Monday, April 11, 2011

Evolution 101 - The Mindrazor Conundrum

One of the hot topics on the internet forums has concerned Dark Elves and their use of Lore of Shadow.

The major spell in the Lore of Shadow is Mind Razor where you get to substitute your Leadership value for your Strength in combat.

There are a number of Dark Elf specific reasons why this has been perceived as a problem. Specifically,

• Army-wide Hatred allowing re-roll of To-Hit rolls, Eternal Hatred for Black Guard
• Presence of the Cauldron of Blood which allows you to add +1 attack. On Corsairs with the Frenzy Banner this can add up to a lot of attacks

However the main reason why people are getting antsy is that the Dark Elves have a special roll that allows them to ignore the 6 Power Dice maximum, rolling as many as they have access to. This is further enhanced by the Sacrificial Dagger which allows you to “sacrifice” usually a Spearman to add another dice.

In reality this means that you can end up with a block of Corsairs with 4 attacks, re-rolling to hit in the middle of your army at the start of the Dark Elf magic Phase and there is nothing you can do to stop them getting Mindrazor off, making those attacks Str 9 or 10.

Not surprisingly most of the bitching comes from players who have armies composed of elite infantry – Chosen/Chaos Warriors, Grave Guard, Temple Guard/Saurus etc. I’m pretty sure that Dwarfs would also appreciate the opportunity for a grumble as well. Suddenly all those heavily armoured troops that you’ve pulled together in a Death Star unit aren’t so safe.

Well, not surprising, my response is a resounding “Boo Hoo”. This is a classic case of “Catch me once, shame on you. Catch me twice, shame on me.”

Let me map this out for you: Cauldron, Lore of Shadow, Sacrificial Dagger, High # of Attack troops = Likely Pain

It’s not Rocket Surgery! It just means that you have to do what the rest of us do to YOUR Deathstar. Feed it crap and re-direct. Just because they don't have to think, doesn't mean you don't.

If you can’t do that with your current 4-5 unit list, the answer is obvious…….change your list.

As a great man once said “Evolve or Die”.


  1. Nah, just progressively rape the list with gradually worsening comp scores, before out right veto'ing it.
    Thats always been NZ's approach in the past when faced with a challenge, why change now?

  2. They are still only T3 elves so if you seen a block like this coming just gun/shoot it down.

    Dwarves have less to worry about here as its easier for us to get rid of magic. Standard dwarf build your looking at +2/3DD and +2 to dispel and 1-3 Scrolls.

    That and any DE player who builds their entire list around this one unit and one tactic is going to get into trouble everywhere else.

  3. Is NZ's scene that bad? I would assume that it is a vocal minority pushing things that way? Compadile tears. Crying because it is unfair when really someone doesn't want to have to learn and adjust or use it themselves.

    I haven't had a comp sheet put in front of me for the last two tournies, and the 3rd doesn't either. As for the DE and Shadow, it's pretty awesome, been on the recieving end a few times last week, but I have the measure of it and I can move on.

  4. Its a UK thing not a NZ thing.None of the DE players round my way have even looked at building an army this way.

  5. I think there is a little bit of crossed purposes here.
    There are very few of the top NZ players playing with Dark elves so it really hasn’t come up……though it may well after tomorrow night when Jack gets home from university.
    However I think Charlie is commenting on the usual NZ tendency to hit anything that people decide is “too hard” with the comp stick or cheese moniker, rather than work out tactics to beat it.
    I ran into a bit of it towards the end of 7th when a few people who were using flying Terror-causing beasties decided that me including a Doomwheel in the army (at the expense of a HPA, I might add) deserved a comp hit.
    The Australian scene is worse as evidenced by the veto free-for-all that was the Australian Masters last year.

  6. Every time I about the composition element to tournaments, the competitive streak in me gets a little angry.
    All I know about competitive gaming comes from computer games. Mostly I would play fighting games like Street Fighter (I know, I am so ooooold) and the plan would be to find a move that cuts through your opponents defences and spam it till they came up with a working defence and the process would repeat. It is the same process for competitive StarCraft in Korea.
    All in all I think that complaints could be levelled at, that given the long time to play and come up with tactics in a wargame (3 hours to play a single game vs 20 min for Starcraft) compared to the time between releases of new stuff (quarterly for a wargame, twice for Starcraft’s 10 year reign) you are really up against it when it comes to adapting to new tactics.
    But a tournament is competitive. It is about pounding your opponents into the dirt, spamming every cheap tactic your opponent will let you get away with. If you come up with a tactic that can reliably leave your opponent in tears (hair pulling excluded), you should be rewarded for your clever thinking.

  7. It is the "usual NZ tendancy" that concerns me, as I'm rather stuck in the middle of it. That flavour of DE army is coming to the scene here anyway, Nicon for starters, fortunately for me I am already practising against it.

  8. To a point Nat.....the problem is that ideally you should start with a level playing field.

    The 8th Edition Fantasy ruleset is far nearer that than previous editions.

  9. It must be a considerable effort to marry together such a large number of units across so many books, especially with some very old.