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Jukey

Tales from the Madlands: Some Barons just want to see the World Burn

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Today I got a game with our resident Daqan player, @picotheguyyo   

He had an interesting list, with several things I haven't seen before.

I played a list submitted by @Datskor, focusing on scions using bolo nets. 

My list:

'Kneecappers'

200/200
Aymhelin Scions [25] 2x1
Bolo Nets [2]
Vicious Roots [3]
Total Unit Cost: 30

Aymhelin Scions [25] 2x1
Bolo Nets [2]
Vicious Roots [3]
Total Unit Cost: 30

Leonx Riders [30] 2x2
Aliana of Summersong [12]
Bull Pennon [3]
Triumphant Cry [3]
Moment of Inspiration [5]
Total Unit Cost: 53

Leonx Riders [18] 2x1
Rank Discipline [4]
Total Unit Cost: 22

Prince Faolan [36] 1x1
The Spirit Sword [6]
Legendary Prowess [5]
Total Unit Cost: 47

Ventala Skirmishers [18] 2x1
Total Unit Cost: 18

Leonx are the one Latari unit I really struggle with getting to perform, scions are a close second, so this will be challenging.

Picos list:

'Foresight'

2x3 outland scouts w/ seasoned pathfinder and piercing strike.  

Baron Z w/ lord of subterfuge.

1x1 rune golem.

3x1 crossbow w/ rank discipline and tempered steel.

2x3 cavalry w/ column tactics, tempered steel, and raven talbards.

Points 199/200.

Setup:

The game is Conquest with Head to Head.

Terrain is the burning forest, dimorian fissure, and a rock.

Daqan has initiative.q7N0SdK.jpg

Pico stays well clear of the fissure, while I capitalize on the scions being resistant to the forest fire while still getting cover. The rest of my army gets jammed into a corner to avoid scout surprises.

7F3eUdP.jpg

Turn 1:  The daqan move forward cautiously, while my scions take the forest.

ETvEVQS.jpg

The rest of my army gets a little jammed while unpacking. I misjudged the distance faolan would move.

tAe3bHQ.jpg

The scouts deploy.  Need to derail to ask if we did this right.  Pico wanted to place them from the burning forest, however, it is now occupied, and they cannot be placed in engagement as per pathfinders wording.  We played it as he had to choose less desirable terrain.  Hope we played it right.

Turn 2:  

The golem gets good red runes and charged the scions, rolls great and kills 1 scion.

0DpuQBY.jpg

The scouts march into the scions, I'm not certain why they didn't charge.

Faolan takes a wound from Baron Z and then breaks his 3 march into a tight turn around the forest, but comes up a millimeter short of the golem.

RhJasvu.jpg

The rest of my force unpacks to intercept the Oathsworn.

Turn 3:

Faolan charges and kills the Golem, but takes a wound from the crossbows. 

OFki07T.jpg

My leonx jump forward and shift, trying to avoid the oathsworn charge.  In hindsight I should have just run into them and blocked the charge.  The oathsworn pull a banked charge unexpectedly and kill over half the cats.

8MVMFVi.jpg

The scouts slaughter the scions, using piercing strike to weaken them.

Turn 4:  

My ventala charge the oathsworn from behind, taking a tray of knights, then the rank Leonx attacks, it rolls great and takes 2 more trays.

6R07q6A.jpg

The Scion tries to hit the crossbows, does no damage, but gets a stun out.

Faolan rallies and spins, using the inspiration to nerf the crossbows attacks.

Ma2X8jE.jpg

I think Baron Z rallied.

Turn 5:

The ventala and cats finish the oathsworn off. 

Faolan charges the crossbows but does little damage.

IUdCYhs.jpg

The scion kneecaps the scouts with a bolo, making them sit and burn a little longer.

lR3zrDw.jpg

Baron Z turns to finish Faolan.

Turn 6:

The cats and ventala move for the crossbows, Faolan gets destroyed by baron Z.

This frees the crossbows up for a ranged shot, they kill the cats.

iEVVdWY.jpg

The scouts put 2 wounds up on the scion. It hits them back for 3.

i3kiA3v.jpg

Turn 7:  

The ventala take a tray of crossbows, but get dropped to a single tray.

1nfnxon.jpg

The scouts kill the scion but lose another figure to the fire.

Turn 8:

Daqan win 120ish to 0.

Afterthoughts:

Lord of subterfuge came in handy for Pico several times.  Daqan may not have a shift or spin a friend ability, but being able to spy on dials is going to be really hard to deal with competitively.

Rank cats might be my new favorite cat unit.  Cheap as rippers, and capable of some serious damage output.  These guys are going to be in more lists in the future.

I'm uncertain about bolo nets. I see it as a decent upgrade for deepwoods if you have nothing else to put on them.  The trouble is that it requires line of sight.  I'd almost always rather pay 2 more points and bring a corruption rune.  It could just be my lack of skill with scions though.

Scouts are interesting. They will be great for getting the jump on uthuk.  Definately a low damage unit though.

I'm considering running a rank stress test build. Lots of ventala and leonx 2x1s. 

Thanks for reading!

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Hi all, the Daqan player from Madison and wanted to share some of my thoughts. It was a great game and it felt pretty close until the end. I though lord of subterfuge was very helpful and this was the first time I have made Baron Z work without constantly ranged attacking. LoS was helpful cause due to my relative newness to the game and these guys can be very tricky, like having the cavalry charge in without them missing their target against the elves with their constant shifts. The scouts did their job getting a guarenteed flank, but misjudged how his Scioms would move so I did not dial a charge just in case. They did feel like they did not swing hard, reason only they wiped the first Scions was of piercing strike. Looking foward to getting a few more games in with these guys!

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Another great report :) Those Ventala are some nicely painted models!

Careful wall of texst*

As I was the one requesting the list I have some few thoughts of the performance of the list after reading the report. Firstly would be the deployment, the flanking Sicon unit seems a bit odd as I intended them as a utility/blocking piece for the army. Thus putting one on the flank far away** from the units it's intended to support seems off, but then again there were scouts to consider. 

** Due to the direction of the Lenox , Prince F and so on... 

Secondly, the good performance of the 2x1 Lenox. For the neet price of 22 points you get a cheap, high mobility flanking unit. The math works out, 2x1 Lenox w rank discipline is the formation that provides the second highest expected damage per point for all cavalry in the 2x1 formation only beaten by itself with moment of inspiration (I belive the calculations are correct but errors may have occurred). The argument for rank discipline over moment of inspiration is that it helps more when looking for surges when at 1x1 and looking for that mortal wound, and it does not exhaust.

Thirdly, the bad performance of the 2x2 Lenox with Aliana embedded. One situation sticks out the charge duel w the oathsworn. The lenox had Aliana, Bull Pennon, Triumphant cry and Moment of inspiration. If @Jukey had the priority in turn 3 ( @picotheguyyo had this game) and they had raven tabards the outcome of the game may have changed dramatically. This goes twice for Lenox as the first strike capability is the extra important when you play high damage, low health units. For that reason alone raven tabards would probably be impactful then bull pennon banner. Then again impact 3 is fun  😆. The same kind of goes for triumphant cry, as if it where to be changed with metered march moving late and setting up charges for your initiative turns may be achieved. Movement of inspiration was chosen over rank discipline because of diminishing returns on rank discipline. The moment of inspiration also gets increased value due to Prince F's inspiration starting ability. There is also the question if a ¨50 points Lenox has required game impact compared to the sustainability for the unit. 

Whatever comes after thirdly, the Sicons. The list kind of relies on the Sicons performance as they are intended to immobilize opponents and let prince F and the gang to flank and dismantle targets. However, this may be wishful thinking as the range 1-3 condition on bolonets and vicious roots are hard to set up, especially for Sicons. the difficult part is a late shoot at 6 and a skill on the  action dile. Thus they need to be in range 1-3 at the start of their turn to use the bolo nets and at the end of the turn to use the ranged attack. So using only Sicons for this immobilize may be the wrong way to go. Two alternative units come to mind: the 2x1 Dranati warriors with bolonets and the more exspensive but flexible 2x2 Ventala with bolonets. They can move then skill for an easy setup for the next immobilize from the Sicons. 2x1 Sicons with roots and nets are still probably good units but lack some reliability it can seem therfore combining with Dranati or Ventala may be the right way to go. 

Prince F was heavily upgraded for combat and did ok it seems? But maybe the Etaryon of the Aliar is bether for this list as he could shift the sicons and others in range more easely set up charges, immobilize and flanks? Then again he took a beating for quite some time and did ok damage before he died. The survivability and dammage may increse if its easyer to set up immobilizes and engage more on your therms. 

The 2x1 Ventala seems too have done their job quite well but where more of a filler unit but the versatility of those guys are great. rank discipline may have been a good upgrade for another good 22 point unit like the 2x1 rank discipline Lenox. 

 

Finding possible improvement for the lists after reading or playing a game of Runewars is a good exercise and shows the huge variation of tactics found in this game of ours. I honestly didn't think I had this much reflection on the list but as the one that requested and designed the list, I guess I was invested, and that the game report made me consider the list in a new way. Of course the biggest lost opportunity in this game was the deployment of the Sicons, they should have changed places so the orange 'burning one' stod in the forest fire 😁

 

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2 hours ago, Datskor said:

I honestly didn't think I had this much reflection on the list but as the one that requested and designed the list, I guess I was invested, and that the game report made me consider the list in a new way.

I think some of the podcasters have mentioned that the constant deep/nitpicky analysis has made them better. I think Jukey and I get that same effect from these reports. Him from puting the effort in to write them and me from writing that word vomit I do in most of these threads. 

 

If others get something good food from these then even better

Edited by Church14

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Nice analysis @Datskor

I definately botched the second scions deployment.  The trouble was I had a lot more units to place so I only had the 1 deployment from daqan (the golem) to go on.  I placed the scions first, and realized later that I couldn't get up around the dimorian fissure without losing a figure.

Raven taberds and metered march cats are my preferred go-to build for a 2x2.  Their demise was entirely initiative based.  Triumphant cry is decent, but because of the white reform in their modifier, it's usually best to just dial a melee/reform instead of the panic.

I think bolos really suffers from requiring LoS and having a max range of 3.  I think deepwoods could use it decently, most units can charge 3 at i5, so with initiative you can drop an immobillize after shooting.  Darnati are good candidates too.  Plus, throw a hedge shroud on and you have a tough little blocker.  The scion makes a good blocker, but I often get the most out of them as a later support piece. 

I think maybe running just one kneecapper would be good, it would make room for a darnati blocker, which would give the cav more time to set up.

Faolan as usual was an A list unit. His downfall was the crossbows. He didn't get any inspiration surges in his attacks so I had trouble nerfing dice down. Had he hit the golem a turn earlier, things would have gone better.  Legendary prowess is one I haven't used a lot, but when built as a brawler I think it should deliver.  

Thanks again for the list and input.

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4 hours ago, Datskor said:

 

 

Secondly, the good performance of the 2x1 Lenox. For the neet price of 22 points you get a cheap, high mobility flanking unit. The math works out, 2x1 Lenox w rank discipline is the formation that provides the second highest expected damage per point for all cavalry in the 2x1 formation only beaten by itself with moment of inspiration (I belive the calculations are correct but errors may have occurred). The argument for rank discipline over moment of inspiration is that it helps more when looking for surges when at 1x1 and looking for that mortal wound, and it does not exhaust.

I’ve done and gotten the same math.  MOI is higher damage.  Also in favor of Rank discipline is the fact that you really need to do damage now, so RD is a variance reducer.

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Other than the quick math from earlier, I've got a moment to read more thoroughly and comment:

 

My sense is that Bolos might work better on a list designed to slow the advancement of approaching troops while continuing to shoot them out.  In that respect, a mix of scions and Darnati/Bolos plus a  couple of 2x1 TS Archers, especially if running Faolan might pull of everything a touch better.  The Scions don't really need to be much more than the single tray + Vicious roots, and if you can arrange it where the enemy runs into the Darnati first, and the Scion can clearly get off a ranged shot before stepping up to block, then you've got the combo.  Been a while since I've done 1x1 Scion, though.

I don't tend to have multiple Leonx groups in a list, and I think because they work extremely well when they can flank off of something heavier.  There needs to be enough of a centralized core to the list that the enemy doesn't think to turn first toward the Leonx.  Those units need to be able to make them pay if they should do so.   I've also been repeatedly impressed by the performance of 2x1 Cavalry units across all of the factions.  You don't have to invest a lot of points into them, and then they provide a specific kind of threat.  You don't really want them to charge and hit you, both because of the impact and the possible damage.  They also bring the speed necessary to threaten deeper into your opponents lines, and to pull a flank for an even more serious strike.  And for the points, that's really effective.  Whereas, with 2x2 Leonx at least, you're now usually getting your reroll from your ranks, and when those ranks go, so does some of the power of the unit.  And although you can get more power total on that 2x2 stack, you pay for it in terms of additional upgrades.  And this also starts changing the opponent's calculations of what to target, because the kill becomes much more valuable.  And I agree with the above comment, that because they are so squishy in main combat, you absolutely have to win the maneuver/initiative/charge game.  That's a bit different when you have 3 armor Death Knights, 3 health Flesh Rippers, or a very defensively-minded Oathsworn.

 

I'm feeling a bit inspired by the reports.  I really would do more of my own, but I forget to take pictures of them during the game (at least most of the time).  I'll see if I can get some reports of my own up.

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14 hours ago, Datskor said:

For the neet price of 22 points you get a cheap, high mobility flanking unit. The math works out, 2x1 Lenox w rank discipline is the formation that provides the second highest expected damage per point for all cavalry in the 2x1 formation only beaten by itself with moment of inspiration (I belive the calculations are correct but errors may have occurred). The argument for rank discipline over moment of inspiration is that it helps more when looking for surges when at 1x1 and looking for that mortal wound, and it does not exhaust.

 

The Leonx start to shine in the damage per point calculations when you get up to armor 3 targets -- that's when the DPP when compared to Death Knights and Oathsworn moves out of the hundredths decimal place. 

Oathsworn do a little bit higher damage on average for two more points(a fractional amount, so you will only really see the difference over multiple turns of combat). They obviously have a higher spike potential with RRB over RBB (10 damage max vs. 8). Against 1 armor units, the Oathsworn will be slightly ahead, they'll be about even on armor 2 and 3 units. This is all assuming the Oathsworn attacks at initiative 3 and dials the defense in. Of course dialing the hit will bump them above the Leonx. 

Where you'll probably see the biggest difference is when they are down to one tray against a high-armor unit. If they get a chance to swing, Oathsworn have to roll really well to get a wound on an armor 4+ unit, where the Leonx just have to see two surges, which isn't hard.

At 2x1 with Rank, Death Knights have a potential to hit very hard against high-armor targets, but you are spending another 6 points over the Leonx. Comparing them to Oathsworn dialing in defense, they'll be slightly better against everything. If the Oathsworn dial the hit, they'll be better against armor 1 than the DKs, who pull even at armor 2, where the mortal is the same as a hit. Against armor 3 and higher, the DKs will pull ahead because the mortal is better than a hit at that point. The comparison against Leonx is a little closer against high-armor units, and while the Leonx are a little better here when it comes to damage per point, the DKs do benefit in that it's automatic, where the Leonx can potentially miss it with a bad roll. 

Flesh Rippers can't really compare due to lack of Rank Discipline at 2x1.

So yes, Leonx are overall the best for the points when looking at pure damage, but fortunately all the 2x1 cav units are pretty comparable in terms of points and what you get out of them except the Rippers (but the rest of the faction more than makes up for that, so nobody's sad). 

Great analysis on this one everyone, I have to make a point to keep up with these better!  

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39 minutes ago, FranquesEnbiens said:

At 2x1 with Rank, Death Knights have a potential to hit very hard against high-armor targets, but you are spending another 6 points over the Leonx. Comparing them to Oathsworn dialing in defense, they'll be slightly better against everything. If the Oathsworn dial the hit, they'll be better against armor 1 than the DKs, who pull even at armor 2, where the mortal is the same as a hit. Against armor 3 and higher, the DKs will pull ahead because the mortal is better than a hit at that point. The comparison against Leonx is a little closer against high-armor units, and while the Leonx are a little better here when it comes to damage per point, the DKs do benefit in that it's automatic, where the Leonx can potentially miss it with a bad roll. 

Excellent points. Just wanted to add that another advantage Leonx have over Death Knights against high armor is that their mortal can't be stunned away. I don't know if that makes much difference but I thought it was worth sharing.

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Yes, interesting points.  I do think we can look at the math out of pure interest, and I agree that each of the 2x1s presents a reasonably comparable level of effectiveness.  Flesh Rippers are in a weird position because they work the opposite of the other cav.  They are, after all, flesh rippers, not armor rippers.   Their 4.625 average damage even without RD is less than the same 22 points of RD Leonx, but they also can take 4 more overall damage than the Leonx.

We saw some points about follow-up attacks and how the modifier dials affect the performance of each unit, but one open question is how often those modifier dials come into play.  I want to say that with Leonx, you want a combined arms effort, such that your Leonx can deliver the last blow, at which point the white reform becomes extremely good.

I think some other extremely hard to quantify variables are:

1.  First strike capability

2.  Flanking capability

Certainly the Leonx do very well with this.  And Dead Sprint improves the Flesh Rippers' ability on these traits.  I'm not as convinced that the other two are quite as good on these points.

Finally, I think there is an open question on how much those points are worth when we compare two units that cost differently.  The Oathsworn are closer to Leonx at only 2.  But 2x1 Death Knights at 24 are also at the same price point as the 1x3 Leonx.  So that's the difference in what 3/1 brings versus 2/1 in overall longevity.  But if we start comparing the 1x3, it further exacerbates the Leonx need to win the first strike, and accentuates any benefits that might accrue to the Leonx if they flank.  Sure, you're stuck with whatever flakiness you get out of the 1x3 roll, and CTis  an auto-include.  The Leonx surge ability is a big part of keeping their variance down and keeping them relevant however.  That's about a 4% chance of no damage, and the average now exceeds those RD/DKs.  And who knows, maybe there's a way to fit Warsong or Greenwatch Herald in to get that critical reroll.  Food for thought.

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I find that the 1x3 Lenox with column tactics has a 'low' damage per point with a high variance. Thus I find the 2x1 a superior unit as its easier to sacrifice if needed. Also yo get less hp per point spent in the 1x3 formation w column tactics versus the 2x1. The one place for them is maybe a MSU style list though where you need to thread the needle from behind your blocking/snaring units. In all, I do believe the 1x3 is a fringe case unit. The Greenwatch and Warsong herald id never considered that may indeed be what a 1x3 Lenox need to be sufficiently strong.  

13 hours ago, Vergilius said:

My sense is that Bolos might work better on a list designed to slow the advancement of approaching troops while continuing to shoot them out.  In that respect, a mix of scions and Darnati/Bolos plus a  couple of 2x1 TS Archers, especially if running Faolan might pull of everything a touch better.  The Scions don't really need to be much more than the single tray + Vicious roots, and if you can arrange it where the enemy runs into the Darnati first, and the Scion can clearly get off a ranged shot before stepping up to block, then you've got the combo.  Been a while since I've done 1x1 Scion, though.

 

It is probably true that bolonets/vicious roots and shooting units are one of the stronger combinations. Some of the experiment with the list was how good a non-shooting Latari would do. A more aggressive style for the faction. As stated one of the more difficult things to set up is the immobilize because of the range condition. This makes it quite possible for fast movers to pierce through the first unit while it was not able to use its upgrade, and maybe more so in passive lists where there exists one ideal range to engage the opponents at. Opponents are usually quite aware of this condition and not so forthcoming to grant us an engagement at ideal ranges. Here is where I believe an aggressive list focused at melee combat has a slight advantage as they similarly want to go close making it easier to set up a immobilize. While the potential gain in a ranged list with immobilizing could be higher the reliably is not necessarily the same. And immobilize is still bringing good value in a maneuvering list. 

Take the example from turn 3 with the Lenox and Oathsworn cavalry. If there was a unit of Dranati warriors w bolonets they could 'force' the Oathsworn to do a move 2, move 2 closing the three-four range before getting immobilized by a Dranati w bolonets doing an int 3, move 1 skill combination. Whats effectively a range 4 immobilize. This can force the opponents out of position or help you set up charges improving your first strike capabilities.  

I still think that the 2x1 Sicon 'Kneeecappers' are viable as bringing two immobilize for one unit is of such a high value, but that they should work in unison with another immobilizing unit or units. Greenwatch herald should help that formation too, may be another strong point for a shooting list. :) 

Edited by Datskor

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9 minutes ago, Datskor said:

I find that the 1x3 Lenox with column tactics has a 'low' damage per point with a high variance. Thus I find the 2x1 a superior unit as its easier to sacrifice if needed. Also yo get less hp per point spent in the 1x3 formation w column tactics versus the 2x1. The one place for them is maybe a MSU style list though where you need to thread the needle from behind your blocking/snaring units. In all, I do believe the 1x3 is a fringe case unit. The Greenwatch and Warsong herald id never considered that may indeed be what a 1x3 Lenox need to be sufficiently strong.  

 

The comment on a 1x3 was more a response to the comparison to Death Knights.  I, too, would rather have the reliability of the 2x1/RD.  Damage per point is a mathematical calculation, and we do the math because exceptional rolls (wow 15 damage) and negative rolls (I just rolled 0 damage, but in this case, three could be frustrating, too) have a way of sticking in our minds much more strongly than what the mathematical mean suggests.  So the numbers are there to act as a corrective to our experience.  And in all cases where I've mapped numbers for any formation over multiple instances and games, they've tended to match averages.  That is to say that something isn't quite as bad as I remember it.

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Have anyone done the calculations on 2x1 Dimodian blade death knights? Seems quite strong of the top of my mind maybe a new boss in town as far as damage per point for 2x1 cavalry? 

The 1x3 was more of a rant against the unit than anything, though I had not considered the heralds. As far as health per point the comparison between death knights and 1x3 Lenox are apt, but as far as I was concerned that's where similarities end. Still, the heralds may make them less of a fringe case unit. :) 

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2 hours ago, Datskor said:

Have anyone done the calculations on 2x1 Dimodian blade death knights? Seems quite strong of the top of my mind maybe a new boss in town as far as damage per point for 2x1 cavalry? 

I haven’t done calculations on it, but my most frequent Waiqar opponent regularly puts Dimodian blades and Moment of Inspiration on his 2x1 Death knights.  It is one sick combo.  Even if you pancake completely afterwards, as long as you land the one good attack, you’ve got great damage.

 

The Heralds make everything better.  Most of the damage increase comes from the first die on the first reroll.

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