Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's How You Use It - My Army

Even though I would occasionally mention the other events, the last few weeks leading up to Adepticon my primary focus here was on preparations for the 1000 point Fantasy tournament, 'It's How You Use It.' I therefore thought it would be appropriate to first look over the army I used in those games since so many of my recent posts covered the initial assembly and painting stages. Despite having more than six months to get ready for this one, I was of course painting bases (and even still reading the rulebook for the first time!) the morning of the tournament. Maybe not how I envisioned things back in October but it was nonetheless tremendous fun and I was thoroughly happy with my introduction to 8th edition WHFB.

Although the final few days were indeed hectic, I am satisfied that everything in my army was painted well enough to just make the deadline and thus I was able to play in all the games. So... yippee! For the tournament there was a three color minimum painting standard with 1000 point armies, but otherwise there were no composition restrictions of which I was aware beyond the normal ones found in the rulebook. Listed beneath the following picture are the essential features of my army list, although I have also included photos of the actual lists at the end of this post should you enjoy looking at all those mundane little details.

Sorceress (General) - level 2 wizard, Lore of Fire, Talisman of Endurance
12 Dark Elf Repeater Crossbowmen - full command
15 Bark Ark Corsairs - additional hand weapons, full command, Banner of Murder
5 Harpies
5 Shades
5 Cold One Knights - full command, Banner of Eternal Flame
War Hydra

Total: 1000 points

At first I was intent on using a Sorceress mounted on a Cold One to lead my army, but I was eventually persuaded by Nikephoros of the Bringer of Victory blog that I would be better off leaving her on foot. This made sense to me as I considered the prospects of having a T3 W2 general riding atop a big lizard who suffers from Stupidity. I hence thought she would be safer located within either the unit of Repeater Crossbowmen or the unit of Black Ark Corsairs. I elected to give her spells from the Lore of Fire because of their generally simple and direct method of application, something which appealed to me as a I expected to have a hard enough time keeping up with everything else during my games. As a newcomer to this, the principle of throwing fireballs around seemed thankfully easy for me to understand.

I planned my main line of battle to be comprised of the Repeater Crossbowmen, the Black Ark Corsairs, and the War Hydra, with the Harpies and Cold One Knights protecting the army's flanks. The Sorceress would deploy with the Corsairs or Crossbowmen depending largely on the terms of the scenario and the opposing army, perhaps moving from one unit to the other if necessary as the battle raged. And finally the Shades would deploy if possible forward in cover and in a position to threaten or weaken enemy units with crossbow fire in the opening turns of the game.

Thanks to its reputation I expected the War Hydra to be a formidable combatant but nonetheless still in need of support in order to reliably win combats. I therefore envisioned supporting it with the ranks and standard bonuses of the Black Ark Corsairs, or if those guys should be otherwise occupied, then I would support the beast with a timely charge from the Cold One Knights. The Repeater Crossbowmen would advance only as far as necessary to engage their targets, hopefully inflicting enough casualties as to knock an enemy regiment's rank bonus down a notch or two. With the Shades firing opportunistically as well, the last part of my battle plan was to fly the Harpies forward and charge enemy war machines as early as possible. If there were no war machines, the Harpies would then go after either other skirmishers or else ranged units, or as a last resort just act as a general nuisance to the opposing formations.

Having selected the units I would use, the last issue to sort out for my army were its magic items. Rarely are magic items a critical element of my armies and this time was no different as I had only 65 points left to spend on enchanted goodies. First off I gave the Sorceress a Talisman of Endurance so that my general would have at least a small chance of avoiding damage. With so many of my meager 1000 points already invested in this single model, I thought even that 5+ ward save would be worthwhile. Next I picked out the Banner of Murder for the Black Ark Corsairs to give their potential flurry of S3 attacks a little more bite against armored foes. Finally with just 10 points left I gave the Cold One Knights the Banner of Eternal Flame. I wasn't sure what else to do with the points and thought the magical banner would be cheap insurance in case I happened to run into another Hydra during the tournament.

So that was the army list and the basic strategy I had devised for my first foray into Warhammer Fantasy. There were a few areas that I was unsure of concerning my list, such as the relative value of command groups, but in general I felt pretty good about my army. I also felt however that it didn't really matter too much as I was likely going to lose and lose badly. I knew realistically I stood little chance as the first game of the tournament was also going to be my first time ever playing this game. Therefore all I wanted to do was have fun, learn some basic things about my army, and hopefully not irritate my opponent by having to ask too many questions or look up too many forgotten rules. On that account, then, I thought my chances at AdeptiCon were fair....

Next time I will discuss the tournament itself and describe what happened in the my first four games of Warhammer 8th edition. I had meant to cover more of the painting aspect tonight with this post but it is getting late and my pictures from earlier today did not turn out very well. I'll therefore save the painting chatter and a few words about my 5-minute display board for another time, too. Goodnight!


  1. Looking forward to how the games went.

  2. Stuff is looking great old friend...

    Just wanted to say hey!

    I just now saw the comment you left for me in Nov... I was truly touched. You, Big Papa JJ, gave me my first piece of fan mail. You rock bro!

  3. Looking good there mate. (huggs) thanks for your kind words last week.

  4. Thats a really nice looking list nicely balanced. I like the paint scheme on your Elves very different from the usual dark look you get with this army.

    The Lore of Fire on your mage also has the added benefit of meaning he/she causes fear in all cavalry and monsters etc as they are classed as having flaming attacks. Thats one more added layer of protection for them.

  5. @ The Angry Lurker - Great, I should have the report on my games ready in a day or two... thanks for the interest, Angry Lurker!

    @ The 25mm Warrior - It's fantastic to hear from you, right on! I saw your update earlier today and am really sorry you've been through such rough times these past several months. Congrats though on the novel! I'll be sure to drop a note for you at your blog... I just wanted to say congratulations and great work, that's exciting news. It really is good to hear you're still around and kicking, best wishes to you! Thanks again, Wonton!! :)

    @ Derina - I'm glad I could help out even just a little, be sure to let me know if there's anything else I can do. Take care, Derina!

    @ John - Oh cool, I didn't know about that added benefit to flaming attacks and the Lore of Fire! I knew in my scramble to learn the rules that there would be a lot that I either missed outright or else read and then forgot almost immediately. Thanks so much for pointing that out! Also I appreciate the supportive words regarding the list and paint scheme, as I progress beyond the base coats I am hopeful that they will look even more distinctive. Thank you, John, for the motivation to keep at it!

  6. Not a prob mate - keep up the post your blogs a good read

  7. Wonderful! Thanks for the support, John!