Saturday, May 4, 2013

I played 2 games with High Elves today!

Banner banned already?!

The first game was against this really nice guy who took a like-wise monster-mash list, and the second game was a against a friendly Ogres player.  To my surprise when I walked in the store today, my order arrived Friday night and I was able to get the Phoenixes together.  I went with double Frostheart Phoenix although I'm thinking about getting a third Flamespyre now.

As always, my BRs will consist of notes and confirmations rather than a play by play report.  I decided to go this route with these so you guys can take more tactical/strategic knowledge from these.

So my first game was..
2500 points, Pitched

I had..
Prince on Star Dragon
2x Frostheart Phoenix
30x LSG FC, 2x 11x Archers w/ Mus
A big unit of Dragon Princes w/ BotWD
BSB Noble with Dragon Princes
and a Lv.2 Mage running High Magic

My opponent had..
Engine of the Gods
Ancient Steggy
2x units of big Saurus Warriors
A Old Blood on Carnasaur
2x units of Salamanders
A unit of Skinks and some lizardy flyers

Notes from Game #1
  • The Attuned to Magic special rule really helps our Phoenixes' a great deal.  I kept rolling +1 attack on my Frozen Turkeys and their damage output went up considerably.  Never did I roll a 1 or 2, and only once did I roll the +1 Initiative.  On the turn that I did get 4+ Ward, I didn't need it because I was already ahead in points and unit advantage.
  • The Banner of World Dragon did not see much play in this game due to very little magic being thrown out.  Sure, the Old Blood on Carnasaur had a magic weapon, but the Dragon Princes never saw him in battle.  They were too busy killing a ton of Saurus Warriors on a direct charge from the front.
  • The Frostheart Phoenix is worth every point, to a point where I think they might be too good.  I know if there were cannons running around on the battlefield we would be having another type of discussion, but their abilities are so damn good!  I combo-charged my Prince on Star Dragon into the EotG and went to town with it.  It's a shame I managed to fluff all my attacks on the first go, but the fact that my Star Dragon can swing before his Steggy was impressive.  In fact, he's the only one that did any damage despite my Prince having a Star Lance with ASF re-rolls.
  • Blizzard Aura is absolutely amazing.  You will see that in this first game and in the next game, the Frostheart Phoenix does serious work.  Once he's in combat with a unit, their fighting effectiveness goes to shit.  Saurus Warriors that need 4s and 4s to wound your Elves, Stegadons need 5s to wound your Phoenix, and forget about the Star Dragon.  Pseudo-T8 makes him nearly untouchable with his high WS and T factored in.  One of my Frosthearts even took a flank charge from the Old Blood on Carny, did 3 wounds to the dino and only saw 1 back.  With S7, he needed 4s to wound, I passed 2 5+ Ward saves and he only did 1 wound which got healed back by Apothesis next round.  Overall, I think the Frostheart Phoenix met my expectations and then some.  The Attuned to Magic helped me in most cases and the Blizzard Aura was amazing.
  • I will probably be taking 2x Great Eagles in every list still.  I mean, why not?  They're great re-directors and give me extra cheap drops that I can use to better position my heavy hitters.  I'm not entirely sure on the LSG, but I'm pretty happy with my Dragon Princes doing work on his Saurus.  I will need to see more tries with such a beefy bus before I make any more judgement.
  • I talked to a couple of guys who are running tournies and leagues in my area and it's confirmed:  Banner of the World Dragon will be banned.  In a sense, I agree because it allows for some really stupid imbalances (Daemons), but I don't think the banner itself is overpowered.  It's mainly the fact that Daemons can't touch it that's causing it to be banned, nothing else.
  • My Prince on Star Dragon build was: Prince, Star Dragon, Heavy Armor, Great Weapon, Enchanted Shield, Star Lance, and 4+ Ward.  It comes out to 622, but I'm not sure if it's completely needed to take a Star Dragon.  I guess at the end of the day, it really depends on your meta.  If a lot of WS3 troops running around, and S5, then I would probably look at the Star Dragon.  Otherwise, the cheaper Moon Dragon might be a solid option.

Game #2 was..
2000 points, Pitched

I had..
Lv.4 Archmage, Book of Hoeth, Crown, High Magic
Lv.2 Mage, Scroll, High Magic
BSB, Armor of Caledor, GW
24x White Lions, FC, BotWD
30x Spearmen FC, SoDisc, 2x units of 10x Archers w/ Mus
2x Frostheart Phoenixes

He had..
Tyrant, Fencer's Blades, Greedy Fist
Lv.2 Butcher in a unit of 5x Leadbelchers
A big unit of Ironguts
A decent unit of Bulls
2x Mournfang

Notes from Game #2
  • A smaller game for sure, and the first thing I noticed was how much I can fit in such a small game!  I took all the things I wanted to pretty much because I was so impressed by the Frosthearts from the previous game.  The thing to take away from this is how much we can fit with in a 2K game and still play moderately competitive.  I'm sure the Frosthearts take all the glory though.
  • Much like the first game, I did not see one poor roll with my Attuned to Magic.  Multiple times I was seeing +1 Attack, +1S and 4+ Ward.  Two times I got the 4+ Ward and my opponent just said nevermind and attacked something else.  That works for me!
  • This is the first game I got to try out High Magic in all its glory.  Sure, I didn't have the Loremaster, but after this game, I'm not sure if I really need one.  Here's why:  My Archmage was extremely greedy with the spells he wanted to cast.  I rolled into Fiery Convocation but I decided to swap it out for Drain Magic, along with Soul Apotheosis, Hand of Glory, Tempest and Arcane Unforging.
  • First thing's first, I'm not sure how much I like Arcane Unforging being a direct damage spell.  I charged into combat with my White Lions early and I barely casted this thing.  Being direct damage severely limits this spells use IMO.  The 24" is solid and I can see this being used on enemy BSBs a lot, but not being able to use it in combat makes it a lot weaker than I originally anticipated.
  • Hand of Glory is freaking amazing vs. WS3 units when you're WS5+ on your Elites and good stuff.  I got this spell off a good amount of times because I squeezed out so many casts and rolled a 3 on the D3.  WS7+ gives you a damage buffer against all enemies trying to hit you and that's fantastic.  To make things even more exciting, the fact I got to throw out so many spells stacked up a good amount of Ward saves on my White Lion's unit.  With the +5 to cast from my AM and Book of Hoeth, I managed to throw out a good amount of spells every turn.  In 3 of my turns, I had 2 5+ wards and a 4+ ward on my unit of White Lions.  That's a ton of reduced damage in combination with WS8 vs. WS3 troops.
  • Again, the Blizzard Aura does serious work.  The Phoenixes are huge because of their threat range and their ability to support any combat the way only a flyer can.  My White Lions managed to pull out a 9" charge on his Tyrant's Irongut unit and my opponent just took it.  Once the Phoenixes came in as support he knew he was a goner.  Yes, both Phoenixes, Hand of Glory on the White Lions, -1S ASL on his unit, and +1 attack on both birds.  Man, it was so good.
  • With the Lv.4, almost all of the spells from the High Magic lore is playable with 2 dice, especially if you have the Book of Hoeth.  I even managed to stop a high-roll on one of hi spells by turning one of my dispel dice of 1 into a 6.  Bam, IF dispelled, sorry.  I'm a little unsure about Soul Quench, Tempest, Arcane Unforging AND Fiery Convocation being all direct damage-ish spells, but I definitely need more games to confirm my findings.  I just think I'll severely limit my magic phase if I can't cast these spells into close combat.  Less casts equates to less wards being stacked up too.

Additional Notes:
  • Now that I've seen the Lv.4 AM in action with the Book, I'm not so sure on the Loremaster.  Spell flexibility is one thing, but like a lot of people have said before; I didn't have the dice to throw them.  Realistically, you're only throwing spells with your AM.  High Magic is great because of the low costs, the +5 to cast and stackable wards, but I'm unsure about a full half of the spells being DD.
  • I will be adjusting some of my lists to not incorporate the Loremaster in the same list as my AM.  I will hopefully fill that void with either an Anointed, or a Prince to go with my Dragon Princes.  After the AM's performance, I'm not sure if I even need the Lv.2.  I might take a Lv.1 with High Magic just for another a another Drain Magic.  From what I've seen of the spell, I think it's amazing.
  • Everything about the Frostheart Phoenix is true.  The guy is an utter beast and is arguably the best support unit in the High Elf army.  I absolutely cannot see me playing without this guy and I know I'll be taking 1-2 from now on in every game.  However, I'm going to try out the Flamespyre Phoenix in my next game vs. Vampire Counts (maybe, want to build it first).  Don't worry, the competitive crowd isn't in yet and we're just trying out new stuff.  I am super excited though!
  • Surprise surprise, it looks like BotWD will be banned in major tournaments in my area.


Foremir said...

The book is not even out for a week and already the axe has fallen on a item. It is just a bit disappointing that the game has gone so far into "Paperhammer/Mathhammer" land that actual game play is deemed unnecessary anymore before making such a decision. Is it even considered that it is an item needed to fill a vital role in the Army. Can you say Terrorgheist, Skullcannons, Nurgle Deamon Princes....ughh. I just wish people would let it play out some before deciding that they can see the future.

HERO said...

I completely agree, 100%.

Chronowraith said...

Agreed. While daemons will have a rough go of this item, EVERY other army out there have ways around this. Some of them may not be very common but I like the idea that something in one book makes lesser seen units in older books more common. I'd rather organizers see how the item affects the game over tried and true gameplay and not kneejerk reactions.

HERO - In general , beware of any warmachines with the phoenix. Undoubtedly beware of Doomwheels though. 3 shots at d6 wounds plus d6 (or d3) S6 impact hits can chew through most monsters pretty quick.

As far as the phoenix, do you think that it worked so well due to opponents possibly? Both Lizardmen and Ogres rely on relatively high strength to cause damage as opposed to high weapon skill. I'm curious to see how it performs against WoC since they have a better statline and access to a chimera and daemon princes.

Still, good initial look at how they perform on the tabletop. I have a few projects I'm working on for my Skaven and WoC before I pick up the HE banner, but, I'll be keeping tabs on how various units perform.

HERO said...

In my game vs. Ogres, the Banner did absolutely nothing. This kind of polarity is frustrating; thank goodness I don't play in tournies too much any more and just play uncomped. Oh, of course I'm worried about the Phoenix and Warmachines. I mean, how often do I make those Dark Eldar Jink saves? haha.

On the area of opponents; absolutely. But being able to do something like that to Ogres and Lizards is pretty good area. I have yet to see results vs. more numerous (bodies) opponents, but tomorrow's game vs. VC will give me a better understanding where we place.

Prince Yrellian said...

Awesome that you got a couple games in. curious how your running dragon princes and bsb kit. i got a game in, but.didn't get to see how prince on moon dragon performed. sniped by helcannon turn one. BS on banned banner. doom spells can still kill the unit. ps tried dragon mage, i just don't feel comfortable taking it. doesn't dpi enough for 435 pts. sisters work awesome tho. Expanding to block of 15.

Chronowraith said...

I'm curious about matchips with Skaven, VC, Empire, and Dark Elves. I can see the flamespyre phoenix being much better versus horde armies. Against a typical skavenslave bus you'd be talking about D6+10D3 S4 flaming hits.

Every HE army I've listed out so far hasn't taken the BotWD. I just don't see it as necessary and I'd rather have more warm bodies than a banner that *might* be useful. So far I'm concentrating on seeing how cheesed out I can make the typical Light Council build with Alarielle.

HERO said...

I'm going to try a game with them today. Going 9x FC with a Noble BSB.

HERO said...

I think the only DE player around me has quit the hobby, or moved, or something. I haven't heard from him in years. Sad, because he was the last Ard Boyz winner.

What were you planning to run with Alarielle? Maybe her and 2 supporting Mages? BSB + her banner, in a unit of WL with BotWD?

Sam said...

Hey hero
I played a 1.5 k game today against a daemon player in fairness he is pretty novice but still was a good game. Originally I had a game set for 3k had two daemon players wanting a game but neither had more than 1.5k so were going to team up but one cancelled so didn't get to try all the new toys but still.

I took loremaster to give him a go generic core a rbt frostfire and a block of white lions with botwd. My opponent had block of blood letters with herald block of plaguebearers with herald unit of screamers beast of nurgle and two skull cannons.

So quick run through both cannons missed Phoenix first turn but moved forward giving me a first turn charge with Phoenix, great news and the 4+ invun from winds too lore master managed a long charge into screamers with lions and munched them up for no losses too. Game went very much my way even with a 1,1 wind one turn nerfing Phoenix which was in combat with second cannon by this point. All in all the game went well the botwd against daemons is a little broken as there's pretty much nothing that isn't magical they do so didn't lose a wound in that unit.

Observations frostfire is wiked half of its protection comes from its blizzard aura meaning more chance in natural armour and ward IF they can wound it.
Loremaster is a decent choice IMO cheap for all the spells and all of the signatures give him massive versatility although when in combat half spells uncastable but mean can focus on buff spells. Got a few other plans for lists but good initially first outting.

Really enjoying your blog keep it up man

Chronowraith said...

Definitely Alarielle, 2 mages, and a BSB with the banner of Avelorn. I plan on using White Lions in the army regardless (as they are by far the best infantry in the book) but I may try running the whole council in a unit of Sisters. Most of the good light spells have a range of 24" which is convenient for the bows of the sisters too. Certainly susceptible to flankers and flyers but I don't have to worry about my best combat unit being wary of combat.

I'll try it both ways and see which method works best. Safe bet is on the White Lions but I'm thinking the sisters may be a good bet, especially against more static armies.

I really don't feel the banner is necessary for the unit but I'm still open to the idea of using it (Obviously not with the unit of sisters).

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