May 2, 2013

Anti-HE moaning begins & another WHFB Tournament Report

Been spending  some time over at the Ulthuan forums since details of the new High Elf book have been released and confirmed across numerous websites and blogs.  One of the threads on Ulthuan details how non-High Elf players reactions to the Banner of the World Dragon.  It seems that certain members of the VC, DoC, Lizardman and other magic heavy or 8th Ed new book communities are already clammering for it to be comp'd out of existence much like the Book of Hoeth was in a number of tournament comp systems.  A 2+WS vs. all magic is awesome - but not I guess when 13th'ing and/or Final Transmutating etc entire High Elf units is your principle strategy.

Did some more trawling across various non-High Elf forums and general ones e.g. Dakka Dakka, Warseer, Carpe Noctum etc and honestly you would think the new High Elf book was bringing the world to an end.

Me I'm waiting until I get it, read it, and use the new rules for a few months before I pass judgement. The new HE book will be great, but the only thing I guarentee it will do is seriously deplete my bank account.  But we'll have to wait and see what happens here in NZ.. (postscript - I except my local scene to remain nicely balanced without any of the ETC type restrictions and a fair response to the new book as we saw with the new DoC, WoC, OnG and Ogres, but other parts of NZ aren't so progressive)

Watchtower vs. Vampire Counts
First Turn - No
Watchtower - Yes

Final game of Day 1 up against Glen Burfield's Vampire Count list.  Not his usual screaming list but still a tough match up given the number of pew pew targets and the various hordes of Skeletons/Zombies that I would have to wade through.  Glen's extremely well painted and based army consisted of the following:

Ghoul King, Red Fury, Ogre Blade, Other Trickster's Shard, Dragon Bane Gem
Master Necromancer, Level 4 Death
Necromancer, Level 1 Vampires, Dispel Scroll, Ruby Ring of Ruin
Cairn Wraith
Cairn Wraith
Cairn Wraith
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
20 Zombies with standard
20 Zombies with standard
20 Zombies with standard
40 Skeletons with Full command and banner of swiftness
3 Vargheists with champ
8 Crypt Horrors
2 Fell Bats

So all up a somewhat terrifying prospect.  The hard part would be to prevent the chaff from hitting my war machines long enough for me to pew pew away the big monsters.  Oh and to hold onto the watchtower with its extra 1000VP to whomever had it at the end of the game.

Awesome a hill - like Dwarven crack really - lets deploy there.
Eww brush your damn teeth before you munch on my Organ Gun would you
Opening turns I shuffle forward slightly but concentrate principally on shooting.  In what would prove to be a bit of consistently poor Dwarven shooting the Cannon and the Grudgethrower both scored direct hits on a Terrorghiest and together did... wait for it... 1 wound.  It was left to the Organ Gun to blast away at the damn thing.
First VC charges go in including a big block of Skeletons and the Ghoul King into the Watchtower.  They would kill off the Quarrellers and then sit there all game along with 2 Cairn Wraiths and 2 Necormancers defying me to try my luck at dislodging them.  I never did as I had nothing that could take them on and was tied up elsewhere.  Lots of chaff, but I have Slayers in the way and the Hammerers are about to have some fun with the Crypt Horrors.  But those Damn Dire Wolves are just everywhere.
Too many monsters and not enough pew pew to get them all especially when you keep failing to wound.  While my units all get locked into combat the rest of the VC chaff and the 2nd Terrorghiest move around behind me.
HA HA take that - the Cannon gets eaten by Dire Wolves but a Dragon gets some payback when the Cannon crewmen stick around long enough for him to flank charge the Dire Wolves and finish them off.
A careful part of my deployment on the hill and the positioning/movement of the Dragon Slayers was removing any spaces into which the VC flyers could move/charge especially the Terrorghiests.  This kept them out of the battle for a few more turns and most importantly allowed a 2nd unit of Warriors to hit the flank of the Crypt Horrors after it ran through a unit of Dire Wolves.
The flank charge works wonders and the Crypt Horrors are under 1/2 strength.  But in the background the VC chaff and flying units have begun to plow through my warmachines.  Meanwhile Glen keeps pumping more guys into the Watchtower and I finally get a couple more wounds of the Terrorgheist when the Grudge Thrower hits it again (re-reading the indirect firing rules really helped - Scatter distance = dice - BS not the straight dice I've always used).
The Hammerers and Warriors chop through the Crypt Horros but the Terrorghiest has already moved to my flank and the Bats have made contact with my sole surviving Organ Gun.  Luckily after beating the Horrors I am able to reform the Warrior block to face the Terrorghiest and the Slayer is already in position to charge.  The Grudgethrower meanwhile gets a wound in on the other one.
Those damn monsters keep moving faster than I can reform and charge them
Ah ha take that - Dragon Slayer and 30 GW weilding Warriors hit a Terrorghiest which is quickly hacked into lots of very very little bits.  But unfortunately the other one is still around and its about to cause some major issues.
The Slayer dies charging the Terrorghiest but the Warriors remain and overrun slightly, I had a reason for this at the time but can't recall it now.  But the Organ Gun is down and the Bats are now into the Grudgethrower. 
I have nothing left that shoots and the remaining Terrorghiest now starts to scream/breath on the Hammerers.  In the background the 2nd Warrior block fed up with trying to charge flying units goes after some Zombies around the Watchtower in an effort to get some cheap points.
Bugger shouldnt have charged those Warriors off - the Hammerers are getting pounded and Turn 6 is fast approaching so I have no way of either getting the Watchtower back or charging into that damn monster - both of my Warrior blocks are still at full strength but are basically out of the battle too weak to take the watchtower and too slow to hunt down the VC chaff and flyers..  VC magic is also starting to bite and I need to try and save some points.
If we can just hold on it will be over soon.  But it was not to be.  The Terrorgheist keeps screaming and eventually it gets extremely lucky and wipes out the Hammerers in the last turn killing them, my General and my BSB
Warmachine crews are amazing the Grudgethrower holds on for round after round and even kills the odd Direwolf and one of the bats.
The reason I didn't bother trying to get the Watchtower back - along with 40 Skeletons it held the Ghoul King General, both Necromancers and two Cairn Wraiths.
How the game ended - my two Warrior blocks are all I have left, I've lost the Watchtower and its not a good end
I managed to kill quite a lot of the VC army but left the watchtower in their hands, all of the characters bar one Wraith and the Terrorghiest alive.  The death of the BSB, General and Hammerers near the end of the game really turned things around giving Glen approx 850 extra VP and turning the result into a 3-17 win to him.

Still it was a fun game and would have gone differently had the Cannon & Grudgethrower managed to work properly.  6 direct hits on Terrorghiests for a total of 2-3 wounds!!! Oh and I should have left the watchtower empty just gifted Glen a charge in Turn 1 and gave him 1000VP.


Whiteadder said...

hear, hear to your comments on some of the hysterical responses to the new rules for Banner of the World Dragon. People on the interwebs seem to have terrible amnesia when it comes to 'brokenness': it's such a subjective topic. Players need to calm down. I'm excited by the new army book, and looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Cheers for the blog by the way!


Long time UK-based High Elves-playing lurker.

John Murrie said...

New books on pre-order but its still such a long time to wait...

Brokenness is definately a matter of perspective.. as a Dwarf player I tend toward the more fatalistic acceptance of other books advantages over my own - besides I get auto-hit Organ Guns for Dwarfs and 2+WS banner for HE so its all relative.

Glad you like the blog

Peter Dunn said...


I'll be doing my best to ensure that Banner of the World Dragon is not comp'd at any of the events I'm involved with - and there is no comp on High Elves at either Horned Rat VI or Call to Arms.

Just like with WoC and DoC books I think you need a six month bedding in period before you wield a heavy comp hammer (if at all).

The central part of New Zealand (Realm of Stumpy Heaven and Fields of Blood) is very much the home of permissive comp which becomes less and less as more 8th Ed books are released. It helps we play scenarios and make no changes to Magic bar a 12 PD cap.

DoC players will just have to learn to feed chaff to the unit with we did to their Bloodletter blocks

John Murrie said...


I did notice that lack of comp in the Horned Rat pack which was pretty cool. Local comp has always been very fair and balanced - Pete Lite is a good system - you do hear/see odd things from the Auckland scene though which is where I expect any anti-HE comp to come from. Waiting to see what ETC does to them which will be interesting. And your right scenarios even things out amazingly well which is why I really like them (one of things FOW does better than WHFB)

One thing I edited out of my original post was that regardless of how amazing (possibly) the new HE book is I am still going to get crushed by better players (e.g. you, Sam, Mal) even if I have all the new toys.

... new Dwarf book in November just wait...

Runeflames said...

I'll be picking up the book this weekend as I have a small high elf list I've always wanted to run but that's at least a year off. I'm still having a hard trouble trying to reconcile what to do with the banner of the world dragon with my daemons. I expect I may need to feed it lots of chaff for the entire game.

Stubborn white lions 30 strong with a level 4 and possibly BSB with a 2+ ward is very hard to shift. It's not without precedence like the Crown of command on the Chaos lord with the eye, Or pendant of khaleath and crown of command.

Peter Dunn said...

Not sure you'll see too much HE comp come out of Auckland.

All the vocal antagonists of other people's armies play High Elves and a few are currently expressing just how unbroken the new book is.

More backflips than Circa Soliel

John Murrie said...

@ Rune - me I'm looking forward to running hordes of Swordmasters and the new Warrior/Mages. Spears are also going to be staying in my list the extra rank thing seems like a good change.

Have the book on pre-order from GW so hoping it turns up sooner rather than later.

@ Pete

I hadn't thought about who owned what - I thought it was a Wood Elf/Empire dominated scene.

Jeffrey Kent said...

I'm not too bothered by the BotWD, it's still a bunch of T3 elves and I can still nuke it with Dweller's/Final Transmutation. I personally think the most dangerous use of it will be in a DP bus rather than a horde of White Lions. My only real concern balance-wise is the DoC match-up, we'll have to wait and see if it is indeed possible to get a result by skillfully feeding them chaff.

Hugh Dixon said...

I also have the book of pre-order, I got it sent to the GW store in town, so am hoping it will be there tomorrow.

I will wait until then before commenting on what is broken and what isn't :)

The new high elves i think will be more cavarly based with 1 or 2 infantry blocks supporting. But then that does seem to be the trend for most armies these days.

As for the BofWD there are plenty of spells that would deplete the unit that don't allow Ward Saves.

Peter Dunn said...

So High Elves will be a hard match up for DoC....every army has hard matchups. In those situations the aim should be to first minimise your loss and then try to get a small win.

It might also require adjustments to existing lists....this is the meta....and it's what keeps the game fresh