Friday, 3 May 2013

Oxyotl Report 

1: Initial thoughts - The High Elves

 
Elf with spear. Not coming to a table near you anytime soon

Thought would put pen to paper on my very initial thoughts on the new High Elf book after having it for a few days.

I love it!
Not enough? Oh. OK.

The book is gorgeous. Easy the best of the background sections of the new books – outlining the reign of each Phoenix Kings up to the present day. Gorgeous detail. Worth reading and re-reading.

Because this is The Internet and in The Internet no one cares about anything but rules… Well, the rules are actually pretty interesting. It appears (on first glance) that it is similar to the VC book (less blood and more skirts though) – not too many outstanding options, lots of things that could work well together. Nothing seems “broken”.

Characters

They have vastly increased the number and types of characters available – High Elves are clearly designed to be a race utilising a lot of Heroes (who are now significantly cheaper). New additions to the cause include the: Loremaster of Hoeth (lord level wizard with all the signature spells from the BRB and fighting ability of Swordmaster Champion), the Anointed (lord level phoenix guard really), Handmaiden of the Everqueen and Lothern Sea Helm. Most of these add something to the units the join, which is a nice, if often not massive, bonus. On the special character front the Everqueen returns (and is interesting to say the least), as does Eltharion and his HARDCORE griffon, Alith Anar, White Lion Boy, Phoenix Guard Boy and, of course, Tyrion (who is now awesome) and Teclis (who took probably the single most monumental nerf in the history of warhammer!).

Will take months for the “best” combo of character to be worked out of course – initial thought: Lvl4 with Book of Hoeth (now not broken, just good), Loremaster and BSB with Reaver Bow and Potion of Strength.

Units

Most things generally got cheaper. Which is good. White Lions and Swordmasters no longer ignore their great weapons for ASF – this is HUGE. Now the army really struggles for reliable high strength combat punch. It still has it, but the lack of ASF, and the rerolls they gave, makes a massive difference.
New units include the Sky Cutter Chariots – flying Tyranoc chariots really, not sure what I think of these really. The Phoenixes are interesting – the ice one especially has some fantastic synergy with the army. Silver Helms and Reavers move to core – fast cav in core is all sorts of good. Tyranoc chariots now in units of up to 3. RBTs massively reduced in points, and the Sisters of Averlon are an interesting new unit that are either great or terrible… not sure.
Weak link continues to look like Spears and Seaguard

Magic

Well… things really have changed!
No longer do HE have any unique way of adding power dice to their pool. High Magic is a nice lore – think that there could be some game winning moves pulled off with Walk Between Worlds, and the signature spells are decent. The rest of the lore is… underwhelming really. Will see what in game experience does to that perception.


So, overall – you get more stuff (they are still expensive though!), can pull off things like all mounted armies or go crazy with characters. I think the army will work best as a mixed arms force – I envisage using them with a plan of punishing armies at range, then rapidly counter punching the weakened opponents… A lot depends on magic though – they need the right lores and favourable winds to really hurt opponents in the new heavy armour meta.



Lovely, well rounded, seemingly balanced book – nothing so far that comes close to screaming “broken”, which is good for all concerned!


Initial gut feel army list to follow shortly.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting first impressions. My point of view is that the army hasn't lost a huge amount in terms of reliable hitting power in the GW department. You're forgetting Matrial Prowess, where we get an additonal rank full of attacks. White this isn't a huge benefit for Swordmasters, this is actually a pretty big deal for White Lions and against WS4 or less, this is statistically better than rerolls. This also brings into account ability to make units a lot narrower and still have the same hitting power. 3x3 White Lions phalanx anyone? That's 10 attacks (champ) at S6 in a 60mm frontage and if you win - they're still stubborn.
    Also, you have to consider some other fringe benefits that few other armies have - High Elves can have a Large Target creature for their BSB and their General, increasing those valuable Hold The Line and Inspiring Presence to 18", not to mention have access to a Lord option which gives one of your units Immune to Psychology - that's huge! One of the biggest gripes with HE for me is when dice don't go your way and you start failing stupid panic checks or Fear tests. This can now be somwhat mitigated.

    Overall, I agree with your assessment - nothing stands out as broken, some things stand out as good and everything has combinations with other parts of the army. I think there will be a lot of variation in the next few events for HE lists and that can only be a good thing.

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  2. Dont disagree with your view really - I think the LionDart will be a great little unit – 130ish points of points-getting nuisance.

    The problem with lack of rerolls is twofold –
    Combat is the most critical phase in the game, it wins and loses games. This means you want to stack all the dice on your side. This makes me very nervous when you don’t reroll attacks. Sure, you are stubborn if you lose if you are using Lions… but its still dangerous. There are things now that make you need 5s to hit (nurgle WoC mainly). If in a situation where you need 5s lack of rerolls really hurt.
    Secondly you lose the defensive aspect of ASF. Fighting an ASF combat beast (be it a Vampire Lord, Bloodthirster or whatever) and negating their rerolls was massive. This is gone.

    Does it make them terrible? Definitely not – I especially think Lions are still good. Just not as good as they were. Therefore HEs really do as an army suffer from lack of combat punch, which makes it a nice puzzle

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