combat. Scary!
  • Magic Heavy- I know that the Tzeench PD lists are one of the top lists out there right now. I've read quite a few battle reports involving them just slaughtering their way through the competition to the top, and it makes me nervous. Vamp Counts and Lizardmen also reportedly have awesome magic phases, and I'm sure that the majority of army books can have at least decent magic.
  • War Machines- Especially Cannons. I just recently read the rules to cannons in the BRB, and they're a bit frightening for a guy with 4 Monsterous Creatures.
  • Keeper of Secrets/ Slannesh demons- a few of the demon armies I know are coming to the Semis will also be featuring this ridiculous army/combo. The build I'd take on the Keeper would give the demon a total of 8 attacks that ignore armor. Put that on top of S6 AP and a 20" charge, it's scary enough. Factor in the fact that they can have up to 6 Siren Songs in the army, and it's every more scary.

So, thats what I can think of, with my limited knowledge of the game. Here are my thoughts on how to beat these respective threats:

  • Bloodthirsters- Assassins and Always Strike First. If I can somehow bait the thirster into charging an infantry block with my assassins in it, I think I can potentially kill it without it doing much damage. With Stand and Shoot w/ my assassins' rending stars, I should be able to take a few wounds off of the thing before it gets to me, and then challenge it w/ an assassin, and hopefully combat res it to death. Note that a Dragon/Hydra will likely die to a thirster VERY quickly, at least if you do the math, and they have the 'good' build on it.
  • Magic Heavy- Ring of Hotek. Thats what I'm praying for. There's no way in hell that I'll be able to dispell much with only 2 scrolls and 3 DD. If I can get them to miscast a few times and possibly end the magic phase, I think I can take great advantage of it.
  • War Machines- they scare me less than most other builds, actually. With regenerate on my Hydras, it takes a LOT of 'positive' rolls for a cannon to even get through a Hydra's defenses. A cannon needs to essentially NOT roll a misfire on a 5+ (two chances on a 6+), get the distance correct, get a good bounce roll, and wound, and then me fail a 4+ regen save. It's a... less than 33% shot at a single cannon doing anything, assuming perfect guess on distance. Bolt Throwers are even less of a threat, since they have to roll a 4+ to wound, usually, and then roll a great D3 result to do much to me. I'm counting on their luck being average, basically.
  • Slannesh Demons- I don't really have a good idea. If I can get a charge off with my Dragon on the Keeper of Secrets, I think I can kill it, or at least hold it up for a while. But thats the problem- they choose who and when I charge, because of Siren song, and I can't dispell it. I also can't afford to flee with my dragon. If I can kill the heralds and Seeker, I think the black guard can handle the blocks of daemonettes w/ always strikes first I6. Just gotta get their herald to accept a challenge from an assassin and I'll be golden.
  • I also have an idea- put the Executioner's axe on my ground-pounding Dreadlord. This will allow me to HANDLE monsterous creatures that come to fight me, with the exception of the keeper of secrets (who will strike first and kill me, most likely) and the Bloodthirster, who will null the affects of the axe.

I had thought of adding a manticore w/ the ground-pounding dreadlord on it, and putting a master w/ great weapon in the black guard as my general, but it seems rather risky to have a 2W model w/ no ward save as the general. I suppose I could make him my BSB, and get better combat res, but then I'd have to keep one of the dreadlords as the General, which makes my other units have to stay near him to use his leadership bubble, and I need him to be out and about, killing things. I think in the end the best idea is to just keep the configuration the way it is right now. What I WILL do is take out a block of 10 crossbows and add 10 executioners- they'll be a cheap but effective way to flank charge things, as well as threaten high armored units, forcing them to deal with the executioners.

Thats about all I have for now. I realize that since this blog is ENTIRELY new, most people will likely have to do without ever knowing what this post says, but in the off chance that someone DOES end up reading it, tell me what you think. Any opinions on how to change my list to deal with the more 'powerful' builds? Alright, peace out for now.