Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dark Elf Musings: It's true.

What's true, you ask?  Or maybe you saw that I was trying to trick you into asking that, and decided not to let me manipulate your thoughts.  Either way, the truth is hard to miss:  Cold One Knights suck.  More specifically, I think cavalry in general suck now.  This is going to be a post about my failure at 'Ard Boyz, and why I think it happened.

I went to 'Ard Boyz this past weekend, and though I didn't expect anything to come of it (having only played a grand total of ONE game prior, and that one being a weird 'cityfight' one because we rolled way too many buildings), it was still slightly disappointing, since I didn't place.  Not sure what I got overall, probably 4th or 5th I would guess.  Still, out of like 8 or 9 players, that isn't very good.

I took a number of units that I think ended up sucking.  I'll go over what units I'm not impressed with at all, first.

1) Cold One Knights

I think my biggest fail was investing about 1/6 of my overall army in these guys.  I had two big squads of 7, one with the Flaming Banner, and every game without fail, they failed me.  The units were too unweildy, and though many times I'd condense them into 2 ranks, they were still too big.  Worrying about stupidity on them is pretty frusterating, despite the BSB (I still failed their stupidity 3 times WITH the re-roll).  In addition, my idea of using them with the Cauldron of Blood never really worked.  If someone ended up killing 2 or 3 of them before I got to their line, their effectiveness was severely crippled.

Stand and shoot really hurts them as well, since even a few crossbowmen are going to put a lot of hurt into them, and though maybe then you'll win combat, what next?  You're depleted, can't really hurt big blocks of infantry, and even if you do, you can't break them, since they'll have more ranks.  Great weapons, by the way, screw Cavalry over something fierce.  Every army has either Great Weapons or good shooting, and cavalry do poorly against both.  Especially CoK, who have T3, and can't use Hatred after the first round of combat.

2)  Big Unit of Crossbowmen w/ Sorceror to help them get one reroll per game

They just got charged, and died right away every time.  24 models in a row is way too big as well, and though their stand and shoot gives like 46 shots (one was a Sorceress so she didn't shoot), they only hit 1/3 of the time, and usually only wound 1/3 of the time as well.  That leaves like *does math* ... 5 wounds given, and after saves, maybe 2 or 3 of them are dead.  Not nearly enough.

Also, they were useless once combat started.  They just hung out.  Smaller units are a much better choice, in my opinion.

3)  Level 1 Sorceress w/ Lore of Metal

She just sucked.  One spell that is sometimes useful, and another that is very rarely useful, is not that good.  Add in that she only had a +1 to her casting rolls, made her a big point sink.  Next time I'm not bringing her at all.

4)  Reaper Bolt Throwers

Heh, hugely useless.  Their multi-shot thing is fun, except it's only S4, and can't kill anything of worth quickly.  It'll *hopefully* kill 1 Warrior of Chaos a turn.  *hopefully*  Maybe if I shoot the bolt through a ranked up unit then?  Well, *if* I hit, it's not going to do much.  Kill one guy, maybe kill another (by now, the odds are already pretty far against you that it'll work, since S6 isn't much). 

But, it's good against monsters, right?  That's it's redeeming grace, right?  hahaha, I laugh in your face.  100 points for something that if it's REALLY REALLY lucky can give 3 wounds to a monster, isn't as awesome as it is stupidity.  Other bolt throwers might be good, but for 100 points, this one is more useless than anything in my army.  Seriously:  huge stupid waste.  When a dwarf cannon that costs 120 points can (somewhat easily) one-shot a hydra, or a dwarf grudge-thrower can kill an entire block of infantry for the same, I know that my stupid bolt throwers are the biggest. fail. ever.  EVER!

.....

So, that's about half my army.  The rest of my army worked well.  Here's a brief recap:

1)  Black Guard

20 Black Guard rocked it every game.  They killed more than they got killed, and overall impressed me.  Even when 12 of them got shot by a big template, the other 8 still killed a bunch of chosen.

2)  35 Spear Elves

They also did what they could to be annoying, namely tying units up for a long time, and even killing a bunch of them in the process.  The Sorceress just killed a ton of them as sacrifices, but I think I need a new lore- the Dark Elf one is good with low casting values, but I want every spell I have to be useful.  Still, pretty effective.

3)  12-man crossbow squad

These guys didn't do anything outstanding, but they weren't ever really in the way, and always did something.  This is the way I'll be running crossbows henceforth.  They get ignored and just plink away at the enemy.  10-man might even be better.  I think the thing I like about them most is that they can see through unit formations when they shoot, since they're only 6 wide.  They don't get in the way, either.  Overall, solid, consistant performers.  I just need to remember not to overdo it.  Lots of other units need love too.

4)  5-man Dark Riders

These guys hardly did anything, but I think that's just because there was only one squad of them.  Overall, I think they can help me out a ton.  Why? 

Mostly because I need something to hunt warmachines.  If someone is busy shooting my Dark Riders, they aren't shooting my blocks of infantry or Hydras.  They can't get them all.  And all it takes in this edition is a turn or two to get into combat :)

5)  Hydras

They lost a lot, to be honest.  Fire just messes with them, and they can't kill an entire unit by themselves anymore, really.  But, they also gained a lot.  Their breath weapon on blocks of infantry without partials is amazing.  Seriously, I was stunned to find out what they could do to dwarven blocks.  In combat, they're great support units, putting out a ridiculous number of damage.  The handlers aren't really slouches, either.  They also beat Hellcannons in combat, haha.

6)  Cauldron of Blood w/ BSB

Seriously, money.  Nobody wants to mess with a bunch of pissed off Witches, not after they've already taken a lot of pain to get to them.  The BSB being safe is probably the best part of this overall, but that's not all.  The Cauldron makes one unit awesome, and protects my (extremely vulnerable) troops as they walk up the board.  I'm honestly considering taking another one, haha.  Also, they beat a Warshrine in combat.  Not bad, huh :)

....

So, here are the units I'm thinking of trying out.  Not many, really.  I'm running out of things in the codex!

1) 28 Executioners

After seeing how the dwarves with Great Weapons did, I think these guys might do well.  With WS5, and buffed by the Cauldron to have an extra attack, going 7 wide they'll put out 21 S6 attacks.  It might end up good.  I want to try it quite a bit before I start buying models though, haha.

2)  Sorceress w/ 5 Null Talismans and Dispell Scroll. 

I got this idea from another guy who was at the tournament.  2+ ward vs. spells for the unit.  It might work.  Worth looking at.

3)  Dreadlord w/ Crimson Death, and re-rollable 1+ armor save.

He might also be good.  Ld 10 general who is tough to kill would be great, and put in the same unit as my Black Guard might give them a little bit of a harder punch.  If they have the Hag Graef standard, he'll ASF with I7 or 8, so that means lots and lots of re-rolls to hit for him. /shrug.  Might work.  Maybe he's too many points for what he does.  Guess we'll see.

And... that's it.  Hope you enjoyed it.  What do you think I need in my army?  I think honestly my biggest thing I need to work on is my skill as a player- once I get the rulebook, I'll at least have a better grasp on the game, and can start playing way more often.

I wish I could be ready to play the Tacticon Warhammer Fantasy tournament, but my models are unpainted, and I refuse to go to a big event with an unpainted army.  Just 'aint gonna happen.  Alright, I'll let you go.  Have a good one!

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