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Soul Reaver Cav Giving Me Fits


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#1 Montegue

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 12:11 AM

So, I haven't been able to overcome my most regular opponent's undead list. It's pretty simple - 

2 Regiments of Soul Reaver Cavalry. One has +1 Move, the other has Caterpillar

 

2 Troops of Werewolves

1 Guy on an Undead Dragon (Armor)

 

1 guy on a Zombie Dragon 

 

Vampire on a horse (sword of slashing)

 

2 Troops of Ghouls

There's no regiment we have that can withstand a charge from the cavalry, and no Horde we have that can withstand a double charge from Cavalry and Dragon. It's very difficult to screen them (especially when you're playing scenarios where you have to go do things or grab stuff) from his units, and it's very hard to get a positive fight against them. 

Anyone have solutions? How do you generally handle elite cavalry like this? Shooting doesn't seem to do the trick (nerve too high, Lifeleech puts the wounds back anyway, and D6 to begin with). In combat he just crushes. 

 



#2 lordgoober

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 03:17 AM

Well,  one thing you could try is getting units with Phalanx and force him into frontal charges.  That will at least take out the Thunderous Charge.

 



#3 jtrowell

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 09:22 AM

They are faster than you, so you won't be able to chose your targets, instead accept that you will take losses, but make sure that behind any unit that they charge, you have some heavy hitters ready to make them pay.

 

Vampires are not cheap in points, he is paying a premium in points for those units.

 

Let him charge an kill a 75 points ironclad troop, if it means that his 300+ points dragon is after that combo charged by your onw heavy hitters.

 

He has the advantage of concentration of force, you have the advantage in the number of bodies (nice to have for a dwarv for once). Accept that he will get the initiative, but move your army as a big block or two that will force him to chose between bad options.

 

Of course, it's easier said that done, but here your opponent has only 9 units to deploy, and 4 of them are not too hard to kill. It will be ugly, you ill lose lots of good dwarves, but if behing each unit that he kill there is one or two others ready to charge him back with a grudge (especially if you can get a flank)

 

Think not in individual unit potential, nor even of combo charge, think of how your units can cover each others so that any loss you have is paid back in true dwarven fashion.

 

Of course, a batterry of 3 canons has also a decent chance of killing a vampire unit with some luck. And if you fear that he will charge the canons first, place your other units ready to charge any unit killing a canon, ideally from two sides so he cannot prefent a flank charge.

 

 



#4 Montegue

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 09:54 PM

Here's the problem with that - if he breaks an outside unit, it's easy for him to simply reform and avoid a counter, unless I'm two or three lines deep. Which is, of course, possible, but that's not useful in scenarios where I have to control objectives spread out over the table or pillage gold. 

 



#5 Southern Dwarf

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:35 AM

King with Wings of Honeymaze is useful to leap out and put a wound on one unit of Soul Reavers, to strip them of Thunderous Charge for a turn.  Even if you launch him into the front, he should survive a second turn of combat and allow another unit to come up and charge (preferably in the flank, Rangers are good for this).

 

A horde of Ironclad with Orcsbain Amulet of Thorns will take some time for him to wear through.

 

Use terrain to make sure that many of his charges are Hindered: losing Thunderous Charge and getting a -1 to hit are critical.  Pathfinder doesn't work on obstacles (you need Strider, which the Caterpillar potion doesn't provide), so make sure there are some of those on the table. Remember there should be 8-10 terrain pieces in play.  If you're playing on a pool table, that's an unfair advantage to him.

 

Have a second line, which is essential anyway against his flyers.  I find Battledrillers and Shieldbreaker Troops to be very useful, because of the CS.  Brock Rider Troops might also help. My favourite is also the Bezerker Lord on Brock with the Beastslayer Sword.  Individual, Move 8, 8 Me 3+ CS(3)  is fantastic in your backline for taking on Monsters.  I can tell you that Mutant Rat Fiends, Daemonspawn, Dragonkin Lords and Varengar Chimera Lords don't like him at all.

 

Be prepared to sacrifice your first line where necessary to absorb that initial charge, and as long as you're 6.1 inches back, you should be safe for the counterattack.

 

I've also found Earth Elementals (Greater and Lesser) to be very useful, between their Crushing Strength, De6+ and high Nerve with no Waver. Being able to Surge them into a flank will be very useful if you can set it up.

 

Ultimately, jtrowell is bang on.  They will charge you, and get to choose when and where.  Try to limit their options, accept it's going to happen and prepare yourself instead for the counterattack.  What's going to hit them back when they're in the middle of your army?



#6 supergrimey

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:57 AM

Elementals would be my go to force to counteract a list like this. 

 

Defense 6, Shambling (This is a good thing if you have access to surge), CS(1) (3 for big guy), High Nerve, No waver.  These guys are tough, but I would not expect anyone to take a double charge from a Reaver regiment and a dragon. 

 

I like taking elementals in groups of 3, Horde Regular, Greater, and a Stone Priest to round it out.  I generally give the greater elemental as charge bait, then do my darndest to get the elemental horde into position for a flank with surge.  This grouping also works well for subsections of your army that can work well alone, which being an objective game like kings of war is very helpful.

 

In your case here, I would probably have 2 groups of elementals triplets, so one on each flank.  With what points are left fill in with dwarf bodies for a flavor you like.

 

Elementals in this case will also offer help from the flying circus you are facing as well, which is find to be super helpful when playing dwarfs.



#7 jtrowell

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 08:36 AM

Here's the problem with that - if he breaks an outside unit, it's easy for him to simply reform and avoid a counter, unless I'm two or three lines deep. Which is, of course, possible, but that's not useful in scenarios where I have to control objectives spread out over the table or pillage gold. 

 

 

Yes, multiple waves is among the best solutions. If he reform, you will still be able to charge him in the front, you only need to have in reserve behind the sacrified unit something that should hurt him.

 

In a scenario with static objectives, you donc need to be the first on the objectives, just to be there at the end of the game, so a slow and steady advance is the tactic to use there. It's even better than a kill scenario, because he cannot just take the advantage in points and then try to evade you, he will have to come to you.

 

Note that multiple wave doesn't means that the waves have to be the same size. Often its simply keeping *one* unit in reserve in a second line. Against more balanced armies, a regiment of brock rider that you would have deployed on a flank will make an excellent reserve unit, with enough speed to be able to cover by itself several units, and can be kep far enough that it's outside direct charge range and cover the rear of your front units.

 

Elementals can be another good unit, with shambling + Surge they can make one-turn charge outside the front arc (pivot during the movement phase, use surge during the shooting phase to make contact), so if the fliers try to move over their heads to prepare for a flank or rear charge, you should still be able to get the first charge on them.

 

Even outside the surge tactics, a stone pirest with bane chant can help you get more localised power when needed, especially if you buff an unit of berserker (on foot or brock riders).

 

A regiment of brock riders on the charge with bane chant would get 26 attacks on 4+ (so ~13 hits on average) and then wound on 4+ (from TC(1)  + CS(1) due to the bane chant) so an average of 7.5 wounds. on def6+.

 

This should kill even an undamaged soul reaver troop, and put a regiment or dragon at a dangerous level where each additionnal point of damage has a chance to rout it.

The point is however to not rely on any one trick,but to try to combine has many options as possibles.

 

The brock riders with bane chant is among the bests, but if you combine it with a few canons, a charge by another unit(s) to add a few more points of damage, other units that might charge a flank (he wont kill easily a regiment of brock with their huge nerve but he cannot ignore them eitheir, so put the pression with the rest of your army), it's another story.

 

Simple rifles (and/or organ guns) are also very good to inflict some damage to def 6+, this usually won't rout them, but can be used to increase the chance that you rout them when you finally charge, or can be used after that to force a new nerve check on a damaged unit.

And remember to use synergy between your different options. For exemple you might keep some elementals units backed by a stone priest or two not too far from your rifles or war engines, so if he tries to kill the ranged units, you just use surge to get a charge even outside your front arc. Even if you charge him to the front after he made a reform, you will still get the first charge, removing their TC for a turn and hopefully doing enough damage to rout or waver it (or at worst force him to retreat)

Also note the option of having a flame belcher buffed by a bane chant for a 18 dice Piercing(1) breath attack.

Any way, the list of your friend is probably among the more frustrating to play against, because where other similar armies would get damaged over time, the vampire can keep healing with life leech, so you need to be able to focus your offensive power as much as possible to wound them faster than they heal, ideally routing them in one turn, and it takes more skill than to fight against the other "trick" lists.

His units however are *very* expensive, so if you can manage to make a good use of your numerical advantage you will win the attrition war even against life leech.



#8 Von Doom

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 08:59 AM

And this debate proves to me how deep strategy is part of KOW and there are broken lists as in WFB ! Excellent to see the new nuances to KOW even with the easy rules and our Dwarven brothers still settling grudges !

#9 Montegue

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 03:08 PM

So far, it's hard to find truly broken lists. This one is pretty nasty, no doubt, but it's got some gaping flaws. Dwarves just don't expose those flaws well. For example, we played a second game and I used Varangar, and basically steamrolled over him.

Most of the broken lists are spammy gimmick builds - lots of lightning bolts, lots of fliers, etc. There will be some minor comp on the game, I imagine (turning fliers into irregulars, etc).

#10 jtrowell

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 09:11 AM

As Montegue posted, those gimmick lists are in reality very flawed, a balanced army with a good general will win more than lose against them, it's just that it is easier to learn to use them than it is to learn how to counter them, so it give an impression of them being strong. In practice, while you might see some aspects from them in tournaments, the ones to win will usually be ones with a more balanced approach to their army building *and* a good grasp of the game itself, list building won't win you any tournament.

 

In this case the problem with the list is that it include two different elements that takes some times to learn to fight against : big fliers or other fast units (Dragon, soul reavers knights) and high def units that can heal (all vampires thanks to life leech).

 

Both big flier units and full soul reavers armies have been a thing for a while, but are usually crushed by balanced armies when played correctly against this kind of threath, but by having both in the same army, especially if you don't have previous experience against those kinds of armies, the learning curve to face them is higher.

 

It doesn't help if your army is not has balanced as it might because you just used your existing army as it was (no fast or vanguard unit for exemple)

 

It's not unlike most death stars in Warhammer : at first they seems invincible unless you bring your own, then you learn to use redirectors to distract them and/or big spells to wither them, and suddently they lose or draw most games (yes, I know there are a few special death starts that were a problem due to special rules or combos, but I am talking about more "normal" death starts, like a horde of white lions without the magic resist banner, or an ogre ironguts unit with characters in the front).

 

 



#11 Montegue

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 03:39 PM

The problem with redirecting is that it's not really much of a thing. I can put a small unit in place, but it's getting popped by those soul reavers in a turn. They popped a full strength regiment of Ironguard in a single round of combat without breaking a sweat. No way to force an overrun, so they will kill and then just reform to face whatver you have. Sure, youc an then throw two units at them and hope to pop them in a turn, but their nerve is really high and so is their defense. It's just a hell of a nut to crack.

#12 jtrowell

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:22 PM

The point is less to force them into a specific orientation, but to lock them in a specific place.

If they have to kill this specific unit first before your other units are hidden behind it (or are less desireable targets for them), then you can plan so that those other units are ready to charge in the hole left by the killed unit, even if it means a charge to the front.

That's for exemple a very good tactic for when you have glass canons units that would otherwise lack the speed to get a first charge and would be killed before attacking otherwise.

For exemple a humble troop of shieldbreakers might seems to be too easily killed in one charge by anything with some offensive power to be worth it as a sacrifice compared to an ironclad  troop.

But if you have one ironclad troop and behing it the shieldbreaker troop, then something charging and killing the ironclads would then be in range for a charge from the shieldbreakers.

This is also a very good way to "hide" a berserker troop, especially against shooting armies, until you get to use them.

Of course, a lone berserker or shieldbreaker troop won't be enough to kill a high value target like a dragon, but it can be enough to starts the attrition war (a shielbreaker troop should get on average 2.5 wounds on def6+ targets, more than the life-leech of the vampires), and if you have not one bu several such units prepared, then your opponent might starts to hesistate.

One berserker troop with a stone priest nearby for a bane chant plus one shield breaker troop plus one king on foot and you get something that can pack some decent offensive power in a relatively low footprint than even a dragon with enchanted armor cannot ignore.

And if you play your cards correctly, you might ideally even get a situation where whatever direction your opponent reform you would have at least one unit able to charge a flank or rear. It might seems hard to do, and it is usually, but the very low number of units of your opponent means that you might be able to manage it.

Usually this is accomplished by having your army organised in small groups where each units supports each other *plus* managing to have the groups themselves support each other as well as possible, so that if or when you have a numerical advantage, you don't let your opponent killing any individual group without having another ready to charge and make him pay (and add also a few wildcards like a fast reserve unit and/or war engines to add support where it will be needed the most)

I won't sugarcoat : it won't be easy and you mightfail several times before you get a good handle of your army. That's also why I cannot simply give you a simple list of units to use, you have to learn to use them in a way that they support each others, if you take a shieldbreaker troop for exemple and just put it in front to be killed first against this kind of opponent, then it will be wasted (against another kind of opponent however it might be the right thing to do)

Also, if you are playing in a casual environment against a friend, you might want to ask him if he couldn't try for a few games to bring a less extreme list, not a weaker one per se, but a more balanced list, maybe something with the dragon without the enchanted armor, or with the dragon at def6+ but without any other vampire, or the soul reavers without the dragon. The point would not be that he take a weaker list, but that you learn to fight against those individual threat one at a time without having them thrown at your directly in your first game.
 



#13 Emergency Rations

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:57 PM

Also, if you are playing in a casual environment against a friend, you might want to ask him if he couldn't try for a few games to bring a less extreme list, not a weaker one per se, but a more balanced list.

 

Nah, I still owe Montegue for the numerous games against double organ gun double master engineer lists in 8th  :)

 

Speaking as the player of the aforementioned list I figure I'd chime in.

 

First, the actual list

 

2 troops of ghouls

2 regiments of werewolves (one with dwarven ale cause points)

2 regiments Soul Reaver cavalry, one +1 speed, one pathfinder

1 Vampire lord on undead Dragon with ensorcelled armor (and heal)

1 Revenant King on a flying undead Wyrm with +1 to hit

1 vampire lord on a horse with blade of slashing (and heal)

 

An ugly list, certainly won't argue otherwise. 

 

Second, the games we've played have actually, on the whole, played out the similarly. I overpower one flank with one group of Calvary + one hero and then sucker one flank out of position then run away laughing to help the middle where the rest of the force is usually getting maimed. The inevitable full grinder in the middle has left me limping but on top, very easily could have gone other ways.

 

I think the biggest weakness I'm exploiting here is the lack of decent crushing strength/piercing in your army - or at least your tendency to spread the 2-3 units you have with it out. The greater earth elemental has to die cause he'll eat things and I cannot let the shieldbreakers hit anything in the flank. I'm less worried about most of the rest of your troops.



#14 Montegue

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 05:32 PM

I'm not worried about the ethics of the list. He and I never do. :P Well, every now and again we laugh and say "maybe not that again". But usually, we play and have fun regardless. My thinking here is about how to deal with them in general. It's a similar struggle to cracking the hero-unit of ironguts he used in 8th with his guys and from the other perspective the stubborn gunline he'd face against me (which led to the heavens list, which led to vanguard, etc etc. Ahh, evolution).

My kingdom for a horde of Ironguard, to be honest. They need a little more nerve to be able to be an anvil against the cavalry.

I try not to tailor, to be honest. So does he. We try to take all comer's lists so we can practice for when we hit a tournament. I think that's one of the reasons I'm avoiding the temptation of Bulwarker regiments or hordes (though, I may start taking them in general due to how much cavalry is out there).

A couple regiments might do the job out on the flanks.

I oddly feel relatively confident against the dragon rider guys these days. Elementals seem to be the answer (they hit hard enough to threaten, and last, and the greater elemental is a universal threat against them when used in support).

Edited by Montegue, 21 January 2016 - 05:34 PM.


#15 jtrowell

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 10:08 AM

Taking this list as a challenge (and it is indeed one) can indeed be a fun way to handle the problem. :thumbup:

 

Out of curiosity what's your own ldwarven list Montegue ?

 

 



#16 Montegue

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 03:42 PM

Its in flux as I learn the game (and decide on a case by case basis weather or not to include unpainted models on the table on a given night, which is often more a determining factor than viability). I have generally been toying with -

King with Wings
Zerker lord on a brock with the Blade of Beast Slaying (easily my star player nearly every game)
Stone Priest w/Inspire Talisman and Bane Chant

Horde of Shield Breakers w/Sharpness
Horde of Ironclad with Orcsbain Talisman
1-2 regiments of Ironguard
2 Troops of Rangers
Regiment of Brock Riders with Brew of Strength
Greater Earth Elemental

That's the backbone. I vascillate between a horde of earth elementals and some fire support in the form of Organ Cannons and Flame Belchers. I am seriously considering an army that uses low cost regiments to simply flood the field with a lot of units.

Edited by Montegue, 22 January 2016 - 03:43 PM.


#17 Eric Mason

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 05:03 PM

Have you tried reducing the use of artefacts a bit so that you can have more units?

 

Your Brock Lord is doing the heavy lifting on the mobile character front, have you considered ditching the king?  You could try a ranger captain if you'd been relying on the king to support your rangers, or get an army standard bearer if you needed the inspiring around your main lines.  That again could free up some points for more units.

 



#18 Montegue

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 06:15 PM

I might consider that, yeah. The archer hordes can be problematic, and the flying king allows me to go shut down one unit of shooters if needs be, but he does little else besides that of real impact (he doesn't hit hard at all, and is only a 15 to break.

#19 Eric Mason

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 07:40 PM

A flying ranger captain can also be used to disorder archer hordes, and he has vanguard plus pathfinder.  So he's 20" up the table before the game starts ideally in some terrain, then can make his 20" charge on your turn.  Sure he's a bit less hitty, but he can still get the job done on missile units and war machines, and save you 30 points.



#20 supergrimey

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 02:30 AM

A flying ranger captain can also be used to disorder archer hordes, and he has vanguard plus pathfinder.  So he's 20" up the table before the game starts ideally in some terrain, then can make his 20" charge on your turn.  Sure he's a bit less hitty, but he can still get the job done on missile units and war machines, and save you 30 points.

 

+1 for this.  The pathfinder and 20" vanguard is just amazing, if nothing else for the psychological effect it has on your opponent.  






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