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8th Ed. Breaking the ETC - List building with comp

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Irish_Lizard, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Irish_Lizard
    Saurus

    Irish_Lizard Member

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    Basic principles of all comp systems is to limit that which is underpriced or just too damn good. some times this goes too far but as far as the etc have it it is pretty spot on. This actually makes building a top tier list for a beginner much easier as it reveals all the broken combos that they would be unaware of normally. Hence the first principle of good list building is if it's comped max it.

    Second one is be lazy, dont do all the hard work yourself, look at what others have done. Humanity would never have reached the stars if they had to reinvent the wheel each generation. http://baddice.co.uk/lists/ is a pretty good resource for tournament lists. Be warned that some discretion is required as not all tournament lists are good lists

    First lets read the restrictions:
    Salamanders 0-1 is in most comp systems in one form or another for good reason they are a damn good units. However we dont want to commit too many points just yet so we will include a unit of 2 for 150( to avoid the last restriction).

    Next mounted scar vets 0-2. this means we take 2 mounted scarvets, a quick bit of searching of last year's ETC lists finds that the most common builds are
    1. dawnstone, charmed shield and either burning blade or sword of might
    2. Amulet of Itzl, Venom, Dragonhelm and a great weapon.
    so thats 160 and 166 for those 2 respectively.

    Cupped hands brings us into the magic restrictions of the ETC namely 12 dice max per phase and only 2 extra above the winds of magic roll. Also of note is the 5 dice cap on everything and 4 dice casting cap on shadow and death. Magic lores I'll leave to the end. A quick bit of research finds that nobody took cupped hands last year so this may be a case of too harsh a comp on the item. At the moment we will leave this aside as we want to actually have 2 extra dice each magic phase rather than some pretty irrelevant miscast protection for the slann (he is unlikely to die to miscast especially with the dice caps.)

    Cogitations vs scroll is a tough one and I'm not sure there is a right answer here. Last year when cogitations took 2 DD and scroll+cube was allowed most people took the easy choice of scroll+cube. Now I'm not sure so we'll leave this until we know more about what our army looks like.

    Bane head with death is a combo we can remember for uncomped play but is just banned here. No other lore has much character killing spells but maybe death is good enough on its own. A look at history shows us that there were a large number of death slanns last year even with the 4 dice cap and no bane head so death is looking promising. We'll pencil that in as a possible lore for the slann.

    Crown, +1 LD, rumination or higher state. Pretty easy choice of rumination on the basis of if they comp extra power dice it must be good. We dont really need leadership 10 coldblooded,higher state is nice but our slann has a 4++ and should be nice and safe in a skink bunker at the back anyway. Crown is only good if you lose combat, I dislike planning to lose and with 2 extra power dice every turn we probably can swing that combat with magic.

    Max 6 units with <20 models which are also <130 points. This one is the toughest and makes us choose what kind of army we want to play. It is essentially a limit on our ability to spam massive amounts of chaff which is worth very little points. Going with principle 1 we will try to fit as much in as possible.

    First we need to find out which units are affected by the restriction:
    Terradons<5, Chameleon skinks (all sizes), single salamanders and razordons, jungle swarms<3, small skirmisher skink units and ranked skinks <20.

    We managed to avoid the hit on our one unit of salamanders by taking a unit of 2 so that leaves us the choice of do we want our chaff units to deal damage or just let us get favorable combats. Once you add the no brainer choices to the list such as scar-vets, sallies and at least one slann you need to decide how to actually win the game. Pure Magic dominance is probably out due to the restrictions but it can definitely help either shooting or combat.

    Shooting lists tend to win small but reliably, about 13-15 on the 20-0 system. They tend to rely on player skill in pulling off the double flee maneuver, focus firing easy points while conserving your own. They tend to mentally draining to play as the movement phase will have lots of units and must be exact as a gap or poor angle can cost the game if it means the enemy gets into combat. On the upside if they lose you know that most of time it was not the fault of the dice and you are much more in control of the game flow. They rely on big units of chameleons, salamanders and ranked skinks to keep shooting and terradons to double flee with one medium sized block and scar vets to go mop up point turn 5 or 6. Usually have a death slann to snipe characters for easy points. See poland's lizardmen lists form 2012 and 2011.

    Combat lists tend to have bigger wins but occasionally will have one bad turn of dice at a key moment and will lose big time, only getting 2-3 points or less from the game. Combat lists require you to know which unit/size/character combinations you can fight and which you can't with your army. Sometimes you will just fluff your dice for a round, break and lose based off dice. These style lists are easier to play in theory but require good mental math skills to predict the outcome of a combat before you charge. They mainly rely on 2 big hordes of saurus backed with vets and buffed with magic, usually shadow or light. See Austria's list from ETC 2012 for an example.

    I'll try to finish this later with a run down of what units/sizes/lores fit in which lists and build a sample list for each style as well as covering the 'dud' units and why not to take them.
     
  2. Irish_Lizard
    Saurus

    Irish_Lizard Member

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    General choices for a list:
    Somethings should start of in a list regardless of what you want to try and accomplish because they add more to the list than anything else for a similar points value. So we stick in our 2 scar vets from earlier, 2 salamanders in 1 unit and a slann BSB with focused rumination. These are our no brainer choices that should be in every competitive list.

    Shooting based lists:
    First we add the max allowed of our best shooting unit so 30 chameleon skinks get in. This takes up half our allotted amount of small units under etc comp so we need to think about which 3 to add next. As we have a shooting list we really dont want to be in combat so we add 2x3 terradon units to double flee one combat block and drop rocks on enemy skirmishers (shades, gutter runners, camo skinks). This leaves us with one choice of chaff unit left so we will take 10 skink skirmishers as a mobile cheap unit with potential for lots of shots.

    We now have figure out how to get more shooting into the list without breaking the cap on units under 20 models and 130 points. The common answer seems to be 20 man ranked skink units from looking at last year's lists, so we will add 3 of those. Earlier we discussed how we need a mop up unit to get points in combat turn 5 and 6 so lets add 28 Saurus with muso and champ which should push us over our core requirement. 24 skinks with 3 krox would be equally as good as the saurus so its personal preference

    A look at the magic lores that are useful here would be helpful at this point. Metal will help us deal with armor and amplify the damage done by our skinks with enchanted blades and plague of rust. Big blocks can be brought down by final transmutation. Death lets us threaten purple sun and snipe out characters that can cause us trouble. Doom and darkness is always good with massed shooting. Heavens can help against armor and armies that like to sit in a corner. Iceshard blizzard does a similar thing to D&D and harmonic lets skinks reroll to hit when shooting. Fire clears out the enemy chaff that can charge your fleeing units of the board but not much else and acts similar to light in this style of list.

    For one slann death is best and for 2 death metal is probably the strongest combination. Lets have a quick look at our list so far.

    With 370 points left we can get a second slann with a scroll and free discipline and boost the numbers in the saurus block or buy a skink priest as a re director or add a third salamander. Alternatively instead of a second slann we could add a unit of 5 terradons, give our slann loremaster, soul of stone and ixti grubs and get a skink priest with a scroll. At this stage its personal preference, I prefer the metal slann with an extra salamander. A couple of minor adjustments and we have our final list.

    Combat lists:
    We start off with the same base of slann, scar vets and salamanders and add 2 big blocks of 39 saurus with champ and musician(almost hitting that 450 unit cap). We need units which can clear out enemy redirectors so we can actually get into combat so we take 3x3 terradons. We need a bunker unit for our slann(s) so we fit in 2x10 skirmishers just for backup. We now have the core of the list.
    We can add a second slann for better magic, a scar vet or oldblood on foot for more combat power or a skrox unit to just add a third combat block. I would recommend against mixing saurus and skrox in a list as it tends to lead to jack-of-trades-master-of-none problems against most armies.

    As far as magic goes light is excellent lore for buffing and has nifty magic missiles to clear out chaff that might get in your way. shadow is still the best combat lore and ixti grubs lets you mitigate the 4 dice casting cap to some degree. Death deals with characters and has 2 excellent combat spells in soulblight and D&D. Metal deals with armor and enchanted blades is very good on saurus blocks. Life only has one big combat buff in flesh to stone which cant even be bubbled so is not worth it. Beasts and fire are sub par for this list.

    After some minor tweaks here is the combat dedicated list I'd run
    Checking your list:
    Finally we need to check if we have solid lists. I usually do this by seeing if my list can handle certain things.
    Khadai destroyer, Both lists have a mounted dragonhelm scar vet and enough units to double flee it. First list has a lot of poison shots and death snipes to bring it down. Second list will have to rely on banishment, withering or mindrazor to beat it with a block.

    Hellpit: Light has shems burning gaze and Death snipes are more than enough combined with all the shooting. May want to consider swapping sword of might for burning blade if it turns out to be a problem.

    Demon prince: Mindrazor or enough shooting should bring it down. It's armor save needs to be dropped, maybe a scar vet could tank it or even beat it with buffs.

    Savage orc horde: Saurus with buffs eat these guys for dinner and they are frenzied so can be led around by the nose.

    8-10 Trolls: Both lists have some form of I based spell which should cut them down to a reasonable size.

    These are just examples of the best of the best units that you need to be able to handle, every meta will have its own and you need to consider how to handle them when writing an army list.

    Conclusion
    I have decided not to go through the non-optimal units as it will take too much time and results in too much negativity. This is written with regards to single player events under ETC comp. For team events I'm afraid you'll have to figure it out yourself
     
  3. kroxigor01
    Ripperdactil

    kroxigor01 Member

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    Nice.

    I thought Death was 5 dice in 2012?

    Have you seen this?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/FollowFurion

    I'll wait till you finish until I comment more.
     
  4. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    Pretty informative.
     
  5. newscales
    Kroxigor

    newscales New Member

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    I have not played in any ETC tournaments. My buddies I play friendly matches with and I are going to organize a small in house tourney and ease ourselves into ETC setting. Should be fun.
     
  6. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    You have much to learn on the subject :D
     
  7. Irish_Lizard
    Saurus

    Irish_Lizard Member

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    Death was 4 dice in 2012 as well.
    Yep have seen the videos and agree with most of it.
    Done!

    Best of luck and I hope it goes well, just remember its still a game and playing without crutches improves your play.
     
  8. kroxigor01
    Ripperdactil

    kroxigor01 Member

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    Not always. Sometimes comp is needed because a certain army build is imbalanced, not a specific unit. Sometimes restricting 'maxing' a selection changes the build so much that the selection is almost never played.

    I think saying "take a unit of 2 to avoid the restriction" is to simple. I think it is important to notice that there is a very good reason CHEAP units are restricted. Lizardmen MSU/points denial is imbalanced. A single Salamander is an expendable distraction and part of the skirmish line it advances to ~a foot from an enemy unit and tries to make them panic or try to chase the Salamander. A unit of 2 plays significantly different to a unit of 1. A unit of 2 is pretty much just as vunlerable and will be much more of a focal point for the opponents aggression. I would consider a shock and awe unit of 3 Salamanders a good option, considering you already have to spend resources protecting the unit.

    Toolbox Saurus character. To scary for skirmish hunters to kill and to small and fast for strong units to catch. They are extra chaff (swiftstride) or extra killing depending on what you need. I also think these are included in lists to not autolose against Vampire ethereals.

    A potential abuse of this rule is to take 2 mounted Scar Vets and a mounted Oldblood! You pay the price to get the extra buddy, but he is a better killer.

    I've been theoryhammering a unit of 20 skirmishers combined with a Metal Slann. Enchanted blades of Aiban would make them all Chameleons (for 2 rounds of shooting if you bait a stand and shoot). Unwieldy, but doesn't use up the 0-6 small units. May be worth the points (only if you were already going double Slann! Don't be daft and run with a solo Metal Slann!).

    I'm unsure as to the history. Was double Banishment legal in the past? Is that why you are now dismissing Light? (EDIT: oh you are saving light for the combat armies, fair enough)

    Will come back and post more maybe tomorrow.
     
  9. clangerman
    Jungle Swarm

    clangerman New Member

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    Good run through of the ETC lists.

    I think the first list I wrote was very similar to your's. Though to be honest the comp leads you down that road anyway.

    The current comp has meant that lizards have been all but ruled out by our team. Hopefully draft 4 brings up a few more options.
     
  10. skillfull_dan
    Chameleon Skink

    skillfull_dan New Member

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    I wouldnt call that an abuse. Any points spent on an oldblood are points not spent on the slann, which is normally the focal point of our army.
     
  11. forlustria
    Kroxigor

    forlustria Member

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    does everyone think 2 slann's are the way to go. What about skrox units?
     
  12. Daneish
    Cold One

    Daneish New Member

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    I would run 2. The death metal combo is very powerful and a great way of getting points back.
     
  13. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    Besides the awesome name "Death Metal Combo"....what is the trick exactly?
     
  14. forlustria
    Kroxigor

    forlustria Member

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    well im running 2 slann 1 light 1 metal (light metal not quite the same ring as death metal) im struggling to know where to put my metal slann hes ethereal but do I have him on his own or tac him to the side of one og my skrox units
     
  15. Daneish
    Cold One

    Daneish New Member

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    Death and metal together just give you loads of options to get big points. Either characters/monsters or heavily armoured troops all high point high priority targets. Not to mention the fact you have two powerful big horde killer spells.

    It depends who you are playing, I like my slanns solo or with skirmishers usually. tacked on the side he could get assassinated. You got a champ to take challenges for him? If not he will get stuck in challenges with lords, because is footprint is different to the skrox he cannot refuse challenges as there is nowhere to retire to.
     
  16. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    Sorry to say but you cant have him with skirmishers. Skirmishers can only be joined by characters "On foot" and Slann is specified not to be in his rulings, even though he is infantry.
     

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