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Glucose98

Don't Fear the Meta

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So it appears that Oathsworn Cavalry are all the rage right now.  You see lists with dispatch runner + cavalrystar, 4x1s with Hawthorne and in general, multiple cavalry units in the lists that are doing well.  How are people stopping them?  Is Waiqar at a serious disadvantage until they receive their Death Knights?

When all sides have access to each 'type' of unit -- do you guys expect the meta to shape around having some of each? Or more lopsided lists?

 

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In any wargame/skirmish game, movement is the most important aspect. Regardless of how pimped-out a unit is, it doesn't matter unless it can get to where it needs to be to capitalize. I would say that cavalry will always have an advantage in this game in that regard. You would either have to be able to out maneuver the cavalry, with things like Latari's movement tricks, or endure them, with things like Deathstars. Terrain is also your friend in this regard! 

MSU seems to be very popular. With only 8 rounds, the speed in which you can dish out damage seems to be the most important factor. Multiple smaller units give you more attacks per round, while deathstars can take more damage, they're not generally handing out damage as fast. 

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I think we'll see more MSU cavalry meta especially once column tactics comes out on the Leonx.  That 1x3 is a pretty easy formation to use as it's not terribly long but it also has the ability to hit hard.  At that point, they should have no problems outmaneuvering the Oathsworn.  I'm not sure this will always dominate though.  It seems to me that since we've only had really 1 major tournament and all factions are missing a core unit, we have yet to see the true "Wave 1" meta come out.

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Interceptors, a lone worm wriggling in between the target unit and the cav can really mess up a charge, and it can be difficult to recover from...and if you are blighting right then the charge from the cav and subsequent attacks can be pretty soft vs the worm...

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I do agree as a Waiqar player it is so hard to work against the distance and speed that the Daqan and Latari can do. Not having Death Knights is proving to be a difficult situation. And knowing that when the Death Knights come, I will have a serious addition to my army (with their 3 armor 1 health, and their mortal strike negate and modifier) It's tough to really feel the game is balanced now without that piece. I agree with Hawkman:

6 hours ago, Hawkman2000 said:

"I would say that cavalry will always have an advantage in this game in that regard. You would either have to be able to out maneuver the cavalry, with things like Latari's movement tricks, or endure them, with things like Deathstars."

It is tough to handle the speed of the other factions, I'm learning I need to play more defensively, and as much as I don't want to turtle, I feel like that's my only option.

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Oathsworn are just lightening fast and hit like trucks.  As far as 4*1, they should probably not be 4*1 by the time they close (easy enough to do 4-6 dmg on closing).  I prefer 2*2 and 3*2, a cavstar is a fun idea, but haven't had a chance to use that yet.

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Probably the toughest thing about Waiqar right now is how little threat projection they have. With Oathsworn across the table you have to consider whether they're going to rush you at any given moment or play more conservatively. Carrion Lancers have that option to some extent, but Reanimates do NOT. Death Knights will provide an unknown element for the opponent, forcing them to be more cautious in their approach.

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In my opinion the meta is defined more by the effectiveness of turtling right now more than anything.  It allows you to build up inspiration to thwart blight and ready upgrade cards, and whoever gets the first charge off is at a huge advantage. 

You need long reaching cavalry to beat turtling so it makes sense that it's so prevalent.  Waiqar should be focusing more on wormstars and raising huge block of wounds to chew through instead of archers and blight.  Blight seems a bit of a trap right now, at least in my experience.  

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I haven't played against cavalry heavy lists, but it seems like Death Caller and Maro can dish out pretty significant mortal wounds, as can Ardus near Carrion Lancers or Reanimates with Front Line Carrion Lancers and blighted Velixium, add File Leader to make sure you get to attack before they do.

I also think you can slow them down and block them with Carrion Lancers and then hit them with Death Caller and archers from afar. Morale doesn't seem to impact Lancers too badly.

Also, getting the right angle behind blocking terrain can really mess with incoming threats, cavalry and otherwise. Either they take a risk at misjudging the turn, or spend an extra critical turn lining up their charge. 

But that's just my hypothetical take on it.

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Oh, and there's nothing that says you have to deploy your army far forward. There's a tendency to place units right on the line, but when dealing with a fast opponent, placing right on your own back edge can often give you a critical second round to whittle them down before impact.

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@Elliphino Those are all good ideas -- I came up with a Waiqar list that seems like it's pretty resilient to cavalry given your suggestions.

https://www.tabletopminiatures.com/Runewars/rwArmyListView?ALID=30696
 

First it has Ardus so I can make the two blocks 3x2.  But he has a ton of synergy with the FL Carrion Lancer, granting him mortal strikes on his surges -- Ardus Fury might be better than Ancient Technique here.  W/ Ardus fury and Fortunas, (and his surge modifier) he can be doing 3-5 mortal strikes an attack.

The first reanimate block has File Leader, FL Carrion Lancer, Vexillum Bearer and Lingering Dead.  Making it very costly to charge.  Even if you some how manage to hit before the melee counter is revealed, the lingering dead will keep their ranks up for a counter attack.

The other one, is a little strange, but DeathCaller + Support Lancer + Tactical Drummer and Simultaneous orders.  Allows you to deal 1-2 wounds at range.  You can also disengage after being charged, and do another 1-2 wounds at range after you've disengaged.  

Then threw in 2 small archer units to plink some damage and throw more blight around.

 

Seems like it could handle cavalry ok, but becomes weak to spearman? :)

 

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@Glucose98

That list is pretty rad and pretty close to what I've been playing. I hadn't thought of doing Fortuna's Dice and Ancient Technique, but that's a nice touch!

As for spearmen, I usually don't have too much trouble with them, provided I can deal with other army elements to some degree before they make contact. Those archers churn out so much blight that I can typically keep a spearman unit from rolling any dice for at least one turn, and usually two.

Still, I think you have a tactical answer to a big spear star if you can set up your reanimate blocks so that if charges one, the other can counter charge his flank. Three red dice and three threat is no joke! And if he hesitates to fall into your trap, then that's just more time to wear him down with arrows and blight and deathcalling :-)

Edited by Elliphino

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