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Strategy Advice - Damn Tricksy Elveses


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#1 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:51 AM

Ok. I'm starting to get very annoyed with damned militia spearmen. Short of sacrificing a light infantry unit of my own to absorb their Swift counterattack 4, or committing elite units to whomp on my opponent's basic line troops, I'm not sure what to do.

 

Militia Spearmen are cheap as chips and you can field loads of them, but for anything except disproportionate investments of points, they seem nigh impossible to break through.

 

I could, of course, try playing a missile combat game, but (a) that's not really a strength of Chaos, (b) that strikes me as a really losing strategy against High Elves, and © the pointy-eared so-and-sos are somehow tougher than everyone else's basic melee infantry (Tough? Elves? I call shennanigans on this one!) so I'd need a hell of a lot of flamers to make a serious impact.

 

 

Now, I'm not panicking here, but I'm hoping for advice from players who know what they're doing. Faced with a hedge of spearmen protecting archers, bolt throwers and so forth, how do you suggest I respond? Tactics, regiments, heroes, cards, etc, all throwable into the mix....


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#2 MechaBri.Zilla

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:00 AM

And get ready for more of the same because the dwarves have toughness 5 basic infantry too...   :wacko:

 

Dont' look at the toughness of the spearmen as their actual toughness but more as their elite defensive ability.   I think that makes more sense anyway.  Since damage is removed at the end of the round and doesn't have a lasting effect on the game, I think of the toughness stat as a more catch all for actual toughness, armor, and the units natural ability to avoid being damaged.  I hope that helps you a little to accept the high toughness Elves from a fluff standpoint.

 

One of the things that helps though is that the elves other units are usually much squishier than average.  Their hero's and elite units don't usually stack up quite as favorably against the other armies.  In terms of raw stats anyway.

 

I would think as a Chaos player, your Blood Thrister is your best option. Very little can take him out, and the High Elf strategy is naturally defensive.  Which should mean tightly packed troops.  So Your frenzied blood thirster along with blood for the blood god should be able to clear a path to the squishier troops beyond the spear wall.  It might seem like a bad trade, but if you can knock out 2-3 of their units with the Thirster in one turn, I'd say it was a good trade.  You could conceivably us Kairos to reinforce the Thirster directly on top of their units to help protect him against crits, pins, and wound loss on his way to the front.

 

Also, impact and flank could be used to clear things up a bit.  A Hellstrider in your oponents backfield could be a good distraction to pull those troops out of position, or you could use blood crushers and Archaon to pulp them.

 

But, I still haven't really played with Chaos, so maybe there is something I'm missing in my advice.  Also, my other problem is that most of the games I've played have been against people who I'm teaching the rules, so I've yet to see a really good strategist who also knows the game well on the other side of the table.  In other words, I'm all theory, for now.


Edited by MechaBri.Zilla, 02 May 2014 - 08:02 AM.


#3 Timpro

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 02:24 AM

Bloodthirster was also my first thought for the same reasons. He has flying and frenzy so he can pretty much just go and wipe them out in one go. I think that's your best bet here



#4 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:04 AM

Good call.

 

I get that the toughness is a mix of toughness plus armour plus leadership but it still bugs a bit that they're therefore the toughest.

 

But yeah, I hadn't thought about that; pinning a disc with multiple units (to allow for one getting stabbed before it fights) is difficult as hell to judge. But a Bloodthirster can take any amount of simultaneous damage and will just suffer a wound for it - plus, as you say, it's large enough to whomp both spearmen (or even three if there are more than normal) in one go.

 

I think you're right; lacking anything which can impact-kill them (alright, theoretically bloodcrushers but the odds are against you), stuff-with-wounds is the way to go. It's still a disproportionate investment of points, but a wounded disc - even an expensive wounded disc - is still on the board and a functional threat. I've mostly used the bloodthirster to go character- and dragon-hunting (damn that special ability is scary!) and haven't tried using him as a linebreaker yet.


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#5 MechaBri.Zilla

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:01 AM

The Blood Thirster is a beast.  He may be one of the most all-around useful disks in the game.  Given a little luck, you may even be able to do double duty with him, pinning both the spear men and a hero...  And of course, if you are a nut job like me, and bought two cores, nothing is stopping you from rolling a list with two of those bad boys.  Which could be very scary to any opponent and gives you a bit more flexibility.  Chasing down hero's with one of them, and breaking lines with the other.


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#6 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 01:53 AM

Well, I suspect I'll be getting a second core set, if only to allow us to play Strongholds.

 

I can imagine a force spearhead of Valkia and two Bloodthirsters (obviously one from the other regiment) will make for a scary, scary lead element...


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#7 MechaBri.Zilla

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 08:12 AM

I've also tried using him with Kairos to Thirster bomb units with Kairos' reinforce power.  But it can be a tricky one to use.  Kairos is so fragile that getting him safely close enough to lob the Thirster into action can be a trick all it's own.  That said, it can be very gratifying when it comes together.  I haven't used it a ton (read as 2 times), as I naturally favor Orcs.  But I'm thinking in my next few games I'm going to start avoiding the Orcs so I can gain a better understanding of the other armies, so maybe I'll give it another try then.



#8 Jedhead

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 11:18 PM

I play a fair amount as the elves, so I can tell you what bothers me when my opponents try to deal with spearmen.  As mentioned above, bloodthirsters work pretty well (but I hate them no matter what I am fielding).  Also, with fear on the way we will have another tool for dealing with them soon.

 

Until then, though, we can use some old tricks.  When pinning militia spearmen, I've found that empowerment is key.  If you can get yourself tough enough to shrug off their swift strike, then do it.  Even better, you will then be stronger on the attack and more likely to get through their toughness value. 

 

If not, it is sometimes best to simply ignore them!  If you can get them separated, then they are not very good.  Some of my toughest games have been when my opponent just goes around them.  They are not effective when they are pinning you, so it can actually be viable to ignore them at times.  The best thing to do, though, is to force the elf player to split them up if you can.  When I run them I tend to use them in pairs.  They can cover each other and team up to kill larger units, and they are a pain in the butt if you try to pin both.  They are exponentially more difficult to deal with in groups, but that is where the bloodthirster comes in (or relentless impact). One of my favorite units!


Edited by Jedhead, 24 May 2014 - 11:33 PM.

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"Much the same sort of talk can still be heard among the orc-minded; dreary and repetitive with hatred and contempt, too long removed from good to retain even verbal vigour, save in the ears of those to whom only the squalid sounds strong."  -J.R.R. Tolkien


#9 MechaBri.Zilla

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 10:04 AM

Until then, though, we can use some old tricks.  When pinning militia spearmen, I've found that empowerment is key.  If you can get yourself tough enough to shrug off their swift strike, then do it.  Even better, you will then be stronger on the attack and more likely to get through their toughness value. 

 

If not, it is sometimes best to simply ignore them!  If you can get them separated, then they are not very good.  

 

I have no idea why I didn't think of this.  Spearmen are excellent on the defense, but ignoring them is always an option.  Force your opponent to bring them to you.  I just played my first game using the High Elf army, and you are exactly right.  Under the right circumstances, you can force them to attack in order to tie up your own troops, then they loose that swift and have to use their lower attack ability.  This is excellent advice.



#10 Murnaz

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 11:09 AM

Ignoring them could be a good option in some scenarios, but remember that although the Spearmen have a meager Strength of 3, peeling them off of any disk they are pinning could be difficult. Any disks that you throw on top of them to create a scrum will have to face their Swift Counter of 4, and their toughness of 5 gives them good survivability. This means that Spearmen could potentially be used to pin one of your more valuable disks and incapacitate them, even if they don't have the strength to eliminate them.


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#11 MechaBri.Zilla

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 12:06 PM

Ignoring them could be a good option in some scenarios, but remember that although the Spearmen have a meager Strength of 3, peeling them off of any disk they are pinning could be difficult. Any disks that you throw on top of them to create a scrum will have to face their Swift Counter of 4, and their toughness of 5 gives them good survivability. This means that Spearmen could potentially be used to pin one of your more valuable disks and incapacitate them, even if they don't have the strength to eliminate them.

 

Very true.

 

But the nice thing here is that there are few units that would entice a spearmen out to pin you, that can't either kill the spearmen outright, or make good use of empower to knock them off.  Although there are a few hero's that couldn't get rid of them, I'm looking at you Grom the Paunch, but that's why I keep intimidate in my hand.  Also, proven champion is going to help here, once we get that.


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#12 Jedhead

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 12:38 PM

 

Very true.

 

But the nice thing here is that there are few units that would entice a spearmen out to pin you, that can't either kill the spearmen outright, or make good use of empower to knock them off.  Although there are a few hero's that couldn't get rid of them, I'm looking at you Grom the Paunch, but that's why I keep intimidate in my hand.  Also, proven champion is going to help here, once we get that.

 

 

Exactly this.  When I use them, I will occasionally pin as Murnaz said, with no intent but to incapacitate even if I can't kill.  I will especially try to pull this off with two of them--that's why I try to run them in pairs, because then you might actually kill something.  That said, the issue is it will seldom be worth it to tie up their low-strength units, and if you tie up a hero or high-powered unit you are often killed in counter-attacks.  While there are times that this might also be worth it, losing them to a counter-attack with no real damage dealt on your own isn't the best of strategies. 

 

I just know from experience them that the best option is to force the elf player to go offensive with them, getting them out of their comfort zone.  That's what always bothers me the most, anyway.


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"Much the same sort of talk can still be heard among the orc-minded; dreary and repetitive with hatred and contempt, too long removed from good to retain even verbal vigour, save in the ears of those to whom only the squalid sounds strong."  -J.R.R. Tolkien


#13 Katsuyori

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:24 PM

My first thought was Black Orcs. Black Orcs pinning Militia Spearmen survive the swift strike, because they get +2 toughness. Alas, when the pinning ends with the death of the Militia Spearmen, toughness falls back to 4, and Black Orcs will drop dead, too (if they do not end pinning some underlying enemy discs after removing Militia.). And Black Orcs cost 8, much more costly than Spearman. Not such a good deal after all. 






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