HBE- The Sea Dragon Host Battle Reports- Upcoming Tourney

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    • HBE- The Sea Dragon Host Battle Reports- Upcoming Tourney

      Hey all,

      Going to start up a thread for my battle reports here and may even post a few fluff pieces I write as background. I'll work on sorting through the pictures tomorrow, but in the mean time here's the lists and some preliminary thoughts:

      Queen's Companion (Commander): Spear of the Blazing Dawn (Hero); Lucky Shield; Longbow; Dragonforged Amour; Moonlight Arrows 134

      Order of The Fiery Heart (Mage): Hardened Shield; Dispel Scroll; Level 2 Wizard Apprentice; Dragonforged Armour 352

      Commander: Dragonscale Helm; Lucky Charm; Lance; Shield; Dragonforged Amour; Battle Standard Bearer; Elven Horse (Mounts Protection (5+)) 159

      24 Sea Guard: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Gleaming Icon; Veteran Standard Bearer) 323

      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90
      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90

      9 Knights of Ryma: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (War Banner of Ryma) 303

      20 Lion Guard: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Icon of the Relentless Company) 305

      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80

      1,996 points

      Skin-themed Saurian Ancients:

      Skink high priest lvl 3 on palanquin w/ dispel scroll and heavens general
      Spells: blizzard, alignment, thunderbolt

      Skink high priest lvl3 on palanquin w/
      Spells: comet, chain, blizzard

      Skink bsb on ancient taurosaur w/
      Spear of the stampede and bolt thrower

      Skink chief on terradon w/
      2+ and a bow that shoots like 18 in bolt thrower

      2x 35 skinks with FC, javelins and shields

      2x razorbacks

      Thyroscutus with snake altar

      Little steg with bolt thrower

      So this list had a respectable ranged threat in 3 bolt throwers, clear magic dominance and some ugly combat threats with the big skinks blocks and the taurosaurs.

      One quick note on horded skinks that put out 5+ poisons and have hatred...they throw out a horrendous amount of wounds

      Battle report to come...
    • Apologies for the long delay, on to the report:

      SA Deployment:
      He dropped first and from my left to right he had:
      Skink unit with High Priest (Non-general, proxied by a caiman), Thyroscutus, Skink unit with General High priest, Razordon, BSB on Ancient Taurosaur, Baby Taurosaur, Razordon, Vanguarded skink captain on terradon

      HBE Deployment:
      As he dropped first, I felt like I took good advantage to create the match ups I wanted. From my left to right:
      Vanguarded reavers, Knights w/ BSB, Seaguard w/ QC, 3 reapers spread along the back, dragon mage, lion guard, vanguarded reavers
      My thinking was that the knights w/ bsb would be able to use their threat range to keep his right flank pinned down, ideally holding the rightmost skink unit and thyroscutus back. I clearly wanted the lion guard in combat with the taurosaurs. After I realized he had 3 bolt throwers and heavens magic I knew the DMage had to start behind the impassable, it would have to influence the game with spells until I could whittle down the bolts.
      So as my opponent dropped first we went into his turn:

      SA Turn 1:
      Movement: A careful shuffle forward with his skink units, I think he didn’t want me to pin him against the board edge. The taurosaurs made sure to stay in the cover of the forest, while the razorback turned to shoot at my reavers. His skink captain moved such that he could see my DMage and be positioned for a T2 charge on my rightmost bolter.

      Magic: Flux was a 6 and he went for and failed a comet, which let me dispel the rest.

      Shooting: His razordon peeled off 1 or 2 reavers. Sky captain hit the DMage but failed to wound. Taurosaurs managed to peel off 4 or 5 lion guard.

      HBE Turn 1:
      Movement: Swung the reavers around both flanks, moved the knights forward for easy charge on skinks and reasonable charge on thyro. Sea guard moved up 5 to still be able to shoot and lion guard moved up to give a 10 inch charge to the taurosaurs. DMage peeked forward a bit for damage spell range.

      Magic: Magic flux was 9 with a channel from me. He stopped my fireball on the central razordon but let through smoldering ember on the lions and flaming sword on the seaguard. I put both the raging fire onto the skink captain doing one wound.

      Shooting: Reavers plinked off one or two skinks from my left. Between the right reavers and two bolt throwers I managed to kill the sky captain. The seaguard toasted the central razordon and the other bolter managed to do a wound to the thyro.

      SA Turn 2:
      Movement: Wheels his right most skink unit to shoot at my reavers and keep Knights in front arc. Central skink and thryo move forward so that the thyro supports both skink units. Taurosaurs shuffle and the razordon on my right turns to face reavers again.

      Magic: Magic flux was 3 or 4 and he threw it all at a thunderbolt against my DMage which through wound rolls and armor didn’t do any wounds.

      Shooting: His skinks on my left wiped out the reavers and his taurosaurs managed to kill another 4 lion guard. The razordon brought the reavers on my right down to 2 models.

      HBE Turn 2
      Movement: Decisive phase. I take the knights into the skinks on my left, surely my armor will protect me. I triple march the lions into the face of the baby taurosaur and use my remaining reavers to chaff up his bsb. I attempt to charge with both the sea guard and the DMage into the central skink unit. Seaguard make it, DMage doesn’t (why Fly 7, why?)

      Magic: Magic flux is a 10 and I manage smoldering ember on the seaguard and a fireball roasts the remaining razordon.

      Shooting: I think I shot single bolts at the thyro and failed.

      My knights smoke about 10+ skinks, but take a disgusting 5 losses in return (as mentioned before, hatred with 5+ poison is no joke). Fortunately I do win and he sticks on steadfast.
      My seaguard seriously dominate this combat and I kill around 10+ skinks, between armor, extra toughness and ward save I manage to only lose 3-4. He’s not steadfast and breaks, but I fail to run him down.

      SA Turn 3:
      Movement: After some hemming and hawing he takes the thyro into the seaguard, he really wants to crush attack my BSB. He charges my chaffing reavers with his BSB and my lions with his baby taurosaur. His skink block with his general rallies and reforms to ranks on the central hill.

      Magic: Magic flux is 5 and he manages a comet bracketed between my bolt throwers and DMage, I think I stop a blizzard.

      Combat: My Knights kill another 5-6 skinks and take no losses in return.
      His BSB crushes my reavers and trys to overrun to get away from my lions, but doesn’t make it very far. His baby taurosaur does another 3 wounds to my lions with impact hits, who kill him outright in return. They pivot to face the BSB.
      My QC manages two wounds on the thyro thanks to the spear of blazing dawn (st 6 ap 1 is no joke) and thankfully the thyro misses its crush attack. Everyone holds.

      HBE Turn 3:
      Movement: Lions charge the BSB, DMage moves forward to prepare for next turn charges and get away from the comet.

      Magic: Magic flux is 8 and I managed flaming swords on the lions and a fireball on the unengaged skinks. Both raging fires go into the skinks as well. I kill a total of 8 or so.

      Shooting: Bolt throwers peel off another 8ish skinks, he’s down to around 15 left.

      The Knights kill another 5-6 skinks on my left and lose one of their number in return. Everyone holds.
      My QC skewers the thyro.
      Lion guard smash the BSB with their flaming axes.

      End of Game:
      At this point my opponent calls it, with two badly mauled skink units left hemmed in on all sides the writing was on the wall at this stage. A few thoughts:
      • Let’s all be clear on one thing, my opponent had 20ish% of his army tied up in magic casters who got a total of 15 dice in 3 turns. Even one out of the box phase in one of those turns could have had a huge impact on the game as I saw blizzard and poison as big threats as well as thunderbolt, chain lightning and comet. As it was his magic literally had no impact on the game.
      • SA bolt throwers shooting at character BS is pretty nasty, in 8th I rarely ever saw a lizards bolt thrower hit, I’ll have to be careful there.
      • The synergy with the skinks, thyro and high priest is INSANE. I definitely have more respect for those units after this battle.
      • I actually think this list was a neutral to negative match up for me. The bolt throwers and heavens kept my DMage hemmed in and meant that the shooting phase was very much contested. His taurosaurs could have been extremely dangerous in a combined charge and although I had the movement phase he had some extremely solid chaff in those razordons.
      • I think my opponent made a couple critical errors:
        • Deploying first: I don’t think this got him anything and it allowed me to set up the exact matches I wanted
        • Target selection: He focused too much on my DMage, he should have focused on chaff clearing first.
      The army performed pretty well, each element accomplishing the role I needed for it. Some thoughts on each:

      Dragon Mage: With the ideal spell load out, this guy didn’t even need to see combat to have a huge impact on the game. Even against higher level wizards and a dispel scroll he was strong (admittedly with good magic flux).

      Lion Guard: Delivered on the promise, MW2 against monsters is just nasty.

      Knights: They did their job, long drawn out combats aren’t their forte, would have been better set up to 1-2 the Taurosaurs with the lion guard, but I needed something to hold up those skinks.

      Seaguard + QC: I realized after the game that I misplayed steady aim and quick to fire, I thought they stacked and they don’t. This will likely mean I’ll go away from the QC.
      That being said, buffed by fire magic, these guys are nasty, I feel like they get the job done in core and I can’t wait to see them against cav/monstrous cav.

      Flames. Yvraine reveled in the feel of the fire magic as she released another blazing projectile at the battered regiment of lizards housing the ancient priest who led the reptilian army. As the fireball struck home and immolated more of the diminutive lizard warriors something finally snapped in the enemy army and, as if by unspoken command, they began to quit the field. Unwilling to let go of the thrilling currents of magic power Yvraine maintained her enchantments a moment longer before allowing the wards and flaming enchantments on her Sea Dragons and Hunters to be extinguished.
      Staring across the field at the retreating army the enormous charred corpses of the taurosaurs and thyroscutus served as silent testament to her army’s brutal efficiency, they had lost a handful of infantry and cavalry and gutted the enemy army in return. They had to become efficient, since the destruction of their homeland they had been forced to live as nomads with no hope of reinforcement.
      The years since their loss were a blur in Yvraine’s mind, of battle, bloodshed and the sea. They had managed to salvage a strong contingent of her family’s once mighty trading fleet in the chaos and they had been on the move ever since. The years of displacement had left their mark on her, she was leaner than before…leaner and harsher. Truly, nothing in the world had survived the chaos unchanged. The fact that she’d preserved the strength of her house in tact this long through such trying times was testament to the harsh decisions she had had to make.
      She never committed her forces without careful planning and preparation using the might of her army to carve out numerous safe havens around the world providing her fleet places to regroup and defend in times of trouble. She rarely brought her full might to battle, always carefully preserving her strength in the event of a reversal of fortune in the field.
      The years of careful management were beginning to yield results and her fleet was slowly growing. Skirmishes with local pirates near their bases and husbanding of resources had allowed them to invest in new ships and weaponry. They had been able to open some trading networks with some of the surviving human, dwarf and elf colonies and after decades Yvraine was finally beginning to feel comfortable that a future for her people existed...
    • Indeed! Fortunately I've seen the error of my ways and I've tweaked the list a little bit to add another monster.

      I've got my next game against another (new) SA opponent. I'd expect him to bring a more saurus focused list, but I think I've got a good all comers below as I'm working towards a 2k tourney at the end of the month.

      My only real concern is I feel it's too character heavy, will work on a report and will try to get more pics this time!

      Order of The Fiery Heart (Mage): Lucky Shield; Tome of Arcane Lore; Dragonforged Armour 307

      Master of Canreig Tower (Commander): Great Bow of Elu; Dragonscale Helm; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour 203
      Wild and Nature Signatures

      Commander: War Banner of Ryma; Hardened Shield; Lance; Dragonforged Amour; Battle Standard Bearer; Elven Horse (Mounts Protection (5+)) 177

      24 Sea Guard: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Gleaming Icon; Veteran Standard Bearer) 323

      9 Highborn Lancers: Elven Horse (Mount's Protection (5+)); Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer 233

      19 Lion Guard: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer 276

      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice] 60

      Fire Phoenix 160

      1 Giant Eagle 50
      1 Giant Eagle 50

      1,999 points

      Stay tuned!
    • Ok, time for the bat rep, and don't worry beerbeard, there's more phoenixes!

      Got a game in against a SA player, army couldn’t have been more different from the first SA game (way to go 9th). I’d put this match up as neutral to good for me and I tried the list immediately above, here’s what he took:

      Saurian warlord on baby carno: 1+ armor, spear of the stampede, general
      Skink high priest on palanquin, lvl 3 heavens (Spells: Blizzard, Stars Align, Thunderbolt)
      Saurus BSB, 2+ armor, +2 attack sword, potion of swiftness
      2x 25 Saurus, hw and shield (one has a SB with veteran standard bearer with banner of courage), Spawning that gives FiER (BSB goes in rightmost of these units from my perspective)
      2x15 skink skirmishers with short bows
      2x Salamander
      14 Temple Guard (skink priest goes here)
      Baby Taurosaur with sharpened horns

      Army Assessment: So he’s got a fairly solid chaff contingent, a couple monsters that are tough and hit really hard on the charge (but don’t have ward saves) and a couple fairly solid saurus blocks (either of which could handle my lions or my sea guard in a straight fight)
      My dragon mage got flaming swords, smoldering ember and fireball (perfect line up again) we alternated deployment until the very end and then he dropped his last two at once to get a +2 bonus to first turn. See deployment for each in order below:

      Pic at end of HBE turn 1 movement

      SA Deployment: Top of Screen, my left to right:
      Sallie, 15 skinks, Taurosaur, Saurus, Warlord on Carno, 14 TG (w/ high priest) Saurus block (w/ BSB), sallie, 15 skinks

      HBE Deployment: Bottom of screen, my left to right:
      Geagle, Phoenix, Lancers (w/ BSB), Lions behind forest, 2 bolters at the back, Seaguard (w/ MoCT), Dragon Mage, bolter at the back, Geagle

      HBE won first turn despite bonus and we get started:

      HBE Turn 1
      View from the dragon Mage

      Movement: Geagle and Phoenix move up on my left, Lancers edge forward to threaten but stay out of charge range of Taurosaur, Lions edge forward to toe into the forest, Seaguard move forward, Dragon mage moves forward for range on salamander, right Geagle shuffles back to stay out of shooting range of the skinks

      Magic: 8-7 (he channels). I manage a low level fireball against the salamander and do wound

      Shooting: I take 2 wounds from the taurosaur with a single shot bolt thrower and pick off 5 TG with a mix of bolters and Seaguard/MoCT

      SA Turn 1:
      He shuffles his saurus/carno/taurosaur around so I can only hit the saurus and will have counter charges
      His skinks on my left move to shoot the geagle, his TG and Saurus w/ BSB move up to threaten the center and his skinks/sallie on my right move up
      Magic: 3-3, he failed an attempted thunderbolt at my dragon mage

      Shooting: Skinks on my left kill the geagle, the Taurosaur hits the nights but rolls a 1 to wound

      HBE Turn 2:

      I took the lancers into the saurus. (in hindsight I’m not sure this was a good idea)
      Flame phoenix into the skinks Lions move up to threaten counter charges and the seaguard shuffle to the left. Remaining Geagle moves toward the center to try to be more useful as chaff.

      Magic: 9-5. I fail a casting attempt at wyssans on the lancers, which lets my opponent stop the rest

      Shooting: I pick off a couple of saurus from the right unit and TG from the center (terrible shooting phase)

      The phoenix kills 4 skinks and they hold
      The lancers and BSB kill 10 saurus and lose one in return, they hold on steadfast

      SA Turn 2:
      Movement: Taurosaur and Carno charge lancers
      Salamander and skinks on my right position to light up the remaining Geagle
      TG move forward a bit and Saurus/BSB move into the forest in front of the Seaguard
      Sallie on my left moves up to chaff lions (I didn’t see this until it was too late!)

      Magic: 7-5, he manages to get off stars align on the carno, I stop blizzard on lancers

      Shooting: Skinks and sallie toast the geagle

      Phoenix kills a bunch of skinks breaks and runs them down
      Taurosaur and carno kill BSB and most knights, knights break and are caught by Taurosaur. Carno and Saurus pivot slightly.

      HBE Turn 3:
      Movement: Lions charge sallie
      Dragon and seaguard charge the TG (seaguard fail-needing a 5, Dragon Mage makes it in)

      Flame Phoenix wakes the left most saurus and kills a couple

      Magic: I got a big phase but he used his scroll and completely shut me down.

      Shooting: Fail to do anything (no wounds on right sallie and carno from 3 bolters)

      Combat: Lions smoke the sallie and overrun into the flank of the taurosaur.
      Dragon mage uses breath weapon and kills 6 TG, takes no wounds in return and runs the TG down overrunning out of charge arc of the carno (thankfully)

      SA Turn 3:
      Movement: Carno and left saurus hit the lions in the flank
      Right saurus charge the seaguard (I debated fleeing, but a 9 would have taken me through the bolter and off the table)
      Remaining sallie moves up to get closer to bolters and skinks move forward to shoot my right bolt thrower

      I have a shocking set of to hit rolls from my lions into the taurosaur and only manage 2 wounds (after MW)

      Thankfully the carno/saurus also suck it up and my lions are left with a steadfast 9, which they pass. The carno is bumped out of combat and pivots to face the seaguard/saurus combat
      Combat with the Seaguard vs Saurus:
      MoCT challenges and Saurian BSB accepts. Neither manages a wound (my MoCT got insanely lucky here, with only 2 wounds 6s for armor)
      Seaguard manage two wounds and take 6 and run, but outdistance their Saurian pursuers by an inch

      HBE Turn 4:
      Movement: Phoenix charges in to bail out the beleaguered lion guard.
      Seaguard rally, Dragon mage reforms to stay out of carno’s charge arc but support seaguard combat in later turns

      Magic: I get a 12 dice phase, but after failing an initial cast of beast within on 3 dice he manages to hold me to a 5+ regen on the seaguard and a fireball on the Saurus with BSB killing 2.

      Shooting: I take 2 wounds off the carno and fail to wound the sallie with my bolt thrower.

      Combat: I finally kill the taurosaur do a few wounds to the saurus but they make their break check and hold (lions reform to face)

      SA Turn 4:
      Movement: Saurus with BSB charge the seaguard

      Shooting: Skinks shoot at my right bolt thrower and do a wound

      Combat: Saurus w/ lion guard and phoenix are wiped out
      Saurus vs Seaguard:
      MoCT challenges again and Saurus BSB accepts. They each do a wound to each other (regen came up huge here)
      Seaguard manage to kill 5 saurus and Saurus manage to kill 3 seaguard (regen came up huge here too). He lost but easily held.

      At this point we had run out of time and had to call it. It was tough to say what the ultimate outcome would have been.

      Points were relatively even at this point and a few things were pretty clear:
      -He would almost definitely get the MoCT
      -If I took the dragon mage into the rear of the saurus w/BSB and could get some spells off I’d probably have a shot at breaking/killing them. However, it would leave my dragon mage open to a charge from the carno.
      All in all a very close game, neither of us played very cagey, as relative newbies to 9th we both wanted to see what our units could do.

      Some thoughts on my list:

      Lancers/BSB: Don’t have the hitting power of the Knights of Ryma, but are a little more cost effective (can’t argue with killing 10 saurus on the charge).

      Dragon mage: Glad to see it in combat, did fairly well against the TG in a straight fight. Kept the pressure on in my magic phase.

      MoCT: Way too fragile, the horrendous luck of my opponent is the only thing that stopped him from dying immediately. I like the redundancy in the magic phase, but it comes at a high price tag.

      Lionguard: Some crazy bad luck and solid chaffing hindered these guys. I’m a little worried about their survivability, after two games they’ve been way less than 50% by the end of the game.

      Seaguard: Really, really need combat boosts to let them compete against strong infantry, the saurus gave them a thrashing in that first round of combat. Without flaming swords they really struggled to do damage to T4, decent armored infantry

      Bolters: Pretty lack luster this game, mainly due to my poor luck. Even still, they killed a handful of TG and put multiple wounds on the big beasties, can’t complain too much.

      Geagles: I misplayed these guys really badly and gave my opponent easy opportunities to shoot them out of the sky. My own fault here.

      Phoenix: I don’t think I used this guy to his potential this game, even still he managed to kill a handful of saurus and a skink unit, so a little underperforming, but not too bad.

      I think I got into combat on my left too early, I had the ranged superiority and the speed to dictate combats, I should have held back another turn or two and cleared out the chaff/started chipping away at the monsters and blocks more
      Despite having every advantage, I lost the chaff war. Now some of that can be chalked up to bad shooting luck, but I should have been able to dictate combats more.
      I think I’ve got too much invested in characters and would like more wounds on the battlefield. I’d like to try out a unit of flame wardens with rending banner and I’m considering trying out a hunting pack of skirmishing lions to still provide the anti-monster/armor. I’ll post a new list soon, that I’d like to try out.

      Yvraine and Eingana dove through a wall of flames as they swooped into the rear of the beleaguered saurus unit alongside Smergol. The combined force of two huge monsters hit the saurus like a flaming meteor and despite the huge standard bearer fighting to the last they were ultimately slaughtered.
      Despite their timely arrival, they had only barely saved the last dozen Sea Dragons and Yvraine guided Eingana to spin around to keep the saurian warlord in sight. She had read of these apex jungle predators, like in many ways to a flightless dragon, but lacking the intelligence and majesty, they were no less deadly. The beast had driven off her lancers and inflicting horrendous casualties on her lionguard. Although a huge bolt protruded from below its rib cage and the wound bled freely, she was not sure she was the equal of the beast. She raised her sword channeling crackling flames and prepared to shower the beast with flames and arrows, as if in anticipation the beast rose on its hind legs and bellowed, shaking the jungle as the massive saurian rider hauled on its reigns.
      With a last vicious yank, the warlord hauled its mount around and disappeared into the foliage, the remaining beasts and lizards melting away as well. A twinge of relief touched Yvraine and she brushed it aside surveying her forces. They had taken a beating, certainly not a decisive victory, more of a bloody draw. She had lost most of her cavalry, lion guard and Sea dragons and her hunting pack of grifflets were badly wounded.
      After their first crushing victory over the reptiles they had advanced from the frozen shoreline over the mountains to the jungle interior of the island. Clearly the first force was periphery defense as the host led by the saurian warlord was filled with larger, better armed and armored infantry. Despite the casualties, she was comfortable with their position. They had successfully driven the reptiles from the highlands and her flying troops gave her a significant advantage as she looked to force a decisive outcome.
    • Ok, got the tourney coming up next weekend and I've got the latest list evolution pasted below.

      May or may not be able to get in a practice game beforehand, but would welcome people's thoughts/ feedback:

      Commander: War Banner of Ryma; Hardened Shield; Lance; Dragonforged Amour; Battle Standard Bearer; Elven Horse (Mounts Protection (5+)) 177
      Order of The Fiery Heart (Mage): Lucky Shield; Tome of Arcane Lore; Dragonforged Armour 307

      24 Sea Guard: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Gleaming Icon; Veteran Standard Bearer) 323
      9 Highborn Lancers: Elven Horse (Mount's Protection (5+)); Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer 233

      20 Flame Wardens: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Rending Banner) 360
      10 Lion Guard: Skirmish 150

      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Fire Phoenix 160
      1 Giant Eagle 50

      2,000 points
    • So I pivoted at the last minute and went a different direction with my list, much more ilke what I would have taken at the end of 8th. Interested to see how the youngblood prince performs.

      Here's what I took:

      High Prince: Talisman of Supreme Shielding; Ogre Sword; Hardened Shield; Dragonforged Armour; Young Dragon 440

      Master of Canreig Tower (Commander): Mithril Mail; Talisman of Greater Shielding; Great Weapon; Longbow; Battle Standard Bearer 230
      Wilderness and Heavens

      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90
      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90
      10 Highborn Lancers: Elven Horse (Mount's Protection (5+)); Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Gleaming Icon; Veteran Standard Bearer) 260
      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90

      20 Flame Wardens: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Rending Banner) 360

      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Frost Phoenix 200

      2,000 points

      So Day 1 of the 5 game 2k Infernal Zoo 9th age in Davis is in the books and the Sea Dragon Host had a mixed showing on the day. I was sitting at 46/69 possible battle points in a solid place ranking wise. I’m going to enter my opponent’s lists and some highlights/scores for the first 3 rounds and I’ll back fill with pictures and more content in the next few days.

      Game 1: Lizards

      Skink captain bsb on ancient steg with sword of might
      Lvl 2 Heavens (general), dispel scroll
      Lvl 2 Heavens

      3x 30 skinks and 3 caimans with halberds and standards

      2x 10 unit of skirmishing poison skinks braves with javelins
      4x terradons
      Ancient taurosaur

      This table was insane, huge pices of impassable, a forked river covering half my right side and forests/swamps everywhere. My cavalry were almost instantly invalidated by the board.
      I also got out-deployed, I assumed my opponent would be taking advantage of his almost universal acquatic rule and spend the game in the river lands. He chose to drop 80% of his army in a narrow pass on my left flank.

      Despite all this, the game went relatively well. I used my superior speed to redeploy my entire army leftward in 1-2 turns.
      Dragon prince getting wooped by a unit of skrox, 9 st 6 attacks pushed through a few wounds and it ran off the table in the bottom of 5, huge point swing.

      We ended dead even on points at the end 1090-1090, and I picked up 4 bonus points while my opponent got 1, putting us at 14-11
      Not a terrible result overall, I am a believer that tabling your first round opponent can be problematic for pairing in Round 2, so I was happy to get a small win.

      Round 2: WDG

      Lord on Manticore, +2 st, 2+/4++, fireborn, wrath
      Wrath BSB tanky kit
      Lvl 2 Fire, dispel scroll

      24 Wrath Wasteland warriors with halberds and shields, FC
      5 poison dogs
      2x5 hell striders

      3xCrushers with banner

      My opponent dropped everything for the guaranteed 1stturn, and I actually thought I had him out-deployed.
      First couple of turns saw me win the chaff war, killing his dogs and hell riders on the left and bringing his hell riders on the right to 1. I actually thought I had this game at the bottom of Turn 2 when I got the general, the frosty and the knights (in the flank) into the skull crushers.

      I flubbed a bit and did only 5 wounds taking a wound on the knights. The crushers broke, I pursued with knights and frosty and fail to catch them with abysmal pursuit roles, I was left with both units rears exposed to my opponents entire army (albeit with some fairly long charges). Which my opponent made all of.

      With a few terrible combats I found myself on the bottom of turn 4 having lost my knights, dragon prince and frosty.

      In Turn 5, the chaos warriors hit my flame wardens, and then a miracle happened. My FW and BSB kill 9 warriors and only take 6 wounds total in return. I had 2 ranks on him as well as an ice shard so he was taking ld 3 rerollable checks, failed, got ran down by the FW.
      This ended up being a huge swing as my FW claimed the secondary objective and nearly 700 points of characters and wasteland warriors.

      We ended up drawing 10-10, with me taking the secondary objective we ended up 13-11 to me. Not a great outcome, but given where I stood at the end of 4, I couldn’t really complain.

      Game 3: Infernal Dwarves

      Lord, 2+/4++ regen/fireborn/must reroll successful wounds
      BSB tanky with GW
      2x2 Lvl 2 of the Forge, one with dispel scroll and the other with a way to heal the k’daii
      Hobgoblin khan with lucky shield

      20ish blunderbuss dwarves
      40ish hobgoblins
      30ish infernal guard (all characters in here)


      My opponent dropped his entire army, which was fine with me.

      He marched forward first turn, I shot at him and kicked my fliers out to each flank.

      He marched forward second turn. I shot at him, repositioned my fliers and shuffled my blocks, I chaffed up the hobgoblins and infernal guard and the kdaii with reavers

      Kdaii hit reavers, hobgoblins hit reavers and infernal guard reform. Blunderbuses either fail charge or move forward. Khan chaffs up my knights, but not well enough to protect the blunderbusses.

      My lancers hit the khan (set up for a beautiful overrun into the blunderbuss), dragon in the rear of the blunderbusses. The frosty and flame wardens sandwich the hobgoblins. I ping off a couple of infernal guard with shooting and get up iceshard on the blunderbuss.
      My lancers on the charge managed to do 1 wound to the khan and he held on a rerollable 6 (I hit with one attack, out of 7 rider and 3 horse attacks).

      This lost me the lancer bus to a flank charge of the infernal guard, but I managed to take out both the blunderbuss and hobgoblins. This was the bottom of turn 4 and my opponent and I decided to call the game there as there was no incentive for me to go into the immortal guard or the k’daii and I had sowed up the secondary objective.

      So it ended a 19-8, for me due to secondary objectives and secret objectives.

      All in all, I felt like it was a fairly good showing, I had a couple swings of bad luck that turned wins to draws, but I had 14 secondary/secret objective points, which I felt pretty good about and finished the day relatively close to the top.

      Looking forward to Day 2!
    • Infernal Zoo 2016 is in the books and it was a great weekend, really must complement Alex for running a great tournament, very smooth, great terrain, venue was very comfortable.

      So, onto Game 4, I was surprised to find I entered Day 2 on Table 1, and knew this meant there was little room for error if I was going to end the weekend with a W.

      Game 4: O&G
      He had a list that felt very similar to an opponent I faced regularly in 8th, he had:

      Goblin Lord: Obsidian blade, Item which let him use his opponents armor and ward save
      Lvl 3 Orc Shaman: Lore of Wild, Dispell scroll
      BSB: GW, some sort of armor
      Goblin Hero: GW

      2x30ish goblins with shields and short bows, nets, 2x fanatics (Lord and BSB in one)
      30ish goblins with short bows, 3 sneaky gits (normal hero in here)
      25-30 Savage Orcs
      2x5 wolf riders

      2 Manglers
      3xbolt throwers

      So we ended up with diagonal deployment here, and I felt pretty good about where we ended up. My opponent was forced to deploy all of his blocks in one stretch with a massive piece of impassable to one side. This gave me clear lines of fire and charge, while also boxing in his battle line letting me manage the movement phase effectively.

      I was able to swing my phoenix and dragon out to my right and quickly win the chaff war.

      By Turn 3 I had pinned his furthest right block in place with my frosty and was able to start rolling his line with my dragon and flame wardens.

      By Turn 5 I had cleaned up 2 goblin blocks and the savages. Of note: The savages, after being pinned between his own goblins and the big impassable ate a flank charge from my flame wardens and frosty and went down in a single turn.

      At this stage he was down to a bolt thrower, a depleted dog unit and his badly depleted goblin character bunker. I stupidly took my general into his bus, got challenged out by the general and had a couple of tense rounds of combat, which ultimately resulted in me getting his general bottom of 6. It ended up giving me a point or two more, but probably wasn’t worth the risk.

      My opponent got the frosty, my bsb and a couple units of reavers. I got most of his army and we ended up a 15-5 to me. I got 3 points for the secondary and 5 for the secret objectives, bringing it to a 23-3.

      This kept me solidly on Table 1, where I ended up facing a Bretonnia list. At this stage, I was 13 points up on my opponent and 17 points up on 3rd place, so it was mine to lose.

      Game 5: Bretonnia
      I had been hearing about this army all weekend, super nasty duke on hippo was the feature and it delivered:

      Duke on Hippogryph: 2+, lucky shield, wizarding hood, dragonlance, reroll to hit and wound against opponents with St or T 5, d3 wounds against large targets in the first round
      Paladin BSB: 1+, not sure what else
      Paladin: 2+, item to give grail knights 4++ against shooting
      2x Castellan on horse

      13 Realm Knights, FC
      8 Questing Knights
      8 Grail Knights

      3 Pegasus with 2+ save

      10 bowmen
      10 brigands (elite skirmishing bowmen)

      I basically wanted nothing to do with the Questing Knights or general as I couldn’t let them charge either of my monsters. I used a large piece of impassable to my advantage and my opponent deployed in a fairly narrow frontage. He deployed everything at once and took first turn.

      I stayed out of charge range with most of my army on Turn 1, but gave my opponent a charge with his grail knights onto my flame wardens unsupported. My opponent took this charge and kept sort of shuffling around and moving up, I think he was (probably unnecessarily) afraid of my knights and frosty tag-teaming one of his knight buses.

      I’ll take a pause here and say that I got 3-5 rounds of unobstructed shooting from my bolt throwers and due to some shocking dice rolls and in aggregate managed to kill 8 questing knights. I was really relying on my bolt throwers in this game and they delivered well below average.

      So, here’s where I lost the game, flame wardens and BSB against the grail knights, striking first, I managed 0 wounds. This was critical, as I needed to kill just 1 knight to keep my steadfast. He didn’t do that great back, but I wasn’t steadfast and I fled on a re-rollable 6 and was run down. Top of Turn 2, 600 points and my BSB/only spell caster gone.

      At this point, I want into damage control mode. I was able to clean up the questing knights, treb, a castellan and the pegs and avoided major combat with my lancers and frosty. Not a great way to end the tournament, but I managed to keep my opponent to a 12-8, or 14-9 after bonus points.

      Fortunately, I had walked into Game 5 up far enough that I had held my lead by a couple points, leaving me with the Best Overall award for the weekend.

      Obviously, pretty happy with the performance, but despite the success I wasn’t crazy about the list. A few key points takeaways on my list that I’ll expand on in more detail:

      • -The Youngblood dragon prince was underwhelming. You feel that something you spend almost 450 points on should have more impact. I was afraid to take her into rank and file, anything with st 6 and really any combat characters by the end. I don’t think this build will see the table any time soon.
      • -The MoCT was ok, but a T3 2 wound character has no place in one of my main combat blocks going forward. I like this build, but it’s a lot of eggs to put in a 2 wound little basket. Additionally, 2 spells isn’t enough for your only caster, I basically had to skip any magic phase where I rolled over 8 or 9 dice as I couldn’t risk 4 or 5 dice casts for fear of losing my only caster and BSB.
      • -The lancers were underwhelming, they either need a character or they need to be dragon princes. WS 4 and St 3 doesn’t do what I need it to do.

      Overall, I had a lot of exceptional chaff/infantry clearing units, but nothing I could confidently take into a really tough target. I’ll need to start from the ground up in building a new list and really think about strengths and weaknesses.

      So I will work on more detailed bat reps, pic, some fluff and a unit by unit analysis over the coming days. Stay tuned!

    • Game 1:

      So my opponent’s list was not too dissimilar to one of my practice games, with the addition of some Caiman and different chaff. I actually thought this was a fairly favorable match up for me…until I saw the table.

      The entire right half was covered in rivers and swamps and I was facing a largely aquatic army. Great.

      The first game was simple battle line and no secondary objective, I chose a secret objective to kill my opponents monsters with mine and to kill or wound his general.

      I made my first mistake in deployment, I assumed my opponent would use the riverlands to his advantage and deployed my fire base and cavalry there to cover his approach. I was so sure of this, I dropped everything to guarantee first and my opponent dropped his entire army in a 12x24 inch block on the other side of the table.

      From my left to right he had skrox unit, skrox unit, bsb on steg, ancient steg, skrox unit (behind stegs), two skirmishing units (the one furthest right has his two casters) in the forest and terradons

      My deployment from left to right: reavers, frosty, DP, two bolters in the forest, flame wardens (with BSB), bolter, lancers
      I won first and we got to it:

      Turns 1 and 2:

      Basically all that happened these turns was that I:
      • Moved my flame wardens and cav back towards the fight
      • Flew my DP around the big piece of impassable to put pressure on his back lines
      • Kept frosty behind the impassable to make him think twice about advancing too far
      • My opponent cautiously moved forward and layered his back lines with skirmishers, terradons and stegs to prevent my DP from running amok
      Turn 3 Sea Dragon Host:

      I saw an opportunity to take my frosty into his ancient steg, there was clearly enough room, my opponent was pretty crabby about this. Flame wardens charge the nearby skrox unit, left most reavers chaff up the other skrox block to prevent a counter charge
      Movement: Lancers move closer and DP flies into the back lines
      Magic: I manage ice shard on the skrox in combat with the flame wardens(FW), he stops wildform on the frosty. Took a wound due to OP
      Shooting: I basically just ping wounds off the unengaged skrox unit the entire game, I’ll stop reporting on this as I basically did this all game lacking better targets.
      Combat: Frosty does a wound to the ancient steg, FW drop a caiman and take a couple in return

      Turn 3 SA:
      Charges blocking reavers
      Layers his backline to prevent my dragon from hitting anything worthwhile
      Chaffs up my lancers with a skirmishing unit and layers his two casters in behind his other skirmishers and terradons in the lee of the impassable
      Wipes the blocking reavers
      FW kill another caiman and lose one or two
      Frosty gets another wound or two on the steg

      Turn 4 Sea Dragon Host:
      DP charges a skink character who had been carelessly left with enough room for me to land, he flees to avoid it, I redirect into the blocking skirmishers and he flees off the board.
      Lancers choose to hold and shuffle a bit to prevent a double charge from the chaffing skinks and the skrox unit behind them
      Reaver unit moves to block skrox unit facing down bolt thrower forest
      Magic: I push through wild form on the frosty with a big roll and he stops ice shard
      Shooting: I kill the skink caster that fled from the DP with my bolter in the forest.
      Frosty does another couple wounds on the steg, who fails his rerollable 6 and flees, I pursue, catch and overrun into his BSB
      FW kill the last caiman and a bunch of skinks, in the process the BSB falls to a blow from a skink. We win and they fail their test and get run down.

      Turn 4 SA:

      My opponent uses his terradons to block up my FW, turns his rear skrox to face his BSB to dissuade my DP from joining the fight there. Skirmishers keep chaffing my lancers. Skrox charges reavers blocking bolt thrower forest.
      Combat: Frosty pings a wound off the BSB
      Turn 5 Sea Dragon Host:
      DP charges the rear of the skrox unit, FW charge the terradons, lancers charge the chaffing skinks.
      FW crush the terradons
      Frosty pings another wound off the BSB
      Reavers get mulched
      Lancers mulch skirmishers and don’t move for fear of DTs
      DP kills a caiman, dragon stomps and breathes down a handful of skinks. They pass their break check and turn to face

      Turn 5 SA:
      Two important things happen:
      • The skrox charges the bolt thrower in the forest, makes a 10 inch charge, kills the machine and then makes the 9 inch overrun to hit the next one
      • The DP fluffs a bit, takes a couple wounds from the caimans, fails the break check and runs off the table
      Turn 6 Sea Dragon Host:

      FW charge the BSB in the flank
      Lancers back off from the skrox unit that just killed the DP
      I fail to kill the BSB
      Skrox kill bolt thrower

      Turn 6 SA:
      I fail to kill the BSB
      Skrox charge and kill the last bolt thrower (by the end they just had 2 Caiman left, I had shot off all the skinks)

      Game Summary:
      We ended up at a 10-10 draw, I got full points for my monster killing his monster objective and one point for pinging a wound off his general in the late game with my reavers.
      • So I got seriously out-deployed, by forcing me to engage in a small area and slog all the way across the battle field my opponent managed to minimize my movement advantage
      • I totally underestimated skrox blocks. The mechanic where directing attacks puts you at a -1 to hit, but randomizing forces you to go against the parry rule of the skinks meant I was hitting on 3s at best. If you fluff a bit and the caiman do well you can find yourself in a very precarious situation as my DP found out
      • I should have gotten that BSB, that thing took 25 attacks from the frosty (10 at st6 due to wild form) and 25ish attacks from the FW. That’s something like 10 wounds with a 5 or 6 up save, he just rolled hot on the saves
      Should be getting Game 2 up soon...

    • Game 2:
      So this game was essentially a mirror match, my opponent had 3 fast cav units, a heavy cav unit, a heavy infantry unit with characters, a lord on monstrous mount and an unridden monster, sound familiar? I saw this match as being an interesting challenge:
      • I had the shooting and the units to handily win the chaff war
      • My heavy cav, lord and unridden monster were all slightly worse than their mirror
      So to win, I figured I needed to use my chaff to my advantage to dictate combat, engineer some multi charges between the combat units to make sure I had the advantage. Most importantly, I needed to control the mid table to give my bolters time to swing things my way. So let’s see how it went…

      So the tower/fulcrum, the big palace, the boat in the back and the standing stones on my right were all impassable, great looking board, but a lot of impassable. My opponent and I alternated for a few units and then he dropped everything, but essentially we set up for a little chaff war on my left and the main event was on the right 2/3s of the board.

      From my left to right he had: A unit of dogs, a unit of fast cav and his lord behind the building, warrior block (w/ BSB and caster), chimera, crushers, fast cavFrom my left to right

      I had: Reavers, bolt thrower, reavers, bolt thrower, cav, FW, frosty reavers, DP, bolterMy opponent got fireball and smoldering ember and we got started

      Turn 1 WDG:
      My opponent moved around with his chaff on my left, setting up a charge on my bolt thrower with his dogs and to shoot at my furthest left reavers with his fast cav

      He brought his lord over the palace to threaten my flank He basically started turning his flank with the warriors, chimera and skull crushers moving forward in a staggered line

      Nothing significant happened in magic or shooting so it went to me

      Turn 1 Sea Dragon Host:

      Not a super eventful turn, I shuffled my heavy cav to the side to get them out of range of his lord,
      I shuffled my FW, frosty and DP forward to threaten his crushers.

      In my shooting phase I panicked his dogs (they would eventually run off the table) and killed his fast cav on my left. I brought his fast cav on my right down to one model

      Turn 2 WDG:
      My opponent chose to take a long charge on the frosty with his crushers, which he failed. The rest of his army moved up to threaten my units if I chose to charge the crushers.
      His lone fast cav model moved out to the flank to avoid further reprisal.

      My opponent tried to get smoldering ember up on the skull crushers, which I stopped.

      I really thought my opponent had made a huge mistake with that failed crusher charge.

      Turn 2 Sea Dragon Host:
      I took the lancers into the flank of the crushers and both the frosty and the DP into their front. Surely 20 st 5 and 4 st 6 attacks would be sufficient…

      I started bringing my chaff from the left over to the center to be helpful in later turns

      Magic: My opponent let me get off ice shard on the crushers and stopped wild form on the lancers

      Shooting, I pinged a wound off the chimera and killed 1-2 warriors but critically, was not able to kill the last remaining fast cav, which I’d regret later.

      Combat:In summary, I whiffed. I managed 5 wounds in total, given that I was hitting on 2s/3s and wounding on 2s/3s I felt this was a pretty poor showing. In hindsight, I think 6 would have been average, so it wasn’t a huge whiff. The crushers, with -1 st and -1 to hit only managed a single wound on the cav and a single wound on the DP.The crushers did break, but a few critical things happened:
      • Because there was still 2 left, it slightly shifted the pursuit route
      • My opponent rolled an 11 for flee distance
      • My frosty and cav rolled a 5 and 6 respectively

      The above was huge because now, my opponent had some long charges available with his lord, chimera and warriors.

      Now I want to be clear before you start saying, “You should have seen that coming”. I actually did consider this risk and I reasoned that it was possible I’d roll poorly with one of the two units and was comfortable with losing either one in exchange for the crushers. I was comfortable not only with that trade, but with where it would put his units: directly in front of my FW.

      However, now, both units were critically exposed, I hadn’t actually gotten the crushers and my opponent had the one chaff guy he needed to block up my FW. Drat.

      Turn 3 WDG:
      Despite the tough situation I found myself in, my opponent did have to make the charges, which were all 9+ needed on the dice. So here’s how it went:
      • His warriors charged my cav, the closest unit, which fled and took DTs as they bounced through the impassable and the crushers, losing 2. The warriors had nothing to redirect into, so they failed their charge
      • His lord and chimera both charged my frosty, I couldn’t really flee as the angles would have likely taken me off the board. Both made their 9+ inch charges (lord needed a 10)
      His fast cav moved up to redirect my FW as suspected and his crushers rallied

      Combat:Suffice to say, my frosty got owned and both monsters overran into my DP

      Turn 4 Sea Dragon Host:
      At this stage I knew I was in pretty rough shape, I had no shooting line of sight on the crushers to try to grab some easy points, my DP was going to die along with my heavy cav, so…
      My heavy cav rallied and turned to face their crushing
      My FW charged the chaffing fast cav
      I used a reaver unit to chaff up his warriors

      I tried to get wild form off on my lord, but he scrolled it and stopped ice shard.

      Shooting: I ping a few wounds off the warriors

      Combat:We wind up in a challenge, I manage a wound against his lord, who does 2 to me and regrows his lost wound with soul feeder. We hold.I mulch his fast cav with the FW

      Turn 5 WDG:
      He charges my chaffing reavers with his warriors and my lancers with his crushers

      Combat:He kills the reavers
      He kills the lancers
      We fluff in the challenge and both stick

      Turn 5 Sea Dragon Host:
      I charge the warriors
      I cast ice shard on his warriors
      The DP goes down to the lord

      Here’s where the miracle happened, my FW and BSB light up and manage 9 wounds on the unit. Through a combination of ice shard and ward saves I only lose 2-3 plus the champ in return. Due to his wizards miscasts and my shooting, there just weren’t that many warriors left to strike after the FW/BSB hit.
      After we tallied he was on a rerollable 3, failed it and I ran him down.Importantly, this put me within 6 inches of the center objective to take the secondary. We were just out of time and that was the game.

      That was a 10 point swing in the bottom of the last turn. After secondary and secret objectives were tallied I believe it was a 13-11.

      To be fair, I don’t think I played this game poorly. I think I got unlucky against those skull crushers and I think my opponent underestimated the FW. This was the game that really underscored my distaste for the lancer block and the DP. I brought 900 points of my army in against those crushers and only managed 5 wounds. That’s about the same as a 200 pt Ryma knight with banner and dev charge would do, not a good comparison.

      Where I was disappointed in myself was my lack of patience. I saw a good charge on the crushers and took it despite the risks. With the ranged advantage, I could have easily continued to dance around for a couple of turns, kept picking at the chimera, crushers and lord with ranged fire and looked for a better opportunity. 20/20 hindsight I suppose.

      I was fairly solidly middle pack at this point, but hadn’t taken any big losses so I still thought I had a shot at top 3.Next, I was matched up against a Infernal Dwarves army, stay tuned

    • Game 3:
      So, sitting middle of the pack I knew it was now or never if I was going to have a shot at Top 3 and of course I draw Infernal Dwarves. I’d only ever played ID once in 8th in a very frustrating game and after what I’ve read on the forum I wasn’t really looking forward to this game.

      However, I was pleasantly surprised by what my opponent brought, after the game we got to chatting and he said he doesn’t like to play war machine heavy ID as it makes for very skewy games. For convenience I’ve pasted his list here:

      Lord, 2+/4++ regen/fireborn/must reroll successful wounds
      BSB tanky with GW
      2x2 Lvl 2 of the Forge, one with dispel scroll and the other with a way to heal the k’daii
      Hobgoblin khan with lucky shield

      20ish blunderbuss dwarves
      40ish hobgoblins
      30ish infernal guard (all characters in here)


      So after my last two games, I was feeling fairly sure that nothing short of a multi charge by the FW, DP, Frosty and lancers would be able to take down his infernal guard block. If I was being honest, I felt about the same about the K’Daii. So I went into this feeling like I wanted to pick up his hobgoblins, blunderbusses and then assess what was possible while attempting to minimize damage to my forces.

      We treated all the buildings as impassable and my opponent dropped everything to get first turn.

      From my left to right he had: Hobgoblins, infernal guard with all characters, blunderbusses, K’Daii, hobgoblin khan

      From my left to right I had: Frosty, bolter in the forest, reavers, FW (BSB), bolter on hill, lancers, bolter on hill, Reavers, DP, Reavers on the other side of the house

      My opponent took the signature on each of his casters, and then had something that let him reroll wounds and something else I can’t quite remember

      Turn 1 ID:
      My opponent moved up full steam ahead with everything and I stopped his fairly poor magic phase

      Turn 1 Sea Dragon Host:
      No charges
      I kicked the flyers out wide on both sides and moved the reavers into position to chaff up the K’Daii and infernal guard next turn
      Magic I got a high roll and dumped my dice
      Shooting was mainly focused on thinning down the blunderbusses and I pinged off a couple hobgoblins

      Turn 2 ID:
      He marched forward with everything
      He brought his khan in the lee of the house to prepare for future mischief
      He buffed his K’Daii because I think he thought I’d bring the DP in next turn, I let it through and stopped subjugation on the FW.

      Turn 2 Sea Dragon Host:

      I moved the DP further out to the flank and brought the frosty in behind the hobgoblins
      I used reavers to chaff both the K’Daii, the hobgoblins and the infernal guard
      Magic: I got a high roll and dumped my dice
      Shooting: I kept picking on the blunderbusses and pinged off a few more hobgoblins

      Turn 3 ID:
      He charges the chaffing reavers with the K’Daii and the hobgoblins and swift reforms the infernal guard so he can keep moving forward.
      The blunderbusses advance to box my lancers in and he uses his khan to chaff the lancers
      He kills both reavers units easily and overruns almost bumping into the house with the K’Daii

      Turn 3 Sea Dragon Host:
      I charge the FW and frosty into the hobgoblins
      I charge the lancers into the chaffing khan. Here my opponent missed something, he thought he’d set up the khan so I’d overrun into my own bolt thrower and bounce. But because my lancers were so tight between the bolt throwers, I couldn’t complete the charge without him closing the door to me, which set me up with a beautiful overrun into the blunderbusses. All I had to do was kill the khan…
      DP goes into the rear of the blunderbusses

      Magic: I managed ice shard on the blunderbusses and he stops wildform on the lancers

      Shooting: I pick off a few infernal guard and fail to wound the K’Daii

      The FW and Frosty crush the hobgoblins and run them down
      The lancers, with 7 st 5 attacks and 3 st 3 attacks manage only 1 wound on the khan, he holds on the generals leadership…my god!
      The DP gets challenged out and splatters the blunderbusses champ all over the hill
      Big opportunity missed here, based on the positioning of my lancers there was no way I could avoid getting smashed by his infernal guard.

      Turn 4 ID:

      Infernal guard charge the bolt thrower
      K’Daii wheels around

      Magic: Flux was low and I believe I channeled and stopped everything

      He kills the bolt thrower and overruns into the lancer combat
      I manage to kill the khan, but get massacred in exchange and run off the board, he reforms to face my army
      The DP opens up and kills heaps of blunderbusses, he was not steadfast (early shooting at the blunderbusses paid off huge here) and they run off the table

      Turn 4 Sea Dragon Host:

      Looking at the battlefield I gave it some thought and decided I didn’t want to charge the infernal guard. There was no way I’d break them in a single round and then I’d have a K’Daii in my rear (which nobody wants!)
      I also didn’t fancy my chances against the K’Daii, with st 6/5 attacks I’d be wounding on 4s/5s, best case scenario it would take a few rounds to kill it and by then I’d have the infernal guard all over me

      I did some quick math and saw that I could win the secondary objective and squeeze out between 17 and 20 points total.

      I explained my logic to my opponent and he agreed that if I didn’t want combat I could easily avoid it. I gave him my other bolt thrower and we called it a game.

      After we did the math it was a 15-5 to me, I took the secondary and got one secret objective point for a total of 19 and my opponent got like a 4/5.

      A good opponent, I think his list needed some more elements to force combat/pin units in place for the infernal guard/k’daii to finish off, but he played his army well.

      On a side note, my opponent was a little disappointed that I didn’t charge in, so I proposed a post-game jefe battle for bragging rights. We squared off, my DP against his lord. Let me just say, to see this on the table, my dragon towered over this dwarf, easily 10 times his size. Yet, as I suspected, it was a very close battle and ultimately I managed to kill him after 5 rounds of combat leaving my DP with only one wound remaining. Too close for comfort and it validated my decision not to charge in.

      So I finished the day with 46 points and based on what I’d heard I knew that I was likely in the top 3 at this point as most of the field had taken at least one tough loss.

      When I returned the next day I found I was actually on Table 1 against a O&G list, stay tuned…

    • Game 4: O&G
      He had a list that felt very similar to an opponent I faced regularly in 8th, he had:

      Goblin Lord: Obsidian blade, Item which let him use his opponents armor and ward save
      Lvl 3 Orc Shaman: Lore of Wild, Dispell scroll
      BSB: GW, some sort of armor
      Goblin Hero: GW

      2x30ish goblins with shields and short bows, nets, 2x fanatics (Lord and BSB in one)
      30ish goblins with short bows, 3 sneaky gits (normal hero in here)
      25-30 Savage Orcs
      2x5 wolf riders
      4 bases of scouting snotlings

      2x Manglers
      3x skewerers

      So I’m going to apologize in advance for the lack of pics here, this was the first game of day 2 and I realized after the second turn I hadn’t taken a single picture. Good news is, I was playing on the same table as my Game 2, so the terrain should be pretty familiar to you. We ended up with diagonal deployment here, and I felt pretty good about where we ended up. My opponent was forced to deploy all of his blocks in one stretch with a massive piece of impassable (the palace) to one side. This gave me clear lines of fire and charge, while also boxing in his battle line letting me manage the movement phase effectively.

      From my left to right he had: Skewerer, dogs and snotlings. Both manglers behind the palace, savages behind his goblin character bus. Goblin unit with hero and sneaky stabbers, other goblin unit, two skewerers on the back line and a unit of dogs on my right flank.

      From my left to right I had: A unit of reavers, two bolt throwers on the hill, my cav, my FW, a unit of reavers, my DP, the last bolt thrower against the table edge, my frosty and my last unit of reavers

      Once he dropped his first goblin block I dropped everything so I could get first turn. He had Wildnerness on his Shaman and got frenzy, wildform and swarm of insects

      Turn 1 Sea Dragon Host:
      I swung my dragon and phoenix out right and moved the cav forward to threaten him if he tried to make an aggressive advance.
      I resigned myself to using the bolt throwers and reavers on the left to counter his chaff for the first couple of turns.

      Magic: I tried for an iceshard on one of his goblin units, but failed and dumped the rest of my dice.

      I did 3 wounds to the snotlings
      I started pinging wounds off the character bus
      I killed 3 dogs on the right and panicked them

      Turn 1 O&G:
      He stayed largely static, bouncing the manglers into the back of the palace
      He rallied his damaged wolves and pulled them in behind the hill to save for later
      He advanced his snotlings into the woods and brought his dogs on my left forward at full march towards my bolt throwers

      Magic: He got off swarm of insects on one of my bolt throwers but didn’t manage any wounds

      He did 2-3 wounds to my FW and 2 to my central reaver unit and did 3 wounds to my other right reaver unit with all of his goblin shooting

      Turn 2 Sea Dragon Host:

      I charged my depleted reavers on the right into his skewerer
      I charged the frosty into the flank of his rightmost goblin unit
      I moved the reavers up to chaff the snotlings so that if they won they’d overrun away from my bolt throwers
      I moved the lancers up to keep the rest of his battle line honest
      I moved the DP and the FW forward to support the frosty next turn

      Magic: Nothing of note happened

      I do a few wounds to the snotlings killing off a base
      I do 2-3 wounds to the wolves on my left, they panic and run
      I ping a few more goblins off the character bus

      I get netted, but still kill 6-8 goblins, they hold and reform to face
      The reavers do a couple wounds to the skewerer and it holds

      O&G Turn 2:

      Snotlings charge the reavers
      The rest of the line stays largely static (in hindsight I think this was a mistake, this kept his savages boxed in and I was already close enough for easy charges next turn)

      Magic: I let him get off frenzy on the goblins in combat with the phoenix and stop wildform on them

      Shooting: He kills off 1-2 FW and fails to do much else

      Combat: I got netted again and we both sort of fluffed, I only killed a handful, but I was on a rerollable 8 and stuck
      The reavers kill the skewerer
      The snotlings kill one reaver but take 3 wounds in return, they crumble by 1 and lose another base

      Turn 3 Sea Dragon Host:

      I thought about this a bit and ultimately decided to take the DP into the gobbos engaged with the frosty and the FW into the central block of goblins with all the sneaky stabbers. I knew this put my bsb at risk, but I felt they were better positioned to deal with that block than the DP
      The reavers charge the next skewerer
      I used my 3 remaining reavers in the center to chaff up his goblin character bus as I didn’t want to take a flank charge from them with my FW
      My cav moved up once again to threaten the character bus

      Magic: I don’t think I got anything off

      Shooting: I continued to ping wounds off the goblin bus, it had probably lost a dozen or so by now

      He challenges out my DP, we win the combat and he holds on steadfast
      The FW combat was a bit complex due to all his characters. By the end of it:
      • my bsb killed two sneaky stabbers and took a wound in return
      • my FW killed the hero with GW before he could strike
      • and I managed to kill a fair number of goblins (maybe about 6 or 7)
      He was steadfast and held
      My reavers do a couple wounds to the skewerer and it holds
      My reavers do another 3 wounds to the snotlings, take nothing in return and pop another base

      O&G Turn 3:

      My opponent charges the chaffing reavers with his bus
      He shoots one of his manglers out in front of my lancers

      Magic: My opponent casts frenzy again on the goblins engaged with the frosty and DP.
      Then he used a sneaky trick, he used his magical move to bounce the mangler through my lancers, killing 4. Crazy! I stopped everything else.

      He flung his fanatics out, through my FW and towards my DP. I got lucky here as he fell short of hitting my DP and my ward saves protected the FW from the brunt of the damage.

      My DP and Frosty go to town on his goblins and break their steadfast, they run from the DP off the board
      My FW and BSB whirlwind through the goblins, I think doing a dozen wounds, breaking his steadfast, but not before losing the BSB. They break and are run down by the FW.
      My reavers kills his skewerer
      The other reavers kill the snotlings

      Turn 4 Sea Dragon Host:
      Reavers charge the cowardly wolves, who flee and get run down
      The frosty and the FW charge the flank of the savage orcs
      The reavers finish wiping snotlings off their boots and move up to support the center
      The DP positions itself a decent distance from the fanatics but within range to make follow up charges in the coming turns
      I reformed the lancers and shuffled them to the side, right next to the palace

      Shooting: I was supremely confident in my ability to kill the mangler, and I managed to leave it on one wound, not good

      The frosty and FW slaughter the feral orcs, they autobreak and get run down. The frosty overruns into the flank of the goblin bus

      Turn 4 O&G:
      The uncontrolled mangler goes wide and kills the snotling smashing reavers
      He takes his controlled mangler through the FW and the frosty, killing 5 FW and the frosty, ugly.
      One fanatic hits the mangler and kills it
      The other heads sort of towards the DP, my opponent picks it up before I can look at it and moves it through. To be honest, I didn’t think it had the angle, since he’d moved it I asked him if he’d be comfortable dicing it. He belly-ached a bit but agreed and he failed, so he just removed the fanatic.

      Turn 5 Sea Dragon Host:
      At this stage, I should have just pinged off his mangler and withdrawn, but I had a nice juicy charge on the rear of his goblin bus with my DP and since I was up by so much I decided to go for it.

      Shooting: I ping off the remaining mangler

      Combat: He challenges with his goblin king and reminds me of the pinching item that lets him use my save and ward. Great. I do a wound and he does a wound. I lose by 1 (banner, bsb, 2 ranks, wound, vs wound, charge, rear) and pass the 9 check, he reforms to face.

      Turn 5 O&G:
      We go straight to combat and I do one wound, take none in return. So wound to banner, bsb, 2 ranks. I’m on a 6 and thankfully pass.

      Turn 6 Sea Dragon Host:
      We go straight to combat and I kill his general, I lose again and again I make my check. We call the game there.

      So, all he had left was his BSB, a depleted goblin unit, a skewerer and a unit of dogs. I had only lost the frosty, 2 units of reavers and the bsb. I can’t remember exactly how it all shook out, but I ended up with a 23-3.

      I think aside from the charge of the DP, I played this game pretty well, had a fairly hot streak with the FW’s ward saves but it was a fairly non-swingy game. I’ve had a lot of experience against some very similar O&G lists and knew what to do.

      I think my opponent was really hamstrung by his deployment and the impassable terrain. His feral orcs did literally nothing all game and just sat there like cattle to the slaughter as I rolled up his flank.

      This solidified my hold on 1st. So, I had heard a lot about my next match up, KoE with a super nasty duke on hippo was the feature, stay tuned for the final round!

    • Game 5: KoE
      I had been hearing about this army all weekend,:

      Duke on Hippogryph: 2+, lucky shield, wizarding hood, dragonlance, reroll to hit and wound against opponents with St or T 5, d3 wounds against large targets in the first round
      Paladin BSB: 1+, not sure what else
      Paladin: 2+, item to give grail knights 4++ against shooting
      2x Castellan on horse

      13 Realm Knights, FC
      8 Questing Knights
      8 Grail Knights

      3 Pegasus with 2+ save

      10 bowmen
      10 brigands (elite skirmishing bowmen)

      I basically wanted nothing to do with the Questing Knights or general as I couldn’t let them charge either of my monsters. I used a large piece of impassable to my advantage and my opponent deployed in a fairly narrow frontage. He deployed everything at once and took first turn.

      From my left to right he had: Brigands, archers, grail knights with hero, realm knights with BSB, chaff castellan on horse, duke on hippo, treb in the back, chaff castellan on horse, questing knights, Pegasus knights

      From my left to right I had: reavers out of shot, vanguarded reavers next to tower, FW w/ BSB, bolt throwers on the hill, lancers, bolt thrower on the back line, DP, Frosty, reavers on the right of the tower.
      We treated all the buildings as impassable
      He rolled death on his wizards hood and took the signature and the lethal strike/fear buff

      Turn 1 KoE:
      He didn’t do much this turn, sort of shuffled up, set up some very long charges for me
      He shot off the reavers on my left with his bowman and his treb missed

      Turn 1 Sea Dragon Host:
      I pushed my frosty up a bit to keep his pegs and questing knights honest
      I was very confident that my FW could handle one of his knight units in a grind, so I moved them up so that only one knight unit could fit into combat
      I turned my DP in case he tried to take something into my bolt throwers
      I backed up the lancers
      Magic: I put ice shard on the realm knight bus, because I assumed that was what he’d take into the FW. He stopped wildform

      Shooting: I’ll keep this real simple, I had a shockingly awful game with my bolt throwers, which I had really been counting on to help with the knights (st 4 armor piercing is KoE’s kryptonite, right?). Suffice it to say, my total tally all game was 8 questing knights, a wound on the treb and a wound on the peg and we’ll not mention it again.

      Turn 2 KoE:
      So after my opponent looked at it, his knights of the realm were out of arc on the FW, so he took the grails in instead, which I was fine with.
      He failed a charge with his general on my front bolt thrower
      He brought his pegs up
      He started bringing his brigands up around the tower

      Magic: He tried for lethal strike/fear on his grail knights which I dispelled and then he failed the snipe

      Combat: 15 st 4 ap attacks and 3 st 6 ap attacks managed zero wounds. I want you to truly appreciate that. By my math that’s good for at least 3-4 wounds. It becomes even more exciting, when you realize that I only needed to kill one knight to keep steadfast. He kills 4 FW, I lose and fail a rerollable 5 or 6 and get run down.

      Turn 2 Sea Dragon Host:
      So my most resilient unit, my bsb and only caster gone at the top of 2 and a unit of grail knights in my back line. I’m not ashamed to admit, I looked at the long game here and realized I needed to conserve points.

      So I brought the DP behind my hill to threaten the grails and stay out of sight
      I kept the frosty where it was protecting the flank
      I brought my right reavers up past his pegs LOS to start gunning for the treb
      I used my central reavers to chaff up his Knight of the realm bus

      Turn 3 KoE:

      He charges the blocking reavers
      He brings his pegs around the ruins on my right
      He reforms his grails to put my DP in his front arc
      He brings a castellan up to box in my lancers
      His general fails another charge on the bolt thrower (this was really helping)
      His remaining questing knight starts running away

      Magic: He gets a low flux phase and I stop him
      Shooting: The treb misses
      Combat: Reavers get cleaned up

      Turn 3 Sea Dragon Host:

      I do some measuring and see that with an 8’’ overrun, I could kill his chaffing castellan with my lancers and get of LOS of his general. Realizing I’ll lose the lancers if I don’t move them, I figure its worth the risk and charge, he holds.

      I bring the frosty out to threaten flanks and avoid the pegs
      I bring the DP back to the other side of the hill to protect the bolt thrower from the pegs but remain out of charge range of his general
      The reavers reform and move forward to have an easy charge on the treb but take shelter behind the forest

      Combat: I kill the castellan and get my 9’’ overrun, perfect

      Turn 4 KoE:

      He charges my bolt thrower in front with his knights of the realm
      He fails with his grail knights to hit the other bolt thrower
      He fails with his pegs to hit the third bolt thrower
      None of these were insane charges, all about 8-10’’

      Magic: Nothing I remember
      Shooting: treb misses and he kills a reaver

      Combat, his knights kill the bolter and reform

      Turn 4 Sea Dragon Host:
      The DP charges the pegs
      The reavers charge the treb

      The lancers reform and back up
      Frosty shuffles

      The DP kills a couple pegs, they break and get run down
      Reavers kill the treb

      Turn 5 KoE:
      His general fails stupidity. This was huge!
      His grail knights charge the other bolt thrower on the hill

      Shooting: He kills 2 of my reavers with his archers

      He kills my bolter and reforms

      Turn 5 Sea Dragon Host:
      At this stage I reason this out and we determine that I can avoid combat for the rest of the game. The only thing to determine is if my bolt thrower can pull of some miraculous shot and bring his general down to 25% (which I don’t) or his archers could shoot off my reavers at long range (which he doesn’t)

      So we call it there at a 12-8, after secret objectives we end up at 14-9 to my opponent.

      I had been up by 13 points going into the game and although the player in 3rd did get a crushing victory, I was still ahead by a few points for Best Overall!

      So a great outcome, coming soon, I’ll post my unit-by-unit analysis and then the 2.5k list I’m playing around with.

    • So, I'd like to start by saying something: Boy is there a lot of negativity in the HBE forum. There I said it.

      I haven't weighed in overly much in the suggestion/unit review threads before now as I, frankly, didn't feel I had enough T9A games under my belt to have something worthwhile to say. I just recently started adding my opinion and it's been a bit of a mixed bag (@ferny and @Arhain do a great job keeping things positive and focused though!). So to properly set context let me just say a few things in advance:

      Unit by Unit Analysis Guiding Principles:
      • I am providing my opinion based on the performance over a 5 game GT of the units I used.
      • I am thinking about this in the context of list building for future competitive tournaments.
      • Please don't tell me the answer is 1+/4+ lion chariot characters. I know they're good. They don't fit my theme, period.
      • I would like constructive feedback or counterpoints.
      • I will use the Below, Meets, Exceeds expectations framework, because I think letter grades are too granular.
      With that out of the way, let's get started:

      High Prince: Talisman of Supreme Shielding; Ogre Sword; Hardened Shield; Dragonforged Armour; Young Dragon 440
      Rating: BELOW
      Ugh, I wanted this model to work so badly. During 8th I was a huge proponent of the idea of combined profiles and ward saves and when I saw the build of the young dragon I thought my time had come.
      I faced bolt throwers and artillery in 3 of 5 games and these didn't have a huge impact. I do think that with judicious use of impassable you can mitigate this threat. However, I didn't face double cannon lists, so I'd say this guy saw a fairly favorable field of play.
      • Movement: Movement 7!?! This is just the worst, I get it on the ancient and regular, but couldn't the youngblood be 8? I found this impacted my battle every game…every game. I worried about charge ranges, couldn't reposition effectively.
      • Damage Output: At least once per game I found myself wishing I had st 7 on the rider. I brought the tools with Wyssans, but couldn't get the spell off as I'll review below. If I had to give the +3 St sword, then I'd lose the 4+ ward, which I think is a non-negotiable
      • The dragon: For 200 points, it just didn't bring enough to the table. The shocking movement 7, 4 st 5 attacks, it just didn't do enough to move the needle. I can comfortably say that a M9 horse would save me tons of points, make the character more mobile, less vulnerable to artillery and give me a better armor save. Sort of a no brainer.
      Unfortunately, this one is getting shelved. I need to think about whether taking 2 with stripped down kits has some legs, but for now it's shelved.
      [i]Note: I've thought long and hard about the ancient dragon and with move 7 and that big base I just don't see that being a really viable all comers tournament build. I see why it was successful in ETC. Maybe if artillery/ordnance changes a bit I could see it in the future. I'd like for it to work.[/i]

      Master of Canreig Tower (Commander): Mithril Mail; Talisman of Greater Shielding; Great Weapon; Longbow; Battle Standard Bearer 230
      Wilderness and Heavens
      Rating: MEETS
      I was most nervous about this part of my army going into the tourney, and all my fears were justified. It struggles with what every elf infantry hero character struggles with, 2 T3 wounds. This guy got killed by skinks and goblins and I used every point of his magic allotment for defense.

      Additionally, two spells just isn't enough, you need at least 3 in the army (this isn't his fault, my poor list design). I found myself dumping dice if I rolled over a 7 on flux because I didn't want to risk 4 or 5 dicing spells.
      Now, I could see a role for this guy in a unit of LG or SM with the nature sig. This would let you drop the talisman, and would give you the ability to heal himself. I'd consider this for future builds.

      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90
      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90
      5 Elein Reavers: Bow 90
      Rating: MEETS
      Thoughts: Just great, I even liked the shooting as a good supplement. I think they're even better than in 8th.

      10 Highborn Lancers: Elven Horse (Mount's Protection (5+)); Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Gleaming Icon; Veteran Standard Bearer) [i]260[/i]
      Rating: BELOW
      Thoughts: This unit just doesn't put out enough damage against tough opponents. I had envisioned this unit as one of my hammers and it just didn't deliver.
      • WS4 just doesn't cut the mustard against anything worth charging. Even with LR you're hitting on 3s, which are very fail-able.
      • St 5 means that you can't really even take them into armor
      This unit needs a character and the Ryma banner to do its job and at that point you might as well make it a bus.
      Now, I do see an opportunity to spam units of 10 supported by multiple wilderness casters. The prospect of 30-40 lancers supported by 2-3 lvl 1s on wilderness costing only 1000-1250 points is interesting. But I don't have the models or the inclination to test that out.

      20 Flame Wardens: Champion; Musician; Standard Bearer (Rending Banner) 360
      Rating: EXCEEDS
      Thoughts: Such a great unit, it's not cheap, but this unit won me games. I really like it supported by either wilderness or flaming sword to ratchet up the damage output. 16 st 4 ap 1 attacks usually hitting on 2s is death to a large swath of the opponents out there, certainly enough to win combat if they're ranked up properly.
      To get the value out of them, it's important to know what they're not. They're not built to take out cavalry or monsters, period. Use deployment and our movement to put other assets into those sort of targets. This is our anvil, our steadfast breaker, etc.
      I'd like to play around with putting either a royal huntsmen or someone with the beast bane halberd in this unit to help make them more well rounded…

      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Sea Guard Reaper [0-3 Choice]: Repeating Shot 80
      Rating: MEETS
      Liked it at 70, still good at 80. As of now I don't see a list without 3 of these, they're just too versatile.

      Frost Phoenix 200
      Rating: EXCEEDS
      Thoughts: A bit of a controversial rating, but I was prepared to be disappointed with this model going in as I knew it wasn't going to live up to its glory days. I came out actually quite liking it, I like the extra attack and the points reduction A LOT. The synergy of -1 st in a low T army is still amazing. I think the rest of my army needs to be better constructed to support a frosty as it can't be your can opener any more. You need to find your high St attacks elsewhere.

      I know its strange that I won the tournament but felt like key elements of my army fell below expectations. I think some of the negativity in the HBE forum is deserved, there are some choices that are just not internally balanced (fewer than 8th though!) Here are some thoughts on future lists, with the caveat that I'm still trying to make combined arms work:

      Double Dragon Mage: I think this combined with some solid shooting and a little combat infantry support could be really interesting. Double flaming swords is just so good for HBE. I think you'll see this from me over the next few games.

      Mini Bus/Frosties/Gunline: I think a Ryma banner lancer bus (could be Ryma Knights, I need to do the math) with commanders and a nature mage supported by 2 frosties could be very solid and take up less than half your army. Make the rest chaff and shooting (QG, Seaguard, Bolters, QC with Great Bow) and I think you could have a very interesting list

      Stay tuned, I should have a battle next week and will do a report/new list. Thanks for reading!

    • Awesome summary of your list. I also like that you didnt' use "sucks" "horrible" "Terrible" or any exaggerated terms to describe the performance.

      On the YD, I think globally many are unhappy with the M7 of the Dragons, so I feel you like that.

      On the BSB, this was what I was most interested in. I've used the Canreig BSB in a lot of games, and began stripping him of his defensive magic items in order to put him into the backlines (fear of losing him). Overall I really like the model, front lines or back, but feel that I get more out of him in the backlines. In your list especially, where your opponent only has to prioritize two spells, it limits what you can do with him. Reading your reports, I was surprised that you got off as much magic as you did! I think 4 spells is pretty much the minimum for having a decent phase, and 5 is probably the sweet spot for cost effectiveness. Just my opinion, I play often with 4 spells, 5 if I have points to get a bound spell in.

      10 Lancers. This was another unit I was interested in, as I still am unsold on running them as a bigger unit without hero support. Your army was one I would imagine you could get more out of due to the flying threats, so I am bummed you confirmed some of my thoughts.

      Frost Phoenix. Very happy to hear you liked him. Yes, you didn't play dual cannons so that might change things, but overall in the right list, the model looks solid.

      On your thinking about a Ryma Laner bus. I've used this setup in a lot of my matchups, and it gets a lot of mileage out of the core cavalry. I've used a unit of 11 with only a solo BSB Ryma Banner, and also an accompanying Prince OR Noble. It hits hard, isn't too expensive, and puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. I didn't use any phoenixes with the bus (I call it a mini bus, since bus used to mean 15 SH), but can imagine that would be a great combo.

      About the HBE sub forum. It would help if we had more voices that speak to positive experiences, or ways they've adapted their strategies with the current book rather than pining for "the old days". The kind of battle reports you're doing, and the feedback for the units, is incredibly helpful.

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    • Nice work, as always, Aaron.

      I agree with your summaries, they match my own experience with HBE. After our last Culver City Local, I've switched back to my Orcs and Goblins for the upcoming West Coast GT. The combination of T3, heavy armor, and not enough first strike killing power means that against a lot of builds I just can't get the Elves enough points to consistently win. Thus, I take chances I shouldn't take, like charging into Deathstars, and lose games. I await the next set of changes to see if things improve.

      Of course, with your skill you can make it work, and I applaud you for that, and as you know, hate you just a little bit. ;)

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