I got in a game with the Empire last night, running pretty much what I listed here (save that I dropped the Obsidian Amulet and an Archer and upgraded one Mortar to a Helstorm Rocket Battery), and went up a not-particularly hard Chaos Warriors list that looked something like:
Lvl 4 Sorcerer of SlaaneshA horde of 50 Chaos Warriors can be a tough nut to crack, but I didn't have to worry about Gateway or anything, so I wasn't complaining.
Lvl 2 Sorcerer, Fire
Lvl 2 Sorcerer, Death
Warriors x50 - Full Command, Mark of Khorne, Extra Hand Weapon,
Marauders x50 - Full Command, Mark of Khorne
Knights x6 - Full Command, Mark of Khorne
Giant of Slaanesh
I was proxying damn near everything, so I got a lot of comments about how my troops looked like rats.
Overall it was a good, close game that I completely lost. Some assorted, unordered thoughts to follow.
- What cost me the game was forgetting about the Prayers of Sigmar every round. The ability to make a unit Unbreakable was, quite literally, what cost me the game.
- I misfired once, and the Engineer was around to catch that. I don't expect that to happen most games.
- But the Cannons were great. Having a flat Strengh 10 feels so much better than the random-Strength shot the Warp-Lightning Cannon gave me. I miss the template at the end... but I'm happy to be able to shoot things in the face and know they're in trouble.
- The Helstorm actually did okay. I need to work out the ideal distance to drop it from my target, but it hit some dudes more often than not...
- ... which is more than I can say about the Mortar, which was generally disappointing. That's a little strange.
- Halberdiers didn't feel like they were delivering... but they went toe-to-toe with a Horde of Chaos Warriors for three rounds of combat, so I probably shouldn't complain.
- Swordsmen were okay: they performed about as well as I could have asked.
- The Lvl 1 Beasts caster accomplished precious little. I should consider bumping him to a Lvl 2 (or giving him a new Lore) so he can get more done.
- Knights were a disappointment, but I don't know if I'm expecting too much from them. I lost only 2 of them to 24 attacks from the Warriors, and then the remaining 7 of them killed 5 Warriors. That's not bad, but... they just didn't hit as hard as I thought they should have. I also completely forgot to do the mounts' attacks (not used to having cavalry), but I doubt they would have made much of a differece.
- I miscast twice. Each time I rolled a 9, which meant that all of my Priests and Wizards took hits. Blech. In the last turn, I managed to kill off my little Priest and Battle Wizard with it. In fact, I think my opponent did 1 wound, total, to any of my characters, while I was able to five.
- The Shadow Wizard Lord didn't pull much off, but that's because he understandably kept getting dispelled. I really liked having his options, though: he's not likely to go anywhere.
- I need to read, learn, and internalize the FAQ. I lost my Steam Tank to Purple Sun.
- Archers were the dang MVP of the game: they did better than I could have expected shooting things (mostly because my opponent's dice were bullshit and kept failing his 1+ saves), but really because they were champs at redirecting chargers and getting in the way.
I'm going to fiddle with dropping the knights (though I should give them another chance) and seeing what else I can do with the points.
I've painted up the Helstorm (the weapon, at least, not the team): I'll try to have some pics up soon.