Charred Corpses as far as the Eye Can See

Yesterday, a local guy came down to the studio with his High Elf army and played against my Tzeentch Daemons at 2500 pts. I shot a Notrep (with turn summaries but no action) which I hope to edit within the week. It was a relatively close game.

High Elves are one of the top 50% armies out there. They have strengths in close combat, shooting, and magic. Very strong all around. High Elves can cast Drain Magic which makes all casting rolls three points more difficult which can really put a wet blanket on Tzeentch magic. That's fair, of course, because the High Elves are staring down up to twelve dispel dice every turn. No need to take dispel scrolls if you've got eighteen levels of wizards on the table!

Let me first make some comments on my army. You've all seen my list.

Physically, it's a great army to make because it can be made mostly with eight Spawn kits and a lot of green stuff and Tyranid leftovers (though you do need to burn gaunt bodies). Taking into consideration Labor for conversions it's actually one of the most expensive type of armies that we do, but for the person who has time and not money it would be very economical. It breaks 3000 pts pretty easy once you get two Lords of Change in there.

Tzeentch Daemons are tough. Even though they only have Toughness 3, their 5+ ward save can make high strength items (such as chariot impact hits and war machines) just bounce off. On the net I'd say the ward save is as good as a 3+ regular save. The Pink Horrors then are amazingly resilient. I usually run two blocks of thirty and two blocks of ten. That's eighty Horrors. On average there are only 15-30 dead Horrors at the end of any given game. And half of those are usually to combat resolution.

I run the main two blocks at thirty. They require at least 26 Horrors to count as a Level 3 wizard. One change I'm thinking of making is to add a few Horrors just so they can suffer a few more casualties and still be blasting out Bolt of Change (12+ to cast, 2d6 S D6+4 hits-- this will evaporate most enemies, and two of them will destroy even giant dragonlord riders). At Level three the three spells they get are Flickering Fire of Tzeentch (4+ cast magic missile), Gift of Chaos (a 12" radius wave that burns all enemy units), and Bolt of Change (see above). Notice that two of these are magic missiles and so are negated in close combat. It's the Gift of Chaos that gives this army its strength in the late game:

The only way to beat this army is to run right up the middle and try and rip the Horrors to pieces. Unfortunately, once you do that, they Horrors start in with the Gift of Chaos-- waves and waves of magical flame that wear down enemy units.

The other way to give your Horrors a boost in combat is with the Banner of Change (L3 bound spell does 3d6 S3 hits). This is a good use of 25 points as it makes the unit dangerous once it is in close combat. I give it to the ten-man units as well as they are more likely to be dealing with lighter flanking units. Another note about the banner is that the unit can charge, then use the banner in the magic phase. This means that a smaller, lighter unit can potentially be evaporated before the close combat phase.

I've also had the ten-man units hold off much larger threats even though they lose the combat, just by not being completely destroyed.

I don't run Horror champions. The army doesn't work that way (ie the army doesn't win by killing things with lots of attacks). Though I may start running them in the units with the Heralds (the two larger units) to protect them in challenges.

Once in close combat, once the enemy line closes, the Banner of Change and Gift of Chaos (12" wave) are the next phase.

What I dread are large blocks of infantry that can beat my units of Horrors and make them blow up from combat resolution.

The Changeling (a Horror upgrade that can switch almost any stat with an enemy) is a great defender against very strong enemy characters; another line of defense for the late game. I had him knock out Grimgor. I put him in the unit with the Herald BSB as protection.

Another thing I dread is that my opponent will allocate attacks against the Heralds. They are T3, two wounds, and even with a 4+ ward save they die pretty quick. This trims down the magic phase. You got to kill the wizards!

I've also been experimenting with the BSB carrying the Great Icon of Despair (-2 Leadership to enemy units within 12" for 75 pts). The problem here is that I usually forget it, but it can be a game-changer in the late game. It can also prevent an opponent from charging your units (by failing a Fear check) which is a perfect alignment with the needs of the army. On top of that, it can mean death when the Lord of Change flies around back and starts causing Terror checks.

The Lord of Change can be a close combat monster, and with high wounds can break a ranked unit if in the flank. But be careful when you charge in because the Lord of Change is only Ld8 and can be destroyed by losing combat if it jumps into a losing battle. I've found he's much more useful as a spellcaster and threatening smaller units and causing Terror. I run him with Will of Tzeentch (re-roll one die per turn) which is absolutely invaluable since it can prevent miscasts. As for a secondary power, I don't know what is best.

On the four spellcasters (heralds x3 and Lord of Change) I give each of them Flames of Tzeentch (a shooting attack, d6 S4 shots). This adds to the ranged firepower of the army, and is a second line of defense, to mop up weakened units after the magic phase. That's what I'm doing now.

Master of Sorcery (25 pts, gives all spells from a lore of choice) is a great strength since you can tailor your list against problems you may face. But you don't always need it. The Tzeentch spells are unusually strong as it is. It's a great list.

And now back to the game...

First off, Josh is a delightful opponent; knows the rules, but not rules-lawyery, cheerful, great sportsmanship, plays for fun but isn't a push-over. I am very, very much looking forward to playing against him again.

The High Elf army I played against was something like this:
Lord on Star Dragon
2x Mages
2x units spearmen (meat shields for Mages)
2x units fourteen swordmasters (run seven wide-- one with power dice banner, and one with magic resistance banner)
1x unit twenty phoenix guard
2x lion chariots
2x repeater bolt throwers

His Lord on Dragon had something that gave both him and his mount immunity to Flaming Attacks. Everything in my army has Flaming Attacks. We were running it that the spells weren't flaming. But the question remains: if the Herald has Flaming Attacks, does that make his spells Flaming. This would mean that my opponent's dragon lord would have been un-beatable. Of course he died in the end by bouncing off a unit of Horrors and getting run down by the Herald on Disc.

I think this army would be death for Wood Elf armies (they can shoot any direction).

Lion chariots are strong. In a pair coming down the flank they present a huge problem. I recommend. Maybe even better than fast cavalry and the usual harassers.

Lore of Light has some good spells against Daemons.



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