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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Thursday Theme - 1000 Point Shadow Warrior List

This week’s list is my attempt at creating a surprise deployment list that works better than the one I used at this year’s Adepticon 1000 point tournament. When I say surprise deployment, I am referring to an army that does not deploy anything during the normal deployment phase.

Alith Anar (250 pts)

Mage w/ Lvl 2 (Lore of High Magic) and Moranion’s Wayshard (170 pts)

Archers (23) w/ musician and standard (250 pts)

Shadow Warriors (11) (154 pts)
Shadow Warriors (10) w/ Shadow-walker and Reaver Bow (175 pts)

Total Points: 999

One of the major issues I had with my surprise list this year was that most of the ambushing or scouting units in the Dogs of War list are CC units. Since I was getting the +1 to my roll, my units were typically stuck for a turn doing nothing if I was too close to my opponents. I believe this list will correct that problem as I can sit back and shot at 30” with BS 5 or better with Alith and the Shadow Warriors.

As for the archers and mage, the challenge with them initially is that they are not providing any support on the first turn. If my rolls for ambush are poor, it also means that it could be an additional two or three turns that they do not arrive on the board. However, I do think that when they do arrive that they will have an impact as I will be able to place them on any board edge and shoot on arrival.

If Adepticon decides to not allow lord choices in next year’s 1000 point tournaments, I would replace Alith Anar with a third unit of Shadow Warriors and bump up the size of each of those units. I also think that I would upgrade one of the two units with a shadow-walker and give him a magically weapon as a back-up to ethereal units.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Thursday Theme - High Elves Shooting List

This week’s list is another 1200 point list that is intended to be paired with a wood elf list of the same general theme. In this case, the theme of the list is shooting attacks, with all units carrying bows, longbows, or Bows of Avelorn. (Note: If I could have given the mage a bow, I would have just for the sake of completeness.)

Mage w/ level 2 (Lore of High Magic) and a dispel scroll, ironcursed icon, and 6+ ward (165 pts) 
Noble w/ BSB (Banner of Eternal Flame), longbow, and dragon armour (120 pts) 

Archers (28) w/ musician and standard (300 pts) 

Shadow Warriors (10) w/ Shadow-walker armed w/ a Reaver Bow (175 pts) 
Shadow Warriors (10) (140 pts) 

Sisters of Avelorn (10) w/ High Sister (150 pts) 
Sisters of Avelorn (10) w/ High Sister (150 pts) 

Total Points: 1200

The end result of this list is that I begin with 72 shots at 24” or greater. Twenty of those shots are magical, flaming and strength 4. 29 of the shots are 30” and flaming thanks to the BSB that will be placed in the unit.

When it comes to magic, I am hoping to get Hand of Glory on the mage as it will allow the archers to fire at BS 5+. I debated over whether I should take the Lore of High Magic or the Lore of Fire to improve the damage output of the archer unit. I might consider an alternate build that drops the noble and adds a second mage w/ the Lore of Fire.

Friday, May 17, 2013

DIY: Army Lists

If you listened to our latest ramblings on such and such in Episode 17, I said that I despise Army Builder for a variety of reasons, the main one being its promotion of laziness. I also said I'd provide an example of my own format of army list, one that I've received multiple compliments on for presenting the necessary information in an easy-to-read format. Now, not everyone agrees and that's fine. This is simply an alternative (and I'd of course say better =D ) way to make up a pleasing army list for your opponents.

I have the three most important things right at the top: Name, Army, and Points. The last two are mainly for the judges, but are still handy for opponents. I no longer get the "What was your name again?" because they can see it right on the sheet I gave them, first thing they read. It's always a struggle to find people's names on their army lists, so make sure it's on there and easy to find. Too often it gets lost in the mess of poorly formatted lists.

I break it up into sections just like the books are laid out, because other everyone is accustomed to that set up. That makes it supremely easy to see who's in what slot, percentages, total points, and all that. It always annoys the heck out of me when I'm handed an army list where the Rares are first, then Heroes, then Special, then Lords, then finally Core. I know people like to choose their power-house units first and Core only because they have to, but I always think they did it wrong because I can't find their Core choices until the 4th sheet, which is yet another point of bother.

I don't like being handed a booklet. An army list does not need every single piece of information listed (I also believe that's plagiarism, no?). That's what the army book/codex is for. The very best lists are those that are completely contained in a single sheet of paper, such as the above. Every rule and item is listed, and if my opponent has a question I happily answer or show them the relevant spot in the book. In my experience, even though you give them three pages of special rules on your list, they'll still ask every question because being handed a booklet does not make for a good use of time, and they don't read it anyway. This is a tournament, and minutes count. Know your audience.

Moving along, we see that I have listed standard equipment and upgrades for each unit. This is a clear delineation for list-checkers and opponents so that they can swiftly make sure I've done it right as far as who can take what and who holds what. Another point of bother is when I see a list and it says "#30 spearmen, #1 musician, #1 standard bearer, and #1 champion." So, I naturally think there are 33 models in the unit because according to the rules of the English language that's what it's saying, when it's still only actually 30. When writing something that is included in a value, write it as such; "30 models, inc. musician, standard bearer, champion" gives the correct numbers. The former example does not.

The points for the models and their upgrades are somewhat broken down on the far right, just under their total value. These aren't points for each special model, such as champions, because again it suffers the same problem as model count I addressed above. I see (mainly this is from a list-checker standpoint): Total 245, Unit champ 25, so I think the unit is actually 270, when it's only 245. This is bad writing. One total, bolded is all you need. Any other numbers (such as how you got to that number) should be smaller, not bolded, and obvious that it's not part of the total. This expedites list-checking and doesn't produce confusion as to what numbers mean what.

Speaking of bolding and font-sizing, the same goes for units. Having upgrades, special rules, and everything else that's unnecessary all the same size and such makes it difficult to spot the important parts. This is why I've only made bold the unit type, number of models, and total points value. The breakdown is below each and smaller, so as to not draw the eye immediately into it. This format is especially important for count-as armies, where the models aren't necessarily what they seem to be. When dealing with that, the two most important pieces of information are: how many models, and what the heck unit is it. Everything else is ancillary and can be discovered on your own time. This means that, at a glance, you'll know what you're dealing with.

In the end, that's what I want to provide for my opponents. They can take a quick look at my list, see what it is, and when they feel the need to they can look at the other stuff later. This generally allows for better, quicker tactical decisions, because I relish the challenge. One might say that a person who gives a bewildering amount of info in a 7 page, poorly formatted, Army Builder army list is actively seeking to misdirect, distract, and otherwise gain an advantage over their opponent. Now, that's thinking really darkly, but such people do exist in our hobby.

That is why I wanted to provide an alternative. As we mentioned on the show, continuously writing everything out yourself helps you know your army better and better as you repeat the information in your own mind. Laziness with the point and click attitude doesn't set in. I feel it definitely makes you a better gamer and a more fun opponent.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Episode 17 - High Elf Review

In this episode, the Warriors Three discuss the demise of Specialist Games.  After mourning the lose of Battlefleet Gothic, the crew discusses their latest hobby activities and preparations for the Midwest Rampage.  Next, the guys have a tangent filled discussion about how to write an army list.  Finally, the guys review the High Elf army book.
Episode Timeline
00:00:17 The Death of Specialist Games
00:24:45 Marshaling the Host
00:42:57 Hobby Corner (Writing an Army List)
01:08:58 High Elf Review
02:15:00 End of Show

Download: iTunes | Direct Download 

Show Emails
Andrew: andrew@unstabledice.com
Chuck: chuck@unstabledice.com
John: equinox@unstabledice.com

Show Links
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The Thursday Theme - High Elves Cavalry Army

In preparation for next year's Adepticon WFB Team Tournament, I have been playing with some different High Elf lists that can be paired with Wood Elves. The idea with this list was to pair the cavalry units from each book to create a fast moving army that has a solid punch.  The assumption with this list is that my teammate would also bring the cavalry units from Wood Elf book and not any blocks of units.

Noble w/ Elven Steed, Ithilmar Barding, Dragon armour, Ogre Blade and Enchanted Shield (140 pts) 
Mage w/ Level 2 Wizard (Lore of High Magic), Elven Steed, and Golden Crown of Atrazar (150 pts) 

Silver Helms (10) w/ shields, musician and standard (250 pts) 
Ellyrian Reavers (5) w/ musician (90 pts) 

Dragon Princes of Caledor (5) w/ Drakemaster (w/ Sword of Might), musician, and standard (Banner of the World Dragon) (245 pts) 
Dragon Princes of Caledor (5) w/ Drakemaster (w/ Star Lance), musician, and standard (205 pts) 
Dragon Princes of Caledor (5) w/ Drakemaster (w/ Fencing Blades), musician, and standard (Banner of Eternal Flame (220 pts) 

Total Cost: 1200

While I like the models and theme of this list, I am not sure I have the optimal choices on the noble, mage, and dragon princes. I get the impression that I should take a little from the noble and give it to the mage in the form of a ward save. An alternative build to accomplish that goal would be to drop the ogre blade, give the noble a great weapon and exchange the crown for a 4+ ward save talisman.

When it comes to deployment, I would deploy the 3 units of dragon princes close to each other with the silver helms and reavers flanking the weak and strong sides of the block. I would place the noble in the dragon prince unit which appears to have the best match-up directly across from him. The mage would go into one of the two dragon prince units that do not contain the World Dragon banner.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Accessorizing Your Toys (Part Two): WFB Alternative Models

Building on the outstanding article written by Andrew, here is a look at some companies that provide alternative fantasy models that fit well into the Warhammer Fantasy setting and are the appropriate scale:

Poland: Titan-forge
This company does some very cool alternative undead and ogre models that will fit well with GW models. One of the more interesting ranges offered by Titan Forge is their Drakskulls Menance line of undead orcs and goblins.


A personal favorite of mine, AoW offers an extensive range of fantasy models that are ideal for use as characters or unique models in a unit.  They have also begun to provide regiment sets with an incredible amount of detail and variety in each kit.

UK: Mantic
When you want to build a horde army cheap, Mantic is a good option to consider.  Not all of their model ranges fit well with the aesthetics of Warhammer Fantasy, but if that is not a concern for you, many of the traditional army types (elves, dwarves, undead, etc...) can be built for much less when compare with traditional GW models.

Italy: Gaspez Arts
While primarily a company for fantasy football miniatures, they do offer some great orc and undead model.  What I like in particular are some of the chaos dwarf models that they offer.  Great sculpts with a reasonable price tag.

As mentioned by Andrew, if you know of another great company to suggest, shot an email to one of us and we will add them to the next article.

Andrew's email: andrew@unstabledice.com
Chuck's email: chuck@unstabledice.com
John's email: equinox@unstabledice.com

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Adepticon 2013 - 1000 Point AM Overall Winner Video

My apologies to all of the listeners as the best part of Chuck winning the award did not get captured on screen.