HBE vs. the chaos ogre list that they can never beat, ever (according to the internet)

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    • HBE vs. the chaos ogre list that they can never beat, ever (according to the internet)

      It came up in this thread in the HBE forum (We can't beat any decent monstrous infantry) that many HBE players (and some WDG players) felt that the HBE army had no chance whatsoever of beating a chaos ogre army. Specifically, an army consisting of a maxed out unit of pestilence tribesmen and two maxed out units of change bombardiers.

      So, rather than just assume that it is stereotypical elf whining, and rather than stating flippantly that there is no competitive ogre list that would ever use the hellfist, I decided to actually try out the list in combat, and see what happens. Honestly, after putting the list together, I was not feeling too good about my chances.

      Here is the nightmare list made flesh:

      Great Khan: Hellfist, Yeti Furs, Potion of Strength, obsidian nullstone, mark of pestilence: 335
      Khan: Khagadai’s Maul, Trolleater, BSB, mark of pestilence: 230
      Shaman: level 2 disease, mark of pestilence, great weapon, dispel scroll, Rottenjaw: 216
      Tribesmen (12 models): heavy armor, iron fists, full command, Skull of Qenghet, mark of pestilence: 538
      Tribesmen (3 models): mark of wrath: 93
      Bombardiers (8 models): full command, mark of change: 374
      Bombardiers (8 models): full command, mark of change: 374
      Kin Eater: mark of change: 93
      Kin Eater: mark of change: 93
      Thunder Cannon: mark of change: 154

      For those counting, that is 7 drops total. This list is a complete gunline with 3 redirectors and one big tarpit.

      I played against the following list (to the best of my knowledge/memory)

      Level 2 mage with white magic and the dispel magic honor (and a scroll)
      Lord on an ancient dragon with the charmed shield and the one-time-use 4+ ward save
      Some form of hero on a lion chariot with a great weapon
      BSB with a 2+4++ (located in the flame wardens). I think he had the armor piercing banner (or someone in the unit did)
      38 or so spearelves with heavy armor and shields
      23 or so flame wardens
      5 light cav
      5 heavy cav
      frost phoenix
      Eagle

      For magic I had Cleansing Infestation and Leprotic Curse. My opponent had Luminous Bolts and Guiding Hand (and Dispel Magic, of course)

      We lined up our models for the fight that was guaranteed to be a victory for the ogres.



      So, from left to right on the bottom, we had 8 bombardiers (with proxies. Who owns 16 bombardiers?), a kin eater, the tribesmen block with all of the characters, another kin eater, more bombardiers, my cannon, and the 3 wrath tribesmen.

      Facing off against me (and well out of range or behind a hill for some reason) we had the following: fast cav, spearelves, flame wardens, frost phoenix, mage on his own, dragon, chariot, heavy cav.



      No, I didn't just upload the same picture twice. For the first turn, I moved forward a bit to apply pressure, but he was deployed out of range for everything. I shot the cannon at the spearelves, but missed. For his turn, he just backed up (major mistake for an army without shooting).



      My turn comes, and I do more of the same. I figured that charging the heavy cav with my wrath tribemen was going to be a long shot (I needed an 11 to make it), so I just moved forward again, and once again denied him space. On this turn, my opponent wised up and started rushing forward. His heavy cav charged the wrath tribesmen. He killed one of mine, I killed one of his, and I run. He does not pursue, as he does not want to take DT tests.

      For the most part, magic was useless. Neither of us really had the spells to do anything. We both had a buff and a missile. Just pick the one that will be relevant and dispel it.



      During my turn, I can start using my outrageous amount of shooting. I use the left group of bombardiers to wipe out the unit of fast cav. The right unit fires at the dragon, stripping it of the charmed shield and causing 2 wounds. The cannon opens up, actually manages to hit the dragon, and the divine attacks causes him to fail the ward save. Minimum damage dealt, of course, but the dragon is down to 2 wounds. My wrath tribesmen rally and turn to face the rest of my army, looking for a counter charge.

      On his turn, he charges his dragon and his heavy cav at my cannon. The dragon wipes it out with ease. The heavy cav overrun into the side of the bombardiers (but can't maximize due to the dragon's base being in the way. Only 2 manage to get into contact) and the dragon rushes ahead so that he can move around for a potential flank charge later (that and he doesn't want to be anywhere near the business end of those bombardiers. He moves his spearelves and flame wardens up, and moves his eagle in between the bombardiers and the flame wardens (not really sure on why. The tribesmen would have been better to chaff.)



      Let the grand melee begin!

      I charge the rear of the heavy cav with my wrath tribesmen (do well, too. Take off two and force them to run), charge the eagle with my kin eater (it runs) and redirect into the flame wardens. The tribesmen pit runs up to join it. The other kin eater moves up to redirect the spearelves, and the bombardiers lay waste to them, knocking down 8 in one volley. The bombardiers and the wrath tribemen beat away the heavy cav, and the wrath tribesmen take chase. The kin eater and the pestilence tribesmen start on the long slog. I kill a few of them, he kills maybe one or two of mine, and it comes out to be a push, more or less.



      At this point, we noticed that the dragon was on the wrong sized base and switched it out for something a little more appropriate. The spearelves charge the redirecting kin eater (and only do 2 wounds to it. With everything said and done, he beat me by 3. Oh darn, I'm unbreakable). They end up reforming to face the sure to be oncoming bombardiers. The dragon spins around and gets ready for a charge. The chariot charges directly at the kin eater (expecting to kill it and overrun into the bombardiers) and the frost phoenix comes in to reduce strength all around. The heavy cav rallies and turns to face the wrath tribesmen.

      As it turns out, kin eaters are REALLY durable, especially when they have the +1 toughness attribute on them. I only took 4 wounds from the charge, and stuck around. That kinda ruined those plans involving the bombardiers, didn't it.



      Last picture I took. The bombardiers charged in, and while they have taken a few losses, they are still beating the spearelves. The Great Khan and the Khan moved over to take on the phoenix. The wrath tribesmen wipe out the remaining heavy cav, and the bombardiers open up all barrels on the dragon, ripping it from the mortal coil. The kin eater manages to live for another turn or two, so he was definitely worth it (especially with divine attacks).

      Over the next few rounds of combat, I kill the BSB, I cause the spearelves to break and chase them down, I shoot 3 wounds off of the chariot, I kill the flame wardens to the man, and I make the bird run off. The chariot charges the tribesmen and gets wiped out by the Great Khan, and the left bombardiers shoot down the wizard. At this point, all that is left is the frost phoenix (and even he is not long for this world), and we call it there.



      End result: utter, crushing victory for the chaos ogres.


      Now, before you start taking this game as utter proof that HBE can't possibly win against chaos ogres, I want to make several points:

      - My magic was VERY weak this game. I spent around 230 or so points to get marks on all of my units. Those that play ogres will note that this is the cost of a decent level 2 caster and a sabretooth tiger. Only having two spells really made the magic phase pretty useless to me. If my opponent had a little more magic power (a level 4, maybe?) or different spells, this would have been a VERY different game. As it stands, he had the two worst spells in the lore for what he wanted to do. The ability to heal and give +1 strength or the ability to have a 3+ ward save on the flame wardens would have made that combat slog turn in his favor very quickly. As it stood, it was pretty even, with the combats being tied or barely in my favor for the majority of the combat.

      - Half of my army is a glorified tarpit. Between the characters and the tribesmen, along with all the marks and gear, that one unit cost about 1200 points. The pestilence tribesmen have a big weakness: they are still just tribesmen. While S4 is pretty good, if my opponent had an armor save that was worth anything I would have been completely helpless. My opponent played his list like he would against any ogre player: get the flame wardens into the character bunker, and they will rip it apart in no time. As it turns out, there is a HUGE difference between hitting ogres on a 2+ and hitting ogres on a 4+, and as a result, he end up putting his flame wardens into the toughest unit I had. If he had worked to get them into anything else, such as the bombardiers, then it would have been in his favor, divine attacks or not. The tribesmen were great, but their strength revolved around living forever. If he had gotten anything into the flank, the game was over.

      - My opponent had no shooting and did not react to my shooting appropriately. My opponent spent a turn backing up, which gained him absolutely nothing. I deployed everything first in order to get the first turn. He should have taken that opportunity to deploy on both sides of the table, or at least to try to focus on one side. Deploy the dragon on the opposite side of the table from the cannon, move the spear elves and the flame wardens (and the chariot, and the heavy cav) to combo charge the bombardiers. I can only stand and shoot against one of them, and once I am in combat those units lose a lot of their power. Once the bombardiers are taken out, the rest of the army crumples.

      - The dragon was a big point sink. My opponent and I aren't fully sold on the dragon. Too easy to kill for how many points it cost. It would have been a nightmare for many of my other lists, but it has a hard time against massed shooting. We think that if he replaced the dragon with more magic and some shooting, the list would be in a better place, especially for dealing with gunlines.

      - My opponent made two major misplays: He sought out combat with the pestilence block without any flank support and he overran with his dragon. If he had tried to put the flame wardens into one of the bombardier units, he would have been able to wipe them out easily. Instead, he gave me a front to front combat between his toughest unit and mine. Also, if he had just pivoted the dragon toward the pestilence tribesmen after killing the cannon, he would have been protected from shooting due to the heavy cav and could have gotten the dragon into the flank of the tribesmen on his next turn. Once something that nasty is in the flank, the tribesmen are screwed.



      My overall thoughts on the nightmare list that HBE can't possibly beat are these: it isn't unbeatable. It can be hard as hell, sure, but not unbeatable. I have to sacrifice a lot of useful tools, such as sabretooth tigers and a decent weapon on my Great Khan, in order to have marks. And don't get me wrong, the marks are way more useful than I originally gave them credit for. With the right list, they are a great addition to the army, but they are definitely not worth it for every list. It is really hard to fit in a lot of my favorite units. You are just too strapped for points. You end up with a few very powerful units, but you are paying for them in both opportunities and the amount you can field.

      You will note that I referred to my kin eaters and the wrath tribesmen as redirectors, and not as chaff. That was intentional. These 3 units are WAY too durable to be considered merely chaff. They are great support units. That said, would I rather have them or sabretooth tigers? I think I'd rather have the tigers, honestly. 120 points for 3 of them vs 180 points for two kin eaters is a very different point investment.

      Even though it wound up being a crushing victory for me, a lot of that is due more to misplays and bad dice than it was due to my list being ridiculously OP. I really feel that with a slightly different set of tactics and maybe a slightly changed list that this would have been easily beatable by HBE.
    • While I appreciate that mistakes were made and in general I completely understand your point about engaging your toughest unit, but honestly what could the HBE player really have done? The army is small and while he perhaps could have sacrificed a few small units tying it up eventually you would get that unit in combat and the game would have ended on 5 or 6 instead of early. He threw his best unit at you and even counter charged with a chariot for support and in turn was effectively was killed to a man. This is exactly why I stopped using Phoenix Guard, sure in theory a 4+ ward sounds great but they are still a 50/50 on t3 death and they simply do not have enough output and are not a good anvil in my experience.

      In any case keep up the efforts, I would love to see and read more,

      Thanks for posting.
    • Great report, interesting game, thanks for posting it. I think the idea of holy attacks on a cannon is kind of broken given the power level of 9th. Tbh I'm not even sure of the rationale behind giving ogres a mechanism to take marks (still far too good for their points btw). The Ancient Dragon is atrocious now imo not sure why RT has such a vendetta against it it's kind of ridiculous. It's too slow, way too expensive, and with ordnance rules far too easy to kill. Also I think most HE players would join me in saying there's no way in hell they're rebasing their centrepiece monster, especially on such a ridiculously huge base (movement tray really).

      Did you consider taking the daemon heart? Looking through the ogres list it seems a massive autoinclude given how brutal miscasts are now; for 25pts you basically shut down an enemy magic phase and/or cause some serious pain, and very cheap!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ielthan ().

    • My basic strategy for fighting this army is clear: keep the big block out of the game (chaff the sh*t out of it), eat all the rest.

      Plus go hard for secondary objective because with so few units, you can always out-score it.

      It certainly doesn't help for the HE army in the report to be so weak in shooting, magic AND chaff, but it could still be done when you formulate a proper strategy and stick to it.

      As to the daemon heart, I've faced it before and managed by just throwing small spells for that turn. Even got a miscast despite that, but with only 2 PD used, nothing serious happened. Miscasts are actually a lot less painful in T9A than under 8th, unless you feel the need to constantly 5-dice everything. But then again, you really are asking for it...
      WDG player - "Please, not in the face..."

      GRILLZONE - mein Hobby Blag
    • The problem of an HbE player is that is the only army wothout monstrous infantry or cavalry. (Blame on GW design, i hope that in future we can change the situation)

      They have a great shooting and monsters for deal with monstrous units in other army books.
      RT decided to nerf these two things in the very last draft and giving in change nothing really strong vs similar units.

      So an HbE maximizing shooting, redirectors and magic can win a game vs this list (i'm sure that unbeatable things never existed in gw times, and now we have better rules and ab, despite any problem), but he hasnt a great well balanced army.

      So the problem for HE is making an army capable of deal with this ok list, as the lists of all other books.

      I see HE rigid in composition, so they can works well in a team game and less well in a single competition.

      On the dragon: HE opponents usually see only his "7" in stat line.
      Any HE player knows well that is really easy to loose, and a dragon based army has great chances loosing the game when the dragon dies...
    • Great report, but I'm not sure of what you think about elven magic.
      If you go for more points in it and strong approach, several castings, or one big casting, you expose yourself to nasty miscasts, so you have to play with this in your mind and fit the mage in the right place, hope you have a lucky casting performance.

      This only to say that more points in magic aren't automatically better points, it's just different approach and has its own risks and rewards, for a T3 low AS army.

      Like a said before, Shieldwolf miniatures (supporting Ninth age) makes some beautiful RastaLion Steeds, they would be perfect for an hbe Monstrous Cavalry.
      Try please to design it for next iteration of the book
      "Le donne, i cavallier, l'arme, gli amori,
      le cortesie, l'audaci imprese io canto"

      Ludovico Ariosto
    • First thanks @lawgnome for taking the time to do a battle report on something around play testing....

      I think you've made some very good points. Mainly around dragon and fliers from HBE as a whole. A canon with divine attacks is a little wrong hahah.

      I think the list you took was great, but by no means a auto win vs HBE. There is way worse I think, like 8 Mercs with posion guns and BS5 with 2x7 Bombers with fire mage in each.....

      I hope we see more like this, to help understand around fliers, troop survival vs S4 shooting. The monster mash/flier nurf has made HBE very over costed. But I'm sure most of us will start using more Heavy Cav with Chariots so would be nice to see a battle rep vs something like that.

      Again thanks for the report. Great!!!
    • Thanks for the comments everyone! I'll try to answer all the questions as best I can.

      msu117 wrote:

      While I appreciate that mistakes were made and in general I completely understand your point about engaging your toughest unit, but honestly what could the HBE player really have done? The army is small and while he perhaps could have sacrificed a few small units tying it up eventually you would get that unit in combat and the game would have ended on 5 or 6 instead of early. He threw his best unit at you and even counter charged with a chariot for support and in turn was effectively was killed to a man. This is exactly why I stopped using Phoenix Guard, sure in theory a 4+ ward sounds great but they are still a 50/50 on t3 death and they simply do not have enough output and are not a good anvil in my experience.
      The big thing that he could have done would be to chaff up the tribesmen and get into the bombardiers. They are the weak point in the army, as they really aren't that great in close combat. Also, he charged everything into the front of the pest star. With how long that combat was going, it should have been possible to get the bird or the chariot into the flank. It may not have been easy, but anything getting into the flank will be the death knell of the pest star.


      Noldor wrote:

      Do you play on UB? I would love to challenge your list of doom against my actual list and got shooted down for some more elve tears...:D If you want, you can make your list harder, get rid of those fluffy marks for some shortbow and redirector action. :) Or first try this community list of doom.
      I don't play on UB yet. How long does a game usually take? How hard is it to learn to use?

      If I do get on and find the time to do so, I'll definitely let you know :)



      jimmygrill wrote:

      Great report :thumbup:

      I'd love to take on an Ogre army like this with my HBE tournament list, and expect to do quite well though, as I have beaten similar Ogre builds already.
      Thanks!

      What is your tournament list? I'm really curious to see what other elf players bring to beat lists like this. Helps make my own play better ^^



      Ielthan wrote:

      Great report, interesting game, thanks for posting it. I think the idea of holy attacks on a cannon is kind of broken given the power level of 9th. Tbh I'm not even sure of the rationale behind giving ogres a mechanism to take marks (still far too good for their points btw). The Ancient Dragon is atrocious now imo not sure why RT has such a vendetta against it it's kind of ridiculous. It's too slow, way too expensive, and with ordnance rules far too easy to kill. Also I think most HE players would join me in saying there's no way in hell they're rebasing their centrepiece monster, especially on such a ridiculously huge base (movement tray really).

      Did you consider taking the daemon heart? Looking through the ogres list it seems a massive autoinclude given how brutal miscasts are now; for 25pts you basically shut down an enemy magic phase and/or cause some serious pain, and very cheap!
      Regarding the divine attacks on a cannon: it is a single shot on a relatively inaccurate cannon. First turn will be long range, so I only have a 1/3 chance of actually hitting anything. Further, getting divine attacks involves a lot of hoops. I don't think it is that broken, and it certainly is not something you are going to have to worry about seeing very often (though who knows? People might be emboldened by my success and you will see nothing but chaos ogres in the future. Maybe this was the battle that broke the dam regarding these things. If so, I imagine that the cost for putting marks on chariots will get an emergency balance change).

      Regarding ogres taking marks: It is fluffy, and it gives them a brand new playstyle. The marks are definitely good, no arguments, but like I said in the report, you lose access to a lot in order to bring them.

      The dragon isn't bad, honestly. It just is weak against massed shooting. So are most monsters. It just needed to be deployed better, in my opinion. I set down all of my stuff first. If the dragon was placed on the other end of the field from the cannon, it could have flown (relatively) unmolested up the side, drawing all of the fire from the bombardiers, which would allow my opponent to get one of his other tough units into those bombardiers.

      Regarding the daemon heart: I didn't have the points. I would have loved to take it, but the dispel scroll is more important, and I couldn't afford a second wizard. Even then, I'm not sure it would be too good. 2 or 3 dice miscasts are not very strong, especially since the wizard was hanging out on his own rather than in a unit.


      ceridan81 wrote:

      The problem of an HbE player is that is the only army wothout monstrous infantry or cavalry. (Blame on GW design, i hope that in future we can change the situation)

      They have a great shooting and monsters for deal with monstrous units in other army books.
      RT decided to nerf these two things in the very last draft and giving in change nothing really strong vs similar units.

      So an HbE maximizing shooting, redirectors and magic can win a game vs this list (i'm sure that unbeatable things never existed in gw times, and now we have better rules and ab, despite any problem), but he hasnt a great well balanced army.

      So the problem for HE is making an army capable of deal with this ok list, as the lists of all other books.

      I see HE rigid in composition, so they can works well in a team game and less well in a single competition.

      On the dragon: HE opponents usually see only his "7" in stat line.
      Any HE player knows well that is really easy to loose, and a dragon based army has great chances loosing the game when the dragon dies...
      I'm not saying maximized magic and shooting is necessary. What I am saying is that the list I played against was very weak in those two areas. HBE have a lot of advantages, but those advantages were not fully used. I think that a few small changes in strategy, without really even needing to touch list composition much, would have made this a much closer game. If my opponent had rolled better spells, if he had focused on the bombardiers, and if he had moved the dragon better, it would have been a completely different game. If the list made use of shooting and magic more, along with different strategies, it also could have made a big difference. Hopefully we will see more games like this soon so that we can figure out the best way to handle something like this.

      I agree on the dragon. For something with 7 wounds, you still need to treat the thing like a Faberge egg covered in teeth.


      Ganon wrote:

      Great report, but I'm not sure of what you think about elven magic.
      If you go for more points in it and strong approach, several castings, or one big casting, you expose yourself to nasty miscasts, so you have to play with this in your mind and fit the mage in the right place, hope you have a lucky casting performance.
      I'm not even saying elven magic is the big difference. I'm saying that magic options would have made all the difference.

      In this game we each had one magic missile and one buff. In the first few turns of the game, I could throw all of my dice at dispelling the missile. For the rest of the game, my wizard was in combat. I had exactly one spell that I could use, and my opponent could throw all of his dice at that. Most of the time we had casting dice left over. If my opponent had more than one spell that was useful each turn, the game would have been completely changed.

      Imagine that instead of one buff he had two or three. Each of the white magic buffs doesn't take more than 3 dice to cast (which means that miscasts really aren't that bad). He could easily have gotten at least one buff a turn if he had the option. Those combats were VERY close. At least two of them were tied. One buff either way would have made all the difference. As it was, though, he never once was able to get his Flame Wardens buffed.


      lostminstrel wrote:

      Nice BatRep, and I hope you two rematch. I expect your opponent won't make the same mistakes having faced the "Chaos-Marked Deathstar Ogre List" and learned from the experience. ;)

      I hope so, too. It was a fun game, and I would love to see HBE crush this list. Maybe next week I can try the list again, unless I finally get all of these infernal dwarves built by then :P


      X-C-Y wrote:

      First thanks @lawgnome for taking the time to do a battle report on something around play testing....

      I think you've made some very good points. Mainly around dragon and fliers from HBE as a whole. A canon with divine attacks is a little wrong hahah.

      I think the list you took was great, but by no means a auto win vs HBE. There is way worse I think, like 8 Mercs with posion guns and BS5 with 2x7 Bombers with fire mage in each.....

      I hope we see more like this, to help understand around fliers, troop survival vs S4 shooting. The monster mash/flier nurf has made HBE very over costed. But I'm sure most of us will start using more Heavy Cav with Chariots so would be nice to see a battle rep vs something like that.

      Again thanks for the report. Great!!!
      No problem. Glad you liked it :thumbsup:
    • I'll have to try a game with this too, I own both armies. I've never much liked the dragons, though maybe the young dragon with a fighty lord or a Lvl 3 mage, and a mage with Heavens. I've never tried Heavens before, but after playing a game with a Frost Mammoth, I very much liked Blizzard. I may try that path and see if that further reduction in shooting will help. Plus the other useful spells in the path as well. My friends and I have noted that running one Lvl 2 mage is just not worth it, no meaningful magic will ever get off with that.
    • jimmygrill wrote:

      Great report :thumbup:

      I'd love to take on an Ogre army like this with my HBE tournament list, and expect to do quite well though, as I have beaten similar Ogre builds already.
      Thanks!
      What is your tournament list? I'm really curious to see what other elf players bring to beat lists like this. Helps make my own play better ^^

      Something like this, with small variations:

      Canreig Prince
      Queen's Companion BSB
      Lvl 1 Caddy

      25 Spears, FC
      15 Archers, FC
      5 Reavers, bows
      5 Lancers, SM

      10 Lions, skirmish, S
      13 Swordmasters, SM
      2 Lion chariots

      2 Eagles
      5 Grey Watchers, longbows
      2 Bolt Throwers
      Frost Phoenix

      Certainly more of a MSU approach, I try to include many different elements to be able to play all phases of the game and to have tools against anything the opponent can bring. Swiss army knife stuff.
      I find it difficult to play but very rewading.
      WDG player - "Please, not in the face..."

      GRILLZONE - mein Hobby Blag