Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

Undiscovered Power Lists: Order Draconis

Posted on December 4th, 2016 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

Despite the simple core rules, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar is a deep and complex wargame, with most of the complexity found in the unit rules, or ‘warscrolls’. Metagame-defining combos are still being discovered, hidden in plain sight within (and between) the hundreds (and hundreds) of warscrolls available.

Here in the Tron we have access to the ‘Rain Man’ of the Age of Sigmar, a mysterious figure known only as ‘Jim’. Jim has a sixth sense at finding combos, and I wanted to start a series to go over some of his list-tech.

These will be lists that we haven’t yet seen from the international tournament scene. I suppose I should qualify that by saying that it is quite possible some of these lists have been discovered, but our focus is on the competitive scene for the purpose of this series.

Without further pre-amble, I give you the first of the Undiscovered Power Lists – Order Draconis.

Carrying on ancient traditions from a world long-lost, the Order Draconis range across the Eight Realms,
searching for other enclaves, and assisting the forces of light against the Mad Gods.

Order Draconis

Aelf lists are not heavily favoured in the competitive metagame at present. We think this list is an exception, as it can be built to perform as one of the most effective alpha-strike lists out there. In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, games often come down to one crucial turn. This list takes advantage of this dynamic, pumping up the effectiveness of all models and enabling them to take maximum advantage of it for that one turn.

The List

  • Dragonlord Host (Battalion) – 80
    • Dragon Lord  (General) – 400
      • Dragon Lance 
      • Aelven War Horn
      • Reckless (Re-Roll Runs and Charge within 10”)
      • Quicksilver Potion (attacks before other models)
    • Dragon Blades (x5) – 160
    • Dragon Blades (x5) – 160
  • Dragonlord Host (Battalion) – 80
    • Dragon Lord – 400
      • Dragon Lance 
      • Aelven War Horn
      • Quicksilver Potion (attacks before other models)
    • Dragon Blades (x5) – 160
    • Dragon Blades (x5) – 160
  • Dragonlord – 400
    • Dragon Lance 
    • Aelven War Horn
    • Quicksilver Potion (attacks before other models)

Leaders: 3
Battleline: 4
Behemoths: 3
Number of models: 23

TOTAL POINTS: 2,000

The Combos

Deployment

Three deployment drops – one Dragonlord, and the two battalions. This means you will almost certainly get the first turn. And if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world, just hand back and set up for the charge in a following turn. While this makes for a spectacular first turn charge, this army works just as well saving up for a decisive big turn later in the game if required.

When deploying, a key consideration is making sure that your units are within 10” of the general at key moments – that will be the main skill of the list.

Speed

First up, the basic Move profiles are very fast; 14” for the Dragonlords and 12” for the Dragon Blades.

Add to this the battalion ability, which allows each unit to make a full move in the hero phase. If they are close enough to charge, after this bonus move, they can do so on a 4+. However, what we are aiming for is a turn one charge, so you will be starting at least 24” away from your opponent’s models, meaning this charge will require a roll of 10+ for the Dragonlords and a 12 for the Blades. We will opt to save this ability for the Dragonfire instead – more on that later.

The army now makes its regular move. By now, the Dragonlords have moved 28”, and the Dragon Blades 24”.  They should be within easy reach of key targets. Because Dragonlords can fly, you can even get over the chaff or terrain if needed.

Then you get to do your charge, on average another 7”, but you also have the General’s Reckless ability to reroll your charge rolls within 10” of him if you have positioned carefully.

The first turn charge is a big deal, but as mentioned, you can also save the big charge for later in the game – in which case charging in the hero phase might be a useful option.

The upshot is, this army can move across the table for the turn one charge more reliably than Destruction armies using Rampaging Destroyer, and almost as well as the Lightning Strike Stormcast.

Shooting

A requirement of decent alpha strike armies is the ability to clear chaff. Chaff are the annoying sacrificial units the enemy will throw in your way to slow you down, or ‘bubble-wrap’ more important units.

This Dragonlords each get a ranged ability called Dragonfire.

Remember how we passed up the opportunity of charging in the hero phase using that battalion ability? Instead, on a 4+, the Dragonlords can use Dragonfire in the hero phase, each potentially causing D6 mortal wounds. They can then do this again in the shooting phase. Pretty decent.

Combat

This is the meat-and-potatoes part of the list. Let’s assume you’ve managed to charge at least one dragon into key targets, which is quite likely. How much damage can you actually do?

Each Dragonlord has an Aelven War Horn. When blown once per game, all units within 10” gain +1 attack with each melee weapon. The wording is important. If all three blow them in the hero phase, and are within 10” of each other, that is +3 attacks with each melee weapon.

Suddenly, each Dragonlord attacks with:

  • Dragon Lance:
    • 6 Attacks, 3+ to Hit, 2+ to Wound, -1 Rend, 3 Damage
  • Dragon’s Claws:
    • 9 Attacks, 4+ to Hit, 3+ to Wound, -1 Rend, 2 Damage
  • Fearsome Jaws:
    • 6 Attacks, 4+ to Hit, 2+ to Wound, -2 Rend, D6 Damage

And each unit of 5 Dragon Blades unit attacks with:

  • Drake Lance:
    • 25 Attacks, 3+ to Hit, 3+ to Wound, 0 Rend, 2 Damage
  • Steed:
    • 25 Attacks, 4+ to Hit, 4+ to Wound, 0 Rend, 1 Damage.

Fearsome Jaws is the important one, but imagine a unit of 5 Knights doing 50 attacks! And half of them do two damage each!

Now for the fun part. The General’s Command Ability, Lord of Dragons, allows every unit within 10” to reroll all failed Hit rolls for its combat attacks.

OK I lied, THIS is the fun part; all Dragonlords have Quicksilver Potions. This is because you have two battalions in use, so you get an extra two artefacts. Most events allow duplicate artifacts (nothing against it in the GHB anyway). So you can attack with all three Dragonlords before the enemy gets to strike back. And as this is also your turn, you can even get in a unit of Dragon Blades.

And that’s pretty much it. As an alpha strike army, you are getting the charge, doing an almighty ton of damage, and hoping there is not enough left to swing back.

Army Cost

The Dragonlord Hosts as a competitive 2,000 point army is one of the least expensive to collect. RRP it costs £177.50 – less if you purchase via online retailers. That’s a pretty good deal!

Additionally, there are only 23 models to prepare, making it a good one for a beginner to get stuck into.

Weaknesses

There are some downsides that a canny opponent can take advantage of. The key one is that this army does its thing in one turn, while the Aelven War Horns, Potions, and charge bonuses are in effect. The Hit roll of the most important attacks (such as the Dragon’s) are only 4+, so anything that reduces the hit roll is going to throw a big spanner in the works.

During turns in which these guys do not charge, the lance attacks lose +1 to Wound and 1 damage. Also, there is a lack of rend for a lot of these attacks.

Objective play is a strength of the army, with a high threat range and speed.  But the army needs to throw everything at you in one go, and then go back for the objectives once they’re done. Perhaps keeping one or two units of Dragon Blades in reserve. So if you can keep out of their reach you might be able to score enough to take the game away from them. Easier said than done though.

And lastly, just outlasting them if you can. Enough chaff ‘bubble-wrap’, a few missed charges from the Dragons, and things will start looking up.

On the Table

Jim and I had two games playtesting the Dragonlord Host. My army consisted of:

  • Nagash – 900
  • 4 x Morghast Archai – 480
  • 2 x Morchast Harbinger – 240
  • 2 x Morghast Harbinger – 240
The Draconis force has been censored here due to unsightly proxies. Just use your imagination!

I had been yet to lose Nagash in a matched play game so far, spanning three tournaments and a bunch of test games, so I was counting on Hand of Dust doing some good work.

In the first game, Jim had the first turn, and by the end of that same turn I had lost Nagash and 4 Morghast Archai without striking back.

In the second game, I took the first turn, got all my buffs off, and then tried to bubble-wrap Nagash a bit better. I moved the Harbingers to take some side objectives. This time Jim charged in the second turn, and again I lost Nagash and most of everything else in one round.

Absolutely brutal!

I would be keen to hear from anyone who has tried this! Please let me know your thoughts in the posts below. Can you think of any other counters? Would you be keen on giving the army a try?

Coming Soon – Escape from 100 Million BC

Posted on December 3rd, 2016 under , , , , , , . Posted by

Here we take a look at Escape from 100 Million BC, an upcoming cooperative time traveling game from IDW Games.

The post Coming Soon – Escape from 100 Million BC appeared first on Co-op Board Games.

Chronicles Pre-Kickstarter Preview

Posted on November 25th, 2016 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

How many games do you know where there is a possibility to play with miniatures on the terrain created by you? That sounds a little bit weird, but it’s real! Now we would like to present you an interesting project called “Chronicles” by “Happy Gorilla Game Studios”! “Chronicles” provides an opportunity to start a battle […]

Bolt Action Tournament Battle Report – British vs Germans (2nd Edition) – 1000 Points

Posted on November 9th, 2016 under , , , , , , . Posted by

My first game of Bolt Action (2nd Edition) was in a recent tournament, and I got totally owned. My opponent was Roy, a power gaming friend that has schooled me in Bolt Action before. Our scenario that we rolled was Manhunt and I was fairly happy to get…

Wellington Warhost 2016 – List Overview

Posted on November 3rd, 2016 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

New Zealand’s first 2,500 point tournament is coming up on November 12th and 13th. With 14 players, it is also going to be the best attended so far in our small but growing community of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar players.The army lists were released toda…

Samurai Spirit Review

Posted on November 1st, 2016 under , , , , , , . Posted by

In our Samurai Spirit review, we take a look at a cooperative fighting game from the designer of Ghost Stories.
The post Samurai Spirit Review appeared first on Co-op Board Games.

Last Cat Standing Kickstarter Preview

Posted on October 20th, 2016 under , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Cats are the cutest and most popular animals around the world! We all love them and now we have the board game about them. Yes, we all remember about the “Exploding Kittens” but the game we are going to present is totally different! Meet the “Last Cat Standing”! It is an easy to learn and […]

Read it on http://www.boardgameking.com/

Best Play Recommends: Twilight Imperium

Posted on October 18th, 2016 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

TL;DR What: unbelievably epic sci fi civilisational royal rumble Players: 3-6 How long: a colossal 6-10 hours Who: only the […]

The post Best Play Recommends: Twilight Imperium appeared first on Best Play.

Agricola Strategy Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

Posted on September 16th, 2016 under , , . Posted by

Agricola can feel pretty daunting because farming should never be difficult, but the Middle Ages never makes anything easy. The