Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tourneys across the pond

I was perusing some random sites and came across a link to this which I found interesting. It is a high-level tournament with sliding scoring based on the power of your army.

Check out the restrictions here.

Few things to think about;

1) they REALLY hate magic, since you are allowed MORE Dispel Dice than you are Power Dice.
2) they are encouraging close combat through their limitation of shooting (which should favor Warriors of Chaos and Dwarfs, I would think, as both do quite well once the swords are at each other)
3) The better the army, the lower Rare choices, indicating a perception that Rare > Special
4) High Elf armies are perceived to need a bit of help despite being Tier 2 (repeatable Rare choice)
5) They like Tomb Kings more than we do, as they put them in tier 2 AND restricted them. Weird.
6) Ogres get a bit of help
7) I am a little disappointed. I think in their format the WoC should get a little nerf, but got no mention. I am crying here.

Will be interested to see how it turns out.
Few things to note about the lists they are bringing:

1) Other than the VC and Tomb Kings, only one person is bringing 20+ model unit, and that just one time. Mostly, they are 10 strong at most, with a few exceptions.
2) One guy is not even bringing a Lord-level choice (Yay for the WoC!)
3) Despite my personal belief on Grail Knights, the Bret general is bringing just 7.


kennyB said...

Overall, not that bad it would seem. Although, based on a complete lack of knowledge in the area the Chaos Dwarfs being able to lock you out of power dice that still count towards your total seems....out of place looking at the other rules to even out the magic phase without completely nerfing every magic army. Although, I bet the VC and TK are still nerfed pretty badly.

Darth Weasel said...

I am missing something...how do Chaos Dwarfs lock anyone out of power dice? One of their biggest weaknesses is magic...they lack the magic resistance of the dwarfs without having powerful magic of their own. They are worse both at getting magic off and getting it stopped than anybody other than the Wood Elfs as near as I can tell. Their daemonsmiths get 1 bound spell apiece and you can only take one Lord level character who produces power dice, so they are unlikely to wield much effective stuff either way. But I could easily have missed something.

The VC look extremely nerfed, I do not know enough about how many PD the TK use in a turn to know that...I was thinking they needed 3 for the prince, 2 for hierophant, 2 for casket, leaving just 1 for the liche and bound, which seems it would make it rough for them...particularly since there can be 10 Dispel Dice so they will probably be shafted badly.

kennyB said...

The article you linked to says the CD have an artifact called the Chalice of Darkness(?) that locks out 3 power dice, leaving your opponent a maximum of 6 casting dice to use (assuming they started with the maximum of 9). Pretty good locking out 33% of possible dice, more if army has less than 9 casting dice.
The VC cannot win without magic, and having less casting dice than dispel dice pretty much guarantees that, especially if any of them automatically know all of the Vampire Spells, as that counts as another die used.
TK cannot march period, and cannot get the extra regular 4" move in a turn without successfully casting their incantations, which looks to be extremely difficult. All Liche Priests automatically know all 4 spells from their lore, so if that counts too than an army with 1 Tomb King (2 spells at 1 power die each), and 3 Liche Priests (1 incantation each at 2 power dice ea, but all 3 Priests know all spells which would count as 3 dice used, leaving 6 casting dice, or 3 spell attempts). So they cannot use anything that grants them bonuses to casting values or re-roll for higher incantation values without counting as extra dice used. If they add the casket of souls, it counts as 2 power dice, leaving them 4 to actually cast with if knowing all incantations counts, or 7 if not. That is almost certain doom. rofl

Darth Weasel said...

I am wondering if they are still using the WD version of the CD. I can't find the Chalice. But yeah, that would be super powerful.

VC spam a lot of single dice, so the thing they are losing is stuff we find powerful like Wind of Undeath in favor of spamming raising and Ven Helse their troops around the field...though losing the Drakenhoff or paying the price both seem unattractive!

Basically, it looks to me like they are trying to rectify the inherent imbalance of the GW books. Not sure how successful they are since the top players pretty much top tiered it anyway with the exceptions of a High Elf, Tomb King, and Bret player apiece. Other than that, all Dark Elf/VC/DoC.

kennyB said...

Funny, perhaps if they weren't all using the same 3 armies they would have been able to smurf all over them, but nobody seems willing to even try because the general consensus is "I will only use tier 1 armies, even if they are nerfed, rather than use an un-nerfed army that could quite possibly smurf the nerfs".

Liam said...

smurf the nerfs makes me laugh. alot.

As for the Bret player, I don't know what his whole idea about taking 3 nine-units of Knights Errant is about. Immune to fear on the charge seems like the main, since of all the VC and Daemons. But still, theres much better options to handle that with. WS 3 S3(5 on charge) doesn't seem like enough to kill daemons or undead. Questing knights would be a better option IMO, reroll psychology and better stats for prolonged combat make would be better. And no reliquae as well... Didnt look like they put much restrictions on special units so his whole build is slightly baffling.

Darth Weasel said...

in all fairness, NINE armies are represented;

From Tier 1
3 Vampire Counts
3 Dark Elf
2 Daemons of Chaos
1 Lizardmen

so 9 of 16 are from top tier,over 50%

2 Tier 2 armies have 2 apice:
High Elf (which makes sense)
Tomb Kings...which doesn't.

Wood Elf, Warriors of Chaos, and Bretonnia are also represented by one apiece.

The "top of the top tier" army, the DoC has less than two of the tier ones, oddly enough...so one could argue that 16 of 16 people are trying to counter the best.

And 7 are taking Tier 2 armies.

So what you are saying is actually being taken advantage of by a significant part of the field, and in my opinion with (except the Brets) the best armies to do so.

More later after I watch the Beaver game :-)

Darth Weasel said...

Okay, back to where I was before watching the Beavs choke away the rose bowl...

of the armies not represented, it is not hard to see why:

Orcs and Goblins rely heavily on War machines according to much of what I have read, and in this format, those are heavily restricted.

Beasts of Chaos and the ogre kingdoms are so wrongly costed and hard to play without any benefits that it is understandable they would not show. That leaves just Dwarfs and Empire.

Dwarfs are a tough tourney choice because they are tough to win big with.

They have outstanding shooting, but in this game, much of their shooting mattes not;

I love their cannons, but there are so few targets that cannons are not going to get their points back.

No repeatable specials means one Organ Gun.

Which means they rely on getting their slow, expensive close combat troops into close combat in favorable situations. Looking at the other army lists, this is going to happen approximately zero times. And unlike one-offs, it matters if you win by a little or win by a lot. The Dwarfs are going to have lots of draws and win by a little when they do win.

The Empire it seems someone might have taken aa flier on. The Steam Tank's mobility makes it more deadly than the Dwarf artillery, their shooting is nearly as good as the Dwarfs between their war machines and fast cavalry (and Hochland Long Rifles!) and the detachment system is flexible enough they should be able to deal with just about anything.

Add to that rather plentiful cavalry options and they seem like a good army to take for these.

Their problem, of course, is low LD and (and this also answers Liam's question re:Knights Errant) and the tourney scene is largely about causing and/or avoiding Fear/Terror...something the Empire has problems with.

there are 7 armies where EVERY MODEL causes Fear or Terror, and others with 3, 4, 5 or more units doing so. Even the Wood ZElf army has 5 (2 are hidden by a special rule) Fear causing units.

So it is quickly apparent why so few armies are used. The only one I am surprised to see used is the Brets, I actually expected a hair more WoC (and he is not using the "standard" tourney build for them), I expected more Lizardmen and Empire and fewer Tomb Kings.

We will have to check back Monday and find out what happened. I hope the Brets or chaos win, just to see an underdog.

kennyB said...

I didn't actually see the army lists or list of army's, so I can't comment outside of what I read here on that.

As for fear/terror/immune-to-fear-terror the DE don't have a lot, and tend to break in close combat, especially against terror causers.

'The "top of the top tier" army, the DoC has less than two of the tier ones, oddly enough...so one could argue that 16 of 16 people are trying to counter the best.'

Do you mean 14 of 16 are trying to counter the DoC? Or 7 of 16 are trying to counter the Tier 1's that I was referring to? I am curious to see how differently they play there as the limited magic sure SEEMS like it should kill the VC and TK, yet there were 5 of them present, almost 33% of contestants? Lizardmen are pretty bad too since they can only have one Engine based on Special restrictions, and not having overpowering magic dice either....of course, terror causing temple guard helps, but not to replace an engine of doom (or Stegadon) build...maybe they play with different ruleset period?....

Darth Weasel said...

I was saying 15 of the 16, by not going DoC, were going against type...though pretty much everyone is in agreement that tourney-level, the gap between the top 3 is pretty small. I just mis-typed. 15 of 16, not 16 of 16.

Judging by the lists (which are linked under the names of the players on the left) the DE will seldom be in c.c. They all have either 2 or 3 units of Dark Riders, a couple units of Shades, Harpies, and I think 1 or 2 of them have Cold One knights. Maybe a block of Black Ark Corsairs, too.

The Lizardmen have no Temple Guard. Zip. Zero. Nada. And only one unit of 20 Saurus.

kennyB said...

So since you wrote that there are 2 DoC armies you mean 14 of 16? Or you are standing by 15 of 16? =D

kennyB said...

"•Rare choices may not be repeated with the following exceptions. High Elves are allowed to repeat a rare choice once. Since they can have 4 rares that basically means they are allowed to have 2 Bolt Throwers and 2 Great Eagles. Tier 3 armies are also allowed to take two of the same rare choice. Note that a 2 for 1 choice such as Pump Wagons are still a single rare choice, therefore an Orcs & Goblins general can field 4 Pump Wagons (a single choice of 2 pump wagons repeated once)."
"•Maximum of 5 war machines."

Since High Elves, Dark Elves, and Dwarfs can all take 2 Bolt Throwers as 1 choice, and the High Elves can repeat a rare and for Dwarfs they are a special choice, can't they both take 4 Bolt Throwers?

"•Maximum of 2 terror causers."

That might be why the Lizardmen don't take the Temple Guard? Since they cause terror with the tourney's special rule, you couldn't take 2 stegadons (1 Ancient and 1 normal) and take temple guard too..... O.O

The battle reports and tactics should REALLY be interesting. I hope.

kennyB said...

Whoops. I looked at the High Elf book again, turns out they don't get to take 2 for 1 on Bolt Throwers, but they do get double the amount of rare choices anybody else does, so it works out basically the same. And that is also I think why they get the "added" bonus of being allowed to duplicate their choice, because for Dark Elves (which have the exact same bolt thrower) and Dwarfs (Non-repeater-bolt-thrower, but can have magic runes and Champions with special abilities and higher BS) it is 2 for 1 anyway. Still, for the Dwarfs Bolt Throwers are a Special, not a rare, and they can take 2 for 1 slot, so they could nail 4 magic bolt throwers. Add on an Organ gun for the Rare choice and 56 more available slots for shooting, throw in a Runelord on an anvil, and you have an army that can fire 4 suped-up bolts, 0-10 shots from other artillery, 56 more shots from their great guns, have 7 Dispel Dice with just that chosen so far(2 army, 2 dwarf, 2 runelord, 1 anvil), and still have 1400+ points to spend on heroes and h2h. I see potential, but then, I see the TK as pretty awful too, so we shall see how it plays out for those guys over there....

Liam said...

I found the Chalice of Darkness. They are using the Ravening Hordes Chaos Dwarovs, which leave much to be desired.

What it does is it removes D3 power dice from both of your power dice pools.

And I found Gotrek and Felix, Ken, so if you want I can bring it for you this Saturday.

Darth Weasel said...

Problem with the Dwarfs is still the same; shooting can be avoided to the extent where the points will not be enough to get much past marginal Victory...and that is if everything goes right. Meanwhile, the Dwarfs are so slow that if the opponent chooses, they can avoid close combat entirely which means the Dwarf results will tend to vary between Marginal Loss and marginal Victory.

These are not bad results, but will not put the player in the winners circle.

In games the way we play, the Dwarf armies can do quite well but in a tournament setting where margin of victory matters a great deal...they struggle to win the way they need to and thus never accumulate enough points.

Darth Weasel said...

Ah, Ravening Hordes...yeah, that makes sense, because from what I have read, that list was supposed to be much meaner than the Indy Gt one, with stuff like that, the Blunderbusses hit everyone in an area, stuff like that.

They still are nowhere near top tier even in the Ravening Hordes, much more a niche army with the rep of being played for love of Chaos Dwarfs rather than for being competitive.

kennyB said...

The good part about the dwarves is they can set up at the edge of the board, and make the opponent come to them no matter what. The artillery can fire all the way across the board and they can set it up so they have the tactical advantage as defenders, not aggressors, and they have plenty of tools to that end. Add in that they are Tier 2, which means when they lose to a Tier 1, the Tier 1 gets barely any points, and if they beat the Tier 1 by any margin, they get pretty good points as they are considered the "underdog". I have seen situations where the top guy can't get points even winning by large margins, and the bottom guys get points even for losing, and it doesn't take much for the "underdog" to come out on top.

And the ravening hordes blunderbusses roll to hit everybody directly in front of the firing models up to 12" away I do believe, vs rolling to hit everybody in an entire unit.

Darth Weasel said...

they can...the problem is, so can the opponent. That means they then have to rely on 3 or 4 cannons to score all their points, and in tournaments, lots of people play points denial, so even doing half damage to an enemy unit is a lot to ask.

Meanwhile, if someone is playing cheese...for example, the most common WoC build I hear discussed tries to get Infernal Gateway cast with Irresistible Force and counts on that for all its points...and all they have to do is wipe out one Dwarf unit with it...the Dwarf army is going to have to win via Massacre twice to make up for the points they did not score in that game.

Not that it cannot be done...just that it is easier to do in tournament settings with a few other armies...DoC, DE, HE, Lizardmen, VC, TK, WoC, Brets, Empire, WE, and now Skaven.

In our games, it would be much easier since in almost every game both players are seeking out close combat, so points are available.

Darth Weasel said...

and just to clarify, I think we are on the same page. I would LOVE to see a Dwarf or Tomb King or bretonnian army win it all (and, honestly, I would really, really, really like to see Wood Elf or WoC winner since they are the two I play most heavily).

I just think the Dwarf draw-backs make them too hard to do overly well with in a tournament setting against a talented opponent who plays proper tournament style point denial.

kennyB said...

Points denial? Not many other armies can have 4 Magic Bolt Throwers with BS4, as well as Magic (Rune striking) that can strike anywhere on the board with no line of sight. So if the opponent wants to sit back and die, so be it. Or if they want to charge across and die, so be it. I admit I must be missing some of the point, since I see the Dwarves as being able to shoot and magic clear across the whole table while most, if not all, other armies are restricted in range. In addition, the Dwarves have the highest leadership of any army, as well as a dominating stat line all the way across, sans movement, which they don't need because they can sit 47" away and decimate the opponent with magic and magic bolts. I fear an army that can sit 47" away and hit me with no armour save, rank piercing, str 9 bolts, and fiery str 8 bolts, and str 8 bolts that hit on 2+, and bolts that are +1, +2, or +3 to hit fliers. And that is with just 2 of their special choices.

Darth Weasel said...

problem is, the idea of points denial is to minimize the damage alignments like that can do. many if not most have ward saves, and also...

1) the shooting has to be extremely accurate. Cannons cannot mis-fire, but the also cannot mis-guess range or have unfortunate rolls. Bolt throwers can do at most 4 casualties a turn.

If all of them hit every turn and there are no saves succssfully made, you might get half points for a unit or at most 2...but that would be it. Not enough to get more than a minor victory I would not think.

And that is assuming everything goes right.

Dwarf shooting is good...just not good enough to win the majority of their games by large enough margins to overcome the sad truth that armies like the DoC are winning multiple games via Massacre, and if they do not get docked heavily for comp, their massacres, even if a loss is included, will outpoint the slow but steady point gain of the dwarfs.

I would love for someo talented Dwarf player to go to the tourneys and use that forumla to find success.

:-) and I can provide the Dwarfs and info for local tournaments if you want to try it locally, where I actually think it would have a much, much higher chance of success.

I think you are good enough at it to have a pretty good chance of proving your point

Darth Weasel said...


just to show how hard it is in tournaments...this guy went undefeated in a 111 player tourney and finished second. One reason i suspect I would suck a lot as a tourney player...I would lose focus after the second or third game and get CRUSHED the rest of the way.

Who would have thought endurance was key? lol at least that should favor Dwarfs of all flavors...you HAVE to have endurance to play Dwarfs! :-)

Darth Weasel said...

lol after all this, when I lose my first game with teh Dwarfs with a points advantage...I am going to cry and admit I cannot play them AT ALL.

kennyB said...

Bolt throwers penetrate ranks - so not capped at 4 casualties a turn, especially if you jack them up to say, Strength 8 and Fiery, which means you will be wounding even the 2nd rank (or file if from the side) on a 2+, and no regen. I suppose it might not be enough to counter an army where every model has a ward save, but I haven't seen a 6+ ward save save very often. Or any 6+ save for that matter. Take away any armour with a bolt, and any regen with the fire, and do D3 wounds per shot if it's a multi wound model, and you can do a lot of damage fast. And a Dwarf bolt thrower with an engineer (champion) hits on a base of 3+, or with a master engineer (hero) hits on a base 2+, both of which can be modified further with runes. I would think that would be the bane of demons or other high priced individual model armies....

Darth Weasel said...

I could be wrong, but I believe the doc have a 5+ or better Ward across the board. One reason they are such a ridiculous army. They are faster, stronger, and harder to kill than anyone, their core units can have magic...they are just a stupid list. Their points denial the way I have it understood is a large, almost impossible to kill block that moves forward pretty quick and engages the high-value parts of the enemy.

Sadly, I could even put together a pretty tough to score on points denial list for the WoC.

basically, my Core would be Marauder Horsemen. Everything else would be a hero or member of the Chaos Warriors unit with Blasted Standard and mark of tzeentch which means I would have a 4+ ward save verse shooting and still have my preferred Banner of the gods to make it stubborn.

So you could either shoot the Horsemen while I moved closer, earning up to 65 points per unit...or up to 195 points if you killed all 15 models...not enough to get past a draw...or shooting at my main unit which would be ranked up deep enough that a cannon ball or bolt thrower could do several casualties...but you have to do about 40 just to get half points. Meanwhile, in this set-up I am obviously advancing across the board, more than willing to face any CC troops the Dwarfs (or any army, honestly) may have.

Of course, the problem here is I cannot imagine anyone ever building such an army, though there have been similar concepts in other armies. So this is nothing but a hypothetical, and one with very little ground since it is set up specifically to take on gun lines and breakable monsters.

The other problem is I have yet to see Dwarf shooting do much, even in the game where Rick correctly guessed I think he said 85% of the shots. Nor the game where I hit ev ery time but 2...and lost (though only because I was playing myself. Had I not prevented Chad from about 20 different bizarre maneuvers, i would admittedly have won anyway).

I have HEARD about Dwarf shooting doing great, but every game I have actually seen they have drawn or lost.

This is largely because Dwarf shooting, even the Grand battery I desperately want to try, just cannot do enough in the time that it has.

With 3-ish turns to shoot before the enemy arrives and either engages the Dwarf fighters or the cannons themselves, they have to do enough damage to out-point the damage they will take themselves.

I actually think the Dwarfs are wrongly costed, almost as badly as the Ogres. They are too expensive to protect their flanks, too slow to maneuver well enough to protect the flanks, and not good enough in combat even if they hit head on.

At the same time, somewhere in that list is a really good AND fun mix that I sure hope to find. Because a lot of the models look really cool!

It is not that the Dwarfs could not play the spoiler...just that they would need everything to break their way over a series of games, and other second tier armies could do it much easier; High Elfs, Wood Elfs, Empire, Warriors of...well, okay, so not the Warriors :-)

kennyB said...

Do Chaos Warriors have a maximum unit size?

Do added models to a unit count towards total size of the unit for VP or is the % casualties based on the amount of models in the unit on paper?

You may find that you are more restricted than you think....

And maybe not....

The "Shadestar" you are copying is a unit that is only required to be 5+ models strong, but some, like my Tomb King Skeleton Warriors, are restricted in maximum size to counter just such twisted ideas. Not sure why they didn't think about it for the Shades, but hey, whatever! ;D

kennyB said...

1 of many:

"This is a GIMMICK army, it's completely absurd and totally abuses the absolutely wonderful new Dark Elf book and should never be intended for serious use, only for fun (and maybe to *anger* off a couple friends, in the most friendly of ways of course)

Now I realize some of you may have already seen or heard of this list, but I want to be sure everyone understands of its full potential

Death Star!


Dreadlord w/Blood Armour, Pendent of Kaeleth, Null Talisman x3, Repeater Crossbow, Great Weapon = 291


Battle Standard Bearer with Banner of Nagarythe, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Repeater Crossbow, Great Weapon = 227

Master w/The Guiding Eye, Ring of Hotek, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Repeater Crossbow, Great Weapon = 152

Master w/Ring of Darkness, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Repeater Crossbow, Great Weapon = 142


Assassin w/Extra Hand Weapon and Venom Sword = 161

10 Warriors = 60

10 Warriors = 60

10 Warriors = 60


56 Shades w/Bloodshade, Light Armour, and Great Weapons 1082

As you can imagine, all the characters and the assassin go in the massive unit of Shades, which means only THREE deployments! The three Null Talismans on the dreadlord gives the unit MR(3), the Banner of Nagarythe gives them an extra +1 combat res and makes the UNBREAKABLE, The Guiding Eye on the first Master allows them to re-roll their shooting once (all 120 shots per turn), the Ring of Hotek means any spell cast on them will miscast on ANY DOUBLE. The Second Master's Ring of Darkness means all shooting attacks made on the unit are at 1/2 Ballistic Skill."

And this isn't even the most ridiculous one out there. But with every post of one of these comes 20 posts of how much people hate them, and the people that come up with them, and their children, and their children's children.....etc

Darth Weasel said...

no max size, but a HUGE drawback;

any competent opponent will easily outmaneuver them as it would be a very bulky, unwieldy unit that could barely maneuver. So while it gives up no points, it scores none either unless the opponent is really bad or really unlucky...say, failing stupidity or animosity...

basically, you could tool up a chaos lord, throw the rest of the points in ramping up magic and hope to Unseen Lurker them into combat...but there would be about 80+ Chaos Warriors, (16 points each, leaving over 1000 points for characters in a 2250 list) which means just to get 1/2 points you would have to do about 40 casualties. If they went 10 wide and 8 deep I suppose a few well placed cannon balls might do the trick, though of course the Warriors would march straight towards the cannons as quick as possible. They would not care if enemy infantry tried to stop them or if the cannon was their target...they would not give up any points, so would not care.

But the list would be inflexible, boring, and a loser against most of the field, so it is not really a relevant example I suspect.

And I did note Shades were limited to max 8 by the Masters list, probably because of that. Does not mean there were not MANY other loopholes.

Darth Weasel said...

and both the one you listed and stupidity like if I were to do 4 Marauder 10 man units and then throw everything else into a block of Knights that were Stubborn, 4+ Ward versus shooting, 6+ Ward, 1+ Armor Save, stubborn, with ramped up heroes should not be possible. But they are.

And to me, neither would be fun to play against.

I certainly do not want to face an army of nothing but harder-than-normal Knights, cannot imagine why my opponent would. The loopholes are sad.

I would sort of like to see something developed at some point in the future with limited shooting, limited number of troops allowed to have better than say...4+ armor save, limit on things that eliminate said saves, and limit on characters + monsters+war machines to 35ish % of points.

Just to get the emphasis on maneuver, infantry, and so forth.

It would mean the end of my favorite WoC build, but I think that would be for the best anyway and cannot seem to tear myself away from it in any other way

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