Thursday, 16 May 2013

Oxyotl Report 

4: The Hammer of Asuryan

Sometimes, normally when the weather is being, well, British, and the working week drags ever onward the soul of a true gamer yearns for one thing above all else…

A bus.

There is something visceral, cinematic, manly even, about getting together the hardest, toughest brick and mercilessly ruining your opponents, before settling back with a nice cold drink and listening to the lamentations of their women.

Sure, the smart, thoughtful player will have a nicely balanced list, tuned to deal with all possible opponents - nothing spectacular, but with practice and ability he will go to the very top. But the Warhammer Jock (to force in a US TV high school cliché) gets to smash stuff up over and over, until he comes up against something bigger and stronger, leaving his dreams of ETC fame and riches in ruins and him working the night shift at the local Taco Bell. But damn, the life was good while it lasted!
So… I clearly watch too much TV.

Buses (the mounted, faster, better looking brother of the Death Star) are a part of the game. Their popularity waxes and wanes, but you will see them. Having used them a lot in my VC days, they are often harder to use than you would think, and tend to have some staggeringly horrendous match ups (I will always remember each and every time my Vampire Lord got killing blowed by some annoying, stuck-up infantryman).

The art of Bussing, as I may explore at a later date, is massively reliant on two things. Firstly, knowing what your bus can take on. Most importantly though, it is about anticipating what your opponent will do to stop and delay you. We all, after all, know how to chaff up a bus. Taking this into account, the rest of the army has to make sure you can bring your (hopefully) overwhelming force on your opponent’s juiciest targets – this means controlling, and winning, the chaff war.

So, the question arises, can the Asur bus it up?

The Fist:
  • Prince, Barded Elven Steed, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Luckstone, Giant Blade. S7 provides the real punch for the unit.
  • Archmage lvl4, Elven Steed, Book of Hoeth, Crown of Command – High Magic. Hides in the second rank, keeping everyone stubborn and improving ward saves whilst machine gunning spells.
  • Noble BSB, Barded Elven Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Altrazar, Khaine’s Ring of Fury
  • Noble, Barded Elven Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Star Lance
  • Noble, Barded Elven Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Sword of Anti-Heroes
  • Mage, Elven Steed, Dispel Scroll – Beasts/Death/High
 Chaff-clearance brigade:
  • 5 Silver Helms, Shields, Musician, Champion
  • 5 Silver Helms, Shields, Musician
  • 5 Ellyrion Reavers, Musician
  • 5 Ellyrion Reavers, Musician
  • 5 Ellyrion Reavers, Musician
  • 5 Ellyrion Reavers, Musician
The Bodies:
  • 12 Dragon Princes of Caledor, Musician, Champion, Standard. Banner of the World Dragon
 Air Support:
  • Frostheart Phoenix

The list, despite its incredible beauty and astounding subtlety, probably does not need too much explanation J

The 6 small units of cavalry focus on clearing the field of chaff/redirectors. Some will break away to start threatening warmachines if possible, forcing your opponent to deal with them. With ASF rerolls and S4/5 on the charge, these should win that war. If necessary they will double flee/sacrifice themselves to isolate dangerous parts of the opponent’s army.

The characters form up in the Dragon Prince unit to form a brick that has a 2+ ward vs anything magical, and a 2+ armour and 6+ ward (initially) against anything else. The Book Archmage and Ring will allow you to spam magic – magic missiles to clear chaff/weaken opponents, drain magic to remove debuffs/buffs etc. Boosted Walk Between Worlds is a potential game winner with this list, and there are plenty of other options. With every spell, the units ward save improves. With the low casting value of High Magic and the Book, on averages you will have enough dice to cast all 4 spells. Assuming 2 get through everyone is on a 4+ ward..

The second mage provides a scroll, but also has some options in the magic phase. He could keep high magic, helping the units ward saves that much more (and having access to the nice 4d6 MM), or go with Beasts (either roll savage beasts, or buff the unit with Wildform), or perhaps Death. I would be tempted by Beasts or High personally. With the Banner of the World Dragon’s ward vs magical attacks, the unit is safe from the damage caused by miscasts – allowing you to big dice as needed.

In the perfect world the Frostheart tags into the Bus combat on the corner, the ASL and -1 S it gives making the bus even more survivable. It can also clearly operate by itself, and is another highly mobile high impact unit your opponent must deal with – a key component to a successful bus list.

Is this the most devastating Bus on the scene? Most assuredly not, but it does kick out one hell of a slap. Against a lot of armies it will simply devastate, and, at a pinch, it’s up there with the most survivable, and is the fastest.

Is it the best list? Is it fun to face? Is it fun to use?
Maybe not, but that has never stopped a bus player before J

Probably going to sign off from the High Elves for a while now – believe those new Daemons need to be properly scouted out.

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