Final Review of the Ring of the Pearl Throne

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

  • Final Review of the Ring of the Pearl Throne

    @Masamune88, @Calcathin, @PapaG, @Vespacian, @Aegon, @ArchangelusM, @Giladis, @AlexCat, @ferny, @Emgies, @Adam, @cptcosmic, @Borjnfer Wraith, @Noldor, @Balgoth, @Squirrelloid, @Riismanden, @Archeron, @'Apex jonas', @Fnarrr, @matrim, @20phoenix, @pk-ng, @Peacemaker

    So as you all know, I've been undergoing a series of "Trials" to go through a variety of entries in the HbE list that are unanimously regarded as "bad", "wrong", and/or possibly "terrible" (which should be named barongible as a new word to express people's negative feelings on things). The first one that I selected was the Ring of the Pearl Throne.

    The build that I initially selected was:
    - Prince, Cavalier, Horse/Dragonforged armor, Basalt Infusion, Hero's Heart Paired Weapons, and Ring of the Pearl Throne.

    This was due to a misunderstanding on how the Hero's Heart interacted with magic. Once that was clarified, I switched to the following build:
    - Prince; Cavalier, Horse/Dragonforged Armor, Basalt Infusion, Blessed Inscriptions Great Weapon, Ring of the Pearl Throne.


    This build faced off against various army books and character types, including KoE dukes, Warriors/Sorcerers, and Beast Lords (unfortunately, playtesting duties kind of stopped me from delving too deeply).

    There was always a single overarching theme to the Elf Bro's performance: He lacks the ability to one-shot (even w/ Ring), and can't survive a backswing of ANY kind.

    So to analyze the build (and I can't think of one that would honestly perform better . . . except MAYBE a Shield Breaker dude?):
    1) on the charge, you are OS7, S6 AP3/Divine w/ 5 attacks. What I found was that any time I faced DS7 or greater (elite armies/models), I struggled badly. This is because the average of those 5 attacks is 2-3 hits. Even going on the high end (3 hits on average), you then are likely to get 3 wounds (as even on 3's, you have like 89% chance to get each wound thanks to the re-roll). Since most enemies pack a 2+ once you negate their armor, that means it would go to 5+ before magic is calculated in (in most cases). So you'd end up losing 1 of the 3 wounds and failing to kill the enemy. . . and then are stuck at 2+/6++/Fireborn for defense. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. It was NEVER enough when I played the poor guy.

    This matched my experience for the Ring Prince. He NEVER actually killed his target. . . and often would die to their backswing. Even if you neutered the magic part of their weapon, the mundane part was often enough to kill you (e.g. Chosen Lord w/ Halberd still hits/wounds enough to kill your guy on average dice after surviving). So we have a "Character slayer" that can't actually kill his targets in one go, and is unable to survive their backswing.

    Against DS6 or lower targets, his chances of a kill get better. But that still means that against "elite" armies (DH, ID, the 3 elves, Warriors, Vampires), you are stuck with a character that can't kill his targets and can't survive their backswing. If the goal of 9th Age is to have every entry be viable, then having an entry that can't compete against nearly 1/2 of the armies in the game is . . . less than stellar. Additionally, if a DS6 unit has more than 3W (e.g. Ogres, Dynasties), then his chances of a kill in one go again drop significantly (as scoring the 4 wounds is . . . difficult, to say the least, compared to 3).

    Oddly enough, the ONE TIME that he ended up being REALLY useful was when I took a charge from a KotR unit w/ the Banner of the Last charge, and ended up in base contact w/ his standard bearer to cancel out the Impact hits! However, on the flip side you have games like my game against Warriors where the only character was a Disc Sorcerer w/ Binding Scroll, Lord of the damned, and Call of Destiny (which was already negated by Blessed Inscriptions Great Weapon). In that game there was literally NO RELEVANT TARGET for the Ring of the Pearl Throne that I could reach.

    While there could be other experimentations to see how well things worked (e.g. the aforementioned Shield Breaker). . . . I just don't see the Ring of the Pearl Throne as having a viable carrier in the army. Trying to build to make it work has gone from interesting to frustrating! You either sacrifice your defense (in which case you still struggle to kill things AND can't survive when you are swung at), or sacrifice your offense (leading to being completely unable to kill things despite survivability being acceptable). While you could, in theory, have a 2nd character just to carry the ring around, this means it would NEVER see competitive play. Taking an entire 2nd character (even skimping on all the bells and whistles and just making a 2+ knight), means you are paying AT LEAST 315 points to make an item work. There's NO WAY anyone would take that level of handicap on themselves just to get the benefit of the ring AND have a fighter on hand (especially because that carrier elf would die VERY quickly once combat was reached. . . ).

    In short (Pay attention, because here's the gist of it),
    The ring of the Pearl Throne is a very powerful item that will never be competitive in the Highborn Elf Army because the basic chassis on which it is mounted is too bad. Our upgrades do not provide significant damage boosts outside of magic items, meaning that sacrificing 100 points for a utility item that MAY or MAY NOT be useful in a given game is simply Not Viable at 100 points.

    So what could be done to FIX the Ring of the Pearl Throne? Note that these are options for the full re-write (Sadly) at this point:
    1) Change it into a Banner option (2nd best option IMO). Mikinok's Totem actually got selected for ETC FIVE times. Lord knows there are quite a few items that a HbE unit would LOVE to be able to cancel out prior to combat (Flaming Banner for Healing Waters and Impact Hits banner from KoE along with Breath Weapons are some that come to mind!). Even just making it "Banner, cancel out banner of target enemy unit in base contact" would make it HUGELY Improved in terms of viability.
    2) Have it cancel only ONE type of Special Equipment (though since Weapons and Armor are already taken. . . Artifacts is simply Not Worth It IMO). Personally I think this would be the absolute worst possible choice, and would STILL lead to a non-viable banner.
    3) Just eliminate it and create something new, unique, and flavorful (this is my preferred opinion).
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • Great write up @Aenarion43, it does look like the design is stymied by the process and has been priced for the absolute (which is always going to happen regardless of want or need due to the inherent way that pricing is done in 9th). Bit of feedback on the options you have presented;


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    So what could be done to FIX the Ring of the Pearl Throne? Note that these are options for the full re-write (Sadly) at this point:
    1) Change it into a Banner option (2nd best option IMO). Mikinok's Totem actually got selected for ETC FIVE times. Lord knows there are quite a few items that a HbE unit would LOVE to be able to cancel out prior to combat (Flaming Banner for Healing Waters and Impact Hits banner from KoE along with Breath Weapons are some that come to mind!). Even just making it "Banner, cancel out banner of target enemy unit in base contact" would make it HUGELY Improved in terms of viability.
    Unfortunately changing to a banner will be seen as copying another army and will be frowned upon by the wider community so best to avoid this if possible. Cancelling out banners specifically may work, interesting concept and in line with the countering/ counter punch idea that RT likes for us. being hyper specific also mitigates cost as BLT has less room to say "well it is just so flexible, it needs to be super expensive to justify the affect" or some such.

    2) Have it cancel only ONE type of Special Equipment (though since Weapons and Armor are already taken. . . Artifacts is simply Not Worth It IMO). Personally I think this would be the absolute worst possible choice, and would STILL lead to a non-viable banner.
    I would avoid this if at all possible, we tried it with the artifact cancelling, and it got priced to oblivion. Mainly due to placing it on an AD because the upper management is still holding onto how "pwoerful" the AD is. Priced for best application an all that.

    3) Just eliminate it and create something new, unique, and flavorful (this is my preferred opinion).
    This could work, however BGT wants all elven factions to have a ring item incorporated into the book, as such we would need to look at eliminating another of the items to design something in a different slot.


    A totally different effect for the same style of item, yes, they will be ok with that, but to chance it from a ring will be seen as a no go.

    Layout Team

    HBE Army Community Support

  • I noticed you said that the Prince doesn't kill its target and it can't survive the backswing.
    Sounds like Parry to replace martial discipline is a good start to upping the defense for HBE characters.

    The damage part.... Well that is tricky because if we up the damage on HBE too much, then that is Dread Elf territory.

    From your assessment I think option 3 is the way to go. Not just with this 1 item but with all the items.
    Full army book redo should change a number of units and the core feel/playstyle of the army. Until this is done, it is difficult to design items since they are meant to augment the playstyles.
  • @Aenarion43 great summary.
    It all boils down to basic elven chassis. Without magical items it's worse than a chosen warrior (or whatever they're called now)

    @Masamune88 so we shall design the one ring to bind them all, one ring to rule them all.

    Simply a very fluffy option; you get to control the enemy charecter that has a magical ring when wearing the "one ring" :thumbsup:

    On a serious note pearl ring could be a force multiplier of another artifact, +1 to whatever bonus the other artefact provides. The player declares before:
    1. After deployment, or
    2. At the beginning of each player round before declaring charges.
    @Peacemaker kudos to you for jumping on the opportunity to push your martial discipline idea. But No! :D
  • matrim wrote:

    @Masamune88 so we shall design the one ring to bind them all, one ring to rule them all.


    Simply a very fluffy option; you get to control the enemy charecter that has a magical ring when wearing the "one ring" :thumbsup:

    On a serious note pearl ring could be a force multiplier of another artifact, +1 to whatever bonus the other artefact provides. The player declares before:
    1. After deployment, or
    2. At the beginning of each player round before declaring charges.

    Actually developing this idea instead of negating an enemy items, I'm wondering if the Ring can supplement our current enhancements?

    "Ring of the Pearl Throne 100 pts
    Cannot be taken by Gigantic models.
    After step 4 of the Round of Combat Sequence (after Issue and Accept Duels), choose a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune on a model in base contact with the bearer. This piece of Special Equipment or the Dwarven Rune will supplement the current enhancements of the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne cannot be used for as long as its bearer remains in base contact with the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne. Only a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune can be affected at any time. In case the model has more than one instance of the chosen equipment, only one instance is affected.

    Obviously wordingly and a more indepth thought it needed.

    Peacemaker wrote:

    I noticed you said that the Prince doesn't kill its target and it can't survive the backswing.
    Sounds like Parry to replace martial discipline is a good start to upping the defense for HBE characters.

    The damage part.... Well that is tricky because if we up the damage on HBE too much, then that is Dread Elf territory.

    From your assessment I think option 3 is the way to go. Not just with this 1 item but with all the items.
    Full army book redo should change a number of units and the core feel/playstyle of the army. Until this is done, it is difficult to design items since they are meant to augment the playstyles.
    Statistically it doesn't add match value as DS isn't the issue (since Elves already have high DS) it's T, Special Saves or Armour,
    :HE: Beware of the panda....with big guns
  • I too have the Queens Cavalier Prince, but on foot. It carries the Ring of the Pearl Throne, and a Spear with the Sliver of the Blazing Dawn. Dragonforged Armour and a shield as well as a Longbow rounds out his panaply.
    With the posibility of 10 hits in many matchups I hope this build can hunt characters as well as do massive damage to any unit I throw him at. He still causes fear on the charge and can support any foot unit we have. At the very least most other players will try to avoid him and just allow him to zone out an area.
    I confess I have yet to field him, but my hopes are high in an upcoming tournament.

    The rest of my army consistsd of a MotCT Commander with DFA+Ghostly Guard, Shield+Star Metal Alloy and GW.
    Queens Champion BSB with DFA,Banner of Discipline, Potion of Swiftness, Longbow, Miazma, PW+Heroes Heart to run with my 6 GW (PW and Champ).
    Core
    2x25 C.S. Champs and Standards
    2x10 C.A.

    Naval Ordanance
    2x SGR

    Special
    30 SM Navagators Banner and Champ
    18 LG Rending Banner and Champ

    This is an all foot-slogger Army, with, I hope, just enough missile fire to force some early melee. My small archer units double as last minute chaff when needed.

    I think the Ring is gawd afull expensive for what it does, in rare occasions, but if it helps kill a runed up dwarf King then it will be worth it.
    Failure is not an option.
  • pk-ng wrote:

    "Ring of the Pearl Throne 100 pts
    Cannot be taken by Gigantic models.
    After step 4 of the Round of Combat Sequence (after Issue and Accept Duels), choose a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune on a model in base contact with the bearer. This piece of Special Equipment or the Dwarven Rune will supplement the current enhancements of the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne INSTEAD OF THE BEARER CARRYING the Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune as long as its bearer remains in base contact with the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne. Only a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune can be affected at any time. In case the model has more than one instance of the chosen equipment, only one instance is affected.
    add this clause (in RED) and I will insta buy it :)
  • cptcosmic wrote:

    pk-ng wrote:

    "Ring of the Pearl Throne 100 pts
    Cannot be taken by Gigantic models.
    After step 4 of the Round of Combat Sequence (after Issue and Accept Duels), choose a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune on a model in base contact with the bearer. This piece of Special Equipment or the Dwarven Rune will supplement the current enhancements of the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne INSTEAD OF THE BEARER CARRYING the Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune as long as its bearer remains in base contact with the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne. Only a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune can be affected at any time. In case the model has more than one instance of the chosen equipment, only one instance is affected.
    add this clause (in RED) and I will insta buy it :)
    So would I but it would be too strong.
    Hence the original bearer gets the benefit as well.
    :HE: Beware of the panda....with big guns
  • isn't that essentially 'protection pinching' worded differently @cptcosmic ? We'd be pinching whatever instead of just protection. :P

    We had a spell in 8th ed that removed a random magical item from opponent, may be that if we must remove something.

    But I like the force multiplication idea more either from opponent or just an upgrade to our own items.

    Using opponent is just so annoying, rather 'trickstery' like a proper elfses. (Gollum would approve)
  • matrim wrote:

    @Peacemaker kudos to you for jumping on the opportunity to push your martial discipline idea. But No!
    I'm gonna keep pushing it until I hear something better than simply minimized roll to regroup.

    pk-ng wrote:

    Statistically it doesn't add match value as DS isn't the issue (since Elves already have high DS) it's T, Special Saves or Armour,
    Statistically it adds lots of potential synergies and combos. The whole point of adding parry is that it does very little so it isn't worth a drastic increase in points. It rewards players for using synergies in the army and orchestrating potential combos.
    Regarding T, Special Saves, Armour, I posted elsewhere that the best Strenght is probably going to be an amalgamation of Avoid hits, Special Saves, and Amrour because if one of these is pushed to be the a strength then HBE become to similar to other armies. ...and HBE are supposed to be combined arms :) what better way than to have an amalgamation of various strengths :)


    On topic, I do like the idea of the Pearl Ring shutting down an enemy item. It is defensive in nature so it fits well with HBE. Just have to have a good way to implement it.
  • So basically the HBE character lacks defense when using the ring of the pearl throne and so having the risk of dying when using it, but on the same moment it seems that it is taken as given, that the item is only worth it, when you autokill oponent charakters with it?
    Strange requirements. Perhaps try to take the position of the oponent.
    What would you say, if oponents have autokill options and hit before your charakters most of the time....would propably be broken as hell...no?
    So why should this be ok if the elfs have it?

    On such a charakter I would propably keep lower points on weapon enchantment, and go the best possible armor and aegis safe. It is in my opinion more important to stay alive when you don´t kill an oponent in one go, then to increase the chance to kill him in one turn.
  • ring bearer can still have decent armor and even a ward. Or some improvement on his weapon. Propably it makes sense that he can t have top defence amd offence and also negates an enchantment on opponent.

    Either it is a glass canon with some risk left. Or it is a tank. Seems to me it can sit on a horse and be rather fast and mobile. Not like mikinok totem in orc book in iron orc unit. With on foot character to benefit from it.
  • matrim wrote:

    @Borjnfer Wraith thats a brave list!

    Why QCompanion bsb tho? I'd go for FO (because you're using banner of discipline) or RH for high AS.

    Also rernding banner for AP4? are you purely playing against 1+AS???
    I'm sending my BSB with my Grey Watchers to do sniping at War Machines and beasties. And if need be into Melee to support other units. It is a small unit to infiltrate gaps in the enemy lines to get nto flanks and rear charge positions. Also the Commander can leave the unit to engage Mages and such with his Heroes Heart paired weps. All the while inflicting Miasma into the unit.
    The Rending Banner is for that one high AS unit they may have to deal with. It is one of those things that If I don't take it, I am doomed to regret it!
    Lions.jpg
    Failure is not an option.
  • pk-ng wrote:

    cptcosmic wrote:

    pk-ng wrote:

    "Ring of the Pearl Throne 100 pts
    Cannot be taken by Gigantic models.
    After step 4 of the Round of Combat Sequence (after Issue and Accept Duels), choose a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune on a model in base contact with the bearer. This piece of Special Equipment or the Dwarven Rune will supplement the current enhancements of the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne INSTEAD OF THE BEARER CARRYING the Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune as long as its bearer remains in base contact with the bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne. Only a single piece of Special Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune can be affected at any time. In case the model has more than one instance of the chosen equipment, only one instance is affected.
    add this clause (in RED) and I will insta buy it :)
    So would I but it would be too strong.Hence the original bearer gets the benefit as well.
    This effect seems to differ from the rule I have for the Ring. Did it change?

    Army Book
    2nd Edition, beta version 0.204.1
    May 19, 2018
    ...choose a single piece of Special
    Equipment or a single Dwarven Rune on a model
    in base contact with the bearer. This piece of Special
    Equipment or the Dwarven Rune cannot be used for
    as long as its bearer remains in base contact with the
    bearer of the Ring of the Pearl Throne...

    dark Angel.jpg
    Failure is not an option.
  • pk-ng wrote:

    Peacemaker wrote:

    I noticed you said that the Prince doesn't kill its target and it can't survive the backswing.
    Sounds like Parry to replace martial discipline is a good start to upping the defense for HBE characters.

    The damage part.... Well that is tricky because if we up the damage on HBE too much, then that is Dread Elf territory.

    From your assessment I think option 3 is the way to go. Not just with this 1 item but with all the items.
    Full army book redo should change a number of units and the core feel/playstyle of the army. Until this is done, it is difficult to design items since they are meant to augment the playstyles.
    Statistically it doesn't add match value as DS isn't the issue (since Elves already have high DS) it's T, Special Saves or Armour,
    Agreed! I think that HbE need to have a combination of negative modifiers to hit, special saves, and armor to start to get their Tank on. My personal preference would be to ratchet the "tankiness" up to like 8 or 9, and drop the offensive power significantly. Make HbE "grinding" elves. We dominate you and show you the futility of taking up the sword against us!

    berti wrote:

    ring bearer can still have decent armor and even a ward. Or some improvement on his weapon. Propably it makes sense that he can t have top defence amd offence and also negates an enchantment on opponent.

    Either it is a glass canon with some risk left. Or it is a tank. Seems to me it can sit on a horse and be rather fast and mobile. Not like mikinok totem in orc book in iron orc unit. With on foot character to benefit from it.
    @Aegon did some graphs that showed the effect that Res3 had on defenses. 2+/4++ ends up being much worse than expected compared to 1+/4++ at Res3. That "decent armor" as you call it is a 2+ save AT BEST. That is almost completely negated by anything w/ S5 and a Great weapon (you go to 6+ save).

    Your options for "Best Defenses" as you put it are:
    1) Death Cheater/Ring: 2+/4+ Regen. Eliminated by anyone w/ a mundane Great Weapon and Flaming Banner (not uncommon things to see in the game).
    2) Alchemist's Alloy, Diadem of Protection, and Ring of the Pearl Throne. This gives you 2+/4++ at the cost of going down to OS5 (meaning that your already pathetic offense (S6 AP3 A4 no magic weapon) becomes even worse because you can't hit well anymore.

    The 2nd one is better for survivability, but then what's the point??? You can get 2+/4++ and have Nova Lance (may actually kill opponents!), allowing you to eliminate the character carrying the potentially offensive item! Same thing for many other combinations (e.g. 2+/4++, Blessed Inscriptions, which even lets you take Potion of Speed or Lucky Charm!).

    As you said it yourself, "a glass cannon that kills without chance isn't fun for the other guy", no? So you pretty much eliminated "glass cannon" from the list of potential options. As to "tank". . . well. . . . there's nothing preventing R&F or enemy characters from swinging around you, so that falls apart too.

    I've tried him on a horse. EXTENSIVELY. It simply doesn't work very well. He lacks the punch to take out characters before they (almost guaranteed) kill him when they swing back. He also lacks the survivability to tank even rank and file properly. If you kit him out for survivability, then you struggle to hurt anything beyond rank and file (and there are WAY better builds to purge Rank and File).

    In short,
    1) Glass Cannon doesn't work because he does not have the damage output to kill characters AND lacks significant output vs. rank and file. You yourself said "glass cannons aren't fun for the other guy". So that'd be two strikes against it for you, no?
    2) "Tank" isn't really a thing it can do because the mechanics of the game allow enemies to swing around him very easily.

    As I said, the item is extremely powerful and priced appropriately for the effect. The book simply is one that cannot carry it and take advantage of the item because the basic elf is so much weaker.

    In a book like Warriors or Saurian Ancients, the item would be extremely good and likely see play competitively. But they also have a much better starting point for a fighter than Elves do (that's why Entropic Aura works REALLY well for a Chosen Lord!).

    PS. Mikinok's Totem is less mobile, but is also not limited to things in base w/ your elf lord. The "scare effect" for the Ring is 1 model. Whereas the "Scare effect" of the totem is a large unit. If your lord is in the wrong spot, you need to reform the unit to get him where he hits base contact when maximizing. This means that you may need to waste a turn reforming to get your character where it can touch base with the enemy before being able to charge in and fight (potentially fatal if on horse).
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • I think the ring needs to be redesigned. Keep the ring theme but the community, RT, ACS and BT need to scrap the current idea. It just doesn’t work.
    How about an affect that always works not just in a combat the dude carrying it can’t survive...?

    Hard target and distracting to bearer and unit? Or just to the bearer.

    Bound spell: cast ice and fire or our hereditary.

    5+ aegis and +1 HP for carrying the queens favor?

    So many ideas that can and would work and we are currently stuck with a badly designed item.

    Good write up sir. You pretty much confirm the community’s pains with this item.