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Discussion Starter #1
Now, whether it's balanced or not, I feel this is gamebreaking and against certain factions causes them to play in very underhanded/crap ways in order to be competitive.

Now in Warhammer, I've always been of the opinion that there are two major tactical aspects to the movement phase, the movement phase being the most tactical aspect of Warhammer. There is the maneuvering for a charge aspect, to ensure you get the devastating first blow and there is the flanking/surrounding aspect...

I feel, that having ASF for an entire army, basically negates half of the tactics of the game and as a result, I've seen elves just run forwards at top speed in a wreck less manner which just breaks a lot of the enjoyment of the game for me. If GW didn't see how game breaking this was then they really have fallen off of the path since I started collecting some 14 years ago.

This ability, is a rarely available/given ability which often has one item/one special character per entire army with it, due to the power of the ability.

Now with the tomb kings the game is winnable, as I can shoot the swordsmen apart before they reach me, but with skaven for example, the game becomes near unwinnable, I lost combats where I had hit the swordsman group from 3 sides at once and still lost the combat (20 swordsmen 23 attacks doing 11-12 kills on average, with me attacking back with about 6 attacks....killing one). This was a simultaneous 3 unit charge in one turn, and the sad thing, is that due to ASF for HE it's more than possible to win such an engagement against horde armies. So I'm left with the other option, of spamming warlocks and ratling guns or getting mopped.....fun.

Anyways, what are other people's opinions on High Elves, un-biast if possible rather than self motivated :D.
 

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I don't play Fantasy, but I've enough knowledge to be able to play, if I owned an army. it seems to me though, that it's not that different to 40k in this aspect however. The High Elves are in many ways the Space Marines - the baseline for other armies, the most balanced, and the game designers' coup.

It also seems that the armies are heading in this general direction - the Dark Elves getting their Eternal Hatred rule, Warriors and Daemons of Chaos being generally great...and being slightly more flexible in terms of competitive variations. HEs don't have to be run that way to beat other armies, it's a choice by the player, whereas the older lists, Skaven, Beasts of Chaos, Brettonia, etc, have to be run a particular way to compete with the newer armies. Slightly unfair, yes, but, in the medium term (long term of course being into the next edition) better overall if it brings more variety into the game.

Like I said though, thats from the outside looking in, I've a different perspective than most if not all Fantasy players...
 

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Its no where near as much of a problem as you suggest. Try some better tactics. The following things really hurt elves:

-impact hits
-shooting, warmachines
-magic missiles
-charging with highly durable units

Skaven have probably the MOST efficient way of dealing with things like swordsmasters - warp lightning. You pay points to have exactly str5 hits, that is just enough for 2+ to wound and to negate their 5+ save. It's ideal. Same with jezzails. Obviously ratling guns and warpfire throwers are right up there too.
 

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I don't think almost every unit for HE should be ASF, imo they need to limit it to either core choices, or rare/special choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited by Moderator)
Its no where near as much of a problem as you suggest. Try some better tactics. The following things really hurt elves:

-impact hits
-shooting, warmachines
-magic missiles
-charging with highly durable units

Skaven have probably the MOST efficient way of dealing with things like swordsmasters - warp lightning. You pay points to have exactly str5 hits, that is just enough for 2+ to wound and to negate their 5+ save. It's ideal. Same with jezzails. Obviously ratling guns and warpfire throwers are right up there too.
You missed the part where I said I charged his flank, rear and front simultaneously and still lost, but apparently a 3 way charge at once is bad tactics? I'm sorry but no other unit would be able to win in that situation.

Not all armies have 'durable' units, many armies, hoard armies especially have no high toughness/high armour units which will survive to fight back. For dwarves against elves it's fine, dwarves are designed to strike last. Skaven are not.

I also mentioned 'without resorting to cheap tactics'. I could spam warlocks and ratling guns and just anihilate his army before it gets to me, but that isn't in the least fun. There isn't much that can be done to the skaven that isn't just blasting them which will balance skaven against HE.

Tomb Kings it's basically spam arrows/catapaults and hope to kill units like swordmasters before they make it to you, because once they do you aren't going to kill them unless they're shrunk significantly, even Ushabti have trouble against swordmasters at what, a quarter of the price per model? It's ridiculous. I have broken even against SM with a flank charging Ushabti/Spearskele combo and eventually lost that combat. White lions are hardly better S6 always strike first? Least they only have one attack.

The main gripe I have, is with elves there's no penalty if you get charged. If you cover your flanks you can wrecklessly move forwards without fear.

It's complete and utter tripe. The problem I have with your 'solution' to the skaven problem, is skaven have a single way to beat HE, but this only way for victory guarantees them victory, if they don't do it, they're guaranteed defeat, rock paper scissors anyone? Complete and utter stupidity on behalf of GW.

Edited: Please do not post individual costs of models, it is against forum rules - squeek
 

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If you charged him in the back, in the flank, AND in the front, there is no way in hell you should have lost. Yes he will strike first but you will outnumber him, and have a rear bonus(+2), and flank bonus(+1) and a rank bonus (presumably +3). I can't remember off the top of me head though if the bonuses for Rear and Flank charges stack. And you would also negate his rank bonus for charging him in the flank and rear. You are already up +5 or +6(depending on if Flank/Rear bonuses stack) in Combat Resolution. Unless you charged with Skinks or Goblins, I don't see Strength 3 Elves killing 6 guys, let alone every model in the front rank of three DIFFERENT units. There is no way you should have lost that combat, I just don't see that happening.

As for High Elves and Always Strike First, I think it is a balanced rule. High Models are a little bit more expensive because of it. It's not as bad as people seem to think it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited by Moderator)
If you charged him in the back, in the flank, AND in the front, there is no way in hell you should have lost. Yes he will strike first but you will outnumber him, and have a rear bonus(+2), and flank bonus(+1) and a rank bonus (presumably +3). I can't remember off the top of me head though if the bonuses for Rear and Flank charges stack. And you would also negate his rank bonus for charging him in the flank and rear. You are already up +5 or +6(depending on if Flank/Rear bonuses stack) in Combat Resolution. Unless you charged with Skinks or Goblins, I don't see Strength 3 Elves killing 6 guys, let alone every model in the front rank of three DIFFERENT units. There is no way you should have lost that combat, I just don't see that happening.

As for High Elves and Always Strike First, I think it is a balanced rule. High Models are a little bit more expensive because of it. It's not as bad as people seem to think it is.
Allow me to explain with statistics:

Swordsmasters:
Str: 5
Att: 2

Unit 5x4 Grid:
= 5+3+3 Swordsmasters attacking
= 22 attacks +1 champ = 23 attacks total.
They got 11 kills. (average for them in this case would be 10.0188).

I have 6 on the front and 5 on either side, for a total of 16, I lose 11 of my models giving me 5 left to fight back, with a 50% chance to wound and hit.
I will kill on average one elf and I did.

So let's do a tally of combat resolution:
Me:
Ranks: 3
Rear: 2
Flank: 1
Kills: 1
Standard: 1
Outnumber : 1
Total: 9

Him:
Kills: 11
Standard: 1

His victory: 2

NOTHING else in the game would have survived so many charges at once. This ASF rule, basically gave this elf unit the advantage as if it had just charged 3 units simultaneously :p. It also pretty much completely negates cavalry.

As for using chariots to counter High Elves? Good luck on making that cost effective.

I have skaven and tomb kings, My chariots cost enough each so I need to kill 3 swordsmasters to get that back, impact hits at d3 S4....lol.

This new rule is complete shite, just admit it :).

If they were spears they would be strength 3, but they're swordsmasters, they have two attacks and are strength 5 and don't cost much for it. Their ASF rule applies to their great weapons also naturally.....

It's just a case of Gamesworkshop tailoring the rules to sales again, make a popular team powerful so they can up the sales like they did with space marines for awhile (or still do?).

Try using any of the armies that are either lightly armoured or cavalry based against elves, your only option is ranged weaponry, fie upon you if you don't have that....

FYI Lizardmen have woeful initiative and lower speed than elves, they would usually always strike last anyways, they are MEANT to strike last, so they are hardly a relevant means of comparison to whether the new rule is/isn't balanced.

What this ultimately means, is I will just refuse to play skaven versus HE at all, period. No point, it's either his fun or mine and I'm not playing games that end up like that.

Edited: Do not post individual points costs of models, it is against forum rules - squeek
 

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Being a High Elf player myself, I completely agree with you. ASF as an army-wide rule is more of a burden than anything else to HE players that actually move their units. Obviously, GW didn't give us that rule for free, so I'm paying for ASF on units that I have no intention of ever getting into close combat (Mages, Archers, RBT Crewmen, etc.) so my army is weighed down by points I neither wanted to or needed to spend. I could understand ASF on our special troops, even as a purchasable option, but not from citizen levy-troops like Spearelves and Archers; I know elves are supposed to be fast, but giving ASF to a model whose profession is something other than total war just astounds me.

Without upgrades, I pay 110 points for a unit of 10 Archers that rarely win their points back. 110 points for 10 models without armor, any special rules other an a highly situational one and ASF!!! So far, their kill record is two Sarus, one Skink, three Black Guard skeletons and one or two Zombies; obviously, not all in one game. I only take Archers to fill out my Core requirements.

I'm not saying I don't enjoy playing with my High Elves, because I do. All I'm saying is that I'd sacrifice ASF in order to put a few more troops on the field. Also, I don't want to pay so goddamn much for a scroll caddy.
 

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I wasn't talking about my Lizardmen, even though they are tough. And I do apologize, against Swordmasters with strength 5 it is very deadly. But for basic troops or the majority of Elves who are strength 3, I really haven't seen it make that much of a difference. It's more of an annoyance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It may just be that the current craze for HE around here is max out swordmasters....heh

Sorry for the rant...I just find it to be gamebreaking in terms of the tactical maneuvering aspects of gameplay. For some armies it means very little, for others, i.e. skaven, it invalidates an entire aspect of them (close combat for example).
 

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I dont have a problem with HE having ASF. Its not gamebreaking just because you dont like the strategy to deal with it (you dont have to spam the guns to break down T3 heavy armored elves...). The swordmasters are footsloggers, so avoid them, or shoot them. Skaven are due for a new book soon, I'd expect a tasty powercurve boost.

When I have swordmasters to deal with with my empire, I will
A. shoot them to whittle them down
B. NOT charge in my detachments (just lets more masters get attacks in) unless the swordmasters only have 2 or 3 ranks left.
Dont add meat to his blender.
 

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you charged a unit of 20 swordmasters with ANY units? That was just plain foolishness... if your opponent is foolish enough to take a list with that kind of unit, you don't just hand your ass to him on a plate. Shoot it, don't charge it.
 

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I find it kind of imbalanced that a unit made up of relatively cheap models is able to rape almost everything in the entire warhammer world that's of the same size and not a character. In fact I doubt there is ANYTHING else that would've survived that triple charge scenario without running away, their massively overpowered nature is due to ASF. If they keep it with their great weapons, they need a points increase at the very least. Units like them basically invalidate cavalry.

As for skaven I can't see what is really going to improve them against high elves, white lions, swordsmasters, asf for an awesome combo. The skaven army will end up relying upon destructive magic and ranged weaponry and avoiding combat at all costs, especially against elves.

Flanking and intelligent maneuvering is now a thing of the past if your opponant plays high elves.

My knew strategy will become hit table with bat, it solves all :D.

Elves aren't exactly slow either, swordsmasters can kind of cover the table relatively quickly with a movement of 5 and you can't always avoid them, comments like that make me wonder if some people even play warhammer of just 40k.

And FYI I won my games against the pointy ears so the L2P comments really, really aren't necessary.

It was the fact that I had to resort to crappy tactics to win which I hated.

Edited: As above, individual points costs aren't allowed - squeek
 

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I'm going to follow my last post up with an analysis of why you lost, and an explanation of a way you could win in the same situation if you planned better. It can be done without resorting to shooting. Read on, you might learn something.

In warhammer, combats have two dynamics - actual damage inflicted, and static combat res. By simultaneously giving three sides of his large unit of swordmasters things to strike at, you were actually generating combat res for him. Your big static res from the multi-charge was totally overwhelmed by the damage he caused, and you should have known that before charging him. Here's how it works:

Unit in the side = +1 for flank
Unit in the other side = +0 because you have the other flank already
Unit in the rear = +2 for rear
Overall = Breaking his ranks (-3)

But he gets far more than the net +6 in pure kills because you've allowed 11 of his models to fight... and they are models with better weapon skill, strength and attacks than yours. I can't over-emphasize how much of a mistake it was to charge him like this, so yes it is in fact a bad tactic.

Here's how you could have done it.

You charge in the flank ONLY with a unit of 20 clanrats. Your clan rats have 2-3 assassins in it. The assassins leap out, striking before the swordsmasters as they also have ASF, but you beat him on initiative. Charging in the flank negates his ranks, gives you +1, but you only engage 4 of his models as opposed to the 5 that you would engage if you charged his rear. Even two naked assassins are likely to get 2 kills, leaving him with only 2 models to attack back. Say he gets three wounds, you have your ranks, outnumber, and a +1 for flanking. You win the round. To be even more certain of victory, tool up your assassins, and give the clanrats a warbanner or something similar.

20x swordsmasters + Full command = 330 points

20x Clanrats + Full command + War banner + 2x Assassins = 360

Fairly close in points! But since you break his unit, you've now got a chance to attack the rest of his army with your stuff. If it were me, I would take just the one assassin, kill half his guys with shooting, then charge the flank where he would have 2 on the side, and kill them with a tooled up assassin.

Edited: Please do not post individual points costs of items like the war banner - squeek
 

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Hmm... never played HE but I'm really struggling for tactics. Ogre shooting is just rubbish. I know people will tell me that leadbelchers are great (and potentially they are) except that I've so far rolled more then 50% misfires with them.
I know more people will say that with almost all my units able to do impact hits I may in fgact be the ideal army to kill HE... but they're wrong. Any clever/experienced HE player will move to within 6" and deny me the bull charge

-other then that most of my army is T4 5+ or 6+ save... I'll take loads of wounds off SM and cant really stop it. Gnoblars might be my only hope (oh god its worse then i thought)
 

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Personally i don´t like the asf army wide rule either but i can deal with it on the table top. Since i play dark elves so i can spam S3 shooting to kill them and i never charge them with anything not even charaters and monsters.


i don´t play skaven but i would probaly use a couple of ratling guns to kill the unit. I know they are unreliable but the few times i have played skaven i had great succes with them.
 

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Just a general note to all posters. Please do not post individual points costs of items, models or upgrades. It is against forum rules - squeek

Personally I don't regard armywide ASF as broken, it just requires a different approach to play against in my opinion. As Captain Galus points out, there are plenty of units where the auto extra points for ASF are virtually impossible to win back in standard games. In effect ASF as an armywide rule is actually not as competitive as allowing it as a bought option for Specials, if this were the case then your SMoH, PG and DP would all still have ASF for the same cost. The difference being that the parts of the army where ASF is useless wouldn't buy it, so there would be more points for extra SMoH, etc. So please don't ask GW for that option if you think armywide ASF is too powerful.

I would also regard a unit of 20 SMoH as a massive points sink and quite uncompetitive. Most HE players take SMoH in units that consist of 1 or 2 ranks, they are far too expensive to have as SCR troops and are laughably easy to kill with ranged or magic attacks. Your normal unit of SMoH would be maybe 7 in a single rank, devastating and cheap!

A unit of 20 SMoH is the classic eggs in one basket Deathstar, instead of multi-charging you and using something cheaper for SCR, or fast to negate your SCR, the HE player is relying on an expensive choice to provide its own SCR which would normally be regarded as a bad decision. ASF does mean they can just advance that block of 20 SMoH at you and ignore things like charging and flanking, so in this case it does make this player lazy. So take advantage of that.

As Vaul says, don't put more models in combat than you need to, if you do you are just cancelling out your opponents mistake at taking redundant troops. The way SMoH win combat is by each model in combat being highly likely to take out a T3 opponent, so as you pointed out you wont get much chance to strike back. So build a unit to take the SMoH. Use assassins, use the banner of the swarm (or the war banner) to boost your SCR, think about taking a few items specifically for the SMoH deathstar like a brass orb or the warp scroll.

You may also need to decide that the massive block of SMoH your opponent takes is just as bad as you taking lots of shooting to deal with it in this case, so it is fine for you to riddle it full of holes. Yes SMoH can move quick enough, but if you march block them they are just infantry so aren't going to go anywhere that fast, if you can keep a lid on their movement they might only get 1 or 2 combats in the entire game, as long as you don't feed him units you should be ok to weather that storm and they will not make their points back.

I don't wish to tell you how to suck eggs, but in this case the tactics you described above are flawed. Your opponents tactics in taking a huge block of SMoH are also flawed, so use it against them. SMoH are great in combat, pretty useless out of it, so only attack them with one unit at a time in CC and make the most of the other phases.
 

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Squeek, Vaul, and Captain Gallus (and others, of course!) have this dead on.

Sword Masters are the penultimate Close Combat unit. They love to be enveloped by weak troops (Low Toughness, Low Armor, Low Wounds). This allows them to have fantastic odds of generating lots of Active Combat Resolution. As you've seen, they can certainly overpower Static Combat Resolution in the right circumstances.

As Vaul said, all you did was feed "meat to the grinder." As Vaul and Squeek disclosed, your best bet would be to just tie them up with a cheap unit to the front, or sick some assassins and their cohorts on the Sword Masters to the flank (made worthwhile from the extra combat resolution).

Your overall goal is to deny them the opportunity to optimize their potential. The High Elf players want their Sword Masters stuck in combat with a boat-load of junk units. Magic them, Shoot them, or tie them up to deny them this. There's also plenty more ways to confront the issue at hand, and as a Skaven player I'd imagine you could have plenty up your sleeve to surprise most stalwart Elf players!

White Lions are just as tough to bring down. They're Stubborn with the same save in CC, and hit like a ton of bricks. They specialize in fighting High Armor or Toughness troops. Deny them that ability, and you're golden. Oh, and Static Combat Resolution (they'll get +1 or +2 for ranks, +1 for banner, probably won't outnumber or anything of the like, and can deal out six attacks to the front maximum). Unleash the Hordes!

Phoenix Guard are the hardest to kill of all. Their Ward Save and Heavy Armor tends to keep them around for a long time. They cannot generate offensive damage, though. Their Halberds just aren't enough to tackle Hordes. You'll have to beat these guys with Static Combat Resolution here. Just don't get outnumbered.

I know you said you beat the High Elves before. What did you do to win? Since you won, why do you see it necessary to complain about the Sword Masters? Sure, they're nasty, but you overcame the rest of the army after all was said and done. We can all agree that they were a points sink in your specific situation, so did that have something to do with it, NagashKhemmler? Or did the rest of your tactics allow you to smash the Asur? Fill us in; we need some context so we can help you out better!

I hope this and everyone else's comments help, NagashKhemmler. Happy Hunting! :victory:
 

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I'm going to follow my last post up with an analysis of why you lost, and an explanation of a way you could win in the same situation if you planned better. It can be done without resorting to shooting. Read on, you might learn something.

In warhammer, combats have two dynamics - actual damage inflicted, and static combat res. By simultaneously giving three sides of his large unit of swordmasters things to strike at, you were actually generating combat res for him. Your big static res from the multi-charge was totally overwhelmed by the damage he caused, and you should have known that before charging him. Here's how it works:

Unit in the side = +1 for flank
Unit in the other side = +0 because you have the other flank already
Unit in the rear = +2 for rear
Overall = Breaking his ranks (-3)

But he gets far more than the net +6 in pure kills because you've allowed 11 of his models to fight... and they are models with better weapon skill, strength and attacks than yours. I can't over-emphasize how much of a mistake it was to charge him like this, so yes it is in fact a bad tactic.

Here's how you could have done it.

You charge in the flank ONLY with a unit of 20 clanrats. Your clan rats have 2-3 assassins in it. The assassins leap out, striking before the swordsmasters as they also have ASF, but you beat him on initiative. Charging in the flank negates his ranks, gives you +1, but you only engage 4 of his models as opposed to the 5 that you would engage if you charged his rear. Even two naked assassins are likely to get 2 kills, leaving him with only 2 models to attack back. Say he gets three wounds, you have your ranks, outnumber, and a +1 for flanking. You win the round. To be even more certain of victory, tool up your assassins, and give the clanrats a warbanner or something similar.

20x swordsmasters + Full command = 330 points

20x Clanrats + Full command + War banner + 2x Assassins = 360

Fairly close in points! But since you break his unit, you've now got a chance to attack the rest of his army with your stuff. If it were me, I would take just the one assassin, kill half his guys with shooting, then charge the flank where he would have 2 on the side, and kill them with a tooled up assassin.

Edited: Please do not post individual points costs of items like the war banner - squeek
You forget that assassins are a hero choice and in beating a single special choice of his, you have now used two hero choices? Come on that isn't even feasible and will leave you blown to pieces in the magic phase.

Well the point of my post wasn't as much about balance, as I initially said, although that was part of it.

My main point of contention was that it removed a large part of the tactics of warhammer. The HE players I see now move in what would be a suicidal manner for any army. I feel that the tactical aspects of the game are lessened by ASF.

I did what everyone said one should do against swordsmasters/white lions etc. I shot them to pieces with magic/ranged weapons which was all I could do really. After all my biggest point of contention is that the ASF rule completely invalidates certain units in certain armies more than anything has before, for example with my Tomb Kings the 'heavy' cavalry is useless, for a model which will be smashed, its biggest advantage neutralised (getting the charge first). I think this is a big issue and whilst I agree High Elves needed a buff from how they were before, this wasn't the right direction to take, giving a rare ability army wide? As a result of how many HE players there are in my local club, I've not basically maxed out ranged units with my two armies, taken almost no melee units or cavalry and to me, this is disapointing but it's all I can do to be competitive with their current rules.

Edited: Don't post individual points costs - squeek
 

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I respect your point, NagashKhemmler. With some MathHammering, I can see why you're upset with the ability. But the fact is, army-wide ASF is there. We can create High Elf armies that drop the ASF as much as we want but the official publication states that High Elves have it.

So, at this point we can see that it's not an issue of wishing they didn't have it. Moreover, it's an issue of how to deal with it. Do you agree? Maybe we're still missing something?
 
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